By David M. Robinson
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Additional info for Bandits, Eunuchs and the Son of Heaven: Rebellion and the Economy of Violence in Mid-Ming China
74 The land grantees, however, pressed strongly for the right independently to determine rents and directly collect them. 75 A second influence of these domains and their attendant personnel was the challenge to the authority of local officials (and more generally to the civil bureaucracy). 78 Feeling unequal to the challenge, many officials The Capital Region 37 tacitly acknowledged the power of these de facto satraps. ”79 Less of a challenge to local civil authorities but more of a burden to commoners in the Northern Metropolitan Area was the Ming dynasty’s horse administration.
Gaps and silences appear. Contradictions confront. Suspicions arise. Unspoken motivations must be plumbed, and misleading justifications must be evaluated. At many points, indeed often at the most critical junctures, the historian relies on his or her imagination and intuition to bridge these gaps, to extrapolate from the reassuring terra firma of the known and documented to the realm of the plausible, the probable. I have drawn on privately compiled sources whenever available, read imperial records with a healthy dose of skepticism and an awareness of their particular agendas and language, and sought to listen as much to what extant documents pass over in silence as to what they dwell on at length.
I have drawn on privately compiled sources whenever available, read imperial records with a healthy dose of skepticism and an awareness of their particular agendas and language, and sought to listen as much to what extant documents pass over in silence as to what they dwell on at length. I have endeavored to read imaginatively between the lines of court documents and relate imperial discourse to the realities of local society. I am acutely aware of the danger of seduction by imperial rhetoric, in all its many forms.
Bandits, Eunuchs and the Son of Heaven: Rebellion and the Economy of Violence in Mid-Ming China by David M. Robinson