Michael Loewe

Michael Arthur Nathan Loewe (born 2 November 1922) is a British Sinologist, historian, and writer who has authored dozens of books, articles, and other publications in the fields of Classical Chinese and ancient Chinese history.

Michael Loewe
Professor Michael Loewe, 2005
Michael Loewe in 2005[a]
Born2 November 1922 (age 96)
Oxford, England
EducationSOAS, University of London (1st)
SOAS, University of London (PhD)
Spouse(s)Carmen Blacker
Scientific career
FieldsChinese history
InstitutionsCambridge University
Chinese name
Traditional Chinese魯惟一
Simplified Chinese鲁惟一

Life and career

Michael Loewe was born on 2 November 1922 in Oxford, England, to a distinguished Anglo-Jewish family.[1] Loewe's great-grandfather Louis Loewe (1809–1888) was a Prussian Silesian professor of Oriental studies and theology who later emigrated to Britain, and was the personal secretary of the prominent British Jewish businessman, financier, and philanthropist Moses Montefiore. Loewe's father, Herbert Loewe, was a professor of the Semitic languages who taught at both Cambridge University and Oxford University, while his mother, Ethel Victoria Hyamson, was a sister of the British official and historian Albert Hyamson. His elder brother Raphael Loewe (1919–2011) was, like their father, a scholar of Semitic languages, and was a professor of Hebrew and Jewish studies at University College London. Loewe was married to Carmen Blacker, a scholar in the Japanese language.

Loewe attended secondary school at The Perse School in Cambridge, then entered university at Magdalen College, Oxford. Due to the Second World War, Loewe left Oxford in 1942 to train as a Japanese specialist officer in the Government Communications Headquarters, while studying Mandarin Chinese in his spare time.[2] During a six-month stay in Beijing in 1947, Loewe became interested in traditional and historical Chinese topics, which he began studying at the School of African and Oriental Studies, University of London after returning to Britain.[2] He received a first class honours degree in 1951, and in 1956 he left the government to serve as a Lecturer in the History of the Far East at the University of London. SOAS awarded him a PhD in 1963, and he subsequently joined the faculty at Cambridge, where he taught until retiring in 1990 to focus solely on research and scholarship. He is a fellow of Clare Hall, Cambridge.


A unique award in Loewe's honour exists at Cambridge: the "Michael Loewe Prize" may be awarded annually to one or more undergraduate candidates who have achieved distinction in literary Chinese.[3]

Selected works

  • Loewe, Michael (1959). "Some Han-time Documents from Chü-yen". T'oung Pao. 47: 294–322. JSTOR 4528102.
  • ——— (1966). Imperial China: The Historical Background to the Modern Age. London: George Allen and Unwin.
  • ——— (1967). Records of Han Administration (2 vols.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • ——— (1968). Everyday Life in Early Imperial China During the Han Period. London: B.T. Batsford. Reprinted (1988), New York: Dorset Press.
  • ——— (1974). Crisis and Conflict in Han China. London: George Allen and Unwin.
  • ——— (1977). "Manuscripts Found Recently in China: A Preliminary Survey". T'oung Pao. 63: 99–136. JSTOR 4528102.
  • ——— (1979). Ways to Paradise: The Chinese Quest for Immortality. London: George Allen and Unwin.
  • ——— (1982). Chinese Ideas of Life and Death: Faith, Myth and Reason in the Han Period. London: George Allen and Unwin.
  • Loewe, Michael; Twitchett, Denis, eds. (1986). The Cambridge History of China, vol. 1. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • ——— (1990). The Pride that was China. London: Sidgwick and Jackson.
  • Loewe, Michael, ed. (1993). Early Chinese Texts: A Bibliographical Guide. Berkeley: Society for the Study of Early China; Institute of East Asian Studies, University of California Berkeley.
  • ——— (1994). Divination, Mythology and Monarchy in Han China. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • ———; Shaughnessy, Edward, eds. (1999). The Cambridge History of Ancient China. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • ——— (2000). A Biographical Dictionary of the Qin, Han and Xin Dynasties. Leiden: Brill.
  • ——— (2004). The Men who Governed China in Han Times. Leiden: Brill.
  • ——— (2011). Dong Zhongshu, a "Confucian" heritage and the Chunqiu fanlu. Leiden: Brill.


  1. ^ Photo provided by Prof. Roel Sterckx


  1. ^ International Who's Who of Authors and Writers 2004. Europa Publications. 2003. ISBN 1857431790.
  2. ^ a b Three Questions to Michael Loewe
  3. ^ Cambridge University, Department East Asian Studies: Chinese, undergraduate studies.
Works cited

External links

Carmen Blacker

Carmen Blacker FBA, OST, OBE (13 July 1924 – 13 July 2009) was a British scholar of Japanese language. She was a lecturer in Japanese at Cambridge University.

Ding (vessel)

Ding (鼎) are prehistoric and ancient Chinese cauldrons, standing upon legs with a lid and two facing handles. They are one of the most important shapes used in Chinese ritual bronzes. They were made in two shapes: round vessels with three legs and rectangular ones with four, the latter often called fangding. They were used for cooking, storage, and ritual offerings to the gods or to ancestors. The earliest recovered examples are pre-Shang ceramic ding at the Erlitou site but they are better known from the Bronze Age, particularly after the Zhou deemphasized the ritual use of wine practiced by the Shang kings. Under the Zhou, the ding and the privilege to perform the associated rituals became symbols of authority. The number of permitted ding varied according to one's rank in the Chinese nobility: the Nine Ding of the Zhou kings were a symbol of their rule over all China but were lost by the first emperor, Shi Huangdi in the late 3rd century BCE. Subsequently, imperial authority was represented by the Heirloom Seal of the Realm, carved out of the Mr. He's jade; it was lost at some point during the Five Dynasties after the collapse of the Tang.

Dong Zhongshu

Dong Zhongshu (Chinese: 董仲舒; Wade–Giles: Tung Chung-shu; 179–104 BC) was a Han Dynasty Chinese scholar. He is traditionally associated with the promotion of Confucianism as the official ideology of the Chinese imperial state. He apparently favored heaven worship over the tradition of cults celebrating the five elements. Ultimately banished to the Chancellery of Weifang by his adversary Gongsun Hong, Gongsun effectively promoted Dong's partial retirement from political life, and his teachings were transmitted from there. However, he apparently enjoyed great influence in the court in last decades of his life leading up to that.

King An of Zhou

King An of Zhou (Chinese: 周安王; pinyin: Zhōu Ān Wáng) was the thirty-third king of the Chinese Zhou Dynasty and the twenty first of Eastern Zhou.He succeeded his father King Weilie of Zhou on the throne of China in 401 BC. After he died, his son King Lie of Zhou ruled over China. His other son was King Xian of Zhou.

King Jian of Zhou

King Jian of Zhou (Chinese: 周簡王; pinyin: Zhōu Jiǎn Wáng), or King Chien of Chou, was the twenty-second king of the Chinese Zhou Dynasty and the tenth of Eastern Zhou.

King Zhao of Zhou

King Zhao of Zhou (Chinese: 周昭王; pinyin: Zhōu Zhāo Wáng), personal name Jī Xiá, was the fourth king of the Chinese Zhou dynasty. He ruled from 977/75 BC until his death twenty years later. Famous for his disastrous war against the Chu confederation, his death in battle ended the Western Zhou’s early expansion and marked the beginning of his dynasty’s decline.

King Zhuang of Zhou

King Zhuang of Zhou (died 682 BC) (Chinese: 周莊王; pinyin: Zhōu Zhuāng Wáng) or King Chuang of Chou was the fifteenth king of the Chinese Zhou Dynasty and the third of Eastern Zhou. He ruled 696–682 BC as a successor of his father, King Huan of Zhou. He was later succeeded by his son, King Xi of Zhou, in 682 BC. His younger son was Prince Tui.

Li Guangli

Li Guangli (died 88 BC) was a Chinese general of the Han dynasty and a member of the Li family favoured by Emperor Wu of Han. His brother Li Yannian was also close to Emperor Wu. With the suicide of Emperor Wu's crown prince Liu Ju in 91 BC, his nephew Liu Bo was among the candidates for the title of crown prince.

Li was a brother-in-law of Emperor Wu, whose favourite concubine was his sister Lady Li, and was the chosen general in the War of the Heavenly Horses. His supplies for his second sortie are described as being 100,000 cattle, 30,000 horses, and many mules and camels.Li besieged the city of Osh (in present-day Kyrgyzstan) to obtain certain fine horses of the Ferghana that had been demanded by the Han Empire but refused. He was given the title "General of Osh" (貳師將軍) in expectation of success. He diverted the river that supplied the inner city with water, and "received three thousand horses in tribute."In 90 BC, when Li was campaigning in the north against the Xiongnu Empire, his wife was imprisoned in the capital after being involved in a political scandal involving their in-law Liu Qumao (one of Liu's sons had married one of the Lis' daughters). Li sought a quick victory, hoping to win his wife's release. He overextended his army and was decisively defeated by a Xiongnu army of 50,000 led by their Chanyu. Li surrendered to the Xiongnu, and the Chanyu gave him his daughter for marriage. However, about a year later, he was executed after having a conflict with Wei Lü (衛律), another Han defector who was favoured by the Chanyu.

List of emperors of the Han dynasty

The emperors of the Han dynasty were the supreme heads of government during the second imperial dynasty of China; the Han dynasty (202 BC – 220 AD) followed the Qin dynasty (221–206 BC) and preceded the Three Kingdoms (220–265 AD). The era is conventionally divided between the Western Han (202 BC – 9 AD) and Eastern Han (25–220 AD) periods.

The Han dynasty was founded by the peasant rebel leader (Liu Bang), known posthumously as Emperor Gao (r. 202 –195 BC) or Gaodi. The longest reigning emperor of the dynasty was Emperor Wu (r. 141–87 BC), or Wudi, who reigned for 54 years. The dynasty was briefly interrupted by the Xin dynasty of the former regent Wang Mang, but he was overthrown in 23 AD and the Han dynasty was reestablished by Liu Xiu, known posthumously as Emperor Guangwu (r. 25–57 AD), or Guangwu Di. The last Han emperor, Emperor Xian (r. 189–220 AD), was a puppet monarch of Chancellor Cao Cao (155–220 AD), who dominated the court and was made King of Wei. In 220 AD, Cao's son Pi usurped the throne as Emperor Wen of Wei (r. 220–226 AD) and ended the Han dynasty.

The emperor was the supreme head of government. He appointed all of the highest-ranking officials in central, provincial, commandery, and county administrations. He also functioned as a lawgiver, the highest court judge, commander-in-chief of the armed forces, and high priest of the state-sponsored religious cults.

Loewe (surname)

The German-language surname Löwe, also Lowe or Loewe (German for "lion") may refer to:

Andreas Loewe (born 1973), a German-born Anglican Priest and Fifteenth Dean of Melbourne

Carl Loewe (Johann Carl Gottfried Loewe, 1796–1869), a German composer, baritone singer and conductor

Chris Löwe (born 1989), a German football player

David Loewe, a cofounder of Loewe AG

Edward Löwe (1794–1880), an English chess master

Erich Löwe (1906–1943), an Oberstleutnant in the Wehrmacht during World War II

Ferdinand Löwe (1865–1925), an Austrian conductor

Frederick Loewe (1901–1988), an Austrian-American composer

Gabriele Löwe (born 1958), a retired East German sprinter

Joel Löwe (1760–1802), a German-Jewish Biblical commentator

Johann Jacob Löwe (1628–1703), a German baroque composer and organist

Ludwig Loewe (1837–1886), a German weapons manufacturer

Michael Loewe, a British sinologist

Paul E. Loewe

Siegmund Loewe, a cofounder of Loewe AG

Sophie Löwe (1815–1866), a German opera soprano

Stewart Loewe (born 1968), an Australian rules football player

Wolfgang Löwe (born 1953), a former German volleyball player

Wolfram Löwe (born 1945), a former German football player


The Lunheng, also known by numerous English translations, is a wide-ranging Chinese classic text by Wang Chong (27- c. 100 CE). First published in 80 CE, it contains critical essays on natural science and Chinese mythology, philosophy, and literature.

Lüshi Chunqiu

The Lüshi Chunqiu, also known in English as Master Lü's Spring and Autumn Annals, is an encyclopedic Chinese classic text compiled around 239 BC under the patronage of the Qin Dynasty Chancellor Lü Buwei. In the evaluation of Michael Carson and Michael Loewe,

The Lü shih ch'un ch'iu is unique among early works in that it is well organized and comprehensive, containing extensive passages on such subjects as music and agriculture, which are unknown elsewhere. It is also one of the longest of the early texts, extending to something over 100,000 words. (1993:324)

Mihai Leu

Mihai Leu also known as Michael Loewe (born 13 February 1969, in Hunedoara) is a Romanian former professional boxer who fought out of Hamburg, Germany. He is a former WBO Welterweight Champion.

Leu retired after one title defense, against Michael Carruth, becoming the second European boxer to retire as an undefeated world champion, after Terry Marsh. Due to an injury, he was forced to abandon boxing but unwilling to give up the world of sports, he turned to be a rally driver. He later became a national rally champion.

Rump state

A rump state is the remnant of a once much larger state, left with a reduced territory in the wake of secession, annexation, occupation, decolonization, or a successful coup d'état or revolution on part of its former territory. In the latter case, a government stops short of going into exile because it still controls part of its former territory.


Saka, Śaka, Shaka or Saca (Persian: old Sakā, mod. ساکا; Sanskrit: Śaka; Ancient Greek: Σάκαι, Sákai; Latin: Sacae; Chinese: 塞, old *Sək, mod. Sāi) were a group of nomadic Iranian peoples who historically inhabited the northern and eastern Eurasian Steppe and the Tarim Basin.Though closely related, the Sakas are to be distinguished from the Scythians of the Pontic Steppe and the Massagetae of the Aral Sea region, although they form part of the wider concepts of "Scytho-Siberian" or "Scythic" culture. Like the Scythians, the Sakas were derived from the earlier Andronovo and Karasuk cultures. Their language formed part of the Scythian languages. Prominent archaeological remains of the Sakas include the Pazyryk burials, the Issyk kurgan, artifacts of the Ordos culture and possibly Tillya Tepe. It has been suggested that the ruling elite of the Xiongnu was of Saka origin.In the 2nd century BC, many Sakas were driven by the Yuezhi from the steppe into Sogdia and Bactria and then to the northwest of the Indian subcontinent, where they were known as the Indo-Scythians. Other Sakas invaded the Parthian Empire, eventually settling in Sistan, while others may have migrated to the Dian Kingdom in Yunnan, China. In the Tarim Basin and Taklamakan Desert region of Northwest China, they settled in Khotan, Yarkand, Kashgar and other places, which were at various times vassals to greater powers, such as Han China and Tang China.

Seven Military Classics

The Seven Military Classics (traditional Chinese: 武經七書; simplified Chinese: 武经七书; pinyin: Wǔjīngqīshū; Wade–Giles: Wu ching ch'i shu) were seven important military texts of ancient China, which also included Sun-tzu's The Art of War. The texts were canonized under this name during the 11th century AD, and from the time of the Song dynasty, were included in most military leishu. For imperial officers, either some or all of the works were required reading to merit promotion, like the requirement for all bureaucrats to learn and know the work of Confucius.

There were many anthologies with different notations and analyses by scholars throughout the centuries leading up to the present versions in Western publishing. The Kangxi Emperor of the Qing dynasty commented on the seven military classics, stating, "I have read all of the seven books, among them there are some materials that are not necessarily right, ... and there are superstitious stuff can be used by bad people." Members of the Communist Party of China also studied the texts during the Chinese Civil War as well as many European and American military minds.Emperor Shenzong (宋神宗), the sixth emperor of the Song dynasty, determined which texts would compose this anthology in 1080.

Sven Ottke

Sven Ottke (born 3 June 1967) is a German former professional boxer who competed from 1997 to 2004. He was a unified super-middleweight world champion, having held the IBF title from 1998 to 2004, and the WBA (Super) title from 2003 to 2004. With 21 successful title defences, Ottke was the third European boxer to retire as an undefeated world champion, after Terry Marsh and Michael Loewe; Joe Calzaghe later became the fourth. As an amateur, Ottke won a bronze medal in the middleweight division at the 1989 World Championships.

Terry Marsh (boxer)

Terry Marsh (born 7 February 1958) is an English former professional boxer who was an undefeated world champion in the light welterweight division.

Marsh was a three-time ABA senior amateur champion who went on to become the British, European and IBF light welterweight world champion as a professional. He was the first European boxer ever to retire as an undefeated World Champion, a feat later equalled by Romanian Michael Loewe, Germany's Sven Ottke and Welshman Joe Calzaghe.Marsh was charged with the attempted murder of his former manager, the boxing promoter, Frank Warren following Warren's shooting in London in 1989. Marsh spent 10 months on remand before he was released after being acquitted at trial.

In 2010, Marsh changed his name by deed poll to "None Of The Above X" and stood in that year's general election as an independent candidate. He changed his name as a protest against there being no option to select "None of the above" in the election.


Zhaoge (Chinese: 朝歌; pinyin: Zhāogē) was the last of a series of cities that served as capital of the Shang dynasty, and later capital of State of Wey (衛國). It is located in current Qi County, Hebi, Henan about 50 km south of Anyang.

Standard Mandarin
Hanyu PinyinLǔ Wéiyī
Gwoyeu RomatzyhLuu Weii
Wade–GilesLu3 Wei2-i1

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.