Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
How the Past was UsedHistorical cultures, c. 750-2000$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Peter Lambert and Björn Weiler

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780197266120

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197266120.001.0001

Show Summary Details

Chinese History as a Constructed Continuity

Chinese History as a Constructed Continuity

The Work of Rao Zongyi

(p.259) 11. Chinese History as a Constructed Continuity
How the Past was Used

T. H. Barrett

British Academy

The continuity of Chinese history, through the unfolding of the ‘dynastic cycle’ of its successive imperial regimes, has been taken as one of the great truisms of discourse on China. Yet assertions of cultural continuity in China have emerged in recent research much more as tendentious fictions, cultural artefacts themselves designed to stitch together disparate elements over time—the daotong or ‘Transmission of the Way’ proposed by Neo-Confucians, is one good example. And looking at Chinese history as a sequence of political powers, the transmission of what was seen as a form of imperium, zhengtong, or ‘Correct Succession’, has also long been considered as technically problematic. The modern scholar Rao Zongyi has a well-researched monograph on these debates that deserves to be better known, especially as history as an element in Chinese identity is now coming to assume an increased contemporary importance.

Keywords:   Rao Zongyi, Chinese history, Chinese identity, imperial regimes, cultural artefacts, zhengtong, daotong

British Academy Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.