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Su Qin

Sū Qín 蘇秦 (380-284 BCE)

* Warring States political strategist and persuader
* chief advocate of the "Vertical Alliance" (Hé zòng 合縱)
* disciple of Guǐgǔzǐ 鬼谷子


Vertical Alliance

Hé zòng 合縱 (often written: 合從)

* clique of the School of Diplomacy (Zòng Héng jiā 縱橫家) during the Warring States Period (period 350-250 BCE)
* anti-Qin alliance
* North-South axis: six states united against Qín 秦 (Qí 齊, Chǔ 楚, Yān 燕, Hán 韓, Zhào 趙, Wèi 魏)
* lead by Sū Qín 蘇秦


School of Diplomacy

Zòng Héng jiā 縱橫家 (also: 從衡家)

* "School of Vertical and Horizontal Alliances"
* Warring States political and diplomatic clique
* originated by Guǐgǔzǐ 鬼谷子
* main adherents: Sū Qín 蘇秦 (Vertical Aliance) and Zhāng Yí 張儀 (Horizontal Alliance)
* see e.g. Hán Fēizǐ 韓非子 en Zhànguó cè 戰國策


Horizontal Alliance

Lián héng 連橫 (also written: 連衡)

* clique of the School of Diplomacy (Zòng Héng jiā 縱橫家) during the Warring States Period (period 350-250)
* pro-Qin alliance
* East-West axis: six states allied with Qín 秦
* lead by Zhāng Yí 張儀



fāngshì 方士

* "masters of techniques" (Lewis), "recipe gentleman" (Harper)
* all kinds of specialists, e.g. doctors, astrologers,... with expertise knowledge
* difference with rú 儒: fāngshì always seems to be outside of the imperial court
* the term is not attested to in pre-Hàn sources, first occurrence is in the Shǐjì 史記
* during the Hàn 漢, the label fāngshì 方士 was applied to third century BCE men who disseminated correlative cosmology and various occult arts (Harper)


Zhang Yi

Zhāng Yí 張儀

* Warring States political strategist and persuader
* chief advocate of the "Horizontal Alliance" (Lián héng 連橫)
* disciple of Guǐgǔzǐ 鬼谷子
* Zhāng Yí repetitively negotiated with the six states (Qí 齊, Chǔ 楚, Yān 燕, Hán 韓, Zhào 趙, Wèi 魏), thereby destroying their relations with the Horizontal Alliance, and paving the way for Qín's 秦 unification of China


Rú 儒

* category of rú 儒 as in rú jiā 儒家 ("Confucian") was constructed during the Hàn 漢 period
* in the pre-Qin period, rú should be translated as "scholar" or "man of learning"
* the only two categories that existed in the pre-Qin period are mò 墨 and rú 儒



Fǎ jiā 法家 "Legalism"

* this category did not exist in the pre-Qin period
* scholars/strategists such as Hán Fēizǐ 韓非子, Shēn Bùhài 申不害, Lǐ Sī 李斯, Shāng Yāng 商鞅, Wú Qǐ 吳起, etc. should be considered as rú 儒 rather than Fǎ jiā 法家
* the only two categories that existed in the pre-Qin period are mò 墨 and rú 儒


Sun Wu

Sūn Wǔ 孫武 or Sūnzǐ 孫子 (late 6th century BCE)

* military general (jiāng 將), strategist, and philosopher during the Spring and Autumn Period
* traditionally seen as author of The Art of War (Sūnzǐ bīngfǎ 孫子兵法)


Sun Bin

Sūn Bìn 孫臏 (died 316 BCE)

* Warring States military strategist
* alleged descendant of Sūnzǐ 孫子
* disciple of Guǐgǔzǐ 鬼谷子
* wrote military treatise Sun Bin's Art of War (Sūn Bìn Bīngfǎ 孫臏兵法), of which some chapters were rediscovered in a 1972 archaeological excavation in Yínquèshān 銀雀山, after being lost for almost 2000 years


Sima Rangju

Sīmǎ Rángjū 司馬穰苴 (late 6th century BCE)

* military general (jiāng 將) during the Spring and Autumn Period
* credited with writing the Sīmǎ fǎ 司馬法, one of the seven military classics


Wu Qi

Wú Qǐ 吳起 (440-381 BCE)

* military leader, philosopher, and politician in the Warring States Period
* known as author of the Wúzǐ 吳子, a treatise on military strategy, and one of the seven military classics



Guǐgǔzǐ 鬼谷子

* Warring States master of politics, diplomacy, and military strategy
* founder of the School of Diplomacy (Vertical and Horizontal Alliances)
* earliest records in Shǐjì 史記, which names him as the teacher of famous strategists such as Sū Qín 蘇秦, Zhāng Yí 張儀, and Sūn Bìn 孫臏
* supposedly wrote the philosophical treatise Guǐgǔzǐ 鬼谷子 (probably a later forgery, not in Hànshū Yìwénzhì 漢書藝文志)


Shang Yang

Shāng Yāng 商鞅 (390-338 BCE)

* minister in state of Qín 秦 during Warring States Period
* one of the boldest reformers of his age, and the architect of Qín's economic and military supremacy
* supposedly wrote the Shāngjūnshū 商君書 (known as a "Legalist" book)
* reforms: militarization (e.g. recruiting peasants in military), abolished primogeniture, increased taxes, privatized land, made many new laws, system of ruthless punishments, promotion of agriculture and martial virtues


Seven Military Classics

Wǔjīng qī shū 五經七書

* seven canonized military texts (six from early China, one from Táng 唐 period)
* this anthology was canonized in 1080 under Emperor Shénzōng 神宗 of the Sòng 宋 dynasty
* seven texts:
1. Liù Tāo 六韜 (Jiāng Zǐyá 姜子牙)
2. Sīmǎ Fǎ 司馬法 (Sīmǎ Rángjū 司馬穰苴)
3. Sūnzǐ Bīngfǎ 孫子兵法 (Sūn Wǔ 孫武)
4. Wúzǐ 吳子 (Wú Qǐ 吳起)
5. Wèi Liáozi 尉繚子 (Wèi Liáo 尉繚)
6. Huáng Shí gōng sān lüè 黃石公三略 (Zhāng Liáng 張良)
7. Questions and Replies between Tang Taizong and Li Weigong 唐太宗李衛公問對


Shen Buhai

Shēn Bùhài 申不害 (4th century BCE)

* chancellor of the state of Hán 韓 during the Warring States Period
* classified as a "Legalist" philosopher
* supposedly wrote the Shēnzǐ 申子, which is now lost, but some fragments survive in other texts
* the Shēnzǐ 申子 articulates techniques (shù 術) by which the ruler can control his ministers and maintain absolute authority


Li Kui

Lǐ Kuī 李悝 (455-395 BCE)

* chief minister in state of Wèi 魏 and advisor to marquis Wén of Wèi 魏文侯 during the Warring States Period
* known for his "Legalist" reforms that inspired Shāng Yāng 商鞅
* two main achievements:
1. theory on the optimal use of language
2. supposedly wrote the Fǎjīng 法經


Wei Liaozi

Wèi Liáozi 尉繚子 (also: Yù Liáozǐ)

* text on military strategy supposedly written by Wèi Liáo 尉繚 during the Warring States or Qín 秦 period
* one of the seven military classics
* a more philosophical version (5 chapters) was found among the Yínquèshān 銀雀山 Hàn 漢 bamboo manuscripts discovered in 1972


Wei Liao

Wèi Liáo 尉繚 (also: Yù Liáo)

* supposed author of the Wèi Liáozi 尉繚子
* according to the Shǐjì 史記, Wèi Liáo was an advisor to Qín Shǐ Huáng 秦始皇



Shāngjūnshū 商君書

* so-called "Legalist" book
* supposedly written by Shāng Yāng 商鞅 during the Warring States Period



Liù yì 六藝

1. Six Arts
2. Six Classics (also: Liù jīng 六經)


Six Arts

Liù yì 六藝 "Six Arts"

* basis of education during the Zhōu 周 period
* see e.g. Zhōulǐ 周禮

1. rites or etiquette -- lǐ 禮
2. music -- yuè 樂
3. archery -- shè 射
4. charioteering -- yù 御
5. calligraphy or literacy -- shū 書
6. mathematics -- shù 數


Six Classics

Liù yì 六藝 or Liù jīng 六經 "Six Classics"

* see Hànshū Yìwénzhì 漢書藝文志

1. Lǐjì 禮記
2. Yuèjì 樂記
3. Shījīng 詩經
4. Shūjīng 書經
5. Chūnqiū 春秋
6. Yìjīng 易經


Well-field System

Jǐngtián 井田 "Well-field System"

* first described in Mèngzǐ 孟子
* Zhōu 周 (imaginary?) system of land cultivation: 9 units of which 8 units are private (sītián 私田) and the center unit is communally cultivated (gōngtián 公田) on behalf of the landowner
* this system was suspended by Shāng Yāng 商鞅


Zhou Hierarchy

Zhōu 周 Hierarchy

1. Zhou king (Zhōu wáng 周王)
2. rulers of vassal states (zhūhóu 諸侯)
3. ministers (qīng 卿)
4. high officers or grandees (dàifu 大夫)
5. shì 士
6. commoners (shùmín 庶民)


Axial Age

Axial Age ("Achse" = axis, pivot)

* term coined by German philosopher Karl Jaspers to describe the period from 800 to 200 BCE, during which similar thinking appeared in Persia, India, China, and Greece
* according to Jaspers, the Axial Age gave birth to philosophy as a discipline, and he saw in developments in religion and philosophy striking parallels (without stimulus diffusion) between the different regions
* "the spiritual foundations of humanity were laid simultaneously and independently in China, India, Persia, Judea, and Greece. And these are the foundations upon which humanity still subsists today" (Jaspers, The Origin and Goal of History)
* Axial thinkers in China: Confucius and Laozi
* Cho-yun Hsu (Zhuōyún Xǔ) 許倬雲, David Nivison, Heiner Roetz, A. C. Graham


Zi Huaizi

Zǐ Huázǐ 子華子

* early Chinese thinker said to be from the state of Wèi 魏
* his writings survive only in quotations in the Lǚshì Chūnqiū 呂氏春秋
* he argues that what is most important is quán shēng 全生 "keeping one's own life complete" (全生為上)


Yang Zhu

Yáng Zhū 楊朱 (440–360 BCE)

* Chinese philosopher during the Warring States Period
* Yáng Zhū's surviving ideas, known as "Yangism," appear primarily in the Chinese texts Huáinánzǐ 淮南子, Lǚshì Chūnqiū 呂氏春秋, Mèngzǐ 孟子, and possibly the Lièzǐ 列子 and Zhuāngzǐ 莊子
* known for his philosophy of the self-cultivation of shēng 生


Shen Dao

Shèn Dào 慎到 or Shènzǐ 慎子 (?350-?275 BCE)

* Warring States "Daoist" philosopher at the Jìxià 稷下 Academy at the turn of the fourth and third centuries BCE
* his own original 42 essays have been lost, and only 7 are still extant, and he is known largely through short references and the writings of others, notably Hánfēizǐ 韓非子 and Zhuāngzǐ 莊子
* a critical reconstruction of the lost book of Shènzǐ 慎子 was made by Paul Thompson, and published in 1979 as The Shen Tzu Fragments
* among the Shangbo manuscripts are six bamboo slips with sayings of Shènzǐ


Jixia Academy

Jìxià 稷下 Academy

* scholarly academy during the Warring States Period in the state of Qí 齊
* scholars said to have attended the Jìxià Academy:
- Shèn Dào 慎到
- Zhuāngzǐ 莊子
- Zōu Yǎn 鄒衍
- Mèngzǐ 孟子
- Xúnzǐ 荀子
- Chúnyú Kūn 淳于髡