An Lushan - Youth

Youth

It was said that An Lushan knew six non-Han Chinese languages, and, after he grew older, served as an interpreter in one of the military markets, which were set up by the Chinese government largely to obtain horses in exchange for silk through foreign trade. Serving with him was Shi Sugan (later named Shi Siming), who was one day older than he was and who became a good friend of his. In 732, when the general Zhang Shougui (張守珪) was governing You Prefecture (幽州, roughly modern Beijing), where An was at, when An was discovered to have stolen sheep. Zhang was set to execute An by caning, when An yelled out, "Is it that you, Lord, do not wish to destroy the two barbarian tribes? Why do you want to cane An Lushan to death?" Zhang, seeing that he had a large body and impressed by his plea, released him and had him serve as a police officer, along with Shi, and both of them were said to be capable at catching criminals. Later, Zhang promoted him to be a military officer. As Zhang believed that he was obese, he did not dare to eat too much while in Zhang's presence, and this drew Zhang's favor. Zhang took him in and treated him like a son. At a time that was not recorded in history, he married a Lady Kang as his first wife, and she bore him at least one son, An Qingxu, who, however, was not his oldest son.

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