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Osprey Men-at-Arms 218 : Ancient Chinese Armies 1500-200 BC

It is only with the introduction of writing under the Shang Dynasty that China emerges from prehistory. By the 15th century BC the valley of Hwang Ho was dominated by a palace-based military caste which owed its supremacy to a monopoly of bronze-working techniques among a still mainly Stone Age population. There is no direct evidence for the origin of this new technology, but similarities in weapon-types suggest that it diffused into northern China via Siberia and Manchuria. The Shang themselves, however, were certainly indigenous. Their original centre of power may have been in Shangtung, but they moved their early wooden palaces frequently, perhaps to avoid the notorious Hwang Ho floods. As they did so, they brought an increasing number of neighbouring tribes under their rule. War was a means of legitimising the power of the new aristocracy, and the main aim of foreign policy was the sending out of expeditions to parade this power and gather tribute. This represents a primitive stage in the evolution of international relations, in which the resources of other communities at a lower technological level are exploited in a manner analogous to a hunting expedition. In fact hunting and military campaigns were often organised in the same way, and the distinction between them often blurred. C.J. Peers details the period of China's history from the first documented civilisation to the establishment of an enduring unified empire, examining the history, organisation, uniform and weapons of ancient Chinese armies accompanied by illustrations by Angus McBride.

    Contents
  • Introduction
  • Chronology
  • The Shang Dynasty
  • The Western Chou
  • The Eastern Chou
  • The 4th and 3rd Centuries
  • The Ch'in Empire
  • Tactical & Strategic Doctrine
  • Ten Decisive Battles
  • The Plates


The books in this series are;
Men-at-Arms 218 : Ancient Chinese Armies 1500-200 BC
Men-at-Arms 284 : Imperial Chinese Armies (1) 200 BC - 589 AD
Men-at-Arms 295 : Imperial Chinese Armies (2) 590-1260 AD

 

Osprey Men-at-Arms


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