An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History, Literature and Art

Tingshi 桯史

May 28, 2012 © Ulrich Theobald

Tingshi 桯史 "A History of pillars" is a collection of stories written by the Song period 宋 (960-1279) scholar Yue Ke 岳珂. The book is 15 juan "scrolls" long and includes 140 stories from Northern 北宋 (960-1126) and early Southern Song 南宋 (1127-1279) period history. It had the intention to clarify correct and wrong political decisions, and therefore adds comments to each paragraph. The book is important because it includes information not found in other histories on the Song period and provides more detailed accounts on many facts than the official dynastic history Songshi 宋史. The text includes come quotations from poems and prose writings, and is sometimes written in a quite vernacular language, especially in paragraphs describing daily urban life, which makes the book also very interesting for linguistic studies as well as social history.
The earliest surviving print dates from 1475, another one from the Jiajing reign 嘉靖 (1522-1566) of the Ming period 明 (1368-1644). The Tingshi is included in the reprint series Baihai 稗海, Siku quanshu 四庫全書, Sibu congkan 四部叢刊, Biji xiaoshuo daguan 筆記小說大觀, Jindai mishu 津逮秘書, Shenbaoguan congshu xuji 申報館叢書續集, Xuejin taoyuan 學津討原 and Congshu jicheng chubian 叢書集成初編. A modern edition was published in 1981 by the Zhonghua shuju press 中華書局.

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. 2150.