The History of China

The History of China Podcast

An audio journey through the 5000 year history of one of the world's oldest continuous civilizations.

#205 - Hangzhou: A City by the Bay
You might not be able to go on a real holiday - but today we take a little audio trip to the city of Hangzhou, Zhejiang... famed across the millennia for its beautiful bay, canals, and the famous West Lake.This is no ordinary tourist get-away, though, because we'll be skipping across time, looking at the highlights of its early history.Time Period Covered:ca. 5,000 BCE- ca. 960 CEMajor Sources:Cotterell, Arthur. The Imperial Capitals of China – An Inside View of the Celestial Empire.Giles, Lionel (tr.) Sun ...

#204 - Ming 2: Winning Was Easy, Young Ming, Governing Is Harder
The Hongwu Emperor officially accedes to the throne as the founding ruler of Great Ming, to as much pomp and circumstance as his ministers can possibly pack in to the ceremony. After the parties are all done and the sacrifices all made, however, the real work of governing an empire that has been ravaged for centuries begins… and not everyone is happy about having a new sovereign sitting atop the dragon throne.Time Period Covered:1367-1373 CEMajor Historical Figures:Great Ming:The Hongwu Emperor (Zhu Yuanzha...

#203 - Yuan 16: The White Hare's Curse
"The list of their disasters was much lengthened [...] and whenever they tried to force a way into the borders of the empire, they were beaten back. They were once more confined to the great desert, whence they originally sprang.”“Although I am a woman, I have avenged the vengeance of my husband. When I die, there will be no regret.”Time Period Covered:1368~1399 CEMajor Historical Figures:Yuan/ Northern Yuan:Toghon Temür (Emperor Shun) [r. 1333-1368, 1368-1369]Ayurshiridara (Biligtü Khan) [r. 1370-1378]Prin...


#202.5 - Bonus: Strange Tales V.5: The Masque of the Red Death
You are invited to a very exclusive party. Everyone who's anyone will be there, dressed to the nines. You're sure to have the time of your life, and won't even know where the time's gone...Story by: Edgar Allen Poe  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information....

#202 - Special: Strange Tales V
The chill of autumn is in the air once again, which can only mean one thing! It’s time for more tales to terrorize & titillate, baffle & bemuse… it’s time to once again venture into the studio of Pu Songling and listen to his strange tales. So gather round the light of the fire… or the iPhone… and get ready for seven strange stories of sly foxes, flights of fancy, monstrous appetites, unusual encounters, otherworldly lessons, tricky traders, and enchanting apparitions...00:58: The Half-Fox Girl10:55: The Pa...

#201 - Ming 1: Overflowing Martial Accomplishment
How does a peasant, orphan, son of a farmerin the Black Death, made a monk in the middle of a forgotten spotIn central Anhui by providence impoverishedIn squalor, grow up to be a rebel hero, then a monarch?Time Period Covered:1364-1368 CEMajor Historical Figures:Ming:Zhu Yuanzhang (Hongwu Emperor) [r. 1368-1398]General Xu Da [1332-1385]General Chang Yuchun [1330-1369]Commander Li Wenzhong [1338-1384]Yuan:Emperor Toghon Temür [r. 1333-1368, 1368-1370]Crown Prince Ayushiridara [1340-1378]General Chaghan Temür...


#200 - Special: Di Er Bai Ji!
It's our 200th(ish) episode!And so we take to the listeners to answer some of their burning questions about... Daoist gods... Islam in China... The Mandate of Heaven... sacrifices! ... the political expedience of murdering Mongol ambassadors... The Duke ... the names of emperors... technology transfers ... Korean empresses... and more!  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information....

#199 - Yuan 15: On the Waterfront
You don't understand! Chen Youliang coulda had class! He coulda been a contender! He coulda been somebody... instead of a bum, which is what he is after the fiasco on the waters of Lake Poyang. Let's face it.Time Period Covered:1360-1363 CEMajor Historical Figures:State of Ming:Zhu YuanzhangCommander Hua Yun [d. 1360]Han Lin'er, "Emperor of Song"General Kang MaocaiGeneral Xu DaGeneral Hu Dahai [d. 1361]General Shao Rong [d. 1361]State of Han:Emperor Chen Youliang [r. 1360-1363]General Chen YurenXu Shouhui, ...

#198 - Mongol 15.1: The Toluid Revolution
When Ögedei dies in late 1241, the empire must choose a successor before it can move forward. In spite of the late Khan determining in advance that it should be his grandson, his empress has other ideas - namely, installing her own irascible son, Güyük, instead. This raises more than a few eyebrows, especially from the Lord of the Golden Horde (and Güyük's personal nemesis) Batu Khan. He'll spend then next 5 years doing absolutely everything in his power to prevent Güyüks' enthronement. And so, when Güyük i...


#197 - Yuan 14: Battle Royale
As Guard-Captain of the Red Turbans, Zhu Yuanzhang sets his sights on the jewel of the southlands: Nanjing. Once that's in his grasp, he'll truly join the ranks of the top-tier warlords of the era... but when you've elbowed you way up to the head table, don't be surprised if those you bump up against take exception to you shoving them aside...Time Period Covered:1355-1360 CEMajor Historical Figures:Yuan Dynasty:Emperor Toghon Temur (Huizong/Shundi) [r. 1333-1368, 1368-1370]General Shimo Yisun [d. 1360]Red T...

#197 - Yuan 14: Battle Royale
As Guard-Captain of the Red Turbans, Zhu Yuanzhang sets his sights on the jewel of the southlands: Nanjing. Once that's in his grasp, he'll truly join the ranks of the top-tier warlords of the era... but when you've elbowed you way up to the head table, don't be surprised if those you bump up against take exception to you shoving them aside...Time Period Covered:1355-1360 CEMajor Historical Figures:Yuan Dynasty:Emperor Toghon Temur (Huizong/Shundi) [r. 1333-1368, 1368-1370]General Shimo Yisun [d. 1360]Red T...


#195 - Yuan 13: The Lords of Light
As the cataclysmic decade of the 1340s rolls in to the 1350s a planned rerouting of the Yellow River will trigger a massive uprising by what the Yuan authorities call the Red Turban Rebels. But who are they really? What do they believe? Why are they fighting? And how do they tie in with the eventual overthrow of the Mongols from their hegemony over China?Major Historical Figures:Maitreya Buddha, Successor to Gautama Buddha [???]Mani the Last, Prophet of Manichaeism [ca. 216-277 CE]Red Turbans:Peng Yingyu, B...

#193 - Yuan 12:Blue Sky, Red Turban, White Lotus, Black Death
As Toghon Temur - the eleventh and final Great Khan of the Yuan, takes the throne - the dam holding back the near century of bad decisions back begins to buckle. Things are not helps by a dramatic climate shift, or the outbreak of one of the worst pandemics in human history, either... can we really blame the apocalyptic cults that spring up for thinking it's the end of the world?Time Period Covered:1333~1344 CEMajor Historical Figures:Toghon Temur Khaghan [r. 1333-1368, 1370]Grand Chancellor Bayan Ba'atur o...


#192 - Mongol 14.1: There & Back Again
In the aftermath of the Golden Horde's devastating strike into Eastern Europe, Christendom reels. As apocalyptic as the assaults were, the great enemy's sudden and inexplicable evaporation offers no comfort, and only more questions.In order to get some answers, the Holy See will dispatch an unlikely candidate to make his way across the whole of Eurasia in an attempt to first find, and then meet with, the King of the Tartars - whoever, and wherever he may be...Time Period Covered:1245-1247 CEMajor Historical...

#191 - Special: "Superpower Interrupted," an Interview with Author Michael Schuman
My interview with Beijing-based author and journalist Michael Schuman about China's history, present, future, and food... and of course about his upcoming book, "Superpower Interrupted: The Chinese History of the World," available on June 9th, 2020.Find Michael on Twitter under the handle @michaelschuman  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information....


#190 - Yuan 11: The War of the Two Capitals
We start today in the aftermath of the murder of the 9th Great Mongol Khan and the 5th Emperor of Yuan. We end a decade later, at the beginning of the 15th Great Khan and 11th Yuan Emperor... coincidentally (or not) the last of both. The treachery, assassinations, wars, and power-plays that get us from that start to that end will threaten to split the very soul of the empire in two. Also, there's a lot of Temürs along the way... like, a *lot,* a lot!Time Period Covered:1323-1333 CEMajor Events:* Coup at Nan...

#189 - Yuan 10: The Third Rail
Temur Khan's death without an heir sparks a power vacuum within the Yuan court - two brothers will come to power together, but only one will be able to sit the throne at a time, who will succeed? Meanwhile, as money issues continue to plague the empire, the Mongol nobility get more and more fed-up with the Yuan Borjigins' continual shift toward Chinese-style reforms.Time Period Covered:1307-1323 CEMajor Historical Figures:Khaishan (Külüg Khaghan/Emperor Wuzong) [r. 1307-1311]Ayurbarwada (Buyantu Khaghan/Emp...

#188 - Mongol 13: O Lord, Why Are Thy Judgements So Deep?
King Bela IV of Hungary has a bit of a barbarian problem. You see, he let in some Cumans, but now some different barbarians are demanding that he give them back. So Bela does the sensible thing: he kills the Mongol emissaries. Batu Khan and General Subotai are less than pleased...Time Period Covered:c. 1239-1242 CEMajor Historical Figures:Mongol Empire:Batu Khan [c. 1205-1255]General Subotai Ba'atur ("the Valiant") [c. 1175-1248]General Khadan [d. 125?]General Shiban [d. 1266]Kingdom of Greater Hungary:King...


#187 - Yuan 9: Blessed Iron Khan
Olziyet Temur - the Blessed Iron Khan - takes the throne as the Yuan Dynasty's second emperor, Changzong "The Preserver." He has taken it upon himself to uphold and protect his grandfather Khubilai's glorious legacy... but granddad sure left a bit of a mess for him to try to clear up.Time Period Covered:1294-1307 CEMajor Historical Figures:Olziyet Temur Khan (Emperor Changzong of Yuan) [r. 1294-1307 CE]Empress BulukhanCrown Prince Deshou [d. 1306]Empress-Dowager KököchinGammala, Prince of JinÖljei, Grand Co...

#186 - Yuan 8: Khan With the Wind
Khubilai is ancient, pained, and sick... but he still has more Mongol justice to mete out before he joins the Eternal Sky. Still, some campaigns will go better than others.Period Covered:ca. 1287-1294 CEMajor Historical Figures:Yuan Dynasty:Khubilai (Emperor Shizu) [r. 1260-1294]Crown Prince Olziit Temur (Emperor Chengzong) [r. 1294-1307]Prince Esen TemurPrince Temur BukhaGeneral ShibiGeneral Gao XingAdmiral Yike MusiAmbassador Meng QiPhagspa Lama, Imperial Preceptor of Tibet [1235-1280]Imperial Preceptor D...

#186 - Yuan 8: Khan With the Wind
Khubilai is ancient, pained, and sick... but he still has more Mongol justice to mete out before he joins the Eternal Sky. Still, some campaigns will go better than others.Period Covered:ca. 1287-1294 CEMajor Historical Figures:Yuan Dynasty:Khubilai (Emperor Shizu) [r. 1260-1294]Crown Prince Olziit Temur (Emperor Chengzong) [r. 1294-1307]Prince Esen TemurPrince Temur BukhaGeneral ShibiGeneral Gao XingAdmiral Yike MusiAmbassador Meng QiPhagspa Lama, Imperial Preceptor of Tibet [1235-1280]Imperial Preceptor D...


#185 - Special: De Materia Medica
Traditional Chinese Medicine - as its name duly implies - has been a part of China for at least 2,500 years. But what does it mean? Where does it come from? How does it work? And does it have a place it modern society?  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information....

#184 - Yuan 7: Mark It Zero
Khubilai Khan has led a pretty blessed existence as of the year 1279. But fate has a way of balancing things out in starkly brutal fashion...Time Period Covered:~1279-1287 CEMajor Historical Figures:Yuan Dynasty:Emperor KhubilaiEmpress Chabi (d. 1281)Crown Prince Zhenjin (1242-1285)Prince Toghon, Prince of Suppression of the SouthFinance Minister Ahmad Fanakati (d. 1282)Finance Minister Lu Shijing (d. 1285)Admiral Hong TauGeneral Fan WenhuGeneral XinduGeneral Nasir al-DinCommander Sodu (d. 1285)Commander Ar...

#183 - Yuan 6: Cultural Hot-Pot for the Soul
Khubilai Khan is a man astride multiple worlds - trying to be both the Khan of the Great Mongol Nation, and the Emperor of the Yuan Dynasty. This will take quite a bit of accommodation, and between Mongolian shamanism, Chinese Confucianism, Buddhism, Daoism, Islam, and Christianity... more than a little behaving like a cultural chameleon to square those civilizational circles.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information....


#182 - Mongol 12.1: The Golden Horde
Jochi was tasked with subduing the Cuman tribes of the western steppes. Jochi failed. Now, under the second Great Khan Ögedei, it will fall to his successor, Batu, Khan of the Golden Horde, to finish what his father could not. He won't be going alone, though. In addition to his invincible tumens, he'll bring with him a host of imperial princes, as well as the greatest commander to ever mount a steed - Subotai the Valiant, now returns to the Western expanses to finish what he began 15 years ago...Note: this ...

#181 - Special: 6th Anniversary Q&A
It's finally time to give holiday thanks and - of course - submit myself before the high inquisitors pelting me with questions day and night!Topics this year ranged far and wide:1. How wide-ranging was Genghis Khan's last command in Western Xia?2. How do I keep my loud mouth out of trouble with the PRC?3. How "good" were the good times of dynasties for the normies?4. Which Khan has got it goin' on?5. Were there plagues in ancient China? How were they dealt with?6. Did the Mongols trigger anti-foreign conser...

#180 - Yuan 5: Dismounting the Horse to Sit the Dragon
While his armies have been keeping busy in every direction on both offense and defense, Emperor Khubilai had been hard at work re-organizing the mess his family made in China and reformatting it into a stable, lawful Yuan Dynasty. And Grandpa Genghis was right: it's was a *lot* more work to run an empire, than to conquer one...Period Covered:ca. 1261-1290  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information....


#179 - Yuan 4: Traditional Family Values
Khubilai must face off against his most potent threat - his own traditionalist cousin, Khaidu. Meanwhile, Khaidu frets over his daughter Khutulun - a girl as desirable as she is formidable, and will brook no husband who cannot best her at wrestling.Time Period Covered: ca. 1265-1306 CENotable Historical Figures:Yuan Dynasty:Khubilai KhanPrince ZhenjinPrince NomukhanPrince KokochuPrime Minister of the Right AntongGeneral BayanChagatai Khanate:Khaidu KhanPrincess KhutulunRebel Princes:Togh TimurShiregiYobukhu...

#178 - Yuan 3: Divine Wind
The armies of Great Yuan sweep across the east, destroying and conquering all who would stand against them. Goryeo Korea eventually sees the writing on the wall and cuts a deal with the Great Khan. Khubilai will then turn his sights out over the waters of the Pacific, to the Land of the Rising Sun... and send its monarch a friend request.Time Period Covered:ca. 1257-1275 CEMajor Historical Figures:Yuan Dynasty:Khubilai, Great Khan of Mongolia, Emperor of YuanPrincess Hutulun JielimishiZhao Liangbi, Yuan Emi...

#177 - Yuan 2: Brother Mine
With the untimely death of Möngke Khaghan outside the walls of Chongqing, the Mongol Empire will be fore to choose for a new emperor for the 5th time in just three decades. Unlike the first four conclaves, however, this will result in not one, but two khuriltais, and two who would be Great Khan. Möngke’s brothers, Khubilai and Ariq Böke, will duel it out across Central Asia to determine who will rule all under the Eternal Blue Sky.Time Period Covered:1259-1266 CEMajor Historical Figures:Toluids:Möngke Khagh...


#176 - Special: Strange Tales 4, "Zibuyu"
Confucius talked about a *lot* ... but there were certain things about which even the Master dare not speak. Today we break that ancient taboo with 4 stories of spooky strangeness...2:01 - "A Karmic Meal"5:30 - "The Concubine's Revenge"20:22 - "Too Poor to Be Haunted"24:26 - "A Hell of a Trial"Adapted from:Zibuyu "What the Master Would Not Discuss" by Yuan Mei  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information....

#175 - Mongol 11.1: Ögedei Cometh
Genghis Khan is dead, and his 3rd son Ögedei has ben selected to lead the Mongol Empire into an uncertain future. Once he is confirmed on the throne, he'll strike on in every direction against every foe at once. On the way, there will be virgin sacrifices, talking wolves, free money, mass enslavement, Persian princes, Assassins, poison, angry water spirits, battle-mages, cannibalism... and that's just the tip of the iceberg!Note: This is part 1 of the 2-part conclusion to the life of Genghis Khan, with the ...

#175 - Mongol 11.1: Ögedei Cometh
Genghis Khan is dead, and his 3rd son Ögedei has ben selected to lead the Mongol Empire into an uncertain future. Once he is confirmed on the throne, he'll strike on in every direction against every foe at once. On the way, there will be virgin sacrifices, talking wolves, free money, mass enslavement, Persian princes, Assassins, poison, angry water spirits, battle-mages, cannibalism... and that's just the tip of the iceberg!Note: This is part 1 of the 2-part conclusion to the life of Genghis Khan, with the ...


Proclamation of the Central People's Government of the PRC, October 1, 1949
The people throughout China have been plunged into bitter suffering and tribulations since the Chiang Kai-shek Kuomintang reactionary government betrayed the fatherland, colluded with imperialists, and launched the counter-revolutionary war. Fortunately our People's Liberation Army, backed by the whole nation, has been fighting heroically and selflessly to defend the territorial sovereignty of our homeland, to protect the people's lives and property, to relieve the people of their sufferings, and to struggl...

#174 - Yuan 1: In Xanadu Did Kubla Khan...
You know it’s hard out there for a prince. The fourth sons of a fourth son, Khubilai of the Borjigin will grow up little recognized, and bound for a life of little more than comfortable obscurity. But between his mother’s machinations, his wife’s guidance, his own skills… and a healthy smattering of good fortune, he’ll find himself suddenly thrust into the spotlight and tasked with overseeing the conquest of the Mongols’ oldest foe.Time Period Covered:1215-1259 CEMajor Historical Figures:Mongol:Tolui [c. 11...

"Kubla Khan" - By: Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Kubla KhanBY SAMUEL TAYLOR COLERIDGEOr, a vision in a dream. A Fragment.In Xanadu did Kubla KhanA stately pleasure-dome decree:Where Alph, the sacred river, ranThrough caverns measureless to man   Down to a sunless sea.So twice five miles of fertile groundWith walls and towers were girdled round;And there were gardens bright with sinuous rills,Where blossomed many an incense-bearing tree;And here were forests ancient as the hills,Enfolding sunny spots of greenery.But oh! that deep romantic chasm which slant...


"Kubla Khan" - By: Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Kubla KhanBY SAMUEL TAYLOR COLERIDGEOr, a vision in a dream. A Fragment.In Xanadu did Kubla KhanA stately pleasure-dome decree:Where Alph, the sacred river, ranThrough caverns measureless to man   Down to a sunless sea.So twice five miles of fertile groundWith walls and towers were girdled round;And there were gardens bright with sinuous rills,Where blossomed many an incense-bearing tree;And here were forests ancient as the hills,Enfolding sunny spots of greenery.But oh! that deep romantic chasm which slant...

#173 - S. Song 15: Swan Song
Hangzhou is surrounded by the Mongol Yuan army, and is soon to fall. When the child-emperor and the Empress Dowager are taken captive, it will fall to the last two princes of House Zhao to flee to the islands and archipelagos of the Deep South, if they’re to stand any chance at all of keeping the flame of the Song from guttering out forever.Time Period Covered:1275-1279 CESouthern Song:Grand Empress Dowager XieEmpress Dowager ChuanEmperor Zhao Xian (Gong of Song) [r.1274-1276, d. 1323]Emperor Zhao Shi (Duan...

#173 - S. Song 15: Swan Song
Hangzhou is surrounded by the Mongol Yuan army, and is soon to fall. When the child-emperor and the Empress Dowager are taken captive, it will fall to the last two princes of House Zhao to flee to the islands and archipelagos of the Deep South, if they’re to stand any chance at all of keeping the flame of the Song from guttering out forever.Time Period Covered:1275-1279 CESouthern Song:Grand Empress Dowager XieEmpress Dowager ChuanEmperor Zhao Xian (Gong of Song) [r.1274-1276, d. 1323]Emperor Zhao Shi (Duan...


#172 - S. Song 14: The Tightening Noose
Mongolia is gripped in a civil war of its own, meaning the Song Empire has a chance to breathe. But with the immediate threat allayed for now, other problems become apparent. And when the new Great Khan, Khubilai, returns his attention to the land south of the Yangtze, China will find out whether it was a decade well spent in preparation for the coming assault, on one utterly squandered.Time Period Covered:1259-1275 CEMajor Historical Figures:Song Empire:Emperor Lizong (Zhao Yun) [r. 1221-1264]Emperor Duzon...

#171 - Mongol 10.1: The Succession
Genghis Khan is old, wracked by pain in his body and heart, and in spite of his best efforts, has come to accept there is one foe he cannot defeat: mortality itself. Thus, even before setting out on his campaign against the Khwarazmian Empire, he will assemble his four sons and together reach a fateful decision - who among them will rule when Genghis is gone?Note: This is part 1 of the 2-part conclusion to the life of Genghis Khan, with the conclusion available to subscribers!Time Period Covered:1220-1227 C...

Test Episode: Please Disregard Mk. 2
Nothing new here, sorry.I am trying to push through a status change to iTunes to get me re-listed in the History category.New episodes shortly...Audio is a re-broadcast of "The Mathematician of Heaven" about Zu Chongzhi (orig. published Aug. 2015) For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy...


#170 - S. Song 13: Stay of Execution
The Mongol Khanate is on the warpath against all who would stand against it... until several unexpected system errors for the whole system to reboot. How will Song China deal with these unexpected years of preparatory time?Time Period Covered:1241-1260 CEMajor Historical Figures:Song Dynasty:Emperor LizongChancellor Jia SidaoMongol Empire:Ögedei KhanToregene KhatunGuyuk KhanOghul Khaimish KhatunSorkhokhtani BekiMöngke KhanKhubilai IlkhanGeneral Uriyangkhadai  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out i...

#169 - S. Song 12: Instant Regret
Just off of the heady victory over the Jin Dynasty with their new BFFs, the Mongols, a first-in-a-century visit to the Imperial Tombs gives the Song court a brilliant idea - what if we just took them back without asking? What's the worst that could happen?Time Period Covered: 1234-1241 CEMajor Historical Figures:Song Dynasty:Emperor LizongChancellor Zheng QingzhiChancellor Shi Miyuan [d. 1233]General Zhao KuiGeneral Quan ZicaiMongol Khanate:Ögedei KhaghanTöregene KhatunPrince KhödanPrince KhöchuAmbassador W...

Bonus 4.1 - Mongol 8.1: Subotai & Jebe's Excellent Adventure
In the course of their pursuit of the fleeing Khwarazmian Amir, Genghis Khan's two top commanders have reached the shores of the Caspian Sea, and heard some of the strangest tales about what - and who - lay beyond. When the Great Khan gives his go-ahead to scout it out, they'll launch a three-year trek that will remake the world in their bloody image.Time Period Covered:1220-1221 CE  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information....


#168 - S. Song 11: Twilight of the Golds
The Jin Dynasty is surrounded on all sides. It cannot get out. Soon enough, the Mongol stranglehold around Kaifeng will signal the Empire of Black & Gold's death-knell.Time Period Covered:1224-1234 CE  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information....

#167 - S. Song 10: ...Is My Enemy's Enemy, No More, No Less
With enemies on all sides, and the Mongol sledgehammer poised to strike its crushing blow against them, the Jin Dynasty seeks an out by plunging southward, only to find that the Song defenses have become the anvil on which they rest. Exhausted, they’ll seek peace at any cost… but will it be enough to save the tatters of their empire? Time Period Covered: 1217-1225 CE Major Historical Figures: Song:Emperor Ningzong (Zhao Kuo) [r. 1194-1224] Emperor Lizong (Zhao Yun) [r. 1224-1264] Empress Yang [1162-1232]C...


#166 - S. Song 9: The Enemy of My Enemy...
The Jin Empire is all at once ripped apart from 4 different directions all at once: Shandong rebels from the east, Khitan from the northeast, Mongols from the northwest, and Tanguts from the West. So they decide to go the only direction left… and invade Southern Song.Time Period Covered:1208-1217 CERelevant Historical Figures:Song:Emperor NingzongChancellor Shi MiyuanMinister Zhen DexiuJin:Prince WeiEmperor XuanzongCommander Hesheli ZhizhongCouncilor Zhuhele GuoleqiMongol:Genghis KhanRed Jacket Rebels:Yang ...

Announcement: Intelligent Speech Agora PodCon 2019!
This June 28-29th, the Agora Network will be hosting it's first annual convention: Intelligent Speech 2019! It's in NYC, and will feature not just Agora 'casters, but a special guest appearance by none other than Mike Duncan (Yes, *that* Mike Duncan)! Get your tickets now and come enjoy! You can get a 5% discount by using the code "historyfan" at checkout! For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy...

#165 - S. Song 8: The Kaixi War
Chancellor Han Tuozhou is down-but-not-yet-out following his ill-fated attempting to bring down the Neo-Confucians. Thus, in an attempt to salvage his career and reputation, he'll launch the Song Empire into full-scale war against the Jin Dynasty... with unexpected results.Time Period Covered:ca. 1200-1207 CEMajor Historical Figures:Emperor Ningzong of SongEmpress YangChancellor Han TuozhouMinister Shi MiyuanGeneral Wu XiCommissioner Cheng Song  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information....


#164 - S. Song 7: Out With the New, In With the Old
Neo-Confucianism has made a strong comeback through the synthesis of its various doctrines under the philosophical guidance of Zhu Xi of the Southern Song court. He and his likeminded ministers seek to bring back the perfection of eras gone by by being perfectly morally upright, and expecting everyone else to do the same. But when it turns out that certain other loose-living party-boys like Chancellor Han Tuozhou and Emperor Ningzong aren’t so thrilled about their buzzkilling ways, it will set up a massive ...

#163 - S. Song 6: Filial Impiety
Back in Song China, we have a tale of two emperors: one who is devoted utterly to his father, and the other who's...well... not.Time Period Covered:1165-1194 CEMajor Historical Figures:Retired Emperor Gaozong [r. 1127-1162, as retired emperor 1162-1187]Emperor Xiaozong [r. 1162-1189, as retired emperor 1189-1194]Emperor Guangzong [r. 1189-1194]Empress Dowager Wu [1115-1197]Empress Li [1144-1200]  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information....


#162 - Mongol 4: The Great Khan
Temujin Khan crushes his enemies, sees them driven before him, and hears the lamentations of their women!!!Time Period Covered:ca. 1202-1206 CEMajor Historical Figures:Borjigin/Mongol:Temujin (Genghis Khan)Khasar, Temujin's BrotherBörte - Temujin's 1st WifeYesugen - Temujin's 2nd WifeYesui - Temujin's 3rd WifeJochi, Temujin's first son(?)Jirkho’adai (Jebe the Arrow)KhubilaiJelmeSubedeiJadaran:Jamukha (Gurkhan) - Temujin's anda/nemesisKereyid:To'oril (Ong Khan)Senggum, Ong's sonCha'ur Beki, Ong's daughterNai...

#161 - Mongol 3: The Anda, The Arrow, & The Airag
Temujin will enlist the aid of his recently-sworn father, To'oril AKA Ong Khan of the Kereyid to rescue his stolen wife, Börte. But his successful rescue of his beloved will only mark the beginning of his remarkable journey from isolated herder, to powerful khan of the steppes. Unfortunately, one of the sacrifices he'll be forced to make along the path to power will be that most-sacred: his sworn brotherhood with Jamukha, who will transform from Anda to Nemesis for Temujin.Time Period Covered:ca. 1178-1201 ...

#160 - Mongol 2: The Black Sable
In spite of difficulties, Ho'elun and her family endeavor to persevere. Temüjin discovers the power of friendship, and the clarity of purpose that comes with true love <3.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information....


#159 - Mongol 1: The Blood Clot
High in the wildlands of the Khentii Mountains, a tribe of hunters and scavengers comes into possession of a young and captured bride. Ripped out of her old life, she and the family her new husband create at the edge of the world will have to find a way to survive.Time Period Covered:ca. 1158~1170 CE  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information....

#158 - S. Song 5: A Changing of the Guard
Both Song and Jin have a new set of emperors at the helm... it will mean war... and peace... but the riptides of history will ensure that, whatever the outcome of this conflict, very little will remain the same for much longer.Time Period Covered: ~1140-1162 CE  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information....

#157 - S. Song 4: Peace at What Cost?
Emperor Gaozong really, *really* wants his dad's coffin.Qin Hui really, *really* wants to give the Jurchen whatever they ask for.The Jurchen really, *really* want the Mongol khan to stop tweaking their emperor's beard.Time Period Covered: 1135-1160 CEMajor Works Cited:Allsen, Thomas. “Chapter 4: The rise of the Mongolian empire and Mongolian rule in north China” in Vol. 6, Alien Regimes and Border States.Franke, Herbert. “Chapter 3: The Chin Dynasty” in Vol. 6, Alien Regimes and Border States.Tao, Jing-Shen...


#156 - S. Song 3: Yue Fei, Pt. 2 - The Long-Legged Treachery
General Yue Fei will reach career highs as he strikes back against Jurchen aggression with remarkable success. He'll drive his enemies so fast and hard, that he'll drive the Jin Dynasty close to its breaking point. But on the precipice of victory, ministerial machinations back in Hangzhou will spell the undoing of him and his life's work...  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information....

#155 - S. Song: Yue Fei, Pt. 1-The Flying Fury
In this first of a two-part look into the life and legend of this epic Chinese hero, we chronicle Yue Fei's early life and education, his induction into the military to serve his nation with utmost loyalty, his meteoric rise through the ranks, and his stalwart resolve in facing the greatest crisis his country his known in centuries, all while garnering a cult-like following of soldiers, and the panicked attention of the imperial court.Time Period Covered:1103-1137 CEMajor Works Cited:Foster, Robert W. The H...

#154 - S. Song 1: Song of the South
The JURCHEN JIN reigns. Having decimated the Song Dynasty, Emperor Jin Taizong now deploys his merciless legions to seize military control of the Yellow River Valley.Only Prince Zhao Gou and his band of LOYALIST ministers stand against the rising tyranny, certain that the last scion of Zhao can yet restore a spark of hope to the fight.But the Loyalists have been exposed. As the Jin cavalry speeds toward Yintian Fu, the brave heroes mount a desperate escape....Historical Period Covered:1127-1130 CEMajor Hist...


#153 - N. Song 18: Requiem for Jingkang
The Song Dynasty manages to epically pull defeat from the jaws of victory when it manages to twice goad its nominal ally, the Jurchen Jin, into a border war. The first time, it’s beaten so badly that it has to give up almost half of its northern holdings. But when even that’s not enough to quench Emperor Qinzong’s delusions of grandeur, he and his regime will pay with everything they have…Time Period Covered: 1125-1127 CEMajor Historical Figures:Northern Song:Emperor Huizong of Song (Zhao Ji) [r. 1100-1126,...

#151 - Special: Strange Tales 3
Our third entry of Seasonal Spookiness for your unsettling aural pleasure.From Strange Tales from a Chinese Studio (聊齋志異) by: Pu Songling1:25 - "The Girl in Green"8:30 - "A Very Sharp Sword"10:45 - "He Came Back"18:25 - "A Transformation"22:45 - "Mr. Miao"34:05 - "A Prank"  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information....


#150 - N. Song 17: Smoke On the Water Margin
Emperor Huizong’s Song Dynasty’s luck runs dry with a series of epic screw up that throw the whole system in disarray. War with the Tangut Xi Xia goes badly awry – and his generals won’t even tell him about it. And then rebellions start breaking out in the south – on by a millennialist death-cult led by a 12th century Jim Jones: Fang La… and another breaking out in the swamps and marshes of Liangshan, and led by Chinese Robin Hood of literary fame: Song Jiang. All of this will throw the Song military's care...

Promo: American Scandal
Since the founding of the United States, in every generation, in every field of business, politics, sports and society, we’ve watched in shock as corruption, deceit and desire bring down heroes, titans and those we thought we could trust.In the aftermath, we’re left with too many questions, how did this happen? Who is to blame?American Scandal, a new podcast from Wondery, will answer these questions. They tell the stories of America’s biggest scandals, the who, how and why, to discover what happened, how th...

#149 - N. Song 16: Empire of Black & Gold
To the north of Song China, sandwiched between Goryeo Korea and the invincible Liao Empire, a new force arises on the banks of the Black and Gold Rivers, that will shake the very foundations of All Under Heaven...Time Period Covered:1099-1123 CE  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information....


#148 - N. Song 15: A Campaign of Dunces
With Wang Anshi out of the picture, Emperor Shenzong's ministers find to their horror that theg uy they thought was radicalizing the monarch... had actually be holding him back this whole time. Now there's nothing to stop Shenzong from fulfilling his lifelong ambition to conquer Western Xia... nothing, that is... except the idiocy of the commanders he'll put in charge of the operation.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information....

#147 - N. Song 14: The New Policies, Pt. 3
Wang Anshi's heady, glorious dream at last comes crashing into the cold, mechanical reality of imperial bureaucracy, to everyone's chagrin.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information....

#146 - N. Song 13: The New Policies, Pt. 2
Wang Anshi weilds his newfound power to implement, through his hand-picked Finance Planning Commission, a sweeping series of reforms aids at revitalizing that dynasty's sagging economy. They'll include a government loan program, new tax policies to pay for laborers, a rethink of the state's very relationship with commerce and traders, and a re-formatting of the empire's volunteer self-defense forces.Time Period Covered:1069-1073 CE  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information....


#145 - N. Song 12: The New Policies, Pt. 1
In this first part of a mini-arc, southern provincial nobody Wang Anshi rises above his station and attracts both the curiosity and the attention of Emperor Shanzong and his court by laying out a bold new vision to lead the Song Dynasty out of its economic malaise before disaster inevitably strikes. But when neither Wang nor his critics are willing to give an inch on their principles, sparks fly...Time Period Covered: 1021-1070 CERelevant Historical Figures:Emperor Shenzong of Song (Zhao Xu) [r. 1067 - 1085...

#144 - N. Song 11: Only A Northern Song
"Like milk on a hot day in San Diego, it turned out that Emperor Yingzong was a bad choice."Time Period Covered: 1063-1067 CEImportant Historial Figures:Song:Emperor Renzong (Zhao Zhen)[r. 1022-1063]Emperor Yingzong (Zhao Shu)[r. 1063-1067]Emperor Shenzong (Zhao Xu) [r. 1067-1085]Empress Cao [1016-1079]Chancellor Han Qi(韩琦)[1008-1075]Prime Minister Fu BiChief Censor Sima Guang [1019-1086]Minister Ouyang Xiu [1007-1072]Western Xia:Li Liangzuo (Weiming Liangzuo)[b. 1046, r. 1048-1067]  See acast.com/privacy ...

#143 - N. Song 10: Inertia, Inaction, Insurrection
Emperor Renzong of Song continues to twiddle his thumbs. Confucianism get a much-needed adrenaline shot to the arm via Daoism. Zhuang superpatriot Nong Zhigao declares simultaneous war on China and Vietnam in the name of his people's liberation.Time Period Covered:1043-1054 CE  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information....


#142 - N. Song 9: Dithering the War Away
Emperor Renzong of Song isn't exactly... into the whole "rule" thing. He'd much rather wile away his days talking about Confucian philosophy, writing calligraphy, and making love to his concubines. But he'll be forced to uneasily embody the might of Song China when the Tangut state of Western Xia declares its independence, triggering a massive conflict on the borderlands.Time Period Covered:1033-1044 CEMajor Historical Figures:Song:Emperor RenzongChancellor Li YijianFan Zhongyan, Commander of Yanan CircuitX...

#141 - N. Song 8: Childless Mother of the World
When Emperor Renzong of Song takes the throne, he's just a boy of 12 and surely in need of his mother's guidance... but how long until Mom becomes more of a hinderance than a help? ... And what if she's not really his mother?Time Period Covered:1022-1033 CEImportant Historical Figures:Emperor Renzong of Song [Zhao] (r. 1022-Empress Dowager Liu (-1033)Lady Li (-1032)Chancellor Ding WeiChancellor Wang ZengAssistant Minister of the Palace Library, Lu "Fish-Head" Zongdao (-1029)Sun Shi, Director of Education  ...


#139- N. Song 7: The Heavenly Text Affair
After feeling forced to sign the costly and humiliating Treaty of Chanyuan with the Liao Dynasty to end the Liao-Song War, Emperor Zhenzong needs a pick-me-up to make himself feel better. He thinks that a ritual that hasn't been performed in 3 centuries might be the way... and that's when the text messages from Heaven start popping up in his inbox...Time Period:1004-1022 CEMajor Historical FiguresEmperor Zhenzong of Song (Zhao Heng)[r. 997 - 1022]Wang Qinruo, Minister of Grand Ritual [c. 962 – 1025]Chancell...

#138 - N. Song 6: Peace In Our Time
The new Song Emperor, Zhenzong, sits uneasily on the Chinese throne after his father’s untimely death in 997. But court intrigues and attempted coups will only be the tip of the iceberg for this untested and unlikely sovereign, because the Liao Dynasty to the north has its eyes and hearts set on revenge for Chinese slights, and will send a massive force bent on crushing Song resistance to their will.Time Period Covered:997-1005 CE  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information....


#136 - N. Song 4: E Pluribus Xia
To the Northwest of the Song Empire, a group of non-Chinese known as the Tanguts have long been subject to the whims and subjugations of their greater neighbors. But with the Chinese focused on their struggle against the Khitan Liao, and the Tibetans and Uighur states having collapsed to the far west, the Tanguts need to unite - in spite of their often fractious nature - if they're to seize the moment and carve out their place in history.Time Period Covered: ~735-1001 CEMajor Historical Figures:Song Dynasty...

#135 - N. Song 3: A Lesser Empire
Song's second emperor, Taizong, wants to achieve the heights of Chinese glory, power, and territory just like the Tang and Han before him. But aspirations are easier than results, and he's going to have to contend with neighbor states on all sides far more powerful than his predecessors - and with his own position far weaker. Still it's either that or the utterly unthinkable: acknowledge that China is no longer the preeminent superpower of the East, but now just one state among equals.Time Period Covered:97...

#134 - N. Song 2: Golden Cupboard, Flickering Shadows
Zhao Kuangyin has seized the north and now aims to reunify China under his new Song Dynasty by smashing the south. And it’s super effective! But when a strange order of succession leaves question mark surrounding his legacy, it’s anyone’s guess as to what will happen next.Time period covered:960-976 CEMajor Historical FiguresEmperor Taizu of Song (Zhao Kuangyin) [r. 960-976]Emperor Taizong of Song (Zhao Guangyi) [r. 976-997]Prince Zhao Dezhao [951-979]Chancellor Zhao Pu [922-992]Liu Chang, Emperor of Southe...


#133 - N. Song 1: The Coup at Chen Bridge
The Duke of Song Circuit and Grand Marshal of the armies of Later Zhou is dispatched by the 6-year-old emperor and his mom to the northeast to investigate and drive out a reported incursion by the Khitan Liao and their Northern Han allies. But he won’t make it very far at all before the nature of his mission changes dramatically…Time Period Covered:960-962 CE Major Historical Figures:Emperor Gong of Later Zhou (Guo Zongxun) [r. 959-960, d. 973]Zhao Kuangyin (Emperor Taizu of Song) [r. 960-976]Zhao Kuangyi (...

#132 - 5D10K 9: The Southern Kingdoms
We round out our overview of the 10 Kingdoms of the south by looking at the trials and tribulations of Chu, Former & Later Shu, Jingnan, and Southern Han’s travails against Annam… but little do they know, they’re one and all riding for a fall… Time Period Covered: 870-960 CE Major Historical Figures: Huang Chao Chu:Governor Liu Jianfei, King Ma Yin, Minister Gao Yu, King Ma Xifan, Prince Ma Xi’ou, King Ma Xiguang Former/Later Shu: King Wang Jian (“Bandit Wang Eight”) [r. 903-918], Minister Feng Juan, M...

#131 - 5D10K 8: The Southeast
We sweep over 4 of the southern kingdoms along the southeastern coast. WuYüe: which remains rich and prosperous owing to its favorable trade and geographic positions at the mouth of the Yangtze.Wu: which starts off strong only to be subsumed from within, giving way to Southern Tang.Min: whose coastal location is fatally undermined by it own geographic atomization, unto civil war, breakup, and destruction.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information....


#130 - 5D10K 7: South Before North
With the rise of the last of the 5 Dynasties, Later Zhou, the North China Plains is able to go onto the offensive for the first time in decades; not against the endless expanses of the northern steppes, but a new strategy to reinvigorate the north by seizing the fertile and as of yet untouched reaches of the southern kingdoms, who are ripe for the plucking. Through it all, a brilliant military commander by the name of Zhao Kuangyin will prove his valor and skill, and is ultimately rewarded with a fateful go...

#129 - 5D10K6: Emperor Jerky
Emperor Deguang of Liao has conquered the North China Plain with ease and packed the Later Jin emperor off to eternal exile. But he doesn’t plan to stick around… instead, he’ll pack up everything – and everyone – he deems valuable to take back home. But when illness strikes him dead, new challengers will arise to do battle over the fate of northern China. Time Period Covered: 947-954CE Major Historical Figures: Liao: Yelü Deguang (Emperor Taizong) [r. 927-947] Yelü Ruan (Wuyu, Emperor Shizong) [r. 947-95...


#128 - 5D10K 5: The Exiled Emperor
Later Jin seems to have its bed made within its steadfast alliance with Liao - in spite of the humiliating stipulations such a relationship imposes onto a proud Son of Heaven. Yet when Later Jin's first emperor dies, his replacement will do his level-best to unmake all the gains his nation has made... at his own peril.Time Period Covered:937-947 CEMajor Historical Figures:Later Jin:Shi Jingtang (Emperor Gaozu of Later Jin) [r. 936-942 CE]Shi Chonggui (Emperor Chu of Later Jin) [r. 942-947 CE]Governor-Genera...

#127: 5D10K 4: Towering Inferno
In the state of Later Tang, things go from bad to worse as a revolving door of emperors combines with a suddenly-mercenary imperial guard corps... all to bring the state itself to an untimely, but fiery, demise.Time Period Covered:926-937 CEMajor Historical Figures:Emperor Mingzong of Later Tang (Li Siyuan)[r. 926-933]Prince Li Congrong [d. 933]Emperor Li Conghou of Later Tang [r. 933-934]Chancellor Zhu Hongjiao [d. 934]Chancellor Feng Yun [d. 934]Emperor Li Congke of Later Tang [r. 934-936]Shi Jingtang, Em...

#126 - 5D10K 3: Lineage of the Liao
We track the Khitan people of Mongolia/Manchuria from their origins in the mythological mists of pre-history, all the way through their reformation under Abaoji Kaghan into a Chinese-style state, known as the Liao Dynasty.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information....


#125 - 5D10K 2: The War for Supremacy
The Later Liang Dynasty is forced back onto the defense following the murder if its first two emperors by its third, coupled with the rise of the latest Prince of Jin, Li Cunxu, who is waging a war to restore the Tang regime. But he’ll be forced to decide whether a restoration premised on putting himself on the throne rather than the old imperial clan can really be called a “restoration” at all.Time Period Covered:915-926 CEMajor Historical Figures:Later Liang Dynasty:Zhu Wen (Emperor Taizu) [d. 915]Zhu You...

#124 - 5D10K 1: Live By the Sword...
Zhu Wen has proclaimed the dissolution of the Tang and the formation of Later Liang, with him as its Emperor Taizu... but there are more than a few people ready, willing, and able to object rather strongly to that claim...  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information....

#123 - Tang 34: In the Rearview
We take a sweeping look back at all 289 years of the Tang one more time before pressing into the 5 Dynasties and beyond, and also take a look at some of the aspects of 9th centuryChinese society that are more frequently overlooked... like women's fashion, regional cuisine, playing cards, and toilet paper.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information....


#122 - Special: End of Dynasty Q&A
We've made it to the end of the Tang and questions abound! From portrayals of Han Emperors, to my favorite Emperor, and the best Dynasty EVER, to battle tactics and armor, to grat Chinese kung fu movies and how much a protsitute would have been worth... we've had a whole host of excellent questions that I do my very best to answer!Cheers!  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information....

#121 - Tang 33: Tang of the Dead
Take the army, go to the capital, kill the imperial clan, exterminate the eunuchs, usurp the throne, have a nice cold pint and wait for all this to blow over. How’s that for a slice of fried gold? Time period covered: 888-907 CE Major Historical Figures: Emperor Zhaozong of Tang [r. 887-905]Prince Li Yu [d. 905]Prince Li Zuo (Emperor Ai) [r. 905-908] Han Jian, Governor of HezhongLi “the One-Eyed Dragon” Keyong, Commander of the Shatuo TurksLi Maozhen, Governor of FengxiangWang Xingyu, Governor of PinningZ...

#120 - Tang 32: A Thousand Cuts
The rebel-general and usurper-emperor Huang Chao will wear out his welcome in Chang’an, and meet his doom in the Valley of Tigers and Wolves… but his reign of terror over the capital will only be the first act of its terrible, drawn out fate – a fate that will mirror the Tang Dynasty’s as a whole. Emperor Xizong, already put to flight once, will return to the capital – only to swiftly find himself on the run yet again as China’s general and governors alike realize that they are no longer servants of the dyn...


#119 - Tang 31: Reap the Whirlwind
The poison seeds that have been planted across China for the last century and longer will all begin to sprout, as the rebel commander Huang Chao takes command of the latest and greatest of internal threats to imperial stability. Yet it won't be the rebels themselves that will prove the decisive factor in the chaos to come... but instead the Empire's own supposedly "loyal" generals and soldiers... already looking ahead to their own places in the post-Tang world. Time Period Covered: 878-882 CE Major ...

#118 - Tang 30: Sow the Wind
Dear empire, we’re having a very mild case of severe rebellion, um, everywhere. But don’t worry, it’s totally under control. Everything’s fine, we’ve got this. Don’t panic. PS, rebel leaders if you’re reading this we’ll give you more than you’ve ever dreamed of if you’ll just stop attacking us, pretty please. But no it’s fine, we’re totally going to win, for sure. PPS, Imperial Army please stop refusing to fight. We’re totally serious about this. Joke’s over, it’s not funny anymore. Fight the r...

#117 - Tang 29: The Gathering Storm
The Tang Empire enters its death spiral. The cumulative effects of more than a century of economic mismanagement intersects with the peasantry and military's respective gripes with the government to disastrous effects south of the Yangtze River. Rebellions beget further rebellions as the whole enterprise spirals down toward the drainpipe. Time Period Covered: 859-873 CE Major Historical Figures: Emperor Yizong of Tang (Li Wen/Cui) [r. 859-873] Princess Tongcheng [d. 870] General Wang Shi Genera...


#116 - Tang 28: I, Xuānzong
Li Yi was never trained to be emperor. Not only was he the thirteenth son of Xianzong, but he'd been ruthlessly mocked and belittled his whole life by his entire family for being an idiot, an invalid, and a mute. But when his hated nephew dies in 846, he's going to shock the world by revealing he was faking it the whole time, and go on to become the last good emperor of the Tang before its final bow. Time Period Covered: 846-859 CE  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information....

#115 - Tang 27: The Third Disaster of Wu
The new Emperor Wuzong will have a lot on his plate right from the get-go. Foreign threats and domestic squabbles will frame his early reign, but it's his own fanatical devotion to Daoism and antipathy to Buddhism that will define his reign. Period Covered: 840-846 CE  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information....

#114 - Tang 26: The Sweet Dew Plot
Behind the throne of Tang is where the true power lies in the mid-9th century, among squabbling bureaucrats, shadowy factions, and conniving eunuchs. But this game of shadows is difficult to follow. Nevertheless, when events reach a head in 835 we’ll need to know how all the pieces on the imperial chessboard got where they are, and so we take a look at the real movers and shakers of the late Tang court. Time Period Covered: 808-836 CE Major Historical Figures: Tang Emperors: Emperor Xianzong of T...


#113 - Tang 25: The Longshoreman's Prophecy
In the wake of Emperor Xianzong’s unexpected death in 820, his work remains unfinished… and now left in the hands of his incapable, incompetent successors. The eunuchs are hard at work securing ultimate authority for themselves, and have no time for a strong central leader, and the Governor-generals of the northeast are eager to get out from under the imperial thumb once again. Into all this madness, a dock-worker, a fortuneteller, and an army of vagabonds will make a quixotic bid for the throne. Time ...

#112 - Tang 24: Make Tang Great Again!
Young Emperor Xianzong has a plan to restore China's supremacy in the 9th century world... and - surprisingly enough - it involves precisely zero walls being built. Time Period Covered: 805-820 CE  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information....

#111 - Special: Strange Tales
Today, we veer off our main narrative and into several seasonal tales which celebrate the spooky season in Chinese fashion. We feature a ghostly gathering, a bewitched battle, injurious jests, and lethal looks. Author: Pu Songling [1640-1715 CE] Strange Tales from a Chinese Studio Featuring: The Golden Goblets (begins: 2:15) The Necromancer (begins: 13:30) The Killing Joke (begins: 21:15) The Painted Skin (begins:  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information....


#110 - Tang 23: Where the Wangs Went Wrong
We take a look at the final years of Emperor Dezong's reign, his political successes and failures, and the strange, mysterious,short-lived Wang Party that would seize control over government for about 5 minutes before being kicked out by Dezong's grandson Xianzong. Also, we have a paralyzed, mute emperor, so there's that, too! Time Period Covered: ca. 790-806 CE Major Historical Figures: Tang Dynasty: Li Kuo, Emperor Dezong of Tang [r. 780-805] Li Song, Emperor Shunzong of Tang [r. 805] Li Chun, ...

#109 - Tang 22: Innie or Outie?
Dezong has had it up to here with his mumbling, bumbling, stumbling courtiers and their inability to solve the empire’s problems. So he’s going to give them 3 last shots to prove the worth of the bureaucracy, and when they strike out, he’ll turn toward his private inner count to make the Tang Empire great again. Time Period 786-795 CE Major Historical Figures: Emperor Dezong of Tang [r. 779-805] Chancellor Cui Zao (term of office: 785-787, exiled and d. 787) Chancellor Li Mi [term: 787-789, d. 78...

#108 - Tang 21: General Disaster
The echoes of the An Lushan Rebellion still reverberate destructively through Tang China even three decades after its conclusion. As the new emperor, Dezong, attempts to revitalize the glory days of old, he’ll kick off an new round of wars with the governor-warlords of Hebei who don’t want to have to listen to him anymore. Time Period Covered: 781-785 CE Major Historical Figures: Emperor Dezong of Tang (Li Kuo) [r. 779-805] Li Zhengji, Governor-General of Pinglu [d. 781] Zhu Tao, King of Ji Zhu ...


#107 - Tang 20: This Is Only a Test
Today we explore the insanely difficult, stressful, byzantine... and sometimes fatal... world of the would-be imperial official as they attempt to climb their way through the labyrinth of tests explicitly designed to fail them out. One unlikely success of this system is Yuan Zai, who will going from impoverished nobody to Chancellor of the Empire... all before getting his head lopped off. We then finish out Emperor Daizong's time on the throne before the reign of his son Emperor Dezong. Time Period Cov...

#106 - Tang 19: Not Quiet on the Western Front
You would think that finally quelling the largest rebellion on Earth would by the realm back into peaceful harmony. Unfortunately for the Tang, you’d be wrong. While China was forced to spend every waking moment in the Northeast desperately trying to drive back An Lushan for the past 7 years, the Tibetans went ahead and moved in from the West, cutting off Chinese access to the Far West Protectorate, and by 763 poised to deliver a devastating broadside to the already-devastated Tang Empire. And as if that...

#105 - Tang 18: Retrospective
Before getting into the latter half of the Tang Dynasty, we take a look back at the 175 years we’ve covered since the Sui first reunified China at the conclusion of the Period of Disunion. Join us on this high-altitude, rapid journey charting the highs and lows the the 2 & a half dynasties we’ve looked at since Episode 76. Time Period Covered: 581-764 CE Major Historical Figures: Sui Dynasty: Emperor Wen (Yang Jian) [r. 581-604] Emperor Yang (Yang Guang) [r. 604-617] Tang Dynasty: Emperor Gao...


#104 - AnShi 4: Crowns in the Gutters
The AnShi Rebellion grinds on to its bitter conclusion, claiming lives at a rate unprecedented in human history. Crowns and throne will be cast to the wind by fathers and sons alike, and in the end China will before force to decide between national cohesion and national sovereignty… a true devil’s choice, if ever there was one. Time period covered: 756 – 764 CE Major Historical Actors: Tang Dynasty: Retired Emperor Xuanzong [d. 762] Emperor Suzong (Li Heng) [r. 756-762] Emperor Daizong (Li Yu)...

#103 - AnShi 3: Strange Bedfellows
Reeling from the loss of both capital cities to the rebel army, Emperor Xuanzong and his heir Li Heng split up. Three days later from the northern garrison at Lingwu, the Crowned Prince declares himself the new emperor, Suzong – surprise, Dad! Newly enthroned, Suzong will be forced to cobble together an unlikely coalition of China’s neighbors in order to have any hope of turning the tide of the civil war that threatens to drown the Tang Dynasty in blood. Arabs, Transoxianans, Ferghanans, and even Uyghur ...

#102 - AnShi 2: Song of Everlasting Sorrow
An Lushan marches south, occupying Louyang with blinding speed and leaving the Tang Dynasty reeling. Still, ultimately the tide seems ready to turn against the rebel general and self-styled-Emperor of Yan, until Chancellor Yang Guozhong's bungling ruins absolutely everything. Time Period Covered: Jan-July, 756 Major Historical Actors: Tang Dynasty: Emperor Xuanzong of Tang Chancellor Yang Guozhong (d. 756) Consort Yang Guifei (d. 756) Crowned Prince Li Heng General Feng Chengqian (d. 756) Ge...


#101 - AnShi 1: Heart & Belly, Claws & Teeth
The aged Emperor Xuanzong of Tang rest uneasily on his throne as 751 brings not just the sting of defeat at Talas, but also to the far south and northeast. He and his chancellor will become increasingly reliant on the Governor-General of Dongan Protectorate, the Sogdian-Turk An Lushan. But at a time when loyalty, ethnicity, and what it means to be Chinese is increasingly strained, how much pressure can the system take before it snaps? Time Period Covered: 751-755 CE Major Historical Figures: Li Lo...

#100 - Special: Di Yi Bai!
Title Meaning: “Hundredth!” It’s a Q&A between you listeners and myself on topics far and wide! They range from yet further exploration of Empress Wu, to the nature of Chinese alcohol, my favorite Chinese movies, Chinese classes and slavery within the Empire and even today, China’s relations with Southeast Asia and why it seems to be a particularly difficult place to conquer across time, the end of the Ming Dynasty, the surprisingly contentious history of silk, and finally a question likely to land me in ...

#99 - Tang 17: The Battle of Talas
The armies of the Far West Anxi Protectorate of the Tang face down a force commanded by the ascendant Abbasid Islamic Caliphate, fresh off its victorious insurgency over the Umayyad Caliphate. But in this one and only clash between Chinese and Arab might, the ramifications for both will be felt long after the blood dries on the battlefield along the Talas River. Time Period Covered: May- September, 751 Major Historical Figures: Tang Dynasty – Protectorate of Western Pacification Emperor Xuanzong o...


#98 - Tang 16: All Along the Watchtowers
We leave the capital behind to take a tour of the Tang Empire’s neighbors, both old and new. A tenuous peace with Tibet leads to a westward push putting the Chinese into contact – and eventual conflict – with the Islamic Abbasid Caliphate. Meanwhile, to the north and east rebellious Khitan tribesmen will spark a huge military buildup in the region under the control of one man, while the former Goguryeo reorganizes itself into the powerful state of Balhae, forcing the Tang Court to re-assess its diplomatic...

#97 - Tang 15: Law & Order: XZU
In the Justice System of the Tang Imperial Court, the throne’s interests are represented by two separate yet equally important groups: the Confucians, who argue for traditional ethics, and the Legalists, who argue for the unbending application of the letter of the law. These are their stories… Time Period Covered: 731-740 CE Major Historical Figures: Emperor Xuanzong of Tang Chief Minister Zhang Jiuling Chief Minister Li Linfu Eunuch Commander Gao Lishi General Wang Maozhong Major Sources Ci...

#96 - Tang 14: The Sacrifices of Feng and Shan
Military reforms mark our entrance into Xuanzong’s early-middle reign, which is more or less a basket of unicorn foals: external peace, internal stability… now if only that darned economy would fix itself! But the emperor will turn a fateful corner in the 724, when his official Zhang Yue convinces him to conduct the Feng and Shan Sacrifices: the highest ritual a Chinese ruler could conduct – a sacrifice to Heaven and Earth atop holy Mount Tai. Time Period Covered: 714 – 726 CE Important Historical F...


#95 - Tang 13: Xuanzong Can Fix It!
Wu Zetian’s grandson Li Longji (aka Xuanzong of Tang) is left to pick up the pieces of 50+ years’ worth of overindulgence, royal excess, and the rampant deconstruction of the entire imperial bureaucratic apparatus. Thanks, grandma. Fortunately, he’ll prove uniquely suited to the role of maintenance-man, and under his unexpectedly capable leadership, he’ll reign in his family members, do away with the thousands of excess positions, reform the government, and stabilize the regime. He’s building up to a sec...

#94 - Tang 12: Two Second Reigns
The Tang Dynasty has been restored following Empress Wu's eldest son's coup d'etat. But dynastic restoration does not equate to societal reformation, and many of the problems Wu inherited or exacerbated remain. Throw into that mix a decade long period of palatial infighting between princes and princesses, and we have a period so chalk full of intrigue, espionage, and assassination... that classical historians have preferred to steer around this decade rather than even deign to acknowledge it. Time Peri...

#93 - Tang 11: Dynasty of One
Wu Zhao sits on the Throne of Heaven as divine sovereign in her own right. But challenges from expansionistic neighbors such as the Tibetans, the Turks, and the Khitan will throw her regime’s stability into question, an ongoing economic crisis will spiral out of control, and her scandalous affair with two pretty-boy half-brothers will throw the entire imperial court into turmoil, potentially spelling an end to her singular era of rule. Time Period Covered: 690-705 CE Major Historical Figures: Tang/...


#92 - Tang 10: Sage Mother, Divine Sovereign
A white stone bearing a prophecy tells of an era of eternal prosperity, a disastrous rebellion spells the doom of the majority of the imperial Li Clan, an obscure sutra tells of the reincarnation of a goddess to rule over the world, the written word itself is altered to fit the times… all of these are will fit together today to explain how and why the 66-year-old Empress Dowager of Tang will manage to become the first and only woman Emperor of China in the year 690. Time Period Covered: 689-693 Major...

#91 - Tang 9: Reign of Terror
With her husband dead, Empress Wu is unrivaled in Chang'an, but that situation is tenuous as she has no legal basis for that power. Her eldest (surviving) son will take up the throne as Emperor Zhongzong for... all of two months before she decides he's got to go. Her timid, youngest son will fit her style much better as Ruizong, but when the high lords of the realm are exposed as conspiring against her, she will unleash her full fury on their ranks, employing tactics and methods that will decimate the lit...

#90 - Special: Monkey Business
In celebration of the Year of the Monkey, this week we take a look at China's most famous demonic simian, Sun Wukong, the Monkey King, and his Journey to the West guarding the Buddhist monk Xuanzang. Then we'll look at the historical 15 year long westward journey of Xuanzang as he seeks sutras from India to bring enlightenment to China. Time Period Covered: 602-664 CE Major Historical Figures: San Zang Master Xuanzang (Chen Hui) [602-664] Major Fictional Figures: Sun Wukong (The Handsome Monkey...


#89 - Tang 8: Clash on the Borderlands
Tang China goes to town on its neighbors over the course of the mid-7th century. First, the Western Regions of central Asia will feel the full force of a reunited Middle Kingdom, culminating in the collapse and Chinese annexation of the whole Western Turkic Khannate, putting Chinese borders (briefly) right up against Persia. Then, Emperor Gaozong will commit himself to completing what his father begun: the final destruction of Goguryeo. but this time he'll enlist the aid of South Korean Silla to carve out a...

#88 - Tang 7: Empress Wu Behind The Curtain
The more than two-decade period following Wu Zhao’s ascension as Emperor Gaozong’s empress-consort will serve to point out three things: how weak the emperor is, how powerful Empress Wu has become, and how there is absolutely nothing she won’t do to keep it that way. By the middle of the episode, she’ll be considered even at the time the co-equal ruler of her husband, on of the so-called “Two Holy Ones.” But power is a slippery fish to hang on to… especially when you have no legal means of maintaining it,...

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#87 - Tang 6: Femme Fatale
With Taizong of Tang's death, his ninth son Li Zhi will ascend to the throne as Emperor Gaozong. But his weak will will ensure that his reign will be dominated by those around him. First by his ministerial backers, but more and more by a seductive young concubine who will do anything to win the game of intrigue at the imperial court, and will ruthlessly dispose of anyone who gets in her way.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information....

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#86 - Tang 5: Family Matters
Our third and final episode in our suite on Emperor Taizong of Tang, this time focuses on the family crisis that would grip the latter half of his reign, as the ill-fated conquest of Goguryeo raged on in the periphery. His eldest son and heir will prove himself too… well, strange… for anyone to feel comfortable with on the throne. Meanwhile his favorite son will go to any means to secure the top job for himself. In the ensuing brotherly scuffle assassinations will be plotted, banishments pronounced, and ...

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#85 - Tang 4: The Wild West
1,000,000 show downloads! Emperor Taizong turns outward seeking to re-conquer the lost territories of the late, great Han at its height. But it’s easier said than done: to the west he’ll find that there’s a whole new cast of regional powers ready to stake their own territorial claims… meanwhile to the northeast, his rising ambitions about taking the Goguryeo Kingdom at any cost may lead him to follow in the ruinous footsteps of the Sui instead. And since it’s that time of the year, we’ll finish out w...

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#84 - Tang 3: The Khan Of Heaven
Li Shimin assassinated his two brothers and put his father out to pasture in order to snag the top job as Emperor Taizong. But a mere three weeks into his reign, this “rock star” monarch will face an existential challenge to his reign and the future of the Tang Dynasty as a whole: the wrath of the Göktürk Khaganate. It will prove to be a wild ride to determine whether Tang China will be doomed to remain a vassal of the Turks, or whether Taizong’s “true vision” will prove enough to rise to the challenge. ...

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#83 - Tang 2: The Incident at Xuanwu Gate
The Tang will achieve hegemony over the entirety of China’s heartlands, both North and South. But with external foes subdued, simmering tensions within the royal household will begin bubbling to the surface, culminating in a showdown that will decide the future of the Dynasty. Time Period Covered: 618-626 CE Major Historical Figures: Tang Dynasty: Li Yuan (Emperor Gaozu) Crowned Prince Li Jiancheng Prince Li Yuanji Prince Li Shimin Li Xiaogong, Prince of Zhao Guard Captain Yang Wen’gan Gene...

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#82 - Tang 1: The Tiger's Trap
The Duke of Tang had taken control of China’s primary capital at Chang’an, and is now in position to seize the throne for himself. But even that momentous shift will only mark the beginning of the struggle to reclaim imperial authority and unite China under his single banner. For there are other claimants to the throne, and powerful warlords who have their own designs for China. But it will be in the cauldron of chaos that is the North Plains of the Yellow River that the new Tang Dynasty will truly be pu...

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#81 - Sui 5: Disintegration
With its push against Goguryeo rather catastrophically stalled out, the whole enterprise begins to unravel with spectacular speed for the Sui Dynasty. All the while, its Emperor Yang will maintain a disturbingly unaffected demeanor for the suffering his edicts are creating across the countryside - in large part because his lackeys have created a "reality-distortion filter" around him they'll literally kill to maintain. But elsewhere, agents of insurrection will rise to challenge the waning star that is ...

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#80 - Sui 4: Ringing Blood From The Stone
Emperor Yang of Sui has ventured forth to the far northeastern border of China in an attempt to rescue his honor from the clutches of the impudent King of Goguryeo, Yeongyang. Little does King Yeongyang know that the Sui Empire has secretly begun construction on a new waterway even more navigable that the first dreaded Grand Canal. When completed, this ultimate weapon will spell certain doom for the small kingdom of Koreans struggling to resist a renewed Chinese domination of East Asia…  See acast.co...

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#79 - Sui 3: Yang's Imperial Tour
The second emperor of the Sui Dynasty gets bad rap - his postmortem regnal name means "the Slothful" and he's commonly lumped together with the rest of the "bad-last emperors" as being hedonistic, wasteful, and just generally monstrous. But is this really the case, or was Emperor Yang the victim of a historical hatchet job? Today we look at the upbringing and early life of Prince Yang Guang, his unlikely rise to power, and then the early period of his reign over China as Emperor Yang, and how he picked ...

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#78 - Sui 2: Reconstruction
Today we finish out out look into the reign of the Sui Dynasty’s founding emperor, Wen. We begin first with the military roferms he imposed on his newly reunited state, mirroring those he made to the civil government. Once completed, Sui China will find itself on a footing it hasn’t reliably been for centuries: outward-facing and expansionist. The repercussions of this epochal change in circumstance for Chine will be felt across the globe. Time Period Covered: 581-605 CE Major Historical Figures: ...

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#77 - Sui 1: Internal Affairs
Emperor Wen of Sui is potentially the most important monarch you've never heard of. For him, militarily reuniting China wasn't his legacy - it was his prelude. Both pre- and post-reunification, we explore the internal facets of his truly impressive reign today: his origins, personality, outlook, confidantes, the existential problems he inherited from the Period of Disunion, and the novel, world-changing solutions he'd craft to ensure China's reunification would be factual, rather than just rhetorical. ...

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#76 - S&N 20: Taking Stock
So what does it all mean? Before stepping boldly into the Sui Dynasty, we take this episode to pan out to low-Earth orbit and watch the macro-developments of the past 300-plus years of Disunity, reviewing the dramatic sweep of a period of time often left out of many Western historical understandings of Chinese history due to is sheer complexity and confusing nature. Time Period Covered: 220-589 CE  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information....

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#75 - S&N 19: Reunion
Northern Zhou seems to have plotted a course for ultimate victory in the contest between the Northern and Southern Dynasties, having already annexed Northern Qi and turned its sights on Chen to the south. But it’s amazing how quickly dynastic fortunes can reverse themselves, and the Yuwen Clan’s line of emperors find itself stopped short, destroyed not by external threat but from an enemy within: the Duke of Sui, the man who would be Emperor of all China. Time Period Covered: 577-589 CE Major Figure...

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#74 - S&N 18- The Fall Of Northern Qi
In the Northeast of China, Northern Qi just can’t catch a break. First it was Emperor Wenxuan’s murderous paranoia, and now it will be subjected to Wucheng’s indolent hedonism, “immoral games,” and general excesses… and then the penultimate Qi emperor, Houzhi, will decide that the state treasury is his own personal piggy-bank and startin singing “Hakuna Matata” while the state burns. Meanwhile to the West, Emperor Wu of Northern Zhou will finally break out of his uncle Yuwen Hu’s shadow – by shattering ...

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#73 - S&N 17: The Only Tear Shed For Wenxuan
Today’s episode takes us through the turmoil within northern China and beyond over the 550s. We begin looking outside of China proper as the rulers of the Rouran Steppe Confederacy are overthrown and replaced by the vassal-turned-enemy the Göktürks, and briefly touch on the Khitan Tribe of Manchuria. We then go through the reign of Emperor Wenxuan of Northern Qi, who will initially lead his newfound dynasty to power and prominence before his mounting madness will plunge it into chaos and terror. Time P...

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#72 - S&N 16: As The World Burns
In the post-557 world, the three new major powers of China must confront the wide ranges of changes and struggles they must each face now that the political order of the entire empire has been turned on its head. This time, we look at the situation in the south as Northern Zhou and Chen vie for control over the central reaches of the Yangtze River. Dates Covered: 557-568 Important Figures: Northern Qi Warlord Yuwen Tai [d. 556] Yuwen Jue (Emperor/Heavenly Prince Xiaomin) [r. 556-557] Yuwen Yu...

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Supplemental Biopic: The Mathematician Of Heaven
This short episode covers the life of one of the great mathematicians, astronomers, and engineers of ancient China: Zu Chongzhi. In his life from 429-500 CE, he will re-create an ancient precursor to the compass that had been lost for centuries, calculate the motions of the celestial objects with a degree of accuracy in excess of 99.9%, design a comprehensive new calendar system, and derive the value of π to a degree of accuracy that would not be surpassed the world over for another millennium.  See acast...

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#71 - S&N 15: The Crowded Hour
“There are decades where nothing happens, and there are weeks when decades take place.” It’s an out and out brawl as everything comes to a head at once in the 550s, all across China. In the south, the Liang princes struggle against both the rebel general Hou Jing who holds the capital and the emperor, but also among themselves. In the north, Eastern and Western Wei similarly are undergoing their own internal struggles, which will see the overthrow of all the dynasties we’ve come to know with a whole ne...

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#70 - S&N 14: The Hou Jing Disturbance
The end of Emperor Wu’s 5-decade-long rule over the Liang Empire is jam-packed with action. Following the split between Eastern and Western Wei in the North, it seems like there’s might be peace and quiet in the South for once. But this will prove short-lived, indeed. First, Vietnam will rise up in it first major rebellion in centuries against Chinese hegemony, and then a general from the far north will go rogue, defect from his warlord, and offer up his territories to Liang. It seems like an offer too ...

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#69 - S&N 13: The Ransom Of The Boddhisatva Emperor
Buddhism has taken Southern China by storm, but few more than its emperor, Wu of Liang. He’ll try to talk a monk out of setting himself on fire, have an awkward chat with the founder of Zen Buddhism, and even enter a monastery and refuse to leave, prompting his whole court to “ransom” him back by bribing the monks to kick him out. All of this while civil war ripples through Northern Wei. Time Period Covered: 517-535 CE Notable Figures: Emperor Wu of Liang (née Xiao Yan) Consort Ding Lingguang Cr...

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#68 - S&N 12: Dam It, Wu!
Going back about 50 years to the beginning of the 6th century, we move South once more to visit the new Dynasty that has destroyed the Qi: Liang, and it’s founding Emperor Wu. In this first half of Wu of Liang’s reign, wars will be fought, religions will be adopted, and a massive dam will be constructed as a siege weapon. Time Period Covered: 464-517 Major Figures: Emperor Wu of Liang (née Xiao Yan) [r. 502-549] Prince Xiao Hong Xiao Baojuan, Emperor of Southern Qi [483-501] Xiao Baorong (Emper...

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#67 - S&N 11 All The Wei Down
Though Northern Wei has been a beacon of steadiness amid the ephemeral Southern Dynasties, its time has come to an end. Wracked by ineptitude and betrayal, weighed down by jealous Empress dowagers, ambitious generals, and infant emperors, and with a society split between traditional customs and the new normal, it will devolve into civil war, mass purges, and – ultimately – a permanent split between East and West. Time Period Covered: 515-535 CE Major Characters: Grand/Empress/Dowager Hu (r. 515 - 5...

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#66 - S&N 10: Cold Case File
Please check out Stephen Guerra's The History of the Papacy Podcast at http://www.atozhistorypage.com We continue our look at Northern Wei at the dawn of the 6th century. The imperial bookends will be Xiaowen - the chief proponent of sinicization among the Tuoba Xianbei - and his son Xuanwu, a placeholder in just about every sense of the term. The real drama will unfold around two of Xuanwu's wives... and whether or not one killed the other in a murder mystery 1500 years old. Period Covered: 499-5...

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#65 - S&N 9: What's In A Name?
While the South of China self-destructs time and again, the North is undergoing its own revolutionary shift - not of dynastic head, but something even more fundamental: total social re-organization - from Asian Steppe Society, to one trying to out-play the Chinese at their own game by switching social structure, language, dress, and even taking the ancient Chinese capital as their own in the latter half of the 5th century. Time Period Covered: 465-499 CE Notable figures: Tuoba Hong (Emperor Xianwen...

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#64 - S&N 8: The Rise And Fall Of Southern Qi
The successor state to Liu Song will start off strong, but it will soon hit the rocks of instability, rebellion, and overthrow all in just a little more than 2 decades. At the dawn of the 6th century, its end will largely parallel its beginning. Time Frame: 479-502 CE Major Participants: Xiao Daocheng (Emperor Gao of Southern Qi) r. 479-482 Xiao Ze (Emperor Wu of Southern Qi) r. 482-493 Xiao Zhaoye (Emperor/Marquis of Donghun) r. 493-494 Xiao Luan (Emperor Ming of Southern Qi) r. 494-498 ...

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#63 - S&N 7: Going Off The Rails
The fates have not been kind to the Liu Song Dynasty. It keeps rolling the monarchy dice, and they keep coming up crazy-eyes. Emperor Ming will start strong, but descend into cruelty and paranoia. His successor seems to have just been born bad, and the final monarch of the dynasty won’t have enough time fall one direction or the other before a rising star will unseat him, and Liu Song altogether, as the true power of Southern China. Period Covered: 465 – 479 CE Major Figures: Emperor Ming of Liu S...

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#62 - S&N 6: State Of Emergency
In the mid-5th century, Southern China is at a boiling point. Between the decade reign of Emperor Xiaowu, and the 1-year abomination of his son Liu Ziye, there will be rebellion, murder, torture, and incest... so, so much incest. All of leading toward a terminal decline for the Liu Song Dynasty. Period Covered: 453-465 CE Important Figures: Emperor Xiaowu (Liu Jun)r. 453-464 Prince Liu Yigong Prince Liu Yixuan of Nanjiao Prince Liu Dan of Jingling Crowned Prince Liu Ziye (Emperor Qianfei) r. 46...

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#61 - S&N 5: The Forgotten God-King
Emperor Taiwu has been described as "Northern Wei's Teddy Roosevelt", and overshadows many of the Tuoba emperors to follow his reign of conquest and war. But the most forgotten of those successors, his grandson Emperor Wencheng, may have actually been far more responsible for the longterm success and stability of Wei than most realize. Though Taiwu gets all the glory for conquering the North, poor, unsung Wencheng would be the one responsible for keeping and governing it. [Show Notes] Timeframe: 452...

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#60 - S&N 4: The More Things Change...
The decade long détente between the South and North will be shattered in 449 by a series of tit-for-tat campaigns by both sides, resulting in the destruction of much of the lands south of the Yellow River. But it will be assassins, not soldiers, who will most drastically shape the fates of both Northern Wei and Liu Song, one right after the other. [WOULD YOU LIKE TO KNOW MORE?] Dates: 446-453 Cast - Northern Wei: Emperor Taiwu (Tuoba Tao) Crowned Prince Tuoba Huang Prince Tuoba Han Princ...

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#59 - S&N 3: Buddhist Blades, Daoist Flames
Over the course of the 5th century, Buddhism had become the rising star within China, in spite of its foreign origins. That would run into direct conflict with China's own home-grown religion: Daoism. As the two co-mingled, some would accept both... but others, especially in Northern Wei, would use all the might to eradicate what they deemed to be a heretical foreign influence on their Chinese culture.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information....

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#58 - S&N 2: Thirty-Six Stratagems
Northern Wei uses Liu Song's hesitation to move north of the Yellow River as an opportunity to reintegrate the last of the 16 Kingdoms into its hegemony. Koreans, Huns, and Mongols all get caught up in the fray.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information....

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#57 - S&N 1: Bipolarity
What had been sixteen kingdoms in the North and an uneasy Dynasty in the South has calcified into a seemingly permanent polar split. After some shenanigans, both halves of China will - surprisingly - find themselves with capable leaders. The coming showdown will be one for the history... um... podcasts...  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information....

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Update: Episode Name Change
Explanation of THoC's name switcheroo...  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information....

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#56 - 16K 9: The Two Deaths Of Jin
We track back down south to discover what's been going on with the Jin Dynasty. An imbecile emperor will precipitate multiple governmental crises, ultimately resulting in overthrow, restoration, and then second overthrow the the dynasty.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information....

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#55 - 16K 8: No Country For Old Yan
The Xianbei Tuoba Clan from the northwest fills the power-vacuum left by the collapse of Former QIn, and will soon add much of Later Yan to its conquests. But its rulers will be sorely tempted by the trappings of power, and as we all know in this tumultuous period, indulgence is a swift path to downfall.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information....

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#54 - 16K 7: Best Laid Plans...
Fratricide, regicide, and genocide are hallmarks of this period in the north. Though the tumult, Former Qin shall emerge triumphant to reunite both the North and Sichuan under its banner... only to watch it all crumble in the span of two years.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information....

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#53 - 16K 6: The Year Of Five Emperors
The second half of Shi Hu's reign over Later Zhao, his scheming heirs, and the short, unhappy reigns of his eventual successors... all leading the the once-supreme kingdom being pulled apart like so much carrion by its neighbors.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information....

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#52 - 16K 5: The Two Caligulas Of China
Following the death of Emperor Shi Le, Later Zhao will swiftly succumb to the bloody revenge of Shi Hu. But it's his heir, Shi Sui, who is the true terror of this episode...  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information....

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#51 - 16K 4: Infighting
South of the Huai River, The Eastern Jin discover that a house divided against itself cannot long stand. Meanwhile in the north, the barbarian kings have turned on each other with the Xiongnu emperor of Han Zhao squaring off against the Jie Prince of Later Zhao.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information....

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#50 - 16K 3: Splinters
The Jin Dynasty has lost the north, and now hides on the southern banks of the Yangtze River, trying to pull themselves together. Meanwhile the Xiongnu-led tribal coalition calling itself Northern Han will discover that defeating Jin was the easy part, and it's the stresses of governing that will either make or break with tenuous coalition  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information....

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#49 - 16K 2: Barbarians At The Gates
Following the bloody struggle between the eight princes, the Jin Dynasty lies in tatters. Into the void will step five non-Chinese tribes, initially led by the ancient enemy of China, the Xiongnu.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information....

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#48 - 16K 1: The Disorder Of The Eight Princes
Emperor Wu goes on an 8-year, goat-powered orgy through 5000 concubines, leaving the empire in the hands of his mentally disabled son, and the Imperial princes and empress will fight it out over who gets to control him.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information....

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#47 - Special: Happy Anniversary!
As promised, here we take a short break before launching into the Jin Dynasty of the late 3rd century to celebrate our first anniversary and of course answer those pressing questions you guy have sent in.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information....

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#46 - 3K 5: Long United Must Divide, Long Divided Must Unite
We arrive at the climactic finale of the Three Kingdoms period, as Emperor Wu of Jin orders a massive warfleet constructed to deal the coup de grace to Eastern Wu.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information....

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#45 - 3K 4: House Of The Rising Sun
The state of Eastern Wu has been busy, busy, busy, in spite of all the focus given to the rivalry between its Western and Northern neighbors. But when Shu Han crumbles and The Cao Clan is overthrown by the Simas, they'll be in for their greatest test yet.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information....

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#44 - 3K 3: The Southern Strategy
Warping back in time half a century, we take a different look at the Three Kingdoms through the eyes of Shu Han of Sichuan, its regent lord Zhuge Liang, and his five campaigns against the northern stare of Cao Wei between 228 and 234.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information....

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#43 - 3K 2: Ode Of The Hidden Dragon
The state of Cao Wei comes under the pretty-much-permanent regency of the Sima Family and launches a wildly successful blitzkrieg into Shu Han, meanwhile the teenaged Cao Emperor writes angsty poetry about how lonely he is and no one understands him.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information....

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#42 - 3K 1: The King In The North!
The war between the Three Kingdoms has ground to a bloody stalemate. Hoping to seize the initiative,Cao Wei and Sun Wu will turn their attention to Manchuria and Korea in search of allies to exploit and foes to crush.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information....

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#41 - E. Han 8: A Farewell To Hans
We reach the end of the road for the Han Dynasty... well, sort of... it's complicated. In any case, there will be two emperors and a king by the time this episode is over. The Three Kingdoms are officially here.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information....

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#40 - E. Han 7: The Red Cliffs Of Chibi
The warlord Cao Cao has crushed any rivals to his power in the North, and now turns South to reunify China under his new regime. South of the mighty Yangtze River, the rival lords of Jing Province and Wu Prefecture must put aside their differences and unite if they're to have any hope of stopping the northern invasion at the river's shores  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information....

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#39 - E. Han 6: Warlords, White Wolf, Winter Winds
In the Southeast, the young but ambitious Sun Ce has splintered off to form his own power bloc, but intrigue will leave his legacy in jeopardy. To the Southwest, the thrice defeated Liu Bei has fled to the refuge of Jing Province under his cousin's protection, to lick his wounds. And to the far North, Cao Cao wages a daring - and dangerous - campaign to stomp out the last vestiges of resistance to his absolute rule.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information....

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#38 - E. Han 5: The Battle Of Guandu
In the aftermath of the tyrant Dong Zhou's death, the two commanders of the former anti-Dong coalition vie for power and legitimacy. Cao Cao will take control of Emperor Xian, prompting his one time ally Yuan Shao to launch an all-out invasion of Cao's province. The forces will clash climactically around the fortress at Guandu.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information....

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#37 - E. Han 4: Things Fall Apart
Corruption and plutocracy run rampant throughout Han, leading to a religious uprising called the Yellow Turban Rebellion. It's swiftly put down, but the problems are only beginning as we enter the end-phase of the Han and the opening act of the Three Kingdoms Period.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information....

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#36 - E. Han 3: Live Fast, Die Young
Coming on the heels of Han's last Golden Age, emperors will begin dropping like flies, opening the Empire up to corruption from its empresses, military commanders, and the newly-empowered eunuch-lords. Also, paper will be invented.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information....

podcast history China spoken education

#35 - E. Han 2: Reclamation
It is a Golden Age for the Eastern Han. After decades of tumult, famine, and civil war, the Chinese Empire is poised once again to reclaim its status as preeminent East Asian power. Retaking the abandoned Western Vassal Kingdoms, sending envoys to India and even Rome, and at long last finishing the 200 year old war with the rapidly disintegrating Xiongnu Empire to the north.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information....

podcast history China spoken education


#34 - E. Han 1: One Han, Two Han, Red Han, True Han
In the power vacuum left by the defeated Xin Dynasty's collapse, no fewer than six claimants to the long-vacant Throne of Han will vie for power... one backed by the Lülin Rebels, another by the Red Eyebrow Army, another a northern lord with an axe to grind, and a fortune-teller playing the role of a lifetime... who will emerge victorious to reunify the fractious Chinese Empire?  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information....

podcast history China spoken education

#33 - Xin 2: The Red Eyebrow Rebellion
All hell breaks loose for Wang Mang's Xin Dynasty when the Yellow River flooding its banks in 11 CE combines with the Xin's own incompetent response, leading to famine, rebellion, and a complete breakdown of the social order and the dynasty itself.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information....

podcast history China spoken education

#32 - Xin 1: Han, Interrupted
Confucian Wang Mang overthrows Han and sets up his Xin Dynasty to renew the Golden Age of Zhou through land nationalization, wealth redistribution, and currency reform. It seemed like a great idea on paper, but in practice things begin to horribly wrong almost immediately.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information....

podcast history China spoken education


#31 - W. Han 9: The Decline Of Han
The Han Dynasty has slipped into a malaise that seems difficult to pull out of. Emperor Yuan is an indecisive Confucianist, his successor Cheng an impotent and free-spending hedonist, and Ai a flamboyant grandma's boy who will try to bequeath the entire Empire to his male lover Dong Xian, with less than successful results. Is this the end for Han?  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information....

podcast history China spoken education

#30 - W. Han 8: Getting Over Wu
Following the historically long reign of Emperor Wu, the Han Empire struggles to find a replacement, in light of the designated heir being dead. The first choice will die without ever having tasted real power, the second an incompetent buffoon who won't last a month in office, until finally a real alternative can be found from the most unlikely of places: prison.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information....

podcast history China spoken education

#29 - W. Han 7: Every Direction But The Sea
In this last of three parts of Wu of Han, with the back of the once-mighty Xiongnu Empire broken, Emperor Wu's Han turns to the South, North, and West to gobble up most of its neighbor states in an orgy of expansion. At home, the aging Wu must contend with peasant uprisings, witchcraft directed against him, and his own building paranoia... any of which could destabilize that which he's spent a lifetime building.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information....

podcast history China spoken education


#28 - W. Han 6: The Sino-Xiongnu War
Tensions between the Han and Xiongnu Empires boil over into full-scale war after decades of humiliation at the hands of the northern horse-lords. When the traditional methods of neutralizing Xiongnu power fails, Emperor Wu must turn to a new generation of strategists to turn the Xiongnu's own strength against them: cavalry.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information....

podcast history China spoken education

#27 - W. Han 5: Go West, Young Han!
The young Emperor Wu of Han struggles to step out of the shadow of his grandmother and seize power in his own right. Meanwhile, he has sent an emissary behind enemy lines to find what mysterious peoples and empires lie far to the West, but it's uncertain what he'll find... or if he'll live to tell the tale.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information....

podcast history China spoken education

#26 - W. Han 4: The Rule Of Wen And Jing
The reigns of Han Emperors Wen and Jing took enormous strides to stabilize the dynasty both within and without. Lowered taxes, more lenient laws, and normalization of international relationships saw life under Wen and Jing greatly improve. But a blunder dealing with the autonomous Imperial Princes threatens to unmake everything...  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information....

podcast history China spoken education


#25 - W. Han 3: The Bloody Empress
With Han's first Emperor, Gaozu, dead, his wife the first Empress of China Lü Zhi plans on making a few... *alterations* to the goings on of court life. And she doesn't care who she has cut the arms and legs off of to achieve her goals.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information....

podcast history China spoken education

#24 - W. Han 2: Xiongnu to the Left of Me, Rebels to the Right...
The Han Dynasty is established by Liu Bang, who crowns himself it's first Emperor Gaozu. But though this is the beginning of a golden age for China, it get's off to a rough start, as to the north the steppe tribes have united into the terrifying Xiongnu Empire under the ancestor of Attila the Hun and Genghis Khan: Batur Chanyu. Within the empire itself, a murder-happy Empress Lü will inadvertently incite rebellions against her husband's rule.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information....

podcast history China spoken education

#23 - W. Han 1: The Chu-Han Contention
With the Qin Dynasty dead and buried, the victorious rebels turn on one another to establish who will be the next power in China. The Hegemon-King of Chu, Xiang Yu, squares off against his great rival the King of Han, Liu Bang.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information....

podcast history China spoken education


#22 - Qin 3: Web Of Deception
Following the First Emperor's "Weekend At Bernie's"-esque death, the Qin Dynasty is thrown into turmoil over who will succeed the Emperor who sought to live forever. But at the heart of this web of intrigue sits the eunuch Zhao Gao, pulling the threads of the dynasty itself toward his own mysterious ends.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information....

podcast history China spoken education

#21 - Qin 2: One Nation Under Qin
The victor of the Warring States Period has unified China into its first Empire and taken the name Shi Huang Di. Thereafter, he will expand his borders, unify his nation's language, build a Great Wall to the north, and attempt to stave off death itself.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information....

podcast history China spoken education

#20 - Qin 1: There Can Be Only One
In this final conclusion of the Warring States Period, the King of Qin at last begins his campaign to destroy the other six kingdoms and unify China under a new dynasty. But he'll have to contend with military setbacks, tenacious defenders, and assassins who will do anything to stop him.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information....

podcast history China spoken education


#19 - E. Zhou 8: The End Of Zhou
In this first of two part exploring the end of the Warring States Period, Qin continues its campaign again the six other fractious kingdoms, decimating Zhao and Yan before putting the Zhou Dynasty itself to rest forever.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information....

podcast history China spoken education

#18 - E. Zhou 7: Shifting Loyalties, Uneasy Alliances
Qin's power continues to grow unabated, as the other states struggle to put aside their own differences long enough to deal with this emergent threat to their balance of power. As hastily put together "Vertical Alliance" might have the capacity to check Qin encroachment, but the King of Qin has dispatched his own agents to foreign courts to lure them away from their allies by promising them the moon and stars...  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information....

podcast history China spoken education

#17 - E. Zhou 6: Qin's Reformation And Ascension
A brief synopsis of Tomb Sweeping Festival, it's traditions and expectations... then onto the state of Qin's early defeats at the hands of a combined Wei and Han. It's Qin's subsequent reforms at the hand of the Legalist Shang Yang,however, that are the real focus of this episode. Newly centralized and militarized, the now Kingdom of Qin begins it it's expansion, beginning with the independent realms of Sichuan. And for his efforts, Shang Yang will find himself pulled apart by chariots, and his family ann...

podcast history China spoken education


#16 - E. Zhou 5: The Partition of Jin
The transition from the Spring and Autumn to the Warring States Period is, all in all, an eight decade process. But the major event that would shape the conflict to come is the civil war that would destroy the pre-eminent power of the 6th century BCE Zhou Empire, and result in the total breakup of the State of Jin into three of the seven soon-to-be warring states: Han, Wei, and Zhao.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information....

podcast history China spoken education

#15 - E. Zhou 4: The Art of War
The magnum opus of the legendary general and tactician of the Spring and Autumn Period, Sun Tzu. In this episode, we go over the life of the military genius, as well as an overview of his manual to success on the battlefield, and how it remains relevant and insightful even today.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information....

podcast history China spoken education

#14 - E. Zhou 3: Confucius Says...
This episode we chronicle the life of Master Kong A.K.A. Confucius, as well as detail his socio-political philosophies which would shape the future of China, as well as those of much of the rest of East Asia. Less fighting, more thinking, in the first of two interim episodes before plunging headlong into the chaos of the Warring States...  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information....

podcast history China spoken education


#13 - E. Zhou 2: The Widening Gyre
Spheres of domination, intrafamiliar betrayal, and tangled alliances are the markers of the second portion of the Spring and Autumn period, called the Age of Encroachments. All of this leading to the major powers of the Zhou Empire to engage in decades-long draw out proxy-wars along their borders... all leading toward war outright and the near-destruction of Chu by a new player from the southeast, Wu.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information....

podcast history China spoken education

#12 - E. Zhou 1: The Shattered Empire
King You of Zhou lays headless, the capital a smouldering ruin, and royal authority utterly destroyed. Regional lords exploit the chaos at hand to expand their own domains - and at times declare their own kingdoms - while the new, toothless Eastern Zhou kings struggle to stabilize the situation. After a holiday break, we're right back into the action with the beginnings of the Spring and Autumn Period.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information....

podcast history China spoken education

#11 - Special: Gong Xi Fa Cai!
This Episode, we take a time-out from the historical flow to take advantage of the upcoming Chinese New Year festivities. We explore the history, legends, customs, and meaning behind this ancient and storied period of celebration. Happy Year of the Yang Wood Horse!  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information....

podcast history China spoken education


#10 - W. Zhou 2: The King Who Cried "Barbarian!"
This episode, we start at the mid-point of the Western Zhou period, and follow it all the way down to its conclusion with the shattering of Royal authority, the sacking of the capital, and the vengeance of the White Wolf Clans on the Zhou. By the end of the episode, though a Zhou king will remain on the throne, we've seen the end (for now) of a unified state in anything but name...  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information....

podcast history China spoken education

#9 - W. Zhou 1: Heaven Does Not Make Propositions
The self-proclaimed Kung Wu of Zhou stands triumphant amid the smoking ruins of the Shang Dynasty... but though the war is over, victory is far from assured. With his premature death, his unready heir will prompt rebellion against the fledgling Zhou Dynasty - not only by the Shang remnant, but also his own uncles! To cement their hold on power, the Zhou will be forced to construct a new standard of legitimacy: The Mandate of Heaven.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information....

podcast history China spoken education

#8 - Shang 3: The Shang Vanquished
This episode we chronicle the decline and eventual fall of the once-glorious Shang Dynasty to the same vices and evils that spelled doom for the Xia centuries ago. In the West, a powerful new clan calling itself the Zhou has risen to power, eventually with an eye to make right what the final Shang Kings have twisted so horribly wrong. Along the way, we'll colonize the Japanese islands and raise a minor Chinese prince to the King of Korea.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information....

podcast history China spoken education


#7 - Shang 2: The Shang Triumphant
In this first of two parts, we look at the first half of the Shang Dynasty beginning with the victory and reign of Tang "The Perfect" and leaving off 21 emperors, five capitals, and 400 years later with the amazing reign of Wu Ding and his warrior-priestess wife Lady Fu Hao. Along the way, there are warlike redheaded Xirong, Demonic Mongols, and Blue Barbarians.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information....

podcast history China spoken education

#6 - Shang 1: Them Bones, Them Bones, Them Oracle Bones
We take a "time out" from our forward-marching chronology to examine the evidence we have of the Shang state, and how we came to know what we know about his period. Mostly, it's about what we can learn from reading divine messages off of dragon bones.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information....

podcast history China spoken education

#5 - Xia 3: The Fall Of The House Of Xia
This episode we cover our source materials, and then delve into the latter half of the Xia Dynasty post Shao Kang's restoration. It all ends with the corrupt and cruel Emperor Jie coming face to face with the Army of Shang bearing down on him, intent on ending his reign of terror once and for all.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information....

podcast history China spoken education


#4 - Xia 2: Revenge of the Xia!
This time, we take an in depth look into Shao Kang, the prince born in hiding who would rise from his dynasty's ashes to seek revenge against the Usurper-General Han Zhuo who had ruthlessly pursued him. Through a combination of skill, luck, and patience, Shao Kang will cobble together a force able to meet Han Zhuo's armies in battle.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information....

podcast history China spoken education

#3 - Xia 1: The Xia, China's First Dynasty
This week we move into the beginnings of China’s dynastic period where rulers began favoring birthright over merit – and the consequences will be almost immediately apparent. Beginning with the triumphant reign of the heroic Yu the Great, the Xia’s semi-accidental trip into dynastic succession will swiftly spiral downward, eventually leaving a usurping general in power, and the House of Xia all but exterminated after decades in exile. Rebooted as of 09/06/2016  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out...

podcast history China spoken education

#2 - Origins 2: Five Emperors, Twelve Islands
This episode, we enter the second half of our gaze into the Chinese origins mythos. Focusing on the Five Emperors descended from the Yellow Emperor, this period marks the beginning of the transformation of the Huaxia People from settled tribe, to dynastic feudal kingdom. There will be betrayal, cataclysmic flooding, bird kingdoms, the Vietnamese, magical earth, and – of course – dragons. UPDATE: as of 08/28/2016, this episode has been fully rebooted from the ground up. Enjoy!  See acast.com/privacy for pri...

podcast history China spoken education


#1 - Origins 1: The Mythical Origins Of The Middle Kingdom
In episode 1, we begin with an introduction to this podcast, followed by a brief overview of what we’ve come to know about early human migration and settlement in the region that will eventually become China. Finally, we’ll delve into the mythological origin story that purports to tell of the three divine Sovereigns who would create and then rule over the Han people. I’m very excited to be getting this journey underway! Once again welcome, and thank you for listening. UPDATE: As of 08/28/2016, this episode ...

podcast history China spoken education