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Haoshi Xu Houhanshu 郝氏續後漢書

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Xu Houhanshu 續後漢書 "Continuation of the Book of the Later Han Dynasty" is a sequel to the official history of the Later Han dynasty 後漢 (25-220) , the Houhanshu 後漢書, and an alternative history to the Sanguozhi 三國志, the official history of the Three Kingdoms period 三國 (220-280). There are two books of this title, one written by the Song period 宋 (960-1279) historian Xiao Chang 蕭常 (see Haoshi Xu Houhanshu 蕭氏續後漢書), and one by the Yuan period 元 (1279-1368) scholar Hao Jing 郝經.
Hao Jing was a reputated historian at the very end of the Song period and after the downfall of the Song became a subject of the Yuan. He had the same intention as Xiao Chang, namely to revise the Sanguozhi in respect of the question which of the three empires or dynasties, the Wei 魏, Wu 吳 or Shu 蜀, was the righteous successor to the Han dynasty. While the Sanguozhi interpreted the Wei dynasty, founded by the family Cao 曹, as the worthy successor, Song period scholars saw Liu Bei 劉備 as the righteous emperor. A restructuring of the Sanguozhi was already done by Xiao Chang, but Hao Jing, living in northern China, never got a copy of Xiao's Xu Houhanshu.
Hao Jing's Xu Houhanshu is 90 juan "scrolls" long (actually 130 juan, some of those divided). Unlike Xiao, Hao Jing was an expert in text critique and investigated Pei Songzhi's commentary much better than Xiao Chang had done. Emperor Zhaolie 昭烈帝 of Han (Shu, r. 221-222), i. e. Liu Bei, is given an imperial biography (benji 本紀), while the rulers of the other two states are dealt with in normal biographies (liezhuan 列傳). The biographies of their subjects are arranged in the order Han, Wei and Wu. There are also collective biographies on Confucian scholars (ruxue 儒学), a bibliography (wenyi 文藝), persons of excellent conduct (xingren 行人) and benevolent scholars (yishi 義士). Hao Jing also added 8 juan of tables (biao 表), which are totally missing in the Sanguozhi as well as in Xiao Chang's Xu Houhanshu. For each juan, Hao Jing has added a preface and a poem of praise in which he explains what is to be learnt from the history of the respective chapter. His Xu Houhanshu was printed, along with his collected works, Linchuan ji 陵川集, during the Yanyou reign 延祐 (1314-1320). Unfortunately his book is not completely preserved. The edition in the collectanea Siku quanshu 四庫全書 is therefore not complete but only includes the surviving parts. Places different from the Sanguozhi are marked with commentaries written by Gou Zongdao 苟宗道.

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. 927.

April 28, 2011 © Ulrich Theobald · Mail
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