Chinese history

Flaunting wealth of the Western Jin Dynasty

Sima Yan

After the establishment of the Western Jin Dynasty, Sima Yan (known as Emperor Wu of Jin in History) successfully reunified China.

However, after the reunification of China, he did not want to let the people live a good life, but immersed in luxury life.

Under his leadership, the court minister thought it was a decent thing to flaunt wealth.

In Luoyang, the capital city, there are three famous rich men: Yang Xiu, Wang Kai and Shi Chong.

Yang Xiu and Wang Kai were relatives of the emperor. They were more powerful than Shi Chong, but they were not as rich as Shi Chong.

No one can tell exactly how much money Shi Chong has.

Shi Chong’s money was mainly earned from his tenure as governor of Jingzhou. During this period, he not only embezzled, but also used many ways to collect money.

When some foreign envoys or merchants passed through Jingzhou, Shi Chong sent people to rob them of their money.

Flaunt wealth for two rich people

In this way, he plundered countless money and jewelry and became the richest man of his time.

When Shi Chong arrived in Luoyang, he heard that Wang Kai was rich and wanted to compete with him.

When he heard that Wang Kai washed the pot with sugar water, he ordered his kitchen to use candles as firewood.

After it was spread, people said that Shi Chong had more money than Wang Kai.

In order to show off his wealth, Wang Kai set up a 20 kilometer purple silk screen on both sides of the road in front of his house.

People who want to go to Wang Kai’s house have to pass through these purple silk screens.

These luxurious screens have deeply shocked Luoyang people.

In order to defeat Wang Kai, Shi Chong set up a longer and more luxurious screen with colorful Satin which was more expensive than purple silk.

In order to save his dignity, Wang Kai asked his nephew Sima Yan (Emperor Wu of Jin) for help.

Sima Yan thought that such a competition was very interesting, so he gave Wang Kai a coral which was more than two feet high in the palace, so that he could boast in front of the public.

After getting the coral, Wang Kai specially invited Shi Chong and a group of officials to his home for dinner.

At the banquet, Wang Kai said to everyone with pride: “I have a rare coral in my family. Please have a look at it.”

Later, Wang Kai ordered the maid to hold the coral out.

After seeing the coral, officials praised it and said it was a rare treasure.

However, Shi Chong sneered at him.

Soon after, he saw that there was an iron Ruyi on the table, so he grabbed it and smashed it at the coral.

Then, the coral is broken by iron Ruyi.

All the officials around were shocked. Wang Kai was even more flushed, and asked Shi Chong angrily, “what are you doing?”

Shi Chong said with a smile: “I’ll give you back.”

Wang Kai was sad and angry and said, “OK, OK, you must give it back to me.”

Shi Chong immediately told his entourage to go home and bring all the corals.

After a while, the entourage brought in dozens of corals.

Some of these corals are even twice as high as those of Wang Kai.

People around him were shocked and speechless when they saw the scene.

This time, Wang Kai knew that Shi Chong’s wealth was many times more than that of him.

Then, the farce of flaunting wealth ended.

Since then, Shi Chong became famous in Luoyang.

As an emperor, Sima Yan knew these things, but he didn’t make any accusations.

On the contrary, he plundered the wealth of the common people and lived a very luxurious life.


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