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Shengchao xunjie zhuchen lu 勝朝殉節諸臣錄


The Four Categories of Literature
(Qinding) Shengchao xunjie zhuchen lu (欽定)勝朝殉節諸臣錄 "(Imperially endorsed) Records of the subjects who had loyally died for the defeated dynasty" is a collection of biographies of high officials from the Ming period 明 (1368-1644) that was compiled on imperial order of the Qianlong Emperor 乾隆 (r. 1736-1795) in 1776. Most persons included in the collection had participated in the armed resistance against the conquest of the Ming empire by the Manchus, founders of the Qing dynasty 清 (1644-1911), some others lost their lives during the suppression of various rebellions against the Ming, and quite a few resisted the usurpation of prince Zhu Di 朱棣 (Emperor Chengzu 明成祖, the Yongle Emperor 永樂, r. 1403-1424) in the early Ming period. The compilation was supervised by the two members of the State Council (junjichu 軍機處), the Manchu Šuhede 舒赫德 and the Chinese Yu Minzhong 于敏中.
The 12 juan "scrolls" long book is divided into three parts, according to "moral" criteria. The first category includes 33 persons of such an outstanding conduct (zhuozhe 卓著) that the rewards for their integrity deserve to be transmitted to their descendants. They are granted specific posthumous honorific titles (zhuanyi 專諡). The second category includes persons that died as martyrs for their dynasty's cause (kangkai jiuyi 慷慨就義). They deserve to be rewarded with common posthumous honorific titles (tongyi 通諡). 124 persons of this category were "loyal martyrs" (zhonglie 忠烈), 122 such of loyal conduct (zhongjie 忠節), 377 persons "deplorable as martyrs" (liemin 烈湣), and 882 persons "deplorable because of their unselfishness" (jiemin 節湣). The lowest category includes common people from low officials and scribes down to "firewood cutters" and generally people without an eminent family background. It includes 2,249 biographies. The collection refrained from including persons that had proved themselves as enemies of the Ming dynasty at an earlier point of time, like Yang Weiyuan 楊維垣 who had participated in factional strives at the court.
The most important sources for the biographies was information from the official dynastic history Mingshi 明史, as well as the imperial geography Da-Qing yitong zhi 大清一統志 and a large number of local gazetteers. Those persons that were granted a disctint posthumous honorific title all have a small biography, but those venerated in "shrines for the loyal and upright" (zhongyi ci 忠義祠) are only listed by name.
The Shengchao xunjie zhuchen lu is included in the imperial collectaneum Siku quanshu 四庫全書 and was again printed separately in 1797 by Xie Qikun 謝啟昆, a version that is today owned by the library of Nankai University 南開大學圖書館.


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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. 974.

June 12, 2013 © Ulrich Theobald · Mail
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