Yan Ying 晏嬰 (d. 500 BCE) was a high minister of the state of Qi 齊 during the Spring and Autumn period 春秋 (770-5th cent. BCE). His personal name was Yan Zhong 晏仲, honorific name Yan Pingzhong 晏平仲. He was also called Yanzi 晏子 "Master Yan".
In 556, he interited the post of minister (qing 卿) held by his father Yan Huanzi 晏桓子. Yan Ying served three rulers for more than 50 years, in which he was a very crucial person intermediating between the dukes of Qi and the lower officialdom. He was popular for his austerity in government and his favourable treatment of subordinates.
Yan Ying saw the danger the mighty house of Tian 田 (see Tian Chang 田常) represented to the ducal house and tried his best to support the ruling family. He suggested to duke Jing marrying a princess of the state of Jin 晉 to tighten the relations with this state. He also admonished Duke Jing 齊景公 (r. 547-490) to cut taxes and to relax the penal law somewhat in order to gain more popularity among the population.
Another issue to be reformed were religious ceremonies that concentrated on invocating good luck and averting disaster. A rouler should instead, Yan said, govern by rituals and etiquette and not too much rely on Heaven. A benevolent government would have a more direct success than praying for heal.
There is a collection of stories of Yan Ying's advice to the dukes of Qi, the Yanzi chunqiu 晏子春秋, written during the Warring States period 戰國 (5th cent.-221 BCE).
Cang Xiuliang 倉修良, ed. (1991). Shiji cidian 史記辭典 (Jinan: Shandong jiaoyu chubanshe), 410.
Chen Ying 陳瑛, Xu Qixian 許啟賢, ed. (1989). Zhongguo lunli da cidian 中國倫理大辭典 (Shenyang: Liaoning renmin chubanshe), 554.
Fu Qingsheng 傅慶升, Sheng Guangzhi 盛廣智 (1996). "Yanzi 晏子", in Feng Kezheng 馮克正, Fu Qingsheng 傅慶升, ed. Zhuzi baijia da cidian 諸子百家大辭典 (Shenyang: Liaoning renmin chubanshe), 10.
Huang Banghe 黃邦和, Pi Mingxiu 皮明庥, ed. (1987). Zhong-wai lishi renwu cidian 中外歷史人物詞典 (Changsha: Hunan renmin chubanshe), 376.
Lin Fei 林非, ed. (1997). Zhongguo sanwen da cidian 中國散文大辭典 (Zhengzhou: Zhongzhou guji chubanshe), 3.
Liu Weihua 劉蔚華, ed. 1990. Shijie zhexuejia cidian 世界哲學家辭典 (Chongqing: Chongqing chubanshe), 8.
Liu Weihua 劉蔚華 (1992). "Yan Ying 晏嬰", in Zhongguo da baike quanshu 中國大百科全書, Zhexue 哲學 (Beijing/Shanghai: Zhongguo da baike quanshu chubanshe), Vol. 2, 1064.
Liu Wenying 劉文英, ed. (1987). Zhexue baike xiao cidian 哲學百科小辭典 (Lanzhou: Gansu renmin chubanshe), 195.
Jia Chongji 賈崇吉, Yang Zhiwu 楊致武, ed. (1992). Zhonghua lunli daode cidian 中華倫理道德辭典 (Xi'an: Shaanxi renmin chubanshe), 394.
Meng Zhenxiang 蒙振祥 (1993). "Yan Ying 晏嬰", in Shi Quanchang 石泉長, ed. Zhonghua baike yaolan 中華百科要覽 (Shenyang: Liaoning renmin chubanshe), 413.
Tao Yinpiao 陶銀驃, Wu Min 武斌, Wang Juzhong 王舉忠, ed. (1989). Zhong-wai zhexuejia cidian 中外哲學家辭典 (Xi'an: Shaanxi renmin chubanshe), 399.
Wu Shuchen 武樹臣, ed. (1999). Zhongguo chuantong falü wenhua cidian 中國傳統法律文化辭典 (Beijing: Beijing daxue chubanshe), 237.
Yi Xingguo 衣興國, ed. (1988). Shiyong Zhongguo mingren cidian 實用中國名人辭典 (Changchun: Jilin wenshi chubanshe), 47.