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Title: 中古世族之兴衰的个案研究--论汉、魏、晋时期的弘农杨氏 = Rise and Fall of Chinese Medieval Aristocracy - A Case Study of the Hongnong Yang Family in Han, Wei, and Jin Period
Authors: 范其煌
Keywords: History of Han Wei and Jin Dynasties, Medieval China, Chinese Great Clans, Chinese Aristocratic Families, the Hongnong Yang family, the family traits
Issue Date: 12-Aug-2010
Citation: 范其煌,HUANG KEE HONG (2010-08-12). 中古世族之兴衰的个案研究--论汉、魏、晋时期的弘农杨氏 = Rise and Fall of Chinese Medieval Aristocracy - A Case Study of the Hongnong Yang Family in Han, Wei, and Jin Period. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: Most scholars agree that the status of the great clans of medieval China could be determined by three factors: the number of bureaucratic posts held by their family members, their inter-marriage with other gentries, and their economic strength. However, besides these factors will there be other possibilities through which we could assess the relative position of these great clans? Moreover, had there been any differences on the conditions to remain their status from the period of the Han dynasty through the entire medieval period in China? Since the Chinese medieval great clans were able to maintain itself as a dominant social class for nearly a thousand years in history, its strengths and characteristics would not be static but were bound to adapt to the political, economic and social changes of the times. Therefore, a careful study on a representative member of this influential class in medieval China would help to shed light on answering the questions mentioned above. In this regard, the Yang family of Hongnong prefecture is an ideal subject for research. The family, which became prominent in the later period of the Eastern Han dynasty, was also able to maintain itself as a leading family in the time of the Wei and Jin dynasties. This dissertation aims to explore the rise and fall of the Hongnong Yangs in three respective historical periods, namely, the Han, Wei and Jin dynasties. By examining the thoughts and personalities of the various members of the Hongnong Yangs, it seeks to explain the distinctive traits and academic achievements which determined the choices the family had taken in response to the complicated political situations confronted them. The structure and contents of the dissertation is as follows. The first chapter is an introduction. The second chapter traces the Hongnong Yangs? origins through analyzing the historical sources recorded in the Standard Histories and the epitaphs. The third and fourth chapters examine the leading figures of the Hongnong Yangs active during the Eastern Han, Wei and Western Jin Dynasties. The fifth chapter part is a conclusion which sums up the main theses of the dissertation. This dissertation observes that the most important factor which led to the rise of the Hongnong Yangs? was their ability to maintain distinctive family traits and academic achievements. However, during the time of the Wei and Eastern Jin dynasties, because of the chaotic political situations the Hongnong Yangs then were no longer able to put their tested formula of success to work as before. Thereby causing them to decline and could not regain their past glory and influential position. Through the case of Hongnong Yangs, this dissertation argues that distinctive family traits and academic achievements, instead of wealth and political power, were the key factors by which the Chinese medieval gentries relied to maintain their prominent existence and development.
Appears in Collections:Master's Theses (Open)

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