An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History, Literature and Art

Ming mingchen wanyan lu 明名臣琬琰錄

Oct 24, 2013 © Ulrich Theobald

Ming mingchen wanyan lu 明名臣琬琰錄 "Esteemed Records Famous Ministers of the Ming Period" is a collection of biographies of eminent Ming-period 明 (1368-1644) officials compiled by Xu Hong 徐紘 (fl. 1500), courtesy name Chaowen 朝文. He hailed from Wujin 武進 (modern Wujin, Jiangsu), obtained his jinshi degree during the Hongzhi reign-period 弘治 (1488-1505) and had the highest office of vice surveillance commissioner (anchasi fushi 按察司副史) of Yunnan.

The Ming mingchen wanyan lu consists of 24 juan of main text and 22 juan of supplementary biographies (Xulu 續錄). It was written as a continuation of Du Dagui's 杜大圭 collection Mingchen beizhuan wanyan ji 名臣碑傳琬琰集 from the Song period 宋 (960-1279) and includes the biographies of 107 persons in the main part and 95 persons in the supplementary part, from the Hongwu 洪武 (1368-1398) to the Hongzhi reign-periods.

The biographies include original sources like inscriptions of steles, tombstones, essays, official and private biographies, local gazetteers and official writings like memorials to the throne. Xu Hong's book is a valuable documentary collection that fills gaps in the official biographies of important Ming period ministers and officials. It is included in the imperial series Siku quanshu 四庫全書.

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. 1, 984.
Wu Feng 吳楓, ed. (1987). Jianming Zhongguo guji cidian 簡明中國古籍辭典 (Changchun: Jilin wenshi chubanshe), 502.