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Chinese Literature
Yangyangfa 養羊法 "Methods of Sheep Breeding"


The Yangyangfa 養羊法 "Methods of sheep breeding", also called Bu Shi yangyang fa 卜式養羊法 "Bu Shi's methods of raising sheep", is an agricultural book attributed to the Former Han period 前漢 (206 BCE-8 CE) official Bu Shi 卜式 who had been an entrepreneur who regularly submitted cattle to the imperial army. He was therefore granted the title of a court gentleman (lang 郎) and later even rose to the office of Censor-in-chief (yushi dafu 御史大夫). The imperial bibliography Jingjizhi 經籍志 in the official dynastic history Suishu 隋書 says that the book was still listed in Liang period 梁 (502-557) catalogues, but was already lost during the early Tang period 唐 (618-907). It is quite sure that Bu Shi was not the real author because it is known that he was illiterate. The book is probably quoted (without indication of a source) in a chapter on the raising of sheep in Jia Sixie's 賈思勰 agricultural treatise Qimin yaoshu 齊民要術 from the Northern Wei period 北魏 (386-534). These fragments were collected by the Qing period 清 (1644-1911) scholar Ma Guohan 馬國翰 and are to be found in his collectaneum Yuhanshanfang jiyi shu 玉函山房輯佚書.

Source: Li Xueqin 李學勤, Lü Wenyu 呂文鬰 (1996). Siku da cidian 四庫大辭典, vol. 2, p. 1644. Changchun: Jilin daxue chubanshe.

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May 31, 2013 © Ulrich Theobald · Mail