Special Focus - - Culture -

The Clas­sic of Moun­tains and Seas , a Chi­nese an­cient lit­er­ary clas­sic, was writ­ten by the Chu ( now Hubei and Hunan Provinces) peo­ple or the Bashu ( now Sichuan Prov­ince and Chongqing Mu­nic­i­pal­ity) peo­ple from the mid­dle and late pe­riod of the War­ring States to the early Han Dy­nasty. The book has 22 ar­ti­cles in to­tal, about 32,650 words, among which 18 ar­ti­cles are left now. It is di­vided into Clas­sic of Zang­shan (5 ar­ti­cles), Clas­sic of Ar­eas Over­seas ( 4 ar­ti­cles), Clas­sic of Re­gions Within the Seas ( 5 ar­ti­cles), and Clas­sic of Great Wild­ness ( 4 ar­ti­cles). This ma­jor source of Chi­nese mythol­ogy brings to­gether a trea­sure trove of rare data and col­or­ful fic­tion about myth­i­cal fig­ures, rit­u­als, medicine, nat­u­ral his­tory, and eth­nic peo­ples of the an­cient world. The book pre­serves many an­cient leg­ends and fa­bles, in­clud­ing Kuafu Run­ning Af­ter the Sun, the God­dess Mending the Sky, Jing­wei Try­ing to Fill the Sea, and Em­peror Yu Tam­ing the Flood.

The Clas­sic of Moun­tains and Seas has ex­tra­or­di­nary lit­er­ary value and serves as a ref­er­ence for the study of an­cient Chi­nese his­tory, ge­og­ra­phy, cul­ture, Chi­nese and for­eign traf­fic, folk cus­toms, and mythol­ogy. The book has many ver­sions and the ear­li­est one is the Bi­og­ra­phy of the Clas­sic of Moun­tains and

Seas com­piled by Guo Wei of the Jin Dy­nasty. Nowa­days most schol­ars in China be­lieve that the Clas­sic of Moun­tains and Seas

is a highly valu­able ge­o­graph­i­cal work with a long his­tory.

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