Wang Jing (Three Kingdoms)

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Wang Jing (died 260) was a soldier, politician of the Cao Wei of the Chinese three Kingdoms period. His style name is Yanwei (彦緯).

Life[edit]

Born the son of a farmer's family, Wang Jing is a feature in the historical records of Cui Lin (崔林)(d. 244). Cui Lin was from the same Province as Wang Jing. Wang Jing and 許允 are historical figures of note, they enjoy some fame. Wang Jing was a government servant living in the Capital of (???). Following his service in the Capital city, Wang Jing returned to his hometown and took the position of governor of Jianxia (江夏太守).

While serving as governor, General-in-Chief (大將軍) Cao Shuang (曹爽) ordered Wang Jing to develop trade using silk fabrics the General provided to trade with the Eastern Wu. Wang Jing refused Cao Shuang's order. Jing resigned his position and returned to his hometown. Jing's mother, in order to punish him for his negligence to his duties beat him with a club fifty times in front of his subordinates.

Cao Shuang, having knowledge of the beating Jing suffered did not take any further disciplinary action against Wang Jing. Wang Jing's mother had told him, "Even though you are of humble origin you rose to the office of Administrator, however, being undeserving of this office you might only cause disaster. You must resign from government service now." Wang Jing refused to take his mother's stern advice. Jing continued in government service and was eventually promoted to the Inspector of Yong Province (雍州刺史).

In 255, Jiang Wei(姜維) of Shu Han invaded Longxi (隴西), Chen Tai (陳泰), a General who attacked the west (征西將軍), issued orders for Wang Jing to be stationed on Didao (狄道) and to prepare to defend against the attack Jiang Wei was mounting. Wang Jing was sorely defeated by Jiang Wei's army and Wang Jing's army lost as many as ten thousand soldiers during the siege of Didao (狄道). However, Wang Jing held out, he survived until he was rescued by Chen Tai. Wang Jing was reported to have said, "With only 10 days supplies remaining, if we are not relieved, the result will be the loss of the castle, and then the entire region of Yong Province (雍州) will be lost as well."

Wang Jing continued to ascend in government service and once again he was called to the Capital and was promoted to metropolitan commandant (司隷校尉) and held the title of Imperial Secretariat (尚書) as well. Chen Tai said that Wang Jiang should not have engaged directly in battle with Jiang Wei's army, but instead Jing should have concentrated on defending the Didao (狄道).

In 260 the Sima (司馬) family had gathered such considerable power that the Emperor, Cao Mao, summoned top officials including Wang Jing and said that he himself, (the Emperor), would lead the empire's soldiers and he would personally kill Sima Zhao.

Wang Jing, acting as the Imperial Secretariat (尚書), remonstrated the Emperor saying it was a reckless plan. The Emperor disregarded his advice. Wang Shen (王沈) a Palace Attendant (侍中), and Wang Ye (王業) a squire for the Roaming Cavalry units (散騎常侍), wanted to report to Shima Zhao about Cao Mao's plan. Wang Jing refused to participate with the informants and was highly critical of them. After the battles, where Cao Mao was slain, Wang Jing was charged with treason. As punishment, Wang Jing and his mother were publicly put to death, executed in the streets.

Before he was executed, according to A New Account of the Tales of the World (世説新語), Wang Jing asked his mother to forgive his negligence to his duties and in reflection lamented saying, "If I would have followed the advice of my mother, both of us could have escaped this fate". His mother's rejoinder was spoken with a smile, and she said, "The reason I had demanded you resign from government service was that I could find no compelling reason, no honor to be had, that I should give up my life, to die for what? But now circumstances certainly merit my death. Do I have anyone else to blame but myself?"

This story exists also in the Romance of the Three Kingdoms.

Xiang Xiong (向雄), one of Wang Jing's subordinates wept and mourned Jing's death. After the execution of Jing and his entire family Xiang Xiong and Huangfu Yan (皇甫晏), also a subordinate of Jing, sold everything they had to pay the funeral expenses for the burial of Wang Jing and Wang Jing's mother.

In 265, Sima Yan, son and heir of Sima Zhao, forced Wei emperor Cao Huan abdicated to him and founded Jin dynasty. He made an edict, expressing his pity on Wang Jing, and appointed Wang Jing's grandson as a Gentleman (郎中).

See also[edit]