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Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies


Filial piety has been a cornerstone of Chinese culture since at least the beginning of the dynastic period. The stories of filial sons are narratives associated with this tradition, presenting examples of people who demonstrated their love for their parent in the past through a usually extreme act of devotion. Among the earliest extant textual witnesses of this genre are several manuscript fragments from Dunhuang, dating to the ninth-tenth centuries. A longer text was recovered from the ruins of Khara-khoto, as part of the large collection of Tangut language manuscripts and imprints. This project tries to locate all available textual material and to integrate it with the much richer pictorial material that survives on murals in cave temples and in tombs.

Faculty Researchers