Science Social 10: Times of Transience

Times of Transience—China's Period of Division with Noa Hegesh and Keith Knapp

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While bookended by extended periods of unity and peace, the Period of Division in China was shaped by wars, displacement, and instability. Spanning nearly four centuries—from 280 to 589 AD to be exact—China fragmented into more than two dozen kingdoms at its peak. Social structures were installed and destroyed, competing canons of thought compiled, and multiple sects took shape.

And yet, the Period of Division also witnessed an unprecedented flourishing of culture, innovation, and creativity. Together with historians Noa Hegesh and Keith Knapp, host Stephanie Hood journeys into this understudied era of Chinese history. How could art and culture thrive under such circumstances? What role did the legendary figure Mulan play? And how do people deal with living in unpredictable and precarious times?


Produced by the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science
Theme song by Podington Bear, CC NY-NC 3.0