|Twenty-Four Canonical Histories|
|Order #||Book Name||Author||# of volumes|
Records of the Grand Historian
Canonical Book of the Western Han Dynasty
Canonical Book of the Eastern Han Dynasty
Canonical Records of Three Kingdoms
Canonical Book of the Jin Dynasty
Fang Xuanling et al.
|6||《宋書》Canonical Book of the Liu Song Dynasty||Liang
Canonical Book of the Southern Qi Dynasty
Canonical Book of the Liang Dynasty
Canonical Book of the Chen Dynasty
Canonical Book of the Northern Wei Dynasty
Canonical Book of the Northern Qi Dynasty
Canonical Book of the Northern Zhou Dynasty
Linghu Defen et al.
Canonical Book of the Sui Dynasty
Wei Zheng et al.
Canonical History of the Southern Dynasties
Canonical History of the Northern Dynasties
First Canonical Book of the Tang Dynasty
Liu Xu et al.
|17||《新唐書》Second Canonical Book of the Tang Dynasty||Song
Ouyang Xiu,Song Qi
First Canonical History Records of the Five Dynasties
Xue Juzheng et al.
Second Canonical History Records of the Five Dynasties
Canonical History Records of the Song Dynasty
Toktoghan et al.
Canonical History Records of the Liao Dynasty
Toktoghan et al.
Canonical History Records of the Jurchen Jin Dynasty
Toktoghan et al.
Canonical History Records of the Yuan Dynasty
Song Lian et al.
Canonical History Records of the Ming Dynasty
Zhang Tingyu et al.
The Twenty-Four Histories (Chinese: 二十四史; pinyin: Èrshísì Shǐ; Wade-Giles: Erhshihszu Shih) is a collection of Chinese historical books covering a period of history from 3000 B.C.E. to the Ming Dynasty in the seventeenth century. The whole set contains 3213 volumes and about 40 million words. It is often considered an authoritative source of traditional Chinese history and culture, and is used for research on literature, art, music, science, military affairs, geography, ethnography and other subjects.
- 1 Books of the Twenty-Four Histories
- 1.1 Early Four Historiographies 前四史
- 1.1.1 《史記》 Records of the Grand Historian
- 1.1.2 《漢書》 Book of Han
- 1.1.3 三國志》 Records of Three Kingdoms
- 1.1.4 《後漢書》 Book of Later Han
- 1.1.5 《宋書》 Book of Song—Southern Dynasties
- 1.1.6 《齊書》 Book of Qi—Southern Dynasties
- 1.1.7 魏書》 Book of Wei—Northern Dynasties
- 1.1.8 Eight Historiographies of Tang Dynasty 唐初八史
- 126.96.36.199 《梁書》 Book of Liang—Southern Dynasties
- 188.8.131.52 The State of Fusang
- 184.108.40.206 The State of Wenshen
- 220.127.116.11 The State of Dahan
- 18.104.22.168 《陳書》 Book of Chen—Southern Dynasties
- 22.214.171.124 《北齊書》 Book of Northern Qi—Northern Dynasties
- 126.96.36.199 《周書》 Book of Zhou—Northern Dynasties
- 188.8.131.52 《隋書》 Book of Sui
- 184.108.40.206 《晉書》 Book of Jin
- 220.127.116.11 《南史》 History of Southern Dynasties
- 18.104.22.168 《北史》 History of Northern Dynasties
- 1.1.9 《唐書》 Book of Tang
- 1.1.10 《五代史》 Five Dynasties History
- 1.1.11 《新五代史》 New History of the Five Dynasties
- 1.1.12 《新唐書》 New Book of Tang
- 1.1.13 Three Historiographies of Yuan Dynasty (元末三史)
- 1.1.14 《元史》 History of Yuan
- 1.1.15 《明史》 History of Ming
- 1.2 Inherited Works
- 1.3 Related Works
- 1.1 Early Four Historiographies 前四史
- 2 Notes
- 3 References
- 4 External links
- 5 Credits
Typically, after credible sources were collected, these canonical history records were produced in the next dynasty and the editing, revising, and collating of them was organized under official patronage.
Books of the Twenty-Four Histories
Early Four Historiographies 前四史
《史記》 Records of the Grand Historian
- compiled by Sima Qian 司馬遷 in 91 B.C.E.
In Records of the Grand Historian, written from 109 B.C.E. to 91 B.C.E., Sima Qian recounted Chinese history from the time of the Yellow Emperor (ca. 2600 B.C.E.) until his own time. The first systematic Chinese historical text, it tremendously influenced Chinese historiography and prose, and is comparable to Herodotus and his Historiai written in 440 B.C.E. in Europe.
Its 130 volumes (scrolls, now usually called "chapters") classify information into several categories:
- 12 volumes of Benji (本紀) or "Basic Annals," contain all biographies of the prominent rulers from the [Yellow Emperor]] to Qin Shihuang and the kings of Xia, Shang, and Zhou dynasties. The biographies of four emperors and one empress dowager of the Western Han before his age are also included.
- 30 volumes of Shijia (世家) or "Hereditary Houses," contain biographies of notable rulers, nobility and bureaucrats mostly from the period of Spring and Autumn to Warring States.
- 70 volumes of Liezhuan (列傳) or "Memoirs," contain biographies of important individual figures including Lao Tse, Mozi, Sun Tzu, and Jingke.
- 8 volumes of Shu (書) or "Essays," discuss economics and other topics mentioned in the book.
- 10 volumes of Biao (表) or "Chronologies," are timelines of events.
Unlike subsequent official historical texts that adopted Confucian doctrine, proclaimed the divine rights of the emperors, and denigrated any failed claimant to the throne, Sima Qian's more liberal and objective prose has been acclaimed and imitated by poets and novelists. Most of the volumes of Liezhuan are vivid descriptions of events and persons, taken from stories passed on from antiquity which the author analyzed critically for reliability and accuracy. For instance, the material on Jing Ke's attempt to assassinate the first emperor of China was an eye-witness story passed on by the great-grandfather of his father's friend, who served as a low-ranking bureaucrat at the court of Qin and happened to be present at the diplomatic ceremony for Jing Ke. It has been observed that Sima Qian diplomatically accentuated the positive in his treatment of rulers in the Basic Annals, but slipped negative information into other chapters, so that his work must be read as a whole to obtain full information. There are also discrepancies among the facts in reported various portions of the work, probably reflecting Sima Qian's use of different source texts; from these it appears that his great work did not receive a final editorial polish.
《漢書》 Book of Han
compiled by Ban Gu 班固 in 82 The Book of Han is a classic Chinese historical writing covering the history of Western Han from 206 B.C.E. to 25 C.E. It is also sometimes called the Book of Former Han. Depending on sources, the earliest date covered is anywhere from 206 B.C.E. to 202 B.C.E.
The huge encyclopedic work was started by Ban Biao. Following his death, Ban Gu, eldest son of Ban Biao, continued working on the book, which grew to a total of 100 volumes, and included essays on law, science, geography, and literature. In his later years, Ban Gu was involved in a power struggle in the court and thrown into prison, where he died in 92 C.E. before he finished the "Eight Tables" and the section on astronomy. Anxious to have the work completed, the emperor issued an order that Ban Biao's daughter Ban Zhao go to Luoyang, the capital, to complete the task left by her father and brother. She was permitted access to all books and archives in the Dongguan Imperial Library, and finished the writing in 111, nineteen years after Ban Gu was put in prison. She created the minor volumes 13-20th (eight chronological charts) and 26th (astronomical biography) included in the work. Like the Records of the Grand Historian, the work’s 96th volume uses Zhang Qian, a famous Chinese general who traveled to the west, as the key source for cultural and socio-economic data on the Western Regions.
The book established the format for the writings of later Chinese dynasties, and today is used as a reference to study the Han period.
Mention of Japan
The Japanese first appear in written history in this book, in which it is recorded, "The people of Wa are located across the ocean from Lelang, are divided into more than one hundred tribes, and come to offer tribute from time to time." It is later recorded that in the year 57 C.E. the southern Wa kingdom of Na sent an emissary named Taifu to pay tribute to Emperor Guangwu and received a golden seal. According to the Book of Wei, the most powerful kingdom on the archipelago in the third century was called Yamataikoku and was ruled by the legendary Queen Himiko.
- compiled by Chen Shou 陳壽 in 289
The Records of Three Kingdoms, the official and authoritative historical record for the period of Three Kingdoms (189 to 280 C.E.), was composed in the third century by Chen Shou (陳壽). The work was based on two earlier histories of the rival states Wei (曹魏; Cáo Wèi; Ts'ao Wei), and Eastern Wu (東吳; Dōng Wú). Since there was no written record for his own state of Shu (蜀漢, Shǔ Hàn), Chen Zhou composed it from memory. His book glorified the Wei kingdom as the predecessor of the Jin dynasty which he served, and gave precedence to the state of Shu over the kingdom of Wu. Though some parts contain errors and fictional exaggerations, the Records of Three Kingdoms is regarded as an invaluable historical resource. The bland collection of historical facts establishes with reasonable accuracy the sequence of historical events, but gives little information about society, political institutions or government policies.
《後漢書》 Book of Later Han
- compiled by Fan Ye 范曄 in 445
The Book of Later Han (Hou Hanshu) covers the history of Eastern Han from 25 to 220 C.E.. It was compiled by Fan Ye in the fifth century, using as sources a number of earlier histories and documents, including the accounts of Sima Qian and Ban Gu, plus many others, such as the Han Records of the Eastern Lodge by various contemporaries throughout the second century, and the Records of Later Han by Yuan Hong from the fourth century), most of which have not survived intact. The final 30 volumes of the book, eight treatises on law, rituals, sacrifices, astronomy, five elements, geography, officials, chariots and garments taken from the Sequel of the Book of Han, a work composed by Sima Biao in the third century, were added in the sixth century by Liu Zhao during his annotation.
According to Fan Ye himself, the Records of the Western Regions are based on a report composed by General Ban Yong and presented to the Emperor about 125, and probably included notes by his famous father, General Ban Chao. It forms the 88th volume of the Hou Hanshu and is a key source for the cultural and socio-economic data on the Western Regions, including the earliest accounts of Da Qin (the Roman Empire).
"Ban Gu has recorded in detail the local conditions and customs of each kingdom in the former book [Hanshu or 'History of the Former Han Dynasty']. Now, the reports of the Jianwu period [25-56 C.E.] onwards recorded in this 'Chapter on the Western Regions' differ from the earlier [ones by Ban Gu]; they are from Ban Yong’s report [presented] at the end of [the reign of] Emperor An [107-125 C.E.], and so on." Fan Ye, Hou Hanshu
《宋書》 Book of Song—Southern Dynasties
- compiled by Shen Yue 沈約 in 488
The Book of Song was a historical text of the Liu Song Dynasty of the Southern Dynasties of China from 420 to 479. It was authored by Shen Yue during the Liang Dynasty (502-557) and, at the time that it was written, contained 100 volumes. By the Song Dynasty, some volumes were already missing. Later editors reconstructed those volumes by taking material from the History of the Southern Dynasties, plus a few works such as the Historiette of Gao by Gao Jun, though many of those volumes were no longer in their original condition. Modern historians believe that this history had serious problems, one of them being that the book maintained a very foggy attitude and was biased towards the surrounding ethnic groups, including the ruling elites of Northern Wei.
《齊書》 Book of Qi—Southern Dynasties
- compiled by Xiao Zixian 蕭子顯 in 537
The Book of Qi or Book of Southern Qi was a history of the Chinese dynasty Southern Qi from 479 to 502. It was written by Xiao Zixian (蕭子顯) during the succeeding Liang Dynasty, and is unique in that Xiao Zixian was the only author of any of the Twenty-Four Histories to be a direct descendant of the founder of the dynasty being written about; he was a grandson of Emperor Gao, the founder of Southern Qi. It was originally only known as the Book of Qi, but after the Book of Northern Qi was written, it became known as the Book of Southern Qi so that the two could be distinguished. The book contained 60 volumes when written, but one preface was later lost.
魏書》 Book of Wei—Northern Dynasties
- compiled by Wei Shou 魏收 in 554
The Book of Wei was a history of the Northern Wei from 386 to 535, compiled by Wei Shou from 551 to 554. Wei Shou was criticized for showing partiality to ancestors of political allies and intentionally defaming or entirely ignoring ancestors of political enemies. Detractors of the work referred to the book as the Book of Filth, pronounced Huishu. From a modern historical view point, the book glorified the Northern Wei to the extreme, intentionally misstating the history of her predecessor state Dai, which was a vassal of Western Jin, Later Zhao, Former Yan, and Former Qin. The book characterized Dai as a powerful empire to whom those states were vassals. It further characterized all other rival states as barbaric and made unsubstantiated accusations against their rulers. The sinicized surnames introduced by Emperor Xiaowen of Northern Wei in 496 were applied retroactively to events which had taken place long before, making it difficult for readers to know what the actual names of historical personages were. In addition, Wei Shou was criticized because, as an officer of the Eastern Wei and its successor state Northern Qi, he included the emperor of Eastern Wei, Emperor Xiaojing, among his imperial lists while intentionally omitting the three emperors from the rival state Western Wei, after the division of the Northern Wei in 534. However, he was credited with harmonizing highly confusing and fragmented accounts of historical events from the state of Dai to the early period of Northern Wei into a coherent account.
The book contained 114 volumes when written, but by the Song Dynasty some volumes were already missing. Later editors reconstructed those volumes by taking material from the History of the Northern Dynasties dated to the seventh century.
Eight Historiographies of Tang Dynasty 唐初八史
《梁書》 Book of Liang—Southern Dynasties
- compiled by Yao Silian 姚思廉 in 636
The Book of Liang (Chinese: 梁書; pinyin: Liáng Shū), was compiled under Yao Silian 姚思廉 in 635. The Chinese measure of distance, li, used in the Book of Liang probably corresponds to 77 meters, as is the usage for the Book of the Three Kingdoms and other writings of the period. The book contains the history of the Liang dynasty, and various descriptions of countries to the east of China. One of its best-known passages describes the report of the monk Hui Shen (慧深) about his visit to the country of Fusang, 20,000 li east of China, which is thought to be consistent with eastern Japan. Hui Shen also mentioned Wa, which is thought to have been the statelet of Japan located in the area of southern Kyushu:
The State of Fusang
"The people are all tattooed. Their territory is about 20,000 li (1,500 kilometers) from our realm, roughly to the east of Guiji (modern Shaoxing (Zhejiang)). To get there, it is necessary to follow the coast and go beyond the Korean state to the south-east for about 500 kilometers, then for the first time cross a sea to a small island 75 kilometers away, then cross the sea again for 75 kilometers to Miro country (Ch: 未盧國, modern Tosu city in Saga Prefecture, Japan). 50 kilometers to the southeast is the country of Ito (Ch: 伊都國). 10 kilometers to the southeast is the country of Nu (Ch: 奴國). 10 kilometers to the east is the country of 不彌國. 20 days to the south by boat is the country of 投馬國. 10 days to the south by boat or one month by land is the country of Yamatai (邪馬臺國). There resides the King of the Wa people." (Liang Shu, 7th century) 
The State of Wenshen
"The country of Wenshen is 7000 li (500 kilometers) north-east of the country of Wa. Over their body, they have tattoos depicting wild beasts. They have three tattooed mark on their forehead. The marks are straight for noble people, and they are small for the common people. The people like music, but are not very generous in spite of their affluence, and do not give anything to strangers. They have houses, but no castles. The palace of their king is laden with gold and silver. The houses are surrounded by a ditch, about one cho in width, which they fill with water. They have many rare things in their markets. Criminals are immediately punished with leather whips. Those who commit crimes passable of death are made to be eaten by wild beasts. Crimes can also be redeemed through imprisonment without food." (Liang Shu, 7th century) 
The State of Dahan
"The people of Dahan are 5000 li (400 kilometers) east of the Wenchen. They do not have an army and are not aggressive. Their manners are the same as the Wenchen, but their language differs." (Liang Shu, 7th century) 
《陳書》 Book of Chen—Southern Dynasties
- compiled by Yao Silian 姚思廉 in 636
《北齊書》 Book of Northern Qi—Northern Dynasties
- compiled by Li Baiyao 李百藥 in 636
《周書》 Book of Zhou—Northern Dynasties
- compiled under Linghu Defen 令狐德棻 in 636
《隋書》 Book of Sui
- compiled under Wei Zheng 魏徵 in 636
《晉書》 Book of Jin
- compiled under Fang Xuanling 房玄齡 in 648
The Book of Jin covers the history of Jin Dynasty from 265 to 420, and was written under the leadership of the Prime Minister Fang Xuanling by a number of officials commissioned by the court of Tang Dynasty, and drawing mostly from the official documents left from the earlier archives. A few of the essays in the biographical volumes 1, 3, 54 and 80 were composed by Emperor Taizong of Tang himself. Its contents included not only history of Jin but also the history of the Sixteen Kingdoms which were contemporaneous with the Eastern Jin (265-420). The book was compiled in 648.
《南史》 History of Southern Dynasties
- compiled by Li Yanshou 李延壽 in 659
The History of Southern Dynasties contains 80 volumes covering the period from 420 to 589, the histories of Liu Song, Southern Qi, Liang Dynasty, and Chen Dynasty. Like the History of Northern Dynasties, the book was started by Li Dashi, and, following his death, completed by his son, Li Yanshou between 643 to 659. As a historian, Li Yanshou also borrowed some of the compilation from the early Tang Dynasty; unlike the rest of the histories, his work was not sponsored by the state.
《北史》 History of Northern Dynasties
- compiled by Li Yanshou 李延壽 in 659
The History of Northern Dynasties contains 100 volumes covering the period from 386 to 618, the histories of Northern Wei, Western Wei, Eastern Wei, Northern Zhou, Northern Qi, and Sui Dynasty. Like the History of Southern Dynasties, the book was begun by Li Dashi. Following his death, his son Li Yanshou completed the work on the book between 643 to 659. Unlike most of the rest of the Twenty-Four Histories, this work was not sponsored by the state.
《唐書》 Book of Tang
- compiled under Liu Xu 劉昫 in 945
The Book of Tang, or the Old Book of Tang (旧唐書/舊唐书) is the first classic work about the Tang Dynasty. The book was ordered by Gaozu of Later Jin in 941. Its lead editor, Liu Xu (刘昫), the chief minister and director of the National History, edited it during the last years of his life, and presented it to the Emperor Chidi in 945. It is a compilation of earlier annals, now lost; it further incorporates other monographs and biographies, using sources such as the Tongdian of Du You. After it was revised during the Song Dynasty into the New Book of Tang, Liu Xu's original work continued to be preserved as the Old Book of Tang.
《五代史》 Five Dynasties History
- compiled under Xue Juzheng 薛居正 in 974
The Five Dynasties History was an official history of the Five Dynasties (907-960), which controlled much of northern China. It was compiled by the Song Dynasty official-scholar Xue Juzheng in the first two decades of the Song Dynasty, which was founded in 960.
The Five Dynasties
The Five Dynasties are composed of a string of dynasties in northern China that succeeded one another from 907 to 960. They bridge the time from which the Tang Dynasty fell in 907 to the rise of the Song Dynasty in 960, which eventually conquered all but the very northernmost reaches of China. The Five Dynasties were the Later Liang Dynasty, Later Tang Dynasty, Later Jin Dynasty, Later Han Dynasty, and Later Zhou Dynasty.
Xue Juzheng (912-981) lived through all five of the Five Dynasties and received his '’jinshi’’ examination degree under the Later Tang Dynasty. He then continued to hold office through the three subsequent dynasties. He took service with the Tang Dynasty when it established itself in northern China in 960.
The primary purpose of The Five Dynasties History was to establish the claim of the Song Dynasty to the Mandate of Heaven, the divine right to rule the Chinese realm, through the succession of the Five Dynasties. The Song Dynasty took over control of northern China from the last of the Five Dynasties, the Later Zhou Dynasty, then conquered southern China to eventually rule all but the northern fringe of China known as the Sixteen Prefectures, which was under the control of the Khitan Liao Dynasty. Xue argued that since each of these five dynasties controlled the traditional heart of China and held territory vastly larger than any of the kingdoms to the south, the Mandate naturally flowed through these dynasties.
In establishing the path of the Mandate from the Tang Dynasty through the Five Dynasties to the Song Dynasty, Xue Zhucheng faced several challenges. The brutality of Zhu Wen during the Later Liang Dynasty, the first of the five dynasties, led many to want to exclude that dynasty from the Mandate of Heaven, due to the requirement that the leader practice benevolence. The middle three, the Later Tang Dynasty, Later Jin Dynasty, and Later Han Dynasty were ruled by Shato rather than Han Chinese. Finally, while each of these five dynasties held more territory than any of the other Chinese polities of the era, none of them conquered the southern kingdoms or were able to unite the entire realm.
Historians rely on Xue’s work as a source of invaluable information regarding the Five Dynasties that ruled most of northern China from 907 to 960. However, it established the use of official histories to strengthen claims to the Mandate of Heaven, increasing the tendency of Chinese historians to distort facts in favor of the prevailing dynasty. It also legitimized foreign dynasties, which set a precedent for the later conquerors who controlled China’s destiny for most of the next millennium.
《新五代史》 New History of the Five Dynasties
- compiled under Ouyang Xiu 歐陽修 in 1053 The New Book of Tang was a classic work of history about the Tang Dynasty edited by Ouyang Xiu, Song Qi (宋祁) and other official scholars of the Song dynasty. The emperor called for a revision of the former Book of Tang in 1044, and the New Book was presented to the throne in 1060. It was given its name "Xin" ("new") to distinguish it from its predecessor. Ouyang Xiu frequently invoked the principle of reason in evaluating historical accounts, and purged all accounts containing elements of myth or superstition. In this new book there were four biographies of Tang Dynasty women that were not present in the first Book of Tang; they are examples intended to deter contemporary readers from extreme behavior. The women killed or maimed themselves in horrible ways; for example, Woman Lu gouged her own eye out to assure her ailing husband that there would be no second man after him. Biographies of 35 excessively filial and fraternal men were also included in the work.
《新唐書》 New Book of Tang
- compiled under Ouyang Xiu 歐陽修 in 1060
Three Historiographies of Yuan Dynasty (元末三史)
- 《遼史》 History of Liao
- compiled under Toktoghan 脫脫 in 1345
- 《金史》 History of Jin
- compiled under Toktoghan 脫脫 in 1345
- 《宋史》 History of Song
- compiled under Toktoghan 脫脫 in 1345
《元史》 History of Yuan
- compiled under Song Lian 宋濂 in 1370
《明史》 History of Ming
- compiled under Zhang Tingyu 張廷玉 in 1739
The History of Ming (明史) is one of the official Chinese historical works known as the Twenty-Four Histories of China. It consists of 332 volumes and covers the history of the Ming Dynasty from 1368 to 1644, which was written by a number of officials commissioned by the court of Qing Dynasty, with Zhang Tingyu as the lead editor. The compilation started in the era of Shunzhi Emperor and was completed in 1739 in the era of Qianlong Emperor, though most of the volumes were written during the era of Kangxi Emperor.
《史記》 Records of the Grand Historian
- inherited from Sima Tan 司馬談 (father) to Sima Qian 司馬遷 (son)
《漢書》 Book of Han
- inherited from Ban Biao 班彪 (father), Ban Gu 班固 (son) to Ban Zhao 班昭 (sister)
《梁書》、《陳書》Book of Liang and Book of Chen
- inherited from Yao Cha 姚察 (father) to Yao Silian 姚思廉 (son)
《北齐书》 Book of Northern Qi
- inherited from Li Delin 李德林 (father) to Li Baiyao 李百藥 (son)
《南史》、《北史》History of Southern Dynasties and History of Northern Dynasties
- inherited from Li Dashi 李大師 (father) to Li Yanshou 李延壽 (son)
《清史稿》Draft History of Qing, compiled under Zhao Erxun 趙爾巽 in 1927 With the fall of the last dynasty, universal kingship and the Mandate of Heaven had collapsed, and the continuity of cultural tradition was put into doubt. There was no longer any official agency to declare the Qingshi gao, published in 1928, as one of the "orthodox histories." It remains an irreplaceable historical source, written from the perspective of a group of intellectuals during the transition from dynasty to republic.
- Brian Kennedy, and Elizabeth Guo. (2005). Chinese Martial Arts Training Manuals: A Historical Survey. (North Atlantic Books Publishing. ISBN 1556435576)
- Ch: 倭者 自云太伯之後 俗皆文身 去帶方萬二千餘里 大抵在會稽之東 相去絶遠 從帶方至倭 循海水行 歴韓國 乍東乍南 七千餘里始度一海 海闊千餘里 名瀚海 至一支國 又度一海千餘里 名未盧國 又東南陸行五百里 至伊都國 又東南行百里 至奴國 又東行百里 至不彌國 又南水行二十日 至投馬國 又南水行十日 陸行一月日 至邪馬臺國 即倭王所居, Liang Shu, 7th century.
- Ch: 文身國 在倭國東北七千餘里 人體有文如獸 其額上有三文 文直者貴 文小者賤 土俗歡樂 物豐而賤 行客不齎糧 有屋宇 無城郭 其王所居 飾以金銀珍麗 繞屋爲塹 廣一丈 實以水銀 雨則流于水銀之上 市用珍寶 犯輕罪者則鞭杖 犯死罪則置猛獸食之 有枉則猛獸避而不食 經宿則赦之, Liang Shu, 7th century.
- Ch: 大漢國 在文身國東五千餘里 無兵戈 不攻戰 風俗並與文身國同而言語異, Liang Shu, 7th century.
- Chronicles of the Chinese Dynasties, Twitchett, Official History under the T'ang, 191-236. Retrieved September 15, 2007.
- Richard L. Davis, "Chaste and Filial Women in Chinese Historical Writings of the Eleventh Century." Journal of the American Oriental Society 121 (2) (2001): 204-218  via JSTOR.org. Retrieved September 15, 2007.
- Davis, Richard L., "Chaste and Filial Women in Chinese Historical Writings of the Eleventh Century." Journal of the American Oriental Society 121 (2) (2001): 204-218
- Hulsewé, A.F.P. 1993. “Shih chi,” Early Chinese Texts: a bibliographical guide, (Early China Special Monograph, No 2) edited by Michael Loewe. Berkeley, CA: Society for the Study of Early China, ISBN 1557290431 (in Chinese and English), 405-414
- Hulsewé, A.F.P. and Loewe, M.A.N. 1979. China in Central Asia: The Early Stage 125 B.C.E. – AD 23: an annotated translation of chapters 61 and 96 of the History of the Former Han Dynasty. (Sinica Leidensia) Leiden: E.J. Brill, ISBN 9004058842. (in Chinese and English)
- Kennedy, Brian, and Elizabeth Guo. 2005. Chinese Martial Arts Training Manuals: A Historical Survey. Berkeley, CA: North Atlantic Books Publishing. ISBN 1556435576
- Mote, F. W. 1999. Imperial China, 900-1800. Cambridge, Mass, Harvard University Press. ISBN 0674445155 ISBN 9780674445154
- Sima Qian. 1993. Records of the Grand Historian of China. Qin Dynasty, Translated by Burton Watson. (Hong Kong: The Research Centre for Translation [The Chinese University of Hong Kong]; New York: Columbia University Press. ISBN 0231081685
- Sima Qian. 1993. Records of the Grand Historian of China. Han Dynasty II, Revised Edition. Translated by Burton Watson. New York: Columbia University Press. ISBN 0231081685
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