Origin of surname Fan:
According to records, Fan families derived from Qi families, as descendants of Emperor Yao, and later took their surname out of the name of a place. In the Zhou Dynasty, a minister named Dubo was killed. His son escaped to Kingdom Jin and was appointed Lord Chancellor of Justice, with the Chinese position name of “Shi” which was taken as the surname. Later, a major general of Kingdom Jin from the Shi family was promoted for battle achievements and was bestowed successively the land of Sui, later the land of Fan (Fan County in Henan). Offspring of his later divided into three branches, namely the Shi families, the Fan families and the Sui families. Fan families started from Xie, a vice general, also named Fan Quan. Fan Gai, the son of Xie, was expelled out of Kingdom Jin after failing in the power rush. Thereafter, his offspring took the name of Fan as their surname.
Fan Ye: a historian of the Han Dynasty
Fan Ye, academically called Weizong, was born in a family of officials of generations in Xichuan of Henan in the Southern Dynasty (420-479). His masterpiece, The Post-Han Dynasty, was of high value in literature for its concise words, beautiful dictions and fluent passages. He was a litterateur as well as a historian.
Fan Ye had read many classics and history books since quite young and became versatile. Besides being skillful in writing, he also knew much about music and was excellent at calligraphy, especially that of li style. He started his political career when he was only 17 years old, serving as a government official.
The Post-Han Dynasty, a great history book which he accomplished with great efforts, presented the history since the Guangwu Emperor to the Xian Emperor, covering a history of nearly 200 years of the Han Dynasty.
Fan Zhen: the fighter against Buddhism
Fanzhen (450 – 515 A.D.), born in Biyang county, Henan Province, was the bold composer of the theory of antitheism.
Fan Zhen gained great reputation in his fighting against Buddhism with wide support from the ordinary people, making great influence over the society. Emperor Xiaoyan of the Liang Dynasty, a Buddhist, called Fanzhen back to the capital to report for his official post in 507 A.D., ordering him to give up his theory and calling on all the aristocrats to write articles against him. Fully prepared, Fanzhen collected much material and compiled his theories against superstition into an essay named The Theory of Mortal God, fighting the idealistic “Immortal God Theory” with sound facts.
For his bravery and spirit of sticking to the truth, not yielding in front of the power and not betraying his belief, he was admired as the greatest materialism thinker, the brave fighter against Buddhism since Wang Chong (an outstanding materialism thinker in the East Han Dynasty) in ancient China.