Item ID: 9857 [Yellow Chart of the (Territory Controlled by) the Three (Bulwark Generals)]. SAN FU HUANG TU 三輔黃圖.

The Glory That Was Chang’an

[Yellow Chart of the (Territory Controlled by) the Three (Bulwark Generals)].

70 folding leaves. Small 8vo, orig. wrappers (a little frayed). Shanghai: Shangwu yinshuguan 商務印書館, 1935.

A facsimile reprint of a Yuan edition of this work on the Han dynasty capital of Chang’an and its environs. The book provides detailed descriptions of the area’s streets and markets, neighborhoods and villages, hunting parks, ponds, city gates and watchtowers, palaces, temples, tombs, storehouses, government offices, ceremonial halls, academies, and other important elements of architecture. It furthermore describes ancient sites left from Zhou and Qin times. The descriptions are detailed. “It is an important source for the study of Han-era Chang’an as well as the historical geography of the Guanzhong plains region” (Zheng & Tan, Zhongguo lishi da cidian, 81).

The book has the alternative title Xi jing huang tu 西京黃圖 [Yellow Chart of the Western Capital], where “Western” is used to distinguish it from the eastern city of Luoyang, which also served as the capital in one period. The book is first mentioned in the bibliographical treatise in the Book of Sui, a history of China in the sixth and seventh centuries CE. It is thought to date from the end of the Han period (202 BCE-220 CE) or shortly thereafter. The text as it has come down to us contains material interspersed in the intervening centuries.

Our book was published by the rare books department (Hanfen lou 涵芬樓) of the Commercial Press (Shangwu yinshuguan). It published many fine facsimiles in the Republican period. The book ends with a list of emendations made to the text during collation.


Zheng Tianting 郑天挺 & Tan Qixiang 谭其骧, eds. Zhongguo lishi da cidian 中国历史大辞典, Vol. 1. Shanghai: Shanghai cishu chubanshe, 2010.

Price: $500.00

Item ID: 9857