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Chinese Literature
Gushi 古史

The Four Categories of Literature
Gushi 古史 "History of antiquity" is a history written by the Song period 宋 (960-1279) scholar Su Che 蘇轍. Su Che was of the opinion that the oldest universal history of China, Sima Qian's 司馬遷 Shiji 史記, lacked a sense of emotion towards the saintness of the age. He therefore compiled a history of the ages from mythology to the unification of the empire in 221 BCE reflecting his own spirit towards the gloriousness of that age and its most important protagonists.The 60 juan "scrolls" long book imitates the structure of the Shiji and includes 7 dynastic biographies (benji 本紀), 16 hereditary biographies of the feudal states (shijia 世家), as well as 37 normal and collective biographies (liezhuan 列傳), but no treatises. The history includes some materials not used by Sima Qian. Su Che undertook a critical view on the reasons for the excellency of virtuous persons and the downfall of such less inclined towards the Confucian model of benevolent ruler or virtuous minister. Later scholars have added comments to the main text.

Source: Li Xueqin 李學勤, Lü Wenyu 呂文鬰 (ed. 1996), Siku da cidian 四庫大辭典 (Changchun: Jilin daxue chubanshe), Vol. 1, p. 926.

February 27, 2011 © Ulrich Theobald · Mail
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