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Chinese Literature
Liangtongshu 兩同書 "The Two Identities"


The Liangtongshu 兩同書 "The two identities" is a philosophical treatise written by the Tang period 唐 (618-907) writer Luo Yin 羅隱 (833-909), original name Luo Heng 羅橫, courtesy name Luo Zhaojian 羅昭諫, style Master Jiangdong 江東生. Luo came from Yuhang 余杭 (modern Yuhang, Zhejiang) or Xindeng 新登 (modern Fuyang 江富, Zhejiang) and was a retainer of the local military commissioner (jiedushi 節度使) Qian Liu 錢鏐 who made him magistrate (ling 令) of Qiantang 錢塘. In 903 he was made administrative assistant (panguan 判官) and in 908, when the Wu-Yue empire 吳越 (907-978) was founded by Qian Liu, palace steward (jishizhong 給事中). He died shortly after. In his private life Luo Yin was a diligent author of a lot of books. Except the 2 juan scrolls long Liangtongshu, he has authored the Jiayiji 甲乙集, the Chanshu 讒書, and 12 juan of poems. His collected prose writings (Wenji 文集) have a length of 5 juan.
The Liangtongshu includes ten chapters, the first five of which include thoughts on the Daoist philosopher Laozi, the other five deliberations about Confucius. The first part is seen as a kind of inner contemplation, while the part on Confucius deals with social and political matters. The title is an imitation of Wu Jun's 吳筠 Liangtongshu from the Jin period 晉 (265-420) that is lost. The Liangtongshu is a text of a valuable literary quality and provides an interesting insight into Daoist and Confucian thought during the Tang period.
It is included in the collectanea Guang miji congkan 廣秘笈叢刊, Ershierzi 二十二子, Tianyige congshu 天一閣叢書, Shuofu 說郛 and Siku quanshu 四庫全書, as well as in the collection Luo Zhaojian ji 羅昭諫集 that was compiled by the Qing period 清 (1644-1911) scholar Zhang Zan 張瓚.


Sources: Li Xueqin 李學勤, Lü Wenyu 呂文鬰 (1996). Siku da cidian 四庫大辭典, vol. 2, p. 1886. Changchun: Jilin daxue chubanshe.

Chinese literature according to the four-category system

February 24, 2012 © Ulrich Theobald · Mail