Arthur Cotterell

The Imperial Capitals of China

This history of China’s imperial capital cities reveals “a picaresque chronicle of dynastic succession and court intrigue” across millennia (Publishers Weekly).
Throughout the long history of Imperial China, emperors designed their capital cities in ways that reveal the heart of their dynasty. The ley lines of these cities reveal religious preoccupations, while the design of important buildings tells us much about the cultural influences of the period.
The Shang Emperor of the third century B.C. made obsessive—and ultimately fatal—attempts to engage the Immortals with cosmologically pleasing urban planning. Meanwhile, the Tang capital at Chang'an betrays the striking creativity and cultural receptiveness that earmark the era as a literary and artistic golden age. And the Forbidden City of fifteenth century Beijing still stands as testament to Ming dynasty architectural virtuosity.
Arthur Cotterell provides an inside view of the rich array of characters, political and ideological tensions, and technological genius that defined the imperial cities of China, as each in turn is uncovered, explored, and celebrated. The oldest continuous civilization in existence today stands to become the most influential.
452 printed pages
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