An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History, Literature and Art

Manzhou yuanliu kao 滿洲源流考

Jul 3, 2010 © Ulrich Theobald

The 20-juan long book (Qinding) Manzhou yuanliu kao (欽定)滿洲源流考"(Imperially endorsed) Studies in the detailed history of the Manchus" is a history of the early Manchus compiled on a decree of the Qianlong Emperor 乾隆帝 (r. 1736-1795) and submitted to the throne in 1777 by Agūi 阿桂 (1717-1797), Yu Minzhong 于敏中 (1714-1779) and Hešen 和珅 (1750-1799).

The book consists of four parts, namely the Manchu families, the territory, its topography, and national habits. All parts go back to the oldest history of China's northwestern region (what later became known as Manchuria; modern Liaoning, Jilin and Heilongjiang), beginning with the putative ancestors of the Manchus, the Sushen 肅慎, Yilou 挹婁, Wuji 勿吉 and Mohe 靺鞨, until the time when the direct ancestors of the Manchus, the Jurchens, founded the Jin empire 金 (1115-1234), and on to the founding of the Manchu empire under Nurhaci (Qing Taizu 清太祖, r. 1616-1626).

Although the book is of course very important for the early history of the people of the Manchus a great part of it is an artificial construction of a continuing past that never existed in the described shape. This is true for the history of the Jurchens in antiquity as well as for the history of the region of Jianzhou 建州 during the late Ming period 明 (1368-1644).

Table 1. Contents of the Manzhou yuanliu kao 滿洲源流考
1.-7. 部族 Buzu The tribes
8.-13. 疆域 Jiangyu The region and its borders
14.-15. 山川 Shanchuan Mountains and rivers
16.-20. 國俗 Guosu Customs and habits
Chen Jiahua 陳佳華 (1992). "Manzhou yuanliu kao 滿洲源流考", in Zhongguo da baike quanshu 中國大百科全書, Vol. Minzu 民族 (Beijing/Shanghai: Zhongguo da baike quanshu chubanshe), 269.
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), 2393.
Sun Wenliang 孫文良 (1987). "Manzhou yuanliu kao bianxi 《滿洲源流考》辨析", Shehui kexue jikan 社會科學輯刊, 1987 (6).
Wang Zhaoming 王兆明, Fu Langyun 傅朗云, ed. (1991). Zhonghua gu wenxian da cidian 中華古文獻大辭典, Vol. Dili 地理卷 (Changchun: Jilin wenshi chubanshe), 382.
Wu Feng 吳楓, ed. (1987). Jianming Zhongguo guji cidian 簡明中國古籍辭典 (Changchun: Jilin wenshi chubanshe), 903.
Wu Songlin 吳松林 (2009). "Manzhou yuanliu kao zongshu 《滿洲源流考》綜述", Minying keji 民營科技, 2009 (12).
Xue Hong 薛虹 (1992). "Qinding Manzhou yuanliu kao 欽定滿洲源流考", 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. 2, 782.
Yang Qingzhen 楊慶鎮 (1993). "Manzhou yuanliu kao 滿洲源流考", in Shi Quanchang 石泉長, ed. Zhonghua baike yaolan 中華百科要覽 (Shenyang: Liaoning renmin chubanshe), 54.