By Richard E. Strassberg
Китайский Бестиарий: Мифические существа в древнекитайском трактате Шань Хай Цзин («Каталог гор и морей»). Трактат, описывающий реальную и мифическую географию Китая и соседних земель и обитающие там создания, традиционно приписывается легендарному Великому Юю. A chinese language Bestiary offers a desirable competition of legendary creatures from a distinct and enduring cosmography written in historical China. The Guideways via Mountains and Seas, compiled among the fourth and primary centuries b.c.e., comprises descriptions of 1000s of amazing denizens of mountains, rivers, islands, and seas, in addition to minerals, plants, and medication. The textual content additionally represents a variety of ideals held by means of the traditional chinese language. Richard Strassberg brings the Guideways to existence for contemporary readers through weaving jointly translations from the paintings itself with info from different texts and up to date archaeological unearths to create a lavishly illustrated advisor to the creative international of early China. not like the bestiaries of the overdue medieval interval in Europe, the Guideways was once now not interpreted allegorically the unknown creatures defined in it have been considered as real entities stumbled on during the panorama. The paintings used to be initially used as a sacred geography, as a guidebook for tourists, and as a booklet of omens.
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Additional info for A Chinese Bestiary: Strange Creatures from the Guideways Through Mountains and Seas
Last, the Guideways can be related to an important group of texts that lie somewhat outside the mainstream of those mentioned above. The various performance pieces that were later grouped together in the Songs of Chu (Chuci, c. 3rd cent. ) anthology strongly reflect shamanistic cultural elements, although they were probably written down by poets or other literary figures. Chu was the major feudal state in what is now central and southern China and a strong contender during the Warring States. Its culture was regarded by the other Chinese states, especially those of the Central Plains and to the northeast, as only partially civilized and was characterized by its strong faith in shamanistic religion.
E. as he encountered various gods and non-Chinese peoples, including the Queen Mother of the West [nos. 65, 275]. e from an aristocrat’s tomb dated c. e. and were also edited by Guo Pu, who used them in his commentary to support the factuality of the Guideways. Yet another text about strange creatures circulating during this era was the Master Lie (Liezi, c. 64 The Daoist Ge Hong’s (283–343) Biographies of Gods and Transcendents (Shenxianzhuan, before 317), following the model of Liu Xiang’s Biographies of Various Transcendents (Liexianzhuan, 1st cent.
C. 60 The next important mention of the Guideways appears in the earliest surviving bibliography, the “Treatise on Literature” in the o‹cial History of the Han Dynasty (Han- 1 4 I N T R O D U C T I O N shu: Yiwenzhi, late 1st cent. ) This is generally thought to be based on Liu Xiang and Liu Xin’s earlier, now-lost catalogue of the imperial library, the Seven Classifications (Qilue, c. late 1st cent. ). The Guideways was now considered an occult text that had been espoused by members of an eclectic philosophical school called Techniques and Calculations (Shushujia).