An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History, Literature and Art

Sima Rangju 司馬穰苴

Nov 13, 2010 © Ulrich Theobald

Sima Rangju 司馬穰苴 was a general of the state of Qi 齊 during the late Spring and Autumn period 春秋 (770-5th cent. BCE). He actually had the name Tian Rangju 田穰苴 and the family name Gui 嬀. He was appointed general upon suggestial of Yan Ying 晏嬰.

Tian Rangju exhibited his powerful position when he had executed the duke's favourite Zhuang Jia 莊賈 and his entourage. He recommended to Duke Jing 齊景公 (r. 547-490) to repel the armies of Jin 晉 and Yan 燕 that had invaded the western part of Qi. When his campaign succeeded he was rewarded with the title of Minister of War (sima 司馬), which later would become his surname. Later on he was slandered by other courtiers and died of sickness.

During the Warring States period 戰國 (5th cent.-221 BCE), King Wei 齊威王 (r. 378-343), a distant relative of Sima Rangju, had his strategies compiled to a book, the Simafa 司馬法.

There seems to have been another person of that name, living during the Warring States period. He was executed by King Min 齊湣王 (r. 323-284).

Cang Xiuliang 倉修良, ed. (1991). Shiji cidian 史記辭典 (Jinan: Shandong jiaoyu chubanshe), 151.