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Chinese Literature
Zou Yang shu 鄒陽書 "The Book of Zou Yang"


The Zou Yang shu 鄒陽書 "Book of Zou Yang" was a political treatise written by the Han period 漢 (206 BCE-220 CE) politician Zou Yang 鄒陽. He came from the region of Qi 齊 (modern province of Shandong) and was a retainer of the Prince of Wu, Liu Pi 劉濞, together with Wu Yanji 吳嚴忌 and the poet Mei Cheng 枚乘. The imperial court was enraged about the heir that the prince of Wu had appointed. Zou Yang therefore submitted a memorial in which he remonstrated against the prince's decision, but his suggestions were ignored. Fearing punishment the three persons left Wu and went to the court of Prince Xiao of Liang 梁孝王. Zou Yang was slandered by courtiers like Yang Sheng 羊勝 and was put into prison. Charged with high treasons and sentenced by the death penalty, he submitted a memorial to the prince in which he pledged not guilty. The prince was indeed moved by the words of Zou Yang and pardoned him. The book Zou Yang shu is listed in the imperial bibliography Yiwenzhi 藝文志 in the official dynastic history Hanshu 漢書 among the writings of the coalition adivisors (zonghengjia 縱橫家). The book was seven chapters long and showed Zou Yang's brilliance in argumentation and rhethorics. Unfortunately it was lost soon. The fragements surviving in the histories Shiji 史記 and Hanshu 漢書 were collected by the Qing period 清 (1644-1911) scholar Ma Guohan 馬國翰. They are to be found in Ma's collectaneum Yuhan shanfang jiyi shu 玉函山房輯佚書.

Source: Li Xueqin 李學勤, Lü Wenyu 呂文鬰 (1996). Siku da cidian 四庫大辭典, vol. 2, p. 1882. Changchun: Jilin daxue chubanshe.

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June 8, 2013 © Ulrich Theobald · Mail