An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History and Literature

Nanzhao shilüe 南詔事略

Aug 10, 2019 © Ulrich Theobald

Nanzhao shilüe 南詔事略 is a brief history of the state of Nanzhao 南詔 that ruled during the Song period 宋 (960-1279) over the modern province of Yunnan. The short text was written during the Ming period 明 (1368-1644) by Gu Yingxiang 顧應祥 (1483-1565), courtesy name Hengxian 恒賢, style Ruoxi箬溪. Gu is also the author of several books on mathematics and the calendar Shoushili cuoyao 授時歷撮要, Hushi suanshu 弧矢算術 and Ceyuan haijing fenlei shishu 測圓海鏡分類釋術, the critical commentary Chuanxilu yi 傳習錄疑 on the book Chuanxilu 傳習錄 by Wang Shouren 王守仁 (Wang Yangming 王陽明, 1472-1529), the compendium Youxi zhizhi yilüe 尤溪致知議略, and the history book Badai jiyao 八代紀要.

The Nanzhao shilüe was written when Gu was grand coordinator (xunfu 巡撫) of Yunnan. It is mainly based on the descriptions of the southwestern "barbarians" in the official dynastic histories and local gazetteers of the province. He adds commentaries to statements that differed in these sources, and describes the detailed history of the six Zhao tribes. His text is therefore an important supplement to the chapters on Yunnan in more popular books like the two official dynastic histories Jiu Wudaishi 舊五代史 and Xin Wudaishi 新五代史 or the statecraft encyclopaedias Wudai huiyao 五代會要and Wenxian tongkao 文獻通考. Yet his book does not make use of all available information and was therefore not included in the series Siku quanshu 四庫全書.

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, 1047.