China in 1000 CE

The Most Advanced Society in the World

Translations of Qingming shanghe tu 清明上河圖:

Literally, qingming 清明 means “clear-bright,” and shanghe tu 上河圖 means “going-along-the-river-picture.” Another possible translation of the scroll’s name is “Spring Festival,” referring to the Qingming festival when, in early spring, the living sweep the graves of their ancestors. A third interpretation, proposed by Professor Hansen in her article (above, read full article online), is that qingming can mean “peaceful and orderly,” making the scroll’s title “Peace Reigns Over the River.”

Note: Excerpt from “The Beijing Qingming Scroll and Its Significance for the Study of Chinese History” by Valerie Hansen, Professor of History, Yale University  from the Journal of Sung-Yuan Studies, 1996 | Reprinted with permission | Read the full article online