(Book of Historical Legends, Book of History, Book of Documents; also Shang Shu [Ancient Writing]), a work of ancient Chinese literature.
The Shu Ching contains material on the history of China from the rule of the legendary ruler Yao (third millennium B.C.) to 624 B.C. The oldest parts apparently date to the period between the 14th and 11th centuries B.C. According to tradition, it was compiled by Confucius. In 213 B.C., the Shu Ching was burned along with the other Confucian classics, but it was reproduced in the second century B.C., partly from memory (the “new text,” which modern scholarship considers authentic) and partly from discovered manuscripts (the “ancient text”). It contains elements of myths, heroic legends, traditional historical tales, and examples of oratory and philosophy. The texts are accompanied by an expanded Confucian commentary. The Shu Ching has become part of the Confucian canon and has had a great influence on Chinese culture.
PUBLICATIONShangshu chengi, vols. 1–2. Peking, 1957.
In Russian translation:
[Fragments.] In Drevnekitaiskaia filosofiia, vol. 1. Moscow, 1973.
REFERENCESFedorenko, N. T. “Shutszin.” In Literatura drevnego Kitaia. Moscow, 1969.
Maspero, H. “Légendes mythologiques dans le Chou King.” In Journal Asiatique, 1924, vol. 204. Pages 1–100.
I. S. LISEVICH