This article explores the dating of the Book of Lord Shang (Shangjunshu 商君書). Despite the importance of this text as one of major ideological products of the Warring States period (453–221 B.C.E.), it remained largely ignored in mainstream Western Sinology, in part because of the confusion about the dates of its composition. The article analyzes different criteria employed by earlier scholars to ascertain the dates of individual chapters of the Book of Lord Shang and investigates the relative weight of each of these criteria. This results in a methodologically transparent discussion, which not only advances our understanding of the complex textual history of the Book of Lord Shang but also makes a step toward establishment of a commonly acceptable set of dating determinants which may be employed in investigating the dates of other pre-imperial (i.e. pre-221 B.C.E.) texts.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© The Society for the Study of Early China and Cambridge University Press 2016.
- Book of Lord Shang
- Shang Yang
- Warring States