Scholar-farmer-artisan-merchant social ordering in ancient/medieval China

What did artisans and merchants do in ancient China?

Traders and merchants exchanged China’s silk for goods such as gold and glassware from such faraway places as Rome and Syria. Other skilled artisans worked with lacquer. Lacquer was a substance made from the natural sap of a tree. It was used as a protective coating and decoration on a variety of everyday items.

What were the four major professions in ancient China?

These were the shi (gentry scholars), the nong (peasant farmers), the gong (artisans and craftsmen), and the shang (merchants and traders). The four occupations were not always arranged in this order.

What are the social classes of ancient China?

The social hierarchy in Ancient China was paramount. Emperors, government officials, nobles, peasants, merchants and slaves all had their role to play within Chinese society. This clip collection looks at each of these key groups, examining their daily life and the role law and religion played throughout society.

What are farmers artisans and merchants called?

The plebeians, or common citizens, were usually artisans, merchants, farmers, or traders. They made up the majority of the population, but had very little say in government.

What did scholars do in ancient China?

Shiren (scholars or scholar officials) is the collective term of the ancient Chinese intellectuals, and is also an elite social group unique to ancient China. They learned and spread knowledge; they participated in politics; they carried on and carried forward Chinese traditional culture.

What did artisans and merchants do?

They dealt with merchants and traders on a daily basis, both to obtain the raw materials of their craft and to sell their finished products. Their goods brought riches to the cities, playing an important role in the economy of ancient Mesopotamia.

How were merchants typically treated in China?

Merchants were never treated with respect, but under most dynasties in ancient times, they were allowed to live as they could afford.

Why were farmers important in ancient China?

Ancient Chinese began farming rice over 9,000 years ago. Farming made life easier because people no longer had to travel to hunt animals, but could grow their food where they lived. Rice and millet were the two main crops grown in Ancient China.

How did China develop a merchant class?

Song China (c. 960-1268 AD) experienced a commercial revolution in the 10th century. From early Song onwards, commercial taxes loomed large, and trading or market towns devoted to specialization and trading thrived. The result was the rise of a distinct merchant class.

What did merchants do in medieval times?

Medieval merchants began to trade in exotic goods imported from distant shores including spices, wine, food, furs, fine cloth (notably silk), glass, jewellery and many other luxury goods. Market towns began to spread across the landscape during the medieval period.

What did merchants do?

They worked as middlemen, coordinating the buying and selling of goods between overseas suppliers and the numerous storekeepers and farmers who lived outside of the main cities. A few merchants also invested their excess capital in manufacturing.

What did ancient artisans do?

Artisans created the fine artwork that often covered temples, royal tombs, and other monuments. They worked in large groups to complete engravings, paintings, and hieroglyphics. Despite artisans’ skill and creativity, the upper classes often viewed them as little more than common laborers.

How were merchants treated in ancient China?

Merchants were never treated with respect, but under most dynasties in ancient times, they were allowed to live as they could afford. Within these four categories, there were lots of jobs. You could be sworn to secrecy and become a silk maker.

How were farmers treated in ancient China?

Life as a Farmer

The majority of the people in Ancient China were peasant farmers. Although they were respected for the food they provided for the rest of the Chinese, they lived tough and difficult lives. The typical farmer lived in a small village of around 100 families.

What did ancient Chinese farmers wear?

Chinese farmers dressed very plain. Some wore cotton loincloths and others wore loose tunics and pants. On their feet they wore sandals made from straw or rushes. When the weather was bad in the sun or rain they wore cone shaped hats to protect them.

What did people wear in medieval China?

What is this? The ancient Chinese wore tunics like long- and short-sleeved robes with or without belts. Women mostly wore long tunics with a belt that touched the ground and men wore shorter ones that touched their knees.

How did the ancient Chinese make silk?

The cocoons are steamed to kill the growing moth inside. The cocoons are rinsed in hot water to loosen the threads. Women would unwind the cocoons and then combine six or so fibers into silk threads. The threads are woven into cloth.

What does the color red symbolize in China?

Red – Fire. Red is a popular color in Chinese culture, symbolizing luck, joy, and happiness. It also represents celebration, vitality, and fertility in traditional Chinese color symbolism. Red is the traditional color worn by Chinese brides, as it is believed to ward off evil.

Why is green unlucky?

Green was also thought to be a colour that belonged to these spirits or fairies, and people believed the fairies held the colour so dearly that they would be hostile towards anyone else who wore it. This superstitious idea has since evolved, with some stage actors believing green brings bad luck to their performances.

Is purple a lucky color?

Since early on purple has been the color of choice among royalty. It is also symbolic of magic, mystery and spirituality. Wearing it can bring about luck in areas of wisdom, passion, peace, independence and creativity. Wearing purple can also be uplifting, encourage imagination and create feelings of spirituality.

What does pink mean in China?


To the Chinese, pink is close to red. In fact, pink is a shade of red. So it can have all the meanings of red. Thus, pink is a symbol of happiness and repelling evil spirits.

What color is offensive to Chinese?


Red is strictly forbidden at funerals as it is a traditionally symbolic color of happiness; however, as the names of the dead were previously written in red, it may be considered offensive to use red ink for Chinese names in contexts other than official seals.

Is black unlucky color?

Black can be considered unlucky too given it’s association to the darkness and secrecy.

Why is yellow forbidden in China?

It rather comes from a warning Guo Pei’s grandmother gave her as a child growing up during China’s cultural revolution. Yellow was off-limits for commoners, who were expected to wear a drab communist uniform, much to the disappointment of a young Guo Pei, who begged her granny for a yellow dress.

Is it OK to wear red in China?

Red Clothes Is A Must

One common practice with regards to clothes that can still be witnessed today to a somewhat large extent is the use of the color red. As is probably already very well-known, red is the top Chinese lucky color and represents strength and prosperity.

What does Wu Fu Lin Men mean?

“Wu Fu Lin Men” (in Chinese) means “The five blessings” which is longevity, wealth, health, virtue, and a natural death have descended upon the house. In Chinese “Bian Fu” means Bat.

Is it rude to tip in China?

Tipping in China is generally uncommon and can even be considered rude or embarrassing in some circumstances so when taking a taxi, enjoying a refreshing drink or tucking into a delicious meal there’s no requirement to leave any gratuities. Gratuity is even illegal in airports and some establishments in China!

Can you buy alcohol in China?

Drinking Laws — With the exception of some minor local regulations, there are no liquor laws in China. Alcohol can be bought in any convenience store, supermarket, restaurant, bar, hotel, or club, 7 days a week, and may be drunk anywhere you feel like drinking it.

Why in Japan you don’t leave tips?

Why is Tipping in Japan Rude? The reason why tipping can be seen as rude in Japan is because they value dignity and respect much more than tipping. The Japanese believe you are already paying for a good service, so there is no need to pay extra by tipping.

Is alcohol expensive in China?

Local beer and baijiu (a kind of very strong distilled liquor) are widely available and very cheap. A very wide range of imported liquors, wine and beer are available in department and grocery stores and fancy hotels throughout the city at prices similar to those in big cities worldwide.

How much does KFC cost in China?

KFC/McDonald’s – Similar Prices to America

The cost of a hamburger is around 12 yuan, 7 yuan for fries, and a drink costs 7–10 yuan. Usually you can get a meal combo for 40 yuan (6.5 USD) including hamburger, fries, drink, and fried chicken.

How much does a pizza cost in China?

1 USD is equal to roughly 7 RMB, so a pizza that would cost 20 USD in the US would cost 140 RMB in China. With prices that steep, Pizza Hut created an upscale dining experience in China. For a while, Pizza Huts in China also featured extensive salad bars but did not allow repeat trips to the bars.