An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History, Literature and Art

Zou Yang 鄒陽

Sep 12, 2011 © Ulrich Theobald

Zou Yang 鄒陽 was scholar and political advisor during the early Former Han period 前漢 (206 BCE-8 CE).

He hailed from Linzi 臨淄 (modern Zibo 淄博, Shandong). During the reign of Emperor Jing 漢景帝 (r. 157-141 BCE) he was a secretary (sheren 舍人) of the Prince of Wu, Liu Pi 劉濞.

When Liu Pi planned to raise weapons against the emperor, Zou Yang memorialized to him with the request not to rebel, but Liu Pi refused to stay calm. Zou Yang left the court of Liu Pi and became a retainer of Liu Wu, Prince Xiao of Liang 梁孝王. He supported the Prince's minister Yang Sheng 羊勝 who had been put into jail after being slandered, and managed to get him free. The Prince of Liang later sent an assassin to kill Yuan Ang 袁盎 and was charged of murder. With the help of Lady Wang 王美人, a concubine of the Emperor, Zou Yang was able to effect the Emperor's pardoning the Prince.

Zou Yang is credited with the authorship of a book Zou Yang shu 鄒陽書 that is listed among the coalition advisors (zonghengjia 縱橫家) of the imperial bibliography Yiwen zhi 藝文志 in the official dynastic history Hanshu 漢書. The original size of the book was 7 chapters, but only fragments are preserved.

Cang Xiuliang 倉修良, ed. (1996). Hanshu cidian 漢書辭典 (Jinan: Shandong jiaoyu chubanshe), 825.