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About me


I started compiling this online encyclopedia (October 2000) at a time when the internet just began to conquer the world, including that of scholarly fields. Information that formerly had to be extracted from books in a very time-consuming way is presented now in various online dictionaries and encyclopedias in a very comfortable way.
After ten years of experience with online encyclopedias I am aware that there is still a lot of information not covered yet by freelance encyclopedias as the omni-present Wikipedia or Baidu 百度 and Hudong baike 互动百科 (in China), and that the articles in these sources are often defective or even unreliable, or at least are missing decent quotations.
On incentive of mine was to present as much information from the world of Chinese studies as possible, in one single and compound site.

My Chinaknowledge encyclopedia is therefore a tool to provide my own students - but of course, also everybody else interested in Chinese culture - with data that are mainly derived from Chinese sources. Because Chinese studies is a very vast field I am not able to cover all aspects of Chinese culture but I selected a series of fields that are of relevance for academic purposes and for the interested lay(wo)man, namely history, literature, and arts, and - to a minor extent - music, religion, and the Chinese script. Momentaneously I leave the field of contemporary Chinese studies to others because it is much easier to get information about the China of today than that of the past.

While my first purpose is to give access to Chinese primary sources, my second purpose is to use also trustworthy sources. All articles are therefore based on written secondary sources, some also on primary sources. Those articles in which no source is indicated yet, will be polished in the course of time.

I systematically use the modern Hanyu pinyin 漢語拼音 transcription, except for some names which are commonly known with other transcriptions in the West (like Chiang Kai-shek, Taipeh or Hong Kong. Beijing is Peking.). Except in tables concerning the People's Republic of China I consistently use the correct traditional characters (fantizi 繁體字) - although a lot of my students think that traditional characters are something dangerous.


I am not commercial, all my sites are freely visible and copyable. Yet I would highly acknowledge it if students using material from my page indicate this in a footnote or a bibliography.
I will not make any advertisements for profit-oriented companies on my site.
And I will not buy nor resell your products. I am no company.
I will not deliver expertise on art objects.
Yet I welcome any suggestions concerning content and language.

The sources I use are scholarly standard books on China and her environment published in different European and Asian languages. I have not copied any sentences from these works except translations of Chinese literature. In such cases authors and their books are cited, and if the book is still available on the market, I will indicate this.
The contents of historical maps are processed on the base of Chinese atlases.
Images are scanned from Chinese works not claiming copyright.

I would like to thank everyone who contributes to the quality of this online encyclopedia. I apologize for my mediocre English and try my best to improve it over time.

Author: Ulrich Theobald (Tian Yuli 田宇利, style Shudouting 數豆亭 "The [man from the] Nitpicker Studio")
  • "born in a poor family, he started loving books and especially the Confucian Classics already at the tender age of six"
  • 1991-2000 Studies in Biology, Chemistry, Chinese Studies, Politics and Modern History at the University of Tübingen/Germany, and Nanjing University
  • 2000 Master of Arts thesis "The Image of Empress Lü (died 180 BCE) in Chinese Literature and Historiography"
  • 2009 Ph Dissertation "War Finance and Logistics in 18th Century China: An Analysis of the Second Jinchuan Campaign (1771-1776)"
  • Teaching Chinese History at the Department of Chinese and Korean Studies, University of Tübingen
  • Main research interests:
    • Empresses in Chinese history
    • Chinese financial and economic history
    • The history of science and technology in China
    • Comparative military history
    • Chinese lacquerwork
    • Paleography
Climbing Mount Taishan, May 1997

© 2000 ff · Ulrich Theobald · Mail