ChinaKnowledge.de -
An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History, Literature and Art

Xiyu shuidao ji 西域水道記

Sep 19, 2019 © Ulrich Theobald

Xiyu shuidao ji 西域水道記 is a book on rivers and lakes in Xinjiang compiled by the late Qing-period 清 (1644-1911) geographer Xu Song 徐松 (1781-1848). Xu also wrote the books Xinjiang shilüe 新疆識略, Yili zongshi lüe 伊犁總事略, Xinjiang fu 新疆賦 (a rhapsody), Hanshu Xiyu zhuan buzhu 漢書西域傳補注, and Tang liangjing chengfang kao 唐兩京城坊考.

This book of 5 juan length was finishedin 1821 and first printed in 1833. The most important contribution of this book is a detailed critique of geographical statements about rivers found in ancient sources. He points at errors or distortions in names and places, and makes clear that because of the climate some rivers just drain away. Xu works with a clear set of terms to describe the course of rivers and networks of waters. He explains how a river "leads to" (dao 導), "passes" (guo 過), "unites with" (he 合), "flows from" (cong 從), and "sheds its waters into" (zhu 注) a lake or else. Main currents (jingshui 經水, modern term zhuliu 主流) are "rising" (chu 出), "going through" (jing 逕), "converging" (hui 會), "coming from" (zi 自), and "entering" (ru 入). Confluences (zhishui 枝水, modern term zhilu 支流) are "arising" (fa 發), "passing" (jing 經), and "contributing" (hui 彙).

Figure 1. Lake Balkhash and confluent rivers (parts 2 and 3)

The famous "Water Classic" Shuijingzhu served as a model for the book, which describes river networks as arteria and sidelines. In Xu's concept, drainage basins are determined by lakes as terminal points of eleven river systems. Apart from the waters themselves, Xu provides information on roads, traffic, local products, cities, military garrisons, historic sites, mining sites, and population. Xu could draw from his rich travel experience during his exile in Xinjiang, and did not just rely on written sources, but also on his own view. He gives information on the history of the region, with a special focus on the Yuan 元 (1279-1368) and Qing periods, when Xinjiang was conquered from the east.

The text is enriched by 24 maps showing drainage basins. In case river names are derived from Mongolian, Xu provides a translation into Chinese, or gives information on names in Turki or even Tibetan.

The Xiyu shuidao ji is an oft-printed text, for instance, a collection of Xu's writings, Xu Xingbo zhushu san zhong 徐星伯著書三種, and the series Xiaofanghuzhai yudi congchao 小方壺齋輿地叢鈔, Huangchao fanshu yudi congshu 皇朝藩屬輿地叢書 and Zhongguo bianjiang congshu 中國邊疆叢書. An abbreviated version from 1909 is found in the series Chenfengge congshu 晨風閣叢書.

Table 1. Contents of the Xichui yaolüe 西陲要略
drainage basin (lake receptive) modern Chinese name
1-2 羅布淖爾所受水 羅布泊 Lop Nur
3 哈喇淖爾所受水 哈拉湖 Lake Hala
巴爾庫勒淖爾所受水 巴里坤湖 Lake Barköl
額彬格遜淖爾所受水 瑪納斯湖 Lake Manas
喀喇塔拉額西柯淖爾所受水 艾比湖 Lake Ebi(nur)
4 巴勒喀什淖爾所受水 巴爾喀什湖 Lake Balkhash
5 賽喇木淖爾所受水 賽里木湖 Lake Sayram
特穆爾圖淖爾所受水 伊塞克湖 Lake Issyk Kul
阿拉克圖古勒淖爾所受水 阿拉湖 Lake Alaköl
噶勒札爾巴什勒淖爾所受水 布倫托海 Lake Ulungur
宰桑淖爾所受水 齋桑泊 Lake Zaysan
Sources:
Chen Yazhou 陳亞洲 (2007). "Xu Song ji qi Xiyu shuidao ji tanxi 徐松及其《西域水道記》探析", Talimu Daxue xuebao 塔里木大學學報. 2007 (3).
Cheng Shuoluo 程溯洛 (1992). "Xiyu shuidao ji 西域水道記", in Zhongguo da baike quanshu 中國大百科全書, Vol. Minzu 民族 (Beijing/Shanghai: Zhongguo da baike quanshu chubanshe), 469.
Feng Xishi 馮錫時 (1998). "Xu Song Xiyu shuidao ji bianwu 徐松《西域水道記》辨誤", Zhongguo bianjiang shidi yanjiu 中國邊疆史地研究, 1998 (6).
Gao Wende 高文德, ed. (1995). Zhongguo shaoshu minzu shi da cidian 中國少數民族史大辭典 (Changchun: Jilin jiaoyu chubanshe), 711.
Guo Xiaohua 郭曉花 (2017). "Lun Xiyu shuidao ji de xueshu tedian 論《西域水道記》的學術特點", Mingzuo xinshang 名作欣賞, 2017 (4).
He Shengdi 賀聖迪 (1996). "Xiyu shuidao ji 西域水道記", in Zhou Gucheng 周谷城, ed. Zhongguo xueshu mingzhu tiyao 中國學術名著提要, Vol. Keji 科技卷 (Shanghai: Fudan daxue chubanshe), 375.
Li Jun 李軍 (2013). "Xu Song Xiyu shuidao ji lunlüe 徐松《西域水道記》論略", Xinjiang difangzhi 新疆地方志, 2013 (3).
Li Xueqin 李學勤, Lü Wenyu 呂文郁, ed. (1996). Siku da cidian 四庫大辭典 (Changchun: Jilin daxue chubanshe), Vol. 1, 1067.
Niu Haizhen 牛海楨 (2000). "Xu Song Xiyu shuidao ji de xueshu tedian 徐松《西域水道記》的學術特點", Shixue shi yanjiu 史學史研究, 2000 (5).
Niu Zhongxun 鈕仲勛 (1987). "Xu Song Xiyu shuidao ji 徐松的《西域水道記》", Zhongguo shuili 中國水利, 1987 (3).
Niu Zhongxun 紐仲勛 (1986). "Xiyu shuidao ji 西域水道記", in Zhongguo nongye baike quanshu zong jianbi weiyuanhui Shuili juan bainji weiyuanhui 《中國農業百科全書》總編輯委員會《水利卷》編輯委員會, Zhongguo nongye baike quanshu bianjibu 《中國農業百科全書》編輯部, ed. Zhongguo nongye baike quanshu 中國農業百科全書, Part Shuili 水利卷 (Beijing: Nongye chubanshe), Vol. 2, 884.
Shi Xuanyuan 施宣圓 et al., ed. (1987). Zhongguo wenhua cidian 中國文化辭典 (Shanghai: Shanghai shehui kexue yuan chubanshe), 332.
Wang Chunlin 王春林, ed. (2001). Keji bianji da cidian 科技編輯大辭典 (Beijing: Di er junyi daxue chubanshe), 325.
Wang Zhaoming 王兆明, Fu Langyun 傅朗云, ed. (1991). Zhonghua gu wenxian da cidian 中華古文獻大辭典, Vol. Dili 地理卷 (Changchun: Jilin wenshi chubanshe), 125.
Wu Feng 吳楓, ed. (1987). Jianming Zhongguo guji cidian 簡明中國古籍辭典 (Changchun: Jilin wenshi chubanshe), 305.
Xinjiang baike quanshu bianzuan weiyuanhui 《新疆百科全書》編纂委員會, ed. (2002). Xinjiang baike quanshu 新疆百科全書 (Beijing: Zhongguo da baike quanshu chubanshe), 91.
Zhang Yishan 張益善, ed. (1991). Zhonghua shiyong shuili da cidian 中華實用水利大詞典 (Nanjing: Nanjing daxue chubanshe), 379.
Zhao Lisheng 趙儷生 (1992). "Xu Song ji qi Xiyu shuidao ji 徐松及其《西域水道記》", Lanzhou Daxue xuebao 蘭州大學學報, 1992 (12).
Zhou Weizhou 周偉洲, Ding Jingtai 丁景泰, ed. (2006). Sichou zhi lu da cidian 絲綢之路大辭典 (Xi'an: Shaanxi renmin chubanshe), 786.
Zhu Gengling 朱更翎 (1992). "Xiyu shuidao ji 西域水道記", in Zhongguo da baike quanshu 中國大百科全書, Vol. Shuili 水利 (Beijing/Shanghai: Zhongguo da baike quanshu chubanshe), 467.
Zhu Yuqi 朱玉麒 (2004). "Xiyu shuidao ji gaoben yanjiu 《西域水道記》稿本研究", Wenxian 文獻, 2004 (1).
Zhu Yuqi 朱玉麒 (2010). "Qingdai Xiyu liuren yu zaoqi Dunhuang yanjiu: Yi Xu Song Xiyu shuidao ji wei zhongxin 清代西域流人與早期敦煌研究——以徐松與《西域水道記》為中心", Dunhuang yanjiu 敦煌研究, 2010 (10).
Zhu Yuqi 朱玉麒 (2010a). "Xiyu shuidao ji kanke niandai zaikao 《西域水道記》刊刻年代再考", Xiyu yanjiu 西域研究, 2010 (7).