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Chinese Literature
Zhufu Yan shu 主父偃書 "The Book of Zhufu Yan"


The Zhufu Yan shu 主父偃書 "Book of Zhufu Yan" was a political treatise written by the Han period 漢 (206 BCE-220 CE) official Zhufu Yan 主父偃 (died 126 BCE). He came from Linzi 臨淄 (modern Zibo 淄博, Shandong) and was an ordinary grand master (zhong dafu 中大夫). In his memorials to the throne he stressed the importance to curtail the power of the imperial princes, but also to exert a Confucian government of benevolence. These suggestions were adopted by Emperor Wu 漢武帝 (r. 141-87 BCE). As a philosopher, Zhufu Yan studied the Confucian Classics Yijing 易經 "Book of Changes" and Chunqiu 春秋 "Spring and Autumn Annals", but also the arguments of the so-called coalition adivisors (zonghengjia 縱橫家) of the Warring States period 戰國 (5th cent.-221 BCE). His book is therefore in the imperial bibliography Yiwenzhi 藝文志 in the official dynastic history Hanshu 漢書 listed among the books of coalition advisors. It was originally 28 chapters long, but only 4 have survived. The most detailed of these are suggestions how to meet the challenge of the border raids by the nomad federation of the Xiongnu 匈奴. The surviving fragements were collected by the Qing period 清 (1644-1911) scholar Ma Guohan 馬國翰. They are to be found in Ma's collectaneum Yuhan shanfang jiyi shu 玉函山房輯佚書.

Source: Li Xueqin 李學勤, Lü Wenyu 呂文鬰 (1996). Siku da cidian 四庫大辭典, vol. 2, p. 1882. Changchun: Jilin daxue chubanshe.

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June 8, 2013 © Ulrich Theobald · Mail