This study explores a single anecdote from the Stratagems of the Warring States (Zhanguo ce), named »Cai Ze was expelled from Zhao«. I analyze its philosophical, historical, and literary content and argue that the anecdote was in all likelihood composed during the Han dynasty. It presents highly original views on the nature of the sage’s political achievments, and on the relations between the quest for fame and the dictum to preserve one’s body. Moreover, the anecdote can be read as an ironic take on the common Zhanguo ce trope of an omniscient successful persuader. My study calls for a deeper engagement with Zhanguo ce as a source for the Warring States-period history, literature, and thought.
|Original language||American English|
|Number of pages||27|
|Journal||Studia Orientalia Slovaca|
|State||Published - 2018|
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
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- Body, irony, historiography
- Qin, reputation, sages
- Warring states, Zhanguo ce, Zhou