An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History and Literature

Dashiji xubian 大事記續編

Oct 23, 2013 © Ulrich Theobald

Dashiji xubian 大事記續編 "Continuation of the Great Historic Events" is a chronicle written by Wang Yi 王禕 (1322-1373), who also compiled the imperial diary (qijuzhu 起居注) of Zhu Yuanzhang 朱元璋 (known as Emperor Taizu 明太祖, r. 1368-1398), the founder of the Ming dynasty 明 (1368-1644). After the foundation of the Ming dynasty, he and Song Lian 宋濂 (1310-1381) were appointed chief compilers of the official dynastic history of the Yuan dynasty 元 (1279-1368), the Yuanshi 元史. Wang Yi's collected writings are called Wang Zhongwengong ji 王忠文公集. He also wrote the collection Huachuan ji 華川集.

The 77-juan long Dashiji xubian is a continuation of Lü Zuqian's 呂祖謙 (1137-1181) history Dashiji 大事記, and therefore imitates the structure of this chronicle, except the custom of using headlines. According to Yu Xun 俞恂 (XXX), the book began in the year 89 CE and end in the year 1276, when the Mongols conquered the Southern Song 南宋 (1127-1279), but the transmitted version only reaches down to 959, the last year of the Five Dynasties 五代 (907-960). It might be that the original version was only available as a manuscript part of which has not survived.

Unlike the great history Tongjian gangmu 通鑑綱目 by the Southern Song period philosopher Zhu Xi 朱熹 (1130-1200), Wang Yi does not declare Liu Bei 劉備 (r. 221-222), founder of the empire of Shu 蜀 (221-263), as the rightful successor of the Han dynasty 漢 (206 BCE-220 CE), but treats the Three Empires 三國 (220~280 CE) of Wei 魏 (220-265), Shu and Wu 吳 (222-280) equally, which is a more objective kind of historiography than that of the Neo-Confucian master Zhu Xi.

Wang Yi made use of numerous of historiographical sources that are lost today, like Song Xiang's 宋庠 Jinian tongpu 紀年通譜 or Liu Xisou's 劉羲叟 (1015-1060) Changli 長歷 (with the chapter Tongjian mulu 通鑑目錄). The Dashiji xubian was printed during the Zhengtong reign 正統 (1436-1449, with a length of only 73 juan) and again during the Chenghua reign 成化 (1465-1487). The Dashiji xubian is included in the imperial series Siku quanshu 四庫全書.

Table 1. Contents of the Dashiji xubian 大事記續編
1.-20. Han period 漢 (206 BCE-220 CE, from 89 BCE)
21.-23. (Shu-)Han period 蜀漢 (221-263, Emperor Zhaolie 漢昭烈皇帝, Duke Si of Anle 安樂思公 and Emperor Yuan of Wei 魏元皇帝)
24.-35. Jin period 晉 (265-420)
36.-38. (Liu-)Song period 宋 (420-479)
39.-40. (Southern) Qi period 齊 (479-502)
41.-43. Liang period 梁 (502-557)
44.-46. Chen period 陳 (557-589)
47.-48. Sui period 隋 (581-618)
49.-70. Tang period 唐 (618-907)
71. (Later) Liang period 梁 (907-923)
72.-74. (Later) Tang period 唐 (923-936)
75. (Later) Jin period 晉 (936-946)
76. (Later) Han period 漢 (947-950)
77. (Later) Zhou period 周 (951-960)
Li Xueqin 李學勤, Lü Wenyu 呂文鬰, eds. (1996). Siku da cidian 四庫大辭典 (Changchun: Jilin daxue chubanshe), Vol. 1, 893.