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Gaoshizhuan 高士傳 and Xu gaoshizhuan 續高士傳

Mar 6, 2012 © Ulrich Theobald

Gaoshizhuan 高士傳

Gaoshizhuan 高士傳 "Biographies of eminent officials" is a collection of biographies of eminent scholars and officials written by the Jin-period 晉 (265-420) scholar Huangfu Mi 皇甫謐 (215-282). The 3-juan long Gaoshizhuan includes the biographies of between 70 and 90 persons from the times of the mythical Emperor Yao 堯 down to the Three Kingdoms period 三國 (220-280), about of third of which lived during the Han period 漢 (206 BCE-220 CE).

During the Song period 宋 (960-1279), there were already two different versions in circulation, one with 71 or 72 biographies (according to the Xu bowuzhi 續博物志 and Taiping yulan 太平御覽), the other with 96 biographies (according to the catalogue Junzhai dushu zhi 郡齋讀書志). Yet the catalogue Zhizhai shulu jieti 直齋書錄解題 also talks of 87 biographies.

The received version included 96 biographies, the largest part of which is not an original text but a reconstruction. The Gaoshizhuan is included in the series Mishu ershi zhong 秘書二十一種, Guang Han-Wei congshu 廣漢魏叢書, Longxi jingshe congshu 龍溪精舍叢書, Sibu beiyao 四部備要, Congshu jicheng 叢書集成 and Siku quanshu 四庫全書.

The Qing-period 清 (1644-1911) scholars Qian Xizuo 錢熙祚 (d. 1844) and Wang Renjun 王仁俊 (1866-1913) collected surviving fragments of the Gaoshizhuan not included in the received version.

Xu gaoshi zhuan 續高士傳

Xu gaoshi zhuan 續高士傳 is a supplement to Huangfu Mi's 皇甫謐 Gaoshizhuan 高士傳 from the Jin period 晉 (265-420), a collection of biographies. The 5-juan long supplement was compiled by the Qing-period 清 (1644-1911) scholar Gao Zhao 高兆. It was finished in 1662 and includes the biographies of 143 persons from the Jin to the Ming 明 (1368-1644) periods. The Xu gaoshizhuan is highly praised for its quality in Wang Zhuo's 王晫 (b. 1636) Jin shishuo 今世說. It is included in the series Guanzidezhai congshu 觀自得齋叢書.

Source:
Li Shuihai 李水海, ed. (1994). Zhongguo xiaoshuo da cidian 中國小說大辭典, Vol. Xian-Qin zhi Nanbeichao 先秦至南北朝卷 (Xi'an: Shaanxi renmin chubanshe), 333.
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, 997.
Wu Feng 吳楓, ed. (1994). Zhonghua gu wenxian cidian 中華古文獻大辭典, Vol. Wenxue 文學卷 (Jilin: Changchun wenshi chubanshe), 557.