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Chinese Literature
Shiwei 士緯 "The Junior Offials' Woofs"


The Shiwei 士緯 "The junior offials' woofs" was a political text written by the Three Kingdoms period 三國 (220-280) scholar Yao Xin 姚信 who lived in the empire of Wu 吳 (222-280). About his life not much is known. He came from an eminent family and has also written y commentary to the Yijing 易經 "Book of Changes", Zhouyi zhu 周易注. According to the imperial bibliography Jingjizhi 經籍志 in the official dynastic history Suishu 隋書 his book was 10 juan "scrolls" long and was also known under the title Shiwei xinshu 士緯新書. The catalogue also lists a book called Xinshu 新書 "New book", with a length of 2 juan and written by "Master Yao" 姚氏. These texts were still known during the Liang period 梁 (502-557), but were already lost during the Tang period 唐 (618-907). The bibliographies in the histories Jiutangshu 舊唐書 and Xintangshu 新唐書 only list the Shiwei, with a length of 10 juan which proves that the Xinshu was actually part of the Shiwei, but existed also in a separately circulating version. The surviving fragements of it were collected by the Qing period 清 (1644-1911) scholar Ma Guohan 馬國翰. They are to be found in his collectaneum Yuhan shanfang yiji shu 玉函山房輯佚書. The most important passages are critical statements about the Daoist scholar Yan Zun 嚴遵, the Confucian scholar Yang Xiong 揚雄 and the Confucian philosopher Meng Ke 孟軻 (Mengzi 孟子).

Source: Li Xueqin 李學勤, Lü Wenyu 呂文鬰 (1996). Siku da cidian 四庫大辭典, vol. 2, p. 1883. Changchun: Jilin daxue chubanshe.

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June 12, 2013 © Ulrich Theobald · Mail