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First Episode 95: 朱元璋


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A part of the Grand First Episode Project -- See this thread for more info.

A series which I don't think has featured yet, but that I thought was absolutely great for anyone interested in the historical side is 朱元璋 from 2006.

This was a fantastic introduction to the major personalities and events at the fall of the Yuan and beginning of the Ming Dynasty. It taught me much more than I could easily have got out of most English language history books (which too often are superficial and/or don't really try bring alive in detail the people and events involved). In short the series really brought the period alive for me. The most popular history book at the moment in China is 明朝那些事. The series and the book, although not directly related, nevertheless complement each other well if anyone is already reading it.

Although this history is of the mid fourteenth century, I think to start to understand pre-modern, and then the development of early-modern China, a strong hand on this period is actually very important. The story of 朱元璋 is an amazing tale, of someone so poor that he had to watch his parents and many siblings die of hunger but who after turns of fate eventually conquered 天下. This was a feat only really equalled by the great 刘备 (as 朱元璋 himself was found to remind people :D ).

More than the basic thread of events it also taught me a lot about other figures and their importance in history such as the genius 刘伯温, who is still revered to this day, warlords such as 陈友谅, warriors such as 徐达,汤和 to name a few.


If anyone is interested I'm happy to post up a thread/some posts with some helpful vocab or explanations. The Language is high intermediate, but once I got into it, I found not too bad.

Edited by renzhe
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If anyone is interested I'm happy to post up a thread/some posts with some helpful vocab or explanations.

Please do! (and this goes for everyone else too)

I really don't have the time at the moment to keep starting threads, but as long as you provide some links, a description and (ideally) some vocab or summary, just start a thread and I'll add it to the project as soon as I get to it.

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