An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History and Literature

Tiantaishan quanzhi 天臺山全志

Oct 6, 2019 © Ulrich Theobald

Tiantaishan quanzhi 天臺山全志 is a book on Mt. Tiantai 天臺 (天台), one of the sacred mountains of Buddhism in China. It is the collective name of several mountains spread over a wide area in Taizhou 台州 (臺州), Zhejiang. The book was written by Zhang Lianyuan 張聯元 (jinshi degree 1805), courtesy name Jue'an 覺庵, from Zhongxiang 鐘祥, Hubei.

Books on Mt. Tiantai were written by Xu Lingfu 徐靈府 (9th cent., Tiantaishan ji 天臺山記) and Jiang Xun 蔣薰 (1610—1693, Tiantaishan ji 天臺山記), and - in the shape of travel reports - by Pan Lei 潘耒 (1646-1708, You Tiantaishan ji 遊天臺山記), Hong Liangji 洪亮吉 (1746-1809, You Tiantaishan ji 遊天臺山記), Yang Baoguang 楊葆光 (1830-1912, Tiantai youji 天臺遊記), and Gu Heqing 顧鶴慶 (b. 1766, Tiantai youji 天臺遊記).

The first gazetteer-style book on the mountain was compiled during the late Ming period 明 (1368-1644) by Monk Chuandeng 傳燈, also called Wujin 無盡. It was called Tiantaishan fangwai zhi 天臺山方外志, yet this book of 30 juan did not focus on the mountains itself and could therefore not be labeled a local gazetteer.

Zhang therefore revised and expanded the book. The text of 18 juan was finished and printed in 1717. It also includes descriptions of important sites of the Tiantai region located outside of the district of Tiantai, like the old trees of Jinting 金庭 in the district of Shengxian 嵊縣 which also belong to the heritage of Mt. Tiantai. This is also true for spots in the districts of Xinchang 新昌 and Ninghai 寧海.

Li Xueqin 李學勤, Lü Wenyu 呂文郁, eds. (1996). Siku da cidian 四庫大辭典 (Changchun: Jilin daxue chubanshe), Vol. 1, 1078.