An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History, Literature and Art

Shusun Xuanbo 叔孫宣伯 Shusun Qiaoru 叔孫僑如

Oct 26, 2012 © Ulrich Theobald

Shusun Qiaoru 叔孫僑如, posthumous title Shusun Xuanbo 叔孫宣伯, was a high minister in the state of Lu 魯 during the Spring and Autumn period 春秋 (770-5th cent. BCE). He was the son of Shusun Zhuangshu 叔孫莊叔 and served Duke Xuan of Lu 魯宣公 (r. 609-591) as chief minister.

In 616, Shusun Zhuangshu defeated the Taller Di tribes 長狄 of Souman 鄋瞞 in the battle of Xian 咸 (near modern Juye 巨野, Shandong) and killed their chieftain who was called Qiaoru. As a gesture of reward the son of the victor was granted the name of Qiaoru.

In 589, Shusun Xuanbo led the army of Lu in the battle of An 鞍 (near modern Jinan 濟南, Shandong), where Jin 晉, Wei 衛, Cao 曹 and Lu defeated the army of Qi 齊. He also conducted the siege of Ji 棘 (near modern Feicheng 肥城, Shandong) and attacked the state of Song 宋 in 585.

In 583, he participated in the campaign of Jin, Qi and Zhu 邾 against the statelet of Tan 郯. Three years later Shusun Xuanbo was the chief delegate of Lu who initiated peace with Qi. He also represented Lu in 576, when the regional rulers (zhuhou 諸侯) met with the king of Wu 吳 at Zhongli 鍾離 (modern Fengyang 鳳陽, Anhui).

Shusun Xuanbo had an affair with Lady Jiang Mu 穆姜, the mother of Duke Cheng 魯成公 (r. 591-573). Both planned to enthrone Prince Yan 偃 instead of Duke Xuan. He also planned to extinguish the family heads of the Jisun 季孫 and Zhongsun 仲孫 families, Ji Wenzi 季文子 and Zhongsun Mie 仲孫蔑 (Meng Xianzi 孟獻子).

The houses of Shusun, Jisun and Zhongsun are called the Three Huan families 三桓 and highly influenced the fate of the state of Lu. When Duke Cheng and Ji Wenzi campaigned with Jin against Zheng 鄭, Shusun Xuanbo denigrated the two politicians as traitors siding with the large state of Chu 楚, and asked the Duke of Jin to kill Ji Wenzi and Zhongsun Mie. Yet the plot failed and Shusun Xuanbo had to flee to Qi, while Prince Yan was killed.

In exile, he invited his younger brother Shusun Bao 叔孫豹 (Shusun Muzi 叔孫穆子) and named him the future head of the Shusun family. Himself went on to Wei 衛, where he died.

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), 383.