An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History and Literature

Yuanjing 元經

Jul 11, 2010 © Ulrich Theobald

Yuanjing 元經 "Classic of the grand origin" is a history of the Southern and Northern Dynasties period 南北朝 (300~600) compiled by Wang Tong 王通 (584–618, courtesy name Zhongyan 仲淹, style Wang Kongzi 王孔子).

There is a commentary written by Xue Shou 薛收 (d. 624) and one by Ruan Yi 阮逸 (jinshi degree 1027, courtesy name Tianyin 天隱). Wang Tong also wrote the political treatise Zhongshuo 中說.

The 10-juan long (according to Ma Duanlin 馬端臨, 15 juan) Yuanjing is a chronological history from the Western Jin 西晉 (265-316) period to the beginning of the Sui 隋 (581-618). In the last juan, the history of the Sui dynasty is briefly narrated. This chapter was compiled by Xue Shou.

The scholars Chao Gongwu 晁公武 and Chen Zhensun 陳振孫, authors of the bibliographies Junzhai dushi zhi 郡齋讀書志 and Zhizhai shulu jieti 直齋書錄解題, respectively, see the Yuanjing as a forgery by Ruan Yi. The Yuanjing is included in the series Han-Wei congshu 漢魏叢書, Guang Han-Wei congshu 廣漢魏叢書, Zengding Han-Wei congshu 增訂漢魏叢書, and Siku quanshu.

There are several prints from the Ming period 明 (1368-1644), as well as a Qing period 清 (1644-1911) print by the Saoye shanfang Studio 掃葉山房.

Table 1. Chapters of the Yuanjing 元經
1. [西]晉太熙元年[起] Chronicle of the years 290-306 CE (Western Jin)
2. [西]晉懷帝永嘉元年[起] 307-317 (Western Jin)
3. 東晉元帝太興元年[起] 318-325 (Eastern Jin)
4. [東]晉成帝咸和元年[起] 326-342 (Eastern Jin)
5. 東晉康帝建元元年[起] 343-370 (Eastern Jin)
6. [東晉]簡文帝咸安元年[起] 371-396 (Eastern Jin)
7. [東晉]安帝隆安元年[起] 397-419 (Eastern Jin)
8. 宋高祖武帝永初元年[起] 420-479 (Southern Dynasties)
9. 後魏孝文帝太和四年[起] 480-589 (Northern Dynasties, year tables)
10. 隋文帝開皇十年[起] 590-617 (Sui, year tables)
Li Xueqin 李學勤, Lü Wenyu 呂文鬰, eds. (1996). Siku da cidian 四庫大辭典 (Changchun: Jilin daxue chubanshe), Vol. 1, 885.