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Annotated Edition of “The Book of Documents”
Shang shu (The book of documents), also called Shu jing (The book of history), is one of the Five Classics of the Confucian canon that greatly influenced Chinese history and culture. Translations of its title into English vary and include Classic of History, Classic of Documents, Book of History, Book of Documents, or Book of Historical Documents. There are many copies and versions of Shang shu, ascribed to Confucius, but its history is obscure. The work is a compilation of speeches by major figures and records of events in ancient ...
Commentary on The Analects of Confucius
Rongo (Analects) is famed as the collection of the words and deeds of Confucius. As the most cherished scripture of Confucianism, the book greatly influenced the culture of China and neighboring nations. It is said to have been introduced to Japan around the fifth century. The first published edition of Rongo in Japan was made in Sakai, a city in present-day Ōsaka Prefecture, in the 19th year of the Shōhei period (1364), and is known as the Shōhei version. The wood blocks of the first edition disappeared in early days ...
The practice of printing Buddhist scriptures on the reverse of letters from the deceased to pray for the repose of his or her soul became common from the end of the Heian period (late 12th century) onward. The scrolls shown here contain the text of a Buddhist sutra called Myōhō renge-kyō (Lotus sutra). They are printed on the reverse of letters sent from Daitō Genchi, the second abbot of Kakuon-ji Temple in Kamakura. It is believed that Hōjō Sadatoki’s wife, to whom the letters are addressed, and some others ...
Buddhist Sutra “Jū-issai-fukutoku-zanmai-kyō”
The hand copying of Buddhist sutras was believed to confer great merit and spiritual benefit, so that from the introduction of Buddhism to Japan in the sixth century, numerous manuscripts were reproduced throughout the country. Shown here is a volume from the hand-copied Issai-kyō (a Buddhist corpus) commissioned by the Empress Kōmyō (701−60), wife of the Emperor Shōmu, to pray for the repose of her parents, Fujiwara no Fuhito and Tachibana no Michiyo. The work commissioned by the empress amounts to about 7,000 volumes, which include almost all ...
The Completion of Mere Ideation
In Japan temples were the center of publishing until the Middle Ages. The Kasuga edition of the Buddhist scriptures was produced at the Kōfuku-ji Temple in Nara. These scrolls, from that edition, contain the text of Jōyuishikiron (The completion of mere ideation), a commentary on the work by the Indian scholar Seshin (Vasubandhu in Sanskrit) known as Yuishiki sanjūju (Triṃśikā-vijñapti-kārikā in Sanskrit, Weishi sanshi song in Chinese). The commentary was translated into Chinese during the Tang dynasty by a Chinese monk named Xuanzang. It was a canon of the ...
The Analects of Confucius
Rongo (Analects) is famed as the collection of the words and deeds of Confucius and has greatly influenced the culture of China and neighboring nations as the most cherished scripture of Confucianism. It is said to have been introduced to Japan around the fifth century. This work is called the “Tenmon version,” the second version of the published Rongo in Japan after the Rongo shikkai (known as the Shōhei version) first published in Japan in the 19th year of the Shōhei era (1364). The Tenmon Analects were published in the ...
Buddhist Sutra “Bimashōkyō”
The hand copying of Buddhist sutras was believed to confer great merit and spiritual benefit, so that from the introduction of Buddhism to Japan in the sixth century numerous manuscripts were reproduced throughout the country. In the late Heian period, there arose the Mappō (age of Dharma decline) doctrine, which held that Buddhist teaching, and consequently the protection of Buddha, would decline. At a time of religious pessimism coupled with the very real decline of the aristocracy, many court nobles sought to attain the after-death passage to the Pure Land ...
The Zhaocheng Jin Tripitaka
This edition of the Buddhist canon was printed between about the ninth year of the Huangtong era of Xizong of the Jin dynasty and sometime in the Dading era of Shizong, and for this reason is called the "Jin Tripitaka" by scholars. It is also called the “Jin Tripitaka from Tianning Temple in Xiezhou" because the woodblocks were carved at Tianning Temple on Jinglin Mountain, in Xiezhou, Shanxi (modern Xie County in the Jinnan district). In 1933, the work was rediscovered at Guangsheng Temple in Zhaocheng County, Shanxi, so its ...
Twenty-One Hymns to the Rescuer Mother of Buddhas
Also known as “Twenty-One Hymns to the Rescuer Saint Tārā, Mother of Buddhas,” this item is a sutra from Tibetan esoteric Buddhism. The copyist was Yong Rong (1744–90), sixth son of the Qianlong emperor and general editor of the Siku quanshu. In addition to being a poet, calligrapher, and painter, Yong Rong had a sophisticated understanding of astronomy and mathematics. On the top protective cover of this item is written, “Imperially commissioned translation of the hymn to the rescuer mother of Buddhas," in Manchu, Tibetan, Mongolian, and Chinese scripts ...
Collected Works of Han Yu
Han Yu is chief among the eight major writers of the Tang and Song dynasties. His writings are rich in content, powerful, fresh, and lively. The 40-juan (section) Collected Works of Han Yu (Changli xiansheng ji [Collected works of the Master from Changli]) was compiled by his disciple Li Han, and is the most comprehensive compendium of Han Yu’s works. The “Outer Collection” and “Omitted Writings” were added by Song dynasty scholars who recovered lost works by Han. This edition was printed in the Jianchun era (late 13th ...
The Su Wen of the Huangdi Neijing (Inner Classic of the Yellow Emperor)
Huangdi neijing (The inner classic of the yellow emperor) was created some time between the Warring States period and the Qin-Han period as a summation of Chinese medical knowledge up to the time of the Han dynasty. It is the earliest surviving work on Chinese medicine. The work is divided into two parts: the Su wen (Basic questions) and the Ling shu (Numinous spindle). After the Han dynasty, each part circulated separately. Su wen is written in a question-and-answer format involving the Yellow Emperor and various physicians of high antiquity ...
The Xiping Stone Classics
These engravings of the seven Confucian classics were set up outside the National University Gate, located on the south side of Loyang, the capital city, in the Eastern Han dynasty. They were created between 175 and 183, after Cai Yong and a group of scholars successfully petitioned the emperor to have the Confucian classics carved in stone in order to prevent their being altered to support particular points of view. They are also called the “Han Stone Classics” and the “Single-Script Stone Classics." The seven classics -- The Book of Changes ...
Diamond Prajna Paramita Sutra
This complete scroll from the first year of the Yifeng era (676) of the Tang dynasty was unearthed in Dunhuang, China. The scroll contains the Diamond Prajna pāramitā sutra, a work that is an important sacred text in the prajñā line of Mahayana Buddhism as well as a foundational text in Chinese Chan (Japanese Zen) Buddhism. The text was transmitted to China in the Period of Southern and Northern Courts in many translations, but the translation by Kumārajīva is the most respected. For generations, it was felt that reciting the ...
The Four Books in Chapter and Verse with Collected Commentaries
The Analects is one of the important classics for Ruist (Confucian) scholars. It was compiled by the disciples of Confucius and their disciples. It mostly records conversations and dialogs relating to Confucius and his disciples that reflect the views and principles of Confucius as applied to administration, ethics, morality, and education. The generally accepted version of The Analects has 20 sections. Zhu Xi (1130-1200) of the Song dynasty took “The Great Learning” and “The Doctrine of the Mean” from The Book of Rites and combined these extracts with The Mencius ...
Illustrated Stories Exemplifying the Five Confucian Virtues
By order of King Jeongjo, the 21st king of the Joseon Dynasty (reigned 1724–76), Oryun haengsildo (Illustrated stories exemplifying the five Confucian virtues) was made by binding together two books of ethics drawn from the Chinese classics. These were Samgang haengsildo (Illustrated conduct of the three bonds) and Iryun hangsildo (Illustrated stories exemplifying the two Confucian virtues). The book describes the achievements of 150 models extracted from ancient Korean and Chinese literature. Topics covered include relationships between the king and his servants, fathers and sons, husbands and wives ...
Philosophical Exercises by Antonio Rocco
In Esercitazioni filosofiche (Philosophical exercises), published in 1633 and dedicated to Pope Urban VIII, the Italian priest and philosophy teacher Antonio Rocco (1586–1653), presented various Aristotelian theories intended to challenge the new scientific method of Galileo Galilei (1564–1642). A self-declared adherent of the Peripatetic school of philosophy, Rocco denounced the evidence-based science pioneered by Galileo and argued for adherence to the Aristotelian approach of deriving scientific truths from general principles. Rocco’s book was a direct assault on Galileo’s Dialogo sopra i massimi sistemi del mondo (Dialogue ...
Biography of the Dragon-like Heavenly Sovereign and Emperor of High Virtue
The original edition of this work was described in the annotated catalog Dao zang mu lu xiang zhu (Catalog of the Daoist canon with detailed annotations) as consisting of six juan. The work is a biography of Laozi, who was traditionally regarded as the author of Dao de jing and the founder of Daoism. The earliest reference to Laozi is found in Shi ji (The records of the grand historian), by Chinese historian Sima Qian (circa 145–86 BC). Laozi was often said to be a contemporary of Confucius (551 ...
Book of Rites as Arranged by Subject
This work was compiled by Li Jinglun (1507–57), a scholar with a first-rank degree at the county-level civil examination, who later devoted himself to writing and prided himself on his knowledge of li xue (rationalistic philosophy influenced by Confucianism). Based on Li jing (Book of rites), one of five classics of the Confucian canon, and on all traditional forms that provide a standard of either ceremonial conduct or rules of conduct, Li here expounded his theory that there were three principles, yi, qu and guan. Yi means the rituals ...
Teachings of the Confucian School in Shanxi Province
This work was written by Wen Xiangfeng (1577–1642), an official in the late Ming period. He received his jin shi degree in 1610 and held many positions, among them assistant commissioner of Shanxi Province, vice commissioner of the Court of the Imperial Stud, and secretary of the Bureau of Ceremonies in the Bureau of Rites in Nanjing. However, Wen Xiangfeng devoted most of his time to teaching and lecturing and was known locally as a Confucian thinker. In 1621 he became the provincial literary chancellor of Shanxi, where he ...
Miscellaneous Works of Zou Deyong
The author of this work was Zou Deyong, a native of Anfu, Jiangxi Province, grandson of Zou Shouyi (1491–1562). The elder Zou was one of the exponents of the school of Wang Yangming, the Neo-Confucian philosopher, who was a leading figure in Ming Neo-Confucianism and a proponent of education. After receiving his jin shi degree in 1616, Zou Deyong served as a censor and later as supervisor of censors at the Bureau of Revenue and the Bureau of Rites. He later was removed from office for displeasing the emperor ...
Occasional Notes by Lü Wancun Printed at the Tian Gai Lou Workshop
The commentator of this civil-examination records collection, Lü Liuliang (formal name of Lü Wancun, 1629–83), was a native of Chongde, Zhejiang Province, who lived at the end of the Ming and the beginning of the Qing dynasty. His grandmother was a member of the Ming imperial family. At the age of eight he already wrote essays in the approved style. He achieved the ju ren degree but withdrew because of his opposition to the Manchu regime. He became a teacher and often added his comments to his students’ essays ...