The recycling of text material is surprisingly common in traditional China. It sometimes takes the form of rearranging the lines or sections of a previous text, leaving the content of the previous text otherwise more or less undisturbed. That the order in which the same material is encountered may make a profound difference in the reader's impression of that material has been explored for the Analects (see Brooks Original Appendix 5).Chinese Examples
The Han Dz Yi. The Mawangdwei version of this text rearranges the contents of the Gwodyen version, without adding notable new material. That the Gwodyen version is itself the earlier of the two, and the Mawangdwei version is the rearrangement, is suggested by the earlier date of the Gwodyen tomb (c0288 vs c0168). The Gwodyen version is very close to the later standard Li Ji version, which we appears to represent the main line of transmission.
The Gwodyen Dau/Dv Jing Florilegia. These three Gwodyen texts seem to have been composed by eliminating some chapters and lines from the DDJ of that time (which did not yet include chapters 65-81; see under Accretional and the separate page Gwodyen Causerie), and arranging the rest according to new principles (Dan Lusthaus has suggested that one of the three sets is organized on a "Heaven" unifying theme; Dan Murphy has made thematic suggestions in his 2006 thesis, and a book by the present author is forthcoming). To the third of the three there was appended a cosmogonic text called Tai-yi Shvng Shwei; compare next.
The Han Dau/Dv Jing. The Mawangdwei version of this text (of which both an early and a late copy appear at Mawangdwei) appears to rearrange the contents of the standard text of that time, chiefly by switching its Dau and Dv halves, and secondarily by altering the position of a few individual chapters. That the Dau/Dv order was in fact original is suggested by internal analysis, and by the invariable sequence of those terms as a compound word in common usage, as well as in the usage of the text itself. The result of the MWD Dau/Dv rearrangement is to put DDJ 37, with its suggestion of a magic way to achieve world domination, into a more prominent position at the conclusion of the document, summarizing what the document offers to reader. It may be noted that the contents of many of the Han local magnate tombs, not only in [former] Chu but in [former] Chi, imply a scenario of plotting for revolt. That Sitz im Leben is further attested the set of texts appended to the later of the two MWD copies: a series of tracts on Dauist statecraft of the Hwang/Lau variety; compare previous.
The Han Lw-shr Chun/Chyou. Internal analysis suggests that the present order of the three sections of this work (Ji, Lan, Lun) was also the order of composition, but there is sufficient evidence that in Han it was arranged in the order Lan, Lun, Ji. In effect, the Ji and the Lan/Lun form two units which in the late 02c (that is, the time of the Shr Ji) had been exchanged, much as the Dau and Dv portions of the DDJ were arranged in the Mawangdwei version, and for a similar reason (the Lan section speaks more confidently of an empire achieved, whereas the Ji are generally prospective in tone). That the Ji was not only the oldest portion, but also originally stood first in the extended three-part text, can be shown by formal arguments (centering on the "notching" of the Lan to accommodate the unnumbered postface to the earlier Ji section). The Han Lan-first order is thus a rearrangement (compare next example).
The Han Mencius. In our view, the Mencius text (see Accretional) consists of two parts, MC 1-3 and MC 4-7, reflecting two parallel but distinct Mencian schools, with the MC 1-3 group being the older of the two. Both schools were extinguished in the fall of Lu in 0249, but may have continued under a joint survivor management. There are hints in the Shr Ji that the Mencius was arranged in Han with those segments in reverse order, MC 4-7 first and MC 1-3 second. This would be a case of rearrangement comparable to that of the Mawangdwei Dau/Dv Jing.
But if representatives of the "northern" (MC 4-7) school were in charge of any post-0249 unified continuation of the Mencian movement, they might well have put their own subtext first in the combined corpus. In that case, the Shr Ji implied order is not a rearrangement, but the standard order at that time. The restoration of the original order of composition would then be an achievement of later analysis, and the Mencius vanishes as an instance of Rearranged text.
The Yinchyweshan Sundz. The Yinchyweshan text of Sundz (c0134) represents the whole text of the classic 13-chapter work (with some lacunae due to damage), but in a slightly different chapter arrangement. For the import of that rearrangement, see our forthcoming monograph; the advantage of the changed order seems to have been largely expository. That text also includes a certain amount of appended Sundz material, and thus documents the beginning of the reopening of Sundz to new growth at about this time; see the Han Sundz.
The Canonical Yi during Han gradually moved up in the listing order of the Confucian canon, reflecting the increasing prestige accorded to this cosmological text, and conveying a different sense of the canon as a whole..
Da Sywe. The Sung commentator Ju Syi rearranged the material of this text, one of four which he made the cornerstones of his system of education. The effect of the rearrangement can be seen by cutting and pasting the translation which is given in Legge's Analects volume, or by comparing the translation of the older order, which is given in his Li Ji volume.
Florilegia. A typical Mediterranean example would be a collection of lines from Vergil, in this case coming from one authorial source, but arranged according to the taste of the arranger. A florilegium drawn from different sources would qualify, in the present typology, as an anthology; see Assembled.
Didache 2-4 is abbreviated, and its prescriptions exensively rearranged (along with some new matter) in The Epistle of Barnabas 19. Close comparison of the two gives useful insights about the evolution of practice as well as precept in at least one branch of early 1st century Christianity.
Philology is Copyright © 2001- by E Bruce Brooks
Comments to The Author / Exit to Typology Page