Dao De Jing
(Tao) is Open Forum
Zhuangzi Glossary/Index P to Z
Pei was a city in the province of Jiangsu on the east coast of China.
(Chapters: 14, 27)
Peng Meng was a legendary student of Yi, the famous archer. Eventually Peng Meng became so good that he realized Yi was the only person in the world whose archery was superior to his. This made Peng Meng very jealous and, when the opportunity came, and Yi was unaware and unprepared, he slew him.
Peng Meng, Tian Pian and Shen Dao were philosophers who set forth their own theories.
(Note: Peng Meng is a different person from the one mentioned by the same name in chapter 20)
Peng Yang is a fictitious character. His name can be literally translated as "Persistent Optimist".
Peng Zu was the great-great-grandson of Emperor Zhuan Xu. By the end of the Shang dynasty (c. 1600 - 1027 BCE) he was already 767 years old, but he did not show the effects of age. When young, he had loved peace and quiet, and had had no concern for contemporary affairs. He had never tried to built up a name and reputation for himself, nor did he drive a fancy chariot or wear fashionable clothing, but had concerned himself solely with tending to his life and mastering his body. The kings heard of this and tried to employ him as a minister, but he always pleaded illness and lived in retirement, refusing to get involved in the affairs of government.
(Chapters: 1, 2, 6, 15)
Prince Mou of Wei (aka Prince Mou of Zhong Shan) was the ruler of a fiefdom called Zhong Shan in the state of Wei.
(Chapters: 17, 28)
Prince Qing Ji was the son of King Liao of the state of Wu who fled to Wei when his father was assassinated in 515 BCE.
Prince Sou could be a fictitious character, as there's no record of a Prince Sou of Yue.
Pu River (aka Huang Pu River) flows from the northern end of Shantung Province into Shanghai.
Pu Yi Zi, according to legend, lived under the rule of the legendary Emperor Shun of the You Yu family. Shun followed the morality of mankind rather than the spontaneity of the heavens. His name can be literally translated as "Mr. Cattail Coat".
Qi was a relatively powerful state during the Spring and Autumn Period and Period of the Warring States. Its capital was at Linzi, which is today incorporated into the city of Zibo, Shandong. Qi was founded around 1046 BCE, soon after the foundation of the Zhou Dynasty, and ruled by the Jiang family for hundreds of years. The Jiang were violently replaced by the Tian family in 384 BCE. The ability of Qi to defeat its larger enemies, usually Chu and Qin, made it a force to be reckoned with. The state was conquered in 221 BCE by Qin; its defeat resulted in the complete unification of China.
(Chapters: 4, 10, 18, 19, 21, 24, 25, 29, 32)
Qin was a large state (778-207 BCE) centered around what's now the modern province of Shaanxi. The Zhou King (who was nominally China's ruler at the time) gave the Qin leader the title of Duke in 771 BCE after his troops provided an escort for the King as he fled from a barbarian army that had sacked the capital. The most significant event in the history of the Qin prior to the third century BCE was the advent of Shang Yang (d. 338 BCE). Shang Yang became prime minister of the Qin under the rule of Duke Xiao and gradually began transforming the state into a vigorously regulated machine, the sole purpose of which was the elimination of all rivals. Shang Yang did away with the mandates that only those who were born to aristocracy could hold official positions, and thereby strengthened the military power of Qin by employing the most capable strategists. Qin's largest opponent in the effort to take over all the states into the rulership of Qin was the state of Chu.
(Chapters: 27, 28, 32)
Qin Gu Li was one of Mozi's closest disciples.
Qing Ling River is said to have been in the west of what is now known as Henan province.
Qin Shi is a fictitious character. His name can be literally translated as "Lost the need to husk rice".
Qiu - See: Confucius
Qu Bo Yu was a minister of the state of Wei who was praised by Confucius.
(Chapters: 4, 25)
Qu Que Zi is a fictitious character. His name can be literally translated as "Mr. Startled Squawking Bird". In chapter 2, Zhuangzi has insinuated he's a student of Confucius.
Qu Yuan is probably a fictitious rural town.
Ran (of the Xiang clan) might refer to a ruler during the Xia Dynasty (ca. 2205 –1766 BCE), or to a fictitious person who lived during that time. His name can be literally translated as "Youthful Appearance". Xiang is the name of a legendary ruler who was the fifth ruler of the Xia Dynasty. It was common for the people in the kingdom to take on the name of the king, thus they would be called the Xiang clan.
Ran Qui was probably a disciple of Confucius. His name can be literally translated as "Slowly Seeking".
Red River begins at the southern end of the Kun Lun Mountains in Yunnan Province and ends at the Gulf of Tonkin in Viet Nam.
Ren was an early state ruled by Huang Di encompassing part of what became the state of Qi in about 1122 BCE.
Ri Zhong Shi is a fictitious character. His name can be literally translated as "Sleeps Until Midday".
Robber Zhi is probably a fictitious character. His name can be literally translated as "Trampling Robber".
(Chapters: 8, 10, 11, 12, 29)
Rong Cheng might have been a mythological person, but there is no reference to him in historical records. His name can be literally translated as "Embodiment of Success", which could possibly refer to the fact that he was held up as the first person to have created the concept of business.
(Chapters: 10, 25)
Ru (scholars) was a term used during the time the Zhuangzi to refer mainly to Confucian scholars. They wore a specific costume to show they were educated scholars, and traveled around the state offering advice and enjoying the fact that they were looked up to by other people.
Ruo Huo See: Xianli Qin, Wu Hou, Ruo Huo, Yi Chi, and Deng Linzi
San Wei was a series of three mountains in the Western wilderness.
Shang Dynasty (aka Yin Dynasty - used specifically in reference to the latter half of the Shang Dynasty) (ca. 1766 - 1050 BCE) is the first confirmed historic Chinese Dynasty and controlled the northeastern region of the area known as "China proper", in the Yellow River valley. The Shang dynasty followed the legendary Xia Dynasty and preceded the Zhou Dynasty. The Shang dynasty is believed to have been founded by a rebel leader who overthrew the last Xia ruler. Its civilization was based on agriculture, augmented by hunting and animal husbandry. The Shang Dynasty moved its capital six times, and the final and most important move to Yin in 1350 BCE led to the golden age of the dynasty.
(Chapters: 8, 14, 20, 28)
Shang is probably a fictitious rural town. It's name can be literally translated as "Busy Metropolis."
Shang Shen Pool possibly refers to the Ding Shang Shen Pool outside of Beijing which has a 50 meter high waterfall.
Shan Juan is probably a fictitious character. His name can be literally translated as "Good Resume".
(Chapters: 28, 29)
Shao Guang was, according to legend, a high peak in the Kun Lun Mountains where Xi Wang Mu (Queen Mother of the West) resided.
Shao Zhi is a fictitious character. His name can be literally translated as "Lacking Knowledge".
Sha Qiu was a legendary garden where some kings supposedly went to celebrate, get drunk and engage in sexual perversions.
Shen Dao See: Peng Meng, Tian Pian and Shen Dao
Shen Nong (aka Shen Nong Shi, Yan Emperor, Lie Shan Shi) was referred to as the father of agriculture, having invented wooden plows and other farming tools. Shen Nong was also the first Chinese herbal doctor. It is said that Shen Nong tasted all kinds of herbals, even poison, to make herbal medicines. Shen Nong, together with Sui Ren who invented fire and cooked food, and Fu Xi who invented fishery, hunting and animal husbandry are called San Huang - Three Emperors (3000 - 2700 BCE). Historical records show that their achievements actually reflected the economic and social development in China's primitive society.
(Chapters: 10, 16, 18, 20, 22, 28, 29)
Shen River is now known as the Hu Shen River. It is one of the most important rivers in the Yangtze River Delta.
Shen Tu Di was a supporter of the moralist, Ji Tuo. He eventually tied a rock to his back and drowned himself in the Yellow River. See: Hu Bu Xie, Wu Guang, Bo Yi, Shu Qi, Ji Zi, Xu Yu, Ji Tuo, and Shen Tu Di
(Chapters: 6, 26, 29)
Shen Tu Jia is a fictitious character. His name can be literally translated as "Admired Straightforward Student."
Shi (the carpenter) is a fictitious character. His name can be literally translated as "Stone Face".
(Chapters: 4, 24)
Shicheng Mountain is on the border of Fijian and Jiangxi Provinces in southwest China.
Shi Cheng Qi is a fictitious character. His name can be literally translated as "Elegantly Attired Scholar".
Shi Hu was possibly a small town in modern Jiangsu province.
Shi Jin was a disciple of Confucius. His name can be literally translated as "Master Metalworker".
Shi Kuang (aka Master Kuang, Gu Kuang) was perhaps the most famous musician and conductor in ancient China, said to have been music master to Duke Ping of Jin.
(Chapters: 2, 8, 10)
Shi Nan was probably a small fiefdom or hamlet in the state of Chu.
Shi Qiu was a wise minister in the state of Wei who was praised by Confucius for following moral values.
(Chapters: 8, 10, 11, 12, 25)
Shi Wei See: Da Tao, Bo Chang Jian and Shi Wei
Shi of Wei See: King of Wei
Shou Ling was a city in the state of Yan.
Shou Yang was a mountain located in modern Shansi which was in the territory controlled by the Northern barbarians.
(Chapters: 8, 28, 29)
Shu was a small state that was overtaken by the larger state of Wu.
Shu is probably a fictional character. His name can be literally translated as "Dislocated."
Shun (aka Clansman Yu of You) was the son-in-law of the emperor Yao, who had given him two of his daughters in marriage. Yao eventually turned over the throne to Shun, who carried on with the moral attitudes toward the state which had been set forth by Yao and ruled from 2234 - 2184 BCE. Yao ruled 100 years. From the seventy-third year of his reign, however, Shun was actually the head of the government and acted as regent. Yao died at the age of 117; and, as he was not pleased with the conduct of his own son, he left the throne to Shun. After the death of Yao, Shun refused to take the throne which had been left for him. He evidently wished to give Yao's son an opportunity to succeed his illustrious father. Public opinion, however, was so strong in favor of Shun that, at the end of the three years of mourning, he reluctantly assumed the royal title. Shun was neither a prince or a high official before he became ruler. He was a simple peasant farmer. According to legend, his mother died when he was young, and his father married again and had more children. His stepmother never liked him, and under her influence, the father, who was blind, and his half-brothers hated him. Shun never complained, and finally his filial piety overcame all prejudices. His fame spread far and wide and soon reached the ear of Yao, who had begun to feel the burden of the government. Shun having been recommended to the sovereign by the feudal lords as the man best fitted to be his successor, Yao thereupon gave both of his daughters to him in marriage. Thus at the age of 30, Shun was obliged to give up a farmer's life to share the responsibilities of governing an empire. Shun's administrative abilities soon justified the confidence placed in him by Yao. He called from private life many capable people to take part in the administration of the government, and did not hesitate for a moment to punish those who were unworthy of trust. Among the former, Yu the Great was his prime minister. Shun ruled as emperor for 47 years and was succeeded by Yu the Great. Yao and Shun are regarded as the ideal rulers in China. No greater honor can be paid to a Chinese emperor than to compare him to Yao and Shun.
(Chapters: 1, 2, 5, 7, 8, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 16, 17, 18, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 28, 29, 33)
Shu Qi See: Bo Yi and Hu Bu Xie, Wu Guang, Bo Yi, Shu Qi, Ji Zi, Xu Yu, Ji Tuo, and Shen Tu Di
(Chapters: 6, 28, 29)
Shu Shan the Toeless is a fictitious character.
Song Jian (aka Song Keng) and Yin Wen were philosophers who set forth their own theories, probably based on a combination of what Mozi and Yangzi set forth.
Song Rong Zi (aka Song Xing) from the 4th century BCE was a philosopher who taught simple living. Song was a pacifist who once set out for Chu to dissuade its king from making war by showing him that it was unprofitable to do so. Song taught that there was no need to fight as it was no disgrace to suffer insult, that war and aggression are wrong and unprofitable (he urged instead disarmament), and that one must hold fast to an inner ideal, unaffected by popular fashions. He believed that the essential human desires were few and that if men could be shown this, conflict would disappear. He stressed tolerance, equality, affection, the need for peace, and the preservation of life. He held that one should seek only what is needed to keep one alive and ask for no more.
Song was a state situated south of the Shandong peninsula, at the border of the modern provinces of Jiangsu, Anhui, Shangdong and Henan. It was northeast of the state of Chu and southeast of the state of Qi. It was a large fiefdom, and one of its rulers, Duke Xiang, became hegemon (the feudal lord which commanded to others, on behalf of the Zhou king) from 650 - 637 BCE. In the Warring States Period, it was a relatively small kingdom, crushed between Qi and Chu. It was destroyed by Chu in 286 BCE. The rulers of Song claimed to be descendants of the Shang Emperors, and therefore considered themselves as nobler than others. Song was said to have been the home state of both Zhuangzi and Mencius.
(Chapters: 1, 4, 11, 14, 17, 20, 24, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32)
South Sea See: Nan Hai
Sui was a small state in modern Hubei province.
Sui Ren was a legendary emperor who is credited with the invention of fire and cooking food. Sui Ren, together with Shen Nong Shi who invented agriculture, and Fu Xi who invented fishery, hunting and animal husbandry are called San Huang - Three Emperors (3000 - 2700 BCE). Historical records show that their achievements actually reflected the economic and social development in China's primitive society.
(Chapters: 16, 18)
Sun Shu Ao was the prime minister who engineered King Zhuang (reigned 613-591 BCE) of Chu's rise to power. It's been said that Sun Shu Ao was promoted by King Zhuang when living a life of seclusion by the sea.
(Chapters: 21, 24)
Sun Xiu is a fictional character. His name can be literally translated as "Last Descendant of the Family". If he had no children or other descendants, he would be free to roam about without needing to care for, tutor or nourish younger relatives.
Tai Gong Diao is a fictitious character. His name can be literally translated as "Supremely Fair Equalizer".
Tai Qing is probably a fictitious character. His name can be literally translated as "Extremely Pure".
Tang (aka King Cheng Tang) (1617 -1588 BCE) was the first ruling king of the Shang dynasty (c. 1600 - 1027 BCE). After overthrowing Jie, the last ruler of the Xia dynasty, he was the head of his tribe for more than 17 years, and during that time period, he employed wise men as civil officials and revamped his government. Seeing that the Xia Dynasty has began to falter, Tang initiated eleven wars against Xia, taking large quantities of land and subduing many vassal states. After an internal rebellion in Xia, Tang swept away the Xia armies in one final victory in 1600 BCE. Tang's reign was regarded as a good one. He lowered taxes and decreased the drafting of of soldiers from the common population. His influence spread to the Yellow River, and many outlying tribes became vassal states. He also established Anyang as the new capital of China.
(Chapters: 1, 14, 17, 22, 23, 25, 26, 28, 29, 32, 33)
Tian Cheng (aka Lord Tian Cheng) was a minister under Duke Jian of Qi in 481 BCE. Tian Cheng petitioned Duke Jian for various offices and stipends which he then dispensed to the lesser ministers, and he was generous when he doled out grain to the common people. In this way Duke Jian lost the exclusive right to dispense favors, and it passed into Tian Cheng’s hands. Since Tian Cheng got hold of the power to reward, Duke Jian lost the respect of his people and was assassinated.
(Chapters: 10, 29)
Tian Gen is a fictitious character. His name can be literally translated as "Firmly Planted in the Heavens".
Tian He (aka Duke Tai of Tian) was recognized as the Duke of the state of Qi after he violently took over the capital in 379 BCE. He had previously been a very powerful general in Qi, then he threw out the current ruler of Qi, Jiang Dai, in 391 BCE. By 379 BCE he was recognized by the king of Zhou as the ruler of Qi, and from then on the surname of the rulers of Qi was no longer Jiang but Tian.
Tian Kai Zhi is probably a fictitious character. His name can be literally translated as "Of the Open Cultivated Fields", possible referring to an official who dealt with the country's farmers.
Tian Pian See: Peng Meng, Tian Pian and Shen Dao
Tian Zi Fang is a fictitious character. His name can be literally translated as "Master at plowing straight fields".
Viet was an area in the far south of China which was the northern area of what is now known as Viet Nam. At the time, it was also known as the state of Yue, and was considered to be a place of uneducated and crude people.
Wang Guo is a fictitious character. His name can be literally translated as "Honorable Outcome".
Wang Ni, according to legend, lived under the rule of the legendary Emperor Shun of the You Yu family. His name can be literally translated as "Master of Bewilderment". See chapter 12 for an explanation of the sequence of these teachers and students.
(Chapters: 2, 7, 12)
Wang Tai is a fictitious character. His name can be literally translated as "Great Lame Horse."
Wei (445 - 225 BCE) was a state that was situated between the states of Qin and Qi and included the modern areas of Henan, Hebei, Shanxi and Shandong. In 354 BCE, King Hui of Wei initiated a large scale attack at Zhao, which some historians believe was to avenge the earlier near destruction of Wei. By 353 BCE, Zhao was losing the war badly, and one of their major cities - Handan, a city that would eventually become Zhao 's capital - was being besieged. As a result, the neighbouring State of Qi decided to help Zhao. The strategy Qi used was to attack Wei 's territory while the main Wei army was busy sieging Zhao, forcing Wei to retreat. The strategy was a success; the Wei army hastily retreated, and encountered the Qi midway, culminating into the Battle of Guiling where Wei was decisively defeated. In 341 BCE, Wei attacked Han, and Qi interfered again. The two generals from the previous Battle of Guiling met again, and due to the brilliant strategy of Sun Bin, Wei was again decisively defeated at the Battle of Maling. The situation for Wei took an even worse turn when Qin, taking advantage of Wei's series of defeats by Qi, attacked Wei in 340 BCE under the advice of famous Qin reformer Shang Yang. Wei was devastatingly defeated and was forced to cede a large portion of its territory to achieve a truce. This left their capital Anyi vulnerable, so Wei was also forced to move their capital to Daliang. After its capital was moved from Anyi to Daliang (Kaifeng) during the reign of King Hui of Wei, Wei was also called the state of Liang. After these series of events, Wei became severely weakened, and the Qi and Qin states became the two dominant states in China. The state of Wei reached its height during the reigns of its first two rulers, marquis Wen of Wei and marquis Wu of Wei. King Hui of Wei, the third ruler, concentrated in economical developments including irrigation projects at the Yellow River.
(Chapters: 4, 5, 14, 20, 21, 28, 29, 30, 31)
Wei Lei might be a fictitious place or it could have been an actual mountainous area in northern China. Northern China was vastly unexplored and was inhabited mainly by people who were referred to as northern barbarians.
Wei Sheng is either a fictitious character or a person from a legend. His name can be literally translated as "Grew a Tail".
Wen Bo Zue Zi is a fictitious character. His name can be literally translated as "Master at Warming Up a Frigid Authority Figure", possibly referring to someone who was a good mediator or ambassador.
Wen Hui (Lord) See: Lord Wen Hui
Woodworker Qing is a fictitious carpenter.
Wu was a state that straddled the mouth of the Yangtze River east of the State of Chu. Considered a semi-barbarian state by ancient Chinese historians, its capital was Suzhou. The State of Jin aided Wu's rise to power as a useful ally against the State of Chu. In 584 BCE, Wu rebelled against the State of Chu; the action occurred after being persuaded by Wuchen, a minister of the State of Jin who defected from Chu. Afterwards, Wu would be a constant threat to the state of Chu on its southeastern flank until its demise. Wu curried relationships with Chu's vassals in the Yangtze river region to weaken support for Chu. In 506 BCE, Wu launched a surprise attack and occupied the capital of Chu. Afterwards, Wu was briefly the most powerful nation, and turned to other campaigns, defeating the State of Qi in 484 BCE. Ironically, Wu was later threatened by an upstart state to its south, the State of Yue; the State of Chu aided Yue's rise to power as a counter to Wu. Although Wu won a major victory against Yue in 494 BCE, it failed to completely subjugate Yue, helped in part by Yue's bribing of an important Wu minister. While Wu was engaged in a military campaign in the north, Yue launched a surprise attack on Wu in 482 BCE and conquered the capital. Eventually, the State of Yue conquered Wu in 473 BCE.
(Chapters: 1, 26, 29)
Wu Ding (reigned 1324 - 1319 BCE) became the twentieth King of the Shang Dynasty. He appointed Gan Pan, a very experienced and capable administrator, as his Prime Minister. The aristocrats during this period were extravagant, showy, corrupted and debauched. The harsh feudal system reduced the population to mere slaves. Lands were tilled and harvested to fill the aristocracy's coffers and provide them with luxuries, with very little was left for the people. As a result constant conflicts between the rulers and subjects erupted and plunged the country into turmoil. Yet King Wu Ding did nothing to resolve the situation and had left the running of the government to his Prime Minister. Unfortunately, Gan Pan was already a feeble old man and was becoming ineffective. King Wu Ding had actually been hunting for a clever and capable person to replace the aging Prime Minister. For almost three years he secretly sought far and wide for the right candidate. Finally, he found the right man, a genius, but he was a slave. King Wu Ding could not overtly appoint him Prime Minister without raising the ire of the aristocracy and his subjects. One morning King Wu Ding woke up with a bright idea. He lied to his officials that he had a dream last night. In his dream a spirit told him to locate a sage by the name of Ah Shuo who would help him to run the country. He immediately summoned an artist to draw a sketch of Ah Shuo from descriptions given by him. The King sent his officials out with the sketch to look for Ah Shuo. An exhaustive search was made and, finally, a man of exact likeness to the sketch was found. He was not called Ah Shuo but Fu Yue whom the King had in mind all along. Indeed he was a slave. Since it was a direction given by the spirit in the King's dream no one would dare to disagree with his choice of Fu Yue as his new Prime Minister. Thus Fu Yue the slave became the Prime Minister in place of the now retired Gan Pan. Within a year Fu Yue settled the conflicts between the aristocrats and the subjects. He also introduced reforms and rejuvenated the country.
(Chapters: 6, 17, 22)
Wu Guang was so upset at the way the world was being run that he lashed out verbally at Tang (King Cheng Tang) then drowned himself if the Lu River. See: Hu Bu Xie, Wu Guang, Bo Yi, Shu Qi, Ji Zi, Xu Yu, Ji Tuo, and Shen Tu Di
(Chapters: 6, 26)
Wu Hou See: Xianli Qin, Wu Hou, Ruo Huo, Yi Chi, and Deng Linzi
Wu Qiong is a fictitious character. His name can be literally translated as "Infinity".
Wu Shi is a fictitious character. His name can be literally translated as "Without Beginning".
Wu Wei is a fictitious character. His name can be literally translated as "Non Action".
Wu You is a fictitious character. His name can be literally translated as "Nonexistent".
Wu Yue is probably a fictitious character. His name can be literally translated as "Without Restrictions".
Wu Ze is a fictitious character. His name can be literally translated as "Non-Judgmental".
Wu Zhuang was possibly a fictitious character, or she could have been a beautiful woman in Daoist legends who lost all sense of her beauty after her spiritual cultivation.
Wu Zi Xu was a chief advisor to the King of Wu. He was forced to commit suicide after angering the King of Wu by warning him of the danger of attacking the state of Yue, then the King threw his dead body in the river.
Wu Zu is a fictitious character. His name can be literally translated as "Never Has Enough".
Xia (ca. 2205-1766 BCE) is the first dynasty to be described in Chinese historical records. The Xia dynasty was founded when Shun abdicated the throne in favor of his minister Yu. It was during this period that Chinese civilization developed a ruling structure that employed both a benign civilian government and harsh punishment for legal transgressions. From this the earliest forms of Chinese legal codes came into being. Jie, the last ruler, was said to be a corrupt king and a tyrant. He was overthrown by Tang, the leader of Shang people from the east.
Xian Chi "Salty Pond" was probably a popular musical composition of the time, favored by the emperors.
(Chapters: 14, 18)
Xiangcheng is a city located in Sichuan Province, just northwest of Yunnan.
Xiang clan See: Ran (of the Xiang clan)
Xiang Wang is a fictitious character. His name can be literally translated as "Non-seeker / image of that which should not be done".
Xianli Qin, Wu Hou, Ruo Huo, Yi Chi, and Deng Linzi were later Mohists who claimed to be following the teachings set forth in the Mohist Canon by Mozi, but they disagreed and argued from their different perspectives (and schools) about what Mozi was setting forth.
Xiao Ji (aka Zu Ji) was the son of Wu Ding, the twentieth King of the Shang Dynasty. It's been said that his step mother rejected him and drove him away and that he was never offered the throne from his father.
Xi Gong was a fictitious character. His name can be literally translated as "Irrigation Worker".
Xi Peng was a fictitious character. His name can be literally translated as "Eloquent Friend".
(Note: He's not the same Xi Peng mentioned as an advisor to Duke Huan in a later story in chapter 24.)
Xi Peng was one of Duke Huan's advisors.
(Note: He's not the same Xi Peng mentioned as "Eloquent Friend" in the previous story in chapter 24.)
Xi Shi (5th century BCE) was one of the renowned Four Beauties of ancient China. She was said to have lived during the end of Spring and Autumn Period in Zhuji, the capital of the state of Yue. Xi Shi's beauty was said to be so extreme that she caused the fish to dip in shame while laundering her garments in the river. King Gou Jian of Yue was once imprisoned after a defeat in a war by King Fu Chai of Wu. Secretly planning his revenge, he convinced Xi Shi's father to offer her to the King of Wu as a concubine, and the King of Wu became totally infatuated with her to the point he neglected his political affairs. Xi Shi had been sent to undermine the government of the King of Wu as a means of revenge toward the King of Yue. She did an excellent job, but showed her unhappiness. Fu Chai even built Guanwa Palace (Palace of Beautiful Women) in an imperial park on the slope of Lingyan Hill, about 15 kilometers west of Suzhou in honor of her. The strength of Wu dwindled, and in 473 BCE Gou Jian launched his strike and put the Wu army to full rout. King Fu Chai lamented that he should have listened to Wu Zixu, and then committed suicide.
(Chapters: 2, 14)
Xi Wang Mu is the Chinese goddess of immortality and the personification of the feminine element yin. She is referred to as the Queen Mother of the West, and rules over the western paradise of the immortals. She is the daughter of the god Yu-huang and her husband is Mu Gong. Originally she was a terrifying tiger-woman who brought the plague, but under the influence of Taoism she became a benign goddess. Her mythical nine-stories palace of jade lies in the Kun Lun mountains, near the Lake of Jewels. It is surrounded by a wall of over a thousand miles long and of pure gold. The male immortals reside in the right wing and the female immortals reside in the left wing of this palace. In her garden she cultivates the peach of immortality. This peach tree forms only one peach every three thousand years, which then takes another three thousand years to ripen. When it is ripe, Xi Wang Mu invites the immortals to a feast to celebrate their birthday and to partake ot the miraculous peach which bestows another lease of immortality.
Xuan Yuan might have been a mythological person, but there is no reference to him in historical records. His name can be literally translated as "Chariot Inventor", which could possibly refer to the fact that he was held up as the first person to have invented a chariot.
Xu Ao (state of) see: Zong, Kuai and Xu Ao
Xu Wu Gui was a fictitious hermit. His name can be literally translated as "One Without Secrets".
Xu You was a person of virtue during the reigns of Yao and Shun. It was said that Emperor Yao consulted Xu You for advice many times. At one time he even wanted to turn his throne over to Xu but received a firm refusal. After that, Xu You escaped to Mount Qi in Dengfeng and tried to retire from the common world. However, Emperor Yao finally found him and asked him to be a senior official of the country. Xu You got very angry and ran to the Yinghe River to wash his ears to show his disgust at those words. Xu You won respect from later ages by his lofty sentiment, and he was regarded as the earliest ancestor of hermits.
(Chapters: 1, 6, 12, 24, 26, 28, 29, 32)
Xu Yu See: Hu Bu Xie, Wu Guang, Bo Yi, Shu Qi, Ji Zi, Xu Yu, Ji Tuo, and Shen Tu Di
(Chapters: 6, 28)
Yan (766-222 BCE) was a state with its borders stretching from the mountains of Shanxi Province to the Liaodong Peninsula. As the most northeastern of all the Chinese states during this time period, it suffered several invasions from Mongolia. The border states of Zhao and Qi were its main enemies. The mountainous border in the west between the Zhao and the Yan became the area in which the armies belonging to the two kingdoms often clashed. Despite this, the war between the Zhao and the Yan usually dragged on into a stalemate, requiring the help of other kingdoms to conclude. Yan was eventually conquered by Qin in 222 BCE.
(Chapters: 17, 24)
Yan (the Yan tribe) was the name given to the people who were ruled by Shen Nong.
Yan Bu Yi is a fictitious character. His name can be literally translated as "Unquestionable Dignity".
Yan Cheng Zi You is a fictitious character. His name can be literally translated as "Mr. Image of a Successful Traveler", possibly referring to someone who traveled around seeking various teachers to gain insights from them.
(Chapters: 2, 24, 27)
Yan Gang Diao is probably a fictitious character. His name can be literally translated as "hidden in a jug hanging from the shoulder".
Yangtze River is the longest river in Asia and the third longest in the world after the Nile in Africa and the Amazon in South America. It flows from its source in Qinghai Province in the western part of China, eastwards into the East China Sea. It has traditionally been considered a dividing point between northern and southern China. The Yangtze river occupies an important place in the cultural origins of southern China. Human activity was found in the Three Gorges area as far back as 2 million years ago.
(Chapters: 17, 24, 25, 26, 33)
Yan He was a scholar and teacher from the state of Lu.
(Chapters: 4, 19, 28, 32)
Yan Hui (aka Yan Yuan) was a native of the state of Lu and was Confucius' favorite disciple. He was thirty years younger than Confucius. When Hui was twenty-nine, his hair was all white, and three years later he died.
(Chapters: 4, 6, 14, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 28, 29, 31)
Yang Zi Ju is possibly a fictitious character, or he could be a characature of Master Yang Ju (Yang Zi) who started the Yangist philosophy.
(Chapters: 7, 27)
Yang Zi (aka Yang Chu) is said to have been a philosopher around the same time as Zhuangzi and Confucius. Not much is known about him other than what has been written in various ancient texts, especially in the Liezi. However, a whole school of philosophy called "Yangists" arose from what were his teachings. The main quote attributed to him that tends to describe his theories is one a story in the Liezi. Yangzi apparently said that he wouldn't pluck out a single hair from his head if it would save the whole empire. That statement got him labeled a hedonist, however Yangzi went on to say that the reason he wouldn't offer up one hair on his head was because if he did, he'd eventually be expected to give up his life for some cause. Yangzi believed that unless one had a life, there was very little one could do in this world. So, his imperative was to protect your own life first and foremost.
(Chapters: 8, 10, 12, 20)
Yangist (Chapters: 24)
Yanxi Lake is in Hebei Province in northwest China.
Yao was a legendary Chinese ruler (2353 - 2234 BCE). He was the first in the succession of three Chinese emperors (Yao, Shun and Yu) who were said to have ruled over all of China before it was split into various different states. Yao turned over the throne to Shun, who eventually turned over the throne to Yu. Yao, Shun and Yu were considered to be the most respected emperors by the Confucians. Chinese historians generally regard the accession of Yao as the dawn of authentic history. The first official act of Yao was to give his people a more correct calendar than that which had previously existed. This system has been followed throughout all the succeeding ages. Everyone had access to his court either to offer a suggestion or to make a criticism. No important appointment was ever made without the advice and consent of the chiefs of the feudal lords; and, as the result, his administration was a great success. Yao and Shun are regarded as the ideal rulers in China. No greater honor can be paid to a Chinese emperor than to compare him to Yao and Shun. See: Shun
(Chapters: 1, 2, 5, 6, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 16, 17, 18, 20, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 28, 29, 33)
Yellow Emperor - See: Huang Di
Yellow River (aka Huang He) is the second longest river in China (after the Yangtze River) and the fifth in the world. The river originates in the Bayankala Mountains in Qinghai Province in western China and flows through nine provinces of China, emptying into the Bohai Sea. The middle stream of Yellow River passes through Loess Plateau with substantial erosion taking place. A large amount of mud and sand is constantly discharged into the river, which is how it got its name. The Yellow River is called the "Mother River of China" and "the Cradle of Chinese Civilization", as the Yellow River basin is the birthplace of the northern Chinese civilizations and the most prosperous region in early Chinese history. However, the frequent devastating flooding, largely due to the elevated river bed in its lower course, has also earned it the unenviable distinction as "China's Sorrow".
(Chapters: 17, 25, 32, 33)
Yi (aka Houyi) was a mythological archer. He was the chief of the Youqiong Tribe during the Xia Dynasty. Supposedly, in ancient times, there were ten suns that came out in turns, but, tiring of this routine, decided to come out all at once. It became so hot that rocks were melting, people dying, and plants withering, so the current emperor, Yao, begged the father of the suns, Dijun, to control his children. However, the suns did not listen to Dijun. So Dijun sent Houyi, the archer, to earth with a magic bow and arrows. Yi was only supposed to scare the suns, but upon witnessing the destruction they had caused the earth, he became so enraged that he shot nine of them out of the sky, leaving only the present sun. Dijun got so angry at Houyi that he banished the hero to earth to spend the rest of his days as an ordinary mortal. The last sun faithfully fulfilled its duties to the present day.
(Chapters: 5, 20, 23, 24)
Yi Chi See: Xianli Qin, Wu Hou, Ruo Huo, Yi Chi, and Deng Linzi
Yi Er Zi is a fictitious character. His name can be literally translated as "Mr. Trace of a Beard", possibly referring to a young man who is just showing signs of beard growth.
Yi Jie is a fictitious character. His name can be literally translated as "someone who takes requests from foreigners to meet with the king".
Yi Liao was a nobleman of Chu who refused to join in the rebellion staged by Bai Gong in 479 BCE.
(Chapters: 20, 24, 25)
Ying was the capital city of the state of Chu.
(Chapters: 14, 24, 28, 33)
Ying River is located in northern Henan province. The hermit, Xu You, retired there after rejecting the offer of the throne.
Yin Wen See: Song Jian (aka Song Keng) and Yin Wen
Yi Qui is a fictitious town. It's name can be literally translated as "Ant Hill", possibly referring to the fact that the town was very small.
Yi Yin was a renowned chef who went to Tang (the first ruler of the Shang Dynasty) to show off his skills. Tang was so impressed by Yi Yin's cooking abilities that he made him prime minister of the country.
(Chapters: 23, 28)
You Dou was possibly a mythological hidden and isolated community.
You Hu was a small state. See: Zong, Kuai and Xu Ao
You Li was a small territory just south of Anyang in Shensi province.
Yu (aka Yu the Great, Si Wenming) (c. 2070-2061 BCE) was the legendary first ruler and founder of the Xia Dynasty. During the reign of emperor Shun, the nine major rivers in China overflowed and caused a great flood. Shun appointed Yu to deal with the problem. Some say he used magic, and others say that after years of hard work he managed to stop the floods by digging a gigantic drainage system. The floods withdrew, and China was saved. Following the example of Yao, Shun made Yu co-ruler in the twenty-third year of his reign. After Shun died Yu moved his capital to Anyi, and adopted the name of his former principality, Xia, as the name of the dynasty he now founded. He made the sons of Yao and Shun feudal lords over territories called Tang and Yu, respectively. As ruler, Yu desired to maintain the closest relations with his people, and caused to be hung at the entrance to his court five instruments---a drum, a gong, a stone instrument, a bell, and a rattle. The drum was to announce the coming of a caller who desired to discourse with him upon any of the virtues which should adorn a monarch. By beating the gong, he who disapproved of the king's conduct could be admitted to audience. If any one had important news, or personal grievances to communicate, he had but to strike the stone instrument, or ring the bell, as the case might be, in order to gain admittance. These instruments kept Yu so very busy that he was always late at his midday meal. As Yu was ninety-three years when he came to the throne, he did not rule long before death put an end to his distinguished eight-year career.
(Chapters: 1, 2, 12, 14, 17, 20, 29, 33)
Yuan Feng is a fictitious character. His name can be literally translated as "Contained Wind".
Yuan Xian was a disciple of Confucius who wasn't bothered by living in poverty.
Yue was a state situated in what is now Zhejiang province to the southwest of the state of Chu. It was originally considered to be a barbarian kingdom. The state was famous for the quality of its metalworking, in particular its swords. Little is known of its ancient history, except for a long war between its King Goujian and the state of Wu at the beginning of the fifth century BCE. That war ended with the destruction of Wu in 472 BCE. It then grew as a relatively powerful kingdom, but its isolated situation never made it strong, and it was destroyed by Chu in 334 BC.
(Chapters: 1, 5, 20, 24, 26, 28, 29, 33)
Yue was capital city of the state of Yue. Yue is now the modern city of Nanjing.
Yue the butcher is a fictitious character.
Yu Er was a legendary fine chef.
Yun Jiang is a fictitious character. His name can be literally translated as "Cloud General".
Yu Qiang was the Chinese sea god and god of the ocean winds. As the god of the sea he assumes the shape of a fish and he rides on two dragons. As the god of the wind he has the body of a bird and a human face.
Yu Qie is a fictitious character. His name can be literally translated as "Just Me".
Zai Lu is probably a fictitious place. Its name can be literally translated as "Province of Slaughterhouses".
Zang was said to be a city on the Wei River in the vicinity of modern Sian.
Zhan Zi (aka Zhan He) was a Daoistic worthy from the state of Wei.
Zeng Shen (aka Zeng, Zeng Zi) (505 - 436 BCE) was a philosopher and student of Confucius. Zeng Shen is credited with authorship of a large portion of the Great Learning, including its foreword. His disciples are believed to have been among the most important compilers of the Analects of Confucius and other Confucian classics. He was considered to be a paragon of filial piety and was greatly respected by Confucius, although he was despised by his own father who nearly beat him to death for damaging the roots of some plants when he was weeding.
(Chapters: 8, 10, 11, 12, 26, 27, 28)
Zhang Ruo is a fictitious character. His name can be literally translated as "Businessman".
Zhang Yi is a fictitious character. His name can be literally translated as "Stubborn Wild Boar".
Zhao (424-222 BCE) was a state whose territory included areas in modern Inner Mongolia, Hebei, Shanxi and Shaanxi provinces. The state of Zhao bordered the states of Qin, Wei and Yan. Its capital was Handan, a suburb of modern-day Handan City in Hebei. At the beginning of the Warring States Period, the state of Zhao was one of the weakest states. Zhao gained strength during the reign of King Wuling of Zhao and waged many battles with neighboring states. In 228 BCE, Qin conquered Zhao.
(Chapters: 17, 23, 30)
Zhao (aka Zhao Wen) was a famous and accomplished zither player and music teacher in ancient China.
Zheng (806-375 BCE) was a state in the middle of ancient China in modern Henan Province. Zheng was founded in 806 BCE by Duke Huan of Zheng. Throughout the Spring and Autumn Period, Zheng was one of the wealthiest states, relying on its central location for interstate commerce and having the largest number of merchants of any state. Zheng often used its wealth to bribe itself out of difficult situations. Zheng was also home to many skilled statesmen, the most famous being Zi Chan. By the later stages of the period, Zheng had no room to expand, since due to its centralized location it was hemmed in on all sides by larger states. During the later stages of the Spring and Autumn Period, Zheng frequently switched its diplomatic alliances. Zheng was the center of diplomatic contention between Chu and Qi, then later Chu and Jin. Although Zheng was forced to become a bit player in the later stages of the Spring and Autumn Period, it was still quite strong, defeating a combined alliance of Jin, Song, Chen and Wei by itself in 607 BCE. Under the statesman Zi Chan, Zheng was the first state to clearly establish a code of law in 543 BCE. Zheng later declined until it was annexed by the state of Han in 375 BCE.
(Chapters: 7, 28, 32)
Zheng Kao Fu - Palmer/Breuilly claim he's an ancestor of Confucius from the eighth century BCE. I can't find any reference to him. His name can be literally translated as "Proper Old Father".
Zhi (state of) See: Zong, Kuai and Xu Ao
Zhi (aka Zi Zhi) was a minister to Kuai (the King of Yan). When Yan was being attacked by the larger states, Kuai decided to give over the throne to Zhi. Zhi refused to accept rulership, but it was just a ploy to show how worthy he was by acting humble. Kuai made him king in 316 BCE, and the state of Yan was soon overthrown by the state of Qi.
Zhi Gong is a legendary character who testified against his own father for stealing sheep because he had been convinced by the government that his loyalty had to be to them.
Zhi He is a fictitious character. His name can be literally translated as "Perceptively Harmonious".
Zhi Li Shu is a fictitious character. His name depicts an uncle who has abandoned the responsibilities of his family. The eldest son in a family (Shu - uncle) was supposed to take responsibility for making important decisions for the rest of his siblings and their families. Zhi Li Shu probably refers to a man who has left the confines of his family and become a recluse (spiritual hermit).
Zhi Li Yi is a fictitious character. His name can be literally translated as "Continuously Breaking Things Apart".
Zhi River empties into Dong Ting Lake in Hunan province.
Zhong (aka Wen Zhong) was an advisor to Gou Jian (King Gou Jian of Yue). While Gou Jian was on Kuai Ji mountain, he governed Yue. When Gou Jian returned to Yue, he started a reform, and after he had a decisive victory against the state of Wu, he had Zhong killed, as he thought it was dangerous to keep politicians after wartime.
Zhong Ni See: Confucius
Zhong Shan was a fiefdom in the state of Wei. It was located in modern Hebei province outside of Beijing.
Zhong Yang might have been a mythological person, but there is no reference to him in historical records. His name can be literally translated as "Official Mediator", which could possibly refer to the fact that he was held up as the first person to have been a mediator between people with conflicts.
Zhou (aka King Zhou of Shang, King Di Xin of Shang) was the last king of the Shang Dynasty (c. 1050 BCE). In the early part of his reign he is said to have had abilities which surpassed the ordinary man, and was quick-witted and quick-tempered. In his later years, he was given over to drinking, women and a lack of morals, preferring these to the proper governance of the country, and ignored almost all affairs of state. He committed all manner of evil and cruel deeds. His uncle, Prince Bi Gan, remonstrated with him, but Zhou had his heart ripped out so he could see what the heart of a sage looked like.
(Chapters: 4, 17, 26, 29)
Zhou was the capital city of the state of Song.
Zhou in Zhuangzi refers to The Western Zhou Dynasty (11th century - 771 BCE) The Zhou clan had lived long and developed in the area of Shaanxi and Gansu. Later it centered its activities in Zhouyuan south of the Qi Mountains. By the early eleventh century BCE, the Zhou had become powerful. It attacked neighbouring states to expand its territory and moved its capital from Zhouyuan to the western bank of the Feng River in the Chang'an County. Its expansion east brought it into sharp conflict with the Shang Dynasty. In approx. 1027 BCE the Zhou Dynasty sought to overthrow the Shang Dynasty and succeeded.
(Chapters: 8, 14, 28)
Zhou was a state located in the Wei River valley in present day Shaanxi Province. It is said to have been the home state of Mencius, the philosopher.
(Chapters: 13, 14, 20, 28, 33)
Zhou River is located in modern Sichuan province. It used to be an area which was beset by floods along the Yellow river until modern canals were built.
Zhuangzi (aka Zhuang Zhou)
(Chapters: 5, 14, 17, 18, 20, 21, 22, 24, 25, 26, 27, 30, 32, 33)
Zhuan Xu (aka Gao Yang Shi) was the grandson of Huang Di (aka the Yellow Emperor). He was an exalted emperor (2514-2436 BCE) who had the first temple built for sacrifices to the spirits (The Black Palace). According to tradition, men and deities were all mixed up before the period of Zhuan Xu, when every human being could make direct contact with the deities. Then Zhuan Xu separated men from the deities, making it certain that Heaven is Heaven and Earth is Earth, so that people on Earth could not make direct contact with Heaven. This is the so-called "severance of ties between Earth and Heaven."
Zhun Mang is a fictitious character. His name can be literally translated as "Diligent Explorer".
Zhuo Lu is a defunct prefecture on the border of the present provinces of Hebei and Liaoning where Huang Di and Chi You are said to have had their last and decisive battle.
Zhu Ping Man was a fictitious character. His name can be literally translated as "Unrestrained Bloody Ravine".
Zhu Rong might have been a mythological person, but there is no reference to him in historical records. His name can be literally translated as "Sacrificial Preacher", which could possibly refer to the fact that he was held up as the first person to have presided over a ritual of sacrifice.
Zhu Shen is a fictitious character. His name can be literally translated as "Officer in charge of Kidneys" and he is referred to as a medical student.
Zi Chan (aka Gongsun Qiao) was the most outstanding statesman of the State of Zheng. Born in Zheng to an aristocratic family, Zi Chan was a statesman of Zheng from 544 BCE until his death in 522 BCE. Under Zi Chan, Zheng even managed to expand its territory, a difficult task for a small state surrounded by several large states. As a philosopher, Zi Chan separated the domains of heaven and the human world, arguing against superstition and believing that humans should be grounded in reality.
Zi Gao was the Duke of She in the state of Chu who was able to suppress a rebellion in 479 BCE.
Zi Gong was a disciple of Confucius who later served as an official in the state of Wei. Zi Gong liked to praise others' virtue and couldn't tolerate others' vices. He also liked to do business. He used the price difference during different seasons to buy goods when they were cheaper and sell them when they were more expensive. He accumulated a lot of wealth and lived his later years peacefully in the state of Qi.
(Chapters: 6, 12, 14, 18, 28, 29, 31)
Zi Lai is a fictitious character. His name can be literally translated as "Great Messenger".
Zi Lao is a fictitious character. His name can be literally translated as "Keeper of Sacrificial Animals".
Zi Li is a fictitious character created by Zhuangzi. His name can be literally translated as "Great Plowman".
Zi Lu was a disciple of Confucius who was previously renowned for his swordsmanship.
(Chapters: 13, 17, 21, 25, 28, 29, 31)
Zi Qi was the minister of war under King Zhao of Chu.
Zi Qin Zhang is a fictitious character. His name can be literally translated as "Great Lute Stringer".
Zi Sang Hu is a fictitious character. His name can be literally translated as "Great Silkworm Cultivator".
(Note: He is not the person with the same name mentioned in chapter 20)
Zi Sang Yu is a fictitious character. His name can be literally translated as "Sir Mulberry Rainbow".
(Note: He is not the person with the same name mentioned in chapter 6)
Zi Si is a fictitious character. His name can be literally translated as "Great Sacrificial Attendant".
Zi Wei Mountain is located in southern Zhejiang Province. It's composed of strangely shaped rocks and considered to be home to dragons. Its name can be literally translated as "Black Curtain".
Zi Xu (aka Wu Zi Xu, Wu Yuan) was originally from the State of Chu, but he later sought refuge in the State of Wu where achieved great accomplishments for that state. When the State of Wu came to the fore during the Warring States Period, however, Fu Chai, the king of Wu, became arrogant. He rejected worthy men and welcomed those of low quality, disregarding the criticism of the loyal and killing those who had rendered outstanding service. Wu Zixu was forced to commit suicide and his body was then sewn inside a sack made of horse leather and thrown into the Yangtze River.
(Chapters: 10, 18, 26, 29)
Zi Yu is a fictitious character. His name can be literally translated as "Great Charioteer".
Zi Zhang is a fictitious character. His name can be literally translated as "Sir Expansion".
Zi Zhou Zhi Bo is probably a fictitious character. His name can be literally translated as "Secondary Official of a Township".
Zi Zhou Zhi Fu is probably a fictitious character. His name can be literally translated as "Senior Official of a Township".
Zong, Kuai and Xu Ao (mentioned in chapter 2), Cong, Zhi and Xu Ao (mentioned in chapter 4), and You Hu (mentioned in chapter 4) refer to small states, possibly fictitious creations as there is no mention of them elsewhere in historical records.
Zun Lu might have been a mythological person, but there is no reference to him in historical records. His name can be literally translated as "Potion Distiller", which could possibly refer to the fact that he was held up as the first person to have been a pharmacist.
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