Sima Lang

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Sima Lang
司馬朗
Inspector of Yan Province (兗州刺史)
In office
? (?) – 217 (217)
Monarch Emperor Xian of Han
Chancellor Cao Cao
Registrar to the Imperial Chancellor
(丞相主簿)
In office
208 (208) – ? (?)
Monarch Emperor Xian of Han
Chancellor Cao Cao
Prefect of Yuancheng (元城令)
In office
? (?) – ? (?)
Monarch Emperor Xian of Han
Chief of Tangyang (堂陽長)
In office
? (?) – ? (?)
Monarch Emperor Xian of Han
Prefect of Chenggao (成皋令)
In office
202 (202) – ? (?)
Monarch Emperor Xian of Han
Personal details
Born 171[a]
Wen County, Henan
Died 217 (aged 46)[a]
Juchao District, Chaohu, Anhui
Relations
Children
Father Sima Fang
Occupation Official
Courtesy name Boda (伯達)

Sima Lang (171–217), courtesy name Boda, was a government official who lived during the late Eastern Han dynasty of China. He was the eldest among the eight sons of Sima Fang, who served as the Intendant of the Capital (京兆尹) during the reign of Emperor Ling. In his early years, he took the tests required to serve as an official in the Han government and briefly held the position of a civil service cadet. In 189, when the warlord Dong Zhuo seized control of the Han central government, Sima Lang managed to escape with his family and return to his hometown.

Later in 202, Sima Lang reentered government service and served in the central government, then under the control of the warlord Cao Cao. In his early career, Cao Cao served as a district security chief in the imperial capital Luoyang after Sima Lang's father Sima Fang, then the Intendant of the Capital, recommended him for the job. Now that Cao Cao had become the de facto head of the central government, he wanted to repay Sima Fang's favour by treating Sima Lang well. Over the subsequent years, he appointed Sima Lang to various positions as either a county prefect or county chief. When he held office, Sima Lang adopted policies which benefited the common people, and thus earned their respect in return.

In 208, after he assumed office as Imperial Chancellor, Cao Cao recruited Sima Lang to be his Registrar (主簿). Some time later, Cao Cao appointed Sima Lang as the Inspector (刺史) of Yan Province. Sima Lang performed well in office and gained much respect from the people in Yan Province. Despite his accomplishments, however, he never ceased to praise his younger brother, Sima Yi. He went so far as to say, "I don't even come close to matching his abilities."

In the year 217, Sima Lang accompanied Cao Cao's generals Xiahou Dun and Zang Ba on a military campaign against a rival warlord, Sun Quan. During the campaign, an epidemic broke out in the army and many soldiers fell sick. While distributing medicine to the soldiers, Sima Lang caught the disease himself and became ill too. He eventually succumbed to his illness and died.

Sima Lang had a son, Sima Yi (司馬遺; note the different Chinese character for Yi from the one in Sima Yi's name), who died prematurely so he had no heir. However, some time later, Sima Wang, one of Sima Lang's nephews, was transferred to Sima Lang's lineage (i.e. "adopted" as Sima Lang's son) to continue Sima Lang's family line.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b Sima Lang's biography in the Sanguozhi recorded that he died at the age of 47 (by East Asian age reckoning) in the 22nd year of the Jian'an era (196-220) of the reign of Emperor Xian of Han.[1] By calculation, Sima Lang's year of birth should be 171.

References[edit]

  1. ^ (建安二十二年, ... 遇疾卒,時年四十七。) Sanguozhi vol. 15.