miércoles, 12 de marzo de 2014

El feudalismo bizantino analizado desde China: una publicación reciente



Esta es la reseña que nos ha hecho llegar Like-Zhang de una publicación reciente que compara el fenómeno feudal en las sociedad asiáticas y europeas:
 Europe and China: Studies on Feudal Society
(Beijing, 2013. Section of World Ancient History of Department of History, Peking University. 694 pp, ¥159,ISBN978-5097-4731-5)

Like-Zhang
like_zhang@sina.com.cn 
 Center for the World Civilization History, Northeast Normal University.
Postal Code:130024 Mobile Number:13500820968

Feudalism and the related problems have been focus of the international academic research for long, and so it is in China. For years Chinese scholars have been devoting themselves to the issues, Ke-yao Ma is one of the representatives of them. Professor Ke-yao Ma has been teaching and doing research for decades in Peking University, many of his academic achievements are concerned about the problems of Feudalism and Feudal Society, and some of his important conclusions have been accepted by academic circles widely. For his achievement, at the time of his 80th birthday, an academic conference was organized simultaneously by Chinese professors and scholars, and the aforementioned book is the collection of the papers in this conference.

The main participants, authors of the papers, mostly are the students of professor Ke-yao Ma, meanwhile others are also experts in related subjects. Thus, to consider professor Ma’s research of Feudalism, the theme of the book is around it. The book consists of six parts, by which categorized different sub topics. Each part is consisted of 2 to 8 papers written by different authors according to their areas of research. The six parts are " The study of Feudalism and historical theory ", " The research of British Feudal society", "Eurasia ancient society and Feudalism", "Chinese Feudal society and the communication between China and the West", "Pre-Feudalism and Feudalism culture" and English papers. The book can be seen as a result of Chinese scholars on the problems of Feudalism in recent years. In present paper, I would like to review some representative articles from each part.
In the first part, the focus is on the importance of the concept in
historical theory. In Review of Perry Anderson’s Feudal Society Research, professor Jin-xin Wang, who is the director of the Center
for the World Civilization History, Northeast Normal University,
based on Anderson' s historical opinions expressed in his representative works Passages From Antiquity to Feudalism and Lineages of
the Absolutist State," Researched Anderson’s view of Feudalism, and discussed that if there was Feudalism out of Western Europe"[i]. In this paper, Jin-xin Wang retrospected the research of the concept ofFeudalism from Montesquieu to Perry Anderson, expressed the agreement with Marxism as Anderson, and pointed out the need of re
defineing of the concept of Feudalism. At last, Jin-xin Wang used Anderson's opinion to got the conclusion that" there wasn’t Feudalism in Asia"[ii], but at the same time we shouldn’t define the nature
of ancient China lightly.

Another paper is Middle Ages and Feudalism, whose author is Lin-hai Liu, from Peking normal University. In this paper he retrospected the development of the meaning of Feudalism in both Chinese and English, and got the conclusion that we shouldn’t think about the historical systems without their historical environment, and shouldn’t just bog down analyzing the own meaning of any Word[iii].

The second part is about the English Feudalism. UK, as a highly developed country, always chosen by Chinese as an example in many cases. The production and consumption of England in the period of transformation is one of such kind of papers by Jian-xin Hou. Professor Hou is famous for the research of Medieval England. He has paid attention to the concept of Feudalism for years and expressed his attitudes in different papers. "Feudal": a concept of dislocation in world history is another important paper in recent years in China.

In this paper, he began with the issue of consumption of the common in England from 16 century, to research the affection of consumption to the transformation from Feudalism to industrial age. In his opinion, it was important to a transforming society to build a high level model of internal production and consumption.

The third part is about the Feudalism out of Western Europe area. The research of Byzantine Feudalism from Zhi-qiang Chen, an expert of Byzantine history from Nankai University, discussed if there was Feudalism or Feudal system in Byzantine history. He discussed the issue on the basic of Rural Code, through investigating the social structure of Byzantium, to test if there was Feudal system in Byzantine history just as Western Europe. At last, he thought although there was not the absolute same system as Western Europe, we should give the concept of Feudal or Feudalism a broader term.

The fourth part, authors discussed some issues of Chinese Feudalism. The legend of jewels of Byzantium in ancient books and records in Han dynasty, written by Xu-shan Zhang, who is an expert of the communication between Europe and China in the time of Byzantium, Tsinghua University. In this paper, he demonstrated some records that about the jewels in the books of Han dynasty, to test the trade among ancient China and some ancient countries and regions. And he thought that the trades were flourishing, but not all the jewels were recorded were true, it reflected the crafty of businessmen at that time.

And the fifth part authors took some representative thoughts of personages in Feudal times as examples to induce the character of this period. As The true and false parts of the Event burning books and burying the Confucian scholars alive, whose author is Kai-yuan Lee, professor in Shujitsu University, Japan. As we know, that the Event burning books and burying the Confucian scholars alive is a very important event in Chinese history. Someone think Qin dynasty was the beginning of Feudal times of China, but because of the event, the beginning is really awful. It is a man-made disaster, the example of despotism of Feudal Society. For this, Feudal times can be seen as a Dark ages.

However, according to many records, the author thought the event is true, but the people who were killed were not Confucian scholars but the wizards. Some Confucian scholars in East Han dynasty fabricated the fact that the victims were Confucian scholars, just for the purpose that disguising their predecessors as martyrs, and making the Confucianism as Orthodox in China. 


[i]Jin-xin Wang, Review of Perry Anderson’s feudalism Social Research, in Study on Feudal society, Social and sciences academic press,China,2013,p.143.


[ii]Jin-xin Wang, Review of Perry Anderson’s feudalism Social Research, in Study on Feudal society, Social and sciences academic press,China,2013,p.149.


[iii]Lin-hai Liu, Middle ages and Feudalism, in Study on Feudal society, Social and sciences academic press,China,2013,p.110.