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Jiu Wudaishi 舊五代史

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The Jiu Wudaishi 舊五代史 in 150 juan "scrolls" is the first official dynastic history (zhengshi 正史) of the Five Dynasties 五代 (907-960). Each of the Five Dynastes was seen as a separate unit (similar to the Sanguozhi 三國志 that is separated in the Weizhi 魏志, Wuzhi 吳志 and Shuzhi 蜀志) and the whole unit as a collection of five separate books, and it was therefore originally called Liang-Tang-Jin-Han-Zhou shu 梁唐晉漢周書. It was compiled on order of Emperor Taizu 宋太祖 (r. 960-975) of the Song dynasty 宋 (960-1279) by Lu Duoxun 盧多遜, Hu Meng 扈蒙, Zhang Dan 張澹, Li Mu 李穆, and Li Fang 李昉. To avoid confusion with a history of the Five Dynasties published by Ouyang Xiu 歐陽修 in 1207 (a book with the original title Wudai shiji 五代史記 "History records of the Five Dynasties") the Liang-Tang-Jin-Han-Zhou shu was renamed Jiu Wudaishi "The old history of the Five Dynasties", and Ouyang Xiu's book was called Xin Wudaishi 新五代史 "The new history of the Five Dynasties".
In both books the dynasties of southern China, the so-called Ten States 十國 that were de jure subservient to the Five Dynasties in the north but de facto politically independant states, had to be incorporated by a special kind of biography, the shizai 世載 "records of the hereditary state of...", a practice already known from the Jinshu 晉書, the official dynastic history of the Jin dynasty 晉 (265-420), where the barbarian Sixteen States 十六國 (300~430) are dealt as feudal states under the Jin empire.
The main source for the compilation of the "Old history" were the veritable records (shilu 實錄) of the particular dynasties and states, but also precursors like Fan Zhi's 范質 book Wudai tonglu 五代通錄. After the publication of Ouyang Xiu's "New history", the Jiu Wudaishi was almost forgotten and was only "rediscovered" and supplemented by notes and a critical apparatus during the Qing period 清 (1644-1911). The now extant book is therefore not identical to the original but consists of fragments that had to be puzzled together from quotations in other books. Nonetheless the now extant Jiu Wudaishi still preserves a great amount of source material that can be used as a supplement to the much shorter Xin Wudaishi.

Source: Liu Naihe 劉乃和 (1992), "Jiu Wudaishi 舊五代史", 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, p. 500.

July 11, 2010 © Ulrich Theobald · Mail
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