Chun Qiu Zuo Zhuan - 春秋左傳
Commentary of Zuo to the Spring and Autumn Annals

Chun Qiu Zuozhuan is a commentary on Chun Qiu. Chun Qiu is a historical text written in brief passages in a style associated with written history for oral transmission. The Zuozhuan is one of three commentaries known as San zhuan 三傳, the Zuozhuan being written by Zuo Qiuming. These commentaries are narrative in style and fill out the original sparse text. It is thought to have been complied in the Warring States period (5th cent.-221 BC).

Alternate names: Zuozhuan 左傳 - Commentary of Zuo; Qunqiu Zuo Shi Zhuan 春秋左氏傳 - Commentary of Mr. Zuo to the Spring and Autumn Annals.


The word zhuan 傳 "commentary" can also be read as chuan which means "tradition", "transmission". The title of Zuozhuan can thus also be interpreted as something like "the version of Zuo".

the author

The Chun Qiu Zuozhuan is attributed to Zuo Qiuming who lived in the state of Lu in the early 6th century, as a contemporary of Confucius. The book was probably compiled later, during the Warring States period 戰國 (5th cent.-221 BC).

other books on the subject

Ch'i, Ssu-ho. Professor Hung on the Ch'un ch'iu. Yenching Journal of Social Studies 1 & 2 (June 1938 & Feb. 1940) 49-71.

Elman, Benjamin A. Classicism, Politics, and Kinship: The Ch'ang-chou School of New Text Confucianism in Late Imperial China. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1990.

Karlgren, Bernhard. On the Authenticity and Nature of the Tso Chuan. Goteborg: Elanders Boktryckeri Aktiebolag, 1926.

Kennedy, George. Interpretation of the Ch'un Ch'iu. Journal of the American Oriental Society 62 (1942) 40-48.

Legge, James, trans. The Ch'un Ts'eu, with Tso Chuen. The Chinese Classics, Vol. V. London: Trubner, 1872.

Queen, Sarah. From Chronicle to Canon: The Hermeneutics of the Spring and Autumn Annals, According to Tung Chung-shu. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996.

Yang, Bojun. 楊 伯 峻, comp. Chun qiu Zuo zhuan ci dian 春秋左傳詞典 (Phrase dictionary of the Spring and Autumn Annals and Tso Commentary). Beijing: Xin hua Bookstore, 1985.

online resources

For the Original Chinese text

Chinese Text Project ›

(Available under Pre-Qin and Han -> Histories)

For the Suggested Translation

Excerpts can be found here : ›

Other Resources

·  A description of Chunqiu can be found on China Knowledge : ›