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A History of China
by Wolfram Eberhard
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Modern research has not only demonstrated that all these accounts are inventions of a much later period, but has also shown why such narratives were composed. The older historical sources make no mention of any rulers before 2200 B.C., no mention even of their names.
Text: English, German (translation)
The end of the Han period was followed by the three and a half centuries of the first division of China into several kingdoms, each with its own dynasty. In fact, once before during the period of the Contending States, China had been divided into a number of states, but at least in theory they had been subject to the Chou dynasty, and none of the contending states had made the claim to be the legitimate ruler of all China. In this period of the "first division" several states claimed to be legitimate rulers, and later Chinese historians tried to decide which of these had "more right" to this claim.
About the Author
WOLFRAM EBERHARD (1909-1989) was born in Germany traveled extensively in Asia; from 1948 to 1976, he was a professor of sociology at the University of California at Berkeley. Among his many works examining Chinese folklore, fiction, culture, and history are A Dictionary of Chinese Symbols and China's Minorities: Yesterday and Today.
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