An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History and Literature

Shitong xiaofan 史通削繁

Feb 17, 2016 © Ulrich Theobald

Shitong xiaofan 史通削繁 was compiled by the Qing-period 清 (1644-1911) scholar Ji Yun 紀昀 (1724-1805), who participated in the compilation of the imperial series Siku quanshu 四庫全書 and the catalogue Siku quanshu zongmu tiyao 四庫全書總目提要, as well as the veritable records of the Qianlong Emperor 乾隆 (r. 1735-1796), Gaozong shilu 高宗實錄.

The 4-juan long Xiaofan is an excerpt of Liu Zhiji's 劉知幾 (661-721) historical critique Shitong 史通 from the Tang period 唐 (618-907) based on the extensive earlier commentaries on that book, mainly Huang Shulin's 黃叔琳 (1672-1756) Shutong xungu bu 史通訓故補 and Pu Qilong's 浦起龍 (1679-1762) Shitong tongshi 史通通釋.

Ji Yun used vermillion ink to mark important passages and corrected errors with green-coloured ink. Paragraphs and sentences going beyond basic matters were marked with purple ink. Parts marked green and purple were eliminated or changed, respectively, and only the red ones were retained. The result was a much shorter version in which the chapters Daiyan 載言, Biaoli 表歷, Yigu 疑古 and Dianfan 點煩 were retain fully, were all others were cut short, and the remainder rearranged in such a manner that the text was easier to understand. The notes by Pu Qilong served as commentaries to Liu Zhiji's main text.

The Xiaofan was printed in 1833 Guangzhou by Master Lu 盧氏 from Zhuozhou 涿州.

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, 1529.
Luan Mengliu 欒孟留 (2015). "Ji Yun de Shitong xiaofan 紀昀與《史通削繁》", Cangzhou Shifan Xueyuan xuebao 滄州師範學院學報, 2015 (6)