Unique Bios from Rafe's Tome of Kickass.

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Unique Bios from Rafe's Tome of Kickass.

Unread postby Tarrot » Thu Nov 29, 2007 3:52 am

Mod Edit: A Biographical Dictionary of the Later Han to the Three Kingdoms

Eh, decided I'd share the love on a few of the more eccentric people that I found while scouring through RToK, and I figured you guys would enjoy this. As a request: Could no one link these posts to the Encyclopedia? I'm not sure on the legalities of this, and I figure its better if it remains at the forum level rather than goes to the main site. Anyways, starting off:

RToK, Page 362
Ji [Zixun]
Though Ji Zixun's place of origin is unknown, a man who was a hundred years old at the turn of the second and third centuries claimed to have seen him when he was a child, selling medicines in Kuaiji; his appearance had not altered since that time.

About 200 Ji Xiun was in Ji'nan. He killed an infant there by dropping it, but brought it back to life a month later and returned it to its parents. The child had been buried, but when the tomb was opened the body was gone -- and the restored infant clearly recognized its father and mother.

When this incident became known at the capital, now Xu city, Ji Zixun received several invitations, and he traveled there with hid disciples, in a carriage drawn by a donkey. At one stopping place the donkey died, but after a leisurely lunch Ji Zixun restored it to life by a tap of his stick.

He was followed by more than a thousand people and when he arrived at XU city he was welcomed by hundreds of officials. He provided an inexhaustible supply of wine and food for all who were there.

Soon afterwards, Ji Zixun disappeared, accompanied by a remarkable display of clouds, but he was seen again in the vicinity of Chang'an a generation later, accompanied by another old men. They claimed to be more than five hundred years old, then walked away apparently slowly but in fact moving more swiftly than a horse at full gallop. [A similar skill is ascribed to Zuo Ce.]

A biography in the fourth-century Shenxian zhuan tells how Ji Zixun was popular with the imperial favorites and one one occasion appeared in twenty-thee places at once. It is also said that he foretold the day of his death but his grave was later found to contain only a pair of sandals: this is a model of the false death, a device to reach the world of the imortals.

The Secondary Biography of Xu Kui, quoted from the Taiping yulan by Shen Qinhan at HHSJJ 82/72B:3020 identifies him with Ji Liao whose stle was also Zixun, a man from Qi who was a disciple of the long-lived medicine man Li Shaojun [QHX:227]. - HHS 82/72B:2755-56*; Ngo 76:134-137, DeWoskin 83:81-82.

[Kong Edit: Fixed the (admittedly hilarious) title of the thread from "tomb" to "tome".]
Last edited by Tarrot on Sun Dec 02, 2007 11:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread postby James » Thu Nov 29, 2007 4:25 am

I read this one too, just rummaging through the biography!

Really interesting character. :)

(And what you are doing is considered fair use under copyright law).
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Unread postby Tarrot » Sun Dec 02, 2007 3:27 am

Posted it earlier, but adding it here as well.

Xu Deng Kuaiji.

A man from Minzhong on the edge of the empire in present-day Fujian, Xu Deng was an expert in the arts of shamanism. He claimed to have been born a woman but to have changed his sex.

During the time of war and pestilence in the late second century Xu Deng and Zhao Bing agreed to devote themselves to curing illness, and they sealed their bond by a display of spells in the tradition of local Yue magic. Xu Deng halted the flow of a river, and Zhao Bing made a dead tree sprout again.

Xu Deng was older than Zhao Bing, who therefore treated him as his master. They lived extremely simple, so that even their offerings to the spirits were no more than river water and mulberry bar, and they only used chants and spells to treat disease. They were nonetheless very successful. -HHS 82/72B:2741-42*; Ngo 76:127-128, DeWoskin 83: 76-77.
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Unread postby Vladimir » Sun Dec 02, 2007 10:19 pm

Well, as to the first, imagine the children's game called "telephone." Now imagine the game played with thousands of people over 15,000 miles. It doesn't seem like too much of a stretch.
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Unread postby Tarrot » Mon Dec 03, 2007 10:16 am

Another one, this is mainly to set up the Xiang Xu bio later. This, is Song Nie.

Song Nie but see also below Youfufeng. He was possibly a kinsman of the Empress Song of Emperor Ling.

When rebellion broke out in Liang province in 184, Song Nie was appointed Inspector to replace Zuo Chang. Believing that the cause of the trouble was a lack of education and moral cultivation among the people of the frontier, whew was confident the rebels could be pacified by teaching them the Book of Filial Piety [cf. sub Xiang Xu, who had even more extreme ideas about the efficacy of this work]. The local officer He Xun sought to dissuade him from his idealistic strategy, but Song Nie insisted on putting his plan forward in a memorial to the court. He was promptly recalled. -HHS 58/48:1880, XHS 4:9b; deC 84:149.

HHS has the personal name of this man as Xiao, while XHS has it as Quan, but modern commentators suggest these are miswritten for Nie; HHSJJ 58/48:2037 & 2054
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Unread postby Tarrot » Tue Dec 04, 2007 7:39 am

And as promised, probably the stupidest man in the history of the Three Kingdoms era, Xiang Xu:

RToK, 888

Xiang Xu or Shang Xu [Fuxing] (d. 184); Henei. A descendant of the celebrated hermit Xiang Chang in the time of Guangwu, Xiang Xu studied the Laozi and affected the mannerisms of a free spirit. Clothed in rags and with disheveled hair down to his shoulders, he led a Spartan life of erratic conduct, chanting rather than speaking and hiding when anyone came to call On occasion, he would ride and ass to market and beg, but he might also give everything away to another beggar, and he acquired a number of disciples whom he named after those of Confucius.

People regarded Xiang Xu as a remarkable man, and the commandery authorities treated him courteously. he was nominated Filial and Inocorrupt, and also as Worthy and Good, Sincere and Upright, and as Knowing the Way, and he was invited to the offices of the Excellencies. Though he refused all such requests, he eventually accepted a special summons to become Chancellor of Zhao.

There were great expectations of the good influence Xiang Xu might bring to that region, but the results were disappointing. Rather than pay attention to his duties, he rode about in a carriage with fine horses; there was some suspicion he was a charlatan.

Despite this, by the late 180s Xiang Xu was a Palace Attendant at court, making himself unpopular with aggressive criticisms and simplistic proposals. When the Yellow Turban uprising broke out he sent in a memorial making two points: he blamed the palace eunuchs; and he claimed that the rebellion could be dealt with if a single officer was sent to the banks of the Yellow River to face to the north and read the Book of Filial Piety at the enemy [faced with trouble in Liang province a few months later, the Inspector Song Nie had shown similar faith in the efficacy of this work].

This combination of naivety and aggression reaped its reward. The Regular Attendant Zhang Rong accused Xiang Xu of seeking to delay he military response of the imperial authorities and of supporting the rebels. Xiang Xu was sent ot the Northern Prison of the Yellow Gates, controlled by the eunuchs, and was killed there. - HHS 81/71: 2693-94; Vervoorn 90:187

ZZTJ 58:1867 resents Xiang Xu as a courageous opponent of the eunuchs unfairly slandered and put to death; deC 89:179. Sima Guang, however, cites only his attack on the eunuchs and Zhang Rang's counter. Vervoorn's more cynical interpretation appears more convincing: Xiang Xu was something of a public nuisance, and one may doubt whether many people regretted his disappearance.
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Unread postby Lady Wu » Tue Dec 04, 2007 9:23 am

Hilarity. HHS specifically mentioned that while he was Chancellor of Zhao, he not only neglected his official duties, but had weeds growing all around his house. Apparently he couldn't mow the lawn either.
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Unread postby Tarrot » Fri Dec 14, 2007 11:37 am

Going away from the comedy bios, here's an unknown Wei administrator, Wei Ji:

RToK, 852 - 853.

Wei Ji [Boru]; Hedong.

A precocious child, Wei Ji became known early for his scholarly ability. Expert on ancient script, on the exotic "Bird Seal" script, the official li shu "Clerical Style" and the informal cao shu "Grass Style," Wei Ji probably complied a first draft of the historical discussion Siti shushi "Aspects of the Four Styles of Calligraphy," which was completed by his grandson Wei Heng: JS 35:1061-66.

Wei Ji was first appointed to the offices of Cao Cao as an Excellency, then became a magistrate in Youfufeng and later returned to join the Secretariat.

As Cao Cao prepared to face Yuan Shao in 199, he was concerned that Liu Biao in Jing province might attack him from behind. He named Wei Ji an Imperial Clerk and sent him on embassy to Liu Zhang, Governor of Yi province. Liu Zhang had an old quarrel with Liu Biao, and Wei Ji was to seek his support as a threat to keep Liu Biao occupied. As Wei Ji came to Chang'an, he found the road was blocked, and he was obliged to halt there.

As a measure of order had now been restored, many refugees from the civil war were now willing to return to their homes. Numbers of people had fled from the region about Chang'an into Jing province, and wanted to go back, but there was limited employment for them. Wei Ji sent a message to Cao Cao's adviser Xun Yu that the old official salt monopoly should be restored and enforced, and the proceeds could be used to purchase cattle and farming equipment. Xun Yu put the proposal to Cao Cao, who accepted it and established a provincial salt administration.

Wei Ji returned to the Secretariat. In 211 the Director of Retainers Zhong Yao proposed an advance to the west towards Chang'an, ostensibly for operations against Zhang Lu in Hanzhong, but in fact to establish a measure of control over the north-western warlords. Cao Cao had Xun Yu ask Wei Ji about it, and he replied that the chieftains were concerned only to hold their positions, and they could be won over by honours and rewards. Cao Cao eventually approved Zhong Yao's forward policy, but the was then compelled to bring his major army to deal with their allied forces at Huayin; when he counted the cost he regretted not having followed Wei Ji's advice.

When Cao Cao established his ducal state in 215 Wei Ji became a Palace Attendant, and was commissioned with Wang Can to review the administration. After Cao Pi succeeded his father, Wei Ji spent a short time at the puppet court of Han, and he was largely responsible for the edicts by which Emperor Xian ceded his position to the new dynasty of Wei. He then returned to the Secrtariat of Wei and was enfeoffed by Cao Pi.

Raised further in rank by Cao Rui and granted enfoeffment, Wei Ji continued his concern with government process, expressing concern at imperial extravagance and putting forward recommendations on legal reform. He also compiled a Weiguan Yi "Ceremonial of the Office of Wei," to follow the work of Ying Shao on the Han. -SGZ 21:610-612*; Yang 53:145, deC 96:257-258, Goodman 98:65-69
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Unread postby Shi Tong » Fri Dec 14, 2007 11:48 am

I always find it astounding that after all of the people we DO know about, there are still loads we have no idea about!! Amazing!

Great work Tarrot, and really interesting too! :D
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Unread postby Sun Gongli » Fri Dec 14, 2007 5:42 pm

Amazing. I wish I could afford this book.
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