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Gusanfen 古三墳

Jul 5, 2012 © Ulrich Theobald

Gusanfen 古三墳 "Three old graves" is a book on divination related to the Confucian Classic Yijing 易經 "Book of Changes". The short text is said to be written during the Han period 漢 (206 BCE-220 CE) and was first commented on by the Jin period 晉 (265-420) scholar Ruan Xian 阮咸. It was revised during the Ming period 明 (1368-1644) by Tang Lin 唐琳. Tang divided the text in eight chapters (ze 則), identically to Liu Zhenweng's 劉辰翁 (1232-1297) version from the Song period 宋 (960-1279), but different to that of Mao Kun 茅坤 (1512—1601) with 12 chapters and that of Sun Kuang 孫礦 (1543-1613) with 10 chapters.

According to the bibliography Junzhai duzhi zhi 郡齋讀書志, the Gusanfen was discovered by Zhang Shangying 張商英 (1043-1121) as a popular text circulating in Biyang 比陽 (modern Biyang 泌阳, Henan), yet Chen Zhensun's 陳振孫 (1179-1262) annotated bibliography Zhizhai shulu jieti 直齋書錄解題 says that the text originated in Tangzhou 唐州 (modern Tanghe 唐河, Henan) and had been written down by Mao Jian 毛漸 (1036—1094).

The received version in the print from 1626 appears to be not identical to these early texts.

Sources:
Li Xueqin 李學勤, Lü Wenyu 呂文鬰, ed. (1996). Siku da cidian 四庫大辭典 (Changchun: Jilin daxue chubanshe), Vol. 1, 68.
Zhao Zonglai 赵宗来 (1995). "Cong Gusanfen dao Zhouyi 从“古三坟”到《周易》", Jinan Daxue xuebao (Shehui kexue ban) 济南大学学报(社会科学版), 1995 (3): 32-35.