Early China Seminar Lecture Series
Title: “Yueling and Yueling Commentary during the Han in Light of Xuanquanzhi”
Speaker: Charles Sanft, University of Tennessee
Time: April 14, 2023 (4:30-6:30 PM EST)
Venue: Faculty House
*Please check the announcement board in the first floor lobby for room information.
**Please see Seminar Safety Guidelines for attendance information.
The best-known text from Xuanquanzhi, a Han-era post near Dunhuang, is a set of yueling (monthly ordinances) dated to 5 CE and inscribed on a plaster wall within the site. Yueling generally are familiar from the “Yueling” chapter of Liji and elsewhere. The Xuanquanzhi set takes the form of legal statutes, but the content is close to that of the transmitted examples, which do not. The excavated set is also accompanied by internal commentary explaining the ordinances’ intended purposes. In this presentation, I will compare the Xuanquanzhi yueling with excavated and transmitted Han texts on related topics, showing points of similarity and contrast among them. I will also examine the Xuanquanzhi yueling commentary in light of transmitted exegeses to highlight how the Xuanquanzhi version changes our understanding of early commentary.