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The first in-depth exploration of the artistic and cultural achievements of China's "classical" era Age of Empires presents the art and culture of China during one of the most critical periods of its history - the four centuries from 221 B.C. to A.D. 200-- when, for the first time, people of diverse backgrounds were brought together under centralized imperial rule that fostered a new and unified identity. The Qin and Han empires represent the "classical" era of Chinese civilization, coinciding in both importance and timing with the Greco-Roman period in the West. Under the short-lived Qin and centuries-long Han, warring principalities were united under a common emperor, creating not only political and intellectual institutions but also the foundation for a Chinese art, culture, and national identity that lasted over two millennia.



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