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Xizhou shicheng ji 西州使程記

Oct 25, 2019 © Ulrich Theobald

Xizhou shicheng ji 西州使程記 "A travel to Xizhou", short Xizhou chengji 西州程記, also called Wang Yande shi Gaochang ji 王延德使高昌記 "Report of a mission to Gaochang" or Gaochang xingji 高昌行紀, is a travel report written by Wang Yande 王延德 (938-1006).

In 981, the Uyghurian ruler of Gaochang (Qočo, near modern Turpan 吐魯番, Xinjiang; Tang period name Xizhou 西州) sent a tributary mission to the Northern Song 北宋 (960-1126) court which had to be answered by a similar official visit. Emperor Taizong 宋太宗 (r. 976-997) decided to send the two palace recipients of edicts (dianqian chengzhi 殿前承旨) Wang Yande and Bai Xun 白勳 to the Uyghurian kingdom. They stayed for several years in that country and only returned in 985.

The short book describes what the two travels heard and saw during their journey to Central Asia, along the Silk Road. The original text is already lost, but fragments have survived in the chapter on foreign countries (Siyi kao 四夷考) in the encyclopaedia Wenxian tongkao 文獻通考, and in the chapter on Gaochang (490 Waiguo zhuan 外國傳 6) in the official dynastic history Songshi 宋史.

The text is also to be found in Wang Guowei's 王國維 (1877-1927) book Gu xingji jiaolu 古行記校錄, an annotated collection of ancient travel reports.

Sources:
Gu Jichen 顧吉辰 (1085). "Wang Tingde yu Xizhou shicheng ji 王延德與《西州使程記》", Xinjiang shehui kexue 新疆社會科學, 1985 (5).
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), 86.
Zhao Ben 趙犇, Wang Hui 王輝 (2018). "Xizhou shicheng ji zhong de Beisong chuqi Gaochang Huihu tiyu yanjiu: Jian lun yi dai yi lu changyi xia Xinjiang tiyu de fazhang qishi 《西州使程記》中的北宋初期高昌回鶻體育研究——兼論“一帶一路”倡議下新疆體育文化的發展啓示", Wuhan Tiyu Xueyuan xuebao 武漢體育學院學報, 2018 (11).
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), 769.