Brill’s Encyclopedia of China

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Historical Literature
(1,627 words)

In China, the legitimization of authority has always played an important role for historical literature. However, efforts towards factual correctness in the works of official historiography (historiography, pre-modern) were not able to conceal the fact that the early forerunners, like the Shiji (Records of the Historian) and the Zuozhuan (Commentary of Zuo), had already included anecdotal elements, which aimed at historicizing ancient myths and which were disqualified by official historiography of later periods as "alternative historiography" (bieshi) or "unofficial his…

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Zimmer, Thomas, “Historical Literature”, in: Brill’s Encyclopedia of China, Managing Editor English Edition: Daniel Leese. Consulted online on 01 February 2023 <>
First published online: 2008
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004168633, 20121018

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