An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History, Literature and Art

Quanliaowen 全遼文

Feb 8, 2018 © Ulrich Theobald

Quanliaowen 全遼文 is a collection of the surviving Chinese-language literature of the Liao empire 遼 (907-1125). The collection was compiled by Chen Shu 陳述 (1911-1992) and edited in 1982 by the Zhonghua Book Company 中華書局. It consists of 13 juan, of which the last constitutes an appendix. A further appendix includes 19 rubbings of inscriptions in Kitan script or in mixed Chinese/Kitan texts most of which are found on tomb stones.

Chen Shu began this collection when he supplemented on commented on the official dynastic history of the Kitan empire, Liaoshi 遼史. He extracted literally quoted poems and texts and added them to earlier collections like Miao Quansun's 繆荃孫 (1844-1919) Liaowencun 遼文存, Wang Rejun's 王仁俊 (1866-1913) Liaowencui 遼文萃, Huang Renheng's 黃任恆 (1876-1953) Liaowen bulu 遼文補錄 and Luo Fuyi's 羅福頤 (1905-1981) Liaowen jushi 遼文續拾. The collection begins with writings of emperors and empresses, and from juan 5 on, arranges persons in chronological sequence. The collection includes more than 500 poems and prose texts.

It was first published in 1953 with the title Liaowenhui 遼文彙. A project of enlargement, Liaowenhui xubian 遼文彙續編, was never printed separately. Yet the latter is part of the Quanliaowen, which includes more than 800 texts.

Chen Shu wrote numerous books on the history of the Liao and Jin 金 (1115-1234) empires, like Qidan shi lunzheng gao 契丹史論證稿 (Qidan zhengzhi shigao 契丹政治史稿), Qidan shehui jingji shi gao 契丹社會經濟史稿, Jinshi shibu wu zhong 金史拾補五種, Liaodai shihua 遼代史話, Liaoshi buzhu 遼史補注, Liaoshi bielu wu zhong 遼史别錄五種 or Quanjinwen 全金文. Not all of them were published.

A younger publication collecting Liao period writings is Quan Liao-Jin wen 全遼金文, edited by Yan Fengwu 閻鳳梧, Jia Peijun 賈培俊 and Niu Guihu 牛貴琥 (Taiyuan: Shanxi guji chubanshe, 2002). The Liao part of this book is based on Chen Shu's collection, while the part covering the Jin period relies on Zhang Jinwu's 張金吾 (1787-1829) Jinwenzui 金文最 (Zhonghua shuju, 1990).

Figure 1. Rubbing of a bilingual stele in Chinese/Kitan language
Rubbing of a bilingual inscriptions of a stele, in Chinese and Kitan language, titled "Expedition (i.e. hunting) report of his Lordship the Military Regulatory Commissioner, the Younger Brother of the Emperor of the Great Jin" (Da-Jin huangdi dutong jinglüe langjun xingji 大金皇弟都統經略郎君行記), and dated Tianhui 12 天會十二年 (1134), from the appendix of Quanliaowen 全遼文, fig. 17. The editors erroneously wrote 皇帝 instead of 皇弟. Click to enlarge.
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