CHINAKNOWLEDGE - a universal guide for China studies | HOME | About
Encoding: Unicode (UTF-8) [Location: HOME > Literature > Masters and philosophers > Encylopedias > Yuanhe xingzuan]

Chinese Literature
Yuanhe xingzuan 元和姓纂 "The Register of the Great Families from the Yuanhe Reign"

The Yuanhe xingzuan 元和姓纂 "The register of the great families from the Yuanhe reign (806-820)" is an imperial register of the empire's powerful families from the Tang period 唐 (618-907). It was compiled on imperial order by Lin Bao 林寶 and was finished in 812. According to the institutional history Tang huiyao 唐會要, the author was Wang Ya 王涯. There is a version with a length of 19 juan "scrolls", and one with 18 chapters. Lin Bao participated in the compilation of the veritable records (shilu 實錄) of Emperor Dezong 唐德宗 (r. 779-804) and the "Jade family registers" Huang-Tang yudie 皇唐玉牒.
The Yuanhe xingzuan contains the family registers of the mightiest families of the time, beginning with the imperial family of Li 李. The other families are listed acording to a phonetic system (see Guangyun 廣韻). Which family was listed at all and how important it was ranked, depended on a kind of lobbying. The main sources for the family registers (jiapu 家譜, jiadie 家牒) were private and are therefore not necessarily reliable historical facts. The Yuanhe xingzuan quotes from older books like Fengsu tong 風俗通, Zuxingji 族姓記, Sanfu juelu 三輔決錄, Baijiapu 百家譜, Yingxianzhuan 英賢傳, Xingyuan yunpu 姓源韻譜, or Xingyuan 姓苑 and was, by itself, also used by the Song period 宋 (960-1279) scholar Zheng Qiao 鄭樵 for the treatise on families in his universal history Tongzhi 通志.
The original book has long since lost, but the Qing period 清 (1644-1911) scholars Sun Xingyan 孫星衍 and Hong Ying 洪瑩 extracted quotations surviving in the Ming period 明 (1368-1644) encyclopedia Yongle dadian 永樂大典, as well as the book Gujin xingshi shu bianzheng 古今姓世書辨證 of the Song period scholar Deng Mingshi 鄧名世. The version preserved in the encyclopedia Yongle dadian is not arranged in the same manner as the original version, in which the names were arranged according to the 206 rhyme groups. Yet the fragments were sufficient to obtain a version of 18 juan which is included in the collectaneum Siku quanshu 四庫全書. In 1802 a ten-juan version was published, which has been reproduced by the Jinling Studio 金陵書局. The version of the Siku quanshu was incomplete and contained a lot of errors. In 1915 Luo Zhenyu 羅振玉 revised it and added further fragments. A further version was published by Cen Zhongmian 岑仲勉 in 1948, the Yuanhe xingzuan si jiaoji 元和姓纂四校記.

Li Xueqin 李學勤, Lü Wenyu 呂文鬰 (1996). Siku da cidian 四庫大辭典, vol. 2, p. 2035. Changchun: Jilin daxue chubanshe.
Zhao Hankun 趙含坤 (2005). Zhongguo leishu 中國類書, pp. 49-50. Shijiazhuang: Hebei renmin chubanshe.
Zhao Shouyan 趙守儼 (1992). "Yuanhe xingzuan 元和姓纂", in: Zhongguo da baike quanshu 中國大百科全書, Zhongguo lishi 中國歷史, vol. 3, pp. 1455. Beijing/Shanghai: Zhongguo da baike quanshu chubanshe.
Chinese literature according to the four-category system

September 14, 2010 © Ulrich Theobald · Mail