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Home Chinese Idiom 不学无术 (bù xué wú shù)
不学无术 (bù xué wú shù)
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In the reign of Emperor Wudi of the Han Dynasty (hàn cháo 汉朝), Grand General Huo Guang (huò guāng 霍光) was a minister who occupied a decisive position at court and was deeply trusted by the emperor. when Emperor Wudi was dying, he entrusted Huo Guang with the task of assisting his youngest son Liu fuelling (Emperor Zhaodi) in governing the country. After the death of Emperor Zhaodi,Huo Guang made Liu Xun the emperor. who was Emperor Xuandi of the Han Dynasty.


Controlling the imperial government for more than 40 years ,Huo Guang had rendered fairly outstanding service to the Western Han Dynasty. After Liu Xun ascended the throne, he made Imperial Concubine Xu his queen. Hankering after wealth and rank, Huo Guang's wife Huo Xian tried to make her youngest daughter Chengjun the queen of Lin Xun. So ,taking the opportunity of the queen's illness, Huo Xian bribed a woman doctor who poisoned the queen to death. The venomous scheme was brought to light,and the woman doctor was put into jail. Huo Guang knew nothing about it beforehand, and it was not until after the event that his wife told him about it. Seized with terror, Huo Guang reproached his wife for doing such a thing, He thought of reporting his wife for her crime, but at the same time did not have the heart to have her wife punished. After much hesitation, he conceited the thing offensive to God and reason in the end. After Huo Guang died,Emperor Xuandi was informed of the case. Someone was sent to investigate it. Hearing this,Huo Guang's wife discussed with her family members and trusted followers in order to find a way to deal with her family members and trusted followers in order to find a way to deal with the situation. Three decided to call the clansmen together to stage a rebellion. But the secret was divulged. Emperor Xuandi sent troops to surround Huo's home, and all the members of Hue's family were executed. Commenting on the merits and demerits of Huo Guang, historian Ban Gu(32-92) said in "The Life of Huo Guang "in his History of the Han Dynasty that Huo Guang "had neither knowledge nor skill and did not understand the major principles". That is to say, Huo Guang did not understand the truths concerning the overall situation because he did not study and had no knowledge. The set phrase" having neither knowledge nor skill" is later used to refer to being ignorant and incompetent.


不学无术 (bù xué wú shù)
【翻译】ignorant and incompetent.


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