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Chinese Text Project

All resources -> Ancient Classics -> Book of Changes

Unearthing the Changes: Recently Discovered Manuscripts of the Yi Jing (I Ching) and Related Texts

Edward L. Shaughnessy - Columbia University Press, 2014

Book description

In recent years, three ancient manuscripts relating to the "Yi jing" ( "I Ching"), or "Classic of Changes," have been discovered. The earliest -- the Shanghai Museum "Zhou Yi" -- dates to about 300 B.C.E. and shows evidence of the text's original circulation. The "Gui cang," or "Returning to Be Treasured," reflects another ancient Chinese divination tradition based on hexagrams similar to those of the "Yi jing." In 1993, two manuscripts found in a third-century B.C.E. tomb at Wangjiatai contained almost exact parallels to the "Gui cang"'s early quotations, supplying new information on the performance of early Chinese divination. Finally, the Fuyang "Zhou Yi" was excavated from the tomb of Xia Hou Zao, lord of Ruyin, who died in 165 B.C.E. Each line of this classic is followed by one or more generic prognostications similar to phrases found in the "Yi jing," indicating exciting new ways in which the text was produced and used in the interpretation of divinations. This book details the discovery and significance of the Shanghai Museum "Zhou Yi," the Wangjiatai "Gui cang," and the Fuyang "Zhou Yi," including full translations of the texts and additional evidence that constructs a new narrative of the "Yi jing"'s writing and transmission in the first millennium B.C.E.

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