Ranks of Sima Yi

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Ranks of Sima Yi

Unread postby Shèng Kēlì » Sun Nov 25, 2012 5:31 am

I have a question with regards to Sīmǎ Yì. What was his official rank at the time he passed away? He never assumed any title related to the country of Jìn, right? He was never "marquise of Jìn" or "Duke of Jìn", right? Only Sīmǎ Zhāo and Sīmǎ Yán received the titles related to Jìn in their life times, right? If someone could clarify this for me, I'd love to know.

I know he was a general, and later a field marshal during Shǔ-Hàn's Northern Campaigns. Originally a magistrate or secretary to Cáo Cāo and Cáo Pī. I'm assuming he became Grand General or Prime Minister after his coup. I'm assuming with those ranks, he became regent as well, due to the age of the Wèi Emperor at the time.

Just trying to figure it out, since I'm a huge fan of Sīmǎ Yì. Final note, I believe he would have never usurped the throne, just as Cáo Cāo never would have. I liken his sons to the sons of Cáo Cāo, traitors to their fathers' devotions and loyalties. On that note, thank you, farewell.
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Re: Ranks of Sīmǎ Yì

Unread postby TigerTally » Sun Nov 25, 2012 5:13 pm

Exactly, the reason why he was known as Emperor Xuan of Jin is because of the posthumous honoring by his grandson. He had no direct relationship with the name of Jin.

He had been the Grand General between 230 and 234, but never Prime Minister (though he was once given the offer before refusing it). If he had really achieved any kind of regentship, that would be after his elimination of Cao Shuang in 249.

His last ranks would be 太傅 舞陽侯, Grand Tutor, Marquis of Wuyang county.
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Re: Ranks of Sīmǎ Yì

Unread postby DragonAtma » Tue Nov 27, 2012 3:14 am

Remember, Sima Yi and Cao Shaung were both regents before 249; Cao Rui's heir Cao Fang was all of seven years old when he became emperor, and SOMEONE had to run things.

Do keep in mind that although neither Cao Cao nor Sima Yi planned to declare themselves emperor, both of them were emperor in all-but name, while the official emperors (Empreror Xian and Cao Fang, respectively) were figureheads.

And yeah, it's common for dynasty founders to declare recent ancestors emperor posthumously. Sima Yan did this for Sima Yi, Shi, and Zhao, Cao Pi for Cao Cao, and Sun Quan for Sun Jian and Sun Ce. The only one who didn't was Liu Bei, and that's because his official stance was that he was Emperor Xian's successor.
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Re: Ranks of Sīmǎ Yì

Unread postby TigerTally » Tue Nov 27, 2012 8:54 am

Actually I don't think Sima Yi and Cao Shuang should be connected to any kind of regentship, though it really depends on how one define "regency" at the first place.

Personally I won't consider their case as being regent because they were just following the last emperor's will to assist the young successor, and none of them had put himself as the head of the state like Wang Mang, the self-proclaimed "acting emperor" in the Western Han.

About Liu Bei's apparent absence of posthumous honoring for his recent ancestors, we just don't know whether he had done it or not (instead of confirming that he had never done it). Pei Songzhi's remark is noteworthy about this issue:

先主雖云出自孝景,而世數悠遠,昭穆難明,既紹漢祚,不知以何帝為元祖以立親廟。于時英賢作輔,儒生在宮,宗廟制度,必有憲章,而載記闕略,良可恨哉!
Even though the First Sovereignty (Liu Bei) claimed himself a descendant of Emperor [Xiao] Jing, still many generations had been passed and too distant to be traced, so the temple's arrangement (of Shu-Han) was hardly clear. Despite its (Shu-Han's) inheritance of Han's throne, which emperor was the high ancestor for its (Shu-Han's) establishment of ancestral temple was not known. At that time many talented worthies were assisting the First Sovereignty (Liu Bei), with the Confucian scholars serving in the palace. The system and institution of the ancestral temple (of Shu-Han) should have its own regular constitution, but the recorded accounts were either missing or omitted, just how regrettable it is!
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Re: Ranks of Sīmǎ Yì

Unread postby Shèng Kēlì » Sat Dec 01, 2012 4:44 am

See I knew Sīmǎ Yì's family game from the ancient state of Jìn, during the Spring and Autumn/Warring States period. That's where his son and grandson gained the title. But yeah, I distinctly remember Wèi Míngdì (Cáo Ruì) making Sīmǎ Yì and Cáo Shuǎng co-regent for his son. Eventually Cáo Shuǎng's political maneuvering removed Sīmǎ Yì from a position of real power.

As for his marquise title, that's what I was searching for. It makes no reference to the state of Jìn. To me, Sīmǎ Yì was a brave, loyal servant of the Wèi Dynasty and without him, it would not have survived as long as it did.
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Re: Ranks of Sīmǎ Yì

Unread postby TigerTally » Sat Dec 01, 2012 6:18 am

The original Chinese term for Emperor Ming's will for Sima Yi 司馬懿 and Cao Shuang 曹爽 is fu 輔 "assist" (or fuzheng 輔政 "assisting [his] governance"), while the common Chinese term for a regency is she 攝 "act for" (or shezheng 攝政 "acting for [him] to govern"). You can say Sima Yi 司馬懿 and Cao Shuang 曹爽 were co-regent in reality (if you adopt a broader definition of regency), but it could not be said that the Emperor himself had actually made the two ministers co-regent for his son.

The entry for Sima Zhao 司馬昭 in the Wikipedia incorrectly put Sima Yi as the Duke of Jin 晉 since 251, while all historical sources indicate that he was first given the offer at 258 before eventually taking it in 263.

The name of Jin 晉 was not necessarily a direct reference to the old Spring-and-Autumn state, but a designation to the region roughly equal to its past territory. The reason why Sima Zhao 司馬昭 was given this title is that the place of his familiy origin, Wen 溫 county of Hena 河內 commandery, being located within this area.
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Re: Ranks of Sīmǎ Yì

Unread postby Separation Anxiety » Sat Dec 08, 2012 5:44 am

DragonAtma wrote:The only one who didn't was Liu Bei, and that's because his official stance was that he was Emperor Xian's successor.


That and the fact that he was the son of a laborer. It would be kind of odd to see Liu Bei name his father a posthumous emperor when he wasnt nobility.
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Re: Ranks of Sīmǎ Yì

Unread postby TigerTally » Sat Dec 08, 2012 6:14 am

Actually that won't really be a reason for an emperor not to give his father a posthumous title. Hongwu Emperor of Ming honored his peasant father as Emperor Chun. Liu Taigong, father of Liu Bang, was even honored as the Grand Emperor since he was still alive when his son became the emperor.
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Re: Ranks of Sīmǎ Yì

Unread postby DragonAtma » Sat Dec 08, 2012 10:16 pm

Indeed!

(not to mention that Liu Bei and Liu Bang were ALSO laborers, yet obviously declared themselves emperor...)
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Re: Ranks of Sīmǎ Yì

Unread postby Zhou Chie » Thu Dec 13, 2012 4:11 pm

So when Yi died, he was merely officially Grand Tutor? Do you suppose, he was aware his descendants would seize power and proclaim him Emperor, as Cao Cao might have been?
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