this issue
previous article in this issuenext article in this issue

Document Details :

Title: On the 'Barbarian' Origin of the Sacred Number Three in Medieval China
Author(s): CHEN, Sanping
Journal: Journal Asiatique
Volume: 309    Issue: 1   Date: 2021   
Pages: 131-140
DOI: 10.2143/JA.309.1.3289431

Abstract :
In early medieval China, there appeared a 'vulgar' variant of the common numeral san, 'three', that was used in a large group of theophoric personal names as a theonym. This special character, together with associated theophoric names, was traced back to the ancient Iranian-speaking world. Meanwhile, the utter rejection by the Confucian literati of this 'Barbarian' godly character exemplifies the inherent bias of received Chinese sources.

Download article