Ancient China Glossary and Terms

Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medical practice that involves inserting thin, sterile needles into specific points on the skin.

Bamboo is a grass with hollow stems that grows incredibly tall and quickly. Bamboo was used by the Chinese to make paper, structures, furniture, and musical instruments, among other things.

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Buddhism – Buddhism, one of China’s three main faiths, has its roots in India.

Calligraphy – A form of writing that was formerly regarded as an art form, calligraphy used brushes to paint the characters.

Civil service – The group of persons who worked for the government was known as the civil service. To get a career in the civil service, one had to pass a challenging exam.

Cocoon – Before becoming moths, silkworms create a cocoon as a kind of protection. Silk is produced from the cocoon-derived fibers of silkworms.

Confucianism is a philosophy or religion based on Confucius’s teachings.

Dragon – The beloved legendary dragon is a long-bodied serpent-like creature with keen teeth, four legs with talons, and the ability to fly.

Dynasty – A dynasty is when a family holds power over a nation for a protracted length of time.

Five Elements – Wood, fire, earth, water, and metal are the five components of traditional Chinese philosophy, respectively. The Wu Xing is another name for them.

Forbidden City – The Yongle Emperor of the Ming Dynasty constructed the enormous palace known as the Forbidden City in the heart of Beijing.

Great Wall – The Great Wall is a 5500-mile-long structure that forms part of China’s northern frontier. It was constructed as a defense against Mongol invasion.

Gunpowder – An important invention, gunpowder was employed in bombs, guns, fireworks, and other weaponry.

¬†Junk – A Chinese sailboat style known as a “junk” that normally has a flat bottom and fully battened sails.

Lacquer – A sort of varnish used to protect goods and enhance their beauty is called lacquer.

Minister: A high-ranking member of the government’s civil service.

Mongols – The nomadic northern nomads known as the Mongols frequently plundered China. They temporarily took control of a large portion of China under Genghis and Kublai Khan.

Nian was a fabled monster that plagued a Chinese village until it was driven away by loud noises and fireworks. On Chinese New Year, they celebrate their triumph against Nian.

Pagoda: A tower-shaped religious temple with numerous tiers and roofs.

Porcelain is a form of porcelain that the Chinese created. It is gorgeous, robust, and thin. It is frequently referred to as “china” in the west.

Qin Shi Huang – The Qin dynasty was founded by Qin Shi Huang, the first emperor of China, who unified China under his control.

Sampan: A 10- to 15-foot-long tiny, narrow boat with a flat bottom.

Silk – A beautiful fabric manufactured from silkworm cocoons, silk is. In ancient China, silk was highly valued and was only worn by affluent nobility.

Silk Road: A commercial corridor connecting northern China and Europe.

Taoism: Taoism is one of the three main philosophies or religions of ancient China. It is based on the ideas of Lao-Tzu.

Terracotta – A sort of baked clay ceramic is terracotta. The 8,000 life-size terracotta soldiers that were interred with Emperor Qin were constructed with it.

The Three Perfections – Painting, poetry, and calligraphy were considered the three most significant art genres in Ancient China.

Three Ways –¬† Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism were the three main schools of thought in Ancient China, collectively known as the “Three Ways.”

Yin and Yang are opposites that balance one another in nature, such as “light and dark,” “hot and cold,” and “male and female.” They are a component of the Taoist philosophy.

Zheng He – Chinese explorer Zheng He lived during the Ming Dynasty. He began conducting business in India and Africa.