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Zizhi Tongjian: The Jin Dynasty (Part 1)

Unread postPosted: Mon Sep 18, 2017 1:00 am
by Taishi Ci 2.0
This continues from immediately after the end of Achilles Fang's Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms.

Everything in this color is the commentary of the ZZTJ commentator Hu Sanxing.

As always, corrections and comments are welcome.

Table of Contents

Book 79 (265-272)
Book 80 (273-279)
Book 81 (280-288)
Book 82 (289-298)
Book 83 (299-300)
Book 84 (301-302)
Book 85 (303-304)
Book 86 (305-309)
Book 87 (309-311)
Book 88 (312-313)
Book 89 (314-316)
Book 90 (317-318)
Book 91 (319-321)
Book 92 (322-323)
Book 93 (324-327)
Book 94 (328-331)

To continue to 332-420, click here.

Or you can read about the Han dynasty years here.

All translations are my own unless otherwise noted.


Unread postPosted: Mon Sep 18, 2017 1:06 am
by Taishi Ci 2.0

(The Sima clan were natives of Wen county in Henei. The first was Prince Xuan (Sima Yi), who attained the government of Cao-Wei. Then power passed through Prince Jing (Sima Shi) until it reached Prince Wen (Sima Zhao). Sima Zhao was appointed as Duke of Jin, since Wen county was within the territory of the old state of Jin. Thus the name of the Jin dynasty.)


Beginning of the Reign of Emperor Wu, Sima Yan, Shizu


(Sima Yan, styled Anshi, was of the Sima clan. He was the grandson of Prince Xuan (Sima Yi), and the eldest son of Prince Wen (Sima Zhao). Sima Zhao's temple name was Taizu, and this was why Sima Yan's temple name was Shizu. The Laws of Posthumous Names states, "One who overcomes and pacifies disaster and disorder may be called 武 Wu ('Martial').")


The First Year of Taishi (The Yiyou Year, 265 AD)


(Sima Yan received the abdication of Wei and changed the reign era title in the twelfth month of this year. For most of the year, it was still Cao Huan's second year of Xianxi.)

Besides the name of the reign year of the ruling Jin monarch, Zizhi Tongjian also identifies the current year of the sixty-year lunar calendar cycle.


1. In spring, the third month, Sun Hao sent his Household Counselor, Ji Zhi, and his General of the Household Gentlemen of the Five Offices, Hong Qiu, to escort the Wei envoys Xu Shao and Sun Xu home from their mission to Wu. When Xu Shao reached Ruxu, he spoke with someone there and praised the beauty of the Middle Kingdom (i.e., Wei). Sun Hao was furious. He compelled Xu Shao to return, and then killed him.


(Cao Huan had dispatched Xu Shao and Sun Xu to Wu as envoys, as mentioned in the previous year, in Book 78 (264.44 in Achilles Fang's Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms).)

Dating: 3rd Month of 265

Reasoning: This entire entry is listed under the third month of 265 in the Annals of Sun Hao in the Records of the Three Kingdoms. But note that the Annals of Cao Huan in that text and the Annals of Sima Zhao in the Book of Jin both list the sending of the Eastern Wu envoys in the fourth month of this year. Sima Guang most likely went with the Sun Hao entry since this was an Eastern Wu initiative. It may be that they left Eastern Wu in the third month and only arrived at Cao-Wei in the fourth month.

二年春二月甲辰,朐䏰縣獲靈龜以獻,歸之于相國府。庚戌,以虎賁張脩昔於成都馳馬至諸營言鍾會反逆,以至沒身,賜脩弟倚爵關內侯。夏四月... 吳遣使紀陟、弘璆請和。(Records of the Three Kingdoms 4, Annals of Cao Huan)

In the second year of Xianxi (265), in spring, the first month, on the day Jiachen (March 23rd), Qurun county captured a divine turtle. They sent it to the court as tribute, and it was forwarded to the Chancellor of State's (Sima Zhao's) office.

On the day Gengxu (March 29th), one of the Guards Rapid As Tigers, Zhang Xiuxi, rushed back on a horse from Chengdu to the army camps to report Zhong Hui's rebellion. He passed away as soon as he arrived. The court appointed Zhang Xiuxi's younger brother Zhang Yi as a Marquis Within The Passes.

In summer, the fourth month, Wu sent their envoys Ji Zhi and Hong Qiu to ask for peace.

二年春二月甲辰,朐X縣獻靈龜,歸於相府。夏四月,孫皓使紀陟來聘,且獻方物。(Book of Jin 2, Annals of Emperor Wen (Sima Zhao))

In the second year of Xianxi (265), in spring, the first month, on the day Jiachen (March 23rd), Qurun county captured a divine turtle. It was forwarded to the Chancellor of State's (Sima Zhao's) office.

In summer, the fourth month, Sun Hao sent his envoys Ji Zhi and Hong Qiu as diplomats to the Wei court, and they brought fine treasures as tribute.


2. In summer, the fourth month, Sun Hao changed Wu’s reign era title to Ganlu.


(The title was changed to Ganlu at this time because of sweet dew (gan lu) that had fallen on Jiang Tomb, the tomb of Sun Quan.)

Dating: 4th Month of 265

Reasoning: This entry is listed under the fourth month of 265 in the Annals of Sun Hao in the Records of the Three Kingdoms, and the report of sweet dew in that month is corroborated by the Annals of Cao Huan in that text.

夏,四月,南深澤縣言甘露降。(Records of the Three Kingdoms 4, Annals of Cao Huan)

In summer, the fourth month, sweet dew fell in Southern Shenze county.


3. In the fifth month, Cao Huan honored Sima Zhao with the extraordinary rites. His wife Wang Yuanji was advanced to Princess, and his eldest son was named Crown Prince to his fief.


(By "extraordinary rites", the passage means that Sima Zhao was entitled to the same styles of flags and banners, chariots and horses, music and dancers, and caps and clothes that an emperor would enjoy.)

Dating: 5th Month of 265

Reasoning: This is a summary of events described as happening in this month in both the Annals of Cao Huan in the Records of the Three Kingdoms and the Annals of Sima Zhao in the Book of Jin.

五月,詔曰:「相國晉王誕敷神慮,光被四海;震燿武功,則威蓋殊荒,流風邁化,則旁洽無外。愍卹江表,務存濟育,戢武崇仁,示以威德。文告所加,承風嚮慕,遣使納獻,以明委順,方寶纖珍,歡以效意。而王謙讓之至,一皆簿送,非所以慰副初附,從其款願也。孫皓諸所獻致,其皆還送,歸之于王,以恊古義。」王固辭乃止。又命晉王冕十有二旒,建天子旌旗,出警入蹕,乘金根車、六馬,備五時副車,置旄頭雲䍐,樂舞八佾,設鍾虡宮縣。進王妃為王后,世子為太子,王子、王女、王孫,爵命之號如舊儀。(Records of the Three Kingdoms 4, Annals of Cao Huan)

In the fifth month, Cao Huan issued an edict stating, "The Chancellor of State and Prince of Jin has sagacious insight, and his brilliance shines across the Four Seas. Through the awe of his glorious military triumphs, he humbles even the distant wastes; through the transformative power of his refinement, all adhere to him and no one stands aside. He pities and sympathizes with the people of the Southland, and sees it as his duty to care for and instruct them; he restrains martial matters while exalting benevolence, thus displaying both his power and his virtue. Though his correspondence, he has obtained the submission of our foes; they have sent their envoys to make clear their obedience to us, and they have presented many treasures and fine trinkets as tribute in order to express their sincerity. Yet the Prince, in all his noble humility, has declined to receive such gifts and has sent them away. This is no way to reassure the hopes of those who have newly submitted to us or respond to their sincere efforts. Thus do I return all of the tributes which Sun Hao has lately brought us over to the Prince, as a response to his past displays of righteousness."

But even this Sima Zhao declined, so the attempt was dropped. However, Cao Huan did grant Sima Zhao numerous honors. His cap as Prince was ordered to contain twelve strings of beads (the same as the Emperor's cap), he was allowed to use the banners and flags reserved for the Son of Heaven, people called to make way for him whenever he went in or out, he rode in a Root of Gold carriage pulled by six horses and flanked by the side-carriages of the five seasons, flanked by forerunners and decked out with streamers, he was granted eight rows of dancers (like the Emperor's privilege), and bells were set up for him so that he could listen to the gongxuan music. His consort Wang Yuanji was advanced to Princess, his heir was named as Crown Prince to his fief, and his sons, daughters, and grandchildren were all addressed by noble titles, in accordance with ancient traditions.

五月,天子命帝冕十有二旒,建天子旌旗,出警入蹕,乘金根車,駕六馬,備五時副車,置旄頭雲罕,樂舞八佾,設鐘虡宮懸,位在燕王上。進王妃為王后,世子為太子,王女王孫爵命之號皆如帝者之儀。諸禁網煩苛及法式不便於時者,帝皆奏除之。晉國置御史大夫、侍中、常侍、尚書、中領軍、衛將軍官。(Book of Jin 2, Annals of Emperor Wen (Sima Zhao))

In the fifth month, Cao Huan granted Sima Zhao numerous honors. His cap as Prince was ordered to contain twelve strings of beads (the same as the Emperor's cap), he was allowed to use the banners and flags reserved for the Son of Heaven, people called to make way for him whenever he went in or out, he rode in a Root of Gold carriage pulled by six horses and flanked by the side-carriages of the five seasons, flanked by forerunners and decked out with streamers, he was granted eight rows of dancers (like the Emperor's privilege), and bells were set up for him so that he could listen to the gongxuan music. His position was higher than that of the Prince of Yan. His consort Wang Yuanji was advanced to Princess, his heir was named as Crown Prince to his fief, and his sons, daughters, and grandchildren were all addressed by noble titles, in accordance with ancient traditions.

Sima Zhao sent memorials regarding laws that were too troublesome in themselves or were not practicable to enforce by the circumstances of the times, and he did away with them all. And for the Jin fief, he created the positions of Household Advisors, Palace Attendants, Regular Attendants, Masters of Writing, Generals of the Center, and Guard Generals.


4. On the day Guiwei (June 30th), a general amnesty was declared in Wei.

Dating: The Guiwei day of the 5th month (June 30th), 265

Reasoning: This event is listed on this date and subsequent to the above entry in the Annals of Cao Huan in the Records of the Three Kingdoms.

癸未,大赦。(Records of the Three Kingdoms 4, Annals of Cao Huan)

On the day Guiwei (June 30th), a general amnesty was declared in Wei.


5. In autumn, the seventh month, Sun Hao hounded Empress Jing, Sun Xiu's wife Lady Zhu, to death. He exiled Sun Xiu's four sons to the Wu region, and later had the two eldest of them put to death.


(Sun Hao's demotion of Empress Dowager Zhu to Empress Jing, and the appointments of the four brothers, are mentioned in the previous year, in Book 78 (264.43 in Fang's Chronicles).)

Dating: 7th Month of 265

Reasoning: This entry is listed under the seventh month of 265 in the Annals of Sun Hao in the Records of the Three Kingdoms.


6. In the eighth month, on the day Xinmao (September 6th), Sima Zhao passed away. He was posthumously known as Prince Wen ("the Cultured"). His Crown Prince (Sima Yan) inherited his positions as Chancellor of State and Prince of Jin.

Dating: The Xinmao day of the 8th month (September 6th), 265

Reasoning: This is a summary of events described as happening on this date in the Annals of Cao Huan in the Records of the Three Kingdoms, the Annals of Sima Zhao in the Book of Jin, and the Annals of Sima Yan in that text.

秋八月辛卯,相國晉王薨。壬辰,晉太子炎紹封襲位,總攝百揆,備物典冊,一皆如前。是月,襄武縣言有大人見,長三丈餘,迹長三尺二寸,白髮,著黃單衣,黃巾,柱杖,呼民王始語云:「今當太平。」(Records of the Three Kingdoms 4, Annals of Cao Huan)

In autumn, the eighth month, on the day Xinmao (September 6th), the Chancellor of State and Prince of Jin, Sima Zhao, passed away.

On the day Renchen (September 7th), the Crown Prince of the Jin fief, Sima Yan, inherited Sima Zhao's positions as Chancellor of State and Prince of Jin. He assumed command of affairs and prepared all the canons and law books, so that everything was as it had been.

During this month, a giant was seen in Xiangwu county; he was more than three zhang tall, and his footprints were three chi and two cun apart. He had white hair, and he wore a plain yellow robe and scarf and held a walking cane. He announced to the people the beginning of a new reign by declaring, "Now begins the age of great peace."

秋八月辛卯,帝崩於露寢,時年五十五... 諡曰文王。(Book of Jin 2, Annals of Emperor Wen (Sima Zhao))

In autumn, the eighth month, on the day Xinmao (September 6th), Sima Zhao passed away in the Front Hall; he was fifty-four years old. He was posthumously known as Prince Wen.


7. In the ninth month, on the day Yiwei (?), a general amnesty was declared in Wei.

Dating: The Yiwei day of the 9th month (?), 265

Reasoning: This entry is listed on this date in the Annals of Cao Huan in the Records of the Three Kingdoms. However, there was no Yiwei day in the ninth month of that year. The true date is uncertain, but presumably before October 3rd, the likely date of the next entry.

九月乙未,大赦。(Records of the Three Kingdoms 4, Annals of Cao Huan)

In the ninth month, on the day Yiwei (?), a general amnesty was declared in Wei.


8. On the day Wuzi (?; probably Wuwu, October 3rd), Wei's Minister Over The Masses, He Zeng, was appointed as Prime Minister of the Jin fief. On the day Guihai (October 8th), the General of Agile Cavalry, Sima Wang, was appointed as the new Minister Over The Masses.

Dating: The Wuzi day (?) and the Guihai day (October 8th) of the 9th month, 265

Reasoning: The dates for these appointments are listed in the Annals of Cao Huan in the Records of the Three Kingdoms, and He Zeng's appointment is also listed on this date in the Annals of Sima Yan in the Book of Jin. Note that while the Zizhi Tongjian gives an impossible date of a 戊子 Wuzi day for He Zeng's appointment, the Annals of Cao Huan and of Sima Yan both state that it was on a 戊午 Wuwu day, a valid date for this month and year; this is surely a clerical error. The Biography of He Zeng in the Book of Jin confirms that he received his appointment as Prime Minister of the Jin fief "when Sima Yan inherited the title of Prince of Jin". The Biography of Sima Wang in that text vaguely states that he "replaced He Zeng as Minister Over The Masses" at some point before Sima Yan accepted the abdication of Cao-Wei.

戊午,司徒何曾為晉丞相。癸亥,以驃騎將軍司馬望為司徒,征東大將軍石苞為驃騎將軍,征南大將軍陳騫為車騎將軍。(Records of the Three Kingdoms 4, Annals of Cao Huan)

On the day Wuwu (October 3rd), Wei's Minister Over The Masses, He Zeng, was appointed as Prime Minister of the Jin fief. On the day Guihai (October 8th), the General of Agile Cavalry, Sima Wang, was appointed as the new Minister Over The Masses. The Grand General Who Conquers The East, Shi Bao, was appointed as the new General of Agile Cavalry, and the Grand General Who Conquers The South, Chen Qian, was appointed as General of Chariots and Cavalry.


9. On the day Yihai (October 20th), Sima Zhao was buried at Chongyang Tomb.


(Sima Guang’s commentary in the Textual Analysis states, "In the Annals of Emperor Wen (Sima Zhao) in the Book of Jin, it records this date as Guiyou (October 18th). But I follow the date listed in the Annals of the Prince of Chenliu (Cao Huan) in the Records of the Three Kingdoms.")

The Textual Analysis is Sima Guang's companion book to the Zizhi Tongjian, in which he mentions the different reports of his various historical sources and defends his selection in his composition of the Zizhi Tongjian accounts.

Dating: The Yihai day of the 9th month (October 20th), 265

Reasoning: See Sima Guang's commentary above.

乙亥,葬晉文王。(Records of the Three Kingdoms 4, Annals of Cao Huan)

On the day Yihai (October 20th), the late Prince of Jin, Sima Zhao, was buried.

九月癸酉,葬崇陽陵。(Book of Jin 2, Annals of Emperor Wen (Sima Zhao))

In the ninth month, on the day Guiyou (October 18th), Sima Zhao was buried at Chongyang Tomb.


10. In winter, Wu's Commander of Xiling, Bu Chan, sent a petition to Sun Hao asking to move the Wu capital to Wuchang. Sun Hao agreed, and he assigned his Grandee Secretary, Ding Gu, and his General of the Right, Zhuge Jing, to guard Jianye. This Bu Chan was the son of Bu Zhi.


(Xiling was the same place as Yiling. In Sun Quan's first year of Huangwu (222), Yiling's name was changed to Xiling. It was the administrative center for Yidu commandary.

During Sun Quan's era, Bu Zhi had also been Commander of Xiling.)

Dating: Winter (10th-12th months), 265

Reasoning: The Annals of Sun Hao in the Records of the Three Kingdoms states that Sun Hao accepted Bu Chan's proposal and assigned these people to guard Jianye in the ninth month of this year, and he had moved to Wuchang by the eleventh month. Sima Guang must have generalized the timing as "winter" because of the several months involved.


11. In the twelfth month, on the day Renxu (February 4th of 266), Cao Huan abdicated the throne to Jin. On the day Jiazi (February 6th), he went to take up residence in the Jinyong fortress. The Grand Tutor, Sima Fu, performed obeisance before Cao Huan as he bid him farewell. He took Cao Huan's hand with tears in his eyes, and he could not help but sob. Sima Fu said, "I shall always be a minister to Wei, until the day I die."

On the day Bingyin (February 8th), the Prince of Jin, Sima Yan, rose to the imperial throne. A general amnesty was declared, and the reign era title was changed to the first year of Taishi. On the day Dingmao (February 9th), Sima Yan changed Cao Huan's title to the Prince of Chenliu, and he was sent to reside in the palace at Ye. In these ceremonies, the most excellent and sublime rites and ceremonies were employed, the very same as had been used at the beginning of Wei. All of the Princes of the Wei dynasty were demoted to Marquises.

Sima Yan posthumously honored his grandfather Prince Xuan (Sima Yi) as Emperor Xuan, his uncle Prince Jing (Sima Shi) as Emperor Jing, and his father Prince Wen (Sima Zhao) as Emperor Wen. He honored the Princess Dowager, his mother Wang Yuanji, as Empress Dowager. He appointed his great-uncle Sima Fu as Prince of Anping, and among his uncles, he appointed Sima Gan as Prince of Pingyuan, Sima Liang as Prince of Fufeng, Sima Zhou as Prince of Dongguan, Sima Jun as Prince of Ruyin, Sima Yong as Prince of Lian, and Sima Lun as Prince of Langye. Among his younger brothers, he appointed Sima You as Prince of Qi, Sima Jian as Prince of Le'an, and Sima Ji as Prince of Yan. He also appointed seventeen other people as Princes, including the Minister Over The Masses, his cousin-once-removed Sima Wang. He appointed Shi Bao as Grand Marshal, Zheng Chong as Grand Tutor, Wang Xiang as Grand Guardian, He Zeng as Grand Commandant, Jia Chong as General of Chariots and Cavalry, and Wang Shen as General of Agile Cavalry. Others who held civil or military offices were promoted as was befitting of them.

On the day Yihai (February 17th), Sima Yan appointed Sima Fu as Grand Governor and Commander of all military affairs. Not long afterwards, the General of Chariots and Cavalry, Chen Qian, was appointed as Grand General. Chen Qian, the Minister Over The Masses and Prince of Yiyang, Sima Wang, the Minister of Works, Xun Yi, and others were appointed as the Eight Excellencies together.

Sima Yan felt that the cause of the Wei royal family’s decline was that they had kept their family members isolated; this was why he greatly ennobled his own clan, and employed them in offices. He also commanded the various Princes to select men to serve as Chief Clerks in their fiefs. But the Guard General, Sima You, did not dare to do so, and he continued to forward all his requests to court.


(Some versions have these events as taking place in the "eleventh month" rather than "twelfth".

At the time he was compelled to hand over the seals of state, Emperor Yuan of Wei (Cao Huan) was nineteen years old.

After Emperor Wen (Cao Pi) received the abdication of Han, Cao-Wei had five generations of rulers (Cao Pi, Cao Rui, Cao Fang, Cao Mao, and Cao Huan). It existed for forty-six years, and then perished.

The Jinyong fortress was in the northwestern corner of Luoyang.

It was at this time that the reign era title became Taishi.

The abdication ceremonies from Han to Wei are mentioned in Book 69, in Emperor Wen of Wei's (Cao Pi's) first year of Huangchu (220.35-7 in Fang's Chronicles).

Sima Wang was the son of Sima Fu.

When Sima Yan appointed the Princes, he gave them commandaries as their fiefs. The larger fiefs had towns totalling twenty thousand households in population, upper, middle, and lower armies, and a combined five thousand soldiers. The middle fiefs had ten thousand households, upper and lower armies, and three thousand soldiers. The smaller fiefs had five thousand households, a single army, and five hundred soldiers. Those Princes who did not possess a fief were employed in the capital.

伷 is pronounced "zhou". 莞 is pronounced "guan". 肜 is pronounced "yong (y-ong)". 沈 is pronounced "chen (ch-en)". (But also sometimes pronounced "shen".)

The Records of Jin states, "Grand Governor, Grand Tutor, and Grand Guardian were the Three Excellencies offices of Zhou. At the beginning of Jin, because Emperor Jing's (Sima Shi's) given name 師 Shi became taboo, a replacement office name was sought from the 'Zhou Offices', and so the existing office of Grand Preceptor (太師 taishi) was exchanged with the office of Grand Governor. The positions of the Three Ministers were increased, and the Grand Tutor and Grand Guardian were set above them all. Grand Marshal was an old rank name. During the Han system, the Grand Commandant was in charge of oversight of affairs that went beyond the Grand Champion General or General of Agile Cavalry. After the office of Grand Commandant was removed, there was no equivalent office. Under Cao-Wei's system, Grand Commandant, Grand Marshal, and Grand General were each their own office, superior to the Three Excellencies. Under the Jin system, the Grand Governor, Grand Tutor, Grand Guardian, Minister Over The Masses, and Minister of Works were the supreme civil titles, and the Household Counsellors of the Left and Right and their subordinates were all under those offices. They wore the jinxian and sanliang caps, and their headdresses were green. As for the military side, the Grand Marshal, Grand General, and Grand Commandant were the supreme offices, and the Generals of Agile Cavalry, Chariots and Cavalry, Guard General, Generals Who Quell the Waves, Nurture The Army, Protect The Army, Guard The Army, Generals of the Center, the Four Conquers, the Four Protects, Dragon-Soaring Generals, Generals of the Canons, Upper Generals, Generals Who Uphold The State, and all of their staff were subordinate to those offices. They all wore military caps, which were flat and black.)

Dating: The Renxu day (February 4th), the Jiazi day (February 6th), the Bingyin day (February 8th), the Dingmao day (February 9th), and the Yihai day (February 17th), 266

Reasoning: The first two dates are taken from the Annals of Cao Huan in the Records of the Three Kingdoms, while the other three are taken from the Annals of Sima Yan in the Book of Jin. Most of the events in this passage are drawn from those two annals.

Sima Fu's emotional reaction to Cao Huan's deposition is taken from the Biography of Sima Fu in the Book of Jin, which states that it took place when "Emperor Wu (Sima Yan) accepted the abdication and the Prince of Chenliu (Cao Huan) moved to the Jinyong fortress", which was surely during the events of this passage.

Sima You's prudence in government is taken from his own biography in the Book of Jin, which states it took place "when Emperor Wu (Sima Yan) ascended the throne", so also at this time.

閏月庚辰,康居、大宛獻名馬,歸于相國府,以顯懷萬國致遠之勳。十二月壬戌,天祿永終,歷數在晉。詔羣公卿士具儀設壇于南郊,使使者奉皇帝璽綬冊,禪位于晉嗣王,如漢魏故事。甲子,使使者奉策。遂改次于金墉城,而終館于鄴,時年二十。〈《魏世譜》曰:封帝為陳留王。〉(Records of the Three Kingdoms 4, Annals of Cao Huan)

In the intercalary month, on the day Gengchen (?), the states of Kangju and Dayuan (Ferghana) sent prized horses to Wei as tribute. These were forwarded to the Chancellor of State's (Sima Yan's) office, as a display of how his diligent service had even reached the ears of far distant states.

In the twelfth month, on the day Renxu (February 4th of 266), the appointed length of the Wei dynasty had ended, and it passed to Jin. Cao Huan issued an edict ordering his nobles and ministers to prepare an altar in the southern suburbs, and he sent his envoys to present the imperial seal and the ribbons and books of state to Sima Yan, abdicating his place as Emperor in favor of him, following the precedents of the Han dynasty's abdication to Wei. On the day Jiazi (February 6th), he sent his envoys to present his tokens of state. He shifted his residence to the Jinyong fortress, then later moved to Ye. At the time of his abdication, Cao Huan was nineteen years old.

(The Registry of the Rulers of Cao-Wei states, "Cao Huan's title was changed to Prince of Chenliu.")

武帝受禪,追尊號曰文皇帝,廟稱太祖。(Book of Jin 2, Annals of Emperor Wen (Sima Zhao))

After Emperor Wu (Sima Yan) received the abdication of Wei, he posthumously honored Sima Zhao as Emperor Wen, with the temple name Taizu.

趙王倫,字子彝,宣帝第九子也,母曰柏夫人。魏嘉平初,封安樂亭侯。五等建,改封東安子,拜諫議大夫。武帝受禪,封琅邪郡王。(Book of Jin 59, Biography of Sima Lun)

The Prince of Zhao, Sima Lun, was styled Ziyi. He was the ninth son of Sima Yi, and his mother's name was Lady Bai. At the beginning of Cao-Wei's Jiaping reign era (~249), he was appointed as Marquis of Anle district. When the Five Ranks System was established (264), Sima Lun's title was changed to Viscount of Dong'an and appointed as Counselor Remonstrant. When Sima Yan accepted the abdication of Cao-Wei (265), Sima Lun was appointed as Prince of Langye commandary.


12. Sima Yan issued an edict lifting the ban on members of Wei's royal clan from holding office, and he released the hostages of those who were serving as generals or as high officials.


(It had been the policy during Cao-Wei to impose strict restrictions on members of the royal clan, and they were banned from and could not hold or advance in office; this policy was now lifted. And of those who were generals in the field or were serving as high officials in the provinces and commandaries, they had all been compelled to leave hostages at the capital; these hostages were now released.)

Dating: 12th month, sometime after the day Yihai (February 17th), 266

Reasoning: This passage is a summary of an edict to this effect mentioned in the Annals of Sima Yan in the Book of Jin. The edict is listed immediately following the appointments that took place on the day Yihai.


13. Sima Yan felt that the Wei royal clan had been too harsh and extravagant, and he sought to rectify this by being benevolent and frugal.

The Assistant to the Grand Minister of Ceremonies, Xu Qi, was the son of Xu Yun. While Sima Yan was about to conduct affairs at the ancestral temple, someone at the temple mentioned how Xu Qi's father had been put to death, and that therefore he should not keep such a man as one of his close attendants. They asked that Xu Qi be sent away to a distant office. But Sima Yan spoke well of Xu Yun's long service, and as he considered Xu Qi to be talented, he kept him as a Gentleman of the Bureau of Sacrifices.

The officials said that the green tether for restraining the sacrificial oxen had snapped, so Sima Yan ordered green hemp to be used as a substitute.


(Jin had the high offices of Grand Minister of Ceremonies, Superintendent of the Imperial Household, Commandant of the Guards, Minister Coachman, Minister of Justice, Minister Herald, Superintendent of the Imperial Clan, Grand Minister of Finance, Minister Steward, Grand Court Architect, the Three Ministers of the Empress Dowager, and the Grand Minister of the Empress. All of these higher offices had subordinate offices, those being their Assistants, Merit Evaluators, Registrars, Ministers For General Purposes, and other such offices.

The execution of Xu Qi's father Xu Yun was mentioned in Book 76, in Emperor Cao Mao's first year of Zhengyuan (254.18 in Fang's Chronicles).

Under Cao-Wei, there were Gentlemen of the Bureau of Sacrifices as part of the Masters of Writing, and Jin also had them.

A tether is a rope, for binding an oxen. The Book of Rites states, "When the sacrifice was introduced, the ruler held it by the tether". The Rites of Zhou appoints a man who, during the sacrificial ceremony, adorns the sacrificial ox, and handles its 絼. The Annotations to that text states, "The 絼 is for restraining the ox by the nose, so that it can be pulled along; it is what we now call a 雉." The 疏 states, "Before the Han era, all called this thing a 絼. According to the Smaller Rules of Demeanor section of the Records of Rites, the ox is held by the tether. So the tether is another name for the 絼, and is also what we now call a tether.” Lu Deming remarked, "The 絼 is the same as a tether.")

Dating: Sometime during Sima Yan's reign

Reasoning: These incidents are all taken from the Historian's Commentary at the end of the Annals of Sima Yan in the Book of Jin. No particular timeframe is given for them, but they probably happened early in Sima Yan's reign. There is no concrete reason to put them at this place in the Zizhi Tongjian, but they might as well go somewhere, and they provide an early insight into Sima Yan's character.


14. When the office of Remonstrant had first been created, the appointees were two of the Cavaliers In Regular Attendance, Fu Xuan and Huangfu Tao. This Fu Xuan was the son of Fu Gan.

At the end of Wei, Fu Xuan had noted that the earth and wind were dispirited and in decline. So he sent up a petition stating, "I have heard that when the kings of old managed the realm, they discussed the magnificent changes above, and could then receive clear counsel below. More recently, Wu of Wei (Cao Cao) was eager for law, and so the realm honored his law; Wen of Wei (Cao Pi) yearned for understanding, and so the realm appreciated his authority. But their descendants did not maintain their steadfastness, and the court became filled with those wild in speech and conduct. Thus the realm could no longer have clear counsel. Now Your Majesty, rising like a dragon, has accepted the abdication, following the change from Yao to Shun. But you have not yet established clear and lofty rites that your ministers may use to establish authority, and you have not yet sent away those who are vacuous and degenerate or punished those who are not respectful. This is why I dare go so far as to utter these words."

When Sima Yan received the petition, he commended and accepted Fu Xuan's words, and he had Fu Xuan compose an edict in his own hand advancing his proposals. However, the reforms could not be implemented.


(There had been Grandee Remonstrants since the Qin and Han dynasties, the people whom Zheng Chang called "those ministers who gain their name by rebukes". Eastern Han had Grandee Remonstrant Councilors. Cao-Wei had not maintained the office. Jin used the Cavaliers In Regular Attendance to fill in other offices, and this was why they became Remonstrants.

Fu Gan was the son of Fu Xie of Han.

By "those wild in speech and conduct", Fu Xuan meant those of He Yan's and Ruan Ji's generation.)

Dating: The beginning of Sima Yan's reign

Reasoning: This incident is taken from the Biography of Fu Xuan in the Book of Jin, which states it took place "when Emperor Wu (Sima Yan) had first come to the throne, when he was accepting forthright advice and considered no subject as taboo". There is no more specific date or anything tying this event to any more distinct one, so again, it seems likely that Sima Guang considered this as good a place as any to place this passage.


15. Of old, there had been Han's General Who Conquers The West, Sima Jun. This Sima Jun was the father of the Administrator of Yuzhang, Sima Liang. Sima Liang was the father of the Administrator of Yingchuan, Sima Juan. Sima Juan was the father of the Intendant of Henan, Sima Fang. Sima Fang was the father of Sima Yi.


(Sima Jun is mentioned in Book 50, in Emperor An of Han's second year of Yuanchu (108).

These were the ancestors of the Sima clan, and they were the ones honored in the ancestral temple.)

Dating: Centuries earlier

Reasoning: This passage merely explains the lineage of Sima Yi and his descendants, and is taken from the beginning of the Annals of Sima Yi in the Book of Jin. Since Sima Yan had now established the actual Jin dynasty, it must have seemed like the proper time to introduce his family history.


Unread postPosted: Mon Sep 18, 2017 1:12 am
by Taishi Ci 2.0

The Second Year of Taishi (The Bingxu Year, 266 AD)


1. In spring, the first month, on the day Dinghai (March 1st), the Wei ancestral temple was used for sacrifices to the Honored Lord Who Conquers The West and his descendants; combined with Emperor Jing (Sima Shi), there were seven temples.


(Shen Yue's Annotations states, "Jin originally honored as Honored Lords the General Who Conquers The West, the Honored Lord of Yuzhang, the Honored Lord of Yingchuan, and the Honored Lord of Jingzhao, along with Emperor Xuan (Sima Yi), Emperor Jing (Sima Shi), and Emperor Wen (Sima Zhao), as the Three Zhaos and the Three Mus. At this time, Emperor Xuan had not yet been promoted, and Taizu held no position, and so they honored six generations back; combined with Emperor Jing, there were seven temples. This was according to Wang Su's recommendations.")

Dating: The Dinghai day of the 1st month (March 1st), 266

Reasoning: The specific date for this event is drawn from an entry in the Annals of Sima Yan in the Book of Jin, while further details are listed in the relevant passage of the first part of the Treatise on Rites in the Book of Jin.


2. On the day Xinchou (March 15th), Sima Yan honored Emperor Jing's wife Lady Yang as Empress Dowager Jing, and she resided in the Hongxun Palace.


(Some versions state that this event was "on the day Xinchou".)

Dating: The Xinchou day of the 1st month (March 15th), 266

Reasoning: This event is listed on this date in the Annals of Sima Yan in the Book of Jin. It is unknown why some editions of the Zizhi Tongjian would omit the date.


3. On the day Bingwu (March 20th), Sima Yan made Yang Yan of Hongnong commandary his Empress. She was the daughter of Wei's Gentleman of 通事, Yang Wenzong.


(At the beginning of Cao-Wei's Huangchu era (220), the Palace Secretariat had created offices of Chief and Prefect, and also created Gentlemen of 通事.)

Dating: The Bingwu day of the 1st month (March 20th), 266

Reasoning: This event is listed on this date in the Annals of Sima Yan in the Book of Jin.


4. The ministers submitted this petition: "The Five Emperors of old were all heavenly emperors, but the times that they lived in were of different royal degree, and this is why they are listed as Five. From now on, the seats of the Five Emperors should be removed from the Hall of Distinction and the Southern Suburbs." Sima Yan followed their advice.

Sima Yan was the grandson of Wang Su by his daughter, and this was why in his conducting of the sacrifices, Sima Yan often followed Wang Su's advice.

Long HSX comment on rites here to be filled in later.

Dating: The 1st month of 266

Reasoning: The date and contents of this passage are once again drawn from the first part of the Treatise on Rites in the Book of Jin.


5. In the second month, Sima Yan lifted the ban of office for the Han royal clan.


(When Cao-Wei had replaced Han, they had placed a ban of office against the Liu clan; this was now lifted.)

Dating: The 2nd month of 266

Reasoning: This event is listed in this month in the Annals of Sima Yan in the Book of Jin.


6. In the third month, on the day Wuxu (May 11th), Wu sent their Grand Herald, Zhang Yan, and their General of the Household Gentleman of the Five Offices, Ding Zhong, to come and attend the mourning service for Sima Zhao.


(Some versions state that this was "on the day Wuxu".

They were attending the mourning for Sima Zhao.)

Dating: The Wuxu day of the 3rd month (May 11th), 266

Reasoning: This event is listed on this date in the Annals of Sima Yan in the Book of Jin. However, the Annals of Sun Hao in the Records of the Three Kingdoms states that the envoys were sent in the first month of this year. The Zizhi Tongjian had previously favored the Eastern Wu account when there was a discrepancy between months, yet now it favors the Book of Jin account. Perhaps this is because the Book of Jin provided a specific date. Again, it may be that the envoys left Eastern Wu in the first month and only arrived in the third month. Again, it is not clear why some versions of the Zizhi Tongjian would omit the date.


7. Wu had a Cavalier In Regular Attendance, Wang Fan of Lujiang commandary, whose conduct was lofty and incisive. He was unable to maintain his expression when following commands, and Sun Hao was displeased with him. The Cavalier In Regular Attendance, Wan Yu, and the Assistant to the Palace Secretariat, Chen Sheng, thus slandered him.

When Ding Zhong returned from Jin, Sun Hao held a great feast for his ministers, where Wang Fan fell over drunk. Sun Hao suspected that Wang Fan was not really drunk, and he had Wang Fan taken out in a sedan chair. Soon afterwards, he ordered Wang Fan to return. Wang Fan conducted himself in a dignified manner, and he moved the same as he normally would. Sun Hao was furious, and ordered his attendants to behead Wang Fan outside of the Hall.

Then Sun Hao went out, ascended Mount Lai, and had one of his closer followers throw down Wang Fan's head. That caused the tigers and wolves to fight one another to bite and gnaw at the head, until the head was totally consumed.


(Some versions say that Wang Fan was "of Lujiang commandary".

The Commentary on the Water Classic states, "The Mount Lai south of the city of Wuchang is the same as Mount Fan. Sun Hao of Wu ascended it, and had his close follower cast Wang Fan's head for tigers to fight over.")

Dating: The 3rd month of 266

Reasoning: This entry is a summary of the Biography of Wang Fan in the Records of the Three Kingdoms. It is placed here because of the listing of Ding Zhong's return from his diplomatic mission to the north, which we see in the Annals of Sima Zhao occurred during this month (again, the Annals of Sun Hao states that it was in the first month).

王蕃字永元,廬江人也。博覽多聞,兼通術藝。始為尚書郎,去官。孫休即位,與賀邵、薛瑩、虞汜俱為散騎中常侍,皆加駙馬都尉。時論清之。遣使至蜀,蜀人稱焉,還為夏口監軍。孫皓初。復入為常侍,與萬彧同官。彧與皓有舊,俗士挾侵,謂蕃自輕。又中書丞陳聲,皓之嬖臣,數譖毀蕃。蕃體氣高亮,不能承顏順指;時或迕意,積以見責。甘露二年,丁忠使晉還,皓大會群臣,蕃沉醉頓伏。皓疑而不悅,舉蕃出外。頃之請還,酒亦不解。蕃性有威嚴,行止自若,皓大怒,呵左右於殿下斬之。衛將軍滕牧、征西將軍留平請,不能得。丞相陸凱上疏曰:「常侍王蕃黃中通理,知天知物,處朝忠蹇,斯社稷之重鎮,大吳之龍逢也。昔事景皇,納言左右,景皇欽嘉,歎為異倫。而陛下忿其苦辭,惡其直對,梟之殿堂,屍骸暴棄,邦內傷心,有識悲悼。」其痛蕃如此。蕃死時年三十九,皓徙蕃家屬廣州。二弟著、延皆作佳器,郭馬起事,不為馬用,見害。〈《江表傳》曰:皓用巫史之言,谓建业宫不利,乃西巡武昌,仍有迁都之意,恐群臣不从,乃大请会,赐将吏。问蕃“射不主皮,为力不同科,其义云何”?蕃思惟未答,即於殿上斩蕃。出登来山,使亲近将(跳)蕃首,作虎跳狼争咋齧之,头皆碎坏,欲以示威,使众不敢犯也。此与本传不同。吴录曰:皓每於会,因酒酣,辄令侍臣嘲谑公卿,以为笑乐。万彧既为左丞相,蕃嘲彧曰:“鱼潜於渊,出水煦沫。何则?物有本性,不可横处非分也。彧出自谿谷,羊质虎皮,虚受光赫之宠,跨越三九之位,犬马犹能识养,将何以报厚施乎!”彧曰:“唐虞之朝无谬举之才,造父之门无驽蹇之质,蕃上诬明选,下讪桢幹,何伤於日月,適多见其不知量耳。”臣松之按本传云丁忠使晋还,皓为大会,於会中杀蕃,检忠从北还在此年之春,彧时尚未为丞相,至秋乃为相耳。吴录所言为乖互不同。〉(Records of the Three Kingdoms 65, Biography of Wang Fan)

Wang Fan, styled Yongyuan, was a native of Lujiang commandary. He was a learned and educated man of broad knowledge, and possessed many talents and skills. He was initially a Gentleman of the Masters of Writing, but he left office. After Sun Xiu became Emperor of Eastern Wu, Wang Fan was appointed as a Palace Cavalier In Regular Attendance, along with He Shao, Xue Ying, and Yu Si, and all of them were also appointed as Commandants of Attached Cavalry. The people of that time considered him an honest man. Wang Fan was sent as an envoy to Shu-Han, and the people of Shu also commended him. When he returned, he became Directing General of Xiakou.

At the beginning of Sun Hao's reign, Wang Fan was once again brought into the palace to serve as a Regular Attendant, holding the same office as Wan Yu. This Wan Yu came from a lowly gentry family, yet he had a longstanding relationship with Sun Hao and relied upon this to worm his way into affairs, and he reported that Wang Fan had belitted him. One of the Assistants of the Palace Secretariat, Chen Sheng, was also a favored minister of Sun Hao, and he often slandered Wang Fan to Sun Hao as well. As for Wang Fan's own conduct, he had a lofty and aloof demeanor, and he could not follow directives with an appreciative appearance. At times, he would even go against intentions, for which he was often blamed.

In the second year of the Ganlu reign era (266), Ding Zhong returned from his mission as envoy to Jin. Sun Hao held a great feast for his ministers, at which Wang Fan became drunk and fell over. Sun Hao was suspicious and displeased, and he had Wang Fan sent out. Soon afterwards, before the effects of the wine would have worn off, Sun Hao summoned Wang Fan back again. But Wang Fan displayed a dignified appearance, and his movements were no different from normal. Furious, Sun Hao ordered his guards to behead Wang Fan outside the hall. The Guard General, Teng Mu, and the General Who Conquers The West, Liu Ping, pleaded on Wang Fan's behalf, but they could not save him.

The Prime Minister, Lu Kai, sent up a petition stating, "The Palace Attendant, Wang Fan, was one of whom it may be said, 'he stood in fine yellow, with comprehension and learning'. He knew the affairs of both Heaven and Earth, and was a loyal minister of the court; he was a a great asset to the state, a rising dragon of Great Wu. During Emperor Jing's (Sun Xiu's) reign, he accepted the words of his advisors, and he admired and commended Wang Fan, sighing in praise of his distinctive remarks. Yet Your Majesty resented Wang Fan for his bitter words and hated him for his candid speech, and you beheaded him in the palace and cast aside his body. The hearts of those without and within are harmed by this, and the knowledgeable are struck by grief." Such was the pain felt for Wang Fan's fate.

Wang Fan was thirty-eight years old when he passed away. Sun Hao exiled his family and dependents to Guangzhou. His two younger brothers Wang Zhe and Wang Yan both made fine crafts. When Guo Ma rose up in rebellion (in 279), they refused to serve him and were killed.

(The Jiangbiao Zhuan states, "Heeding the words of a shaman, Sun Hao believed that the palace at Jianye was ill-omened, and he wanted to move west to Wuchang. But he feared that his ministers would not go along with such a plan to move the capital. So he summoned a great meeting, where he rewarded his generals and officials. He said to Wang Fan, 'It is when an arrow's strength is insufficient that it fails to pierce leather. What do you make of that idea?' Wang Fan considered for a long time without answering. So Sun Hao had Wang Fan beheaded outside the hall. He then went out and ascended Mount Lai, where he ordered a trusted general to cast Wang Fan's head down the mountain, causing tigers and wolves to pounce and fight over it to gnaw at the head, until it was totally consumed. He wished to thus display his power, and ensure no one else would dare to disobey him."

This account conflicts with the original biography presented above.

The Wuli states, "Whenever Sun Hao held a feast, he would become drunk and then order his attendants to tease his nobles and ministers in order to provide amusement.

"At this time, Wan Yu was Prime Minister of the Left. Wang Fan teased Wan Yu by saying, 'When a fish dives into the deep, foam comes up to the water. Why is that? Because all things have their innate nature, and cannot cross willy-nilly into other realms. Now Wan Yu came from a valley, with a sheep's nature and a tiger's skin. Yet he received brilliant favor for no reason, and vaulted above the positions of the Three Excellencies and the Nine Ministers. Even dogs or horses know their purpose. But how may he repay such favor?'

"Wan Yu replied, 'The courts of Tang (Yao) and Yu (Shun) had no false talents, nor did Zaofu keep any crippled horses in his stable. Wang Fan mocks the wise discernment of our lord above and ridicules the chief ministers of the court below. Yet what real harm is he? We have often seen how poor he is at appreciating someone's worth.'"

Your servant Pei Songzhi notes that according to the above accounts, the feast at which Wang Fan was killed was held after the envoy Ding Mu returned from his mission to Jin. Now Ding Mu returned from the north in the spring of this year (266), and at that time, Wan Yu had not yet been appointed as Prime Minister; that did not happen until autumn. So in that regard, the Wuli has a contradiction.)


8. Ding Zhong said to Sun Hao, "The north has no defensive or battle preparations. We can attack Yiyang and take it."

Sun Hao sought the advice of his ministers. The Grand General Who Guards The West, Lu Kai, said, "The north has newly annexed the Shu and Ba regions, yet they send envoys seeking for peace with us. This is not because they genuinely seek our help, but only because they want to buy time to recover. Our enemy's power is broad and strong, yet you wish to seek victory by means of a fluke. I cannot see any profit in this."

Although Sun Hao did not send forth his soldiers, he did break off relations with Jin. This Lu Kai was a junior kinsman of Lu Xun.


(During Han, Yiyang county was part of Runan commandary. Emperor Wen of Cao-Wei (Cao Pi) had split it off as Yiyang commandary.)

Dating: The 3rd month of 266

Reasoning: The Annals of Sun Hao in the Records of the Three Kingdoms records Ding Mu and Lu Kai offering this advice shortly following Ding Mu's return from his diplomatic mission to the north. Whatever the merits of that having taken place in the third or first month (see above), this event would necessarily have followed it.


9. In summer, the fifth month, on the day Renzi (?), Wang Shen passed away. He was posthumously known as Duke Yuan of Boling.

Dating: The Renzi day of the 5th month (?), 266

Reasoning: This event is listed as taking place on this date in the Annals of Sima Yan in the Book of Jin. However, the date listed is impossible since there was no Renzi day in the fifth month of this year, so the exact date is uncertain.


10. In the sixth month, on the day Bingwu (?), the last day of that lunar month, there was an eclipse.

Dating: The Bingwu day of the 6th month (?), 266

Reasoning: I am uncertain of the source of this passage; the Annals of Sima Yan in the Book of Jin does not list it. Also note that the date is impossible, as there was no Bingwu day in the sixth month of this year.


11. During the mourning for Sima Zhao, as was the custom, the ministers and the people all ceased wearing their mourning garments after three days. After Sima Zhao was buried, Sima Yan also ceased wearing his mourning garments, but he kept wearing his mourning band and took reduced meals, conducting himself as someone who was still in mourning for their parents.

In autumn, the eighth month, Sima Yan was about to go pay his respects at Sima Zhao's tomb at Chongyang. The ministers sent up a petition stating that, as the autumn heat had not yet passed, they feared that Sima Yan might do harm to himself during his sorrowful reflections. Sima Yan said, "I am going to present myself and look up at the imperial tombs; my body and my spirit are in excellent order."

He also issued an edict stating, "In order not to exhaust the realm through mourning, Emperor Wen of Han made the mourning period for kings and emperors more modest. However, as I am going to visit the imperial tombs, how can I contemplate going without wearing mourning dress? In discussing, I shall continue to wear the mourning headband. The ministers may all comply with the old system."

The Prefect of the Masters of Writing, Pei Xiu, submitted a petition stating, "Your Majesty has already ceased wearing mourning clothes, and for you to now put them back on goes against propriety. If the sovereign wears mourning clothes while his ministers do not, I dare not say that is suitable either."

Sima Yan issued an edict stating, "Troubling feelings cannot reach to the ears; what then of clothing? You gentlemen are so assertive as this, yet how can you so carelessly disagree with my thoughts?" So the ministers stopped.


(Emperor Wen of Han's will concerning the mourning period is mentioned in Book 15, in the seventh year of the latter part of his reign (157 BC). Zhen Dexiu remarked, "Emperor Wen's will was when the mourning period first became shortened. However, it was his original intention for this shortening to only affect the ministers and the people. But when his heir Emperor Jing came to the throne, he shortened his own mourning period using this as the reason!"

Sima Yan's expression means that troubling feelings of grief or respect do not reach to the ears, regardless of one's clothing.)

Dating: The 8th month of 266

Reasoning: The Annals of Sima Zhao in the Book of Jin lists the general idea of these mourning events as taking place in the eighth month of this year. I am not yet certain of the source of most of the content of this passage.


12. The General of the Central Army, Yang Hu, said to Fu Xuan, "The mourning period is for three years. For anyone, though he be highly exalted, to wear mourning clothes means he is conforming to the rites. When Emperor Wen of Han did away with this tradition, he crippled and wounded propriety and righteousness. Now our lord is acting so filial that, although he has put away his mourning clothes, still he conducts himself according to the mourning practices. If we could use this instance as a reason to restore the mourning rites as the kings of old enforced them, would that not be an excellent thing?"

Fu Xuan replied, "It is said, 'A day serves as a month'. It has already been hundreds of years since this change, and it would be no easy thing to go back to the old ways in the space of one morning."

Yang Hu said, "Then if we cannot make the whole realm follow the old rites, still if we could have our lord maintain his mourning clothing, would that not also be agreeable?"

Fu Xuan replied, "If the sovereign does not put away his mourning clothing while the realm does, that is only a thing suitable regarding a father and son, but it will not do for a ruler and his ministers."

So Yang Hu gave up on the idea.


(Three years was the traditional period of mourning, from the Son of Heaven on down to the common people. Yang Hu's expression "though he be highly exalted" means that although the Son of Heaven was an exalted person, he would still be required to wear mourning clothes for three years for his sense of filial piety.

Some versions insert the sentence "When Emperor Wen of Han did away with this tradition, he crippled and wounded prosperity and righteousness."

The phrase "A day serves as a month" was a fallacy of the Han Confucians; note its use in Book 15, in the seventh year of the latter half of the reign of Emperor Wen of Han (157 BC). (The phrase meant that the mourning period could be thirty-six days instead of thirty-six months, or three years.))

Dating: Sometime after Sima Zhao's death (in 265)

Reasoning: This passage is drawn from the Biography of Yang Hu in the Book of Jin, which states that the conversation took place "after Emperor Wen's (Sima Zhao's) death (in 265)". It might more logically be placed in that year if one accounts strictly for chronology. However, since the surrounding passages and especially Sima Guang's personal comment are all focused on the subject of Sima Yan's mourning conduct, this would be the most thematic place for this passage in the text.


13. On the day Wuchen (October 8th), the ministers sent up a petition asking that Sima Yan revert to his normal clothing and begin eating his meals as before.

Sima Yan issued an edict stating, "Whenever I reflect with gratitude on the netherworld below, and I consider that I cannot follow the rites of the coarse hempen girdle, it fills me with deep sorrow. How much less do I desire to feed myself with good rice and dress myself in embroidered clothes? It is proper for a man to act according to the dictates and passions of his heart, and he ought not to let others release him from them. Ever since I was born of my family, I have maintained the traditions and the rites; how then can I so easily change my feelings towards Heaven? Let everyone go their own ways, and test the merits of Confucius's reply to Zai Wo. Let there be no more of these assorted remarks!"

And so Sima Yan continued to wear his mourning band and eat reduced meals for the full three years.


(The Zuo Commentary states, "When Yan Huanzi of Qi died, [his son] Yan Ying had his unhemmed mourning clothes of coarse sackcloth. His headband and girdle were still coarser. (Xiang 17.7)" Du Yu's Annotations states, "This passage mentions the 苴; this is a sort of hemp, obtained when it is coarse."

The Analects states, "Zai Wo said to the Master, 'To mourn for three years is already too long of a period. If the superior man abstains for three years from the observances of propriety, those observances will be quite lost. If for three years he abstains from music, music will be ruined. Within a year the old grain is exhausted, and the new grain has sprung up. After a complete year, the mourning may stop.' The Master said, 'If you were, after a year, to eat good rice, and wear embroidered clothes, would you feel at ease?' 'I should,' replied Wo. The Master said, 'You feel at ease, and may do it.' Zai Wo then went out, and the Master said, 'This shows Yu's want of virtue. It is not till a child is three years old that it is allowed to leave the arms of its parents. And the three years' mourning is universally observed throughout the empire.' (Yang Huo 21)" The Book of Courtesy and Etiquette states, "For a son, his father is Heaven.")

Dating: The day Wuchen of the 8th month (October 8th), 266

Reasoning: This incident is listed on this date in the Annals of Sima Yan in the Book of Jin.


14. Your servant Sima Guang remarks: The three years' period of mourning, affecting all from the Son of Heaven down to the common people, was a classic rite from the kings of old, unchanging for a hundred generations. In following his heart, Emperor Wen of Han was uneducated; he upended the old ways and ruined the rites, cutting off the grace that passes between father and son, and harming the sense of righteousness between sovereign and ministers. Later generations of kings and emperors could not earnestly express themselves in grief, for when their ministers fawned upon them with flattery, none could maintain their conduct. But coming to Emperor Wu of Jin (Sima Yan), we find that he alone conformed to heavenly rectitude and could execute it. We may call him a worthy sovereign who lived not in the age.

As for Pei Xiu, Fu Xuan, and their ilk, they were ignorant and mediocre ministers; they had their practiced words, but they could not carry out with deference the measures springing from their lord's excellent qualities. Pathetic!


The Classic of Filial Piety states, "The superior man serves his ruler in such a way that he carries out with deference the measures springing from his excellent qualities and rectifies his ruler (only) to save him from what are evil."


15. Wu changed their reign era title to the first year of Baoding.


(Baoding means "treasured tripod"; they had obtained a great tripod, thus this name.)

Dating: The 8th month of 266

Reasoning: This event is listed during this month in the Annals of Sun Hao in the Records of the Three Kingdoms.


16. Sun Hao appointed Lu Kai as Prime Minister of the Left and Wan Yu as Prime Minister of the Right.

Sun Hao did not like it when anyone looked at him, and when his ministers attended upon him, none dared to lift their eyes. Lu Kai said to him, "We cannot have it that the sovereign and his ministers are unfamiliar with each other. If anything unexpected were to happen, they would not know whom to turn to." So Sun Hao would listen to Lu Kai while looking at him, but with others it was the same as before.


(That is, only Lu Kai was able to look at him, but others still could not look at him.)

Dating: The 8th month of 266

Reasoning: These appointments are listed during this month in the Annals of Sun Hao in the Records of the Three Kingdoms, immediately following the above passage. The further mention of Lu Kai's admonishment, taken from his biography in that text, occurs immediately after noting his appointment as Prime Minister of the Left.


17. While Sun Hao was residing in Wuchang, he compelled the people of Yangzhou to move there in order to provide for him, which greatly burdened them. Sun Hao himself lived extravagantly without restraint. Public and private resources were both stretched thin.

Lu Kai sent up a petition stating, "There are currently no incidents on our four borders, and so our business ought to be to care for the people and bring them prosperity and wealth. Not only is this not done, but you go so far as to trouble them to satisfy whatever you wish. There is no disaster, and yet the people are exhausted by your commands; there is no need, and yet the treasuries of state lie empty. This is something that I cannot understand.

"It was not so long ago that the royal house of Han was brought to ruin, and the three stately families rose up in their place. Then the Cao and Liu clans lost their way, and both were swallowed up by Jin. These experiences were within living memory. Foolish I may be, but I pity what Your Majesty is doing to the state.

“Wuchang is a land harsh and perilous, meager and filled with boulders. It is no fit place for a prince to set his capital. And there is this ballad among the people: 'Better to drink the water of Jianye than to eat the fish of Wuchang; better to go back to Jianye and die than to stay living in Wuchang.' From this, one can see that a wise man's heart will accord with Heaven's will.

"Now the state does not even have a year's worth of supplies stored up, the people resent their having been moved about, and the state is being worn away by the roots, yet the ministers and officials are harsh and exacting in their duties, and not a one of them shows any sympathy or regard. During the time of the Grand Emperor (Sun Quan), the number of specially selected women and of weavers in the rear palace did not even reach one hundred. But from the time of Emperor Jing (Sun Xiu) until now, there have been more than a thousand of them, and this has been a heavy expense. And as for the ministers, each has their own side and leads their own followers, bands of partisans plotting against each other, harming the loyal and obscuring the worthy. This moth-bitten government is a sickness on the people.

"This is why I beg Your Majesty to cease and put an end to your numerous projects, stop your overbearing measures, send away the palace women, and choose wisely when selecting your officials. Act so that Heaven is pleased with you and the people are attached to you, and then the state will have eternal security."

Although Sun Hao was displeased by Lu Kai's petition, on account of Lu Kai's long-standing service, Sun Hao treated him more leniently than he otherwise would have.


(For Eastern Wu, Wuchang was part of Jingzhou. Danyang, Xuancheng, Piling, Wu, Wuxing, Kuaiji, Dongyang, Xindu, Linhai, Jian'an, Yuzhang, Linchuan, Poyang, and Luling were all part of Yangzhou. This was why it was a burden for them to be moved to the west into Jingzhou, but Sun Hao made them move in order to provide for him.

The people wrote this ballad to express their lamentations about moving and having to supply Sun Hao.

The Book of Rites states, "If in a state there was not accumulated (a surplus) sufficient for six years, its condition was called one of urgency. If there was not a surplus sufficient for three years, the state could not continue. (Wang Zhi 24)" How much more so for a state without even one year's worth of surplus!

In Lu Kai's expression "the state is being worn away by the roots", he uses a tree as an example. The reason that trees are able to grow branches is because they have roots for their foundation. If the roots are worn away, the rest of the tree will soon collapse.

Sima Guang's commentary in the Textual Analysis states, "Chen Shou includes a certain petition ostensibly from Lu Kai at the end of his Biography of Lu Kai. He prefaces it with these remarks: 'When I obtained historical materials sent from Jingzhou and Yangzhou, among them were twenty instances of Lu Kai's rebukes to Sun Hao. Concerning the below petition, I asked among the learned men of Wu, and most of them were not familiar with such a petition from Lu Kai. And considering its composition is outstanding and exceedingly direct and forthright, I fear that Sun Hao would not have been able to put up with it. Some believe that Lu Kai hid this petition in a box of documents, because he did not yet dare to submit it. Only after he became deathly ill, and Sun Hao sent Dong Chao to inquire after him and see what his final wishes were, did he hand the petition over. It is difficult to know whether this petition is real or not, and this was why I did not include it in the body of Lu Kai's biography. However, since I so greatly appreciated the way in which it accuses and exposes Sun Hao's deeds, and calls on him to maintain restraint in the future, I transcribed it and appended it to the end of his biography.' I, Sima Guang, chose not to include this petition.")

Dating: The 8th month of 266

Reasoning: This petition is from the Biography of Lu Kai in the Records of the Three Kingdoms, immediately following the above incident about eye contact, and states that he submitted it "during the time that Sun Hao had moved the capital to Wuchang", meaning it must've taken place before the twelfth month when Sun Hao returned to Jianye.


18. In the ninth month, Sima Yan issued an edict stating, "From now on, when I issue an edict for anything that I wish, let there be no more petitions speaking in favor of it. But if regarding the matter there is anything unsuitable, let no one keep their feelings about it hidden."


(Sima Yan wanted to remove the hopes that anyone could flatter him through agreement, and to prevent any affair from happening without allowing for remonstrations.)

Dating: The 9th month of 266

Reasoning: I am uncertain of the source of this passage.


19. On the day Wuxu (November 7th), the officials petitioned, "Since Jin received the abdication from Wei, we ought to use the calendar and the clothing colors of the former dynasty, as Yu (Shun) did to honor Tang (Yao)." Sima Yan followed this suggestion.


(The Family Sayings states, "Ji Kang asked Confucius, 'What were the colors of the two emperors Tang (Yao) and Yu (Shun)?' Confucius replied, 'Yao was the virtuous king of fire, and his color was yellow; Shun was the virtuous king of earth, and his color was green.'" And Dong Zhongshu's "Strategies" has Confucius saying, "Shun was such a one of those who govern by noninterference! He changed the calendar, and he exchanged the clothing colors, thus being obedient to Heaven's mandate, but in all other things, he strictly maintained the ways of Yao. What more need have been done than that?" So by these two examples, Shun did honor Yao, but he still changed the calendar and exchanged the clothing colors. But according to the Old Text Version of the Book of Documents, "Heeding the command of Xihe, Yao established the calendar, setting the days and the months by the stars and the celestial bodies, in order to assist people in knowing time. When Shun began the first month of his reign, he accepted the cultured groupings. To assist timekeeping, he set the days to the months, but went no further; he said nothing of changing the calendar." The Great Tradition section of the Book of Changes states, "The Yellow Emperor, Yao, and Shun drooped their clothing, and the realm was governed." In the Yi and Ji section of the Book of Documents, the Emperor says, "I wish to see the emblematic figures of the ancients, to see all these things fully displayed in the five colours, so as to form the ceremonial robes." He made the robes and did no more, and said nothing of changing their colors. By the time of Han, there were six calendars: the Calendar of the Yellow Emperor, the Calendar of Zhuanxu, the Calendar of Xia, the Calendar of Yin (Shang), the Calendar of Zhou, and the Calendar of Lu. But there was no Calendar of Yao and Shun. Could it be that Yao and Shun used the Calendar of Zhuanxu to mark the time? Kong Yingda believed that the true calendar of old was passed down through the Warring States and the Qin dynasty and was lost; at the beginning of Han, they used the six calendars, and later people relied upon theirs. There can be no way to know what the real truth is.)

Dating: The Wuxu day of the 9th month (November 7th), 266

Reasoning: This event is mentioned on this date in the Annals of Sima Yan in the Book of Jin.


20. In winter, the tenth month, on the new moon of the day Bingwu (November 15th), there was an eclipse.


(Sima Guang's commentary in the Textual Analysis states, "The Records in the Book of Liu-Song does not list this eclipse. But I follow the Book of Jin's account.")

Dating: The Bingwu day of the 10th month (November 15th), 266

Reasoning: This event is mentioned on this date in the Annals of Sima Yan in the Book of Jin.


21. In Wu, there was a mountain bandit in Yong'an, Shi Dan. Building on the people's suffering and resentment, he was able to gather a host of several thousand men. They kidnapped Sun Hao's younger brother by a concubine mother, the Marquis of Yong'an, Sun Qian, and rose in rebellion. The rebels marched north to Jianye, and by then their army was more than ten thousand men. They halted thirty li from the city, to choose an auspicious day to enter it. Claiming authority through Sun Qian, they sent envoys to summon Ding Gu and Zhuge Jing. But Ding Gu and Zhuge Jing beheaded their envoys and marched with soldiers to counter-attack them at Niutun. Shi Dan's soldiers had no armor or helmets, and so they were defeated and scattered.

Sun Qian was left sitting in a cart, and he was captured alive. Ding Gu did not dare to kill Sun Qian, so he reported the situation to Sun Hao. Sun Hao had Sun Qian, his mother, and his younger brother by that mother, Sun Jun, all put to death.

Earlier, those who could read the ethers had declared, "Jingzhou has a royal aura; it will destroy Yangzhou." This was why Sun Hao had moved the capital to Wuchang. After Shi Dan rebelled, Sun Hao considered that he could himself fulfill this prediction. He sent several hundred men to Jianye to make a clamor, kill Shi Dan's wife and children, and declare, "The Son of Heaven has sent the soldiers of Jingzhou to come destroy the bandits of Yangzhou."


(The Register of Wu states, "Yong'an is the modern Wukang county." Shen Yue remarked, "Eastern Wu split off parts of Wucheng and Yuhang to form Yong'an county. In Emperor Wu of Jin's (Sima Yan's) first year of Taikang (280), he changed its name to Wukang. It was part of Wuxing commandary." Song Bai remarked, "Yong'an county was originally Yupi Village in Han's Wucheng county."

According to the Wuli, Niutun was twenty-one li from Jianye.)

Dating: The 10th month, 266

Reasoning: This event is mentioned in this month in the Annals of Sun Hao in the Records of the Three Kingdoms.


22. In the eleventh month, the sacrifices at the round mound and the square mound at the southern and northern suburbs began to be combined.


(Master Zheng's annotations to the Book of Rites states, "A tall place necessarily being a hill or mound, it is said that sacrifices are offered to Heaven in winter atop a round mound. A low place necessarily being a river or marsh, it is said that sacrifices are offered to the Earth in summer amidst a square marsh. These sacrifices were beyond those of the four suburban sacrifices." In Cao-Wei's first year of Jingchu (237.18 in Fang's Chronicles), they first set up a round mound at Mount Weisu south of Luoyang. When winter came, they offered sacrifices to the imperial heavens at the round mound, and when summer came, they offered sacrifices to the imperial earth at the square mound. The heavenly suburban sacrifices were addressed to the spirits of the imperial heaven, and the earthly suburban sacrifices were addressed to the spirits of the imperial earth. At this time, the two ceremonies were combined at the two suburbs, and from then on there was no distinction made between the round mounds and the square marshes.)

Dating: The 11th month, 266

Reasoning: This event is mentioned in this month in the Annals of Sima Yan in the Book of Jin.


23. Sima Yan removed the military authority of the Shanyang fief, and did away with its special systems.


(Cao-Wei had deposed Emperor Xian of Han as Duke of Shanyang. His fief was at the city of Zhuolu in Shanyang county in Henei, and he was given command of soldiers to guard and protect him. By the time of the Jin dynasty, Emperor Xian's grandson Liu Kang had inherited the fief. The people's hearts had not been with Han for some time, and this was why Sima Yan removed the guard soldiers and did away with the fief's special systems.)

[spoiler=]Dating: The 11th month, 266, following the above passage

Reasoning: This event is mentioned in this month in the Annals of Sima Yan in the Book of Jin, immediately after the above passage.


24. In the twelfth month, Sun Hao moved the capital back to Jianye, and had the Guard General and manager of the Masters of Writing, Empress Teng’s father Teng Mu, remain to guard Wuchang.

Seeing as Teng Mu was an honored relative, the court officials relied upon him to remonstrate with Sun Hao. Empress Teng thus began to gradually lose favor. Sun Hao further sent Teng Mu to stay at Cangwu; although his rank and titles were not actually stripped, in reality he was being sent into exile, and he died of worry on the road.

Empress Dowager He often protected and supported Empress Teng, and the Grand Astrologer also told Sun Hao that the Central Palace could not easily be changed. Sun Hao trusted in witches and wizards, and this was why he did not depose Empress Teng. But although he often sent support to the Shengping Palace, he did not go in to see them. The various concubines attendant to the Empress had a great deal of royal embroidery, but Empress Teng accepted a court petition and did away with them.

Sun Hao sent out his Yellow Gate subordinates to patrol through the provinces and commandaries, obtaining the fine daughters of the families of generals and officials, and the great ministers of two thousand 石 salary rank were compelled to report their daughters every years. Those who were fifteen or sixteen years old were examined, and only those who did not pass the examination were allowed to be married off. The rear palace was filled with more than a thousand of them, and still the choosing of daughters went on.


(Sima Guang's commentary in the Textual Analysis states, "There is this account in the Biography of Lu Kai in the Records of the Three Kingdoms: 'In the twelfth month of the first year of Baoding (266), Lu Kai plotted with Ding Feng and Ding Gu to have Sun Hao make a visit to the ancestral temple, because he wished to depose Sun Hao and replace him with Sun Xiu's son. At that time, the General of the Left, Liu Ping, led his troops there first, and so the plotters secretly told him of the plot. Liu Ping opposed the idea and would not permit it. Worried that the secret would leak, the plotters did not carry out their plan.' Now Lu Kai was totally loyal and studiously virtuous, and certainly would not have done such a thing. This is not to mention that Sun Hao was a cruel, suspicious, and paranoid man, and Liu Ping was a mediocre person. If Liu Ping had heard about Lu Kai's plot, it is impossible that the plot would not have leaked. The account is sheer nonsense, and I do not include it."

A female magician is called a witch, and a male one a wizard.

The Shengping Palace was the palace in which Sun Hao's mother Empress Dowager He lived.)

Dating: The 12th month of 266

Reasoning: Sun Hao's return to Jianye and Teng Mu's appointment to Wuchang are listed as occurring during this month in the Annals of Sun Hao in the Records of the Three Kingdoms. The rest of this passage, drawn from the Biography of Empress Teng in that text, has no set dating, but must have occurred after Teng Mu's appointment to Wuchang.


Unread postPosted: Mon Sep 18, 2017 1:15 am
by Taishi Ci 2.0

The Third Year of Taishi (The Dinghai Year, 267 AD)


1. In spring, the first month, on the day Dingmao (?), Sima Yan established his son Sima Zhong as Crown Prince.

Sima Yan issued an edict stating, "In recent eras, it has been the occasion to declare an amnesty upon the selection of a Crown Prince. But as this is an era in which we are approaching peace, to do so would only give comfort to evildoers, and cast away the many hopes of the people for good fortune. I shall do nothing to bring comfort to miscreants (or, those of meager virtue)!" And he did not declare an amnesty.


(This was why Sima Zhong, who became Emperor Hui, brought ruin to Jin.

When Emperor Gao of Han (Liu Bang) became Prince of Han, and he named his Crown Prince, he declared an amnesty for criminals. When Emperors Wen, Jing, and Wu named their crown princes, they rewarded the people with titles. When it came time for Emperor Xuan to name his Crown Prince, that was when the declaring of a general amnesty throughout the realm first began. When Emperor Yuan named his Crown Prince, he went back to granting titles to the people. When Emperor Guangwu (Liu Xiu) named his original choice for Crown Prince, Liu Jiang, he declared an amnesty throughout the realm; but when he later selected Liu Yang as his new Crown Prince, and when Emperors Ming and Zhang named their crown princes, on none of those occasions was an amnesty declared. During Cao-Wei, Emperors Wen and Ming (Cao Pi and Cao Rui) only named their crown princes when they fell mortally ill, and as their crown princes came to the throne very soon after their selections, that coincided with the amnesties declared upon their coming to power. This was the state of affairs that Sima Yan now altered.

The last sentence of Sima Yan’s edict has the characters 小人 “miscreants”. It ought to read 小仁 “those of meager virtue”, as that line of the edict does in the Book of Jin. (人 and 仁 are both pronounced “ren”; this may be the source of the error.))

Dating: The Dingmao day of the 1st month (?), 267

Reasoning: The appointment of Sima Zhong and the edict are listed as occurring on this date in the Annals of Sima Yan in the Book of Jin, with the Annals of Emperor Hui in that text corroborating the year of the appointment. However, the date listed is impossible, since there was no Dingmao day in the first month of this year. The true date is uncertain.

孝惠皇帝諱衷,字正度,武帝第二子也。泰始三年,立爲皇太子,時年九歲。(Book of Jin 4, Annals of Emperor Hui)

Emperor Xiao-Hui, named Sima Zhong, was styled Zhengdu. He was Emperor Wu's (Sima Yan's) second son. In the third year of Taishi (267), he was established as Crown Prince. At that time, he was eight years old.


2. Jin’s Colonel-Director of Retainers, Li Xi of Shangdang commandary, made accusations against the former Prefect of Lijin, Liu You, the former Master of Writing, Shan Tao, the Prince of Zhongshan, Sima Mu, and the Supervisor of the Masters of Writing, Wu Gai. He claimed that all of them had used their offices to claim farming lands, and he asked that Shan Tao, Sima Mu, and the others be stripped of office. Since Wu Gai was already deceased, Li Xi asked that his posthumous title be demoted.

Sima Yan issued an edict stating, "Liu You has plundered the people and misled the court officials, and he shall be examined to determine the extent of his villainy. However, Shan Tao and the others have not committed such transgressions, and nothing has been heard against them. Li Xi makes presumptuous accusations against these honored men. In their conduct in office, one could say of them that 'in our country they have ever held to the right'. Emperor Guangwu had a saying: 'In power and majesty, I stay my hand against the Two Baos.' One must be cautious in slinging accusations against ministers. I grant them the mercy of my pardon; let no more be said of this matter!"

This Sima Mu was Sima Yi's nephew by a younger brother.


(Sima Yan's first quote is from the Book of Poetry (Gao Qiu 2).

The quote from Guangwu is mentioned in Book 42, in the eleventh year of Jianwu (35 AD).)

Dating: Before the 3rd month of 267

Reasoning: This incident is taken from the Biography of Li Xi in the Book of Jin. Since the Biography lists his appointment as Colonel-Director of Retainers before this incident, and his appointment as Grand Tutor to the Crown Prince "in the same year" (as mentioned in passage 4 below) after it, presumably it took place before that appointment.

〈虞預《晉書》曰:周字伯南,沛國竹邑人。位至光祿大夫。子陔,字元夏。陔及二弟韶、茂,皆總角見稱,並有器望,雖鄉人諸父,未能覺其多少。時同郡劉公榮,名知人,嘗造周。周謂曰:「卿有知人之明,欲使三兒見卿,卿爲目高下,以效郭、許之聽可乎?」公榮乃自詣陔兄弟,與共言語,觀其舉動。出語周曰:「君三子皆國士也。元夏器量最優,有輔佐之風,展力仕宦,可爲亞公。叔夏、季夏,不減常伯、納言也。」陔少出仕宦,歷職內外,泰始初爲吏部尚書,遷左僕射、右光祿大夫、開府儀同三司,卒於官。陔以在魏已爲大臣,本非佐命之數,懷遜讓,不得已而居位,故在官職,無所荷任,夙夜思恭而已。終始全潔,當世以爲美談。韶歷二官吏部郎。山濤啟事稱韶清白有誠,終於散騎常侍。〉(Records of the Three Kingdoms 27, Biography of Hu Zhi)

(Regarding Wu Zhou, Yu Yu's version of the Book of Jin contains this biography of him and his sons: "Wu Zhou, styled Bonan, was a native of Zhuyi county in the Pei princely fief. He rose in office as high as Household Counselor. His son was Wu Gai, styled Yuanxia. Wu Gai and his younger brothers Wu Shao and Wu Mao were all intelligent and clever and received acclaim. They all showed great promise, but none of the elders of their town were able to properly analyze their potential.

At that time, there was a native of the same commandary, a certain Liu Gongrong, who was famous for being able to appraise people. On one occasion, he came to visit Wu Zhou. Wu Zhou said to him, 'Sir, you're well-known for your wisdom in appraising people, so I wish to present my three sons to you. Will you not look them up and down and see how well they might live up to the examples of Guo and Xu?' Liu Gongrong then went to visit Wu Gai and his brothers; he spoke with them and observed their posture and movements. After leaving them, he told Wu Zhou, 'Your three sons are all good gentlemen of state. Yuanxia has the most outstanding potential; he is suited to serve as a regent of the state, and if he develops his strength and serves in office, he may be called an elder statesman. As for Shuxia and Jixia, they shall be no less than Constant Companions or Receivers of Words.'

Wu Gai went out to take up office while he was still young, and he served in successive posts both within the court and without. By the beginning of the Taishi reign era (~265), he had become Personnel Director of the Masters of Writing. He later became Deputy Director of the Left and Household Counselor of the Right, and he was granted the privilege of a Separate Office with equal ceremonial to the Three Excellencies. He passed away in office. Wu Gai had already become a great minister even during the Cao-Wei dynasty, but he had never really wished to hold such high posts. He often cherished the thought of resigning his offices, but was unable to do so and thus was compelled to serve. Thus, although he held many posts, he could never bear the responsibilities of his offices; day and night, he did no more than ponder respect. From beginning to end, he remained absolutely pure, and the people of his time all spoke highly of him.

Wu Shao served in two offices as a Gentleman in the Personnel Bureau. At that time, Shan Tao was in charge of recruiting and appointing many people. He commended Wu Shao as a pure, honest, and earnest man, so in the end Wu Shao became a Cavalier In Regular Attendance."


3. Your servant Sima Guang remarks: The great foundation of governance is rewards and punishments. When rewards and punishments are not handled clearly, how can governance be achieved? When Sima Yan pardoned Shan Tao and yet commended Li Xi, he made two faults against rewards and punishments. If what Li Xi had said was true, then Shan Tao could not have been pardoned; if what Li Xi had said was not true, then Li Xi did not merit praise. To praise Li Xi's words, and yet to not heed what he had said, meant resentment below and frivolity above; how could he continue to be used? The four ministers were charged with the same crime, yet Liu You was punished while Shan Tao and the rest were not investigated. For the lowly to be acted against while the esteemed are left alone: can this be called governance? When at the very start of the endeavor, the foundation of governance was not established, it is no wonder that later generations lost control of affairs!


4. Sima Yan appointed Li Xi as Grand Tutor to the Crown Prince, and he called upon Li Mi of Jianwei commandary to be Horse-Washer to the Crown Prince. But Li Mi declined the post, because of his grandmother's old age, and his request was accepted.

Whenever Li Mi met someone, he would always go over their merits and faults and make a blunt assessment of them. He often said, "I stand alone in this era, with no one as my peer. But I have no fear, because that means there is no one to trouble me."


(The office of Horse-Washer had existed since the Han dynasty. The chapter on Government Offices in the Book of Jin states, "The Horse-Washer to the Crown Prince is an internuncio office. It serves as secretary, keeping the Prince's stamps and seals, and selecting and explaining stories from the Classics for the Prince. When the Prince goes out, the Horse-Washer leads the way, acting as a herald for his power and majesty." The Book of Han records the name of this office as 先馬 (Horse-Leader?), and the Discourses on the States mentions that during his time as a hostage in Wu, Goujian of Yue served as Fuchai's Horse-Washer.

Li Mi's reasoning was that, as there was no one else who could attend to her, he and his grandmother were dependent upon one another, and this was why he could not accept the post.)

Dating: The 1st month of 267?

Reasoning: The Annals of Sima Yan in the Book of Jin lists Li Xi's appointment in the third month of this year. Yet the Zizhi Tongjian seems to imply that both of these appointments were made in the first month.

The content on Li Mi is taken from the Biography of Li Mi in the Huayang Guozhi, which lists Sima Yan as offering the appointment as Horse-Washer "when he appointed his Crown Prince", thus it must have been around this time as well. But there is no definite date.


5. A general amnesty was declared in Wu, and the Prime Minister of the Right, Wan Yu, was sent to guard Baqiu.

Dating: The 1st month of 267?

Reasoning: The Annals of Sun Hao in the Records of the Three Kingdoms lists this amnesty and this appointment as taking place in "spring" of this year (sometime during the first three months). Again, the Zizhi Tongjian seems to imply that it was in the first month.


6. In summer, the sixth month, Sun Hao built the Zhaoming Palace. All officials, from those of two thousand 石 salary on down, were ordered to lead teams into the mountains to obtain wood. Sun Hao created great parks and gardens, and raised earthen mounds and viewing stands. His works were exceedingly extravagant, and his expenditures in these endeavors were reckoned in the tens and hundreds of thousands. Lu Kai remonstrated with him, but Sun Hao did not listen.

The Assistant to the Palace Secretariat, Hua He, sent up a petition stating, "During the age of Emperor Wen of Han, peace reigned over the Nine Provinces. But even so, Jia Yi still believed that the dynasty should 'tend to the fire by storing up firewood' below while halting affairs above. Now our great enemy occupies the Nine Provinces, and they have the greater half of the realm's people. They are planning to swallow our state up entirely; they will not content themselves with only Han's Huainan and Jibei regions. Compared with Jia Yi's age, how much more pressing is our own situation! Our storehouses are bare and empty, and our people have lost their livelihoods, while the north is piling up grain and tending to its people, with its heart set towards the east.

“Furthermore, Jiaozhi is already lost, and Lingbiao is wavering. There is suspicion from front and rear, and many difficulties from head and tail, so that the state and the court find themselves in a perilous situation. If we neglect this urgent task and expend all our efforts in projects, then the soldiers will be weary and unprepared for any development. We should be building boards and frames to serve as walls, and following the beacon fires. If you drive the people into resentment and then ask them to enter the melee, that would only be granting assistance to our great enemy."

During this time, the people of Wu maintained luxurious lifestyles, and so Hua He sent up another petition stating, "At the moment, there are many pressing matters, yet we are engaged in numerous projects; the people are in poverty, yet we live extravagantly. The workers are building things which are of no use, while the women dress themselves in finery. Everyone is trying to imitate one another, and no one feels shame. Even the families of the soldiers and the common people are still following this custom; though they do not even have a jug's or a 石's worth of grain stored up, when they go out they also dress themselves in fine silks. Above, there is no distinction made between the esteemed and the lowly; below, there is great spending of wealth and dwindling of fortunes. They are seeking prosperity, but how can they attain it?"

Sun Hao did not listen to any of his petitions.


(The Geographical Records of the Taikang Era of Jin states, "The Zhaoming Palace was fifty square zhang in size." The Wuli states, "The Zhaoming Palace was east of the Taichu Palace."

Jia Yi's suggestions are mentioned in Book 14, in the sixth year of Emperor Wen of Han (174 BC).

When Hua He mentions that Jin has "its heart set towards the east", he refers to them sending an army from Luoyang to approach the shore of the Yangzi, while sending troops from Shu down into the Jing and Chu regions; both of these movements would be towards the east.

Wu's loss of Jiaozhi to Jin was mentioned in the last book, in Emperor Yuan of Cao-Wei's (Cao Huan's) first year of Xianxi (264.38 in Fang's Chronicles).

Ying Shao remarked, "The people of Qi call a small urn a jug; it can contain two 斛 of grain." Jin Zhou remarked, "The 石 used here means the unit of measurement.")

Dating: The 6th month of 267

Reasoning: The events of the first paragraph are listed as occurring in the sixth month of this year in the Annals of Sun Hao in the Records of the Three Kingdoms.

Hua He's petitions are taken from his Biography in the same text. The first petition is listed as being written during this year, in response to the construction of new palaces and labor demands, and so must have been in response to the same events mentioned in the Annals. The second petition is described as being written in response to corruption of morals and lack of supplies "at that time", and has no definite date, but Sima Guang must have figured that this would be the best place to include it as well.


7. In autumn, the seventh month, Wang Xiang retired to his estate as Duke of Suiling.

Dating: The 7th month of 267?

Reasoning: I am uncertain of the source of this date for Wang Xiang's retirement. It is not listed in the Annals of Sima Yan in the Book of Jin. The Biography of Wang Xiang in that text only implies that it took place early in Sima Yan's reign.


8. In the ninth month, on the day Jiashen (October 19th), Sima Yan issued an edict increasing the salaries of officials.

Dating: The Jiashen day of the 9th month (October 19th), 267

Reasoning: This edict is listed as having been issued on this date in the Annals of Sima Yan in the Book of Jin.


9. Sima Yan appointed He Zeng as Grand Guardian, Sima Wang as Grand Commandant, and Xun Yi as Minister Over The Masses.

Dating: The 9th month of 267

Reasoning: These appointments are listed as having occurred immediately following the above edict in the Annals of Sima Yan in the Book of Jin.


10. Sima Yan banned the study of reading the stars and ethers, and the study of Chenwei divination.


(Chenwei divination had been studied since the Later Han.)

Dating: The 9th month of 267?

Reasoning: The Annals of Sima Yan in the Book of Jin lists this incident as the final event of this year, in the twelfth month. It may be that Sima Guang is stating only that the ban took place at some point during this year, and not in the ninth month.


11. Sun Hao had Meng Ren act as Prime Minister, while he rode his carriage east to welcome the spirit of his late father Emperor Wen (Sun He) at Mingling. There he sent messengers continuously to reverently ask after the daily life of his father's spirit. The witches and wizards answered that they had seen that in his dress and expression, Emperor Wen looked to be living a peaceful life. Sun Hao felt both mournful and happy to hear this, and he paid his respects outside the eastern gate.

Since Sun Hao had entered the ancestral temple, he performed the Three Sacrifices for about seven days. He brought in several singers and dancers, and he enjoyed himself day and night.


(Mingling was in Wucheng county in Wuxing commandary. The Book of Liu-Song states, "Sun Hao had his father Sun He reburied in the western hills of Wucheng, and he called the tomb Mingling."

Sun Hao was at the eastern gate of Jianye.)

Dating: The 9th month of 267?

Reasoning: I am uncertain of the source of this passage. The Annals of Sun Hao in the Records of the Three Kingdoms does not mention it.


12. During this year, Sima Yan sent the Xianbei hostage Tuoba Shamohan back to his state.


(Tuoba Shamohan had come to Cao-Wei as a hostage, as mentioned in Book 77, in Emperor Yuan of Cao-Wei's (Cao Huan's) second year of Jingyuan (261.8 in Fang's Chronicles).)

Dating: Sometime in 267

Reasoning: Tuoba Shamohan's return is listed as taking place during this year in the Annals of the Tuoba Ancestors in the Book of Northern Wei.

索頭虜姓託跋氏,其先漢將李陵後也。陵降匈奴,有數百千種,各立名號,索頭亦其一也。晉初,索頭種有部落數萬家在雲中。(Book of Liu-Song 95, Account of the Suotou)

The Tuoba clan of the Soutou ("braid-hair") barbarians were the descendants of the Han general Li Ling. After Li Ling surrendered to the Xiongnu, he had hundreds and thousands of descendants, each of whom established their own names, and the Suotou were one of these.

At the beginning of the Jin dynasty, there were tens of thousands of Suotou tribes living at Yunzhong.

昔黃帝有子二十五人,或內列諸華,或外分荒服,昌意少子,受封北土,國有大鮮卑山,因以為號。其後,世為君長,統幽都之北,廣漠之野,畜牧遷徙,射獵為業,淳樸為俗,簡易為化,不為文字,刻木紀契而已,世事遠近,人相傳授,如史官之紀錄焉。黃帝以土德王,北俗謂土為托,謂后為跋,故以為氏。其裔始均,入仕堯世,逐女魃於弱水之北,民賴其勤,帝舜嘉之,命為田祖。爰歷三代,以及秦漢,獯鬻、獫狁、山戎、匈奴之屬,累代殘暴,作害中州,而始均之裔,不交南夏,是以載籍無聞焉。積六十七世,至成皇帝諱毛立。聰明武略,遠近所推,統國三十六,大姓九十九,威振北方,莫不率服。崩。節皇帝諱貸立,崩。莊皇帝諱觀立,崩。明皇帝諱樓立,崩。安皇帝諱越立,崩。宣皇帝諱推寅立。南遷大澤,方千餘里,厥土昏冥沮洳。謀更南徙,未行而崩。景皇帝諱利立,崩。元皇帝諱俟立,崩。和皇帝諱肆立,崩。定皇帝諱機立,崩。僖皇帝諱蓋立,崩。威皇帝諱儈立,崩。獻皇帝諱隣立。時有神人言於國曰:「此土荒遐,未足以建都邑,宜復徙居。」帝時年衰老,乃以位授子。聖武皇帝諱詰汾。獻帝命南移,山谷高深,九難八阻,於是欲止。有神獸,其形似馬,其聲類牛,先行導引,歷年乃出。始居匈奴之故地。其遷徙策略,多出宣、獻二帝,故人並號曰「推寅」,蓋俗云「鑽研」之義。初,聖武帝嘗率數萬騎田於山澤,欻見輜軿自天而下。既至,見美婦人,侍衞甚盛。帝異而問之,對曰:「我,天女也,受命相偶。」遂同寢宿。旦,請還,曰:「明年周時,復會此處。」言終而別,去如風雨。及期,帝至先所田處,果復相見。天女以所生男授帝曰:「此君之子也,善養視之。子孫相承,當世為帝王。」語訖而去。子即始祖也。故時人諺曰:「詰汾皇帝無婦家,力微皇帝無舅家。」帝崩。始祖神元皇帝諱力微立。生而英叡。元年,歲在庚子。先是,西部內侵,國民離散,依於沒鹿回部大人竇賓。始祖有雄傑之度,時人莫測。後與賓攻西部,軍敗,失馬步走,始祖使人以所乘駿馬給之。賓歸,令其部內求與馬之人,當加重賞,始祖隱而不言。久之,賓乃知,大驚,將分國之半,以奉始祖,始祖不受,乃進其愛女。賓猶思報恩,固問所欲。始祖請率所部北居長川,賓乃敬從。積十數歲,德化大洽,諸舊部民,咸來歸附。二十九年,賓臨終,戒其二子使謹奉始祖。其子不從,乃陰謀為逆。始祖召殺之,盡并其眾,諸部大人,悉皆欵服,控弦上馬二十餘萬。三十九年,遷於定襄之盛樂。夏四月,祭天,諸部君長皆來助祭,唯白部大人觀望不至,於是徵而戮之,遠近肅然,莫不震懾。始祖乃告諸大人曰:「我歷觀前世匈奴、蹋頓之徒,苟貪財利,抄掠邊民,雖有所得,而其死傷不足相補,更招寇讎,百姓塗炭,非長計也。」於是與魏和親。四十二年,遣子文帝如魏,且觀風土。魏景元二年也。文皇帝諱沙漠汗,以國太子留洛陽,為魏賓之冠。聘問交市,往來不絕,魏人奉遺金帛繒絮,歲以萬計。始祖與隣國交接,篤信推誠,不為倚伏以要一時之利,寬恕任真,而遐邇歸仰。魏晉禪代,和好仍密。始祖春秋已邁,帝以父老求歸,晉武帝具禮護送。四十八年,帝至自晉。(Book of Northern Wei 1, Annals of the Tuoba Ancestors)

In ancient times, the Yellow Emperor had twenty-five sons. Some of them dwelled among the various Hua people (ethnic Han), while some lived out among the distant wastes. The youngest son, Changyi, was given a fief in the northern lands. Within that state was a certain Mount Xianbei, and that became the name of his people.

After Changyi, his descendants became rulers and chiefs. They ruled to the north of Yudu, in the wide expanses of the desert. They were nomads who tended livestock, and they gained their livelihood from archery and hunting. Honesty was their custom; simplicity was their tradition. They did not use written characters, but only made agreements through carvings on wood. Through the ages and across the land, men passed on their traditions to one another, in the same manner that historical officials might write down their records.

Now the Yellow Emperor ruled according to the virtues of Earth. These northern people tended to pronounce "tu" as "tuo" and the word for sovereign as "ba"; this was the origin of "Tuoba", the name of the clan of the ancestors of Northern Wei. The great ancestor of their clan, Shijun, served in office under the ancient Emperor Yao, and he drove the Nüba she-demon off to the north of the Ruo River. The common people of the region relied upon his diligence, and Emperor Shun praised him and made him the Ancestor of the Fields.

For many years, all through the three dynasties of Xia, Shang, and Zhou and up until the time of the Qin and Han dynasties, the Xunyu, Xianyun, Shanrong, and Xiongnu tribes and their under-tribes were wild and savage, plundering and damaging the Central Provinces. But Shijun's descendants had no interactions with the southern Xia people (ethnic Han), and so the historical texts of those ages make no mention of them.

Sixty-seven generations passed, until the age of Emperor Cheng, Tuoba Mao. He was intelligent, martial, and clever. All acclaimed him, near and far, and he ruled over thirty-six states and ninety-nine great clans. His power shook the north, and there was no one who did not submit to him.

After Emperor Cheng were many more rulers. There was Emperor Jie, Tuoba Dai. Emperor Zhuang, Tuoba Guan. Emperor Ming, Tuoba Lou. Emperor An, Tuoba Yue.

Then came Emperor Xuan, Tuoba Tuiyin. He moved south to Daze, to a region more than a thousand li square, a dark and dim place of bogs and swamps. He planned to move still further south, but passed away before he could do so.

Next came Emperor Jing, Tuoba Li. Emperor Yuan, Tuoba Qi. Emperor He, Tuoba Si. Emperor Ding, Tuoba Ji. Emperor Xi, Tuoba Gai. Emperor Wei, Tuoba Kuai.

After these came Emperor Xian, Tuoba Lin. At that time, there was a spirit who said to Emperor Xian about his state, "This land is too barren and distant. It is not suited for establishing a capital district. You should move your dwelling place." By then, Emperor Xian was already old and frail, so he yielded his position to his son.

His son was Emperor Shengwu, Tuoba Jiefen. Emperor Xian ordered him to lead their people south. But the mountains were high and the valleys deep, and the people encountered nine difficulties and eight obstacles. The people wanted to stop. Then appeared some divine beast: it was shaped like a horse, and it sounded like an ox. It walked ahead of the people and showed them the way, and so after a year they emerged from this wilderness. So the Tuoba first began to live in the lands once occupied by the Xiongnu. The planning for these two migrations had mostly been thanks to Emperors Xuan and Emperor Xian, and so the people called them "Tuiyin", and this was the principle commonly called "Zuanyan ('to bore through'; Trailblazers)".

Earlier, Emperor Shengwu had once been leading several tens of thousands of riders on a circuit through the mountains and marshes. He suddenly witnessed a curtained carriage appear in the sky and descend to the earth. When he came to the carriage, he saw a beautiful woman, surrounded by a great many guards and attendants. He marveled at the woman and asked her who she was. She replied, "I am a woman from Heaven, and I have been ordered to meet you." They retired to the bedroom together. When morning came, the woman asked to return, saying, "At this time next year, return to this place." Having said this, she departed, gone as quick as wind or rain. At the appointed time, Emperor Shengwu returned to where he had been before, and as expected, he met the woman there again. The heavenly woman gave birth to a boy and gave him to Emperor Shengwu, telling him, "Sir, this is your son. Raise him well and look after him. He will have sons and grandsons, and in due time they shall become kings and emperors." Having said this, she left once again. This boy was Shizu, Tuoba Liwei. The people of that time had a saying: "Emperor Jiefen has no in-laws, Emperor Liwei has no maternal family."

Then Emperor Shengwu passed away.

Shizu, Tuoba Liwei, was Emperor Shenyuan. No sooner was he born than he showed himself to be heroic and astute.

The first year of Tuoba Liwei's reign was a Gengzi year (this lines up with 220 AD, but should probably be 219). Before this time, the peoples to the west of the Tuoba had plundered them, and the people of the state all split apart and scattered. Tuoba Liwei went to join the chief of the Meiluhui people, Dou Bin. Tuoba Liwei himself had an exceptional character, which no one at that time could fathom.

He later joined with Dou Bin to attack the western peoples, but their army was defeated. Dou Bin lost his horse and had to flee on foot. Tuoba Liwei had someone give his own fine steed to Dou Bin. When Dou Bin returned, he gave orders to find out whose horse it was among his people, wanting to reward them handsomely. But Tuoba Liwei was reserved and did not reveal that it was him. Sometime later, Dou Bin eventually found out who the horse belonged to, and he was greatly alarmed. He was about to split his state in half and give half of it to Tuoba Liwei, but Tuoba Liwei would not accept it, so Dou Bin gave Tuoba Liwei his beloved daughter. Dou Bin still wanted to repay Tuoba Liwei for the favor, and he pressed him, asking what he wished to have. So Tuoba Liwei asked that he be allowed to lead his people north to settle at Zhangchuan. Dou Bin respected him and granted his wish.

For more than a decade, Tuoba Liwei practiced virtue and harmony, and so all of the people who had once lived under him all returned to his side again.

In the twenty-ninth year of Tuoba Liwei's reign (248), Dou Bin was on his deathbed. He ordered his two sons to convey their respects to Tuoba Liwei. But his sons refused to do so, and they secretly plotted to betray him. Tuoba Liwei summoned these sons and killed them, and took over all their forces. All the chiefs submitted to Tuoba Liwei, and he commanded more than two hundred thousand mounted archers.

In the thirty-ninth year of Tuoba Liwei's reign (258), he moved to Dingxiang at Shengle. That summer, in the fourth month, he offered sacrifices to Heaven. All of the various rulers and chiefs came to assist him in the sacrifices. Only the chief of the White Division stood by and did not come to assist. So Tuoba Liwei summoned him and then executed him. Everyone near and far respected him, and there was no one who did not tremble at him.

Tuoba Liwei then said to the various chiefs, "I have observed as, in years gone by, the Xiongnu and the followers of Tadun (the Xianbei) were greedy and covetous, chasing after gains, and so they pillaged and plundered the border people. But although they gained somethings, it was not enough to make up for the dead and wounded that they suffered in their raids. It is not a good plan for the long term to launch further attacks and invasions and make the common people live in anguish and misery." So he arranged a heqin marriage alliance with the state of Cao-Wei.

In the forty-second year of Tuoba Liwei's reign (261), he sent his son Emperor Wen, Tuoba Shamohan, to Cao-Wei, so that he could observe the customs and conditions of that place. This was in Cao-Wei's second year of Jingyuan (261).

Emperor Wen, Tuoba Shamohan, remained at Luoyang as Tuoba Liwei's Crown Prince, where he was the most honored guest of Cao-Wei. Envoys between the Tuoba and Cao-Wei were established and trade relations maintained, continuing on each year without falter. The people of Cao-Wei sent tens of thousands of gold and various kinds of silks each year.

Tuoba Liwei maintained good relations with the neighboring states, and he maintained a policy of honesty and fair-dealing, not believing in gaining any momentary advantage through underhandedness. He was magnanimous and forgiving, trusting and true, and so people came to join him from near and far. After Jin accepted the abdication from Cao-Wei, the good relations between them and the Tuoba grew even closer.

By now, Tuoba Liwei was getting on in years, and so Tuoba Shamohan asked to return home to care for his aging father. Emperor Wu of Jin (Sima Yan) saw him off with all due ceremony.

In the forty-eighth year of Tuoba Liwei's reign (267), Tuoba Shamohan arrived from Jin.


Unread postPosted: Mon Sep 18, 2017 1:18 am
by Taishi Ci 2.0

The Fourth Year of Taishi (The Wuzi Year, 268 AD)


1. In spring, the first month, on the day Bingxu (February 18th), Jia Chong and others submitted a petition proposing that the laws and statutes be reviewed and amended. Sima Yan came himself to inspect them, and he sent the Gentleman of the Masters of Writing, Pei Kai, to look over and review the texts. This Pei Kai was the cousin of Pei Xiu.

The Palace Attendant Lu Ting and the Gentleman Attendant of the Palace Secretariat, Zhang Hua of Fanyang, asked to transcribe the new laws that would carry capital offenses and to hang them in the pavilions to display them to the people. Sima Yan accepted their suggestion.


(When Jia Chong and the others made this request, in addition to the nine Codes of law inherited from Han, another eleven 篇 had been added, so that there were twenty 篇 altogether, six hundred and twenty 條. Those unfamiliar with the laws all believed that they could be enforced. The various statutes altogether added up to 1,926 條.

Sima Guang's commentary in the Textual Analysis states, "The Punishments and Law chapter of the Book of Jin states, 'The affair was completed and announced in the third year of Taishi (267).' But I follow the account of the Annals of Emperor Wu (Sima Yan). Pei Kai's Biography in the Book of Jin states, 'During Emperor Wen's (Sima Zhao's) era, he summoned Pei Kai to review the old laws.' In this matter, I do follow the account of the Punishments and Law.”)


2. Sima Yan also sought the counsel of the Intendant of Henan, Du Yu, regarding the regulations for the demoting and promoting of officials.

Du Yu's memorial stated, "When the ancients decided upon promotions or demotions, they followed the intuitions of their hearts, and did not become mired in laws. But we of later ages, rather than remember distant things, focus ourselves on small things close at hand. We doubt our hearts, trusting what our eyes and ears tell us instead; we doubt our eyes and ears, trusting in the words of simple reports. The more numerous the reports become, the more falsified the officials' skills will be.

“When the royal clan of Wei examined officials, and put their intentions into effect in the capital, one could indeed say that in culture they produced quite exquisite results; however, in being so exacting with their standards, they went against the original intent of such a process, and this is why their dynasty could not endure through the generations. Why not establish the old methods of Emperor Tang Yao, obtain the great and put away the meager, and cast off exquisiteness in favor of simplicity; it would be an easy thing to make that a reality! Does such a man exist that, even having divine wisdom, he could go fully go against the natural order of things? To place laws before men is to make the form harm the substance.

“It would be better to appoint men to offices where in the performance of their duties they would be conspicuous, and then let each of them conduct their duties. After a year, we may consult among other men and see what they say as to whether the man is excellent or inferior. If this were to be done for six years, then the chief ones could be gathered together, and one could choose and select from among what they say. Within those six years, those who were excellent will have been promoted, while those who were inferior will have been demoted or removed. Those who are excellent in most respects and inferior in a few can be refined, while those who are inferior in most things but have a few excellent points can be transferred elsewhere.

“During this time, so long as private regards are not pursued, then when any difficulties arise, the chief ones shall be able to assess and prepare for the seriousness of the situation; they can make adjustments to what sentences might be in order, whether to let a thing go or to sentence one to death, without doing anything to exhaust the full measures of the law. If somone, excellent or otherwise, does pursue private regards, not in accordance with the general view, then the matter can be turned over to their superiors for them to deal with the offender.

“If it is so ordered that everyone shall equally be held to the same standards of tolerance and transgressions, that would make very clear what will make a man great or ruin him. If you had that, then even if you further had laws for the examinations of officials, they would not be of any additional benefit to you."

But Du Yu's recommendations could not be put into full effect.


(Liu Shao's reforms for the examination of officials during Cao-Wei are mentioned in Book 73, in Emperor Ming of Cao-Wei's (Cao Rui's) first year of Jingchu (237.30 in Fang's Chronicles).

A conspicuous office means one in which the conduct of affairs is obvious. After occupying such office for a time, a man's affairs could be reported as to whether he merited promotion.

“Superiors” refers to the Imperial Secretary or the Colonel-Director, or else to the Inspectors in the provinces. To “deal with” meant to impeach or to censure the official.)


3. On the day Dinghai (February 19th), Sima Yan ploughed the Sacred Field north of the Luo River.


4. On the day Wuzi (February 20th), a general amnesty was declared in Jin.


5. In the second month, Sun Hao appointed the Imperial Secretary Grandee of the Left, Ding Gu, as Minister Over The Masses, and he appointed the Imperial Secretary Grandee of the Right, Meng Ren, as Minister of Works.


(The Records of Wu states, "Meng Ren's given name was originally 宗 Zong. However, since Sun Hao's style name was 元宗 Yuanzong, Meng Ren changed his name to avoid the taboo.")


6. In the third month, on the day Wuzi (April 20th), Jin's Empress Dowager, Wang Yuanji, passed away. Sima Yan went into mourning for her, and honored her according to the old rites.


7. In summer, the fourth month, on the day Wuxu (April 30th), Wang Xiang passed away, and his household had no great mass of mourners. He was posthumously known as Duke Yuan of Suiling. His younger kinsman Wang Rong sighed and said, "When the Grand Guardian took office during the Zhengshi era (240-249), none could speak so fluently as he. And in the way he spoke, his reasoning was so clear and penetrating. Was there not much virtue in his words?"


(Those able speakers of the Zhengshi era to whom Wang Xiang is here being compared were He Pingshu (He Yan) and his ilk. Considering Cao-Wei passed into the hands of Jin, what good did these men do during that age? Wang Xiang was so honored only because he was filial to his stepmother and he did not relax the rules of ceremony before the Prince of Jin (Sima Zhao), and yet superior men still say that he served as a pillar of state while slighting men who truly fulfilled that role. So his reasoning was clear and penetrating; what were his words? What were his virtues? The Qingtan philosophy was a disaster, and even after the Yongjia era (307-313), when the court fled across the Yangzi, it had still not gone away.)


8. On the day Jihai (May 1st), Jin's Empress Dowager Wenming (Wang Yuanji) was buried. The officials once again petitioned Sima Yan stating, "Now that the day of repose has passed, the mourning clothing should be put away."

Sima Yan issued an edict stating, "I received her love my entire life, and countless years of courtesy. The feeling is more than I can bear."

The officials continued to insist, and so Sima Yan replied again stating, "The danger is that I might not be able to be earnestly filial enough, not that I might come to harm through my grief. Past dynasties had their differences in the character and compositions of their rites and canons. Why then must we limit ourselves to the recent systems, and force an abrupt end to the mourning period?"

But the officials kept up their insistence, so Sima Yan finally relented. However, he continued to wear the mourning band and to reduce his meals for the full three years of the traditional mourning period, just as he had done when mourning for Sima Zhao.


(The day of burial is the day of repose. One reposes upon a soft day, and in the Three Reposes one uses a hard day. For the Three Reposes, one must return and implement them. Master Zheng remarked, "To repose is to bring the spirit to peace. The bones and flesh are returned to the earth, the spirit is resolved, and the filial son paces back and forth for it: these are the Three Sacrifices to bring the spirit to rest.")


9. In autumn, the seventh month, a great number of stars flew to the west and fell from the sky like rain.


10. On the day Jimao (August 9th), Sima Yan went to pay his respects at his parents' tomb at Chongyang.


11. In the ninth month, there were great floods in the four provinces of Qingzhou, Xuzhou, Yanzhou, and Yuzhou.


(Qingzhou was composed of the princely fief of Qi and the commandaries of Jinan, Le'an, Chengyang, and Donglai. Xuzhou was composed of the commandaries of Pengcheng, Xiapi, Donglai, Langye, Guangling, and Linhuai. Yanzhou was composed of the commandaries of Chenliu, Poyang, Jiyin, Gaoping, Rencheng, Dongping, Jibei, and Taishan. Yuzhou was composed of the commandaries of Yingchuan, Runan, Xiangcheng, Ruyin, Liangguo, Pei, Qiao, Lu, Yiyang, and Anfeng. The Records of Jin states, "Qingzhou has piles of earth in the east which are clear in color, thus it is called Qing ("clear"). Xuzhou has a gentle sense of justice. The Yan in Yanzhou means origin, or trust." It also states, "Yanzhou takes its name from the Yan River. One who is Yu ("at ease") is one who is at leisure; it means a sense of being instilled with peace, and a character of ease and relaxation.")


12. Jin's Grand Marshal, Shi Bao, had been at Huainan for a long time, and his power and influence were very great there. The Huaibei army commander Wang Chen resented him, so he secretly sent in a petition claiming that Shi Bao was in collusion with Wu. At that time, Wu was poised to invade soon, so Shi Bao built ramparts and dammed rivers as means of self-defense. Sima Yan thus suspected him.

Yang Hu sincerely expressed to Sima Yan, "Shi Bao cannot be like that." But Sima Yan did not believe him, so he issued an edict stating that Shi Bao was unexpectedly aiding the enemy, and that in his building of ramparts and damming of rivers, he was toiling and disturbing the common people. He planned to have Shi Bao stripped of his office, so he sent Sima Wang to lead a great army to compel his return.

Now Shi Bao had a certain assistant, Sun Shuo of Henei, who was on good terms with the Prince of Ruyin, Sima Jun, who was then stationed at Xuchang. Sun Shuo happened to run into Sima Jun, and as Sima Jun knew that the court had already dispatched an army to move against Shi Bao, he privately told Sun Shuo, "Do not get mixed up in this disaster!" After Sun Shuo left, he quickly rode to Shi Bao's base at Shouchun and urged him to disperse his soldiers and come out from the capital pavilion on foot to answer for his crimes. Shi Bao took his advice.

When Sima Yan heard how things had been resolved, his concerns were allayed. Shi Bao having presented himself for his faults, he was sent to his ducal residence at Leling.


(In Emperor Cao Mao of Cao-Wei's third year of Ganlu (258), after Zhuge Dan's rebellion was quelled, Shi Bao had taken over the command of Huainan. By now, he had been there for eleven years.

Sima Guang's commentary in the Textual Analysis states, "In the Book of Jin, neither the Annals of Emperor Wu (Sima Yan) nor the Biography of Shi Bao state which month and which year he was stripped of office. Xiao Fangdeng's Annals of the Thirty States and Du Yanye's Annals of Jin both state it was at this time, and so I follow their accounts. The Biography of Shi Bao also states, 'Sima Yan ordered the Prince of Langye, Sima You, to move from Xiapi to Shouchun.' But according to the Annals of Emperor Wu, Sima You was not sent to guard Xiapi until the second month of the following year. I fear the Biography of Shi Bao is mistaken." This Xiao Fangdeng was the son of Emperor Yuan of Liang.

The capital pavilion mentioned here was the one at Shouchun.)


13. Sun Hao marched out of Dongguan. In winter, the tenth month, he sent his general Shi Ji to enter Jiangxia, and he sent Wan Yu to invade Xiangyang. Sima Yan ordered Sima Wang to lead twenty thousand horse and foot of the Central Army to camp at Long Slope, in order to provide assistance to the two threatened places. Soon, the Inspector of Jingzhou, Hu Lie, opposed Shi Ji and routed him, so Sima Wang led his soldiers back again.


(Sima Guang's commentary in the Textual Analysis states, "The Annals of Emperor Wu (Sima Yan) in the Book of Jin mention an attack at Yu. But I follow the account of the Records of Wu."

Long Slope ("dragon slope") was the new name for Mo Slope, last mentioned in Book 72, in Emperor Ming of Cao-Wei's (Cao Rui's) first year of Qinglong (233.1-2 in Fang's Chronicles).)


14. Wu had three commanders in Jiaozhi: the Inspector of Jiaozhou, Liu Jun, the Grand Commander, Xiu Ze, and the general Gu Rong. Up until now, they had launched three attacks against Jin’s positions there. In all three cases, Jin's Administrator of Jiaozhi, Yang Ji, had fought back and routed them, and the commandaries of Yulin and Cửu Chân (Jiuzhen) had all gone over to his side.

Yang Ji then sent his generals Mao Jiong and Dong Yuan to attack Hepu. They fought a great battle at Gucheng, and greatly routed the Wu soldiers there; Liu Jun and Xiu Ze were killed, and the rest of the Wu soldiers scattered as they fled back to Hepu.

Yang Ji petitioned for Mao Jiong to be appointed Administrator of Yulin, and for Dong Yuan to be appointed Administrator of Cửu Chân.


(The Registry of Surnames states, "Regarding the surname 脩 Xiu, Yuan Ming had a Master Xiu among his attendants, and during Han there was a Cavalry Colonel named Xiu Bing."

This Gucheng was the Gucheng of Hepu commandary.

Mao Jiong's given name is pronounced "Jiong (g-iong)", or as "Gui (g-ui)".)


15. In the eleventh month, the Wu generals Ding Feng and Zhuge Jing marched from Que Slope and attacked Hefei. Jin's General Who Maintains The East, Sima Jun, met them and fought them off.


(Regarding the place that the Wu generals marched from, 芍 is pronounced "que".)

寶鼎三年,皓命奉與諸葛靚攻合肥。奉與晉大將石苞書,搆而間之,苞以徵還。(Records of the Three Kingdoms 55, Biography of Ding Feng)

In the third year of Baoding (268), Sun Hao ordered Ding Feng and Zhuge Jing to attack Hefei. Ding Feng exchanged letters with one of Jin's leading generals, Shi Bao; they came to an understanding on the border, and Shi Bao then withdrew from the front.


16. Sima Wang was appointed Grand Marshal, Xun Yi was appointed Grand Commandant, and Shi Bao was appointed Minister Over The Masses.


Unread postPosted: Mon Sep 18, 2017 1:22 am
by Taishi Ci 2.0

The Fifth Year of Taishi (The Jichou Year, 269 AD)


1. In spring, the first month, Sun Hao established his son Sun Jin as Crown Prince.


2. In the second month, Jin split off portions of the provinces of Yongzhou, Liangzhou, and Lianzhou and formed the new province of Qinzhou from them.

Hu Lie was appointed as Inspector of Qinzhou. During Deng Ai's period of command in the northwest, Deng Ai had accepted the submission of tens of thousands of Xianbei. He had settled them between Yongzhou and Liangzhou, where they lived mingled among the common people. The court feared that these Xianbei would eventually become a threat, and as Hu Lie had a reputation in the west, they sent him there to guard and appease the tribes.


(The Records of Jin states, "Yongzhou was situated between four mountains, and this was why it was named Yong ('harmony'). It was also said that since it was in a northwest place, the sun could not fill it, and so the solar and lunar essences were blocked there. Yongzhou was composed of the commandaries of Jingzhao, Pingyi, Fufeng, Anding, Beidi, Xinping, and Shiping. Liangzhou was in the barren northwest, in a cold place, thus its name Liang ('cold'). It was composed of the commandaries of Jincheng, Xiping, Wuwei, Zhangye, Xi, Dunhuang, Jiuquan, and Xihai. Lianzhou was in the western region of diamond toughness, thus its name Lian ('support beam'); it was composed of the commandaries of Hanzhong, Zitong, Guanghan, Xindu, Fuling, Baxi, and Badong. The commandaries forming the new Qinzhou were Longxi, Nan'an, Tianshui, Lueyang, Wudu, Yinping, and others."

These tribesmen were the Xianbei of Hexi.)


3. There were great floods in the three provinces of Qingzhou, Xuzhou, and Yanzhou.


4. Sima Yan had the ambition of destroying Wu.

On the day Renyin (?), he appointed the Supervisor of the Left of the Masters of Writing, Yang Hu, as Commander of military affairs in Jingzhou, and sent him to guard Xiangyang. He also appointed the Grand General Who Conquers The East, Wei Guan, as Commander of military affairs in Qingzhou, and sent him to guard Linzai. He further appointed the Grand General Who Guards The East and Prince of Dongguan, Sima You, as Commander of military affairs in Xuzhou, and sent him to guard Xiapi.


5. Yang Hu pacified and cherished those near and far, and so he deeply won the hearts of the people living along the Yangzi and Han rivers. He also kept up a wide correspondence with the people of Wu, and he would hear out anyone who had surrendered and who wished to leave. He decreased the garrisons and the patrols of the soldiers, and he cultivated more than eight hundred 頃 of farmland. When he first took up his post, the army did not have even a hundred days' worth of supplies; by his final year in command, there was more than ten years' worth of supplies. When Yang Hu was among his army, he often dressed simply in a light coat and a loose belt, and did not put on any armor. For bellrunners, sidemen, and other guards or attendants, he had hardly more than ten men.


(Bellrunners and sidemen were kept as signs of power and dignity. When a commander had an order to be sent out, he would strike a bell to summon someone, and so they were called bellrunners. Sidemen were people who also possessed power or dignity, and accompanied the commander when coming or going or when paying respects or handling affairs.)


6. Jin's Administrator of Jiyin, Wen Li of Baxi, sent up a petition stating, "Those sons and grandsons of famous ministers of the former state of Shu who are now living in the Middle Kingdom ought to be examined for talents and granted employment. By doing so, we will comfort the hearts of the people of the regions of Ba and Shu, while we will dash the hopes of the people of Wu." Sima Yan followed his advice.

On the day Jiwei (?), Sima Yan issued an edict stating, "When Zhuge Liang served Shu, he exhausted all his heart and all his strength on their behalf. His son Zhuge Zhan confronted hardships and died a righteous death. Let his grandson Zhuge Jing be evaluated for talents and granted a role as an official."

He issued another edict stating, "The Shu general Fu Qian, like his father before him, perished on behalf of his lord. Goodness is the same throughout the realm; can there be any difference in his case either? His sons Fu Zhe and Fu Mu should be supported by the orphanary officials, so that they need not live like common people."


(Sima Guang's commentary in the Textual Analysis states, "The Biography of Wen Li in the Book of Jin implies that this petition was submitted after Wen Li was appointed to the Palace Bodyguard of the Crown Prince. But in the seventh year of Taishi (271), when Wen Li recommended Xi Shen, he was still serving as the Administrator of Ruyin, and was not yet a Palace Bodyguard. If Zhuge Jing became an official, it could not have been because of this petition from Wen Li, and if Zhuge Jing was already an official, then Wei Li could not have further suggested that he ought to be examined for merits and given employment."

Zhuge Zhan's fight to the death at Mianzhu is mentioned in Book 78, in Emperor Yuan of Cao-Wei's (Cao Huan's) fourth year of Jingyuan (263.20-22 in Fang's Chronicles).

Fu Tong's death at Yiling is mentioned in Book 69, in Emperor Wen of Cao-Wei's (Cao Pi's) third year of Huangchu (222.16 in Fang's Chronicles). Fu Qian's last stand at Yang'an is mentioned in the same book as mentioned for Zhuge Zhan (263.9 in Fang's Chronicles).

Fu Zhe and Fu Mu were the names of Fu Qian's two sons. The Minister Steward had a subordinate office, the Prefect of Confiscation, whose duties included the care of boys and girls left orphaned. Ever since Cao-Wei, Ye had also had the office of Commander of Confiscation.)


7. Sima Yan appointed Wen Li as a Cavalier In Regular Attendance.

Now among the former veterans of Shu-Han's Masters of Writing, there was a certain Cheng Qiong of Guanwei, a fellow of great virtue and enterprise, and he was very intimate with Wen Li. When Sima Yan heard of Cheng Qiong's reputation, he asked Wen Li about him. Wen Li replied, "It is true that I know this man. But he is already over eighty years old, and he is of a retiring disposition. He has no hopes to be brought back into affairs, and this was why I had not mentioned him before."

When Cheng Qiong heard about what Wen Li had told Sima Yan, he said to himself, "One can truly say of Guangxiu that he is no partisan, and has been a good friend to me."


(Wen Li meant that Cheng Qiong did not wish to be sought after and employed at this time.

Wen Li's style name was Guangxiu. The Analects has the phrase, "The superior man is not a partisan. (7.31)".)


8. In autumn, the ninth month, there were shooting stars in the Purple Palace portion of the night sky.


9. In winter, the tenth month, a general amnesty was declared in Wu, and their reign era title was changed to Jianheng.


10. Sima Yan appointed his son Sima Jingdu as Prince of Chengyang.


11. In Wu, there was a certain He Ding of Runan who had once served Sun Quan as a minor official. When Sun Hao came to the throne, he personally contacted the former officials of his late predecessors, asking them to return and assist with internal matters. Sun Hao appointed He Ding as Commandant of the Lower Tower, and as He Ding had some facility in managing affairs of wine and grain, he became puffed up with false pride. Sun Hao trusted him and gave him more and more duties, setting him over many affairs.

The Prime Minister of the Left, Lu Kai, accosted He Ding, charging him to his face, "It is clear to see that in all you do, you are not loyal to your lord, and you bring chaos and ruin to the governance of the state. Yet to the end you act as someone pleased with himself! How can affairs be held by someone so perverse, and a mound of filth like you have the ear of Heaven? You ought to change yourself, or else I foresee you having some unexpected misfortune." He Ding greatly hated him.

Lu Kai was a man who exerted his heart fully on behalf of his state and family, and his loyalty was so sincere that he forthrightly expressed all of his inner feelings, and in writing petitions he was very direct and did not employ artful language.

Around this time, Lu Kai became deathly ill, and so Sun Hao sent the Prefect of the Palace Secretariat, Dong Chao, to hear Lu Kai's last wishes.

Lu Kai said to him, "He Ding cannot be trusted or used. He should be vested with some office far away. The minor official Xi Xi, who proposes a dam (or field) at Puli, cannot be listened to either. But there are Yao Xin, Lou Xuan, He Shao, Zhang Ti, Guo Chuo, Xue Ying, Teng Xiu, and his kinsmen Teng Xi and Teng Kang. Some of them are pure and loyal to a fault, and some of them are men of outstanding talents; all of them will make fine helpers for the altars of state. I pray that His Majesty will take most careful consideration and dwell upon the duties of this time, so that everyone shall act with full loyalty and any contingency may be provided against." This He Shao was the grandson of He Qi; this Xue Ying was the son of Xue Zong. Lou Xuan was a native of Pei; Teng Xiu was a native of Nanyang.

Lu Kai passed away not long after.

Sun Hao had tolerated Lu Kai's bluntness for a long time, but he had also been listening to the slander of He Ding against him. Following Lu Kai's death, he exiled Lu Kai's family to Jian'an.


(Lu Kai addressed the true state of affairs, and did not use artful language as euphemisms.

Some versions say the "field" at Puli instead of the "dam" there.

During Sun Xiu's reign, Yan Mi had once proposed the matter of building a dam at Puli, and Xi Xi was now reviving his proposal.

逴 is pronounced "chuo (ch-iao)" or "chue (ch-ue)".

He Qi was one of Sun Quan's generals.

Sun Hao had harbored resentment and anger against Lu Kai, but had not expressed it, so he was tolerating him.)


12. Sun Hao sent the General Who Directs The Army, Yu Si, the General of Southern Might, Xue Xu, and the Administrator of Cangwu, Tao Huang of Danyang, to march along the roads through Jingzhou, while he sent the General Who Directs The Army, Li Xu, and the Army Protector, Xu Cun, to follow the coast from Jian'an. They were to rendezvous at Hepu in order to attack Jiaozhi.


(The 珝 in Xue Xu's name is pronounced "Ku (k-u)". (But I, the translator, continue to use Xu for now.)

The first group was following the roads through Jingzhou south across the mountain ridges to enter Jiao and Guang. The second group was moving along the coast from Jian'an, sailing along the coast to the south. Shen Yue remarked, "Jian'an was originally the land of the Minyue kingdom. The Qin dynasty established it as Minzhong commandary, but Han abandoned the territory. It was later administered as a county subordinate to Kuaiji commandary. Still later, it was divided into the two southeastern command posts of Kuaiji; the eastern half became Linhai, and the southern half became Jian'an. In Sun Xiu's third year of Yong'an (260), the southern half was fully split off as Jian'an commandary." Song Bai remarked, "In the twelfth year of Jian'an (207), Sun Ce divided eastern Houguan and established Jian'an County, taking its name from the reign era title.")


13. In the twelfth month, the Jin ministers petitioned that the Eastern Palace of the Crown Prince should have two offices of respected Tutors, with one more revered than the other. Sima Yan remarked, "Those selected must be men of great respect and masterful skill, so that they lead the way and provide good instruction. How can you say that ministers are not ministers? They will keep the Crown Prince in conformance with the rites."


(Under the Jin system, there were two Tutors: a Grand Tutor of the Fully Two Thousand 石 salary rank, and a Lesser Tutor of the Two Thousand 石 salary rank. The Crown Prince would first pay his respects, and then the Tutors would answer for him. At this time, the office of Supervisor of the Household had not yet been created, so all palace affairs, large or small, were handled by the two Tutors.

By "ministers not ministers", Sima Yan includes the words of the officials' petition.)


Unread postPosted: Mon Sep 18, 2017 1:24 am
by Taishi Ci 2.0

The Sixth Year of Taishi (The Gengyin Year, 270 AD)


1. In spring, the first month, Wu's general Ding Feng marched into Gekou. Jin's Inspector of Yangzhou, Qian Hong, attacked Ding Feng and drove him off.


(The Commentary on the Water Classic states, "The headwaters of the Ge River come from the Langdang Canal in Yangwu county in Henan. It flows southeast until it reaches Huailing county in Xiapi, where it flows into the Huai River. That spot is thus called Gekou ('mouth of the Ge River'). 渦 is pronounced 'ge'."

Sima Guang's commentary in the Textual Analysis states, "The Biography of Ding Feng in the Records of the Three Kingdoms states, 'In the first year of Jianheng (269), Ding Feng attacked Jin's Guyang.' The Annals of Emperor Wu (Sima Yan) in the Book of Jin does not mention this event, while the Biography of Ding Feng does not mention him marching into Gekou. I suspect that these two mentioned events are the same event.")

建衡元年,奉復帥衆治徐塘,因攻晉穀陽。穀陽民知之,引去,奉無所獲。皓怒,斬奉導軍。(Records of the Three Kingdoms 55, Biography of Ding Feng)

In the first year of Jianheng (269), Ding Feng once again led an army to camp at Xutang, then attacked Jin's territory at Guyang. But the people of Guyang, aware that he was coming, moved away, and Ding Feng could not capture anything there. Furious, Sun Hao beheaded Ding Feng's army guides.


2. Wu's minister Wan Yu returned from Baqiu to Jianye.


3. In summer, the fourth month, Wu's Grand Marshal of the Left, Shi Ji, passed away.

The Grand General Who Guards The Army, Lu Kang, was appointed commander of military affairs in Xindu, Xiling, Yidao, Lexiang, and Gong'an, with his base at Lexiang.


(The Commentary on the Water Classic states, "The city of Lexiang is in Canling County in Nanping commandary. The Yangzi flows north of it, continuing on to the east through the north of Gong'an County." Song Bai remarked, "The place Lexiang was where the state of Ruo was during the Spring and Autumn era. The city there was built by Lu Kang, within the borders of Songzi County." The Geographical Records chapter of the Book of Jin states, "Xindu County was part of Jianping commandary." Shen Yue remarked, "I believe it was established by Eastern Wu." The Commentary on the Water Classic further states, "The Yangzi flows east from Kuicheng. It passes through the south of Xinling County, and flows further east, passing through the south of Yiling County." Yiling was the same as Xiling. The city of Lexiang was in the east of Songzi County in today's Jiangling Garrison. North of that city, the Yangzi had sandbars which could be walked across, and provided a critical crossing point for the river.)


4. Lu Kang believed that Sun Hao had many faults in his methods of governance, so he sent up a petition stating, "I have heard that, when two sides are of equal virtue, the greater shall overcome the smaller, and when strength is even, the side at peace will control the side in peril. This was how the Six States were all annexed by Qin, and how Western Chu was buried by Han.

“Now our current enemy has such an advantage that, not only do they possess the territory of Guanyou, all the land west of the Hong Canal, but for our own state, externally we lack any assistance such as the Six States could expect from one another, and internally we lack the strength of Western Chu. Our government is in decline, and our people lack control. The things which those who discuss matters rely upon, that we have the Yangzi and the mountains and ranges that skirt the borders of our territory, are things which should be the final means of defense for our state; they are not things that a wise person would first resort to.

“Whenever I consider these things, I grasp my pillow at night, and even when near food I forget to eat. A man must appeal to his lord's virtue, and cannot lament doing so even if it means coming to harm. Thus do I propose these seventeen measures for you to hear."

But Sun Hao did not accept them.


(The Biography of Lu Kang in the Records of the Three Kingdoms includes the comment, "Lu Kang's seventeen measures were lost, and we do not have the originals.")


5. It was mentioned that Li Xu was leading a Wu army along the coast from Jian'an. But since he was having trouble on the roads there, he killed the guiding general Feng Fei, and then led his army back again.

Before, He Ding had once asked Li Xu for a daughter to marry his son to, but Li Xu had refused to permit it. So He Ding now reported that Li Xu had wickedly killed Feng Fei and brought his army back without authorization. He executed Li Xu, Xu Cun, and all of their family and dependents, and he burned Li Xu's corpse.

He Ding also sent various generals out, each to request dogs for the imperial kennels: each dog was valued at dozens of bolts of silk, they were draped in silks worth ten thousand gold, and they were used to catch hares for the kitchens. The people of Wu all blamed He Ding, but Sun Hao only trusted him all the more, granting him many rewards and titles.

Lu Kang sent up a petition stating, "Miscreants do not understand wise courses, and their view is very shallow. Even if they were to exert themselves fully with complete fortitude, they would still not measure up to their posts. How much less can this be the case when they have wicked hearts and vacillate quickly between love and hatred?"

But Sun Hao ignored him.


6. In the sixth month, on the day Wuwu (?), Hu Lie campaigned against the Xianbei leader Tufa Shujineng at Wanhu Mound, but Hu Lie's army was defeated and he was killed.

The Commander of military affairs in Yongzhou and Qinzhou and Prince of Fufeng, Sima Liang, had sent the general Liu Qi to reinforce Hu Lie, but Liu Qi only stood by and would not advance. Sima Liang was blamed and demoted to General Who Pacifies The West, and Liu Qi was going to be executed. Sima Liang sent up a petition stating, "The failure of command here lies with me, and I ought to go; I beg that you spare him from death." Sima Yan issued an edict stating, "If the fault does not lie with Liu Qi, then it must be with you." So Sima Liang was stripped of office.


(When Tufa Shujineng's grandfather Shoutian was still in the womb, his mother Lady Xiangye gave birth to him while she was sleeping. The Xianbei called him Tufa ("Bald Hair"), and so that became the name of the clan. And looking to the future, Tufa Wugu of Southern Liang would be the fifth-generation descendant of Tufa Shujineng.

Wanhu Mound was within the borders of Gaoping County in the northeast Anding commandary, at the Wenwei River.

To spare means that Sima Liang wanted Liu Qi's death sentence pardoned.)

列字武玄,為將伐蜀。鐘會之反也,烈與諸將皆被閉。烈子世[世子?]元,時年十八,為士卒先,攻殺會,名馳遠近。烈為秦州刺史,及涼州叛,烈屯于萬斛堆,為虜所圍,無援,遇害。(Book of Jin 57, Biography of Hu Lie)

Hu Lie, styled Xuanwu, served as a general during the conquest of Shu-Han (in 263).

During Zhong Hui’s rebellion (in 264), Hu Lie and the other generals were all taken prisoner. Hu Lie’s eldest son Hu Yuan, who at that time was seventeen years old, was acclaimed by the soldiers as their leader, and he attacked and killed Zhong Hui, spreading his reputation far and wide.

Hu Lie was appointed as Inspector of Qinzhou. When Liangzhou went into rebellion (Tufa Shujineng’s rebellion in 270), Hu Lie camped at Wanhu Mound. He was surrounded by the enemy, and left without reinforcements, he met his end.

禿髮烏孤,河西鮮卑人也。八世祖疋孤,率其部自塞北遷於河西。孤子壽闐立,壽闐卒,孫樹機能立。壯果多謀略。泰始中殺秦州剌史胡烈於萬斛堆。(Annals of the Sixteen Kingdoms 12, Biography of Tufa Wugu)

Tufa Wugu was a Xianbei leader from Hexi. His eighth-generation ancestor was Tufa Pigu, who led his forces from beyond the northern borders of the realm down into Hexi. Tufa Pigu's son Tufa Shoutian succeeded him, and after Tufa Shoutian passed away, he was succeeded by his grandson Tufa Shujineng. This Tufa Shujineng was a strong and resolute fellow, very crafty and cunning. During the Taishi era (265-274), he killed the Inspector of Qinzhou, Hu Lie, at Wanhu Mound.

鮮卑禿髮烏孤,八世祖匹孤自塞北遷于河西。其地東至麥田、牽屯,西至濕羅,南至澆河,北接大漠。匹孤死,子壽闐統任。初母孕壽闐,因寢產於被中,乃名禿髮,其俗為被覆之義。五世祖樹機能壯果多謀略,晉泰始中,殺秦州刺史胡烈於萬斛堆。(Book of Northern Wei 99, Biography of Tufa Wugu)

The Xianbei leader Tufa Wugu was the eighth-generation descendant of Pigu, who moved his forces from beyond the northern borders of the realm to Hexi. Pigu's domain stretched east as far as Maitian and Qiantun, west as far as Shiluo, south as far as Jiaohe, and north to touch the great desert. After Pigu passed away, his son Tufa Shoutian took command of his forces. Earlier, when Tufa Shoutian's mother had still been pregnant with him, she gave birth to him in a quilt while sleeping, and so they called him Tufa ("covered head"), this being a common expression meaning something covered.

Tufa Wugu's fifth-generation ancestor was Tufa Shujineng, a strong and bold fellow who was very cunning and crafty. During Jin's Taishi era (265-274), he killed the Inspector of Qinzhou, Hu Lie, at Wanhu Mound.

禿髮烏孤,河西鮮卑人也。其先與後魏同出。八世祖匹孤率其部自塞北遷於河西,其地東至麥田、牽屯,西至濕羅,南至澆河,北接大漠。匹孤卒,子壽闐立。初,壽闐之在孕,母胡掖氏因寢而產於被中,鮮卑謂被為「禿髮」,因而氏焉。壽闐卒,孫樹機能立,壯果多謀略。泰始中,殺秦州刺史胡烈于萬斛堆。(Book of Jin 126, Biography of Tufa Wugu)

Tufa Wugu was a Xianbei leader from Hexi. His ancestors were of the same stock as the rulers of Northern Wei. His eighth-generation ancestor, Pigu, led his forces from beyond the northern borders of the realm down into Hexi. Pigu's domain stretched east as far as Maitian and Qiantun, west as far as Shiluo, south as far as Jiaohe, and north to touch the great desert. After Pigu passed away, his son Tufa Shoutian succeeded him. Earlier, when Tufa Shoutian was still in the womb, his mother Lady Huye gave birth to him in a quilt while sleeping. The Xianbei word for quilt was Tufa, and so this became the name of his clan.

Tufa Wugu's fifth-generation ancestor was Tufa Shujineng, a strong and bold fellow who was very cunning and crafty. During the Taishi era (265-274), he killed the Inspector of Qinzhou, Hu Lie, at Wanhu Mound.


7. Sima Yan sent the Master of Writing, Shi Jian of Leling, to act as General Who Maintains The West. He was made Commander of military affairs in Qinzhou, and ordered to campaign against Tufa Shujineng.

Since Tufa Shujineng's soldiers were flourishing, Shi Jian ordered the Inspector of Qinzhou, Du Yu, to march out with soldiers and attack them. But as Du Yu believed that the Xianbei were still flush with victory and their horses were fat with provisions, while the government armies were still worn out, he proposed that they should take time to consolidate their strength and assemble stores of grain, and they could wait until the following spring to resume the campaign.

Shi Jian charged Du Yu with hindering the army's revival, and he had him sent away in a prison cart to face the Minister of Justice, where he defended himself. With Du Yu gone, Shi Jian campaigned against Tufa Shujineng, but his soldiers met with no success.


(During Han, Leling County was part of Pingyuan commandary. It was later split off as the Leling princely fief.

At this time, Du Yu was a Master of Writing, and in eight discussions he redeemed himself.)


8. In autumn, the seventh month, on the day Yisi (August 30th), the Prince of Chengyang, Sima Jingdu, passed away.


9. On the day Dingwei (September 1st), Sima Yan appointed Sima Jun as Grand General Who Guards The West and Commander of military affairs in Yongzhou, Liangzhou, and the other western provinces, charging him to guard Guanzhong.


10. In winter, the eleventh month, Sima Yan established his son Sima Dong (or Jian) as Prince of Runan.


(Some versions write the name of this son as "Sima Jian".)


11. Wu's General of the Front, Sun Hao's cousin Sun Xiu, was in command at Xiakou. Sun Hao resented him, since the people all said that Sun Xiu should be granted a great role in affairs. So Sun Hao sent He Ding with five thousand men to make a sudden move on Xiakou. Sun Xiu, panicking, fled the city during the night with his wife and sons and several hundred of his personal soldiers.

In the twelfth month, Jin appointed Sun Xiu as General of Agile Cavalry with equal authority to the Three Excellencies, and as Duke of Kuaiji.


(This Sun Xiu was the grandson of Sun Quan's younger brother Sun Kuang.

Jin gave Sun Xiu these appointments to appease the people of Wu.)


12. During this year, a general amnesty was declared in Wu.


13. Before now, the people of Wei had settled the five divisions of the Southern Xiongnu in the commandaries of Bingzhou, and the tribes lived mingled among the common people. These Xiongnu claimed that they were matrilineal descendants of the Han royal family, so they changed their surnames to Liu.


(The Southern Xiongnu had been coming since the time of Later Han, and had been settled in the commandaries of Bingzhou. Cao-Wei had only divided them into the five divisions. This matter is mentioned in Book 67, in Emperor Xian of Han's twenty-first year of Jian'an (216.I in de Crespigny's To Establish Peace). At this time, the Left Division controlled more than ten thousand tribes, and they resided in Gushizhi County in Taiyuan; the Right Division controlled more than six thousand tribes, and they resided in Qi County; the Southern Division controlled more than three thousand tribes, and they resided in Puzi County; the Northern Division controlled more than four thousand tribes, and they resided in Xinxing County; and the Central Division controlled more than six thousand tribes, and they resided in Daling County.

At the beginning of the Han dynasty, Emperor Gao (Liu Bang) had married his daughter to the Chanyu of the Xiongnu. The Xiongnu mentioned here claimed their matrilineal descent from the Liu family through this marriage, and so they changed their surname to Liu.)


Unread postPosted: Mon Sep 18, 2017 1:28 am
by Taishi Ci 2.0

The Seventh Year of Taishi (The Xinmao Year, 271 AD)


1. In spring, the first month, the Xiongnu's Worthy King of the Right, Liu Meng, rebelled and crossed the borders of the realm.


2. Jin's Inspector of Yuzhou, Shi Jian, made an overstated claim of how many heads he had taken during an attack on Wu's army. Sima Yan issued an edict stating, "Shi Jian was a great minister, fully possessed of my trust; how then could he put himself on the same level as a liar, thinking it just! Let him now be sent back to his home, never to be employed again."


3. The Wu native Diao Xuan made a false prophecy stating, "The yellow banners and purple canopies are seen in the Southeast; the one who shall possess the realm in the end is the lord of Jing and Yang." Sun Hao believed the prophecy.

On the last day of the month, Sun Hao led a great host of soldiers from Huali, with Empress Dowager He, Empress Teng, and thousands of women from the rear palace in tow, traveling to the west of Niuzhu. The Prefect of the Eastern Pavilion, Hua He, and others remonstrated with Sun Hao, but he did not listen to them. As the host continued to move, they encountered a great blizzard, which covered the roads and posed great danger. The soldiers threw off their armor and cast aside their spears, and it took a hundred men working together to move a single cart. The soldiers were freezing nearly to death, and they all said, "If we meet the enemy, we can always just defect to their side." When Sun Hao heard these things, he had the army return home.

Sima Yan sent Sima Wang with twenty thousand men and three thousand cavalry from the Central Army to guard Shouchun and prepare defenses there. But when he heard that the Wu army had withdrawn, he dissolved this army.


(The Registry of Surnames states, "Those with the surname 刁 Diao are the descendants of the great minister of Qi, Shu Diao." I, Hu Sanxing, beg to differ; how could Shu Diao have had any descendants? But the Biography of Huo Zhi in the Book of Han does mention a Diao Jian. The Jiangbiaozhuan states, "Diao Xuan came from Shu. He discussed Sima Hui's fate and many other affairs, and he made this false prophecy to deceive the people of Wu."

Huali was west of Jianye.

The Commentary on the Water Classic states, "Niuzhu was between Gushu and Wujiang counties." There is a Mount Niuzhu thirty li north of Dangtu County in modern Taipingzhou, below which is Niuzhuji, and which is across from the Hengjiang Crossing in Hezhou. Du You remarked, "Niuzhu Boundary was at the quarry in modern Dangtu County."

The Prefect of the Eastern Pavilion was in charge of the canons, maps, and texts, as well as records-keeping.

When King Zhou of Shang had set out with his soldiers to fight King Wu of Zhou at Muye, his frontline had cast down their spears and attacked his rear, to the north.)


4. In the third month, on the day Bingxu (April 23rd), Pei Xiu passed away. He was posthumously known as Duke Yuan ("the Foremost") of Julu.


5. In summer, the fourth month, Wu's Inspector of Jiaozhou, Tao Huang, attacked Jin's Inspector of Cửu Chân, Dong Yuan, and killed him. Yang Ji sent his general Wang Su to replace Dong Yuan.


(Sima Guang's commentary in the Textual Analysis states, "The Biography of Tao Huang in the Book of Jin states, 'His troops, moving unexpectedly, passed into Jiaozhi.' But Dong Yuan was the Administrator of Cửu Chân, not of Jiaozhi. The Huayang Guozhi states, 'Dong Yuan passed away from illness, and Yang Ji sent Wang Su to replace him.' But according to the Annals of Emperor Wu (Sima Yan) in the Book of Jin, 'In the fourth month, the Administrator of Cửu Chân, Dong Yuan, was attacked by Wu's general Yu Si; his army was defeated, and he himself died.' It must be that Dong Yuan did not die of illness, since although Yang Ji had Wang Su replace Dong Yuan, Wang Su had not yet reached the commandary before Dong Yuan died.")


6. The tribes of Beidi invaded Jincheng. Jin's Inspector of Liangzhou, Qian Hong, campaigned against them. But the tribesmen in his army all mutinied, and together with Tufa Shujineng they surrounded Qian Hong at Mount Qing. Qian Hong's army was defeated and he himself died.


(The Continued Records of Han states, "Mount Qing is within the borders of Canluan county in Beidi commandary." Li Xian remarked, "Mount Qing is at modern Qingzhou, at the Qingshan River."

Sima Guang's commentary in the Textual Analysis states, "The Biography of Tufa Wugu in Cui Hong's Annals of the Sixteen Kingdoms states, 'Tufa Wugu's ancestor Tufa Shujineng was of the Xianbei of Hexi. During the Taishi era (265-274), Tufa Shujineng killed Jin's Inspector of Qinzhou, Hu Lie, and took the head of their Inspector of Liangzhou, Qian Hong.' The Annals of Emperor Wu (Sima Yan) in the Book of Jin states, 'The rebelling tribes killed Hu Lie, and the tribes of Beidi killed Qian Hong', but in neither case does it specify that these tribes were Xianbei. But since many tribes were part of the mutiny, it must be that the Xianbei were also among them. Perhaps 'the tribes of Beidi' also referred to Tufa Shujineng.")


7. Earlier, the Grand Marshal, Chen Qian, had warned Sima Yan, "Hu Lie and Qian Hong are brave men, but they have no mind for cunning. They are strong in themselves, but they are not the sort to protect the borders. They will bring the state disgrace before long." At the time Chen Qian had said this, Qian Hong was still Inspector of Yangzhou, and had on many occasions gone against Chen Qian's commands. Sima Yan had thus believed that Chen Qian merely had a grudge against Qian Hong and sought to defame him. So although he had recalled Qian Hong to the capital, soon afterwards he sent him to be Inspector of Liangzhou. Chen Qian had secretly lamented this fact, believing that Qian Hong was certain to be defeated.

As he had expected, both Hu Lie and Qian Hong lost the goodwill of the Qiang, their armies met with defeat, and they themselves were lost. It took several years of further campaigning before the situation settled down, and Sima Yan regretted his decisions.


(At the time that Chen Qian gave Sima Yan his warning, he was Grand Marshal and Commander of military affairs in Yangzhou, with his base at Shouchun.)


8. In the fifth month, Sima Yan appointed his son Sima Xian as the new Prince of Chengyang.


9. On the day Xinchou (June 17th), Sima Wang passed away. His posthumous title was Prince Cheng of Yiyang.


10. Jin's Palace Attendant, Prefect of the Masters of Writing, and General of the Chariots and Cavalry, Jia Chong, had been shown favor and given important roles ever since Sima Zhao's day. Jia Chong had further had a strong hand in ensuring that Sima Yan was made the Crown Prince, and this was why Sima Yan also favored him.

Jia Chong was skilled in flattering and winning over people, and he formed a faction with the Grand Commandant and Grand Tutor to the Crown Prince, Xun Yi, the Palace Attendant and Chief of the Palace Secretariat, Xun Xu, and the Colonel of the Elite Cavalry, Feng Dan. The court and the people both resented him.

Sima Yan asked the Palace Attendant Pei Kai about the advantages and disadvantages of his current situation, and Pei Kai said to him, "Your Majesty has received the mandate, and the Four Seas sustain you. But the reason that your virtue does yet measure up to that of Emperors Yao and Shun is because of Jia Chong's machinations at court. You should seek out worthy men from across the realm, and magnify the ways of governance with them, not to allow men to show themselves as selfish."

The Palace Attendant, Ren Kai of Le'an, and the Intendant of Henan, Yu Chun of Yingchuan, were both at odds with Jia Chong. Jia Chong wished to remove them from their intimate roles in the government, so he recommended that on account of Ren Kai's loyal and faithful nature, he should be assigned to the Crown Prince in the Eastern Palace. Sima Yan thus did appoint Ren Kai as Lesser Tutor to the Crown Prince, but he continued to act in his role of Palace Attendant as before.

At that time, Tufa Shujineng was invading and causing turmoil in Qinzhou and Yongzhou, and Sima Yan was concerned about the situation. Ren Kai said to him, "You should appoint a high minister with great influence and might, one whose great intellect can ensure that the region is protected and watched over."

Sima Yan asked him, "Who can be sent?" Ren Kai recommended Jia Chong, and Yu Chun named him as well.

In autumn, the seventh month, on the day Guiyou (September 17th), Jia Chong was appointed as Commander of military affairs in Qinzhou and Liangzhou, while still acting in his capacity as Palace Attendant and General of Chariots and Cavalry like before. This caused him much concern.


(Jia Chong's part in Sima Yan's selection as Crown Prince is mentioned in Books 77 and 78 (264.45 in Fang's Chronicles).

The Records of Jin states, "Sima Yan, seeking an assistant who could be of similar reverence, ordered the Excellencies to select a second man to act as Tutor, of equal stature with the original Tutor; this was why one followed and one lead the Crown Prince."

During Former Han, Anping County had been part of Zhuo commandary. During Later Han, it was part of the Anping princely fief. During Jin, it was part of Boling commandary.

By "intimate roles", the text means their positions as Palace Attendants, in close contact with the Emperor.

The Records of Jin states, "The Palace Attendant Ren Kai was held in close reverence by Sima Yan, so he appointed Ren Kai as Lesser Tutor, and he controlled affairs for a time." From this passage, we can see that this was part of Jia Chong's plot to restrain Ren Kai.

Sima Guang's commentary in the Textual Analysis states, "The Annals of the Thirty Kingdoms and the Annals of Jin both state that Jia Chong was sent out in the second month of the eighth year of Taishi (272). But according to the Annals of Emperor Wu (Sima Yan) in the Book of Jin, Jia Chong was sent out during this month. The first two Annals also mention the Crown Prince's marriage in the second month of the eighth year, and their mistaken account must stem from that.")


11. Wu's Grand Commander, Xue Xu, and the general Tao Huang and others had a hundred thousand soldiers between them, and they jointly attacked Jiaozhi. Within that city, the grain was exhausted and there was no hope of reinforcements. The Wu soldiers breached the city and captured Yang Ji, Mao Jiong, and others.

Tao Huang treasured Mao Jiong for his bravery and virility, and wanted to let him live. However, Mao Jiong plotted to kill Tao Huang, so Tao Huang decided to kill him. While Mao Jiong was still alive, Xiu Ze's son Xiu Yun cut open Mao Jiong's stomach and chopped his liver in half, saying, "Still intending to play the rebel any longer?"

Mao Jiong continued to revile him even as he died, saying, "I regret I could not kill your Sun Hao! Your father died like a dog!"

Wang Su wished to flee back to Nanzhong, but the people of Wu captured him. Cửu Chân and Nhật Nam (Rinan) both surrendered to Wu. A general amnesty was declared in Wu, and Tao Huang was appointed as Governor of Jiaozhou. Tao Huang campaigned against and received the surrender of the Lao people and other tribes, and thus the whole province was pacified.


(Xiu Yun's father Xiu Ze had been killed by Mao Jiong, as seen earlier in the fourth year (268.14).

Sima Guang's commentary in the Textual Analysis states, "The Annals of Han and Jin states, 'Before, Huo Yi had sent Yang Ji, Mao Jiong, and others to camp at Jiaozhi, and he had warned them, "If the enemy besieges your city, and you surrender before a hundred days have passed, your families and dependents will be executed. But if you hold out for more than a hundred days and there is still no hope of reinforcements, and the city is thus lost, then I will accept responsibility." During this siege, Yang Ji and the others had not yet held the city for a hundred days when the grain ran out. They begged to surrender to Tao Huang, but he would not permit it, and he even gave them grain so they could continue to resist his own siege. Tao Huang's generals all remonstrated with him for this, but Tao Huang told them, "Huo Yi is already dead, so there is certainly no hope of relief for Yang Ji and the others. We can wait until their full allotment of days has passed, and then receive their surrender afterwards. By doing so, we ensure that they have committed no offense, and it will add to our virtue. We can serve as a model to the people within, and neighboring states will also cherish us. Can this not be done?" Yang Ji and the others had grain enough to last until their set period had expired, and as reinforcements had still not come, Wu accepted their surrender.' The Huayang Guozhi states, 'The city was taken, and Yang Ji and the others were thrown into prison. Yang Ji spat up blood and died, and Mao Jiong died while cursing his enemies.' These two accounts are mutually exclusive; they cannot be reconciled, although the Biography of Tao Huang in the Book of Jin attempts to combine them. As I see it, Sun Hao was of a suspicious and paranoid nature. I fear that Tao Huang would therefore never have dared to give grain to an enemy. So I follow the Huayang Guozhi's account.")


12. In the eighth month, on the day Bingshen (October 10th), the Prince of Chengyang, Sima Xian, passed away.


13. Jin split off the four Nanzhong commandaries in Yizhou as the new province Ningzhou.


(Ningzhou took its name from Jianning commandary. It was composed of the commandaries of Jianning, Xinggu, Yunnan, and Yongchang.)


14. In the ninth month, Wu's Minister of Work, Meng Ren, passed away.


15. In winter, the tenth month, on the new moon of the day Dingchou (November 20th), there was an eclipse.


(Sima Guang's commentary in the Textual Analysis states, "The Records of the Five Elements in the Book of Liu-Song states that there was an eclipse on the day Gengchen (May 27th) in the fifth month, and it does not mention an eclipse on the day Dingchou in the tenth month. The Records in the Book of Jin and the Astrological Records mention an eclipse on the day Dingchou in the tenth month, and they do not mention an eclipse on the day Gengchen in the fifth month. I follow the Book of Jin's account.")


16. In the eleventh month, Liu Meng invaded Bingzhou. The Inspector of Bingzhou, Liu Qin, attacked and routed him.


(The Records of Jin states, "Bingzhou was not named for the Wei River, nor from the Heng, but it is called Bing ('combined' or ‘between’) because it is located between two valleys. It administers Taiyuan, Shangdang, Xihe, Leping, Yanmen, and Xinxing." This is according to the Records of Jin, but the Rites of Zhou states that the Bingzhou garrison was named Mount Heng. Regarding the heavens, the 春秋元命包 states, "The Encampment covers Bingzhou, and it corresponds to the state of Wey.")


17. Jia Chong was about to go out to his command post, so the ministers had gathered at Xiyang Pavilion to give him a farewell banquet. Jia Chong secretly discussed what to do with Xun Xu, and Xun Xu suggested to him, "You are a chief minister of state, yet you are being controlled by someone else; is that not lowly? But you have not yet set out, and it is hard to say whether you really will face difficulties. There is still the matter of the Crown Prince's marriage. Perhaps you can remain without having to say anything."

Jia Chong asked him, "Then whom can I trust in this matter?"

Xun Xu replied, "Allow me to speak with him."

Xun Xu then talked to Feng Dan and said to him, "If Lord Jia is sent far away, we shall all lose our influence. The Crown Prince's marriage has still not yet been settled. Why not urge the Emperor to marry the Crown Prince to Lord Jia's daughter?" Feng Dan felt the same way.

Before now, Sima Yan was about to have Wei Guan's daughter become the Crown Prince's concubine. Jia Chong's wife Guo Huai bribed Empress Yang's attendants, and had them urge Empress Yang to speak to Sima Yan about marrying the Crown Prince to his daughter. When she mentioned the idea to Sima Yan, he said, "Lord Wei's daughter has five merits, while Lord Jia's daughters have five faults. Lady Wei has a worthy personality and is fertile, beautiful, tall, and fair. The women of the Jia family have jealous personalities and are infertile, ugly, short, and dark."

But Empress Yang continued to argue on behalf of Jia Chong's daughters, and Xun Yi, Xun Xu, and Feng Dan all said that the daughters of the Jia family were of surpassing beauty and greatly possessing in talent and virtue, so Sima Yan at last went along with them. Jia Chong was thus retained in his old positions.


(Li Xian remarked, "Xiyang Pavilion was west of the city of Henan."

These five merits were a worthy personality, fertility, beauty, height, and fairness of skin. The five faults were the opposites of these.

This was why the Jia clan was able to cause turmoil in Jin.)

惠賈皇后諱南風,平陽人也,小名時。父充,別有傳。初,武帝欲為太子取衛瓘女,元后納賈郭親黨之說,欲婚賈氏。帝曰:「衛公女有五可,賈公女有五不可。衛家種賢而多子,美而長白;賈家種妒而少子,醜而短黑。」元后固請,荀顗、荀勖並稱充女之賢,乃定婚。(Book of Jin 31, Biography of Jia Nanfeng)

Emperor Hui's Empress Jia Nanfeng was a native of Pingyang commandary. Her childhood name was Shi. Her father was Jia Chong, who has his own biography.

Originally, Sima Yan planned to have the Crown Prince, Sima Zhong, marry the daughter of Wei Guan. But Empress Yang Yan (Empress Yuan) listened to the suggestions of the associates and partisans of the Jia and Guo clans (Jia Chong's wife was Guo Huai), and she wanted to marry Sima Zhong to a woman of the Jia clan instead.

Sima Yan objected, "Lord Wei's daughter has five merits, while Lord Jia's daughters have five faults. The women of the Wei clan have worthy personalities and are fertile, beautiful, tall, and fair. The women of the Jia clan have jealous personalities and are infertile, ugly, short, and dark."

But Yang Yan continued to argue on behalf of Jia Chong's daughters, and Xun Yi and Xun Xu both attested to their worthiness, so Sima Yan at last agreed to the engagement.


18. In the twelfth month, Sima Yan appointed the Household Councilor With Golden Tassel, Zheng Mao, as Minister of Works. But Zheng Mao declined the post and would not accept it.


19. During this year, Liu Shan passed away. He was posthumously known as Duke Si of Anle.


(Sima Guang's commentary in the Textual Analysis states, "The Annals of Jin states, 'Liu Shan's posthumous title was Duke Hui.’ But I follow the account of Wang Yin's Recordings of Shu.")


20. Sun Hao appointed the Commander of Wuchang, Fan Shen of Guangling commandary, as Grand Commandant.

Wu's Marshal and General of the Right, Ding Feng, passed away.


(According to the Biography of Ding Feng in the Records of the Three Kingdoms, Ding Feng was appointed General of the Left as a reward for his accomplishments in coming to the aid of Shouchun (during Zhuge Dan's rebellion). After he helped to overthrow Sun Chen, Ding Feng was appointed as Grand General, and further as Capital Protector of the Right and Left. When he and the other ministers welcomed Sun Hao as the new sovereign, Ding Feng was made Grand Marshal of the Right, and Military Counselor of the Left. So this passage ought to record his final titles as these two.)

三年,卒。奉貴而有功,漸以驕矜,或有毀之者,皓追以前出軍事,徙奉家於臨川。奉弟封,官至後將軍,先奉死。(Records of the Three Kingdoms 55, Biography of Ding Feng)

In the third year of Jianheng (271), Ding Feng passed away.

During his lifetime, Ding Feng had won renown and performed many deeds, which gradually caused him to become arrogant and conceited. And there were those who had slandered him as well. So as punishment for Ding Feng's recent failed campaigns, Sun Hao had his family exiled to Linchuan commandary.

Ding Feng's younger brother was Ding Fēng. He rose in office as high as General of the Rear. He passed away before Ding Feng.


21. Wu changed their reign era title for the following year to the first year of Fenghuang.


(There were reports of phoenixes gathered in the Western Garden, thus the era title Fenghuang ("phoenix").)


Unread postPosted: Mon Sep 18, 2017 1:34 am
by Taishi Ci 2.0

The Eighth Year of Taishi (The Renchen Year, 272 AD)


1. In spring, the first month, Jin's General Who Leads The Army, He Zhen, campaigned against the rebel Xiongnu leader Liu Meng and routed him several times. He enticed the leader of the Xiongnu's Left Division, Li Ke, over to his side with certain promises of gain. Li Ke killed Liu Meng and surrendered.


(The Left Division was one of the Southern Xiongnu's Five Divisions.)

The Biography of Hu Fen in the Book of Jin suggests that he performed the actions attributed here to He Zhen in ZZTJ.

胡奮,字玄威,安定臨涇人也,魏車騎將軍陰密侯遵之子也。奮性開朗,有籌略,少好武事。宣帝之伐遼東也,以白衣侍從左右,甚見接待。還為校尉,稍遷徐州刺史,封夏陽子。匈奴中部帥劉猛叛,使驍騎路蕃討之,以奮為監軍、假節,頓軍硜北,為蕃後繼。擊猛,破之,猛帳下將李恪斬猛而降。以功累遷征南將軍、假節、都督荊州諸軍事,遷護軍,加散騎常侍。奮家世將門,晚乃好學,有刀筆之用,所在有聲績,居邊特有威惠。(Book of Jin 57, Biography of Hu Fen)

Hu Fen, styled Xuanwei, was a native of Linjing in Anding commandary. He was the son of Cao-Wei’s General of Chariots and Cavalry and Marquis of Yinmi, Hu Zun. Hu Fen had a cheerful disposition, and he was skilled at martial affairs even when young.

When Sima Yi campaigned against Gongsun Yuan in Liaodong (in 238), Hu Fen accompanied him as an attendant without office, and was in constant contact with him. Hu Fen later became a Commandant, and was then appointed as Inspector of Xuzhou and given the noble title Earl of Xiayang.

When the Leader of the Central Division of the Southern Xiongnu, Liu Meng, rebelled against Jin (in 271-2), the court sent the General of Agile Cavalry, Lu Fan, to campaign against him. Hu Fen was appointed as General Who Leads The Army and Credential Holder and camped his army north of the mountain passes, acting as reserves for Lu Fan’s forces. Hu Fen attacked Liu Meng and routed him, and Liu Meng’s personal subordinate commander Li Ke beheaded Liu Meng and then surrendered.

For his achievements, Hu Fen was appointed as General Who Conquers The South, Credential Holder, and Commander of military affairs in Jingzhou. He was later appointed as General Who Protects The Army, and then promoted as Cavalier In Regular Attendance.

Although Hu Fen came from a family that had served as military leaders for several generations, later in life he took pleasure in study and found use in drawing up documents. In such ways did he win merits and renown, and he was especially known in his locality for his power and kindness.


2. In the second month, on the day Xinmao (April 2nd), Sima Zhong was married to Jia Nanfeng.

Jia Nanfeng was fourteen years old, two years older than Sima Zhong. She was a jealous and suspicious woman, very crafty and deceptive. Sima Zhong both favored and feared her.

始欲聘后妹午,午年十二,小太子一歲,短小未勝衣。更娶南風,時年十五,大太子二歲。泰始八年二月辛卯,冊拜太子妃。妒忌多權詐,太子畏而惑之,嬪御罕有進幸者。(Book of Jin 31, Biography of Jia Nanfeng)

At first, Sima Yan planned to marry Sima Zhong to Jia Nanfeng's younger sister Jia Wu. But Jia Wu was eleven years old, one year younger than Sima Zhong, and she was too short and small to fit into the proper clothing. So Sima Zhong was engaged to Jia Nanfeng instead; she was fourteen years old at the time, two years older than Sima Zhong. In the eighth year of the Taishi reign era (272), in the second month, on the day Xinmao (April 2nd), Jia Nanfeng was officially recorded as Sima Zhong's wife.

Jia Nanfeng was a jealous and suspicious woman, very crafty and deceptive. Sima Zhong both favored and feared her, and only rarely did any of his female attendants enjoy good fortune.


3. On the day Renchen (April 3rd), Sima Fu passed away; he was ninety-two years old. His posthumous title was Prince Xian ("the Presented") of Anping.

Sima Fu was of a loyal and cautious nature; when Sima Yi controlled the government of Wei, Sima Fu would himself often withdraw and keep out of the way. Later on, he took no part in the rise and fall of the Wei sovereigns; Sima Shi and Sima Zhao felt that Sima Fu was subordinate and reverent, and they did not dare to trouble him.

After Sima Yan claimed the throne of Jin, he treated Sima Fu with even greater grace and courtesy. At the annual court meeting, Sima Zhao commanded that Sima Fu should be carried into court on a sedan chair, and Sima Yan himself came to welcome Sima Fu's arrival at the royal steps. After Sima Fu was seated, Sima Yan personally raised his wine cup to toast his longevity, as though it were only a family meeting. Whenever Sima Yan would salute Sima Fu, Sima Fu would kneel and stop him.

Although Sima Fu was treated with great reverence and favor, he felt that he had done nothing deserving of it, and he often had a worried expression. On his deathbed, he gave this final testament: "I, Sima Fu of Henei, styled Shuda, have been a loyal subject of Wei. I have been neither Yi Yin nor Duke of Zhou, neither Boyi nor Liuxia Hui. I have conducted myself according to the right way, unswerving from first to last. One must wear what is required by the times. Prepare my body in a simple coffin."

Sima Yan offered Sima Fu's family the secret coffin materials of Wenming in the Eastern Garden, and in the conducting of his funeral, everything was done in the same manner as the funeral of Han's Prince Xian of Dongping (Liu Cang). But in accordance with Sima Fu's will, his family did not use any of the materials given to them.


(In Sima Fu's remaining distant from the rise and fall of the Cao-Wei emperors, he was gentle and yet able and just. He wept when Cao Fang was deposed, as mentioned in Book 68 in the first year of Zhengyuan (254.23 in Fang's Chronicles), and he wept over the body of Cao Mao in Book 77 in the first year of Jingyuan (260.3 in Fang's Chronicles).

The Zuo Stairs were the eastern stairs, the stairs for the sovereign.

Fu Qian remarked, "The Wenming of the Eastern Garden was shaped like a square lacquer barrel. It had an open face on one side, painted over with lacquer. It had a mirror in the middle, which hung above the dead, and was buried with them." Yan Shigu remarked, "The Eastern Garden was the name of an office, subordinate to the Minister Steward, whose responsibility was the oversight of these things. The secret materials were used for building coffins; they were ill-omened things, and that is why they were called secret."

The burial of Han's Prince Xian of Dongping, Emperor Guangwu's son Liu Cang, is mentioned in Book 46, in Emperor Zhang of Han's eighth year of Jianchu (83 AD).)


4. Sima Yan and the General of the Right, Huangfu Tao, were discussing matters, and Huangfu Tao got into an argument with Sima Yan. The Cavalier In Regular Attendance, Zheng Hui, submitted a petition suggesting that Huangfu Tao had committed an offense. Sima Yan said, "The only danger from words of loyal candor comes from not listening to them. Zheng Hui has exceeded his office and submitted an absurd request. How could such a thing be my intention?" And he had Zheng Hui stripped of office.


(In the fifth year of Taishi (269), the office of General Who Guards The Army had been abolished, and the offices of Generals of the Left and Right restored.

The Registry of Surnames states, "Regarding the surname 皇甫 Huangfu, the Zuo Commentary mentions a certain 皇父 Huangfu Chongshi in the state of Song, of the ducal clan. At the beginning of Han, there was also a 皇父 Huangfu Luan, who moved from Lu to live in Miaoling. He changed his surname from 皇父 to 皇甫, which it has since remained."

Candor means excellent words.)


5. Up until this time, the White Horse tribe of Wenshan had raided and plundered several other tribes. Jin's Inspector of Yizhou, Huangfu Yan, wanted to launch a punitive campaign against them.

The Attendant Officer of Canons and Learning, He Lü, and others all remonstrated with him, saying, "The tribes naturally quarrel among each other; that is how they always are. They have yet to pose any great threat to us. But you want to have the army march now, during the height of summer. The rains will be upon us soon, and the army would surely suffer from plague and sickness. It would be better to wait until autumn or winter, and then we may conduct this campaign." But Huangfu Yan did not listen to them.

The tribesman Kangmuzishaoxiang warned Huangfu Yan that if the army went out, it would certainly be defeated. Huangfu Yan believed that Kangmuzishaoxiang was only trying to dampen the morale of the army, so he had him beheaded.

By the time the Jin army reached Guan Slope, the General of the Standard, Zhang Hong, and others had had enough. They believed that the road to Wenshan was very dangerous, and they also feared the tribes. So during the night, they staged a mutiny, killed Huangfu Yan, and threw the army into chaos. The Attendant Officer of the Bureau of Weapons, Yang Cang of Jianwei, commanded the soldiers to fight, but he died. Zhang Hong then slandered Huangfu Yan, claiming, "He was leading the soldiers in rebellion", and stated that this was why he had killed him. He sent Huangfu Yan's head to the capital.

Huangfu Yan's Registrar, He Pan of Shu commandary, was then at his home in mourning for his mother. When he heard what had happened, he went to Luo and defended Huangfu Yan against the claims of rebellion.

Zhang Hong and the others slacked their discipline on their soldiers, letting them ravage and plunder.

The Registrar of Guanghan, Li Bu, talked to the Administrator of that commandary, Wang Jun of Hongnong. He said to Wang Jun, "The Huangfu have been nobles for several generations; what need would Huangfu Yan have had to rebel? Furthermore, Guanghan is in close contact with Chengdu, and you are the one in command of the armies of Lianzhou. The court created this belt and collar of land between it and Yizhou to guard against just such an occasion as we now face. Yizhou is currently in rebellion, and that is a concern for this commandary. Zhang Hong is just a mere servant, and he cannot control his army. You should march against them at once to force a confrontation; there is no way you could lose."

Wang Jun wanted to first ask official permission from the court for taking such action. Li Bu said, "These are bandits who have killed their master, and their evil is especially great. This is no time to be concerned with typical procedures. What would be the point in asking for permission?"

So Wang Jun assembled his soldiers and campaigned against Zhang Hong. Sima Yan issued an edict appointing Wang Jun as Inspector of Yizhou. Wang Jun attacked Zhang Hong, killed him, and exterminated his clan to the third degree. He was appointed as a Marquis Within The Passes.


(When Emperor Wu of Han had executed Ran Mang, he had formed Wenshan commandary. In Emperor Xuan's third year of Dijie (67 BC), Wenshan had been combined with Shu commandary. During Shu-Han, the Liu clan reformed Wenshan commandary. 汶 is pronounced the same as "min".

The White Horse tribe were the same as the White Horse barbarians.

Yizhou controlled the commandaries of Shu, Jianwei, Wenshan, Hanjia, Jiangyang, Zhuti, Yuegui, and Zangke. The Records of Jin states, "The term 益 can mean 'strategic', as in a place in a region that is a strategic point; or one could say, where the soil in a territory is the most beneficial. This was where Yizhou took its name from."

The Attendant Officer of Canons and Learning was responsible for the Official of Canons and Learning and the literary assistants in the various commandaries. During Han, the provincial inspectors all had Instructors in the Classic of Filial Piety, responsible for testing the classics, and Instructors in the Proceedings of Government from the Book of Rites, responsible for ensuring their superiors conducted the rites and sacrifices throughout the year at the proper occasions. During Cao-Wei and Jin, these offices were combined into that of the Attendant Officer of Canons and Learning.

Kangmuzishaoxiang was the name of the tribesman.

The Commentary on the Water Classic states, "Guan Slope is in Du'an County." The Geographical Records in the Book of Jin states, "Du'an County is part of Wenshan commandary." Shen Yue remarked, "Du'an County was founded by Shu." Song Bai remarked, "Yongkang Garrison is in Daojiang County, where Shu's Du'an County was."

Ever since Han, any army affairs which the provinces had to deal with were handled by the creation of Attendant Officers of the Bureau of Weapons.

The provincial Registrars were tasked with recording events and keeping account of the record books. The commandary-level registrars had the same duties.

During Han, Guanghan commandary was administered from Luo. In the second year of Taishi (266), that part of the commandary was split off to form Xindu commandary, which was administered from Luo. Guanghan's base was shifted to Guanghan County, which was relatively close to Chengdu.

A belt is a rope for clothing. A collar is the part of clothing worn around the neck.

Sima Guang's commentary in the Textual Analysis states, "According to the Huayang Guozhi, Zhang Hong killed Huangfu Yan in the fifth month of the tenth year of Taishi (274). According to the Annals of Emperor Wu (Sima Yan) in the Book of Jin, it was in the sixth month of this year (272). Now if we consult Wang Jun's Petition Requesting To Attack Wu, we find this sentence: "The navy that I built seven years ago is rotting by the day." When Wang Jun received his appointment as Inspector of Yizhou, that was also when he was given the command to build a navy against Wu. The order to begin the actual campaign against Wu was given in the fifth year of Xianning (279). If we assume that Wang Jun sent the petition mentioned above during that same year, then it must necessarily be the case that his appointment as Inspector of Yizhou took place in the ninth year of Taishi (273) or earlier. So I feel certain in following the account of the Annals of Emperor Wu.")


6. Wang Jun had once served as an advisor under Yang Hu, and Yang Hu deeply appreciated him. Yang Hu's nephew Yang Ji had said to him, "Wang Jun is very wasteful in tending to desires, and he cannot be given a full role. He ought to be restricted."

Yang Hu had replied, "Wang Jun has great talents, and he will soon be able to achieve what he wishes. He can certainly be used." And he had Wang Jun's role changed to Attendant Officer of the Palace Gentlemen under the General of Chariots and Cavalry (Yang Hu himself).

While Wang Jun was in Yizhou, he wisely maintained public trust, and many of the Man and other tribes came over to his side. He was soon appointed Minister of Finance.

At that time, Sima Yan and Yang Hu were secretly discussing plans of campaign against Wu. Yang Hu believed that their power needed to be expanded in order to attack Wu, and he secretly petitioned that Wang Jun should be kept on as Inspector of Yizhou, and ordered to begin the construction of a navy. Wang Jun was soon appointed as Dragon-Soaring General and Chief of all military affairs for Yizhou and Lianzhou.


(Under the Jin system, each high-ranking officer had a Colonel Who Bears Credentials and six Army Advisors.

Yang Hu was himself the General of Chariots and Cavalry, and the office of Attendant Officer of the Palace Gentlemen was subordinate to him. It had a salary rank of Equivalent to One Thousand 石.

This was the first instance of the rank of Dragon-Soaring General.

Under the Jin system, with regard to military control, Commanders handled military affairs of greater importance, while Chiefs handled military affairs of lesser importance.

Sima Guang's commentary in the Textual Analysis states, "The Biography of Yang Hu in the Book of Jin states, 'Yang Hu petitioned that Wang Jun should be kept on as Chief of military affairs in Yizhou, and promoted as Dragon-Soaring General.' According to the Biography of Wang Jun, 'Yang Hu secretly petitioned that Wang Jun should be kept on, and further appointed as Inspector of Yizhou.' It also states, 'Later, because of the words of a ballad, Wang Jun was appointed Dragon-Soaring General, and Chief of military affairs for Lianzhou and Yizhou." So it must be that Wang Jun's appointment as Inspector and his appointment as Chief of military affairs were two separate events. The Huayang Guozhi also states, 'In the fourth year of Xianning (278), Wang Jun was made Minister of Finance. In the fifth year (279), he was appointed as Dragon-Soaring General and Chief of military affairs in Lianzhou and Yizhou.' Now by that time, Yang Hu was already dead, so this account is even less reliable.")


7. Sima Yan ordered Wang Jun to release the soldiers of the tuntian farming system from those duties and have them focus on building the ships for the navy. Wang Jun's Attendant Officer With Separate Carriage, He Pan, said to him, "The tuntian soldiers amount to no more than five or six hundred men. If you only use them to build the ships, they will not be able to complete them quickly enough. Before the last ships are even finished, the first ships will already be rotten. You should summon the soldiers from the commandaries and get more than ten thousand men to use in the construction. Then you can be finished within a year."

Wang Jun wished to first send word of what he was doing. He Pan said, "If the court suddenly hears that you mean to summon ten thousand soldiers, they will certainly not listen to your request. It would be better to act on your own, and devise means to supervise it yourself. Once the project is already completed, they will not stop you."

So Wang Jun followed his advice, and he ordered He Pan to oversee the construction of the ships and armaments. Great warships were built, a hundred and twenty paces in length, and able to hold more than two thousand men each. They made walls from wood, raised towers and great shields, and had open gates on four sides, so that soldiers could enter and exit the boats even while mounted.


(Sima Guang's commentary in the Textual Analysis states, "The Huayang Guozhi states, 'In the third month of the second year of Xianning (276), Wang Jun received the order to build ships.' But again, Wang Jun's petition mentioned above states, 'The navy that I built seven years ago'. So the account of the Huayang Guozhi is also unreliable in this instance.")


8. During the time that Wang Jun was building this navy, scraps of wood from the construction floated down the Yangzi. Wu's Administrator of Jianping, Wu Yan of Wu commandary, gathered up the floating scraps and reported to Sun Hao, "Jin certainly has plans of attacking Wu. The garrison at Jianping should be increased in order to protect this point on our border." But Sun Hao did not listen to him. So Wu Yan built iron chains to use as boom chains to block passage down the Yangzi.


(Regarding the character 柹, the Shuowen states, "柹 means gathered wood shavings. It was originally written as 柿. Consult the Managing Mistaken Characters text."

Jianping commandary was originally Wu County of Han's Nan commandary. Sun Quan split it off as Yidu commandary. In Sun Xiu's third year of Yong'an (260), he further divided Yidu and established Jianping commandary. It administered the four counties of Xinling, Xingshan, Zigui, and Shaqu. Du You remarked, "Jianping was in modern Badong commandary. Eastern Wu created Jianping commandary at Zigui."

The Registry of Surnames states, "吾 Wu was originally the surname 己 Ji. The people with this surname are the descendants of Kun Wu of Xia."

Wu Yan's construction of these chains was why Wang Jun later had to burn the chain locks.)


9. Now although Wang Jun did have the power to recruit soldiers, he did not possess the Tiger Tally of command authority. The new Administrator of Guanghan, Zhang Xiao of Dunhuang, arrested Wang Jun's Attendant Officer, Lie Shang. Sima Yan summoned Zhang Xiao and charged him, "Why did you arrest the Attendant Officer instead of secretly explaining the situation?"

Zhang Xiao replied, "The lands of Shu and Han are distant and isolated, and Liu Bei once resided there. I felt that the arrest was not unwarranted, and not a serious breach."

Sima Yan approved of his reasoning.


10. On the day Renchen (August 1st), a general amnesty was declared in Jin.


11. In autumn, the seventh month, Jia Chong was appointed as Minister of Works, Palace Attendant, Prefect of the Masters of Writing, and granted his command of soldiers as he had had before.

Since Jia Chong and Ren Kai both held favored posts under Sima Yan, Jia Chong sought to monopolize power and influence for himself while marginalizing Ren Kai. The court officials all took one side or the other, and friends and partisans were set at odds. Sima Yan knew what was going on, so he summoned Jia Chong and Ren Kai to a feast at the Shiqian Hall and said to them, "The court should be of one accord. The two of you must make peace." Jia Chong, Ren Kai, and the others all saluted Sima Yan and apologized. However, although Sima Yan knew the situation, he did nothing further to resolve it, so neither side could let go of their dread. Outwardly, both sides treated the other with respect. But inwardly, their resentments ran deep.

Jia Chong then recommended that Ren Kai be appointed as a major official over the Masters of Writing. This new role caused Ren Kai to have fewer opportunities to personally see Sima Yan. Jia Chong was thus able to have Xun Yi and Feng Dan cooperate between themselves to slander Ren Kai. They had Ren Kai charged with a crime, and he was banished to his family.


(Jia Chong had held command over armies outside of the city walls since the days of Sima Zhao.

Since Ren Kai was not acting as Palace Attendant any longer, he had less time to personally see Sima Yan.)


12. In the eighth month, Sun Hao issued a summons for the General of Brilliant Might and Commander of Xiling, Bu Chan. Bu Chan's family had held the command at Xiling for several generations, and when Bu Chan received this sudden summons, he believed that he was going to be stripped of his post. He was also afraid that he was being slandered.

In the ninth month, Bu Chan offered up the city to Jin in surrender, and he sent his nephews Bu Ji and Bu Xuan to Luoyang as hostages. Sima Yan issued an edict appointing Bu Chan as Commander of military affairs in Xiling, Guard General, Palace Attendant, and acting Governor of Jiaozhou. He was granted the privilege of a Separate Office with equal ceremonial to the Three Excellencies, and he was named Duke of Yidu.


(Sun Quan had appointed Bu Zhi as Commander of Xiling. After Bu Zhi's death, his son Bu Xie succeeded him in that post. Bu Chan was Bu Xie's younger brother.

Bu Ji and Bu Xuan were Bu Xie's sons. 璿 is pronounced "ruan (r-uan).")

協弟闡,繼業為西陵督,加昭武將軍,封西亭侯,鳳皇元年,召為繞帳督。闡累世在西陵,卒被征命,自以失職,又懼有讒禍,於是據城降晉,遣璣與弟璿詣洛陽為任,晉以闡為都督西陵諸軍事、衛將軍、儀同三司,加侍中,假節領交州牧,封宜都公。璣監江陵諸軍事、左將軍。加散騎常侍,領廬陵太守,改封江陵侯;璿給事中、宣威將軍,封都鄉侯。(Records of the Three Kingdoms 52, Biography of Bu Chan)

Bu Chan succeeded his elder brother Bu Xie as Commander of Xiling. He was also promoted to be General of Brilliant Might and appointed as Marquis of Xiting. In the first year of Fenghuang (272), Bu Chan was summoned to the capital to serve as Commander of the Winding Canopy. Bu Chan's family had held the command at Xiling for several generations, and when Bu Chan received this sudden summons, he believed that he was going to be stripped of his post. He was also afraid that he was being slandered.

So Bu Chan occupied Xiling and offered up the city to Jin in surrender, and he sent his nephews Bu Ji and Bu Xuan to Luoyang as hostages. Jin appointed Bu Chan as Commander of military affairs in Xiling, Guard General, Palace Attendant, Credential Holder, and acting Governor of Jiaozhou, with equal ceremonial to the Three Excellencies. He was also named as Duke of Yidu. Bu Ji was appointed as Chief of military affairs in Jiangling and General of the Left, and was later promoted to Cavalier In Regular Attendance and acting Administrator of Luling, with his noble title being Marquis of Jiangling. Bu Xuan was appointed as 給事中, General Who Proclaims Might, and Marquis of Duxiang.


13. In winter, the tenth month, on the new moon of the day Xinwei (November 8th), there was an eclipse.


14. Jin's Administrator of Dunhuang, Yin Qu, passed away.

The Inspector of Liangzhou, Yang Xin, petitioned that the Prefect of Dunhuang, Liang Cheng, should be appointed as acting Administrator. But the Merit Evaluator Song Zhi then deposed Liang Cheng and petitioned that the Gentleman-Consultant Linghu Feng become Administrator instead. Yang Xin sent soldiers to attack them, but the soldiers were defeated by Song Zhi.


(Sima Guang's commentary in the Textual Analysis states, "The Annals of Jin identify the late Administrator as Yin 據 Ju rather than Yin 璩 Qu. But I follow the account of the Annals of Emperor Wu (Sima Yan) in the Book of Jin. However, those Annals then state, 'Linghu Feng deposed Liang Cheng, and assumed control of the commandary for himself.' In that instance, I follow the account of the Annals of Jin.")


15. When Lu Kang heard that Bu Chan had rebelled, he quickly sent the generals Zuo Yi, Wu Yan, and others to campaign against him.

Sima Yan sent the Inspector of Jingzhou, Yang Zhao, to meet Bu Chan at Xiling. Yang Hu led an infantry army out to Jiangling, and the Army Director of Badong, Xu Yin, led a naval force to attack Jianping in support of Bu Chan.

Lu Kang ordered all the local Wu armies in Xiling to build stout defenses, while he marched from Chixi to Gushi. From Gushi, he would be able to keep Bu Chan under siege on the inside while being able to resist the approaching Jin armies from the outside. To that end, Lu Kang forced his army to march quickly all through the night, as though the enemy were already there, and his soldiers were greatly exhausted.

The Wu generals remonstrated with Lu Kang, saying, "The three armies are currently full of good spirits. We should be attacking Bu Chan at once, since we will be able to capture him even before the Jin armies arrive. What use is there in laying siege to him, and wearing out the strength of the soldiers and the people?"

Lu Kang said to them, "Bu Chan's city is located in a place easy to defend, and it also has adequate stores of grain. On top of that, it has many tools that have been prepared to assist in its defense, as I have all seen for myself once before. If we turn and attack it now, we cannot take it quickly. However, when the northern soldiers arrive here, they will have no prepared defenses at hand. They will be facing difficulties inside and out; how could they defend against us?"

The Wu generals all wished to attack Bu Chan, so in order to appease them, Lu Kang ordered a single assault. But nothing was gained by the assault. So the Wu army began to set up siege lines.

Yang Hu then arrived at the Wu city of Jiangling with fifty thousand soldiers. The Wu generals all wanted Lu Kang to come to its aid. But Lu Kang said to them, "Jiangling has strong walls and ample soldiers; it has no reason to fear. But even if the enemy did gain Jiangling, they would not be able to defend it, so their gains would be very small. However, if Jin captures Xiling, then the tribes of the southern hills will all become turbulent, and then who knows how great the danger we might face from it?" So he led the Wu army to Xiling.


(The Commentary on the Water Classic states, "The Yangzi flows through the Xiling Ridges, and on southeast, passing by the Gucheng islets. The islet near the north bank is called Guo Islets. It is two li in length and one li in breadth. On the island is Bu Chan's city of Gucheng. It is round in shape, like the islet, and filled in all around. The city on Gucheng Islet is a li around, and it was built by Bu Chan's father Bu Zhi. Further east along the river is Lu Kang's city of Gucheng. It was on the north side of the Yangzi in what is now Yuan'an County in Xiazhou. There is a Mount Gu there, where Lu Kang's Gucheng was, and a Mount Zhou, which at that time had a red aura to it and a Chi Creek which granted water access to Mount Zhou." Gushi was Bu Zhi's city of Gucheng, which contained a market there, and where Bu Chan had further built more walls, so it was called Gushi.

Lu Kang had once been Commander of Xiling, thus he knew the defenses of the region.

The Wu generals did not believe that Lu Kang should continue on from Lexiang up to Xiling.

The "southern hills" were the many hills south of the Yangzi, which the various tribes all occupied.)

命車騎將軍羊祜、荊州刺吏楊肇往赴救闡。孫皓使陸抗西行。(Records of the Three Kingdoms 52, Biography of Bu Chan)

Jin ordered their General of Chariots and Cavalry, Yang Hu, and their Inspector of Jingzhou, Yang Zhao, to come to Bu Chan's aid. Sun Hao sent Lu Kang west against them.


16. Now when Lu Kang had once visited the area north of Jiangling, and had found the roads there were level and easy to traverse, he had ordered the Commander of Jiangling, Zhang Xian, to build a great dyke there to hold back the river, and then use the water to flood the level terrain in order to deter any potential invaders or rebels.

During this campaign, Yang Hu wanted to use the dammed water to transport grain supplies by boat. To disguise his intentions, he spread word that he was going to burst the dyke to open up the level terrain again so his soldiers could pass through. When Lu Kang heard of it, he sent Zhang Xian to destroy the dyke himself at once. Lu Kang's soldiers remonstrated with him several times, but he ignored them.

When Yang Hu reached Dangyang, he heard that the dyke had fallen, so he had to shift his supplies from the boats to carts, which took up a great deal of time and effort.


(Modern Jiangling has three reservoirs and eight sluices, to manage the various lakes there and the waters of the Ju and Zhang rivers. They are fully filled for several hundred li, and so this was why building a dyke was a wise policy.)


17. In the eleventh month, the Jin general Yang Zhao reached Xiling. Lu Kang ordered the Commander of Gong'an, Sun Zun, to keep close to the south bank of the Yangzi and resist Yang Hu, and he ordered the Commander of the Navy, Liu Lü, to oppose Xu Yin's naval force. Lu Kang himself led most of the Wu army to besiege Yang Zhao.

One of the Wu generals, Zhu Qiao, and the Wu Camp Commander, Yu Zan, defected to Yang Zhao. Lu Kang said, "Yu Zan served in my army for a long time; he knows where I am strong and where I am weak. My tribal soldiers are often difficult for me to control. If the enemy is going to attack our encirclement, they will strike there first." So during that night, he swapped out the tribal soldiers from where they had originally been posted and put elite soldiers to defend that position. The next day, as expected, Yang Zhao attacked the place where the tribal soldiers had been. Lu Kang order a counter-attack; their stones and arrows fell like rain, and Yang Zhao's army suffered considerable deaths (or casualties).

In the twelfth month, Yang Zhao planned to flee, and he escaped during the night. Lu Kang wished to pursue him, but he also wanted to keep Bu Chan's strength contained, and he did not have enough soldiers to divide his army. However, he still sounded the drums and assembled his soldiers as though he meant to launch a pursuit. Yang Zhao's soldiers were panicked and afraid, and they all cast off their armor and fled. Lu Kang sent some light infantry to pursue them, and Yang Zhao's army was greatly defeated.

Yang Hu and the other Jin forces then had their armies withdraw, so Lu Kang soon captured Xiling. He had Bu Chan and the generals and officials who had plotted with him put to death, several dozen men in all; he also exterminated Bu Chan's family to the third degree. But of all others who had been caught up in the revolt, more than ten thousand, he asked that they be pardoned. He then returned east to Lexiang. There was no haughty change in his demeanor, and he conducted himself as he always had. Sun Hao promoted Lu Kang to Protector-General.

Yang Hu was blamed for the defeat and demoted to General Who Pacifies The South. Yang Zhao was stripped of office and made a commoner.


(Sun Zan kept a close guard on the south bank so that Yang Hu's army would be unable to cross.

Lu Kang was concerned that Xu Yin's naval force would sail east down the river, so he had Liu Lü oppose them.

Lu Kang was preparing a long encirclement to receive the enemy, making the enemies into the "guests" and his side the "host".

The Registry of Surnames states, "Those with the surname 俞 Yu are the descendants of the ancient skilled doctor, Yu Fu."

Some versions report that during the foiled attack on Lu Kang's lines, Yang Zhao's army suffered many "casualties" or "wounded" instead of "deaths".

Yang Zhao's retreating army panicked because they feared the sounds of Lu Kang's army. To cast is to throw down. They took their armor off their bodies in order to better run away.

Lu Kang asked pardon for those who had not actually planned Bu Chan's rebellion, but had only been swept up in it by force.

Eastern Wu had the offices of Protector-General of the Left and Right. By Lu Kang's being promoted to Protector-General now, he was granted the authority of both offices.

Concerning the ranks of Generals Who Conquer, Guard, Maintain, or Pacify, the four ranks of General Who Pacifies are the lowest of that tier. General of Chariots and Cavalry was second to General of Agile Cavalry, and from General of Chariots and Cavalry down, there were six other ranks before reaching the tier just mentioned. So when Yang Hu was demoted from General of Chariots and Cavalry to General Who Pacifies The South, he was demoted by fourteen ranks.)

祜等遁退。抗陷城,斬闡等,步氏泯滅,惟璿紹祀。(Records of the Three Kingdoms 52, Biography of Bu Chan)

Yang Hu and the others retreated. Lu Kang took Xiling and beheaded Bu Chan and his family. The Bu clan was nearly wiped out; only Bu Xuan remained to tend to the family sacrifices.


18. After the victory at Xiling, Sun Hao claimed that Heaven was helping him. He had ambitions of expanding his territory. So he had the diviner Shang Guang cast a divination for whether he would obtain the realm. Shang Guang told him, "It is a good fortune. In the Gengzi year, your green canopy will enter Luoyang." Sun Hao was pleased, and he no longer cultivated virtue or governance, but turned all his thoughts towards conquest.


(The Registry of Surnames states, "Those with the surname 尚 Shang are the descendants of Shi Shangfu (Jiang Ziya). Later Han also had a Master Shang Ziping."

The year that Eastern Wu was conquered (280), when Sun Hao was led into Luoyang as a captive, was a Gengzi year.)


19. Jia Chong was holding a feast with the court officials. Yu Chun became drunk and started arguing with Jia Chong. Jia Chong said to him, "You have an old father, and yet you have not gone home to take care of him. How can Heaven and Earth put up with you?"

Yu Chun retorted, "What about the Duke of Gaogui (Cao Mao)?"

Jia Chong, furious and ashamed, submitted a petition demanding Yu Chun’s resignation. Yu Chun also submitted a petition admitting to his own offenses.

Sima Yan had Yu Chun removed from office while he ordered the Lower Five Excellencies to evaluate him. Shi Bao believed that Yu Chun had exerted himself in office at the expense of his family, and that he ought to be deprived of rank. But Sima You and the others believed that Yu Chun had not actually done anything to violate either the rites or the laws. Sima Yan sided with Sima You's opinion, and Yu Chun was appointed as Libationer for the National Youth.


(Sima Guang's commentary in the Textual Analysis states, "The Annals of the Thirty States says that this event took place in the eleventh month of this year. The Annals of Jin states that it was in the tenth month, on the day Jisi (?). I fear that neither is correct, and that is why I have merely placed this event at the end of winter."

Yu Chun was denouncing Jia Chong for having killed his sovereign.

At this time, other than Jia Chong, there were five people who held the rank of Excellency, and these were the so-called Lower Five Excellencies.

Sima Yan first established the Academy for the National Youth, which he staffed with Libationers for the National Youth. For every learned teacher, fifteen assistants were assigned, and they provided instruction and education.)


20. When Sun Hao had marched from Huali before, the Prime Minister of the Right, Wan Yu, the Grand Marshal of the Right, Ding Feng, and the General of the Left, Liu Ping, had all secretly said to each other, "If the Huali army does not return, it will be a serious matter for the fortunes of state. We had better turn back ourselves." Sun Hao had found out about it, but because Wan Yu and the others were old ministers, he had bided his time and not said anything.

During this year, when Sun Hao was hosting a banquet, he had sent some poisoned wine to Wan Yu for him to drink, but the wine-bearer had secretly diluted the wine. When the wine was passed to Liu Ping as well, Liu Ping discovered the poison; he ingested a medicine and vomited it up, so he did not die. Wan Yu killed himself, and Liu Ping became so frightened and depressed that a little more than a month later, he also died. Wan Yu's sons and younger brothers were exiled to Luling.


(Sun Hao's march from Huali was mentioned above, at 271.3.

Sima Guang's commentary in the Textual Analysis states, "The Biography of Sun Hao in the Records of the Three Kingdoms states, 'Wan Yu, being condemned, died from worry.' But I follow the account of the Jiangbiaozhuan.")


21. Before, Wan Yu had requested that some loyal and pure people be selected to fill gaps in the palace's immediate offices. So Sun Hao had appointed the Minister of Finance, Lou Xuan, as Guardian of the Lower Palace and chief of palace affairs. Lou Xuan personally led his soldiers around, and in enforcing the law he spoke very bluntly. Sun Hao gradually became displeased with him.


(It was an old policy in Eastern Wu that the chief of the guards should be an intimately selected person. So Sun Hao, following Wan Yu's advice, had put Lou Xuan in charge of palace affairs.)


22. Wu's Prefect of the Palace Secretariat and Grand Tutor to the Crown Prince, He Shao, sent up a petition stating, "All during the last few years, the court has been tangled up in errors. Truth and falsehood have become indistinguishable, loyalty and excellence have fallen into disrepair, and honest ministers have come to harm. True gentlemen have been snipped away at, while inferior servants have been flattering you over short-term affairs. The original vision has been set aside, while everyone only looks to their immediate interests. The people hold fast to ideas which are counter to reason, and the gentry spit words that are contrary to principle. They have taken what was clear and turned it to mud, tying the tongues of loyal ministers into knots.

“Now Your Majesty is superior to the Nine Heavens, and your lineage stretches a hundred li. When you say the word, the winds obey you; when you give the command, the mountains heed you. Yet now you favor and take your counsel from flatterers, daily hearing words which sound submissive to you, and you speak of these men as true and worthy servants and as though the realm were already settled.

“I have heard that the sovereign of a state that is on the rise delights in being told of his offenses, while the sovereign of a state that is in turmoil and want delights in hearing himself be praised. The sovereign who is told of his offenses spends his days in correcting them, and so he attains good fortune, while the sovereign who glories in his praises passes his days wallowing in them, and so sinks into calamity.

“Your Majesty enforces a strict law in banning forthright talk, and you drive away good men by forbidding rebuking mouths. When, under the influence of the wine cup, you act impetuously, and one cannot be sure whether they will live or die, those who serve you will withdraw to keep their innocence, and those who live with you will go away to maintain their fortune. Honesty is offered to you not to merely protect your flash and pomp, but to show to you the glorious way and change you so that you may attain it.

“Now He Ding was originally just a little follow serving the Supervisor, and he has no abilities in himself to speak of. Yet Your Majesty loves to lend an ear to his sycophancy and flattery, and you have given him power and blessings. When miscreants are given a hand in affairs, that will certainly advance the profits of the perverse. Is it not an absurd thing that a man like He Ding has seen such a rise, while the soldiers camped along the Yangzi must hunt game in order to feed themselves, the old and the frail suffer from hunger and cold, and great and small all sigh with resentment?

“The Zuo Commentary states, 'When a state rises, it is because it views its people as infants; when a state falls, it is is because its people become as clippings of grass.' Now the laws and bans of the state have become very harsh, and bandits have sprung up all the more. The palace officials and other intimate servants control affairs more and more, while chief officials fear lest they commit some offense, and the people are suffering and crying out for relief. Men are being pushed beyond what their strength can bear, and families and households are being broken up and scattered. In the sounds of their sighs and their lamentations, all beg for harmony and peace.

“The state does not have even a year's worth of provisions, and families cannot sustain themselves for even a month, yet the rear palaces have piles of grain piled up enough to feed more than ten thousand souls. Furthermore, our northern enemy has been keeping its eyes on us, watching in wait as the grief of our state mounts. The barrier of the Yangzi cannot hold them back for long. If we are careless of our defenses, then 'with a bundle of reeds they can cross it'.

“I plead with Your Majesty to attend to our foundation and strengthen our base. Put aside your feelings and follow the path of principle, heeding the examples of Cheng's (Tang of Shang's) and Kang's governance and rise, and maintain the fortunes of your august ancestor (Sun Quan)!"

Sun Hao deeply despised him.


(To be "snipped away it" refers to snipping the edges of something to make it round.

The Guanzi states, "One's parents are distant as a hundred li."

In the Zuo Commentary, Feng Hua of Chen made the remark, "I have heard that States flourish when they regard their people as if apprehensive of their receiving hurt:——that brings prosperity. States again perish when they treat their people as earth or grass: —that brings calamity. (Ai 1.4)"

The Book of Poetry has this verse: "Who says that the Yellow River is wide? With [a bundle of] reeds I can cross it." Master Mao remarked, "The term 杭 in this verse means to cross." Zheng Xuan remarked, "When the author says that with a bundle of reeds he can do it, he means that he may cross over it."

The "august ancestor" mentioned in the last sentence of the petition means Sun Quan.)


23. Sun Hao's attendants all slandered Lou Xuan and He Shao. They said that the two of them, meeting by chance in their carriages, had stopped to speak to one another, and they had heard great laughter between them. The attendants also slandered and mocked their handling of state affairs. So both of them were interrogated and charged with blame. Lou Xuan was sent to Guangzhou, while He Shao was restored to his office. But later, Sun Hao exiled Lou Xuan to Jiaozhi, and had him done away with.

Afterwards, when He Ding's perverse filth was brought to light, he was also put to death.


24. After Yang Hu returned from Jiangling, he conducted his duties with virtue and trust in order to win the affections of the people of Wu. Whenever his soldiers clashed with those of Wu, he would set the day for battle, and he made no plans for sudden raids. Whenever he was about to go to battle and someone suggested a deceitful plan to him, he would always have them drink fine wine so that they could not explain any further. When Yang Hu led his army across the Wu border, and the soldiers cut down grain to use as provisions, he would tally up the grain so taken and repay it with silks. Every time his soldiers went out hunting between the Yangzi and Mian rivers, they would halt at the Jin border, and if they obtained any game which had first been wounded by soldiers from Wu, he would always send the game over to their side. So the people living in the Wu borderlands were very pleased with him.

Yang Hu and Lu Kang formed an understanding, and their messengers were in constant contact. When Lu Kang sent wine to Yang Hu, Yang Hu drank it without any suspicion. When Lu Kang became ill and asked Yang Hu for medicine, Yang Hu prepared medicine and sent it to him, and Lu Kang took it. Many of Lu Kang's men remonstrated with him, but Lu Kang said, "How could Yang Shuzi be a poisoner?"

And Lu Kang told his border commanders, "If the enemy turns towards virtue, while we turn towards violence, then we will end up submitting to them without a battle even taking place. We will both defend our own borders, and do no more; do not seek meager gains."

When Sun Hao learned that both sides had come to this peace agreement, he scolded Lu Kang. Lu Kang replied, "Not even a single village or county can act without trust and righteousness, much less the entire state! If I acted otherwise, that would only display how virtuous Yang Hu is, while not doing him any harm."


(Yang Hu was furthering his plan to conquer Wu; all that he did was only to entice Wu to him. His relationship with Lu Kang, taking no advantage of him, was for the same reason. Whether or not this can truly be called "conducting himself with virtue and trust", I do not know.

Shuzi was Yang Hu's style name.)


25. Following the plans of several of his generals, Sun Hao constantly raided and plundered Jin's borders.

Lu Kang sent up a petition stating, "In former times, it was because the Xia dynasty had many crimes that Tang of Yin was able to march against them, and it was because of King Zhou of Shang's excessive cruelty that King Wu of Zhou could grasp the battle-axe against him. If we are as careless now as in those times, then even if we had another great sage, and could care for and train the people to protect themselves, it would still not be a matter to be taken lightly.

“What you ought to be doing now is attending to your duties and making the farmers strong and the state prosperous, employing in office the worthy and able, wisely choosing whom to promote or demote, properly (or, carefully) carrying out punishments and rewards, cultivating the virtues of the officials, and turning the common people towards benevolence. But rather than do these things, you are heeding the advice of generals who are chasing fleeting glory, you are weakening the soldiers and abusing the military, you are expending incalculable resources, and you are driving the officers and soldiers to wilt from their exertions. The enemy has nothing to mourn for, while our own sickness has already grown this great. You are now striving for the measure of an emperor, but you have yet to taste any great measure of success. These men are perverse, and they offer no fine plans to benefit the state!

“In former times, when Qi and Lu fought each other three times, Lu was twice the victor, but in the end they were swiftly vanquished. Why was this? Because of the difference in power between the great and the small. How much more does this apply to these supposed gains of ours? Mend your ways, or you will mourn them!"

But Sun Hao did not listen to him.


(Tang of Shang said of Xia's crimes, "Xia's crimes are many; Heaven wills their destruction." And King Wu of Zhou said of King Zhou's crimes, "He has indulged in wanton and cruel massacres, and his filthy virtues are clear to see; we will fight Shang, and our victory is certain."

Some versions record Lu Kang's advice as "carefully" carrying out punishments and rewards.

The officials whom Lu Kang mentions were the ones who held the many affairs of state in their grasp.

When Lu Kang mentions the analogy of Qi and Lu, he quotes the words that Zhang Yi used when speaking to King Min of Qi, although he has changed his meaning.)


26. Yang Hu did not align himself with the factions at court, so Xun Xu, Feng Dan, and their followers all resented him. When Yang Hu's nephew Wang Yan once visited him to explain matters, his words were very precise and clear. But when Yang Hu did not agree with him, Wang Yan flicked his robes and left. Yang Hu turned to look at his guests as he said, "Wang Yifu may possess a great reputation and a high office, but he will certainly be the one who upsets tradition and overturns them."

And when Yang Hu had attacked Jiangling, he was on the point of executing Wang Rong according to military law. Wang Yan was Wang Rong's cousin, and this was why both of them held a grudge against him and said many things to ruin his reputation. At that time, people would say, "When the two Wangs are in charge, even Lord Yang seems to have no virtue."


(This passage demonstrates how Yang Hu could understand people like a mirror. Wang Yan's style name was Yifu.

This was the reason why Wang Yan caused the downfall of the state and his own death during the time of Emperor Huai.)

Re: ZZTJ Translations: Western Jin (Book 79-??)

Unread postPosted: Mon Sep 18, 2017 1:34 pm
by DragonAtma
As always, intrigue and counter-intrigue! Who needs A Song of Ice And Fire when we have A Song Of Wu And Jin? Of course, it REALLY becomes A Game Of Thrones when 291 rolls around....

Confession: I never read or saw anything AGOT-based.