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Hanshu yiwen zhi 漢書藝文志 "The Treatise on the Classics and [Ordinary] Writings in the Book of the [Former] Han [Dynasty]"

The Hanshu yiwen zhi 漢書藝文志 is of the oldest extant bibliography of ancient China. It is one of the treatises (zhi 志) in the official dynastic history Hanshu 漢書 written by Ban Gu 班固 during the early Later Han period 後漢 (25-220 CE). Ban Gu largely took over the literary categories of the catalogue Qilüe 七略 by Liu Xin 劉歆 and compiled a bibliography with six categories of literature, with 38 sub-categorical types of books written by 596 different authors (plus the anonymous texts), with a physical corpus of 13,269 juan "scrolls" in total. Ban Gu's literary categories are: Confucian Classics (liuyi 六藝), philosophers and masters (zhuzi 諸子), poems (shifu 詩賦), military treatises (bingshu 兵書), mathematics and astronomy/astrology (shushu 數術), and magic (fangji 方技).
During the compilation process, Ban Gu retained the categories and sub-categories of the Qilüe and added books compiled after the finishing of the Qilüe, for example, books by Liu Xiang 劉向, Yang Xiong 揚雄 or Du Lin 杜林. He also compared the actual status of the books and inserted remarks about changes in the classification, as well as remarks about the physical appearance of the books (number of scrolls and chapters). Ban Gu also abbreviated Liu Xin's remarks to the books.
With the Hanshu yiwen zhi as a model, most of the official dynastic histories included a bibliography among their treatises, which can be called imperial bibliography because most of them were based on the libraries in the imperial palace. Ban Gu's catalogue is even more important because Liu Xin's Qilüe is lost. The Song period 宋 (960-1279) scholar Wang Yinglin 王應麟 has written a text-critical commentary, the Hanshu yiwen zhi kaozheng 漢書藝文志考證, which has been supplemented by the Qing period 清 (1644-1911) scholar Yao Chenzong 姚振宗 in his Hanshu yiwen zhi shibu 漢書藝文志拾補 and Hanshu yiwen zhi tiaoli 漢書藝文志條理.

Ni Xiaojian 倪曉建 (1992). "Hanshu yiwen zhi 漢書藝文志", in: Zhongguo da baike quanshu 中國大百科全書, Tushuguanxue qingbaoxue dang'anxue 圖書館學,情報學,檔案學, p. 177. Beijing/Shanghai: Zhongguo da baike quanshu chubanshe.

1. 六藝 Liuyi The six Classical arts, 103 writers
1.1 易 Yi The Changes, 13 books
1.2 尚 Shang The Documents, 11 books
1.3 詩 Shi The Songs, 14 books
1.4 禮 Li The Rites, 14 books
1.5 樂 Yue The Music, 7 books
1.6 春秋 Chunqiu Spring and Autumn, 29 books
1.7 論語 Lunyu The Analects, 12 books
1.8 孝經 Xiaojing The Filial Piety, 14 books
1.9 小學 Xiaoxue Elementary learning and Lexicography, 12 books
2. 諸子 Zhuzi Masters and philosophers, 189 writers
2.1 儒家 Rujia Confucian treatises, 51 books
2.2 道家 Daojia Daoist treatises, 37 books
2.3 陰陽家 Yinyangjia Yin-and-Yang treatises, 21 books
2.4 法家 Fajia Legalist treatises, 10 books
2.5 名家 Mingjia Dialectician treatises, 7 books
2.6 墨家 Mojia Mohist treatises, 6 books
2.7 從橫家 Zonghengjia Coalition advisers, 12 books
2.8 雜家 Zajia Miscellaneous treatises, 20 books
2.9 農家 Nongjia Agricultural treatises, 9 books
2.10 小說家 Xiaoshuojia Storytellers, 15 books
3. 詩賦 Shifu Poetry, 106 writers
3.1 賦 Fu Rhapsodies I, 20 books
3.2 賦 Fu Rhapsodies II, 21 books
3.3 賦 Fu Rhapsodies III, 25 books
3.4 雜賦 Zafu Miscellaneous rhapsodies, 11 books
3.5 歌詩 Geshi Songs and poems, 28 books
4. 兵書 Bingshu Books on warfare, 53 writers
4.1 兵權謀 Bing quanmou Books on strategy and tactics, 13 books
4.2 兵形勢 Bing xingshi Books on the influence of wind and weather on war, 12 books
4.3 陰陽家 Yinyangjia Books on the influence of time on war, 16 books
4.4 兵技巧 Bing jiqiao Book on military skills, 16 books
5. 數術 Shushu Divination and assessing man's life, 190 writers
5.1 天文 Tianwen Astronomy and astrology, 22 books
5.2 曆譜 Lipu Calendar, 18 books
5.3 五行 Wuxing The Five Processes and cosmic correlations, 31 books
5.4 蓍龜 Shigui Divination by milfoil stalks and turtle plastrons, 15 books
5.5 雜占 Zazhan Miscellaneous divinations, 18 books
5.6 形法 Xingfa The earth and man, 6 books
6. 方技 Fangji Medical skills, 36 writers
6.1 醫經 Yijing Books on medicine, 7 books
6.2 經方 Jingfang Pharmacopoieas, 11 books
6.3 房中 Fangzhong The art of the bedchamber, 8 books
6.4 神僊 Shenxian Immortals, 10 books

Chinese literature according to the four-category system

February 5, 2011 © Ulrich Theobald · Mail