Books of Fate and Popular Culture in Early China is a comprehensive introduction to the manuscripts known as daybooks, examples of which have been found in Warring States, Qin, and Han tombs (453 BCE–220 CE). Their main content concerns hemerology, or “knowledge of good and bad days.” Daybooks reveal the place of hemerology in daily life and are invaluable sources for the study of popular culture.
Eleven scholars have contributed chapters examining the daybooks from different perspectives, detailing their significance as manuscript-objects intended for everyday use and showing their connection to almanacs still popular in Chinese communities today as well as to hemerological literature in medieval Europe and ancient Babylon.
Contributors include: Marianne Bujard, László Sándor Chardonnens, Christopher Cullen, Donald Harper, Marc Kalinowski, Li Ling, Liu Lexian, Alasdair Livingstone, Richard Smith, Alain Thote, and Yan Changgui.
Donald Harper, Ph.D. (1983), is the Centennial Professor of Chinese Studies at the University of Chicago. His research and publications focus on newly discovered manuscripts and their significance for the history of religion, science, and technology in early China.
Marc Kalinowski, Ph.D. (1978), is Professor of Chinese Religion and Thought at the École Pratique des Hautes Études, Paris. He has published widely on correlative cosmology and mantic arts in transmitted texts and the manuscript culture of early and medieval China.
Table of contents
List of Maps, Tables, Figures, and Plates Acknowledgments Tables 0.1–0.9 Map 0.1
Introduction Donald Harper and Marc Kalinowski Hemerology
Technical Occult and Scientific Literature
Codicology of Daybook Manuscripts
Daybook Studies and Ancient Chinese Hemerology
Conventions Used in this Volume
Chinese Terms and Translations
Latin, Medieval Vernacular, and Cuneiform Sources
Chinese Conceptual Terms and Hemerological Terminology
Daybooks in Archaeological Context Alain Thote Daybooks in Tombs
The Four Tombs
Manuscripts in Tombs
Daybooks: A Type of Popular Hemerological Manual of the Warring States, Qin, and Han Liu Lexian Content and Defining Features of Daybooks
Overview of Fully Published Daybooks and Daybook-Related Manuscripts
Unpublished or Partially Published Hemerological Material
Comparison of Daybooks to Related Technical Literature in Excavated Manuscripts
Daybooks from the Perspective of the Bibliographic Treatise of the Book of Han
Daybooks and Later Hemerological Texts
Daybooks in the Context of Manuscript Culture and Popular Culture Studies Donald Harper Hemerology and Hemerological Literature through the Lens of Late Han Historiography
Makers and Users of Daybooks
The Form and Function of Daybook Manuscripts
Daybooks in Everyday Life
Hemerology and Prediction in the Daybooks: Ideas and Practices Marc Kalinowski Daily Activities and Life Expectations in the Daybooks
Techniques and Systems
Daybooks and the Spirit World Yan Changgui The Spirit World
Spirit Origin and Background: Explanation of the “Death Corpse-Ghost” Diagram
Expelling Demons and Spirits: Techniques of Exorcism in “Spellbinding”
Spirits in the Context of Hemerology
The Zidanku Silk Manuscripts Li Ling Discovery of the Zidanku Silk Manuscripts and the History of Ownership
The Zidanku Silk Manuscripts: Physical Description and Contents
The Zidanku Silk Manuscripts and Ancient Chinese Hemerological Literature
Calendars and Calendar Making in Qin and Han Times Christopher Cullen Looking at a Calendar
Calculating the Calendar
Who Calculated the Calendar?
Daybooks in Qin and Han Religion Marianne Bujard The First Tiller Cult: Public and Private Rites
Local Cults of the Qin and Han
Private Rituals in the Daybooks
The Legacy of Daybooks in Late Imperial and Modern China Richard Smith Brief Overview of Calendars and Almanacs from the Tang through the Ming Dynasty
State-Sponsored Cosmology in the Qing
The State Calendar and Its Derivatives
Qing Dynasty Almanacs
Hemerology in Medieval Europe László Sándor Chardonnens Hemerology and Daybooks
Hemerology and the Study of Time
Divination, Commemoration, and Natural Philosophy
Babylonian Hemerologies and Menologies 408 Alasdair Livingstone Research Background
The Babylonian Cultic Calendar
Use of the Hemerologies
Retrospect: A Scientific Experiment in Hemerology
Appendix A: Survey of Excavated Daybooks, Daybook-Related Manuscripts, and Other Hemerological Material Appendix B: Summary of Published Daybooks and Daybook-Related Manuscripts Appendix C: Description of Select Hemerologies and Classificatory Systems in Daybooks Bibliography Plates Index
All interested in the study of the excavated manuscripts and everyday life in early China, and anyone concerned with the comparative study of hemerology in premodern cultures.