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Chinese Literature
Shi tong 十通 "The Ten Comprehensives"


The Shi tong 十通 "Ten comprehensives" is a collection of ten enyclopedias on statecraft written between the 9th and the late 18th centuries. Its constituents are three different types of encyclopedias with one model each for which several supplements were written in later ages. These are the Tongdian 通典 "Comprehensive statutes" written by the Tang period 唐 (618-907) scholar Du You 杜佑, the Tongzhi 通志 "Comprehensive treatises" by Zheng Qiao 鄭樵 from the Song period 宋 (960-1279), and the Wenxian tongkao 文獻通考 "Comprehensive researches based on literary and documentary sources" by Ma Duanlin 馬端臨, written during the Yuan period 元 (1279-1368). These three books are called the "three comprehensives" (santong 三通), yet their supplements are also sometimes given this title because they were compiled in the same period of time.
The first phase of extension work was undertaken during the Kangxi reign 康熙 (1662-1722) of the Qing period 清 (1644-1911). In that age the three "comprehensives" were extended until the beginning of the present dynasty. The second phase was during the Qianlong reign 乾隆 (1736-1795) when extensions were written that described the respective fields of statecraft as organised under the Qing dynasty. Only for the Wenxian tongkao further continuations were written, one during the Guangxu reign 光緒 (1875-1908) and a further, non-official version, during the Republican era. The extensions of the "three comprehensives" were compiled by a team of professional historiographers (guanxiu 官修 "done by the government") and are therefore not attributed to one single editor.
The last edition of the Shitong was made by the Zhejiang guji press 浙江古籍出版社 in 2000.
The "Ten Comprehensives" are:

十通 Shitong
(Rep.) 上海商務印書館 Shanghai Commercial Press (comp.)
書名, length in juan Title Author(s)
通典 二百卷
(附) 考證 一卷
Tongdian
app. Kaozheng
(Tang) 杜佑 Du You
(欽定)續通典 一百五十卷 Xu tongdian (Qing) official compilation
皇朝通典 (清朝通典, 清通典) 一百卷 Huangchao tongdian (Qingchao tongdian, Qing tongdian) (Qing) official compilation
通志 二百卷
(附) 考證 三卷
Tongzhi
app. Kaozheng
(Song) 鄭樵 Zheng Qiao
(欽定)續通志 六百四十卷 Xu tongzhi (Qing) official compilation
皇朝通志 (清朝通志, 清通志) 一百二十六卷 Huangchao tongzhi (Qingchao tongzhi, Qing tongzhi) (Qing) official compilation
文獻通考 三百四十八卷
(附) 考證 三卷
Wenxian tongkao
app. Kaozheng
(Yuan) 馬端臨 Ma Duanlin
(欽定)續文獻通考 二百五十卷 Xu wenxian tongkao (Qing) official compilation
皇朝文獻通考 (清朝文獻通考, 清文獻通考) 三百卷 Huangchao wenxian tongkao (Qingchao wenxian tongkao, Qing wenxian tongkao) (Qing) official compilation
皇朝續文獻通考 (清朝續文獻通考, 清續文獻通考) 四百卷 Huangchao xu wenxian tongkao (Qingchao xu wenxian tongkao, Qing xu wenxian tongkao) (Rep.) Liu Jinzao 劉錦藻
Shanghai tushuguan 上海圖書館 (ed. 1982), Zhongguo congshu zonglu 中國叢書綜錄, vol 1, pp. 681-682. Shanghai: Shanghai guji chubanshe.

Source: Endymion Wilkinson (2000, rev.). Chinese History: A Manual, p. 526. Cambridge, Mass./London: Harvard University Asia Center/Harvard University Press.
Chinese literature according to the four-category system

July 18, 2010 © Ulrich Theobald · Mail