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Gushibian 古史辨

Jul 3, 2010 © Ulrich Theobald

Gushibian 古史辨 "Evaluations of ancient historiography" is a series of essays of late Qing 清 (1644-1911) and early Republican (1911-1949) historians about the traditional views of Chinese historiography.

From 1926 to 1941 Gu Jiegang 顧頡剛 (1893-1980), Luo Genze 羅根澤 (1900-1960) and Lü Simian 呂思勉 (1884-1957) published a series of articles and correspondences dealing with a multitude of questions of historiography. In the center of discussion was the question of authenticity of old history books and their content. The whole collection, called Gushibian, comprised 350 articles in seven resp. nine volumes.

Antique books like the Classics Zhouyi 周易 "Book of Changes" and the Shijing 詩經 "Book of Songs" that were traditionally seen as compilations by Confucius, were now reinterpreted as books containing divination methods (the first) and love songs (the latter, part Guofeng 國風 "Airs of the states") without any deeper philosophical content in the Confucian sense.

A second target of the critique was the assumption that the ancient emperors like Pan Gu 盤古, Huang Di 黃帝, the Yellow Emperor, and Yu the Great 大禹 had been real persons in history. Gu and his colleagues clearly demonstrated that these persons were but mythology.

And for the first time Gu Jiegang and his collegues discussed the origins of the Yin-Yang theory and correlative thinking and this these beliefs away as superstition.

Under the influence of Western historiography and the May Fourth Movement (wusi yundong 五四運動) Chinese historians now began to make themselves free of the traditional view that all historiographic books and their commentaries reported real facts, and instead adhered to reason and science. The series Gushibian was thus a milestone on the way to modern historiography in China.

Sources:
Chen Qitai 陳其泰 (1999). "Gushibian pai de xingqi ji qi pingjia wenti “古史辨派”的興起及其評價問題", Zhongguo wenhua yanjiu 中國文化研究, 1999 (2).
Feng Feng 馮峰 (2007). "Cong Gushibian qian san ce kann Gushibian yundong de yi ge zhuanxiang 從《古史辨》前三册看“古史辨”運動的一个轉向", Shixue shi yanjiu 史學史研究, 2007 (7).
Gu Hong 顧洪 (1995). "Lun Gushibian xuepai chansheng de xueshu sixiang beijing 論古史辨學派產生的學術思想背景", Zhongguo wenhua yanjiu 中國文化研究, 1995 (5).
Hu Xinsheng 胡新生 (1993). "Lüelun Gushibian pai de gushi yanjiu fangfa 略論“古史辨”派的古史研究方法", Shixue yuekan 史學月刊, 1993 (5).
Liu Lina 刘俐娜 (1988). "Gu Jiegang yu Gushibian pai 顧頡剛與古史辨派", Jindaishi yanjiu 近代史研究, 1988 (8).
Liu Lina 劉利娜 (1992). "Gushibian 古史辨", in Zhongguo da baike quanshu 中國大百科全書, Vol. Zhongguo lishi 中國歷史 (Beijing/Shanghai: Zhongguo da baike quanshu chubanshe), Vol. 1, 258.
Luo Zhitian 羅志田 (2008). "Gushibian de xueshu he sixiang beijing: Shu Luo Xiangliu shao wei renzhi de yi pian jiu wen 《古史辨》的學術和思想背景——述羅香林少為人知的一篇舊文", Shehui kexue zhanxian 社會科學戰綫, 2008 (2).
Shen Changyun 沈長雲 (2006). "Gushibian pai de shixue yichan yu Zhongguo shanggushi tixi de jianshe 古史辨派的史學遺產與中國上古史體系的建設", Shixue jikan 史學集刊, 2006 (7).
Shen Songjin 沈頌金 (2003). "Shilun Gushibian yu kaoguxue de guanxi 試論“古史辨”與考古學的關係", Qi-Lu xuekan 齊魯學刊, 2003 (9).
Si Weizhi 斯維至 (1993). "Gushibian zai shixue shang de gongxian 《古史辨》在史學上的貢獻", Shixue shi yanjiu 史學史研究, 1993 (5).
Zhao Guangxian 趙光賢 (1992). "Gu Jiegang yu Gushibian 顧頡剛與《古史辨》", Shixue shi yanjiu 史學史研究, 1992 (3).
Zhao Lidong 趙利棟 (2000). "Gushibian yu Gushi xinzheng: Gu Jiegang yu Wang Guowei shixue sixiang de yi ge chubu bijiao 《古史辨》與《古史新證》——顧頡剛與王國維史學思想的一個初步比較", Zhejiang xuekan 浙江學刊, 2000 (11).
Zhou Chunyuan 周春元 (1984). "Lun Gushibian pai de shixue 論古史辨派的史學", Shixue shi yanjiu 史學史研究, 1984 (3).
Zhuang Wei 莊葳, Guo Qunyi 郭群一 (1982). "Cong Gushibian kan Gu Jiegang de zhishi fangfa 從《古史辨》看顧頡剛的治史方法", Suzhou Daxue xuebao 蘇州大學學報, 1982 (12).