Zizhi Tongjian: The Jin Dynasty (Part 1)

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Re: BOOK 79

Unread postby Jia Nanfeng » Tue Nov 21, 2017 6:42 am

I feel like this might be a dumb question... but I was re-reading your Book 79 translation and there's this line:

Taishi Ci 2.0 wrote:The Registry of Surnames states, "Those with the surname 俞 Yu are the descendants of the ancient skilled doctor, Yi Yu."

This is stating that those with the surname Yu are descendants of those with the surname Yi, correct? Given the fact that the doctor's name is coincidentally Yi Yu, I just wanted to make sure it was written correctly.
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Re: ZZTJ Translations: Western Jin (Book 79-85)

Unread postby Taishi Ci 2.0 » Tue Nov 21, 2017 7:29 pm

That was an error, should be Yu Fu. I have changed it, thanks for catching that.
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Re: ZZTJ Translations: Western Jin (Book 79-85)

Unread postby Jia Nanfeng » Tue Nov 21, 2017 10:17 pm

That makes more sense! I was wondering how Yi descended from Yu... :P

I think you're entitled to make one mistake every 100K words. :wink: Thanks again!
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Re: ZZTJ Translations: Western Jin (Book 79-85)

Unread postby qqdonut » Wed Nov 22, 2017 7:00 am

Are there two people called Li Han (李含) alive at the same time? The advisor for Sima Yong from Longxi who dies in 304, as well as a senior clansman of Li Te who is the father of Li Guo and Li Li? Or are they the same person somehow?
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Re: ZZTJ Translations: Western Jin (Book 79-85)

Unread postby Taishi Ci 2.0 » Wed Nov 22, 2017 7:49 am

I am fairly certain they are just two different people with the exact same name who happen to be of importance at the same time.
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Re: ZZTJ Translations: Western Jin (Book 79-85)

Unread postby qqdonut » Wed Nov 22, 2017 8:04 am

Taishi Ci 2.0 wrote:I am fairly certain they are just two different people with the exact same name who happen to be of importance at the same time.

Thanks. Yeah, it's surprising there's no notes in the ZZTJ clarifying that.

JS 120 implies Li Han is a brother-in-law of Li Te, I think?

which would fit with Li Xiong saying "our uncles refuse to go along" referring to Li Liu and Li Han.
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Re: ZZTJ Translations: Western Jin (Book 79-85)

Unread postby Jia Nanfeng » Mon Nov 27, 2017 10:46 pm

I've got a question and a correction.

First, the question: In Book 83, Sima Yu drunkenly writes a letter wherein he says he made sacrifices to the Northern Sovereign. The commentary says: "The Northern Sovereign was the Northern Emperor (Xuanwu)."

Who exactly is the Northern Emperor Xuanwu?

Initially I assumed it meant Emperor Xuanwu of Chu, Huan Wen... er, but he wasn't born until a few years later, much less as the Emperor! Oops, so now I'm confused!

Second, the correction: Later in the same post is this line:
Jia Nanfeng had Dong Meng pretend to bring a message from Empress Changguang to Emperor Hui, saying, "This is a matter that should be decided quickly, yet the ministers are not in agreement.

Changguang was a Princess, not the Empress! If it had been signed as Empress, Nanfeng surely would've had everyone involved killed! :P
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Re: ZZTJ Translations: Western Jin (Book 79-85)

Unread postby Taishi Ci 2.0 » Wed Nov 29, 2017 6:48 pm

Thanks for that catch, I have changed it to Princess.

I don't really know much about Xuanwu, other than him being an ancient/divine being; it's an aspect of Chinese culture I haven't done much study into.
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Re: ZZTJ Translations: Western Jin (Book 79-85)

Unread postby Jia Nanfeng » Wed Nov 29, 2017 8:45 pm

Taishi Ci 2.0 wrote:I don't really know much about Xuanwu, other than him being an ancient/divine being; it's an aspect of Chinese culture I haven't done much study into.

Yeah I don't know a whole lot about the history of the divine either. I'll look into it more and let you know if I find anything, just for curiosity sake!

I'll ask in the "Three Kingdoms Questions" topic too.



Lord_Cao_Cao had an interesting find in the Three Kingdoms Questions topic that sounds right to me:
Quick research makes me think it's the Black Tortoise.

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Unread postby Taishi Ci 2.0 » Tue Dec 05, 2017 1:46 am


The Second Year of Yongxing (The Yichou Year, 305 AD)


1. In summer, the fourth month, Zhang Fang once again deposed Empress Yang Xianrong.


2. It was earlier mentioned that the Prince of Hejian, Sima Yong, had sent his generals You Kai and others west to fight the Prince of Changsha's (Sima Ai's) ally Huangfu Zhong, who had risen up against Sima Yong in Qinzhou. For the past two years, You Kai and the others had kept up their fight against Huangfu Zhong, but they had been unable to overcome him.

Huangfu Zhong sent his adoptive son Huangfu Chang to seek reinforcements. Huangfu Chang went to visit the Minister of Works and Prince of Donghai, Sima Yue. But Sima Yue had just come to terms with Sima Yong that he would handle affairs east of the mountains (that is, east of Luoyang), and so he could not send any troops to assist an enemy of Sima Yong. Zhang Chang then went to see a gentleman of the Central Hall of the Palace, Yang Pian. Zhang Chang brought with him an edict he had forged, supposedly bearing Sima Yue's orders, with a command to fetch Yang Xianrong from the Jinyong fortress. When Zhang Chang then entered the palace, he ordered by authority of Empress Yang that soldiers be raised to attack Sima Yong's general Zhang Fang, so that Emperor Hui's imperial carriage would be rescued from Chang'an. Since events were moving so quickly, the court ministers went along with these orders at first. But when it was soon discovered that Zhang Chang had forged the edict, the ministers all had him put to death.

Sima Yong asked Emperor Hui that he be allowed to send an Imperial Secretary bearing an edict calling on Huangfu Zhong to surrender. But Huangfu Zhong refused to recognize the edict.

Now those inside Huangfu Zhong's city were still unaware that both Sima Ai and Huangfu Zhong's brother Huangfu Shang were already dead. Huangfu Zhong captured a carriage driver from the Imperial Secretary's entourage. He asked the man, "My younger brother's soldiers will arrive here soon. Will you not wait until he gets here?"

The driver told him, "Huangfu Shang has already been killed by the Prince of Hejian."

Huangfu Zhong turned pale, and he killed the driver. But now that those within the city knew that there would be no hope of reinforcements, they all killed Huangfu Zhong and then surrendered.

Sima Yong appointed the Administrator of Pingyi, Zhang Fu, as the new Inspector of Qinzhou.


(You Kai and the other Sima Yong generals had gone west to attack Huangfu Zhong in the second year of Tai'an (303.12). By now, their campaign had stretched into the third year.

Sima Yue's reconciliation with Sima Yong is mentioned in Book 85, in the first year of Yongxing (304.35).

The so-called "gentleman of the Central Hall of the palace" refers to a traditional subordinate of one of the two Guard Generals.

Regarding Huangfu Chang's plot, Zhang Fang had deposed Yang Xianrong again in the fourth month of this year. At the time of this plot, Zhang Fang had already taken Emperor Hui with him back to Guanzhong; he had only deposed Yang Xianrong again as a display of strength to awe the ministers who remained behind in Luoyang as part of the Separate Terrace administration. So when Huangfu Chang brought Yang Xianrong out of the Jinyong fortress, planning to use her authority to raise troops to attack Zhang Fang, it was purely in order to obtain these soldiers, and not because Zhang Fang was actually present at Luoyang to be attacked.

Prince Li of Changsha's (Sima Ai's) death is mentioned in Book 85, in the first year of Yongxing (304.2). Huangfu Shang's death is mentioned in the same book, in the second year of Tai'an (303.26).

Since the Imperial Secretary had come to Huangfu Zhong bearing an imperial edict, he had some carriage drivers with him, and so Huangfu Zhong was able to capture one of them. By driver, it means a groomsman of the stable. Under the Jin system, the various nobles were all granted eight men to serve as such drivers. High ministers, from the Imperial Secretary on up, were granted the same honor. Wang Rong of Southern Qi was once quoted as saying, "The cart lacks the eight drivers before it; how then can one be called a gentleman?" So the drivers were some distance from the carriage.

This Zhang Fu had earlier aided Sima Yong by attacking his enemy Liu Chen (Book 85, 304.5).)


3. In the sixth month, on the day Jiazi (July 11th), Wang Rong passed away at Jia. He was posthumously known as Marquis Yuan ("the Foremost") of Anfeng.


(Wang Rong had fled from Luoyang to Jia after Zhang Fang had compelled Emperor Hui to relocate to Chang'an, as mentioned in Book 85, in the first year of Yongxing (304.33).)


4. When Zhang Fu arrived at his post as Inspector of Qinzhou, he killed the Administrator of Tianshui, Feng Shang, wishing to thus display his power. He also summoned the Administrator of Longxi, Han Zhi. But Han Zhi's son Han Pu led his soldiers to attack Zhang Fu; Zhang Fu's army was defeated and he himself was killed.

In Liangzhou, Zhang Gui's Marshal Yang Yin said to him, "Han Zhi has presumptuously killed his Inspector. Your Excellency wields authority over this corner of the realm; you can do no less than march against Han Zhi to punish him."

Zhang Gui heeded his advice, and sent his Protector of the Center, Fan Yuan to lead twenty thousand soldiers to campaign against Han Zhi. Rather than resist, Han Zhi presented himself to Zhang Gui and surrendered.

Not long after this, the Xianbei leader Ruoluo Baneng invaded Liangzhou. Zhang Gui sent his Marshal Song Pei to attack the Xianbei, and they beheaded Ruoluo Baneng and captured more than a hundred thousand Xianbei. Zhang Gui's power and reputation thus spread very far.


(The "Protector of the Center" was the Protector for the Army of the Center.

This passage serves to show Zhang Gui's growing strength through his ability to honor imperial legitimacy and vanquish the barbarians.)

永興二年,拜安西將軍,封樂鄉侯。永興二年,拜安西將軍,封樂鄉侯。惠帝崩,遣長史北宮純、司馬纂、別駕陰監奉表京師。是歲,大城姑臧,其城本匈奴所築也,南北七里,東西三里,地有龍形,故名臥龍城。(16 Kingdoms)

In the second year of Yongxing (305), Zhang Gui was appointed as General Who Maintains The West and Marquis of Lexiang.

After Emperor Hui passed away (in 307), Zhang Gui sent his Chief Clerk, Beigong Chun, his Marshal, Zhang Zuan, and his Attendant Officer With Separate Carriage, Yin Jun, to present a petition to the capital at Luoyang.

During that year, he expanded the city of Guzang. It had originally been built by the Xiongnu. It was seven li from north to south, and three li from east to west. The land was shaped like a dragon, and so it was also called Wolong City or Sleeping Dragon City.

永興中,鮮卑若羅拔能皆為寇,軌遣司馬宋配擊之,斬拔能,俘十餘萬口,威名大震。惠帝遣加安西將軍,封安樂鄉侯,邑千戶。於是大城姑臧。其城本匈奴所築也,南北七里,東西三里,地有龍形,故名臥龍城。初,漢末博士敦煌侯瑾謂其門人曰:「後城西泉水當竭,有雙闕起其上,與東門相望。中有霸者出焉。」至魏嘉平中,郡官果起學館,築雙闕於泉上,與東門正相望矣。至是,張氏遂霸河西。永嘉初,會東羌校尉韓稚殺秦州刺史張輔,軌少府司馬楊胤言於軌曰:「今稚逆命,擅殺張輔,明公杖鉞一方,宜懲不恪,此亦《春秋》之義。諸侯相滅亡,桓公不能救,則恆公恥之。」軌從焉,遣中督護氾瑗率眾二萬討之。先遺稚書曰:「今天綱紛撓,牧守宜戮力勤王。適得雍州檄,雲卿稱兵內侮,吾董任一方,義在伐叛,武旅三萬,駱驛繼發,伐木之感,心豈可言!古之行師,全國為上,卿若單馬軍門者,當與卿共平世難也。」稚得書而降。遣主簿令狐亞聘南陽王模,模甚悅,遺軌以帝所賜劍,謂軌曰:「自隴以西,征伐斷割悉以相委,如此劍矣。」(Book of Jin 86.1)

During the Yongxing era (304-305), the Xianbei rebelled under the leader Ruoluo Baneng. Zhang Gui sent his Marshal Song Pei to attacked them, and Song Pei killed Ruoluo Baneng and captured more than a hundred thousand Xianbei. Zhang Gui's power and reputation thus made the region tremble. Emperor Hui sent an envoy to Zhang Gui appointing him as General Who Maintains The West and granting him the noble title Marquis of Anlexiang, with a fief of a thousand households.

Zhang Gui expanded the city of Guzang. It had originally been built by the Xiongnu. It was seven li from noth to south, and three li from east to west. The land was shaped like a dragon, and so it was also called Wolong City or Sleeping Dragon City. Many years earlier, during the last years of Han, the Academian Hou Jin of Dunhuang commandary had said to his students, "The western spring behind the city shall dry up, and a pair of watchtowers shall rise there, both of which you will be able to see from the eastern gate. A hegemon will come out of there." During Cao-Wei's Jiaping reign era (249-254), the commandary officials indeed built a school building with a pair of watchtowers placed above the spring, both of which could be seen from the eastern gate. And as predicted, the Zhang clan came to dominate the region west of the Yellow River.

At the beginning of the Yongjia reign era (~307), the Colonel of Eastern Qiang Tribes, Han Zhi, killed the Inspector of Qinzhou, Zhang Fu.

Zhang Gui's Marshal to the Privy Staff, Yang Yin, said to Zhang Gui, "Han Zhi has now violated an imperial order and presumptuously killed Zhang Fu. Your Excellency wields authority over this corner of the realm, and you must punish him without hesitation; this is also a principle of the Spring and Autumn Annals. It was when the feudal lords of old fought and destroyed each other and Duke Huan of Qi was unable to help them that he was shamed by Duke Deng."

Zhang Gui heeded his advice, and sent his Protector of the Center, Fan Yuan, to lead twenty thousand soldiers to campaign against Han Zhi.

Zhang Gui sent a letter to Han Zhi ahead of his army, which read, "The realm today is caught up in a great mess, and governors and administrators must exert their every effort to come to the defense of the throne. I have just received a notice from Yongzhou, stating that you have placed yourself in command of soldiers and are imposing your will upon that territory. Having been entrusted with this corner of the realm, it is just that I march forth to campaign against such a rebel. In my might I have sent forth thirty thousand soldiers, and my dispatch riders are constantly coming and going. But when I consider what must be sacrificed in such a campaign, how can my heart not express itself to you? It was the view of the ancient generals that the security of the state was the highest priority. Sir, if you will come to the gate of my army camp seated on a lone horse, I shall discuss how to settle the troubles of the world together with you."

When Han Zhi received this letter, he surrendered.

Zhang Gui sent his Registrar, Linghu Ya, to visit the Prince of Nanyang, Sima Mo, at Chang'an and make a report. Sima Mo was greatly pleased, and he sent Zhang Gui a sword which Emperor Hui had given him, telling Zhang Gui, "When you are on campaigns west of the Long Mountains, carve everything up into their own pieces, like with this sword."

Note that the Book of Jin places Han Zhi's rebellion in 307, while ZZTJ has it here in 305. I do not know why.


5. The King of the Han state, Liu Yuan, attacked Jin's Duke of Dongying, Sima Teng. Sima Teng asked for reinforcements from the Xianbei warlord Tuoba Yituo, and Tuoba Yituo's (ethnic Han) advisor Wei Cao urged him to help Sima Teng. So Tuoba Yituo led several thousand light cavalry to aid Sima Teng, and they beheaded the Han general Qiwu Tun. Jin issued an edict appointing Tuoba Yituo as Grand Chanyu and as General Who Manages The Right.

On the day Jiashen (August 31st), Tuoba Yituo passed away. His son Tuoba Pugen succeeded him.


(綦毋 Qiwu was a compound surname. The Records of the Northern Di Tribes states, "Among the people of the Xiongnu state are the Qiwu and Le clans; they are bold and strong, and they love to rebel."

Sima Guang's commentary in the Textual Analysis states, "The Annals of the Tuoba Ancestors in the Book of Northern Wei and the Biography of Liu Cong in that text both state, 'Liu Yuan fled south to Puzi.' But according to the Biography of Liu Yuan in the Chronicles of the Book of Jin, there is no such business of Liu Yuan fleeing to Puzi; rather, it later states, 'He moved from Lishi to Liting.' This must just be one of the Book of Northern Wei's ridiculous exaggerations.")

Wei Cao came to join Tuoba Yituo a decade earlier, as mentioned in Book 82, 295.4.

惠帝末,并州刺史東嬴公司馬騰於晉陽為匈奴所圍,索頭單于猗駞遣軍助騰。(Book of Liu-Song 95, Account of the Suotou)

At the end of Emperor Hui's reign, the Inspector of Bingzhou and Duke of Dongying, Sima Teng, was besieged by the Xiongnu at Jinyang. The Suotou Chanyu, Yituo, sent an army to reinforce Sima Teng.

十一年,劉淵攻司馬騰,騰復乞師。桓帝以輕騎數千救之,斬淵將綦毋豚,淵南走蒲子。晉假桓帝大單于,金印紫綬。是歲,桓帝崩。帝英傑魁岸,馬不能勝。常乘安車,駕大牛,牛角容一石。帝曾中蠱,嘔吐之地仍生榆木。參合陂土無榆樹,故世人異之,至今傳記。帝統部凡十一年。後定襄侯衞操,樹碑於大邗城,以頌功德。子普根代立。(Book of Northern Wei 1, Annals of the Tuoba Ancestors)

In the eleventh year (305), Liu Yuan attacked Sima Teng, who once again begged for aid from the Tuoba. Tuoba Yituo sent several thousand light cavalry to save him, and they beheaded Liu Yuan's general Qiwu Tun. Liu Yuan fled south to Puzi. Jin appointed Tuoba Yituo as Grand Chanyu, and granted him golden seals and purple ribbons of office.

The same year, Tuoba Yituo passed away.

Tuoba Yituo had been an outstanding and stalwart hero, and even horses could not keep pace with him. He often rode in a little cart, drawn by a great ox with horns like stones. He was once bitten by the venemous gu insect, and when he vomited on the ground, an elm tree grew up at that spot. There were no elm trees in the region around Canhe Slope, so the people of that time were amazed, and the story has even come down to us. Tuoba Yituo commanded his division of the Tuoba state for eleven years (295-305). The Marquis of Dingxiang, Wei Cao, later raised a stele in his memory at the city of Dahan to extoll his achievements and virtues.

Tuoba Yituo's son Tuoba Pugen succeeded him in command of his division of the Tuoba state.

桓帝嘉之,以為輔相,任以國事。及劉淵、石勒之亂,勸桓帝匡助晉氏。東瀛公司馬騰聞而善之,表加將號。稍遷至右將軍,封定襄侯。(Book of Northern Wei 23, Biography of Wei Cao)

Tuoba Yituo praised Wei Cao, and appointed him as Minister of State, entrusting him with affairs of state. When Liu Yuan and Shi Le began their rebellions against Jin, Wei Cao urged Tuoba Yituo to assist the Jin royal clan. Jin's Duke of Dongying, Sima Teng, heard of this and commended Wei Cao, and petitioned that he should be promoted as a General. Wei Cao advanced in office under the Tuoba state as high as General of the Right and Marquis of Dingxiang.

桓帝十一年,晉并州刺史司馬騰來乞師,桓帝親率萬騎救騰,斬淵將綦母豚,淵南走蒲子。語在序紀。(Book of Northern Wei 95, Biography of Liu Cong)

In the eleventh year of the reign of Tuoba Yituo (305), Jin's Inspector of Bingzhou, Sima Teng, came to beg for an army from him. So Tuoba Yituo personally led ten thousand thousand cavalry to aid Sima Teng, and they beheaded the Han general Qiwu Tun. Liu Yuan fled south to Puzi. More of this is mentioned in the Annals of the Tuoba Ancestors.


6. Seeing as Zhang Fang had coerced Emperor Hui into moving the capital to Chang'an, Sima Yue's Staff Commandant Liu Qia urged him to raise troops to campaign against Zhang Fang.

In autumn, the seventh month, Sima Yue sent out proclamations throughout the east of the mountains, calling on all the Inspectors, Administrators, and Generals Who Conquer or Who Guard. This was his message: "I wish to assemble an army for a righteous crusade, to rescue and welcome the Son of Heaven and restore him to the former capital."

When the Prince of Dongping, Sima Mao, heard about the proclamation, he was afraid. His Chief Clerk, Wang Xiu, urged him, "The Prince of Donghai (Sima Yue) is the great hope of the imperial clan. Now he is rising up with soldiers for this righteous cause. Your Highness should raise the soldiers of Xuzhou and assist him. Not only would you thus be able to avoid danger, but you may also claim a measure of the glory of victory." Sima Mao followed his advice. Sima Yue appointed himself as acting Commander of Xuzhou, and Sima Mao appointed himself as Inspector of Yanzhou. An edict was also issued and brought by Liu Qian to assist them.

At this time, Sima Yue and his brothers all held strategic posts, so the Prince of Fanyang, Sima Xiao, Wang Jun, and the other major commanders east of the mountains acclaimed Sima Yue as their alliance leader. Sima Yue selected his own people to fill all posts from Inspectors on down, and most of the court ministers and gentry flocked to his banner.


(The princely fiefs of Jin all had Staff Prefects, Staff Commandants, and Ministers of Finance; these were known as their Three Ministers.

Zhang Fang had forced Emperor Hui to move to Chang'an, as mentioned in Book 85, in the first year of Yongxing (304.32).

The "former capital" was Luoyang, which Emperor Hui had recently left.

Sima Mao had been appointed as Commander of Xuzhou earlier, as mentioned in Book 84, in the first year of Yongning (301.37). The year before this one (304.13), Sima Xiao had appointed Gou Xi as the Inspector of Yanzhou, but Gou Xi was still in Xuchang and had not yet gone to his province, so Sima Mao appointed himself to fill the role instead.

Sima Yue's younger brother Sima Lue was the Commander of Qingzhou, and his younger brother Sima Mo was the Commander of Jizhou.

The court ministers and gentry mentioned here as flocking to Sima Yue's banner were those who had not followed Emperor Hui to Chang'an.)


7. Following his loss of power, the Prince of Chengdu, Sima Ying, had been stripped of his position as Crown Younger Brother. But the people of Hebei still sympathized with him. Sima Ying's former commanders, Gongshi Fan and others, now declared themselves Generals on their own authority, and they raised soldiers in the Zhao and Wei regions, until they had gathered an army of tens of thousands.

Before this time, there lived a certain fellow named Shi Le, a native of the Jie people living in Wuxiang in Shangdang commandary. This Shi Le had exceptional courage and boldness, and he was skilled at mounted archery. During a time of great famine in Bingzhou, the General Who Establishes Might, Yan Cui, had urged Sima Teng to round up the various tribal peoples living east of the mountains and sell them as slaves to sustain the army. Shi Le had also been caught up in this, and he was sold as a slave to a man from Chiping County, Shi Huan. This Shi Huan had been greatly impressed by Shi Le's appearance and bearing, and he had freed him from bondage. Shi Huan's family lived among horse shepherds, and Shi Le became friends with one such shepherd, Ji Sang. They recruited several fighting men and became a group of bandits.

When Gongshi Fan rose up, Ji Sang and Shi Le led several hundred riders to come join his forces. It was at this time that Ji Sang first gave Shi Le the surname Shi and the given name Le.

Gongshi Fan attacked the local commandaries and counties, and killed the officials of Two Thousand 石 salary rank and the Chief Clerks. He then pressed on to attack Ye. The Duke of Pingchang, Sima Mo, was greatly afraid. Sima Xiao sent his general Gou Xi to reinforce Ye; Gou Xi joined with the Administrator of Guangping, Ding Shao of the Qiao princely fief, and together they attacked Gongshi Fan and drove him off.


(Sima Ying's removal as Crown Younger Brother is mentioned in Book 85, in the first year of Yongxing (304.35).

Sima Ying had originally been posted at Ye, and this was where he first gained a good reputation. Although he later became arrogant and met with misfortune, the people of Hebei were disgusted by the turmoil and felt nostalgia for his rule, and this was why many sympathized with him.

Wuxiang County had been created by Jin, as part of Shangdang commandary. Later, Shi Le himself would split it off as Wuxiang commandary. Liu Xu remarked, "The Wuxiang County in Tang's Luozhou was Han's Zhiyuan County in Hedong commandary. The Wuxiang County in Tang's Luzhou was what Jin split off as their Wuxiang County."

The Biography of Shi Le in the Chronicles of the Book of Jin states, "Shi Le was a descendant of the Xiongnu commander Jiangqu." And the Accounts of the Xiongnu in the Book of Jin states, "Among the Northern Di tribes who settled within the borders of the realm were nineteen tribes; the Jie were one of these."

During Former Han, Chiping County was part of Dong commandary. During Later Han, it was part of the Jibei princely fief. During Jin, it was part of the Pingyuan princely fief. Ying Shao remarked, "It was at the plains around Mount Chi. The place was within the territory of Tang's Qizhou and Bozhou. Liu Xu remarked, "Chiping County was folded into the Liucheng County in Tang's Bozhou." Yan Shigu remarked, "茌 is pronounced 'shi (sh-i)'."

This is the first mention of Shi Le.

Emperor Wu of Han had created the princely fief of Pinggan, and Emperor Xuan had changed its name to the Guangping fief. Emperor Guangwu of Later Han had folded it back into Julu commandary. In Emperor Wen of Cao-Wei's (Cao Pi's) second year of Huangchu (221), he once again created Guangping commandary. During Tang, it became the region of Luozhou.)

穎既廢,河北思之。鄴中故將公師籓、汲桑等起兵以迎穎,眾情翕然。(Book of Jin 59, Biography of Sima Ying)

Now that Sima Ying had been deposed, the people of Hebei began to feel nostalgic for him. At Ye, his former generals Gongshi Fan, Ji Sang, and others rose up with soldiers to welcome Sima Ying’s return, with all of them feeling the same way.

石勒字世龍,上黨武鄉羯人也。父周曷朱。勒生時赤光滿室,白氣自天屬於庭中。長而壯健,有膽力,雄武好騎射。幼而力耕,每聞鞞鐸之聲,或在前後,歸以告其母,母以作勞耳鳴,非不祥也。會并州刺史司馬騰執諸胡山東,賣充軍實,將詣冀州,兩胡一枷,勒亦在中,東至平原賣與荏平人師歡為奴,每夜於野,嘗聞鼓角之聲,諸奴亦聞,歸以白懽,歡懽而免之。懽家鄰于馬牧率汲桑,往來,勒以能相馬,自托于桑,而傭于武安,臨水為遊軍所囚,會有羣鹿旁過,軍人競逐之,勒乃獲免。俄而見一老父,謂勒曰:「向羣鹿者,我也。君應為中州主,故相救耳。」勒拜而受命,遂招集王陽、夔安等十八騎,復東如赤龍諸苑中,乘苑馬、遠掠繒寶,以賂汲桑。永興元年,關東所在盜起。二年,陽平人公帥蕃等自稱將軍,起兵趙魏,衆至數萬,勒與汲桑率牧人乘苑馬數百騎以赴之,桑始命勒以石為姓,以勒為名。(Annals of the Sixteen Kingdoms 2, Biography of Shi Le)

Shi Le, styled Shilong, was a member of the Jie people, a native of Wuxiang county in Shangdang commandary. His father was Zhouhezhu. When Shi Le was born, a red glow filled the room, and white vapor drifted down from the heavens to fill the courtyard. Shi Le grew up to be a strong and sturdy man, with great courage; he was bold, valorous, and skilled at mounted archery. When he was a youth out plowing in the fields, he always heard the sounds of war bells and blades being drawn, sometimes before him, sometimes behind. When he went home to tell his mother about this, she told him that he was just working himself too hard and hearing ringing in his ears, and that there was no ill omen involved.

At the time, the Inspector of Bingzhou, Sima Teng, was kidnapping the various tribal peoples living east of the mountains and selling them as slaves in order to get funds for his army, imprisoning two tribesmen in the same cangue. Shi Le too was thus kidnapped when he went to visit Jizhou. He was taken east to Pingyuan and sold as a slave to a native of Chiping county, Shi Huan. Every night when Shi Le was in the field, he would hear the sounds of horns and drums. The other slaves heard this sound too, and they went to report it to Shi Huan. Shi Huan was impressed, so he free Shi Le.

Shi Huan's family lived next to that of a certain horse shepherd, Ji Sang, who had dealings with them. Since Shi Le had a good understanding of horses, he went to take refuge with Ji Sang.

Shi Le became a worker in Wu'an. When he was by a river, he was taken prisoner by a roaming army. But just then, a herd of deer passed by the army. The soldiers rushed to chase after the deer, and so Shi Le made his escape. Soon, he saw an old man, who said to him, "Those deer who passed by just now were me. Sir, you are meant to become the master of the Central Provinces, so I was merely lending you my assistance." Shi Le performed obeisance to him and heeded his command.

So Shi Le recruited his Eighteen Riders, Wang Yang, Kui An, and others, and he returned east to the various pastures at Chilong, where he rounded up the pasture horses and plundered the area of silks and treasures to give to Ji Sang.

In the first year of Yongxing (304), rebels rose up in Guandong. In the second year (305), a native of Yangping commandary, Gongshi Fan, and others declared themselves generals and raised troops in the Zhao and Wei regions, and their numbers reached several tens of thousands. Shi Le and Ji Sang led several hundred of the pasture shepherds with their horses to come join these rebels. It was at this time that Ji Sang first ordered Shi Le to take Shi as his surname and Le as his given name.

羯胡石勒,字世龍,小字匐勒。其先匈奴別部,分散居於上黨武鄉羯室,因號羯胡。祖邪弈于,父周曷朱,一字乞翼加,並為部落小帥。周曷朱性凶粗,不為羣胡所附。勒壯健,有膽略,好騎射,周曷朱每使代己督攝部胡,部胡愛信之。并州刺史司馬騰執諸胡,於山東賣充軍實,兩胡一枷,勒亦在中。至平原,賣與師氏為奴。師家隣於馬牧,勒與牧帥汲桑往來相託,遂招集王陽、夔安、支雄、冀保、吳豫、劉膺、姚豹、逯明、郭敖、劉徵、劉寶、張曀僕、呼延莫、郭黑略、張越、孔豚、趙鹿、支屈六等,東如赤龍、騄驥諸苑,乘苑馬還掠繒寶以賂汲桑。成都王穎之廢也,穎故將陽平人公師藩等自稱將軍,起兵趙魏,眾至數萬,勒與汲桑率牧人,乘苑馬數百騎以赴之。於是桑始命勒以石為姓,以勒為名。藩拜為前隊督。(Book of Northern Wei 95, Biography of Shi Le)

Shi Le was a member of the Jie people of the Xiongnu. His style name was Shilong, and his childhood name was Fulei. His ancestors were a branch of the Xiongnu who split off from them to live at Jieshi in Wuxiang county in Shangdang commandary, so they came to be called the Jie. His grandfather was Xieyiyu, and his father was Zhouhezhu, also called Qiyijia; both of them were minor commanders of their tribes. Zhouhezhu was a violent and coarse man, and he did not have the affection of the tribes. But Shi Le was a robust and strong man, bold at planning and skilled at mounted archery, so Zhouhezhu always had him lead the tribes in his place, and the tribes loved and trusted him.

The Inspector of Bingzhou, Sima Teng, was kidnapping the various tribal peoples and selling them east of the mountains for military funds, imprisoning two tribesmen in the same cangue. Shi Le too was thus kidnapped. He was taken to Pingyuan, where he was sold as a slave to the Shi family. They lived next to a horse pasture, and so Shi Le went to seek refuge with a horse shephered whom he was familiar with, Ji Sang. Shi Le then recruited several people: Wang Yang, Kui An, Zhi Xiong, Ji Bao, Wu Yu, Liu Yin, Yao Bao (or Tao Bao), Lu Ming, Guo Ao, Liu Zheng, Liu Bao, Zhang Yipu, Huyan Mo, Guo Heilue, Zhang Yue, Kong Tun, Zhao Lu, Zhi Quliu, and others. They went east to the pastures at Chilong and Luji, where he rounded up the pasture horses and plundered the area of silks and treasures to give to Ji Sang.

After the Prince of Chengdu, Sima Ying, was deposed as Crown Younger Brother, Sima Ying's former generals, Gongshi Fan of Yangping and others, all declared themselves as generals and raised troops in the regions of Zhao and Wei, and their numbers reached several tens of thousands. Shi Le and Ji Sang led several hundred of the pasture shepherds with their horses to come join these rebels. It was at this time that Ji Sang first ordered Shi Le to take Shi as his surname and Le as his given name. Gongshi Fan appointed Shi Le as Commander of the Vanguard.


8. In the eighth month, on the day Xinchou (?), a general amnesty was declared.


9. Sima Yue appointed the Prince of Langye, Sima Rui, as General Who Pacifies The East and Chief of military affairs in Xuzhou, and left him to guard Xiapi. Sima Rui asked Wang Dao to serve as his Marshal, to advise him on military affairs.

Sima Yue led thirty thousand armored soldiers west to camp at Xiao County. Sima Xiao marched from Xuchang to camp at Xingyang. Under his own authority, Sima Yue appointed the Inspector of Yuzhou, Liu Qiao, as the Inspector of Jizhou, and he appointed Sima Xiao as the new acting Inspector of Yuzhou. But as Liu Qiao felt that Sima Xiao was acting contrary to the Son of Heaven's commands, he raised his soldiers to oppose him.

Sima Xiao appointed Liu Kun as his Marshal, and Sima Yue appointed Liu Fan as the Army Protector of Huaibei and Liu Yu as Administrator of Yingchuan. Liu Qiao sent up a letter to the court, stating that as Liu Yu and Liu Kun had committed great crimes and offenses, he would be leading his soldiers to attack Xuchang. Liu Qiao sent his eldest son Liu You to lead soldiers to block Sima Yue at the Ling Rampart in Xiao County, so Sima Yue's soldiers were unable to advance further.

At this time, Sima Mao was in Yanzhou, and though he had sent out incessant summons and requests, the commandaries and counties of Yanzhou were not inclined to obey him. So Sima Xiao order Gou Xi to go back to Yanzhou, and relocated Sima Mao to a new post as Commander of Qinzhou. But Sima Mao was not willing to accept such an order either, so he defected from Sima Yue's coalition and allied himself with Liu Qiao instead.


(Sima Guang's commentary in the Textual Analysis states, "The Biography of Wang Dao in the Book of Jin states, 'During the time that Emperor Yuan (Sima Rui) was stationed at Xiapi as General Who Maintains The East, he asked Wang Dao to serve under him as Marshal.' Now while Emperor Yuan was in Xuzhou, he was General Who Pacifies The East; it was only when he was moved to Yangzhou that he became General Who Maintains The East. Perhaps the word 'Maintains' in this passage of Wang Dao's biography was meant to be 'Pacifies', or perhaps he only became Marshal in that capacity later on when Emperor Yuan really did hold the title General Who Maintains The East. Regardless, I have listed his title in this passage merely as Marshal."

Ever since Han, Xiao County had been part of Pei commandary. During Tang, it was part of Xuzhou.

This passage mentions Sima Xiao was at "Xu"; it means Xuchang.

Liu Yu and Liu Kun were the sons of Liu Fan.

At this time, the Inspector of Yuzhou governed from Xiang.

Sima Xiao had originally appointed Gou Xi as Inspector of Yanzhou, as mentioned in Book 85 in the first year of Yongxing (304.13), and this is why this passage says that Sima Xiao ordered him to "go back to Yanzhou".)


10. When Sima Yong heard that the soldiers east of the mountains had risen up against him, he was greatly afraid. Seeing as Gongshi Fan had risen up on Sima Ying's behalf, and Sima Yong still had Sima Ying close at hand, he resolved to use him. On the day Renwu (September 27th), he petitioned to appointed Sima Ying as Grand General Who Guards The Army and Commander of military affairs in Hebei, and granted him a thousand soldiers. He also appointed Sima Ying's advisor Lu Zhi as Administrator of Wei commandary. Sima Yong sent Sima Ying off to garrison Ye, hoping to thereby settle the people there. He also sent the General Who Establishes Valor, Lü Lang, to camp at Luoyang.

及東海王越奉迎大駕,顒啟帝復穎還鄴,以志為魏郡太守。(Book of Jin 44 (Lu Zhi))

When the Prince of Donghai, Sima Yue, launched his attempt to bring Emperor Hui back to the east (in 305), Sima Yong had Emperor Hui order Sima Ying to go back to Ye, with Lu Zhi being appointed as the Administrator of Wei commandary.

顒復拜穎鎮軍大將軍、都督河北諸軍事,給兵千人,鎮鄴。(Book of Jin 59 (Sima Ying))

Sima Yong once again appointed Sima Ying as Grand General Who Guards The Army and as Commander of military affairs in Hebei. He gave him a thousand soldiers and ordered him to return to guard Ye.

及東海王越起兵徐州,西迎大駕,關中大懼,方謂顒曰:「方所領猶有十餘萬眾,奉送大駕還洛宮,使成都王反鄴,公自留鎮關中,方北討博陵。如此,天下可小安,無復舉手者。」顒慮事大難濟,不許。(Book of Jin 59 (Sima Yong))

When the Prince of Donghai, Sima Yue, rose up with his troops in Xuzhou and marched west to recover Emperor Hui and bring him back, all of Guanzhong was greatly afraid. Zhang Fang said to Sima Yong, "I still have more than a hundred thousand troops under my command. Allow me to bring the Son of Heaven back to the palace at Luoyang, while you send the Prince of Chengdu back to Ye. You may remain here to guard Guanzhong, while I march north and campaign against the forces of Boling and the others. If we do that, the realm can easily be settled, and no one will raise a hand against you again." But Sima Yong was worried that such a plan would be too difficult to succeed, and he would not agree.


11. Sima Yong sent out an edict, ordering Sima Yue and his allies to each return to their respective fiefs, but Sima Yue and the others refused to obey. News soon arrived of Liu Qiao's efforts as well.

In winter, the tenth month, on the day Bingzi (November 20th), an edict was issued stating, "Liu Yu has compelled and beguiled the Prince of Fanyang, Sima Xiao; he has acted treacherously, violent and disobedient. We hereby order the Grand General Who Guards The South, Liu Hong, the General Who Pacifies The South and Prince of Pengcheng, Sima Shi, and the Grand General Who Conquers The East, Liu Zhun, to each assemble their soldiers and join forces with Liu Qiao. Zhang Fang is hereby appointed as Grand Commander and ordered to lead an army of one hundred thousand elite soldiers to rendezvous with Lü Lang at Xuchang and punish Liu Yu and his brother." This Sima Shi was the grandson of the late Prince Mu ("the Solemn"), Sima Yi's nephew Sima Quan.

On the day Dingchou (November 21st), Sima Yong ordered Sima Ying to lead the generals Liu Bao (or, Lou Bao) and others, and ordered the former General of Chariots and Cavalry, Shi Chao, to lead the General of the Household Gentlemen of the North, Wang Chan, and others to occupy Heqiao, in order to act as reserves for Liu Qiao's forces. Liu Qiao was promoted to General Who Guards The East and Credential Holder.


("Liu Qiao's efforts" refers to the events mentioned above, where Sima Yue and his allies rose up and Liu Qiao moved to block their advance.

At this time, Liu Hong was Commander of Jingzhou, Sima Shi had replaced Yang Yi and was camped at Wan, and Liu Zhun was Commander of Yangzhou.

Sima Quan was the son of the Marquis of Dongwu, Sima Yi's younger brother Sima Kui.

Sima Guang's commentary in the Textual Analysis states, "The Biography of Liu Qiao in the Book of Jin records this Sima 釋 Shi as Sima 繹 Yi. But the Annals of Emperor Hui in the Book of Jin and the Biographies of the Imperial Clan in the Book of Jin both have it as 釋 Shi. The Biography of Liu Qiao must be mistaken.

"The Annals of Emperor Hui also states, 'In the eighth month, the Grand General of Chariots and Cavalry, Liu Hong, drove the General Who Pacifies The South and Prince of Pengcheng, Sima Shi, out of Wan." But the Biography of Liu Hong in the Book of Jin and the Biography of Sima Shi in the Book of Jin, as well as many other texts, make no mention of such a thing. The Biography of Liu Hong merely records someone as saying to Liu Hong, 'When the Prince of Pengcheng fled to the east before, you spoke ill of him.' Now Liu Hong was a pure servant of the Jin royal clan; even when Liu Qiao and Sima Xiao came to blows, Liu Hong still wrote to them trying to arrange peace between them, in order to safeguard the realm and honor the royal clan. Sima Shi had accepted an imperial order to garrison Wan, so how could Liu Hong have possibly driven him out of there? Furthermore, the edict quoted in the above passage ordered Liu Hong and Sima Shi to work together to campaign against Liu Yu. I suspect that there was no such business as 'Liu Hong drove Sima Shi out of Wan'. The Annals of Emperor Hui must be mistaken about it."

Some versions record the surname of the general Sima Ying was accompanying in this passage as Lou instead of Liu (and it is likely meant to be Lou, because a Lou Bao is mentioned below, at 306.4).)

乃假劉喬節,進位鎮東大將軍,遣成都王穎總統樓褒、王闡等諸軍,據河橋以距越。(Book of Jin 59 (Sima Yong))

Later, Sima Yong granted a staff of authority to the commander Liu Qiao and promoted him to Grand General Who Conquers The East, and he sent Sima Ying to lead the forces of Lou Bao, Wang Chan, and others to occupy Heqiao and oppose Sima Yue.


12. Liu Hong wrote a letter to Liu Qiao and to Sima Yue, wishing to have them let go of their anger and disband their soldiers for the mutual protection of the imperial clan. But neither of them would listen.

So Liu Hong sent up another petition, this time to the court, stating, "Ever since this chaotic clash of arms has broken out, suspicions have led to disaster and fighting has sprung up all around. The enmity and strife between the Princes has extended this calamity through the whole of the imperial clan. Today's loyalist becomes tomorrow's traitor, and positions change so rapidly that every side becomes responsible for a new round of fighting. Nowhere in the history books do we see any such mutual cleaving of the flesh from the bones as we see today, and foolish though I am, how can I not feel sorrow?

"The frontiers of the realm no longer have any defenses prepared, and all the Middle Kingdom is experiencing 'the bitterness of the empty loom'. The chief ministers of state care nothing for the fate of the realm, for their only concerns are how they might gain 'a few feet of territory', and so we are all painfully flaying one another. If the barbarians should take advantage of our weakness to rise against us, we shall end up like those tigers who, in attempting to overcome each other, both fell to Bian Zhuang in the end.

"I believe that a wise edict should be sent out to Sima Yue and the others, ordering both sides to put aside their suspicions and their grudges and for each of them to return to protect their proper posts. And from now on, anyone who dares to assemble men and horses without imperial authorization shall have the whole realm march against them."

But at this time, Sima Yong was securely holding Guanzhong and was relying on Liu Qiao's assistance, and he would not accept Liu Hong's words.


(Liu Hong speaks of "positions changing rapidly"; it had been thus for Sima Jiong, Sima Ai, Sima Ying, and Sima Yong.

By "those responsible", he means those who were chiefly responsible for repeatedly raising soldiers for war.

The Book of Poetry has the verse, "In the States of the east, large and small, the looms are empty." Both this verse and Liu Hong's reference to it use the term 杼軸. A 杼 is a device for gathering thread. A 軸, also written as 柚, is also a tool for weaving.

The line "they care nothing for the fate of the realm, for their only concerns are how they might gain 'a few feet of territory'" is originally written as 不惟國體,職競尋常. In this instance, 惟 means "to consider"; 職 means "chief" or "main"; 競 means "contend" or "struggle for". 尋 and 常 are here units of length measurement: eight 尺 makes a 尋, and ten 尋 makes a 常. Liu Hong's point was that all the fighting was over a mere few feet of ground, not worth such a struggle. He quotes the Zuo Commentary to the Spring and Autumn Annals, which contains the sentence, "For a few feet (尋常) of territory, they will destroy their people. (Cheng 12.3)."

In the sense that Liu Hong uses 楚 in this petition, it means "pain".

Liu Hong knew well the dangers posed by Liu Yuan and Shi Le.)


13. Liu Qiao took advantage of the lack of defenses left at Xuchang to attack it, and he broke into the city. Liu Kun was leading soldiers to rescue Xuchang from this attack, but he did not arrive in time. So he, Liu Yu, and Sima Xiao all fled to Hebei. Liu Kun's parents were captured by Liu Qiao.

Liu Hong felt that since Zhang Fang was so wicked and cruel, Sima Yong was sure to lose the war in the end, so he appointed his Army Advisor Liu Pan as his Chief Protector and he led several armies to accept commissions from Sima Yue.


(One who protects all of the army camps is called a Chief Protector; a mere Protector was therefore only in charge of a single army.)


14. At this time, the realm was in great disorder. Liu Hong held full authority over the regions around the Yangzi and the Han River, and his might spread throughout the South. Whenever he undertook affairs, if they turned out well, he would say, "This is someone's good deed". But if the thing failed, then he would say, "This was my own fault." Whenever he had to make a movement of soldiers, he would personally write letters to the Administrators and Chancellors of the commandaries and princely fiefs, warning them with kind and intimate words. So everyone was very pleased with Liu Hong, and people rushed to be first to come join him. They all said, "Anyone who receives a letter from Lord Liu is worthy enough to be ten Regional Attendant Officers."

The former Administrator of Guanghan, Xin Mao, urged Liu Hong towards presumptuous actions. Liu Hong, enraged, beheaded Xin Mao.


(The term 南服 here means the South; it uses the character 服 to mean that the people of the South obeyed him, because Liu Hong conducted himself in obedience to the Son of Heaven.

興發 here means the raising and moving of a body of soldiers, or else the imposing of a tax.

The provinces had Regional Attendant Officers, who oversaw the various commandaries within that province.

After the fall of Yizhou to Li Xiong and the other former refugees, Xin Mao had abandoned Luo Shang and come to Liu Hong. Xin Mao had done such a thing to Luo Shang by leaving him for Liu Hong, and yet he still nearly escaped being executed; how could he then go so far as to advise Liu Hong to do presumptuous things?

The purpose of this passage is to demonstrate Liu Hong's loyalty and purity.)


15. There were shooting stars in the Northern Dipper constellation of the night sky.


16. Sima Mo sent his general Song Zhou to march against Heqiao.


(Sima Mo sent Song Zhou and his soldiers from Ye.)


17. In the eleventh month, the General Who Raises Fortitude, Zhou Quan, forged a proclamation. Using its authority, he declared himself General Who Pacifies The West, and restored Yang Xianrong to her position as Empress. But the Prefect of Luoyang, He Qiao, attacked Zhou Quan and killed him, and once again deposed Yang Xianrong.

Sima Yong forged an edict, stating that as villains had constantly tried to restore Yang Xianrong to her former position as Empress, Emperor Hui was now ordering the Master of Writing, Tian Shu, to make the Separate Terrace administration in Luoyang bestow death upon her.

This edict letter was sent to Luoyang several times, but the Colonel-Director of Retainers, Liu Tun, and others sent up a petition protesting it, stating, "The household of the commoner Yang Xianrong is broken up and scattered, and she has been deposed from an empty palace. Her gates are under strict watch, and she has no opportunity to plot with villains to cause mischief. Everyone, wise or foolish, attests to her innocence. If you now insist upon killing so pathetic a person as her, you will inflict a great harm upon the realm; of what benefit would that be?"

Sima Yong was furious at this response, and he ordered Lü Lang to arrest Liu Tun. But Liu Tun fled to Qingzhou, and took refuge under the Prince of Gaomi, Sima Lue. And Yang Xianrong was also able to avoid her death sentence.


(Zhou Quan forged a proclamation that was supposedly from Sima Yue.

At this time, Gou Fan, Liu Tun, and Zhou Fu were in Luoyang as part of the Separate Terrace administration there.

Sima Guang's commentary in the Textual Analysis states, "The Biography of Liu Tun in the Book of Jin states, 'Sima Yong ordered Chen Yan and Lü Lang to lead five thousand riders to arrest Liu Tun.' Now Liu Tun was just some ordinary fellow; why would they need five thousand riders to get at him? Besides, Lü Lang was already in Luoyang at the time, so Sima Yong must have simply ordered Lü Lang to arrest Liu Tun. I say this in order to convey the general idea, and so I have chosen the words that I did.")


18. In the twelfth month, Lü Lang and other Sima Yong commanders marched east to camp at Xingyang. Sima Ying moved forward to occupy Luoyang.

穎頓軍張方故壘。(Book of Jin 59 (Sima Yong))

Sima Ying camped his army at Zhang Fang's former ramparts.


19. Liu Kun persuaded the Inspector of Jizhou, Wen Xian of Taiyuan, to resign his post in favor of Sima Xiao. With Sima Xiao now assuming command over Jizhou, he sent Liu Kun to Youzhou to ask for military assistance from Wang Jun. Wang Jun granted them some "charging cavalry", and they attacked Wang Chan at Heshang and killed him.

Liu Kun then joined with Sima Xiao to lead their soldiers across the Yellow River, and they killed Shi Chao at Xingyang. Liu Qiao fell back from Kaocheng.

Sima Xiao sent Liu Kun and the Protector Tian Hui east to attack Sima Mao at Linqiu, and Sima Mao retreated back to his fief at Dongping.

Liu Kun and Tian Hui then continued west to link up with Sima Yue, and they attacked Liu You at Qiao; Liu You was defeated and killed. Liu Qiao's army all scattered, and Liu Qiao himself fled to Pingshi. Sima Yue advanced to camp at Yangwu, and Wang Jun sent his general Qi Hong to bring Xianbei and Wuhuan charging cavalry riders to serve as Sima Yue's vanguard.


(Wei Shou remarked, "During the time that Yuan Shao and Cao Cao controlled Ji, it was governed from Ye. During Cao-Wei and Jin, it was governed from Xindu." Du You remarked, "It was governed from Fangzi."

The "charging cavalry" were elite soldiers of the realm. The men of the Yan region had once sent valiant cavalry to assist Han Gaozu (Liu Bang) to defeat Xiang Yu. And Emperor Guangwu used the charging cavalry of Yuyang and Shanggu to conquer Hebei. Regarding their use in this passage, Sima Guang's commentary in the Textual Analysis states, "The Biography of Liu Kun in the Book of Jin states, 'He thus obtained eight hundred charging cavalry.' But according to the Biography of Liu Qiao in the Book of Jin, 'Liu Kun led five thousand charging cavalry across the Yellow River to attack Liu Qiao.' So I suspect that the eight hundred listed was too few. Perhaps he later received the rest of them from among Sima Yue's forces, which would make up the balance. But I remain uncertain."

Kaocheng County was part of Chenliu commandary. During Former Han, it was the Zhizai County that was part of the Liang princely fief; Emperor Zhang changed its name. Jin abolished it. Northern Wei later created Kaoyang County and Beiliang commandary. Beiliang commandary and its counties were then consolidated, becoming Cheng'an County. Sui renamed it to Kaocheng County, as part of Liang commandary. By the time of Tang, it was part of Caozhou.

During Former Han, Linqiu County was part of Jiyin commandary. During Jin, it was part of Puyang commandary, and was governed by the Inspector of Yanzhou. Li Xian remarked, "The capital city of Linqiu County was in the north of Leize County in modern Puzhou."

Sima Guang's commentary further states, "The Annals of Emperor Hui states, 'Liu Qiao fled to Nanyang.' Now the Geographical Records of the Book of Jin does not list a Pingshi County in Nanyang commandary. Emperor Wu (Sima Yan) split off part of Nanyang to form Yiyang commandary, which did contain a Western Pingshi County. It may be that Nanyang commandary had a corresponding Eastern Pingshi County, or it may be that there was no such county! If we consult the Geographical Records of the Book of Former Han, it lists a Pingshi County in Nanyang commandary. But the Geographical Records in the Book of Jin lists Pingshi County in Yiyang commandary. Above Pingshi County, there was a Juexi County. The Geographical Records in Shen Yue's Book of Liu-Song states, "The Administrator of Southern Yiyang commandary governed Juexi and Pingshi Counties." It further states, "The Prefect of Juexi County was not a position during Former or Later Han." The Geographical Records of the Taikang Era of Jin lists Juexi as part of Yiyang commandary. With all these things in mind, it must be that when the Book of Jin was later compiled and written, the authors must have mistaken the 西 Xi in 厥西 Juexi for the 西 ‘Western’ that might have been paired to 西平氏 Western Pingshi, and so they wrote it. This is really the Pingshi County of Jin's Yiyang commandary, and thus the Pingshi County of Han's Nanyang commandary. So when the Annals of Emperor Hui states 'Liu Qiao fled to Nanyang', the authors have put it in the territory of the old Han commandary of that name." Liu Xu remarked, "The Yiyang Village in the Yiyang County in Tang's Shenzhou, and the two counties of Tongbai and Pingshi in Tang's Tangzhou, were all the territory of the old Pingshi County of Han's Nanyang commandary."

During Han, Yangwu County was part of Henan commandary. During Jin, it was part of Xingyang commandary. During Tang, it was part of Zhengzhou.)


20. It was earlier mentioned that Chen Min had been one of the loyalist Jin commanders who had defeated Zhang Chang's fellow rebel Shi Bing. Ever since Chen Min had defeated Shi Bing, he had considered himself a bold and calculating man without any peer, and he harbored ambitions of taking the Southland for himself. His father, angry about such things, said, "This boy shall be the ruin of our family!" He became so anxious that he passed away. Chen Min resigned his office to mourn for his father.

Sima Yue had Chen Min reappointed as General of the Left and Commander of the Vanguard. After Sima Yue had suffered a defeat by Liu You, Chen Min had asked leave to go back east to gather up more soldiers. But having gone there, he occupied Liyang and rebelled.

The Regular Attendant to the Prince of Wu, Gan Zhuo, abandoned his office and returned east as well. When he arrived at Liyang, Chen Min married his son Chen Jing to Gan Zhuo's daughter, and taking advantage of Gan Zhuo's supposed authority as Prefect to the Crown Younger Brother, he had Gan Zhuo appoint him as Inspector of Yangzhou.

Chen Min sent his younger brother Chen Hui and his subordinate generals, Qian Duan and others, south to invade Jiangzhou, while he sent his younger brother Chen Bin east to invade the various commandaries of Yangzhou. The Inspector of Jiangzhou, Ying Miao, the actual Inspector of Yangzhou, Liu Ji, and the Administrator of Danyang, Wang Kuang, all abandoned their cities and fled.


(Chen Min's victory over Shi Bing is mentioned in Book 85, in the second year of Tai'an (303.28 and 304.8).

During Han, Liyang County was part of Jiujiang commandary. Cao-Wei renamed Jiujiang to Huainan, and so it was during Jin. Modern Hezhou is where Liyang County once was. Song Bai remarked, "The Li River flowed through the south of the county, and thus it was named Liyang (‘north of the Li River’)."

Among the princely fiefs of Jin, the largest fiefs had the two offices of Regular Attendant of the Left and of the Right, each one man.

Sima Guang's commentary in the Textual Analysis states, "The Biography of Gan Zhuo in the Book of Jin states, 'His province nominated him as Abundant Talent, and he was appointed as Regular Attendant to the Prince of Wu. In the campaign against Shi Bing, he was rewarded for his merits with title as Marquis of Douting. Sima Yue employed him as an Army Advisor, and sent him out to fill the vacant post of Prefect of Lihu. But he abandoned that post and returned east, where he encountered Chen Min.' The Biography of Chen Min in the Book of Jin states, 'The Regular Attendant to the Prince of Wu, Gan Zhuo, came from Luoyang.' Now if Gan Zhuo were a Regular Attendant, he could not have participated in the campaign against Shi Bing, while if he were Prefect of Lihu, he could not have arrived from Luoyang. So I follow the account of the Biography of Chen Min."

Some versions add that "the Inspector of Jiangzhou, Ying Miao" also abandoned his city and fled.

At this time, both the Inspector of Yangzhou and the Administrator of Danyang administered their territories from Moling (Jianye).)


21. Now that Chen Min had occupied the Southland, he appointed Gu Rong as his General of the Right, He Xun as his Interior Minister of Danyang, and Zhou Qi as his Administrator of Anfeng. He treated all the heroes and famous people of the Southland with courtesy, and appointed more than forty people as Generals or Administrators. Even those who were too old or sick to take such employments were given salaries. He Xun pretended to be insane, and so he got out of the situation; Gu Rong acted as Interior Minister of Danyang in his stead. Zhou Qi also claimed illness, and would not accept his commandary post.

Chen Min thus began to suspect that the famous people would not end up supporting him, so he wanted to kill all of them. Gu Rong advised him, "The Middle Kingdom is in mourning and turmoil, and the barbarians are posing a threat to us. Considering the current situation, unless we can find a way to turn the tide, the common people will soon be no more.

"Now although the Southland has just suffered from Shi Bing's rebellion, its people and its products are both intact. I had long been concerned that we had no leader of the caliber of Sun Quan or Liu Bei. General, you have a martial spirit that goes beyond the age; you have already done great deeds, you have tens of thousands of men in armor, and you have a fleet of ships gathered like a mountain. If you are able to act the part of a superior gentleman by quenching the feelings of everyone, nipping enmity in the bud, and stopping up the mouths of slander, then you may go forth and claim many provinces. Otherwise, you will not succeed."

So Chen Min changed his mind.

Chen Min ordered his subordinates to acclaim him as Commander of military affairs in the Southland, Grand Marshal, and Duke of Chu, and to grant him the Nine Bestowments. He also set up a special imperial secretariat, and he claimed to have received an edict from the imperial palace ordering him to come from the Yangzi to the Mian and Han Rivers, where he would welcome the imperial carriage.


(During Later Han, Anfeng County was part of Lujiang commandary. Cao-Wei split it off from Lujiang to become Anfeng commandary. Its territory covered the Anfeng and Huoqiu counties in Tang's Shouzhou.

Zhou Qi's given name 玘 is pronounced "xi (x-i)".

Gu Rong refers to "Sun and Liu"; he means Sun Quan and Liu Bei.

Regarding the term 舳艫, the Annals of Emperor Wu of Han contains the sentence, "The fleet (舳艫) stretched for a thousand li." The Annotations to that text state, "The 舳 stern is the rear point of a ship, and the 艫 bow is the front point of it." And under Han law, the highest point on the ship was called the 舳艫. So this invoking of ships "gathered like a mountain" was meant to invoke that Han law.

Gu Rong's idiom is really "sweep away the 蔕芥s of enmity". Zhang Yan remarked, "蔕芥 are standing thorns."

When Gu Rong speaks of "claiming many provinces", he means by going west out of Yangzhou to gain Jingzhou, Jiangzhou, Yuzhou, Yizhou, and other provinces.

Some versions include the sentence "So Chen Min changed his mind (about killing them)" after Gu Rong's advice to him.)


22. Sima Yong appointed Zhang Guang as Administrator of Shunyang, and had him lead five thousand horse and foot to Jingzhou to campaign against Chen Min. Liu Hong sent the Administrator of Jiangxia, Tao Kan, and the Administrator of Wuling, Miao Guang, to camp at Xiakou. He also sent the Administrator of Nanping, Ying Zhan of Runan, to lead a naval force as their reserves.


(During Former Han, Shunyang County was called Boshan County. During Later Han, Emperor Ming renamed it to Shunyang, as part of Nanyang commandary. During Han's Jian'an era (196-219), the right portion of Nanyang commandary was carved out as Nanxiang commandary. During Jin's Taikang era (280-289), Shunyang commandary was formed, with Nanxiang becoming a county within it. The Lintuan and Jutan counties in Tang's Dengzhou were both part of where Shunyang commandary was.)


23. Now Tao Kan was from the same commandary as Chen Min, and they had both began their official careers in the same year. The Interior Minister of Sui commandary, Hu Huai, said to Liu Hong, "Tao Kan is now stationed at a large commandary, and he has the command of strong soldiers. If he should have any malicious intent, then Jingzhou's eastern gate will be lost!"

Liu Hong replied, "I have already seen ample proof of Tao Kan's loyalty and ability. He cannot be as you say."

When Tao Kan heard about this incident, he sent his son Tao Hong and his nephew Tao Zhen to visit Liu Hong in order to defend himself. Liu Hong sought their advice for army affairs, then gave them gifts and sent them back. He told them, "Your worthy uncle is setting off on his campaign, and your esteemed grandmother is old in years, so you ought to return. Even ordinary people keep faith between one another; how can it be any less between great gentlemen?"


(Tao Kan and Chen Min were both natives of Lujiang, and had both gone to the capital in the same year to begin their careers.

During Han, Sui County was part of Nanyang commandary; it was the site of the ancient state of Sui from the Spring and Autumn era. Emperor Wu of Jin (Sima Yan) split off part of Nanyang to form the princely fief of Yiyang, and later he further split off part of Yiyang to form Sui commandary. During the Sui dynasty, this commandary became Handong commandary, and during Tang it became Suizhou.

Having solicited their advice for army affairs, Liu Hong further gave the young men gifts and then sent them back home.)


24. Chen Min appointed Chen Hui as his Inspector of Jingzhou, and Chen Hui attacked Wuchang. Liu Hong further appointed Tao Kan as Vanguard Protector and had him oppose Chen Hui.

Tao Kan planned to convert supply ships into warships. Some believed that he was not allowed to do that. Tao Kan told them, "I would be using the government's ships to fight the government's enemies; how can that not be allowed?"

Tao Kan fought Chen Hui, and routed him several times. He also joined with Pi Chu, Zhang Guang, and Miao Guang to rout Qian Duan at Zhangqi.


(According to the Biography of Zhang Guang in the Book of Jin, at the battle of Zhangqi, Zhang Guang prepared an ambush along the footpaths, while Miao Guang led the naval force and hid his ships along the Mian River. So Zhangqi must have been within Jiangxia commandary.)


25. The Administrator of Nanyang, Wei Zhan, warned Liu Hong, "Zhang Guang is a close confidant of Grand Governor Sima Yong. Since you are in league with the Prince of Donghai (Sima Yue), you ought to behead Zhang Guang to demonstrate which side you support."

Liu Hong told him, "The Chancellor has his faults, but how can I blame Zhang Guang for that? To endanger another man simply to protect myself is not the sort of thing a superior man would do."

And he even petitioned the court to further promote Zhang Guang on account of his exceptional service.


26. During this year, there was great famine in Lishi, so Liu Yuan moved his camp to Liting, and set up grain stores there. He left his Grand Commandant, Liu Hong, to guard Lishi, and he sent his Grand Minister of Finance, Bo Yu, to transport grain there.


(The Continued Records of Han states, "There is a Liting in Huguan County in Shangdang commandary; it is the place mentioned in the Book of Document's Conquest of Li By The Chief Of The West.")
Last edited by Taishi Ci 2.0 on Fri Dec 07, 2018 10:15 pm, edited 16 times in total.
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