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  • 1 Ghent University, Department of Languages and Cultures, Blandijnberg 2, B9000 Gent, Belgium
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The first recorded biography of Daoxuan 道宣 (596–667) – regarded as the de facto founder of the Vinaya ‘school’ in China – was a stele inscription composed by the scholar-official Li Yong 李邕 (678–747). No longer extant, this inscription was the main biographical source on Daoxuan until the Song Dynasty as well as Zanning’s 贊寜 (919–1001) primary source for his entry on Daoxuan in the Song gaoseng zhuan 宋高僧傳 (Biographies of Eminent Monks [Compiled] under the Song Dynasty). This paper investigates how Li Yong engaged with a monastic community headed by Daoxuan’s disciples in the prefecture of Zizhou 淄州, Henan Circuit. We argue that this group of monks commissioned Li Yong to compose a number of stele inscriptions for Daoxuan himself and several of his disciples and associates.