Wu Yi and Wu Ban Biographies [ZZTJ Compilations]

Join the Romance of the Three Kingdoms discussion with our resident Scholars. Topics relating to the novel and history are both welcome. Don't forget to check the Forum Rules before posting.
Kongming’s Archives: Romance of the Three Kingdoms
Three Kingdoms Officer Biographies
Three Kingdoms Officer Encyclopedia
Scholars of Shen Zhou Search Tool

Wu Yi and Wu Ban Biographies [ZZTJ Compilations]

Unread postby capnnerefir » Thu May 16, 2013 7:30 pm

WU YI AND WU BAN

Wu Yi (Ziyuan)

Wu Yi was from Chenliu, Yan province. He was the brother of Lady Wu of Chenliu. Wu Yi and his sister lost their parents when they were young.[1]

In 188, the Minister of Ceremonies [taichang][2] Liu Yan sent a memorial to the court suggesting that the position of Governor [mu][3] be reinstated in troubled provinces in order to help quash rebellion. Liu Yuan fathermore asked to be made Governor of Yi province. Liu Yan’s advice was accepted and he was made Governor of Yi.[4]

Because Wu Yi’s father had been close friends with Liu Yan, Wu Yi and his sister went with Liu Yan when he went to Yi province.[5] Liu Yan also brought his son, Liu Mao, with him. Liu Yan subsequently arranged for a marriage between his son and Lady Wu, allegedly after a physiognomist predicted that she would receive great favor from heaven. However, Liu Mao died at a young age, so Lady Wu was left a widow. [6]

In 194, further tragedy struck Liu Yan’s family. Due to a private quarrel, the warlord Ma Teng attacked the capital of Chang’an, which was controlled by another warlord named Li Jue. Ma Teng was defeated and the two made their peace with each other.[7] However, Liu Yan’s two oldest sons (Liu Fan and Liu Dan) were killed in the fighting. Liu Yan’s friend Pang Xi collected Liu Yan’s remaining relatives and brought them to Yi. Liu Yan died that same year. His officials selected his remaining son, Liu Zhang, as his heir and the new Inspector [cishi] of Yi because he was known to be gentle, tolerant, and easily persuaded.[8]

Under Liu Zhang, Wu Yi served as a General of the Gentlemen of the Household [zhonglang jiang].[9]

As Cao Cao rose to power in the north, Liu Zhang sent several envoys to maintain relations with him. Initially, Cao Cao received these envoys well and rewarded them generously.[10] In 208, Cao Cao took control of Jing province, so Liu Zhang sent his emissary, Zhang Song, to offer congratulations. However, Cao Cao was very busy overseeing the integration of Jing province and the continuing push south and did not receive Zhang Song with courtesy. After this, Zhang Song bore a grudge against him. When he returned to Liu Zhang, Zhang Song recommended that he break off his alliance with Cao Cao. Liu Zhang took this advice. [11] Zhang Song latter suggested that he ally with Liu Bei, who had come into possession of Jing province. Liu Zhang sent his official Fa Zheng to speak with Liu Bei. However, Fa Zheng and Zhang Song had been plotting against Liu Zhang, so Fa Zheng presented Liu Bei with a plan to take control of Yi.[12]

In 211, Cao Cao made a campaign in the northwest and Liu Zhang became concerned that he would be Cao Cao’s next target. On Zhang Song’s advice, Liu Zhang sent Fa Zheng to invite Liu Bei into Yi, hoping that he would guard the north of the province from invasion.[13] Though many officials objected that Liu Bei could not be trusted, Liu Zhang did not change his mind.[14] Fa Zheng met with Liu Bei and urged him to take control of Yi, a plan which Liu Bei liked. So he took some of his soldiers from Jing and went to meet with Liu Zhang.[15] Liu Zhang rewarded Liu Bei and declared him Grand Commander [da sima] and Colonel Director of Retainers [sili xiaowei].[16] Liu Zhang supplied Liu Bei with weapons, equipment, supplies, and soldiers, then sent him to attack Zhang Lu, who controlled Hanzhong.[17] Liu Bei did indeed go north, though he stopped at Jiameng.[18]

By 212, Liu Bei’s former ally, Sun Quan, was at war with Cao Cao. Liu Bei began to mobilize his solders on the pretext that he was going to go and assist Sun Quan. Liu Zhang was suspicious of this and reduced Liu Bei’s supplies. Liu Bei feigned outrage at this treatment and used it as an excuse to rebel against Liu Zhang. He assassinated Liu Zhang’s generals Gao Pi and Yang Huai, then absorbed their troops and seized Fu city.[19] Wu Yi fought against Liu Bei at Fu but was unable to defeat him. He fled to Chengdu.[20]

In 213, Liu Zhang sent many generals to oppose Liu Bei, one of whom was Wu Yi. However, these generals were defeated. While many withdrew to Mianzhu, Wu Yi defected to Liu Bei’s army. Perhaps encouraged by Wu Yi’s actions, many of Liu Zhang’s other generals defected as well. Liu Bei’s army was greatly strengthened by these newcomers and he advanced to Luo city.[21] Luo held out against Liu Bei for over a year, but it eventually fell.[22] By 214, reinforcements had arrived for Liu Bei from his holdings in Jing.[23] Together with these forces, Liu Bei advanced from Luo to Liu Zhang’s capital at Chengdu.[24] After the city was besieged for several weeks, Liu Zhang was persuaded to surrender.[25]

For his contributions in the conquest of Yi, Wu Yi was made General Who Punishes Rebels [taoni jiangun] and Protector of the Army [hujun].[26] Wu Yi’s sister became Liu Bei’s new wife, as his previous wife had abandoned him when he entered Yi province.[27]

In 221, Liu Bei declared himself emperor and named Zhuge Liang as Chancellor [chengxiang].[28] He also made Wu Yi’s sister his empress.[29] He named Wu Yi as Marshal [dudu] of Guanzhong. [30]

After Liu Bei passed away in 223,[31] the Chancellor Zhuge Liang monopolized power and controlled the state.[32] In 228, Zhuge Liang led a campaign against Wei. Many advised Zhuge Liang to send Wu Yi or the great general Wei Yan as the vanguard to secure his advance, but Zhuge Liang disregarded the counsel of others and used his friend Ma Su instead. Ma Su was easily defeated by the Wei general Zhang He and the entire campaign collapsed.[33]

In 230, the Wei Grand Commander [da sima] Cao Zhen led an invasion of Yi.[34] Zhuge Liang quartered at Zheng’gu, sending the general Li Yan to protect Hanzhong.[35] Fortunately for Zhuge Liang’s forces, it rained for a full month and the roads were washed out. As a result, the Wei army could not advance.[36] Because of this, Cao Zhen was ordered to retreat.[37]

While Cao Zhen waited for the rain to abate, Wei Yan led a small force behind enemy lines. He secured an alliance with some local Qiang tribes and, with this combined force, he harassed the rear of Cao Zhen’s army. Cao Zhen sent Guo Huai and Fei Yao to oppose Wei Yan. These two forces met at Yangqi, where Wei Yan scored a devastating victory over Guo Huai.[38] Wu Yi was one of Wei Yan’s commanders for these operations. For his merits, he was made General of the Left [zuo jiangjun].[39]

In 234, Zhuge Liang died while on campaign in the north.[40] Due to dissention among Zhuge Liang’s commanders, Wei Yan was also killed.[41]Following this, Wu Yi was promoted to be General of the Chariots and Cavalry [juji jiangjun]. He was also given [jie] and made Marshal [dudu] of Hanzhong.[42] He was also made Inspector of Yong province and Marquis of Qiyang.[43]

Wu Yi died in 237. He had no children or other heirs.[44]

Wu Yi did well in caring for his family at a young age. He became one of the most respected generals under Liu Shan and demonstrated noteworthy ability while serving under Wei Yan. He was one of the first to betray Liu Zhang to serve Liu Bei, and it seems that many followed his lead. It is a shame that he was suppressed by Zhuge Liang and never allowed to hold important positions until near the end of his life.

Wu Ban

Wu Ban was the junior cousin of Lady Wu of Chenliu and Wu Yi. His father was Wu Kuang, who once served He Jin.[45]

Wu Ban was known for his bravery and good conduct. Originally under Liu Bei, Wu Ban only held the rank of garrison commander [lingjun].[46]

In the seventh month of 221, Liu Bei led his soldiers from Yi province to attack his former ally, Sun Quan, leader of the state of Wu.[47] By this time, Wu Ban was a full General [jiangjun].[48] Liu Bei sent Wu Ban along with Feng Xi to attack Sun Quan’s camps in Wu and Zigui counties. His army was reportedly 40,000 strong. There, Wu Ban’s force encountered Sun Quan’s commander Lu Xun, as well as the generals Li Yi and Liu A. Wu Ban met Lu Xun in battle at Wu and defeated him. After that, Wu Ban advanced to Zigui.[49]

In spite of his recent defeat, Sun Quan appointed Lu Xun as Grand Marshal [da dudu]. He ordered the seasoned generals Zhu Ran, Pan Zhang, Song Qian, Han Dang, Xu Sheng, and others to support Lu Xun. This army, numbering 50,000 soldiers, was sent to resist Liu Bei.[50]

Several months later, early in the year 222, Liu Bei personally advanced from Zigui to Xiaoting, in Yidao.[51] He sent Wu Ban and Chen Shi to occupy positions in Yiling, occupying the east and west banks of the Jiang River.[52] From this point on, Liu Bei’s forces fought skirmishes against Lu Xun’s soldiers, but by the sixth month of the year (June 27 – July 25) there had been no decisive victories for either side. Hoping to score a decisive victory, Liu Bei sent Wu Ban with a small force to establish a camp in an open area. Liu Bei secretly placed 8,000 soldiers in ambush, hoping to trap Lu Xun when he moved to attack Wu Ban. However, Lu Xun suspected the trap and did not take the bait. In the next month (July 26 – August 24), Lu Xun counterattacked, burning Liu Bei’s forward camps and breaking his defensive line. Liu Bei fled to Baidicheng, and many of his generals and soldiers perished.[53] Wu Ban was one of those who survived.

Wu Ban continued to serve the Liu family after Liu Bei’s death. Under Liu Shan, he rose to be General of the Agile Cavalry [biaoji jiangjun][54]. He was also made Marquis of Mianzhu.[55]

Wu Ban achieved some success under Liu Bei, his most notable accomplishment being his defeat of Lu Xun at Wu. He was praised as a brave and chivalrous man and he rose to an extremely high position in the military. However, his lofty title seems to have come to him more though his relation to his ruler’s step-mother than by his own efforts.

Notes
[1] Lady Wu of Chenliu’s sanguozhi biography
[2] The Minister of Ceremonies [taichang] is sometimes called the Grand Master of Ceremonies. He was one of the Nine Ministers.
[3] Ordinarily, provinces were administrated by Inspectors [cishi]. They could do little other than report the actions of the local Grand Administrators [taishou] and Chancellors [xiang] to the throne. In an emergency, they could also oversee the deployment of soldiers within the province. A Governor [mu] had much greater and more direct authority.
[4] Zhongping 5, B
[5] Lady Wu of Chenliu’s sanguozhi biography
[6] Lady Wu of Chenliu’s sanguozhi biography
[7] Xingping 1, C
[8] Xingping 1, Y
[9] Wu Yi’s sanguozhi biography
[10] de Crespigny’s note 98 of Jian’an 13.
[11] Jian’an 13, WW
[12] Jian’an 16, J
[13] Jian’an 16, K
[14] Jian’an 16, L
[15] Jian’an 16, M
[16] The office of Grand Commander [da sima] was rarely filled under the Han and its responsibilities are poorly defined. It was always a high position in the government. The Colonel Director of Retainers [sili xiaowei] was the head administrator of the capital province. Needless to say, Liu Zhang had no ability to enforce these appointments, as the Han government and the capital province were both firmly in Cao Cao’s hands.
[17] Hanzhong was the northernmost commandery of Yi province. Because of the region’s geography, any army entering Yi would have to pass through certain points in Hanzhong, making this territory extremely important.
[18] Jian’an 16, O
[19] Jian’an 17, O
[20] Wu Yi’s sanguozhi biography
[21] Jian’an 18, F
[22] Jian’an 19, F
[23] Jian’an 19, E
[24] Jian’an 19, F
[25] Jian’an 19, H
[26] Wu Yi’s sanguozhi biography
[27] Lady Wu of Chenliu’s sanguozhi biography
[28] Huangchu 2, 6
[29] Huangchu 2, 9
[30] Wu Yi’s sanguozhi biography; the rank of Marshal [dudu – sometimes called Commander] indicated an official with authority over all generals in a province or region. Guanzhong (meaning the provinces of Liang and Yong) was firmly in the hands of Cao Pi, so this title held little practical authority. It was, however, an indicator of Liu Bei’s expansionist ambitions.
[31] Huangchu 4, 14
[32] Huangchu 4, 17
[33] Taihe 2, 11
[34] Taihe 4, 8
[35] Taihe 4, 12
[36] Taihe 4, 13
[37] Taihe 4, 16
[38] Wei Yan’s sanguohi biography
[39] Wu Yi’s sanguozhi biography
[40] Qinglong 2, 26
[41] Qinglong 2, 31
[42] Qinglong 2, 40; the General of the Chariots and Cavalry [juji jiangjun] was one of the highest titles in the military, outranked only by the General of the Agile Cavalry [biaoji jiangjun] and the Grand General [da jiangjun]. [jie] authority allowed an official to act with a great deal of autonomy and even allowed them to execute officials without prior approval from the court.
[43] Wu Yi’s sanguozhi biography; Yong province was under Wei’s control, so this appointment was merely an honorific.
[44] Wu Yi’s sanguozhi biography
[45] Wu Ban’s sanguozhi biography
[46] Wu Ban’s sanguozhi
[47] Huangchu 2, 18
[48] Huangchu 2, 22 gives Wu Ban’s rank as such.
[49] Huangchu 2, 22
[50] Huangchu 2, 23
[51] Huangchu 3, 4
[52] Fang’s note 4.1 of Huangchu 3
[53] Huangchu 3, 15
[54] Wu Ban’s sanguozhi biography; as we have noted before, the General of the Agile Cavalry was outranked only by the Grand General or a similar extraordinary rank.
[55] Wu Ban’s sanguozhi biography; Mianzhu was the capital of Yi province before the city was burned down in 194. As such, this was a very prestigious fief.
User avatar
capnnerefir
Scholar of Shen Zhou
 
Posts: 695
Joined: Tue Sep 18, 2012 8:41 pm

Re: Wu Yi and Wu Ban Biographies [ZZTJ Compilations]

Unread postby Zafar Khan » Sun Mar 01, 2015 11:27 pm

great share from Zizhi Tongjian

comparing all account of ZZTJ & Han Jin Chunqiu's annotations of San Guozhi i started feeling that Wu Ban & Wu Yi was criminally underused talents.

maybe on par with the likes of Wei Yan & Wang Ping yet much higher than Jiang Wei

what do you think guys?
Zafar Khan
Initiate
 
Posts: 76
Joined: Sat Feb 07, 2015 11:36 am

Re: Wu Yi and Wu Ban Biographies [ZZTJ Compilations]

Unread postby Bush Leagues » Mon Mar 02, 2015 9:51 am

Excellent work translating this. Work like this continues to improve our knowledge of the era. Thank you for your time and effort!

Just from this, I'm not ready to put Wu Yi in the likes of Wei Yan for ability, but he's pretty close. The fact that people recommended him for Jieting is a definite plus. It means he had the respect of his peers as a skilled general who could lead a force to victory. He might have been the best after Wei Yan; the only other people I can think of who were around were Jiang Wei and Wang Ping. I would like to know more about the period between Liu Yan's death and Liu Bei's invasion of Yi. I suppose it was a peaceful time, leaving little use for a general.

Wu Ban did a bit more than I thought. He won some victories early in Liu Bei's invasion of Jing (221). He beat Lu Xun, which is a feat of varying impressiveness, depending on who you ask. I would like to know more about his early life, but we have to take what we can get.

Once again, excellent work Capnnerefir. Thank you for your time and effort.
Currently playing: Android: Netrunner LCG , Shadowrun (tabletop), and Warhammer Ancient Battle.

Pan Feng can destroy this Hua Xiong! A Han Fu ROTK IX After-Action Report.
One of the best posts ever about Pan Feng.
Bush Leagues
Scholar
 
Posts: 349
Joined: Mon Oct 13, 2014 12:12 am
Location: New Iberia. LA

Re: Wu Yi and Wu Ban Biographies [ZZTJ Compilations]

Unread postby Zafar Khan » Mon Mar 02, 2015 10:05 am

yes. about Wu Yi it is just implied so far.

while Wu Ban was evident by smashing Wu's top tiers in Yiling...

and Pei Songzhi in Han Jin chronicle also implying Wu Ban together with Wei Yan smashed Sima Yi's troop personally in fourth northern expedition..

started thinking Shu wasnt really running out of gas' post 5 Tiger generals at all
Zafar Khan
Initiate
 
Posts: 76
Joined: Sat Feb 07, 2015 11:36 am

Re: Wu Yi and Wu Ban Biographies [ZZTJ Compilations]

Unread postby Xiahou Ren » Mon Mar 02, 2015 10:47 am

I always thought Wu Yi is one of the most respected figures among his pier. He defected fairly quickly, yet nobody seem to question his loyalty. It drew me to 2 conclusions, either Liu Zhang is THAT bad or Wu Yi is THAT good. Wu Ban on the other hand... he has too few recorded exploits to be assessed properly. However, I'm inclined to think him as an average officer. Sure he destroyed Lu Xun, but Lu Xun was never a good as a warrior, imo. The way Lu Xun used deception 99% of the time on everything, implied that he was not that good at direct clashes for me. Again, that's assuming Wu Ban met Lu Xun forces by accident.
User avatar
Xiahou Ren
Assistant
 
Posts: 116
Joined: Mon Dec 27, 2010 8:25 am

Re: Wu Yi and Wu Ban Biographies [ZZTJ Compilations]

Unread postby Zafar Khan » Mon Mar 02, 2015 11:56 am

Xiahou Ren wrote:I always thought Wu Yi is one of the most respected figures among his pier. He defected fairly quickly, yet nobody seem to question his loyalty. It drew me to 2 conclusions, either Liu Zhang is THAT bad or Wu Yi is THAT good. Wu Ban on the other hand... he has too few recorded exploits to be assessed properly. However, I'm inclined to think him as an average officer. Sure he destroyed Lu Xun, but Lu Xun was never a good as a warrior, imo. The way Lu Xun used deception 99% of the time on everything, implied that he was not that good at direct clashes for me. Again, that's assuming Wu Ban met Lu Xun forces by accident.


i Agree Xun wasnt good warrior. but his subordinates certainly is.

even in final defeat only he & Xiang Chong performed well hold Zhu Ran, Song Qian, Han Dang & others

yet Song Qian & Han Dang certainly not ordinary warrior... historically
Zafar Khan
Initiate
 
Posts: 76
Joined: Sat Feb 07, 2015 11:36 am

Re: Wu Yi and Wu Ban Biographies [ZZTJ Compilations]

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Mon Mar 02, 2015 12:22 pm

I think Wu's bios say Lu Xun wasn't the man Wu Ban beat, just some subordinates. As for Lu Xun's ability, he was a good rather then great commander, he did win quite a few battles as well as rightly using trickery.
“You, are a rebellious son who abandoned his father. You are a cruel brigand who murdered his lord. How can Heaven and Earth put up with you for long? And unless you die soon, how can you face the sight of men?”
User avatar
Dong Zhou
A-Dou
A-Dou
 
Posts: 15049
Joined: Sun Apr 10, 2005 12:32 pm
Location: "Now we must die. May Your Majesty maintain yourself"

Re: Wu Yi and Wu Ban Biographies [ZZTJ Compilations]

Unread postby Bush Leagues » Mon Mar 02, 2015 12:34 pm

Dong Zhou wrote:I think Wu's bios say Lu Xun wasn't the man Wu Ban beat, just some subordinates. As for Lu Xun's ability, he was a good rather then great commander, he did win quite a few battles as well as rightly using trickery.


It sure looks like Wu Ban beats Lu Xun...

In the seventh month of 221, Liu Bei led his soldiers from Yi province to attack his former ally, Sun Quan, leader of the state of Wu.[47] By this time, Wu Ban was a full General [jiangjun].[48] Liu Bei sent Wu Ban along with Feng Xi to attack Sun Quan’s camps in Wu and Zigui counties. His army was reportedly 40,000 strong. There, Wu Ban’s force encountered Sun Quan’s commander Lu Xun, as well as the generals Li Yi and Liu A. Wu Ban met Lu Xun in battle at Wu and defeated him. After that, Wu Ban advanced to Zigui.[49]


I mean, both had subordinate commanders in this fight, but it looks like Wu Ban was given command of the force and Lu Xun was for Wu's side. Ultimately the battle has to fall on their shoulders.
Currently playing: Android: Netrunner LCG , Shadowrun (tabletop), and Warhammer Ancient Battle.

Pan Feng can destroy this Hua Xiong! A Han Fu ROTK IX After-Action Report.
One of the best posts ever about Pan Feng.
Bush Leagues
Scholar
 
Posts: 349
Joined: Mon Oct 13, 2014 12:12 am
Location: New Iberia. LA

Re: Wu Yi and Wu Ban Biographies [ZZTJ Compilations]

Unread postby Shen Ai » Mon Mar 02, 2015 5:15 pm

Wu Ban seems to be the only impressive general Liu Bei took with him to Yiling. No wonder Lu Xun was so successful, his competition wasn't exactly great...
I've a brave warrior in my army. Shen Ai is his name, and he can slay this Hua Xiong.

Wei has no more famous commanders, Shen Ai takes lead of the vanguard!

Even a commoner on the street knows what Shen Ai is thinking!
User avatar
Shen Ai
Scholar of Shen Zhou
 
Posts: 1903
Joined: Sat Oct 29, 2011 11:21 pm
Location: That Place You've Been Dreaming Of

Re: Wu Yi and Wu Ban Biographies [ZZTJ Compilations]

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Mon Mar 02, 2015 7:11 pm

Bush Leagues wrote:It sure looks like Wu Ban beats Lu Xun...


Lu Xun's sgz skips over it (shocker :P ), ZZTJ says two local commanders then annotation suggests Lu Xun was there as well, GOS suggests local commanders. So a tad confused.

Shen Ai wrote:Wu Ban seems to be the only impressive general Liu Bei took with him to Yiling. No wonder Lu Xun was so successful, his competition wasn't exactly great...


He had Huang Quan and officers that were rising through the ranks. Lu Xun was successful becuase he waited the cautoius Liu Bei out and struck at the right moment
“You, are a rebellious son who abandoned his father. You are a cruel brigand who murdered his lord. How can Heaven and Earth put up with you for long? And unless you die soon, how can you face the sight of men?”
User avatar
Dong Zhou
A-Dou
A-Dou
 
Posts: 15049
Joined: Sun Apr 10, 2005 12:32 pm
Location: "Now we must die. May Your Majesty maintain yourself"

Next

Return to Sanguo Yanyi Symposium

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot], Google [Bot] and 1 guest

Copyright © 2002–2008 Kongming’s Archives. All Rights Reserved