An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History and Literature

Guochao xianzheng lu 國朝獻徵錄

Jul 19, 2010 © Ulrich Theobald

Guochao xianzheng lu 國朝獻徵錄 "Evident (worthies) of Our Dynasty" is a collection of biographies of persons from the Ming period 明 (1368-1644). The author was Jiao Hong 焦竑 (1540-1620), one of the most important members of the Hanlin Academy 翰林院 during the late Ming period.

Jiao compiled a bibliography (jingjizhi 經籍志) of the imperial history of Ming compiled at the end of the 16th century and wrote a whole series of books on Daoism and Yijing 易經 studies: Yiquan 易荃, Bogongjie 帛貢解, Laozi yi 老子翼, Zhuangzi yi 莊子翼, Xunguo zhongchen lu 遜國忠臣錄, Yutang congyu 玉堂叢語, Danyuanji 澹園記, Jiaoshi bicheng 焦氏筆乘, Jiaoshi leilin 焦氏類林, Zhongyuan wenxian 中原文獻, Sushu kanwu 俗書刊誤, and others.

In his 120-juan long book Guochao xianzheng lu he assembled the biographies of state officials and other eminent persons from the beginning of the Ming period to 1566. He made use of a vast range of primary sources, from imperial edicts, local gazetteers, tomb inscriptions, stone inscriptions (beiming 碑銘), unofficial histories, official conduct descriptions (xingzhuang 行狀), and unofficial biographies. State officials are arranged according to their rank and their position, from holders of hereditary titles and members of the Imperial Secretariat down to the local magistrates.

Persons not holding an official post are grouped in the traditional categories of persons of filial conduct (xiaozi 孝子), the Forest of Scholars (rulin 儒林), literati (yiyuan 藝苑), and so on. For most of the biographies Jiao Hong indicated his primary source which is of great help for the reconstruction of historiographical sources. The Guochao xianzheng lu is much more detailed and more rich in language than Xu Hong's 徐紘 Ming mingchen wanyan lu 明名臣琬琰錄 and served in many cases as material for the later compilation of the official dynastic history of the Ming period, the Mingshi 明史. It was still highly esteemed in the 18th century but scholars of the 19th century despised Jiao Hong's book as not trustful enough to provide material for an official dynastic history.

There was one print produced during the Ming period but during the literary "inquisition" during the Qianlong reign-period 乾隆 (1736-1795) the circulation of the book was prohibited. Therefore only very few copies have survived. 1965 the Taiwanese Xuesheng Shuju Press 學生書局 published it as part of the series Zhongguo shixue congshu 中國史學叢書.

Table 1. Contents of the Guochao xianzheng lu 國朝獻徵錄
1.-2. 宗室 Imperial house
3. 戚畹 Kinsmen of empresses
4. 駙馬都尉 Consorts of imperial princesses
5.-6. Dukes
7.-8. Marquesses
9.-10. Earls
11. 中書省 Chancellors of the Palace Secretariat
12.-17. 内閣 Grand Secretaries
18.-19. 詹事府 Persons of the Household Administration of the Heir Apparent
20.-22. 翰林院 Persons of the Hanlin Academy
23. 南京翰林院 Persons of the Hanlin Academy of the Southern Capital
24.-26. 吏部 Ministers of Personnel
27. 南京吏部 Ministers of Personnel of the Southern Capital
28.-30. 戶部 Ministers of Revenue
31.-32. 南京戶部 Ministers of Personnel of the Southern Capital
33.-35. 禮部 Ministers of Rites
36.-37. 南京禮部 Ministers of Rites of the Southern Capital
38.-41. 兵部 Ministers of War
42.-43. 南京兵部 Ministers of War of the Southern Capital
44.-47. 刑部 Ministers of Justice
48.-49. 南京刑部 Ministers of Justice of the Southern Capital
50.-51. 工部 Ministers of Works
52.-53. 南京工部 Ministers of Works of the Southern Capital
54.-63. 都察院 Censors-in-chief
64. 南京都察院 Censors-in-chief of the Southern Capital
65. 道御史 Investigating censors
66. 南道御史 Investigating censors of the Southern Capital
67. 通政司, 南京通政司 Persons of the Office of Transmission, idem of the Southern Capital
68. 大理寺 Ministers of the Court of Judicial Review
69. 南京大理寺 Ministers of the Court of Judicial Review of the Southern Capital
70. 太常寺, 南京太常寺 Ministers of the Court of Imperial Sacrifices, idem of the Southern Capital
71. 光祿寺, 南京光祿寺 Ministers of the Court of Imperial Entertainments, idem of the Southern Capital
72. 太僕寺, 南京太僕寺 Ministers of the Court of the Imperial Stud, idem of the Southern Capital
73. 國子監 Chancellors of the Directorate of Education
74. 南京國子監 Chancellors of the Directorate of Education of the Southern Capital
75. 順天府, 應天府 Prefects of Shuntian (Beijing) and Yingtian (Nanjing)
76. 鴻臚寺, 南京鴻臚寺 Ministers of the Court for Dependencies, idem of the Southern Capital
77. 尚寶司, 南京尚寶司 Heads of the Seals Office, idem of the Southern Capital
78. 太醫院 Heads of the Imperial Academy of Medicine
79. 欽天監 Heads of the Directorate of Astronomy
80. 六科都給事中, 左右給事中, 給事中, 南京六科給事中 Censors of the Six Offices of Scrutiny, idem of the Southern Capital
81. 中書科中書舍人, 行人司司正, 行人司行人, 都督府斷事, 錦衣衞經歷 Drafters of the Central Drafting Office, personnel of the Messenger Office, judges of the chief military commissions, registrars of the Brocade Guards
82. 直隷 Administrative personnel of Zhili
83. 南直隸 Administrative personnel of Nanzhili
84.-85. 浙江 Administrative personnel of Zhejiang
86.-87. 江西 Administrative personnel of Jiangxi
88.-89. 湖廣 Administrative personnel of Hu-Guang
90.-91. 福建 Administrative personnel of Fujian
92.-93. 河南 Administrative personnel of Henan
94. 陜西 Administrative personnel of Shaanxi
95.-96. 山東 Administrative personnel of Shandong
97. 山西 Administrative personnel of Shanxi
98. 四川 Administrative personnel of Sichuan
99.-100. 廣東 Administrative personnel of Guangdong
101. 廣西 Administrative personnel of Guangxi
102. 雲南 Administrative personnel of Yunnan
103. 貴州 交趾(附) Administrative personnel of Guizhou, app. Jiaozhou
104. 行太僕寺, 苑馬寺, 鹽運司 Personnel of Branch Courts of the Imperial Stud, pasturage officers, salt transport commissioners
105. 藩府僚 Administrative personnel of princely domains
106.-108. 都督府 Chief military commissioners
109. 錦衣衛 Brocade guard
110. 都司 Regional military commissioners
111. 各衞 The guards
112. 孝子 Persons of filial conduct
113. 義人 Persons of righteous conduct
114. 儒林 The forest of Confucian scholars
115. 藝苑 The garden of literati
116. 隱佚 Worthies living in seclusion
117. 寺人 Palace eunuchs
118. 釋道 Buddhist monk and Daoist priests
119. 勝國羣雄 Heroes having died for the dynasty
Wang Chunyu 王春瑜 (1992). "Guochao xianzheng lu 國朝獻徵錄", in Zhongguo da baike quanshu 中國大百科全書, Vol. Zhongguo lishi 中國歷史 (Beijing/Shanghai: Zhongguo da baike quanshu chubanshe), Vol. 1, 281.
Zheng Jue 鄭覺 (1994). "Guochao xianzheng lu 國朝獻徵録", in Zhou Gucheng 周谷城, ed. Zhongguo xueshu mingzhu tiyao 中國學術名著提要, Vol. Lishi 歷史卷 (Shanghai: Fudan daxue chubanshe), 368.