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Huai nan tzu

Category: Books sutras and myths

I have used the description on Wikipedia as it is quite helpful

The Huáinánzǐ (Chinese: 淮南子; Wade–Giles: Huai-nan Tzu; literally "The Masters/Philosophers of Huainan") is a 2nd-century BCE Chinese philosophical classic from the Han dynasty that blends Daoist, Confucianist, and Legalist concepts, including theories such as Yin-Yang and the Five Phases. It was written under the patronage of Liu An, Prince of Huainan, a legendarily prodigious author. The text, also known as the Huainan honglie 淮南鸿烈 ("The Great Brilliance of Huainan"), is a collection of essays presented as resulting from literary and philosophical debates between Liu and guests at his court, in particular the scholars known as the Eight Immortals of Huainan

The Huainanzi was the first Chinese classic text to use the Pythagorean comma, and to precisely analyze 12-tone tuning in Chinese music (McClain and Ming 1979:213, 206), although the latter was preceded by bronze inscriptions on the (433 BCE) bells of the Marquis Yi of Zeng (Temple 1986:199).

The date of composition for the Huainanzi is more certain than for most early Chinese texts. Both the Book of Han and Records of the Grand Historian record that when Liu An paid a state visit to his nephew the Emperor Wu of Han in 139 BCE, he presented a copy of his "recently completed" book in twenty-one chapters.

The Huainanzi is a compilation of chapters or essays that range across topics of mythology, history, astronomy, geography, philosophy, science, metaphysics, nature, and politics. It discusses many pre-Han schools of thought (especially Huang-Lao Daoism), and contains more than 800 quotations from Chinese classics. The textual diversity is apparent from the chapter titles (tr. Le Blanc, 1985, 15-16):

Number

Name

Reading

Meaning

1

原道訓

Yuandao

Searching out Dao

2

俶真訓

Chuzhen

Beginning of Reality

3

天文訓

Tianwen

Patterns of Heaven

4

墜形訓

Zhuixing

Forms of Earth

5

時則訓

Shize

Seasonal Regulations

6

覽冥訓

Lanming

Peering into the Obscure

7

精神訓

Jingshen

Seminal Breath and Spirit

8

本經訓

Benjing

Fundamental Norm

9

主術訓

Zhushu

Craft of the Ruler

10

繆稱訓

Miucheng

On Erroneous Designations

11

齊俗訓

Qisu

Placing Customs on a Par

12

道應訓

Daoying

Responses of Dao

13

氾論訓

Fanlun

A Compendious Essay

14

詮言訓

Quanyan

An Explanatory Discourse

15

兵略訓

Binglue

On Military Strategy

16

說山訓

Shuoshan

Discourse on Mountains

17

說林訓

Shuolin

Discourse on Forests

18

人間訓

Renjian

In the World of Man

19

脩務訓

Youwu

Necessity of Training

20

泰族訓

Taizu

Grand Reunion

21

要略

Yaolue

Outline of the Essentials

Observations

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