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(Qinding) Rehe zhi (欽定)熱河志

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Bird's-eye view of the Summer Palace Bishu shanzhuang 避暑山莊 in the Zhongguo bianjiang congshu 中國邊疆叢書 edition of the Qinding Rehe zhi 欽定熱河志. Click image to enlarge.
The (Qinding) Rehe zhi (欽定)熱河志 "(Imperially Endorsed) Local Gazetteer of Rehe" is a local gazetteer on the province of Rehe (Jehol), the place of the summer residence of the Manchu emperors of the Qing dynasty 清 (1644-1911). The 120 juan "scrolls" long book was compiled on imperial order under the supervision of Hešen 和珅 and Liang Guozhi 梁國治. Rehe, as can be seen from the name, was originally known for its warm springs that were the main reason for the place to become the spa of the Manchu dynasty. The book was printed in 1781. It consists of 24 chapters that are all introduced by a short preface. The themes do not only cover the standard range of local gazetteers, as landscape, schools, temples, garrisons, the history of offices, the local literati and their writings, local products, tax yields, and touristic spots, but also palaces, imperial parks, statutes for official ceremonies, audiences for "visitors from far away", and "Heavenly stanzas" (tianzhang 天章, i.e. writings by the emperors). The text is the result of a very critical use of sources, and therefore very reliable. The gazetteer includes a lot of tables, maps and illustrations. Very interesting is the chapter on the Mongolian nobility (Fanwei 藩衛) of the province of Rehe. The Rehe zhi is included in the imperial collectaneum Siku quanshu 四庫全書 and was reprinted in 1934, and again published in the same year in the collectaneum Liaohai congshu 遼海叢書. It is also to be found in the Zhongguo bianjiang congshu 中國邊疆叢書, published by the Wenhai press 文海出版社 in Taibei in 1965.


Source: Li Xueqin 李學勤, Lü Wenyu 呂文鬰 (1996), Siku da cidian 四庫大辭典 (Changchun: Jilin daxue chubanshe), Vol. 1, p. 1129.

October 25, 2013 © Ulrich Theobald · Mail
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