Food, Sacrifice, and Sagehood in Early China

Volume 09, Issue 2

Each ancient civilization launched and then evolved its unique philosophies and quotidian worldviews that helped determine its historical development in the world, and Chinese civilization is no exception. As illustrated by such common phrases and proverbs as "Have you eaten?" and "Eating is as important as an emperor," both of which serve as greetings among ordinary people in their daily life, Chinese civilization evolved in ways that are deeply associated with the significance of Chinese food, especially early in its history. Roel Sterckx has been a pioneer in exploring the intriguing business of how Chinese food has affected the evolution of Chinese civilization (see, e.g., Sterckx 2005). His body of work is a polished accomplishment stemming from his many years spent studying food in early China.

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