Difficult Texts, Received and Excavated

History 280/285F.002

Fall 2012
Day & Time: 
Tu 3-6P

The aim of this course is to introduce students to a variety of difficult texts drawn from the medical, legal, commentarial, and apocryphal texts in the received tradition, along with several newly excavated manuscripts. (All of these texts will be punctuated, although disputes over punctuation will inevitably crop up, given the features of early manuscript culture.) Examples from the received tradition will include selections from the Documents (Shangshu ), with two major commentaries, the Shangshu dazhuan 尚書大傳 ascribed to Fu Sheng 伏勝 (Western Han) and the Correct Meanings 尚書正義 compiled by Kong Yingda 孔穎達 (Tang); the Yi Zhou shu with two relatively recent commentaries, those by Zhu Youzeng 朱右曾 and Huang Huaixin 黄怀信; the apocryphal texts indexed by Yasui Kōzan and Nakamura Ch_hati in the six-volume Chōshū isho shūsei重修緯書集成; and some excavated manuscripts, including the Kongjiapo 孔家坡 and Zhangjiashan 張家山 "Pulse Text" strips, and "Wanwu" 萬物. By the end of the course, students should have moved well beyond their knowledge from preliminary courses in classical Chinese, gaining sufficient confidence to tackle difficult texts in the technical and polemical categories.