Cefu Yuangui

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Cefu Yuangui
EditorWang Qinruo, Yang Yi et al.
CountrySong dynasty
LanguageClassical Chinese
Subjectmainly politics and history
Publication date
Cefu Yuangui
Traditional Chinese
Simplified Chinese
Literal meaningPrime Tortoise of the Book Department

Cefu Yuangui is the largest leishu (encyclopedia) compiled during the Chinese Song Dynasty (AD 960–1279). It was the last of the Four Great Books of Song, the previous three encyclopedias published in the 10th century.


English titles for this encyclopedia are

  • Prime Tortoise of the Record Bureau,[1]
  • The Magic Mirror in the Palace of Books,[2]
  • Archival Palace as the Great Oracle,[3]
  • General Preface on Outer Ministers,[4]
  • Outstanding Models from the Storehouse of Literature,[5] and
  • Models from the Archives.[6]

The encyclopedia was originally named Narrative of Monarchs and Officials in the Past Dynasties but was later renamed to Yuangui, meaning the oracle tortoise shells, and Cefu, the imperial's storehouse of literature. The work was started in 1005 and finished in 1013 by Wang Qinruo and numerous other scholars. It was one of the four books that were divided into 1,000 volumes. It was almost twice as large as the Imperial Reader of the Taiping Era and was ranked second in the Siku Quanshu collections. It consisted of about 9.4 million words (or Chinese characters), which included many political essays, biographies of rulers and subjects, memorials, and decrees.[citation needed]

See also[edit]



  1. ^ Chen Sanping (2012). "Chapter 1". Multicultural China in the Early Middle Ages. University of Pennsylvania Press. p. 15. Retrieved August 9, 2014. This Wikipedia article was created in 2006 and renamed in 2006 as Prime Tortoise of the Record Bureau.
  2. ^ Anderson, James (2007). The Rebel Den of Nung Tri Cao: Loyalty and Identity along the Sino-Vietnamese Frontier. University of Washington Press. p. 248. ISBN 978-9971-69-367-1. Retrieved August 9, 2014.
  3. ^ Ng On-cho; Wang, Q. Edward (2005). Mirroring the Past: The Writing and Use of History in Imperial China. University of Hawai'i Press. Retrieved August 9, 2014.
  4. ^ Terrill, Ross (2003). The New Chinese Empire: And What It Means for the United States. p. 287. ISBN 978-0-465-08412-8. Retrieved August 9, 2014.
  5. ^ McBride, Richard D II (Fall 2006). Duncan, John; Shin Gi-Wook, eds. "Is the Samguk yusa reliable?". The Journal of Korean Studies. 11 (1). Retrieved August 9, 2014.
  6. ^ Zurndorfer, Harriet T (2013). "Fifteen hundred years of the Chinese encyclopedia". In König, Jason; Woolf, Greg. Encyclopædism from Antiquity to the Renaissance. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Retrieved August 9, 2014.


External links[edit]