Mawangdui is an archaeological site located in Changsha, China. The site consists of two saddle-shaped hills and contained the tombs of three people from the western Han dynasty: Marquis Li Cang, his wife, a male believed to have been their son; the site was excavated from 1972 to 1974. Most of the artifacts from Mawangdui are displayed at the Hunan Provincial Museum, it was called "King Ma's Mound" because it was thought to be the tomb of Ma Yin, a ruler of the Chu kingdom during the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period. The tombs were made of large cypress planks; the outside of the tombs were layered with white charcoal. White clay layering originated with Chu burials, while charcoal layering was practiced during the early western Han dynasty in the Changsha area; the tombs contained a Chu burial custom. The tombs followed the burial practices dictated by Emperor Wen of Han, containing no jade or precious metals; the eastern tomb, Tomb no. 1, contained the remains of a woman in her fifties. Her mummified body was so well-preserved that researchers were able to perform an autopsy on her body, which showed that she died of a heart attack.
Her diet was too rich in sugars and meats, she suffered from arterial-coronary problems. Buried with her were skeletons of various food-animals, lotus soup, grains and a complete meal including soup and meat skewers on a lacquer set. Researchers found honeydew melon seeds in her stomach, she outlived the occupants of the other two tombs. Xin Zhui's tomb was by far the best preserved of the three. A complete cosmetic set, lacquered pieces and finely woven silk garments with paintings are perfectly preserved, her coffins were painted according to Chu customs and beliefs with whirling clouds interwoven with mystical animals and dragons. The corpse was bound in layers of silk cloth and covered with a wonderfully painted T-shaped tapestry depicting the netherworld and heavens with Chinese mythological characters as well as Xin Zhui. There was a silk painting showing a variety of exercises researchers call the forerunner of Tai ji; the western tomb, Tomb no. 2, was the burial site of the first Marquis of Li Cang.
He died in 186 BC. The Han dynasty had appointed Li Cang as the chancellor of the Kingdom of Changsha, an imperial fiefdom of Han; this tomb had been plundered several times by grave robbers. Tomb 3 was directly south of Tomb 1, contained the tomb of a man in his thirties who died in 168 BC; the occupant is believed to have been a relative of his wife. This tomb contained a rich trove of military and astronomical manuscripts written on silk. Regarded artifacts in particular were the lacquered wine-bowls and cosmetic boxes, which showcased the craftsmanship of the regional lacquerware industry. Of the more famous artifacts from Mawangdui were its silk funeral banners; the banners depicted the Chinese abstraction of the cosmos and the afterlife at the time of the western Han dynasty. A silk banner of similar style and function were found in Tomb 3; the T-shaped silk funeral banner in the tomb of the Marquise is called the "name banner" with the written name of the deceased replaced with a portrait.
We know the name because the tomb's original inventory is still intact, this is what it is called on the inventory. The Marquise was buried in four coffins. On the T-shaped painted silk garment, the uppermost horizontal section of the T represents heaven; the bottom of the vertical section of the T represents the underworld. The middle represents earth. In heaven we can see Chinese deities such as Nuwa and Chang'e, as well as Daoist symbols such as cranes. Between heaven and earth we can see heavenly messengers sent to bring Lady Dai to heaven. Underneath this are Lady Dai's family offering sacrifices to help her journey to heaven. Beneath them is the underworld - two giant sea serpents intertwined; the contents of Tomb 2 had been removed by robbers. An excavation report has been published within the last 5 years in Chinese. Tomb 3 contained a silk name banner and three maps drawn on silk: a topographic map, a military map and a prefecture map; the maps display the Hunan and Guangxi region and depict the political boundary between the Han dynasty and Nanyue.
At the time of discovery, these were the oldest maps yet discovered in China, until 1986 when Qin State maps dating to the 4th century BC were found. Tomb 3 contained a wealth of classical texts; the tomb contained texts on astronomy, which depicted the planetary orbits for Venus, Mercury and Saturn and described various comets. The Mawangdui texts of the Yijing are hundreds of years earlier than those known before, are now translated by Edward Shaughnessy The tomb contained a rich collection of Huang-Lao Taoist texts, as well a copy of the Zhan Guo Ce; the tomb contained various medical texts, including depictions of tao yin exercises, as well as a historical text, the Chunqiu shiyu. Book of Silk Mawangdui Silk Texts Tomb of Marquis Yi of Zeng List of Chinese cultural relics forbidden to be exhibited abroad Han dynasty tomb architecture BooksLee, Sherman E. 1994, A History of Far Eastern Art, Fifth edition, Prentice Hall Harper, Don, 1998, Early Chinese Medical Literature: The Maw
The I Ching or Yi Jing known as Classic of Changes or Book of Changes, is an ancient Chinese divination text and the oldest of the Chinese classics. Possessing a history of more than two and a half millennia of commentary and interpretation, the I Ching is an influential text read throughout the world, providing inspiration to the worlds of religion, psychoanalysis and art. A divination manual in the Western Zhou period, over the course of the Warring States period and early imperial period it was transformed into a cosmological text with a series of philosophical commentaries known as the "Ten Wings". After becoming part of the Five Classics in the 2nd century BC, the I Ching was the subject of scholarly commentary and the basis for divination practice for centuries across the Far East, took on an influential role in Western understanding of Eastern thought; the I Ching uses a type of divination called cleromancy, which produces random numbers. Six numbers between 6 and 9 are turned into a hexagram, which can be looked up in the I Ching book, arranged in an order known as the King Wen sequence.
The interpretation of the readings found in the I Ching is a matter of centuries of debate, many commentators have used the book symbolically to provide guidance for moral decision making as informed by Confucianism and Buddhism. The hexagrams themselves have acquired cosmological significance and paralleled with many other traditional names for the processes of change such as yin and yang and Wu Xing; the core of the I Ching is a Western Zhou divination text called the Changes of Zhou. Various modern scholars suggest dates ranging between the 10th and 4th centuries BC for the assembly of the text in its current form. Based on a comparison of the language of the Zhou yi with dated bronze inscriptions, the American sinologist Edward Shaughnessy dated its compilation in its current form to the early decades of the reign of King Xuan of Zhou, in the last quarter of the 9th century BC. A copy of the text in the Shanghai Museum corpus of bamboo and wooden slips shows that the Zhou yi was used throughout all levels of Chinese society in its current form by 300 BC, but still contained small variations as late as the Warring States period.
It is possible. The name Zhou yi means the "changes" of the Zhou dynasty; the "changes" involved have been interpreted as the transformations of hexagrams, of their lines, or of the numbers obtained from the divination. Feng Youlan proposed that the word for "changes" meant "easy", as in a form of divination easier than the oracle bones, but there is little evidence for this. There is an ancient folk etymology that sees the character for "changes" as containing the sun and moon, the cycle of the day. Modern Sinologists believe the character to be derived either from an image of the sun emerging from clouds, or from the content of a vessel being changed into another; the Zhou yi was traditionally ascribed to the Zhou cultural heroes King Wen of Zhou and the Duke of Zhou, was associated with the legendary world ruler Fu Xi. According to the canonical Great Commentary, Fu Xi observed the patterns of the world and created the eight trigrams, "in order to become conversant with the numinous and bright and to classify the myriad things."
The Zhou yi itself indeed says nothing about its own origins. The Rites of Zhou, however claims that the hexagrams of the Zhou yi were derived from an initial set of eight trigrams. During the Han dynasty there were various opinions about the historical relationship between the trigrams and the hexagrams. A consensus formed around 2nd century AD scholar Ma Rong's attribution of the text to the joint work of Fu Xi, King Wen of Zhou, the Duke of Zhou, Confucius, but this traditional attribution is no longer accepted; the basic unit of the Zhou yi is a figure composed of six stacked horizontal lines. Each line is either unbroken; the received text of the Zhou yi contains all 64 possible hexagrams, along with the hexagram's name, a short hexagram statement, six line statements. The statements were used to determine the results of divination, but the reasons for having two different methods of reading the hexagram are not known, it is not known why hexagram statements would be read over line statements or vice versa.
The book opens with yuán hēng lì zhēn. These four words, translated traditionally by James Legge as "originating and penetrating and firm," are repeated in the hexagram statements and were considered an important part of I Ching interpretation in the 6th century BC. Edward Shaughnessy describes this statement as affirming an "initial receipt" of an offering, "beneficial" for further "divining"; the word zhēn was used for the verb "divine" in the oracle bones of the late Shang dynasty, which preceded the Zhou. It carried meanings of being or making upright or correct, was defined by the Eastern Han scholar Zheng Xuan as "to enquire into the correctness" of a proposed activity; the names of the hexagrams are words that appear in their respective line statements, but in five cases an unrelated character of unclear purpose appears. The hexagram names could have been chosen arbitrarily from the line statements, but i
Chen Shou, courtesy name Chengzuo, was an official and writer who lived during the Three Kingdoms period and Jin dynasty of China. He started his career as an official in the state of Shu during the Three Kingdoms era but was demoted and sent out of the capital for his refusal to fawn on Huang Hao, an influential court eunuch in Shu in its twilight years. After the fall of Shu in 263, Chen Shou's career entered a period of stagnation before Zhang Hua recommended him to serve in the Jin government, he held scribal and secretarial positions under the Jin government before dying from illness in 297. He had over 200 writings -- -- attributed to him. Chen Shou's most celebrated work, the Records of the Three Kingdoms, which records the history of the late Eastern Han dynasty and the Three Kingdoms period in the form of biographies of notable persons of those eras, is part of the Twenty-Four Histories canon of Chinese history. Despite his achievements, Chen Shou's life was marred by disgraceful incidents, including his making of false accusations against another official and the controversies surrounding his writing of the Sanguozhi.
There are two biographies of Chen Shou. The first one is in the Book of Jin, written by Fang Xuanling and others in the seventh century during the Tang dynasty; the second one is in the Chronicles of Huayang, written by Chang Qu in the fourth century during the Eastern Jin dynasty. Chen Shou was from Anhan County, Baxi Commandery, in present-day Nanchong, Sichuan, he was known for being studious since he was young and was described as intelligent and knowledgeable. He was mentored by the Shu official Qiao Zhou, from Baxi Commandery. Under Qiao Zhou's tutelage, he read the Classic of History and Three Commentaries on the Spring and Autumn Annals, he was well versed in the Records of the Grand Historian and Book of Han. According to the Jin Shu, Chen Shou served as a guange lingshi in Shu. However, the Huayang Guozhi mentioned that he held the following appointments consecutively: Registrar of the General of the Guards. In the final years of Shu, many officials fawned on Huang Hao, an influential court eunuch, in their bid to win his favour.
Chen Shou's refusal to engage in such flattering and obsequious behaviour took a toll on his career: He was demoted on several occasions and sent out of the Shu capital, Chengdu. After the fall of Shu in 263, Chen Shou's career entered a period of stagnation until Zhang Hua recommended him to serve in the government of the Jin dynasty. Zhang Hua appreciated Chen Shou's talent and felt that though Chen did not have an untarnished reputation, he did not deserve to be demoted and dismissed while he was in Shu. Chen Shou was recommended as a xiaolian, appointed as a zuo zhuzuo lang and the acting Prefect of Yangping County. In 274, he collected and compiled the writings of Zhuge Liang, the first chancellor of Shu, submitted them to the Jin imperial court, he was appointed as the zhongzheng of Baxi Commandery. The Huayang Guozhi mentioned that he served as the Chancellor to the Marquis of Pingyang; when Zhang Hua recommended Chen Shou to serve as a Gentleman Palace Writer, the Ministry of Personnel appointed Chen Shou as the Administrator of Changguang Commandery instead on the recommendation of Xun Xu.
The Jin Shu mentioned that Xun Xu detested Zhang Hua and disliked Chen Shou for his association with Zhang Hua, so he urged the Ministry of Personnel to reassign Chen Shou to another position. Chen Shou declined the appointment on the grounds; the Huayang Guozhi gave a different account of Chen Shou's relationship with Xun Xu. It stated that Xun Xu and Zhang Hua were pleased with Chen Shou's Sanguozhi and they remarked that Chen Shou surpassed Ban Gu and Sima Qian; however Xun Xu was displeased by the Wei Shu – one of the three sections in the Sanguozhi – and did not want Chen Shou to work in the same office as him, so he had Chen Shou reassigned to be the Administrator of Changguang. In 278, before the general Du Yu assumed his appointment as the commander of the Jin military forces in Jing Province, he recommended Chen Shou to Emperor Wu and stated that Chen Shou was capable of serving as a Gentleman of the Yellow Gate or Gentleman of Scattered Cavalry. Emperor Wu appointed Chen Shou as a yushi zhishu.
The Jin Shu mentioned that Chen Shou took a leave of absence when his mother died, he fulfilled her dying wish to be buried in Luoyang. However, he ended up being castigated and demoted because his act of burying his mother in Luoyang – instead of in his hometown in Anhan County – was a violation of the proprieties of his time; the Huayang Guozhi gave a varying account of the events: It was Chen Shou's stepmother who died. She did not want to be buried together with his father, so Chen Shou buried her in Luoyang. According to the Jin Shu, many years after his demotion, Chen Shou was appointed as a zhongshuzi to the crown prince Sima Yu, but he did not assume his role, he died of illness at the age of 65 in 297 during the reign of Emperor Hui. The Huayang Guozhi gave a different account of the events before Chen Shou's death, it stated that Chen Shou was appointed as a zhongshuzi to Sima Yu, but was reassigned to be a Regu
Confucius was a Chinese teacher, editor and philosopher of the Spring and Autumn period of Chinese history. The philosophy of Confucius known as Confucianism, emphasized personal and governmental morality, correctness of social relationships and sincerity, his followers competed with many other schools during the Hundred Schools of Thought era only to be suppressed in favor of the Legalists during the Qin dynasty. Following the victory of Han over Chu after the collapse of Qin, Confucius's thoughts received official sanction and were further developed into a system known in the West as Neo-Confucianism, New Confucianism. Confucius is traditionally credited with having authored or edited many of the Chinese classic texts including all of the Five Classics, but modern scholars are cautious of attributing specific assertions to Confucius himself. Aphorisms concerning his teachings were compiled in the Analects, but only many years after his death. Confucius's principles have commonality with Chinese belief.
He championed strong family loyalty, ancestor veneration, respect of elders by their children and of husbands by their wives, recommending family as a basis for ideal government. He espoused the well-known principle "Do not do unto others what you do not want done to yourself", the Golden Rule, he is a traditional deity in Daoism. Confucius is considered as one of the most important and influential individuals in shaping human history, his teaching and philosophy impacted people around the world and remains influential today. The name "Confucius" is a Latinized form of the Mandarin Chinese "Kǒng Fūzǐ", was coined in the late 16th century by the early Jesuit missionaries to China. Confucius's clan name was "Kǒng", his given name was "Qiū", his "capping name", given upon reaching adulthood and by which he would have been known to all but his older family members, was "Zhòngní", the "Zhòng" indicating that he was the second son in his family. It is thought that Confucius was born on September 28, 551 BC, in the district of Zou near present-day Qufu, China.
The area was notionally controlled by the kings of Zhou but independent under the local lords of Lu. His father Kong He was an elderly commandant of the local Lu garrison, his ancestry traced back through the dukes of Song to the Shang dynasty. Traditional accounts of Confucius's life relate that Kong He's grandfather had migrated the family from Song to Lu. Kong He died when Confucius was three years old, Confucius was raised by his mother Yan Zhengzai in poverty, his mother would die at less than 40 years of age. At age 19 he married Qiguan, a year the couple had their first child, Kong Li. Qiguan and Confucius would have two daughters together, one of whom is thought to have died as a child. Confucius was educated at schools for commoners, where he learned the Six Arts. Confucius was born into the class between the aristocracy and the common people, he is said to have worked in various government jobs during his early 20s, as a bookkeeper and a caretaker of sheep and horses, using the proceeds to give his mother a proper burial.
When his mother died, Confucius is said to have mourned for three years. In Confucius's time, the state of Lu was headed by a ruling ducal house. Under the duke were three aristocratic families, whose heads bore the title of viscount and held hereditary positions in the Lu bureaucracy; the Ji family held the position "Minister over the Masses", the "Prime Minister". In the winter of 505 BC, Yang Hu—a retainer of the Ji family—rose up in rebellion and seized power from the Ji family. However, by the summer of 501 BC, the three hereditary families had succeeded in expelling Yang Hu from Lu. By Confucius had built up a considerable reputation through his teachings, while the families came to see the value of proper conduct and righteousness, so they could achieve loyalty to a legitimate government. Thus, that year, Confucius came to be appointed to the minor position of governor of a town, he rose to the position of Minister of Crime. Confucius desired to return the authority of the state to the duke by dismantling the fortifications of the city—strongholds belonging to the three families.
This way, he could establish a centralized government. However, Confucius relied on diplomacy as he had no military authority himself. In 500 BC, Hou Fan—the governor of Hou—revolted against his lord of the Shu family. Although the Meng and Shu families unsuccessfully besieged Hou, a loyalist official rose up with the people of Hou and forced Hou Fan to flee to the Qi state; the situation may have been in favor for Confucius as this made it possible for Confucius and his disciples to convince the aristocratic families to dismantle the fortifications of their cities. After a year and a half and his disciples succeeded in convincing the Shu family to raze the walls of Hou, the Ji family in razing the walls of Bi, the Meng family in razing the walls of Cheng. First, the Shu family led an army towards their city Hou and tore down its walls in 498 BC. Soon thereafter, Gongshan Furao or Buniu, a retainer of the Ji family and took control of the forces at Bi, he launched an attack and entered the capital Lu.
Earlier, Gongshan had approached Confucius to join him. Though he disapproved
Records of the Three Kingdoms
The Records of the Three Kingdoms is a Chinese historical text which covers the history of the late Eastern Han dynasty and the Three Kingdoms period. The primary body of the text was written by Chen Shou in the third century and combines the smaller histories of Cao Wei, Shu Han and Eastern Wu into a single text; the Records of the Grand Historian, Book of Han and Book of the Later Han, the Records of the Three Kingdoms make up the four early historical texts of the Twenty-Four Histories canon. The Records of the Three Kingdoms known as Sanguo zhi, contains 65 volumes and about 360,000 Chinese characters broken into three books; the Book of Wei contains 30 volumes, the Book of Shu 15 volumes, while the Book of Wu contains 20 volumes. Each volume is organised in the form of one or more biographies; the author Chen Shou, was born in Sichuan, in the state of Shu Han. After the Conquest of Shu by Wei in 263, he became an official historian under the government of the Jin dynasty, was assigned the task of creating a history of the Three Kingdoms period.
After the Conquest of Wu by Jin in 280, his work received the acclaim of senior minister Zhang Hua. Prior to the Jin dynasty, both the states of Cao Wei and Wu has composed their own official histories, such as the Book of Wei by Wang Chen, the Weilüe by Yu Huan, the Book of Wu by Wei Zhao. Chen Shou used these texts as the foundation of the Records of the Three Kingdoms. However, since the state of Shu lacked documents about its history, the Book of Shu in the Records was composed by Chen Shou himself based on his personal memories of his early life in Shu and other primary sources he collected, such as the writings of Zhuge Liang; the Records of the Three Kingdoms used the year 220 CE—which marks the end of the Han dynasty—as the year in which the state of Wei was established. The Records refer to the rulers of Wei as'Emperors' and those of Shu and Wu as'Lords' or by their personal names; this was to uphold the legitimacy of the Jin dynasty as the inheritor of the Mandate of Heaven from Wei—because Wei must first be "designated" as the true successor to the Han dynasty in order to solidify Jin's claim to legitimacy.
During the fifth century, the Liu Song dynasty historian Pei Songzhi extensively edited and annotated Chen Shou's Records of the Three Kingdoms using a variety of other sources, augmenting the text to twice the length of the original. This work, completed in 429, became the official history of the Three Kingdoms period, under the title Sanguozhi zhu, he went about providing detailed explanations to some of the geography and other elements mentioned in the original. More Pei Songzhi made the effort to include multiple accounts of the same events, some of which contradict each other, since he could not decide which version was the correct one. In regard to historical events and figures, as well as Chen Shou's opinions, he added his own commentary. From his broad research, he was able to create a history, complete, without many of the loose ends of the original. If there is something that Chen Shou failed to mention, if it is something that should be remembered I have collected other records to fill in the gap.
Sometimes there are two accounts of the same incident, though there may be errors or irrelevancies in the text. Sometimes an event is described in two quite different ways and I do not feel that I can decide between them. In all such cases I have put in the variant versions to show the different traditions. If one account is wrong, what it says is not logically sound I note, right in order to correct the mistake. On occasion, I argue on minor points of fact; the Records are important to the research of early Japanese history. It provides, among other things, the first detailed account of Korean and Japanese societies such as Goguryeo, Yemaek and Wa, as well as the Yamatai-koku and its ruler Queen Himiko; the Japanese started writing their own records in the early 7th century and the earliest extant native record is the Kojiki of 712. The text forms the foundation on which the 14th-century novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms is based on. In addition, Chen Shou's literary style and vivid portrayal of characters have been a source of influence for the novel.
The text is the last of the "Four Histories", which together influenced and served as a model for Korean and Japanese official histories. Due to the biographical rather than annalistic arrangement of the work, assigning dates to the historical content is both imprecise and non-trivial. Certain volumes contain background information about their subjects' forebears which date back centuries before the main record. For example, the biography of Liu Yan begins with discussing his ancestor Liu Yu's enfeoffment at Jingling in around 85 CE; the first event to receive detailed description throughout the work is the Yellow Turban Rebellion in 184. Many biographies make passing mention of the event, but more concrete information such as correspondence and troop movements during the uprising can be found in fragmentary form in at least four volumes: the biographies of Cheng Yu, Yu Jin, Liu Bei, Sun Jian; the three books in the Records of the Three Kingdoms end at different dates, with the main section of the Book of Wei ending with the abdication of Cao Huan in 265, the Book of Shu ending with the death of Liu Shan in 271, the Book of Wu ending with the death of Sun Hao in 284.
The Records of the Three Kingdoms has not been translated into English. William Gordon Crowell alludes to a project to translate Chen Shou's work with Pei Songzhi's commentary in full, but
Cao Zhi, courtesy name Zijian, was a prince of the state of Cao Wei in the Three Kingdoms period of China, an accomplished poet in his time. His style of poetry revered during the Jin dynasty and Southern and Northern Dynasties, came to be known as the Jian'an style. Cao Zhi was a son of Cao Cao, a warlord who rose to power towards the end of the Eastern Han dynasty and laid the foundation for the state of Cao Wei; as Cao Zhi once engaged his elder brother Cao Pi in a power struggle to succeed their father, he was ostracised by his victorious brother after the latter became the emperor and established the Cao Wei state. In his life, Cao Zhi was not allowed to meddle in politics, despite his many petitions to seek office. Born in 192, Cao Zhi was the third son of the warlord Cao Lady Bian. According to the Records of the Three Kingdoms, Cao Zhi could recite the Shi Jing and more than ten thousand verses worth of poems before he turned 20, his literary talent made him a favorite son of Cao Cao in the early stage of his life.
However, Cao Zhi was an impetuous man with little self-discipline. He was a heavy drinker. On the other hand, his elder brother Cao Pi was a shrewd man who knew how to feign emotions at the right times. Cao Pi enjoyed a much closer relationship to the servants and subjects around Cao Cao, they spoke well of him. In 217, Cao Cao picked Cao Pi to succeed himself; this further aggravated Cao Zhi's eccentric behaviour. He once rode his chariot along the road reserved for the emperor and through the front gate of the palace; this infuriated his father. Having chosen a successor, Cao Cao took measures to undermine other contestants, he did this by executing a chief adviser to Cao Zhi. This unsettled Cao Zhi, but failed to jolt him back to his senses. On the contrary, he sank further into his drunken habits. In 219, Cao Cao's cousin and leading general Cao Ren was besieged at the fortress at Fancheng by Guan Yu. Cao Cao named Cao Zhi to lead a relief force to the rescue, in the hope that the task would instil into the latter a sense of responsibility.
However, Cao Zhi was so drunk. Cao Cao gave up on this son. Within months, Cao Cao died. One of the first things Cao Pi did was to do away with Ding Yi and Ding Yi, two firm supporters of Cao Zhi, he sent Cao Zhi, along with the other brothers, away from the capital to a country estate exiling them into the countryside, prohibited them from taking part in central political issues. Prospects for Cao Zhi did not improve after Cao Pi died in 226, he wrote to the second Wei emperor Cao Rui many times. In 232, he sought a private meeting with Cao Rui to discuss politics. However, Cao Rui still considered him a threat to the throne and declined all the offers. Depressed by the setbacks, Cao Zhi soon developed a fatal illness. Aged 41, he died leaving behind instructions for a simple burial. Despite his failure in politics, Cao Zhi was hailed as one of the representatives of the poetic style of his time, together with his father Cao Cao, his elder brother Cao Pi and several other poets, their poems formed the backbone of.
The civil strife towards the end of the Eastern Han dynasty gave the Jian'an poems their characteristic solemn yet heart-stirring tone, while lament over the ephemerality of life was a central theme of works from this period. In terms of the history of Chinese literature, the Jian'an poems were a transition from the early folk songs into scholarly poetry. Although Jian'an refers to the era name between 196 and 220, Cao Zhi's poems could in fact be categorised into two periods, with the year 220 as the watershed; the earlier period consisted of poems. These poems were romantic in nature. On the other hand, his setbacks in political pursuits after the death of his father in 220 gave rise to the grievous tone of his works. More than 90 poems by Cao Zhi remain today; these are held in high esteem for their significant influence over the development of five-character poetry in ages. The most complete collection of Cao Zhi's poems and other literary works is Chen Si Wang Ji, compiled during the Ming dynasty.
One of Cao Zhi's most celebrated poems is On the White Horse. Written in the early years of his life, the poem portrayed a young warrior who answered fearlessly to the need of his country and reflected Cao Zhi's own aspiration to contribute to his times. Cao Zhi's most famous poem was the Seven Steps Verse translated as The Quatrain of Seven Steps. Romance of the Three Kingdoms, a 14th-century historical novel, was a romanticisation of the events that occurred during the late Eastern Han dynasty and Three Kingdoms period. Exploiting the complicated relationship among the Cao Cao's sons Cao Pi and Cao Zhi, Luo Guanzhong was able to create a scenario where the elder brother, having succeeded his father, tried to do away with his younger brother. After the death of Cao Cao, Cao Zhi failed to turn up for the funeral. Men sent by Cao Pi found Cao Zhi drunk in his own house. Cao Zhi was bound and brought to Cao Pi; when Empress Bian, their common birth mother, heard of this, she went to Cao Pi and pleaded for the life of her younger son.
Cao Pi agreed. However, Hua Xin convinced Cao Pi to put Cao Zhi's literary talent to a test. If Cao Zhi failed the test, it would be excuse enough to put him to death, Hua Xin suggested
Wei known as Cao Wei, was one of the three major states that competed for supremacy over China in the Three Kingdoms period. With its capital located at Xuchang, thereafter Luoyang, the state was established by Cao Pi in 220, based upon the foundations laid by his father, Cao Cao, towards the end of the Eastern Han dynasty; the name "Wei" first became associated with Cao Cao when he was named the Duke of Wei by the Eastern Han government in 213, became the name of the state when Cao Pi proclaimed himself emperor in 220. Historians add the prefix "Cao" to distinguish it from other Chinese states known as "Wei", such as Wei of the Warring States period and Northern Wei of the Southern and Northern Dynasties; the authority of the ruling Cao family weakened in the aftermath of the deposal and execution of Cao Shuang and his siblings, the former being one of the regents for the third Wei emperor, Cao Fang, with state authority falling into the hands of Sima Yi, another Wei regent, his family, from 249 onwards.
The last Wei emperors would remain as puppet rulers under the control of the Simas until Sima Yi's grandson, Sima Yan, forced the last Wei ruler, Cao Huan, to abdicate the throne and established the Jin dynasty. Towards the end of the Eastern Han dynasty, northern China came under the control of Cao Cao, the chancellor to the last Han ruler, Emperor Xian. In 213, Emperor Xian granted Cao Cao the title of "Duke of Wei" and gave him ten cities as his dukedom; the area was named "Wei". At that time, the southern part of China was divided into two areas controlled by two other warlords, Liu Bei and Sun Quan. In 216, Emperor Xian promoted Cao Cao to the status of a vassal king — "King of Wei" — and granted him more territories. Cao Cao died on 15 March 220 and his vassal king title was inherited by his son Cao Pi; that year, on 11 December, Cao Pi forced Emperor Xian to abdicate in his favour and took over the throne, establishing the state of Wei. However, Liu Bei contested Cao Pi's claim to the Han throne and declared himself "Emperor of Shu Han" a year later.
Sun Quan was nominally a vassal king under Wei, but he declared independence in 222 and proclaimed himself "Emperor of Wu" in 229. Cao Pi ruled for six years until his death in 226 and was succeeded by his son, Cao Rui, who ruled until his death in 239. Throughout the reigns of Cao Pi and Cao Rui, Wei had been fighting numerous wars with its two rival states — Shu and Wu. Between 228 and 234, Zhuge Liang, the Shu chancellor and regent, led a series of five military campaigns to attack Wei's western borders, with the aim of conquering Chang'an, a strategic city which lay on the road to the Wei capital, Luoyang; the Shu invasions were repelled by the Wei armies led by the generals Cao Zhen, Sima Yi, Zhang He and others. On its southern and eastern borders, Wei engaged Wu in a series of armed conflicts throughout the 220s and 230s, including the battles of Dongkou and Shiting. However, most of the battles resulted in stalemate and neither side managed to expand its territory. After Guanqiu Jian failed to subjugate the Gongsun clan of the Liaodong commandery, it was Sima Yi who, in June 238, as the Grand Commandant, launched an invasion with 40,000 troops at the behest of Emperor Cao Rui against Liaodong, which at this point had been rooted under Gongsun control for 4 decades.
After a three-month long siege, involving some assistance from the Goguryeo Kingdom, Sima Yi managed to capture the capital city of Xiangping, resulting in the conquest of the commandery by late September of the same year. Around that time, as the Korean kingdom Goguryeo consolidated its power, it proceeded to conquer the territories on the Korean peninsula which were under Chinese rule. Goguryeo initiated the Goguryeo–Wei Wars in 242, trying to cut off Chinese access to its territories in Korea by attempting to take a Chinese fort. However, Wei defeated Goguryeo. Hwando was destroyed in revenge by Wei forces in 244. In 249, during the reign of Cao Rui's successor, Cao Fang, the regent Sima Yi seized state power from his co-regent, Cao Shuang, in a coup; this event marked the collapse of imperial authority in Wei, as Cao Fang's role had been reduced to a puppet ruler while Sima Yi wielded state power in his hands. Wang Ling, a Wei general, tried to rebel against Sima Yi, but was swiftly dealt with, took his own life.
Sima Yi died on 7 September 251, passing on his authority to his eldest son, Sima Shi, who continued ruling as regent. Sima Shi deposed Cao Fang in 254, on grounds of planning to stage a rebellion, replaced him with Cao Mao. In response, Guanqiu Jian and Wen Qin staged a rebellion, but were crushed by Sima Shi in an event that took a heavy toll on Sima Shi's health, having undergone eye surgery prior to the insurrection, causing him to die on 23 March 255, but not before handing his power and regency over to his younger brother, Sima Zhao. In 258, Sima Zhao quelled Zhuge Dan's rebellion, marking an end to what are known as the Three Rebellions in Shouchun. In 260, Cao Mao attempted to seize back state power from Sima Zhao in a coup, but was killed by Cheng Ji, a military officer, serving under Jia Chong, a subordinate to the Simas. After Cao Mao's death, Cao Huan was enthroned as the fifth ruler of Wei. However, Cao Huan was a mere figurehead under Sima Zhao's control, much like his predecessor.
In 263, Wei armies led by Deng Ai conquered Shu. Afterwards, Zhong Hui and former Shu general Jiang Wei grouped and plotted together in order to oust Sima Zhao from power, various Wei officials t