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Chinese Literature
Luoyang qielan ji 洛陽伽藍記 "The Monasteries of Luoyang"


The Luoyang qielan ji 洛陽伽藍記 "The monasteries of Luoyang" is a report of all Buddhist monasteries (the word qielan is derived from the Sanskrit word saṃgha-ārāma) in the Northern Wei 北魏 (386-534) capital of Luoyang. It was written by the mid-6th century official Yang Xuanzhi 楊衒之 (his family name is also written with the characters 陽 or 羊) and is 6 juan "scrolls" or chapters long. Yang's motivation to give an overview of the capital city was that the city was thoroughly destroyed during the succession struggles that took place with the termination of the Northern Wei dynasty, with the objective to preserve the memory of the city's appearance during it flourishing time under Emperor Xiaowen 魏孝文帝 (r. 471-499). At the same time his book can be seen as a critique of the lavishness with which the imperial house and rich families spent money for religious purposes instead of investing money in economy and the military. Yang does not only describe the monasteries in and around Luoyang but also provides important information about the establishing and founding of monasteries and is thus a valuable source not only for the history of religion in China but also for the social and economic history of China's "middle ages". The text contains a lot of citations from Yang’s primary sources which otherwise would be left. This is especially noteworthy for Song Yun's 宋雲 book Jiaji 家記 and the monk Huisheng's 慧生 essays Xingji 行記 and Daorong zhuan 道榮傳 "Biography of Monk Daorong", of which citations are preserved in the fifth scroll of the Luoyang qielan ji.
There are three important commentaries: Wu Ruozhun's 吳若準 Luoyang qielan ji jizheng 洛陽伽藍記集證, Fan Xiangyong's 范祥雍 Luoyang jielan ji jiaozhu 洛陽伽藍記校注, and Zhou Zumo's 周祖謨 Luoyang qielan ji jiaoshi 洛陽伽藍記校釋. The book is included in the Taishō Tripitaka 大正新脩大藏經 (T 2092) and the collectaneum Siku quanshu 四庫全書 collection.
There is an English translation by Yi-t'ung Wang (1984), A Record of Buddhist Monasteries in Lo-yang, Princeton: Princeton University press.


Source: Zhou Yiliang 周一良 (1992). "Luoyang qielan ji 洛陽伽藍記", in: Zhongguo da baike quanshu 中國大百科全書, Zhongguo lishi 中國歷史, vol. 2, pp. 634 f. Beijing/Shanghai: Zhongguo da baike quanshu chubanshe.

Contents
城內 Chengnei [Monasteries] inside the city
城東 Chengdong [Monasteries] east of the city
城南 Chengnan [Monasteries] south of the city
城西 Chengxi [Monasteries] west of the city
城北 Chengbei [Monasteries] north of the city

Chinese literature according to the four-category system

July 17, 2010 © · Ulrich Theobald · Mail