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Sacred Order: Cosmogonic Myth In The Chu Silk Manuscript

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Chapter Summary

The Chu silk manuscript is the earliest and most complete astronomical text from ancient China. This chapter relies mainly on the six types of cosmogonic myth worldwide to analyze the cosmogonic myth in CSM-I and to explore the profound meaning it possesses. Using the mythological types and motifs of comparative mythology, and earlier research, this paper discovered that in CSM-I the cosmogonic myths include three creation types, i.e., "creation from hundun," "creation by the reproduction of a pair of married gods," and "Earth-Diver creation". It elucidates that in the manuscript the created and re-created cosmic structure, and the numerical order in combination with the characters and pictures reflect the same cosmic diagram and thoughts on order. Comparing the funeral ceremonies and cosmogonic myths of other nations, this chapter highlights the sacred narrative of birth and rebirth in the manuscript cosmogonic myths.

Keywords: Chu Silk manuscript; cosmic diagram; cosmogonic myths; creation from hundun; CSM-I; Earth-Diver creation; married gods



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