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Local Temples In Early Ming: The Central View

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Chapter Summary

This chapter reveals several changes that took place during the early Ming dynasty in what was from then onwards known as Ji'an prefecture. The most important change was that Ji’an men were called to serve at the capital. John Dardess, in his study of Taihe county during the Ming dynasty, has a slightly different perspective on this period of outstanding success for men from this area. The chapter briefly sketches the political changes of the early Ming, and the dramatic changes in the political fortunes of men from Ji’an, before turning to the temple inscriptions of the early Ming to illustrate the point that Ji’an literati were no longer envisioning local communities to which they sought to belong. They distanced themselves from the local, cementing instead their contacts at the capital.

Keywords: early Ming dynasty; Ji’an literati; John Dardess; local temples



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