Collected Chinese Characters in Ancient Script in Four-Tone Rhyme-Order: One Juan


Ji gu wen yun (Collected Chinese characters in ancient script in four-tone rhyme-order) is a fragmentary Song work. The original work was compiled by Xia Song (984‒1050), courtesy name Ziqiao, a native of De’an, Jiangzhou (in present-day Jiangsu), and a scholar of ancient Chinese script. Xia Song successfully passed the civil service examinations with recommendations from eminent officials and presided over by the emperor. He took a number of official posts, including one as military commissioner of Wuning District (in present-day Jiangsu). Xia Song was posthumously bestowed the title of Wenzhuang. The dictionary Gu wen si sheng yun (Ancient script in four-tone rhyme-order) was another of his works. In the preface of Ji gu wen yun, he indicated that during the Dazhongxiangfu reign (1008‒16) of Emperor Zhenzong, he found numerous Chinese characters in tadpole script (a variant of seal script) on ancient vessels submitted by regional territorial administrations. He began to search widely for surviving records and inscriptions, and was able to collect ancient Chinese characters in seal script and to compile this work. The work was arranged in the tone order used in a Tang dynasty work Qie yun (Rhyme dictionary), and the characters in ancient seal script were arranged according to the four-tone rhyme-order, which made it easy for readers to search and browse. It also contained some of the confused parts and omissions from Liu shu (Treatise on Chinese scripts). This fragmentary copy has a postscript, according to which it was copied from a Tianyige Library reprint edition dated the 15th year (1145) of the Shaoxing era of Southern Song, and printed at Qi’an Junxue. It was printed on old bark paper that had previously been used for official documents, which is rarely seen. Juan 3, the only surviving juan, is presented here. The heading reads: Ji gu wen yun. Shang sheng, juan di san (Collected Chinese characters in ancient script in four-tone rhyme-order. The rising tone: Juan 3).

Date Created

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Publication Information

Qi'an Junxue, Qi'an, Hubei, China


Title in Original Language


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Physical Description

1 juan : accordion binding ; 25 x 17.4 centimeters

Last updated: April 14, 2017