An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History and Literature

Jingji leibian 經濟類編

Nov 13, 2023 © Ulrich Theobald

Jingji leibian 經濟類編 is a statecraft encyclopaedia compiled during the high Ming period 明 (1368-1644) by Feng Qi 馮琦 (1559-1604), courtesy name Zhuo'an 琢庵 or Yongyun 用韞, from Linqu 臨朐, Shandong. 曾官少詹事、左侍郎、至禮部尚書, and participated in the compilation of the Da-Ming huidian 大明會典. His posthumous title is Feng Wenmingong 馮文敏公. His collected writings are called Beihai ji 北海集.

The encyclopaedia of 100 juan length is based on notes that Feng made while reading and studying. He then decided to bring them into a thematic order, with the Song-period 宋 (960-1279) book Cefu yuangui 冊府元龜 as a model. The Jingji leibian was thus created in order to bring together teachings on governance and administration. Feng's draft was divided roughly into four parts, when he passed away. His younger brother Feng Yuan 馮瑗 (1572-1627) and his colleagues Zhou Jiadong 周家棟 (jinshi degree 1589) and Wu Guangyi 吳光儀 continued with the work, revised and rearranged the source material, and created a more detailed system of 23 categories. While the Cefu yuangui had almost exclusively relied on historiographical material, the Jingji leibian also included statements from other types of writings. Yet the final book was not clear enough in its structure and concerning the sources and the difference between Feng Qi's original parts and those added later. Some parts of the book are even based on unscholarly sources.

It was nonetheless included in the imperial series Siku quanshu 四庫全書, for which a print of the Nanping Studio 南屏山 from 1604 served as the blueprint. A facsimile edition was published in 1968 by the Chengwen Press 成文出版社 in Taibei.

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