Tao Yuanming: After the Western Jin Dynasty, My Maternal Grandfather Died Fighting, His Biography: Part No. 1

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After the Western Jin Dynasty, My Maternal Grandfather Died Fighting in the West As a Major General’s Historian, His Biography: Part No. 1

晋 故 征 西 大 将 军 长 史 孟 府 君 传
(1)
君 讳 嘉, 字 万 年
江 夏 鄂 人 也。
曾 祖 父 宗
以 孝 行 称
仕 吴 司 空。
祖 父 揖, 元 康 中 为 庐 陵 太 守。
宗 葬 武 昌 新 阳 县
子 孙 家 焉
遂 为 县 人 也。
君 少 失 父
奉 母 二 弟 居。
娶 大 司 马 长 沙 桓
公 陶 侃 第 十 女
闺 门 孝 友
人 无 能 间
乡 闾 称 之。
冲 默 有 远 量
弱 冠 俦 类 咸 敬 之。
同 郡 郭 逊
以 清 操 知 名
时 在 君 右
常 叹 君 温 雅 平 旷
自 以 为 不 及。
逊 从 弟 立
亦 有 才 志
与 君 同 时 齐 誉。
由 是 名 冠 州 里
声 流 京 邑。

 

Jin Gu Zheng Xi Da Jiang Chang Shi Meng Fu Jun Zhuan

(1)

Jun hui jia, zi wan nian
Jiang xia e ren ye.
Zeng zu fu zong
Yi xiao xing cheng
Shi wu si kong.

Zu fu yi, yuan kang zhong wei lu ling tai shou.
Zong zang wu chang xin yang xian
Zi sun jia yan
Sui wei xian ren ye.

Jun shao shi fu
Feng mu er di ju.
Qu da si ma chang sha huan
Gong tao kan di shi nu

Gui men xiao you
Ren wu neng jian
Xiang lu chen zhi.
Chong mo you yuan liang
Ruo guan chou lei xian jing zhi.

Tong jun guo xun
Yi qing cao zhi ming
Shi zai jun you
Chang tan jun wen ya ping kuang
Zi yi wei bu ji.

Xun cong di li
Yi you cai zhi
Yu jun tong shi qi yu.
You shi ming guan zhou li
Sheng liu jing yi.

 

After the Western Jin Dynasty, My Maternal Grandfather Died Fighting in the West As a Major General’s Historian, His Biography: Part No. 1

As a small city mayor, he was also known as Hui Jia and Zi Wannian
Born in Jiangxia, Hubei province.
My grandfather’s clan, because of filial piety, I wrote these praises
Held an official post in the nation of Wu as a construction manager.

My great grandfather, from 291-299 AD, was the mayor of Luling, Jiangxi Province
His relatives all buried together in Wuchang, county of Xinyang.
Family descendants lived and died here.
After his father died, he lived with his mother and two younger brothers.

Grandfather married the tenth child of a high level government official
She was trained in filial piety and the female arts of housework and embroidery.
Did not care about village intrigues
But everyone had a high respect for her
Not hung up on protocol, quiet and reserved
Able to look beyond the here and now.

By the age of twenty
He had the respect of peers and superiors
In the same county
Guoxin famous for being honest and upright
He praised my grandfather for his competence and elegance.

Considered themselves as equals
Guoxin’s cousin Li, also of the same talents and characteristics
But deferred often to my grandfather.
Together they often shared their praise of Mengjia
With those inside the palace and capital.

 

Notes:

Mengjia: Tao Yuanming’s grandfather

 

Commentary:

This poems has several components of traditional Chinese life.  These include filial piety, clans and extended families living and being buried together over the generations in the small area, the traditional female activities of housework and embroidery (as well as sericulture in some regions), marrying into a good family, and of course the Confucian ideals of respecting the monarch, your elders, and those in the clan who are older than you.

 

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