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  • Olivia Milburn (a1)


The Xinian or Annalistic History is one of an important collection of ancient bamboo texts donated anonymously to Qinghua University in 2008. The Xinian covers events from the history of the Western Zhou dynasty (1045–771 b.c.e.), through the Spring and Autumn Period (771–475 b.c.e.) and into the Warring States era (475–221 b.c.e.). Since the first publication of this manuscript in 2011, it has been the subject of much research, though this has usually been focused on the sections which have important parallels within the transmitted tradition. This article proposes a new way of understanding the Xinian, as a compilation produced from at least five source texts, and provides a complete translation of the entire text. Furthermore, although the contents of the Xinian are frequently at variance with the transmitted tradition, in particular the account of events given in the Zuozhuan, in some instances it may prove the more reliable source. The Xinian also provides some information concerning the history of the early Warring States era that helps to explain events in this generally badly documented era.

2008 年清華大學入藏一批楚簡: 此文獻内有一部久已佚失的史書, 被稱爲 《繫年》。此書之二十四章的文字篇幅概述從周朝建立至戰國早期的歷史大事, 學術價值彌足珍貴。2011 年由李學勤主編清華大學出土文獻研究與保護中心編著的《清華大學藏戰國竹簡(貳)》問世, 此即《繫年》。已經有不少學者對此書進行研究,取得了很多的成果, 尤其是内容與傳世文獻大致相同的章節。《繫年》有許多史事不見於傳世文獻, 對 《左傳》等典籍有重大的訂正作用。特別是關於戰國前期歷史的各章, 《繫年》提供的新材料可填補古史之空白, 十分珍貴。

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1. Edward Shaughnessy, Rewriting Early Chinese Texts (Albany: State University of New York Press, 2006), 256.

2. The original manuscript of the Xinian is untitled. The title was chosen specifically by modern scholars working on the text to make a connection with the Zhushu jinian; see Li Xueqin 李學勤, ed., Qinghua daxue cang Zhanguo zhujian 清華大學戰國竹簡 (Vol. 2; Shanghai: Zhongxi, 2011), 135.

3. It has long been understood that there are problems with the chronology given in the Shiji 史記 (Records of the Grand Historian) for the early Warring States era kings of Chu. This study will follow the corrected chronology given in Bai Guangqi 白光琦, “You Qinghua jian Xinian dingzheng Zhanguo Chu nian” 由清華簡繫年訂正戰國楚年 ( .php?id=1659 [accessed on September 30, 2014]). An identical revised chronology is also given in Tao Jin 陶金, “You Qinghua jian Xinian tan Huanzi Meng Jiang hu xiangguan wenti” 由清華簡繫年談洹子孟姜壺相關問題 ( [accessed on September 30, 2014]).

4. See Xueqin, Li, “ Xinian chuban de zhongyao yiyi” 繫年出版的重要意義, Handan xueyuan xuebao 邯鄲學院學報 23 (2013), 1516 .

5. See Wang Liancheng 王連成, “Jianyi Qinghua jian Xinian zhi bianlian yu ‘Zhou wang wang jiuninan’ de lijie wenti” 淺議清華簡繫年之編聯與周亡王九年的理解問題 ( [accessed on September 30, 2014]).

6. See Minzhen, Chen 陳民鎮, “ Xinian guzhi shuo: Qinghua jian Xinian xingzhi ji xuanzuo beijing chuyi” 繫年故志說清華簡繫年性質及撰作背景芻議, Handan xueyuan xuebao 22.2 (2012), 4950 .

7. This point is made in Hou Wenxue 侯文學, Mingli, Li 李明麗, “Qinghua jian Xinian de xushi lili, hexin yu linian” 清華簡繫年的叙事體例核心與理念, Huaxia wenhua luntan 華夏文化論壇 8 (2012), 286–87.

8. This is extensively discussed in Hu Kai 胡凱, Minzhen, Chen 陳民鎮, “Cong Qinghua jian Xinian kan Jinguo de bangjiao: Yi Jin–Chu, Jin–Qin guanxi wei zhongxin” 從清華簡繫年看晉國的邦交以晉楚晉秦關系為中心, Handan xueyuan xuebao 22.2 (2012), 5866 .

9. See for example Liu Quanzhi 劉全志, “Lun Qinghua jian Xinian de xingzhi” 論清華簡繫年的性質, Zhongyuan wenwu 中原文物 2013.6, 43–50.

10. See Fang Xuanling 房玄齡, Jinshu 晉書 (Beijing: Zhonghua, 1974), 51:1433. As noted by Chen Mengjia 陳夢家, Xi-Zhou niandai kao: Liuguo jinian 西周年代考: 六國紀年 (Beijing: Zhonghua, 2005), 185, this text was probably different from the transmitted Guoyu, since otherwise the nature of the contents would not need to be mentioned.

11. Sima Qian 司馬遷, Shiji 史記 (Beijing: Zhonghua, 1959), 14.510. The existence of this text is further documented in the “Yiwen zhi 藝文志” (Treatise on Arts and Literature), which mentions a Duoshi wei in three fascicles; see Ban Gu 班固, Hanshu 漢書 (Beijing: Zhonghua, 1962), 30:1713.

12. See for example Chen Wei 陳偉, “Qinghua daxue cang zhushu Xinian de wenxianxue kaocha” 清華大學藏竹書繫年的文獻學考察, Shilin 史林 2013.1, 48.

13. See Feng Shi 馮時, “Zhengzi jia sang yu Duoshi wei” 鄭子家喪與鐸氏微, Kaogu 考古 2012.2, 76–83. For the original publication of the Zhengzi jia sang, which is held in the collection of the Shanghai Museum; see Chen Peifen 陳佩芬, “Zhengzi jia sang” 鄭子家喪, in Ma Chengyuan 馬承源, ed., Shanghai bowuguan zang Zhanguo Chu zhushu 上海博物館藏戰國楚竹書 (Vol. 7; Shanghai: Shanghai guji, 2008), 169–88.

14. For the original proposition of this theory; see Zhang Zheng 張錚, “Hunan Cili chutu Chujian neirong bianxi” 湖南慈利出土楚簡内容辨析, Qiusuo 求索 2007.6, 212–13, 188). It is also discussed in some detail in Dekao, Xia 夏德靠, “Lun Cili Chujian de xingzhi” 論慈利楚簡的性質, Kaili xueyuan xuebao 凱里學院學報 29.2 (2011), 4345 .

15. See Li Xueqin, “Xinian chuban de zhongyao yiyi.”

16. See Zhaochang, Xu 許兆昌, Dandan, Qi 齊丹丹, “Shilun Qinghua jian Xinian de bianzuan tedian” 試論清華簡繫年的編纂特點, Gudai wenming 古代文明 6.2 (2012), 6066 .

17. Pines, Yuri, “Zhou History and Historiography: Introducing the Bamboo Manuscript Xinian,T'oung Pao 100.4–5 (2014), 294 .

18. Chen Minzhen, “Xinian guzhi shuo,” 52–55. A related theory is proposed in Zhu Xiaohai 朱曉海, “Lun Qinghua jian suowei Xinian de shuji xingzhi” 論清華簡所謂繫年的書籍性質, Zhongzheng hanxue yanjiu 中正漢學研究 2012.2, 40, who regards this text as notes on events in the history of the Zhou dynasty, produced within the kingdom of Chu, as recorded by a non-professional historian.

19. The distinction between these two source texts was recorded from the very earliest accounts of the Zhushu jinian; see for example Jinshu, 51:1432. See also David Nivison, The Riddle of the Bamboo Annals (Taipei: Airiti Press, 2009).

20. Li Xuying 李旭穎, “Xinian yu Zuozhuan suozai shishi bijiao yanjiu” 繫年與左傳所載史事比較研究 (Unpublished MA dissertation, Hebei shifan daxue, 2012), 45–48 considers the possibility that the Xinian is a compilation, but does not suggest attributions for the different sections of the manuscript. This study is also unusual in proposing that the compiler might have been a travelling scholar from Jin, temporarily visiting the kingdom of Chu.

21. As noted by Yoshimoto Michimasa 吉本道雅, “Seika kan Keinen kō” 清華簡繫年考, Kyōtō daigaku bungakubu kenkyū kiyō 京都大學文學部研究紀要 52 (2013), 1–94), 6, in using terms like jianguan 監觀 (to observe), the section of the Xinian that deals with Western Zhou dynasty history draws on the same vocabulary as the Shijing 詩經 (Book of Songs); this term is also found in Zheng Xuan 鄭玄, Kong Yingda 孔穎達, Mao Shi zhengyi 毛詩正義 (Beijing: Beijing daxue, 1999), 1018 (“Huangyi” 皇矣). Such usage confirms the observation made by Yuri Pines, “Zhou History and Historiography,” 295, that the wording of the opening parts of this text is more formal and archaic than later sections.

22. This translation follows the original transcription of the text, which gives the character as a contraction of the two characters Shangdi 上帝 (God on High). Chen Qinxiang 陳勤香, “Du Qinghua jian Xinian zhaji” 讀清華簡繫年札記, Yuwen xuekan 語文學刊 2014.7, 24, suggests instead that is simply a variant form for the character di 帝, with = indication duplication rather than contraction.

23. For a study of the revenue fields (jitian 籍田) of the Zhou dynasty; see Li Bai 李白, “Zhoudai jitian li kaolun” 周代籍田禮考論, Nongye kaogu 農業考古 2012.3, 24–29; and Yang Yanmin 楊燕民, “Zhongguo gudai jitian liyi zhongzhong” 中國古代籍田禮儀種種, Neimenggu shehui kexue (Wenshizhe ban) 内蒙古社會科學 (文史哲版) 1990.6, 89–95.

24. The translation here follows the annotations in Su Jianzhou 蘇建洲, Wu Wenwen 吳雯雯, Lai Yixuan 賴怡璇, Qinghua er Xinian jijie 清華二繫年集解 (Taipei: Wanjuanlou, 2013), 18, that three groups of people were oppressed by King Li of Zhou.

25. Song is here amended to Zong on the basis of the commentary by Sima Biao 司馬彪 (243–306) on the “Rangwang” 讓王 (Yielding Kingship) chapter of the Zhuangzi 莊子; see Guo Qingfan 郭慶藩, Zhuangzi jishi 莊子集釋 (Beijing: Zhonghua Shuju, 2008), 983–84: “In the troubles of King Li of Zhou, the Son of Heaven vacated [the throne] and all the lords requested that he become the Son of Heaven, but the earl of Gong refused. However, he did act as king. In the fourteenth year there was a great drought and the palace caught fire. A divination was performed with respect to the sun and the interpretation said: ‘King Li is causing this evil.’ The duke of Shao then established King Xuan. The earl of Gong went back to Zong, enjoying himself happily on top of Mt. Gong.” (周厲王之難, 天子曠絕, 諸侯皆請以為天子, 共伯不聽. 即干王位. 十四年大旱室焚, 卜於太陽, 兆曰: “厲王為祟.” 召公乃立宣王. 共伯復歸於宗, 逍遥得意共山之首). These events are also mentioned in the Zhushu jinian; see Hong Yixuan 洪頤煊, Zhushu jinian 竹書紀年 (Sibu beiyao edn.), B:8a–b. On the basis of the similarity between the two accounts, Yoshimoto Michimasa, “Seika kan Keinen kō,” 8, considers that the Xinian and Zhushu jinian were here derived from a single source.

26. Lei Xiaopeng 雷曉鵬, “Qinghua jian Xinian yu Zhou Xuanwang ‘bu ji Qianmu’ xin yan” 清華簡繫年與周宣王 ‘不籍千畝’ 新研, Zhongguo nongye 中國農業 2014.4, 56–63, argues that the failure in ritual here ascribed to King Xuan of Zhou should be understood as a comprehensive failure in government as well: the abandonment of the revenue fields indicating serious disruption in agriculture in general.

27. These events are also mentioned in the Guoyu; see Shanghai shifan daxue guji zhenglizu 上海師範大學古籍整理組, Guoyu 國語 (Shanghai: Shanghai guji, 1978), 22 (“Zhouyu shang” 周語上), which again states specifically that the battle of Qianmu was lost by the forces of King Xuan in the thirty-ninth year of his reign (789 b.c.e.).

28. As noted by Li Xueqin, “You Qinghua jian Xinian lun ‘Wenhou zhi ming’” 由清華簡繫年論 ‘文侯之命’, Yangzhou daxue xuebao (Renwen shehui kexue ban) 揚州大學學報(人文社會科學版) 2013.3, 50, the Xinian follows Zhou dynasty usage in clarifying that this is Western Shen as opposed to Southern Shen, a state recorded in a number of bronze inscriptions. This issue was also discussed in an earlier publication by the same author; see Li Xueqin, “Lun Zhongchengfu gui yu Shenguo” 論仲稱父簋與申國, Zhongyuan wenwu 中原文物 1984.4, 31–32, 39.

29. The two characters Fu 孚 (pû) and Bao 褒 (phu R!) were phonetically similar in ancient Chinese pronunciation; see Axel Schuessler, Minimal Old Chinese and Later Han Chinese: A Companion to Grammata Serica Recensa (Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press, 2009), 182–83.

30. In the transmitted tradition, the son of King You and Lady Bao Si is named Bofu. Many commentators cite a quotation from the Zhushu jinian (not found in the transmitted text) using the name Bopan; see for example Kong Yingda 孔穎達, Chunqiu Zuozhuan zhushu 春秋左傳注疏 (Beijing: Beijing daxue, 2000), 1698 (Zhao 26).

31. If the chronology given by other ancient texts is correct, Lady Bao Si arrived in the palace in the 3rd year of King You's reign, and Prince Bopan was established as the Crown Prince in the 8th year, as a small child. See Shiji, 4.147; and Zhushu jinian, B:11a respectively. Therefore, Chen Wei 陳偉, “Du Qinghua jian Xinian zhaji san” 讀清華簡繫年札記三, Jianghan kaogu 江漢考古 2012.3, 118, suggests that it is unlikely that Wang yu Bopan zhu Pingwang 王與伯盤逐平王 means: “His Majesty and Bopan forced King Ping into exile.” Instead, yu 與 is a verb: “to love.”

32. For jingshi 京師 as a term meaning the place of residence of the Son of Heaven; see He Xiu 何休, Xu Yan 徐彦, Chunqiu Gongyang zhuan zhushu 春秋公羊傳注疏 (Beijing: Beijing daxue, 1999), 94 (Huan 9). Dong Shan 董珊, “Du Qinghua jian Xinian” 讀清華繫年 ( [accessed on September 30, 2014]), suggests that this refers to the capital city of Jin, and not (as the annotators of the 2011 publication suggest) the Zhou capital Zongzhou 宗周. This usage is testified to in a number of Jin bronzes such as the Jin Jiang ding 晉姜鼎.

33. In the transmitted tradition, the expression jishi 即世 (to pass away) is particularly associated with its many appearances in the Zuozhuan; see Yoshimoto Michimasa, “Seika kan Keinen kō,” 18, being used but rarely in other historical texts. This confirms the impression that the Xinian and the Zuozhuan are closely related. As noted by Yuri Pines, “Zhou History and Historiography,” 298, when the deaths of monarchs—particularly the kings of Chu—are mentioned in the Xinian, this formal term is used. It appears only sporadically when the deaths of lords are recorded.

34. The Xinian is notable for preserving the vocative forms of many personal names. For an analysis of Zhi 之 as a vocative; see Yang Shuda 楊樹達, Gushu yiyi juli dubu 古書疑義舉例讀補 (Shanghai: Shanghai guji, 1991), 4. The Zuozhuan, 150 (Huan 17), which also mentions these events, does not make the relationship between Lord Zhao and the new ruler installed by Gao Qumi clear; the Xinian provides the information that they are brothers.

35. According to the Zuozhuan, 132 (Huan 11), the two half-brothers Lord Zhao and Lord Li were originally established simultaneously as the ruler of Zheng by different factions within the court. In the circumstances it was impossible for either to fully establish their authority. It was not until 694 b.c.e. when Lord Zhao was dead and Lord Xiang of Qi had purged the court that the situation was resolved.

36. In the Zuozhuan, 459 (Xi 28), it states that by 632 b.c.e., all the Ji states in the Hanyang region had been conquered by Chu. Here, the Xinian places this conquest as early as the reign of King Wen of Chu.

37. The reading of the character shi 屎 as zuan follows Tiantian, Huang 黄甜甜, “ Xinian disanzhang Chengwang shi fa Shangyi zhi shizi bulun” 繫年第三章成王屎伐商邑之屎字補論, Shenzhen daxue xuebao (Renwen shehui kexue ban) 深圳大學學報(人文社會科學報) 29.2 (2012), 5356 .

38. The character Lu is being read by analogy to the text of the Taibao gui 太保簋, which records the same individual: Geng, Viscount of Lu 录子耿 or Sheng, Viscount of Lu 录子𦔻. See Shirakawa Shizuka 白川静, Kinbun tsūshaku 金文通釋 (Vol. 1A; Kobe: Hakutsuru bijutsukan, 1964), 59–60; and Yin Weizhang 殷瑋璋, Cao Shuqin 曹淑琴, “Zhouchu Taibaoqi zonghe yanjiu” 周初太保器綜合研究, Kaogu xuebao 考古學報 1991.1, 5–6. The text of the Taibao gui specifically mentions the rebellion of Shang loyalists; for a translation of the inscription, see Edward Shaughnessy, Before Confucius: Studies in the Creation of the Chinese Classics (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1997), 138.

39. The attack by King Cheng's forces on the Shang city is also mentioned in the text of the Kanghou gui 康侯簋. Tang Lan 唐蘭, Xi-Zhou qingtongqi mingwen fendai shizheng 西周青銅器銘文分代史徵 (Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1986), 12, suggests that the term Shangyi 商邑 (Shang city) in this inscription should be understood as a reference to the former Shang dynasty capital.

40. Feilian is also described as as the founding father of the state of Qin in Shiji, 5.174–75. Here, however, his name is given as Feilian 蜚廉.

41. For the identification of Zhuwu as the Maojiaping 毛家坪 site in Gangu County 甘谷縣, Gansu Province; see Xueqin, Li, “Tan Qinren chu ju ‘Zhuwu’ de dili weizhi” 談秦人初居邾吾的地理位置, Chutu wenxian 出土文獻 2 (2011), 15 . There are many different branches of the Rong nomadic people recorded in the transmitted tradition and in inscriptions on excavated bronzes; for a study of what is known of these particular people see Li Xueqin, “Qinghua jian Xinian Nuzha zhi Rong shikao” 清華簡繫年奴 之戎試考, Shehui kexue zhanxian 社會科學戰綫 2011.2, 27–28.

42. The origin of the state of Qin has long been a matter of debate with various scholars suggesting either that this state was founded by a branch of a Western nomadic people, or by remnants of the Shang polity. For an overview of these theories; see Xudong, Tian 田旭東, “Qinghua jian Xinian yu Qinren xiqian xintan” 清華簡繫年與秦人西遷新探, Qin-Han yanjiu 秦漢研究 6 (2012), 3641 . The Xinian does not solve this problem; it merely provides one more account suggesting a relationship with the Shang.

43. This translation follows the annotations of the original publication in reading as han 扞 (to protect); this reading is also favoured by Yoshimoto Michimasa, “Seika kan Keinen kō,” 23. Various other alternatives have been offered; Xiaohu 小狐, “Du Xinian yizha” 讀繫年臆札 ( [accessed on 20 July, 2015]), suggests han 翰 (under the auspices of); Huadong shifan daxue zhongwenxi Zhanguo jian dushu xiaozu 華東師範大學中文系戰國簡讀書小組, “Du Qinghua daxue cang Zhanguo zhujian er. Xinian shu hou (yi)” 讀清華大學藏戰國竹簡二.繫年書後(一) ( [accessed on 20 July, 2015]), suggests fu 服 (to submit to); Dong Shan, “Du Qinghua jian Xinian,” suggests pei 陪 (to accompany).

44. Pengtao, Niu 牛鵬濤, “Qinghua jian Xinian yu tongqi mingwen huzheng erze” 清華簡繫年與銅器銘文互證二則, Shenzhen daxue xuebao (Renwen shehui kexue bao) 29.2 (2012), 49 argues that Qin Zhong should be understood specifically as Lord Xiang of Qin 秦襄公 (r. 777–766 b.c.e.).

45. The translation here follows the annotations provided by the original publication. However, Chen Wei, “Du Qinghua jian Xinian zhaji,” 118, suggests that this sentence should be read as: “they remembered that the Xia and Shang dynasties had no descendants [maintaining ancestral sacrifices]” (乃追念夏商之亡胄).

46. The concept of regional lords forming a protective screen is also found in the transmitted tradition; see for example Huang Huaixin 黃懷信, Zhang Maorong 張懋鎔, Tian Xudong 田旭東, Yi Zhoushu huijiao jizhu 逸周書彙校集注 (Shanghai: Shanghai guji, 1995), 997 (“Jigong” 祭公).

47. As noted by Li Xueqin, “Qinghua jian Xinian jieda feng Wei yimi” 清華簡繫年解答封衛疑謎, Wenshi zhishi 文史知識 2012.3, 13–15, there has been much speculation over the terms of the “Kanggao” 康誥 (Announcement to Kang) text in the Shangshu 尚書 (Book of Documents), which some imperial era scholars read as meaning that the state of Wei was first founded by Kang Shu in the reign of King Wu of Zhou. The Xinian makes it clear that this enfeoffment occurred in the reign of King Cheng.

48. The Zhushu jinian, B:15b is the only other ancient text to specify that it was the Red Di that invaded Wei in this year. The Xinian is unique in naming the ruler concerned. Huadong shifan daxue zhongwenxi Zhanguo jian dushu xiaozu 華東師範大學中文系戰國簡讀書小組, “Du Qinghua daxue cang Zhanguo zhujian er. Xinian shu hou (er)” 讀清華大學藏戰國竹簡二.繫年書後(二) ( [accessed on 20 July, 2015]), suggest that Liuhu of the Red Di should be understood as the same person as Liuxu 留吁, whose death at the hands of the Jin army is mentioned in the Chunqiu, 766 (Xuan 16).

49. The posthumous title of this ruler is normally given as Lord Yi of Wei 衛懿公. The place of his defeat and death at the hands of the Di is recorded in the transmitted tradition as the Ying Marshes (Yingze 熒澤); see Zuozhuan, 265–66 (Wen 2). According to some accounts of these events, Lord Yi's body was eaten by the victors; see for example Xu Weiyu 許維遹, Han Shi waizhuan jishi 韓詩外傳集釋 (Beijing: Zhonghua, 2005), 252–53 (7.11).

50. The term gongzi 公子 is here translated as “Honourable” following British usage, as this is the system commonly used to translate other Zhou dynasty aristocratic titles. Honourable is the basic title of all children of aristocrats, though in practice they may be more commonly known by a courtesty title, for example when indicating the individual's status as heir.

51. According to the Shiji, 37.1594–1955, Lord Dai and Lord Wen of Wei were brothers. However, Lord Wen's personal name is usually given as Hui 燬. The Honourable Qifang of Wei is mentioned in Chen Qiyou 陳奇猷, Lüshi chunqiu xin jiaoshi 吕氏春秋新校釋 (Shanghai: Shanghai guji, 2002), 979 (“Zhijie” 知接) as one of Lord Huan of Qi's ministers, and his name is given in other texts as the Honourable Kaifang 公子開方; see for example Chen Qiyou 陳奇猷, Han Feizi jishi 韓非子集釋 (Beijing: Zhonghua, 1958), 194–95 (“Shiguo” 十過). The Xinian suggests that Qifang/Kaifang and Hui, Lord Wen of Wei, were one and the same person; in which case he can have played no role in the death of Lord Huan of Qi. This confirms the analysis of Fumichika, Noma 野間文史, “Sei Kankō no saiki to Saden no seiritsu” 斉桓公の最期と左伝の成立, Tōhōgaku 東方學 87 (1994), 2841 , that the stories concerning conflict at the time of Lord Huan of Qi's death were a late Warring States era invention.

52. Zhushu jinian, B:8a.

53. Shiji, 4.144. For a study of the figure of He, earl of Gong, in the context of the Xinian text; see Xinghua, Tao 陶興華, “Cong Qinghua jian Xinian kan ‘Gonghe’ yu ‘Gonghe xingzheng’” 從清華簡繫年看共和與共和行政, Gudai wenming 7.2 (2013), 5762 .

54. This text is quoted in Shiji, 4.144n1, having been incorporated into the Zhengyi 正義 (Correct Meanings) commentary.

55. See Shiji, 4.149. Sima Qian's failure to even mention the existence of the king of Xie in the Shiji has been the subject of criticism since at least the Qing dynasty; see Liang Yusheng 梁玉繩, Shiji zhiyi 史記志疑 (Beijing: Zhonghua, 2006), 103.

56. See Zuozhuan, 1476 (Zhao 26).

57. See Du Yu 杜預, Chunqiu jingzhuan jijie 春秋經傳集解 (Shanghai: Shanghai guji, 2007), 1599n19 (Zhao 26). See also the Suoyin 索隱 (Seeking the Obscure) commentary on the Shiji by Sima Zhen 司馬貞 (679–732); Shiji, 4.148n16; and the commentary by Wei Zhao 韋昭 (204–73) on the Guoyu, 256n8 (“Jinyu” 晉語 1).

58. Zhushu jinian, B:11b. This account does not indicate how Prince Yuchen was related to the ruling house, but this omission is rectified by the Xinian.

59. See Zhushu jinian, B:12b. Two readings have been provided for this date: the twenty-first year of the reign of King Ping (750 b.c.e.), or the twenty-first year of the reign of Marquis Wen of Jin (760 b.c.e.), with the latter suggestion being proposed by Wang Guowei 王國維, Guben Zhushu jinian jijiao 古本竹書紀年輯校 (Shenyang: Liaoning renmin, 1997), 17. Modern scholars generally accept that the first of these dates is correct; see Wei Dong 魏棟, “Qinghua jian Xinian yu Xiewang zhi mi” 清華簡繫年與携王之謎, Wenshi zhishi 2013.6, 34.

60. See Kong Yingda, Chunqiu Zuozhuan zhushu, 1697 (Zhao 26).

61. See Wang Hui 王暉, “Chunqiu zaoqi Zhou wangshi wangwei shixi bianju kaoyi: Jian shuo Qinghua jian Xinian Zhou wu wang jiu nian” 春秋早期周王室王位世系變局考異兼說清華簡繫年周無王九年, Renwen zazhi 人文雜誌 2013.5, 75–81.

62. Wang Hongliang 王紅亮, “Qinghua jian Xinian zhong Zhou Pingwang dong qian de xiangguan niandai kao” 清華簡繫年中周平王東遷的相關年代考, Shixueshi yanjiu 史學史研究 2012.4, 103.

63. The double monarchy after the death of King You is described in Chao Fulin 晁福林, “Lun Pingwang dongqian” 論平王東遷, Lishi yanjiu 歷史研究 1991.6, 8–23. For a reevaluation of his original conclusions in the light of the discovery of the Xinian; see Chao Fulin, “Qinghua jian Xinian yu Liang Zhou zhi jishishi de zhonggou” 清華簡繫年與兩周之際史事的重构, Lishi yanjiu 2013.6, 154–63.

64. Different theories concerning these events are discussed in detail in Su Jianzhou, Wu Wenwen, Lai Yixuan, Qinghua er Xinian jijie, 77–106.

65. This point was made strongly by Gu Yanwu 顧炎武 (1613–1682) in his study of the ‘Wenhou zhi ming 文侯之命’ (Command to Marquis Wen) chapter of the Shangshu; see Huang Rucheng 黄汝成, Rizhilu jishi 日知錄集釋 (Shanghai: Shanghai guji, 2007), 2:110.

66. Zhu Youzeng 朱右曾, Yi Zhoushu jixun jiaoshi 逸周書集訓校釋 (Taipei: Shijie, 1967), 48:126 (“Zuoluo jie” 作雒解).

67. Sun Zhilu 孫之騄, Shangshu dazhuan 尚書大傳 (Siku quanshu edn.), 3:3b.

68. Huo Shu is also mentioned in the account of these events given in Chen Shike 陳士珂, Kongzi jiayu shuzheng 孔子家語疏證 (Taipei: Taiwan shangwu, 1970), 234 (“Benxing jie” 本姓解).

69. See Hanshu, 28B:1647.

70. Yihan, Lu 路懿菡, “Cong Qinghua jian Xinian kan Zhouchu de Sanjian” 從清華簡繫年看周初的三監, Liaoning shifan daxue xuebao (Shehui kexue ban) 遼寧師范大學學報 (社會科學版) 36.6 (2013), 924–28.

71. Shiji, 35.1565.

72. The characters Sai 賽 (sə^kh) and Xi 息 (sək) appear to have been near homophones in ancient Chinese; see Axel Schuessler, Minimal Old Chinese and Later Han Chinese, 111. For a discussion of the interchangeable use of the two characters in bronze vessel inscriptions concerning the state of Xi; see Yu Haoliang 于豪亮, “Lun Xiguo he Fanguo de tongqi” 論息國和樊國的銅器, Jianghan kaogu 1980.2, 7–8; and He Guangyue 何光岳, “Xiguo kao” 息國考, Shixue yuekan 史學月刊 1988.6, 111.

73. The annotations given here by the publication team are wrong: Lord Ai of Cai makes this comment because his wife is Lady Gui of Xi's sister; see Chen Xiaoli 陳曉麗, Wan Deliang 萬德良, “Qinghua jian Xinian suojian Xiguo shishi xiaozha” 清華簡繫年所見息國史事小札, Zaozhuang xueyuan xuebao 棗莊學院學報 2013.6, 51.

74. The verb translated here as “to rape” is qi 妻, which more commonly means “to take as a wife” or “to engage in an adulterous relationship.” However, given that Lady Gui has just been arrested by her brother-in-law, this cannot be a consensual relationship. The word qi is also used to refer to the assault inflicted by Wu Zixu 伍子胥 on the widow of King Ping of Chu 楚平王 (r. 528–516 b.c.e.) following the fall of the capital to the Wu army in 506 b.c.e.; see Yuan Kang 袁康, Wu Ping 吳平, Yuejue shu 越絕書 (Shanghai: Shanghai guji, 1985), 106 (“Pianxu” 篇叙). Again, what is being described is an act of rape. When the story of Lady Gui of Xi appears in the Zuozhuan, 184 (Zhuang 10), the marquis of Cai is said to have lacked respect (fu bin 弗賓). For a comparison of how these events are described in different texts; see Cheng Wei 程薇, “Qinghua jian Xinian yu Xi Gui shiji” 清華簡繫年與息嬀事迹, Wenshi zhishi 2012:4, 45–48.

75. The fratricidal rivalry between Du'ao (also known as Zhuang'ao 莊敖) and his younger brother, King Cheng of Chu is recorded in Shiji, 40.1696. The reign dates of King Wen of Chu are disputed; the Zuozhuan gives him a reign of fifteen years (689–675 b.c.e.), while the Shiji has thirteen (689–677 b.c.e.). It is not known which is correct, but this article here follows Su Jianzhou, Wu Wenwen, Lai Yixuan, Qinghua er Xinian jijie, 291, in using the Shiji chronology for the Chu kings.

76. According to the Zuozhuan, 292–93 (Xi 4): “The kingdom of Chu has the Fangcheng Mountains as its walls and the Han River as its moat” (楚國方城以爲城, 漢水以爲池).

77. Yoshimoto Michimasa, “Seika kan Keinen kō,” 56, notes that the very first reference to the kingdom of Wu in the Zuozhuan describes a covenant between them and the kingdom of Chu, in 601 b.c.e., the thirteenth year of the reign of King Zhuang of Chu. See Zuozhuan, 696 (Xuan 8). It may be these events which are being referred to here.

78. The Zuozhuan, 714 (Xuan 11) states that Chu attacked Chen with the other lords (zhuhou 諸侯), but they are not identified. In his commentary on this line, Kong Yingda, Chunqiu jingzhuan zhengyi, 724 (Xuan 11) suggests that these were Chu's subordinate states.

79. The Xinian account here agrees with that given in the Guoyu, 539 (“Chuyu shang” 楚語上) in saying that Lady Xia Ji was originally bestowed upon Qu Wu by King Zhuang of Chu, only for him to later change his mind.

80. In the Zuozhuan, 804 (Cheng 2), the lianyin Xiang Lao is said to have died at the battle of Bi 邲. However, the Han Feizi, 390 (“Yulao” 喻老) agrees with the Xinian that King Zhuang of Chu did fight a battle at a place named Heyong, presumably as part of the same campaign, in which his forces were victorious.

81. Some scholars have suggested that the Zidang ding 子蕩鼎 excavated in the northern suburbs of Liuan 六安 city in 1986, was made by the man who (according to the Zuozhuan) was killed in punishment after Lady Xia Ji and Qu Wu left the kingdom of Chu, since he was a member of the latter's family; see Chen Bingxin 陳秉新, “Anhui chutu Zitang [sic] ding mingwen de zai renshi” 安徽出土子湯鼎銘文的再認識, Kaogu 2005.7, 89–91; and Li Yong 李勇, Hu Yuan 胡援, “Chunqiu Zidang Chuqi kao” 春秋子蕩楚器考, Nanfang wenhua 南方文化 1993.1, 114–17. This bronze identifies the maker as a member of the Xiang family; if this is correct, then Qu Wu must have been a relative of Xiang Lao and Xiang Moyao/Heiyao. In that case the relationship between Lady Xia Ji and these three men may be an example of levirate marriage in the kingdom of Chu. The Zuozhuan, 804 (Cheng 2), by contrast, describes the relationship between Lady Xia Ji and Heiyao as an incestuous affair (zheng 烝).

82. The crucial role played by the lord of Shen in the development of Wu during this period is described in the Zuozhuan, 835 (Cheng 7).

83. These events are described in considerable detail in the Zuozhuan, 1270–72 (Zhao 5).

84. The Xinian here gives no suggestion of the actual circumstances of King Ling of Chu's demise, murdered by Prince Bi 王子比 in 529 b.c.e. However, contemporary readers of the text would undoubtedly have been aware of these notorious events, which are mentioned in many ancient Chinese texts; see for example Zuozhuan, 1345–50 (Zhao 13); and Han Feizi, 169 (“Shiguo”).

85. This ruler is normally known by his posthumous title of King Ping of Chu; see Zuozhuan, 1474 (Zhao 26). The Xinian seems to be unique in terming him King Jingping of Chu.

86. Both Yuri Pines, “Zhou History and Historiography,” 309–10; and Yoshimoto Michimasa, “Seika kan Keinen kō,” 60, argue that Wu Ji is an invention; this name appears in the Xinian as a folk etymological explanation of the name of the battlefield where Wu defeated Chu in 519 b.c.e.: Jifu. This battle is mentioned in the Chunqiu, 1440 (Zhao 23); and Zuozhuan, 1446 (Zhao 23). This theory was originally put forward by Ziju 子居, “Qinghua jian Xinian 12–15 zhang jiexi” 清華簡繫年 12–15 章解析 ( [accessed on 20 July, 2015]). Alternatively, Su Jianzhou, Wu Wenwen, Lai Yixuan, Qinghua er Xinian jijie, 602, argue that Wu Ji is simply a previously unidentified member of the family.

87. Yoshimoto Michimasa, “Seika kan Keinen kō,” 61, argues that the name Wu Yuan is given here in mistake for Bo Pi 伯嚭.

88. This whole sequence of events is described in almost identical wording, though much greater detail, in the Zuozhuan, 1542–1546 (Ding 4), with the exception of the opening statement: “Then he instructed the people of Wu to rebel against Chu …”

89. Prince Zhen of Wu can be identified as King Fugai, who attempted to sieze the throne from his older brother in 505 b.c.e. In the Zuozhuan, 1544 (Ding 4) account of these events it says: “King Helu's younger brother, King Fugai, [named] Zhen requested …” (闔廬之弟夫概王晨請), but the term zhen was previously read as meaning “in the morning.” The Xinian makes it clear that this was King Fugai's name. At this time many members of the Wu royal family used a Chinese single-character name and a multi-character transliteration of their name in the Wu language: the two have an identical meaning; see Dong Chuping 董楚平, Jin Yongping 金永平, Wu Yue wenhua zhi 吳越文化志 (Shanghai: Shanghai renmin, 1998), 95–96. Therefore it is likely that King Fugai's name meant “morning.”

90. See Zuozhuan, 701–2 (Xuan 9); and 803–6 (Cheng 2) respectively.

91. See Robert van Gulik, Sexual Life in Ancient China: A Preliminary Survey of Chinese Sex and Society from ca. 1500 BC till 1644 AD (Leiden: Brill, 1974), 314–16; and Olivia Milburn, “The Legend of Lady Xia Ji: Two Ming Dynasty Portrayals of an Ancient Chinese Femme Fatale” (CLEAR, forthcoming). The earliest references to Lady Xia Ji's knowledge of esoteric sexual arts are found in the Lienü zhuan 列女傳 (Biographies of Exemplary Women); see Wang Zhaoyuan 王照圓, Lienü zhuan buzhu 列女傳補注 (Taipei: Taiwan shangwu, 1976), 136 (“Niebi” 孽嬖): “[Lady Xia Ji] was someone who [had mastered] the techniques of internal compression, whereby even though she was old she could restore her youth” (nei xie jishu, gai lao er fu zhuang zhe 内挟伎術, 蓋老而复壯者).

92. The earliest reference to Wu Shang is found in the Zuozhuan, 1408 (Zhao 20), but at this stage, the relationship between Wu Shang and Wu Zixu is not specified. The earliest text to describe the story of the two brothers in any detail is the Shiji, 66.2172–73. As noted by Stephen Durrant, The Cloudy Mirror: Tension and Conflict in the Writings of Sima Qian (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1995), 88, the two brothers at this stage come to represent a perfect filial pair: one dies with their father and the other avenges him.

93. When this campaign is mentioned in the Zuozhuan, 1343 (Zhao 13), no name is given for the commander of the Wu army. Wang Yikun 王屹堃, “Chutu jianbo shiliao jiazhi chuyi: yi Qinghua jian Xinian wei li” 出土簡帛史料價值芻議: 以清華簡繫年為例, Changshu ligong xueyuan xuebao (Zhexue shehui kexue ban) 常熟理工學院學報(哲學社會科學版) 2014.1, 115 suggests that rather than identifying Wu Ji with Wu Shang, he should be considered as a previously unrecorded brother of Wu Zixu.

94. See Barry Blakeley, “Chu Society and State: Image versus Reality,” in Defining Chu: Image and Reality in Ancient China, ed. Constance A. Cook and John S. Major (Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press, 1999), 66.

95. In other texts, Lady Li Ji is said to have been one of Lord Xian's principal wives; see for example Guoyu, 261 (“Jinyu 1”).

96. The Heir Apparent to Lord Xian had the personal name Shensheng 申生. The title he is given here is his posthumous appellation; this is also recorded in the Guoyu, 292 (“Jinyu 2”).

97. Most ancient texts give the name Daozi as Zhuozi 卓子, an exception being the Shiji, 39.1649.

98. Ziju 子居, “Qinghua jian Xinian 5–7 zhang jiexi” 清華簡繫年 5–7 章解析 ( [accessed on October 14, 2014), suggests that the account of the death of Xiqi and Daozi given here is sufficient to ascribe this tale to a foreign source, since the murder of two rulers of Jin by a senior minister should not be recorded in a Jin text. However, this pericope begins with a description of Lady Li Ji's illegal and murderous interference in the succession of the marquisate of Jin, stressing her low status as a mere concubine of the ruler. In that case, the succession of Xiqi and Daozi is illegitimate and the proper line of succession runs from Lord Xian to Lord Hui; thus, there is no opprobium attached to describing the deaths of Xiqi and Daozi at the hands of Li Ke.

99. The Xinian gives a somewhat different itinerary for the extensive travels of the Honourable Chonger to other ancient texts. The Zuozhuan, 404–10 (Xi 23), and the Shiji, 39.1656–60 give an identical itinerary; an alternative is found in the Guoyu, 337–55 (“Jinyu 4”) and the Lüshi chunqiu, 519–20 (“Shangde” 上德). As noted by Li Longxian 李隆獻, Jin Wengong fuguo dingba kao 晉文公復國定霸考 (Taipei: Guoli Taiwan daxue, 1988), 140, insufficient knowledge of Spring and Autum period placenames has caused significant problems with developing a chronology for these events.

100. “Household” (shi 室) specifically refers to Lord Huai's wife; see Yoshimoto Michimasa, “Seika kan Keinen kō,” 40. The same kind of usage can be seen in the Zuozhuan, 2–3 (Yin 1), when it says: “Lord Hui's first wife was Lady Zi of Meng. Lady Zi of Meng died, and then he ‘continued his household’ with Lady Zi of Sheng” (惠公元妃孟子. 孟子卒, 繼室以聲子).

101. When these events are reported in the Zuozhuan, 413–14 (Xi 24), it makes it clear that Lord Wen took power thanks to the support of the Qin army before Lord Huai was dead. The legality of such an action being highly questionable, it is not surprising that in this section of the text, which is strongly associated with Jin, does not stress this point.

102. The attack on Ruo, the siege of Shangmi, and the capture of the Honourable Yi also figure in the Zuozhuan, 434–35 (Xi 25); these events took place in 635 b.c.e. The reference to Zhongcheng is, however, unique to the Xinian.

103. King Cheng of Chu's attack on Song is also mentioned in the Guoyu, 377 (“Jinyu” 4), as occurring in the fourth year of Lord Wen of Jin's reign. However, when these events are mentioned in the Zuozhuan, 442 (Xi 26), they are attributed to the year 634 b.c.e. This problem in chronology is discussed in Yoshimoto Michimasa, “Seika kan Keinen kō,” 41.

104. This reading of the character as min 緡, follows the annotations by Sun Feiyan 孫飛燕, “Du Xinian zhaji sanze” 讀繫年劄記三則 ( [accessed on 20 July, 2015]).

105. The “virtuous actions” (de 德) of Qi and Song refers specifically to their treatment of the future Lord Wen during his time in exile; see Zuozhuan, 406, 408 (Xi 23).

106. The repeated stress on the strategic significance of the Fangcheng Mountains to Chu is one of the hallmarks of the Xinian; see Yoshimoto Michimasa, “Seika kan Keinen kō,” 42.

107. The Xinian suggests that the two sides at the battle of Chengpu were relatively evenly matched; the Zuozhuan, 457 (Xi 28) states that the Chu army was at minimal strength. The Xinian is also unusual in recording extensive participation in this battle by nomadic non-Huaxia peoples. The only transmitted text to mention this is the Zhanguo ce 戰國策 (Stratagems of the Warring States); see Zhu Zugeng 諸祖耿, Zhanguo ce jizhu huikao 戰國策集注匯考 (Nanjing: Fenghuang, 2008), 459 (“Qince” 秦策 5): “Lord Wen employed bandits from Zhongshan and thus was victorious at Chengpu” (文公用中山盗而勝於城濮). However, Zhongshan was a state founded by the Di people and not the Rong.

108. The presentation of ears taken from the enemy dead was a part of post-battle ritual in the Eastern Zhou dynasty; see for example Zuozhuan, 399 (Xi 22); and 651 (Xuan 2); and Lüshi chunqiu, 289–90 (“Guyue” 古樂). It is much more frequently recorded in bronze inscriptions, implying that it probably took place more regularly than transmitted texts suggest.

109. The sequence of events at the covenant of Jiantu is described in some detail in Zuozhuan, 463–66 (Xi 28).

110. The form of the character xi [襲] (to make a surprise attack) used in this pericope is commonly found in texts derived from the state of Jin; see Su Jianzhou, Wu Wenwen, Lai Yixuan, Qinghua er Xinian jijie, 397. This fits with the theory that the Xinian is derived from written materials taken from more than one source.

111. This translation follows the reading of yu 豫 (literally: “to prepare”) as she 舍 (to occupy) given by Sun Feiyan, “Du Xinian zaji sanze.” Alternatively, Huadong shifan daxue zhongwenxi Zhanguo jian dushu xiaozu, “Du Qinghua daxue cang Zhanguo zhujian er. Xinian shu hou (er),” reads yu 豫 as shi 釋 (to position).

112. This translation follows the reading given by Chen Wei, “Du Qinghua jian Xinian zhaji,” 119, which suggests that the character given as ye 也 in the original transcription should instead be read yin 陰 (in secret). Alternatively, Chen Jian 陳劍, [accessed on 20 July, 2015], has suggested reading ye as yi 已 (already), in which case this sentence would read: “We have already obtained control over the gates of Zheng; come and make a surprise attack on them.”

113. The sequence of events described here is recorded in very similar terms in the Zuozhuan, 494–98 (Xi 33); and Lüshi chunqiu, 989–90 (“Huiguo” 悔過); see also He Xiu 何休, Xu Yan 徐彥, Chunqiu Gongyang zhuan zhushu 春秋公羊傳注疏 (Beijing: Beijing daxue, 1999), 270–71 (Xi 33).

114. The Chunqiu, 492 (Xi 33) does not mention leadership of this campaign; while the Zuozhuan attributes it to Xian Zhen 先軫. The Gongyang zhuan, 272 (Xi 33); and Zhong Wenzheng 鍾文烝, Chunqiu Guliang jingzhuan buzhu 春秋谷梁經傳補注 (Beijing: Zhonghua, 1996), 355–56 (Xi 33), both mention traditions that it was Lord Xiang of Jin himself who was in command; the Xinian clearly belongs to this group of texts. Both the Gongyang and the Guliang agree that Lord Xiang's presence was not mentioned in the Chunqiu because it was inappropriate for the ruler to have taken off his mourning and gone out on campaign.

115. Elsewhere, Lord Ling's personal name is given as Yigao 夷皐; see Chunqiu, 650 (Xuan 2); or as Yigao 夷獔; see Gongyang zhuan, 324 (Xuan 2).

116. This translation follows the annotations of the original publication in reading qiang [强] as meaning “adult,” rather than “strong”; following the Liji 禮記 (Records of Ritual). See Sun Xidan 孫希旦, Liji jijie 禮記集解 (Beijing: Zhonghua, 2007), 12 (“Quli shang” 曲禮上).

117. This translation follows the annotations of the original publication in reading youhang 右行 (Infantry General of the Right) as zuohang 左行 (Infantry General of the Left). This amendment is based upon the account of Xian Mie's military office given in the Zuozhuan, 474 (Xi 28).

118. The original text here reads Yong ye 癕也, and the editors of the Qinghua collection suggest that this is a mistake for Yong zi 雍子: that is Ziyong 子雍. See Li Xueqin, ed., Qinghua daxue cang Zhanguo zhujian, 158n7. Su Jianzhou, “Du Xinian zhaji” suggests that ye should be considered as an auxiliary particle.

119. Lord Xiang's wife's appeal is recorded in virtually identical terms in the Zuozhuan, 558 (Wen 7).

120. This translation follows the commentary to the original publication. However, Chen Wei, “Du Qinghua jian Xinian zhaji,” 119, suggests reading mo 莫 as wei 未 (not yet) or bu 不 (not); that is: “We haven't yet given orders to summon him” or “We haven't given orders to summon him.”

121. It is known from other ancient texts that the senior minister behind first the plan to set Lord Ling aside, and then the decision to establish him after all, was Zhao Dun 趙盾 (d. 601 b.c.e.). It is striking that he is not mentioned at any stage in this passage, given his well-recorded troubles with the court historians of Jin over how his role in Lord Ling's reign would be described. See Zuozhuan, 662–63 (Xuan 2). For discussion of how this case influenced traditional concepts of the role of the court historian; see Wang Qing 王青, “Dong Hu yu ‘Shu fa bu yin’” 董狐與 ‘書法不隱’, Shixue yuekan 2011.6, 114–16; and Tang Damin 湯大民, “‘Shu fa bu yin’ wu yin ma? Dong Hu shian zhiyi” ‘書法不隱’無隱嗎董狐史案質疑, Shixue yuekan 2010.5, 85–91.

122. This translation follows the commentary to the original publication, in reading this placename as Jinyin, which is mentioned in the Zuozhuan, 560 (Wen 7) in connection with these events. Ziju 子居, “Qinghua jian Xinian 8–11 zhang jiexi” 清華簡繫年 8–11 章解析 ( [accessed on October 14, 2014]) suggests instead that this placename should correctly be read as Xiyin 隰陰.

123. The battle of Hequ is mentioned in Zuozhuan, 590–92 (Wen 12); the Xinian, however, appears to be unique in explicitly attributing the motives behind this campaign to revenge for the battle of Jinyin.

124. Yuri Pines, “Zhou History and Historiography,” 311–14.

125. Su Jianzhou 蘇建洲, “Du Xinian zhaji” 讀繫年札記 ( [accessed on September 30, 2014]) notes a number of problems with this pericope. First, these events are recorded in the Zuozhuan, 577 (Wen 10) as having occurred in 617 b.c.e. Furthermore, the name of the Song commander as given in the following line, Hua Sunwu, seems to be a mistake for Hua Yushi 華御事. Therefore he suggests that this particular story was recorded comparatively carelessly.

126. The placename Tulin is thought to refer to the Yunmeng marshes, the hunting grounds of the kings of Chu; see Jinping, Yuan 袁金平, “Qinghua jian Xinian Tulin kao” 清華簡繫年徒林考, Shenzhen daxue xuebao (Renwen shehui keuxue ban) 30.1 (2013), 7275 .

127. The terms in which these events are described suggest that Shengong Shuhou 申公叔侯 (the lord of Shen, Shuhou) and Shenbo Wuwei 申伯無畏 (Wuwei, the earl of Shen) were one and the same person; see Su Jianzhou, “Du Xinian zhaji.” However, as noted by Kang Xiaoyan 康小燕, “Qinghua Zhanguo zhujian Xinian dishiyi zhang jianshu” 清華戰國竹簡繫年第十一章箋疏, Yuwen xuekan 語文學刊 2013.8, 31, this is not necessarily correct.

128. The Zuozhuan, 760–61 (Xuan 15) stresses that King Zhuang of Chu knowingly sent Wuwei, the lord of Shen, to his death with a view to creating an excuse to invade Song. However, this text does not mention the theft of the lord of Shen's diplomatic gifts.

129. In the transmitted tradition, the peace treaty between Song and Chu is mentioned in the Lüshi chunqiu, 1400 (“Xinglun” 行論); the peace treaty and the granting of a hostage in the Zuozhuan, 761 (Xuan 15). The other gifts are not mentioned.

130. This interstate meeting at Li is not mentioned in any other ancient text. When these events are described in the Zuozhuan, 716 (Xuan 11), they are referred to as: “the campaign at Li” (Li zhi yi 厲之役), suggesting some kind of battle. This has caused much confusion; see Feiyan, Sun 孫飛燕, “Shi Zuozhuan de Li zhi yi” 釋左傳的厲之役, Shenzhen daxue xuebao (Renwen shehui kexue ban) 29.2 (2012), 5859 . In the commentary by Du Yu, Chunqiu jingzhuan jijie, 580n1 (Xuan 11), he notes that these events did not take place in the year that they are mentioned in the Zuozhuan, suggesting instead that they occurred in Xuan 6 (603 b.c.e.). The rationale behind this choice of date is not clear.

131. At this point the ruler of Zheng was Lord Xiang 鄭襄公 (r. 605–587 b.c.e.); the original commentary on the Xinian suggests that this error arose from a confusion with his contemporary Lord Cheng of Jin mentioned below.

132. As noted by Su Jianzhou, Wu Wenwen, Lai Yixuan, Qinghua er Xinian jijie, 476–77, no other ancient text records these events, so it is not at all clear what exactly King Zhuang did in Zheng.

133. According to the Zuozhuan, 701, 703 (Xuan 9), Lord Cheng of Jin died in Hu in 600 b.c.e., just after attending an interstate meeting there. Subsequently, King Zhuang of Chu attacked Zheng. The Xinian seems to suggest that some previous military conflict occurred.

134. Seven to eight characters are missing at the beginning of this pericope, which is the most severely damaged in the entire text. Hou Wenxue, Li Mingli, “Qinghua jian Xinian de xushi lili, hexin yu linian,” 288 suggest that these missing characters are the date: “In the seventeenth year of the reign of King Zhuang of Chu …” (Chu Zhuangwang li shiqi nian 楚莊王立十七年 …). The events described here occurred in 597 b.c.e.; see Zuozhuan, 718–38 (Xuan 12).

135. Eleven to twelve characters are missing from the beginning of this broken strip. Su Jianzhou, Wu Wenwen, Lai Yixuan, Qinghua er Xinian jijie, 485, suggest that this strip would originally have read: “Chu requested a peace treaty with Jin, and the people of Jin agreed, whereupon they performed a blood covenant with the people of Chu” (【楚求成于晉=[晉. 晉]人許之, 遂與楚】人明[盟]). This suggestion is derived from the account of these events given in the Zuozhuan, 734 (Xuan 12).

136. Some scholars, such as Xiaohu, “Du Xinian yizha”; and Qinghua daxue chutu wenxian dushuhui 清華大學出土文獻讀書會, “Qinghua daxue cang Zhanguo zhujian (er) yandu zhaji (er)” 清華大學藏戰國竹簡 (二) 研讀劄記 (二) ( [accessed on 20 July, 2015]), gloss jue 𢎹 as she 射 (to shoot). Yoshimoto Michimasa, “Seika kan Keinen kō,” 51–52, considers this to be the result of a misreading of the text of the Zuozhuan, 736 (Xuan 12).

137. This damaged pericope of the Xinian refers to the great victory won by the Chu army over Jin in the Battle of Bi 邲 in 597 b.c.e. As described in the Zuozhuan, 737–43 (Xuan 12), when the Chu army chased off Zhao Zhan, they ended up routing the Jin army. When these events are described in the Shiji, 40.1702, the battle is said to have taken place at Heshang.

138. This meeting is recorded in the Chunqiu, 832 (Cheng 7).

139. As noted by Yoshimoto Michimasa, “Seika kan Keinen kō,” 62, the contraction zhu 諸 seen here is unusual in late Warring States era texts, when the Xinian is presumed to have been copied out. What is more, in other sections of the Xinian, the term is given in full: zhi yu 之於. This supports the theory that this text was compiled from multiple sources.

140. According to the Zuozhuan, 845 (Cheng 9), the lord of Yuan was released from captivity in 582 b.c.e. Yoshimoto Michimasa, “Seika kan Keinen kō,” 63, therefore considers that the “one year later” (yi nian 一年) is not to be taken entirely literally.

141. According to the Zuozhuan, 848 (Cheng 10), Di Fa's visit took place in 581 b.c.e. As is frequently the case, the Xinian gives names in the vocative form; the Zuozhuan in the more usual nominative.

142. According to the Zuozhuan, 847 (Cheng 9) the visit of Prince Zhen of Chu to Jin occurred in 582 b.c.e., and Lord Jing did not die until the following year.

143. As noted by Yoshimoto Michimasa, “Seika kan Keinen kō,” 63, Wenzi was the posthumous title of Shi Xie 士燮 of Jin; who also used the alternative surname Fan 范 in honor of his fief.

144. The Zuozhuan, 856 (Cheng 12) describes a covenant between only two parties: Chu and Jin. It also records a much more complex agreement: “Now Jin and Chu will not go to war against each other, and they will face good and evil together. They will both show compassion for [those states] which have suffered a natural disaster or are in danger; and they will help those who are suffering. If there is anyone who harms Chu then Jin will attack them; if something happens in Jin, then Chu will do the same. When ambassadors come and go, the roads will not be blocked. We will take measures against the uncooperative and punish those who do not pay court to us. If anyone contravenes this covenant may the Bright Spirits destroy him, ruining his armies and cutting off the line of inheritance in his state.” (凡晉楚無相加戎, 好惡同之, 同恤菑危, 備救凶患. 若有害楚, 則晉伐之. 在晉, 楚亦如之. 交贄往來, 道路無壅, 謀其不協, 而討不庭. 有渝此盟, 明神殛之, 俾隊其師, 無克胙國).

145. The Xinian here clearly states that it was Jin that was responsible for breaking the terms of the peace treaty; however, when these events are described in the Zuozhuan, 857–58 (Cheng 12), it is Chu who is blamed.

146. The Zuozhuan, 866 (Cheng 13) describes a battle between the coalition army led by Jin and the Qin army at Masui 麻隧. Given that Masui is in modern Jinyang County 涇陽縣, it would seem that the Xinian correctly sites these events on the banks of the Jing River.

147. Lord Li was murdered at the behest of senior ministers in Jin in 573 b.c.e.; see Zuozhuan, 906 (Cheng 18). The title then passed to a different branch of the family, with Lord Li being succeeded by Zhou 周, a descendant of Lord Xiang of Jin. It is not clear whether there were other lines of the ruling house whose claims were disallowed, though the Zuozhuan, 907 (Cheng 19) does mention that Zhou had an older brother who was mentally handicapped, who was passed over in the succession.

148. This restoration is also recorded in the Zuozhuan, 1361 (Zhao 13).

149. According to the Zuozhuan, 1542 (Ding 4), the participants in the 506 b.c.e. campaign against Chu were the Wu monarch, and the marquises of Cai and Tang.

150. The name of the ruler of Qin at this time is normally given as Lord Ai 秦哀公. However, the Shiji, 6.287 gives his posthumous title as Lord Bi 畢公, and the Suoyin commentary mentions another variant: Lord Bi 㻫公; see Shiji, 5.197n5.

151. King Zhao's revenge on Hu and Cai is described in the Zuozhuan, 1601 (Ding 15); and 1604 (Ai 1) respectively.

152. The posthumous title of this monarch is usually given as King Hui of Chu; however, the Mozi 墨子 does also record him under the same name as the Xinian: King Xianhui of Chu; see Sun Yirang 孫詒讓, Mozi xiangu 墨子閒詁 (Beijing: Zhonghua, 2001), 440 (“Guiyi” 貴義).

153. Clearly there is a problem with the chronology here. Li Xueqin, ed., Qinghua daxue cang Zhanguo zhujian, 185n7 suggests that the description of the would–be surrender of authority of Cai to Wu is a historical fact, but this occurred in 491 b.c.e., following the chronology given in Zuozhuan, 1625 (Ai 4). The destruction of the state of Chen occurred in 478 b.c.e.; see Zuozhuan, 1709 (Ai 17). Somehow the two events have become confused in this text, possibly due to a problem with the original source.

154. Xie Yong/She Yong 舌庸 is elsewhere recorded as an important figure in the government of the kingdom of Yue; see for example Guoyu, 604 (“Wuyu” 吳語); and Zhou Shengchun 周生春, Wu Yue chunqiu jijiao huikao 吳越春秋輯校匯考 (Shanghai: Shanghai guji, 1997), 87 (“Fuchai neizhuan” 夫差内傳). Ziju 子居, “Qinghua jian Xinian di shiliu-shijiuzhang jiexi” 清華簡繫年第十六十九章解析 ( [accessed on November 6, 2014]) suggests that this man was temporarily working for the government of the kingdom of Wu, after the surrender of King Goujian in 494 b.c.e. and before the reestablishment of Yue as an independent kingdom.

155. According to the annotations by Wu Jiabi 武家璧, “Qinghua jian Xinian zhanmu” 清華簡繫年幝幕 ( [accessed on September 30, 2014]) the personal name of the ruler of Zhao should be transcribed as Guan 盥.

156. Liang Liyong 梁立勇, “Du Xinian zhaji” 讀繫年札記, Shenzhen daxue xuebao (Renwen shehui kexue ban) 29.3 (2012), 59 suggests maintaining the Shiji traditional dates given for King Jian of Chu's reign (431–408 b.c.e.), but reading qi 七 (seven) as an orthographic mistake for shi 十 (ten), for then Lord Dao of Song could potentially have paid court to King Jian of Chu in 422 b.c.e., after his father's death but before officially assuming the title the following year. However, this translation follows the corrected chronology of the Chu kings given in Bai Guangqi, “You Qinghua jian Xinian dingzheng Zhanguo Chu nian,” whereby the seventh year of King Jian of Chu's reign is 422 b.c.e.

157. Mo'ao is a Chu title, thought to be similar to Minister of War (Sima 司馬); Yangwei may be a two character surname, or a surname and personal name. The Mo'ao Yangwei is not mentioned within the transmitted textual tradition, however, a bamboo strip recording his name was excavated from the tomb of Yi, Marquis of Zeng 曾侯乙. Further references to the Mo'ao Yangwei were found among the Xincai 新蔡 texts: Jia san 甲三. 36: “[The year] that [one illegible character] the great Mo'ao Yangwei fought [a battle] at the Great Wall” (囗大莫囂[敖] 為【戰】於長城之【歲】); and Jia san. 296: “[One character illegible] the Mo'ao Yangwei fought a battle with the Jin army at the Great [one character illegible]” (囗莫囂[敖]昜為晉币[師] [戰]於長囗); see Bing Shangbai 邴尚白, Geling Chujian yanjiu 葛陵楚簡研究 (Taipei: Taida chuban zhongxin, 2009), 38, 52. Some scholars have sought to identify this person as Prime Minister Zichun 子春 of Chu, a very important figure in Chu at this time; see for example Li Shoukui 李守奎, “Qinghua jian Xinian Mo'ao Yangwei kaolun” 清華簡繫年莫囂昜為考論, Zhongyuan wenhua yanjiu 中原文化研究 2014.2, 50–54.

158. Li Xueqin, “Qinghua jian Xinian ji youguan gushi wenti” 清華簡繫年及有關古史問題, Wenwu 2011.3, 73, suggests this line should be read as: “they had to abandon many of their old items, and Mo[ao] ran away under cover of darkness” (duo qi chan, Mo[ao] xiao dun 多棄幝, 莫[囂]宵遁). This translation follows the alternative reading given by Guo Yongbing 郭永秉, “Qinghua jian Xinian chanzi biejie” 清華簡繫年 字别解 ( [accessed on November 19, 2014]).

159. Here, the Xinian gives the name of the ruler of Yue in the same form as the Shiji, 41.1747; and the Zhushu jinian, B.22b. However, in the Yuejue shu, 58 (“Jidi zhuan” 記地傳), this monarch is called King Buyang of Yue 越王不揚. There are no bronzes which record the name Buyang, but Cao Jinyan 曹錦炎, “Xinjian Yuewang bingqi ji qi xiangguan wenti” 新見越王兵器及其相關問題, Wenwu 2000.1, 72, mentions a sword sold in Hong Kong in 1994 (now in a private collection in Taiwan), with an inscription stating that it was made for King Zhiyi of Yue 越王旨殹, who presumably is the Yi, Duke of Yue mentioned here.

160. Ma Weidong 馬衛東, “Qinghua jian Xinian San Jin fa Qi kao” 清華簡繫年三晉伐齊考, Jinyang xuekan 晉陽學刊 2014.1, 16–22, suggests that the “troubles of Ziniu” centered around the murder of Chen/Tian He 田和, whose death did indeed occur in this year. However, the terms in which these events are described in the Xinian means this theory cannot possibly be correct, since Chen He was still alive at the time.

161. As noted by Chen Zhi 陳直, Shiji xinzheng 史記新證 (Beijing: Zhonghua, 2006), 98, although it is frequently asserted that the Chen family changed their names to Tian in the time of Chen Wan 陳完, the son of Lord Li of Chen 陳厲公 (r. 706–700 b.c.e.), the texts of bronze vessels produced for members of this clan show that they continued to use the Chen surname centuries after they moved to Qi. Similarly, the surnames Chen and Tian seem to have been used interchangeably in the transmitted tradition; see Zhang Xiaolian 張曉連, “Qiguo Tianshi houyi kaolüe” 齊國田氏後裔考略, Guanzi xuekan 管子學刊 2000.2, 89. Tian (* lîn) and Chen (* drin R!) were used as phonetic loans in ancient Chinese; for the reconstructed pronunciations, see Axel Schuessler, Minimal Old Chinese and Later Han Chinese, 320.

162. It is recorded in the Zhushu jinian, B.21b; and Shiji, 46.1886 that in 405 b.c.e., a major rebellion was launched in Linqiu by a man named variously as Gongsun Hui 公孫會 (a member of the Jiang ruling house of Qi) or Tian Hui 田會 (a member of the usurping ministerial house). For the former theory; Chao Fulin 晁福林, Chunqiu Zhanguo de shehui bianqian 春秋戰國的社會變遷 (Beijing: Shangwu, 2011), 172–78; for the latter see Yang Kuan 楊寬, Zhanguo shi 戰國史 (Shanghai: Shanghai renmin, 1980), 270, and Wang Sen'ge 王森閣, Tang Zhiqing 唐致卿, Qiguo shi 齊國史 (Ji'nan: Shandong renmin, 1992), 363. When this rebellion failed, he threw in his lot with the state of Zhao. Quite how this is related to the subsequent warfare which broke out in Qi, not to mention the “troubles of Ziniu,” is not at all clear.

163. The use of posthumous titles in this pericope suggests a date of composition after the death of Marquis Wen of Wei in 396 b.c.e., but before the deaths of Lord Kang of Qi 齊康公 in 379 b.c.e., Lord Mu of Lu 魯穆公 in 377 b.c.e., and Lord Xu of Song 宋繻公 in 381 b.c.e. The revised dates of these rulers are taken from Tao Jin, “You Qinghua jian Xinian tan Huanzi Meng Jiang hu xiangguan wenti”; however, problems with the chronology and nomenclature of the rulers of Wei and Zheng have yet to be resolved.

164. The description of events given here clarifies the text of the Biao Qiang 𠫑羌 bells, excavated from a tomb near Luoyang in 1931. Given that these events are not well-recorded in the transmitted tradition, the interpretation of the text inscribed on these fourteen bells has proved highly controversial; see Wang Hongliang 王紅亮, “Qinghua jian Xinian zhong de Biao Qiang zhong xiangguan shishi fafu” 清華簡繫年中的𠫑羌鍾相關史事發覆, Gudai wenming 2013.7, 64–68.

165. This double title had only been seen once before, in a text excavated in 1983 from Tomb 2 at Xiyangpo 夕陽坡, at the city of Changde 常德 in Hunan Province. However, at that time, the posthumous title was considered to refer to King Su of Chu 楚肅王 (r. 397–368 b.c.e.); see Liu Binhui 劉彬徽, Zaoqi wenming yu Chu wenhua yanjiu 早期文明與楚文化研究 (Changsha: Yuelu shushe, 2001), 217. Now it is clear that King Daozhe was the monarch otherwise known as King Dao of Chu.

166. Luyang was the hereditary fief of the descendants of Marshal Ziqi 司馬子期 of Chu, the son of King Ping, from 479 b.c.e. onwards; see Guoyu, 582 (“Chuyu xia” 楚語下). A number of excavated documents such as strips 162 and 195 from the tomb of Yi, Marquis of Zeng, and strips 2 and 4 from Tomb 2 at Baoshan 包山 contain references to a duke of Luyang; see Hubeisheng bowuguan 湖北省博物館, Zenghou Yi mu 曾侯乙墓 (Beijing: Wenwu, 1989), 498, 500; and Hubeisheng Jingsha tielu kaogudui 湖北省荆沙鐵路考古隊, Baoshan Chujian 包山楚簡 (Beijing: Wenwu, 1991), 17. However, at present, the exact relationship between the dukes of Luyang and the Lord of Luyang (Luyangjun 魯陽君) who was a patron of Mozi, is unclear; see Zheng Wei 鄭威, “Mozi you Chu Luyang niandai kao: jian tan chutu cailiao suojian Chuguo xian dafu yu fengjun zhi chengwei” 墨子游楚魯陽年代考: 兼談出土材料所見楚國縣大夫與封君之稱謂, Jianghan kaogu 2012.3, 83–84.

167. Dong Shan, “Du Qinghua jian Xinian,” suggests reading the placename Lang 郎 as Liang 梁.

168. In the original publication of the Xinian manuscript, the authors note that in Chu texts, the term yu 逾, which literally means “to surpass” is used instead to mean “to conquer” or “to capture”; see Li Xueqin, ed., Qinghua daxue cang Zhanguo zhujian, 199n15. This gloss has been followed in this translation.

169. The massacre caused by Chancellor Xin of Zheng is also mentioned in the Han Feizi, 972 (“Shuoyi” 說疑).

170. Both Chancellor Xin and Ziyang, who held the title of Prime Minister of Zheng, are mentioned in transmitted texts. It has been suggested that they were one and the same person; see Tong Shuye 童書業, Chunqiu Zuozhuan yanjiu 春秋左傳研究 (Shanghai: Shanghai renmin, 1980), 264–265. Alternatively, a number of scholars have argued that Ziyang was the same person as Lord Ai of Zheng 鄭哀公, a tradition which dates back to the Gao You 高誘 (fl. 205) commentary on the Lüshi chunqiu, 1300n54 (“Shiwei” 適威). See for example Zhang Dainian 張岱年, Du Yunhui 杜運輝, “Guanyu Liezi” 關於列子, Zhongguo zhexue shi 中國哲學史 2011.2, 5–11; and Zhou Xunchu 周勛初, Han Feizi zhaji 韓非子札記 (Nanjing: Jiangsu renmin, 1980), 284–286. For a detailed study of the importance of the Xinian in understanding the history of Zheng at this time; see Ma Weidong 馬衛東, “Qinghua jian Xinian yu Zheng Ziyang zhi nan xintan” 清華簡繫年與鄭子陽之難新探, Gudai wenming 2014.4, 31–36.

171. The tomb at Xincai, which has yielded a number of damaged bamboo strips describing historical events at the beginning of the Warring States era, is the grave of Cheng, Lord of Pingye 平夜君成; see Song Huaqiang 宋華强, Xincai Geling Chujian chutan 新蔡葛陵楚簡初探 (Wuhan: Wuhan daxue, 2010). It has been suggested that this Lord of Pingye is one and the same person as Lord Daowu of Pingye, whose death is recorded in this pericope of the Xinian; see Chen Yingfei 陳穎飛, “Chu Daowang chuqi de dazhan yu Chu fengjun: Qinghua jian Xinian zhaji zhi yi” 楚悼王初期的大戰與楚封君: 清華簡繫年札記之一, Wenshi zhishi 2012.5, 107.

172. This translation follows the annotations in the original publication, in reading as Teng 滕; see Li Xueqin, ed., Qinghua daxue cang Zhanguo zhujian, 200n22.

173. Chen Yingfei, “Chu Daowang chuqi de dazhan yu Chu fengjun,” 106, suggests that the term zhigui zhi jun 執珪之君 (here translated as “lords who hold batons of jade”) represents the highest title of nobility of the time.

174. There is clearly some problem with the transcription of the text at this point; given that Lord Daowu of Pingye is dead, he cannot be sending someone to request troops from Qi. As a tentative suggestion, I would like to read 王命坪[平]亦[夜]悼武君 [使]人於齊陳淏求𠂤[師] as “The king commanded Lord Daowu of Pingye's son to go and request troops from Chen Hao of Qi” (王命坪[平]亦[夜]悼武君之子入於齊陳淏求𠂤[師]).

175. This point is made in Liu Jianming 劉建明, “Xinian de shiliao jiazhi he xueshu jiazhi” 繫年的史料價值和學術價值, Mianyang shifan xueyuan xuebao 綿陽師范學院學報 2012.10, 112.

176. See for example Qian Mu 錢穆, Xian-Qin zhuzi xinian: San Jin shi hou kao 先秦諸子系年三晉始侯考 (Beijing: Zhonghua, 1985), 141–42; and Yang Kuan 楊寛, Zhanguo shiliao biannian jizheng 戰國史料編年輯証 (Shanghai: Shanghai guji, 2001), 142–43.

177. The Lüshi chunqiu, 925(“Buguang” 不廣), speaks of the Qi commander being killed, and the Zhao forces capturing two thousand chariots and slaughtering thirty thousand soldiers. A similar description of the casualties is given in the Kong Congzi 孔叢子; see Song Xian 宋咸, Kong Congzi zhu 孔叢子註 (Nanjing: Jiangsu guji, 1988), 226–227 (“Lunshi” 論勢).

178. He Ning 何寧, Huainanzi jishi 淮南子集釋 (Beijing: Zhonghua, 2006), 1261 (“Renjian xun” 人間訓).

179. See Shiji, 15.710.

180. See Liu Quanzhi 劉全志, “Qinghua jian Xinian Wangzi Ding ji xiangguan shishi” 清華簡繫年王子定及相關史事, Wenshi zhishi 2013.6, 24–30.

181. See Zhang Guangyu 張光裕, “Xinjian Chushi qingtongqi qiming shishi” 新見楚式青銅器器銘試釋, Wenwu 2008.1, 73–84; Wu Zhenfeng 吳鎮烽, “Jing Zhi Ding tongqi qunkao” 兢之定銅器群考, Jianghan kaogu 2008.1, 82–89; and Yu Xiucui 余秀翠, “Dangyang Jijiahu Chumu fajue jianbao” 當陽季家湖楚墓發掘簡報, Jianghan kaogu 1991.1, 17–19.

182. Ju Zhi Ke is better known as Xi Ke 郤克; Li Xueqin, ed., Qinghua daxue cang Zhanguo zhujian, 168n2, suggests that Ju 邭[駒] was the name of his fief.

183. The translation here follows the amendment proposed by Su Jianzhou, Wu Wenwen, Lai Yixuan, Qinghua er Xinian jijjie, 504, of reading shou 受 (to receive) as shou 授 (to present).

184. The story recorded here is somewhat different from that found in the Zuozhuan, 772 (Xuan 17), which states that Xi Ke was humiliated by being mocked by a female member of Lord Qing's family (furen 婦人). In the Guliang zhuan, 470–71 (Cheng 1), the woman is identified as Lord Qing's mother. She was supposedly amused by the fact that a number of foreign powers were represented by disabled people: Xi Ke was blind in one eye, while the ambassador from Wei was lame, and the ambassador from Cao was hunchbacked. The Guliang zhuan version of events is often used to explain this story when it appears in other texts, but that does not necessarily mean that it is correct.

185. The Zuozhuan, 773 (Xuan 17) suggests that the three men were not together when they were arrested: Master Yan was stopped at Yewang 野王, Master Cai at Yuan 原, and Master Nanguo at Wen 溫.

186. The terms in which this is described in the Xinian might suggest that Lord Qing of Qi was laying siege to the capital city. The Zuozhuan, 786 (Cheng 2) states that the city of Long 龍 on the northern border was the place concerned.

187. Both the Chunqiu, 785 (Cheng 2), and the Zuozhuan, 791–792 (Cheng 2) make it clear that the main battle was fought at An 鞌. Miji represents a preliminary skirmish, which took place the day before; see Zuozhuan, 790 (Cheng 2).

188. This translation follows the reading of the original commentators that “they used bronze vessels to offer them jade chimestones and the fields of Chunyu” (以鶾[甗]骼[賂]玉𥬃[璆]與𦎧[淳]于之田), should be understood as: “offering bronze vessels and jade chimes, as well as the fields of Chunyu” (骼[賂]以鶾[甗]玉𥬃[璆]與𦎧[淳]于之田). The gloss of shao 𥬃 as qiu 璆 (jade chimestone) is taken from Su Jianzhou, Wu Wenwen, Lai Yixuan, Qinghua er Xinian jijie, 520.

189. When the meeting between Lord Qing of Qi and Lord Jing of Jin is described in the Zuozhuan, 815 (Cheng 3), it says: “The marquis of Qi paid court to Jin and was about to hand over the jade [baton of office]” (齊侯朝于晉, 將授玉). When these events are mentioned in the Shiji, 39.1678, it says: “Lord Qing of Qi went to Jin and wanted to treat Lord Jing of Jin with the respect due to a king” (齊頃公如晉, 欲上尊晉景公為王). It has been suggested either that Sima Qian misunderstood the term shouyu 授玉 as zun wei wang 尊為王 (to respect as a king), or that he misread the character yu 玉 as wang 王; see for example Kong Yingda, Chunqiu Zuozhuan zhushu, 822 (Cheng 3).

190. In the transmitted tradition, this ruler of Jin is always given the title Lord Ping of Jin; see for example Yang Bojun 楊伯峻, Mengzi yizhu 孟子譯注 (Beijing: Zhonghua, 2007), 237 (10.3 “Wanzhang xia” 萬章下); Lüshi chunqiu, 56 (“Qusi” 去私); and Zuozhuan, 1318 (Zhao 10). The name Lord Zhuangping of Jin is not used consistently in the Xinian; the same individual is also termed Lord Ping.

191. The meeting at Juliang is mentioned in the Chunqiu, 1025 (Xiang 16), which names eleven participants.

192. The attempt to move Xu is described in the Zuozhuan, 1027 (Xiang 16). The commentary by Yang Bojun notes that no destination is given in this account and suggests that it is because the move was not successful. There also seems to be some confusion here, since the Chunqiu, 872 (Cheng 15), records that Xu was moved to Ye in 576 b.c.e.

193. Gao Hou's sudden and premature departure is mentioned in the Zuozhuan, 1027 (Xiang 16).

194. The original editors read Dongmu as a placename; however, it is not recorded elsewhere. Chen Wei, “Du Qinghua jian Xinian zhaji,” 119–120, suggests instead that these two characters should be read as Donghai 東海 (East Sea): the pre-Qin name for the Bohai gulf.

195. Other accounts of these events state that Jin descended into civil war as the Fan 范 family—one of the great ministerial clans in Jin—attempted to wrest control of the government from the Luan family in 552 b.c.e., that is, in the sixth year of Lord Ping of Jin's rule. See for example Zuozhuan, 1058–1061 (Xiang 21).

196. Luan Ying's death at Quwo in 550 b.c.e. is mentioned in the Zuozhuan, 1084 (Xiang 23).

197. Yuri Pines, “Zhou History and Historiography,” 294, on the basis of this double date, classifies pericope eighteen as a “Jin-Chu” anecdote.

198. The Zuozhuan, 1223 (Zhao 1) records a different posthumous title for this ruler, Jia'ao 郟敖, which was apparently derived from the location of his tomb. This title appears in a number of ancient historical texts; see for example Shiji, 40.1703. In this context, ao 敖 is thought to mean “leader” or “ruler,” but to be of lower status than a monarch; see Zhang Shuguo 張樹國, “Xinchu wenxian yu Chu xianyishi ji xiangguan wenxue wenti” 新出文獻與楚先逸史及相關文學問題 (Beijing daxue xuebao (Zhexue shehui kexue ban) 北京大學學報(哲學社會科學版) 50.6 (2013), 83.

199. The future King Ling is also said to have been Prime Minister of Chu in the Zuozhuan, 1155 (Xiang 29), except that this text uses his pre-accession name: Prince Wei 王子圍.

200. The covenant at Guo is recorded in the Chunqiu, 1197–98 (Zhao 1).

201. As noted by Yoshimoto Michimasa, “Seika kan Keinen kō,” 68, the campaign launched by King Ling against the state of Xu is not mentioned in any other ancient text.

202. The campaign against Zhufang was intended to capture Qing Feng 慶封, one of the chief conspirators in the murder of Lord Zhuang of Qi in 548 b.c.e. See Zuozhuan, 1253 (Zhao 4).

203. The highly controversial circumstances in which Lord Ling of Cai was tricked into meeting the king of Chu, only to be made drunk and first arrested, then murdered, and the subsequent execution of his son, are described in some detail in the Zuozhuan, 1323–27 (Zhao 11).

204. King Ping was the last of the three sons of King Gong of Chu to become the ruler; he was preceded by his two older half-brothers, King Kang and King Ling. According to the Zuozhuan, 1350 (Zhao 13), this had been foretold by prophecy when King Gong was wondering which of his sons to establish as his heir.

205. The name of this ruler of Xu is also now attested to by a cup excavated in 2003, bearing the inscription: “The cup of Tuo, the lord of Xu” (鄦[許]子 [佗]之盞盂). This discovery is discussed in Huang Jinqian 黃錦前, “Xuzi Tuo yu Xugong Tuo: Jiantan Qinghua jian Xinian de kekaoxing” 許子佗與許公佗: 兼談清華簡繫年的可靠性( [accessed on August 5, 2015]).

206. This disastrous campaign is not mentioned in any transmitted text, presumably because it was so embarrassing a failure; see Zhang Yuanshan 張遠山, “Baidi Zhongshan Wei shu Zhongshan mishi: Jian bo Shiji Zhongshan fuguo miushuo” 白狄中山魏屬中山秘史: 兼駁史記中山復國謬說, Shehui kexue luntan 社會科學論壇 2013.4, 16–55.

207. As stated by Yoshimoto Michimasa, “Seika kan Keinen kō,” 71, the Xinian quite correctly ascribes seven years to this terrible period of civil warfare, which endured from 497–491 b.c.e.

208. This covenant is mentioned in both the Chunqiu, 1559 (Ding 7); and the Zuozhuan, 1561 (Ding 7), but both texts state that it took place at Xian 鹹.

209. This interstate meeting is not recorded within the transmitted tradition, which mentions only two such events for the reign of King Shoumeng of Wu: one at Zhongli 鍾離 in 576 b.c.e., and one at Zu 柤 in 563 b.c.e. See Zuozhuan, 876–77 (Cheng 15); and 974 (Xiang 10), respectively.

210. These events are not mentioned in any other ancient texts.

211. There are well-known problems concerning the nomenclature of many of the kings of Wu, who seem to have used a number of different names simultaneously. Furthermore, there was no standard form of transliteration for the Wu language, resulting in various different characters being used for the same name. King Fuchai, however, seems to have asserted a remarkably consistent naming policy, using only his Wu language two character name, in the form Fuchai 夫差, which appears in both transmitted texts and excavated bronze inscriptions. See Dong Chuping 董楚平, Wu Yue Xu Shu jinwen jishi 吳越徐舒金文集釋 (Hangzhou: Zhejiang guji, 1992), 71–75, and 133–49. It is not clear why the Xinian should be the only source to name him as Fuqin.

212. The covenant at Huangchi occurred in 482 b.c.e.; see Zuozhuan, 1676–79 (Ai 13).

213. Although there is no mention in the Xinian of the passing of time, the conquest of Wu by Yue took place nine years after the covenant at Huangchi, in 473 b.c.e.; see Zuozhuan, 1719 (Ai 22).

214. As noted by Wang Yikun, “Chutu jianbo shiliao jiazhi chuyi,” 114, this alliance between Jin and Yue is not recorded in any transmitted text.

215. In the transmitted tradition, this ruler of Jin is accorded the posthumous title of Lord Ai 晉哀公 (r. 456–438 b.c.e.). The title Lord Jing of Jin is also found in the Zhushu jinian, B.19b.

216. For a detailed history of this construction; see Zhang Huasong 張華松, Qi changcheng 齊長城 (Ji'nan: Shandong wenyi, 2004). For a study of how the information contained within the Xinian can be used to interpret the history of the Qi Great Wall; see Luo Gong 羅恭, “Cong Qinghua jian Xinian kan Qi changcheng de xiujian” 從清華簡繫年看齊長城的修建, Wenshi zhishi 2012.7, 104–7.

217. The name of this ruler of Yue is given in the same form as that found in the Zhushu jinian, B.20a: Zhugou 朱句. In the Shiji, 41.1747; and the Yuejue shu, 58 (“Jidi zhuan”), this monarch is named King Weng of Yue 越王翁. To date, fifteen bronzes have been discovered which record this monarch's name, which is always given as Zhougou 州句; see for example Kong Lingyuan 孔令遠, “Yuewang Zhougou ge mingwen kaoshi” 越王州句戈銘文考釋, Kaogu 2010.8, 87–90; and Li Jiahao 李家浩, “Yuewang Zhougou fuhe jian mingwen ji qi suo fanying de lishi: jian shi bazi mingzhuan zhong mingwen” 越王州句復合劍銘文及其所反映的歷史: 兼釋八字鳥篆鍾銘文, Beijing daxue xuebao (Zhexue shehui kexue ban) 1998.2, 221–26.

218. Su Jianzhou, Wu Wenwen, Lai Yixuan, Qinghua er Xinian jijie, 787, argue that the duke of Song mentioned here is Lord Zhao of Song 宋昭公 II (r. 469–404 b.c.e.).

219. Peng Yushang 彭裕商, “Yuewang Chaixu ge mingwen shidu” 越王差徐戈銘文釋讀, Kaogu 2012.12, 86–90, uses the references to Yue history contained within this pericope of the Xinian to argue that previous readings of this particular bronze inscription, where Chaixu was read as a verb-object construction meaning “to assist Xu” (zuo Xu 佐徐) are wrong, and that this must refer to the personal name of a Yue monarch.

220. Zuozhuan, 1097–98 (Xiang 25).

221. The precise date that the peace treaty was agreed cannot be ascertained. However, in the Chunqiu, 1094 (Xiang 25), the death of Lord Zhuang is said to have occurred on Yihai day in the fifth lunar month and the next dated entry is an attack on Chen on Renzi 壬子 day of the sixth lunar month; that is seven days later. Given that the peace treaty at Yiyi was signed between these two dates, it must have been at the very latest six days after Lord Zhuang of Qi died.

222. See for example Dong Chuping, Wu Yue Xu Shu jinwen jishi, 200–247.

223. For example, the Zuozhuan, 1595 (Ding 14); and the Zhushu jinian, B.19a record the zi title. This usage is intended to be derogatory; see Shiji, 47.1943.

224. See Meng Wentong 蒙文通, Yueshi congkao 越史叢考 (Beijing: Renmin, 1983), 35; and Li Xueqin, “Guanyu Chu mie Yue de niandai” 關於楚滅越的年代, in Li Xuqin ji: Zhuisu, kaoju, gu wenming 李學勤集追溯考据古文明 (Harbin: Heilongjiang jiaoyu, 1989), 248–54. Other scholars place the conquest later, to around 323–306 b.c.e.; see for example Ni Shiyi 倪士毅, Zhejiang gudai shi 浙江古代史 (Linzhou: Zhejiang renmin, 1987), 27.

225. For a discussion of textual evidence that the Yue kings coexisted with Chu viceroys after the kingdom of Yue was officially destroyed; see Xu Jianchun 徐建春, Zhejiang tongshi: Xian Qin juan 浙江通史: 先秦卷 (Hangzhou: Zhejiang renmin, 2005), 138. At least one bronze inscription records the existence of a king of Yue after the supposed conquest; see Zhu Dexi 朱德熙, Qiu Xigui 裘錫圭, “Pingshan Zhongshan wangmu tongqi mingwen de chubu yanjiu” 平山中山王墓銅器銘文的初步研究, Wenwu 1979.1, 42–52. The history of various southern kingdoms such as Minyue 閩越 and Donghai 東海, whose rulers claimed descent from King Goujian, is recorded in Shiji, 114.2979–85.

226. For example, according to the word-count done by Su Tie 蘇鐵, “Wu Yue wenhua zhi tancha” 吳越文化之談查, in Wu Yue shidi yanjiuhui 吳越史地研究會, ed., Wu Yue wenhua luncong 吳越文化論叢 (Shanghai: Shanghai wenyi, 1990), 374, in the Zuozhuan, accounts concerning the kingdom of Yue make up less than 1 per cent of the entire text. In the case of the Guoyu, which devotes two chapters to Yue, the focus is entirely on the reign of King Goujian of Yue.

227. See for example Yuejue shu, 19 (“Ji Wudi zhuan” 記吳地傳). For a study of the evidence concerning the move; see Xin Deyong 辛德勇, “Yuewang Goujian xidu Langya shi xiyi” 越王勾踐徙都琅邪事析義, Wenshi 文史 2010.1, 1–44.

228. See Gu Jiegang 顧頡剛, Suzhou shizhi biji 蘇州史志筆記 (Suzhou: Jiangsu guji, 1987), 32.

229. See Chen Minzhen 陳民鎮, “Qinghua jian Xinian suojian Yueguoshi xin shiliao” 清華簡繫年所見越國史新史料 ( [accessed on November 19, 2014]).



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