An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History and Literature

Gujinzhu 古今注

Jul 17, 2010 © Ulrich Theobald
Gujinzhu 古今注

Gujinzhu 古今注 "Notes to things old and new" is an encyclopaedia attributed to the Jin-period 晉 (265-420) scholar Cui Bao 崔豹, courtesy name Zhengxiong 正雄.

It has a length of 3 juan . In many editions, there is an appendix of 3 juan containing a supplement called Zhonghua gujin zhu 中華古今注. The latter is attributed to the Later-Tang-period 後唐 (923-936) scholar Ma Gao 馬縞 (c. 854-933). In fact, the Zhonghua gujin zhu is not a supplement to Cui Bao's book, but only a rearrangement of the paragraphs of it, with only a few additions and changes in the text. The additions are quotations of literature from the Liu-Song 劉宋 (420-479) and Southern Qi 南齊 (479-502) periods. According to the Tang-period 唐 (618-907) scholar Su E 蘇鶚 (fl. 885), about 60 per cent of the books are identical. The original Gujinzhu must have been lost at a very early point of time, and the received version is a forgery or reconstruction from the Tang period. It is, nevertheless, very detailed in the very heterogeneous fields it describes.

The Gujinzhu is included in the series Gushi sishijia xiaoshuo 顧氏四十家小說, Bai mingjia shu 百名家書, Baichuan xuehai 百川學海, Gujin yishi 古今逸史, the Han-Wei congshu 漢魏叢書 (Jiajing edition), Gezhi congshu 格致叢書, Shuofu 說郛, Mishu ershiyi zhong 秘書二十一種, Bishu ershiba zhong 秘書二十八種, Jifu congshu 畿輔叢書, and Siku quanshu 四庫全書. There is a solitary print from the Ming period 明 (1368-1644), a print in the series Zishu baizhong 子書百種, and a print of Master Tao's 陶氏 Sheyuan Studio 涉園 from the Republican period.

Table 1. Contents of the Gujinzhu 古今注
1. 輿服 Chariots and robes
2. 都邑 Local administration
3. 音樂 Music
4. 鳥獸 Birds and beasts
5. 魚虫 Scaly and creeping animals
6. 草木 Herbs and plants
7. 雜注 Miscellaneous notes
8. 問答釋義 Answering questions and explaining the meaning

Fuhou gujin zhu 伏侯古今注

There is another Gujinzhu written by the Later-Han-period 後漢 (25-220) scholar Fu Wuji 伏無忌, called Marquis Fu 伏侯. He took part in the compilation of the history Dongguan hanji 東觀漢記 and edited the parts of the chapters ofn princes, ministers and barbarians. He also collected a lot of historical information from the times of the mythological Yellow Emperor 黃帝 down to the time of Emperor Zhi 漢質帝 (r. 145-146), and compiled a book called Fuhouzhu 伏侯注 "Notes of Marquis Fu", with a length of 8 juan. In the earliest imperial bibliographies, it is included in the category of miscellaneous histories (zashi 雜史), later in the miscellaneous masters (zajia 雜家).

The book was lost, but the Qing-period 清 (1644-1911) scholar Ma Guohan 馬國翰 (1794-1857) reconstructed it on the base of surviving fragments as quotations in other books. The result is included in the series Yuhan shanfang jiyi shu 玉函山房輯佚書.

Li Xueqin 李學勤, Lü Wenyu 呂文鬰, eds. (1996). Siku da cidian 四庫大辭典 (Changchun: Jilin daxue chubanshe), Vol. 2, 1915.
Allen, Joseph R. (1986). "Ku-chin chu 古今注", in William H. Nienhauser, ed. The Indiana Companion to Traditional Chinese Literature (Bloomington/Indianapolis: Indiana University Press), 484-485.