Chinese Wiki Translations of People of Jin

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Re: Chinese Wiki Translations of People of Jin

Unread postby Tarrot » Thu Jul 04, 2013 7:16 pm

Xun Xu http://zh.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E8%8D%80%E5%8B%96

Xun Xu (?-289), also written as Xun Xu, zi Gongceng, from Yingyin, Yingchuan (modern day Xuchang in Henan). A Wei and Jin politician, as well as a musician, the grandson of the Sikong Xun Shuang.

Early Years

Because his father Xun Xi died when he was young, he could only rely on his uncle for support. He was brilliant as a child, he could write essays when he was 10, and when he got older he became more educated, and proficient in politics. He was first made a secretary to Cao Shuang, later becoming a Shutong Shilang. In 249, Cao Shuang was accused of rebellion and executed. At the time, not a single one of his former disciples and subordinates would offer condolences, and only when Xun Xu would grief, would others join him. He was made the County Magistrate of Anyang. Because of the benevolence he showed to the locals, when Xun Xu was made a Piaojicongshi Shilang, the locals set up a temple to him. He'd later be appointed Tingweizheng, as well as participate in Sima Zhao's military affairs, and obtain a Guannei Marquis. He'd later become the Dajiangjun's Congshi Zhonglang, as well as Lingjishi.

Loyalty to Jin

In 263, Zhong Hui, who'd just conquered Shu-Han, plotted rebellion, but there was no evidence at the time. Because of Sima Zhao's trust in Zhong Hui, he didn't believe these rumors. However, Xun Xu thought Zhong Hui's personality would make him forget kindness and justice, recognized the signs of rebellion, and urged Sima Zhao to prepare quickly. Sima Zhao as a result headed to Changan, while he dispatched Jia Chong to Hanzhong. At this time, the Zhubu Guo Yi and the Canjun Wang Shen both thought that Xun Xu's family was related to Zhong Hui's, and thought his family would rebel with Zhong Hui, and urged Sima Zhao to dismiss him from his position. However Sima Zhao held unbreakable trust in Xun Xu, to the point of sharing the same carriage with him, and there was no change in his treatment. And, because Xun Xu had previously suggested Wei Guan as the supervisor of the army, and because he had to rely on Wei Guan to keep stability amongst the locals after Zhong Hui rebelled, as a result the next year the rebellion was suppressed, and Xun Yu, Pei Xiu, and Yang Hu all shared secret information. (I think this is they were told of secret information) The next year Sima Zhao would become King of Jin, and Xun Xu would be appointed Shizhong and made a Viscount of Anyang. In 265, Sima Yan accepted the Wei emperor's abdication, and named Xun Xu Marquis of Jibei, appointed him Zhongshujian, and put him in charge of ancient works while Jia Chong handled the law.

Getting close to Jia Chong

Xun Xu, Feng Dan, and Yang Yao all adhered to Sima Yan's favorite minister Jia Chong, along with Ren Kai, Yu Chun, and He Jiao's respective political cliques. In 271, Ren Kai took advantage of Tufa Shijineng's harassment of the borders, as well as Sima Yan's anxiety about it, while at the same time proposing sending a prestigious and intelligent official to support the borders, and nominated Jia Chong. With Yu Chun supporting this, Sima Yan ordered Jia Chong to go supervise affairs in the Qin and Liang states, and to go to Changan. Xun Xu became aware of this and said to Feng Dan, "If Jia Chong goes to Changan, we'll lose our power. However, Sima Zhong is without a wife, so if we have Jia Chong's daughter marry him, Sima Yan won't send him away." Feng Dan heard this plot and had nothing else to suggest. After Xun Xu told this to the concerned Jia Chong. Then Xun Xu and Feng Dan went to Sima Yan and proposed Jia Nanfeng to be Sima Zhong's wife, saying "Her genius and beauty are exceptional, as if she came from Dongguan (mystical place in China), and must be able to assist the ruler, having the virtue of "Guan Sui"." Additionally, the empress Yang Yan strongly supported this idea, and Sima Yan finally made Jia Nanfeng Sima Zhong's wife. Jia Chong could also keep his old office. At this time Xun Xu had a jealous personality, with an ugly appearance, and the black skinned and short Jia Nanfeng, who was said to be intelligent and of beauty and virtue, turned all of the honest court officials against Xun Xu and as a result ridiculed his flattery. Later, Xun Xu would be named Gorious Grand Master, as well as lead the Mishujian, and establish himself as a Professor of Calligraphy, and would teach the calligraphy of Zhong Yao and Hu Zhao.

In 279, the Yizhou provisional governor Wang Jun requested permission to attack Eastern Wu, which Xun Xu and Jia Chong strongly advised against, because they thought it was impossible to succeed, but Sima Yan wouldn't listen to their words, and took Wu with a quick assault. After the war Sima Yan gave out orders to commemorate Jin's success, and confirmed (I think Xun Xu) as a noble, and gave him 1000 bolts of silk. Xun Xu commented often on policy ideas, always in alignment with Sima Yan's thoughts, and as a result during the Taikang (280-289) period, Sima Yan praised Xun Xu, and would nominated him Glorious Grand Master, Yitongsansi (I'm assuming to be treated like the Excellencies), Kaifu, Shouzhong Shujian, and Shizhong.

Sima Yan had held fear that his son Sima Zhong was not intelligent, and was afraid when he took over he'd lead Jin into chaos, so he sent Xun Xu and He Jiao to obverse his son. When they returned, Xun Xu highly praised Sima Zhong's ability, but He Jiao said that things were as Sima Yan feared. After Jia Nanfeng threw a halberd and killed the pregnant concubine of Sima Zhong, Sima Yan was beside himself with anger and wanted to kill her, but Xun Xu and Feng Dan did everything in their power to calm down Sima Yan, and as a result her life was spared.

Altering the Book of History

Later, Xun Xu's position would change from leading the Zhongshujian to the Shangshuling. Xun Xu because he'd been with the Zhongshujian for a long time, had been in charge of many important matters, and with his change in position, it appeared that he would lose influence, so he was completely unhappy. After his appointment to the Shangshuling, there was an investigation of the underlings of the Lingshi, and found that there were gramatical errors everywhere, but weren't able to figure out how to handle these affairs, and decided to fire everyone. Sima Yan appreciated this, and referenced the Eastern Han's Xun Yu and Xun You, and praised Xun Xu as having these two men's strong points. A month after he'd been in office, he tried to resign on account of his mother's death, but Sima Yan wouldn't permit it, and gave him an imperial command to continue his inspections.

In 289, Xun Xu died, and was posthumously named Situ, and confered a coffin, money, silk, as well as sending two imperial censors to his funeral He was given the postumous title Cheng Marquis.

Other Accomplishments

Xun Xu was proficient in music, and guided the composition of Liu Gong, in according with the Rites of Zhou in Confucianism, imitate the ancient musical notes, and later in accordance with the ancient musical notes, casted a copper tuner, which he could use to perfect the notes. He also once in accordance with the laws (any help for this), made a flute that would follow the 12 tones of Chinese music (guessing on this, not sure exactly what it is), with each pitch corresponding to each tone.

When Xun Xu was appointed Zhongshujian, along with the Zhongshuling Zhang Hua, he would arrange the Jin court collection of books in accordance with Liu Xiang and Liu Xin. In 279 in Ji (modern day Henan), there were Classical language documents discovered in an old tomb, with Xun Xu in charge of proofreading the bamboo sheets named the Jizhongshu, which included the ZhushuJinian and the Mutianzichuan.

Personality Characteristics

Xun Xu attached himself to Jia Chong, and used false words to both allow Jia Chong to remain in the court to maintain his power, as well as make Sima Zhong marry Jia Nanfeng, and would later lie about Sima Zhong's virtue, in order to allow the brutal Jia Nanfeng to remain by the heir apparent's side, so she could become an Empress in the future, which made him receive criticism from the people of the era.

Xun Xu was a very cautious man, and he was appointed Zhongshujian, and was in charge of classified documents. Every order that was sent out, even if it'd already been announced, he wouldn't send out because he didn't want people to be aware of his participation.

Xun Xu was very creative, and could read his ruler's thoughts. He wouldn't offend the ruler with his criticism, and he was able to get Sima Yan's trust, with it never faltering.

Xun Xu would always discuss musical tuning with Ruan Xian, and had to admit he wasn't as good as him, which made him hate Ruan Xian out of jealousy, and because of this got him transfered to be the Governor of Shiping, which in later generations to call him Ruan Shiping.

"Shibianlaoxin" (a Chinese parable associated with Xun Xu, no easy way to translate, best attempt is Distinguishing Food from Old Wood, so read below)

Xun Xu had outstanding knowledge, one time Xun Xu with Sima Yan and others were eating together, and Xun Xu said this was Laoxin (a very old block of wood) cooked food. Others didn't believe him, so Sima Yan asked the cook, and the cook said that the wood came from an old chariot's base, which made everyone admire his knowledge. This would later be called the "Shibianlaoxin" parable.

Commentary:
Old Chinese, can't translate.
Last edited by Tarrot on Sat Nov 09, 2013 4:32 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Chinese Wiki Translations of People of Jin

Unread postby capnnerefir » Fri Jul 05, 2013 4:47 pm

Great to see something about Xun Xu. I've gotten the impression that he was very important and I recall some interesting annecdotes from the ZZTJ about him.

I've also seen a book about him called Xun Xu and the Politics of Precision. I wish I a copy. The Google Books preview isn't too bad, but it also leaves much out, as those things tend to do. With 414 pages, the book looks like it's got a whole lot of information about his lifetime.
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Re: Chinese Wiki Translations of People of Jin

Unread postby Jolt » Sat Jul 06, 2013 1:22 am

By the looks of Xun Xu's birthplace and his political positions in Wei and Jin, it's highly likely that he was a relative of Xun Yu and You.
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Re: Chinese Wiki Translations of People of Jin

Unread postby Jordan » Sat Jul 06, 2013 2:11 am

I've also seen a book about him called Xun Xu and the Politics of Precision. I wish I a copy. The Google Books preview isn't too bad, but it also leaves much out, as those things tend to do. With 414 pages, the book looks like it's got a whole lot of information about his lifetime.


Shopping time for me.
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Re: Chinese Wiki Translations of People of Jin

Unread postby Tarrot » Sat Jul 06, 2013 5:08 am

capnnefir: There is actually more about him allegedly. I read somethin glong ago how, he had disagreements with Chen Shou in the Jin court on the history or something along those lines, but not in his bio, so I'm not entirely sure about it. It could be in the book.

Jolt: You just cost me half an hour of my life looking this up. -- The Xun family tree is such a pain, but I finally found a link to the Chinese Genealogical chart. http://zh.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E9%A2%8D% ... B%E5%9B%BE

He was a member of the same clan. Geneaologies as far as I can figure:

Xun Shu -> Xun Kun -> Xun Yu

Xun Shu's elder brother -> Xun Tan -> Xun Yi -> Xun You (so he's Xun Yu's nephew in the texts even though he's like 10 years older, commonly translated as cousin)

Xun Shu - Xun Jian - Xun Yue (the less famous Xun in Wei, but someone who still played a major role)

Xun Shu - Xun Fei - Xun Xi - Xun Xu

This would make Xun Xu the great-nephew, roughly, of Xun Yu and Yue, and like a second or third cousin once or twice removed of Xun You.
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Re: Chinese Wiki Translations of People of Jin

Unread postby capnnerefir » Sat Jul 06, 2013 5:27 am

Tarrot wrote:capnnefir: There is actually more about him allegedly. I read somethin glong ago how, he had disagreements with Chen Shou in the Jin court on the history or something along those lines, but not in his bio, so I'm not entirely sure about it. It could be in the book.

I believe I read something about that in Cutter and Crowell's Empresses and Consorts, in the section talking about Chen Shou's life. Either that or it was in the part where they discuss the death of Lady Zhen/Empress Zhao. From what I recall, Xun Xu and Chen Shou had some severe disagreements over his records. I don't think the reasons for their animosity are known.

Here's a bit more on Xun Xu's family, which I copied down from that Politics of Precision book I mentioned before

His father Xi died when Xu was young, and Xu had to rely on his maternal uncle (of the Zhong family). He was precocious and matured early. When he was only a bit over nine, he was able to compose texts. His maternal great-uncle Zhong Yao (the father of Zhong Hui), a Grand Tutor under the Wei, said: "This boy will be the match of his great-grandfather."

So Xun Xu was related to the Zhongs (Zhong Yao, Zhong Yu, and Zhong Hui). This would explain why some thought that he might rebel along with Zhong Hui and why Xun Xu was able to predict the man's future rebellious actions.
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Re: Chinese Wiki Translations of People of Jin

Unread postby Tarrot » Sat Jul 06, 2013 1:16 pm

Feng Dan http://zh.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E5%86%AF%E7%B4%9E

Feng Dan (?-286), zi Shaozhou, from Anping (modern day Ji county in Hebei), a court official in the Jin dynasty.

Whole Life

Feng Dan in his youth read ancient history books extensively, and was very scholarly and unmatched at debating. He held positions as the Governor of Wei, Bubing Xiaowei, and Yueji Xiaowei. Later, he would receive Sima Yan's trust, and be appointed Weijiangjun. Because he intentionally tried to get Sima Yan's favor, he'd win Sima Yan's trust. Additionally, he would be intimate with Sima Yan's favored ministers, Jia Chong and Xun Yi, and form a clique with them. In 271, because Xun Xu wanted Jia Chong to stay in the court, in order to keep his power, he planned to have Jia Chong's daughter marry Sima Zhong, and Feng Dan helped to persuade Sima Yan, and as a result Sima Zhong married Jia Chong's third daughter Jia Nanfeng, and Jia Chong stayed in the court. When Sima Yan later learned of Jia Nanfeng's brutal tendencies, he intended to execute her, but Feng Dan used his trust and influence to advise against this, and in the end dissuaded Sima Yan.

In the time of less war against Wu, Feng Dan lead the Governor of Ru Nan and, along with Wang Jun assaulted Moling. He'd later become a Yushi Zhongcheng, and made a Shizhong. In 282, Sima Yan was recovering from a serious illness, and during that period, the court and the people all wanted the King of Qi Sima You to inherit the country. Because Sima You previously offended Xun Xu, and because the crown-prince Sima Zhong was stupid, Xun Xu was afraid that if Sima You took power he'd disparage him, and as a result Xun Xu along with Feng Dan advised Sima Yan to appoint the Taifu Sima You to another state. Sima Yan did so, but in the next year Sima You fell beside himself with anger and died. This made Sima Yan and the court all extremely sorrowful, and at this time Feng Dan consoled Sima Yan saying "The King of Qi's, even though he died of illness today, is actually good fortune to the court. Your majesty has no reason to worry!" After hearing these words, Sima Yan didn't cry anymore.

When war was planned against Wu, Feng Dan, Xun Xu, and Jia Chong all were extremely opposed to war, while Zhang Hua and Du Yu held the opposite opinions. However, in the end, they were able to very quickly defeat Wu, which made Feng Dan feel ashamed and fearful in his heart. Also, Zhang Hua had once sad bad things to Sima Yan about Feng Dan's brother Feng Hui, and as a result Feng Dan hate Zhang Hua. Later when Zhang Hua would go suppress Youzhou, his popularity increased, and the court ministers all suggested to Sima Yan that he enlist Zhang Hua in the court; After some discussion, when Zhang Hua was made a Shangshuling, Feng Dan referenced Zhong Hui's actions after he conquered Shu. He referenced that Zhong Hui rebelled after he conquered Shu, and suggested that Zhang Hua exhibited similar qualities, and couldn't be put in a position of importance, otherwise he would get arrogant and rebel. In the end, Sima Yan declined to appoint Zhong Hua.

In 286, Feng Dan would fall ill, and Sima Yan would appoint him Jiqi Changshi, and not long after he'd die.
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Re: Chinese Wiki Translations of People of Jin

Unread postby capnnerefir » Sat Jul 06, 2013 4:56 pm

Neat. I didn't realize Feng Dan was important. Seems like he was a major supporter of Jia Chong's faction, though.

Reading these is always the best part of my day. Western Jin is so neglected by most people, but it was such a fascinating and unique time.
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Re: Chinese Wiki Translations of People of Jin

Unread postby Tarrot » Sun Jul 07, 2013 1:45 pm

A couple small ones tonight just because they were in Ren Kai's bio.

Sima Gui http://zh.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E5%8F%B8% ... C%E7%8F%AA

Sima Gui (?-274), zi Zizhang, from Wen county in Henei, Sizhou (modern day Wen county in Henan), in the Jin ancestral Shrine, he was said to be the 7th son of Sima Fu, the third younger brother of Sima Yi. Without much ambition he was named Gaoyang County Marquis. He'd hold positions as the Commander of Henan, and would be appointed Zhenyang viscount, as well as Geshi Huangmen Shilang. When Sima Yan received abdication, he'd be named King of Gaoyang, as well as tribute from 5570 households. He'd hold positions as Beizhong Langjiang, be the supervisor of defense efforts in Ye. In 270, because his father Sima Fu was old, he begged the capital to allow him to support his father. (Sima Fu died in 272) Later he'd hold positions as Shangshu and You Pushe. In 274, he would die. An imperial order would order the Dahonglu (Grand Hearld) to suprvise his funeral arrangements, and he'd be appointed Cheji Jiangjun. (presuming Gui, posthumously), to be ranked the same as the Three Excellencies, and the title Shihao Yuan. Sima Gui had a good reputation, and Sima Yan grieved heavily over his death. Having no kids, it was ordered that the King of Taiyuan Sima Fu's son Sima Ji to inherit the nobility. In 5 years in 278, Sima Ji would die, named Shihao Ai. In 281, it would be ordered that a relative of Sima Gui, Sima Yong's son Sima Song would inherit the rank, and would be named Zhending County Marquis.

Personally, disappointed there wasn't anything else about his interaction with Ren Kai.
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Re: Chinese Wiki Translations of People of Jin

Unread postby Tarrot » Sun Jul 07, 2013 7:10 pm

Princess of Qichang http://zh.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E9%BD%8A% ... C%E4%B8%BB

The Princess of Qichang is the daughter of the Wei emperor Cao Rui. History books when they talk about her always refer to her two marriages. Her first marriage was to the son of the Cao Wei Zhongshuling Li Feng, Li Tao. Li Feng opposed Sima Shi and was killed, with his family punished to the third degree. The Princess of Qichang was spared, but Li Tao was forced to commit suicide in prison. It was after this that she was probably married to Ren Kai. In the Jin Dynasty, Ren Kai was a Libu Shangshu. Jia Chong, Xun Yi, and Feng Dan reported to Sima Yan that Ren Kai had committed a grievous error in etiquette and used Imperial eating utensils when he ate. After an investigation, it was found out that the utensils had beengranted to the Princess of Qichang during the Cao-Wei regime, but Ren Kai was still dismissed from office.
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