Sun Shao (Changxu)

Sun Shao (163 – June or July 225), courtesy name Changxu, was a Chinese politician of the state of Eastern Wu during the Three Kingdoms period of China. He served as the first Imperial Chancellor of Eastern Wu from 222 to 225. He was not related to the imperial family of Eastern Wu even though he shared the same family name as them.

Sun Shao
孫邵
Imperial Chancellor (丞相)
In office
November 222 (November 222) – June or July 225 (June or July 225)
MonarchSun Quan
Succeeded byGu Yong
General Who Awes Distant Lands
(威遠將軍)
In office
? (?) – June or July 225 (June or July 225)
MonarchSun Quan
Chief Clerk (長史)
(under Sun Quan)
In office
? (?)–? (?)
Administrator of Lujiang (盧江太守)
In office
? (?)–? (?)
Personal details
Born163[1][2]
Weifang, Shandong
DiedJune or July 225 (aged 62)[1][2]
OccupationPolitician
Courtesy nameChangxu (長緒)
PeerageMarquis of Yangxian
(陽羨侯)

LifeEdit

Described as a man about eight chi tall, Sun Shao was from Beihai State (北海國), a commandery centred around present-day Weifang, Shandong. He started his career as an Officer of Merit (功曹) in his home commandery sometime between 189 and 196, when Kong Rong was serving as Beihai State's Chancellor.[3] Kong Rong called Sun Shao "a talent capable of serving in the imperial court".[4]

In the mid-190s, Sun Shao left Beihai State and travelled south to the Jiangdong region, where he became a subordinate of Liu Yao, the Governor of Yang Province (which covered the Jiangdong region). In 200 CE, he came into the service of Sun Quan, the warlord who controlled the territories in Jiangdong. On several occasions, he advised Sun Quan to pay tribute and swear nominal allegiance to Emperor Xian (r 189–220), the figurehead emperor of the Eastern Han dynasty. Sun Quan heeded his advice. Sun Shao also served as the Administrator (太守) of Lujiang Commandery (廬江郡; around present-day Lu'an, Anhui) and as a Chief Clerk (長史) under Sun Quan when the latter held the nominal appointment of General of Chariots and Cavalry (車騎將軍) of the Han Empire.[5]

Following the end of the Eastern Han dynasty in 220, Sun Quan initially swore allegiance to Cao Pi, the emperor of the Cao Wei state which replaced the Eastern Han. In return, Cao Pi made Sun Quan a vassal king and granted him the title "King of Wu" (吳王). However, in 222, Sun Quan broke ties with Cao Pi and declared independence. He appointed Sun Shao as the Imperial Chancellor (丞相) of his kingdom and enfeoffed him as the Marquis of Yangxian (陽羨侯). Sun Shao also held the nominal appointment of General Who Awes Distant Lands (威遠將軍). When he held office as Imperial Chancellor, two officials, Zhang Wen and Ji Yan, wrote memorials to Sun Quan to make accusations against him. It is not known what exactly Sun Shao was accused of. In response, Sun Shao requested Sun Quan to remove him from office, but Sun Quan pardoned him and ordered him to continue serving as Imperial Chancellor.[6]

Sun Shao died sometime between 23 June and 22 July 225[a] at the age of 63 (by East Asian age reckoning).[2]

Why Sun Shao does not have a biography in the SanguozhiEdit

Although Sun Shao served as the first Imperial Chancellor (丞相) of Eastern Wu, there is very little information about him recorded in history. For instance, unlike many other notable persons of his time, he does not have a biography in the third-century historical text Records of the Three Kingdoms (Sanguozhi), the authoritative source for the history of the Three Kingdoms period.[7]

The Zhi Lin (志林) recorded that Liu Shengshu (劉聲叔), a polymath, once attempted to explain why Sun Shao did not have a biography in the Sanguozhi. Xiang Jun (項竣) and Ding Fu (丁孚), whom Sun Quan put in charge of writing the history of Eastern Wu, had already written a biography for Sun Shao. However, after coming to the throne, Sun Quan's successor Sun Liang replaced Xiang Jun and Ding Fu with Wei Zhao, who was known to be close to Zhang Wen, one of the two officials who made accusations against Sun Shao. Liu Shengshu speculated that Wei Zhao probably removed the information about Sun Shao when he took over the job of writing the history of Eastern Wu from Xiang Jun and Ding Fu.[8]

See alsoEdit

NotesEdit

  1. ^ Sun Quan's biography in the Sanguozhi mentioned that Sun Shao died in the 5th month of the 4th year of the Huangwu era (222–229) in Sun Quan's reign.[1] The 5th month corresponds to 23 June to 22 July 225 in the Gregorian calendar.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c ([黃武]四年夏五月,丞相孫邵卒。) Sanguozhi vol. 47.
  2. ^ a b c (... 年六十三卒。) Wu Lu annotation in Sanguozhi vol. 47.
  3. ^ Houhanshu vol. 70.
  4. ^ (吳錄曰:邵字長緒,北海人,長八尺。為孔融功曹,融稱曰「廊廟才也」。) Wu Lu annotation in Sanguozhi vol. 47.
  5. ^ (從劉繇於江東。及權統事,數陳便宜,以為應納貢聘,權即從之。拜廬江太守,遷車騎長史。) Wu Lu annotation in Sanguozhi vol. 47.
  6. ^ (黃武初為丞相,威遠將軍,封陽羨侯。張溫、曁豔奏其事,邵辭位請罪,權釋令復職, ...) Wu Lu annotation in Sanguozhi vol. 47.
  7. ^ (志林曰:吳之創基,邵為首相,史無其傳,竊常恠之。) Zhi Lin annotation in Sanguozhi vol. 47.
  8. ^ (嘗問劉聲叔。聲叔,博物君子也,云:「推其名位,自應立傳。項竣、吴孚時已有注記,此云與張惠恕不能。後韋氏作史,蓋惠恕之黨,故不見書。」) Zhi Lin annotation in Sanguozhi vol. 47.