2 An Introduction to Sixteenth-Century China
Annual calendar of festival-related activities, 1635
"A Visit To High Beam Bridge" by Yuan Hongdao (1568-1610)
"Inscribed on the Doors of my Bookshelves," a poem by Yang Xu (1456-1544)
Excerpt from The Craft of Gardens by Ji Cheng, 1630s
Slide show “A Nearby Journey Into Nature” on traditional Chinese gardens
Excerpt from “On Merchants” essay by Zhang Han
Poems written by women during the Ming dynasty (1368–1644)
Excerpts describing severe hardship in the lives of peasants during latter part of the Ming dynasty
Additional information related to The Journals of Matteo Ricci
Bosse, Malcolm. The Examination. New York: Farrar, Straus, & Giroux, 1994.
This historical novel gives a sense of the civil service examination system and secret societies.
Brook, Timothy. The Confusions of Pleasure: Commerce and Culture in Ming China. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1998.
Chang, Kang-I Sun, and Haun Saussy, eds. Women Writers of Traditional China: An Anthology of Poetry and Criticism. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1999.
Clunas, Craig. Fruitful Sites: Garden Culture in Ming Dynasty China. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1996.
Crosby, Alfred W. “New World Foods and Old World Demography.” The Columbian Exchange: Biological and Cultural Consequences of 1492. Westport, CT: Praeger, 2003.
Dreyer, Edward L. Zheng He: China and the Oceans in the Early Ming Dynasty, 1405–1433. New York: Pearson Longman, 2007.
Huang, Ray. 1587, A Year of No Significance: The Ming Dynasty in Decline. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1981.
Idema, Wilt Lukas, and Beata Grant. The Red Brush: Writing Women of Imperial China. Cambridge: Harvard University Asia Center, 2004.
Knapp, Ronald, Jonathan Spence, and A. Chester Ong. Chinese Houses: The Architectural Heritage of a Nation. Rutland, VT: Tuttle Publishing, 2005.
Levathes, Louise. When China Ruled the Seas: The Treasure Fleet of the Dragon Throne, 1405-1433. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1994.
Roberts, J.A.G. “The Early Modern Period: The Ming and Early Qing.” A Concise History of China. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1999.
Spence, Jonathan D. The Memory Palace of Matteo Ricci. New York: Viking, 1984.
Tsai, Shih-shan Henry. The Eunuchs in the Ming Dynasty. Albany: State University of New York Press, 1996.
Asia for Educators
Select the 1450–1750 time period to explore primary sources and information about the relationship between China, Japan, and Korea.
The Columbian Exchange by Alfred Crosby, History Now, The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History
Exchange between East and West brought new imports such as potatoes and peppers to China while China’s exports of silk and porcelain were traded around the world.
Discovery Atlas China Revealed: The Forbidden City
An excerpt about the Forbidden City from the Discovery Channel’s documentary about China.
Forbidden City Unlocked, National Geographic
This interactive map of the Forbidden City provides an overview of sections of the Beijing palace.
The Emperor’s Eye: Art and Power in Imperial China (58 mins; 1990)
This documentary captures the preeminence of the arts in Chinese culture.