6 replies on “Transcription of Beida Laozi Manuscript On-Line”

  1. Would anyone care to share initial impressions of any major departures from the Ma-wang-tui texts? I’m afraid I don’t know Chinese, and the suspense it killing me! Hopefully scholarly reviews/translations will soon be forthcoming. Thank you.

    • Hi Stephen,

      I can pass on a few things I’ve noticed.

      1) Like the Mawangdui texts, the De 德 section comes first.

      2) There are 77 chapters. Each chapter begins at the top of a bamboo strip and chapters 6 and 7 are combined, as are 17 + 18 + 19 and 32 + 33. Note that in the Guodian proto-Laozi, chapters 17 and 18 are combined (though 18 is ‘incomplete’).

      3) Original report suggested a date from Han Wudi’s reign (141-87 BCE), though the fact that the tabboo on Gaozu’s personal name Bang 邦 seems to be observed sugggests it was copied during his reign. (Emperor’s Hui’s, Wen’s and Jing’s personal names do occur and were not tabboo; i.e., 盈, 恆, 啟).

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