Skip to main content Accessibility help

Chinese Identity During the Age of Division, Sui, and Tang

  • Charles Holcombe (a1)


During the centuries after the fall of the Han dynasty, dozens of states rose and fell in geographic China, which was not only politically divided but also home to multiple separately named population groups, some of which were speakers of languages unrelated to Chinese. Yet, a single written language was used throughout the region, broadly common institutions were everywhere in place, and there was a widely shared collective historical memory. This memory included an assumed single line of legitimate sovereigns stretching back to the Sage Kings of legendary antiquity. Differently named population groups could adopt that written language, institutions, and historical memory, and their rulers could potentially even join that line of legitimate sovereigns. It was therefore relatively easy for the Sui and Tang dynasties, having militarily unified the geographic space of the old Han empire, to successfully depict themselves as heirs to a unitary China rooted in ancient memory.


Corresponding author

*Corresponding author. Email:


Hide All

1 Sanguo dian lüe 三國典略, quoted in Taiping yulan 太平御覽, comp. by Li Fang 李昉 (983; Taibei: Taiwan shangwu yinshuguan, 1980), 971.4436, panel b. The passage is included in a modern reconstruction of this lost text, Sanguo dian lüe, jijiao 輯校, comp. by Qiu Yue 丘悅 (d. 715), modern edited by Du Deqiao 杜德橋 (Glen Dudbridge) and Zhao Chao 趙超 (Taibei: Dongda tushu, 1998), page 225, no. 391. For Li Gu, see Hou Han shu 後漢書, comp. by Fan Ye 范曄 (445; Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1965), 63.2084.

2 Xin Tang shu 新唐書, comp. by Ouyang Xiu 歐陽修 and Song Qi 宋祁 (1060; Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1975), 43a.1112.

3 See Shishuo xinyu, jiaojian 世說新語校箋, comp. by Liu Yiqing 劉義慶 (403–444), modern edition by Xu Zhen'e 徐震堮 (Hong Kong: Zhonghua shuju, 1987), 2, page 83, no. 94.

4 Laufer, Berthold, Sino-Iranica: Chinese Contributions to the History of Civilization in Ancient Iran, with Special Reference to the History of Cultivated Plants and Products (Chicago: Field Museum of Natural History, 1919), 201.

5 The rulers of the Northern Qi were the Xianbei 鮮卑 people, about whom more will be said below.

6 Yan Zhitui 顏之推 (531–591) famously observed that spoken language had always varied by region and changed over time, and that southern speech had recently been “infected by Wu and Yue, while the north had mixed with Yi caitiffs” (南染吳越北雜夷虜). Nevertheless, Yan also took it for granted that there was a common standard that was spoken by both southern elites and even ordinary northern villagers. See Yan shi jiaxun 顏氏家訓 (ca. 589; Taibei: Taiwan Zhonghua shuju, 1974), 7.1a, 7.2b, 7.3b.

7 Horton, H. Mack, “Literary Diplomacy in Early Nara: Prince Nagaya and the Verses for Envoys from Silla in Kaifūsō,” in China and Beyond in the Mediaeval Period: Cultural Crossings and Inter-Regional Connections, edited by Wong, Dorothy C. and Heldt, Gustav (New Delhi: Manohar, 2014), 261–77.

8 Lewis, Mark Edward, The Construction of Space in Early China (Albany: State University of New York Press, 2006), 5.

9 Mullaney, Thomas S., “Critical Han Studies: Introduction and Prolegomenon,” in Critical Han Studies: The History, Representation, and Identity of China's Majority, edited by Mullaney, Thomas S., Leibold, James, Gros, Stéphane, and Bussche, Eric Vanden (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2012), 13.

10 Tackett, Nicolas, The Origins of the Chinese Nation: Song China and the Forging of an East Asian World Order (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2017).

11 Ge, Zhaoguang, What is China?: Territory, Ethnicity, Culture and History, trans. by Hill, Michael Gibbs (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2018).

12 James Leibold, “Searching for Han: Early Twentieth-Century Narratives of Chinese Origins and Development,” in Critical Han Studies, ed. Mullaney et al., 210–11. Jieshun Xu, “Understanding the Snowball Theory of the Han Nationality,” in ibid., 113–27. Xu, Stella, Reconstructing Ancient Korean History: The Formation of Korean-ness in the Shadow of History (Lanham: Lexington Books, 2016), 174.

13 For the New Qing History debate, compare Evelyn Rawski, S., “Presidential Address: Reenvisioning the Qing: The Significance of the Qing Period in Chinese History,” The Journal of Asian Studies 55.4 (1996), 829850, with Ho, Ping-ti, “In Defense of Sinicization: A Rebuttal of Evelyn Rawski's ‘Reenvisioning the Qing’,” The Journal of Asian Studies 57.1 (1998), 123–55.

14 Ge, What is China?, 25.

15 Liang Qichao, “Zhongguo lishi shang minzu zhi yanjiu” 中國歷史上民族之研究, Yin bing shi heji 飲冰室合集, zhuan ji 專集, vol. 11, no. 42 (1922; Shanghai: Zhonghua shuju, 1936), 4.

16 Wu, David Yen-ho, “The Construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese Identities,” in The Living Tree: The Changing Meaning of Being Chinese Today, edited by Tu, Wei-ming (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1994), 150–51.

17 Schafer, Edward H., “The Yeh Chung Chi,” T'oung Pao 76.4–5 (1990), 148.

18 The two characters were rarely combined in antiquity, as Shao-yun Yang demonstrates in “Becoming Zhongguo, Becoming Han: Tracing and Re-conceptualizing Ethnicity in Ancient North China, 770 BC–AD 581” (MA Thesis, National University of Singapore, 2007), iv, 25, 34–37.

19 As in the case of Duke Wen of Jin 晉文公 (r. 636–628 BCE), whose mother was a Rong, and who lived twelve years in exile among the Di, taking a Di mistress. See Hansen, Valerie, The Open Empire: A History of China to 1600 (New York: W.W. Norton, 2000), 5763.

20 Poo, Mu-chou, Enemies of Civilization: Attitudes towards Foreigners in Ancient Mesopotamia, Egypt, and China (Albany: State University of New York Press, 2005), 4548, 91–93, 153, 157.

21 Shi ji 史記, comp. by Sima Qian 司馬遷 (145–ca. 90 BCE) (Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1959), 40.1692.

22 Shi ji, 15.685.

23 Hou Han shu, 85.2809.

24 Zhuoyun, Xu (Cho-yun Hsu), Huaxia lunshu: yige fuza gongtongti de bianhua 華夏論述: 一個複雜共同體的變化 (Taibei: Yuanjian tianxia wenhua, 2015), 114–15. See also Zhaoguang, Ge 葛兆光, Lishi Zhongguo de nei yu wai: you guan “Zhongguo” yu “zhoubian” gainian de zai chengqing 歷史中國的內與外: 有關“中國”與“周邊” 概念的再澄清 (Hong Kong: Xianggang zhongwen daxue, 2017), 10–14, 17. For the Han dynasty as an important stage in the evolution of Chinese identity, see Mingke, Wang 王明珂, Huaxia bianyuan: lishi jiyi yu zuqun rentong 華夏邊緣﹕歷史記憶與族群認同 (Taibei: Yunchen wenhua, 1997), 290.

25 See Holcombe, Charles, “Re-Imagining China: The Chinese Identity Crisis at the Start of the Southern Dynasties Period,” Journal of the American Oriental Society 115.1 (1995), 114.

26 Adapting W.B. Yeats’ familiar line from “The Second Coming.”

27 Wei lüe 魏略, quoted in Sanguo zhi 三國志, comp. by Chen Shou 陳壽 (297; Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1959), 30.858–859.

28 “Zheng Nengjin xiu Deng Ai ci bei” 鄭能進修鄧艾祠碑, Jinshi xubian 金石續編, comp. by Lu Yaoyu 陸耀遹 (1771–1836) (Shanghai: Saoye shanfang, 1926), 1.6b.

29 Cuiqin, Bai 白翠琴, Wei Jin Nanbeichao minzu shi 魏晋南北朝民族史 (Chengdu: Sichuan minzu, 1996), 518. Jitsuzō, Tamura 田村實造, Chūgoku shijō no minzoku idōki: Goko, Hoku Gi jidai no seiji to shakai 中國史上の民族移動期﹕五胡,北魏時代の政治と社會 (Tokyo: Sōbunsha, 1985), Japanese preface, 3–4, English preface, 7.

30 Dawei, Zhu 朱大渭, “Nanchao shaoshu minzu gaikuang ji qi yu Hanzu de ronghe” 南朝少数民族概况及其与汉族的融合, Liuchao shi lun 六朝史论 (Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1998), 406.

31 Sui shu 隋書, comp. by Wei Zheng 魏徵 (636; Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1973), 31.897.

32 Pohl, Walter, “Ethnicity and Empire in the Western Eurasian Steppes,” in Empires and Exchanges in Eurasian Late Antiquity: Rome, China, Iran, and the Steppe, ca. 250–750, edited by Di Cosmo, Nicola and Maas, Michael (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2018), 190.

33 Xianbei is the modern Mandarin pronunciation of the written Chinese characters. It is hypothesized that the original native pronunciation may have sounded something more like Särbi or Serbi.

34 For an overview, see Holcombe, Charles, “The Xianbei in Chinese History,” Early Medieval China 19 (2013), 138. On the possible relationship of their language to Mongolic, see Shimunek, Andrew, Languages of Ancient Southern Mongolia and North China: A Historical-Comparative Study of the Serbi or Xianbei Branch of the Serbi-Mongolic Language Family, with an Analysis of Northeastern Frontier Chinese and Old Tibetan Phonology (Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 2017), 13, 415.

35 Jin shu 晉書, comp. by Fang Xuanling 房玄齡, et al. (646; Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1974), 97.2537.

36 See Hu, Alex J., “An Overview of the History and Culture of the Xianbei (‘Monguor’/‘Tu’),” Asian Ethnicity 11.1 (2010), 95164.

37 Jin shu, 107.2791–2792.

38 Yi, Fu 傅奕 (554–639), quoted in Tong dian 通典, comp. by Du You 杜佑 (801; Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1984), 200.1085, panel b.

39 Yunxiang, Bai 白雲翔, “Beichao shiqi minzu wenhua jiaoliu yu ronghe de hongguan kaocha: yi Beichao muzang yicun wei zhongxin” 北朝時期民族文化交流與融合的宏觀考察: 以北朝墓葬遺存為中心, in Early Medieval North China: Archaeological and Textual Evidence, edited by Müller, Shing, Höllmann, Thomas O., and Filip, Sonja (Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 2019), 475–98.

40 See, for example, Jin shu, 102.2665.

41 Chen, Sanping, Multicultural China in the Early Middle Ages (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2012), 1, 4243.

42 See Honey, David B., “Sinification as Statecraft in Conquest Dynasties of China: Two Early Medieval Case Studies,” Journal of Asian History, 30.2 (1996), 115–51.

43 Michio, Tanigawa 谷川道雄, “Wei Jin Nanbeichao guizu zhengzhi yu Dong Ya shijie de xingcheng—cong Dudu zhujunshi zhidu lai kaocha” 魏晉南北朝貴族政治與東亞世界的形成: 從都督諸軍事制度來考察, in Dong Ya wenhuaquan de xingcheng yu fazhan: zhengzhi fazhi pian 東亞文化圈的形成與發展: 政治法制篇, edited by Mingshi, Gao 高明士 (Taibei: Guoli Taiwan daxue chuban zhongxin, 2008), 77.

44 Shūichi, Kaneko 金子修一, “Higashi Ajia no kokusai kankei to ken-Zuishi” 東アジアの国際関係と遣隋使, in Ken-Zuishi ga mita fūkei: Higashi Ajia kara no shin shiten 遣隋使がみた風景: 東アジアからの新視点, edited by Yasunori, Kegasawa 氣賀沢澤保規 (Tokyo: Yagi shoten, 2012), 59.

45 Ryō no gige 令義解, comp. by Kiyowara no Natsuno 清原夏野, et al., Shintei zōho kokushi taikei (fukyūban) (833; Tokyo: Yoshikawa kōbunkan, 1972), 6.205.

46 Samguk sagi 三國史記, comp. by Kim Pu-sik 金富軾, annotated modern Korean trans. by Ch'oe Ho 崔虎 (1145; Seoul: Hongsin munhwasa, 1994), vol. 1, page 345 (Koguryŏ basic annals 6).

47 Bei shi 北史, comp. by Li Yanshou 李延壽 (659; Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1974), 97.3213–3216. For the title eltäbär, see Skaff, Jonathan Karam, Sui-Tang China and Its Turko-Mongol Neighbors: Culture, Power, and Connections, 580–800 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012), 175.

48 See Watson, James L., “Rites or Beliefs? The Construction of a Unified Culture in Late Imperial China,” in China's Quest for National Identity, edited by Dittmer, Lowell and Kim, Samuel S. (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1993), 80103.

49 Michael Ng-Quinn, “National Identity in Premodern China: Formation and Role Enactment,” China's Quest for National Identity, ed. Dittmer and Kim, 32–61.

50 Mark Elliott, “Hushuo: The Northern Other and the Naming of the Han Chinese,” in Critical Han Studies, ed. Mullaney et al., 179.

51 Fitzgerald, John, “The Nationless State: The Search for a Nation in Modern Chinese Nationalism,” Chinese Nationalism, edited by Unger, Jonathan (Armonk, M.E. Sharpe, 1996), 5685, quotation from page 57.

52 Fengwen, Peng 彭丰文, “Shi lun Shiliu guo shiqi Hu ren zhengtong guan de shanbian” 试论十六国时期胡人正统观的嬗变, Minzu yanjiu 2010.6, 6774. Chaohai, Wang 王朝海, Bei Wei zhengquan zhengtong zhi zheng yanjiu 北魏政权正统之争研究 (Beijing: Zhongguo shehui kexue, 2014), 3638.

53 Jin shu, 105.2753.

54 Jin shu, 113.2904.

55 Mengzi, zhushu 孟子注疏, 8a.2725, panel b, in Shisan jing zhushu: fu jiaokan ji 十三經注疏,附校勘記, collated by Ruan Yuan 阮元 (1764–1849) (Taibei: Dahua shuju, 1982).

56 See the examples discussed in Yoshiaki, Kawamoto 川本芳昭, Chūka no hōkai to kakudai: Gi Shin Nanbokuchō 中華の崩壞と擴大: 魏晉南北朝 (Tokyo: Kōdansha, 2005), 7071. Also, Yoshiaki, Kawamoto, Gi Shin Nanbokuchō jidai no minzoku mondai 魏晉南北朝時代の民族問題 (Tokyo: Kyūko shoin, 1998), 2933.

57 Sui shu, 6.117.

58 Liu, Puning, “Becoming the Ruler of the Central Realm: How the Northern Wei Dynasty Established its Political Legitimacy,” Journal of Asian History 52.1 (2018), 9193.

59 Wang Chaohai, Bei Wei zhengquan zhengtong, 132–133.

60 Jin shu, 110.2834.

61 Wei shu 魏書, comp. by Wei Shou 魏收 (554; Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1974), 4b.101.

62 See, for example, Shibang, Cao 曹仕邦, “Shi cheng ‘wu Hu yuan chu Zhongguo sheng wang zhi hou’ de laiyuan” 史稱“五胡源出中國聖王之後”的來源, Shihuo yue kan, new series, 4.9 (1974), 30.

63 Brindley, Erica Fox, Ancient China and the Yue: Perceptions and Identities on the Southern Frontier, c. 400 BCE-50 CE (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015), 135, 246. Stella Xu, Reconstructing Ancient Korean History, 24.

64 In fact, the current genetic evidence is that all modern humans really are closely related.

65 Yang, Shao-yun, “Fan and Han: The Origins and Uses of a Conceptual Dichotomy in Mid-Imperial China, ca. 500–1200,” in Political Strategies of Identity Building in Non-Han Empires in China, edited by Fiaschetti, Francesca and Schneider, Julia (Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 2014), 13, 18. Also, Shao-yun Yang, “Becoming Zhongguo,” v, 72.

66 Masaru, Satō, “Mō hitotsu no Kan-Gi kōtai: Hoku Gi Dōbutei ki ni okeru ‘Gi’ gō seitei mondai o megutte” もぅひとつの漢魏交替: 北魏道武帝期における “魏” 號制定問題 をめぐって, Tōhōgaku 113 (2007), 2628.

67 See, for example, (Xin yi) Luoyang qielan ji 新譯洛陽伽藍記, comp. by Yang Xuanzhi 楊衒之, modern edition by Liu Jiuzhou 劉九洲 (ca. 547; Taibei: Sanmin shuju, 1994), juan 2, no. 13, page 192.

68 Bei shi, 100.3343.

69 Yan Zhitui, “Guan wo sheng fu” 觀我生賦, Quan Sui wen 全隋文, 13.4089, panel a, note, in Quan shanggu Sandai Qin Han Sanguo Liuchao wen 全上古三代秦漢三國六朝文, comp. by Yan Kejun 嚴可均 (1836; Kyōto: Chūbun, 1981).

70 Bei Qi shu 北齊書, comp. by Li Baiyao 李百藥 (636; Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1972), 24.347.

71 Sui shu, 32.947.

72 Bei shi, 31.1147; Bei Qi shu, 21.295.

73 Sui shu, 42.1198.

74 Zizhi tongjian 資治通鑑, comp. by Sima Guang 司馬光 (1084; Beijing: Guji, 1956), 162.5018.

75 Zhou shu 周書, comp. by Linghu Defen 令狐德棻, et al. (636; Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1971), 2.36.

76 Shishuo xinyu, jiaojian, 7, page 216, no. 7.

77 Nan Qi shu 南齊書, comp. by Xiao Zixian 蕭子顯 (537; Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1972), 57.985.

78 Sui shu, 75.1705–1706.

79 Jiankang shilu 建康實錄, comp. by Xu Song 許嵩 (756; Taibei: Taiwan shangwu yinshuguan, 1976), 16.31a–b.

80 Wang Chaohai, Bei Wei zhengquan zhengtong, 101.

81 Chittick, Andrew, “The Development of Local Writing in Early Medieval China,” Early Medieval China 9 (2003), 49, 66, 69.

82 Villagran, Ignacio, “‘Sturdy Boulders that Protect the Realm’ Early Medieval Chinese Thinkers on Decentralized Governance,” Early Medieval China 24 (2018), 83.

83 Xudong, Hou 侯旭东, “Bei Wei jingnei Huzu zhengce chutan: cong ‘Da Dai chijie Binzhou cishi Shangongsi bei’ shuoqi” 北魏境内胡族政策初探:从「大代持节豳州刺史山公寺碑」说起, Zhongguo gudai zhengzhi wenhua yanjiu 中国古代政治文化研究, edited by Chen Suzhen 陈苏镇 (Beijing: Beijing daxue, 2009), 99, 108–18.

84 Wei shu, 59.1311.

85 Wei shu, 108a.2733.

86 Wei shu, 19b.464–465.

87 Le, Kang 康樂, Cong xijiao dao nanjiao: guojia jidian yu Bei Wei zhengzhi 從西郊到南郊﹕國家祭典與北魏政治 (Xinzhuang: Daohe, 1995), 186, note 17. Ji, Hu 胡戟, “Han Wei Sui Tang lishi diyun chutan: lishi da shi, liyi zhidu yu shi ren de zhuiqiu” 汉魏隋唐历史底蕴初探:历史大势、礼仪制度与士人的追求, in Hu Ji wencun: Sui Tang lishi juan 胡戟文存:隋唐历史卷 (Beijing: Zhongguo shehui kexue, 2000), 29.

88 Tsiang, Katherine R., “Changing Patterns of Divinity and Reform in the Late Northern Wei,” The Art Bulletin 84.2 (2002), 230.

89 Zhou shu, 2.36.

90 Lewis, Mark Edward, Writing and Authority in Early China (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1999), 360, 362.

91 Dien, Albert E., trans., Biography of Yü-wen Hu (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1962), 20, 34; Zhou shu, 11.167.

92 The ruling Yuwen 宇文 family of Northern Zhou was sometimes said to have originally been Xiongnu rather than Xianbei. See Wei shu, 103.2304. Shimunek, however (Languages of Ancient Southern Mongolia, 35, 53, 57), classifies them as speakers of a version of the Xianbei language ancestral to Khitan 契丹. The Yuwen had probably at least been absorbed into a generalized Xianbei identity by this time.

93 Zhou shu, 4.60; Taiping yulan (591.2789, panel b), citing the Sanguo dian lüe, says the genealogy consisted of 100 juan.

94 Chen, Jack W., “The Writing of Imperial Poetry in Medieval China,” Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies 65.1 (2005), 7880.

95 Guang hong ming ji 廣弘明集, comp. by Daoxuan 道宣 (596–667), T. 52, no. 2103, 10.153b, 10.154a–b.

96 Zizhi tongjian, 173.5391–5392; Sui shu, 11.250.

97 Zhou shu, 19.314–315.

98 Bei shi, 11.402; Sui shu, 1.7.

99 Bei shi, 11.403; Sui shu, 1.13.

100 Zizhi tongjian, 175.5444.

101 Sui shu, 2.35.

102 Lei, Zeng 曾磊, Beichao houqi junfa zhengzhi yanjiu 北朝后期军阀政治研究 (Beijing: Renmin, 2015), 261, 266.

103 Bei Qi shu, 11.149.

104 Chen, Jinhua, Monks and Monarchs, Kinship and Kingship: Tanqian in Sui Buddhism and Politics (Kyoto: Scuola Italiana di Studi sull’ Asia Orientale, 2002), 75–87, 114–15.

105 Sui shu, 53.1358.

106 Sui shu, 67.1580.

107 Sui shu, 3.70, 67.1581–1582, 84.1874–1875.

108 Xin Tang shu, 220.6187.

109 Sui shu, 81.1829.

110 Jiu Tang shu 舊唐書, comp. by Liu Xu 劉煦, et al. (945; Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1975), 61.2360. See also Xin Tang shu, 91.3782.

111 Tackett, Origins of the Chinese Nation, 7.

112 Jiang, Yonglin, “Thinking about ‘Ming China’ Anew: The Ethnocultural Space in a Diverse Empire—With Special Reference to the ‘Miao Territory’,” Journal of Chinese History 2.1 (2018), 2778.

113 Zhao, Gang, “Reinventing China: Imperial Qing Ideology and the Rise of Modern Chinese National Identity in the Early Twentieth Century,” Modern China 32.1 (2006), 710.

114 Wang, Yuanchong, “Civilizing the Great Qing: Manchu-Korean Relations and the Reconstruction of the Chinese Empire, 1644–1761,” Late Imperial China 38.1 (2017), 117.

115 Harrison, Henrietta, China (London: Arnold, 2001), 23, 9–32. Ernest Gellner viewed nationalism as a product of modern industrial society, but acknowledged that in premodern China the linkage between literate high culture and state bureaucracy may have to an extent “anticipated” modern nationalism; see Nations and Nationalism (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1983), 16, 141.

116 Gang Zhao, “Reinventing China,” 3–30.

117 See Ge Zhaoguang, Lishi Zhongguo de nei yu wai, 124.

118 Xin Tang shu, 99.3911–3912.

119 Xin Tang shu, 43b.1135.

120 Jiu Tang shu, 61.2361, 194a.5162–5163. The somewhat later Xin Tang shu (215a.6037) says that they would be transformed into “ordinary people” 齊人, and does not use the word “Han,” perhaps reflecting the allegedly more pronounced ethno-national Han Chinese sensitivities of its eleventh-century Song dynasty compilers.

121 Da Tang liudian 大唐六典, Guyi congshu 古逸叢書 reproduction of 1134 edition (738; Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1984), 3.15a, note.

122 Tang huiyao 唐會要, comp. by Wang Pu 王溥 (961; Taibei: Shijie shuju, 1989), 100.1796.

123 Takao, Moriyasu 森安孝夫, Si lu, youmumin yu Tang diguo: cong zhongyang Ouya chufa, qi ma youmumin yan zhong de Tuoba guojia 絲路, 遊牧民與唐帝國: 從中央歐亞出發, 騎馬遊牧民眼中的拓跋國家, trans. by Yating, Zhang 張雅婷 (Xin Bei shi: Baqi wenhua, 2018), 36–38, 150–56, 200202. See also Chen, Multicultural China, 4–38.

124 Abramson, Marc S., Ethnic Identity in Tang China (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2008), xi.

125 Emerson, Rupert, From Empire to Nation: The Rise to Self-Assertion of Asian and African Peoples (Cambridge, MA.: Harvard University Press, 1960), 104.

126 The Jin shu (presented in 646), Liang shu (636), Chen shu (636), Bei Qi shu (636), Zhou shu (636), Sui shu (636), Bei shi (659), and Nan shi (659).

127 In an influential critique, for example, Michael C. Rogers demonstrated how early Tang historians may have used the story of a disastrous invasion in 383 to discourage contemporary Tang aggression against Koguryŏ; see “The Myth of the Battle of the Fei River (A.D. 383),” T'oung Pao 54.1–3 (1968), 50–72. Rogers also emphasized that this Tang compilation was based on older texts, which may in turn have been shaped by their own agendas.

128 Wechsler, Howard J., Mirror to the Son of Heaven: Wei Cheng at the Court of T'ang T'ai-tsung (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1974), 31.

129 Chen, “Writing of Imperial Poetry,” 89–98. On early Tang preference for the ancient Sage Kings over the Han dynasty founders, see Yifang, Liao 廖宜方, Tangdai de lishi jiyi 唐代的歷史記憶 (Taibei: Guoli Taiwan daxue chuban zhongxin, 2011), 7073.

130 Zhenguan zhengyao 貞觀政要, comp. by Wu Jing 吳兢 (729; Taibei: Hongye shuju, 1990), 6.301 (section 21).

131 Wechsler, Howard J., Offerings of Jade and Silk: Ritual and Symbol in the Legitimization of the T'ang Dynasty (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1985), 136–41.

132 Ban Biao, “Wang ming lun” 王命論, Quan Hou Han wen 全後漢文, 23.599, panel b, in Quan shanggu Sandai Qin Han Sanguo Liuchao wen; Fu Gan, “Wang ming xu” 王命敘, Quan Hou Han wen, 81.910–911, in the same collection. See Zongyi, Rao 饒宗頤, Zhongguo shi xue shang zhi zhengtong lun: Zhongguo shi xue guannian tantao zhi yi 中國史學上之正統論: 中國史學觀念探討之一 (Hong Kong: Longmen shudian, 1977), 5.

133 Yu, Han, “Song Futu Wenchang shi xu” 宋浮屠文暢師序 (803 CE), in Han Changli quanji 韓昌黎全集 (Beijing: Zhongguo shudian, 1991), 20.286.

134 Duara, Prasenjit, Rescuing History from the Nation: Questioning Narratives of Modern China (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1995), 5, 80.

135 Togan, İsenbike, “Court Historiography in Early Tang China: Historiography in Early Tang Assigning a Place to History and Historians at the Palace,” Royal Courts in Dynastic States and Empires: A Global Perspective, edited by Duindam, Jeroen, Artan, Tülay, and Kunt, Metin (Leiden: Brill, 2011), 180–81.

136 Gu Tang lü shuyi shiwen 故唐律疏議釋文 (ca. 1300), appended to Tang lü shuyi 唐律疏議, comp. by Zhangsun Wuji 長孫無忌 (653; Taibei: Taiwan shangwu yinshuguan, 1990), 3.393.


Related content

Powered by UNSILO

Chinese Identity During the Age of Division, Sui, and Tang

  • Charles Holcombe (a1)


Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed.