An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History, Literature and Art

Chongzhen changbian 崇禎長編

Jul 3, 2010 © Ulrich Theobald

Chongzhen changbian 崇禎長編 "Extended records of the Chongzhen reign" is a kind of supplement to the veritable records (shilu 實錄) of the Ming period 明 (1368-1644), Mingshilu 明實錄.

In the very late Ming period, Wang Ji 王楫 (d. 1636, courtesy name Jichuan 濟川 or Mengfu 夢符), 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) - 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.

Jiang Jingnan 姜靜楠 (1993). "Chongzhen changbian 崇禎長編", in Fang Ming 方鳴 et al, ed. Ershi shiji Zhongguo xueshu yaoji da cidian 二十世紀中國學術要籍大辭典 (Beijing: Zhonggong zhongyang dangxiao chubanshe), 493.
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, 108.
Wu Feng, ed. 吳楓 (1987). Jianming Zhongguo guji cidian 簡明中國古籍辭典 (Jilin: Changchun wenshi chubanshe), 791.