Tian Pijiang 田辟疆

King Xuan of Qi, who respected the proprietors and opened a free style of study


Chinese Name: 田辟疆

English Name: Tian Pijiang

Other Names: King Xuan of Qi 齐宣王

Born: 350 BC

Died: 301 BC


Confederate princes 会盟诸侯

Fight against the State of Qin 抗击秦国

Build the capital city Linzi 营建都城临淄

Tian Pijiang 田辟疆
Tian Pijiang 田辟疆

Brief Biography of Tian Pijiang

Tian Pijiang, the king of Qi in the Warring States Period 战国, was the son of King Wei of Qi 齐威王.

King Xuan of Qi (about 350 BC~301 BC) was named Piqiang 辟疆. 314 years ago, the Yan King Kuai 燕王哙 abdicated the throne to Prime Minister Zizhi 子之. Prince Ping 平 was forced to fight to regain power but was killed instead. When Yan State was in chaos, Tian Pijiang sent Kuang Zhang 匡章 to lead the army to attack Yan State. Kuai, the king of Yan, was killed, and Zizhi fled. Later, the people of Qi seized him and made him meat paste.

In 312 BC, Tian Pijiang killed the queen and later married Zhong Lichun 钟离春. It is said that Zhong Lichun is a very ugly woman. Later, he asked Mencius 孟子 for advice on how to dominate the world. Mencius took advantage of the situation to persuade Tian Pijiang to abandon hegemony and go on the royal road. However, Tian Pijiang did not listen to him.

Tian Pijiang 田辟疆
Lanyuchongshu 滥竽充数

Instead, he corrupted military discipline and plundered people’s wealth, which led to the rebellion of the Yan people. Soon, Qi’s army was forced to withdraw under the pressure of Zhao, Wei, Han, Chu, Qin, and other countries, while Yan’s people hailed Zhi 职 as the king.

Tian Pijiang loved to listen to the Yu and asked 300 people to play together. Mr. Nanguo could not play the yu and joined the yu band until his death; King Min of Qi 齐湣王 liked to play alone when he was a prince, so the people fled quickly. This is the origin of the idiom Lanyuchongshu 滥竽充数.

Personal Life and Major Contributions

Military achievements

In 314 B.C., civil strife broke out in Yan State 燕国, and Tian Pijiang took the opportunity to send troops to intervene. It took only 50 days to capture Ji 蓟 (now Beijing 北京), the capital of Yan, and almost destroyed Yan. But it also foreshadowed the decline of Qi.

Tian Pijiang 田辟疆
Lanyuchongshu 滥竽充数示意图

Thirty years later, in order to avenge this, King Zhao of Yan 燕昭王, under the command of Le Yi 乐毅, commanded Yan and the allied forces of Zhao, Qin, Han, and Wei to attack Qi. He had captured more than 70 cities, leaving Qi with only two isolated cities, Jimo 即墨 and Ju 莒. Although he finally relied on Tian Dan 田单 to break through the enemy and restore the country with a fire cow array, Qi declined.

Cultural achievement

Tian Pijiang saw that the Western Qin State was becoming more and more powerful in attracting talents and governing people, so he began to develop cultural undertakings. Tian Pijiang loved literature lobbying. He spent a lot of money to attract scholars from all over the world to come to the “Jixia Academy 稷下学宫” of the State of Qi. Seventy-six people, including Zou Yan 驺衍, Chunyu Kun 淳于髡, Tian Pian 田骈, Jieyu 接予, Shendao 慎到, and Huanyuan 环渊, came after hearing the news.

All of them were given to the mansion. They became officials and let them talk freely instead of holding official positions. Jixia Scholars in the State of Qi gradually increased, with nearly hundreds of thousands of people, making the Jixia Academy prosperous.

Tian Pijiang 田辟疆
Mencius 孟子

Among them are Er Shuo 儿说, Gao Zi 告子, Song Miao 宋钘, Yin Wen 尹文, Peng Meng 彭蒙, Ji Zhen 季真, etc; Meng Ke 孟轲, a Confucian master, lived in the country for more than 30 years; Xunqing 荀卿, who is a master of a hundred schools, came to Qi when he was 15 years old. He was the most senior teacher in Jixia Academy.

Jixia Academy has gathered scholars from Confucianism, Mohism, Taoism, Legalism, Military Science, Punishment, Yin and Yang, Farming, and Miscellaneous Schools to write books and carry out academic research, form an unprecedented hundred schools of thought contend, and create China’s brilliant “Pre Qin Culture”.

Try to evade a question by changing the subject 顾左右而言他

Mencius once said to Tian Pijiang, “There was a man who wanted to go to the State of Chu and entrusted his wife and children to his friend, who would take care of them. When he came back, he knew that his wife and children had been suffering from cold and hunger and that the friend had never done his duty to take care of them. What do you say to such a friend?”

Tian Pijiang 田辟疆
Mr. Nanguo 南郭先生

King Xuan of Qi replied, “Break up with him!” Mencius also said, “There is an officer who carries out laws and disciplines and is in charge of punishment, but he can’t even manage his own subordinates. What do you think should be done?” King Xuan of Qi said, “Dismiss him!”

Finally, Mencius said, “In the whole country, political affairs are in turmoil, and the people cannot live and work in peace and contentment. What do you think should be done?” King Xuan of Qi looked at his left and right ministers and deliberately took the topic elsewhere.

Video: Public Voices – The Era of Hundred Schools of Thought Contending, China EP2

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