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188金宝:The Twelfth " Qingjian" Reading Club was Held Successfully

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The twelfth “Qingjian” reading club was held on September 10 through the Tencent Conference. Hosted by Mr. He Chengsong, the twelfth reading club was joined by 14 grades students from both the School of Politics and International Relations and the School of Literature. Since TheZizhi Tongjian(History as a Mirror), which is a pioneering work in Chinese historiography, is one of assigned readings for part of the students, the twelfth reading club mainly introduced the background information and writing characteristics of the book.

Before the reading begins, Ms. Liang Zhenpeng gave openings and students briefly introduced themselves. At the beginning of the twelfth reading, Mr. He gave a presentation on the book, including its author Sima Guang and the historical background, to help the participants have a better understanding of the masterpiece. Sima Guang led the faction opposing the radical reforms of the innovator Wang An-shi and became a hermit focused on chronicle writing after that. Although with the author’s ideological tendency involved, the book was considered one of the finest single historical works in China.

In the discussion part, Mr. He mainly introduced Sima Guang’s conception of orthodoxy, which is one of the foundation of dynasties in ancient China. During the period of division in Chinese history, the concept of orthodoxy has been much debated. The orthodoxy of the Northern Song is difficult to define since it came from the post-Zhou dynasty, which is a divided and the last period of Five Dynasties and Ten States. That’s the reason Sima Guang put forward the concept of “relative orthodoxy”. Mr He analyzed the different expressions of the same event in theThree Kingdomsand theZizhi Tongjianto illustrate the conception of “relative orthodoxy” in historical compilations.

The second part of the reading made a brief review of the basic historical facts of the Wei and Jin dynasties, so that students have better understanding about the two dynasties and historical events such as “Disturbances of the Eight Princes”. After that, Mr. Liu Yaorong talked about the clans of the Wei, Jin and North and South Dynasties. Mr. Liu described the political characteristics of this period as “bureaucratization of the clans and bureaucratic gentry”.

Finally, Ms. Liang summarized the reading and introduced three tailored methods of readingZizhi Tongjian. The first one is sentence by sentence, which can improve the reading ability of students in the beginning stage. Second one is reading through the book, which can form systematic understanding of it. The third one is to deconstruct the content in the view of history.

The twelfth reading club was held successfully. Participants had a more comprehensive understanding towardsZizhi Tongjianand the political culture in Wei and Jin dynasties.

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