Chinese Archery by Stephen Selby

By Stephen Selby

The publication is written round parallel textual content translations of classical chinese language resources a few well-known and a few little identified during which chinese language writers provide shiny and exact factors of the strategies of bow-building, archery and crossbow procedure over the centuries.

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23. Also written from the Song Dynasty on as ' itw. '• 24. H*T» • 25. Presumably because Yi had taught Pangmeng archery technique but not humility and non-competitive spirit as demanded by Confucius. THE LEGENDARY ARCHER HEROES • 23 Little more is recorded about Pangmeng; but despite the fact that his name went down in Chinese cultural history as a man who murdered his own teacher, books on archery bearing his name in the title continued to be published into the Han Dynasty. A famous classic work, the Lu Shi Chun Qiu ( S f t # $ 0 quotes Yi and Pangmeng as examples of consummate archery skills, to exemplify that it is useless to possess great skill in the wrong circumstances: 26 raa 4^3?

Used over THE ARCHERS MAGIC • 33 a period from about 1700 to 1000 BC, they were already highly developed and systematic. The very earliest forms of Chinese writing (of which no one has yet discovered an example) might indeed have been simple pictures; but by the time of the earliest O B characters, the following ways were already being used to represent the words of the spoken language: • a simple picture denoting the meaning of the word • one or more simple pictures used to express an abstract word 8 • a simple picture borrowed to represent a completely different word, but with the same or a similar sound • one character indicating meaning combined with another to give an indication of the sound of a word.

Behold our leader, Zou Yu! Tlie artemisia grows dense there, Yet with one shot, He can take five hogs! Behold our leader, Zou Yu! Zou Yu' from the Book of Songs «SfH • HlX») Anon. Zhou Period 3gl The Archer's Magic W h i t e Magic and the Rain Dance At the time the legends reviewed in the second chapter were first written down, people already believed they were describing events over a thousand years before their own time. From the period of creative literary activity starting towards the end of the Z h o u Dynasty (771 BC), and carrying on t h r o u g h the Spring and A u t u m n period ( 7 7 0 - 4 7 5 BC, the time of Confucius) and the Warring States (475-221 BC, the time of Q u Yuan), the legends of Yi the Archer and Duke Yi of Youqiong were probably already disjointed fragments.

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