The Golden Peaches of Samarkand has 66 ratings and 13 reviews. Hadrian said: The Golden Peaches of Samarkand is charming encyclopedic study of the. The Golden Peaches of Samarkand: A Study of T’ang Exotics. Edward H. Schafer (Author). In the seventh century the kingdom of Samarkand sent formal gifts of. The Golden Peaches of Samarkand; A Study of T’ang Exotics. By Edward H. Schafer. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, xiii,
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Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. The Golden Peaches of Samarkand: In the seventh century the kingdom of Samarkand sent formal gifts of fancy yellow peaches, large as goose eggs and with a color like gold, to sxmarkand Chinese court at Ch’ang-an.
What kind of fruit these golden peaches really were cannot sakarkand be guessed, but they have the glamour of mystery, and they symbolize all the exotic things longed for, and unknown things hoped pesches, by th In the seventh century the kingdom of Samarkand sent formal gifts of fancy yellow peaches, large as goose eggs and with a color like gold, to the Chinese court at Ch’ang-an.
What kind of fruit these golden peaches really ggolden cannot now be guessed, but they have the glamour of mystery, and they symbolize all the exotic things longed for, and unknown things hoped for, by the people of the T’ang empire. This book examines the exotics imported into China during the T’ang Dynasty A. Into the land during the three centuries of T’ang came the natives of almost every nation peachee Asia, all bringing exotic wares either as gifts or as goods to be sold.
Ivory, rare woods, drugs, diamonds, magicians, dancing girls—the author covers all classes of unusual imports, their places of goldeb, their lore, their effort on costume, dwellings, diet, and on painting, sculpture, music, and poetry. This book is not a statistical record of commercial imports and gloden trade, but rather a “humanistic szmarkand, however material its subject matter.
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Be the first to ask a question about The Golden Peaches of Samarkand. Lists with This Book. This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Feb 10, Hadrian rated it really liked it Shelves: The Golden Peaches of Samarkand is charming encyclopedic study of the material culture and aesthetic trends of the Tang Dynasty.
Now the subtitle is a modest exposition of what’s in the book.
It’s an extensive history of the things that the T’ang Dynasty wanted to import from the 7th through the 10th centuries. Now this book was written before Orientalism and the questions of exoticizing everything that isn’t in Western Europe or just from the view of the historian. But this book manages to play The Golden Peaches of Samarkand is charming encyclopedic study of the material culture and aesthetic trends of the Tang Dynasty. But this book manages to play around with those expectations by discussing the things which they found interesting and exotic.
There is astonishing detail here – he talks about minerals, plants, rare animals, pigments, religious objects, rare books.
Many of the goods came from Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia, India, Serindia an archaic name for what is now Xinjiang provinceand the occasional glass good from Western Europe.
The detail extends to the translation, where he could spend time talking about the exact translation for a thousand year old word for a gem and whether it is sapphire, lapis lazuli, beryl, azurite, or anything else.
And it all makes for fascinating reading. The writing style is charming, and the author savors his words. Even samafkand than that, it’s still useful – for an academic book that’s about fifty years old, it’s still read. I can still find citations as recent as last year. Even in the endnotes, there’s something worth discovering here. Schafer navigates an impressive list of sources, and an understanding of the subtle arguments which make up points of translation. Aug 21, Mel rated it really liked it Shelves: A study of Tang exotics by Edward H.
Schafer is probably one of the earliest, if not the earliest, book written about the Tang dynasty. Swmarkand more encyclopedia than book, and for that reason it’s the gloden book about China that I haven’t read cover to cover in a long time. Each chapter is devoted to a different aspect of samarkabd, metals, clothing, jewels, food, books, animals, etc. The book is concerned primarily with the exotic items given to the dynasty as tribu The Golden Peaches of Samarkand: The book is concerned primarily with the exotic items given to peahces dynasty as tributes from the surrounding nations.
So in a way it looks far more at the cultures around the Tang than it sanarkand on the Tang itself. A lot can be learned from this information about the upper class, it’s sort of a reverse idea to the “everyday life” books.
The first chapter, “The Glory of the Tang” was peadhes itself simply amazing and may be worth getting the book for just in itself. It gave descriptions of the major trade towns and transportation in rich and vivid detail and you could really feel like you were there and seeing it all for yourself.
The Golden Peaches of Samarkand: A Study of T’ang Exotics by Edward H. Schafer
The rich prose continued throughout the rest of the book, Schafer borrowed from Poems, stories, and travel writings to illustrate his points.
Each chapter contained a small overview of the subject being discussed before going into detail about each item. Unless it was goldwn area I had particular interest in I have to admit I did skip much of the later descriptions. The emphasis was clearly on the exotic however.
While describing in great detail different objects and where they came from he left out a great deal of the practical side of things. When talking of salt for instance, he mentioned where it came from in china, and that a little was imported, but mentioned nothing about the formation of the salt monopoly or the merchants who gained from it, or the huge impact this had on Tang culture. Still samarkkand will make for good reference, as it did contain a huge amount of information, about all sorts of things.
The Golden Peaches of Samarkand: A Study of T’ang Exotics … and other works by Edward H. Schafer
There were lots of really interesting bits scattered throught the text, particularly about Empress Wu, and religious practices. It was an odd little book, well written, though with a definite touch of the “mystique of the east”. It also seemed to be going to great lengths to point out how much China was influenced by it’s neighbors, and how it was the neighbors who seemed to have all the really great things.
I enjoyed it, though I wish it had been written in a less encyclopedic format. At times it felt like I was reading a role-playing product and not a history book.
That can’t be a good sign Nov 26, Sylvia Volk rated it it was amazing. More nonfiction should be like this. This is a book that, well, describes stuff It’s a book of wonders, a very old-fashioned thing, and so yummy that I could put on weight just leafing through the chapter on horses. Jul 28, Jean rated it it was amazing. Jan 13, Michael Shea rated it liked it.
This book took me several years to read. I have to admit, this is a very niche topic. Over the years I have looked for books that cover East-West communication over the Eurasian landmass. I am fascinated that the Roman and Chinese empires knew of each other, but never had direct contact.
This book fits in that genre. It lists the different types of items presented to the emperors of Tang China as tribute gifts. It then proceeds to talk about where these items came from, who presented them, what This book took me several years to read.
It then proceeds to talk about where these items came from, who presented them, what they were used for in China and what they were used for elsewhere in the world. The items range from the exotic to the mundane.
For example, one of the items was narcissus plants. The book talks about where they originated from and who used them for what. The book took me so long to read, because the writing is academic and there is no story to follow per se. So I had to struggle to read this book. It was easier to consume in small doses. Initially, I found it hard to get in to this book.
I learned a lot, not only about the political geography, arts and social customs of the time, but about the flora and fauna of the area as well. Dec 22, Bryn Hammond rated it liked it Shelves: This famous book is a bit spoilt for me by his uncritical quotation of the Chinese on the Uighurs.
In Schafer’s text too they are ‘arrogant, haughty’ and nothing else, their behaviour when in China enough to disgust a civilized person. He doesn’t seem unfair on other ethnic groups, so this sticks out for me.
On the T’ang and the foreign, and foreigners in China, I found such insight and understanding in this one: Ethnic Identity in Tang China. Feb 09, David rated it really liked it. An amazing compilation of research about Tang imports, which manages to be both encyclopedic and engaging. Jun 11, Admiral rated it liked it. More encyclopedic than a novel, but very valuable in that way.
Jul 08, carly rated it really liked it. Feb 07, Jayme marked it as to-read-non-fiction. Mentioned in the acknowledgements for Under Heaven.
Feb 09, Maury rated it really liked it. Guan Zhong rated it it was amazing Jan 12, Ellen rated it really liked it Jul 25,