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Persons in Chinese History - Sima Shi 司馬師

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Sima Shi 司馬師 (208-255), courtesy name Sima Ziyuan 司馬子元 , was a general of the Wei empire, one of the Three Kingdoms. He was the son of Sima Yi 司馬懿 and received an appropriate education. He often accompanied his father during his campaigns against the empire of Shu and received his baptism of fire in the battle against Gongsun Yuan 公孙淵. After Cao Shuang 曹爽 had been disempowered by Sima Yi, Emperor Cao Fang 曹芳 entrusted Sima Yi and his sons with the regency of the empire and appointed Sima Shi General of Cavalry (piaoji jiangjun 驃騎將軍). Sima Shi was given the title of Township Marquis of Changping 長平鄉侯 and appointed General of Guards (wei jiangjun 衛將軍). After the death of his father, Sima Shi inherited his post as General-in-chief (da jiangjun 大將軍) and so became the most powerful person in the empire as Commander-in-chief commissioned with special powers (chijie dudu 持節都督), controlling all civilian and military officials. When the emperor forged a complot with Xiahou Xuan 夏侯玄, Li Feng 李豐 and Zhang Qi 張緝, Sima Shi took action, executed Xiahou Xuan and deposed Cao Fang and his Empress, Ms. Zhang 張皇后, the daughter of Zhang Ji. He replaced him by Cao Mao 曹髦, the Township Duke of Gaogui 高貴鄉公, and so initiated the downfall of the house of Cao. Guanqiu Jian 毌丘儉 and Wen Qin 文欽 thereupon rose in rebellion and was fortunate enough that Sima Shi, because of a disease at his eye, was not able to fight. The powerful regent therefore asked general Deng Ai 鄧艾 to take over military command to suppress the rebellion. Sima Shi entrusted his younger brother Sima Zhao 司馬昭 to take over the post of regent before he died. Sima Zhao's son Sima Yan 司馬炎 (Emperor Jin Wudi 晉武帝, r. 265-289 CE) was soon to found the Jin dynasty 晉 (265-420). Sima Shi's posthumous title is Emperor Jin Jingdi 晉景帝.

Sources: Hang Banghe 黄邦和, Pi Mingxiu 皮明庥 (ed. 1987), Zhong-wai lishi renwu cidian 中外歷史人物詞典 (Changsha: Hunan renmin chubanshe), p. 90. ● Zhang Huizhi 張撝之, Shen Qihui 沈起煒, Liu Dezhong 劉德重 (ed. 1999), Zhongguo lidai renming da cidian 中國歷代人名大辭典 (Shanghai: Shanghai guji chubanshe), Vol. 1, p. 479. ● Han Zhaoqi 韓兆琦(ed. 2000), Zhongguo gudai wenxue zhuming renwu xingxiang cidian 中國古代文學名著人物形象辭典 (Zhengzhou: Zhongji guji chubanshe), p. 19.

January 12, 2012 © Ulrich Theobald · Mail
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