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. (April 2008)
The History of the Southern Dynasties (Nánshǐ) is one of the official Chinese historical works in the Twenty-Four Histories canon. It contain 80 volumes and covers the period from 420 to 589, the histories of Liu Song, Southern Qi, Liang dynasty, and Chen dynasty. Like the History of the Northern Dynasties, the book was started by Li Dashi. Following his death, Li Yanshou (李延壽), son of Li Dashi completed the work on the book between 643 and 659. As a historian, Li Yanshou also took part of some of the compilation during the early Tang dynasty. Unlike the many other contemporary historical texts, the book was not commissioned by the state.
Volumes 1-3 contain the annals of the Liu Song emperors beginning with Emperor Wu. Volumes 4-5 contain the annals of the Southern Qi emperors, volumes 6-8 contain the annals of the Liang emperors, and volumes 9-10 contain the annals of the Chen emperors. Volumes 11-12 contain the biographies of empresses and consorts. Volumes 13-69 contain biographies of figures from the Liu Song (13-40), Southern Qi (41-50), Liang (51-64), and Chen (65-69) dynasties. Volumes 70 through 80 contain other biographical content, including virtuous officials (70), Confucian scholars (71), literature (72), filial acts (73-74), recluses (75-76), favorites of nobles (77), foreign peoples (78-79), and treacherous officials (70).