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Chinese Literature
Chenshu 陳書

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The Chenshu 陳書 "Book of the Chen" is the official dynastic history (zhengshi 正史) of the Chen dynasty 陳 (557-589). It was written during the early Tang period 唐 (618-907) by Yao Silian 姚思廉 and comprises 36 juan "scrolls" of which 6 are imperial biographies (benji 本紀) and 30 normal biographies (liezhuan 列傳). Treatises are not included at all.
Yao Silian finished his first draft of the Chenshu in 622 but only submitted it to the throne in 629 after revision.
The first draft to a history of the Chen dynasty was compiled by Gu Yewang 顧野王 and Fu Zai 傅縡, but was never finished. Lu Qiong 陸瓊 continued to edit this draft, but the result was not satisfactory. Yao Cha 姚察, father of Yao Silian, revised the Lu version but was not able to finish more than a few chapters. Yao Silian, after his father's death, finished the greatest part of the Chenshu. The shortness of the book has surely to do with the lacking distance of time which made it not necessary to loose a lot of words about a short-lived dynasty.

Source: Zhou Yiliang 周一良 (1992), "Chenshu 陳書", 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, p. 94.

July 11, 2010 © Ulrich Theobald · Mail
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