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Supplementary readings to Classical Chinese: A Basic Reader—a must for every student of Chinese

This book presents selected historical texts and annotations to instruct, inform, and inspire students of Chinese. Taken from the works known as the Four Histories, these texts offer insights into the political, social, economic, and cultural aspects of China over a long period of time. The comprehensive annotations provide full pronunciation in pinyin, the grammatical function of individual words, and a full explication of the texts.

One of the supplementary readings to Classical Chinese: A Basic Reader, this volume includes eight selections from the Shi Ji and two each from the Han Shu, the Hou Han Shu, and the San Guo Zhi. Each unfolds a fascinating account of the historical events and figures that represent certain salient values or distinctive cultural characteristics of what has come to be the Chinese tradition.

The Shi Ji, a grand history by Sima Qian chronicling three thousand years of Chinese history, is divided into five sections of 130 chapters. Sima Qian is especially noted for his biographical style, and his work is considered the first and only "universal history" of China. The Han Shu, by Ban Gu, recounts the history of a single dynasty and is known for its dynastic style in depicting history. Together, these two histories represent paradigms of Chinese historiography. The Hou Han Shu, by Fan Ye, and the San Guo Zhi, by Chen Shou, continue this tradition of excellence. These four works are known collectively as the Four Histories.

All texts are fully annotated to include a pinyin version marking the pronunciation of each word, glosses of each word by grammatical function and its meaning in the text, as well as detailed explication of each word. The exercises at the end of each selection are intended to help students apply newly gained knowledge, better appreciate Chinese history, and stimulate interest in additional reading.

Table of Contents

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  1. Cover
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  1. Front Matter
  2. pp. i-viii
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  1. Table of Contents
  2. pp. 10-11
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  1. 史記選讀 / Selections from Shǐ Jì
  1. 一. 晏子之御 / 節選自 《管晏列傳》 / The Coachman of Yànzǐ
  2. pp. 12-21
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  1. 二. 石奢 / 節選自 《湄吏列傳》 / Shí Shē
  2. pp. 22-28
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  1. "三. 將相和 / 節選自 《廉頗 、蘭相如列傳》 / The General and the Prime Minister Ma
  2. pp. 29-76
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  1. 四. 荆軻刺秦王 / 節選自 《剌客列傳》 / Jīng Kē Assassinates the King of Qín
  2. pp. 77-123
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  1. 五. 鴻門宴 / 節選自 《項羽本紀》 / The Banquet at Hóngmén
  2. pp. 124-150
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  1. 六. 司馬相如與卓文君 / 節選自 《司馬相如列傳》 / Sīmà Xiàngrú and Zhuō Wénjūn
  2. pp. 151-176
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  1. 漢書選讀 / Selections from Hàn Shū
  1. 一. 李夫人傳 / 節選自 《外戚J專》 / The Biography of Consort Lǐ
  2. pp. 177-203
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  1. 二. 蘇武傳 / 節選自 《李廣 、蘇建傳》 / The Biography of Sū Wǔ
  2. pp. 204-254
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  1. 浚漢書選讀 / Selections from Hòu Hàn Shū
  1. 一. 董祀妻傳 / 節選自 《列女傳》 / The Biography of Cài Yǎn
  2. pp. 255-268
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  1. 二. 禰衡傳 / 節選自 《文苑傳》 / The Biography of Mí Héng
  2. pp. 269-288
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  1. 三. 國志選讀 / Selections from Sān Guó Zhì
  1. 一. 魏武少時 / 節選自 《魏志•武帝紀》 / Wèiwǔ in His Youth
  2. pp. 289-295
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  1. 二. 三顧茅廬 / 節選自 《蜀志・諸葛亮傳》 / Making Three Calls at the Thatched Cottage
  2. pp. 296-305
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