[Treasure] History of 17 dynasties gathered in book form

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[Treasure] History of 17 dynasties gathered in book form


Name: Essentials of Seventeen Dynastic Histories, Volumes 16 and 17
Period: King Taejong of Joseon Period
Location: Gwanak District, southern Seoul
Status: National Treasure No. 148

This is a book compiled by Hu Ting-fang, a scholar who carried out activities from the end of the Song Dynasty to the early Yuan Dynasty of China.

It selects and summarizes important historical facts contained in 17 leading orthodox historical records of China ranging from Shiji (Records of the Grand Historian) to Hanshu (The Book of Han) to Wudai Shiji (The Historical Records of the Five Dynasties) and adds the compiler’s commentaries.

The copy (7.3 inches long, 10 inches wide), kept at the Kyujanggak Institute for Korean Studies of Seoul National University, only covers 1 out of 16 volumes (Tangshu/Tang Chronicles) which was published in 1412 with the country’s first copper printing types made in 1403 (third year of the reign of King Taejong).

Among the 37 pages, pages 26, 27 and 28 are missing.

Some of the letters in the book are illegible.

This book was published during the early Joseon Period (1392-1910) when the country’s printing technology was at a primitive stage.
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