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The northern neighbors of the Tangut*


From the 11th century onwards, the Xixia state grew into a major power along the northwestern frontier of Song China. This article examines the Tangut perspective of their geo-political environment as it is reflected in a translation of a Chinese military treatise called Jiangyuan, a work attributed to Zhuge Liang. The concluding part of the original text presents the traditional Sino-centric worldview with the four barbarian tribes (Yi, Man, Rong and Di) around the empire. The Tangut translation, however, omits three of the four tribes and discusses only the Northern Di, thus adapting the Chinese viewpoint to fit their own situation.

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Imre Galambos

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The Other Greek

An Introduction to Chinese and Japanese Characters, Their History and Influence

Arthur Cooper

Edited by Imre Galambos

In The Other Greek, Arthur Cooper offers a captivating and unorthodox introduction to the world of the Chinese script through the medium of poetry, explaining the structure, meaning and cultural significance of each character. Written nearly half a century ago, and now published posthumously, the book argues that the role of Chinese writing was analogous to the influence of Greek civilization on Western culture. Chinese is the Greek of the Far East, ‘the other Greek’! Originally a cryptanalyst, Cooper uses his professional—and distinctly non-academic—training to analyse Chinese characters and points out a series of unacknowledged associations between them. Ultimately, he aims to initiate the reader with no prior knowledge of the language into Chinese writing and poetry.