Biography (SGZ): Xiang Lang (Juda)

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Xiang Lang (Juda)
向朗 (巨達)

Sanguozhi Officer Biography
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Xiang Lang, styled Juda, was a native of Yicheng in Xiangyang (1). He was made Chief of Linju by Liu Biao. When Liu Biao died, he went to serve under Liu Bei. After Liu Bei conquered the lands south of the Yangtze, he appointed Xiang Lang to be in charge of all military and civil affairs of the four counties of Zigui, Yidao, Mushan, and Yiling. Once the lands of Shu were captured, Xiang Lang became Grand Administrator of West Ba (Baxi), before being transferred to Zangke and thence to Fangling. He became Colonel of the Infantry when the Latter Ruler (Liu Shan) came to the throne, and replaced Wang Lian as designated Chief Clerk of the office of the Prime Minister. During Prime Minister Zhuge Liang’s southern expedition he stayed behind to take care of the affairs of the home front, and in the 5th year of Jianxing (AD 227), he followed Zhuge Liang to Hanzhong.

Xiang Lang had been friends with Ma Su. So when Ma Su attempted to escape,A Xiang Lang did not report him. For that Zhuge Liang grew an aversion toward him, and dismissed him and sent him back to Chengdu. However, in a few years’ time, Xiang Lang became Superintendent of the Imperial Household, and after Zhuge Liang’s death, rose to the position of General of the Left. Considering his former contributions, the emperor further granted him the title of Marquis of Xianming Commune, a and the honourary tejin rank.B

When he was younger, Xiang Lang had surveyed the literature, but did not, as he was already famous for his management abilities. Since he lost the position of Chief Clerk, he had not much to engage him; and so for close to 30 years (2) he studied the classical texts in depth, tiring never in his literary pursuits. Even after he passed the 80-year-old mark, he still proofread and edited books by himself, noting the errors in the texts. He was the foremost book-collector of his time. Xiang Lang also received many guests, and encouraged many young scholars – but he would only discuss ancient history and not politics of the current world. Thus he earned great love and respect from high-ranking officers down to children and youngsters. He died in the 10th year of Yanxi (AD 247) (3). His heir, Xiang Tiao, became Chief of the Censorate in the Jianyao years (AD 258-262) (4).

Pei Songzhi’s Notes
(1) Xiangyang Ji: In his youth, Xiang Lang studied under Sima Decao, and was close friends with Xu Yuanzhi (Xu Shu), Han Degao, and Pang Shiyuan (Pang Tong). <return>

(2) I, Pei Songzhi, your servant, remark thus: When Xiang Lang was relieved of his position of Chief Clerk due to involvement in the Ma Su incident, it was in the 6th year of Jianxing (AD 228). Only 20 years have elapsed when he died in the 10th year of Yanxi (AD 247). Thus the number of ‘30’ is erroneous. <return>

(3) Xiangyang Ji: In his will to his sons, Xiang Lang exhorted them thus: “The Histories say that a winning army depends not on sheer number but on internal harmony. This means that the myriad things grow when Heaven and Earth are in harmony, the country is stable when ruler and subject are in harmony, and when all within the nine degrees of family are in harmony, then being active you receive what you desire, and being at rest you receive peace. As thus, the sage abide by the precepts of harmony, from life to death. I am but a nobody from the lands of Chu. Having lost my parents at a young age, I was brought up by my two older brothers, who formed my character – I would not compromise myself for rank or for wealth. True, now I am poor; but poverty is not to be of concern. Only harmony is desirable. May you persevere in my words!” <return>

(4) Xiangyang Ji: Xiang Tiao, styled Wenbao, was also a man of great learning. After he entered Jin he became Grand Administrator of Jiangyang and Major of the Southern Central Army. <return>

Translator Notes
(A) After his defeat at Jieting in AD 228. <return>

(B) Tejin is an honourary rank just below that of the Three Lords, and during the 3k times it was granted to officers with extraordinary contributions to the kingdom. The rank does not change the salary that the officer in question has been receiving. <return>

Copyright © 2002 - 2004
Translated from Chen Shou’s Sanguozhi with Pei Songzhi’s Annotations