Jia Xu

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Unread postby Lord_Kongming » Thu Nov 27, 2003 11:27 pm

Jia Xu was a man of fabulous talents. His jumping from one lord to another shows his brilliance in picking who to serve and when, going with the strong. This doesnt show much for his morals but it does show that his interests were good, serving the strongest and making them stronger. Serving Dong Zhuo seemed like the most attractive option at the time, if I was an advisor with talent I'd serve Dong Zhuo because he had the resources neccesary to use my talents to the fullest and gain a name for myself. Jia Xu would be one of my first choices for advice.
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Unread postby Lady Wu » Thu Nov 27, 2003 11:50 pm

Here's an interesting bit of debate on Jia Xu in the historical record SGZ. In writing biographies of SGZ, Chen Shou groups people of the same category into one chapter. For example, Zhang Liao, Yue Jin, Yu Jin, Zhang He, and Xu Huang are in one chapter (most important generals of Wei), Zhou Yu, Lu Su, and Lu Meng in one chapter (most important strategiests of Wu), etc. Now, for the Wei strategists, he grouped Xun Yu, Xun You, and Jia Xu in one chapter, and in a separate chapter put Cheng Yu, Guo Jian, Dong Zhao, Liu Ye, and Jiang Ji.

Chen Shou's commentator, Pei Songzhi, had a problem with that grouping. He wrote:

Pei Songzhi, on Jia Xu's ranking, wrote:...There were plenty in Wei who could be compare to Jia Xu. Not putting Jia Xu in the same chapter as Cheng Yu and Guo Jia, but listing him along with the two Xuns, Chen Shou lost the way for differentiating people. Furthermore, comparing the character of Xun You and Jia Xu is like comparing bright moonshine to a solitary candle -- the effect is the same, but the quality different.


Was Pei right in disagreeing with Chen's original classification? If you have to do it, would you group him with the Xun's, or with the other strategists?
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Unread postby Jiang Zhi » Fri Nov 28, 2003 1:47 am

I definately would not put him with the Xuns! Xun Yu was still loyal to the Han Dynasty even though he was assisting Cao Cao. On the otherhand, Jia Xu has ambition. His persuasive abilities plus ambition makes him both a man who is dangerous but also admirable. He was the one whom Cao Pi turned to for help during the "fight" against Cao Zhi for succession of the Wei title. I believe he has plans of his own, like Sima Yi. Perhaps, on the other hand, I've been watching Ikkitousen a bit too much ;) heh...
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Unread postby n06guy » Fri Nov 28, 2003 4:04 am

I dont know where to put him. It seems like he did more than Cheng Yu and Guo Jia but less than the Xun's. It would be very difficult to put him in a correct chapter. He was good enough to be a middle of it all. But if i had to choose i guess id stick him next to the Xun's. I mean he DID kinda do alot.
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Unread postby Peter » Fri Nov 28, 2003 4:57 am

just to answer the latest question Lady Wu posted...
To me? Pei Songzhi's comment is correct for not putting these two in same category...b/c if he is focus on different "qualities" b/w the two...
Xuns, especial Xun Yun as an alternative name "wang-zhow" (i.e., helper of a king, literal translation) and Jia Xu is famed in SGYY on predictions and advices...(but, a true oppotunist, no doubt about that and there is nothing wrong with that, since Cao Cao's adminstration focuses more on ability than personality)...

if I can categorize him? hehe, hard to say, b/c Jia Xu's many merits is political just like Xun Yun's so I would probably put these two together...

oh, a minor question about the other Xun, wasn't him more like field tactians, less like politician, the grouping of two Xuns was b/c there were relatives?
Last edited by Peter on Fri Nov 28, 2003 6:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread postby Mengdez New Book » Fri Nov 28, 2003 5:21 am

Lady Wu wrote:Was Pei right in disagreeing with Chen's original classification? If you have to do it, would you group him with the Xun's, or with the other strategists?

IMO, Pei disagreed with Chen's classification mostly because Jia Xu didn't really look like a loyal person. First, he was in Dong Zhuo's camp, then he served Duan Wei, after that Zhang Xiu before he joined Cao Cao. He was the one who suggested Li Jue and Guo Fan to attack Chang An until causing many innocent people to dead. For Pei, this was not an excusable action. From what i see, Pei didn't really like Jia Xu, maybe personal feeling or Jia Xu's action really pissed him off. In Jia Xu bio, you can see Pei put criticism on Jia Xu. I don't think this is fair. For me, at least every advise that Jia Xu gave really hit the point and successful. This is the base for Chen Shou to put him together with Xun Yu and Xun You. :wink:

Addition (out of topic): If Pei can question classification for Jia Xu, we should also question classification for Zhao Yun. How could him be put together with Guan, Zhang, Huang and Ma? :lol:
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Unread postby n06guy » Fri Nov 28, 2003 3:46 pm

Can i ask in your opinions who did more during their life times? Jia Xu or Xun Yu?
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Unread postby Lord_Kongming » Fri Nov 28, 2003 8:04 pm

From what I understand Pei is biased AGAINST Jia Xu because he disliked him. I think Pei to be unreliable for view on Jia Xu. Xun Yu did as much if not more than Jia Xu... I think(I'm a little bit rusty). The question of grouping, Id put Xu and Yu together and Jia,Cheng Yu, and Xun You together. I dont think Xun You did as much as his relative
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Unread postby Shadowlink » Tue Feb 27, 2007 3:11 pm

I didnt know a topic like this existed. I like jia xu alot. Zhuge liang = superior in invention and civil affairs but jia xu is the real planner. Jiang zhi... jia xu was loyal to the han and did not have ambitions
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Unread postby Xu Yuan » Tue Feb 27, 2007 7:20 pm

I agree with Lord_Kongming, Pei Songzhi goes out of his way to make Jia xu look like a bad man,. Specifically referring to his advice to Li Jue and Guo Si.

"2) I, Songzhi, your servant, consider how the Zuo Chronicles remarks that “How abundantly does goodness flow/ from the words of a benevolent man!” If this be true, then the opposite should hold for malevolent words. Deeds of benevolence are hard to come by, but sources of havoc are easily formed. That’s why there have been occasions where, once trouble has been triggered, disaster befalls generations to come. At that time, the leader of evil was just killed, and the heavens and earth saw light again. However, calamity redoubled, [and] great disasters spread through the lands. The country experienced the sorrows of death and destruction, and the commoners suffered from that which plagued the end of the Zhou. Are these not all due to just several words of Jia Xu? How great, then, is Jia Xu’s crime! Such turmoil had not been known since times of antiquity."

This is somewhat true, but in no way is as bad as Pei Songzhi notes it to be. After all, it was simply a means to preserve life. As these men were simply follower's to Dong Zhuo they would hav been persecuted and executed, as could be seen by Wang Yun's treatment of the brilliant politician Cai Yong. Jia Xu's advice was neccessary and brilliant, yet incredibly simple. Afterwards he gave brilliant advice that each and every time was correct, he was never wrong, though Pei Songzhi says that Jia Xu's advice against not attacking from the Yang-Tze was incorrect and Chi Bi was fated to happen, how did Jia Xu see through this then? He is the reason Cao Pi is put on the throne. Not to mention Jia xu's ability to discern true power.
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