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"The Great Wall of China: From History to Myth" Topic


7 Posts

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263 hits since 14 Feb 2018
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

Tango0114 Feb 2018 12:06 p.m. PST

"Waldron's monograph is now the standard English language scholarly analysis of this topic, one of direct interest to any student of the history of empire in Asia. Waldron came to the topic as a doctoral student, working on the military policy of the Ming Dynasty. At that stage he assumed that the prevailing view of the Great Wall was more or less correct: the Wall was a systematic and continuous line of fortifications built by ancient Chinese emperors, and maintained throughout the centuries as a defended frontier that divided China proper from the territories and peoples north and northwest of it; this Wall was built and maintained because of the problems caused by the fundamental incompatibility between a settled agricultural civilization and nomadic steppe peoples, and to manage those problems. Waldron found however that there was no continuous line of fortifications, stone or otherwise, running more than 6000 kilometres; that the term Great Wall was almost unheard of before the Ming Dynasty; that the continuous line of stone fortifications that survives today was built only during the latter era of the Ming Dynasty; that it never provided any effective military protection for those who built it; that many walls were built at different times by different Chinese rulers, because wall building was a frequently adopted but usually hotly contested strategy for managing the northern frontier, but was only one strategic choice out of an array attempted over the years; and that the Great Wall as it presents itself today is an important concept for anyone trying to understand the ordering of China and the Chinese world, from the Imperial era to the present…."
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Amicalement
Armand

Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP14 Feb 2018 12:22 p.m. PST

It definitely made it easier to keep most of the monsters out.

Dan

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gamershs14 Feb 2018 2:28 p.m. PST

The walls in China were not meant to stop an enemy but to delay and disrupt them. Where there is a wall it may be taken but that is when the problems start for an invader. Now you need to get horses across in large enough numbers to support your raid/invasion or else you are restricted to foot speed. While you are opening up a passage through the wall or getting your horses across the wall the Chinese can concentrate their forces against the raiders/invaders at the point where they are known to be.

Even if there are gaps where there are no walls the enemy will have to go out of there way to get to the gaps and this will give Chinese forces time to concentrate.

Sobieski14 Feb 2018 3:20 p.m. PST

There's no end to the nonsense about the Wall pretending to be history.

Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP14 Feb 2018 9:33 p.m. PST

DELETED

Tango0115 Feb 2018 11:02 a.m. PST

(smile)

Amicalement
Armand

Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP15 Feb 2018 1:36 p.m. PST

Isn't everything about everything nothing but a myth these days?

Dan

Lion in the Stars15 Feb 2018 9:46 p.m. PST

@Sobieski: Didn't you get the memo about how the only truth is what you personally believe to be true? It's what they seem to be teaching in college these days…

Besides, that movie was a fun ride, if quite rushed in the third act.

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