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Chinese Literature
Xiao Erya 小爾雅 "Small Erya"

The Xiao Erya 小爾雅 is a glossary dictionary from the Han period 漢 (206 BCE-220 CE) imitating the classical glossary book Erya 爾雅. From the beginning it must have been very small, as the bibliographic treatise Yiwenzhi 藝文志 in the Hanshu 漢書 says, only one chapter long. According to the bibliographic treatise Jingjizhi 經籍志 in the Suishu 隋書 there was a commentary written by Li Gui 李軌 or Li Guilüe 李軌略, the Xiao Erya jie 小爾雅解, which is lost. Yet the received Xiao Erya is surely not identical to this book and is derived from chapter 11 from the anthology Kongcongzi 孔叢子. According to Song Xian's 宋咸 commentary to the Kongcongzi from the Song period 宋 (960-1279), the Xiao Erya was written by Kong Fu 孔鮒, to whom authorship of the Kongcongzi is attributed. The book must have been written during the Later Han period 後漢 (25-220).
The Xiao Erya consists of 13 chapters which serve as a supplement to the Erya. It includes many words not recorded in the classic Erya, mainly names of objects and animals. The last three chapters deal with weights and measures, items not included in the Erya at all. The Xiao Erya only attracted the attention of scholars during the 19th century, for example Song Xiangfeng 宋翔鳳 (Xiaoerya xunzuan 小爾雅訓纂) and Hu Chenggong (Xiaoerya yizheng 小爾雅義證). There are also a lot of later but less known commentaries by Zhu Junsheng 朱駿聲 (Xiaoerya yuezhu 小爾雅約注), Ge Qiren 葛其仁 (Xiaoerya shuzheng 小爾雅疏證), Ren Zhaolin 任兆麟 (Xiaoerya zhu 小爾雅注), and Hu Chenggong 胡承珙 (Xiaoerya yizheng 小爾雅義證).

Source: Xu Fu 徐復 (1988). "Xiao Erya 小爾雅", in: Zhongguo da baike quanshu 中國大百科全書, Yuyan wenzi 語言文字, p. 424. Beijing/Shanghai: Zhongguo da baike quanshu chubanshe.

1. 廣詁 Guang gu
2. 廣言 Guang yan
3. 廣訓 Guang xun
4. 廣義 Guang yi
廣名 Guang ming
廣服 Guang fu
4. 廣器 Guang qi
廣物 Guang wu
廣鳥 Guang niao
廣獸 Guang shou
5. (supplement, no title)
Chinese literature according to the four-category system

October 14, 2010 © Ulrich Theobald · Mail