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Summary

Spend 24 hours with the ancient Chinese.  

Travel back to AD 17, during the fourth year of the reign of Wang Mang of the Han dynasty, a vibrant and innovative era full of conflicts and contradictions. But as different as the Han culture might have been to other great ancient civilisations, the inhabitants of ancient China faced the same problems as people have for time immemorial: earning enough money, coping with workplace dramas and keeping your home in order. Although the equivalent in this era was more about bribing inspectors, avoiding bullying from abusive watchmen and trying to keep your house from being looted by Huns.  

In each chapter we meet one of 24 citizens of this ancient culture, from the midwife to the soldier, the priest to the performer and the blacksmith to the tomb looter, and see what an average day in ancient China was really like.

©2020 Michael O’Mara Books Limited (P)2020 Audible, Ltd

What listeners say about 24 Hours in Ancient China

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Rather fascinating insights, an unusual structure

Rather fascinating insights, and an unusual structure that works well. Instead of following just one or two characters in the ancient world, giving insight into their lives, here we are treated to two dozen citizens of Ancient China. We see their jobs, their homes, their families and their problems during an hour of the day (or night) in which they are busily occupied. Midwives, grave (tomb) robbers, craftsmen, a whole range of men and women take their turn upon the stage as we see what everyday life might have been like two centuries ago. The point that hit home with me was that China was so ADVANCED... their structures, technology, and above all else - a writing system - incredible compared to the rest of the globe at the time. By itself, a piece of writing left behind by a doctor, documenting cases, treatments - stunning foresight and professional behaviour! And how useful to have these kinds of information. I quite liked listening to this, rather than reading a paper copy, it helped the stories feel more personal and present. The voice worked well for both genders and it was not hard to follow, chapter by chapter. What a great idea for a series, a collection of personal accounts, snippets and lives of ordinary people at hours that mean something to them. Fresh and definitely something I'd want to delve into more, both for this time period and others. With thanks to Nudge Books for providing a sample Audible copy.

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Interesting and educational.

The 24 hours series is a brilliant way to learn about history. (At least the two I've read so far, this and Rome.) Here you meet people from all walks of life, and learn about how their lives actually was, as well as for example archaeological finds and religion. The narrator does an excellent job. To my untrained ear, the Chinese pronunciations sounds good. I've read a lot about European and Egyptian history, but know too little about Eastern. This was a great introduction.