Get A Chinese Bestiary: Strange Creatures from the Guideways PDF

By Richard E. Strassberg

ISBN-10: 0520218442

ISBN-13: 9780520218444

Seventy six b/w plates, 37 b/w illustrations A chinese language Bestiary provides a desirable competition of legendary creatures from a distinct and enduring cosmography written in historic China. The Guideways via Mountains and Seas, compiled among the fourth and primary centuries b.c.e., includes descriptions of enormous quantities of wonderful denizens of mountains, rivers, islands, and seas, in addition to minerals, plants, and medication. The textual content additionally represents quite a lot of ideals held by way of the traditional chinese language. Richard Strassberg brings the Guideways to lifestyles for contemporary readers by means of weaving jointly translations from the paintings itself with details from different texts and up to date archaeological reveals to create a lavishly illustrated consultant to the resourceful international of early China. in contrast to the bestiaries of the overdue medieval interval in Europe, the Guideways was once no longer interpreted allegorically; the unfamiliar beings defined in it have been considered as real entities came upon through the panorama. The paintings used to be initially used as a sacred geography, as a guidebook for tourists, and as a booklet of omens. at the present time, it's considered as the richest repository of old chinese language mythology and shamanistic knowledge. The Guideways can have been illustrated from the beginning, however the earliest surviving illustrations are woodblock engravings from an extraordinary 1597 variation. Seventy-six of these plates are reproduced right here for the 1st time, they usually supply a superb instance of the chinese language engraver's paintings in the course of the past due Ming dynasty. this pretty quantity, compiled by means of a well known professional within the box, presents a desirable window at the suggestions and ideology of an historic humans, and should satisfaction experts and basic readers alike.

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Extra resources for A Chinese Bestiary: Strange Creatures from the Guideways Through Mountains and Seas

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38 In practice, the kinds of distinctions made by new schools of philosophers did not necessarily create a sharp break between earlier beliefs and the newer forms of knowledge. Mythology and deity imagery continued to be adapted to their systems, and many of the texts transmitted by these schools actually became repositories that preserved certain shamanistic traditions. However, the e ect of committing hitherto esoteric orally transmitted knowledge to writing enabled nonspecialists among the literate elite to practice many of these techniques as well as to freely develop them in new directions.

And the Master Zhuang. Even during its gradual decline in the Warring States period, it still expanded eastward. After its military defeat, Chu continued to be a major cultural and political force well into the Han dynasty, whose imperial family also originated from this region. Thus, though conclusive proof is still lacking, there is some reason to regard Chu as the place where a critical shaping of the Guideways may have occurred, even though its content could also reflect the worldview of a more northern or western state such as Qin.

Among the things they were skilled in were herbal medicine, divination, dream interpretation, exorcism, omenology, genealogy, mythology, geography, calendrical and astronomical calculation, sacrifices, sacred performance, rainmaking, as well as certain rites of resurrection. 31 However, developments beginning in the Eastern Zhou and accelerating during the Warring States period suggest that the actual commitment of this information to an organized, written form may have been carried out in connection with others.

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A Chinese Bestiary: Strange Creatures from the Guideways Through Mountains and Seas by Richard E. Strassberg

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