China and Inner Asia

Organized Panel Session

1 - Mount Kongtong on the Run: A Case Study of the “Kongtong Incident” during Emperor Wu of Han’s Reign

Saturday, July 7
12:10 PM - 1:40 PM
Location: Juniper, New Building

From the Han dynasty (206 BCE-220 CE) to the early Song dynasty (960-1279), the term “Kongtong”, which literally means a sacred mountain, has been used to refer to seven different places across China. In order to shed light on the historical and cultural interactions between China and its adjacent neighbors and ethnic groups, this paper discusses how the adoption—and the spread—of the term “Kongtong” was rendered into a socio-political discourse supported by both the imperial state and local elites. Specifically, this paper examines an incident happened in 112 BCE, in which Emperor Wu of Han (157 BCE-87 BCE) strategically named a mountain “Kongtong” to achieve his military agenda. This paper further argues that the rationale behind this incident lies in the reinvention of the term “Kongtong” by new immigrants from north China, and more importantly, by Emperor Wu of Han’s own devotion to the legendary Yellow Emperor and immortals. 

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1 - Mount Kongtong on the Run: A Case Study of the “Kongtong Incident” during Emperor Wu of Han’s Reign



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Send Email for Mount Kongtong on the Run: A Case Study of the “Kongtong Incident” during Emperor Wu of Han’s Reign