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Chinese Literature
Xiaoshi Xu Houhanshu 蕭氏續後漢書


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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, and one by the Yuan period 元 (1279-1368) scholar Hao Jing 郝經 (see Haoshi Xu Houhanshu 郝氏續後漢書).
Already Xiao Chang's father Xiao Shouming 蕭壽明 was of the opinion that the history of the sucessor state of the Han, the Sanguozhi, preferred the usurpatorious state of Wei 魏 over the state of Shu 蜀, which was seen as the righteous successor to the Han in the eyes of Song period historians. The 47 juan "scrolls" long Xu Houhanshu is thus a revision of historiography. It contains 2 juan of imperial biographies (benji 本紀), 2 juan of chronological tables (biao 表), and 18 juan of normal and collective biographies (liezhuan 列傳), all concerning the state of Shu. The rest of the book is consists of 20 feudal biographies (zaiji 載記) for the states of Wu 吳 and Wei, as well as 5 juan of phonetic and semantic remarks. Compared to the Sanguozhi, Xiao Chang has added 32 biographies for persons of Shu and eliminated 4 biographies. 10 biographies have been shifted from the part of Wei to the part of Shu. 20 biographies of Wu have been eliminated, and 89 biographies of Wei. Xiao Chang relied on the commentaries of Pei Songzhi 裴松之 to the Sanguozhi, for the time before the Jian'an reign 建安 (196-219), those to the Houhanshu. He has not added historical facts but only restructured the texts.


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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