An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History and Literature

Wu Huangdi shilu 武皇帝實錄

Jul 12, 2010 © Ulrich Theobald

Wu Huangdi shilu 武皇帝實錄 "Veritable records of the Martial Emperor" is a chronicle of the foundation of the Qing empire 清 (1644-1911), and a precursor of the Qing Taizu shilu 清太祖實錄, the veritable records (shilu 實錄) of Emperor Taizu 清太祖 (Nurhaci, r. 1616-1626), first part of the Qingshilu 清實錄.

The 4-juan long book was compiled by Ganglin 剛林 (d. 1651) and Luo Xiujin 羅繡錦 (1590-1652) and finished in 1636. The first official veritable records of Nurhaci were called Qing Taizu shilu zhanji tu 清太祖實錄戰迹圖 "Illustrations and maps of the battles described in the veritable records of Emperor Taizu of the Qing". The illustrations were then extracted to a separate book. At that time the book still had the title of Wu Huangdi shilu because Wu Huangdi 武皇帝 was the posthumous temple name of Nurhaci. During the Kangxi reign 康熙 (1662-1722) his temple name was changed to Gao Huangdi 高皇帝, and the book was therefore renamed Gao Huangdi shilu 高皇帝實錄.

During the early years of the Republican period the book was discovered in the library of the Imperial Secretariat in the Imperial Palace 故宮博物院. In 1932 a first modern print was published under the title Qing Taizu Wu Huangdi Nu'erhachi shilu 清太祖武皇帝努邇哈赤實錄 "Veritable records of Nurhaci, the Martial Emperor, Emperor Taizu [Great Ancestor] of the Qing".

Although the book has not the quality of later compilations on the history of the Qing dynasty before the conquest of China, it is a very important source for the study of the origin of the Manchus.

Shi Zhihong 史志宏 (1992). "Wu Huangdi shilu 武皇帝實錄", 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. 3, 1256.