I’m wondering if I can get Cao Pi some fans if I keep on this series… I will try my best to answer questions about Wei Dynasty or cultural things if there any, though my English is not the best.
The names of Cao Pi
Notable ancient Chinese people have lots of names, and the important ones include formal name (as we all know, Cao Pi [曹丕]), style name and posthumous name.
In (ancient) Chinese culture, it is rude to address others by the given name. One’s given name is only used by lineal ancestors or between very intimate relationships. (However, they call themselves by given name in written works or in front of people who have higher status than them.) Instead, people use style name, which is given by father or sometimes teachers on the coming of age ceremony. Style name always consists of two characters. It is supposed that the meanings of one’s given name and style name be related.
Cao Pi’s style name is Zihuan [子桓]. Zi [子] is a common first character for a style name, which is a respectful title. Huan [桓] and his given name Pi [丕] are two characters seldom used in Modern Chinese, both meaning “great”. It seems that Cao Cao, who gave him these names, expected a lot from him when he was born.
A posthumous name is a commentary name given to royals, nobles, and important chancellors after his/her death. In other words, these highly placed people will not know or decide their posthumous names (though their sons may).
There are strict guidelines for posthumous names. Posthumous names can be approval, neutral, or critical. Cao Pi’s posthumous name, Wen [文, “civil”], is one of the two best usable characters for posthumous names. (The other is Wu [武], given by Cao Pi to his father Cao Cao.) The character Wen, when used in posthumous names, can have the following meanings: