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Da-Jin guo zhi 大金國志

Jul 3, 2010 © Ulrich Theobald

Da-Jin guo zhi 大金國志 is an unofficial history of the Jurchen state of Jin 金, or the Jin dynasty (1115-1234). It was probably compiled by a Song-period 宋 (960-1279) scholar of Türkish origin named Yuwen Maozhao 宇文懋昭.

Yet contents prove that these "Records of the Great Jin empire" must have been compiled during the Yuan period 元 (1279-1368). It was certainly not written by one single author, but is a collection of different, quite heterogenical, sources. The preface, for example, says that it was submitted to the throne of the Jin emperor five days before the dynasty fell. The author, furthermore, is said to have been a subject of the Song dynasty, but the Song emperors are always called with a less polite designation that shows that the author cannot have been a subject of the Song. The Yuan dynasty, on the other hand, is called "the Great Dynasty".

The Da-Jin guo zhi 大金國志, comprising 26 juan, is written in the style of biographical-thematical histories (jizhuanti 紀傳體) that are not arranged chronologically. The history of its compilation is quite obscure, just like the identity of the author(s). Many parts of the text are borrowed from other books, like Yuan Hao's 元好 (1190-1257) Zhongzhouji 中州集 and the Song annals Sanchao beimeng huibian 三朝北盟會編. Nonetheless it contains valuable historical material of the Jin period and must be used as an addition to the official dynastic history of the Jin period, the Jinshi 金史.

Two prints of the Da-Jin guo shi survive, one published by the Saoyeshanfang Studio 掃葉山房, and one as part of the reprint series Guoxue jiben congshu 國學基本叢書.

Table 1. Contents of Da-Jin guo zhi 大金國志
開國功臣 Kaiguo gongchen Meritorious officials establishing the dynasty
文學 Wenxue Literati
翰苑 Hanyuan The garden of literati from the State Academy
楚國張邦昌,齊國劉豫錄 Chu guo Zhang Bangchang, Qi guo Liu Yu lu Biographies of the usurpers Zhang Bangchang, ruler of Chu, and Liu Yu, ruler of Qi
册文 Cewen Court communication
天文 Tianwen Astronomy
地理 Dili Local administration
制度 Zhidu Political system and organisation
風俗 Fengsu Customs and habits
許奉使行程錄 Xu feng shi xing cheng lu Report of the travel of Xu Kangzong 許亢宗 as an ambassador from the Song court to the Jin court
Sources:
Chen Shu 陳述 (1992). "Da-Jin guo zhi 大金國志", 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, 137.
Gao Wende 高文德, ed. (1995). Zhongguo shaoshu minzu shi da cidian 中國少數民族史大辭典 (Changchun: Jilin jiaoyu chubanshe), 94.
Jing Yi 經易 (1994). "Qidan guo zhi 契丹國志", in Zhou Gucheng 周谷城, ed. Zhongguo xueshu mingzhu tiyao 中國學術名著提要, Vol. Lishi 歷史卷 (Shanghai: Fudan daxue chubanshe), 226.
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. 2, 1977.
Wu Feng 吳楓, ed. (1987). Jianming Zhonggou guji cidian 簡明中國古籍辭典 (Changchun: Jilin wenshi chubanshe), 36.