Shui Jing Zhu (Commentary on the Waterways
Classic) is the famous work on geography
in ancient China, written by Li Daoyuan in the Northern Wei Dynasty (386-534).
The book of Shui Jing (Waterways Classic) was written by Sang Qin
in the Three Kingdoms Period (220-280), and annotated by Li Daoyuan, forming the
book of Shui Jing Zhu. The original version consisted of 40 books.
Li Daoyuan (469?-527) was born in Zhuo County, Fanyang (in
today's Hebei Province).
With his footprints covering south of the Great Wall,
north of the Qinling Mountains and the Huaihe River, Li Daoyuan obtained
encyclopedical knowledge. Many of the data in the book came from his field
investigations. There were only 137 watercourses in Shui Jing, but in his
commentary, the watercourses involved were 1,252, with 300,000 words, 20 times
more than the previous level.
With the watercourses as the
outline, this book described hills, lakes, counties, cities, frontier passes,
together with showplaces, soil, vegetation, climate, hydrology and social
economy, custom and tradition, historical stories, etc., which the watercourses
went through. Shui Jing Zhu contributed much to the development of
Chinese geography, with a prominent role in the geographical history in China
and in the world. The description of the mountains, rivers and sceneries in this
book is also taken as literature works and much appreciated by later