An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History and Literature

Mingchen beizhuan wanyan ji 名臣碑傳琬琰集

Mar 12, 2012 © Ulrich Theobald

Mingchen beizhuan wanyan ji 名臣碑傳琬琰集 "Esteemed collection of biographies and tomb inscriptions of famous ministers" is a collection of biographies of famous persons compiled by the Southern Song-period 南宋 (1127-1279) scholar Du Dagui 杜大珪 xxx.

The 107-juan long book was finished in 1194 and has been compiled on the base of various writings, veritable records and official biographies. It records the biographies of 221 eminent state officials (dachen 大臣) and their tomb inscriptions (amounting to 254).

The book is divided into three parts, the first 27 juan including tomb inscriptions of "soul promenades" (shendao bei 神道碑), the next 55 juan tomb inscriptions (muzhi ming 墓志铭) and official conduct descriptions (xingzhuang 行狀), and the last 25 juan biographies. The important matter is that the Wanyanji records the original texts without altering them, and so preserves a large amount of source material not found otherwise.

The earliest print was produced during the Song period. One specimen is preserved in the Library of Harvard University, another in the Tianyi Library 天一閣. The Mingcheng beizhuan wanyan ji is included in the imperial series Siku quanshu 四庫全書.

Li Xueqin 李學勤, Lü Wenyu 呂文鬰, eds. (1996). Siku da cidian 四庫大辭典 (Changchun: Jilin daxue chubanshe), Vol. 1, 997.
Luo Bingliang 羅炳良 (2010). "Du Dagui Mingchen beizhuan wanyan ji de bianzuan tedian yu shixue jiazhi 杜大珪《名臣碑傳琬琰集》的編纂特點與史學價值", Tianjin shehui kexue 天津社會科學, 2010 (9).
Wu Feng 吳楓, ed. (1987). Jianming Zhongguo guji cidian 簡明中國古籍辭典 (Changchun: Jilin wenshi chubanshe), 349.