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Guochao xianzheng lu 國朝獻徵錄

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Guochao xianzheng lu 國朝獻徵錄 "Evident (worthies) of Our Dynasty" is a collection of biographies of persons from the Ming period 明 (1368-1644). The author is Jiao Hong 焦竑 (1540-1620), one of the most important members of the Hanlin Academy 翰林院 during the late Ming period. He compiled a bibliography (jingjizhi 經籍志) of the imperial history of Ming compiled at the end of the 16th century and wrote a whole series of books on Daoism and Yijing 易經 studies: Yiquan 易荃, Bogongjie 帛貢解, Laozi yi 老子翼, Zhuangzi yi 莊子翼, Xunguo zhongchen lu 遜國忠臣錄, Yutang congyu 玉堂叢語, Danyuanji 澹園記, Jiaoshi bicheng 焦氏筆乘, Jiaoshi leilin 焦氏類林, Zhongyuan wenxian 中原文獻, Sushu kanwu 俗書刊誤, and others.
In his 120 juan "scrolls" long book Guochao xianzheng lu he assembled the biographies of state officials and other eminent persons from the beginning of the Ming period to 1566. He made use of a vast range of primary sources, from imperial edicts, local gazetteers, tomb inscriptions, stone inscriptions (beiming 碑銘), inofficial histories, official conduct descriptions (xingzhuang 行狀), and inofficial biographies. State officials are arranged according to their rank and their position, from holders of hereditary titles and members of the Imperial Secretariat down to the local magistrates. Persons not holding an official post are grouped in the traditional categories of persons of filial conduct (xiaozi 孝子), the Forest of Scholars (rulin 儒林), literati (yiyuan 藝苑), and so on. For most of the biographies Jiao Hong indicated his primary source which is of great help for the reconstruction of historiographical sources. The Guochao xianzheng lu is much more detailed and more rich in language than Xu Hong's 徐紘 Mingchen wanyan lu 名臣琬琰錄 and served in many cases as material for the later compilation of the official dynastic history of the Ming period, the Mingshi 明史. It was still highly esteemed in the 18th century but scholars of the 19th century despised Jiao Hong's book as not trustful enough to provide material for an official dynastic history.
There was one print made during the Ming period but during the literary inquisition during the Qianlong reign 乾隆 (1736-1795) the circulation of the book was prohibited. Therefore only very few copies have survived. 1965 the Taiwanese Xuesheng shuju press 學生書局 published it as part of the collectanea Zhongguo shixue congshu 中國史學叢書.


Source: Wang Chunyu 王春瑜 (1992), "Guochao xianzheng lu 國朝獻徵錄", 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. 281 f.

July 19, 2010 © Ulrich Theobald · Mail
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