ZZTJ Translations: Western Jin (Book 79-87)

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Unread postby Taishi Ci 2.0 » Mon Sep 25, 2017 11:28 pm


The Fifth Year of Xianning (The Jihai Year, 279 AD)


1. In spring, the first month, Tufa Shujineng attacked and plundered Liangzhou. Sima Yan greatly regretted the situation. When he assembled his court, Sima Yan sighed and said, "Who is able to campaign against this foe for me?"

The Marshal-Commander Ma Long stepped forward and said, "If Your Majesty will entrust me with this task, I can pacify Tufa Shujineng for you."

Sima Yan said, "If you can defeat these bandits, how could I not assign you the task? But tell me what your plan shall be."

Ma Long replied, "If Your Majesty shall allow me to recruit three thousand brave men, no matter where they might come from, and let me lead them west, then the enemy will not be able to overcome them."

Sima Yan agreed to his request. On the day Yichou (?), Ma Long was appointed as Protector General Who Campaigns Against The Caitiffs and Administrator of Wuwei.

The high ministers all claimed, "It is clear that there are already many soldiers at hand, so there is no need for such a special draft. Furthermore, Ma Long is just some minor officer who has spoken out of turn, and you cannot trust him."

But Sima Yan ignored them.

Ma Long sought out people who could draw a bow of four 鈞, and use a crossbow of nine 石. When he found such people, he set up a target and had them practice their accuracy. Ma Long continued this process from dawn until the middle of the day; by then, he had three thousand and five hundred recruits. He said, "This shall be enough."

Ma Long also asked that he be allowed access to equipment from the military storehouses. The Prefect of the Arsenal resented Ma Long and got into an argument with him, and the Palace Assistant of the Imperial Secretaries submitted a petition blaming Ma Long. In response, Ma Long said, "I mean to complete the battlefield assignment I have been given, and yet the Prefect of the Arsenal has only supplied me with worn out equipment from the Wei era; this goes against the intent that Your Majesty has for me."

Sima Yan ordered that Ma Long receive his requested supplies, and after Ma Long's army had enough supplies for three years, they set out.


(Liangzhou was administered from Wuwei.

Of the people that Ma Long recruited, some were fieldhands, some were palace guards, some were fugitives, and some were slaves; none of them were asked where they had come from.

Thirty 斤 makes one 鈞, and four 鈞 makes one 石; in other words, one 石 was a hundred and twenty 斤.

The Records of Jin states, "The Prefect of the Arsenal was subordinate to the Commandant of the Guards."

From the time of Eastern Han on down through Cao-Wei and Jin, the Palace Assistant was the chief of the Imperial Secretary office.)


2. Before this time, the Chanyu of the Southern Xiongnu, Chuquan, had appointed his elder brother Yufuluo's son Liu Bao as Worthy King of the Left. When Cao Cao had divided the Southern Xiongnu into the Five Divisions, Liu Bao had been appointed the Leader of the Left Division.

Liu Bao had a son, Liu Yuan, who even as a youth was remarkably talented. Liu Yuan took as his teacher Cui You of Shangdang, and he diligently studied the classics and the histories. Liu Yuan once said to his fellow classmates, Zhu Ji of Shangdang and Fan Long of Yanmen, "I have often been ashamed that Sui He and Lu Jia had no talent for martial affairs, and that the Marquis of Jiang (Zhou Bo) and General Guan (Guan Ying) had no art for civil affairs. Sui He and Lu Jia knew Emperor Gao of Han (Liu Bang), yet they could not achieve enough to become marquises. The Marquis of Jiang and General Guan knew Emperor Wen of Han, yet they could not set up any schools of instruction. How could this not be a pity?" So in addition to his normal studies, Liu Yuan also studied the arts of war.

By the time he was a grown man, Liu Yuan had arms as powerful as an ape and was an expert in archery, and his raw strength was greater than many men. What was more, in his looks and bearing he cut a very stalwart figure.

While Liu Yuan was serving in office in Luoyang, Wang Hun and his son Wang Ji both appreciated him, and they recommended him several times to Sima Yan. Sima Yan summoned Liu Yuan and spoke with him, and was pleased with him. Wang Ji said to Sima Yan, "Liu Yuan is talented in both civil and military matters. If Your Majesty will employ him in the south, Wu will not be able to resist him."

But Kong Xun and Yang Yao said, "It has been said, 'if he be not of our kin, he is sure to have a different mind'. Besides, Liu Yuan's talents and worth are actually relatively meager, and he cannot be entrusted with an important position."

When Liangzhou was suffering from devastation, Sima Yan asked Li Xi who he might send as a general. Li Xi told him, "If Your Majesty can earnestly harness and send out the full force of the Five Divisions of the Xiongnu, and grant Liu Yuan authority as the head of an army, then you may send him as general to the west, and Tufa Shujineng's head will soon be hung up."

But Kong Xun said, "Liu Yuan could indeed overcome Tufa Shujineng, but to send him out would only mean inflicting an even greater menace upon Liangzhou."

So Sima Yan did not do so.


(The division of the Southern Xiongnu into the Five Divisions is mentioned in the last book, in the sixth year of Taishi (270.13).

Kong Xun and Yang Yao quote this passage from the Zuo Commentary: "The work of the historiographer Yi says, 'If he be not of our kin, he is sure to have a different mind.' (Cheng 4.5)")


3. There was a certain Wang Mi of Donglai, who came from a family of Two Thousand 石 salary rank. Wang Mi was practiced and talented, brave and cunning, and skilled at horseback archery. The people of Qingzhou called him "Flying Panther". He was inclined towards gallantry and chivalry.

The hermit Dong Yang of Chenliu saw Wang Mi and said to him, "You are the sort of fellow who finds happiness in turmoil and delights in misfortune. If anything should befall the realm, it will not be the official's life for you."

Wang Mi was good friends with Liu Yuan, who said to him, "Wang Hun and Li Xi, because of our common background, recognize my worth. Yet every time they try to recommend me, it is said that I am a menace." And he sobbed and wept because of it.

When Sima You heard about this, he said to Sima Yan, "If Your Majesty does not do away with Liu Yuan, I fear that Bingzhou will not remain peaceful for very long."

But Wang Hun said, "Jin's foundations are trust and regard beyond tradition. How then could you put to death a man who serves you and for whom you have no cause for suspicion? How will that make greater your virtue and your magnanimity?"

Sima Yan said, "It is as Wang Hun says."

After Liu Bao passed away, Sima Yan appointed Liu Yuan to replace him as Leader of the Left Division.


(The 世語 states, "This Wang Mi was the grandson of Cao-Wei's Administrator of Xuantu, Wang Qi."

Some versions add after Wang Mi's nickname that "he was inclined towards gallantry and chivalry".

Dong Yang implied that Wang Mi would become a bandit.

Wang Hun was a native of Taiyuan, and Li Xi was a native of Shangdang; both of them came from the same province as Liu Yuan.

This began the rise of Liu Yuan (the eventual founder of Han-Zhao). The passage shows how Jin would later be thrust into chaos.)


4. In summer, the fourth month, a general amnesty was declared in Jin.


5. Sima Yan did away with the policy of holding hostages of those who held office as Commander or below.


(When Sima Yan had first accepted the abdication from Cao-Wei, he had done away with the holding of hostages for those were generals. He now did away with the same policy of hostages regarding Commanders.)


6. Wu's Administrator of Guilin, Xiu Yun, passed away. His subordinates were reassigned among several other generals.

Now the General-Commander Guo Ma, as well as He Dian, Wang Zu, and others, had served for a long time in this army, and they were not happy at being split up. Furthermore, at that time, Sun Hao was rectifying the household rolls of the people living in Guangzhou. Taking advantage of the unease among the people, Guo Ma and the others gathered up a host and attacked and killed the Commander of Guangzhou, Yu Shou. Guo Ma then appointed himself as Commander of military affairs in Jiaozhou and Guangzhou. He sent He Dian to attack Cangwu, and he sent Wang Zu to attack Shixing.

In autumn, the eighth month, Wu appointed the General-Instructor Zhang Ti as Prime Minister, and the Commander of Niuzhu, He Zhi, as Minister Over The Masses.

The Chief of Police, Teng Xiu, was originally going to be appointed as Minister of Works. But before he had actually been granted that office, Teng Xiu was further appointed as Governor of Guangzhou. He led ten thousand men along the eastern roads to campaign against Guo Ma.

Guo Ma killed the Administrator of Nanhai, Liu Lüe, and he drove out the Inspector of Guangzhou, Xu Qi.

Sun Hao also sent the Commander of Xuling, Tao Jun, with another seven thousand men. Tao Jun marched along the western roads to link up with the Governor of Jiaozhou, Tao Huang, and attack Guo Ma together.


(During Han, Guilin was a county, part of Yulin commandary. In Sun Hao's third year of Fenghuang (275), he split off Guiling as its own commandary.

In Sun Hao's first year of Ganlu (265), he split off the southern command posts of Yangnan commandary and formed Shixing commandary from them.

Xuling was on the opposite bank of the river from Hepu. During Sun Quan's era, when Lü Fan was defeated at Hepu, at the same time the Cao-Wei general Zang Ba crossed the Yangzi and attacked Xuling. Quan Zong and Xu Sheng attacked Zang Ba and drove him off. And Hua He had been appointed as Marquis of Xulingting, so Xuling was named for this place. Since Xuling was at a crossing point of the Yangzi, they created a defense post there to guard it. The Records of Southern Xuzhou states, "Jingkou was originally called Xuling. It covered the region from Dantu County west to the environs of Jingkou.")


7. In Wu, Ghost Eye plants grew at the home of the worker Huang Gou, and Merchant plants grew at the home of the worker Wu Ping. The History Bureau consulted the record books, and determined that the Ghost Eye plant should be called the Fungal Grass, and the Merchant plant should be called the Caitiff Pacifying Grass. Sun Hao appointed Huang Gou as the Gentleman Who Attends The Fungus, and Wu Ping as the Gentleman Who Pacifies The Caitiffs. Both of them were given silver seals and green ribbons.


(The Records of Wu states, "The Ghost Eye plant grows along the fringes of the jujube tree. It grows more than a zhang in height, its stem is four 寸 in breadth, and it is three 分 thick. The Merchant plant is four 尺 in height, and two 分 thick; it is shaped like the loquat. Its stem is a 尺 and eight 寸 in breadth, and its lower stem is five 寸 in breadth. Leaves grow on two sides of it, green in color."

Eastern Wu had the office Prefect of the Historical Bureau.

According to the Han system, those who were granted silver seals and green ribbons belonged to the Fully Two Thousand 石 salary rank.)


8. Whenever Sun Hao held a banquet for his ministers, he always commanded them to become drunk. He also appointed ten of his Gentlemen of the Yellow Gate as Rectors; after each banquet was over, they would record the names of those who had committed errors or faults, anyone who had cast a disobedient glance or said a stray remark, or anyone who seemed to be hiding something. The greater of these offenders were lead out to execution, while the lesser offenders were registered as criminals. Some had their faces peeled off, and some had their eyes gouged out with chisels. Because of this, everyone became alienated from one another, and no one performed to their utmost.


9. Jin's Inspector of Yizhou, Wang Jun, sent up a petition stating, "Sun Hao is wasteful and cruel, wild and disobedient. We should campaign against him at once. If there should come a day when Sun Hao dies, and a worthy lord takes his place, that will only make the enemy stronger. The navy that I built seven years ago is rotting by the day. I myself am seventy years old, and the day of my death is not far off. If any of these three things happens to change, it will become difficult to conquer Wu. I urge Your Majesty not to let this opportunity slip away."

Sima Yan thus made up his mind to conquer Wu.

At that time, the General Who Maintains The East, Wang Hun, sent in a petition stating that Sun Hao wished to advance north. The border camps were all placed in military readiness, and the court then discussed putting off the planned campaign until the following year. Wang Jun's advisor He Pan sent a messenger to Luoyang, stating in his petition, "Sun Hao would not dare to venture forth. However, the camps should maintain their military readiness, in order to make the conquest that much easier."


(In the eighth year of Taishi (272.6), Wang Hun had first begun building ships; it had now been seven years since then.)


10. Du Yu sent up a petition stating, "Since this year's intercalary month, although the enemy has set their men in readiness, they have no more soldiers to drawn upon. If we threaten them with all our power, it will overwhelm them; unable to have strength enough to defend both fronts completely, they will certainly concentrate their forces east of Xiakou to observe us, watching and waiting. They shall not have many troops left to defend anywhere west of there, leaving their state and their capital exposed. Yet Your Majesty would lend an ear to what has been claimed, and cast aside the great plan because of others. That would allow the enemy to grow ever more powerful; what a pity that would be.

“If you would raise a proposal only with reservations, then you cannot propose it. For the matter which we are now undertaking, we must have absolute firmness in our purpose. If we attain success, then we build the foundation of a lasting peace; if we are not successful, we will have spent no more than a few days' or months' worth of time. But how tragic would it be not to even make the attempt at all! If you put off this affair until some later year, beware: man proposes, but Heaven disposes. You cannot treat it like an ordinary issue, for I fear that it would become even more difficult.

“There are countless reasons to undertake the campaign now, and one cannot become a slave to deviations or doubts. My own heart is set, and I dare not be led astray by the clouded thinking of others. May Your Majesty consider my words."

When there had been no response to this petition for several weeks, Du Yu sent up another petition stating, "When Yang Hu explained his plans before, he did not expound upon them before the court ministers, but only discussed his planning with Your Majesty in personal discussion. This is why so many of the court ministers share the same reservations. It is true that every idea has its share of benefits to some and harm to others. However, the plan now being proposed shall benefit eight or nine of every ten people, while harming merely one or two. To stop simply because of that means that there would be no success at all.

“There are certainly some ministers of the court who speak words of defeatism, but their words cannot be accepted. They are simply saying these things because if their counsel is not followed, then they can claim no successes themselves, while each of them will be ashamed that their earlier words were ignored; thus they guard against such a thing all the more.

“When going against court affairs, whether large or small, an unorthodox idea stands out all the more. Although men's hearts are not in agreement, because of the favor that you have shown me, I cannot help but consider future dangers. This is why I must somewhat go against so many.

“But ever since the arrival of autumn, the concept of our campaign against the enemy has already taken substance. If we were to stop now, Sun Hao might become afraid and develop his own plans. He could move his capital to Wuchang and fully repair his various cities south of the Yangzi, while sending his people far away. Then we would not be able either to take his cities or to forage his countryside for supplies. This is why an invasion that does not come until next year would be bound to fail!"

Sima Yan was playing a game of weiqi with Zhang Hua when this second petition from Du Yu arrived. Zhang Hua pushed aside the board, clasped his hands, and said to Sima Yan, "Your Majesty, you are a sage and martial man; your state is prosperous and your soldiers are strong. The ruler of Wu is a wild and wicked man, and he punishes and kills the worthy and the able. If we campaign against him now, Wu can be taken even without effort. What reason is there for any further doubts?"

And Sima Yan agreed with him. He appointed Zhang Hua as Logistical Director of the Masters of Writing, and Zhang Hua was in charge of arranging logistics and supplies.

Jia Chong, Xun Xu, and Feng Dan all strenuously objected, but Sima Yan became very angry because of them, and so Jia Chong removed his cap and begged forgiveness.

The Supervisor Shan Tao withdrew and told someone, "It has been said, 'Excepting under a sage ruler, when there is quietness abroad, sorrow is sure to spring up at home'. Now Wu is the foreign dread; how could it be otherwise?"


(The intercalary month for that year had been after the seventh month.

When Eastern Wu had sent forces from Jianye to invade the Huai and Xiang river regions, in every case they had crossed over from the Yangzi.

When men's eyes are not able to see, and their spirits are not able to rest, then they will fight to the death with impressive ardor.

When Du Yu refers to the "defeatists" in his second petition, he is talking about the true feelings of Jia Chong, Xun Xu, Feng Dan, and the others of like mind.

The Records of Natural Things states, "Emperor Yao invented the game of weiqi as a way to instruct his son Danzhu." Some say that Emperor Shun had a son, Shangjun, who was foolish, so Shun created weiqi in order to teach him. Because of its rules, no one can be skilled at the game unless they are intelligent.

Shan Tao's quote "excepting under a sage ruler, when there is quietness abroad, sorrow is sure to spring up at home" is taken from the Zuo Commentary, from the words of the Jin minister Fan Wenzi (Cheng 16.6).

Shan Tao was himself a great minister of state. By not saying such a thing openly in court, and merely withdrawing and saying it to someone else later on, he was trying to make peace with Jia Chong.)


11. In winter, the eleventh month, the grand campaign against Wu began. Sima Yan sent several generals each to different assigned places. The General Who Guards the Army and Prince of Langye, Sima Zhou, marched to Chuzhong. The General Who Maintains The East, Wang Hun, marched to Jiangxi. The General Who Establishes Might, Wang Rong, marched to Wuchang. The General Who Pacifies The South, Hu Fen, marched to Xiakou. The Grand General Who Conquers The South, Du Yu, marched to Jiangling. The Dragon-Soaring General, Wang Jun, and the Army-Director of Badong, Tang Bin of Luguo, marched out of Ba and Shu. Along the whole front from east to west, Jin fielded more than two hundred thousand soldiers.

Sima Yan appointed Jia Chong as Commissioner Bearing Credentials, Bearer of the Golden Battle-axe, and Grand Commander, with the Champion General Yang Ji as his adjutant. Jia Chong was adamant that a campaign against Wu would bring no benefit, and further stated that old and frail as he was, he would not be able to endure the strain of being the chief commander of the campaign. Sima Yan issued an edict stating, "If you cannot act, then I myself shall take your place." Faced with no other option, Jia Chong then accepted his staff and battle-axe of authority and led the Central Army to camp at Xiangyang, where he coordinated the other Jin armies.


(Sun Quan had built a hall and town at the dyke at Chu, thus the name for Chuzhong. It was located on the road between modern Chuzhou and Zhenzhou. The 涂 in the name of this place is pronounced "chu".

Jiangxi was located on the road where one now crosses over the Yangzi in modern Hezhou.

When Emperor Wen of Cao-Wei (Cao Pi) had appointed Cao Zhen as Commander over all military affairs, he had further granted him the authority as Bearer of the Yellow Battle-axe. In Emperor Ming's (Cao Rui's) fourth year of Taihe (230), when Sima Yi was sent to campaign against Shu-Han, he was granted the title Grand Commander. So both of Jia Chong's appointments were in accordance with the Cao-Wei system. When King Wu of Zhou had campaigned against King Zhou of Shang, King Wu had gripped a yellow battle-axe in his left hand. This battle-axe was a tool of the Son of Heaven, thus when any other person or minister was given its use, they were called the Bearer of it.)


12. Ma Long marched west, and crossed over the Wen River. Tufa Shujineng assembled a host of several tens of thousands and occupied the passes against Ma Long. So Ma Long took narrow roads through the mountains, and he built "flat box carts" in which he placed "wooden rooms". Riding in these carts, he was able to fight and advance, pushing forward more than a thousand li, and killing and wounding a great many enemies.

When Ma Long went to the west, word came back that he and his men had been cut off. The court was afraid of what had happened to him, and some said that he was already no more. But afterwards, Ma Long sent a messenger who arrived during the night. Sima Yan clapped his hands and smiled as he welcomed the messenger. He questioned his court ministers, and summoned them all to tell them, "If I had listened to your words, Liangzhou would have been lost." So Sima Yan issued an edict granting Ma Long a staff of authority, and appointed him as General Who Exhibits Might.

By the time Ma Long reached Wuwei, the Xianbei chieftains Cubahan and Zuwanneng led more than ten thousand tribes to surrender to him. In the twelfth month, Ma Long fought a great battle against Tufa Shujineng and beheaded him. Peace was thus restored to Liangzhou.


(The Wenwei River was east of Wuwei.

The "flat box carts" were for movement through the narrow roads. The "wooden rooms" were to guard against wind and rain and defend against slings and arrows.

Sima Guang's commentary in the Textual Analysis states, "The Biography of Ma Long in the Book of Jin states, 'Sometimes he would set up magnetic stones on the road; because of the enemy's iron armor, these stones prevented them from moving forward. Ma Long's troops were all dressed in rhinoceros hide, so the magnetic stones did not hinder them. The enemy believed them to be divine.' This sort of thing is too outlandish; I do not think I can believe it." But I, Hu Sanxing, say that magnetic stones can impede iron armor, and this story does make sense.

Shen Yue's Records states, "Cao-Wei created forty titles of generals. General Who Exhibits Might was the second of these.”

The character 且 in the name of the second chief who surrendered to Ma Long is pronounced "zu (z-u)".)


13. Sima Yan issued an edict asking his court ministers about ways to improve the administration of the realm.

The Minister Over The Masses' Chief Clerk of the Left, Fu Xian, sent up a petition stating, "Public and private resources are insufficient, and this is because the government's demands are too great. There were originally only four Commander posts, yet now, combined with the Chief posts, another ten have been created. Yu the Great divided the realm into the Nine Provinces, yet now we have twice as many Inspectors as that. The population rolls are a tenth of what they were during the Han era, yet we have created more and more commandaries and counties. We have pointlessly created many military administrative officials, which has caused countless difficulties without bringing any defensive benefits. The creation of the Five Ranks systems of nobles has necessarily created many more subordinate officials as well. All of these things demand grain supplies, which are all taken from the common people, so having them adds to the people's suffering and exhaustion. The best thing to do now would be to combine offices and put a rest to projects, and let everyone above and below focus their efforts on farming and agriculture." This Fu Xian was the son of Fu Xuan.

At this time there was also discussion of abolishing half of the provincial, commandary, and county officials in order to focus on agriculture.

The Chief of the Palace Secretariat, Xun Xu, said, "Rather than abolish officials, it would be better to abolish bureaus; rather than abolish bureaus, it would be better to simplify duties; rather than simplify duties, it would be better to tranquilize hearts. In former times, when Xiao He and Cao Shen served as Chancellors of Han, they imposed light burdens, and so the people felt tranquil and at peace. This is what I mean by tranquilizing hearts. Restrain frivolous talk, simplify administrative correspondence, summarize rather than demand exactness and strictness, and forgive minor faults. Implement these beneficial changes and promulgate their benefits, and demand their certain enforcement under penalty of punishment. This is what I mean by simplifying affairs. Combine the Nine Ministries into the Masters of Records, and merge the Lantai ministers into the Three Excellencies. This is what I mean by abolishing bureaus.

“If you set this great example with determination, then all the officials of the realm will economize half of their own duties as well. I fear that there are so many civil and military officials, and so many offices among the commandaries and fiefs, that they will overlap with one another and they cannot all carry out their duties at the same time. If there is any neglect or error, they will all increase over time, and it might be that someday there will be a growing flood of them. This is nothing less than a serious matter."


(The Records of Jin states, "The Minister Over The Masses had two Chief Clerks, of the Left and the Right."

Cao-Wei had first created Commander posts to oversee the various armies. They had Commanders of the East and South to guard against Eastern Wu, Commanders of the West to guard against Shu-Han, and Commanders of the North to guard against the tribes. These Commanders were additionally titled as Conquers, Guards, Maintains, or Pacifies depending on their talents and the seriousness of their situations, but there were four of them in all. But later, more Commander offices were created. There was a Commander of military affairs around Ye, a Commander of the armies of Qinzhou, Yongzhou, and Liangzhou, a Commander for Lianzhou and Yizhou, a Commander for Jingzhou, a Commander for Yangzhou, a Commander for Xuzhou, a Commander for Huaibei, a Commander for Yuzhou, a Commander for Youzhou, and a Commander for Bingzhou; ten more in all. In less serious situations, such offices were called Chiefs.

At this time, there were eighteen Inspectors, one each for Sizhou, Yuzhou, Xuzhou, Yanzhou, Jingzhou, Yangzhou, Lianzhou, Yizhou, Ningzhou, Jiaozhou, Qinzhou, Yongzhou, Liangzhou, Jizhou, Youzhou, Bingzhou, and Qingzhou. (This makes seventeen; Pingzhou must be the eighteenth.)

At the beginning of Han's Yuanshi reign era (~1 AD), there were 13,233,612 households and a population of 59,174,978; this was Han's greatest extent. At the beginning of Emperor Huan's reign (~146), there were 26,070,906 households and a population of 50,066,856. After Cao-Wei annexed Shu-Han, in the fourth year of Jingyuan (263), combined with Shu-Han's calculated registers, there were 943,423 households and a population of 5,372,891. So one could say that it was a tenth of Han's population, and the household rolls did not add up either.

By "military administrative officials", on the military side, Fu Xian refers to such titles as the Generals of Agile Cavalry, Generals of Chariots and Cavalry, Guard Generals (including of the Right and Left), Generals Who Break And Charge, Generals Who Nuture The Army, Generals Who Protect The Capital, Generals Who Guard The Army, Generals of the Central Army, Generals of Army Canons, Generals Who Oversee The Army, Generals Who Nurture The State, Generals Who Lead The Army, Protector-Generals, Generals of the Valiant Cavalry, Generals of Fierce Assault, Generals of the Left, Right, Front, and Rear, and other such assorted titles. Regarding the various subordinate offices of the Five Ranks nobles, the Princes all created offices for Tutors, Friends, Literary Scholars, Prefect of the Household Gentlemen, Local Commandants, Ministers of Finance, Regular Attendants of the Left and Right, Palace Gentlemen, Directors of Canons for Instruction, Ritual, Guards, Officials, and other such Prefects, Ministers of Canons and Texts, Textual Overseers, Marshals to the Local Commandants, offices for their eldest sons and their other sons, Keepers of their ancestral temples, Internuncios, grand palace officials, servants, and canon officials. The Dukes, Marquises, and other nobles on down created offices in much the same way, and every fiefdom, large or small, kept on with this process without any sort of restraint.

Xiao He's and Cao Shen's service as Chancellors of Han are mentioned in Book 12, in Emperor Hui of Han's second year (193 BC).

The Nine Ministers were the Nine Government Ministries. Han had first created the Nine Ministries, each with their own duties. After the capital moved east, the Masters of Writing were created, and they each had their own duties as well. With the Nine Ministries by now having become almost a moribund bureau, Xun Xu suggested they be combined into the Masters of Writing. The Lantai was the name for the Pavilion of the Imperial Secretaries. The Three Excellencies was the administrative branch of those ministers. The Prime Ministers of Han had Chief Clerks and Directors of Justice, while the Imperial Secretaries had Central Ministers and Attendant Secretaries, who examined into affairs and determined breaches of the law. This was why Xun Xu suggested that the Lantai be combined with the Three Excellencies.)
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Unread postby Taishi Ci 2.0 » Wed Oct 04, 2017 2:43 am

太康元年 (庚子、二八○)

The First Year of Taikang (The Gengzi Year, 280 AD)


(The reign era title was changed during the fourth month of this year.)


1. In spring, the first month, a general amnesty was declared in Wu.


2. Du Yu marched towards Jiangling, while Wang Hun marched to Hengjiang. They attacked Wu's garrisons and camps, and swept all before them.

In the second month, on the day Wuwu (March 18th), Wang Jun and Tang Bin attacked and routed Wu's Chief of Danyang, Sheng Ji. The people of Wu were depending on the sandstone bars in the Yangzi to pose a danger to the enemy fleet, as well as the locked iron boom chains that were strung up. They also built iron awls, more than a zhang in length, and hid them inside the river in order to neutralize the enemy's boats. Wang Jun built several dozen large rafts, more than a hundred paces square in size; he also fashioned men made of straw, dressed in armor and grasping weapons. Wang Jun ordered those who were skilled with water to lead these rafts ahead of the fleet, and when they encountered the awls, the awls stuck into the rafts and were no longer a threat. He also built great torches, more than ten zhang in length, in several dozen great rings, and he soaked the torches in oil and placed them at the fronts of the boats. When the boats reached the boom chains, the torches heated and warmed them, and the chains soon melted and broke away, so that the ships could then pass them by.

On the day Gengshen (March 20th), Wang Jun took Xiling, and killed Wu's Commander there, Liu Xian, and others. On the day Renxu (March 22nd), he took the two forts of Jingmen and Yidao, and killed Wu's Chief of Yidao, Lu Yan.

Du Yu sent his General of the Standard, Zhou Zhi, and others to lead eight hundred elite soldiers to cross over the Yangzi by night on boats. Zhou Zhi's soldiers marched to Lexiang, where they raised many banners and flags and set up a fire on Mount Ba. Wu's Commander there, Sun Xin, was afraid, and he said to the Commander of Jiangling, Wuu Yan, "So many northern armies have come; they must have flown across the Yangzi." Zhou Zhi and the others then lay in hiding outside the walls of Lexiang. When Sun Xin sent his army out to oppose Wang Jun's advance, the Wu army was greatly defeated and returned to Lexiang. Zhou Zhi and the others emerged from hiding and followed Sun Xin's soldiers back inside the city, without Sun Xin being any the wiser. They went straight to Sun Xin's headquarters, captured him, and returned to Du Yu's main army.

On the day Yichou (March 25th), Wang Jun attacked and killed Wu's Commander of the Navy, Lu Jing.

Du Yu advanced and attacked Jiangling; on the day Jiaxu (April 3rd), he took it, and killed Wuu Yan. Since he was now south of the Yuan and Xiang Rivers, he was in contact with Jiaozhou and Guangzhou, and the provinces and commandaries all saw his approach and sent him their seals and ribbons in submission. Grasping his staff of authority, Du Yu acted with imperial command, in order to soothe and nurture these places. His army had killed or captured fourteen of Wu's Commanders or Chiefs, and more than a hundred and twenty subordinate generals and commandary guardians.

Hu Fen took Jiang'an.


(The city of Danyang was eight li east of Zigui County. In ancient times, King Wu of Zhou had granted Danyang in Jing as a fief to Xiong Yi; this was the same place. It is now the city of Chuwang in Qutuo.

River islets with sandstone on them are called 磧.

To use manpower to set up defenses, and yet to not use manpower to man the defenses, brings no benefit.

Jingmen was east of Xiling; Yidao was west of it.

Mount Ba is in modern Songxi County at the Jiangling Garrison. There is also a Bafu Village.

Sima Guang's commentary in the Textual Analysis states, "The Annals of Emperor Wu (Sima Yan) in the Book of Jin states, 'On the day Renxu (March 22nd), Wang Jun took Yidao and Lexiang, and killed Lu Jing.' The Biography of Lu Kang in the Records of the Three Kingdoms states, 'On the day Renxu, Wang Jun killed Lu Yan; on the day Guihai (April 12th), he killed Lu Jing.' The Biography of Wang Jun in the Book of Jin states, 'On the day Renxu, he took Yidao, and captured Lu Yan. On the day Yichou (March 25th), he took Lexiang, and captured Lu Jing.' I follow the account of the Biography of Wang Jun."

The Commentary on the Water Classic states, "The 沅 Yuan River flows out of the northeast of Qielan County in Zangke commandary. It passes through Linyuan County, and on east until it reaches the northwest of Xiajuan County in Changsha commandary, where it enters the Yangzi. The 湘 Xiang River flows out of Mount Yanghai in Shi'an County in Lingling commandary. It flows northeast, passing through the counties of Taoyang, Quanling, Zhong'an, Ling, Yinshan, Liling, Linxiang, Luo, Xiajuan, and others. It then flows north until it reaches Mount Baqiu, where it enters the Yangzi."

Jiang'an was the same as Gong'an, Wu's administrative center for Nan commandary. After Du Yu's conquest of the south, its name was changed to Jiang'an County, and it became the administrative center for Nanping commandary.)


3. On the day Yihai (April 4th), Sima Yan issued an edict stating, "Once Wang Jun and Tang Bin have taken Baqiu, they are to rendezvous with Hu Fen and Wang Rong for a joint attack on Xiakou and Wuchang, keep up the pace of their march, and make straight for Moling (Jianye). Du Yu will keep watch over Lingling and Guiyang, with an eye towards taking Hengyang. Since our grand army has already crossed over, the enemy's holdouts in southern Jingzhou shall be sent our declarations and then pacified. Du Yu and the others will divide up their soldiers to reinforce Wang Jun and Tang Bin. Grand Commandant Jia Chong will move his base to Xiang."


(Lingling and Guiyang were the original Han names for these commandaries. As for Hengyang, in Sun Liang's second year of Taiping (257), he had split off the western command posts in Changsha commandary to form Hengyang commandary.

Sima Yan was saying that since the main defensive points had already fallen, the holdout Wu commanders would see how events were going and submit to Jin.

Since Jingzhou was already pacified, there was no need for Jia Chong to remain in the south at Xiangyang, so his base was moved to Xiang to better coordinate the armies.)


4. Wang Rong sent his advisors, Luo Shang of Xiangyang and Liu Qiao of Nanyang, to lead soldiers to link up with Wang Jun for a joint attack on Wuchang. Wu's Administrator of Jiangxia, Liu Lang, and their Commander of military affairs in Wuchang, Yu Bing, both surrendered. This Yu Bing was the son of Yu Fan.


5. Du Yu held a council with his officers. Someone said, "An enemy of a hundred years cannot yet be fully defeated. The spring flooding will soon be upon us, and it will difficult to remain in this place for long. We should wait until winter comes, and then we can resume the grand advance."

Du Yu replied, "In former times, Yue Yi was able to overcome and annex the state of Qi because of a single battle at Jixi. The might of our soldiers is already mounting; our situation is like cutting bamboo, which welcomes the knife and gives way after the first few joints have been cut. There shall not be much further resistance."

And he discussed with and directed his men to carry out his strategy, to facilitate the advance on Jianye.


(Sima Guang's commentary in the Textual Analysis states, "The Biography of Du Yu in the Book of Jin quotes this objector as saying, 'The heat of summer will be here soon, when the rains will fall and pestilence will spring up.' But at that time there was not yet any heat, so I follow the account of the Annals of the Thirty Kingdoms."

Yue Yi's victory at Jixi is mentioned in Book 4, in King Nan of Zhou's thirty-first year (284 BC).)


6. When Sun Hao heard of Wang Hun's southern advance, he put Prime Minister Zhang Ti in charge of an army of twenty thousand soldiers. Zhang Ti's officers would be the Administrator of Danyang, Shen Ying, the Army Protector, Sun Zhen, and the Adjutant Instructor General, Zhuge Jing. They were ordered to cross the Yangzi and attack Wang Hun.

But when this Wu army reached Niuzhu, Shen Ying said to the others, "Jin has been training their navy in the Shu region for a long time, and our armies upstream have no weapons or defenses against them. Since our more esteemed generals have all died, young and inexperienced men hold those garrisons now, and I fear they will not be able to maintain their positions. Jin's navy will surely be coming this way. We should be mustering our strength to meet their attack and fight a battle with them. If we are fortunate and defeat them, then the enemy west of the Yangzi will fall back of their own accord. But here we are about to cross the Yangzi and fight Jin's main army in battle. If we are unfortunate and suffer a defeat, everything shall be lost!"

Zhang Ti replied, "Anyone, wise or foolish, can see that Wu will fall soon. But it will not be this day. My fear is that when the soldiers from the Shu region reach this place, our soldiers' hearts will be shaken and afraid, and we will not be able to calm them again. But if we cross the Yangzi now, we may still fight a decisive battle. If we should suffer a mournful defeat, then we will die with the state, and there will be no cause for further regrets. But should we win a victory, and the northern foe is driven back, then the strength of our soldiers will swell to unfathomable levels. We may then bring our victorious soldiers south again, and oppose the Shu army's advance, confident that we can rout them. But if we were to do as you suggest, I fear that the officers and the men would all desert us. We would be left merely waiting for the enemy to arrive, and then both lord and ministers would have to surrender without a single man dying for his state. Would that not be shameful?"


(By "young and inexperienced men", Shen Ying refers to Lu Yan, Lu Jing, Liu Xian, Sun Xin, and the others.

Shen Ying uses the term "west of the Yangzi". The Yangzi has a bend where it turns north, and so people in Jianye use the term "west of the Yangzi" to refer to Liyang, Wancheng, and the other cities on the western bank of this bend of the river.

By Zhang Ti's words, we can see that the people of Wu had been driven to dire straits indeed, having to make plans from a place of weakness. But Zhang Ti was a man of fortitude and strong will, and one can truly sympathize with him.)


7. In the third month, Zhang Ti and the others crossed the Yangzi. They surrounded Yanghe, besieging Wang Hun's subordinate commander and Commandant of Chengyang, Zhang Qiao. Zhang Qiao had only seven thousand soldiers, so he opened his barriers and asked to surrender. Zhuge Jing wished to execute him, but Zhang Ti said, "When there is a strong enemy before us, we should not first do something so petty. To kill a surrendered enemy would be a bad sign."

Zhuge Jing replied, "His reinforcements had not even arrived, and our strength is inferior to that of the enemy. He is only pretending to surrender to us, but he does not really mean to submit."

But Zhang Ti ignored him, treated Zhang Qiao well, and continued his army's advance.

Zhang Ti soon found himself locked in a defensive stalemate with Jin's Inspector of Yangzhou, Zhou Jun. Shen Ying led the elite soldiers of Danyang, five thousand swords and shields, on three charges against the Jin lines, but he could not dislodge them. As Shen Ying was leading his men back, they fell into disorder. The Jin generals Xue Sheng and Jiang Ban took advantage of their disorder to attack them. The Wu soldiers then began to flee and rout, and their officers and generals could not halt them. Zhang Qiao attacked them from behind, and greatly defeated the Wu soldiers at Banqiao.

Zhuge Jing broke out with several hundred soldiers. He went back in to find Zhang Ti, but Zhang Ti refused to leave. Zhuge Jing pulled at him, saying, "Victory or ruin has many factors; there is nothing that you alone can do to change it. Why insist upon seeking your own death?"

Zhang Ti wept as he replied, "Zhongsi, today is the day of my death! When I was a mere boy, your family's Prime Minister recognized my worth and promoted me. I have often feared that I could not accept his death, or bear my reputation or the knowing looks of the worthy. Today I shall give my life for the state. What more needs be said?"

Zhuge Jing pulled at Zhang Ti three times, but Zhang Ti would not be moved. At last, with tears in his eyes, Zhuge Jing released him and fled. When he had gone some hundred paces, he looked back, but Zhang Ti had already been killed by the Jin soldiers.

They also killed Sun Zhen, Shen Ying, and others, some 7,800 men in all. The Wu soldiers were greatly afraid.


(The Commentary on the Water Classic states, "The Huai River comes from the north of Pingchun County in Jiangxia commandary. It flows northeast, passing south of the city of Chengyang in that county in Runan. In Emperor Gao of Han's (Liu Bang's) twelfth year (195 BC), he made that place a marquisate fief for Marquis Ding, Xi Jing. It was the same place as Wang Mang's Xinli. Northern Wei made it into Chengyang commandary." According to Gan Bao's Records of Jin, Yanghe was the name of a bridge. Now since the Chengyang commandary in the Commentary on the Water Classic was created later on, by Northern Wei, Zhang Qiao must have been Wang Hun's acting Commandant of Chengyang in Qingzhou.

Zhongsi was Zhuge Jing's style name.

Zhang Ti refers to "your family's Prime Minister". He means Zhuge Liang. Some say that he means Zhuge Jin. But I, Hu Sanxing, believe that since Zhang Ti was a native of Xiangyang, when Zhuge Liang was in Jingzhou, he would have recognized the boy's worth.)


8. During the planning for the campaign against Wu, Sima Yan had ordered that after Wang Jun had subdued Jianping, he would fall under Du Yu's authority, and once Wang Jun reached Jianye, he would be under Wang Hun's authority.

When Du Yu arrived at Jiangling, he said to his generals, "If Wang Jun can obtain Jianping, then he ought to press his advance with full speed. His martial reputation is already such that he should not have to submit to my authority."

When Wang Jun reached Xiling, Du Yu wrote to him saying, "Since you have broken through the enemy's western barrier, if you could keep going and take Jianye, defeat this ancient and broken foe, free the people of Wu from their misery, and lead our army back to the capital, would that not be the sort of thing seen only once in a lifetime?" Wang Jun was overjoyed, and he sent in a petition explaining the contents of Du Yu's letter to him.

After Zhang Ti's defeat and death, Jin's Attendant Officer With Separate Carriage of Yangzhou, He Yun, said to his fellow officer Zhou Jun, "Zhang Ti brought the whole might of Wu's elite soldiers with him, and now they have been destroyed here. There is no one in Wu, among the court or in the field, who does not quiver with fear. Right now, the Dragon-Soaring General, Wang Jun, has already broken through Wuchang, and his victorious troops are marching east. They are sweeping all before them, and even the earth collapses at the sight of his power. I say we should lead our own soldiers across the Yangzi, and make straight for Jianye. When our main army suddenly arrives there, the enemy's courage will abandon them, and we can take the city without a battle!"

Zhou Jun deeply approved of what He Yun said, so he told He Yun to explain the situation to Wang Hun. He Yun objected, "Wang Hun is blind, and does not understand the situation. He only wishes to remain cautious and avoid any censure. He will certainly not follow my suggestion." But Zhou Jun insisted, so He Yun went to talk to Wang Hun.

As He Yun had expected, Wang Hun said, "I received a command to camp north of the Yangzi and oppose the Wu army. I cannot lightly make any advance. Although your province (Yangzhou) is martial, how would it be able to overcome the Southland all on its own? If I were to disobey my command, even if I won a battle, it would not (or, would hardly) be enough to make up for the violation. And if I did not win a battle, that would make my crime all the greater. Besides, our orders state that the Dragon-Soaring General is under my authority. He is merely acting as one oar of the boat; we shall all cross over at the same time."

He Yun replied, "The Dragon-Soaring General has already claimed ten thousand li of the enemy's land, and there has never been anyone who was so close to completing their achievement who would submit to someone else's authority. Furthermore, you are the supreme commander. When you see the possibility of advancing, you must advance. Why tarry here merely because you are waiting to receive orders? If we take this opportunity to cross the Yangzi, then we shall meet with success in every place. Why should you sink into doubts and worries that prevent you from moving forward? That is what everyone in my humble province deeply regrets."

But Wang Hun did not listen to him.


(Du Yu was saying that the capture of Jianye and the other things would be the sort of event only seen once in several generations.

Some versions have Wang Jun saying that a victory "would hardly" be enough to make up for disobeying orders, rather than "would not".

He Yun meant that the soldiers of Yangzhou would regret it because they would be disappointed that their hopes would not be fulfilled to the fullest.)


9. From Wuchang, Wang Jun continued down the Yangzi towards Jianye. Sun Hao sent the General of Fierce Assault, Zhang Xian, to lead a naval force of ten thousand soldiers to oppose Wang Jun. But Zhang Xian's men dipped their flags and surrendered. Wang Jun's arms and armor filled the Yangzi, and his flags and banners shone in the sky. His strength and power were immense, and the people of Wu were greatly afraid.


10. Sun Hao had a favored minister, Cen Hun, who was deviant and sinister, fawning and flattering. He held a position as high as the Nine Ministers, and he delighted in engaging in all sorts of plans and projects, so he was a great scourge and brought suffering to many.

When the Jin soldiers were about to arrive at Jianye, several hundred of Sun Hao's palace servants kowtowed before him and said, "The northern army is close at hand today, yet the soldiers will not lift their blades to fight. Does Your Majesty not know why this is?"

Sun Hao asked them, "What is the reason?"

They replied, "It is all because of Cen Hun."

Sun Hao merely told them, "If it is as you say, then I shall have my slave apologize to the people!"

The crowd replied, "Indeed!"

And they all rose up to go arrest Cen Hun. Sun Hao sent men to pursue the crowd and stop them, but by then the crowd had already killed Cen Hun.


(By "merely said", the passage means that he intended to do no more than offer this comment.

唯 means "indeed" or "aye".

The term 駱驛 means to continually send men without a pause.)


11. It was earlier mentioned that Tao Jun was one of the Wu commanders sent south to campaign against the rebel Guo Ma. Tao Jun had gone as far as Wuchang, where he heard that Jin had launched a great invasion, so he led his soldiers back east again.

When Tao Jun reached Jianye, Sun Hao brought him in to see him, and asked Tao Jun for news about the navy. Tao Jun told him, "Ships from the Shu region are all small vessels. I have twenty thousand soldiers with me; if I am supplied with large ships for battle, that will be enough to rout the foe." So the ships were assembled, and Tao Jun was granted authority to fight against Wang Jun. He set out the next day, but that night, all his soldiers scattered and fled.


(Tao Jun had often seen ships from the Shu region, which was why he made this claim; his understanding of the current situation was not very clear, as we can see.)


12. By that time, Wang Hun, Wang Jun, and the Prince of Langye, Sima Zhou, were all close to Jianye. Wu's Minister Over The Masses, He Zhi, and their General Who Establishes Might, Sun Yan, both handed over their seals and staffs of authority and presented themselves to surrender to Wang Hun's army.

Sun Hao used the plan suggested by the Household Counselor With Golden Tassel, Xue Ying, the Prefect of the Palace Secretariat, Hu Chong, and others. He sent separate messengers to present letters requesting surrender to Wang Hun, Wang Jun, and Sima Zhou. He also apologized to his various ministers, deeply blaming himself. He further said to them, "Now that Jin has pacified and controls all within the Four Seas, the time of heroics and fortitude is at an end. I will not move the court or change the calendar, and by doing so harm my ambition." Of the messengers that Sun Hao had sent out, the first one presented his seals and tassels to Sima Zhou.

On the day Renyin (May 1st), Wang Jun's ships sailed past the Three Mountains. Wang Hun sent a messenger ordering Wang Jun to temporarily halt and discuss things with him. But Wang Jun hoisted his sails to make straight for Jianye, and his response to Wang Hun was, "One does not moor the ship when the wind is favorable." On that day, Wang Jun had eighty thousand men under arms, and his rafts and boats stretched for a hundred li. He beat the drums as he entered the Shitou fortress.

Sun Hao had himself bound up and tied to a coffin, and then presented himself at the gate of Wang Jun's camp to surrender. Wang Jun loosed the ropes and burned the coffin, and sent for Sun Hao to come and discuss matters with him.

Wang Jun received Wu's maps and records books, which showed that they possessed four provinces, forty-three commandaries, 523,000 households, and 230,000 soldiers.


(Emperor Guangwu of Han had ordered Geng Yan appointed as Grand General Who Establishes Might. That was when the title "Establishes Might" first began to be used.

The Three Mountains are forty-five li southwest of Shangyuan County in the modern Jiankang Garrison, between the Yangzi and the Ning Rivers to the west. Lu You remarked, "The Three Mountains promontories are below Liezhou." When several mountains or hills abutt a river, they are called promontories. The Three Mountains are a little over fifty li from Jinling (Jianye).

The passage mentions that Wang Jun's 方舟 stretched for a hundred li. The Book of Poetry has the verse, "Where the water was deep, I crossed it by a raft or a boat." The Annotations state, "Regarding this verse, the term 方 in this instance means a raft, and 舟 means a boat." The Erya dictionary states, "A square block of wood built for the water is called a raft."

Eastern Wu held four provinces: Jingzhou, Yangzhou, Jiaozhou, and Guangzhou.

In Emperor Xian of Han's second year of Xingping (195), Sun Ce first obtained the Southland. In Emperor Wen of Cao-Wei's (Cao Pi's) third year of Huangchu (222), the Prince of Wu, Sun Quan, first styled himself as Emperor. Eastern Wu passed through four rulers (Sun Quan, Sun Liang, Sun Xiu, and Sun Hao), and lasted for fifty-seven years, then perished. [Hu Sanxing is somewhat in error here; Sun Quan became King of Wu in 222, and became Emperor in 229.])


13. When the Jin court heard that Wu had already been conquered, the court ministers all congratulated Sima Yan. But Sima Yan grasped his wine cup and wept, saying, "This achievement belongs to Grand Tutor Yang Hu."

The General of Agile Cavalry, Sun Xiu, did not congratulate Sima Yan. He instead faced to the south and said through tears, "In a past era, the General Who Punishes Rebels (Sun Ce) established the foundation for our state and became a Colonel before he was even of age. Now our last lord was actually raised in the Southland, yet he abandons it. The ancestral temples and the imperial tombs will thus become ruins. 'O thou distant and azure Heaven! Why did you create such a man?'"


(The Yiyi states, "According to the Poems of Hann, a cup of wine is called a 爵; it is filled, or sufficient."

Yang Hu had been named Grand Tutor.

Sun Xiu’s defection to Jin is mentioned in Book 79, in the sixth year of Taishi (270.11).

Sun Ce held the title of General Who Punishes Rebels. When he had first raised troops, Yuan Shu had petitioned to appoint him as Colonel Who Cherishes Righteousness.

Sun Xiu quotes a verse from the Drooping Millet poem in the Book of Poetry.)


14. Earlier, when Wu had not yet been subdued, the chief ministers of Jin had all insisted that no hasty advance could be made against them, and only Zhang Hua remained firm in his belief that Wu would definitely be conquered.

Jia Chong sent up a petition stating, "The territory of Wu cannot yet be fully pacified. Summer is approaching, when the regions of the Yangzi and Huai Rivers will become humid, and pestilence is sure to spring up. You should recall the various armies, so that the conquest may be completed later. Even if you were to cut Zhang Hua in half at the waist, it would not be enough to apologize to the realm."

Sima Yan replied, "This is my own idea; Zhang Hua is merely agreeing with what I already think."

Xun Xu then sent in a petition as well, urging the same advice as Jia Chong's petition. But Sima Yan did not follow his suggestions either.

When Du Yu heard that Jia Chong had submitted a petition begging the armies to return, Du Yu immediately sent in his own petition strenuously objecting. However, Du Yu's messenger only got as far as Huanyuan before news of Wu's surrender arrived.

Jia Chong was ashamed and afraid, and he went to the palace to beg forgiveness for his offenses. Sima Yan comforted him and heard no more of it.


15. In summer, the fourth month, on the day Jiashen (June 12th), Sima Yan issued an edict granting Sun Hao the title Marquis of Guiming.


16. On the day Yiyou (June 13th), the reign era title was changed to Taikang. There was great feasting for five days.

Sima Yan sent messengers to the various places in Jingzhou and Yangzhou to comfort and look after the people. Wu's Governors and Administrators who had already submitted were not lightly removed from their offices; however, those whose administration had been oppressive were removed and replaced with those who ruled with a light hand. The people of Wu were greatly pleased.


(This was when the Taiking reign era began. Up until this time, it was still the sixth year of Xianning.

Some versions add the final sentence "The people of Wu were greatly pleased".)


17. Teng Xiu was the other Wu general sent to put down Guo Ma's rebellion. He had not yet overcome Guo Ma when he heard about Jin's invasion of Wu. Teng Xiu led his soldiers back to face this hardship, but by the time he reached Baqiu, he heard that Wu had already fallen. He put on mourning clothes and wept, and then returned. Teng Xiu sent in his seals and ribbons of office to surrender to Jin, as did the Inspector of Guangzhou, Lü Feng, and the Administrator of Cangwu, Wang Yi.

Sun Hao sent Tao Huang's son Tao Rong to bring his handwritten letter of instructions to Tao Huang. Tao Huang wept for several days, but he also sent in his seal and ribbons to surrender.

Sima Yan kept all of these men in their original posts.


(Sun Hao had sent Teng Xiu to attack Guo Ma in the previous year (279.6).

Regarding the Inspector of Guangzhou mentioned here, 閭 Lü was his surname, and 豐 Feng was his given name. But this fellow's surname of 閭 Lü should not be considered to be of the same origin as that of Lü Dafei of Northern Wei. Lü Dafei's surname had its origin in the 郁久閭 Yujiulü clan of the Rouran people. Lü Feng was of those Lüs who were the descendants of King Ping of Chu's son Qi, styled Zilü, as mentioned in the Zuo Commentary.)


18. As Wang Jun was advancing east through Wu, all of Wu's cities and garrisons saw how things were developing and so surrendered to him. Only the Administrator of Jianping, Wu Yan, held out in his city and would not submit. But when Wu Yan heard that Wu had fallen, he also surrendered. Sima Yan appointed Wu Yan as Administrator of Jincheng.


19. Up until this time, the Jin court had treated the defectors Sun Xiu and Sun Kai with great honor and respect, hoping that by doing so they would win over the people of Wu. But since Wu had now fallen, Sun Xiu was demoted to General Who Breaks And Charges, and Sun Kai was demoted to General Who Crosses The Liao.


(Sun Kai's defection to Jin is mention in the previous book, in the second year of Xianning (276.4).)


20. Sima Zhou sent envoys to escort Sun Hao and the Wu royal family to visit Luoyang. In the fifth month, on the new moon of the day Dinghai (June 15th), Sun Hao arrived at Luoyang. Sun Hao, his Crown Prince Sun Jin, and others bowed their heads in the mud while bound in ropes, and visited the Dongyang Gate. Sima Yan sent officials to loose their ropes. He bestowed upon Sun Hao clothing, carriages, and thirty 頃 of farmland, and every year he greatly favored Sun Hao with money, grains, and silks. He appointed Sun Jin as a Palace Gentleman, and Sun Hao's other sons were all appointed as Palace Gentlemen to the various Princes of Jin.

Those who had served Wu a long time were inspected for their talents and employed accordingly. Those generals and ministers of the Sun family who had crossed the Yangzi were restored for ten years, while the common people were restored for twenty years.


(Sima Guang's commentary in the Textual Analysis states, "The Biography of Sun Hao in the Records of Wu states, 'In the third month of the fourth year of Tianji (280), on the day Bingyin (April 25th), Sun Hao killed Cen Hun. On the day Wuchen (?), Tao Jun returned from Wuchang. On the day Renshen (?), Wang Jun arrived, and accepted Sun Hao's surrender. In the fifth month, on the day Dinghai (June 15th), they gathered at the capital (Luoyang). In the fourth month, on the day Jiashen (June 12th), Sun Hao had been appointed as Marquis of Guiming.'

The Records of Emperor Wu of Jin (Sima Yan) states, 'In the second month of the first year of Taikang (280), Wang Jun and the others broke through Wuchang, and Wang Hun killed Zhang Ti. In the third month, on the day Renshen (?), Wang Jun subdued Shitou, and Sun Hao surrendered. On the day Yiyou (?), a general amnesty was declared, and the reign era title was changed. In the fourth month, Sima Yan sent Zhu Zhen and the others to comfort and console the people of Wu. In the fifth month, on the day Xinhai (July 9th), Sima Yan appointed Sun Hao as Marquis of Guiming. On the day Bingyin (?), he summoned Sun Hao to the palace. On the day Gengwu (?), Sima Yan ordered those officers and soldiers who were sixty years old to return to their families. On the day Gengchen (?), Sima Yan appointed Wang Jun as General Who Upholds The State.'

“If we look at the Biography of Wang Jun in the Book of Jin, it states, 'In the second month, on the day Gengshen (March 20th), Wang Jun took Xiling'. It further states, 'On the day Renyin, Wang Jun entered Shitou.' But it does not clarify in which month this particular Renyin day was. The biography also has a petition from Wang Jun in which he says, 'I arrived at Niuzhu on the fourteenth day of the month, and at Moling (Jianye) on the fifthteenth day.' But again, no month is specified. The biography then quotes Wang Jun’s second petition, in which he states, 'In the late second month, Wuchang fell. Those who were with Sun Hao all took valuables and then scattered and fled.'

“The Annals of the Sixteen Kingdoms states, 'In the fourth month, on the day Jiazi (May 23rd), Wang Hun killed Zhang Ti. On the day Bingyin (May 25th), Sun Hao killed Cen Hun, and wrote a letter with He Zhi. On the day Gengwu (May 29th), Sun Hao sent in his letter of surrender. On the day Renshen (May 31st), Wang Jun entered Shitou. On the day Jiashen (June 12th), Sun Hao was appointed as Marquis of Guiming. In the fifth month, on the day Dinghai (June 15th), he arrived at Luoyang.'

“The Annals of Jin has the same account.

“Now according to the 長曆 calendar records, the previous year (279) had had an intercalary month following the seventh month. That would mean that for this year (280), the first day of the second month would be a Wuwu day, the first day of the third month would be a Wuzi day, the first day of the fourth month would be a Dingsi day, the first day of the fifth month would be a Dinghai day, and the first day of the sixth month would be a Bingchen day. Therefore, the third month cannot have had any Wuchen, Bingyin, or Renshen days, and the fifth month cannot have had any Gengwu or Gengchen days. That conflicts with the accounts of the Records of Wu and the Book of Jin.

“But if we follow the account of the Annals of the Thirty Kingdoms, although it lines up with the correct days and months, if we are to believe that 'Wuchang fell, and those who were with Sun Hao all took valuables and then scattered and fled', then it could not have taken Wang Jun until the sixteenth day of the fourth month to reach Moling and accept Sun Hao's surrender. Furthermore, if Sun Hao had surrendered on the sixteenth day of the fourth month, and then had set out with his family for the west, he could not have arrived at Luoyang by the first day of the fifth month.

“So in compiling my work, I have followed the accounts of the conquest of Eastern Wu as they are listed in the Records of Wu and the Book of Jin, but I have removed the dates that they list which conflict with the calendar records."

The Records of Jin states, "The eastern walls of Luoyang had the three gates of Jianchun, Dongyang, and Qingming."

To 泥頭 means to sink one's head into the mud.

The given name of Sun Hao's crown prince, 瑾, is pronounced "Jin (q-in)".

After King Wu of Zhou campaigned against King Zhou of Shang, he cut off King Zhou's head and hung it before his great white banner. As wild and savage as Sun Hao was, Sima Yan could have beheaded him to appease the people of Wu.)


21. On the day Gengyin (June 18th), Sima Yan attended his audience chamber. He held a great meeting of civil and military officials and those who had been sent from all corners, and even the students of the National Youth attended. Sun Hao and the surrendered people of Wu were brought in. Sun Hao entered the hall and bowed his forehead to the ground in sign of mourning.

Sima Yan said to Sun Hao, "I have had a seat prepared here for you for a long time."

Sun Hao replied, "When I was in the south, I also had a seat prepared for Your Majesty."

Jia Chong said to Sun Hao, "I have heard that when you were in the south, you had men's eyes gouged out and their faces peeled off. What sort of punishment was this?"

Sun Hao replied, "People or ministers who had murdered their sovereigns and had acted perversely disloyal were the ones who received such punishments."

Jia Chong made no reply, for he was deeply shamed. However, Sun Hao often looked as though he had no shame.


(To touch the forehead to the ground is a Zhou rite signifying a mournful obeisance. When one does so, the forehead touches the ground without any space in between.

Sun Hao was denouncing Jia Chong for having sided with Jin despite having received Cao-Wei's favor, and for murdering the Duke of Gaogui (Cao Mao).)


22. Sima Yan casually asked Wu's Cavalier In Regular Attendance, Xue Ying, why Sun Hao had fallen. Xue Ying told him, "Sun Hao surrounded himself with miscreants, and in his punishments he was wanton and excessive. His great ministers and his generals could not protect themselves. This was the cause of his downfall."

That same day, Sima Yan asked the surrendered Wu general Wu Yan the same question. Wu Yan told him, "The lord of Wu was a heroic man, and his great ministers were worthy and wise."

Sima Yan laughed and said, "If that was the case, then why have they fallen?"

Wu Yan replied, "It is Heaven that dictates who will endure and who will perish, as has been been shown time and again. This was the only reason why we were subdued by Your Majesty."

Sima Yan approved of his words.


(To be educated is not necessarily to be intelligent. In like manner, this Xue Ying was not the equal of Wu Yan.)


23. When Wang Jun had entered Jianye, the very next day, Wang Hun crossed over the Yangzi. Since Wang Jun had not waited for Wang Hun, but had gone on ahead and had thus been the first to accept Sun Hao's surrender, Wang Hun felt very ashamed and indignant, and was even on the point of attacking Wang Jun. He Pan urged Wang Jun to send Sun Hao to Wang Hun's army, and because of that, the tension was released.

Since Wang Hun and Wang Jun were disputing credit for the achievement, He Yun wrote to Zhou Jun, saying, "The Book of Documents shows us that it is honorable to be capable of complaisance, and the Book of Changes teaches that great humility adds to brilliance. When we routed Zhang Ti earlier, the people of Wu lost their will to fight, and it was because of that that the Dragon-Soaring General was able to claim their world. In discussing this matter fully, we really ought to have led the attack. But since we let the opportunity slip away, and did not rise to the occasion, now there is this dispute over who should have the credit. The other side is not going to bite their tongue, and even greater harm to harmonious relations is about to break out. This misguided clash of pride and ego is what my foolish feelings really cannot accept."

When Zhou Jun got this letter, he used it to rebuke Wang Hun to make him give in. But Wang Hun would not do so. He petitioned that Wang Jun had violated orders in not submitting to his authority, and he slandered him with criminal charges.

Now Wang Hun's son Wang Ji was married to the Princess of Changshan, and his clan and partisans were great and powerful. The officials sent in a petition asking that a prison cart be sent to bring Wang Jun back. Sima Yan refused to allow it. However, he did issue an edict blaming Wang Jun for not following Wang Hun's orders, and for violating the command system in order to chase after gains.

Wang Jun wrote a response explaining himself, stating, "According to my original orders at your command, I was to make straight for Moling (Jianye), and I was also ordered to be under the authority of Grand Commandant Jia Chong. I arrived at the Three Mountains on the fifteenth day of the month, where I saw that Wang Hun's army was on the north bank of the Yangzi, and Wang Hun sent me a letter asking to meet with me. But my navy was full of energy and seizing the moment, and we were advancing straight for the rebel's city. There was no reason for me to turn my boats around to stop for Wang Hun.

“By the middle of that day, I arrived at Moling, and that same evening I placed myself under Wang Hun's command. He wished to order me to spend the following day, the sixteenth day of the month, to have all my officers return and besiege Shitou. He also meant to have the soldiers from the Shu region join together with the various armies of the General Who Conquers The South (Du Yu). I believe that, as Sun Hao had already come to surrender, there was no need to pointlessly besiege Shitou. Furthermore, we could not easily combine with all of the scattered armies, and that goes against the urgency with which we were acting. It was not a system that could be used, so I dared not cast aside a wise set of operations.

“Sun Hao's armies had defected and his close followers had fled; only he himself, a common man, still remained, a sparrow and mouse merely out to save himself, begging that his life alone might be spared. It was only because the northern armies did not know what the true situation was that they did not bind him up earlier; it was nothing but a small misunderstanding.

“I had done the thing, and yet I was met with anger and resentment, saying that I should have let the enemy alone for another hundred days so that some other man could get them. Foolish as I am, I believe that affairs should follow the path of a superior man. Waste or profit in regards to the state is a matter of life and death. If I had merely looked my head around suspiciously to protect myself from censure or blame, that would only be something beneficial to a disloyal minister; it would certainly not bring fortune to the state of a wise sovereign!"

Wang Hun also circulated a letter from Zhou Jun. It said, "Wang Jun's army has taken the treasures of Wu." It also said, "Wang Jun's General of the Standard, Li Gao, set fire to Sun Hao's false palace and burned it."

Wang Jun sent up another petition stating, "I am someone standing on their own who has run afoul of a powerful family. If I have offended my sovereign, then let me be rescued from my offenses; if I have slighted a powerful minister, such misfortune was not intentional.

“This is the testimony which I have from Wu's General of the Household, Kong Shu: During the late second month, when Wuchang had fallen, our navy was advancing ever closer. Sun Hao wished to lead troops back to Shitou. Those who were with him all waved their blades and cried out, 'We shall fight a decisive battle to the death for Your Majesty!' Sun Hao was greatly pleased, for he now felt that he could certainly fight back. So he brought out all of his gold and treasures and distributed them as rewards among these men. But the miscreants were insolent, and having obtained these treasures, they all ran away with them. Sun Hao was afraid, and so he planned to bow his head in surrender. After his messenger for surrender had gone out, he himself left to follow him. Those who were still with him seized his treasures and valuables, plotted to take his wives for themselves, and set fire to and burned his palace. Sun Hao scampered away, fearing that he would not escape from death.

“When I arrived on the scene, I sent my advisors to the palace merely to help put out the fires. Zhou Jun had already entered the palace before I had, and Wang Hun had already gone up into Sun Hao's ship. Everything which I saw in those places was what was left there after they had been through. Inside Sun Hao's palace, there was not even a mat left to sit on. If there had been any treasures there, Zhou Jun and Wang Hun must have obtained them first.

“Zhou Jun and the others say that I camped and gathered together the men from the Shu region, and did not send over Sun Hao in a timely manner, because I intended to rebel. And fearing that I would stir up the people of Wu, they claimed that I meant to execute and kill men and claim their wives and children, and that I hoped to stir up chaos in order to give free rein to personal grudges. I have given my responses to the claims of disobedience and rebellion; the rest is mere slander and gossip, and should be treated as such.

“This was the year that we pacified Wu, which should be cause for great celebration. Yet my body has become even more burdened by blame and strain."

When Wang Jun arrived at the capital, the officials petitioned that "Wang Jun has disobeyed the imperial order, and he has been greatly disrespectful. He should be turned over to the Commandant of Justice and judged for his crimes." Sima Yan would not allow it.

They also petitioned that Wang Jun had pardoned and then burned a hundred and thirty-five of the enemy's ships, and that they should all be ordered arrested and turned over to the Commandant of Justice and a ban be held on them. Sima Yan refused to do so.


(The Book of Documents has the phrase "sincerely courteous, and capable of all complaisance (Canon of Yao 1)". The Book of Changes states "Humility in a position of honour makes that still more brilliant (Tuan Zhuan 1)".

Harmony means peace or accord.

The Book of Documents states, "You are without any prideful assumption, but no one under heaven can contest with you the palm of ability (Counsels of Yu the Great 13)".

A Princess is the daughter of an Emperor. (According to the Taiping Yunlan, the Princess of Changshan was Sima Zhao’s daughter.)

Some versions have Wang Jun add that his navy was "seizing the moment".

The armies of the General Who Guards The South were under Du Yu's command. They had been divided up to follow Wang Jun to the east. Wang Jun says that Wang Hun meant to have him combine his army with these forces.

By “circulating” the letter from Zhou Jun, Wang Hun sent it up for review.

Wang Jun says "the late second month" because he refers to the second month earlier in that same year. "Advancing ever closer" means that they were about to arrive.

The term X means "mutually speaking words of evil", or "gossip".

The second request from the officials refers to Wang Jun's personal associates and partisans.)


24. Since Wang Hun's and Wang Jun's dispute over the credit had not been resolved, Sima Yan ordered the acting Commandant of Justice, Liu Song of Guangling, to render a judgment on the matter. Liu Song gave Wang Hun the chief achievement, and Wang Jun was given only the middle achievement. Sima Yan felt that Liu Song had gone against the laws and decided without logic, and had him transferred to be Administrator of Jingzhao.


(When Emperor Wen of Cao-Wei (Cao Pi) had accepted the abdication from Han, he had changed the office of Intendant of Jingzhao to Administrator of Jingzhao, and removed its status as a special commandary.)


25. On the day Gengchen (?), Jia Chong's fief was increased to eight thousand households. Wang Jun was appointed Grand General Who Upholds The State and Marquis of Xiangyang County. Du Yu was appointed Marquis of Dangyang County. Wang Rong was appointed Marquis of Anfeng County. Sima Zhou's two sons were both made 亭 Marquises. Wang Jun's fief was increased to eight thousand households, and his title as Marquis of Jingling was advanced to Duke. Zhang Hua's fief was increased to ten thousand households, and his title as a Marquis Within The Passes was advanced to Marquis of Guangwu County. For Xun Xu's efforts in controlling the canons and issuing the imperial commands, his son was made a 亭 Marquis. The other generals, nobles, and ministers were all granted rewards as befitted them.

Sima Yan sent word to Yang Hu's temple to report the achievement of having pacified Wu. He appointed Yang Hu's widow Lady Xiahou as the Lady of Wansui Village, and gave her a fief of five thousand households.


(Not counting Wang Hun's old fief in Jingling, he was given an additional eight thousand households. Zhang Hua was given the fief of Marquis of Guangwu, and so had ten thousand households.

Xun Xu had controlled the canons and issued the imperial commands in his role as Chief of the Palace Secretariat.)


26. Wang Jun had himself made great achievements, but he was constrained by Wang Hun, his son, and Wang Hun's partisans. Whenever Wang Hun entered court, he was always going on about his labors during his attack and campaign and presenting his distorted views of what had happened. Sometimes, Wang Hun would be so resentful and incensed at not having claimed victory that he would depart without taking his leave. But Sima Yan was tolerant of him.

The Army-Protector of Yizhou, Fan Tong, said to Wang Jun, "Your achievement was indeed a beautiful one. I only regret that the one who occupies the highest spot now is not the one who did the most good. That day, your banners flew, but now you just have the triangle cloth over your personal home, and you do not speak about the conquest of Wu. If anyone asks about it, you tell them, 'How could the virtues of a sage man (or, sovereign) or the strength of a leader of armies be things that an old fellow like me would possess?' It would be one thing if it were a case of 'Lin Xiangru humbling himself before Lian Po', but Wang Hun is not the sort of man who can feel shame!"

Wang Jun replied, "I have been seeking to guard myself against Deng Ai's fate. I feared misfortune for myself, and so I have not said anything. I do not think I shall ever be able to explain myself fully; that is the constraint I am under."

The people of that time were all indignant on Wang Jun's behalf, because his achievements were great and yet his rewards were slight. The Court Academician Qin Xiu and others all submitted petitions arguing against Wang Jun's lowly place. Sima Yan therefore appointed Wang Jun as Grand General Who Guards The Army.

Wang Hun once paid a visit to Wang Jun. Wang Jun first prepared strict guards for himself, and only afterwards did he admit Wang Hun in to see him.


(Sima Yan's tolerance was much greater than that of Emperor Wen of Sui.

The Records of Jin states, "The cloth is made of poplin; it is shaped like a 幍, but is worn horizontally. The ancients all wore it, whether exalted or lowly." I, Hu Sanxing, say that the 幅 cloth is like the horizontal 幅, and the triangle cloth is a cloth that has corners. When Guo Linzhong (Guo Tai) encountered rain, he used a corner of the cloth as a cover, so it must have been a corner cloth.

Some versions have Wang Jun say "a sage sovereign" rather than "a sage man".

Lin Xiangru's sense of guilt and his humbling of himself before his rival Lian Po is mentioned in Book 4, in King Nan of Zhou's thirty-sixth year (279 BC).

When Deng Ai died, it was because of Zhong Hui's covering up of his deeds, and Deng Ai's feelings were not able to be conveyed to his superiors.

Wang Jun was constrained because he knew he could explain all of his deeds, yet he was being misrepresented by Wang Hun's claims.

Sima Guang's commentary in the Textual Analysis states, "The Biography of Wang Jun in the Book of Jin states, 'Wang Jun was appointed as acting Colonel of Infantry. Originally, there were only five Colonel posts; this post was newly created, beginning with Wang Jun.' But according to the chapter on Government Offices, 'The five Colonel offices were Colonel of the Garrison Cavalry, Colonel of Infantry, Colonel of 長水, Colonel of the Elite Cavalry, and Colonel of Archers Who Shoot at a Sound; all of them were Han offices.' Colonel of Infantry was therefore an established office, and did not begin with Wang Jun. The Annals of Emperor Wu (Sima Yan) in the Book of Jin states, 'In the sixth month of this year (280), on the day Dingchou (August 4th), Sima Yan created the new office of Colonel of the Adjunct Army.' I suspect that the office which Wang Jun was appointed to was this newly-made Colonel of the Adjunct Army."

After the Han general Zhou Bo was sent to his fief as Marquis of Jiang, whenever the officials of Hedong came to see him, he would often order his family members to put on armor and grasp weapons before seeing the officials. In the same manner, Wang Jun prepared strict guards before he would receive Wang Hun. Men like these two had strength enough to pacify the difficulties of the realm, and intelligence enough to obtain the entire state, yet they wrapped themselves entirely in defenses like this. How ridiculous this was!)


27. Du Yu returned to Xiangyang. He believed that although the realm was now at peace, even though there were no battles, there was certainly still danger. So he was diligent in instructing people in warfare, and he kept his camps and garrisons in strict order. He diverted the waters of the Zhi and Yu Rivers to water more than ten thousand 頃 of farmland, and he opened up Yangkou to permit water transport through Lingling and Guiyang. Both the government and the people relied upon him.

Du Yu's body was such that he could not mount a horse, and when he shot arrows they did not have enough force to pierce lamellar armor. But there was no one who could match him in using soldiers to achieve victory.

While Du Yu was at his garrison post, several times he would give money and gifts to those who held important positions at Luoyang. Someone asked him the reason for this, and Du Yu told them, "It is not because I wish to seek profit for myself; I only fear that I might come to harm."


(The Commentary on the Water Classic states, "The Zhi River comes from Mount Xiyao in Lushan County in Nanyang commandary. It flows east through Chou County, and then southeast through Kunyang County, and then northeast through Dingling County in Yingchuan commandary, and then further east until it enters the Ru River. The Yu River comes from Mount Gongli in Lushi County in Hongnong commandary. It flows east through Xi'e and Wan counties in Nanyang commandary before vanishing. It also flows south through Yuyang County, and further south through Xinye County, then west through Deng County, and south again until it enters the Mian River."

It also states, "The Yang River comes from Lake Chi in Jiangling County. It flows northeast, passing south of Yingcheng, and further northeast to where it meets in the Three Lakes River. The Three Lakes all become a single river, which then flows east through Huang Valley. On its eastern bank is the city of Yefu. The Zuo Commentary has this passage: 'The Mo'ao strangled himself in the valley of Huang, and all the principal officers of the expedition rendered themselves as prisoners at Yefu to await their punishment. (Huan 13.1)' This Yefu was the same place. During the Spring and Autumn era, the river was very great, and so was in contact with the Yangzi to the south, although it did not go so far south as the Yangzi's dykes. The Yang River also flowed east into Huarong County, and then northeast until it joined with the Zhaxi River. It also flowed east through Jingling County, and north until it entered the Mian River. This last point was called Yangkou." The Biography of Du Yu in the Book of Jin states, "The old river routes along the Mian and Han Rivers extended a thousand and several hundred li to Jiangling. However, there was no route to the north. So Du Yu opened up Yangkou, raised the Xia River, and extended more than a thousand li to Baling. Internally, this swept away the dangers of the Yangzi, and externally, it allowed for water transport through Lingling and Guiyang." Du You remarked, "The Xia River and Yangkou were within the territory of Jiangling County in modern Jiangling commandary."

The passage mentions that Du Yu's arrows could not pierce a 札. This is the same as buff-coats or lamellar armor. The Zuo Commentary states, "Dang, [the son] of Pan Wang, and Yang Youji had set buff-coats and shot at them, their arrows going through seven at once. (Cheng 16.6)")


28. Wang Hun was reassigned as Grand General Who Conquers The East, and he returned to garrison Shouyang (Shouchun).


29. Zhuge Jing had fled and would not come out of hiding. Now Sima Yan had had a long relationship with Zhuge Jing, because Zhuge Jing's younger sister was the wife of Sima Zhou. Sima Yan knew that Zhuge Jing was hiding at his sister's home, so he went there to see him. Zhuge Jing fled into the lavatory, and Sima Yan was on the point of coming in to see him. Sima Yan said to him, "Do not say that we cannot see each other again today!"

Zhuge Jing, in tears, replied, "I could not lacquer my body and peel off my face! Were I to look upon your sage countenance again, I would be truly ashamed and regretful!"

Sima Yan ordered Zhuge Jing to be appointed as a Palace Attendant, but Zhuge Jing firmly refused and would not accept it. He went back to his home village, and to the end of his life, he never sat facing towards the court.


(Zhuge Jing had gone to Wu as a hostage for his father Zhuge Dan, as mentioned in Book 77, in Cao Mao's second year of Ganlu (257.6 in Fang's Chronicles).

Zhuge Jing means that he could not be like the assassins Yu Rang and Nie Zheng.

The sons of the Zhuge clan all had such determination and fortitude.)


30. In the sixth month, the Marquis of Danshui, Sima Mu, had his princely title restored, now as Prince of Gaoyang.


(Sima Mu had been demoted in the previous book, in the third year of Xianning (277.5).)


31. In autumn, the eighth month, on the day Jiwei (September 15th), Sima Yan appointed his younger brother Sima Yanzuo as Prince of Leping. Sima Yanzuo soon passed away.


32. In the ninth month, on the day Gengyin (October 16th), Jia Chong and others asked several times that as the realm had now been united, the Fengshan sacrifices to Heaven and Earth should be performed. Sima Yan did not allow it.


33. In winter, the tenth month, the General of the Front and Inspector of Qingzhou, Hu Wei of Huainan, passed away.

When Hu Wei had been a Master of Writing, he had once criticized the leniency of the government at that time. Sima Yan had said, "I do not use the ideas of Gentlemen of the Masters of Writing or those below them."

Hu Wei had replied, "Everyone of my generation, whether Minister, Gentleman, or Clerk, agrees with the things I have just said! Why not begin now to implement and bring about wise laws?"


(Sima Yan had Generals of the Left, Right, Front, and Rear; these were the Four Generals.

This Hu Wei was the son of the Cao-Wei minister Hu Zhi.)


34. During this year, the commandaries administered by the Colonel-Director were appointed as the new province of Sizhou. There were now nineteen provinces, a hundred and seventy-three commandaries and fiefs, and 2,459,840 households.


(Sima Guang's commentary in the Textual Analysis states, "The chapter on Provinces and Commandaries in the Book of Liu-Song states, 'In the first year of Taikang (280), the realm was united. There were sixteen provinces. Later on, parts of Yongzhou and Lianzhou were split off to form Qinzhou, parts of Jingzhou and Yangzhou were split off to form Jiangzhou, part of Yizhou was split off to form Ningzhou, and part of Youzhou were split off to form Pingzhou. There were then twenty provinces.'

According to Du You's Tongdian, 'After Eastern Wu was conquered, the realm was divided into nineteen provinces: Sizhou, Yanzhou, Yuzhou, Bingzhou, Qingzhou, Xuzhou, Jingzhou, Yangzhou, Liangzhou, Yongzhou, Qinzhou, Yizhou, Lianzhou, Ningzhou, Youzhou, Pingzhou, Jiaozhou, and Guangzhou.'

I follow Du You's account.

He further states, 'Sizhou was administered from Luoyang. Yanzhou, from Linqiu, in modern Leize County in Puyang commandary. Yuzhou, from Xiang, in modern Xiangcheng County in Huaiyang commandary. Jizhou, from Fangzhi, in modern Zhaojun County. Bingzhou, from Jinyang. Qingzhou, from Linzai. Xuzhou, from Pengcheng. Jingzhou, originally from Xiangyang, later from Jiangling. Yangzhou, originally from Shouchun, later from Jianye. Liangzhou, from Wuwei. The Three Adjuncts around Chang'an were made Yongzhou, and administered from Jingzhao. The areas west of the Long Mountains were made Qinzhou, and administered from Shanggui. Yizhou, from Chengdu. The Ba and Han regions were made Lianzhou, and administered from Nanzheng. Yunnan was made Ningzhou, and administered from Yunnan. Youzhou, from Zhuo. Liaodong was made Pingzhou, and administered from Changli. Jiaozhou, from Longbian. The region north of Hepu was made Guangzhou, and administered from Panyu.")


35. Sima Yan issued an edict stating, "Since the end of the Han dynasty, all within the Four Seas had been divided and destroyed. The provincial Inspectors consequentially both tended to the people's affairs within and prepared weapons and horses without. Now the realm is united, so it is time to sheath and put away our weapons of war. Let the duties of the Inspectors now be divided, so that their role becomes the same as it was during the days of Han. They shall send away the soldiers in their provinces and commandaries. The larger commandaries may retain a hundred military officials; the smaller ones may retain fifty."

The Governor of Jiaozhou, Tao Huang, sent up a petition stating, "Jiaozhou and Guangzhou are several thousand li across from east to west, and there are more than sixty thousand unsubmissive households within them. Even those families which submit to government service merely account for some five thousand families. These two provinces are as lips and teeth to one another, and they have only the soldiers to guard them. Furthermore, there are many tribes in Ningzhou which lie close to the rivers upstream, and they can advance by land and by water. It is not yet time for the provincial soldiers to be reduced, lest these provinces be left as ruins."

And the Supervisor Shan Tao also said to Sima Yan, "You should not disband the military preparations of the provinces and commandaries."

But Sima Yan did not listen to them.

During the chaos of the Yongning era (301-303) and later on, when robbers and bandits rose up on every side, the provinces and commandaries had no defenses against them, and they could not overcome them. The realm was thrown into great turmoil, just as Shan Tao here predicted. Then the provincial Inspectors once again combined the duties of civil and military roles, and provincial defense became ever more important.


(Sima Yan's intention was that the Inspectors should return to their roles as supervisors of the chief officials of their commandaries and counties, but no more than that.

Jiaozhou administered the commandaries of Hepu, Jiaozhi, Xinchang, Wuping, Cửu Chân (Jiuzhen), Jiude, and Nhật Nam (Rinan). Guangzhou administered the commandaries of Nanhai, Linhe, Shi'an, Shixing, Cangwu, Yulin, Guilin, Gaoxing, and Ningpu.

The Pu, Yeyu, Lao, and Qiao Rivers all began in Ningzhou and flowed into Jiaozhou's and Guangzhou's territory. And when Huo Yi was in Ningzhou, he had sent Yang Ji and the other Jin commanders from there to attack Jiaozhou and Guangzhou, advancing by both land and water.

Sima Guang's commentary in the Textual Analysis states, "The Biography of Shan Tao in the Book of Jin states that 'Shan Tao discussed this matter with Lu Qin.' But according to the Biography of Lu Qin in the Book of Jin, Lu Qin had already passed away in the third month of the fourth year of Xianning (278).")


36. Ever since the time of Han and Wei, whenever people from the Qiang, Xiongnu, or Xianbei tribes had come to submit to the dynasty, most of them had been settled within the borders of the realm, in the various commandaries. Because of this, they became a source of constant nuisance and anger. They killed or harmed the chief officials, and they gradually became a threat to the common people.

The Attendant Imperial Secretary, Guo Qin of Xihe, sent up a petition stating, "The barbarians are powerful and bold, and they have been a threat since ancient times. When Wei first began, the population was low, and the various commandaries of the northwest were all inhabited by barbarians. Then Jingzhao, Wei commandary, and Hongnong all began to have them too. Although the barbarians are obedient for the moment, if, a hundred years from now, there were some trouble caused by suffering and misery, the tribal cavalry would be able to ride from Pingyang and Shangdang and reach Meng Crossing (near Luoyang) within three days. The commandaries of Beidi, Xihe, Taiyuan, Fengyi, Anding, and Shang are all fully populated by the barbarians.

"Since Wu has now been pacified, you should consider plans with your ministers and your mighty generals to gradually move all of the various tribes living in the internal commandaries back out to the borderlands. Have strict controls on the movements of the Four Tribes. The wise kings of old used the Domains of Wilderness and of Restraint to control them; this is a policy to endure for ten thousand generations."

But Sima Yan did not listen to him.


(The term 獷 means an uncouth and wicked countenance.

The Tribute of Yu in the Book of Documents states, "There were five thousand li of difference between the Five Domains; the Domain of Wilderness was two thousand li from the Domain of the Sovereign. (25)"

This was why the various tribes were able to cause chaos for the Hua people (ethnic Han).)
Last edited by Taishi Ci 2.0 on Tue Oct 10, 2017 4:26 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Unread postby Taishi Ci 2.0 » Wed Oct 04, 2017 2:51 am


The Second Year of Taikang (The Xinchou Year, 281 AD)


1. In spring, the third month, Sima Yan issued an edict selecting five thousand of Sun Hao's palace women to enter his palace.

Since Sima Yan had conquered Wu, he began to turn his thoughts towards personal delights, and neglected the affairs of government. His lateral courts were filled with nearly ten thousand women. Sima Yan would often ride in a cart pulled by goats, letting the goats pull him anywhere they pleased. Wherever the goats stopped, that was where he would spend the night. The palace women would compete with each other by planting bamboo leaves at their doorways and sprinkling salt juice on the ground, in order to attract the goats pulling Sima Yan's cart.

Empress Yang Zhi's father Yang Jun and his younger brothers Yang Yao and Yang Ji took control of affairs, and everyone had to make requests of them and call upon them in order to get anything done. Their power spread near and far, and the people of that time called them the Three Yangs. Most of the old ministers were sent away by memorials. Shan Tao often admonished and mocked them. Although Sima Yan knew what was going on, he could not change his ways.


(The Records of Jin states, "A goat cart was a name for an imperial carriage. One got into it like a small cart, then reclined in the 'rabbit chest'. It had lacquer-painted wheels and yoke."

The palace women hoped that the goats would like the bamboo leaves and enjoy the salt, and this is why they did these two things in order to lure Sima Yan's cart to them.)


2. Many years earlier, when the Xianbei leader Mohuba had first led his people into the borders of the realm to settle north of Jicheng in Liaoxi, he had called his clan Murong. This Murong Mohuba was the father of Murong Muyan. Murong Muyan was the father of Murong Shegui.

Murong Shegui moved to the north of Liaodong, where for many years he remained aligned with the Middle Kingdom. Several times he fought in campaigns on their behalf and gained merit, so he was granted the title Grand Chanyu.

It was in the winter of this year, in the tenth month, that Murong Shegui first invaded Changli.


(The city of Jicheng was within the territory of Changli County, where the Murong clan later created Jicheng County. In Emperor Taiwu of Northern Wei's eighth year of (Taiping)zhenjun (447), Jicheng County was folded into Longcheng County in Changli commandary. The Chronicles of the Book of Jin states, "Mohuba had gained merit through assisting Sima Yi in his campaign against Gongsun Yuan, and was named as Commanding and Virtuous King. He first held his vassal fief in the north of Jicheng."

The Book of Cao-Wei states, "During the time of Emperor Huan of Han, the Xianbei leader Tanshihuai divided his territory into three parts: the eastern, middle, and western parts. The chiefs of the middle part were called Kezui, Queju, Murong, and other such things. They served as great commanders." It is from here that the Murong clan had its source. The Chronicles of the Book of Jin states, "Mohuba had his vassal fief in the north of Jicheng. At that time, many of the headpieces worn in the Yan and Dai regions were the 'step wave headpiece'. Mohuba saw this headpiece and liked it, so he fashioned his hair in such a way to suit wearing the headpiece. His people thus called him 'Buyao (Step Wave)', and over time the nickname was corrupted into 'Murong'. And some say that the name Murong comes from the phrase 'Yearn for (Mu) the virtues of the Two Rites (of Heaven and Earth), and continue the bearing (Rong) of the Three Luminaries (Sun, Moon, and Stars)'." As for what I, Hu Sanxing, believe, the Buyao story is an absurdity, while the latter story may have been come up with by the Murong clan's ministers and descendants after they had obtained the Middle Kingdom (as Former Yan) to explain the source of their clan's name.

Changli was the Han dynasty's Jiaoli County, which was part of Liaoxi commandary. During Later Han, it was part of the Vassal State Colonel Post of Liaodong. In Cao-Wei's fifth year of Zhenshi (244), the Xianbei entered that place, and so the Vassal State of Liaodong was restored, and Changli County was created for them to reside in. This later became Changli commandary.

This marked the beginning of the Murong clan.

Sima Guang's commentary in the Textual Analysis states, "The Annals of Emperor Wu (Sima Yan) in the Book of Jin states that it was 'Murong Hui' who invaded Changli during this year. But according to the Annals of Emperor Xuanwu (Murong Hui) in Fan Heng's Book of Yan, 'Murong Hui was born in the fifth year of Taishi (269). When he was fifteen years old, his father, the Chanyu Murong Shegui, passed away.' That would have been the fourth year of Taikang (283). So the one who invaded Changli during this year (281) must have been Murong Shegui.")


3. In the eleventh month, on the day Renyin (December 22nd), Chen Qian passed away. He was posthumously known as Duke Wu ("the Martial") of Gaoping.


(Sima Guang's commentary in the Textual Analysis states, "The Annals of Emperor Wu (Sima Yan) in the Book of Jin lists Chen Qian's rank at the time of his death as 'Grand Marshal'. But Chen Qian had resigned his offices in the third year of Xianning (277.12 in Book 80) and had retired to his ducal mansion.)


4. During this year, the Inspector of Yangzhou, Zhou Jun, moved his headquarters to Moling (Jianye). There were people in Wu who had not yet submitted, and they caused several attacks and rebellions. Zhou Jun campaigned against and pacified them. He also treated guests like old acquaintances, and sought out talented and virtuous people to request their help. So in ruling by both might and kindness, the people of Wu both loved and feared him.


(During Cao-Wei, Yangzhou had been administered from Shouchun. Following Jin's conquest of Eastern Wu, they moved Yangzhou's headquarters to Moling (Jianye). The province was called Yang ("spread") because the air of the Southland is full of restless energy, and those of faint nature can easily succumb. It is also said to be because the province has many rivers in it, and the waves of the water spread out. Yangzhou administered the commandaries of Danyang, Xuancheng, Huainan, Luling, Lujiang, Piling, Wu, Wuxing, Kuaiji, Dongyang, Xin'an, Linhai, ian'an, Jin'an, Yuzhang, Linchuan, Poyang, Nankang, and Fan.)
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Unread postby Taishi Ci 2.0 » Wed Oct 04, 2017 2:55 am


The Third Year of Taikang (The Renyin Year, 282 AD)


1. In spring, the first month, on the new moon of the day Dingchou (January 26th), Sima Yan personally conducted the Southern Suburb sacrifices. After the ceremony was concluded, Sima Yan sighed and asked the Colonel-Director of Retainers, Liu Yi, "Which of the emperors of Han do I resemble?"

Liu Yi told him, "Emperors Huan and Ling."

Sima Yan asked, "How can it be so bad as that?"

Liu Yi replied, "Those emperors sold offices to provide money for the government treasury. Your Majesty sells offices to provide money for personal uses. When I put it that way, you almost do not even measure up to those emperors."

Sima Yan greatly laughed and said, "During their day, they never heard such words said to them. But as for me, I have a minister who will speak forthrightly, and so I may profit by it."


(Sima Guang's commentary in the Textual Analysis states, "The Geographical Records in the Book of Jin states, 'In the first year of Taikang (280), the Metropolitan District was abolished, replaced by the province of Sizhou.' The Biography of Liu Yi in the Book of Jin states, 'Liu Yi was appointed the Colonel-Director of Retainers. Sima Yan was once conducting the Southern Suburbs sacrifices. When the ceremony was concluded, he asked Liu Yi...' and so forth. But it does not mention the month or year of this incident. The Annals of Jin mentions that Sima Yan asked Liu Yi these questions during the month where I have placed it, but it does not say what office Liu Yi held. But looking back to the Biography of Liu Yi, it further states, 'In the sixth year of Taikang (285), Liu Yi was transferred from the Colonel-Director to the Supervisor of the Left'. It may be the case that during this year (282), the Metropolitan District had not yet been replaced with Sizhou. I follow the account of the Biography of Liu Yi.")


2. While Liu Yi served as Colonel-Director, he kept a firm watch over the high and mighty and restrained them; no one was shown special consideration. Crown Prince Sima Zhong once demanded to be let in through the eastern side door of the palace, and Liu Yi submitted a petition listing his offenses.

The Army-Protector of the Center and Cavalier In Regular Attendance, Yang Xiu, had long received Sima Yan's favor. He commanded the guards, and he lived a life of ease and closeness for more than ten years. Thanks to the favor that he was shown, he became very arrogant, and he committed many violations against the law. Liu Yi petitioned that Yang Xiu deserved death for his crimes. Sima Yan sent Sima You to see Liu Yi and privately plead on Yang Xiu's behalf, and Liu Yi allowed it. But then the Attendant Officer of the Capital Office, Cheng Wei of Guangping, rode his horse into Yang Xiu's camp, arrested Yang Xiu's subordinates, and interrogated them about secret and private things. Cheng Wei first sent in a petition listing all of Yang Xiu's notorious crimes, and only afterwards did he report to Liu Yi. Faced with no other option, Sima Yan was compelled to strip Yang Xiu of office. But before long, Yang Xiu was instead demoted to a commoner while still retaining his office.


(To keep watch means to oversee; to restrain means to keep rectified.

When ministers and sons came to the palace's side doors, according to custom, they were to step down from their carriages and enter on foot. By Sima Zhong demanding to be let in, he had been disrespectful.

Yang Xiu's relationship with Sima Yan is mentioned in Book 78, in Emperor Yuan of Cao-Wei's (Cao Huan's) first year of Xianxi (264.45 in Fang's Chronicles).)


3. Now Yang Xiu was the uncle of Empress Jingxian (Yang Huiyu). The General of the Rear, Wang Kai, was the younger brother of Empress Wenming (Wang Yuanji). The Cavalier In Regular Attendance and Palace Attendant, Shi Chong, was the son of Shi Bao. These three men were rich with money, and they competed with one another to see which of them could be the most extravagant and wasteful. When Wang Kai would wash his cauldrons with malted sugar, Shi Chong would burn wax in place of firewood. When Wang Kai would create screens of purple silk that stretched for forty li, Shi Chong would make his screens of brocade and have them stretch for fifty li. When Shi Chong would spread warm spices through his rooms, Wang Kai would use redstone tallow.

Sima Yan was always helping Wang Kai, and he once gave Wang Kai a tree of coral that was about two 尺 tall. Wang Kai showed it off to Shi Chong. Shi Chong grasped a ruyi stone and smashed the tree. Wang Kai became angry, believing that Shi Chong had been jealous of his treasure. Shi Chong said, "What is there to be so angry about? I return it to you!" And Shi Chong ordered his attendants to go and fetch the coral trees which he had at his home. When they brought out the trees, there were a great many of them which were similar to Wang Kai's tree, and six or seven of them that were three or four 尺 tall. Wang Kai, disappointed to see this, was at a loss.


(Sima Shi's wife Yang Huiyu was posthumously known as Empress Jingxian. Sima Zhao's wife Wang Yuanji was posthumously known as Empress Wenming.

Some versions say that Shi Chong was also "Palace Attendant".

The thing which Wang Kai made in his cauldron was X; this was malt sugar. The Shuowen states, "It is the fried stumps of rice; it is also said that when it is moistened and softened, it becomes X." The 澳 cauldron is what the modern Lan and Ming call a cauldron filled with water.

Wax is the remnants from honey.

The 步障 curtains are those set up on either side of a road in order to provide cover and shielding, like modern screens.

The 椒 spice plants are warm and give off a sweet fragrance.

The 本草圖經 text states, "Redstone tallow comes from Sheyang in Jinan and from the north side of Mount Tai." Su Gong remarked, "I have not heard that redstone tallow comes from Jinan or Mount Tai. It is only found in Lushi County in Guozhou, Lingchuan County in Zezhou, and Changxiang County in Cizhou. It is also found in the mountains of Yizhou. In modern times, it comes from Luozhou. In color and style, those that are fresh and oiled are superior."

The 本草圖經 further states, "Coral comes from the depths of the sea. Its stalks and branches are clear and moist, like carnelian."

Shi Chong grasped the ruyi stone in order to smash the coral tree with it. He held it like a modern gudao weapon.

To be at a loss means to have an uncertain expression.)


4. The Marshal to the General of Chariots and Cavalry, Fu Xian, sent up a petition stating, "When the kings of old managed the realm, meats and adorned clothing both had their assigned limits. It is my belief that great decadence and extravagance should be viewed like a natural calamity. In ancient times, there were many people close together and little land for them, but everyone saved up, and thus they demonstrated restraint. But now, the land is broad while the people are spread out, but disaster is not enough to threaten them, so they become extravagant. If you wish for men to conduct themselves sublimely and frugally, you must look into their extravagance; if people's extravagance is not looked into, it will only grow all the more, and there will be no end to it!"


(The Records of Jin states, "The General ranks from General of Agile Cavalry on down, as well as the Grand Generals, which did not have their own staffs and did not exercise Commander authority, had a single Chief Clerk and a single Marshal."

Among the common people of ancient times, no one ate meat until they were fifty, and no one wore adorned clothing until they were sixty.)


5. The Master of Writing Zhang Hua was talented and knowledgeable in literary studies, and he had a great reputation during this age. Many people suggested that Zhang Hua should become one of the Three Excellencies. The Chief of the Palace Secretariat, Xun Xu, and the Palace Attendant Feng Dan hated Zhang Hua because of his plans for the campaign against Wu.

Around this time, Sima Yan had asked Zhang Hua, "Whom can I entrust affairs to after I am gone?"

Zhang Hua had replied, "In perception, in virtue, and in closeness to you, no one can compare with the Prince of Qi (Sima You)."

So Zhang Hua had a divergent aim, and Xun Xu slandered him because of it.

On the day Jiawu (February 12th), Sima Yan appointed Zhang Hua as Commander of military affairs in Youzhou. When Zhang Hua arrived at his post there, he nurtured and calmed the tribes and the Xia (ethnic Han), and his prestige rose even higher. Sima Yan wished to summon Zhang Hua back to the capital.

Feng Dan was then attending upon Sima Yan, and they happened to be speaking about Zhong Hui. Feng Dan said, "It must be said that Taizu (Sima Zhao) was responsible for Zhong Hui's rebellion."

Sima Yan's expression changed, and he demanded, "What nonsense are you speaking?"

Feng Dan took off his cap by way of apology, and said, "I have heard that those who are good at restraining affairs must know how to properly employ the Six Reins. This was why when Zhong You participated in men's affairs, Confucius withdrew from him, but when Ran Qiu retired on account of infirmity, Confucius advanced him. Emperor Gaozu of Han (Liu Bang) honored and favored the Five Kings, yet he had to eliminate them all; Emperor Guangwu restrained and reduced his various generals, and by doing so he secured them. When those above do not make a distinction between benevolence and cruelty, and those below do not distinguish between foolishness and wisdom, so that the rising and falling contend with each other, this is merely the natural result.

“Now Zhong Hui's talents and intelligence had their limits, yet Taizu was overly proud of him and rewarded him without restraint. He gave Zhong Hui greater power, and placed him at the head of a grand army. He had Zhong Hui follow his own council without a plan to restrain him, and when Zhong Hui felt that his achievements had not been rewarded as he saw fit, his bold disobedience naturally followed. If Taizu had properly noted Zhong Hui's meager abilities, dealt with him by the highest rites, pressed down on his power and influence, and kept him on his proper course, then there would have been nothing to stir up a rebellious heart."

Sima Yan replied, "Well said.”

Feng Dan then kowtowed and said, "Your Majesty, since you approve of what I have just said, then I must ask you to 'wear away the strong ice'. Do not allow one of your followers to be like Zhong Hui, where he can reach the point of overturning you."

Sima Yan asked, "But who is there today who is like Zhong Hui?"

Feng Dan turned his head to either side, and then said, "Your Majesty has a minister with whom you have developed all your plans, who has achieved great deeds in the realm, who occupies an important garrison, and who has a great number of arms and horses. May Your Majesty, in your sage wisdom, ponder these things."

Sima Yan made no reply. But because of this discussion, he changed his mind and did not summon Zhang Hua back again.


(Zhong Hui's rebellion is mentioned in Book 78, in Emperor Yuan of Cao-Wei's (Cao Huan's) first year of Xianxi (264.5-13 in Fang's Chronicles).

Taizu was Sima Zhao's temple name.

The stories of Confucius and his disciples Zhong You and Ran Qiu are mentioned in the Analects.

Liu Bang's dealings with the generals whom he made Kings are mentioned in the Imperial Annals of Emperor Gao of Han. The Five Kings were Han Xin, Hann Xin, Peng Yue, Ying Bu, and Lu Wan.

Emperor Guangwu did not reward his generals with government posts, but this was done in order to protect their fortunes and posterity. In the end, he did not have cause to condemn or execute any of them.

The First Six entry of the Kun section of the Book of Changes states, "(We see its subject) treading on hoarfrost. The strong ice will come (by and by)." The Interpretation of that entry states, "'He is treading on hoarfrost; - the strong ice will come (by and by):' - the cold (air) has begun to take form. Allow it to go on quietly according to its nature, and (the hoarfrost) will come to strong ice.")


6. In the third month, the General Who Maintains The North, Yan Xun, defeated Murong Shegui at Changli, killing or capturing tens of thousands.


7. By this time, Jia Chong was old and frail. Sima Yan sent Crown Prince Sima Zhong to see Jia Chong and help with his daily affairs. Jia Chong was afraid about what his posthumous record would be. His nephew Jia Mo told him, "It will not be very long before you see for yourself. You cannot hide from it!"

In summer, the fourth month, on the day Gengwu (May 19th), Jia Chong passed away.

Now Jia Chong's son Jia Limin had already passed away before him, and so he had no heir. Jia Chong's wife Guo Huai wished to have Jia Chong's grandson Han Mi, the son of his daughter, succeed to his noble title. The Prefect of the Household Gentlemen, Han Xian, and the Palace Commandant Cao Zhen remonstrated with her, saying, "According to the rites, no one of a different surname may serve as heir. If you insist upon doing so, it will bring ridicule upon your late husband in future ages, and trouble his ghost in the world below." But Guo Huai did not listen to them.

So Han Xian and the others sent up a petition, asking that the choice of heir be changed, but there was no response to it. Then Guo Huai wrote her own petition defending herself, saying that she was acting according to Jia Chong's last wishes. Sima Yan allowed it, and he issued an edict stating, "No one made achievements like the late Grand Governor. For him to be the first to hold his noble title and yet to have no heir is a situation that cannot be countenanced."

The Minister of Ceremonies held a discussion on what Jia Chong's posthumous name should be. The Court Academician Qin Xiu said, "Jia Chong acted contrary to the rites and heeded his own feelings, and caused turmoil in the proper hierarchy of relationships. In ancient times, the state of Zeng allowed a matrilineal grandson of their line, the son of the Duke of Ju, to become their heir. The Spring and Autumn annals records that as 'The people of Ju destroyed Zeng'. To cut off the bloodline of the father and grandfather opens the door to chaos in the court. According to the Laws of Posthumous Names, 'One whose confusion and turmoil is recorded and noted may be called Wasteful.' I propose that his posthumous name should be Duke Huang ('the Wasteful')."

But Sima Yan did not agree, and he gave Jia Chong the posthumous name Duke Wu ("the Martial").


(Jia Chong knew that he had been perverse, disloyal, a murderer, and disobedient. He feared that later on, scorn would be heaped upon his name, and he would not be able to escape the censorious brushes of great historians.

Han Mi was the son of Jia Chong's son-in-law Han Shou. The term 世孫 means a grandson through the formal wife who inherits directly from his grandfather.

Under the Jin system, the fiefs of the various Princes and Dukes each had Prefects of Household Gentlemen, Palace Commandants, and Ministers of Finance, known as the Three Ministers.

The Spring and Autumn Annals states, "In the sixth year of Duke Xiang of Lu, the people of Ju destroyed Zeng." The Gongyang Commentary says of this passage, "Zeng's inheritance was obtained by Ju. A daughter of the house of Zeng was taken as wife by a son of the house of Ju, and from that they claimed the inheritance." The Guliang Commentary says of it, "The passage says, 'the people of Ju destroyed Zeng', but it is not that Zeng itself was destroyed, only that they raised up someone of a different surname to inherit their sacrifices, and so their line was destroyed.")


8. In the intercalary month, on the day Bingzi (May 25th), Li Yin passed away. He was posthumously known as Marquis Cheng ("the Accomplished") of Guangling.


9. Sima You's virtue and influence grew by the day. Xun Xu, Feng Dan, and Yang Yao all disapproved of him. Feng Dan said to Sima Yan, "When Your Majesty ordered the nobles to their fiefs, those who were closest to you should have been the first to go. And who is as close to you as the Prince of Qi? Yet he alone is still in the capital. Why is that?"

And Xun Xu said, "All the officials, near and far, have turned their hearts to the Prince of Qi. Your Majesty, after you are gone, the Crown Prince will not be able to obtain your throne. You should try ordering the Prince of Qi to his fief. He will certainly make the court believe that he cannot go, and then you will see the truth of my words."

Sima Yan agreed with them.

In winter, the twelfth month, on the day Jiashen (January 28th of 283), Sima Yan issued an edict stating, "When the ministers of the Nine Symbols of old were made earls, some went into the court to provide assistance, while some went out to guard the borders, but the principle of their service was the same. The Palace Attendant, Minister of Works, and Prince of Qi, Sima You, has aided the mandate and established achievements, working diligently on behalf of the royal family. He shall be appointed as Grand Marshal and Commander of military affairs in Qingzhou, while acting as Palace Attendant as before, so that he may continue to bring sublimity to the canons and the rites, examine the chief effects of the old system, and put them into practice."

The Prince of Runan, Sima Liang, was appointed Grand Commandant, Chief of the affairs of the Palace Secretariat, and acting Grand Tutor to the Crown Prince. The Household Counselor With Golden Tassel, Shan Tao, was appointed Minister Over The Masses. The Prefect of the Masters of Writing, Wei Guan, was appointed as the new Minister of Works.


(The Rites of Zhou states, "Those of the Nine Symbols were made Earls." Zheng Xuan remarked, "Of the highest lords possessing achievement and virtue, two of them were made Earls, and five of them became Marquises; these were the Nine Earls." Zheng Sinong remarked, "The chief Marquises were made marcher lords as Earls.")


10. Wang Hun sent up a petition stating, "Sima You is an intimate of the royal family, greatly possessing in virtue; he is the equal of the Duke of Zhou. He should be supporting the imperial court, and consulted with on the affairs of governance. Yet now Sima You is being sent out to his fief; although he has been granted an empty title as Commander, he does not command soldiers or arms of any real substance. In harming a friend through empty and false righteousness, I fear that Your Majesty is not heeding His Late Majesty's and Empress Wenming's admonishments to you regarding the treatment of Sima You.

“If those of the same surname were treated with favor and great magnanimity, then how could the rebellions of Han's Princes of Wu and Chu have arisen? How could the clans of Empress Lü Zhi, of Huo Guang, or of Wang Mang have ever threatened the dynasty? We see in history from ancient times to now the seriousness of neglecting affairs. In order to avoid harm, one only needs to employ those who are just and principled, and seek out those who are loyal and excellent. But if you turn your thoughts towards doubtful things, so that even those close to you are seen with suspicion, and you go so far as to send them away, how then could you possibly secure yourself?

“Foolish as I am, I believe that the post of Grand Guardian to the Crown Prince is currently vacant. You should grant that post to Sima You and have him remain here, and he may manage court affairs together with the Prince of Runan, Sima Liang, and with Yang Yao. If these three men hold such posts, that will be enough for them to work together to hold fast to justice, and no other great minister will have the power to overturn them. Furthermore, you would not lose the chance to repay the favor shown to you by your benevolent intimate, and you could carry out a plan to do the most good."

In addition, the 抹風 Wang Jun, the Household Counselor with Golden Tassel, Li Xi, the Army-Protector of the Center, Yang Xiu, and the Palace Attendants Wang Ji and Zhen De all remonstrated sharply with Sima Yan. But Sima Yan did not listen to any of them.

This is a different Wang Jun from the conqueror of Eastern Wu.

Wang Ji sent his wife, the Princess of Changshan, and Zhen De's wife, the Princess of Zhangguang, to the palace to see Sima Yan. The Princesses kowtowed before Sima Yan and wept, begging that he allow Sima You to remain in the capital. Sima Yan was furious, and he said to the Palace Attendant Wang Rong, "This is an intimate affair between an older and a younger brother. My sending the Prince of Qi out of the capital is simply a personal family affair. Yet Zhen De and Wang Ji go so far as to send their wives to come weep at me!" And he sent Wang Ji and Zhen De out of the palace; Wang Ji was made a Libationer for the National Youth, while Zhen De was made Grand Herald.

Yang Xiu and the 北軍中候, Cheng Can, plotted to go see Yang Yao, holding blades in their hands to kill him. Yang Yao knew about it, and he claimed illness and would not come out. He arranged for the officials to censure Yang Xiu, and Yang Xiu was laterally transferred to be Minister Coachman. Yang Xiu was so indignant and angry that he developed an illness and passed away.

Li Xi also resigned his office on account of his old age, and he also passed away at home. While Li Xi was in the court, his in-laws and his old friends would split their clothing and share their food with him. Li Xi never once mixed private and royal affairs, and this was why he gained such a name among people.


"Command of arms" means command of soldiers.

Wang Hun uses the term 榦. The Hanyi poem in the Book of Poetry has the verse, "Be a support against those princes who do not come to court." It means a support pole.

Sima Zhao's and Wang Yuanji's warnings to Sima Yan about how to treat Sima You are mentioned in the previous book, in the second year of Xianning (276.3).

In his references to the Han dynasty figures, Wang Hun means to say that Sima You should not be doubted, and the Three Yangs should not be trusted.

Sima Yan appointed Wang Ji and Zhen De to new positions to remove them from their roles as Palace Attendants; now they would be away from the palace.

The office of 北軍中候 was a Han office, in charge of administering the five camps of the Northern Army. Cao-Wei abolished the office. In the fourth year of Taishi (268), the office of General of the Central Army was dropped, and the 北軍中候 was reestablished. In the seventh year (271), the office of General Who Directs The Army of the Center was also merged with that office.)


11. During this year, Wu's Cavalier In Regular Attendance, Xue Ying, passed away.

Someone asked Lu Xi of Wu commandary, "Was Xue Ying not of the greatest sort of men of the gentlemen of Wu?"

Lu Xi replied, "Xue Ying was only between the fourth and fifth sort of men. How could he be considered among the greatest? When we consider that Sun Hao was a man without principle, then for the gentlemen of Wu, those who remained silent and hid themselves, kept secluded and refused to be used by him, should be considered the greatest sort. Those who shunned the honored and dwelt with the lowly, and who took up the plow rather than claim a salary, should be considered the second sort. Those who forthrightly gave their service to the state, and held fast to justice without fear, should be considered the third sort. Those who considered the trends of the age and followed them, in order to gain meager gains for a time, should be considered the fourth sort. Those who acted agreeably and conducted themselves cautiously, though they did not flatter their ruler, should be considered the fifth sort. Those who went beyond these things are not even worth considering. This is why the greatest of these gentlemen kept to themselves and so were far from regrets and grudges, while those of the common sort, though they gained notice and held office, found themselves close to disaster and calamity. We see that Xue Ying held office through the entire period; how then could he be considered of the greatest sort of men?"
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Unread postby Taishi Ci 2.0 » Wed Oct 04, 2017 2:58 am


The Fourth Year of Taikang (The Guimao Year, 283 AD)


1. In spring, the first month, on the day Jiashen (?), the Supervisor of the Right of the Masters of Writing, Wei Shu, was appointed Supervisor of the Left, and the Prince of Xiapi, Sima Huang, replaced him as Supervisor of the Right. This Sima Huang was another son of Sima Fu, the late Prince of Anping.


2. On the day Wuwu (March 3rd), Shan Tao passed away. He was posthumously known as Earl Kang ("the Peaceful") of Xinda.


(In Emperor Ming of Cao-Wei's (Cao Rui's) third year of Jingchu (239), the officials and people of Dongda County in Liaodong commandary crossed over the sea and settled in the commandaries of Qi (Qingzhou), where they established Xinda County.)


3. Sima Yan ordered the Minister of Ceremonies to lead a discussion regarding the matter of Sima You’s upcoming “sublime bestowment” of a fief.

The Court Academicians Yu Fu, Taishu Guang, Liu Tun, Mou Wei, Guo Yi, Qin Xiu, and Fu Zhen sent up a petition stating, "In ancient times, when the Zhou dynasty set up wise and virtuous men to support the royal family, the Duke of Zhou, Kang Shu, and Dan Ji were all made the Three Dukes. The offices acting as chief support to the throne were the important offices, and those which guarded territory were the lesser ones. Regarding the various Princes and nobles of the Han dynasty, their positions were above those of the Prime Minister and the Three Excellencies. Those who approved of the court's policies were given actual offices, while those who were sent out to their fiefs were also not given any authority or command to make empty names for themselves or build favor.

"Now if you feel that the Prince of Qi is a worthy man, then you should not give a common office to your brother by the same mother, who shares the same close exaltedness to you as the Dukes of Lu and Wey did with each other. Or if you feel that the Prince is not a worthy man, then you should not give him a great base of territory, and allow him to establish himself by the Eastern Sea. According to the old rites, when one of the Three Excellencies lacks office, and sits while discussing the road, you should not listen to him and give him a great office to wrap himself in. King Xuan of Zhou sought help all day and night, and afterwards he made an edict summoning Duke Mu of Qin to campaign against the Huai tribes. This is why the poem in the Book of Poetry says, 'The chiefs would not again change their minds, and the kings said, "Let us return."' A great minister should not be kept at a distance for a long time.

"Now the realm is already settled, and the Six Directions are all part of the same family. It will soon be the time to tend to the Three Affairs, and discuss the foundation of a lasting peace. Yet you go so far as to send the Prince away, two thousand li from the royal city. That violates the rules of old."

This Yu Fu was the son of Yu Chun; this Liu Tun was the son of Liu Yi. Since Yu Fu had been the one to compose the petition, he had first shown it to his father to inspect, and Yu Chun had not forbidden it.


(太叔 Taishu was a compound surname. Duke Zhuang of Zheng's younger brother Duan was granted a fief at the capital. He was called the Taishu ("great uncle") of the Capital, and his descendants took this as their surname. There was also a Taishu Yi in the state of Wey.

繆 Mou is a surname. The given name 蔚 is pronounced "wei (y-u)".

In the Zuo Commentary, the Grand Supplicator of Zheng, Ziyu, states, "The own brothers of King Wu were eight. The Duke of Zhou was prime minister; Tang Shu was minister of Crime; Dan Ji was Minister of Works. (Ding 3.4)". The character 耼 in the last of these brothers is pronounced "dan (n-an)".

The only one of Han's princes who agreed with the court's policies was the Prince of Dongping, Liu Cang.

The poem quoted is from the Jiang-Han and Changwu sections of the Book of Poetry.

Sima Biao's Records of Commandaries and Fiefs states, "The fief of Qi is a thousand and eight hundred li east of Luoyang.")


4. The matter then turned to the Minister of Ceremonies, Zheng Mo, and the Erudite Libationer, Cao Zhi. Cao Zhi sighed sorrowfully and said, "How can it be that a man with such talent and such closeness to the royal family not be allowed to provide aid and shape to the trunk of the state's tree, and is instead sent away to the ends of the sea! The rise of the Jin royal family is nearly at an end!"

And Cao Zhi submitted a petition stating, "In ancient times, of those who provided close personal aid to the royal family, there were those of the same surname as the royal clan, like the Duke of Zhou, and there were those of differing surnames, like the Grand Duke (Jiang Ziya). They all lived themselves at court, and for five generations their bodies were brought back to be buried at Zhou. After this state of affairs was lost, although the age of the Five Hegemons came about, how could that compare to when the Dukes of Zhou and Shao ruled at the same time and discussed affairs? Of all the sovereigns since Fuxi, how could any of their families have ruled alone?

“This is why the state must extend itself to the hearts of the Dukes, so that the realm shares its weal and woe together, and then the state is able to enjoy a long existence. This was why the Qin and Wei dynasties, in seeking to monopolize all power to themselves, did not long outlive their own founders, while the Zhou and Han dynasties, who were able to divide their gains among their intimates and could make use of them, lasted long. This is a wise precedent from the past. I believe that the rest of the Court Academicians believe the same as I do."

When Sima Yan read this petition, he was enraged, and he said, "Cao Zhi does not even understand my own beliefs, much less those of all within the Four Seas!"

And Sima Yan further said, "The Court Academicians have not answered what was asked of them, and they have presumed to answer what was not asked of them. They have conducted a perverse and unsought discussion." And he ordered the officials to prepare to have Zheng Mo stripped of office.

The Masters of Writing, Zhu Zheng and Cheng Lüe, composed a petition stating, "Cao Zhi and the others have infringed upon things beyond their offices and exceeded the bounds of what they were assigned, and they seek to deceive and mislead the court, adorning their wicked words with sublime rhetoric and assuming the disguise of being allowed to speak freely. We ask that Cao Zhi and the others be arrested and handed over to the Minister of Justice so that he may examine their crimes."

Sima Yan issued an edict stripping Cao Zhi of office and exiling him to his ducal manor. The other Court Academicians were all handed over to the Minister of Justice and had their crimes examined.


(The Continued Records of Han states, "There is a single Erudite Libationer; it was originally the Supervisor, but after the Restoration, it was changed to the Libationer." Hu Guang remarked, "Of the offices with the name Libationer, this one is the most senior."

The Tan Gong chapter of the Book of Rites states, "The Grand Duke (Jiang Ziya) was invested with his state, (and had his capital) in Yingqiu; but for five generations (his descendants, the Marquises of Qi) were all taken back and buried in Zhou. The ancients had a saying, that a fox, when dying, adjusts its head in the direction of the mound (where it was whelped); manifesting thereby (how it shares in the feeling of) humanity. (1.27)"

Cao Zhi was saying that although during the age of the Five Hegemons, they honored the royal house of Zhou, that still could not compare with the age when the Dukes of Zhou and Shao ruled together at the same time and discussed things.

The 曹志 Cao Zhi mentioned in this passage was the son of Cao-Wei's Prince Si of Chen, 曹植 Cao Zhi, who was the younger brother of Cao-Wei's Emperor Wen (Cao Pi). Cao Pi had restricted the Princes of Cao-Wei in the same manner which this Cao Zhi now describes. Sima Yan means to say that because of that, he could hardly understand "my own beliefs".

The Court Academicians had been asked to discuss Sima You's "sublime bestowment", the details of his fief, and go no further; they had not actually responded to this request, so they "had not answered what was asked of them". Furthermore, they had discussed the very question of whether Sima You should or should not be sent out in the first place, which was not theirs to question, so they "had presumed to answer what was not asked of them".

The current Cao Zhi had inherited his father's title as Prince of Chen after the elder Cao Zhi's death. When Jin accepted the abdication of Cao-Wei, Cao Zhi's title as Prince of Chen was downgraded to Duke of Juancheng County.)


5. Yu Chun went to the Minister of Justice and confessed, "Yu Fu discussed and composed the edict and showed it to me, and in my foolishness, I gave my superficial approval." Sima Yan ordered Yu Chun stripped of office.

The Minister of Justice, Liu Song, submitted a petition that Yu Fu and the others should be charged with gross disrespect and be executed and have their bodies cast out into the marketplace as punishment. The Masters of Writing sent in petitions asking that the Minister of Justice lighten the sentence on the condemned. The Master of Writing Xiahou Jun objected, "The offices of the Eight Seats were created for just such a purpose as this." But he was the only one of them who felt so. The Supervisor of the Left, Sima Huang, also agreed with what Xiahou Jun said.

The petitions flooded the palace for seven days, until Sima Yan at last issued an edict stating, "Yu Fu was leader of the discussion, and he ought to pay with his head. But as his family has confessed, he will share the same fate as Taishu Guang and the other six men. They will be spared the death penalty, and they will all be removed from the rolls of office."


(The six Bureaus of the Masters of Writing, along with the Prefect and the Supervisor, made the Eight Seats.)


6. In the second month, Sima Yan issued an edict converting the commandary of Jinan into the princely fief of Qi. On the day Jichou (April 3rd), the Marquis of Zhangle Village, Sima You's son Sima Shi, was appointed Prince of Beihai, and ordered to prepare Sima You's canons and plans, construct the curtained room for music, the six lines of dancers, the yellow battle-axe and court carriage, and its attendant carriages to follow behind.


(The music was in the Son of Heaven's palace room and the various noble's curtained room. This curtained room had one face exposed.)


7. In the third month, on the new moon of the day Xinchou (April 15th), there was an eclipse.


8. Sima You had become so indignant and angry by his treatment that he developed an illness. He begged that he be allowed to guard the tomb of the late Empress Dowager (Wang Yuanji). But Sima Yan would not permit it. Sima Yan also sent doctors to see to Sima You's illness. Several doctors, hoping for gain, reported that Sima You had no illness.

The Intendant of Henan, Yin Xiang, remonstrated with Sima Yan, saying, "Although Your Majesty has many sons and younger brothers, there are few of them which have much virtue or influence. The Prince of Qi is lying ill and residing in the capital district, and he is of true and great benefit to you. You must reconsider this."

But Sima Yan would not follow his counsel, and Yin Xiong became so indignant and angry that he passed away.

Sima You's illness soon became critical, but Sima Yan still urged him to set out on the road. So Sima You gathered his strength and went to see Sima Yan. He conducted himself with such bearing that, although his illness was painful to him, he seemed to act in full control of himself and his movements appeared unaffected compared to normal. Sima Yan was even more suspicious that Sima You was not actually ill. But several days after his visit, Sima You spat up blood and then passed away. He was posthumously known as Prince Xian (“the Presented”) of Qi.

Sima Yan attended the mourning service for Sima You, where Sima You's son Sima Jiong approached him, claiming that the doctors had given false reports about Sima You's illness. Sima Yan ordered the doctors put to death, and Sima Jiong inherited his father's title.


9. At first, Sima Yan had greatly loved Sima You. It was afterwards, when he was led astray by the words of Xun Xu, Feng Dan, and others, that he became concerned about Sima You, and this was why he wanted to send him away.

After Sima You passed away, Sima Yan was inconsolable with grief for him. Feng Dan came near him and said, "The Prince of Qi's reputation went further than his true worth, and the realm would have followed him. His recent passing will prove to have been a blessing for the fortunes of state. How can Your Majesty show so much grief for him?" So Sima Yan dried his tears and ceased his grief for Sima You.

Sima Yan ordered that the mourning rites for Sima You follow those of the late Prince of Anping, Sima Fu.


(Sima Fu's mourning rites are mentioned in Book 79, in the eighth year of Taishi (272.3).)


10. Sima You conducted himself in accordance with the rites, and he rarely made any trespasses; even Sima Yan himself respected and feared him. Whenever Sima You was sought out for his views, he would always select his words carefully and only afterwards express his thoughts.


11. In summer, the fifth month, on the day Jihai (June 12th), Sima Zhou passed away. He was posthumously known as Prince Wu ("the Martial") of Langye.


12. In winter, the eleventh month, Wei Shu was appointed as Minister Over The Masses.


13. There was great flooding in Henan and in six provinces including Jingzhou and Yangzhou.


(Jing means strong, and expresses an air of powerful strength; it also means vigilance, for the southern Man tribes were often disobedient invaders, and while some of them later became obedient, others retained their former strength, so constant vigilance was required to prepare against them. The province also gets its name from Mount Jing. Jingzhou administered the commandaries of Jiangxia, Nan, Xiangyang, Nanyang, Shunyang, Yiyang, Xincheng, Weixing, Shangyong, Jianping, Yidu, Nanping, Wuling, Tianmen, Changsha, Hengyang, Xiangdong, Lingling, Shaoling, Guiyang, Wuchang, and Ancheng.)


14. The Marquis of Guiming, Sun Hao, passed away.


15. During this year, Murong Shegui passed away. His younger brother Murong Shan usurped his position. Murong Shan was about to kill Murong Shegui's son Murong Hui, but Murong Hui ran away and hid himself with the family of Xu Yu of Liaodong.


(Sima Guang's commentary in the Textual Analysis states, "The Chronicles of the Book of Jin records the name of Murong Shegui's younger brother as Murong Nai rather than Murong Shan. But I follow the account of the Book of Yan."

The given name of Murong Shegui's son, 廆, is pronounced "hui (h-ui)" or "hui (w-ui)". The Chronicles of the Book of Jin states, "Murong Hui was styled Yiluogui." Du You remarked, "Murong Hui's given name was originally Ruoluohui.")
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Unread postby Taishi Ci 2.0 » Wed Oct 04, 2017 3:00 am


The Fifth Year of Taikang (The Yisi Year, 284 AD)

The following year is also listed as a Yisi year; this year being listed as one might be a mistake.


1. In spring, the first month, on the day Jihai (?), a green dragon was twice spotted inside a well in the arsenal. When Sima Yan saw it, he looked very pleased. The ministers were about to congratulate him.

But the Supervisor of the Masters of Writing, Liu Yi, submitted a petition stating, "In ancient times, when a dragon descended upon the palace of Xia, that led to the destruction of Zhou. And the Book of Changes states, '"The dragon lies hid in the deep; - it is not the time for active doing;" - (this appears from) the strong and undivided line's being in the lowest place.' You should maintain the old canons, and do not hold a rite of congratulations for the dragon."

Sima Yan followed his advice.


(Sima Guang's commentary in the Textual Analysis states, "The Records of the Five Elements chapter of the Book of Jin states that the dragon sightings were on 'the day Guimao (?)'. But I follow the account of the Annals of Emperor Wu (Sima Ya) in the Book of Jin."

Regarding the dragon that visited Xia, the Discourses on the States has this story: "During the waning days of the Xia dynasty, a native of the state of Bao was divinely transformed into two dragons, both of whom visited the Xia palace. The Xia Empress, Bo, killed them and chased them out and so stopped them, but this meant misfortune. Empress Bo asked that their saliva be gathered up and hidden away, which would be good fortune. So spade money was used to deal with the situation. The dragons having gone but their saliva remaining, the saliva was gathered up into a box and then hidden away. All through the Yin (Shang) and Zhou dynasties, no one dared to open the box. But during the last years of King Li of Zhou, he opened the box and looked inside it. The saliva flew out into the palace, and no one could stop it. King Li sent his wife out of the bedchamber to make a clamor about it, and the saliva transformed into a black lizard and entered into the royal residence. It encountered a young girl there who was not yet old enough to have gained all her adult teeth. When the girl later came of age, she became pregnant; it was thought the child was King Xuan's, so she gave birth to it. But as she knew that she had become pregnant while still a virgin, she was afraid, and she abandoned the baby girl. The child was obtained by a peddlar of bows and clothing, who then fled to Bao. When the people of Bao later had an investigation, they sent the grown girl to King You of Zhou, and King Zhou took her for himself and made her his Empress. The young woman, Bao Si, gave birth to a son, Bofu. Bao Si wished to kill King You's Crown Prince and set Bofu in his place. The Crown Prince fled to Shen. The Marquis of Shen then allied with the Quanrong tribe to attack King You, and killed him below Mount Li."

Liu Yi quotes from the Yao Commentary on the First Ninth entry in the Qian chapter of the Book of Changes.)


2. During the Wei era, Chen Qun felt that the Ministry of Personnel could not properly assess the gentlemen of the realm, and this was why he created a new system. He ordered every commandary or fief to have a Rectifier appointed to it, and every province would have a Grand Rectifier. Each of these Rectifiers would recommend people from their own territories who would be suitable for holding government offices, and those possessing virtue and talent in abundance would be selected and sorted into nine ranks. Those who in word and deed acted properly would accordingly rise up, while those whose principles and virtues were insufficient would accordingly drop down. The Ministry of Personnel thus relied upon this Nine Rank system for the selection of officials. But over time, some of the Rectifiers failed to live up to the expected standards, and their degeneracy swelled by the day.

Liu Yi sent up a petition stating, "In our time, we have set up Rectifiers and established the Nine Ranks. But now, these examiners are acting arbitrarily. Honor or disgrace is in their hands, and they wield power and fortune over the people and their lords, wresting the authority of the celestial court for themselves. Publically, they shirk their duty of examining people; privately, they have no qualms in spreading talk of misdeeds. Their hearts require a hundred conditions, and their offices demand ten thousand requirements. The spirit of meekly giving ground is squelched, while common sorts of suits and debates are brought about. I believe they are a disgrace to the sagely court!

“In setting up these Rectifiers, eight harms to the principles of governance have been done. The strength or weakness of these men is not in accordance with their rise or decline; the same man's condition may change within the span of ten days. There are no men of common birth among the higher ranks, and no one from an influential clan is found among the lower ranks. This is the first harm.

“These Rectifiers have been set up over all the province, so that everyone within the province must heed the things which they say, and with a single word they can stifle dissent against them. So importance has been placed in the office itself and not in the man who holds it. This allows oppressive and disobedient talk to spread throughout the length of the province, and suspicions and hatreds are given ground to gather against great ministers. This is the second harm.

“The Rectifiers are allowed to use their own standards for sorting people into the Nine Ranks, so that they are able to claim who has talent and virtue, who is superior and who inferior, as the body has its head and its tail. But now the superior and inferior are easily exchanged places, so that the head and tail fall into error. This is the third harm.

“When Your Majesty rewards the good and punishes the evil, in all instances you resort to the law. But when it comes to these Rectifiers, they are given importance over the whole state, and there is no defense against their decisions of rewards or punishments, nor do their guards permit any appeal. Everyone must heed their decisions, and no one can turn aside in fear. Those whom their wickedness is inflicted upon nurse grudges against them and build up their resentments, but those above do not hear of it. This is the fourth harm.

“Among the gentlemen of a state, there are all sorts of men. Some leave to follow foreign neighboring states, and some arrive from foreign places. If, even when facing such people, one still does not even recognize them, how then can one determine their talents to the fullest? Yet whether the Rectifiers know things or do not know them, still they sort people into the ranks either way, selecting and raising people into government offices, and accepting slander as loose talk. These are already people in office who do not know what they are doing, and yet we are meant to accept their judgments concerning other people and follow them. This is the fifth harm.

“Whenever seeking men of talent, one wishes to find men who can manage the people. Yet some of those in office who set a good example in this regard are merely attached to the lowliest ranks, while those who have accomplished nothing while in office are given even higher positions. This is to restrain those who have real achievements while exalting those with empty reputations, to empower the ostentatious and demean those who have proven themselves with merit. This is the sixth harm.

“The people who are in office are not all the same sort of men; their abilities at managing affairs are not all the same. But now, people are assigned to their rank in the Nine Ranks without taking regard of the suitability of their talents. When the rank is assigned to suit the man, then sometimes those whose talents and abilities are insufficient are nevertheless given the highest ranks. If men were assigned to the rank suited to them, then they would receive only the rank they were fitted for and no further. But the current system accomplishes only empty talk and sets the ranks against one another. This is the seventh harm.

“Thanks to the Nine Ranks system, those below do not have their crimes exposed, while those above need not trouble themselves about good deeds. Each person follows their loves and their hates just as they are in their personal views, so that the people of the realm no longer hold themselves to moral conduct, but only consider the affairs of men. This is the eighth harm.

“From what I have discussed, you may see that the so-called Rectifiers are really defilers of the government, and the so-called Nine Ranks are more properly called the Eight Harms. From ancient times until now, what loss has been so great as the one caused by this system? Foolish as I am, I believe that the Rectifiers should be abolished and the Nine Ranks done away with. Cast out the misguided laws of the Wei government, and create a new and superior system for our time."

Sima Liang and Wei Guan also sent up a petition stating, "The Wei government was established following a long period of bloodshed and disorder, when people and gentlemen had moved all about and there could be no detailed examination into where they were. This was the reason for the establishment of the Nine Ranks system; it was only meant as a crude, temporary measure to suit the needs of the moment. But now, the Nine Regions are once again under the same rule, and the great transformation may begin. We believe that the old laws should now be swept away and done away with, and that using the current demarcations of territory, those from nobles and chief ministers on down may have the records of their residences be rectified, so that no one need be considered as residing in a guest county or have to dwell far away in strange lands. We advise that the whole system of the Nine Ranks be done away with. In raising up the good and advancing the talented, all should be done according to the judgments of those of the same county as the candidates. Then the greatest of them will exert themselves, and each one request for their own."

The Literary Scholar to the Prince of Shiping, Li Zhong of Jiangxia, also sent up a petition stating, "In order to do away with the Nine Ranks system, you should first permit the movement of peoples, listen to everyone set themselves where they will, and then you may truly implement the demarcation of territory."

Although Sima Yan approved of all these suggestions, in the end, he was unable to make the changes that they proposed.


(Chen Qun's establishment of the Nine Ranks system is mentioned in Book 69, in Emperor Wen of Cao-Wei's (Cao Pi's) first year of Huangchu (220.21 in Fang's Chronicles.).

Liu Yi claims that some of the people selected as Rectifiers were not suitable for their positions, because in public they did not examine people to see whether or not there was any truth to whether they had committed crimes or offenses, so men with hidden wickedness were selected, while in private they did not shy away from spreading talk to have men shunned.

Liu Yi uses the term 州都; he means the Rectifiers.

In discussing the different sorts of people, Liu Yi means that there are those who, having clothing and food, will not share it, while there are those who are guests in foreign countries who can obtain such things.

Liu Yi uses the term "white discussion". White is used in the sense of "basic" or "simple". To explain simple meals, believing that they are empty meals, is white discussion. In other words, empty talk.

The territory was to be divided up.

Ever since Cao-Wei, the princely fiefs had created the offices of Directing-Friend and Literary Scholar, each of which was one person.)


3. In winter, the twelfth month, on the day Gengwu (?), a general amnesty was declared.


4. In the intercalary month, Du Yu passed away. He was posthumously known as Marquis Cheng ("the Accomplished") of Dangyang.


5. During this year, the Xiongnu leader Hutai’ehou led his tribes from outside the borders of the realm to submit to Jin, 29,300 people in all. Sima Yan settled him within the realm at Xihe.


6. Ningzhou as a province was folded back into Yizhou. The post of Colonel of Southern Tribes was created in order to protect that region.


(The creation of Ningzhou is mentioned in Book 79, in the seventh year of Taishi (271.13).

Sima Guang's commentary in the Textual Analysis states, "The Geographical Records in the Book of Jin states, 'In the third year of Taikang (282), Ningzhou was abolished, and the post of Colonel of Southern Tribes was created.' But I follow the account of the Huayang Guozhi in placing the event in this year.")
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Unread postby Taishi Ci 2.0 » Wed Oct 04, 2017 3:01 am


The Sixth Year of Taikang (The Yisi Year, 285 AD)


1. In spring, the first month, Liu Yi resigned his post as Supervisor of the Left of the Masters of Writing. He soon passed away.


(Sima Guang's commentary in the Textual Analysis states, "The Annals of Jin states that Liu Yi's death took place in the tenth month of the seventh year of Taikang (286). But I follow the account of the Biography of Liu Yi in the Book of Jin.")


2. On the day Wuchen (March 2nd), Wang Hun was appointed as the new Supervisor of the Left of the Masters of Writing, and his son Wang Ji was restored to his post as Palace Attendant. Wang Hun was inappropriate in his handling of affairs; Wang Ji knew the law, and so kept his father in order.

Now Wang Ji had a cousin, Wang You, who had long been at odds with him. Because of that, Wang You slandered Wang Ji by saying that he was unable to handle his father. Sima Yan thus distanced himself from Wang Ji, and then blamed him for the matter and stripped him of office.

Wang Ji had a very extravagant disposition. Sima Yan spoke to the Palace Attendant He Jiao, and asked him, "I plan to censure Wang Ji, but then restore him to office later on. What do you think?"

He Jiao replied, "Wang Ji is a talented and straightforward man. I fear he will not bend to you."

Sima Yan summoned Wang Ji and rebuked him harshly, and having done so, he then demanded, "Have you no shame?"

Wang Ji retorted, "It is the 'song of a chi of cloth and a dou of grain' that has often brought shame upon Your Majesty. Other men can treat those that are close to them as though they were distant, but I could not treat someone close to me as anything less. This must be Your Majesty's shame."

Sima Yan was silent and could make no response.

This He Jiao was the grandson of He Qia.


(Wang Hun was inappropriate in his duties as overseer of the Masters of Writing.

The Palace Attendants directed the affairs of the lower offices, and this was why Wang Ji was in a position to keep his father in order.

Wang Ji made the implied accusation that Sima Yan himself had not been able to put up with his brother, Sima You. He makes the additional charge that Sima Yan could rebuke without hearing himself.

He Qia was a Han minister, mentioned in Book 66, in Emperor Xian of Han's fourteenth year of Jian'an (209.K in de Crespigny's To Establish Peace, where he is called He Xia).)


3. There was drought in Qingzhou, Lianzhou, Youzhou, and Jizhou.


4. In autumn, the eighth month, on the new moon of the day Bingxu (September 16th), there was an eclipse.


5. In winter, the twelfth month, on the day Gengzi (January 28th of 286), Wang Jun passed away. He was posthumously named Marquis Wu ("the Martial") of Xiangyang.


6. During this year, the Xianbei usurper Murong Shan was killed by his subordinates, and they welcomed the return of Murong Shegui's son Murong Hui and placed him in command.

The Murong clan had long been in contention with the rival Xianbei clan of the Yuwen. Murong Hui asked that he be allowed to campaign against the Yuwen, but the Jin court refused permission. Murong Hui was angry, so he invaded Liaoxi, and killed or captured a great number of people. Sima Yan sent the army of Youzhou to campaign against Murong Hui. They fought a battle at Feiru, where Murong Hui's army suffered a great defeat. From this time on, Murong Hui raided the borders of the realm every year.

Murong Hui also marched east and attacked the Buyeo state. The King of Buyeo, Lyeo (Lü), killed himself, while his sons and younger brothers all fled to seek refuge with the Okjeo state. Murong Hui ravaged the state and the cities of Buyeo, and drove away more than ten thousand people before returning.


(The Yuwen were also originally a branch of the Xianbei. Their ancestor was a chief called Puhui. While hunting, this Puhui discovered a treasure seal with three handles, and the seal said, "Seal of the Emperor". Puhui believed that this were a sign of Heaven's aid, and as the Xianbei commonly called the Son of Heaven "Yuwen", he took it as the name of his state, and eventually also of his people. Master He's Garden of Surnames states, "The Yuwen clan came from Emperor Yan. One of his descendants once had an achievement involving grass. The Xianbei called grass 'sifen', and so they called him Master Sifen. His descendants kept the name Sifen, but over time the pronunciation of the name became corrupted. They became Chanyus of the Xianbei."

Feiru County was part of Liaoxi commandary. Ying Shao remarked, "When Feizi fled to Yan, Yan gave him this place as a fief." Li Xian remarked, "Feiru is part of modern Pingzhou.")
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Unread postby Taishi Ci 2.0 » Wed Oct 04, 2017 3:03 am


The Seventh Year of Taikang (The Bingwu Year, 286 AD)


1. In spring, the first month, on the new moon of the day Jiayin (February 11th), there was an eclipse.

Wei Shu claimed illness and asked to resign his position on account of the eclipse, and relinquish his title as Baron of Juyang. In his conduct of affairs, Wei Shu would always act first and then report later. At the time when he resigned his office, no one knew about it. Wei Guan wrote to Wei Shu saying, "I had always wished to discuss this affair with you, but day by day the opportunity never came. One could say that 'I looked at you before me, and suddenly you seemed to be behind.'"


(Sima Guang's commentary in the Textual Analysis states, "When Wei Shu resigned his office, neither the Imperial Annals nor his Biography in the Book of Jin state which year or month it was in. The Biography of Wei Shu states, 'Wei Shu wished to resign his office on account of natural disasters, but Sima Yan would not hear of it. On the first day of the year, Wei Shu left the court and returned to his residence, writing a letter to return his seal and ribbons of office." The Biography further states, "At the time when he resigned his office, no one knew about it." Now if he resigned his office during this year, when there was an eclipse on the first day of the year, and did not return his seal and ribbons of office until the eclipse on the first day of the following year, it could not be said that 'no one knew about it'. So it must be because of this eclipse on the first day of the year that he left the court and resigned his office on account of the natural disaster, and there was no more to it than that."

Wei Guan's meaning was that he had also wished to resign his office, and wanted to discuss the matter with Wei Shu, but as one day passed to another, he never found the chance to speak of it to him.

Wei Guan quotes the words of Yan Yuan in the Analects (9.11).)


2. In summer, Murong Hui invaded Liaodong. The son of King Lyeo of Buyeo, Uina (Yilu), sought aid from Jin for help in restoring him to his old state, and he asked for help from the Colonel of Eastern Tribes, He Kan. He Kan sent the Protector Jia Chen to lead troops in support of Uina. Murong Hui sent his general Sun Ding to lead cavalry to intercept these troops along the road. Jia Chen fought well, killed Sun Ding, and restored Buyeo.


(The term 見人 means that Uina sought someone in order to present himself as being alive.

The Records of Jin states, "Emperor Wu (Sima Yan) created the posts of Colonel of Southern Man Tribes at Xiangyang, Colonel of Western Rong Tribes at Chang'an, and Colonel of Southern Tribes at Ningzhou. The post of Colonel of Eastern Tribes, also created by Sima Yan, was based at Liaodong."

During Cao-Wei and Jin, the border command posts each created the offices of Protector and of Director of Soldiers.)


3. In autumn, the Xiongnu leaders Hududabo and Weise Hu each led their tribes to visit Yongzhou and submit to Jin, more than a hundred thousand people in all.


(Yang Zhengheng remarked, "In this name, 莎 is pronounced "se (s-e)". According to the Book of Jin, this Weise Hu was of the Northern Di branch, which was also a kind of Xiongnu. Du You remarked, "In the History of Jin it states, 'The Northern Di barbarians each had their various kinds of tribes and branches. Of those that dwelt within the borders of the realm, there were the Tuge, the Weise, the Qiangqu, the Helai, and others.")


4. In the ninth month, on the day Wuyin (November 2nd), Sima Jun passed away. He was posthumously known as Prince Wu ("the Martial") of Fufeng.


5. In winter, the eleventh month, on the day Renzi (December 6th), the Prince of Longxi, Sima Tai, was appointed as Commander of military affairs in Guanzhong. This Sima Tai was the son of Sima Yi's younger brother Sima Kui.


(The given name of this younger brother of Sima Yi, 馗, is pronounced "kui (q-ui)".)


6. During this year, the Xianbei leader Tuoba Xilu passed away. His younger brother Tuoba Chuo succeeded him.


(The 鹿 Lu in Tuoba Xilu's name was also written as 祿 Lu.

Ever since the Taishi era (~265), the Murong and Tuoba clans of the Xianbei had been growing stronger by the day. This is why the history now includes the records of their successions.)
Last edited by Taishi Ci 2.0 on Wed Oct 04, 2017 6:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread postby Taishi Ci 2.0 » Wed Oct 04, 2017 3:04 am


The Eighth Year of Taikang (The Dingwei Year, 287 AD)


1. In spring, the first month, on the new moon of the day Wushen (January 31st), there was an eclipse.


2. The hall of the Ancestral Temple collapsed. In autumn, the ninth month, the Ancestral Temple was restored. Sixty thousand people were involved in the construction.


(Some versions include that it was during "autumn".)


3. During this year, the Xiongnu Commanders Dadoude, Yiyuju and others led their tribes to come submit to Jin, 11,500 people in all.


(Cao-Wei had divided the Southern Xiongnu into the Five Divisions. But since the previous year until now, more than a hundred thousand further Xiongnu had come to submit to Jin. The history does not mention which place they came from, but these must have come from outside the borders of the realm, so they must have been a branch of the Northern Xiongnu.)
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Unread postby Taishi Ci 2.0 » Wed Oct 04, 2017 3:05 am


The Ninth Year of Taikang (The Wushen Year, 288 AD)


1. In spring, the first month, on the new moon of the day Renshen (February 19th), there was an eclipse.


(There had now been three successive years of an eclipse on the first day of the year. Sima Yan soon passed away, and then Jin was thrown into great turmoil. Heaven was displaying its admonishment, and so made it very clear.)


2. In summer, the sixth month, on the new moon of the day Gengzi (July 16th), there was an eclipse.


3. There was a great drought in thirty-three commandaries and fiefs.


4. In autumn, the eighth month, on the day Renzi (September 26th), stars fell like rain.


5. The earth shook.
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