Ssu-ma Kuang

Ssu-ma Kuang

(so͞o-mä kwäng), 1018–86, Chinese statesman and historian of the Northern Sung dynasty. He edited the monumental Tzu-chih t'ung-chien [the comprehensive mirror for aid in government], a chronicle of Chinese history from 403 B.C. to A.D. 959. The title indicates the belief that history can serve the present as a mirror of the past so that rulers can avoid the same mistakes. The 12th cent. philosopher Chu HsiChu Hsi
, 1130–1200, Chinese philosopher of Neo-Confucianism. While borrowing heavily from Buddhism, his new metaphysics reinvigorated Confucianism. According to Chu Hsi, the normative principle of human nature is pure and good.
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 abridged and reworked the materials. Ssu-ma Kuang was a member (with Ou-yang Hsiu and Su Tung-p'oSu Tung-p'o
, 1036–1101, Chinese poet. He was also called Su Shih. Born in present-day Sichuan prov., he was one of a literary family. Su occupied many official posts, rising to president of the board of rites (which regulated imperial ceremonies and worship).
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) of the conservative bureaucratic party that successfully opposed the reforms of Wang An-shihWang An-shih
, 1021–86, Chinese Sung dynasty statesman. As a chief councilor (1069–74, 1075–76) he directed sweeping administrative and fiscal reforms that drew strong conservative opposition.
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Ssu-Ma Kuang

 

Born 1017 or 1019; died 1086. Chinese historian.

The son of a high-ranking functionary, Ssu-ma Kuang was a member of the Hanlin Academy and worked as a censor, historiographer, and governmental adviser. A conservative, he opposed the reforms of Wang An-shih. Ssu-ma Kuang’s major historical work was Tzu chih t’ung-chien (The Comprehensive Mirror for Aid in Government), which encompassed the period from 403 B.C. to A.D. 959; it was compiled in collaboration with Liu Pin, Liu Shu, and Fan Tsu-yu.

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Another article continuing in this vein is the important study on "Chinese Historical Criticism: Liu Chih-chi and Ssu-ma Kuang" (from the now classic symposium volume.
Bol, "Government, Society, and State: On the Political Visions of Ssu-ma Kuang and Wang An-shih," in Robert Hymes and Conrad Schirokauer, eds., Ordering the World: Approaches to State and Society in Sung Dynasty China, (Berkeley, 1993), pp.
Three years later another respected official, Ssu-ma Kuang (1019-1086), made the same appeal.
Ou-yang Hsiu in his writings frequently lamented the failures of former dynasties, while Ssu-ma Kuang's masterpiece, Tzu-chih t'ung-chien (General Mirror for the Aid of Government), is nothing if not didactic and cautionary.
(16) The earliest scholar to point out the impossibility of the Chi An-Kung-sun Hung episode seems to have been Ssu-ma Kuang [CHINESE TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (1019-1086) in his Tzu-chih t'ung-chien k'ao-i; [CHINESE TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]; see Yu Chia-hsi, "T'ai-shih kung shu wang-p'ien k'ao," 40.
(2 vols., Canberra, 1989) and Achilles Fang's classic work, The Chronicle of the Three Kingdoms (220-265): Chapters 6978 from the Tzu chih t'ung chien of Ssu-ma Kuang (2 vols., Harvard, 1952), they fill the remaining gap of a continuous translation that spans more than a century of China's greatest chronicle history.
She draws on material from two texts by Ssu-ma Kuang (1019-86) and one by Yuan Ts'ai (ca.
Ssu-ma Kuang has another person retort, instead of Tung; see Achilles Fang, trans., The Chronicle of the Three Kingdoms (220-265): Chapters 69-78 from the Tzu Chih T'ung Chien of Ssu-ma Kuang (1019-1086), 2 vols., Harvard-Yenching Inst.