MAN AND BEAST The Hybrid in Early Chinese Art and Literature 1 Our knowledge of Chinese religion and mythology rests on the evidence of art, archaeology and literature, which may be considered very generally in two types. There is the evidence of a natural, romantic and free tradition, sometimes associated with the south, and that of a formal, classical and inhibited tradition, sometimes associated with the north. Of these two major traditions, that of the north came in time to predominate over that of the south. For it was in the north that China's political and dynastic authorities emerged, and from thence that they extended their sphere of influence to the east, and then to the centre and the south. While this extension may be seen most clearly in political terms, it also affected cultural developments. The regimes of the north required intellectual conformity and support; there set in a tendency whereby the temporal masters and officials of the north were wont to mould and exploit the independent arts and mythology of the south so as to satisfy their own immediate political needs; and in the course of such treatment some elements of the southern tradition became subject
Numen – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 1978
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