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Soushenji No. 183 translation: Taikang's Two Dragons'

搜神記:太康二龍 (一八三)

A Chinese dragonThis is a translation and annotation of text No. 183 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.


[_Tai_] [_Kang_] [two] [dragon] Taikang’s Two Dragons

太康五年正月, [Tai] [Kang] [five] [year] [first month of year][] In the first month of the fifth year of Taikang’s reign, _Tai Kang was a monarch in the Xia Dynasty._

二龍見武庫井中。 [two] [dragon] [see] [military] [warehouse] [well] [in] two dragons were seen in the arsenal well.

武庫者, [military] [warehouse] [that is] As for the arsenal,

帝王威御之器所寶藏也。 [emperor] [king] [power] [imperial] ['s] [symbol] [place] [treasure] [store] [it is so] it is the place where the symbols of the emperor’s imperial power were stored.

屋宇邃密,非龍所處。 [room] [room] [deep] [secret],[not] [dragon] [that which] [reside] The rooms were deep and secret, not a place for dragons to be.

是後七年,藩王相害。 [this] [after] [seven] [year],[border] [king] [each other] [harm] Seven years after this, the border princes fought each other.

二十八年, [two] [ten] [eight] [year] Twenty eight years later,

果有二胡僭竊神器, [result] [have] [two] [barbarian] [usurp] [steal] [sacred] [symbol] there were indeed two barbarians who stole the sacred symbols,

皆字曰龍。 [all] [style name] [say] [dragon] and both of their style names included ‘dragon’.

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