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Dongguan zouji 東觀奏記

Aug 16, 2013 © Ulrich Theobald

Dongguan zouji 東觀奏記 "Memorials from the Eastern Watchtower" is a collection of semi-historiographical stories written by the late Tang-period 唐 (618-907) scholar Pei Tingyu 裴庭裕, courtesy name Pei Yingyu 裴膺余. He hailed from Wenxi 聞喜 (modern Wenxi, Shanxi) and was an academician (xueshi 學士) of the Hanlin Academy 翰林院 and was made left cavalier attendant-in-ordinary (zuo sanji changshi 左散騎常侍) during the reign of Emperor Zhaozong 唐昭宗 (r. 888-904). In 891 he was ordered to oversee the compilation of the "veritable records" (shilu 實錄), the official annals, of the past three reigns.

As a side-product of this historiographic work he compiled the 3-juan long book Dongguan zouji. In 89 small chapters the book narrates events at the imperial court under the reign of Emperor Xuanzong 唐宣宗 (r. 846-859). Although the thematical range of the book is not very broad, it is an important source for the history of the last decades of the Tang dynasty, and was therefore often used by Sima Guang 司馬光 (1019-1086) for his history Zizhi tongjian 資治通鑒, and by the compilers of the official dynastic history Xintangshu 新唐書.

The most important print of the Dongguan zouji was produced by Liao Quansun 繆荃孫 (1844-1919) during the late Qing period 清 (1644-1911). The book is included in the imperial reprint series Siku quanshu 四庫全書.

Sources:
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, 936.
Wu Feng 吳楓, ed. (1987). Jianming Zhongguo guji cidian 簡明中國古籍辭典 (Changchun: Jilin wenshi chubanshe), 207.