This study explores the unification of the script that allegedly happened in 221 BC when the Qin ruler united China and assumed the title of the First Emperor. By re-examining the earliest sources where the unification is described (i.e. the Shiji, the Hanshu, and the Shuowen jiezi). This paper argues that there was a political and ideological agenda behind ascribing the process to a single person, namely, the victorious Qin ruler. In reality, however, the archaeological material from the periods before and after the reign of the First Emperor does not reflect this vision of a sudden and comprehensive shift in writing. Even edict plates issued by the Qin government and attached to the new standardised weights as a verification of them being standardised did not reveal a presence of a uniform script. Moreover, the weights themselves showed a certain degree of deviation from their face value, revealing that the idea of a “standard”, even if it existed, was much loser than today. Epigraphic material shows that the script changed gradually, over decades, even hundreds, of years and not as a one-time effort of a single person. My contention is that this idea of unification was a Han creation that developed mainly during the 1st century AD.
Authors:Gyula Wojtilla, Zsolt Barta, and Imre Galambos
Mayrhofer, Manfred: Die Personennamen in der Rgveda - Samhitā. Sicheres und Zweifelhaftes.; Dillon, Michael: Xinjiang-China's Muslim Far Northwest.; Huan Guan: Spor o soli i zheleze (Debates on Salt and Iron).
Authors:Imre Galambos, Gergely Salát, Csaba Prutkay, Imre Hamar, Péter Vámos, and Anna Pikó
Xixing, Lu: 'Shijing' yiwen yanjiu (The Study of Textual Variants of the Shijing) Hamar, Imre: A Religious Leader in the Tang: Chengguan's Biography Qian, Nanxiu: Spirit and Self in Medieval China. The Shih-shuo hsin-yü and Its Legacy Chen, Jinhua: Making and Remaking History. A Study of Tiantai Sectarian Historiography Nozaki, Akira-Baker, Chris (eds): Village Communities, State and Traders. Essays in Honour of Chatthip Nartsupha Gottfried von Laimbeckhoven SJ (1707-1787) Der Bischof von Nanjing und seine Briefe aus China mit Faksimile seiner Reisebeschreibung. Transkribiert und bearbeitet von Stephan Puhl (1941-1997), und Sigismund Freiherr von Elverfeldt-Ulm unter Mitwirkung von Gerhard Zeilinger. Zum Druck vorbereitet und herausgegeben von Roman Malek SVD Zetzsche, Jost Oliver: The Bible in China: The History of the Union Version or The Culmination of Protestant Missionary Bible Translation in China Xinran: The Good Women of China. Hidden Voices. Translated by Esther Tyldesley
This paper identifies three manuscript fragments from Turfan as an Old Uyghur version of the story of Shunzi 舜子, a medieval Chinese narrative about Emperor Shun acting as a filial son. In China, the story was part of the lore of filial sons (xiaozi 孝子), popular throughout most of the dynastic period. Early versions of the Chinese story survive in Japan and Dunhuang, and these display obvious parallels with the Uyghur text. While this allows a positive identification of the content of the three Turfan fragments, the differences reveal that none of the known Chinese versions could have served as the source text for the translation. The Old Uyghur version, therefore, represents an otherwise unattested version of the story, which may have developed among the Uyghurs.