An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History, Literature and Art

Ci Liushi jiuwen 次柳氏舊聞

Aug 28, 2013 © Ulrich Theobald

Ci Liushi jiuwen 次柳氏舊聞 "Old Tales According to Master Liu" is a book written by the Tang period 唐 (618-907) scholar Li Deyu 李德裕 (787-849), courtesy name Li Wenrao 李文饒. He came from Zhaojun 趙郡 (modern Zhaoxian 趙縣, Hebei) was was a son of the Counsellor Li Jifu 李吉甫, and was therefore appointed to the post of editor for the imperial diary (jiaoshulang 校書郎). He then rose to the post of academician (xueshi 學士) in the Hanlin Academy 翰林院, was then surveillance commissioner (guanchashi 觀察史) of Zhexi 浙西 and finally military commissioner (jiedushi 節度使) of Xichuan 西川. During the reign of Emperor Wuzong 唐武宗 (r. 840-846) he was made Counsellor-in-chief and remained in this post for six years. He was quite successful in suppressing the eunuch clique at the court and in curtailing the power of the regional commanders (fanzhen 藩鎮) of the provinces. He also larged a campaign against the Uyghurs 回紇 in the west. For these successes he was given the honorofic title of Commander-in-chief (taiwei 太尉) and was given the title of Duke of Wei 衛國公, for which reason he is also known as Li Weigong 李衛公. Li Deyu was a famous poet and has written the collection Huichang yipin ji 會昌一品集.
The short book Ci Liushi jiuwen is also known with the title Minghuang shiqi shi 明皇十七事 "Seventeen Stories of Emperor Ming because it focuses on the history of Emperor Ming 明皇, who is better known as Emperor Xuanzong 唐玄宗 (r. 712-755), and is most famous for his flight into Shu 蜀 (Sichuan) during the rebellion of An Lushan 安祿山, and his eternal love to his concubine Yang Guifei 楊貴妃. In the preface the author says that the stories were first written down by the historiographyer Liu Fang 柳芳 who was a secretary (sheren 舍人) of general Gao Lishi 高力士. The former's son Liu Mian 柳冕 narrated these stories to Counsellor Li Jifu, who handed them down to his son. A great number of the stories in the Ci Liushi jiuwen are identical to Zheng Chuhui's 鄭處誨 Minghuang zalu 明皇雜錄, but many of them also have the character of fiction and stories of supernatural occurrences, which diminished the historical value of the book.
The Ci Liushi jiuwen is included in the reprint series Siku quanshu 四庫全書, Baichuan xuehai 百川學海, Gushi wenfang xiaoshuo 顧氏文房小說, Lidai xiaoshi 歷代小史, Baoyantang miji 寶顏堂秘笈, Shuofu 說郛, Wuchao xiaoshuo 五朝小說, Gujin shuobu congshu 古今說部叢書 and Congshu jicheng 叢書集成. It appears under the title Minghuang shiqi shi in the reprint series Baicheng 稗乘, Xuehai leibian 學海類編 and Guang sishijia xiaoshuo 廣四十家小說, and as a small excerpt in the collections Tang Kaiyuan xiaoshuo liu zhong 唐開元小說六種 and Xiyuan xiansheng quanshu 郋園先生叢書. In 1985 the Shanghai guji press 上海古籍出版社 published a modern edition in the series Kaiyuan Tianbao yishi shizhong 開元天寶遺事十種, with annotations by Ding Ruming 丁如明.

Li Xueqin 李學勤, Lü Wenyu 呂文鬰 (1996). Siku da cidian 四庫大辭典, Changchun: Jilin daxue chubanshe, vol. 2, p. 2139.