Chinese poem illustration: 大雅 文王/ Daya – King Wen by Anonymous
A key poem regarded as the Four Starters of Shijing(诗经四始), the first poem of Daya(大雅). The differences between Daya and Xiaoya are not clear today, many hypotheses are briefed in the video, the only thing that we are sure is that the poems read differently in some way.
The poem is about the first king of Zhou dynasty, King Wen(文王), or King Wen of Zhou(周文王), this is a honorific name given to a past king, his real name is Ji Chang(姬昌). Like half of the poems in Daya, this is an epic poem about a story of their past glory, very likely written in the early years of Zhou dynasty. In the words of ancient Zhou people, King Wen’s grandfather was honored/recalled as Grand King(太王), the first king of Zhou. From this very first epic poem in Daya, we could have some idea how Zhou people(周人) looked upon their history and kings. 於 could be read as wu1 which is an exclamation word.
4th-7th paragraphs is a standard epic poem, it descibed a moment of a key event: issuing law and orders to Shang people(商人), who were the defeated people of previous dynasty in a grand celebration ceromony lasts for days. This new interpretation could be referenced to an ancient history book: 逸周书/世俘解 which is attached after the poem.
History background: Shang dynasty was overthrown by King Wu(武王), son of King Wen, while the establishment of Zhou was by King Wen(文王) who is the first king of Zhou, the mandate is still under the name of King Wen in King Wu’s time, I.e. the chronicle year of Wen still used. Here is the words from 周语：惟十有三祀，王訪于箕子. It marked the 4th year regime of Wu as 13th year of Wen. 史记: 西伯卒，武王载木主，号为文王，东伐纣。木主 is the statue of King Wen, which symbolize King Wen and his throne.
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