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Chinese Literature
Shishi leiyuan 事實類苑 "Categorized Garden of Historical Facts"

The Shishi leiyuan 事實類苑 "Categorized garden of historical facts", original title Songchao leiyuan 宋朝類苑, Huang-Song shishi leiyuan 皇宋事寶類苑 or Huangchao leiyuan 皇朝類苑, is an encyclopedia written by the early Southern Song period 南宋 (1127-1279) scholar Jiang Shaoyu 江少虞. The book was finished in 1145 and is 78 juan "scrolls" long and covers - depending on the edition - between 22 and 28 large themes. The topics covered quote from more than 50 different sources. The main content of the Shishi leiyuan are historical stories from the Northern Song period 北宋 (960-1126), but the stories are selected according to fixed categories, which gives the book the character of an encyclopedia. Each chapter is headed by a four-character headline. Jiang Shaoyu compiled this book because a lot of sources on the history of the Northern Song period were scattered among a lot of books of very different character, especially among private writings, and a coherent picture of the period was therefore not easy to obtain. Inspite of its historiographical character, the book is listed under the miscellaneous treatises because a lot of the stories have the character of tales or are even of the genre of chuanqi 傳奇 "phantastic stories". The historical value of the Shishi leiyuan lies in the fact that about half of the stories quoted have not survived in other books. The sources are all indicated and have not been altered.
The earliest print dates from 1153 and was made by the Masha Studio 麻沙書坊. Wang Shizhen 王士禎 speaks of a length of 40 juan, but in the edition in the reprint series Siku quanshu 四庫全書 the text is divided into 63 juan. There is also a print with moveable types from 1621 preserved in Japan and reprinted in 1911 by Dong Kang 董康. This edition is 87 juan long. In 1981 the Shanghai guji press 上海古籍出版社 published a modern version revised by Qu Jicang 瞿濟蒼.

Kong Fanli 孔凡禮 (1986). "Songchao shishi leiyuan 宋朝事實類苑", in: Zhongguo da baike quanshu 中國大百科全書, Zhongguo wenxue 中國文學, vol. 2, p. 766. Beijing/Shanghai: Zhongguo da baike quanshu chubanshe.
Li Xueqin 李學勤, Lü Wenyu 呂文鬰 (1996). Siku da cidian 四庫大辭典, vol. 2, p. 2004. Changchun: Jilin daxue chubanshe.
Zhao Hankun 趙含坤 (2005). Zhongguo leishu 中國類書, pp. 100-101. Shijiazhuang: Hebei renmin chubanshe.

1.-5. 祖宗聖訓 Zuzong shengxun Holy instructions of ancestors
6.-7. 君臣知遇 Junchen zhiyu Wise encounters of rulers and ministers
8.-12. 名臣事蹟 Mingshen shiji Stories of famous ministers
13.-14. 德量智識 Deliang zhishi The knowledge of the right portion of virtue
15.-17. 顧問奏對忠言讜論 Guwen zou dui zhong yan dang lun Consultation in memorials and advice in loyal wordings
18.-20. 典禮音律 Dianli yinlü Canonical rites and musical harmonies
21.-23. 官政治績 Guanzheng zhiji Administration and government
24. 衣冠盛事 Yiguan shengshi Rich stories about court robes
25.-28. 官職儀制 Guanzhi yizhi The right behaviour among state officials
29.-31 .詞翰書籍 Cihan shuji Literati and scholars
32.-33. 典故沿革 Diangu yange Exemplary stories throughout history
34.-40. 詩歌賦詠 Shige fuyong Poems, songs and rhapsodies
41.-42. 文章四六 Wenzhang siliu The right structure of literature
43.-44. 神釋僧道 Shenshi sengdao Daoists and Buddhists
45.-47. 休祥夢兆 Xiuxiang mengzhao Prognostication in dreams
48.-49. 占相醫藥 Zhanxiang yiyao Prosopomancy and medicine
50.-52. 書畫技術 Shuhua jishu Calligraphy, painting and the arts
53.-56. 忠義節義, 將帥才略 Zhongyi jieyi jiangshuai cailüe Loyalty, chastity and the talent of military leaders
57. 知人薦舉 Zhiren jianju Promoting those identified as competent
58.-59. 廣知博識 Guangzhi boshi Universal knowledge
60.-62. 風俗雜志 Fengsu zazhi Miscellaneous matters of customs and habits
63.-67. 談諧戲謔 Tanxie xinüe
68.-69. 神異幽怪 Shenyi youguai Supernatural and strange events
70.-74. 詐妄謬誤 Zhawang miuwu Deception and falsehood
75.-78. 安邊御寇 Anbian yukou Safeguarding the border and controlling the unruly
Chinese literature according to the four-category system

December 12, 2010 © Ulrich Theobald · Mail