Taiping Yulan

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Taiping Yulan
Imperial Readings.jpg
Traditional Chinese 太平
Simplified Chinese 太平
Hanyu Pinyin Tàipíng Yùlǎn
Literal meaning Imperial Reader of the Era of Great Peace

The Taiping Yulan, translated as the Imperial Reader or Readings of the Taiping Era, is a massive Chinese leishu encyclopedia compiled by a number of officers under Li Fang from 977 to 983. It was commissioned by the imperial court of the Song dynasty during the first era of the reign of Emperor Taizong. It is divided into 1,000 volumes and 55 sections, which consisted of about 4.7 millions Chinese characters. It included citations from about 2,579 different kinds of documents spanning from books, poetry, odes, proverbs, steles to miscellaneous works. After its completion, the Emperor Taizong is said to have finished reading it within a year, going through 3 volumes per day. It is considered one of the Four Great Books of Song.