An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History, Literature and Art

Zuiweilu 罪惟錄

Sep 21, 2010 © Ulrich Theobald

Zuiweilu 罪惟錄 "Records of an accused" (or: suffering) is a history of the Ming period 明 (1368-1644) written by the historiographer Cha Jizuo 查繼佐 (1601-1676), original name Xuyou 繼佑, courtesy name Sanxiu 三秀 or Yousan 友三, style Yihuang 伊璜, Yuzhai 與齋, Dongshan Diaoshi 東山釣史 or Diaoyu 釣玉, from Haining 海寧, Zhejiang. Cha withdrew from official posts after the downfall of the Ming because he was an ardent supporter of the restoration of the Ming dynasty. Cha even started calling himself Zuoyin feiren 左尹非人 with the oath only to use his actual name again when the house of Ming would be restored to rule China.

Together with Zhuang Tinglong 莊廷鑨 (1585-1655) he started compiling a history of the Ming. When Zhuang was arrested as a traitor Cha Jizuo continued writing the book but gave it the name of Zuiweilu. The Zuiweilu was composed in a biographic-thematic style (jizhuanti 紀傳體), with imperial biographies in 22 juan, treatises in 32 juan, and normal biographies in 36 juan. The book was not arranged very well and was therefore revised by Zhang Zongxiang 張宗詳 and Jiang Zuoyu 姜佐禹 into a version of 102 juan instead of the 90 juan of the first version.

Compared to the official dynastic history of the Ming dynasty, the Mingshi 明史, the Zuiweilu presents much more information on the Southern Ming 南明 (1644-1661) princes and their efforts to reestablish the dynasty. The treatises are very detailed and include three chapters on matters not covered by the Mingshi, namely the field system (Tutian zhi 土田志), corvée and taxes (Gongfu zhi 貢賦志), and military colonies (Tuntian zhi 屯田志). The biographies are not centered on persons' lives but on certain events they were involved in.

The Zuiweilu, as critical towards the Manchu rulers of the Qing dynasty 清 (1644-1911), was banned from circulation. One exemplar survived in the library of Master Liu's Jiayetang Studio 劉氏嘉業堂. In 1936 the Shangwu Yinshuguan Press 商務印書館 printed this version. It is also included in the third series of the series Sibu congkan 四部叢刊. The newest edition is that of the Beijing Tushuguan Press 北京圖書館出版社 from 2006.

Li Bingzhong 李秉忠, Wei Canjin 衛燦金, Lin Conglong 林從龍, ed. (1990). Jianming wenshi zhishi cidian 簡明文史知識詞典 (Xi'an: Shaanxi renmin chubanshe), 723.
Li Xueqin 李學勤, Lü Wenyu 呂文郁, ed. (1996). Siku da cidian 四庫大辭典 (Changchun: Jilin daxue chubanshe), Vol. 1, 932.
Wu Feng 吳楓, ed. (1987). Jianming Zhongguo guji cidian 簡明中國古籍辭典 (Changchun: Jilin wenshi chubanshe), 885.
Xie Guozhen 謝國禎, Wei Zuhui 韋祖輝 (1992). "Zuiweilu 罪惟錄", in Zhongguo da baike quanshu 中國大百科全書, Vol. Zhongguo lishi 中國歷史 (Beijing/Shanghai: Zhongguo da baike quanshu chubanshe), Vol. 3, 1638.