The History of China

The History of China
An audio journey through the 5000 year history of one of the world’s oldest continuous civilizations.

#167 - S. Song 10: …Is My Enemy’s Enemy, No More, No Less
Jun 2 • 34 min
With enemies on all sides, and the Mongol sledgehammer poised to strike its crushing blow against them, the Jin Dynasty seeks an out by plunging southward, only to find that the Song defenses have become the anvil on which they rest. Exhausted, they’ll…
6/4: UK Cable on Tiananmen Square Massacre
Jun 2 • 11 min
Even after 30 years… When you’re ordered to forget, to remember becomes an act of defiance.
#166 - S. Song 9: The Enemy of My Enemy…
May 19 • 30 min
The Jin Empire is all at once ripped apart from 4 different directions all at once: Shandong rebels from the east, Khitan from the northeast, Mongols from the northwest, and Tanguts from the West. So they decide to go the only direction left… and invade…
Announcement: Intelligent Speech Agora PodCon 2019!
May 6 • 3 min
This June 28-29th, the Agora Network will be hosting it’s first annual convention: Intelligent Speech 2019! It’s in NYC, and will feature not just Agora ‘casters, but a special guest appearance by none other than Mike Duncan (Yes, *that* Mike Duncan)! Get…
#165 - S. Song 8: The Kaixi War
May 4 • 39 min
Chancellor Han Tuozhou is down-but-not-yet-out following his ill-fated attempting to bring down the Neo-Confucians. Thus, in an attempt to salvage his career and reputation, he’ll launch the Song Empire into full-scale war against the Jin Dynasty… with…
#164 - S. Song 7: Out With the New, In With the Old
Apr 21 • 31 min
Neo-Confucianism has made a strong comeback through the synthesis of its various doctrines under the philosophical guidance of Zhu Xi of the Southern Song court. He and his likeminded ministers seek to bring back the perfection of eras gone by by being…
#163 - S. Song 6: Filial Impiety
Mar 31 • 37 min
Back in Song China, we have a tale of two emperors: one who is devoted utterly to his father, and the other who’s…well… not. Time Period Covered: 1165-1194 CE Major Historical Figures: Retired Emperor Gaozong [r. 1127-1162, as retired emperor 1162-1187]…
Announcement: Bonus Mongol Content!
Mar 31 • 3 min
You know you want to…
#162 - Mongol 4: The Great Khan
Mar 16 • 43 min
Temujin Khan crushes his enemies, sees them driven before him, and hears the lamentations of their women!!! Time Period Covered: ca. 1202-1206 CE Major Historical Figures: Borjigin/Mongol: Temujin (Genghis Khan) Khasar, Temujin’s Brother Börte - Temujin’s…
#161 - Mongol 3: The Anda, The Arrow, & The Airag
Mar 9 • 38 min
Temujin will enlist the aid of his recently-sworn father, To’oril AKA Ong Khan of the Kereyid to rescue his stolen wife, Börte. But his successful rescue of his beloved will only mark the beginning of his remarkable journey from isolated herder, to…
#160 - Mongol 2: The Black Sable
Feb 25 • 39 min
In spite of difficulties, Ho’elun and her family endeavor to persevere. Temüjin discovers the power of friendship, and the clarity of purpose that comes with true love <3.
#159 - Mongol 1: The Blood Clot
Feb 17 • 41 min
High in the wildlands of the Khentii Mountains, a tribe of hunters and scavengers comes into possession of a young and captured bride. Ripped out of her old life, she and the family her new husband create at the edge of the world will have to find a way…
#158 - S. Song 5: A Changing of the Guard
Feb 14 • 37 min
Both Song and Jin have a new set of emperors at the helm… it will mean war… and peace… but the riptides of history will ensure that, whatever the outcome of this conflict, very little will remain the same for much longer. Time Period Covered: ~1140-1162 CE
#157 - S. Song 4: Peace at What Cost?
Jan 23 • 43 min
Emperor Gaozong really, *really* wants his dad’s coffin. Qin Hui really, *really* wants to give the Jurchen whatever they ask for. The Jurchen really, *really* want the Mongol khan to stop tweaking their emperor’s beard. Time Period Covered: 1135-1160 CE…
#156 - S. Song 3: Yue Fei, Pt. 2 - The Long-Legged Treachery
Dec 21, 2018 • 25 min
General Yue Fei will reach career highs as he strikes back against Jurchen aggression with remarkable success. He’ll drive his enemies so fast and hard, that he’ll drive the Jin Dynasty close to its breaking point. But on the precipice of victory,…
#155 - S. Song: Yue Fei, Pt. 1-The Flying Fury
Dec 8, 2018 • 43 min
In this first of a two-part look into the life and legend of this epic Chinese hero, we chronicle Yue Fei’s early life and education, his induction into the military to serve his nation with utmost loyalty, his meteoric rise through the ranks, and his…
#154 - S. Song 1: Song of the South
Nov 19, 2018 • 35 min
The JURCHEN JIN reigns. Having decimated the Song Dynasty, Emperor Jin Taizong now deploys his merciless legions to seize military control of the Yellow River Valley. Only Prince Zhao Gou and his band of LOYALIST ministers stand against the rising…
#153 - N. Song 18: Requiem for Jingkang
Nov 6, 2018 • 32 min
The Song Dynasty manages to epically pull defeat from the jaws of victory when it manages to twice goad its nominal ally, the Jurchen Jin, into a border war. The first time, it’s beaten so badly that it has to give up almost half of its northern holdings.…
#152 - Special: Strange Tales 3.5 [NSFW]
Oct 28, 2018 • 32 min
A very sexy Halloween edition… Stir Fry - 1:45 Steel Skin - 4:15 Silkworm - 5:35
#151 - Special: Strange Tales 3
Oct 15, 2018 • 38 min
Our third entry of Seasonal Spookiness for your unsettling aural pleasure. From Strange Tales from a Chinese Studio (聊齋志異) by: Pu Songling 1:25 - “The Girl in Green” 8:30 - “A Very Sharp Sword” 10:45 - “He Came Back” 18:25 - “A Transformation” 22:45 -…
#150 - N. Song 17: Smoke On the Water Margin
Oct 5, 2018 • 38 min
Emperor Huizong’s Song Dynasty’s luck runs dry with a series of epic screw up that throw the whole system in disarray. War with the Tangut Xi Xia goes badly awry – and his generals won’t even tell him about it. And then rebellions start breaking out in…
#149 - N. Song 16: Empire of Black & Gold
Sep 23, 2018 • 45 min
To the north of Song China, sandwiched between Goryeo Korea and the invincible Liao Empire, a new force arises on the banks of the Black and Gold Rivers, that will shake the very foundations of All Under Heaven… Time Period Covered: 1099-1123 CE
#148 - N. Song 15: A Campaign of Dunces
Sep 2, 2018 • 40 min
With Wang Anshi out of the picture, Emperor Shenzong’s ministers find to their horror that theg uy they thought was radicalizing the monarch… had actually be holding him back this whole time. Now there’s nothing to stop Shenzong from fulfilling his…
#147 - N. Song 14: The New Policies, Pt. 3
Aug 15, 2018 • 36 min
Wang Anshi’s heady, glorious dream at last comes crashing into the cold, mechanical reality of imperial bureaucracy, to everyone’s chagrin.
#146 - N. Song 13: The New Policies, Pt. 2
Jul 25, 2018 • 47 min
Wang Anshi weilds his newfound power to implement, through his hand-picked Finance Planning Commission, a sweeping series of reforms aids at revitalizing that dynasty’s sagging economy. They’ll include a government loan program, new tax policies to pay…
#145 - N. Song 12: The New Policies, Pt. 1
Jul 19, 2018 • 36 min
In this first part of a mini-arc, southern provincial nobody Wang Anshi rises above his station and attracts both the curiosity and the attention of Emperor Shanzong and his court by laying out a bold new vision to lead the Song Dynasty out of its…
#144 - N. Song 11: Only A Northern Song
Jun 30, 2018 • 35 min
“Like milk on a hot day in San Diego, it turned out that Emperor Yingzong was a bad choice.” Time Period Covered: 1063-1067 CE Important Historial Figures: Song: Emperor Renzong (Zhao Zhen)[r. 1022-1063] Emperor Yingzong (Zhao Shu)[r. 1063-1067] Emperor…
#143 - N. Song 10: Inertia, Inaction, Insurrection
Jun 15, 2018 • 45 min
Emperor Renzong of Song continues to twiddle his thumbs. Confucianism get a much-needed adrenaline shot to the arm via Daoism. Zhuang superpatriot Nong Zhigao declares simultaneous war on China and Vietnam in the name of his people’s liberation. Time…
#142 - N. Song 9: Dithering the War Away
May 20, 2018 • 40 min
Emperor Renzong of Song isn’t exactly… into the whole “rule” thing. He’d much rather wile away his days talking about Confucian philosophy, writing calligraphy, and making love to his concubines. But he’ll be forced to uneasily embody the might of Song…
#141 - N. Song 8: Childless Mother of the World
May 2, 2018 • 39 min
When Emperor Renzong of Song takes the throne, he’s just a boy of 12 and surely in need of his mother’s guidance… but how long until Mom becomes more of a hinderance than a help? … And what if she’s not really his mother? Time Period Covered: 1022-1033 CE…
#140 - Special: Turn Of The Millennium Q&A
Apr 24, 2018 • 62 min
A Q&A like this only comes around once in a thousand years!
#139- N. Song 7: The Heavenly Text Affair
Apr 1, 2018 • 45 min
After feeling forced to sign the costly and humiliating Treaty of Chanyuan with the Liao Dynasty to end the Liao-Song War, Emperor Zhenzong needs a pick-me-up to make himself feel better. He thinks that a ritual that hasn’t been performed in 3 centuries…
#138 - N. Song 6: Peace In Our Time
Mar 11, 2018 • 30 min
The new Song Emperor, Zhenzong, sits uneasily on the Chinese throne after his father’s untimely death in 997. But court intrigues and attempted coups will only be the tip of the iceberg for this untested and unlikely sovereign, because the Liao Dynasty to…
#137 - N. Song 5: A Song of Rice and Flour
Mar 1, 2018 • 33 min
“Rice is great if you’re really hungry and want eat 2,000 of something.” - Mitch Hedberg
#136 - N. Song 4: E Pluribus Xia
Jan 31, 2018 • 32 min
To the Northwest of the Song Empire, a group of non-Chinese known as the Tanguts have long been subject to the whims and subjugations of their greater neighbors. But with the Chinese focused on their struggle against the Khitan Liao, and the Tibetans and…
#135 - N. Song 3: A Lesser Empire
Jan 3, 2018 • 32 min
Song’s second emperor, Taizong, wants to achieve the heights of Chinese glory, power, and territory just like the Tang and Han before him. But aspirations are easier than results, and he’s going to have to contend with neighbor states on all sides far…
#134 - N. Song 2: Golden Cupboard, Flickering Shadows
Dec 13, 2017 • 28 min
Zhao Kuangyin has seized the north and now aims to reunify China under his new Song Dynasty by smashing the south. And it’s super effective! But when a strange order of succession leaves question mark surrounding his legacy, it’s anyone’s guess as to what…
#133 - N. Song 1: The Coup at Chen Bridge
Nov 19, 2017 • 28 min
The Duke of Song Circuit and Grand Marshal of the armies of Later Zhou is dispatched by the 6-year-old emperor and his mom to the northeast to investigate and drive out a reported incursion by the Khitan Liao and their Northern Han allies. But he won’t…
#132 - 5D10K 9: The Southern Kingdoms
Nov 6, 2017 • 44 min
We round out our overview of the 10 Kingdoms of the south by looking at the trials and tribulations of Chu, Former & Later Shu, Jingnan, and Southern Han’s travails against Annam… but little do they know, they’re one and all riding for a fall… Time Period…
#131 - 5D10K 8: The Southeast
Oct 22, 2017 • 23 min
We sweep over 4 of the southern kingdoms along the southeastern coast. WuYüe: which remains rich and prosperous owing to its favorable trade and geographic positions at the mouth of the Yangtze. Wu: which starts off strong only to be subsumed from within,…
Strange Tales 2: The Living Dead
Oct 17, 2017 • 8 min
Worst. Hotel room. EVER
#130 - 5D10K 7: South Before North
Oct 7, 2017 • 31 min
With the rise of the last of the 5 Dynasties, Later Zhou, the North China Plains is able to go onto the offensive for the first time in decades; not against the endless expanses of the northern steppes, but a new strategy to reinvigorate the north by…
#129 - 5D10K6: Emperor Jerky
Sep 29, 2017 • 37 min
Emperor Deguang of Liao has conquered the North China Plain with ease and packed the Later Jin emperor off to eternal exile. But he doesn’t plan to stick around… instead, he’ll pack up everything – and everyone – he deems valuable to take back home. But…
#128 - 5D10K 5: The Exiled Emperor
Sep 11, 2017 • 36 min
Later Jin seems to have its bed made within its steadfast alliance with Liao - in spite of the humiliating stipulations such a relationship imposes onto a proud Son of Heaven. Yet when Later Jin’s first emperor dies, his replacement will do his level-best…
#127: 5D10K 4: Towering Inferno
Aug 24, 2017 • 37 min
In the state of Later Tang, things go from bad to worse as a revolving door of emperors combines with a suddenly-mercenary imperial guard corps… all to bring the state itself to an untimely, but fiery, demise. Time Period Covered:926-937 CEMajor…
#126 - 5D10K 3: Lineage of the Liao
Aug 4, 2017 • 41 min
#125 - 5D10K 2: The War for Supremacy
Jun 23, 2017 • 39 min
The Later Liang Dynasty is forced back onto the defense following the murder if its first two emperors by its third, coupled with the rise of the latest Prince of Jin, Li Cunxu, who is waging a war to restore the Tang regime. But he’ll be forced to decide…
#124 - 5D10K 1: Live By the Sword…
Jun 9, 2017 • 35 min
Zhu Wen has proclaimed the dissolution of the Tang and the formation of Later Liang, with him as its Emperor Taizu… but there are more than a few people ready, willing, and able to object rather strongly to that claim…
#123 - Tang 34: In the Rearview
May 13, 2017 • 32 min
We take a sweeping look back at all 289 years of the Tang one more time before pressing into the 5 Dynasties and beyond, and also take a look at some of the aspects of 9th centuryChinese society that are more frequently overlooked… like women’s fashion,…
#122 - Special: End of Dynasty Q&A
May 1, 2017 • 56 min
We’ve made it to the end of the Tang and questions abound! From portrayals of Han Emperors, to my favorite Emperor, and the best Dynasty EVER, to battle tactics and armor, to grat Chinese kung fu movies and how much a protsitute would have been worth……
#121 - Tang 33: Tang of the Dead
Apr 16, 2017 • 29 min
Take the army, go to the capital, kill the imperial clan, exterminate the eunuchs, usurp the throne, have a nice cold pint and wait for all this to blow over. How’s that for a slice of fried gold? Time period covered: 888-907 CE Major Historical Figures:…
#120 - Tang 32: A Thousand Cuts
Mar 31, 2017 • 34 min
The rebel-general and usurper-emperor Huang Chao will wear out his welcome in Chang’an, and meet his doom in the Valley of Tigers and Wolves… but his reign of terror over the capital will only be the first act of its terrible, drawn out fate – a fate that…
#119 - Tang 31: Reap the Whirlwind
Mar 15, 2017 • 38 min
The poison seeds that have been planted across China for the last century and longer will all begin to sprout, as the rebel commander Huang Chao takes command of the latest and greatest of internal threats to imperial stability. Yet it won’t be the rebels…
#118 - Tang 30: Sow the Wind
Feb 27, 2017 • 35 min
Dear empire, we’re having a very mild case of severe rebellion, um, everywhere. But don’t worry, it’s totally under control. Everything’s fine, we’ve got this. Don’t panic. PS, rebel leaders if you’re reading this we’ll give you more than you’ve ever…
#117 - Tang 29: The Gathering Storm
Feb 11, 2017 • 35 min
The Tang Empire enters its death spiral. The cumulative effects of more than a century of economic mismanagement intersects with the peasantry and military’s respective gripes with the government to disastrous effects south of the Yangtze River.…
#116 - Tang 28: I, Xuānzong
Jan 22, 2017 • 31 min
Li Yi was never trained to be emperor. Not only was he the thirteenth son of Xianzong, but he’d been ruthlessly mocked and belittled his whole life by his entire family for being an idiot, an invalid, and a mute. But when his hated nephew dies in 846,…
#115 - Tang 27: The Third Disaster of Wu
Jan 8, 2017 • 33 min
The new Emperor Wuzong will have a lot on his plate right from the get-go. Foreign threats and domestic squabbles will frame his early reign, but it’s his own fanatical devotion to Daoism and antipathy to Buddhism that will define his reign. Period…
#114 - Tang 26: The Sweet Dew Plot
Dec 13, 2016 • 32 min
Behind the throne of Tang is where the true power lies in the mid-9th century, among squabbling bureaucrats, shadowy factions, and conniving eunuchs. But this game of shadows is difficult to follow. Nevertheless, when events reach a head in 835 we’ll need…
#113 - Tang 25: The Longshoreman’s Prophecy
Nov 28, 2016 • 26 min
In the wake of Emperor Xianzong’s unexpected death in 820, his work remains unfinished… and now left in the hands of his incapable, incompetent successors. The eunuchs are hard at work securing ultimate authority for themselves, and have no time for a…
#112 - Tang 24: Make Tang Great Again!
Nov 8, 2016 • 44 min
Young Emperor Xianzong has a plan to restore China’s supremacy in the 9th century world… and - surprisingly enough - it involves precisely zero walls being built. Time Period Covered: 805-820 CE
#111 - Special: Strange Tales
Oct 23, 2016 • 41 min
Today, we veer off our main narrative and into several seasonal tales which celebrate the spooky season in Chinese fashion. We feature a ghostly gathering, a bewitched battle, injurious jests, and lethal looks. Author: Pu Songling [1640-1715 CE] Strange…
#110 - Tang 23: Where the Wangs Went Wrong
Oct 15, 2016 • 41 min
We take a look at the final years of Emperor Dezong’s reign, his political successes and failures, and the strange, mysterious,short-lived Wang Party that would seize control over government for about 5 minutes before being kicked out by Dezong’s grandson…
#109 - Tang 22: Innie or Outie?
Sep 22, 2016 • 30 min
Dezong has had it up to here with his mumbling, bumbling, stumbling courtiers and their inability to solve the empire’s problems. So he’s going to give them 3 last shots to prove the worth of the bureaucracy, and when they strike out, he’ll turn toward…
#108 - Tang 21: General Disaster
Sep 5, 2016 • 35 min
The echoes of the An Lushan Rebellion still reverberate destructively through Tang China even three decades after its conclusion. As the new emperor, Dezong, attempts to revitalize the glory days of old, he’ll kick off an new round of wars with the…
#107 - Tang 20: This Is Only a Test
Aug 21, 2016 • 32 min
Today we explore the insanely difficult, stressful, byzantine… and sometimes fatal… world of the would-be imperial official as they attempt to climb their way through the labyrinth of tests explicitly designed to fail them out. One unlikely success of…
#106 - Tang 19: Not Quiet on the Western Front
Aug 7, 2016 • 35 min
You would think that finally quelling the largest rebellion on Earth would by the realm back into peaceful harmony. Unfortunately for the Tang, you’d be wrong. While China was forced to spend every waking moment in the Northeast desperately trying to…
#105 - Tang 18: Retrospective
Jul 27, 2016 • 33 min
Before getting into the latter half of the Tang Dynasty, we take a look back at the 175 years we’ve covered since the Sui first reunified China at the conclusion of the Period of Disunion. Join us on this high-altitude, rapid journey charting the highs…
#104 - AnShi 4: Crowns in the Gutters
Jul 18, 2016 • 35 min
The AnShi Rebellion grinds on to its bitter conclusion, claiming lives at a rate unprecedented in human history. Crowns and throne will be cast to the wind by fathers and sons alike, and in the end China will before force to decide between national…
#103 - AnShi 3: Strange Bedfellows
Jul 11, 2016 • 43 min
Reeling from the loss of both capital cities to the rebel army, Emperor Xuanzong and his heir Li Heng split up. Three days later from the northern garrison at Lingwu, the Crowned Prince declares himself the new emperor, Suzong – surprise, Dad! Newly…
#102 - AnShi 2: Song of Everlasting Sorrow
Jun 30, 2016 • 41 min
An Lushan marches south, occupying Louyang with blinding speed and leaving the Tang Dynasty reeling. Still, ultimately the tide seems ready to turn against the rebel general and self-styled-Emperor of Yan, until Chancellor Yang Guozhong’s bungling ruins…
#101 - AnShi 1: Heart & Belly, Claws & Teeth
Jun 19, 2016 • 39 min
The aged Emperor Xuanzong of Tang rest uneasily on his throne as 751 brings not just the sting of defeat at Talas, but also to the far south and northeast. He and his chancellor will become increasingly reliant on the Governor-General of Dongan…
#100 - Special: Di Yi Bai!
Jun 9, 2016 • 83 min
Title Meaning: “Hundredth!” It’s a Q&A between you listeners and myself on topics far and wide! They range from yet further exploration of Empress Wu, to the nature of Chinese alcohol, my favorite Chinese movies, Chinese classes and slavery within the…
#99 - Tang 17: The Battle of Talas
May 29, 2016 • 44 min
The armies of the Far West Anxi Protectorate of the Tang face down a force commanded by the ascendant Abbasid Islamic Caliphate, fresh off its victorious insurgency over the Umayyad Caliphate. But in this one and only clash between Chinese and Arab might,…
#98 - Tang 16: All Along the Watchtowers
May 17, 2016 • 44 min
We leave the capital behind to take a tour of the Tang Empire’s neighbors, both old and new. A tenuous peace with Tibet leads to a westward push putting the Chinese into contact – and eventual conflict – with the Islamic Abbasid Caliphate. Meanwhile, to…
#97 - Tang 15: Law & Order: XZU
May 9, 2016 • 39 min
In the Justice System of the Tang Imperial Court, the throne’s interests are represented by two separate yet equally important groups: the Confucians, who argue for traditional ethics, and the Legalists, who argue for the unbending application of the…
#96 - Tang 14: The Sacrifices of Feng and Shan
Apr 26, 2016 • 34 min
Military reforms mark our entrance into Xuanzong’s early-middle reign, which is more or less a basket of unicorn foals: external peace, internal stability… now if only that darned economy would fix itself! But the emperor will turn a fateful corner in the…
#95 - Tang 13: Xuanzong Can Fix It!
Apr 18, 2016 • 36 min
Wu Zetian’s grandson Li Longji (aka Xuanzong of Tang) is left to pick up the pieces of 50+ years’ worth of overindulgence, royal excess, and the rampant deconstruction of the entire imperial bureaucratic apparatus. Thanks, grandma. Fortunately, he’ll…
#94 - Tang 12: Two Second Reigns
Apr 6, 2016 • 27 min
The Tang Dynasty has been restored following Empress Wu’s eldest son’s coup d’etat. But dynastic restoration does not equate to societal reformation, and many of the problems Wu inherited or exacerbated remain. Throw into that mix a decade long period of…
#93 - Tang 11: Dynasty of One
Mar 21, 2016 • 55 min
Wu Zhao sits on the Throne of Heaven as divine sovereign in her own right. But challenges from expansionistic neighbors such as the Tibetans, the Turks, and the Khitan will throw her regime’s stability into question, an ongoing economic crisis will spiral…
#92 - Tang 10: Sage Mother, Divine Sovereign
Mar 6, 2016 • 34 min
A white stone bearing a prophecy tells of an era of eternal prosperity, a disastrous rebellion spells the doom of the majority of the imperial Li Clan, an obscure sutra tells of the reincarnation of a goddess to rule over the world, the written word…
#91 - Tang 9: Reign of Terror
Feb 29, 2016 • 33 min
With her husband dead, Empress Wu is unrivaled in Chang’an, but that situation is tenuous as she has no legal basis for that power. Her eldest (surviving) son will take up the throne as Emperor Zhongzong for… all of two months before she decides he’s got…
#90 - Special: Monkey Business
Feb 19, 2016 • 38 min
In celebration of the Year of the Monkey, this week we take a look at China’s most famous demonic simian, Sun Wukong, the Monkey King, and his Journey to the West guarding the Buddhist monk Xuanzang. Then we’ll look at the historical 15 year long westward…
#89 - Tang 8: Clash on the Borderlands
Feb 15, 2016 • 37 min
Tang China goes to town on its neighbors over the course of the mid-7th century. First, the Western Regions of central Asia will feel the full force of a reunited Middle Kingdom, culminating in the collapse and Chinese annexation of the whole Western…
#88 - Tang 7: Empress Wu Behind The Curtain
Jan 22, 2016 • 40 min
The more than two-decade period following Wu Zhao’s ascension as Emperor Gaozong’s empress-consort will serve to point out three things: how weak the emperor is, how powerful Empress Wu has become, and how there is absolutely nothing she won’t do to keep…
#87 - Tang 6: Femme Fatale
Jan 13, 2016 • 35 min
With Taizong of Tang’s death, his ninth son Li Zhi will ascend to the throne as Emperor Gaozong. But his weak will will ensure that his reign will be dominated by those around him. First by his ministerial backers, but more and more by a seductive young…
#86 - Tang 5: Family Matters
Jan 5, 2016 • 33 min
Our third and final episode in our suite on Emperor Taizong of Tang, this time focuses on the family crisis that would grip the latter half of his reign, as the ill-fated conquest of Goguryeo raged on in the periphery. His eldest son and heir will prove…
#85 - Tang 4: The Wild West
Dec 26, 2015 • 44 min
1,000,000 show downloads! Emperor Taizong turns outward seeking to re-conquer the lost territories of the late, great Han at its height. But it’s easier said than done: to the west he’ll find that there’s a whole new cast of regional powers ready to stake…
#84 - Tang 3: The Khan Of Heaven
Dec 13, 2015 • 29 min
Li Shimin assassinated his two brothers and put his father out to pasture in order to snag the top job as Emperor Taizong. But a mere three weeks into his reign, this “rock star” monarch will face an existential challenge to his reign and the future of…
#83 - Tang 2: The Incident at Xuanwu Gate
Nov 30, 2015 • 42 min
The Tang will achieve hegemony over the entirety of China’s heartlands, both North and South. But with external foes subdued, simmering tensions within the royal household will begin bubbling to the surface, culminating in a showdown that will decide the…
#82 - Tang 1: The Tiger’s Trap
Nov 20, 2015 • 42 min
The Duke of Tang had taken control of China’s primary capital at Chang’an, and is now in position to seize the throne for himself. But even that momentous shift will only mark the beginning of the struggle to reclaim imperial authority and unite China…
#81 - Sui 5: Disintegration
Nov 8, 2015 • 35 min
With its push against Goguryeo rather catastrophically stalled out, the whole enterprise begins to unravel with spectacular speed for the Sui Dynasty. All the while, its Emperor Yang will maintain a disturbingly unaffected demeanor for the suffering his…
#80 - Sui 4: Ringing Blood From The Stone
Nov 2, 2015 • 30 min
Emperor Yang of Sui has ventured forth to the far northeastern border of China in an attempt to rescue his honor from the clutches of the impudent King of Goguryeo, Yeongyang. Little does King Yeongyang know that the Sui Empire has secretly begun…
#79 - Sui 3: Yang’s Imperial Tour
Oct 28, 2015 • 31 min
The second emperor of the Sui Dynasty gets bad rap - his postmortem regnal name means “the Slothful” and he’s commonly lumped together with the rest of the “bad-last emperors” as being hedonistic, wasteful, and just generally monstrous. But is this really…
#78 - Sui 2: Reconstruction
Oct 18, 2015 • 35 min
Today we finish out out look into the reign of the Sui Dynasty’s founding emperor, Wen. We begin first with the military roferms he imposed on his newly reunited state, mirroring those he made to the civil government. Once completed, Sui China will find…
#77 - Sui 1: Internal Affairs
Oct 8, 2015 • 44 min
Emperor Wen of Sui is potentially the most important monarch you’ve never heard of. For him, militarily reuniting China wasn’t his legacy - it was his prelude. Both pre- and post-reunification, we explore the internal facets of his truly impressive reign…
#76 - S&N 20: Taking Stock
Sep 29, 2015 • 29 min
So what does it all mean? Before stepping boldly into the Sui Dynasty, we take this episode to pan out to low-Earth orbit and watch the macro-developments of the past 300-plus years of Disunity, reviewing the dramatic sweep of a period of time often left…
#75 - S&N 19: Reunion
Sep 23, 2015 • 35 min
Northern Zhou seems to have plotted a course for ultimate victory in the contest between the Northern and Southern Dynasties, having already annexed Northern Qi and turned its sights on Chen to the south. But it’s amazing how quickly dynastic fortunes can…
#74 - S&N 18- The Fall Of Northern Qi
Sep 15, 2015 • 39 min
In the Northeast of China, Northern Qi just can’t catch a break. First it was Emperor Wenxuan’s murderous paranoia, and now it will be subjected to Wucheng’s indolent hedonism, “immoral games,” and general excesses… and then the penultimate Qi emperor,…
#73 - S&N 17: The Only Tear Shed For Wenxuan
Sep 7, 2015 • 36 min
Today’s episode takes us through the turmoil within northern China and beyond over the 550s. We begin looking outside of China proper as the rulers of the Rouran Steppe Confederacy are overthrown and replaced by the vassal-turned-enemy the Göktürks, and…
#72 - S&N 16: As The World Burns
Aug 31, 2015 • 34 min
In the post-557 world, the three new major powers of China must confront the wide ranges of changes and struggles they must each face now that the political order of the entire empire has been turned on its head. This time, we look at the situation in the…
Supplemental Biopic: The Mathematician Of Heaven
Aug 11, 2015 • 13 min
This short episode covers the life of one of the great mathematicians, astronomers, and engineers of ancient China: Zu Chongzhi. In his life from 429-500 CE, he will re-create an ancient precursor to the compass that had been lost for centuries, calculate…
#71 - S&N 15: The Crowded Hour
Jul 24, 2015 • 45 min
“There are decades where nothing happens, and there are weeks when decades take place.” It’s an out and out brawl as everything comes to a head at once in the 550s, all across China. In the south, the Liang princes struggle against both the rebel general…
#70 - S&N 14: The Hou Jing Disturbance
Jul 17, 2015 • 39 min
The end of Emperor Wu’s 5-decade-long rule over the Liang Empire is jam-packed with action. Following the split between Eastern and Western Wei in the North, it seems like there’s might be peace and quiet in the South for once. But this will prove…
#69 - S&N 13: The Ransom Of The Boddhisatva Emperor
Jul 8, 2015 • 38 min
Buddhism has taken Southern China by storm, but few more than its emperor, Wu of Liang. He’ll try to talk a monk out of setting himself on fire, have an awkward chat with the founder of Zen Buddhism, and even enter a monastery and refuse to leave,…
#68 - S&N 12: Dam It, Wu!
Jun 26, 2015 • 32 min
Going back about 50 years to the beginning of the 6th century, we move South once more to visit the new Dynasty that has destroyed the Qi: Liang, and it’s founding Emperor Wu. In this first half of Wu of Liang’s reign, wars will be fought, religions will…
#67 - S&N 11 All The Wei Down
Jun 17, 2015 • 45 min
Though Northern Wei has been a beacon of steadiness amid the ephemeral Southern Dynasties, its time has come to an end. Wracked by ineptitude and betrayal, weighed down by jealous Empress dowagers, ambitious generals, and infant emperors, and with a…
#66 - S&N 10: Cold Case File
Jun 3, 2015 • 31 min
Please check out Stephen Guerra’s The History of the Papacy Podcast at We continue our look at Northern Wei at the dawn of the 6th century. The imperial bookends will be Xiaowen - the chief proponent of sinicization among…
#65 - S&N 9: What’s In A Name?
May 25, 2015 • 34 min
While the South of China self-destructs time and again, the North is undergoing its own revolutionary shift - not of dynastic head, but something even more fundamental: total social re-organization - from Asian Steppe Society, to one trying to out-play…
#64 - S&N 8: The Rise And Fall Of Southern Qi
May 16, 2015 • 31 min
The successor state to Liu Song will start off strong, but it will soon hit the rocks of instability, rebellion, and overthrow all in just a little more than 2 decades. At the dawn of the 6th century, its end will largely parallel its beginning. Time…
#63 - S&N 7: Going Off The Rails
May 7, 2015 • 34 min
The fates have not been kind to the Liu Song Dynasty. It keeps rolling the monarchy dice, and they keep coming up crazy-eyes. Emperor Ming will start strong, but descend into cruelty and paranoia. His successor seems to have just been born bad, and the…
#62 - S&N 6: State Of Emergency
Apr 28, 2015 • 35 min
In the mid-5th century, Southern China is at a boiling point. Between the decade reign of Emperor Xiaowu, and the 1-year abomination of his son Liu Ziye, there will be rebellion, murder, torture, and incest… so, so much incest. All of leading toward a…
#61 - S&N 5: The Forgotten God-King
Apr 14, 2015 • 37 min
Emperor Taiwu has been described as “Northern Wei’s Teddy Roosevelt”, and overshadows many of the Tuoba emperors to follow his reign of conquest and war. But the most forgotten of those successors, his grandson Emperor Wencheng, may have actually been far…
#60 - S&N 4: The More Things Change…
Apr 7, 2015 • 39 min
The decade long détente between the South and North will be shattered in 449 by a series of tit-for-tat campaigns by both sides, resulting in the destruction of much of the lands south of the Yellow River. But it will be assassins, not soldiers, who will…
#59 - S&N 3: Buddhist Blades, Daoist Flames
Mar 30, 2015 • 35 min
Over the course of the 5th century, Buddhism had become the rising star within China, in spite of its foreign origins. That would run into direct conflict with China’s own home-grown religion: Daoism. As the two co-mingled, some would accept both… but…
#58 - S&N 2: Thirty-Six Stratagems
Mar 23, 2015 • 30 min
Northern Wei uses Liu Song’s hesitation to move north of the Yellow River as an opportunity to reintegrate the last of the 16 Kingdoms into its hegemony. Koreans, Huns, and Mongols all get caught up in the fray.
#57 - S&N 1: Bipolarity
Mar 16, 2015 • 38 min
What had been sixteen kingdoms in the North and an uneasy Dynasty in the South has calcified into a seemingly permanent polar split. After some shenanigans, both halves of China will - surprisingly - find themselves with capable leaders. The coming…
Update: Episode Name Change
Mar 12, 2015 • 2 min
Explanation of THoC’s name switcheroo…
#56 - 16K 9: The Two Deaths Of Jin
Mar 6, 2015 • 37 min
We track back down south to discover what’s been going on with the Jin Dynasty. An imbecile emperor will precipitate multiple governmental crises, ultimately resulting in overthrow, restoration, and then second overthrow the the dynasty.
#55 - 16K 8: No Country For Old Yan
Feb 19, 2015 • 33 min
The Xianbei Tuoba Clan from the northwest fills the power-vacuum left by the collapse of Former QIn, and will soon add much of Later Yan to its conquests. But its rulers will be sorely tempted by the trappings of power, and as we all know in this…
#54 - 16K 7: Best Laid Plans…
Feb 6, 2015 • 46 min
Fratricide, regicide, and genocide are hallmarks of this period in the north. Though the tumult, Former Qin shall emerge triumphant to reunite both the North and Sichuan under its banner… only to watch it all crumble in the span of two years.
#53 - 16K 6: The Year Of Five Emperors
Jan 24, 2015 • 29 min
The second half of Shi Hu’s reign over Later Zhao, his scheming heirs, and the short, unhappy reigns of his eventual successors… all leading the the once-supreme kingdom being pulled apart like so much carrion by its neighbors.
#52 - 16K 5: The Two Caligulas Of China
Jan 11, 2015 • 31 min
Following the death of Emperor Shi Le, Later Zhao will swiftly succumb to the bloody revenge of Shi Hu. But it’s his heir, Shi Sui, who is the true terror of this episode…
#51 - 16K 4: Infighting
Dec 28, 2014 • 27 min
South of the Huai River, The Eastern Jin discover that a house divided against itself cannot long stand. Meanwhile in the north, the barbarian kings have turned on each other with the Xiongnu emperor of Han Zhao squaring off against the Jie Prince of…
#50 - 16K 3: Splinters
Dec 21, 2014 • 29 min
The Jin Dynasty has lost the north, and now hides on the southern banks of the Yangtze River, trying to pull themselves together. Meanwhile the Xiongnu-led tribal coalition calling itself Northern Han will discover that defeating Jin was the easy part,…
#49 - 16K 2: Barbarians At The Gates
Dec 7, 2014 • 35 min
Following the bloody struggle between the eight princes, the Jin Dynasty lies in tatters. Into the void will step five non-Chinese tribes, initially led by the ancient enemy of China, the Xiongnu.
#48 - 16K 1: The Disorder Of The Eight Princes
Nov 29, 2014 • 39 min
Emperor Wu goes on an 8-year, goat-powered orgy through 5000 concubines, leaving the empire in the hands of his mentally disabled son, and the Imperial princes and empress will fight it out over who gets to control him.
#47 - Special: Happy Anniversary!
Nov 16, 2014 • 29 min
As promised, here we take a short break before launching into the Jin Dynasty of the late 3rd century to celebrate our first anniversary and of course answer those pressing questions you guy have sent in.
#46 - 3K 5: Long United Must Divide, Long Divided Must Unite
Nov 11, 2014 • 29 min
We arrive at the climactic finale of the Three Kingdoms period, as Emperor Wu of Jin orders a massive warfleet constructed to deal the coup de grace to Eastern Wu.
#45 - 3K 4: House Of The Rising Sun
Nov 6, 2014 • 32 min
The state of Eastern Wu has been busy, busy, busy, in spite of all the focus given to the rivalry between its Western and Northern neighbors. But when Shu Han crumbles and The Cao Clan is overthrown by the Simas, they’ll be in for their greatest test yet.
#44 - 3K 3: The Southern Strategy
Oct 29, 2014 • 31 min
Warping back in time half a century, we take a different look at the Three Kingdoms through the eyes of Shu Han of Sichuan, its regent lord Zhuge Liang, and his five campaigns against the northern stare of Cao Wei between 228 and 234.
#43 - 3K 2: Ode Of The Hidden Dragon
Oct 19, 2014 • 29 min
The state of Cao Wei comes under the pretty-much-permanent regency of the Sima Family and launches a wildly successful blitzkrieg into Shu Han, meanwhile the teenaged Cao Emperor writes angsty poetry about how lonely he is and no one understands him.
#42 - 3K 1: The King In The North!
Oct 13, 2014 • 34 min
The war between the Three Kingdoms has ground to a bloody stalemate. Hoping to seize the initiative,Cao Wei and Sun Wu will turn their attention to Manchuria and Korea in search of allies to exploit and foes to crush.
#41 - E. Han 8: A Farewell To Hans
Oct 5, 2014 • 27 min
We reach the end of the road for the Han Dynasty… well, sort of… it’s complicated. In any case, there will be two emperors and a king by the time this episode is over. The Three Kingdoms are officially here.
#40 - E. Han 7: The Red Cliffs Of Chibi
Sep 28, 2014 • 29 min
The warlord Cao Cao has crushed any rivals to his power in the North, and now turns South to reunify China under his new regime. South of the mighty Yangtze River, the rival lords of Jing Province and Wu Prefecture must put aside their differences and…
#39 - E. Han 6: Warlords, White Wolf, Winter Winds
Sep 21, 2014 • 27 min
In the Southeast, the young but ambitious Sun Ce has splintered off to form his own power bloc, but intrigue will leave his legacy in jeopardy. To the Southwest, the thrice defeated Liu Bei has fled to the refuge of Jing Province under his cousin’s…
#38 - E. Han 5: The Battle Of Guandu
Sep 14, 2014 • 35 min
In the aftermath of the tyrant Dong Zhou’s death, the two commanders of the former anti-Dong coalition vie for power and legitimacy. Cao Cao will take control of Emperor Xian, prompting his one time ally Yuan Shao to launch an all-out invasion of Cao’s…
#37 - E. Han 4: Things Fall Apart
Aug 31, 2014 • 35 min
Corruption and plutocracy run rampant throughout Han, leading to a religious uprising called the Yellow Turban Rebellion. It’s swiftly put down, but the problems are only beginning as we enter the end-phase of the Han and the opening act of the Three…
#36 - E. Han 3: Live Fast, Die Young
Aug 24, 2014 • 39 min
Coming on the heels of Han’s last Golden Age, emperors will begin dropping like flies, opening the Empire up to corruption from its empresses, military commanders, and the newly-empowered eunuch-lords. Also, paper will be invented.
#35 - E. Han 2: Reclamation
Aug 17, 2014 • 34 min
It is a Golden Age for the Eastern Han. After decades of tumult, famine, and civil war, the Chinese Empire is poised once again to reclaim its status as preeminent East Asian power. Retaking the abandoned Western Vassal Kingdoms, sending envoys to India…
#34 - E. Han 1: One Han, Two Han, Red Han, True Han
Aug 10, 2014 • 38 min
In the power vacuum left by the defeated Xin Dynasty’s collapse, no fewer than six claimants to the long-vacant Throne of Han will vie for power… one backed by the Lülin Rebels, another by the Red Eyebrow Army, another a northern lord with an axe to…
#33 - Xin 2: The Red Eyebrow Rebellion
Aug 5, 2014 • 34 min
All hell breaks loose for Wang Mang’s Xin Dynasty when the Yellow River flooding its banks in 11 CE combines with the Xin’s own incompetent response, leading to famine, rebellion, and a complete breakdown of the social order and the dynasty itself.
#32 - Xin 1: Han, Interrupted
Jul 26, 2014 • 35 min
Confucian Wang Mang overthrows Han and sets up his Xin Dynasty to renew the Golden Age of Zhou through land nationalization, wealth redistribution, and currency reform. It seemed like a great idea on paper, but in practice things begin to horribly wrong…
#31 - W. Han 9: The Decline Of Han
Jul 20, 2014 • 32 min
The Han Dynasty has slipped into a malaise that seems difficult to pull out of. Emperor Yuan is an indecisive Confucianist, his successor Cheng an impotent and free-spending hedonist, and Ai a flamboyant grandma’s boy who will try to bequeath the entire…
#30 - W. Han 8: Getting Over Wu
Jul 13, 2014 • 32 min
Following the historically long reign of Emperor Wu, the Han Empire struggles to find a replacement, in light of the designated heir being dead. The first choice will die without ever having tasted real power, the second an incompetent buffoon who won’t…
#29 - W. Han 7: Every Direction But The Sea
Jul 6, 2014 • 38 min
In this last of three parts of Wu of Han, with the back of the once-mighty Xiongnu Empire broken, Emperor Wu’s Han turns to the South, North, and West to gobble up most of its neighbor states in an orgy of expansion. At home, the aging Wu must contend…
#28 - W. Han 6: The Sino-Xiongnu War
Jun 29, 2014 • 29 min
Tensions between the Han and Xiongnu Empires boil over into full-scale war after decades of humiliation at the hands of the northern horse-lords. When the traditional methods of neutralizing Xiongnu power fails, Emperor Wu must turn to a new generation of…
#27 - W. Han 5: Go West, Young Han!
Jun 22, 2014 • 31 min
The young Emperor Wu of Han struggles to step out of the shadow of his grandmother and seize power in his own right. Meanwhile, he has sent an emissary behind enemy lines to find what mysterious peoples and empires lie far to the West, but it’s uncertain…
#26 - W. Han 4: The Rule Of Wen And Jing
Jun 15, 2014 • 31 min
The reigns of Han Emperors Wen and Jing took enormous strides to stabilize the dynasty both within and without. Lowered taxes, more lenient laws, and normalization of international relationships saw life under Wen and Jing greatly improve. But a blunder…
#25 - W. Han 3: The Bloody Empress
Jun 8, 2014 • 29 min
With Han’s first Emperor, Gaozu, dead, his wife the first Empress of China Lü Zhi plans on making a few… *alterations* to the goings on of court life. And she doesn’t care who she has cut the arms and legs off of to achieve her goals.
#24 - W. Han 2: Xiongnu to the Left of Me, Rebels to the Right…
Jun 2, 2014 • 34 min
The Han Dynasty is established by Liu Bang, who crowns himself it’s first Emperor Gaozu. But though this is the beginning of a golden age for China, it get’s off to a rough start, as to the north the steppe tribes have united into the terrifying Xiongnu…
#23 - W. Han 1: The Chu-Han Contention
May 25, 2014 • 35 min
With the Qin Dynasty dead and buried, the victorious rebels turn on one another to establish who will be the next power in China. The Hegemon-King of Chu, Xiang Yu, squares off against his great rival the King of Han, Liu Bang.
#22 - Qin 3: Web Of Deception
May 18, 2014 • 32 min
Following the First Emperor’s “Weekend At Bernie’s”-esque death, the Qin Dynasty is thrown into turmoil over who will succeed the Emperor who sought to live forever. But at the heart of this web of intrigue sits the eunuch Zhao Gao, pulling the threads of…
#21 - Qin 2: One Nation Under Qin
May 8, 2014 • 37 min
The victor of the Warring States Period has unified China into its first Empire and taken the name Shi Huang Di. Thereafter, he will expand his borders, unify his nation’s language, build a Great Wall to the north, and attempt to stave off death itself.
#20 - Qin 1: There Can Be Only One
Apr 28, 2014 • 27 min
In this final conclusion of the Warring States Period, the King of Qin at last begins his campaign to destroy the other six kingdoms and unify China under a new dynasty. But he’ll have to contend with military setbacks, tenacious defenders, and assassins…
#19 - E. Zhou 8: The End Of Zhou
Apr 27, 2014 • 23 min
In this first of two part exploring the end of the Warring States Period, Qin continues its campaign again the six other fractious kingdoms, decimating Zhao and Yan before putting the Zhou Dynasty itself to rest forever.
#18 - E. Zhou 7: Shifting Loyalties, Uneasy Alliances
Apr 18, 2014 • 38 min
Qin’s power continues to grow unabated, as the other states struggle to put aside their own differences long enough to deal with this emergent threat to their balance of power. As hastily put together “Vertical Alliance” might have the capacity to check…
#17 - E. Zhou 6: Qin’s Reformation And Ascension
Apr 9, 2014 • 30 min
A brief synopsis of Tomb Sweeping Festival, it’s traditions and expectations… then onto the state of Qin’s early defeats at the hands of a combined Wei and Han. It’s Qin’s subsequent reforms at the hand of the Legalist Shang Yang,however, that are the…
#16 - E. Zhou 5: The Partition of Jin
Mar 25, 2014 • 27 min
The transition from the Spring and Autumn to the Warring States Period is, all in all, an eight decade process. But the major event that would shape the conflict to come is the civil war that would destroy the pre-eminent power of the 6th century BCE Zhou…
#15 - E. Zhou 4: The Art of War
Mar 18, 2014 • 39 min
The magnum opus of the legendary general and tactician of the Spring and Autumn Period, Sun Tzu. In this episode, we go over the life of the military genius, as well as an overview of his manual to success on the battlefield, and how it remains relevant…
#14 - E. Zhou 3: Confucius Says…
Mar 7, 2014 • 35 min
This episode we chronicle the life of Master Kong A.K.A. Confucius, as well as detail his socio-political philosophies which would shape the future of China, as well as those of much of the rest of East Asia. Less fighting, more thinking, in the first of…
#13 - E. Zhou 2: The Widening Gyre
Feb 24, 2014 • 30 min
Spheres of domination, intrafamiliar betrayal, and tangled alliances are the markers of the second portion of the Spring and Autumn period, called the Age of Encroachments. All of this leading to the major powers of the Zhou Empire to engage in…
#12 - E. Zhou 1: The Shattered Empire
Feb 15, 2014 • 30 min
King You of Zhou lays headless, the capital a smouldering ruin, and royal authority utterly destroyed. Regional lords exploit the chaos at hand to expand their own domains - and at times declare their own kingdoms - while the new, toothless Eastern Zhou…
#11 - Special: Gong Xi Fa Cai!
Jan 30, 2014 • 35 min
This Episode, we take a time-out from the historical flow to take advantage of the upcoming Chinese New Year festivities. We explore the history, legends, customs, and meaning behind this ancient and storied period of celebration. Happy Year of the Yang…
#10 - W. Zhou 2: The King Who Cried “Barbarian!”
Jan 21, 2014 • 38 min
This episode, we start at the mid-point of the Western Zhou period, and follow it all the way down to its conclusion with the shattering of Royal authority, the sacking of the capital, and the vengeance of the White Wolf Clans on the Zhou. By the end of…
#9 - W. Zhou 1: Heaven Does Not Make Propositions
Jan 12, 2014 • 31 min
The self-proclaimed Kung Wu of Zhou stands triumphant amid the smoking ruins of the Shang Dynasty… but though the war is over, victory is far from assured. With his premature death, his unready heir will prompt rebellion against the fledgling Zhou Dynasty…
#8 - Shang 3: The Shang Vanquished
Dec 29, 2013 • 27 min
This episode we chronicle the decline and eventual fall of the once-glorious Shang Dynasty to the same vices and evils that spelled doom for the Xia centuries ago. In the West, a powerful new clan calling itself the Zhou has risen to power, eventually…
#7 - Shang 2: The Shang Triumphant
Dec 21, 2013 • 39 min
In this first of two parts, we look at the first half of the Shang Dynasty beginning with the victory and reign of Tang “The Perfect” and leaving off 21 emperors, five capitals, and 400 years later with the amazing reign of Wu Ding and his…
#6 - Shang 1: Them Bones, Them Bones, Them Oracle Bones
Dec 13, 2013 • 34 min
We take a “time out” from our forward-marching chronology to examine the evidence we have of the Shang state, and how we came to know what we know about his period. Mostly, it’s about what we can learn from reading divine messages off of dragon bones.
#5 - Xia 3: The Fall Of The House Of Xia
Dec 6, 2013 • 28 min
This episode we cover our source materials, and then delve into the latter half of the Xia Dynasty post Shao Kang’s restoration. It all ends with the corrupt and cruel Emperor Jie coming face to face with the Army of Shang bearing down on him, intent on…
#4 - Xia 2: Revenge of the Xia!
Nov 29, 2013 • 20 min
This time, we take an in depth look into Shao Kang, the prince born in hiding who would rise from his dynasty’s ashes to seek revenge against the Usurper-General Han Zhuo who had ruthlessly pursued him. Through a combination of skill, luck, and patience,…
#3 - Xia 1: The Xia, China’s First Dynasty
Nov 26, 2013 • 26 min
This week we move into the beginnings of China’s dynastic period where rulers began favoring birthright over merit – and the consequences will be almost immediately apparent. Beginning with the triumphant reign of the heroic Yu the Great, the Xia’s…
#2 - Origins 2: Five Emperors, Twelve Islands
Nov 26, 2013 • 27 min
This episode, we enter the second half of our gaze into the Chinese origins mythos. Focusing on the Five Emperors descended from the Yellow Emperor, this period marks the beginning of the transformation of the Huaxia People from settled tribe, to dynastic…
#1 - Origins 1: The Mythical Origins Of The Middle Kingdom
Nov 25, 2013 • 29 min
In episode 1, we begin with an introduction to this podcast, followed by a brief overview of what we’ve come to know about early human migration and settlement in the region that will eventually become China. Finally, we’ll delve into the mythological…