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Chinese Literature
Dongzi 董子 "Master Dong"


The Dongzi 董子 "Master Dong" is a Mohist treatise written by the Warring States period 戰國 (5th cent.-221 BCE) philosopher Dong Wuxin 董無心 about whom virtually nothing is known. According to the imperial bibliography Jingjizhi 經籍志 in the official dynastic history Suishu 隋書 it was only 1 juan "scroll" long. The Song period 宋 (960-1279) bibliography Junzhai dushu zhi 郡齋讀書志 mentions a commentary to the Dongzi written by Wu Mi 吳秘. The encylcopedia Yuhai 玉海 quotes from a bibliography called Zhongxingge shumu 中興館閣書目 in which it is said that the Mohist treatises Dongzi and Chanzi 纏子 discussed the themes of "exalting unity", "universal love", "exalting worthies" and "percipient ghosts" that are also focal themes in the Mohist canon. The Ming period 明 (1368-1644) bibliography Shishantang shumu 世善堂書目 by Chen Di 陳第 still lists the Dongzi, but it is lost today. Ma Guohan 馬國翰, a scholar of the Qing period 清 (1644-1911), collected surviving fragments and compiled four chapters that are published in the collectaneum Yuhan shanfang yiji shu 玉函山房輯佚書. In this edition, the Dongzi includes some verses that Ma Guohan rated as certainly not part of the Chanzi. Some scholars think that both books were in fact only one.

Source: Li Xueqin 李學勤, Lü Wenyu 呂文鬰 (1996). Siku da cidian 四庫大辭典, vol. 2, p. 1874. Changchun: Jilin daxue chubanshe.

Chinese literature according to the four-category system

September 1, 2012 © Ulrich Theobald · Mail