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Taiping huanyu ji 太平寰宇記

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Taiping huanyu ji 太平寰宇記 "Imperial geography from the Taiping [xingguo] reign (976-983)" is a geographical overview of the Northern Song empire 北宋 (960-1126). The 200 juan "scrolls" long book describes the provinces (dao 道 "circuits") of the empire, the historical development, physical geography with rivers and mountains, customs and habits of the inhabitants, traffic, eminent persons and families, local products, and so on. Primary sources for the Taiping huanyu ji were histories, books on local geography, literature, tombstone inscriptions, poetry and religious writings, all in all more than 200 books. Because a large part of these books are long since lost the quotations in the Taiping geography are important to have a better insight into the sources of the Tang 唐 (618-907) and Five Dynasties 五代 (907-960) periods. This Northern Song geography is also of great importance because it contains a lot of information on the household registers in all regions of the empire which provides a better insight into the distribution and composition of the population.
There is a print by the Jinling shuju press 金陵書局 from the late 19th century. Some lost chapters are preserved in a fragment stored in Japan which has been republished in the reprint series Guyi congshu 古逸叢書.

Source: Zhang Zexian 張澤咸 (1992), "Taiping huanyu ji 太平寰宇記", in Zhongguo da baike quanshu 中國大百科全書, Zhongguo lishi 中國歷史 (Beijing/Shanghai: Zhongguo da baike quanshu chubanshe), Vol. 2, p. 1071.

October 14, 2010 © Ulrich Theobald · Mail
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