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17 février 2012 5 17 /02 /février /2012 03:07

Bureaus and offices for the imperial household

The imperial household was staffed almost entirely by eunuchs and ladies with their own bureaus.[90] Female servants were organized into the Bureau of Palace Attendance, Bureau of Ceremonies, Bureau of Apparel, Bureau of Foodstuffs, Bureau of the Bedchamber, Bureau of Handicrafts, and Office of Staff Surveillance.[90] Sony VAIO VGN-Z25/B Battery Starting in the 1420s, eunuchs began taking over these ladies' positions until only the Bureau of Apparel with its four subsidiary offices remained.[90] Hongwu had his eunuchs organized into the Directorate of Palace Attendants, but as eunuch power at court increased, so did their administrative offices, with eventual twelve directorates, four offices, and eight bureaus.[90] Sony VAIO VGN-Z25TN/B Battery The dynasty had a vast imperial household, staffed with thousands of eunuchs, who were headed by the Directorate of Palace Attendants. The eunuchs were divided into different directorates in charge of staff surveillance, ceremonial rites, food, utensils, documents, stables, seals, apparel, and so on.[91] Sony VAIO VGN-Z26TN/B Battery The offices were in charge of providing fuel, music, paper, and baths.[91] The bureaus were in charge of weapons, silverwork, laundering, headgear, bronzework, textile manufacture, wineries, and gardens.[91] At times, the most influential eunuch in the Directorate of Ceremonial acted as a de facto dictator over the state.[92] Sony VAIO VGN-Z27 Battery Although the imperial household was staffed mostly by eunuchs and palace ladies, there was a civil service office called the Seal Office, which cooperated with eunuch agencies in maintaining imperial seals, tallies, and stamps.[93] There were also civil service offices to oversee the affairs of imperial princes.[94] Sony VAIO VGN-Z27/B Battery


After the reign of Hongwu—who from 1373 to 84 staffed his bureaus with officials gathered through recommendations only—the scholar-officials who populated the many ranks of bureaucracy were recruited through a rigorous examination system that was first established by the Sui Dynasty (581–618). Sony VAIO VGN-Z27TN/X Battery Theoretically the system of exams allowed anyone to join the ranks of imperial officials (although frowned upon for merchants to join); in reality the time and funding needed to support the study in preparation for the exam generally limited participants to those already coming from the landholding class. Sony VAIO VGN-Z29N Battery However, the government did exact provincial quotas while drafting officials.[99] This was an effort to curb monopolization of power by landholding gentry who came from the most prosperous regions, where education was the most advanced.[100] Sony VAIO VGN-Z29N/X Battery The expansion of the printing industry since Song times enhanced the spread of knowledge and number of potential exam candidates throughout the provinces.[101] For young schoolchildren there were printedmultiplication tables and primers for elementary vocabulary; for adult examination candidates there were mass-produced, inexpensive volumes of Confucian classics and successful examination answers.[102] Sony VAIO VGN-Z31MN/B Battery As in earlier periods, the focus of the examination was classical Confucian texts,[96] while the bulk of test material centered on theFour Books outlined by Zhu Xi in the 12th century.[103] Ming era examinations were perhaps more difficult to pass since the 1487 requirement of completing the "eight-legged essay", Sony VAIO VGN-Z31VN/X Battery a departure from basing essays off progressing literary trends.[103][104] The exams increased in difficulty as the student progressed from the local level, and appropriate titles were accordingly awarded successful applicants. Officials were classified in nine hierarchic grades, each grade divided into two degrees, Sony VAIO VGN-Z31WN/B Battery with ranging salaries (nominally paid in piculs of rice) according to their rank.[105] While provincial graduates who were appointed to office were immediately assigned to low-ranking posts like the county graduates, Sony VAIO VGN-Z31ZN/X Battery those who passed the palace examination were awarded a jinshi ('presented scholar') degree and assured a high-level position.[106][107] In 276 years of Ming rule and ninety palace examinations, the number of doctoral degrees granted by passing the palace examinations was 24,874.[106] Sony VAIO VGN-Z35 Battery Ebrey states that "there were only two to four thousand of thesejinshi at any given time, on the order of one out of 10,000 adult males."[99] This was in comparison to the 100,000 shengyuan ('government students'), the lowest tier of graduates, by the 16th century.[99] Sony VAIO VGN-Z35/B Battery The maximum tenure in office was nine years, but every three years officials were graded on their performance by senior officials.[108] If they were graded as superior then they were promoted, if graded adequate then they retained their ranks, and if graded inadequate they were demoted one rank. Sony VAIO VGN-Z35TN/B Battery In extreme cases, officials would be dismissed or punished. Only capital officials of grade 4 and above were exempt from the scrutiny of recorded evaluation, although they were expected to confess any of their faults.[80] There were over 4,000 school instructors in county and prefectural schools who were subject to evaluations every nine years. Sony VAIO VGN-Z36GD Battery The Chief Instructor on the prefectural level was classified as equal to a second-grade county graduate.[109] The Supervisorate of Imperial Instruction oversaw the education of the heir apparent to the throne; this office was headed by a Grand Supervisor of Instruction, who was ranked as first class of grade three.[94] Sony VAIO VGN-Z36GD/B Battery

Lesser functionaries

Scholar-officials who entered civil service through examinations acted as executive officials to a much larger body of non-ranked personnel called lesser functionaries. They outnumbered officials by four to one; Charles Hucker estimates that they were perhaps as many as 100,000 throughout the empire. Sony VAIO VGN-Z36GD/J Battery These lesser functionaries performed clerical and technical tasks for government agencies. Yet they should not be confused with lowly lictors, runners, and bearers; lesser functionaries were given periodic merit evaluations like officials and after nine years of service might be accepted into a low civil service rank.[110] Sony VAIO VGN-Z36TD/B Battery The one great advantage of the lesser functionaries over officials was that officials were periodically rotated and assigned to different regional posts and had to rely on the good service and cooperation of the local lesser functionaries.[111] Sony VAIO VGN-Z36TD/J Battery

Eunuchs, princes, and generals

Eunuchs during the Ming Dynasty gained unprecedented power over state affairs. One of the most effective means of control was the secret service stationed in what was called the Eastern Depot at the beginning of the dynasty, later the Western Depot. Sony VAIO VGN-Z37D Battery This secret service was overseen by the Directorate of Ceremonial, hence this state organ's often totalitarian affiliation.[91] Eunuchs had ranks that were equivalent to civil service ranks, only theirs had four grades instead of nine.[112] Sony VAIO VGN-Z37D/B Battery Princes and descendants of the first Ming emperor were given nominal military commands and large land estates without title. These estates were not feudatories, the princes did not serve any administrative function, and it was only during the reign of the first two emperors that they partook in military affairs.[113Sony VAIO VGN-Z37GD Battery ] By contrast, princes in the Han and Jin Dynasties had been installed as local kings. Although princes served no organ of state administration, princes, consorts of imperial princesses, and ennobled relatives did staff the Imperial Clan Court, which took care of the imperial genealogy.[94] Sony VAIO VGN-Z37GD/X Battery Like scholar-officials, military generals were ranked in a hierarchic grading system and were given merit evaluations every five years (as opposed to three years for officials).[114] However, military officers had less prestige than officials. Sony VAIO VGN-Z39D Battery This was due to their hereditary service (instead of solely merit-based) and Confucian values that dictated those who chose the profession of violence (wu) over the cultured pursuits of knowledge (wen).[114][115] Sony VAIO VGN-Z39D/X Battery Although seen as less prestigious, military officers were not excluded from taking civil service examinations and after 1478 the military even held their own examinations to test military skills.[116] Sony VAIO VGN-Z41MD/B Battery In addition to taking over the established bureaucratic structure from the Yuan period, the Ming emperors established the new post of the travelling military inspector. In the early half of the dynasty, men of noble lineage dominated the higher ranks of military office; this trend was reversed during the latter half of the dynasty as men from more humble origins eventually displaced them.[117]Sony VAIO VGN-Z41WD/B Battery As in earlier dynasties, the Ming Dynasty saw a flourishing in the arts, whether it was painting, poetry, music, literature, ordramatic theater. Carved designs in lacquerwares and designs glazed onto porcelain wares displayed intricate scenes similar in complexity to those in painting. Sony VAIO VGN-Z45GD/B Battery These items could be found in the homes of the wealthy, alongside embroidered silks and wares injade, ivory, and cloisonné. The houses of the rich were also furnished with rosewood furniture and feathery latticework. The writing materials in a scholar's private study, including elaborately carved brush holders made of stone or wood, were all designed and arranged ritually to give an aesthetic appeal.[118] Sony VAIO VGN-Z45TD/B Battery Connoisseurship in the late Ming period centered around these items of refined artistic taste, which provided work for art dealers and even underground scammers who made phony imitations of originals and false attributions to works of art.[118] This was noted even by the Jesuit Matteo Ricci while staying in Nanjing, writing that Chinese scam artists were ingenious when it came to making forgeries of artwork and made huge profits.[119] Sony VAIO VGN-Z46GD/B Battery However, there were guides to help the wary new connoisseur; in Liu Tong's (d. 1637) book printed in 1635, he told his readers various ways to spot a fake and authentic pieces of art.[120] He revealed that aXuande era (1426–1435) bronzework could be authenticated if one knew how to judge its sheen; porcelain wares from the Yongle era (1402–1424) could be judged authentic by their thickness.[121] Sony VAIO VGN-Z46GD/U Battery There was a great amount of literary achievement in the Ming Dynasty. Xu Xiake (1587–1641), atravel literature author, published his Travel Diaries in 404,000 written characters, with information on everything from local geography to mineralogy.[122][123] The first reference to the publishing of private newspapers in Beijing was in 1582; Sony VAIO VGN-Z46MD/B Battery by 1638 the Beijing Gazette switched from using woodblock print to movable type printing.[124] The new literary field of the moral guide to business ethics was developed by the late Ming period, for the readership of the merchant class.[125] Although short story fiction was popular as far back as the Tang Dynasty (618–907),[126] Sony VAIO VGN-Z46SD/B Battery and the work of contemporaneous authors such as Xu Guangqi, Xu Xiake, and Song Yingxing were often technical and encyclopedic, the Ming era witnessed the development of the novel. While the gentry elite were educated enough to fully comprehend the language of Classical Chinese, Sony VAIO VGN-Z46TD/B Battery those with rudimentary education—?such as women in educated families, merchants, and shop clerks?—became a large, potential audience for literature and performing arts that employed Vernacular Chinese.[127] Sony VAIO VGN-Z46TD/R Battery The Jin Ping Mei, published in 1610, is considered by some to be the fifth great novel of pre-modern China, in reference to the Four Great Classical Novels. Two of these novels, the Water Margin and Journey to the West were products of the Ming Dynasty. To complement the work of novels, Sony VAIO VGN-Z47GD/X Battery the theater scripts of playwrights were equally imaginative. One of the most famous plays in Chinese history, The Peony Pavilion, was written by the Ming playwright Tang Xianzu (1550–1616), with its first performance at the Pavilion of Prince Teng in 1598. Sony VAIO VGN-Z48GD/X Battery In contrast to Xu Xiake, who focused on technical aspects in his travel literature, the Chinese poet and official Yuan Hongdao(1568–1610) used travel literature to express his desires for individualism as well as autonomy from and frustration with Confucian court politics.[128] Sony VAIO VGN-Z48TD/X Battery Yuan desired to free himself from the ethical compromises which were inseparable from the career of a scholar-official. This anti-official sentiment in Yuan's travel literature and poetry was actually following in the tradition of the Song Dynasty poet and official Su Shi (1037–1101).[129] Sony VAIO VGN-Z51WG/B Battery Yuan Hongdao and his two brothers, Yuan Zongdao (1560–1600) and Yuan Zhongdao (1570–1623), were the founders of the Gong'an School of letters.[130] This highly individualistic school of poetry and prose was criticized by the Confucian establishment for its association with intense sensual lyricism, Sony VAIO VGN-Z51XG/B Battery which was also apparent in Ming vernacular novels such as the Jin Ping Mei.[130] Yet even gentry and scholar-officials were affected by the new popular romantic literature, seeking courtesans as soulmates to reenact the heroic love stories which arranged marriages often could not provide or accommodate.[131] Sony VAIO VGN-Z530N/B BatteryThere were many famous visual artists in the Ming period, including Ni Zan, Shen Zhou, Tang Yin, Wen Zhengming, Qiu Ying, Dong Qichang, and many others. They drew upon the techniques, styles, and complexity in painting achieved by their Song and Yuan predecessors, but added some new techniques and styles. Sony VAIO VGN-Z540EBB Battery Well-known Ming artists could make a living simply by painting, due to the high prices they demanded for their artworks and the great demand by the highly cultured community to collect precious works of art. Sony VAIO VGN-Z540NLB Battery The artist Qiu Ying was once paid 2.8 kg (100 oz) of silver to paint a long handscroll for the occasion of an eightieth birthday celebration for the mother of a wealthy patron. Renowned artists often gathered an entourage of followers, some who were amateurs who painted while pursuing an official career and others who were full-time painters.[132] Sony VAIO VGN-Z540NMB Battery Beyond painters, some potters also became renowned for their artwork, such as He Chaozong in the early 17th century for his style of white porcelain sculpture. The major production centers for porcelain items in the Ming Dynasty were Jingdezhen in Jiangxiprovince and Dehua in Fujian province. Sony VAIO VGN-Z550N/B Battery The Dehua porcelain factories catered to European tastes by creating Chinese export porcelain by the 16th century. In The Ceramic Trade in Asia, Chuimei Ho estimates that about 16% of late Ming era Chinese ceramic exports were sent to Europe while the rest were destined for Japan and South East Asia.[133] Sony VAIO VGN-Z55F Battery


The dominant religious beliefs during the Ming dynasty were the traditional mixtures of ancestor worship, Daoism and Buddhism. The Chinese believed in a host of deities in what may be termed Chinese folk religion. Sony VAIO VGN-Z55TG/B Battery The late Ming period saw the first arrival of Jesuit missionaries from Europe such as Matteo Ricci and Nicolas Trigault. There were also other denominations including the Dominicans and Franciscans. Sony VAIO VGN-Z56GG/B Battery Ricci worked with the Chinese mathematician, astronomer, and agronomist Xu Guangqi to translate the Greek mathematical workEuclid's Elements into Chinese for the first time in 1607. The Chinese were impressed with European knowledge in astronomy, calendrical science, mathematics, hydraulics, Sony VAIO VGN-Z56GG/E Battery and geography. Most European monks presented themselves more as educated elites than religious figures, in an effort to gain trust and admiration from the Chinese.[134] However, most Chinese were suspicious and even outright critical of Christianity due to Chinese beliefs and practices that did not coincide with the Christian faith.[134] Sony VAIO VGN-Z56GGX Battery The highpoint of this contention was the Nanjing Religious Incident of 1616–22, a temporary triumph of the Confucian traditionalists when Western missionaries and science were rejected in favor of the belief that Western science derived from a superior Chinese model; this was soon rejected in favor of once again staffing the Imperial Astronomical Board with Western missionaries learned in science.[135] Sony VAIO VGN-Z56TG/B Battery Besides Christianity, the Kaifeng Jews had a long history in China; Ricci discovered this when he was contacted by one of them in Beijing and learned of their history in China.[136] Islam in China had existed since the early 7th century during the Tang Dynasty;Sony VAIO VGN-Z56TG/E Battery during the Ming Dynasty there were several prominent figures—including Zheng He—who was Muslim. The Hongwu Emperor also employed Muslim commanders in his army, such as Chang Yuqun, Lan Yu, Ding Dexing, and Mu Ying.[137] Sony VAIO VGN-Z56TG/R Battery


During the Ming Dynasty, the doctrines of the Song Dynasty scholar-official Zhu Xi (1130–1200) and Neo-Confucianism were embraced by the court and the Chinese literati at large. However, total conformity to a single mode of thought was never a reality in the intellectual sphere of society. Sony VAIO VGN-Z570N/B Battery There were some in the Ming who—like Su Shi (1037–1101) of the Song—were rebels at heart and were not abashed to criticize the mainstream dogmatic modes of thought. Leading a new strand of Confucian teaching and philosophy was the scholar-officialWang Yangming (1472–1529), whose critics said that his teachings were contaminated by Chan Buddhism.[138] Sony VAIO VGN-Z57G Battery In analyzing Zhu Xi's concept of "the extension of knowledge" (i.e. gaining understanding through careful and rational investigation of things and events; Chinese: ??, or ????), Wang realized that universal principles were concepts espoused in the minds of all.[139]Breaking from the mold, Sony VAIO VGN-Z57GG/X BatteryWang said that anyone, no matter what socioeconomic status or background, could become as wise as the ancient sages Confucius and Mencius, and that the writings of the latter two were not the source of truth, but merely guides that could have flaws if carefully examined.[140] Sony VAIO VGN-Z57GGX Battery In Wang's mind, a peasant who had many experiences and drew natural truths from these was more wise than an official who had carefully studied the Classics but had not experienced the real world in order to observe what was true.[140] Sony VAIO VGN-Z57TG/X Battery

Conservative reaction

Conservative Confucian officials were wary of Wang's philosophical interpretation of the Confucian classics, the increasing number of his disciples while still in office, and his overall socially rebellious message.[138] Sony VAIO VGN-Z58GG/X Battery To curb his political influence he was often sent out to deal with military affairs and rebellions far away from the capital.[138] Yet his ideas penetrated mainstream Chinese thought, and spurred new interest in Daoism and Buddhism.[138] Sony VAIO VGN-Z58GGX BatteryFurthermore, people began to question the validity of the social hierarchy and the idea that the scholar was above the farmer.[138] Wang Yangming's disciple and salt-mine worker Wang Gen gave lectures to commoners about pursuing education to improve their lives, Sony VAIO VGN-Z590NJB Battery while his follower He Xinyin ??? challenged the elevation and emphasis of the family in Chinese society.[138] His contemporary Li Zhi ?? (1527–1602) even taught that women were the intellectual equals of men and should be given a better education; both Li and He eventually died in prison, Sony VAIO VGN-Z590UAB Battery jailed on charges of spreading "dangerous ideas".[141] Yet these "dangerous ideas" of educating women had long been embraced with mothers giving their children primary education,[142] as well as courtesans who were as literate and similarly trained in calligraphy, painting, and poetry as their male hosts.[143] Sony VAIO VGN-Z591U/B Battery In opposition to the liberal views of Wang Yangming were the conservative officials in the censorate—a governmental institution with the right and responsibility to speak out against malfeasance and abuse of power—and the senior officials of the Donglin Academy, which was reestablished in 1604.[144] Sony VAIO VGN-Z59G Battery These conservatives wanted a revival of orthodox Confucian ethics. Conservatives such as Gu Xiancheng (1550–1612) argued against Wang Yangming's idea of innate moral knowledge, stating that this was simply a legitimization for unscrupulous behavior such as greedy pursuits and personal gain.[144] Sony VAIO VGN-Z620D Battery These two strands of Confucian thought created factionalism amongst ministers of state, who—like the old days of Wang Anshi and Sima Guang in the Song Dynasty—used any opportunity to impeach members of the other faction from court.[144] Sony VAIO VGN-Z620N/B Battery

Urban and rural life

Wang Gen was able to give philosophical lectures to many commoners from different regions because—following the trend already apparent in the Song Dynasty—communities in Ming society were becoming less isolated as the distance between market towns was shrinking. Schools, descent groups, Sony VAIO VGN-Z650N/B Battery religious associations, and other local voluntary organizations were increasing in number and allowing more contact between educated men and local villagers.[145] Jonathan Spence writes that the distinction between what was town and country was blurred in Ming China, since suburban areas with farms were located just outside and in some cases within the walls of a city. Sony VAIO VGN-Z670N/B Battery Not only was the blurring of town and country evident, but also of socioeconomic class in the traditional four occupations (Chinese: ????), since artisans sometimes worked on farms in peak periods and farmers often traveled into the city to find work during times of dearth.[146] Sony VAIO VGN-Z690CTO Battery A variety of occupations could be chosen or inherited from a father's line of work. This would include—but was not limited to—coffinmakers, ironworkers and blacksmiths, tailors, cooks and noodle-makers, retail merchants, tavern, teahouse, or winehouse managers, shoemakers, seal cutters, pawnshop owners, brothel heads, and merchant bankers engaging in a proto-banking system involving notes of exchange.[60][147] Sony VAIO VGN-Z690NAX Battery Virtually every town had a brothel where female and male prostitutes could be had.[148] Male catamites fetched a higher price than female concubines since pederasty with a teenage boy was seen as a mark of elite status, regardless of sodomy being repugnant to sexual norms.[149] Public bathing became much more common than in earlier periods.[150] Sony VAIO VGN-Z690PAB Battery Urban shops and retailers sold a variety of goods such as special paper money to burn at ancestral sacrifices, specialized luxury goods, headgear, fine cloth, teas, and others.[147] Smaller communities and townships too poor or scattered to support shops and artisans obtained their goods from periodic market fairs and traveling peddlers. Sony VAIO VGN-Z690PCB Battery A small township also provided a place for simple schooling, news and gossip, matchmaking, religious festivals, traveling theater groups, tax collection, and bases of famine relief distribution.[146] Sony VAIO VGN-Z690PDB Battery Farming villagers in the north spent their days harvesting crops like wheat and millet, while farmers south of the Huai Riverengaged in intensive rice cultivation and had lakes and ponds where ducks and fish could be raised. The cultivation of mulberry trees for silkworms and tea bushes could be found mostly south of the Yangzi River; even further south of this sugarcane and citrus were grown as basic crops.[146] Sony VAIO VGN-Z690PEB Battery Some people in the mountainous southwest made a living by selling lumber from hard bamboo. Besides cutting down trees to sell wood, the poor also made a living by turning wood into charcoal, burning oyster shells to make lime, fired pots, and wove mats and baskets.[151] In the north traveling by horse and carriage was most common, Sony VAIO VGN-Z690PFB Battery while in the south the myriad of rivers, canals, and lakes provided cheap and easy water transport. Although the south had the characteristic of the wealthy landlord and tenant farmers, there were on average many more owner-cultivators north of the Huai River due to harsher climate, living not far above subsistence level.[152] Sony VAIO VGN-Z690YAD Battery Science and technology Compared to the flourishing of science and technology in the Song Dynasty, the Ming Dynasty perhaps saw fewer advancements in science and technology compared to the pace of discovery in the Western world. In fact, key advances in Chinese science in the late Ming were spurred by contact with Europe. Sony VAIO VGN-Z691Y/B Battery In 1626 Johann Adam Schall von Bell wrote the first Chinese treatise on thetelescope, the Yuanjingshuo (Far Seeing Optic Glass); in 1634 the last Ming emperor Chongzhen acquired the telescope of the lateJohann Schreck (1576–1630).[153] Sony VAIO VGN-Z691Y/X Battery The heliocentric model of the solar system was rejected by the Catholic missionaries in China, but Johannes Kepler and Galileo Galilei's ideas slowly trickled into China starting with the Polish Jesuit Michael Boym (1612–59) in 1627, Adam Schall von Bell's treatise in 1640, and finally Joseph Edkins, Sony VAIO VGN-Z698Y/X Battery Alex Wylie, and John Fryer in the 19th century.[154]Catholic Jesuits in China would promote Copernican theory at court, yet at the same time embrace the Ptolemaic system in their writing; it was not until 1865 that Catholic missionaries in China sponsored the heliocentric model as their Protestant peers did.[155] Sony VAIO VGN-Z699JAB Battery Although Shen Kuo (1031–95) and Guo Shoujing (1231–316) had laid the basis for trigonometry in China, another important work in Chinese trigonometry would not be published again until 1607 with the efforts of Xu Guangqi and Matteo Ricci.[156]Ironically, some inventions which had their origins in ancient China were reintroduced to China from Europe during the late Ming; for example, the field mill.[157] Sony VAIO VGN-Z70B Battery The Chinese calendar was in need of reform since it inadequately measured the solar year at 365?¼ days, giving an error of 10 min and 14 sec a year or roughly a full day every 128 years.[158] Although the Ming had adopted Guo Shoujing's Shoushi calendar of 1281, which was just as accurate as the Gregorian Calendar, Sony VAIO VGN-Z71JB Battery the Ming Directorate of Astronomy failed to periodically readjust it; this was perhaps due to their lack of expertise since their offices had become hereditary in the Ming and the Statutes of the Ming prohibited private involvement in astronomy.[159] A sixth-generation descendant of Emperor Hongxi, the "Prince" Zhu Zaiyu (1536–611), Sony VAIO VGN-Z73FB Battery submitted a proposal to fix the calendar in 1595, but the ultra-conservative astronomical commission rejected it.[158][159] This was the same Zhu Zaiyu who discovered the system of tuning known as equal temperament, a discovery made simultaneously by Simon Stevin (1548–1620) in Europe.[160] Sony VAIO VGN-Z790DKX Battery In addition to publishing his works on music, he was able to publish his findings on the calendar in 1597.[159] A year earlier, the memorial of Xing Yunlu suggesting a calendar improvement was rejected by the Supervisor of the Astronomical Bureau due to the law banning private practice of astronomy; Xing would later serve with Xu Guangqi in reforming the calendar (Chinese: ????) in 1629 according to Western standards.[159] Sony VAIO VGN-Z790DMR Battery When the Ming founder Hongwu came upon the mechanical devices housed in the Yuan Dynasty's palace at Khanbaliq—?such as fountains with balls dancing on their jets, Sony VAIO VGN-Z820DB Battery self-operating tiger automata, dragon-headed devices that spouted mists of perfume, andmechanical clocks in the tradition of Yi Xing (683–727) and Su Song (1020–101)—he associated all of them with the decadence of Mongol rule and had them destroyed.[161]Sony VAIO VGN-Z790DND Battery This was described in full length by the Divisional Director of the Ministry of Works, Xiao Xun, who also carefully preserved details on the architecture and layout of the Yuan Dynasty palace.[161] Sony VAIO VGN-Z820G/B Battery Later, European Jesuits such as Matteo Ricci and Nicolas Trigault would briefly mention indigenous Chinese clockworks that featured drive wheels.[162]However, both Ricci and Trigault were quick to point out that 16th century European clockworks were far more advanced than the common time keeping devices in China, Sony VAIO VGN-Z890GLX Battery which they listed as water clocks, incense clocks, and "other instruments... with wheels rotated by sand as if by water" (Chinese: ??).[163] Chinese records—?namely the Yuan Shi (Chinese: ??)—describe the 'five-wheeled sand clock', a mechanism pioneered by Zhan Xiyuan (fl. 1360–80) Sony VAIO VGN-Z890GMR Battery which featured the scoop wheel of Su Song's earlier astronomical clock and a stationary dial face over which a pointer circulated, similar to European models of the time.[164] This sand-driven wheel clock was improved upon by Zhou Shuxue (fl. 1530–58) who added a fourth large gear wheel, changed gear ratios, and widened the orifice for collecting sand grains since he criticized the earlier model for clogging up too often.[165] Sony VAIO VGN-Z898H/X Battery The Chinese were intrigued with European technology, but so were visiting Europeans of Chinese technology. In 1584, Abraham Ortelius(1527–1598) featured in his atlas Theatrum Orbis Terrarum the peculiar Chinese innovation of mounting masts and sails onto carriages, just like Chinese ships.[166] Sony VAIO VGN-Z90FS Battery Gonzales de Mendoza also mentioned this a year later—?noting even the designs of them on Chinese silken robes?—while Gerardus Mercator (1512–94) featured them in his atlas, John Milton (1608–74) in one of his famous poems, and Andreas Everardus van Braam Houckgeest (1739–801) in the writings of his travel diary in China.[167] Sony VAIO VGN-Z90NS Battery Bodhisattva Manjusri inBlanc-de-Chine, by He Chaozong, 17th century;Song Yingxing devoted an entire section of his book to the ceramics industry in the making of porcelain items like this.[168] Sony VAIO VGN-Z90PS Battery The encyclopedist Song Yingxing (1587–1666) documented a wide array of technologies, metallurgic and industrial processes in hisTiangong Kaiwu (Chinese: ????) encyclopedia of 1637. Sony VAIO VGN-Z90S Battery This includes mechanical and hydraulic powered devices for agriculture and irrigation,[169] nautical technology such as vessel types and snorkeling gear for pearl divers,[170][171][172] the annual processes ofsericulture and weaving with the loom,[173] metallurgic processes such as the crucible technique and quenching,[174] Sony VAIO VGN-Z90US Battery manufacturing processes such as for roasting iron pyrite in converting sulphide to oxide in sulfur used in gunpowder compositions—?illustrating how ore was piled up with coal briquettes in an earthen furnace with a still-head that sent over sulfur as vapor that would solidify andcrystallize[175]?—and the use of gunpowder weapons such as a naval mine ignited by use of a rip-cord and steel flint wheel.[176] Sony VAIO VGN-Z91DS Battery Focusing on agriculture in his Nongzheng Quanshu, the agronomist Xu Guangqi (1562–1633) took an interest in irrigation, fertilizers, famine relief, economic and textile crops, and empirical observation of the elements that gave insight into early understandings of chemistry.[177] Sony VAIO VGN-Z91JS Battery There were many advances and new designs in gunpowder weapons during the beginning of the dynasty, but by the mid to late Ming the Chinese began to frequently employ European-style artillery and firearms.[178] Sony VAIO VGN-Z91PS Battery The Huolongjing, compiled by Jiao Yu and Liu Ji sometime before the latter's death on May 16, 1375 (with a preface added by Jiao in 1412),[179] featured many types of cutting-edge gunpowder weaponry for the time. Sony VAIO VGN-Z91YS Battery This includes hollow, gunpowder-filled exploding cannonballs,[180] land mines that used a complex trigger mechanism of falling weights, pins, and a steel wheellock to ignite the train of fuses,[181] naval mines,[182] Sony VAIO VGN-Z92DS Battery fin-mounted winged rockets for aerodynamic control,[183] multistage rockets propelled by booster rockets before igniting a swarm of smaller rockets issuing forth from the end of the missile (shaped like a dragon's head),[184] and hand cannons that had up to ten barrels.[185] Sony VAIO VGN-Z92JS Battery Li Shizhen (1518–93)—?one of the most renowned pharmacologists and physicians in Chinese history?—belonged to the late Ming period. In 1587, he completed the first draft of his Bencao Gangmu, which detailed the usage of over 1, Sony VAIO VGN-Z92PS Battery 800 medicinal drugs. Although it purportedly was invented by a Daoist hermit from Mount Emei in the late 10th century, the process of inoculation for smallpox patients was in widespread use in China by the reign of the Longqing Emperor (ruled 1567–72), Sony VAIO VGN-Z92YS Battery long before it was applied anywhere else.[186] In regards to oral hygiene, the ancient Egyptians had a primitive toothbrush of a twig frayed at the end, but the Chinese were the first to invent the modern bristle toothbrush in 1498, although it used stiff pig hair.[187]Sony VAIO VGN-Z93FS Battery


Sinologist historians still debate the actual population figures for each era in the Ming Dynasty. The historian Timothy Brook notes that the Ming government census figures are dubious since fiscal obligations prompted many families to underreport the number of people in their households and many county officials to underreport the number of households in their jurisdiction.[188] Sony VAIO VGN-Z93GS Battery Children were often underreported, especially female children, as shown by skewed population statistics throughout the Ming.[189] Even adult women were underreported;[190] for example, the Daming Prefecture in North Zhili reported a population of 378 167 males and 226 982 females in 1502.[191] Sony VAIO VGN-Z93HS Battery The government attempted to revise the census figures using estimates of the expected average number of people in each household, but this did not solve the widespread problem of tax registration.[192] Some part of the gender imbalance may be attributed to the practice of female infanticide. Sony VAIO VGN-Z93VS Battery The practice is well documented in China, going back over two thousand years, and it was described as "rampant" and "practiced by almost every family" by contemporary authors.[193] However, the dramatically skewed sex ratios, which many counties reported exceeding 2:1 by 1586, can't likely be explained by infanticide alone.[190] Sony A1258274A Battery The Xuande Emperor, (ruled in 1425–35); he stated in 1428 that his populace was dwindling due to palace construction and military adventures, but in fact the population was rising under him, a fact noted by Zhou Chen—?Governor of South Zhili?—in his 1432 report to the throne about widespread itinerant commerce.[194] Sony VGP-BPL10 Battery The number of people counted in the census of 1381 was 59 873 305; however, this number dropped significantly when the government found that some 3 million people were missing from the tax census of 1391.[195] Even though underreporting figures was made a capital crime in 1381, Sony VGP-BPS10 Battery the need for survival pushed many to abandon the tax registration and wander from their region, where Hongwu had attempted to impose rigid immobility on the populace. The government tried to mitigate this by creating their own conservative estimate of 60 545 812 people in 1393.[194] Sony VGP-BPS10/S Battery In his Studies on the Population of China, Ho Ping-ti suggests revising the 1393 census to 65 million people, noting that large areas of North China and frontier areas were not counted in that census.[196] Brook states that the population figures gathered in the official censuses after 1393 ranged between 51 and 62 million, Sony VGP-BPS10A/B Battery while the population was in fact increasing.[194] Even the Hongzhi Emperor (ruled in 1487-505) remarked that the daily increase in subjects coincided with the daily dwindling amount of registered civilians and soldiers.[151] William Atwell states that around 1400 the population of China was perhaps 90 million people, citing Heijdra and Mote.[197] Sony VGP-BPS10B Battery Historians are now turning to local gazetteers of Ming China for clues that would show consistent growth in population.[189] Using the gazetteers, Brook estimates that the overall population under the Chenghua Emperor (ruled in 1464–1487) was roughly 75 million,[192] Sony VGP-BPS10A Battery despite mid-Ming census figures hovering around 62 million.[151] While prefectures across the empire in the mid-Ming period were reporting either a drop in or stagnant population size, local gazetteers reported massive amounts of incoming vagrant workers with not enough good cultivated land for them to till, Sony VGP-BPS11 Battery so that many would become drifters, conmen, or wood-cutters that contributed to deforestation.[198] The Hongzhi and Zhengde emperors lessened the penalties against those who had fled their home region, while theJiajing Emperor (ruled in 1521–67) finally had officials register migrants wherever they had moved or fled in order to bring in more revenues.[191] Sony VGP-BPL11 Battery Even with Jiajing's reforms to document migrant workers and merchants, by the late Ming era the government census still did not accurately reflect the enormous growth in population. Gazetteers across the empire noted this and made their own estimations of the overall population in the Ming, Sony VGP-BPL12 Battery some guessing that the population had doubled, tripled, or even grown fivefold since 1368.[199] Fairbank estimates that the population was perhaps 160 million in the late Ming Dynasty,[200] while Brook estimates 175 million,[199] and Ebrey states perhaps as large as 200 million.[201] Sony VGP-BPS12 Battery However, a great epidemic that entered China through the northwest in 1641 ravaged the densely populated areas along the Grand Canal; a gazetteer in northern Zhejiang noted more than half the population fell ill that year and that 90% of the local populace in one area was dead by 1642.[202] Sony VGP-BPL13 Battery,Sony VGP-BPS13 Battery,Sony VGP-BPS13/B Battery,Sony VGP-BPS13/S Battery,Sony VGP-BPS13/S Battery

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