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Fangyu shenglan 方輿勝覽

Oct 25, 2013 © Ulrich Theobald

Fangyu shenglan 方輿勝覽 "Exhausting overview of all parts of the empire" is an imperial geography written by the Southern Song-period 南宋 (1127-1279) scholar Zhu Mu 祝穆 (d. 1255), courtesy name Hefu 和甫. He hailed from Chong'an 崇安 (modern Chong'an, Fujian) and was, together with his brother Zhu Kui 祝癸, a disciple of the Neo-Confucian master Zhu Xi 朱熹 (1130-1200), was appointed gentleman for meritorious achievements (digonglang 迪功郎) and later became director (shanzhang 山長)of the Hanjiang Academy 涵江書院 in the military prefecture of Xinghua 興化. He wrote the encyclopaedia Shiwen leiju 事文類聚.

The preface dates from 1239, and a revised edition was published by Zhu Mu's son Zhu Zhu 祝洙 (jinshi degree 1256) in 1267. The 70-juan long book is divided according to the seventeen provinces or "circuits" (lu 路) of the Southern Song empire and describes the geography of all prefectures throughout the empire. The book begins with the capital prefecture of Lin'an 臨安 (modern Hangzhou 杭州, Zhejiang) and provides information of the names of all prefectures through history, the administrative boundaries of them, the field tax revenue and the number of registered households, passes and strategic places, customs and habits, mountains and rivers, important temples, monasteries and official buildings, schools, tourist spots, and quotes a lot of writings an poems (especially paired prose, pianli 駢驪, liyu 儷語) written by local authors and important personalities.

Zhu made use of countless sources, from "public" writings like the histories, masters and collected writings to unofficial histories, bronze and stone inscriptions, local gazetteers and maps. The Fangyu shenglan is a detailed source on the geography of Song China and was therefore often quoted by Yuan- 元 (1279-1368) and Ming-period 明 (1368-1644) scholars. It is similar to Wang Xiangzhi's 王象之 (1163—1230)Yudi jisheng 輿地紀勝 that was compiled around the same time.

The Fangyu shenglan is included in the imperial series Siku quanshu 四庫全書. In 1980 the Wenhai Press 文海出版社 in Shanghai published a fascimile of the original text.

Table 1. Contents of the Fangyu shenglan 方輿勝覽
1-5 浙西路 Circuit of Zhexi
6-9 浙東路 Circuit of Zhedong
10-13 福建路 Circuit of Fujian
14-18 江東路 Circuit of Jiangdong
19-22 江西路 Circuit of Jiangxi
23-26 湖南路 Circuit of Hunan
27-31 湖北路 Circuit of Hubei
32-33 京西路 Circuit of Jingxi
34-37 廣東路 Circuit of Guangdong
38-43 廣西路 Circuit of Guangxi
44-47 淮東路 Circuit of Huaidong
48-50 淮西路 Circuit of Huaixi
51-56 成都府路 Circuit of Chengdu prefecture
57-61 䕫州路 Circuit of Kuizhou prefecture
62-65 潼川府路 Circuit of Tongchuan prefecture
66-68 利州東路 Circuit of Lizhou prefecture East
69-70 利州西路 Circuit of Lizhou prefecture West
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Li Xueqin 李學勤, Lü Wenyu 呂文鬰 (ed. 1996), Siku da cidian 四庫大辭典 (Changchun: Jilin daxue chubanshe), Vol. 1, p. 1058.
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Song Fuxiang 宋馥香 (2011). "Qianyi Zhu Mu Fangyu shenglan de bianzuan zhiqu yu tedian 淺議祝穆《方輿勝覽》的編纂旨趣與特點", Baicheng Shifan Xueyuan xuebao 白城師範學院學報, 2011 (8).
Wang Zhaoming 王兆明, Fu Langyun 傅朗雲 (ed. 1991), Zhonghua gu wenxian da cidian 中華古文獻大辭典, Dili 地理卷 (Jilin: Changchun wenshi chubanshe), p. 62.
Wu Feng 吳楓 (ed. 1987), Jianming Zhongguo guji cidian 簡明中國古籍辭典 (Changchun: Jilin wenshi chubanshe), p. 151.
Zhao Yan 趙焰 (1996). "Cong fengtu xisu kan Fangyu shenglan zhong de renwen dili sixiang 從風土習俗看《方輿勝覽》中的人文地理思想", Renwen dili 人文地理, 1996 (12).
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