The Imperial Capitals of China
An Inside View of the Celestial Empire
A unique history and exploration of China through its imperial capital cities over two millennia
From the First Emperor's obsessive - and fatal - attempts to engage the Immortals in 219-210 BC, to the striking creativity that produced the golden age of literature and art in Tang Chang'an, to the culmination of architectural virtuosity seen in The Forbidden City of Yong Lee's Beijing in the fifteenth century, this absorbing new book offers a panoramic sweep of an empire that lasted over two millennia through the imperial cities that were the very foundations of each dynasty.
Using original Chinese sources and eye-witness accounts, Arthur Cotterell provides an inside view of the rich array of characters, political and ideological tensions, and technological genius that defined the imperial cities of China, as each in turn is revealed, explored, and celebrated.
The oldest continuous civilization in existence today stands to become the most influential, its economy expected to exceed that of the United States by 2020. From the cosmological foundations of the first capital to the politics of empire and cataclysmic civil wars, Imperial Cities of China offers a level of insight indispensable for a true understanding of China today.
Praise for The Imperial Capitals of China
He handles with grace and skill the challenge of making the country's dynastic past intelligible to the layman.Times Literary Supplement