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Military campaign inscriptions from YH 1271

  • Fan Yuzhou


Some eight years ago, I wrote a degree thesis on the wars that took place during the reign of King Wu Ding , Shang dynasty, in which I made a comprehensive study of the military campaign inscriptions dated by most oracle-bone scholars to the first period. Since quite a number of these inscriptions were discovered in pit YH 127 at Yinxu , these formed a vital part of the sources for my study.



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2 See Fan Yuzhou , ‘Yindai Wu Ding shiqi de zhanzheng’ , M.A. Thesis, Zhongguo shehui kexueyuan yanjiusheng yuan (1981). The periodization is based on recent articles by Professors Li Xueqin , Qiu Xigui and Lin Yun see Li Xueqin, ‘Guanyu Duizu buci de yixie wenti’ , Guwenzi yanjiu , 3, 1980; Qiu Xigui, ‘Lun Lizu buci de shidai’ , Guwenzi yanjiu, 6, 1981; and Lin Yun, ‘Xiaotun nandi fajue yu Yinxu jiagu duandai’ , Guwenzi yanjiu, 9, 1984.

3 I discussed these again with Professor Edward L. Shaughnessy and his students, Debby Porter and Cai Fangpei, when I worked with Shaughnessy and joined his seminar on oracle-bone inscriptions at the University of Chicago early last year. For illustrations of the inscriptions dealt with in this article, see the rubbings produced in plates I-VIII.

4 Preface to Dong, Zuobin, Yinxu wenzi yibian (1948).

5 Chen, Mengjia, Yinxu buci zongshu (1956, 156–67).

6 See Dong, Zuobin, op. cit., n.4 above; see also by the same author, ‘Jiaguwen duandai yanjiu li’ , Lishi yuyan yanjiusuo jikan waibian , 1, 1933 and Yinli pu (1945).

7 Hu Houxuan Jiagu xucun (1955); Yinxu fajue (1955), 100.

8 Art. cit., n.5 above.

9 Art. cit., n.2 above.

10 Lin Yun, art. cit., n.2 above.

11 Op. cit., n.4 above.

12 Art. cit., n.7 above.

13 Xueqin, Li, ‘Di Yi shidai de feiwang buci’ , Kaogu xuebao , 1957. 3.

14 See n.5 above; Maekawa Shōzō, ‘Goso bokuji ni tsuite no kosatsu’ Chuletsu bungaku kaiho I, 4869; translated into Chinese by Fan Yuzhou , Guwenzi yanjiu , 8, 1983.

15 Art. cit., n.13 above.

16 Zi is also transcribed Xi by Professor Shaughnessy, but I transcribe it as Zi; see n.2 above.

17 Here I use this table to express ideas inspired by Professor Shaughnessy's method.

18 This work has been done in my degree thesis, cited in n.2 above.

19 See n.2 above.

1 The following paper was originally presented to the fortieth annual meeting of the Association for Asian Studies, San Francisco, on 26 March 1988.

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Military campaign inscriptions from YH 1271

  • Fan Yuzhou


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