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Baqi tongzhi 八旗通志

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Baqi tongzhi 八旗通志 "Comprehensive statutes of the Eight Banners" is a detailed description of the military, social and administrative structure of the Manchu Banners during the early and middle Qing period 清 (1644-1911). The founder of the Manchu dynasty, Nurhaci (Qing Taizu 清太祖, r. 1616-1626), divided his people and the first allies, including Mongols and Chinese, into eight different so-called "banners" (qi 旗). After the conquest of China this socio-military structure was preserved and kept being valid through the whole Qing period.
The statutes were compiled and published in several parts and steps. The first version was later called Baqi tongzhi chuji 八旗通志初集 "The first collection" and comprised 253 chapters (juan, "scrolls"). The draft was submitted in 1727 and the book was finished in 1739. It covered all aspects of the Banner structure from its origins to the end of the Yongzheng reign 雍正 (1723-1735). In 1772 the bannerman Fulunggan 福隆安 began updating the book that only obtained its final form - and name - in 1796. In the beginning the supplement had also been called erji 二集 "second collection". As sources for the 342 juan of the final version many different types of historiographical books were used: veritable records (shilu 實錄), official statutes (huidian 會典), imperial edicts to the different banners or memorials from bannermen, the local gazetteer from the early Manchu capital Shengjing 盛京 (Mukden, modern Liaoyang 遼陽, Liaoning), but also various official and inoffical documents from the Banner troops and their civil administration in the capital and the provinces of China, as well as private records and documents like tombstone inscriptions (beiwen 碑文) and funeral texts (jiwen 祭文). Such documents would otherwise not have been preserved and are therefore of great historiographical importance. The final version of 1796 included the first version and the supplement, except some few changes. The collective biographies (liezhuan 列傳) were renamed renwuzhi 人物志 "treatises on personalities", the table on state examinations was made a treatise, and a new treatise on clans (shizu 氏族) was compiled.
The content of the Baqi tongzhi covers administrative aspects like the geographical distribution of Banner troops and their families, the land allotted to them, enfeoffments of meritorious banner-leaders, military and civil administration, education, state and official rituals, and the literary works of bannermen, most of whom also participated in the local and central government. Like in many historiographical books, the last part of the Baqi tongzhi contains biographies of eminent persons - males and females - from the Manchu, Mongol and Chinese Banner population.

Treatises (zhi 志)
旗分志 Qifen The different Banners
土田志 Tutian Land allotments
營建志 Yingjian Setting up garrisons
兵制志 Bingzhi Military system
職官志 Zhiguan Offices
學校志 Xuexiao Education
典禮志 Dianli Rituals
藝文志 Yiwen Literature
氏族志 Shizu Clans (only in final version)

Tables (biao 表)
封爵表 Fengjue Hereditary titles
世職表 Shizhi Hereditary offices
八旗大臣表 Baqi dachen Grand ministers of the Banner [command]
宗人表 Zongshi Members of the imperial house
内閣大臣表 Neige dachen Grand ministers of the imperial secretariat
部院大臣表 Buyuan dachen Grand ministers of the ministries
直省大臣表 Zhisheng dachen Grand ministers in the provinces
選舉表/志 Xuanju State examinations and appointment (later made a treatise)
内大臣年表 Nei dachen nianbiao Year-by-year table of the Grand Ministers in the secretariat (only in final version)

Biographies (zhuan 傳) (later reorganised as treatise 人物志 Renwu Personalities)
宗室王公傳 Zongshi wanggong Princes and dukes of the imperial house
名臣傳 Mingchen Famous ministers
勛臣傳 Xunchen Meritorious officials
忠烈傳 Zhonglie [Officials displaying] loyalty
循吏傳 Xunli Benevolent officials
儒林傳 Rulin The forest of scholars
孝義傳 Xiaoyi [Officials displaying] filial piety
列女傳 Lienü Eminent females

Source: Xu Hengjin 徐恆晉 (1992), "Baqi tongzhi 八旗通志", 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, pp. 10f.

July 3, 2010 © Ulrich Theobald · Mail
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