The Relationship between the Zhou xun 周訓 and Lüshi chunqiu 呂氏春秋 in the Context of the Late Warring States Period

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Abstract

In this article, I compare two lengthy parallel anecdotes found in the newly discovered manuscript Zhou xun 周訓 and the philosophical compendium from the late Zhanguo period, Lüshi chunqiu 呂氏春秋 . Based on this comparison, I argue that the authors of the Lüshi chunqiu borrowed from the Zhou xun. The techniques employed in incorporating the borrowed materials into the respective chapters proved to be virtually identical. Given that the materials under consideration appear in different parts of the Lüshi chunqiu––the relation, the time and the order of composition of which have been the subject of long debates––the present study promises to helps us gain a better understanding of the process and principles of its creation. Moreover, I discuss the appearance of the main protagonist of the Zhou xun, Lord Zhaowen of Zhou 周昭文君 (4th c. BC), in the Lüshi chunqiu. In some chapters, he is portrayed as a ruler who acquired considerable fame among his contemporaries. Especially in the state of Qin, his renown was said to have culminated in his recognition as “teacher” (shi 師 ) by King Hui(wen) of Qin 秦惠 ( 文 ) 王 (356–311 BC, r. 338–311 BC). In view of these attempts to establish the (historically unlikely) close ties between Lord Zhaowen (and his teachings) and the state of Qin, in the concluding part of this paper, I conjecture in regard to the place of origin of the Zhou xun.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)183-224
Number of pages42
JournalBulletin of the Jao Tsung-I Academy of Sinology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2020

User-Defined Keywords

  • Zhou xun
  • Lüshi chunqiu
  • Zhou Dynasty
  • the State of Qin
  • anecdotes

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