Gazetteer of Licheng during the Chongzhen Reign


Gazetteers such as the one presented here are local histories with detailed descriptions of a certain locality, typically a province, a city, or a county, at a certain period. They provide in-depth information and sources for the study of Chinese history, geography, local economy, culture, language and dialects, biographies, and the administration of local government. Licheng, situated south of Mount Li, can trace its history back to the state of Qi during the Spring and Autumn period (770‒476 BC). During the Ming dynasty, the county was under the administration of Ji’nan Prefecture and was a political center of Shandong Province. The author of this gazetteer was Ye Chengzong (1601‒48), a native of this county. Ye Chengzong received his jin shi degree in 1646 and became the magistrate of Linchuan, Jiangxi Province, where he helped provide relief in the famine, opened granaries to provide the population with grain, requested delays in taxation, and established a school to educate the local people. In 1648 when Linchuan was seized by the army of a Ming general who surrendered to the Manchus, he was captured, but he refused to surrender and committed suicide. This 1640 printed edition was compiled by Ye, as indicated in his preface of the same year, in which he wrote that he began the work at the request of Song Zufa, magistrate of Licheng. He collected contemporary documents, classical works, and works by renowned scholars; made corrections; and added supplements. Two other prefaces were written by Zai Maode (1586‒1644), a late-Ming official, and Song Zufa, the magistrate, also dated 1640. The subjects covered include territory and history, temples, arches and gateways, taxes and levies of service, officials, schools and social customs, military affairs, personalities, women who preferred to die rather than remarry, arts and literature, and book collecting. The work contains maps and landscapes.

Last updated: January 10, 2018