Original Analects Supplement
LY 3

Passages: *5 8 9

Prefatory Note. This is the earliest of the three preposed chapters, the ones whose position in the present text does not directly reflect their order of composition. As with LY 16, it seems to be a chapter whose compilation was proceeding on a previously set plan, but which was finished by the addition or insertion of material occasioned by a catastrophic event occurring in the immediate vicinity of Lu. Both the catastrophic events involve attempts at Chi expansion; here, the assumption by Chi of the Jou title "King" in 0342; there, the Chi conquest and destruction of the neighboring state of Sung in 0285.

*3:5 (p127). The threat on which the original LY 3 focused was the ambition of Chi to assume the dominant role in the East, replacing the Jou whose cultural authority Lu itself had thoughts of wielding. The threat envisioned in this interpolated passage is a quite different one: the rise of the confederacy of steppe peoples who would later be known as the Syungnu. There are reasons for not dating this new threat much earlier than the final decades of the 03c, and we have accordingly assigned *3:15 the tentative date c0310. It focuses on the unity of command, in effect the unity of kingship, among the steppe peoples, in embarrassing contrast to the divided sovereignty of the many Sinitic states. The sovereignty issue may have been one reason for interpolating this passage into LY 3, which has already focused on the "kingship" issue. From the late 04c onward, Chinese philosophy may be said to have centered itself on the question of how, and on what terms, a unified sovereignty could be restored to the Sinitic states.

3:8. The Shr reference is more precisely Shr 57B6-7.

3:9. The rituals of the Three Dynasties, or claims of knowledge about their nature, played an important part in the 04c efforts to define the Sinitic cultural heritage in terms wider than those of the mere Jou dynasty. One immediate political effect of legitimating the Shang heritage within the perceived Sinitic tradition was to include Sung (the Shang remnant state) as a full member of the existing 04c comity of states. The invention of sacrificial hymns for Sung, supposed to embody the Shang heritage, followed sometime later, and the incorporation of those hymns into the previously Jou-only logic of the Shr poem collection was achieved later still (that acceptance was still incomplete as of c0312, the final date of the Dzwo Jwan). In general, the invention of antiquity proceeded rapidly in the last half of the 04c. Here in 3:9 (c0342), it is admitted that there are no sources, either textual or performative, for Sya or Shang rituals. But in the later passage 2:23 (c0317), it is confidently asserted that these rituals and those of Jou are known so exactly that from the implied evolutionary curve, the state of ritual even at some remote point in the future (the text has "a hundred generations," or about 2,500 years) could be known. The gain in certainty is impressive. It is to be doubted that it was founded on any increase in real knowledge. It can be shown that at many points, the Warring States literati remained ignorant of the real symbolic meaning of such familiar symbols as the animal masks on Shang bronze vessels. Instead, the new certainty was founded on invention and imagination.

For the language argument which has sometimes been applied to this passage, see the separate Note.


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