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Yugong shuoduan 禹貢說斷

Dec 21, 2013 © Ulrich Theobald

Yugong shuoduan 禹貢說斷 "Analysis of explanations on the Tribute of Yu" is a commentary on the Yugong 禹貢, a chapter of the Confucian Classic Shangshu 尚書, written by the Song period 宋 (960-1279) scholar Fu Yin 傅寅 (1148-1215, courtesy name Tongshu 同叔), who was an astronomer, geographer, poet, and an expert on many field of state administration.

The bibliography Tieqintongjianlou cangshu mulu 鐵琴銅劍樓藏書目錄 by Qu Yong 瞿鏞 (1794-1846) mentions only a book of 2-juan length bearing the title Yugong jijie 禹貢集解 "Collected explanations to the Tribute of Yu". Qu Yong says that this book included a preface by Qiao Xingjian 喬行簡 (1156-1241) and began with four maps, first an overview (Yugong shanchuan zonghui zhi tu 禹貢山川總會之圖), then the nine branches of the Yellow River (Jiuhe 九河, which were, according to the glossary Erya 爾雅, called Tuhai 徒駭, Taishi 太史, Majia 馬頰, Fufu 覆釜, Husu 胡蘇, Jian 簡, Xie 絜, Goupan 鈎盤, and Lijin 鬲津), the three branches of the Yangtze River (Sanjiang 三江, namely Wusong 吳松江, Qiantang 錢唐江 and Puyang 浦陽江 according to Wei Zhao 韋昭 [204-273], or Songjiang 松江, Loujiang 婁江 and Dongjiang 東江, according to the book Wudi ji 吳地記), and the nine rivers (Jiujiang 九江, namely Wubai 烏白江, Bangjiang 蚌江, Wujiang 烏江, Jiami 嘉靡江, Moujiang 畎江, Yuanjiang 源江, Leijiang 累江, Tijiang 提江 and Junjiang 箘江 according to the book Xunyang diji 潯陽地記; or Sanli 三里江, Wuzhou 五州江, Jiami 嘉靡江, Wutu 烏土江, Baibang 白蚌江, Baiwu 白烏江, Junjiang 箘江, Shati 沙提江 and Linjiang 廪江 according to Zhang Xuyuan's 張須元 [4th cent.] Yuanjiangtu 緣江圖), and that the preface mentioned an alternative title to the book, Shangshu zhujia shuoduan 尚書諸家說斷.

A Song period copy (in a revised Yuan period 元, 1279-1368, version) of this book is owned by the Beijing Library 北京圖書館. It has the title Yugong zhujia shuoduan 禹貢諸家說斷 "Analysis of the various masters' explanations to the Tribute of Yu". The version in the Ming period 明 (1368-1644) encyclopaedia Yongle dadian 永樂大典 abbreviates this title to Yugong shuoduan, while the reprint series Tongzhitang jingjie 通志堂經解 makes use of the title Yugong jijie. Seemingly neither title corresponds to the original. During the eighteenth century, the parts quoted in the Yongle dadian were compiled to a 4-juan long book with the present title.

Figure 1. Overview of the rivers mentioned in the Yugong
Figure 2. The nine branches of the lower course of the Yellow River
Figure 3. The three tributary rivers to the Yangtze in its lower course
Figure 4. The nine rivers in the middle course of the Yangtze River

Apart from collecting older commentaries on the Yugong, Fu Yin adds his own interpretations. A mention in the book Mengzi 孟子, for instance, of the connection of the rivers Ru 汝 and Han 漢 with the rivers Huai 淮 and Si 泗 is interpreted as a reference to ancient scholarly projects of canal construction that were never realized.

Editions in reprint series: Congshu jicheng chubian. Mohai jinhu. Qinzaotang Siku quanshu huiyao. Shoushange congshu. Siku quanshu. Wuyingdian juzhenban shu.

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. 1, 116.
Wang Zhaoming 王兆明, Fu Langyun 傅朗雲, ed. (1991). Zhonghua gu wenxian da cidian 中華古文獻大辭典, Dili 地理卷 (Changchun: Jilin wenshi chubanshe), 264.