In the period after the fall of the Later Han Dynasty 後漢 (25-220), numerous historians began to revise and abridge the dynasty's official history work, the Dongguan Han ji 東觀漢記, which had been compiled by imperial order. Within about 200 years, a round dozen works emerged in this way, all of which drew on the same sources, but each told the story a little differently. Only two of these have survived to this day, Fan Ye's 范曄 (398-446) Hou Han shu 後漢 書and Yuan Hong's 袁宏 (330-378) Hou Han ji 後漢紀. However, these are far from being on equal footing. While the Hou Han shu has been included in the circle of 24 dynastic histories and has long been the most important source for the Later Han dynasty, the Hou Han ji disappeared almost completely in its shadow and has often been dismissed as a kind of abridged version of the actual historical work. This study demonstrates, on the basis of comparisons of the portrayal of important events and figures in the two works and in fragments that survived from other Later Han histories, that in many cases an alternative account and interpretation of events was disregarded, and that reading the Hou Han ji can provide valuable insights into the methods of medieval Chinese historians. For even though both authors drew from the same material base, they did not always ask the same questions and selected their material according to different criteria: The results are two quite different accounts of the Later Han Dynasty.

Das Hou Han ji des Yuan Hong: Zur Historiographie der Späteren Han-Dynastie

Eicher Sebastian
2018

Abstract

In the period after the fall of the Later Han Dynasty 後漢 (25-220), numerous historians began to revise and abridge the dynasty's official history work, the Dongguan Han ji 東觀漢記, which had been compiled by imperial order. Within about 200 years, a round dozen works emerged in this way, all of which drew on the same sources, but each told the story a little differently. Only two of these have survived to this day, Fan Ye's 范曄 (398-446) Hou Han shu 後漢 書and Yuan Hong's 袁宏 (330-378) Hou Han ji 後漢紀. However, these are far from being on equal footing. While the Hou Han shu has been included in the circle of 24 dynastic histories and has long been the most important source for the Later Han dynasty, the Hou Han ji disappeared almost completely in its shadow and has often been dismissed as a kind of abridged version of the actual historical work. This study demonstrates, on the basis of comparisons of the portrayal of important events and figures in the two works and in fragments that survived from other Later Han histories, that in many cases an alternative account and interpretation of events was disregarded, and that reading the Hou Han ji can provide valuable insights into the methods of medieval Chinese historians. For even though both authors drew from the same material base, they did not always ask the same questions and selected their material according to different criteria: The results are two quite different accounts of the Later Han Dynasty.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/10278/5002532
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