|These James Bond weapons were made during the period following the breakdown of the Han Dynasty. They were made in the Shu Kingdom (221 - 263 AD) and were excavated at a site in Hangzhong. There is a vine with very sharp barbs called a 蒺藜 (jílí) in Chinese. This weapon is named after the vine. The English translation is jour-joked points. They were scattered on the ground to wound the soft frog in the center of the horses' hooves. It worked just as well as on tires in the modern era.
The Shu Kingdom was one of three contenders for power after the fall of the Han. They were located roughly in the area of Sichuan. It is often called the Shu Han Kingdom 蜀汉 (Shǔ Hàn) because its founder felt that, as a relative of the former emperor, he continued the rightful legacy of the Han Dynasty. The presence of the Shu promoted economic and social development in the Sichuan area which had been relegated to a provincial backwater during the Han. Civic projects increased irrigation, roads encouraged trade, and the presence of a central government organized the area into a cohesive economy. The kingdom only lasted a little ofver forty years, but the area had achieved an identity that carried on under other rulers.
Following the Han Dynasty the Wei, Jin, Northern and Southern Dynasties played political one-upmanship and had lots of nice battles for the historians to examine. The resulting shake-up in culture brought in a breath of fresh air and new ideas to the people of central China. Buddhism continued to spread as people moved from one area to another, either looking for opportunity, or fleeing armies.
Last update: March 2010
© Marilyn Shea, 2010