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The inscription panel attendant on this piece:

The classical Greek inscription is taken from Plato's Phaedo, where Socrates explains the meaning of philosophy. First the title:

Goddess Athena/
The Witness of the Human Race/

Then it reads:

"And purification [is] the parting of the soul from the body as much as possible, and for the soul to accustom itself to itself, and this [is] death: the release of the soul from the body."

Following that is the passage from Shan-Shu (The Old Book; the chapter is titled "The Golden Box") where the event represented by the painting is recorded. The characters are reconstructed in their possible original form during 1000 B.C. It runs:

"Now the second year after the conquest of Shang, the King fell ill and could not recover; the Duke thus offered himself as the sacrifice (?), holding bi (the round shape jade) and offering guai (the jade shaped like the blade of an ax). The scribe then holding the inscribed "book" read thusly..."

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