China is wonderous and awe-inspiring. It has a history of five thousand years. It is the only continuous ancient civilization. Other ancient civilizations have changed, discontinued, withered or perished. Why is it so enduring? Why is it so coherent, often sticking to itself, remaining undivided? Why is it so dynamic, always able to revive, regenerate and revitalise itself? Why is it an immortal phoenix able to rise again on its ashes? These are enduring questions. Nobody can give a complete answer, full stop. They will stimulate intellect, provoke interest, engage investigation. > read more
Poet Bai Juyi
Two years after Du Fu died, another great poet was born. Bai Juyi (772-846), the son of a petty official, was born in Xinzheng, Henan. He spent much of his youth as a wanderer in order to escape ongoing wars, and often went cold and hungry as a result. However, he was successful in the civil service examinations, became an official, and worked in the central government for about 15 years.
Silk Road - History
Named in the middle of the 19th century by the German scholar, Baron Ferdinand von Richthofen, the Silk Road - perhaps the greatest East-West trade route and vehicle for cross-cultural exchange - was first travelled by General Zhang Qian in the second century BC while on a mission from Emperor Wudi of the Han Dynasty (206 BC-AD 220).
Silk Road - Religion and Art
The most significant innovations carried along the Silk Road to China were the belief systems and religious art of India, Central Asia and the Middle East. Buddhism began its evolution as a religious doctrine in the sixth century BC, and was adopted as India's official religion in the third century BC.
Revised June 20, 2011