Home Region:  North China (East Asia)

Western Jin

D G SC WF HS CC PT EQ 2020  cn_western_jin_dyn / CnErJin

Preceding:
[continuity; Later Wei Dynasty] [continuity]   Update here
Add one more here.

Succeeding:
No Polity found. Add one here.

The Western Jin dynasty (House of Sima, Jin dynasty) briefly reunified China after the Three Kingdoms period, but was marked by political turmoil and internal rebellion. Sima Yan overthrew Cao Wei emperor Cao Huan in 265 CE and declared himself the Western Jin emperor. [1] In its 280 CE conquest of Eastern Wu, Western Jin dynasty ended the Three Kingdoms period and reunified China. [1] However, the central government was in almost constant turmoil because of internal conflict and corruption. [1] A series of rebellions of princes against imperial authority known as the Revolts of the Imperial Princes (291-306 CE) weakened the central government and led to the Disorder of the Five Tribes (304-316 CE), a large uprising of northern nomadic tribes. [2] In 316 CE, an imperial Jin prince fled south when a Xiongnu chief attacked the Western Jin capital of Luoyang. The prince went on to found the Eastern Jin dynasty in present day Nanjing. [3] [4]
The territory of the Western Jin empire was close to the size of the Han empire. [5] We have estimated that Western Jin polity territory covered 4.5 million square kilometers in 300 CE.
Despite the political turmoil of the period, advancements made in agriculture, craftsmanship, architecture, medicine, astronomy, and mathematics. [6] Buddhism continued to spread throughout China, and Daoism was revived and seen as a more well-defined religion. [7] There were many writers, poets and artists from the time of the Jin and the period is often seen as the first period for traditional Chinese art. [8]
Population and political organization
The Western Jin maintained many administrative structures of the Han. The empire was divided into provinces and semi-autonomous kingdoms. [5] However the Western Jin operated as a neo-feudal society. [9] Military rulers governed with the support of relatives, and Confucian values gradually disappeared from the central government and the education system. [3] The weak central government struggled to control the non-Chinese tribes living in the empire. [9]
The population of the Western Jin empire was recorded as 16.16 million in a 280 CE census. [10] The population of Luoyang was 600,000 people in 300 CE. [11]

[1]: (San 2014, 145) San, Tan Koon. 2014. Dynastic China: An Elementary History. Malaysia: The Other Press. Seshat URL: https://www.zotero.org/groups/seshat_databank/items/itemKey/TB95WB7F)

[2]: (San 2014, 146) San, Tan Koon. 2014. Dynastic China: An Elementary History. Malaysia: The Other Press. Seshat URL: https://www.zotero.org/groups/seshat_databank/items/itemKey/TB95WB7F)

[3]: (Theobald, 2000a) Theobald, U. 2000a. “Jin Dynasty (265-420).” Chinaknowledge.de http://www.chinaknowledge.de/History/Division/jin.html Accessed June 17, 2017. Seshat URL: https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/itemKey/DTQ5UTD5

[4]: (San 2014, 146) San, Tan Koon. 2014. Dynastic China: An Elementary History. Malaysia: The Other Press. Seshat URL: https://www.zotero.org/groups/seshat_databank/items/itemKey/TB95WB7F)

[5]: (Theobald 2011a) Theobald, U. 2011a. “Chinese History- Jin Period Geography.” Chinaknowledge.de. http://www.chinaknowledge.de/History/Division/jin-map.html Accessed June 17, 2017. Seshat URL: https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/itemKey/VJ4ZVERD

[6]: (Theobald 2011b) Theobald, U. 2011b. “Chinese History- Science, Technology, and Inventions of the Three Kingdoms, Jin, and Southern and Northern Dynasties.” Chinaknowledge.de. http://www.chinaknowledge.de/History/Division/jin-tech.html Accessed June 17, 2017. Seshat URL: https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/itemKey/T5FAI5I6

[7]: (Theobald, 2000a) Theobald, U. 2000a. “Jin Dynasty (265-420).” Chinaknowledge.dehttp://www.chinaknowledge.de/History/Division/jin.html Accessed June 17, 2017. Seshat URL: https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/itemKey/DTQ5UTD5

[8]: (Theobald, 2000a) Theobald, U. 2000a. “Jin Dynasty (265-420).” Chinaknowledge.de http://www.chinaknowledge.de/History/Division/jin.html Accessed June 17, 2017. Seshat URL: https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/itemKey/DTQ5UTD5

[9]: (Theobald, 2000a) Theobald, U. 2000a. “Jin Dynasty (265-420).” Chinaknowledge.dehttp://www.chinaknowledge.de/History/Division/jin.html Accessed June 17, 2017. Seshat URL: https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/itemKey/DTQ5UTD5

[10]: (Graff 2002, 35)Graff, D A. 2002. Medieval Chinese Warfare, 300-900. Routledge. London. Seshat URL: https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/itemKey/NUJQCRPA

[11]: (Graff 2002, 50 )Graff, D A. 2002. Medieval Chinese Warfare, 300-900. Routledge. London. Seshat URL: https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/itemKey/NUJQCRPA

General Variables
Identity and Location
Utm Zone:
50 S  
Original Name:
Western Jin  
Capital:
Changan  
Luoyang  
Alternative Name:
House of Sima  
Jin dynasty  
Tsin  
Temporal Bounds
Peak Years:
[280 CE ➜ 300 CE]  
Duration:
[265 CE ➜ 317 CE]  
Political and Cultural Relations
Suprapolity Relations:
none  
Supracultural Entity:
Chinese  
Succeeding Entity:
Northern Wei  
Scale of Supracultural Interaction:
[3,000,000 to 4,000,000] km2  
Relationship to Preceding Entity:
continuity  
Preceding Entity:
UNCLEAR:    [continuity]  
Degree of Centralization:
unitary state  
Language
Linguistic Family:
Sino-Tibetan  
Language:
Chinese  
Religion
Religion Genus:
Chinese State Religion  
Religion Family:
Imperial Confucian Traditions  
Alternate Religion Genus:
Buddhism  
Alternate Religion Family:
Chinese Buddhist Traditions  
Social Complexity Variables
Social Scale
Population of the Largest Settlement:
600,000 people 300 CE
Polity Territory:
4,500,000 km2 300 CE
Polity Population:
16,163,863 people 280 CE
Hierarchical Complexity
Settlement Hierarchy:
6  
Religious Level:
[1 to 2]  
Military Level:
[6 to 7]  
Administrative Level:
9  
Professions
Professional Priesthood:
inferred absent  
Professional Military Officer:
inferred absent  
Bureaucracy Characteristics
Specialized Government Building:
inferred present  
Merit Promotion:
inferred present  
Full Time Bureaucrat:
present  
Examination System:
inferred present  
Law
Professional Lawyer:
inferred present  
Judge:
inferred present  
Formal Legal Code:
inferred present  
Court:
inferred present  
Specialized Buildings: polity owned
Market:
inferred present  
Irrigation System:
inferred present  
Food Storage Site:
present  
Transport Infrastructure
Road:
inferred present  
Port:
inferred present  
Canal:
inferred present  
Bridge:
inferred present  
Special-purpose Sites
Mines or Quarry:
inferred present  
Information / Writing System
Written Record:
present  
Script:
inferred present  
Phonetic Alphabetic Writing:
absent  
Nonwritten Record:
present  
Non Phonetic Writing:
present  
Mnemonic Device:
present  
Information / Kinds of Written Documents
Scientific Literature:
inferred present  
Sacred Text:
present  
Religious Literature:
present  
Practical Literature:
inferred present  
Philosophy:
inferred present  
Lists Tables and Classification:
inferred present  
History:
present  
Fiction:
present  
Calendar:
inferred present  
Information / Money
Precious Metal:
inferred present  
Paper Currency:
inferred absent  
Indigenous Coin:
present  
Article:
inferred present  
Information / Postal System
Postal Station:
present  
Courier:
present  
Information / Measurement System
Warfare Variables (Military Technologies)
Fortifications
  Wooden Palisade:
inferred present  
  Stone Walls Non Mortared:
unknown  
  Stone Walls Mortared:
unknown  
  Settlements in a Defensive Position:
present  
  Modern Fortification:
absent  
  Moat:
inferred present  
  Fortified Camp:
present  
  Earth Rampart:
present  
  Ditch:
present  
  Complex Fortification:
unknown  
Military use of Metals
  Steel:
absent  
  Iron:
present  
  Copper:
inferred present  
  Bronze:
inferred present  
Projectiles
  Tension Siege Engine:
inferred present  
  Sling Siege Engine:
present  
absent  
  Sling:
inferred absent  
  Self Bow:
inferred present  
  Javelin:
inferred present  
  Handheld Firearm:
absent  
  Gunpowder Siege Artillery:
absent  
  Crossbow:
present  
  Composite Bow:
inferred present  
  Atlatl:
inferred absent  
Handheld weapons
  War Club:
inferred present  
  Sword:
present  
  Spear:
present  
  Polearm:
inferred present  
  Dagger:
present  
  Battle Axe:
inferred present  
Animals used in warfare
  Horse:
present  
  Donkey:
present  
  Dog:
absent  
Armor
  Wood Bark Etc:
inferred present  
  Shield:
present  
  Scaled Armor:
present  
  Plate Armor:
inferred present  
  Limb Protection:
present  
  Leather Cloth:
inferred present  
  Laminar Armor:
present  
  Helmet:
present  
  Chainmail:
present  
  Breastplate:
inferred present  
Naval technology
  Specialized Military Vessel:
inferred present  
  Small Vessels Canoes Etc:
present  
  Merchant Ships Pressed Into Service:
unknown  
Religion Tolerance Nothing coded yet.
Human Sacrifice Nothing coded yet.
Crisis Consequences Nothing coded yet.
Power Transitions Nothing coded yet.

NGA Settlements:

Year Range Western Jin (cn_western_jin_dyn) was in:
 (265 CE 317 CE)   Middle Yellow River Valley
Home NGA: Middle Yellow River Valley

General Variables
Identity and Location


Capital:
Changan

Luoyang. Then Chang’an after Luoyang sacked by the Xiongnu in 311 CE. [1]

[1]: (Xiong 2009, 546)

Capital:
Luoyang

Luoyang. Then Chang’an after Luoyang sacked by the Xiongnu in 311 CE. [1]

[1]: (Xiong 2009, 546)


Alternative Name:
House of Sima

Ts’in
Jin dynasty, house of Sima [1] Ts’in. [2]

[1]: (Graff 2002, 18)

[2]: (Peers 1995, 18)

Alternative Name:
Jin dynasty

Ts’in
Jin dynasty, house of Sima [1] Ts’in. [2]

[1]: (Graff 2002, 18)

[2]: (Peers 1995, 18)

Alternative Name:
Tsin

Ts’in
Jin dynasty, house of Sima [1] Ts’in. [2]

[1]: (Graff 2002, 18)

[2]: (Peers 1995, 18)


Temporal Bounds
Peak Years:
[280 CE ➜ 300 CE]

"apogee of its power" 280 CE. [1]
Quote from 7th century History of the Jin Dynasty: "Supplies flowed into granaries and treasuries. Palaces had additional adornments; dresses and playthings sparkled brightly. [The richest people] vied with one another in display. Their carriages, dresses, and food utensils were comparable in elegance to those of the imperial family." [2]
"Although its days of peace and stability were short, the Western Jin, at least before 300, was a period of remarkable intellectual, scholarly, and literary activity." [3]

[1]: (Graff 2002, 35)

[2]: (Graff 2002, 37)

[3]: (Knechtges 2010, 183) Knechtges, David R. in Chang, Kang-i Sun. Ownen, Stephen. 2010. The Cambridge History of Chinese Literature, Volume 1. Cambridge University Press.


Duration:
[265 CE ➜ 317 CE]

Official dates 265-317 CE. [1]
NB: includes Sixteen Kingdoms period (304-439 CE)

[1]: (Knechtges 2010, 182) Knechtges, David R. in Chang, Kang-i Sun. Ownen, Stephen. 2010. The Cambridge History of Chinese Literature, Volume 1. Cambridge University Press.


Political and Cultural Relations

Supracultural Entity:
Chinese

’cultural zone’ where Chinese dialects spoken; roughly qual to area of modern country of China. also known as Mainland China; area of ’Han’ peoples


Succeeding Entity:
Northern Wei

Scale of Supracultural Interaction:
[3,000,000 to 4,000,000] km2

km squared. Trading. Warfare.


Relationship to Preceding Entity:
continuity

Preceding Entity:
Later Wei Dynasty

Degree of Centralization:
unitary state

Religion
Religion Genus:
Chinese State Religion

Religion Family:
Imperial Confucian Traditions

Alternate Religion Genus:
Buddhism

Alternate Religion Family:
Chinese Buddhist Traditions


Social Complexity Variables
Social Scale
Population of the Largest Settlement:
600,000 people
300 CE

Inhabitants. Luoyang.
"At the height of Jin rule before the War of the Eight Princes, Luoyang had had a population of about 600,000 occupying a space of three square miles within the city walls; it was the largest city in eastern Asia and probably second only to Rome as the largest in the world." [1]

[1]: (Graff 2002, 50)


Polity Territory:
4,500,000 km2
300 CE

in squared kilometers.
Kingdom of Wu conquered 280 CE. [1]
After 316 CE "the entire area north of the Yangi river was in the hands of various non-Han peoples." [2]

[1]: (Knechtges 2010, 182) Knechtges, David R. in Chang, Kang-i Sun. Ownen, Stephen. 2010. The Cambridge History of Chinese Literature, Volume 1. Cambridge University Press.

[2]: (Knechtges 2010, 183) Knechtges, David R. in Chang, Kang-i Sun. Ownen, Stephen. 2010. The Cambridge History of Chinese Literature, Volume 1. Cambridge University Press.


Polity Population:
16,163,863 people
280 CE

People.
Jin census 280 CE: 2,459,840 households, 16,163,863 people. [1]

[1]: (Graff 2002, 35)


Hierarchical Complexity
Settlement Hierarchy:
6

1. Capital city2. Provincial capital3. Tributary capital4. County capital5. Town6. Village.


Religious Level:
[1 to 2]

levels. Inferred from previous polity.
1. Emperor2. Priests or ritual assistants


Military Level:
[6 to 7]

levels.
Central (Capital Army or Inner army of 100,000) and provincial armies
"The military was constituted from a Capital Army that was garrisoned in and around the capital, the armies of the princedoms and imperial clansmen, and private armies (buqu) of the magnates that were scattered throughout the empire and often represented a challenge for the central government in cases of rebellion." [1]
"The basic organizational structure of the Jin military was inherited from Wei. There were two major components: an "inner" army of some one hundred thousand based at the capital city of Luoyang, and a much larger "outer" army made up of garrisons stationed in the provinces. The inner army was under the direct control of the imperial court and included both a palace guard and a powerful mobile striking force, while the outer units were subordinate to regional military commanders (dudu) appointed by the court. In addition to these forces, there were also local troop raised by the various provincial governors (cishi)." However, local troops were abolished in an edict in 282 CE and with that change provincial governors lost authority over military forces, although there were some exceptions on the frontier. [2]
Princes were made dudu and they commanded private armies and outer armies
"Another Jin policy was to place substantial military power in the hands of princes of the imperial palace. The Jin founder, Sima Yan ... granted territorial fiefs to members of his own large and highly ramified lineage. Twenty-seven princes were enfeoffed soon after the founding of the dynasty in 265... most of the princes received commanderies as their fiefs ... In 277 the princes were allowed to raise their own armies, ranging in size from 1500 men for the smallest princely fief to 5000 for the largest. They were very far from being independent rulers, however. The central government in Luoyang appointed their chief ministers, and the princes had to turn two-thirds of their tax revenues over to the center. The real power of the princes ... lay in their appointments as regional military commanders. By 290 six of the princes were serving as dudu. They held more than half of the regional commands in the empire, and these included the most important provincial centers..." [2] = i.e. the princes who were dudu commanded both their own army and the garrison forces of the "outer" army.
1. Emperor

2. Generals inferredCentralized command and control. "The Ts’in inherited the Wei system after AD 265, until Ssu-ma Yen deliberately abandoned the centralised system of command and placed members of his family in control of private armies." [3]
relatives only commanded small units of bodyguards [3]
3. Local commander [4] of outer army called dudu [5]
from 290 CE "dudu were once again allowed to hold provincial governorships concurrently with their military offices, giving them full control of both civil and military affairs in their assigned regions" [5] 4. Officers - commanders, captains etc. inferred5. inferred6. inferred7. Individual soldier
3. Leader of division of inner army inferredConquered southern state of Wu. Final campaign 279 CE. "200,000 Jin troops marching against Wu in six columns" [6] = six columns suggest something about army structure
4. Officers - commanders, captains etc. inferred5. inferred6. inferred7. Individual soldier

[1]: (Theobald, U. 2015. CHINAKNOWLEDGE - a universal guide for China studies. http://www.chinaknowledge.de/History/Division/jin-admin.html)

[2]: (Graff 2002, 43)

[3]: (Peers 1995, 21)

[4]: (De Crespigny 1991, 26)

[5]: (Graff 2002, 44)

[6]: (Graff 2002, 35)


Administrative Level:
9

levels.
1. Emperor2. The Nine Courts
_Central government_
3. Secretariat (zhongshusheng)
3. Chancellery (menxiasheng)
3. Censorate (yushitai)
3. Three Dukes (sangong: Counsellor-in-chief chengxiang, Defender-in-chief taiwei, and Grand Preceptor taishi or taizai) later Eight Dukes (bagong: included the Grand Preceptor, Grand Mentor (taifu), the Grand Guardian (taibao), the Minister of Works (sikong), the Minister of Education (situ), and the Commander-in-chief (dasima) and the General-in-chief (dajiangjun) [1]
3. Imperial Secretariat (shangshusheng)3-4. Royal Secretariat (shangshu tai) with six boards headed by presidents (shangshu) [2] 4-6. Six Ministries4-6. Board of Works [3] (inferred vice minister and minister positions)7. Qibu (Bureau of Works)8. Lushi: "office manager in a general’s headquarters, central government agency, or local administration" [4] 9. Clerk (inferred)
_Regional Government_
4. Regional Inspectors of Zhou
4. Regional Governors of Zhou
4. Regional Governors of Jun
4. Military Area Commanders (dudu or zongguan
4. Prince or Marquis5. Magistrate (ling) of a Xian (county) [5] 6. Lower-level officials (inferred)7. Clerks to the above offices (inferred)
The Nine Courts: "Regular court officials, arranged in courts (fu or si) helped to organize the imperial household affairs as chamberlains (qing)." [1] The Nine Chamberlains (jiuqing), which were "Nine central government leaders and the agencies and their control ... began to be called the Nine Courts (jiusi)." [6]
Secretariat (zhongshusheng): "the executive policy-formulating powers belonged to the Secretariat (zhongshusheng) that was the channel through which all memorials and documents flowed to the emperor and it was the agency that proposed and drafted all imperial rescipts, decrees (zhao) and edicts (ling)." [1]
Chancellery (menxiasheng): "Policy consultants were gathered in an institution called Chancellery (menxiasheng) whose main function was to advise and to remonstrate." [1]
Censorate (yushitai) headed by the Censor-in-chief: "The surveying agency of the officialdom was the Censorate (yushitai), headed by the Censor-in-chief (yushi dafu)." [1]
"The highest posts or titles of the Jin central government were inherited from the Han." [1] "Their staff was arranged in different sections (cao)." [1]
Imperial Secretariat (shangshusheng): "The major institution of the Han central government, the Imperial Secretariat (shangshusheng), was ousted to a more routinely administrative role that controlled the Six Ministries (liubu, each headed by a minister shangshu and a vice-minister puye)." [1]
Six Ministries (liubu, each headed by a minister shangshu and a vice-minister puye) [1]
Western Jin "Bureau of Works, under the Board of Works." [3]
Regional Government: "From the Three Kingdoms through the Western Jin, a three tier local government system, comprised of zhou (province), jun (region), and xian (county), was in place." [2]
Regional inspectors: a zhou was a province "governed by regional governors zhoumu and controlled by regional inspectors, cishi" [1]
"Each zhou had under its direct control a number of jun (regions). By the fall of the Western Jin, the zhou were reduced to de facto prefectures." [7]
"19 provinces (zhou), 173 regions and fiefdoms (jun guo), and 2,459,840 households." [8]
Jun (region) "administered by governors taishou." [1] Jun were "eclipsed by the appearance of zhou (province)" [9]
"Most regional governors were concurrently acting as military area commanders (dudu or zongguan)." [9]
"Alongside with commanderies and districts there existed a lot of princedoms (wangguo) and marquisates (houguo), fiefs bestowed to members of the imperial house and, particularly the marquisates, to ministers of high merits." [1]
"The administrative structure inherited Qin and Han reach down to the local level, the county (xian) with a population of several thousand or several tens of thousands..." [10]

[1]: (Theobald, U. 2015. CHINAKNOWLEDGE - a universal guide for China studies. http://www.chinaknowledge.de/History/Division/jin-admin.html)

[2]: (Xiong 2009, 182)

[3]: (Xiong 2009, 405)

[4]: (Xiong 2009, 349)

[5]: (Xiong 2009, 564)

[6]: (Xiong 2009, 379)

[7]: (Xiong 2009, 686)

[8]: (Xiong 2009, xc)

[9]: (Xiong 2009, 271)

[10]: (Graff 2002, 20-21)


Professions
Professional Priesthood:
absent

"... begun during the Tang dynasty... The rise of religious professionals and soldiers as clearly separate groups was contrary to the previous normative view of society divided into knights (shi, the term that would later be applied to the literati or gentry), farmers, artisans and merchants." [1]
Buddhism was present in northern China
"In addition to commerce, these Central Asian kingdoms were also centers of Buddhism, and it was from the cities on the Central Asian trade route that Buddhism spread into the Middle Kingdom. Thus it is no accident that it was during the Western Jin that Buddhism began to establish itself as a significant presence, at least in north China." [2]

[1]: (Lorge 2005, 7)

[2]: (Knechtges 2010, 183) Knechtges, David R. in Chang, Kang-i Sun. Ownen, Stephen. 2010. The Cambridge History of Chinese Literature, Volume 1. Cambridge University Press.


Professional Military Officer:
absent

Less senior officers may have been professionals who were full-time specialists.
army run by aristocrats and members of the ruling family
"The Ts’in inherited the Wei system after AD 265, until Ssu-ma Yen deliberately abandoned the centralised system of command and placed members of his family in control of private armies." [1]
from 290 CE "dudu were once again allowed to hold provincial governorships concurrently with their military offices, giving them full control of both civil and military affairs in their assigned regions" [2]
"The military was constituted from a Capital Army that was garrisoned in and around the capital, the armies of the princedoms and imperial clansmen, and private armies (buqu) of the magnates that were scattered throughout the empire and often represented a challenge for the central government in cases of rebellion." [3]
"... begun during the Tang dynasty... The rise of religious professionals and soldiers as clearly separate groups was contrary to the previous normative view of society divided into knights (shi, the term that would later be applied to the literati or gentry), farmers, artisans and merchants." [4]

[1]: (Peers 1995, 21)

[2]: (Graff 2002, 44)

[3]: (Theobald, U. 2015. CHINAKNOWLEDGE - a universal guide for China studies. http://www.chinaknowledge.de/History/Division/jin-admin.html)

[4]: (Lorge 2005, 7)


Bureaucracy Characteristics
Specialized Government Building:
present

Merit Promotion:
present

"The problem of residence determination was first raised during the reign of Emperor Wu of the Western Jin in connection with the Nine Rank system of selecting officials. ... Another official, Li Zhong, took issue with their assessment and asserted that for all practical purposes the system of Nine Ranks had ceased to operate. He believed, however, that such a system was necessary and wanted to strengthen it through residence determination. ... Although it is not clear what became of Li’s proposal, there is good reason to believe that it was adopted." [1]
"Emperor Wu clearly wished to do away with the Nine Ranks, but there was probably too much opposition from those who benefited from the system. Being unable to rid himself of it, the emperor may have sought to tighten the system in order to eliminate abuses."

[1]: (Crowell 1991, 187) Crowell, William G in Dien, Albert E. 1991. State and Society in Early Medieval China. Stanford University Press.


Full Time Bureaucrat:
present

"In 311 the Xiongnu army captured and destroyed Luoyang - they reportedly put to death some 30,000 Jin officials." [1]

[1]: (Knechtges 2010, 183) Knechtges, David R. in Chang, Kang-i Sun. Ownen, Stephen. 2010. The Cambridge History of Chinese Literature, Volume 1. Cambridge University Press.


Examination System:
present

The bureaucracy may have had some examination procedure as first Chinese examination system was developed under the earlier Western Han dynasty. However, "Before the Northern Sung, the principal means of entry into the social and political elite was by official recommendation or kinship relations." [1]
Crude examination system existed in the Western Han [2] and had been developed further by 132 CE
"Before A.D. 132 the hsiao-lien did not have to undergo a written examination. It was decreed in that year that all must be examined..." [3]

[1]: (Elmam 2000, 5) Elman, B. 2000. A cultural history of civil examinations in late imperial China. Berkeley: University of California Press.

[2]: (Zhao 2015, 68) Zhao, Dingxin in Scheidel, Walter. ed. 2015. State Power in Ancient China and Rome. Oxford University Press.

[3]: (Bielenstein 1986, 516)


Law
Professional Lawyer:
present

Inferred retention of institutions from Eastern Han.
Under Eastern Han there was a Superintendent of trials [1] - this government department presumably had specialists on law.

[1]: (Bielenstein 1986, 494-499)


Judge:
present

Inferred retention of institutions from Eastern Han.
What happened after Eastern Han?
Under the Eastern Han the magistrate of the county enforced law and order and judged civil and criminal cases. [1] -- Is this magistrate a specialist in judging law?
Under the Eastern Han there was an official at the district level responsible for law, tax and labour. At the commune level the chief maintained law and order. [2]

[1]: (Bielenstein 1986, 508)

[2]: (Bielenstein 1986, 509)


Formal Legal Code:
present

Inferred retention of institutions from Eastern Han.
What happened after Eastern Han?
"During Western Han Confucianism gradually replaced legalism. Qin legal code remained basically intact, some severe measures rescinded." [1]

[1]: (Roberts 2003, 48)


Court:
present

Inferred retention of institutions from Eastern Han.
Under Eastern Han there was a Superintendent of trials [1] - trials presumably would be held in a court.

[1]: (Bielenstein 1986, 494-499)


Specialized Buildings: polity owned
Market:
present

Under Eastern Han commandery governors (provincial government) had a bureau that dealt with markets. [1] We could infer the Early Jin bureaucracy which was similar to the Eastern Han’s also regulated markets.

[1]: (Bielenstein 1986, 508)


Irrigation System:
present

"...well-known extensive irrigation works and man-made transport canals linking up the major rivers" [1]

[1]: (Du and Koenig 2012, 169) Du, P and Koenig, A. in Angelakis, Andreas Niklaos. Mays, Larry W. Koutsoyiannis, Demetris. 2012. Evolution of Water Supply Through the Millennia. IWA Publishing.


Food Storage Site:
present

Granaries. [1]

[1]: (Graff 2002, 37)


Transport Infrastructure


Canal:
present

"...well-known extensive irrigation works and man-made transport canals linking up the major rivers" [1]

[1]: (Du and Koenig 2012, 169) Du, P and Koenig, A. in Angelakis, Andreas Niklaos. Mays, Larry W. Koutsoyiannis, Demetris. 2012. Evolution of Water Supply Through the Millennia. IWA Publishing.



Special-purpose Sites

Information / Writing System
Written Record:
present

"The administrative structure inherited Qin and Han reach down to the local level, the county (xian) ... it relied heavily on written records and documents, and sought to maintain a high degree of control over the population." [1]

[1]: (Graff 2002, 20-21)


Script:
present

written documents [1]

[1]: (Graff 2002, 20-21)


Phonetic Alphabetic Writing:
absent

Chinese language


Nonwritten Record:
present

"The administrative structure inherited Qin and Han reach down to the local level, the county (xian) ... it relied heavily on written records and documents, and sought to maintain a high degree of control over the population." [1]

[1]: (Graff 2002, 20-21)


Non Phonetic Writing:
present

Chinese language


Mnemonic Device:
present

The earliest known written documentation of the Chinese abacus dates to the 2nd century BC [1]

[1]: Ifrah, Georges (2001). The Universal History of Computing: From the Abacus to the Quantum Computer. New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. ISBN 978-0471396710.


Information / Kinds of Written Documents
Scientific Literature:
present

"the Western Jin, at least before 300, was a period of remarkable intellectual, scholarly, and literary activity." [1] Huangfu Mi (215-282 CE) was a physician.

[1]: (Knechtges 2010, 183) Knechtges, David R. in Chang, Kang-i Sun. Ownen, Stephen. 2010. The Cambridge History of Chinese Literature, Volume 1. Cambridge University Press.


Sacred Text:
present

Buddhist sacred texts. "In addition to commerce, these Central Asian kingdoms were also centers of Buddhism, and it was from the cities on the Central Asian trade route that Buddhism spread into the Middle Kingdom. Thus it is no accident that it was during the Western Jin that Buddhism began to establish itself as a significant presence, at least in north China." [1]

[1]: (Knechtges 2010, 183) Knechtges, David R. in Chang, Kang-i Sun. Ownen, Stephen. 2010. The Cambridge History of Chinese Literature, Volume 1. Cambridge University Press.


Religious Literature:
present

"In addition to commerce, these Central Asian kingdoms were also centers of Buddhism, and it was from the cities on the Central Asian trade route that Buddhism spread into the Middle Kingdom. Thus it is no accident that it was during the Western Jin that Buddhism began to establish itself as a significant presence, at least in north China." [1] Study of Confucian classics: Du Yu (222-284 CE) "Zuo Tradition". [2]

[1]: (Knechtges 2010, 183) Knechtges, David R. in Chang, Kang-i Sun. Ownen, Stephen. 2010. The Cambridge History of Chinese Literature, Volume 1. Cambridge University Press.

[2]: (Knechtges 2010, 184) Knechtges, David R. in Chang, Kang-i Sun. Ownen, Stephen. 2010. The Cambridge History of Chinese Literature, Volume 1. Cambridge University Press.


Practical Literature:
present

"the Western Jin, at least before 300, was a period of remarkable intellectual, scholarly, and literary activity." [1] Guo Pu (276-324 CE) commentaries to works. [2] Zhang Hua (232-300 CE) statesman and author "Treatise on Manifold Subjects". [3]

[1]: (Knechtges 2010, 183) Knechtges, David R. in Chang, Kang-i Sun. Ownen, Stephen. 2010. The Cambridge History of Chinese Literature, Volume 1. Cambridge University Press.

[2]: (Knechtges 2010, 184) Knechtges, David R. in Chang, Kang-i Sun. Ownen, Stephen. 2010. The Cambridge History of Chinese Literature, Volume 1. Cambridge University Press.

[3]: (Knechtges 2010, 184-185) Knechtges, David R. in Chang, Kang-i Sun. Ownen, Stephen. 2010. The Cambridge History of Chinese Literature, Volume 1. Cambridge University Press.


Philosophy:
present

"the Western Jin, at least before 300, was a period of remarkable intellectual, scholarly, and literary activity." [1] Huangfu Mi (215-282 CE) was a physician.

[1]: (Knechtges 2010, 183) Knechtges, David R. in Chang, Kang-i Sun. Ownen, Stephen. 2010. The Cambridge History of Chinese Literature, Volume 1. Cambridge University Press.


Lists Tables and Classification:
present

"The administrative structure inherited Qin and Han reach down to the local level, the county (xian) ... it relied heavily on written records and documents" [1]

[1]: (Graff 2002, 20-21)


History:
present

"the Western Jin, at least before 300, was a period of remarkable intellectual, scholarly, and literary activity." [1] Shu Xi (263-302 CE) "Bamboo Annals, Account of the Travels of Emperor Mu of Zhou." [1] Huangfu Mi (215-282 CE) "Lives of High-Minded Gentlemen" [1] and "Records of Emperors and Kings".

[1]: (Knechtges 2010, 183) Knechtges, David R. in Chang, Kang-i Sun. Ownen, Stephen. 2010. The Cambridge History of Chinese Literature, Volume 1. Cambridge University Press.


Fiction:
present

Shu Xi (263-302 CE) "several collections of fabulous tales." [1] Zhu Yi (d.312 CE) "is usually regarded as the inventor of the general anthology." [2] "The major genres of Western Jin literature are the poem, the fu, and various types of prose: the letter, expository essay, memorial, dirge, grave inscription, and lament, just to mention the more common ones." [3]

[1]: (Knechtges 2010, 183) Knechtges, David R. in Chang, Kang-i Sun. Ownen, Stephen. 2010. The Cambridge History of Chinese Literature, Volume 1. Cambridge University Press.

[2]: (Knechtges 2010, 184) Knechtges, David R. in Chang, Kang-i Sun. Ownen, Stephen. 2010. The Cambridge History of Chinese Literature, Volume 1. Cambridge University Press.

[3]: (Knechtges 2010, 184-185) Knechtges, David R. in Chang, Kang-i Sun. Ownen, Stephen. 2010. The Cambridge History of Chinese Literature, Volume 1. Cambridge University Press.


Calendar:
present

"The administrative structure inherited Qin and Han reach down to the local level, the county (xian) ... it relied heavily on written records and documents" [1]

[1]: (Graff 2002, 20-21)


Information / Money

Paper Currency:
absent

"during the Western Jin and early Sixteen Kingdom periods paper spread westward and replaced woodslips". [1] - No mention of paper currency in this brief discussion of early Chinese paper making in this source.

[1]: (Xinjiang 2013, 424) Xinjiang, Rong. Galambos, Imre trans. 2013. Eighteen Lectures on Dunhuang. BRILL.


Indigenous Coin:
present

Copper cash mentioned in stories from the period. [1]

[1]: (Shan 2015, 230) Leonard, Jane Kate and Theobald, Ulrich eds. 2015. Money in Asia (1200 - 1900): Small Currencies in Social and Political Contexts. BRILL. Leiden.



Information / Postal System
Postal Station:
present

Dunhuang City, Gansu: "Excavations between 1990 and 1992 exposed the site of a ’postal relay station’ (zhi), which was used from the middle of the Western Han (ca. 111 BCE) until the Cao Wei (220-65 CE) and Western Jin (265-316 CE) periods. The site included a hostel, kitchen facilities, rooms for courier personnel, and stables." [1]

[1]: (Barbieri-Low and Yates 2015, 44) Barbieri-Low, Anthony J. Yates, Robin D.S. 2015. Law, State, and Society in Early Imperial China (2 vols): A Study with Critical Edition and Translation of the Legal Texts from Zhangjiashan Tomb, Issue 247. BRILL.


Courier:
present

Dunhuang City, Gansu: "Excavations between 1990 and 1992 exposed the site of a ’postal relay station’ (zhi), which was used from the middle of the Western Han (ca. 111 BCE) until the Cao Wei (220-65 CE) and Western Jin (265-316 CE) periods. The site included a hostel, kitchen facilities, rooms for courier personnel, and stables." [1]

[1]: (Barbieri-Low and Yates 2015, 44) Barbieri-Low, Anthony J. Yates, Robin D.S. 2015. Law, State, and Society in Early Imperial China (2 vols): A Study with Critical Edition and Translation of the Legal Texts from Zhangjiashan Tomb, Issue 247. BRILL.


Information / Measurement System

Warfare Variables (Military Technologies)
Fortifications

Stone Walls Non Mortared:
unknown

"Walls were still constructed of rammed earth and were often damaged by heavy rain." [1]

[1]: (Peers 1995, 20)


Stone Walls Mortared:
unknown

"Walls were still constructed of rammed earth and were often damaged by heavy rain." [1]

[1]: (Peers 1995, 20)


Settlements in a Defensive Position:
present

The Great Wall as a defensive settlement [1]

[1]: (Encyclopedia Britannica 2015, "The Great Wall") "The Great Wall." 2015. Encyclopedia Britannica. http://www.britannica.com/.



present for previous polities


Fortified Camp:
present

"field defences such as wagon laagers, earth ramparts or felled trees became very widespread, and many battles to the form of assaults on fortified lines or camps." [1]

[1]: (Peers 1995, 20)


Earth Rampart:
present

Up until the Tang and Song Dynasties wide ramparts and ditches were a typical part of the defense system for a fortified town or city. [1] "field defences such as wagon laagers, earth ramparts or felled trees became very widespread, and many battles to the form of assaults on fortified lines or camps." [2]

[1]: (Turnball 2002) Turnball, S. 2002. Siege Weapons of the Far East (1): AD 612-1300. Osprey Publishing.

[2]: (Peers 1995, 20)


Up until the Tang and Song Dynasties wide ramparts and ditches were a typical part of the defense system for a fortified town or city. [1]

[1]: (Turnball 2002) Turnball, S. 2002. Siege Weapons of the Far East (1): AD 612-1300. Osprey Publishing.



Military use of Metals

"During the Spring and Autumn period, China developed steel and iron-made weaponry, and as the raw iron castings technique was widely practiced - and the ‘folded hundred times steel’ casting method was on the rise, along with various polishing techniques for steel - Chinese steel weapons were very much on the ascendant." [1] First steel adapted by Chu in 5th century BCE [2] , likely spread quickly to other states "As the smiths in time learned the possibilities of their material, and began producing quench-hardened steel swords ... bronze swords could not longer compete and went out of use completely. This seems likely to have occurred all over China by the late third century B.C. at the latest." [3] "As early as the later Han dynasty and the early Jin dynasty, the Chinese were already capable of producing steel." [4] Wootz steel was "being exported from India to China at least as early as the +5th century. … good steel was manufactured in China by remarkably modern methods at least from that time onwards also." [5] First high-quality steel 450 CE.

[1]: Hangang, Cao. Undated. A Study of Chinese Weapons Cast During Pre-Qin and Han Periods in the Central Plains of China. Retrieved December 2015: http://www.arscives.com/historysteel/cn.article.htm

[2]: (Tin-bor Hui 2005, 96)

[3]: (Wagner 1996, 197) Donald B Wagner. 1996. Iron and Steel in Ancient China. 2nd Edition. E J BRILL. Leiden.

[4]: (Lu 2015, 251) ed. Lu, Yongxiang. 2005. A History of Chinese Science and Technology, Volume 3. Shanghai: Shanghai Jiaotong University Press.

[5]: (Needham 1962, 282) Joseph Needham. 1962. Science and Civilization in China. Volume IV. Physics and Physical Technology. Part 1: Physics. Cambridge University Press. Cambridge.


Iron weapons and armour came into widespread use during the Warring States period (453-221 BCE). [1]

[1]: (Graff 2002, 21-22)



widely used in the Han dynasty


Projectiles
Tension Siege Engine:
present

"Siege equipment mentioned by Ssu-ma Kuang includes artillery, moveable towers, and artificial mounds erected to enable besiegers to shoot over city walls, and scaling ladders." [1]

[1]: (Peers 1995, 20)


Sling Siege Engine:
present

arcuballiste and lever-operated stone-throwing catapults (trebuchets) approaches ..." from Warring States period, and "There was to be very little change in the Chinese art of siege warfare ... until the introduction of gunpowder" [1] "Siege equipment mentioned by Ssu-ma Kuang includes artillery, moveable towers, and artificial mounds erected to enable besiegers to shoot over city walls, and scaling ladders." [2] "Of the date of the introduction of the counterweight trebuchet to China there can be no doubt. It occurred in 1272, during one of the greatest sieges of Chinese history, at Xiangyang, where the Mongols besieged the Southern Song for five years." [3]

[1]: (Graff 2002, 23)

[2]: (Peers 1995, 20)

[3]: (Turnbull 2012, 33) Stephen Turnbull. 2012. Siege Weapons of the Far East (1): AD 612-1300. Osprey Publishing.

Sling Siege Engine:
absent

arcuballiste and lever-operated stone-throwing catapults (trebuchets) approaches ..." from Warring States period, and "There was to be very little change in the Chinese art of siege warfare ... until the introduction of gunpowder" [1] "Siege equipment mentioned by Ssu-ma Kuang includes artillery, moveable towers, and artificial mounds erected to enable besiegers to shoot over city walls, and scaling ladders." [2] "Of the date of the introduction of the counterweight trebuchet to China there can be no doubt. It occurred in 1272, during one of the greatest sieges of Chinese history, at Xiangyang, where the Mongols besieged the Southern Song for five years." [3]

[1]: (Graff 2002, 23)

[2]: (Peers 1995, 20)

[3]: (Turnbull 2012, 33) Stephen Turnbull. 2012. Siege Weapons of the Far East (1): AD 612-1300. Osprey Publishing.


Better, simple-to-use range weapons available, such as the crossbow.


"Weapons were mainly lances and bows..." [1]

[1]: (Peers 1995, 20)


"Tomb guardian" warrior sculpture unearthed 1984 has arm held back in the action of throwing a spear (the spear is missing). However, the text speculates that the missing weapon is "believed to be a long knife". [1] "Native infantry were armed much as they had been in Han times, although a series of tomb figurines which appear to be throwing spears suggests that this practice - uncommmon among Chinese troops - was adopted by some in this period. They may have been foreign auxiliaries such as the Chi’ang, who are described as fighting with bows, spears and swords, and as scattering easily, which implies skirmishing tactics." [2]

[1]: (Howard 2006, 108) Howard, Angela Falco. 2006. Chinese Sculpture. Yale University Press.

[2]: (Peers 1995, 20)


Handheld Firearm:
absent

Gunpowder introduced in 900 CE [1]

[1]: (Graff 2002, 17) Graff, David. 2002. Medieval Chinese Warfare 300-900. London: Routledge.


Gunpowder Siege Artillery:
absent

Gunpowder introduced in 900 CE [1]

[1]: (Graff 2002, 17) Graff, David. 2002. Medieval Chinese Warfare 300-900. London: Routledge.


by mid-4th century BCE crossbows used in large numbers on battlefield [1]
cavalry from 4th century BCE [1]

[1]: (Graff 2002, 22)


Composite Bow:
present

by mid-4th century BCE crossbows used in large numbers on battlefield [1]
cavalry from 4th century BCE [1] "Weapons were mainly lances and bows..." [2]

[1]: (Graff 2002, 22)

[2]: (Peers 1995, 20)


New World weapon, unlikely.


Handheld weapons

Existed earlier in chronology for this region so not a question of whether technology is present. Battle axes, a similar crushing weapon, are known, so it is likely metal war clubs could have been used, if they were deemed to have been useful.


The jian was a straight, double-edged, slashing/thrusting sword. [1]

[1]: (Graff 2002, 41)


Over the same time period "the ji, a long-handled weapon with several blades that was used as much for hooking as for thrusting, yielded to spears and lances of simpler construction." [1] Over the same time period "the ji, a long-handled weapon with several blades that was used as much for hooking as for thrusting, yielded to spears and lances of simpler construction." [1] "Weapons were mainly lances and bows..." [2]

[1]: (Graff 2002, 41)

[2]: (Peers 1995, 20)


Halberds were widely used in the Han dynasty [1]

[1]: (Peers 1995, 12)


The dao: "Sometimes translated as "knife," this weapon was really a sturdy, single-edged saber with only very slight curvature." [1]

[1]: (Graff 2002, 41)


Battle Axe:
present

Battle axes were used in the earlier Han dynasty [1]

[1]: (Peers 1995, 11)


Animals used in warfare

Horsemen. [1] "By the years around AD 300 ... the appearance of heavy armor for both man and house, the introduction of the stirrup, and the adoption of new patterns of edged weapons greatly added to the advantages that cavalry enjoyed over infantry." [2]

[1]: (Graff 2002, 39)

[2]: (Graff 2002, 41)


Used as pack animals. [1]

[1]: (North China Workshop 2016)


Never used in warfare. [1]

[1]: (North China Workshop 2016)


Armor
Wood Bark Etc:
present

Were in use in the Han dynasty


[1] "Tomb guardian" warrior sculpture unearthed in 1984 is holding a shield. [2]

[1]: (Peers 1995, 20)

[2]: (Howard 2006, 108) Howard, Angela Falco. 2006. Chinese Sculpture. Yale University Press.


Scaled Armor:
present

"By the years around AD 300 ... the appearance of heavy armor for both man and horse" [1] "A pictoral representation dated to 357 shows us a fully armored warrior. "The body of the rider is almost completely covered by armor. He wears ... a habergeon with high neck and shoulder guards..." [2] Sculpture of "Tomb guardian" warrior unearthed in 1984 shows scale armor. [3]

[1]: (Graff 2002, 41)

[2]: (Graff 2002, 42)

[3]: (Howard 2006, 108) Howard, Angela Falco. 2006. Chinese Sculpture. Yale University Press.


Plate Armor:
present

Coat of plates cuirasses existed back in warring states times


Limb Protection:
present

"By the years around AD 300 ... the appearance of heavy armor for both man and horse" [1] "A pictoral representation dated to 357 shows us a fully armored warrior. "The body of the rider is almost completely covered by armor. He wears ... chaps." [2]

[1]: (Graff 2002, 41)

[2]: (Graff 2002, 42)


Leather Cloth:
present

Were in use in the Han dynasty


Laminar Armor:
present

"By the years around AD 300 ... the appearance of heavy armor for both man and horse" [1] "A pictoral representation dated to 357 shows us a fully armored warrior. "The body of the rider is almost completely covered by armor. ... The armor was made of lamellar plate, but one cannot say whether of iron or of lacquered leather." [2]

[1]: (Graff 2002, 41)

[2]: (Graff 2002, 42)


"By the years around AD 300 ... the appearance of heavy armor for both man and horse" [1] "A pictoral representation dated to 357 shows us a fully armored warrior. "The body of the rider is almost completely covered by armor. He wears a plumed helmet that protects the sides and back of the head..." [2] Sculpture of "Tomb guardian" warrior shows helmet. [3]

[1]: (Graff 2002, 41)

[2]: (Graff 2002, 42)

[3]: (Howard 2006, 108) Howard, Angela Falco. 2006. Chinese Sculpture. Yale University Press.


Chainmail:
present

"By the years around AD 300 ... the appearance of heavy armor for both man and horse" [1] "A pictoral representation dated to 357 shows us a fully armored warrior. "The body of the rider is almost completely covered by armor. He wears ... a habergeon with high neck and shoulder guards..." [2]

[1]: (Graff 2002, 41)

[2]: (Graff 2002, 42)


Breastplate:
present

Were in use in the Han dynasty


Naval technology
Specialized Military Vessel:
present

Jin made naval military assaults against Wu.


Small Vessels Canoes Etc:
present

Naval operations "very common" on rivers. [1]

[1]: (Peers 1995, 20-21)


Merchant Ships Pressed Into Service:
unknown


Human Sacrifice Data
Human Sacrifice is the deliberate and ritualized killing of a person to please or placate supernatural entities (including gods, spirits, and ancestors) or gain other supernatural benefits.
- Nothing coded yet.
Power Transitions