The origin of Chinese ancient myth novels
Chinese Name: 山海经
English Name: Classic of Mountains and Seas
Other Name: Shan Hai Jing
Author: Anonymous 佚名
Originally Published: 475 BC-9 AD（The Warring States Period to the early Han Dynasty 战国时期至汉代初期）
Genre: Literature, Encyclopedia
Brief Introduction of Classic of Mountains and Seas
The Classic of Mountains and Seas 山海经 is an important ancient book in the pre-Qin 先秦 period of China. It is considered as the origin of Chinese ancient myth novels, and modern scholars call it an encyclopedia of ancient times. As for its author, predecessors have believed that Dayu 大禹 and Boyi伯益, after the Western Han Dynasty 西汉 Liu Xiang 刘向 and Liu Xin 刘歆 edited. Only the formation of handed down books, modern scholars believe that it into a book is not at that time. The author is not a person and the specific time and author of the book has no confirmation.
The book has been handed down 18 volumes, mainly composed of ” Classic of Mountains”山经 and ” Sea Classic” 海经 , including 5 volumes of Classic of Mountains and 13 volumes of Sea Classic. The age of each volume is uncertain.
The Classic of Mountains, also known as the Classic of The Five Tibetan Mountains 五藏山经, mainly records the geography of mountains and rivers, the ceremonies of offering sacrifices to the gods and the articles used. It also describes the appearance and power of the gods of the mountains.
The Sea Classic is divided into the Classic of Regions Beyond the Seas 海外经, Classic of Regions Within the Seas 海内经 and Classic of the Great Wilderness大荒经.
Classic of Regions Beyond the Seas is mostly records of foreigners and foreign bodies in overseas countries, as well as some pieces of ancient mythology, such as Kua Fu chasing the sun 夸父追日 and Xingtian lost his head 刑天断首.
Classic of Regions Within the Seas mainly records the magical things in inland , such as the snake of Ba 巴蛇, Thor 雷神 and so on.
Classic of the Great Wilderness mainly records some myths about Di Jun 帝俊 and Huangdi 黄帝 (gods worshiped by the eastern and western peoples in ancient times).
Author of Classic of Mountains and Seas
The book was written by an anonymous. An anonymous person is not a person without a name, but the author does not have a name, the author’s real name cannot be found because of a long time, or the author is not known at all. Others are written by groups or by working people who have been handed down from a long time ago, and the author of such works is identified as anonymous.
The real author of The Classic of Mountains and Seas has not been determined yet. The first time that the author of the Classic of Mountains and Seas was clearly pointed out in the Table of Classic of Mountains and Seas 上山海经奏表 by Liu Xiu 刘秀 in the Western Han Dynasty 西汉. Liu Xiu believed that the Author of Classic of Mountains and Seas was Dayu and Boyi who controlled water in ancient times. Modern scholars all believed that the Classic of Mountains and Seas was written by more than one author and by many people in multiple dynasties.
Excerpts From Classic of Mountains and Seas
Evaluation of Classic of Mountains and Seas
When I was young, I was obsessed with strange stories and strange animals in the Book of Classic of Mountains and Seas.Lu Xun 鲁迅
The Classic of Mountains and Seas is a strange book.Su Shi 苏轼