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Soushenji No. 1 translation: Shennong Threshes the Hundred Grasses

搜神記:神農鞭百草 (No. 1)

Shennong‎ ploughing the wheat from the chaffThis is a translation and annotation of the first text in 搜神記 (Soushenji - ‘In Search of the Supernatural’), a collection of strange happenings compiled by 干寶 (Gan Bao) in the 4th century C.E.

In order to be useful to people studying the text, this translation aims to be literal and close to the original.

神農鞭百草 (No. 1)

[divine] [farmer] [whip] [hundred] [grass] Shennong Threshes the Hundred Grasses

神農以赭鞭鞭百草, [divine] [farmer] [take] [ochre] [whip] [whip] [hundred] [grass] Shennong takes an ochre flail and threshes the hundred grasses;

盡知其平、毒、寒、溫之性,臭味所主。 [completely] [know] [their] [normal],[poison],[cold],[warm] ['s] [nature],[smell] [taste] [that which] [cure] He completely knows their normal, poisonous, cold and warm natures, their smell, taste and that which they cure.

以播百穀。 [take] [sow] [hundred] [grain] He takes this and sows the hundred grains. _I.e. he uses his knowledge to sow the grains_

故天下號神農也。 [therefore] [Heaven] [under] [cry] [divine] [farmer] [it is so] Therefore all under Heaven calls him Shennong. _天下 is a common expression for 'everyone in the world'._