This book is the first comprehensive introduction to the Tangut language and culture. Five of the fiﬅeen chapters survey the history of Western Xia and the evolution of Tangut Studies, including new advancements in the field, such as research on the recently decoded Tangut cursive writings found in Khara-Khoto documents. The other ten chapters provide an introduction to the Tangut language: its origins, script, characters, grammars, translations, textual and contextual readings. In this synthesis of historical narratives and linguistic analysis, the renowned Tangutologist Shi Jinbo offers a guided access to the mysterious civilisation of the ‘Great State White and High’ to both a specialized and a general audience.
The juridical force of time forms a critical, but hitherto unexplored part of Hugo Grotius’s discourse on the justice of war and peace. Grotius defines war as a span of time in which disputed rights and armed conflicts between states are examined in reference to temporal coordinates. This method allows him to adjust otherwise static laws to meet the demands of times and spaces in an increasingly expanded world. In doing so, Grotius is also able to reconcile multiple layers of laws in a temporal framework, which suspends one layer of law, to be revived at later times. Finally, cautious in the use of the language of time, Grotius admits both that right demands immediacy, and that justice suffers delays. By this nexus of delay (mora) and emergency (necessitas), Grotius warns against the abuse of ‘time’ as a legal concept to justify unlawful claims, which still rings with alarm today.
From the scientific and literary expression ‘flux et reflux’ to the political and juridical language of the ‘citoyens du navire,’ the ocean as a physical and social space is a salient thread over time and across genres in Montesquieu's political thought. Amidst the high tides of maritime expansion and oceanic trade, Montesquieu's perspective of the sea, far from static, evolved along with the thinker. This essay for the first time uses the space of the sea to navigate Montesquieu's rhetorical choices, historical perspectives, and temporal-spatial concerns, by tracing maritime themes in Montesquieu's oeuvres both chronologically and thematically. It points out that Montesquieu's early-expressed interest in the sea tides, which arose in the oceanographic context in a Résomption (1720), morphed into political metaphors in the Lettres Persanes (1721), the Pensées and L’esprit des Lois (1748). And through his study of the actual seas during his journey in Italy, recorded in the Voyages, Montesquieu further advanced his thought on the sea as a significant site of social and political activity. The goal is to bring to the fore an underlying strain of thought that preoccupied Montesquieu's intellectual development, which may in turn better contextualise his political thought in its formation.