An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History and Literature

Xin Pi 辛毗

Jun 16, 2016 © Ulrich Theobald

Xin Pi 辛毗, courtesy name Zuozhi 佐治, was an official of the Wei dynasty 曹魏 (220-265) during the Three Kingdoms period 三國 (220-280).

His hometown was Yingchuan 穎川 in the commandery of Yangzhai 陽翟 (today's Yuxian 禹縣, Henan), but his family hailed from Longxi 隴西 and had moved to the east during the Jianwu reign-period 建武 (25-55 CE). Xin Pi and his older brother Xin Ping 辛評 were followers of the warlord Yuan Shao 袁紹, but when the latter died and his sons Yuan Tan 袁譚 and Yuan Shang 袁尚 fought against each other, Xin Pi used a chance to defect to Cao Cao 曹操. Xin persuaded Cao to attack the region of Jingzhou 荊州 (central China) to annihilate the Yuan brothers. Cao adopted the plan and conquered Yecheng 邺城, where he founded his residence, and rewarded Xin Pi with the title of court gentleman for consultation (yilang 議郎). After Cao Hong's 曹洪 victory over Liu Biao 劉表 Xin Bi was made aide to the Counsellor-in-chief (chengxiang zhangshi 丞相長史).

Cao Pi 曹丕 (Emperor Wen 魏文帝, r. 220-226), inheriting his father's title of King of Wei 魏, appointed Xin Pi palace attendant (shizhong 侍中) and granted him the title of a Marquis within the Passes (guanneihou 關內侯). Xin suggested adopting not just an own reign motto, but also to change the beginning of the year according to the calendar of the Xia. Later on Xin Pi was a commander in the army of Cao Zhen 曹真 and took part in a campaign against Jiangling 江陵, town threatened by the empire of Wu 吳 (222-280) in the southeast. Xin was thereupon granted the title of a Neighbourhood Marquis of Guangping 廣平亭侯, and Emperor Ming 魏明帝 (r. 226-239 CE) promoted him to the rank of Township Marquis of Ying 穎鄉侯.

Xin Pi was at that time Chamberlain for the Palace Garrison (weiwei 衛尉). He warned Emperor Ming not to spend too much for the construction of a new palace. During Sima Yi's 司馬懿 campaign against the empire of Shu 蜀漢 (221-263), Xin Pi was General-in-chief and Marshal with special warrant (da jiangjun junshuai chijie 大將軍軍帥持節), and ended the campaign by starving out the army of Shu. At the same time the great martial Counsellor of Shu, Zhuge Liang 諸葛亮, died, and his army withdrew. Xin Pi's posthumous title was Marquis Su 穎鄉肅侯.

Zhang Shunhui 張舜徽, ed. (1992). Sanguozhi cidian 三國志辭典 (Jinan: Shandong jiaoyu chubanshe), 204.