Thirteen Essays of Guan Gongming


This work consists of essays and a summary of Yi divination purportedly written by Guan Lu (208–55), also known as Guan Gongming. Guan Lu was a famed practitioner of divination during the Three Kingdoms era (220–65). He was known to have been able to diagnose the causes of diseases and foresee a person’s fate by casting lots. A number of works credited to him were listed in the histories of the Sui and Tang dynasties. This manuscript edition was issued during the Qianlong period (1736–95) of the Qing dynasty. A postscript at the end of the second volume states that the work was written in the fourth year of the Qianlong reign (1739). Guan Lu’s name presumably was used to add authenticity to the work. The inscription in the first volume indicates that the text was copied by Chen Dajing, about whom no information exists. Volume two, entitled Bu yi zhai yao (Essentials of divination), has four impressions of Chen Dajing’s seals. In the congratulatory script at the beginning of the work, among the names mentioned is Liu Bowen (1311–75), a military strategist, politician, and man of letters active under the first Ming emperor, Hongwu (reigned 1368–98). This suggests that the original text could have been written during or after the middle Ming period.

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2 juan, 2 volumes


  • Manuscript copy

Last updated: January 3, 2018