Reassessing Ancient History: Trends in 20th Century Historiography
ABSTRACT Chinese historians at the end of the twentieth century have reexamined the issues that Republican era historian Gu Jiegang addressed at the beginning of the twentieth century confronted: the relationship between politics and scholarship, the role of archaeology in historical studies, and historical methodology. The issues Gu Jiegang raised remain pertinent to historical studies, and by referring to Gu Jiegang's work for understanding of these issues, historians have attested to his work's durability and flexibility, and even, its controversial nature. Today, as during the Republican period, historians have regarded Gu Jiegang as a revolutionary in the field of historical studies, but while some have admired his role, others have criticized it. However, close examination of Gu's work shows that Gu was not the iconoclast he and contemporary scholars have portrayed him as. Rather, like scholars of the dynastic period and many contemporary historians, he relied upon a thorough knowledge and dedication to the Classical texts, texts that he claimed to disavow.
MA Committee Members: Professor Robin McNeal, Cornell University; Professor Sherman Cochran, Cornell University.
dissertation or thesis