During the Northern and Southern dynasties (420–589 CE), Chinese Buddhist monasteries transitioned from singlequadrangle 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, corridorenclosed form developed for Liang-era imperial monasteries. Emperor Wu and the architect-monk Sengyou played a central role in this process by adapting the traditional forms of imperial ritual architecture for spectacular public Buddhist assemblies. These utilized monastic space for imperial and dynastic purposes while responding to and facilitating ritual interactions between lay and monastic communities. EmperorWu’s imperial Buddhist ritual programs and architectural innovations distinguished southern monasteries of the sixth century and were later adopted by northern elites andmonastic reformers. Thus did the corridor-enclosed, multicloister plan became the preeminent

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