An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History, Literature and Art

Xian Qieju 先且居

Nov 7, 2012 © Ulrich Theobald

Xian Qieju 先且居 (died 621 BCE), also called Huo Bo 霍伯, was a nobleman in the state of Jin 晉 during the Spring and Autumn period 春秋 (770-5th cent. BCE). He was a member of the house of Xian 先 and served Duke Xiang of Jin 晉襄公 (r. 628-621) as a high minister.

Xian Qieju was the son of Xian Zhen 先軫, who died in battle against the Di tribes 狄. Duke Xiang highly honoured the service that late Xian Zhen had delivered to him and appointed Xian Qieju marshal of the Central Army (zhongjun yuanshuai 中軍元帥), a position similar to that of Counsellor-in-chief.

Somewhat earlier, Duke Wen of Jin 晉文公 (r. 637-628), the hegemonial lord (ba 霸) of the Zhou empire 周 (11th cent.-221 BCE), had assembled the regional rulers (zhuhou 諸侯) at his court. Only the duke of Wei 衛 did not attend but used this situation to have general Kong Da 孔達 attacked the state of Zheng 鄭.

Duke Xiang thereupon planned to punish the duke of Wei for this insolence. Xian Qieju suggested to Duke Xiang to demand an audience with the king of Zhou. Under the pretext of protecting his lord, Xian Qieju would follow with a small army. When Duke Xiang met the envoy of the king of Zhou at Wen 溫 (modern Wenxian 溫縣, Henan), Xian Qieju and Xu Chen 胥臣 staged an attack on the state of Wei, seized the town of Qi 戚 (near modern Puyang 濮陽, Hunan) and cought the nobleman Sun Zhaozi 孫昭子.

In 625, the army of Qin 秦 attacked Jin. Xian Qieju was entrusted with the highest command, assisted by Zhao Shuai 趙衰 (Zhao Chengzi 趙成子). Both defeated Qin in the battle of Pengya 彭衙 (near modern Chengcheng 澄城, Shaanxi). The Duke in the meantime was able to win allies against Qin. Prince Cheng 公子成 of Song 宋, Yuan Xuan 轅選 of Chen 陳 and a prince of Zheng joined their armies with Jin and defeated Qin a second time.

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), 399.
Zhang Huizhi 張撝之, Shen Qiwei 沈起煒, Liu Dezhong 劉德重, ed. Zhongugo lidai renming da cidian 中國歷代人名大辭典 (Shanghai: Shanghai guji chubanshe), Vol. 1, 575.