韦编三绝 – Chinese philosophy and culture

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wéi biān sān jué 韦编三绝

Leather Thongs Binding Wooden Strips Breaking Three Times

编联竹简或木简的熟皮条断了好多次。中国古人在竹片或木片上书写、记事,然后在这些竹片或木片(称为“简”)上钻孔,用熟皮条(“韦”)按顺序编联成册(“韦编”)。据《史记·孔子世家》记载,孔子晚年喜欢《周易》,百读不厌,以致编联《周易》简册的皮条多次断裂。后以此形容勤奋读书,好学不倦。

In ancient China, people recorded events by writing on bamboo or wooden strips. They used boiled leather thongs threaded through little holes made on those strips to bind them together into a book according to a certain order. According to the Records of the Historian, Confucius avidly read The Book of Changes in his old age. He used the book so often that the leather thongs binding the wooden strips broke three times. Later on, this term is used to describe a person who reads diligently.

引例 Citations:

◎孔子晚而喜易……韦编三绝。(《史记·孔子世家》)

(孔子晚年喜欢《周易》……编联《周易》简册的皮条多次断裂。)

In his old age Confucius loved to study The Book of Changes… He used this book so much that the leather thongs binding the wooden strips wore out three times. (Sima Qian: Records of the Historian)

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