An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History and Literature

Liujing zhengwu 六經正誤

Sep 13, 2013 © Ulrich Theobald

Liujing zhengwu 六經正誤 "Correction of errors in the Six Classics" is a collection of commentaries on six texts of the canon of the Confucian Classics written during the Southern Song period 南宋 (1127-1279) by Mao Juzheng 毛居正 (fl. 1223), courtesy name Yifu 誼父 (also written 義甫), style Keshan 柯山.

He hailed from Jiangshan 江山 in the prefecture of Quzhou 衢州 (modern Zhejiang). His father Mao Huang 毛晃 (jinshi degree 1151) had written the books Cengzhu libu yunlüe 增注禮部韻略 (see Libu yunlüe 禮部韻略) and Yugong zhinan 禹貢指南, both treatises on Confucian Classics.

The Liujing zhengwu was begun in 1223 on imperial order, and with the help of a large-scale collation (jiaochou 校讎) of various older editions of the Confucian Classics. Mao Juzheng himself took over the compilation of the commentary on the Shijing 詩經 (Maoshi 毛詩), Shangshu 尚書, Yijing 易經 (Zhouyi 周易) and Zhouli 周禮, but because of a disease of the eyes he could not finished work at the Liji 禮記 and the Chunqiu Annals 春秋.

When the book was printed, the result was very disappointing because of the large number of errors, and Mao Juzheng had to undergo a deepgoing revision of the book. He used the chance to add the missing notes on the Liji and the Chunqiu. The 6-juan long commentary refers to a vast amount of sources and is a great help for the correction of writing or factual errors that had been transmitted over the centuries. The author also provides a large amount of phonetic and semantic commentaries on countless termini and words in the Classic texts. Mao Juzeng had been so critical towards ancient editions that he even made some erroneous corrections in his work.

The Liujing zhengwu is included in the series Tongzhitang jingjie 通志堂經解 and Siku quanshu 四庫全書.

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, 296.
Sheng Guangzhi 盛廣智 (1996). "Liujing zhengwu 六經正誤", in Feng Kezheng 馮克正, Fu Qingsheng 傅慶升, ed. Zhuzi baijia da cidian 諸子百家大辭典 (Shenyang: Liaoning renmin chubanshe), 296.