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Contextual hierarchies in the Shang oracle-bone inscriptions Fowler, Vernon Keith 1984

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CONTEXTUAL HIERARCHIES IN THE SHANG ORACLE-BONE INSCRIPTIONS By VERNON KEITH FOWLER B.A., The University oflLeelds,...1979 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Department of Asian Studies) We accept this thesis as conforming to the required sfandaxd_ THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA J u l y 1984 (cp Vernon K e i t h F o w l e r , 1984 In presenting t h i s thesis i n p a r t i a l f u l f i l m e n t of the requirements fo r an advanced degree at the University of B r i t i s h Columbia, I agree that the Library s h a l l make i t f r e e l y a v a i l a b l e for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of t h i s t h e s i s for s c h o l a r l y purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by h i s or her representatives. I t i s understood that copying or p u b l i c a t i o n of t h i s t h e s i s for f i n a n c i a l gain s h a l l not be allowed without my written permission. Department of ASIAN STUDIES  The University of B r i t i s h Columbia 1956 Main Mall Vancouver, Canada V6T 1Y3 Date 7 AUGUST 1984 i i i EPIGRAPH In dwellings, tabernacular Upon those bones oracular They wrote i n the vernacular, Those glorious kings of Shang. In matters divinatory Those gents were not di l a t o r y But j o y f u l , exclamatory, They cracked their bones - bang! bang! Their j o t t i n g s , hieroglyphically, Now disinterred p r o l i f i c a l l y , Have pleased us a l l t e r r i f i c a l l y With ancient repartee, And though thei r words now mystify Today's p h i l o l o g i s t , defy A l l reason, I ' l l persist i f I Can get a Ph.D. i v ABSTRACT In t h i s thesis I discuss the nature and significance of three different layers of l i n g u i s t i c context that may be discerned i n the Shang oracle-bone i n s c r i p t i o n s . I refer to these three contextual layers by the abbreviated Chinese t i t l e s duizhen, chengtao and tongban. I hope to show by this examination that the Shang oracle-bone inscriptions are not simply divinatory texts, but also comparatively sophisticated documents of an empirical and bureaucratic nature. I also show how each layer contributes a new understanding of the oracle-bone i n s c r i p t i o n s , especially with regard to decipherment. I examine the three layers as follows: 1. Duizhen the pairs of divinations i n OBI which both contain the same subject matter, but one of which i s expressed i n the positive mode and the other i n the negative mode. This chapter i s divided into two parts: direction of wri t i n g i n various cultures as wel l as i n China, I conclude (following Dong Zuobin) that the usual dire c t i o n of writing i n Shang times was probably the same as i n h i s t o r i c a l times ( i . e . v e r t i c a l columns proceeding from right to l e f t ) . However, on the oracle bones the usual right to l e f t d i r e c t i o n was often reversed i n order to create a kind of symmetry between the a n t i t h e t i c a l members of a duizhen pair , one of which or ' a n t i t h e t i c a l pairs' refers to a. After a br i e f introduction on the possible significance of the V would be inscribed on the right side of the s h e l l running i n one di r e c t i o n , and the other on the l e f t side running i n the opposite d i r e c t i o n , so that the two insc r i p t i o n s mirror each other. Individual graphs were also sporadically reversed. I suggest that the symmetrical arrangement of the inscriptions on the plastron was inspired by the natural symmetry of the plastron i t s e l f , but that the use of a n t i t h e t i c a l propositions i n the divination r i t u a l was intended to influence the course of events i n the Shang's favour. This influence was achieved by the use of the p a r t i c l e £i j £ , which served to distance undesired eventualities. b. I t i s a feature of duizhen that quite often the p o s i t i v e l y phrased member w i l l be inscribed on the right side of the s h e l l , and the negatively phrased member on the l e f t side. Some scholars have suggested that the Shang, i n common with many other cultures, regarded the l e f t as ' s i n i s t e r ' , and therefore inscribed what they wanted to happen on the r i g h t , and what they did not want to happen on the l e f t , hoping i n th i s way to influence the actual outcome of the divination. However, sometimes the negatively phrased member i s inscribed on the right side, and the p o s i t i v e l y phrased member on the l e f t side. Some of these exceptions may be explained i n terms of i l l o c u t i o n a r y force (e.g. i n divinations containing disaster graphs, i n which case a negated disaster, although grammatically negative, i s positive i n i l l o c u t l o n , and thus would be placed on the right side, and i t s grammatically positive counterpart on the l e f t side). However, there i s also a small number of exceptions which simply have to be accepted as exceptions. I conclude from this that, although the a n t i t h e t i c a l pairing of p o s i t i v e l y and negatively phrased divinations, along with the use of the which member was placed on the right and which on the l e f t was probably not , probably had a r i t u a l and magical significance, v i the result of conscious e f f o r t , but of subconscious psychology. Clear-cut exceptions help to prevent us from feeling that we have to, or indeed can, force either a positive or negative meaning onto ambiguous inscriptions simply because of the side of the plastron on which they occur. 2. Chengtao refers to the phenomenon of sets of f i v e plastrons (and also, but more rarely, scapulae) whose inscriptions duplicate each other to a large extent, but sometimes with s i g n i f i c a n t differences. By comparing a l l the members of such a set, and exploring the ways i n which they d i f f e r , much l i g h t can be thrown on the decipherment of the insc r i p t i o n s that occur i n such sets. I t i s not known how widespread t h i s phenomenon was, as only a handful of such sets have been found. I examine a l l the sets and part sets i n Bingbian (the only c o l l e c t i o n i n which such sets have been assembled), and discuss the variations found within each set. The use of such sets represents a stage i n the formalisation of the divination process, a formalisation which led to s i m p l i f i c a t i o n , so that by the time of Period V even the duizhen had almost disappeared. 3. Tongban on the same plastron'. The context i n OBI i s very l i m i t e d , and t h i s makes i t very d i f f i c u l t to be sure that one has interpreted a divinatory sentence correctly. I t would therefore be very useful i f one could expand 'shells and bones which form sets simply means 'inscriptions occurring v i i the context of single inscriptions by r e l a t i n g them to other inscriptions on the same plastron, but many tongban insc r i p t i o n s at f i r s t sight appear to be quite unrelated. In t h i s chapter, I examine how far i t i s j u s t i f i e d to relate different inscriptions on the same plastron by appealing to the three c r i t e r i a of: 1) c y c l i c a l dating; 2) shared vocabulary; and 3) grammatical parallelism. An examination of c y c l i c a l dating, i n conjunction with the placement of the ins c r i p t i o n s on the plastron, suggests that none of the ins c r i p t i o n s were made u n t i l the l a s t a f f a i r predicted for had been v e r i f i e d or otherwise by actual events. The record-keeping process which I inf e r from t h i s suggests that on many plastrons the various a f f a i r s divined about formed a homogeneous context i n the Shang world. Using t h i s as a piece of corroborative evidence for my underlying assumption that most i f not a l l of the inscriptions on a plastron are related i n some way, I then go on to explore the sort of relationships between different inscriptions that can be established through the examination of shared vocabulary and grammatical parallelism. The establishment of such relationships helps to affirm the correctness of the interpretation of individual i n s c r i p t i o n s . I conclude this chapter with a discussion of the sort of divinations that one can expect to see on a plastron, and the sort of connections that may exist between them. In part i c u l a r I argue that many plastrons, though by no means a l l , w i l l contain a main topic, with possibly one or more contingent topics, together with divinations concerning the p o s s i b i l i t y of curses from the ancestors, and the proposal of methods ( i . e . various s a c r i f i c e s ) by which the ancestors might be propitiated. Thesis Supervisor y i i i TABLE OF CONTENTS Abstract p. i v i L i s t of Figures x. Acknowledgements x i A Note on the Corpus x i i i Abbreviations used i n t h i s thesis x i v . Chapter One: Duizhen biici Introduction 1 Part one: Direction of Writing 3 Part two: The Si n i s t e r Aspect 13 Conclusion 34 Chapter Two: Cherigtao Introduction Set one Set two Set three Set four Set five Set s i x Set seven Set eight Set nine Conclusion Appendix: L i s t of single surviving tao members i n Bingbian Chapter Three: Tongban - t o t a l context Introduction 91 Cy c l i c a l dating 94 Conclusion on c y c l i c a l dating 125 Shared Vocabulary 126 Grammatical Parallelism 135 37 40 51 55 64 66 71 73 77 80 86 89 The Use of Context i n Decipherment 142 How Many Topics are there on a Plastron? 147 Conclusion 159 Envoi 162 Notes to Chapter One 163 Notes to Chapter Two 174 Notes to Chapter Three 192 Bibliography 208 i LIST OF FIGURES 1. Bingbian 1: An example of the symmetrical arrangement of ins c r i p t i o n s on a plastron p. 8 2. Bingbian 22: Displacement caused by display i n s c r i p t i o n p.101 3. Bingbian 197: " " " " p.106 4. Bingbian 198: " " " " p.107 5. Bingbian 243: " " " " p.118 ACKNOWLEDGEMENT S My greatest debt of on goes f i r s t and foremost to my sensei, Professor K. Takashima, who taught me how to read oracle-bone i n s c r i p t i o n s , and who has enriched my stay at UBC i n ways too numerous to mention, ranging from study to part-time jobs and advice on how to invest my funds. I would also l i k e to thank Mrs. Takashima, who enriched my diet. Although individual interpretations may sometimes d i f f e r , Professor Takashima's detailed comments on my drafts have ensured a high standard of p h i l o l o g i c a l accuracy. His help i n interpreting d i f f i c u l t i n scriptions has been so pervading that i t i s impossible to acknowledge every s p e c i f i c instance. In addition, Professor Takashima often drew my attention to inscriptions that he knew of which helped to support or improve my arguments. I would p a r t i c u l a r l y l i k e to thank Professor Pulleyblank for his numerous helpful suggestions and comments. His influence may be seen especially throughout the f i r s t chapter which, thanks to hi s guidance, now appears i n a form which i s a vast improvement on my i n i t i a l draft. He also helped me with various aspects of Chinese phonology, and improved the amount of research that went into the thesis. A c r i t i c a l eye was also cast on the rel i g i o u s and soci o l o g i c a l aspects of the thesis by Professor D. Overmeyer, who made numerous useful suggestions for improving i t s scholarly tone and awareness. I would also l i k e to acknowledge my debt i n general to the Asian Studies Department at UBC, whose generosity has kept body and soul together during my time here. The sta f f of the Asian Studies l i b r a r y also deserve a special mention for the i r u n f a i l i n g helpfulness and friendliness. x i i I would also l i k e to thank my fellow M.A. students, Alison Bailey and Iain Crofts for sundry help f u l suggestions. I would also l i k e to thank Professor M. Soga, Mrs. N. Matsumoto, and Professor Leon Hurvitz. (who. i n i t i a t e d me into the arcana of kambun kundoku i n a way that I can only describe as immensely entertaining) for enabling me to access Japanese sources. They a l l made learning Japanese seem l i k e fun, which i s something of a feat. Last but not least I would l i k e to thank Dale Johnson, who made many suggestions, some of which were relevant. His overwhelming enthusiasm I often found quite depressing. Any shortcomings t h i s thesis may have are of course e n t i r e l y due to my own incompetence. x i i i A Note on the Corpus Although I am occasionally obliged to bring i n evidence from other c o l l e c t i o n s , I use mainly the Bingbian corpus (see Bibliography for d e t a i l s ) , which i s one of the most important published collections of Chinese oracle-bone in s c r i p t i o n s . The chief advantage of th i s c o l l e c t i o n i s that i t contains many complete or almost complete plastrons. Other collections tend to consist mainly of fragments, and the inscr i p t i o n s on them are therefore often incomplete. This also makes them of l i t t l e use for studying the tongban relationships that I deal with i n Chapter Three. The painstaking work of reassembling shattered plastrons s t i l l goes on at the Academia Sinica i n Taipei under the valiant leadership of Zhang Bingquan, the author of Bingbian. Another reason for using t h i s corpus i s the easy access to i t granted me by a concordance to t h i s c o l l e c t i o n which I was privileged to help compile, along with Miss Barbara Kong (also an M.A. student i n Asian Studies here at UBC), under the guidance of my advisor, Professor Takashima, who was able to secure grants for the project from SSHRCC and the Canada Youth Employment scheme. The concordance was compiled during the summer of 1983, and has proved to be of inestimable value i n accessing the Bingbian c o l l e c t i o n . I t i s the f i r s t complete concordance to th i s major c o l l e c t i o n to have been compiled. xiv •: ABBREVIATIONS Bingbian Archaeologia Sinica: Hsiao-t'un (The Yin-Shang Site at Anyang, Honan) Volume I I : Inscriptions, Fascicle 3:  Inksqueezes of the Restored Specimens of Inscribed  Tortoise (sic) Shells with Annotations by Zhang Bingquan. OBI Oracle-bone in s c r i p t i o n s . Shuowen Shuowen J i e z i by Xu Shen. Sorui or S. Inkyo Bokuj i Sorui by Shima Kunio. 1 CHAPTER ONE DUIZHEN BUCI Introduction My primary concern i n t h i s chapter i s the physical arrangement of the inscri p t i o n s on the plastron, and what we can learn from t h i s arrangement. My discussion focusses on the so called duizhen buci or ' a n t i t h e t i c a l pairs' which are a common feature of OBI. This refers to the pairs of divinations which both contain the same subject matter, but one of which i s expressed i n the positive mode and the other i n the negative mode (the exact formula for t h i s w i l l become clear l a t e r on i n the chapter). The chapter i s divided into two parts. In the f i r s t part, I examine the possible significance of the direction of writing i n various cultures as well as i n China, and conclude (following Dong Zuobin) that the usual direction of writing i n Shang times was probably the same as in historical''" times ( i . e . v e r t i c a l columns proceeding from right to l e f t ) , and that therefore the frequent reversal of th i s arrangement on the oracle bones must have had a par t i c u l a r significance. On the oracle bones, the usual right to l e f t d irection was often reversed i n order to create a kind of symmetry between the a n t i t h e t i c a l members of a duizhen pair , one of which would be inscribed on the right side of the s h e l l running i n one di r e c t i o n , and the other on the l e f t side running i n the opposite d i r e c t i o n , so that the two inscr i p t i o n s mirror each other. Usually, inscriptions starting at the edge of the s h e l l proceeded i n v e r t i c a l columns towards the middle of the s h e l l , while those starting i n the middle proceeded i n v e r t i c a l columns towards the edge. Individual graphs were also sporadically reversed. I 2 suggest that the reason for t h i s may have been partly aesthetic and partly r i t u a l . In the second part, I investigate whether there i s any relationship between the positive/negative modality of an i n s c r i p t i o n and the side of the s h e l l on which i t i s carved. It i s a feature of duizhen that quite often the p o s i t i v e l y phrased member w i l l be inscribed on the right side of the s h e l l , and the negatively phrased member on the l e f t side. Some scholars have suggested that the Shang, i n common with many other cultures, regarded the l e f t as ' s i n i s t e r ' , and therefore inscribed what they wanted to happen on the r i g h t , and what they did not want to happen on the l e f t , hoping i n thi s way to influence the actual outcome of the divination. However, sometimes the negatively phrased member i s inscribed on the right side, and the p o s i t i v e l y phrased member on the l e f t side. Some of these exceptions may be explained i n terms of i l l o c u t i o n a r y force (e.g. i n divinations concerning disaster, i n which a negated disaster, although grammatically negative, i s positive i n i l l o c u t i o n and thus would be placed on the right side, and i t s grammatically positive counterpart on the l e f t side). However, there i s also a small number of exceptions that cannot be explained away l i k e this and simply have to be regarded as exceptions. I conclude from t h i s that, although the a n t i t h e t i c a l pairing of p o s i t i v e l y and negatively phrased divinations (along with the use of the p a r t i c l e q i jjpt , which served to 2 distance undesired eventualities. ) probably had a r i t u a l and magical significance, which member was placed on the right and which on the l e f t was probably not the result of conscious e f f o r t , but of subconscious psychology. 3 Since the act of i n s c r i p t i o n took place after the act of divination , the l e f t and right d i s t r i b u t i o n of the divination inscriptions actually 3 r e f l e c t s precedence i n time of utterance. What was said f i r s t was divined on the r i g h t , and hence inscribed on the r i g h t , while what was said secondly was divined on the l e f t and inscribed on the l e f t . Moreover, what was said f i r s t was whatever was uppermost i n the mind of the diviner, which was usually the positive or b e n e f i c i a l alternative, but not necessarily so, as I s h a l l attempt to demonstrate. 1. Direction of Writing The study of OBI has been approached through many different avenues (such as decipherment, dating, e t c . ) , and one par t i c u l a r branch that has received a l o t of attention i s that of jiagu wenli ^ '"^ - the placement and dire c t i o n of writing on the bones, especially with regard to right and l e f t parallelism. Before discussing the more complex issue of placement on the plastron, I would f i r s t l i k e to say a few words about the direc t i o n of w r i t i n g , which I s h a l l begin by asking two questions: 1. Which di r e c t i o n i s the most natural? 2. Is the dire c t i o n of writing significant? If a l l peoples share the phenomenon of the preponderance of d e x t r a l i t y over 4 s i n i s t r a l i t y , as seems to be the case , then i t would seem most natural to begin writing at the righthand side. If one begins writing on the right side, at the top (which would seem more natural than st a r t i n g at the bottom - as far as I know the v e r t i c a l s c r i p t s of the world a l l go from top to bottom), then one can either go leftwards or down. The Chinese chose to go down f i r s t and then l e f t . This i s sometimes assumed to be due to the influence of the bamboo s t r i p s , but then there i s no reason why a 4 bamboo s t r i p should not be written along horizontally. According to Labat"', the e a r l i e s t Akkadian cuneiform, which occurs on i l l - f a s h i o n e d lumps of clay, was written i n a completely disorderly way. On l a t e r clay tablets this settled down to regular horizontal lines proceeding from l e f t to right on the front of the tablet, but when the tablet was turned over to continue w r i t i n g , the scribe sometimes started on the l e f t and sometimes on the r i g h t , so i t seems that they had trouble deciding whether the back was a new 'page' or simply a continuation of the front. This i s probably connected with t h e i r habit of dividing large tablets into v e r t i c a l columns, rather l i k e a modern newspaper. As for Assyrian cuneiform, t h i s was invariably written from l e f t to right . Egyptian hieroglyphic inscriptions consist of rows of hieroglyphs arranged i n v e r t i c a l columns or horizontal l i n e s . These columns or l i n e s , as well as the indiv i d u a l signs within them, usually read from right to l e f t 7 * . However, when an i n s c r i p t i o n was made round a door, i t would divide at the top i n the middle, and the signs on the l e f t side would run from l e f t to ri g h t , thus forming a symmetrical pattern with the i n s c r i p t i o n on 8 the right side . The obvious aesthetic intent of th i s forms an interesting p a r a l l e l with the Shang t u r t l e s h e l l i n s c r i p t i o n s . In modern printed books, Egyptian hieroglyphs are usually printed from l e f t to r i g h t , so the o r i g i n a l arrangement cannot be seen. As Semitic s c r i p t s are descended from the Egyptian, i t i s not surprising that they also run from right to l e f t . When the early Greeks wrote i n boustrophedon (going back and forth l i k e an ox ploughing) they did not care i f the f i r s t 'furrow' went from 9 l e f t to right or from right to l e f t . I t took them a long time to s e t t l e down to a regular l e f t to right order. When the Romans wrote from l e f t to ri g h t , perhaps they regarded themselves, not as sta r t i n g on the l e f t , but as going towards the ri g h t . Thus two opposite phenomena may derive from 5 the same cause: unconscious attraction to the r i g h t . When presented with a v e r t i c a l bamboo s t r i p of course, i f one starts at the top, there i s only one d i r e c t i o n one can go i n , which i s down. But whether one then arranges those s t r i p s i n l e f t - r i g h t or r i g h t - l e f t order i s pure convention. In fact, the variety of directions i n which various peoples do write their several s c r i p t s proves that the direction of writing i s pure convention. It i s a p i t y that the hegemony of the alphabet has caused some peoples to abandon thei r native d i r e c t i o n , as this i s simply the replacement of one convention with another, thus destroying a native t r a d i t i o n for no good reason. The question i s : do conventions arise through accident, or do they arise naturally from certain given conditions? As regards l i n g u i s t i c conventions, t h i s i s a point of great interest. If we are to follow the path pioneered by Chomsky, then the goal towards which we s t r i v e must surely be the discovery of the ultimate deep structure that l i e s beneath a l l human languages. If we are to believe that there are such things as l i n g u i s t i c universals, then we must assume that these conventions are not accidental, but the natural products of something deep-rooted within the human mind. The deep structure beneath human writing must be that, whatever dire c t i o n we write i n , we a l l write i n some direc t i o n . One can make this a l i t t l e more s p e c i f i c by saying that a l l peoples tend to write i n straight l i n e s , and i n the same sequence that the segments of the spoken language are ordered (except for kambun kundoku which i s practised i n Japan). In his c l a s s i c work on w r i t i n g , Gelb states the rather useful b e l i e f that gaps i n our knowledge can be f i l l e d by looking at children and primitive societies. We have to assume that the way they do things i s similar to the way highly developed c i v i l i z a t i o n s did things i n their i n f a n c y ^ . Gelb has t h i s to say about the direction of w r i t i n g : 6 "Another interesting point of contact [between children and primitive societies] can be established from the study of the direc t i o n and orientation of signs i n children's drawings and primitive writings. I t has been noted that children w i l l draw individual pictures i n undue proportion to each other and without any apparent sense of order or direction. Even a c h i l d learning how to write w i l l frequently draw signs from l e f t to right or from right to l e f t without ever being aware of any difference i n the two directions. Similar phenomena pertaining to the di r e c t i o n and orientation of signs can frequently be observed i n almost a l l the primitive writings."* This may be due to the fact that objects i n r e a l l i f e can appear i n any position and s t i l l be the same object. To a c h i l d , the l e t t e r s of the alphabet are just another c o l l e c t i o n of objects. In his short yet pithy work The Formation of the Alphabet, Petrie also makes the same observation about the cavalier attitude towards dire c t i o n and orientation among children and primitives. Although Petrie was primarily an archaeologist, he had f i r s t hand acquaintance with the data that he uses, much of which he dug up himself, so his information on the development of the alphabet i s certainly quite trustworthy (although of course his q u a l i f i c a t i o n s as an archaeologist do not make him a psychologist). Ke notes that uneducated people often reverse l e t t e r s such as N, S and Z, and that "The turned S 12 may even be seen i n the epitaph of an archbishop at Ravenna." He also recounts the following humorous anecdote: "Drawings may likewise be equally recognised i n any position i f they are understood. An Egyptian f e l l a h may be i n the stage of not understanding a drawing at a l l , for one insisted that a picture of an Eton boy represented a f i s h . But i f there i s the perception of form, the position i s immaterial, and the f e l l a h w i l l observe and describe a drawing without taking the trouble to turn the paper the right way up."** 7 However, i t seems a t r i f l e caddish to expect an Egyptian f e l l a h to recognise a picture of something he i s unlikely to be acquainted with. On the other hand, I am sure he was very f a m i l i a r with f i s h . In view of a l l t h i s , should we adjudge the Shang writing to be primitive? After a l l , the writing on the bones goes i n a l l different directions, and graphs are often reversed at random. This can be seen from the chengtao plastrons which I examine i n the next chapter, i n which graph reversal i s not f a i t h f u l l y copied from one plastron to the next. Sometimes a graph i s reversed, and sometimes i t i s not. In their 'mirror' writing on the plastra, by no means a l l the graphs are reversed, and there i s no 'correct' orientation for a graph of which the opposite orientation may be considered the reverse. It i s rather l i k e a coin - i t i s d i f f i c u l t to say which i s the front and which i s the back. Numismatists adopt the convention of c a l l i n g the side with the head on the 'obverse', and the other side the 'reverse'. However, the fact that many of the graphs i n the l e f t / r i g h t duizhen inscriptions do mirror each other, and the fact that these inscriptions either run towards each other or away from each other, but rarely i n the same direction, suggests that the Shang were perfectly conscious of the orientation of t h e i r signs and the direction of the w r i t i n g , and they used them i n a very i n t r i c a t e way for a par t i c u l a r e f f e c t , which was probably mainly aesthetic. For an example of the symmetrical arrangement of inscriptions on a plastron, please see f i g . 1, which i s a tracing df Bingbian 22. The l i n e s round the arable numerals indicate the dire c t i o n of the i n s c r i p t i o n s . Inscriptions 1/2 and 5/6 start at the outer edge of the s h e l l and proceed i n more or less v e r t i c a l columns towards the centre. A l l the other inscriptions run from the centre towards the edges. 9 The inscriptions that mirror each other are a l l duizhen pai r s , and they form a very clear pattern on the s h e l l . Only a handful of graphs are reversed, and these not consistently so. For example, the diviner's name Que ft* ( ) i s reversed i n 1/2 but not i n 5/6. Sim i l a r l y , the warrior's name J i a *3Jb . ( ) i s reversed i n 11/12 but not i n 13/14. As for the divination cracks, these are invariably symmetrical. They are shaped l i k e the graph bu \^ ( H ), and always point towards the centre of the plastron, which i s marked by a natural suture known to palaeographers as the q i a n l i l u "T jL- y*a or 'thousand mile road'. It w i l l be seen that the b_u Is graphs i n inscriptions 1/2 and 5/6 point i n the same direction as the divination cracks on their home side, but th i s i s by no means always the case. The shape and direction of the cracks i s of course dictated by the gouges made on the back of the s h e l l as part of i t s preparation for use i n divination. Considering the re l i g i o u s context of Shang divination, i t would seem rather s u p e r f i c i a l to regard t h i s symmetry as purely aesthetic. After a l l , such symmetry would not have been possible had i t not been for the fact of duizhen, the purpose of which I f e e l was not simply to find out the future, but to influence i t by making the undesired alternative sound less certain through the use of the word qi_ , which may be translated as 'perhaps'. The word 'magical' i s desperately ambiguous and over-used, and so I hesitate to use i t . However, the use of duizhen, and their symmetrical arrangement on the s h e l l , was d e f i n i t e l y an integral part of the r i t u a l of Shang divination, and the purpose of t h i s r i t u a l was to ward off e v i l and secure the favour of the ancestors and natural s p i r i t s . A l l r e l i g i o n s have their r i t u a l and formulae, and so i t i s not surprising that the Shang followed a set pattern i n the consultation of the oracle. 10 As we know from archaeological excavations, plastromancy was also common before the Wu Ding period, but no writing i s found on these early bones. In many cultures, the b i r t h of writing i s intimately associated with r e l i g i o n . One example i s the Egyptian hieroglyphics. The word 'hieroglyphics' means 'pr i e s t l y w r i t i n g ' , and was developed by the p r i e s t l y class. However, many of the bones from the Wu Ding period are also blank, so the connection between writing and divination i n Shang times i s not so intimate as i t might f i r s t appear. Why were some written on and others 14 not? This problem has been discussed by a number of scholars , but i t has proven impossible to come up with anything that i s more than speculation. In view of the awe i n which writing i s held i n largely non-literate s o c i e t i e s , one might be tempted to look for some sort of magical connection between writing and divination in Shang China. After a l l , i t i s the fact that the Shang Wrote on t h e i r bones that sets the i r divination apart from other peoples' methods of divination. According to Gelb: "The concept of the divine o r i g i n and character of writing i s found everywhere, i n both ancient and modern times, among c i v i l i z e d as well as among primitive peoples. In the main i t i s due to a ^ widespread b e l i e f i n the magic powers of w r i t i n g . " By 'primitive peoples' I assume he means those that have not yet acquired th e i r own writing system. As for ' c i v i l i z e d ' peoples, i t must be borne i n mind that up u n t i l recently the majority of people l i v i n g i n cultures that have writing have been i l l i t e r a t e , so the awe i n which writing i s held may be ascribed to the common cause of fear of the unkown. Gelb also notes that i t i s a widespread phenomenon for the o r i g i n of writing to be ascribed 16 to a d i v i n i t y . In China, i t i s ascribed both to Fu X i , China's legendary f i r s t emperor, who got the signs from the back of a t o r t o i s e , and to Cang J i e , a minister of the legendary Yellow Emperor, who was inspired by bird tracks'''''. However, the e a r l i e s t recorded sources for these legends are 11 comparatively l a t e , and come mostly from l o s t books, so t h e i r o r i g i n i s rather suspicious. They share the common theme of taking th e i r pattern after nature, which i s after a l l just what the originators of the Chinese script did: they drew what they saw. Gelb also suggests that there i s a connection between writing and divination (although of course t h i s does not mean to say that writing originated as a means of div i n a t i o n ) : "Among primitives, w r i t i n g and books are the subject of astonishment and speculation. To them, books are instruments of divination. A book can predict the future and reveal what i s hidden: i t i s a guide and a counsellor and, i n general, a mystic power." However, th i s cannot apply i n the case of the Shang, as they did not write on the divinatory bones u n t i l after the divination, sometimes many days after. It was plastromancy that they used for divination, not writing. The act of ins c r i b i n g the content of the divination onto the s h e l l or bone had quite a different significance, and was rather for the purpose of keeping a record on the bone of which predictions came true, as I demonstrate i n Chapter 3 when I come to examine c y c l i c a l dating on the bones. The writing was a record of transactions with powerful beings. I t did not i n i t s e l f influence the future. It was the way i n which the spoken charges which were addressed to the oracle were phrased that, consciously or unconsciously, had th i s influence, but of course we only know what the charges were through the written records. Thus i t i s necessary to d i s -tinguish between the act of addressing the charge to the oracle, and the writing that was used to record i t . The wr i t i n g , then, was the f i n a l embodiment of the divinatory process as a whole, but i t was not part of the attempt to influence the course of events. 12 If the writing was not part of the 'magical' aspect of Shang divination, what then was the purpose of arranging the ins c r i p t i o n s i n a symmetrical fashion, so that the right and l e f t sides of the plastron to a large extent mirror each other? As we have witnessed, there i s undoubtedly 19 a deliberate s t r i v i n g for symmetry i n the tortoise s h e l l i n s c r i p t i o n s . This can be seen from i t s peculiar nature, as other Shang writings, for example on bronzes and other implements, are mostly i n the usual Chinese style of v e r t i c a l columns from right to l e f t . In his Written on Bamboo  and S i l k , Tsien talks about the direction of writing on Shang and Western Zhou bronzes: "They are generally arranged v e r t i c a l l y and from right to l e f t i n the t r a d i t i o n a l order as i n other documents. We have found, however, at least ten cases in which the text i s read i n alternate l i n e s , that i s , the f i r s t , t h i r d , and f i f t h l i n e s read from top to bottom, but the second and fourth l i n e s from bottom to top." Thus one can see that there are very few exceptions to the general rule. According to L i Daliang, the symmetry of the tortoise s h e l l i s born of a quest for the beauty of symmetry and balance ( A%^[ £ 21 ) , while to Zhou Hongxiang i t i s a testimony to the Shang's depth of l i t e r a r y refinement ( X*, ' 3 ''T>. ) . 'Literary refinement' i s a somewhat extravagant way of putting i t . I t seems to me that the very symmetry of the plastron i t s e l f , divided down the middle by a natural suture, i s probably what inspired the Shang to complement t h i s symmetry in the sc r i p t with which they adorned i t (though the scapulae, being 23 asymmetrical, do not r e f l e c t such a pattern) . I have thus arrived at the same conclusion as L i Daliang, though he did not support his claim with any reasoned arguments. However, one must not forget that t h i s s u p e r f i c i a l symmetry was made possible only by the duizhen phenomenon that l i e s behind i t , and I doubt i f one could argue that the practice of 13 pairing charges i n t h i s way was carried out so that when they came to be inscribed they would form a symmetrical pattern on the s h e l l . The symmetry of the inscriptions i s a surface phenomenon that r e f l e c t s a r i t u a l that was an integral part of the actual divination. The r i t u a l was a pairing of positive and negative forces which may be part of the duality that some authors see as pervading Shang culture. Light was pitt e d against dark, good against bad, i n a constant battle for the favour of the ancestors. A l l t h i s i s reflected i n the timeless symmetry of the oracle s h e l l s . One cannot help being reminded of those immortal words that Blake addressed to the t i g e r : "What immortal hand or eye Could frame thy f e a r f u l symmetry?" 2. The S i n i s t e r Aspect In the oracle bone i n s c r i p t i o n s , most divinations occur i n paired sentences, one positive and the other negative, known as duizhen jji . The curious fact that the positive member usually occurs on the right side of the plastron (viewer's r i g h t ) , while the negative member occurs on the l e f t side, was f i r s t noted by Zhang Bingquan i n his groundbreaking a r t i c l e "Bugui f u j i a de xushu , i n which he ascribes i t to the common phenomenon of shangyou 'supremacy of the r i g h t ' In i t s e l f t h i s sounds very plausible. However, before one can even consider such a proposal, i t i s necessary to explore whether the Shang r e a l l y did or did not associate bad meanings with the l e f t . Only then can one investigate whether or not they exploited such connotations i n the i r divination. I 14 s h a l l do t h i s by appealing to comparative studies, and also to internal l i n g u i s t i c evidence from Chinese. The natural tendency for one hand to be stronger and more dextrous 2 g than the other i s a universal human feature , and the cause of t h i s has been the subject of much speculation. One of the e a r l i e s t hypotheses ascribed i t to the greater development of the l e f t cerebral hemisphere ( i t i s well established that the l e f t side of the brain i n most people controls the right side of the body, and vice versa). Hertz refers to Broca's statement that "We are right-handed because we are left-brained", but suggests that the superior development of the l e f t side of the brain may have been stimulated by the greater a c t i v i t y of the right hand, and turns Broca's statement round to read "We are left-brained because we are 27 right-handed." However, Hertz was writing at the turn of the century, and s c i e n t i f i c research since then has gone a long way i n confirming that the o r i g i n of handedness i s , as one would expect from the fact that r i g h t -handedness i s predominant i n a l l human s o c i e t i e s , b i o l o g i c a l . According to Corballis and Beale, for example, handedness and cerebral l a t e r a l i z a t i o n are for the most part determined at b i r t h , but are not coded d i r e c t l y into the genes. Rather they depend on posi t i o n a l information that i s coded i n the cytoplasm of the oocyte (the c e l l i n the mother that undergoes 28 meiosis to form the ovum) . However, my concern here i s primarily with the psychological and so c i o l o g i c a l significances that various societies have attached to handedness. Because the majority of people use their right hand mostly, those who 29 use t h e i r l e f t hand are regarded as ' s i n i s t e r ' . E.E. Evans-Pritchard, referring to the pioneer of the study of l e f t and right symbolism, says: "Robert Hertz has shown us i n a b r i l l i a n t essay how i n primitive societies the p o l a r i t i e s of thought and values divide the person also into two 15 contrasted and opposed sides, the right and the l e f t , the right being associated with strength, goodness, and l i f e , and the l e f t with weakness, evil, and death. A s l i g h t organic asymmetry i s made the symbol of absolute 30 moral p o l a r i t y . " This means that the l e f t hand becomes the object of ambiguous attitudes — i t i s a helper, and yet at the same time there i s something s i n i s t e r about i t . We see t h i s ambiguity c l e a r l y reflected i n the Chinese term zuo The OBI form / i s c l e a r l y a drawing of the l e f t hand. It i s s i g n i f i c a n t that the depiction of the abstractions ' l e f t ' and 'right' should be taken from the hand. The term zuo ^  i s ambiguous because i t has two quite contradictory meanings: to help, and to hinder (oppose). The negative connotations of zuo are eas i l y derivable from the meaning ' l e f t ' , as i s the positive meaning 'assist'. The two uses of zuo are wel l borne out i n the c l a s s i c s . However, the word you which comes from a drawing of the right hand (OBI form ^ ), can only mean 'assist'. It has no negative connotations. These two words may be combined to form the expression zuoyou 3%- , which means 'to a s s i s t ' or 'assistants' This shows the c o n f l i c t between the natural usefulness of the l e f t hand, and the s i n i s t e r aspect that human society a r b i t r a r i l y attaches to i t . In the oracle bones, i t i s c l e a r l y the s i n i s t e r meaning that preponderates. The word zuo i s used to s i g n i f y that a certain ancestor or even Di  ,'\^J> himself i s opposed to some proposed a c t i v i t y , and w i l l prevent the Shang from carrying i t out successfully. This may be seen from the following pair of in s c r i p t i o n s : 3- J*£ $ - F - L . " I f the king beheads many Tun tribesmen, i t w i l l not meet with approval (and) w i l l be ' l e f t ' to ( i . e . go against the w i l l of) the lower and upper s p i r i t s . " 16 " I f the king beheads many Tun tribesmen, i t w i l l not go against (the w i l l of, but) w i l l meet with the approval of the lower and uppler s p i r i t s . " W O N 3 3 (Bingbian 523.1/2) It i s evident from t h i s that the Shang did attr i b u t e bad connotations to the l e f t . In contrast, the word you "^ 3 i s always used to refer to divine assistance.. Can t h i s give us a clue as to why the positive or desirable member of a duizhen was often placed on the right side of the plastron, while the negative or undesirable member was usually placed opposite i t on the l e f t side? At f i r s t sight i t seems almost l i k e the r e l a t i o n between Yang and Yin — a world of l i g h t and hope contrasted with a world of fear and te r r o r , made more remote and mysterious by the p a r t i c l e cji j^ t , and relegated to the dark nether world of the l e f t side of the plastron. But i s i t j u s t i f i e d to claim that t h i s was a deliberate and conscious act on the part of the Shang? If the attachment of negative values to the l e f t i s a universal human feature, t h i s suggests that there i s some unconscious, i r r e s i s t i b l e law at work, which people might not always be aware of. The Chinese use of the words ' l e f t ' and 'right' for 'hinder' and 'help' respectively may merely be one r e f l e c t i o n of t h i s , and not necessarily something that they appealed to i n th e i r divination. Let us f i r s t see i f there i s a relationship between right and l e f t and divination i n other cultures. Hertz refers to "the primary r e l i g i o u s significance of the contrast 34 between the right and the l e f t " , and indeed when we come to look at divination i n contemporary primitive s o c i e t i e s , we find the same Manichaean d i s t i n c t i o n . Among the Nyoro of A f r i c a "... the diviner places a wand on the l e f t shoulder of the c l i e n t and says, "Sickness be gone, ... sorrow be gone, barrenness be gone;" ... he then places the wand on the right shoulder and says, "Come wealth, come children, come long l i f e , ... come 35 a l l goodness"." Among the Kaguru, a Bantu-speaking people i n A f r i c a , "Right and l e f t also seem to be associated with certain magical acts. In divination (maselu or mulamuli) i t i s said that the signs must appear on both the right and l e f t before the prognostication may be regarded as 36 complete." (Unfortunately t h i s source does not say the right and l e f t side of what). Here we see the use of l e f t and right incorporated into a divinatory r i t u a l . Thus I think i t i s at least safe to say that the duizhen phenomenon was not so much i n order to f i n d out the future more completely 37 (as L i Daliang claims) , but was simply a r i t u a l formula. One can only speculate on i t s o r i g i n a l significance, but my guess i s that the t u r t l e was capable of only one response, which was interpreted as varying degrees of auspiciousness or probability of occurrence, and therefore both sides of the coin had to be presented to the oracle i n order to determine which of the two p o s s i b i l i t i e s was l i k e l y to happen. As t h i s practice established i t s e l f , i t was further refined by introducing an element of uncertainty into the undesired alternative. This i s the process whereby I envisage simple enquiry turned into an attempt at influencing the future. The epitome of t h i s trend i s realised i n the xun wang huo formula, which i s not r e a l l y an enquiry at a l l , but rather l i k e a prayer. One might translate i t as "Deliver us from e v i l . " Further l i g h t can be shed by examining references to divination i n Chinese r i t u a l l i t e r a t u r e , and also by examining the oracle bones themselves. According to K.C. Chang, "Oracle bones suggest shamanistic communication, but the inscriptions found on them are acts that are more p o l i t i c a l than 38 r e l i g i o u s . " However, as I see i t , there i s no contradiction here. The oracle bones were indeed used for shamanistic communication — i t was a 18 communication with the ancestors through the medium of the t u r t l e . It was p o l i t i c a l at the same time, because divination was the state r e l i g i o n , and l i k e any state r e l i g i o n , one of i t s side effects was to corroborate the authority of those i n power. However, the duizhen formula i t s e l f i s unlikely to have been of any p o l i t i c a l significance. This belongs to the re l i g i o u s aspect. Clearly i t i s necessary to distinguish between the r i t u a l formula of duizhen, and the act of inscribing them, along with the prognostications and v e r i f i c a t i o n s , which bolstered the king's position as rul e r by publishing his continuing effective dialogue with the.spirits of his ancestors. Let us now look at some references to divination i n Chinese l i t e r a t u r e . In his book Handedness: Right and Le f t , Wile also refers to th i s pec-u l i a r i t y of Chinese d i v i n a t i o n , saying that "Omens were interpreted i n terms 39 of right and l e f t . " His statement i s based on Ferguson, who claims that "Neither the upper nor the lower portion of the carapace was taken into consideration; i t was only the right and l e f t sections which were interpreted. 1 "Dans toutes les augurations, i l distingue sur l a tortue l e haut at l e bas, l a gauche et l a droite, les c3tes des deux principes male et femelle. Although the l e f t and right are mentioned as being important here, so also are the top and bottom, and the yin and yang, which i s interpreted here as referring to the sex of the tortoise. It i s possible that t h i s Zhou practice evolved from an o r i g i n a l Shang practice which distinguished only between the l e f t and right. That Zhou plastromancy was quite different from Shang plastromancy may be seen from the fact that they used i t i n conjunction with ch. XXIV (Chunguan ), which actually says something quite d i f f e r e n t : and the hexagrams o f the Zhouyi j ^ l >7J) . Columns of 19 three and s i x numbers have been found on some of the oracle bones from 4 Zhouyuan which some scholars i d e n t i f y as the forerunners of the hexagrams. Only a few such numbers have been claimed to have been found on Shang 43 bones, although of course the cracks are numbered. The Zhouli mentions t h i s j o i n t usage: h % ^*^;|,-gi-^.^g & & yV. * 554 £ A + . "Grand Augure. I I est prepose aux t r o i s methodes pour l'observation des fissures sur l ' e c a i l l e de l a tortue. La premiere est appelee fissure de jade; l a seconde, fissure de poterie; l a troisieme, fissure de plaine. La contexture sacree de l ' e c a i l l e de tortue presente, pour les t r o i s systemes, cent vingt configurations de fissures et douze cents responses. I I est prepose aux t r o i s methodes pour les changements des lignes divinatoires. La premiere est appelee: Liaison des montagnes; l e seconde: Retour et conservation; l a troisieme: Changements : des Tcheou. Pour toutes, i l y a huite lignes symboliques sacrees, et soixante-quatre combinaisons de ces lignes." Although the text does not actually say that the hexagrams were used to interpret the bones, i t i s clear that both types of interpretation were based on numbers. Although extremely obscure, i t i s nevertheless very complicated, and makes the Shang l e f t / r i g h t opposition look very simple, but then we do not know how the Shang interpreted t h e i r oracles, so i t i s rather early to pass judgement. Apart from t h i s , the actual meaning of the technical terms used i n the above passages i s impossible to ascertain, so their value i s rather limited. Nevertheless, they do suggest something of the r i t u a l involved which i s now l o s t to us. 20 Turning now to the oracle bones themselves, we find the interesting phenomenon that "the practice of placing desired charges on the right and undesired on the l e f t of the front of the bone or s h e l l was apparently reversed on the back of the s h e l l , indicating that the bifurcation was 45 thought to inhere i n the bone or s h e l l i t s e l f , not i n the viewer." However, i t was the viewer's right (looking from the f r o n t ) , and not the t u r t l e ' s r i g h t , that i s supposed to have been considered good. The Shang were carving th e i r desired charges on the t u r t l e ' s l e f t . So although they may have seen the bi f u r c a t i o n as going through the s h e l l , i t never occurred to them that t h e i r right was not the t u r t l e ' s right. Thus, even when communicating with the s p i r i t s , man i s s t i l l the measure of a l l things. The above mentioned phenomenon would appear to prove that the Shang's use of the l e f t and right side of the plastron was in fact deliberate. However, I believe I can offer a different explanation. As I have already mentioned, the i n s c r i p t i o n was not part of the actual divination ceremony, but a record of the s p i r i t u a l transaction, which was added after the event. Divinatory charges (mingci . JDf ) are usually inscribed on the front of the plastron, while the back i s usually reserved for prognostications and v e r i f i c a t i o n s and records of t r i b u t e and plastron preparation. Each charge i s associated with a p a r t i c u l a r crack, and each crack carries a p a r t i c u l a r number. However, when a charge i s inscribed on the back of the plastron, there i s no crack there for i t to be associated with, since the cracks are a l l on the front. Since the charges on the front are usually written very close to the crack with which they are associated, i t seems highly l i k e l y that the charges on the back are associated with a crack on 46 the front i n a corresponding location, so that the r e l a t i v e l e f t / r i g h t position i s reversed. Why some charges were inscribed on the back, has 47 not yet been ascertained. It may have been a question of space. 21 Whatever the case, the 'inherent bifu r c a t i o n ' proves nothing as regards the claim that the Shang deliberately placed the i r hopes and desires on the right side of the plastron, and th e i r fears and trepidations on the l e f t side thereof. Once again, i t i s necessary to bear i n mind that the cracking of the t u r t l e was the act of divination, and that the inscribing was only a sort of postscript. As mentioned e a r l i e r , i n the cla s s i c s the word zuo ~%Z- , used as a verb, can have a favourable or an unfavourable meaning, and only context can decide. Can the context of l e f t and right help i n interpreting t h i s word as used i n the bones? Does i t i n fact have both these meanings i n the bones? In a l l the examples that Chow Kwok-ching gives, zuo has an unfavourable meaning: 'obstruct, oppose'.^ He was able to arrive at t h i s conclusion by the contrast with ruo ~fq 'to approve'. Let us now consider a more ambiguous example: RIGHT: tf j\ (f. £ "Testing: Xian i s indeed l e f t - i n g the king." LEFT: M f # f ± "Testing: Xian i s not l e f t - i n g the king." (Bingbian 41.16/17) Zhang Bingquan i n his commentary glosses zuo JX- here as zuozhu 49 'to a s s i s t ' , but gives no reason. I f we are to follow the l e f t / r i g h t hypothesis, then we should i n fact expect such a favourable meaning on the r i g h t , so ancestor Xian " l e f t - i n g " the king should be something good, and the use of the word yun /LJ 'indeed' i n the positive member should help to support the theory that this was what the Shang wanted, as i t makes the proposition sound more certain (cf. _q_i makes undesirable alternatives 22 seem less certain). However, on the same plastron we also fin d : RIGHT: "Testing: Zu Y i i s punishing the king." LEFT: "Testing: Zu Y i i s not perhaps punishing the king." (Bingbian 41.12/13) There i s nothing ambiguous about ^ \ , which i s w e l l established as a disaster graph. I assume that the king i s suffering from some setback, and the purpose of the divination i s to f i n d out which ancestor i s causing i t , so that a s a c r i f i c e may be offered i n appeasement. Although, as Keightley puts i t , "This hypothesis about right and l e f t placement depends, of course, on the unverifiable assumption that we can t e l l what the Shang king was wishing for","'"'" I think i t i s safe to assume that he did not wish to be punished by the ancestors. I t therefore seems l i k e l y that i n these examples the i l l o c u t i o n a r y force i s being ignored, and the right and l e f t placement i s determined e n t i r e l y by the presence or absence of a negative grammatical p a r t i c l e , the sentence without such a p a r t i c l e being placed on the r i g h t , and the sentence with such a p a r t i c l e being placed on the l e f t . Thus despite the fact that zuo 7x occurs i n the positive form on the r i g h t , I s t i l l regard i t here as having a negative meaning: 'hinder, oppose'. This i s further supported by i n s c r i p t i o n no. 18 on the same plastron, which proposes a s a c r i f i c e to ancestor Xian which w i l l result i n 'approval' : ruo -35 (as mentioned e a r l i e r , zuo i s often contrasted with ruo ^ ): 23 3 * * £ f m z- if "£ /& In A " . "Next yiyou-day, offer human victims (starting) from Xian. Approval." In h is book Guiban wenli yanjiu ftj , L i Daliang gives a l i s t of exceptions to the general rule that positive 54 ins c r i p t i o n s occur on the right while negative ones occur on the l e f t . His sole c r i t e r i o n i s the occurrence of negative p a r t i c l e s . However, there are cases i n which i l l o c u t i o n a r y force must be taken into account. I s h a l l now show how some of his 'exceptions', can be accounted for by t h i s . RIGHT: "Guiwei-day cracking, Bin testing: t h i s shower does not mean descending disaster." U R , % $ -I itl' M « ill A U & "Guiwei-day cracking, Bin testing: this shower means descending disaster." (Bingbian 61.3/4) L i Daliang's f i r s t example i s t y p i c a l of what he c a l l s zheng z a i zuo fu z a i you -it- ^ "Ttf. ^7 i n s c r i p t i o n s . There are certain words, such as huo 0 (= / f \ % )» which come under the general heading of disaster graphs, and have a 'bad' meaning. Their negation thus becomes something good. As Zhang Bingquan explains i t : w'-- - * ^  ?", * *i « t i •" i w =* ^ .'" Jib m & I'J ffl f 'Jt i i iq £ t P=I w, 4 * $ £ 24 i « M * H ft & Hi? * s t , ® *e f i 4- * i , ft a-4- * ft # s % % -f £ & & $ £ t± It Rl f -t to 3n ! ^ / 5 "... what they hoped for was s t i l l to obtain a favourable response, so that when they asked: "There w i l l be no disaster?", the hoped for response was: "Yes, there w i l l be no disaster!", and when they asked: "He/she w i l l not die?", the hoped for response was: "Yes, he/she w i l l not die!" Thus although these questions were negatively phrased, the response was s t i l l favourable, so divinations l i k e these must s t i l l be c l a s s i f i e d as positive questions, and are thus placed on the right side of the plastron. Because of t h i s , one cannot group indivinations as positive or negative simply on the basis of thei r l i t e r a l meaning; one must decide by looking at whether the hoped for answer i s positive or negative, and by looking at their position on the plastron." (Author's translation) However, as one can see from Bingbian 41.16/17, which I quoted e a r l i e r , the position on the plastron i s by no means an i n f a l l i b l e guide. Zhang also suggests: . . . ^ * i S i - | 0I W »<$ 3i Ii-"... we should also look at the king's frame of mind at that time... (Author's translation) Unfortunately, I have not yet been able to evolve a c r i t e r i o n for determining the king's frame of mind. Such a c r i t e r i o n would certainly prove very valuable to palaeographers. Other examples of this sort of i n s c r i p t i o n are: RIGHT: f $ i - ' - j f | : f - r t l (--«0 Jiashen-day c i get defeated." 'Jia cracking, Bin testing: Yu Ding^ w i l l not 25 L E F T : M % a y 4? ei t : * T K >i ft 58 Testing: Yu Ding perhaps w i l l get defeated." (Bingbian 61.5/6) £ % cannot be interpreted as A* ft 'offer cowries' as the negative wang ~L— i n the other member of this duizhen couplet means that can only be you ^ 'have' or 'get'^. The assumption of a m i l i t a r y context strengthens the reading of - 8 as b a i fit . Adopting Akatsuka's tongban l p J hypothesis for the moment, we see that ins c r i p t i o n s numbers 1 and 2 on t h i s plastron talk about the king following Wang Cheng i n b a t t l e (this topic with this p a r t i c u l a r general occurs many - i i times i n Bingbian), so a m i l i t a r y context i s quite feasible. One may further speculate, though more tentatively, that the l i n g add p r e c i p i t a t i o n was regarded as an omen i n connection with the other m i l i t a r y a f f a i r s divined about on t h i s plastron. The use of __ -TT i n i n s c r i p t i o n number 6 also suggests that -jl was something undesirable, the not having of which was considered something p o s i t i v e , and hence placed most naturally on the right side. RIGHT: >f J H & M ;rFI * u & t\ 4- V,% | ^ S . t i t 1 3 . 61 "Wuwu-day cracking, Dun testing: Ban going and coming w i l l not have disaster." LEFT "Testing: Ban going and coming perhaps w i l l have disaster." (Bingbian 130.1/2) 26 Huo [T] 'disaster' i s c l e a r l y something whose not having i s desirable. In the second i n s c r i p t i o n , q i makes the p o s s i b i l i t y of huo seem more remote by adding the modality of uncertainty. Ban i s the only character reversed (although a number of the other graphs are enantiomorphic and thus incapable of reversal). . I suspect that t h i s reversal was not simply for aesthetic reasons, but was also a magical practice. However, a detailed study of graph reversal i n OBI i s required, and at present one can only speculate. I t may be that the reversal of the personal name Ban i s a symbolic attempt to ward e v i l away from that person. S i m i l a r l y , the p a r t i a l reversal of the graph jiang i n Bingbian 61.3/4 (see p. 38) may be an attempt to prevent the huo 0 from descending*^. I t i s I interesting that i n th i s example only the y element has been reversed, A A, while the feet fl^ remain the same and are not reversed to ^ This could simply be because the foot element already shows a p a r t i a l 63 symmetry. RIGHT: N P t [ H \ 4/ % "Testing: J i a w i l l not have disaster. At Y i . " LEFT: M Tf y ¥ & | ' I- t * H "Testing: J i a perhaps w i l l have disaster." (Bingbian 223.1/2) This i s another cut and dried case of ^ / "t- . There i s no reversal of graphs i n th i s pair. More d i f f i c u l t to explain are those examples i n which the i l l o c u t i o n a r y force of the righthand i n s c r i p t i o n seems to be negative (as ,well as containing a negative p a r t i c l e ) , while that of the lefthand i n s c r i p t i o n i s po s i t i v e : i * Oft M f W 'M •« ^ 1; Est, * l . *= £ * t % (-'H) 65 "Yisi-day cracking, Que testing: (the king) has sick body, he w i l l not perhaps improve." LEFT: J * H ffi M « fr...<5 t & i-,te4=*[&l£'1*1*1. "Yisi-day cracking, Que testing: (the king) has sick body, he w i l l improve." (Bingbian 96.20/21) Recovery from sickness i s c l e a r l y desirable, and the p o s s i b i l i t y of not recovering i s marked by OJL Q to make i t seem less r e a l . Zhang Bingquan interpolates a <ji_ jp£ into the positive i n s c r i p t i o n , but t h i s i s probably wrong, as c[i does not occur often i n both members of a duizhen, for obvious reasons. The graphs shen and chong are reversed. Cases l i k e t h i s , i n which a sentence which i s negative, both grammatically and i l l o c u t i o n a r i l y , occurs on the r i g h t , while i t s positive counterpart occurs on the l e f t , simply have to be accepted as exceptions to the general tendency. A clear-cut exception l i k e t h i s helps to prevent us from fee l i n g that we have to, or indeed can, force a positive meaning onto ambiguous examples. From the point of view of divinatory modality, two types of i n s c r i p t i o n may be i d e n t i f i e d : 1. Those seeking information (e.g. ' W i l l i t r a i n ? ' ) . 2. Those seeking guidance (e.g. 'Should we attack the Bafang?'). Both of these types exhibit the i - id. i l / ii}. id phenomenon, but must be explained d i f f e r e n t l y . Those seeking guidance are marked by the prescriptive negative wu ^J) (the positive form may be marked by hui $3 , 28 but not necessarily, though of course i f the negative form i s wu wei ^  ^ then the positive form i s almost nearly always hui &^  . In these cases we have to be able to read the minds of the Shang, to know what they were wishing for. In the example Bingbian 96.20/21, i t i s safe to assume that the Shang king did not want i l l n e s s . This i s an i n s c r i p t i o n seeking information ( i . e . as regards recovery). However, i n an i n s c r i p t i o n seeking guidance, i t i s much more d i f f i c u l t to decide: ? * 4 *fi H ^ t ft f * e i>. %% i- "n % fa % . "Xinsi-day cracking, Que testing: should not summon Qiao to attack the Jun(?) ." LEFT RIGHT: : ? * H n T I It "Xinsi-day cracking, Que testing: summon Qiao to attack the Jun." (Bingbian 119.5/6) According to the r i g h t / l e f t hypothesis, t h i s should mean that the Shang did not want to summon Qiao to attack the Jun. T h i s i s a rather bold and arbitrary assumption. In order to see whether i t i s j u s t i f i e d or not, we must examine the rest of the inscriptions on this plastron: RIGHT LEFT * & h « t i- % % | ( i "Xinsi-day cracking, Que testing: "Xinsi-day cracking, Que testing: 67 summon Qiao to smite Sang." summon Qiao to smite Gu." 29 3. T * -I t& M ilfj I M *f "Xinsi-day cracking, Que testing: Qiao w i l l get Xuan and Wo." 4 (£) [H, 0 . "Xinsi-day (cracking, )." s. m w w | r "Yiwei-day cracking, Que testing: The boar-netters w i l l harm (Xuan 68 and Wo?)." ' Apart from no. 8, a l l these divinations took place on the same day, x i n s i (18th), and are to do with Qiao's m i l i t a r y exploits. No. 8 i s dated yiwei (32nd), and i s a l l about an a c t i v i t y performed by 'boar-netters', or perhaps considering the logographic nature of Chinese, this should simply be translated as 'capturers'. Unfortunately the xiphiplastron i s missing. The graphs -tp £j are just v i s i b l e at the start of no. 7, so this i n s c r i p t i o n was quite l i k e l y connected with the other xinsi-day divinations, and there was probably a p a r a l l e l i n s c r i p t i o n on the l e f t side of the xiphiplastron, which would have been the 'real' no. 8. What Zhang Bingquan numbers 8 should r e a l l y be no. 9, and probably had a corresponding no. 10 facing i t , but the surface of that part of the plastron i s severely damaged and no wri t i n g can be made out. "Xinsi-day cracking, Que testing: Qiao w i l l not perhaps get Xuan and Wo." 30 The f i r s t pair of inscriptions (119.1/2) does not present an a n t i t h e t i c a l p a i r , but a contrast i n the objects of Qiao's proposed smiting, i.e. should he be summoned to smite Sang or Gu. According to Keightley, "The i n s c r i p t i o n s give some indication that when a pair of charges was 69 cracked, the right side of the s h e l l was cracked before the l e f t . " ' We can t e l l t h i s because i t i s the insc r i p t i o n s on the l e f t that are most subject to e l l i p s i s ^ (especially s i m p l i f i c a t i o n of the preface). I t seems l i k e l y then that the i n s c r i p t i o n f i r s t carved, the one on the r i g h t , represents what was uppermost i n the mind of the Shang. From which one may deduce that they were keenest on having Sang smitten, and Gu was second choice, although the absence of <jl_ from both ins c r i p t i o n s shows that t h e i r feelings were not p a r t i c u l a r l y strong i n th i s matter. In 119.3/4, the prospect of Qiao's f a i l u r e to defeat Xuan and Wo (two tribes often mentioned i n the bones) i s probably undesirable, so the placing of the positive i n s c r i p t i o n on the right here and the negative on the l e f t i s i n perfect conformity with the usual practice. Qiao here i s cl e a r l y very busy. According to Zhang Bingquan's commentary, & £ Sfc 4t i*k€ 8$- as * ? L i * -*i- 4 * & & ii AX & l .1. % That Qiao may already have been engaged i n bat t l e with the Xuan and Wo i s indicated by the use of the verb de 'get', i . e . the b a t t l e was already raging, and the Shang wished to know i f i t would end i n the capture of these enemy chieft a i n s . With so much m i l i t a r y a c t i v i t y going on, i t may be that the Shang considered i t unadvisable to attack Jun A as w e l l , but thought they would divine about the matter seeing as how the Jun were i n the v i c i n i t y of the present campaign. A l l of the inscriptions on th i s plastron carry the crack notation '2', so th i s must be part of a tap -t^ 'set'. Unfortunately the others i n th i s set have not been found. They 31 would undoubtedly have thrown further l i g h t on this interpretation. There are no inscriptions on the back of th i s plastron either, so altogether the context i s extremely limited. In common with certain other races, the weather was a favourite topic with the Shang, and there are many inscriptions concerning r a i n . Now r a i n i s a thing whose advent i s sometimes welcome, and sometimes not. Chow Kwok-ching has discussed this concerning the use of the phrase gou yu i4a }Jft_ W\ versus you yu $ 3 : "Depending on the par t i c u l a r s i t u a t i o n , r a i n may be something either desirable or undesirable, i . e . , the intended 72 effect of an action or an unwelcome p o s s i b i l i t y . " Chow concluded that gou yu j_§P 'encounter r a i n ' was undesirable, while you yu 'get r a i n ' was desirable (and usually the result of a r a i n seeking ceremony) When rai n was not sought a f t e r , you ^ (and i t s negative counterpart wang rarely occur, which suggests that the absence of also indicates that the rain was undesirable. Rain was especially undesirable during an important s a c r i f i c e or ceremony. In the Book of Rites, "Zeng Zi wen \g <T ", Confucius gives four reasons for the cancellation of the r i t e s of audience when the princes have come to appear before the Son of Heaven: "The grand ancestral temple taking f i r e ; an eclipse of the sun; funeral r i t e s of the queen; their robes a l l unsightly through soaking r a i n . " Clearly i t would not do to attend such an event looking a l l bedraggled. Let us now examine a rai n i n s c r i p t i o n : 32 RIGHT m 11 i LEFT: "Jimao-day cracking, Que testing: i t w i l l not perhaps r a i n . " "Jimao-day cracking, Que testing: r a i n . The king read the cracks: the raining w i l l be on a ren-day. On renwu-day i t did indeed r a i n . " (Bingbian 235.1/2) The absence of you TjEj combined with the right hand placement of the negative i n s c r i p t i o n should mean that the Shang did not want r a i n on thi s -X-occasion, since you implies that they 1 got' r a i n as the result of a rain-seeking ceremoney. However, the presence of the p a r t i c l e ^ i ~%; completely contradicts t h i s . The prognostication also suggests rather strongly that r a i n was desired. As an opposite argument, i t i s also worth bearing i n mind the fact that the king i s a predictor of both good and i l l fortune, although naturally, i n most cases, the king predicts good fortune, i n an ef f o r t to secure favours for his people. Let us now contrast this with another r a i n i n s c r i p t i o n : RIGHT: % * -UK a A s y IT. e, h.fit 4• 4 a % LEFT: "Guisi-day cracking, Que testing: today perhaps i t w i l l r a i n . " "Guisi-day cracking, Que testing: today i t w i l l not r a i n . Indeed i t did not." (Bingbian 263.9/10) 33 I t i s quite clear from these ins c r i p t i o n s that r a i n was not desired. We can t e l l t h i s from the presence of qf -&r i n the positive member, which makes the p o s s i b i l i t y of r a i n seem remote, and the resounding affirmation after the negative member that "indeed i t did not" r a i n . The placement of these two inscriptions with respect to l e f t and right must have been prompted by grammar, not by i l l o c u t i o n a r y force. 34 CONCLUSION In the preceding pages I have discussed some of the counter-examples to the usual tendency that, out of two alternatives, the desirable w i l l occur on the right side of the plastron while the undesirable w i l l occur on the l e f t side. There are of course many more examples to be found elsewhere. Although this corpus i s small, i t provides a good cross-section of the types of exceptions that occur, and I believe certain conclusions can be drawn from them. 1. The fact that there are very clear exceptions that cannot be 74 explained away, shows that the Shang probably did not consciously s t r i v e to put the positive i n s c r i p t i o n on the righ t and the negative on the l e f t . From the fact that prefaces are usually omitted on the l e f t , and that l a t e r Chinese writing goes i n columns from right to l e f t , we may assume that the f i r s t member of a duizhen would be inscribed on the r i g h t . I t i s only natural psychology that the p o s i t i v e l y phrased proposition should come to mind f i r s t , and then the negatively phrased counterpart. When the concept i t s e l f was negative (e.g. huo and other disaster words), then confusion sometimes arose, so that the negatively phrased proposition was placed on the right (e.g. wang huo 13 ) and the p o s i t i v e l y phrased one on the l e f t (e.g. you huo ). However, on the whole, disaster graphs 75. also follow the general trend. 2. As the placing of p o s i t i v e l y and negatively phrased propositions with respect to the right and l e f t side of the plastron i s sometimes confused, there i s always some doubt as to what the Shang actually wanted i n a certain divination. By appealing to the whole plastron, including the back, we can gain some guidance i n resolving such problems. Determining 35 what the Shang f e l t was or was not desirable can sometimes help i n the interpretation of unexplained or problematical graphs, as i t can t e l l us whether we should be looking for a 'good' meaning or a 'bad' meaning. Having denied that there was any conscious s t r i v i n g on the part of the Shang to place positive i n s c r i p t i o n s on the right and negative insc r i p t i o n s on the l e f t , we are reduced to regarding the l e f t / r i g h t opposition as purely one of symmetry. However, not a l l divinations occur i n a n t i t h e t i c a l pairs. The types of exceptions are: 1. Both ins c r i p t i o n s are positive. 2. Both i n s c r i p t i o n s are negative. 3. There i s some other contrast (e.g. number of animals to be s a c r i f l e d ) . 4. An i n s c r i p t i o n on one side has no corresponding i n s c r i p t i o n on the other side. Thus we can see that, although symmetry was the general r u l e , i t was by no means a hard and fast rule. The fact that there are exceptions to the • general symmetry makes i t easier to accept the fact that there are exceptions to the general l e f t / r i g h t trend. The s u p e r f i c i a l symmetry of the oracle bone inscriptions i s thus an a r t i s t i c by-product of the Shang divinatory r i t u a l . Although i t has no magical significance i n i t s e l f , i t r e f l e c t s the way i n which the Shang diviners attempted to influence the outcome of their divinations through the use of a n t i t h e t i c a l charges, one of which was 'loaded' ( l i k e a dice) by the use of the p a r t i c l e c[i , which made i t sound more remote and less l i k e l y to happen. The Shang culture has bequeathed to us many a r t i f a c t s of great beauty and craftsmanship, so i t i s not surprising that 36 the duizhen formula, combined with the natural symmetry of the plastrons, should have inspired the inscribers to pour thei r a r t i s t i c talent into the calligraphy of the inscriptions that recorded the i r dealings with the divine world. 37 CHAPTER TWO CHENGTAO INTRODUCTION Chengtao i s the largest type of context found i n OBI. This i s the phenomenon of the occurrence of sets of plastrons, the subject matter of whose i n s c r i p t i o n s , and often even the wording i t s e l f , are largely i d e n t i c a l . This phenomenon was f i r s t noted by-Zhang Bingquan i n his a r t i c l e "Bugui f u j i a de xushu " (1956). He l a t e r expanded on this subject i n an a r t i c l e e n t i t l e d "Lun chengtao buci aff9 HjL St < fyf " (1960). He made the discovery during his compilation of Bingbian, i n which there are a number of instances of chengtao. I t appears that the maximum number of plastrons i n a 'set' i s f i v e . I t may w e l l be that a set always consisted of fi v e plastrons, but there are many cases i n which not a l l f i v e have been discovered. I t i s possible that the Shang regarded 'f i v e ' as a natural unit, as they created a special graph for i t (OBI form: X ) , which breaks away from the simple l i n e system (— — = ), and probably arises from counting on one's fingers. I t i s also a t r a d i t i o n a l Chinese unit for troops, as i s reflected by the term wu i J L , o r i g i n a l l y meaning 'a group of fi v e men'. This usage i s found as early as the Zuozhuan'*". The position of a chengtao plastron within i t s set may be ea s i l y discerned from the crack numbering. Thus a l l the cracks on the f i r s t plastron w i l l be numbered 'one', and a l l the cracks on the second plastron w i l l be numbered 'two', and so forth. This i s quite different from plastrons which are not i n a set, each of whose insc r i p t i o n s may be related to up to ten cracks that are numbered successively. 38 As I have just mentioned, the wording of the inscriptions on each plastron i n a set i s often i d e n t i c a l , or else there may be minor variations. Usually the same i n s c r i p t i o n w i l l also be i n the same position on each plastron. Sometimes, one or two of the plastrons w i l l have an additional i n s c r i p t i o n not found on any of the others i n the set, such as a tribute notation. Although the reasons for chengtao are unknown, the surprisingly small amount of e l l i p s i s suggests that f i v e f a i t h f u l copies were required. Unfortunately, very few complete sets have been discovered; most are fragmentary. Zhang quotes as evidence for this t r a d i t i o n from the c l a s s i c s the following passage from Zhouli, "Chunguan zongbo.xia": This seems to be a s l i g h t d i s t o r t i o n of the text, which reads i n whole: "Prepose aux tortues (koue'i-jin). I I s'occupe des s i x tortues et de leurs varietes. Chaque espece a son nom special. La tortue celeste est de 1'espece Ling. La tortue terrestre est de l'espece I. La tortue d'orient est de l'espece Ko. La tortue d'occident est de l'espece Lou'i. La tortue du midi est de l'espece Li e . La tortue du nord est de l'espece Jou. I I distingue chaque espece, d'apres l a couleur du t e r r a i n ou 1'animal se trouve, et d'apres l a forme de son corps. En general, i l recoit les tortues dans l a saison d'automne. I I t r a v a i l l e les tortues dans l a saison du printemps. Chaque tortue, d'apres son espece, entre dans l a maison des tortues. Au commencement du printemps, i l enduit de sang l ' e c a i l l e de l a tortue; i l s a c r i f i e au premier des augures. 39 Lorsqu'il y a un s a c r i f i c e , i l presente l a tortue a c e l u i qui vient augurer."^ What this passage i s actually talking about i s the s i x types of t o r t o i s e , and does not mention anything about repeating the same divination on s i x s h e l l s . Zhang also quotes a passage from the Book of Documents, " J i n teng": : "Then he divined with the three t o r t o i s e s . " The text continues: -—" 3^ r7 :"(with one and the same r e p e t i t i o n 3 ) a l l i n the same way were auspicious."^ This sounds very much as i f the same subject was divined on three different s h e l l s , and obeys the injunction i n the Book of Rites that "Divination by the s h e l l or the stalks should not go beyond three times" )^. This does not actually t a l l y with the sets of f i v e found i n the bones, but may be a legacy of th i s t r a d i t i o n . Considering the number of bones that have no writing on them, i t i s certa i n l y curious that i n some cases exactly the same thing should be carved on several bones. I s h a l l now examine the various chengtao sets that occur i n Bingbian. Due to the re p e t i t i o n , I s h a l l give a modern transcription and translation into English for the f i r s t member of each set only, unless there i s a major v a r i a t i o n i n the text. The purpose of this examination i s simply to interpret the i n s c r i p t i o n s , and discuss the differences between the members of a set. After t h i s , I s h a l l give a concluding discussion on the nature and significance of chengtao. 40 Set One 12.1. * ff-} ffi H * ^ fl ~ £ ¥ "Xinyou-day cracking, Que testing: This autumn7 the king should follow Wang Cheng i n attacking the Xia Wei, for he w i l l receive abundant assistance." "Xinyou-day cracking, Que testing: This autumn the king should not follow Wang Cheng i n attacking the Xia Wei, for he w i l l not perhaps receive abundant assistance." "Xinyou-day cracking, Que testing: The king should follow Zhi J i a . " 4 . H A n & I" -i : i % n bi. |-"Testing: The king should not follow Zhi J i a . " 4 a K & i .4 [*] \ [a].-"Xinyou-day cracking, Que testing: I t should be Zhi J i a that the king follows." 6. T 9 Hli H 4 & -"Xinyou-day cracking, Que testing: I t should not be [Zhi] J i a that the king follows." 41 7. w * \ o r M Y -Q "Testing: Offer dog to Fu Geng, s p l i t open sheep." s. M i #u a p £ -r * ? 0 & < & 1/ $11..-9 "Testing: If the priest brings these, the sick teeth w i l l d e f i n i t e l y ^ improve." 9 . W U B -"The sick teeth w i l l improve." 10. ft U h -* - t i . -"They w i l l not perhaps improve." 2. 1 9 > fiti H A & A. K f I tf ^ ^ * V ^ « * = 3. T 9 -I ft H l i t M>, i l = 4. H ^ H i l H *J = 5 . T 9 ff = 6. * 9 • ) ( H H ( i ? to € U » 7. M tc1 % ^ fiff\ * ¥ = s. *l J t W S i & £ = 9. E) # ~ 10. it> 13 £ = 42 ! . H r K H * l M ft I* £ [ 4 1 - > f [ i ]^ a ^ 3. H 4 tt ^ ^ s • 4. N i f tl f = 5. T f H a * M 4 * * 1^ n = 8. n *i ± w ra & a = io. ^ H ? a . i . H ^ M A J i H ^ i J . ^ ^ ^ . 2 . T $ V ft N A 4 f i l | rt - f> $ y ^ tf j -4. [ I- 3. >>D U % ] = 6. [I© K^M--i^'i i j t i - u j s 8. 7«fc * * W E] & £ = LO. 43 n 4 ft v. *[ 3 M 4 f: tt ^ X T v r ft H 4 <fc & *I H x T -I )fft M A * # ^ n Reverse 4 i £ < p . " I t i s Fu J i a . " 2. [ M *»] + " I t i s not Fu J i a . " 3. [f ft] " I t i s Fu Geng." 4. (l\ & ^ ffl * ^ ]f*. " I t i s not Fu Geng." 44 13.5. U T l " I t i s Fu Xin." 6. * U l [?] ^ i 'A f " I t i s not Fu Xin." " I t i s Fu Y i . " " I t i s not Fu Y i . " ,. i - A - t 0'/: "You Fei contributed two. At X." 15.1. J H 2. to + 3. & *' 4. to ^ K' ft 5. U » T 6. ft u 1 ? 7. * * M 8. ft * M k *, *v + to y s * i f f , : " I f i t i s a wu-day that there i s thunder, i t i s not auspicious." A ( _ ) © [ f c l ( W ) _ vft i a e • * * 1^ f . "The king read the cracks and said: There w i l l not perhaps be thunder. ( I K ) U ^ + ] Hi ft fh P f f l X V f f\ 5T, ^ ? [ «i n [to s, M ] 46 "The king read the cracks and said: On dingchou-day i f there i s thunder, i t i s not auspicious. I f i t i s a jia-day that there i s thunder, i t i s auspicious. I f i t i s a xin-day that there i s thunder, i t i s also not auspicious." . i . « + 3. % 4 . fl\ # 6. * * ^ .s. H s u n 9 . f i l l - A - -f (ft "You Fei contributed two. At X." This set i s one of the few complete sets so far i d e n t i f i e d . The inscriptions on the front of each plastron repeat each other almost perfectly, with only the occasional omission of the c y c l i c a l date and the diviner's name. The same i n s c r i p t i o n i s always i n the same place on each s h e l l i n the set, so that they look almost as i f they were photocopied. However, on the reverse of two of them (17, 19) there i s an additional i n s c r i p t i o n , which i s a prognostication (there i s no v e r i f i c a t i o n ) concerning 47 the auspiciousness of thunder. I f the thunder came on certain days i t was auspicious, and i f i t came on certain other days i t was inauspicious. These inscriptions are written i n a large, bold calligraphy i n the mode which Keightley terms 'display i n s c r i p t i o n s ' . He defines the essential characteristics of a display i n s c r i p t i o n as: 1. bold, large calligraphy 2. the prognostication and v e r i f i c a t i o n written as a single, continuous unit, and usually placed immediately next to the charge 3. the v e r i f i c a t i o n , frequently detailed, confirms the accuracy n r . . . 12 of the prognostication Actually, Keightley i s hesitant to c l a s s i f y the above inscriptions as display i n s c r i p t i o n s , since there i s no charge or v e r i f i c a t i o n . However, their large, bold calligraphy i s exactly l i k e that used i n display i n s c r i p -tions, and there are examples (Bingbian 207.3 and 208.2) of other display i n s c r i p t i o n s . The most curious thing about 17.9/10 and 19.9 i s that they seem to bear absolutely no relationship to any of the inscriptions on the front of the plastron. Nor do they appear to be related to the other i n s c r i p t i o n s on the back. They only occur on two shells i n the set, and they do not duplicate each other i n the way that chengtao inscriptions do. They seem 13 °) to be quite extraneous to the set . Keightley suggests that the was a response from the s p i r i t s of the ancestors expected by the Shang i n answer to t h e i r inquiries about the king's toothache, which was delaying 14 °) his campaign plans . This would be taken as a sign, whose i n t e r -pretation as a good or bad omen depended on the day on which i t occurred. If that i s so, then i t means that the t u r t l e , as an oracle, was not always s u f f i c i e n t i n i t s e l f — some other sign was desired. inscriptions concerning which meet a l l of Keightley's c r i t e r i a for 48 On the t h i r d plastron (17) the king predicted that the occurrence of thunder was unli k e l y . On the fourth plastron (19) he then goes on to predict on which days, i f i t does occur, i t w i l l be auspicious or otherwise. This seems very strange. The negative fu $9 has been supplied i n 17.10 by Zhang Bingquan, as the part of the plastron where i t might have occurred i s missing. However, there i s no basis for i t ^ ~ " . I t i s more l i k e l y that a c y c l i c a l date should be supplied, or perhaps even that the space should be l e f t blank. The Shang were c l e a r l y expecting thunder on some day, otherwise one wonders why they were trying to guess on which day i t would occur. I t i s commonly assumed that the prognostication and v e r i f i c a t i o n of a divination w i l l occur on the back of the plastron, d i r e c t l y behind the divination on the front with which i t i s associated. I f this holds good, then these thunder inscriptions should be associated with 16.1/2 and 18.1/2, which are about receiving you you 'abundant assistance' from the ancestors i f the king follows Wang Cheng i n attacking the Xia Wei. The size of the calligraphy, fullness of the text (no e l l i p s i s ) , and position of these inscriptions at the top of the plastron, c l e a r l y mean that t h i s issue was a very important one, the most important on the whole plastron. It i s therefore not unreasonable to suppose that the anticipated thunder was seen as a divine omen to confirm whether 'abundant assistance' would be given or not. Further down the plastron (inscriptions 3 and 4 on the front of each plastron) we find the p o s s i b i l i t y being divined that the king should follow Zhi J i a (presumably instead of Wang Cheng). I t i s phrased very e l l i p t i c a l l y compared with the f i r s t and second i n s c r i p t i o n s . However, the t u r t l e must have given a favourable or perhaps ambiguous response to t h i s , as this p o s s i b i l i t y i s then divined again, but with added emphasis, using the 49 au x i l i a r y verb hui ^ , the negative counterpart of which i s wu wei ^JD Ai > a s opposed to the simple negative wu ^V) i n the fourth i n s c r i p -tion. The construction also causes the main verb and i t s object to be inverted (wei ^  i t s e l f i s negated by bu wei >^ ^ l i , as can be seen from the back of this set — this i s not an emphatic construction). The e l l i p s i s i n the fourth i n s c r i p t i o n also sheds l i g h t on the true nature of the construction i n the second i n s c r i p t i o n . Some scholars have interpreted the double negative construction as equivalent to a po s i t i v e , thus: "... This autumn, i f the king does not follow Wang Cheng to attack the Xia Wei, he w i l l not receive abundant assistance." However, th i s gives i t the same i l l o c u t i o n a r y force as the f i r s t i n s c r i p t i o n ( i . e . 'go ahead and attack the Xia Wei!'), thus destroying the antithesis of the duizhen. The fourth sentence i s c l e a r l y an e l l i p t i c a l form based on the second, but i t cannot be translated "... If the king does not follow Zhi J i a " , as there i s no apodosis. I t can only mean: "The king should not follow Zhi J i a " , and therefore the second sentence must mean: "This spring the king should not follow Wang Cheng to attack the Xia Wei, as he w i l l not perhaps receive abundant a s s i s t a n c e " ^ . Because the members of a tao are meant to be duplicates of each other, we can learn from them the amount of va r i a t i o n acceptable i n the writing of graphs. In this p a r t i c u l a r set we have such variations as: I. 50 ^ : P Q CD HI . The Shang s c r i p t was s t i l l very close to i t s pictographic o r i g i n s , and so naturally there are variations according to the inscriber's conception of the objects they represent, e.g. the d i f f e r i n g number of teeth i n the graph for chi ffij . Also there appears to be no s t r i c t set of rules for character reversal on opposite sides of the plastron. For example, i n 12.1/2 and 14.1/2 fa A^i i s reversed, but not i n 18.1/2 and 20.1/2 (in 16.2 the graph i s obliterated, so i t s orientation cannot be known). In some i n s c r i p t i o n s , even the graph bu r- and the name of the diviner are also reversed. Sometimes the reversal i s only p a r t i a l , e.g. 12.1 ^ versus 12.2 i n which only the lower portion (the legs) i s reversed, while the upper portion (the eye) remains the same. Thus, although the content and positioning of the i n s c r i p t i o n s on each plastron i n the tao i s copied quite f a i t h f u l l y , the orientation and exact c a l l i g r a p h i c form of the graphs are quite capricious. The f l e x i b l e orientation of graphs may be partl y ascribed to a deliberate s t r i v i n g for a mirror image, and partl y to the phenomenon that Gelb describes as being common among children and primitive 18 > l i t e r a t e s o c i e t i e s . One graph that i s never reversed i s you X ( 5^ ), which i s a s i m p l i f i e d representation of the right hand. The reason i s simply that i f i t were reversed i t would get confused with zuo *f~ ( "J£. ) , the l e f t hand. These two words have the quite opposite meanings of 'help' and 'hinder' respectively. 51 One curious feature i n 18.2 i s that you ^ ( ) i s written quite capriciously i n the more complex form , from which I deduce that the copier was getting bored. However, thanks to a whim of the copier, we are provided with the useful information that ^ i s an abbreviated form for ^ when i t i s used as a c y c l i c a l character. Dong Zuobin ascribes the form ^ to part of the graphic evolution that took place over the f i v e periods into which the oracle bones have been divided by Dong Zuobin 1 9. However, as we have both the forms ^ and 9 on the same plastron here, they were c l e a r l y contemporaneous. One may l i s t other examples where a graph that i s frequently used i n an extended meaning or just for i t s sound, develops a si m p l i f i e d form i n that usage,: thus becoming graphically d i s t i n c t from the mother graph. The best known example i s the graph ), a pictograph of a ding s a c r i f i c i a l vessel, which i s usually written H when i t means 'to divine', although even i n th i s usage the form §\ s t i l l occurs sometimes. The graph ^ occurs i n p r a c t i c a l l y every i n s c r i p t i o n , so i t i s not surprising that a si m p l i f i e d form developed. Set Two * « Y-.tli- at \ % "Wuyin-day cracking, Que testing: Zhi J i a perhaps w i l l come." 2. M * $ * y * ~ |: \ * * "Testing: Zhi J i a w i l l not perhaps come." 52 >i 14 ft H 1 1 y * "Wuyin-day cracking, Que testing: Dian Feng perhaps w i l l come." * fl. * $. -20 "Dian Feng w i l l not perhaps come." (Xucun 388, front) 28 .!. H t H fjl M tf. y * 2. H « I ifi y * -3 o . i . t<H tfM^ly* 2. N i y * s 3. T < l M f t M | & u * 4. « H y t s Reverse "The king read the cracks and said: J i a w i l l perhaps s a l l y forth It should be a geng-day. Perhaps he w i l l be f i r s t . J i a arrived." 21 53 29.1, "The king read the cracks and said: (The day on which) Feng w i l l s a l l y forth w i l l perhaps be a ding-day; i f he does not s a l l y forth on the ding-day, he i s perhaps suffering from i l l n e s s . " (Xucun 388, back) "The king read the cracks and said: (The day on which) Feng w i l l s a l l y forth should be a ding-day; i f (he) does not s a l l y forth on the ding-day, he i s perhaps suffering from i l l n e s s (and) might 22 not (be able to) recover (from i t ) . " A & e *f U & £ ft U ( T * i •2. i S a ^ y i U ^ O ^ y ^ l t i u K Here we have the second, t h i r d , and fourth members i n a set. The - il- 1 %-name of the general Zhi J i a /- u - i i s always abbreviated as J i a "x 1L 23 As Zhi  JJ*- i s common as a place name i n the bones , the name Zhi J i a may be analysed as 'the person called J i a who comes from Zhi', or, to give i t a Germanic r i n g , ' J i a von Zhi'. There are many other names l i k e this i n OBI, such as Xuan Huo — ^ 'Huo von Xuan'. Dian Feng ^ 2^ (= ), on the other hand, i s sometimes abbreviated as Dian ^Lf and 25 31.1. sometimes as Feng . Dian does not occur as a place name i n OBI Considering the close semantic connection between 'lightning' and 'wind', 54 both being meteorological phenomena, i t seems l i k e l y that they are being used i n t h e i r f u l l meaning here. The name Dian Feng can thus be considered a nom de guerre, which was given for reasons upon which one can only 26 speculate. There are other examples of such names i n OBI. Another .contrast i s that between q i wei ding ^ T (Xucun 388 back. 2 , Bingbian 3 1 . 2 ) and hui ding " J " (Bingbian 2 9 . 2 ) . ^ i s much stronger and more emphatic than lj£ • For the day of Zhi Jia's s a l l y i n g f o r t h , rfe i s consistently used, but for the day of Dian Feng's s a l l y i n g f o r t h , W i s used only once, while i s used twice. Unfortunately two of the plastrons i n t h i s set are missing, so we do not know i f they used 4 or % % The lesser degree of certainty implied by the use of must be connected with the statement of Dian Feng's possible i l l n e s s . In 2 8 . 4 , the statement that "Dian w i l l not perhaps come" carries the crack notation *=» . Up t i l l now, western scholars have transcribed this as shang j i o 'highly auspicious', but many Chinese — J4" 27 scholars have for a long time regarded i t as er gao - -g" 'two reports' , i. e . two responses from the t u r t l e towards a p a r t i c u l a r divination. whatever the truth of the matter, this crack notation i s probably the basis for the greater degree of certainty expressed i n the prognostication concerning t h i s general i n 2 9 . 2 . The divinations on the front of these plastrons are a l l about whether Zhi J i a and Dian Feng w i l l or w i l l not l a i 'come', while the prognostications and v e r i f i c a t i o n s on the back talk about chu jt\ 'sallying forth'. The v e r i f i c a t i o n about J i a says that he zhi 'arrived'. The exact significance of a l l these verbs of motion requires more research, but i t at least seems l i k e l y that the context i s a m i l i t a r y one. The layout of the inscriptions on the front of this set i s 55 p a r t i c u l a r l y i n t e r e s t i n g , a s , i t exhibits so wel l the symmetry the Shang inscribers were s t r i v i n g f o r . The two duizhen face each other diagonally across the s h e l l thus: This cross-wise symmetry led to the placing of the positive i n s c r i p t i o n no. 3 on the l e f t , and the negative i n s c r i p t i o n no. 4 on the r i g h t . So i t seems that symmetry was more important than the right=positive/left= negative tendency. A further piece of symmetry i s introduced by wri t i n g 2 and 4 i n the opposite dir e c t i o n to 1 and 3, as I have indicated by the arrows. In view of th i s complex symmetry, the Shang oracle bones might also be regarded to some extent as works of art . The quest for aesthetic balance comes through very c l e a r l y i n cases l i k e these. An interesting graph reversal occurs i n 31.1, where the graph for J i a -£ i s reversed within the same i n s c r i p t i o n . Such reversal usually only occurs between duizhen. Set Three 34.1. X o Jiachen-day cracking, Que testing: The king should not 28 enter into L i . He entered. II 2. ti Jiachen-day cracking, Que testing: The king should enter. II 56 £ 31 iSU- |£l U s -l ; i m f , * t a . -"Testing: when the king has finished you and deng ceremonies, he should not treat-as-guest the following day." + iHMW±|$\(jjs-"Jiachen-day cracking, Que testing: The king should treat-as-guest the following day." "Yimao-day cracking, Que testing: The king should preside over the m i l l e t a c t i v i t y . " N 1 i 1 | -"Testing: The king should not preside over the m i l l e t a c t i v i t y . " + fl i M A f|l HHftM £ t J f = 36.i. t -I ffi H 2 t A ^ f A £ 2. + ft -I ft H 4 A s 3. M i 3f © | » ffl s 6. M 4 & 1 $ = 3 7 . 1 . + fH ft Mi * t A ^ ^ A § 2. + A s 4. H t l|t $ o 5. M M ft W i 1 <& 38.i. + ? m s M i ^ A ^ f A x 2. 3 . M t S[ 9$ S< f- |$ ^ B x 5. H H [*« (to i HKl) X 6. H i f t l * This i s a complete set of fi v e plastrons. There i s no writing on the reverse. One thing that makes th i s set different from the previous sets I examined, i s that there are two separate days of divination on i t , to wit, 58 jiachen ^ Jpl (41st) and yimao ~L> $f (52nd). They are thus a l i t t l e over one xun fl) apart. The j iachen divinations apparently f a l l into two topics: i n s c r i p t i o n s 1/2 about ru y_u 11 A. "J* ^ 'J , and 3/4 about bin y i . f 0 r i j t J L • The question of how far one can relate the different i n s c r i p t i o n s on a given plastron i s one which I would l i k e to reserve for my l a s t chapter. However, i n order to f a c i l i t a t e discussion of the present example, I must somewhat pre-empt that by stating my opinion that not only topics divined on the same day, but also those divined on different days, are l i k e l y to be thematically connected. My basis for t h i s assumption i s that, i f a plastron i s retrieved again some time after i t s i n i t i a l use, then there must be some rationale behind t h i s . The rationale, I assume, i s that these a f f a i r s are i n some way related. Zhang Bingquan punctuates the f i r s t sentence on each plastron i n th i s set thus: ... He does not underline l i •^'i , but presumably he understands i t as a place name. I t certainly seems analogous to the many 'the king should enter into Shang' i n s c r i p t i o n s , which must refer to whether or not the king should enter 30 their cult centre, the holy c i t y of Shang. The graph which Zhang Bingquan transcribes as JLi ^\ i s here written , which i s somewhat different from the usual form , 3 1 etc. In f a c t , Shima c l a s s i f i e s i t under » ^ Ljj (S.360.4), which from the context i s c l e a r l y an a g r i c u l t u r a l a c t i v i t y , perhaps reaping (the graph 32 consists of a s i c k l e cutting through a cereal plant) . I t i s possible that the place L i . ^ ' J was associated with this a c t i v i t y . I t seems possible that there may be a relationship between 1/2 and 5/6, i . e . the king's entering into L i may have set the scene for the a c t i v i t y called l i shu j i . , which i s generally understood as meaning '(stand over=) supervise 59 the shu-millet (harvest?)'. According to Zhang Bingquan's punctuation, the f i r s t sentence could be translated as: "... The king should not y i - s a c r i f i c e (and) enter, (but) to L i enter." . •ii . .. A .. . . -. , 33 . Zhang interprets j i _ as a h e j i o vfN j o i n t s a c r i f i c e , i . e . a combined s a c r i f i c e to more than one ancestor. However, i t i s d i f f i c u l t to make sense of his punctuation. I t i s probably better to punctuate as I have done after L i , regarding the l a s t ru as a v e r i f i c a t i o n . Zhang's interpretation i s unsatisfactory because i t presents a choice within the same i n s c r i p t i o n , which would make the duizhen unnecessary, and violates the general nature of OBI. For each i n s c r i p t i o n i s a proposition seeking confirmation, and i t i s extremely u n l i k e l y that there i s such.a thing i n OBI as an i n s c r i p t i o n that presents a genuine choice (although there i s the •jr 34 problem of the f i n a l bu (fou) yys inscriptions) . One hypothesis that might be considered to account for t h i s , i s that the t u r t l e could not say 'yes' or 'no'. I t only had one response, which was interpreted as degrees of certainty ( x i a o j i 0 s o 'small certainty', shangji a 'greater certainty', hongji ^ 'great ce r t a i n t y ' ) . This would help to explain why one never sees b u j i ~c3 'not certain' as a crack notation"^, or why one sees bu wu gui i l ? ' i t does not go against (the w i l l of) the t u r t l e ' , but never wu gui I t was positive thinking on the part of the Shang, that they only ascribed positive responses to the t u r t l e , and no negative ones. I would now l i k e to turn to some of the graphic variations that occur among the plastrons i n th i s set. 60 :34.3 , 35.4 ^ , 36.4 ^ :36.4 ^ , 37.1 ^ , 38.1 ^ , 38.4 ^ "2 :34.3 (§\ , 34.4 , 38.3/4 (fl " ( ) As with chi ^gy and you gF} i n the f i r s t set I examined (see pp.49-50), the inscriber must s t i l l have been f u l l y aware of the pictographic origins of y_u 'feather' and ji 'upper garment' i n order to permit himself these free variations. / \ In Sorui, i s transcribed as (S.257.4) and i s separated from e t c . ) , which i s transcribed as zu A— (s.259.1). Here we have both forms used i n the same context: ( *W ) / 2^ - VERB. This suggests that the inscriber regarded them simply as variations of the same graph. However, according to the examples i n Sorui, these two graphs are usually kept s t r i c t l y apart i n t h e i r usage. The more complex graph occurs almost exclusively i n the ' VERB' construction, while the simpler 37 graph occurs mainly as a place name and as a s a c r i f i c e . The two exceptions here, 36.4 and 38.4, have the graph written as " ( J and respectively, and the text i n both cases reads: ^ % These also happen to be two of the three cases i n which bin -it. (= ™ ) 'IF i s written *K , with a woman instead of a man inside, (the bin of 36.4 i s not very clear on the rubbing, so I am r e l y i n g here on Zhang's transcription), In view of the strong evidence for maintaining a d i s t i n c t i o n between y_i 7^-and jzu —\" , i t seems better to regard the form 'vs. here as incomplete, i.e . i t has strokes missing. There are many examples of incomplete graphs i n OBI, sometimes even to the extent of making one graph look l i k e another. A good example may be seen i n another set i n Bingbian: 61 n 6 ^ 3 J m = "Testing: If we dance, i t w i l l r a i n . " 73.6 N "S m = | : * ft , . » The graph which looks l i k e xu i n 73.6 should c l e a r l y be wo ^ , 38 but three horizontal strokes have been l e f t out The fact that i n the corresponding ins c r i p t i o n s 34.4, 35.4, and 37.4, the graph ^V^- / i s omitted, suggests that i t was not es s e n t i a l , and therefore more l i k e l y to be an a u x i l i a r y verb or adverb rather than a f u l l 39 ~-r~~ verb . i f we interpret i t as y_i , then i t could mean 'enrobed', but then, why does i t not occur i n both members of the duizhen? L i Xiaoding suggests that i t i s being used for cu ' h a s t i l y ' , but this word seems to me to have too high a semantic content to be so readily omissable. In the present set of i n s c r i p t i o n s , we fi n d that - j " i s used either i n the 40 positive or negative member of a duizhen, but not both: 34/35/36/37/38.1. 34/35/36/37/38.2. ^ t& | : I X . 34/35/36/37/38.3. i ' l A K f ^ l f S . 36/38.4. i ' l ^ ' l l 9 . I t seems probable then that, rather than being a s a c r i f i c i a l verb or a f u l l word of some kind, i t contributes to the modality of the sentence i n some way, although exactly how i s d i f f i c u l t to determine. It may simply 41 emphasize the obligation to do or not to do something . I therefore f e e l more in c l i n e d to interpret t h i s graph, not as cu -JHT , but simply as 62 \_ zu 2p , which i n c l a s s i c a l Chinese i s used as an adverb meaning 'in the end, after a l l ' . I f that i s the case, then the significance of recording the positive v e r i f i c a t i o n ru 'he entered' after the negative propo-s i t i o n that 'the king should not enter' i n the f i r s t i n s c r i p t i o n , i s that this action was carried out despite the fact that i t was not f e l t to be advisable. There are other examples of such short v e r i f i c a t i o n s d i r e c t l y 42 following a charge with no intervening prognostication. Turning now to the graph i d e n t i f i e d as bin , we find two i: i f ^ i and f ^ ) . One contains , a kneeling person of either sex, and the other contains , which interesting variants: |^ | and 1^ 1 . One contains rJ , which represents represents a kneeling woman. This v a r i a t i o n could mean that both men and women could perform the b i n ceremony. The performer of bin here i s c l e a r l y the king (whom I assume was male), and the use of i or ^ i s mixed up quite at random. From this we can deduce that the variant with ^ was not a form of the character ^ used s p e c i f i c a l l y when the performer of the ceremony was a woman. The variant arose from the fact that, i n general, t h i s ceremony could be performed by a man or a woman. This i s important, because i t t e l l s us that the Chinese s c r i p t at this time was already logographio: the graph Itl or (Jl was not seen as representing a man or a woman performing the bin ceremony (otherwise how could the form be •* 44 used for the king?), but as representing the word bin . Lastl y , I would l i k e to examine what appears to be a major discrepancy between these plastrons, which i s the addition of the graph El ( i . e . Shang J i a ) at the end of 36.3 . This i s the only i n s c r i p t i o n i n the whole set i n which this occurs. I t does not even occur i n the duizhen to 36.3. The word order i s also strange. The expression ' /S Ancestor 9 . 47 ( i . e . treat as guest such-and-such an ancestor's sun/day) i s common i n OBI , but here we have 'treat as guest the next day Shang 63 J i a ' . Also the day of the ceremony should' correspond to the c y c l i c a l character i n the ancestor's posthumous t i t l e . As the date of this divination i s j iachen, the next day would not be a j i a day. So the graph ffl here would seem to be a mistake. One way of getting round t h i s problem i s to interpret the phrase y i r i 5 . Q as the name of a s a c r i f i c e , although the wing and sun elements are normally written together as one graph i n t h i s usage. This i s one of the s a c r i f i c e s that by Period V became one of the standard wusi 48 'five s a c r i f i c e s ' . In Period V examples, the wing and sun elements do not always seem to be written as a single graph, e.g. ^ i ) h, 4--JE. '§] ± tik.iift.y & m a <¥. "Guiyou-day cracking and testing: The king i n the next ten days w i l l not have misfortune. In the seventh month. On jiaxu-day perform y i - s a c r i f i c e to Shang J i a . " (Xubian 1.4.3, ap. S.513.1) 5? a H Hi 3 t t + t f'> t s "Guichou-day cracking and te s t i n g : The king i n the next ten days w i l l riot have misfortune. In (the Xth month). On jiayin-day perform you-sacrifice and y i - s a c r i f i c e to Shang J i a . " (Xucun 2.966, ap. S.513.1) If the present i n s c r i p t i o n can be interpreted as 'perform b i n - s a c r i f i c e and y i - s a c r i f i c e to Shang J i a ' , then t h i s avoids the problem of the s a c r i f i c e to Shang J i a taking place on the following day, which was not a j i a ^ day, as we can posit that i t was to take place on the day of the divina t i o n , which was a jia-day. However, this s t i l l does not explain 64 why the all-important name of Shang J i a , i f he was indeed the recipient of these s a c r i f i c e s , occurs i n only one i n s c r i p t i o n i n the entire set. Set Four "Bingchen-day cracking, Que testing: God w i l l perhaps end t h i s c i t y . " 2. M * * A « S = "Testing: God w i l l not end t h i s c i t y . " 3. M # fc. y A M £ = "Testing: God w i l l perhaps end t h i s c i t y . " 4. H f1 * A as g = "Testing: God w i l l not end t h i s c i t y . " "Next gengshen-day, t i e up (a dog?) to Huang's mate.""^ 6. N H # IB = i : & & , a ? ) . -"Testing: I f we dance, i t w i l l r a i n . " 3. N ?KyAts^ 6. N l ^ " § Reverse ft A 5 £ "Qiao contributed 150." ft A @ i Only the second and fourth plastrons i n this set remain, and the main subject of divination i s whether or not God w i l l put an end to 'this c i t y ' . Considering the magical nature of Shang divin a t i o n , with i t s complex symmetry, reversal of graphs, positive and negative oppositions etc., one might be forgiven for wondering i f the purpose of chengtao were also magical, i.e. to increase the l i k e l i h o o d of what they wanted to happen happening. Yet here we find that the record of tribute also appears to be duplicated. As this i s simply a straight-forward record, obviously there i s no question of trying to influence the future. In the f i r s t set I examined (Bingbian 12-21), a l l f i v e plastrons are present, and yet the tribute record You Fei contributed two; at X' occurs on only two of them (13.9 and 21.9, see p. 44 and p. 46). I t 1 66 therefore seems quite l i k e l y that, as two i s the quantity that You Fei contributed, Bingbian 13 and 21 are i n fact his s h e l l s . I t makes good sense that the record of tribute would be inscribed on the tribute i t s e l f . The other s h e l l s , without any tribute record, were probably from t u r t l e s raised by the Shang themselves. They cannot have r e l i e d e n t i r e l y on tribute for these shells which were so important to the functioning of their society. The record of tribute must have been inscribed at the time the contribution was made. That the record was inscribed on a l l the plastrons so contributed also explains why there are so many unrelated plastrons bearing the record 'lit 'Qiao contributed 52 250' — there must have been 250 shells bearing this i n s c r i p t i o n . The contribution of t u r t l e s h e l l s was c l e a r l y an act of great merit, rather l i k e accumulating karma through good deeds, and thus i t was important that the contributed shells be marked with the contributor's name and the quantity of the tribute (to repeat the Buddhist analogy, l i k e the p i l l a r s i n the balustrades around Buddhist temples, recording the names of those who have donated to the building of the temple). The fact that a tribute record may be repeated i n a chengtao set i s thus pure coincidence, and has no bearing on the nature of chengtao. As for the alternation between 71.6 and 73.6 I have already discussed t h i s on page 61. Set Five 76.1. • T it 'Dingwei-day cracking, Zheng testing: Cha Dinghua w i l l receive assistance. it 67 "Dingwei-day cracking, Zheng testing: Cha Dinghua w i l l not perhaps receive assistance. 1 1 •• 54 Testing: The Fang w i l l perhaps beat our envoys." 4. H t f f f = "Testing: The Fang w i l l not beat our envoys." I A £ * ^  "Testing: Our envoys w i l l perhaps beat the Fang." highly auspicious 6. F * « l * t = k *.ft £ \ "Our envoys w i l l not perhaps beat the Fang." .7. M M t! & = 4; ees i -fc E). •=-"Testing: Xuan w i l l not have disaster." 8. & W ^ & =• fin * TI LB . -"Xuan w i l l perhaps have disaster." ,. JL $ 5 XI ^ i it 4i 3b | (ft.) i >ft . "The Many Yin who went west, w i l l bring to the king captives." 55 68 76.10. — 11. — 78.!. [ T * . y.ti] (I ) # = 3. H # ^ -1U ft = "Testing: Cha Dinghua w i l l not have disaster." "Perhaps he w i l l have disaster." 7. M ^ £ t s 8. H f # * « *i (.a) = "Testing: Our envoys w i l l not perhaps have attack." 10. M f I f * 5 5 7 ^ "Testing: Our envoys w i l l have attack." "The Many Yin who went west, perhaps w i l l bring captives." 69 78.12. [ «7 | X ] "The Many Yin who went west, w i l l not perhaps bring captives." ia. # H y ft ffl * "Order the y i n - o f f i c e r s to do big hunting." H . $ H ty ft ffl * "Should not order the y i n - o f f i c e r s to do big hunting." Reverse 79 77.i. 4 © a &>f *E i (SI) . "The king read the cracks and said: It w i l l be a wu-day that we beat them." "The king read the cracks and said: Auspicious! I t w i l l be perhaps that they do not attack Yan. He should perhaps intimidate them." ... A £ ktht I B s : ! < E ? 4 0 - i . * & "The king read the cracks and said: I t w i l l be that they harm Yan. He should march. " He did not march." 70 79.2. ... h 0 Flo "... brought." Here we have the second and t h i r d plastrons i n a set. I have assumed so far that the members of a set were a l l copied from an o r i g i n a l , and that the actual divination was a l l performed at the same time (except where different dates appear on the pastron) by the same person. However, according to the two remaining plastrons i n this set, 76.1/2 was divined by Zheng , while the duplicate pair of inscriptions 78.1/2 was i n 62 63 divined by Que FI5L (the preface to 78.1 i s missing , but we may assume, as Zhang Bingquan does, that the diviner was the same as for 78.2, as there 64 do not seem to be any examples of diviners swapping over i n mid-duizhen) Both divinations are dated dingwei, so they were at least divined on the same day. For the diviner to change l i k e t h i s , suggests that the actual divination must have been performed f i v e times over, although i t i s d i f f i c u l t to say what the action of zhen Jj| actually consisted of. Obviously the bu r* ~ cracking had to be done to each s h e l l separately, and i t seems that the same thing went for the zhen. The alternation of divination between Que and Zheng i s seen quite frequently on other plastrons, but not usually within a duizhen. There are many other discrepancies between these two plastrons, which make them far from perfect copies of each other. For example, the i n s c r i p -tions 78.13/14 do not appear on 76, but t h i s i s probably due to the fact that the lower portion of 76 i s missing, and t h i s i s exactly where they should have occurred. They may w e l l have been there on the complete plastron. Another oddity i s that 76.10/11 carry a crack number, but no i n s c r i p t i o n . Their position corresponds to 78.3/4, so we may assume that the i r content was the same. As for 78.12, which Zhang f i l l s i n himself on 71 65 the basis of the duizhen p r i n c i p l e , t h i s may also have occurred on the missing portion of 76. The prognostications and v e r i f i c a t i o n s on the reverse are also quite d i f f e r e n t . 77.2 and 79.1 both concern Yan (perhaps the name of an envoy), but are worded d i f f e r e n t l y . 77.2 i s the prognostication for Zheng's divi n a t i o n , and 79.1 i s the prognostication for Que's. This provides further proof that these plastrons were not divined simultaneously. I f my interpretation i s correct, then the two prognostications appear to be somewhat contradictory, for 77.2 says "Auspicious'.", while 79.1 says " I t w i l l be that they harm Yan." However, the r e a l contrast, as Professor Takashima has pointed out to me, i s between the two different solutions that are proposed for Yan's problem. The prognostication i n 77.2 offers the p o s s i b i l i t y that "Yan should perhaps intimidate [the Fang]", while 79.1 says that "Yan should march". The qji %: of 11.2 shows that "intimidation" was the less favoured of the two strategies, and that "marching" was preferable i n view of the fact that, although there was to be no attack from the Fang, there was s t i l l the l i k e l i h o o d of hai «9 (= o ) 'harm' b e f a l l i n g Yan and his envoys. However, i n spite of t h i s , Yan did not march, as the record informs us. Set Six "Jimao-day cracking, Que testing: I f we dig a [deer?] p i t , we w i l l catch." 72 2. 5 4.HtfiM # V i-II Jimao-day cracking, Que testing: W i l l not perhaps catch. II (Yibian 2235) 80.1 2. M 3f W $ ^ X =* a 4M H f t t V .^ Apart from these two i n s c r i p t i o n s , the rest of these plastrons i s quite empty. Only the f i r s t and f i f t h plastrons i n t h i s set have been found. On many plastrons, the same divination i s made several times over, and yet i n t h i s case i t was f e l t necessary to use f i v e different s h e l l s . Clearly there must be some rationale behind t h i s . There i s good evidence that the Shang sought through divination to influence the future, so the phenomenon of p l a s t r a l quintuplication might be regarded as an attempt to influence the future fi v e times as much. I t i s not uncommon i n various types of divination to keep on divining u n t i l one gets the answer one wants. However, the fact that always the same number of she l l s was used (as far as we can gather), suggests that this practice had become r i t -ualised. One would assume that this r i t e would be reserved for topics that the Shang f e l t to be p a r t i c u l a r l y important. The catching of large game was obviously high on t h e i r l i s t of p r i o r i t i e s . 73 Set Seven "Dinghai-day cracking, Que tes t i n g : Next gengyin-day, offer to Da Geng." "Testing: Next xinmao-day, offer to Zu Xin." 3. 6 6R \* M ob - i ± I s % ^3 « * #1 11 & 6° - 1i it sflf ft ^ . « j .f. -"Bingshen-day cracking, Que tes t i n g : Coming yisi - d a y , you-s a c r i f i c e to Xia Y i . The king read the cracks and said: You-sacrifice. There i s a b a l e f u l influence. Perhaps there w i l l be thunder. On yisi-day we you-sacrificed. At dawn i t rained. When we began the decapitation s a c r i f i c e , i t f u l l y rained. When we finished the decapitation s a c r i f i c e , i t continued to ra i n . We tuo- and l i u ^ -68 s a c r i f i c e d . There was birdsong. " 4. n H V M * - t t v ? * + -"Bingwu-day cracking, Zheng testing: Coming jiayin-day, you-s a c r i f i c e to Da J i a . " 74 207.5. ^ ^ E l " "Offer to Shang J i a . " 209.!. ft t ^ * [*] = 2. 0 ? ftipl [ f *a = 3.69 n ^ W H * J - / 4 ^> 8 J y a 4. [ f t ] * ffi [ = 1 5. ~ "Bingwu-day cracking, Que testing: The king heard v o i c e s 7 0 . I t means disaster." ft 41-, *s i • i & l 4 t t . " "Bingwu-day cracking, Que testing: Three Qiang tribesmen to the Many Ancestral Mothers." Reverse 208.1. 2 £ ffl - t H H 'I* Jf*. "Jlchou-day: Offer to Shang J i a one human captive and s p l i t open ten small penned sheep." 75 208.2 On the ninth day, j i a y i n , we did not you-sacrifice. I t rained. On yisi-day i n the evening there was thunder i n the west. •t 210. i f € >£ v\ f t & On yisi-day i n the evening there was thunder i n the west. ti From the crack notations these two plastrons appear to be the f i r s t and second i n a set. However, the ins c r i p t i o n s 209.6/7 do not occur on the f i r s t plastron, only on the second, and yet i t s cracks are numbered 'one'. Usually i n a set, a l l the numbers on a p a r t i c u l a r s h e l l w i l l be the same, so i t i s d i f f i c u l t to account for t h i s exception. This phenomenon of mixed numbers also occurs on some of the chengtao shells of which only one member has been found.^ Another discrepancy i s the date i n 208.1, jichou. I have interpreted i t as the date on which the i n s c r i p t i o n was made, as a s a c r i f i c e to Shang J i a would of course have to take place on a jia-day. The corresponding i n s c r i p t i o n on the front of the plastron i s 207.5, which i s about an offering to Shang J i a , but i s undated. The date may be supplied from 207.4, which i s about offering to Da J i a on the day j i a y i n . The common subject matter of these inscriptions i s which j i a ancestor to offer to on the day j i a y i n . The f i r s t half of i n s c r i p t i o n 208.2 i s a v e r i f i c a t i o n recording what actually took place on the day j i a y i n , which i t refers to as the 'ninth day'. The Shang counted thei r days i n c l u s i v e l y (as can be seen from other examples of cross-referencing between dates). This makes the day j i a y i n nine days forward from bingwu, which proves that 208.2 i s 76 the v e r i f i c a t i o n for 207.4, which i s i n fact i n exactly the same position on the other side of the plastron. I t seems to be the general rule that divinations and v e r i f i c a t i o n s should correspond to each other on either side of the plastron i n th i s way. However, the back of the plastron i s not exclusively reserved for prognostications and v e r i f i c a t i o n s , as divinations are also sometimes found on i t . The second half of 208.2 i s not continuous with the f i r s t h a l f , and i s i n a much larger 'display' type of calligraphy, so i t seems that Zhang Bingquan i s mistaken i n combining them. I would s p l i t them up, as i t i s also obvious that the topic of thunder i n the west on yisi-day i s the v e r i f i c a t i o n for 207.3. I t i s inscribed i n the same large, bold calligraphy i n the same position on the other side of the plastron. It i s quite clear from t h i s set that the purpose of the you-sacrifice was to seek r a i n , of which thunder i s a good omen. However, the you-ing to Xia Y i on yisi-day and the you-ing to Da J i a on jiayin-day are two quite separate ceremonies. Their juxtaposition on the same plastron must be due to t h e i r sharing the same topic — performing the you-sacrifice to seek r a i n . As I have already mentioned, the bingshen-day divinations (207.3 and 209.3) are what Keightley would c a l l 'display i n s c r i p t i o n s ' . As they are already given a prognostication and v e r i f i c a t i o n on the front of the plastron, the rear inscriptions 208.2 (second half) and 210 form a sort of postscript. They both record that "On y i s i day i n the evening there was thunder i n the west." For ease of reference, I s h a l l now give a table showing how the dates relate to each other: 77 Date of Divination T & dinghai 24th ^ jichou 26th P\) ^ bingshen 33rd bingwu 43rd Date Predicted for gerigyin 27th and "=p~ i$ xinmao 28th T 5*. j i a y m 51st 6J y i s i 42nd T 3 R j i a y i n 51st The time span covered by these inscriptions i s thus 27 days (or 28 days counting i n c l u s i v e l y ) from dinghai 24th to j i a y i n 51st. Set Eight .i. (%)t ^ n M [-]-* "Guiwei-day cracking, Que testing: J i w i l l bring Qiang (tribesmen)." "Testing: J i w i l l not perhaps bring Qiang." 3. [ I: ^ & £ o ] -73 "Testing: Ho w i l l bring Qiang." A. />, y if f -* £ & j i . -"Testing: Ho w i l l not perhaps bring Qiang." .i. UN */( M <i ? « 2. N afe <ky <» 1= 3. H ^ ^ t = 4. [ (M5! ft ji ] = 572.1. 2. H q{* * w f f = 574.1. [ ^ h , t f t £ : & S - £ ] 2. (M afc) A (w 3. e m' 376. [ J l : f [*] f fU] 577. [11^ T R T I ] Reverse 569.1. A ^ V5* W [ft.] "The king read the cracks and said: Ho w i l l perhaps bring." 2. [ i . © 0 • ^  & ] "The king read the cracks and said: Ho w i l l perhaps bring." t *" • "Hua brought (so many)." 79 573.1. 571.1. 2. 2\ 575 There are fragments from f i v e different s h e l l s here, but the l a s t two are so fragmentary that i t i s impossible to say which i s four and which i s f i v e . The fragment 577 could go with 574 or 576. That i t comes from a positive i n s c r i p t i o n can be deduced from the orientation of the graph ^ . It faces the same way as i n 570.3 and 572.3, which are positive i n s c r i p t i o n s , and the opposite way to i n 568.4, which i s a negative i n s c r i p t i o n . The duplications are quite f a i t h f u l copies, even preserving the mirror-like switching of graph orientation between the l e f t and right sides of the plastron. J i W. , Ho i^I , d i & , and Qiang >^ are a l l reversed i n t h i s way. One curious feature on the back i s that the prognostication (see 571.1/2 and 573.1/2) i s repeated on the same side and with exactly the same wording. Their positions correspond respectively to 570.1/3 and 572.1/3 on the front, from which one can deduce that the f i r s t refers to the p o s s i b i l i t y of J i bringing Qiang tribesmen, while the second refers to the p o s s i b i l i t y of Ho doing the same. The subject did not have to be specified, as i t was clear from the p l a s t r a l position what these prognosti-cations referred to. This careful arrangment shows that, although writing on bones may seem rather p r i m i t i v e , the way the Shang used them was i n fact quite sophisticated, and they f u l l y merit being called documents. 80 Set Nine £ | ' i lit "Xinyou-day cracking, Zheng testing: The king should follow Wang Cheng to attack the Xia Wei." "Xinyou-day cracking, Zheng testing: I t should not be Wang Cheng that the king follows." i = i u ^ & * f c - f "Testing: The king should follow Wang Cheng to attack the Xia Wei." 2. D H [ * ] ( * ) [ i l ] i "Testing: The king should not follow Wang Cheng." 3. E 4 * $ tt-" I t should be Wang Cheng that the king follows." X % ii % k H " I t should not be Wang Cheng that the king follows." 5.G « $ ft ~ " I t should be Cheng that he follows." 81 6.H M £ ff ~ " I t should not be Cheng that he follows." 7 . 1 H * * tt I f - = * J i £ U 1 • M . At & %. - - t * "Testing: It should be Zhi J i a that the king follows to attack the Bafang." 8.j M £ fc ft !* ]S ft -A •  JL ^ ^  *jt f- jLJL . -"Testing: It should not be Zhi J i a that the king follows." "It should be Zhi J i a that the king follows." IO.L vm * r u | ] n - s* ^? <% hjL f- J U L . - ^ t " I t should not be Zhi J i a that he follows." " I t should be Zhi J i a that the king follows to attack." "The king should not follow Zhi J i a to attack." o - = * (highly auspicious) 82 i3.P 4 * A «f -14.Q "I t should be Zhi J i a that the king follows." "He should not follow J i a . " 15. R H ^ ^ ^ v 1^ H ~ •I: £ 4 T£ It • "~ "Testing: I t should be Zhi J i a that the king follows." 16.S 4 * ft>T» ~ 3- ><R%\ IL.~ " I t should not be J i a that the king follows." 17. T A * A «f \ \ -" I t should be Zhi J i a that the king follows." 18. U Jfc h i f 3- ^ y i i % Ik o -"It should not be J i a that the king follows." "Testing: It should be the Y i D i n g 7 5 that the king marches against." 20.W H 4 \ \ 9" 4 •• i *5 4i | u. -"Testing: It should not be the Y i that the king marches against." 83 21. x n * * £ * 1-3 "Testing: It should be the Longfang that the king attacks." 22. Y A ft < X ft ~ " I t should not be the Longfang that the king attacks." 3797.A?6 M t $ 11 X B. M i h U f ^ 1 C . # gf & i ^ • * "From Xian report as far as Ding." "Should not from Xian report." E . A * A si x G. * ^ ffi ft s[ x "Report to Shang J i a together w i t h ^ Xian." H. * * * "Should not report." 84 L. M f % It Both of these plastrons are more or less complete, so we know that there are no inscriptions missing. I t i s curious then that the f i f t h plastron i n t h i s tao contains only twelve i n s c r i p t i o n s , compared to the twenty-two inscriptions of the f i r s t plastron. I t does not omit any of the topics, i t i s simply that i t devotes only one duizhen to each topic. Thus the four duizhen 1266.A-H, about whether or not the king should follow Wang Cheng to attack the Xia Wei, correspond to the single duizhen 3797.A/B, while the s i x duizhen 24.7-18, which um and ah over whether the king should follow Zhi J i a to attack the Bafang instead, correspond to the single duizhen 3797.E/F. It seems from t h i s that the subject matter was more important than exact duplication, although the tao I have examined so far have been quite f a i t h f u l copies. Far from omitting topics, the f i f t h s h e l l i n fact adds a new topic that does not appear on the f i r s t s h e l l , to wit: reporting 78 to the ancestors Xian and Shang J i a (3797.C/D and G/H). The subject of the report i s not expressed, so i t may have been a standard r i t u a l . The gao inscriptions at S.120.2-124.1 show that many different subjects were announced to many different ancestors, but the subject i s not always stated. In his annotations to these plastrons, Zhang Bingquan notes that the f i r s t plastron contains many unnumbered cracks, and also two cracks which are numbered but have no i n s c r i p t i o n s to go with them. He suggests that the extra topic recorded on the f i f t h plastron may have been divined on the f i r s t plastron but simply not recorded, perhaps to save time. However, the other tao i n Bingbian are remarkable for the painstaking duplication of p r a c t i c a l l y 85 everything, even repeating dates. Nevertheless, there does seem a definite tendency for successive shells i n a set to abbreviate the text of the f i r s t . One also notices a certain 'sloppiness' creeping i n , with graphs being l e f t incomplete. Some examples from the sets I have examined are: 16.4 ^ for ( Ik for ( U 18.7 ill for ft < ii 18.9 20.2 f for for ( 4 ( 37.1 ( for $ ( 73.6 i for ( $k 570.1 lf\ for •km ( This suggests that they were not inscribed at the time of divination, but lat e r copied, perhaps i n a rather hasty fashion, from a master copy. According to the Zhouli, the inscriptions were made on a piece of s i l k , and then examined at the end of the year to see i f they came true or not.^ The Shang may also have had a prepared l i s t of divinations which they wished to put to the t u r t l e , and which were not actually inscribed on the tu r t l e t i l l after the divination ceremony. This would help to explain the discrepancies that creep into the tao. 86 CONCLUSION Zhang Bingquan regards chengtao j iagu as a subcategory of chengtao buci 'divinations which form sets (on the same plastron)'. He defines chengtao buci thus: A & h & & # ¥ •» x & m & °\ & *i 4-* I t « ± ft £ pJJ Y&tS.kto&.Vl."' "Chengtao buci refers to groups of sentences on a plastron or bone which can be linked together into a set. Or to put i t another way, chengtao buci are formed from those groups of positive and negative divinatory sentences which were divined on the same day, share the same topic, are carved i n succession by the side of a certain number of cracks, have a similar meaning, and whose crack numbers follow on from each other." (Author's translation) Such groups are usually rather obvious, as t h e i r wording tends to repeat each other to a large extent. This phenomenon i s very common i n OBI, but the number of times that the same subject i s divined seems to be quite i r r e g u l a r . Even the number of times that the members of a duizhen are 81 divined i s often not equal. The number of cracks often appears to be determined by the size of the s h e l l . The regularity of the chengtao jiagu i s quite s t r i k i n g i n contrast to t h i s . The f i v e shells are c l e a r l y 82 carefully selected, as they are generally a l l of similar s i z e , and the 83 same sentences usually occur on a l l f i v e s h e l l s , thus each i s divined exactly f i v e times. 87 Keightley has observed that "Generally speaking, the Shang diviners preferred making cracks i n multiples of f i v e , but i n Period I there appears 84 to have been no standard number of cracks per set." In Period I, crack numbers could be anything up to ten. In successive periods, they never 85 exceed f i v e . It i s interesting that the greatest i r r e g u l a r i t y i n crack numbering should occur i n Period I, as i t i s precisely from t h i s period that a l l the tao i n Bingbian come, as can be seen from thei r diviners' *n JL ^ rih names: Que , Zheng T , Bin / J and Nei • J . These a l l belong to the Wu Ding period. There are also some examples from Period I of a sh e l l devoted to a single topic, with fi v e cracks for the positive member and f i v e cracks for the negative member of the duizhen (e.g. Bingbian 5, 7 and 8). It seems then that chengtao j iagu i s simply the d i s t r i b u t i o n over f i v e shells of a series of divinations, each of which might just as easi l y have had i t s own s h e l l devoted to i t , with a l l f i v e of i t s cracks on the same s h e l l . According to Zhang Bingquan, there i s r e a l l y no difference between these two formats: A *k «fc * v i% ttti f *° U i i [si - ^ Rl f "The nature of these sets of divinations (spread over f i v e shells) shows no s t r i k i n g differences from those which are a l l carved on the same s h e l l . " (Author's translation) The only difference i s that, when a divination i s repeated on the same s h e l l , the ins c r i p t i o n s for successive divinations may be severely abbre-viated, whereas when the divination i s repeated on f i v e different s h e l l s , t h i s abbreviation was not possible. The ostensible reason for such repetition was probably that the w i l l of the ancestors was not eas i l y discerned. The re p e t i t i o n would also provide enough ambiguous responses 88 for the king to interpet them as he desired. Why the Shang should h i t on the number f i v e i n p a r t i c u l a r probably has no mystical significance — they simply f e l t i t to be a natural unit. However, the fact that the same group of topics may be divined together f i v e times suggests that there i s some connection between them, a connection which i s not readily apparent from the wording of the inscriptions themselves. In the t h i r d set I examined, there are two days of divination. The order of inscriptions and crack numbering i s quite f a i t h f u l l y copied for both days, so the set 87 must have been stored intact i n between those two days. This suggests even more strongly that the topics of these two days are intimately connected. The use of plastron sets i s only one aspect of the extensiye formal-i s a t i o n that the Shang brought to divination. The meticulous re p e t i t i o n and recording of dates, diviners, charges, prognostications and v e r i f i -cations, apparently shows an intensely empirical attitude towards divination. The constant proffering of two possible outcomes, as exemplified by the duizhen, appears to show a genuine interest i n knowing what was going to happen and what should be done. However, the fact that the interpretation 88 of the oracle lay e n t i r e l y in the hands of the king, and that t h i s interpretation was necessarily subjective, caused i t to degenerate into a mere tool of p o l i t i c a l power. The s c i e n t i f i c attitude towards divination 89 was l o s t . By the time of Period V, even the duizhen had almost disappeared , so that Period V chengtao buci become monotonous repetitions of what the days there w i l l be no disaster') i n s c r i p t i o n s that became so prevalent by Period V are not, s t r i c t l y speaking, divinations, but simple spells to 90 ward off e v i l . . The chengtao plastron sets represent an early attempt at the reduction of the divination process to a simple, unvarying r i t u a l . Shang desired to happen. The xun wang huo ('in the next ten 89 Unfortunately, the oracle bones from l a t e r periods are so fragmentary that i t i s impossible to know whether th i s practice continued after Period I. Appendix to Chapter Two There are also a number of plastrons i i i Bingbian whose crack numbering marks them as a member of a set, but the other plastrons i n these sets have not been found, so I have been unable to compare them. These plastrons are: Diviner Plastron No. Crack no. fl*- 22. 4 0 25. 2 (except sentences 5 and 6, which are unnumbered) ^ 47. 4 (sentence 15 was o r i g i n a l l y numbered '5', but i t was scraped off and corrected to '4') 75. 1 •dm 197. 2 (except for the 28th sentence, which has no graphs, but bears the crack number '4') 275. 1 (except sentences 9, 10 and 18, which have no crack numbers) i n -R^- 302. 3 (except the 5th sentence, which i s numbered '6'; Zhang says t h i s may be part of a tao, and the '6' could be a mis-carve) 307. 1 (except the f i r s t and second sentences, which are unnumbered, and the s i x t h , which carries the two numbers '1, 2') 317. 2 (except the f i f t h sentence, which carries the crack notation '1 highly auspicious', and the s i x t h , which i s numbered '1') 90 Diviner Plastron No. Crack no. 344. 1 *7 358. 1 (there are only two inscriptions on t h i s s h e l l , so i t i s hard to judge i f i t i s r e a l l y part of a tao) 370. 1st and 2nd sentences: 3 3rd and 4th sentences: 4 (Zhang considers t h i s must be part of a set, as the numbers leading up to '3' and '4' do not appear; there are also cases on non-tao shell s where the crack numbering does not start at '1') 469. 3 (Zhang says this may be part of a tao) 475. 1 477. 1 479. 1 •tit 529. 1 (some cracks unnumbered) 531. 1 (some cracks unnumbered) 0 0 0 • f -•tit 1^3 91 CHAPTER THREE  TONGBAN - TOTAL CONTEXT INTRODUCTION In the previous two chapters I have been looking at ind i v i d u a l i n s c r i p t i o n s . Now I would l i k e to go on to examine the plastron as a whole. This i s what I mean by tongban buci : inscriptions which appear on the same plastron. This i s the term used by Chinese and Japanese scholars. Considering how limited the context i s in OBI, which makes i t very d i f f i c u l t to be sure that one has interpreted a sentence correctly, i t would be very useful i f one could expand the context of single i n s c r i p t i o n s by r e l a t i n g them to other inscriptions on the same plastron. The members of a duizhen pair or of a group of chengtao buci are obviously connected, as thei r wording i s usually largely the same. However, as they merely repeat the same thing, they do not p a r t i c u l a r l y widen the context. Their main use 2 i s for f i l l i n g i n the odd e l l i p s i s . Outside of these two groupings, many of the inscriptions on a plastron appear to be quite unrelated. In t h i s chapter, I examine how far i t i s j u s t i f i e d to relate different i n s c r i p t i o n s , and what sort of c r i t e r i a one can appeal to i n order to substantiate such relationships. The c r i t e r i a I appeal to are as follows: 1. C y c l i c a l dating 2. Shared vocabulary 3. Grammatical parallelism There are perhaps other things that one could look at, such as diviners' 3 names (in r e l a t i o n to subject matter) and crack numbering, but these do not seem to be so valuable. 92 So f a r , the view "That different divination topics carved on the 4 same oracle bone are frequently related thematically" has merely been an assumption. This i s i n fact what Keightley c a l l s assumption number one i n his c r i t i c a l review of Akatsuka Kiyoshi's 1977 book on r e l i g i o n and culture ' 5 in ancient China . Akatsuka uses t h i s assumption for his reconstruction of Shang r i t e s : fa & o) %  lA i i , ¥ * 5C * i : m isZsUix o i <\f %k #1 o) ft i i , i t i t p j - B i i : M £ ft t o % H ft *e £ |JJ y\%, i i t "The method of reconstruction, apart from a small number of exceptions which are expressly stated i n the oracle bone texts, r e l i e s mainly on the relationships between inscriptions carved on the same plastron, and Ttheir] relationships with inscriptions on [other] plastrons which appear to be of a similar nature." (Author's translation) Keightley's main c r i t i c i s m of Akatsuka i s that "The only c r i t e r i o n offered i s that of p l a u s i b i l i t y . " ^ Keightley takes the role of the "devil's advocate", and suggests that, i n period one at l e a s t , "the diviners used oracle bones rather l i k e scratch-paper, taking whichever plastron or g scapula was at hand." Chow Kwok-ching bewails the lack of objective c r i t e r i a i n establishing tongban relationships, but does not allow t h i s to stand i n his way: "Undeniably, subjective interpretation i s sometimes the only means l e f t to us i n positing the contextual relationship between sentences. Nevertheless, i n view of the fact that there i s no other way, we must exploit t h i s 'larger context' as f u l l y as possible on the assumption that the sentences appearing on the same plastron are related in one way or another. Without t h i s assumption, a l o t of information, including that concerning the determination of the type of composite sentence, cannot be recovered. 93 However, just because we need th i s context, does not mean to say that i t i s j u s t i f i e d . Clearly, we must offer more than " p l a u s i b i l i t y " i f we are to make such connections. The exact relationship between different inscriptions w i l l always be a matter of conjecture, but I hope at least to establish a set of c r i t e r i a by which one may j u s t i f y the view that there i s often a connection before embellishing on that connection. According to Keightley, i t i s Period I inscriptions that show such a wild profusion of topics on the s h e l l or scapula, and the practice of devoting a bone to a single topic arose l a t e r E v e n so, there are Period I bones which are obviously devoted to a single topic (e.g. Bingbian 529, which i s concerned only with r a i n ) , which suggests that other Period I bones may have been regarded as having only one topic, though not necessarily a l l of them. It i s on Period I shel l s that I s h a l l concentrate to test my c r i t e r i a , as these offer the most problems. In discussing various plastrons as examples of how each c r i t e r i o n may be applied, there w i l l inevitably be some overlap, as a l l aspects have to be taken into account i n order to arrive at a h o l i s t i c understanding. After examining how each c r i t e r i o n may be applied, I s h a l l take a look at the whole problem of how many topics there,are on a plastron. 94 ;CYCLICAL DATING Ganzhi dat ing and cross-referencing of dates The Shang inscriptions are quite meticulous about dating. Usually, only c y c l i c a l dates are used, which shows that the r e a l i s a t i o n or otherwise of most divinations took place within s i x t y days of the i n i t i a l divination. However, there are some notable exceptions (e.g. Tieyun 5.3, which I how many days elapsed between the divination and the v e r i f i c a t i o n , as i t was beyond the cycle of 60, so a simple ganzhi i d e n t i f i c a t i o n would not have been s u f f i c i e n t . The annus regni i s also sometimes recorded, but much more rare l y , and only i n Period V 1 1. The commonest use of ganzhi dates i s i n the preface to a charge, which names the day on which the divination took place. The charges them-selves also often contain dates, saying that such and such an event w i l l happen 'so many days from today' or 'on such and such a ganzhi day'. Prognostications and v e r i f i c a t i o n s normally contain dates, as they had to be s p e c i f i c i n order to be of as much use as possible as oracles, enabling the Shang to plan for s p e c i f i c contingencies. The prognostication often The dating of predictions and v e r i f i c a t i o n s i s one of the c l e a r l y empirical aspects of Shang divination, as i t s purpose i s to check the accuracy of the predictions, and th i s i s also what converts these divinations into h i s t o r i c a l records. sometimes possible to discern a coherent context behind the various inscriptions on a given plastron, and the unfolding of a par t i c u l a r a f f a i r . examine on pp. 122). In such cases, i t was p a r t i c u l a r l y v i t a l to state refers to a day simply by i t s tiangan By a detailed examination of the interaction between dates, i t i s 95 I s h a l l start by examining the f i r s t plastron i n the Bingbian c o l l e c t i o n , which i s complete with a prognostication and v e r i f i c a t i o n . From time to time i t may be necessary to bring i n my other c r i t e r i a , but the main thrust of t h i s examination w i l l be on the dating. Bingbian 1 1. i rti (#) H A * (*) e f f ft "Renzi-day cracking, Zheng testing: From today f i v e days, we w i l l 12 beat the Zhou." 2 . H # X Q F f f I3\ "Testing: From [today] f i v e days, we w i l l not perhaps beat the Zhou." 3. # 5 M («#) N ji A i f O f 5 f * l -g «- J . r , # - 1 * % * 1 I* % j(. 4 O - f Htv^ f * + r 4 * l ^ * - 0 g- * . i - # . ¥ aff f * ) t A . - -"Guichou-day cracking, Zheng testing: From today u n t i l dingsi-day, we w i l l beat the Zhou. The king read the cracks and said: Oh dingsi-day we are not perhaps to beat [themj , on coming ji a z i - d a y we w i l l beat [them]. Eleven days l a t e r , on guihai-day, Che did not beat [them], but as that night cut into j iazi-day he did i n fact beat [them] ." 96 "Guichou-day cracking, Zheng testing: From today u n t i l dirigsi-day, we w i l l not perhaps beat the Zhou." "Gengshen-day cracking, the king testing: I w i l l attack the Bu." t h i r d month ft [+1(H £ H t $ rr ft - i "Gengshen-day cracking, the king testing: I. should not attack the Bu." ft ft PI ^  -"Gengshen-day cracking, the king testing: I w i l l attack the Bu." "Gengshen-day cracking, the king testing: I should not attack the Bu." [*] 4- ^  m H & £ •[-] i "Gengshen-day cracking, the king testing: Capture the Fou." "Gengshen-day cracking, the king testing: Qiao w i l l not perhaps capture the Fou." 97 11. % # W fft $ -%. ff> % "Qiao w i l l not perhaps capture the Fou." 12. ? -t M y- i J I - i "Xinyou-day cracking, Que: Tomorrow, renxu-day, the Bu w i l l a r r i v e . " . 3 . t \ H M H f if 1 £ - = i "Guihai-day cracking, Que testing: Our envoys w i l l beat the Fou." "Guihai-day cracking, Que testing: Our envoys are not perhaps to beat the Fou." 15. 16. « • £ h tv b-$.-L 3. "Guihai-day cracking, Que testing: The day after tomorrow, yichou-day, the Duo Chen w i l l beat the Fou." "The day after tomorrow, yichou-day, the Duo Chen w i l l not perhaps beat the Fou." 98 t. JL r. *!. 4::^ ftMU.-^^ "Yichou-day cracking, Que testing: Z i Shang w i l l not perhaps capture the Xian." "Bingyin-day cracking, Zheng: summon Long, Lao and Hou Zhuan to plague the Bu." I,. M * ia 4* ± if - = i * ft * * * - - t * "Testing: Dagong w i l l not perhaps carry out (successfully)" 1' 5 the king's a f f a i r s . " 20. - = =• 21. [- •=•] = ^ ^ Reverse (Bingbian 2) 1. I ^ I S H P ^ "Xinyou-day cracking, Que testing: We w i l l not have n e c e s s i t y . ^ " 2. 7 f Uft N . . . . M - - b # © r, ft i = * "Xinyou-day cracking, Que testing: ...not... disaster." "Que." 99 The divinations on th i s plastron are a l l quite close to each other i n time, taking place over a period of f i f t e e n days i n c l u s i v e l y . Divination was conducted on seven of those days: Divination Prediction Iriscr. no. 1. Renzi (49th) for (5 days hence=) bingchen (53rd) 1,2 2. Guichou (50th) for dingsi (54th) and j i a z i (1st) 3,4 3. Gengshen (57th) 5-11, 19? 4. Xinyou (58th) for renxu (59th) 12 5. Guihai (60th) for yichou (2nd) 13-16 6. Yichou (2nd) 17 7. Bingyin (3rd) 18 On four of these days, the divination refers to a future date when the proposed event should or should not happen. Only one of these days appears again on the s h e l l , to wit yichou (1.17), which i s referred to on the guihai-day (1.15/16). This means that the s h e l l was d e f i n i t e l y taken out again on yichou-day, but unfortunately the content of the yichou-day i n s c r i p t i o n 18 seems to have no bearing on what was predicted for that day . The renzi and xinyou divinations refer to '5 days from now' ( i . e . bingchen) and renxu ( i . e . the next day) respectively, but these dates do not crop up again. The only 'successful' divination on th i s s h e l l i s the guichou day divination, which divines whether the Shang w i l l beat the Zhou at any time between that day and dingsi-day. The king reads the cracks and predicts that they w i l l not beat the Zhou on dingsi-day, but on the coming j i a z i - d a y . A jia z i - d a y was probably considered to be p a r t i c u l a r l y auspicious, so the king may have f e l t that by predicting the great victory for a j i a z i - d a y his prediction was more l i k e l y to come true. Among a l l the many divinations 100 on t h i s plastron, as to whether Qiao would capture the Fou, whether the Bu would come, whether the Shang envoys or the Duo Chen would beat the Fou, or whether Z i Shang would capture the Xian, t h i s i s the only one to carry a prediction. And lo and behold, i t came true. Eleven days after guichou-day, as the end of guihai-day cut into the beginning of j iazi-day, the Shang forces did indeed beat the Zhou. There are two other features that make this p a r t i c u l a r divination stand out. F i r s t l y , the charge was made before the outcome of the f i r s t divination (the renzi-day divination) had a chance to be realised. The renzi-day i n s c r i p t i o n divined for f i v e days thence, and 1.3/4 was divined the very next day. It concerns the same topic (beating the Zhou), but makes a different prediction. Secondly, i t i s inscribed i n the most enormous characters which take up about one t h i r d of the s h e l l , and which were also f i l l e d i n with a red pigment (the smaller graphs of the other 19 inscriptions are f i l l e d i n with brown) . Although t h i s divination was made on the 50th day, i t c l e a r l y displaces the gengshen-(57th) day i n s c r i p -tions, whose l e f t and right duizhen do not mirror each other (see Fig. 2). This means that, although the cracks must have been made on the day of divination, the i n s c r i p t i o n s were probably a l l put on together at a much 20 l a t e r date , probably after the date of the l a s t divination on the s h e l l (in t h is case, bingyin). It i s clear then that t h i s plastron represents more than an ingenuous r enquiry about the future, otherwise there are many questions that cannot be answered: Why i s i t that there i s only one prediction? Why i s i t that i t also happened to come true? Why i s i t that the whole i n s c r i p t i o n , including the charge, i s inscribed i n the same outsize, incarnadine characters? I suggest that the king made predictions for a l l the divinations on t h i s s h e l l (otherwise there would have been no point in consulting the oracle), 102 but the inscriptions were not made u n t i l the la s t day predicted for had passed, and then whichever predictions came true were selected for 21 insc r i b i n g . They were inscribed i n a dramatic fashion i n order to underline the fact that the oracle r e a l l y worked, thus maintaining i t s function among the ru l i n g echelons as an instrument of guidance and cohesion. The appeal to a higher authority, i n the guise of the oracle, was perhaps a method of uniting various powerful factions into a single government. The 22 power of Fu Hao, for example, must have been quite considerable , and the various warriors that the king proposes to follow into battle were also probably largely autonomous. The oracle may have helped to bind these various powerful personages together. What the dates on th i s plastron t e l l us primarily then, i s that the inscriptions cannot possibly have been made at the time of divina t i o n , or even shortly afterwards, but had to wait u n t i l a l l the divinations intended for that s h e l l had had an opportunity to be realised. Only two of the divinations on this s h e l l are dated after j i a z i , to wit 1.17 yichou and 1.18 bingyin, but these were probably also inscribed at the same time as the rest of the in s c r i p t i o n s . As I have already mentioned, i n connection with chengtao j i a g u , the divination charges must have been kept as a 23 separate record before being inscribed onto the bone . That the present set of i n s c r i p t i o n s , despite being divined on several different days, were a l l divined on the same s h e l l , and the propositions f i l e d together u n t i l v e r i f i c a t i o n occurred, and then inscribed together, suggests that there i s an intimate connection between them. The inscriptions are obviously a l l (vanquish)', fa 'attack' , huo 'capture' (also a hunting term), m i l i t a r y , as one can see from 'beat and the expression 'to be i n charge of the king's a f f a i r s 25 In addition, the objects of these verbs are a l l various 103 fangguo or farigguo personalities, such as Zhou t=) , Fou and Xian 7C. . Duo Chen 9 cX~ and Shi are also m i l i t a r y units of the Shang. The scenario may perhaps be summed up as follows: The Shang are engaged i n protracted warfare against the Zhou. The divination sequence begins on the 49th day of the cycle, when they divine i f they w i l l beat the Zhou on the 53rd. Not waiting for the result of this divination, they again divine on the 50th, asking i f they w i l l beat the 27 Zhou on the 54th. The king predicts that they are not destined to beat the Zhou u n t i l the 1st day of the next cycle. On the 57th day, which may be dated from i n s c r i p t i o n 1.5 as being i n the t h i r d month, the king divines whether he should go and attack the Bu. This proposition may have been prompted by the fact that they knew they could not beat the Zhou u n t i l the 1st, and so the king f e l t free to engage himself i n some other a c t i v i t y . It may also be on this day that i t i s divined whether should take charge of the kings a f f a i r s , but the relevant i n s c r i p t i o n i s undated. I tentatively assign i t to t h i s date on the basis of i t s proximity to the 57th day i n s c r i p t i o n s . This i n s c r i p t i o n (1.19) i s phrased negatively, and occurs on the l e f t side of the plastron, but does not have a positive duizhen on the right side, which may be due to the fact that the right side i s occupied at t h i s place by the display i n s c r i p t i o n 1.3. I f i t i s indeed to be thus dated, then i t suggests that the king was divining whether he should attack the Bu i n person, or whether he should entrust someone else with t h i s task. There are other plastrons bearing i n s c r i p t i o n s which ask whether the king should do something 28 himself or whether he should c a l l on somebody else to do i t . On the 58th i t i s divined whether the Bu w i l l arrive on the following day, the 59th, so i t seems that the king did not go and attack the Bu after a l l . On the 60th i t i s divined whether 'our Shi' or the Duo Chen w i l l 104 beat the Fou. Also on this day, Che, a warrior a l l i e d to the Shang, attempts to beat the Zhou, but his attempt i s not successful., Then as the night of the 60th dawns into the 1st day of the next cycle, just as the king predicted, the Zhou are f i n a l l y beaten. The king's a b i l i t y to interpret the oracle i s dramatically confirmed. The victory over the Zhou was of course not simply a true prediction, but also a major event. On the 2nd i t i s divined whether Z i Shang (perhaps the leader of the Shi or the Duo Chen?) w i l l capture Xian (perhaps the leader of the Fou?). Here we have another example of a negatively phrased divination on the l e f t with no corresponding positive duizhen on the rig h t . This again i s probably due to the space taken up by the display i n s c r i p t i o n . We are not to l d of the upshot of t h i s a f f a i r . As for the Bu, presumably they did not arrive after a l l , as the latest i n s c r i p t i o n , divined on the 3rd, inquires i f certain warriors (Long, Lao, and Houzhuan) should be called on to go and plague them (I understand ^ and as variants of the same graph). One can see from this that the Shang and their a l l i e s were engaged i n fighting both the Zhou and the Fou at the same time, and were also consider-ing attacking the Bu. The outcome of the wars against the Fou and the Bu are not recorded here, but the Zhou were certainly dealt a resounding defeat. One can also see how the king both directs various troops and a l l i e s against different enemies, and also seeks guidance from the oracle as to what he himself should do. By paying careful attention to the dates i n the i n s c r i p t i o n s , we are able to reconstruct something of what was going on i n the Shang world at that time. The establishment of such a l l - p l a s t r o n contexts helps to corroborate the interpretation of indiv i d u a l i n s c r i p t i o n s . For example, i n the present instance, the fact that inscriptions 1.5-8 mention attacking the Bu, helps 105 to prevent us from misinterpreting the b_u i n 1.12 as the negative p a r t i c l e , i . e . as "someone (unstated) w i l l not ar r i v e " , when i n fact i t refers to the Bu t r i b e . The s h e l l Bingbian 1 which I have just examined happens to proyide a very good example of a display i n s c r i p t i o n displacing a non-display i n s c r i p t i o n . But are there any other examples which would help to support my thesis that the Shang waited u n t i l a l l the a f f a i r s divined on a par t i c u l a r plastron came to a conclusion, and then and only then inscribed them? Display in s c r i p t i o n s are hard to come by, and the fragmentary nature of the shells often makes i t d i f f i c u l t to ascertain whether or not there was such displacement. Before one can be certain, one needs to find a r e l a t i v e l y complete, f a i r l y crowded plastron (as i n Bingbian 1) where the necessity for displacement might ar i s e . Nevertheless, there are one or two other such examples i n the Bingbian c o l l e c t i o n , which I introduce here i n order to support my thesis further. Apart from displacement, I also appeal 29 to the complete omission of duizhen counterparts . This sort of evidence i s more nebulous of course, as I have to assume that there was an a n t i -t h e t i c a l l y phrased counterpart, and i t i s by no means the case that every divination occurs i n such pairs. However, where the rest of the s h e l l contains largely a n t i t h e t i c a l pairs, there i s a good case for assuming that a l l the divinations on that s h e l l were made i n pairs. It should of course be remembered that duizhen pairs are not necessarily a n t i t h e t i c a l i n their relationship to each other, as I mentioned at the end of chapter one. I s h a l l now examine Bingbian 197 and 243 as examples of displacement and duizhen omission respectively. 106 3 { W S ^116, ft U^f ^ ft U2» ft 108 Bingbian 197 n H & f h = 30 "Testing: We w i l l use (in s a c r i f i c e ) the Jun captives." • * -US &4 ft | I ft -"Dingwei-day cracking, Que testing: You-sacrifice and (make ascent=) present human victims (to the number of) ten, (and) ten penned sheep = 6 £ - s ^ • f S m (ix = — ^ ^  - a z, i * §)''/ i i . i fl . -"Yimao-day cracking, Que testing: Coming yihai-day, you-sacrifice (to) Xia Y i f i f t e e n human victims, (and) s p l i t open ten penned sheep Twenty-one days l a t e r , on yihai-day, we did not you-sacrifice; i t rained. F i f t h month." "I t should not s p e c i f i c a l l y be on yihai-day that we you-sacrifice (to) Xia Y i f i f t e e n human victims, (and) s p l i t open ten penned sheep (and) four " "Coming j iashen-day, offer to Da J i a . " 7. 10. 109 a y b± \ £ • = m T i§ 4§ -t i t T . -"Next dirigyou-day, offer to Zu Ding." f 7 ^ £ 7 =1 "Next xinchou-day, offer (to) Zu Xin." a? z, e.ft mi,. — "Next yisi-day, offer (to) Zu Y i . " "Next xiriyou-day, offer (to) the ancestors penned sheep. We used (them i n s a c r i f i c e ) . " is.. — "The ancestors." n. At fit = "Exorcise (in the presence of the ancestral tablet or s p i r i t of) Fu Y i . " . <M n> It i = t. -ft 4£ # . -" I t i s the (intended) human victims that Fu Y i i s cursing." 12 110 13. 14. 15. 16. 31 " I t i s not the (intended) human victims that Fu Y i i s cursing." 32 " I f t h i s evening we use (in s a c r i f i c e ) , i t w i l l make things r i g h t . " $ + f * ~ "Hu J i a i s a f f l i c t i n g the king." Hi.-"Fu Geng i s a f f l i c t i n g the king." # * * f 2t = X £ * £ i . "Fu Geng i s not a f f l i c t i n g the king." «. $ € JL . -"Fu Xin i s a f f l i c t i n g the king." . "Fu Xin i s not a f f l i c t i n g the king." 20-27. (crack notation only:) 17. 18. 19, I l l (crack notation only:) ==• Bingbian 198 (back of 197) "Guimao-day cracking, Que." On coming yimao-day, offer (to) Zu Y i . " "Deer (and) sheep (to the number of) two." i # i ^ jp K "Yimao-day cracking" x. '§] & ^ ^ o "In t h i r t y days time, coming jiashen-day " 9 f 1 # £ i i'*. " I t should be yihai-day that we you-sacrifice.' 112 i i 12, 13. "We should not s p e c i f i c a l l y oh yihai-day s a c r i f i c e . " "Offer dog to Xian Wu." ,,33 i o . \ | ^ tyr £ *P & . "To E exorcise Fu." \ V N '% I* .Xue Wu. "To E." 14, 93 T 40 + *I T "Next ding-day, should not (offer) to Zu Ding." a • T . "Zu Ding." "Dispatch to B i J i the punished ones." 113 15. £ 6 $ = $ " I t should be white pig (and) two oxen." 16. ? H "Xin-day cracking, Que.11 "Should not offer (to) X i a Y i . " 18. ^ J "Xia Y i . " 19. ® "Penned sheep o f f e r . " 20. ft ' H * * r ft. "Gengshen-day cracking, Que." 21. f - f ? A % K " Z i Shang contributed " 114 Bingbian 197 Here we have a c l e a r l y marked display i n s c r i p t i o n (197.3/4). The graphs are large and bold, and f i l l e d i n with a red pigment. Inscription no. 3 carries a v e r i f i c a t i o n , but no prognostication. We may assume that the prediction was i m p l i c i t i n the charge. Actually, i t i s not so much a prediction, as an appeal for guidance: whether or not to perform the you s a c r i f i c e to Xia Y i on the coming y i h a i (12th) day. The divination i s dated yimao (52nd), so the divination was for an event two A l l the other inscriptions on the front of t h i s s h e l l are written i n small, neat graphs, which are f i l l e d i n with a brown pigment. The v e r i f i c a t i o n to i n s c r i p t i o n no. 3 informs us that " I t rained without you-ing", so we know from t h i s that the purpose of the you-sacrifice was to seek r a i n . This i s also seen i n the two surviving members of a plastron set, Bingbian 207 and 209, where the performance of you results i n a most welcome s p e l l of r a i n . The i n s c r i p t i o n s on the present plastron are a l l concerned with performing s a c r i f i c e s to various ancestors. The layout of the display i n s c r i p t i o n i s very si m i l a r to the one i n Bingbian 1, i n that the right side i n s c r i p t i o n (no. 3) occupies a larger area than the l e f t side i n s c r i p t i o n (no. 4), as i t i s the one that carries the v e r i f i c a t i o n . The free area on the l e f t side across from i n s c r i p t i o n no. 3 i s p o s i t i v e l y crowded with i n s c r i p t i o n s , while the right side i s of course hegemonized by the display i n s c r i p t i o n . Curiously, the rest of the plastron i s almost empty, only the lower part being crowded i n t h i s way. We also find the same situ a t i o n on the back, where i t i s precisely t h i s lower area that i s crowded with i n s c r i p t i o n s , while the top part i s almost unoccupied. This i s because the inscriptions had to be engraved next to t h e i r related divination cracks. They could not be written just anywhere on the plastron. As i t happens, there are no (10-day weeks) i n the future (or 21 days counting i n c l u s i v e l y ) . 115 cracks i n the uninscribed areas, as the holes on the back i n these places were not scorched. Thus the i n s c r i p t i o n s , l i k e the cracks, are concentrated i n the lower half of the s h e l l . According to my hypothesis, i t was the large area taken up by the display i n s c r i p t i o n on the front that necessitated the i n s c r i b i n g of a number of divinations on the back, there being no room for them near thei r associated cracks on the front. I t can be shown that many of the in s c r i p t i o n s on the back l i e d i r e c t l y behind thematically related inscriptions on the front, and are thus associated with the same divination crack. For example: Front 197.1, 8. 6. 10. 14. m i e % t i n . Back 198.1. 20. 4. (5. 16. 13. (12. 15. U l . Some of the rear inscriptions are not d i r e c t l y behind, but are c l e a r l y associated from thei r wording. These I have put i n brackets. As one can see, i n a number of instances, the rear i n s c r i p t i o n supplies the date for an undated i n s c r i p t i o n on the front, and sometimes i t also supplies the name of the diviner. Inscriptions 197.1 and 9 (and hence also 198.1 and 20) do not concern us here, as they are at the top of the plastron, 116 free from interference by the display i n s c r i p t i o n . Howeyer, the inscriptions at the bottom which should have formed duizhen with the l e f t side inscriptions appear to have been displaced to the back. These inscriptions are not necessarily a n t i t h e t i c a l , but also supply other information, such as the date of divination or the animals to be s a c r i f i c e d (as i n 197.14-198.15). As i n my f i r s t example of displacement, i t i s necessary for me to prove that the displaced i n s c r i p t i o n s record divinations that were made prior to the display i n s c r i p t i o n which occupies pride of place on the plastron. It i s a p i t y that the dates of only two of the rear i n s c r i p t i o n s can be inferred. 198.4 i s dated yimao (52nd), and l i e s d i r e c t l y behind 197.5, so 197.5 was probably divined on yimao-day. Another i n s c r i p t i o n on the back, 198.5, also refers to "The t h i r t i e t h day, coming jiashen (21st)." Counting back t h i r t y days i n c l u s i v e l y brings us again to yimao-day. This i s the same day that the display i n s c r i p t i o n was divined on, so i t i s impossible to say whether these in s c r i p t i o n s were divined before or after the display i n s c r i p t i o n . One can only state that they were divined on the same day. However, as they were divined on the same day, they were probably divined at the same ceremony, without stopping to inscribe the one that was divined f i r s t . If the non-display inscriptions had been inscribed before the v e r i f i c a t i o n of the display i n s c r i p t i o n , one would expect them to form a more symmetrical pattern on the s h e l l , so i t i s highly probable that they were inscribed after the v e r i f i c a t i o n of the display divination. The divination i n the display i n s c r i p t i o n was v e r i f i e d on y i h a i (12th), while the other yimao-day inscriptions divine for a l a t e r day, j iashen (21st), so although t h i s proves that the non-display yimao day divinations were not inscribed u n t i l after the v e r i f i c a t i o n of the display yimao day divination, i t i s not possible to t e l l whether the display i n s c r i p t i o n was inscribed as soon as i t was v e r i f i e d , or whether i t had to wait u n t i l jiashen-day, when 117 the results of the non-display divinations would be known. Be that as. may, the continuous, homogeneous calligraphy of the display i n s c r i p t i o n shows that this divination was selected for display treatment AFTER the v e r i f i c a t i o n . I s h a l l now examine Bingbian 243. Fig. 5 Bingbian 243 119 Bingbian 243 ft ft r.-fe * • 4 it & # * * & 34 Bingyin-day cracking, Que testing: This coming sui-period , we w i l l not perhaps receive harvest." V IS H cj * + 1 « ^ t-*] = sx A + K "Wuchen-day cracking, Wei: Coming jiaxu-day perhaps i t w i l l r a i n . " $ A. s. % -h i t a . H . ^ U 8 T i ft. +-B. "Guiyou-day cracking, Xuan testing: The ministers w i l l obtain. The king read the cracks and said: Perhaps they w i l l obtain. I t w i l l be a j ia-day or an yi-day. On j iaxu-day the ministers crossed the r i v e r by boat and went as far as Xian. They did not report i t . Fifteen days l a t e r , on dinghai-day, they shackled (some prisoners?). Twelfth month." « • ® h, % \ \ . - -"Guiyou-day cracking, Xuan testing: They w i l l not perhaps obtain." • f t " I l l n e s s . " 120 Hi - = -"Testing: The king." -f jt <P JFf, 51 $t 4. - - - * A "Testing: I f we to Qiang J i a exorcise, we can overcome and drive 35 away the i l l n e s s . " "Yihai-day cracking, Dun testing: Fu Guo's b i r t h w i l l be good." Bingbian 243 The inscriptions 243.3/4 are engraved i n large characters, but are f i l l e d i n with the same black pigment as the other inscriptions on t h i s plastron, so perhaps one should refer to them as 'semi-display'. Inscription no. 8 i s also carved i n the same large characters, but carries no progno-s t i c a t i o n or v e r i f i c a t i o n , so i t cannot be considered to be 'display'. It was divined on y i h a i (12th), and i s inscribed on the l e f t side of the plastron. There i s no duizhen counterpart on the r i g h t , as t h i s area i s taken up by i n s c r i p t i o n no. 3, which has a long prognostication and v e r i f i c a t i o n . It was divined on guiyou (10th), which i s two days before the divination recorded i n i n s c r i p t i o n no. 8. Its v e r i f i c a t i o n refers to two different dates. The f i r s t i s j i a x u (11th), which i s the day between guiyou and y i h a i , so t h i s date would not preclude the p o s s i b i l i t y that this i n s c r i p t i o n was carved before the divination recorded i n i n s c r i p t i o n no. 8 121 was made. However, the second date referred to i s "Fifteen days l a t e r , on dirighai (24th)." This means f i f t e e n days after guiyou, the day of the divination. This i s certainly many days after y i h a i , so i t i s quite possible that the position of the y i h a i day i n s c r i p t i o n was affected by the guihai 'semi-display' i n s c r i p t i o n . In positing displacement for i n s c r i p t i o n no. 8, there are two p o s s i b i l i t i e s . One i s that i t should have had a duizhen counterpart on the right. The other i s that the i n s c r i p t i o n i t s e l f was o r i g i n a l l y intended to appear on the right side, with perhaps a negatively phrased counterpart intended for the l e f t side where the positive i n s c r i p t i o n now stands. I an inclined towards the l a t t e r p o s s i b i l i t y , for two reasons: 1. Inscription no. 8 i s p o s i t i v e l y phrased, and the preface i s complete (ie. both date and diviner are mentioned). As I have mentioned i n chapter one, p o s i t i v e l y phrased inscriptions with f u l l prefaces usually occur (for reasons of natural human psychology) on the right side of the plastron. 2. In order to accommodate the semi-display i n s c r i p t i o n (no. 3), some 36 unassociated crack numbers were erased . I suggest that the cracks marked by these erased numbers were i n the f i r s t place cracked for the divination recorded i n i n s c r i p t i o n no. 8, but t h i s divination could not be inscribed beside these cracks because the v e r i f i c a t i o n to i n s c r i p t i o n no. 3 displaced i t . This v e r i f i c a t i o n refers to dinghai (24th), which i s twelve days AFTER y i h a i (12th), the date of in s c r i p t i o n no. 8. Inscription no. 8 i s also written i n the same handwriting as 3/4, which also suggests that i t was carved at the same time, so 3/4 cannot have been carved at the time of divination. As i n the case of Bingbian 1, I believe 122 this indicates that the insc r i p t i o n s on this plastron were not added u n t i l after the upshot of the la s t date predicted for. In th i s case, the last date i s not actually mentioned i n the prognostication, which only says that the event w i l l occur on either a j i a day or a n y ! day, but i t can be seen from the layout of these inscriptions that the Shang i n fact waited u n t i l the whole a f f a i r was over before they 'committed i t to wr i t i n g ' , so to speak. This further supports the Zhouli passage about ^ ^ % 3 7 . Whether the Shang waited t i l l the end of the year before in s c r i b i n g the divinations, one cannot t e l l , but we do know that i n some cases they waited for many, many days, as one can see i n the following example, which Professor Takashima very kindly pointed out to me: ... H H ^ . . . i w t ^ s - n 4 &. a + t ni fiu$K..t <#n* % n. 39 "Xshen-day cracking, testing: Kun w i l l recover from his i l l n e s s . 22 days l a t e r , on Xwei-day, Kun did indeed recover [from his i l l n e s s ] . 175 days l a t e r , on Xyin-day, Kun again had i l l n e s s . As yiwei evening cut into bingshen-day, he died." (Tieyun 5.3, Yicun 128) In t h i s example, 175 days elapsed between the date of divination and the date of the last v e r i f i c a t i o n . The i n s c r i p t i o n i s written as a continuous text i n a homogeneous hand, which suggests that the whole i n s c r i p t i o n , including the charge, was inscribed at the same time. The subject of the divination i s a prolonged i l l n e s s that eventually resulted i n death. 123 A variety of evidence thus helps to support my thesis that none of the divinations were carved onto the s h e l l u n t i l the f i n a l upshot of a l l the a f f a i r s predicted for. Whether they were carved on the same day or not, I hesitate to say, but the mixture of handwriting that one often finds suggests at least that the insc r i p t i o n s on a part i c u l a r s h e l l were not necessarily a l l carved by the same ins c r i b e r . A pa r t i c u l a r s h e l l may have been carved over several days by several different inscribers. However, that i s purely to do with the workaday matter of the physical process of i n s c r i p t i o n , and has nothing to do with the divination. The important point i s that the Shang had to wait u n t i l the outcome of a l l the events divined for had transpired, i n order to select those that came true i n a p a r t i c u l a r l y dramatic or obvious way for 'display' treatment. As for the purpose of display i n s c r i p t i o n s , one can only speculate, but i t seems f a i r l y clear that i t had something to do with underlining the efficacy of the oracle (in bringing about the desired result) and the king's authority as the oracle's interpreter. Apart from supporting i n a general way the valuable hypothesis that a l l the divinations recorded on a given plastron were regarded by the Shang as a contextual unit, dating can also be used to decipher time-related ment of which was helped greatly by i t s contextual occurrence with c y c l i c a l 40 dates. This graph has already been well studied , so I s h a l l not go into i t here. Suffice i t to say that i t occurs between consecutive c y c l i c a l dates, and refers to the time when one day cuts into the next. This graph i s also used as a method of s a c r i f i c i n g animals, so a common meaning had to be found that would apply to both usages. This helped the i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of graphs. An obvious example of th i s i s the graph , the decipher-cut ', the graph i t s e l f being a depiction of a dou 4ss wine vessel 41 124 Another time-related graph, which I happened to decipher i n the /A 42 course of this thesis, i s sa . Previous explicators , such as Guo Moruo and Tang Lan, were confused by the fact that the dates between which i t occurs are not consecutive. Also they misidentifled i t as the non-existent characters Jru and respectively. A careful examination of the context in which i t occurs, reveals that i t always occurs i n the same formula: J A . "So many days jjj such-and-such a ganzhi day." The number of days mentioned i s always the same as the number of days there are between the date of divination and the date that follows the graph j$ . This formula i s used to introduce a v e r i f i c a t i o n . Its meaning must therefore be something ^ 43 l i k e 'elapse' or 'pass'. I i d e n t i f y i t as s u i ^ , which i s the primary form of 'to complete'. It means that so many days were completed between the day of divination and the day of v e r i f i c a t i o n . For example: # ft M ..+ s $ 5 4} ... ... i ) h . t !••.. .-k B A e M p . . . "Guiyou-day cracking, Bin testing: Seven days elapsed, 44 jimao-day evaluated " (Qianbian 7.22.3, ap.S.224.4) This i n s c r i p t i o n i s somewhat fragmentary, but there i s no doubt that seven i s the number of days, counting i n c l u s i v e l y , between guiyou (10th) and j imao (16th). Sun Yirang also i d e n t i f i e d S as , but said i t was used for dui I . This usage may apply i n some in s c r i p t i o n s , but very few. The graph ^ i s used mostly as a time-related word. 125 CONCLUSION ON CYCLICAL DATING In Period I, the intervals between c y c l i c a l dates do not usually show any r e g u l a r i t y , but there are some interesting exceptions to t h i s . For example, Bingbian 122 and 126 contain some divinations that are ten days apart, but the subject matter does not appear to be related, so these are 46 probably coincidences . Bingbian 529 contains nine duizhen pairs and one unpaired i n s c r i p t i o n , which were divined mostly on successive days, each asking i f there would be rain the next day. The inscriptions repeat each other more or less verbatim, so there i s l i t t l e d i f f i c u l t y i n establishing i t , t h e i r relationship. They ask i f Di 'ip w i l l or w i l l not order rain. As Zhang Bingquan remarks i n his annotation, t h i s must have been a time when the Shang p a r t i c u l a r l y needed r a i n , which leads him to place i t i n the spring. Thus there are no general c r i t e r i a that apply to a l l bones. The date relationships on each bone must be worked out separately, but they are defintely one of the c r i t e r i a that should be appealed to when establishing tongban relationships. The meticulous recording of dates, the constant r e t r i e v a l of bones on subsequent days for further divination, and the storing of bones u n t i l t h e i r predictions came true or otherwise — a l l t h i s c l e a r l y had some rationale behind i t . I suggest that that rationale i s an intimate relationship between the purposed events recorded on the plastron or scapula, which thei r terse wording has now rendered opaque to us. By establishing the time relationships between different inscriptions i t i s sometimes possible to work out the temporal development of a particular a f f a i r . This also helps to corroborate the tongban hypothesis, which enables us to avoid certain misinterpretations, p a r t i c u l a r l y with regard to whether a certain graph should be understood as a personal or place name, or i n i t s o r i g i n a l meaning. This is.sometimes a problem i n the oracle bones. 126 SHARED VOCABULARY The sentences that make up duizhen and chengtao buci are obviously related as they often repeat each other word for word, so there i s no need for me to dwell on them here. However, there are other instances i n which the amount of shared vocabulary may be much les s , perhaps even a single graph. I believe that i n such cases a relationship may s t i l l be established. The reason why I f e e l that t h i s approach i s j u s t i f i e d i s that, as i s widely acknowledged, there i s a great deal of e l l i p s i s i n the oracle bone language. Such sentences as: f * Y,ni I 4 fl J - . *• " J i a z i day cracking, Que testing: This month w i l l a r r i v e . " H & <t >h 1 1-4 fl * 5-* "Testing: This month w i l l not a r r i v e . " (Bingbian 269.9/10) are obviously e l l i p t i c a l , but i n t h i s case the duizhen does not supply the missing subject of "arrive" (and, i n fact, neither does the rest of the plastron, which has a number of fragments missing). Another example i s : JL 'f* ffi) o M- . (Bingbian 235.6) which I am tempted to translate as *"The king w i l l not reign. At Long." However, i t i s obvious that the king i s the diviner here, and the graph zhen I should be supplied after wang 3- In view of t h i s omission of what appear to be quite essential elements, one might begin to wonder whether i t i s even feasible to attempt to l i n k different inscriptions together on 127 the same bone whose amount of shared vocabulary i s minimal. However, as I s h a l l demonstrate, although there i s of course a l i m i t as to how far one can go, i t i s not only possible, but also rewarding. It enables one to f i l l out e l l i p t i c a l inscriptions and thus understand them better. A single shared graph may be the surface vestige of a deeper connection. In some cases, a plastron may contain only one or two dated i n s c r i p t i o n s , or sometimes even none (e.g. Bingbian 25 and 43), so we cannot appeal to the dating i n order to establish relationships. In such cases, we can appeal extent, have to be excluded from this analysis, but they may be dealt with under my t h i r d c r i t e r i o n of grammatical parallelism. I s h a l l now examine Bingbian 3, which contains only two dated inscriptions (both j i w e i , the 56th day i n the cycle). I s h a l l consider not only shared graphs, but also graphs that belong to the same general semantic category (e.g. place names, methods of hunting, etc.) to shared vocabulary. Grammatical words ), to a large In order to i l l u s t r a t e how the present c r i t e r i o n may be applied, 48 128 Bingbian 3 5 ! M H i f * ' I -"Jiwei-day cracking, Zheng testing: Wang Hai i s hexing "Testing: Wang Hai i s not hexing us." * $ $ T -* 3 - * 4- M 49 "I t should be Z i Bu whom we c a l l to lay (deer?) trap M * T -" I t should not be Z i Bu whom we c a l l . " " I t should be Z i Shang whom we c a l l . " %\ * nT->m n jlj ^ -" I t should not be Z i Shang whom we c a l l . " I l l -" I t should be the king who goes." 129 'TD %• i „ — " I t should not be the king who goes." H t U [ i l -I i- + § 1 . -"Testing: The king at Gong w i l l camp." "Should not at Gong camp.""^ H ^ y & - i = "Testing: We w i l l perhaps have ^misfortune. J= # t. *ft . - -"Testing: We w i l l not have misfortune." [*] s i - H " I t should be the king who goes." p 1 - - * " I t should not be the king." 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20, 21. 22. 130 A j) m - = = "Tonight i t w i l l r a i n . " A <? /A M - = s "Tonight i t w i l l not perhaps." off ~ * A < r I f , -"Qi." £ * -"Should not at." s ! M ft F1 *[ f ^ J A I - I "Jiwei-day cracking, Que testing: We w i l l into Zhi enter and camp." "Testing: Should not at Zhi camp." H ft M. \ ' = E a "XX day cracking, Que testing: ...net..." H V^ * y - - s = & * A . - - s. "Testing: The boar-netters w i l l not perhaps.""'''' 131 23. » i -* 3- . -" I t should be the king. II 24. " I t should not be." As I have already mentioned i n regard to my f i r s t c r i t e r i o n , the Shang were usually quite meticulous about dating t h e i r i n s c r i p t i o n s . In quite clear from a related i n s c r i p t i o n what the date was and who the diviner was. However, there were certain instances i n which the date and also the diviner's name could be omitted, only the character zhen being l e f t (and sometimes not even that). The preface i s often omitted on one of the members of a duizhen pair — usually i n the negatively phrased member, which usually occurs on the l e f t side of the plastron. The preface i s often omitted after the f i r s t i n s c r i p t i o n when a series of inscriptions repeats the same proposition verbatim or more or less verbatim ( i . e . the so called chengtao buci, e.g. Bingbian 5 and 7). Carving the ins c r i p t i o n s onto 53 the bone must have been a time consuming process , so the preface was often omitted when i t was f e l t to be dispensable. I therefore seems quite l i k e l y that the divinations recorded on the present plastron were a l l made on the same day (although 3.21 presents a problem, as i t obviously had a date, but the part of the s h e l l on which i t occurred i s now missing). This provides a good background for my attempt to l i n k these inscriptions i n a more detailed way on the basis of shared graphs. fa c t , the whole preface ) i s often repeated even when i t i s The subject of 3.1/2, we so these inscriptions a l l refer to things that affected the part i c u l a r group of 132 people who made th i s divination. 3.1/2 and 11/12 are more closely connected 54 7^~* v by containing disaster graphs: y i ^ i n 3.1/2, and huo ^fo) i n 3.11/12, According to Mickel's analysis, " \3) and j£ complement each other i n the oracle i n s c r i p t i o n s . ^) was used to ask i f any sort of disaster would happen, and was used to indicate that a disaster of some sort had already occurred.""^ Although Mickel i s a l i t t l e off the mark and somewhat vague, I believe he i s right i n suggesting that yjL refers to something that already e x i s t s . Zhang Bingquan i d e n t i f i e s as s u i -Tf- , and defines i t as " ^ ", i . e . a hex from the s p i r i t s , and huo /TVoJ he defines as " A ( S %k L &a ) % i . e . an actual misfortune"^. Thus the purpose of 3.1/2 i s to find out i f the ancestor Wang Hai ^ i s exercising a malevolent influence over the Shang's proposed a c t i v i t i e s , while 3.11/12 attempts to determine i f there w i l l be any s p e c i f i c disaster ensuing from such an influence. Inscription 3.19 contains no disaster graphs, but the subject here i s also w£ "^i. , the same as i n 3.1/2 and 11/12. I t states a proposed a c t i v i t y (and i t s duizhen counterpart 3.20 negates i t ) , which i s entering Mi 57 into Zhi to camp. This a c t i v i t y (and probably also the others proposed on t h i s plastron) would have been susceptible to disaster. We can see from this that y i ^f 3 and huo usually form the background to some 5 8 proposed a c t i v i t y , as one might expect The graph dui"^ $ in 3.19/20 further l i n k s this divination to 3.9/10 (this graph occurs i n 3.10 only, but 3.9 forms a duizhen pair with i t ) , so these two pairs of divinations are both concerned with camping. 3.9/10 divines whether the king should camp at Gong ±t , and 3.19/20 divines whether "we" should camp at Zhi The duizhen pair 3.17/18 are also connected with the camping inscriptions by the coverb. yu which i s used here i n the sense of 'going to such and such a place (to 133 encamp)', and by Qi Jp/T , which i s a place name, and thus p a r a l l e l s Gong f| and Zhi i% — / * The wang wang jfc. /JJ. inscriptions (3.7/8, 13/14, 23/24) pose a problem, as although the subject wang 'king' would connect them with 3.9/10 (about the king going to encamp at Gong), the verb of motion used i s d i f f e r e n t , for the encampment inscriptions use the coverb yu J i n conjunction with the verb ru ?\t (which does not always appear on the surface). Furthermore, the wang wang inscriptions also show a grammatical parallelism with 3.3-6. That i s , they are couched .in the hui 4 / wu wei exposure construction. The wang wang insc r i p t i o n s thus show a p a r t i a l a f f i n i t y with two other groups of inscriptions on t h i s s h e l l . As grammatical paral l e l i s m i s a c r i t e r i o n that I wish to deal with separately, I s h a l l postpone discussion of these inscriptions for the moment. 3.3-6 may be related to 3.21/22 by the fact that they both mention a hunting a c t i v i t y . 3.3 mentions , and 3.21/22 mention ^ tfjt j f * 61 Zhang Bingquan transcribes them respectively as j i n g iTi and luan &d?< The bone graphs c l e a r l y depict a deer i n a p i t , and a hand holding a long-handled net over a pig. whether these graphs actually mean 'to dig a p i t to catch deer' and 'to capture pigs with a long-handled net' i s debatable, 62 as the Chinese s c r i p t was probably already logographic by this stage Thus although the characters that Zhang uses for h i s transcription are not descended from the bone graphs i n question, they are probably an accurate r e f l e c t i o n of t h e i r status as words. They are probably best translated simply as 'trap' and 'catch'. Thus f a r , by means of examining shared graphs and graphs of si m i l a r meaning, I have been able to form most of the inscriptions on t h i s s h e l l into two groups: 3.9/10, 17/18, 19/20 about encamping, and 3.3-6, 21/22 134 about hunting. 3.1/2 and 11/12, about cursing and disaster, could form the background to any of these a c t i v i t i e s , although the character wo connects them d i r e c t l y only to 3.19/20. The group 3.7/8, 13/14, 23/24, about wang wang 'the king going (to do something)', could be related to either the encamping or the hunting i n s c r i p t i o n s . When reading over a plastron such as t h i s , i t i s easy to imagine how the snaring and the trapping and the going to various places to encamp may a l l be part of a long range hunting expedition, with t h i s s h e l l being divined 'on the road' as i t were, and t h i s i s a l l extremely plausible. However, p l a u s i b i l i t y , as I have already stated, i s not a c r i t e r i o n , as i t i s subjective and cannot be tested. By exploring the relationships between inscriptions that share one or two graphs i n common, or contain one or two graphs of si m i l a r meaning, i t i s possible to arrive at more objective c r i t e r i a for r e l a t i n g inscriptions whose wording i s otherwise quite different. As I have already mentioned, I j u s t i f y t h i s by the frequent occurrence of e l l i p s i s i n duizhen and chengtao buci, about whose interrelationship there i s no doubt. In view of t h i s e l l i p s i s , one certainly would not expect the Shang to f i l l i n , for the benefit of present day palaeographers, the back-ground relationships between a l l the inscriptions on a pa r t i c u l a r bone. To them, the relationships were obvious and went without saying. The only inscriptions I have not yet related to anything else are 3.15/16, which divine about the p o s s i b i l i t y of rain " t h i s evening" (which probably refers to the evening of jiwei-day, the only date mentioned on the front of t h i s plastron). P l a u s i b i l i t y suggests that the Royal hunting party wished to know i f i t would rain i n the evening because they had to camp out 6 3 for the night . However, I cannot make th i s connection on the basis of my present c r i t e r i o n . I can only suggest i t . Nevertheless, the connections that I have already b u i l t up between the other inscriptions on t h i s s h e l l , 135 help to strengthen the thesis that a l l the inscriptions on this s h e l l are connected. Curses, camping, and capturing game are thus not three different 64 topics, but a l l part of the same scenario . Ultimately of course the topics of a l l the inscriptions on a particular bone or s h e l l are as connected with each other as the various a f f a i r s of everyday l i f e are a l l connected, in a r i c h tapestry of ineluctable interconcatenation. I s h a l l now continue my examination of th i s plastron using the c r i t e r i o n of grammatical parallelism. which assumes i t to be largely the same as that of the c l a s s i c a l Chinese of 66 the Zhou dynasty, only sporadic studies of a limited scope have been made , and a complete grammar of the oracle bone language yet remains to be written. For the time being then, the most useful source for determining the syntactic behaviour of indiv i d u a l oracle bone graphs i s Shima's concordance. By examining the syntactic behaviour of the words hui (fe and wang " 1 5 - , i t i s possible to shed further l i g h t on the nature of the tongban relationships on Bingbian 3 which I was unable to clear up under my last c r i t e r i o n of shared vocabulary. I s h a l l f i r s t examine the behaviour of hui ^ GRAMMATICAL PARALLELISM Since Chen Mengjia's ground-breaking study of oracle bone grammar 65 nouns and verbs. For example: MI The king should go (as opposed to staying). II (Yibian 4542) 136 * 3- fe. " I t should be the king who goes (as opposed to someone e l s e ) . " (Bingbian 3.7) When i t emphasizes nouns, the noun may be the subject, the direct object, or the indirect object. The function of the noun can usually be ascertained from the context, but the e l l i p t i c a l nature of OBI often gives r i s e to ambiguity. In such cases, the semantic value of the nouns i n question must be taken into consideration. For example: & 2- . " I t should be the king (who does something)." (Bingbian 3.23) #4--" I t should be an ox (that we s a c r i f i c e ) . " (Jiabian 6.28) "It should be Xiao Y i (to whom we s a c r i f i c e ) . " (Cuibian 287) In OBI the king, being at the top of the power hierarchy, i s usually the performer of actions, and so he i s most l i k e l y the subject i n the f i r s t example. Animals, on the other hand, are always the victims of some s a c r i f i c e or other, so the ox i n the second example i s most l i k e l y the direct object. Ancestors are usually the beneficiaries of such s a c r i f i c e s , and so Xiao Y i i n the t h i r d example i s almost certainly the indirect object. These examples show how important i t i s to be f u l l y aware of the extremely e l l i p t i c a l nature of OBI. In the construction 'hui N V ', N i s usually the performer of V, and certainly so i f the verb i s i n t r a n s i t i v e , as seems to be the case with wang )^5E 'to go'. For an example of t h i s , please see Bingbian 3.7, cited above. In the construction 'N hui N V', N i s the subject and N i s 137 the object, e.g. 68 "Testing: It should be the Longfang that the king attacks." (Bingbian 24.21) In my English translation I have had to use a c l e f t sentence i n order to bring out the emphasis on "Longfang", but t h i s of course does not r e f l e c t the word order of the o r i g i n a l Chinese. If i s deleted, as often happens in OBI, then the construction becomes ambiguous, as i t means that ^ i s no longer limited to the object. However, i n the many examples of 'hui ^ N hu -J" ' given by Shima (S.426.4; see also 'hui W N l i n g ?^ ' S.426.1), the occasional occurrence of another verb after hu , sometimes followed by another object noun, marks the f i r s t noun as d e f i n i t e l y the object of hu j , e.g. I £ $ E * Ik -A \ . "Testing: I t should be the Duo Chen that [we] c a l l to follow Zhi J i a . " (Yicun 544) There i s also an example of a hunting i n s c r i p t i o n , which makes i t rather apposite to the topic of Bingbian 3: # I ib -f & *. " I t should be the Duo Ma that [we^ c a l l to shoot and net." (Cuibian 943) Zhang Bingquan regards j i n g fify i n Bingbian 3.3 as the name of a person or 69 tr i b e , so his understanding of t h i s sentence would appear to be something l i k e " I t should be Z i Bu who c a l l s Jing." However, according to my 138 syntactic analysis, Z i Bu should be the object of hu -^r , and the graph j i n g p-rj" i s best interpreted as a verb. According to Zhang, j i n g occurs both as a hunting verb and as a place name, but he only admits i t as a verb when i t i s d i r e c t l y followed by an animal"^. He thus regards i t as a place name i n the following i n s c r i p t i o n : (Bingbian 114.6, cited by Zhang as. Yibian 5408 i n his annotation to Bingbian 3) His understanding of the charge here would be something l i k e " I t should be the king himself who goes to Jing." I would translate this sentence as " I t should be the king himself who goes trapping." The force of the word z i ^ ' s e l f here p a r t i c u l a r l y serves to bring out the contrast between the king doing something i n person, and c a l l i n g on somebody else to do i t . Unfort-unately the top part of Binghian 114 i s missing, but one can see from the graph huo J|_ 'capture' i n the top l e f t corner that there were some more hunting in s c r i p t i o n s on t h i s plastron. Apart from these considerations, the verb wang 'to go', l i k e i t s English counterpart, i s i n t r a n s i t i v e , and normally requires a preposition to l i n k i t to a following place word. In view of the grammatical paral l e l i s m , I thus f e e l quite confident — / -J-i n l i n k i n g the wang wang _±_ Ai~ inscriptions (3.7/8, 13/14, 23/24) with 3.3-6. The point of t h i s divination i s to determine whether Z i Bu or Z i Shang should be called on to go trapping, or whether the king himself should go trapping. The wang wang inscriptions are not completely p a r a l l e l , but then * i s c l e a r l y impossible, as the king i s at the top of the power hierarchy — no one can c a l l on the king to go deer trapping, or 72 anything else for that matter 139 As for the syntactic behayiour of the verb wang (see S.76.4-80.1) i t s use i n OBI shows that i t i s rarely i f ever followed d i r e c t l y by a place name. This makes i t quite different from yu "j , which i s often followed by a place name. In f a c t , yu ~f~ often serves to l i n k wang / [ i to a place name, e.g. -L ijp r, 0 JL & -5- i f . 73 "Yimao-day cracking, Que testing: Today the king w i l l go to Chun." (Cuibian 1043) Otherwise, wang /jjfc i s usually followed by another verb, so i t s basic meaning seems to be 'to go (in order to do something)'. Even when followed by yu -J" , i t s t i l l sometimes seems to have t h i s meaning. Compare: "The king w i l l go hunting." 3- * i + W o 74 "The king w i l l go a-hunting." There are many examples of t h i s at S.77.2-4, so I have not specified which bones they appear on. Incidentally, t h i s use of yu j looks very similar to i t s use i n the Odes as an aspect marker (e.g. 7C-% "3~ & "Shu has gone hunting", ode 7 7 . 1 ) , and i s comparable to the development of the gerund i n English, a h i s t o r i c a l stage of which I have used i n my translation above to r e f l e c t the construction of the Chinese. It therefore seems most l i k e l y that 3.7/8 are e l l i p t i c a l for & j L ^£ r# / 'W JL fa f$C : "i t should/should not be the king who goes to trap deer." Although I have only studied the two words hui and wang / j ^ , i n t h i s section, the enormous amount of l i g h t that t h i s has been able to shed 140 on the tongban relationships on the plastron Bingbian 3 shows how invaluable a f u l l grammatical analysis of the OBI language would be, and one hopes that such a grammar w i l l be available i n the near future. In p a r t i c u l a r , I have been able to avoid the misinterpretation of j i n g ffy- as a place name, when i t i s i n fact a verb. There are many ill-understood graphs i n OBI which are relegated to the category of proper noun (e.g. place name, personal name, etc.) which should perhaps be reconsidered i n th i s l i g h t . I would now l i k e to regroup the inscriptions of Bingbian 3 under various sub-topics as follows: 1. 2. 11. 12. I- A t - x % z i- $i x. *8i o - -Curses 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 13. 14. 23. 24. 21. 22. 4 'fl £ * * 4. -^ 4.-& 3- . -' f t i 'fc > -^ /(I. -i< & * * • - - - 53 > Hunting — _H_ CH? 141 9. 10. 19. 20. 17. 18. ^ I' ft A . -\ Camping 15. .16. Rain This regrouping shows how the inscriptions on t h i s plastron form a homogeneous context. 142 The Use of Context i n Decipherment In t h i s chapter I have examined three different c r i t e r i a for estab-l i s h i n g contextual l i n k s between the various inscriptions on a plastron, to wit: c y c l i c a l dates, shared vocabulary, and grammatical parallelism. C y c l i c a l dates themselves are of l i t t l e use as an aid to decipherment. The cross-referencing of dates serves chiefly.to t i e inscriptions together so that the unfolding of h i s t o r i c a l events may be seen behind them. This i s especially so with charges that carry detailed v e r i f i c a t i o n s . One may trace the event from the Shang's anticipation through to the actual outcome. An examination of the dating of display inscriptions i n r e l a t i o n to other inscriptions reveals the interesting fact that the inscriptions were not carved onto the s h e l l u n t i l some time after the act of divination. In some cases i t appears that the outcome of each divination was awaited before making the in s c r i p t i o n s . This enabled the Shang to select whichever divinations came true i n a p a r t i c u l a r l y obvious or favourable way for 'display' treatment, which i s the carving of the charge, prognostication and v e r i f i c a t i o n i n large, thick graphs as one continuous text. Very often the graphs were also f i l l e d in with a red pigment, thus making them stand out from the other inscriptions on the s h e l l . Not only the positive charge, but also the negative charge i s given the same display treatment. As an aid to decipherment, shared vocabulary and grammatical parallelism are more useful. To some extent they overlap, since the grammatical structures are formed by vocabulary items. As an example of how they may be used to f i l l out e l l i p t i c a l i n s c r i p t i o n s , I s h a l l now examine the pronoun z h i -^C , and see how these c r i t e r i a may be used to determine i t s referent. 143 My f i r s t example i s Bingbian 446/447, from which I quote only those inscriptions which are relevant. 4 4 6 . ! T 3- K " I f we c a l l on Z i Fan, he w i l l get better." 2 th'ud ^ %"%.. " He w i l l not perhaps get better." 447.3. & "Get better." " defeat. If i t i s this that we c a l l to attack, the body w i l l be favoured." ty % & ^ £ • "It should not be t h i s , as i t w i l l not be favoured." The rear i n s c r i p t i o n 447.3 i s cle a r l y related to the front inscriptions 446.1/2 by the graph chong 'pfe , which denotes recovery from i l l n e s s . The duizhen 447.4/5 may be related to 446.1/2 by the common graph hu ^j— 'to c a l l on', which i s generally used i n the bones of c a l l i n g on a warrior to go and attack an enemy t r i b e . Not only that, 447.4/5 are inscribed on 144 the rear of the s h e l l d i r e c t l y behind 446.1/2, which greatly strengthens they hypothesis that they are related. This enables one to deduce that the referent of z h i -^ C i n 447.4/5 i s the Z i Fan mentioned i n 446.1. The construction i n 447.4 i s s l i g h t l y unusual, as one would normally expect hui ^ here rather than wei ^% , especially i n view of the fact that the duizhen begins with wU wei , which i s the usual negation of hui ^ . The graphs on the rear of the plastron are very d i f f i c u l t to make out, so I have had to be guided largely by Zhang Bingquan's transcription, which i s taken from the o r i g i n a l bone, so I can only assume i t i s correct. What this group of inscriptions seems to be implying i s that attacking an enemy of the Shang could be used as a form of expiation for driving away some bodily a f f l i c t i o n which was caused by the ancestors. The significance of shen ruo y{ 7o i - s that the (sick) body w i l l be favoured by the ancestors, and hence w i l l recover. The word shen 'body' i s nearly always used i n the oracle bones i n connection with i l l n e s s (see S.6.4), so i t i s quite consistent to interpret i t here as referring to Z i Fan's i l l n e s s . At f i r s t sight, i t may seem odd that a sick person i s being sent out to fight a b a t t l e , so we must assume that the i l l n e s s was not a d e b i l i -tating one. In Bingbian 29/31.2 and i n s c r i p t i o n no. 2 on the rear of Xucun 388 (which I have already examined as set no. 2 i n my chapter on chengtao), the p o s s i b i l i t y of the warrior Dian Feng taking the f i e l d i s divined, but t h i s p o s s i b i l i t y i s affected by Dian Feng's i l l n e s s . I l l n e s s was seen as a sign of heavenly displeasure, and was thus a bad omen when a m i l i t a r y campaign was about to be undertaken. In the f i r s t set I examined (Bingbian 12-21), we also find that the king i s proposing to follow a certain warrior into battle against an enemy, but i s plagued by toothache. In view of these connections, i t may be possible to speculate that i l l n e s s was not only seen as a sign of heavenly disfavour, but that carrying out some ancestrally 145 favoured a c t i v i t y , such as a m i l i t a r y operation, would cause the i l l n e s s to go away. This would then be a sign that the favour of the ancestors had been won back. Obviously I am not suggesting that the sole purpose of Shang m i l i t a r y campaigns was to cure i l l n e s s , as that would be absurd. What I am saying i s that i l l n e s s among the r u l i n g class, and especially the king's i l l n e s s , was seen as a sign of ancestral disfavour. This disfavour must have been caused by some sin or omission on the king's part, for example, not dealing with the Shang's enemies. When the s i n had been r e c t i f i e d , then presumably the signs of ancestral disfavour, e.g. the king's i l l n e s s , should disappear. Thus i t i s not unreasonable to see a relationship between such apparently divergent topics as warfare and i l l n e s s . These topics may seem divergent to us, but i t i s important to try and look at these things with a 'Shang mentality', i f that i s possible. There i s a coherent s o c i a l context behind every plastron, and the palaeographer cannot ignore i t i f he i s to have any touchstones for the accuracy of his i n t e r -pretations. Bingbian 191. The front of t h i s plastron contains two pairs of duizhen, as follows: Another example i n which the referent of zhi i s more obvious i s 1. a Jichou-day cracking,, Bin testing: It i s the people of Mian. ii 76 Testing: It i s not the people of Mian. I I < 146 f 3. A * [^1 y i l -C- A . " I t i s these people." ^ ^ A . ^ " I t i s not these people." It i s only by appealing to the tongban hypothesis that inscriptions 3 and 4 can be made sense of. It i s quite clear from the grammatical parallelism between 1/2 and 3/4 that "these people" refers to the people of Mian. It i s disappointing that there are many instances of the pronoun zhi i n which i t s referent cannot be deduced from some other i n s c r i p t i o n on the same plastron. Although the oracle bones are to some extent a h i s t o r i c a l record, they are by no means a complete record. / 147 How Many Topics Are There On A Plastron? According to Akatsuka Kiyoshi, the various divination topics on an oracle bone are often thematically connected. In th i s chapter, I haye t r i e d to propose some objective c r i t e r i a by which the forging of such l i n k s may be j u s t i f i e d . However, the number; of topics on an oracle bone, and whether or not they are related, also depends to a large extent on what one considers to constitute a divination 'topic'. Many authors have given l i s t s of Shang divination topics. For convenience' sake, I here give Keightley's l i s t ^ , which i s quite comprehensive: 1. Sacrifices 2. M i l i t a r y campaigns 3.. Hunting expeditions 4. Excursions 5. The ten-day week 6. The night or the day 7. The weather 8. Agriculture 9. Sickness 10. C h i l d b i r t h 11. Distress or trouble 12. Dreams 13. Settlement building 14. Orders 15. Tribute payments 16. Divine assistance or approval 17. Requests addressed to ancestral or nature powers 148 As Keightley himself says, t h i s l i s t i s "by no means exhaustive". Neverthe-les s , i t shows quite a detailed categorization. I propose to simplify this scheme by means of a r e c l a s s i f i c a t i o n into main topics and contingent topics: Main topics 1. M i l i t a r y (7. Weather) 2. Hunting (8. Sickness) 3. A g r i c u l t u r a l (9. Sacrifices) 78 4. Childbirth (10. L a i tribute) 5. Settlement building (national expansion) 6. Rit u a l Contingent topics i . Weather i i . Sickness As you can see, there are quite a number of things that I have excluded altogether, and I s h a l l now explain why. My major omission i s that of s a c r i f i c e s , dreams, and divine assistance 79 or approval, which I r e c l a s s i f y as the omen/curse/sacrifice syndrome . Any action that the Shang proposed was subject to the approval or disapproval of any ancestor or natural force, or even of Di himself. A good example of 80 thi s syndrome i s the i n s c r i p t i o n Bingbian 350.14 : A * ft ft # J- It - t . Z, & §'). "The king's hearing voices means disaster. On yihai-day, you-sacrifice." 149 Curses and disasters are usually expressed by the terms y i ^  and huo ^ V^ 7 . I have already discussed these to some extent, as they appear on Bingbian 3» which I examined e a r l i e r . On that p a r t i c u l a r plastron, y i ^ and huo j^^j are divined separately, but as one can see from the inscriptions (S.209.4-210.3. under you y i f±! ^ , ^ ), these two manifestations of heavenly displeasure often occur i n the same i n s c r i p t i o n . This i s a further argument for car e f u l l y distinguishing t h e i r respective meanings. Here i s an example from the present corpus: "The king read the cracks and said: When there i s such-and-such a 81 weather condition , perform you-sacrifice. It i s that there i s a 82 curse, (but) there w i l l not be misfortune." (Bingbian 48.1 and 2 [wording i d e n t i c a l ] ) These inscriptions occur on the back of the plastron. On the front of t h i s plastron i n the corresponding position, we find inscriptions which propose the performing of the you-sacrif ice on the gongf a S 'palace victims' : &--WI fa &>, Ik t rt. -f t . z. ip fi i i ' * , % f 5 "Testing: Next yimao-day, you-sacrifice our palace.victims i n 84 the north-east corner On yimao-day, we did indeed perform you-sacrifice. At dawn i t was overcast." (Bingbian 47.1, opp.48.1) 150 11 Guiyou-day cracking, Bin te s t i n g : Next yihai-day, you-sacrifice palace victims i n the north-east corner. 11 (Bingbian 47.3, opp.48.2) In a number of other inscriptions (e.g. Bingbian 207/209.3,:, which I examined i n chapter two), the you-sacrifice i s used as a method of seeking rain. Hence the significance of the v e r i f i c a t i o n following 47.1. The overcast sky was probably seen as a harbinger of r a i n , and hence a sign that the you-sacrifice had been received favourably by the ancestors. It i s possible that the p a r t i c u l a r form the y±_ A\) curse took on t h i s occasion was lack of r a i n . The graph which I transcribe as ^» seems to indicate a 85 weather condition that i s incompatible with r a i n . This plastron i s en t i r e l y devoted to r i t u a l , and no other proposed a c t i v i t i e s which might be affected by the lack of r a i n are mentioned. On plastron Bingbian 619/620 (front and back respectively), we find y_i , huo and a proposed a c t i v i t y a l l mentioned on the same s h e l l : 619.1. I I Dinghai-day cracking, Que te s t i n g : Ran (?) w i l l not have disaster. He w i l l carry out (successfully) the king's business. II 2. I I Que testing: Ran II 151 620 j . ID e i i ^ • it The king read the cracks and said: There i s a curse II These are the only inscriptions on t h i s plastron, of which only a fragment remains. Nevertheless, one can see quite cl e a r l y that the king was entrusting a person called Ran to carry out his (military) a f f a i r s . "Ran w i l l not have disaster" i s more of a wish than a divination. The back of the plastron reveals that there was a j i n x abroad. However, as I have already demon-strated, such a j i n x did not necessarily result i n the occurrence of a s p e c i f i c misfortune. Another example i s Bingbian 631/632 (front and back), which i s somewhat more complete. Here we find the following two inscriptions occupying a duizhen position to the l e f t and right of the central suture, although th e i r wording i s not a n t i t h e t i c a l : 4 i $ \ 'Testing: The king w i l l go hunting. ii 4. H I Testing: The Many Ancestral Queens are cursing the king. I I On the other side of the plastron i n the same place, we f i n d : 632.1. "Wuzi-day." (opp. 631.4) 152 i f f "The king w i l l hunt." (opp. 631.1) Inscription 632.2 carries a duizhen, also on the right side, which reads: 632.3. 1 H f "The king should not after a l l hunt." Just above 632.2, there i s an i n s c r i p t i o n which reads: 632.7 . Ancestral Queens are cursing the king." We can see from t h i s that the Shang f e l t the king's proposed hunting a c t i v i t y was subject to an ancestral curse, emanating from the deceased Shang queens. Inscription 632.1 simply says "wuzi-day", i . e . the 25th i n the cycle, and probably dates 631.4, which occurs on the other side of the plastron i n the same position. Inscriptions 631.11/12 and 16 mention huo *W 'misfortune'.. The omen for t h i s i s that the king dreamt of (guan ) ' l i b a t i o n ' . These inscriptions do not appear to be d i r e c t l y related to the hunting inscrip t i o n s . They are general inscriptions divining about the p o s s i b i l i t y of misfortune, but they do not mention t h i s misfortune with regard to a p a r t i c u l a r event or a c t i v i t y . However, presumably i t had implications for something close at hand. 153 One can see from t h i s how omens and curses formed the other-worldly background to the Shang's everyday a f f a i r s . They were l i v i n g i n a sort of tw i l i g h t zone, f u l l of s i n i s t e r influences and bale f u l s p i r i t s . Therefore, for any proposed action, three things were necessary. F i r s t l y , they had to determine whether there was a curse, and whether i t would result i n misfortune. Under th i s rubric come a l l the disaster graph divinations, such as y i and huo ^tq? . Secondly, any omens that had appeared had to be interpreted. The commonest type of omen i s the dream, and the a l l i e d phenomenon ting J>jJ > which I interpret as 'hearing the voices of the ancestors'. It was necessary to determine which ancestor was causing the dream, and whether i t was a sign of misfortune. Weather could also be an 86 omen: a long period without rain could s i g n i f y a curse from the other world and there was also the natural phenomenon V0f } which probably referred to thunder. Other natural phenomena, such as rainbows and eclipses of the sun and moon, were also probably looked upon as omens. The king's sicknesses were probably regarded as bad omens, indicating divine disapproval. Thirdly, once the omens had been interpreted and the p o s s i b i l i t y of mis-fortune ascertained, a propitiatory s a c r i f i c e had to be offered, i n order to ward off the misfortune. Some bones appear to contain nothing but s a c r i f i c e divinations, i n which case s a c r i f i c e must be regarded as the main topic, and I c l a s s i f y t h i s as ' r i t u a l ' , but usually i t i s part of the omen/curse/sacrifice syndrome, which i s intimately connected with actions proposed on the same bone. Also part of t h i s syndrome are the r i t u a l formulae that attempt to ward off disaster. This includes Keightley's topics 4, 5, and 6. The t y p i c a l excursion formula i s wang l a i Wang huo going and returning there w i l l be no disaster', which Keightley describes as a " r i t u a l incantation' ^ t The ten-day week divinations usually read :xun Wang huo Tl ~%\$) 'in the 154 next ten days there w i l l be.no disaster', which Keightley also refers to as 88 "rountine incantations" . The night and day divinations are usually s i m i l a r l y phrased. Clearly then,these cannot be regarded as divination topics. They contain no thematic material, and are simply s p e l l s . I s h a l l now discuss my two contingent topics, which I have separated from the omen/curse/sacrifice syndrome due to the more independent nature of the i r thematic content. F i r s t l y , the weather. On the oracle bones, weather usually consists of rain. Some bones talk about nothing but r a i n , i n which case r a i n must be recognised as the main topic. However, i n most cases, rain i s a contingent topic related to some other main topic. The main topic i s either agriculture (receiving an abundant harvest), or else some outside a c t i v i t y , such as a hunting expedition or outdoor s a c r i f i c e . In the former case rain i s often (though not necessarily) desired, and sometimes sought after through s a c r i f i c e . In the l a t t e r case rain i s not desired. The Shang hoped that i t would stay fine for t h e i r outdoor a c t i v i t i e s . As Keightley puts i t : "The concern was to discover how the weather might affect 89 agriculture, r i t u a l a c t i v i t y , or the king's various expeditions." Thus r a i n divinations can, i n most cases, be regarded as a contingent topic, whose only point of interest i s how i t affects some other a c t i v i t y . 90 As for sickness divinations, these rarely form the main topic on a bone The king's sickness i s usually divined i n connection with some proposed a c t i v i t y i n which the king was supposed to part i c i p a t e , such as a m i l i t a r y 91 expedition . The sickness here i s probably also seen as an omen, a sign 92 that the ancestors are not favouring the king i n a part i c u l a r a c t i v i t y When the sickness divination i s for a woman, i t i s usually i n connection 93 with c h i l d b i r t h . Apart from t h i s , there are some plastrons whose main 94 topic seems to be sickness or death Because s a c r i f i c e s , weather (rain) and sickness sometimes appear to form 155 the main topic on a plastron, I haye also put them i n parentheses under my l i s t of main topics. However, i t i s necessary to bear i n mind the possi-b i l i t y that not a l l of the divinations for a particular plastron were necessarily inscribed on i t . As one can see from Zhang Bingquan's tran-s c r i p t i o n s , many shells bear crack numbers for which there i s no associated i n s c r i p t i o n , and the number of such ' s i l e n t ' cracks i s by no means small. Having discussed my analysis into main topics and contingent topics, I s h a l l now clear up a few loose ends that are l e f t over. F i r s t l y , Keightley's topic no. 14, "orders". This i s quite e a s i l y dealt with, as the order i s always to perform a p a r t i c u l a r a c t i v i t y . ^ PS Either a group of people, such as the Duo Chen $ , or an i n d i v i d u a l , such as a general or a member of the n o b i l i t y , i s 'called on' (hu ) or 'ordered' ( l i n g ) to perform an a c t i v i t y , such as hunting, making war against a certain farigguo, or performing a certain r i t u a l . The ordering i s c l e a r l y incidental to these main topics, and does not constitute a topic i n i t s e l f . The only matter l e f t to deal with now i s "tribute payments", and the related a c t i v i t y shi 7^ . These two things are not divinations at a l l , but records. The t r i b u t e i s usually t u r t l e s h e l l s , and i s recorded on the back of the plastron, usually i n a corner. The record gives the name of the contributor, and the amount contributed. The thing contributed i s rarely 95 mentioned , as i t i s i n fact the s h e l l i t s e l f , and so did not require 96 stating . Sometimes the place of contribution i s also mentioned, as i n Bingbian 13/21.9: I I 'You Fei contributed .2. At X. I I 156 The verb of contribution i s usually ru , but occasionally l a i i s used^ 7. The meaning of l a i i n this context i s 'to cause to come', and so i t i s normally used of l i v i n g things, such as oxen or Qiang tribesmen. 98 This sort of tribute was probably for s a c r i f i c i a l purposes . The strange thing about l a i tribute i s that i t often appears i n divinations, e.g. "Jiachen-day cracking. Que testing: X i w i l l cause-to-come the white horses. The king read the cracks and said: Auspicious. Perhaps he w i l l cause-to-come." "Jiachen-day cracking, Que testing: X i w i l l not perhaps cause-to-come the white horses (to the number of) f i v e . " (Bingbian 157.11/12) Because of t h i s phenomenon, I also l i s t " l a i t r i b u t e " as a main topic i n brackets, although I suspect that i t i s related to s a c r i f i c e , as the tribute 99 i s usually the sort of thing that the Shang used i n s a c r i f i c e , such as oxen and Qiang tribesmen. As for sh i 'F* , t h i s i s usually interpreted as meaning 'to prepare (plastrons for div i n a t i o n ) ' , as i t i s often followed by the graph ^ , which represents a prepared plastron and carapace'''^ t i e d together, and may probably be i d e n t i f i e d with the character chun ^*^-> i n the sense of 'a pair'^^^, A t y p i c a l shi record reads: * f T + i X- ( (tl 102 "Fu Qi prepared seven brace and one s h e l l . Bin." (Houbian xia.33.10, ap. S.151.4) 157 Bin i s an o f f i c i a l ' s signature. Records l i k e these of course have no connection whatsoever with the divination topics on a plastron. They are simply bureaucratic records. According to the above analysis, how many topics are there on a Period I plastron? Very often different topics seem to be scattered about i n wild profusion, but i n quite a number of cases one can discern a d e f i n i t e homogeneous context l y i n g behind the inscriptions on a p a r t i c u l a r plastron. Among the plastrons that I have examined, we see that Bingbian 1 i s devoted to a complex m i l i t a r y operation, and Bingbian 3 concerns a hunting expedition. Apart from the central theme, a plastron w i l l also often contain a contingent topic, such as r a i n , and an omen/curse/sacrifice syndrome, either i n whole or i n part. A thematic analysis of Bingbian 3, for example, would y i e l d the following scheme: MAIN TOPIC hunting PROPITIATORY SACRIFICE 4.3: -f -kK Z> Wo "To Bi J i exorcise." The main topic i s hunting, and the contingent topics are where to encamp for the night, and r a i n . Actually, the rain i s more d i r e c t l y contingent to the other contingent topic of where to camp for the night, but there can be l i t t l e doubt that these divinations are a l l thematically interrelated. The curse divination attempts to find out whether the ancestor Wang 104 Hai i s cursing their hunting expedition, and the disaster divination t r i e s to find out i f t h i s b a l e f u l influence w i l l result i n some sp e c i f i c misfortune, probably a hunting accident. We know that hunting accidents sometimes CONTINGENT TOPICS where to camp for the night; rain. CURSE/DISASTER y i If") huo ^ 158 occurred from the i n s c r i p t i o n Jirighua' 1"*"^ , which relates how people were thrown from the king's chariot because the charioteer drove recklessly. On the back of the plastron, a propitiatory s a c r i f i c e to the Ancestral Mother J i i s proposed. The Shang may have regarded her as an intermediary 106 who could m o l l i f y the august and somewhat remote ancestor Wang Hai . The main reason for her being chosen as the recipient of th i s s a c r i f i c e i s probably because i t was a j i day i n the cycle. Because of the l i n k s that I have already been able to make between the inscriptions on th i s plastron according to other c r i t e r i a , i t i s thus now possible to t i e the whole thing together into a coherent divinatory scheme. The fact that t h i s can be done for some plastrons without too much d i f f i c u l t y , should hold out hope for the analysis of those plastra whose inscriptions taken i n d i v i d u a l l y are too obscure and e l l i p t i c a l to make much sense of. Such e l l i p s i s was possible because the different inscriptions formed a context i n rea l l i f e that the diviners were f u l l y f a m i l i a r with. 159 CONCLUSION Although p l a u s i b i l i t y plays a large part in determining the r e l a t i o n -ship between the sundry inscriptions on a bone or plastron, there are some hard c r i t e r i a that we can appeal to i n order to support such relationships. In t h i s chapter, I have examined a few of the major ones. I have also examined the c r e d i b i l i t y of Akatsuka'stbngban hypothesis (that a l l the inscriptions on a s h e l l are related), and arrived at the conclusion that even i n Period I there are many examples of plastrons devoted to one main topic, such as war, hunting, agriculture, national expansion, or c h i l d b i r t h , which may be accompanied by a contingent topic, such as rain or sickness. I t i s also usually accompanied by at least a part of the omen/curse/ s a c r i f i c e syndrome. Any proposed action of the Shang's was l i a b l e to be thwarted by any ancestor or s p i r i t , so they always had to find out i f any ancestor would stand i n thei r way and, i f such was the case, how to avert disaster. This was especially necessary when there was an omen, such as a dream by the king or some natural phenomenon. Sacrifices rarely form the main topic on a plastron, as the whole point of a s a c r i f i c e i s to obtain some favour from the ancestors for a part i c u l a r reason, or to ward off some calamity. An exception to t h i s would be the standard wu s i rive s a c r i f i c e s ' , a r i t u a l cycle of s a c r i f i c e s that was carried out according to a prescribed pattern without reference to contemporary events. Rain i s also rarely the main topic, as i t i s either desired for some purpose (e.g. harvest) or not desired for some other purpose (e.g. hunting or outdoor s a c r i f i c e ) . The king's i l l n e s s e s are also often linked to other things, usually m i l i t a r y a c t i v i t i e s . The i l l n e s s prevented the king from taking part i n the a c t i v i t y , and was probably also seen as an omen, a sign of disfavour from the ancestors. 160 Records of tribute and plastron preparation are completely extraneous to the topic of divi n a t i o n , as they are simply bureaucratic records which id e n t i f y who contributed the s h e l l and who prepared i t for divination. However, there are many notable exceptions to t h i s general tendency. Examples of mul t i - t o p i c a l plastrons are: m i l i t a r y + hunting (Bingbian 76, 78, 120); c h i l d b i r t h + harvest (Bingbian 90,96); agriculture + m i l i t a r y + c h i l d b i r t h (Bingbian 243). Some of these topics may not be t o t a l l y unconnected. For example, hunting may have been used not only to furnish the royal larder, but also as a m i l i t a r y exercise or wargame"''^, while c h i l d b i r t h and harvest are both aspects of f e r t i l i t y . However, some topics, such as m i l i t a r y and a g r i c u l t u r a l (Bingbian 55) or hunting and a g r i c u l t u r a l (Bingbian 98), seem to be i n complete c o n f l i c t with each other. This may simply r e f l e c t the nature of l i f e , that only one task i s concentrated on at a time usually. Neverthe-less, there does seem to be a d e f i n i t e tendency for a plastron to be devoted to one main topic and i t s various ramifications. This helps to explain the rationale that l i e s behind the storing of plastrons for renewed divination at a l a t e r date: the subsequent divinations concerned the development of that p a r t i c u l a r a f f a i r . The oracle bone record thus formed a sort of archive for the Shang. The history of the i r m i l i t a r y campaigns, royal b i r t h s , harvests, and lunar and solar eclipses, were a l l written therein. Thus one can say that Akatsuka's hypothesis i s j u s t i f i e d to a certain extent, i n so far as each bone or plastron usually has some focal topic or concern, but i t i s very d i f f i c u l t to work out the s p e c i f i c relationships between the events that l i e behind the i n s c r i p t i o n s , and such an attempt must necessarily be somewhat hypothetical. For example, because insc r i p t i o n s which may be translated as " I t i s Di's ministers who order" and "Testing: The king goes out" are found on the same scapula, he assumes that Di's ministers ordered the king to go out. 'go out' means 'go out on a 161 m i l i t a r y campaign', and the topic of this bone i s c l e a r l y m i l i t a r y . However, 108 what Di's ministers ordered i s not stated . One can go as far as saying that i t was probably something of a m i l i t a r y nature, but there Is no evidence that i t was the king's going out that they ordered. In another example, Akatsuka assumes that the purpose of going fis h i n g i s to catch f i s h for use 109 in a harvest prayer . However, there are no examples of inscriptions that describe the use of f i s h i n a s a c r i f i c e , l e t alone a harvest prayer^^. The sort of animals that the Shang used i n s a c r i f i c e were usually domestic animals, such as sheep, oxen, pigs, dogs, and Qiang tribesmen. The purpose of hunting and fis h i n g was simply to catch food. One can see that a great deal of caution i s necessary i n proposing such hypotheses, but, with that caveat i n mind, tongban relationships can d e f i n i t e l y provide a l o t of valuable information. The whole i s always greater than the sum of i t s parts. 162 ENVOI In t h i s thesis I haye investigated three major contextual layers i n OBI, from duizhen to chengtao to tongban, from pairs of sentences to groups of sentences to whole plastrons. Each layer has something to t e l l us about the nature of OBI, and each layer can make i t s own contribution to the task of decipherment and interpretation. The comparison of duizhen and chengtao can reveal things about grammatical structure and use of graphs, while tong- ban relationships can also reveal to some extent the nature of Shang l i f e i t s e l f . Although my l i n e of approach i n th i s paper has been mainly from the point of view of the language, the aspect of Shang l i f e i s also something that should not be overlooked. The so c i o l o g i c a l and l i n g u i s t i c aspects constantly reinforce each other i n the task of understanding oracle bone insc r i p t i o n s . The complex interaction of these three layers of context not only helps i n understanding the i n s c r i p t i o n s , but also r e f l e c t s the bureaucratic organisation of the Shang. The oracle bones were inscribed according to a certain format, with crack numbers i n a certain order, tribute records i n a certain place, prognostications and v e r i f i c a t i o n s i n a certain place, a l l according to prescribed formulae. After th e i r f i r s t use, the oracle bones were stored i n archives, and taken out for further divination when the parti c u l a r a f f a i r on each bone so required. A l l i n a l l , the Shang oracle records, despite the unusualness of the material on which they are written, have every appearance of being genuine h i s t o r i c a l documents, meticulously kept and empirically tested. 163 Notes to Chapter One 1. By ' h i s t o r i c a l ' I mean the time from which the e a r l i e s t 'soft' texts have been transmitted. Up u n t i l the discovery of the oracle bones i n 1899, the Shang dynasty was held by most to be mythical. The previous 'dynasty', Xia, i s also beginning to acquire some h i s t o r i c i t y , through the medium of archaeology, but of course i t cannot have been anything l i k e the Golden Age that l a t e r writers looked back on with such fondness. it 2. The insight into the significance of the p a r t i c l e cri *rT was done by Serruys (1974). 3. I am grateful to Professor Pulleyblank for pointing t h i s out to me. 4. See Needham 1973. 5. Labat 1976, p.25. 6. Mercer 1961, p. 3. 7. Gardiner 1950, p. 25. 8. Davies 1958, p. 16. 9. Gelb 1963, p. 178. 10. Ibid., p. 21. This i s not to say, of course, that primitive societies are ' c h i l d i s h ' . The fact i s that, from a technological point of view, some societies are much less developed than certain other soc i e t i e s , and, rather as the human embryo exhibits various stages of mammalian evolution during i t s rapid growth and transformation, so less developed societies can t e l l us a l o t about the stages that more developed societies may have gone through at some time i n their past, but of which there are no records save the archaeological one. Archaeology and modern comparative studies must be used both to enrich and rest r a i n each other. Nevertheless, I am grateful to Professor Overmeyer for pointing out to me that one should be wary of using words such as 'primitive'. 164 11. Ibid., pp. .21-22. 12. Petrie 1912, p. 4. 13. I b i d . , p. 4. It has been suggested that the I n a b i l i t y of Islamic people to recognise depictions of humans i s that t h i s is. forbidden i n t h e i r art. Not expecting to see a human form, they are thus unable to recognise i t . 14. E.g. Shirakawa, who suggests that the bones were only inscribed when the king's predictions came true. Thus an i n s c r i p t i o n l e s s bone represents an instance of the king being wrong, while inscribed bones, whether they bear prognostications and v e r i f i c a t i o n s or not, ipso facto mean that the desired result was obtained. This i s an important point, as i t would mean that the divination inscriptions are not simply divinations, but also records of what actually happened. See Shirakawa 1948, p. 27. 15. Gelb 1963, p. 230. 16. I b i d . , p. 231. 17. The various legends about Fu X i and the Yellow Emperor may be found gathered i n chapters 78 and 79 of the Song dynasty compilation Taiping Yulan fu . Cang J i e i s also referred to i n the postface to the Shuowen 5 i t i i M ^ & t . Acc J i e z i tf/i-j According to the Morohashi dictionary, Cang Ji e had four eyes, but no source i s given for this legend, which does not appear i n the postface to the Shuowen, where Cang J i e gets a very b r i e f mention indeed. The Taiping Yulan, chapter 749, "Shu.xia: guwen . r : <3 ^— ", quotes the Shuduan S l^i / f (a Song dynasty work by Zhang £ 5 A%. 5 J J £ 4 - > _j£r Huaiguan "I* on various writing styles) as saying: " C 7 X ^ " ^ v $ & % a ^it &. * i % % © %. ii as. #p (The so-called 'ancient s c r i p t ' was invented by the Yellow Emperor's scribe, Cang J i e . J i e had four eyes i n his head. He could communicate with the s p i r i t s . Looking up he saw the c i r c u l a r formation of the Kui constellation, 165 and looking down he noticed the patterns of t u r t l e s h e l l s and b i r d tracks. Selecting their several beauties, he combined them to make characters)." However, Zhang seems to be confusing two different legends here, as i t was Fu X i who looked up at the heavens and down at the earth, and this inspired him to create the Eight Hexagrams (bagua ) which form the basis of 0 0.1-the Y i j i n g 1j) . This legend i s much older, being found i n the X i c i if]-c to the Y i j i n g , which i s one of the so-called Shiyi T ^ attributed to Confucius. Furthermore, i t was the Yellow Emperor who was reputed to have had four eyes or, i n some sources, four faces. The Taiping  Yulan quotes Huangfu Mi's _f_ Ffl oS*- (215-282 A.D.) Diwang S h i j i 'Tp" J— , which gives a r a t i o n a l explanation for the source of this legend: " ^f®^ , & & * i , *t ^ « : 4 % © g . ([The Yellow Emperor] divided [his o f f i c e r s ] to superintend the four regions [of China], and each one was l i k e [the Yellow Emperor's ] own sight [ i . e . the i r government was as effec t i v e as i f the Yellow Emperor had been there i n person]. Hence the saying: The Yellow Emperor had four eyes)." This passage also goes on to say that the Yellow Emperor had s i f e i <£D 'four consorts', so perhaps another reason for his having four eyes was so that he could keep an eye on a l l of them. A similar story i s related i n the S h i z i (a lo s t work by Shi Jiao 390-330 B.C., also quoted i n the Taiping Yulan, chapter 79), where Z i Gong asks Confucius i f he believes the legend that the Yellow Emperor had four faces. Confucius replies quite calmly:" ~W. '^fi " o (Those that the Yellow Emperor took to cooperate with him were four men. He set them to governing the four quarters. They har-monized spontaneously, and succeeded together without previous agreement. This i s what i s meant by 'four faces')." 166 <r &L According to Guo Moruo (ap. Xiang X i a 1974, p. 18), " ^~ ° a <? *k ft & H to 3 L * *P * ° « "I £ k & & $ % ± >4s $ 4& & i'l t ^ ' l ; 5«J * ^ * ti f iitf'i % * i t (Writing i s the expression of language. The writing of any people, just l i k e t h e i r language, i s something that tslqwly. grows, i s refined, and develops during the labouring l i v e s of the labouring people, from nothing to something, from few to many, from individual t r i a l to popular agreement)." 18. Gelb 1963, p. 232. 19. In thei r ornamental w r i t i n g , the Egyptians also strove for symmetry. See Watterson 1981, p. 57. 20. Tsien 1962, pp. 41-42. The l a s t case refers to the so-called " s± ^ n " vessel, which i s reproduced i n a rubbing i n Rong Geng 1941, 1.94, f i g . 54. This r e a l l y i s a unique example. 21. L i Daliang 1972, p. 8. 22. Zhou Hongxiang 1969, p. 112. 23. A n t i t h e t i c a l pairs of inscriptions are found on scapulae, but are not arranged i n the mirror - l i k e fashion that one finds on plastr a . Rather they run up the scapula (e.g. Cuibian 1100). It might be asked i f the duizhen practice was i n i t i a l l y inspired by the use of the symmetrical plastrons. I would prefer to believe that the act of putting questions to the oracle i n a n t i t h e t i c a l pairs was already an established r i t u a l , and i t was only the mirror-like arrangement of these on the plastron that was inspired by the plastron's symmetry. 24. Zhang Bingquan 1956, p. 242. 167 25. Ibid., p. 244. The question of whether the Chinese honoured the l e f t or the right i s a complicated one, as i t seems to have varied between dynasties. Morohashi gives the following table to demonstrate t h i s fluctuation: til fu .>-> $9 *-• rtk t 1 * & j/ •i/ *• ix. ix. • 7& ix 7 & ? 6 Sometimes the side which i s honoured also depends on the context, e.g. in the army, at a feast, at a funeral, or the hierarchy of court o f f i c i a l s . I t appears that through most of Chinese history, an o f f i c i a l 'of the l e f t ' was higher i n rank than an o f f i c i a l 'of the r i g h t ' . Despite this con-vention, I doubt i f the Chinese were able to overcome the universal human tendency to associate subconsciously bad meanings with the l e f t . In the Book of Rites, i t mentions that men should walk on the right side of the road, and women on the l e f t (Legge 1967, v o l . 1, p. 455, Neize ^ ^ 1.12 ; Chinese edition juan 12, zhang 2, p. 6). The attitude towards the l e f t i n Zhou times at least may be deduced from the posit ion that women held i n that society. 26. See Needham 1973. 27. Ibid., p. 4. 168 28. Corballis and Beale 1976, p. 112. I am grateful to Professor Pulleyblank for pointing out to me the l i t e r a t u r e on this subject. 29. The denigration of the l e f t hand i s taken to extremes i n some cultures.. For example, among Arabs, only the l e f t hand i s used for cleaning the anus or genitals. See Needham 1973, p. 62. 30. Ibid., p. 95. 31. As a verb t h i s term i s now written and, although now pronounced i i i shang  sheng -t- f° was o r i g i n a l l y qu sheng ^ f1 , so i t i s i n fact a derivative of the word for l e f t and not simply the same word. The same si t u a t i o n applies to the word you "Jo . As a noun i t was shang sheng, but qu sheng as a verb. I am grateful to Professor Pulleyblank for pointing t h i s fact out to me. 32. See Chow 1981, p. 46 et f f . , for examples. 33. Chow also discusses these examples, i b i d . , p. 48. However, my translation of them was suggested to me by Professor Takashima, to whom I would l i k e to acknowledge my gratitude for t h i s . 34. Needham 1983. p. 19. 35. Ibid., p. x x i i . 36. Ibid., p. 134. 37. L i Daliang 1972, p. 87: " ^ 3£ 3J7 EJ ... 38. K.C. Chang 1983, p. 110. 39. Wile 1934, p. 198. 40. Ferguson 1928, p. 135. 41. Translation from Biot 1969, v o l . 2, p. 75, para. 15. Chinese edition p. 253. 42. See Yan Yiping: "Zhouyuan jiagu 'fl ". Chungguo Wenzi 1980, no. 1, pp. 159-185. Especially p. 164 and p. 172. 43. Guan Xiechu 0-981), mentions that Shang bones have actually been found bearing such sequences of numbers (pp. 142-143, and diagram on p. 149). 3- P-3 k I'J • ^ ^ *° 169 44. Translation from Biot 1969, vol.2, pp.69-71, paras.1-5. Chinese edition p.251. The Zuozhuan, "Ai 9", contains an example of the yarrow stalks and the t u r t l e both being used to divine about the same event (see Guan Xiechu 1981, p.145). I t was the yarrow stalks that were used to determine the hexagrams. According to the Book of Rites "The s h e l l and the stalks should not be both used on the same subject ( h gL. ^ ^9 )." (Legge 1967, vol.1, p.94, para.26. Chinese edition juan 1, zhang 57, p.30). It seems that the human desire for certainty often led to t h i s injunction being ignored. 45. Keightley 1978, p. 51, n. 124. 46. The carving of inscriptions on the back i s a very common phenomenon. I discuss the relationship between front and back inscriptions more f u l l y i n chapter 3, pp. 114-116, concerning Bingbian 197/198. 47. It was not that there was no room on the plastron as a whole, as many plastrons that have plenty of room on the front s t i l l have Inscriptions on the back. It i s rather because there was not enough room near the associated divination crack, as I argue i n chapter 3, p.114. 48. Chow 1981, pp. 47-50. 49. Bingbian 1.1, p. 72. 50. For t h i s i d e n t i f i c a t i o n , see Takashima, "Nominalization and nominal Derivation with Particular Reference to the Language of Oracle-Bone Inscriptions", pp. 41-47 (manuscript pagination). 51. Keightley 1978, p. 51, n. 124. There i s an interesting passage i n the Book  of Rites which may be of some relevance here: W I- % a & I'l 3 M, % I'l % . "In asking about what had been referred to the t o r t o i s e - s h e l l or the sta l k s , two things were to be considered, whether the thing asked about were r i g h t , and what was the diviner's own mind. On the matter of right he might be questioned, but not on what was i n his own mind." (Legge 1967, vol.2, p.71, para.13. Chinese edition juan 17, zhang 8, p.3b). 170 52. In this instance the mouth element looks more l i k e a ding T , so I t should normally be transcribed as cheng JT^ t. . However, i t must refer to the same ancestor Xian as i n inscriptions nos. 16 and 17. 53. This could also be interpreted as a conditional sentence; " I f we offer human victims (starting) from Xian, we w i l l get approval." 54. L i Daliang 1972, pp. 90-91. 55. Zhang Bingquan 1956, p. 242. 56. Ibid. , pp. 242-243. ,3r> — r -57. Yu ding j j - J could also mean something l i k e 'Yu's soldiers'. Cf. the Huang Yin ding ren referred to by Qiu Xigui (1983, pp. 23-24). Ding "T i s used to mean 'person belonging to a pa r t i c u l a r employment' i n l a t e r Chinese, cf. Zhuang Zi's paoding j i e n i u 58. The fact that wang bai was uppermost i n the Shang mind i s clear because the preface i s omitted from the lefthand i n s c r i p t i o n , so t h i s one must have been divined second. 59. For the interpretation of you ^  as 'get', see Takashima (1983b:) "A Palaeographer's Note on Nominalization: An Emphatic Verb Phrase i n OBI", pp. 7-10; p. 28. For example, you yu ^ ^ means 'get r a i n ' , not *'there i s r a i n 1 . 60. Akatsuka 1977, p. 601, n. 1. 61. The 4"' element i n t h i s graph i s probably the o r i g i n a l pictograph for dun ^ 'shield'. I t cannot be zhone "4^  'shield'. I t cannot be zhong T"^  , as that i s written p i n OBI. 62. In not a few in s c r i p t i o n s , the diviner's name i s also reversed. This would seem to be more aesthetic than magical. 63. I am grateful to Professor Pulleyblank for point t h i s out to me. 64. Although I translate you ^ for the moment as 'to have', i t has been proposed that i n some cases i t could function as an honorific prefix, l i k e 6h the Japanese o- . See Takashima 1980a (usage e.) 171. 65. We can t e l l t h i s refers to the king from i n s c r i p t i o n no. 5 on this plastron, which reads: J! : JE- %z ^ 0 3 . 66. For my phonetic rendering of the graph A , see p. 197 , n. 30. It i s either a place name or a t r i b a l name. The two are often d i f f i c u l t to distinguish i n OBI. 67. The graph ¥ has been i d e n t i f i e d by Wang Guowei as dun i n the sense of po or fa A\ (see LXD 5.1852), as i n Ode 300, "Bigong "He disposed of the forces of Shang" (translation from Matthews under dun , read as dui). Karlgren interprets the ode l i n e as "He brought together the multitudes of Shang" (see gloss 1162) , but says that Waley's interpretation of dun as a loan for dun i n the sense of 'to ruin' i s s t i l l worth considering. 68. The handwriting of 119.3/4 i s noticeably different from that of 119.1/2, 5/6, especially i n t h e i r forms of Que and Qiao ^ , which i n the l a t t e r are rounded, but i n the former more angular. They may have been engraved by different people. 69. Keightley 1978, p. 52. 70. However, th i s c r i t e r i o n may not be as sound as i t appears, as we do not know how s t r i c t l y the inscriber had to adhere to the wording of the div-inatory utterances. Did he i n fact write exactly what was said? Or was he free to omit material from the second member of a duizhen which he f e l t was obvious from the f i r s t member? The preface, for example, i s not part of the charge. I t i s simply a record of the date of the divination and who was i n charge of i t . Clearly i t was not necessary to repeat i t where i t was obvious. Presumably a right-handed inscriber would tend to do the right-side i n s c r i p -tions f i r s t , and therefore would be more l i k e l y to omit things from the l e f t -side in s c r i p t i o n s i f he f e l t they could be understood. There i s no way one can t e l l from the cracks themselves which ones were scorched f i r s t . 172 71. Bingbian 1.2, p. 174. 72. Chow Kwok-ching 1981, p.127. 73. Legge 1967, p.329. Chinese edition juan 7, zhang 11, p.lib.'. 74. Such as Bingbian 96.20/21 (see p.41). Another good example i s Bingbian 106.18/19: Right: I Left: I : X * & @ . 75. E.g. Bingbian 106.16/17: Right: 1 Left: ^ . 76. For these four types, see L i Daliang 1972, p.92, p.93, p.94 et seq., p.84 et seq. respectively. A l l of Li ' s examples are from Bingbian. For ease of reference, I here give an example of each kind. (Li's numbers refer to the plates, but I have changed them to refer to the plastrons in accordance with the practice followed throughout t h i s t h e s i s ) . i "Xinwei-day cracking, Dun testing: The m i l l e t harvest w i l l have enough r a i n . " "Testing: The m i l l e t harvest w i l l have enough r a i n . " (280.1/2) 2. i . if. ^  <#. M. "The king's dream i s not an omen of disaster." " I t i s not an omen of disaster." (104.7/8) "Coming jiawu-day, we w i l l offer human yictims to Shang J i a (to the number of) ten." 173 "Coming jiawu-'day, we w i l l offer human victims to Shang J i a (to the number of) eight." (330.5/6) "Wuzi-day cracking, Zheng: On j ichou-day i t w i l l r a i n . " (84.1) The l a s t i n s c r i p t i o n comes from the back of a plastron, but there are no references to rain on the front either, so i t r e a l l y i s quite isolated, though as I suggest i n my topic analysis i n chapter three, i t probably bears some contingent relationship to the other divinations recorded on the plastron. My understanding of the numerical complement i n example no. 3 follows Takashima 1985. 174 Notes to Chapter Two 1. Zuozhuan: Huan 5: 7 u ^ " i l ^ ^ ^ "There was always a force of 25 chariots, supported by 5 f i l e s of 5 men each, to maintain a close and unbroken front." (Translation from Legge 1872, vol.V p t . l , p.46.) 2. Zhang 1960, p.401. 3. Translation from Biot 1969, vol.2 Book XXIV, p.76, paras. 16-19. Chinese edition p.254. 4. Translation from Karlgren 1950, p.35, para. 9. 5. Ibid. 6. Legge 1967, vol.1, p.94, para.25. Chinese edition juan 1, zhang 57, p.30. Some scapulae found at Xiaotun i n 1971 were found to be l y i n g i n groups d i v i s i b l e by three. Guo Moruo related t h i s to the Documents passage already quoted. See Wang Yuxin 1981, pp. 96-99. 7. My understanding of the graph fe^ as qiu 'autumn' i s taken from Yu Xingwu (ap. L i Xiaoding 6.1961-1966), who interprets the ^ element as AN depicting twigs, and hence the o r i g i n a l graph for tiao 4fe cf. % = & . The twig element l a t e r came to be i d e n t i c a l with the tree mu , and you n'K was added as a phonetic element, to maintain the d i s t i n c t i o n , although, as Professor Pulleyblank has pointed out to me, I *>» seems to be a poor phonetic loan for , f o r , although they belong to the same rhyme, the i n i t i a l s belong to different series. Yu argues that t h i s word i s used as a phonetic loan for qiu 'autumn'. This form appears i n the e a r l i e r i n s c r i p -tions, and i s l a t e r replaced by the character , which appears i n Bingbian /" .611.16/17, 20, 22, 23. The omission of the ' t u r t l e ' phonetic element gives •i'l' the modern graph #A. . Curiously enough, the graphs for 'summer' and 'winter' have not yet been i d e n t i f i e d i n OBI. Yu suggests that i n Shang times, the term chun T F^ included summer, and qiu included winter. The name of the Churiqiu annals may have been inspired by this ancient practice. 175 8. According to Takashima 1983a, although the graph mao ^ i t s e l f suggests a s p l i t into two, contextual evidence from the bones shows that an animal i could be mao-split into zuo , zhong , and you ~JQ , i.e. three sections. Hence my translation ' s p l i t open' rather than 'bisect'. Takashima also argues that i t i s the o r i g i n a l graph of l i u ^ . ' J , and i s cognate with l u ^ji, 'to slaughter'. 9. According to Wang Hengyu (ap. L i Xiaoding 1.83), the word zhu %\j occurs i n the bones as the name of a s a c r i f i c e to the ancestors, but he could not find any examples of i t meaning zhuguan priest . L i cites an i n s c r i p t i o n i n which the phrase hu zhu occurs, and i t seems to mean ' c a l l on the priest (to perform such-and-such a ceremony )'. However, the graph'for zhu here i s simply ^  , without a sh i element by the side. S t r i c t l y speaking t h i s should be transcribed as xiong ^ , which from the examples at S.44.1-4 seems to be a method of s a c r i f i c i n g animals. In the present example, the position of zhu before d i & (i& ) 'to carry, bring', suggests that i t i s best interpreted as a human agent. The Shuowen defines zhu as " »F«. JE. Jj|_ \3«*j 'TQ" (The one i n charge of the s a c r i f i c e , who delivers the words of e x t o l l a t i o n ) " , and I f e e l that t h i s meaning can be carried back to the Shang usage. 10. My understanding of ding T^ Tl as 'd e f i n i t e l y ' i s taken from Takashima 1981. A as 11. Zhang transcribes the graph V'x (a non-existant character) and regards i t as a type of s a c r i f i c e . However, i t always occurs i n a mete-orological context, as can be seen from the inscriptions at S.94.2-3. It clear l y represents a hand beating a drum with a drumstick. Takashima has suggested (personal communication) that i t could be thunder. Cf. the modern graph l e i <f& to beat a drum', which contains 'thunder' as the phonetic element. The modern graph l e i ^ i s a xirigsheng "n/ f creation which replaced the o r i g i n a l bone graph (cf. you replaced by 7^  )• There i s an ancient legend recorded i n the Sharihaij ing iX\ '"^ , "Hainei 176 dongjing % |^) jl ", which runs; " % >f + ^ 'f ^ , % t ft A JI , Jt * Bt I'! f . * * & (in the Thunder Marshes there i s the Thunder God. He has the body of a dragon and the head of a man. When he drums on his stomach i t thunders. He i s to the west of Wu.)" (ap. Yuan Ke 1979, p.50). This ancient legend shows that thunder was associated with drumming. L e i Gong ® , the God of Thunder (the Chinese Thor) was, according to legend, Fu Xi's brother. I t i s interesting that the Thunder God i s mentioned as l i v i n g to the west of Wu, as the oracle bones often state that 'there was thunder i n the west'. I suppose that many legends have some basis i n fact. 12. Keightley 1978, p.46, n.90. 13. Because of this apparent lack of connection, i t was suggested to me by Professor Takashima that there might be a connection between ^ and mi l i t a r y campaigns. The graph ^  occurs i n the following inscriptions i n Bingbian: 17.9/10; 19.9; 200.6/7; 207.3; 208.2; 209.3; 210; 320.2; 382.2; 415.4; 504.1/2; 517.5/6. These inscriptions a l l show that ^ was regarded as an omen, but was not associated with any part i c u l a r topic. It could be a good or bad omen, depending on the day on which i t occured. When rain was sought a f t e r , i t was seen as a good omen — natu r a l l y , as thunder i s often a sign of ra i n . Bird song was sometimes also part of t h i s omen, though usually after the rain had occurred (cf. Bingbian 207/209.3, which I examine l a t e r i n this chapter). The use of thunder as an omen f i t s i n well with my topic analysis i n chapter three. I therefore think i t quite probable that i n the present instance, the thunder i s seen as a favourable omen for the campaign against the Xia Wei. The king's toothache would be seen as a sign of disfavour from the ancestors, and the insc r i p t i o n s on the back of these plastrons represent an attempt to find out which ancestor i s causing i t . The 7th i n s c r i p t i o n on the front of each plastron suggests 177 that i t was f i n a l l y decided that Fu Geng was responsible, and hence a propitiatory s a c r i f i c e was offered to him. 14..Keightley 1978, p.88. 15. Especially i n view of the fact that there are no other examples of you *dt? being negated by fu ^ • I t i s always replaced by wang i n the negative. In modern Chinese, the word you s t i l l has i t s own special negative -rt 7 n / f form mei you Ii , and never takes bu J , although, as Professor Pulleyblank has pointed out to me, there are cases of ^ ^ i n C l a s s i c a l Chinese. 16. One might wonder i n t h i s case why the Shang bothered to divine this alternative at a l l . I believe that f i r s t l y , i t was simply part of the r i t u a l of duizhen, and secondly, the undesired alternative had to be warded off by the use of the p a r t i c l e qjL T T , as I have already discussed i n chapter one. I f the Shang were not going to receive the assistance of the ancestors, then i t would be foolhardy to attack the Xia Wei 'unaided' as i t were. However, they DID want to attack the Xia Wei, and so they t r i e d to influence the ancestors into helping them. Whether such help would come or not, seems to have hinged on the choice of general (Wang Cheng or Zhi Jia) who should lead the attack. Although the i l l o c u t i o n a r y force of the negative alternative i s 'don't go and attack', i t i s quite clear that this was an eventuality that the Shang did not want to entertain seriously. For a f u l l explication of the double negative problem, see Chow Kwok-ching 1982, pp.80-88. 17. This v a r i a t i o n was probably quite natural and subconscious. I t means that the 'character constancy' c r i t e r i o n proposed by Noel Barnard to distinguish genuine bronzes from spurious ones cannot be applied to the bones, and per-haps not even to the bronzes either. Before Qin Shihuang standardized the s c r i p t , there was a great deal of such va r i a t i o n . 178 18. See chapter 1, p. 6, where I quote Gelb on t h i s matter. 19. See Dong Zuobin 1964, p.106, where a table of the evolution of the ganzhi over the f i v e periods of OBI i s given. This table i s reproduced at Kaizuka and Ito 1953, table 2, and Keightley 1978, p.200, table 1Q. 20. Zhang gives a plate and transcription of the Xucun bone at Bingbian 1.1, pp.56-57. 21. Chu ifcj i n OBI usually appears i n a m i l i t a r y context, and probably means 'to go out to b a t t l e ' or 'to go out on a campaign', hence my translation ' s a l l y forth'. 22. For t h i s interpretation, please see Takashima 1980, where he interprets the OBI expression as hua fan , which he glosses as nameraka n i ukabu > ft in 1? "h\ '— • z ^ ' fi^ '"V* 'smoothly flo a t (away from i l l n e s s ) ' . 23. See S.167.1. 24. Zhang Bingquan transcribes the graph as xian 'sleet|, because he thinks i t looks l i k e sleet f a l l i n g . However, th i s character i s not graph-i c a l l y desended from the OBI form. On the other hand, i t does have a graphic connection with dian 'lightning'. The two droplet-like elements probably represent heavy rain rather than s l e e t ( c f . l i n g 4<4 t 0 0 0 J 'drops of r a i n ' , probably the primary form of J^- ). L i Xiaoding 11.3425 interprets i t as l e i \^ 'thunder', and also ci t e s a variant form (p (Cuibian 1570). However, I f e e l that the two f i e l d s © are a phonetic element that convert t h i s / into a different word, as they do i n the modern character <37 I (from ). Apart from t h i s , OBI already has a word for thunder i n the graph V/^  . A si m p l i f i e d form of dian, , i s used to represent the Earthly Branch shen ^ . In his annotations to Cuibian, Guo Moruo transcribes the form (ffl as [S , which he interprets as chou As i t i s used as a place name, i t s meaning cannot be discerned from the context, but the meaning of chou Iff 'divisions between f i e l d s ' certainly 179 makes i t a good candidate, for a place name (although the word : l e i also has a similar meaning). 25. See S.171.2. 26. For example 'Big Pig' and f $ » ( ^ JfL ) 'Lord Tiger of Cang'. 27. An a r t i c l e on t h i s controversy by Keightley, e n t i t l e d "Reports from the Shang", i s to appear i n the next issue of Early China (no.8, 1982-83). Zhang Bingquan i s a notable exception who transcribes i t as shang j i 28. Due to the problematic nature of the graph Q / {&~ / ), I have omitted i t i n my translation here, pending my discussion of i t on pp.60-62 29. Yu i s used for y i j t _ 'the next day'. 30. These insc r i p t i o n s (found at S.255.2-3) are interesting i n that those that carry a pos t - i n s c r i p t i o n a l date are mostly dated i n the seventh month. The other dated ones are dated i n the s i x t h , eighth and ninth months. It would seem that the king only entered the holy c i t y of Shang (tiah y i Shang "^s. EL> Joj ^ a s j_t i s sometimes called i n OBI) at certain times of the year. Some scholars have suggested that Shang was not a r e s i d e n t i a l c i t y , but a cult centre. For example, Keightley 1973 (a review of Wheatley 1971). wheatley notes that "whenever, i n any of the seven regions of primary urban generation [ i . e . Mesopotamia, Egypt, Indus Valley, North China P l a i n , Mesoamerica, central Andes, Yoruba t e r r i t o r i e s of South Western Nigeria J we trace back the characteristic urban form to i t s beginnings we arrive not at a settlement that i s dominated by commercial rel a t i o n s , a primordial market, or at one that i s focused on a c i t a d e l , an archetypal fo r t r e s s , but rather at a ceremonial complex." (Wheatley 1971, p.225). Miyazaki 1970 argues that Shang was a mortuary c i t y , l i k e the Egyptian Valley of the Kings. I am grateful to Professor Takashima for pointing out these references to me. 31. See L i Xiaoding, 4.1515. 180 32. Some examples are; + * -a... i f £ f 1-, '<V...*<\ %•. " J iaz i-day cracking: Should not.... reap? m i l l e t . " (Jianshou 44.7) 1 ff $ i II I'l. "Supervise the reaping? of m i l l e t . " (JXucun 5.23.5) "Xinhai-day cracking, testing: Huo reap? wheat." (Tieyun 177.3) 33. Bingbian 1.1, p.64. 34. See S.361.2. However, these f i n a l b_u (fou ^ ) could perhaps be rh e t o r i c a l , as Professor Takashima has pointed out to me. 35. Bu j _ i % ( ) 'not auspicious' occurs only i n prognostications, and the graph k=J i s different from the j _ i 1 = 7 ( a ) of the crack notations, which Chinese scholars usually interpret as gao O 'report'. See n.27 . Jr ' ' ' The suggestion that o may have meant ' s o l i d , sure, certain' rather than 'auspicious' was made by Takashima (personal communication) partly on the basis of i t s use i n the expression j i j i n <3 32. to refer to bronzes. 36. This i s also a common crack notation. The interpretation given here follows Takashima 1982. 37. Apart from the present example, Sorui l i s t s only two examples of the simple graph i n the ' ^  VERB' construction: "Should not y i return." (Yibian 3424) "Next yiwei-day should not y i l i a o - s a c r i f i c e . ' (Bingbian 128.10) 181 My transcriptions are taken from the o r i g i n a l sources and, as you can see, the lower part of the f i r s t i s not at a l l clear, while the second one does actually have a couple of l i n e s inside i t , thus making i t more l i k e zu -T being used for sui 38. There are also examples of xu Fs, and gui though here i t may be a phonetic borrowing of some kind. See Takashima "Nominalization and Nominal Derivation with Par t i c u l a r Reference to the Language of Oracle-Bone Inscriptions", to appear i n a forthcoming issue of Papers i n East Asian Languages, University of Hawaii. 39. According to Zhang Bingquan (1956, p.254), the occasional ommission of shows that the Shang referred to t h i s ceremony both as bin and y i b i n jL . This seems unlikely. 40. Another good example i s Bingbian 149.15/16: ft m I £ "Greatly retreat to Chun to camp." Hi 4 i l W ^ "Should not retreat to Chun to camp." yfL. ' ^ f From this one can see that » and _»t, do not form a semantic unit. Another example of an adverbial modifier used after wu 'W i s :xiang ( )• This graph stands for the l a t e r df' ' s p e c i f i c a l l y ' (according to Takashima 1973, pp.389-392), and i s used when discussing the sort of Type B verbs that should accompany a Type A verb (see Chow Kwok-ching 1982, p.226). E.g. "We should not s p e c i f i c a l l y perform a l i b a t i o n to Ancestor I i n order to announce the king's -misfortune." (Bingbian 98.13) 182 A-Gao -&~ was a ceremony for reporting to the ancestors on various topics, and could be accompanied by other s a c r i f i c e s or not, as can be seen from the inscriptions (S.120.2). 41. Another example i s Bingbian 275.5/6: H 4 A k t it 4 • a \ K a,,5. ix. "Testing: When Zhi J i a opens the Ba, the king w i l l follow." M 1 £ $ ff & •• 3- 'ID Ik , "Testing: The king should not follow." 42. I have compiled a complete l i s t of such examples i i i Bingbian, of which I here give a few. Although a positive v e r i f i c a t i o n usually follows a positive charge, t h i s i s not necessarily always the case. A positive v e r i f i c a t i o n following a positive charge often contains the word yun 'indeed, as expected'. Similarly a negative v e r i f i c a t i o n may sometimes follow a positive charge, rather than a negative one. As the o r i g i n a l graphs are not germane to t h i s analysis, I s h a l l give a t r a n s l i t e r a t i o n and translation only: 4 1 m -A, . -4. "Order Prince Bu to cross the r i v e r . He crossed." (160.8) X + ^ x ae,. x_. "As for the f i f t y Qiang , we w i l l perhaps not enter them into the s a c r i f i c e . We entered them." (228.3) "The king w i l l catch zhai-deer. He did indeed catch." (86.4) •V 3L h . i ; # i i i A . l . * "Yichou-day cracking, the king: I f we chase zhai-deer, we w i l l catch. We did not go." (323.10) 183 "Yichou-day cracking, the king:.We w i l l not.perhaps catch zhai-deer. We did not go." (323.11) ' The duizhen pair 323.10/11 i s of particular i n t e r e s t , as the so-called v e r i f i c a t i o n says that they did not even go hunting on that particular occasion, so there was no chance for the oracle to be either proved or disproved. Here we see the Shang's concern for keeping an accurate record. This i s further proof that the intention behind the inscriptions i s that of keeping a record f o r , as I have already mentioned i n chapter one, the ins c r i b i n g of the charges was not part of the divination. The fact that the prognostication stage i s often 'by-passed', so to speak, i n t h i s manner, also gives a clue as to the reason for inscribing the charges: the charges i n themselves carry a kind of prediction. The two charges i n a non-con-t r o l l a b l e jhijLzhen represent two a n t i t h e t i c a l predictions. One of these predictions was usually weighted against happening, l i k e a loaded dice, by the use of the p a r t i c l e qjL . As for controllable duizhen, one cannot r e a l l y c a l l these 'predictions', as i t i s not r e a l l y a proper divination to predict that one i s going to do something which i s well within one's control, as i t i s a l l too easy to make sure that such a prediction comes true. I regard t h i s sort of divination as an appeal for divine favour i n a proposed a c t i v i t y . 43. For a discussion of the logographic nature of Chinese, see Boodberg 1979, pp.407-429. Qiu Xigui (1983) expresses an interesting idea about the nature of the Shang s c r i p t . He suggests that, i n the early stages of the s c r i p t , certain graphs may have represented two words, e.g.^ = deng  chang fu 'offer m i l l e t wine', = xiao lao  /i>~ "V 'the lesser s a c r i f i c e (= sheep)' (pp.31-32). 44. The exact nature of the bin ceremony i s not known, but presumably i t was a kind of welcome for the returning sun. The foot element often found 184 underneath suggests movement. Sima Qian paraphrases the Documents, "Yaodian", sentence " (respectfully to receive as guest the r i s i n g sun)" as " (respectfully lead (on) the r i s i n g sun)". The word dao iU, ( <f ) also suggests movement. See Karlgren 1950, p.3, para.4, and 1970, p.54, gloss 1223. The same text also mentions a p a r a l l e l ceremony: (respectfully to say farewell to the setting sun)". See Karlgren 1950, p.3, para.6, and the same gloss as cited above. The word j i a n implies the idea of a feast. In OBI, we also find the r i s i n g and setting sun being s a c r i f i c e d to, e.g. Zhuihe 178 (ap. S.160.1): "Wuxu-day cracking, Nei: Summon Qiao to perform tying-up-sacrifice (?) to the r i s i n g sun, to the setting sun a penned sheep." 45. Palaeographers generally understand the graph 60 (also written GB , ffl ) as ref e r r i n g to Shang J i a . This i s to be distinguished from j i a *f" ( ^ ) which does not have an enclosure. 46. I t might be pointed out that the edge of the s h e l l where this graph would occur i s missing on the other shells i n th i s set. However, the s h e l l Bingbian 37 i s complete, and the graph S3 does not occur here either. 47. See S.274-277. See also Bingbian 392.1/2 and 393.3/4,7. 48. These examples may be easily dated by the form of certain of the graphs, such as 3£ (gui ) and (huo ). See Keightley 1978, table 26. 49. These inscriptions form an interesting symmetry on the s h e l l , thus: 185 50. The object,of t h i s sacrifice, i s generally small animals, such as dogs, pigs and sheep. The bundle element ^ suggests that i t may have involved trussing them i n some way, but th i s i s not certain. See S.349.2-3. 51. The graph which I translate as 'mate' i s i d e n t i f i e d by Zhang Zhenglang as the o r i g i n a l graph for the characters chou and qiuio5 which mean 'mate' or. 'companion'-. In OBI i t i s a t i t l e used for the wives of former kings and, as i n the present case, top ministers. See L i Xiaoding 4.1183-1191. 52. Dong Zuobin 1977 (v.3, p.1161) also remarks that the many " If? " l " " insc r i p t i o n s a l l refer to the same instance of contribution, but does not give any clear reasons for t h i s understanding. 53. The graph depicts a hand holding something a l o f t . I t i s not certain >~ what th i s object i s , but i t bears some resemblance to the graph ~ (zhong ), which may represent streamers f l u t t e r i n g i n the wind. It occurs mostly i n the expression Cji (zhong r i ) 'midday1. Cf. also ^ (S.420.4), which may be a variant of ffi . Perhaps represents a banner being carried a l o f t into bat t l e . 54. I use the word 'beat' here i n the sense of 'vanquish' i n order to convey that c a i "^ C i s a non-controllable verb, as opposed to, for example, fa 4% 'attack', which i s a controllable a c t i v i t y . 55. Although some Chinese scholars interpret the crack notation as er gao 2fc-O 'two reports', this interpretation has not yet been widely accepted, so I s t i l l follow Zhang Bingquan i n understanding i t as shang j i I- * ' ° 'highly auspicious'. 56. The graph @@-> occurs i n the Kang X i Zidian, and i s given as the phonetic 3? . L-L- i t s e l f i s eiven the fanaie readine shi zhuan element i n sun ^S^_ . L-L_ i t s e l f i s given the fanqie reading shi zhuan it >h "T" <p by the Z i Hui ~r -fc , and I base my phonetic rendering on t h i s . The composition of the bone graph i s simi l a r to that of cong ) ' to follow', and may perhaps be the o r i g i n a l graph for jam JXjl/ • I n the Book  of Documents, y^- i s used as a loan f o r ^ — ~ i n the sense of 'yi e l d ' (see 186 Karlgren's gloss no. 1242). In the Y i j i n g , trsr-_ i s often equated with shun , which could be a paranomastic.gloss. These three characters share the basic meaning of 'yielding' one's place or 'yielding' to another's domination. 57. Distinguish between 5 and J^- , which I both translate as 'attack'. Both are 'success' verbs, but 5 ( ) implies 'attack (with success contemplated or hoped f o r ) ' , while ) implies ' g i v e / i n f l i c t harm upon'. I am grateful to Professor Takashima for pointing out t h i s d i s t i n c t i o n to me. 58. 'Big hunting' may have been a m i l i t a r y exercise. Cf. Book of Rites. "Jiao te sheng" (Legge 1967, vol.1, p.426, para.22, Chinese edition juan 11, zhang 13, p.8), where a large scale hunting exercise i s used for m i l i t a r y t r a i n i n g . Yin / may have been a director or overseer of some kind. 59. For a study on the connotations of de_ '/Z* , see Nivison 1976. 60. This graph should probably be transcribed as hai i"£T . Although I should not r e a l l y quote the Kang X i dictionary, I would l i k e to mention that i t gives a guwen & form fc ' for ge "eT J , which also consists mainly of wang T- plus dao 71 , but t h i s form i s not found i n the Shuowen. Takashima makes the connection on the basis that J i s the primary form of *kad, which i s here being used for *gad. Karlgren cites an instance i n Documents of hai «3 which i n an older version read ' (Karlgren 1970, gloss 1407). A l l i n a l l , the evidence for t h i s i d e n t i -f i c a t i o n i s quite good. Both characters are used as an interrogative pronoun of si m i l a r meaning i n c l a s s i c a l Chinese. 61. Although S.76.3 has t h i s graph (along with i t s variants ^~ , , ^ , X fa & v ) transcribed as wang ""^ , thus lumping i t together with -25- , i f e e l that th e i r different phonetic elements should be respected. The graph cl e a r l y consists of the foot element v and the earth element . I therefore transcribe i t as tu 'f^ L. , which occurs i n the Shuowen as 187 where i t i s defined as bu xing ye jQj 'to go by foot 1 . 62. Zhang Bingquan (1960, p.401) mentions t h i s , and also cites Qianbian 7.4.3 and Yicun 22 (the f i r s t and fourth i n a set) as another example of Que and Zheng swapping over i n a chengtao set. 63. Zhang Bingquan (1960, p.401) mentions that he f i n a l l y found the missing piece. 64. For an example of a swap i n mid-topic, see Bingbian 114.1/2 (divined by Que) and 3/4 (divined by Zheng). 65. The qjL j £ i n Zhang's reconstruction should probably be omitted, as i t already occurs i n the positive sentence 78.11. 66. This interesting i n s c r i p t i o n , the interpretation of which i s somewhat controversial, also crops up i n a s l i g h t l y different form on Bingbian 562.2. Due to the fragmentary nature of th i s s h e l l , the f i r s t part i s missing, so we pick i t up in media res: "...you-sacrificed. At dawn i t rained. When we began the decapitation s a c r i f i c e , i t f u l l y rained. When we finished the decapitation s a c r i f i c e , i t continued to rain. We tuo- and l i u - s a c r i f i c e d . There was bi r d song. There was a great opening of the sun ( i . e . i t cleared up)." The l a s t three graphs here are not found on 207.3. 562.1 mentions the dedication of two ding-cauldrons to Xia Y i , who i s also the recipient of the you-sacrifice i n 207.3, and probably also i n 562.2, but that part of the i n s c r i p t i o n i s missing. 67. See note 8 . This sentence might perhaps be more exactly translated as "We k i l l e d by beating and s p l i t open (the s a c r i f i c i a l victims)". and assumed that the Shang s a c r i f i c e d to i t . However, the present i n s c r i -ptions BJ^ijMan 207/209.3, are the only two insc r i p t i o n s i n the whole of 68. Most scholars have understood as niao xing By 'Bird Star', 188 OBI (according to S.238.3) that mention t h i s 'Bird Star'. I prefer to interpret i t as 'birdsong', understanding *j£ as a loan for (S.314.4 sheng >"Sf ) . These two graphs both contain sheng ) as the i r phonetic element. Professor Pulleyblank has pointed out to me that seems a strange phonetic loan for f . However, there i s also another i n s c r i p t i o n which mentions birds singing after thunder, using the verb ming : * * * ft ^ K~ M § T f "Xmao-day offer...(so many days) completed, oh : gerigshen-day also there was thunder, there were singing birds...we speared (?) the Qiang that J i imprisonned." (Zhuihe 36, ap. S.224.4) Singing birds i s something that one might well expect after a bout of rain. The Shang probably regarded i t as part of the thunder omen, which I have already discussed i n note 13. As for.the graph *Q , I i d e n t i f y i t as sui l & i n the sense of 'to complete'. It i s used i n OBI to refer to the number of days that are 'completed' between the day of divination and the r e a l i s a t i o n of some connected event (see S.224.4). My interpretation of the last part of t h i s i n s c r i p t i o n i s uncertain and ad hoc, but the Important point i s that i t shows birds singing i n association with the thunder omen. 69. 209.3 lacks the second you , and also the l i u f^'J , of 207.3. 70. I support my interpretation of ting ( ) as 'to hear the voices of the ancestors' with the following i n s c r i p t i o n s : "Dingmao-day cracking, Fu: The king heard Fu Wu." ° \\ v t 3M f T 4f h • i It- fo r£ . "Dingmao-day cracking: The king heard Xiong Wu." (Yibian 409, ap. S.114.2) 189 These inscriptions are just l i k e the dream divinations which attempt to find out which ancestor i t was that caused the king's dream (see S.450.4). egg, There i s also a Bingbian i n s c r i p t i o n i n which ting J l ^ and meng contrast with each other i n a duizhen, so th e i r meanings were clea r l y a f f i l i a t e d : t <S h ft "The king's hearing voices means disaster. Oh yihai-day, you-sacrifice." £ t 3- .f Hi i®]. "The king's dream means disaster." (Bingbian 350.14/15) It has to be admitted that wei huo 7$) has been f i l l e d i n by Zhang i n 350.15 by analogy with 350.14, as some s h e l l i s missing at th i s point. Nevertheless, the i r close juxtaposition on the s h e l l shows that they are connected. 71. E.g. Bingbian 197, 302, 307, 317, 370. See my appendix to this chapter. 72. Zhang transcribes t h i s graph as , but th i s ignores the person ( element inside. It i s here used as a personal name anyway. 73. I use Wade-Giles here to avoid confusion with the English word 'he'. I am grateful to Professor Takashima for suggesting this method of d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n . 74. Zhang was able to complete t h i s bone with fragments already published i n J i n g j i n 1266. He reproduces the whole thing i n Bingbian 1.1, p.49. The numbers apply to the Bingbian .shell, and the l e t t e r s to the J i r i g j i n s h e l l . 75. According to S.10.4, th i s i s the only occurrence of the graph / . I O o wonder i f i t i s an ad hoc variant of tii , i.e. y i t£j • This i n s c r i p t i o n would then be proposing that the king march against the Yi's c i t y . 76. This s h e l l , taken from Yibian 3797, i s reproduced i n Bingbian 1.1, p.50. 77. For my understanding of ta A**- as 'together with', see Takashima 1983. 190 «{ and °t 78. According to Zhang, some people regard yl and 1 as two separate graphs, the f i r s t r e f e r r i n g to the minister Wu Xian , and the l a t t e r to the king Cheng Tang , but i t - i s probably not j u s t i f i e d to distinguish between ^ and ^ as graph components (Bingbian I.1, p.69). One may compare the interchange of ^ and i n the graph for bin ^ (Bingbian 34-38.3/4), which are cl e a r l y separate graphs when free standing. Zhang argues that Xian i s another t i t l e for Da Y i , who i s i d e n t i f i e d as Cheng Tang (Bingbian 1.1, p.75). 79. See Zhang Bingquan 1960, p.390. The Zhouli passage reads: Ai K i t , f ' l f # > * t f c I ' l i r g + "Lorsque l'on augure par l a tortue ou par l a plante Chi, quand l a ceremonie est terminee, i l s reunissent alors les objets pr^cieux, pour examiner les oracles qui en resultent. A l a f i n de 1'annee, i l s comptent celles des divinations qui se sont accomplies et celles qui ne se sont pas accomplies." (Biot 1969, vol.2, book XXIV, pp.79-80, para.23. Chinese edition p.255). Biot's translation " i l s reunissent alors les objets precieux" does not seem to have much relationship with the o r i g i n a l Chinese, and i s certainly not how Zhang understands i t . My interpretation i s that they t i e d a piece of material to the s h e l l or the yarrow s t a l k s , on which was written the prognostication. Zhang goes on to say that i n Shang times they did not use s i l k , but wrote the divination d i r e c t l y onto the s h e l l , but I argue i n chapter 3 (under ' c y c l i c a l dating') that the Shang also may wel l have kept a separate record. 80. Zhang Bingquan 1960, p.389. 81. I.e. the positive charge i s divined a certain number of times, and the negative charge a different number of times. 82. Zhang Bingquan 1956, p.253. 83. Zhang has also found some scapulae which he thinks might be sets. See Zhang Bingquan 1960, p.390, and Bingbian 1.1, p.29. 84. Keightley 1978, p.38. 191 85. I b i d . , p.120. 86. Bingbian 1.1, p.28. 87. Zhang suggests that they had a f i l i n g system. See Zhang Bingquan 1956, p.253. 88. There i s also the matter of the feiwarigchao buci but these were private divinations that had no p o l i t i c a l significance. 89. Keightley 1978, p. 120. 90. See, for example, Shirakawa's views (1948, p.34): " l ~ '*) ' r ^ <L V. 1 'V 1- & 4: A t I X , 3. A t fet 15 at PI it ^ # j, I 5 t , £ ilt *v h 'a) t : $ >j h J f (Through the medium of the divine r i t u a l of divining [that there would be no misfortune i n the coming ] ten-day week or night, the king p u r i f i e d his period of reign. These divinations were what made possible the king's exorcism-based temporal r u l e . ) " I am grateful to Professor Takashima for pointing out th i s reference to me. \ 192 Notes to Chapter Three 1. S t r i c t l y speaking, buci f- means 'diyinatory i n s c r i p t i o n s 1 , i . e . as opposed to zhanci \"3 'prognostications' and yarici .^J??. ' v e r i f i -cations', but the term i s also used to refer to oracle bone insc r i p t i o n s i n general. 2. They are useful also for determining the focus of a divination, and i t s grammatical structure (from the placing of the negative). 3. In Period I, diviners Que and Zheng often seem to alternate on a plastron, but t h e i r respective divinations usually take place on different days, which explains why a new topic often gets a change of diviner. Bingbian 76.1/2 and 78.1/2 show them sharing the same topic i n a tao, and Bingbian .1141.1.-4 also show them swapping over i n mid-topic, so there cannot have been any s p e c i f i c association between topic and diviner. As for crack numbering, i t usually starts from 'one' with each i n s c r i p t i o n , but sometimes i t carries on from one i n s c r i p t i o n to the next, i n chengtao  buci. As these are obviously related by th e i r largely s i m i l a r wording, we do not need to appeal to the crack numbers i n order to relate them. Another c r i t e r i o n of somewhat more value i s that of positioning on the plastron. This i s p a r t i c u l a r l y important for determiningrwhich prognosti-cations and v e r i f i c a t i o n s go with which divinations, as they are usually inscribed d i r e c t l y behind them on the back of the plastron (although t h i s trend, as with many others i n OBI, i s not always s t r i c t l y observed). 4. Keightley 1982, p.274. 5. See bibliography for d e t a i l s of Akatsuka's book and Keightley's review thereof. 6. Akatsuka 1977, p.601, n . l (referred to the Keightley 1982, p.274). 7. Keightley 1982, p.275. 8. Ibid. , p.276. 193 9. Chow 1982, p.8Q. The determination of. types of composite sentence i s not actually germane to my thesis, but for reference sake one may look at Bing- bian 12-20.2, a double negative construction, whose nature may be determined by reference to the e l l i p t i c a l form i n 12-20.4. I discuss t h i s i n chapter 2, p. 49. Chow also discusses t h i s example (op.cit., l o c . c i t . ) . These i n s c r i p -tions are not i n the same duizhen, but i t i s obvious that they are related from the i r extensive shared vocabulary and grammatical parallelism. 10. Keightley 1982, p.276. 11. Keightley 1978, p.116. 12. The verb cai "^x, i s a success verb, implying 'vanquish' or 'conquer'. L. dr 13. As the expression shang j i -1- « i s only a crack notation, and not part of the charge proper, I do not translate i t . On the s h e l l , these crack notations occur alongside the crack. In my transcription I put them after the i n s c r i p t i o n for convenience' sake. The crack notations indicate the li k e l i h o o d of a charge being realised. For a more detailed discussion, please refer back to chapter 2, p. 54 and p. 59. 14. " j ^ i s an abbreviated form of fa. . 15. I supply 'successfully' as g_u 3^ i s a 'success' verb, as Professor Takashima has pointed out to me. I t means not simply to carry out, but to carry out with success. Although i t i s within the king's control to appoint someone to take charge of his a f f a i r s , i t i s not within his control to ensure that they w i l l bring those a f f a i r s to a successful conclusion. Hence the divination. 16. J i n Xiangheng (ap. L i Xiaoding 9.2855) transcribes the graph as xu (= 3p )• I I himself explains that i t represents a man with a beard. The interpretation "We w i l l not have beards" seems a t r i f l e incongruous, so I understand t h i s graph i n i t s loan capacity as 'necessity'. It occurs behind the display i n s c r i p t i o n 1.13, and probably means something l i k e : "During the battle against the Zhou, we w i l l not be put into a needy s i t u a t i o n . " 194 17. Inscription 19 i s undated, but I haye tentatively assigned i t t h i s date due to i t s proximity to i n s c r i p t i o n no.10. 18. Unless one assumes that Z i Shang was one of the Duo Chen as Professor Takashima has suggested to me, or perhaps he was leading them. One might also speculate that the person called Xian whom Z i Shang might not capture was one of the Fou, perhaps thei r leader. It.may have been a practice to mark out the most important man amongst the enemy and then go for him i n order to scatter the enemy troops. 19. See Zhang Bingquan's annotations, Birigbian 1.1, p . l 20. Cf. Keightley 1978, p.45. 21. If t h i s i s the case, one wonders why the Shang bothered to inscribe those charges that carry no predictions. It may be that they form a sort of h i s t o r i c a l record of Shang a f f a i r s , or even that some prediction i s implied. 22. For a f u l l discussion of Fu Hao, see Kwok 1984. Ito (1967, p.115) also suggests that the diviners were not necessarily Shang people, but were sent to the Shang court by various tribes and states, and that the king, as the chief diviner, was thus able to exercise control over those tribes and states through the medium of divination. 23. See chapter 2, p. 85. There i s a passage i n the Zhouli which helps to support t h i s claim, and I quote i t on p.190, n.79. According to this passage, the charges were written on a piece of material which was t i e d to the s h e l l d i r e c t l y after the divination. The existence of brush written characters i n a red pigment, along with . traces of red pigment by the edges of carved graphs, strongly suggests that the characters were written onto the s h e l l with a brush before being carved. These brush written characters served as a guideline to the i n s c r i b e r , and enabled him to do his job more e f f i c i e n t l y by carving a l l the strokes i n a certain orientation f i r s t , and then rotating the s h e l l to carve those i n a 195 different orientation. I t might be wondered whether the brush written characters were put onto the s h e l l at the time of divination, thus obyiating the need to keep a separate record. After a l l , the speculation that there was a separate record, although i t finds some support i n the Zhbuli, has not yet been borne out by archaeology, so i t s t i l l remains only a speculation. However, the carved graphs always follow the l i n e of the written graphs, and so the calligraphy and placement of the written graphs must be the same as that of the carved graphs. As far as I know, there are no examples of carved graphs ignoring an under layer of written graphs, which one would expect to find i f the charges were written onto the s h e l l as a record at the time of d i v i n a t i o n , and then selected for carving i n a display manner after v e r i f i c a t i o n , so my theory about displacement must apply to the written graphs too. A carved display i n s c r i p t i o n simply follows the l i n e s of a written display i n s c r i p t i o n , and i t cannot have been selected for display treatment u n t i l i t had been v e r i f i e d . I thus f e e l i t unlikely that the brush written characters were added to the s h e l l at the time of divination, any more than the i n s c r i b i n g was. I hypothesize that the Shang approached the oracle with a l i s t of written questions or matters on which the oracle was to be consulted, and t h i s l i s t was then kept together with the s h e l l . 24. The difference between ca i and fa A\ i s that Cai i s a success verb (according to Takashima's analysis) and i s thus negated by fu ^fa , whereas fa i s a .controllable verb, and i s negated by wu J ^ 25. This expression, which occurs frequently i n the bones, was f i r s t explained by Guo Moruo with reference to the Odes l i n e wang shi mi gu (ode 121). Karlgren translates t h i s l i n e as "The service to the king i s not defective" (gloss 301), but the meaning 'defective' w i l l not f i t into the oracle bone context. For the explanation of Guo and others, see L i Xiaoding 1965, 3.701-710., Guo's explanation seems to have been generally 196 accepted, despite the fact that the ode character gu \jcL has never been glossed as 'carry out, manage e t c ' Yu JKingwu i d e n t i f i e s the bone graph. as the o r i g i n of the character z l , which he argues i s used for z a i i n the sense of xing ^"J~ 'carry out' (3.702-705). This i s certainly more sa t i s f y i n g from a semantic point of view, but his i d e n t i f i c a t i o n seems -fc- * rather convoluted. The Er Ya glosses # as chi 'to govern' (HY 3/1B/29) The bone graph i s the o r i g i n of the characters shi , s h i ^ , s h i IsC , and l i , so i t i s sometimes d i f f i c u l t to decide whether i t refers to 'envoys' or ' a f f a i r s ' . However, the usage can usually be determined from context. See Takashima 1984, pp.33-34. 26. Some of these names may refer to individuals, i . e . the chieftains of the -kj- * /— tribes of the same name. For example, the name Jifang Fou /JE? also occurs i n OBI, and probably means "Fou of the J i t r i b e ' . I t i s often d i f f i c u l t to decide i n OBI whether a name refers to an ind i v i d u a l or a group of people. 27. I use the word 'destined' as the modal negative wu implies that the success or f a i l u r e of the venture was.controlled by the ancestors i n some way, as opposed to wu W , which i s a direct prohibition, and refers to an a c t i v i t y which i s under one's own control. See Takashima 1973. 28. E.g. Bingbian 3.3-8, where i t i s divined whether Z i Bu or Z i Shang should be called to go trapping, or whether the king himself should go. See pp.137-138 of this chapter. 29. This sort of omission may also be postulated for Biiigbian 1, on which i n s c r -iptions 17 and 19, as I have just mentioned, are negatively phrased i n s c r i p -tions occurring on the l e f t but with no positive duizhen counterpart on the right. It seems unlikely that the Shang would only have asked these questions i n the negative, as these negative divinations are c l e a r l y undersirable, indicating lack of success, so using only the negative divination would seem to be somewhat inauspicious. 197 30. According to the Karig X i dictionary, the Yiipian _£.' quotes the char-acter ( i . e . wang over da ) as a guwen form of jun 2f- . . There i s no evidence that t h i s somewhat la t e recorded character, which does not occur i n the Shuowen, has any connection with the oracle bone graph ^ , but I a v a i l myself of this i d e n t i f i c a t i o n purely for the sake of making i t pronounceable. Karig X i defines jun $• as 'Where an army stays i s called jun', and quotes the Zuozhuan, Huan 6: , fie J? y"A 'T* 'Encamped at Xia and awaited him.' The graph 7: could perhaps 'W represent putting up a tent. A graph corresponding to jun --r - has not yet been discovered i n the oracle bones. The seal form i s (^ ) , and the Shuowen defines i t as ( i . e . to surround)., .... M j t , U 'c2j . In the present i n s c r i p t i o n , Jun refers to an enemy t r i b e . We can see t h i s from Bingbian 119.5/6, where an attack on the Jun i s proposed. 31. My translation of 197.11/12 does not r e f l e c t the word order of the o r i g i n a l , but was necessary i n order to demonstrate how the emphasis i s placed on the fa 4£ . In the construction ^) , the normal VO word order i s inverted. This could well be the forerunner. of the p r e - c l a s s i c a l ' Kl£ ^ ^ ^ / V' formula, which i s seen i n the Odes and the Documents. In the Documents, the resumptive pronoun i s not always present, thus making the formula s u p e r f i c i a l l y just l i k e the bone formula. 32. Inscriptions 197.11-14 seem to be connected. 197.11 reads "Exorcise (in the presence of) Fu Y i . " The object of the exorcism i s probably the fa-victims that Fu Y i i s mentioned as cursing i n 197.12/13. The significance of this i s probably that the victims had to be 'clean' i n order to be used i n sac-r i f i c e . A curse from Fu Y i would make them unclean. 197.14 probably also refers to the fa-victims, and says that i f they are used i n s a c r i f i c e that evening, things w i l l be right (zheng ' r e c t i f i e d ' ) , so i t seems that Fu Y i was not cursing the fa-victims after a l l . These are probably the same fa as are.mentioned i n 197.2/3/4. These fa may perhaps be the fu --J- 'captives' that were captured from the Jun T^ v t r i b e on some m i l i t a r y operation. 198 33. Xian Wu and Xue Wu are ancient worthies that the Shang s a c r i f i c e d to. 34. This has been determined as a synodic year based on the appearance of the planet Jupiter. See Pankenier 1983. X it, 35. For my understanding of V as tu l>C- , see p.186, n.61. In the present i n s c r i p t i o n , I interpret i t i n a causative sense. 36. See Zhang Bingquan's annotations, Bingbian I I . 1 , p.319. In Bingbian 1, we also find that crack numbers are erased to make way for the display i n s c r i p t i o n 1.3 (see Bingbian 1.1, pp.2-3). The crack numbers were carved at the time of divination i n order to i d e n t i f y the cracks, so that when the inscriptions came to be made, the inscriber would know which i n s c r i p t i o n to carve by which crack. 37. See p. 190, n.79 for reference and translation. 38. Although the tiangan are missing, one can determine from the d i z h i that the missing number here must be 5. There are 7 days inclusive between a shen-day and a yin-day, and the nearest multiple of this between 170 and 180 i s 175 (=7 X 25). I f one assumes that the date the i l l n e s s broke out again was the nearest day before Kun's death, then one may f i l l i n the relevant dates as bingshen and gengyin, but this i s only a speculation. The second wei must of course be yiwei, as the term zhuo cuts into i s always used between consecutive dates. See also Takashima 1979, p.54, n.19. 39. My phonetic gloss to t h i s character i s based on the double insect element , which according to the Shuowen i s read l i k e kun 40. See L i Xiaoding 14.4061-4071. 41. Shuowen: . 42. See L i Xiaoding 2.279-283. L i l i s t s i t as one of the graphs on which opinion i s divided. 43. One can see from the seal form O how easy i t would be for the elephant ( i f that i s what i t i s ) to become a pig. 44. This expression often occurs i n prognostications i n the formula ruo cheng 199 , meaning that the situation w i l l pxoye to be just as the king has evaluated. See Takashima 1984, pp.7 and 40. 45. L i Xiaoding 2.279. 46. Though by the time of Period V, the xun wang huo •'sj t 0 'in the next ten days there w i l l be no disaster' inscriptions were regularly divined every ten days. Cf. Keightley 1978, fig.10. 47. It might be argued that my examples represent two different things; e l l i p s i s ( i n which the subject i s understood) and omission (due to carelessness on the part of the scribe?) respectively. However, the graph for zhen J | i s often omitted, even when the preface i s otherwise i n t a c t , and I cannot help feeling that i t was simply another word that was considered a prime candidate for e l l i p s i s . The boundary l i n e between e l l i p s i s and omission i s hard to draw indeed. 48. 3.21 was also dated, but the fragment of s h e l l where the date appeared i s missing. 49. Z i may be translated as 'prince'. It i s l i k e l y that i t was used as an a r i s t o c r a t i c t i t l e , regardless of whether the bearer of the t i t l e was r e a l l y descended from a king ( i . e . a conferred t i t l e ) , as Professor Takashima has pointed out to me. 50. The scope of the negative wu , as has been shown by Takashima (1973) and Chow (1982, pp.96-100 and 115-116), extends to the verb %~ . Wu  >JD i s unique among the OBI negatives i n allowing the 'intrusion' of adverbial elements between i t and the verb i t negates, e.g. ' W I f v', • *W £f-V' (Takashima 1973, pp.165-166, p.190). The construction here, the same, yu J being a coverb. The coverb yu implies 'motion towards'. I t i s extremely unlikely that i t ever occurs as a f u l l verb i n OBI (see Chow 1982, pp.100-115). Consider-ing the general tendency for coyerbs i n Chinese to be derived from verbs, i t may we l l have been a verb once, but was no longer so by the time of the 200 oracle bones. I am placed i n a quandary as to how best to translate inscriptions 3.9/10 and 18/19/20 into English, for i f I translate yu as 'at', that implies that i t i s purely l o c a t i v e , and i f I translate i t as 'go to', that implies that i t i s a f u l l verb. I have chosen the former as doing less violence to the r e a l nature of yu -f . Yu also seems to imply f u t u r i t y , i.e. the sense of 'going to do something', as Professor Takashima has pointed out to me. 51. I adopted t h i s translation i n order to avoid taking Luan as a proper name, which i s what Zhang Bingquan does, thus overlooking the hunting scenario altogether. 52. A number of the inscriptions on the present plastron are also chengtao buci, but I hope to go beyond that and r e l a t e them to inscriptions outside the set. 53. Keightley 1978, p.89, attempts to give a rough idea of the number of man-hours that the Shang put into plastromancy, and the result i s quite stagger-ing. Attempts at saving time are quite understandable. 54. The reading y i for this character i s taken from the Guangyun (ap. Kang Xi) which gives . 55. Mickel 1976, p.240. 56. Bingbian I . l , p.82. The Xu Kai ^ commentary to the Shuowen says: (ap. Kang X i ) , i . e . huo i s caused by man provoking the s p i r i t s , while sui i s a warning sign from the s p i r i t s . So perhaps y i was a monitory omen of some kind. Another difference, pointed out to me by Professor Takashima, i s that y i i s t r a n s i t i v e , while huo i s i n t r a n s i t i v e . That y i and huo are quite different can be seen from the way they contrast i n OBI: i t was perfectly possible to have y i without huo, e.g. Bingbian 48.1/2: 3_ S a % ; i 4 £ & t t3 « which Zhang Bingquan translates as " 5H^  ^ ^ ^ /& ^ ^ - _ 4§ ^ JL ^ % J'l A ^ ." (Bingbian I . l , p.82). 201 57. Professor Takashima has pointed out to me that an assumption commonly shared by Japanese scholars i s that 'to enter'- a certain place meant 'to enter the area under the j u r i s d i c t i o n of a certain l o c a l s p i r i t ' , and that t h i s necessitated some sort of r i t u a l to ward off the e y i l influences of the foreign earth-god. 58. For further evidence that omens and disasters, such as y i ^ and huo , often form the background to the Shang's proposed a c t i v i t i e s , see my analsysis of the omen/curse/sacrifice syndrome l a t e r i n t h i s chapter, pp.; 148-152 59. I have given t h i s graph t h i s reading, as the Guangyun (ap. Kang Xi) says i t i s the o r i g i n a l graph for The exact pronunciation of oracle bone graphs i s somewhat academic, but i t i s easier to talk about them i f they are made pronounceable. Zhang Bingquan defines " thus: " i§ ?ft j i , 4k- & I'J », i . e . an army encampment (Bingbian 1.1, p.18). The Guangyun's claim i s based on the Shuowen. If t h i s i s correct, then perhaps ^ (K.543 *twar) i s being used as a phonetic loan for ^'t' (K.559 * s i 3 r ) . Perhaps i t i s also phonetic i n (K.570 *kiwar). The archaic Chinese rhymes are the same, but the i n i t i a l s and medials vary somewhat. In & (K.196 *k'ian), which the Shuowen defines as a small clod of earth, i t could be s i g n i f i c . 60. For the exact nature of y_u "J~ , see Pulleyblank 1983, i n which he relates i t etymologically to wang . 61. This rather clever i d e n t i f i c a t i o n was made by Shang Chengzuo on the basis of the Erya.shiqi " . ^  ™ d e f i n i t i o n : ^ The oracle bone graph could be a variant of b_i ~\ ( T~ ), cf. the variant with a b i r d : -f- . rtl (ft t 62. As one can see from my discussion of the graphs IQ' , • (bin ) i n chapter 2 , p. 62. 63. As Professor Takashima has pointed out to me, i t i s curious that the p a r t i c l e q i occurs i n the negative sentence, as t h i s suggests that the Shang 202 wanted rain on t h i s occasion, though one would have thought that clear weather was desirable for outdoor camping. Looking back i n retrospect from 3000 years l a t e r , i t i s d i f f i c u l t to imagine the circumstances which led to t h i s choice of phrasing. 64. See p. 157of t h i s chapter for a schematic analysis of the topics on this plastron. 65. Chen Mengjia 1956, pp.85-134. One should also mention Guan Jiiechu 1953. 66. Notably by such scholars as Serruys and. Takashima. 67. As t h i s analysis i s purely grammatical, i t i s only necessary to give a transcription into modern characters here. The examples are taken from Bingbian and from Shima's concordance. 68. According to Takashima (personal communication), fa means 'to attack' in the sense of 'to tear to pieces'. Hence i t can be used f i g u r a t i v e l y of routing an army, and also as a method of s a c r i f i c e . I t may be etymolo-g i c a l l y related to such words as ba ^ , which implies d i v i s i o n , and bie fill "ft J , which implies separation. % pit. 69. He regards i t as short for Z i Jing ' (see Bingbian 1.2, p.166, concerning plastron 114, i n s c r i p t i o n 6), 'Prince J i n g 1 . 70. Bingbian I . l , p.18. 71. A p a r t i c u l a r l y good contrast i s offered by Yibian 7750: I & I * -f . "Testing: I t should be the Duo Z i that (we) c a l l to go....." "Testing: It should be the king himself who goes (deer-) trapping." 72. But see Bingbian 261.11: i i m 0. "Testing: C a l l on the king to go....." However, this i n s c r i p t i o n i s incomplete, and 261.5-9 talk about c a l l i n g on the wang zu 'king's clan members' to go, so .261.11 could be e l l i p t i c a l for the same thing. 203 73. The reading for this character i s taken from the Guangyun (ap. Kang X i ) : 74. The graph t i a n ^ can be a noun 'field/hunting ground' or a verb 'to hunt', now written •J,JS^ . Sometimes i t also seems to refer to an a g r i c u l t u r a l a c t i v i t y . Because the f i r s t sentence has wang MS. d i r e c t l y followed by tian , and wang i s rarely d i r e c t l y followed by a noun, I prefer to interpret i t here as a verb 'to hunt', but the second example could well be interpreted as "The king w i l l go to the field/hunting ground'1, as Professor Takashima has pointed out to me. 75. See Pulleyblank 1983, p.6. I would translate the ode l i n e as "Shu i s a-hunting." 76. The place name 'A r should be distinguished from the verb ^ 'to give b i r t h ' (see S.281.3-4). The f i r s t graph has been i d e n t i f i e d aS ming 7^ , and the '2 .... * f c '•>• or mian J A-> l a t t e r as either ming or  J^-i (see L i Xiaoding 7.2237 and 14.4317). 77. Keightley 1978, pp.33-35. 78. My reason for putting topics 7-10 i n brackets i s discussed on pp.154-155. 79. Distress/trouble and requests to ancestral or nature powers may also be included under the rubric of this syndrome. 80. This i n s c r i p t i o n has already been cited at chapter 2, p.189, n.70. 81. The precise meaning of the verb i s unknown, but from the Inscriptions (s.240.1-2) i t seems to refer, as Professor Takashima has pointed out to me, to a weather condition, sometimes contrasted with rain . In the present case, i t i s contrasted with 1 'overcast' i n i n s c r i p t i o n 46.1 on the front of the plastron. I t consists of ba s i g n i f i c and y_u v ^ x % phonetic element, and may have something to do with opening up/scattering (e.g. clouds?) 82. Because of the contrast between y i and h u o " IW , 1 f e e l that an adversative meaning has to be read i n here, though i t should be pointed out that the adversative significance appears but rarely i n OBI. 83. This graph i s probably the o r i g i n a l form of meng i n the sense of 204 'darkened sky, cloudiness' (see Karlgren's gloss no.385 concerning the l i n e ^ & £ '%< 84. The Shuowen says from ode 156). Q5- " (Huan means 'to nourish'. The north-east corner of the room i s where the food i s kept). As Zhang Bingquan points out i n his annotations (Bingbian I . l , p.81), this i s a Han dynasty d e f i n i t i o n , and does not nec-e s s a r i l y go back to the Shang dynasty. Zhang says that one cannot state categorically that i n the Shang dynasty i t referred to the north-east corner, as i t probably acquired this meaning due to a practice of eating i n that corner ( i . e . where people nourish themselves), which may have existed i n the Han dynasty, but not necessarily as far back as the Shang dynasty. However, Zhang does assert that i t probably referred to some corner of a building, and could be connected with inscriptions 27/28 on the same plastron, which refer to 'performing the shu-sacrifice i n the south-west' "Gengyin-day cracking, testing: Next xinmao-day, i f the king, when there i s 4!?. weather condition, does instruction (?), i t w i l l not r a i n . 8th month." (Jiabian 3510, ap. S.240.1) "I The absence of q_i -ft" suggests that rain was not desired, and there are also other inscriptions that t a l k about not meeting with rain when perform-ing fi ) , of which I take ^ to be a variant. This must have been an outside a c t i v i t y for which fine weather was required, perhaps some form of m i l i t a r y training? 86. E.g. Bingbian 203.22/23: * % h H !•• * ft. € ii. % % ft 4% . "Renyin-day cracking, Que testing: Not raining means th i s Shang has provoked misfortune." 205 i - ^  ^ % 2* S , "Testing: Not raining does not mean th i s Shang has proyoked misfortune." An example of pr e c i p i t a t i o n being an omen -may be found at Bingbian 61.3/4, which I examine i n chapter 1, p. 23. 87. Keightley 1978, p.34. 88. Ibid. 89. Ibid. 90. But cf. Bingbian 239/240, where sickness appears to be the main topic, and even carries i t s own omen/curse/sacrifice syndrome. 91. E.g. Bingbian 12-21, which I examine as the f i r s t set i n my chapter on chengtao guij i a . 92. E.g. Bingbian 51.8/9 ! • • i 4 s. "Testing: The king's sickness means disaster." I : i A ^ ^ ffl> . "Testing: The king's sickness does not mean disaster." See also Dian Feng's i l l n e s s i n the second chengtao set I examined (Bingbian 29 and 31). 93. E.g. Bingbian 257/258. 94. E.g. Bingbian 205. 95. I t i s not mentioned i n any of the examples at S.256.1-257.1, but there i s an example at Bingbian 168: > A . "Qiao contributed t u r t l e s (to the number of) 500." 96. Gui li§7j sometimes occurs af ter . l a i I suspect that, these may have been l i v e t u r t l e s , as l a i i s normally used of animate tribute. L a i appears to be used causatively here ('cause to come'), and i t seems that only things that could come by themselves ( i . e . animate things) could be caused 206 to come. Plastrons were unable to came by themselves. L a i i s now written in t h i s meaning. I t may also be connected with the character l a i $[~ 'to bestow', which i s a qusheng word. 97. See S.200.2-3 and 201.2. 98. E.g. Bingbian 227.3/4 divines about the p o s s i b i l i t y of Dashi 'causing-to-come' 50 Qiang tribesmen. On the back of this plastron, i t i s diyined whether to enter the 50 into a s i s a c r i f i c e . Bingbian 41.6-7 also divines about 'using' (ybng J$j ) i n s a c r i f i c e some Qiang that haye been lai-contributed. 99. E.g. Bingbian 81.5/7/8 divine about whether Hua l a i niu & •T- "n 'Hua w i l l cause-to-come oxen'. 100. Although the carapace was seldom' used i n divination. I t was nearly always the plastron. Bingbian contains one example (66). 101. The Kang X i dictionary gives a guwen form - which has er 'two' s i g n i f i c - (not found i n the ShubWen), and quotes a passage from the Book of Rites, "Tou Hu (The Game of Pitch-pot)", i n which a pair of bamboo J ^ - t a l l i e s (used for keeping the score) i s referred to as a chun . The basic meaning of the bone graph J i s probably 'a pair'. 102. The preparation of plastrons was nearly always conducted by a woman ( i f the graph fu only applies to women, although there i s some dispute over t h i s ) . 103. As Professor Takashima has pointed out to me, this sort of scheme might also be regarded as r i t u a l i t s e l f . 104. There may have been an omen which indicated that such a curse was l i k e l y , though i t i s not recorded on the s h e l l , There must have been some way i n which they knew i t was Wang Hai who was cursing them. 105. This i n s c r i p t i o n may be found at S.465.2, and my interpretation of i t follows Takashima. Such detailed ve r i f i c a t i o n s are yery interesting, but lamentably rare. 207 106. This i s only a. tentatiye suggestion. Wang Hai was the la s t of the 'remote ancestors' 5 d i r e c t l y before Shang J i a . Some sort of watershed i n Shang history i s suggested at t h i s juncture by the fact that hai i s the l a s t of the d i z h i £ , while j i a i s the f i r s t of the tiangan 107. Cf. Book of Rites (Legge 1967), "Jiao Te Sheng ^ ", v o l . I, p.426. Chinese edition juan 11, zhang 13, p.. 8.. Cf. also Bingbian 78.13: v 7 "Order the y i n - o f f i c e r s to engage i n a big hunt." The rest of the inscriptions on th i s plastron are concerned with warfare. I have already examined th i s plastron as set no. 5 i n chapter 2. 108. See Keightley 1982, p.274, discussing Akatsuka 1977, p.481 (fig.1-104). 109. Akatsuka 1977, p.543. 110 See S.239.4, where yu ^ ( -'5 .^ ) i n most cases refers to the a c t i v i t y of f i s h i n g . I t i s also used as a personal/place name. 208 BIBLIOGRAPHY This i s not a general bibliography, but consists only of works either cited or consulted. Oracle bone collections are omitted, as a complete l i s t i s readily available i n Keightley 1978, pp.229-231. I follow his abbreviations, except that I have transcribed them into piriyin. Akatsuka Kiyoshi ^%<- &r 1977 Chugoku kodai ho shukyo to bunka—-In ocho ho s a i s h i Tokyo: Kadokawa Shoten. Biot, Edouard, t r . Boodberg, Peter A. 1969 Le Tcheou-li ou r i t e s des Tcheou. 3 vols. Paris, 1851. Reprint, Taipei, 1969: Cheng Wen Publishing Company 1979 Chen Mengj i a 1956 "!'Tdeography' or ' Iconolatry' ?". In Selected Works  of Peter A. Boodberg, edited by A l v i n P. Cohen, pp.407-429. Berkeley: University of C a l i f o r n i a Press. Or i g i n a l l y published i n T'oung Pao 35 (1940), pp. 266-288. Yinxu buci zongshu JtS- jjk K iMi^ . Peking: S c i e n t i f i c Press. Chow Kwok-ching 1982 "Aspects of Subordinative Composite Sentences i n the Period I Oracle Bone Inscriptions." Ph.D. dissertation. University of B r i t i s h Columbia. Co r b a l l i s , Michael C., and Beale, Ivan L. 1976 The Psychology of Left and Right. H i l l s d a l e , New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc., Phublishers. Davies, Nina M. 1958 Picture Writing in Ancient Egypt. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Ding Fubao I960 Shuowen j i e z i gul i n a5L ^ gfc Taipei: Commercial Press. Diringer, David 1968 The Alphabet—A Key to the History of Mankind. 3rd ed. 2 vols. London: Hutchinson. Dong Zuobin (Tung Tso-pin) 1952 An Interpretation of the Ancient Chinese C i v i l i z a t i o n . Taipei: Chinese Association for United Nations. 209 Douglas, Alfred 1964 F i f t y Years of Studies i n Oracle Inscriptions. Tokyo: Centre for East Asian Cultural Studies, Translated from the Chinese Jiaguxuc wushinian ^ ^ «3L"t" -f" (1955, Taipei: The Continental Magazine Company). 1977 Dong Zuobin xiaiisheiig quanji Taipei: Yee Wen Publishing Company. 1971 How to Consult the I Ching—The Oracle of Change. New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons. Downer, G.B. 1959 "Derivation by Tone Change i n C l a s s i c a l Chinese." BSOAS 22, pp.258-290. Ferguson, John C. 1964 The Mythology of A l l Races—Chinese. Vol. 8 i n a 13 v o l . series. New York: Cooper Square Publishers, Inc. (F i r s t published 1928 by Marshall Jones Co.) Gardiner, Allen S i r 1950 Egyptian Grammar. 2nd ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Gardner, Martin 1979 The Ambidextrous Universe—Mirror Asymmetry and Time-Reversed Worlds. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons. Gelb, I.J. 1963 Guan Xiechu •f x m 1953 A Study of Writing. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Yirixu jiagu k e c i d e yufa yanjia 'f'ff' fc\ ^ f§ . Peking: Chinese Academy of Science. 1981 Huangfu Mi %. w 5>!$ 1964 Ito Michiharu lr H^ N" i l l 1967 • 1984 . "Shang Zhou jiagu he qingtongqi shang de guayao,bianshi Guwenzi yanjiu & SZL '|? ^qf 6, pp.141-149. (215-282 A.D.) Diwang s h i j i j i c u n •fa it &l> II- # Edited by Xu Zongyuan \^ . Peking: Zhonghua Shuj u. Kodai In ocho no nazo & "^t" kSi 5- %ft <7) t&  %JC Tokyo: Kadokawa Shoten. "Kokuritsu Kyoto hakubutsukan so kokotsu moji Bunkagaku nenpo ./f 5f- (Kobe Daigaku & ? -K )3, PP.171-186. 210 Kaizuka Shigeka and ItC Michiharu 4? fl& & 1953 "Kokotsubun dandai kenkyuho no saikento—Doshi no Bunbutei j i d a i bokuji o chushin to shite ™ >*-* f f v & — i & <n <. & T af w y t * x L t ** ." i n Indai seido; burika no kenkyu %%_ J\K -ji ^jfa) At 0) 'j>b (Originally published i n TSho" gakuho" ^ 23 (March 1953), pp.1-78.) Karlgren, Bernhard 1950 The Book 61 Odes. Reprinted from BMFEA.16 (1944) and 17 (1945). Goteborg: Elanders. 1950a The Book of Documents. Reprinted from BMFEA 22 (1950). Goteborg: Elanders. 1964 Glosses on the Book of Odes. Reprinted from BMFEA 14 (1942), 16 (1944), 18 (1946). Goteborg: Elanders. 1970 Glosses on the Book of Documents. Reprinted from BMFEA 20 (1948) and 21 (1949). Goteborg: Elanders. 1972 Grammata Serica Recerisa. Reprinted from BMFEA 29 (1957). Goteborg: Elanders. Keightley, David N. 1973 1978 1982 Nyp "Religion and the Rise of Urbanism." JAOS 93,4, pp.527-538. (Review of Wheatley 19 71, q.v.), Sources of Shang History—The Oracle-Bone Inscriptions  of Bronze Age China. Berkeley: University of C a l i f o r n i a Press. "Akatsuka Kiyoshi and the Culture of Early China—A Study i n H i s t o r i c a l Method." HJAS 42.1. (Reyiew of Akatsuka 1977, q.v.) Also reprinted as Faculty Reprint Series no.6, Institute of East Asian Studies, University of C a l i f o r n i a , Berkeley (June 1982). "Reports from the Shang." To appear i n Early China 8 (1982-82). Kwok Kian-chow 1984 "The Tomb of Fu Hao." M.A. dissertation... University of B r i t i s h Columbia. Labat, Rene 1976 Manuel d'Epigraphie Akkadierine. 5th ed. Paris: Geuthner. 211 Legge, James, t r . 1871 The Ch'un Ts'ew with the Tso Chuen. Volume 5 i n The 1967 L i Daliang t i t g. 1972 L i Xiaoding 3$ 1965 Lin Yin 1974 Chinese Classics. London: Trubner. L i Chi—Book of Rites. 2 vols. Edited by Ch'u Chai and Winberg Chai. New York: University Books. (Legge's text was o r i g i n a l l y published as vols. XXVII and XXVIII of The Sacred Books of the East, Delhi: Motila Banarsidass, 1879.) Guiban wenli yanjiu fifa. $£, M'\ /MF ^ Hong Kong: Chinese University of Hong Kong. Jiagu werizi j i s h i ^ %_ l% % . Zhongyang yanjiuyuan l i s h i yuyan yanjiusuo zhuankan z h i wushi^-ife 8 vols. Nankang: Academia Sinica. Zhouli jinzhu j i r i y i ffl $±. ^ Taipei: Commercial Press. Mercer, Samuel A.B. Mickel, Stanley L. 1961 Assyrian Grammar. New York: Frederick Ungar. 1976 "A Semantic Analysis of the Disaster Graphs of Period One Shang Dynasty Oracle Bones." Ph.D. dissertation. Indiana University. Miyazaki Ichisada & ^ 2t-1970 "Chugoku kodai no toshi kokka to sonq bochi—Shoyu wa doko n i atta ka + I S % AX 0) j£P U3 % t. £ f) T.ffyoshi kenkyu z( £^ 2 8- 4» pp,265-280. Morohashi Tetsuji fa #8* . . . . . 1959 Dai kanwa j i t en 7< -% &4 & . 12 vols. Tokyo: Taishukan Shoten. Nan Huaij in 1979 and Xu Qinting 1%. Jf , eds Zhouyi j inzhu j i n y i Taipei: Commercial Press m % A* it 4 i\ Needham, Rodney, comp. 1973 Niyison, David S. 1976 Right and Left—Essays on Dual Symbolic C l a s s i f i c a t i o n . Chicago: Chicago University Press. "Can^These Bones Live?—The Concept of Royal 'Virtue' (Te , ) i n Shang China." Paper presented for the Workshop on C l a s s i c a l Chinese Thought, Harvard University, August 2-13, 1976. 212 1976a- . " W i l l 'These Bones' Survive?—Author's Comment." (Written June 27, 1976; revised July 24, 1976.) Pankenier, David W. 1983 "Sui 0i as a Time-Word i n Dates." Paper presented to American Oriental Society, Western Branch, University of C a l i f o r n i a , Berkeley. March 24-25, 1983, Petrie, W.M. Flinders 1912 The Formation of the Alphabet. B r i t i s h school of archaeology i n Egypt, studies series v o l . I I I . London: Macmillan. Pulleyblank, E.G. 1973 1979 1983 Qiu Xigui Sty *~ 1983 Rong Geng & "Some New Hypotheses Concerning Word Families i n Chinese." Journal of Chinese Li n g u i s t i c s 1.1. Berkeley. "The Chinese C y c l i c a l Signs as Phonograms." JAOS 99.1, pp.24-38. "The Locative P a r t i c l e s yu " J " , yu , hu J J - ." Paper for the West Coast Branch of the American Oriental Society, Berkeley, C a l i f o r n i a . March 24-25, 1983. mwen "Shuo buci de fen wuwang yu zuo tulong ." Ji a g i yu Yin-Shang s h i ^ £ $ fa pp.21-35. 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Hong Kong: Yee Wen Press. jfc. -Yuan Ke ^  i r aJ ^ 1979 Gushenhua xuanshi j^l, jn^  . Peking: Renmin Wenxue Chubanshe. Zhang Bingquan ^  ^ , . 1956 "Bugui f u j i a de xushu r> & flf f If" f i t BIHP 28.1, pp.229-272. 1960 "Lun chengtao buci 1*7" ^~ &f c.r: .". Zhongyang yanjiuyuan:. l i s h i yuyan yarij iusuo j ikan waibian ty J £ Aff tE i?2. W % ft & f j ft £im 4.1, pp.389-401. Taipei: Academia Sinica. Zhang Guangzhi i^J Jl (Chang Kwang-chih) 1964 "Some D u a l i s t i c Phenomena i n Shang Society.' Journal  of Asian Studies 24.1, pp.45-61. 19fl3 Art. Myth arid Ritual—The Path to P o l i t i c a l Authority  in Ancient China. Harvard: Harvard University Press. Zhou Hongxiang 1^1 f$ , („ 1969 Buci duizhen s h u l i \ %\ I $'J . Hong Kong: Wanyou Tushu Gongsi. 

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