An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History and Literature

Yushi chunqiu 虞氏春秋

Feb 19, 2011 © Ulrich Theobald

Yushi chunqiu 虞氏春秋 "Spring and autumn of Master Yu" was a political treatise attributed to the Warring States period 戰國 (5th cent.-221 BCE) politician Yu Qing 虞卿. He is said to have written this book while being in exile in the state of Wei 魏.

The historical examples quoted in his book reach from the Spring and Autumn period 春秋 (770-5th cent. BCE) down to his own days. The book was explicitly written as a handbook for help in government. It comprised 8 (or 9 or 15) chapters. According to his biography in the history Shiji 史記, Yu Qing was a fellow disciple of Xunzi 荀子. The book was, according to these statements, not written by Yu Qing himself, but by his teacher Tan Jiao 鐔椒.

The Yushi chunqiu was traditionally categorized as a Confucian treatise. The book was lost, yet the Qing-period 清 (1644-1911) scholar Ma Guohan 馬國翰 (1794-1857) reconstructed it as far as possible on the base of fragments quoted in other literary works.

The surviving parts of the Yushi chunqiu are included in Ma's series Yuhan shanfang jiyi shu 玉函山房輯佚書.

Li Xueqin 李學勤, Lü Wenyu 呂文鬰, eds. (1996). Siku da cidian 四庫大辭典 (Changchun: Jilin daxue chubanshe), Vol. 2, 1541.