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Da Dai Liji 大戴禮記

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The Da Dai Liji 大戴禮記 "Records of ritual matters by Dai Senior" is a collection of ritual observations written during the Former Han period 前漢 (206 BCE-8 CE). It was compiled at a time when the book Liji 禮記"Records of ritual matters" was compiled which later became one of the Five Confucian Classics (wujing 五經). Although the title of the Da Dai Liji only speaks of ritual matters it also contains records of royal family trees and astronomical issues. Dai De 戴德, the compiler, selected 85 chapters from 131 chapters of ancient texts on ritual matters and assembled them to a book he called Liji. Because his nephew Dai Sheng 戴聖 also compiled a book on rituals with the same title the two books were given the attribute of the authors, "Dai Senior" (Da Dai 大戴) and "Dai Junior" (Xiao Dai 小戴) to discern them. At the end of the Later Han period 後漢 (25-220) the scholar Zheng Xuan 鄭玄 wrote a commentary to the Xiao Dai Liji and made it one of the Five Classics. The book of his uncle, the Da Dai Liji therefore was overshadowed and only rarely received the attention of scholars since. The first scholar writing a commentary to the Da Da Liji was Lu Bian 盧辯 from the Northern Zhou period 北周 (557-581). During the Tang period 唐 (618-907) already 46 chapters were lost. The chapter Xia xiaozheng 夏小正 was transmitted seperately, so that the received Da Dai Liji only consists of 18 chapters. During the Song period 宋 (960-1279) , when the first print of the Da Da Liji was produced, the Xiaxiaozheng was re-incorporated, as well as the chapter Mingtang 明堂 which was extracted from the chapter Shengde 盛德. The print included 40 chapters, arranged in 13 juan "scrolls". Of Lu Bian's commentary only 8 juan survived. The Da Dai Liji chapters Aigong wen 哀公問 and Touhu 投壺 are identical to those in the (Xiao Dai) Liji. The chapters Licha 禮察, Zengzi daxiao 曾子大孝 and Benming 本命 are dispersed in the Liji chapters Jingjie 經解, Jiyi 祭義 and Sangfu sizhi 喪服四制. The Da Dai Liji includes five chapters actually belonging to the field of ritual matters included in the classis Yili 儀禮 "Etiquette and ceremonials", namely Zhuhou qianmiao 諸侯遷廟, Xinmiao 釁廟 (?), Chaoshi 朝事, Touhu and Gongfu 公符. It includes three and a half chapters from the Confucian master Xunzi 荀子, namely Aigong wen, Quanxue 勸學, Li sanben 禮三本, and a part of Xunzi's Youzuo 宥坐 which is to be found at the end of the chapter Quanwen 勸問 (?) in the Da Dai Liji. The chapters Aigong wen wuyi 哀公問五義, Aigong wen yu Kongzi 哀公問於孔子, Xiaoban 小辨, Yongbing 用兵 and Shaoxian 少閒 are identical to chapters in the book Kongzi sanchao ji 孔子三朝記. Ten paragraphs are identical to some in the book Zengzi 曾子. The chapter Baofu 保傅 is a combination of four chapters in Jia Yi's 賈誼 Xinshu 新書. The chapter Gongfu included a proclamation for the capping of Emperor Zhao 漢昭帝 (87-74 BCE) of the Han dynasty, the Han Xiao Zhaodi guan ci 漢孝昭帝冠辭. Through these text-critical comparisons it can be known that the Da Dai Liji included texts from the Warring States period 戰國 (5th cent.-221 BCE) as well as from the Former Han period.
The negligence the Da Dai Liji suffered through the ages caused many errors in the transmission so that during the Qing period 清 (1644-1911) Confucian scholars as Dai Zhen 戴震, Lu Wenchao 盧文弨 or Wang Zhong 汪中 had to invest a lot of text-critical work to correct the text. The most important commentary from this period is Wang Pinzhen's 王聘珍 Da Dai Liji jiegu 大戴禮記解詁.

Surviving chapters of the Da Dai Liji
39. 主言 Zhuyan Royal speeches
40. 哀公問五義 Aigong Wen Wuyi Duke Ai asked about the five classes of humans
41. 哀公問於孔子 Aigong Wen Yu Kongzi Duke Ai asked Confucius
42. 禮三本 Lisanben The three roots of the Rituals
(43.-46. lost)
46. 禮察 Licha Examination of the Rituals
47. 夏小正 Xiaxiaozheng The small calendar of the Xia
48. 保傅 Baofu Preceptors and Masters
49. 曾子立事 Zengzi Lishi Zengzi about the correct serving (one's superiors)
50. 曾子本孝 Zengzi Benxiao Zengzi on the origin of filial piety
51. 曾子立孝 Zengzi Lixiao Zengzi on founding the filial piety
52. 曾子大孝 Zengzi Daxiao Zengzi on the great filial piety
53. 曾子事父母 Zengzi Shi Fumu Zengzi on serving one's parents
54.-56. 曾子制言上中下 Zengzhi Zhiyan 1-3 Zengzi about behaviour 1-3
57. 曾子疾病 Zengzi Jibing Zengzi was sick
58. 曾子天圓 Zengzi Tianyuan Zengzi about the roundness of Heaven
59. 武王踐阼 Wuwang Jianzuo The throne accession of king Wu
60. 衛將軍文子 Wei Jiangjun Wenzi Wenzi, General-chief of Wey
62. 五帝德 Wudi De The virtue of the Five Emperors
63. 帝繫 Dixi The genealogy of the Emperors
64. 勸學 Quanxue Exhortation to study
65. 子張問入官 Zizhang Wen Rugong Zizhang asked (Confucius) about being charged with an office
66. 盛德 Shengde Flourishing virtue
67. 明堂 Mingtang The Bright Hall
68. 千乘 Qiancheng (A kingdom) of a thousand chariots
69. 四代 Sidai The four dynasties
70. 虞戴德 Yu Dai De The glory of the power of Yu
71. 誥志 Gaozhi Decretes and annals
72. 文王官人 Wenwang Guanren The officials of King Wen
73. 諸侯遷廟 Zhuhou Qianmiao Dedication to the ancestral temple of the feudal lords
成廟衅之以羊 Chengmiaoxin zhi yi yang Dedication to the ancestral temple by offering a goat
74. 小辨 Xiaoban A small discourse
75. 用兵 Yongbing The use of military
76. 少閒 Shaoxian A bit of leisure
77. 朝事 Chaoshi Court affairs
78. 投壺 Touhu Throwing darts
79. 公符 Gongfu Ducal emblems of enfeoffment
80. 本命 Benming Life or destiny
81. 易本命 Yi Benming The change is at the origin of life

Source: Liu Qiyu (1992), "Da Dai Liji 大戴禮記", in Zhongguo da baike quanshu 中國大百科全書, Zhongguo lishi 中國歷史 (Beijing/Shanghai: Zhongguo da baike quanshu chubanshe), Vol. 1, pp. 133-134.

July 24, 2010 © Ulrich Theobald · Mail
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