I’m taking a course in Chinese history. What’s been most engaging is an analysis between how western civilizations think about history, and how eastern civilizations think about it.
You see, in western thought history moves in a straight line. Everything moves forward with causes and effects and the like.
However, Chinese civilization looks at history like a wave. There are highs and lows to each dynasty where they receive “the mandate of heaven” and when they lose it. The end of a dynasty is marked by a series of unfortunate events: civil wars, incompetent emperors, and natural disasters. At this time a new dynasty will have the “mandate of heaven,” they conquer the old rulers and the series starts over again.
Just in case you’ve ever wondered how different civilizations look at history.