An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History and Literature

(Jiatai) Wuxing zhi (嘉泰)吳興志

Oct 25, 2019 © Ulrich Theobald

Wuxing zhi 吳興志 is a local gazetteer compiled on imperial order under the supervision of Tan Yao 談鑰 (jinshi degree 1181), courtesy name Yuanshi 元時. The book of 20 juan, whose compilation begun during the Jiatai reign-period 嘉泰 (1201-1204) of Emperor Ningzong 宋寧宗 (r. 1194-1224), is a description of the geography and history of the province of Zhejiang.

It is divided into 47 chapters narrating the administrative history (1), the city wall and urban quarters (2), villages of the surroundings (3), mountains (4), rivers and canals (5), palaces and altars (6), the administrative system (7), public granaries and storehouses (8), courier stations (9), military posts (10), schools (11), garrisons and historical places (12), palace halls, gardens, shrines and monasteries (13), a name list of governors (14) and magistrates (15), eminent families (16), eminent persons and their stories (16-17), inscriptons on steles (18), wells, bridges, dams and fords (19), local customs and habits, local products and "tributes", as well as animals and plants of the region (20).

The author did apparently not undertake a final revision, but the information found in the book is very helpful as sources on this history of Zhejiang, particularly concerning the geography of the rivers, and agricultural products of the region. The text quotes, among others, from several sources that are not found elsewhere. It is the oldest surviving local gazetteer of Zhejiang.

The version in the imperial series Siku quanshu 四庫全書 is based on citations in the Ming-period 明 (1368-1644) encyclopaedia Yongle dadian 永樂大典. Manuscript copies are kept in the Beijing and the Nanjing Library. The earliest modern publication was published in 1914 in the series Wuxing xianzhe yishu 吳興先哲遺書.

Shen Hui 沈慧 (2004). "Lüelun Jiatai Wuxing zhi de jiazhi 略論《嘉泰吳興志》的價值", Zhongguo difangzhi 中國地方志, 2004 (5).
Wang Zhaoming 王兆明, Fu Langyun 傅朗云, ed. (1991). Zhonghua gu wenxian da cidian 中華古文獻大辭典, Vol. Dili 地理卷 (Changchun: Jilin wenshi chubanshe), 169.
Yao Yuan 姚遠 (2014). "Cong Jiatai Wuxing zhi kan Songdai Huzhou cheng de xiangji quhua ji qi guanli 從《嘉泰吳興志》看宋代湖州城的廂級區劃及其管理", Heilongjiang shizhi 黑龍江史志, 2014 (1).