By Michael Loewe
Highbrow advancements of the Western Han dynasty (202 BCE nine CE) were studied hitherto at the assumptions procedure defined as Confucianism bought paramount significance and that Dong Zhongshu (ca. 198 to ca. 107 BCE) were liable for formulating its rules. In difficult those assumptions, this publication examines Dong profession and popularity, and his intended authorship of the Chunqiu fanlu, for lengthy topic to query. it really is concluded that whereas a few components of that textual content could signify the lessons that Dong Zhongshu promoted, a few may possibly date from as overdue as seventy nine CE; nonetheless others undergo an affinity to writings which, banned as being suspect or in all probability subversive, live to tell the tale in not more than fragmentary shape.
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Additional resources for Dong Zhongshu, a 'Confucian' Heritage and the Chunqiu Fanlu
146) that Dong assimilated and ‘Confucianized’ the other schools of thought that are named extensively; yet it remains open to question how far this conclusion, which draws on the Chunqiu fanlu, is reliable. CHAPTER ONE THE HISTORICAL AND INTELLECTUAL BACKGROUND The differences of approach described in the introduction are substantial enough to warrant a re-assessment of some of the major questions that arose in Han times. In the absence of a direct means of identifying the outstanding problems that engaged the minds of those prominent in public life, we can but turn to the ideas and protests voiced in those of their utterances that have been preserved.
2 The title of Jia Yi’s essay ‘Guo Qin lun’ has been mistranslated by some as ‘The faults of Qin’, and is interpreted by Queen as ‘Surpassing Ch’in’ (p. 6). My own interpretation is ‘An essay which identifies Qin’s excesses and faults’. the historical and intellectual background 21 to a successor could hardly give grounds for optimism; for so far from being smooth, such changes had been accompanied by the dangers of disruption or separatist attempts. Even in Jingdi’s reign (157–141 BCE) it required no feat of outstanding memory to recall the violence and deception that had accompanied the deaths of the two emperors of Qin, the bid for power and its exercise by the Empress Lü and the attempt of Liu Xiang (2) 劉襄, grandson of Gaozu, to take the throne at her demise, only to be foiled by Gaozu’s son, known to us as Wendi.
A few men such as Jia Yi gave warning that Qin’s trust in its forceful or even ruthless imposition of official authority had led to its ruin and should not be followed, but as yet the example of the Qin empire remained dominant. 5 The reign of Jingdi saw the adoption of strong measures to strengthen the authority of the emperor and his officials as against the ambitions of others and their potential dissidence; and it would seem that Jingdi himself was ready to take ruthless action to attain his ends.