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Yugong zhuizhi 禹貢錐指

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Yugong zhuizhi 禹貢錐指 "Surveyance (of the Empire) by the Tribute of Yu" is a commentary to the chapter Yugong 禹貢 of the Confucian Classic Shangshu 尚書 written by the Qing period 清 (1644-1911) scholar Hu Wei 胡渭. He had participated in the compilation of the imperial geography Da-Qing yitong zhi 大清一統志 and was therefore familiar with the geography of China. Based on this experience he analysed the ancient text of the Yugong and tried to identify modern places as the spots mentioned in this old text. His Yugong zhuizhi is 20 juan "scrolls" long (some juan are split up in several parts, so that the book is in fact 26 juan long) and includes an own fascicle with 47 maps that are mostly reproductions of Ai Nanying's 艾南英 Yugong tuzhu 禹貢圖注. The title is derived from a saying in the Daoist writing Zhuangzi 莊子 where the philosopher riducules those "aiming at (the earth) with an awl" (zhuizhi 錐指). His text is concerned with the critique of ancient commentaries to the Yugong. Hu Wei used additional sources to underline correct identifications and to amend errors in earlier texts. His book was finished in 1702. It is so exact that it not only describes mountains and rivers in the "nine provinces" (jiuzhou 九州), but also passes and plains, commanderies and places of interest. The chapter Yihe 異河 "Anomalies of the Yellow River" is dedicated to the five changes of the course of this large river that dominated the life of the peasants in northern China. It is very important as a source also for modern historians to reconstruct and explain these changes. The compilers of the imperial collectaneum Siku quanshu 四庫全書 called the Yugong zhuizhi as the "crown" of all commentaries on the chapter Yugong. It includes nevertheless some errors that were later corrected by Wei Yuan 魏源 (Shu guwei 書古微) and Li Ciming 李慈銘 (Xiangqinshi riji 祥琴室日記). The Yugong zhuinan is included in the collectaneum Huang-Qing jingjie 皇清經解.

Source: Li Xueqin 李學勤, Lü Wenyu 呂文鬰 (ed. 1996), Siku da cidian 四庫大辭典 (Changchun: Jilin daxue chubanshe), Vol. 1, p. 122.

December 21, 2013 © Ulrich Theobald · Mail
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