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Fighting for His Majesty (II): The Shang Art of War

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AbstractThis essay, one of the two parts of my research on Shang militarism, focuses on Shang military rituals and war preparations. I tackle issues such as the Shang king’s way of decision-making in regard to battles and military actions, the Shang communications system and logistics network, and the details of how the Shang produced grains and meats. Finally, I argue that careful scrutiny of the excavated buildings at Yanshi city, an early Shang capital before Anyang, strongly suggests that the Shang excelled at defense as well. In contrast to the first part of my research, which relied on secondary materials published by modern Chinese scholars, in the present essay I utilize published collections of oracle bone inscriptions. I have analyzed more than one hundred inscriptions and also discuss several individual graphs in order to ground my arguments.

Affiliations: 1: Mississippi State Universityshuwu@history.msstate.edu

10.1163/22127453-12341250
/content/journals/10.1163/22127453-12341250
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2014-02-06
2018-07-16

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