Zhan Guo Ce

From Academic Kids

Zhanguoce (simplified Chinese: 战国策, traditional Chinese: 戰國策, pinyin: Zhnguc) (ZGC) was a renowned ancient Chinese historical work on the Warring States Period compiled in late Western Han Dynasty by Liu Xiang (劉向). It is an important literature in the research of Warring States Period as it accounts the strategies and political views of the school of negotiations and reveals the historical and social characteristics of the period.

Alternative English titles include

  • Zhanguoce,
  • Stratagems of the Warring States,
  • Intrigues of the Warring States,
  • Chronicles of the Warring States,
  • Records of the Warring States,
  • Record of the Warring States,
  • Annals of the Warring States,
  • The Strategies of the Warring States,
  • Strategies of the Warring States,
  • Strategics of the Warring States,
  • Collection of Strategies of the Warring States,
  • Book of Warring States,
  • Legends of the Warring States and
  • Chan-kuo Ts'e (Wade-Giles).
Contents

Title and Versions

The author of ZGC still cannot be verified. In late Western Han Dynasty, six versions of written works from the school of negotiations were discovered by Liu Xiang during his editing and proofreading of imperial literary collection. Those works of political view and diplomatic strategies from the school of negotiation were in poor condition, comprised of confusing contents and missing words. Liu Xiang proofread and edited them into the new book Zhan Guo Ce; ZGC is therefore not written by a single author at a time.

Significant contents of ZGC were lost in subsequent centuries. Zeng Gong of the Northern Song Dynasty reclaimed some lost chapters, proofread and edited the modern version. Some writings on cloth were excavated from the Han Dynasty tomb at Mawangdui (py) or Ma-wang Tui (wg) near the city of Changsha in 1973 and edited and published in Beijing in 1976 in the 27 chapter Zhanguo zonghengjia shu (py) or Chan-kuo Tsung-heng-chia Shu (wg) (works from the school of negotiations during the Warring States Period) (201 pp.), 11 of which was found to be similar to the contents in ZGC and the Records of the Grand Historian. That publication appeared in Taiwan in 1977 as the Boshu Zhanguoce (py) or Po-shu Chan-kuo Ts'e (wg).

Format

ZGC recounts the history from the conquest of the Fan clan by the Zhi clan in 490 BC up to the failed assassination of Qin Shi Huang by Gao Jianli in 221 BC.

The book comprises of approximately 120,000 words in 497 sections of 33 chapters (卷). The twelve ce are:

  • Dong Zhou Ce (lit. Strategies of Eastern Zhou) - 1 chapter
  • Xi Zhou Ce (lit. Strategies of Western Zhou ) - 1 chapter
  • Qin Ce(lit. Strategies of Qin) - 5 chapters
  • Qi Ce (lit. Strategies of Qi) - 6 chapters
  • Chu Ce (lit. Strategies of Chu) - 4 chapters
  • Zhao Ce (lit. Strategies of Zhao) - 4 chapters
  • Wei Ce (lit. Strategies of Wei) - 4 chapters
  • Han Ce (lit. Strategies of Han) - 3 chapters
  • Yan Ce (lit. Strategies of Yan) - 3 chapters
  • Song and Wei Ce (lit. Strategies of Song and Wei) - 1 chapter
  • Zhongshan Ce (lit. Strategies of Zhongshan) - 1 chapter

In Chan-kuo Ts'e (see bibliography for full citation) by J. I. Crump, the text is categoried into 11 books:

The Book of Chou
The Book of Ch'in
The Book of Ch'i
The Book of Ch'u
The Book of Chao
The Book of Wei, or Liang
The Book of Han
The Book of Yen
The Book of Sung
The Book of Wei, the lesser
The Book of Chung-shan

Literary Criticism

ZGC displays the social aspects and scholaristic habitat of the Warring States Period. Not only a brilliant historical work, it is also an excellent historical literature and novel. Major events and historical information of the period are represented in objective and vivid descriptions. Detailed records of speeches and deeds of followers of school of negotiations reveals their mental makeup and intellectual expertise. Righteousness, bravery and determination of numerous characters are also recorded.

Sophisticated intellectual contents of ZGC mainly discloses the intellectual inclination of followers of the School of Negotiation and illustrates the intellectual prosperity and multicultural aspects of the period.

The literary achievement of the ZGC is also outstanding - it signifies a new era in the development of ancient Chinese literature. Among other aspects, character description, language usage and metaphorical stories demonstrates strong and clear literary quality. ZGC greatly influenced the format of the Record of the Grand Historian.

ZGC has been credited for its literary value. Nevertheless its intellectual aspects have also been disputed, mainly due to its stress on fame and profit and its conflicts with Confucian ideology. The book tends to overemphasize historical contributions from the School of Negotiation, devaluing the book's historical importance.

Bibliography

  • Chan-kuo Ts'e [CKT] (1996). Translated and annotated with an introduction by J. I. Crump. Revised ed. (Michigan Monographs in Chinese Studies, 77, ISBN 1081-9053 ). Center for Chinese Studies, The University of Michigan. ISBN 0-89264-122-3 (hardcover alkaline paper)
  • Crump, J. I. (1964). Intrigues of the Warring States: Studies of the Chan-kuo Ts'e. University of Michigan Press. Library of Congress Catalog Card No. 64-17440.
  • Crump, J. I. (James Irving) (1998). Legends of the Warring States: Persuasions, Romances, and Stories from Chan-Kuo Tse (Michigan Monographs in Chinese Studies, 83). Center for Chinese Studies, The University of Michigan. ISBN 0-89264-129-0 (paperback). ISBN 0-89264-127-4 (hardcover alkaline paper).
  • Hawkins, David. Review of Intrigues of the Warring States. JAOS. 86 (1966) : 1.
  • He, Jianzhang (1990). Zhan Guo Ce Zhu Yi (Annotated translation of ZGC). Zhonghua Shuju (Chinese Book Company). ISBN 710100622.
  • He, Jin (2001). Zhan Guo Ce Yan Jiu (ZGC research). Beijing Daxue Chubanshe (Peking University Press). ISBN 730105101.
  • Lan, Kaixiang (1991). Zhan Guo Ce Ming Pian Shang Xi (Commendations and accounts of famous chapters in ZGC). Beijing Shiyue Wenyi Chubanshe (Beijing October Literary Press).
  • Meng, Qingxiang (1986). Zhan Guo Ce Yi Zhu (Connotations and translations of ZGC). Heilongjiang Renmin Chubanshe (Heilongjiang Peoples' Press). Tongyi Shuhao (Unified Book Number) 10093701.
  • Qian, Guoqi (2000). Zhan Guo Ce Ping Jie (Comments and Introductions of ZGC). In Wei Liangtao (Ed.), Shi Zhu Ying Hua (Zhongguo Dianji Jinghua Congshu) 1, pp. 157?239. Zhongguo Qingnian Chubanshe (Chinese Youth Press). ISBN 750063764.
  • Wang, Shouqian (1992). Zhan Guo Ce Quan Yi (Complete translations of ZGC). Guizhou Renmin Chubanshe (Guizhou Peoples' Press). ISBN 722102444.
  • Xiong, Xianguang (1988). Zhan Guo Ce Yan Jiu Yu Xian Yi (ZGC research and selected translations). Zhongqing Chubanshe (Zhongqing Press). ISBN 753660020.
  • Zhao, Pijie (1994). Zhan Guo Ce Xian Yi (Selected translations of ZGC). Renman Minxue Chubanshe (Peoples' Literary Press).
  • Zhu, Youhua (1994). Zhan Guo Ce Xian Yi (Selected translations of ZGC). Shanghai Guji Chubanshe (Shanghai antique books Press).

External links

zh:战国策

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