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Zilin 字林

Oct 29, 2010 © Ulrich Theobald

Zilin 字林 "Forest of characters" was a character dictionary whose entries were arranged according to character radicals. It was compiled by Lü Chen 呂忱 during the Jin period 晉 (265-420) and consisted of 5 or 7 juan. It made use of the 540 radicals system established in China's oldest character dictionary, the Shuowen jiezi 說文解字, and contained 12,824 characters.

During the Liu-Song period 劉宋 (420-479), Wu Gongceng 吳恭曾 compiled annotations to pronunciation in 5 juan, the Zilin yinyi 字林音義. Since the Song period 宋 (960-1279), the Zilin is lost. During the Qing period 清 (1644-1911), Ren Dazhuang 任大樁 collected surviving fragments from quotations in other books and compiled the Zilin kaoyi 字林考逸 in 8 juan. Another scholar, Tao Fangqi 陶方琦 (1845-1884), author of Zilin kaoyi buben 字林考逸補本, found even more surviving sentences, for instance, in Du Taiqing's 杜臺卿 Yuzhu baodian 玉燭寶典 from the Sui period 隋 (581-618), and the monk Huilin's 惠琳 Yiqiejing yinyi 一切經音義 from the Tang period 唐 (618-907).

Sources:
Dong Meng 董萌 (2018). "Tan zilin dui Shuowen de jicheng yu fazhan: Yi Wenxuan Li Shan zhu yin Zilin wei hexin 談《字林》對《說文》的繼承與發展——以《文選》李善注引《字林》為核心", Guji zhengli yanjiu xuekan 古籍整理研究學刊, 2018 (7).
Guo Qinna 郭芹納 et al., ed. (1990). Jianming gu Hanyu zhishi cidian 簡明古漢語知識辭典 (Xi'an: Shaanxi renmin chubanshe), 11.
Li Lifeng 李麗峰, Lang Jingjing 郎晶晶 (2017). "ZIlin de liuchuan ji qi jiazhi 《字林》的流傳及其價值", Cishu yanjiu 辭書研究, 2017 (11.
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, 741.
Wan Jiufu 萬久富 (2001). "Zilin de liuchuan ji qi zai Zhongguo yuyanxue shi shang de jiazhi 《字林》的流傳及其在中國語言學史上的價值", Guji zhengli yanjiu xuekan 古籍整理研究學刊, 2001 (9).
Zhou Zumo 周祖謨 (1988). "Zilin 字林", in Zhongguo da baike quanshu 中國大百科全書, Yuyan wenzi 語言•文字 (Beijing/Shanghai: Zhongguo da baike quanshu chubanshe), 551.