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Book/Printed Material Bian wang lun 辯亡論

About this Item


  • Bian wang lun

Other Title

  • 辯亡論

Translated Title

  • On the Fall of States


  • This complete scroll of a Tang dynasty manuscript was unearthed in Dunhuang, China. The text is written in ink on yellowish paper in a regular script, in well-spaced columns with beautiful characters. The scroll contains a work entitled On the Fall of States, by Lu Ji (261-303), a writer of the Western Jin dynasty. Modeled on Jia Yi's On a Visit to Qin, it describes the rise and fall of the Eastern Wu in the Three Kingdoms period, as well as the meritorious contributions of the Lu family. Famous among ancient works on administration, On the Fall of States argues that the key to a country's fortunes is to assess and employ people wisely. Compared with the text as presented in the Record of the Three Kingdoms and the Literary Anthology, the manuscript unearthed at Dunhuang has numerous variant characters, nonstandard popular characters, and differences in wording. These changes show the evolution of characters in the process of the transmission of texts, and are an example of how scribes altered written texts in the manuscript age. The scroll is part of a collection of manuscripts from the 4th to the 11th centuries that was discovered in 1900 in the sutra room of the Mogao Cave; in 1910, the Chinese authorities directed that this collection be transferred to the Library of the Capital, the predecessor to the National Library of China.


  • Lu, Ji, 261-303 Author

Created / Published

  • [Place of publication not identified] : [Publisher not identified], [280 to 289]


  • -  China
  • -  618 to 781
  • -  Tang dynasty, 618-907
  • -  Western Jìn dynasty, 265-419


  • -  Title devised, in English, by Library staff.
  • -  Original resource extent: One scroll, 137.7 x 28.8 centimeters.
  • -  Original resource at: National Library of China.
  • -  Content in Chinese.
  • -  Description based on data extracted from World Digital Library, which may be extracted from partner institutions.
  • -  Title revised per Asian Division.--cc28 2023-01-06


  • 1 online resource.

Source Collection

  • Dunhuang Collection

Digital Id

Library of Congress Control Number

  • 2021667420

Online Format

  • compressed data
  • pdf
  • image

Additional Metadata Formats

IIIF Presentation Manifest

Rights & Access

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Credit Line: [Original Source citation], World Digital Library

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Cite This Item

Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.

Chicago citation style:

Lu, Ji, 261-303 Author. Bian Wang Lun. [Place of publication not identified: Publisher not identified, 280 to 289, 0280] Pdf.

APA citation style:

Lu, J. (0280) Bian Wang Lun. [Place of publication not identified: Publisher not identified, 280 to 289] [Pdf] Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

MLA citation style:

Lu, Ji, 261-303 Author. Bian Wang Lun. [Place of publication not identified: Publisher not identified, 280 to 289, 0280] Pdf. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <>.