An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History and Literature

Xian-Qin Han Wei Jin Nanbeichao shi 先秦漢魏晉南北朝詩

Aug 22, 2022 © Ulrich Theobald

Xian-Qin Han Wei Jin Nanbeichao shi 先秦漢魏晉南北朝詩 is a complete collection of poems from high antiquity to the beginning of the Tang period 唐 (618-907). The collection was compiled by Lu Qinli 逯欽立 (1910-1973), courtesy name Zhuoting 卓亭, from Juye 鉅野, Shandong. He was Professor of Chinese Language and Literature at the Northeast Normal School (Dongbei Shifan Daxue 東北師范大學) in Changchun 長春, Jilin.

Lu was inspired to begin this complete, critical collection because older compilations like Feng Weine’s 馮惟訥 Gushiji 詩紀 or Ding Fubao’s 丁福保 Quan Han Sanguo Jin Nanbeichao shi 全漢三國晉南北朝詩 suffered from critical shortcomings, superficial collation and gaps.

Lu consulted nearly 300 sources and critically commented all poems of the collection by basing on earlier commentaries like Feng Shu’s 馮舒 (1593-1649) Shiji kuangmiu 詩紀匡謬. Lu was thus able to point out many errors which Ding had perpetuated, like the wrong attribution of poems to Su Wu 蘇武 (140-60 BCE) or Li Ling 李陵 (d. 74 BCE). Quite important is that Lu noted down the source of each poem.

The collection of 135 juan length is arranged chronologically and divided into several collections following the sequence of dynasties. Yet each collection adopts a traditional pattern by listing all poems of emperors and rulers first, before commoners are presented.

Lu Qinli assembled the complete surviving poems, proverb and popular songs (yaoyan 謠諺), but leaves out the Classic Shijing 詩經 "Book of Songs" and the collection of "Southern Poetry”, Chuci 楚辭.

The collection was published in 1983 by the Zhonghua Shuju 中華書局.

Table 1. Contents of the Quan Han Sanguo Jin Nanbeichao shi 全漢三國晉南北朝詩
先秦詩 七卷 Xianqinshi pre-Qin (mainly Zhou)
漢詩 十二卷 Hanshi Han
魏詩 十二卷 Weishi (Cao)-Wei
晉詩 二十一卷 Jinshi Jin
宋詩十二卷 Songshi (Liu)-Song
齊詩七卷 Qishi (Southern) Qi
梁詩 三十卷 Liangshi Liang
北魏詩 四卷 Beiweishi Northern Wei
北齊詩 四卷 Beiqishi Northern Qi
北周詩 六卷 Beizhoushi Northern Zhou
陳詩 十卷 Chenshi Chen
隋詩 十卷 Suishi Sui
Wu Feng 吳楓, ed. (1994). Zhonghua gu wenxian da cidian 中華古文獻大辭典, Vol. Wenxue 文學卷 (Changchun: Jilin wenshi chubanshe), 234.
Xu Yimin 許逸民 (1986). "Xian-Qin Han Wei Jin Nanbeichao shi 先秦漢魏晉南北朝詩", in Zhongguo da baike quanshu 中國大百科全書, part Zhongguo wenxue 中國文學 (Beijing/Shanghai: Zhongguo da baike quanshu chubanshe), Vol. 2, 1013.