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Sanlitu jizhu 三禮圖集注

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The Sanlitu jizhu 三禮圖集注 "Collected Commentaries to the Illustrations to Three Ritual Classics" is a book on various Confucian rituals compiled by the Five Dynasties period 五代 (907-960) scholar Nie Chongyi 聶崇義. He came from Luoyang 洛陽 (modern Luoyang, Henan), the eventual centre of Song period 宋 (960-1279) Neo-Confucianism, and was an expert in rituals matters, and therefore professor (boshi 博士 "erudite") for the Confucian Classic Liji 禮記 "Records of Rites" in the Directorate of Education (guozijian 國子監) under the Later Han dynasty 後漢 (947-950). Under the Later Zhou 後周 (951-960) he was promoted to erudite under the Chamberlain for Ceremonials (taichang boshi 太常博士). He believed that rituals were the essence of Confucian teaching and began compiling a book on rites that was based on earlier treatises on that topic, like Zhang Yi's 張鎰 fragmentarily surviving Zhangshi sanlitu 張氏三禮圖 from the Tang period 唐 (618-907). He compared these text and revised them criticially, to use them for his own 20 juan "scrolls" long book, which was finished in 962, at the beginning of the Song period. He presented the book to the throne, with the result that Emperor Taizu 宋太祖 (r. 960-975) ordered the scholar Yin Zhuo 尹拙 and Bao Yi 竇儀 to revise and to publish it. The Sanlitu jizhu explains the system of Confucian rituals described in the three Classics Liji, Zhouli 周禮 and Yili 儀禮, and illustrates them with drawings that make the arrangement of ritual objects, the positions and movements of persons, their clothing, buildings, shrines etc. easier to understand. The earliest illustrated book on rites, the Sanlitu 三禮圖, was compiled by the Eastern Han period 東漢 (25-220 CE) scholar Ruan Zhan 阮湛. The only problem is that many descriptions in Nie Chongyi's book contradict the commentary of the late Eastern Han period scholar Zheng Xuan 鄭玄, who was a highly admired expert for centuries, but at least, Nie's collection of illustrations is very helpful to understand the meaning of many aspects, to that many later Confucians relied on his book as the "School of the Ritual Illustrations" (litu xuepai 禮圖學派).
The Sanlitu jizhu is included in the collectanea Siku quanshu 四庫全書 and Tongzhitang jingjie 通志堂經解本.

Source: Li Xueqin 李學勤, Lü Wenyu 呂文鬰 (ed. 1996), Siku da cidian 四庫大辭典 (Changchun: Jilin daxue chubanshe), Vol. 1, p. 240.

September 13, 2013 © Ulrich Theobald · Mail
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