Chinese Historical Story: The Story of Fen Fen Gui Shi


The Chinese idiom of “Fen Bu Gui Shi” means to go forward bravely, regardless of one’s own safety.

This idiom comes from “The Book of Han. The Chinese idiom of “Fen Fen Gui Shi” is from “The Book of Han” , which says, “But the servant observes that he is a man who has served his parents with filial piety, and has believed with the soldiers, and has been honest with his money, and has taken righteousness, and has given way separately, and has been respectful and thrifty to his subordinates.

Li Ling, a famous general during the reign of Emperor Wu of the Han Dynasty, was so credited by Emperor Wu that he was appointed as a cavalry captain to lead the army to defend against the invasion of Xiongnu. Li Ling was good at riding and archery and knew the art of war, so he was trusted by the court.

However, Li Ling was outnumbered and surrendered to the Xiongnu in a battle with the Xiongnu.

go forward bravely

When he heard that Li Ling had surrendered, Emperor Wu was very angry and thought that Li Ling had dishonored his trust in him, and the ministers in the court also accused Li Ling of having no backbone.

Only Sima Qian, the official of history, disagreed, saying, “I have never been friends with Li Ling, but I have seen him as a righteous man, filial to his parents, and friendly to his soldiers. Therefore, I think it is justifiable that Li Ling was forced to surrender this time when he led less than 5,000 soldiers against tens of thousands of enemy soldiers, and finally he was forced to surrender because he suffered heavy casualties and ran out of ammunition and food, and his way back was cut off. And I also think that he surrendered this time, not because he was greedy for life, but because he wanted to wait for a favorable time to repay his country.”

Sima Qian’s words were reasonable, but Emperor Wu thought that he was defending Li Ling and did not distinguish between right and wrong, so he put him in prison and sentenced him to “corruption”.

Later, Emperor Wu killed Li Ling’s whole family. When Li Ling found out about this, he was so distressed that he married and started a family in Xiongnu and never returned to his homeland until his death.

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