CLA 322 4/19/2016
CLA 322 4/19/2016 CLA 322 P
Popular in greek Mythology: Monsters
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CLA 322 P
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This 16 page Class Notes was uploaded by Kenya on Sunday April 24, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to CLA 322 P at University of Miami taught by Han Tran in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 6 views. For similar materials see greek Mythology: Monsters in Classical Studies at University of Miami.
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Date Created: 04/24/16
CLA 322 Monsters 4/19/16 Qilin: Chinese unicorn? Earliest surviving image of a unicorn, on bronze, from Changzhi, Shaanxi Province. Warring States period (475-221 BCE) Commonality with Western Unicorn: 1 horn Elusiveness Differences from Western Unicorn: Qilin has a greater reputation for gentleness and wisdom Takes an interest in the government of china (though doesn’t involve itselfin the actual govt—just oversees it) Appears at imperial court at the beginning of the reign of a good emperor, at the end of a successful reign, and at the birth of a great scholar 1 Source: From The Book of Rights Chief among four-footed beasts. It resembles the stag but is larger. It has a single horn, the tip of which is fleshy, indicating that it is not used in battle. There are five colours in the hair of its back - red, yellow, blue, white and black - and the hair of its belly is dark yellow. It does not tread any living grass underfoot nor eat any living creature. It shows itself when perfect rulers appear and when the Tao of the King is accomplished.' That is to say, when the ruler's work is well done and his time has come, the Ch'i-lin arrives to bear his soul to Heaven. End of horn is fleshy o Not used for a weapon as in the Western Unicorn Multi-colored o Unlike the western Unicorn (symbolizing innocence and Christ) is entirely white Tao: goodor just Works/deeds Seems similar to the imperial dragon (this underlying similarity seems to be on purpose) nd 2 Source: From Shu King 'Its call in the middle part is like a monastery bell. Itspace is regular. It rambles on selected grounds and only after it has examined the locality. It will not live in herds or be accompanied in its movements. It cannot be beguiled intopitfalls or captured in snares.' Cannot be captured or beguiled into traps o Very unlike the W. Unicorn THINK: What does it mean that this creature cannot be captured? Not meant to associate with humans, but at the same time it has an innate interest in human affairs. It wishes to oversee rather than get taken up into the human world o The W. Unicorn is vulnerable because he wants to get captured and killed (Christ association—part of the Christian narrative) 6 c BCE: reappearance of Qilin after centuries of civil unrest. Origin of Confucius: remember the Qilin appears at the birth ofa great sage/scholar Confucius’ mother was unable to give her husband a son and after her prayers for one went un-answered, she went on a journey to this certain mountain, with a certain, ancient, holy, temple at the top. On her way up, she stepped in the hallowed hoof print of the Qilin who appeared suddenly before her. It drops a jade tablet at her feet with an inscription which reads: “Your son shall be a ruler without a throne”. Then it vanishes and Confucius’ mother is pregnant. The Qilin’s form is painted on the gates of the Confucius family home as a reminder, not of their greatness, but of their subservient status to the emperor. Here we have a hierarchy where the Imperial dragon is before the Qilin, and the emperor is before Confucius. Fu Hsi (c. 2900 BCE) 1 sighting of Qilin by an emperor Invented: Domestication of animals Bred Silk Worms Fishing The compass Music With is sister/wife Nu Wa he restored order to world after it was destroyed by the monster Kung Kung. Togetherthey invented marriage as a meansof harmonizing the Yin and Yang of human nature. Nu Wa and Fu Hsi Fu Hsi invents Chinese writing: Sitting on the bank of the Yellow River pondering mentally and wondering how he could record these thoughts (as there was no writing yet). The Qilin appears out of the water and on his back he carries magical symbols(like runes?) and it is with these that Fu His creates the Chinese language and writing system. Pa Kua (8 trigrams)—the magical runes on the Qilin’s back 2nd emperor: Shen Nung (2737 BCE) Taught: Art of agriculture and herbs Thought to have offended heaven as the Qilin never appeared during his reign and the land was in a severe drought Remember a good emperor has associations with the Qilin and the availability of water THINK: Why would the Qilin not appear during his rule? After all agriculture and herbs are extremely important to China. He is too primitive He gave good gifts but didn’t influence the bureaucracy (which the Qilin is interested in) 3 Emperor: Yellow Emperor 1 of the 5 semi-divine Emperors of pre-dynastic empire The Qilin appeared to Huang Ti (Yellow Emperor) in 2697 BCE Invented: Horse buggy (Horse and carriage) Medicine Alchemy—turning base metals to gold The recipe for an immortality pill (hence his semi-divine—since he has not god ancestry—status) In the Bamboo Chronicles we’re told: the Qilin appeared to him and the later 4 emperors. This is considered the Golden Age of Peace, as china had 5 succeeding, just and good emperors. Shun: the last ofthe ‘Five Emperors’ Along with his Minister of Justice, Gao Yao, formulated the first law code o Considered the greatest of all achievements When Shun was stumped with a problem he couldn’t decide he turned to his infallible one horned goat, called Zhi Zhi told who was guilty by butting him with his horn From The Scale of Discourse At present in the courtyards of public buildings, scholars declarethat the xiezhi is a goat with one horn, which by instinct knows the guilty. When Gao Yao, administering justice, was doubtful about the guilt of a culprit, he ordered this goat to butt it. It would butt the guilty, but spare the innocent. Accordingly, it was a sage animal born with one horn, a most efficient assistant in judicial proceedings. Therefore did Gao Yao hold it in high respect, using it on all occasions. Consequently, it belonged to the class of supernatural creatures of good omen. The acumen of this goat was so great, he adopted the Qilin as his royal emblem THINK: What’s the connection? o The Qilin doesn’t participate in human affairs, so the goat would be his enactor, but they both have the same principles. Pangu and the 4 celestial guardians: Originally the Qilin was the precursor of the White Tiger of the west. Along with the 4 Pangu (a giant who emerged from a large comic egg looking like his picture) in separating earth and sky When he died his breath became the winds, mist, and clouds. His head became mountains, left eye (sun) and right eye (moon), his blood became rivers, etc. Like Ymir, his body makes up the world. THINK: Why would they want to insert the guardians into Pangu’s tale ofthe 1 st separation? To integrate the principles the animals stand for, into the creation of the world Dragon: Emperorship Phoenix: Harmony of opposites Turtle: Longevity, wisdom that comes with the advancement of years Qilin: Justice, law, ethics The Ants Ho Kwan of Kuang Nan wasa kindhearted man and never killed any living thing. He had a jar containing one thousand pieces of silver which he kept in a casket. The white ants, of which there were so many in his district, invaded the casket and ate part of the silver. When his family found what had happened, they traced the ants to a hollow cave where millionsof them were living. They thought if they put all of these ants in a crucible, perhaps they could recover a part of the lost silver. But Ho objected to the scheme, saying: "I cannot bear to see all these many creatures killed on account of a small sum of silver." So they let the matter drop. That night he dreamed that scores of soldiers in white armor came to him, asking him to enter a carriage which they had with them and to come to the palace of their king. Ho Kwan proceeded with the soldiers to a town where the people looked prosperous and the buildings were all magnificent. Numerous officers came to meet him and took him to a splendid palace. The king, clad in royal fashion, descended from the throne, and, cordially saluting Ho Kwan, said: "By your benevolent acts we have been saved from our enemy. While not forgetting your kindness, the lack of strict discipline among my people caused you some trouble recently, but by your mercy they haveagain been saved from calamity. How could I let your kindness go unrequited this time? There is a certain tree near your residence readily identified, under which in olden times a certain person buried a jar full of silver. Just dig that out and keep it for yourself. You are the unicorn of mankind (the emblem of perfect goodness) that will never hurt any living soul. It isa pity that you are now too old to enjoy the fruits of your kindness yourself, but your descendants will reap what you have sown." After this Ho Kwan was escorted back to his own house as before, by armed soldiers. When he awoke he meditated on the dream and found it to be the work of the ants. So he dug up the place as told by their king and recovered a jar buried therein these many years. His son became an eminent scholar. Idea that a good leader of the people (whether emperor or scholar/sage) has to be a blend of Kindness, gentleness, and the bureaucracy. When the Qilin faces those who have done wrong (the unjust) he can take on a frightening form. His late association with the dragon, and a mix of other elements (the tiger, fish, fire of the phoenix, etc.) presents the idea that the separation fiercely imposed on paper, didn’t really matter as much in reality. Think: What does the Qilin have to do with the Unicorn? It is the embodiment of the respective values of the people who create them
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