Peiwen Yunfu - A Chinese Rime Dictionary of Literary Allusions and Poetic Diction
The Peiwen Yunfu (simplified Chinese: 佩文韵府；literally "rime storehouse of esteemed phrases") is a 1711 Chinese rime dictionary of literary allusions and poetic dictions. Collated by tone and rime, the dictionary serves the composition of poetry.
Like the Kangxi dictionary, the Peiwen Yunfu was compiled under the patronage of the Kangxi Emperor, whose imperial library was named Peiwen ("esteem/admire writing/phrases/literature"). He believed that previous Chinese dictionaries of multiple-character phrases, including the Yuan Dynasty Yunfu qunyu 韵府群玉 and the Ming Dynasty Wuche yunrui 五车韵瑞, were incomplete and sometimes erroneous. Over twenty editors, including Zhang Yushu and Chen Tingjing, began the compilation in 1704 and finished in 1711. In 1716, the emperor ordered the creation of a supplement, the Yunfu shiyi 韵府拾遗, which was completed in 1720.
The Peiwen yunfu is a large dictionary (212 "volumes; fascicles") of two-, three-, and four-character idioms. It contains roughly 560,000 items under 10,257 entries arranged by 106 rimes. Classical allusions and phrases are classified under the rime of their last character, with numerous quotations given to illustrate usage.
Although the Peiwen yunfu, which James Legge calls the "Kangxi Thesaurus", is less famous than the Kangxi dictionary, it can be helpful in tracing literary usages. "Whenever names or phrases are met with which are not understood," say Teng & Biggerstaff, "this is the first work which should be consulted."