Puyang Xing
濮陽興
Imperial Chancellor (丞相)
In office
October or November 262 (October or November 262) – 6 December 264 (6 December 264)
MonarchSun Xiu / Sun Hao
Preceded bySun Chen
Succeeded byLu Kai and Wan Yu
Governor of Qing Province (青州牧)
(nominal)
In office
3 September 264 (3 September 264) – 6 December 264 (6 December 264)
MonarchSun Hao
Palace Attendant (侍中)
In office
3 September 264 (3 September 264) – 6 December 264 (6 December 264)
MonarchSun Hao
General of the Guards (衞將軍)
In office
December 258 (December 258) – 3 September 264 (3 September 264)
MonarchSun Xiu
Minister of Ceremonies (太常)
In office
December 258 (December 258) – 3 September 264 (3 September 264)
MonarchSun Xiu
Administrator of Kuaiji (會稽太守)
In office
? (?) – December 258 (December 258)
MonarchSun Quan / Sun Liang
Personal details
BornUnknown
Diedc. December 264
FatherPuyang Yi
OccupationPolitician
Courtesy nameZiyuan (子元)
PeerageMarquis of Waihuang
(外黃侯)

Puyang Xing (died c. December 264), courtesy name Ziyuan, was a Chinese politician of the state of Eastern Wu during the Three Kingdoms period of China. He was the eighth Imperial Chancellor of Eastern Wu.

Family background

Puyang Xing's ancestral home was in Chenliu Commandery (陳留郡), which is around present-day Kaifeng, Henan. His father, Puyang Yi (濮陽逸), came from a humble background but had great ambitions. Puyang Yi befriended Lu Mao, who shared his wealth with him and other friends.[1]

When chaos broke out in central China towards the end of the Eastern Han dynasty, Puyang Yi fled south to the Jiangdong (or Wu) region for shelter. He served under Sun Quan, the founding emperor of Eastern Wu, and became the Administrator (太守) of Changsha Commandery.[2] Puyang Xing was presumably born in the Jiangdong region after his father migrated there.

Service under Sun Quan and Sun Liang

Puyang Xing was known for his scholarly talents since he was young. During Sun Quan's reign, he started his career as the Prefect of Shangyu County (上虞縣; present-day Shangyu District, Shaoxing, Zhejiang) before being promoted to serve in the imperial secretariat. Later, Sun Quan appointed him as General of the Household for All Purposes (五官中郎將) and sent him as an ambassador to Wu's ally state, Shu Han. After Puyang Xing returned from his diplomatic mission, Sun Quan reassigned him to be the Administrator of Kuaiji Commandery (around present-day Shaoxing, Zhejiang).[3] During this time, Puyang Xing met and befriended Sun Xiu, Sun Quan's sixth son who was living in Kuaiji Commandery at the time.[4]

Service under Sun Xiu

In 258, after Sun Xiu succeeded his younger brother Sun Liang as the emperor of Wu, he appointed Puyang Xing as Minister of Ceremonies (太常) and General of the Guards (衞將軍) and put him in charge of overseeing military affairs in Wu. He also enfeoffed Puyang Xing as the Marquis of Waihuang (外黃侯).[5]

In 260, a commandant Yan Mi (嚴密) proposed building embankments near present-day Xuancheng, Anhui to create an artificial lake for irrigation purposes. Many Wu officials strongly opposed the idea as they believed that it was too costly and there was no guarantee of success. Puyang Xing was the only person who supported the project, and he recruited all available manpower to start building the embankments. However, he incurred much resentment from the masses when many labourers lost their lives in accidents because of the dangers and difficulties of constructing the embankments.[6]

In October or November 262,[7] Sun Xiu appointed Puyang Xing as Imperial Chancellor (丞相). During his tenure, Puyang Xing and the general Zhang Bu backed each other as they monopolised power in the Wu government. Their power grabbing behaviour caused both the government officials and the common people to feel very disappointed with them.[8]

When Sun Xiu became critically ill in 264, he summoned Puyang Xing into the palace, where he ordered his eldest son and heir apparent, Sun Wan (孫𩅦), to pay respects to Puyang Xing. At the same time, he held Puyang Xing's arm and entrusted Sun Wan to him.[9]

Service under Sun Hao

Following Sun Xiu's death on 3 September 264, Puyang Xing did not install Sun Wan (孫𩅦) on the throne as he promised. Instead, he and Zhang Bu pledged their support to Sun Wan's cousin Sun Hao after Wan Yu persuaded them to do so. Sun Hao thus became the new emperor of Wu. After his coronation, Sun Hao granted Puyang Xing the additional appointment of a Palace Attendant (侍中) and made him the nominal Governor of Qing Province (which was not Wu territory).[10]

When Sun Hao turned out to be a cruel, superstitious and self-indulgent tyrant instead of the wise ruler they hoped he would be, Puyang Xing and Zhang Bu expressed regret over their earlier decision to put Sun Hao on the throne. Wan Yu heard about it and secretly reported them to Sun Hao. On 6 December 264, Puyang Xing and Zhang Bu were arrested as soon as they showed up in Sun Hao's imperial court. Sun Hao then stripped them of their appointments and exiled them to the distant Guang Province (廣州; covering present-day Guangdong and Guangxi). He changed his mind later and sent assassins to kill them while they were en route to Guang Province, and ordered the execution of their families as well.[11][12]

Appraisal

The third-century historian Chen Shou, who wrote Puyang Xing's biography in the Sanguozhi, commented that Puyang Xing deserved his downfall for not properly playing his role as Imperial Chancellor, for monopolising power alongside Zhang Bu, and for heeding Wan Yu's suggestion to install Sun Hao on the throne.[13]

See also

References

  1. ^ (陳國陳融、陳留濮陽逸、沛郡蔣纂、廣陵袁迪等,皆單貧有志,就瑁游處,瑁割少分甘,與同豐約。) Sanguozhi vol. 57.
  2. ^ (濮陽興字子元,陳留人也。父逸,漢末避亂江東,官至長沙太守。逸事見陸瑁傳。) Sanguozhi vol. 64.
  3. ^ (興少有士名,孫權時除上虞令,稍遷至尚書左曹,以五官中郎將使蜀,還為會稽太守。) Sanguozhi vol. 64.
  4. ^ (時琅邪王休居會稽,興深與相結。) Sanguozhi vol. 64.
  5. ^ (及休即位,徵興為太常衞將軍、平軍國事,封外黃侯。) Sanguozhi vol. 64.
  6. ^ (永安三年,都尉嚴密建丹楊湖田,作浦里塘。詔百官會議,咸以為用功多而田不保成,唯興以為可成。遂會諸兵民就作,功傭之費不可勝數,士卒死亡,或自賊殺,百姓大怨之。) Sanguozhi vol. 64.
  7. ^ ([永安五年]冬十月,以衞將軍濮陽興為丞相, ...) Sanguozhi vol. 48.
  8. ^ (興遷為丞相。與休寵臣左將軍張布共相表裹,邦內失望。) Sanguozhi vol. 64.
  9. ^ (江表傳曰:休寢疾,口不能言,乃手書呼丞相濮陽興入,令子𩅦出拜之。休把興臂,而指𩅦以託之。) Jiang Biao Zhuan annotation in Sanguozhi vol. 48.
  10. ^ (七年七月,休薨。左典軍萬彧素與烏程侯孫皓善,乃勸興、布,於是興、布廢休適子而迎立皓,皓旣踐阼,加興侍中,領青州牧。) Sanguozhi vol. 64.
  11. ^ (皓旣得志,麤暴驕盈,多忌諱,好酒色,大小失望。興、布竊悔之。或以譖皓,十一月,誅興、布。) Sanguozhi vol. 48.
  12. ^ (俄彧譖興、布追悔前事。十一月朔入朝,皓因收興、布,徙廣州,道追殺之,夷三族。) Sanguozhi vol. 64.
  13. ^ (濮陽興身居宰輔,慮不經國,協張布之邪,納萬彧之說,誅夷其宜矣。) Sanguozhi vol. 64.