Zang Wenzhong

Zang Wenzhong (藏文仲) is the posthumous title of Zang Sunchen, a minister of the state of Lu who lived during the 7th Century BC and was apparently regarded by his contemporaries as a man of wisdom.

Confucius clearly didn’t share that opinion of him. In Chapter XVIII of Book 5, he reproaches him (depending on which interpretation you find more credible) for his impertinence in usurping royal privilege by keeping tortoises in elaborate accommodation, or for adding beautiful decorations in order to inspire the spirits to give out a favorable reading when the shells of the poor beasts were smashed apart for the purpose of divination.

If that weren’t sufficient, he goes on to lambast him in Chapter XIV of Book 15 for stealing the position a fellow minister called Liuxia Hui (柳下惠) even though he knew had great ability.

Appearances in the Analects of Confucius
Book 5, Chapter XVIII
Book 15, Chapter XIV

Book 5
Chapter XVIII
子曰:「藏文仲居蔡,山節藻梲,何如其知也?」
Confucius said: “Zang Wenzhong kept a tortoise in a house featuring pillars patterned with mountains and posts above the rafters decorated with duckweed motifs. What does this say of his wisdom?”

Book 15
Chapter XIV
子曰:「臧文仲,其竊位者與?知柳下惠之賢而不與立也。」
Confucius said: “Zang Wenzhong stole his position! He knew that Liuxia Hui had great ability but wouldn’t share the position with him.”

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Share on StumbleUponEmail this to someone

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *