An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History and Literature

Jigulu 稽古錄

Jul 3, 2010 © Ulrich Theobald

Jigulu 稽古錄 "Research into antiquity" is a concise handbook on history written by Sima Guang 司馬光 (1019–1086). The 20-juan long Jigulu is a by-product of his large project, the univeral history Zizhi tongjian 資治通鑑. It can be said that it is a kind of practical overview over the Zizhi tongjian, with additions to the time before the year in which the sets in, 404 BCE, up to the reign of the mythological emperor Fu Xi 伏羲.

From the year 841 BCE on, the text is written in an annalistic form. The Jigulu also gives an overview of the events of the early Song period 宋 (960-1279) down to the end of the Zhiping reign 治平 (1064–1067). The title of the book is derived from a sentence in the Confucian Classic Shangshu 尚書, where information is sought about the mythological emperor Yao 堯.

The Jigulu was submitted to the throne in 1086 CE. There were originally two different versions, the so-called Tan version 潭本, which has survived, and the Yue version 越本.

The Jigulu is included in the collection Zizhi tongjian huike 資治通鑑彙刻. It was printed separately in 1501, during the late Ming period 明 (1368-1644) and in 1872. It is included in the series Tianyige congshu 天一閣叢書, Sibu congkan 四部叢刊, Xuejin taoyuan 學津討原 and Siku quanshu 四庫全書. A modern edition was published in 1986 by the Zhongguo youyi press 中國友誼出版公司.

Table 1. Chapters of the Jigulu 稽古錄
1. 伏羲 Fu Xi, 神農 Shen Nong, 金天 Jin Tian (Di Zhi 帝摯), 高辛 Gao Xin (Di Ku 帝嚳)
2.-3. 陶唐 Tao Tang (Emperor Yao 堯)
3. 有虞 You Yu (Emperor Shun 舜)
3.-5. 夏后 Xia dynasty
6.-7. Shang dynasty
8.-9. 周 [Western] Zhou
10. 共和 Gonghe Reign - 周靈王 King Ling of the Zhou
11. 周景王 King Jing of the Zhou - 秦二世皇 Second Emperor of Qin
12. 西漢 Western Han
13. 東漢 Eastern Han - 晉穆帝 Emperor Mu of the Jin dynasty
14. 晉哀帝 Emperor Ai of the Jin - 唐髙祖 Emperor Gaozong of the Tang
15. 唐太宗 Emperor Taizong of the Tang - 周世宗 Emperor Shizong of the [Later] Zhou
16. 歷年圖序 Liniantu xu Introduction to year tables and charts (tables lost)
17.-20. 太祖 Emperor Taizu [of the Song] - 英宗 Emperor Yingzong [of the Song]
Li Xueqin 李學勤, Lü Wenyu 呂文鬰, eds. (1996). Siku da cidian 四庫大辭典 (Changchun: Jilin daxue chubanshe), Vol. 1, 895.