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Friendship through Fourteenth-Century Fissures: Dai Liang, Wu Sidao and Ding Henian

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This essay analyzes one set of male bonds—the relationships between three men in the Yuan-Ming transition—to understand the range of meanings assigned to the practice of friendship in the fourteenth century. Through the exchange of writings, the three men constructed a friendship based on shared cultural ideas that was more valuable to them than the ethnic, regional, and political differences between them. At a time when the violence and disruptions associated with the Yuan-Ming transition and the lack of access to examinations and the civil service created a crisis in masculinity, these friendships allowed them to create a space where masculine values could be shared and expressed.

Affiliations: 1: Warwick University


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