Jia Sixie 贾思勰

An outstanding agricultural scientist

Overview

Chinese Name: 贾思勰

English Name: Jia Sixie

Born: Unknown

Died: Unknown

Achievements:

Establish a relatively complete agronomy system 建立较完整的农学体系

Main Works:

Important Arts for the Peoples Walfare 齐民要术

Jia Sixie 贾思勰
Jia Sixie 贾思勰

Brief Biography of Jia Sixie

Jia Sixie, a minister in the northern and Eastern Wei dynasties, was an outstanding agronomist in ancient China.

Jia Sixie (Xi é), a native of Qingzhou 青州 Yidu 益都 (now Shouguang City 寿光市, Shandong Province 山东省). He once served as Gaoyang prefect 高阳太守 and wrote the comprehensive agricultural book Qimin Yaoshu 齐民要术. This book systematically summarizes the agricultural science and technology knowledge of the Yellow River 黄河 Basin in China since the Qin 秦朝 and Han Dynasties 汉朝, and provides a basis for future agricultural works.

The statue of Jia Sixie 贾思勰塑像

This work is not only the earliest and most perfect agricultural masterpiece in China, but also one of the earliest masterpieces in the world’s agricultural history, which has a far-reaching impact on agricultural production in future generations. The book consists of chapters on farming, grain, vegetables, fruit trees, trees, livestock, brewing, seasoning, conditioning, foreign products, etc. It is the earliest and most complete large-scale agricultural encyclopedia in China.

In order to carry forward the national cultural spirit and highlight Jia Sixie’s great contributions to mankind, Linzi District 临淄区 built a museum in the 10000 mu agricultural demonstration park of Qicheng Agricultural Development Zone of Zibo City 淄博市 to commemorate.

Personal Life and Major Contributions

Embark on an official career

Jia Sixie was an outstanding agronomist in ancient China. He was born in Qingzhou Yidu (now Shouguang, Shandong Province) in the Northern Wei Dynasty 北魏. Jia Sixie was born in a scholarly family that has been farming for generations. His ancestors liked reading and studying very much, especially paying attention to the study and research of agricultural production technology, which had a great impact on Jia Sixie’s life and laid a foundation for his later compilation of Qimin Yaoshu 齐民要术.

After he became an adult, he began his official career. He once served as the prefecture of Gaoyang Commandery (now Linzi 临淄, Shandong Province 山东省), and went to Shandong, Hebei 河北, Henan 河南 and other places. Wherever he went, he carefully inspected and studied the local agricultural production technology, consulted some veteran farmers with rich experience, and obtained a lot of agricultural production knowledge. After middle age, he returned to his hometown, started farming and animal husbandry, and mastered a variety of agricultural production technologies.

The memorial hall of Jia Sixie 贾思勰纪念馆
The memorial hall of Jia Sixie 贾思勰纪念馆

According to historical records, Jia Sixie was the prefecture of Gaoyang Commandery of Qingzhou in the Northern Wei Dynasty. Because he lived in the Northern Wei Dynasty, a period from economic prosperity and social stability to economic decline, political corruption, social unrest and war. He deeply felt that restoring the national economy and ensuring the people’s livelihood were really necessary to consolidate political power. He attached great importance to summing up agricultural production technology and experience. After he resigned from Gaoyang Prefecture, Jia Sixie began to devote himself to agricultural research, covering Henan, Shanxi, Hebei, Shandong and other places.

Compile Qimin Yaoshu

From about the second year of Yongxi 永熙 in the Northern Wei Dynasty (AD 533) to the second year of Wuding 武定 in the Eastern Wei Dynasty (AD 544), Jia Sixie analyzed, collated, summarized, and wrote the agricultural science and technology masterpiece Qimin Yaoshu. The book has 10 volumes, 92 chapters, and more than 110000 words. The content is extremely rich, involving agriculture, forestry, animal husbandry, sideline, fishery and other agricultural fields. There is a preface and a miscellaneous statement at the beginning of the book. “Preface” is the general outline of the whole book, while “miscellaneous remarks” are considered to be written by later generations.

Qimin Yaoshu 齐民要术
Qimin Yaoshu 齐民要术

The main contents of the book are: soil cultivation and crop cultivation management techniques; Horticulture and tree planting techniques, including vegetable and fruit tree cultivation techniques; Animal husbandry technology and veterinary; Agricultural and sideline products processing and cooking technology. The book quoted more than 100 ancient agricultural books and miscellaneous works, which preserved some of the lost works such as Sisheng book 汜胜之书, Simin monthly order 四民月令 and Tao Zhu Gong’s fish raising classic 陶朱公养鱼经, and has important historical value.

Agronomy thought

Conform to the laws of nature and give play to subjective initiative

Jia Sixie believes that crops grow regularly. Millet ripens sooner or later. Early maturing millet has a short body and many fruits. Late maturing millet grows tall and has few fruits. Strong seedlings grow short and small, just like Huanggu 黄谷.

Jia Sixie compiles Qimin Yaoshu 贾思勰撰写齐民要术
Jia Sixie compiles Qimin Yaoshu 贾思勰撰写齐民要术

Take grain as the center and diversify

Jia Sixie attached great importance to agriculture, first of all, to grain production. However, he did not attribute agricultural production to the production of grain, but to diversified economy. Qimin Yaoshu includes grain crops, horticultural crops, forest trees, mulberry and silkworm planting, animal husbandry, fish farming, and processing of agricultural and sideline products.

Jia Sixie believes that the processing of agricultural and sideline products is the continuation of agricultural production, and is a necessary link from production to consumption. Processed agricultural and sideline products not only meet the needs of consumption, but also improve their value. In Qimin Yaoshu, there are methods of making wine, vinegar, sauce and soy sauce, as well as processing grain, vegetables, fruits, meat and fish into storable food.

Video: Guo Degang’s talk show–Jia Sixie: if you want to be rich, first read Qimin Yaoshu

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2 comment A文章作者 M管理员
  1. […] Jia Sixie 贾思勰 […]

  2. […] everyone can eat it. Even at a banquet, they have to serve several dishes of pickles. According to Jia Sixie贾思勰‘s book Qi Min Yao Shu齐民要术 in the Northern Wei Dynasty北魏, there is a description […]

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