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Chinese Literature
Yunlu manchao 雲麓漫鈔 "Loose Notes of the Cloud-Covered Foothill"


The Yunlu manchao 雲麓漫鈔 "Loose notes of the cloud-covered foothill" is a biji 筆記 "brush notes" style book written by the Northern Song period 北宋 (960-1126) scholar Zhao Yanwei 趙彥衛, courtesy name Zhao Jing'an 趙景安. He was mayor (zhangguan 長官) of Wuchang 烏程 during the Shaoxi reign 紹熙 (1190-1194) and then controller-general (tongpan 通判) of Huizhou 徽州. In the preface from 1206 the author says that he was "governor" of the "commandery" of Xin'an 新安郡守. The original title of the book was Yonglu xianji 擁爐閑紀 or Yonglu xianhua 擁爐閒話 "Leisure talks while crowding around the oven" and was 10 juan "scrolls" long. In this form the book was printed, but after his appointment as governor (prefect?) Zhao Yanwei added five further scrolls and gave his book the present title. About thiry per cent of the book consist of matters of Song history, while the rest is concerned with a large amount of diffent themes. Quite interesting is the fact that several historical facts are seen from a very different point of view. The powerful Counsellor Qin Hui 秦檜 is not criticized, and the trial and execution of general Qu Duan 曲端 is said to have been a plot of Wang Du 王庶 alone, and not of Zhang Jun 張浚, too. The author corrects some errors crept into older writings, like the history of a painting of eighteen academicians (Shiba xueshi tu 十八學士圖), the names of diviners (guice 龜策) in the history Shiji 史記, the forgery of Wang Xianzhi's 王獻之 inscription Baomu muzhuan 保母墓磚, Wang Mang's 王莽 reform of weights and measures, or the late provenance of tomb offerings (muji 墓祭). The Yunlu manchao played an important role in the reconstruction of Lü Dafang's 呂大防 urban geography Chang'antu 長安圖. It includes a list of successful candidates of the state examination during the Tang period 唐 (618-907) and tells the cost to the Song court of a diplomatic mission from the Jin empire 金 (1115-1234). It is expecially the chapters on the relationship between these two empires that make the Yunlu manchao a valuable historiographical source.
In spite of all these helpful informations the Yunlu manchao also includes some statements from ancient books that are clearly wrong, like 集 instead of 雉 (quotation from the Confucian Classic Lunyu 論語), the family name of Lady Ru 如姬, a quotation about lotus roots from Tao Hongjing's 陶宏景 pharmacopoeia Mingyi beilu 名醫別錄, or a strange explanation of the name of the Epang Palace 阿房宮 of the First Emperor of Qin 秦始皇帝 (r. 246-210 BCE). Except the two first prints of the book, there was another 10-juan edition published by Zhu Yizun 朱彝尊 during the Song period. The Yunlu manchao is to be found in the collectanea Shewen zijiu 涉聞梓舊, Siku quanshu 四庫全書, Congshu jicheng chubian 叢書集成初編, Zhongguo wenxue ziliao xiao congshu 中國文學參考資料小叢書 (all with the 15-juan version), Baihai 稗海, Biji xiaoshuo daguan 筆記小說大觀 (with an excerpt of 4 juan), Shuofu 說郛 (Wanwei shantang edition, 1 juan, and Shangwu yinshuguan edition, no juan division) and Jiuxiaoshuo 舊小說 (only 1 paragraph).


Source: Li Xueqin 李學勤, Lü Wenyu 呂文鬰 (1996). Siku da cidian 四庫大辭典, Changchun: Jilin daxue chubanshe, vol. 2, p. 1954.
Chinese literature according to the four-category system

August 15, 2013 © Ulrich Theobald · Mail