Lu Ji (Shiheng)

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Lu Ji
Traditional Chinese 陸機
Simplified Chinese 陆机
This is a Chinese name; the family name is Lu.

Lu Ji (261–303), courtesy name Shiheng (士衡), was a writer and literary critic of the Three Kingdoms period and Western Jin dynasty of Chinese history.


Lu Ji was a descendant of the founders of Eastern Wu and son of the general Lu Kang. After Wu was subjugated by the Jin Dynasty in 280, he along with his brother Lu Yun moved to the capital, Luoyang, where he became prominent in both literature and politics and was made president of the imperial university. "He was too scintillating for the comfort of his jealous contemporaries; in 303 he, along with his two brothers and two sons, was put to death on a false charge of high treason."[1]


Pingfu Tie (平復帖) by Lu Ji, Palace Museum collection

Lu Ji wrote much lyric poetry but is better known for writing fu, a mixture of prose and poetry. He is best remembered for the Wen fu 文賦 ("On Literature"), a piece of literary criticism that discourses on the principles of composition. Achilles Fang wrote of it:

The Wen-fu is considered one of the most articulate treatises on Chinese poetics. The extent of its influence in Chinese literary history is equaled only by that of the sixth-century The Literary Mind and the Carving of Dragons of Liu Hsieh. In the original, the Wen-fu is rhymed, but does not employ regular rhythmic patterns: hence the term "rhymeprose."[2]

The first translation into English is by Chen Shixiang, who translated it into verse because, although the piece was rightly called the beginning of Chinese literary criticism, Lu Zhi wrote it as poetry. [3]

Appointments and titles held[edit]

  • General of the Standard (牙門將) - Lu Ji and his brothers held this same appointment when they controlled Wu's military after their father's death
The following appointments and titles were held by Lu Ji when he served the Jin Dynasty
  • Interior Minister of Pingyuan (平原內史)
  • Libationer (祭酒)
  • Gentleman of Writings (著作郎)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Achilles Fang, quoted in Eliot Weinberger (ed.), The New Directions Anthology of Classical Chinese Poetry (New Directions, 2003: ISBN 0-8112-1540-7), p. 240.
  2. ^ Fang, quoted in Weinberger, p. 241.
  3. ^ Lu & 1952 (p. vii).


External links[edit]