Bamboo Annals


Bamboo Annals

The "Bamboo Annals" (Chinese character: 竹書紀年; Pinyin: "Zhúshū Jìnián") is a chronicle of ancient China. It begins at the earliest legendary times (Huangdi, 2497 BC to 2398 BC) and extends to the Warring States Period (5th century BC-221 BC), particularly the history of the Wei State. It has 13 sections.

The original text was interred with the king of Wei (died 296 BC) and re-discovered in AD 281. For this reason, the chronicle survived the great burning of the books by Emperor Shi Huangdi.

The "Bamboo Annals" is one of the three most important ancient texts on early China, the others being the earlier "Zuo Zhuan" and the later "Shiji". However, the authenticity of the current version has been called into question, so that some (including Qing scholars and Karlgren) would not translate it.

References

*David S. Nivison (1993), “Chu shu chi nien”, "Early Chinese Texts: a bibliographical guide" (editor—Loewe M.) p.39–47 (Berkeley: Society for the Study of Early China).
*James Legge (1865), "The Chinese Classics III: The Shoo King" Prolegomena (Taipei: Southern Materials Center). (This contains an English translation of the Annals.)


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