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Chinese Literature
Qiantang yishi 錢塘遺事


The Four Categories of Literature
Qiantang yishi 錢塘遺事 "Remnants of the history of Qiantang" is a short history of the Southern Song period 南宋 (1127-1279) written by the Yuan period 元 (1279-1368) writer Liu Yiqing 劉一清, who was a native of the Southern Song capital Lin'an 臨安 (modern Hangzhou 杭州, Zhejiang) himself. The 10 juan "scrolls" long book concentrates on the first four emperors of the Southern Song but does also include an outline of the second half of the period. Liu Yiqing did not rely on official sources but wrote his book according to what he heard from historians. His focus is on military history and the book therefore includes chapter titles like "The enthronement of Emperor Duzong", "The defeat at Xiangfan", or "Calling the troops to adhort the prince". Liu Yiqing was also interested on the promotion and dismission of competent and corrupt grand ministers, as described in the chapters "Li Guan takes down his official cap", "Jia Sidao usurps power" or "The cruelties of Counsellor Jia". The details included in his history are not to be found in official histories, which makes the Qiantang yishi a very useful book for the history of the Southern Song. Part of this information is also to be found in other inofficial histories of that period of time, like Helin yulu 鶴林玉露, Qidong yeyu 齊東野語, or Gu Hang zaji 古杭雜記.
The Qiantang yishi is included in the Qing period 清 (1644-1911) version of the collection Shuofu 說郛, and in the collectanea Gujin shuobu congshu 古今說部叢書 and Wulin zhanggu congbian 武林掌故叢編.


Source: Wu Feng 吳楓 (ed. 1987), Jianming Zhongguo guji cidian 簡明中國古籍辭典 (Changchun: Jilin wenshi chubanshe), p. 708.

March 1, 2012 © Ulrich Theobald · Mail
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