An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History, Literature and Art

Chang'an zhitu 長安志圖

Apr 3, 2012 © Ulrich Theobald

Chang'an zhitu 長安志圖 "Illustrated record of Chang'an", original title Chang'an tuji 長安圖記, is a history of Chang'an (modern Xi'an 西安, Shaanxi) written during the Yuan period 元 (1279-1368) by Li Haowen 李好文 (jinshi degree 1321), courtesy name Weizhong 惟中, from Daming 大名 (today's Dongming 東明, Shandong).

The 3-juan long book was finished in 1344 and presents a richly illustrated account of the history of the ancient capital of China. It describes the metropolitan region of the Han 漢 (206 BCE-220 CE) and Tang 唐 (618-907) periods, the capital with the city wall, the palaces and markets, temples, parks and canals, the imperial tomb mounds, commanderies and districts. It is a very valuable book because it is one of the few old descriptions of Chang'an providings maps and can therefore supplement other writings, like Song Minqiu's 宋敏求 (1019-1079) Chang'an zhi 長安志 or Cheng Dachang's 程大昌 (1123-1195) Yonglu 雍錄.

Figures 1-3. Illustrations from the Chang'an zhitu 長安志圖
Figure 1. Drawing of Han-period Chang'an, showing the relative locations of palaces, instituations (like the National University 太學, the Biyong School 辟雍, and the Mingtang Hall 明堂 in the north of the city [bottom of the map] or the National Granary 太倉 in the west [right]) gates, canals, and River Wei 渭水. Seen from the north. Siku quanshu edition.
Figure 2. Drawing of the imperial summer abodes at the foot of Mt. Lishan 驪山 during Tang-period Chang'an.
Figure 3. Drawing of the imperial mausoleum of Emperor Gaozong (Tang Qianling 唐乾陵) of the Tang, with the surrounding park, and the spirit way (shendao 神道) with stone figures of lions and foreign emissaries (fanqiu 番酋) paying reverence to the soul of the emperor. Print by the studio Lingyan Shanguan 靈巖山館 from 1784.

The Chang'an zhitu was first printed in 1468, and then again in 1778 as part of the imperial series Siku quanshu 四庫全書. It is also included in the modern series Zhongguo fangzhi congshu 中國方志叢書.

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Hang Daoli 黄道立 (1992). "Chang'an zhi 長安志", in Zhongguo da baike quanshu 中國大百科全書, Dili 地理 (Beijing/Shanghai: Zhongguo da baike quanshu chubanshe), 28.
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Zhou Weizhou 周偉洲, Ding Jingtai 丁景泰, ed. (2006). Sichou zhi lu da cidian 絲綢之路大辭典 (Xi'an: Shaanxi renmin chubanshe), 772.