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Shizhoupian 史籀篇


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Shizhoupian 史籀篇 "The scribe's characters" is a said to be China's oldest character dictionary. There is a commentary written by the Republican period (1911-1949) scholar Wang Guowei 王國維, the Shizhoupian shuzheng 史籀篇疏證. The imperial bibliography Yiwen zhi 藝文志 in the official dynastic history Hanshu 漢書 says, the Shizhoupian was 15 chapters long. It was allegedly compiled during the reign of King Xuan 周宣王 (r. 827-782 BCE) of the Zhou dynasty 周 (11th cent.-221 BCE) and survived the literary inquisition of the First Emperor of Qin 秦始皇 (r. 246-210 BCE), hidden in the walls of the mansion of the Kong family 孔, descendants of Confucius. For a long time, the characters 史籀 were interpreted as the name of the compiler, a certain Shi Zhou. Wang Guowei found out that the characters of the Shizhoupian correspond to those common in the region of Qin 秦 in the west, and it must have been compiled during the end of the Warring States period 戰國 (5th cent.-221 BCE) in the state of Qin.
The Shizhoupian is only perserved in fragments, of which a collection is inclued in the collectaneum Guangcang xuequn congshu 廣倉學宭叢書 and Wang Guowei's literary remains, the Wang Zhongquegong yishu 王忠愨公遺書.


Source: Li Xueqin 李學勤, Lü Wenyu 呂文鬰 (ed. 1996), Siku da cidian 四庫大辭典 (Changchun: Jilin daxue chubanshe), Vol. 1, p. 750.

January 9, 2011 © Ulrich Theobald · Mail
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