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Chinese Literature
Xixia shushi 西夏書事 "Affairs of the Western Xia Dynasty Written Down"


The Xixia shushi 西夏書事 "Affairs of the Western Xia Dynasty written down" is a history of the Western Xia empire 西夏 (1038-1227) written by the Qing period 清 (1644-1911) historian Wu Guangcheng 吳廣成, courtesy name Wu Xizhai 吳西齋. The 42 juan "scrolls" long book is written in the style of annals. It begins in 881 and end in 1231. The structure imitates that of the famous history Tongjian gangmu 通鑒綱目 by Zhu Xi 朱熹. The official dynastic histories serve as the great guidelines (gang 綱), while other histories and sources, like the various continuations of the Zizhi tongjian 資治通鑒 and the Tongjian gangmu, inofficial histories, memorials and edicts or private literature, serve as the "meshes" (mu 目). It is especially the latter part of the book that contains a lot of material not to be found in the popular histories. Unfortunately, Wu Guangcheng does not indicate his concrete sources, so that it is not easy to reckon the origin of a lot of passages. The book was printed in 1825 by the Xiaoxianshanfang Studio 小峴山房 and reprinted as a faksimile in 1935 by the Wenkui Studio 文奎堂 in Beiping (Beijing).

Source: Li Xueqin 李學勤, Lü Wenyu 呂文鬰 (1996). Siku da cidian 四庫大辭典, vol. 1, p. 903. Changchun: Jilin daxue chubanshe.

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September 7, 2011 © Ulrich Theobald · Mail