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Kuan-tzu and the Newly Discovered Texts on Bamboo and Silk 的'. Allyn Rickett During the early 1970s Chinese archeologists made a series of phenomenal discoveries of early documents written on bamboo and silk that have proved to be invaluable in the study of early Chinese thought and institutions. Two of these in particular have had a profound impact on our understanding of pre-Han and Han teχts. The first took place in April, 1972 at Yin-ch'üeh-shan 銀在山, Linyi 臨色 Hsien, Shantung, where almost 5,000 bamboo slips were excavated from two Han tombs dating about 134 B.C. Most of the slips were either badly fragmented or contained only three or four characters, but some 750 of them have since been identified as coming from a number of pre-Han or early Han texts, mostly dealing with military affairst and including such well-known works as the Sun-tzu 孫子 , Mo-tzu 墨子, Liu-t'a。六韜(技) [Six Bow Cases], and the previously lost Sun Pin pingfa 孫服兵法 [Sun Pin's Methods of War臼re].l The second discovery came in Oecember, 1973, with the excavation of the Ma-wang-tui 馬王堆 tomb 111 at Chang-sha 長沙, Hunan. 1n this tomb, which dates from 168 B.C., archeologists discovered, among many other relics, a number of silk scrolls on which were recorded a wide range of pre-Han and Han texts, including those dealing with medicine, Yinyang and Five Phases (wu-hsing 五行) cosmology, astronomy and astrology, history, corporal punishment, and also three maps and two For a discussion of these docurnents see Wen-wu 文物, 1974, no. 2, pp. 15-35. A reconstruction and study of the Sun-tzu rnaterials was published in 1976 by the Wenwu Ch'u-pan-she under the title Su仟tzu ping-fa 孫子兵法. A sirnilar reconstruction of the Sun Ping ping fa was published by the sarne organization in 1975. 237 W. Allyn Rickett versions of the Lao-tzu 老子, that have been designated as 'A' and 'B,.2 Although no texts have yet been excavated which can be clearly identified as the Kuan-tzu, some of the materials uncovered at Yin-ch'üeh-shan and Ma-wang-tui have a direct bearing on that work and raise new questions about the origin of some of its chapters. The Kuan-tzu 管子, or Book Master Kuan, which bears the name of the famous seventh century B.C. minister to Duke Huan 粒 of Ch'i 齊, Kuan Chung 管仲 (d. 645 B.C.), is one of the largest of China's early politicophilosophical works. As it exists today, the Kuan-tzu was put together by Liu Hsiang 劉向 in about 26 B.C. from materials he had collected from various sources, including the imperial library.3 The table of contents lists twenty-four chüan 卷 or 'books' containing eighty-six titled p'ien 篇 or 'chapters' of which ten are now lost. The text is also divided into eight sections containing several chüan each. The work consists of a mishmash of political, economic, military, and philosophical essays, some of which may date as early as the end of the fifth century while others would appear to have been written during the Han even as late as the middle of the first century B.C. In Chinese bibliographies, the Kuan-tzu is usually listed under Legalist works, but its contents include a range of other views, Confucian and Taoi哎, as well as Yin-yang and Five Phases naturalism. In fact, though it is true that considerable attention is paid to law (fa 法) throughout much of the Kuan-tzu, especially in such chapters as VI, 16, Fa fa 法法 [On Conforming to the Law], if one takes the Shang-chün shu 商君書 of Shang Yang 商戰 (f1. 359-338 B.c.)4 or the harsh rule of the first emperor of the Ch'in as the standard for Legalism, the Kuan-tzu can hardly be considered Legalist at all. 'Realist' might be a better word, since in terms of political philosophy the dominant tone of the Kuantzu is much closer to the authoritarian Confucian, Hsün-tzu 茍于 (c.298-238),5 than either Shang Yang or the later Legalist, Han-fei-tzu 韓非子 (d. 233 B.C.).6 For a general survey of the Ma-wang-tui materials, see Jeffrey K. Riegel, 'A Summary of Some Recent Wemρu and Kaogu Articles on Mawangdui Tombs Two and Three', Early China 1 (Fall1975), 10-15, and '扎1awangdui Tomb Three; Documents', Early China 2 (Fall1976), 68-72. For a reconstruction of these...


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