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Yuanshi shifan 袁氏世範

Dec 31, 2010 © Ulrich Theobald

Yuanshi shifan 袁氏世範 "Models for the world by Master Yuan" is a Neo-Confucian treatise written by the Southern Song-period 南宋 (1127-1279) scholar Yuan Cai 袁采 (dates not clear). Yuan Cai's administrative handbooks Zhenghe zazhi 政和雜志 and Xianling xiaolu 縣令小錄 are unfortunately lost. The original title of his Confucian treatise was Xunsu 訓俗 "Instructions for the commoner", but it was changed to the transmitted one by Liu Zhen 劉鎮, who has written a preface to it.

The Shifan uses a very simple and easily understandable language to explain the social hierarchies as they were believed to be part of a naturally created system.

There is a print by the Ming-period 明 (1368-1644) scholar Chen Jiru 陳繼儒 (1558-1639) in his series Baoyantang miji 寶顏堂秘笈, but this version contains many errors. The best version is included in the fragmentary encyclopaedia Yongle dadian 永樂大典.

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. 2, 1552.