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Zizhi tongjian houbian 資治通鑒後編


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The Zizhi tongjian houbian 資治通鑒後編 "Later Compilation to the Comprehensive Mirror to Aid in Government" is a continuation to Sima Guang's 司馬光 history Zizhi tongjian 資治通鑒 from the Song period 宋 (960-1279). The Houbian was written by the Qing period 清 (1644-1911) scholar Xu Qianxue 徐乾學 (1631-1694), courtesy name Xu Yuanyi 徐字原一, style Jian'an 健庵. He came from Kunshan 昆山, Jiangsu, and was a member of the Hanlin Academy 翰林院, academician (xueshi 學士) for the Grand Secretariat (neige 內閣) and Minister of Justice (xingbu shangshu 刑部尚書). Xu Qianxue was a nephew of the great philosopher and historian Gu Yanwu 顧炎武. He was interested in Song period Neo-Confucian philosophy, especially the tradition of the brothers Cheng Hao 程顥 and Cheng Yi 程頤, the great philosopher Zhu Xi 朱熹, and in philology, a science flourishing during the early Qing period. As a member of the Hanlin Academy, he had to deal a lot with historiographical and administrative literature and participated in the compilation of the Mingshi 明史, the official history of the Ming dynasty 明 (1368-1644), the imperial geography Da-Qing yitong zhi 大清一統志, and the government statutes Qing huidian 清會典. He took also part in the compilation of a commentary to the Confucian Classics, the Tongzhitang jingjie 通志堂經解. His private collection of writings is the Danyuanji 憺園集.
The 184 juan "scrolls" long Zizhi tongjian houbian is the product of a text-critical revision of a lot of histories that Xu Qianxue undertook together with his collegues Wan Sitong 萬斯同, Yan Ruoqu 閻若璩 and Hu Wei 胡渭. Their product imitates the pattern of Sima Guang's great history and involves text-critical remarks to the history of the Ming, as well as historiographical comments on certain passages written by earlier scholars. Xu's own remarks are indicated by the sentence Chen Qianxue yue 臣乾學曰 "Servant Qianxue says". The book begins in 960, directly connecting to the Zizhi tongjian, and ends in 1367, the last year of the Yuan period 元 (1279-1368). The the last emperors of the Song dynasty are Duanzong 宋端宗 (r. 1276-1277) and Emperor Zhao Bing 趙昺 (r. 1277-1279), directly following Emperor Gong 宋恭帝 (r. 1274-1275), and their years are designated with reign mottos, which differs to the official history of the Song, the Songshi 宋史.
The edition of the Houbian in the collectaneum Siku quanshu 四庫全書 is based on a draft version by Xu Qianxue, in which juan 11 is missing. The missing part could later be supplemented by an edition of Master Xia 夏氏 from Fuyang 富陽.


Source: Li Xueqin 李學勤, Lü Wenyu 呂文鬰 (ed. 1996), Siku da cidian 四庫大辭典 (Changchun: Jilin daxue chubanshe), Vol. 1, pp. 892.

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September 6, 2011 © Ulrich Theobald · Mail
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