Comprehensive Biography for Sima You

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Comprehensive Biography for Sima You

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Prince Xian of Qi (Sima You), style Dayou (246-283)

Prince Xian of Qi, Sima You, was born the second son of Wen-di of Jin, Sima Zhao, and Empress Wenming of Jin, Wang Yuanji in 246.[1][1a] During his youth he was known by the name Taofu.[2][2a][2b] From youth he was known to be filial and kind, and as he grew he came to harness a wide scope of talents and all came to admire him. He only spoke with those of good moral standing, held a pure interest in philanthropy and a love of books. He as well could compose poems with such ease, and his famous style was epistolary and because of it he became a model for all poets, rivaling Prince Si of Chen, and this was a talent he would harness his entire life. His fame was greater than that of his elder brother Wu-di, Sima Yan.[3][3a] Even from a young age he impressed his grandfather Xuan-di of Jin, Sima Yi, who came to adore him.[4]

Following the 249 ousting of General-In-Chief Cao Shuang and the siezing of the Emperor by Xuan-di of Jin[4a], the Sima now began their tyrannical hold on Wei and first began with finding seeds is dissent and attempting to cut them out. First of these would be Wang Ling, who served as Minister of Works of Wei.[5] Xuan-di appointed him to be Grand Commandant in an effort to pull Wang Ling away from his position of power in the east and effectivly keep his captive in the capital. Wang Ling however saw through this, and seeing the Sima holding a tyrannical grasp on the Young Emperor, he desired to enthrone Prince of Chu, Cao Biao, and move the capital to Xuchang.[6] Wang Ling conspired together with Linghu Yu, who kept up a dialogue with the Prince. Wang Ling’s own son was contacted about this and he wished his father would not stir up such a disaster. In 251 Wang Ling began to act by mustering soldiers, requesting to march south against the Wu who had blocked the Tushui, but he was denied. He then sent his general Yang Hong to the Inspector of Yanzhou, Huang Hua, to discuss deposing the Emperor. However instead of this they both signed a pledge and turned it over to Xuan-di, revealing the plan. Xuan-di mustered an army and he marched east to campaign against Wang Ling via he waterways.[7] Wen-di joined his father on this campaign and a five year old Prince Xian came along with him.[8] Before he had mobilized the army, however, Xuan-di had sent a letter absolving Wang Ling of any crime as to lower his guard. However after the pardon arrived, so did the army. Knowing that he had no hope of survival, Wang Ling went alone on a boat to welcome Xuan-di, sending a officer ahead with his seal of office, tally and battle-axe to hand them over. As Wang Ling and Xuan-di met, Wang Ling was in bindings so Xuan-di cut them. The two began teir journey to the capital, but along the way on June 15 Wang Ling drank poison and died.[9] For his involved in this campaign Wen-di was rewarded with a Marquis post for Prince Xian of Qi, Lord of Changluoting.[10]

Wen-di’s elder brother Jing-di, Sima Shi, had previously been wed to Xiahou Hui and been only given five daughters and no sons. Jing-di had poisoned her over a fear that she suspected his families disloyalty[11] but in reality it was likely due to the fact that he had desired sons and she failed to give him that. He again wed a daughter of Wu Zhi but their marriage was short lived with no sons, and soon Jing-di wed Empress Jingxian, Yang Huiyu, and they as well had no sons.[12] Because of this lack of sons it was ordered that Jing-di adopt a child from his younger brother Wen-di, and that child would be Prince Xian of Qi.[13] It was not uncommon for someone to adopt a son from their own familiy if they lacked one. Another example of this would be Zhong Hui adopted a son from his brother.

In the year 255 following a revolt in Shouchun by Guanqiu Jian and Wen Qin over the slaughter of Imperial allies and the deposal of the Young Emperor, Jing-di perished due to complications from a wound not healing properly.[13a] Prince Xian was struck with grief and mourned greatly for his adoptive father and all marveled at his filial piety. He would inherit his father’s titles and soon serve as Empress Jingxian’s attendant in her palace, earning great renown.[14][14a] He would’ve been nine or ten at this time.

Seemingly in their youths Wu-di and Prince Xian got along very well. It is stated that Wu-di loved his brother dearly[15], but that all would be tested followig Wen-di’s ascension to King of Jin and his inability to create an heir-apparent. This would be the catalyst to their eventual fatal fallout. Wu-di was the elder, but Prince Xian was beloved by all. Particularly Wen-di. Anytime he would see the Prince he would address him by his childhood name, “Taofu!” He exclaims as he pat beside him, “Come and sit!”[16] There came a splinter in court as there came those who wanted Wu-di to ascend to the heir position. He Zeng argued in famous of Wu-di of Jin, claiming he was intelligent, far-sighted and gifted with godlike prowess; with talent unsurpassed. These are signs of a soverign, not a subject to one.[17] Pei Xiu as well argued in his favor[18], and Yang Xiu would go a step further schemed on Wu-di’s behalf, always paying close attention to Wen-di’s actions and relaying them all to the Emperor. Anytime when Wu-di would discuss affairs with his son, Wen-di would say exactly what his father wanted to hear.[19][19a] Wen-di had fully seemed to want to hand over the empire to Prince Xian of Qi, stating that he is simply serving as Prime Minister until the Prince succeeds him. Shan Tao argued that it is improper to choose anyone other than the eldest son to succeed.[20] Prince Xian’s father-in-law Jia Chong also sided with Wu-di in this matter and it was all settled, Wu-di would become the heir-apparent.[21] Wu-di, succeeding in this position, thought highly of all those that got him to this post and even bowed in deep respects to Shan Tao.[22]

Wen-di of Jin passed away in 264 and Prince Xian was unconsolable to the point that he was not able to even feed himself, or perhaps lacked the desire to even do so, and he had to be forcefed by those around him.[23]

In 266 on the 8th of February the final Emperor of Wei abdicated the throne to Wu-di, establishing the Jin title with the first reign being Taishi. A general amnesty was declared, people who could not care for themselves were exempt from tax and duties, as well as all debts, and all under house arrest were given freedom. Furthermore the deposed Wei Emperor was made Prince of Chenliu and sent to live in Ye, the former seat of the Cao. Xuan-di, Jing-di and Wen-di were all given their respective posthumous titles and the various Sima were honored as princes, including Prince Xian of Qi.[24]

During the Wei Dynasty they upheld the tradition that the Han had imposed; limiting the power of the Princes by restricting them to their fiefs. This was to protect the Dynasty from any Prince claiming to assert their own power and launch the nation into a civil war. Wu-di of Jin, however, saw this as evil and rather than restricting the powers of his family members he granted them power. They were allowed to appoint their own ministers and administer their lands freely, and all of them reviled in this new power. All except for one. Prince Xian of Qi. He refused to do so and instead ordered that each of his appointments be request directly from the throne.[25] This power extended further to military posts as Wu-di further sent the Prince of Qi east to Xuzhou to station at Xiapi, taking command over the region in the 270s.[26]

In the Jin court, however, there were issues stemming from the faction surrounding Jia Chong, Xun Xu and Feng Dan. There was a conflict in the court between this group and the ministers Ren Kai and Yu Chun. Ren Kai and Jia Chong quarreled and Kai nearly had Jia Chong sent off to fight the Tufa Xianbei, though Chong manipulated his way out of this by convincing Wu-di to wed his daughter Nanfeng to Hui-di of Jin, Sima Zhong. Jia Chong began to create his vengeance plot against Ren Kai. He began to monopolize power and marginalizing Ren Kai, forcing officials to take a side in this strife to the point that Wu-di finally stepped in and summoned the two. He ordered them to make peace and they both agreed, however Wu-di acted no further on this so neither relented. Outwardly they were friendly, but in secret they acted against one another. Jia Chong recommended Ren Kai be made a Major Official to the Master of Writing, giving him fewer opportunities to see the Emperor. He then coordinated with Xun Yi and Feng Dan to slander Ren Kai, have him charged with a false crime and banished from the capital.[27]

With Ren Kai gone the only person left to oppose him seemingly was Yu Chun. While Chong was holding a feast for his cohorts and other officials, Yu Chun was present and he became drunk, arguing with Chong. Chong remarked that heaven could never put up with someone who is not at home taking care of his old father, but Yu Chun denounced Jia Chong for the murder of Duke of Gaogui, which made Chong angry and ashamed. He then sought to have Yu Chun removed from office by demanding a resignation, and Yu Chun sent up a petition admitting to his offenses. He was removed from office, however the Prince Xian took to defending him and argued that he had done nothing wrong, and Wu-di agreed and restored Yu Chun’s rank.[28]

However it seems that the Prince Xian of Qi defending him, adding on that his eldest daughter was the Prince’s wife, put Jia Chong in a suspect place. Wu-di, much like his father, hadn’t fully commited to picking an heir at this point and there was a serious push yet again for Prince Xian of Qi to become the heir yet again. Famously the esteemed minister Zhang Hua once marked that “In perception, in virtue, and in closeness to you, no one can compare with the Prince of Qi.”[29] There was a true issue with succession at this point as the eldest son of Wu-di, Hui-di, Sima Zhong, was ailed by some sort of mental disability. The severity of it in his youth may not have been so great as to hamper him too greatly, but as he became older the affliction certainly became more prevalent, even more-so during his reign as Emperor. The question of Hui-di succeeding began to pop up more and more.

When Wu-di of Jin was critically ill Xiahou He remarked to Chong that “You have these two sons-in-law (Sima Zhong and Sima You), and you need only choose between them. When choosing a man, choose the virtuous one.” yet Chong made no reply.[30][30a] Xun Xu and Feng Dan, knowing that the Prince despised their vile ways, went to the Emperor after he recovered and slandered him. “Your Majesty, during the days when it seemed you would not recover from your illness, the Prince of Qi had all the nobles and officials submit to him. Although the Crown Prince wished to magnanimously give way to him, such a thing must be avoided! You should send the Prince back to his border post at once, in order to secure the state.”.[31]Wu-di demoted Xiahou He to a position in which he could cause no issues, as well as removed Jia Chong’s ability to command soldiers that he had since the days of Wen-di.[32] Xiahou He implies that Chong, by having two son in laws, can choose who he prefers to succeed as Wu-di was on deaths door, so despite Hui-di being the eldest born son of the Emperor, he can choose Prince of Qi. Jia Chong does not state his disagreement with this, and so one could view this as support for Prince of Qi, whom Wu-di had had begun to garner a pathetic hatred of. The punishment, however, for Chong was not as severe as He. Wu-di owed the throne he sat upon to this regicide and they were close. Much like his father he would not cast this man aside.

Previously both of their biological parents, while on their death beds, were caring for their children’s future. Wen-di took Prince Xian’s hand and reminded him of Prince Si of Chen, Cao Zhi, and Prince of Huainan, Liu Chang, and charged the Prince with aiding his brother. Meanwhile the Empress, with tears her eyes, remarked to Wu-di that “Taofu has an eager nature, but you lack the affection of an elder brother. If I do not rise from this bed, I will certainly be afraid that you two will not be able to get along with each other. He is dependent upon you. Do not forget what I tell you!”[33][33a] Their father urged support and their mother urged kindness. The Prince would take his father’s words to hear, but the Emperor would not.

While Prince of Qi would be appointed to an Excellency post this same year as the Jia Chong business, serving as Minister of Works along side Grand Commandant Jia Chong,[34] he also advised Hui-di as he was serving as a tutor to his Imperial Nephew. It was during this time that Prince Xian of Qi presented a Admonition on how a respected ruler should behave, citing various terrible rulers of the past and using their self-indulgence as a warning.[35]

In the Jin court there came a disastrous proposal from Wang Hun and his son Ji, recommending a man named Liu Yuan. Liu Yuan was close friends with Wang Mi of Donglai, who was an exceptional brave and gallant man, known as the Flying Panther. These two remarked that though they were often praised by Wang Hun, someone always spoke out against using them. One such person was Prince of Qi, who remarked that “If Your Majesty does not do away with Liu Yuan, I fear that Bingzhou will not remain peaceful for very long.” But Wang Hun said, “Jin’s foundations are uncommon displays of trust. Why then will you then kill a man for whom you have not the slightest suspicion and keep his son hostage? Would that not show that Jin’s virtue and magnanimity are cheap?” and the Emperor sided with Wang Hun on this matter.[36] Liu Yuan was a man of exceptional talent and ability, with strength unmatched by any single man. Wu-di even met with him and was inspired by how stalwart he was.[37] There was a push by Li Xi that Liu Yuan be used against the Tufa Xianbei who were causing issues in the north west, yet in the court there was still a push back, stating that he would be nothing but trouble down the road as so he wasn’t used in this capacity.[38] However Wu-di did not adhear to his brother’s advice to kill Liu Yuan in the end, and Han China would suffer for it. The significance of this becomes very obvious when you understand that his Liu Yuan was the Xiongnu who founded the State of Han Zhao that attacked Jin during and after the War of the Eight Princes, and his son was the one to kill two Jin Emperor’s and sieze Northern China from the Han Chinese. Had the Prince of Qi been listened to this entire debacle may have been lessened, if not entirely prevented.

Jin’s Colonel-Director, Liu Yi, was a man of harsh mentality and always strictly followed law. No matter who commited an offense he always marked them up, even the Crown Prince during an event involing a Palace gate. However one person was caught in Liu Yi’s sight that the Emperor didn’t want to punish, that being Yang Xiu. Yang Xiu, as mentioned earlier, played a key role in successfully getting Wu-di the position as Heir over the Prince. Because of this he was greatly favored and rewarded, and because of it he became extravagant and arrogant, always believing himself to be untouchable, and so he freely violated laws. Liu Yi demanded he be put to death for his many crimes but the Emperor did not want this. So he sent the Prince of Qi to speak in private and beg for Yang Xiu’s life, as the Emperor owed him greatly. The Prince was so convincing that even one who was so strict to law that he would condemn the Heir-Apparant for crimes changed his mind. However a subordinate named Cheng Wei quickly rushed to Yang Xiu’s home and arrested many of those under him, taking them away to be tortured till they spilled many secrets on Yang Xiu, submitting all of this to the Emperor and then secondly reporting to Liu Yi. Face with no other option, Wu-di demoted to his friend to a commoner, though he kept him in office.[39]

Given his ability to even sway the mind of a, to be blunt, hardass like Liu Yi, his well earned respect of unmatched ministers like Zhang Hua, and his high position in court the Prince more and more earned respect and and influence with each passing day. As a result the delinquent ministers of the Jia faction like Xun Xu, Feng Dan and Yang Yao all hated him, and as mentioned previously, he hated them. Previously the Emperor had ordered many Princes to return to their fiefs, and yet the Prince of Qi was still in the capital. Feng Dan questioned the Emperor on this, and Xun Xu further added that “All the officials, near and far, have turned their hearts to the Prince of Qi. Your Majesty, after you are gone, the Crown Prince will not be able to obtain your throne. You should try ordering the Prince of Qi to his fief. He will certainly make the court believe that he cannot go, and then you will see the truth of my words.”[40] Xun Xu and Feng Dan are now accusing the Prince of supreme ambition and disloyalty, stating that the moment the Emperor dies, the Prince will seize the throne all for himself, and to prove this he should be sent away with the rest of them.

With a memorial masquerading as a promotion to the role as Grand Marshal with supreme Command over the military affairs of Qingzhou, in reality the Emperor was sending him back to his fief as the ministers suggested. Wang Hun, whom the Prince previously opposed on the Liu Yuan subject, submitted his own memorial in an effort to counter this.

“Sima You is an intimate of the royal family, greatly possessing in virtue; he is the equal of the Duke of Zhou. He should be supporting the imperial court, and consulted with on the affairs of governance. Yet now Sima You is being sent out to his fief; although he has been granted an empty title as Commander, he does not command soldiers or arms of any real substance. In harming a friend through empty and false righteousness, I fear that Your Majesty is not heeding His Late Majesty’s and Empress Wenming’s admonishments to you regarding the treatment of Sima You.

“If those of the same surname were treated with favor and great magnanimity, then how could the rebellions of Han’s Princes of Wu and Chu have arisen? How could the clans of Empress Lü Zhi, of Huo Guang, or of Wang Mang have ever threatened the dynasty? We see in history from ancient times to now the seriousness of neglecting affairs. In order to avoid harm, one only needs to employ those who are just and principled, and seek out those who are loyal and excellent. But if you turn your thoughts towards doubtful things, so that even those close to you are seen with suspicion, and you go so far as to send them away, how then could you possibly secure yourself?

“Foolish as I am, I believe that the post of Grand Guardian to the Crown Prince is currently vacant. You should grant that post to Sima You and have him remain here, and he may manage court affairs together with the Prince of Runan, Sima Liang, and with Yang Yao. If these three men hold such posts, that will be enough for them to work together to hold fast to justice, and no other great minister will have the power to overturn them. Furthermore, you would not lose the chance to repay the favor shown to you by your benevolent intimate, and you could carry out a plan to do the most good.”[41] Wang Hun argues fiercely that the Prince of Qi is the one person whose loyalty should never be questioned. He has followed his father’s words to support his brother from the first day and has only had good intentions for the Dynasty.

Not only did Wang Hun object to this, but so did various ministers including the Emperor’s close friend whom the Prince saved, Yang Xiu. Yet still the Emperor refused to listen. Wang Ji’s wife, a Sima Princess, and Zhen De’s wife, another Sima Princess, both went to the capital to speak with the Emperor and they kowtowed, begging that he not send the Prince away. The Emperor was even more furious and derided the wives, as well as their husbands for interfering in this family matter. The two were demoted heavily and sent out of the palace.[42] The issue became so serious that an assassination attempt was made on Yang Yao’s life for his role in getting the Prince shipped off. Yang Xiu and Cheng Can hid knives and went to see Yang Yao, though Yao feigned illness and refused to meet them. He had Yang Xiu censured by officials, and he was further demoted heavily. The entire situation made Yang Xiu so furious that he died from indignation. Li Xi too passed away during this affair.[43]

The many nobles and ministers in the Court all spoke on this matter and many of them submitted a petition chastising the Emperor for his actions. Unification has come, and yet instead of tending to the settling of the land to create a lasting peace, he feuds with his younger brother and sends him away, rather than making use of him in a post worthy of his position.[44] Still the Emperor refused to listened! This debacle reached someone who would truly be able to give perspective on the matter. The son of Wei’s Prince Si of Chen, Cao Zhi son of Cao Zhi. Cao Zhi had seen exactly what a brotherly feud and confinement had done to his father. His father became a depressed alcoholic who died a lonely and heartbroken death, unable to save his state from disaster or aid in unifying the nation. Cao Zhi would remark loudly in a sorrowful tone “How can it be that a man with such talent and such closeness to the royal family not be allowed to provide aid and shape to the trunk of the state’s tree, and is instead sent away to the ends of the sea! The rise of the Jin royal family is nearly at an end!”[45] Cao Zhi then proceeded to send a lengthy memorial to the Emperor[46] he cites the Dukes of Zhou and Shao who ruled at once and discussed affair, stating that the families cannot have ruled alone. He further states Qin and Wei failed as they monopolized power around one family member, while Hou and Han divided their gains and made use of family. Sima Yan was furious over this and ordered Cao Zhi, along with many other officials to be arrested. Cao Zhi was stripped of his office and sent off to live at his manor, in a similar manner to his father.[47][47a]

Prince Xian, now at his fief, was growing more and more furious over his treatment as each day passes. He had done nothing wrong at all other than oppose Ministers whom the rest of the court hated too! Unlike Prince Si of Chen he hadn’t challenged his brother for the throne! He was simply popular and talented. The Prince asked for none of this treatment and only wanted to support the Empire, yet he was discarded to his fief!

To add further insult to injury his anger had begun to take a grave toll on his health and he developed an illness, yet despite this he begging his brother to be allowed to guard the tomb of their late mother, yet the Emperor refused.[48] This pains me! Their mother begged for Wu-di to be kind with his brother, and now when he begs to be close to his mother and keep her tomb guarded, he is denied! The Prince had only ever acted properly and never spoke out of turn. All respected him and the Emperor, so petty and uncomfortable in his position, feared him. What a pathetic brother and a petty sovereign.

Wu-di had sent many doctors to tend to his brother, yet they reported no illness to be seen. Yet again another Minister, Yin Xiong, stated that while the Emperor has many brothers and sons, none compare to the Prince of Qi. He must recall him and end his suffering, yet he refused. Yin Xiong became so furious that he passed away from rage.[49]

The Prince of Qi at this point could barely function, yet the Emperor urged him to come to the capital. The Prince would not disobey an order and despite being in immense pain, he left his fief and went to the capital and he had did his best to maintain his composure and show respect to the Emperor. It appeared as if he were in perfect health, yet he was in unbearable pain. Because of this Wu-di truly suspected that he wasn’t ill as the doctors said. However several days following the visit, the Prince of Qi spat up blood and passed away.[50] He was only thirty seven years old.

There came the mourning service for the Prince and the Emperor attended. He was said to have been inconsolable with grief for what had happened. During this funeral the Princes eldest son, Jiong, approached the Emperor and revealed that the doctors had all lied about his father’s condition, as they knew the Emperor would rather suspect his brother than worry for his health. The Emperor found all the doctors and put them to the sword, and he then made Jiong the new Prince of Qi, inheriting his father’s fief.[51] Sima Jiong will be covered in more detail in a future case.

It is said that at first the Emperor loved his brother dearly and it was not until Xun Xu and Feng Dan that he came to despise and suspect him. There is merit to this claim as the falling out doesn’t truly seem to have hit it’s full steam until this clique accused him of potential treason. During his mourning for his brother the Emperor was approached by Feng Dan who questioned why he was mourning, as the Empire was now fortunate to be without this grave threat. Wu-di dried his tears and grieved no longer.[52] He did not care for the Prince of Qi in the end. He still hated him. Had he, he wouldn’t cease his grieving. He would’ve put Feng Dan to death for saying such a thing! What a despicable sovereign.

The woes of the Imperial Clan are often ignored or, even more pathetically, passed off as a trivial affair. “Woe is them! They’re confined to a life of luxery at a nice fief!” To put it bluntly, this is a stupid opinion. What did Sima You do to deserve this fate? The man, from the moment his brother assumed the throne, only had the best interest for Jin at heart! He opposed corrupt and immoral ministers, the use of Liu Yuan, earned incredible rank off his ability and became a celebrated scholar. All whom were not morally bankrupt adored him! Yet those who didn’t? Xun Xu and Feng Dan? They were with the jealous Emperor. This isn’t a case of Cao Zhi challenging Cao Pi and deserving some of the backlash he got. Sima You had done nothing to Sima Yan. He supported him, just as their father wished and yet Sima Yan could not love his brother like their mother wished. Even denying him the honor of guarding their mother’s tomb. What sort of son or brother does that? Sima You was unjustly slandered by inferior men and died. Look at how history views him! Not a bad word to say. Countless ministers risked everything, even argued to their deaths, in favor of Sima You! Sima Yan was utterly pathetic in this whole ordeal. There is saving your country from potential disaster, then there is unjustified fears over someone who has never once shown desire for your post. How much chaos could have been prevented had he been listened to on the Liu Yuan situation? What sort of struggle could’ve been avoided if he were chosen over Sima Yan, or even Sima Zhong? Or hell, simply left to live! Sima You had everyone respect and admiration. His presence could’ve drastically altered the War of the Eight Princes. Instead he was cast aside under ridiculous charges and died young. Western Jin’s survival may have died with Sima You.

[1] Achilles Fang, Fang Xuangling, Sima You’s Jinshu
[1a] Ancient and Early Medieval Chinese Literature (vol. 2): A Reference Guide, Part Two falsely states that Sima You was born in 248, but this does not match up with the information in the Jinshu that clearly states he was 9 when Sima Shi passed away in 255.
[2] Achilles Fang, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[2a] The hanzi for Taofu is 桃符
[2b] Sima You’s name is incorrectly rendered as Sima Yu in Achilles Fang’s translation.
[3] Achilles Fang, Fang Xuangling, Sima You’s Jinshu
[3a] Epistolary style is letter and journal format.
[4] Achilles Fang, Fang Xuangling, Sima You’s Jinshu
[4a] You can read a detailed reading of these events in my other write up, A Case for Sima Zhao.
[5] Fuyonggu, Chen Shou, Wang Ling’s Sanguozhi
[6] Fuyonggu, Chen Shou, Wang Ling’s Sanguozhi
[7] Fuyonggu, Chen Shou, Wang Ling’s Sanguozhi
[8] Achilles Fang, Fang Xuangling, Sima You’s Jinshu
[8a] Ancient and Early Medieval Chinese Literature (vol. 2): A Reference Guide, Part Two falsely states that Sima You accompanied Wang Ling on campaign.
[9] Fuyonggu, Chen Shou, Wang Ling’s Sanguozhi
[10] Achilles Fang, Fang Xuangling, Sima You’s Jinshu
[11] BookOfJin, Fang Xuangling, Xiahou Hui’s Jinshu
[12] BookOfJin, Fang Xuangling, Yang Huiyu’s Jinshu
[13] BookOfJin, Fang Xuangling, Sima You’s Jinshu
[13a] You can read a detailed reading of these events in my other write up, A Case for Sima Zhao.
[14] BookOfJin, Fang Xuangling, Sima You’s Jinshu
[14a] Sima You’s Jinshu states Sima Shi ordered the adoption while Sima Yan’s states that Sima Shi died without an heir, and so Sima Zhao made Sima You posthumously adopted by his brother. Shan Tao’s Jinshu further backs this up, however I’ve chosen to go with Sima You’s account as being adopted from a young age would be in line with the filial mourning, as opposed to a posthumous adoption.
[15] Fuyonggu, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[16] Fuyonggu, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[17] Achilles Fang, Fang Xuangling, Sima Yan’s Jinshu
[18] Achilles Fang, Fang Xuangling, Pei Xiu’s Jinshu
[19] Achilles Fang, Fang Xuangling, Yang Xiu’s Jinshu
[19a] This story is also identical to the story of Yang Xiu aiding Cao Zhi in the Wei succession crisis.
[20] Achilles Fang, Fang Xuangling, Shan Tao’s Jinshu
[21] BookOfJin, Fang Xuangling, Jia Chong’s Jinshu
[22] Achilles Fang, Fang Xuangling, Shan Tao’s Jinshu
[23] Fuyonggu, Fang Xuangling, Sima You’s Jinshu
[24] Fuyonggu, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[25] Fuyonggu, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[26] Fuyonggu, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[27] BookofJin, Fang Xuanling, Jia Chong’s Sanguozhi biography
[28] BookofJin, Fang Xuanling, Jia Chong’s Sanguozhi biography
[29] Fuyonggu, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[30] BookofJin, Fang Xuanling, Jia Chong’s Sanguozhi biography
[30a] Sima You was wed to Jia Bao, also referred to as Jia Quan. She was the daughter of Lady Li Wan, Jia Chong’s wife of immense talent and beauty he disowned and had banished to Pingzhou for her father’s involvement in the attempt on Sima Shi’s life.
[31] Fuyonggu, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[32] BookofJin, Fang Xuanling, Jia Chong’s Sanguozhi biography
[33] Fuyonggu, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[33a] Initially I had thought that perhaps this story, or the shifting of blame from Sima Yan to Xun Xu and Feng Dan may have been an invention by historians. However it is possible that both stories may be true.
[34] Fuyonggu, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[35] Ancient and Early Medieval Chinese Literature (vol. 2): A Reference Guide, Part Two
[36] BookOfJin, Fang Xuangling, Wang Hun’s Jinshu
[37] Fuyonggu, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[38] Fuyonggu, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[39] Fuyonggu, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[40] Fuyonggu, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[41] Fuyonggu, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[42] Fuyonggu, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[43] Fuyonggu, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[44] Fuyonggu, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[45] Fuyonggu, Fang Xuangling, Cao Zhi’s Jinshu
[46] In ancient times, of those who provided close personal aid to the royal family, there were those of the same surname as the royal clan, like the Duke of Zhou, and there were those of differing surnames, like the Grand Duke (Jiang Ziya). They all lived themselves at court, and for five generations their bodies were brought back to be buried at Zhou. After this state of affairs was lost, although the age of the Five Hegemons came about, how could that compare to when the Dukes of Zhou and Shao ruled at the same time and discussed affairs? Of all the sovereigns since Fuxi, how could any of their families have ruled alone?

This is why the state must extend itself to the hearts of all, so that the realm shares its weal and woe together, and then the state is able to enjoy a long existence. This was why the Qin and Wei dynasties, in seeking to monopolize all power to themselves, did not long outlive their own founders, while the Zhou and Han dynasties, who were able to divide their gains among their intimates and could make use of them, lasted long. This is a wise precedent from the past. I believe that the rest of the Court Academicians believe the same as I do.
[47] Fuyonggu, Fang Xuangling, Cao Zhi’s Jinshu
[47a] Cao Zhi would later be reinstated but after his mother died his mind deteriorated and he passed away.
[48] Fuyonggu, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[49] Fuyonggu, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[50] Fuyonggu, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[51] Fuyonggu, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
To refute my principle with one's own principle is like throwing an egg against a boulder. The eggs in the world would be exhausted without doing any harm to the boulder.
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