The Diary of a Manchu Soldier in Seventeenth-Century China:

The Diary of a Manchu Soldier in Seventeenth-Century China

"My Service in the Army", by Dzengseo, 1st Edition

By Nicola Di Cosmo


142 pages | 2 B/W Illus.

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Providing original insights into Chinese military history, Nicola Di Cosmo gives an annotated translation of the only known military diary in pre-modern Chinese history, providing fresh and extensive information on the inner workings of the Ch'ing army. The personal experience of the author, a young Manchu officer fighting in inhospitable South-Western China, take us close to the 'face of the battle' in seventeenth-century China, and enriches our general knowledge of military history.


'Anyone interested in this unique description of Manchu-Chinese warfare viewed through the eyes of a participant should read it: there is much here to learn and much that will entertain in the process.' - Denis Sinor, Journal of Asian History, 41/1, 2007

'Zengšeo's diary and Di Cosmo's translation are a very precious contribution to "inside Manchu history" and - which should be underlined - to Manchu autochtonous literature… Though the problem of Manchu "sinicization" is far from being solved, the book under review is indeed a fine contribution to such a complicated issue.' - Giovanni Stary, Central Asiatic Journal, 51/2, 2007

Table of Contents

Introduction. Translation. Manchu Text. Bibliography. Glossary. Index

About the Author

Nicola Di Cosmo joined the Institute for Advanced Study, School of Historical Studies, in 2003 as the Luce Foundation Professor in East Asian Studies. He is the author of Ancient China and Its Enemies and his research interests are in Mongol and Manchu studies and Sino-Inner Asian relations.

About the Series

Routledge Studies in the Early History of Asia

The aim of this series is to publish original, high-quality work by both new and established scholars in the West and the East, on all aspects of the early history of Asia.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / Asia / China
HISTORY / Military / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies / General