Dong Zhongshu, a ‘Confucian’ Heritage and the Chunqiu fanlu
Intellectual developments of the Western Han dynasty (202 BCE – 9 CE) have been studied hitherto on the assumptions that a system described as ‘Confucianism’ acquired paramount importance and that Dong Zhongshu (ca. 198 to ca. 107 BCE) had been responsible for formulating its principles. In challenging these assumptions, this book examines Dong’ career and reputation, and his supposed authorship of the Chunqiu fanlu, for long subject to question. It is concluded that while some parts of that text may well represent the teachings that Dong Zhongshu promoted, some may perhaps date from as late as 79 CE; still others bear an affinity to writings which, banned as being suspect or potentially subversive, survive in no more than fragmentary form.