An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History, Literature and Art

Han Wu gushi 漢武故事

Nov 28, 2010 © Ulrich Theobald

Han Wu gushi 漢武故事 "Stories of Emperor Han Wudi" is a collection of stories about Emperor Wu of the Han dynasty 漢武帝 (r. 141-87 BCE) traditionally attributed to the Later Han period 後漢 (25-220 CE) scholar Ban Gu 班固. Of the original 2 juan "scrolls", only one is preserved. The book was first categorized as miscellaneous history (zashi 雜史) and was later put into the novella category (xiaoshuo 小説). It might have been compiled during the Southern Dynasties period 南朝 (420~589), probably by the Qi period 齊 (479-502) scholar Wang Jian 王儉, or, somewhat earlier, by the Eastern Jin period 東晉 (317-420) writer Ge Hong 葛洪. But quotations from the Han Wu gushi by Pan Yue 潘岳 show that it must have existed somewhat before.
The Han Wu gushi includes 53 stories, and the most complete version of it is to be found in Lu Xun's 魯迅 reprint series Gujin xiaoshuo gouchen 古今小說鈎沉.
The earliest extant print is that in the series Gujin shuohai 古今說海 from the Ming period 明 (1368-1644). It is also included in the series Lidai xiaoshi 歷代小史, Gujin yishi 古今逸史 and Siku quanshu 四庫全書. It can also be found in Hong Yixuan's 洪頤煊 Wenjingtang congshu 問經堂叢書 and Wang Renjun’s 王仁俊 Yuhan shanfang ji yishu bubian 玉函山房輯佚書補編.

Liu Zhaoyun 劉兆雲 (1991). "Han Wu gushi 漢武故事", in: Zhongguo wenxue da cidian 中國文學大辭典, vol. 3, p. 1681. Ed. Ma Liangchun 馬良春, Li Futian 李福田. Tianjin: Tianjin renmin chubanshe.