On May 22 (10h-10h45, MSI 02.08), LECTIO visiting scholar, Prof. Chiara Palladino (Furman University, US) will give a lecture entitled “Digital Representation of Ancient Places: the What, the How, the Why”, followed by two presentations (11h30-12h00) by Laura Soffiantini (Greece in Pliny the Elder’s Natural History) and Sunkyu Lee (Two Corpora, Multiple Narratives: Masonry Wall Construction in Early Modern China). More information here: The representation of space in historical sources - KU Leuven Institute LECTIO. Registrations: KU Leuven.

 Sunkyu Lee:  Two Corpora, Multiple Narratives: Masonry Wall Construction in Early Modern China

In the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, increasing geopolitical conflict, environmental disasters, and social unrest in northern China led to growing concern about the vulnerability of existing city walls. Instead of the weak and incompetent central state, magistrates and local elites became actively involved in reconstructing or wrapping  rammed-earth walls with more solid materials including brick and stone. Their inscriptions written after repairs provide detailed accounts, including who initiated or supported such processes, and why. Based on more than 90 inscriptions collected from gazetteers, this paper reconstructs the spatial history of masonry walls in Shanxi, a province in northwestern China. Moreover, by comparing them with epigraphic sources including steles and rubbings of the same genre, I explore how two different corpora represent the voices of different historical actors involved in wall constructions.