An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History and Literature

Lianshan 連山

Aug 16, 2012 © Ulrich Theobald

Lianshan 連山 "Joint mountains" was an ancient book on prognostication written during the Zhou period 周 (11th cent.-221 BCE). In the ritual Classic Zhouli 周禮 it is said that the royal Grand Diviner (taibu 太卜) mastered three different methods of divination, one of which was that of the famous Zhouyi 周易 (see Yijing 易經), the second one the Guicang 歸藏, and the third that of the Lianshan. The Han-period 漢 (206 BCE-220 CE) scholar Zheng Xuan 鄭玄 (127-200) was of the opinion that the Zhouyi was the divination manual of the Zhou dynasty, the Guicang that of the Shang dynasty 商 (17th-11th cent. BCE), and the Lianshan that of the Xia dynasty 夏 (17th-15th cent. BCE).

According to Huan Tan's 桓譚 (23 BCE-56 CE) book Xinlun 新論, the Lianshan was kept in a library on the Lantai Terrace 蘭臺. The commentator Jia Gongyan 賈公彥 explains the name of the Lianshan as an expression of one very important hexagram, namely gen 艮 ䷳ ("mountain"), which is a combination of two gen ☶ trigrams - "joint mountains". The chapter Lianshan that is included in the transmitted text Gu sanfen shu 古三墳書 (Gusanfen 古三墳) seems to be a later interpolation.

There was a book called Lianshan Yi 連山易 compiled by the forger Liu Xuan 劉炫 during the Northern Dynasties period 北魏 (386-534) which came into being because a certain Niu Hong 牛弘 had announced he would purchase any rediscovered old text. The book Lianshan is not included in the oldest bibliographies. The Song-period 宋 (960-1279) statecraft encyclopaedia Wenxian tongkao 文獻通考 says it had been 10-juan-long, but was lost.

Fragments of the Lianshan only survive in the series Yuhanshanfang jiyi shu 玉函山房輯佚書, a compilation by the Qing-period 清 (1644-1911) scholar Ma Guohan 馬國翰 (1794-1857). Whether these are really original phrases of the old-text Lianshan, must be doubted. He relied on quotations in Huang Zuo's 黃佐 (1490-1566) book Liuyi liubie 六藝流別 and Luo Bi's 羅泌 (1131-1189) history book Lushi 路史, various quotations in ancient texts like Li Daoyuan's 酈道元 (466 or 472-527) geography Shuijingzhu 水經注 or Huangfu Mi's 皇甫謐 (215-282) genealogy Diwang shiji 帝王世紀, and Liu Xuan's forgery. Other sets of fragments were compiled by the master Guanhui daoren 觀頮道人 (Lianshan Guicang yiwen 連山歸藏逸文) and Wang Mo 王謨 (c. 1731-1817) (Guicang 歸藏, with the Lianshan fragments as appendix).

Gao Liushui 高流水 (1996). "Lianshan 連山", in Feng Kezheng 馮克正, Fu Qingsheng 傅慶升, ed. Zhuzi baijia da cidian 諸子百家大辭典 (Shenyang: Liaoning renmin chubanshe), 431.
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, 68.
Wu Feng 吳楓, ed. (1987). Jianming Zhongguo guji cidian 簡明中國古籍辭典 (Changchun: Jilin wenshi chubanshe), 411.