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Sishu daquan 四書大全

Sep 13, 2013 © Ulrich Theobald

Sishu daquan 四書大全 "The complete meaning of the Four Books" is a collection of commentaries on the canon of the Four Books (Sishu 四書) that was compiled during the Ming period 明 (1368-1644) by Hu Guang 胡廣 (1370-1418), courtesy name Guangda 光大, who was a grand academician (daxueshi 大學士) in the Hall of Literary Profundity (Wenyuange 文淵閣).

The 36-juan long book was compiled on imperial order and was finished in 1415. Hu Guang's team included the scholars Yang Rong 楊榮 (1371-1440) and Ye Shizhong 葉時中. The Sishu daquan respects the commentaries of 106 scholars. It lists the texts of the Four Books and then the commentary texts as well as various statements by Song-period 宋 (960-1279) Neo-Confucians about the Four Books.

The most important of these were Zhu Xi's 朱熹 (1130-1200) Sishu jizhu 四書集注, Zhen Dexiu's 真德秀 (1178-1235) Sishu jibian 四書集編, Zhu Zhu's 祝洙 (jinshi degree 1256) Sishu fulu 四書附錄, Cai Mo's 蔡模 (1188-1246) Sishu jishu 四書集疏, Zhao Shunsun's 趙順孫 (1215-1277) Sishu zuanshu 四書纂疏, Wu Zhenzi's 吳真子 Sishu jicheng 四書集成, Chen Li's 陳櫟 (1252-1335) Sishu faming 四書發明, Hu Bingwen's 胡炳文 Sishu tong 四書通 and Ni Shiyi's 倪士毅 Sishu jishi 四書輯釋.

Emperor Chengzu 明成祖 (r. 1402-1424) wrote a preface to the collection and made it an official text book for the preparation to the state examinations. The early Qing-period 清 (1644-1911) philosopher Gu Yanwu 顧炎武 (1613-1682) criticized the Sishu daquan as a heterogenous collection of commentaries, of lot of which were not decently quoted by name and author.

The Sishu daquan was published at the same time as a similar project, the Wujing daquan 五經大全 that was also compiled under the supervision of Hu Guang, but was much more widespread than the latter because the Four Book played a greater role in Neo-Confucian thought than the proper classics. It is also included in the imperial series Siku quanshu 四庫全書.

四書大全 Sishu daquan
(Ming) 胡廣 Hu Guang et al. (comp.)
書名, length in juan Title Author(s)
大學章句大全 一卷 Daxue zhangju daquan (Ming) 胡廣 Hu Guang et al.
大學或問 一卷 Daxue huowen (Ming) 胡廣 Hu Guang et al.
論語集註大全 二十卷 Lunyu jizhu daquan (Ming) 胡廣 Hu Guang et al.
孟子集註大全 十四卷 Mengzi jizhu daquan (Ming) 胡廣 Hu Guang et al.
中庸章句大全 二卷 Zhongyong zhangju daquan (Ming) 胡廣 Hu Guang et al.
中庸或問 二卷 Zhongyong huowen (Ming) 胡廣 Hu Guang et al.
Shanghai tushuguan 1982, Vol 1, 617.
Sources:
Hu Zhenyu 胡振宇 (1997). "Sishu daquan 四書大全", in Pang Pu 龐樸, ed. Zhongguo ruxue 中國儒學 (Shanghai: Dongfang chuban zhongxin), Vol. 3, 131.
Jiaoyu da cidian bianzuan weiyuanhui 《教育大辭典》編纂委員會, ed. (1991). Jiaoyu da cidian 教育大辭典, Part 8, Zhongguo gudai jiaoyu shi 中國古代教育史 (Shanghai: Shanghai jiaoyu chubanshe), Vol. 1, 322.
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, 551.
Shanghai tushuguan 上海圖書館, ed. (1982). Zhongguo congshu zonglu 中國叢書綜錄 (Shanghai: Shanghai guji chubanshe).
Xu Xinghai 徐興海 (1988). "Sishu daquan 四書大全", in Zhao Jihui 趙吉惠, Guo Hou'an 郭厚安, ed. Zhongguo ruxue cidian 中國儒學辭典 (Liaoning: Shenyang renmin chubanshe), 376.
Zhu Ye 朱冶 (2017). "Mingchu Sishu Wujing daquan qucai ji qi chengyin kaoxi 明初《四書五經大全》取材及其成因考析", Shilin 史林, 2017 (12).