Category Archives: Chinese writing

Manuscript of medieval character dictionary digitized

Manuscript Or.8210/S.388 from the Stein collection at the British Library is finally digitized and available at the IDP website. This is a manuscript that has been written/copied sometime between the late 6th and first half of 7th centuries, and records … Continue reading

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Unattested character variant

Last May, Sam and I went on a trip to Gansu and Qinghai provinces to visit the sites along a medieval pilgrimage route. (On this trip, see Sam’s entry on his blog: Amdo Notes II.) I got to Lanzhou first … Continue reading

Posted in 20th century, Character variants, Chinese writing, Dunhuang, epigraphy, Orthography | Tagged , | 3 Comments

Cangjie created writing and the ghosts wailed at night

“When Cangjie created writing, Heaven rained millet and the ghosts wailed at night” 蒼頡作書而天雨粟鬼夜哭. The above cryptic statement comes from the Huainanzi 淮南子, a text compiled during the 2nd century B.C. Since there are very few details regarding the invention of … Continue reading

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Criticism of Chen Mengjia by fellow scholars

Reading on the history of simplified characters I came across a small book called 1957年文字改革辩论选辑 (Shanghai: Xin zhishi, 1958) which contains a series of articles from contemporary periodicals about the writing reform. I was surprised to find two vicious articles … Continue reading

Posted in 20th century, archaeology, Chinese writing, History of scholarship | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Chinese seals found in Ireland

A while ago I published an article called “The story of the Chinese seals found in Ireland” (Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, 2008, 18: 465-479) about a group of Chinese porcelain seals discovered in different locations throughout Ireland during the … Continue reading

Posted in 19th century, archaeology, Chinese writing, History of scholarship, Palaeography, Seals | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment