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Baishi liutie shilei ji 白氏六帖事類集 "Master Bai's Collection of Categorized Matters in Six Tablets"


Baishi liutie 白氏六帖

The Baishi liutie shilei ji 白氏六帖事類集 "Master Bai's collection of categorized matters in six tablets", shortly Baishi liutie 白氏六帖 and also known with the title Baishi jingshi shilei liutie 白氏經史事類六帖 "Master Bai's categorized matters of the Classics and of historiography in six tablets", is an encyclopedia written by the Tang period 唐 (618-907) writer and politician Bai Juyi 白居易, who is otherwise famous for his poetry. The book is also known under the names Baishi jingshi shilei 白氏經史事類, Baishi jingwen shilei 白氏經文事類, Baishi jingshi shilei liutie 白氏經史事類六帖, Shilei jiyao 事類集要, or, together with a supplement, Bai-Kong liutie 白孔六帖 "The six tablets of the Masters Bai and Kong". The book is 30 juan "scrolls" long and deals with 1,130 topics (plus 503 smaller themes appended) from all fields of knowledge. The topics dealt with in the Baishi liutie are explained in 235 introductory "general topics" (zongmu 總目). The headlines are largely identical to that in the earlier encyclopedia Yiwen leiju 藝文類聚, and the selection of sources and literary allusions is similar to the Beitang shuchao 北堂書抄. The later compilation date made it possible that the Liutie shilei ji included more quotations from Tang period sources. The collection was made by a collection of the most important allusions suggested by a group of scholars. The participants wrote their suggestions on lots to be deposed in a jar, each jar representing a topic to be discussed. The origin of the book title goes back to handwritten notes made the preparation of the state examinations which were written on wooden tablets (tie 帖), according to the six fields of classic literature, a practice continued later on. Another theory about the origin of the title speaks of six faces of the printing block by which the six volumes of the first edition were printed. The arrangement of the Baishi liutie is rated as relatively chaotic, and therefore, the Southern Song period 南宋 (1127-1279) scholar Chao Zhongde 晁仲德 wrote a commentary.
The designation liutie had a great influence on later, mostly Song period 宋 (960-1279), encyclopedias, as Hou liutie 後六帖, Liutie bu 六帖補 by Yang Boyan 楊伯嵓 (see below), Liutie xuelin 六帖學林, Tang guang liutie xuelin 唐廣六帖學林, or Qianhan liutie 前漢六帖. The Song period scholar Kong Chuan 孔傳 has written an extension which is commonly printed together with Bai Juyi's basic version.
There was a Song print in 6 thread-bound volumes which imitate the Tang period noteboards (tie). It has been reprocuded in 1993 by Master Zhang 張氏 from Wuxing 吳興 with the voluminous title of Baishi liutie shilei ji. A Master Wang 汪氏 from Wumen 吳門 published the combined books with the title of Tang-Song Bai-Kong liutie. There is also a Song period edition of the combined version kept by Yang Xingwu 楊惺吾. It is also included in the collectaneum Siku quanshu 四庫全書. A modern reprint was published in 1987 by the Wenwu press 文物出版社, based on the Song print by Master Fu 傅氏 from Jiang'an 江安.

Shishi liutie 釋氏六帖 "The Monk's Six Tablets"

The Shishi liutie 釋氏六帖 is a Buddhist encyclopedia written by the Five Dynasties period 五代 (907-960) monk Yichu 義楚. It is also called Shishi zuanyao liutie 釋氏纂要六帖 or Yichu liutie 義楚六帖. The 24 juan "scrolls" long book was finished in 954. It includes 50 chapters treating 440 themes. In its arrangement, the Shishi liutie imitated Bai Juyi's 白居易 book Baishi liutie 白氏六帖, but the content is focused on Buddhist literature, from sutras to vinayas. It also occasionally includes quotations from non-Buddhist sources. Virtually all important aspects of Buddhism are treated in this encyclopedia. It value lies in the encyclopedic character which provides an overview of all themes, and in the quotation of otherwise lost books.
The earliest prints are from 973 and 1103. It has been republished in 1990 by the Zhejiang guji press 浙江古籍出版社.


The Hou liutie 後六帖, also called Kongshi liutie 孔氏六帖, Liutie xinshu 六帖新書 or Xu liutie 續六帖, is a supplement to the encyclopedia Liutie 六帖 by Bai Juyi 白居易, the so-called Baishi liutie 白氏六帖. The Hou liutie was written by the Southern Song period 南宋 (1127-1279) scholar Kong Chuan 孔傳. Kong has also compiled the books Dongjia zaji 東家雜記, Kongzi biannian 孔子編年 and Shanxiji 杉溪集. The Kongshi liutie is 30 juan "scrolls" long and is divided into 1,387 topics. The sources reach from the Tang period 唐 (618-907) to the year 1162. Kong Chuan took over the categories used by Bai Juyi, but he also added some new topics not covered in the Baishi liutie. Both books together provide an excellent overview of Tang and early Song period literature by the many quotations of poems and prose literature recorded in them. In the collectaneum Siku quanshu 四庫全書, the two books of Bai Juyi and Kong Chuan are unified to the Bai-Kong liutie 白孔六帖 or Tang-Song Bai-Kong liutie 唐宋白孔六帖, with 100 juan and dealing with 1,399 topics.


The Liutie bu 六帖補, also called Yangshi liutie 楊氏六帖, is a supplement to Bai Juyi's 白居易 encyclopedia Liutie 六帖 and Kong Chuan's 孔傳 Hou liutie 後六帖. It was written by the Song period 宋 (960-1279) scholar Yang Boyan 楊伯巖. Yang has written a phonetic commentary to the nine Confucian Classics, the Jiujing buyun 九經補韻. The Liutie bu is 20 juan "scrolls" long, each covering one topic, for which Yang selected mainly Song period poems. It is not very easy to detect the sources Yang Boyan has made use of, because most of them were never included in other literary collections. He apparently made use of rare manuscripts.
The Liutie bu was printed during the Song period, a print of which Master Lu 陸氏 from Yunjian 雲間 has made faksimile. It is also included in the collectaneum Siku quanshu 四庫全書.

Other books

The Bashi liutie 八詩六帖 "Six tablets of the eight poets" is an anthology of Tang 唐 (618-907) and Song 宋 (960-1279) period poems. The Bashi liutie is attributed to a Song period writer "Primus Wang" 王狀元. The poems assembled in the 29 juan "scrolls" long book have been written by eight famous poets, namely Li Bai 李白, Du Fu 杜甫, Han Yu 韓愈, Liu Zongyuan 柳宗元 and Ouyang Xiu 歐陽修 from the Tang period and Wang Anshi 王安石, Su Shi 蘇軾 and Huang Tingjian 黃庭堅 from the Song period. The quality of the Bashi liutie has been rated as very mediocre because many poems have not been copied in total but only parts of them, and the sequence and coherence of chapters suffers from a striking lack of planned arrangement.
The Bashi liutie has been preserved in fragments quoted in the Ming period 明 (1368-1644) encyclopedia Yongle dadian 永樂大典.

The Qianhan liutie 前漢六帖 "The six tablets on the Former Han [period? writings? poetry?]" is an encyclopedia by the Song period 宋 (960-1279) writer Chen Tianlin 陳天麟. It was 12 juan long and is lost.

The Dushi liutie 杜詩六帖 is an encyclopedia on the poetry of the Tang period 唐 (618-907) poet Du Fu 杜甫 (or Du Mu 杜牧?). It was written by the Song period scholar Chen Yingxing 陳應行. It was 18 juan long and is lost.

Sources:
Li Xueqin 李學勤, Lü Wenyu 呂文鬰 (1996). Siku da cidian 四庫大辭典, vol. 2, p. 2036, 2042, 2045. Changchun: Jilin daxue chubanshe.
Zhao Hankun 趙含坤 (2005). Zhongguo leishu 中國類書, pp. 50-53, 70-71, 104, 137-138, 140, 148. Shijiazhuang: Hebei renmin chubanshe.


Chinese literature according to the four-category system

October 31, 2010 © Ulrich Theobald · Mail