An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History and Literature

Shantang sikao 山堂肆考

Feb 7, 2011 © Ulrich Theobald

Shantang sikao 山堂肆考 "Extended investigations of the Mountain Hall" is an encyclopaedia compiled during the Ming period 明 (1368-1644) by Peng Dayi 彭大翼, courtesy name Yunju 雲舉 or Yihe 一鶴, from Lüsi 呂四 (today part of Qidong 啟東, Jiangsu).

The book of 228 juanlength (with a supplement of 12 juan) was finished in 1595. It was soon lost but could be reconstructed by Zhang Youxue 張幼學, who published it in 1619.

The book is divided into five parts or collections (ji 集) called according to the five notes of traditional Chinese music (gong 宮, shang 商, jue 角 [a special reading], zhi 徵 [a special reading], and yu 羽). It includes 45 chapters covering various topics following the traditional encyclopaedic sections. For each sub-chapter, the compiler has written a short introduction including a list of reference books. The Shantang sikao is based on a large amount of sources, ranging from the Confucian Classics and the histories to anthologies and belles-lettres. The arrangement is very clear, and for each paragraph quoted, the sources are indicated – except some rare examples of negligence. Informations on the state offices, family relationship, or eating and drinking, for example, are distributed over different chapters.

The Shantang sikao was first printed in 1595 by Zhou Xian's 周顯 Jinling Studio 金陵書林 and then in 1619 by Mei Ye's 梅墅 Shiqu Studio 石渠閣. During the Qing period 清 (1644-1911), it was printed by the Wenjin Studio 文錦堂. It is included in the series Siku quanshu 四庫全書.

Table 1. Contents of the Shantang sikao 山堂肆考
宮集 Section Gong "Do"
1-6 天文 Astronomy
7-14 時令 The seasons
13-32 地理 Geography
33-37 君道 The way of the ruler
38-41 帝屬 Imperial affairs
42-48 臣職 State offices A
商集 Section Shang "Re"
49-80 臣職 State offices B
81-82 仕進 Official career
83-85 科第 State examinations
86 學校 Schools
87-90 政事 Governance
91-96 親屬 Relatives A
角集 Section Jue "Mi"
97-100 親屬 Relatives B
101-112 人品 Humankind
113-114 形貌 Shape, complexion, comportment
115-120 性行 Human nature
121-132 文學 Literature
133 字學 Scholarship
134-135 謚法 Posthumous titles
136-141 人事 Human affairs
142-143 誕育 Education
144 民業 Professions
徵集 Section Zhi "Fa
145-147 釋教 Buddhism
148 道教 Daoism
149 神祇 Gods and spirits
150 僊教 Immortals
151 鬼怪 Spectres and ghosts
152-158 典禮 Rituals
159-163 音樂 Music
164-169 技藝 Skills and arts
170-174 宮室 Palaces and buildings
175-183 器用 Tools and utensils
184-186 珍寶 Jewelry
187 幣帛 Money
188-190 衣服 Clothing
191-192 飲食 Drinking and eating A
羽集 Section Yu "Sol"
193-194 飲食 Drinking and eating B
195 百穀 The hundred grains
196 蔬菜 Vegetables
197-201 花品 Flowers
202-203 草卉 Grasses
204-208 果品 Fruits
209-210 樹木 Trees
211-216 羽蟲 Feathered animals
217-222 毛蟲 Hairy animals
223-224 鱗蟲 Scaly animals
225 甲蟲 Insects
226-228 昆蟲 Worms
229-240 補遺 Supplement
Cheng Shiyong 程時用 (2014). "Cong Shantang sikao kan Peng Dayi dui Yan Zhitui sixiang de jieshou 從《山堂肆考》看彭大翼對顏之推思想的接受", Honghe Xueyuan xuebao 紅河學院學報, 2014 (1): 58-59+63.
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, 2048.
Pan Yinsheng 潘寅生, Guo Jiankui 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), 688.
Qiu Xiaogang 邱曉剛 (2002). "Xiubu Shantang sikao yi de 修補《山堂肆考》一得", Jiangsu Tushuguan xuebao 江蘇圖書館學報, 2002 (1): 40-41.
Wu Feng 吳楓, ed. (1987). Jianming Zhongguo guji cidian 簡明中國古籍辭典 (Changchun: Jilin wenshi chubanshe), 50.
Zhao Hankun 趙含坤, ed. (2005). Zhongguo leishu 中國類書 (Shijiazhuang: Hebei renmin chubanshe), 246-247.