Shui Jing Zhu, the first monograph on hydrogeography in China

Seetao 2022-09-04 08:37
  • It can still be used in the research of waterway and coastal changes, urban planning and even climate change and other related fields
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"Shui Jing Zhu", written during the Northern and Southern Dynasties. The author, Li Daoyuan, was born in Zhuozhou, Hebei Province today, a geographer and essayist. "Shui Jing Zhu" is both professional and literary. The great writer Su Dongpo has said many times that he likes reading this book very much, and he reads it often, and he takes it out and turns it over if he has nothing to do.

Of course, it is not only Su Dongpo who admires the "Shui Jing Zhu", but scholars in the Qing Dynasty admire it so much, saying that it is "a book in three hundred years", and also took advantage of the opportunity of revising the "Siku Quanshu" to make Emperor Qianlong also Become a fan of "Shui Jing Zhu".

In fact, before "Shui Jing Zhu", there were many books on hydrogeography in China, but Li Daoyuan was not satisfied. Only the "Shui Jing" in the Han and Wei Dynasties is not bad, but the content is too small, which makes it unsatisfactory. Therefore, he decided to stand on the shoulders of his predecessors and give a good comment to the "Water Classic".

There is a deeper reason for Li Daoyuan to write the book. That is, he was in an era when the country was divided. He was saddened by the broken mountains and rivers, hoped that the country would be unified, and hoped to once again draw a complete map of China such as "the border is outside, and there are several big rivers and the sea inside". No wonder some people say that "Shui Jing Zhu" is a patriotic work.

Based on the Water Classic, Li Daoyuan wrote it by hand. "Shui Jing" is devoted to rivers, and it is relatively systematic in general. It is not easy to improve it. Fortunately, Li Daoyuan is well-informed and has a solid literary foundation, and he has not encountered difficulties in writing.

In this way, the first monograph on hydrology and geography in Chinese history, and a glorious masterpiece that is still of great significance to national construction and management, was finally born.

After Li Daoyuan's annotation, "The Classic of Water" came to be broken into a butterfly. The number of words in the book increased from more than 8,000 to more than 300,000, and the number of rivers increased from 137 to 1,252. From the source to the estuary, from the main stream to the tributaries, from the flood to the dry water, from the shape of the river to the water volume, water level, sediment and other hydrological elements, this book has recorded them one by one. A small tributary in the upper reaches of the Yellow River, the "Shui Jing" only wrote 12 characters, and the scripture Li Daoyuan "notes", ho! More than 1800 words, completely re-creation rhythm.

"Shui Jing Zhu" has both scientific rigor and literary color. For example, when describing a lake in Nanchang, Jiangxi, he wrote, "East Taihu Lake, ten miles and two hundred and twenty-six steps, the north is equal to the city, and the southern edge turns back to Nantang, the water flows through the big river, the increase and decrease are the same as the river water.” The clarity of data, the clarity of orientation, and the interaction of rivers and lakes are all technical terms. But then, he turned his pen and said with emotion, "The water is clear and deep, and the fish is very plump."

The water is so clear and deep; the fish is so plump and delicious. This is simply poetry. Editor/He Yuting


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