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Chinese Literature
Zhongjing 忠經 "The Book of Loyalty"


The Zhongjing 忠經 "Book of loyalty" is a Confucian treatise attributed to the Later Han period 後漢 (25-220 CE) scholar Ma Rong 馬融 (79-166). Ma Rong was an important Confucian scholar who had written a lot of commentaries to the Confucian Classics, but also to the Daoist books Laozi 老子 and Huainanzi 淮南子. He had a lot of disciples, among which a handful of brilliant scholars are to be found, like Zheng Xuan 鄭玄 or Lu Zhi 盧植. Zheng Xuan has written a commentary to the Zhongjing. The large corpus of the original writings of Ma Rong is lost, but Ma Guohan 馬國翰 (Yuhan shanfang jiyi shu 玉函山房輯佚書) and Huang Shi 黄奭 (Hanxuetang congshu 漢學堂叢書) have collected the surviving fragments of his oeuvre. There is also an edition of Ma's collected writings called Ma Jizhang ji 馬季長集 from the Ming period 明 (1368-1644).
The Zhongjing is divided into 10 chapters and enriched with a commentary. It seems to be that the main text and the commentary are written by the same person, for which reasons later scholars doubted the authenticity of Ma Rong's authorship. The book is not mentioned in the oldest bibliographies, and it is first mentioned in the bibliography Chongwen zongmu 崇文總目 from the Song period 宋 (960-1279). It is therefore quite probably that the Zhongjing was a Song period book claiming the authorship of Ma Rong and Zheng Xuan. There was a book with the same title written by a certain Hai Peng 海鵬.
The Zhongjing is included in the collectanea Jindai mishu 津逮秘書, Xuejin taoyuan 學津討源, Ershierzi quanshu 廿二子全書, and Congshu jicheng 叢書集成.


Source: Li Xueqin 李學勤, Lü Wenyu 呂文鬰 (1996). Siku da cidian 四庫大辭典, vol. 2, p. 1547. Changchun: Jilin daxue chubanshe.

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December 31, 2010 © Ulrich Theobald · Mail