In the imperial age of China (from 3nd century BC to the beginning of the 20th century), maintaining political order and social stability proves to be the most challenging and complex task for the Chinese state and its ruling class in any given moment. That developing bureaucratic institutions and enforcing the mechanism of social control are among the most important aspects to achieve this goal. For many decades, scholars around the world have investigated these aspects using different methodologies and materials, the four papers of this paper will address these issues from new perspectives and using newly unearthed sources. This session also attempts to demonstrate the growing interdisciplinary nature of the study of Chinese history in recent decades.
Hou Xudong explores the relationship between the use of chuan She (Postal way station) in the Han Dynasty and the rule of the Han Empire. Yang Lu’s paper, which is entitled Why did the Tang Empire fall, or did it, addresses the perplex phenomenon of the collapse of the Tang Dynasty. Liu Yi paper, The State Management of the Institutes for the Buddhist Scripture Translation in Ancient China, discusses the State management of the institutes for the Buddhist scripture translation in ancient China. The title of Yu Xin (Fudan University)’s paper is Heavenly Abnormality and Political Order: The Historical Writing of Aurora in Medieval East Asia. It investigates how the recording of a unique natural phenomenon, aurora, in ancient East Asia reflects the system of knowledge and different ideas of political control.