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Nanyue xiaolu 南嶽小錄

Mar 28, 2012 © Ulrich Theobald

Nanyue xiaolu 南嶽小錄 "Small record of the Southern Summits" is a description of Daoist sacred mountains written during the late Tang period 唐 (618-907) by Daoist master Li Chongzhao 李沖昭.

The short book is a description of the five sacred mountains and three mountain torrents (wufeng sanjian 五峰三澗), of the Daoist temples and monasteries located there, and a collection of the biographies of 23 Daoist masters living ontop of the five mountains during the Southern Dynasties 南朝 (420~589) and Tang periods, mainly based on inscriptions of stone slabs.

At the end of the book, a short biography called Zhenjun zhuan 真君傳 is added that is attributed to the Han-period 漢 (206 BCE-220 CE) writer and bibliographer Liu Xiang 劉向 and includes the biographies of Master Red Pine (Chisongzi 赤松子) and the Queen Mother of the West (Xiwangmu 西王母).

A second appendix consists of the eulogy Tian Xiansheng xiezhen zan 田先生寫真贊, a biography of Tian Liangyi 田良逸 compiled by Zhuge Huang 諸葛黃, called Master Menggu 蒙谷子.

The Nanyue xiaolu is very interesting as one of the few surviving descriptions of the Daoist mountains. Earlier books like Lu Hongyi's 盧鴻一 (d. 740) Songshanji 嵩山記, Zhao Mi's 張密 Lushan zaji 廬山雜記, Linghu Jianyao's 令狐見堯 Yusishan ji 玉笥山記 and Du Guangting's 杜光庭 (850-933) Wuyishan ji 武夷山記 are long since lost.

The Nanyue xiaolu is included in the imperial series Siku quanshu 四庫全書, based on a print from the Jiajing reign-period 嘉靖 (1522-1566), and in the Daoist Canon Daozang 道藏.

Sources:
Hou Yonghui 侯永慧 (2018). "Nanyue xiaolu zuozhe yu kankezhe shulüe 《南嶽小錄》作者與刊刻者述略", Hunan Keji Xueyuan xuebao 湖南科技學院學報, 2018 (11).
Wang Zhaoming 王兆明, Fu Langyun 傅朗雲, ed. (1991). Zhonghua wenxian da cidian 中華古文獻大辭典, Dili 地理 (Shenyang: Jilin wenshi chubanshe), 240.
Wan Li 萬里, ed. (2006). Hu-Xiang wenhua da cidian 湖湘文化大辭典 (Changsha: Hunan renmin chubanshe), Vol. 2, 215.
Zhu Yueli 朱越利, ed. (1996). Daozang fenlei jieti 道藏分類解題 (Beijing: Huaxia chubanshe), 224.