An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History, Literature and Art

Qinbian jilüe 秦邊紀略

Sep 24, 2019 © Ulrich Theobald

Qinbian jilüe 秦邊紀略, also called Xichui jinlüe 西陲今略, is a book on west China written in 1691 by Liang Fen 梁份 (c. 1640-1702), courtesy name Zhiren 質人, from Nanfeng 南豐, Jiangxi.

The book of 6 juan length focuses on defence and mainly describes military garrisons, geography and local populations related to military strategy. The geography is the guideline of the chapters, while topology, defence structure and civilian administration are subordinated. Of particular interest is the description of relay stations between the Jiayu Pass 嘉峪關 and Hami and between the Jiayu Pass and Chijin 赤金, their distance to each other, and their facilities.

11 maps are inserted before the main text, which consists of ten parts, describing the defence structure of the jurisdiction of the garrisons of Hezhou 河州(衛), Xining 西寧衛, Zhuanglang 莊浪衛, Liangzhou 涼州衛, Ganzhou 甘州衛, Suzhou 肅州衛, Jingyuan 靖遠衛, Ningxia 寧夏衛, Suiyuan 延綏衛, and Hetao 河套. The book ends with brief descriptions of the Yellow River bend, the "outer territories" (waijiang 外疆), and the local tribes or the Ordos, Mongolia, and the western region (the later Xinjiang). Quite valuable is the biography of the Oyirad leader Galdan (Ch. Ga'erdan 嘎爾旦 or 噶爾丹, 1632 or 1644-1697).

The book was circulating as a manuscript and reprinted several times, for instance, in 1872 by Wu Shen 吳坤. It is included in the series Guanzhong congshu 關中叢書 and the collection Huihua ji 灰畫集. In 1987 the Zhao Shisheng 趙盛世, Wang Zizhen 王子貞, and Chen Xiyi 陳希夷 published a modern, annotated edition.

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Gao Wende 高文德, ed. (1995). Zhongguo shaoshu minzu shi da cidian 中國少數民族史大辭典 (Changchun: Jilin jiaoyu chubanshe), 1798.
Shaanxi baike quanshu bianweihui 《陜西百科全書》編委會, ed. (1992). Shaanxi baike quanshu 陜西百科全書 (Xi'an: Shaanxi renmin jiaoyu chubanshe), 366.
Yuan Mingren 袁明仁 et al., ed. (1992). Sanqin lishi wenhua cidian 三秦历史文化辞典 (Xi'an: Shaanxi renmin jiaoyu chubanshe ), 121.
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 ), 783.