Zizhi Tongjian: The Jin Dynasty (Part 1)

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Unread postby Taishi Ci 2.0 » Sun Feb 25, 2018 5:27 pm


Beginning of the Reign of Suzong, Emperor Ming, Sima Shao


(Emperor Ming's name was Sima Shao, styled Daoji. He was Sima Rui's eldest son. The Laws of Posthumous Names states, "One whose foresight extends to distant things may be called Ming ('the Wise').")


The First Year of Taining (The Guiwei Year, 323 AD)


1. In spring, the first month, the Cheng generals Li Xiang and Ren Hui invaded Jin's region of Taideng in Ningzhou. The Jin general Sima Jiu died in battle, while Jin's Administrator of Yuegui, Li Zhao, and their Administrator of Hanjia, Wang Zai, both surrendered their commandaries to Cheng.


(Taideng County was part of Yuegui commandary. The Important Records of the Nine Provinces states, "There is a Nunuo River in Taideng County which runs between Mount Yingli and the Black River, and the Ruo River flows out of it. This was the same Ruo River where the Yellow Emperor's son Changyi set his residence.”

Hanjia commandary had originally been Former Han's Qingyi County, part of Shu commandary. In Emperor Shun of Later Han's second year of Yangjia (133), he renamed it to Hanjia. Shu-Han split it off as Hanjia commandary.)


2. In the second month, on the day Gengxu (March 25th), Sima Rui was buried at Jianping Tomb.


3. In the third month, on the new moon of the day Wuyin (April 22nd), the Jin reign era title was changed to the first year of Taining.


4. There were fires in the three counties of Rao'an, Dongguang, and Anling. More than seven thousand families were burned, and fifteen thousand people died.


(These three counties were all part of Bohai commandary. Only Dongguang had remained unchanged since the Han dynasty. Rao'an County had originally been Qiantong County during Former Han; Emperor Ling of Later Han changed its name to Rao'an. Anling County had been created by Jin. At this time, all three of the counties were within Later Zhao territory.)


5. Later Zhao attacked Pengcheng and Xiapi. Jin's Inspector of Xuzhou, Bian Dun, and their General Who Conquers The North, Wang Sui, fell back to guard Xuyi. This Bian Dun was a cousin of Bian Kun's father.


6. Wang Dun plotted to usurp the throne, and he mocked any attempt by the court to summon him. Emperor Ming had to write an edict in his own hand summoning him.

In summer, the fourth month, Wang Dun was granted the Golden Battle-axe and an armed honor guard. He was allowed to enter court without having his name called and without hastening his step, and he was allowed to enter the palace still wearing his sword and shoes. Wang Dun shifted his base to Gushu, and camped his soldiers at Yuhu. Emperor Ming appointed Wang Dao as Minister Over The Masses, while Wang Dun appointed himself as acting Governor of Yangzhou.

Wang Dun wanted to seize more power, and so Wang Bin remonstrated very harshly with him. Wang Dun changed color and looked left to right, about to arrest Wang Bin. But Wang Bin sternly declared, "Sir, it was only a few years ago that you killed my elder brother. Now you mean to kill me too?" So Wang Dun did not arrest Wang Bin, but he sent him away to serve as Administrator of Yuzhang.


(Regarding the 班劍 "armed honor guard", Liu Liang's Compiled Literary Notes states, "The 班劍 refers to those who follow behind someone while grasping their swords." Lü Xiang remarked, "The 班 here means 'arrayed', as in, they are warriors who follow in array while grasping their blades, serving as an honor guard." Li Zhouhan remarked, "The 班劍 is a wooden blade without an edge. It is made to look like a sword, but its use is purely ceremonial, which is why it is called 班." According to the Records of Jin, civil and military ministers and nobles were granted twenty members of the Rapid As Tigers Guards, who grasped these blades.

Gushu was the territory of Former Han's Chungu County in Danyang commandary, the same place as Dangtu County in modern Taipingzhou. Three li south of the county seat is the Gushu Creek, which flows west into the Yangzi. Yuhu County was originally administered by Eastern Wu's Agricultural Commandant. In Emperor Wu's (Sima Yan's) second year of Taikang (281), he split the territory off from Danyang County to form Yuhu County. Du You remarked, "The capital city of Dangtu County in Xuanzhou was Jin's city of Gushu. The city of Yushu was south of that county." Zhang Shunmin remarked, "It was astride Gushu Creek in modern Taipingzhou." Lu You remarked, "The city of Gushu was north of Dangtu, and the modern city in that province is right along Gushu Creek. There are several peaks southwest of the creek like dark makeup, like Mount Qing. The creek passes through them for thirty li, until it reaches Daxinkou. Coming out from the mouth of there, it flows into the Yangzi past Greater and Lesser Heshan Promontories, as well as Xiao Promontory."

Yuhu was the same as Wuhu; they were both places on the Yangzi where Wang Dun had a fortress, possessing a magnificent aura. Sima Guang's commentary in the Textual Analysis states, "The Annals of Jin, and the False Rulers of Jin chapter of the Book of Northern Wei, both state that Wang Dun now camped his soldiers 'at Wuhu'. But the Annals of Emperor Ming in the Book of Jin states he 'moved down and camped at Yuhu'. I follow that account."

According to the Biography of Wang Bin in the Book of Jin, Wang Bin's elder cousin was Wang Leng, whom Wang Dun had earlier killed. This was why he said such a thing here. But from what I (Hu Sanxing) understand, the one who killed Wang Leng was Wang Ru. Even though Wang Dun had put him up to it, he was still only borrowing Wang Ru's hand. Besides, Wang Leng was Wang Dun's younger cousin. So I think that when Wang Bin refers to his elder brother here, he means when Wang Dun killed Wang Cheng, as mentioned in Book 88, in Emperor Huai's sixth year of Yongjia (312.44).)


7. Shi Le sent envoys to visit Murong Hui, attempting to establish good relations with him. But Murong Hui arrested the envoys and sent them to Jiankang.


8. Li Xiang and the other Cheng generals advanced to attack Ningzhou. Jin's Inspector of Ningzhou, Wang Xun, sent his generals Yao Yue and others to oppose them. The two sides fought at Tanglang, where the Cheng army was greatly defeated. Yao Yue pursued them as far as the Lu River, where the Cheng soldiers fought each other trying to cross over it, and more than a thousand of them drowned.

But because Yao Yue was now far away from his base, he did not dare to cross the river himself in further pursuit, and he returned to Ningzhou. When Wang Xun learned that Yao Yue had not pressed the pursuit, he was greatly angry, and he whipped Yao Yue. Wang Xun became so angry that his head cracked, and he passed away.

Wang Xun had been in command of Ningzhou for fourteen years, and his power and conduct were exceptional. He was posthumously known as Duke Zhuang ("the Valiant") of Baozhong.

The people of Ningzhou acclaimed Wang Xun's son Wang Jian to take over the provincial and staff affairs. Emperor Ming issued an edict confirming Wang Jian as Inspector of Ningzhou.


(According to the Commentary on the Water Classic, Tanglang was in Tanglang County. During Former Han, that county had been part of Jianwei commandary. Later Han abolished it. The Records of Commandaries and Fiefs states, "There is a Mount Tanglang in Zhuti County in the Jianwei Dependent State. This mountain has many poisonous plants which flourish during the summer months. Birds flying into them cannot pass out again." Shu-Han had created Zhuti commandary, with Tanglang County as a part of it.

Wang Xun had first arrived in Ningzhou in Emperor Huai's fourth year of Yongjia (Book 87, 310.32). From then until now it had been fourteen years.

Wang Jian took over the affairs of both the Inspector of Ningzhou and the staff of the Colonel of Southern Yi Tribes.)


9. Tao Kan sent troops to rescue Jiaozhou from Liang Shuo's siege. But before these troops could arrive, Liang Shuo captured Longbian.

Liang Shuo tried to wrest Wang Liang's staff of authority from out of his grasp, but Wang Liang refused to give it up. So Liang Shuo cut his arm off. Wang Liang said, "Even if you kill me, I won't give in to you. What does an arm matter?" He lived on for another ten days before passing away.


10. In the sixth month, on the day Renzi (July 25th), Emperor Ming honored his wife Lady Yu as Empress. He appointed the General Who Leads The Army of the Center, her elder brother Yu Liang, as chief of the Palace Secretariat.


11. During the time that Liang Shuo had occupied Jiaozhou, he had lost the affections of the people through his wicked violence. Tao Kan sent his Army Advisor, Gao Bao, to attack Liang Shuo, and Gao Bao beheaded him. Emperor Ming issued an edict appointing Tao Kan as acting Inspector of Jiaozhou and promoting him as Grand General Who Conquers The South. He was granted the privilege of a Separate Office, with equal ceremonial to the Three Excellencies.

However, before the appointment as Inspector went through, a Gentleman of the Imperial Secretariat, Ruan Fang, asked to be appointed as Inspector of Jiaozhou instead. Emperor Ming agreed to do so. Ruan Fang set out, and when he reached Ningpu, he encountered Gao Bao. Ruan Fang prepared a feast for Gao Bao, but he had soldiers in hiding who killed him. Then Gao Bao's soldiers attacked Ruan Fang, who fled and made his escape. He arrived at his province, but he was only there for a short time before he passed away of illness.


(The Records of Guangzhou states, "In Emperor Xian of Han's twenty-third year of Jian'an (218), Eastern Wu split off part of Yulin commandary and formed Ningpu commandary." The Geographical Records of Jin's Taikang Era states, "In Emperor Wu's (Sima Yan's) seventh year of Taikang (286), he changed the Command Post of the Hepu Dependent State into Ningpu commandary." During Tang, it was Ningpu County in Hengzhou.

Sima Guang's commentary in the Textual Analysis states, "The Biography of Ruan Fang in the Book of Jin states, 'Emperor Cheng was still young and tender, and the Yu clan held the reins of power. Ruan Fang asked to be assigned to Jiaozhou.' But after that passage, it then states, 'He encountered Gao Bao, who had just pacified Liang Shuo and was on his way back'. Gao Bao's pacification of Liang Shuo did not take place during Emperor Cheng's reign. The Biography of Ruan Fang is mistaken.")


12. Chen An besieged Zhao's General Who Conquers The West, Liu Gong, at Nan'an. The King of the Xiutu people, Shi Wu, led his own troops from Sangcheng to march to Shanggui to reinforce Liu Gong. They attacked Chen An together and greatly routed him. Chen An gathered up his remaining eight thousand cavalry and fled to guard Longcheng.

In autumn, the seventh month, Liu Yao himself came to besiege Longcheng, while sending another detachment to besiege Shanggui. Chen An frequently came out to fight, but he was always defeated. Zhao's General of the Army of the Right, Liu Gan, attacked Pingxiang and captured it, and all the counties of Longshang surrendered to Zhao.

Chen An left his generals Yang Bozhi and Jiang Chong’er to hold Longcheng while he led some elite cavalry to break out of the siege and flee to Xiazhong. Liu Yao sent his generals Ping Xian and others to pursue him. Chen An wielded a great blade seven 尺 long in his left hand, and in his right hand he held a serpent spear one zhang and eight 尺 long. Whenever someone came close, he would lash out with both the blade and the spear, and would thus kill five or six people. If people remained far away, Chen An would quickly shoot arrows in either direction and then ride off. But Ping Xian was no less bold, and he was so nimble he moved as though flying. He dueled Chen An; they fought three bouts, and then Ping Xian was able to wrest away Chen An’s serpent spear. But it was dusk just then, and there was a heavy downpour. Chen An abandoned his horse and hid among the hills with his followers. The Zhao soldiers searched for him, but they did not know where he was.

The next day, Chen An sent his general Shi Rong to observe the Zhao soldiers. But soldiers under the command of Zhao's General Who Supports Might, Huyan Qing, captured Shi Rong. They tortured him to make him tell them where Chen An was, but Shi Rong refused to say anything, so they killed him. After the rain let up, Huyan Qing's soldiers followed Shi Rong's traces back the other way, and they captured Chen An at the bend of a river gully, where they beheaded him.

Chen An had been charismatic among his generals and soldiers, and he had shared the same bitter struggles with them. So the people of Longshang missed him, and they composed the Ode to a Stalwart Warrior in his memory.

Yang Bozhi beheaded Jiang Chong’er and surrendered Longcheng to Zhao, and another of Chen An's generals, Song Ting, beheaded Zhao Mu and surrendered Shanggui. Liu Yao relocated more than two thousand households of the great Yang and Jiang clans of Qinzhou back to Chang'an.

The various Di and Qiang tribes all sent hostages and asked to surrender to Zhao as well. Liu Yao appointed the leader of the Qiang of Chiting, Yao Yizhong, as General Who Pacifies The West and Duke of Pingxiang.


(During Han, Pingxiang County was part of Tianshui commandary. During Jin, it was part of Lueyang commandary.

Xiazhong was south of Longcheng. The first character, 陜, is pronounced "xia" or "hia (h-ia)".

Three bouts means that they fought three times.

This was the Ode to a Stalwart Warrior:

Chen An had a hero's soul
A Longshang man, so brave and bold.
Although a slender fellow he
How greatly did his stomach feed!
He loved the men of his command
And kept them safe within his hands.
A feisty piebald he did ride
An iron saddle sat astride.
So swift he waved his fearsome blade
A deadly price it made men pay.
And as his spear swung to and fro
He plunged it into every foe.
Ten duels he'd fight of ten bouts each
With vict'ry never out of reach.
But barely now had swords been crossed
Alas! this time that spear was lost.
He left his horse among the strife
And sought some place to save his life.
But t'was not life, but death he found
And now his head hangs in the town.
Eternal does that river flow
From west to east it always goes.
You cannot turn it back again
Much less change the fate of men!)


13. Emperor Ming was afraid of the danger that Wang Dun continued to pose, and he wanted to use Chi Jian as his agent on the outside against Wang Dun. So he appointed Chi Jian as Inspector of Yanzhou and Commander of military affairs north of the Yangzi, to be stationed at Hefei. But Wang Dun was suspicious of this move, and he sent up a petition asking that Chi Jian be appointed as Prefect of the Masters of Writing instead. In the eighth month, Emperor Ming issued an edict summoning Chi Jian back to Jiankang.

On his way back, Chi Jian passed through Wang Dun's base at Gushu, and he stopped in to talk. The two of them were discussing the luminaries of the original western court (at Luoyang). Wang Dun said, "Yue Yanfu (Yue Guang) was really nothing but a man of meager talents. Just consider him, and tell me how he could have been better than Man Wuqiu (Man Fen)!"

Chi Jian replied, "I admit that Yanfu struck a rather dull note. However, when Crown Prince Minhuai (Sima Yu) was being deposed, it was Yanfu who, gentle though he was, could still act properly. Wuqiu, on the other hand, was a man who yielded the proper authority. How could you compare them?"

Wang Dun said, "You have to consider the circumstances. That was when Wuqiu was under severe duress."

Chi Jian replied, "A real man will remain true to himself even in the face of life and death."

Wang Dun resented Chi Jian for this implied criticism, and he would not see him again. He kept Chi Jian at Gushu for some time and would not send him on to Jiankang. Wang Dun's partisans all urged him to kill Chi Jian, but he did not listen to them.

Chi Jian eventually reached Jiankang, where he began plotting with Emperor Ming how they might campaign against Wang Dun.


(During this time, the people of the Southland called the original Jin court at Luoyang the "western court".

Yue Guang's style name was Yanfu; Man Fen's style name was Wuqiu.

The two incidents which Chi Jian holds against Man Fen were when he arrested the ministers and servants of the Eastern Palace who had been talking with Sima Yu, and when he presented Emperor Hui's seals to Sima Lun when Sima Lun usurped the throne. These things are mentioned in Books 83 and 84, in Emperor Hui's first year of Yongkang (300.3) and first year of Yongning (301.2).)


14. Shi Hu led forty thousand horse and foot to attack the warlord Cao Yi, whom Jin had appointed as General Who Maintains The East. Many of the counties and commandaries of Qingzhou surrendered to Shi Hu. He then besieged Cao Yi at his base at Guanggu. Cao Yi came out to surrender, and Shi Hu sent him on to Xiangguo, where Cao Yi was killed.

Shi Hu also buried alive thirty thousand people from Cao Yi's forces. He had intended to kill all of Cao Yi's people, but Later Zhao's Inspector of Qingzhou, Liu Zheng, told him, "I was sent here in order to tend to the people. If there are no people, I'll have no choice but to go back!" So Shi Hu assigned seven hundred men and women to Liu Zheng and had him guard Guanggu.


(The Commentary on the Water Classic states, "The city of Guanggu was forty li northwest of Guang County in Han's Qi commandary. The area was cut off on every side by ravines, which served as deep moats, which was why Cao Yi built the city there." The Records on the Nine Regions states, "The city of Guanggu was the old city of Le'an." I (Hu Sanxing) note that there is a city of Guanggu forty li west of Yidu County in modern Qingzhou, about which Du You remarked, "The place has great ravines which are very wide, thus it is called Guanggu ('Wide and Stout').")


15. Liu Yao marched west from Longshang, leading his forces to attack Liangzhou. He sent his general Liu Xian to attack the Liangzhou general Han Pu at Jicheng and sent Huyan Yan to attack Liangzhou's Protector-General Who Tranquilizies The Qiang, Yin Jian, at Sangbi, while Liu Yao himself led two hundred and eighty thousand soldiers to Heshang.

Liu Yao's camps stretched for more than a hundred li, and the sound of his army's golden drums shook the earth and churned the Yellow River. Zhang Mao's garrisons along the Yellow River, seeing which way the wind was blowing, scattered and fled. Liu Yao spread word that he was intending to lead his army across the Yellow River into Liangzhou along a hundred different roads, making straight for Liangzhou's capital at Guzang. The whole province was greatly shaken.

Zhang Mao's Army Advisor, Ma Ji, urged him to go and oppose the Zhao army in person. This angered Zhang Mao's Chief Clerk, Fan Yi, who asked that Ma Ji be beheaded. But Ma Ji said, "Lord Fan is just a 'scholar of the dregs'. He has a little talent when it comes to accusing others of their faults, but he does not consider the greater plan for the state. Your Grace, you and your father have long wished to execute Liu Yao on behalf of the Jin court. Now Liu Yao himself has come to you, and the eyes of everyone near and far are upon you, watching to see what you shall do. You should use bold people you can trust in order to fulfill the hopes of those in Qinzhou and Longxi. Although your strength is not equal to Liu Yao's, your power is such that you cannot refuse to face him."

Zhang Mao replied, "Excellent!" And he went out to camp his army at Shitou.

Then Zhang Mao said to another Army Advisor, Chen Zhen, "Liu Yao has summoned the forces of all the Three Qins region, and he has come here having just won a victory. What should we do?"

Chen Zhen replied, "Although Liu Yao has a great army, few of them are actually skilled soldiers. He has swelled his numbers by forcing a great many of the Di and Qiang peoples to join him like a flock of crows, but he has not yet had a chance to really win them over through displays of his grace and trust. Furthermore, he still has enemies east of the mountains (that is, east of Luoyang) to worry about. When he has such threats to his very heart and stomach, how can he remain here in stalemate for days on end and contend with us for mastery of the Hexi region? If he does not retreat within twenty days, then please give me a few thousand weak soldiers, and I shall capture him for you."

Zhang Mao was pleased, and he sent Chen Zhen to lead troops to reinforce Han Pu.

The Zhao generals were all spoiling for a fight and wanted to cross the Yellow River. But Liu Yao said, "Although our army's power has grown, two-thirds of our numbers are just people who came to us because they feared our might. Furthermore, our soldiers are fatigued, and it would be difficult to really put them to use. What we will do for now is merely put on our armor and make a sudden advance, so that we can unnerve them by the sound of our martial activities. If Zhang Mao has not sent us a petition asking to submit by the middle of this month, then I shall do as all of you advise."

Zhang Mao soon sent envoys offering his vassalage to Zhao, as well as uncountable numbers of horses, oxen, sheep, and treasures to present as tribute. Liu Yao appointed Zhang Mao as Palace Attendant, Commander of military affairs in Liangzhou, Northern and Southern Qinzhou, Lianzhou, Yizhou, Bazhou, Hanzhou, Longyou, the Western Reaches, and over the Xiongnu and other various tribal peoples, as well as Grand Tutor, Governor of Liangzhou, and Prince of Liang. He also granted Zhang Mao the Nine Bestowments.


(Sangbi was within Nan'an commandary.

The Zhuangxi states, "Duke Huan, seated above in his hall, was reading a book, and the wheelwright Bian was making a wheel below it. Bian asked the Duke, 'I venture to ask Your Grace what words you are reading?' The duke said, 'The words of the sages.' 'Are those sages alive?' Bian continued. 'They are dead,' was the reply. 'Then,' said the other, 'what you, my Ruler, are reading are only the dregs and sediments of those old men. Such ancients, and what it was not possible for them to convey, are all dead.' (13.9)" Li remarked, "The term 糟 'dregs' means the remains of wine."

Ma Ji calls Fan Yi a 刺舉. A 刺er is one who can wound people through blunt remarks; a 舉er is one who brings up people's transgressions.

This Shitou was east of the city of Guzang.

When Zhang Mao says that Liu Yao "has come here having just won a victory", he means how Liu Yao had just defeated Chen An and was now riding the momentum of that victory to attack Liangzhou.

By "enemies east of the mountains", Chen Zhen meant Liu Yao's mutual antagonism with Shi Le.

The situation of Liu Yao's army was just as Chen Zhen had analyzed.)

Bazhou and Hanzhou do not seem to have been existing provinces either. Presumably they covered parts of Sichuan.


16. When Yang Nandi heard that Chen An was dead, he was very afraid. He and his younger brother Yang Jiantou fled south to Hanzhong. Zhao's General Who Guards The West, Liu Hou, pursued and attacked them, capturing a great many people before returning. Liu Yao appointed his Grand Herald, Tian Song, as Grand General Who Guards The South and Inspector of Yizhou, and stationed him at Chouchi.

Yang Nandi sent hostages to Cheng, asking to surrender to them. Cheng's General Who Maintains The North, Li Zhi, accepted bribes from Yang Nandi and so did not send him on to Chengdu. After the Zhao soldiers withdrew, Li Zhi sent Yang Nandi back to Wudu. Yang Nandi occupied it and then refused to obey Cheng any longer.

Li Zhi, blaming himself for having miscalculated, repeatedly asked to lead a campaign against Yang Nandi. The Emperor of Cheng, Li Xiong, sent the Palace Attendant and General Who Leads The Army of the Center, Li Zhi's elder brother Li Han, to join him in marching out to Baishui. He also sent the General Who Conquers The East, Li Shou, and Li Han's younger brother Li Wu to march to Yinping. These two prongs would attack Yang Nandi. Li Xiong's ministers remonstrated with him, but he did not listen to them.

Yang Nandi sent soldiers to block Li Shou's and Li Wu's advance, so they could go no further. Meanwhile, Li Han and Li Zhi rushed ahead until they reached Xiabian. Then Yang Nandi sent soldiers to cut off their retreat, and he attacked them from all sides. Li Han and Li Zhi, deep in enemy territory and with no way out, were both killed by Yang Nandi, and several thousand Cheng soldiers died.

Li Han had been Li Dang's eldest son, and he had had such talent and influence that Li Xiong had wanted to make him his heir. When Li Xiong heard that Li Han had died, he went several days without eating.


(The term 亟請 means to repeatedly ask for something.)


17. Originally, Liu Yao had an eldest son named Liu Jian and a second son named Liu Yin. By the time Liu Yin was nine years old, he was already seven 尺 and five 寸 tall. The Emperor of Han at that time, Liu Cong, had said to Liu Yao, "This boy has a remarkable aura to him; there's no comparison between him and Yizhen (Liu Jian). You should make this one your heir."

Liu Yao had replied, "The heir of a border commander need only be good enough to protect the sacrifices. I would not dare to confuse the order of seniority among sons."

Liu Cong had said, "When it comes to your accomplishments, your virtues, and the position you hold as a conquering general, no other minister can compare with you. I shall make a new fief and give that one to Yizhen."

And Liu Cong had appointed Liu Jian as Prince of Linhai, while naming Liu Yin as Liu Yao's heir. When Liu Yin was grown up, he was very strong and was skilled with the bow, and he was valiant and as nimble as the wind.

During Jin Zhun's rebellion and slaughter of the Liu clan, Liu Yin had hid among the tribe of Heini Yuju. Now, after Chen An was defeated, Liu Yin told Heini Yuju who he really was. Greatly astonished, Heini Yuju treated Liu Yin with all due ceremony and sent him back to his father.

Liu Yao felt bittersweet happiness at the return of his son. He said to his ministers, "Although Yiguang (another son, Liu Xi) is already the Crown Prince, he is still young and tender, and he has a bookish and cautious nature. I fear he would not be able to endure the many troubles we face today. And after all, Yisun (Liu Yin) was originally my heir. His talents and abilities are more than human, and has he not already experienced so many travails himself? So I wish to follow the precedents of King Wen of Zhou and Emperor Guangwu of Han. By doing so, I shall both protect the fortunes of state and give peace to Yiguang. What do you say?"

The Grand Tutor, Huyan Yan, and the others ministers all said, "Your Majesty is always making plans for the benefit of the state, and how can we ministers gainsay you? This is truly a moment for celebration for the imperial family and all within the Four Seas."

But then the Household Counselor With Golden Tassel of the Left, Bo Tai, and the Grand Guardian to the Crown Prince, Han Guang, stepped forward and said, "Your Majesty, it is your prerogative to depose or set up whomever you wish. But rather than act at once, you have consulted your ministers about it. If you are uncertain as to whether to carry out your intentions, then may it please you to hear divergent opinions expressed.

"In our humble view, to depose the Crown Prince would be improper. In ancient times, when King Wen of Zhou arranged his succession, that was before he himself had been established, and so it was permissible. As for Emperor Guangwu, he only deposed his Crown Prince because the Crown Prince's mother had lost his favor; how could such a thing as that serve as a precedent for a sage court? If the Prince of Donghai had indeed succeeded to the throne, we cannot be sure that he would have been any worse than Emperor Ming.

"Now Liu Yin is indeed talented and cunning at both civil and military affairs, and he truly does surpass many others of our time. However, the Crown Prince is filial, friendly, benevolent, and kind, and he would also be able to serve as a worthy lord for a peaceful world. Furthermore, it is not just the residents of the Eastern Palace who have become attached to the Crown Prince; even the common people and the spirits are with him. How could you so lightly set him aside? Your Majesty, if you truly wish to do this, we shall have to oppose you to the death. We dare not uphold such an edict."

Liu Yao fell silent in response. Then Liu Yin himself stepped forward and said, "Fathers must show equal love to all their sons. Your Majesty, if you were to depose Liu Xi and set me in his place, how could I dare to feel at ease with that? If you truly believe that I am suited to carry out the long-term plans of the state, then could I not equally serve as an assistant to Liu Xi and help him to achieve the sage design? If you are determined that I should replace Liu Xi, then allow me to give up my life this very moment, for I dare not heed such an order." And he was driven to sobbing and weeping.

Now despite his proposal, Liu Yao could not really bear to depose Liu Xi, because he was the son of the late Empress Yang Xianrong. So he decided not to replace Liu Xi. He posthumously named his former wife and Liu Yin's mother, Lady Bo, as Empress Yuandao ("the Foremost and Grieved"). This Bo Tai was Lady Bo's brother and Liu Yin's uncle. Liu Yao praised him for his just and loyal service, and he appointed him as Upper Household Counselor With Golden Tassel with equal ceremonial to the Three Excellencies and as acting Grand Tutor to the Crown Prince. He appointed Liu Yin as Prince of Yong'an, Palace Attendant, Grand Guard General, Commander of the guards of the Two Palaces, and chief of affairs of the Masters of Writing, and granted him the privilege of a Separate Office with equal ceremonial to the Three Excellencies. Liu Yao ordered Liu Xi to conduct himself before Liu Yin in all cases by the ceremonies proper between an elder and younger brother.


(Liu Jian's style name was Yizhen.

Liu Cong was saying that Liu Yao, although a border commander, had achieved many conquests during his time.

Jin Zhun's rebellion against Liu Can and his slaughter of most of the Liu family is mentioned in Book 90, in the first year of Taixing (318.30).

Since Heini Yuju had returned Liu Yin, Liu Yao commended his loyalty and sincerity and appointed him as Worthy Prince of the Left. So Heini Yuju must have been from another branch of the Xiongnu.

Liu Yao's Crown Prince, Liu Xi, was styled Yiguang; Liu Yin's style name was Yisun.

King Wen of Zhou had set aside his eldest son Bo Yikao in favor of his second son, the later King Wu. Emperor Guangwu of Han had set aside his eldest son Liu Jiang in favor of the later Emperor Ming.

The "two palaces" were Liu Yao's palace and Liu Xi's palace.

Liu Xi was not to show a lack of proper respect as a younger brother to an elder brother just because he was the heir.)


18. Zhang Mao greatly fortified Guzang, and he finished the construction of the Lingjun Terrace. His Attendant Officer With Separate Carriage, Wu Shao, remonstrated with him, saying, "Your Grace, when you were repairing the walls and building terraces just now, that was just because of the approaching threat from Liu Yao. Foolish as I am, still I do not believe that your grace has spread all through the hearts of the people. Even if you lived in such a tall terrace, it would not do you any good; all it would do is alienate you from the loyalty and trust of your ministers and subordinates, and lose you the hopes of the gentry and common people who have placed their trust in you. You would show yourself to be weak and cowardly, and that would invite your neighboring enemies to plot against you. Then how could you assist the Son of Heaven or serve as a hegemon over the feudal lords? I pray you will fully cease these projects and give rest to such expenditures of funds and labor."

Zhang Mao replied, "When my late elder brother lost his life in a single day, was it because he lacked loyal ministers and righteous men who would serve him with all they had? When disaster creeps up upon you, even intelligence and bravery cannot turn it away. And are there not ancient principles which state, 'the kings and nobles establish defenses', and 'a brave man keeps the leaves of his door shut'? The state is not yet tranquil, and a man living in a difficult age cannot be reproached with a reasoning more suited to an age of peace."

And this was how Zhang Mao remained, to the end of his life.


(Zhang Mao had begun construction of the Lingjun Terrace in Emperor Yuan's fourth year of Taixing (Book 91, 321.2). But because of Yan Zeng's remonstration, he had halted the construction. He now completed it.

Wu Shao was referring to when Liu Yao had come to attack Liangzhou.

Zhang Mao's elder brother Zhang Shi had been assassinated by his subordinates, as mentioned in Book 91, in the second year of Taixing (320.11).

The Book of Changes states, "The kings and nobles establish defenses, to maintain their territories (29.1).”

The Zuo Commentary to the Spring and Autumn Annals states, "A brave man keeps the leaves of his door shut;—how much more should a State do so! (Cheng 8.7)")


19. Wang Dun had a cousin's son, Wang Yunzhi, who wore his hair in twin tufts. Wang Dun treasured Wang Yunzhi because of his intelligence and perception, and he often had Wang Yunzhi follow him around. Wang Dun often drank during the night, and when Wang Yunzhi was with him, Wang Yunzhi would get drunk and be the first one to lie down.

On one such night, Wang Dun was making treasonous plans together with his subordinate Qian Feng, and Wang Yunzhi heard everything they were saying. But just then, he was lying in a pool of his own vomit, and both his clothes and his face were filthy. When Qian Feng left, Wang Dun looked around, and seeing Wang Yunzhi lying in a pool of vomit, he did not suspect anything from him.

Soon, Wang Yunzhi's father Wang Shu was appointed as Commandant of Justice, so Wang Yunzhi asked Wang Dun to let him return to help his father. Upon arriving at court, Wang Yunzhi informed his father of all the plotting that Wang Dun and Qian Feng were up to. Wang Shu and Wang Dao then reported to Emperor Ming, and they made secret preparations on his behalf.


(Mao Chang remarked, "The term 總角 means to gather the hair in two parts.")

王右軍年裁十歲時,大將軍甚愛之,恆置帳中眠。大將軍嘗先出,右軍猶未起;須臾,錢鳳入,屏人論事,都忘右軍在帳中,便言逆節之謀。右軍覺,既聞所論,知無活理,乃剔吐汙頭面被褥,詐熟眠。敦論事造半,方意右軍未起,相與大驚曰:「不得不除之!」及開帳,乃見吐唾從橫,信其實熟眠,於是得全。于時稱其有智。(New Tales 27.7)

When Wang Xizhi was under ten years old, his uncle, the Grand General Wang Dun, was extremely fond of him, and frequently had him sleep within his own bed curtains.

One morning (in 322?), Wang Dun had gotten out of bed first, before Wang Xizhi had gotten up. A short while later, Qian Feng entered the room and the two men started to discuss business. Forgetting all about the fact that Wang Xizhi was still inside the bed curtains, Wang Dun proceeded to talk about his plot to rebel.

Wang Xizhi woke up, and after he heard what they were discussing, he realized there was no prospect of escaping alive.
Accordingly, he gagged and vomited, soiling his face and bedclothes, then feigned a deep sleep.

Wang Dun was already halfway through discussing his business before he remembered that Wang Xizhi had not yet gotten up.
Then with a shock of alarm he cried, "There's no help for it but to put him out of the way!" But when he opened the curtains and saw the vomit spread in all directions, he believed that Wang Xizhi really was in a deep sleep, and thereby the boy's life was preserved. At the time, people praised Wang Xizhi for his sagacity. (tr. Richard Mather)


20. Wang Dun wanted to strengthen the power of his clan while isolating the power of the imperial clan. In winter, the eleventh month, he reassigned Wang Han as General Who Conquers The East and Commander of military affairs in Yangzhou west of the Yangzi. He also appointed Wang Shu as Inspector of Jingzhou and Chief of military affairs in Jingzhou south of the Mian River, and he appointed Wang Bin as Inspector of Jiangzhou.


21. Shi Le appointed his Army Advisor, Fan Tan, as Interior Minister of Zhangwu.

When Shi Le saw that Fan Tan's clothes and hat were shabby and damaged, he asked him about it. Fan Tan rashly responded, "I was just plundered by the Jie bandits, who stole everything I own."

Shi Le laughed and said, "Those Jie bandits have really done you wrong! I shall have to make it up to you."

Fan Tan was greatly afraid, and he kowtowed as he wept and begged forgiveness. But Shi Le gave him a carriage with horses, new robes and clothes, and three million cash before sending him on his way.


(During Han, Zhangwu County was part of Bohai commandary. In Emperor Wu's (Sima Yan's) first year of Taishi (265), he split it off as the Zhangwu princely fief. Sui abolished Zhangwu as a fief and folded it into Hejian commandary. During Tang, it was Yingzhou.)


22. During this year, the Si-Sou people of Yuegui commandary attacked the Cheng general Ren Hui. Li Xiong sent his General Who Conquers The South, Fei Hei, to campaign against them.


(The Accounts of the Southwestern Tribes in the Book of Han states, "The Si people live to the northeast of Gui. They have dozens of chiefs and leaders, with the greatest being the Xi/Si and Zuo." Yan Shigu remarked, "The Xi/Si and Zuo were both states." 巂 is pronounced "sui". 徙 is pronounced "si". This Si people were a branch of the Si people known during Han; the people of Shu called them the Sou.)


23. Jin's Interior Minister of Kuaiji, Zhou Zha, was a member of a family which boasted five marquises. His clan was powerful and abundant, and there were no others among the gentry families of the Wu region which could compare with them. So Wang Dun was wary of the Zhou clan.

At this time, Wang Dun became ill. Qian Feng urged him to do away with the Zhou clan at once, and Wang Dun was inclined to agree.

Since Zhou Yi had died, his younger brother Zhou Song often felt agitated. Wang Dun had no son, so he adopted Wang Han's son Wang Ying as his heir. This Zhou Song had once accused Wang Ying of being unfit to command soldiers in the midst of the army, and Wang Dun hated him for that. Zhou Song and Zhou Zha's nephew Zhou Yan were both serving under Wang Dun as Attendant Officers of the Household Gentlemen.

At this time, there was a Daoist named Li Tuo who used magic to beguile the people, and many gentry and common people were inclined to believe in him.


(Zhou Zha was himself the Marquis of Dongqian County. His elder brother Zhou Jing had a son, Zhou Mao, who was Marquis of Qingliu Village. Zhou Mao's younger brother Zhou Zan was Marquis of Wukang County. Zhou Zan's younger brother Zhou Jin was Marquis of Du Precinct. And another of Zhou Zha's elder brothers, Zhou Qi, had a son, Zhou Xie, who was Marquis of Wucheng County. This made five marquises.

Zhou Yi's execution by Wang Dun is mentioned above, in the first year of Yongchang (322.30).)
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Taishi Ci 2.0
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Unread postby Taishi Ci 2.0 » Tue May 22, 2018 1:38 am


The Second Year of Taining (The Jiashen Year, 324 AD)


1. In spring, the first month, Wang Dun slandered Zhou Song, Zhou Yan, and Li Tu as plotting against proper authority. He arrested Zhou Song and Zhou Yan and killed them in the midst of the army.

Wang Dun sent one of his Army Advisors, He Luan, to go to Shen Chong in the Wu princely fief, who killed all of Zhou Zha's nephews there. Shen Chong’s soldiers then advanced to attack Kuaiji commandary. Zhou Zha opposed them, but died in battle.


2. Later Zhao's Commandant of Soldiers, Shi Zhan, invaded Xiapi and Pengcheng commandaries and captured Dongguan and Donghai commandaries. The Jin general Liu Xia fell back to guard Sikou.


(During Han, Dongguan County was part of Langye commandary. In Emperor Wu's (Sima Yan's) first year of Taishi (265), he split it off from Langye to form Dongguan commandary.

The Commentary on the Water Classic states, "The Si River flows east from the city of Huaiyang, passing north of Juecheng, and then southeast until it merges with the Huai River. That place is called Sikou ('mouth of the Si')." Du You remarked, "Sikou was within Suqian County in modern Linhuai commandary.")


3. Later Zhao's Inspector of Sizhou, Shi Sheng, attacked Zhao's Administrator of Henan, Yin Ping, at Xin'an. Shi Sheng beheaded Yin Ping and captured more than five thousand households before returning.

Thus began a general war between the two Zhao states. From this time on, there were daily incidents of fighting and plunder, and the people living in the region around Hedong and Hongnong commandaries never knew a moment's peace.


(During Han, Xin'an County was part of Hongnong commandary. During Jin, it was part of Henan commandary.

Hedong and Hongnong commandaries were the border between the two Zhao states.)


4. Shi Sheng invaded the regions of Xuchang and Yingchuan, capturing around ten thousand people. He attacked the Jin general Guo Song at Yangdi, but Guo Song inflicted a great rout on him, and Shi Sheng retreated to guard Kangcheng.

When Later Zhao's Interior Minister of Ji commandary, Shi Cong, heard that Shi Sheng had been defeated, he rushed to rescue him. He advanced and attacked Jin's Inspector of Sizhou, Li Ju, and their Administrator of Yingchuan, Guo Mo, and routed both of them.


(This passage refers to "the regions of Xu and Ying"; it means Xuchang and Yingchuan, which were both part of the same commandary.

According to Wei Shou's Geographical Records, there was a city of Kangcheng in Yangdi County.)


5. The Emperor of Cheng, Li Xiong, had no sons by his Empress, Lady Ren. He did have sons by his concubines, more than ten in all. But rather than select one of these sons to be his heir, Li Xiong instead chose to make Li Ban, the son of his late elder brother Li Dang, the Crown Prince. He had Lady Ren act as a mother to the boy.

Li Xiong's ministers asked him to make one of his own sons the Crown Prince instead. But Li Xiong told them, "My elder brother was His Late Majesty's (Li Te's) primary heir. How remarkable were his talents; how great were his accomplishments! I have often regretted the fact that, just as we were on the cusp of victory, he lost his life too soon. Besides, the boy Li Ban is benevolent, filial, and fond of study. He shall certainly be able to continue our great endeavor."

The Grand Tutor, Li Xiang, and the Minister Over The Masses, Wang Da, remonstrated with him, saying, "The rulers of old always made sure to appoint their sons as their heirs, in order to make clear the line of succession and protect against usurpation. The examples of Duke Xuan of Song and Yuji of Wu should be sufficient proof for why you should not do otherwise!"

But Li Xiong did not listen to them. When Li Xiang withdrew, he wept and said, "This shall bring about turmoil!"

Li Ban was modest and courteous to his subordinates, and conducted himself according to proper ceremony. Whenever Li Xiong held a great council, he always had Li Ban attend as well.


(Li Dang had died in battle shortly before Li Xiong led the rebel forces to capture Chengdu and establish Cheng as a state. This is mentioned in Book 85, in Emperor Hui's second year of Tai'an (303.3).

Li Xiang and Wang Da quote from the Book of Han: "It is a principle of long provenance that the one selected as heir must be one's son."

Regarding Duke Xuan of the ancient state of Song, the Gongyang Commentary to the Spring and Autumn Annals states, "Duke Xuan of Song said to Duke Mu, 'My regard for my son Yuyi is not so great as my regard for you, and when it comes to the one who can safeguard the fortunes of our state, Yuyi does not compare with you. You must be the one to become lord.' But after Duke Xuan died, when Duke Mu succeeded him, he drove out his own two sons, Duke Zhuang (Feng) and the Instructor of the Left (Bo), and restored the state back to Yuyi. This is why the ruler's son must inherit his seat; Song's misfortunes stemmed from Duke Xuan's decision here."

Regarding Yuji of Wu, the Gongyang Commentary states, "The Earl of Wu, Ye, had three brothers by the same mother: Yuji, Yimo, and Jizi. Jizi was young, but he was talented, and his brothers all treasured him and wished to make him the ruler. Ye said, 'Even if I were to constrain myself and share the state with Jizi, he would still not accept it. So rather than pass the state from father to son, let us pass it from elder brother to younger brother, until it is Jizi's time.' They followed this arrangement, and so when Yimo passed away, Jizi was slated to be the next ruler. However, he shirked such responsibility. There was a certain Liao, the eldest son of their father Shoumeng by a concubine, whom Yizi made the new Earl in his place. But Yimo had a son, Helü, who thought to himself, 'It was His Late Majesty's will that the succession should pass from elder brother to younger brother rather than from father to son. If we are going to follow his will, then Jizi must be the new ruler. But if we are not going to follow it, then I ought to be the new ruler. By what right does Liao claim the throne?' And so he sent Zhuan Zhu to kill Liao." Zhang Shoujie remarked, "The second character in Yuji, 祭, is pronounced 'cie (c-ie)'. And the second character in Yimo, 昩, is pronounced 'me (m-e)'."

This was why Li Xiong's sons later killed Li Ban.)


6. In summer, the fifth month, on the day Jiashen (June 21st), the Inspector of Liangzhou, Zhang Mao, became deathly ill. He took the hand of his nephew Zhang Jun and wept as he told him, "Our family has been esteemed for several generations now because of our filial, friendly, and loyal service to the dynasty. Though the realm is now wracked by great turmoil, the time has now come for you to inherit this role in my place. Do not lose what we have built here."

And he ordered his officials, "The offices which I now hold were not ones that I was appointed to by the imperial court, and what trivial things have I accomplished that I dare have anyone honor me for them? When I die, just wrap me in a white shroud and lay me in my coffin, and do not bury me as a court minister."

The same day, he passed away.

It was earlier mentioned that Emperor Min had sent the official Shi Shu to Guzang to pass on his will to Zhang Shi. Shi Shu was still there, and so Liangzhou's Chief Clerks of the Left and Right, Fan Yi and Ma Mo, and others had Shi Shu grant Zhang Jun the titles of Grand General, Governor of Liangzhou, and Duke of Xiping, and to declare a general amnesty within his domain.

Since Zhang Mao had been a nominal vassal of Zhao, Liu Yao sent envoys to posthumously appoint him as Grand Governor and give him the posthumous title Prince Chenglie ("the Accomplished and Fierce"), and to appoint Zhang Jun as Supreme Grand General, Governor of Liangzhou, and Prince of Liang under Zhao authority.


(Since Chang'an had fallen after Shi Shu left, he had nowhere to return to, and so he remained in Guzang.

Fan Yi's given name 禕 is pronounced "xei (x-ei)".)

是年,張茂死,兄寔子駿立,遣使朝貢。(Book of Northern Wei 1, Annals of the Tuoba Ancestors)

In the fourth year of the reign of the Prince of Dai, Tuoba Henu (324), Zhang Mao of Liangzhou passed away. His elder brother Zhang Shi's son Zhang Jun succeeded him. Zhang Jun sent envoys to the Tuoba court offering tribute.


7. Wang Dun's illness became critical. He forged an imperial decree appointing his adopted heir Wang Ying as Valiant Guard General to serve as his adjutant, and appointing his elder brother Wang Han as Grand General of Agile Cavalry with the privilege of a Seperate Office with equal ceremonial to the Three Excellencies.

Wang Dun's advisor Qian Feng asked him, "If anything should happen to you, should we entrust affairs to Wang Ying?"

Wang Dun replied, "Extraordinary times call for extraordinary men, no less. Besides, Wang Ying is still young. How could he handle such great affairs? After I die, the best thing that all of you could do would be to disband your forces and send your soldiers away, then present yourselves to the court in order to secure your families and households. If you don't want to do that, then you should fall back to Wuchang and concentrate your soldiers there to maintain its defenses, while still sending tribute to the court. The least thing that I would suggest would be for you to have your whole army set out while I am still alive and risk everything on a decisive battle."

But Qian Feng said to the other officers, "This last plan is what our lord calls the worst one, but I see it as the best one." So he made arrangements with Shen Chong for their plot: they would wait until after Wang Dun had died, and then start a rebellion. In the meantime, since their household guards and retainers were so numerous, they sent two-thirds of them home on leave.


(Sima Xiangru's Refuting The Elders of Shu states, "When the age has extraordinary men, there shall be extraordinary times for them."

Evil as Wang Dun himself was, he was surpassed in villainy by Shen Chong and Qian Feng. Thus it is said, "Virtue and wickedness flock together.")


8. Up until this time, Emperor Ming had been close to the Prefect of the Palace Secretariat, Wen Jiao. Wang Dun was wary of Wen Jiao, so he asked that Wen Jiao be transferred to his own command to serve as his Marshal of the Left.

When Wen Jiao arrived to take up this role, he pretended to diligent and respectful, and so involved himself in Wang Dun's staff affairs, humoring his plans in order to win himself over to Wang Dun. He also formed a close connection to Qian Feng and was always extolling his reputation, saying, "Qian Shiyi is full of divine insight." Wen Jiao had long been known as a man of excellent discernment of men's character, and so Qian Feng was greatly pleased to be so well spoken of, and he became good friends with Wen Jiao.

Soon, the post of Intendant of Danyang became vacant. Wen Jiao said to Wang Dun, "The Intendancy of the Capital is a critical post. You should make your own appointment of some talented man to fill it. If you let the court make the appointment, it might be someone whom you cannot control."

Wang Dun agreed, so he asked Wen Jiao, "Whom can I appoint?"

Wen Jiao replied, "In my humble view, there is no better choice than Qian Feng."

Qian Feng then urged Wen Jiao to be the appointee instead, and Wen Jiao pretended to decline. But Wang Dun would not hear of it, and in the sixth month, he petitioned to have Wen Jiao appointed as the new Intendant of Danyang, so that he could keep an eye on the court on Wang Dun's behalf.

However, Wen Jiao was worried that after he had left, Qian Feng might try to put a stop to the appointment anyway. So during the farewell banquet that Wang Dun organized for him, Wen Jiao got up to bring the wine around. When he came to Qian Feng, Qian Feng had not finished his drink yet. Wen Jiao, pretending to be drunk, hit Qian Feng's headdress with his hand board, sternly telling him, "Qian Feng, who are you that you dare not to drink when I, Wen Taizhen, am bringing the wine around?" Wang Dun believed that Wen Jiao was drunk, and he broke up the altercation.

When Wen Jiao was about to depart, he was very tearfully disheveled as he was taking his leave of Wang Dun, and he kept leaving the pavilion only to walk back in again. After he finally left for good, Qian Feng said to Wang Dun, "Wen Jiao is very close to the court, and he has a deep relationship with Yu Liang as well. We cannot trust him yet."

But Wang Dun replied, "Taizhen may have been drunk last night and gotten in a little scuffle with you, but is that any reason for you to slander him now?"

Once Wen Jiao arrived at Jiankang, he revealed all of Wang Dun's treasonous plans to Emperor Ming, and asked him to make preparations against the rebellion. He also plotted with Yu Liang to organize their own campaign against Wang Dun's forces.

When Wang Dun heard of these things, he was furious, and he said, "I was swindled by that little performance!" He wrote a letter to the Minister Over The Masses, his cousin Wang Dao, stating, "Taizhen was with us here only a few days ago, and yet this is how he acts now! You should get some men together to take him alive and cut out his tongue."


(繆 means "to pretend".

Qian Feng’s style name was Shiyi. Wen Jiao’s style name was Taizhen.

This passage describes Wen Jiao as being a 藻鑑. This means someone who is as capable of reflecting someone's worth as a splendid mirror. When someone has fine qualities and is dressed in loose clothes and ornaments, we call them a 黼藻, as though their clothing had 藻火 or 黼黻. And the mirror is for distinguishing the beautiful from the ugly. So one who is able to discern worthy people and then commend them and advance them in office is called a 藻鑑.

This passage mentions a 丹楊 Danyang commandary. When Jin moved their capital to Jianyang, the office of Administrator for Danyang commandary was changed to Intendant, as was proper for the capital commandary. It remained so through the Liu-Song, Qi, and Liang dynasties. Hong Shi remarked, "During Former Han, Danyang commandary was administered from Wanling, and Danyang County was where the modern Jiankang is. The histories of Later Han all write it as 丹陽 Danyang. After Western Jin moved their capital to Jianye, Emperor Yuan changed the office of Administrator to Intendant." Wei Shou's Geographical Records states, "The mountains in that commandary had many red willow trees, thus the name 丹楊 Danyang ('Cinnabar Poplar')." In the other books covering the histories of Han and Jin, few write the second character as 楊. During Tang's Tianbao reign era (742-756), Jingkou first became Danyang commandary, and Qu'a County was changed to Danyang County, but these were not the old Han domains.

Wang Dun ruled the court from afar, but in the end, he could not get rid of those who caused him the most trouble, like Chi Jian and Wen Jiao. From this, we can see that Jiankang was still able to maintain its own enforcement of affairs.)


9. Emperor Ming was about to begin a campaign against Wang Dun, but first he asked the 勳 With Golden Tassel, Ying Zhan, about it. Ying Zhan urged him to go ahead, and this decided Emperor Ming.

On the day Dingmao (August 3rd), he promoted Wang Dao as Grand Commander and acting Inspector of Yangzhou. He appointed Wen Jiao as Commander of military affairs north of Dong'an, and sent him to guard the Shitou fortress with the General of the Right, Bian Dun. He appointed Ying Zhan as General Who Protects The Army and Commander of the Vanguard and of military affairs south of Zhuque Bridge. He appointed Chi Jian as acting Guard General and Commander of military affairs in the imperial train. He appointed Yu Liang as acting Guard General of the Left, and appointed the Secretary of the Masters of Writing, Bian Kun, as acting General of the Central Army.

Chi Jian believed that there was no real worth in receiving such a title, and he firmly declined his appointment and would not accept it. He also asked that Emperor Ming summon the forces of the Administrator of Linhuai, Su Jun, and the Inspector of Yanzhou, Liu Xia, so that they could assist the campaign against Wang Dun. So Emperor Ming issued an edict summoning the two of them, as well as the Inspector of Xuzhuou, Wang Sui, the Inspector of Yuzhou, Zu Yue, the Administrator of Guangling, Tao Zhan, and others to bring their forces to the capital.

Emperor Ming camped his soldiers at the Central Hall.


(Regarding Wen Jiao's appointment as Commander "north of Dong'an", we see later in the passage that Ying Zhan is appointed as Commander "south of Zhuque Bridge", which ran across the Qinhuai River (that flows south of Jiankang). So it must be that "north of Dong'an" meant "north of the Qinhuai River".

Sima Guang's commentary in the Textual Analysis states, "The Biography of Bian Dun in the Book of Jin states, 'Wang Dun petitioned to have Bian Dun appointed as General Who Campaigns Against The Caitiffs and as Commander of affairs at Shitou. When Emperor Ming campaigned against Wang Dun, he appointed Bian Dun as General Who Guards The South and Credential Holder.’ But I follow the account of the Annals of Emperor Ming in the Book of Jin."

Bian Kun's given name 壼 is pronounced "ken (k-en)".

The loyalists in the court were too weak on their own, and their strength was insufficient for success. Wang Dun and Qian Feng both opposed them, and they led great hosts of wrongdoers. No matter how loyal and sincere the loyalists were, if they had faced the enemy with only the palace soldiers alone, they would merely have suffered the same defeat that Zhou Yi and Dai Yuan had faced at Shitou before. Thus did Chi Jian have to propose bringing in the forces of Liu Xia and Su Jun as well. How perilous!

According to the Annals of Emperor Gao in Xiao Zixian's Book of Qi, during the rebellion of Wang Xiufan of Guiyang, Emperor Gao said at a meeting of his ministers, "The Central Hall has long been the place to array soldiers. The army should be camped at the Xuanyang Gate, where control of the various divisions may be assigned." So the Central Hall must have been outside the Xuanyang Gate.)


10. When Wang Dao heard that Wang Dun was seriously ill, he led his younger relatives in Jiankang to conduct mourning for Wang Dun as though he had already died. People believed that Wang Dun was indeed dead, and this bolstered the morale of all the loyalists.

Then an edict was composed by the Masters of Writing and sent to Wang Dun's staff, outlining his crimes. The edict stated, "Wang Dun had arranged for his elder brother's whelp to succeed him, despite the fact that there has never been such an inheritance of a great office of state that was not condoned by royal decree. Wang Dun wildly presumed to grant such a thing, without any due regard for my consideration. It is clear that he meant to give free reign to his bold desires, and he had his eyes set upon the throne.

"Heaven does not long sustain the wicked, and now Wang Dun has fallen into his grave. Yet his minion Qian Feng, no less of a scoundrel, now means to stir up yet another rebellion in his turn. I now send forth the Minister Over The Masses, Wang Dao, and others to lead thirty thousand of the Tiger Guards to advance against him by every road. The General Who Pacifies The West, Wang Sui, and others shall lead another thirty thousand elite soldiers and advance by land and water to lend their assistance. I shall personally oversee these armies in a campaign to punish Qian Feng for his crimes. Whosoever can deliver Qian Feng's head to me shall be appointed as a Marquis of five thousand households.

"But as for the other civil and military officials employed by Wang Dun, nothing shall be heard against them; let them harbor no suspicions that they will suffer execution or the extermination of their clans. And regarding the officers and soldiers of Wang Dun's army, I deeply pity them, for they have been kept from their homes and hearths for many a year in service to Wang Dun. Those of them who are the only male of military age in their families shall be released to return home, and they will be exempt from the draft for the rest of their lives. All others shall be exempt for three years; at the completion of such time, when they return to service, their leave schedules shall be in accordance with that of the household guards."


(Whelp means a child; in this case, it means Wang Dun's nephew Wang Ying, whom he had chosen to be his heir.

Sima Guang's commentary in the Textual Analysis states, "Regarding the offer of a reward for Qian Feng's head, the Annals of Jin places the timing of this edict as before the mourning held for Wang Dun, and so it instead has the edict read, 'Whosoever can send me Wang Dun's head shall be appointed as a Marquis of ten thousand households and rewarded with fourteen thousand bolts of silk'. But the edict itself already states, 'Wang Dun has fallen into the grave', implying that he was already dead, and so it would not make sense to offer a reward for his head in that case. So I follow the version of the edict that appears in the Biography of Wang Dun in the Book of Jin."

The term 單丁 means a family which only has one male who would be subject to the draft, with no possible replacement.

The term 三番 means 三番休二.)


11. Wang Dun was furious when he saw this edict. However, because his illness was so severe, he could not lead his soldiers in person.

Wang Dun was about to muster his troops to once again have them march on the capital. He ordered his Recordskeeper, Guo Pu, to perform a divination for him. After doing so, Guo Pu's reading was, "No success."

Wang Dun had long suspected that Guo Pu was in league with Wen Jiao and Yu Liang, and when he heard Guo Pu give this response, he asked him, "What does your divination predict about my remaining lifespan?"

Guo Pu replied, "Your Grace, from what I have considered about the divination, if you carry out this plan as you are preparing to do, then your doom shall not be far off. But if you return to Wuchang, your longevity would be beyond measure."

Furious at this response, Wang Dun demanded, "And what of your own lifespan?"

Guo Pu replied, "My life shall expire today at noon."

So Wang Dun arrested Guo Pu and beheaded him.


12. To lead his forces against the capital, Wang Dun appointed Qian Feng, as well as the Champion General, Deng Yue, the General of the Front, Zhou Fu, and others. But Wang Han said to him, "This is a matter that concerns our whole family. Allow me to assume the command." So Wang Dun appointed Wang Han as the overall commander.

Qian Feng and the others asked Wang Dun, "On the day of our success, what should we do about the Son of Heaven?"

Wang Dun replied, "That fellow has not even established the Southern Suburbs sacrifices, so how can he call himself the Son of Heaven? So long as you ensure the safety of the Prince of Donghai (Sima Chong) and Concubine Pei, you may let your soldiers do as they will."

Wang Dun sent up a petition to the capital, justifying his actions on the pretext of purging Wen Jiao and the other evil councilors from the court.

In autumn, the seventh month, on the new moon of the day Renshen (August 8th), Wang Han and the others led fifty thousand soldiers and marched as far as the southern bank of the (Qinhuai) river at Jiangning. People were nervous and afraid. Wen Jiao shifted his army's camp to the north side of the river and burned the Zhuque Bridge to halt the enemy's advance. With the bridge burned, Wang Han and the others could not cross the river.

Emperor Ming had wanted to personally lead the loyalist forces to attack the enemy, and when he heard that Wen Jiao had already burned the bridge, he was furious. But Wen Jiao said to him, "The soldiers of the palace guards are few and weak, and the reinforcements we summoned have not yet arrived. If the enemy charged us, the fortunes of state would be in grave peril indeed, and I fear we could not even protect the ancestral temple. Why get so worked up for the sake of a single bridge?"


(Emperor Yuan's (Sima Rui's) third son Sima Chong had been appointed Prince of Donghai to act as the successor to the late Sima Yue, who had earlier held that title. Concubine Pei was Sima Yue's widow.

In Emperor Wu's (Sima Yan's) second year of Taikang (281), he split off part of Moling County to form Linjiang County. In the second year (of which era?), it was renamed to Jiangning County.

The "southern bank" in this passage must be the southern bank of the Qinhuai River (south of Jiankang).

Sima Guang's commentary in the Textual Analysis states, "Regarding the size of Wang Han's army, the Biography of Wang Dun in the Book of Jin and the Annals of Jin both state that it was 'thirty thousand strong'. But I follow the account of the Annals of Emperor Ming in the Book of Jin.")


13. Wang Dao wrote a letter to Wang Han, stating, "We had heard that the Grand General (Wang Dun) had been bedridden with severe illness lately, and some claimed that he had already passed away. It was not long after that when we learned of Qian Feng's harsh measures and his plans to rush ahead into wicked treason. Elder Cousin, I said that you would restrain him and prevent his evil designs from seeing fruition, and then return to your post at Wuchang. Yet now I find you numbered among the rebel herd.

"Elder Cousin, in undertaking this act, do you suppose you are repeating the Grand General's actions in years past? Back then, there were indeed groveling ministers who caused upheaval among the court; people were uneasy, and I and those with me turned our hearts afar and hoped for success. But the situation now is not the same. The Grand General came to camp his army at Yuhu, and he gradually lost the hearts of the people; men of high standing feared and trembled, while the common people suffered from strain and harm.

"Now, at the end of his life, the Grand General has entrusted affairs to Anqi (Wang Ying). Yet how far removed is the boy from his mother's milk? How is he suited to carry on the legacy of a great minister of state? And when since the establishment of government offices has there ever been a great minister who had a child as his successor?

“All those who have ears to hear know that there is a plan afoot to replace the dynasty. Such a thing is unbecoming of a minister. It was His Late Majesty (Sima Rui) who restored the dynasty and left it behind for the people to treasure, and our current sovereign is a wise and worthy man whose virtue is felt throughout the court and the state. Yet you, Elder Cousin, wish to carry out this absurd plan and go against proper authority. Who among true loyalists is not moved to sigh indignantly at you?

"All members of our family, whether great or small, have received the favor and grace of the state. So I face the current situation clear of eye and stout of heart, and I place myself at the head of the six armies of the court. Better to die in loyalty than to live in treason!"

But Wang Han did not reply to the letter.


(Wang Dao had asked around about Wang Dun's daily life and had looked into the truth of the rumors surrounding him; these are what the text refers to as 詗承.

Wang Dao was suggesting that Wang Han restrain Qian Feng and the others, and not allow them to carry out their wicked plans.

"The Grand General's actions" refers to when Wang Dun captured the Shitou fortress in Emperor Yuan's (Sima Rui's) first year of Yongchang (322).

The "groveling ministers" were Diao Xie and Liu Kui.

Wang Dao was saying that the other ministers were placing their hopes in outside assistance, that is, Wang Dun, to rectify the situation at court.

Wang Ying’s style name was Anqi.

By "all those who have ears to hear", Wang Dao was implying that the tales of Wang Dun's and Wang Ying's plan to usurp the throne had deeply spread among everyone.)


14. Some among the loyalists suggested, "Although the forces of Wang Han and Qian Feng are far more numerous than we are, their base at Yuancheng is too small and not suited for defense. Before they can finish their defensive preparations, His Majesty should lead the army to fight back against them."

But Chi Jian said, "The traitors are already spread thick, and we are not strong enough to oppose them. If we plotted to break out, it would be difficult for us to overcome them. However, Wang Han and the others do not give orders in one accord, and they turn their soldiers loose to plunder on all sides. The officials and the people have suffered from such deprivations in recent years that they all look to their own defenses. When we consider the overall strength between those who are loyal and those who are rebellious, how can you worry that we will not be successful in the end?

"Besides, the rebels have no real strategy for the long term, and they are only planning to charge ahead and decide everything in a single battle. The longer we can keep them at bay, the more we will awaken the hearts of righteous people everywhere, and that will allow our knowledge and strength to grow. But if we were to pit our currently weak forces against such a strong enemy as we now face, and allow victory to be determined in a single morning, then the outcome of this war would be settled in a single breath. If there should be any misstep, then even if we had people like Shen Baoxu who would shake out their sleeves and devote themselves utterly to our cause, how could they salvage the situation?"

So Emperor Ming gave up on that plan.


(The Sun clan of Eastern Wu had built Yuancheng when they had their capital at Moling (Jianye). Jin established Jiankang north of the river at Moling, and when they crossed the Yangzi and established Jiankang as their capital, Yuancheng was established as one of its defenses.

According to the Zuo Commentary to the Spring and Autumn Annals, when the army of the state of Wu entered the Chu capital at Ying, the great Chu minister Shen Baoxu went to Qin to beg them for aid, and so in the end he was able to preserve Chu (Ding 4.15). The expression "to shake out one's sleeves" means to act in a hurry; the Zuo Commentary has the expression, "When the Viscount of Chu heard of it, he shook out his sleeves and rose from his seat. (Xuan 14.4)")


15. Emperor Ming led the loyalist armies out to camp at the Southern Imperial Hall. During the night of the day Guiyou (August 9th), he recruited some strong fellows, and sent the general Duan Xiu, the Marshal of the Central Army, Cao Hun, and others to lead a thousand armored men to cross the river to attack the enemy's unfinished defenses. When dawn came, they fought at Yuecheng, where they greatly routed the enemy and killed their Vanguard Commander, He Kang. This Duan Xiu was the younger brother of Duan Pidi.


(Yuecheng was south of the Qinhuai River.)


16. When Wang Dun heard that Wang Han had suffered a defeat, he angrily exclaimed, "My fool of an elder brother! Our family is lost, our cause ruined!" And he turned his head to tell one of his Army Advisors, Lü Bao, "I'll take the command myself." So he exerted himself to try to get up, but he was so feeble that he was forced to lie down again. Then he said to the Privy Treasurer, his uncle Yang Jian, and to Wang Ying, "After I die, Wang Ying shall succeed me. Establish the court offices before you trouble yourselves with arranging my burial."

Soon afterwards, Wang Dun passed away.

Wang Ying kept Wang Dun's death a secret and did not begin mourning for him. He wrapped the body up in a rug, smeared the exterior in wax, and buried it inside the government office. Then he spent his days and nights indulging in wine and sensual pleasures, along with Zhuge Yao and others.


(To lack enough energy to move the body is to be tired; to lack enough strength to raise the body is to be feeble.)


17. Emperor Ming sent Shen Zhen of Wuxing commandary to try to persuade Wang Dun's ally Shen Chong to switch sides, offering to appoint him as Minister of Works. But Shen Chong replied, "The Three Excellencies are lofty offices indeed, for 'the people all look to them'; how could I be worthy enough to be one of them? Even the ancients were suspicious at the offers of abundant gifts and sweet words. Besides, when a real man commits to a common endeavor, he must see it through to the end. How could I change course halfway through? Who could put up with me if I did?" So he raised his soldiers and marched for Jiankang.

Now the Director of the Imperial Clan, Yu Tan, had earlier retired to Kuaiji on account of illness. But when he heard that Shen Chong was on the march, he raised his own soldiers at Yuyao to move to oppose him. Emperor Ming appointed Yu Tan as acting Interior Minister of Kuaiji. The former General Who Maintains The East, Liu Chao, and the Interior Minister of Xuancheng, Zhong Ya, also raised their troops to march against Shen Chong.

A native of Yixing commandary, Zhou Jian, killed the Administrator of that commandary whom Wang Dun had appointed, Liu Fang. And the General Who Pacifies The West, Zu Yue, drove out the Administrator of Huainan whom Wang Dun had appointed, Ren Tai.


(The Book of Poetry has the verse, "Awe-inspiring are you, O Grand master Yin, and the people all look to you! (Jie Nan Shan 1)".

In the Zuo Commentary to the Spring and Autumn Annals, Xi Rui of the state of Jin says, ""The greatness of his gifts and the sweetness of his words are intended to decoy us. (Xi 10.6)."

The text identifies Yu Tan's office as 宗正卿. All through Han and Jin, the office of 宗正, or Director of the Imperial Clan, had been one of the Nine Ministers. However, it was never listed with the added character 卿 on the end. It was only when Southern Liang established the Eleven Ministries that the longer title 宗正卿 came into use. So the presence of the character 卿 here is superfluous.

Yuyao County was part of Kuaiji commandary.

In Emperor Hui's first year of Yongxing (305), Yangxian County in Wuxing commandary and Yongshi County in Danyang commandary were split off to form Yixing commandary.

Zu Yue had his forces camped at Shouchun, and this was why he was able to “drive out” Ren Tai from Huainan.)


18. Shen Chong led more than ten thousand soldiers to join with Wang Han's army. His Marshal, Gu Yang, advised him, "We have begun this great endeavor, yet the Son of Heaven is holding fast to his defenses. The zeal of our vanguard is ebbing away, and if we maintain a stalemate here for too long, we shall certainly come to ruin in the end.

"If you were to burst the dykes, then the lakewater would flood the capital region. Then you could take advantage of the water to lead many boats to attack the capital. That would be the best plan.

"Or you could harness our army's currently high morale, by combining the strength of the eastern and western armies and ordering a general advance against the enemy along every road. We outnumber them so greatly that we could not help but destroy them. That would be the second-best plan.

"Or you might turn disaster to a blessing by summoning Qian Feng to discuss strategy with him, then behead him and use that as your offering to surrender to the court. That would be the least you could do."

Yet Shen Chong would not use any of these plans. So Gu Yang ran away and went back to Wu commandary.


(The "lakewater" was the water of Lake Xuanwu, to the north of the walls of Jiankang. It is now ten li north of Shangyuan County.

The "eastern army" was Shen Chong's army, while the "western army" was the forces of Wang Han, Qian Feng, and the others.)


19. On the day Dinghai (August 23rd), Liu Xia, Su Jun, and the other northern border commanders arrived with ten thousand elite soldiers as reinforcements for the loyalists. Emperor Ming came to see them during the night and commended them, distributing rewards among the officers and troops as appropriate.

Because the northern troops had only just arrived and were still tired from their march, Shen Chong and Qian Feng wanted to attack them at once. So on the night of the day Yiwei (August 31st), they crossed over the Qinhuai River at Zhuge Islet. They were opposed by Ying Zhan, the General Who Establishes Might, Zhao Yin, and others, but the loyalists had the worst of the fighting.

Shen Chong and Qian Feng then advanced as far as the Xuanyang Gate, where they captured the barriers and were about to fight a battle. But then Liu Xia and Su Jun flank attacked them from the southern dyke, and greatly routed them. Three thousand people drowned in the river. Liu Xia then routed Shen Chong again at Qingxi.

When the Administrator of Xunyang, Zhou Guang, heard that Wang Dun had raised his soldiers, he led more than a thousand of his own men to come join him. When Zhou Guang arrived, he asked to meet with Wang Dun. But Wang Ying refused, claiming that Wang Dun was ill. Zhou Guang withdrew and said to himself, "I've come all this way, and yet I can't get a meeting with him. Lord Wang must already be dead!" And he rushed to see his elder brother Zhou Fu and told him, "Lord Wang is already dead. Elder Brother, how can you play the rebel together with Qian Feng?" Everyone was astounded to hear this.


(The Qinhuai River is three li south of modern Shangyuan County at Jiankang. Some say that in the time of Qin Shihuang, those who could read the ethers said that Jinling had the aura of a Son of Heaven, so Qin Shihuang had passages drilled through the hills there to let a river flow through the land, and it was thus called the Qinhuai River. But others say that it had its origin in a bend of the Huai River, and was not artificially made by human design.

When Jin set their capital at Jiankang, they established a ring of defenses around the walls of the city, and named the gates after the gates of Luoyang. The Xuanyang Gate was on the southern wall of the city. They also built dykes along the Huai River from Jiangkou; the "southern dyke" was the dyke on the southern bank of the Qinhuai River.

The Qingxi River flowed out of Mount Zhong, and joined the Qinhuai River. Sun Quan of Eastern Wu carved a channel north of Jianye to divert the river into Lake Xuanwu.

Shen Yue remarked, "Xunyang was originally the name of a county; it took its name from the Xunyang River, which flowed south into the Yangzi. During Han, it was part of Lujiang commandary. In Emperor Hui's first year of Yongxing (305), parts of Lujiang and Wuchang commandaries were split off to form Xunyang commandary, which was administered from Chaisang County.")


20. On the day Bingshen (September 1st), Wang Han and the others burned their camps and fled during the night. On the day Dingyou (September 2nd), Emperor Ming returned to the palace. A general amnesty was declared, except for Wang Dun's partisans. Emperor Ming ordered Yu Liang to lead Su Jun and others to pursue Shen Chong back to Wuxing, while Wen Jiao led Liu Xia and others to pursue Wang Han and Qian Feng back to Jiangning, and other commanders pursued the other Wang Dun partisans.

Liu Xia allowed his troops to pillage and plunder. But Wen Jiao castigated him, saying, "Heaven has aided the loyalists, and that was why we were able to suppress Wang Han. How can you take advantage of turmoil by causing it yourself?" Liu Xia, very much afraid, made obeisance and apologized to Wen Jiao.


21. Wang Han wanted to flee to Jingzhou. Wang Ying told him, "It would be better to go to Jiangzhou."

But Wang Han said, "What connection did the Grand General have with Jiangzhou, that makes you want to go there?"

Wang Ying explained, "That's exactly why we ought to go there. Jiangzhou should be full of suitable men and abundant enough to suit the times, and we can make our stand there. That's what an extraordinary man would do. Besides, when they see how great our distress is, their hearts will be moved, and they will surely take pity on us. On the other hand, Jingzhou will want to keep the peace; how could they ever support our aims?"

But Wang Han would not listen, so they fled to Jingzhou. But the Inspector of Jingzhou, Wang Shu, sent an army to intercept them, and the two of them were drowned in the Yangzi. When the Inspector of Jiangzhou, Wang Bin, heard that Wang Ying was planning to come there, he secretly sent a boat to welcome Wang Ying's arrival. But Wang Ying never arrived, and Wang Bin deeply regretted his fate.

Qian Feng fled as far as Helu Islet, where Zhou Guang beheaded him, then presented himself at the palace to offer up the head.

Shen Chong lost his way as he fled, and he mistakenly entered the household of his former general Wu Ru. Wu Ru enticed Shen Chong into entering his compound, and then laughed and said to him, "Now that marquisate of three thousand households is all mine!"

Shen Chong replied, "If you will be so good as to preserve me, my family will surely repay you well. But if you kill me for your own gain, though I die, your whole clan will be exterminated."

But Wu Ru killed Shen Chong anyway, and sent his head to Jiankang. Wang Dun's partisans were thus pacified.

Shen Chong's son Shen Jing was also marked for death, but his neighbors pooled their resources and hid him, so he escaped with his life. Later on, just as his father had sworn, Shen Jing exterminated the clan of Wu Ru.


(Jingzhou was under the control of Wang Shu; Jiangzhou, of Wang Bin.

In Wang Ying's view, there was still a chance for them to go back and carry on as normal. This was who Wang Dun chose to be his heir!

The phrase 能立同異 meant those who wailed for Zhou Yi, blamed Wang Dun for his crimes, and rebuked him as a traitor.

Helu Islet was in the Yangzi. He Xun remarked, "Among the treacherous territory in the Yangzi, there is Helu Islet: it is a place of difficult terrain, and many fugitives gather there."

Sima Guang's commentary in the Textual Analysis states, "The Annals of Jin states, 'Dai Yuan's younger brother Dai Liang beheaded Qian Feng.' But I follow the account of the Biography of Wang Dun in the Book of Jin."

Wu Ru's compound was his fortified place.

At this time, the court had offered a reward of a marquisate of five thousand households for anyone who beheaded Qian Feng, and a marquisate of three thousand households for anyone who beheaded Shen Chong.)


22. The officials dug up Wang Dun's burial site, exhumed his corpse, burned his clothing and headgear, and placed the corpse in a kneeling position before beheading it. Both Wang Dun's and Shen Chong's heads were hung up for display at the southern stocks.

Then Chi Jian said to Emperor Ming, "When the former court executed Yang Jun and the others, the court first passed their full sentence against the criminals, and afterwards heeded the pleas of their families for proper burials. I believe that, just as you display your majesty above by executing these criminals, so too may you demonstrate your righteousness by fulfilling the hopes of their families below. You should heed the requests of Wang Dun's family to collect his body for burial, and thus let your righteousness spread."

Emperor Ming allowed it.

Wang Dao and the other loyalist commanders who had successfully campaigned against Wang Dun were granted titles and rewards.


(The term 跽 means to kneel.

The "southern stocks" were those at the Zhuque Bridge, to the south of the city.)


23. Zhou Fu and Deng Yue both fled. Zhou Guang was going to shelter his brother, in order to get possession of Deng Yue. But Zhou Fu angrily told him, "Boshan and I are both on the run; why shouldn't you behead me first?" And when Deng Yue arrived, Zhou Fu came out of the gate to intercept him and said, "Why don't you run away at once? Even people as close to one another as flesh and bone are at odds, so how could a stranger like you be any safer?" So Deng Yue returned to his boat and fled, and he and Zhou Fu both took refuge among the Man tribes in Xiyang commandary.

The following year, Emperor Ming issued an edict pardoning Wang Dun's remaining partisans. Zhou Fu and Deng Yue then came out of hiding, and their lives were spared, though they were banned from office.


(Deng Yue’s style name was Boshan.)


24. It was earlier mentioned that Shen Chong had killed the Interior Minister of the Wu princely fief, Zhang Mao. During this period, Zhang Mao's widow, Lady Lu, exhausted her family's wealth in order to lead her husband's former soldiers as the spearhead in the campaign against Shen Chong, to avenge him. Following Shen Chong's defeat, Lady Lu visited the palace and sent up a letter, apologizing on her husband's behalf for his failure to defend his commandary against Shen Chong. Emperor Ming issued an edict posthumously appointing Zhang Mao as Minister Coachman.


(Shen Chong's defeat of Zheng Mao if mentioned in Book 92, in Emperor Yuan's (Sima Rui's) first year of Yongchang (322.33).

The term 克 in this case means ability; that is, Lady Lu was apologizing that Zheng Mao had not been able to hold back such a cruel invader, and had been killed by Shen Chong.)


25. Some of the officials proposed, "Wang Bin and the other members of the Wang family were close kin to Wang Dun. They should all be removed from office."

But Emperor Ming issued an edict stating, "The Minister of Works, Wang Dao, put aside his family ties for the sake of righteousness. I would extend pardon to his family even to the hundredth generation, much less to such close relatives of his as Wang Bin and the others!"

And nothing more was heard of that matter.


26. Emperor Ming issued an edict stating, "The people whom Wang Dun appointed to office shall be removed from office, and his advisors and associates shall be banned from holding office."

Wen Jiao sent up a petition arguing against this policy, stating, "Wang Dun was the sort of man who was obstinate and would brook no disagreements. He killed people as he pleased; the court could not control him, and even his own flesh and blood could not remonstrate against him. Those who staffed his administration were in constant fear for their lives, which kept them tongue-tied and not daring to do anything more than glance at one another when they passed on the roads. But it was still truly an instance of worthy men and superior fellows exerting their full measure of principles given their situation, a time of 'nursing things in obedience to circumstances while the time is yet dark'. Such was their personal intentions. How can you rush to condemn them?

"People like Lu Wan, Liu Yin, and Guo Pu often spoke to me of such things before, furnishing me with the knowledge which I recount today. They did their best to steer such a wicked and perverse man towards proper conduct, in order to rectify the application of laws and the administration of justice. Rather than treat them as Wang Dun's immoral minions, I say that they ought to be pardoned. For I believe in the sincerity of Lu Wan and the others, and I have heard of their virtuous behavior. They should not be condemned alongside the traitors. If they kept their tongues silent, still they burdened their hearts with this duty. May Your Majesty treat them with benevolence and wisdom!"

Chi Jian argued for the other side, stating, "When the kings of old instructed the people on the proper behavior between ministers and their sovereign, the greatest honor was that of upholding legitimate authority and sacrificing one's own life for the sake of righteousness. Even if many of Wang Dun's advisors and officials may have been under duress, still we must acknowledge that they failed either to press forward by putting a stop to his treasonous plotting or to withdraw themselves by abandoning him. According to established tradition, it is just to hold them accountable."

In the end, Emperor Ming followed Wen Jiao's advice.


(The term 綱紀 means those who administered Wang Dun's staff in his official capacities; the term 參佐 means his various subordinates and officials.

The term 朝 "court" in this instance means Wang Dun's staff.

Wen Jiao refers to the phrase "people passing one another on the road only glanced at one another without daring to utter a word".

Wen Jiao quotes from the first Zhuo poem of the Sacrificial Odes of Zhou section of the Book of Poetry: 遵養時晦 "He nursed it in obedience to circumstances while the time was yet dark". Master Mao's Annotations states, "遵 here means to lead; 養, to obtain; 晦, blind." Master Zheng's Commentary states, "The subject accommodates a blind, occluded lord in order to outlast their evil."

To 晏處 means to charge or accuse someone.

Chi Jian was saying it would be fully just to punish Wang Dun's officials.)


27. In winter, the tenth month, Wang Dao was appointed as Grand Guardian while maintaining his position as Minister Over The Masses, and he was shown exceptional ceremony. The Prince of Xiyang, Sima Yang, was appointed as acting Grand Commandant. Ying Zhan was appointed as Inspector of Jiangzhou. Liu Xia was appointed as Inspector of Xuzhou, and he was sent to defend Huaiyin, replacing Wang Sui. Su Jun was appointed as Interior Minister of Liyang. Yu Liang was promoted as General Who Protects The Army, and Wen Jiao was promoted as General of the Front. Wang Dao firmly declined his promotions and would not accept them.

When Ying Zhan arrived at Jiangzhou, the officials and the common people there were still not settled. But he comforted and cherished them, and there was no one there who did not admire him.


(This was why Su Jun was in command of soldiers at Liyang.)


28. In the twelfth month, a general of Liangzhou, Xin Yan, occupied the city of Fuhan and refused to obey the orders of the new Inspector of Liangzhou, Zhang Jun.

Zhang Jun was about to launch a campaign against Xin Yan. But his Attendant Officer, Liu Qing, remonstrated with him, saying, "A leader who would be a hegemon king must heed the opportunities of Heaven and the affairs of men before acting. Now Xin Yan is a wicked and cruel man, a cold-blooded killer. His downfall is already certain. Why then should you raise a great host during a year of famine and lead an assault against a city in the dead of winter?" So Zhang Jun halted the planned campaign.


(During Former Han, Fuhan County was part of Jincheng commandary. During Later Han, it was part of Longxi commandary. After Zhang Gui assumed command of the Liang region during Jin, he petitioned to split off part of Xiping commandary to form Jinxing commandary, with Fuhan County as a part of it. The first character of Fuhan, 枹, is pronounced "fu".

One who can kill people without pity or remorse, whose expression shows no hint of a furrowed brow, is cold-blooded. He might be tolerated for a time, but his ultimate downfall is certain.)


29. Zhang Jun sent one of his Army Advisors, Wang Zhi, as an envoy to visit Zhao. Liu Yao asked Wang Zhi, "Can you guarantee the good intentions and desire for peace of your honorable province?"

Wang Zhi replied, "I cannot promise that."

The Palace Attendant, Xu Miao, said, "Sir, you've come here to establish good relations, yet you say you cannot guarantee such things. How can that be?"

Wang Zhi replied, "When Duke Huan of the ancient state of Qi established the alliance at Guan Marsh, he displayed proper caution and concern, and so the feudal lords came to the meeting without his having to summon them. But at the meeting at Kuiqiu, he exerted his will and acted arrogant, and so nine states turned against him. Your own state of Zhao has been changing. Should proper governance and conduct decline, there is no telling what sorts of developments might occur, to say nothing of my province alone!"

Liu Yao declared, "Here is a superior fellow of Liangzhou! They've chosen the right man for the job!" And he treated Wang Zhi with great respect before sending him back.


(The Gongyang Commentary to the Spring and Autumn Annals states, "The Annals record that 'In the second year of the reign of Duke Xi of Lu, the Marquis of Qi, the Duke of Song, an officer of Jiang, and an officer of Huang arranged an alliance at Guan Marsh'. What were these places, Jiang and Huang, that the latter two came from? They were distant states. With people from distant states having come to the meeting, why then does it only list Qi and Song from among the states of the Middle Kingdom? It must have been the case that, since such great states as Qi and Song attended, and such distant states as Jiang and Huang attended, that there cannot have been any other states who dared not to attend as well. Later on, the Annals state that 'In the ninth year, the ninth month, on the day Wuchen, the various lords arranged an alliance at Kuiqiu'. No day was listed for Duke Huan's alliance; why then was there a set day for this one? Because of danger. What was the danger? When Duke Huan held the meeting at Guan Marsh, he showed concern for the feelings of the people of the Middle Kingdom, and even the officers of Jiang and Huang came to attend without having been summoned. But at the meeting at Kuiqiu, Duke Huan exerted his will and acted arrogant, and so nine states turned against him. How was it that he exerted his will? Because he compelled them to attend. How was he arrogant? Because he acted as though no one else could compare.")


30. It was earlier mentioned that the new Prince of Dai, Tuoba Henu, had been too young to rule in person, and so his mother has acted as regent. During this year, Tuoba Henu first began to personally oversee the affairs of state.

Because many of the Tuoba tribes were not yet loyal to him, Tuoba Henu built a city at Mount Dongmugen, and shifted his residence there.


(Tuoba Henu had inherited the title Prince of Dai in Emperor Yuan's (Sima Rui's) fourth year of Taixing (321.19). But it was not until now that he actually began to rule the state.

There is a Mount Mugen in the Hexi region, in the northeast of Wuyuan commandary. Because this Mount Mugen is east of the Yellow River, it is also called Mount Dongmugen ("Eastern Mugen").)

四年,帝始臨朝。以諸部人情未悉欵順,乃築城於東木根山,徙都之。(Book of Northern Wei 1, Annals of the Tuoba Ancestors)

In the fourth year of the reign of the Prince of Dai, Tuoba Henu (324), he first began to personally lead the court. Because many of the Tuoba tribes were not yet fully loyal to him, Tuoba Henu built a city at Mount Dongmugen, and shifted his capital there.
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Unread postby Taishi Ci 2.0 » Tue May 22, 2018 1:51 am


The Third Year of Taining (The Yiyou Year, 325 AD)


1. In spring, the first month, Zhang Jun learned of Sima Rui's cruel fate. He held a great mourning for Sima Rui for three days.

At that time, a yellow dragon was spotted at Jia Spring. Fan Yi and other Liangzhou officials asked that Zhang Jun declare a new reign era title to acknowledge this good omen, but Zhang Jun refused.

The erstwhile rebel Xin Yan surrendered Fuhan, and so Zhang Jun once again possessed territory south of the Yellow River.


(According to the Biography of Zhang Jun in the Book of Jin, Jia Spring was in Yici County in Wuwei commandary. The name of that county, 揖次 Yici, had been written as 揟次 Xuci during Former Han. Meng Kang remared, "揟 is pronounced 'zu (z-u)'. 次 is pronounced 'zi'."

Among the commandaries of Liangzhou, only Jincheng was south of the Yellow River.)


2. The Jin court made posthumous appointments for those loyalists who had died during Wang Dun's rebellions: Sima Zheng, Gan Zhuo, Dai Yuan, Zhou Yi, Yu Wang, Guo Pu, Wang Cheng, and others.

Zhou Zha's former officials testified on his behalf as well. But the Master of Writing, Bian Kun, argued against it, saying, "Zhou Zha was in charge of defending Shitou, yet he opened the gates and admitted the enemy. He does not deserve a posthumous appointment."

Wang Dao argued, "At that time, Wang Dun's wicked intentions were not yet apparent. Even people such as myself who held higher office still did not realize it. Zhou Zha was no different from us. Once we did realize Wang Dun's foul intent, Zhou Zha defended the state at the cost of his life, and even had his head hung up and his family wiped out. I say that he was no different than Zhou Yi and Dai Yuan."

Chi Jian responded, "Zhou Yi and Dai Yuan upheld proper authority even unto death, while Zhou Zha let the enemy enter. How can you propose that they receive the same rewards when they acted so differently? If things really are as the Minister Over The Masses suggests, and those who held higher office back then were really no different from Zhou Zha, then the Prince of Qiao (Sima Zheng), Zhou Yi, and Dai Yuan should all be receiving blame right now, and what reason would we have for giving them posthumous appointments? But since we are indeed commending those three, then it is clear that Zhou Zha deserves censure instead."

Wang Dao said, "Although one can see that there were differences between Zhou Zha and Zhou Yi, Dai Yuan, and the Prince of Qiao, they all still upheld proper authority."

Chi Jian replied, "Wang Dun's evil plans were building up all along, just like ‘treaded hoarfrost’, and it was thanks to Zhou Zha opening the gates that the royal army was put to flight. If during Wang Dun's first uprising his intentions really had been as pure as those of Duke Huan of Qi or Duke Wen of Jin, then His Late Majesty (Sima Rui) would have had to have been another King You or King Li of Zhou!"

But in the end, Wang Dao's advice won out, and Zhou Zha was posthumously appointed as Commandant of the Guards.


(This passage records the given name of the Prince of Qiao as 承 Cheng; it should be 氶 Zheng.

These people had all died during Wang Dun's de facto reign, and so they were now receiving posthumous appointments.

Zhou Zha's opening of the gates of the Shitou fortress during Wang Dun's march on Jiankang is mentioned in Book 92, in Emperor Yuan's (Sima Rui's) first year of Yongchang (322.21).

Zhou Zha's death and the extermination of his family are mentioned above, in the second year of Taining (324.1).

Chi Jian quotes from the Book of Changes: "He treads on the hoarfrost; the strong ice will come by and by (2.2)".)

Kings You and Li of Zhou were poor rulers who led to the downfall of the Western Zhou dynasty, resulting in its crippled form in the Eastern Zhou as the feudal lords claimed more power.


3. It was earlier mentioned that the King of Later Zhao, Shi Le, had tried to established good relations with the Xianbei leader Murong Hui, but Murong Hui had spurned him. Shi Le now granted ranks and titles to the leader of the Yuwen tribe of the Xianbei, Yuwen Qidegui, and ordered him to attack Murong Hui.

Murong Hui sent his eldest son by his wife, Murong Huang, to attack the Yuwen, and he enlisted the aid of the Suotou and Duan states to join in the fighting. His Chancellor of Liaodong, Pei Yi, commanded the right wing of the army, while his son Murong Ren commanded the left wing.

Yuwen Qidegui held the line of the Jiao River to oppose Murong Huang, while sending his nephew Yuwen Xibaxiong to oppose Murong Ren. Murong Ren attacked Yuwen Xibaxiong and beheaded him. Then he pressed his victory by joining with Murong Huang to attack Yuwen Qidegui, and they greatly routed him.

Yuwen Qidegui abandoned his army and fled, and Murong Huang and Murong Ren advanced and entered the cities of his state. They sent light infantry to pursue Yuwen Qidegui, and they chased him through his state for over three hundred li before turning back. They captured all of his treasures of state, along with millions of his livestock, and tens of thousand of his people submitted to the Murong clan and went over to them.


(Shi Le had sent envoys to Murong Hui during the first year of Taining (323.7), but Murong Hui had arrested them and sent them to Jiankang.

The Suotou, or "braid-heads", referred to the Tuoba clan.

The Jiao River was the Jiaoluo River. 澆 is pronounced "gao (g-ao)".

Sima Guang's commentary in the Textual Analysis states, "Regarding the names of Yuwen 乞得歸 Qidegui and his nephew, the Biography of the General Who Conquers The Caitiffs, Murong Ren, in the Book of Yan records the nephew's given name as 悉拔堆 Xibadui, while the Biography of Yuwen Mohuai in the Book of Northern Wei records the names of these two Yuwen leaders as 乞得龜 Qidegui and 悉拔堆 Xibadui. The Biography of Murong Hui in the Chronicles of the Book of Jin also records the third character of Yuwen Qidegui's given name as 龜 rather than 歸. But the Annals of Emperor Wuxuan (Murong Hui) in the Book of Yan records their names as 乞得歸 Qidegui and 悉拔雄 Xibaxiong, and I follow that account.")


4. In the third month, Duan Mopei passed away. His younger brother Duan Ya succeeded him.


5. On the day Wuchen (April 1st), Emperor Ming established his son Sima Yan as Crown Prince. A general amnesty was declared.


6. Liu Yao honored a certain Lady Liu as his Empress.


7. The King of the Northern Qiang, Pengouchu, aligned himself with Zhao. In response, the Later Zhao general Shi Tuo marched out from Yanmen commandary to attack him, and he captured more than three thousand tribes and more than a million oxen, horses, and sheep before returning. Liu Yao sent his Prince of Zhongshan, Liu Yue, to pursue Shi Tuo, while Liu Yao himself camped at Fuping to act as reserves for Liu Yue. Liu Yue fought Shi Tuo on the banks of the Yellow River and beheaded him. More than six thousand Later Zhao soldiers died, and Liu Yue reclaimed all the captives before returning.


(句 is variously pronounced "gou (g-ou)", "qu (q-u)", and "ju".

Shi Tuo's given name 佗 is pronounced "te (t-e)".

Fuping County was part of Beidi commandary. The "banks of the river" means the banks of the Yellow River. According to the Water Classic, the Yellow River flowed through the west of Fuping County. Hebin ("banks of the Yellow River") County in Tang's Tengzhou was the same place as Sui's Yulin County. Du You remarked, "Fuping was originally a Han county. Later Han shifted Fuping County to within modern Pengyuan commandary, where the city of Fuping is." It is also said, "Lingzhou is where Han's Fuping County was. In the southwest of the Fuping County in modern Jingzhao commandary, there is the city of Huaide from the Han era. This Fuping was the same as Han's Huaide County.")


8. It was earlier mentioned that the ruler of Chouchi, Yang Nandi, had abandoned that city and fled to Hanzhong out of fear of Liu Yao, and Liu Yao had appointed Tian Song to guard Chouchi. At this time, Yang Nandi attacked Chouchi and retook it, and he captured Tian Song.

Yang Nandi placed Tian Song before him, and those with him ordered Tian Song to perform obeisance. But Tian Song only glared at Yang Nandi and said, "You Di cur! How can a border commander appointed by the Son of Heaven bow down before a bandit?"

Yang Nandi addressed Tian Song by his style name, saying, "Zidai, I want to achieve the grand design together with you. You have been loyal to the Liu clan; can you not be loyal to me as well?"

But Tian Song sternly shouted, "Di bandit! You're nothing more than a slave! How can you speak of the grand design? Better for me to serve Zhao as a ghost than serve you as a minister!" And he suddenly turned towards someone and grabbed their sword, then moved to strike Yang Nandi, but he did not injure him. Yang Nandi killed him.


(Tian Song’s style name was Zidai. Liu Yao had appointed him to guard Chouchi in Book 92, in the first year of Taining (323.16).)


9. Jin's Capital Commandant, Lu Qian, rebelled at Xuchang and surrendered to Later Zhao.


10. In summer, the fourth month, the Later Zhao general Shi Zhan attacked Jin's Inspector of Yanzhou, Tan Bin, at Mount Zou and killed him.


(The Basic Annals of the Book of Jin records the given name of this Inspector as 贇 Yun, while the Biography of Shi Le in the Chronicles of the Book of Jin records it as 斌 Bin.

Sima Guang's commentary in the Textual Analysis states, "The Annals of Emperor Ming in the Book of Jin records the name of this Later Zhao general as Shi Liang. But I follow the account of the Biography of Shi Le in the Chronicles of the Book of Jin.")


11. Later Zhao's General of the Household Gentlemen of the Western Yi Tribes, Wang Teng, killed their Inspector of Bingzhou, Cui Kun, and their Interior Minister of Shangdang, Wang Shen. Having occupied Bingzhou, he surrendered it to Zhao.


(Liu Kun had originally held Bingzhou on behalf of Jin. But in Emperor Min's fourth year of Jianxing (316.31), Shi Le routed him and took control of Bingzhou. Shi Le then appointed his own Inspector of Bingzhou, who administered the province from Shangdang.

This Wang Shen was a native of Zhangwu. When he had first risen up with soldiers, he caused trouble in Shi Le's various commandaries around Bohai and Henei. But later he joined Shi Le, who assigned him command of Shangdang. His given name 眘 is pronounced "gen (g-en)".)


12. In the fifth month, Jin appointed Tao Kan as Grand General Who Conquers The West, Commander of military affairs in the four provinces of Jingzhou, Xiangzhou, Yongzhou, and Lianzhou, and Inspector of Jingzhou. The men and women of Jingzhou all celebrated his appointment.

Tao Kan was naturally quick-witted, respectful, and diligent, and he would keep an upright posture all through the day while gripping his knees. He closely investigated and kept track of all army and government affairs, never leaving any issues unresolved and never granting himself free time. Tao Kan often exhorted people by saying, "Even a sage like Yu the Great took careful notice of such short amounts of time as the time it takes for a shadow to move an inch. So too should everyone appreciate how short time is. How can one while away their hours in idleness or debauchery, so that in being born they contribute nothing to their era, and after death they leave no legacy? That is simply to throw one's life away!"

There were some among Tao Kan's assistants and officials who liked to spend their time in rhetoric and wordplay and so neglected their duties. Tao Kan ordered their wine vessels and their gambling game boards to be gathered up and all thrown into the Yangzi. When his generals and officials then objected, Tao Kan replied, "People who play the chupu game are no better than pig-tenders and slaves! The teachings of Laozi and Zhuangzi befuddle the Hua people (ethnic Han), and they go against the laws and the words of the kings of old. They have no real use. And a superior fellow ought to maintain a proper bearing and appearance: how then can you go about with unkempt hair and bare feet while declaring yourselves to be enlightened?"

When there were people who presented gifts to Tao Kan, he always looked into the source of the offerings. If the gift seemed reasonable in comparison to some service he had rendered, he was always pleased to receive it, no matter how trifling it was, and he repaid them thrice over. But if the gift went against reason, then he would sternly scold and humiliate the giver and send their gift back.

Tao Kan once went out on a patrol, where he saw someone holding some uncooked rice. Tao Kan asked the person, "What use do you have for that?"

The person replied, "I saw it as I was walking along the road, so I took a little, that's all."

Tao Kan furiously replied, "So, instead of tending a field, you would rather play the bandit and steal another man's rice!" And he arrested the person and whipped them. Thus did the common people diligently tend to their farmwork, and the households had enough food to eat.

Tao Kan was once building a boat. During the construction, he ordered all the wood shavings and heads of bamboo to be recorded and gathered up. No one understood the reason for this. Later on, during the New Year's Meeting, the accumulated snow had only just begun to melt, and the snow in front of the government office was still wet. So Tao Kan spread the wood shavings out over the ground there. And many years afterwards, when Huan Wen was in command in Jingzhou and was preparing for his campaign against Cheng-Han (in 347), he used the heads of bamboo that Tao Kan had saved during this time to build compound ships.

Such were the ways that Tao Kan paid attention to even the smallest and most obscure details during his administration.


(The term 攝 here means "record" or "rectify".

Yu the Great "treasured the shortness of time more than a 尺 of jade".

Many people of Jin loved playing the chupu board game, which involved casting the five pieces. Each of them had a black calf side. Possible results included the Pheasant and the Lu (black). Getting the Lu result meant victory.

The term 參 here means "three".

Here, 切 means "sternly" and 厲 means "severely".

Tao Kan accuses the person on the road of not being a 佃; this is someone who tends fields.

Tao Kan ordered the wood shavings and bamboo heads to be recorded and collected up.

Here, 解 means "realize" and 以 means "the use of".)


13. Shi Sheng camped at Luoyang, where he invaded and plundered Henan.

Since the armies of the Jin generals Li Ju and Guo Mo had been defeated several times and their food was exhausted, they sent messengers asking to align themselves with Zhao. So Liu Yao sent Liu Yue to lead fifteen thousand soldiers to meet them at Meng Crossing, while Zhao's General Who Guards The East, Huyan Mo, led the Zhao forces of Jingzhou and Sizhou east from the Xiao mountains and the Mian River. Their hope was to link up with Li Ju and Guo Mo in order to attack Shi Sheng together.

Liu Yue overran the two Later Zhao camps at Meng Crossing and Shiliang, where he captured or killed more than five thousand. Then he advanced and besieged Shi Sheng at the Jinyong fortress. In response, Later Zhao's Duke of Zhongshan, Shi Hu, led forty thousand horse and foot and entered the region through Chenggao Pass, where he fought a battle against Liu Yue west of the Luo River. Liu Yue's troops were defeated and he was struck by a stray arrow, so he retreated to defend Shiliang. Then Shi Hu built moats and barricades to encircle Liu Yue and cut him off from the outside. Liu Yue's army suffered from extreme hunger, so they killed their horses and ate them. Shi Hu also attacked Huyan Mo and beheaded him.

Liu Yao himself led troops to rescue Liu Yue, and Shi Hu led thirty thousand cavalry to face him in battle. Zhao's General of the Forward Army, Liu Mo, attacked Shi Hu's general Shi Cong at Bate Slope and greatly routed him. Liu Yao camped at Jin Valley. But during the night, for unknown reasons, there was a great disturbance in Liu Yao's camp. His officers and soldiers all fled and scattered, and so he fell back to camp at Mianchi. But again, during the night, there was another disturbance and the soldiers once again scattered. Liu Yao was forced to return to Chang'an.

In the sixth month, Shi Hu took Shiliang, capturing Liu Yue and more than eighty of his generals and assistants, as well as more than three thousand Di and Qiang. He sent them all to Xiangguo, while he had the rest of Liu Yue's officers and soldiers, nine thousand, buried alive.

Then Shi Hu attacked the defector Wang Teng at Bingzhou. He captured Wang Teng and killed him, and then buried alive his officers and soldiers, more than seven thousand.

When Liu Yao returned to Chang'an, he wore white mourning clothing and remained in the suburbs for seven days, weeping over the losses, before he entered the city. His agitation and anger thus made him become ill.

Guo Mo was once again defeated by Shi Sheng. He abandoned his wife and children and fled south to Jiankang.

Li Ju's generals and officers secretly plotted to rebel against him and surrender to Later Zhao. Since Li Ju was powerless to stop them, he also led his forces south. But they abandoned him along the way, and only some hundred men like Guo Song stayed with him. Li Ju passed away at Luyang. His Chief Clerk, Cui Xuan, led two thousand of his remaining soldiers to surrender to Later Zhao.

All of Sizhou, Yuzhou, Xuzhou, and Yanzhou was now Later Zhao territory, with the Huai River serving as their border with Jin.


(At this time, Jingzhou was under the control of Jin, while most of Sizhou was under the control of Later Zhao. Liu Yao had relocated the people of those areas which he controlled into the Guanzhong region, and this was why this passage says that Liu Yue led them "east". Some say that Liu Cong had designated Luoyang as Jingzhou, and so by that logic, "Jingzhou and Sizhou" to Zhao would have been the same as the original Sizhou established by Jin.

The camp at Meng Crossing would have been south of the Yellow River; the camp at Shiliang would have been north of the Luo River.

The Commentary on the Water Classic states, "The Jian River emerges from the southeast of Xin'an County in Henan commandary. It flows northeast, passing east through a valley at Dong Slope, at the place called Bate Slope."

It further states, "The Jingu River emerges from the Taibai Plain. It flows southeast, passing through Jin Valley, and on southeast, passing by the residence of Shi Chong of Jin in Henan."

Luyang County was part of Nanyang commandary.)


14. Liu Yao appointed his Prince of Yong'an, his son Liu Yin, as Grand Marshal and Grand Chanyu, and changed his noble title to Prince of Nanyang. He established a Chanyu Terrace administration for Liu Yin at Weicheng. All the great heroes of the tribal forces of the Xiongnu, Jie, Xianbei, Di, and Qiang, from the Worthy Princes of the Left and Right, were assigned to him.


15. In autumn, the seventh month, on the day Xinwei (August 2nd), Emperor Ming appointed the Prefect of the Masters of Writing, Chi Jian, as General of Chariots and Cavalry, Commander of military affairs in the three provinces of Xuzhou, Yanzhou, and Qingzhou, and Inspector of Yanzhou, and sent him to guard Guangling.


16. In the intercalary month, Emperor Ming appointed the Supervisor of the Left of the Masters of Writing, Xun Song, as Household Counselor With Golden Tassel and chief of affairs of the Masters of Writing. One of the Masters of Writing, Deng You, was appointed as the new Supervisor of the Left.


(The character for Xun Song's given name should be 崧 Song instead of 松 Song.)


17. The Guard General of the Right, Yu Yin, was the younger brother of Empress Yuanjing (Sima Rui’s Empress). He and the Guard General of the Left and Prince of Nandun, Sima Zong, both held positions close to Emperor Ming. They wielded commanded of the guards, and whenever they entered the palace, they were often flanked by groups of strong fellows. Wang Dao and Yu Liang were both wary of them, and said as much to Emperor Ming, but he only showed them even greater favor.

Yu Yin and Sima Zong possessed the keys to the palace gates. When Emperor Ming was bedridden with illness, Yu Liang wanted to present a petition to him during the night, so he went to Sima Zong to ask for the key. But Sima Zong refused, shouting at his messenger, "This is just about your family's status!" This made Yu Liang hate him even more.

When Emperor Ming's illness worsened, he did not wish to see anyone, and so none of the ministers could get an audience with him. Yu Liang suspected that Sima Zong, Yu Yin, and the Prince of Xiyang, Sima Zong's elder brother Sima Yang, had some sinister plot afoot. So he forced his way in, ascended the steps, and climbed onto the imperial bed, where he saw Emperor Ming weeping. Yu Liang said that Sima Yang was plotting with Sima Zong and the others to depose the great ministers and claim control of the government, and he asked that they be demoted. But Emperor Ming would not allow it.

On the day Renwu (October 12th), Emperor Ming summoned the Grand Governor, Sima Yang, the Minister Over The Masses, Wang Dao, the Prefect of the Masters of Writing, Bian Kun, the General of Chariots and Cavalry, Chi Jian, the General Who Protects The Army, Yu Liang, the General Who Directs The Army, Lu Ye, and the Intendant of Danyang, Wen Jiao. He charged them all to accept his final testament and to administer the government as regents for the Crown Prince, as well as assigning them command of the palace soldiers. He also appointed Bian Kun as General of the Right, Yu Liang as Prefect of the Palace Secretariat, and Lu Ye as chief of affairs of the Masters of Writing.

On the day Dinghai (October 17th), Emperor Ming published his last testament. On the day Wuzi (October 18th), he passed away.

Emperor Ming's posthumous title was Ming ("the Wise"). He was indeed wise, nimble, and decisive, and this was why he was able to overcome a stronger enemy from a weaker position. He executed and destroyed traitorous ministers, and successfully restored the grand design.


(During the time that Emperor Yuan (Sima Rui) had been Prince of Langye, Lady Yu had been his consort. After Emperor Yuan claimed imperial title, he posthumously granted Lady Yu the title Empress Jing. Following Emperor Yuan's own death, they were buried together in the ancestral temple, and her title was changed to Yuanjing to match Sima Rui’s title as Emperor Yuan.

Sima Zong was the son of the late Prince of Runan, Sima Liang.

The term 管 here means "key", and the term 鑰 means a gate-bolt, what we would now call a key.

This was why Yu Liang later killed Sima Zong.

According to the Jin system, General Who Directs The Army was a higher rank than General Who Protects The Army. Yet in the list of future regents, Yu Liang is mentioned before Lu Ye. This was because of the greater power Yu Liang wielded as a marital relative of the royal family.

The term 更 here means "in addition".

Emperor Ming was twenty-six years old when he died.)

是年,司馬紹死,子衍僭立。(Book of Northern Wei 1, Annals of the Tuoba Ancestors)

In the fifth year of the reign of the Prince of Dai, Tuoba Henu (325), Sima Shao (Emperor Ming) passed away. His son Sima Yan (Emperor Cheng) succeeded him.


18. On the day Jichou (October 19th), Crown Prince Sima Yan ascended the throne, a mere four years old. He would be known as Emperor Cheng.

When the ministers were about to present the seal of state to the new sovereign, Wang Dao claimed illness and did not attend. Bian Dun sternly declared before the court, "How can Lord Wang consider himself a minister concerned with the fortunes of state? We are on the cusp of a great ceremony, when our new ruler has not yet ascended; how could any man or minister refuse to arrive on account of illness at this of all times?" When Wang Dao heard, he had himself brought in despite his illness and so attended.

A general amnesty was declared, and all civil and military officials were advanced by two ranks. Empress Yu was honored as the Empress Dowager.


(They would be presenting the seal as a sign of the new ruler's ascension.)


19. Because Emperor Cheng was so young, the ministers submitted a petition asking the new Empress Dowager to follow the example of Empress Hexi of Han (Deng Sui) by assuming regency over the court on his behalf. She declined the offer some four times, before at last agreeing to the request. In the ninth month, on the day Guimao (November 2nd), Empress Dowager Yu oversaw the court and exercised authority.

Empress Dowager Yu appointed Wang Dao as chief of affairs of the Masters of Writing, with Yu Liang and Bian Kun to act as his assistants as regents over the government. However, in the event, all major issues were decided by Yu Liang. She also promoted Chi Jian as General of Chariots and Cavalry and Lu Ye as Household Counselor With Golden Tassel of the Left, and both of them were granted the privilege of a Separate Office with equal ceremonial to the Three Excellencies. She appointed Sima Zong as General of Agile Cavalry, and Yu Yin as Grand Director of the Imperial Clan.


(Empress Hexi had become regent for her late husband's infant son after Emperor He of Han's death; this was the example that the ministers proposed that Empress Dowager Yu follow.)


20. The Masters of Writing summoned Yue Guang's son Yue Mo to serve as a Rectifier in his commandary, and they summoned Yu Min's kinsman Yu Yi to serve as Evaluator to the Minister of Justice. Both of them declined the offices, citing their late fathers' wills.

Bian Kun submitted a memorial stating, "No one is born without a father; no office is created without a purpose. Since one has a father, one would certainly have a will from him; serving in office is never without its regrets. But if families were to be allowed to hoard their sons, then there would be no one to serve the king, and the proper relationship between sovereign and minister would crumble. Yue Guang and Yu Min were blessed to live in a good age, yet are they now meant to be allowed to determine not only their own fates, but those of their descendants as well? If everyone now serving in office was allowed to follow the inclinations of their own hearts, then even the parents of soldiers away at war or in camps would summon them home to protect them."

Yue Mo and Yu Yi, seeing as they had no other choice, took up their offices.


(Yue Guang had been a native of Nanyang commandary. Yue Mo was now being summoned to serve as a Rectifier there.

Han had created the office of Adjudicator to the Minister of Justice. Jin changed the name of the office from 平 Adjudicator to 評 Evaluator.

The Great Treatise in the Book of Changes states, "Repentance and regret are the indications of one's sorrow and anxiety. (1.2)"

Bian Kun was saying that, since there is no one who does not hate the thought of death, if everyone were allowed to follow their own desires, then if any battle or war should spring up, parents would not wish to send their sons to such places of death.)


21. On the day Xinchou (October 31st), Emperor Ming was buried at Wuping Tomb.


22. In winter, the eleventh month, on the new moon of the day Guisi (December 22nd), there was an eclipse.


23. Murong Hui enjoyed peaceful relations with the Duan clan. He proposed that Duan Ya should move his capital. Duan Ya followed his advice, leaving his former capital at Lingzhi. However, this displeased the people of his domain. A grandson of Duan Jilujuan, Duan Liao, wished to usurp Duan Ya's position, and he used this moving of the capital as a pretext against Duan Ya. In the twelfth month, Duan Liao led the people of the Duan domain to attack Duan Ya. He killed Duan Ya and took control himself.

Ever since the time of Duan Wuwuchen (~304) until now, the Duan clan had grown stronger and more abundant by the day. Their territory reached from Yuyang commandary in the west to the Liao River in the east. They controlled more than thirty thousand households of tribal and Jin peoples, and they had an army of forty or fifty thousand mounted archers.


24. Tao Kan felt that the Inspector of Ningzhou, Wang Jian, was unable to resist the invaders of that province. So during this year, he submitted a petition asking that the Administrator of Lingling, Yin Feng of Nanyang, be appointed as Inspector of Ningzhou to replace him.

Before this time, when Wang Xun had been Inspector of Ningzhou (~310), the Man chieftain and Administrator of Liangshui, Cuan Liang, and the Administrator of Yizhou, Li Ti, had both rebelled and aligned themselves with Cheng. Wang Xun had campaigned against them, but without success. When Yin Feng arrived in Ningzhou, he hired a tribesman from beyond the border to assassinate Cuan Liang, who thus died. Then Yin Feng ordered Li Ti to submit. Peace was thus restored to Ningzhou.


(Shen Yue remarked, "Emperor Cheng of Jin split off part of Xinggu commandary to form Liangshui commandary. It was originally granted to the chieftain of the Man tribes. After Cuan Liang was killed, then the office began to be filled directly by royal appointees. As for Yizhou commandary, it was created by Later Han. Shu-Han renamed it to Jianning. In Emperor Hui's second year of Tai'an (304), seven counties in the west of Jianning commandary were split off to form a new Yizhou commandary. In Emperor Huai's second year of Yongjia (308), this commandary was renamed Jinning commandary." By there once again being reference here to an Administrator of Yizhou, it must have been another official title which was given to a tribal leader.)


25. Tuoba Henu passed away. His younger brother Tuoba Hena succeeded him.

五年,帝崩。煬皇帝諱紇那立,惠帝之弟也。以五年為元年。(Book of Northern Wei 1, Annals of the Tuoba Ancestors)

Tuoba Henu passed away in the fifth year of his reign (325).

Emperor Yang, Tuoba Hena, was the younger brother of Tuoba Henu. He succeeded Tuoba Henu, and took the fifth year of Tuoba Henu's reign to be the first year of his own reign.
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Unread postby Taishi Ci 2.0 » Tue May 22, 2018 2:00 am


Beginning of the Reign of Emperor Cheng, Xianzong, Sima Yan


(Sima Yan, styled Shigen, was Emperor Ming's eldest son. The Laws of Posthumous Surnames states, "One who settles the people and establishes government may be called Cheng ('the Accomplished').")


The First Year of Xianhe (The Bingxu Year, 326 AD)


1. In spring, the second month, a general amnesty was declared in Jin, and the reign era title was changed to the first year of Xianhe.


2. Zhao appointed their Prince of Runan, Liu Xian, as Grand Commandant and chief of affairs of the Masters of Writing. They appointed their Household Counselor With Golden Tassel, Liu Sui, as Grand Minister Over The Masses. They appointed Bo Tai as Grand Minister of Works.

Empress Liu became ill. When Liu Yao asked her what her final wishes were, she tearfully replied, "When I was young, my uncle Liu Chang raised me; may Your Majesty treat him with honor. And my uncle Liu Ai has a daughter, Liu Fang, who possesses both virtue and beauty; may Your Majesty prepare the rear palace for her." Having said these things, she passed away.

Liu Yao appointed Liu Chang as Palace Attendant, Grand Minister Over The Masses, and chief of affairs of the Masters of Writing, and he honored Liu Fang as his new Empress. Soon, he further appointed Liu Chang as Grand Guardian.


(The term 鞠 here means "to raise".)


3. In the third month, Shi Le disguised himself and went for a nighttime patrol of his camps to inspect them. He offered bribes of gold and silks to the gate guards, asking to be let inside. The Keeper of the Yongchang Gate, Wang Jia, wanted to seize Shi Le and arrest him, but then his followers arrived, so Wang Jia stopped. When morning came, Shi Le summoned Wang Jia and appointed him as Capital Commandant Who Spreads Loyalty and as a Marquis Within The Passes.

Shi Le summoned his Recordskeeping Army Advisor, Xu Guang, but Xu Guang was drunk and did not come. So Shi Le demoted him to be a 牙門. When Xu Guang was later attending upon Shi Le, he nursed an irritated expression. This angered Shi Le, who had Xu Guang and his wife and children thrown into prison.


(The title Capital Commandant Who Spreads Loyalty was a creation of Later Zhao.

Xu Guang is described as being 慍色; this means when one is holding back anger, but it still shows up in one's expression.)


4. In summer, the fourth month, Shi Sheng invaded Runan, and captured Jin's Interior Minister of that commandary, Zu Ji.


5. In the sixth month, on the day Guihai (July 20th), the Jin general Liu Xia passed away. He was posthumously known as the Duke of Quanling.

On the day Guiyou (July 30th), Chi Jian was appointed as acting Inspector of Xuzhou, and the General Who Conquers The Caitiffs, Guo Mo, was appointed as General of the Household Gentlemen of the North, Chief of military affairs north of the Huai River, and acting commander of Liu Xia's forces.

Liu Xia's son Liu Zhao was still young. Liu Xia's brother-in-law, Tian Fang, and his former generals, Shi Die and others, were not pleased to now be assigned as the subordinates of someone else. So they acclaimed Liu Zhao as the successor to his father's position and rebelled. The Administrator of Linhuai, Liu Jiao, suddenly attacked Liu Xia's camp, and he beheaded Tian Fang and the other rebels.

Now Liu Xia's widow, Lady Shao, was the daughter of Shao Xu, and she shared her father's bravery and resolution. Liu Xia had once been surrounded by Later Zhao soldiers, when Lady Shao herself led several riders to rescue her husband from out of a host of ten thousand enemies. And when Tian Fang and the others wanted to start their rebellion, Lady Shao tried to stop them, but they would not listen to her. So she secretly set a fire, and completely burned up all their stores of arms and armor. This was why the rebels were defeated.

An imperial edict was issued appointing Liu Zhao to inherit his father's noble title.


(Quanling County was part of Lingling commandary.

Liu Xia had been camped at Sikou, between Linhuai and Xiapi. This was why Liu Jiao was able to launch a surprise attack on the camp.

Liu Zhao inherited Liu Xia's title as Duke of Quanling.)


6. Wang Dao claimed illness as a reason for not attending court. But meanwhile, he went to see Chi Jian off from the capital. Bian Kun submitted a petition stating, "Wang Dao flouts the law and follows his own personal inclinations. This is unbecoming of a great minister of state. I ask that he be removed from office." Although this proposal was set aside and nothing came of it, this act still aroused dread among the court.

Bian Kun was a frugal, plain, honest, and pure fellow, known for his biting candor and his blunt words. He took the duties of his position very seriously; he was not the sort of man to make much of himself, nor could he stand to just go along with whatever was in style at the time. Because of that, few famous gentlemen thought much of him.

Ruan Fu once said to him, "You never allow yourself a moment's rest. It's like you're harboring a dull stone. Isn't that exhausting?"

Bian Kun replied, "You gentlemen take such a broad view of what is good and right that you honor every passing trend in turn. Someone must hold fast to what is proper, and if not me, then who?"

During this time, many of the idle young men of leisure among the nobles respected Wang Cheng and Xie Kun for their unrestrained behavior. Bian Kun sternly told the court, "There is no greater crime than to pervert the rites and harm proper education. This was the very thing which brought about the downfall of the central court." He wanted to submit a petition to officially propose this, but Wang Dao and Yu Liang paid it no heed, so he let the matter drop.


(When you think much of someone, that is called 多 "approving" them, while when you think little of someone, that is called 少 "slighting" them.

The "central court" was the Western Jin court, at Luoyang.

Bian Kun intended to formally submit a petition which would have listed the offenses which he believed Wang Cheng and Xie Kun were guilty of.)


7. The soldiers of Cheng campaigned against the Si-Sou people of Yuegui commandary, and routed them.


(The beginning of this campaign is mentioned in Book 92, in Emperor Ming's first year of Taixing (323.22).

The second character of Yuegui, 巂, is pronounced "sui".)


8. In autumn, the seventh month, on the day Guichou (September 8th), Jin's Marquis Lie ("the Fierce") of Guanyang, Ying Zhan, passed away.


(Guanyang County was part of Lingling commandary. It was established by Eastern Wu.)


9. Up until now, during the time that Wang Dao had been in charge of the government, he had won over many people through his magnanimous and agreeable policies. But when Yu Liang now took command of affairs, he hewed strictly to the laws, and thus he lost the hearts of many.

Now the Inspector of Yuzhou, Zu Yue, considered himself equal in stature and seniority with Chi Jian and Bian Kun, so he did not wish to pay any regard to the orders of the central government. Beyond that, he had hoped to receive the privilege of opening a Separate Office, but had been denied. He had sent in many petitions, but most of them were ignored or rejected. All these things made him burn with resentment. Furthermore, when an imperial edict was sent out commending and promoting great ministers, Zu Yue and Tao Kan were not mentioned; both of them suspected that Yu Liang had arranged for them to be left out.

The Interior Minister of Liyang, Su Jun, had also performed achievements on behalf of the state, and his power and influence had gradually increased. By now, he had ten thousand elite troops at his command, equipped with exceptional arms and armor. The court had entrusted him with affairs beyond the Yangzi. Yet Su Jun let himself grow more and more arrogant and excessive, and he had ambitions of humbling the court. He gathered up and harbored fugitives from justice, and the strength of his forces grew higher by the day, all sustained by the county officials. Su Jun compelled them to handle all his shipments of supplies, and the slightest objections were met with his blistering indignation.

So Yu Liang was suspicious of Su Jun and Zu Yue, and he was also afraid of Tao Kan getting command of forces as well. Thus, in the eighth month, Yu Liang appointed the Intendant of Danyang, Wen Jiao, as Commander of military affairs in Jiangzhou and Inspector of Jiangzhou, stationed at Wuchang. He also appointed the Supervisor of the Masters of Writing, Wang Shu, as Interior Minister of Kuaiji, in order to enlarge his own base of support.

Yu Liang also repaired the defenses at the Shitou fortress, to guard against any circumstance.


(Stature means one's reputation of the time; seniority means one's position in regards to age.

According to the Jin system, the privilege of administering a Separate Office was only granted to Grand Generals of the ranks of Generals Who Conquer or Who Guard one of the four directions. Now Zu Yue was merely General Who Pacifies The West, and yet he hoped to claim this honor for himself!

To be left out means to be deleted.

Su Jun had gained merits through routing the forces of the rebels Shen Chong and Qian Feng.

How ironic that in restoring the Shitou fortress, Yu Liang was merely furnishing Su Jun with the means to oppose the royal army.)


10. The new Intendant of Danyang was Ruan Fu. But when he considered that since the court was under the leadership of the Empress Dowager and the government was being run by her brother Yu Liang, he said to his own relatives, "The great enterprise of state in the Southland has lost its way; our sovereign is a child, and so we face troubled times. Yu Liang is a mere youth, and he has not yet garnered trust and acclaim. The way I see it, turmoil is not far off." So he asked to be sent away as Inspector of Guangzhou. This Ruan Fu was the son of Ruan Xian.


11. In winter, the tenth month, Emperor Cheng's younger brother by the same mother, Sima Yue, was appointed as Prince of Wu.


12. Ever since Sima Zong had lost his position, he had harbored resentment. Beyond that, he had long been on good terms with Su Jun. On the one side, Yu Liang wanted to execute Sima Zong; on the other, Sima Zong wanted to depose Yu Liang from his position in command of the government.

The Middle Minister of the Imperial Secretariat, Zhong Ya, reported that Sima Zong was plotting rebellion. So Yu Liang ordered the Guard General of the Right, Zhao Yin, to arrest him. Sima Zong commanded his own soldiers to fight back, but he was killed by Zhao Yin. Sima Zong's branch of the royal family were punished by having their surname changed from Sima to merely Ma, and his three sons Sima Chuo, Sima Chao, and Sima Yan were all reduced to commoner status. Yu Liang also had the Grand Governor and Prince of Xiyang, Sima Yang, stripped of office and demoted his title to Prince of Yiyang County. The Grand Director of the Imperial Clan, Yu Yin, was sent away to serve as Administrator of Guiyang.

Now Sima Zong had been a close relative of the royal family, and Sima Yang had been a chief minister under Emperor Ming. Yet Yu Liang had demoted and wiped them out in a single day. This only increased the resentment against him by those near and far.

Sima Zong's partisan Bian Chan fled to Su Jun. Yu Liang ordered Su Jun to hand him over, but Su Jun kept Bian Chan hidden and did not obey.

Emperor Cheng was unaware of Sima Zong's death. Sometime later, he asked Yu Liang, "Where has Lord White Head been lately?" Yu Liang replied that Sima Zong had been plotting rebellion and had thus been executed. Emperor Cheng wept as he said, "Uncle, when you say someone is plotting rebellion, then you just kill them. What will happen when someone tells me that you are the one plotting rebellion?" Yu Liang was frightened, and his expression changed.


(Sima Zong had lost his position in command of the palace guards, which is what this passage means by his having "lost his position".

Sima Yang and Sima Zong were elder and younger brothers. This passage mentions Sima Zong's closeness and Sima Yang's chief position to recount how Sima Zong was a close member of the royal clan and Sima Yang had held high office.)


13. Several Zhao generals, Huang Xiu and others, invaded Zan County. Jin's Administrator of Shunyang, Wei Gai, led his forces to fall back to Xiangyang.


(During Han, Zan County was part of Nanyang commandary. By Jin, it had been split off as part of Shunyang commandary.)


14. Shi Le, following the advice of Cheng Xia, commandeered the palaces at Ye. He placed his eldest son Shi Hong in command of Ye, and assigned him ten thousand guards as soldiers. Fifty-four commanders of chariots or cavalry were placed under his command, and the General of Agile Cavalry and Libationer of the Gates, Wang Yang, was given command of the Six Tribes in order to aid Shi Hong.

Now Shi Hu had originally had control of Ye, and as he felt that he had achieved much on behalf of the state, he had no intention of leaving Ye. So he restored the Three Terraces near the city and moved his family and household into them. And it was from this time that Shi Hu's resentment grew against Cheng Xia.


(This was why Shi Hu later killed Cheng Xia and Shi Hong.)


15. In the eleventh month, the Later Zhao general Shi Cong attacked Shouchun. Zu Yue sent several petitions to the Jin court asking for aid, but the court would not send out soldiers.

Shi Cong then invaded Junqiu and Fuling, where he killed or captured more than five thousand people. Jiankang was greatly shaken, and an imperial edict was issued promoting Wang Dao as Grand Marshal, Bearer of the Yellow Battle-Axe, and Commander of all military forces in order to resist Shi Cong. The army was at Jiangning. Then Su Jun sent his general Han Huang to attack Shi Cong, and Han Huang drove him off. Wang Dao relinquished his role as Grand Marshal.

The court discussed building a dyke to forestall any further invasions by the barbarians. Zu Yue said to himself, "They are going to leave me cut off!" And his resentment and anger only grew.


(Junqiu and Fuling were two counties under Huainan commandary. Yan Shigu remarked, "The characters in Junqiu are pronounced 'jun' and 'cou (c-ou)'." The Spring and Autumn Annals states, "Duke Ai of Lu had a meeting with Wu in Tuogao (Ai 12.3)." Du Yu's commentary on that text states, "This place Tuogao was in Junqiu County in Huainan commandary." Liu Xu remarked, "Tang's Shen County in Luzhou was the territory of Han's Junqiu County."

Zu Yue made this remark because Shouchun would have been on the far side of the proposed dyke.)


16. In the twelfth month, Jin's Administrator of Jimin, Liu Kai, and others killed the Interior Minister of Xiapi, Xiahou Jia, and rebelled at Xiapi, surrendering it to Later Zhao. The Later Zhao general Shi Zhan attacked Jin's Inspector of Henan, Wang Zhan (or Xian), at Zhu and captured him. Jin's Interior Minister of Pengcheng, Liu Xu, recaptured Shicheng in Lanling, but Shi Zhan attacked and captured him as well.


(The Records of Jin states, "Some say that when Cao-Wei conquered Shu-Han, they moved the families of their great generals to the north of the Ji River, where they formed Jimin commandary." The Geographical Records of the Taikang Era does not mention this Jimin commandary. The matter remains uncertain.

The name of the Administrator of Henan mentioned here should be Wang Xian, not Wang Zhan.

Liu Hui's Records of Mount Zou states, "The city of Zhu was south of Mount Zou in Zou County in the Lu princely fief. It was two li from the mountain." The Zuo Commentary to the Spring and Autumn Annals mentions that "Zhu moved their capital to Yi" in the thirteenth year of Duke Wen; this city must have been that place.

According to Wei Shou's Geographical Records, there was a Mount Shicheng in Lanling County.)


17. Shi Le appointed his General of 牙門, Wang Bo, as Recordskeeping Army Advisor, charging him with maintaining and settling the Nine Schools of Thought. He also began conducting the systems of examinations on the Classics for Abundant Talent and Filial and Incorrupt candidates.


(It was the policy of Jin to examine Abundant Talent and Filial and Incorrupt candidates through testing them on the Classics. At this time, Later Zhao began implementing the same system.)


18. In Liangzhou, Zhang Jun feared the threat posed by Zhao. So during this year, he relocated more than two thousand families in Longxi and Nan'an commandaries to Guzang.

He also sent envoys to Cheng to restore good relations with them, and wrote a letter to Li Xiong asking him to give up his imperial title and declare himself a vassal of Jin. Li Xiong wrote back stating, "I was acclaimed to this position by the gentlemen who serve me, but it was never my original intention to claim a royal title. My inclination is to perform the greatest merit as a servant of Jin, by sweeping away the turmoil. However, the Jin royal family has declined, and their virtue and sound make little impact. I have been looking to the east, awaiting the month and the year. Now I have received your gifts, and my feelings are unclear as to what shall come next."

From then on, both sides regularly exchanged envoys.


(Li Xiong was saying that his usual feeling was looking to the east towards Jin, yet now Zhang Jun had sent him this letter, and he was unclear if he should join with him.)
"You have attacked us before, and we survived! You cannot defeat us. Submit!"
"We have. You did. We can. No."
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Taishi Ci 2.0
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Unread postby Taishi Ci 2.0 » Tue May 22, 2018 2:15 am


The Second Year of Xianhe (The Dinghai Year, 327 AD)


1. In spring, the first month, Jin's Administrator of Zhuti, Yang Shu, fought the Cheng general Luo Heng at Taideng. But Yang Shu's army was defeated, and he died.


2. In summer, the fifth month, on the new moon of the day Jiashen (June 6th), there was an eclipse.


3. Zhao's Martial Guard General, Liu Lang, led thirty thousand cavalry to attack Yang Nandi at Chouchi. They were unsuccessful, and only captured some three thousand households before returning.


4. It was earlier mentioned that Zhang Jun had accepted titles from Zhao as their nominal vassal. But now, when he heard about the defeats which Zhao had suffered at the hands of Later Zhao, he cast off these Zhao titles. He rebranded himself as a subject of Jin, assuming the titles of Grand General and Governor of Liangzhou under Jin authority.

Zhang Jun sent the Administrator of Wuwei, Dou Tao, the Administrator of Jincheng, Zhang Lang, the Administrator of Wuxing, Xin Yán, the General Who Arouses Ferocity, Song Ji, and others to lead an army of several tens of thousands to join together with the forces under Han Pu and attack Zhao's commandaries in Qinzhou.

Liu Yao's son Liu Yin led Zhao troops to attack the Liangzhou armies, and he camped at Didao. The Liangzhou General Who Protects The Army, Xin Yan, was still at Fuhan. With the Zhao forces closing in on him, Xin Yan sent word to Zhang Jun of how dire his situation was. In response, Zhang Jun ordered Han Pu and Xin Yán to march to reinforce him. Han Pu advanced and crossed the Wogan Range.

Xin Yán wanted to strike the enemy at once, but Han Pu said to him, "The end of summer is approaching, and there have been many changes among the sun and stars. We cannot make any rash movements. Besides, Liu Yao is already at war with Shi Le. Liu Yin cannot afford to remain here facing us down for very long." So Han Pu and Liu Yin settled into a stalemate for more than seventy days, each of them occupying one side of the Tao River.

In winter, the tenth month, Han Pu sent Xin Yán to escort some supplies to Jincheng. When Liu Yin heard about it, he mused, "Han Pu's forces are ten times the size of my own, and my food stores are so sparse that it would be difficult for me to hold this position for much longer. Yet now the enemy has split their forces, and they are moving grain shipments. Thus does Heaven help us. If I can just defeat Xin Yán, Han Pu and the others will melt away on their own."

So Liu Yin led three thousand cavalry to attack Xin Yán at the Wogan Range, and they defeated him. Then Liu Yin advanced to threaten Han Pu's camp, and most of Han Pu's army scattered. Liu Yin pressed this victory by pursuing the fleeing Liangzhou soldiers, and he even crossed over the Yellow River, attacked and captured Lingju, took the heads of about twenty thousand people, and then advanced further and occupied Zhenwu. The Liangzhou region was greatly afraid.

Zhang Lang and Xin Yan led their forces, several tens of thousands, to surrender to Zhao. Zhang Jun thus lost the position across the Yellow River that he had earlier regained.


During Emperor Hui's Yongning reign era (301-303), Zhang Gui had petitioned the court requesting that the refugees from Qinzhou and Yongzhou who had fled to Liangzhou be established in a new commandary, Wuxing, to be created northwest of Guzang.

At this time, Han Pu was at Ji.

The Wogan Range was in the southeast of Daxia County in Jinxing commandary, northwest of the Tao River.

According to the Commentary on the Water Classic, the Tao River passed through the west of the city of Didao.

During Han, Lingju County was part of Jincheng commandary. When Zhang Shi created Guangwu commandary, Lingju became part of it.

Zhenwu was southeast of Guzang, northwest of Guangwu.)


5. By now, Yu Liang was certain that if Su Jun remained at Liyang, he was certain to rebel or cause some other misfortune. Yu Liang wanted to issue an imperial edict summoning Su Jun to the capital, to get him away from his soldiers. He broached the matter with Wang Dao, who advised him, "Su Jun is very suspicious, and he occupies a stout position. He will definitely ignore any such edict. You had best just put up with him for now."

Then Yu Liang discussed the issue before the court, saying, "Su Jun is what they call 'a wolf-like child with an evil heart'. He is certain to rebel sooner or later. If we summon him now and he obstinately disobeys the summons, at least the disaster will not be as serious. But if we wait a few more years, then he will be beyond all control. We face the same situation now as when the Seven Princedoms threatened the stability of the Han dynasty."

No one else in the court dared to mention the difficulties that might arise from Yu Liang's proposal. Only the Household Counselor With Golden Tassel, Bian Kun, vigorously objected. He said, "Su Jun has powerful soldiers right at hand, and he poses a very near threat to the capital region. He could descend upon us in an instant. Any sudden development could cost us everything. You must reconsider this plan!"

But Yu Liang would not listen to him.

Certain that the plan would fail, Bian Kun then wrote a letter to Wen Jiao, stating, "Yuangui (Yu Liang) is set upon his plan to summon Su Jun here. This is a serious matter of state. Su Jun is already paranoid about his position; when he is summoned here, that will just bring on the coming disaster even faster, and the court will feel the venom of his sting. The court's strength may be recovering, but I do not know if it will be sufficient to overcome Su Jun or not. Lord Wang Dao feels the same as I do. I have done my utmost to fiercely argue against this plan, but my words were in vain. Sir, you were originally sent out so that you could provide assistance from outside, but now I regret that you are such a long way away from us. If only you could have been here to add your own voice to ours and help oppose the plan, perhaps we could have carried the day."

Wen Jiao himself wrote several letters to Yu Liang advising against the plan, and the court believed that it could not be done. But Yu Liang still did not listen.


(In the Zuo Commentary, the Chu minister Yin Ziwen says, "As the saying goes, 'a wolf-like child will have an evil heart'. Just so with this one; he is a wolf, so how shall he be brought up in your family? (Xuan 4.3)"

Before the Rebellion of the Seven Princedoms during the Han dynasty, the minister Chao Cuo proposed carving out territories from the fiefs of the Princes of Wu and Chu. This was his logic: "They will rebel if you carve out the territories, but they will still rebel even if you do not. So if you carve their territories out, they will be quick to rebel and thus the misfortune will be smaller. But if you do not carve them out, they will take their time in rebelling and thus the misfortune will be greater." This was the precedent which Yu Liang was comparing the present situation to.

Only the Yangzi served as a barrier between the capital at Jiankang and Su Jun's post at Liyang.

Yu Liang's style name was Yuangui.

The term 蠚 means the bite or sting of an insect.

Bian Kun refers to the fact that Wen Jiao was away from the capital, at his post at Xunyang.)


6. When Su Jun heard about the imminent summons, he sent his Marshal, He Reng, to visit Yu Liang and convey his thoughts: "I have a commission to campaign against the enemy on the border. Send me anywhere to attack them, near or far, and I will heed the order. But I truly cannot bear to come serve in the capital."

But Yu Liang refused this proposal.

He recalled the General of the Household Gentlemen of the North, Guo Mo, to serve as General of the Rear and acting Colonel of Bivouacked Cavalry, and he appointed the Chief Clerk of the Right to the Minister Over The Masses, Yu Bing, as Interior Minister of the Wu princely fief. Both of these things were meant to prepare against Su Jun. This Yu Bing was Yu Liang's younger brother.

Then Yu Liang issued the imperial edict, commending Su Jun for his achievements and summoning him to serve in the capital as Grand Minister of Finance, as well as promoting him to the rank of Cavalier In Regular Attendance and granting him the distinction of being Specially Advanced. Su Jun's younger brother Su Yi was ordered to take command of Su Jun's forces.

Su Jun sent up a petition stating, "It was not so long ago that Emperor Ming himself took me by the hand and sent me north to campaign against our barbarous foes. The Central Plains have not been quelled yet, and so how can I dare to be at ease? I beg you to allot me even just one barren commandary in Qingzhou, and let me serve you as your falcon or your hound."

But again, Yu Liang refused to accept this offer.

Su Jun dressed himself all in readiness to heed the summons. But he still hesitated and could not make up his mind. Then one of his Army Advisors, Ren Rang, said to him, "General, even your request for one measly commandary was brushed aside. With things how they are now, I fear there is no way out for you. You ought to prepare your soldiers so that you can defend yourself." And the Prefect of Fuling, Kuang Shu, also urged Su Jun to rebel. So Su Jun decided not to obey the summons.


(At this time, Guo Mo was in command of the Jin armies north of the Huai River.

Fuling County was part of Huainan commandary. The Records of Jin states, "During Emperor Ming of Han's era, Fuling was submerged in Lake Ma." This Lake Ma is thirty li west of Liyang County in modern Hezhou.)


7. When Wen Jiao heard how serious things had gotten, he wanted to lead the forces under his command downriver to protect Jiankang. And the commandaries of the three Wu regions also wanted to assemble their own soldiers for the same purpose. But Yu Liang would not listen to any of these suggestions. He responded to Wen Jiao, "I am more worried about the 'western border' than I am about Liyang. Sir, you must not pass one step beyond Lei Pond."

The court sent envoys to Su Jun in an attempt to dissuade him. But he replied, "When the government itself insists that I mean to rebel, how can I survive? Better for me to look upon my prison from atop this mount, rather than look upon the mount from within my prison! And this is not my special fate; it has always been the doom of those who are seen as threats to the state. 'When the crafty hare has been killed, let the hunting dog be boiled', as the saying goes. But before then, I mean to avenge myself against the one who brought all this about!"


(The "western border" meant Tao Kan, who held command in the west in Jingzhou.

Lei Pond was east of Dalei, within modern Chizhou. The Commentary on the Water Classic states, "As the Qinglin River flows southeast through Xunyang, it splits into two rivers. One river flows east, passing through Dalei." But note that the original edition did not contain this passage.

Fan Li of the ancient state of Yue resigned his office with the words, "When the crafty hare has been killed, the running dog is boiled."

Su Jun was saying he meant to get revenge against Yu Liang.)


8. Su Jun knew that Zu Yue had his own grievances against the court. So he sent one of his Army Advisors, Xu Hui, to meet with Zu Yue and urge him to join together with Su Jun for a joint campaign against Yu Liang. Zu Yue was overjoyed at the offer, and his nephews Zu Zhi and Zu Yan urged him to make the alliance.

The Interior Minister of the Qiao princely fief, Huan Xuan, said to Zu Zhi, "Our enemy is the barbarians, and they remain powerful and unvanquished. We ought to be exerting our strength to campaign against them. If Commissioner Zu wants to be a conquering hero, why does he not aid the state by campaigning against Su Jun? If he did that, his power and majesty would naturally rise. But to go so far as to ally with Su Jun and help with his rebellion? How long will he be able to last?"

But Zu Zhi did not listen to him.

Then Huan Xuan went to visit Zu Yue, asking to see him. But Zu Yue knew that Huan Xuan meant to remonstrate with him, so he would not agree to a meeting. So Huan Xuan cut his ties with Zu Yue and refused to associate with him.

In the eleventh month, Zu Yue sent the Interior Minister of Pei, his elder brother's son Zu Huan, and the Administrator of Huainan, his brother-in-law Xu Liu, to lead soldiers to join with Su Jun. Zu Yue's widow was this Xu Liu's sister. She fiercely remonstrated with him, but to no avail.

An imperial edict was issued appointing Bian Kun as Prefect of the Masters of Writing and acting Guard General of the Right. The Interior Minister of Guaiji, Wang Shu, was appointing as acting Inspector of Yangzhou. The Administrator of Wuxing, Yu Tan, was placed in command of military affairs for the commandaries of the Three Wu regions.


(Zu Yue had led his forces to Liyang; Huan Xuan led his own soldiers to camp at Mount Matou.

This 鄶稽 "Guaiji" was the same commandary as 會稽 Kuaiji; the first character was pronounced "guai (g-ai)". It was mentioned earlier (326.9) that Wang Shu had been appointed to Kuaiji commandary. The Biography of Wang Shu in the Book of Jin states, "At the time that Su Jun was being summoned to the capital, Wang Dao wanted to send Wang Shu out to help provide assistance from the outside, so he had Wang Shu appointed as Interior Minister of Kuaiji. Wang Shu protested, on the grounds that his father's given name was 會 Hui, the same as the first character in 會稽 Kuaiji, so this would constitute a personal impropriety for him. The court felt that, although they happened to share the same character, since the pronunciation was different, there was no impropriety. But Wang Shu, insisting that sharing the same character was sufficient reason for him to object, requested he be assigned to a different commandary. To appease him, the 會 character in Kuaiji was changed to 鄶 Guai.)


9. The Minister of the Left of the Masters of Writing, Kong Tan, and the Marshal to the Minister Over The Masses, Tao Hui of Danyang, spoke to Wang Dao. They proposed, "Before Su Jun gets here, we should move to cut him off at Fuling. From there, we can guard all the river mouths on the north side of the Yangzi. The rebels are few compared to us, and we can decide everything in a single battle. And if Su Jun does not come, then we can move forward and threaten his position. But if we do not occupy Fuling first, Su Jun is sure to get there ahead of us. If he does so, then he will make the people's hearts tremble in shock, and it will be hard to oppose him. There is no time to waste."

Wang Dao agreed with them. But Yu Liang would not listen.

In the twelfth month, on the day Xinhai (December 30th), Su Jun sent his generals Han Huang, Zhang Jian, and others to attack and capture Gushu, where they captured the stores of salt and rice there. Yu Liang now regretted what had happened.


(Fuling had Lake Ma as a defensive barrier, where one could guard the various river mouths. Holding this place would prevent Su Jun's soldiers from being able to cross the Yangzi.

Gushu was adjacent to the islets in the Yangzi. Boats were stored there, and Jin accumulated stores of salt and rice there.)


10. On the day Renzi (December 31st), the Princes of Pengcheng and Zhangwu, Sima Xiong and Sima Xiu, defected to Su Jun's side. This Sima Xiong was the son of Sima Shi.


(This Sima 釋 Shi (not to be confused with the more famous Sima 師 Shi or Emperor Jing), the earlier Prince of Pengcheng, was the son of Prince Mu ("the Solemn"), Emperor Xuan's (Sima Yi's) younger brother Sima Quan. And this Sima Xiu was the grandson of the Prince of Yiyang, Sima Wang.)


11. On the day Gengshen (January 8th of 328), the capital region was placed under martial law. Yu Liang was temporarily granted the Staff of Authority and placed in command of all forces opposing the rebels. The Guard General of the Left, Zhao Yin, was appointed as Administrator of Liyang. He sent the General of the Left, Sima Liu, to lead soldiers to occupy Lake Ci in order to oppose Su Jun. The former Colonel of Archers Who Shoot at a Sound, Liu Chao, was appointed as the new Guard General of the Left. The Palace Attendant, Chu Sha, was appointed to provide assistance with the campaign.

Yu Liang ordered his younger brother Yu Yi to lead several hundred soldiers to guard the Shitou fortress.


(Lake Ci was at Gushu, sixty-five li north of Dangtu County in modern Taipingzhou. For some ten li, the Yangzi passes through three mountains, until it reaches Lizhou. From Lizhou, it passes the Baitu Promontory and then flows through Lake Ci.)


12. On the day Bingyin (January 14th of 328), the Prince of Langye, Sima Yu, had his title changed to Prince of Kuaiji. The Prince of Wu, Sima Yue, was made the new Prince of Langye.


13. The Interior Minister of Xuancheng, Huan Yi, wanted to raise his troops to come to the aid of the court. His Chief Clerk, Bi Hui, advised him that since the troops of their commandary were so few and weak, while the local mountain peoples were so easily riled up, he ought to keep his troops in readiness to defend against them. But Huan Yi sternly replied, "It is said, 'When you see a man who transgresses propriety towards his ruler, take him off as an eagle or a hawk pursues a small bird.' The very fortunes of state are in peril, and it would be unjust to remain at ease here."

On the day Xinwei (January 19th of 328), Huan Yi advanced to camp at Wuhu. Han Huang attacked and routed him. He then advanced to attack Xuancheng, while Huan Yi retreated to guard Guangde. Han Huang greatly pillaged several counties in the area before turning back.

Chi Jian wanted to lead the forces of Xuzhou to come reinforce the court as well, but the court issued an edict refusing permission, on account of the enemies to the north.


(The Registry of Surnames states, "Those with the surname 裨 Bi are the descendants of Bi Chen of the ancient state of Zheng."

The Shanyue or Mountain Yue peoples lived in the southwestern part of Xuancheng commandary. Ever since the era of Eastern Wu, they had invaded or stirred up rebellion several times.

Huan Yi quotes the words of the Lu minister Zang Wenzhong from the Zuo Commentary to the Spring and Autumn Annals (Wen 18.9).

Xuancheng commandary was administered from Wanling County; it also had a separate Xuancheng County. Li Xian remarked, "The city of Xuancheng was in the east of Nanling County in modern Xuanzhou."

He Chengtian remarked, "Guangdu was an old Han county." Shen Yue remarked, "Neither of the two Records of Han lists a Guangde County. I suspect it was first established by Eastern Wu, as part of Xuancheng commandary." The Records of Tongchuan states, "Later Han established Guangde County. Jin combined it into Xuancheng. It is now the Guangde Garrison.")


14. During this year, Shi Hu attacked the new Prince of Dai, Tuoba Hena. They fought north of the border pass at Gouzhu, where Tuoba Hena's soldiers were defeated.

Tuoba Hena shifted his capital to Daning in order to avoid the threat now posed by Later Zhao.


(Zhang Shoujie remarked, "Mount Gouzhu was thirty li northwest of Yanmen County in Daizhou." According to the Records of Tang, Yanmen County had an eastern pass and a western pass; this must have been the place.

According to the Commentary on the Water Classic, this Daning was the same as Guangning. 廣甯 Guangning, called 廣寧 Guangning during Former Han, was part of Shanggu commandary. It became called 廣甯 Guangning during Later Han. Emperor Wu of Jin (Sima Yan) created Guangning commandary during the Taikang reign era (280-89).)

三年,石勒遣石虎率騎五千來寇邊部,帝禦之於句注陘北,不利,遷於大寧。(Book of Northern Wei 1, Annals of the Tuoba Ancestors)

In the third year of Tuoba Hena's reign (327), Shi Le sent Shi Hu to invade the border regions of the Tuoba realm with five thousand cavalry. Tuoba Hena attempted to oppose him north of the border pass at Gouzhu, but he suffered the worst of it. So Tuoba Hena shifted his capital to Daning.


15. The late Prince of Dai, Tuoba Yulü, had a son Tuoba Yihuai who was living with the clan of his uncle, the Helan clan. Tuoba Hena sent messengers demanding Tuoba Yihuai be handed over to him. But the leader of the Helan clan, Helan Aitou, protected Tuoba Yihuai and would not give him up. Tuoba Hena and the Yuwen tribe of the Xianbei attacked Helan Aitou together, but without success.

時烈帝居於舅賀蘭部,帝遣使求之,賀蘭部帥藹頭,擁護不遣。帝怒,召宇文部并勢擊藹頭。宇文眾敗,帝還大寧。(Book of Northern Wei 1, Annals of the Tuoba Ancestors)

At this time, Emperor Lie, Tuoba Yihuai, was living with the clan of his uncle, the Helan clan. Tuoba Hena sent messengers demanding Tuoba Yihuai be handed over to him. But the leader of the Helan clan, Helan Aitou, protected Tuoba Yihuai and would not give him up. Angered by this, Tuoba Hena summoned the Yuwen clan, and they attacked Helan Aitou together. But the Yuwen army was defeated, so Tuoba Hena returned to Daning.
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Re: Zizhi Tongjian: Western Jin (Book 79-93)

Unread postby Jia Nanfeng » Tue May 22, 2018 4:58 am

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Unread postby Taishi Ci 2.0 » Mon Jun 11, 2018 4:53 am


The Third Year of Xianhe (The Wuzi Year, 328 AD)


1. In spring, the first month, Wen Jiao marched to the aid of Jiankang. His army arrived at Xunyang.


(Wen Jiao was marching east from Wuchang, so his army came to Xunyang.)


2. Su Jun's general Han Huang attacked the loyalist general Sima Liu at Cihu. Sima Liu was so timid and nervous before the battle that he ate burnt meat without realizing it. His soldiers were defeated and he died.


(The term 炙 here means burnt or roasted meat.)


3. On the day Dingwei (February 24th), Su Jun marched at the head of twenty thousand soldiers, along with his generals Zu Huan, Xu Liu, and others. They crossed the Yangzi at Hengjiang, ascended Niuzhu, and camped their forces at Lingkou. The government soldiers opposed their advance, but were defeated several times. In the second month, on the day Gengxu (February 27th), Su Jun arrived at Mount Fuzhou in Jiangling.

Tao Hui said to Yu Liang, "Su Jun knows that the Shitou fortress has been heavily fortified, and he would not dare to launch a direct assault against it. He will certainly try to approach us from the south by taking the foot trails through Lesser Danyang. We should post ambush troops along the trails there to intercept him, then we can capture him in a single battle."

But Yu Liang would not listen.

As Tao Hui had predicted, Su Jun marched through Lesser Danyang. He could not keep track of the trails, and since his army was marching by night, they could not maintain their formations either. When Yu Liang learned of this, he regretted his decision.


(Mount Niuzhu is thirty li north of Dangtu County in modern Taipingzhou. There is a promotory under the mountain, which serves as a crossing point over the Yangzi, since it is across the river from Hengjiang in Hezhou. Lingkou was northeast of Mount Niuzhu, and so is also known as Donglingkou ("East Lingkou").

The term ling can mean "mound", so "Jiangling" here would mean "the mound at Mount Jiang". And Mount Fuzhou resembled an overturned boat, thus its name ("Mount Overturned Boat").

Regarding the name "Lesser Danyang", during Han, Danyang commandary was administered from Wanling County. In Emperor Wu of Jin's (Sima Yan's) second year of Taikang (281), he split off part of Danyang commandary to form Xuancheng commandary, and Wanling now served as the administrative center for this new commandary. Danyang was then administered from Jianye. As for Jianye itself, it was originally called Moling during Han. Eastern Wu changed its name to Jianye. Jin restored the original name of Moling, but in the third year of Taikang (282), the portion of Moling north of the (Qinhuai) river was split off and renamed Jianye. After Emperor Min came to the throne (in 313), Jianye's name was changed to Jiankang in order to observe the naming taboo on Emperor Min's given name, Ye. When Emperor Yuan (Sima Rui) crossed south of the Yangzi, he established the office of Intendant of Danyang (Intendant being the traditional title for the administrator of the capital region's commandary), and the Intendancy had its administrative center in the west of the governmental complex. But the office of Administrator of Danyang was still retained, administered from Moling County as before. People commonly called this Danyang the "Lesser Danyang". And the roads mentioned there are the ones now leading to Jiankang in Taipingzhou.)


4. With the capital region now facing great danger, most of the court officials sent their families east to seek safety. Only the Guard General of the Left, Liu Chao, sent his wife and children to stay inside the palace.


(The regions of Wu and Kuaiji were to the east of Jiankang.

The term 孥 here means children.)


5. An imperial edict was issued appointing Bian Kun as Commander of the eastern armies to punish the criminals. He and the Palace Attendant, Zhong Ya, led the armies of Guo Mo, Zhao Yin, and other loyalists to oppose Su Jun at Xiling. But Bian Kun and the other loyalists were greatly defeated, and thousands of their soldiers were killed or wounded.

On the day Bingchen (March 4th), Su Jun attacked the barricades at Qingxi. Bian Kun led several armies to fight back against him, but they could not hold the line. There was a wind in the air, and Su Jun took advantage of it by spreading fires. The government ministries and the other offices were soon reduced to ashes.

Now Bian Kun had an ulcer on his back which had only just begun healing, and he had taken wounds from which he had not yet recovered. But even so, he exerted himself through his pain and spurred on those with him to fight to the bitter end, and so he died fighting. His two sons Bian Zhen and Bian Xu followed after their father, and they each met their own ends as well.

Their mother held their bodies in her arms and wept as she said, "The father was a loyal minister, and the sons were filial children. What do I have to regret?"


(According to the Biography of Bian Kun in the Book of Jin, Su Jin was at Donglingkou during the first battle mentioned in this passage, and Bian Kun fought with him at "Lingxi" or "west of Ling, west of the mound". But the Annals of Emperor Cheng in the Book of Jin records the place as "Xiling".

This passage describes the government offices which Su Jun burned down as the 臺省s. Du You remarked, "The Liu-Song and Southern Qi dynasties which followed Jin had the terms 'the Three 臺 Terraces' and 'the Five 省 Bureaus' to describe their government ministries. The Three Terraces were the same offices which that term described during Former and Later Han [presumably the Three Excellencies], while the Five Bureaus referred to the Masters of Writing, the Palace Secretariat, the Gatekeepers, the Library Custodians, and the Archivists.")


6. The Intendant of Danyang, Yang Man, arrayed his soldiers to defend the Yunlong Gate at Jiankang. There he died fighting, along with the Gentleman-Attendant of the Yellow Gate, Zhou Dao, and the Administrator of Lujiang, Tao Zhan.

Yu Liang gathered up his own soldiers, planning to make a stand behind the Xuanyang Gate. But before he could finish getting his soldiers into a defensive formation, the men all cast aside their armor and fled. So Yu Liang too prepared to flee the city and head for Xunyang, along with his younger brothers Yu Yi, Yu Tiao, and Yu Yi, and with Guo Mo and Zhao Yin.

As Yu Liang was about to depart, he turned to Zhong Ya and told him, "From here on out, it's every man for himself."

Zhong Ya replied, "Just whose fault is it that the pillars have snapped and the rafters collapsed?"

Yu Liang said, "Not another word of all this."

Yu Liang got into a small boat. There were soldiers smashing and plundering all around. Yu Liang shot arrows at them on either side, but he accidentally hit the helmsman, who dropped even at the snap of the bowstring. Everyone else on the boat turned pale and wanted to scatter, but Yu Liang himself did not move. He only said slowly, "How can it be that even my own hand rebels against me?" So the others calmed down.


(Yu Liang and the others were fleeing to join Wen Jiao.

The term 榱 "rafters" was one of several terms for this concept in ancient times. The people of the state of Qin called this part of a house the 屋椽; the people of the states of Qi and Lu called it the 桷; the people of the general domain of Zhou called it the 榱.

The helm or rudder is used to keep a boat on its proper course. So the helmsman is the one who oversees the craft.

Yu Liang was expressing regret for the fact that his shot had not only not killed a rebel, but had in fact killed the helmsman.)


7. Su Jun's soldiers poured into the governmental complex. The Minister Over The Masses, Wang Dao, said to the Palace Attendant, Chu Sha, "His Majesty should be brought to the Front Hall. Sir, prepare the order to be sent out right away." So Chu Sha went into the Main Pavilion, where he personally carried Emperor Cheng to the front of the Taiji Hall. Wang Dao and the Household Counsellors With Golden Tassel, Lu Ye and Xun Song, and the Master of Writing, Zhang Kai, all got onto the Imperial Bed and kept Emperor Cheng in a protective embrace. They appointed Liu Chao as the Guard General of the Right, and had him, Zhong Ya, and Chu Sha stand in attendance on either side. The Minister of Ceremonies, Kong Yu, put on court attire and guarded the ancestral temple. By now, the ministers had all fled, and the ministries lay empty.

When Su Jun's soldiers entered the hall, they yelled at Chu Sha and ordered him out. But Chu Sha stayed right where he was, and he chastised the soldiers by telling them, "It is Champion General Su that is coming to see His Majesty; how dare you soldiers threaten and endanger him?" Thus cowed, the soldiers no longer dared to enter the hall.

But they went into the rear palaces instead, where they kidnapped and plundered the palace servants and the Empress Dowager's attendants. They oppressed the remaining ministers, including the 勳 With Golden Tassel, Wang Bin, beating and whipping them and forcing them to carry packs while marching up Mount Jiang. They stripped the clothes from the women, who were forced to cover themselves with old mats and grass and straw from Zhang; those who had no grass sat on the ground and covered themselves with dirt. The sound of their cries and wails shook the whole region.


(The Records of Jin states, "Emperor Wen (Sima Zhao) first created the ranks of Guard General and Guard General of the Center. After Emperor Wu (Sima Yan) accepted the abdication of Cao-Wei, he split these ranks into Guard Generals of the Left and Right, appointing Yang Xiu as Guard General of the Left and Zhao Xu as Guard General of the Right."

Su Jun had earlier been promoted to Champion General for his success in campaigning against Wang Dun's ally Shen Chong, thus Chu Sha identifies him by that rank here.

Mount Jiang was also called Mount Zhong. It is eighteen li northeast of modern Shangyuan County. The Regional Survey Records states, "In ancient times, this mountain was called Mount Jinling, and the county got its name from there. The name later changed to Mount Jiang. At the end of the Han dynasty, when the Commandant of Moling, Jiang Ziwen, was campaigning against bandits, he died in battle at this mountain, and the Grand Emperor of Eastern Wu (Sun Quan) established a temple for him. Since Jiang Ziwen's grandfather's given name was Zhong, in order to recognize a naming taboo for him, the name of the mountain was changed to Mount Jiang." But from what I, Hu Sanxing, understand, it was Sun Quan's own grandfather who had the given name Zhong which thus needed to be covered by the naming taboo, and the mountain's name was changed for that reason. [This is the modern Purple Mountain.])


8. Earlier, when Gushu had just fallen to the rebels, the Minister of the Left of the Masters of Writing, Kong Tan, told people, "Look how powerful Su Jun has become. He will certainly capture the government as well. No one who is not a warrior should be dressed in martial attire." And indeed, when the government fell, many of those who were so dressed died, while those dressed in plain clothes were left alone.


9. At this time, the government storehouses contained two hundred thousand bolts of cloth, five thousand catties of gold and silver, hundreds of millions of cash, tens of thousands of bolts of silk, and similar amounts of other such things. Su Jun distributed all of it. The chief ministers were left with only a few measures of cooked rice with which to supply the imperial household.


(This passage is saying that the other things in the storehouses were similar to the cloth, gold and silver, cash, and silk being stored there.)


10. Someone said to Zhong Ya, "Sir, you are an honest and direct man. Surely you cannot bear to serve under these invaders. Why not make plans for yourself?"

Zhong Ya replied, "If the state is in chaos and I cannot rectify it, if my sovereign is in peril and I cannot protect him, if I would rather run and hide just to save my own life, how could I call myself a minister?"


11. On the day Dingsi (March 5th), Su Jun arranged for an imperial edict to be issued, declaring a general amnesty in Jin. Only Yu Liang and his brothers were excluded from the amnesty. Because of Wang Dao's virtue and influence, Su Jun allowed him to retain the same office he held before; in fact, Wang Dao technically outranked Su Jun himself. Zu Yue was appointed as Palace Attendant, Grand Commandant, and Prefect of the Masters of Writing. Su Jun appointed himself as General of Chariots and Cavalry and chief of affairs of the Masters of Writing. Xu Liu was appointed as Intendant of Danyang. Ma Xiong was appointed as Guard General of the Left. Zu Huan was appointed as General of Agile Cavalry.

It was earlier mentioned that Yu Liang had demoted the Prince of Yiyang, Sima Yang. At this time, Sima Yang came to visit Su Jun, praising and extolling Su Jun's accomplishments. So Su Jun restored Sima Yang's former title as Prince of Xiyang, and appointed him as Grand Governor with control of affairs of the Masters of Writing.


(Yu Liang and his brothers were excluded from the amnesty.

Sima Yang's demotion and loss of his positions are mentioned in Book 93, in the first year of Xianhe (326.12).)


12. Su Jun sent troops to attack the Interior Minister of the Wu princely fief, Yu Bing. Since Yu Bing could not resist them, he abandoned the commandary and fled to Kuaiji. By the time he reached Zhejiang, Su Jun had put out a heavy bounty on his head. Some of his attendant soldiers from Wu brought him into a boat and covered him under reed mats and hedysarum. Then they would chant and sing while rapping their oars, sailing along as they went. Whenever they reached a checkpoint at a crossing, they would always beat the boat with their sticks and boast, "Who's looking for Yu Bing? We got him right here!" The soldiers at the checkpoints believed they were drunk, so they did not suspect anything. Yu Bing thus narrowly escaped with his life.

Su Jun appointed the Palace Attendant, Cai Mo, as the new Interior Minister of Wu.


(At this time, Wu had been changed from a commandary to a princely fief, so the Administrator was now an Interior Minister.

Regarding the term X [not possible to display in this format], the Shuowen dictionary states, "The X mat is a mat made of bamboo." But I, Hu Sanxing, reckon that since the grass radical is part of this character, it would be what we now call a reed mat.

The term X [as above] refers to oars. To push against the current is to row.

The checkpoints were crossing places where soldiers were stationed.)


13. When Wen Jiao heard that Jiankang had fallen, he was struck by grief. Whenever someone came to see him, both of them were soon moved to tears.

Yu Liang arrived at Xunyang. He showed Wen Jiao an edict from the Empress Dowager, appointing Wen Jiao as General of Agile Cavalry and granting him the privelage of a Separate Office with equal ceremonial to the Three Excellencies. The Inspector of Xuzhou, Chi Jian, was also promoted to Minister of Works. But Wen Jiao replied, "I should be devoting all my current efforts to the destruction of the rebels. If I were to accept these offices before having achieved that, how could I explain myself to the realm?" So he would not accept the promotions.

Wen Jiao had long respected Yu Liang, and although Yu Liang had now fled to him after having just suffered defeat, Wen Jiao still encouraged and supported him, and he gave some of his own troops to Yu Liang.


14. In the third month, on the day Bingzi (?), Empress Dowager Yu passed away from sorrow.


15. Su Jun marched his soldiers south to camp at Yuhu.


16. In summer, the fourth month, the Later Zhao general Shi Kan attacked Jin's city of Wan. The Administrator of Nanyang, Wang Guo, surrendered the commandary to him.

Shi Kan then advanced and attacked Zu Yue's army at Huaishang. Zu Yue's general Chen Guang rose up with soldiers and attacked Zu Yue. One of Zu Yue's attendants, Yan Tu, strongly resembled him, and Chen Guang captured him after claiming that he was Zu Yue. Zu Yue himself slipped over the walls of the city and made his escape. Chen Guang fled to Later Zhao.


17. On the day Renshen (May 19th), Empress Mingmu ("the Wise and Solemn"; Empress Dowager Yu) was buried at Wuping Mound.


18. Yu Liang and Wen Jiao were about to ready their soldiers to march against Su Jun. But the roads were all cut off, and they could get no news of what was going on in Jiankang. Soon, a certain Fan Wang of Nanyang arrived at Xunyang, and he told them, "Su Jun is not uniform in his decrees, and his greed is insatiable and unrestrained. His downfall is only a matter of time. Although he is strong now, he can easily be made weak. The court is in dire straits indeed. Now is the time to march against him." Wen Jiao deeply appreciated Fan Wang's advice, and Yu Liang recruited him as an advisor on army affairs.


19. Yu Liang and Wen Jiao were urging each other to serve as leader of their combined forces. Then Wen Jiao's younger cousin Wen Chong said, "Doesn't the General Who Conquers The West, Tao Kan, have a high position and a strong army at hand? You should both acclaim him to be our leader."

So Wen Jiao sent the Protector, Wang Qian to visit Tao Kan in Jingzhou, bearing a proclamation that Tao Kan should join them in facing the troubles of the state. But Tao Kan was still resentful and not inclined to heed the order, and he replied, "I am a general who has been assigned to guard the border, and I dare not involve myself in internal affairs."

Wen Jiao kept trying to order Tao Kan to come, but to no avail. Then, seeking to appeal to Tao Kan, Wen Jiao sent him a messenger with a letter to say, "Esteemed Sir, if you might join our endeavor for a time, I shall serve under you."

After the messenger had been gone for two days, Wen Jiao's Army Advisor, Mao Bao of Xingyang, encountered the messenger on the road. When he heard of what Wen Jiao was planning, he told him, "Whenever undertaking great affairs, the whole realm must act in one accord. As it is said, 'an army conquers by its harmony'. There must be no disputes between us. Even if you do have some suspicions, you must not let them show, especially not by sending such a half-hearted message as this one! You should overtake that messenger at once and change the letter, saying that we will certainly all advance together as one. And if you cannot recall the letter in time, then send another messenger."

Wen Jiao realized that Mao Bao was right, and so he pursued the messenger and changed the letter. Tao Kan indeed accepted his new request, and sent his Protector, Gong Deng, to lead troops to join Wen Jiao.

Wen Jiao had seven thousand soldiers at this point. He composed an edict letter in the style of the Masters of Writing under the names of himself and his two fellows, listing the crimes and offenses of Zu Yue and Su Jun, and sending word to all the border commanders, tearfully imploring them to help the state.


(Sima Guang's commentary in the Textual Analysis states, "Regarding Wen Jiao's cousin Wen Chong, the Annals of Jin states that he was Wen Jiao's 'elder cousin'. But I follow the account of the Biography of Wen Jiao in the Book of Jin by calling him a younger cousin."

Tao Kan felt he had been slighted by Yu Liang, as mentioned in Book 93, in the first year of Xianhe (326.9).

Tao Kan's objection was that it was the duty of those at the capital to govern the state and those on the borders to defend it; each of them having their own roles, he did not presume to overstep his authority by intervening in an internal affair.

Ever since Han and Cao-Wei, it had been the custom to address chief ministers of state and chief border commanders as 明公. But in this letter and the below one, Wen Jiao addresses Tao Kan as 仁公; by doing so, he means to say that the whole realm esteems Tao Kan for his righteousness, and places him above all the other border commanders of Jin.

The Zuo Commentary states, "Dou Lian of the state of Chu said, 'An army conquers by its harmony, not by its numbers.' (Huan 11.1)"

Mao Bao refers to Wen Jiao's messenger whenever he mentions his "letter".

Wen Jiao listed Tao Kan as the leader of the alliance, with his and Yu Liang's names listed below, in his letter to the Masters of Writing.)


20. Tao Kan ordered Gong Deng to bring his soldiers back. Wen Jiao now wrote Tao Kan another letter, stating, "An army may advance, but it may not retreat; it may grow larger, it cannot grow smaller. Proclamations have already been sent out near and far, announcing you as the leader of our alliance. The date for the great undertaking has been set for half a month hence, and the armies of the various commandaries are all already on the road. We are only awaiting the arrival of your own army, Esteemed Sir, in order to begin our general advance. Yet now you recall your soldiers. By doing so, you are spreading doubt and uncertainty to every corner. The seeds of our ultimate defeat are being sown by this very act.

“Though I possess but slight talents, I have been entrusted with a great responsibility. Greatly dependant am I upon your earnest sincerity in order to set all the distant places to rights. When your war chariot 'leads the way in front', no one will dare to speak against you. When we are together, we shall be as tails that guard one another, as the lips and teeth which protect one another.

“But I fear there are some who do not grasp your lofty purpose, and so they urge you to delay your campaign against the rebels. It shall be difficult for me to follow after such advice. Yet we have both been entrusted with great border commands, and it is only natural that whether we experience peace or danger, weal or woe, we will face it together. Furthermore, when one considers all that has already been expended, and the attachments that have been developed, the beliefs in the depths of your righteousness run deep. Esteemed Sir, people look to your forces to come to the rescue even when there is a passing danger, much less when the very fortunes of state are in peril!

“The difficulties which we now face cannot be overcome by my province alone; there is not one civil or military official who is not raising their head and standing on tiptoe to watch for your arrival. If it should happen that this province cannot be held, then Zu Yue and Su Jun will extend the roots of their rebellion and place their own minions even at your own doorstep. Then your region of Jing and Chu would be threatened by strong barbarians to the west and menaced by rebels and traitors to the east. When hunger and famine appear, and danger is close at hand, your own province will face much greater danger than this one does today.

“Esteemed Sir, if you advance now then you act as a loyal servant of Jin, and you emulate the great deeds of Duke Huan of Qi and Duke Wen of Jin; if you withdraw now then you shame the affections of a father and besmirch the pain of your beloved son.

“Zu Yue and Su Jun are wild traitors without principle, a festering sickness against Heaven and Earth, and the people join as one in gnashing their teeth against them. If you advance and campaign against them, you will destroy them as easily as casting a stone against an egg. Only through your withdrawal of your soldiers will you give them opportunity to defeat us. I implore you to consider carefully the things I have told you!"

And Wang Qian took the opportunity to tell Tao Kan, "Su Jun is a cruel wolf; if he attains his ambition now, no matter how wide the world within the Four Seas may be, what place will there be left for you?"

Tao Kan realized the truth of all these things. So he put on martial attire and set out. Though he was still in mourning for his son Tao Zhan, he marched all through the night along every road to join Wen Jiao.


(Wen Jiao refers to Tao Kan at one point as 盟府, by which he more particularly means Tao Kan's staff. Since Tao Kan was the leader of the alliance, he was addressed as "alliance leader".

The Book of Poetry has the verse, "Ten large war chariots led the way in front (Liu Yue 4)."

The term 綢繆 means lingering affections or attachments.

Wen Jiao was saying that people were craning their necks and standing on their toes hoping to see Tao Kan's soldiers coming.

By "this province" and such, Wen Jiao refers to his own province of Jiangzhou.

Wen Jiao refers to Tao Kan's son Tao Zhan, who had been killed by Su Jun's forces during the fighting at Jiankang, as mentioned above (6).)


21. The Jin loyalist general Chi Jian was at Guangling. That city was isolated, and its supplies had run low; it was sorely threatened by the barbarians close at hand to the north, and the people there had no heart for maintaining its defense. So when Chi Jian received the edict letter, he tearfully swore an oath before his soldiers to march to the aid of the state, and his generals and soldiers all competed with each other to exert themselves.

Chi Jian sent some of his generals, Xiahou Chang and others, to go on ahead by back roads to visit Wen Jiao and pass on a message. They told him, "There have been rumors that the rebels want to compel the Son of Heaven to go with them east into Kuaiji. The first thing we ought to do is to set up camps and barricades and occupy all the critical and strategic positions, so that we can contain the rebels and prevent them from escaping. This will also cut off their shipments of grain.

"Then we should scorch the earth and remain behind sturdy defenses to await the enemy. If they attack our fortifications, they will not be able to capture them, and if they try to forage in the fields, they will not be able to find any food to plunder. With their road to the east cut off, and their grain shipments halted, they will definitely fall to pieces."

Wen Jiao deeply appreciated this advice.


(The Eastern Jin capital at Jiankang was kept supplied by grain from the region of the Three Wus: the three commandaries of Wu, Wuxing, and Kuaiji to the east. This was why Chi Jian proposed this strategy of cutting off their access to the east. Chi Jian provided many such plans for rectifying and recovering the state during the rebellions of Wang Dun and Su Jun.)


22. In the fifth month, Tao Kan arrived at Xunyang with his army. There were many people who had been predicting that Tao Kan would execute Yu Liang when he arrived, in order to make amends to the realm for everything that Yu Liang had done. Yu Liang himself was exceedingly afraid of this possibility. So, following Wen Jiao's suggestion, Yu Liang went to visit Tao Kan when he arrived, where he made obeisance before Tao Kan and begged his forgiveness. Tao Kan was quite alarmed to see this, and he stopped Yu Liang, telling him, "Why should Yu Yuangui bow before Tao Shixing?" Yu Liang acknowledged all the mistakes he had made and blamed himself for what had happened, and his bearing and demeanor were quite remarkable. Tao Kan became relieved without even realizing it, and he only said, "Sir, it was not so long ago that you were reinforcing the Shitou fortress to guard against me, yet now here you are coming to see me and begging for my help!" The two of them talked and feasted all through the day.

The loyalists under Tao Kan, Yu Liang, and Wen Jiao began their grand advance against Jiankang. The combined army had forty thousand soldiers, and their banners and flags stretched for more than seven hundred li. The rolls of their drums shook the land near and far.


(Tao Kan's style name was Shixing.

Yu Liang's restoring of the Shitou fortress is mentioned in Book 93, in the first year of Xianhe (326.9).)


23. When Su Jun heard that soldiers were rising up against him in the west, he followed the advice of his Army Advisor, Jia Ning, and marched back from Gushu to defend Shitou. He also split off detachments of his forces to guard against Tao Kan and the others.


24. On the day Yiwei (June 11th), Su Jun forced Emperor Cheng to join him at Shitou. Wang Dao strenuously objected, but to no avail. Emperor Cheng cried and wailed as he got into his carriage, and the palace was filled with grief and sorrow.

At that time, there was a great storm, and the roads were choked with mud and mire. Even so, Liu Chao and Zhong Ya walked on foot as they accompanied the imperial procession. Su Jun offered them horses, but they refused to ride, and they maintained impassioned expressions of mourning. Su Jun was vexed when he heard about it, but he did not yet dare to kill them. But he did appoint some of his close companions, Xu Fang and others, to fill the vacant posts of Director of Marshals and Leader of the Palace Guards. Ostensibly this was to provide protection, but really it was to guard against anything Liu Chao and the others might attempt.

Su Jun converted the grain storehouse into a makeshift palace for Emperor Cheng, and as the days went on, he spoke to Emperor Cheng with less and less restraint. There were several ministers who remained with Emperor Cheng and never left his side: Liu Chao and Zhong Ya, the Household Counsellor With Golden Tassel of the Right, Xun Song, the Household Counsellor With Gold And Purple Tassels, Hua Heng, the Master of Writing, Xun Sui, and the Palace Attendant, Ding Tan. When hunger and famine began to spread, and the cost of rice became very dear, Su Jun offered to supply Emperor Cheng with some, but Liu Chao would not accept a single grain.

Liu Chao remained deeply attached to Emperor Cheng, staying with him day and night, and he only became all the more reverent in his conduct towards Emperor Cheng as befit a minister to his sovereign. Though they were secluded in the midst of adversity, Liu Chao remained by his side, instructing him from the Classic of Filial Piety and from the Analects.


(The term 濘 here means "mire".

The Household Counselors With Golden Tassels of the Left and Right had golden seals and purple ribbons; the unqualified Household Counselor With Golden Tassel had silver seals and green ribbons. So the calling of this office "Household Counsellor With Gold And Purple Tassels" in this passage indicated that he additionally had golden seals and purple ribbons.

The term 繾綣 means something that does not come apart even when pushed over. Kong Yingda remarked, "繾綣 means something that is durable, resilient, and joined together well." The Zuo Commentary states, "We will follow the duke and 繾綣 [not separate ourselves from] him, nor will we allow any communication between us here abroad and those who are here with us (Zhao 25.6).")


25. Su Jun ordered the Household Counselor of the Left, Lu Ye, to guard the remaining administrative places in the capital. He compelled all the people living there to all gather together in the rear gardens. Su Jun also sent Kuang Shu to guard Yuancheng.


26. Kong Tan fled to Tao Kan, who appointed him as his Chief Clerk.


27. Earlier, Su Jun had sent the Master of Writing, Zhang Kai, to take command of all the Jin forces in the eastern regions.

But Wang Dao had secretly distributed orders among the officials of the Three Wu regions, instructing them in the name of the Empress Dowager to rise up with their soldiers and rescue the Son of Heaven. The Interior Minister of Kuaiji, Wang Shu, appointed Yu Bing as acting General Who Asserts Valor, and placed him in command of an army of ten thousand soldiers, sending him west to cross over at Zhejiang. The Administrator of Wuxing, Yu Tan, the Interior Minister of the Wu princely fief, Cai Mo, the former Administrator of Yixing, Gu Zhong, and other local leaders each raised their own forces to join the loyalist cause.

Yu Tan's mother, Lady Sun, said to him, "You must devote your life to avenge this injustice; don't lose any sleep on account of your old mother!" She sent all the male servants of their household off to join the ranks of the army, and sold off all her baubles and ornaments for funds to sustain the war effort.

Cai Mo felt that Yu Bing should have his old position back as Interior Minister of Wu, so he left the commandary to make way for Yu Bing.


(Han had originally created the single Wu commandary. Eastern Wu had split this commandary and formed Wuxing commandary as well. Jin further split off parts of Wuxing and Danyang commandaries to form Yixing commandary. These were the Three Wu. But note that Li Daoyuan remarked, "Tradition has it that the three commandaries of Wu, Wuxing, and Kuaiji formed the Three Wu." And Du You remarked, "During the era of Jin and Liu-Song, the three commandaries of Wu, Wuxing, and Danyang were the Three Wu.")


28. When Su Jun heard that troops were now rising up against him in the east as well, he sent his generals Guang Shang, Zhang Jian, Hong Hui, and others to oppose them. Yu Tan and the other loyalists fought several battles with them, but each side had their share of victories and defeats, and neither could make any headway.


29. The armies of Tao Kan and Wen Jiao arrived at the Qiezi Rivermouth.

Since Wen Jiao felt that the southern soldiers had the advantage in naval fighting while Su Jun's men were more skilled on foot, he issued an order stating, "Any general or soldier who goes onto the riverbank shall die!"

But it happened that at that time, Su Jun was sending a rice shipment of ten thousand 斛 to supply Zu Yue. Zu Yue had sent his Marshal, Huan Fu, and others to meet the shipment and escort it. Mao Bao was in charge of a thousand soldiers, serving as Wen Jiao's vanguard. He told his soldiers, "Even the Art of War states that 'some military directives may be disregarded'. When we can see the enemy exposed to attack right in front of us, how can we not go up the riverbank?" So, acting without orders, he led an attack against Huan Fu. He captured the whole shipment of rice, and killed or captured about ten thousand enemies. Zu Yue was thus left starving and weak.

Wen Jiao petitioned to have Mao Bao appointed as Administrator of Lujiang.


(This passage identifies the "southern soldiers"; it means the soldiers of Tao Kan and Wen Jiao. And by the term "more skilled on foot", it means better at fighting on land.)


30. Tao Kan petitioned to have Wang Shu appointed as Chief of military affairs east of the Zhe River, Yu Tan appointed as Chief west of the Zhe River, and Chi Jian appointed as Commander of military affairs for the eight commandaries of Yangzhou. He ordered Wang Shu and Yu Tan to defer to Chi Jian's overall authority. Chi Jian led the eastern forces to cross the Yangzi, and they joined with the forces of Tao Kan and the others at the Qiezi Rivermouth.

The Inspector of Yongzhou, Wei Gai, also led his soldiers to join them.


(Regarding the name of Qiezi, the Leipian states, "Qiezi 'eggplant' is the name of a plant which children eat. The leaves of this plant resemble those of sagebrush or knotwood, although they are green. Children cook them during the summer and autumn. They grow as large as a xylocarpa. Some are purple and some white, but when cooked, they turn a deep yellow color." So this place must have had these plants, with many people skilled at cultivating them, thus the name of the location.)


31. On the day Bingchen (?), Tao Kan and the others led their forces by boat straight towards Shitou. They traveled as far as Cai Islet. Tao Kan posted his troops at Cha Rivermouth, while Wen Jiao posted his at Shamen Rivermouth.

Su Jun climbed a signal tower and looked out over the mass of troops that had come to fight him. Looking frightened, he told those who were with him, "I always knew that Wen Jiao could assemble such a host."


(Cai Islet was on the west bank at Shitou; Cha Rivermouth was on the south bank of the Yangzi, at the mouth of the Qinhuai River.)


32. Yu Liang sent his Protector, Wang Zhang, to attack Su Jun's partisan Zhang Yao. However, Wang Zhang was defeated. Yu Liang sent his staff of authority and seal of office to Tao Kan as tokens of apology for this failure. Tao Kan replied to him, "Sir, the ancients endured three defeats; you have only suffered two. Go and redouble your efforts, and no more of this business."

Yu Liang's Marshal, Yin Rong of Chen commandary, visited Tao Kan to apologize. He said, "This was the General's fault, not mine or the others'."

When Wang Zhang arrived, he said, "I myself am to blame; the General knew nothing of it."

Tao Kan declared, "It used to be that Yin Rong was the worthy fellow while Wang Zhang was the miscreant. But now, Wang Zhang has become worthy, and it is Yin Rong who acts meanly."


(Tao Kan refers to the general Cao Mo of the ancient state of Lu, who suffered three defeats.

Tao Kan meant that Yu Liang should not keep doing such things like this.)


33. When the Interior Minister of Xuancheng, Huan Yi, heard that Jiankang had fallen to the rebels, he was stricked by grief and moved to tears. He advanced his forces into Jing County. At that time, many of the provinces and commandaries had already sent messengers to Su Jun surrendering to him. Bi Hui urged Huan Yi to begin talks with Su Jun as well, if only just to stave off disaster by being surrounded. But Huan Yi replied, "I have received the bountiful favor of the state, and it would be righteousess for me to die on its behalf. How could I bear the shame of holding talks with traitorous ministers? If it means that I perish, such is my fate."

Huan Yi sent his general Yu Zong to guard Lanshi; Su Jun sent his general Han Huang to attack him. Yu Zong was about to be defeated, and those with him urged him to retreat. But Yu Zong replied, "I have received much favor from Marquis Huan, and I shall repay him by dying on his behalf. I cannot abandon Marquis Huan, no more than he can abandon the state." So he fought on and died in battle.

Han Huang's army then advanced to attack Huan Yi. In the sixth month, Han Huang captured his city, took Huan Yi prisoner, and killed him.


(Huan Yi advanced from Guangde to camp at Jing County.

The term 紓 here means "delay". By "being surrounded", it means that with so many provinces and commandaries surrendering to the rebels, Su Jun would be able to march against Huan Yi from every side.

Lanshi was northeast of Jing County.)


34. Now that the loyalist armies had gathered at Shitou, many people wanted to fight a decisive battle at once. But Tao Kan said, "The bandits still have a great host of men, and it would be difficult to overcome their zeal immediately. Let us wait for some time first, and develop a plan to rout them."

Several skirmishes took place, but without anything being accomplished. The Chief of the Army Divisions (or, Chi Jian's general) Li Gen asked to build the Baishi Rampart, and Tao Kan agreed. Work on the rampart continued all through the night, and by dawn it was completed.

At one point, the loyalists could hear the sounds of Su Jun's army preparing itself for some movement, and the generals feared that Su Jun was coming to attack them soon. But Kong Tan said, "Not so. If Su Jun planned to attack the rampart, he would do it when the northeastern wind was blowing most fiercely, so that our naval forces would not be able to sail to its defense. But you see that the sky is clear and still today, so the rebels must not be coming here. All these preparations must mean that they are sending their army away from the Yangzi, to plunder Jingkou and further east." And indeed things proved to be just as he said.

Tao Kan sent Yu Liang with two thousand troops to guard Baishi. Su Jun led more than ten thousand horse and foot to assault Baishi from every side, but he could not capture it.


(This passage identifies Li Gen as 監軍. At this time, there was no one among the various loyalist generals who had this title. I suspect that what the history meant to say was "one of Chi Jian's generals". Chi Jian's name being written 郗鑒, the earlier histories had dropped the surname 郗 to leave just the 鑒, and then later on people must have incorrectly copied 鑒 as 監.

The Baishi Rampart was northeast of Shitou, where the mountain rides were extremely narrow and difficult terrain. Du You remarked, "The village of Baishi was west of the governmental complex at Jiankang. In Emperor Xiaowu of Liu-Song's fourth year of Daming (460), he built a Grand Hall at that place for watching the silkworms there."

The loyalists could hear Su Jun's army beating the drums to signal an attack and calling their units into formation.)


35. Wang Shu, Yu Tan, and the other eastern loyalist commanders continued fighting with Su Jun's forces, but they could gain no advantage. Kong Tan said, "We were too quick to summon Lord Chi Jian to join us here, and now we've left the eastern border undermanned. We should send him back there now; better late than never." So Tao Kan ordered Chi Jian and the General of the Rear, Guo Mo, to return to hold Jingkou. They set up three barricades at Daye, Qu'a, and Chengting in order to dilute the power of Su Jun's soldiers, and Guo Mo was sent to guard Daye.


(Kong Tan was saying that being late in sending Chi Jian back to the east would still be better than not sending him back at all.

Qu'a was the Qin dynasty's Yunyang County. During Former Han, Qu'a was part of Kuaiji commandary. During Later Han, it was part of Wu commandary. During Jin, it was part of Piling commandary.

Daye was the name of a place, north of Qu'a.

Regarding Chengting, Ding Du remarked, "Chengting was in Wuxing comandary; the character 庱 is pronounced 'cheng (ch-eng)'." But Pei Songzhi remarked, "庱 is pronounced 'shing (sh-ing)'.")


36. On the day Renchen (August 7th), Wei Gai passed away.


37. Zu Yue sent Zu Huan and Huan Fu to attack Penkou. When Tao Kan heard of it, he was about to lead soldiers in person to fight them. But Mao Bao said to him, "Sir, the loyalist army is dependant upon you. You cannot make any rash decisions. Allow me to lead in your stead." So Tao Kan agreed.

Zu Huan and Huan Fu passed through Wan, where they attacked the Interior Minister of the Qiao princely fief, Huan Xuan. So Mao Bao marched to reinforce Huan Xuan. Mao Bao was initially defeated by Zu Huan and Huan Fu. He was hit by an arrow which pierced through his thigh and lodged into his saddle. He ordered someone to stand against the saddle and pull out the arrow, and so much blood flowed out that it filled his boot. But even so, he returned and attacked Zu Huan and Huan Fu again, and routed them and drove them off. Huan Xuan was thus able to make his escape, and he went to join Wen Jiao.

Mao Bao advanced and attacked Zu Yue's army at Dongguan, capturing his camps at Hefei. Then Wen Jiao ordered him to return, so Mao Bao marched back to the loyalists' position at Shitou.


(Penkou was in Xunyang commandary. There is a Pen Rivermouth one li west of Dehua County in modern Jiangzhou.

At this time, Huan Xuan was camped at Mount Matou in Wan County. The name of that county, 皖, is pronounced "han (h-an)".)


38. Zu Yue's generals secretly plotted against him. They contacted Later Zhao, offering to collude with them from the inside. So Shi Cong and Shi Kan led their troops to cross the Huai River and attack Zu Yue's base at Shouchun. In autumn, the seventh month, Zu Yue's forces scattered, and he fled to Liyang. Shi Cong and the other Later Zhao generals took more than twenty thousand households captive from Shouchun before returning to their territory.


39. Later Zhao's Duke of Zhongshan, Shi Hu, led forty thousand troops west from Zhi Pass, and attacked Zhao's commandary of Hedong. As he advanced, more than fifty counties submitted to him. He marched on and attacked Puban.

Liu Yao sent his Prince of Hejian, Liu Shu, to gather up an army from among the Di and Qiang peoples in Qinzhou and have them defend that region against Zhang Jun and Yang Nandi to the west. Meanwhile, he himself led all of his elite armies by land and water to march to the relief of Puban, crossing the Yellow River north from Wei Pass. Shi Hu was afraid of this development, and he led his army away. But Liu Yao pursued him, and in the eighth month, he caught up with Shi Hu at Gaohou. The two sides fought a battle, where Liu Yao greatly routed Shi Hu and killed Shi Zhan. The dead littered the ground for more than two hundred li, while Liu Yao captured many millions of Shi Hu's supplies and war materials. Shi Hu fled to Zhaoge.

Then Liu Yao recrossed the Yellow River at Dayang and attacked Shi Sheng at the Jinyong fortress near Luoyang, where he burst the Qianjin Dam to flood him out.

Liu Yao split up his forces to attacked the commandaries of Ji and Henei, and Later Zhao's Administrators of Xingyang and Yewang, Yin Ju and Zhang Jin, and others all surrendered to him. The Later Zhao capital at Xiangguo was greatly disturbed.


(Zhi Pass was in Zhi County in Henei commandary.

According to the Geographical Records in the Book of Jin, there was a Wei Pass in Ji County in Ji commandary.

Regarding Gaohou, Du You remarked, "There is a Gaohou Plain in the north of Wenxi County in modern Jiangzhou."

Du You further remarked, "Wei County in Weizhou was known as Zhaoge County during Han. King Zhou of Shang had his capital at the city of Zhaoge, in the western part of the modern county."

Dayang was part of Hedong commandary. Ying Shao remarked, "It was north of the Yellow River, thus the name Dayang ('North of the Great [Yellow] River')." According to the Records of Tang, there was a Dayang Pass in Shan County in Shanzhou; this was the Mao Crossing from the Spring and Autumn era.

Ever since Han, Yewang County had been part of Henei commandary. But Later Zhao had just recently made it into its own commandary.)


40. Zhang Jun was preparing his soldiers for a campaign, wishing to take advantage of Zhao's weakened defenses in the west to strike at Chang'an. But his 理曹郎中, Suo Xun, remonstrated with him, saying, "Although Liu Yao may have gone east on campaign, his son Liu Yin is still guarding Chang'an, and you cannot take Liu Yin lightly. And even if you take advantage of this moment of weakness now to capture their territory, the enemy might break off their eastern campaign and return to match their army against ours. It is impossible to say how great of a disaster we would face then." So Zhang Jun gave up on the idea.


(The office of 理曹郎中 was created by the Zhang clan of Liangzhou; it was in charge of administering punishments and imprisonments.)


41. When Su Jun's close companions Lu Yong, Kuang Shu, and Jia Ning heard that Zu Yue had been defeated, they feared that the rebellion would fail. They urged Su Jun to execute Wang Dao and all of the other chief ministers and replace them with his own trusted subordinates. But Su Jun had long respected Wang Dao, and he refused to do so. This only further alienated Lu Yong and the others from Su Jun. Wang Dao then sent the Army Advisor, Yuan Dan, to secretly entice them to switch sides to the loyalist cause. This Yuan Dan was the great-grandson of Yuan Huan.

In the ninth month, on the day Wushen (October 22nd), Wang Dao took his two sons and fled to Baishi along with Lu Yong.


(By alienated, the passage means that they were of two minds about Su Jun.

Yuan Huan had served under Cao Cao.)


42. By now, Tao Kan, Wen Jiao, and the other loyalists had been locked in stalemate with Su Jun for some time, with neither side being able to achieve anything decisive. Su Jun sent several of his generals away to plunder and pillage all around, and they won many victories wherever they went. People who fled from the court to the loyalist armies all reported, "Su Jun is crafty and cunning, bold and decisive, and his followers are fierce and valiant. No one can stand against them. If Heaven smites the guilty, then Su Jun will be vanquished in the end. But from what everyone says, it won't be easy to get rid of him."

Wen Jiao angrily said, "Gentlemen, you are just praising the rebels because you are so terrified of them!" But when the loyalists continued to have the worst of the fighting against the rebels, even Wen Jiao became afraid.


(To praise meant to boast of the achievements of someone.)


43. When Wen Jiao's army's food ran out, he borrowed supplies from Tao Kan's stores. Tao Kan became angry, and he said, "Commissioner Wen, you told me before that there would be no need to worry about a lack of skilled generals here, and that there would be plenty of troops and supplies at hand. You merely wished to ask this old servant to come serve as your leader. Yet now we have fought this many battles without result; where are the skilled generals? Besides, Jingzhou's borders are still threatened by the Xiongnu and by Shu, and I ought to make sure that my defenses there are in order so that there will be no cause for concern. So if the grain is all gone here, then I want to return to the west again. I will come up with my own fine plans, and then come back later to smash the rebels; it will not be too late to achieve it."

Wen Jiao replied, "It was a fine principle of the ancients that an army conquers by its harmony. When Emperor Guangwu of Han won his victory at Kunyang, and Duke Cao Cao triumphed at Guandu, both of them used a smaller army to defeat a larger one, and that was because they adhered to righteousness. Now Su Jun and Zu Yue are just some upstarts, and their wild and wicked behavior fills the heavens; what reason is there to worry that we might not defeat them? Su Jun has grown arrogant because of his victories, and now he thinks no one can stand against him. But if we face him now, we will capture him with a single roll of the drums. When we are on the very cusp of victory, why would you make such plans to move this way and that?

"Besides, the Son of Heaven is still imprisoned and in danger, and the fortunes of state are in grave peril. This is the day that all loyal ministers and filial sons must be prepared to make the ultimate sacrifice on behalf of the state. We have all of us received great favor from the state, and if we succeed in this endeavor, then we save our sovereign and ourselves. And should we fail, then at least we will repay our gratitude to the late emperors with our lives.

"Justice demands that we stand firm; we are riding the tiger, and how can we climb down now? Sir, if you abandon this army and depart on your own, then the morale of our people will collapse. When we lose heart and are defeated, the banners of our righteous army shall point back towards you, Sir."

Then Mao Bao said to Wen Jiao, "I shall convince Lord Tao to stay."

And Mao Bao went to Tao Kan and told him, "Sir, you were originally guarding Wuhu, where you were aided from both the north and the south. Having advanced this far, you cannot go back now. Besides, it is the policy of an army to not retreat from the positions it has already taken. If the three armies do not all advance together, then you will be saying that our forces are doomed, and by saying that we must retreat without holding these positions, then we will be destroyed in the end.

"It was not so long ago when you fought the rebel Du Tao, and Du Tao did not lack for strength or numbers, yet you defeated him in the end. So how can it be that you think we cannot rout someone like Su Jun? The rebels fear death as much as we do; they are not all stalwart braves. Sir, allow me to test our soldiers against them, and let me go up on the riverbank to destroy their supplies. If I do not meet your expectations, then you may leave, and no one could hold it against you."

So Tao Kan assented, and he placed Mao Bao in command of the troops and sent him to battle.

The Administrator of Jingling, Li Yang, also warned Tao Kan, "If our endeavor here fails, Sir, then even if you yourself have grain on hand, why hoard it for yourself instead of sharing it with the others?" So Tao Kan gave Wen Jiao's army fifty thousand 石 of rice to sustain themselves.

Mao Bao torched Su Jun's grain stores at Gourong and Hushu, leaving Su Jun's army weak and starving. So Tao Kan stayed with the loyalists instead of leaving.


(The term 貸 here means "to borrow".

Emperor Guangwu's victory at the battle of Kunyang is mentioned in Book 39, in the first year of the reign of the Gengshi Emperor (23 AD).

Cao Cao's victory at the battle of Guandu is mentioned in Book 63, in Emperor Xian of Han's fifth year of Jian'an (200.Y-AA in de Crespigny's To Establish Peace).

By his last expression, Wen Jiao was trying to instill justice and righteousness in order to convince Tao Kan to stay, so that they could achieve ultimate success together.

Tao Kan's victory over Du Tao is mentioned in Book 89, in Emperor Min's third year of Jianxing (315.17).

In Emperor Hui's ninth year of Yuankang (299), he split the western part of Jiangxia commandary off to form Jingling commandary.

The two counties of Gourong and Hushu were part of Danyang commandary.)


44. Zhang Jian, Han Huang, and Su Jun's other generals were launching a heavy assault against the loyalist outpost at Daye. The water supplies ran out inside the rampart there, and the soldiers restored to drinking juice wrung from droppings. Their commander Guo Mo was so afraid that he secretly slipped through the siege lines and fled, leaving his soldiers to hold the rampart.

Chi Jian was at Jingkou. When his officers heard what was happening at Daye, they all turned pale. His Army Advisor, Cao Na, said to him, "Daye is the shield of Jingkou; if it should fall, then the rebels will advance here, and we could not face them. Please retreat to Guangling, where you can wait to rise up again later on."

Chi Jian summoned a great meeting of his subordinates, where he castigated Cao Na. He said, "I received great favor from the late emperors. Even if my body were cast into the Nine Springs below, that would still not be enough to repay my debt to them. We face a strong enemy close at hand, and the morale of our army is already wavering and in peril. Sir, you are one of my closest advisors, yet you advocate this despicable advice, as though I should not be the first to lead the loyalist troops or stand together with three armies!"

He was about to behead Cao Na, but eventually he let him go.


45. Tao Kan was about to march to save Daye. But his Chief Clerk, Yin Xian, advised him, "Our troops do not have the advantage when it comes to fighting on land. If we try to rescue Daye but are defeated, that will be the end of our cause. It would be better to launch a full assault against Shitou. Then the siege against Daye will lift of its own accord."

Tao Kan agreed with him. This Yin Xian was the elder brother of Yin Rong.

On the day Gengwu (November 13th), Tao Kan led the loyalist naval forces towards Shitou. Yu Liang, Wen Jiao, and Zhao Yin led ten thousand infantry south from Baishi, wishing to offer battle to Su Jun. Su Jun led eight thousand soldiers of his own to counter-attack them. He sent his son Su Shuo and his general Kuang Xiao to lead an initial thrust against Zhao Yin's forces, and they defeated Zhao Yin.

Su Jun was in the midst of rallying his generals and officers, and since he was a little tipsy by then, when he looked and saw Zhao Yin fleeing in defeat, he said, "If Kuang Xiao can smash the enemy like that, I can do even better!" So he left his army behind and charged north with a few riders, trying to plunge into the enemy's formation. Unable to break through, he was about to turn about and regroup at Baimu Slope. But his horse stumbled, and then Tao Kan's subordinate commanders Peng Shu and Li Qian and some others threw their spears at it, causing Su Jun to tumble off the horse. They cut off his head and chopped his body to pieces, then burned his bones. The three armies of the loyalists all cheered.

Su Jun's remaining forces all scattered and melted away. Su Jun's Marshal, Ren Xiang, and others acclaimed Su Jun's younger brother Su Yi as their new leader, and they withdrew into Shitou to hold out.

Wen Jiao then established a Separate Terrace administration and sent out notice near and far of what had happened, ordering all officials from Two Thousand 石 salary rank on down to gather there. They soon began to arrive like gathering clouds.

When Han Huang heard that Su Jun was dead, he led his own troops to Shitou.

Some of Su Jun's other generals, Guan Shang and Hong Hui, were attacking the loyalist outpost at Chengting. The Protector, Li Hong, and the Chief Clerk to the General of Chariots and Cavalry, Teng Han, attacked and routed them. This Teng Han was the grandson of Teng Xiu. Guan Shang fled, then came to visit Yu Liang and surrendered. The rest of his forces all went to join Zhang Jian.


(Yin Xian was saying that if they attacked Su Jun, then Zhang Jian and Han Huang would certainly come back to reinforce him, thus lifting the siege on Daye.

The term 薄 here means to threaten, by a sudden thrust.

The term 躓 means to stumble.

Baimu Slope is east of Dongling.

Su Jun was captured in a single roll of the drums, just as Wen Jiao predicted.

The Chief Clerk of Chariots and Cavalry was the Chief Clerk to the General of Chariots and Cavalry.)


46. In winter, the eleventh month, Shi Le wished to lead his forces to save Luoyang. Cheng Xia and his other subordinates all fiercely remonstrated with him, saying, "Liu Yao has marched his army a thousand li, and he cannot last for long. Great King, you should not go yourself, for your safety cannot be assured."

Furious at this response, Shi Le drew his sword and shouted at Cheng Xia and the others until they left.

It was earlier mentioned that Shi Le had imprisoned his minister Xu Guang. He now pardoned Xu Guang and summoned him, then said to him, "Liu Yao is following up on having won this one battle to lay siege to Luoyang. Those inferior fellows all say that his line cannot be broken. But Liu Yao has a hundred thousand armored soldiers, yet they've been assaulting a single city for a hundred days without being able to capture it. The commander is washed up and the soldiers are complacent; if we attack him with fresh troops, we can capture him in a single battle. But if Luoyang falls, then Liu Yao will definitely court death by marching into Jizhou. He'll capture everything north of the Yellow River like rolling up a mat, and then that'll be the end of me. Cheng Xia and the rest don't want me to set out. Sir, what do you think?"

Xu Guang replied, "Liu Yao gained an advantage when he won at Gaohou. But rather than advance straight for Xiangguo, he lay siege to Luoyang instead. This shows his lack of ability. Great King, you need only match your valor and cunning against his, and then he will certainly strike his banners and flee in defeat. By this one act, you will settle and bring peace to the realm. You cannot squander this chance."

Shi Le laughed and said, "It's just as Xu Guang says."

So he ordered all his soldiers near and far to make ready for war, and ordered that anyone who remonstrated with him now would be beheaded. Shi Le ordered Shi Kan, Shi Cong, his Inspector of Yuzhou, Tao Bao, and others to each lead their forces to join together with his at Xingyang. Shi Hu advanced to occupy Shimen, while Shi Le himself lead forty thousand horse and foot towards Jinyong, crossing over the Yellow River from the Great Dam.


(Xu Guang's imprisonment is mentioned in Book 93, in the first year of Xianhe (326.3).

Later Zhao's capital of Xiangguo was in Jizhou.

The Commentary on the Water Classic states, "Emperor Ling of Han built a stone rampart northwest of Aocheng to serve as a gate, in order to regulate and dredge the mouth of the Yiqu River; the place was thus called Shimen ('Stone Gate'). But there was also a Shimen at the place where the Xing Ditch receives the waters of the Yellow River."

The Commentary further states, "When Shi Le attacked Liu Yao, he came by way of Yan Crossing, where he received divine assistance when the river ice there melted to make way for his approach. He named that place the Lingchang Crossing ('Spiritual Prosperity').")


47. Shi Le said to Xu Guang, "If Liu Yao brings his whole army to guard Chenggao Pass, that will be the best strategy for him. If he guards the line of the Luo River, that would be second best. But if he sits where he is and continues to besiege Luoyang, then I'll capture his entire army."

In the twelfth month, on the day Yihai (January 17th of 329), the various Later Zhao armies converged at Chenggao; they were sixty thousand infantry and twenty-seven thousand cavalry altogether. When Shi Le saw that there were no Zhao soldiers there prepared to stop them, he was exceptionally pleased. He raised his hand to point towards the sky, and then turned it to point to his forehead, exclaiming, "This is Heaven's will!" Then tying up their armor and grasping their spears, the Later Zhao soldiers furtively advanced together, passing between Gong and Zi.


(Gong County was part of Henan commandary; there was a Donggong city there.

According to the Zuo Commentary, "the Viscount of Shan took Zi (Zhao 23.8)". Du Yu's commentary states, "This Zi was in the southwest of Gong County." The Records of Roads and Places in the Book of Jin states, "It was in the east of that county.")


48. Liu Yao had been spending his time drinking and chatting with his closest ministers, and he showed no regard for his officers or soldiers. When some of those with him remonstrated him for this, Liu Yao became angry at their supposed slander, and he beheaded them. Only once Liu Yao heard that Shi Le had already crossed the Yellow River did he begin to fortify his camps at Xingyang and garrison Huangma Pass.

A skirmish soon took place between the Zhao sentries posted on the Luo River and some of the Later Zhao vanguard. The sentries captured one of the Later Zhao soldiers, a Jie man, and sent him on to Liu Yao. Liu Yao asked the captive, "Has the great barbarian himself come in person? How large is his army?"

The Jie said, "The king himself has come, and his army's strength is immense indeed."

Liu Yao changed expression, and he ordered the siege on Jinyong to be lifted so that the Zhao army could mount a defense of the west side of the Luo River. The Zhao army of more than a hundred thousand soldiers stretched for more than ten li from north to south.

When Shi Le saw it, he became even more pleased, and he said to those with him, "Now you may congratulate me!" He led forty thousand horse and foot to enter the walls of Luoyang.


(According to the Water Classic, Huangma Slope was in Chenggao County. The Yellow River flowed north of it, at the place called Huangma Pass.

The term 攝 here means to gather or call away.)


49. On the day Jimao (January 21st of 329), Shi Hu led thirty thousand infantry west from the northern wall to attack the central Zhao army, while Shi Kan and Shi Cong each led eight thousand elite cavalry north from the western wall to attack Zhao's vanguard. They fought a great battle at the Xiyang Gate. Shi Le put on his armor and came out through the Changhe Gate, flank attacking the Zhao army.

Ever since he had been a young man, Liu Yao had been fond of wine, and in recent years his appetite for it had only grown. Before going to battle, he would drink several 斗 of wine. There was a red horse which Liu Yao usually rode, but for some reason, this time it suffered from some malady where it could not extend its feet or lift its head, so Liu Yao rode a smaller horse instead. Before heading out, Liu Yao once again drank more than a 斗 of wine.

When he arrived at the Xiyang Gate, he gestured for his army to recenter its formation. Shi Kan took advantage of that to launch an attack, and the Zhao soldiers all scattered. Drunk as he was, Liu Yao also tried to flee, but at Shiqu his horse collapsed, and he fell on the ice. He was stabbed more than ten times, with three of them piercing through him, before Shi Kan captured him. Shi Le then greatly routed the Zhao soldiers, taking more than fifty thousand heads.

Shi Le issued an order saying, "I have already captured the one man I sought to take prisoner. He has ordered his generals and officers to lay down their weapons and cease their fighting, and submit to my commands."


(The Xiyang Gate was the Xuanyang Gate in the walls of Luoyang; it was the southernmost gate of the western wall of the city. But some say that the Xiyang Gate was the Ximing Gate, the next gate up to the north.

The Changhe Gate was the northernmost gate in Luoyang's western wall.

This passage describes Liu Yao's usual horse as being 跼頓. 跼 means when the foot is curled up and cannot extend; 頓 means when the head hangs down and cannot lift up.)


50. When Liu Yao saw Shi Le, he called to him, "King Shi, have you forgotten the pledge we made together at Zhongmen?"

Shi Le sent Xu Guang to tell Liu Yao, "Today's events were dictated by Heaven's will; what use is there of saying anything further?"

On the day Yiyou (January 27th of 329), Shi Le turned back in triumph. He ordered the General Who Conquers The East, Shi Sui, to lead troops to escort Liu Yao back to Xiangguo. This Shi Sui was the son of Shi Hu. Liu Yao had been heavily wounded, so he rode in a horse-drawn cart, and Shi Le ordered the doctor Li Yong to ride in the cart with him.

On the day Jihai (February 10th of 329), Shi Le arrived at Xiangguo. He placed Liu Yao in the little fort at Yongfeng, gave him women to indulge himself with, and posted guards to keep a close watch on him.

It was earlier mentioned that Later Zhao had captured the Zhao generals Liu Yue, Liu Zhen, and others in earlier battles. Shi Le now sent these captured generals to visit Liu Yao, along with their male and female relatives, and all of them were dressed in fine attire. Liu Yao said to them, "I'd long believed that you all were nothing more than dust by now. Yet I see King Shi has treated you kindly and generously, even showing you so much favor as this! It makes me deeply ashamed to have killed Shi Tuo. This misfortune we have suffered all stems from that." The other prisoners stayed feasting with Liu Yao for the whole day before leaving.

Shi Le ordered Liu Yao to write a letter to his crown prince Liu Xi, ordering him to be quick to submit himself and surrender to Later Zhao. But Liu Yao instead ordered Liu Xi and his chief ministers, "Rectify and safeguard the fortunes of state, and give no further thought to me." When Shi Le saw the letter, he was most displeased. Not long afterwards, he killed Liu Yao.


(According to the Commentary on the Water Classic, the city of Zhongmen was twenty li northwest of the capital city of Gong County in Henei commandary.

This "pledge" that Liu Yao mentioned must have been made when he and Shi Le were besieging Henei together in Emperor Huai's fourth year of Yongjia (Book 87, 310.10).

Liu Yue's capture is mentioned in Book 93, in Emperor Ming's third year of Taining (325.13).

Shi Tuo's death is mentioned earlier in the same year (325.7).)

四年,石勒擒劉曜。(Book of Northern Wei 1, Annals of the Tuoba Ancestors)

In the fourth year of the reign of the Prince of Dai, Tuoba Hena (328), Shi Le captured Liu Yao.


51. During this year, Cheng's Prince Xian ("the Presented") of Han, Li Xiang, passed away. The General Who Conquers The East, his son Li Shou, returned to Chengdu to mourn for him. Li Xiong appointed Li Wu as General Who Conquers The North and Inspector of Lianzhou, and sent him to replace Li Shou in camp at Jinshou.


(Cheng had appointed Li Xiang as Prince of Han.

Li Wu's given name 玝 is pronounced "ru (r-u)".)
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Unread postby Taishi Ci 2.0 » Mon Jun 11, 2018 4:59 am


The Fourth Year of Xianhe (The Jichou Year, 329 AD)


1. In spring, the first month, Lu Ye and the Supervisor of the Left of the Masters of Writing, his younger brother Lu Wan, persuaded Kuang Shu to surrender Yuancheng to the loyalists. The various officials all converged there, acclaiming Lu Ye as Commander of military affairs within the palace. Tao Kan ordered Mao Bao to guard the southern fort at Yuancheng, while Deng Yue guarded the western fort.


(These were the southern and western forts at Yuancheng.)


2. Liu Chao, Zhong Ya, the Prefect of Jiankang, Guan Pei, and others plotted to smuggle Emperor Cheng out of Shitou and join the loyalists. But their plot was discovered, and Su Yi ordered his general, Ren Xiang of Pingyuan, to lead soldiers into the makeshift palace and arrest Liu Chao and Zhong Ya. Emperor Cheng grabbed hold of them and wept as he demanded, "Give me back my Palace Attendant and my Guard General of the Right!" But Ren Xiang took them anyway and killed them.

This Ren Xiang had once been a young man without any principles. Back then, the Minister of Ceremonies, Hua Heng, had been the Grand Rectifier for Ren Xiang's province, and he had demoted Ren Xiang's rank. After Ren Xiang became a general under Su Jun, he took advantage of his power to kill and execute many people. But when he saw Hua Heng, he still respected and honored him, and he did not dare to lay a hand upon him. After Zhong Ya and Liu Chao were dead, Su Yi wanted to kill Hua Heng as well. But Ren Xiang did everything he could to keep Hua Heng safe, and so Hua Heng's life was spared.


(Hua Heng was a native of Gaotang in Pingyuan commandary.)


3. The Champion General, Zhao Yin, sent his subordinate general Gan Miao to attack Zu Yue at Liyang. On the day Wuchen (March 11th), Zu Yue fled during the night with several hundred of his followers to seek refuge in Later Zhao. His general Qian Teng led the rest of his troops out to surrender to Gan Miao.


(This was why Shi Le was able to later kill Zu Yue.)


4. Su Yi, Su Shuo, and Han Huang led their combined forces to launch an attack on the governmental complex at Jiankang, where they burned down the eastern hall of the Grand Hall and the Forbidden Pavilion.

Mao Bao ascended the ramparts and shot arrows down at the enemy, killing several dozen people in this manner. Han Huang yelled up at him, "Sir, aren't you reknowned for your valor and skill? Why not come out and fight?"

Mao Bao replied, "Sir, aren't you reknowned for your stalwart leadership? Why don't you come in here and fight?"

Han Huang laughed before falling back.


5. When Liu Xi heard that Liu Yao had been captured, he was greatly afraid. He and Liu Yin plotted to withdraw to the west to hold out in Qinzhou. The Master of Writing, Hu Xun, said to them, "Although we are currently mourning the loss of our lord, we still hold extensive territory completely intact, and none of our generals and officers have turned against us. We should muster all our strength to oppose the enemy. Should we still not be strong enough to overcome them, it will not be too late to run away then." But this only angered Liu Yin, who believed that Hu Xun was trying to sap the spirits of the people, so he beheaded Hu Xun. Then he and Liu Xi led the Zhao officials to flee to Shanggui. The various Zhao border commanders all abandoned their post and followed after them, and Guanzhong was thrown into total chaos.

The generals Jiang Ying and Xin Shu gathered up several tens of thousands of soldiers and led them to occupy Chang'an, then sent messengers to Later Zhao offering their surrender. Later Zhao sent Shi Sheng to lead an army from Luoyang to receive them.


(Liu Yin had exceptional martial prowess, and yet he could not hold Chang'an or oppose Shi Le; this was merely because after Liu Yao had been captured, Liu Yin's courage failed him.)


6. In the second month, on the day Bingxu (March 29th), the loyalist armies assaulted Shitou. The Chief Clerk to the General Who Establishes Might, Teng Han, attacked Su Yi and greatly routed him. Su Shuo led several hundred elite cavalry to cross the Qinhuai River and attack the loyalists, but Wen Jiao struck back against Su Shuo and killed him. Han Huang and the other rebel generals were afraid, and they gathered up their remaining forces, planning to join Zhang Jian at Qu'a. But the gates and passes of Shitou were so narrow that it was difficult for them to get out, and in their wild stampede to flee, some ten thousand of them were killed. The loyalists captured Su Yi and killed him.

Teng Han's subordinate commander Cao Ju located Emperor Cheng and fled with him to Wen Jiao's ship. When the loyalist ministers saw Emperor Cheng, they all kowtowed before him and wept as they begged forgiveness for their crimes.

The loyalists killed the defector prince Sima Yang, his two sons Sima Bo and Sima Chong, his grandson Sima Song, and the Prince of Pengcheng, Sima Xiong.

Tao Kan had a prior relationship with Su Jun's general Ren Xiang, and so he asked whether Ren Xiang might be spared. But Emperor Cheng declared, "He killed my Palace Attendant and my Guard General of the Right; there will be no pardon for him." So Ren Xiang was killed as well.

When Wang Dao entered Shitou, he ordered his missing Staff of Authority to be retrieved. Tao Kan joked, "It looks much finer than Su Wu's staff." Wang Dao looked ashamed.

On the day Dinghai (March 30th), a general amnesty was declared in Jin.


(Teng Han had been promoted from Chief Clerk of the General of Chariots and Cavalry to Chief Clerk of the General Who Establishes Might.

This passage mentioned the "Huai" River; it means the Qinhuai River.

Sima Yang's defection to Su Jun is mentioned above, in the third year of Xianhe (328.11). Sima Xiong's defection is mentioned in Book 93, in the second year of Xianhe (327.10).

Wang Dao had been granted a Staff of Authority when he was appointed as commander of the forces against Wang Dun. When he fled from Shitou, he had left it behind.

Su Wu was a Chinese envoy who was held captive for nineteen years by the Xiongnu. He famously always kept his Staff of Authority close at hand during his captivity and never lost it, even after it had seriously deteriorated. Wang Dao understood that Tao Kan's joke was a rebuke, and he looked ashamed because he had not kept his staff as Su Wu had done.)


7. Zhang Jian suspected that Hong Hui and the other rebel generals with him were about to turn against him, so he killed them all. Then he led his naval forces from Yanling down into Wuxing. On the day Yiwei (April 7th), the General Who Spreads Ferocity, Wang Yunzhi, fought Zhang Jian and greatly routed him, capturing more than ten thousand men and women. Zhang Jian then went to join Han Huang, Ma Xiong, and the other remaining rebel leaders as they fled west to Guzhang. Chi Jian sent his Army Advisor, Li Hong, to pursue them. Li Hong caught up with them at Mount Pingling and killed them all.


(During Former Han, Piling County was part of Kuaiji commandary. During Later Han, it was split off as part of Wu commandary. During Jin, it was again split off, this time to form its own Piling commandary. Yan Shigu remarked, "Piling was once known as Yanling; Han changed its name." Jin split it into the two counties of Piling and Yanling. So Piling was within Jinling County in modern Changzhou, while Yanling was within the counties of Dantu and Jintan in modern Runzhou. Song Bai remarked, "Yanling County was originally the territory of Han's Qu'a County. In Jin's second year of Taikang (281), the town of Yanling in Qu'a was split off."

During Han, Guzhang County was part of Danyang commandary. Eastern Wu split off parts of Wu and Danyang to form Wuxing commandary, and Guzhang became a part of it. The area was originally administered by the Qin dynasty's Zhang commandary, thus the name Guzhang ("formerly Zhang"). Anji County in modern Huzhou was the southern part of Guzhang; the modern Guangde Garrison is where Han's Guzhang County was. Du You remarked, "The capital city of Zhang commandary was eighty li west of Changcheng County in Huzhou; it was the county city of the Qin dynasty's Zhang commandary."

Regarding the place where the remaining rebel leaders were killed, the Biography of Su Jun in the Book of Jin records its name as "Mount Yan". According to the Annals of Emperor Cheng in the Book of Jin, Mount Pingling was within 溧 Liyang. Shen Yue remarked, "Eastern Wu split off part of this Liyang to form Yongping County. Emperor Wu of Jin (Sima Yan) renamed it to Yongshi." Dong Lan's Geographical Records of Wu states, "Jin split off part of Yongshi to form Pingling County. In Emperor Wen of Liu-Song's ninth year of Yuanjia (432), Pingling was combined back into the two counties of Yongshi and Liyang.")


8. During the course of Su Jun's rebellion, the palace complex at Jiankang had burned down. The Jianping Park was converted into a temporary palace.

Wen Jiao proposed moving the capital to Yuzhang, while the gentry of the Three Wu region asked that it be moved to Kuaiji instead. Both sides argued passionately for their sides, and nothing could be decided. Then Wang Dao said, "Both Sun Zhongmou (Sun Quan) and Liu Xuande (Liu Bei) declared, 'Jiankang is the residence of kings'. The kings and emperors of old did not always move their capitals based on prosperity or want. So long as we see to our duties and tend to our authority, what need is there to fear adversity or decay? But if we ignore our agricultural concerns, then our paradise will become a wasteland. Furthermore, the northern barbarians are restless, lying in wait upon our border. At the first sign of weakness, they are ready to pounce on us. I fear it would be no fine plan to make their hopes a reality. We must be sure to guard this place securely and peacefully, now more than ever. Gentlemen, please cease your arguing." So there was no further discussion of moving the capital.

Chu Sha was appointed as Intendant of Danyang. The common people of the capital region and their goods had suffered greatly from the soldiers and the fires of war. But Chu Sha gathered together all those who had scattered and fled, and the capital region once again became secure.


(Sun Quan's and Liu Bei's comments about Jianye are mentioned in Book 66, in Emperor Xian's seventeenth year of Jian'an (212.H in de Crespigny's To Establish Peace.)

Wang Dao uses the term 望實. 望 means looking afar; 實 means the various things within.)


9. On the day Renyin (April 14th), Jin folded Xiangzhou back into Jingzhou.


(Xiangzhou was created in Book 86, in Emperor Huai's first year of Yongjia (307.19).)


10. In the third month, on the day Renzi (April 24th), a discussion was held on who had achieved merits in the campaign against Su Jun. Tao Kan was appointed as Palace Attendant, Grand Commandant, and Duke of Changsha commandary, and his authority as Commander was extended to Jiaozhou, Guangzhou, and Ningzhou. Chi Jian was appointed as Palace Attendant, Minister of Works, and Duke of Nanchang County. Wen Jiao was appointed as General of Agile Cavalry, Cavalier In Regular Attendance, and Duke of Shi'an commandary, and was also granted the privilege of of a Separate Office with equal ceremonial to the Three Excellencies. Lu Ye's title was advanced to Duke of Jiangling. And there were a great many other people who were appointed as Marquises, Earls, Viscounts, and Barons. Posthumous appointments were granted to Bian Kun and his two sons Bian Zhen and Bian Xu, to Huan Yi, to Liu Chao, to Zhong Ya, to Yang Man, and to Tao Zhan.

Lu Yong, Kuang Shu, and Jia Ning had all been Su Jun's partisans, but they had abandoned him before his ultimate defeat and switched sides to the loyalists. Wang Dao wanted to award them with ranks and titles as well. But Wen Jiao said, "Lu Yong and these others were Wen Jiao's personal companions, the instigators of his rebellion. There is no greater crime than this. Although they eventually saw the error of their ways, that does not make up for their earlier crimes. They are already fortunate indeed to keep their heads attached to their necks. How can you go so far as to praise and favor them like this?" So Wang Dao changed his mind.


(Tao Kan had earlier been appointed as Commander of military affairs for Jingzhou, Xiangzhou, Yongzhou, and Lianzhou. He was now being granted additional authority over Jiaozhou, Guangzhou, and Ningzhou.

Under the Jin system, the office of General of Agile Cavalry was below that of a Duke.)


11. Tao Kan felt that Jiangling was too distant and isolated a base, and he wanted to shift his command post to Baling.


(Jiangling was isolated in that it was north of the Yangzi; it was also a long ways from Jiankang.

In Emperor Wu's (Sima Yan's) first year of Taikang (280), he created Baling County as part of Changsha commandary; it later became Jianchang commandary. The Commentary on the Water Classic states, "The Xiang River flows north until it reaches Mount Baqiu, where it enters the Yangzi. There is a city of Baling on the right bank of the river there, where Eastern Wu once had its Baqiu Mansion. Mount Baqiu was also called Mount Tianyue or Mu Mound; there was once a mound there called the Ba Snake Mound.)


12. Many people wanted to have Wen Jiao remain in Jiankang to serve as regent over the government. But since Wen Jiao felt that Wang Dao was the one whom Emperor Ming had appointed to fulfill that role, he declined this offer and returned to his border post instead. And since the capital region had been devastated and laid waste, and it lacked critical supplies, Wen Jiao left behind everything that he had stored up and all of his materials before he went back to Wuchang.


13. When Emperor Cheng had emerged from the Shitou fortress and Yu Liang had seen him, Yu Liang had kowtowed before him while choking back sobs. But Emperor Cheng still ordered him to take his place with the other ministers as Emperor Cheng's escorts and attendants. The following day, Yu Liang once again lay his head in the dirt and begged forgiveness for all his crimes. He asked to resign his position, that he would give up all he had and go into exile somewhere in the wilderness. But Emperor Cheng sent his Masters of Writing and Palace Attendants to personally present his edict to Yu Liang, consoling and assuring him, "This was a misfortune of the state itself; Uncle, you are not to blame."

Yu Liang sent up a petition explaining himself, stating, "It was all because of what I did that Zu Yue's and Su Jun's wild behavior and wicked treason were allowed to spread so far. Even if my body were chopped up into tiny pieces, it would still not be enough for me to make amends to the spirits of the Seven Ancestors or shoulder the condemnation of all within the Four Seas. By what right am I still to be counted among the other ministers of court? How can I bear to show my face among them again? Your Majesty has already been generous enough to leave my head attached to my neck; you should get rid of me now and leave me to fend for myself, then the realm will have some idea that you were urged to be strict with me."

But Emperor Cheng praised him in an edict and would not permit him to go into exile. Yu Liang was even planning to run off on his own, to go out east of Jiyang, but Emperor Cheng ordered the officials to impound the boats so that Yu Liang could not leave.

Then Yu Liang asked that he at least be sent out to a border post where he could redeem himself. So he was sent off to serve as Commander of military affairs in the portions of Yuzhou and Yangzhou that were west of the Yangzi, along with Xuancheng. He was appointed as Inspector of Yuzhou and acting Interior Minister of Xuancheng, and he was stationed at Wuhu.


(Yu Liang's role in causing the rebellion of Su Jun and Zu Yue is mentioned in Book 93, in the first year of Xianhe (326.9).

In Emperor Wu's (Sima Yan's) second year of Taikang (281), he had split off parts of Piling and Wuxi to form Jiyang County, as part of Piling commandary. This region was within Changshu County in the modern Pingzhou Outpost. Du You remarked, "During Jin, Jiangyin was named Jiyang." Note that Jiyang was where the modern Jiangyin Garrison is. During Qin and Han, it was Jiyang Village. Jin split it off as the city of Jiyang County. There was also a Lake Jiyang.

To impound is to gather up or collect.

"Yuzhou and Yangzhou west of the Yangzi" meant Huainan, Lujiang, Yiyang, Anfeng, Liyang, and the other commandaries in that area. Xuancheng commandary was part of Yangzhou.)


14. During Tao Kan's and Wen Jiao's campaign against Su Jun, they had sent out proclamations to all the border commanders to bring their troops and join the loyalist cause. But the Inspector of Xiangzhou and Marquis of Yiyang, Bian Dun, had kept his troops close at hand and did not go to join the loyalists, nor did he send them any grain or supplies. He merely sent his Protector to lead several hundred men to follow in the wake of the loyalists' main army, and did no more. There was no one in the court or among the people who did not blame or sigh at him.

After Su Jun was put down, Tao Kan petitioned to have Bian Dun stripped of his command, since he did not come to the aid of the state in its time of difficulty. He further asked that a cage cart be sent to arrest Bian Dun and bring him to the Minister of Justice. But Wang Dao believed that now that the time of sorrow and turmoil was at an end, it was best to show favor instead. So he intended to merely transfer Bian Dun to be General Who Maintains The South and Inspector of Guangzhou instead. But when Bian Dun was not able to go to that post on account of his illness, Wang Dao instead summoned him to the capital to serve as Household Attendant With Golden Tassel and as acting Privy Treasurer.

Bian Dun passed away from worry and shame; he was posthumously restored to his former positions, as well as made a Cavalier In Regular Attendance, and he was granted the posthumous name Jing ("the Esteemed").


(This passage states that people were 怪歎 at Bian Dun. They blamed him for acting unexpectedly, and they sighed when considering his past behavior as opposed to what he had done now.

Tao Kan had served as the leader of the loyalist alliance; since Xiangzhou was also part of his area of authority as Commander, he also submitted this petition requesting that Bian Dun be arrested.

The Laws of Posthumous Names states, "One who remains prepared and ready day or night may be called Esteemed; one who keeps to the good and maintains the laws and canons may be called Esteemed." How could this possibly describe Bian Dun?)


15. Your servant Sima Guang remarks: Yu Liang served as regent owing to his martial connections to the royal family, and in that capacity he was the chief culprit for unleashing disaster upon the realm. It was thanks to what he did that the state was smashed and the ruler was endangered, yet he himself scurried away to save his own life. In the same manner, Bian Dun held an important command on the border, and he had plenty of soldiers and supplies at hand. But when the court was thrown into chaos, he merely stood by, watching to see which side would be victorious. Are there any greater crimes that a man or minister can commit than to be so selfish as these two were? Yet in dealing with them, the wise and proper writs of justice were dispensed with, and they were even rewarded with favor. From this, we can see that the house of Jin was not properly governed. And who else was most to blame for this but Wang Dao?


16. The Prince of Gaomi, Sima Hong, had his title changed to Prince of Pengcheng. This Sima Hong was the younger brother of the recently executed Sima Xiong, former holder of that title.


17. In summer, the fourth month, on the day Yiwei (June 6th), Wen Jiao passed away; he was posthumously known as Duke Zhongwu ("the Loyal and Martial") of Shi'an. He was buried at Yuzhang.

The court wished to build a great tomb for Wen Jiao north of the tombs of Emperor Yuan (Sima Rui) and Emperor Ming. But Tao Kan sent up a petition stating, "Wen Jiao was so loyal and upright that he surpassed all others of the age, and his achievements and sense of virtue were grand enough to affect all people and all spirits. If he still knows of our affairs, would he be pleased at all this labor and expenditure on such a thing? I ask that Your Majesty show kindness and grace, and do not move his burial place."

Emperor Cheng issued an edict agreeing with Tao Kan.


18. The Army Instructor to the General Who Pacifies The South, Liu Yin, was appointed as Inspector of Jiangzhou. Tao Kan and Chi Jian both said that Liu Yin lacked the talent to serve as a border commander, but Wang Dao did not listen to them.

Someone said to Wang Dao's son Wang Yue, "We have only just emerged from the rebellion, and yet the laws are already this lax. Furthermore, Jiangling is more than three thousand li from Jiankang, and Jiangzhou is filled with tens of thousands of refugees. Jiangzhou is our state's southern border, a critical position to hold. But Liu Yin has a luxurious nature. You wait and see; if there is not external trouble there, Liu Yin will still up an internal problem just the same."

But Wang Yue replied, "This was what General Wen wished."


(Liu Yin had served as Army Instructor under Wen Jiao in his capacity as General Who Pacifies The South.

The term 忲 means luxurious.)

This Liu Yin is not to be confused with Liu Yao’s son Liu Yin, of Zhao.


19. In autumn, the eighth month, Liu Yin of Zhao led several tens of thousands of Zhao soldiers from Shanggui to march towards Chang'an. The Rong tribes and the Xia people (ethnic Han) of the commandaries of Longdong, Wudu, Anding, Xinping, Beidi, Fufeng, and Shiping all raised troops to support him. Liu Yin's army marched to Zhongqiao. Shi Sheng closed the gates of Chang'an to mount a defense, while Shi Hu led twenty thousand cavalry to reinforce him.

In the ninth month, Shi Hu greatly routed the Zhao soldiers at Yiqu. Liu Yin fled back to Shanggui. Shi Hu pressed his victory and pursued the Zhao army, leaving corpses along the road for a thousand li. Then Shanggui also fell, and Shi Hu captured Liu Xi, Liu Yin, and more than three thousand other Zhao princes, nobles, ministers, commanders, and other such officials. He killed them all.

Shi Hu forced all of the remaining Zhao civil and military officials, all the refugees west of the passes, and more than nine thousand members of the great families of Qinzhou and Yongzhou to relocate east to Xiangguo. He also buried alive more than five thousand of the Chuge Xiongnu of the Five Commandaries at Luoyang. Shi Hu advanced and attacked the Jimuqie Qiang tribe at Hexi, and he defeated them, taking captive tens of thousands of them. The regions of Qin and Long were thus all pacified by Later Zhao.

The Di king Pu Hong and the Qiang chieftain Yao Yizhong both surrendered to Shi Hu as well. Shi Hu petitioned to have Pu Hong appointed as Chief of military affairs of the Six Tribes, and Yao Yizhong appointed as Commander of the Left of the Six Tribes. He forced a hundred and fifty thousand tribes of the Di and Qiang to relocate to Sizhou and Jizhou.


(Wei Shou's Geographical Records mentions a Longdong commandary, which contained the three counties of Jingyang, Zuli, and Fuyi. Later Zhao must have created it, by splitting it off from Anding commandary. Regarding Zuli County, according to Ying Shao the first character in its name is pronounced "ju", and according to Yan Shigu the second character is pronounced "lai".

There was a bridge above the Zhengguo Canal at the point where it flowed through Mount Zhong, and so that place was called Zhongqiao ("Zhong Bridge"). It was east of Mount Jiuzong. Song Bai remarked, "The city of Zhongqiao was the capital city of Quanxian County in Yongzhou."

Yiqu was the territory of the Rong tribes of Yiqu during the Warring States era. Former Han had organized the territory as Yiqu County, but Later Han and Jin abolished it.

The Biography of Liu Yao in the Chronicles of the Book of Jin states, "From Liu Yuan through Liu Yao, Former Zhao lasted for three generations and twenty-seven years, then perished."

The Chuge were a branch of the Xiongnu, and the chief clan of Former Zhao. The Chuge of the Five Commandaries were the Xiongnu of the Five Divisions (of the Southern Xiongnu).

The Jumuqie were a branch of the Qiang.)

From now on, since there is only one state of Zhao, Sima Guang drops the term Later Zhao and refers to Shi Le's state as simply Zhao. I shall do the same.


20. Before this time, there was a certain leader of the Xianbei of Longxi, Qifu Shuyan, who dwelt at Yuanchuan. He would raid and annex the neighboring areas, and his warriors and horses were strong and numerous. But when Zhao fell to Later Zhao, Qifu Shuyan became afraid, and he shifted his base to Maitian. In the course of time, Qifu Shuyan passed away, and his son Qifu Nudahan succeeded him. And when Qifu Nudahan passed away, his own son Qifu Sifan succeed him.


(The Qifu were a branch of the Xianbei; it later became their surname.

The Yuanchuan River flowed out of the mountains south of Zicheng in Yongshi County in Tianshui commandary, and flowed east through Zichengchuan, then north through Mushi Garden, so named for having once been stable land during the Han dynasty. There were two cities of Yuancheng, east and west, seven li from one another; it was the western one which served as Qifu Shuyan's capital. Du You remarked, "Yuanchuan was within Wuquan County in Lanzhou."

The Commentary on the Water Classic states, "Mount Maitian is within the northern part of Anding commandary. There is a city of Maitian northeast of the mountain, and a Maitian Spring to the north.

This is the first mention of the Qifu clan.)


21. Jin's new Inspector of Jiangzhou, Liu Yin, became more and more unrestrained and arrogant by the day. He spent all his time engaging in commercial endeavors, growing his wealth by the millions. He indulged himself in wine and song, paying no heed to his administrative duties.

In winter, the twelfth month, an imperial edict was issued summoning the General of the Rear, Guo Mo, to come to the capital to serve as General of the Army of the Right. But Guo Mo was happy with his current position as a border general, and he did not want to serve among the palace guards, so he was inclined to complain to Liu Yin. But Liu Yin only replied, "This has nothing to do with a little fellow like me." And when Guo Mo was about to answer the summons, he asked for some assistance from Liu Yin, but Liu Yin would not give him anything. So Guo Mo began to resent Liu Yin. Liu Yin's Chief Clerk, Zhang Man, and his other subordinates had long thought little of Guo Mo, and some of them expressed such sentiments even to his face, so Guo Mo often gnashed his teeth at them too. On the day of the Laba Festival, Liu Yin sent Guo Mo some "pig wine" as payment; Guo Mo threw the messenger who had brought it into the river.

Not long afterwards, the court officials gathered and said, "The court is all used up, and the officials have no salaries; we can only get what is sent from Jiangzhou. But Liu Yin's merchant ventures fill the roads, and he is neglecting the public good in favor of his own interests. We should have him removed from office." The letter of removal was sent out, but Liu Yin did not go to answer for his crimes, and only did what he thought best.

The emigre Gai Zhun kidnapped a man's daughter to be his concubine. Zhang Man ordered Gai Zhun to return her to her family, but he refused. Instead, he approached Guo Mo and told him, "Inspector Liu refused to accept the recall order, because he secretly has sinister intentions. He has been plotting day and night with Zhang Man and the others. The only person they fear is you, Marquis Guo, and so they want to get rid of you first."

Guo Mo believed him, so he led his followers to rush to the government center, where they charged in to attack Liu Yin. Liu Yin's generals and officials wanted to stop him, but Guo Mo shouted at them, "I have been given imperial orders! Anyone who moves against me will have their clan exterminated to the third degree!" Then Guo Mo entered the inner chamber, dragged Liu Yin out, and beheaded him. After he came out, he arrested Zhang Man and Liu Yin's other assistants as well, and slandered them as great traitors before beheading all of them too.

Guo Mo sent Liu Yin's head to the capital, while forging an imperial decree and showing it to everyone near and far to justify his actions. He raped Liu Yin's daughter and his concubines. He put all of Liu Yin's gold and treasures on a ship, saying that he was sending it to the capital, but he actually kept them at Liu Yin's former residence.

Guo Mo ordered Huan Xuan to come join him, but Huan Xuan guarded his post and refused to join him.


(Guo Mo returned to his post at Xunyang after the campaign against Su Jun had ended. He was now being summoned back from there. According to the Records of Jin, it was Emperor Ming of Cao-Wei (Cao Rui) that had created the office of General of the Army of the Left, so that was a Cao-Wei office. During Emperor Wu's (Sima Yan's) reign, he had further created the offices of General of the Army of the Front and of the Right, and in the eighth year of Taishi (272), he also created General of the Army of the Rear. These were the Generals of the Four Armies, which were all made up of imperial guards.

Ever since Jin, civil and military officials had taken to calling themselves 小人. The people of the northwest still follow this practice.

The term 信 here means a messenger.

An emigre is someone who lives as a guest in another place.

Gai Zhun refers to the fact that Liu Yin had ignored the recall order.

Huan Xuan had gone to Wen Jiao in the previous year, and was now camped at Wuchang.)


22. During this year, the Helan clan and the other leaders of the Xianbei in Dai all acclaimed Tuoba Yihuai as the Prince of Dai. The current Prince, Tuoba Hena, fled to seek refuge with the Yuwen clan. Tuoba Yihuai sent his younger brother Tuoba Shiyijian to Zhao as a hostage in order to ensure peace between them.


(The Helan clan had protected Tuoba Yihuai until now, as mentioned in Book 93, in the second year of Xianhe (327.15).

The Book of Northern Zhou records that the ancestors of the Yuwen clan were the descendants of the ancient Flame Emperor. After the Flame Emperor was defeated by the Yellow Emperor, his descendants fled to settle in Shuoye. One of these descendants was a leader named Puhui. While out hunting, this Puhui discovered a jade seal, upon which was written "Emperor's Seal". Puhui believed that this was a sign of Heaven's assistance. The people commonly called the Son of Heaven the "Yuwen", and so Yuwen became the name of their state, and eventually of their clan. But I, Hu Sanxing, reckon that this was just a fancy tale spun by their descendants and their ministers after the Yuwen rose to prominence in Guanxi (during Northern Zhou). Li Yanshou remarked, "The Yuwen clan emerged from beyond the borders of the realm at Liaodong. Their ancestors were distant subordinates of the Southern Chanyu, and they served as leaders of the east for generations." This report seems closer to the truth.)

五年,帝出居於宇文部。賀蘭及諸部大人,共立烈帝。烈皇帝諱翳槐立,平文之長子也。以五年為元年。石勒遣使求和,帝遣弟昭成皇帝如襄國,從者五千餘家。(Book of Northern Wei 1, Annals of the Tuoba Ancestors)

In the fifth year, Tuoba Hena left to reside among the Yuwen clan. The leaders of the Helan and other great clans of Dai acclaimed Tuoba Yihuai as their new lord.

Emperor Lie, Tuoba Yihuai, was the eldest son of Tuoba Yulü. He took the fifth year of Tuoba Hena's reign to be the first year of his own reign. Shi Le sent envoys to the Tuoba court asking for peace, so Tuoba Yihuai sent his younger brother, Emperor Zhaocheng or Tuoba Shiyijian, to the Later Zhao capital at Xiangguo, along with more than five thousand families.


23. It was earlier mentioned that Murong Tuyuhun's son Murong Tuyan had succeeded him as Prince of Henan and leader of the Tuyuhun people in the far northwest. Murong Tuyan was heroic and bold, but very suspicious and envious. The Qiang chieftain Jiang Cong stabbed him with a blade. Before pulling out the blade, Murong Tuyan called his general Heguni and ordered him to act as regent for his son Murong Yeyan and to guard him at Bailan. Only then did Murong Tuyan pull out the blade, after which he died.

Murong Yeyan was filial and enjoyed studying. He believed, "Propriety demands that the great-grandson of a duke take his lord father's style name to be the name of his clan." And this was why he called his state Tuyuhun.


(Regarding the name Heguni, 紇 is pronounced "hu (h-u)" or "hie (h-ie)", and 扢 is pronounced "ge (g-e)" or "hu (h-u)".

Bailan was in the southwest of the Tuyuhun domain. It was in a rugged and distant region, and a branch of the Qiang lived there. It was adjacent to the Limotu to the northwest and Nuo'e to the south. Its customs and products were essentially the same as the Tanchang.

The Zuo Commentary states, "Zhongzhong of the state of Lu said, "When the Son of Heaven ennobles the virtuous, he gives them surnames from their birthplaces; he rewards them with territory, and the name of it becomes their clan-name. And the feudal lords take it as their style names (Yin 8.10)." Du Yu's commentary adds, "The son of a feudal lord was the Ducal Son, the son of the Ducal Son was the Ducal Grandson. The son of the Ducal Grandson took his lord father's style name as his clan name.")
Last edited by Taishi Ci 2.0 on Wed Jun 13, 2018 9:32 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Unread postby Taishi Ci 2.0 » Mon Jun 11, 2018 5:02 am


The Fifth Year of Xianhe (The Gengyin Year, 330 AD)


1. In spring, the first month, Liu Yin's head arrived at Jiankang. Wang Dao felt that Guo Mo was so valiant and bold that it would be difficult to control him. So on the day Jihai (February 5th), a general amnesty was declared in Jin, and Liu Yin's head was hung up on a great ship. Guo Mo was even appointed as the new Inspector of Jiangzhou.

When Tao Kan heard of all this, he shook out his sleeves and rose to say, "This must be false." And he led his troops to campaign against Guo Mo.

Guo Mo sent messengers to present women and silks to Tao Kan, along with the edict that he had written. And Tao Kan's advisors and assistants all remonstrated with him, saying, "There has been no order issued to move against Guo Mo, so how dare you launch this campaign? If you want to lead the army, you must wait until you receive an edict ordering you to do so."

But Tao Kan sternly replied, "The Emperor is young, and this edict could not have come from him. Liu Yin was appointed by the court, and though he may have lacked the talents to be a border commander, how dare Guo Mo pass the ultimate judgment against him? Guo Mo is just using his bold behavior to grasp at whatever he wants. We have only just gotten rid of the great threat endangering the state, and so the laws are still lax and permissive; Guo Mo just wants to take advantage of that fact to do as he pleases!"

Tao Kan sent up a petition explaining the situation, and he wrote a letter to Wang Dao stating, "If Guo Mo can kill a provincial border commander and then be appointed as one, can someone kill a chief minister and then take their place too?"

Wang Dao took down Liu Yin's head, but he wrote back to Tao Kan, "Guo Mo occupies the upper reaches of the Yangzi, and he has a full navy prepared as well. That is why we ought to tolerate him for now and let him hold what he has, while the court makes secret preparations against him. If we wait until your army is at hand, people will gather with the rise of the wind; wouldn't that be an instance of 'nursing things in obedience to circumstances while the time is yet dark', and thereby achieving the grand design in the end?"

Tao Kan only laughed and said, "This is more like nursing a thief!"


(The "great threat" was Su Jun, who had only just been defeated.

The term 潛 here means "secret"; these secret preparations would be secretly sending out orders to all the other armies to prepare for military endeavors against Guo Mo.

The term 風發 means "quickly done".)


2. Yu Liang also asked to campaign against Guo Mo. An edict was issued promoting him to Expeditionary Commander, and Yu Liang led twenty thousand horse and foot to join with Tao Kan.


3. Jin's Administrator of Xiyang, Deng Yue, and its Administrator of Wuchang, Liu Xu, both wondered whether Huan Xuan was in league with Guo Mo. The Western Manager of Yuzhou, Wang Sui, said, "Huan Xuan clearly demonstrated that he would not side with Zu Yue before. How could he ever join with Guo Mo now?"

Deng Yue and Liu Xu sent Wang Sui to visit Huan Xuan to observe him. Wang Sui advised Huan Xuan, "Although you have no inclination to help the rebel, you have not yet clearly demonstrated that. But if you send your worthy son to come with me, that will be sufficient!" So Huan Xuan sent his son Huan Rong to go together with Wang Sui to welcome Tao Kan. Tao Kan appointed Huan Rong as a minor subordinate, and promoted Huan Xuan to Administrator of Wuchang.


(Huan Xuan's stance regarding Zu Yue is mentioned in Book 93, in the second year of Xianhe (327.8).

By 不爾, Wang Sui meant "like this".)


4. In the second month, the ministers of Zhao asked that Shi Le assume the imperial title. Shi Le then declared himself the Heavenly King of Zhao, with acting imperial authority. He honored his wife Lady Liu as Princess, and appointed his eldest son Shi Hong as his Crown Prince.

Shi Le appointed his son Shi Hóng as Grand General of Agile Cavalry, Commander of all military affairs, Grand Chanyu, and Prince of Qin. He appointed his son Shi Bin as Guard General of the Left and Prince of Taiyuan. He appointed his son Shi Kui as General Who Upholds The State and Prince of Nanyang.

Shi Hu was appointed as Grand Commandant and Prefect of the Masters of Writing, and he was advanced to Prince of Zhongshan. Among Shi Hu's sons, Shi Sui was appointed Inspector of Jizhou and Prince of Qi, Shi Xuan was appointed General of the Left, and Shi Ting was appointed Palace Attendant and Prince of Liang.

Shi Le also appointed Shi Sheng as Prince of Hedong and Shi Kan as Prince of Pengcheng.

The Chief Clerk of the Left, Guo Ao, was appointed as Supervisor of the Left of the Masters of Writing. The Chief Clerk of the Right, Cheng Xia, was appointed Supervisor of the Right and acting Supervisor of the Masters of Writing. The Marshal of the Left, Kui An, the Marshal of the Right, Guo Yin, the Attendant Officer of the Household Gentlemen, Li Feng, and the former Prefect of the Household Gentlemen, Pei Xian, were all appointed as Masters of Writing. Shi Le's advisor Xu Guang was appointed as Prefect of the Palace Secretariat and acting Custodian of the Private Library. All other civil and military officials were granted ranks as appropriate.


(Shi Le, styled Shilong, was originally named Bei. He was a Jie from Wuxiang in Shangdang. They were descendants of the branch of the Xiongnu under Qiangqu. Shi Le's grandfather was Yeyiqian, and his father was Zhouhezhu, also called Qiyijia. Both were minor tribal chiefs.)

二年,石勒僭立,自稱大趙王。(Book of Northern Wei 1, Annals of the Tuoba Ancestors)

In the second year of the reign of the Prince of Dai, Tuoba Yihuai (330), Shi Le claimed royal title, proclaiming himself King of Great Zhao.


5. Shi Hu was furious, feeling that he had been snubbed. He secretly said to Shi Sui, "Ever since our lord made Xiangguo the capital, he has sat with folded hands while relying on others to finish the job. I myself have endured the slings and arrows for more than twenty years. In the south, I captured Liu Yue; in the north, I put the Suotou to flight; in the east, I pacified Qi and Lu; in the west, I settled Qin and Yong. I took thirteen provinces altogether. I am the one who made Zhao a reality; the role of Grand Chanyu should have been mine. But now he gives it to this yellow-lipped whelp from a slave girl. Whenever I think about it, I can't even sleep or eat at all! But just wait until after our lord has perished. I will not leave any of his family behind."


(Shi Le’s capture of Xiangguo is mentioned in Emperor Huai's sixth year of Yongjia (Book 88, 312.23).

Shi Hu's capture of Liu Yue is mentioned in Book 93, in Emperor Ming's third year of Taining (325.13).

Shi Hu's attack on the Suotou (a common name for the Tuoba Xianbei) is mentioned in the same book, in the second year of Xianhe (327.14).

By "pacifying Qi and Lu", Shi Hu means when he conquered the rebel Jin general Xu Kan and the Qingzhou warlord Cao Yi, as mentioned in Book 92 in Emperor Yuan's (Sima Rui's) first year of Yongchang (322.44) and Emperor Ming's first year of Taining (323.14). By "settling Qin and Yong", he means when he extinguished the Liu clan of Former Zhao, and accepted the surrender of Fu Hong and Yao Yizhong.

The parts around the mouth are called the 吻 lips. When chicks first leave the nest, the yellow of their mouths has not yet faded, and this appearance is called "yellow-lipped". It is an expression suggesting the flush of youth.)


6. Cheng Xia said to Shi Le, "The realm has only just been settled, so you ought to make clear distinctions between those who are loyal and those who are traitorous. This was the reason why Emperor Gao of Han (Liu Bang) pardoned Ji Bu, but beheaded Duke Ding. Great King, ever since you first rose up with your soldiers, you have always commended those who remained loyal to their lords, while you have always executed those ministers who rebelled against theirs. This is the reason why abundant virtue has begun to return to the realm. Yet Zu Yue still exists. This is what I do not understand."

The General Who Maintains The West, Yao Yizhong, also expressed the same sentiment.

So Shi Le arrested Zu Yue and put him to death, along with more than a hundred of his relatives and close associates. His wives and daughters were each awarded to various tribesmen.


(Emperor Gaozu's pardoning of Ji Bu, though Ji Bu fought against him to the last, and his execution of Duke Ding, though Duke Ding's defection helped him attain victory, are mentioned in Book 11, in Emperor Gaozu's fifth year (202 BC).)


7. Before, the Jin border commander Zu Ti had had a tribal slave named Wang An, and Zu Ti showed him special love and favor. At Yongqiu, he told Wang An, "Shi Le is one of your own kind. I am not the same sort of man as you either." So he gave Wang An a great amount of resources to see to his needs, and then sent him on his way. Wang An was heroic and capable, and under Zhao he became Guard General of the Left.

When Zu Yue was slated for execution, Wang An sighed and said, "How can Zu Shizhi not be allowed to have any descendants?" So he went to the market to watch the punishment. Zu Ti had a natural son, Zu Daozhong, who had just turned nine years old. Wang An stole him away and kept him in hiding, disguising him in the clothes of a monk. Many years later, after the fall of the Shi clan, Zu Daozhong returned to the Southland again.


(Zu Ti's style name was Shizhi.)


8. Guo Mo wished to march south and capture Yuzhang. But Tao Kan's soldiers soon came to meet him there. Guo Mo marched out to fight, but he got the worst of it. He withdrew into the city to man his defenses. He gathered up all his rice into giant piles, to display how much excess he had. Tao Kan built earth mounds in order to observe him.

In the third month, Yu Liang's soldiers arrived at Penkou, and the two armies joined together.

In summer, the fifth month, on the day Yimao (June 21st), Guo Mo's general Song Hou tied up Guo Mo and his sons, and came out to offer surrender. Tao Kan beheaded Guo Mo at the army camp's gate, and sent his head on to Jiankang. Forty of his partisans were also killed.

An imperial edict was issued appointing Tao Kan as Commander of Jiangzhou and acting Inspector of Jiangzhou. Deng Yue was appointed as Commander of military affairs in Jiaozhou and Guangzhou and as acting Inspector of Guangzhou. Tao Kan returned to Baling, in order to transfer his defense post to Wuchang. Yu Liang returned to Wuhu, and he declined to accept any offered titles and rewards.


(Guo Mo wished to march from Xunyang south to capture that region.

Penkou was also called Penpukou. 湓 is pronounced "pen (p-en)".

With this appointment, Tao Kan now held Command authority over eight provinces.)


9. The Zhao general Liu Zheng led a host of several thousand. They crossed over the sea on pontoons and raided Jin's southeastern counties, where they killed the Commandant of Nansha, Xu Ru.


(According to Shen Yue's Annotations, the Prefect of Nansha served under the Administrator of Jinling. Wu County originally had a Commandant-Director of Salt. During Eastern Wu, its name was changed to Shazhong. After Eastern Wu was conquered, Jiyang was formed and divided off from it. In Emperor Cheng's seventh year of Xiankang (340), the Salt office was discontinued, and the region became Nansha County. It is now the region of Changshu County in Pingjiang Garrison.)


10. Since Former Zhao had collapsed, Zhang Jun recovered his former territory south of the Yellow River, as far as Didao. He formed Protector Generals of five outposts, and he divided the territory with Zhao.

In the sixth month, Shi Le sent his Minister Herald, Meng Yi, to confer upon Zhang Jun the titles Grand General Who Conquers The West and Governor of Liangzhou, and to give him the Nine Bestowments. But Zhang Jun felt ashamed to consider himself their subject, so he would not accept these things. He even detained Meng Yi and did not send him back.


(Zhang Jun's loss of the territory south of the Yellow River is mentioned in Book 93, in the second year of Xianhe (327.4). The five outposts over which he appointed generals were Wujie, Shimen, Houhe, Qiangchuan, and Gansong.)


11. There lived a certain Zhai Bin of the Dingling people. For generations, his people had resided in Kangju (Sogdia?). But they later moved to the Middle Kingdom, and came under the authority of Zhao. Zhao appointed Zhai Bin as Prince of Gouting.


(句 is here pronounced "qu"; 町 is pronounced "ting". Sima Guang's commentary in the Textual Analysis states, "The Annals of the Book of Shu records this Dingling leader as 'Zhai Zhen'. But later on, after the downfall of Former Qin, the one whom Murong Chui executes is Zhai Bin, and Zhai Zhen is his nephew who flees north. So we can know that the figure mentioned at this time must have also been Zhai Bin.")


12. The Zhao ministers continued to urge that Shi Le assume the true imperial title. In autumn, the ninth month, Shi Le claimed the throne as Emperor. A general amnesty was declared in Zhao, and the reign era title was changed to Jianping. Civil and military officials all had their ranks granted or advanced accordingly. Shi Le honored his wife Lady Liu as Empress, and he appointed his Crown Prince Shi Hong as the imperial Crown Prince.


(Sima Guang's commentary in the Textual Analysis states, "The Biography of Shi Le in the Chronicles of the Book of Jin states, 'Shi Le moved the capital from Xiangguo to the banks of the Zhang River'; that is to say, to Ye. But consider that in the fourth month of the second year of Jianping (331), it says that when Shi Le went to Ye, he discussed building a new palace there. In the third year (332), it says Shi Le again returned to Ye, visiting Shi Hu at his estate there. When Shi Le fell ill and Shi Hu composed a false edict summoning Shi Hong, it was to Xiangguo that he ordered Shi Hong to report to. And in the ninth month of Shi Hu's first year of Jianwu (335), it says that he moved to Ye. So it must be that Shi Le had never made Ye the capital.")


13. Shi Hong was a very cultured man, and he kept close and respectful contacts with Confucianists. Shi Le said to Xu Guang, "Daya (Shi Hong) is a solemn child. He does not seem like someone from a general's family."

Xu Guang replied, "Although the founder of Han gained the realm from the back of a horse, his son Emperor Xiaowen maintained it through profound tranquility. ‘After the rule of a sage, the violent and wicked can be reformed, and the need for capital punishment can be done away with’. This is the path that Heaven intends."

Shi Le was very pleased to hear this.

Because of that, Xu Guang further said, "The Crown Prince is benevolent, filial, warm, and respectful. But the Prince of Zhongshan (Shi Hu) is forceful, violent, grasping, and deceitful. Your Majesty, when you are no more, I fear that the state may not pass to the Crown Prince. You should gradually remove the Prince of Zhongshan’s authority, and send the Crown Prince to have an early start in advising court affairs."

Although Shi Le took this advice to heart, he could not heed it.


(Shi Yong's style name was Daya.

By solemn, it meant that he appeared peaceful and tolerant.

The Analects states, "The Master said, "'If good men were to govern a country in succession for a hundred years, they would be able to transform the violently bad, and dispense with capital punishments.' (13.11)" Master Wang's Annotations states, "To 'transform the violently bad' means to transform the wild people so that they do not become evil. To 'dispense with capital punishments' means to discard the necessity for using capital punishments.")


14. Zhao's Chief of military affairs in Jingzhou, Guo Jing, invaded Xiangyang. Jin's General of the Household Gentlemen of the South, Zhou Fu, was Chief of military affairs north of the Mian River, and he was camped at Xiangyang.

Shi Le sent a fast messenger to bring an edict ordering Guo Jing to fall back to camp at Fancheng, where he was to hide away all of his flags and banners and remain quiet as though no one were there. Shi Le's edict said, "If the enemy sends men to find out what is going on, you are to tell them this: 'You had better look out for yourselves and hold fast to your defenses. Seven or eight days from now, the main army of cavalry will soon arrive. Then we will both strike, and there will be no escape for you.'"

Then Guo Jing sent his men to wash their horses at the river crossing. They kept up this act for a full week, and did not stop even at night. The Jin scouts returned and informed Zhou Fu about all of this. Zhou Fu believed that the main Zhao army was almost there. He was so afraid that he fled to Wuchang.

Guo Jing then entered Xiangyang, and all the refugees from the Central Provinces surrendered to Zhao. Wei Gai's younger brother Wei Xia also led his body of soldiers from Shicheng to surrender to Guo Jing. Guo Jing demolished Xiangyang's fortifications, and forced all the people there to move north of the Mian River. He raised his own fortifications at Fancheng to contain them.

Zhao appointed Guo Jing as Inspector of Jingzhou. Zhou Fu was stripped of office.


(By 相策 "both strike", he meant that the two armies would act in conjunction. Du You's Tongdian dictionary records this term as 相禁. One says, "相策 is a phrase. By 策, it means planning, or to say that you would have no other recourse and would have to flee.")


15. The Xiuzhuwang Qiang rebelled against Zhao. Zhao's Prince of Hedong, Shi Sheng, attacked and routed them, and the Qiang fled to Liangzhou.

The Duke of Xiping, Zhang Jun, became afraid, and he sent Meng Yi back. He also sent his Chief Clerk Ma Shen to proclaim himself as a Zhao vassal, and to bring tribute to Zhao.


(The Xiuzhuwang Qiang were a tribe from Shiwu. 屠 is pronounced "zhu (zh-u)".)


16. A new palace was built in Jin.


(During Su Jun's rebellion, the imperial palace had been burned down and ruined, and this was why another one was built.)


17. On the day Jiachen (October 8th), Jin's Prince of Lecheng, Sima Qin, had his title changed to Prince of Hejian. Sima Hong’s son Sima Jun was appointed as Prince of Gaomi.


(After the death of the former Prince of Hejian, Sima Yong, the court ordered that the Prince of Pengcheng, Sima Zhi, send his son Sima Rong to inherit Sima Yong's title. His title was changed to Prince of Lecheng County. When he passed away, he had no son, so Emperor Yuan (Sima Rui) then ordered the next Prince of Pengcheng, Sima Shi, to send his son Sima Qin to inherit Sima Rong's title. At this time, the original title of Prince of Hejian was restored to that line.

Before, Emperor Yuan had Sima Hong continue the line of the Prince of Gaomi, Sima Ju. After the Prince of Pengcheng, Sima Xiong, was executed for his defection to the rebel Su Jun, Sima Hong returned to his original clan, and Sima Jun was raised up to continue the line of the Prince of Gaomi. Sima Guang's commentary in the Textual Analysis states, "The Biography of the Imperial Family writes Sima Jun's given name as 浚 Jun. But I follow the Imperial Annals, where it is 俊 Jun.")


18. In winter, the tenth month, Cheng's Grand General, Li Shou, ordered the General Who Conquers The South, Fei Hei, and others to attack Jianping in Jin’s commander of Badong, and they took it. Jin's Administrator of Badong, Yang Qian, and their General Who Directs The Army, Guanqiu Ao, fell back to defend Yidu.


(Sima Guang's commentary in the Textual Analysis states, "The Annals of Emperor Cheng in the Book of Jin lists this Administrator as 陽 Yang Qian. But I follow the Biography of Li Xiong in the Chronicles of the Book of Jin, which lists him as 楊 Yang Qian.")
Last edited by Taishi Ci 2.0 on Wed Jun 13, 2018 9:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread postby Taishi Ci 2.0 » Mon Jun 11, 2018 5:04 am


The Sixth Year of Xianhe (The Xinmao Year, 331 AD)


1. In spring, the first month, Liu Zheng attacked Lou County again, and plundered Wujin. Chi Jian attacked him and drove him off.


(During Former Han, Lou County was part of Kuaiji commandary. During Later Han and Jin, it was part of Wu commandary. In Sun Quan of Eastern Wu's third year of Jiahe (234), he renamed Dantu to Wujin. In Emperor Wu's (Sima Yan's) third year of Taikang (282), he changed the name back to Dantu. He then combined Dantu County and Qu'a County together as Wujin County, as part of Piling commandary. Jin further renamed Piling to Jinling. Liu Xu remarked, "Han's Lou County was the same place as Tang's Kunshan County in Suzhou.")


2. In the third month, on the new moon of the day Renxu (April 24th), there was an eclipse.


3. In summer, Shi Le went to Ye. He was about to begin construction on a new palace. The Minister of Justice, Xu Xian of Shangdang, bitterly remonstrated with him. Shi Le was furious, and wanted to behead Xu Xian. But Xu Guang said to him, "If Xu Xian has offered advise which you cannot use, even so you ought to tolerate it. But how can honest talk so suddenly compel you to put your minister to death?"

Shi Le sighed and said, "Indeed, a ruler of men cannot simply act however he pleases! But even a common person who owns no more than a hundred bolts of cloth still wishes to have a house in the marketplace. How can it be any less for one whose fortune fills the four seas? Eventually, I will build the palace. But for now, I shall halt its construction, to reward the spirit of my forthright minister."

And he awarded Xu Xian with a hundred bolts of silk and a hundred 斛 of rice.

Shi Le ordered each of the ministers, from the nobles and high officials on down, to annually recommend a person who was virtuous, exceptional, direct, and true. Each person so selected would further be able to recommend others. In this way, avenues of recommending worthy people would be greatly expanded.

Shi Le also built a Mingtang Hall, a Piyong school, and a Lingtai tower west of Xiangguo.


(This passage demonstrates how Shi Le was able to rectify his rustic character through practice, and paid heed to men of culture.)


4. In autumn, the seventh month, Li Shou attacked Yinping and Wudu. Yang Nandi submitted to him.


5. In the ninth month, Shi Le resumed construction on the palace at Ye. He designated Luoyang as a southern capital, and set up an Acting Administration there.


6. In winter, Jin made the Zheng sacrifices at the ancestral temple. Emperor Cheng ordered the sacrificial meat to be sent to Wang Dao, and further ordered that he would be temporarily be allowed not to perform obeisance. But Wang Dao pleaded illness and did not dare to attend.

Before, when Emperor Cheng first came to the throne, he was still young, and so every time he saw Wang Dao, he would always bow to him. If he gave an edict to Wang Dao in person, he would say, "With trepidation, I venture to say..." Or if he had the edict sent out by the palace secretariat, he would preface it with "I respectfully venture to ask..."

The officials discussed this matter between them: "On the New Year's Day meeting, should the Emperor show particular respect to Wang Dao or not?"

The Court Academicians Guo Xi and Du Yuan discussed it, and they concluded, "It is the proper ceremony for a lord not to humble himself before his minister. The Emperor should cease his undue respect toward Wang Dao."

But the Palace Attendant Feng Huai also discussed it, and he concluded, "When the Son of Heaven is in the Piyong school, he even humbles himself before the Thrice Venerable. Ought he do any less to our late emperor's counselor? I say that he should show Wang Dao the utmost respect."

Then the Palace Attendant Xun Yi discussed it, and he concluded, "At the Three Court (New Year's Day) meeting, we ought to clearly define the roles of sovereign and minister, and so the Emperor should not humble himself before Wang Dao. If it is at smaller meetings on other days, then the Emperor may fully observe the rites of his own accord."

The court agreed with this last proposal. This Xun Yi was the son of Xun Zu.


(According to the Book of Rites, the sacrifice offered in winter is called the 烝 Zheng sacrifice. The Records of the Grand Historian and the Book of Han also mention this, as the 蒸 sacrifice. The excess meat used for the sacrifice is called 胙, what we now call the sacrificial 福肉.

Jin was honoring Wang Dao according to the rite used during Zhou to honor Duke Huan of Qi.

The "Three Court" Meeting was the New Year's Day meeting, since it was the combination of the annual court meeting, the monthly court meeting, and the daily court meeting.

The sovereign was paying homage to the minister, and yet Xun Yi says this is "fully observing the rites". How can that be?)


7. Murong Hui sent a letter to Tao Kan, urging him to raise soldiers for a northern campaign, so that they could recover the Central Plains together.

Murong Hui's subordinates, Song Gai and others, discussed this matter. They said, "Murong Hui has achieved successes in his corner of the realm. Though he holds a low rank, he has an important position. There is no one who is really his peer. It is not enough for him merely to guard the Hua (ethnic Han) and tribals peoples. We should petition the court, asking them to advance Murong Hui in rank and title."

But Murong Hui’s Army Advisor, Han Hengbiao, said, "When a man seeks to achieve something, the danger is whether or not he acts with trust or justice, not whether or not his reputation or position are high enough. When Duke Huan of Qi and Duke Wen of Jin achieved their successes in rectifying the Zhou dynasty, they did not first ask to be shown special favor before giving orders to the feudal lords. We ought to put our men and our arms in order, and then purge the traitors from the Central Plains. Once we have achieved such a success, the Nine Bestowments will come to us of their own accord. Wouldn't that be much more glorious than a lord who makes much of himself in a bid to curry favor?"

Murong Hui was not pleased by this sentiment, and he sent Han Hengbiao away to be Prefect of Xinchang.

Then the Colonel of Eastern Yi Tribes, Feng Chou, and others submitted a petition to Tao Kan's staff, asking that Murong Hui be appointed as Prince of Yan, and granted the authority of a Grand General. Tao Kan wrote back a response stated, “Once a man achieves success, then his position is advanced; this has been so since antiquity. Although the General of Chariots and Cavalry has not yet been able to destroy Shi Le on behalf of the court, he is wholeheartedly loyal and just. I have quickly passed on your letter to my superiors, but whether they grant it or not, whether it is done slowly or quickly, is all up to the Heavenly Terrace (the royal family)."


(駁 is pronounced "biao (b-iao)".

Xinchang County was part of Liaodong commandary.

At this time, Murong Hui held the Jin-appointed title General of Chariots and Cavalry, and this was why Tao Kan addressed him as such. By "the court", he meant the Son of Heaven; by "Le", he meant Shi Le.

Tao Kan had quickly passed on the letter to his superiors.

Tao Kan's response here was most fitting.

By "Heavenly Terrace", he honored the Jin royal family.)
"You have attacked us before, and we survived! You cannot defeat us. Submit!"
"We have. You did. We can. No."
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