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Guihai yuheng zhi 桂海虞衡志


The Four Categories of Literature
Guihai yuheng zhi 桂海虞衡志 "Well-balanced records of Guihai" is a Southern Song period 南宋 (960-1279) description of southwestern China written by Fan Chengda 范成大. Fan, better known for his poetry, wrote down his memories of the time when he acted as prefect of Jingjiang 靜江府 (modern Guilin 桂林, Guangxi) from 1171-1175. His intention was to preserve stories he heard and customs and habits he observed in an area hitherto not described in other regional descriptions. In 13 chapters, Fan Chengda describes not only the landscape with remarkable cliffs and grottoes but also industrial and agricultural products of the region of modern Guangxi and Guizhou provinces. Every chapter has a small preface, and in a general preface (xu 序) the author clarifies his intention to reflect activities and thoughts of the inhabitants of this remote area of the Song empire. Of special interest are his descriptions of the aboriginal tribes ("barbarians", man 蠻). The original book comprised three juan "scrolls", the modern edition is reduced to one juan.

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Sources: Guan Lüquan 關履權, Wang Di 王棣 (1992), "Guihai yuheng zhi 桂海虞衡志", 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. 277.

July 18, 2010 © Ulrich Theobald · Mail
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