An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History and Literature

Wenyuan yinghua 文苑英華

Jul 30, 2010 © Ulrich Theobald

The literature anthology Wenyuan yinghua 文苑英華 "Blossoms and flowers of the literature garden" is one of the four great encyclopaedias of the Song period 宋 (960-1279), Song si da shu 宋四大書. It was compiled on imperial order by a compilation team of more than 20 persons under the supervision of Li Fang 李昉, Xu Xuan 徐鉉, Song Bai 宋白, Hu Meng 扈蒙 and Su Yijian 蘇易簡.

The compilation process lasted from 982 to 986. Emperor Zhenzong 宋真宗 (r. 997-1022) had the draft revised several times by Su Yijian 蘇易簡 (958-997) and Wang You 王祐 (923-986). Much later, Emperor Xiaozong 宋孝宗 (r. 1162-1189) had made a text-critical revision which was undertaken by Zhou Bida 周必大 (1126-1204), Hu Ke 胡柯 (fl. 1195) and Peng Shuxia 彭叔夏 (jinshi degree 1193). This work was finished in 1204, and a print was produced of which unfortunately only fragments are preserved.

The whole book comprises 1,000 juan and contains the writings of persons from the Liang period 梁 (502-557) to the 10th century. About one tenth of the book contains writings from the Southern and Northern Dynasties period 南北朝 (300~600), and 90 per cent of the writings stem from the Tang period 唐 (618-907). The book was projected as a continuation of the anthology Wenxuan 文選, compiled by Prince Zhaoming 昭明太子 (Xiao Tong 蕭統, 501-531), and records almost 20,000 writings of more than 2,000 persons. In the categorization of writings, it follows the pattern established in the Wenxuan. Part of the 39 categories has sub-divisions, especially the large category of rhapsodies (fu 賦) that is divided into 42 sub-categories.

The selection of poetry has caused criticism, for instance, by Li Ximing 李慈銘 (1830-1895) in his diary Yuemantang riji 越縵堂日記, where it is said that that poems of different quality are negligently listed one after the other, while the prose literature has been selected very carefully. The Wenyuan yinghua was very important for the popularization of famous Tang-period writers like Han Yu 韓愈 (768-824), Yuan Zhen 元楨 (779-831), Bai Juyi 白居易 (772-846) and Liu Zongyuan 柳宗元 (773-819), but also includes works of less prestigious writers like Chen Zi'ang 陳子昂 (661-702), Zhang Yue 張說 (667-731), Zhang Jiuling 張九齡 (678-740), Li Ao 李翱 (774-836), Quan Deyu 權得輿 (759-818), Li Shangyin 李商隱 (813-c. 858), Gu Yun 顧雲 (d. 894) or Luo Yin 羅隱 (833-910).

Many writings had been transmitted in the shape of manuscripts and were, in the Wenyuan yinghua, printed for the first time. A lot of older texts are only preserved in the Wenyuan yinghua at all, like Li Shangyin's Fannan jiayi ji 樊南甲乙集 or the collected writings Zhang Yue ji 張說集. The text-critical commentary to the Wenyuan yinghua is particularly valuable because it provided text alternatives from other sources. The Wenyuan yinghua served during the Qing period 清 (1644-1911) as the main source for the compilation of the collections Gushji 古詩紀 "Records of ancient poems", Quantangshi 全唐詩 "The complete shi-style poems of the Tang period", Quantangwen 全唐文 "The complete prose literature of the Tang period" and various individual collected writings in the series Siku quanshu 四庫全書.

During the reign of Emperor Zhenzong, Yao Xuan 姚鉉 (967-1020) extracted important writings from the Wenyuan yinghua that he published with the title Tangwencui 唐文粹. This book was in the end more widespread than the Wenyuan yinghua itself.

The Wenyuan yinghua does not only contain poetry and prose literature works, but also numerous historical documents, like imperial edicts, memorials, and tomb inscriptions. In 1566 a new print was produced that was based on a very widespread manuscript version. Peng Shuxia's commentary Wenyuan yinghua bianzheng 文苑英華辨證 from the Southern Song period 南宋 (1127-1279) is included in the series Zhibuzuzhai congshu 知不足齋叢書. A reprint from Canton included in the series Wuyingdian juzhenban shu 武英殿聚珍版書 is enriched with Lao Ge's 勞格 (1819-1864) supplementary commentary Bianzheng shiyi 辨證拾遺. In 1966, the Zhonghua Shuju Press 中華書局 printed a version based on 140 juan of a Song-period print and 860 juan of a Ming-period 明 (1368-1644) print, and added Peng Shuxia's critical commentary as well as Lao Ge's supplement to it.

Table 1. Contents of the Wenyuan yinghua 文苑英華
1-.150. Ce Rhapsodies
1-20 天象 Celestial phenomena
21-24 歲時 The seasons
25-31 地類 The earth
32-40 Water
41-43 帝徳 The virtual powers of the sovereign
44 京都 Capital cities
45-46 邑居 Settlements and traffic
46-52 宮室 Palaces
53 苑囿 Imperial parks
54-57 禋祀 Imperial sacrifices
58-59 行幸 Imperial inspection tours
60 諷諭 Hidden critique
61-63 儒學 Confucian scholarship
64-66 軍旅 Military campaigns
67-69 治道 The way of rulership
70 耕籍 Farming
71-80 Music
81-82 雜伎 Miscellaneous skills
83 飲食 Eating and drinking
84-89 符瑞 Omina and portents
90-96 人事 Human affairs
97-99 Treatises
100 射博奕 Archery and chess
101 工藝 Architecture
102-110 器用 Objects of daily use
111-113 服章 Clothes and ceremonial tools
114 畫圖 Paintings
115-119 Jewelry
120 絲帛 Silks
121-122 舟車 Barges and carriages
123 薪火 Fires
124 畋漁 Hunting and fishing
125 道釋 Daoist and Buddhist affairs
126 紀行 Travels
127-128 遊覧 Scenic tours
129-130 哀傷 Mourning
131-138 鳥獸 Birds and beasts
139-142 蟲魚 Lower animals and fishes
143-150 草木 Plants
151.-330. Shi Regular poems
151-158 天部 Heaven
159-166 地部 The earth
167 帝德 The virtual powers of the sovereign
168-178 應制 Imperially commissioned poems
179 應令 Poems written on behalf of the crown prince
180-189 省試 State examinations
190-191 朝省 The imperial court
192-211 樂府 Songs in the music-bureau style
212-213 音樂 Music
214-218 人事 Human affairs
219-224 釋門 Buddhist affairs
225-229 道門 Daoist affairs
230-232 隠逸 Hidden worthies
233-239 寺院 Buddhist monasteries
240-246 詶和 Poetic responses
247-265 寄贈 Dedications
266-285 送行 Sending-off parties
286 留别 Souvenirs on parting
289-298 行邁 Travels
299-300 軍旅 Military campaigns
301-310 悲悼 Mourning
311-319 居處 Living
320 郊祀 Imperial sacrifices
321-327 花木 Plants
328-330 禽獸 Birds and beasts
331.-350. 歌行 Gexing Songs and verses
331 Heaven
332 仙道 Daoists
333 紀功 Achievements of merit
334-335 音樂 Music
336 Wine
337 草木 Plants
338 Letters
339 圖畫 Charts and paintings
340 雜贈 Various donations
341 送别 Parting
342 山石,隠逸,佛寺 Mountains and stones, hidden worthies, Buddhist monasteries
343 樓䑓,宮閣園亭,經行 Buildings and parks, sacred recreation
344 Beasts
345 Birds
346 愁怨 Sorrow
347 服用 Taking medicine
348 博戲,雜歌 Games, miscellaneous songs
349-350 雜歌 Miscellaneous songs
351.-379. 雜文 Zawen Miscellaneous writings
351-353 問荅 Answers to questions
354-359 Elegies
360 明道, 雜說 Elucidating the Way, miscellaneous explanations
361-362 雜說, 釋辨 Miscellaneous explanations, Explanative disputes
363-367 辨論, 贈送 Discourses, donations at parting
368 箴誡 Admonitions
369 諫刺說 Critique
369-372 紀述 Descriptions
373-374 諷諭 Hidden critique
375 論事 Discourse on matters
376 雜職作 Fulfillment of various duties
377 征伐, 雜製作 Military campaigns, various creations
378 職行 雜製作 Conduct of duties, various creations
379 紀事 雜製作 Record of affairs, various creations
380.-419. 中書制誥 Zhongshu zhigao Announcements by the Secretariat
380-383 北省 The Northern Departments
384 翰苑 The Hanlin Academy
385-392 南省 The Southern Departments
393-395 憲䑓 The Censorate
396-398 卿寺 The Ministers of the Nine Courts
399 諸監 The Directorates
400 館殿,監官附,史舘修撰,校理,太常博士,袐書郎,著作郎,祭酒,司業 Institutes and halls, app. supervisory officials; senior compilers of the Historiography Institute, unranked officials of various literary institutions, erudites of the Chamberlain for Ceremonials, assistants of the Palace Library, editorial directors, chancellors of the National University, vice directors of education
401-402 環衞 Guard units
403-404 東宮官 The officers of the Eastern Palace of the Heir Apparent
405 王府 The princely establishments
406-407 京府 The metropolitan prefect
408-409 諸使 The various commissioners
410-411 郡牧 The regional commanders
412-413 幕府 The provincial commanders
414 上佐,長史,别駕,司馬 Principal territorial aides, princely administrators, regional administrative aides, commanders
415 邑宰,簿尉 District magistrates, assistants
416 封爵,封公,封侯,封伯,封子男爵 Ennoblement
417 加階,開府,特進 Promotion in rank, high offices, extraordinary promotion
418 內官,內侍省,內謁者監,內官加恩局丞令 Palace functionaries (eunuchs)
419 命婦,國夫人,太夫人,郡夫人,太君縣君,郡君 Investiture of females, investiture as district or commandery lord
420.-472. 翰林制詔 Hanlin zhizhao Edicts by the Imperial Academy
420-433 赦書 Amnesty
434-441 德音 Edicts composed by a minister and issued in the name of the emperor
442-447 册文 Letters of patent
448-458 制書 Imperial decrees
459-465 詔敕 Imperial edicts
466-467 批荅 Rescripts
468-471 蕃書 Letters to foreign countries
472 鐡劵,青詞,歎文 Iron patents, Daoist sacrificial memorials, Daoist "sighing texts"
473.-476. 策問 Cewen Examination questions
473 賢良 Worthy men
474 進士 Metropolitan graduates
477.-502. Ce Scripts
477 文苑 The garden of literati
478 將相 Generals and counsellors
479 寧邦 Pacification of the regions
480-483 方正 Uprightness
484-485 雅麗 Refined writing
486 直言 Straight words
487-489 體用, 直言 Mind and practical application, Straight words
490-493 直言 Straight words
494 帝王 Emperors and princes
495 任官 Duties in office
496 政化 Politics
497 禮樂,刑法上 Rites and music, penal law
498 刑法下 Penal law
499 平農商 Balancing agriculture and trade
500 曆運,災祥 Calendar, omina and portents
501 帛貨, 邊塞 Money, border defence
502 求賢,文學,射御 Search for worthies, literati, archery and charioteering
503.-552. Pan Judgements
503 乾象曆律 Heavenly signs and calendric rules
504 歲時 Seasons of the year
505 歲時雨雪儺門 Weather through the seasons
506 水旱災荒 Natural disasters
507 禮樂 Rites and music
508 Music
509 師樂 Instruction in music
510 勤學,惰教,師殁,直講 Diligence in studies, idleness in teaching, teachers passing away, direct lecturing
511 教授文書 Documents of teachers and instructors
512 書數,師學,射,投壺,圍棋 Elementary teaching, archery, pitchpot game, chess
513 射御 Archery and charioteering
514 選舉 Selection of appointees
515 禮賢 Worthies in rituals
516-519 祭祀 Sacrifices
520-521 喪禮 Funeral rites
522 刑獄 Penal matters
523 田農 Agriculture
527 田稅,溝渠 Field tax, canals
528 堤堰,溝渠,陂防 Dams, canals, dykes
529 戸貫,帳籍 Household registers, personal registers
530-531 商賈 Merchants
532 封建,拜命,請命,職官 Investiture, reception of orders, asking for orders, state offices
533 為政 Government
534 縣令 District magistrates
535 縣令 曹官 小吏 District magistrates, sectional officials, petty functionaries
536 繼嗣,封襲共 Succession in noble ranks
537 襲封 孝感 Inheritance, filial emotions
538 孝感 Filial emotions
539 畋獵 Hunting
540 鹵簿,刻漏,印,鑑,枕,鈎 Insignia, water-clocks, seals, mirrors, pillows, hooks
541-542 軍令 Military commands
543 衣冠,扇,食 Robes and caps, fans, food
544 國城,官宅,牆井 City walls, mansions, walls and wells
545 關門,道路 Passes, roads
546 錢帛,玉璧,果木 Money, jewelry, plants
547 鳥獸 Beasts
548 易卜,疾病,占相,妖言,正夢 Divination by the Changes, disease, prosopomancy, curses, dreams
549 雜判 Miscellaneous judgments
550-552 雙關 Double meanings
553.-626. Biao Avowals
553 賀登極,賀郊禮 Congratulations for accession to the throne, for the suburban rituals
554-555 上尊號 Posthumous titles for members of the imperial house
556 封禪,明堂 The fengshan sacrifice, the Bright Hall
557 后妃,太子 Empresses and consorts, heir apparents
558-560 賀赦 Congratulations for amnesties
561-566 賀祥瑞 Congratulations for happy omina
567-568 賀㨗 Congratulations for defeating an enemy
569-570 雜賀 Miscellaneous congratulations
571 遷祔慰賀 Congratulations on the transfer of an ancestral tablet (?)
572-575 宰相讓官 Counsellors resigning from office
576 節察刺史讓官 Commissioners resigning from office
577 文官讓官 Civilian functionaries resigning from office
578 藩王讓官,雜讓附 Princes resigning from office, app. miscellaneous resignations
579 讓起復 Resignation with following reappointment
580-581 辭官 Refusal of taking office
582-584 宰相雜謝 Various refusals of Counsellors to take office
585-587 藩鎮謝官 Refusals of regional commanders to take office
588-590 公卿雜謝 Various refusals of ministers to take office
591 謝親屬加官 Refusal of the appointment of a kinsman
592 謝文章 Documents of refusal of an office
593 謝春冬衣,祿廩附 Refusal to accept spring and winter robes, app. [refusal of] salary
594 謝茶藥,果子,綵帛附 Refusal of tea, medicine, fruits, app. of silks
595-596 節朔謝物,宴賜附 Refusal of imperial gifts for holidays, app. gifts during banquets
597 謝追贈官喪塟 Refusal of posthumous presents and funeral honours
598 謝詔敕慰問 Refusals of edicts and ordinances concerning the extension of imperial regards
599 請聽政 Requests for audience
600 請勸進及封岳行幸 Requests for action (taking over the throne), investiture and inspection tours
601-602 陳情, 自叙附 Display of emotions, app. Author’s prefaces
603-604 請致仕, 謝表附 Requests for retirement, app. Memorials of refusals
605 太子公主上請,僧請附 Presentations by heir apparents and princesses, app. requests by Buddhist monks
606 請朝覲 Requests for court audience
607-609 雜上請 Various requests to the throne
610-611 進文章 Submission of documents
611 薦舉 Recommendation for promotion
612 進祥瑞 Presentations concerning happy omina
613 雜進奉,上禮食 Various presentations to the throne, imperial presentations of delicacies
614-616 邊防,屯田倉収附 Border defence, app. agro-colonies, granaries
617-619 刑法 Penal law
620 諫畋獵遊宴 Criticism of hunts, journey and banquets
621 諫營造,寺觀佛像都邑 Criticism of buildings and expenditure for monasteries
622 上封事 Sealed memorials
623-625 雜諫論 Various criticism and disputes
626 遺表 Posthumous memorials
627. Jian Memoranda
628.-644. Zhuang Descriptions
628-634 謝恩 Renouncement of imperial grace
635-637 Congratulations
638-639 薦舉 Recommendation for promotion
640-642 進貢 Presentation of tribute scholars
643 雜奏狀 Miscellaneous descriptions presented
644 陳情 Expression of emotions
645.-646. Xi Military proclamations
647.-648. 露布 Lubu Military announcements
649. 彈文 Tanwen "Touching matters" accusations
650. 移文 Yiwen Dispatches
651.-666. Qi Opening communications
651 諍諫 Remonstration
652 勸學,薦士,賀官,雜賀附 Encouragement of studies, recommendation for office, congratulation of office, app. Miscellaneous congratulations
653 謝官 Leave from office
654 謝辟署 Leave for the summer heat
655 謝賜賚,雜謝 Renunciation of presents, miscellaneous renouncements
656 謝叙文,賀詩 Relinquishment of meritorious listing, poems of congratulation
656-657 上文章 presented documents
658-664 投知 Immersion into knowledge
665-666 雜啓 Miscellaneous opening communications
667.-693. Shu Letters
667 太子諸王 Princes
667-669 宰相 Counsellors-in-chief
669-671 兆省 The Capital and provincial heads
671-672 節度,刺史附 Military commissioners, app. regional inspectors
672-673 首幕職 Military administrators
673 州縣 Prefectures and circuits
673-674 刑法 Penal law
675-676 諫諍 Remonstrations
677-679 贈荅 Answers to presents
679-681 文章 Writings and documents
682-684 邊防 Border defence
864 祥瑞, 醫藥 Omina and portents, medicine
685-686 勸諭 Admonishment by examples
686-687 宗親 Members of the imperial house
687-688 交友 Friends
688 道釋,隠逸附 Daoism and Buddhism, app. Hidden worthies
689-690 薦舉, 銓選附 Recommendation for promotion, app. selection of officials
690 經史 Classic texts
691-693 遷譴 Reprimands
693 雜書 Miscellaneous letters
694.-698. Shu Notes
694 封建行幸,邊防,書籍 Investitures and imperial tours, border defence, writings
695 直諫 Frank criticism
696 選舉 State examinations
697 刑法,貨殖 Penal law, commerce
698 貨殖,水旱,雜疏 Commerce, natural disasters, miscellaneous notes
699.-738. Xu Prefaces
699-707 文集 Anthologies of prose writings
708-711 遊宴 Travels and banquets
712-714 詩集 Anthologies of poetry
715-717 詩序 Poems
718-733 餞送 Wine presented at partings
734 贈别 Souvenirs presented at partings
735-738 雜序 Miscellaneous prefaces
739.-760. Lun Treatises
739 天道 The Way of Heaven
740 陰陽 Yin and Yang
741 封建 Investiture
742 Civilian matters
743 War
744 賢臣 Worthy ministers
745 臣道 The Way of the minister
746 政理 Politics and administration
747 釋,食貨 Buddhism, food and commerce
748 兄弟,賓友 Siblings, guests and friends
749 刑賞 Punishment and reward
750 醫卜相,時令 Medicine and prognostication, commands of the seasons
751-753 興亡 Flourishing and perishing
754-757 史論 Historiography
758-760 雜論 Miscellaneous treatises
761.-770. Yi Debates
761 封禪,郊祀,廟樂 The fengshan sacrifices, suburban sacrifices, temple music
762 明堂 The Bright Hall
763 宗廟 Ancestral temples
764 祭祀 Sacrifices
765 選舉 Selection of state officials
766 冠冕,經籍 Caps, canons and documents
767 喪服 Funeral robes
768 刑法 Penal lat
769 貨食,邊防 Commerce and food, border defence
770 雜議 Miscellaneous debates
771. 連珠 Lianzhu Compositions like "linked pearls"
771. 喻對 Yudui Parables
772.-779. Song Eulogies
772-774 帝徳 The virtuous power of the emperor
775-776 頌徳 Virtue
777-778 宮闕 Buildings
778-779 雜頌 Miscellaneous eulogies
780.-784. Zan Encomia
780 帝徳,聖賢 The virtuous power of the emperor, saints and worthies
781-783 佛像,道像附 Buddha images, app. Daoist images
783 寫真 Portraits
784 圖畫, 雜贊 Charts and paintings, miscellanous encomia
785.-790. Ming Inscriptions
785-786 紀徳, 塔廟, 畫像附 Records of virtue, pagodas and temples, app. images
787 山川 Mountains and rivers
788 樓觀,關防,橋梁 Storied buildings, border passes, bridges
789 器用 Tools and implements
790 雜銘 Miscellaneous inscriptions
791. Zhen Admonitions
795.-796. Zhuan Biographies
797.-834. Ji Notes
797-806 宮殿, 廳壁 Palace halls, bureaus and walls
807-808 公署 Office buildings
809 館驛 Public buildings and courier stations
809-810 樓,閣 Storied buildings
811 City walls
812 城門,水門,斗門,橋井 City gates and other gates, bridges and wells
813 河渠 Rivers and canals
814-815 祀廟 Shrines and temples
815 祈禱 Prayers
816 學校,講論 Schools, teaching and lecturing
817-820 釋氏 Buddhist affairs
822 觀,尊像,童子 Daoist monasteries, venerable images, novices
823-829 宴遊 Banquets and travels
830-831 紀事 Records of events
832 刻候,歌樂,圖畫 Time measuring, songs and music, charts and paintings
833 災祥,質疑,寓言 Diasters and omina, doubtful things, allegories
834 雜記 Miscellaneous notes
835.-839. 諡哀冊文 Shi'ai cewen Laments
840.-841. 諡議 Shiyi Laments
842.-843. Lei Dirges
844.-934. Bei Epitaphs
844 封禪 The fengshan sacrifices
845-847 Confucian scholars
848-849 Daoist masters
850-868 Buddhist masters
869-870 徳政 Virtuous rule
871-872 紀功 Records of merit
873 隠居,孝善 Hidden worthies, filial conduct
874 遺愛 Affection towards coming generations
875 Terraces
876 陵廟 Imperial mausolea and temples
877 祠堂 Shrines
878-879 祠廟 Temples
880-882 家廟 Private temples
883-934 神道 将相 Soul paths
935.-969. Zhi Memoirs
935 皇親 Emperors and kinsmen
936-938 宰相 High ministers
939-962 職官 State functionaries
963-969 婦人 Females
970. 墓表 Mubiao Grave memorials
971.-977. 行狀 Xingzhuang Conduct descriptions
978.-1000. 祭文 Jiwen Sacrificial texts
978-990 交舊 Old friends
991-994 親族 Kinsfolk
995-997 神祠 Shrines of spirits
998 古聖賢 Saints and worthies of old
999-1000 哀弔 Laments and commemorations
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