Surrogate for the king: two men who won wealth by relying on women in the Warring States Period

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The first two sentences of the song of Chinese dynasties sing “Tang Yao, Yu Shun, Xia Shang and Zhou dynasties, the spring and Autumn period and the Warring States period were chaotic”, which vividly illustrates that in the Warring States period (476-221 BC), social unrest and the emergence of a large number of strange men, it was an era of “endless military revolution and fraud”. The more familiar figures are su Qin and Zhang Yi, two “debaters”, who recorded their classic deeds such as “vertical and horizontal cooperation” in detail in the “Warring States policy” and “historical records”. Now let’s take a look at the two events of “Handan advocated the change of government for women” in the late Warring States period. Its means are vicious and deliberate. It’s really wonderful. It’s still surprising and shocking to read it more than 2000 years later.

The first person to appear on the stage is Li Yuan. During the Warring States period, nobles were fond of supporting scholars. Scholars, in ancient times, were samurai, and later evolved into scholars as the main body in the Warring States period. “Analects of Confucius · Zilu chapter” Zilu asked Confucius: teacher, what kind of talents can be called “scholars”? Confucius replied: if you keep a sense of shame for your actions, go abroad, and can complete your mission well, you can be called a “Scholar”. Later, Confucius further said: friends criticize each other and brothers live in harmony is “scholars”. At that time, taxis were “talking about administering chaos”, “discussing political affairs” or “discussing state affairs”. They were not really masters and servants, teachers and friends or friends with the nobility, nor were they completely a modern career of consultants and consultants. “Mencius Teng Wengong” criticized: “after the spring and Autumn period, virtuous and wise saints did not appear, princes and kings were unscrupulous, and ordinary scholars also came out to make comments, and heresies such as Yang Zhu and Mo Zhai became popular.” After Qin Shihuang unified China, the cultural scene of “hundred schools of thought contending” gradually disappeared with the political storm of “burning books and pitching Confucianism”. At that time, the well-known were xinlingjun of the state of Wei, Chunshen Jun of the state of Chu, Pingyuan Jun of the state of Zhao, and mengchang Jun of the state of Qi, commonly known as the “four princes of the Warring States period”. They were all big names of “three thousand diners”. Li Yuan was one of the guests of Huang Xie, the spring Shen Jun of the state of Chu.

Huang Xie (? – 238 BC) in his early years, Prince Wan, who accompanied King Qingxiang of Chu, was taken hostage by the state of Qin. During the period of King Zhao of Qin, with his talent and courage, he helped Prince Wan escape from the state of Qin. After King Qingxiang of Chu died, Prince Wan ascended the throne, which was king kaolie (262 BC – 238 BC). King kaolie did not forget Huang Xie’s virtue of fighting to save each other. He worshipped him as the prime minister (that is, “Lingyin”, the official position of the state of Chu is different from that of other countries, and Lingyin is the highest level Chief Executive), and granted twelve counties in Huaibei with the name of “Chunshen Jun”. He served as a deacon for 25 years. In fact, he has a prominent position and power of “below one person, above ten thousand people”. At this time, Li Yuan, a member of the state of Zhao, took refuge in Huang Xie and became a small official of sacrificing people (Yan shigu’s note: sacrificing people, private officials also). In fact, he did not have a particularly outstanding talent. However, Li Yuan had a pretty sister and was good at singing and dancing.

“Handan initiative” was famous all over the world. At that time, the Empresses of princes in various countries were full of beauties of Zhao. Li Yuan took great pains to take advantage of this special trump card. He asked Huang Xie, the spring emperor, for home leave, but deliberately delayed his return by a few days. When Huang Xie asked the reason for the late return, Li Yuan replied with an affected gesture, “the king of Qi sent envoys to ask for my sister. Because he entertained and accompanied the envoys to drink, he came back late.” Hearing that a folk woman was taken in by the king of Qi, she must be gorgeous, so Huang Xie was a little interested: “are you engaged?” Li Yuan, like a mouse, saw rice and hurriedly replied, “not yet.” “May I have a look?” Huang Xie’s question naturally answered “OK”. So Li Yuan dedicated his sister to Huang Xie. Her sister was blessed with both good looks and skills, and she became pregnant after one month.

Li Yuan’s betrayal of his sister’s appearance is only the initial stage of maximizing benefits. He learned that there are countless beauties in the harem of King kaolie of Chu, but he has not given birth to a man and a half. “Warring States policy · king kaolie of Chu has no children” records that king kaolie of Chu has never had children. Therefore, Huang Xie has widely sought and collected young women who are easy to get pregnant into the palace, but it is still useless. Li Yuan, who was skilled in calculation, couldn’t help doubting the fertility of King kaolie of Chu. To be on the safe side, Li Yuan’s brothers and sisters planned a series of ways to enter the body, that is, first let her sister be lucky to be in the spring Emperor Huang Xie, and after pregnancy, use Huang Xie to recommend, enter the Chu palace, and then compete for the queen. Now the early stage is smooth. Under the guidance of my brother, His sister took the opportunity to persuade Chun Shenjun: “The king of Chu valued and trusted you far more than his brothers. Now you have been in power for more than 20 years, but the king has never had a son, and once the king dies, another brother will be appointed to the throne. At that time, the new king will reuse old friends and confidants, how can you enjoy wealth for a long time? Not only that, there are more unpredictable disasters. Now you are extremely noble, and you can’t help being disrespectful to the brothers of the king of Chu Once the brother of the king of Chu becomes king. How to preserve your seal and fief? My body can get your favor. It’s not a long time and I’m pregnant, and no one else knows. If you come forward and offer your concubine to the king of Chu, the king of Chu will be happy. If God blesses and gives birth to your son, then your son will be king in the future, and the state of Chu will be yours. What better choice than facing an unexpected crime? “

Huang Xie, the prince of Chunshen, was originally very powerful. In the “historical records · biographies of the prince of Chunshen”, it was said that although he was named the prime minister, he was actually the king of Chu. Now it’s a “high achievers”, and it’s very cold. I’m worried about the unknown political situation in the future. After Li Yuan’s sister’s analysis, it’s exactly the all-round strategy of “stealing beams and changing pillars”, especially if the future son is the king of Chu, so I’m floating in the air. Hand is, spring Shen Jun Huang Xie sent Li Yuan’s sister out of the house, arranged another residence, and covered up the fact that she was pregnant because of her affair, pretending that she was an unmarried beautiful woman, and strongly recommended it to King kaolie of Chu. After King kaolie of Chu summoned her to the palace, she was indeed overjoyed and flattered. Later, she gave birth to a son, named mourn, and became the prince, and Li Yuan’s sister was naturally the queen.

One of the hidden rules of ancient officialdom to play politics is “cross the river and tear down the bridge, and kill the donkey”. Li Yuan is such a person. Under the autocratic system, the nepotism is most easily connected with power. Li Yuan, who is the national uncle, was put in the important position of King kaolie of Chu and participated in political affairs. In fact, it formed the sharing and competition of power and wealth with Huang Xie, the king of Chunshen. It is “the mantis catches cicadas, and the Yellow finches are behind”. Historical records say that Li Yuan was afraid that Chunshen Jun would reveal this secret and coerce him into what he did, so he secretly raised many dead men and wanted to kill Chunshen Jun to kill him. Chunshen juntu made wedding clothes for others, but Huang Xie didn’t get rid of a mindset: the Li Yuan brothers and sisters were my recommendation to advance. They should not forget their kindness, especially the prince’s own blood. Therefore, Huang Xie believed that the Li Yuan brothers and sisters were natural allies wishfully. On the surface, Li Yuan always maintained his respect for Chun Shen Jun, which prompted Huang Xie’s carelessness. Zhu Ying, a disciple of the emperor in Chunshen, once reminded, “Li Yuan is not a general, but has raised many assassins and dead soldiers. Once the king of Chu dies, he will be the first to enter the palace and control the power, and he will bring you unexpected disasters in the future.” Unexpectedly, Huang Xie didn’t think so. “Don’t worry about it. Li Yuan is just a coward. I have friends with him. Why kill me?” The doorman Zhu Ying had to leave for fear of harming herself. In 241 BC, 17 days after Zhu Ying left Huang Xie, King kaolie of Chu died of illness. Li Yuan entered the palace in advance and ambushed the assassin. Huang Xie was killed when he was ordered to enter the palace. Later, in case of future trouble, Li Yuan sent someone to behead Huang Xie. Coincidentally, it was exactly the ninth year of Qin Shihuang’s reign that the “Miao poison rebellion” incident involved LV Buwei, the Prime Minister of Qin.

There is a saying: it’s too clever to do all the tricks, but it misses Qingqing’s life. The prince born to Li Yuan’s sister ascended the throne, which was king you of Chu (240-228 BC). King you of Chu reigned for 10 years. Relying on the position of his sister empress dowager Li, Li Yuan upheld the rule of the court, just as Huang Xie had power and raised scholars in those days. In 298 BC, after the death of king you of Chu, his brother (the posthumous son of King kaolie of Chu) ascended the throne as king AI of Chu. Negative Cuan, the younger brother of King kaolie, and others learned that king you of Chu was not the son of King kaolie. They suspected the royal family’s lineage, attacked and killed King AI and Empress Dowager Li, and the Li Yuan family was destroyed. Five years later, General Wang Jian of the state of Qin led his army to break through the state of Chu and captured the king of Chu. So far, the state of Chu was destroyed by the state of Qin.

Coincidentally, the second person to appear was LV Buwei, editor in chief of Lv’s spring and autumn (293-235 BC). As we all know, the story of “historical records · biographies of LV Buwei” says that LV Buwei was born in Puyang (now the southwest of Puyang, Henan Province) in the state of Wei. Yang Zhai, a big businessman with a fortune, was Qin Xiang at the end of the Warring States period. In Handan, the state of Zhao, he saw Chu (i.e. a strange person), the son of Qin, who was pledged to Zhao, and thought that “rare goods can live in”, so he gave heavy financial assistance, and lobbied an Guojun, the prince of Qin, to pet Mrs. Ji Huayang and establish Chu as his legitimate heir. During the period of Zhao state, LV Buwei had an affair with a Handan singer and knew that he was pregnant. During a drinking period, he dedicated it to Zi Chu. A few months later, he gave birth to his son Mingzheng, which was later the first emperor of Qin who unified China, Yingzheng (259-210 BC). Zi Chu established this singer as his wife. This is the story of “Lv Yiying”. Later, Zi Chu and LV Buwei fled to the state of Qin. An Guojun succeeded as king of Xiaowen, and Zi Chu became the prince. The following year, Zi Chu ascended the throne (i.e. King Zhuang Xiang), appointed LV Buwei as prime minister, and was granted wenxinhou, eating 100000 households in Luoyang, Henan Province. In 247 BC, after the death of King Zhuang Xiang, the 13-year-old Prince Zheng was supported by LV Buwei to perform the “crown ceremony” and wear the “sword”, and completed the ceremony in Yongcheng (now the south of Fengxiang County, Shaanxi Province). King Zheng of Qin claimed to be the first emperor, respected LV Buwei as the prime minister, and was known as the “second father”. There are 3000 diners and 10000 family servants under the lvbuwei gate. At the same time, he ordered diners to compile “Lu’s spring and Autumn Annals”, which combines the theories of various schools in the pre-Qin period, “Confucianism and Mohism, together with the name of law”, and is historically known as “miscellaneous school”. When he was in power, he conquered the land of Zhou, Zhao and Wei, established Sanchuan, Taiyuan and Dongjun, and made great contributions to the cause of the annexation of the six countries by the king of Qin.

The first emperor of Qin is getting bigger and bigger, but the Empress Dowager has been promiscuous. Fearing that the matter would be exposed, Lu Buwei offered Miao Fuyou, a Handan man, to seduce the empress dowager, and then negotiated with the Empress Dowager to convict Miao Sai of pretending to accept “palace punishment” in order to achieve the purpose of serving the Empress Dowager for a long time. After the Empress Dowager had an affair with Miao Du, she also gave birth to two sons. Miao Xi was named changxinhou, and the county of Taiyuan in Hexi was renamed the state of Xi. At this time, in the palace, the decision-making of big and small matters was made by Miao Xuan. Later, the “Miao Xuan rebellion” was killed, implicated LV Buwei, and removed from the position of prime minister. Soon, Yingzheng, the first emperor of Qin, wrote a letter to scold LV Buwei and said, “what credit do you owe to the state of Qin? The state of Qin granted you a hundred thousand families in Henan. What is your blood relationship with the king of Qin? You are called Zhongfu. You and your family moved to Sichuan to live!” The contradiction between them was difficult to heal. LV Buwei thought that he had been gradually forced and was afraid of being killed in the future, so he drank poison and died. The whole incident is not over yet. Sima Zhen of the Tang Dynasty mentioned in his “historical records and hidden secrets”: shortly after Lu Buwei was buried underground in Sichuan, the doorman “secretly buried” his body in Lu Buwei’s former fief, that is, at the foot of Beimang mountain in Luoyang. King Qin Zheng was furious and issued an extremely severe punishment order, which eliminated the huge forces cultivated by Lu Buwei in one fell swoop.

“Handan advocated women’s political change” is a phrase coined through the above historical data. Handan, the ancient capital of Zhao, has a wonderful beautiful dance. There is a saying “Handan Li Bu” and an idiom “Handan Xue bu”. “Advocating women” is the early title of modern “prostitutes or prostitutes”, but in the Warring States period, “advocating women” were actually female singers and dancers. Their most basic feature was their beauty and good at music and dance. In Shuowen, “advocate, be happy” and Zilin, “advocate, be happy”. Dictionaries of later generations, such as zhengzitong and Kangxi dictionary of Song Dynasty, are all interpreted as “women’s music”. Therefore, it is not surprising that kings, princes, nobles and slave owners at that time all had advocates to varying degrees. Historical materials record that when the king of Chu Zhuang first ascended the throne, “he was obscene, holding Qin Ji in his left hand and Yue nu in his right hand”; When Qi Jinggong was in power, “the left is to advocate and the right is to be excellent”; The phenomenon of “thousands of palace prostitutes” after Fu Chai, the king of Wu, shows that the hobby of singing and dancing was widely spread in the upper social life at that time, which made women’s music become not only a high-level entertainment tool, but also a political tool for diplomatic activities and interpersonal relations. Ji, in ancient times, refers specifically to the concubine of an emperor. However, there are also laudatory names for beautiful women, such as the sad and beautiful story of “Farewell My Concubine” by Xiang Yu of Chu and Han Dynasties; Another example is Hou Fangyu’s collection of works of Zhuang regret hall, a Qing Dynasty man, which records the description of “a demon girl and a quiet woman”. In modern literature and film and television works, “Handan advocates women” is abbreviated as “Zhao Ji”, which is a polite term for the concubines of emperors and generals. The difference from the general sense of “bad women bring disaster to water” is that “Handan advocated the change of government for women” is a sneaky political conspiracy. At that time, there was no “DNA paternity testing” technology, because the emperor who got the “high hat” and then wore the “green hat” would slightly bury the foreshadowing of killing for the person who “fooled” him because of problems such as royal blood and personal dignity, I’m afraid it’s one of the reasons why Qinshihuang didn’t have a queen after he became emperor.

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