Quake Shocks Sichuan
Nation demonstrates progress in dealing with severe disaster
Current Issue
· Table of Contents
· Editor's Desk
· Previous Issues
· Subscribe to Mag
Subscribe Now >>
Weekly Watch
Expert's View
Market Watch
North American Report
Government Documents
Expat's Eye
Photo Gallery
Reader's Service
Learning with
'Beijing Review'
E-mail us
RSS Feeds
PDF Edition
Reader's Letters
Make Beijing Review your homepage
Hot Links

cheap eyeglasses
Market Avenue

UPDATED: April 26, 2012
Bamboo Strips Dispel Controversy Over Ancient Classic

Several bamboo strips bearing ancient text and dating more than 2,300 years have made their first public appearance in east China's Zhejiang Province.

The literature on the bamboo strips, displayed at the launch of a book introducing the antiques on Tuesday, is an excerpt from Zuo Zhuan, a Confucian masterpiece considered the earliest Chinese work of narrative history.

The exhibit forms part of 160 ancient bamboo strips collected by Zhejiang University in Hangzhou City. More than 120 of the strips are inscribed with the content of Zuo Zhuan.

Researchers said the bamboo strips can disperse some doubts over the authenticity of the ancient book.

Zuo Zhuan, translated as the "Chronicle of Zuo" or the "Commentary of Zuo," is traditionally attributed to historiographer Zuo Qiuming, who lived at the end of the Spring and Autumn Period (770-476 B.C.), as a commentary to the Spring and Autumn Annals, a chronicle ascribed to Confucius.

The book is considered important material for research of the pre-Qin Dynasty period (pre-221 B.C.), and also pre-Qin Confucius thoughts.

However, many scholars have questioned the dating of Zuo Zhuan, arguing that it is in fact a work by Liu Xin in the Western Han Dynasty (206 B.C.-A.D. 220).

Cao Jinyan, professor of Zhejiang University's School of Humanities, said the bamboo strips, which were stolen and sold abroad and then purchased by the university in 2009, can date back to 340 B.C.

The conclusion was made after researchers from several institutes including the prestigious Peking, Fudan and Zhejiang universities conducted a series of examinations of the antiques after they were returned from abroad, according to Cao.

Miao Zhe, researcher with the Center for Art and Archaeology in Zhejiang University, said the bamboo strips have provided strong factual evidence for the authenticity of the book.

"As a Confucian classic, Zuo Zhuan involves many problems of Chinese literature and history, and it is of great significance for historical research," said Miao, "but before the appearance of these bamboo strips, academia has always been confounded by a lack of research references."

Cao said the bamboo strips, which can also be counted as precious pieces of calligraphy, also make important material for the research of ancient Chinese characters.

(Xinhua News Agency April 25, 2012)

Top Story
-Too Much Money?
-Special Coverage: Economic Shift Underway
-Quake Shocks Sichuan
-Special Coverage: 7.0-Magnitude Earthquake Hits Sichuan
-A New Crop of Farmers
Most Popular
Useful Links: CHINAFRICAChina.org.cnCHINATODAYChina PictorialPeople's Daily OnlineWomen of ChinaXinhua News AgencyChina Daily
CCTVChina Tibet OnlineChina Radio Internationalgb timesChina Job.comEastdayBeijing TravelCCNStudy in China
About BEIJINGREVIEW | About beijingreview.com | Rss Feeds | Contact us | Advertising | Subscribe & Service | Make Beijing Review your homepage
Copyright Beijing Review All right reserved