An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History, Literature and Art

Fan Xianzi 范獻子 Shi Yang 士鞅

Oct 26, 2012 © Ulrich Theobald

Shi Yang 士鞅, also called Fan Shu 范叔 "Uncle Fan", posthumous title Fan Xianzi 范獻子, was a nobleman in the state of Jin 晉 during the Spring and Autumn period 春秋. He was the son of Shi Gai 士匄 (Fan Xuanzi 范宣子), head of the house of Fan 范, and served Duke Ding 晉定公 (r. 512-475) from 509 to 497.

In 555, Shi Yang commanded the army of Jin in a joint attack of Lu 魯, Song 宋, Wei 衛 and Zheng 鄭 on the state of Qi 齊, which ended in a victory over Qi. In 559 the army of Jin attacked Qin 秦 but returned without a clear military success.

Luan Zhen 欒鍼, younger brother of Luan Yan 欒黶, felt ashamed for this result and suggested to Shi Yang to charge the army of Qin undaunted by death. While Luan Xian died during the charge Shi Yang was able to return. Luan Yan thereupon urged Shi Gai to banish his own son, who thereupon fled to Qin. Duke Jing of Qin 秦景公 (r. 577-537) interceded in favour to the brave Shi Yang and managed his return to Jin.

From then on Shi Yang hated the family Luan 欒. In 550, Luan Ying 欒盈, a son of Luan Yan, rebelled against Jin with the support of Duke Zhuang of Qi 齊莊公 (r. 553-548) and chief minister Wei Shu 魏舒 (Wei Xianzi 魏獻子). Duke Ping of Jin was so threatened that he wanted to commit suicide, yet Shi Yang impeded him and arranged the arrestation of Wei Shu.

He then led his troops to crush the rebellion. Duke Zhao of Lu had fled to Jin because of an internal rebellion. While the duke of Jin wanted to escort Duke Zhao back to Lu, Shi Yang was bribed by the regent of Lu, Ji Pingzi 季平子, and enforced the continuation of the duke’s exile. In 509 Wei Shu died, and Shi Yang succeeded him in the highest state office.

The White Di tribes 白狄 of Xianyu 鮮虞 often harassed the border town of Jin and in 507 even defeated a Jin contingent at Pingzhong 平中 (near modern Tangxian 唐縣, Hebei) and captured general Guan Hu 觀虎. Shi Yang therefore prepared an assault on the capital town of the Xianyu in 505. He was succeeded as chief minister by Zhao Yang 趙鞅 (Zhao Jianzi 趙簡子).

Xiong Tieji 熊鐵基, Yang Youli 楊有禮, ed. (1994). Zhongguo diwang zaixiang cidian 中國帝王宰相辭典 (Wuhan: Hubei jiaoyu chubanshe), 404.
Zhang Huizhi 張撝之, Shen Qiwei 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. 2, 1427.