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Chinese Literature
Gusu zhi 姑蘇志


The Four Categories of Literature
(Zhengde) Gusu zhi (正德)姑蘇志 "Local Gazetteer of Suzhou from the Zhengde Reign" is a local gazetteer of Suzhou 蘇州, Jiangsu (old name Gusu) compiled by the Ming period 明 (1368-1644) scholars Lin Shiyuan 林世遠 and Wang Ao 王鏊. Lin Shiyuan came from Sihui 四會 in Guangdong and was prefect (zhifu 知府) of Suzhou after the Hongzhi 弘治 reign (1488-1505). Wang Ao, courtesy name Wang Jizhi 王濟之, came from Wuxian 吳縣, Jiangsu and was vice chief editor of the official dynastic history (shi fu zongzai 史副總裁), and finally Right Vice Minister of Personnel (libu you shilang 吏部右侍郎). After his retirement Lin Shiyuan began to collect historiographic information about Suzhou and compiled the 60 juan "scrolls" long Gusu zhi. He made use of earlier drafts like that of Wu Kuan 吳寬. Because Lin Shiyuan's book was not well-arranged, it was revised by Wang Ao during the Zhengde reign 正德 (1506-1521) and printed in 1506. The Gusu zhi is a very rich source on the history of Suzhou and is equally important as the two local gazetters on that city written by Fan Chengda 范成大 (Wujun zhi 吳郡志, Song period 宋, 960-1279) and Lu Xiong 盧熊 (Suzhou zhi 蘇州志, Hongwu reign 洪武, 1368-1398). It is included in the imperial collectaneum Siku quanshu 四庫全書.

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Source: 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. 1128.

October 25, 2013 © Ulrich Theobald · Mail
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