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Title: 太史公牛馬走析辨
Authors: 林礽乾
Issue Date: Mar-1999
Publisher: 國文學系
Department of Chinese, NTNU
Abstract: 《文選》載司馬遷〈報任安書〉篇首「太史公牛馬走」六字,前賢疏解,異說紛歧。本文加以探析考辨,得知「太史公」非李善注等所說的「稱其父談」,也非「後人尊加」、或「官府通稱」;「牛馬走」也不是「自謙之詞」、或「自嘆如牛馬般奔波勞碌」,而是「先馬走」的形誤。「太史公先馬走」是司馬遷信首「通名和敬禮」前自題的列銜。「太史公」是他過去曾任而當時仍兼攝的官職,「先馬走」則是他當時的職守。覆任安信時,司馬遷當時的官職本是「中書令」。「中書令」位尊權寵,卻是「宦者之職」,非他所好,而改列扈駕巡行的「先馬走」,那是暗用句踐忍辱事吳的典故,別具深意。由他所列「太史公→中書令→先馬走」職銜的演變,發現與他「遭禍被刑」、「發憤著述」、「雪恥揚名」的創作心路歷程,正相對應。
A Letter from Szu-ma Chien to Jen-An (司馬遷<報任安書>) is one piece of 《Collection of Chinese Literary Works》(《文選》). There are a lot of arguments about the first sentence in the letter stating that "The historian officer runs errands as cattle and horses." Scholars had quite different annotations on these six words. In this article, the writer has extensive analysis and textual research. Accordingly, the writer concludes that "the historian officer" did not refer to Szu-ma Chien's father, Szu-ma Tan (司馬談), nor did it represent "general government agency" or any kind of "honorific". "Running errands as cattle and horses" was neither a representation of "self-effacing" nor "self-compassion" concerning his toil as cattle and horses. It was rather a slip of the pen by "an errand leading horses." Regarding the Chinese character, the form of "cattle" (牛) is similar to "leading" (先). When respnded the letter to Jen-An, Szu-ma Chien introduced his official title as "an errand leading the royal horses". As a matter of fact, his existing position was "the chancellor". "The historian officer" was his previous position. Be it that the position of chancellor was supreme and honorable, it was nevertheless subject to the eunuchs. Szu-ma Chien introduced himself as "an errand leading the royal horses", which implied his suffering as being castrated by the Emperor. "An errand leading royal horses" was an entourage following with the emperor to make a tour. It was an allusion to the story of the King Kou-Chien (句踐), who endured all disgrace and insults in order to accomplish his task. The variation of the official titles reflected Szu-ma Chien's experience, and also related to his mental adjustment from humiliation to initiative. And finally, he had surpass his self-abasement and created a great masterpiece.
Other Identifiers: A3F28174-D086-3E5A-02CF-DAD9323272A2
Appears in Collections:中國學術年刊

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