An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History, Literature and Art

Qi Jie 騎劫

Mar 6, 2019 © Ulrich Theobald

Qi Jie 騎劫 was a general of the state of Yan 燕 during the Warring States period 戰國 (5th cent.-221 BCE). During the reign of King Zhao 燕昭王 (r. 312-279), general Yue Yi 樂毅 inflicted a heavy deafead on the state of Qi 齊 and prepared the near-total invation of that state by Yan.

Yet with the accession of King Hui 燕惠王 (r. 279-272) to the throne of Yan, a rift opened between sovereign and supreme general. The great strategist of Qi, Tian Dan 田單, managed to influence internal decisions at the court of Yan, and King Hui decided to replace Yue Yi by Qi Jie. The latter was not experienced in the many tricks of warfare, and fell victim to Tian Dan's famous "stratagem of the fire cows" (huoniu zhen 火牛陣). Tian Dan had the horn of 1,000 cattle equipped with daggers, and tied pitch-soaked straw to their tails. At night, the "torches" were lit and the cows directed towards the camp of the army of Yan at Jimo 即墨 (today's Pingdu 平度, Shandong). In the turmoil 5,000 troops were killed and the army of Yan utterly defeated. Qi Jue died on the battlefield, and Yan was thrown out of the land of Qi.

Wang Songling 王松齡, ed. (1991). Shiyong Zhongguo lishi zhishi cidian 實用中國歷史知識辭典 (Changchun: Jilin wenshi chubanshe), 266.
Zhang Huizhi 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, 2234.
Zhang Ke 張克, Huang Kangbo 黃康白, Huang Fangcheng 黃方東, ed. (1991). Shiji renwu cidian 史記人物辭典 (Nanning: Guangxi renmin chubanshe), 204.
Zhongguo baike da cidian bianweihui 《中國百科大辭典》編委會, ed. (1990). Zhongguo baike da cidian 中國百科大辭典 (Beijing: Huaxia chubanshe), 634.