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Yanzi chunqiu 晏子春秋

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Yanzi chunqiu 晏子春秋 "Spring and Autumn of Master Yan" is a collection of stories around Yan Ying 晏嬰, a lower nobility minister of the dukes of Qi 齊 who lived in the late 6th century. The book, although ascribed to himself, is of later date and was compiled during the Warring States period 戰國 (5th cent.-221 BC). The book Yanzi chunqiu consists of 215 stories arranged in 8 chapters. In the stories Yan Ying acts as advisor to Duke Jing of Qi 齊景公 (r. 547-490), and therefore the greatest part of the book consists of direct speech. Although the Yanzi chunqiu is a vivid description of a concerted action between a ruler and his dauntless and level-headed chief counsellor the book has never attracted greater attention among literati. Not even the Confucian comments added by the compiler(s) at the end of some of the stories were able to attract attention. For this reason no ancient commentary has been written. The language of the Yanzi is short and concise, with a lot of aphorisms. The stories around Master Yan have been collected by the Former Han period 前漢 (206 BCE-8 CE) scholar Liu Xiang 劉向, in 8 so-called "inner" and "outer" chapters and 215 stories. The earliest commentaries have been written by the Qing period 清 (1644-1911) scholars Su Yu 蘇輿 (Yanzi chunqiu jiaozhu 晏子春秋校注) and Zhang Chunyi (same title). The first modern commentary has been compiled by Wu Zeyu 吳則虞 (Yanzi chunqiu jishi 晏子春秋集釋).

1.-2. 內篇諫 Neipian: Jian A-B
3.-4. 內篇問 Neipian: Wen A-B
5.-6. 內篇雜 Neipian: Za A-B
7. 外篇重而異者 Waipian: Zhong er yi zhe
8. 外篇不合經術者 Waipian: Bu he jing shu zhe

Olivia Milburn (2016). The Spring and Autumn Annals of Master Yan (Leiden/Boston: Brill).

Sources: Yang Tiantang 楊天堂 (1986), "Yanzi chunqiu 晏子春秋", in Zhongguo da baike quanshu 中國大百科全書, Zhongguo wenxue 中國文學 (Beijing/Shanghai: Zhongguo da baike quanshu chubanshe), Vol. 2, p. 1138. ● Li Shen 李申 (1992), "Yanzi chunqiu 晏子春秋", in Zhongguo da baike quanshu, Zhongguo lishi (Beijing/Shanghai: Zhongguo da baike quanshu chubanshe), Vol. 3, pp. 1368-1369.

Translation: Milburn, Olivia (2016). The Spring and Autumn Annals of Master Yan (Leiden: Brill).

July 3, 2010 © Ulrich Theobald · Mail
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