An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History and Literature

Jianlüe tuozhu 鑒略妥注

Sep 21, 2013 © Ulrich Theobald

Jianlüe tuozhu 鑒略妥注 "Proper commentaries to the concise mirror" is a school textbook history of China written in verses. It was compiled by the Ming-period 明 (1368-1644) scholar Li Tingji 李廷機 (1542-1616), courtesy name Erzhang 爾張, from Pujiang 普江 near Quanzhou 泉州, Fujian.

Li obtained his jinshi degree during the Wanli reign-period 萬曆 (1573-1619) and had the office of libationer (jijiu 祭酒, i.e. Director) of the Directorate of Education (guozijian 國子監).

Because the Jianlüe is written in five-syllable verses it is also called Wuzijian 五字鑒 "Five-characters mirror". The original name of the book was Jianlüe. It covers the time from the mythological origins to the beginnings of the Ming period, and describes the most important historical events of each dynastic period.

During the Qing period 清 (1644-1911), it was published by Zou Wutong 鄒梧桐, who enlarged the text by a commentary , so that it is today known with the the title Jinlüe tuozhu. It was one of the most widespread textbooks in elementary schools, side by side with the Sanzijing 三字經, Zengguang xianwen 增廣賢文 and Youxue qionglin 幼學瓊林.

Chen Gaochun 陳高春, ed. (1986). Zhongguo yuwenxuejia cidian 中國語文學家辭典 (Zhengzhou: Henan renmin chubanshe), 236.