An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History and Literature

Dian zhilüe 滇志略

Sep 30, 2019 © Ulrich Theobald

Dian zhilüe 滇志略, also called Yunnan zhilüe 雲南志略 or Dian-Qian zhilüe 滇黔志略, is a book on the provinces of Yunnan and Guizhou written by Xie Shenglun 謝聖綸 (1709-1773), courtesy name Gengyan 庚言, style Yanxi 研溪, from Jianning 建寧, Fujian.

The book of 30 juan is a combination of local gazetteer and history book, as it also includes a detailed description of the history of the region in the mid-18th century. It ends in 1763, when the book was finished. The first half of the book is dedicated to Yunnan, the rest to Guizhou. Both parts are equally structured and present reports on the administrative history, geography, climate, local governors, educational institutions, customs and habits, eminent persons, local products, ancient places and tourist spots, native chieftains (tusi 土司), and household registers.

The text is supplemented by a commentary that includes indications of sources, but also discussions by the author, based on his own obervations and research. The book was nevertheless later criticized (in the Daoguang 道光1821-1850, version of the official gazetteer Yunnan tongzhi 雲南通志) as scholarly not diligent enough. A copy of the original print from the Qianlong reign-period 乾隆 (1736-1796) survives in the Library of University of Science and Technology (Zhongguo Kexue Jishu Daxue Tushuguan 中國科學技術大學圖書館).

Wang Zhaoming 王兆明, Fu Langyun 傅朗云, eds. (1991). Zhonghua gu wenxian da cidian 中華古文獻大辭典, Vol. Dili 地理卷 (Changchun: Jilin wenshi chubanshe), 383.