An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History and Literature

Pingding shuomo fanglüe 平定朔漠方略

May 1, 2011 © Ulrich Theobald

Qinzheng pingding Shuomo fanglüe 親征平定朔漠方略, full title Shengzu Renhuangdi qinzheng pingding shuomo fanglüe 聖祖仁皇帝親征平定朔漠方略 "Military annals of the pacification of the Gobi Desert, personally conducted by Emperor Ren, the Sacred Ancestor", or Pingding Shuomo fanglüe 平定朔漠方略 for short, is a history of the submission of the Western Mongols by the Qing dynasty 清 (1644-1911). Shuomo 朔漠 is actually an old name for the region north of the great Yellow River bend and is an alternative writing of the word shamo 沙漠 "desert".

The 48-juan long book was compiled on imperial order by Unda 溫達 (d. 1715), who took also part in the compilation of the imperial geography Da-Qing yitong zhi 大清一統志, and the Mingshi 明史, the official dynastic history of the Ming dynasty 明 (1368-1644).

During the mid-17th century Galdan 噶爾丹 (1644-1697), ruler of an Ölöd (Dzunghar) tribe, managed to bring the whole Ölöd federation under his control. In this position he dared to stage raids on the pastures of the Khalkha Mongols which were subject to the Qing empire. In 1688 he deafeated the Tüsiyetü Khan 土謝圖汗 Chikhundorj 察琿多爾濟 and invaded Inner Mongolia, not far from Beijing. The Qing court thereupon decided to stage a counter-attack, and two times, in 1686 and 1687, the Kangxi Emperor 康熙帝 (r. 1662-1722) personally conducted three campaigns against Galdan and managed to push him far into Russian territory, where he was forced to kill himself.

The military annals were only finished in 1708. It included the memorial reporting the submission of the book to the throne, and a short report of the three campaigns personally led by the emperor. The book narrates the history of the Ölöds from the first declaration of Galdan to bring tributes to the Qing in 1677 to the submission of Galdan's corpse to the Qing court by his successor Tsewang Rabtan 策妄阿拉布坦 (1663-1727). The moral guideline of the book is that Galdan himself was the only only persons trying to achieve greater power, while his subordinates did actually not want to follow him. The whole blame of the war was put on Galdan.

The book is included in the series Siku quanshu 四庫全書.

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