- An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History, Literature and Art
About [Location: HOME > Literature > Four Categories > Historiography > Geography > Lidai diwang zhaijing ji]

Chinese Literature
Lidai diwang zhaijing ji 歷代帝王宅京記

The Four Categories of Literature
Lidai diwang zhaijing ji 歷代帝王宅京記, also called Lidai jingzhai ji 歷代宅京記 "The Imperial Capitals Through History", is a local gazetteer on China's capitals written by the early Qing period 清 (1644-1911) philosopher and writer Gu Yanwu 顧炎武. The book can be seen as a sister-work to his other geographical treatises, Zhaoyuzhi 肇域志 and Tianxia junguo libing shu 天下郡國利病書.
The 20 juan "scrolls" long Jingzhaiji begins with a general introduction and an enumeration of the (partially putative) seats of the ancient rulers of antiquity from Fu Xi 伏羲 to the Shang dynasty 商 (17th-11th cent. BCE, chapter Zongxu 總敘, juan 1-2), and then describes the city walls, palaces, temples and shrines of the imperial capitals through history, beginning with remote antiquity and ending with Dadu 大都 (modern Beijing), the capital of the Yuan dynasty 元 (1279-1368). The description begins with the region "inside the passes" (Guanzhong 關中), describing the capitals of the Western Zhou 西周 (11th cent.-770 BCE) , Qishan 岐, Feng 豐, and Hao 鎬, the Qin 秦 (221-206 BCE), Western Han 西漢 (206 BCE-8 CE) and Tang 唐 (618-907) dynasties, mainly Xianyang 咸陽 and Chang'an 長安 (modern Xi'an 西安, Shaanxi, 3-6); Luoyang 洛陽 (modern Luoyang, Henan), capital of the Eastern Zhou 東周 (770-221 BCE), Eastern Han 東漢 (25-220 CE) and Wei 曹魏 (220-265) dynasties (7-9); Chengdu 成都 (modern Chengdu, Sichuan), capital of several dynasties in Sichuan (10); Ye 鄴 (modern Cixian 磁縣, Hebei), seat of several smaller states of the Northern Dynasties 北朝 (386-581, juan 11-12, excerpt of the local gazetteer Jiajing Zhangde fu zhi 嘉靖彰德府志); Jiankang 建康 (modern Nanjing 南京, Jiangsu), seat of the Southern Dynasties 南朝 (420~589, juan 13); Yunzhong 雲中 (modern Helinger 合林格爾, Inner Mongolia), seat of the early Taɣbač 拓跋 rulers (14); Jinyang 晉陽 (modern Taiyuan 太原, Shanxi), seat of the Northern Wei 北魏 (386-534); Taiyuan 太原, also seat of the Northern Wei; Daming 大名, another seat of the Northern Dynasties (15); Kaifeng 開封 (modern Kaifeng, Henan), seat of the Five Dynasties 五代 (907-960) and the Northern Song 北宋 (960-1126, juan 16); Songzhou 宋州 (modern Shangqiu 商丘, Henan), secondary seat of the Northern Song; Lin'an 臨安 (modern Hangzhou 杭州, Zhejiang), seat of the Southern Song 南宋 (1127-1279, juan 17); Linhuang 臨潢 (Balinzuo Banner 巴林左旗, Inner Mongolia), Supreme Capital of the Khitans, the founders of the Liao dynasty 遼 (907-1125); Youzhou 幽州 (modern Beijing), Southern Capital of the Khitans; Liaoyang 遼陽 (modern Liaoyang, Liaoning), Eastern Capital of the Khitans; Dading 大定 (modern Ningcheng 寧城, Liaoning), Central Capital of the Khitans; Huining 會寧 (modern Acheng 阿城, Heilongjiang), Superior Capital of the Jurchens, the founders of the Jin dynasty 金 (1115-1234); and Kaiping 開平 (Kaifeng), Southern Capital of the Jurchens (18-20).
The structure of the text imitates that of older descriptions of capitals, namely Yonglu 雍錄 and Chang'an zhi 長安志. While the latter are descriptions of only one city, Gu Yanwu's book is the first description of all capitals through history. The text includes descriptions of the cities with their walls, quarters and markets, the palaces, altars, temples and shrines, parks and gardens, summer retreats, ponds and lakes, bridges and canals, the imperial tombs, and the surrounding prefectures and districts.
The book was first printed by the Laixian Hall 來賢堂 during the Jiaqing reign 嘉慶 (1796-1820). It is included in the collectanea Huailu congshu 槐廬叢書, Bilinlangguang congshu 碧琳瑯館叢書 and Congshu jicheng 叢書集成. In 1984 the Zhonghua shuju press 中華書局published a modern edition.


Sources: Shi Xuanyuan 施宣圓 et al. (ed. 1987), Zhongguo wenhua cidian 中國文化辭典 (Shanghai: Shanghai shehui kexue yuan chubanshe), p. 321. ● Wang Zhaoming 王兆明, Fu Langyun 傅朗雲 (1991), Zhonghua gu wenxian da cidian 中華古文獻大辭典, Dili 地理卷 (Changchun: Jilin wenshi chubanshe), p. 45. ● Wang Zhenfu 王振復 (1996). "Lidai zhaijing ji 歷代宅京記", in Zhou Gucheng 周谷城 (ed.), Zhongguo xueshu mingzhu tiyao 中國學術名著提要, Yishu 藝術卷 (Shanghai: Fudan daxue chubanshe), p. 1002. ● Wu Feng 吳楓 (ed. 1987), Jianming Zhongguo guji cidian 簡明中國古籍辭典 (Changchun: Jilin wenshi chubanshe), p. 119.

November 15, 2013 © Ulrich Theobald · Mail
Chinese Literature over time