Cover: Martial Spectacles of the Ming Court, from Harvard University PressCover: Martial Spectacles of the Ming Court in HARDCOVER

Harvard-Yenching Institute Monograph Series 87

Martial Spectacles of the Ming Court

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Product Details


$52.95 • £42.95 • €47.50

ISBN 9780674073371

Publication Date: 11/11/2013


437 pages

6 x 9 inches

7 color photographs, 1 map

Harvard University Asia Center > Harvard-Yenching Institute Monograph Series

World, subsidiary rights restricted

Martial Spectacles of the Ming Court contributes greatly to our knowledge of Ming rulership, the relations of Ming emperors and their ministers, and the place of the Ming in Eurasian patterns of rulership. In examining this neglected but major aspect of Ming governance, David Robinson has gathered an impressive array of sources, including Korean records of the Ming court, and placed them in their proper contexts. This work continues Robinson’s project of breaking down the scholarly Great Wall mentality by incorporating the Ming into Eurasian historiography in a way that facilitates comparisons between the Ming and other early modern empires.—Sarah Schneewind, University of California, San Diego

Martial Spectacles of the Ming Court properly situates the Ming within the broader scope of Eurasian history and highlights the important roles played by martial culture in sustaining the Ming imperium. David Robinson illuminates how martial culture has been obscured in the historical record by disapproving civil officials who, after all, wrote most of the surviving accounts. Such an exercise requires a careful reading of sources and a deep understanding of the political context in each case, and Robinson is to be commended for his erudition and breadth of knowledge in this regard. This book fills a very important void in the existing scholarship and substantially advances our knowledge of martial displays and their importance for the manifestation of Ming power both within and without the empire.—Kenneth Swope, University of Southern Mississippi

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