Classified Anthology of Literary Works: 100 Juan


Yi wen lei ju (Classified anthology of literary works) is an encyclopedic compilation by Ouyang Xun (557‒641) and others, created by order of Li Yuan, Emperor Gaozu (reigned 618‒26) of the Tang Dynasty. It was completed in the seventh year (624) of the Wude era. The work is divided into 46 sections and numerous subsections. The contents are arranged, as described, with “matter listed in front, followed by literature.” They are organized with works on classics, history, and philosophy in the earlier sections and works of poetry and prose in the later sections. The latter are ordered by literary styles, for example narrative verse fu, poetry, chants, odes, and so forth. Unlike other encyclopedias of earlier centuries that focused either on “matter” or “literature,” this work covers both. The sources for all of the quotations are cited; they are mostly encyclopedias and collections from the Six Dynasties (220–589). The quotations come from some 1300‒1400 sources, many of which are no longer in existence; they have been preserved in this work, through which they have been widely circulated. This copy is a Ming edition, printed in the tenth year (1515) of the Zhengde reign by Hua Jian of Wuxi. The Hua family was one of the Ming publishers using copper movable type. The family produced various types of books; the quality of the printing was superb. Most of the books published by Lanxuetang, Hua Jian’s printing house, bear the printer’s colophons and labels, such as “Copper movable type printed by Hua Jian, Yungang, of Lanxuetang in Xishan.” Presented here are the prefaces, table of contents, and juan 1 of Yi wen lei ju.

Last updated: August 31, 2017