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The Zizhi Tongjian (Plantilla:Zh-tspwl) was a pioneering reference work in Chinese historiography. Emperor Yingzong of Song ordered Sima Guang and other scholars to begin compiling this universal history of China in 1065 CE and they presented it to his successor Emperor Shenzong of Song in 1084 CE. It contains 294 volumes () and about 3 million words (or Chinese characters).

The book chronologically narrates the history of China from the Warring States period in 403 BCE to the beginning of the Song Dynasty in 959 CE. The major contributor of this work was Sima Guang, from collecting previously existence events and dates in Twenty-Four Histories, to drafting and publication.

It changed a tradition dating back almost 1,000 years to the Shiji; standard Chinese dynastic histories (collectively the Twenty-Four Histories) primarily divided chapters between annals () of rulers and biographies () of offcials. In Chinese terms, the book changed the format of histories from biographical style (紀傳體) to chronological style (編年體), which is better suited for analysis and criticism. According to Wilkinson, "It had an enormous influence on later Chinese historical writing, either directly of through its many abbreviations, continuations, and adaptations. It remains an extraordinarily useful first reference for a quick and reliable coverage of events at a particular time."[1]


See also[]


  1. Wilkinson (2000:499)


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  • Chen, Guangchong, "Zizhi Tongjian" ("Comprehensive Mirror to Aid in Government"). Encyclopedia of China (Chinese History Edition), 1st ed.
  • Bo Yang. Modern Chinese Edition of Zizhi Tongjian. Taipei: Yuan-Liou Publishing Co. Ltd, vol. 1 ISBN 957-32-0795-8 to vol. 72 ISBN 957-32-1810-0.
  • De Crespigny, Rafe. (1973). "Universal Histories," in Essays on the Sources for Chinese History, Donald D. Leslie, Colin Mackerras, Wang Gungwu, eds., Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, pp. 64-70.
  • Ji xiao-bin. (2003). "Mirror for Government: Ssu-ma Kuang's Thought on Politics and Government in Tzu-chih t'ung-chien," in The New and the Multiple, Thomas H.C. Lee, ed. Hong Kong: Chinese University Press, pp. 1-32.
  • Partington, James Riddick (1960). A History of Greek Fire and Gunpowder. Cambridge: W. Heffer & Sons Ltd.
  • Wilkinson, Endymion. 2000. Chinese History: a manual. Revised and enlarged ed. Cambridge: Harvard University Asia Center. ISBN 0-674-00249-0

External links[]

de:Zizhi Tongjian fr:Zizhi Tongjian ja:資治通鑑 vi:Tư trị thông giám zh:資治通鑒