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Chinese Literature
Chongzhen changbian 崇禎長編


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The Chongzhen changbian 崇禎長編 "Extended records of the Chongzhen reign (1628-1644)" is a kind of supplement to the veritable records (shilu 實錄) of the Ming period 明 (1368-1644), the Mingshilu 明實錄. At the beginning of the Qing period 清 (1644-1911) Wang Ji 王楫, who was responsible for recording history in the Hanlin Academy 翰林院 for the Ming dynasty, started compiling a detailed chronicle about the last ruler of the Ming, the Chongzhen Emperor 崇禎 (r. 1628-1644), in the style of the veritable records. The annals cover the years from 1627 until 1632, the last two sections (juan "scrolls") - that were obviously not compiled by Wang Ji himself - cover a few months of the years 1643 and 1644. The original version of the Chongzhen changbian is not discovered yet and it is not exactly known how of many juan it consisted; there are only 68 juan surviving, 66 being compiled by Wang Ji himself.
The Chongzhen Annals contain many palace memorials and official documents of the Ming court that are of important historical value. Of the Manchu invaders' military activities, not much is recorded, as the early Qing government did not want to publish openly too much information about their military system and organisation, but also to forestall critique of their founding of a dynasty in the Chinese pattern.
Today, the Chongzhen changbian is treated as an appendix to the Mingshilu.


Source: Ren Daobin 任道斌 (1992), "Chongzhen changbian 崇禎長編", 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. 108.

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July 3, 2010 © Ulrich Theobald · Mail
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