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Da-Ming yitong zhi 大明一統志

Jul 17, 2010 © Ulrich Theobald

Da-Ming yitong zhi 大明一統志 "Records of the unity of the Great Ming" is the imperial geography of the Ming empire 明 (1368-1644). A description of the whole empire was an important and desirable task for each greater dynasty in China. There was already an imperial geography for the Ming compiled during the 1450s, the Huanyu tongzhi 寰宇通志, but Emperor Yingzong 明英宗 (r. 1435-1449; 1457-1464) was not content with this work and ordered the compilation of a new imperial geography that should be modeled on the basis of the imperial geography of the Yuan 元 (1279-1368), the Da-Yuan dayitong zhi 大元大一統志.

Figures 1-2. Map and text from the Da-Ming yitong zhi 大明一統志
Top: Map of the metropolitan region around the northern capital 京師畿内地理 (modern Hebei province with Beijing). All maps of the Da-Ming yitong zhi are very crude. Bottom: Beginning of the chapter on the capital (jingshi 京師) Beijing, with city wall and moat (chengchi 城池) of the settlement 京城 and the imperial precinct 皇城; altars (tanmiao 壇廟) of Heaven and Earth 天地壇, mountains and rivers 山川壇, of soil and grain 社稷壇, the ancestral shrine 太廟, and the Confucius Temple 文廟; three imperial tomb hills (shanling 山陵); and parks (yuanyou 苑囿).

The new book, Da-Ming yitong zhi (Qing period 清 sources omit the "da 大 = great"), is arranged by the 150 prefectures of the empire and the 13 capital districts and describes prefectural seats, temples, mountains and tombs, gardens and parks, history of the administration, customs and habits, geography, local products, schools and private academies, libraries, halls of private people and associations (guilds), passes and fords, eminent persons, including officials, scholars, women, monks and "immortals". At the end of the whole book we even find short descriptions of neighbouring countries.

The Da-Ming yitong zhi comprises 90 juan and was compiled by a staff under the directorship of Li Xian 李賢 and Peng Shi 彭時 (1416-1475).

Table 1. Contents of the Da-Ming yitong zhi 大明一統志
1-5 The Capital (Beijing) 京師
6 The Southern Capital (Nanjing) 南京
7-18 The Central Capital (province of Jiangsu) 中都
19-21 Administration Commission of Shanxi 山西布政司
22-25 Administration Commission of Shandong 山東布政司
26-31 Administration Commission of Henan 河南布政司
32-37 Administration Commission of Shaanxi 陜西布政司
38-48 Administration Commission of Zhejiang 浙江布政司
49-58 Administration Commission of Jiangxi 江西布政司
59-66 Administration Commission of Huguang 湖廣布政司
67-73 Administration Commission of Sichuan 四川布政司
74-78 Administration Commission of Fujian 福建布政司
79-82 Administration Commission of Guangdong 廣東布政司
83-85 Administration Commission of Guangxi 廣西布政司
86-87 Administration Commission of Yunnan 雲南布政司
88 Administration Commission of Guizhou 貴州布政司
89 Barbarians 外夷: Korea 朝鮮國, Japan 日本國, Liuqiu 琉球國, Tibet 西蕃, Mongols 齊勤蒙古衞, Hezhuo 和卓, Yilibali 伊埒巴爾, Samarkand 賽瑪爾堪, Hali 哈里, Khotan 于闐, Annam 安南, Champa 占城國, Siam 暹羅國, Zhenla 真臘國, Gumalaci 古麻刺國, Sanfoqi 三佛齊國, Boni 浡泥國, Sumendala 蘇門荅刺國, Sulu 蘇祿國, Pengheng 彭亨國, Guli in the Western Ocean 西洋古里國, Suoli 𤨏里國, Banggela 榜葛刺國, Tianfang (Mecca) 天方國, Modena 黙德那國, Gulibanzu 古里班卒國, Sri Lanka 錫蘭山國, Baigeda 白葛達國, Baihua 百花國, Poluo 婆羅國, Luzon 呂宋國, Hemiaoli 合猫里國, Dieli 碟里國, Dahui 打回國, Riluoxiazhi 日羅夏治國, Alu 阿魯國, Ganbali 甘巴里國, Hormuz 忽魯謨斯國, Hulumu'en 忽魯母恩國, Kezhi 柯枝國, Malin 麻林國, Shaonapu'er 沼納樸兒國, Jiayile 加異勒國, Zufa'er 祖法兒國, Liushan 溜山國, Awa 阿哇國, Tatars 韃靼, Uriangqad 烏梁海
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