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Leonard COTTRELL: The Tiger Ch'in by Leonard…
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Leonard COTTRELL: The Tiger Ch'in

by Leonard Cottrell

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This is about the fifth time I've read this book; this time I re-read it as prep for a study trip to Xi'an that I'm leading in April. It's anything but an academic tone, but successfully sheds light on China during the turbulent Spring & Autumn Period and the rise of the Qin Dynasty (221 BCE) and China's "first emperor" Qin Shih Huangdi, and his successors until the dynasty's fall and the emergence of the long-lasting Han only two decades later (206 BCE). The author's writing style is light and conversational with a touch of irony here and there to enliven its style, yet quoting enough of the original material and dynastic histories to anchor it historically. Of course much has changed since the book's first appearance in 1962 -- for example, the excavation of Qin Shih Huangdi's terracotta soldiers, and the post-1977 excavations in ancient Yongcheng, a former Qin capital, of the city and the tombs of its many Dukes -- including a discovery little recognised in the west but hailed by Chinese archaeologists as rivaling that of the terracotta soldiers--the excavation of the tomb of the Qin Duke Jing (ruled 576-537 BCE). But despite its age, The Tiger of Ch'in is still informative, entertaining, and a rewarding book for anyone interested in ancient Chinese history. ( )
  pbjwelch | Jul 25, 2017 |
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