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The Retrieval of the Tripods from Ssu River

Tags: art | tripod

The damaged upper panel depicts Confucius meeting with Lao Tzu and Hsiang T'o. In the middle panel is a warrior with sword in one hand and a long snake in the other. The meaning of this panel is obscure. The lower panel depicts the retrieval of the Chou tripods from the Ssu River. According to legend, the tripods, which symbolized the authority of a king, had sunk into the Ssu River. The First Emperor of Ch'in, when crossing the river, dispatched men to retrieve them. The tripods emerged from the water, but quickly fell again, symbolizing that the Emperor had no heavenly mandate to rule. The original stone is now kept at the Shantung Provincial Museum in Chi-nan.

Institute of History and Philology, Academia Sinica
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