ChinaKnowledge.de -
An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History, Literature and Art

Huangjinshi 黃金史

Jul 10, 2010 © Ulrich Theobald

Huangjinshi "Golden History" (Mongolian Altan tobči) is a history of the Mongols written during the Ming period 明 (1368-1644). There are several books with this title, with different content.

The first book is called Menggu huangjin shigang 蒙古黃金史綱 "The outlines of the golden history of the Mongols" and was compiled between 1627 and 1634 by an unknown author, written in Mongolian. Together with the Menggu mishi 蒙古秘史 "Secret history of the Mongols" and the Menggu yuanliu 蒙古源流 "The origin of the Mongols" it belongs to the three great histories of the Mongols.

The content of the Huangjinshi covers - besides the origin of the Mongols and the history of the dynastic founder Čingghis Qan (r. 1206-1227) - the final decades of the Yuan dynasty 元 (1279-1368) when Toγon Temür ("Tuohuan Tiemur 妥歡帖睦爾"; as Chinese emperor called Yuan Shundi 元順帝, r. 1333-1368) left the imperial capital Dadu 大都 (modern Beijing) and withdrew to the Mongolian steppe. It was Ligdan Qan 林丹可汗 who later rose against the domination of the Ming empire. The "Golden Outlines" give an overview of the Mongol imperial house, their relations to other steppe federations like the Oirats (Chinese: Wala 瓦剌) and the Ming empire, the propagation of Lamaism, and much more. The book - only available in a manuscript form - was brought to Europe by a Russian scholar named Vassilijev (?). In China it was only published in 1927, and translated into modern Chinese in 1980.

A second book of this title is the Da huangjin shi 大黃金史 "Great golden history", written by a Mongol author named Lobsangdanjin (Chinese "Luobusang Danjin 羅卜桑丹津") between 1628 and 1649. Some scholars even postpone it to the early 18th century. It focuses on the spread of Buddhism and Lamaism and makes use of the many sources on the history of the Mongols. It was printed in the People's Republic of Mongolia in 1937, and in the Autonomous Region of Inner Mongolia in 1983.

A third book with a similar title is the "Golden history of Čingghis Qan", only known from an anonymous and not exactly dateable manuscript that was discovered in 1958 in a stone cavern of a tomb in Inner Mongolia. Its language is much more a kind of vernacular Mongolian than the Huangjin shigang. The latter was certainly used for the compilation of the "Golden history of Čingghis", at least in the part describing the life of the Great Khan and his ancestors.

Sources:
Clark, Larry V. (1978). "From the Legendary Cycle of Činggis-qaɣan: The Story of an Encounter with 300 Tayičiɣud from the Altan Tobči (1655)", Mongolian Studies, 5: 5-39.
Cleaves, Francis Woodman (1952). Altan Tobči: A Brief History of the Mongols by bLo. bzaṅ bsTan. ‘jin (Harvard-Yenching Institute, Scripta Mongolica I./Cambridge: Harvard University Press; 1952.
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 chubanshe9, 2341.
Huang Ming 黃鳴, ed. (1990). Jianming minzu cidian 簡明民族詞典 (Nanning: Guangxi renmin chubanshe), 269.
Jagchid, Sechin (1975). "Traditional Mongolian Attitudes and Values as Seen in the Secret History of the Mongols and the Altan Tobči", in Larry V. Clark, Paul Alexander Draghi, eds. Aspects of Altaic Civilization II: Proceedings of the XVIII PIAC, Bloomington, June 29-July 5, 1975 (Bloomington: Asian Studies Research Institute, Indiana University), 89-114.
Jia Jingyan 賈敬顏 (1992). "Menggu Huangjinshi 蒙古黃金史", in Zhongguo da baike quanshu 中國大百科全書, Vol. Minzu 民族 (Beijing/Shanghai: Zhongguo da baike quanshu chubanshe), 282.
Lubsandorji, J., Vacek, Jaroslav (1989). "Genghis Khan's surgal in the Altan Tobči by Lubsandanzan (an attempt at an interpretation)", Archiv Orientálni, 57/3: 233-241.
Rogers, Leland Liu (2009). The Golden Summary of Činggis Qayan: Činggis Qayan-u Altan Tobči (Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz).
Uray-Kőhalmi, Käthe (1984). "Berichte der Geheimen Geschichte der Mongolen und des Altan tobči über Činggis Qan's Politik gegenüber den östlichen J̌určen", Acta Orientalia, 38/3: 289-302.
Vietze, Hans-Peter, Gendeng Lubsang (1992). Altan Tobči: eine mongolische Chronik des XVII. Jahrhunderts, von Blo bzan bstan 'jin, Text und Index (Tokyo: Daiwa).
Wang Ting 王頲 (1994). "Menggu Huangji shigang 蒙古黄金史綱", 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), 237.
Wu Feng 吳楓, ed. (1987). Jianming Zhongguo guji cidian 簡明中國古籍辭典 (Changchun: Jilin wenshi chubanshe), 776.
Zhao Yongxian 趙永銑 (1986). "Huangjinshi 黃金史", in Zhongguo da baike quanshu 中國大百科全書, Part Zhongguo wenxue 中國文學 (Beijing/Shanghai: Zhongguo da baike quanshu chubanshe), Vol. 1, 278.
Zhu Feng 朱風 (1992). "Huangjinshi 黃金史", 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, 408.