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Tao-tsang

Tao-tsang. The Taoistcanon’ of authoritative texts. After a list in Pan Ku's Han Shu (1st cent. CE), an early attempt to list such texts was made by Ko Hung in Pao Pu Tzu. Lu Hsu Ching (5th cent.) was the first to divide Taoist writings into Three Caves (tung/dung); later Four Supplements were added. The first edition supported by the emperor appeared in the Tang dynasty, and contained anything (according to different accounts) between 3,000 and 8,000 rolls (texts), but it was lost or destroyed in the ensuing wars and rebellions. Further editions appeared until the Ming dynasty (1368–1644), when the Tao-tsang included nearly 8,000 rolls. There is no organizing principle, and many of the texts are concerned with immortality—with the foundations in Tao and chʾi, with the cosmological support in myths and rituals, and with techniques for attaining immortality.

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