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5. Appropriations of the Master’s Legacy

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Chapter Summary

This chapter traces the process of transformation and interprets implications of the textual history of the Zhongshuo. It discusses writings of those who praised Wang Tong for motives other than honoring one or another of his descendants, and traces the legacy of Master Wenzhong through its subsequent stages of mythologization. Master Wenzhong, was the Tang's patron saint: to him Sikong pays tribute for "a grand peace that has lasted for three hundred years". The author identifies himself as "a student", but specifically he is a "passionate" student of Master Wenzhong, like those disciples who proved "happy blessings to the Tang" two centuries ago. Pi Rixiu and Sikong Tu, declared themselves the latter-day disciples of Wang Tong, having in large part been inspired by the example of Wang Tong's original ones who had assisted the first Tang emperors in performing marvelous feats of good governance.

Keywords: master Wenzhong; Pi Rixiu; Sikong Tu; Wang Tong's legacy; Zhongshuo



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