Professor Jao Tsung-I, who is a centenarian by nominal age, has been occupied in academic research for more than 80 years and known for his erudition. Being one of the most notable masters of humanities, Professor Jao made vitally important contributions to diverse areas. His extensive scope of scholarship extends from language to literature, from history to archaeology, from oracle bone inscriptions to Dunhuang manuscripts, covering ancient history, paleography (oracle bone inscriptions, bamboo slips and silk manuscripts), Dunhuang studies, Confucian classics studies, archaeology, history of cross-cultural exchange with China, history of religions (including Daoism, Buddhism, Brahmanism and Zoroastrianism), historiography (including Chaozhou studies), bibliographical studies, art history, etc. He produced a vast number of academic publications, including fifty-four books and collections of essays, twenty-four edited volumes, three large-scale book series (including forty-eight volumes), four academic periodicals, 539 scholarly articles, and 421 essays. Ikeda On, a prominent sinologist from Japan, has said publicly that "Mr Wang Guowei was the representative scholar of the first half of the 20th century in China, while Professor Jao Tsung-I represents the second half”. It has also been pointed out that Professor Jao holds in his mind an encyclopaedia’s worth of knowledge, even surpassing his predecessor Wang Guowei.
Prehistoric ruins and culture of the Hanjiang River Valley
1950 Hong Kong
This book was the first record of archaeological culture during the Neolithic Age in the Chaozhou region. It consists of six parts: On the Discovery of the Sites, Historic Sites, Stone Artifacts, Pottery and Pottery Shards, Tentative Conclusions and Postface. Black-and-white photos of unearthed items are also presented in the book.
Oracle Bone Diviners of the Yin Dynasty, 2 vols
1959 Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press
Professor Jao devoted two decades to the systematic study of diviners of the Yin Period, on the basis of unearthed oracle bone inscriptions. It was considered to be a comprehensive study of the early Shang Period and highly valued as soon as it was published, with reviews in thirteen languages. This work had a profound influence in academia and was translated into Korean in 1996.
Kowloon in the Historical Records of the Song Dynasty (Xuantang congshu 6)
1959 Hong Kong: Universal Book Trading Co.
This work consists of six volumes, concerning mainly materials about the travelling coastal courts during the Song and Yuan Dynasties. It was one of the most important books on the study of the Hong Kong region in the Song Dynasty. The preface was written by Jian Youwen and the afterward by Lo Hsiang-lin. There were also some additional remarks from Professor Jao in the book.
Examination of Documents for the Study of the Ci
1963 Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press
The was the first comprehensive study of the bibliography and philology of the ci lyric. The approach and perspective of this book provided a new basis for all further studies of the genre.
Symbols, Proto-Writing, and Characters –– The Tree of the Chinese Language
1988 Hong Kong: The Commercial Press (Hong Kong)
In this book Prof. Jao examines the archaeological discoveries of symbols inscribed on pottery as well as other early proto-scripts and explains the origin of characters and interaction between different regions. This book received much attention internationally and was translated into Japanese in 2003.
Enuma Elish (editor and translator)
1991 Taipei: Xinwenfeng chuban gongsi
This book belonged to the “Series of Oriental Studies”. It is a translation of the ancient Akkadian epic describing the creation of the world. It introduces ancient Babylonian mythology and is one of the earliest epics in the world. The chapter of Genesis in Hebrew Bible may have been influenced by it. Professor Jao devoted several years to its translation and this work was the first Chinese translation of Babylonian epic.