An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History and Literature

fanglüe 方略, military annals

July 11, 2010 © Ulrich Theobald

The fanglüe 方略 "military annals", in Manchurian bodogon-i bithe ᠪᠣᡩᠣᡤᠣᠨᡳ ᠪᡳᡨᡥᡝ, are chronicles of the main campaigns of the Qing dynasty 清 (1644-1911). They are written in the style of topically arranged histories (jishi benmo 紀事本末) and include selected memorials and edicts from the military archive (fanglüeguan 方略館), which was directly subordinated to the Grand Secretariat (neige 内閣).

The fanglüe were invented by Qing period historiographers in praise of the military campaigns of the Manchu Banners. Most military annals have the title of Pingding... fanglüe 平定…方略 "Military annals of the pacification of...", but not all of them. In a narrower sense, only books compiled by the fanglüeguan are military annals. Yet there are a lot of privetly written books imitating the style of the official military annals that are often included into the wider corpus of fanglüe style annals.

The three largest modern series of military annals are Qingdai fanglüe quanshu 清代方略全書, ed. Beijing: Beijing tushuguan chubanshe 2010 (includes 24 books); Zhongguo fanglüe congshu 中國方略叢書, ed. Taibei: Chengwen chubanshe 1961-1971 (34 books in two series); and Qingdai fanglüe congshu 清代方略叢書, published in a digital version by Airusheng muzhi ziliao ku 愛如生拇指資料庫 (9 books).

Guo Songyi 郭松義 (1992). "Fangzhi 方志", 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. 1, 218-219.