An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History and Literature

Yu Zhengxie 俞正燮

May 6, 2012 © Ulrich Theobald

Yu Zhengxie 俞正燮 (1775-1840), courtesy name Lichu 理初, was a mid-Qing period 清 (1644-1911) scholar and philosopher. He hailed from Xixian 黟縣, Anhui, and earned his juren degree in 1821.

Yu was known for his vast knowledge in the Confucian Classics and historiographical writings. He belonged to the school of Confucian scholars that focused on the study of Han period 漢 (206 BCE-220 CE) commentaries on the Classics with the argument that these were relatively close to the origin of the texts. This was also true for the pre-Qin period (6th-3rd cent. BCE) "masters and philosophers".

In 1835 governor-general Lin Zexu 林則徐 (1785-1850) invited Yu Zhengxie to compile a local gazetteer for the provinces Hubei and Hunan, Liang-Hu tongzhi 兩湖通志.

In his later years Yu Zhengxie was a professor in the Xiyin Academy 惜陰書院 in Jiangning 江寧 (Nanjing). He has also compiled a local gazetteer of his home district, Xixian zhi 黟縣志. His collected writings are included in the books Guisi leigao 癸巳類稿 and Guisi cungao 癸巳存稿.

Pang Pu 龐樸, ed. (1997). Zhongguo ruxue 中國儒學 (Shanghai: Dongfang chuban zhongxin), Vol. 2, 261.