An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History, Literature and Art

Picang 埤倉

Jan 9, 2011 © Ulrich Theobald

Picang 埤倉 "Increased Cang[jie]" is a short character dictionary written during the Cao-Wei period 曹魏 (220-265) by Zhang Yi 張揖. Zhang's name is more often related with the glossary Guangya 廣雅 than with the Picang. The Guangcang imitated the old standard character dictionary Cangjiepian 倉頡篇 from the Qin 秦 (221-206 BCE) and Han 漢 (206 BCE-220 CE) periods.

The original size was 3 juan. The Picang was lost, according to general statement, during the Five Dynasties period 五代 (907-960) and is only preserved in fragments from that time, but surprisingly also from the early Song period 宋 (960-1279).

There are two collections of fragments, the first by the Qing-period 清 (1644-1911) scholar Ma Guohan 馬國翰 (1794-1857), who collected the quotations from the Picang in the dictionary Yupian 玉篇, the Hanshu yinyi 漢書音義, a phonetic commentary on the official dynastic history Hanshu 漢書, the commentary on the anthology Wenxuan 文選, the Yiqiejing yinyi 一切經音義, a phonetic commentary on Buddhist writings, Sima Zhen's 司馬貞 (679-732) commentary on the history Shiji 史記, and the dictionary Guangyun 廣韻. Ma's collection of fragments is included in his series Yuhan shanfang jiyi shu 玉函山房輯佚書.

The scholar Long Zhang 龍璋 (1854-1918) compiled another collection which revised Ma's collection and included more sources. It is published in the series Xiaoxue souyi 小學搜佚.

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, 751.