An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History and Literature

Da-Tang jiaosi lu 大唐郊祀錄

Feb 15, 2021 © Ulrich Theobald

The book Da-Tang jiaosi lu 大唐郊祀錄, also called Tang Zhenyuan jiaosi lu 唐貞元郊祀錄, is a compendium of 10 juan of length compiled by Wang Jing 王涇 (fl. 793) and finished in 793, during the Zhenyuan reign-period 貞元 (785-805). The book is headed by three chapters of general rules (Fanli 凡例) for the suburban sacrifices to Heaven and Earth. The main part of the text is dedicated to the liturgy of the sacrificial ceremonies (Sili 祀禮), local sacrifices (Jisi 祭祀) and sacrificial meals and beverages (Xiangli 饗禮), making out a total of 52 sub-chapters. The book provides also information on the development and changes of the ceremonial details during the ages, laying stress on the regulations as fixed during the Tang period 唐 (618-907).

Many parts of the text are identical to corresponding statements in the book Da-Tang kaiyuan li 大唐開元禮, but Wang's book also renders additional information, and thus served as the basic source for the ritual chapters of the statecraft encyclopaedia Tongdian 通典. It can also be used as a supplement for the rather short statements in the encyclopaedia Tang huiyao 唐會要 (ch. 8-9).

Wang's book was apparently never printed, and original images of how the sovereign ascended to and descended from the spirit lodges (shenwei 神位) on the state altars (Tanwu shenwei shengjiang tu 壇屋神位升降圖) are lost. The Beijing Library 北京圖書館 owns two Qing-period 清 (1644-1911) manuscripts. The texts is found in the series Shiyuan congshu 適園叢書 of Zhang Junheng 張鈞衡 (1916), and Xuxiu siku quanshu 續修四庫全書.

Wu Feng 吳楓, ed. (1987). Jianming Zhongguo guji cidian 簡明中國古籍辭典 (Changchun: Jilin wenshi chubanshe), 41.