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Sima Shi (in Chinese: 司馬師), also known as Emperor Jing of Jin (in Chinese: 晉景帝), is a supporting protagonist in the 14th-century Chinese classic novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms by the late Luo Guanzhong, and its multiple adaptations. He is Sima Yi and Zhang Chunhua's eldest son and Sima Zhao's elder brother.

History

When he was young he was known for elegance in his conduct and intelligence. Since his father, Sima Yi, was an important official of Cao Wei, Sima Shi himself climbed the ranks of the officials rather quickly. When Sima Yi planned a coup against Cao Shuang, Sima Yi reportedly confided to Sima Shi information even though his younger brother Sima Zhao was excluded from the discussion (although Sima Guang found this project risky and, that was of the opinion that Sima Yi had prepared the coup with Sima Shi and Sima Zhao). Sima Shi has set up a group of 3,000 loyal men unbeknownst by Cao Shuang and his associates. When Sima Yi began to realize his plans, Sima Shi was able to quickly summon the men to carry out the coup. Even Sima Shi didn't know anyone else at all, but he couldn't make that kind of shortcoming and was going to upset. Suddenly, Sima Yi quickly rushed away with his family for no reason, but Cao Shuang should have to make his own intrigues and defeated them. Once Sima Yi successfully to overthrow Cao Shuang and replaced him as Emperor Cao Fang's regent, he rewarded his son with the title of Marquess of Changpingxiang. Sima Shi then became his father's assistant, although there was no record of his accomplishments in those years.

After Sima Yi's death, he recovered his father's post without significant opposition, after his father had earlier this year repressed a rebellion that had been missed by Wang Ling and slaughtered Wang's clans. of his collaborators. Sima Shi was a competent politician and administrator, but he also wanted to quickly prove his military reputation. He made a major attack on the eastern Wu, whose founder, Emperor Sun Quan had just died and whose current emperor, Sun Liang, was under the regency of Zhuge Ke. Zhuge Ke was able to bring a critical blow to Sima Shi's forces. Sima Shi, managed to stay in power by humbly confessing his faults to the public and giving promotions to generals who had tried to stop his campaign. After Sima Shi defeated Zhuge Ke in a great battle, his reputation was established, while that of Zhuge Ke was shaken (because of Zhuge Ke's refusal to admit his fault), and Zhuge soon fell while the Sima power was asserting itself. Sima Shi did a brilliant action to consolidate his power, at the expense of Cao Fang. Cao Fang was fond of Minister Li Feng, and Sima Shi suspected they were plotting together against him. He summoned and interrogated Li Feng, and when Li refused to divulge his conversations with the Emperor, Sima Shi was defeated him to death with the handle of sword, then accused Li Feng and his friends Xiahou Xuan and Zhang Ji of treason, and had them and their families executed. Cao Fang was also forced to divorce his wife, Zhang Ji's daughter, Empress Zhang. These actions further subjected the officers by terrorizing them.

While Cao Fang was very angry about the deaths of Li Feng and Zhang Ji, later, his associates presented him with a plan. When Sima Zhao arrives at the palace for an official visit before returning to his defense post in Chang'an, he is trying to kill Sima Zhao and seize his troops, and then use them to attack Sima Shi. Cao Fang was fearful and paralyzed, and did not implement the plan, but the information had already been disclosed to Sima Shi. Sima Shi then forced Cao Fang to resign, although Sima spared his life and gave him his old title of Prince of Qi. When Sima Shi informed Cao Fang's stepmother, Empress Dowager Guo, that he intended to make Cao Pi's brother, Prince of Pengcheng, Cao Ju, Emperor, she succeeded to persuade him that this succession would not be appropriate; since Cao Ju was the uncle of her husband Cao Rui, such a succession would leave Cao Rui without an heir. Sima Shi was forced to agree with her, and he did, as she had suggested, Cao Mao Emperor in his place. (Cao Mao, though 13 years old at the time, was known for his intelligence, and Empress Dowager Guo might have thought he was the only one of the princes and dukes, who could have had a chance to counter the Sima family.).

Despite this, Empress Guo's intentions and Cao Mao's intelligence, they had very little impact in stemming the rise of the Sima family. In response to Cao Fang's withdrawal, General Guanqiu Jian commander of the major Shouchun City and Wen Qin raised a rebellion against Sima family, but they were quickly crushed by Sima Shi's army. Guanqiu Jian was died, and his clan was slaughtered. Wen Qin and his son fled to Eastern Wu. The campaign had an impact on Sima Shi, however. He was suffering from an eye disease when Guanqiu Jian and Wen Qin rebelled, and he had just had an eye surgery. He initially hesitated to lead the armed forces himself and hoped that his uncle Sima Fu would take the helm. At the urgent request of Zhong Hui and Fu Gu, he led the troops himself, which greatly facilitated the victory against Guanqiu Jian. But Wen Qin's son, Wen Yang's raids, Sima Shi, in his anguish, worsened the condition of his eye, which came out of its orbit, causing a serious degradation of his health. Less than a month after the end of rebellion, he is also died in Xuchang, but Sima Zhao waiting to succeed him.

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Trivia

  • He also appears as a playable character in the Dynasty Warriors video game series.

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