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Chinese Literature
Qilu 七錄


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Qilu 七錄 "Seven records" was a bibliography written by the Liang period 梁 (502-557) scholar Ruan Xiaoxu 阮孝緒 (479-536). Ruan Xiaoyu at an early age started collecting informations on old books. Of especial value is the Song 劉宋 (420-479) and Southern Qi 南齊 (479-502) periods literature he collected. His 12 juan "scrolls" long bibliography was divided into an inner part (neipian 內篇) and an outer part (waipian 外篇). The inner part is divided into five categories (lu 錄 "records") of books, namely Confucian Classics (Jingdian lu 經典錄), records and biographies (Jizhuan lu 記傳錄), "masters" and military strategists (Zibing lu 子兵錄), belles-lettres and anthologies (Wenji lu 文集錄), and mathematical and mantic treatises (Shuji lu 術技錄).
The Confucian Classics, including commentaries, were divided into the sections Yijing 易, Shangshu 尚書, Shijing 詩經, Liji 禮記, Yueji 樂記, Chunqiu 春秋, Lunyu 論語, Xiaojing 孝經, and "minor learning" (xiaoxue 小學).
The category on records and biographies was divided into dynastic histories (guoshi 國史), imperial diaries (zhuli 注歷), affairs of antiquity (jiushi 舊事), state offices (zhiguan 職官), state rituals (yidian 儀典), law canons (fazhi 法制), histories of usurpatorious dynasties (weishi 偽史), miscellaneous biographies (zazhuan 雜傳), stories of ghosts and immortals (guishen 鬼神), geography (tudi 土地), family registers (puzhuang 譜狀), and notes (pulu 簿錄).
The masters were Confucians (ru 儒), Daoist philosophers (dao 道), Yin-Yang thinkers (yinyang 陰陽), legalists (fa 法), dialecticians (ming 名), Mohists (mo 墨), coalition advisors (zongheng 縱横), miscellaneous thinkers (za 雜), agronomists (nong 農), storytellers (xiaoshuo 小說), and military experts (bingjia 兵家).
The section of belles-lettres was divided into poetry of the South (Chuci 楚辭), individual collections (bieji 别集), anthologies and general collections (zongji 總集), and miscellaneous writings (zawen 雜文).
The mathematical and mantic treatises are astronomy and astrology (tianwen 天文), apocryphal writings (chenwei 讖緯), calendar and mathematics (lisuan 曆算), the Five Processes (wuxing 五行), divination by milfoil stalks (bushi 卜筮), miscellaneous divination arts (zazhan 雜占), penal law (xingfa 刑法), medical treatises (yijing 醫經), "classical methods" (jingfang 經方), and miscellanous techniques (zayi 雜藝).
The outer part included Buddhist (Fofa lu 佛法錄) and Daoist (Xiandao lu 仙道錄) writings. The Buddhist books were divided into vinayas (jielü 戒律), monastic rules (chanding 禪定), prajñā "wisdom" writings (zhihui 智慧), "doubts and similarities" (yisi 疑似), and treatises ( 論記). The Daoist writings were divided into classics and writings on abstinence (jingjie 經戒), diet (fuer 服餌), the art of the bedchamber (fangzhong 房中) and talismans (futu 符圖).
The Qilu listed 6,288 books in 55 categories, with a total physical volume of 44,526 juan. Ruan Xiaoxu in general followed the common categorization already established in earlier private and official bibliographies, like the imperial bibliography Yiwenzhi 藝文志 in the official dynastic history Hanshu 漢書, but also invented some new categories and established a more complex, more exact system of categorization. The Qilu was very important for the knowledge of the status of ancient books. It could be seen if books from antiquity were lost, and if contemporary books were already in circulation or not. The Qilu is unfortunately lost, but the preface is preserved in the Buddhist book Guang hongmingji 廣弘明集. The Qing period 清 (1644-1911) scholar Wang Renjun 王仁俊 reconstructed the Qilu on the base of the surviving information, his result is included in the collectaneum Yuhan shanfang jiyi shu xubian 玉函山房輯佚書續編.

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Source: Li Xueqin 李學勤, Lü Wenyu 呂文鬰 (ed. 1996), Siku da cidian 四庫大辭典 (Changchun: Jilin daxue chubanshe), Vol. 2, p. 1462.

February 19, 2011 © Ulrich Theobald · Mail
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