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Yueling jiyao 月令輯要

Aug 11, 2019 © Ulrich Theobald

(Yuding) Yueling jiyao (御定)月令輯要 "Important matters on monthly ordinances (as determined by the emperor)" is a collection on agricultural issues compiled during the Kangxi reign 康熙 (1662-1722) of the Qing period 清 (1644-1911) by a team under the guidance of Li Guangdi 李光地 (1642-1718).

The book of 24 juan is based on an earlier text of this type, namely Feng Yingjing's 馮應京 (1555-1606) Yueling guangyi 月令廣義 from the Ming period 明 (1368-1644). The length of both texts and the arrangement of chapters is the same, but Li and his team refined the language of the older text. Original text is marked with the word yuan 原, added phrases by the word zeng 增. Quotations from older texts are added by a remark on the book of origin.

The book begins with a fascicle of figure bringing agricultural activities into a cosmological context. Each chapter is divided into six subchapters according to the pattern tiandao 天道 "astronomy/nature", zhengdian 政典 "policy", minyong 民用 "application", wuhou 物候 "phaenology", zhanyan 占驗 "prognostication", and zaji 雜記 "miscellaneous". The chapters on the twelve monthly ordinances (Shi'er yueling 十二月令) and the intercalary months (Runyue 閏月) have two additional subchapters referring to the solar terms (jiexu 節序) and daily work (rici 日次).

The text is found in the series Siku quanshu 四庫全書.

Table 1. Contents of the Yuding Yueling jiyao 御定月令輯要
圖說 Figures
1.-2. 歲令 Ordinances for the year
3. 每月令 Ordinances for each month
4. 春令 Ordinances for Spring
5.-7. 正月令, 二月令, 三月令 Ordinances for the first, second, and third month
8. 夏令 Ordinances for Summer
9.-11. 四月令, 五月令, 六月令 Ordinances for the fourth, fifth, and sixth month
12. 土王令 Ordinances for the seasonal days of the King of Earth (when the soil must not be activated)
13. 秋令 Ordinances for Autumn
14.-16. 七月令, 八月令, 九月令 Ordinances for the seventh, eight, and ninth month
17. 冬令 Ordinances for Winter
18.-20. 十月令, 十一月令, 十二月令 Ordinances for the tenth, eleventh, and twelfth month
21. 閏月令 Ordinances for the intercalary month
22.-23. 晝夜令 Ordinances for day and night
24. 時刻令 Ordinances for the hours
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, 1055.