Falling stones: Five. Six: Fish-Hawks flying backwards: Readings of a strange record

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

The Chunqiu is the earliest transmitted systematic record of strange events from China. These strange events reported in the Chunqiu form the basis of a growing literature that starts to discuss different interpretations of these events from the 4th and 3rd centuries onward. My paper focuses on one of these records that reports five falling stones and six fish-hawks flying backwards in the 16th year of Lord Xi of Lu, 644 BCE, 2660 years ago. Two main lines of interpretation will be distinguished that start in the Gongyang zhuan and Zuo zhuan respectively and show that early Chinese commentators already did not know what to do with such reports of strange events. Their different strategies to use and to make meaning of this strange record reflect basic scholarly approaches towards the strange in early China.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDivination and the Strange
Subtitle of host publicationConstructing Fate in Pre-Modern China, Japan, Korea and Europe
EditorsSophia Katz
Number of pages16
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2018

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