Monday, June 26, 2017

Books of Fate and Popular Culture in Early China: The Daybook Manuscripts of the Warring States, Qin, and Han

Donald Harper and Marc Kalinowski

Publication Date:
August 2017



Books of Fate and Popular Culture in Early China is a comprehensive introduction to the manuscripts known as daybooks, examples of which have been found in Warring States, Qin, and Han tombs (453 BCE–220 CE). Their main content concerns hemerology, or “knowledge of good and bad days.” Daybooks reveal the place of hemerology in daily life and are invaluable sources for the study of popular culture.

Eleven scholars have contributed chapters examining the daybooks from different perspectives, detailing their significance as manuscript-objects intended for everyday use and showing their connection to almanacs still popular in Chinese communities today as well as to hemerological literature in medieval Europe and ancient Babylon.

Table of Contents:

Donald Harper and Marc Kalinowski

1 Daybooks in Archaeological Context
Alain Thote

2 Daybooks: A Type of Popular Hemerological Manual of the Warring States, Qin, and Han
Liu Lexian 劉樂賢

3 Daybooks in the Context of Manuscript Culture and Popular Culture Studies
Donald Harper

4 Hemerology and Prediction in the Daybooks: Ideas and Practices
Marc Kalinowski

5 Daybooks and the Spirit World
Yan Changgui 晏昌貴

6 The Zidanku 子彈庫 Silk Manuscripts
Li Ling 李零

7 Calendars and Calendar Making in Qin and Han Times
Christopher Cullen

8 Daybooks in Qin and Han Religion
Marianne Bujard

9 The Legacy of Daybooks in Late Imperial and Modern China
Richard Smith

10 Hemerology in Medieval Europe
László Sándor Chardonnens

11 Babylonian Hemerologies and Menologies 408
Alasdair Livingstone


Appendix A: Survey of Excavated Daybooks, Daybook-Related Manuscripts, and Other Hemerological Material

Appendix B: Summary of Published Daybooks and Daybook-Related Manuscripts

Appendix C: Description of Select Hemerologies and Classificatory Systems in Daybooks

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