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Fenjiaolu 焚椒錄

Jul 3, 2010 © Ulrich Theobald

Fenjiaolu 焚椒錄 "Burning Peppers" is an account of the sad fate of an empress of the Liao court 遼 (907-1125) written by the scholar Wang Ding 王鼎 (jinshi degree 1059). The book, written during a travel into Mongolia, narrates how Minister Yelü Yixin 耶律乙辛 (d. 1083) cast an evil spell on Empress Xuanyi 宣懿后 (d. 1075) that involved her into an illicit affair and thus contributed to her downfall.

The Fenjiaolu is the only surviving privately written book from the Liao period. The narrative is different from the official report in the history Qidan guo zhi 契丹國志, for which reason some scholars doubted the authenticity of the the facts described in this book.

The Fenjiaolu is included in the reprint series Baoyantang miji 寶顏堂秘笈 and Jindai mishu 津逮秘書.

Sources:
Gao Wende 高文德, ed. (1995). Zhongguo shaoshu minzu shi da cidian 中國少數民族史大辭典 (Changchun: Jilin jiaoyu chubanshe), 2190.
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, 935.
Lin Fei 林非, ed. (1997). Zhongguo sanwen da cidian 中國散文大辭典 (Zhengzhou: Zhongzhou guji chubanshe), 238.
Wu Feng 吳楓, ed. (1987). Jianming Zhongguo guji cidian 簡明中國古籍辭典 (Changchun: Jilin wenshi chubanshe), 835.
Wu Feng 吳楓, ed. (1994). Zhongguo gudai wenxian da cidian 中華古文獻大辭典, Vol. Wenxue 文學卷 (Changchun: Jilin wenshi chubanshe), 668.