Xi Zheng

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Xi Zheng
Official of Shu Han
Born (Unknown)
Died 278[1]
Traditional Chinese 郤正
Simplified Chinese 郤正
Pinyin Xì Zhèng
Wade–Giles Hsi Cheng
Courtesy name Lingxian (Chinese: 令先; pinyin: Lìngxiān; Wade–Giles: Ling-hsien)
Other names Xi Zuan (Chinese: 郤纂; pinyin: Xì Zuàn; Wade–Giles: Hsi Tsuan)
This is a Chinese name; the family name is Xi.

Xi Zheng (died 278), courtesy name Lingxian, was an author and politician of the state of Shu Han during the late Three Kingdoms period. He also served during the early Jin Dynasty.

Early life[edit]

Born Xi Zuan (郤纂) in Yanshi, Luoyang, Henan, Xi Zheng's family moved west from Luoyang into Shu when he was very young. His father died when Xi Zheng was still a boy. He was gifted in language and mostly self-educated in the fields of history and government, borrowing books and essays from literati all over the Yi (益) region (the Sichuan and Hanzhong basins).[2]

He entered government service as a clerk of the palace library, eventually rising to the rank of director over the course of thirty years.

Fall of Shu Han[edit]

Further information: Conquest of Shu by Wei

As director of the imperial library, Xi Zheng was a fairly high-ranking minister in the Shu Han government. The powerful eunuch Huang Hao was ambivalent towards him, so Xi Zheng was able to avoid the factionalism that Huang Hao's rise to power engendered.[2]

Xi Zheng's foremost contribution to history was his composition of Liu Shan's declaration of submission to Deng Ai, which survives and is carried by Records of the Three Kingdoms.[3] Xi Zheng remained extremely loyal to Liu Shan, and was one of two former high ministers of Shu Han who abandoned their families and fled with Liu Shan east to Luoyang during Zhong Hui's Rebellion.[1] He was one of five former ministers of Shu Han to receive enfeoffment by the Cao Wei government.[4]

In Luoyang, Liu Shan relied on Xi Zheng in matters of deportment and propriety.[1] According to the Chronicles of Han and Jin, Sima Shi once asked Liu Shan if he thought much about Shu, to which Liu Shan famously responded that he was too happy to think of Shu. Xi Zheng sought out Liu Shan and advised him that were he asked this again, the appropriate response was to lament how far he had been removed from his family tombs.[5]

In 273, Xi Zheng was appointed administrator of Baxi (巴西) commandery, in present-day eastern Sichuan and northern Chongqing.[1] This would have allowed him to return west in his old age. Of his works, only Liu Shan's declaration of submission to Deng Ai and one other essay survive, both carried in the base text of Records of the Three Kingdoms.


  • Grandfather: Xi Jian (郤儉), inspector of Yi (益) Province under Emperor Ling of Han
    • Father: Xi Yi (郤揖), senior clerk in the palace secretariat of Cao Wei

Titles and appointments held[edit]

  • Clerk in the Palace Library (秘書吏)
  • Senior Clerk in the Palace Library (秘書令史)
  • Assistant in the Palace Library (秘書郎)
  • Director of the Palace Library (秘書令)[2]
  • Magistrate of Anyang County (安陽令)
  • Administrator of Baxi Prefecture (巴西太守)[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e Records of the Three Kingdoms, 42.1041
  2. ^ a b c Records of the Three Kingdoms, 42.1034
  3. ^ Records of the Three Kingdoms, 33.900
  4. ^ Records of the Three Kingdoms, 33.902
  5. ^ Records of the Three Kingdoms, 33.902 n 1