Commons:Ancient Chinese characters project

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Nuvola apps kopete.png Hello!

Welcome to the Ancient Chinese characters project, which plans to eventually provide a large set of high quality images of Ancient Chinese characters. This illustration set will be freely usable to make educational books, websites, and calligraphic historical explanations.

You are free to use the graphics we have made so far and we invite you to join us in our work.

The work is divided in twelve subcategories: (click blue links to browse)

Historical Evolution via examples
Ancient Scripts Modern Scripts
Shang Western Zhou Spring-Autumn Warring States Clerical Kaishu trad. Kaishu simp.
馬-oracle.svg
馬-bronze-shang.svg
馬-bronze.svg 馬-bronze-spring.svg 馬-bronze-warring.svg
馬-silk.svg
馬-slip.svg
馬-clerical.svg 馬-kaishu.svg 马-kaishu.svg
(4,507139) (790) (271) (20700) (4) no need (font available)
Transcribed Ancient Scripts
Shuowen Liushutong
Seal Zhou Ancient
馬-seal.svg 馬-zhou.svg 馬-ancient.svg 馬-bigseal.svg
(2,860) (9) (42) (3,448)
Icon apps query.svg Public domain images that you can use freely

Of course, you can use all them for your own website. All this work is in the public domain. Legally, you can do what you like, but the moral conditions of use are that you state:

  1. Source: Images from http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Commons:Ancient_Chinese_characters (or the specific image description page)
  2. Licence: Public Domain (verify that Commons may also accept specific free licences)
  3. Authors: Erin Silversmith, Micheletb (look at the contributors list in image information page)
Crystal Clear app korganizer.png Objectives, current news

The aim of the project is eventually to provide examples for all characters available in Ancient Chinese script. The 214 radicals have already been completed. Current project focuses on (these categories are not exclusive):

  • Non-compound characters.
  • Most frequently used characters.
  • Characters that appear frequently in compound characters.
 
Consensus icon.svg Active on the project

We need you !


Active contributors :

Your contributions are welcome to expand this set !

You can ask questions to yug and Michelet.

Nuvola apps cache.png Want to help?

You can help by uploading historical version of a characters. Available Ancient Chinese Character sources are :

  • Graphic etymology : (preferred) only source for great seal, does not contain silk characters.
  • Sinica Database : several examples per characters, updated, academical information available.
  • Chinese text project : mostly reproduces ancient Chinese character fonts.

Please see our Tutorial to create new files, and use the template {{ACClicense}} when uploading.

Add new Ancient Chinese Characters to the database by uploading (when available) :

  • *-oracle.svg (variant 2 to 6)
  • *-bronze.svg (variant 2 to 5)
    • *-bronze-shang.svg (variant 2)
    • *-bronze-spring.svg (variant 2 to 3)
    • *-bronze-warring.svg (variant 2 to 5)
  • *-silk.svg (variant 2 to 5)
  • *-slip.svg (variant 2 to 3)
  • *-seal.svg (variant 2 to 3)
    • *-ancient.svg (variant 2 to 3)
    • *-zhou.svg
    • *-odd.svg
  • *-bigseal.svg (variant 2 to 3)
(P.S. Would you like to provide a bit of encouragement to this team and this free project?)

Naming conventions[edit]

Our overall naming conventions. More dots for priority. Full page contains explanations.
Type Minimal definition Time periods Old convention New convention Example Coverage
Images showing stroke order
•••• 楷書 / 楷书 kǎishū Row of grey chars web era 馬-bw.png 馬-bw.svg* 馬-jbw.png 41,01457
•• 楷書 / 楷书 kǎishū Black to red progression web era 馬-red.png 馬-red.svg* 馬-red.png 1422936
•••• 楷書 / 楷书 kǎishū Animated calligraphy web era 馬-order.gif 馬-order.gif ** 馬-order.gif 853512
楷書 / 楷书 kǎishū Animated by Stroke web era 馬-sbs.gif 馬-sbs.gif ** 馬-sbs.gif 4
Do not use “m”, “t”, or “j” freely in filenames above. We use them such : "m" for "modern", "t" for "traditional", "j" for Japanese, etc. <ed>
Images showing writing styles
•• 金文 jīnwén>Shang Casted bronze scripts, Shang period 1300–1046 BCE 馬-s.svg 馬-bronze-shang.svg 馬-bronze-shang.svg 139
•••• 甲骨文 jiǎgǔwén Knife carved oracle scripts 1300–1046 BCE 馬-oracle.svg 馬-oracle.svg 馬-oracle.svg 4,507
•••• 金文 jīnwén Casted bronze scripts, Western Zhou period 1046–771 BCE 馬-bronze.svg 馬-bronze.svg 馬-bronze.svg 790
甲骨文 jiǎgǔwén>Western Zhou Knife carved oracle scripts, Western Zhou period 1046–771 BCE none 馬-oracle-zhouyuan.svg N/A 0
•• 金文 jīnwén>Spring and Autumn Casted bronze scripts, Spring and Autumn period 771–476 BCE 馬-sa.svg 馬-bronze-spring.svg 馬-bronze-spring.svg 271
•• 金文 jīnwén>Warring States Casted bronze scirpts, Warring States period 476–221 BCE 馬-w.svg 馬-bronze-warring.svg 馬-bronze-warring.svg 207
••• 簡帛文字 jiǎnbówénzì Brush on slip or silk scripts by Chu state 476–221 BCE none 馬-silk.svg 馬-silk.svg 1409
••• 簡牘文字 jiǎndúwénzì Brush on slip scripts by Qin state 476–221 BCE none 馬-slip.svg 馬-slip.svg 125
•••• 小篆 xiǎo zhuàn Normalized zhuan scirpts by Qin dynasty and some Han dynasty zhuan scirpts, collected by Shouwen 221 BCE–220 CE 馬-seal.svg 馬-seal.svg 馬-seal.svg 2,860
•• 籀文 zhòuwén Script from Shizhoupian by late Western Zhou, collected by Shouwen 221 BCE–220 CE 馬-zhou.svg 馬-zhou.svg 馬-zhou.svg 9
•• 古文 zhòuwén Script from Zuo zhuan by Warring States, collected by Shouwen 221 BCE–220 CE 馬-ancient.svg 馬-ancient.svg 馬-ancient.svg 42
奇字 qízì Similar to variants, collected by Shouwen 221 BCE–220 CE none 馬-odd.svg N/A 2
•• 隸書 / 隶书 lìshū Early ancient clerical script to be specific, collected by Libian 221 - 134 BCE none 馬-clerical.svg 馬-clerical.svg 46
傳抄古文字 Chuánchāo gǔwénzì Transcribed various ancient scripts before Qin dynasty, collected by Liushutong 1627–1644 CE 馬-bigseal.svg 馬-bigseal.svg 馬-bigseal.svg 3,448
New Modern Chinese Characters*
•• 草書 / 草书 cǎoshū Brush on paper's fast script, aka Cursive. 43 BCE-present none (font available) 馬-caoshu.svg 馬-caoshu.svg 1
•• 行書 / 行书 xíngshū Brush on paper's fluid writing, aka Semi-cursive. ca.100 CE-present none (font available) 馬-xingshu.svg 馬-xingshu.svg 3
•• 楷書 / 楷书 kǎishū Brush on paper since Han dynasty, aka Regular scripts ca. 200 CE-present none (font available) 馬-kaishu.svg 馬-kaishu.svg 6
•• 宋體 / 宋体 sòngtǐ Printing-blocks scripts. Aka Songti, Mingti. 1368 CE-present none (font available) 馬-songti.svg 馬-songti.svg 4
•• 明體 / 明体 míngtǐ Printing-blocks scripts. 1??? CE-present none (font available) 馬-mingti.svg 20px 0
康熙 kāngxī Printing-blocks scripts in Kangxi dictionary 1716 CE-present none (font available) 馬-mingti-kangxi.svg Kangxi Style Kangxi Radical 187.svg 0, 215

References[edit]

See also[edit]

The sister-project Commons:CJK stroke order project.