An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History, Literature and Art

Zhong Jun 終軍

Jan 24, 2012 © Ulrich Theobald

Zhong Jun 終軍, courtesy name Ziyun 子云, was an official of the mid-Former Han period 前漢 (206 BCE-8 CE).

He hailed from Jinan 濟南 (modern Zhangqiu 章丘, Shandong) and was a famous writer of his time. With the age of 18 sui he became a student in the National University (taixue 太學) and began discussing political matters, so that Emperor Wu 漢武帝 (r. 141-87 BCE) was attracted by his name and appointed him receptionist in attendance (yezhe jishizhong 謁者給事中), later Grand Master of Remonstrance (jian dafu 諫大夫).

In 113 BCE he was sent out to persuade the king of the Southern Yue 南越, a descendant of King Zhao Tuo 趙佗, to attach his realm to the Han empire. Yet the effect was the the counsellor to the king of Southern Yue, Lü Jia 呂嘉, convinced his ruler to raise weapons against the Han empire. In the course of this campaign Zhong Jun died. Because of his young age, he was called Zhong Tong 終童 "Zhong the Boy".

His writings were once assembled in an 8-juan long book have nor survived except a few fragments collected by the Qing-period 清 (1644-1911) scholar Ma Guohan 馬國翰 in his Yuhan shanfang jiyi shu 玉函山房輯佚書.

Cang Xiuliang 倉修良, ed. (1996). Hanshu cidian 漢書辭典 (Jinan: Shandong jiaoyu chubanshe), 703.