An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History and Literature

Han Ganquan Gong waji 漢甘泉宮瓦記

Mar 19, 2024 © Ulrich Theobald

Han Ganquan Gong waji 漢甘泉宮瓦記 is a brief study on an inscribed tile found in the remains of Ganquan Palace 甘泉宮 of the Han dynasty 漢 (206 BCE-220 CE) in Luoyang 洛陽, Henan. The essay was written by Lin Ji 林佶 (1660-1723), courtesy name Jiren 吉人, style Luyuan 鹿原, from Houguan 侯官 (today's Minhou 閩侯, Fujian). He obtained the juren degree in 1675 and served in the Hall of Military Glory (Wuying Dian 武英殿). In 1712, he was granted the jinshi degree on imperial grace and was appointed secretary in the Grand Secretariat (neige zhongshu 內閣中書). His collected writings are called Puxuezhai ji 樸學齋集.

The brief text is a scholarly description of a tile that the author's brother Lin Tong 林侗 found or received in Shimen 石門, Shaanxi. A large inscription on the is interpreted as the words "unending longevity" (changsheng weiyang 長生未央). It is similar to rubbings of inscriptions on other Han-period objects.

The text is found in the series Zhaodai congshu 昭代叢書.

Figure 1. Han-period tile investigated by Lin Ji
The text first gives the dimensions of the tile, and then presents an illustration of it. It had a diameter of little more than 5 inches

Lin's text not the oldest description of a Han-period tile. Earlier descriptions are found in Huang Bosi's 黃伯思 (1079-1118) Dongguan yulun 東觀餘論, the anonymous Xu kaogutu 續考古圖, Li Haowen's 李好文 (jinshi degree 1321) Chang'an zhitu 長安志圖 or Wang Yi's 王褘 (1322-1374) collected writings Wang Zhongwengong ji 王忠文公集.

Other Qing-period 清 (1644-1911) reports are Zhu Feng's 朱楓 Qin-Han wa tuji 秦漢瓦圖記, Cheng Dun's 程敦 (fl. 1785) Qin-Han wadang wenzi 秦漢瓦當文字, Bi Yuan's 畢沅 (1730-1797) Qin-Han wadang tu 秦漢瓦當圖, Chen Guangning's 陳廣寧 (d. 1814) Hangong wadang 漢宮瓦當, Wang Futian's 王福田 Zhuli wadang wencun 竹里瓦當文存, Qian Dian's 錢玷 Hanwa tulu 漢瓦圖錄, Wang Xianzhou's 王仙洲 Guwa huitu 古瓦彙圖, Wu Yin's 吳隱 (1867-1922) Zhu'an wadang cun 逐庵瓦當存, Huang Zhonghui's 黃中慧 Qingui wadang wenchao 琴歸瓦當文鈔, Luo Zhenyu's 羅振玉 (1866-1940) Qin-Han wadang wenzi 秦漢瓦當文字, He Sui's 何遂 Huiyuan cangwa 澮園藏瓦 and Wang Xiang's 王襄 (1876-1965) Guishi gutong 簋室古筩, as well as in other general works on antiques.

Li Xueqin 李學勤, Lü Wenyu 呂文郁, ed. (1996). Siku da cidian 四庫大辭典 (Changchun: Jilin daxue chubanshe), Vol. 2, 1860.
Zhang Yonglu 張永祿, ed. (1993). Handai Chang'an cidian 漢代長安詞典 (Xi'an: Shaanxi renmin chubanshe), 557.