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Hebi shilei beiyao 合璧事類備要 "Well-Prepared Digest of Categorized Matters of the Joint Jade Circles"

The Gujin hebi shilei beiyao 古今合璧事類備要 "Well-prepared digest of categorized matters of the joint jade circles quoted from old and new [literature]", short title Gujin beiyao 古今備要, is an encyclopedia written by the Southern Song period 南宋 (1127-1279) scholar Xie Weixin 謝維新. The original version consisted of three collections (qianji 前集 "former", houji 後集 "later", and xuji 續集 "subsequent"), and there are two more collections (bieji 別集 "separate", waiji 外集 "outer"), which the Qing period 清 (1644-1911) scholar Sun Xingyan 孫星衍 attributes to Yu Zai 虞載. The book was finished in 1257 and has a total length of 366 juan "scrolls", including all five collections. The first collection is 69 juan long, the second 81, the third 56, the fourth 94 juan, and the fifth 66 juan.
The Hebi collections treat more than 2,300 different themes in 165 categories. Each chapter has an introduction to the theme (zonglun 總論), which is followed by quotations from prose writings (shilei 事類), and a third part in which relevant poems are quoted (shiji 詩集). The literal quotation of such types of literature from the Song period and before is very important for a text-critical reconstruction of the original texts. The first collection mainly deals with the universe and natural phenomena (hence the title of the joint jade circles, i. e. sun and moon), the second mainly with the state and its administration, the third category focuses on family structures, the fourth collection speaks about rituals, music and penal law, but also of animals and plants. The fifth collection resumes some missing points of state administration and adds information on objects of daily life. Especially concerning the latter, the Hebi provides information not to be found in other encyclopedias. The Qing period scholar Li E 厲鶚 has written an excerpt of poetry quoted in the Gujin beiyao, the Songshi jishi 宋詩紀事.
There is a moveable type print from 1498 made by Master Hua's 華氏 Tonghui Studio 通會堂. In 1556 Qu Xiaxiang 衢夏相 published a faksimile of a Song period print, which was itself revised and republished in 1609 by Qin Luo 秦爍. The Gujin hebi shilei beiyao is included in the collectaneum Siku quanshu 四庫全書. In 1971 the Xinxing press 新興書局 in Taibei published a modern edition, based on a Song period print.

Li Xueqin 李學勤, Lü Wenyu 呂文鬰 (1996). Siku da cidian 四庫大辭典, vol. 2, p. 2041. Changchun: Jilin daxue chubanshe.
Zhao Hankun 趙含坤 (2005). Zhongguo leishu 中國類書, pp. 127-129. Shijiazhuang: Hebei renmin chubanshe.

Chinese literature according to the four-category system

December 15, 2010 © Ulrich Theobald · Mail