An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History, Literature and Art

Yangyujing 養魚經

May 31, 2013 © Ulrich Theobald

Yangyujing 養魚經 "Book of fish-farming", also called Tao Zhu Gong yangyu fa 陶朱公養魚法 "Master Taozhu's methods of fish-farming", Tao Zhu Gong yangyu fang 陶朱公養魚方, Tao Zhu Gong yangyu jing 陶朱公養魚經, Zhongyujing 種魚經 "The classic of fish-breeding", or shortly Yujing 魚經 "Classic of fishes", was a treatise on raising fish written by Master Taozhu 陶朱公, who is better known with his personal name Fan Li 范蠡. He was a grand master (dafu 大夫) at the court of the state of Yue 越 during the Spring and Autumn period 春秋 (770-5th cent. BCE). After retiring from politics, he withdrew to a private estate in Dingtao 定陶 near Yangdi 陽地, where is said to have written this book. His authorship cannot be substantiated. The imperial bibliography Jingjizhi 經籍志 in the official dynastic history Suishu 隋書 says that the book was still listed in Liang period 梁 (502-557) catalogues, but was already lost during the early Tang period 唐 (618-907). Yet there are quotations from it to be found in Jia Sixie's 賈思勰 Qimin yaoshu 齊民要術 from the Northern Wei period 北魏 (386-534), the statecraft treatise Tongdian 通典 and the Northern Song period 北宋 (960-1126) encyclopaedia Taiping yulan 太平御覽. Surviving fragments of the book were collected by the Qing period 清 (1644-1911) scholar Ma Guohan 馬國翰 and are to be found in his reprint series Yuhanshanfang jiyi shu 玉函山房輯佚書. In 1986 the Nongye Press 農業出版社 published a multi-language edition of these fragments (Chinese, English, Japanes, Russian, French, Spanish) under the title Fan Li yangyu jing 范蠡養魚經.

Li Xueqin 李學勤, Lü Wenyu 呂文鬰, ed. (1996). Siku da cidian 四庫大辭典 (Changchun: Jilin daxue chubanshe), Vol. 2, 1644.