An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History and Literature

(Baoqing) Siming zhi (寶慶)四明志

Sep 16, 2019 © Ulrich Theobald

(Baoqing) Siming zhi (寶慶)四明志 is a local gazetteer on Ningbo 寧波, Zhejiang, written during the Baoqing reign-period 寶慶 (1225-1227) of the Southern Song dynasty 南宋 (1127-1279). The authors were Hu Ju 胡榘 (1163-1244, courtesy name Zhongfang 仲方), Fang Wanli 方萬里, and Luo Jun 羅濬. The name of the book is derived from Mt. Siming 四明山.

The book with a length of 21 juan was finished and printed in 1229 and begins with three maps of the prefecture. Maps were in the original version also found in the text of the book, for each district one.

It consists of 46 chapters explaining the history and geography of the region, as well as administrative and economic matters like city quarters, taxes and levies, navigation, field allotment and granaries, local products, religious institutions, etc. It also includes short biographies of eminent persons. The first part is a gazetteer of the "commandery" as a whole (junzhi 郡志) and Ningbo in particular; from fascicle 12 on, the text presents six individual district gazetteers (xianzhi 縣志), namely Yinxian 鄞縣, Fenghua 奉化, Cixi 慈溪, Dinghai 定海 (today's Zhenhai 鎮海), Changguo 昌國 (today's Dinghai 定海), and Xiangshan 象山. Because of this arrangement, information is not clearly separated but some issues are mentioned in the first part as well as in that of the districts.

Concerning customs and habits, the text quotes from the (lost) book Nanyue zhi 南越志.

A facsimile of the original print was published in 1950 by the Library of the Imperial Palace Museum 故宮博物院圖書館.

An updated version of the gazetteer is (Yanyou) Siming zhi (延祐)四明志, compiled in 1320 by Ma Yi 馬澤 and Yuan Jue 袁桷, and the less known (Zhizheng) Siming xuzhi (至正)四明續志, finished in 1342 and compiled by Wang Yuangong 王元恭, courtesy name Jujing 居敬, style Ningxuan 寧軒, Wang Cunsun 王存孫, and Xu Liang 徐亮, both being products of the Yuan dynasty 元 (1279-1368).

During the Qianlong reign-period 乾隆 (1736-1796) of the Qing dynasty 清 (1644-1911), Bao Xizhang 包旭章 (jinshi degree 1752), courtesy name Xiaowen 曉文, compiled the supplement Siming zhi bu 四明志補.

Six gazetteers of Ningbo are included in the collection Song-Yuan Siming liu zhi 宋元四明六志 - together with (Qiandao) Siming tujing (乾道)四明圖經, (Kaiqing) Siming xuzhi (開慶)四明續志, (Dade) Changguo zhou tuzhi (大德)昌國州圖志, (Yanyou Siming zhi 四明志, and (Zhizheng) Siming xuzhi -, compiled by Xu Shidong 徐時棟 and printed in 1854. These are Song Qiandao Siming tujing 宋乾道四明圖經 (compiled by Zhang Jin 張津, 1169), Song Baoqing Siming zhi 宋寶慶四明志, Song Kaiqing Siming xuzhi 宋開慶四明續志 (compiled by Mei Yingfa 梅應發 and Liu Xi 劉錫, 1259), Yuan Yanyou Siming zhi 元延祐四明志, Yuan Zhizheng Siming xuzhi 元至正四明續志, and Yuan Dade Changguo zhou tuzhi 元大德昌國州圖志 (compiled by Feng Fujing 馮福京, 1298). The collection is supplemented by the Xu Shidong's own book on local hydraulic works, Siming Tuoshan shuili beilan 四明它山水里備覽, and a critical analysis (jiaokanji 校勘記) of the gazetteers.

The mountain Siming is dealt with a separate gazetteer, namely Huang Zongxi's 黃宗羲(1610—1695) (Kangxi) Simingshan zhi (康熙)四明山志.

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