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Sima Zhi

Sima Zhi
司馬芝
Minister of Finance (大司農)
In office
c. 230s (c. 230s) – ? (?)
MonarchCao Rui
Intendant of Henan (河南尹)
In office
c. early 220s (c. early 220s) – c. early 230s (c. early 230s)
MonarchCao Pi / Cao Rui
Administrator of Yangping (陽平太守)
In office
c. 210s (c. 210s) – c. early 220s (c. early 220s)
MonarchEmperor Xian of Han (until 220) /
Cao Pi (from 220)
ChancellorCao Cao (until 220)
Administrator of Pei (沛太守)
In office
c. 210s (c. 210s) – c. 210s (c. 210s)
MonarchEmperor Xian of Han
ChancellorCao Cao
Administrator of Ganling (甘陵太守)
In office
c. 210s (c. 210s) – c. 210s (c. 210s)
MonarchEmperor Xian of Han
ChancellorCao Cao
Dalizheng (大理正)
In office
c. 210s (c. 210s) – c. 210s (c. 210s)
MonarchEmperor Xian of Han
ChancellorCao Cao
Prefect of Guangping (廣平令)
In office
c. 210s (c. 210s) – c. 210s (c. 210s)
MonarchEmperor Xian of Han
ChancellorCao Cao
Chief of Jian (County) (菅長)
In office
208 (208) – c. 210s (c. 210s)
MonarchEmperor Xian of Han
ChancellorCao Cao
Personal details
BornUnknown
Wen County, Henan
DiedUnknown
Spouse(s)Dong Zhao's niece
ChildrenSima Qi
Relatives
OccupationOfficial
Courtesy nameZihua (子華)
PeerageSecondary Marquis (關內侯)

Sima Zhi (About this soundpronunciation ) (fl. third century), courtesy name Zihua, was a government official who served in the state of Cao Wei during the Three Kingdoms period of China. He previously served under the warlord Cao Cao during the late Eastern Han dynasty.[1]

Early life

Sima Zhi was from Wen County (溫縣), Henei Commandery (河內郡), which is present-day Wen County, Henan.[2] He was a distant cousin of Sima Lang and Sima Yi,[3] whose descendants became the ruling family of the Jin dynasty. In his early life, when he was still a relative nobody compared to his cousins, Yang Jun recognised his potential and remarked, "Sima Zhi may not be as well known as Sima Lang, but he is actually more talented (than Sima Lang)."[4]

Originally a scholar, Sima Zhi had to leave home when chaos broke out throughout China in the final decades of the Eastern Han dynasty. While en route to Jing Province (covering present-day Hubei and Hunan) in southern China, he and his fellow travellers encountered bandits in the hills near Luyang County (魯陽縣; present-day Lushan County, Henan). As the bandits approached, the other travellers abandoned their elderly and frail companions and fled. Sima Zhi remained behind to protect his mother.[5] When the bandits brandished their weapons at him, he kowtowed and begged them to spare his mother: "My mother is old. Please help me take care of her!" The bandits said, "He's a filial son. It would be unrighteous for us to kill him." They spared him and his mother. Sima Zhi later found a cart for his mother to ride as they continued their journey towards the south.[6][3]

Sima Zhi lived in Jing Province for over ten years and spent his time farming. He also strictly adhered to moral principles.[7]

Service under Cao Cao

As a county chief

In 208,[8] Cao Cao, the warlord who controlled the Han central government, seized control of Jing Province after the provincial governor Liu Cong surrendered to him. Cao Cao recruited Sima Zhi into government service and appointed him as the Chief (長) of Jian County (菅縣; east of present-day Jiyang County, Shandong).[9][3]

Around the time, as the Han Empire was in a state of disorder, there were many people who openly disregarded the laws. In Qing Province's Jinan Commandery (濟南郡), which Jian County was under, there was one Liu Jie (劉節) who served as a registrar (主簿) in the commandery office. Liu Jie came from an elite background and had over 1,000 retainers under him. Some of them were actually robbers and bandits, while others were corrupt bureaucrats.[10]

When it was time for Wang Tong (王同) and some other retainers under Liu Jie to serve in the army, Sima Zhi's personal assistants reminded their superior that Liu Jie had never allowed anyone from his household to perform mandatory military service.[11] Sima Zhi then wrote a letter to Liu Jie as follows: "Sir, you come from an influential family and occupy an important position in the commandery office, yet you allow your retainers to repeatedly avoid serving in the army. The people are very resentful and disappointed. Even the higher-level officials know about this. Wang Tong and the others are due to report for military service. Please send them over when it is time."[12]

On the day the men were ordered to report for duty, Liu Jie not only refused to send Wang Tong and the others to the camp, but also secretly instructed (or bribed) a commandery-level inspector to go to Jian County and deliberately find fault with Sima Zhi's administration. Sima Zhi's subordinates felt intimidated by the inspector so they agreed to serve in the army in place of Liu Jie's retainers.[13] When Sima Zhi found out, he wrote to Hao Guang (郝光), the Administrator of Jinan Commandery, to explain the situation and expose Liu Jie's wrongdoings.[14] Hao Guang, who respected and trusted Sima Zhi, realised that Liu Jie was in the wrong so he ordered Liu Jie to serve in the army. Liu Jie had no choice but to follow orders.[15] After this incident, there was a saying circulating around Qing Province: "(Sima Zhi) turned a commandery registrar into a soldier."[16]

Refusal to associate with Liu Xun

Sima Zhi later became the Prefect (令) of Guangping County (廣平縣; north of present-day Quzhou County, Hebei). At the time, Liu Xun, one of Cao Cao's generals, behaved arrogantly because he believed that, given his past acquaintance with Cao Cao, no one would dare to do anything to him. When he was in charge of guarding Henei Commandery (河內郡), Sima Zhi's home commandery, he allowed his relatives, subordinates and retainers to behave lawlessly and do as they wished.[17]

Liu Xun once wrote a letter to Sima Zhi, without signing off, to ask him for favours. Sima Zhi ignored Liu Xun and continued to do everything by the book.[18] Later, when Liu Xun was accused of plotting a rebellion, many people who had connections to him were implicated and arrested. Sima Zhi, who was unaffected by the incident, received praise for his wisdom in choosing to distance himself from Liu Xun.[19][20]

As a judicial officer and commandery administrator

Sima Zhi later served as a dalizheng (大理正; senior judicial officer) in Cao Cao's vassal kingdom of Wei (魏) after Emperor Xian enfeoffed the warlord as a vassal king in the year 216.[20][21]

During this time, Sima Zhi heard a case of theft in which a maid was accused of stealing silk from the official treasury and hiding it in the latrine. She had already been arrested and thrown into prison for interrogation.[22]

After hearing the case, Sima Zhi wrote to Cao Cao:

"One of the flaws of the criminal justice system lies in its severity and cruelty. In this case, the evidence was found before the suspect was brought in for questioning. When suspects succumb to torture during interrogation, they will most likely falsely admit to the crimes they are accused of, even when they are actually innocent. Confessions extracted through torture should not be taken as conclusive evidence of a suspect's guilt. It is in line with the teachings of the ancient sages to make the laws as simple as possible so that the common people can understand them. It is most vulgar and crude to assume that all suspects are guilty and go all out to make them confess just because we want to prevent those who are truly guilty from getting away. By releasing suspects, we are actually making it easier for the common people to understand the workings of the system. Is that not a better option?"[23]

Cao Cao heeded Sima Zhi's advice.[24]

Sima Zhi was later reassigned to be the Administrator (太守) of Ganling (甘陵; around present-day Linqing, Shandong), Pei (沛; around present-day Xuzhou, Jiangsu) and Yangping (陽平; around present-day Handan, Hebei) commanderies.[20] He performed well while serving in these offices.[25]

Service under Cao Pi

Sima Zhi continued serving in the state of Cao Wei, established by Cao Cao's son Cao Pi, after the end of the Eastern Han dynasty in late 220.[26] In the middle of Cao Pi's reign, he was appointed as the Intendant of Henan (河南尹), i.e., the administrator of the capital commandery.[20] During his tenure, he kept elite influence in check, helped the poor, and governed in an impartial manner without showing favour to anyone.[27] He also managed to convince Cao Pi to restore the wuzhu (五銖) coinage, which was previously used in the Han dynasty, as an official currency of the Cao Wei state.[20]

On one occasion, a palace official wanted a favour from Sima Zhi but was afraid to ask him directly, so he requested Dong Zhao, an uncle of Sima Zhi's wife, to ask on his behalf. However, Dong Zhao also felt intimidated by Sima Zhi and did not ask him.[28]

Sima Zhi once lectured his subordinates:

"Although a ruler plays a key role in shaping the rules of his government, it isn't possible for him to always ensure that his officials won't break the rules. When the officials break the rules, it is also not possible to always ensure that the ruler won't find out. If officials still break the rules, it is the ruler's fault. If the ruler finds out that officials broke the rules, it is the officials' fault. The ruler is first and foremost the one at fault if the government fails. The officials under him are next in line to be held responsible. Shouldn't all of you strive harder to do a good job in office?"[29]

His subordinates heeded his words and worked diligently and faithfully.[30]

In one incident, a sentry serving under one of Sima Zhi's subordinates was arrested on suspicions of stealing a hairstick. Although his statement contradicted the evidence, the authorities still deemed him guilty and threw him into prison.[31] When Sima Zhi heard about it, he remarked:

"Sometimes things are so similar that it is difficult to tell them apart. If we don't make clear distinctions, people will be confused. We should look at the facts. How can anyone bear to harm a fellow human being just because of the loss of one hairstick? There's no need to pursue the matter further."[32]

Service under Cao Rui

In 226,[33] after Cao Rui succeeded his father Cao Pi as the new emperor of Wei, he enfeoffed Sima Zhi as a Secondary Marquis (關內侯) to honour him for his contributions.[34]

Case of Princess Linfen's servant and Cao Hong's wet nurse

Shortly after, a servant of Princess Linfen and the former wet nurse of the veteran general Cao Hong were arrested and imprisoned for heresy because they worshipped a certain "deity" of Mount Wujian (無澗山) at the northeast of Luoyang.[35][36]

Grand Empress Dowager Bian, Cao Rui's grandmother, sent a palace eunuch, Wu Da (吳達), to order Sima Zhi to release Cao Hong's wet nurse and Princess Linfen's servant. Sima Zhi did not inform Cao Rui about the Grand Empress Dowager's interference in the case. Instead, he instructed the officials in charge of the case to continue performing their duties accordingly.[37]

After the case was closed, Sima Zhi wrote a memorial to Cao Rui:

"All criminal cases involving capital offences should be sent to Your Majesty for approval before the death sentence is carried out. Previously, the imperial court issued an edict outlawing unorthodox and cult-like practices. Now, (Cao Hong's wet nurse and Princess Linfen's servant) have confessed to committing the offence of heresy. When the Grand Empress Dowager sent the palace eunuch Wu Da to relay her order to me, I did not inform Your Majesty because I was worried that someone would try to save the convicts. I would detain Wu Da if I had no other choice to prevent interference. It was my fault that the case took so long to be settled. I have violated standard protocol when I did not inform Your Majesty about the interference, and authorised the officials to settle the case on their own and execute the convicts. I am guilty and I now request to be punished by death."[38]

Cao Rui replied: "I have read your memorial and I understand your intentions. You did the right thing when you followed the imperial edict and authorised the officials to perform their duties. As you were acting in accordance with an imperial edict, you did nothing wrong so there is no need to apologise. You do not have to inform me the next time a palace eunuch comes to see you."[39]

As the Intendant of Henan

Sima Zhi served as the Intendant of Henan (河南尹) for 11 years. During his tenure, he dealt with numerous complex legal cases (e.g. cases in which the law could not be applied straightforwardly) and gained a reputation in the Wei imperial court for being impartial and fair.[40]

In 231,[41] when the various princes came from their respective principalities to Luoyang to pay tribute to Cao Rui, some of them violated imperial protocol by privately visiting officials based in Luoyang without permission. (The princes were forbidden from contacting officials in the central government without permission from the emperor.) When these violations came to light, Sima Zhi was accused of negligence as he allowed them to happen under his watch. As a result, he was removed from office.[42]

As Minister of Finance

Sima Zhi was later restored to government service as Minister of Finance (大司農). Before he assumed office, the officials in charge of agricultural production had, in fact, been encouraging their subordinates and the common people to focus more on commercial rather than agricultural activities because commerce was more profitable.[43]

Sima Zhi assessed the situation and wrote a memorial to Cao Rui:

"When a ruler governs his state, he should promote the primary industries and discourage under-performing industries. He should make the agricultural industry a top priority and recognise the importance of agriculture. The Book of Rites stated: 'if there was not a surplus sufficient for three years, the state could not continue'.[a] The Guanzi also mentioned that agriculture is very important. As of now, our two rival states have yet to be vanquished, and war is still ongoing. The State's top domestic priority is the accumulation of wealth and resources. Emperor Wu established the tuntian system for the purpose of creating a strong agricultural base. During the Jian'an era, all the granaries of the Empire were fully stocked and the people had sufficient food. Since the Huangchu era, as agricultural officials gained greater autonomy, they have been promoting their own interests. This is not beneficial to the State. Rulers see their states as their homes, hence the saying 'if the people are in want, their ruler cannot enjoy plenty alone'.[b] The reason why there is a surplus is because people pay attention to the local climate and geography and use them to their advantage. Although merchants and traders can generate profit and wealth through commerce, their activities are not directly relevant to the State's grand plan of unifying the Empire. It is much better to open up more land for agriculture and increase production. Starting from the first month, farmers clear land, plough the fields, plant crops and mulberry trees, and end the cycle by collecting the harvest in the tenth month. In the remaining two months of the year, they build or repair granaries, roads, bridges, buildings, walls, etc. They are busy with agricultural-related activities throughout the year. The agricultural officials say: 'Those who remain behind to work in the fields replace those who go out to do commerce. We have no other choice. If we do not want to neglect agriculture, then we will need more manpower.' In my humble opinion, I think we should not allow commerce to take precedence over agriculture. We should set agriculture as our top priority and constantly remind ourselves to consider the State's long term interests. This is the best course of action."[44]

Cao Rui heeded Sima Zhi's advice.[45]

Later life and death

At the time, when some officials were summoned to meet their superiors, they often consulted their superiors' personal assistants to find out what their superiors wanted. The personal assistants then advised them accordingly and taught them how to provide satisfactory answers to their superiors.[46] Sima Zhi, in contrast, was known for being candid, outspoken and upright. When he had disagreements with his colleagues during discussions, he voiced his objections in front of them, criticised them directly and never spoke behind their backs.[47]

Sima Zhi died in office in an unknown year. His family did not have any excess wealth at the time of his death. Throughout the Cao Wei state's existence from 220 to 265, none of the persons who served as the Intendant of Henan managed to perform better in office than Sima Zhi.[48]

Descendants

Sima Zhi's son, Sima Qi (司馬岐), inherited his father's peerage as a Secondary Marquis (關內侯). He initially served as an assistant official in Henan before he was reassigned to be a judicial officer. Later, he was promoted to the position of Chancellor (相) of Chenliu State (陳留國; around present-day Kaifeng, Henan).[49]

During his tenure, the Wei imperial court ordered several prisoners to be transferred from Liang Commandery (梁郡; around present-day Shangqiu, Henan) to the counties in Chenliu State. All these prisoners were actually suspects being held in custody because their cases had yet to be settled in court. When the imperial edict reached Chenliu State, the county officials wrote to Sima Qi to seek permission to start building more prison cells and prepare the equipment required to hold the incoming prisoners.[50] Sima Qi replied: "There are tens of such prisoners. They are cunning and deceptive. While they haven't confessed their guilt, they have already grown tired of being held in custody. You can tell from the way they are behaving. Why then should we continue to hold them in long-term custody?"[51] When the prisoners were transferred over, Sima Qi interrogated them, determined their guilt, and settled all the cases within one morning. He was subsequently promoted to the position of Minister of Justice (廷尉).[52]

When Sima Qi was Minister of Justice, the regent Cao Shuang monopolised power and controlled the Wei central government along with his supporters such as He Yan and Deng Yang. When one Gui Tai (圭泰) from Nanyang Commandery verbally defied an imperial edict, he was arrested and sent to the Ministry of Justice for interrogation. Deng Yang, who was in charge of dealing with the case, ordered Gui Tai to be severely tortured to force him to admit his guilt.[53] When Sima Qi heard about it, he reprimanded Deng Yang: "The officials serving in the central government agencies are the pillars of our state. You are already failing to promote civil culture and morality, and you can't match the standards set by the ancients. What you are doing is exacting petty revenge on others and framing the innocent. You make the people feel panicky and fearful. Isn't this what you are doing?"[54]

Deng Yang, feeling angry and embarrassed, gave up and backed down. Sima Qi later thought that he might have offended Cao Shuang and his supporters, and feared that they would find ways to get back at him so he claimed that he was ill and resigned.[55] He died at the age of 35 (by East Asian age reckoning) at home. His son, Sima Zhao (司馬肇),[c] inherited his peerage as a Secondary Marquis (關內侯).[56] Sima Zhao served as a Master of Writing (尚書) and as the Inspector of Ji Province during the Taikang era (280–289) of the reign of Emperor Wu in the Jin dynasty.[57]

See also

Notes

  1. ^ This line is quoted from the "Wang Zhi" ("Royal Regulations") chapter in the Book of Rites. See the 24th segment of this translation by James Legge.
  2. ^ This line is quoted from Chapter 12 of the Analects. See the last line in the 9th segment of this translation by James Legge.
  3. ^ Not to be confused with Sima Zhao (司馬昭).

References

  1. ^ de Crespigny (2007), pp. 749-750.
  2. ^ (司馬芝字子華,河內溫人也。) Sanguozhi vol. 12.
  3. ^ a b c de Crespigny (2007), p. 749.
  4. ^ (又司馬朗早有聲名,其族兄芝,衆未之知,惟俊言曰:「芝雖風望不及朗,實理但有優耳。」) Sanguozhi vol. 23.
  5. ^ (少為書生,避亂荊州,於魯陽山遇賊,同行者皆棄老弱走,芝獨坐守老母。) Sanguozhi vol. 12.
  6. ^ (賊至,以刃臨芝,芝叩頭曰:「母老,唯在諸君!」賊曰:「此孝子也,殺之不義。」遂得免害,以鹿車推載母。) Sanguozhi vol. 12.
  7. ^ (居南方十餘年,躬耕守節。) Sanguozhi vol. 12.
  8. ^ Sima (1084), vol. 65.
  9. ^ (太祖平荊州,以芝為菅長。) Sanguozhi vol. 12.
  10. ^ (時天下草創,多不奉法。郡主簿劉節,舊族豪俠,賔客千餘家,出為盜賊,入亂吏治。) Sanguozhi vol. 12.
  11. ^ (頃之,芝差節客王同等為兵,掾史據白:「節家前後未甞給繇,若至時藏匿,必為留負。」) Sanguozhi vol. 12.
  12. ^ (芝不聽,與節書曰:「君為大宗,加股肱郡,而賔客每不與役,旣衆庶怨望,或流聲上聞。今條同等為兵,幸時發遣。」) Sanguozhi vol. 12.
  13. ^ (兵已集郡,而節藏同等,因令督郵以軍興詭責縣,縣掾史窮困,乞代同行。) Sanguozhi vol. 12.
  14. ^ (芝乃馳檄濟南,具陳節罪。) Sanguozhi vol. 12.
  15. ^ de Crespigny (2007), pp. 306-307, 520, 749-750.
  16. ^ (太守郝光素敬信芝,即以節代同行,青州號芝「以郡主簿為兵」。) Sanguozhi vol. 12.
  17. ^ (遷廣平令。征虜將軍劉勳,貴寵驕豪,又芝故郡將,賔客子弟在界數犯法。) Sanguozhi vol. 12.
  18. ^ (勳與芝書,不著姓名,而多所屬託,芝不報其書,一皆如法。) Sanguozhi vol. 12.
  19. ^ (後勳以不軌誅,交關者皆獲罪,而芝以見稱。) Sanguozhi vol. 12.
  20. ^ a b c d e de Crespigny (2007), p. 750.
  21. ^ (遷大理正。) Sanguozhi vol. 12.
  22. ^ (有盜官練置都厠上者,吏疑女工,收以付獄。) Sanguozhi vol. 12.
  23. ^ (芝曰:「夫刑罪之失,失在苛暴。今贓物先得而後訊其辭,若不勝掠,或至誣服。誣服之情,不可以折獄。且簡而易從,大人之化也。不失有罪,庸世之治耳。今宥所疑,以隆易從之義,不亦可乎!」) Sanguozhi vol. 12.
  24. ^ (太祖從其議。) Sanguozhi vol. 12.
  25. ^ (歷甘陵、沛、陽平太守,所在有績。) Sanguozhi vol. 12.
  26. ^ Sima (1084), vol. 69.
  27. ^ (黃初中,入為河南尹,抑彊扶弱,私請不行。) Sanguozhi vol. 12.
  28. ^ (會內官欲以事託芝,不敢發言,因芝妻伯父董昭。昭猶憚芝,不為通。) Sanguozhi vol. 12.
  29. ^ (芝為教與羣下曰:「蓋君能設教,不能使吏必不犯也。吏能犯教,而不能使君必不聞也。夫設教而犯,君之劣也;犯教而聞,吏之禍也。君劣於上,吏禍於下,此政事所以不理也。可不各勉之哉!」) Sanguozhi vol. 12.
  30. ^ (於是下吏莫不自勵。) Sanguozhi vol. 12.
  31. ^ (門下循行甞疑門幹盜簪,幹辭不符,曹執為獄。) Sanguozhi vol. 12.
  32. ^ (芝教曰:「凡物有相似而難分者,自非離婁,鮮能不惑。就其實然,循行何忍重惜一簪,輕傷同類乎!其寢勿問。」) Sanguozhi vol. 12.
  33. ^ Sima (1084), vol. 70.
  34. ^ (明帝即位,賜爵關內侯。) Sanguozhi vol. 12.
  35. ^ (頃之,特進曹洪乳母當,與臨汾公主侍者共事無澗神繫獄。) Sanguozhi vol. 12.
  36. ^ (臣松之案:無澗,山名,在洛陽東北。) Pei Songzhi's annotation in Sanguozhi vol. 12.
  37. ^ (卞太后遣黃門詣府傳令,芝不通,輙勑洛陽獄考竟, ...) Sanguozhi vol. 12.
  38. ^ (... 而上疏曰:「諸應死罪者,皆當先表須報。前制書禁絕淫祀以正風俗,今當等所犯妖刑,辭語始定,黃門吳達詣臣,傳太皇太后令。臣不敢通,懼有救護,速聞聖聽,若不得已,以垂宿留。由事不早竟,是臣之罪,是以冒犯常科,輙勑縣考竟,擅行刑戮,伏須誅罰。」) Sanguozhi vol. 12.
  39. ^ (帝手報曰:「省表,明卿至心,欲奉詔書,以權行事,是也。此乃卿奉詔之意,何謝之有?後黃門復往,慎勿通也。」) Sanguozhi vol. 12.
  40. ^ (芝居官十一年,數議科條所不便者。其在公卿間,直道而行。) Sanguozhi vol. 12.
  41. ^ (八月,詔曰:「古者諸侯朝聘,所以敦睦親親協和萬國也。先帝著令,不欲使諸王在京都者,謂幼主在位,母后攝政,防微以漸,關諸盛衰也。朕惟不見諸王十有二載,悠悠之懷,能不興思!其令諸王及宗室公侯各將適子一人朝。後有少主、母后在宮者,自如先帝令,申明著于令。」) Sanguozhi vol. 3.
  42. ^ (會諸王來朝,與京都人交通,坐免。) Sanguozhi vol. 12.
  43. ^ (後為大司農。先是諸典農各部吏民,末作治生,以要利入。) Sanguozhi vol. 12.
  44. ^ (芝奏曰:「王者之治,崇本抑末,務農重穀。王制:『無三年之儲,國非其國也。』管子區言以積穀為急。方今二虜未滅,師旅不息,國家之事,唯在穀帛。武皇帝特開屯田之官,專以農桑為業。建安中,天下倉廩充實,百姓殷足。自黃初以來,聽諸典農治生,各為部下之計,誠非國家大體所宜也。夫王者以海內為家,故傳曰:『百姓不足,君誰與足!』富足之田,在於不失天時而盡地力。今商旅所求,雖有加倍之顯利,然於一統之計,已有不貲之損,不如墾田益一畒之收也。夫農民之事田,自正月耕種,芸鋤條桑,耕熯種麥,穫刈築場,十月乃畢。治廩繫橋,運輸租賦,除道理梁,墐塗室屋,以是終歲,無日不為農事也。今諸典農,各言『留者為行者宗田計,課其力,勢不得不爾。不有所廢,則當素有餘力。』臣愚以為不宜復以商事雜亂,專以農桑為務,於國計為便。」) Sanguozhi vol. 12.
  45. ^ (明帝從之。) Sanguozhi vol. 12.
  46. ^ (每上官有所召問,常先見掾史,為斷其意故,教其所以荅塞之狀,皆如所度。) Sanguozhi vol. 12.
  47. ^ (芝性亮直,不矜廉隅。與賔客談論,有不可意,便靣折其短,退無異言。) Sanguozhi vol. 12.
  48. ^ (卒於官,家無餘財,自魏迄今為河南尹者莫及芝。) Sanguozhi vol. 12.
  49. ^ (芝亡,子岐嗣,從河南丞轉廷尉正,遷陳留相。) Sanguozhi vol. 12.
  50. ^ (梁郡有繫囚,多所連及,數歲不決。詔書徙獄於岐屬縣,縣請豫治牢具。) Sanguozhi vol. 12.
  51. ^ (岐曰:「今囚有數十,旣巧詐難符,且已倦楚毒,其情易見。豈當復乆處囹圄邪!」) Sanguozhi vol. 12.
  52. ^ (及囚室,詰之,皆莫敢匿詐,一朝決竟,遂超為廷尉。) Sanguozhi vol. 12.
  53. ^ (是時大將軍爽專權,尚書何晏、鄧颺等為之輔翼。南陽圭泰甞以言迕指,考繫廷尉。颺訊獄,將致泰重刑。) Sanguozhi vol. 12.
  54. ^ (岐數颺曰:「夫樞機大臣,王室之佐,旣不能輔化成德,齊美古人,而乃肆其私忿,枉論無辜。使百姓危心,非此焉在?」) Sanguozhi vol. 12.
  55. ^ (颺於是慙怒而退。岐終恐乆獲罪,以疾去官。) Sanguozhi vol. 12.
  56. ^ (居家未朞而卒,年三十五。子肇嗣。) Sanguozhi vol. 12.
  57. ^ (肇,晉太康中為兾州刺史、尚書,見百官志。) Pei Songzhi's annotation in Sanguozhi vol. 12.
  • Chen, Shou (3rd century). Records of the Three Kingdoms (Sanguozhi).
  • de Crespigny, Rafe (2007). A Biographical Dictionary of Later Han to the Three Kingdoms 23-220 AD. Leiden: Brill. ISBN 9789004156050.
  • Pei, Songzhi (5th century). Annotations to Records of the Three Kingdoms (Sanguozhi zhu).
  • Sima, Guang (1084). Zizhi Tongjian.