Prologue to the Sublime Glossary of All Daoist Scriptures

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The one-volume The Prologue to the Sublime Glossary of All Daoist Scriptures ( 一切道經音義妙門由起 Yiqie Daojing Yinyi Miaomen Youqi ), or simply, The Prologue, was compiled by Shi Chongxuan et al. of the Tang dynasty. At the beginning of the book is Preface to The Pronunciation and Meaning of All Daoist Scriptures written by Emperor Xuanzong of the Tang dynasty. It is said in the preface that the emperor ordered Daoist priests and scholars of the two palaces to give all the existing Daoist scriptures their pronunciation and meaning according to books such as Yupian (a dictionary) and Explanations of the Chinese Characters ( 說文解字 Shuowen Jiezi ). There were 140 volumes in all, not including the catalogue of the pronunciation and meaning or that of the scriptures. But according to Preface to the Prologue written by Shi Chongxuan, The Glossary of All Daoist Scriptures came into being as a pronunciation notation to over 2,000 volumes extant in the library of the capital and six sections of The Prologue were written in addition. The catalogue of pronounced scriptures combined with those of the old scriptures, together amount to 113 volumes. The textual criticism by the recent scholar Chen Guofu proves that Shi Chongxuan's Preface to the Glossary of All Daoist Scriptures written by imperial order was mistakenly entitled Preface to the Prologue. The Glossary of All Daoist Scriptures is a Daoist dictionary that has been lost. The six sections of The Daoist Origin existing today abstract Daoist scriptures and divide them into six categories. This book is actually a Daoist encyclopedia that gives an account of the evolution of Daoism and Daoist scriptures. It cites 77 Daoist scriptures and is of specific reference value to the study of Daoist books. The book is collected in the Supreme Peace Section ( 太平部 Taiping Bu ) of ''The Daoist Canon of the Zhengtong Era ( 正統道藏 Zhengtong Daozang ).