Historical Narratives in the Pre-Qin and Han Periods

   The long history of Chinese historical narratives that originated in the Shang-Zhou (商周) era, bloomed in the Warring States (戰國) period and prospered in the Han () dynasty generated the greatest amount of narrative literature in the world. This book explores and discusses the pre-Qin (先秦) and Han historical narratives through Confucian classics and their commentaries, Chinese philosophy, Chinese historiography, and unearthed documents.

The research methodology focuses on Zuo Zhuan and Guoyu with the assistance of The Tsinghua Bamboo Slips: Xinian and The Shanghai Museum Bamboo Slips: Gucheng Jiafu, as well as the Confucian scholars’ previous studies. The author adopts the concepts of “Narratology” and “Hermeneutics” using a combination of traditional Confucian classics, history and the article study. By using both macroscopic and microscopic methods, this book investigates the origin and features of, as well as the inherited changes (including historical and cultural implications) in, Chinese historical narratives.

This book examines the characters, such as Duke Yin of Lu (魯隱公), Duke Wen of Jin (晉文公), Duke Jing of Jin (晉景公), Duke Li of Jin (晉厲公), Duke Ping of Jin (晉平公), King Zhao of Chu (楚昭王), Confucius (孔子), Zichan (子產), Shusun Muzi (叔孫穆子), Zhao Dun (趙盾), Cui Zhu (崔杼), Luan Shu (欒書), Xun Yan (荀偃), Han Jue (韓厥), Xi Zhi (), Luan Ying (), Fan Gai (范匄), and Fan Yang (范鞅). In addition, this book reviews plots and subjects such as “Zhongni Yue (Confucius’s speech) narratives,” “war narratives,” “regicide narratives,” “metaphorical narratives,” “god-and-demon narratives,” “the demise of the Xi clan,” and “the fall of the Luan clan”.

This treatise is more comprehensive and diverse than most of the literature on the pre-Qin and Han historical narratives.

Long-Shien Lee (2017). Historical Narratives in the Pre-Qin and Han Periods. 先秦兩漢歷史敘事隅論. Taipei: National Taiwan University Press.

Professor Long-Shien Lee
Department of Chinese Literature


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