Talk:Qin (state)

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Shang Yang couldn't have been a "firm believer in the philosophies of Han Fei;" he lived & died a full century before Han Fei. -Bill Henderson

King list[edit]

Why are the king list broken into chunk of three? --Menchi 03:31, 11 Nov 2003 (UTC)

Dunno but I guessed Spring and Autumn Period, the spot in between, and Warring States Period. Then I thought the spot in between wasn't that long, and my theory was mush. Well ... still waiting for an answer! :) --Pratyeka 05:11, 11 Nov 2003 (UTC)
The breaks make it look that there are three sub-dynasties though (especially the fact that the numbers get re-initialized to one twice!), when the succession was continuous. It is worth noting when the Warring States Period began in the list; here are the years: [1]. However, I don't know if it is true that the five ancestors of Feizi were "rulers of Qin", as shown on that table. My understanding is that Qin City was not rewarded to this family until Feizi. --Menchi 05:20, 11 Nov 2003 (UTC)
My understanding is that those 5 ancestors were closer to mythological rulers than actual. Starting the lists with Qin Zhong is appropiate since he fought the western barbarians for the protection of King Li of Zhou. kt2 06:45, 11 Nov 2003 (UTC)
Actually King Xiao of Zhou was pleased with Feizi's ability to bread horses between the Wei and Qian Rivers and assigned him with the town of Qin and the name of Qin Ying "setting asside land for him so that he may become a dependant domain". And it was from him that the Qin lineage began: Qin Ying, his son Qin Hou (10 years of rule), his grandson Gongbo (3 years of rule), his great-grandson Qin Zhong (23 years). And it was really King Xuan of Zhou (successor of King Li) who after sucurring his place on the throne, sent Qin Zhong to push back the Quanrong people, but he was killed in battle and his son was sent in to replace him and he succeded in defeating the Quanrong so from there King Xiao officially made him Duke Zhuang of Qin. So personally, I think the list should start from either Feizi or Duke Zhuang. --Master Liang 01:14, 20 November 2006 (UTC)

King Zheng[edit]

Did the state cease to exist when King Zheng proclaimed himself emperor? --Jiang 07:12, 11 Nov 2003 (UTC)

Answered in the article kt2 07:27, 11 Nov 2003 (UTC)

Deleted kings[edit]

Why are there several kings deleted?Pookleblinky 03:57, 3 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Size of armies[edit]

This article seems to take ancient sources of the sizes of armies at face value. Ancient sources place the army of the contemporary Persian Empire at 500,000 men, but nobody believes that today. But I am not expert enough to say more. Can someone check it? David s graff 03:07, 18 September 2006 (UTC)

Can someone please check the numbers on these armies?? They seem impossibly huge. The greatest empires in history never managed to have armies that numbered as large as the ones described in this article. How can a mere state raise an army that took the entire Roman Empire to raise? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:20, 6 September 2007 (UTC)

Let's start with the change of army system during that time. Warfares between feudal states upto around mid Spring and Autumn period had been consisted of chariots battles and the sizes of armies were accounted for in terms of number of chariots, where each chariot was accompanied with approximately 30 foot soldiers. Large battles during the Spring and Autumn period such as the battle of Chengpu (632 B.C.) between Chu and Jin each side manuvered around 700 chariots, i.e. ~21,000 men. All these men came from the noble families, where slaves and ordinary citizens (farmers) were not enlisted.
As the scale of war escalated into late Spring and Autumn and early Warring States, the need for larger and large army stretched the noble population to its limit for providing an elite educated fighting force and conscription of ordinary citizens became the new system, which resulted in a huge jump in army sizes. The state's survival requirement for large armies also promoted the developments of human settlement in previously unoccupided lands and agricultural practices were put into full force in these newly developed lands in order to stock up food and supplies during peace years and provide urgent frontline needs during wartimes. Besides foods and supplies, the most critical benefit of land development was the increase in population, as the same manpower for land cultivation was also fully utilized in battle. Based on the Discourses of the Warring States, Book Zhao, General Zhao Tu mentioned "in acient times (pre-warring states), cities despite large, still no more than 300 zhang (measured across, where 1 zhang = 3.33 metres); (in the city) population despite large, still no more than 3,000 families. Nowadays (warring states), cities of 1,000 zhang wide, 10,000 families (have developed to the point that they) can see each others (on their smoke towers)." If we assume each family has 10 members, which is extremely conservative in a Chinese family, there is already a city with population of 100,000, and when cities this size can see each other on the horizon, these states did have the manpower to sustain centuries of warfare of a slautering nature. An estimate of the population of the then central China (i.e. north to great wall, south to Yangtze, west to Qin, east to sea) was approximately 20 million.
As we look at Qin's army system after Shang Yang's reform, which impleted conscription and enlisted every 50 of 100 farming male above 23 years old (merchants class exempted). Services started in hometown for 1 month, then change base to the capital for 1 year, and then change base at the border for 1 year. The rest of the weaker 50 men stayed home for agricultural production. During the battle of Changping, the conscription was temporarily changed to every male above 15 that lives east of the Yellow River. At the eve of uniting China, Qin has an army of approximately 600,000. After unification, instead of reducing the size of the army, Qin chose to expand it further with the resources it acquired from the six fallen states to expand the Empire up north and down south, which led to its overthrown in merely 15 years due to social unsustainability.
It must be most inappropriate to compare Rome to China even at the same period, especially Mediterranean Europe, near east and north Africa never have the same amount of population to back an army that size. It does not have the fertile land as in central China to produce agricultural yields that can sustain that kind of population. It was also spread across 3 continents with a sea in the middle whereas in China the stage was focus in 10 provinces in today's map, often enemy cities were within tens of kilometers in today's measurement and these states must out-grow its component and to prevent from being out-grown (i.e. slaugter when possible) in order to defend itself. Maoyingkiu 02:06, 1 October 2007 (UTC)
Most historians will use the historically given figures to at least give a sense of magnitude, with the caveat of admitting that they are almost certainly exaggerated. Perhaps such an approach is best here. (talk) 12:42, 7 March 2010 (UTC)

Assessment comment[edit]

This article has a good history section, but it needs to look at other aspects of Qin too. --Danaman5 06:59, 14 January 2007 (UTC)

References and Quotes[edit]

Why are there no references? And no quotes? Or any box saying this article needs more references? (talk) 18:31, 7 November 2008 (UTC)

There are no references. It looks great, but who includes no references? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:22, 10 April 2009 (UTC)


another name... Böri (talk) 16:56, 4 December 2009 (UTC)


秦非子is not a viscount.All Chinese source have not this explain.—星光下的人 (talk) 13:48, 31 August 2010 (UTC)

看起来您不明白我的意思,中国古代有“五等爵位”,就是公、侯、伯、子、男。一般英文的翻译是Duke, Marquis, Count, Viscount, Baron
[Translation: It looks like you don't understand my meaning. In ancient China the five orders of nobility in common English usage are Duke, Marquis, Count, Viscount and Baron.]Philg88contact
[Translation: As regards the previous comment, the five orders of nobility are not as simple as you think. More importantly the "子" here does not mean Viscount. Do you understand?] (talk) 10:02, 1 September 2010 (UTC)
OK, firstly this is the English Wikipedia so discussions should be conducted in English ( I have added translations for the above exchange). Please give a reference that confirms "Viscount" is not the meaning here - I am not disagreeing with your point of view but it needs to be verifiable. Philg88 (talk) 12:40, 1 September 2010 (UTC)
[Translation: Are you joking? You should provide the reference. Why do you think the 子 of 非子 means viscount? What is your source? There is no source. It is natural to use pinyin. <Records of the Grand Historian · Biography of the Qin Emperors> "Feizi lived in Quanqiu" At this time he did not have a fiefdom so how can he have been a viscount? Therefore Feizi is his name.] (talk) 14:42, 1 September 2010 (UTC)
Hi, I'm happy to come in and contribute to this discussion at Philg88's request. I've read the first few back-and-forths: what is the original disagreement? Philg88 mentioned early usage(s) of the term '子', but it seems like that's not the original issue...or is it? Thanks.  White Whirlwind  咨  16:12, 1 September 2010 (UTC)
Thanks White Whirlwind. In fact "子" is the crux of the issue. The quote he cites above from the Shiji only says that he lived in a place called 犬丘 - not that he wasn't a viscount. That said, I am starting to have some concerns about the use of 子 and 伯 as de facto titles for nobility rather than just names but there are an awful lot of WP articles that use them. Philg88 (talk) 22:50, 1 September 2010 (UTC)
因为有自动翻译机在,我还是中文了。 Philg88阁下对先秦历史的不熟悉,直接造成你把子理解为子爵,其实只要用《左传》的例子就够了,郜子,吴子,楚子、郧子,这些都是以国+“子”称呼该国国君,也有以国+“子”+名的方式,如邾子克,莒子狂。那么好了,如果非子是子爵,那么非即他的封地,敢问非在哪?—星光下的人 (talk) 05:03, 2 September 2010 (UTC)
I'm looking into this dispute but will be travelling to Hong Kong this weekend and won't be able to write my full opinions until next week. I'm fairly certain I can resolve this problem now but I'd better wait and be certain. Philg88, can you link to some other articles that translate the name-suffix 子 in its 子爵 viscount sense? That's rather unusual, and I'd like to see what how they source those instances ('The Man Under Starlight' has a good point in that other Wikipedia pages are not inherently reliable sources, although they will certainly link to them in ideal situations.) Also The Man Under Starlight (星光下的人), you need to be more respectful and less combative in your communications. Your reasoning and arguments are very good, though. As Philg88 mentioned earlier, even though it is not easy for you, please do your best to use good English when working on this version of Wikipedia. I understand your Chinese perfectly, but that's not the point. Thanks to both of you gentlemen.  White Whirlwind  咨  09:57, 3 September 2010 (UTC)
I suppose what The Man Under Starlight says makes certain sense. Han Feizi means something like Master Han Fei, not Viscount Fei of Han. The issue seems to be how do we identify whether 子 is used as a name or a title of nobility or a title of respect (like 孔子)? In Han's case, each of the pre-state sovereigns is referred to as _ _ 子 and also has a given name(韓獻子 == 韓厥). Considering they were heads of a powerful family and not exactly known in history as influential writers suggest the 子 here is a title of nobility to me. Hanfresco (talk) 10:14, 3 September 2010 (UTC)
The generation before 韓厥 is Hanyu(韩舆) son of Han Jian(韩简,韩定伯) is son of Han Qiubo (韓赇伯) is son of Hanwan (韓万,韩武子) is son of Quwo Huanshu(曲沃桓叔),this line come from The Book of Lineages (世本).Do you want to translate them to Earl and Viscount?
“据我们对现有文献记载调查,在一个同氏集团内,大体上只有继位为大宗的人才称“伯”或“子”。比如鲁国季孙氏的季文子、季武子、季悼子、季平子、季桓子、季康子等,皆季孙氏大宗。孟孙氏的孟穆伯、孟孝伯、孟武伯和叔孙氏的叔孙戴伯、叔孙宣伯亦分别是孟孙氏和叔孙氏大宗。因此子服氏的诸“伯”,亦同孟穆伯、孟孝伯、孟武伯、叔孙戴伯、叔孙宣伯、臧哀伯等一样,是子服氏集团大宗的称号”——谢维扬《周代家庭形态》ISBN:7-207-06426-8—星光下的人 (talk) 08:11, 4 September 2010 (UTC)
The fundamental issue here is that early Western historians thought that they understood the Chinese societal hierarchy then grafted the five grades of nobility from the British system onto it despite China’s completely different culture. Unfortunately this stuck and has led to the propagation of nomenclature errors ever since.
Dictionaries of classical (i.e. old) Chinese all seem to have definitions of 子 that state it was both an honorific as well a title of nobility. For example, the Classical Chinese Dictionary (古汉语字典) (in Chinese). 2009. ISBN 9787532623426.  Text "Shanghai Cishu Publishing (上海辞书出版社)" ignored (help) says on page 490:
(Definition 4) 子 – 古代男子的美称或尊。如:孔子;孟子;荀子;韩非子.也用作表敬的第二人称代词. 《左传 • 鲁僖公三十年》:“吾不能早用子,今急而求子。” 古代能师长。如:子日;子墨子。
Translation: In ancient times a male laudatory or honorific title, e.g. : Confucius, Mencius, Xun Zi, Han Fei. Also used as a respectful second person pronoun.
<Zuo Zhuan • Thirteenth year of Duke Xi of Lu> “Early on I could not use zi but now it is an urgent request.” Can also be used as part of a teacher’s name, e.g. Zi Ri, Zi Mozi.

(Definition 6) 古代爵位名。为五等爵的第四个。直至清代仍沿用。
Translation: An ancient order of nobility, fourth of the five ranks. Still used up to the time of the Qing Dynasty.
Based on the above, it is clear that Confucius was not Viscount Kong nor Han Fei Viscount Fei of Han. However I think that in Zhou Dynasty China Viscount/Honorable were possibly interchangeable as an indication of hierarchical status.
In defense of using the English ranks of nobility generally, I don’t think anyone would agree that the Duke of Zhou should become Zhougong or the Marquess of Shen Shenhou. Sources concur that the five orders of nobility were created by King Wu of Zhou, who was most definitely pre-Qin Dynasty.
It seems to me that the crux of the issue is to decide on an individual basis whether the子 is an honorific or a title of nobility which is not in itself an easy task. As for examples of the use of the (pre-Qin) title viscount see Marquess Jing of Han, and the article Viscount, along with any Chinese/English dictionary. Philg88 (talk) 07:18, 5 September 2010 (UTC)
The use of zi 子 to mean "Viscount" is without question the less common of its two or three main usages (the exception, not the rule, so to speak). I do not think we should render "Feizi" as "Viscount Fei", and I think the "Man Under Starlight" user has made the best case in the discussion.
Although we have had some good arguments for and against its use, including Philg88's dictionary references, I think it might be helpful if I gave a short history of the word zi 子 as best as I understand it, as it will shed some light that will not be found in any dictionary. (Note: I'm not going to talk about oracle bone usage or bronzes here, as I don't know much about them aside from the oracle bone dictionary PDF I have.)
First we have, of course, its original "child" meaning, from which its other meanings flow, as I'll treat below using just the ancient and very reliable Book of Songs (Chinese).
The word zi 子 appears in the Book of Songs (Chinese) nearly 400 times, at least half of those times used in the term junzi 君子 (or kjun tsjəʔ, as Prof. Baxter reconstructs it). Now, this is a term nearly anybody who knows some Chinese will have heard, and as you all know it's generally translated into English as "gentleman" or "superior man" because of its usage in the Confucian classics. That is not quite its true meaning. It literally means "son of prince" - in ancient times, the sons of royalty were probably more educated, refined, and cultured than other men, and parents of common background likely encouraged their sons to act gentlemanly, like a kjun tsjəʔ 君子. Confucius seems to have emphasized that regardless of a man's birth status in society, he could choose the noble path of the kjun tsjəʔ 君子 for himself. (I learned this from Dr. David Honey, my first formal Classical Chinese teacher, who I think learned it from the great Peter Boodberg.) The name-suffix usage (e.g. Kongzi, Zhuangzi, Feizi, etc.) almost certainly derives ultimately from this usage, and not from the Zhou ranks of nobility.
This then is also probably the origin of zi 子's other usage in the Book of Songs as the second-person pronoun "you" or "thou" that seems to be used by girls toward a boyfriend or husband (like in 《子襟》:青青子襟,悠悠我心 "The vest thou wear'st, viridian dark / [inside] my sad and longing heart." - My rough translation). It's probably literally more like "[noble] man". I think it's similar to the use of "My Lord" as "husband" in archaic English, a form that is very common in the modern Mandarin laogong 老公 "husband". We could go on to discuss other usages if we wanted to.
Now, the "viscount" meaning is indeed given in many dictionaries, though it's evident from the one Philg88 gave alone that it's a rarer meaning (note that it doesn't quote an example - the Cihai 辭海 doesn't either, see page 2557). I am not a Classical Chinese guru, but I wouldn't feel comfortable translating this into "viscount" unless it expressly appears as zijue 子爵. Incidentally, the link Philg88 sent to Viscount lists Japanese shishaku and Korean jajak as "viscount" equivalents, and note that both of those are simply transliterations of the original Chinese term 子爵.
I hope this expressed my views on the discussion clearly, and I thank Philg88 for the honor of inviting me to add my two cents.  White Whirlwind  咨  14:30, 11 September 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for your sterling effort on this one White Whirlwind. I think you've made it quite clear that Zi is not Viscount in this article. Best, Philg88 (talk) 22:12, 11 September 2010 (UTC)
Thank you White Whirlwind and Philg88. I did a bit of my own research and corroborated the above. Han (state) article was modified accordingly. Hanfresco (talk) 23:07, 11 September 2010 (UTC)


From a number of maps I get the following list of capitals for Qin:
1) Xiquanqiu (西犬丘)
2) Pingyang (平阳)
3) Yong (雍)
4) Xianyang (咸阳)(which from its location looks like it was previously Pingyang)
which does not match what the article has right now. Also, Chinese WP says that the Qin capital was unknown (which seems a bit odd to say the least). Can anyone confirm this list? Philg88 (talk) 00:00, 5 November 2010 (UTC)

Xichui was a vague area ("Western March") headed by the Ying clan of Quanqiu. It's always been typical in Chinese to refer to the capital by the region's name. Other than that, the list did match yours. (I'll check to see how big the difference between Xiquanqiu and Quanqiu is.) — LlywelynII 14:55, 3 December 2013 (UTC)


White whirlwind:

I don't understand why all of a sudden you have such a lofty standard for sources. This article was almost completely unsourced, and one of the few existing "sources" was a self-reference to Chinese wikipedia which I just removed. But when I added two reliable sources, you kept reverting me, with edit summaries like "Please read WP:Reliable sources: non-peer-reviewed websites like are not acceptable for English Wikipedia citations on scholarly topics". Look, I've written hundreds of well-referenced articles on English Wiki and read WP:RS numerous times, but never seen anything that says only peer-reviewed websites are allowed for "scholarly topics". What's the WP definition for "scholarly topics", and where in WP:RS is that requirement? Besides, even if such a requirement did exist, would still qualify. It's one of the best-known Sinology web sites (Guoxue is Chinese for Sinology, BTW) in China, run by a research institute of the Capital Normal University in Beijing (see here).

You also said "for Shiji please try to use the standard Zhonghua Shuju (1959) edition, not an yizhu". Who says that the 1959 edition is the standard, just because the Wikipedia Shiji article has an unreferenced sentence about that edition? Well, this 9-volume, 7,800-page "yizhu" version just happens to be the most updated, most complete, and most accurate edition ever published by Zhonghua Shuju annotated by the Shiji authority Han Zhaoqi (quoting from publisher's official web site), which incorporates findings from many of the archaeological discoveries made in the recent decades (such as the Mawangdui Silk Texts). What makes you think it's better to use a "standard" edition published more than a half century ago? --Zanhe (talk) 05:10, 8 May 2012 (UTC)

A good section is found in the opening of WP:Sources: "Where available, academic and peer-reviewed publications are usually the most reliable sources, such as in history, medicine, and science. But they are not the only reliable sources in such areas. Material from reliable non-academic sources may also be used, particularly if it appears in respected mainstream publications. Other reliable sources include university-level textbooks, books published by respected publishing houses, magazines, journals, and mainstream newspapers. Electronic media may also be used, subject to the same criteria." (bold text added by me).
Wikipedia generally follows the same criteria for acceptable sourcing as the academic and scholarly community does. While Guoxue is a nice website – I am familiar with it and am intimately familiar with what 國學/国学 means (see my user page for my linguistic background) – no one in their right mind would EVER consider using it in serious sinological citations or in mainstream publications. It is very nice for personal study, though.
I am happy to admit that your addition of sources is needed and appreciated and is probably better than no sourcing at all. Let me be clear – the 1959 edition of the Shiji is what this article needs for citation. However nice Han's new edition is, it is after all an yizhu edition, and those are not used for normal scholarly citation. For example, take a look at any monumental English-language work on a sinological topic from the time covered by the Shiji, such as Professor Michael Loewe's famous book A Biographical Dictionary of the Qin, Former Han, and Xin Periods. All of his references to the Shiji will be to the standard 1959 edition. The Mawangdui discoveries are important, to be sure, but unless the standard edition is updated it will remain the accepted gold standard for Shiji citation. We don't decide when that happens. Remember, we do not do original research on Wikipedia: we follow the peer-reviewed academic community as a whole.
If you have doubts, go check if English-language peer-reviewed publications begin (or have already begun) citing Han's 2010 edition of the Shiji. You could check issues of the JAOS or T'oung Pao, for starters. I am quite certain they do not cite it (they will stay with the standard 1959 edition), and that's what we ought to do as well.  White Whirlwind  咨  01:04, 9 May 2012 (UTC)
Let me help you understand the policy by highlighting a few phrases that you've completely ignored: "Where available, academic and peer-reviewed publications are usually the most reliable sources, such as in history, medicine, and science. But they are not the only reliable sources in such areas. Material from reliable non-academic sources may also be used, particularly if it appears in respected mainstream publications. Other reliable sources include university-level textbooks, books published by respected publishing houses, magazines, journals, and mainstream newspapers. Electronic media may also be used, subject to the same criteria."
Please don't twist the policy and make up rules on the fly. I totally agree that peer-reviewed publications are the best sources, where available, and I'd be more than happy if you could replace the refs I added with peer-reviewed citations, but do not remove good references without providing better ones. There are so many worthier things you can do to improve this article than nitpicking on the few reliable sources provided. --Zanhe (talk) 03:49, 9 May 2012 (UTC)
First off, please drop the patronizing tone. Second, read your own highlights a little more closely: Material from reliable non-academic sources may also be used, particularly if it appears in respected mainstream publications. Guoxue is associated with a university but is ultimately a corporation, not a publishing house, and does not publish its work as peer-reviewed publications, be it books, monographs, or journals.
Sorry for losing my patience a bit after you repeatedly reverted my edits quoting non-existent policies, and then tried to justify your action with distorted quotations from WP:RS. Guoxue is a quasi-academic source, inherently more trustworthy than the "non-academic sources" that are deemed reliable by your quote from WP:RS. Besides, the page I cited from Guoxue is simply the original text of Shiji with inline annotations by ancient historians. In this kind of situation even a user-edited site such as Wikisource is usually considered acceptable. --Zanhe (talk) 17:03, 9 May 2012 (UTC)
What I'm saying here is that, since you just admitted my contention that is undeniably inferior to accepted sources, why not just skip and add them yourself rather than make me do it? Thanks.  White Whirlwind  咨  10:15, 9 May 2012 (UTC)
Please do not reduce this debate to a playground fight. Obviously I would've added superior sources if I had them. Since you want to remove existing reliable sources, it's your responsibility to find better ones to replace them. --Zanhe (talk) 17:03, 9 May 2012 (UTC)
White whirlwind invited me to comment here, but my view is a bit different: we should not be citing ancient texts like Shiji at all, except to source direct quotes. We should be relying on modern scholars to interpret such texts, not trying to interpret them ourselves. (The relevant policy is WP:PRIMARY.) There is no shortage of scholarly sources for an important subject like Qin. If we were citing it, linking to an online version would be governed by WP:CITE#Convenience links. In this case, perhaps External links is the place for it. Kanguole 10:41, 9 May 2012 (UTC)
Kanguole, I completely agree with you that ancient texts like the Shiji need to be treated with caution, and that's why I always pair the citation with an interpretation by a well-known modern scholar (Han Zhaoqi), which is unfortunately offline only. Please see my edit summary in response to White Whirlwind's request to use an "actual" Shiji copy. The reason I'm including the online Shiji text alongside offline modern scholarship is because in the past I've been accused of fabricating sources when relying on offline sources that are not easily accessible to others. --Zanhe (talk) 17:21, 9 May 2012 (UTC)
White Whirlwind asked me to comment too. First off, I agree with Kanguole on using modern interpretations of ancient sources - in particular those written by native Chinese speaking academics. As for Guoxue, my gut feeling is that it should not be cited - it is not an "academic" source and we should not be wowed just because it's in Chinese. I'm sure that there are lots of Blogspot pages that look great and back up various points of view but they are quite rightly disallowed. That's my two hollow handled spade money's worth. ► Philg88 ◄ Star.pngtalk 14:52, 9 May 2012 (UTC)
Guoxue is a well-known website run by a research institute under Beijing's Capital Normal University, whose mission is to digitize ancient Chinese texts (see here). So it is at least a quasi-academic source, a far cry from Blogpost pages. I'm not wowed because it's in Chinese. I'd rather use an online English translation of the Shiji but couldn't find one. Re your preference for modern Chinese academic sources, I've already added one to the article, paired with the Guoxue link to the original Shiji text. See my reply to Kanguole below. --Zanhe (talk) 17:39, 9 May 2012 (UTC)
I had the same realization last night after I last posted that Kanguole pointed out: the Shiji is, for our purposes, a primary source, and we all know that Wikipedia favors secondary sources over primary and tertiary ones. I agree with Philg's instinct regarding Guoxue – I feel that it is at best a temporary solution and at worst completely unacceptable. I will leave the Guoxue references up for now until they (and all the Shiji references) can be replaced with a peer-reviewed, published secondary source of decent repute. If someone else can get them up quicker, be my guest. Edit:I also agree with Kanguole that a link to the Guoxue site would be fine in External Links, perhaps along with one to Donald Sturgeon's site. White Whirlwind  咨  20:25, 9 May 2012 (UTC)
You seem to forget that you were the one who demanded that an actual copy of Shiji be used, while I cautioned against relying on the original Shiji and insisted on using a published version that is annotated and interpreted by a renowned modern scholar. As for Guoxue, I don't think you're showing good judgment when you'd rather trust a fellow Wikipedian's instinct than the well-documented affiliation of the website to a major research university (no offense to Philg88, whose instincts are proven to be more often right than wrong :-). As I've been saying all along, feel free to replace my refs with better ones when you find them, but until you do, do not remove the perfectly acceptable refs and reduce the section to its former unreferenced state. --Zanhe (talk) 21:44, 9 May 2012 (UTC)
I don't think the Shiji (in any edition) is suitable as a source. It would be better to cite modern historians, especially once you get past 771 BC. Kanguole 23:55, 9 May 2012 (UTC)
That's a little extreme, IMHO. The Shiji (and Zizhi Tongjian) are widely quoted in thousands of articles. Anyhow, I'm not sure if you're familiar with this edition I'm using here, which was just recently published. It's called Shiji but the original text of Sima Qian comprises less than 10% of the text, while over 90% of the 9 volumes is Han Zhaoqi's annotations and interpretations, corroborating or correcting Sima Qian's records, with numerous references to other ancient sources like Zuo Zhuan and Guoyu, modern historians like Ch'ien Mu and Yang Kuan, as well as archaeological discoveries. This is the work of a modern historian. --Zanhe (talk) 01:04, 10 May 2012 (UTC)
I know it's common for WP articles on Chinese history to cite traditional histories. I think it's really unfortunate, and quite unnecessary given the amount of modern scholarship available. A critical edition is a bit of an improvement, but a modern synthesis of the history would be much better. Kanguole 09:02, 10 May 2012 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────What's really unfortunate is that in the 8+ years of this article's existence, nobody had bothered to add a single source to the history section, which is what the article is mostly about. And the moment I added references to both the original and critical editions of the Shiji, they get attacked and repeatedly removed by someone who had never contributed to the article. Granted, traditional histories are far from perfect, but they are well-respected, tremendously influential, and are the foundation of modern scholarship. Not to mention they're free of copyright and accessible to everybody. If anyone had checked the article against just the first page of the Qin chapter of Shiji, we wouldn't have had blatantly wrong statements like that Qin was first founded in Xichui staying uncorrected for years. And the problem plagues probably 90% of Wikipedia articles on ancient Chinese history. I think the most urgent task right now is to provide good enough references and correct patently wrong information. Modern synthesis would be great, if anyone cared to spend the time to locate the sources and add them to Wikipedia. --Zanhe (talk) 18:22, 10 May 2012 (UTC)

My initial objections to Zanhe's citations were based in scholarly practices (i.e. my insistence on using the 1959 annotated edition of the Shiji, not an online or yizhu version), while Wikipedia's standards, I'm learning, are not always so rigorous. However, Kanguole's comments moved this discussion from that original question of whether or not an online or an yizhu edition of the Shiji is appropriate for a Wikipedia article to whether the Shiji itself is even appropriate, and the more I think about the guidelines at WP:PSTS the more I think Kanguole is on the right track with this one.  White Whirlwind  咨  01:05, 11 May 2012 (UTC)
Great, now you've found new straws to grasp at. The Shiji is not a primary source, but an ancient secondary one, and with modern annotations it is an extremely useful source. Besides, even primary sources are better than no source. But I'm really sick and tired of all this bickering. Wouldn't it be better if you'd actually go and find the better sources out there rather than endlessly talk about them? --Zanhe (talk) 04:28, 11 May 2012 (UTC)
Again, the patronizing tone is not helpful in any way, shape, or form. I hope you are more respectful in your own non-Wikipedia scholarship. The distinction between primary and secondary sources is not clearly defined, especially when dealing with ancient works like the Shiji where their accounts are all we've got (primary sources has a bit more detail but not much). The point is moot, now, anyway.  White Whirlwind  咨  19:47, 11 May 2012 (UTC)
You will earn my respect once you start making real contributions to this article or related ones. I'll give you a barnstar if you add peer-reviewed sources to the article and improve it in a meaningful way. --Zanhe (talk) 20:03, 12 May 2012 (UTC)
P.S. Since we're talking about Qin history, modern scholarship, respect, and, you might be interested in reading this article that's relevant to all those points. It was written in response to this article by Li Xueqin, who is probably the most famous living Chinese historian and head of the Xia–Shang–Zhou Chronology Project. And you'll see how much respect Li gets from his fellow scholars. --Zanhe (talk) 20:21, 12 May 2012 (UTC)
That's an interesting article! I recently did an informal scholarly translation of the first couple of sections of the Tsinghua slips – you may have heard of if you're on the Medieval Chinese listserv, if not, then never mind – and a few of the questions I had are brought up in the article. The rest of it seems a little hackneyed and relies a bit too heavily on the Diaoyi/Niaoyi 鳥夷 issue, in my humble opinion. I wouldn't be nearly so quick to dismiss Li's points, in any case. In regards to this article here, I'm a little busy with personal business at the moment and likely won't be able to get some sources up until three or four weeks from now.  White Whirlwind  咨  22:23, 12 May 2012 (UTC)

Qin Hou or Marquis of Qin?[edit]

Since we've already got several long-timers' attention here, I'd like to invite everyone to join the ongoing discussion at Talk:Marquis of Qin, on whether or not to translate the title of the second ruler of Qin, 秦侯 (Qin Hou), to Marquis of Qin. --Zanhe (talk) 18:01, 9 May 2012 (UTC)

Zhongyu or Zhongjue?[edit]

The character can have both readings. Accounting for the Wade transcription, Nienhauser's translation of the Shiji uses Zhongjue, presumably for good reasons. Do we have any equally good source reading it as yu or is it conventional in pinyin versions? — LlywelynII 02:31, 4 December 2013 (UTC)

Watson Burton and Feng Li also use Zhongjue. But some dictionaries, such as, don't even show the jue pronunciation. Maybe it's the archaic reading, which scholars sometimes prefer. -Zanhe (talk) 03:28, 4 December 2013 (UTC)

Yueyang or Liyang?[edit]

While we're on the subject, the capital 櫟陽 appears on various Wikipedia pages as Yueyang (as here), Liyang (as here)... and nevermind. Zdic seems pretty clear that Yue is the ancient placename. (Someone double check for me that it's the right place name.) — LlywelynII 04:40, 4 December 2013 (UTC)

Definitely Yueyang. -Zanhe (talk) 05:01, 4 December 2013 (UTC)
It seems like the Tang dynasty articles were especially partial to Liyang (while still obviously talking about a community within modern Xi'an). Is there any reason to think that it changed its name in Middle Chinese or those editors just didn't know that the placename was a special case? — LlywelynII 12:40, 4 December 2013 (UTC)
Most people are simply not aware of the special pronunciation for the ancient place name. But all dictionaries I've seen note the special Yueyang pronunciation. -Zanhe (talk) 07:14, 5 December 2013 (UTC)


Also, I saw that you added content on the origin of Qin based on the Shiji. Please be aware that Sima Qian's account is disputed by many modern historians. Archaeological evidence seems to support the theory that they originated in the east and were moved to the west after Duke of Zhou's suppression of the Rebellion of the Three Guards. See articles by Li Xueqin and by Wu Rui. -Zanhe (talk) 05:11, 4 December 2013 (UTC)

Yep. Didn't even have to add the cite, since it was already part of the text: just expanded what was already there. Especially if it's disputed, we should include both theories; you seem better versed in the eastern origin one. Feel free to add it, along with whatever caveats about "the traditional story...", "Sima Qian claimed...", whathaveyou. — LlywelynII 12:39, 4 December 2013 (UTC)

Move discussion in progress[edit]

There is a move discussion in progress on Talk:Chen (state) which affects this page. Please participate on that page and not in this talk page section. Thank you. —RMCD bot 22:59, 18 March 2014 (UTC)

Assessment comment[edit]

The comment(s) below were originally left at Talk:Qin (state)/Comments, and are posted here for posterity. Following several discussions in past years, these subpages are now deprecated. The comments may be irrelevant or outdated; if so, please feel free to remove this section.

This article has a good history section, but it needs to look at other aspects of Qin too. --Danaman5 06:59, 14 January 2007 (UTC)

Last edited at 06:59, 14 January 2007 (UTC). Substituted at 20:12, 1 May 2016 (UTC)