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Shisanzhou ji 十三州記

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Shisanzhou ji 十三州記 or Shisanzhou zhi 十三州志 "Records of the Thirteen Provinces" is a geographic treatise written by the Northern Wei period 北魏 (386-534) scholar Kan Yan 闞駰, courtesy name Kan Xuanyin 闞玄陰. He came from Dunhuang 敦煌 (modern Dunhuang, Gansu) and was a professor for the Confucian Classics under Juqu Mengxun 沮渠蒙遜 (r. 400-432), ruler of the Northern Liang empire 北涼 (398-439/460), before the latter was conquered by the Northern Wei.
His geography follows the Han period 漢 (206 BCE-220 CE) designations of geography. It was originally 10 juan "scrolls" long, but the imperial bibliographies in the official dynastic histories Suishu 隋書 and Xintangshu 新唐書 speak of 14 juan. The geographic descriptions were based on the same source as that of the chapter on administrative geography (Dili zhi) in the official history Weishu 魏書. The cover the provinces (zhou 州), commanderies (jun 郡) and districts (xian 縣) of the Han and Jin 晉 (265-420) empires, which means that they surpass the borders oft he Northern Wei empire and include the regions of southern China that were reigned by the Southern Dynasties 南朝 (420~589). The book describes the rivers and mountains, the population, their culture and customs. The statements about southern China are based on older texts and do not correspond to contemporary facts, and information about the southern provinces is much shorter than that for the northern parts of China.
The original text was lost soon. The Qing period 清 (1644-1911) scholar Zhang Shu 張澍 has collected 290 fragments quoted in the commentary to the history Houhanshu 後漢書, the geography Shuijingzhu 水經注, and the encyclopaedias Chuxueji 初學記 from the Tang period 唐 (618-907) and Taiping yulan 太平御覽 from the Song period 宋 (960-1279), and the geography Taiping huanyu ji 太平寰宇記, and other books. They are to be found in the reprint series Eryoutang congshu 二酉堂叢書.
Another collection of 240 fragments is to be found in Wang Mo's 王謨 collection Han-Tang dili shuchao 漢唐地理書鈔. Wang Mo found fragments in some of the above-quoted books, as well as in the commentaries to the Shiji 史記 and Hanshu 漢書 and the history Lushi 路史.

Source: Wang Zhaoming 王兆明, Fu Langyun 傅朗云 (ed. 1991), Zhonghua gu wenxian da cidian 中華古文獻大辭典, Dili 地理卷 (Jilin: Changchun wenshi chubanshe), p. 1.

October 19, 2013 © Ulrich Theobald · Mail
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