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Zhenguan zhengyao 貞觀政要

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Zhenguan zhengyao 貞觀政要 "Essentials about politics from the Zhenguan reign (627-649)" is a compendium on statecraft from the reign of Emperor Taizong 唐太宗 (r. 626-649) of the Tang dynasty 唐 (618-907). The book was compiled by Wu Jing 吳競 who worked in the Historiographic Institute (guoshiguan 國史館). Two of Wu's writings, a history of the founding of the Tang, the Tangshu 唐書 in 98 juan "scrolls" (not the great Jiutangshu 舊唐書!), and the Tang chunqiu 唐春秋 in 30 juan, are lost. The Zhenguan zhengyao is 10 juan long and deals with different matters of statecraft in 40 chapters. The content is arranged in a pattern of question and answer in which the emperor requests advice by his highest ministers Wei Zheng 魏徵, Wang Gui 王珪, Fang Xuanling 房玄齡, Du Ruhui 杜如晦, and many others. The emperor is depicted as a virtuous ruler possessing the necessary talent to govern the dynasty. The Zhenguan zhengyao attracted much attention not only by other emperors of the Tang dynasty but by rulers of all later ages, and virtually served as a textbook for crown princes.
There are more than 20 hand-written manuscripts of the 12th century surviving, most of which are stored in libraries in Japan. There are also 12 woodblock prints preserved from the Song period 宋 (960-1279). The oldest surviving moveable-type print dates from 1370, stored in the Beijing Library 北京圖書館. A print by Ge Zhi 戈直 from 1333 includes many Song and Yuan 元 (1279-1368) period commentaries, as from Liu Fang 柳芳, Ouyang Xiu 歐陽修, or Sima Guang 司馬光. It was, revised by a Ming period 明 (1368-1644) editor, republished in 1978 by the Shanghai guji press 上海古籍出版社. In 1962 Harada Taneshige 原田種成 published a large number of the manuscript versions stored in Japan.

1 君道 Jundao The way of the ruler
2 政體 Zhengti The body of government
3 任賢 Renxian Appointing worthies
4 求諫 Qiujian Demanding critique
5 納諫 Najian Acceptin critique, app 直諫 Zhijian Direct critique
6 君臣鑒戒 Junchen jianjie Observation of lord and ministers
7 擇官 Zeguan Selecting officials
8 封建 Fengjian Enfeoffment
9 太子諸王定分 Taizu zhuwang dingfen Distinction between the heir apparent and other princes
10 尊敬師傅 Zunjing shifu Respect of teachers
11 教戒太子諸王 Jiaojie taizi zhuwang Instruction of the princes
12 規諫太子 Guijian taizi Regulating and admonishing the heir apparent
13 仁義 Renyi Benevolence and righteousness
14 論忠義 Lun zhongyi Discussion of loyalty and righteousness
15 孝友 Xiaoyu Instructing friends
16 公平 Gongping Fairness
17 誠信 Chengxin Sincerity and trustworthiness
18 儉約 Jianyue Austerity and restriction
19 謙讓 Qianrang Respect and resignation
20 仁惻 Rence The XXX
21 慎所好 Shen suo hao
22 慎言語 Shen yanyu
23 杜讒邪 Du chanxie XXX
24 悔過 Huiguo XXX
25 奢縱 Shezong XXX
26 貪鄙 Tanbin XXX
27 崇儒學 Chong ruxue The veneration of Confucian scholarship
28 文史 Wenshi Literature and historiography
29 禮樂 Liyue Ceremonies and ritual music
30 務農 Wunong The duty of agriculture
31 刑法 Xingfa Penal law
32 赦令 Sheling Amnesty
33 貢賦 Gongfu Tributes and taxes
34 辯興 Bianxing XXX
35 征伐 Zhengfa Punitive campaigns
36 安邊 Anbian Pacification of the borderlands
37 行幸 Xingfu Inspection tours
38 畋獵 Tianlie Imperial hunts
39 災祥 Zaixiang Natural diasters and omina
40 慎終 Shenzhong

Source: Wu Feng 吳楓 (1992), "Zhenguan zhengyao 貞觀政要", in Zhongguo da baike quanshu 中國大百科全書, Zhongguo lishi 中國歷史 (Beijing/Shanghai: Zhongguo da baike quanshu chubanshe), Vol. 3, p. 1519.

3 July, 2010 © Ulrich Theobald · Mail
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