Complex Graphic Presentation
It is not really very complex, but this table is at least slightly more realistic than the Simple presentation. It moves a step closer to Warring States reality. Here, the Mwodz is represented by two of its four strands: the home school's ethical chapters (MZ 1-39) and the separate group of ethical chapters cast in Analects-style anecdotal form, and probably compiled by a Mician branch movement resident in Lu (MZ 46-50). The Mencius is separated into its two strands: the older southern school (MC 1-3), which emphasized statecraft, and the more theoretical northern school (MC 4-7), which is the one that modern philosophers tend to prefer. Some additional texts or parts of texts are shown in the Miscellaneous column. They are: the Bamboo Annals (BA), Dzwo Jwan (DJ), Gwo Yw (GY), Gwandz (GZ), Han Feidz (HFZ), Jwangdz (JZ), Lw-shr Chun/Chyou (LSCC), and Sywndz (SZ).
Some events which left traces in one or more of the texts are shown as cutting across all the text formation columns. It will be seen that these cast a strong and sudden light on the history of individual texts, and on the relations among several texts.
Death of Confucius
Dzvngdz becomes head of Confucian school in Lu; gives it markedly different character
Death of Dzvngdz
Dzvngdz's son Dzvng Ywaen assumes leadership of Confucian school in Lu; politically successful
Dz-sz and Kung family take over leadership of Confucian school in Lu; character of Analects changes
MZ 14, 20
New and vigorous ruler begins reign in Chi
GZ 1D, 7D (Chi)
MZ 15, 18
DJ core (Lu)
Chi ruler assumes title of King following victory over Ngwei in 0343
GZ 1C, 2D, 3D, 7C
MZ 25, 19
DJ 2nd layer (Lu)
DDJ 17, 13
Mencius leaves Confucian school of Lu for independent career as advisor of rulers; goes to Ngwei
MZ 32, 9
GZ 1B, 2B, 3E, 7B
DDJ 19-20, 12
0319 MC 1A6 0318 MC 1B1 0317 LY 2 MC 1B16 0314 MC 1B9
Yen Incident ends with expulsion of Chi; Mencius, who had supported intervention, leaves Chi
0312 DJ final (Chi) DDJ 23-37 0311
MZ 12, 16
0309 0305 LY 15 MZ 27 MZ 47:8-9 Gwo Yw (Jin) 0303 MZ 47:15 MC 2A2 0300 MZ 37 MC 4A
0296 Ngwei Syang-wang buried; his tomb contains Bamboo Annals, Mu Tyendz Jwan, Shr Chun 0295 MZ 31 0294 LY 1 0290 MZ 28 DDJ 66
0288 Approximate date of Gwodyen Tomb 1; implies a truncated DDJ, consisting of only DDJ 1-66)
Chi conquers Sung; it is later expelled by several other states.
0285 LY 16 MZ 38 MZ 48:1 0282 MZ 10 MZ 48:4-5
0275 MZ 13 MZ 48:8 0274 DDJ 70 0272 DDJ 73
0265 MZ 7 MZ 48:22 0262 LY 18 JZ 4:4-7 MC 6B
JZ 4:1-3, 9, 12, 25
0255 MZ 5
Chu conquers part of Lu; Sywndz comes to southern Lu as governor of newly conquered territory
0253 LY 19 MZ 49:13 DDJ 80 MC 7A MC 3A
Chu completes conquest of Lu; Confucian and Dauist texts in Lu and nearby cease operation
0245 MZ 3
LSCC 1-12 (Chin)
0235 MZ 1
HFZ 3 (Chin)
Chin unifies other states into Chinese Empire
First Emperor dies; is succeeded by Chin Second Emperor
Chin empire breaks up; several years of war lead to founding of Han dynasty
Among many others, the following longstanding puzzles are solved by this arrangement:
Q: Why is Dzvngdz (whose death, in 0436, is described in LY 8) always mentioned in the Analects by the respectful term Dzvngdz "Master Dzvng?" A: Because, as LY 8:3 shows, he was at the time of his death the head of the School of Confucius. The implication of this is that the LY 8:3 scene cannot have been transcribed earlier than 0436. Here is an absolute date, or an absolute limit on possible date.
Q: Does this mean that the whole Analects must be dated to the year 0436 or later, as Lyou Dzung-ywaen had suggested as long ago as the Tang Dynasty? A: No, because that constraint only affects that chapter. Chapters standing earlier in the sequence (most obviously LY 4, which contains only sayings of Confucius, without narrative embellishment, and thus has a more archaic look than anything else in the book) may still go back to the year of Confucius's own death (0479). The parts of an accretional work are to be dated separately, each on the evidence which it contains.
Q: Why do the middle Analects and the early Gwandz share whole sentences, and discuss the same issues? A: They are 04c contemporaries, engaged in a debate on the nature of society. Confucius never heard of those issues, but they were important to his later school. Notice that the Analects chapters in which Gwandz duplication occurs (including the famous line "the father should be a father, and the son should be a son") are LY 12-13, which are well down in the chapter sequence from the LY 8 death of Dzvngdz. There is thus not only no difficulty in dating LY 8 and LY 12 differently, there is every reason in the sequence of chapters in the received text to date the latter later than the former.
Q: How can the Analects (LY 17) and the Mwodz (MZ 48) be engaged in a seeming two-way dialogue? A: Those strata too were contemporary, and each text recorded its half of the exchange. We can recover the whole exchange only by putting the two halves together in a single inclusive chronological structure. In that structure, LY 17 and MZ 48 occupy the same general niche. What makes them literally contemporary is that MZ 48:8 states an objection, LY 17 meets that objection, and then the slightly later MZ 48:12 ridicules that answer. MZ 48 is thus both earlier and later than LY 17, which sounds like a paradox, but boils down to the unproblematic thought that MZ 48:8 is a little earlier than MZ 48:12.
Q: If LY 17 and MZ 48 are contemporaneous, we have arrived at a relative date. Is it possible to determine an absolute one? A: To a certain extent. Since another passage in LY 17 contains what looks like a comment on the Sywndz/Mencius debate on human nature, it is probably contemporary with that debate. Sywndz was born about 0310. Sywndz's half of the debate is transcribed in SZ 23, and the Mencian half is in MC 6. Sywndz's half shows him at the height of his powers. The debate must then come from his maturity, or well into the 03rd century. As for the Analects, LY 16:1-3 refer obliquely to the Chi conquest of Sung in 0285, and LY 20 which was cut off after only a few sayings by the Chu invasion of 0249. These outside events establish endpoints of 0285 and 0249 for the possible date of LY 17. This agrees with the previous sentence: Sywndz would have been about 25 years old in 0285 (perhaps a little too young) and 61 years old in 0249 (perhaps a little old for the intense tone of SZ 23. A tentative best guess would put Sywndz in his thirties rather than his twenties; hence a working hypothesis might be c0275. This is not an exact date, but it is probably a good first approximation to the exact date.
Notice, by the way, the sequence we have been building up: LY 4 (early 05c), LY 8 or its core (late middle 05c), LY 12-13 (04c), LY 16 (shortly after 0285), LY 17 (somewhat after LY 16), and LY 20 (0249). The indications of absolute date, and the relative links to passages which can in turn be given absolute dates, are entirely consistent: they form a linear chronological sequence. They imply that the Analects is a text which accumulated over more than two centuries, between Confucius's death in 0479 and the end of Lu in 0249. The chapters we have noticed are already arranged in chronological order in the Analects as we have it; no relocation is required. Then the Analects was probably composed, at least in large part, by adding new units onto the end of the previous text. This is the most natural process imaginable, as everyone who has ever added a last-minute item to a previous shopping list will agree.
Q: How can the Analects (LY 18) and the Jwangdz (JZ 4) share material? Surely nobody imagines that Confucius and Jwangdz were contemporaries? A: Well, the Jwangdz does at one point ask us to believe that Jwangdz (Jwang Jou) and Confucius were contemporaries, but you know the Jwangdz. What is going on here is that Analects 18 is copying an anti-Confucian story from the Jwangdz, but with a twist which makes Confucius the winner. The later passages in JZ 4 actually accept the Analects verdict, by agreeing that public service is important, and by making Confucius their teacher in that dangerous situation. In this is contained the answer to another Jwangdz question, namely:
Q: How can the Jwangdz, and in the very same chapter, both critize Confucius (JZ 4:7) and present Confucius as a positive guide to the art of holding office in difficult times (JZ 4:1-2)? A: See above.
Q: Turning now from the Jwangdz to another Dauist text: How does the Gwodyen tomb (c0288), which contained extracts from the Dau/Dv Jing text, fit into the picture, and of the 81 chapters of our DDJ, why does the Gwodyen anthology draw on nothing higher than DDJ 66? A: The DDJ text is accretional, and all that was available to the copyist as of a date shortly before c0288 was the part of is up to DDJ 66. The remainder had not yet been written. Between the making of the Gwodyen anthology and the end of the DDJ in 0250, another 15 chapters were added to the home copy of the DDJ text.
Q: What does this tell us about the DDJ? A: Nothing very much; it just confirms, in more detail, what every observant reader already knew. First there is the fact, noticed already in the Han Dynasty, that the DDJ moves from mystical material (roughly, the Dau Jing, or first half of the text) toward statecraft material (the Dv Jing, or second half of the text). This already implies that the DDJ itself is an evolving text, with a mystical beginning and a political theory end. Since every Warring States text or text corpus known to us is either a statecraft text at the outset or else evolves into one as it grows, all we are saying is that the DDJ is a typical Warring States text.
Q: But what about the extra details? A: With a little help from archaeology, we have found more precisely that the DDJ growth process had covered considerable ground as of c0288, but still had some time to run. Nobody (well, almost nobody) now thinks that the DDJ arose in the age of Confucius, but critical scholars have hesitated between an 04c and 03c date. The diagram above shows that both are right, the seeming disagreement being due to the fact that some are talking about the head of the text, and others about the tail. The entire text cannot be dated to either century; the only adequate label for the DDJ as a whole will be 04c-03c. Further comparison between DDJ and its contemporaries can sharpen that a little bit; our current best reading is c0350-c0250. Like the Analects (0479-0249), the DDJ is too long to be contained by one century; it requires instead a span, and its span happens to overlap two centuries.
To say what else becomes clear would outrun the desirable length of this page. Everything becomes clear. The accretion pattern for each text is reasonable (additions are made at either the head or tail of the previous manuscript, or both), any dialogue relations come in on schedule, and the texts read in sequence give a developmentally plausible historical picture. The tests for a successful chronological construct are met. They are unlikely to be met by any alternative picture differing very much from this one. What this means is that the problem of Warring States text chronology, in its large outlines, has been solved.