Notes and Commentary on 'Nie-bi-chuan (「孼嬖傳」)', in Lieh-nü-chuan (『列女傳』), II.
Liu Hsiang (劉向 79-8 B. C.) was a scholar towards the close of the Han dynasty. He is highly reputed to have arranged and classified ancient writings of China from his own viewpoint, and elucidated the nature and value of individual works. Among a number of his characteristic writings is Lieh-nü-chuan (『列女傳』), which is valued as the first biography of women in China. He first classified women's ways of life into seven patterns, and then culled relevant biographies chiefly from Chun-chiu tso-shih-chuan (『春秋左氏傳』) and Shih-chi (『史記』), arranging them in chronological order. The present article forms the first part of notes and commentary on 'Nie-bi-chuan (「孼嬖傳」)', which collects the lives of those women who ruined both their families and nation by their way of life surpassing that of men.