Kong Anguo (Chinese: 孔安國; Wade–Giles: K'ung An-kuo; ca. 156
– ca. 74 BC), courtesy name Ziguo (子國), was a Confucian
scholar and government official of the
Western Han dynasty
Western Han dynasty of ancient
China. A descendant of Confucius, he wrote the
Shangshu Kongshi Zhuan,
a compilation and commentary of the "Old Text" Shangshu. His work was
lost, but a fourth-century forgery was officially recognized as a
Confucian classic for over a millennium.
Old Text Shangshu
Kong Anguo was a native of
Qufu in Lu, one of the many semi-autonomous
kingdoms of the Western Han dynasty. He was the second son of Kong
Zhong (孔忠) and an eleventh-generation descendant of Confucius.
He studied the
Classic of Poetry
Classic of Poetry and
Shangshu (Book of Documents) from
Confucian scholars Shen Pei and Fu Sheng. Kong also
served in the court of
Emperor Wu of Han
Emperor Wu of Han as the Grand Master of
Old Text Shangshu
According to tradition, the local ruler
Prince Gong of Lu demolished a
building of the Kong family complex in the process of enlarging his
palace, and some ancient texts were discovered hidden in a wall,
including Shangshu. They had apparently been hidden there in order to
escape the book burning of Emperor Qin Shi Huang. This version of
Shangshu contained 16 more chapters than the one transmitted by Fu
Sheng. As the hidden texts were written in the ancient seal script,
this newly discovered version is called "Ancient Script" or "Old Text"
Shangshu, whereas Fu Sheng's version is called the "Modern Script" or
Kong Anguo compiled and wrote a commentary to the Old
Shangshu Kongshi Zhuan (尚書孔氏傳, literally Kong's
Commentary of Shangshu), and the famous historian
Sima Qian studied
the text from him.
The documents had a foreword added by Kong.
Shangshu Kongshi Zhuan was later lost during the Eastern
Han dynasty (25-220 AD). In the early fourth century, during the
Eastern Jin dynasty, a purported copy of Kong's work suddenly
Mei Ze submitted a copy of the
Emperor Yuan of Jin, along with a preface supposedly written by Kong
Anguo. The Jin court accepted Mei's version as authentic. In 653,
during the Tang dynasty, Mei Ze's
Old Text further became the official
version of the
Confucian classic. Although many scholars had
questioned the authenticity of Mei's version over the centuries, it
maintained its official status for more than 1000 years until the Qing
dynasty. Mei Ze's version is now recognized as a forgery. The
"ancient character" edition falsely attributed to Kong is fake.
^ Declercq 1998, p. 169.
^ a b c 孔安國 [Kong Anguo] (in Chinese). Xinhua. 2003-09-24.
^ a b "Kong Anguo". Chinaknowledge.de. Retrieved 2013-05-19.
^ Lagerwey (2009). Early Chinese Religion: Part One: Shang through Han
(1250 BC-220 AD). Brill. p. 773.
^ a b Underhill 2013, p. 454.
^ Declercq 1998, pp. 169-170.
^ John Lagerwey; Marc Kalinowski (24 December 2008). Early Chinese
Religion: Part One: Shang Through Han (1250 BC-220 AD) (2 Vols).
BRILL. pp. 182–. ISBN 90-04-16835-4.
Declercq, Dominik (1998). Writing Against the State: Political
Rhetorics in Third and Fourth Century China. Brill.
Underhill, Anne P. (2013). A Companion to Chinese Archaeology. Wiley.
ISNI: 0000 0000 6355 7464