?

Log in

No account? Create an account

Look Back | Look Forward

Ripley's Believe It Or Not - 8 (Wei Chieh)

THE MAN WHO WAS "SEEN TO DEATH"

WEI CHIEH, son of Wei Huan (286-312), was popularly known as "The Jewel" on account of his great beauty. At the age of five his handsome face and graceful form caused the populace to regard him as a supernatural being.

He joined the establishment of the Heir-Apparent of China, but during political troubles it was necessary for him to flee to the city of Nanking where he was exposed to the populace who crowded around him in such numbers and stared so hard that he was actually "seen to death."


***

This item was lifted from the book Gu jin xing shi zu pu (A Chinese Biographical Dictionary) written by Herbert Allen Giles in 1898. Giles was a British diplomat and sinologist who modified a Mandarin Chinese Romanization system earlier established by Thomas Wade, resulting in the widely known Wade-Giles Chinese transliteration system, now widely replaced by Pinyin. Found on page 857 is the following item:



Although Wei Chieh lived close to two millennia ago, there is no reason to doubt he was an actual person. Is it possible that constant exposure to a crowd's attentions could cause the death of a young man? Any number of possible scenarios could be postulated... catching a disease from the many visitors is perhaps the most likely, or perhaps exhaustion.

Whatever the case, this is another historical tidbit that would be hard to verify but can't be dismissed out of hand.

Verdict: Probable.


Support Wind Power

respective-eponymous

Comments

deckardcanine
Sep. 6th, 2011 07:30 pm (UTC)
You're cheerful after reading of the death of a young innocent? Sure, it was a long time ago, but...

Disease and exhaustion are likely, but I wondered if the attention gave him too much stress to function well. Maybe he willed himself to die.
ccdesan
Sep. 7th, 2011 02:20 am (UTC)
You may not know this, but my current mood is rarely related to the content of the article just posted.

Profile

Fortunata
ccdesan
The Old Wolf
Website

Latest Month

December 2017
S M T W T F S
     12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
31      

Tags

Powered by LiveJournal.com