An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History and Literature

Song mingchen yanxing lu 宋名臣言行錄

Mar 12, 2012 © Ulrich Theobald

Song mingchen yanxing lu 宋名臣言行錄 "Records of words and deeds of eminent persons of the Song period", original title Mingren yanxing lu 名臣言行錄 "Words and deeds of eminent persons", is a collection of biographies of persons from the Song period 宋 (960-1279).

The 75-juan long book is divided into five collections. The first two of these were compiled by the Neo-Confucian philosopher Zhu Xi 朱熹 (1130-1200), the other three by Li Youwu 李幼武 (c. 1250). The first ten juan (Qianji 前集), which include the biographies of 55 persons from the early Northern Song period 北宋 (960-1126), were published separately as Wuchao mingchen yanxing lu 五朝名臣言行錄.

The next 14 juan (Houji 後集) with 44 biographies, covering the last three reign-periods of the Northern Song, are also called Sanchao mingchen yanxing lu 三朝名臣言行錄.

The third part (Xuji 續集) is 8-juan long and includes 26 further biographies from the late Northern Song. It was originally known under the title Huangchao mingchen yanxing xulu 皇朝名臣言行續錄, later changed to Song mingchen yanxing lu xuji 宋名臣言行錄續集.

The fourth collection (Bieji 别集) is 26-juan long and includes the biographies of 65 persons from the early Southern Song period 南宋 (1127-1279), called Sichao mingchen yanxing lu 四朝名臣言行錄.

The last collection (Waiji 外集) includes the biographies of 38 Neo-Confucian scholars. The sources for this book were mainly official biographies of tomb stone inscriptions (beizhuan 碑傳), conduct descriptions (xingzhuang 行狀), brush-note (biji 筆記) style essays and miscellaneous histories (zashi 雜史). All sources are indicated, which makes this biographic collection a very valuable handbook.

The most widespread version of the collection is the print from the Jizi Hall 績子堂 that is commented by Gu Guangqi 顧廣圻 (1770-1839). The whole Song mingchen yanxing lu is included in the imperial series Siku quanshu 四庫全書. The Sichao and Sanchao parts are included in the Sibu congkan 四部叢刊.

Table 1. The series Song mingchen yanxing lu 宋名臣言行錄
(Song) NN (comp.)
Siku quanshu 四庫全書 edition
書名, length in juan Title Author(s)
宋朱晦菴先生名臣言行錄前集 (五朝名臣言行錄) 十卷 Song Zhu Hui'an xiansheng mingchen yanxing lu qianji (Wuchao mingchen yanxing lu) (Song) 朱熹 Zhu Xi
宋朱晦菴先生名臣言行錄後集 (三朝名臣言行錄) 十四卷 Song Zhu Hui'an xiansheng mingchen yanxing lu houji (Sanchao mingchen yanxing lu) (Song) 朱熹 Zhu Xi
宋名臣言行錄續集 (皇朝名臣言行續錄) 八卷 Song mingchen yanxing lu xuji (Huangchao mingchen yanxing xulu) (Song) 李幼武 Li Youwu
宋名臣言行錄别集 (四朝名臣言行錄) 二十六卷 Song mingchen yanxing lu bieji (Sichao mingchen yanxing lu) (Song) 李幼武 Li Youwu
宋名臣言行錄外集 (皇朝道學名臣言行外錄) 十七卷 Song mingchen yanxing lu waiji (Huangchao daoxue mingchen yanxing wailu) (Song) 李幼武 Li Youwu
Source: Shanghai tushuguan 1982, Vol. 1, 650.
Shanghai tushuguan 上海圖書館, ed. (1982). Zhongguo congshu zonglu 中國叢書綜錄 (Shanghai: Shanghai guji chubanshe), Vol. 1, 650.
Wu Feng 吳楓, ed. (1987). Jianming Zhongguo guji cidian 簡明中國古籍辭典 (Changchun: Jilin wenshi chubanshe), 440.