Capital of the Past: Urban and Cultural Transformations of Chang'an, 900-1400


Luce/ACLS Early Career Fellowships in China Studies – Long-Term


Dept of East Asian Studies and Dept of History


This book tells the history of Chang'an from 900, when it lost its status as the Tang capital, to 1400, when, in much reduced form, it solidified its role as a  provincial military stronghold. By reading textual as well as epigraphic sources, I show that, even though the urban structures of Chang'an experienced a dramatic transformation and destruction after the fall of the Tang, the enduring interests of its residents and visitors in revisiting and reviving its imperial sites kept its memory vibrant to this day. In telling a history of economic decline and cultural revival, this book charts a new path for our understanding of Chinese urban history in the middle period.