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Chinese Literature
Agronomical Treatises (nongjia lei 農家類)


The Four Categories of Literature
Agronomical Treatises (nongjia lei 農家類) is a subcategory in traditional Chinese bibliographies and part of the category of Masters and Philosophers (zibu 子部).
The so-called agriculturalists was a philosophical school during the Warring States period 戰國 (5th cent.-221 BCE). The tradition of teachings on agriculture goes probably back to a ministerial office for agriculture. Adherents of the school wandered around and instructed, according to the book Mengzi 孟子, the peasant how to sow grains, to till the fields and to raise mulberry trees. Their main purpose was, according to Confucius, to nourish the people. Only a few names of persons belonging to the tradition of agriculturalists are known, like Xu Xing 許行 from Chu 楚. He stressed that the worthy man has to work the fields together with the people. For his egalitarian standpoint, he was vehemently criticized by Mengzi. The Confucians countered that there must be division of labour in an advanced society. In fact, a lot of books from the Zhou 周 (11th cent.-221 BCE) and the Han 漢 (206 BCE-220 CE) periods include informations about agriculture, and it is by no means justified to speak of a philosophical school from the Han period on. Their writings were still collected, but then had a purely scientific and practical purpose. Agricultural treatises were, furthermore, granted an important section among the "masters and philosophers", probably because of the importance agriculture played in the economy of traditional China.
There are actually a lot of books related to this section but put into other parts of the collectaneum Siku quanshu 四庫全書, like books on plants and animals, or treatises on field allotment and taxation. The compilers of the Siku quanshu selected 10 books to be included in this section. The most important are the Qimin yaoshu 齊民要術, Nongsang jiyao 農桑輯要, Nongshu 農書 and Nongzheng quanshu 農政全書.


書名 Title Author(s)
神農書 * Shen Nong Shu () 神農 Shen Nong
野老書 * Yelaoshu (Zhou) NN
范子計然 * Fanzi Jiran (Zhou) NN
計然萬物錄 * Jiran wanwu lu (Zhou) NN
養魚經 * Yangyujing (Zhou) 范蠡 Fan Li
尹都尉書 * Yin Duwei shu (Han) 尹澤 Yin Ze
蔡葵書 * Cai Kui shu (Han) 蔡葵 Cai Kui
養羊法 * Yangyangfa (Han) 卜式 Bu Shi
氾勝之書 * Fan Shengzhi shu (Han) 氾勝之 Fan Shengzhi
四民月令 * Simin yueling (Han) 崔寔 Cui Shi
家政法 * Jiazhengfa () NN
齊民要術 Qimin yaoshu (Later Wei) 賈思勰 Jia Sixie
玉燭寶典 * Yuzhu baodian (Sui) 杜臺卿 Du Taiqing
四時纂要 * Sishi zuanyao (Tang) 韓鄂 Han E
耒耜經 * Leisijing (Tang) 陸龜蒙 Lu Guimeng
種樹書 * Zhongshushu (Tang) 郭橐駝 Guo Tuotuo
農書 (陳旉農書) Nongshu (Chen Fu Nongshu) (Song) 陳旉 Chen Fu
蠶書 Canshu (Song) 秦觀 Qin Guan
耕織圖 Gengzhitu (Song) 樓璹 Lou Shou et al.
農桑輯要 Nongsang jiyao (Yuan)
農書 Nongshu (Yuan) 王禎 Wang Zhen
救荒本草 Jiuhuang bencao (Yuan) 朱橚 Zhu Su
農桑衣食撮要 Nongsang yishi cuoyao (Yuan) 魯明善 Lu Mingshan
農說 * Nongshuo (Ming) 馬一龍 Ma Yilong
農政全書 Nongzheng quanshu (Ming) 徐光啟 Xu Guangqi
便民圖纂 Bianmin tuzuan (Ming) 鄺璠 Kuang Fan
種芋法 * Zhongyufa (Ming) 黃省曾 Huang Shengceng
沈氏農書 * Shenshi nongshu (Ming) 沈氏 Master Shen
野菜譜 * Yecaipu (Ming) 王磐 Wang Pan
野菜博錄 Yecai bolu (Ming) 鮑山 Bao Shan
野蔌品 * Yesupin (Ming) 高濂 Gao Lian
陶朱公致富奇書 * Tao Zhugong zhifu qishu (Ming) NN
農圃六書 * Nongpu liushu (Ming) 周之璵 Zhou Zhiyu
農圃四書 * Nongpu sishu (Ming) 黃省曾 Huang Shengceng
補農書 * Bu nongshu (Qing) 張履祥 Zhang Lüxiang
授時通考 Shoushi tongkao (Qing) imp. ord.
花鏡 Huajing (Qing) 陳屾子 Chen Shenzi
知本提綱 Zhiben tigang (Qing) 楊屾 Yang Shen
棉花圖 * Mianhuatu (Qing) 方觀承 Fang Guancheng
木棉譜 * Mumianpu (Qing) 褚華 Chu Hua
甘薯錄 * Ganshulu (Qing) 陸耀 Lu Yao
捕蝗要訣 * Buhuang yaojue (Qing) NN
捕蝗考 BuhuangkaoPolitical books (Qing) 陳芳生 Chen Fangsheng

* not included in the collectaneum Siku quanshu 四庫全書, the catalogue Siku quanshu zongmu tiyao 四庫全書總目題要, nor the Xuxiu siku quanshu 續修四庫全書

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