Mandate of Heaven

(ca. 475–221 BCE)

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Explanation and Analysis of the Document

During the first phase of the reign of King Cheng (ca. 1043–1021 BCE), a set of gao (announcements) was put forth about the role of heaven in political affairs, the principle of succession, the function of divination, the relationship between king and ministries, and the establishment of a capital. Duo shi is the name in Chinese of the chapter concerning the Mandate of Heaven. The “numerous officers” referred to are the officers of the Shang Dynasty who...