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Shiliuguo chunqiu 十六國春秋

Jul 12, 2010 © Ulrich Theobald

Shiliuguo chunqiu 十六國春秋 "Spring and autumn of the Sixteen States" is a history of the so-called Sixteen States of the Five Barbarian peoples 五胡十六國 (300~430) which were established in northern China during the long 4th century CE. It was written by Cui Hong 崔鴻 (478-525), courtesy name Yanluan 彦鸞, during the Northern Wei period 北魏 (386-534).

Cui Hong collected all available material on the turbulent history of these states and compiled a history, arranged in biographical style, in 100 juan. His book served as the base for the respective chapters of the Sixteen States in the Weishu 魏書 and the Jinshu 晉書, the official histories of the Northern Wei, resp. the Jin 晉 (265-420) dynasties.

During the Northern Song period 北宋 (960-1126) there were already many chapters of the Shiliuguo chunqiu already lost, and only 20 juan survived. There are three different versions available, namely the 100-chapter version reconstructed by the Ming-period 明 (1368-1644) scholars Tu Jiesun 屠介孫 and Xiang Lin 項琳 (1619-1670) who tried to reconstruct the Shiliuguo chunqiu from the Jinshu, the Zizhi tongjian 資治通鑑 and the encyclopaedias Yiwen leiju 藝文類聚 and Taiping yulan 太平御覽; secondly, the 16-chapter version in the series Han-Wei congshu 漢魏叢書, also compiled during the Ming period and largely identical to the respective Jinshu chapters; and the supplement Shiliuguo chunqiu buji 十六國春秋補輯 compiled by the Qing period 清 (1644-1911) scholar Tang Qiu 湯球 (1804-1881) who compiled this text-critical study of the older editions.

Table 1. Contents of the Shiliuguo chunqiu 十六國春秋
前趙錄 10 juan Former Zhao (304-329)
後趙錄 12 Later Zhao (319-350)
前燕錄 10 Former Yan (337-370)
前秦錄 10 Former Qin (351-395)
後秦錄 10 Later Qin (384-417)
蜀錄 5 Shu, i.e. Cheng-Han 成漢 (304-347)
前涼錄 6 Former Liang (314-376)
西涼錄 3 Western Liang (400-421)
北涼錄 4 Northern Liang (398-439)
後涼錄 4 Later Liang (386-403)
後燕錄 10 Later Yan (384-409)
南涼錄 3 Southern Liang (397-414)
南燕錄 3 Southern Yan (398-410)
西秦錄 6 Western Qin (385-431)
北燕錄 3 Northern Yan (409-436)
夏錄 4 Xia (407-432)
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