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Gernet, Jacques. A History of Chinese Civilization. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, Hucker, Charles O. Stanford: Stanford University Press, London:Bantam Press, Shaughnessy, Edward L. China: Empire and Civilization. Oxford: Oxford University Press, Chan, Wing-tsit. A Source Book of Chinese Philosophy. Princeton, N. Sources of Chinese Tradition. Barnes, Gina L. Chang, K. The Archaeology of Ancient China , 4 th ed.

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New Haven:Yale University Press, Nylan, Michael and Michael Loewe, eds. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press, Creel, Herlee G. Chinese Thought from Confucius to Mao Tse-tung.

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Chicago: University of Chicago Press, Fung Yu-lan. A History of Chinese Philosophy , 2 vols. Derk Bodde. Princeton: Princeton University Press, One on reserve-overnight. Graham, A. Disputers of the Tao. Illinois:Open Court Publishing, Mote, Frederick W. Knopf, Cambridge: Harvard University Press, A Re-appraisal. Cambridge:Cambridge University Press, Steinhardt, Nancy S. Confucianism: A Short Introduction. Oxford:Oneworld Publications, Creel, Herrlee.

Confucius and the Chinese Way. New York:Harper Torchbooks, De Bary, Wm. Theodore, The Liberal Tradition in China. New York:Columbia University Press, Cambridge,Ma: Harvard University Press, Eno, Robert. The Confucian Creation of Heaven.

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Fingarette, H. Thinking through Confucius. Knoblock, J. Lau, D. Journal in library. Liu, Shu-hsien Understanding Confucian Philosophy. Westport, Conn. Stanford:Stanford University Press, Ann Arbor:University of Michigan, Nivison, David. Nivison, David S. Wright, eds. Confucianism in Action. Nylan, Michael. Honolulu:University of Hawaii Press, Note this deals with the period of Chinese antiquity preceding Confucius.

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Savage, William D. Early China No. Brill, , 2 copies. Journal in Lib. Waley, Arthur. Confucianism and Chinese Civilization. Yao, Xinzhong An Introduction to Confucianism. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, Berkeley: University of California, , Bodde, Dirk and Clarence Morris. Law in Imperial China. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, Graham, Disputers of the Tao. Creel, Herrlee G What is Taoism? Chicago:University of Chicago Press, , 3 copies. Henricks, Robert G.

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La Fargue, Michael. The Tao of the Tao Te Ching. Mair, Victor H. Moeller, Hans-Georg. Chicago:Open Court Press, Watson, Burton tr. Chuang Tzu:Basic Writings. New York: Columbia University Press, Wu, Kuang-ming. Ziporyn, Brook, Zhuangzi:the Essential Writings , with selections from traditional commentaries. Barrett, T. University of Cambridge Oriental Publications Cambridge;Cambridge University Press, , pp.

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Lopez, Donald S. A compendium of primary sources with useful introductions and bibliography. Includes Taoism, Buddhism and popular cults. Princeton:Princeton University Press, Loewe, Michael. Natural disasters and eclipses of the sun also occupy in important place among the records of the annals.

The records of eclipses are an important means for the dating of events and the matching of the old Chinese calendar with the Western one.

Classical Historiography for Chinese History

In ancient times it was believed that Confucius had revised the annals of Lu and so created the Spring and Autumn Annals. Lu was certainly not the only state to possess the institution of a historiographical office. No fragments are preserved of those annals. Of course Confucius knew the chronicle of Lu and its contents and held it in high esteem because it provided a wealth of material for his interpretation of how a good government should work and what was to be avoided.

The language of the Annals is very concise and often obscure. It records all important political events in the state of Lu during the reign of twelve dukes, as well as interstate relationships between Lu and the other regional states of the Zhou empire, but also events that took place in other states. The Chunqiu is therefore to be seen as a chronicle of the early Eastern Zhou period from the viewpoint of the state of Lu.

The annals include information about military campaigns, interstate alliances and meetings, rebellions, state sacrifices, natural diasters, and also eclipses of the sun and the moon. The latter are of great importance to show how exact the calendar of ancient China was and help to date certain events. It includes both the Chunqiu and the integrated Zuozhuan Commentary. The Chunqiu is since Du Yu's revision only in circulation in joint editions with the text of the Zuozhuan , which is a kind of commentary and narrative extension of the Chunqiu.

Zuo Qiuming is said to have lived in the state of Lu in the early 6th century, as a contemporary of Confucius, but somewhat younger than the great master. According to history Zuo Qiuming wrote the Zuozhuan as a commentary in order to clarify obscure statements in the Chunqiu. The book must in fact have been compiled later, during the Warring States period. From these dates it can be seen that Confucius' disciple Zuo Qiuming cannot possibly have been the author of the Zuozhuan.

The Zuozhuan is extremely helpful when it comes to understanding the short and often obscure entries of the Chunqiu. The detailed description of military activities is one of the strengths of the Zuozhuan.

It narrates more than campaigns and their background, the movements of the battlefield, the tactics of the generals, and the outcome. Interstate meetings and diplomatic envoys are likewise an important subject in the Zuozhuan. The Zuozhuan includes numerous examples of how skilled diplomats contributed to the success of their missions. The Zuozhuan —often referred to as a "commentary"—is in the final analysis a different report of the same events as the Chunqiu Annals with a few significant differences.

The Zuozhuan also gives an account of the birth of Duke Yin and his accession to the throne of Lu. The second, even more noticeable, advantage is the more narrative character of the Zuozhuan which makes it a quite readable collection of anecdotes in contrast to the dry and enigmatic Chunqiu classic. The Zuozhuan reports many events that are not mentioned at all in the Chunqiu and vice versa, so one can barely say that it is just a commentary on the old annals. The title of Zuozhuan can thus also be interpreted as something like "Zuo's version". The Zuozhuan broadly reports visits of the regional rulers to each other, state meetings and the conclusion of alliances, wars, hunting excursions, the erection of city walls, marriages among the nobility, rebellions, murders, the history of individual aristocratic families and their extinction, and so gives a detailed overview of the social happenings and activities of the ruling class.

Yet other social groups are also mentioned, especially merchants, diviners, assassins, musicians, consorts, craftsmen and slaves. A kind of basic dialectic thought can be found in some statement of the philosopher Yan Ying who deliberated about similarities and contradictions, as well as mutual completion and mutual support. Shi Mo from Jin is quoted with a statement about the changing nature of rulership and even the transitoriness of dynasties symbolized in their offering rituals.

The Zuozhuan was often criticized for the illustrative, vivid and narrative style of its stories that stands in deep contrast to the short and prosaic statements in the Chunqiu.


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  • On the other hand this contrast demonstrates that the Zuozhuan is of a high literary standing that goes far beyond the scope of historiography. During the Han period the Zuozhuan was ranked among the old-text classics and did at first not find its way into the canon of Confucian Classics. It was nevertheless very popular because of its rich fund of stories from antiquity. Legge, James, trans. The Chinese Classics , Vol. Watson, Burton, trans. Blakeley, Barry B. Boltz, William G.