Character profile

Jie (birth and death unknown), a native of Xihe (present-day Anyang City, Henan Province), was the son of Fa, the last ruler of the Xia Dynasty. Known as Xia Jie, he was a famous tyrant in history. He reigned for 52 years (1652-1600 B.C. in the Xia, Shang and Zhou dynasties project), and his capital was located in Xin (present-day Luoyang City, Henan Province).

Jie was a great scholar and warrior, but he was a despotic and tyrannical ruler. Under the plan of the famous minister Yi Yin, Shang Tang started to invade Jie. Tang first destroyed Jie’s henchmen, Jiwei and Gu, and defeated Kunwu, and then forced the important town of Xia Dynasty, Mingjiao (now Xia County, Shanxi Province). Later, Tang caught up with him and captured him, and banished him to Nan Chao, which led to the downfall of the Xia Dynasty. He died a few years later in Nan Chao.


Political rule

Xia Jie Rider
Jie, surnamed Si, Xia Hou clan, the name of Jie (a Cui Jie), the son of the emperor hair, Jie is his posthumous name, so history is called Xia Jie. After the death of Di Fa, Jie succeeded to the throne of the Xia Dynasty.

During Jie’s reign, the vassals of various countries no longer came to celebrate. The Xia royal family does not repair the internal affairs, external problems, class conflicts are becoming increasingly acute, the people do not want to live, the crisis. But the Xia Jie did not think about making progress and was extravagant and lavish. According to “Bamboo Book Chronicles”, he “built a palace, decorated a dazzling platform, made a jade room, and set up a jade door”. He also searched for beautiful women from all over the world, hid them in the harem, and drank wine and had fun with Xia Jie and his court ladies day and night. It is said that the wine pond was built so big that it could sail a boat, and things like drowning while drunk often happened, which was absurd and nonsensical and often made the wife laugh.

Seeing that Xia Jie was so lavish and extravagant, the official of Tai Shi ordered Ji Gu to go to the palace and advise Xia Jie crying, saying: “Since ancient times, emperors are diligent and thrifty to cherish the power of the people, so that they can be loved by the people. The blood and sweat of the people should not be used for the entertainment of one person. Such extravagance will only lead to the death of the kingdom.” The minister Guan Longdang advised Xia Jie several times, but Xia Jie refused to listen to him. Guan Longdang said, “The world can be stable and the dynasty can be stable only if the son of heaven is modest and faithful, frugal and protects the wise. Now his majesty is so extravagant, so fierce in killing, that the people hope he will be destroyed sooner than later. Hearing this, Xia Jie was very angry and ordered Guan Long Pang to be killed, so that the Xia dynasty became more corrupt and Xia Jie lost the hearts of the people. In his later years, Jie was even more lascivious and ordered to build a large pool, called the “night palace”, he took a large group of men and women mixed in the pool, a month without going to court. It was in this way that Xia Jie pushed the Xia dynasty to the point of destruction.

Time is lost

The Xia Jie relied on treacherous ministers and excluded wise ministers. He reused a villain named Zhao Liang, who was devoted to Jie’s interests and taught him how to enjoy himself and how to extort and kill people. In the 17th year after Jie succeeded to the throne, Yi Yin was introduced to Jie, and he persuaded Jie with the benevolent policies of Yao and Shun, hoping that Jie would understand the people’s sufferings and govern the world with his heart.

Before leaving, Jie proudly told Yi Yin, “The relationship between the people and me is the relationship between the sun and the moon. If the moon does not perish, will the sun perish?” After Yi Yin left, he told this to Cheng Tang, who also told this to the Xia people to test their attitude toward Jie. To his surprise, Xia Min pointed at the sun and cursed Jie, “When will the sun die? I, the moon, am willing to die with you (when will the sun die, I will die with you)!” This is the origin of the idiom “When will the sun die?”, which expresses the hatred to die with the hater.

Cheng Tang’s Conquest of the Jie

At that time, the Jie of Xia was politically tyrannical and living a lascivious life, and one of the vassals, the Kunwu clan, was in rebellion. Tang then rose to take command of the lords, and Yi Yin swore to follow him to the death. Shang Tang leaped on his horse, wielding an axe in his hand to attack Kunwu, and then to crush Xia Jie. Tang was full of confidence and said with great enthusiasm: “Come over here, come closer, listen to me carefully, it’s not that I am bold and rebellious, it’s just that the Xia Dynasty has done a lot of evil and deserves it! We all say that the Xia Dynasty is guilty, I fear the majesty of heaven, I can not not go to attack the Xia Jie. Now the Xia dynasty has committed many sins, and it is the old heaven that ordered me to exterminate him. All of you who are here may complain, ‘Our king did not have mercy on us and abandoned our farming, so that we could go and attack the Xia dynasty. And you all say, ‘He is guilty, and what are his sins?’ Listen to me, because Xia Jie used up all the labor of the people, and consumed the power of the Xia dynasty endlessly, so that all the people slackened off and did not cooperate with him, and all the people of the world said, ‘When will this damned sun of Xia Jie die? We are all willing to die with you.’ I will definitely conquer Xia Jie because he is so bad. If you assist me and do the will of heaven, I will reward you greatly. Please do not doubt that I will not tell a lie. If you do not obey me and bind your vows, then I will kill you, and there will be no pardon.” After these words of admonition, the officer in charge of the documents was ordered to write them down, and this was the Oath of Tang. Tang considered himself very brave and martial, and was called King Wu.

Xia Jie was defeated in the old land of Aigu and fled to Mingjiao (east of Fengqiu in Henan province), where the Xia army was completely defeated and exiled Xia Jie to Nanchao, where he eventually died in Mount Ting. Tang then attacked the state of Sanjiake and took the precious jade from its land, and Tang’s vassals, Yi Bo and Zhong Bo, wrote “Dengbao”. After Tang defeated Jie of Xia, he wanted to relocate the shrine of Xia, but failed to do so, and wrote “Xia She” (now unknown). After Yi Yin’s complete victory, he promulgated a series of benevolent measures, and the lords all submitted to Shang Tang, who then ascended to the honorable position of Son of Heaven and pacified the whole country.

Character Evaluation

General Comments

Xia Jie was politically perverse, close to the villain and far from the gentleman, headstrong and self-opinionated, and listened to slander. The upright and honest people were either killed or left him. Xia Jie reigned for several decades, but he was already a rebel.

Evaluation through the ages

Mo Zhai (Mozi): “The tyrannical kings Jie, Zhou, You and Li were both evil to the people of the world, and the rate of criticizing the sky and insulting the ghosts, and there were many thieves, so the sky was plagued by them, so that they lost their country and died for the love of the world, and the descendants of the future generations destroyed them, and they have not stopped.”

Sima Qian, “The Records of the Grand Historian”: ① “Jie did not care about the virtue of the military injury to the people, the people can not.” ② “Xia Jie was lustful and arrogant, and was released from the song strip.”

Liu Xiang “female biography”: “Jie both abandoned ritual and righteousness, lust in women, seeking beautiful women, accumulated in the harem, to collect advocates, dwarfs, apostles can play for the strange and powerful, gathered in the side. Create romping music, day and night with the end of Xi and the palace girls drinking wine, there is no time to rest. He put Mao Xi on his knee and listened to his words. He was confused and disorderly, extravagant and self-indulgent. For the wine pool can carry the boat, drunk and drowned, the end of the joy of laughing at it.”

Sima Zhen, “The Records of the Grand Historian So Yin”: “contemplating his Ming Article, its end does not make!”

Wei collects, “Book of Wei – Volume 64 – The Fifth Second of the Biography”: “Xia Jie was lewd and disorderly, and Nan Chao had an unfortunate punishment”.

Measures for government

Social System

(In China during the Xia Jie period, society was divided into three classes: the slave-owning class, the slave class, and the commoner class. Most of the slave owners were transformed from the clan nobles and tribal leaders at the end of the patriarchal clan society.

They seized a large amount of wealth in exchange and expanded their power in war, and eventually became the slave-owning class, which possessed all the means of production and the producers themselves, and became the rulers of the society. They indulged in drinking, hunting, singing and dancing all day long, without caring about the slaves.

Slaves were converted from captives in the plundering wars between clans and tribes, and some poor members of clan communes were turned into slaves. In the Xia Dynasty, the slaves were called “people”, “people”, “people”, “people”, “people Those who were engaged in animal husbandry were called “herdsmen” or “servants”; slaves in slave-owning families were called “vassals” (men) and “concubines” (women). “Concubines” (female).

In the eyes of slave owners, slaves were only “talking tools”. Slaves were herded by the slave owners in batches to farm, graze, and do all kinds of heavy manual labor. The slave owners were free to put the slaves in prison and kill them with severe punishment.

Historical Records

Historical Records – Volume 2 – The Second Book of Xia (Xia Benji)

Historical Records – Volume 3 – The Third Book of Yin


The death of Xia Xia Xi

The first statement, spies say.

According to the Records of the State Language, 妺喜 conspired with Yi Yin, a minister of Shang Dynasty, to bring about the downfall of Xia Dynasty. It is very likely that 妺喜 (mòxǐ) became a character like Xi Shi, a spy sent to Xia Dynasty by the You Shi clan.

The second statement, loss of favor retaliated.

According to “Bamboo Book Chronicles”, Xia Jie attacked Minshan, Minshan followed the example of You Shi’s and offered two beautiful women, one named Wan and one named Diem (Wan is the meaning of beautiful jade), Xia Jie loved the two women very much, although they did not have children, Xia Jie still carved the word “Wan” with camas jade and the word “Diem” with Chinese jade ” to show his love. Xia Jie, on the other hand, was neglected and placed in the area of Luo Shui. Xia Jie was resentful and secretly communicated with Yi Yin to reveal the secrets of Xia Dynasty. Xia Jie only cared about the beauty in front of him and forgot his former lover, so Xia Xi cooperated with Yi Yin and the Xia dynasty was destroyed.

Origin of posthumous name

Shang Shu-Shang Shu-Zhong Vu’s Grant: “Cheng Tang released Jie in Nan Chao.” Huainanzi – Xiuwu: “Tang” (Huainanzi – Xiuwu): “He made a whole army and trapped Jie in Nanchao, and Qiao released him to Alexandria for his mistakes.” Xunzi – Unclouding: “Jie died at Mount Ting.” From the above documents, we can see that after the Spring and Autumn Period, “Xia” and “Jie” often refer to the same person: Xia Jie. And “Jie” is only a posthumous name, the last king of Xia named Di Cudgel, was called “Jie” only after his death. Why was Jie called “Jie” after his death? The Kangxi Dictionary “Jie” article says: “Ji Yun: Ju Li Che. …… limbs also. …… Ancient people called Jie crafty, its fierce violence like limbing also. And posthumous law: thieves more kill said Jie.” So the posthumous name for the emperor Cuijue “Jie” may be in view of the life of the Xia Jie atrocities to say.

There is also a saying that the posthumous name “Jie” is most likely made according to the tragic death of Xia Jie. The word “Xia” is not found in the oracle bones, but first appeared in the Jin inscriptions. The character “Xia” in Jinwen that we can see today is the character “Xia” in Qin Gong Gui. It is not only horrible, but also bloody. The character “Xia” represents a man whose left arm is nowhere to be seen, whose right hand is holding his leg with his right foot cut off, and whose left leg has been cut off from the thigh down; two knives are thrown around him. It is just like the words describing the state of a tragic death. There are few historical documents to prove the ferocity of Xia Jie, so it is possible that Xia Jie became a synonym for ferocity. The Xia dynasty was actually a dynasty that seldom waged wars abroad. The reason why the word “Jie” was used as the posthumous name of Xia Jie is most likely based on the tragic death of Xia Jie.

The Palace and the Terrace

In order to satisfy his own lavish life, Xia Jie spared no effort to build a large number of buildings. It is said in the history books that he built the Qing Palace and the Yao Terrace. The Qing Palace is a kind of tall building, because of the high, people standing on the upper floor have a sense of tilting danger. Some say it was a large palace, covering an area of one hectare. No matter which statement, the magnificent palace is amazing. Xia Jie also had many well-known tyranny, such as “wine pools and meat forests”, such as the release of hungry tigers in the city, to enjoy the look of people fleeing in fear, and so on. The people of the country hated Xia Jie so much that they made up a song and sang: “The river is full of water and the oars are defeated. My king is ruined, and I return to Booxi, which is also big.” Bo (Bo) was the capital of the Shang state. This song shows that the Xia Dynasty had lost the hearts of the people. When someone read this song to Xia Jie, he said, “This is evil talk. I have the world like the sky has the sun. It is only when the sun in the sky is finished that my country will perish.” When the people heard this, they pointed to the sun in the sky and said, “O sun, when will you perish, we are willing to perish with you.” The resentment of the common people against Xia Jie can be glimpsed.

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