The World in the Year 1000: The View from Beijing

Eurasian Empires Seminar Series Lecture by Valerie Hansen, Yale University

Thursday, October 24, 2013
12:00 PM - 2:00 PM
History Conference Room
6275 Bunche Hall

The tribal confederation of the Kitans, based in today’s Inner Mongolia and Liaoning provinces, offer a fascinating instance of a nomadic state that both defeated the Chinese and forged a lasting peace. Many people who have heard of the Song dynasty do not know who the Kitans were. Engaging in sophisticated cross-cultural collaboration, the Kitan drafted an ingenious treaty in 1004 that realigned power relations without injuring Chinese pride. The exchange of lavish gifts was a key element of diplomacy, and the Kitan also made artworks displaying exquisite craftsmanship, which they sent to and received from powerful rivals in the Islamic world, northern Europe, and possibly even more distant places. This talk suggests how these changes produced a globalized world in 1000 that resembled our own to a surprising degree.

The 2013-2014 seminar series, Eurasian Empires & Central Asian Peoples: The Backlands in World History, is co-sponsored by the UCLA Program on Central Asia and the Center for Near Eastern Studies. Click here for more information about the series.

Sponsor(s): Center for Near Eastern Studies, Center for Chinese Studies, Asia Pacific Center, Program on Central Asia