May 11, 868

In 1907 Hungarian-British archaeologist, Aurel Stein uncovered a cache of over 40,000 scrolls in the Mogao Caves in China. Included was a Chinese version of the Diamond Sutra, one of the most important books in Zen Buddhism.

The copy was in the form of a 5-meter woodblock print scroll. But what was unique and incomparably valuable was its colophon. At the inner end of the scroll was this inscription.

Reverently made for universal free distribution by Wang Jie on behalf of his two parents on the 13th of the 4th moon of the 9th year of Xiantong [11 May 868].

It seems that Wang Jie was also a promoter of public domain works.


This is an enhanced detail of the scroll which resides in the British Library.

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