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The House of Fan 范

Oct 26, 2012 © Ulrich Theobald

The house of Fan 范 was a noble family that were vassals to the dukes of Jin 晉 during the Spring and Autumn period 春秋 (770-5th cent. BCE). It produced several persons serving in high government positions.

The viscounts (zi 子) of Fan occupied the office of one of the Six Ministers Commander (liuqing 六卿) that highly influenced the government in Jin. The others were the houses of Zhao 趙, Han 韓, Zhi 知, Zhonghang 中行 and Wei 魏.

Fan is the name of the oldest fief of this family, while the family name, Shi 士, referred to the high offices its members held. According to the genealogical book Yuanhe xingzuan 元和姓纂 and the chapter on genealogy (Shizu lüe 氏族略) in the encylopedia Tongzhi 通志, the house of Fan was founded by descendants of Liu Lei 劉累, who was a great-grandson of the mythological Emperor Yao 堯.

During the early Zhou period 周 (11th. cent.-221 BC), the family was called Tang Du 唐杜 because they lived in Du 杜, near the royal capital, and because they were descendants of Yao, who bore the kin's name (shi 氏) Tang 唐. The family head was therefore also called Earl of Du (Du Bo 杜伯). King Xuan of Zhou 周宣王 (r. 827-782 BCE) killed the Earl of Du, and his son Xian Shu "Uncle Xian" 隰叔 (also called Du Xian 杜隰) fled to Jin. The duke of Jin appointed Xian Shu Minister of Justice (shishi 士師). His son Shi Wei 士蒍 was the first person to use Shi as a family name.

His great-grandson Shi Hui 士會 (also called Sui Hui 隨會, posthumously called Fan Wuzi 范武子) was enfeoffed with the town of Fan (modern Fanxian 范縣, Henan). The place name thereafter became the kin's name of this family. The houses of Fan and Zhonghang were destroyed by the viscounts of Zhao, Han, Zhi and Wei in 490.

The most important members of the house of Fan were:

Table 1. Genealogy of the House of Fan 范
Du Bo 杜伯 Affiliation unknown:
Xi Shu 隰叔
Shi Wei 士蒍 (Ziyu 子輿) Shi Gu 士縠
Fan Chengbo 范成伯
Fan Wuzi 范武子 (Fan Hui 范會, Shi Hui 士會, Shi Ji 士季, Sui Hui 隨會, Sui Ji 隨季, Sui Wuzi 隨武子) Shi Muzi 士穆子 Fan Wuxu 范無恤
Fan Wenzi 范文子 (Shi Xie 士燮, Fan Shu 范叔) Fan Gongzi 范共子 (Shi Fang 士魴, Zhi Ji 彘季) Shi Zhenzi 士貞子 (Shi Zhenbo 士貞伯, Shi Wozhuo 士渥濁, Shi Bo 士伯)
Fan Xuanzi 范宣子 (Shi Gai 士匄, Fan Gai 范匄) Zhi Qiu 彘裘 Shi Zhuangzi 士莊子 (Shi Zhuangbo 士莊伯, Shi Ruo 士弱) Shi Fu 士富
Fan Xianzi 范獻子 (Shi Yang 士鞅, Fan Yang 范鞅, Fan Shu 范叔) Shi Wenbo 士文伯 (Shi Gai 士匄, Bo Xia 伯瑕)
Fan Zhaozi 范昭子 (Shi Yiji 士吉射, Fan Jiyi 范吉射) Shi Jingbo 士景伯 (Shi Mimou 士彌牟, Sima Mimou 司馬彌牟, Shi Bo 士伯)
Fan Gaoyi 范皋夷 (Shi Gaoyi 士皋夷)
Shi Mie 士蔑
Sources: Chen Houyao 陳厚耀, Chunqiu Shizu pu 春秋世族譜 (Lianghu Shuyuan edition 兩湖書院正學堂本). Wang Wenyuan 王文源, Chunqiu shizu jilüe 春秋世族輯略.
Source:
Chen Mingyuan 陳明遠, Wang Zonghu 汪宗虎, ed. (1995). Zhongguo xingshi cidian 中國姓氏辭典 (Beijing: Beijing chubanshe), 95, 387.