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Yudi jisheng 輿地紀勝

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Yudi jisheng 輿地紀勝 "Exhaustive description of the empire" is an imperial geography from the Southern Song period 南宋 (1127-1279). It was compiled by Wang Xiangzhi 王象之 and comprises 200 juan "scrolls" dealing with the geography within the borders of the Southern Song empire. It starts with the then-capital Lin'an 臨安 (modern Hangzhou, Zhejiang) and describes all prefectures (first-class, fu 府; second-class, zhou 州; military, jun 軍; and industrial, jian 監). Wang Xiangzhi started compiling his geography by himself, withou imperial order.
For the prefectures, Wang provides twelve chapters dealing with the administrative history, the districts (xian 縣) within the prefecture, customs and habits, landscape and territory, touristic spots of interest, eminent officials, eminent personalities, eminent monks, tombstones with inscriptions, monasteries, and so on. As a privately book it is very informative and to some extent fills a gap in official historiography. It therefore soonly attracted the attention of scholars and officials because of its accurateness in the treatment of the primary sources Wang had used. There is a collection of maps appended, called Yuditu 輿地圖, in 16 juan, which are especially precise for the region of Sichuan where Wang Xiangzhi had served as a prefect. The Yudi jisheng is especially valuable for it quotes sources which are otherwise lost, like the Gaozong shengzheng 高宗聖政, Xiaozong shengzheng 孝宗聖政, or Zhongxing yishi 中興遺史.
The Yudi jisheng was already printed during the Song period. During the Ming period 明 (1368-1644) the tombstone inscriptions were extracted and separately published, as Yudi beiji 輿地碑記 in 4 juan. At that time there were already 7 juan of the Yudi jisheng missing. In 1849, when it was printed anew, already 31 juan were lost, and of many chapters pages were missing. Liu Wenqi 劉文淇 and his son Liu Yusong 劉毓松 had attempted to reconstruct missing parts and added a text-critical apparatus. Their version was published in 1847 and comprised 52 juan. One year later Cen Jiangong 岑建功 published a supplement providing more missing parts, in 10 juan.

Source: Chen Zhen 陳振 (1992), "Yudi jisheng 輿地紀勝", in Zhongguo da baike quanshu 中國大百科全書, Zhongguo lishi 中國歷史 (Beijing/Shanghai: Zhongguo da baike quanshu chubanshe), Vol. 3, p. 1419.

September 14, 2010 © Ulrich Theobald · Mail
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