A Chinese Traveler in Medieval Korea: Xu Jing’s Illustrated by Sem Vermeersch PDF

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By Sem Vermeersch

"The king and ministers, greater and inferior, circulate with ritual and refinement. while the king is going on an inspection journey, all people has the proper ceremonial attributes and the divine flag [troops] gallop in entrance whereas armored squaddies block the line. the warriors of the Six Divisions all carry their attributes. even though it isn't really thoroughly in uniformity with vintage rites, in comparison with different barbarians it really is wonderful to behold. the reason for this is that Confucius idea it is going to now not be a disgrace to dwell right here. and isn't additionally Kija's nation a detailed relative of the hallowed dynasty?"

So saw the music envoy Xu Jing within the legitimate document of his 1123 stopover at to Korea—a infrequent eyewitness account of Koryŏ (918–1392) society in its leading. formally, the aim of Xu Jing's stopover at used to be to condole the recent king, Injong, at the demise of his father and current him with a letter of investiture; unofficially, he used to be tasked with persuading Injong to align with track China opposed to the newly emergent Jin dynasty. even supposing well-known for its celadon and Buddhist work, the Koryŏ interval remains to be greatly terra incognita in global historical past end result of the loss of translated resource fabrics. the current paintings, the 1st absolutely annotated, entire translation of a key resource textual content on Koryŏ, fills this gap.

Xu Jing spent a bit greater than a month within the Koryŏ capital, Kaesŏng, yet he used to be a meticulous chronicler, compiling a veritable guide on Koryŏ that's choked with interesting info chanced on nowhere else on lifestyle, heritage, customs and manners, constructions, the army, nutrients, between others. besides the fact that, Xu Jing was once now not independent in his observations and supplemented his paintings with unreliable details from past chronicles—a truth frequently missed in earlier reviews of the Illustrated Account. In a considerable creation to his translation, Sem Vermeersch not just areas this significant paintings in its old context, but additionally finds either the resources utilized by the writer and the benefits and bounds of his observations, permitting historians of medieval Korea to make fuller use of this singular fundamental source.

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A Chinese Traveler in Medieval Korea: Xu Jing’s Illustrated Account of the Xuanhe Embassy to Koryŏ (Korean Classics Library: Historical Materials) by Sem Vermeersch


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