CHINAKNOWLEDGE - a universal guide for China studies | HOME | About
Encoding: Unicode (UTF-8) [Location: HOME > Literature > Masters and philosophers > Encylopedias > Gezhi jingyuan]

Chinese Literature
Gezhi jingyuan 格致鏡原 "Mirrored Contexts for Thorough Investigations"

The Gezhi jingyuan 格致鏡原 "Mirrored contexts for thorough investigations" is an encyclopedia compiled by the Qing period 清 (1644-1911) scholar Chen Yuanlong 陳元龍 (1652-1736). There is a collection of Chen's poems, the Airitang shi 愛日堂詩. In 100 juan "scrolls", the Gezhi jingyuan assembles all kinds of literary sources concerning material objects. These are categorized into 30 themes, with 886 sub-chapters. The quotations are mainly taken from the Confucian Classics and writings on history, but also, and to a lesser extent, from miscellaneous writings, novels, "wild histories", or dictionaries. The title is derived from the Neo-Confucian concept of thorough investigation to perceive the Heavenly order, which is inherent in all objects. Most objects are described with a lot of sources, but there are also some, to which not a lot of material is provided, like the armillary sphere (huntianyi 渾天儀), the water clock (kelou 刻漏), or the houqi 候氣 apparatus to determine the onset of spring. The sources are indicated in all cases.
There is a print from 1717 made by Master Chen 陳氏 in Guangzhou, a reprint by the same person from 1735, a print by the Shanghai tongshu press 上海大同書局 from 1888, and one by the Jishan press 積山書局 in Shanghai from 1896. The Gezhi jingyuan is included in the reprint series Siku quanshu 四庫全書.

Li Xueqin 李學勤, Lü Wenyu 呂文鬰 (1996). Siku da cidian 四庫大辭典, vol. 2, p. 2059. Changchun: Jilin daxue chubanshe.
Zhao Hankun 趙含坤 (2005). Zhongguo leishu 中國類書, pp. 50-53, 104, 140. Shijiazhuang: Hebei renmin chubanshe.

乾象 Qianxiang Heaven
坤輿 Kunyu The Earth
身體 Shenti The body
冠服 Guanfu Caps and robes
宮室 Gongshi Palaces and buildings
飲食 Yinshi Eating and drinking
布帛 Bubo Fabric and textiles
舟車 Zhouche Boats and carts
朝制 Chaozhi Court implements
珍寶 Zhenbao Jewels
文具 Wenju Tools of the office
武備 Wubei Military tools
禮器 Liqi Ritual instruments
樂器 Yueqi Music instruments
耕織器物 Gengzhi qiwu Tools for ploughing and weaving
日用器物 Riyong qiwu Tools for daily life
居處器物 Juchu qiwu Tools for living
香奩器物 Xianglian qiwu Tools for incense and women
燕賞器物 Yanshang qiwu Tools for banquets and rewards
玩戲器物 Wanxi qiwu Tools for entertainment
Gu Grains
Shu Vegetables
Mu Trees
Cao Grasses and bushes
Hua Flowers
Guo Fruits
Niao Birds
Shou Beasts
水族 Shuizu Aquatic animals
昆蟲 Kunchong Worms and insects

Chinese literature according to the four-category system

January 21, 2011 © Ulrich Theobald · Mail