Yi Zhou shu 逸周書. Select translations

This website contains work-in-progress translations of the chapters of the Yi Zhou shu discussed in my book Mediation of Legitimacy in Early China: A Study of the Neglected Zhou Scriptures and the Grand Duke Traditions (New York: Columbia University Press, 2022). These chapters record didactic dialogs involving the first Western Zhou 西周 kings who lived in the 11th–10th centuries BC, but their language and structure betray a much later composition date, perhaps around the fifth–third centuries BC. For this reason, they are usually regarded as imitative—or even “falsified”—records of limited historical value. In the book, I argue that they should rather be seen as artifacts of an esoteric practice of royal legitimation related to the scriptures of early medieval Daoism.

Mediation of Legitimacy in Early China

I will keep updating these translations, and will be most grateful for suggestions and corrections: yegor@phoenixterrace.com.

Copyright 2022. Yegor Grebnev