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Chinese Literature
Beihulu 北戶錄

The Four Categories of Literature
Beihulu 北戶錄 "Records of the Northern Seats" is a description of plants, animals and local customs of southern China (the region of Lingnan 嶺南) written by Duan Gonglu 段公路 during the Tang period 唐 (618-907). Cui Gui 崔龜 has added illustrations and comments. The term "Beihu" is an abbreviation of the place name Beixianghu 北嚮戶 "places of northern echoes", a collective designation of five mountains in the area of the provinces of Hunan, Jiangxi, Guilin and Guangdong. The book Beihulu is 3 juan "scrolls" long and was finished in 871. The Beihulu is not only descriptive but Duan Gonglu also quotes older sources. He informs about more than 20 different plants and more than 20 animals which were typical of the region and not to be found in other places of China, like the rhinozeros, or lychees.
The Beihulu is included in many reprint series, both printed and as fakcimile manuscripts.


Sources: Liu Changzhi 劉昌芝 (1993), "Beihulu tiyao 北戶錄提要", in Ren Jiyu 任繼愈, Gou Cuihua 茍萃華 (ed.), Zhongguo kexue jishu dianji tonghui 中國科學技術典籍通彙, Shengwu juan 生物卷 (Zhengzhou: Henan jiaoyu chubanshe), Vol. 1, p. 69.

October 23, 2010 © Ulrich Theobald · Mail
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