An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History and Literature

Lidai zhidu xiangshuo 歷代制度詳說

Feb 5, 2011 © Ulrich Theobald

Lidai zhidu xiangshou 歷代制度詳說 "Detailed explanation of the political system through the ages" is an encyclopaedia written during the Song period 宋 (960-1279) by Lü Zuqian 呂祖謙 (1137-1181). Lü Zuqian was a famous writer and philosopher. Together with Zhu Xi 朱熹 (1130-1200) and Zhang Shi 張栻, he is called one of the three wises from the Southeast (Dongnan sanxian 東南三賢). He has written the collection Donglaiji 東萊集, the commentaries Chunqiu Zuoshizhuan shuo 春秋左氏傳說, Donglai Zuoshi boyi 東萊左氏博議, and the historical comments Dashiji 大事紀 and Lüshi zhidu shiji 呂氏家塾讀詩記, as well as the anthology Songwenjian 宋文鑒.

The 12-juan-long Lidai zhidu xiangshuo is divided into 15 chapters, dealing with various aspects of policy, with many examples from antiquity to the Song period. Lü Zuqian describes the practice of the various administrative aspects and then discusses their strengths and shortcomings. There is a preface by Peng Fei 彭飛 from 1326. There were many manuscripts in circulation, many of which suffer from clerical errors, so that is is difficult to reconstruct the original state of Lü's book.

The Lidai zhidu xiangshuo is included in the series Danshengtang yuyuan 淡生堂余苑 and Siku quanshu 四庫全書.

Table 1. Contents of the Lidai zhidu xiangshou 歷代制度詳說
1 科目 Examination system
2 學校 State schools
考績 Evaluation of merit
3 賦役 Tax and corvée labour
4 漕運 Transport of tribute grain
5 鹽法 Salt administration
6 酒禁 State monopoly on liquor
7 錢幣 Money
8 荒政 Disaster relief
9 田制 Field system
10 屯田 Military agro-colonies
11 兵制 Military system
12 馬政 Horse administration
祀事 Sacrificial affairs
Li Xueqin 李學勤, Lü Wenyu 呂文鬰, eds. (1996). Siku da cidian 四庫大辭典 (Changchun: Jilin daxue chubanshe), Vol. 2, 2039.
Pan Yinsheng 潘寅生, Guo Jinkui 郭建魁, eds. (1993). Zhonghua shehui kexue gongjushu cidian 中華社會科學工具書辭典 (Lanzhou: Gansu renmin chubanshe), 119.
Zhao Hankun 趙含坤 (2005). Zhongguo leishu 中國類書 (Shijiazhuang: Hebei renmin chubanshe), 105.