- An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History, Literature and Art
About [Location: HOME > Literature > Four Categories > Historiography > Geography > Chang'anzhi]

Chinese Literature
Chang'anzhi 長安志

The Four Categories of Literature
Chang'anzhi 長安志 "Records of Chang'an" is a gazetteer-style description of the old capital Chang'an (modern Xi'an 西安, Shaanxi), its palaces, markets and wards, as well as of the districts surrounding Chang'an. It was written by the Northern Song period 北宋 (960-1126) scholar Song Minqiu 宋敏求 and is 20 juan "scrolls" long. Song Minqiu was a historian who had taken part in the compilation of the veritable records (shilu 實錄) of Emperor Wuzong 唐武宗 (r. 840-846) and of the Tang dynasty 唐 (618-907), and the Tang da zhaoling ji 唐大詔令集, a collection of edicts and memorials from the Tang period 唐 (618-907). He also took part in the compilation of the Xintangshu 新唐書, the new official dynastic history of the Tang dynasty. Two of his local gazetters, the Henanzhi 河南志 in 20 juan and the Dongjingji 東京記 in 3 juan are lost. Only the Chang'anzhi had survived.
Chang'an had been the imperial capital during the Western Han 前漢 (206 BCE-8 CE) and the Tang periods but the region had been the core also of the Western Zhou 西周 (11th cent.-770 BC) and the Qin 秦 (221-206 BC) empires. The area was therefore of course of great interest, and the early Tang scholar Wei Shu 韋述 had written a "New book of the two capitals [Chang'an and Luoyang 洛陽]" Liangjing xinji 兩京新記, which Song Minqiu used as the main source for his book. Wei's book is only preserved in fragments and was not as detailed as the Chang'anzhi. Song Minqiu also delivered a chronological overview of the capital region, from ancient times to the end of the Tang period.
The Yuan period 元 (1279-1368) scholar Luo Tianxiang 駱天驤 wrote a supplement to it, describing the region in later times down to his own. His book is called Leibian Chang'anzhi 類編長安志, in 10 juan. During the Qing period 清 (1644-1911) Xu Song 徐松 wrote a book about the two cities of Chang'an (in his time the city of Chang'an "Everlasting peace" was renamed Xi'an 西安 "Western pacification") and Luoyang, the Tang liang jing chengfang kao 唐兩京城防考, for which he used the Chang'anzhi and its Yuan period supplement.
The original print from the Song period is lost. The oldest extant prints are from the Ming period 明 (1368-1644) when it was printed together with Li Haowen's 李好文 Chang'an tuzhi 長安圖志 from the Yuan period. This version includes many errors and some street names are missing, and inspite of a revision the Qing period scholar Bi Yuan 畢沅 was not able to create a perfect version. At least some missing information can be reconstructed from Luo Tianxiang's supplement.

縂序 Zongxu Summary
分野 Fenye Geography
土產 Tuchan Local products
土貢 Tugong Local tributes
風俗 Fengsu Habits and customs
四至 Sizhi Geography and neighbouring regions
管縣戶口 Guanxian, hukou District administration and households
雜制 Zazhi Miscellaneous regulations
雍州 Yongzhou The province of Yongzhou
京都 Jingdu The capital
京兆尹 Jingzhao yin The capital magistrate
府縣官 Fuxian guan Offices for local administration
宮室 Gongshi Palaces
唐皇城 Tang huangcheng The imperial ["forbidden"] city during the Tang period
唐京城 Tang jingcheng The capital city during the Tang period
Xian Districts

Source: Huang Yongnian 黃永年 (1992), "Chang'anzhi 長安志", in Zhongguo da baike quanshu 中國大百科全書, Zhongguo lishi 中國歷史 (Beijing/Shanghai: Zhongguo da baike quanshu chubanshe), Vol. 1, p. 76.

July 6, 2010 © Ulrich Theobald · Mail
Chinese Literature over time