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Chinese Literature
Ming tongjian 明通鑒


The Four Categories of Literature
Ming tongjian 明通鑑 “Comprehensive mirror of the Ming dynasty” is a chronicle written by Xia Xie 夏燮 (1800 – 1875, courtesy name Qianfu 謙甫 or 嗛父 or Jili 季理, style Xieshan jushi 謝山居士 or Jiangshang jiansou 江上蹇叟). The 100 juan long book was finished in 1862, after more than twenty years of work. The historiographical material for this book is mainly derived from the official dynastic history Mingshi 明史, and also from other books on that time, the Mingshi jishi benmo 明史紀事本末, Tongjian gangmu sanbian 通鑑綱目三編 and Yupi tongjian jilan 御批通鑑輯覽, but the author also includes several hundred other sources of various type, even such that were officially banned by the Qing government. The book is rated as of great scholarly reliability, but it is largely neglected by historians because the ‘veritable records’ of the Ming (Mingshilu 明實錄) were not exhaustively made use of , and because the author heavily relied on non-official sources. A modern edition was published in 1959 by the Zhonghua Book Company 中華書局. Qi Zhaonan 齊召南 wrote a previous history to the Ming tongjian, the 2 juan long Mingjian qianji明鑑前紀. It is part of the collectaneum Jin’eshanguan congshu 金峨山館叢書. Reference: Xuxiu siku quanshu, Zizhi tongjian huike.

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. 890.

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