The Pre-Qin Era, the Golden Age

The Greeks and the Romans called Huaxia “Seres”, and called China “Serica”. They called the capital of China, “Sera”. Greek had said of Huaxia, “In the East, there is Seres. This is an arrogant and closed-minded nation. They don’t like to associate and deal with foreign countries, though they have their very beautiful silk.” This was the earliest impression that Westerners thought of our nation. In fact, they misunderstood the ancient Huaxia Nation because of the differences between the civilizations of the Orient and the Occident.

In the Pre-Qin Era (the times before 221 BC), there were different pluralistic social systems in China. There were many states, which were built feudally by the Zhou Dynasty. They each chose different roads to their existence. Qi, the largest state in the east, attached great importance to trade. They built the Silk Road by the sea. They liked overseas trading and colonization. Nowadays in the Korean Peninsula, there are many descendants of the Qi people. They still keep old surnames such as Kang, Choi and Roh. Wu, the state in the south of China, was also a great sea power. In ancient times, the Japanese who visited the Central Nation said they were the descendants of Wu Taibo, the first monarch of Wu State. In 485 BC, Fuchai, the king of Wu, commanded his naval force in attack against Qi through the East China Sea. The navy of Qi State intercepted the navy of Wu on the Yellow Sea. There was a fierce naval battle between the two sea powers. At last, after great struggle, the Qi State won.

The Lu State, which was to the south of Qi, kept the traditional systems and rituals of the Western Zhou Dynasty. They placed much importance on education. Confucius was a philosopher of Lu State. The people of Lu loved traditions. In the Wei State and the Zheng State, two countries in the midst of the Central Plains, music was an important part of their heritage. There were many popular love songs from these two states. The music of Zheng and Wei were regarded as the “pop” music in that period.

The Qin State, which was located in the west of the Central Plains, became a country of totalitarianism and militarism through a reform in the 4th century BC. The Qin State attached importance to farming and wars, and farming was for supporting the wars. Finally Qin subjugated other states and pushed its system to all Chinese areas. Since the Qin Dynasty, the Orient and the Occident followed different roads.

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