SGZ Biography of Cao Cao

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Unread postby Iain » Mon Mar 21, 2005 10:13 am

Once again I commend you for your hardwork and diligence Adrian in doing this for us here, not everyone can simply access PDF files easily you have given us a handy reference tool and I will enjoy reading your edition here at KMA. :D
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Unread postby Ryel Miru » Mon Mar 21, 2005 1:20 pm

You are amazing, sir. I know it's been said, but I doubt that honest congratulations will be turned away. I anxiously await further updates, and I sincerely hope you enjoy working on this as much as we enjoy reading it.
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Unread postby Liu Yuante » Tue Mar 29, 2005 3:46 am

Thanks to Lady Wu's generous assistance, a number of corrections have been made to the text thus far. A good number of the corrections are minor but there are also about 15 sentences that have received major revision due to errors on my part that LW has corrected. Too many changes to note in the post I earmarked for that purpose but I wanted to give notice to the corrections as well as give my thanks for the help.

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Unread postby Liu Yuante » Sun Apr 17, 2005 9:21 pm

Here's another (approx.) 10% of Cao Cao's bio for the perusal of any interested parties.

When Shao first heard about His Excellency’s attack on Qiong he said to his eldest son Tan, “As our opponent has just now attacked Qiong and his men, I will attack and capture his camp so that he consequently will have no place to return to!” Thereupon he tasked Zhang He and Gao Lan with attacking Cao Hong. He and his men heard about Qiong’s defeat and straightaway came forward to surrender. Shao’s men were thoroughly routed and he and Tan abandoned the army and fled across the river. His Excellency pursued but didn’t catch them and collected all of his military supplies, books of strategy and treasure, as well as capturing his men.47 His Excellency gathered up Shao’s papers from among these things, additionally receiving the papers of the everyday men within the army, and he burned all of them.48 All of the counties of Ji province opened the walls of the cities and surrendered.

47 The Record of Emperor Xian’s Daily Life/Xiandi Qi Ju Zhu states: His Excellency said to the Emperor, “The General-In-Chief and Marquis of Ye Yuan Shao had earlier with the Governor of Ji province Han Fu wished to set up the Grand Major Liu Yu as Emperor, and crafted a royal seal from gold. For this reason he dispatched the official Zhang Biyu to call on Yu and persuade him that it was decreed by heavenly mandate. Shao also wrote a letter to your servant, saying, “I can set the capital city in Juancheng, and in that place establish the emperor.” Without authority he minted gold and silver currency, made the recommendations of Filially Pious and Incorrupt to the officials, and everyone reported to Shao. Following this his younger brother the Grand Administrator of Jiyin wrote to him in a letter, saying, “Presently there is misfortune and ruin within the four seas and Heaven’s will lies within our family. If the divine essence is to be granted it is fitting that it honor the older brother. The officials under the southern brother desire for his enthronement but the southern brother said, with regard to age the northern brother is older thus with regard to enthronement the northern brother should receive that weighty honor. It is my desire to give you the royal seal and then together we may waylay Cao Cao.” Shao’s family has for many generations received the kindness and respect of the country, and none have tread the path of wicked rebellion and gone so far as this. I have personally restrained his military forces. I have engaged in battle at Guandu and, relying on the strength of the imperial court, I first achieved the beheading of Shao’s general Chunyu Qiong and eight other men and then thoroughly routed his forces. Shao and his son Tan were humbled and quickly fled away. Altogether seventy thousand soldiers were beheaded and many millions of military supplies and belongings.”

48 The Annals of the Wei Clan state: His Excellency said, “I have withstood Shao’s superior strength, and though I was alone he was still unable to protect himself, let alone the rest of his men!”


Earlier, in the time of Emperor Huan, there was a yellow star visible between Chu and Song and Yin Kui of Liaodong, who was skilled in astronomy said that after fifty years there would be a true hero arising from between Liang and Pei, such that the point of his sword could not be withstood. It came to be that fifty years passed, and His Excellency defeated Shao, and in all of the empire there were none that could match him.

In the fourth month of the sixth year, during the summer, His Excellency led his troops up past the Yellow river, attacked Shao’s forces at Cangting and defeated them. When Shao returned he gathered up again all of his scattered troops and attacked and secured all of the rebellious counties and commanderies. In the ninth month, His Excellency returned to Xu. Shao would not yet be defeated so he tasked Liu Bei to sir up trouble in Runan, and the Runan bandits Gong Dou and his men responded. His Excellency dispatched Cai Yang to attack Dou but he was unsuccessful and was therein defeated by Dou. His Excellency went south to attack Bei. When Bei heard that His Excellency himself was coming he quickly fled away to Liu Biao, and Dou and his men all scattered.
In the first month of the seventh year, during the spring, His Excellency’s army was at Qiao, and he issued a decree saying, “I raised a righteous army for the purpose of ridding the empire of the rebellion. Of the former inhabitants of the land all of them have died off. I traveled about the country all day and did not see anyone I knew, causing me heartrending sadness. Since the raising of the righteous army, whenever an officer or soldier has died without offspring I have sought among his relatives for someone to continue the line, given them farmland, the government has given them farm cattle, and established schools and teachers for the purpose of educating them. For the benefit of the survivors I have established temples that they may use to offer sacrifice to their ancestors, if there are souls of the dead, what regrets could I have when my lifetime has passed!” Then he went to Junyi, secured the dyke at Suiyang and dispatched someone to sacrifice an ox to Qiao Xuan.49 He then advanced his army to Guandu.


49 The Baoshang Ling records that when His Excellency offered sacrifice he said, “The former Grand Commandant, His Excellency Qiao, was from birth imbued with the highest virtue, extensive kindness and abundant forgiveness. The nation gives thought to his virtuous instruction and the scholars to putting his decrees into practice. His bier conceals his body in seclusion, alas so far from the light of dawn! When I was of a young age I was taken and brought to the main room of his home, which was unusual on account of my coarse and uncouth appearance, for the purpose of being received by that great man of honor. Increased honor and reputation are each due to praise and assistance, just as Zhongni said there were none as good as Yan Yuan and Li Sheng’s generous acclaim for Jia Fu. He was committed to being my close confidant, and in my heart I have not forgotten this. It was also with great ease that he arranged this pledge, saying, ‘After my death this is the method you are to follow. Do not use a vessel of wine, merely sacrifice a chicken over the grave and pour the libation, passing it over a space of three paces, but do not be bewildered if your belly is pained!’ Although at the time he spoke jokingly of it, if he was not to a close friend being sincere about his health, why would he therefore be making preparations for going away? One should not speak of departed souls with resentment as you may be giving yourself pain and suffering. One should reminisce with fondness only, and sad, sorrowful thoughts. I received orders to go to the east, and made camp for a number of days in my home village. To the north I saw the sacred earth, and therefore in my heart resolved to visit his tomb. It was his decision to be given but a simple libation, but His Excellency(referring to Qiao) will still be granted a sacrifice!”

After his army’s defeat Shao fell ill and vomited blood, and in the summer, during the fifth month, he died. His younger son Shang succeeded him, and his son Tan declared himself General of Chariots and Cavalry and encamped at Liyang. In the autumn, during the ninth month, His Excellency set out against them, and joined in battle. Tan and Shang were repeatedly defeated and so retreated, firmly remaining on the defensive.

In the eighth year, during the spring, in the third month, His Excellency attacked their outer fortifications and they therefore came out to fight. He attacked and thoroughly defeated them, and Tan and Shang fled away during the night. In the summer, during the fourth month, His Excellency advanced his army to Ye. In the fifth month he returned to Xu, leaving Jia Xin to garrison Liyang.

On the Jiyou day (June 22nd 203 approx.) he issued a decree saying, “Sima’s Law of ‘Leniency Upon a General’s Death’50 came about because of Zhao Kuo’s mother, who entreated not to be held accountable for Kuo. It was true of generals in ancient times that when their armies suffered defeat abroad their families were held responsible at home. When I myself assign generals to go forth on campaign, to only reward accomplishments and not punish failure is not the law of the country. As such let it be decreed that for all generals who go out to attack, the ones whose armies are defeated will shoulder the blame with the unsuccessful generals barred from government service and noble rank.”51


50 The Book of Wei states: Sui2 is equivalent to Que4. The preceding passage calls for meter of one chi and not the one-cun meter of Que4.

51 The Book of Wei states that on the gengshen day (July 3rd 203) His Excellency issued a decree saying, “There are some critics among those heading the army saying that even if they have skillful ability and virtuous conduct it is never enough to receive provincial or state appointment to an official post. These people say, ‘We are able to take part in following a course but we are not able to take part in the decision-making.’ Guanzhong said, ‘When employing learned and virtuous men their ability depends on honoring their superiors, and for fighting men their merit depends on the soldiers regarding death lightly. These two sorts of men should be employed in service of the state in order to control the empire.’ I will not give repute to inept men or soldiers lacking will to fight, but one who combines the two can receive the reward of an official salary and moreover may make contributions as a builder of the state. For this reason I clearly cannot grant official posts to subjects lacking merit just as I cannot reward a soldier who doesn’t fight; to govern fairly and with virtue rewards must be dispensed according to function. The speech of those discussing this is like peering at a tiger through a bamboo tube!”

In the autumn, during the seventh month, he issued a decree saying, “In the fifteen years since the coming of the misfortunes and disorder the young men have been without kindheartedness and the customs of courtliness, and I am extremely distressed by it. As such I decree that in every commandery and state there is to be cultivation of learning, and in the counties for every five hundred households a field officer will be placed therein, selected from the village’s outstanding talents to teach and instruct them. This is so that the learning of the ancient rulers will not be lost and moreover it will be to the benefit of the empire.”

In the eighth month, His Excellency sent an expedition against Liu Biao and his army was at Xiping. When His Excellency left Ye and went south, Tan and Shang fought over Ji province. Tan was defeated by Shang and he retreated to defend Pingyuan. Shang was going to attack him soon and Tan dispatched Xin Pi to beg His Excellency to accept his surrender and to come to his aid. All of His Excellency’s generals expressed doubts but Xun You persuaded His Excellency to agree to it, 52 and he thereupon led his army back. In the winter, during the tenth month, he arrived at Liyang and he joined his son Zheng with Tan’s daughter in marriage.53 When Shang heard that His Excellency had come north he broke off his siege of Pingyuan and returned to Ye. Lu Kuang and Lu Xiang of Dongping rebelled against Shang and encamped at Yangping. They led their men out to surrender to His Excellency and were conferred the rank of Marquis.54


52 The Book of Wei states: His Excellency said, “When I attacked Lu Bu, Biao did not invade, and during the Guandu campaign he did not come to the aid of Yuan Shao. Thus he protects only himself from harm, and so it is suitable to plan against him later on. Tan and Shang are duplicitous so it is proper that I take advantage of their state of disorder. I will indulge Tan, pretending to support him, and he, not ultimately being helpless, will employ me to defeat Shang and I will lean in to take over his territory, which will greatly benefit me.” Thereupon he agreed to it.

53 Your servant Song notes: From Shao’s death until then, all told only five months had passed. Although Tan was the first-born and as such the eldest brother, for three years now he had not been in Shao’s good graces, due to the favoritism of the wife from his second marriage, so he rebelled. As an expedient the King of Wu made this pledge with him: Presently a marriage would be arranged and it would not be necessary to give over that year’s harvest as a dowry.

54 The Book of Wei states: When the siege of Tan had dispersed he secretly sent one of his generals to Kuang with a counterfeit silk-tasseled seal. Kuang received the seal and then delivered it to His Excellency, who said, “I certainly am aware of Tan’s pitiful scheming. He wishes to use me to attack Shang, which will allow him in the meantime to plunder the populace and gather men so that on Shang’s defeat he will have obtained for himself a superior force by which to take advantage of my weakness. However, I will benefit from Shang’s defeat, so what weakness will there be to take advantage of?”

In the spring of the ninth year, during the first month, His Excellency crossed the Yellow River and redirected the flow of the Qi River into the Bai canal, so as to open the way for the transport of provisions. In the second month, Shang again attacked Tan, leaving Su You and Shen Pei to defend Ye. On arriving His Excellency attacked Ye, constructing earthen hills and tunnels. The Chief of Wuan Yin Kai was encamped at Maocheng to keep open the supply lines to his associates. In the summer, during the fourth month, His Excellency left Cao Hong to attack Ye while he prepared to attack Kai himself. He defeated him and then returned. Shang’s general Ju Gu defended Handan 55 and His Excellency attacked again, capturing it. The Prefect of Yiyang Han Fan and the Chief of She Liang Qi opened up their counties to surrender and they were conferred the noble rank of Marquis Within the Imperial Domain. In the fifth month, His Excellency destroyed his earthen hills and tunnels and dug an encircling moat into which he breached the Zhang River to flood the city; more than half the people within the city starved to death. In the autumn, during the seventh month, Shang went back to rescue Ye and all of His Excellency’s generals were of the opinion that being a returning army they would be fighting for themselves and it would be better to avoid them. His Excellency said, “If Shang should come via the main road we will avoid him; if he arrives by following the western hills, this will only result in his defeat.” Shang resolved to come by following the western hills and made his camp overlooking the Fu River. 56 At night he dispatched troops to break the siege but His Excellency resisted, routing and causing him to flee, and then surrounded his camp. Being separated Shang was afraid and accordingly dispatched Chen Lin to the Inspector of Yu province Yin Kui to ask to surrender but His Excellency would not permit it and made the siege even more pressing. At night Shang fled to the protection of the Qi hills and His Excellency pursued and attacked him. Shang’s generals Ma Yan, Zhang Yi and their men came forward to surrender, his soldiers all scattered and Shang fled to Zhongshan. His Excellency captured all of Shang’s military supplies, took his official seal and ceremonial axe, and displayed Shang's captured troops to their families; those within the city became fearful of disaster. In the eighth month Shen Pei’s nephew Rong opened the guardposts of the city’s eastern gate to the invading army. Pei fought against them and was defeated. He was taken alive and then beheaded by His Excellency, who then took control of Ye. His Excellency offered sacrifice before Shao’s tomb and his tears flowed freely as he wept for him. He brought gifts of sympathy to Shao’s wife, returned to his family their treasured possessions, and bestowed on them a multitude of silken floss and grain from the government granary. 57

55 The surname Ju (sounds like zu1) comes from north of the Yellow River and in the present day it still exists there. Gu passed the surname Ju on to a son.

56 The Secret History of Cao states: His Excellency dispatched observers to count how many troops from front to back were with Shang and all of them said, “He has decided to come from the west and is already at Handan.” At this His Excellency was greatly pleased and he gathered all of his generals together, saying, “I have already obtained Ji province, are all of you aware of this?” They all replied, “We are not aware.”
His Excellency said, “It will be apparent to all of you before long.”

57 Sun Cheng states: When in former times the ancient kings acted to wipe out Shang they did so to punish wickedness and encourage virtue, and set a clear example for all time. Because of the difficulties and dangers besetting his era Shao began to devise rebellious plans, first putting forth proposals for the imperial throne and then seeking the reins of the country. To purge the tainted house from society is the way of the ancients but it was with utmost grief that His Excellency went to the rebel minister’s tomb and in addition bestowed kindness on the covetous and greedy man’s wife and in this he stumbled as followed the Way of government. A man must conceal his enmity or friendliness for a person, as did the philosopher of old Suo Chi who formerly had housed Shui Can as a guest, and who was just without shedding tears. The Way is indifferent and makes no allowance for spite or good will, how can there be weeping? In former times the High Ancestor of Han deviated from the norm with regard to the Xiang clan and the King of Wei has erroneously followed this example; how is it possible that he found fault with the many and instead gave credence to the one deviation?

Earlier, when Shao and His Excellency were raising the army together, Shao asked His Excellency, “If this affair does not come together, which territory would you seize?” His Excellency replied, “What do you believe would be your intention?” Shao said, “To the south I would occupy the Yellow River and to the north I would block off Yan and Dai, then I would form an army from the throngs of barbarians and head southward to fight for the empire; that should be sufficient to achieve it.” His Excellency said, “I would make use of the empire’s intelligent and resourceful men, and govern them according to the Way, then there would be nothing I could not do.” 58

58 The Great Ancestor repeated a statement of Confucius’, saying, “How could it be possible for the King of Wu and the King of Tang to share the same land? If the strategic places must be held for the sake of money and resources then you would be incapable of responding to opportunity and adapting to change.”

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Last edited by Liu Yuante on Sat Apr 23, 2005 5:22 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread postby Lu Kang » Sat Apr 23, 2005 4:45 am

Hey it looks great. I think something else that would be benificial would be to include the pinyin for the names of the outside sources in addition to their English names. Especially since it seems to be a trend in many other translations to have the pinyin, it would make it easier to find quotes from the same source.
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Unread postby Liu Yuante » Sat Apr 23, 2005 5:25 am

Lu Kang wrote:Hey it looks great. I think something else that would be benificial would be to include the pinyin for the names of the outside sources in addition to their English names. Especially since it seems to be a trend in many other translations to have the pinyin, it would make it easier to find quotes from the same source.


I've added the pinyin in italics next to the first quotation of the source in the text, like so: The Book of Wei/Wei Shu states: yada yada. You're all smart enough to remember it or look back up for the first citation and I'm too lazy to add it to every one.

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Unread postby Lady Wu » Sat Apr 23, 2005 5:53 am

What about making a key/index at the end for pinyin of the book titles?
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Unread postby Liu Yuante » Sat Apr 23, 2005 5:23 pm

Lady Wu wrote:What about making a key/index at the end for pinyin of the book titles?


That's not a bad idea, de Crespigny does the same for ZZTJ, however it's going to be awhile before that can be done since "the end" of the bio is still a long ways off, probably looking at June (the sacrifice to Qiao Xuan hit me right in the middle of vacation, and is not an easy passage, so I got almost nothing done over that period that I wanted to).

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Unread postby Liu Yuante » Tue May 31, 2005 1:00 am

Here's some more from the biography of everyone's favorite despot:

In the ninth month, His Excellency issued a decree saying, “Hebei has suffered from the troubles of the Yuan clan and so I decree that they do not have to pay this year’s taxes!” Particular emphasis was placed on the regulation of annexation by the wealthy and powerful, and the common people were overjoyed. 59 The Son of Heaven wanted His Excellency to receive the post of Governor of Ji province but he declined and instead returned to Yan province.

59 The Book of Wei records His Excellency’s decree as saying, “When a person possesses a state or a family, he is not concerned about the small things but is concerned about inequality, and he does not worry about poverty but does worry about instability. Regarding the Yuan clan’s government, it allowed the wealthy and powerful to flaunt authority and show favoritism for their relatives. The common people were held down in poverty and weakness, and took their place in paying lease taxes. They sold off their family possessions but still did not have enough to pay the designated amounts. Shen Pei’s family went so far as to harbor malefactors who had become fugitives from their masters. They desired and hoped for the common people’s affection and fondness, and to have a strong and flourishing army, but how can these be obtained through wickedness? His grain tax collections totaled four sheng per mu of land, each family produced two pi of coarse silk, two bolts of silken floss and no more. He did not have the resources needed to flourish and expand. I have observed the appearance of the states and commanderies, and made a clear assessment of them. As such there will be no laws allowing the strong to hide themselves away while the weak and poor pay double taxes.”

During His Excellency’s siege of Ye, Tan plundered and seized Ganling, Anping, Bohai and Hejian. When Shang was defeated, he went back to Zhongshan. Tan attacked him and he fled to Gu’an and soon after was reunited with his men. His Excellency left Tan a letter, reproaching him for breaching their agreement and cancelled the marriage alliance with him, sending back Tan’s daughter, whereupon he led his army forward. Tan was afraid and captured Pingyuan before going to defend Nanpi. In the twelfth month, His Excellency entered Pingyuan, capturing and establishing control over all the counties therein.

In the tenth year, in the spring and in the first month, His Excellency attacked and defeated Tan, beheaded him, executed his family and pacified Ji province. 60 He gave an order saying, “To those persons who took part with the Yuan clan in villainy, I give to them a fresh start.” He ordered the common people not to renew private quarrels, forbade lavish burials and everyone was to be treated the same with respect to the law. The same month, Yuan Xi’s generals Jiao Chu and Zhang Nan and their men rebelled and attacked Xi and Shang. They both fled to the three commanderies of the Wuhuan. Chu and the others opened up their counties to surrender and were conferred the rank of marquis. When His Excellency first sent forces against Tan the common people fled from having to break ice 61 so he ordered that they were not allowed to surrender. A short while later, the head of the runaways went to the door where they were and His Excellency said to him, “If I listen to you I will be breaking my decree, however if I kill you I will be punishing authority. Go conceal yourselves far away and do not get caught by the officials here.” The common people hung down their heads crying and went away; afterwards they were indeed captured.


60 The Book of Wei states, “When His Excellency attacked Tan, the battle had gone from dawn to midday and had not yet been decided. His Excellency therefore personally took the drumstick to beat the battle-drum and his soldiers all fought more vigorously, immediately breaking through the enemy line.

61 Your servant Song believes that at the time when he sent forces against Tan, the Chuan canal waters had frozen, so he employed the common people to break the ice so as to open the way for his boats. The common people grew fearful of forced labor and fled.

In the summer, during the fourth month, the Black Mountain bandit Zhang Yan led his more than one hundred thousand men out to surrender and was conferred the rank of marquis. Zhao Du of Gu’an, Huo Nu and others killed the Inspector of You province and the Grand Administrator of Zhuo commandery. The three commanderies of the Wuhuan attacked Xianyu Fu at Guangping. 62 In the autumn, during the eighth month, His Excellency attacked them, beheading Du and his men, and thereafter crossed the Lu River to come to the aid of Guangping. The Wuhuan fled away beyond the northern frontier.

62 The State and Commandery Records of the Book of Han Continued state, “Guangping was the name of a county within Yuyang commandery.”

In the ninth month, His Excellency issued a decree, saying, “Cliques and total collusion were despised by the ancient sages. I have heard of the vulgar customs of Ji province, that fathers and sons belonged to different factions and moreover would destroy each other’s reputations. In former times, Zhi Buyi did not have an elder brother yet the commoners say of him that he stole his elder brother’s wife. The fifth hegemon Yu San took an orphan as his bride yet they say of him that he beat his wife’s elderly father. King Feng usurped power and Gu Yong compared him to Shen Bo, yet King Shang gave honest criticism and Zhang Kuang says of him that he was a heretic. All of these are making the white out to be black, and are deceiving the Heavens and slandering their lords. My desire is to put these vulgar customs in good order, and if these four are not eliminated I shall feel ashamed.” In the winter, during the tenth month, His Excellency returned to Ye.

Earlier, Yuan Shao had his nephew Gao Gan take command as Governor of Bing province, and during His Excellency’s seizure of Ye Gan surrendered and soon after was appointed Inspector. When Gan heard that His Excellency was sending forces against the Wuhuan he thereupon took the province and rebelled, seizing the Grand Administrator of Shangdang and raising troops to guard the mouth of Hu Pass. His Excellency dispatched Yue Jin and Li Dian to attack him and Gan retreated to defend Huguan. In the eleventh year, during the spring, in the first month, His Excellency sent forces against Gan. When Gan got wind of this he left his other generals to guard the city and went over to the Xiongnu to ask the Shanyu for aid but the Shanyu would not receive him. His Excellency besieged Huguan for three months and then captured it. Gan then fled to Jing province but the Chief Commandant of Shangluo, Wang Yan, caught and executed him.

In the autumn, during the eighth month, His Excellency sent forces eastward to attack the pirate Guan Cheng and on arriving at Chunyu he dispatched Yue Jin and Li Dian to attack and defeat Cheng, who fled out to an island in the sea. His Excellency divided from Donghai the counties of Xiangfei, Tan and Qi to add them to Langye state, and he also decreased the size of Lu commandery. 63


63 The Book of Wei records that in the tenth month, on the yihai day, His Excellency issued a decree, saying, “A man who governs the world and administers the people should employ advisors and follow their commandments. As the Shi Jing says, “You should listen to my plans, so that you do not have deep regrets,” this is what true rulers and ministers should sincerely and earnestly seek out. I have undertaken weighty tasks and am always afraid of failure, yet as the years come and go I do not hear any excellent plans, can it be that I have not been diligent in inviting it, and am to blame? From here on out, all of the officials and advisors are to be with me, rather than in separate carriages, so that every day they may speak of my errors, and I will consider them.”

The three commanderies of the Wuhuan took advantage of the turmoil in the empire and ravaged You province, seizing more than one hundred thousand families of Han civilians. Yuan Shao had established as chieftain over all of them a strong man to serve as Shanyu, and had the eldest son of his family take for himself a Wuhuan woman to be his wife. The chieftain in Liaoxi, Tadun, was especially barbarous, and his incursions in Shao’s former territory were many. For this reason Yuan Shang’s brother returned to him, and a great number of Wuhuan entered the strategic passes to cause harm. His Excellency prepared to send forces against them and dug a canal, from the Hutuo River to the Gu River 64, calling it the Pinglu trench. He also dug from the mouth of the Ju River 65 to join it with the Lu River, naming it the Quanzhou trench, and by means of these he had open communication with the sea.

64 Gu pronounced as gu1 – orphan

65 Ju pronounced as ju4 – sentence

In the twelfth year, during the spring and in the first month, His Excellency returned to Ye from Chunyu. On the dingyou day he issued a decree saying, “I raised a righteous army to put an end to the rebellion, and for nineteen years everywhere I invaded was certain to be conquered, how can this be just my accomplishment? It is because of the efforts of talented scholars and officials. The empire has not yet been totally put in order, and I rightly desire to settle it along with worthy scholars and officials, but for me alone to profit from their sacrifice of hard work, how could I be content with that! As such I urge that their accomplishments be certified by granting conferments.” Whereupon major conferments for performing outstanding service were granted to twenty men, each of them being made an Enumerated Marquis, and of the rest they were granted conferments in proper order. Conferment was renewed for the orphans of deceased officials and the degree of each was different. 66

66 The Book of Wei records His Excellency’s decree as saying, “In former times, during Zhao She and Dou Ying’s tenure as generals, in a single morning they would make the distributions to those being granted rewards of gold. This was so that they would be able to accomplish great achievements and their deeds would resound for all time. I have read their writings, and never yet have I failed to strive for their level of conduct. I took part with the many generals and scholarly officials who have taken positions in the army and have been fortunate to rely on men of wisdom who are not in love with their own schemes, and flocks of men who do not lose their strength. We have made safe the dangers and pacified disorder but I have ignobly taken the greatest reward, with a city of thirty thousand households. Recollecting the righteousness of Dou Ying’s distribution of gold, I now divide up the places receiving rent income and give them to the generals and officials who have come together for the purpose of defending the frontier at Chen and Cai. The rest will be given farmland in return for everyone’s hard work and I will not usurp the greatest benefits. It is right that regarding the orphans of dead officials, a portion of grain taxes are also given to them. If this year’s harvest is abundant and there is enough to use, and those leasing out land receive full payment. This will be great and everyone will altogether benefit from it.”

His Excellency was preparing to head north to send forces against the three commanderies of the Wuhuan and all of his generals said, “Yuan Shang is only a runaway prisoner and the barbarians are greedy and are not his blood relations, how could they possibly act at Shang’s disposal? Now you are going to launch an extensive expedition against them, Liu Bei surely will persuade Liu Biao to raid Xu. If there is any chance of rebellion you will not be able to repent of it.” Only Guo Jia responded that Biao certainly was not skillful enough to appoint Bei and urged His Excellency to proceed. In the summer, during the fifth month, His Excellency arrived at Wuzhong. In the autumn, during the seventh month, there was a flood and the path near to the sea could not be traversed. Tian Chou asked to act as guide through the countryside and His Excellency followed him. He led the army into Lulong pass but the path outside the pass was cut off and they could not get through. Therefore they dug around mountains and filled in valleys for more than five hundred li, passing through Botan and Pinggang, entering the foremost territory of the Xianbi and headed east toward Liucheng. They had not yet arrived, with two hundred li to go, when their enemies became aware of them. Shang and Xi, together with Tadun, the Shanyu of Liaoxi Louban and the Shanyu of Youbeiping Nengchendizhi and others had ten thousand cavalry ready to oppose His Excellency’s army. In the eighth month, His Excellency ascended White Wolf Mountain and his soldiers came into contact with a flourishing multitude of the enemy. His Excellency’s supply carts were predominantly in the rear, he had few armored soldiers and all around everyone was afraid. His Excellency climbed to a high spot and looking out saw that the enemy’s formations were not in good order. Thereupon he released his soldiers to attack them, appointing Zhang Liao to lead the vanguard. The enemy masses collapsed completely, he beheaded Tadun and those calling him king, and the Hu and Han Chinese persons who surrendered numbered more than two hundred thousand. The Shanyu of Liaodong Supuwan joined up with the various despots of Liaoxi and Beiping, and they abandoned their kinsmen and, together with Shang and Xi fled away to Liaodong. The soldiers in Shang’s possession numbered only a thousand cavalrymen. Previously the Grand Administrator of Liaodong Gongsun Kang had depended upon there being discord among the Yuan. Following His Excellency’s defeat of the Wuhuan there were some who sought to persuade His Excellency to follow up by attacking them so that Shang and his brother could be captured. His Excellency said, “I will use Kang to chop off and deliver the heads of Shang and Xi, I need not bother with an army.” In the ninth month, His Excellency led his army back from Liucheng 67 and Kang at once beheaded Shang, Xi, Supuwan and his men, and sent His Excellency their heads. Some of his generals asked him, “How did you know that when you returned, Kang would chop off and deliver the heads of Shang and Xi?” His Excellency replied, “Kang normally was fearful of Shang and his men and so if I pressed them then they would join forces, whereas if I were leisurely with them then they would scheme against each other; such were the circumstances.” In the eleventh month, His Excellency arrived at the Yi River and Pufulu, the Shanyu of the Dai commandery Wuhuan, as well as Nalou, the Shanyu of the Shang commandery Wuhuan, went forth with their retainers and subordinates to congratulate him.

67 The Record of Cao Man states, “At the time conditions were miserable due to drought, and for two hundred li around there was no revival of the river waters. The army was also short of food, killing their horses to the tune of one thousand pi to serve as provisions, and having to dig more than three hundred feet into the earth to obtain water. On returning, His Excellency made an official inquiry as to which persons had previously remonstrated with him, and out of everybody there were none that knew his motive, but everyone was fearful. His Excellency gave them all generous rewards, saying, “Earlier I went forward and overcame danger to achieve a good outcome, but despite obtaining this, in that place I had Heavan’s aid and it cannot be expected that things will always happen that way. All of you gentleman’s admonishments, and your great number of plans for safety, are therefore rewarded accordingly, and in the future do not be afraid to speak up.”

In the thirteenth year, during the spring and in the first month, His Excellency returned to Ye and constructed a secret army lake for the purpose of practicing naval maneuvers. 68 Han did away with the positions of the Three Excellencies and installed the posts of Imperial Chancellor and Imperial Counselor. In the summer, during the sixth month, His Excellency was appointed Imperial Chancellor. 69

68 Yi (practicing) is pronounced like si4. San Gang states, “The meaning of yi is equivalent to si2 (custom, practice).”

69 The Record of Emperor Xian’s Daily Life sates, “The Emperor sent the Minister of Ceremonies Xu Qiu to present the silken seal of office. The Imperial Counselor would not be subject to the other ministers and but a single man was installed as Attendant Clerk. The Short Biographies of Virtuous Ancestors state, “Qiu was styled Mengping (*Mengyu) and was a native of Guangling. When he was young he carried himself with honesty and forthrightness, and displayed a stern countenance towards government matters. He successively served in the three commanderies of Rencheng, Runan and Donghai, and transformed the local conduct everywhere he was. When he was summoned to return Yuan Shu abducted him from there. When Shu declared his intent to usurp the throne, he desired to give him the position of High Minister but Qiu would not submit to it and refused. After Shu’s death, Qiu took possession of the Great Seal of State and returned it to the Han imperial court, receiving as reward the office of Minister of Ceremonies; when His Excellency became Imperial Chancellor, he permitted Qiu to retain his position.

In the autumn, during the seventh month, His Excellency led an expedition southward to attack Liu Biao. In the eighth month, Biao died and his son Zong took his place. He was stationed at Xiangyang and Liu Bei was positioned at Fan. In the ninth month, His Excellency arrived at Xinye, Liu Zong straightaway surrendered and Liu Bei fled to Xiakou. His Excellency led his army forward to Jiangling and commanded the officials and commoners of Jing province, giving them a fresh start. Thereupon he assessed the accomplishments of Jing province’s followers, with fifty men becoming Marquis, and employed Liu Biao’s general Wen Pin to act as Grand Administrator of Jiangxia. He incorporated everyone into his own army, adding Jing province’s renowned officers Han Song, Deng Yi and their men. 70

70 Wei Heng’s Siti Shu Shixu states, “At the start King Yu set the standard for proper official writing, which became the foundation for modern writing. Emperor Ling was fond of calligraphy and during that time there were many people who were skilled at it. Whenever someone was considered suitable for an official position on account of his proficiency, he would make frequent boasts of his ability in every style of writing and cut up and burn his examples. Liang Gu sought to profit from another's writing so he gave him some wine, waited for him to become drunk and then stole his writing samples. Gu then quickly used them to practice his calligraphy and was selected for office as Imperial Secretariat. Thereafter, when His Excellency desired office as Prefect of Luoyang, Gu felt he should be only Military Commandant of the Northern District. Gu later came to be attached to Liu Biao. Upon the pacification of Jing province His Excellency sought to recruit Gu, and Gu was afraid that His Excellency himself would visit his home. From the military bureau he borrowed the services of a Major, employing him to provide some writing in secret and toiled at imitating the calligraphy himself. His Excellency came across the writing within the official registers, displayed it in appreciation of it and made known Gu's suitability for holding office. Gu was styled Menghuang and was a man from Anding.

Huangfu Mi’s Record of Outstanding Scholars states, “Wang Jun of Runan was styled Ziwen and in his youth had the reputation of a Fang Pan. He was known for his remarkable ability and was praised alongside Cen Zhi of Nanyang. When His Excellency was still unemployed he became especially fond of Jun, and Jun, for his part, felt that His Excellency had the talent to rule the world. When Yuan Shao and his younger brother Shu were mourning the death of their mother they returned to Runan to bury her. Jun joined His Excellency in assembling with them, and the assembled persons totaled three thousand men. His Excellency had a confidential discussion with Jun, saying, “The empire will soon become disordered and the chief persons instigating the chaos will certainly be these two men. I wish to aid the empire, and I beseech you on behalf of the common people, if we do not execute these two men they will presently foment rebellion.” Jun replied, “If it is as you say, that you will be a rescuer of the empire, who would abandon you and rebel?” They faced each other and laughed. Outwardly Jun conducted himself quietly but inwardly he saw things clearly, and would not accept assignment to the Three Offices over the provinces and commanderies. When His Excellency rode forth to summon Jun, Jun did not meet him. He instead left the area and took up residence at Wuling, returning to where more than one hundred members of his family resided. When the Emperor’s capital shifted to Xu, His Excellency again solicited Jun by means of a praiseworthy letter but again Jun would not come forward. When Liu Biao saw how powerful Yuan Shao was and was going to secretly join forces with him, Jun spoke to him, saying, “His Excellency Cao is the hero of the empire and certainly will be able to triumph over despotism and follow the great achievements of Huan and Wen. Presently you are pushing away the nearby and embracing the distant, if you should have need of the urgency of a single day, and you are looking far off to the northern desert for aid, you also will be in great difficulty!” Biao did not follow his advice. When Jun had reached the age of sixty-four he came to the end of his life at Wuling, and His Excellency, on hearing the news, was sorely grieved. On pacifying Jing province he personally arrived at the river to receive Jun’s body, and reinterred him at Jiangling, where Biao had deceased worthy officials buried.




The text in italics is, more than likely, incorrect. I went at it over and over, trying to figure out what it all meant and the most I could do was piece together a few connections. I have a good gut feeling for when I have something wrong, and I believe that passage to be almost entirely incorrect. However, like nature, I abhor a vacuum, and hate leaving a blank space or just characters, so I did what I could. The original Chinese, in simplified characters, is this: 及以钉壁玩之,

There are probably some smaller errors elsewhere but overall, aside from the italicized portion, it should be on par with the earlier portions of my translation, already posted.

Adrian
Last edited by Liu Yuante on Sun Jun 05, 2005 1:58 am, edited 4 times in total.
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Unread postby Lady Wu » Tue May 31, 2005 2:57 am

I haven't got time to read through all of it, but I was curious about the part that you had in italics. I'm not going to give all of it away, but lemme just point out that 书 also means "calligraphy". The Siti Shushi Xu is the "Preface to Calligraphy Strokes of the Four Styles". 隶书 and 楷书 are two styles of calligraphy (current writing is 楷书, which has become the standard since the Three Kingdoms era). The sentence with the thing in parentheses should read:

以勒书自效

Also, 玩 can also mean "to admire, appreciate an object", usually a piece of art.

That should help with the last Pei note. :D
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