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Chapter II. The Chronology of the Chunqiu
With Tables of Solar Eclipses; Of the Years and Lunar Months of the Whole Period; And of the Kings, and the Princes of the Principal Fiefs; From the Commencement to the Close of the Zhou Dynasty.
Section I. The Chronology of the Text.
1. I have observed on p. 10 that natural phænomena, supposed to affect the general well-being of the State, formed one class of the things recorded in the Chunqiu. Of this nature were eclipses of the sun, included by Mao Qiling, in the note on pp. 11, 12, among the "calamities and ominous occurrences," that are the 18th of the divisions under which he arranges all the subjects of these Chronicles. It must not be supposed that these eclipses were recorded with a view to the accumulation of astronomical facts for any scientific purpose;—the whole doctrine of the ancient Chinese concerning them was that given in the 9th ode of Book IV., Part II. of the Shi, made on occasion of an eclipse before the Chunqiu period, and which gives us the first certain date in ancient Chinese history.
But whatever was the motive for recording the eclipses, they are of the utmost value for determining the chronology of the time comprised in our Classic. It contains altogether the entries of thirty-six eclipses, the table of which given by Mr. Chalmers at the conclusion of his article on the "Astronony of the ancient Chinese," in the prolegomena to my third volume, with his own calculation of the times of their occurrence, I reproduce here with some slight variations.
The eclipses recorded in the Chunqiu determine its chronology.
Solar Eclipses Recorded in the Chunqiu
2. In the table in the prolegomena to vol. III. Mr. Chalmers has referred these eclipses in the Chunqiu to the emperors, or kings rather, of Zhou in whose reigns they occurred; as we have to do here only with the period of the Chunqiu, I have substituted for the titles of the kings those of the marquises of Lu, in connexion with whom the eclipses are mentioned in the text of the Classic. At his request also I have given the years in his calculation as—719,— 708, etc., instead of B.C. 719, 708, etc., as being in accordance with the usage of astronomers. 1 His calculation of the month and day, according to new style, remains unchanged, because it makes the comparison of the Chinese moons with our own, in relation to the solstices, plainer and easier for general readers. I have also introduced a 37th eclipse, which is recorded, in the brief supplement to the Classic, in the 4th paragraph after the text proper terminates.
Results of the comparison of the eclipses as recorded and calculated
Comparing now the times of the 36 eclipses as recorded and calculated, it will be seen, first, that two of them are entirely erroneous, and could not have taken place at all. Two eclipses are given as having occurred in the 21st and 24th years of duke Xiang, corresponding to—551 and—548, on successive months;—a thing physically impossible. On p. 491 of this volume I have given the remark of a scholar of the Tang dynasty that such a thing perhaps did occur in anciént times! No reasonable account of the twice repeated error has ever been given. Possibly two eclipses did occur some time during the Chunqiu period on the months and days mentioned, but in other years; and the tablets of them got misplaced, and appear where they now do. In the meantime the records must be regarded as entirely erroneous. 2 .
It will be seen, secondly, that two more of the eclipses are somehow given incorrectly. The 10th is recorded as happening in the 1st month of the 15th year of duke Xi, corresponding to —644. As proved by calculation, there was an eclipse in the 3d Chinese moon of that year, but it was not visible in Lu. This error, like the two former ones, must be left unexplained. The 15th eclipse appears as having occurred in the 17th year of duke Xuan, corresponding to —591, in the 6th month, on the cycle day Guimao. But there was then no eclipse. Chinese astronomers discovered this error in the time of the eastern Jin dynasty; but they have found no way of accounting for it. They have called attention, indeed, to the fact that an eclipse was possible on the 1st day of the fifth month; but that would be visible only in the southern hemisphere. It occurred to Mr. Chalmers, however, to try the 7th year of duke Xuan, and he found that that year, in the 6th month, on Guimao, which was then the day of the new moon, there was an eclipse visible in Lu. No doubt, this was the eclipse intended in the text, inaccurately arranged under the 17th year instead of the 7th. This happy rectification of one error shows in what direction the rectification of the other errors is to be sought.
It will be seen, thirdly, that of the remaining 32 eclipses, the years, months, and cycle-days of 18, as determined by calculation, agree with those which are given in the text, while of the other 14 the years and cycle-days agree, and the months are different, generally by one month or two, and in two cases by three months. The difference of the months, however, gives confirmation to the truthfulness of the text, showing, indeed, that it is not absolutely correct, but proving, to my mind, that the historiographers entered the eclipses in the current months of the years when they were observed. In order to make those current months agree with the true months it would have been necessary that the process of intercalation should be regularly and scientifically observed. But it was not so observed in the time of the Chunqiu. In proof of this I need only refer the reader to what Mr. Chalmers has said on the subject in the prolegomena to vol. III. p. 99, and to his valuable table of the years and months of the Chunqiu, which concludes this section. There was not room for the same error with the cycle-days. No science was required in their application. Each successive day had its name determined by the successive terms of the cycle; and, when these were exhausted, the historiographers had only to begin again. Whether the months were long or short, and whether the year contained an intercalary month or not, the cyclical names of the days were sure to be given correctly. All that was necessary was not to let any day go by unmarked. Those 14 eclipses, 3 correct as to the years and cycle-days of their occurrence, and incorrect, only in the months to which they are referred, from an assignable cause, are to be accepted with as little hesitation as the 18 in regard to the date of which the record and the calculation entirely agree. The errors in them are of such a character as to show that the text was not constructed subsequently, but was made by the historiographers of Lu, in the exercise of their duties, along the whole course of the period.
3. The chronology is determined by the eclipses;—as in par. 1.
It is hardly necessary to point out how the long list of eclipses thus verified determines the chronology of the Chunqiu period. The first eclipse occurred in the 3d year of duke Yin, in —719, and therefore we know that the period commenced in —721. The last eclipse occurred in the last year of duke Ding, in —494, from which we have only to subtract 14 years of duke Ai's rule to get the last year of the period; and indeed in the supplementary text we have an eclipse occurring in Ai's 14th year, or in —480.
I have called attention in the preceding paragraph to the fact of the cycle-days being always given correctly for the eclipses. So they generally are for other events; but sometimes they are given wrong,—as will be seen by comparing the subjoined table with the text, the days which could not be verified being omitted in the table. The errors of this kind, which are on the whole wonderfully few, are for the most part pointed out in the notes, according to the calculations of Du Yu, who says that there must be an error of the month or of the day. In some cases there may be a corruption of the cyclical names through carelessness of transcribers, which would give an error of the day; more frequently, I believe, the month is wrongly given, through the same irregularity of intercalation which has made the months given for the eclipses differ from the true months as ascertained by calculation.
4. The different commencements of the year in the three ancient dynasties.
I take this opportunity to touch on another subject which has often perplexed students of ancient Chinese history,—the different commencements of the year in the three great ancient dynasties of Xia, Shang, and Zhou. According to the representations of the scholars of the Han and all subsequent dynasties, the beginning of the year was changed, to signalize the new dynasty, by an exercise of the royal prerogative. Indeed, the phrase 'san zheng,' 4 occurring in the Shu, III. ii. 3, has been interpreted as meaning the 'three commencements of the year;' in which case it would be necessary to suppose that even before the Xia dynasty the year had begun at different dates and in different months. But if I were translating the Shu jing afresh, I should feel compelled to cast about for another meaning for the phrase in that passage. In point of fact the Chunqiu seems to show that the new commencement arose from the necessity of error which there was not sufficient science to correct. The year of the Xia dynasty began originally with the first month of spring. By the end of that dynasty, through the neglect of the intercalation, it commenced, I suppose, a month earlier, and hence the sovereigns of Shang made that the beginning of their year. But during their tenure of the kingdom, the same process of error took place, and the year, I suppose again, had come to approximate to the time of the winter solstice when the kings of Zhou superseded them. They adopted the retrogression, and made it their theory that the year should begin with the new moon preceding the winter solstice, i.e., between our November 22 and December 22. But their astronomers and historiographers had not knowledge enough to keep it there. An inspection of Mr. Chalmers' table following this paragraph shows a very marked tendency, increasing as time went on, to make the year begin in the month before the new moon preceding the winter solstice. Previous to the time of duke Xi, many of the years begin in the commencing month of the Shang dynasty; but subsequently, the 30th, 32d, and 33d years of duke Xi, the 18th year of Wen, the 3d, 4th, and 6th of Xuan, the 1st, 4th, 7th, 10th and 12th of Cheng, the 16th, 19th, 21st, and 27th of Xiang, the 1st, 4th, 15th, 20th, and 28th of Zhao, and the 2d, 7th, and 10th of Ding, all began in the month before the proper commencement of the Zhou year. This was, no doubt, the ordinary commencement of the year when the dynasty of Qin superseded that of Zhou, and so its emperor declared that the year should then begin;—three months before the period of Xia, embracing a whole season, so that what was called its spring was actually the winter of the year, and the names of all the seasons were wrongly applied. Thus each of the four dynasties which ran out their course before our Christian era had its different commencement of the year. Chinese writers, however, generally speak only of 'three correct beginnings,' being unwilling to allow the dynasty of Qin to rank with those of Xia, Shang, and Zhou.
As has been pointed out in the 'Astronomy of the ancient Chinese' by Mr. Chalmers, after the establishment of the Han dynasty, the Chinese endeavoured to open communications with the west; and from India they must have received great additions to their astronomical knowledge. Their scholars became able to make a reformation of the calendar; and adopting the maxim of Confucius, that the seasons of Xia should be followed, they determined and arranged that the year should thenceforth commence with the beginning of spring, as it has since, with more or less of correctness, done.
The above observations show that of the four 'correct beginnings of the year,' (including that of Qin), one only was correct, and the proper nomenclature regarding them would be 'one correct and three erroneous beginnings.' They should also end the partial and bigoted pretensions of Chinese writers, when they talk of the universal knowledge of their ancient worthies, and the more culpable partiality and bigotry of some Sinologues who try to bear out their assertions.
5. In the following table the intercalary months are indicated by a line. The principal guide in determining them has been the cycle-days given in connexion with many of the events referred to. According to the theory of the Chinese year, as explained in vol. III., p. 22, there ought to be 7 intercalary months in every 19 years. It will be seen that during the Chunqiu period these months were introduced very irregularly.
The small figures denote the cyclical numbers of the days mentioned in the text, so far as they can be verified. A small capital (E) indicates an eclipse. The most important thing to be observed in the table is the changing position of the first month, sometimes preceding, sometimes following, the winter solstice, without any apparent rule.
Cyclical Number of Shortest Day. Lunar Months According to Confucius. Years. The small figures are the Cyclical numbers of days mentioned in the History.
Section II. The Dates in The Zuo zhuan.
1. The dates of events in the Zuo zhuan often differ from the dates in the text.
The chronology of the Chunqiu period, as it appears in the Zuo zhuan, is the same as that which appears in the text; but the dates of many events mentioned in both differ by one or two months; and where those dates are at the end or beginning of a year, the years to which they are assigned will also differ. This circumstance has wonderfully exercised the ingenuity of the Chinese critics; but a sufficient solution of the want of correspondence is found, in much the greater number of cases, in the fact that the feudal States were by no means agreed in using the commencement of the year prescribed by the dynasty of Zhou. I have shown, in par. 4 of last section, that the Shang and Zhou dynasties adopted each a different month for the beginning of the year from that employed by the dynasty of Xia, not by arbitrary exercise of sovereignty to signalize their possession of the kingdom, but in consequence of the disorder into which the months of the year had fallen through the neglect or irregularity of intercalation. The peculiarity now under notice further shows the feebleness of the sway exercised by the kings of Zhou over the feudal States, for several of those ruled by chiefs of the Zhou surname yet continued to hold to the Xia beginning of the year.
For example, in the narrative introduced by Zuo after I. iii. 3, we are told that Zheng sent plundering expeditions into the royal domain, which 'in the 4th month carried off the wheat of Wen, and in the autumn the rice of Chengzhou;' meaning evidently the 4th month and the autumn of the Xia year.
Again, in V. v. 1, we are told that 'in spring, the marquis of Jin put to death his heir-son Shensheng,' whereas, according to the Zhuan, the deed was done in the 12th month of the preceding year. In V. x. 3, Li Ke of Jin murders his ruler in the first month of the year, whereas, according to the Zhuan, he did so in the 11th month of the previous year. In V. xv. 13, a battle was fought between Jin and Qin in the 11th month, while in the Zhuan it takes place in the 9th. Jin evidently regulated its months after the Xia calendar.
In Qi, whose princes were of the surname Jiang, it would appear that the year continued to commence with the natural spring, for in VI. xiv. 9 the murder of She, marquis of Qi, appears as taking place in the 9th month, whereas the Zhuan gives it in the 7th.
In Song, where the descendants of the kings of Shang held sway, they naturally followed the calendar of Shang. Thus in I. vi. 4, an army of Song appears as taking Changge in winter, while Zuo says it did so in the autumn. And in the Shu, V. viii., containing the charge to the viscount of Wey on his appointment to be the first duke of Song, it would appear from par. 1 that authority is given to him to use all the institutions of his ancestors.
This varying commencement of the year among the feudal States of Zhou may be substantiated from other sources besides the Chunqiu and the Zuo zhuan. 5 It not only shows, as I have said, the feebleness of the dynasty of Zhou; but it affords a strong confirmation of the genuineness of Zuo's narratives. Had they been constructed to illustrate the text, or even been introduced as subsidiary to it without being occupied with events referred to in it, the compiler would have been careful to avoid such a discrepancy of dates. As Liu Yuanfu of the Song dynasty observed, 'The months and days in Zuoshi often differ from those in the text of the classic, because he copied indiscriminately from the tablets of the historiographers of the different States, which used the three different commencements of the year without any fixed rule.' 6
2. What I have said in the above paragraph goes strongly to support the genuineness of Zuo's narratives. There are some other dates, however, in his commentary to which my attention has been called by Mr. Chalmers, and which would seem to show that they were introduced at a later period; some of them perhaps in the Han dynasty. Zuo gives the day of the winter solstice in two years;—the 5th of duke Xi, and the 20th of duke Zhao. In the former case, B.C. 654, he says that the day Xinhai (the 48th cyclical number) was the day of the winter solstice, and the first day of the first month; but this is an error of one day in regard to the new moon, and of three days in regard to the solstice, which fell that year on Jiayin (the 51st cyclical number). In the latter case, B.C. 521, he says that the solstice fell on the day Jichou (the 26th cyclical number), whereas it fell on Xinmao, two days later, and the day of new moon was also one day later. 'Here,' says Mr. Chalmers, 'the farther back the greater the error, so that the date and the method could not have been handed down from any previous time. If a year had been sought in duke Xi's time, when the new moon and solstice coincided, 646 would have been right; and 665 (646 + 19) or 627 (646—19) would also have been the proper commencement of a cycle of 19 years, which might have been repeated down to the end of the Chunqiu period without much error. The error accumulates in reckoning onwards of course as well as in reckoning back, so that by the time of the Han dynasty the cycle would have to be shifted on to another set of years. But the text of the Zhuan, and the commentary which you give under the 20th year of duke Zhao, were evidently written from a Han point of view. Twenty-two cycles of 19 years are reckoned back from the time of the emperor Wu,—say B.C. 103 (103 + 19 X 22 = 521), and it is affirmed that in 521 the solstice coincided with the new moon because it did so in 103. But it did not do so, nor did the new moon then fall on the day assigned to it. That a writer near the time of Confucius should give wrong dates is very likely; but that they should be systematically wrong, so as to agree with an imperfect method of calculation adopted some centuries later, and founded on observations then made—about B.C. 103—of the actual position of the sun and moon, is so improbable that I cannot believe it. The Metonic cycle cannot be repeated twenty-two times without incurring an error of two or three days.'
Again, on IX. xxviii. 1, and in some other passages, Zuo mentions the place of the year-star or Jupiter, and Mr. Chalmers contends that they were all interpolated at a subsequent date. On the case in IX. xxviii. 1, he observes:—'The position of the planet Jupiter was observed in the year B.C. 103, and recorded correctly by Sima Qian, in Xingji (Sagittarius-Capricorn); and he thought, as the writer of the notices in the Zuo zhuan evidently did likewise, that Jupiter's period was exactly 12 years. But if this had been the case, Jupiter should not have been in Xingji in the 28th year of duke Xiang, B.C. 544, because the intervening time of 441 years is not divisible by 12. Moreover, Jupiter was not really in Xingji in B.C. 544, but he would be there in 542, two years later. How then did the writer of the Zhuan say that Jupiter was in Xingji, or ought to have been there, but "had licentiously advanced into Xuanxiao (Capricorn-Aquarius)?" Probably because such was the course of the planet, and such the Chinese manner of viewing it 240 (12 x 20) years later,—say in B.C. 304. It might be 12 years before or after. And the writer, knowing this, ventured to count back two centuries and a half in cycles of 12, and then to affirm that the same phænomenon had been observed B.C. 544, and to found a story thereon. He could not have lived earlier than the time of Mencius. He might have been later. Jupiter in fact gains a sign every 86 years, or he completes seven circuits of the starry heavens in about 83 years instead of 84, and hence the discrepancy of 3 years, or 3 signs, between the observations of Sima Qian and those on which Zuo based his calculations. If he, or any authorities he had to quote from, had observed the planet in B.C. 544, they would have said it was in Dahuo (Libra-Scorpio), not in Xingji, and much less in Xuanxiao. There would then have been a discrepancy of 5 signs between him and Sima instead of 3. In the matter of the "year star," as in that of the winter solstice, Zuoshi is systematically wrong.'
I am not prepared to question the conclusions to which Mr. Chalmers thus comes regarding the dates of the winter solstice, and the positions of the planet Jupiter, given in Zuo's commentary. But instead of saying, as he does, that Zuo could not have lived earlier than the time of Mencius, and may have lived later, I would say that the narratives in which the Year-star is mentioned were made about that time, and interpolated into his Work during the Qin dynasty or in the first Han. They will come under the second class of passages for the interpolation of which I have made provision on p. 35 of the first Chapter. But after all that Mr. Chalmers has said, my faith remains firm in the genuineness of the mass of Zuo's narratives as composed by him from veritable documents contemporaneous with the events to which they relate.
3.Events not dated with reference to the years of the kings of Zhou.
Before passing on from the chronology of the text and of the Zuo zhuan, it deserves to be pointed out that neither in the Classic nor the Commerntary have we any indication of the dating of events with reference to the age of the dynasty of Zhou or to the reigns of its kings. In each State they spoke of events with reference to the years of their own rulers. The Classic, divided into twelve Books according to the years of the twelve marquises of Lu, is one example of this. Another is found in the Zhuan on VI. xvii. 4, where a minister of Zheng, defending his ruler against the suspicions of Jin, runs over various events, giving them all according to the years of the earl of Zheng, without reference to those of the king of Zhou or of the marquis of Jin. We have a third in the Zhuan at the end of II. ii., where Zuo gives a resumé of certain affairs of Jin, prior to the Chunqiu period, specifying them by the years of duke Hui of Lu.
Frequently, in order to make definite the date of an event, some other well known event, contemporaneous with it, is referred to. Thus, in the Zhuan after IX. ix. 5, when the marquis of Jin asks the age of the young marquis of Lu, Ji Wuzi replies that he was born in 'the year of the meeting at Shasui.' Again, in X. vii., in the 4th narrative appended to par. 4, a panic in Zheng is referred to 'the year when the descriptions of punishments were cast;' and on par. 8 it is said that one of the sons of the marquis of Wey was born in 'the year when Han Xuanzi became chief minister of Jin, and went among the other States, paying complimentary visits.'
I need not adduce more examples. In these two ways are the dates of events determined:—by referring them to the years of some ruler of a State, or to some event of general notoriety, contemporaneous with them. They are not in any single instance determined by reference to the era of the dynasty or to the reigns of the kings of Zhou. This peculiarity seems again to indicate that the sway which Zhou exercised over the States was feeble and imperfect. Zhao Yi calls attention to the fact that the princes or nobles in the early part of the Han dynasty continued to exercise the prerogative of dating events from the year of their appointment or succession, and that the practice was stopped when the emperors of Han began to feel secure in their possession of the empire. It was in truth but a nominal supremacy which was yielded to the kings of Zhou.
Section III. Lists of the Kings of Zhou and of the Princes of the Principal Fiefs, From the Beginning to the Close of the Dynasty.
I. Kings of Zhou. Surname Ji (姬). Given, as are the princes of the States, with their sacrificial titles.
II. Princes of Lu. Surname Ji. Marquises.
I have not given the date of the accession of the preceding nine marquises, it being difficult to make it out in several cases. Hui brings us to the Chunqiu period.
Under Mu Lu entirely lost its independence. After him we have:—30, Gong (共), 375; 31, Kang (康); 32, Jing (景), 342; 33, Ping (平); 34, Wen (文); 35, Qing (頃), who was reduced to the condition of a private man by king Kaolie of Chu in B.C. 248.
III. Princes of Wey (衛). Surname Ji. Marquises; but for some time they had the title of Bo (伯), as presiding over several other States.
Under Shen Wey lost its independence, and became attached to Wei (魏). We have after him:—36, Sheng (聲), 371; 37, Cheng (成; he was reduced in rank); 38, Ping (平), 331; 39, Sijun (嗣君; still farther reduced); 40, Huaijun (懷君), 281; 41, Yuanjun (元君), 250; 42, Junjiao (君角), who was reduced to the condition of a private man by the second emperor of Qin.
IV. Princes of Cai (蔡). Surname Ji. Marquises.
V. Princes of Jin (晉). Surname Ji. Marquises.
For several rules Jin had been maintaining a failing struggle against that branch of the ruling House which had been established with the title of earl in Quwo (曲沃); and Huan Shu (桓叔) and Zhuang (莊伯), chiefs of Quwo, enter in some lists into the line of the princes of Jin. At last Cheng, the successor of Zhuangbo, put Min to death, in 678, and was acknowledged by the king as ruler of Jin. He is:—
In his second year Jing was deprived of his State and title. It had, indeed, been only a nominal position which the representatives of Tang Shuyu had for some time enjoyed, for they were merely puppets in the hands of the marquis of Wei (魏). The great State of Jin was broken up into three great marquisates, which subsequently claimed to be kingdoms;—those of Wei (魏), Zhao (趙), and Han (韓), the independent existence of which dates from 402, and which continued till they were absorbed by Qin.
VI. The princes of Cao (曹). Surname Ji. Earls.
Boyang was made captive by Song in 486, and Cao was then extinguished.
VII. Princes of Zheng (鄭). Surname Ji. Earls.
Xu was murdered in 395; but before that Zheng had become entirely dependent on the new State of Han. This allowed one other marquis known as Junyi (君乙), or duke Kang (康), to be named; but extinguished the State in 374.
VIII. The princes of Wu (吳). Surname Ji. First, earls; then viscounts. After a time usurped the title of king.
The State of Wu, under a branch of the House of Zhou, began before the rise of the Zhou dynasty, under Taibo (太伯; the eldest son of the lord of Zhou afterwards kinged as king Tai by his great-grandson the duke of Zhou), who fled from Zhou, along with his next brother, under the circumstances referred to in Ana. VIII. i. He was the first ruler of Wu. We have:—
In Zhouzhang's time king Wu overthrew the dynasty of Shang, and confirmed him in the possession of Wu as a fief of the dynasty of Zhou, with the title of earl. The point about the title is not clear; and we do not know when earl was exchanged for viscount. After Zhouzhang we have:—
In his time Wu first began to have communication with the northern States which constituted the kingdom of Zhou proper. Most of the names of its princes do not sound like Chinese names.
In 472 the king of Yue extinguished Wu, when Fuchai killed himself.
IX. The princes of Yan (燕). Surname Ji. Sometimes called marquises, sometimes only earls. In the end assumed the title of king.
Descended from Shi, duke of Shao (召公奭), often mentioned in the Shu (See V.xvi., et al.). He was the first ruler of Yan. Eight of his descendants, whose names and years cannot be ascertained are said to have ruled in it, and we come to:—
He was made captive, and the State extinguished, by Qin in 221.
X. The princes of Chen (陳). Surname Gui (嬀), as being descended from Shun. Marquises.
King Wu, it is said, gave his eldest daughter in marriage to a Gui Man (嬀満), the son of his chief potter, and invested him with Chen. He was the first marquis, and is known as duke Hu (胡公). After him come:—
Ai strangled himself in 533, and the State was held by a prince of Chu till 528, when the Gui line was restored. We have:—
Min was killed, and the State extinguished by Chu, in 478,—the year in which Confucius died.
XI. The princes of Song (宋). Surname Zi (子), as being the descendants of the sovereigns of Yin or Shang, the representatives of Tang the Successful.
Yan took the title of king in 317, but Song was extinguished by Qi in 285, and Yan fled to Wen and there died. Indeed from the time of duke Dao, Song had become dependent on Qi. There is much difficulty in fixing the number of years that dukes Jing and the second Zhao ruled.
XII. The princes of Qi (齊). Surname Jiang (姜), as being descended from Yao's chief minister. Marquises.
1. Shangfu (尚父), who appears to have been one of the principal advisers of Wen and Wu both in peace and war, was invested by Wu with Qi, and is known as Taigong (太公). Then we have:—
For a considerable time the princes of Qi had been at the mercy of the Heads of the Chen (陳) family, the most powerful in the State. A prince of Chen took refuge in Qi in B.C. 671 (See the Zhuan on III. xxii.3), and his descendants ere long grew into a powerful clan, and conceived the idea of superseding the line of Jiang. They were known as Chens (陳), but that surname they exchanged for Tian (田);—it is not known when or why. In 390 Tian He (田和) removed duke Kang from his capital, and placed him in a city near the sea, where he might maintain the sacrifices to his ancestors; and there he led an inglorious life till 378, when the line of Jiang came to a close. Tian He made application to the king of Zhou and to the feudal princes to be acknowledged himself as marquis of Qi, which was acceded to, and his first year dates from 385.
Of the line of Tian in Qi we have:—
Jian continued till the first year of the dynasty of Qin, B.C. 220, when he made his submission to the new Power, and the independent existence of Qi ceased.
XIII. The princes of Chu (楚). Surname Mi (羋). Viscounts.
They claimed to be descended from the ancient emperor Zhuanxu (顓項); but the first who had the surname Mi appears to have been a Jilian (季連), about the dawn of historic times. A Yu Xiong (鬻熊) is mentioned with distinction in the time of king Wan, and his great-grandson, Xiong Yi (熊繹), was invested with Chu by king Cheng, as a viscount. It was not very long till the title of viscount was discarded, and that of king usurped. The Xiong was a clan name, derived from Yu Xiong.
XIV. The princes of Qin (秦). Surname Ying (嬴). At first only earls.
They claimed to be descended from the ancient emperor Zhuanxu (顓頊), through Boyi (伯翳) or Boyi (伯翿), the forester of Shun (Shu, II. i.22), who is said to have given him the surname of Ying. Sima Qian traces the family down through the Xia and Shang dynasties, but there is much that is evidently fabulous in the statements which he makes. At last we arrive at the time of king Xiao of Zhou, who was so pleased with the ability displayed by Feizi (非子), a scion of the family, in keeping cattle, that he employed him to look after his herds of horses, 'between the Qian and the Wei (汧渭之間),' and invested him with the small territory of Qin, as chief of an attached State, there to maintain the sacrifices to the Ying. Feizi occupies the first place in the list of the princes of Qin.
Xiang gave important assistance to the House of Zhou in the troubles connected with the death of king You, and the removal of the capital by king Ping to the east, and his rank was raised in 769 to that of earl, and Qin had now an independent existence anong the other fiefs of Zhou. Its territory was also greatly increased, and Xiang received, what Chinese writers think was of evil omen, the old domain of the princes of Zhou from mount Qi westwards
Became king in 245, and succeeded in establishing his sway over all the other States in 220, from which year dates the commencement of the Qin dynasty. He reigned under the style of 始皇帝, emperor the First, till 209. In 208 he was succeeded by his son, emperor the Second (二世皇帝), and with his death in 204 the short-lived dynasty may be said to have ended.
IT SEEMS DESIRABLE AT THE CLOSE OF THIS CHAPTER TO APPEND A TABLE OF THE CYCLE OF SIXTY.
1. Mr. Chalmers has sent me the following extract of a letter from
Professor Airy—now Sir. G.B. Airy—the Astronomer Royal, with whom he
corresponded through a friend some years ago on the subject of these ancient
Chinese eclipses:—'The year [of the eclipse in the Shi jing] may be expressed
in either of these forms:—
2. The three early commentaries do not touch on this error. Their writers, no doubt, were not aware that there was any error. In the note appended to the article on 'The Antiquity of the Chinese proved by Mouments,' in the 2d volume of the 'Memoires concernant les Chinois,' the texts of these eclipses are given and translated without any intimation of their being wrong. In the article, however, p. 98, the writer says on the eclipses in the Chunqiu:- "Si, dans la multitude, il s'en trouve quelquesunes (comme il s'en trouve en effet), qui n' aient pu avoir eu lieu, disons alors que, comme la coutume a toujours eté que les Calculateurs flssent part du résultat de leurs Calculs, plusieurs jours avant où devant arriver l'eclypse, afin qu'on disposât tout pour les cérémonies qui se pratiquoient dans ces sortes d'occasions, il est arrivé que les Astronomes, faute de bonnes Tables, ayant prédit une fausse eclipse, dont l'annonce a eté livrée aus Historiographes, ccuxci en ont tenu registre de la méme maniere que si elle avoit eté vraie; soit qu'ils la erussent telle, parce qu'un ciel obscur et chargé de nuages avoit empêché d'observer; soit que, par négligence, ou par un simple oubli, ils eussent manqué à la rayer du catalogue des evénemens.' The explanation here suggested is specially inapplicable to the two eclipses under notice.
3. Of the third and fourth of those eclipses the text does not give the cyclical days; but I have not thought it worth while to call attention to this in my text.
5. See in the Work of Zhao Yi, Bk. II., his appendix to the section headed 春不書王.
6. 劉原父謂左氏月日，多與經不同，蓋左氏雜取當時諸侯史策之文， 其用三正，參差不一，故與經多岐
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