Concept

Yongle Encyclopedia

Summary
The Yongle Encyclopedia (jQngl@) or Yongle Dadian () is a largely-lost Chinese leishu encyclopedia commissioned by the Yongle Emperor of the Ming dynasty in 1403 and completed by 1408. It comprised 22,937 manuscript rolls or chapters, in 11,095 volumes. Fewer than 400 volumes survive today, comprising about 800 chapters (rolls), or 3.5 percent of the original work. Most of it was lost in the 2nd half of the 19th century, in the midst of events as Second Opium War, the Boxer Rebellion and subsequent social unrest. Its sheer scope and size made it the world's largest general encyclopedia until it was surpassed by Wikipedia in late 2007, nearly six centuries later. Background Although known for his military achievements, the Yongle Emperor was an intellectual who enjoyed reading. His love for research led him to develop the idea of categorizing literary works into a reference encyclopedia to preserve rare books
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