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Han Xuanzi 韓宣子 Han Qi 韓起

Nov 7, 2012 © Ulrich Theobald

Han Qi 韓起 (died 514 BCE), personal name Ji Qi 姬起, also called "Officer" Shi Qi 士起, posthumous title Han Xuanzi 韓宣子, was a nobleman in the state of Jin 晉 during the Spring and Autumn period 春秋 (770-5th cent. BCE), and a member of the house of Han 韓. He was a son of Han Jue 韓厥 (Han Xianzi 韓獻子) and served the dukes Ping 晉平公 (r. 558-532) and Qing 晉頃公 (r. 526-512) as chief minister. He began his career as a minister commander (qing 卿) under Duke Dao 晉悼公 (r. 573-558). In 546 grand master (dafu 大夫) Xiang Xu 向戌 of the state of Song 宋 planned a conference of all regional rulers (zhuhou 諸侯) of the Zhou kingdom with a creation of a general military alliance (meng 盟). In Jin, Zhao Wu 趙武 (Zhao Wenzi 趙文子) and Han Qi supported this idea.

The strongest regional rulers, the duke of Jin and the king of Chu 楚, thereupon assembled the regional rulers in Song and created a general alliance (meng 盟). Soon Han Qi became chief minister as successor of Zhao Wu. He took over missions to the states of Lu 魯, Qi 齊 and Wei 衛. In Lu he had the opportunity to study the ancient writings that were cared for by the Grand Scribe (taishi 太史). Han Qi recognized that the state of Lu was the only one where the ritual books of the ancient kings of Zhou were fully preserved. In 531 the king of Chu besieged the capital of the state of Cai 蔡. Asked for support, Han Qi sent an envoy to the king of Chu to demand the termination of the campaign, yet King Ling of Chu 楚靈王 (r. 541-529) declined. In 514 Han Qi and the viscounts of Zhao and Wei 魏 organized the extinction of the noble houses of Qi 祁 and Yangshe 羊舌 and divided their territory among themselves. Han Qi was succeeded in the office of chief minister by Wei Shu 魏舒 (Wei Xianzi 魏獻子).

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