An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History and Literature

Chunming tuichao lu 春明退朝錄

Aug 18, 2013 © Ulrich Theobald

Chunming tuichao lu 春明退朝錄 "Spring morning records after withdrawing from the court" is a "brush-notes"-style book (biji 筆記) written during the Song period 宋 (960-1279) by Song Minqiu 宋敏求 (1019-1079), courtesy name Cidao 次道. He hailed from Pingji 平棘 in the prefecture of Zhaozhou 趙州 (modern Zhaoxian 趙縣, Hebei) and earned his jinshi degree in 1039. He was a proofreader (jiaokan 校勘) in the historiography institute and auxiliary academician (zhi xueshi 直學士) in the archive of the Longtu Hall 龍圖閣. In 1068, he was because of undue criticism demoted to the post of prefect of Jiangzhou 絳州, but was later called back to the court to be appointed Grand Master of Remonstrance (jianyi dafu 諫議大夫). When Counsellor-in-chief Wang Anshi 王安石 (1021-1086) attacked Lü Gongzhu 呂公著 (1018-1089), Song Minqiu criticized the Counsellor and asked for his dismissal, but Wang Anshi declined. Song continued to criticize Wang Anshi for nominating Li Ding 李定 (1020-1087) as Censor-in-chief.

Song Minqiu used to note down his thoughts on Tang- 唐 (618-907) and early Song-period writers when he withdrew from court sessions, and compiled these to a book. "Spring morning" was the name of his study.

The book of 3 juan length includes a lot of information on the administrative system of the Tang and the Song empires, like the system of state offices at the court or the rules for posthumous titles, but also some stories about individual persons in the central government. The book is therefore a valuable source for the history of the Northern Song period 北宋 (960-1126).

The Chunming tuichao lu is included in the series Baichuan xuehai 百川學海, Xuejin taoyuan 學津討原, Xuehai leibian 學海類編, Rongyuan congshu 榕園叢書, Jifu congshu 畿輔叢書, Congshu jicheng chubian 叢書集成初編 and Shuofu 說部 (Wanwei biecang edition), arranged in 3 juan, and in a single juan in the series Lidai xiaoshi 歷代小史, Tang-Song congshu 唐宋叢書, Jingyin Yuan-Ming shanben congshu 景印元明善本叢書, and in the Shangwu yinshuguan 商務印書館 edition of the Shuofu, where it is not divided into juan. In 1980 the Zhonghua Shuju Press 中華書局 published a modern edition, annotated by Cheng Gang 誠剛, and in a joint edition with the Dongzhai jishi 東齋記事 as part of the collection Tang-Song shiliao biji congkan 唐宋史料筆記叢刊.

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