An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History, Literature and Art

Dongdu shilüe 東都事略

Jul 3, 2010 © Ulrich Theobald

Dongdu shilüe 東都事略 "Concise account on the Eastern Capital [period]" is an alternative history of the Northern Song period 北宋 (960-1126) written by Wang Cheng 王稱 xxx (sometimes falsely written 王偁), courtesy name Jiping 季平.

Wang Cheng was an official of the historiographic compilation bureau of the Southern Song 南宋 (1127-1279) and thus had access to important sources that were not used in the official dynastic history of the Song, the Songshi 宋史, which was only compiled under the successor dynasty of Yuan 元 (1279-1368). Capital of the Northern Song was Kaifeng 開封 (modern Kaifeng/Henan), at that time called the "Eastern Capital" (Dongdu 東都, in contrast to Chang'an 長安 [modern Xi'an 西安/Shaanxi], the old "western capital", or Luoyang 洛陽 [modern Luoyang/Henan], also located more to the west), hence the name of this book.

The whole history is 130-juan long, among these 12 juan for imperial biographies (diji 帝紀), 5 juan of biographies of noble families (shijia 世家), 105 juan of normal biographies including the empresses (liezhuan 列傳), and 8 appendent monographs about foreign countries including the Liao 遼 (907-1125), Jin 金 (1115-1234) and Western Xia 西夏 (1038-1227) empires, competitors to the Song.

Although this history, written in the traditional biographical-thematical style (jizhuanti 紀傳體), shows a rather simplistic literary technique, it can not be omitted when studying the history of that period.

Gao Wende 高文德, ed. (1995). Zhongguo shaoshu minzu shi da cidian 中國少數民族史大辭典 (Changchun: Jilin jiaoyu chubanshe), 515.
Li Xueqin 李學勤, Lü Wenyu 呂文郁, ed. (1996). Siku da cidian 四庫大辭典 (Changchun: Jilin daxue chubanshe), Vol. 1, 927.
Wu Feng 吳楓, ed. (1987). Jianming Zhongguo guji cidian 簡明中國古籍辭典 (Changchun: Jilin wenshi chubanshe), 209.
Xu Guanglie 徐光烈 (1992), "Dongdu shilüe 東都事略", in Zhongguo da baike quanshu 中國大百科全書, Zhongguo lishi 中國歷史 (Beijing/Shanghai: Zhongguo da baike quanshu chubanshe), Vol. 1, p. 177.
Zhou Weizhou 周偉洲, Ding Jing 丁景, ed. (2006). Sichou zhi lu da cidian 絲綢之路大辭典 (Xi'an: Shaanxi renmin chubanshe), 767.