Friday, September 19, 2008

Zuo Zhuan

The Zuo Zhuan , translated as the Chronicle of Zuo or the Commentary of Zuo, is the earliest Chinese work of narrative history and covers the period from 722 BCE to 468 BCE. It was traditionally attributed to Zuo Qiuming, as a commentary to the ''Spring and Autumn Annals'', although many scholars believe it was an independent work that corresponded chronologically to the Annals and was later spliced into it. Most notable modern scholars of this book, such as Yang Bojun hold that the work was compiled during the period of Warring States, and given the compilation of the date no later than 389 BCE. It is one of the most important sources for understanding the history during the Spring and Autumn period.

The book also contains the earliest reference to weiqi under the section of 25th Year of Duke Xiang of Lu in Gregorian year of 548 BCE.

With its vivid and concise language, ''Zuo Zhuan'' is also a gem of classical Chinese prose. This work and ''Shiji'' were regarded as the ultimate models by many generations of prose stylists in ancient China.

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