Fu Xie Biography [ZZTJ Compilation]

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Fu Xie Biography [ZZTJ Compilation]

Unread postby capnnerefir » Thu Apr 11, 2013 10:06 pm

Given that his exploits were between the years of 184 and 187, he isn't exactly a sanguo figure, but I think Fu Xie is deserving of some attention. His career is a very good example of the difficulties within the Han government and with local powers that led to the fragmentation of China during the Three Kingdoms. And he was kind of cool.

Fu Xie (Nanrong)

Fu Xie was from Beidi in Liang province.

In 184, the religious leader Zhang Jue and his followers rose up in rebellion against the Han dynasty. They called themselves the Yellow Turbans and were said to number over 300,000 people. In order to deal with this threat, Emperor Ling sent generals to attack the largest groups of Turbans. Huangfu Song and Zhu Jun were appointed Generals of the Gentlemen of the Household on the Left and Right, respectively [zuo zhonglang jiangjun and you zhonglang jiangjun][1]. Fu Xie was appointed to serve as Major Protector of the Army [hujun sima][2].

Zhu Jun and Huangfu Song advanced on the Turbans at Yingchuan with 40,000 soldiers. Zhu Jun’s forces met the Turban leader Bo Cai in battle and were driven back by the rebels. Huangfu Song the advanced to garrison the city of Changshe.[3] Huangfu Song repelled an attack by Bo Cai and, after receiving reinforcements from the capital led by Cao Cao, combined his army with Zhu Jun’s.[4] They advanced together against Bo Cai at Yangdi and Peng Tuo at Xiahua, killing both leaders and pacifying the region. Zhu Jun’s army was then sent to pacify the Turbans of Jing province.[5]

Zhu Jun’s campaign against the rebels in Jing progressed slowly. The Turbans had gathered in Wan, where Zhu Jun besieged them for months. His forces killed several Turban leaders and won several battles.[6] Ultimately, an elite force led by Zhu Jun’s major Sun Jian climbed the walls of Wan and drove the Turbans out, putting an end to the last major group of rebels.[7]

During the Yellow Turban Rebellion, another revolt had started in Liang province. The Qiang leader, Beigong Boyu, gathered many people to resist the authority of the Han.[8] In 185, Beigong Boyu’s army was ravaging the commanderies near the capital and the ministers grew concerned. Emperor Ling held a council to determine what course of action to take. The Minister Over the Masses [situ] Cui Lie proposed abandoning Liang entirely. Fu Xie was a Gentleman-Consultant[9] [yilang] in the court and spoke out against Cui Lie’s proposal, going as far as to say that he should be executed. Emperor Ling demanded that Fu Xie explain himself, and he proceeded to defend his accusations, saying: “…Liang province is one of the most important and valuable districts of the empire, and a bulwark of our state. When Gaozu [Liu Bang, founder of the Han dynasty] first came to power, he sent Li Shang on a special mission to settle the lands west of the Long Mountain. When the Emperor Wu held the government, he established four commanderies in that region, and all agreed that this was like cutting off the right arm of the Xiongnu. But now the official administrators have lost control, and they have let the whole province fall into rebellion. Cui Lie is one of the highest ministers, yet he takes no thought to the real needs of the state and he makes no plan for restoring order. Instead he is prepared to abandon ten thousand li of territory, and I have the gravest doubts of his plan. Should this region be occupied by the foreigners, so they could cause trouble by their great military strength, then this would be of the utmost danger to our empire and a serious loss to the nation. If Cui Lie failed to realize the consequences of his policy, he is a fool. If he knows what he is saying, he is a traitor.” Emperor Ling was greatly impressed by this speech and rejected Cui Lie’s proposal.[10]

Earlier, when he left to go and fight against the Yellow Turbans, Fu Xie had sent a memorial to the court warning them that if they did not weed out the corruption that currently infested the court, defeating the Yellow Turbans would be worthless. It read,

“I have heard that the misfortunes of the empire come not from the outside but from within. This is why Yu-Shun first banished the four criminals before he appointed the sixteen chancellors. He understood well that if the evil-doers had not been driven away the good men would never come forward. Now Zhang Jue has led a rebellion in Zhao and Wei, and the Yellow Turbans are causing disorder in six provinces This is an illustration of the way that troubles can begin at home and spread through all the world. We have received your commission to attack and destroy the criminals and we obey your commands. Since we first entered Yingchuan we have been successful in every battle. Though the Yellow Turbans are numerous they are nothing to give anxiety to your court.

My real concern, however, is that we may be controlling the waters, but we are doing nothing about the source, and the spread of the flood may yet do more damage. Your majesty is loving and virtuous, generous and forgiving, you cannot bear to be too strict, and so your eunuch servants have usurped power and your loyal ministers are unable to come forward. Even when Zhang Jue has been beheaded and his followers have changed their clothing and submitted to law and order, your servant will still be anxious that things may get worse. How should that be? In just the same way as one vessel should not contain charcoal and ice, so wicked men and virtuous men should not both take part in government. Wicked men realize that when a good man's work is noticed, there appear the signs of their own destruction. They will work deceits and falsehood and they will combine to create distrust and hypocrisy. A mother may doubt her own true son, and three men can set a tiger in the market-place. Unless you are careful to test whether you are being told truth or lies, your loyal subjects will find themselves in the predicament of [Bo Qi at] Duyou. Your majesty should remember how Yu-Shun dealt with the four criminals, and you should quickly arrange the execution of your false advisers. Then good men will be glad to come forward and evil will naturally disappear."

Zhao Zhong, a powerful and corrupt eunuch, was well aware that he was exactly the sort of councilor Fu Xie was warning the emperor against. For his deeds against the Turbans, many in the court thought that Fu Xie should be enfeoffed as a marquis, but Zhao Zhong slandered him to the emperor. Remembering the memorial Fu Xie sent, Emperor Ling took no action for or against Fu Xie, so he did not gain a marquistate.[11]

In 186, Zhao Zhong was made General of the Chariots and Cavalry [juji jiangjun], an honorary position that held great prestige. Zhao Zhong was ordered to recommend those who had achieved merit against the Turbans but who had not received marquistates for their efforts. An official named Zhen Ju suggested to Zhao Zhong that he reward Fu Xie. Zhao Zhong sent his younger brother, Zhao Yan, to approach Fu Xie. Zhao Yan told Fu Xie that he would receive an estate with 10,000 households if he spoke well of Zhao Zhong to other officials. Fu Xie refused to cooperate with the Zhao brothers and would not accept the marquistate. However, because Fu Xie enjoyed a good reputation among other officials, Zhao Zhong was afraid to harm him. Fu Xie was then made Grand Administrator [taishou] of Hanyang.[12] Hanyang was a commandery in the dangerous region of Liang, so it would seem likely that Zhao Zhong was hoping that harm would befall Fu Xie in his new position.

In 187, the rebel leader Han Sui killed Beigong Boyu and other leaders, absorbing their troops.[13] The Inspector [cishi] of Liang, Geng Bi, wanted to lead soldiers against him. Fu Xie, now a subordinate of Geng Bi, urged him to wait before taking action. Fu Xie argued that if Geng Bi allowed the army to rest for some time before advancing, the soldiers would become more loyal to Geng Bi and to each other. Meanwhile, the rebels would fight amongst themselves and weaken their forces. Geng Bi did not take Fu Xie’s advice and instead advanced against the rebels. Many of Geng Bi’s soldiers and officers revolted against him. Geng Bi was slain and the deserters selected a man named Wang Guo as their new leader. They then went to submit to Han Sui. Han Sui’s forces then advanced on Hanyang, where Fu Xie prepared to defend himself. He had few soldiers and no spare food, but he refused to abandon his position. Among the rebel army were several thousand horsemen from Beidi, who knew Fu Xie well and respected him. They asked him to surrender his city and offered to escort him to his home village. Fu Xie sent his thirteen-year-old son, Fu Gu, home but personally refused to abandon his position. A rebelling official named Huang Yan also spoke to Fu Xie, asking him to take command of some of the rebel forces and serve as their leader. Again Fu Xie refused. In the end, he led a charge against the rebel encirclement in an attempt to break it. He was killed in battle.[14]

Fu Xie was a respected commander who earned much merit against the Yellow Turbans. He was also a skilled and persuasive writer. He spent his career campaigning against corruption in the court and as a result never advanced as far as he might have and never received the rewards many believed to be his due. He refused to accept bribes from other officials and always spoke his mind. In the end, he refused to rebel against the Han, nor would he abandon his city to rebels even though it cost him his life.

[1] Zhongping 1, F
[2] The Major Protector of the Army was an officer in charge of discipline.
[3] Zhonngping 1, M
[4] Zhongping 1, O
[5] Zhongping 1, V
[6] Zhongping 1, FF
[7] Zhongping 1, GG
[8] Zhongping 1, DD
[9] The rank of gentleman-consultant was essentially a place-holder. Officials who were deemed worthy of advancement would be summoned to the capital and given the rank of gentleman-consultant until an appropriate position was available.
[10] Zhongping 2, I
[11] Zhongping 1, S contains Fu Xie’s memorial and the events surrounding it.
[12] Zhongping 3, C
[13] Zhongping 4, B
[14] Zhongping 4, C
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Re: Fu Xie Biography [ZZTJ Compilation]

Unread postby Killamentallz » Fri Aug 05, 2016 11:57 pm

Interesting character
Sun Yi!!! If only you had lived longer.
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Re: Fu Xie Biography [ZZTJ Compilation]

Unread postby DragonAtma » Sat Aug 06, 2016 12:53 am

I should add that the writer/poet Fu Xuan (who helped with compiling the Wei part of SGZ, and was the sole person in volume 47 of the Book of Jin) was Fu Xie's grandson.
Unless I specifically say otherwise, assume I am talking about historical Three Kingdoms, and not the novel.

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