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Nanzhenglu 南征錄

May 31, 2019 © Ulrich Theobald

Nanzhenglu 南征錄 "The southern campaign" is a short book on the suppression of local rebellion of native tribes in Guangxi written by the Ming-period 明 (1368-1644) official Zhang Xuan 張瑄 (jinshi degree 1442), courtesy name Yanxi 延璽, from Jiangpu 江浦, Jiangsu. His highest office was that of Minister of Justice (xingbu shangshu 刑部尚書) in the secondary capital Nanjing.

The book is written as a first-hand memory, based on the observation made by Zhang, when he was right administration commissioner (you buzhengshi 右布政使) of Guizhou, and took part in the campaign. The text is written like a diary covering 38 days. It reveals that the local army of the Ming under General Fan Xin 范信 and chief military commissioner (duzhihui 都指揮) Xu Ning 徐甯 was lacking clear command and disciplinary structures (jilüe 紀律) which resulted in chaotic and brutal behaviour towards the local population and the "wild tribes" of Dong 峒蠻, and therefore instigated further resistance instead of bringing peace.

Sources:
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 chubanshe), 1591.
Siku quanshu zongmu tiyao 四庫全書總目提要, 53.