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Shisanjing zhushu 十三經注疏

Jan 18, 2013 © Ulrich Theobald

Shisanjing zhushu 十三經注疏 "Commentaries and explanations to the Thirteen Classics" is an edition of the Thirteen Confucian Classics (Shisanjing 十三經) that includes all relevant commentaries from the Han 漢 (206 BCE-220 CE), Tang 唐 (618-907) and Qing 清 (1644-1911) periods. It was compiled by the scholar Ruan Yuan 阮元 (1764-1849) and has a length of 416 juan.

The book came into being when Ruan Yuan had founded the Xuehai Hall 學海堂 in Guangzhou, where he had the Xuetaitang jingjie 學海堂經解 published (better known as Huang-Qing jingjie 皇清經解), a collection of explanations to the Classics, and the Shisanjing zhushu.

The various commentary layers to the Thirteen Classics were in ancient times mostly published separately. Only from the Southern Song period 南宋 (1127-1279) on, editors began publishing printed versions of the Classics that included more than one commentary layer. The oldest print of this type was published by Huang Tang 黃唐 during the Shaoxi reign-period 紹熙 (1190-1194). His Shisanjing zhushu 十三經注疏 had a length of 352 juan, and each half-page included ten columns with 27 characters per column.

The Song edition (Songben 宋本) was revised during the Zhengde reign-period 正德 (1506-1521) of the Ming period 明 (1368-1644) and republished by Li Yuanyang 李元陽 (1497-1580), with nine columns per page à 21 characters. This edition is known as the Fujian edition (Minben 閩本) that was published during the Jiajing reign-period 嘉靖 (1522-1566). During the Wanli reign-period 萬曆 (1573-1619) another edition was published by the Directorate of the Northern Palace (Beijian 北監), which is therefore known as the Northern Directorate edition (Beijianben 北監本). Compared to the Fujian edition it was somewhat shorter (only 333 juan), but in the same setting.

In the last decade of the Ming period, Mao Jin 毛晉 (1599-1659) published a further edition with a length of 334 juan which is known as the Jiguge edition 汲古閣本, named after Mao's study. It is of an inferior quality and was therefore not used by the Hall of Military Glory (Wuyingdian 武英殿). The imperial printing shop preferred the Beijian edition, but this version included some sentences not found in other editions.

Ruan Yuan's family was in possession of an original Song-period print. For some texts, he preferred other editions, like the editions of the Yili 儀禮 and Erya 爾雅 with shu 疏 commentary published during the Northern Song period 北宋 (960-1126) in Suzhou 蘇州, as well as two shu commentaries of the same books that were in possession of the collector Huang Pilie 黃丕烈 (1763-1825). Ruan Yuan made also use of a commented edition of eleven classics owned by Hu Ji 胡稷 (1765-1823). His republishing of the Song-period Shisanjing zhushu is rated as of superior quality. All texts and commentaries are enriched by a critial commentary (jiaokanji 校勘記).

The Shisanjing zhushu was republished as a facsimile edition during the Republican period by the Shijie Press 世界書局. In 1980 the Zhonghua Book Company 中華書局 had this edition republished in a downscaled version, but only after some textual corrections. This edition also includes Ye Shaojun's 葉紹鈞 (1894-1988) index Shisanjing suoyin 十三經索引 that was had originally been published in 1934 by the Kaiming Press 開明書店.

Table 1. The series Shisanjing zhushu 十三經注疏
(Qing) 阮元 Ruan Yuan (comp.)
書名, length in juan Title Author(s)
周易正義 十卷 Zhouyi zhengyi (Wei) 王弼 Wang Bi, 韓康伯 Han Kangbo (zhu 注)
(Tang) 孔穎達 Kong Yingda etc. (zhengyi 正義)
尚書正義 二十卷 Shangshu zhengyi (Han) 孔安國 Kong Anguo (transm.)
(Tang) 孔穎達 Kong Yingda etc. (zhengyi 正義)
毛詩正義 二十卷 Maoshi zhengyi (Han) 毛公 Mao Gong (transm.)
(Han) 鄭玄 Zheng Xuan (jian 箋)
(Tang) 孔穎達 Kong Yingda etc. (zhengyi 正義)
周禮注疏 四十二卷 Zhouli zhushu (Han) 鄭玄 Zheng Xuan (zhu 注)
(Tang) 賈公彥 Jia Gongyan (shu 疏)
儀禮注疏 五十卷 Yili zhushu (Han) 鄭玄 Zheng Xuan (zhu 注)
(Tang) 賈公彥 Jia Gongyan (shu 疏)
禮記正義 六十二卷 Liji zhengyi (Han) 鄭玄 Zheng Xuan (zhu 注)
(Tang) 孔穎達 Kong Yingda etc. (zhengyi 正義)
春秋左傳正義 六十卷 Chunqiu Zuozhuan zhengyi (Jin) 杜預 Du Yu (zhu 注)
(Tang) 孔穎達 Kong Yingda etc. (zhengyi 正義)
春秋公羊傳注疏 二十八卷 Chunqiu Gongyangzhuan zhushu (Han) 何休 He Xiu (zhu 注)
(Tang) 徐彥 Xu Yan (shu 疏)
春秋穀梁傳注疏 二十卷 Chunqiu Guliangzhuan zhushu (Jin) 范甯 Fan Ning (zhu 注)
(Tang) 楊士勳 Yang Shixun (shu 疏)
論語注疏 二十卷 Lunyu zhushu (Wei) 何晏 He Yan et al. (zhu 注)
(Song) 邢昺 Xing Bing (shu 疏)
孝經注疏 九卷 Xiaojing zhushu (Tang) 玄宗 Emperor Xuanzong (zhu 注)
(Song) 邢昺 Xing Bing (shu 疏)
爾雅注疏 十卷 Erya zhushu (Jin) 郭璞 Guo Pu (zhu 注)
(Song) 邢昺 Xing Bing (shu 疏)
孟子注疏 十卷 Mengzi zhushu (Han) 趙岐 Zhao Qi (zhu 注)
(Song) 孫奭 Sun Shi (shu 疏)
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