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Persons in Chinese History - Cui Yan 崔琰

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Cui Yan 崔琰 (died 216 CE), courtesy name Jigui 季珪, was a high official of the warlord Cao Cao 曹操 during the late Eastern Han period 東漢 (25-220 CE). He hailed from Dongwucheng 東武城 in the commandery of Qinghe 清河 (modern Wucheng 武城, Hebei), and was a disciple of the Confucian scholar and philosopher Zheng Xuan 鄭玄. He served the warlords Yuan Shao 袁紹 and Cao Cao 曹操 as commandant of cavalry (jiduwei 騎都尉)). In 200 he warned Shao Yong to meet Cao Cao in battle, but the tyrant warlord ignored his warnings, and was defeated in the battle of Guandu 官渡. Later on Cui Yan was hired by Cao Cao, who made him commander of the mounted escort (biejia 別駕). When Cao undertook a conquest war in the province of Bingzhou 幷州, Cui Yan was entrusted with the protection of the warlord's seat in Yecheng 鄴城, and appointed mentor (fu 傅) of his son Cao Pi 曹丕 (the eventual Emperor Wen of Wei 魏文帝, r. 220-226). In this function he dared to submit a memorial to Cao Cao suggesting to make Cao Pi his heir apparent as king of Wei, instead of Cao Zhi 曹植, who was brother-in-law of Cui's older brother. Cui was then promoted to clerk in the eastern bureau of the Counsellor-in-chief (chengxiang dongcao tuan 丞相東曹掾), then minister (shangshu 尚書), and finally commandant of the palace (zhongwei 中尉). Cui Yan was good in judging people's talents and characters, and was therefore highly esteemed by Cao Cao, but because his speech was insolent (as was reported to Cao Cao), he was ordered to commit suicide.

Sources: Zhang Shunhui 張舜徽 (ed. 1992), Sanguozhi cidian 三國志辭典 (Jinan: Shandong jiaoyu chubanshe), p. 422. ● Huang Huixian 黄惠賢 (ed. 1997), Ershiwushi renming da cidian 二十五史人名大辭典 (Zhengzhou: Zhongzhou guji chubanshe), Vol. 1, p. 113. ● Zhang Weizhi 張撝之, Shen Qiwei 沈起煒, Liu Dezhong 劉德重 (ed. 1999), Zhongguo lidai renming da cidian 中國家歷代人名大辭典 (Shanghai: Shanghai guji chubanshe), Vol. 2, p. 2164.

December 30, 2015 © Ulrich Theobald · Mail
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