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Persons in Chinese History - Jia Xu 賈詡

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Jia Xu 賈詡, courtesy name Jia Wenhe 賈文和, was a high general of the empire of Wei 曹魏 (220-265) during the Three Kingdoms period 三國 (220-280). He came from Guzang 姑臧 (modern Wuwei 武威, Gansu) and was known as a brilliant strategist, equal with the early Han period leaders Zhang Liang 張良 and Chen Ping 陳平. For a short time he had served as a court gentleman (lang 郎). When general Dong Zhuo 董卓 entered the capital Luoyang 洛陽 (modern Luoyang, Henan) with his troops and usurped the power of the central government, Jia Xu was appointed commandant (duwei 都尉) and soon transferred to the post of commander challenging the barbarians (taolu xiaowei 討虜校尉). After Dong Zhuo's defeat he became an advisor of the local powerholders Li Jue 李傕 and Guo Si 郭汜, suggesting them to take the western capital Chang'an 長安 (modern Xi'an 西安, Shaanxi). He was then given the title of Imperial Secretary (shangshu 尚書). Later on he became an advisor of Zhang Xiu 張繡 to whom he proposed to attack the warlord Cao Cao 曹操, but after the battle of Guandu 官渡 he became aware that Cao Cao was the coming strong man of the age, and urged Zhang Xiu to offer his submission to Cao. The warlord rewarded him with the tile of Chamberlain for the Imperial Insignia (zhijinwu 執金吾) and enfeoffed him as Marquis of Duting 都亭侯. Jia Xu took over the post of regional governor (mu 牧) of the province of Jizhou 冀州. For his suggestion to destroy the new potentate at the court, Yuan Shao 袁紹, he was promoted to Senior grand master of the palace (taizhong dafu 太中大夫). He was also responsible for the initiation of the campaigns against Han Sui 韓遂 and Ma Chao 馬超 in the west. When Cao Cao's son Cao Pi 曹丕 (Emperor Wen of Wei 魏文帝, r. 220-226) founded the empire of Wei, Jia Xu was made Defender-in-chief (taiwei 太尉) and elevated to the title of Marquis of Weishouting 魏壽亭侯. Emperor Wen did not adopt his plans to destroy the empires of Shu 蜀漢 (221-263) in Sichuan and Wu 吳 (222-280) in the southeast. Jia Xu's posthumous title is Marquis Su 肅侯.

Source: Zhang Shunhui 張舜徽 (ed. 1992), Sanguozhi cidian 三國志辭典 (Jinan: Shandong jiaoyu chubanshe), p. 532.

July 12, 2013 © Ulrich Theobald · Mail
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