An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History and Literature

Donghan huiyao 東漢會要

Jul 3, 2010 © Ulrich Theobald

Donghan huiyao 東漢會要 "Institutional history of the Eastern Han Dynasty" is an encyclopaedia on statecraft covering the Eastern or Later Han period 後漢 (25-220 CE). It was compiled during the Southern Song period 南宋 (1127-1279) by Xu Tianlin 徐天麟, who also wrote the instutitional history Xihan huiyao 西漢會要.

The book on the Eastern Han has a length of 40 juan and covers 384 themes in 15 categories. The arrangement and the idea is based on the Tang huiyao 唐會要, the institutional history of the Tang dynasty 唐 (618-907). While the Xihan huiyao does not add comments to the sources, Xu Tianlin was much more critical to the sources he used for the Donghan huiyao.

The source material used for the latter is much more varied as that for the Xihan huiyao. Apart form the official dynastic history Houhanshu 後漢書, Xu made use of numerous other sources. The categories are not exactly identical to that in the Xihan huiyao.

In 1955 the Zhonghua Shuju 華書局 published a reprint based on the old edition in the series Guoxue jiben congshu 國學基本叢書, and in 1978 a modern edition was published by the Shanghai Guji Press 上海古籍出版社.

Table 1. Contents of the Donghan huiyao 東漢會要
1-2 帝系 The imperial house
3-7 Rites
8 Music
9-10 輿服 Chariots and robes
11-13 文學 Scholarship
14-16 曆數 Calendar and astronomy
17-18 封建 Titles of nobility
19-25 職官 State offices
26-27 選舉 Appointment of officials
28-30 民政 Administration of the people (household registration and taxation)
31 食貨 Food and commodities
32-34 Military
35-36 刑法 Penal law
37-38 方域 Local administration (missing)
39-40 蕃夷 Barbarians
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