Eminent Chinese of the Ch'ing Period/Wu Jên-ch'ên

WU Jên-ch'ên 吳任臣 (T. 志伊, 爾器, 征鴻, H. 託園), 1628?–1689?, historian and mathematician, was a native of Jên-ho (Hangchow), Chekiang. Because of his achievements in the field of historical scholarship he was recommended in 1678 to take the special examination known as po-hsüeh hung-tz'ŭ (see under P'êng Sun-yü) which he passed in the ensuing year. He was thereupon made a corrector in the Hanlin Academy, assigned to the compilation of the official Ming history (Ming-shih). The section of that history which deals with the calendar was primarily his contribution, and differs from similar sections in preceding dynastic histories in giving diagrams. Wu Jên-ch'ên directed his studies to various fields, writing treatises on the Rites, on the calendar of the Spring and Autumn Annals and on etymology. But his best known works are the 十國春秋 Shih-kuo ch'un-ch'iu, first printed in 1678 in 114 chüan; and the 山海經廣註 Shan-hai ching kuang-chu, printed for the first time in 1667, in 18 chüan. The former is a history of the ten kingdoms which flourished from 902 to 979 A.D. during the period of transition between the Tang and the Sung dynasties. The latter is an amplification of an ancient commentary to the Shan-hai ching—a commentary prepared, early in the fourth century, by Kuo P'u (see under Ku Kuang-ch'i). Both works were given descriptive notice in the Imperial Catalogue and both were copied into the Imperial Library (see under Chi Yün).

[2/68/2b; 16/14/25a; 17/2/16b; 30/2/19a; 32/3/22b; Hangchow fu-chih (1922) 145/15a; Wu-lin ts'ang-shu lu (see under Ting Ping) hsia 2b; Ssŭ-k'u 66/7a, 142/1a; Chou-jên chuan (see under Juan Yüan) 3d series 1/1a in Nan-ch'ing shu-yüan ts'ung-shu (see under Huang T'i-fang).]

Tu Lien-chê