- An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History, Literature and Art
About [Location: HOME > Literature > Four Categories > Historiography > Annals and Chronicles > Xu Song biannian zizhi tongjian]

Chinese Literature
Xu Song biannian zizhi tongjian 續宋編年資治通鑒

The Four Categories of Literature
The Xu Song biannian zizhi tongjian 續宋編年資治通鑒 "Continuation of the Comprehensive Mirror to Aid in Government covering the Song period" is a continuation to Sima Guang's 司馬光 Zizhi tongjian 資治通鑒. The 15 juan "scrolls" long book was written by the Southern Song period 南宋 (1127-1279) scholar Liu Shiju 劉時舉 and was finished during the reign of Emperor Lizong 宋理宗 (r. 1224-1264). It covers the time period from 1127 to 1224 and so narrates the reigns of four emperors of the Southern Song, Gaozong 宋高宗 (r. 1127-1162), Xiaozong 宋孝宗 (r. 1162-1189), Guangzong 宋光宗 (r. 1189-1194) and Ningzong 宋寧宗 (r. 1194-1224). The language is very short and concise, but very clear and easy to read. Success and failure, danger and safety of the country in a troublesome time are described in detail. The book is arranged chronologically but includes coherent topics in separate chapters. Liu made use of his book to criticize indecent political decisions and to praise excellent decisions and behaviour.The scholar Song Yizun 宋彝尊 has added a poem in which he rates Liu Shiju' book as better than the compilations of Wang Zongmu 王宗沐 (Song-Yuan zizhi tongjian 宋元資治通鑒) and Xue Yingqi 薛應旂 (who wrote a book with the same title as Wang Zongmu, viz.).
During the Yuan period 元 (1279-1368) some part of later commentaries were erroneously copied with the main text, so that the Yuan edition is not very good. There is a manuscript version surviving, as well as the editions in the collectanea Xuejin taoyuan 學津討原, Congchu jicheng 叢書集成 and Siku quanshu 四庫全書. In 1927 the Dongfang xuehui 東方學會 published a modern edition.

There is another book of this title, written by the early Southern Song period 南宋 (1127-1279) historian Li Tao 李燾, author of the Xu zizhi tongjian changbian 續資治通鋻長編. In his 18 juan "scrolls" long book he only deals with matters from the Northern Song period 北宋 (960-1126). The arrangement is largely the same as in the book Songshi quanwen 宋史全文, but includes a lot of errors and inconsistencies, and suffers from incompleteness. This book is not listed among Li Tao's other bibliographic entries, so that it must be assumed that it is a forgery sold under the name of the famous historian. A copy survived in the library of Bao Shigong 鮑士恭 in Zhejiang.

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. 904.

1.-7. 宋高宗 Reign of Emperor Gaozong (r. 1127-1162)
8.-10. 宋孝宗 Reign of Emperor Xiaozong (r. 1162-1189)
11. 宋光宗 Reign of Emperor Guangzong (r. 1189-1194)
12.-15. 宋寜宗 Reign of Emperor Ningzong (r. 1194-1224)

January 7, 2012 © Ulrich Theobald · Mail
Chinese Literature over time