An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History, Literature and Art

Dongnan jishi 東南紀事

Mar 12, 2016 © Ulrich Theobald

Dongnan jishi 東南紀事 "The events in the southeast" is a history of the early Southern Ming period 南明 (1644-1661). The remaining part of this dynasty is covered in the book Xinan jishi 西南紀事. Both were written by Shao Tingcai 邵廷釆 (1648-1711), courtesy name Nianlu 念魯, from Yurao 餘饒, Zhejiang. He was a disciple of the philosophers Huang Zongxi 黃宗畿 (1610-1695) and Wang Zhengzhong 王正中, and studied in the Yaojiang Academy 姚江書院. Many of his friends remained loyal to the Ming dynasty 明 (1368-1644), and inspired him to write a history of their fight against the conquest dynasty of the Qing 清 (1644-1911).

The 12-juan long Dongnan jishi describes the events from the occupation of Beijing by Li Zicheng 李自成 (1606-1645) in the course of which Emperor Sizong 明思宗 (r. 1627-1644) hanged himself, the conquest of Beijing by the Manchus and their decision to advance to the south, to the decision of several Ming princes to continue the fight against the foreign intruders. The Prince of Fu 福王, the Prince of Lu 魯王, and the Prince of Tang 唐王 declared themselves – in succession – emperors of the (Southern) Ming, but they withdrew more and more to the south, first to Nanjing 南京, then to Shaoxing 紹興, Zhejiang, and finally to Fuzhou 福州, Fujian. Their reigns were relatively short, and their dominions conquered soon by the Manchus. The fate of the last contender, the Prince of Gui 桂王, who ruled for 14 years, is described in the Xinan jishi.

The Dongnan jishi begins with the imperial annals of the three princes, while the fascicles 3 to 12 present the biographies of 59 ministers and subjects to them. The book thus has the chacter of a semi-official history of the Southern Ming, but was prohibited during the Qing dynasty. It is part of the series Zhongguo fanglüe congshu 中國方略叢書, Congshu jicheng chubian 叢書集成續編, Qingdai biji xiaoshuo 淸代筆記小說 (part of Lidai biji xiaoshuo jicheng 歷代筆記小說集成), Mingdai zhuanji congkan 明代傳記叢刊 (Taibei 1991) and Mingdai yeshi congshu 明代野史叢書 (Beijing 2002). It is also, like Xinan jishi, part of the Shaowu Xushi congshu 邵武徐氏叢書, published by Xu Gan 徐榦 in the late 19th cent. Other publications date from 1940 (Shenzhou Guoguang Press 神州國光社, Shanghai), 1961 (Taibei, Taiwan yinhang), 1982 (Shanghai shudian 上海書店) and 1986 (Jiangsu Guangling guji keyin she 江蘇廣陵古籍刻印社).

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, 941.
Wu Feng 吳楓, ed. (1987). Jianming Zhongguo guji cidian 簡明中國古籍辭典 (Changchun: Jilin wenshi chubanshe), 209.
Zhongguo fanglüe congshu 中國方略叢書 (Chengwen Publishing),