What Would Your Job Be in the Chinese Imperial Court?

By: Zoe Samuel

What Would Your Job Be in the Chinese Imperial Court?
Image: Pexels

About This Quiz

It is said that the Chinese Empire is one of the longest-lasting and most powerful in the history of humanity. Now, this is slightly misleading, as the Chinese Empire has actually come into being several times (and is sometimes confused with the Mongol Empire that covered much of China's territory thanks to conquest by Genghis Khan). China as an idea has been around for a couple thousand years. Chinese Empires have sort of come and gone in that time.

First, there was the Han Dynasty, which made it about 400 years. Then there was a period of disunity and war known as the Six Dynasties and 16 Kingdoms, which interestingly sort of matches the European Dark Ages after the Roman Empire fell, showing you that classical times were more interlinked than people think. This was followed by... another united China! The Sui and then the Tang Dynasties ruled for another 300 years. Then came more disunity, and another unification under the Song dynasty, though this was not as cohesive as prior unifications. 

The Mongols blew it all up in the 1200's but only held their ground 100 years or so. After that came the Ming Dynasty, whose control was never absolute either. This brings us to the Qing Dynasty, which pretty much leads up to the Chinese Revolution, a period of warlords and then... communism (of a sort).

All this is to say, there were a few imperial courts out there, and a smart person could probably make a good living in most of them. It was all about what you could do, who you knew, and what you were willing to do to protect your position. Tell us such things about yourself, and we'll see where you would have belonged!

Are you power hungry?
Yes
I like enough power to be safe
In my way
No

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Do you mind hard work?
Love it!
Only physical work please.
I hate it.
Not if it is creative.

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Are you artistic?
No
A smidge
Fairly
Yes

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What outfit do you like to wear?
Robes
Armor
A fabulous dress
Something flashy

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Do you love the politics of court?
I adore them
I can handle them
No, but I can deal
Not really

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Do you want to deal with the Emperor one on one?
Yes, please
Yes, intimately
If I must
Not really

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Do you separate sex and love easily?
Kinda, yes
No
Yes
I haven't tried

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How much do you love money?
All the amount!
A little
Quite a lot
Not at all

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Do you respond well to a crisis?
Fairly, yes
Extremely
I have done
No, I go to pieces

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Do you hope you'll get a title one day?
Yes, please!
That'd be nice
Sure, but I don't live for it
Doubt it

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How important is family life to you?
Not very
Fairly
Surprisingly
Very

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Are you actually a patriot?
Yes, what's good for me is good for China!
Yes, the empire must stand!
Not really
In a cultural sense

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Do you like to stay in shape?
No
Definitely
I understand it is wise to do that
Only as much as I have to

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Do you love to travel?
Sometimes, in style
For work, sure
Not really
Yes, but I don't need it to be luxurious

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Are you a team player?
I can pretend to be
Yes
I am all out for me
I can work with others

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Are you good at chess?
Very
No
Yes, but I pretend not to be
I don't play but I probably would be

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Do you like riding a horse?
I hate that
I love it!
It's fun, sure
I can but I don't like it

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Do you need a lot of downtime?
No
No, but I make the most of what I get
Yes
Sometimes

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Can you take criticism?
No
Yes
If I must
Yes, how else will I grow?

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When would you like to retire?
60
35
40
I won't

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Would you have had any options outside the court?
Yes, I could be a lord
I could be a mercenary
None that are acceptable
I could do the same job

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What special skill do you have?
I speak many languages.
I can fight with many weapons.
I am incredibly observant and have a photographic memory, plus I am funny.
I am very artistic.

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How is your calligraphy?
Excellent but pedestrian
I can't do that
Adequate
Unique and beautiful

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What about your eyesight? Is it any good?
Bad
Very good
Fine I think
Excellent

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Do you mind pretending to be interested in people who are not interesting?
I love it
I can deal
I am good at it, but I hate it
I can't do that, I hate it too

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How's your sense of humor?
I do not have one
Immature and bro-ish
Sophisticated
Goofy but actually really smart

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Are you considered wise?
Yes, I love that
No
No, but I should be
Kinda

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How much time do you like to spend on your appearance?
None
A lot if you count working out
Hours
Enough to look the way I want to look!

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Would you mind really yoking yourself to the dynasty in charge, or do you want some deniability if they fall?
I'm flexible
I'm tied to it
I'm nothing to do with it
Someone with my skills will be welcomed in a new dynasty

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If you left China when the Mongols came, where would you go?
Venice
Germania
Baghdad
Vienna

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You Got:

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