Historical Sources (SGZ, ZZTJ, HHS, etc.)

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Historical Sources (SGZ, ZZTJ, HHS, etc.)

Unread postby Erdrick » Fri Jan 10, 2003 2:48 am

We all know that the SGZ is the main source for historical information on the Romance of the Three Kingdoms; but, there are the other ones, (ZZTJ comes to mind)

I was hoping to compile a complete (or as near complete list) as possible of historic sources for this period.

If you know some, (could be kingdom specific sources), that would be great. I am pretty much looking for the original sources, not translations of parts or derivative works, (i.e., Rafe de Crispigny's works, (Generals of the South, Man from the Margin, etc...) wouldn't really count; of course, if you have those books, you could list his sources...)

The format I am planning to use is:

(Pinyin title (if you know the tones, feel free to use them)) Abbreviation- Translation- Author (any additional notes, like later commentaries)



(San Guo Zhi) SGZ- Record of the Three States/Kingdoms- Chen Shou(later given commentary by Pei Songzhi)

() ZZTJ- -



I would also request an old-fashioned copy-paste of the list, when additions are being made, to facilitate things; (help prevent double/triple listing, etc). Also, it will let's newcomers see the full list. Thank you
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Re: Historical Sources

Unread postby rcsha » Fri Jan 10, 2003 4:02 am

(Mastering the Art of War) ?- Essays on Leadersip (ZL) and Studies of Strategies (LJ)- Zhuge Liang and Liu Ji (specifically the part by Liu Ji as it has some stories from the Three Kingdoms Era)
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Unread postby Lady Wu » Sun Jan 12, 2003 4:50 am

Zi Zhi Tong Jian (ZZTJ) - "Comprehensive Mirror for Aid in Government" - Sima Guang (completed AD1084) - commentary by Hu Sanxing (Yuan dynasty?)

Hou Han Shu (HHS) - "History of Later Han" - Fan Ye

Jin Shu - "History of Jin" - (I don't know who the author is...)

I believe that there is a compilation of all the writings done during the 3 kingdoms period, called the Quan Sanguo Wen ("Complete writings of the Three Kingdoms"), though I'm not sure who the editor is or who still publishes it.
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Unread postby Mega Zarak » Sun Jan 12, 2003 5:18 am

I think the main author of Jin Shu is Fang Xuan Ling of Tang Dynasty (房玄龄, biography found in chapter 16, Lie Zhuan section of Jiu Tang Shu).

Chen Shou's SGZ is primarily based on Wang Shen's Wei Shu (Book of Wei), Wei Zhao's Wu Shu (Book of Wu) and Yu Huan's Wei Lue. (Wang Shen's biography is found in the section for Lie Zhuan, chapter 9 in Jin Shu).

Besides these sources, there were lots more sources used by Pei Song Zhi stated in his annotations for SGZ. Some of these are as follows:

i) Jiang Biao Zhuan
ii) Han Shu (Book of Han by Ban Gu)
iii) Wei Shi Chun Qiu
iv) Shi Yu
v) Fu Zhi (real name is Fu Xuan, biography found in the section for Lie Zhuan, chapter 17 in Jin Shu)
vi) Dian Lue
vii) San Yang Gong Zai Ji
viii) Wu Lu
ix) Sou Shen Ji (by Gan Bao of Jin)
x) Han Jin Chun Qiu (by Xi Zuo Chi of Jin)
xi) Jin Ji (by Gan Bao of Jin)
xii) Han Mo Yin Xiong Ji, (by Wang Can of Wei)
xiii) Jiu Zhou Chun Qiu (by Sima Biao of Jin)

There're a host of others and I used to have a book from the library that list out all these soures (used by Chen Shou and Pei Song Zhi) in different categories. Unfortunately, many of these sources are not directly available in the modern libraries now (I think there is Hua Yang Guo Zhi online though). Hence, whatever things that I know is entirely derived from the references quoted by Pei Song Zhi. :(
Last edited by Mega Zarak on Tue Jan 21, 2003 5:27 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Unread postby CaTigeReptile » Sun Jan 12, 2003 5:47 am

How I wish I read Chinese! Gah! If only there was a person with a life void of purpose but to translate from Chinese to English, or I had the incentive to learn Traditional Chinese. Man, that would be useful. But I'm amazed at how many more direct sources I've never even heard of. I'll have to look into them and see if I can find any; but I do have a question if anyone could answer it: There seem to be many conversations in the SGZ that were apparently recorded. How is this possible; was there someone in the room writing it down, or is it a secondary account? That is, how reliable is it?

By the way, Great Deer, in your copy of the C. H. Brewitt-Taylor translation, does Zhuge Liang still say "When I was looking for a Horse, I shot a Deer, instead."? That would be amusing.
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Unread postby Starscream » Sun Jan 12, 2003 7:22 am

CaTigeReptile wrote:There seem to be many conversations in the SGZ that were apparently recorded. How is this possible; was there someone in the room writing it down, or is it a secondary account? That is, how reliable is it?

If I'm not mistaken, there was a special rank accorded to an officer to take down all the conversations between the ruler and his subordinates, usually regarding the passing of an edict, ruler's teachings, opinions, etc. during a court session, and this rank came about maybe during the Zhou Dynasty era or earlier or later. However, I am not too sure about the Private conversations between rulers and subordinates behind veiled curtains, etc... :lol:
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Unread postby Erdrick » Mon Jan 13, 2003 3:54 am

Great Deer wrote:I think the main author of Jin Shu is Fang Xuan Ling of Tang Dynasty (房玄龄).

Chen Shou's SGZ is primarily based on Wang Shen's Wei Shu (Book of Wei), Wei Zhao's Wu Shu (Book of Wu) and Yu Huan's Wei Lue. (Wang Shen's biography is found in the section for Lie Zhuan, chapter 9 in Jin Shu).

Besides these sources, there were lots more sources used by Pei Song Zhi stated in his annotations for SGZ. Some of these are Jiang Biao Zhuan, Han Shu (Book of Han by Ban Gu), Wei Shi Chun Qiu, Shi Yu, Jin Ji by Gan Bao, Fu Zhi (real name is Fu Xuan, biography found in the section for Lie Zhuan, chapter 17 in Jin Shu) , Dian Lue, San Yang Gong Zai Ji, Wu Lu, Sou Shen Ji (I don't like this), Han Jin Chun Qiu, etc. There're a host of others and I used to have a book from the library that list out all these soures (used by Chen Shou and Pei Song Zhi) in different categories. Unfortunately, many of these sources are not directly available in the modern libraries now (I think there is Hua Yang Guo Zhi online though). Hence, whatever things that I know is entirely derived from the references quoted by Pei Song Zhi. :(



When you say that these sources aren't available, do you mean in China? Or, elsewhere...?
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Unread postby Mega Zarak » Mon Jan 13, 2003 5:12 am

Erdrick wrote:When you say that these sources aren't available, do you mean in China? Or, elsewhere...?

I mean libraries in Singapore as well as online resources that I'm aware of. Till now, I do not have the privilege and opportunity to access libraries in Mainland China.
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Unread postby James » Mon Jan 13, 2003 4:41 pm

I am making this thread sticky for discussion regarding the historical Three Kingdoms sources. New threads for this crop up every month or so, so we might as well keep this one around.
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Unread postby Mega Zarak » Mon Jan 13, 2003 5:10 pm

Just like to add that if anyone is interested in some of the biographies of authors whose works were quoted by Pei Song Zhi (whose biography can be found in Chapter 24, Lie Zhuan section of Song Shu), the Book of Jin would be a good resource for it.

e.g. in Chapter 52, under the Section for Lie Zhuan in Jin Shu, one can find the biographies of Chen Shou (author of SGZ), Sun Shen, Xi Zao Chi, Gan Bao, Sima Biao, etc.

From there, one can make some basic inference (don't expect to get a straight answer) on where some of these authors got their records from, their possible political alignments, whether their works were commissioned by the government or not, their personal background, etc. Too bad some of the biographies are rather short and as far as I know, Jin Shu is available only in Chinese.
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