Correct Meanings

of Mao Odes 

          Religious / Foundational Classics           Chinese 
  Author:           Kong Yingda (574-648A.D.) (multiple authors)  

          Book of Odes includes poems of 11th-5th c. B.C.,

          presumably compiled as a text by Kongzi

          (Confucius, 551-479B.C.; actually, most likely

          earlier); Mao Odes is one of the 4 interpretations in

          early Han dynasty (2nd c. B.C.) after Qin's burning of

          books, by two uncle-nephew scholars with last

          name of Mao. The Correct Meanings is a sub-

          commentary of the Commentary by late Eastern Han

          scholar Zheng Xuan (2nd c. A.D.), and is compiled

          by multiple scholars under the leadership of Kong

          Yingda (a descendent of Kongzi), who stated in the

          preface that it is built explicitly on the studies by two

          scholars of last name Liu (late 6th c. A.D.). In

          current versions, this text also includes the

          explanation of the meanings and sounds of

          words / phrases written by Lu Deming in 583A.D.  

          Correct Meanings of Five Classics was published

          by the Tang government in 638A.D, of which

          Correct Meanings of Mao Odes is one of

          the five titles.


          Book of Odes is one of (Chinese) Five Classics, and

          should be clear from the explanation of dates above

          that it has an extensive commentary tradition which

          the Correct Meanings canonized. Book of Odes is the

          fountain head of Chinese literature which prioritizes

          poetry. (Of the other four of Five Classics, Book of

          Changes is included in Wang Bi's Works; Book of

          Rituals are generally of less interest, and two later

          works in the series are canonized as two of the Four

          Books (selected through Zhu Xi's Commmentaries);

          and Book of Documents and Spring and Autumn

          Annals are historical in nature, with their content for

          their periods covered were absorbed by Sima

          Qian's Records of the Grand Historian.)


Records of

Western Regions 

          History           Chinese 
  Author:           Xuanzang (660-664A.D.), transcribed by Bianji  



          Xuanzang is the most prolific and accurate translator

          of Buddhist sutras from Sanskrit to Chinese; and is

          founder of the Chinese Weishi (Vijnanavada) Sect

          after the Indian tradition started by the

          brothers Asanga and Vasubandhu. That being said,

          this text is selected primarily because it is the most

          detailed record of India in any language closest to its

          classical period of cultural efflorescense.

          (Megasthenes exist only in fragments;

          Faxian's Records is too brief; al-Biruni is closer to

          the tail-end of the tradition.)



on Zhuangzi  

          Philosophy           Chinese 
  Author:           Cheng Xuanying (608A.D. - ?)  

          Zhuangzi the person is dated to mid-Warring States

          period (4th c. B.C.). Zuangzi (the text) in the current

          form is compiled from materials (some of

          which were written as late as the Han dynasty) by

          Guo Xiang (252-312A.D.) in his authoritative  

          Commentary, on which Cheng Xuanying wrote this

          Sub-commentary completed the latest by 655A.D. 


          Guo Xiang's Commentary is the second most

          important neo-Daoist (xuanxue) text, and holds a

          similar position vs. Zhuangzi as Wang Bi's

          Commentary vs. Laozi. Zhuangzi itself is at least as

          important as a Warring States text as Mengzi

          (Mencius). Inclusion of this Sub-commentary is

          driven by both the importance of Daoism in Chinese

          tradition (Zhuangzi is its second most important

          text), and that Cheng Xuanying's wrote from the

          perspective of religious Daoism, which

          most modern scholar sees as distinct from (but of

          course related to) philosophical Daoism.   

22. Brahmasutra-
          Philosophy           Indian 
  Author:           Shankara (late 7th or early 8th c. A.D. per Karl Potter)  

          ~710A.D. (per Karl Potter's EnIP's online bibliography)


          Commonly considered the most important

          philosophical work in Indian tradition. Shifted

          philosophical controversy in India from among different

          religions and different "orthodox schools" (darshanas) to

          primarily within Vedanta.

23. Three Hundred
Tang Poems
          Literature           Chinese 

          Multiple poets (slightly below 80) - most prominent

          being Du Fu, Li Bai and Wang Wei; compiled by

          Sun Zhu (1711-1778A.D.) and his wife Xu Lanying


          Poems written by Tang dynasty (618-907A.D.)



          Tang poetry is considered the highest achievement

          in Chinese literature. This selection has become

          the standard text used for children's literary



History of Prophets

and Kings 

          History           Islamic 
  Author:           al-Tabari (838-923A.D.)   

          Final completion between  916-923A.D. 


          Most authoritative general history written in Islamic

          civilization. Chronicled founding of Islam through the

          Umayyads till the beginning of disintegration of

          Abbasid dynasty (end date of coverage is 915A.D.).

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