History of Chinese Literature From The Beginning

31st Oct 2021

Chinese literature is called a vast subject, and it spans thousands of years. Much of the serious literature was composed using a formal written language called Classical Chinese, and it is of the interesting things about Chinese literature.

If you have come to the internet to know Chinese literature, you have come to the right site. Keep scrolling this page and know about Chinese Literature.

Chinese Literature History Science The Starting

In this article, I will add some information about the literature in China. Fiction, philosophical and religious works, poetry, and scientific writings are included in Chinese literature.

During the Zhou, Qin, and Han eras spanning 1050 BC to 220 AD, people of many different ethnic groups and countries used the writing language. I also mention some other information in detail in this whole article. So please don’t waste any more time and let’s start reading.

Shang Dynasty (about 1700-1050 BC) — Development of Chinese Writing

Shang Dynasty is the first dynasty of Chinese literature. The Shang Dynasty is the historical Record and archaeological evidence, a small empire in northern central China. In this dynasty, the hieroglyphic writing system was developed into ideographic and partly-phonetic Chinese characters.

Zhou Dynasty (1045-255 BC) — Basic Philosophical and Religious Literature

Zhou Dynasty came when they conquered the Shang Dynasty, and this dynasty was contemporary with the Shang Dynasty. Though this dynasty lasted for about 800 years, their original territory was broken into dozens of competing kingdoms. Philosophy and religion are great literary works that became the basis for Chinese religion.

Qin Dynasty (221-206 BC) — Literary Disaster and Legalism

The Warring States Period is called at the end of the Zhou Dynasty. Qin Dynasty became the most powerful of the surviving few big states in the land.

There were big armies in this dynasty, so they conquered the others. Though an early form of Buddhism was established in China, their temples and literature were destroyed, and even less is known about them.

Han Dynasty (206 BC – 220 AD) — Scientific and Historical Texts

A former peasant leader overthrew the Qin Empire. Then the Han Dynasty started, and it lasted for 400 years. Confucianism was revived at the starting of this Era, and the writers rewrote & republished Confucian.

Historical Record is a major history concerning the overall history of China that Sima Qian wrote. Everyone considered this book’s prose a model for writers in succeeding dynastic eras.

Tang Dynasty (618-907) — Early Woodblock Printing and Poetry

Tang Dynasty had come after the Han Dynasty that had a big empire, and it was benefited from trade with the West along the Silk Road. Tang Dynasty’s main contribution to Chinese literature was Dufu, Li Bai, and many other poets. At that time, Li Bai (701–762) was known as one of the greatest romantic poets of ancient China, writing thousands of poems.

Song Dynasty (960-1279)

Early Woodblock Printing, Travel Literature, Poetry, Scientific Texts, and the Neo-Confucian Classics.

Song Dynasty, though it was weaker than the Tang Dynasty, the imperial government officials made remarkable scientific and technical advances. Military technology was also so advanced. Initially, the Song Dynasty was divided into the Northern Song (960-1127) and Southern Song (1127-1279) eras.

Yuan Dynasty (1279-1368) — Drama and Great Fictional Novels

Yuan Dynasty is the next Era after the Song Dynasty. This dynasty had a big empire with high technology, a big population, and a big army. After having these types of power, they decided to conquer all the countries around them.

The Tang Dynasty, the Dali Kingdom in Yunnan, and much of Asia were attacked and formed the biggest empire in the earth’s history.

Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) — Novels

Ming Dynasty-era began about 1368 after the Chinese rebelled against the Mongols. The Ming was interested in exploration. This Era was the golden time for Chinese novels.

Chinese literature had done many developments in the novel segments and produced many world popular novels. Journey to the West is just an example in this sector.

Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) — Novels and Pre-modern Literature

After invading the Ming Empire from the north, the Manchus established the Qing Dynasty’s last dynasty in Chinese literature. Though the Manchus were not Chinese, they retained the Neo-Confucian governing system of the Song and Ming eras.

This Era was the pre-order of the modern Era. Foreign literature and the West became better known in the 19th century. In this Era, people got so many opportunities like travel abroad to study, schools built by missionaries educated tens of thousands of students, etc.

Modern Era (1912-present) — Westernized Literature

The final and last Era was the Modern Era. This Era was also known as Westernized Literature. A revolution was led by Sun Yat-sen that marked the end of Chinese dynasties in which a clan rules an empire.

A significant change in Chinese society happened with government change that led to a change in literature.  Japan attacked China. China got a communist victory, and the literature approved by the government was allowed.

I think these are enough for this article. I hope you guys will be beneficial after reading this article from fast to last. Though all of the data were taken from a valuable source, this article can be fauld.

If you notice any wrong information, please inform us of the right one by adding a comment in the comment box below.

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