By Bruce Wright,2014-08-07 10:30
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    Stone Inscriptions and Other Cultural Relics

Arhat Statues in Baosheng Temple

    The Arhat Statues in Baosheng Temple are in Wu County, Jiangsu Province.

In accordance with Records of Fuli of Wu County, the time for beginning of

    construction of the temple was the second year of the Tianjian Period of the Liang Dynasty (503 A.D.), and it was a large-scaled temple then. But according to Records of Suzhou Prefecture, "the beginning time of its construction was the period of the Dazhong Period of the Tang Dynasty (847 - 860) and it was revamped in the sixth year of the Xining Period (the Song Dynasty)(1073)". Zhao Mengfu, a famous chirographer of the Yuan Dynasty wrote a couplet for the temple, which is still on the pillars of the temple"Among Buddhist buildings, the temple of Fuli was No. 1 in the Liang Dynasty; among the Buddha statues, the arhat statues are No. 1 in southern China". The extant buildings chiefly include the Shanmen (Gate), the Tianwang Hall (Hall of God) and the Great Hall and so on.

    Originally there were 18 arhat statues in the Great Hall, but owing to the chaos in the period of Republic of China, half of the temple fell and half of the statues were destroyed. Now there are only nine arhat statues. The statues were fixed on the wall

    and the wall served as a background with carved patterns of clouds, waters and cliffs on it. The statues represent various famous arhats, such as Dharma (the founder of the religion), the Tanfu Arhat (bare-bellyed arhat), the Xianglong (dragon defeating)

    Arhat, the Jiangjing (sermoning) Arhat, the Tingjing (sermon listening) arhat, and so

    on. These arhat statues are vivid in expression, properly proportioned, and strongly carved, showing different characters and features. The ingenuity of the works lies in the fact that the sculptor had captured the moment of the expressions of those figures and exaggerated it in a typical way, then melted it into their own works. As it is said, they were works of Yang Huizhi, a famous sculptor in the Kaiyuan Period of the Tang Dynasty. But their looks were mostly thin and slim, quite different from the style of the Tang Dynasty, so they might have been the relics of the beginning period of the Song Dynasty (960 - 1279).

Iron Lion of Cangzhou

    The Iron Lion of Cangzhou is in the site of the former Kaiyuan Temple, 20 km southeast of Cangzhou City, Hebei Province.


    The iron lion has already had a history of more than one thousand years, being the biggest and earliest iron casting of China in actual existence. It was made in the third year of the Guangshun Period of the Later Zhou Dynasty(953)5.4 m in height6.5 m

    in length3 m in width and 40 t in weight. The iron lion has a perking head and glowering eyeswith a wide open mouth, as if giving a long whistle to the sky and galloping in the open country. It looks so vigorous and nimble, bright and brave, majestic and awe-inspiring! The lion carries a basin of lotus on the backwears a

    zhangni(cloth under the saddle) on the waist, and a lacing on the fore breast. The three Chinese characters, "Shi Zi Wang" (king of lions), are cast on both the top of its head and its neck. On the left neck and around the teeth is cast the seven characters, "dazhou guangshun sannian zhu"(cast in the third year of Guangshun Period of the

    Great Zhou Dynasty); on the belly is cast the text of the diamond sutra, but most of it has become unreadable because of desquamation. The foundry technique of iron lion is very high: it was made by casting in several segments one upon another, totally using 409 pieces of iron, showing the superb level of foundry technique of the North Zhou period.

Tablet of Cuan Baozi

    Tablet of Cuan Baozi stands in No. 1 Middle School of Qujing City, Yunnan Province.

    Tablet of Cuan Baozi was unearthed in the 43rd year of the Qianlong Period of the Qing Dynasty1778in Yangqitian Village, Qujing County, moved to

    Wuhouci(Temple of Wuhou, Zhuge Liang) inside the castle of Qujing in the second year of the Xianfeng Period(1852), and moved again to No.1 Middle School of Qujing County in 1937.

    The tablet is also called "Xiaocuan Tablet" commonly. It was erected in the 4th year of the Daheng Period of the Eastern Jin Dynasty(404)being 1.83 m high0.68 m

    wide and 0.21 m thick. The tablet head is semicircular, and on the top is inscribed 15 characters in 5 lines: Jin Gu Zhenwei Jiangjun Jianning Taishou Cuanfujun Zhi Mu"

    (tomb of the late Mr. Cuan, satrap of Jianning and a zhenwei general of the Jin

    Dynasty). The epigraph contains 400 characters, in 13 lines, each line having 7 to 30 characters. At the end, there are 13 lines of superscription, each line having 4 characters, all in regular script. All the characters are clearly readable except one lost. The main content of the epigraph is a narration of Cuan Baozi's life, family background and political achievements. Cuan Baozi was the chieftain of the Cuan clan, a hereditary satrap of Jianning County. Family Cuan was one of the famous "great surnames (families) of southern China" from the later Han Dynasty to the mid Tang Dynasty. Jianning (now in Qujing Prefecture) and Jinning (now in Dianchi Prefecture) were the central area under the administration of Mr. Cuan. The superscriptions at the end of the epigraph have recorded the names of officials under


    the satrap of Jianning at that time, having a high value for historical research. In the left lower corner is a note by Deng Erheng of Nanning Prefecture in July of the second year of the Xianfeng Period of the Qing Dynasty (1852), recording the story about this tablet.

The handwriting of the epigraph is of primitive simplicitycharacterized by straight

    turning of the strokes, reflecting the transition from the lishu(official script) to the

    kaishu(regular script), and being an important illustration for the study on the evolution of Chinese handwriting styles. In the history of chirography, this tablet is called "Xiao Cuan (Small Cuan)", and together with the Tablet of Cuan Longyan, they are called "Two Cuans".

Tablet of Cuan Longyan

    Tablet of Cuan Longyan is inside the Zhenyuanpu Primary School, 14 km south of the county seat of Luliang County, Yunnan Province.

Tablet of Cuan Longyan is briefly called "Da Cuan” (Big Cuan), too. The tablet was

    set up in the second year of the Daming Period of the Southern Song Dynasty(458).The tablet is 3.38 m high1.35 m wide in the upper part1.46 m wide in

    the lower partand 0.25 m thick. The top is semicircular, with "Song Gu Longxiang

    Jiangjun Hu Zhenman Xiaowei Ningzhou Cishi Nadu Xian Hou Cuan Shijun Zhi Bei"

    (Tablet of Late Mr. Cuan, Longxiang General, Official of Defense, Governor of Ningzhou Prefecture and Head of Nadu County of the Song Dynasty) inscribed in the middle~24 characters in 6 lines. In the upper part is a relief of a blue dragon, a white tiger and a rose finch; in the middle of the lower part there is a hole, on the left is carved the sun and on the right is carved the moon; in the sun is a crow and in the moon is a toad. The epigraph contains 24 lines, each line has 45 characters, and the whole text is 904 characters long. The epigraph talks about the lineage of Family Cuan and the political history of the three generations of Cuan Longyan, especially mentioning the crackdown of the Zhao Guang Uprising in Yizhou in the ninth year of the Yuanjia Period (432), in which Cuan Longyan played a leading role. The tablet has 3 lines of superscriptions, containing 313 characters altogether, recording the political and military institutions and the persons working in the government in the frontier region at that time. The epigraph is in regular scriptbut still keeps a very

    strong feature of the official script. The handwriting shows a vigorous and firm verve, a highly changeable structure, and it has always been praised highly by many chirographers.

    Tablet in Memory of the Alliance between General Duan and Thirty-seven Troops

    Tablet in Memory of the Alliance between General Duan and Thirty-seven Troops


stands inside No. 1 Middle School of Qujing City, Yunnan Province.

    Tablet in Memory of the Alliance between General Duan and Thirty-seven Troops is also called "Tablet of Stone City Alliance". The tablet is 1.25 m high0.58 m wide

    and 0.61 m thick. It is divided into two parts, the upper and lower. In the upper part are 11 lines, and each line has 13 characters, in the order from right to left, and in regular script. In the lower part, there are 8 lines of characters, all being personal namesin cursive script. Most of the characters are in a simplified form or a varied form, without a title. The whole text contains 403 characters, in a cursive regular script. The handwriting is in an honest and strong style, which has won a very high opinion from chirographers of all times.

    The tablet was erected in the third year of the Duansushun Mingzheng Period of Dali Kingdom, i.e. the fourth year of the Kaibao Period of the Northern Song Dynasty (971). The epigraph records such a story: General Duan (of the White Nationality) of Dali Kingdom united 39 troops (of the Yi Nationality) in their fight against some tribes in eastern Yunnan and defeated them; then, they vowed to make an alliance at Stone City (now Qujing City), and awarded the meritorious persons. Historical records have not mentioned such an event, so the tablet has provided an important data for the research on the history of the Dali Kingdom, and the history of the ethnic minorities there at that time, especially for the study on the official system of the Dali Kingdom. Literature of the Ming Dynasty already mentioned this tablet, but later it was buried in earth. It was unearthed in the 18th year of the Kangxi Period of the Qing Dynasty (1679) in the old site of the Stone City, north of Qujing City, and was moved into the city in the 29th year of the Daoguang Period of the Qing Dynasty (1849) for preservation.

    Copper and Iron Buddha Statue in Shengshou Wannian Temple of Mount Emei

    The Copper and Iron Buddha Statue in Shengshou Wannian Temple of Mount Emei is on Mount Emei, southwest of the county seat of Emei County, Sichuan Province.

    Mount Emei is about 7 km southwest of the county seat of Emei County, Sichuan Province, being one of the four famous Buddhist mountains (the other three are Mt. Putuo in Zhejiang, Mt. Jiuhua in Anhui and Mt. Wutai in Shanxi). As the mountain is winding and elegant"just like a cicada's head and a moth's eyebrows, slim, and pretty", hence, the name(Emei means "moths eyebrows(beautiful eyebrows)" in

    Chinese).Mount Emei has waving ridges and peaksheavy rocks and layers upon

    layers of green, so grand and majestic, being praised as "No. 1 Scene in the World". People began to build temples on the mountain from the Eastern Han Dynasty (25-220), and later, in each dynasty there were more temples added there. At the beginning, the religion of Taoism was popular thereand after the Tang and Song

    dynasties, Buddhism thrived gradually, and reached its heyday in the Ming Dynasty


and the Qing Dynasty.

    Wannian Temple is one of the major temples on Mount Emei, originally called "Puxian Temple", established in the fifth year of the Long’an Period of the East Jin

    Dynasty401by Monk Mingche. In the third year of the Qianfu Period of Xizong Emperor of the Tang Dynasty876,:it was reconstructed and renamed as "Baishui

    Puxian Temple". In the fourth year of the Taiping Xingguo Period of the Northern Song Dynasty979,:the head monk of the temple, Monk Maozhen, was summoned

    by the emperor to the court, and was awarded by Emperor Taizong, Zhao Guangyi. The emperor sent a high official, Zhang Renzan, to accompany Monk Maozhen back to Chengdu City, taking 3,000 liang gold with him. Using the gold, they bought

    300,000 jin copper, to cast a statue of Puxian(a god in Buddhism)riding a white elephant, 7.35 m in height and 62 ton in weight~The elephant is whitestanding on a

    three-foot table of lotus, with eyes shining, looking as vivid as life. Puxian is sitting on the elephant, with a golden crown on head, a ruyi (an S-shaped ornamental object,

    made of jade) in hand, looking very serene. The statue is proportioned properly and modeled elegantly, being a representative of the art of foundry of the Song Dynasty.

    Puxian Temple was burned down many times, but the copper statue remained in good shape. In the 28th year of the Wanli Period of the Ming Dynasty (1600), it was rebuilt, and got a bian’e (horizontal inscribed board) from Emperor Shenzong: "Shengshou Wannian Temple". In order to make the building fire-proof, when revamping it, people adopted the architectural techniques and style of India and Burma: the whole main hall had neither beam nor post, not a single stick of wood was used, thus, it was also called "Beamless Hall". The hall is 16 m both in length and width. The four walls were made of bricks, which were narrowing down gradually to form a vault on the top. Besides the Puxian Statue, there are also three iron Buddhas and twelve golden persons on the top and on both sides in the temple. There are four colored "Flying Apsarases" on the vault. The lines are so elegant and free as if dancing in the sky. On the dome are built five steeples and some decorations such as the lion, deer and so on, showing a very chic style. In addition to the Beamless Hall, the Daxiong Baodian (Treasured Hall) was rebuilt as well after liberation. In the hall are three Buddha statues, Buddha Piluzhna, Buddha Sakyamuni and Buddha Pishefo, each being golden ones, as high as 4.8 m, built by a Chan master then.

Stone Inscriptions of the Song Dynasty inside the Wen Temple of Suzhou City

    The Wen Temple (Temple in Memory of Men of Letters) is situated in the southern corner of People's Road of Suzhou City, Jiangsu Province. It was established by Fan Zhongyan in the first year of the Jingyou Period of the Northern Song Dynasty (1034) when he worked as the magistrate of Suzhou County. Through expansion and rebuilding of many dynasties, it has become a very large temple, with many halls and rooms. According to Wu County Annalsthere were as

    many as 213 rooms in the Chunyou Period of the Southern Song Dynast. Most of the extant


    buildings were reconstructed in the third year of the Tongzhi Period of the Qing Dynasty (1864) except Dacheng Hall. Dacheng Hall has seven rooms in the west and four in the inner part. It has a roof with multiple eaves, and a spacious platform in front of the hall, looking very magnificent. The Wen Temple of Suzhou has become a museum of tablet inscriptions, containing four big tablets of the Song DynastyDili Tubei (tablet of geographical map), Tianwen Tubei (tablet of

    astronomical chart), Diwang Shaoyun Tubei (tablet of lineage of emperors in China) and Pingjiang Tubei (tablet of Pingjiang City Map), with very high historic and scientific value.

"Dili Tubei" is about the same size as the "Tianwen Tubei", with the three characters "Di Li Tu"

    (geographic map) in official script inscribed in the middle of the top. What is inscribed is a topographical map of China in the Song Dynasty, divided into two parts: the upper picture part and the lower text part, being 1.24 m and 0.49 m high respectively. In the upper topographical map

    the traditional Chinese map drawing technique is used, characterized by a combination between lines and images, to depict very clearly the mountain chains, the rivers, the forests, the Great Wall of China, and the geographic positions of every prefecture, region or army, etc. The 645 characters in 36 lines in the lower part of the tablet record roughly the changing history of the Chinese territory from the Xia to the Song Dynasty. Compared with the contemporary topographical map of China, it is basically the same except for the great difference in coastline and the unclear information about the sources of the Yellow River and the Changjiang River. Together with the Huayitu (Map of China) and the Yujitu (Picture of Traces of Emperor Yu) of Xi'an, the three maps are the oldest national maps of China in existence.

    "Tianwen Tubei" is 1.90 m high and 1.08 m wide. It was made in the seventh year of the Chunyou Period of the Southern Song Dynasty (1247). In the middle of the top is an incised inscription in official script: "Tian Wen Tu” (tablet of astronomical chart). The tablet is divided into the upper and the lower parts, being 90 and 70 cm respectively. In the upper part is a round map of all the sky, and in the lower part is an explanatory text. The star map takes the north celestial pole as the centeruses three concentric circlesthe circle of perpetual apparition of the north pole, the

    astronomical equator and the circle of perpetual occultation of the south pole plus the lines of the

    twenty-eight lunar mansions to display the universe, containing 280 constellations and 1343 fixed stars. According to History of the Yuan Dynasty, people carried out star observation for four times

    in the periods of Jingyou, Huangyou, Yuanfeng and Congning of the Song Dynasty, and this picture was drawn in accordance with the observation of the Yuanfeng Period (1078 - 1085). The

    narrative text in the lower part contains 2140 characters in 42 lines, briefly explaining the universe, the earth, the north pole, the south pole, the equator, the hosts of heaven, the causes of solar eclipse and lunar eclipse, and the astronomical knowledge of that time, reflecting the level of Chinese ancient astronomy. The circle of astronomy in the world have a very high opinion on it, believing it is the world oldest astronomical chart recognized throughout the world, occupying a very important position in the world history of ancient astronomy.

"Diwang Shaoyun Tubei" is 1.83 m high, and 1 m widea little smaller than the above two. In the

    middle of the top is an incised inscription of the following five characters in official script: "Diwang Shaoyun Bei" (tablet of lineage of emperors in China). It is completely identical with the above two tablets in design, showing that they might have been out of one person. The inscription


    shows a table of lineage of the ancient emperors of China, divided into two parts: the upper chart and the lower text. In the upper chart is listed the lineage of emperors in left, middle and right routes:The middle route lists the 247 emperors of 13 dynasties beginning from "the Five Emperors", i.e. the Yellow Emperor, the Zhuan Emperor, the Ku Emperor, the Yao Emperor and the Shun Emperor, through the Xia, Shang, Zhou, Qin, Han dynasties until the Sui, Tang and Song dynasties (till Lizong Emperor), which are the so-called "orthodox" dynasties~The left route lists

    the six kingdoms before the Qin Dynasty (221-207 BC) and "Five Dynasties"(907 - 960) before the Song Dynasty~The right route is for the 12 kingdoms in the Spring and Autumn Annals (770-476 BC) and the "small kingdoms built by ethnic groups in the Eastern Jin Dynasty"(namely, the "Five Non-Han Kingdoms and Sixteen States (304-439)~The left and right are symmetric to

    each othermeant to supplement the "orthodox lineage". The names of kingdoms and titles of the emperors in the four thousand years' civilization of China are arranged in the chart in a very detailed and clear way. The lower part contains 550 characters in 36 lines, divided into three paragraphsThe first paragraph gives a brief comment on the politics of "the more than 3,500-year history of 195 emperors in the dynasties from the "Five Emperors" to the Song Dynasty"~The

    second paragraph recalls and praises the hard pioneering work of the first emperor of the Song Dynasty~The third paragraph shows the author's sad reflections on the whole history, described as "since the ancient till now, periods of stability account for less than one tenth, but periods of chaos account for more than eighty percent". This chart tablet has certain value for the study on the ancient history of China.

    The pictures of the three tablets were drawn by Huang Shang in the first year of the Shaoxi Period of the Southern Song Dynasty (1190), and were engraved by Wang Zhiyuan, who worked as a tidian xingyu (an official in charge of legal matters) at Zhexilu then, in the seventh year of the Chunyou Period (1247).

"Pingjiang Tubei" is 2.76 m high and 1.45 m widebigger than all the above three. On the head is

    engraved a pattern of double dragons vying to get a bead, and in the middle is inscribed three characters in official script: "Ping Jiang Tu"(Map of Pingjiang). The tablet is made of a single block of bluestoneengraved in the second year of the Shaoding Period of the Southern Song Dynasty1229.In the upper part is engraved a picture of the whole Pingjiang (Suzhou) City. The picture depicts in detail the whole layout of Suzhou, its appearance, its main office buildings, temples, gardens, shops, colleges, storehouses and residences, etc., and the mountain chains, lakes, bridges and so on. The watercourses in the picture are like longitudes and latitudes, about one hundred or so, with a total length of about 82 km~There are 359 bridges, just reflecting the

    features of a water country as described by such a famous phrase: "tiny bridges, running waters, and tranquil households". There are more than 50 temples, 12 ancient towers and 65 cross-street houses in the picture. It is the earliest and most complete city plan existent in China, providing a very precious material data for the study on Suzhou City in the Song Dynasty.

Tablet Forest in Xi'an

    Xi'an Tablet Forest is in Sanxue Street in the southern part of Xi'an City, Shaanxi Province. It used


to be where the Wen Temple wasbut now it has become Shaanxi Provincial Museum. Xi'an

    Tablet Forest is the largest and earliest tablet forest in the country, reputed as the place collecting the best cultural relics of tablet inscriptions of China.

    The history of the tablet forest may be traced back to the end of the Tang Dynasty and the Five Dynasties Period. In the Tang Dynasty (618-907), there was originally a "Shi Tai Xiao Jing"(Xiao Jing on Stone)(Xiao Jing was a classical book on filial piety) and "Kai Cheng Shi Jing"(Stone Classics of Kaicheng) in the Guozijian (Directorate of Imperial Academy) in Chang-an City (now Xi'an, capital of the Tang Dynasty). The former was the whole book of Xiao Jing noted and

    prefaced by Xuanzong Emperor himself, in official script, inscribed on stone~The Latter was a set

    of famous classical books inscribed in the second year of the Kaiyuan Period of the Tang Dynasty (837), including Zhouyi, Shangshu, Shijing (book of poetry), Zhouli, Liyi, Liji, Chunqiu Zuoshi

    Zhuan, Chunqiu Gongyang Zhuan, Erya, etc. containing more than 650,000 characters in 114

    tablets and 228 sides (inscribed on both sides) altogether. In the first year of the Yuanyou Period (904), Han Jian, the youguojun jiedushi (official in charge of protection of state properties),

    gathered the tablets in the Wen Temple, in order to keep important tablet stones from being lost. In the fifth year of the Yuanyou Period of the Northern Song Dynasty(1090), people added tablet corridors and tablet pavilions so as to strengthen their protectionlaying a foundation for the

    formation of the tablet forest. Later, through the extensive collection work in all the dynasties from the Jin, Yuan, Ming and Qing, the scale of the tablet collection gradually expanded, so, in the Qing Dynasty, it got the name of Bei Lin (Tablet Forest).

    The present tablet forest has a collection of more than 2300 tablets from the Han Dynasty to the Qing Dynasty. There are seven big exhibition rooms, seven verandas and one tablet pavilion, displaying more than 1000 tablet works. There is the large-scale stone book repository containing important ancient literature of China, Kaicheng Shi Jing(Stone Classics of Kaicheng)~In it, there

    are the Daqin Jingjiao Liuxing Bei (Stories of Nestorianism in China), which records many

    important events of Sino-foreign cultural exchange and friendly intercourse, the Zhong Ni Hewen

    Zhi Tuoluoni Jingchuang (Stone Pillar Inscribed with Darani Scripture both in Chinese and

    Foreign Language), Tang Da Zhi Sanzang Bei (Tablet of the Great Monk Sanzang of the Tang

    Dynasty), of the Tang Dynasty, and so on. The handwriting of the tablet forest covers all schools of scripts, such as zhuan (seal character), cao (cursive script), li (official script), kai (regular

    script), etc. Works of zhuanshu (seal characters) include the Yishan Ming (Inscription on the

    Yishan Mountain) by Li Si, a prime minister of the Qin Dynasty, re-inscribed in the Song Dynasty, the San Fen Ji (Record of the Three Graves) by Li Yangbing of the Tang Dynasty, etc.~Works of

    official script include the Caquan Bei (Tablet of Caoquan) inscribed in the second year of the

    Zhongping Period of the Eastern Han Dynasty, the Jiaping Shijing (Stone Scripture of

    Jiaping)(incomplete), etc.~Works of cursive style include the Qianzi Wen(1000-character Essay)

    written by Zhiyong, Zhang Xu and Huaisu, etc.~Works of regular script include the Tablet of

    Huanfu Dan by Ouyang Xun, the Tablet of Duobaota by Yan Zhenqing, the Tablet of Temple of Family Guo, the Tablet of Yan Qinli, the Tablet of Zang Huaike, the Tablet of Temple of Family Yan, the Inscription of Xuanmita by Liu Gongquan, and so on; all the essays in the tablets are excellent works that have won universal praise and been spread in all times. The tablet stones stored in the Tablet Forest constitute an important part of the treasury of cultural relics of China,


    and serve as important material data for the research on Chinese history, chirography and pictorial art.

Copper Column of Xizhou

The Copper Column of Xizhou is in Yongshun County, Hunan Province.

    The column used to stand on the bank of the Youshui River, near Yejituo Village, Yongshun County, Hunan Province. In 1971, because of the construction of the Fengtan Reservoir, it was moved onto the Huaguo Mountain in Wang Village, about 10 km south of the original site, and there is a pavilion built there to protect it. The Copper Column was made in the first year of the Tiande Period of the Northern Song Dynasty1017,:and inscribed on it is the Treaty between

    King of Cu Kingdom, Ma Xifan, and the Tusi(hereditary chieftain), Peng Shichou, to Pledge for Truce. From the end period of the Tang Dynasty to the Five Dynasties, the area of Hunan was a separatist regime ruled by the family of the king of the Cu Kingdom, Ma Yin. Ma commissioned the tusi, Peng Jian, as the cishi (head) of Xizhou (Xi Prefecture), governing several counties

    including Yongshun, Longshan and Baojing. After Ma Xifan succeeded to the throne after Ma Yin, Xizhou was in the charge of his son, Peng Shichou. In the fourth year of the Tianfu Period of the Later Jin Dynasty(939)more than ten thousand people of ethnic minorities in Jinzhou, Jiangzhou and Xizhou rebelled against the rule of King of Cu, and the troops headed by Peng Shichou took two prefectures, Chen and Cheng, in the east. Ma Xifan led his army to meet the enemy, but both sides suffered great losses, so, they had to cease fire to negotiate for peace, and inscribed their joint covenant on the copper post for it to be erected on the border, specifying that each should govern its own territory, without invasion to each other, the king of Cu should not levy taxes, press people into service, buy local specialties by force, and so on in the prefectures in the administration of the tusi.

Copper Column of Xizhou is 4 m in heightand 2500 kg in weight~The column is a hollow

    octahedronbut originally there were iron coins made in the reign of Family Ma, in it, to make it solid. On the column is inscribed the "Fu Xizhou Tongzhu Ji"(Records on the Copper Column of Xizhou), more than 2,000 characters, in regular script, very elegantly written. It is a precious material data for the study on the relationship of the ancient nationalities of China, and also has a high value as a historical data.

Stone Inscriptions of Yaowang Mountain

    Inscriptions of Yaowang Mountain is 2 km east of the county seat of Hui County, Shaanxi Province.

    Yaowang Mountain was called "Panyu Mountain" in the Tang Dynasty (618-907). It is 1100 m in absolute elevation, formed by five peaks connecting one after another, thus, it was also called "Wutai Mountain"(Mountain of Five Peaks) from the Song to the Ming Dynasty. The mountain is


    high but not dangerous, full of green pines and verdant cypresses, with ancient trees towering to the skiesbeing always a famous scenic spot in central China. Its naming as "Yaowang Mountain" has something to do with Sun Simiao, the famous medical scientist of the Tang Dynasty. Sun Simiao581-682,:born in Hui County, was world famous because of his monumental works in medical science such as Qianjin Yaofang, Qianjin Yifang, etc. He wrote thirty books (more than a

    million words) in his life, and was renowned as "Yaowang"(King of Medicines). Later generations built a Yaowang Temple on Panyu Mountain, in memory of him, hence, the name of the mountain was changed into "Yaowang Mountain".

On the Yaowang Mountain, you can find stone inscriptions everywhereand they chiefly fall into

    such two categories: tablets and stone caves. There are more than a hundred tablets, and the most precious one is the group of five tablets with Qianjin Yaofang (Golden Major Prescriptions)

    inscribed on them, made in the sixth year of the Longqing Period of the Ming Dynasty (1572), which is a valuable data for the study on traditional Chinese medicine. The stone caves were all chiseled during the period from the Tang to the Sui Dynasty, and the extant ones are 7, containing more than 40 Buddha statues. Moreover, among the chain of mountains are preserved 66 statue tablets from the North Wei to the Tang Dynasty, called "Tablet Forest of the Medical World". There is a well-preserved Yaowang Temple on the mountain, which was built in the 37th year of the Jiajing Period of the Ming Dynasty (1558), but kept the architectural styles of the Jin and Yuan dynasties.

Revamped Ganying Tower Tablet of Huguo Temple

    Revamped Ganying Tower Tablet of Huguo Temple (Xixia Tablet) was originally in the Huguo Temple of Liangzhou (now Wuwei City), but now is in Museum of Wuwei City of Gansu Province.

The tablet was chiseled in the fifth year of the Tianyoumin'an period of the Xixia Reign(1094)

    being a rare relic of tablet inscriptions in the Xixia language. Xixia Tablet is 2.5 m high and 0.9 m widewith epigraphs on both sides. On one side is inscribed an epigraph in Xixia language, in the ancient style of script. The title means "Epigraph of the Imperial Ganying Tower"~The text is in

    the regular script of Xixia language, there are 28 lines and each line contains 65 characters. Another side is inscribed with the epigraph in Chinese. The title is "Liangzhou Chongxiu Huguosi

    Ganyingta Beiming"(Epigraph of the Revamped Tablet of Ganying Tower of Huguo Temple)~The

    main body is in Chinese regular scriptin 26 lines, each line containing 70 characters. The upper

    part of both the first line and the second line has been deformed. Around the epigraph are carved scroll patterns, and on each sides of the title is a carved jiyue (musician) Bodhisattva, in a dancing

    pose. On top of the superscription is a cloud-shaped cover. The line-engraved jiyue Bodhisattva,

    the cloud-shaped cover, the scroll design and so on, are gracefully made, looking very vivid. It is one of the very rare art treasures of the Xixia reign.

    The content of the text in Xixia language is basically the same as that in Chinese, but the way of narration in the time order is quite different. The two versions were not translated from one to


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