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Spring and Autumn Historiography


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Table of Contents

List of Tables
List of Sets
Scholarly Conventions
Chronology: Lu Rulers of the Spring and Autumn
1. Orientations: Approaches to Spring and Autumn Historiography
2. Recording the Day
3. Encoding Individual Rank
4. An Idealized Interstate Order
5.Registering Judgments
6. Concealing Submission
Conclusions: Spring and Autumn Historiography and the Formally Regular Core
Appendix 1: Defining a "Record"
Appendix 2: Event Types in the Spring and Autumn
Appendix 3: Diachronic Changes in Frequency and Form in the Spring and Autumn

About the Author

Newell Ann Van Auken teaches at the University of Iowa. She is the author of The Commentarial Transformation of the Spring and Autumn (2016).


Newell Ann Van Auken's pathbreaking scholarship demolishes the old conventional view of the Spring and Autumn as a dull and uninteresting chronicle. Her elegant analysis of how the text's rule-based formulaic language served the interests of the lords of Lu opens the way to an exciting new view of the political dynamics of early China. -- John S. Major, cotranslator of Luxuriant Gems of the Spring and Autumn
Lucid and rigorous, this analysis of the Spring and Autumn is the most valuable study we have of this important early Chinese chronicle. Van Auken's careful reconstruction of the formal requirements for event notations in the chronicle dramatically advances our understanding of this crucial type of historiographical activity, calling into doubt the traditional association of the chronicle with Confucius and revealing its function in displaying the hierarchical claims and ambitions of the state of Lu. -- David Schaberg, author of A Patterned Past: Form and Thought in Early Chinese Historiography
This book-length study of Chunqiu (Spring and Autumn), the first in a Western language, is clearly written and impeccably argued. Through careful analysis, Van Auken convincingly demonstrates that ancient Lu annalists created a rigid verbal form through which they present an idealized and blatantly biased picture of their home state. A brilliant study certain to become a foundation for all subsequent Chunqiu scholarship. -- Stephen Durrant, professor emeritus, University of Oregon
This book is an eye-opener. Combining philological acumen with theoretical understanding, Van Auken uncovers the regular patterns that underlie the Spring and Autumn. Her analysis of how the text arranges-or omits-information provides unprecedented insight into the history and function of this seemingly enigmatic classic. -- Kai Vogelsang, Universitat Hamburg

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