The Forbidden City: Symbol of Imperial Power in Ancient China - Essay Example

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It was built by the third Ming emperor Yongle who, upon usurping the throne, decided to move the capital from Nanjing to Beijing. Since the emperor would move to the new…
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The Forbidden City: Symbol of Imperial Power in Ancient China
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"The Forbidden City: Symbol of Imperial Power in Ancient China"

Download file to see previous pages The great royal power can be seen from the origin of the name of Forbidden City. The Chinese name of the Forbidden City is Zijin Cheng. Zi, means “purple”, which refers to the Ziwei Star. According to ancient Chinese astrology, the Ziwei Star is located in the center of midheaven eternally, so it refers to the celestial emperor. The surrounding celestial area, the Ziwei Enclosure, was thought to be the palace of the celestial emperor. Ancient emperors thought they were the sons of the celestial emperor, so the palace in which they live was an analogy of the Ziwei Enclosure. In addition, purple was a color represent dignity in even older age. In Qin dynasty and Han dynasty, purple was connected to the color of sky to represent the precious of the color. The color became the popular ornamental color in royal palace and aristocracy residence. Jin, means “Forbidden”, which shows that the Forbidden City is a royal restricted area that no one can enter or leave casually but the emperor himself. Cheng means a walled city (Li, 2007). The name of the Forbidden City demonstrates that the emperor wanted the populace to respect him as revere the son of the celestial emperor, and to believe he has sacred and inviolable power. In addition, showing the public that the palace is a place of royalty that they should not try to approach. Clearly, the name of the Forbidden City shows the importance of the royal family and imperial power.
In order to maintain their authority, dignity, and safety, the palace was elaborately built and strongly fortified. The Forbidden City was built with wooden structure, yellow glazed tile roof, greenish white marble base, golden ornament, and decorated with resplendent and magnificent paintings. There was a kind of technique of comparison used in the color arrangement of the structures. There were striking contrasts among the blue sky, yellow tiles, crimson window frames, white base and dark ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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