During the Northern and Southern dynasties (420–589 CE), Chinese Buddhist monasteries transitioned from single-quadrangle structures into large compounds encompassing central and subsidiary courtyards. Historians studying this transition, often characterized as part of a long acculturation process as Buddhism moved from India to China, have generally focused on the principal buildings of these complexes—the central stupas and image halls. In Buddhist Architectural Transformation in Medieval China, 300–700 CE: Emperor Wu's Great Assemblies and the Rise of the Corridor-Enclosed, Multicloister Monastery Plan, Zhu Xu considers courtyard spaces and the buildings surrounding them, focusing on the historical and ceremonial significance of the multiple-courtyard, corridor-enclosed form developed for Liang-era imperial monasteries....

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