An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History, Literature and Art

Donggong beilan 東宮備覽

Oct 2, 2019 © Ulrich Theobald

Donggong beilan 東宮備覽 is a book on the princely establishment during the Southern Song period. It was written by Chen Mo 陳模 (jinshi degree 1196), courtesy name Zhongxing 中行, from Yongchun 永春 in the prefecture of Quanzhou 泉州 (today in Fujian). Chen was lector in the Imperial Library (bishusheng zhengzi 秘書省正字) and from 1203 on also junior compiler in the Historiography Institute (guoshiguan bianxiu 國史院編修). In this time, he compiled this book.

It has a length of 6 juan and is divided into 20 chapters focusing on the organization of the household of the heir apparent and the eduction of the crown prince. The text is designed as rules which are commented by the compiler. The prefaces stresses that three chapters were very important, namely the selection of a consort (Ze feibin 擇妃嬪), the reduction of the number [and careful selection] of employees, in particular the princely preceptor (Jian gongliao 簡宮僚), and respectful conduct in all situations (Jin youji 謹游習). A prince was to be educated well in the mastering of poetry and prose, rituals and music.

In the transmitted version, some pages are missing. It is included in the series Siku quanshu 四庫全書, Xuehai leibian 學海類編, Congshu jicheng chubian 叢書集成初編 and Danshengtang yuyuan 淡生堂餘苑.

Table 1. Contents of the Donggong beilan 東宮備覽
始生 Shisheng Birth and childhood
入學 Ruxue Attending school
立教 Lijiao Establishing education
師傅 Shifu The teachers of a prince
講讀 Jiangdu Speech and lecture
宮僚 Gongliao Selecting personnel for the palace
擇術 Zeshu Selecting skilled persons
廣誨 Guanghui Extending encouragement
謹習 Qinxi Attentiveness towards learning
主器 Zhuqi Mastering sacrificial vessels
正本 Zhengben Rectifying the roots
問安 Wen'an Behaviour towards elderly persons (visiting parents)
友悌 Youdi Behaviour towards friends and younger persons
戒逸 Jieyi Refraining from amenities
崇儉 Chongjian Valuing austerity
辨分 Bianfen Discerning between right and wrong
正家 Zhengjia Rectifying the own family
規諫 Guijian Criticizing with polite words
幾諫 Jijian Admonishing senior persons
監國 Jianguo Acting as a regent
Jiaoyu da cidian bianzuan weiyuanhui 《教育大辭典》編纂委員會, ed. (1991). Jiaoyu da cidian 教育大辭典, part 8, Zhongguo gudai jiaoyu shi 中國古代教育史 (Shanghai: Shanghai jiaoyu chubanshe), Vol. 1, 241.
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. 2, 1560.