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Haichao jishuo 海潮輯說

Oct 10, 2019 © Ulrich Theobald

Haichao jishuo 海潮輯說 "Collected writings on seatides" were compiled during the high Qing period 清 (1644-1911) by Yu Siqian 俞思謙 (late 18th cent.), courtesy name Bingsu 秉潚, style Qianshan 潛山, from Haijing 海寧, Zhejiang.

The book of 2 juan was finished in 1781. The first part assembles 6 ancient sources on the topic of seatides gleaned from various writings, particularly from historiographical ones, and the second one, quoting from 14 sources, focuses on river estuaries, morning and evening tides, and tide phenomena in foreign countries, as well as the specific feature of some springs located closely to the sea also show a kind of tidal behaviour.

The last topic are animals whose lives are closely connected to the tides. The quotations are arranged chronologically according to when the individual sources were written. The compiler also adds his own notes to these ancient sources. Some of them are lost today or ignored, like Dou Shumeng's 竇叔蒙 Haitaozhi 海濤志 from the Tang period 唐 (618-907), Qiu Guangting's 丘光庭 Haichaolun 海潮論 from the 10th century or Zhang Junfang's 張君房 (fl. 1001) Chaoshuo 潮說 from the Northern Song period 北宋 (960-1126).

Although Yu's book is a valuable collection on a scientific topic, he missed some important statements on seatides, such as observations made by Wang Chong 王充 (27-97 CE) in his Lunheng 論衡 written during the Later Han period 後漢 (25-220 CE).

Sources:
He Shengdi 賀聖迪 (1996). "Haichao jishuo 海潮輯說", in Zhou Gucheng 周谷城, ed. Zhonggou xueshu mingzhu tiyao 中國學術名著提要, Vol. Keji 科技卷 (Shanghai: Fudan daxue chubanshe), 373.
Song Zhenghai 宋正海 (1992). "Haichao jishuo 海潮輯說", in Zhongguo da baike quanshu 中國大百科全書, Vol. Dilixue 地理學 (Beijing/Shanghai: Zhongguo da baike quanshu chubanshe), 185.
Wang Zhaoming 王兆明, Fu Langyun 傅朗云, ed. (1991). Zhonghua gu wenxian da cidian 中華古文獻大辭典, Vol. Dili 地理卷 (Changchun: Jilin wenshi chubanshe), 300.