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The World in the Age of Confucius (500 - 300 BC)

2,500 years ago thinkers such as Confucius and Plato were exploring how people should live, but can objects like the Parthenon sculptures or a golden chariot tell us more?

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Chinese Bronze Bell

5/5 Neil MacGregor tells the story of a Chinese bronze bell from the age of Confucius.

Sat 27 Feb 2010 00:30 BBC Radio 4

See all previous episodes from A History of the World in 100 Objects



    26 Oxus Chariot Model
    27 Parthenon Sculpture: Centaur and Lapith
    28 Bass Yultz Flagons
    29 Olmec Stone Mask
    30 Chinese Bronze Bell

    Browse all of the British Museum objects on the A Histroy of the World site

    Classical Greece is often regarded as a golden age in western civilisation. However, this was not only an important period in European history. Across the world different cultures were creating their own visions of society that would remain influential for thousands of years. During this period, Socrates lectured the people of Athens, while Confucius taught his political philosophy in China. In Central America the Olmecs created the sophisticated calendars, religion and art that would characterise future Central American civilisations until the European conquest. The Persians created the first global superpower spanning three continents. In northern Europe many tribes shared a common language. This formed the basis for the creation of a modern Celtic identity.

Shakespeare's Restless World

Image for Shakespeare's Restless World

Neil MacGregor uncovers Shakespeare's world through twenty objects.

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