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Dongdu shilüe 東都事略

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Dongdu shilüe 東都事略 "Short account on the Eastern Capital [period]" is an alternative history of the Northern Song period 北宋 (960-1126) written by Wang Cheng 王稱 (sometimes falsely written 王偁). Wang Cheng was an official of the historiographic compilation bureau of the Southern Song 南宋 (1127-1279) and thus had access to important sources that were not used in the official dynastic history of the Song, the Songshi 宋史, which was only compiled under the successor dynasty of Yuan 元 (1279-1368). Capital of the Northern Song was Kaifeng 開封 (modern Kaifeng/Henan), at that time called the "Eastern Capital" (Dongdu 東都, in contrast to Chang'an 長安 [modern Xi'an 西安/Shaanxi], the old "western capital", or Luoyang 洛陽 [modern Luoyang/Henan], also located more to the west), hence the name of this book. The whole history is 130 juan "scrolls" long, among these 12 juan for imperial biographies (diji 帝紀), 5 juan of biographies of noble families (shijia 世家), 105 juan of normal biographies including the empresses (liezhuan 列傳), and 8 appendent monographs about foreign countries including the Liao 遼 (907-1125), Jin 金 (1115-1234) and Western Xia 西夏 (1038-1227) empires, competitors to the Song. Although this history, written in the traditional biographical-thematical style (jizhuanti 紀傳體), shows a rather simplistic literary technique, it can not be omitted when studying the history of that period.

Source: Xu Guanglie 徐光烈 (1992), "Dongdu shilüe 東都事略", 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, p. 177.

July 3, 2010 © Ulrich Theobald · Mail
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