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One major aspect of creation myths concerns the alignment of the celestial bodies in the vault of heaven, the initiation of their movements and with these the differentiation of cosmic time into day and night, months, the seasons, and the years. The perceived organic connection between man and the cosmos in early civilizations led to mankind’s primordial concern with the attunement of human activities to the cycles and the order of nature. This attunement was perhaps the most central task associated with the institution of rulership everywhere across the ancient world. In the introduction to his seminal work, Kingship and the Gods: A Study of Ancient Near Eastern Religion as the Integration of Society & Nature, Henri Frankfort (1897–1954) makes an important remark in this respect:

[I]f we refer to kingship as a political institution, we assume a point of view which would have been incomprehensible to the ancients. We imply that the human polity can be considered by itself. The ancients, however, experienced human life as part of a widely spreading network of connections which reached beyond local and national communities into the hidden depths of nature and the powers that rule nature. […] Whatever was significant was imbedded in the life of the cosmos, and it was precisely the king’s function to maintain the harmony of that integration.1

This archaic concept of kingship is what Eric Voegelin (1901–1985), in his opus magnum Order and History, has defined as a “cosmological order,” for which reason he refers to the ancient Middle Eastern empires as “cosmological empires.” It is such a primordial “compact mythological consciousness” as Frankfort describes it in the passage quoted above, that causes man to create the human communal order in analogy to the cosmos as it is perceived by the former.2

To a significant degree, this observation also applies to early China as can be seen in the specific concerns expressed in the earliest extant sources, the oracle bone inscriptions from the late Shang period, and later in the importance attached to the offices of the royal astronomer and astrologer in the ritual classics.3 By the late Warring States period, the origins of astronomy itself received its fixed place in the origin myth of the Chinese ecumene. In the “Yao dian” 堯典 (Canon of Yao) from the Book of Documents we are told that the legendary ruler Yao had

commanded Xi and He, in reverent accordance with their observation of the wide heavens, to calculate and delineate the movements and appearances of the sun, the moon, the stars and the zodiacal spaces and so to deliver respectfully the seasons to the people.4

The chief concerns of early Chinese astronomy are twofold: Firstly, it was the task of the royal astronomer’s office to calculate the beginning of the year, the twelve months, intercalary months, the twenty-four solar terms and the movement and positions of the five planets so as to determine the calendric standard (lifa 曆法) for the lunisolar year.5 The second important concern was with the observation of celestial phenomena, such as patterns of planetary movements and lunar phases from an astrological perspective. These patterns and the observed irregularities in them, especially solar and lunar eclipses, formed the basis for prognostication at the court and played an important role in the composition of day books (rishu 日書) and other sorts of hemerological manuals used by wider groups of the early Chinese elites.6

A special position within this corpus of early Chinese astro-hemerological literature is occupied by the Chu Silk Manuscript (Chuboshu 楚帛書), today better known as Zidanku Silk Manuscript I, sometimes given the working title *Sishi ling 四時令 (Ordinances of the four seasons). This important manuscript text combines elements of cosmogonic creation myths such as have been dealt with in the first chapter, with concerns of astronomy, astrology, calendrics, and hemerology. Perhaps a few words of introduction should be spent on this extraordinary artefact and the intricate history leading to its eventual publication, as well as on Jao’s involvement in the decipherment and study of the manuscript.

Unearthed from Zidanku 子彈庫 in Changsha 長沙, Hunan 湖南 during a grave robbery in 1942, the Zidanku Silk Manuscripts have been of immense importance to the study of early Chinese texts and to manuscript culture as a whole. Li Ling 李零, now the foremost scholar of these manuscripts both in China and worldwide, outlines the find’s significance as follows:

First, it yielded the first corpus of original pre-Qin writings discovered in the 20th century; what is more, these were not documents of archival character, but veritable texts that can be related to the books transmitted from China’s classical tradition. Second, this was the first time that scholars were able to see an actual early manuscript written on silk. To date, silk manuscripts have been unearthed only twice – the first time at Zidanku, the second time from Tomb 3 at Mawangdui 馬王堆 (ca. 168 BC), likewise at Changsha. As Warring States silk manuscripts go, those from Zidanku remain the only ones known. Third, the discovery of the Zidanku Silk Manuscripts constituted the beginning of the study of the Chu script, which has since become the best known among the several Warring States-period scripts.7

The Zidanku manuscripts, dating from around 300 BC, still constitute the sole extant Warring States writings done on silk. Prior to the discovery of the bamboo-slip manuscripts from Guodian 郭店 tomb 1 in Jingmen 荊門, Hubei 湖北, in 1993,8 and the subsequent appearance of bundles of unprovenanced bamboo-slip manuscripts on the Hong Kong antiques market in 1994 that are currently held and curated by the Shanghai Museum,9 the silk manuscripts had, in fact, been the only known example of a pre-Qin period manuscript text.

Despite their importance, it was not until more than twenty years after their discovery that high-quality photographic images of Zidanku Silk Manuscript I were made available to scholars. (Manuscript II and III, as well as some additional fragments the from the Zidanku find, were only rediscovered and identified in 1992.) At first, its contents had been accessible only in the form of a hand drawing done by Cai Jixiang 蔡季襄 (1897–1980), the first person to possess and to start conservation work on the manuscript. A set of photographic images was also produced by the Freer Gallery of Art in 1947, a year after Cai sold the manuscript to John Hadley Cox (1913–2005), who had brought it to the United States with the intention of finding a buyer.10 It was based on these images from the Freer Gallery that Jao produced his first transcription and study of the manuscript in 1958.11 They were still the only available set of photographs, apart from Cai’s own hand drawings, when Shang Chengzuo 商承祚 (1902–1991) wrote his “Zhanguo chuboshu shulue” 戰國楚帛書述略 (Cursory remarks on the Warring States period Chu Silk Manuscript) in 1964,12 regarded as the most influential treatment on the topic within China at the time.13

Two years after the manuscript was finally purchased by Dr Arthur M. Sackler (1913–1987) in 1965, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York produced magnified infrared photographs of the text, allowing scholars to identify a significant number of previously illegible graphs and thus to arrive at a better understanding of the text. Among the first studies to make use of these newly available images were Jao’s “Chu Zengshu zhi moben ji tuxiang: Sanshoushen, Feiyi yu Yindu gushenhua zhi bijiao” 楚繒書之摹本及圖像三首神、肥遺與印度古神話之比較 (A facsimile of the Chu Silk Manuscript and its images: A comparison of the Three-headed Deity, Feiyi and ancient myths from India) and his “Chu Zengshu shuzheng” 楚繒書疏證 (Annotations and proofs on the Chu Silk Manuscript), both published in 1968.14 These were followed by the publication of Noel Barnard’s (1922–2016) scientific examination of the manuscript done at the invitation of Arthur M. Sackler himself.15 Jao’s “Chu Zengshu shuzheng” in turn figured among the main sources consulted by Barnard in his seminal study and translation of the Silk Manuscript into English from 1973.16 Both remained standard works on the manuscript for decades to come, paralleled only by the publication of Li Ling’s Changsha Zidanku zhanguo Chuboshu yanjiu 長沙子彈庫戰國楚帛書研究 (Studies on the Chu Silk Manuscript from Zidanku in Changsha) in 1985.17

Renewed interest in the Zidanku corpus arose in 1992 after Cox anonymously donated the remaining fragments of the manuscript find that were still in his possession to the Freer/Sackler gallery of the Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC, where the Zidanku Silk Manuscript I has been housed since the establishment of the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery of Art in 1987. It took the conservation team until 2007 to unfold, clean and produce digital images (including new images of Manuscript I) of the fragments now known as Zidanku Silk Manuscript II and III.18

The most up to date study on the entire Zidanku corpus following the eventual publication of all the extant fragments is undoubtedly Li Ling’s opus magnum Zidanku Boshu 子彈庫帛書 (The Chu Silk Manuscripts from Zidanku), published in two volumes in 2017.19 The first volume, which includes an account of the find’s fascinating journey from 1942 to the present day, has already been rendered into English by Lothar von Falkenhausen. Until Donald Harper’s forthcoming translation of the second volume is published, the most recent, although barely annotated English translation of Zidanku Silk Manuscript I remains the 1994 rendering of the text by Li Ling, as adapted by Constance A. Cook with amendments by Michael Puett and John Major.20

Zidanku Silk Manuscript I consists of three interrelated texts arranged in the form of a rectangle with the two longer texts A and B juxtaposed in the center, enclosed by the third, shorter text C that occupies the four sides. The arrangement of the three texts is further encompassed by two sets of peripheral figures. The first, inner set comprises drawings of twelve spirits, corresponding to each of the twelve months from text C.21 The outer set consist of drawings of four trees, one placed in each of the four corners of the silk sheet. Their placement and color (green, red, white, and black respectively) suggest they represent the four seasons. The two center-texts are of unequal length and, most importantly, are written from vertically opposite angles so that one text always stands on its top. Whoever attempts to read both halves must shift the manuscript around 180 degrees in the process. Scholars mostly agree on the order of the manuscript as proceeding from the two texts A and B in the center to the shorter text C, located on the four sides. The arrangement of this shorter text marks the division of the year into four seasons and on a microlevel reproduces the sequence of the twelve months.22 Disagreement persists as to the sequence of the two inner texts. Most scholars now follow Li Ling in assuming the longer text A to precede the shorter text B. Jao, on the contrary, for reasons explained in the first article translated below, holds that what is now recognized as text B, should mark the logical beginning of the sequence.

Text B presents us with a cosmogonic creation myth of the kind we encountered in the first chapter. The text, given in the translation of Li and Cook below, starts with the marriage of the two cosmic deities Baoxi 包戲 and Nütian 女填 (now associated with the deities Fuxi 伏羲 and Nüwa 女媧 known from the transmitted literature),23 who then embark on the creation of space and time:

[T]hey […] rested and acted (in turn) controlling the sidewalls (of the calendrical plan); they helped calculate time by steps. They separated (heaven) above and (earth) below. Since the mountains were out of order, they then named the mountains, rivers, and four seas. […] [W]hen there was yet no sun or moon, […] the four gods stepped in succession to indicate the year; these are the four seasons. […]

After hundreds and thousands of years, the sun and the moon were finally born, (but) the Nine Continents were not level so the mountains [… (collapsed?)]. Therefore, the gods created […] to cover (the Nine Continents). When the skydome shook, they used green, red, yellow, white, and black trees as supporting poles. Yan Di thereupon ordered Zhurong to make the four gods descend to set up the Three Heavens and with […] distribute the four poles. […]

Gong Gong calculated and set in motion the Ten Days and the Four Times. […] When the hundred spirits and the wind and rain became calendrically incorrect and disordered, he made the sun and the moon take turns working and resting. Thus, we have the divisions of late night, morning, afternoon and evening.24

Here we encounter again the Flame Thearch (Yan Di 炎帝) and Zhurong 祝融, however, unlike the etiological myths discussed in the first chapter, the Chu Silk Manuscript presents us with a strictly cosmogonic creation myth. The cosmos of the Silk Manuscript clearly differentiates between the sphere of humans, confined to the earth below, and the heavens as the sphere of the gods. These two realms, however, exist in correlation and cosmic order only prevails if both spheres are in accordance with each other. It is man’s obligation to actively maintain this integration by attuning his activities to the rhythms of nature revealed through him through the movements and recurring patterns of the celestial bodies. Failure to do so by neglecting or deliberately contravening the natural order results in irregularities occurring in the cosmic movements which in turn exert adverse effects on the livelihood of man by causing natural disasters to happen. Thus, in part A of Zidanku Silk Manuscript I, the second part in Jao’s interpretation, we read:

When heaven and earth create calamities, the Heaven’s Cudgel (Tianpou) star creates (sweeping) destruction, sending (the destruction) down throughout all four regions (of the earth). Mountains collapse, springs gush forth geysers. This is called “contravention.” If you contravene the years (and) the months, then upon entering the seventh or eighth day of the month there will be fog, frost, and clouds of dust, and you will not be able to function according (to heaven’s plan).

In such a year, there will be trouble in the western territories, and if the sun and the moon get out of order, there will be halos surrounding (them) and trouble in the eastern territories. All under heaven will be at war and harm will come to the king.25

As if to provide an answer on how to avoid contravening the cosmic rhythms, the third text consists of unfavorable and favorable hemerological indications for each of the individual months, several instances of which will be discussed in the first article of this chapter.26

While the overall conception of the manuscript is now generally agreed on, positions still vary as to whether one should categorize it together with the monthly ordinances from the transmitted ritual classics and regard it as a daybook-type of almanac, or see in it an astronomical treatise of the sort found in the official dynastic histories. This issue brings us back to Jao Tsung-i. Apart from transcribing and annotating the manuscript,27 Jao was a lively participant in these sorts of debates. He expounded his views on the nature, import and context of Zidanku Silk Manuscript I in a systematic fashion at a symposium titled “Early Chinese Art and its Possible Influence in the Pacific Basin,” arranged by the Department of Art History and Archaeology of Columbia University in New York City, from August 21–25, 1967. His conference manuscript has been translated into English and published by Noel Barnard in the conference proceedings under the title “Some Aspects of the Calendar, Astrology, and Religious Concepts of the Ch’u People as Revealed in the Ch’u Silk Manuscript.”28 Numerous studies were to follow over the next decades.29 In the two articles chosen for this chapter, we follow Jao in exploring the relation between the text from Zidanku Silk Manuscript I and astronomical treatises from the ritual classics and early imperial dynastic histories. The Manuscript, in the way Jao understood it, preserves an important part of the astronomical and astrological knowledge of the ancient Chu culture. It was his declared goal to establish the manuscript as a Chu counterpart to the transmitted “Tianguan shu” 天官書 (Treatise on celestial offices) in the Shiji.30

However, the main reason I have chosen to include these articles in this volume, is because Jao time and again addresses in them the overarching concern of this book, namely man’s attunement to the cosmos and the world of the gods as the basis for ritual praxis and morals. In the quotation above from part A of Zidanku Silk Manuscript I we have learned that when humans contravened the cosmic order the heavens were believed to send down signs in the form of celestial or meteorological portents, sometimes paired with natural calamities. Jao focuses here particularly on the phenomenon of lunar irregularities, de (ce) ni () ,31 that are frequently mentioned throughout the Manuscript. He draws a direct connection between the slowing down of the moon and the ruler over men concealing () his virtue (). In other words, Jao underscores the idea that natural calamities do not occur arbitrarily but always constitute cosmic reactions to a lack in virtue or morality in the leaders of men, hinting that the ultimate agency in shaping the fate of humanity lies with man. A key passage to substantiate this assumption are the guidelines for ritual activity found in part A of the Silk Manuscript:

Only when the gods, the Five Governors [of the Five Phases], and the four risings are without problems and the reliable (calendrical) constancies guide the people will the Five Governors be illuminated and the Hundred Spirits be thus presented with sacrificial feasts. This is what is called “Favor and Affection,” when the many spirits are favorable. The God said: “Extend your respect to them! Never be disrespectful. When heaven creates good fortune, the spirits will then bring it to you. When heaven creates demonic (influences), the gods will (likewise) provide you with them. Be attentive and respectful in (your) preparations and the heavenly pattern will thus be the guiding standard. In the end, the heavenly [… (pattern?)] will be the model for the people below. Respect it without fail!”32

The logic behind ritual praxis is seen here as the fulfilment of good government in terms of the ritual integration of the human polity into the cosmic order. This is again quite similar to what Voegelin writes with respect to the Ancient Near East:

In Mesopotamian and Egyptian societies of the ancient Near East, the order of the empire is symbolized as an analogue to the order of the cosmos; its creation and perpetuation as well are symbolized in terms of cosmic creation. The rituals refer to the empire as an already existent and established part of the cosmos.33

This statement in turn reverberates with Frankfort’s observation cited above, that “whatever was significant” in the perception of early man “was imbedded in the life of the cosmos, and it was precisely the king’s function to maintain the harmony of that integration.” For Jao, maintaining this harmony is linked to the idea of establishing constancy (heng ) arrived at by revering (jing ) the cosmic rhythms according to the logic of the Silk Manuscript. In emphasizing this primary concern in terms of reverence and by relating it to the idea of a ruler’s virtue (de ), Jao foreshadows the big topic of the third and last chapter of this book, namely the all-important notion of honoring or revering virtue (jing de 敬德) in early Chinese thought.

Figure 3
Figure 3
Figure 3

Prof. Jao Tsung-i’s hand copy of Zidanku Silk Manuscript I, based on magnified infrared photographs made by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1967


Henri Frankfort, Kingship and the Gods: A Study of Ancient Near Eastern Religion as the Integration of Society & Nature, (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1948), 3.


Cf. Maurice P. Hogan’s introduction to Eric Voegelin’s Order and History Volume I: Israel and Revelation, ed. Maurice P. Hogan (Columbia and London: University of Missouri Press, 2001 [1956]), 1–14, as well as Voegelin’s own introduction (Ibid., 39–53).


Cf. Joseph Needham, Science and Civilisation in China, Volume 3: Mathematics and the Sciences of the Heavens and the Earth (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1970 [1959]), 186–94.


Shu 1.60–77; Translation adapted from James Legge, The Chinese Classics, Volume III: The Shoo King, or The Book of Historical Documents (Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press, 1960 [1865]), 18.


Cf. Needham, Science and Civilisation in China, Volume 3, 390–7


See the contributions in Donald Harper and Marc Kalinowski, eds., Books of Fate and Popular Culture in Early China: The Daybook Manuscripts of the Warring States, Qin and Han (Leiden: Brill, 2017), for an introduction to the field of early Chinese hemerology.


Li Ling, The Chu Silk Manuscripts from Zidanku, Changsha (Hunan Province), Volume 1: Discovery and Transmission, trans. and ed., Lothar von Falkenhausen (Hong Kong: The Chinese University of Hong Kong Press, 2020), XV.


See Jingmen Shi Bowuguan 荊門市博物館, ed., Guodian Chu mu zhujian 郭店楚墓竹簡 (Beijing: Wenwu, 1998).


See Ma Chengyuan 馬承源, ed., Shanghai bowuguan cang Zhanguo Chu zhushu 上海博物館藏戰國楚竹書, 9 vols. (Shanghai: Shanghai guji, 2001–2012).


See Li/von Falkenhausen, The Chu Silk Manuscripts from Zidanku, for a detailed account of the incredible history of the manuscript’s discovery and transmission.


See his Changsha chutu Zhanguo zengshu xin shi 長沙出土戰國繒書新釋 (New explanations on the Warring States Silk Manuscript excavated in Changsha) (Hong Kong: Yiyou changji yinwu gongsi, 1958).


Wenwu (1964) 9: 8–20.


Two other important studies published outside of China during that time are Hayashi Minao 林巳奈夫 (1925–2006), Chōsa shutsudo Sengoku hakusho kō 長沙出土戰國帛書考, Tōhō gakuhō 東方學報 36.1 (1964): 53–97, and idem, Chōsa shutsudo Sengoku hakusho kō hoshō 長沙出土戰國帛書考補正, Tōhō gakuhō 37 (1966): 509–14.


See Jao Tsung-i, “Chu Zengshu zhi moben ji tuxiang: Sanshoushen, Feiyi yu Yindu gushenhua zhi bijiao” 楚繒書之摹本及圖像三首神、肥遺與印度古神話之比較, Gu Gong jikan 故宮季刊 3.2 (1968): 1–26; and idem, Chu Zengshu shuzheng 楚繒書疏證, Bulletin of the Institute of History and Philology 40.1 (1968): 1–32. Revised and enlarged versions of this study, later renamed “Chu boshu xin zheng” 楚帛書新證 (New proofs on the Chu Silk Manuscript) have been re-published several times. The final version of the study, last revised in 2002, appeared in Xuantang jilin: Shilin xin bian, 3: 860–911.


Noel Barnard, Scientific Examination of an Ancient Chinese Document as a Prelude to Decipherment, Translation, and Historical Assessment: The Ch’u Silk Manuscript, Revised and Enlarged. Studies on the Ch’u Silk Manuscript, pt. 1. Monographs on Far Eastern History, vol. 4 (Canberra: Australian National University, 1972).


Noel Barnard, The Ch’u Silk Manuscript: Translation and Commentary. Studies on the Ch’u Silk Manuscript, pt. 2. Monographs on Far Eastern History, vol. 5 (Canberra: Australian National University, 1973).


Li Ling, Changsha Zidanku zhanguo Chuboshu yanjiu 長沙子彈庫戰國楚帛書研究 (Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1985).


Cf. Li Ling, “The Zidanku Silk Manuscripts,” in Harper and Kalinowski, Books of Fate and Popular Culture in Early China, 259–67. For the latest images of the fragments of Zidanku Manuscript I, II and III, see Li Ling, Zidanku Boshu 子彈庫帛書, 2 vols. (Beijing: Wenwu chubanshe, 2017), 2: 5–40.


Li Ling, Zidanku Boshu.


Li Ling and Constance A. Cook, “Translation of the Chu Silk Manuscript,” in Defining Chu: Image and Reality in Ancient China, ed. Constance A. Cook and John Major (Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press, 1999), 171–6, reprinted in Li Ling, Chu boshu yanjiu (shiyi zhong) 楚帛書研(十一種) (Shanghai: Zhongxi shuju, 2013), 244–51.


Cf. Hayashi, “The Twelve Gods of the Chan-kuo Period Silk Manuscript Excavated at Ch’ang-sha,” 123–86.


Li Xueqin 李學勤 (1933–2019) has shown that the names of the twelve months in text C of Zidanku Silk Manuscript I correspond to those of the Chu months found in the transmitted Erya 爾雅 (Approaching elegance). See his “Zhanguo timing gaishu” 戰國題銘概述, Wenwu (1959) 7: 50–4, (1959) 8: 60–3, (1959) 9: 58–61; as well as his “Bulun Zhanguo timing de yixie wenti” 補論戰國題銘的一些問題, Wenwu (1960) 7: 67–8.


Yan Yiping 嚴一萍 (1912–1987) and Jin Xiangheng 金祥恆 (1918–1989) were the first to draw this connection. See Yan Yiping, “Chu zengshu xinkao” 楚繒書新考, Zhongguo wenzi 中國文字 26 (1967): 1–32, 27 (1968): 1–36, 28 (1968): 1–11; and Jin Xiangheng, “Chu zengshu ‘Paoxi’ jie” 楚繒書雹䖒, Zhongguo wenzi 28 (1968): 1–9.


Li Ling, Chu boshu yanjiu (shiyi zhong), 247–8.


Li Ling, Chu boshu yanjiu (shiyi zhong), 246.


Chen Mengjia 陳夢家 (1911–1966) was the first to systematically compare Zidanku Silk Manuscript I with transmitted books of ordinances and to point out the hemerological nature of text C from the manuscript. See his “Zhanguo Chu boshu kao” 戰國楚帛書考, unpublished manuscript (1962), posthumously published in Kaogu xuebao 考古學報 (1984) 2: 137–57, rprt. in Chen Mengjia xueshu lunwenji 陳夢家學術論文集 (Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 2016), 572–95.


Taking into account the immense progress that has been made in the conservation and study of the manuscript within the last thirty years, as well as the fact that most of the findings in Jao’s “Chu Zengshu shuzheng” are discussed in English in Barnard (1973), it would not make much sense here to attempt a translation of even the latest revision of Jao’s “Chu boshu xin zheng,” as for the most part the latter basically follows the initial version from 1968. For the time being, the reader should refer to translation of Li Ling and Cook to gain a basic understanding of the text’s import.


Barnard and Fraser, eds., Early Chinese Art and its Possible Influence in the Pacific Basin, 113–122.


See his Chuboshu 楚帛書 (The Chu Silk Manuscript) (Hong Kong: Chung Hwa, 1985), and Chu di chutu wenxian san zhong yanjiu 楚地出土文獻三種研究 (Three categories of studies on excavated manuscripts from the area of Chu) (Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1993), both co-authored and co-edited with Zeng Xiantong 曾憲通.


Following K. C. Chang, who opened up the field of Chu-studies with his pioneering “Huanan shiqian minzu wenhuashi tigang” 華南史前民族文化史題綱/“A Working Hypothesis for the Early Cultural History of South China” (English summary), Bulletin of the Institute of Ethnology, Academia Sinica 7 (1959): 43–103, Jao was among the first to define the distinct culture of pre-imperial South China in terms of Chu or Jing-Chu 荊楚 culture. See his “Jing-Chu wenhua” 荊楚文化 (The culture of Jing-Chu), Bulletin of the Institute of History and Philology, Academia Sinica 41.2 (1969): 273–315.


The interpretation of the binome deni 德匿 as ceni 側匿 (slowing down [of the moon]) in certain instances within Zidanku Silk Manuscript I goes back to Shang Chengzuo 商承祚, “Zhanguo Chu boshu shulüe” 戰國楚帛書述略, Wenwu (1964) 9: 13.


Li Ling, Chu boshu yanjiu (shiyi zhong), 247.


Eric Voegelin, Anamnesis: Zur Theorie der Geschichte und Politik (Munich: Piper, 1966), 201. The translation into English is my own.

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