Gems from Chinese history


Some drôle quotes from The Cambridge history of China, which even I didn’t quite dare sneak into the indexes:

What is the use of a stele? —Sui emperor Wendi (“Just call me Wendi”) (vol.3, p.62).

The Cheng sisters were captured and decapitated. Mopping-up operations continued till the end of 43. —(vol.1, p.271). Messy business eh.

The “director of records for the empress” may have kept a record of the emperor’s cohabitations with the empress. This cannot have been a great burden. —(vol.1, p.503).

Hierarchies are an essential part of a well-ordered society, and they must be accepted voluntarily. —(vol.1, p.705). So there.

Let us judge whether the Chinese are a race of ethnocentrics who do not know how to manage when they think they have something to learn from foreigners. (vol.1, p.852) (cf. They come over ‘ere…).

For a sequel, click here.

3 thoughts on “Gems from Chinese history

  1. Pingback: Yet more French letters | Stephen Jones: a blog

  2. Pingback: The joys of indexing | Stephen Jones: a blog

  3. Pingback: Denis Twitchett: more Tang drôlerie | Stephen Jones: a blog

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