Comprehensive Biography for Shi Ji

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Comprehensive Biography for Shi Ji

Unread postby DaoLunOfShiji » Thu May 10, 2018 3:38 pm

Shi Ji, style Gongxu (???-270)

Being the son of Zhu Ran, one may ask why is his name Shi 施? Shouldn’t it be Zhu 朱? Well Zhu Ran’s birth family was Shi but he was adopted by his uncle Zhu Zhi, and so Shi Ran became Zhu Ran and Shi Ji was born as Zhu Ji. [1] In 234 when Zhu Zhi died, Zhu Ran requested Sun Quan allow him to return to his birth familial name but was denied. [2] however when Sun Liang assumed the throne in Wu Shi Ji was eventually allowed to assume his families name. [3] This is why I will be referring to him as Shi Ji in this.

Shi Ji’s birth date is not know, however he was the son of Zhu Ran [4] and this connection was certainly helpful in his early career as he was able to be appointed to Gentlemen and later on Colonel Establishing Loyalty. [5]

In 231 Shi Ji’s uncle, Cai, died and he would assume command of his soldiers. [6] That same year the Five Creek barbarians in the south rose up in rebellion [7] and Shi Ji, now with his own commander, [8] followed Pan Jun and Lu Dai with an army of 50,000 against the tribe. [9] The Wu army quickly overcame the souther tribe and their leader was executed. Tens of thousands of men were captured and the land was once more calmed. [10] Shi Ji earned meritorious distinction on this campaign, and the SGZ notes that “guts and strength were praised”. [11] For his accomplishments he was promoted to Assistant General and given authority over bandit affairs and law. It’s noted that he was very strict with upholding the law. [12]

Shi Ji’s fame was spreading across Wu at this point, now due to his own accomplishments rather than his father’s name. He caught the attention Sun Ba, the Prince of Lu. The Prince was impressed by stories of his bravery. [13] Sun Ba came to visit Shi Ji’s office and he sat down before him and desired to befriend him. Immediately Shi Ji rose and declined as it would be inappropriate for the two of them to be seated like equals. [14] Shi Ji was clearly a very humble man and did not want to appear above his station, even when it is he that is approached.

Shi Ji’s father, Ran, passed away in 249 and Ji would succeed him. That same year he was appointed General Pacifying Wei and Commander of Leixiang. [15] The very next year the Wei commander Wang Chang attacked the city of Jiangling in Jingzhou. He crafted a bridge solely out of bamboo ropes and crossed a river. [16] Shi Ji had been defending the city and he was able to repel Wang Chang’s initial attack. He sent a letter to Zhuge Rong, brother to Zhuge Ke, with read as thus,

“Chǎng came from afar and was fatigued, his horses had nothing to eat, his strength failed and he fled. This was the assistance of Heaven. Now if we pursue them when their strength is little, we can lead troops and take them. I wish to break through at the front, and you sir can take advantage of this from the rear. How can this be the achievement of one man? It is suitable for us to together righteously break metal.”[17]

The TL;DR of it being that the two of them must strike the enemy together as they failed to take the city, and no doubt are tired and weak. If they both lead soldiers together, Shi Ji striking the front and Zhuge Rong the rear, they can defeat him and earn merit together.

Zhuge Rong agreed to this plan, and so Shi Ji lead his army out of the city and fought the Wei army at Jinan. The Wu forces were successful initially at striking into the front of the Wei army, however no pincer attacked occurred. Zhuge Rong did not advance from his position and Shi Ji’s army was defeated. [18] As they retreated Wang Chang chanced them down and slaughtered a large portion of the Wu forces. Two of Shi Ji’s officers, Xu Min and Zhongli Mao were killed and their heads taken as prizes. [19] The city, in the end, was safe as the attack ended. Zhuge Rong, in his inaction, earned the scorn of Shi Ji who was already not on friendly terms with the two brothers. Sun Quan was furious over the matter, and while he promoted Shi Ji for his actions and heroism, he wanted to punish Zhuge Rong but he could not as he relied too heavily on Zhuge Ke and did not want to upset him. [20]

In 252 Sun Quan, the first Emperor of Wu, died and he replaced with Sun Liang. [21] Not longer after this Shi Ji was promoted to General Defending the East. [22] The next year Zhuge Ke had desires on attacking Xincheng, or what many would recognize more as the New Hefei Castle against the advice of the court ministers and military personnel. [23] Zhuge Ke requested that Shi Ji join him on the campaign, however he was not brought with the army. Instead his soldiers were given to Ke’s brother, Rong, and Shi Ji was to stay behind in Banzhou. [24]

The Wu army suffered a heavy defeat at Xincheng. [25] When Zhuge Ke returned to the capital of Jianye he held a parade, replaced officials with those loyal to them, changed the palace guard to his own soldiers and once more began to plan another invasion. [26] Sun Jun was now able to use the lack of support for Zhuge Ke to brand his as a traitor that had desires for Sun Liang’s throne, slandering him to the Emperor. Zhuge Ke was lured to the Imperial Palace and killed. His clan was ordered to be exterminated to the third degree. [27] Shi Ji was sent with an army to hunt down Zhuge Rong and arrest Zhuge Rong. Rong committed suicide and his sons were executed, along with the Zhuge clan in Wu. [28]

In 257 Shi Ji became General of the Elite Cavalry. [29] With Sun Chen in control of the court after the death of Sun Jun, the government turned tyrannical. He deposed the Emperor Sun Liang, replacing him with Sun Xiu. [30] The SGZ notes that “great ministers suspected and betrayed each other.” [31] Wu was in a downward spiral, Shi Ji was fearful that this state would provoke an invasion from Wei. One they could not stop. He secretly wrote a letter to Shu Han in the west, citing his fears and in response Yan Yu, a prominent member of the new regime in court, was sent with 5,000 soldiers to Yongan, close to the Wu borders. They were to wait for Shi Ji to give notice of a Wei attack. [32]

Sun Chen was eventually executed after a plot involving Ding Feng and Sun Xiu. [33] Shi Ji was promoted to General in Chief and Regional Protector Commander and tasked with defending Xiling, formerly Yiling. [34]

The Daoist text Zhen'gao states that Shi Ji had a daughter, whose name was Shunü. [35] This was a text from the Northern and Southern Dynasties, and I cannot verify the validity of the story or the source.

In 265 Shi Ji, along with Ding Feng, would both be promoted to Left and Right Grand Marshal respectively under Sun Hao [36], who succeeded Sun Xiu after he passed away. [37] In the year 268 Sun Hao lead an attack on Jin. Wan Yu was sent against Xiangyang in Jingzhou, whom Sima Wang was sent to defeat while Shi Ji was sent to Jiangxia. Shi Ji soon met Hu Lie, the Inspector of Jingzhou, in battle and was defeated in sound fashion. The attack on Xiangyang failed. [38]

In the year 270, Shi Ji passed away. [39]

And that’s the story of the son of the famous Zhu Ran. He lived in a turbulent time for Wu. His career started out spectacularly with suppressing bandits, and his renown was known to all. His humbleness kept him away from Sun Ba, which proved fruitful for him as Sun Ba did not meet a good end. While he failed to seize Jiangling, it was no fault of his own and he performed excellent. The Zhuge brothers and he were not on good terms and that reflected, as Ke refused to use him and gave control of his army to his brother Rong. His state was turning to rubble around him and he secretly asked for aid from their ally, which seemed to have work which shows how powerful Shi Ji’s words must’ve been. His final campaign did not end well as he went against Hu Lie, meeting only defeat against the Jin army. Though his father casts a large shadow, Shi Ji did a good in stepping out of it to become a fine general of Wu during their failing years. Many of the faults in battle and in the state were out of his hands, and he, like several other prominent figures, feared the death of their state was coming. He was right, though I am thankful he did not have to live through it. Shi Ji was a good man with a good career.

[1] Zhu Ran’s Sanguozhi biography
[2] Rafe de Crespigny, Biographical Dictionary of the Later Han to Three Kingdoms
[3] Shi Ji’s sub-biography, Zhu Ran’s Sanguozhi biography
[4] Shi Ji’s sub-biography, Zhu Ran’s Sanguozhi biography
[5] Shi Ji’s sub-biography, Zhu Ran’s Sanguozhi biography
[6] Shi Ji’s sub-biography, Zhu Ran’s Sanguozhi biography
[7] Pan Jun’s Sanguozhi biography
[8] Shi Ji’s sub-biography, Zhu Ran’s Sanguozhi biography
[9] Pan Jun’s Sanguozhi biography
[10] Pan Jun’s Sanguozhi biography
[11] Shi Ji’s sub-biography, Zhu Ran’s Sanguozhi biography, Chen Shou’s wording
[12] Shi Ji’s sub-biography, Zhu Ran’s Sanguozhi biography
[13] Achilles Fang, Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[14] Achilles Fang, Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[15] Shi Ji’s sub-biography, Zhu Ran’s Sanguozhi biography
[16] Achilles Fang, Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[17] Shi Ji’s sub-biography, Zhu Ran’s Sanguozhi biography
[18] Shi Ji’s sub-biography, Zhu Ran’s Sanguozhi biography
[19] Achilles Fang, Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[20] Achilles Fang, Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[21] Achilles Fang, Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[22] Shi Ji’s sub-biography, Zhu Ran’s Sanguozhi biography
[23] Zhuge Ke’s Sanguozhi biography
[24] Shi Ji’s sub-biography, Zhu Ran’s Sanguozhi biography
[25] Zhuge Ke’s Sanguozhi biography
[26] Zhuge Ke’s Sanguozhi biography
[27] Zhuge Ke’s Sanguozhi biography
[28] Achilles Fang, Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[29] Shi Ji’s sub-biography, Zhu Ran’s Sanguozhi biography
[30] Achilles Fang, Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[31] Shi Ji’s sub-biography, Zhu Ran’s Sanguozhi biography
[32] Sun Xiu’s Sanguozhi biography
[33] Shi Ji’s sub-biography, Zhu Ran’s Sanguozhi biography
[34] Shi Ji’s sub-biography, Zhu Ran’s Sanguozhi biography
[35] Tao Hongjing, Zhen'gao vol. 12
[36] Shi Ji’s sub-biography, Zhu Ran’s Sanguozhi biography
[37] Sun Xiu’s Sanguozhi biography
[38] Achilles Fang, Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[39] Shi Ji’s sub-biography, Zhu Ran’s Sanguozhi biography
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DaoLunOfShiji
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Re: Comprehensive Biography for Shi Ji

Unread postby Sun Fin » Thu May 10, 2018 4:30 pm

Your biographies are very readable and well sourced! I also know a lot less about the later part of the period so it's good to fill in the blanks!
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Re: Comprehensive Biography for Shi Ji

Unread postby Jia Nanfeng » Thu May 10, 2018 5:25 pm

I was just reading about Shi Ji a couple days ago!

Thanks for posting. :D
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