The Golden Peaches of Samarkand: A Study of T'ang Exotics
In the seventh century the kingdom of Samarkand sent formal gifts of fancy yellow peaches, large as goose eggs and with a color like gold, to the Chinese court at Ch'ang-an. What kind of fruit these golden peaches really were cannot now be guessed, but they have the glamour of mystery, and they symbolize all the exotic things longed for, and unknown things hoped for, by the people of the T'ang empire.
This book examines the exotics imported into China during the T'ang Dynasty (A.D. 618-907), and depicts their influence on Chinese life. Into the land during the three centuries of T'ang came the natives of almost every nation of Asia, all bringing exotic wares either as gifts or as goods to be sold. Ivory, rare woods, drugs, diamonds, magicians, dancing girls—the author covers all classes of unusual imports, their places of origin, their lore, their effort on costume, dwellings, diet, and on painting, sculpture, music, and poetry.
This book is not a statistical record of commercial imports and medieval trade, but rather a "humanistic essay, however material its subject matter."
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LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - ramage - LibraryThing
wonderful, scholarly book on exotic items imported into China during the T'ang Dynasty, and their influence on Chinese life: intoxicatingly rich and strange... Read full review
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aloeswood ancient animal Arabs aromatic Asia barbarians birds blue brought Buddha Buddhist Bukhara Burkill called camels Canton Ch'ang-an Ch'en Ts'ang-ch'i Champa Chen China Chinese ching Chou ChTS CLPT color court dance dragon drugs eighth century elephants emperor envoys especially exotic feathers flowers foreign gifts gold golden horses hsiang hsien Hsiian Tsung imperial important incense Indian Iranian jade Khotan king Kucha Kuchean Kung lapis lazuli Laufer Lo-yang lotus medicine medieval mountain Nan-chao native ninth century painted palace pearls Pelliot perfume Persian plant poem poet purple quoted in PTKM Reischauer Samarkand Sanskrit Schafer sent seventh century shih Shosoin Silla silver slaves Sogdian southern stone Sung Szechwan T'ai Tsung T'ang T‘ang Tang Taoist TFYK Tibetan Tocharian tree tribute ts'e TTTS Tuan Tuan Ch'eng-shih Tun-huang Uighurs Wang West Western wine Yamada yellow Yuan YYTT