An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History and Literature

Sanzhou jilüe 三州輯略

Sep 13, 2019 © Ulrich Theobald

Sanzhou jilüe 三州輯略 is a geographical book on the "three prefectures" (sanzhou 三州) of Yizhou 伊州 (Hami 哈密), Xizhou 西州 (Turfan 吐魯番), and Tingzhou 庭州 (Ürümqi 烏魯木齊). The names of the prefectures actually date from the Tang period 唐 (618-907) and were antiquated during the time of compilation.

The author was Hening 和寧 (d. 1821), who changed his name to Heying 和瑛 in order to avoid the character ning 寧, part of the personal name of the Daoguang Emperor 道光帝 (r. 1820-1850), Minning 旻寧. Hening hailed from the Eqindetu Clan 額勤德特氏 and was a member of the Mongolian Bordered Yellow Banner (Menggu xianghuang qi 蒙古鑲黃旗). Between 1793 and 1800 he was grand minister resident (amban) in Tibet (zhu Zang banshi dachen 駐藏辦事大臣). Having conceiled a crop failure in Shandong, he was in 1802 exiled to Ili (Ch. Yili 伊犁) in Xinjiang, where he served as grand minister assisting in management (bangban dachen 幫辦大臣) of Yerkant (Ch. Ye'erqiang 葉爾羌) and Grand Minister Consultant (canzan dachen 參贊大臣) of Kašɣar (Ch. Kashiga'er 喀什噶爾). Hening also compiled a rhapsody on Tibet, Xizang fu 西藏賦, as well as the books Xu shuijing 續水經 (on rivers), and two further books on Xinjiang, Fanjiang lanyao 藩疆攬要, and Huijiang tongzhi 回疆通志.

Hening argues in his preface that a treatment of one single of the three cities would not make sense because their histories were closely related to each other. His book is divided over 20 chapters covering a length of 9 juan. The structure of the book follows the style of local gazetteers on border defence posts (guanzhenzhi 關鎮志), but is much more detailed than this genre and corrects errors found in older texts and documents. The Sanzhou jilüe gives insight into a wide range of issues, from geography and administration to military affairs, horse breeding, supply and courier stations, household registers, taxation, schools and literature. Yet it is missing an overview of the lives of important persons from the region, a kind of biographical part which is usually included in local gazetteers.

The book is, as a facsimile of the original manuscript version, part of the series Zhongguo fangzhi congshu 中國方誌叢書.

Table 1. Contents of the Xinjiang shilüe 新疆識略
1 沿革門 History
疆域門 Geography
山川門 Topography
2 官制門 Administrative system
建置門 Administrative history
3 庫藏門 Arsenals
倉儲門 Granaries
戶口門 Household registration
4 賦稅門 Taxes and levies
屯田門 Military agro-colonies
俸廉門 Salaries of officers
糧餉門 Military supply
5 營伍門 Garrisons and troops
馬政門 Horse administration
臺站門 Courier stations
6 禮儀門 Rites and etiquette
旗典門 Statues of the Bannermen
學校門 Schools
流寓門 Foreign residents
7-9 藝文門 Writings
9 物產門 Local products
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