Ban Gu

Ban Gu (Chinese: 班固; pinyin: ban1 gu4; Wade–Giles: Pan Ku, 32–92), courtesy name Mengjian (孟堅), was a 1st century Chinese historian and poet best known for his part in compiling the Book of Han. He also wrote in the main poetic genre of the Han era, a kind of poetry interspersed with prose called fu. Some are anthologized by Xiao Tong in his Selections of Refined Literature in the 6th century. Compiler of the Bo hu tong 白虎通.

In the 3rd century BC, Ban Gu's ancestors gained prominence on the northwestern frontier as herders of several thousand cattle, oxen, and horses, which they traded in a formidable business and encouraged other families to move to the frontier.

Ban Gu was born into a scholarly family. His great-aunt Consort Ban was a scholar and poet, and his father, Ban Biao, was a prominent historian. He took over from his father responsibility for writing a history of the former han dynasty, a book known in modern times as the Hanshu or Book of Han. However, his work was interrupted by political problems, as his association with the family of Empress Dowager Dou led to his imprisonment and death (either by execution or torture). A few volumes of his book in 13–20th (eight chronological charts) and 26th (astronomical biography), however, was completed by his younger sister, Ban Zhao, and became a model for many other works about later dynasties.

The modern historian Hsu Mei-ling states that Ban Gu's written work in geography set the trend for the establishment of geographical sections of history texts, and most likely sparked the trend of the gazeteer in ancient China.

Last update 05-06-2012

Site Search


Random Articals

Join Our Newsletter




Send This Page to Friend

To Email this page to a friend

1. Use Your Default Email Client
2. Use Our Recommend Page

Online Contact



If you like this article please feel free to share it to your favorite site listed below:

Choose A Style:

Font Family

Font Colors
black Blue Green Purple Red Default
Font Size

Site Options Help

control panel