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Behaving Badly in Early and Medieval China$
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N. Harry Rothschild and Leslie V. Wallace

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780824867812

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824867812.001.0001

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“Wolves Shepherding the People”

“Wolves Shepherding the People”

Cruelty and Violence in the Five Dynasties

Chapter:
(p.189) 11 “Wolves Shepherding the People”
Source:
Behaving Badly in Early and Medieval China
Author(s):

Hongjie Wang

Publisher:
University of Hawai'i Press
DOI:10.21313/hawaii/9780824867812.003.0011

This essay examines notorious crimes perpetrated by the military men during the chaotic Five Dynasties and Ten States period (907–979) based on both official histories and biji筆記‎ accounts. Rapidly shifting political rule, contested boundaries, an excessively premium on martial values, and tensions between the military (wu武‎) and the civil (wen文‎) all contributed to the violence and instability of the day. The unending wars and volatile politics fostered an environment wherein a widespread contempt for human life became commonplace, particularly among the military men who rose to power through combat and slaughter.

Keywords:   cruelty, violence, Five Dynasties, the military (wu 武) and the civil (wen 文)

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