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The Note at the Altar On the Reconciliation of Confucius [Запись у алтаря о примирении Конфуция]. Fascimile edition, translation from Tangut, with Introduction and dictionary by E.I.Kychanov. Moscow: 2000. 151 p. (Pamyatniki pismennosti Vostoka, CXVII.)


The text published here was found in 1909 by the outstanding Russian traveller P.K.Kozlov in the suburgan situated not far from the walls of the abandoned city of Khara-Khoto. At the site there were more than 9000 manuscripts and xylographs compiled mostly in the Tangut (Hsi-Hsia) language and partly in Chinese and Tibetan which this suburgan generously presented to scholars and on that occasion was named later 'famous'. The manuscript book under consideration was revealed first by N.A.Nevsky in the thirties, but for obscure reasons he did not put it down on the inventory.

The manuscript was copied on paper of inferior quality and proves to be strongly tattered, although the text, for the most part, is extant. It was written by a standard hand and thanks to that fact its reading has been considerably facilitated.

As N.A.Nevsky has already ascertained, the manuscript contains a text of a Chinese apocryphal work dealing with the criticism of Confucius personally and of the Confucianism by the Taoists represented by a certain Elder. Any translation of this text made by N.A.Nevsky has not been conserved.

After the preliminary rough translation of the text into Russian was drafted by the author of the present publication, he made efforts to the identification of the Tangut text with its probable Chinese original. His rather long investigations resulted in establishing a certain resemblance between this text and the 31st chapter of the treatise Zhuang-zi. The similarity of their plots is evident: three characters in them are the same, namely the Elder, Confucius and the disciple of Confucius Zi-lu, and the ideological trends of both texts coincide completely, including the criticism of Confucius and his doctrine by the Elder-Taoist as well as the result of that criticism—the admission of his own errors by Confucius. However, the texts are not identical at all. In the 31st chapter of Zhuang-zi there is one more character—another disciple of Confucius Zi-gun. Besides that, in spite of the resemblance between general trends of both plots there are practically no textual coincidences in these works.

The publication consists of the reproduction of the Tangut text in facsimile, its translation into Russian, the commentary of that translation, the introduction, which contains a study conformable to the erudition of the editor, and the glossary of principal Tangut terms. The editor does not pretend to prepare the exhaustive study of the text and to determine its real place among other works connected with disputes between Taoists and Confucianists, since he is not a specialist in this sphere. But he is sure that the introduction of the present text into the use of scholars is important for the history of development of the Chinese philosophical thought as well as for the study of culture of the Tangut state of Hsi-Hsia (982-1227 AD).


Аннотация, Содержание,«Неизвестный текст о беседе Конфуция с даосом» [часть], Summary


Tangut literature

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