An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History and Literature

Xu Jing 許靖

Jun 24, 2021 © Ulrich Theobald

Xu Jing 許靖 (d. 222 CE), courtesy name Wenxiu 文休, was a minister of Liu Bei 劉備 (161-222), the founder of Shu-Han 蜀漢 (221-263), one of the Three Empires 三國 (220~280 CE).

He hailed from Pingyu 平輿 in the commandery of Runan 汝南 and was chosen for official appointment because he was rated as filial and uncorrupt (xiaolian 孝廉). He was made department head in the Imperial Secretariat (shangshu lang 尚書郎) and supervisor of personnel selection (dian xuanju 典選舉). When Dong Zhuo 董卓 (d. 192) took control over the Eastern Han 東漢 (25-220 CE) court, Xu conspired with some persons of the central government like Zhou Bi 周毖 (d. 190), Minister of Personnel (libu shangshu 吏部尚書), Han Fu 韓馥 (d. c. 192) and Xun Shuang 荀爽 (128-190), to kill the tyrant Dong Zhuo, but the latter reacted first and killed Zhou Bi. Xu Jing thereupon fled to the province of Yangzhou 揚州 in the far south to the local regional inspector (cishi 刺史) Chen Yi 陳禕.

Later on, Xu Jing was invited by Liu Zhang 劉璋 (d. 219), who dominated the province of Yizhou 益州 (Sichuan), and was made governor (taishou 太守) of the commandery of Bajun 巴郡, later of Guanghan 太守. When Liu Bei conquered the region, he made Xu Jing aide of the General of the Left (zuo jiangjun zhangshi 左將軍長史), and later elevated him to the post of Grand Mentor (taifu 太傅, see Three Dukes) and then Minister of Education (situ 司徒).

Xu Jing was highly estimated as a honest person, and even admired by the Counsellor-in-chief, Zhuge Liang 諸葛亮 (181-234).

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. 1, 122.
Zhang Huizhi 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, 743.