An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History and Literature

Shiwen leiju 事文類聚

Dec 15, 2010 © Ulrich Theobald

Shiwen leiju 事文類聚 "Classified collection based on historical facts and on literature" is an encyclopaedia in four parts written during the Song period 宋 (960-1279) by Zhu Mu 祝穆 (1190-1256), courtesy name Hefu 和甫, Hefu 和父 or Bohe 伯和, style Zhangyin Laoren 樟隱老人, from Shexian 歙縣, Anhui, and author of the geographical book Fangyu shenglan 方輿勝覽.

During the Yuan period 元 (1279-1368), Fu Dayong 富大用 added two further parts, and Zhu Yuan 祝淵 a seventh part. Zhu Mu's original was finished in 1246, the first supplement by Fu Dayong in 1326. The first collection (qianji 前集) has a length of 60 juan, the second collection (houji 後集) 50 juan, the third collection (xuji 續集) 28 juan, and the fourth (bieji 別集) 32 juan, making a total of 170 juan. The "new collection" (xinji 新集) by Fu Dayong is 36-juan long, and his "outer collection" (waiji 外集) 15 juan. Zhu Yuan's collection of "left-overs" (yiji 遺集) is 15-fascicles long, and another, "miscellaneous collection" (zaji 雜集) 2 juan. All collections together, the so-called Gujin shiwen leiji 古今事文類聚, have thus a total size of 238 juan.

It is not known who first put the different collections together to one book. Apart from the Yiji collection, there are no overlapping themes, so that the books of Zhu Mu and Fu Dayong can indeed be seen as one, while Zhu Yuan's supplement mainly contributes sources left out in Fu's waji collection.

The special character of the Shiwen leiju collections is that they bring together facts from more or less scientific sources and the use of poems and prose literature. Each chapter is headed by a list of the sources used for the encyclopaedia, then follows a part dealing with the topic in factual matters (shishi 事實), and finally a part where literary sources (wenji 文集) are quoted. This is a pattern already used in the Tang-period 唐 (618-907) encyclopaedias Yiwen leiju 藝文類聚 and Chuxueji 初學記, but not in this systematic way. The last great encyclopaedia making use of this method is the Qing-period 清 (1644-1911) Gujin tushu jicheng 古今圖書集成.

The strong point of the Shiwen leiju is that it quotes full writings and not only sentences of paragraphs. Because of this method, many interesting old writings have survived, like Shu Xi's 束晰 (264-306) Bingfu 餅賦. Zhang Pu 張溥 (1602-1641) served himself of the Shiwen leiju for his anthology Baisanjia ji 百三家集.

There is a print produced in 1326 by the Wuxi Academy 武溪書院 which was reprinted in 1604 by Tang Fuchun 唐富春. In 1763, the Jixiu Studio 積秀堂 reprinted the edition containing all seven collections. The Shiwen leiju is included in the series Siku quanshu 四庫全書.

Table 1. Contents of the Shiwen leiju 事文類聚
前集 First Series
1-5 天道部 The Celestial way
6-12 天時部 The seasons
13-18 地理部 Geography
19-22 帝系部 The imperial houses
23-24 人道部 The human way
25-31 仕進部 Promotion of officials
32-33 退隱部 Hidden worthies
34-35 仙佛部 Daoists and Buddhists
36-37 民業部 Professions
38-42 技藝部 Skills
43 藝術部 The arts
44-46 樂生部 Joyful life
47 嬰疾部 Children and diseases
48 神鬼部 Deities and ghosts
49-60 喪事部 Funeral affairs
後集 Second Series
1-16 人倫部 Human relations
17 娼妓部 Singsong girls and actors
17 奴僕部 Servants and slaves
18-21 肖貌部 Physical appearance
22 穀菜部 Grains and vegetables
23 林木部 Trees
24 竹筍部 Bamboos
25-27 果實部 Fruits
28-32 花卉部 Flowers and plants
33-34 鱗蟲部 Fishes
35 介蟲部 Scaly animals
36-41 毛蟲部 Hairy animals
42-47 羽蟲部 Feathered animals
48-50 蟲豸部 Worms and insects
續集 Continued Series
1-11 居處部 Buildings
12 香茶部 Fragrances and teas
13-15 燕飲部 Banquets and drinking
16-17 食物部 Food
18 燈火部 Lamps and fire
19 朝服部 Court robes
20 冠履部 Caps and shoes
21 衣衾部 Clothing and eating
22-23 樂器部 Musical instruments
24 歌舞部 Song and dance
25 璽印部 National seals
26 珍寶部 Jewels and precious stones
27-28 器用部 Tools and implements
別集 Separate Series
1-4 儒學部 Confucianism and scholarship
5-11 文章部 Literature
12-13 書法部 Calligraphy
14 文房四友部 The four friends of the study
15 禮樂部 Rituals and music
16-21 性行部 Human character and comportment
22 仕進部 Promotion of officials
23-32 人事部 Human affairs
新集 New Series
1-2 三師部 The Three Preceptors
3 三公部 The Three Dukes
4 省官部 Officials of the (Three) Departments
5-7 都省部 The (Three) Departments in the capital city
8-9 省屬部 Agencies subordinated to the (Three) Departments
10-16 六曹部 The Six Sections
17 樞密院部 Shumiyuan The Bureau of Military Affairs
18 御史臺部 The Censorate
19-25 諸院部 The various offices
26-28 諸寺部 The various courts
29-34 諸監部 The various directorates
35 殿司部 The palace bureaus
36 諸庫局部 The various storehouses and services
外集 Outer Series
1-2 東宮官部 The officials of the Eastern Palace (of the Heir Apparent)
3 睦親府部 The hostels for the imperial clansmen
4 王府官部 The officials in the princely establishments
5 節使部 The commissioners
6 統軍司部 The army commanders
7-8 諸使司部 The various commissioners (?)
9 諸提舉部 The various supervisorates
10-13 路官部 Officials of the circuits (provinces)
14-15 縣官部 Officials of the districts
遺集部 Residual Series
1 三師部遺 The Three Preceptors (2)
樞密院部 The Bureau of Military Affairs (2)
2 省官部遺 Officials of the (Three) Departments (2)
3 諸院部遺 The various offices (2)
4 東宮官部[遺] The officials of the Eastern Palace (2)
5 國史院部遺 The Historiography Academy (2)
六曹部遺 The Six Sections (2)
6 寺監部遺 Courts and directorates [2]
7 省屬部遺 Agencies subordinated to the (Three) Departments (2)
8 封爵部遺 Titles of nobility
王府官部 The officials in the princely establishment (2)
9 節使部遺 Commissioners (2)
10 殿司部遺 The palace bureaus (2)
總軍司部遺 General supervisors of the army (?)
11 府司部遺 Ministerial supervisors (?)
12 監司部遺 Circuit supervisors
13 諸提舉部遺 The various supervisorates (2)
14-15 路官部遺 Officials of the circuits (2)
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