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Jinshi 金史

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The Jinshi 金史 is the official dynastic history (zhengshi 正史) of the Jurchen Jin dynasty 金 (1115-1234). It was compiled under guidance of the Mongol prince Toghto (Chinese: Tuotuo 脫脫) and is 135 juan "scrolls" long. It is part of the work of a compilation of the three histories of the dynasties that preceded the Yuan dynasty 元 (1279-1368), the Song (960-1279), Liao (907-1125) and Jin. In 1241 emperor Yuan Shizu 元世祖 (Qubilai Qan, r. 1260-1294) ordered the compilation of an official dynastic history of the Liao and Jin dynasties, in 1279 that of the Song dynasty. Yet the whole work only came into process in 1343 under the supervision of Toghto and Ouyang Xuan 歐陽玄, a scholar from the Hanlin Academy 翰林學院. Concerning the Jin period, the compilation team made use of the veritable records (shilu 實錄) of the Jin dynasty. The material for the last decades of the Jin period were also taken from private sources, like Yuan Haowen's 元好問 Wangchen zabian 王辰雜編, Liu Qi's 劉祁 Guiqianzhi 歸潛志, Wang E's 王鄂 Runan yishi 汝南遺事, and Yang Huan's 楊奐 Tianxing jinjian 天興近鑑. This kind of source material makes the Jinshi much more reliable than its sister-works, the Liaoshi 遼史 and Songshi 宋史. Like the history of the "barbarian", i. e. Non-Chinese Northern Wei dynasty 北魏 (386-534), the Weishu 魏書, the Jinshi has an introductory chapter reporting the previous history with the origin of the Jurchens and their foundation of the dynasty. Another specialty of the History of the Jin are the biographies of some fathers of emperors that are appended as royal biographies (19 shiji bu 世紀補) to the imperial biographies (benji 本紀) of their sons. Further, among the tables (biao 表) a list of embassadors to and from the Song, the Western Xia 西夏 (1038-1227) and the empire of Koryŏ 高麗 (Korea) is to be found (60-62 Jiaopin biao 交聘表). The last chapter of the Jinshi is an explanation of Jurchen language terms in Chinese (Jinguo yu jie 金國語解).
Through all these advantages and specialties, many faults and errors made necessary a thourough revision that was undertaken during the Qing period 清 (1644-1911).
There is another, inofficial history of the Jin empire, the Da-Jin guo zhi 大金國志.

Source: Chen Shu 陳述 (1992), "Jinshi 金史", 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. 460 f.

July 11, 2010 © Ulrich Theobald · Mail
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