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Lingbiao luyi 嶺表錄異

Oct 5, 2019 © Ulrich Theobald

Lingbiao luyi 嶺表錄異, also called Lingbiao luyi ji 嶺表錄異記, Lingbiao yilu 嶺表異錄, Lingbiao lu 嶺表錄 or Lingbiao ji 嶺表記, is a book on south China written during the Tang period 唐 (618-907) by Liu Xun 劉恂, who was commandant (sima 司馬) of the prefecture of Guangzhou 廣州 during the reign of Emperor Zhaozong 唐昭宗 (r. 888-904).

The original book is lost, but fragments are preserved in Song-period books like the imperial geography Taiping huanyu ji 太平寰宇記 or the encyclopaedias Taiping yulan 太平御覽 and Taiping guangji 太平廣記. A collection of these fragments was made during the early Ming period 明 (1368-1644) for the encyclopaedia Yongle dadian 永樂大典. The compilers of the imperial series Siku quanshu 四庫全書 extracted this collection and transformed it into a book of 3 juan length, with 124 brief chapters. The number of 3 fascicles corresponds to the indication in the bibliographical chapter in the history Xintangshu 新唐書 (58 藝文志 Yiwen zhi). Lu Xun 魯迅 (1881-1936) compared this version with quotations in early books, revised the text, and added fragments missing.

A great part of the text is dedicated to the circumstances of the local populations, among them many native tribes, but it also speaks of animals (including rhinos, elephants and double-headed snakes) and plants, or geographical peculiarities like freshwater pearls.

The text is also included in the series Shuofu 說郛 (both versions), Wuchao xiaoshuo daguan 五朝小說大觀, Congshu jicheng chubian 叢書集成初編 and Guangdong difang wenxian congshu 廣東地方文獻叢書.

Sources:
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