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Persons in Chinese History - Xiahou Jian 夏侯建

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Xiahou Jian 夏侯建, courtesy name Xiahou Zhangqing 夏侯長卿, was a Confucian scholar of the Former Han period 漢 (206 BCE-220 CE). He came from Dongping 東平 (modern Dongping, Shandong) and was a nephew of the famous scholar Xiahou Sheng 夏侯勝 who instructed him in the new text version of the Confucian Classic Shangshu 尚書 "Book of Documents". Another teacher of his was Ouyang Gao 歐陽高. While Xiahou Sheng is known as Xiahou Senior (Da Xiahou 大夏侯), Xiahou Jian is famous as Xiahou Junior (Xiao Xiahou小夏侯). He was appointed professor (boshi 博士 "erudite") at the National University (taixue 太學) during the reign of Emperor Xuan 漢宣帝 (r. 74-49 BCE) and later rose to the office of Junior Mentor of the Heir Apparent (taizi shaofu 太子少傅). In the academic field, the two Xiahous were not of one opinion. While his uncle called him a "small student" (xiaoru 小儒), Xiahou Jian criticised his Senior as "too sketchy". This is the reason why there are two different interpretations of the Shangshu by the Xiahou family. Except some fragments collected as Shangshu Ouyang-Xiahou yishuo kao 尚書歐陽夏侯遺說考 by the Qing period 清 (1644-1911) scholar Chen Qiaozong 陳喬縱 in his collectaneum Huangqing jingjie xubian 皇清經解續編, nothing of Xiahou Jian's writings has survived.

Source: Zhang Weizhi 張撝之, Shen Qiwei 沈起煒, Liu Dezhong 劉德重 (ed. 1999), Zhongguo lidai renming da cidian 中國歷代人名大辭典 (Shanghai: Shanghai guji chubanshe), Vol. 2, p. 1879.

February 18, 2012 © Ulrich Theobald · Mail
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