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Da-Ming yitong zhi 大明一統志

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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 "Comprehensive record of the universe", 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. 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 "scrolls" and was compiled by a staff under the directorship of Li Xian 李賢 and Peng Shi 彭時.

Source: Zhang Dexin 張德信 (1992), "Da-Ming yitong zhi 大明一統志", in Zhongguo da baike quanshu 中國大百科全書, Zhongguo lishi 中國歷史 (Beijing/Shanghai: Zhongguo da baike quanshu chubanshe), Vol. 1, p. 141.

July 17, 2010 © Ulrich Theobald · Mail
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