Eminent Chinese of the Ch'ing Period/Yen Yen

YEN Yen 嚴衍 (T. 永思, H. 午庭, 拙道人), 1574–1645, historian, was a native of Chia-ting, Kiangsu. When he was forty-one sui he began a serious study of Ssŭ-ma Kuang's 資治通鑑 Tzŭ-chih t'ung-chien ("Comprehensive Mirror to Aid in Government"), a chronological history of China (completed in 1084) which treats the period from 403 B. C. to 960 A. D. Although Yen greatly admired this history, he regarded it as faulty in stressing facts that are politically instructive though omitting others perhaps equally important. With the help of T'an Yün-hou 談允厚, a pupil and brother-in-law, he began in 1615 to make notes and additions which were published, together with the original text, in 294 chüan, under the title Tzŭ-chih t'ung-chien pu (補). The final draft was completed in 1664, but was not printed until 1860. A second edition appeared in 1876. In his preface, dated 1644, Yen states that he had also completed a continuation to the Tzŭ-chih t'ung-chien, entitled 宋元續編 Sung-Yüan hsü-pien. This work was apparently lost but, judging from the title, it brought the account down to the end of the Yüan dynasty (1368 A. D.). Chang Tun-jên (see under Ku Kuang-ch'i) separated Yen's notes and additions from the original text, under the title T'ung-chien pu chêng lüeh (正略), 3 chüan. This collection was printed in 1917 in the 峭帆樓叢書 Ch'iao-fan lou ts'ung-shu.


[3/413/10a; prefaces to Tzŭ-chih t'ung-chien pu; Chia-ting hsien-chih (1880) 19/13; Kuo-ts'ui hsüeh-pao (see under Liu Yü-sung), vol. 6 (1910), portrait.]

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