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Chinese Literature
Bianjing yiji zhi 汴京遺跡志


The Four Categories of Literature
Bianjing yiji zhi 汴京遺跡志 "Records of remnants of the Capital Bian" is a description of Kaifeng 開封 (modern Kaifeng, Henan), ancient capital of the Northern Song empire 北宋 (960-1126). The 24 juan "scrolls" long Yijizhi was compiled by the Ming period 明 (1368-1644) writer Li Lian 李濂 (1489-1566), courtesy name Li Chuanfu 李川父. He came from Xiangfu 祥符 (the Ming period name for Kaifeng) and served as prefect (zhizhou 知州) of Mianyang 沔陽, later as assistant surveillance commissioner (anchasi qianshi 按察司僉事) and education intendant (tixue 提學) of the province of Shanxi. In 1526 he retired and started compiling his book on Kaifeng. The Yijizhi is divided into eight chapters and describes the capital itself, the state offices of the central and the local government, mountains and hills in the environment, rivers and canals, palaces and halls, Buddhist monasteries and Daoist temples, shrines and popular temples, writings of local scholars, and miscellaneous matters. For his book, Li Lian made use of a lot of older sources. It is therefore an important source on historical geography and of the history of Kaifeng from the Song to the Ming period. A lot of information provided in Li Lian's book is not included in the official dynastic histories (zhengshi 正史), which makes it a valuable supplement of official historiography.
It is included in the imperial collectaneum Siku quanshu 四庫全書. A facsimile of the 1546 edition was was published in 1959 by the Zhongguo shudian press 中國書店.


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Sources: Li Xueqin 李學勤, Lü Wenyu 呂文鬰 (ed. 1996), Siku da cidian 四庫大辭典 (Changchun: Jilin daxue chubanshe), Vol. 1, p. 1296.

April 3, 2012 © Ulrich Theobald · Mail
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