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S223: Wei shu wu

223. 魏蜀吳

Wei4 shu3 wu2 

Wei, Shu, and Wu, 

Wei shu wu 

Wei is composed of 委 wei to depute as phonetic, with 鬼 kuei disembodied spirit as radical. It here stands for portions of modern Shansi and Honan, over which a son of the great 曹操 Ts'ao Ts'ao ruled as first Emperor. 

Shu is composed, under its old form, of 虫 ch'ung insect as radical, below 目 mu eye as formerly written, with a curved line. It originally meant caterpillar or looper, the curved line being a picture of the loop formed by the insect when moving. It is here a name for modern Ssu ch'uan, over which 劉備 Liu Pei, a quondam artisan, ruled as first Emperor. 

Wu is a common surname, and is popularly known as 口天吳. k'ou t'ien wu the wu which is made up of tiou and t'zen, in allusion to its structure. It here stands for that part of the 

empire known as modern Kiangsu, over which 孫權 Sun Ch'iian ruled as first Emperor. 

224. 爭漢鼎

Cheng1 han4 ting3  

Contend han tripod 

fought for the sovereignty of the Hans.

Cheng see line 214. 

Han see line 214. 

Ting is a picture of a bronze vessel with three legs and two handles, used for burning incense. It is here figuratively employed, just as throne is often used in English. 

225. 號三國

Hao4  san1 kuo3

Name three kingdom 

They were called the Three Kingdoms, 

Hao see line 137. 

San see title. 

Kuo see line 155. [The period covered by these rival Kingdoms was only about 45 years in all, yet it is one of the most famous in Chinese history and is the subject of a widely-known historical romance, based upon the tragedies enacted while the empire was thus torn by civil war.] 

226. 迄兩晉

Ch'i3 liang3 chin4

Reach two chin

and existed until the Two Chin dynasties. 

Ch'i is composed of the walking radical with 乞 ch'i to beg as phonetic. It is also read hsi3 , and commonly means until. [Eitel has "Followed by the reigns of the Two Tsin" but there is no authority for such a rendering.] 

Liang is composed of — i one, with an obsolete word meaning again as both radical and phonetic ; i.e. one taken again = two. It was originally the twenty-fourth part of an ounce, equal to the weight of 100 grains of millet, but now = 1/16 of a 斤 (line 3) and is classed under radical A ju to enter. 

Chin was originally composed of 日 jih sun beneath a contraction of 至 chih to arrive, duplicated, and meant to go in. It was explained thus: "When the sun comes out, all things go in." It here stands for the Western Chin dynasty, A.D. 265 — 317, and the Eastern Chin, A.D. 317—420, so called because their capitals were at 洛陽 Lo-yang in Honan and 南京 Nanking in Kiangsu, respectively.