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Women of the Conquest DynastiesGender and Identity in Liao and Jin China$
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Linda Cooke Johnson

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780824834043

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824834043.001.0001

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Womanly Ideals in the Liao and Jin Periods

Womanly Ideals in the Liao and Jin Periods

(p.1) One Womanly Ideals in the Liao and Jin Periods
Women of the Conquest Dynasties

Linda Cooke Johnson

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter examines models of virtuous women described in the Liao and Jin dynastic histories, whose exemplary behavior reflected contemporary social expectations. Well-behaved women have been featured in various Chinese texts, including the Hou Hanshu (History of the Latter Han Dynasty), Lienü zhuan (Biographies of Exemplary Women), Weishu (History of the Wei Dynasty), and Suishu (History of the Sui Dynasty). Brief biographies of women were compiled at a time when values for feminine behavior might have been more heavily influenced by aspects of Confucian culture. This chapter considers the ideals of womanly behavior as represented in the lienü chapters of the Liao and Jin histories and some inscribed epitaphs. It shows that these brief biographies can be read on several levels to reveal personal traits and skills valued in Liao and Jin society, including precepts related to Confucian ethics, and that they demonstrate how new values diffused across frontiers.

Keywords:   virtuous women, Lienü zhuan, biographies, women, Confucian culture, womanly behavior, lienü, Liao society, Jin society, Confucian ethics

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