An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History, Literature and Art

Jianxiazhuan 劍俠傳

Mar 13, 2024 © Ulrich Theobald

Jianxiazhuan 劍俠傳 "Stories of errand knights", with a length of 2 juan, is a collection of 19 stories of biographies of wandering knights. Some traditional catalogues say, it was compiled during the Tang period by an unknown person or by Duan Chengshi 段成式, but in fact, the book is a selection of stories directly adapted from the story encyclopaedia Taiping yulan 太平廣記 from the Song period which quotes from ancient texts. This means that some of the originals might date from the Tang period, while others must be dated to the Song period. The book as such did not exist during the Tang era but was a product of the Ming period and was perhaps compiled by Wang Shizhen 王世貞. It was, nonetheless, quite popular, and is found in many series like Zhengtang dushu ji 鄭堂讀書記, Gujin yishi 古今逸史, Bishu nianyi zhong 秘書廿一種, Shuofu 說郛, Longwei mishu 龍威秘書 , Wuchao xiaoshuo 五朝小說, Hekan sanzhi 合刻三志 , Tangren shuohui 唐人說薈, Tangdai congshu 唐代叢書, Shuoku 說庫 and Congshu jicheng chubian 叢書集成初編.

《四庫大辭典 下》 第2175頁 《中國古代小說辭典》 第463頁 程有慶2003“劍俠傳” 卞孝萱 漢語大詞典出版社 《唐代文學百科辭典》 第639頁

A supplement to the collection called Xu jianxiazhuan 續劍俠傳 was compiled by Wang Shiya 周詩雅, courtesy name Tingchui 廷吹, from Wujin 武進 (Dantu 丹徒, Jiangsu). The book of 5 juan assembled further 119 stories of errand knights from the Spring and Autumn to the Yuan period. Unfortunately, the sources are not indicated, and there is no chronological order. Moreover, some stories are not related to “heroes and gallants”, but to “immortals”. 《中華古文獻大辭典 文學卷》 第653頁 孫楷第1990人民文學出版社 《戲曲小說書錄解題》 第22頁