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Chunqiu biedian 春秋别典

Apr 28, 2011 © Ulrich Theobald

Chunqiu biedian 春秋别典 "Alternative canon to the Spring and Autumn period" is an alternative history (bieshi 別史) of the Spring and Autumn period 春秋 (770-5th cent. BCE) which is traditionally read about in the canonized Chunqiu 春秋 "Spring and Autumn Annals". The 15-juan long Chunqiu biedian was written by the Ming-period 明 (1368-1644) historian Xue Yuji 薛虞畿, courtesy name Shunxiang 舜祥, from Huaiyang 海陽.

Xue collected hundreds of historical events not recorded in the Chunqiu and its canonized commentaries. The Chunqiu biedian is compiled in the same style as the Zuozhuan commentary to the Chunqiu, with a first-level division into the twelve reigns of the dukes of Lu 魯.

In the postface, Xue's brother Xue Yubin 薛虞賓 says that the whole book was rather a draft then a finished work, and therefore had to be revised by Xue Yubin after the untimely death of his brother. It was not printed and was only included in the reprint series Siku quanshu 四庫全書 on the base of a manuscript owned by Zhu Xizun 朱彝尊 (1629-1709).

Sources:
Li Xueqin 李學勤, Lü Wenyu 呂文鬰, ed. (1996), Siku da cidian 四庫大辭典 (Changchun: Jilin daxue chubanshe), Vol. 1, 927.
Wu Feng 吳楓, ed. (1987). Jianming Zhonggou guji cidian 簡明中國古籍辭典 (Changchun: Jilin wenshi chubanshe), 887.