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Shu Ya 叔牙 and the house of Shusun 叔孫

Oct 26, 2012 © Ulrich Theobald

Shu Ya 叔牙 "Uncle Ya" (died 662 BCE), also called "Ducal Son" Gongsun Ya 公子牙, or "Uncle" Xi Shu Ya 僖叔牙, was a son of Duke Huan of Lu 魯桓公 (r. 712-694) and the ancestor of the lateral house of Shusun 叔孫. He served his brother Duke Zhuang 魯莊公 (r. 694-662) as a consultant minister during the Spring and Autumn period 春秋 (770-5th cent. BCE) in the state of Lu 魯.

When Duke Zhuang fell ill, he consulted Shu Ya about a possible successor, and Shu Ya recommended their common brother Qing Fu 慶父, while another brother, Ji You 季友, preferred Prince Ban 般 (also written Ban 班), a son of Duke Zhuang by a secondary wife. Enraged about Shu Ya's unusual suggestion, Duke Zhuang ordered Ji You to kill their brother.

Shu Ya's son was, nevertheless, named head of the family that was given the name of Shusun 叔孫, literally "grandsons of Uncle (Ya)". The Shusun family became one of the mighty Three Huan families 三桓 that challenged the ducal house of Lu.

Table 1. Genealogy of the houses of Shusun 叔孫 and Shuzhong 叔仲
Duke Huan of Lu 魯桓公 (r. 712-694)
Gongzi Ya 公子牙 (Shu Ya 叔牙, Xishu 僖叔)
Gongsun Zi 公孫玆 (Shusun Daibo 叔孫戴伯)
Shusun Zhuangshu 叔孫莊叔 (Shusun Dechen 叔孫得臣) Shuzhong Huibo 叔仲惠伯 (Shuzhong Pengsheng 叔仲彭生, Shu Pengsheng 叔彭生)
Shusun Xuanbo 叔孫宣伯 (Shusun Qiaoru 叔孫僑如) Shusun Muzi 叔孫穆子 (Shusun Mushu 叔孫穆叔, Shusun Bao 叔孫豹, Zi Shusun 子叔孫) Shuzhong Pi 叔仲皮
Meng Bing 孟丙 Zhong Ren 仲壬 Shusun Zhaozi 叔孫昭子 (Shusun Ruo 叔孫婼) Shuzhong Zhaobo 叔仲召伯 (Shuzhong Zhaozi 叔仲昭子, Shuzhong Dai 叔仲帶)
Shusun Chengzi 叔孫成子 (Shusun Bugan 叔孫不敢) Shuzhong Muzi 叔仲穆子 (Shuzhong Zi 叔仲子, Shuzhong Xiao 叔仲小)
Shusun Wushu 叔孫武叔 (Shusun Zhouchou 叔孫州仇, =? Wushu Yizi 武叔懿子, Zi Shusun 子叔孫) Shuzhong Zhi 叔仲志
Shusun Wenzi 叔孫文子 (Shusun Shu 叔孫舒)
Affiliation unknown: Affiliation unknown:
Shusun Zhe 叔孫輒 (Zizhang 子長) Shuzhong Du 叔仲度 Shuzhong Yan 叔仲衍
Ziliu 子柳 Zishuo 子碩
Gong Ruo 公若 (Gong Ruo Miao 公若藐)
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:
Xiong Tieji 熊鐵基, Yang Youli 楊有禮, ed. (1994). Zhongguo diwang zaixiang cidian 中國帝王宰相辭典 (Wuhan: Hubei jiaoyu chubanshe), 381.