Unearthing the Changes: Recently Discovered Manuscripts of the Yi Jing and Related Texts

Cambridge University Press (2014)

Abstract
In recent years, three ancient manuscripts relating to the _Yi jin_g, or _Classic of Changes_, have been discovered. The earliest--the Shanghai Museum Zhou Yi--dates to about 300 B.C.E. and shows evidence of the text's original circulation. The _Guicang_, or _Returning to Be Stored_, reflects another ancient Chinese divination tradition based on hexagrams similar to those of the _Yi jing_. In 1993, two manuscripts were found in a third-century B.C.E. tomb at Wangjiatai that contain almost exact parallels to the _Guicang_'s early quotations, supplying new information on the performance of early Chinese divination. Finally, the Fuyang_ Zhou Y_i was excavated from the tomb of Xia Hou Zao, lord of Ruyin, who died in 165 B.C.E. Each line of this classic is followed by one or more generic prognostications similar to phrases found in the_ Yi jing_, indicating exciting new ways the text was produced and used in the interpretation of divinations. _Unearthing the Changes_ details the discovery and significance of the Shanghai Museum _Zhou Yi_, the Wangjiatai _Guicang_, and the Fuyang _Zhou Yi_, including full translations of the texts and additional evidence constructing a new narrative of the _Yi jing_'s writing and transmission in the first millennium B.C.E. An introduction situates the role of archaeology in the modern attempt to understand the Classic of Changes. By showing how the text emerged out of a popular tradition of divination, these newly unearthed manuscripts reveal an important religious dimension to its evolution
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