An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History, Literature and Art

Shi Fen 石奮

Sep 16, 2011 © Ulrich Theobald

Shi Fen 石奮 (220-124 BCE) as a high official during the early Former Han period 前漢 (206 BCE-8 CE).

He came from Wen 溫 (modern Wenxian 溫縣, Henan) and was already petty official as a teenager. Emperor Gaozu 漢高祖 (r. 206-195 BCE), the founder of the Han dynasty, was impressed by his devotion to his duties and appointed him palast receptionist (zhongjuan 中涓). Under Emperor Wen 漢文帝 (r. 180-157 BCE) he was made superior grand master of the palace (taizhong dafu 太中大夫) and Grand Mentor of the Heir Apparent (taizi taifu 太子太傅) and counted to to the Nine Chamberlains (jiuqing 九卿).

Emperor Jing 漢景帝 (r. 157-141 BCE), considered making him counsellor (xiang 相) of a princedom, with the income of a Senior Grand Master (shang dafu 上大夫). His four sons likewise were admired for their loyalty and sincerity. Together, the five persons had an income of ten thousand shi 石 (a volume measure, also read dan) of grain. Shi Fen and his sons are therefore also known as the "Lords of the ten thousand bushels of grain" (Wan Shi Jun 萬石君).

Cang Xiuliang 倉修良, ed. (1996). Hanshu cidian 漢書辭典 (Jinan: Shandong jiaoyu chubanshe), 172.