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Chinese Literature
Chunming meng yulu 春明夢餘錄

Chunming meng yulu 春明夢餘錄 “Additional records of dreams at the [Gate of] Spring Brightness” is a description of Beijing written by Sun Chengze 孫承澤 (1592 – 1676, Courtesy name Erbei 耳北, style Beihai 北海 or Tuigu 退谷). The 70 juan long book is a “miscellaneous” history of the city of Beijing during the Ming period. The title was probably inspired by Meng Yuanlao’s 孟元老 book Dongjing menghua lu 東京夢華錄 “The dream of Hua in the Eastern Capital”. Chunming 春明 was the name of the central eastern gate of the Tang capital Chang’an 長安 (modern Xi’an 西安, Shaanxi). The first part of the book describes the history (1) and the topography (2) of the city, with the city moat (3) and the outskirts beyond the latter (4). The second part presents a description of the city wall and defense structures (5), the imperial palaces (6-13; including a catalogue of the imperial library) and the national altars (14-22), but also virtuall all administrative buildings (23-63), ‘touristic’ spots and historic places (64-65), monasteries and shrines (66), inscribed stone slabs (67), hills and forests (68), streams and canals (69), and gardens (70). This part describes the contemporary state of these places, and only adds scarce information on their history. About half of the book is dedicated to the description of administrative buildings and their management. The text has a very miscellaneous character. In some respects it is similar to local gazetteers, in others it resembles administrative handbooks, but many chapters also have traits of tales. The author used different types of sources, the most valuable of which were the official “veritable records” (shilu 實錄), the capital gazette (dibao 邸報), imperial edicts, memorials to the throne, and ritual and ceremonial regulations or laws. Sun’s book is one of the most detailed descriptions of Ming period Beijing. It was therefore several times reprinted during the Qing period and is included in the collection Guxiangzhai xiuzhen shi zhong 古香齋袖珍十種..

Source: Sources: Jianming Zhongguo guji cidian, 588. Jiaoyu da cidian VIII: Zhongguo gudai jiaoyu shi I, 358. Siku da cidian II, 1988. 《教育大辭典》編纂委員會1991上海教育出版社 《教育大辭典 第8卷 中國古代教育史 上》 第358頁 李學勤, 呂文郁1996吉林大學出版社 《四庫大辭典 下》 第1988頁 吳楓1987吉林文史出版社 《簡明中國古籍辭典》 第588頁
Chinese literature according to the four-category system

August 15, 2013 © Ulrich Theobald · Mail