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Unformatted text preview: ith no
dragons available, Chinese pharmacies
marketed the scapulas of cattle and the
undersides of turtle shells as dragon
bones, and they did a brisk business
selling them to ailing customers.
The oracle bones can be classed as
religious documents because they
recorded communications with ancestral
spirits and nature gods.
spirits Crack-making on xinyou (day 58):” This
season, the king should follow Wang
Cheng to attack the Xia Wei, for if he
does, we will receive assistance in this
“Praying to lead away this sick tooth (?), the
ding sacrifice will be favorable.”
ding The oracle bones constituted political
documents because they recorded
matters of state in a theocracy with the
Shang king at its apex.
Shang One side of a plastron, or turtle shell bottom,
[Preface] cracking on jiashen (day twenty-one),
[Charge] “Lady Hao’s childbearing will be good.”
[Prognostication] The king read the cracks and
said:” If it be on a ding day that she give birth, it
will be good. If it be on a geng day that she give
birth, there will be prolonged luck.”
[verification] after thirty-one days, on jiayin (day
fifty-one), she gave birth. It was not good. It was
a girl. (documentary)
I am grateful to Professor Graham Sanders
and Dr. David Cai.
The Open Empire, the first chapter...
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This note was uploaded on 02/07/2013 for the course EAS 256 taught by Professor Forgotten during the Fall '12 term at University of Toronto- Toronto.
- Fall '12