Article ID: CBB263512153

The Question of Pangxing 旁行 and Xieshang 邪上 in the “Sandai shibiao” 三代世表 (Genealogical Tables of the Three Dynasties) of the Shiji 史記 (The Grand Clerk’s Records) (2017)


Han scholar Huan Tan 桓譚 (c. 40 BC-32 AD) has attached two characteristic features to “Sandai shibiao” type historical tables that Sima Qian (c. 145 or 135–86 BC) inserted in his Shiji (The Grand Clerk’s Records): according to him, they are pangxing 旁行 and xieshang 邪上. For many centuries, scholars have not made the meaning of these features clear. The author relies on a typological analysis of writing style of excavated sources from early imperial China to offer his own interpretation. He suggests that the expression xieshang has two meanings. Narrowly speaking, it designates a writing style where characters are written along oblique lines, whereas, more broadly, it refers to forms or methods of computation relying on tools for divination (diagrams in the form of a tortoise or human figure, shipan 式盤 divination board and so on). Accordingly, pangxing ‘sideways’ would designate the horizontal writing style of documents that recorded the results of computations obtained in this way, in a tabular “Sandai shibiao” layout.

Citation URI

Similar Citations

Article Cullen, Christopher; (2011)
Understanding the Planets in Ancient China: Prediction and Divination in the Wu xing zhan (/isis/citation/CBB001034169/) unapi

Article Michael Nylan; (2017)
Mapping Time in the Shiji and Hanshu Tables 表 (/isis/citation/CBB296984110/) unapi

Article Han, Jishao; (2007)
A New Inquiry into the Taoist Text Thirty-six Methods for Bringing Solids into Aqueous Solution (/isis/citation/CBB000933496/) unapi

Article Ma, Liping; (2008)
Position of the Sun in Ancient Chinese Records of Solar Eclipses (/isis/citation/CBB000933512/) unapi

Article Han, Jishao; (2009)
Exploration in Alchemy of Western Han Dynasty (/isis/citation/CBB000933764/) unapi

Article Siqinbilig, ; Guan, Shou-yi; Luo, Jian-jin; (2012)
The Solar Term Problem of Zhangjiashan Han Bamboo Script Calendar (/isis/citation/CBB001250695/) unapi

Thesis Tseng, Lan-ying; (2001)
Picturing heaven: Image and knowledge in Han China (/isis/citation/CBB001562644/) unapi

Article Han, Jishao; (2008)
External Alchemy and the Science of the TCM Formula in the Song Dynasty (/isis/citation/CBB000933534/) unapi

Article Cullen, Christopher; (2007)
Huo Rong's Observation Programme of A.D. 102 and the Han Li Solar Table (/isis/citation/CBB000771287/) unapi

Article Rong, Zhiy; (2008)
San Tong Qi and Ancient Chinese Alchemy (/isis/citation/CBB000933541/) unapi

Article Dahai Zou; (2017)
An Elementary Study of the Unearthed Mathematics Book, Suanshu Shu (/isis/citation/CBB378241867/) unapi

Article Dorofeeva-Lichtmann, Vera; (2010)
The Rong Cheng shi 容成氏 Version of the 'Nine Provinces': Some Parallels with Transmitted Texts (/isis/citation/CBB001034886/) unapi

Article Li, Jender; (1999)
Han Wei Liuchao de rumu (/isis/citation/CBB000203118/) unapi

Article Noa Hegesh; (2021)
Mind the Gap: Acoustical Answers to Cosmological Concerns in First-Century b.c.e. China (/isis/citation/CBB852060209/) unapi

Authors & Contributors
Han, Jishao
Chemla, Karine Carole
Cullen, Christopher
Li, Jender
Shmidt, F. R. A.
Shi, Yunli
Ziran Kexueshi Yanjiu (Studies in the History of Natural Sciences)
East Asian Science, Technology, and Medicine
Early Science and Medicine: A Journal for the Study of Science, Technology and Medicine in the Pre-modern Period
Lishi yuyan yanjiuso jikan (Bulletin of the Institute of History and Philology, Academia Sinica)
Journal of Dialectics of Nature
Science in Context
Harvard University
East Asia, civilization and culture
Medicine, Chinese traditional
Fang, Jing
Han dynasty (China, 202 B.C.-220 A.D.)
Song Dynasty (China, 960-1279)
Tang dynasty (China, 618-907)
Qin dynasty (China, 221-207 B.C.)
Bamboo Publishing

Be the first to comment!

{{ comment.created_by.username }} on {{ comment.created_on | date:'medium' }}

Log in or register to comment