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A Journey Through Ancient China

Law and Punishment in Chinese History

Evening Course

Wednesday, June 7, 2023 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. ET
Code: 1J0270C
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Yang Guang depicted as Emperor Yang of Sui, 7th century

China has more than 3,000 years of recorded history, but misconceptions abound at every stage. This series takes you on a thematic tour of four important topics in ancient Chinese history: religion, ethnicity, law, and eunuchs. Justin M. Jacobs, a professor of Chinese history at American University, gives you a nuanced overview based on the latest scholarship and illustrated with copious slides.  

Jacobs is the author of The Compensations of Plunder: How China Lost Its Treasures. He recently completed a 24-episode series on UNESCO World Heritage Sites for The Great Courses and is currently conducting research on the voyages of Captain Cook in the Pacific.

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Law and Punishment in Chinese History

China is heir to one of the oldest legal codes in the world, one that has been continuously adapted for more than 2,000 years. Jacobs discusses the ideological assumptions that informed the code, including views on class, gender, and politics. He reviews fascinating criminal cases that were deemed so consequential that the emperor himself was forced to weigh in on the judgment.

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