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By the end of the Sung dynasty (960-1279), known descendants of the three Chao brothers who had founded the dynasty numbered over 20,000. Unlike the rulers of many other Chinese dynasties, however, the Sung emperors were not plagued by challenges to their rule from their relatives. So successful was Sung policy on the imperial clan that it would serve as a model for the subsequent Ming and Ch'ing dynasties. How the Sung created a social and political asset in the imperial clan while neutralizing it as a potential threat is the story of this book. This study of the imperial clan as an institution analyzes the history, its political tile and the lifestyle of its members, focusing on their residence patterns, marriages and occupations.
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John W. Chaffee Pressor and Director of the Asian and Asian American Studies Program in the History Department at State University of New York, Binghamton.Review:
Chaffee's thoroughly researched and in-depth study of the history of the Sung imperial clan is much more than a chronological account of 300 years of emperors, though it is that too...Here Chaffee illustrates how the Chao family of Sung emperors incorporated the entire imperial clan into the political mainstream, though within carefully delineated parameters. The result was an exceptionally loyal army of supporters that enabled both the Northern and Southern Sung dynasties to avoid political challenges common to most monarchies. Although the Sung was unique in this, the practice influenced both Ming and Ch'ing ruling houses. Extensive footnotes and a detailed genealogical list showing the exact relationship of some 700 Chao family members make this an exceptionally useful resource for understanding the unique makeup of the Sung royal family.
--A. Wittenborn (Choice)
In his Branches of Heaven, the first monograph in any language on the uppermost layer of the [Sung Chinese] elite, [Chaffee] makes another substantive contribution to institutional and social history...This study walks us through three hundred years that witnessed thirteen generations of growth and the eventual demise of the lineage of Chao K'uang-yin (T'ai-tsu), a military official who had seized power from the Later Chou and founded the Sung dynasty in 960...This fascinating window into one lineage has much to offer not only to social history but also to historiography...Chaffee is a master of details and technical information. He has meticulously coded and reconstructed the lives of some six hundred clansmen during the course of three hundred challenging years of Sung rule...Chaffee's solid scholarship will blaze the trail for other studies of imperial lineages within and beyond Chinese social history.
--Jennifer W. Jay (Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies 2001-06-01)
Chaffee's account of the activities of clan members in the maritime economy and society of thirteenth-century Ch uan-chou is perhaps the richest part of his narrative. He skillfully weaves together social, economic, political, and cultural history in this last section of the book and achieves a compelling depth here that may be possible because of fortuitously preserved sources...Chaffee has ventured into an area of investigation that has social as well as political ramifications, expanding our knowledge of family in the Sung while providing insight into the inner workings of the imperial government and meaning of emperorship.
--Linda Walton (American Historical Review)
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Book Description Harvard University Asia Center, 1999. Hardcover. Condition: New. Never used!. Seller Inventory # P110674080491
Book Description Harvard University Asia Center, 1999. Hardcover. Condition: New. Brand New!. Seller Inventory # VIB0674080491
Book Description Condition: New. New. Seller Inventory # STR-0674080491
Book Description Harvard University Asia Center, 1999. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0674080491