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Persons in Chinese History - Wei Ji 衛覬

Periods of Chinese History
Wei Yi 衛覬, courtesy name Boru 伯儒, was an official, writer and calligrapher of the very early Wei period 曹魏 (220-265). He hailed from Anyi 安邑 in the commandery of Hedong 河東 (today's Xiaxian 夏縣, Shanxi). The warlord Cao Cao 曹操 chose the young talent for his staff and made him clerk of the Minister of Works (sikong yuan 司空掾), then magistrate (ling 令) of Maoling 茂陵 (actually the tomb of Emperor Wu 漢武帝, r. 141-87 BCE, of the Han dynasty 漢, 206 BCE-220 CE), and later chief steward for writings (shangshu 尚書). When Cao adopted the title of king of Wei 魏, Wei Ji was made palace attendant (shizhong 侍中). He was responsible, together with Wang Can 王粲, for ceremonial matters. Emperor Wen 魏文帝 (r. 220-226) enfeoffed him as Neighbourhood Marquis of Yangji 陽吉亭侯, and Emperor Ming 魏明帝 (r. 226-239 CE) promoted transferred him to the post of Township Marquis of Wenxiang 閺鄉侯. His posthumous title is Marquis Jing 敬侯.
Wei Ji and Liao Xi 繆襲 edited the first history of the young empire of Wei, called Weishu 魏書 (lost), as well as an administrative handbook on state ceremonials, called Wei guan yi 魏官儀. Yet of his writings, only a few inscriptions and letters have survived (Xiyue Huashan ting bei 西岳華山亭碑, Zhao ce Wei wang 詔冊魏王 and Chanwei ce 禪位冊).
Wei Ji once suggested to Emperor Ming to appoint an erudite (boshi 博士) for law at the National University (taixue 太學). He also advocated the reintroduction of the state monopoly on the sale of salt, and to implement incentives for displaced peasants (liumin 流民) to return to their home districts. In his eyes, the development of private armies (buqu 部曲) was a very dangerous tendency.
As a calligrapher and painter, Wei Ji was famous for his birds and his mastering of all four writings styles.


Sources: Yi Xingguo 衣興國 (ed. 1988), Shiyong Zhongguo mingren cidian 實用中國名人辭典 (Changchun: Jilin wenshi chubanshe), p. 229. ● Zhang Shunhui 張舜徽 (ed. 1992), Sanguozhi cidian 三國志辭典 (Jinan: Shandong jiaoyu chubanshe), p. 640. ● Huang Huixian 黃惠賢 (ed. 1997), Ershiwushi renming da cidian 二十五史人名大辭典 (Zhengzhou: Zhongzhou guji chubanshe), Vol. 1i, p. 117. ● Wu Shuchen 武樹臣 (ed. 1999), Zhongguo chuantong falü wenhua cidian 中國傳統法律文化辭典 (Beijing: Beijing daxue chubanshe), p. 262. ● Zhang Weizhi 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. 1, p. 46.

June 1, 2016 © Ulrich Theobald · Mail
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