Second Meeting of WMTC

Second Meeting of WMTC

The “Jinteng” Chapter of the Shangshu and its Newly Discovered Manuscript Version from ca. 300 BCE: Comparison and Methodological Considerations

Martin Kern, Princeton University

Wednesday, January 30, 2013
The Memorial Room, The Queen’s College, Oxford University

 

Among the exciting new bamboo and silk manuscript finds from early China are texts that have counterparts in the received literature and thus reveal new insights into the formation of the ancient textual tradition. One such text, recently published by Qinghua University, parallels the “Metal-bound Coffer” (Jinteng) chapter of the Hallowed Documents (Shangshu), the preeminent canon of ancient Chinese political thought. In comparing the newly found—albeit unprovenanced—manuscript from ca. 300 BCE with its received counterpart as well as with other parallels in the textual tradition, the lecture analyzes significant textual differences and their implications for both the original context of the manuscript and the editorial processes that have given us the received text. This analysis further leads to the methodological considerations that must be brought to the study of early Chinese manuscripts in general.