Duan Chengshi

Duan Chengshi (Chinese: 段成式; pinyin: Duàn Chéngshì; Wade–Giles: Tuan Ch'eng-shih) (died 863) was a Chinese poet and writer of the Tang Dynasty. He was born to a wealthy family in present-day Zibo, Shandong. A descendant of the early Tang official Duan Zhixuan (段志玄, Duàn Zhìxuán) (-642), and the son of Duan Wenchang (段文昌, Duàn Wénchāng), a high official under Tang Xuanzong, his family background enabled him to obtain office without taking the Imperial exams.[citation needed] As a poet, he was associated with Li Shangyin and Wen Tingyun.

Duan is best known outside of China for being the author of an early version of Cinderella, called Ye Xian. In 853, the story first appeared in Miscellaneous Morsels from Youyang, which was published shortly after he returned to Chang'an after his term of acting Governor of Jizhou (now known as Ji'an in Jiangsu). It is believed that it was a folktale told by peasants before it was recorded on paper. Some people even believe that the French author Charles Perrault copied Duan's version, only he renamed it and slightly altered it.

Duan is also known for describing in his written work of 863 AD the slave trade, ivory trade, and ambergris trade of Bobali, which believed to be what is now Berbera in Somaliland, East Africa.[1][2]


  1. ^ Levathes, 38.
  2. ^ H. Neville Chittick, Robert I. Rotberg, Harvard University. Center for International Affairs, British Institute in Eastern Africa, University of Nairobi (1975). East Africa and the Orient: cultural syntheses in pre-colonial times. Africana Pub. Co. p. 109. ISBN 0-8419-0142-2. Retrieved 23 January 2011.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)


  • Levathes, Louise (1994). When China Ruled the Seas. New York: Simon & Schuster. ISBN 0-671-70158-4.

External linksEdit