ZZTJ Translations: Western Jin (Book 79-86)

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Re: BOOK 82

Unread postby Fornadan » Wed Nov 08, 2017 9:26 pm

Taishi Ci 2.0 wrote:〈解,戶買翻,姓也。春秋晉有大夫解揚。〉〈撓,攪也,擾也。〉〈張華使梁王肜殺秀而不遂,旣至洛陽,獨不能明正其罪而誅之邪!〉〈爲倫、秀殺華、頠、系張本。〉

(解, pronounced "hai (h-ai)", is a surname. There was a great minister of the state of Jin during the Spring and Autumn era named Hai Yang.

Hmm, this seems to be actually rather tricky.

Dictionaries list three different Modern Mandarin pronounciations for 解: jiě - jiè - xiè
According to zdic.net when used as a family name, 解 should be pronounced Xiè (same as hexagram 40)


But then we have Hu Sanxing's claim that it should be pronounced 戶買
With Modern Mandarin pronounciation this becomes hù 戶 + mǎi 買 = hǎi - which is not in the dictionaries

But looking at the reconstructed Middle Chinese (MC) I find the following

解 heaX
戶 huX
買 meaX
huX + meaX = heaX

So it seems in Hu Sanxing's days, 解 was indeed pronounced 戶+買, but due to later sound changes this is no longer the case
(Compare 海 pinyin: hǎi MC: xojX)
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Re: ZZTJ Translations: Western Jin (Book 79-83-??)

Unread postby Taishi Ci 2.0 » Wed Nov 08, 2017 10:12 pm

Yes, that's a surname that I was hesitant about parsing as "Hai". Hu Sanxing's note does seem to say h-ai rather clearly. But I could certainly be persuaded to go with Xie instead. HSX has a few such pronunciation notes that I am not sure which way to come down on.
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Re: ZZTJ Translations: Western Jin (Book 79-83-??)

Unread postby Fornadan » Sun Nov 12, 2017 10:36 pm

Taishi Ci 2.0 wrote:Yes, that's a surname that I was hesitant about parsing as "Hai". Hu Sanxing's note does seem to say h-ai rather clearly. But I could certainly be persuaded to go with Xie instead. HSX has a few such pronunciation notes that I am not sure which way to come down on.

Strictly speaking, he says the pronounciation is 戶買 which in his time was not quite "hai"
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Re: ZZTJ Translations: Western Jin (Book 79-83-??)

Unread postby DragonAtma » Mon Nov 13, 2017 12:31 am

KMA standard is Xie. http://kongming.net/encyclopedia/Xie-Piao

...in addition, if you go with "Hai" then every time I see that I'll think of "Zhai Rong", which really should be Ze Rong. >_>
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Unread postby Taishi Ci 2.0 » Mon Nov 13, 2017 3:23 am


The First Year of Yongning (The Xinyou Year, 301 AD)


(This year began as the second year of Yongkang. In the first month, on the day Yichou (February 3rd), Sima Lun changed the reign era title to the first year of Jianshi. In the fourth month, after Emperor Hui was restored to the throne, the reign era title was changed again, this time to the first year of Yongning.)


1. In spring, the first month, the Cavalier In Regular Attendance, Zhang Gui of Anding, was appointed as Inspector of Liangzhou. Zhang Gui could see that the era he was living in was beset by many difficulties, and he also had the secret ambition to hold and possess the territories west of the Yellow River for himself. This was why he sought the command of Liangzhou.

During this time, Liangzhou was plagued by robbers and bandits across the whole region, not to mention raids by the Xianbei. When Zhang Gui arrived, he appointed Song Pei and Fan Yuan as his chief advisors, and he swept through all the province, campaigning against and smashing all of the bandits and invaders. So Zhang Gui's power was felt throughout the west.


(Yang Zhengheng remarked, "氾 Fan is a surname."

Thus began the Zhang clan's long control of the territory of Liangzhou (as the de facto state of Former Liang).

Alas! In ages of turmoil, how often do men seek distant posts to preserve themselves. And yet, how often do they seek such things without being able to save themselves. If we consider Dou Rong of the Han era and Zhang Gui in this era, both of them asked to be assigned to Liangzhou, and they were examples of men who successfully maintained themselves during turmoil. On the other hand, if we consider Xie Hui or Yuan Kai of the Liu-Song era, they asked to garrison Jingzhou and Xiangyang, and they were examples of men who could not maintain themselves. This was because of the differences in their intentions. From beginning to end and with full hearts, Dou Rong and Zhang Gui sought to uphold their loyalty to Han and to Jin. Thanks to that, not only did they have lasting good fortune for themselves, but were even able to hand it down to their children and grandchildren. Meanwhile, Xie Hui and Yuan Kai sought their posts only because they wanted to occupy defensible terrain in order to protect themselves; their motives were base, and so Heaven was not with them. It was the same thing at the end of Han, when Liu Yan sought to govern Yizhou and Yuan Shao plotted to take Jizhou, and also during the turmoil after the end of Tang, when Shi Jingtong wished to have Hedong for himself. In all of these cases, their hidden plans went against the hopes of the times. Whether their ultimate defeats came swiftly or slowly, they were all men without intelligence or consideration.)


2. The Chancellor of State, Sima Lun, and his counselor Sun Xiu arranged for the General of the Standard, Zhao Feng, to forge a report recording Emperor Xuan's (Sima Yi's) spirit saying, "Sima Lun should enter the Western Palace at once."

The Cavalier In Regular Attendance and Prince of Yiyang, Sima Wey, was the grandson of Sima Wang. He had long curried favor with Sima Lun, so Sima Lun now appointed him as Palace Attendant and sent him to take away Emperor Hui's seals and ribbons by force. Sima Wey also composed an edict of abdication.

Sima Lun also had the Prefect of the Masters of Writing, Man Fen, grasp the Staff of Authority as he presented the seals and ribbons to Sima Lun as tokens of Emperor Hui's abdication to him.

The Guard General of the Left, Wang Yu, the General of the Forward Army, Sima Ya, and others led armored soldiers into the palace hall. They issued instructions to the Marshals of the Three Divisions, speaking of their might and of rewards, so that there was no one who dared to go against them. Zhang Lin and others posted their soldiers to guard the various palace gates.

On the day Yichou (February 3rd), Sima Lun prepared an imperial carriage to bring him into the Western Palace, where he officially assumed the imperial throne. He issued an amnesty throughout the realm, and changed the reign era title to the first year of Jianshi.

Emperor Hui was led out through the western gate of the Hualin Garden and taken to the Jinyong fortress to reside there. Sima Lun sent Zhang Heng with soldiers to keep watch over him.


(Sima Yi had been posthumously honored as Emperor Xuan by Sima Yan. At this time, Sima Lun was residing in the Chancellor of State's office in the Crown Prince's Eastern Palace, and the supposed remark was stating that he should now move his residence to the Western Palace, where Emperor Hui himself lived.

Zhang Lin's soldiers were guarding the gates of the palace walls.

Sima Guang's commentary in the Textual Analysis states, "The Annals of the Thirty Kingdoms states, 'When Sima Lun was about to usurp the throne, Sima Wey was holding the edict of abdication, and he showed it to Ji Shao. He said to Ji Shao, "Might His Majesty not follow the example of Emperors Yao and Shun by abdicating? What say you?" Ji Shao sternly replied, "Even if I die, I will never recognize another as Emperor!" Sima Wey, furious, drew his sword and stalked off. When Emperor Hui was sent to the Jinyong fortress, Ji Shao was the only one to maintain his stance and refused to go along with Sima Lun. He went straight to the Jinyong fortress, and would not have any dealings with Sima Lun. The people of that time were all afraid for him.' However, Ji Shao's entry in the Loyal and Virtuous People section of the Book of Jin states, 'When Sima Lun usurped the throne, Ji Shao was appointed as Palace Attendant. After Emperor Hui was restored to his fortunes, Ji Shao kept this office.' Since these two accounts conflict, I chose not to include either. The Book of Jin's account says that Emperor Hui was 'restored to his fortunes', but it should say he was restored to 'the eastern steps (of the palace)'."

The “west gate of Hualin” was the west gate of the Hualin Garden.)


3. On the day Bingyin (February 4th), Sima Lun honored Emperor Hui as the Grand Retired Emperor, and he changed the name of the Jinyong fortress to Yongchang Palace. He deposed the Crown Grandson, Sima Zang, as Prince of Puyang. Sima Lun appointed his own eldest son, Sima Fu, as the new Crown Prince. For his other sons, he appointed Sima Fuu as Prince of Jingzhao, Sima Qian as Prince of Guangping, and Sima Xu as Prince of Bacheng. All of them were also appointed as Palace Attendants and given command of soldiers.

The Prince of Lian, Sima Rong, was appointed as Grand Chancellor. He Shao was appointed as Grand Governor. Sun Xiu was appointed as Palace Attendant, Chief of the Palace Secretariat, and General of Agile Cavalry, with equal authority to the Three Excellencies. Sima Wey was appointed as Prefect of the Palace Secretariat. Zhang Lin was appointed as Guard General. The rest of Sima Lun's partisans and associates were all appointed to the various offices of the Nine Ministers and the Generals of the Household Gentlemen.

Everyone advanced in rank, regardless of any records of merits; even the servants and privates were moved up in rank. Whenever court was held, the air was filled with the sable tails and cicada ornaments on the ministers' caps. People of that time came up with the proverb, "Just a sable will not do; dog's tail should be added too."

During this year, everyone who was nominated as Worthy and Excellent, Abundant Talent, or Filial and Incorrupt were all given office without being examined first. Accounting Clerks in the commandaries and princely fiefs and students at the Imperial Academy who were sixteen or older were all immediately placed in low-level offices. Anyone who was serving as an Administrator or a Prefect on the day when the amnesty was issued was granted noble title as a Marquis. Commandary subordinate officials were all named as Filial and Incorrupt, and county subordinate officials were all given special nominations as well.

So many people were appointed to offices at once that the government supplies were insufficient to give all of them their tokens of office. And many of those appointed as Marquis were not even given carved seals; some were merely given blank slates.


(The passage says that Sima Lun's partisans were appointed as "ministers and generals"; it means as ministers of the Nine Ministers ranks and as Generals of the Household Gentlemen.

The various military officials all wore the military hat, also called the military cap. Palace Attendants and Regular Attendants wore golden rings. The rings had cicadas attached as ornamentation, with sable tails for decoration. People called these hats "the civil caps of Zhao and Hui (Sima Lun and Emperor Hui)". Hu Guang remarked, "When King Ling of Zhao instituted the 'barbarian attire' for his court, the attire had metal rings as decoration for the head, with sable tails hanging from the front; these served as markers of holders of high office. After the state of Qin vanquished the state of Zhao, Qin bestowed these caps to their close ministers." Ying Shao's Han Offices states, "It is said that metal is firm and unyielding, and can be smelted a hundred times without being consumed. And the cicada is a creature that dwells in high places and drinks cleanly, with its mouth under its armpit. The sable is strong and durable within while being soft and smooth without, and so it is a thing that births righteousness." Xu Guang remarked, "When King Ling of Zhao instituted the barbarian attire, this was a part of it, and so Qin and Han kept it. It is said that the cicada drinks its dew while being on a clear and high place, though it does not eat. As for the sable, its dark coat is luxuriant and highly prized, yet its hair does not stand out conspicuously, so it obtains righteousness." Hu Guang also remarked, "Because the north is a cold and chilly place, originally the skin of the sable was used to warm the forehead, so it was attached to the cap as an ornament. From that, it became a general head decoration." Shen Yue remarked, "It is claimed that the sable and the cicada were chosen because they are things that birth righteousness, but this is not the case. The truth is that they appeared when King Ling of Zhao instituted the barbarian attire in his court. When Qin vanquished Zhao, their lord gave these caps to his close ministers. This was why, all through Qin and Han, the close ministers of the palace had these sables and cicadas as decorations."

The Records of the Grand Historian states, "Even if a fox coat has become worn and ragged, one cannot patch it up with the skin of a yellow dog." The ditty mentioned in this passage has the same meaning.

"A dog's tail joined to sable" is an idiom similar to the English idiom "gilding the lily".

Under the old system, those nominated as Worthy and Excellent, Abundant Talent, or Filial and Incorrupt were first examined before being appointed to office.

The "commandary subordinate officials" were the Merit Evaluators and those on down; the "county subordinate officials" were the Registrars, Ministers of Affairs, and those on down. The term 廉吏 used here means such people were also selected and raised up.

The purpose of this passage was to show how Sima Lun and Sun Xiu were bestowing excessive favors on every side in order to win people over to them.)


4. The General Who Pacifies The South, Sun Qi, had a son, Sun Bi, and three nephews, Sun Mao, Sun Fu, and Sun Yan. Up until this time, all of these young men had been closely attached to Sun Xiu, and since they were all of the same clan, the young men had all obtained conspicuous offices within the space of a month. After Sima Lun usurped the throne, these four young men were all appointed as generals and named as Marquises over commandaries. Sun Bi was appointed as General of Chariots and Cavalry and granted the privilege of opening a Separate Office.

Sun Qi worried that in accepting these ranks and titles from Sima Lun, Sun Bi and the others had gone too far, and they would certainly bring ruin upon their family. He sent his youngest son Sun Huy to rebuke them, but Sun Qi and the others would not listen. Sun Qi could not control them, but he did no more than wail in grief.


(According to the Book of Jin, these four sons and nephews of Sun Qi all had great ministerial talents of that age. They attached themselves to a villain, and went so far as to bring ruin upon their clan; that is the difficulty that comes when one chooses which branch to perch on. However, Sun Qi was certainly already friendly with Sun Xiu before this, and this was why these young men also found favor with him. When Sun Qi did not carefully consider his own relationships, how could he have expected to give such orders to his younger relatives? Though he wailed with grief, it did him no good. He brought this on himself.)


5. On the day Guiyou (February 11th), Sima Zang was killed. He was posthumously known as Prince Ai ("the Mourned") of Puyang.


6. Sun Xiu monopolized full control of court and state affairs. Whenever Sima Lun sent out an edict, Sun Xiu would take it first and then rewrite the edict however he liked on his own edict paper. He would sometimes shuffle the court overnight, changing out the court ministers as easily as flowing water.

Zhang Lin had long been on bad terms with Sun Xiu, and he was especially resentful that he had not been given the privilege of a Separate Office. He secretly sent a letter to Crown Prince Sima Fu, which said, "Sun Xiu has sole control over everything and does not act in accordance with what everyone believes. Furthermore, he gives merit and office to mere miscreants, and he causes disturbances and confusion within the court. He ought to be executed." Sima Fu showed his father the letter, and Sima Lun showed it to Sun Xiu. Sun Xiu urged Sima Lun to arrest Zhang Lin and execute him, along with his family to the third degree.

Sun Xiu was anxious about some of the other Princes. The Prince of Qi, Sima Jiong, the Prince of Chengdu, Sima Ying, and the Prince of Hejian, Sima Yong, each had powerful soldiers under their command and occupied strategic locations. So Sun Xiu sent his own close partisans out to serve as advisors under the three princes. He also promoted Sima Jiong as Grand General Who Guards The East and Sima Ying as Grand General Who Conquers The North, and gave them both the privilege of Separate Offices with equal authority to the Three Excellencies, in order to mollify and appease them.


(At this time, Sima Jiong was posted at Xuchang, Sima Ying was at Ye, and Sima Yong was in Guanzhong.)


6. Among the rebels in the Shu region, the Di leader Li Xian had won over many people to his side through his conspicuous bravery. The leader of the rebellion, Zhao Xin, had started to become suspicious of him, but had yet to actually express such sentiments.

Zhao Xin's Chief Clerks, Du Shu of Shu commandary and Zhang Can, warned him, "General, when you first rose up, the soldiers were all with you. But now you have sent this Li Xian away to take hold of powerful soldiers for himself. Do not forget the saying: 'if he be not of our kin, he is sure to have a different mind'. He is the kind of man who will turn on you. You ought to be rid of him at once."

And soon, Li Xian urged Zhao Xin to assume imperial title. Du Shu and Zhang Can said this was only further proof of his ill-intent and lack of principles. So Zhao Xin lured Li Xian in and then killed him, along with his sons and nephews, more than ten people.

At this time, Li Xian's brothers Li Te and Li Liu were both away with their soldiers. Zhao Xin sent men to console and soothe them, saying, "Li Xian was presumptuous and spoke out of turn, and his crime was worthy of death. But his crime does not extend to his brothers."

Zhao Xin meant to keep Li Te and Li Liu on as local commanders. But the two of them were furious with Zhao Xin, and they led their soldiers back to Mianzhu.


(Li Xian had been "sent away" in that Zhao Xin had sent him out to recruit brave men and to cut off the northern roads out of the Shu region.

Sima Guang's commentary in the Textual Analysis states, "The Biography of Li Te in the Chronicles of the Book of Jin states, 'Li Xian was killed, along with his sons and nephews, more than thirty men of his clan.' But I follow the account of the Huayang Guozhi. However, that text states that Li Xian died in the winter of the previous year (300), while the Annals of Jin states that it was in the spring of this year (301). In that case, I follow the Annals of Jin.")


7. Zhao Xin's General of the Standard, Xu Yan of Fuling, asked to be appointed as Chief General of Badong. Du Shu and Zhang Can stubbornly refused him. In a fit of rage, Xu Yan killed Du Shu and Zhang Can beneath Zhao Xin's pavilion, but was then killed by their attendants in turn. These three men had been Zhao Xin's most trusted officers, and with their deaths, Zhao Xin's cause began to decline.


(During Han, Fuling County had been part of Ba commandary. Shu-Han had split it off as Fuling commandary.

Since his most trusted officers had died, Zhao Xin no longer had anyone whom he could rely upon, and so his power began to wane.)


8. Zhao Xin sent his Chief Clerk, Fei Yuan of Jianwei, the Administrator of Shu commandary, Li Bi, and his Protector, Chang Jun, to lead more than ten thousand soldiers to block the northern roads, and they camped at Shiting in Mianzhu. Li Te secretly gathered an army of more than seven thousand soldiers, and he raided their camp at night, setting fire to it. Eight or nine of every ten soldiers died.

Li Te then advanced to attack Chengdu. Fei Yuan, Li Bi, and the Army Libationer (or, Army-Consultant Libationer), Zhang Wei, cut their way out of the city gates during the night and fled, and the civil and military officials all scattered. Zhao Xin was left alone with his wife and children. They got into a small boat and fled, but when they reached Guangdu, they were killed by their followers.

Li Te entered Chengdu, letting his soldiers loose to sack the city. He sent word to Luoyang, detailing the crimes Zhao Xin had committed.


(Li Bi's given name 苾 is pronounced "pi (p-i)".

During Han, Mianzhu County was part of Guanghan commandary. During Jin, it was part of Xindu commandary. During Tang, it was part of Hanzhou.

Some versions add that Zhang Wei was "Army-Consultant Libationer".

Some versions say that Zhao Xin was left with his wife "and children".)


9. During the course of the rebellion, the Inspector of Lianzhou had been Luo Shang. When he had first heard that Zhao Xin had rebelled, he sent a petition to the court stating, "Zhao Xin is not a valiant or talented man, and the people of Shu will not side with him. You will hear of his defeat within a matter of days."

The court appointed Luo Shang as General Who Pacifies The West and as the new Inspector of Yizhou. The General of the Standard, Wang Dao, the Administrator of Shu commandary, Xu Jian, the Administrator of Guanghan, Xin Ran, and others were all placed under Luo Shang's command, and he entered Shu at the head of more than seven thousand soldiers.

When Li Te heard that Luo Shang was coming, he was very afraid. He sent his younger brother Li Xiang to offer welcome to Luo Shang along the road, presenting him with fine treasures as tribute. Luo Shang was pleased, and he kept Li Xiang with him as a Cavalry Commander. Li Te and Li Liu also treated Luo Shang with oxen and wine at Mianzhu.

Wang Dao and Xin Ran warned Luo Shang, "Li Te and his ilk are nothing more than bandits. You ought to gather them all up and behead them. Otherwise, they will pose a threat to you someday."

But Luo Shang did not listen to them.

Xin Ran had a long history with Li Te, and he told Li Te, "When old friends happen to meet one another, it is not a blessing, but a curse." So Li Te began to be very fearful and suspicious for himself.


(The Wang Dao mentioned here was a different Wang Dao from the more famous one.

A Cavalry Commander commanded cavalry soldiers.)


10. In the third month, Luo Shang arrived at Chengdu.

The Qiang tribes of Wenshan rebelled. Luo Shang sent Wang Dao to campaign against them, but Wang Dao was killed by the Qiang.


(汶 is pronounced "min".

Sima Guang's commentary in the Textual Analysis states, "The Annals of Emperor Hui in the Book of Jin states that this campaign against the Qiang took place in the eighth month. But I suspect that was merely when Luoyang first learned of these events. So I follow the account of the Huayang Guozhi.")


11. Sima Jiong was planning to act against Sima Lun, but he had not yet launched his plot.

Before he could act, the Prince of Lihu, Sima Sheng, and Chu Mu of Yingchuan (or, Wang Chumu of Yingchuan) gathered a body of soldiers at Zhuo Marsh. The common people flocked to them, and in the space of a day they had more than ten thousand people. Sima Lun sent his general Guan Xi to serve as Sima Jiong's Army-Marshal, and Guan Xi marched against Sima Sheng and Chu Mu and beheaded them. Because of that, Sima Jiong arrested Guan Xi and killed him.

Sima Jiong then had his own soldiers rise up, along with the Inspector of Yuzhou, He Xu, the Dragon-Soaring General, Dong Ai, and others. He sent word around to inform the others of his plot: Sima Ying, Sima Yong, the Prince of Changshan, Sima Ai, and the General of the Household Gentlemen of the South and Duke of Xinye, Sima Xin.

Sima Jiong sent out a proclamation of his intentions to every general or minister, to all the Generals Who Conquer, Generals Who Guard, Inspectors, Administrators, Prefects, and Interior Ministers. His proclamation stated, "The disobedient minister Sun Xiu has befuddled and misled the Prince of Zhao, and I mean to punish them both. Whoever does not heed this order will have their families executed to the third degree."


(During Former Han, Lihu County was part of Dong commandary. During Later Han and Jin, it was part of Jiyin commandary. In Tang's first year of Tianbao (742), its name was changed to Nanhua County, as part of Yunzhou.

Regarding Chu Mu, the Book of Jin records him as "Wang Chumu of Yingchuan". And some versions of ZZTJ also include the word "Wang" here.

Zhuo Marsh was in Zhangshe Marsh in Yingchuan.

Sima Guang's commentary in the Textual Analysis states, "The Biography of Sima Jiong in the Book of Jin states, 'Sima Jiong was planning to rise in rebellion together with Sima Sheng and Chu Mu to campaign against Sima Lun. As he had not acted upon his intentions yet, he feared that his plot would leak out, so he assisted Guan Xi in killing Chu Mu, and sent his head to Sima Lun, in order to reassure him.' But I follow the account of the Annals of the Thirty Kingdoms."

The Records of Jin states, "The Generals of the Household Gentlemen of the Four Directions were all created during Later Han. From the time of Sima Yan onwards, some of these generals also acted as Inspectors, and some also had authority as Credential Bearers."

Sima Xin was the son of the Prince of Fufeng, Sima Jun.

The Generals Who Conquer and Generals Who Guard all occupied strategic locations.)


12. When Sima Jiong's messenger reached Ye, Sima Ying summoned the Prefect of Ye, Lu Zhi, to plot strategy with him. Lu Zhi said, "The Prince of Zhao is a usurper and a traitor, and men and spirits are both moved to indignation by him. Your Highness should gather up talented heros and fulfill the hopes of the people. Demonstrate your great obedience by joining in this campaign, and the common people will come to you without you even needing to summon them. Push up your sleeves and advance to the fight, and there is nothing you will not overcome."

Sima Ying heeded his advice, and he appointed Lu Zhi as his Consultant Advisor, as well as his Chief Clerk of the Left. This Lu Zhi was the grandson of Lu Yu.

Sima Ying appointed several people to serve as officers in his vanguard: the Inspector of Yanzhou, Wang Yan, the Inspector of Jizhou, Li Yi, the Protector, Zhao Xiang, Shi Chao, and others. Everyone, near and far, responded to his call. By the time Sima Ying's army reached Zhaoge, he had a host of more than two hundred thousand. This Shi Chao was the grandson of Shi Bao.


(The term 蔑 here means "nothing".

The position of Consultant Advisor was created for the noble households of Jin. It handled the business of detailed consultation on matters of strategy and army affairs, and was superior to ordinary Army Advisors.

Lu Yu was a Cao-Wei minister, mentioned in Book 73, in Emperor Ming of Cao-Wei's (Cao Rui's) first year of Jingchu (237.29 in Fang's Chronicles).

During Former Han, Zhaoge County was part of Henei commandary. During Jin, it was split off as part of Ji commandary. In Sui's second year of Daye (606), Zhaoge County was changed to Wei County, as part of Weizhou. King Zhou of Shang's capital, the city Zhaoge, was in the west of the county.

Shi Bao was a general who had served under Sima Zhao and Sima Yan, who gained great merit under their commands.)


13. Sima Ai was at his princely fief in Changshan. He and the Interior Minister of Taiyuan, Liu Tun, each led their soldiers to follow behind Sima Ying's army.


14. When Sima Xin received Sima Jiong's proclamation, he did not know whether he should respond to the call or not. His close companion Wang Sui said to him, "The Prince of Zhao is your close relative and strong besides, while the Prince of Qi is distant to you and also weak. You ought to support the Prince of Zhao."

But the Army Advisor, Sun Xun, shouted to all the people there, "The Prince of Zhao is a wicked traitor, and all the realm is coming together to punish him! How can you talk of things like your closeness and distance or their weakness and strength?"

So Sima Xun decided to support Sima Jiong.


(Sima Xin's father was Sima Jun, and both he and Sima Lun were sons of Sima Yi, so Sima Lun was Sima Xin's uncle; thus they were close relatives. Sima Jiong was Sima Xin's nephew, and as a lower generation, he was more distant than Sima Lun.)


15. The former Army Advisor to the General Who Maintains The West, Xiahou Shi, was at Shiping, where he gathered a host of several thousand men to aid Sima Jiong. He sent word to seek assistance from Sima Yong. Following the advice of his Chief Clerk, Li Han of Longxi, Sima Yong sent the General Who 振武, Zhang Fang of Hejian, to march against Xiahou Shi and his followers. Zhang Fang captured them and cut them in half at the waist.

When Sima Jiong's proclamation arrived, Sima Yong arrested Sima Jiong's messenger and sent him to Sima Lun, and he dispatched Zhang Fang to lead his soldiers to come to Sima Lun's aid. But by the time that Zhang Fang reached Hualin, Sima Yong heard that the armies of the other two princes were very extensive, so he ordered Zhang Fang to return, and to switch sides to support them instead.


(Some versions specify that Li Han was "of Longxi".

Shen Yue's Annotations states, "General Who 振武 was an office first created during the last years of Former Han, when Wang Mang appointed Wang Kuang to the office.”

The two princes mentioned are Sima Jiong and Sima Ying.)


16. When Sima Jiong's proclamation reached Yangzhou, the people of that province all wanted to support Sima Jiong. The Inspector, Chi Long, was the great-great grandson of Chi Lü. His sons and his nephew Chi Jian were all at Luoyang, so he could not make up his mind what to do. He summoned all of his officials in order to discuss with them.

His Registrar, Zhao You of Huainan, and the former Abundant Talent nominee Yu Tan both said to him, "The Prince of Zhao is a usurper and a traitor, a plague upon all within the seas. Even now, soldiers are rising up for righteousness on every side, and he is certain to be defeated. If we may offer our strategies for you, the best plan would be to personally lead your best soldiers and meet up with the other loyalists at Xuchang. The next best would be to send another general to lead the men in your place. If you were to just send a small army, to assist in following up on the victory, that would be the third-best plan."

Chi Long withdrew from the discussion, and had a close talk with his Attendant Officer With Separate Carriage, Gu Yan. Gu Yan said to him, "The least plan that they suggested to you is the one that I advise."

The 治中, Liu Bao, the Registrar, Zhang Bao, and the Western Manager, Liu Cheng, heard of this, and they asked to see Chi Long, telling him, "May we know which plan you intend to follow?"

Chi Long replied, "I have received favor from the two Emperors, and I cannot throw my support behind either side. I will defend my province, and do no more."

Liu Cheng said, "The realm is the one that has been handed down to us from Shizu (Sima Zhao). The Retired Emperor inherited the throne and has held it for a long time, while the one who is on the throne now has taken it and treated him unjustly. Now the Prince of Qi, acting obediently to the demands of the time, has already acted, and the outcome of this struggle is obvious. Yet rather than lead your soldiers at once to assist him, you would linger here and delay action. When further difficulties arise, how will you be able to defend the province?"

But Chi Long would not listen. This Yu Tan was the grandson of Yu Fan.

Chi Long held onto Sima Jiong's proclamation for six days without distributing it, and his generals became indignant and angry at him. The Army Advisor Wang Sui was garrisoned at the Shitou fortress, and the generals and soldiers of the province strove to flock to him instead. Chi Long sent his Attendant Officers to Niuzhu to forbid these things, but he could not stop them. The generals and soldiers supported Wang Sui and attacked Chi Long. Chi Long, his son, and Gu Yan all died, and their heads were sent to Sima Jiong.


(Chi Long's surname 郗 is pronounced "chi (c-hi)". Chi Lü was an Imperial Counselor during the time of Emperor Xian of Han.

At this time, Sima Jiong was garrisoning Xuchang.

Chi Long speaks of the "two Emperors". He meant Emperors Xuan and Wu (Sima Yi and Sima Yan). Some say that he meant Emperor Hui and Sima Lun, but this is not so.

Sima Zhao's temple name was Shizu. He had pacified the rebel Zhuge Dan and conquered Shu-Han, and been the first to establish the enterprise of Jin.

"Retired Emperor" was what Emperor Hui was called at this time. "The one on the throne" was Sima Lun.

Liu Cheng was saying that since Sima Jiong had started to act, he would certainly be successful, while Sima Lun would certainly be defeated.

Yu Fan had served Sun Quan of Eastern Wu, and was a blunt talker.

Chi Long would not distribute Sima Jiong's proclamation through the province.

After the conquest of Eastern Wu, the administrative center of Yangzhou was moved to Moling (Jianye). Yet Chi Long was attempting to stop the generals and soldiers at Niuzhu from going to the Shitou fortress there. I, Hu Sanxing, suspect that at this time, the administrative center had returned to Huainan again.)


17. The General Who Maintains The South and Chief of military affairs in Mianbei, Meng Guan, observed the stars. He saw that there was no further change in the Imperial Seat part of the Purple Palace section of the night sky, so he felt that Sima Lun would certainly not be defeated. So he did no more than defend his own territory.


(The Records of Jin states, "The five stars of the Northern Pole constellation and the six stars of the Curved Array constellation are both in the Purple Palace section of the heavens. One of the stars in the Curved Array constellation is called the Heavenly Emperor and Grand Sovereign. Above this star are nine stars called the Splendid Canopy, which shelters the seat of the Grand Sovereign."

Meng Guan consulted the shape of the heavens, but he did not look into the affairs of men. This was why he died.)


18. When Sima Lun and Sun Xiu heard that the three Princes had risen up against them, they were very afraid. They forged a petition supposedly from Sima Jiong, which stated, "Through unknown means, bandits have suddenly appeared to attack and surround me. I am too weak to oppose them myself, so I beg to see the Central Army come to my relief, in order that I might escape death."

After showing off this petition near and far, they dispatched several armies to face the Princes. They sent the General of the Superior Army, Sun Fu, and the General Who Breaks And Charges, Li Yan, to march out through Yanshou Pass with seven thousand soldiers. They sent the General Who Conquers The Caitiffs, Zhang Hong, the General of the Left Army, Cai Huang, and the General of the Forward Army, Lü He, to march out through Eban Pass with nine thousand soldiers. And they sent the General Who Guards The Army, Sima Ya, and the General Who Displays Might, Mo Yuan, to march out through Chenggao Pass with eight thousand soldiers. All of these armies were marching to oppose Sima Jiong's army.

Meanwhile, they sent Sun Xiu's son Sun Hui, along with the generals Shi Yi and Xu Chao, to lead thirty thousand soldiers from the household guards in three columns to oppose Sima Ying's army. They summoned the Prince of Dongping, Sima Mao, to act as overall commander over these armies. They also sent the Princes of Jingzho and Guangping, Sima Lun's sons Sima Fuu and Sima Qian, to lead eight thousand soldiers as a reserve force for these three armies.

Sima Lun and Sun Xiu prayed day and night, earnestly hoping to receive blessings, and they had shamans select an auspicious day to fight a battle. They also sent men to Mount Song wearing feathered clothing, and they forged a letter from the immortal sage Prince Qiao, saying that Sima Lun was destined to enjoy a long reign, hoping to thus mislead the people.


(The three Princes were Sima Jiong, Sima Ying, and Sima Yong.

During Cao-Wei and Jin, the guard soldiers of the capital were called the Central Army.

The rank of General of the Superior Army was created at this time.

According to the Records of Jin, the city of Yanshou was in Goushi County in Henan commandary. Eban Pass was in Yangcheng County in Henan. Du You remarked, "The E Ridges are in Dengfeng County in Henan commandary." Dengfeng was originally called Songyang. And Chenggao Pass was in Chenggao County in Henan.

Shen Yue's Annotations states, "The rank of General Who Breaks And Charges was created during Han's Jian'an era (196-219), when Duke Cao Cao appointed Yue Jin to that title." They also state, "The rank of General Who Displays Might was created during Cao-Wei."

The Registry of Surnames states, "Those with the surname 莫 Mo are the descendants of Mo Ao of the state of Chu."

Sima Lun's armies were advancing to oppose Sima Jiong along three different roads.

Sun Hui, Shi Yi, and Xu Chao each led their own armies, so these were the three armies which Sima Mao coordinated.

Mount Song is in Zhongyue, in Yangcheng County in Yingchuan commandary. Emperor Wu of Han had first split off and created Chonggao County, in order to honor Zhongyue. During Later Han, the county was abolished, folded back into Yangcheng County. During Jin, Yangcheng County was part of Henan commandary.

Liu Xiang's Lives Of Exemplary Sages states, "Prince Qiao was Crown Prince Jin, the son of King Ling of Zhou. He delighted in playing the reed pipe, and he would make the cries of the phoenix. He wandered through the Yin and Luo regions. The Daoist priest Fu Qiugong brought him to the top of Mount Song, where he lived for more than thirty years. Afterwards, from atop the mountain he said to Huan Liang, 'Tell my family to await me on top of Mount Goushi on the seventh day of the seventh month.' On the expected day, he climbed onto the back of a white crane perched on the summit of the mountain, and flew away to parts unknown, lifting his hand to apologize to the people of that time before he departed." Sima Lun and Sun Xiu borrowed his legacy in order to mislead the people at this time.)


19. In the intercalary month, on the new moon of the day Bingxu (April 25th), there was an eclipse. From the first month of the year until this month, the Five Celestial Bodies (Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn) all shone brightly in the sky, moving about most unusually.


(The Annotations states, "The Records states, 'When the Sun is vibrant, then the sovereign is principled; when the Celestial Bodies are faint, then the ministers are principled. When the Sun is supreme while the Celestial Bodies are withdrawn, then ministers cannot take control of affairs. But when the Sun is obscured, and a Celestial Body can be clearly seen even at noon, then it no longer hold the place of a minister; it becomes a king.'" At this time, all of the five Celestial Bodies were vibrant in the daytime sky. This was an unprecedented change in the heavens.)


20. Zhang Hong and the other generals marching against Sima Jiong advanced to occupy Yangdi. They fought Sima Jiong's army there, routing them several times. Sima Jiong's army then camped at Yingyin.

In summer, the fourth month, Zhang Hong followed up on his victories to further threaten Sima Jiong, who sent soldiers forward to counter-attack him. The armies on both sides halted. However, during the night, there was a disturbance in the camps of Sun Fu and Xu Jian. They fled straight back to Luoyang, where they reported, "The Prince of Qi's army was too numerous; we could not oppose them! Zhang Hong and the others have already been lost!"

Sima Lun was greatly angered. He held them in secret, while sending out an order recalling the armies of Xu Chao and his son Sima Qian. But soon, after Zhang Hong had pushed Sima Jiong's army back as far as Lubu, Sima Lun sent the two of them back out again.

Zhang Hong and the other commanders all led their soldiers across the Ying River to attack Sima Jiong's camp. Sima Jiong sent out his soldiers to attack the generals Sun Mao and Sima Tan, who were separated from the main body, and routed them. Zhang Hong and the others then fell back. But Sun Xiu forged an edict stating that the army had already routed Sima Jiong's camp and even taken Sima Jiong captive, and he ordered the ministers to offer their congratulations.


(During Han, Yangdi County was part of Yingchuan commandary; during Jin, it was part of Henan commandary.

Yingyin County was part of Yingchuan commandary, forty li from Yangdi.

Sima Lun wished to recall the armies that had been sent to Hebei back to protect himself.

The Ying River flowed out of Shaoshi in Yangcheng County in Yingchuan commandary. It flowed southeast, passing through the north of Yangdi County.)


21. When Sima Ying's vanguard arrived at Huangqiao, they were defeated by the armies under Sun Hui, Shi Yi, and Xu Chao; more than ten thousand were killed or wounded, and the soldiers were greatly shaken and unsettled by the defeat.

Sima Ying wanted to fall back to guard Zhaoge. But Lu Zhi and Wang Yan said to him, "Our army has just suffered a setback, and the enemy has just gotten a taste of victory, so they will now think little of our army. If we were to retreat now, then the morale of the soldiers will be sunk, and they will be no further use to us. Besides, can one be successful in every battle? What you ought to do is select picked troops and advance against the enemy by starlight, when they will not expect it. This is the best way to use the soldiers."

Sima Ying heeded their advice.

Now after the victory at Huangqiao, Sima Lun had awarded all three of the commanders by appointing each of them as Credential Bearers. This made them all unwilling to listen to the orders of the other, so the armies had no unified leadership. Furthermore, after their victory, they underestimated Sima Ying and did not prepare defenses against him.

Sima Ying led his armies to attack them, and fought a great battle at the Gu River. Sun Hui and the others were greatly defeated, and they abandoned their armies and fled south. Sima Ying pressed his advantage by quickly marching forward, and he crossed over the Yellow River.


(West of Zhaoge was Huang Marsh. The source of the marshwater on the right side was the Dang River, so it was called the Huangque Ravine. The bridge at Huangqiao was over this ravine.

To "advance by starlight" means to march at night by following the light of the stars.

The Gu River emerged from the southeast of Zhi County in Henei commandary; it flowed to Wen, where it entered the Yellow River. 湨 is pronounced "gu (g-u)".

Sima Guang's commentary in the Textual Analysis states, "The Biography of Sima Lun in the Book of Jin says that this later battle took place at the 'Ji River'. But I follow the account of the Annals of Emperor Hui in the Book of Jin.")


22. From the time when Sima Jiong and the others had first risen up, the ministers and generals in the capital all wished to execute Sima Lun and Sun Xiu. Sun Xiu, fearing for his life, did not dare to leave the Palace Secretariat office. And when he heard that the armies in Hebei had been defeated, he became so anxious and depressed that he did not know what to do.

When Sun Hui, Xu Chao, Shi Yi, and the other defeated Hebei commanders arrived back at Luoyang, they met with Sun Xiu and discussed what should be done. Some of them wanted to gather up all the remaining soldiers that they could and march out to risk a battle. Others wanted to burn the palaces, kill anyone who would not go along with them, and take Sima Lun to seek refuge with Sun Qi and Meng Guan. Still others wanted to get into boats and flee east to escape to the sea. But they could not make a decision.

On the day Xinyou (May 30th), the Guard General of the Left, Wang Yu, and the Master of Writing and Duke of Guangling, Sima Cui, led more than seven hundred of the guards to storm the palace complex through the southern Ye Gates, with the Marshals of the Three Divisions assisting them from the inside. They attacked Sun Xiu, Xu Chao, and Shi Yi at the Palace Secretariat office, and beheaded all of them. They also killed Sun Qi, Sun Bi, the General of the Front, Xie Tan, and others. This Sima Cui was the son of Sima Zhou.

Wang Yi camped his soldiers at the Yunlong Gate, and he summoned the Eight Ministers to enter the Central Hall. They forced Sima Lun to compose an edict, stating, "I was misled by Sun Xiu, and so I incurred the anger of the three Princes. I have already put Sun Xiu to death. Now I shall welcome the Retired Emperor back to the throne, and I myself shall live out my life tending a field."

Edict bearers were sent out, along with the Zouyu Banners, to order Sima Lun's commanders to have their soldiers stand down.

The Yellow Gate officials led Sima Lun out through the east gate of the Hualin Garden, and he and his sons, Sima Fu and the rest, all returned to his estate at Wenyang Village.

Several thousand armored soldiers were sent to receive Emperor Hui at the Jinyong fortress. The common people all cried, "Long live the Emperor!" Emperor Hui entered the palace complex through the Duan Gate, and ascended the palace steps. His ministers all kowtowed before him and begged forgiveness for their crimes.

An edict was issued ordering Sima Lun and his sons to be sent to the Jinyong fortress.

Sima Lun's son Sima Qian was on his way back from Hebei with his army. But when he reached Jiuqu, and heard about what had happened in Luoyang, he abandoned his army and returned to his father's estate with several dozen men.


(Sun Qi was in Jingzhou, and Meng Guan was at Wan.

The edict bearers were sent out to show the imperial commands, so this must have been the name of an office.

將 in this instance means "led".

There was a Wenyang Village within the walls of Luoyang, which was where Sima Lun had his private estate. Yang Zhengheng remarked, "汶 is pronounced 'wen'."

The Commentary on the Water Classic states, "The Jiuqu Ditch is in the west of Gong County in Henan commandary.")


23. On the day Guihai (June 1st), an amnesty was declared throughout the realm, and the reign era title was changed. There was great feasting and drinking for five days. Several messengers were dispatched to bring tidings of recognition and thanks to the three Princes.

Sima Rong and others submitted a petition stating, "The Prince of Zhao, Sima Lun, and his sons were all wicked traitors. They should be put to death." On the day Dingmao (June 5th), the Master of Writing, Yuan Chang, was sent bearing a Staff of Authority with orders to bestow death to Sima Lun. He arrested Sima Lun's sons Sima Fu, Sima Fuu, Sima Qian, and Sima Xu, and executed them all.

All of the ministers and officers who had been employed by Sima Lun were denounced and stripped of office. This left the Lantai, palace, Excellency, and guard bureaus with barely anyone remaining in office.

On the same day, Sima Ying arrived at Luoyang. On the day Jisi (June 7th), Sima Yong also arrived. Sima Ying sent Zhao Xiang and Shi Chao to help Sima Jiong fight Zhang Hong and the other enemy commanders at Yangdi; Zhang Hong and his fellows all surrendered. It had been more than sixty days since the Princes had first risen up against Sima Lun, and nearly a hundred thousand soldiers had died in the fighting.

Zhang Heng, Lü He, and Sun Mao were beheaded in the Eastern Market, while Cai Huang killed himself. In the fifth month, Sima Wey was executed as well.

Using Sima Jiong's proclamation as justification, the Administrator of Xiangyang, Zong Dai, beheaded Sun Qi. And the Prefect of Yongraoye, Kongtong Ji, beheaded Meng Guan. Both of their heads were sent to Luoyang, and their families were exterminated to the third degree.


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

The Lantai was the bureaus for the Masters of Writing, the Imperial Secretaries, and the Internuncios. The palace bureaus were the Officials Beneath The Gate, the Palace Secretariat, and the Imperial Library. The Excellency bureaus were those officials serving the various Excellencies. The guard bureaus were those serving the two Guard Generals and the Generals of the Six Armies.

Shen Yue remarked, "Emperor Wu of Cao-Wei (Cao Cao) split off the northern part of Bian County in Nan commandary and Shandu in Nanyang commandary to form Xiangyang commandary." Yu Huan remarked, "The commandary was established by Emperor Wen of Cao-Wei (Cao Pi)."

Yongraoye was in Wan County in Nanyang commandary.

空桐 Kongtong is a surname; 機 Ji was this man's given name. The Registry of Surnames states, "Two compound surnames of the Han era were Kongtong and Kongxiang." The Book of Origins states, "空同 Kongtong was a surname derived from a noble fief, taken from Mount 崆峒 Kongdong.")


24. The Prince of Xiangyang, the late Crown Prince Sima Yu's son Sima Shang, was now appointed to the title of Crown Grandson.


25. In the sixth month, on the day Yimao (July 23rd), Sima Jiong led his army into Luoyang, where he made arrangements for accommodating his soldiers. He had hundreds of thousands of armored soldiers, and his might shook the capital region.


(This passage uses the term 京都 for "the capital region". The equivalent term for that had been 京師. But because the Jin dynasty observed a naming taboo on the given name of Emperor Wen (Sima 師 Shi), the term was changed to 京都.)


26. On the day Wuchen (August 5th), an amnesty was declared throughout the realm.


27. The Prince of Bintu County, Sima Yan, had his title restored to Prince of Wu.


(Sima Yan's demotion to Prince of Bintu County is mentioned in the previous book, in the first year of Yongkang (300.24).

Sima Guang's commentary in the Textual Analysis states, "The Biography of Sima Yan in the Book of Jin states, 'Sima Yan had his title changed from Prince of Bintu to Prince of Dai. After Sima Lun was executed, his original title was restored.' But I follow the account of the Annals of Emperor Hui in the Book of Jin.")


28. On the day Jiaxu (August 11th), an edict was issued appointing Sima Jiong as Grand Marshal and granting him the Nine Bestowments. He was granted regent authority to handle all canons and policies, just as Sima Yi, Sima Shi, Sima Zhao, and Sima Yan had once wielded such power on behalf of the government of Wei.

Sima Ying was appointed as Grand General, Commander of all military affairs, Bearer of the Golden Battle-axe, and Chief of the affairs of the Masters of Writing. He was granted the Nine Bestowments as well, and he was also given the right to enter court without hastening his step and to enter the palace without removing his sword or shoes.

Sima Yong was appointed as Palace Attendant and Grand Commandant, and he was shown the ceremony of the Three Bestowments.

Sima Ai was appointed as Grand General Who Nurtures The Army and acting General of the Army of the Left.

Sima Cui had his title as Duke of Guangling advanced to Prince, and he was appointed as an acting Master of Writing and as a Palace Attendant. Sima Xin had his title as Duke of Xinye advanced to Prince, and he was appointed as Commander of military affairs in Jingzhou and Grand General Who Guards The South.

The three chief Princes, Sima Jiong, Sima Ying, and Sima Yong, all created offices for their public staffs and appointed forty people each as their assistants and subordinates, and they were thick with military officers. Civil offices were filled only as needed, and those who held the offices retained their command of soldiers.

On the day Jimao (August 16th), Sima Rong was appointed as Grand Governor and acting Minister Over The Masses.


(Sima Guang's commentary in the Textual Analysis states, "The Biography of Sima Ying in the Book of Jin states, 'After Sima Ying returned to Ye, the edict went out awarding him for his services by granting him the Nine Bestowments and the ranks of Grand General and Commander of all military affairs. Sima Ying accepted the promotions in rank, but he declined to be shown such special ceremony.' But during the time that Sima Ying was still at Luoyang, his advisor Lu Zhi had already said to him, 'You and the Prince of Qi hold joint regency powers together'. From that we can see that Sima Ying had already accepted his appointment as Chief of the affairs of the Masters of Writing. But Sima Ying did not accept his role in Luoyang and returned to Ye, so the court was merely sending someone to commend him for obeying orders. Furthermore, Sima Ying's accomplishments in the campaign against Sima Lun were greater than those of Sima Jiong. It cannot be that only Sima Jiong would be rewarded at that time, and not Sima Ying as well. So I follow the account of the Annals of Emperor Hui in the Book of Jin."

Regarding the ceremony of the Three Bestowments, the Royal Regulations chapter of the Book of Rites states, "The bow and arrows were conferred on a prince, so he could proceed to execute the royal justice. The hatchet and battle-axe were conferred, so he could proceed to inflict death. A large libation-cup was conferred, so he could make the spirits from the black millet for himself. (5.18)"

The passage states that Sima Ai was given command "of the Army of the Left". He was appointed as General of the Army of the Left.

Sima Xin was promoted from his original rank of General of the Household Gentlemen of the South.

Ever since Later Han, the noble staffs had all had assistants and subordinates, but they had not included military officers.

Sima Rong had been Grand Instructor and acting Prime Minister until now.)


29. The Household Counselor With Golden Tassel, Liu Fan, had a daughter who was the wife of Sima Lun's eldest son Sima Fu. So during Sima Lun's time in power, Liu Fan and his two sons, the Cavalier-Gentleman In Attendance, Liu Yu, and the Champion General, Liu Kun, had both been granted important offices. After Sima Jiong took power, he appreciated the great talents that Liu Kun and his father and brother had. So he granted them special pardons, and he appointed Liu Yu as a Gentleman of the Palace Secretariat and Liu Kun as Minister of the Left of the Masters of Writing.

Sima Jiong also appointed the former Minister Over The Masses, Wang Rong, as Prefect of the Palace Secretariat. He appointed Liu Tun as Minister of the Middle of the Imperial Secretaries. And he appointed Wang Yan as Intendant of Henan.


(A Gentleman of the Palace Secretariat was the same as a Gentleman-Attendant of that bureau.)


30. Sima Xin was about to return to his defense post. But first he went to pay his respects to the imperial tombs, together with Sima Jiong. He took the opportunity to warn Sima Jiong, "The Prince of Chengdu (Sima Ying) has very close blood ties to His Majesty, and he had just as much of a hand in the recent victory as you did. You ought to keep him close at hand and share the regency with him. But if you cannot do that, then take away his military authority."

Sima Ai and Sima Ying were themselves also paying their respects at the tombs, and Sima Ai said to Sima Ying, "The realm was united thanks to the endeavors of His Late Majesty (Sima Yan). Prince, you ought to protect it and make it right again."

There was no one who heard such things being said who was not anxious and afraid.

Sima Ying's advisor Lu Zhi said to him, "The Prince of Qi had an army said to be a million strong, and yet he was locked in stalemate with Zhang Hong and the other enemy commanders, unable to achieve a decisive victory over them. Compared to that, Prince, you advanced quickly and crossed over the Yellow River, and no one can compare with the achievements you had. Now the Prince of Qi wishes to share the regency of the government with you. I have heard that two heroes cannot be in the same place together. You should say that you must go and tend to your mother's illness, and ask to return to your defense post. Leave the heavy responsibilities of state to the Prince of Qi, while you win the hearts of all within the Four Seas. This is the best plan to follow."

Sima Ying heeded his advice.

When Emperor Hui saw Sima Ying in the Eastern Hall, he praised him for his hard work. Sima Ying made obeisance to him and humbly said, "This was Grand Marshal Sima Jiong's undertaking; I can claim no share in it."

And Sima Ying submitted a petition extolling Sima Jiong's achievements and virtues, urging that he should be given authority over all affairs, while he himself asked to return to his border post, mentioning his mother's sick condition. Having said his piece, he did not even return to his barracks, but only went to pay his respects at the Ancestral Temple, and then left the city through the Dongyang Gate on his way back to Ye.

Sima Ying sent a letter bidding farewell to Sima Jiong. When Sima Jiong received the letter, he was greatly alarmed, and he rode quickly to overtake Sima Ying, finally catching up with him at Seven Li Gully. Sima Ying halted his carriage and said his goodbyes to Sima Jiong, weeping freely. He only spoke of his concerns for his mother's sickness and pain, and said nothing about the affairs of the times. Because of that, he earned the praise of all the gentry and the people.


(Sima Xin was about to return to his post in Jingzhou.

Sima Ying was Emperor Hui's younger brother, and so he had "close blood ties" to him.

The people who were anxious and afraid at hearing the advice being given here believed that Sima Jiong on one side and Sima Ai and Sima Ying on the other were sure to come to blows with one another, and they feared this disaster would happen soon.

Lu Zhi identifies Sima Ying's mother as "Grand Concubine". Sima Ying was the Prince of Chengdu, and so his mother, the Talented Lady Lady Cheng, had been appointed Grand Concubine of Chengdu. The Rules of Propriety chapter of the Book of Rites states, "For all sons it is the rule: In winter, to warm (the bed for their parents), and to cool it in summer; in the evening, to adjust everything (for their repose), and to inquire (about their health) in the morning. (1.15)"

By leaving the responsibilities of government in the hands of Sima Jiong, everyone within the Four Seas would say that Sima Ying's achievements had not been fully recognized, and their hearts would soon turn to him.

The two gates in the northern corner of the east walls of Luoyang were called the Dongyang Gates.

The Commentary on the Water Classic states, "The Hongtai Pond is twenty li northeast of Luoyang. Its water flows east, flowing into Seven Li Gully on the right side. In Emperor Wu of Jin's (Sima Yan's) tenth year of Taishi (274), he raised a stone bridge east of the city at Seven Li Gully."

This passage uses the term 滂沱; it means "tears flowing down like rain".)


31. Sima Jiong summoned Liu Yin of Xinxing to serve as his Libationer-Consultant for the Army, and he summoned the Prefect of Luoyang, Cao Shu, to serve as his 記室督. The Gentleman of the Masters of Writing, Jiang Tong, and the Administrator of Yangping, Gou Xi of Henei, were appointed as his Army Advisors. Zhang Han of the Wu princely fief was appointed as Manager of the East, and Sun Hui was appointed as Manager of Households. The former 正 to the Minister of Justice, Gu Rong, and Wang Bao of Shunyang were appointed as his Registrars. This Sun Hui was the great-grandson of Sun Ben; this Gu Rong was the grandson of Gu Yong.

Liu Yin had been left orphaned and impoverished at a young age, and he was raised by his great-grandmother to be filial and attentive. When people offered him gifts of grain or silk, he would accept them without thanking them, only telling them, "Wait until I have become an exalted person, and then I shall repay you." After he grew up, he was learned and fluent in the classics and histories, and he had an exceptional nature and held great ambitions. He was thrifty, without being crude; he was concise, without being abrupt. His hopes were frustrated, but this could not deter him.

Sima Jiong appointed He Xu as General Who Leads The Army of the Center, and Dong Ai as 典樞機. He also granted noble titles to those of his generals and advisors who had achieved merits. Five of them were close companions to him: Ge Yu, Lu Xiu, Wei Yi, Liu Zhen, and Han Tai. He named them all as Dukes of counties, and they came to be called the "Five Dukes".


(In the Han dynasty's third year of Jian'an (198), Cao Cao had created the office of Libationer-Consultant for the Army. Under the Jin system, this was a subordinate office civil and military ministers and nobles, as well as on the staffs of generals posted at the borders, of the Generals Who Conquer and Who Guard sort.

During Han, the Three Excellencies and the Grand General all had the office of 記室令史 on their staffs. Their chief duties were to maintain records of the petitions and correspondence being sent out. When Cao Cao had been regent for the Han dynasty, he had employed Chen Lin and Ruan Yu in such roles. Under the Jin system, the various nobles had the similar office of 記室督 on their staffs.

Cao Shu's given name 攄 is pronounced "chu (ch-u)".

During Jin, the various nobles and ministers would have commanders bearing credentials, and so the number of their Army Advisors increased to six people.

Under the Jin system, the Eastern Manager was the superior office in matters of overseeing the management of storehouses, and the Household Manager was the inferior office.

The Minister of Justice had the subordinate offices of 正s, Chiefs, and 平s.

Cao-Wei split off part of Nanyang commandary to form Nanxiang commandary. During Sima Yan's Taikang era (280-89), he changed the name of that commandary to Shunyang.

Wang Bao's given name 豹 is pronounced "biao (b-iao)".

Sun Ben was the elder cousin of Sun Quan, the Grand Emperor of Eastern Wu.

Gu Yong was a Prime Minister of Eastern Wu.

The term 倜儻 here means exceptional or remarkable.

This Liu Yin later served as an exalted minister to the Emperor of Han-Zhao, Liu Cong, and he even had his daughter sent to Liu Cong's rear palaces. What would have been enough to satisfy him?

Regarding these Five Dukes, Ge Yu was the Duke of Mouping County, Lu Xiu was the Duke of Xiaohuang County, Wei Yi was the Duke of Yinping County, Liu Zhen was the Duke of Anxiang County, and Han Tai was the duke of Fengqiu County.

Sima Guang's commentary in the Textual Analysis states, "The person listed here as Lu 秀 Xiu is listed in the Annals of Emperor Hui in the Book of Jin as Lu 季 Ji. But I follow the account of the Biography of Sima Jiong in the Book of Jin.")


32. When Sima Ying arrived at Ye, an edict went out sending a messenger there who explained the previous orders regarding his appointments. Sima Ying did accept the rank of Grand General, but he declined to receive the special ceremony granted by the Nine Bestowments.

Sima Ying sent a petition to the court reporting on his ministers who had achieved righteous merits in his service, asking that they all be appointed as Dukes or Marquises. He also sent another petition stating, "When the Grand Marshal was fighting at Yangdi before, locked in stalemate with the enemy for a long time, the common people of that region suffered from deprivations. I beg leave to send a hundred and fifty thousand 斛s of grain from the official stores of Hebei in order to provide for the people of Yangdi."

Sima Ying also had more than eight thousand coffins built, and used the funds of his princely fief in order to obtain clothing, in order to gather up and hold services for his fallen soldiers at Huangqiao. He bestowed honors and glory upon their families, and honored the fallen at twice the normal rate. He further ordered Wen County to bury more than fourteen thousand of Sima Lun's fallen soldiers as well.

All of these things were the suggestions of Lu Zhi. Sima Ying himself had a beautiful appearance, but his mind was clouded, and he could not read. But he was honest and sincere in his temperament, and he trusted Lu Zhi with affairs, so he was able to achieve such luster.

Another edict was sent out commanding Sima Ying to return to Luoyang to help support the government, and once again granting him the Nine Bestowments. But Sima Ying's close companion Meng Jiu did not wish to go back to Luoyang, and his mother Lady Cheng had great longing and attachment for Ye. So Sima Ying eventually declined this offer as well.


(The ministers whom Sima Ying praised in this edict were Lu Zhi, He Yan, Dong Hong, Wang Yan, Zhao Xiang, and others.

The fallen from Sima Lun's army mentioned here were the ones who died in the battle of Ju River.

Wen County was part of Henei commandary. The Zhou dynasty's Minister of Criminal Affairs, Su Fen, was born in that state.)


33. During his first days in Luoyang, Sima Jiong suspected that the Gentleman of the Palace Secretariat, Lu Ji, had composed the edict of abdication which Sima Lun had used when he deposed Emperor Hui. So Sima Jiong had arrested Lu Ji and wanted to kill him. But Sima Ying had argued on Lu Ji's behalf, and so Lu Ji escaped death. He was then appointed as Interior Minister of Pingyuan, and his younger brother Lu Yun was appointed as Interior Minister of Qinghe.

Lu Ji's friend Gu Rong and Dai Yuan of Guangling urged him that, since the Central Plains were facing so many difficulties, he ought to go back to the Wu region again. But Lu Ji was fully impressed by the grace he had been shown by Sima Ying, and he said that Sima Ying had the spirit of the age, so he would be able to achieve merit with him. Lu Ji stayed and would not return to Wu.


(This was why Lu Ji and Lu Yun were later killed by Sima Ying.)


34. In autumn, the seventh month, Sima Ai had his original title as Prince of Changsha restored. He was granted a Separate Office, and appointed as General of Agile Cavalry.


(In Sima Yan's tenth year of Taikang (289.5), Sima Ai had been appointed as Prince of Changsha. After the Prince of Chu, Sima Wei, was executed by Jia Nanfeng, Sima Ai had his title demoted to Prince of Changshan because he was Sima Wei's brother by the same mother. His original title was now restored.)


35. The Prince of Donglai, Sima Ruy, was a violent man given to drinking. He had bullied and insulted Sima Jiong several times. He had also asked Sima Jiong to grant him the privilege of maintaining a Separate Office, but when this was denied him, he became resentful. He secretly sent in a petition stating that Sima Jiong was monopolizing power, and he plotted with the Guard General of the Left, Wang Yu, to depose Sima Jiong. When this affair was discovered, in the eighth month, an edict was issued demoting Sima Ruy to be a commoner. Wang Yu and his family were executed to the third degree. Sima Ruy was banished to Shangyong. The Interior Minister of Shangyong, Chen Zhong, used Sima Jiong's decree as justification to secretly kill Sima Ruy.


(Sima Guang's commentary in the Textual Analysis states, "The Annals of Emperor Hui in the Book of Jin states, 'In the sixth month, on the day Gengwu (August 7th), Sima Ruy and Wang Yu plotted to depose Sima Jiong, but their plot was discovered and they were charged with crimes.' It then states, 'On the day Jiaxu (August 11th), Sima Jiong was appointed as Grand Marshal.' But the edict ordering Wang Yu's execution already identifies Sima Jiong as the Grand Marshal, so it cannot be the case that Wang Yu's execution took place before Sima Jiong received that appointment. So I follow the account of the Annals of the Thirty Kingdoms, and place this event in the eighth month.")


36. An amnesty was declared throughout the realm.


37. The Duke of Dongwu, Sima Dan, was charged with lack of filial piety and was exiled to Liaodong.

In the ninth month, the Prince of Dong'an, Sima Dan's younger brother Sima Yao, was summoned to the capital and restored to his original fief. He was also appointed as Supervisor of the Left of the Masters of Writing.

Sima Yao recommended the Prince of Dongping, Sima Mao, to serve as General Who Pacifies The East and Commander of military affairs in Xuzhou. Sima Mao was stationed at Xiapi.


(Sima Yao's demotion to a commoner and exile to Daifeng is mentioned in Book 82, in the first year of Yuankang (291.12).

Some versions add that Sima Mao was also appointed as "General Who Pacifies The East".

Sima Guang's commentary in the Textual Analysis states, "The Annals of Emperor Hui in the Book of Jin states, 'In the eighth month, Sima Mao was appointed as General Who Pacifies The East and Commander of Xuzhou.' It then states, 'In the ninth month, Sima Yao was restored to his original fief.' But according to the Biography of Sima Mao in the Book of Jin, 'When Sima Yao was Supervisor, he recommended Sima Mao as General Who Pacifies The East.' So I have placed this event after Sima Yao's return from exile.")


38. Now in the midst of all the tumult going on around the capital, the court had felt that the situation in Qinzhou and Yongzhou had been sufficiently resolved. So they sent notice that the refugees from those places who had gone into the Shu region were to return to their former homes, and they dispatched the Imperial Secretaries, Feng Gai and Zhang Chang, to oversee the refugees' return. At that time, Li Te's elder brother Li Fu also arrived in Shu from Lueyang. He told the people that the Central Plains were in the midst of great turmoil, and they could not go back north yet. Li Te believed him, so he sent Yan Shi of Tianshui to visit Luo Shang and ask that the refugees be allowed to remain where they were until autumn arrived. He also sent bribes to Luo Shang and to Feng Gai. Luo Shang and Feng Gai gave their permission for the refugees to stay.

When the court discussed who had achieved merits in the suppression of Zhao Xin's rebellion, they appointed Li Te as General Who Displays Might and his younger brother Li Liu as General Who Exerts Valor, and both of them were named Marquises. When the seals and letters regarding these appointments reached Yizhou, others among the refugees of the six commandaries who had also helped Li Te to put down Zhao Xin expected that they would receive ranks and rewards as well. But the Administrator of Guanghan, Xin Ran, felt that he deserved the real credit for having defeated Zhao Xin, so he prevented the imperial order from being carried out, and he did not reward anyone else either. This caused all of the refugees to resent him.


(Xin Ran did not implement the order appointing Li Te and Li Liu to their ranks and titles. The other refugee leaders were not rewarded either. The people who thus resented him were the refugees of the six commandaries.)


39. Luo Shang sent out his Attendant Officers to oversee the refugees, planning to have them start back for the north as soon as autumn arrived in the seventh month. But at that time, the refugees were all spread out throughout Lianzhou and Yizhou, working as hired hands for the people. When they heard that the provinces and commandaries were going to force them to return, they were all anxious and resentful, not knowing what they would do. Furthermore, the rivers of the region were all greatly swollen by rains, while the yearly harvest had not been gathered yet. No one believed that they would have the means to undertake the journey north.

Li Te sent Yan Shi to visit Luo Shang again, asking that the refugees now be permitted to remain until winter. But Xin Ran and the Administrator of Jianwei, Li Bi, felt that this could not be permitted. Luo Shang had nominated a certain Du Tao of Shu commandary as an Abundant Talent candidate, and Yan Shi also spoke to Du Tao, listing the disparities in advantages and disadvantages that would come about if the refugees were compelled to journey north again now. Convinced by this, Du Tao wanted to extend the refugees a full year's grace period, but Luo Shang was more inclined to listen to Xin Ran and Li Bi, and he would not heed Du Tao's advice. In protest, Du Tao returned his Abundant Talent slate and went back home.

Xin Ran had a greedy and fierce nature, and he wished to kill the leaders of the refugees and take away all of their goods. So he and Li Bi reported to Luo Shang, saying, "The refugees engaged in much plundering earlier during Zhao Xin's rebellion. You ought to send out notice to construct walls and gates, so as to keep the refugees contained."

So Luo Shang wrote a letter to the Administrator of Zitong, Zhang Yan, ordering him to build such gates at keyl locations and to confiscate any treasures that the refugees possessed.


(Some versions add that Du Tao was "of Shu commandary".

Du Tao returned his slate in protest.

To "send out notice" was to send out letters ordering the local officials to prepare the walls and gates.

By this time, the refugees were already settled in the territory of Shu. Even when the court sent an order commanding them to quickly return to their original homes, they were still afraid and they would not move. How much worse of a policy was it to build walls and gates to contain them as a means to plunder them of their valuables? Turmoil soon followed.

Shu-Han had split off part of Guanghan commandary to form Zitong commandary.

The "key locations" were places along the roads where any flow of traffic in or out of that region could be controlled. Walls and gates had never before been erected at these places; they were being built now for this particular purpose.)


40. By now, since Li Te had argued several times on behalf of the refugees asking that they be allowed to stay, the refugees all began to depend on him, and many groups of them led one another to Li Te, seeing him as their natural leader. With so many people coming to him, Li Te built a great camp at Mianzhu in order to organize the refugees.

Li Te continued to appeal to Xin Ran to show leniency to him. Xin Ran was greatly angered, and he had notices posted up along all the roads listing a bounty on Li Te and his brothers, offering great rewards. When Li Te saw the notices, he gathered them up to edit them, and he and his younger brother Li Xiang changed the words to state, "Whoever can bring us the heads of one of the leaders of the great clans of the six commandaries, whether Li, Ren, Yan, Zhao, Yang, Shangguan, or one of the nobles of the Di or Sou peoples, will be rewarded with a hundred bolts of silk."

This caused the refugees to be greatly afraid, and so even more of them came to join Li Te. Within the space of a month, Li Te had more than twenty thousand people with him, and Li Liu also gathered several thousand people.


(Some versions include the character 之 between "leaders" and "of the great families". And some versions include "Yang" as one of the great clans of the six commandaries.

The Sou people of Shu were another branch of people.)


41. Li Te once again sent Yan Shi to see Luo Shang to ask for an extension for the refugees. When Yan Shi saw the camps and barriers that had been set up on the roads and in important places, and heard the discussions of how to contain the refugees, he lamented, "The people's hearts were already in peril, and this will only speed things along. Chaos will break out before long."

And Yan Shi knew that Xin Ran and Li Bi were of a mind to not let him return again. So he told Luo Shang that he would be returning to Mianzhu.

Luo Shang said to him, "Sir, when you convey my words to the refugees, I hope we shall soon hear of peace and contentment."

Yan Shi replied, "Your Excellency, you have been misleading people with such wild talk that I fear there will be no cause for peace. The refugees may be weak, but they are not to be underestimated. But now you try to contain them like this for no reason. As it is said, 'it is difficult to go against the anger of all the crowd'. I fear the coming disaster will be serious indeed."

Luo Shang replied, "This is not so. Sir, I have done nothing to deceive you; why then do you act this way?"

When Yan Shi returned to Mianzhu, he said to Li Te, "Although Luo Shang claims such things, he still cannot be trusted. How could he be? His power and authority are not established, and Xin Ran and the others each command strong bodies of soldiers. Everything could change overnight, and Luo Shang would not be able to control the situation. We must prepare ourselves."

Li Te heeded his advice. In winter, the tenth month, Li Te split his original camp into two; he remained with the northern camp, while Li Liu oversaw the eastern camp. They maintained their armor and drilled their soldiers, staying in strict readiness for whatever might happen.


(The term 申 in this passage means "again"; that is, Li Te was asking for another extension of the timeline for when the refugees would be compelled to return north again.

The phrase "'it is difficult to go against the anger of all the crowd" is a quote from Zichan of the state of Zheng, in the Zuo Commentary to the Spring and Autumn Annals (Xiang 10.8).

Yan Shi could already grasp the feelings of Xin Ran and the others.)


42. Xin Ran and Li Bi plotted with one another, saying, "Marquis Luo may be greedy, but he cannot make up his mind. He lets the days pass by one after another, as all the while, those refugees continue to develop their wicked plans. Li Te and his brothers are bold and talented fellows; we will all become his slaves sooner or later! Better for us to carry out our own plan at once and so decide the matter once and for all. There is no point in talking to Marquis Luo about it first."

So they sent the Commandant of Guanghan, Ceng Yuan, the General of the Standard, Zhang Xian, Liu Bing, and others to lead thirty thousand horse and foot on a surprise attack against Li Te's camp. When Luo Shang heard that these commanders were already on the move, he sent the Protector Tian Zuo to assist Ceng Yuan too.

When Ceng Yuan and the others arrived at Li Te's camp, Li Te was resting peacefully and did not stir himself. He waited until half of the enemies had poured into his camp. Then he launched an ambush to attack them, and a great number of the enemy soldiers were killed. Li Te killed Tian Zuo, Ceng Yuan, and Zhang Xian, and sent their heads as a warning to Luo Shang and Xin Ran.

Luo Shang said to his generals, "Those slaves were just on the point of leaving, yet Xin Ran ignored what I had said, and now the bandits' strength has only grown. How could things have come to this?"


(Xin Ran and Li Bi wanted to decide things through a single battle.

Luo Shang identifies Xin Ran here as "Guanghan". Xin Ran was the Administrator of Guanghan, which was why Luo Shang called him this.

Luo Shang was saying that although Li Te had been asking for another extension, the plans for making the refugees leave had already been completed. He further meant that Xin Ran had rashly used soldiers against the refugees, and in being defeated by Li Te, he had merely strengthened the power of Li Te’s forces.)


43. The refugees of the six commandaries, Li Han and others, all now acclaimed Li Te as acting Grand General Who Guards The North, with authority to enforce systems and grant appointments. Li Te appointed his younger brother Li Liu as acting Grand General Who Guards The East, and named him Protector of the East. Li Te and Li Liu collaborated in the protection and leadership of the people. Li Te also appointed his elder brother Li Fu as General of Agile Cavalry, and his younger brother Li Xiang as General of Fierce Cavalry.

Li Te's army advanced to attack Xin Ran at Guanghan County. Luo Shang sent Li Bi and Fei Yuan to lead troops to reinforce Xin Ran, but they feared Li Te and did not dare to advance. Xin Ran marched out to battle, but was defeated several times. He broke out of the encirclement and fled to Deyang County. Li Te entered Guanghan and occupied it, appointing Li Chao as the new Administrator.

His soldiers then advanced to attack Luo Shang at Chengdu.

Luo Shang sent a letter of instructions to Yan Shi. Yan Shi wrote back to him stating, "Xin Ran was inclined towards deceit, Ceng Yuan was a meager fellow, and Li Shuping (Li Bi) lacked the abilities to command an army. I warned you and Du Jingwen (Du Tao) before about what ought to have been done regarding letting the refugees stay or forcing them to return. Now people cherish their homelands, and who did not wish to see it again? But from since the first day we arrived in this region, the people had to go wherever they could find food and work, and a single family split into five parts. Furthermore, the autumn rains are upon us. We begged that we might be allowed until the midst of winter, but in the end, you would heed our pleas.

“You pressed on, until you went too far. Even a weakened deer can fight off a tiger. The refugees were not willing to stretch out their necks for you to sink your blades into, and that is why the situation has come to this. If you had listened to my words before, extended grace to the refugees and prepared properly for their needs, you could have had everything in readiness before the ninth month was out, and they would have all been on the roads during the tenth month, each going back to their own counties and villages. Why did you do things like this instead?"


(Some versions specify "Li Han and others" as particular people among the refugees who acclaimed Li Te.

Guanghan commandary administered Guanghan County. Liu-Song established that place as Suining commandary, and Qi and Liang changed it to Eastern Suining commandary. Northern Wei changed Guanghan County to Fangyi County, and Northern Zhou changed Eastern Suining to Suizhou. Fangyi County was administered by this Suizhou.

Deyang County was created during Later Han, as part of Guanghan commandary. During Tang, it was part of Jianzhou.

Li Bi's style name was Shuping. Du Tao's style name was Jingwen.

Yan Shi addresses Luo Shang in this letter as 節下. This was a term that the people of Jin used to address generals leading armies at border commands.

The term "mulberries and catalbas" is here used metaphorically to mean "homeland". The literal meaning comes from the trees planted by one's forefathers as legacies to leave behind to their descendants. For that reason, it is a term used to mean a cherished homeland.

Yan Shi was saying that when the refugees first arrived in Shu, they had no means to support themselves, so they had to go wherever there was grain available, spending their strength in working on behalf of others. The term 賃 also means a servant or laborer.

The term 潦 means the appearance of great storms.

卽 in this passage is meant in the sense of "if you had just". "Prepared properly" means prepared the needed supplies for the refugees' journey.

A day or a month that has already ended is said to have "gone out".)


44. Li Te appointed many people as his generals: his elder brother Li Fu, his younger brother Li Xiang, his sons Li Shi, Li Dang, and Li Xiong, Li Han, Li Han's sons Li Guo and Li Li, Ren Hui, Li Pan, Li Pan's younger brother Li Gong, Shangguan Jing, Ren Zang, Yang Bao, Shangguan Dun, and others. He also appointed Yan Shi, Li Yuan, and others as his assistant ministers.

Now Luo Shang had long been greedy and covetous, a burden upon the common people. But Li Te made a covenant with the people of Shu to only enforce the Three Regulations (of Liu Bang), and he gave out alms and funds to them. He treated the worthy with proper ceremony and plucked out the obscure, and he treated both the army and the government respectfully. So the people of Shu were very pleased with him.

Luo Shang was frequently defeated by Li Te, so he built long walls to protect himself, and he diverted the waters of the Pi River to serve as his ramparts. He defenses stretched for seven hundred li. Having brought Li Te to a stalemate, Luo Shang asked for reinforcements from Lianzhou and from the Colonel of Southern Man Tribes.


(Du You remarked, "He showed them grace and kindness, relieving them from corvee labor."

The Commentary on the Water Classic states, "The western part of the Mian River comes out of Mianzhu County, and it joins with the Jian River, which is also called the Pi River."

The Biography of Li Te in the Chronicles of the Book of Jin states, "Luo Shang diverted the rivers to serve as his ramparts; his defenses stretched seven hundred li, from Du'an to Jianwei."

The Colonel of Southern Man Tribes commanded the soldiers of the commandaries of Nanzhong.)


45. In the twelfth month, He Shao passed away. He was posthumously known as Duke Kang ("the Peaceful") of Yingchang.


46. Sima Jiong's sons were granted noble titles: Sima Bing was appointed as Prince of Le'an, Sima Yinng was appointed Prince of Jiyang, and Sima Chao was appointed as Prince of Huainan.
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Unread postby Taishi Ci 2.0 » Mon Nov 13, 2017 3:30 am


The First Year of Tai'an (The Renxu Year, 302 AD)


(The reign era title for this year was not changed to Tai'an until the twelfth month, after Sima Jiong's death. For most of the year, it was still the second year of Yongning.)


1. In spring, the third month, the Crown Grandson, Sima Shang, passed away. His posthumous name was Zhong ("the Spent").


(Zhong was Sima Shang's posthumous name.)


2. In summer, the fifth month, on the day Jiyou (?) (or, the day Yiyou, June 18th), Sima Rong passed away. He was posthumously known as Prince Xiao ("the Filial") of Lian.


(Some versions say that this date was the day 乙 Yiyou instead of the day 己 Jiyou.)


3. The Household Counselor With Golden Tassel of the Right, Liu Shi, was appointed as Grand Tutor. But he soon resigned his office on account of age and infirmity.


4. Sima Yong sent the Protector Ya Bo to campaign against Li Te, and Ya Bo's army marched to Zitong. The court also appointed Zhang Wei as Administrator of Guanghan, and Zhang Wei's army marched to Deyang. And Luo Shang sent the Protector Zhang Gui to march his army to Fancheng.

Li Te sent his General Who Guards The Army, his son Li Dang, and others to attack Ya Bo, while he himself went to attack Zhang Gui, and he routed Zhang Gui. Li Dang defeated Ya Bo's soldiers at Yangmian. The Administrator of Zitong, Zhang Yan, abandoned his city and fled, and the Minister of Baxi, Mao Zhi, surrendered his commandary to Li Te's forces. Li Dang advanced and attacked Ya Bo at Jiameng; Ya Bo fled, and his soldiers all surrendered.

Sima Yong then appointed Xu Xiong as Inspector of Lianzhou.

Li Te declared himself Grand General, Governor of Yizhou, and Commander of military affairs in Lianzhou and Yizhou.


(The Registry of Surnames states, "The son of Duke Mu of Qin was granted 衙 Ya as his fief, and that became the name of his clan. During Han, this Ya County was part of Pingyi commandary."

During Han, Zitong County was part of Guanghan commandary. Shu-Han split part of Guanghan commandary off as Zitong commandary. The counties of Zitong, Pu'an, Huang'an, Yonggui, Wulian, Linjin, and Jianmen in Tang's Jianzhou were all part of Han's Zitong County.

Fan County was part of Shu commandary. Liu Xu remarked, "Jiulong County in Tang's Pengzhou was the same as Han's Fan County." Song Bai remarked, "Xinfan County in Yizhou was originally Fan County during Han."

During Tang, Baxi commandary was split into Liangzhou and Guozhou.

Shu-Han renamed Han's Jiameng County to Hanshou County; Jin further changed its name to Jinshou. This passage uses the original Han name for that county. Tang's counties of Miangu and Jiameng in Lizhou were the same place as this.)


5. Now Sima Jiong wished to maintain his hold on the affairs of government, but Emperor Hui no longer had any male descendants. This made Sima Ying the natural choice for his heir. But Sima Jiong preferred the Prince of Qinghe, Sima Tan, the son of Sima Xia; he was only seven years old at this time. So Sima Jiong petitioned that Sima Tan be named as the new heir.

On the day Guimao (July 6th), Sima Tan was appointed as Crown Prince. Sima Jiong was appointed as Grand Tutor to the Crown Prince, and the Prince of Donghai, Sima Yue, was appointed as Minister of Works and acting Chief of the Palace Secretariat.


(After Crown Prince Sima Yu died, Emperor Hui no longer had any sons, and after Sima Yu's sons Sima Bin, Sima Zang, and Sima Shang died, Emperor Hui no longer had any grandsons either.

Of Emperor Hui's younger brothers, Sima Ying was the next oldest after him.)


6. In autumn, the eighth month, Li Te attacked Zhang Wei. However, Zhang Wei struck back and routed Li Te, and then advanced to attack Li Te's camp. Li Dang led his soldiers back to come to his father's aid. Though the mountain roads were narrow and perilous, Li Dang exerted himself in battle and pushed forward, and he was able to rout Zhang Wei's soldiers.

Li Te wanted to fall back to Fu, but Li Dang and his Marshal Wang Xing remonstrated with him, saying, "Zhang Wei's army has just been defeated, and his cunning and valor are both exhausted. We should take advantage of the keen spirit of our soldiers to press our attack and capture him."

So Li Te advanced again and attacked Zhang Wei; he killed Zhang Wei, and captured alive his son Zhang Cun. Li Te released Zhang Cun to mourn for his father.


7. Li Te assigned his general Jian Shuo to guard Deyang.

Li Xiang's army was at Piqiao. Luo Shang sent an army to attack them, but they were defeated several times by Li Xiang. Li Xiang then advanced to attack Chengdu, setting fire to its gates. Li Liu's army also arrived north of Chengdu. Luo Shang sent ten thousand of his bravest elite soldiers to attack Li Xiang, but Li Xiang and Li Liu attacked them together, greatly routing them; only one or two of every ten of the soldiers returned alive.

Xu Xiong sent armies to attack Li Te several times, but without success. Li Te's power only grew all the more.


(寋 Jian is a surname.

In the northwest part of the modern Huai'an Garrison is the Middle River, where the origins of the Mimou, Luoshui, and Piqiao Rivers flow from Hanzhou to join together as one river. The Huai'an Garrison is where Han's Xindu County in Guanghan commandary was.)


8. Local leaders from Jianning commandary, Li Rui and Mao Shen, arrested the Administrator Xu Jun (or, Du Jun). And the local leader Li Meng of Zhuti commandary arrested the Administrator Yong Yue, intending to align himself with Li Te. Both of their groups had tens of thousands of soldiers.

The Colonel of Southern Man Tribes, Li Yi, campaigned against these local rebels and routed them, beheading Mao Shen. Li Meng sent in notice of his surrender, but as his language was disrespectful, Li Yi lured him in and then killed him.

In winter, the eleventh month, on the day Bingxu (December 16th), the province of Ningzhou was reestablished, and Li Yi was appointed as its Inspector.


(Some versions record the name of the arrested Administrator of Jianning as 杜 Du Jun instead of 許 Xu Jun.

Jianning was once the old kingdom of the Dian people. After Han took the territory, it established it as Yizhou commandary. Shu-Han further renamed it as Jianning commandary. During Tang, it was the region of Kunzhou.

During Former Han, Zhuti County was part of Jianwei commandary, and during Later Han, it was part of the Jianwei Vassal State Colonel Post. Shu-Han split it off as Zhuti commandary. During Tang, it was the region of Quzhou. As for the name Zhuti itself, Su Lin pronounced it Zhushi.

Ningzhou as a province had last been abolished in Book 81, in the fifth year of Taikang (284.6).)


9. Since Sima Jiong had now secured his ambitions, he became arrogant and indulgent, centering all power upon himself. He built a great estate for himself, with more than a hundred buildings between public and private usages, and he wielded control over those in the Western Palace. Everyone near and far began to lose hope.

The Palace Attendant Ji Shao sent up a petition stating, "The living must never forget the prospect of ruin; this is a wise warning from the Book of Changes. May Your Majesty never forget your time in the Jinyong fortress; may Grand Marshal Sima Jiong never forget the battles in Yingchuan; and may Grand General Sima Ying never forget the fighting at Huangqiao. Thus may the seeds of misfortune and turmoil never have cause to flourish."

And Ji Shao also wrote a letter to Sima Jiong, stating, "Tang and Yu (Yao and Shun) only lived in dwelling places with thatched roofs and earthen steps, and Yu of Xia (Yu the Great) had a lowly and crude palace. In your great building of an estate, it surely would have been enough for you to have built a residence to match the standards of these three kings of old. How can you have been so extravagant as this?"

Sima Jiong wrote back offering words of apology, but in the end he was not able to heed Ji Shao's admonitions.


The Great Treatise on the Book of Changes states, "The Master said, 'He who keeps danger in mind is he who will rest safe in his seat; he who keeps ruin in mind is he who will preserve his interests secure; he who sets the danger of disorder before him is he who will maintain the state of order. Therefore the superior man, when resting in safety, does not forget that danger may come; when in a state of security, he does not forget the possibility of ruin; and when all is in a state of order, he does not forget that disorder may come. Thus his person is kept safe, and his states and all their clans can be preserved. This is according to what the Book of Changes says, "(Let him say), 'Shall I perish? shall I perish?' (so shall this state be firm, as if) bound to a clump of bushy mulberry trees.' (Xi Ci 2)"

When Duke Huan of Qi was drinking together with Bao Shuya, Guan Yiwu (Guan Zhong), and Ning Qi, Bao Shuya made this toast: "Lord, may you never forget your time of exile in the state of Ju; Sir Guan, may you never forget when you were bound in the state of Lu; and Sir Ning, may you never forget the time when you were feeding your ox and resting against your cart." All of these were moments of great adversity for those mentioned. Ji Shao wished to invoke the same sentiments as this toast.

Tang and Yu (Yao and Shun) had rafter beams that were uncut, and used unclipped thatch for roofing. Yu the Great lived in a crude palace.)


10. Sima Jiong indulged himself in feasts and music, and he did not go to attend court. At the same time, he reserved the power of appointing all the ministers, and he gave orders to the Three Terraces. When he chose people for office, he was not impartial, but used his favorites for every affair. The Imperial Secretary of the Central Hall, Huan Bao, submitted a petition without first sending it to Sima Jiong's office for review, for which he was submitted to interrogation.

A recluse of Nanyang, Zheng Fang, sent a letter to Sima Jiong outlining his Five Faults: "Prince, you are currently relaxed and not thinking of any danger, overindulging yourself in feasting and music; this is the first fault. You are as close to the royal family as flesh and blood, and there ought to be not the slightest distance between you, yet there currently is; this is the second fault. The Man and Yi tribes are restless, but you consider that all that need be done has already been done, and you give no thought to such things; this is the third fault. After the recent fighting, the common people were left in suffering and want, yet you would not hear of sending them aid and relief; this is the fourth fault. You made a covenant to rise up with others on behalf of justice, and it is a principle that 'rewards must be given as soon as they are due'. Yet there are some who achieved merit then who have still not been rewarded; this is the fifth fault."

Sima Jiong apologized to him, stating, "If not for you, Sir, I would not have heard of my trespasses."


(Sima Jiong reserved the power of appointment over the ministers. It is said, "The Son of Heaven has his Three Excellencies, his Nine Ministers, and his various generals, and he brings them in and confers their titles." But now Sima Jiong, remaining secure in his estate, claimed such powers for himself.

Sima Jiong appointed people for office based upon his personal interests, and he compelled the Three Terraces to do as he commanded; he was not one to be greatly impartial.

In many history texts, whenever there is some person who is soon to be ruined, the texts always outline the reasons behind their doom. This follows the precedent of the Zuo Commentary to the Spring and Autumn Annals.

Under the Cao-Wei system, the Lantai bureau had two Imperial Secretaries posted in the Central Hall, who looked into violations of the law. By the time of Jin, there were four such people.

This passage shows how Sima Jiong wished to monopolize power, going so far as to interrogate the Imperial Secretary of the Central Hall, and not knowing he had not the slightest trace of a superior fellow any longer.

"The Man and Yi tribes" refers to Li Te and the others who were causing trouble in Lianzhou and Yizhou.

The fourth fault was an oblique reference to Sima Ying's attempts to win over the people of Henan through his grain shipments to the starving families there, although Zheng Fang did not dare to openly state that in as many words.

In the sentence "there are some who achieved merit then who have still not been rewarded," some versions repeat the character 有 "there are" two times.

The Art of War (specifically, The Methods of the Sima) states, "Rewards must be given as soon as they are due, so that the people speedily obtain the benefits of excellence." Zheng Fang was saying that some people who had won merits at the fighting in Yingchuan had not yet been reward for it.)


11. Sun Hui also wrote Sima Jiong a letter, stating, "The realm currently faces five challenges, yet is hindered by four difficulties, and Your Highness remains relaxed. To deal with the disobedient is the first challenge; to gather together brave heroes is the second; to have an equal share of labor and toil with the generals and soldiers is the third; to help the weak overcome the strong is the fourth; to restore the imperial fortunes is the fifth. But those of great reputation cannot long maintain their responsibilities, those of great merit cannot long keep their offices, those of great influence cannot long grasp their authority, and those of great strength cannot long hold their positions; such are the difficulties we face. Prince, you face these challenges, but you act as though they are not challenges; these difficulties cannot be denied, yet you deny them. Foolish though I may be, I cannot feel at ease.

"Your Highness should consider the path of recognizing that your work is complete and withdrawing into obscurity. If you were to turn away from your sublime kinship with the royal family, cede your power to the two Princes of Changsha and Chengdu, bow deeply in obeisance, and return to your border post, then even the ancients Taibo and Zizang would not be able to place the glory of their own abdications before yours. But if you forget the dangers of the great precipice you are standing before, and through your hunger for power and influence you bring down suspicion upon yourself, then even if you were to venture to the top of a high terrace or seclude yourself behind rows of walls, I would still presume to fear for your safety, even more now than at the time of Yingchuan and Yangdi."

Sima Jiong would not follow this advice, so Sun Hui pleaded illness and withdrew.

Sima Jiong said to Cao Shu, "There are those who urge me to give up my power and return to my fief. What do you make of that?"

Cao Shu replied, "As it is said, 'the thing to avoid is becoming too great'. Prince, consider the danger you face by occupying so great a position. If you were to lift up your skirt and depart, that would be an excellence among excellence."

But Sima Jiong would not listen.


(Sun Hui was talking about Sima Jiong's time in Yingchuan. In using these words to describe the challenges and difficulties, he was being tactful while still being direct.

The Daodejing states, "When the work is done, and one's name is becoming distinguished, to withdraw into obscurity is the way of Heaven. (9)"

Taibo of Wu declined to accept the throne of all the realm, merely establishing the fief of Wu. Zizang of Cao declined the throne of that state.

A place of great height is called a precipice.

Sun Hui speaks of "Ying and Yang"; he means Yingchuan and Yangdi, where Sima Jiong fought Sima Lun's soldiers.)


12. Zhang Han and Gu Rong were both anxious about the coming disaster.

Zhang Han saw the autumn winds beginning to blow, and it made him think of the 菰菜, 蓴羹, and 鱸魚鱠 plants in his former homeland in Wu. He lamented, "To live a good life is what ought to be desired; what good are power and glory?" And he went away.

Gu Rong indulged in drinking and so neglected his official duties. Chief Clerk Ge Yu removed him from office and had Sima Jiong send him away to serve as a Gentleman-Attendant of the Palace Secretariat.

A recluse of Yingchuan, Yu Gun, heard that Sima Jiong had not attended court for a full year. He sighed, "How lowly the Jin royal family has become. Disaster will come about soon!" And he fled with his wife and children to live at Mount Linlü.


(The 菰 plant is also called 蔣. The Classic of Roots and Grasses states, "The 菰, also called the 茭, is a perrennial plant. In its core grow white sprouts, which are called 菰 rice. The insides of some of these sprouts are black, and those are called 茭. When these are mixed together, it is called carved barbarian black rice." And it states, "The 蓴 plant grows in water. Its leaves resemble water vines. It grows long, thick, and slick during the spring and summer: from the third month to the eighth month it is the Silk 蓴, while from the ninth month to the eleventh month it is the Pig 蓴." It further states, "The 鱸魚 from the Wusong River is excellent; the people of the Wu region call it 鱠, and they highly prize it." 蓴 is pronounced "shun (sh-un)".

The Registry of Surnames states, "The surname 庾 Yu comes from the Minister Yu who was in the service of Emperor Yao; it became his clan's surname.")


13. Wang Bao sent a letter to Sima Jiong, stating, "You should consider that ever since the beginning of the Yuankang reign era (291), no one who has ever held the post of Chancellor has ever been able to save himself in the end. Now the reason that these things came about was because these people acted improperly. You yourself have overcome and pacified disaster and turmoil, and brought peace to the state and stability to the royal family. Yet you are still continuing to follow the same path that overturned the carts before you. If you still intend to go on living a long time, will this not present difficulties for you?

“Now the Prince of Hejian is firmly settled in Guanyou, the Prince of Chengdu has a secure base in the old capital of Wei at Ye, and the Prince of Xinye is secure between the Yangzi and the Han River. These three Princes have been training strong armies for the past year, and each of them is well-stocked with arms and horses and occupies places where they may inflict great harm. On the other hand, though you have the merits of having overcome difficulties, and you have the power to compel your sovereign, you only occupy the capital region itself. Yet you continue to press for more power and greater authority. To go any further will mean 'the dragon exceeding the proper limits, and occasion for repentance', while to retreat will mean 'laying hold of thorns', and though you hope for aid and peace, you shall never see good fortune."

Having said these things, Wang Bao proposed sending all of the princes and nobles out to their fiefs, and then following the examples of the ancient Dukes of Zhou and Shao: Sima Ying should be appointed as Lord of the Northern Provinces and govern from Ye, while Sima Jiong should style himself the Lord of the Southern Provinces and govern from Wan, with the Yellow River as their dividing line. Each of them would wield authority over the other princes and nobles and so assist the Son of Heaven.

Sima Jiong thought that this was excellent advice and began preparing a response to Wang Bao. But when Sima Ai saw Wang Bao's letter, he said to Sima Jiong, "This miscreant wishes to split the realm asunder like slicing the flesh from the bone. Why do you not beat him to death beneath the Copper Camels?"

Sima Jiong then submitted a petition stating that Wang Bao meant to stir up slander within and dissension without. Charging him with wild speculations, and with being disloyal and unrighteous, he had Wang Bao whipped to death. When Wang Bao was about to die, he said, "Hang my head above the Grand Marshal's gate! I want to see when the soldiers come to attack him!”


(In the first year of the Yuankang era (291), Yang Jun was executed, and the Prince of Runan, Sima Liang, was killed not long after. And in the first year of Yongkang (300), Zhang Hua and Pei Wei had been killed.

During the rise of Cao-Wei, they had used Ye as their capital for their royal endeavor, and so Wang Bao here calls it "the old capital of Wei".

The Sixth Nine Undivided reading in the Book of Changes states, "The dragon exceeding the proper limits. There will be occasion for repentance." The commentary for this reading states, "'The dragon exceeds the proper limits; - there will be occasion for repentance:' - a state of fullness, that is, should not be indulged in long."

The Third Sixth Divided reading of the Book of Changes states, "He lays hold of thorns." Tao Hongjing remarked, "Many thorns grow by the roadside, and though their leaves cover the ground, their thorns have sharp points, and though the thorns seem small, they have three corners. They are so abundant around Chang'an that many people wear wooden clogs to avoid them. The modern army creates things of cast iron for the same purpose, to spread them on the enemy's roads, and these things are also called thorns. When the Book of Changes states, 'He lays hold of thorns,' it expresses misfortune and harm. The Erya dictionary states, 'The tribulus vine is thorny.' And the Book of Poetry has the verse, 'The tribulus grows on the wall. (Qiang You Ci 1)'"

Wang Bao incurred Sima Ai's anger by his suggestion to send the princes out to their fiefs, and so he was put to death.

During the Zhou dynasty, the Dukes of Zhou and Shao had divided the land and ruled separately, as the Two Lords, both in support of the royal house. This was the precedent that Wang Bao wished to have Sima Jiong follow.

During the Spring and Autumn era, the Wu minister Wu Zixiu was killed by King Fuchai of Wu. When Wu Zixiu was about to die, he said, "Hang my eyes above the Eastern Gate of Wu, so I can see when the soldiers of Yue enter Wu." Wang Bao was invoking this quote.)


14. Now since Sima Yong had originally been inclined to support Sima Lun during the recent fighting, Sima Jiong was often wary of him in his heart.

The Inspector of Lianzhou, Huangfu Shang of Anding, was on bad terms with Sima Yong's Chief Clerk, Li Han. Li Han was summoned to the capital to serve as Colonel of 翊軍, and at this time Huangfu Shang was advising Sima Jiong on military affairs, and Xiahou Shi's elder brother was also part of Sima Jiong's staff. Li Han felt that he would not be safe in the capital, and he also had a bad relationship with Sima Jiong's Marshal of the Right, Zhao Xiang.

So Li Han fled on a lone horse to Sima Yong, and showed him a supposed secret imperial decree which he had forged, ordering Sima Yong to execute Sima Jiong. Li Han further warned Sima Yong, "The Prince of Chengdu (Sima Ying) was the closest kin to Emperor Hui, and he had the greatest achievements in the recent fighting, but he declined power and went back to his border post, and so he won the hearts of all the people. Meanwhile, although the Prince of Qi (Sima Jiong) is kin to the royal family, he abuses his power, and all the court is wary of him.

"If you were to send a proclamation ordering the Prince of Changsha (Sima Ai) to punish the Prince of Qi, the Prince of Qi would surely execute the Prince of Changsha. We would then have a pretext to act, by marching against the Prince of Qi to punish him for his crime, and we would be certain to capture him. Then if you send away the Prince of Qi and set up the Prince of Chengdu in his place, you would both avoid misfortune and establish close ties for yourself, thus securing the fortunes of state. That would be a great achievement."

Sima Yong followed his advice.

At this time, the Prince of Fanyang, Sima Yan's younger kinsman Sima Xiao, was serving as Commander of military affairs in Yuzhou.

Sima Yong sent up a petition outlining Sima Jiong's crimes and misdeeds, further stating, "Marching at the head of a hundred thousand soldiers, I wish to join together with the Prince of Chengdu, Sima Ying, the Prince of Xinye, Sima Xin, and the Prince of Fanyang, Sima Xiao, to combine our forces at Luoyang. I ask that the Prince of Changsha, Sima Ai, remove Sima Jiong from power and send him back to his estate, so that Sima Ying may replace him as regent over the government."

Sima Yong then prepared his soldiers to march, appointing Li Han as their commander to lead Zhang Fang and his other generals to Luoyang.

He also sent out a proclamation to Sima Ying informing him. When Sima Ying was about to heed this call, Lu Zhi remonstrated with him, but Sima Ying did not listen to him.


(When Sima Yong was still planning to support Sima Lun, he had killed Xiahou Shi and his spontaneously raised army, as mentioned above in the previous year (301.15).

Sima Xiao was the youngest son (actually grandson) of the late Marquis of Dongwucheng, Sima Yi's younger brother Sima Kui.)


15. In the twelfth month, on the day Dingmao (January 26th of 303), Sima Yong's petition arrived at Luoyang. Sima Jiong was greatly afraid, and he summoned a meeting of the ministers to discuss the matter. He said to them, "I sounded the call for soldiers to rise up on behalf of righteousness, and I hold only the authority of a mere minister, trusting upon the divine wisdom. Yet now these two Princes have returned my trust with slander and are causing trouble. What is to be done?"

The Prefect of the Master of Writing, Wang Rong, said, "Your achievements are indeed very grand; however, you did not reward people in accordance with the efforts they made. This is why people are half-hearted towards you. Furthermore, the armies of the two Princes are extensive, and you will not be able to overcome them. If you were to retire to your estate, and make a sublime abdication of your authority, then you could still secure yourself."

But Sima Jiong's Attendant Officer of the Palace Gentlemen, Ge Yu, angrily replied, "For a member of the Three Terraces to say such things shows how much you disregard the Prince's affairs. It is no fault of his that rewards have been slow in coming. Besides, those who speak slander and stir up chaos should all be put to death. How are we supposed to heed the empty orders of this presumptuous letter? And through all the time of Han and Wei, what prince that retired to his estate has ever been able to protect his wife and children? Anyone who suggests such a thing out to be beheaded!"

The ministers were greatly disturbed and lost color. Wang Rong, pretending to take medicine, went out to the lavatory and so escaped.


(The two Princes were Sima Yong and Sima Ying.

Ge Yu identifies Wang Rong as "a member of the Three Terraces"; he means the Masters of Writing.

To grant rewards as recompense for service is the term 賞報. 稽 means "detained" or "held up", and 緩 means "tardy". Ge Yu was saying that the fault for the delay in granting rewards was not with Sima Jiong's staff.)


16. Li Han camped his soldiers at Yinpan, and Zhang Fang led twenty thousand soldiers to Xin'an. They sent the proclamation ordering Sima Ai to punish Sima Jiong.

Sima Jiong sent Dong Ai to attack Sima Ai, but Sima Ai rushed into the palace at the head of more than a hundred of his attendants. He closed all of the palace gates, and took Emperor Hui to attack the office of the Grand Marshal. Dong Ai arrayed his soldiers west of the palace, and set fire to the Qianqiu and Shenwu Gates.

Sima Jiong sent people bearing the Zouyu Banners to spread the message, "The Prince of Changsha, Sima Ai, has forged an imperial decree."

But Sima Ai also spread the message, "The Grand Marshal has plotted rebellion."

That night, there was great fighting within the city; flying arrows poured down like rain, and the glow of the fires outshone the heavens. Emperor Hui was at the Shangdong Gate when a flurry of arrows came his way, and his ministers died in their rush to block the arrows.

The fighting raged for three days, until Sima Jiong's forces were greatly defeated. His Chief Clerk, Zhao Yuan, killed He Xu, arrested Sima Jiong, and surrendered.

Sima Jiong was brought to the Front Hall. Emperor Hui, feeling sad for him, wished to let him live, but Sima Ai ordered those around him to lead Emperor Hui away, and he beheaded Sima Jiong outside the Changhe Gate. Sima Jiong was posthumously known as Prince Wumin ("the Martial and Pitied") of Qi.

Of the surrendered leaders of the Six Armies, those who were in league with Sima Jiong were executed with their families to the third degree, with the dead numbering more than two thousand. Sima Jiong's sons Sima Chao, Sima Bing, and Sima Yinng were imprisoned at the Jinyong fortress, and the Prince of Beihai, Sima Jiong's younger brother Sima Shi, was deposed.

An amnesty was then declared throughout the realm, and the reign era title was changed.

When Li Han and the other commanders heard of Sima Jiong's death, they led their soldiers back to Chang'an.


(Wei Shou's Geographical Records states, "During Han, Yinpan County was part of Anding commandary. During Jin, it was part of Jingzhao commandary. The Hongmen and Xi Rivers were both within this county." From what I, Hu Sanxing, understand, the border between Jingzhao and Pingyi commandaries during Han was the Wei River. Anding commandary was north of Pingyi. How could Jin have carved Yinpan County out of Anding commandary to put it in Jingzhao? Wei Shou must have been mistaken. The Commentary on the Water Classic states, "The Ling River passes through the two plains of Yinpan and Xinfeng, and flows north to join with the Wei River. In Emperor Ling of Han's third year of Jianning (170), Xinfeng was changed to Duxiang, and granted to Duan Jiong as his marquisate. The city of Yinpan was later established there, and this river bordered the city on the northern side, so it was also called the Yinpan River. And to the north was carved the Caopan Canal, to join with the Wei River. This was the Yinpan where Li Han set his camp." The Historical Records of the Five Dynasties states, "Sui abolished Later Wei's Pingliang commandry, folding it into Yinpan County." The Geographical Records mentions that there was a Pingliang commandary in Jingzhou, administered from Yin County. It must be that these two Yinpans were both included without the error being realized, by which we can see the difficulties of the study of history. Liu Xu remarked, "Liangyuan County in Tang's Jingzhou was the same as Sui's Yinpan County, the same Yinpan County that was part of Anding commandary during Han." Song Bai remarked, "Thirteen li east of Zhaoying County in Jingzhao commandary, there was the old city of Han's Xinfeng County, also called Yinpan County. At the end of the reign of Emperor Ling during Later Han, the Yinpan County in Anding commandary was moved to this place, and so it was the Yinpan of Jingzhao commandary."

During Han, Xin'an County was part of Hongnong commandary. During Jin, it was part of Henan commandary.

The Qianqiu and Shenwu Gates were the western gates of the palace. During Later Han, it was called the Shenhu Gate. But the Book of Jin and the Histories of the Northern and Southern Dynasties were all written during the Tang dynasty, and Tang observed a naming taboo on the given name of their Emperor Taizu (Liu Hu), so to comply with the taboo, the name of this gate was changed to Shenwu.

In Sima Jiong's message in this passage, some versions do not explicitly include the character for Sima Ai's name.

The Shangdong Gate that Emperor Hui is mentioned as being at in this passage was not the Shangdong Gate of the walls of the city of Luoyang, but the Shangdong Gate of the palace complex.

He Yu had risen up with Sima Jiong at the time of their rebellion against Sima Lun. By this time, he was General Who Leads The Army of the Center.

The Commentary on the Water Classic states, "According to tradition, the sovereign had five gates, called the Gao Gate, the Ku Gate, the Zhi Gate, the Ying Gate, and the Lu Gate. Emperor Ming of Cao-Wei (Cao Rui), exalting in the law, built the Taiji Hall at the Southern Palace at Luoyang, where the Han dynasty's Chongde Hall had once stood, and he renamed the Zhi Gate to the Changhe Gate." I, Hu Sanxing, believe that the Tian Gate was called the Changhe Gate, so this must be the one. But according to the Records of Jin, the western walls of the city of Luoyang had the three gates of Guangyang, Ximing, and Changhe. We cannot be certain which of these Changhe gates is meant in this passage. But this was a very confused time, and how could there have been enough time to drag Sima Jiong all the way outside the capital through one of the western gates? So it must be that the Changhe Gate in this passage was the one in the walls of the palace complex.

It was at this time that the reign era title became the first year of Tai'an.)


17. Although Sima Ai was now in control of the court, he always referred every issue, no matter how great or small, to Sima Ying at Ye to first solicit his thoughts.

Sima Ying appointed Sun Hui as an Army Advisor, and Lu Yun as his Marshal of the Right.


18. During this year, the Prince of Chenliu and former Emperor of Wei, Cao Huan, passed away. He was posthumously known as Emperor Yuan ("the Foremost") of Wei.


(When Jin had accepted the abdication from Cao-Wei, Cao Huan had been granted the title Prince of Chenliu.)


19. The Chanyu of the Yuwen tribe of the Xianbei, Yuwen Mogui, had an army that was great and powerful. He sent his younger brother Yuwen Quyun to attack the rival Xianbei leader Murong Hui. But Murong Hui attacked the army of his commander Su Nuyan and routed him.

Su Nuyan, ashamed by this reverse, gathered up an army of a hundred thousand and marched against Murong Hui again, this time besieging him at Jicheng. Murong Hui's followers were all afraid. But Murong Hui told them, "Although Su Nuyan's soldiers are very numerous, they lack discipline or control. They have already walked into my trap. You gentlemen need only exert yourselves in battle, and there will be nothing to fear!" So he marched out and attacked Su Nuyan's army, greatly routing it. He pursued them for a hundred li, and the number of enemy dead or captured was reckoned in the tens of thousands.

A certain Meng Hui of Liaodong, who had originally been just another part of Yuwen Mogui's group, led several thousand families to surrender to Murong Hui, and Murong Hui appointed him as General Who Establishes Might.

Murong Hui esteemed his minister Muyu Gou, for he was diligent, respectful, honest, and unassuming, so Murong Hui trusted Muyu Gou with handling his treasury. Muyu Gou kept all the necessary figures memorized in his head, and although he never consulted any records books, his accounts were never once deficient or mistaken. And another of Murong Hui's ministers, Muyu He, was wise, discerning, meticulous, and inquisitive. So Murong Hui assigned him to handle the laws and canons, as well as prisons and law cases. Muyu He made careful investigations, and his decisions were clear and just.


(Sima Guang's commentary in the Textual Analysis states, "The Biography of Murong Hui in the Chronicles of the Book of Jin at first records the name of the humiliated Yuwen commander merely as 'Suyan', but later on it states, 'Suyannu (or possiblye 'Suyan, furious,') led his army to besiege Jicheng.' The biographies in the Records of the Book of Yan all identify him as 'Sunuyan'. It must be that Nuyan was his given name."

The term 識 in this instance means "to memorize".

The 慕輿 Muyu were another branch of the Xianbei, and Muyu thus became a surname.

This passage shows Murong Hui's skill in employing and using people.)
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Unread postby Taishi Ci 2.0 » Mon Nov 20, 2017 3:23 am


The Second Year of Da'an (or, Tai'an) (The Guihai Year, 303 AD)


(Some versions record the reign era here as "太 Tai'an" instead of "大 Da'an".)


1. In spring, the first month, the refugee leader Li Te secretly crossed the river and attacked Luo Shang, whose forces arrayed along the river scattered and fled. The Administrator of Shu commandary, Xu Jian, surrendered Chengdu's Lesser City to Li Te. When Li Te marched in to occupy it, he only claimed the horses for army purposes, but there was no further plunder. He declared an amnesty within the region under his control, and he declared a new reign era title as the first year of Jianchu. Luo Shang, still defending Chengdu's Greater City, sent agents to Li Te to arrange peace terms.

By this time, all of the people in the Shu region who had banded together inside of fortifications sent funds to support Li Te, who sent people in turn to visit them and tend to their concerns. Since the grain supplies in Li Te's army were running low, he dispersed the refugees from the six commandaries to stay in these various fortified places so they could feed themselves.

Li Liu said to Li Te, "These fortified places have only just come over to our side, and men's hearts are fickle things. We ought to have their leaders send us their sons and younger brothers as hostages, and we ought to keep our soldiers together in order to defend ourselves, so that we can be prepared if anything should happen."

He and Li Te's Major, Shangguan Dun, also wrote Li Te a letter, stating, "Accepting a surrender is like going to receive an enemy. This is not a thing to take lightly."

Li Te's General of the Front, his son Li Xiong, also expressed the same sentiments.

But Li Te angrily replied, "The whole business is already settled, and the thing to focus on now is bringing stability to the people. How can you go so far as to heap such doubts and suspicions upon them? That will drive them away and make them rebel!"


(This passage mentions Luo Shang's forces "along the river"; it means the Pi River.

Sima Guang's commentary in the Textual Analysis states, "The Annals of Emperor Hui in the Book of Jin states, 'In the fifth month of the first year of Tai'an (302), Li Te declared himself Grand General.' The Biography of Li Te in the Chronicles of the Book of Jin states, 'In the first year of Tai'an (302), Li Te declared himself Grand General and changed the reign era title.' The Biography of Li Xiong in the Book of Northern Wei states, 'In Emperor Zhao's seventh year, Li Te declared himself Grand General and changed the reign era title to Jianchu.' Emperor Zhao's seventh year would have been the first year of Tai'an (302). Zu Xiaoheng's Instructional Book of the Xiuwen Hall states, 'In the second year of Tai'an (303), Li Te declared a general amnesty, and changed the reign era title to the first year of Jianchu. He was soon killed.' The Annals of the Thirty Kingdoms and the Annals of Jin both state, 'In the first month of the second year of Tai'an (303), Li Te falsely assumed the throne and changed the reign era title.' I follow the account of the Instructional Book and the other texts."

Li Liu and Shangguan Dun feared that the people were falsely surrendering to Li Te, and they wanted to keep the soldiers in strict readiness, as though they were about to receive the attack of an enemy.)


2. The court ordered the Inspector of Jingzhou, Zong Dai, and the Administrator of Jianping, Sun Fu, to lead thirty thousand naval soldiers to reinforce Luo Shang. Zong Dai had Sun Fu serve as his vanguard, sending him forward to threaten Deyang. In response, Li Te sent his son Li Dang and the new Administrator of Shu commandary, Li Huang, to assist the defense of Deyang together with the Administrator there, Ren Zang.

Because of the great size of Zong Dai's and Sun Fu's army, the fortified places began to waver in their resolve of which side to support. The Attendant Officer to the Manager of Infantry of Yizhou, Ren Rui of Shu commandary, said to Luo Shang, "Li Te has dispersed his forces in order to keep them fed, and in his arrogance, he has made no preparations to defend himself. Heaven wills his downfall. You should make a secret accord with the fortified places. Set a time for a general rising, and we shall all attack him from every side. How could we not destroy him?"

So Luo Shang had Ren Rui slip out of the city by rope during the night. Ren Rui went around to the fortified places, telling them Luo Shang's intentions, and he arranged that on the tenth day of the second month, they would all attack Li Te together.

Ren Rui also visited Li Te to feign his surrender, and he saw that the inside of Li Te's city was empty. He thought to himself, "The grain stores are nearly exhausted; funds and silks are the only things here."

So Ren Rui asked that he be allowed to go back to his family, and Li Te allowed him to leave. Ren Rui then returned to Chengdu and informed Luo Shang of everything.

In the second month, Luo Shang sent his soldiers to launch a surprise attack on Li Te's camp, and the fortified places also supported him. Li Te's soldiers were greatly defeated. Li Te, Li Fu, and Li Yuan were all killed. Their bodies were burned, and their heads were sent to Luoyang.

The refugees were now greatly afraid. Li Liu, Li Dang, and Li Xiong gathered up the remaining soldiers and fell back to guard Chizu. Li Liu declared himself the new Grand General, Grand Commander, and Governor of Yizhou. He guarded the eastern camp, while Li Dang and Li Xiong guarded the northern camp.

Sun Fu broke into Deyang; Jian Shuo was captured, while Ren Zang retreated to camp at Fuling.


(Li Te had split off part of Guanghan commandary to form Deyang commandary.

Sima Guang's commentary in the Textual Analysis states, "Regarding Luo Shang's agent in arranging this rising against Li Te, the Biography of Li Te in the Chronicles of the Book of Jin records his name as Ren Ming, and the Biography of Luo Shang in the Book of Jin records it as Ren 銳 Rui. But I follow the account of the Huayang Guozhi in naming him Ren 叡 Rui."

Some versions list Li Liu as one of the Li commanders who led their army back in the wake of Li Te's death.

Chizu was the name of a place, east of Mianzhu. 祖 is pronounced "zie (z-ie)".

寋 Jian is a surname.

The Fuling mentioned in the last sentence was the Fu County in Han's Guanghan commandary, the same as Fucheng County in Jin's Zitong commandary. It was not the Fuling in Fuling commandary. The Fu in Guanghan/Zitong is in the modern Mianzhou, and even today people call Mianzhou "Fuling". The Fuling in Fuling commandary is the Fuling County in modern Fuzhou.)


3. In the third month, Luo Shang sent his Protector He Chong and Chang Shen to attack Li Liu. A native of Fuling, Yao Shen, also rose up with soldiers to attack Li Liu. Li Liu sent Li Xiang to oppose Yao Shen (or, Li Liu sent Li Xiang to oppose Chang Shen, and sent Li Dang and Li Xiong to oppose Yao Shen).

Seeing that Li Liu's camp was now exposed, He Chong took the chance to attack the northern camp. The Di leader Fu Cheng and Kui Bo, who were present in the camp, switched sides to support Luo Shang's men. Li Dang's mother Lady Luo put on armor and fought back against these enemies. Kui Bo picked up a blade and injured Lady Luo in the eye, but this only made her fight all the stronger.

The camp was on the point of falling. By this time, Li Liu and the others had routed Chang Shen and Yao Shen, and they led their soldiers back to the camp. They fought He Chong and greatly defeated him. Fu Cheng and Kui Bo led their followers on a sudden charge to break out, and they went to present themselves to Luo Shang.

Li Liu and the others followed up on their victories by advancing to threaten Chengdu again. Luo Shang once more closed the gates to defend the city.

Li Dang was riding his horse on a quick pursuit north when he was struck by a spear and died.


(Some versions expand the third sentence to read "Li Liu sent Li Xiang to oppose Chang Shen, and sent Li Dang and Li Xiong to oppose Yao Shen."

Some versions state that "The camp was on the point of falling".)


4. The court sent the Palace Attendant, Liu Chen of the Yan princely fief, bearing a Staff of Authority to oversee the armies of Luo Shang, Xu Xiong, and the others dealing with Li Liu's rebels. But when Liu Chen arrived at Chang'an, the Prince of Hejian, Sima Yong, kept Liu Chen there to serve as his Army Instructor, and he sent Xi Wei in Liu Chen's place.


(Some versions state that Liu Chen was "of the Yan princely fief".

Luo Shang was in command of the armies of Yizhou, while Xu Xiong was in command of the armies of Lianzhou.

X Wei is pronounced "yei (y-ei)".)


5. Seeing as Li Te and Li Dang had died one after the other, and the armies of Zong Dai and Sun Fu were so close, Li Liu was very afraid. Li Han urged him to surrender, and Li Liu agreed with him. Li Xiang and Li Xiong sent remonstrations, but Li Liu would not heed them.

In summer, the fifth month, Li Liu sent his son Li Shi and Li Han's son Li Hu to Sun Fu's army as hostages. Li Hu's elder brother Li Li was then serving as the rebels' Administrator of Zitong, and when he heard that hostages had been sent, he quickly returned from his commandary to remonstrate with Li Liu and Li Han, but to no avail.

Li Li withdrew from them, and began plotting with Li Xiong to attack Sun Fu's army. Li Xiong said, "That is exactly the thing we should do now. If our uncles refuse to go along, so what?"

Li Li replied, "We'll force their hands!"

Li Xiong was greatly pleased. He gathered together the refugees and urged them, "It was just recently that we had our way over the people of Shu. But now the situation has changed overnight, and we have become fishbait! Whoever wishes to join us and attack Sun Fu, fame and fortune will be yours!"

The people all followed him. Li Xiong and Li Li then attacked Sun Fu's army, and greatly routed it. At that time, Zong Dai was at Diejiang, and he had the Jingzhou army fall back.

Li Liu was deeply shamed by all this, but he also gained a great appreciation for Li Xiong's abilities. He trusted him with all military matters.


("Our uncles" meant Li Liu and Li Han.

墊 is pronounced "die". Ever since Han, Diejiang County had been part of Ba commandary. During Tang, it was part of Hezhou.)


6. Now the Prince of Xinye, Sima Xin, had been strict and harsh in his administration of his territory, and so he had alienated the hearts of the Man and Yi tribes. A fellow of the Man people in Yiyang, Zhang Chang, gathered together several thousand of his followers, planning to rebel.

Jingzhou issued an edict on the day Renwu (June 10th) drafting strong fighting fellows for an army to fight Li Liu in Yizhou, and this came to be known as the Renwu Draft. The people did not want to go on a campaign so far away, and none of them wished to comply with the draft. But the enforcers of the edict were especially strict and exacting, and in the territories that they passed through and stayed in for five days, even those of Two Thousand 石 salary rank were stripped of office. Because of that, the commandary and county ministers and officials all personally came out to see them, but before the enforcers had gone very far, the officials all began to band together in outlaw groups.

And at this time, there was an abundant harvest in Jiangxia, and thousands of people came there seeking food.

Zhang Chang was thus able to deceive and mislead the common people. He changed his name to Li Chen, and he recruited followers at Mount Shiyan in Anling commandary. Many of the refugees and those avoiding the draft call flocked to his side.

The Administrator of Jiangxia, Gong Qin, sent soldiers to campaign against Zhang Chang, but without success. Zhang Chang then marched to attack the commandary capital. Gong Qin's soldiers were defeated, and he and his general Zhu Xi fled to Wuchang.

Sima Xin sent the Cavalry Commander Jin Man to attack the rebels, but Jin Man was also defeated and fled.


(Liu Xu remarked, "Yiyang was originally Yiyang Village in Han's Pingshi County. During Emperor Wen of Cao-Wei's (Cao Pi's) Huangchu era (220-6), he split off Yiyang as Yiyang County, administered from Shicheng. Later on, part of Nanyang commandary was split off as Yiyang commandary, administered from Anchang, and composed of the five counties of Anchang, Pinglin, Pingshi, Yiyang, and Pingchun. During Tang, it was Yiyang County in Shenzhou."

The Biography of Zhang Chang in the Book of Jin states, "Mount Shiyan is eighty li from Anling commandary." The Commentary on the Water Classic states, "The Yun River passes through the west of Anling County in Jiangxia commandary, and flows south past the north of Mount Shiyan." There is a Mount Shiyan ten li south of the modern De'an Garrison.

The Registry of Surnames states, "Those with the surname 弓 Gong are the descendants of the great minister Shu Gong of the state of Lu." From what I, Hu Sanxing, understand, Confucius had a nephew named Zhonggong, and Han Bi's style name was Zigong, but it is not clear as to whether they were descendants of Shu Gong.

伺 is pronounced "Xi (x-i)".)


7. Zhang Chang then occupied Jiangxia, and he spread a false prophecy stating, "A sage shall appear to lead the people." He produced a certain official from Shandu County, Qiu Chen, and changed his name to Liu Ni, falsely claiming that he was a descendant of the royal line of Han. He raised up Qiu Chen as the Son of Heaven, saying, "Here is the sage."

Zhang Chang then named himself as Qiu Chen's Chancellor of State. He fashioned fake phoenix and jade ornaments for Qiu Chen, and he changed the reign era title to Shenfeng. The conducting of sacrifices and the clothing worn were all done in imitation of the old Han style. Whoever refused to serve in Zhang Chang's army was executed along with their clans, and so there was no one among the gentry or common people who dared not to go along with him.

A rumor spread: "Everywhere south of the Yangzi and the Huai River is already in rebellion, so the government will raise a great army and kill everyone."

This rumor spread rapidly, and so people became very afraid. Everyone living between the Yangzi and the Mian River rose up with soldiers and joined Zhang Chang, and in the space of a month his army swelled to thirty thousand. They all wore crimson caps and wore beards made of horse tails.

An edict was issued ordering the General Who Leads The Army, Hua Hong, to campaign against these rebels, but Hua Hong was defeated at Mount Zhang.


(Du You remarked, "The capital city of Han's Jiangxia commandary was in the southeast of Yunmeng County in Anzhou."

During Han, Shandu County was part of Nanyang commandary. During Jin, it was part of Xiangyang commandary. Its territory was within Tang's Gucheng County in Xiangzhou. Du You remarked, "The capital city of Shandu County was in the southeast of Yiqing County in Xiangzhou."

There is a Mount Zhang forty li east of modern Anlu County.)


8. Sima Xin sent up a petition stating, "The dogs and sheep of the bandits number in the tens of thousands. They have crimson heads and hairy faces. They dance with their blades and shift stances with their halberds, and their spirit is too keen to be overcome. I ask that the court dispatch armies along three roads to reinforce us against them."

So the court appointed the Colonel of 屯騎, Liu Qiao, as Inspector of Yuzhou, and they appointed the General of 寧朔, Liu Hong, as Inspector of Jingzhou. They also ordered Sima Yong to send the Inspector of Yongzhou, Liu Chen, to lead ten thousand soldiers of his province, along with five thousand soldiers of the household guard of the General Who Conquers The West, to march through Lantian Pass and campaign against Zhang Chang. But Sima Yong would not obey the edict, and when Liu Chen brought his soldiers to Lantian, Sima Yong seized control of his army.

Liu Qiao camped his army at Runan, while Liu Hong, the General of the Front, Zhao Xiang, and the General Who Pacifies The South, Yang Yi, camped at Wan. Zhang Chang sent his general Huang Chen to lead twenty thousand soldiers towards Yuzhou, but Liu Qiao attacked them and drove them off.


(The term 挑刀 means "dancing blades". Modern brave fellows from the countryside will wield double-bladed weapons in both hands, moving forward and shifting back while remaining in one spot. In order to show their strength in swordfighting, they will cast their blades up into the air, as high as one or two zhang, and then catch them with their hands. They are also skilled at dancing with halberds, withdrawing on the left side while moving forward on the right side, in order to throw their enemy off balance. They also wrap their bodies in plates and halberds, turning and shifting as though entangled, and then plant the shaft of their halberd on the ground and leap over it. They are especially cunning and nimble, and so it is said that they "shift stances with their halberds".

The rank General of 寧朔 first appeared at this time.

Lantian Pass was in Lantian County in Jingzhao commandary, where the state of Qin's Yao Pass once was.)


9. During the time that Sima Jiong had been in power, Sima Xin had been on good terms with him. After Sima Jiong was overthrown, Sima Xin became afraid, and he had reached out to the Grand General, Sima Ying.

Now that Zhang Chang had started a rebellion, Sima Xin petitioned asking for permission to campaign against him. At this time, the relationship between Sima Ying and the Prince of Changsha, Sima Ai, had deteriorated. So when Sima Ai received this petition, he suspected that Sima Xin was trying to form common cause with Sima Ying against him, and he refused to listen to Sima Xin's request to move his troops.

Zhang Chang's army grew larger by the day. The Attendant Officer of the Household Gentlemen, Sun Xun, said to Sima Xin, "You are a border commander, entrusted with protecting the edges of the realm, and you have been sending in all these petitions. How can they forbid you like this? When wickedness and violence are growing on every side, and these disasters and disputes are unfathomable, how can the borders protect the royal family or safeguard the realm with righteousness?"

So Sima Xin was about to march out anyway, but Wang Sui said to him, "Zhang Chang and the others are just minor bandits. How can you, who are only a subordinate commander, take matters into your own hands, violate an imperial command, and expose yourself to the slings and arrows?"

When Zhang Chang reached Fancheng, Sima Xin insisted upon marching out to oppose him. But his army scattered, and he was killed by Zhang Chang. He was posthumously known as Prince Zhuang ("the Dignified") of Xinye.

An edict was issued appointing Liu Hong as Sima Xin's replacement as General Who Guards The South and Commander of military affairs in Jingzhou.

In the sixth month, Liu Hong appointed the Chief Clerk to the Colonel of Southern Man Tribes, Tao Kan of Lujiang, as Grand Protector. He also appointed the Army Advisor Kuai Heng as Protector of the Volunteer Army, and he appointed the General of the Standard, Pi Chu, as 都戰帥.

Liu Hong advanced to occupy Xiangyang. Zhang Chang combined his forces to lay siege to Wan; he defeated Zhao Xiang's army and killed Yang Yi. Liu Hong fell back to camp at Liang County. Zhang Chang advanced to attack Xiangyang, but he could not take it.


(Sima Xin's cooperation with Sima Jiong in the campaign against Sima Lun is mentioned in the previous book, in the first year of Yongning (301).

Sun Xun says that Sima Xin is a 岳牧. In ancient times, the realm had four 岳s and twelve Governors, each of which led soldiers in defense of the feudal states. This was why people in later ages called those with border commands 岳牧s.

Mao Chang remarked, "藩 means border or fence. 翰 means trunk."

Some versions further state that Tao Kan was "of Lujiang".

The Colonel of Southern Man Tribes had Chief Clerks and Marshals as subordinates.

The Volunteer Army was made up of common people as soldiers. The duties of the Protectors were first split up at this time.

Du You remarked, "Xiangyang was Han's Zhonglu County."

Liang County was part of Runan commandary. During Tang, it was the administrative center of Ruzhou.)


10. Li Xiong attacked and killed the Administrator of Wenshan, Chen Tu, and he then captured Picheng.


(汶 is pronounced "min".

Sima Guang's commentary in the Textual Analysis states, "The Huayang Guozhi records this Administrator as Chen Shi. But I follow the account of the Biography of Li Liu in the Chronicles of the Book of Jin."

Pi County was part of Shu commandary. Li Ying's Records of Yizhou states, "The capital of Pi County was in the north of the modern county." Liu Xu remarked, "Wenjiang County in Tang's Yizhou was the Pi County of Han.")


11. In autumn, the seventh month, Li Liu moved his camp to Pi County. The people of Shu had all withdrawn into the fortified places to protect themselves, while some of them had fled south into Ningzhou or east into Jingzhou. The cities and villages were all left empty, and there was no cooked food to be had in the field. Li Liu foraged all around, but he could not obtain any supplies, and the soldiers suffered from hunger and exhaustion.

The only place with more than a thousand families left was Fuling, where they had gathered at Mount Qingcheng under the leadership of the hermit Fan Changsheng. The Army Advisor to the General Who Pacifies The West, Xu Yu of Fuling, had asked Luo Shang to appoint him as Administrator of Wenshan, so that he could form an alliance with Fan Changsheng that they might attack Li Liu together. But Luo Shang would not give his permission. Xu Yu, angry at this, went to offer his surrender to Li Liu instead, and Li Liu appointed him as the General Who Maintains The West of the rebels. Xu Yu then spoke to Fan Changsheng, urging him to send grain to keep Li Liu's army supplied. Fan Changsheng followed his advice, and so Li Liu's army was restored to fighting form.


(Mount Qingcheng is in Du'an County in Wenshan commandary, thirty-two li north of Qingcheng County in modern Yongkang Garrison. Du Guangting wrote the Records of Mount Qingcheng, stating, "The Min Mountains stretch from peak to peak and from cave to cave, unbroken for a thousand li. Mount Qingcheng is the highest of these peaks."

Fan Changsheng was a native of Fuling; he had led the people there to Mount Qingcheng for protection.

Luo Shang was himself the General Who Pacifies The West, so Xu Yu was his Army Advisor.

Sima Guang's commentary in the Textual Analysis states, "The Huayang Guozhi records the name of this hermit as Fan Jian, and it records the name of Luo Shang's Army Advisor as Xu 輿 Yu rather than Xu 轝 Yu. But in both these cases I follow the account of the Biography of Li Liu in the Chronicles of the Book of Jin.")


12. During the previous year, Sima Yong's advisor Li Han had believed that Sima Ai was so weak and feeble that Sima Jiong would have easily killed him when provoked, and then Sima Yong would have cause to punish Sima Jiong for this crime. Then Sima Yong could depose Emperor Hui and set up Sima Ying in his place, with Sima Yong wielding power as Sima Ying's Chancellor. So they had attempted this plot. But, contrary to Li Han's expectations, Sima Jiong was killed by Sima Ai instead. So Sima Ying and Sima Yong were still merely guarding their border commands, uncertain of what to do next.

By this time, Sima Ying had grown arrogant based on his achievements, and he was lax in enforcing things, even worse than Sima Jiong had been. But he resented the fact that Sima Ai was still at the center of power and he could not do whatever he liked, so Sima Ying wanted to get rid of him.

At the same time, Huangfu Shang was now serving as Sima Ai's Army Advisor, and his elder brother Huangfu Zhong had been appointed as Inspector of Qinzhou. Li Han warned Sima Yong, "Huangfu Shang is employed by Sima Ai, and Huangfu Zhong will ultimately not allow you to control him. You should do away with both of them at once. You could petition that Huangfu Zhong be transferred to a post in the capital, and then when he passes through Chang'an on his way to Luoyang, you can arrest him."

But Huangfu Zhong knew what they intended for him, and so after sending a letter to the court stating his intentions, he raised the soldiers of Longxi to attack Li Han.

Because Sima Ai had few soldiers himself, he attempted to resolve the situation by both issuing an edict ordering Huangfu Zhong to disperse his soldiers and summoning Li Han to Luoyang to serve as Intendant of Henan. Li Han obeyed the summons, but Huangfu Zhong ignored the edict. Sima Yong sent the Administrator of Jincheng, You Kai, the Administrator of Longxi, Han Zhi, and the other ministers from four commandaries to attack Huangfu Zhong.

Sima Yong also secretly ordered Li Han, the Palace Attendant Feng Sun, and the Prefect of the Palace Secretariat, Bian Cui, to plot together to kill Sima Ai. Huangfu Shang informed Sima Ai of the plot, and all three of them were arrested and executed. The Attendant Officer to the General of Agile Cavalry, Zhuge Mei, and the former Chief Clerk to the Minister Over The Masses, Qian Xiu of Wuyi, both fled the city and ran to Ye.


(Li Han's poor relationship with Huangfu Shang, and his plot to have Sima Jiong kill Sima Ai to give a pretext for war against Sima Jiong, are mentioned in the previous book, in the first year of Tai'an (302.14).

The six commandaries west of the Long Mountains were governed by Qinzhou.

Sima Guang's commentary in the Textual Analysis states, "The Biography of Li Han in the Book of Jin states, 'Sima Yong petitioned that Li Han be appointed as Intendant of Henan.' But I follow the account of the Biography of Huangfu Zhong in the Book of Jin."

The Inspector of Qinzhou had his headquarters at Jicheng.

Zhuge Mei is noted as being the "Attendant Officer"; he was the Attendant Officer of the Household Gentlemen.

During Former Han, Wuyi County was part of Xindu commandary. During Later Han and Jin, it was part of the Anping princely fief. Sima Yan had split off Wuyi as its own commandary. During Tang it became a county again, as part of Jizhou.)


13. Zhang Chang's follower Shi Bing invaded Yangzhou, where he defeated the Inspector, Chen Hui, and completely ravaged several commandaries. He also attacked and broke into Jiangzhou, and his fellow commander Chen Zhen attacked Wuling, Lingling, Yuzhang, Wuchang, and Changsha; all of these places fell to the rebels. A native of Linhuai, Feng Yun, raised troops to invade Xuzhou in support of Shi Bing.

Most of the territory of the five provinces of Jingzhou, Jiangzhou, Xuzhou, Yangzhou, and Yuzhou was thus occupied by Zhang Chang's men. Zhang Chang appointed his own Governors and Administrators; they were all cruel brigands and miscreants, and their only duties were how they could plunder their territories.


(At this time, Jiangzhou was administered from Yuzhang.

Han had created Linhuai commandary. Emperor Zhang combined it into the Xiapi princely fief. In Jin's first year of Taikang (280), they had restored Linhuai commandary.

The Registry of Surnames states, "Those with the surname 封 Feng are the descendants of Fengfu of Xia.")


14. Liu Hong sent Tao Kan and his other commanders to attack Zhang Chang at Jingling, while Liu Qiao sent his generals Li Yang and others to march towards Jiangxia. Tao Kan and the others fought several times with Zhang Chang, and greatly routed him; they took several tens of thousands of heads altogether. Zhang Chang fled to Mount Xiajun, while his soldiers all surrendered.


(Jingling County was part of Jiangxia commandary. Sun Zongjian remarked, "When one travels from Caizhou south to the Xinyang Garrison, the road begins as a mountain path, meandering all the way to Anling. From there, the road is two courier stations in length until one reaches Fuzhou, and it is flat land all the way. Then south until the Yangzi, there is not a hill or mound to block one's way. From crossing the Yangzi until one reaches Shitou, one first begins passing through shallow hills. 竟陵 Yingling is so called because there are 陵 hills until one reaches here, where they 竟 cease. And 石首 Shitou is so named because because the 石 rocks and boulders continue until they come to a 首 head here. The Yingling of old is in modern Fuzhou."

Mount Xiajun was in Xiajun County in Changsha commandary. Yan Shigu remarked, "儁 is pronounced 'zan (z-an)' or 'can (c-an)'."

Sima Guang's commentary in the Textual Analysis states, "The Annals of Emperor Hui in the Book of Jin states, 'In the eighth month, on the day Gengshen (September 16th), Liu Hong fought Zhang Chang at the Qing River, and beheaded him.' The Biography of Zhang Chang in the Book of Jin states, 'Zhang Chang was defeated, and he scurried away to Mount Xiajun. The autumn of the following year, he was captured and beheaded.' Now according to Liu Hong's Petition Regarding The Beheading Of Zhang Yi (an event described below, in this same year), he states, 'Zhang Chang's wicked followers have only just been put down, and Zhang Chang himself has not yet had his head displayed.' So I follow the account of the Biography of Zhang Chang.")


15. As a child, this Tao Kan had been a poor orphan. During the time that he served as a courier commander in his commandary, the Administrator of Changsha, Wan Si, was passing through Lujiang. He saw Tao Kan and marveled at him, and he ordered his son to befriend the young man before leaving.

Later on, Tao Kan was nominated as Filial and Incorrupt. When he arrived at Luoyang, the Prefect of the Household Gentleman for the Prince of Yuzhang, Yang Diao, recommended him to Gu Rong, and thus did Tao Kan gain a reputation.

After Tao Kan overcame Zhang Chang, Liu Hong said to him, "When I was younger, I once served as an Army Advisor to Lord Yang Hu, and he told me that someday I would fill the same office that he had. Sir, seeing you like this, I know that you will be the one who succeeds me too."


(Sima Yan's younger brother Sima Chi was the Prince of Yuzhang; he would later become Emperor Huai.

晫 is pronounced "diao (d-iao)".

"Lord Yang" meant Yang Hu.

Many people of Jin referred to themselves as 身 "this body". Yang Hu's remark was "you will someday hold the same position that this body does.")


16. When Liu Hong had fallen back to camp at Liang, the General Who Conquers The South and Prince of Fanyang, Sima Xiao, had sent the former Colonel of 長水, Zhang Yi, to assume command of Jingzhou. When Liu Hong now arrived in Jingzhou, Zhang Yi refused to turn command over to him, and he even raised troops to oppose Liu Hong. Liu Hong marched against Zhang Yi and beheaded him.

At that time, there were many vacant offices among the administrative posts in Jingzhou. Liu Song asked that he be allowed to select people to fill these offices, and the court granted their consent. Liu Hong selected people of merit and virtue, choosing people whose abilities were suited to their offices, and everyone he chose conducted themselves in accordance with their public duties.

Liu Hong petitioned that Pi Chu be appointed to fill the office of Administrator of Xiangyang. But although Pi Chu had merits to his name, he had little influence at court, and they instead appointed the former Administrator of Dongping, Liu Hong's son-in-law Xiahou Zhi, as the Administrator of Xiangyang. Liu Song mused, "He who would govern a state must take the whole state as his heart. Now Jingzhou has ten commandaries. If I must first be bound in marriage ties to a man before I can entrust him with a commandary, then must I have ten sons-in-law first before I can govern the province?"

And he submitted a petition stating, "When a marital relative is promoted, it has been the tradition not to have mutual supervision with him. Pi Chu's accomplishments ought to be recognized and rewarded."

So the court heeded his suggestion.

Liu Hong encouraged and supervised the people in farming and raising silkworms, he lightened punishments and lowered taxes, and he gave proper notice to both public and private affairs. So the common people all loved and treasured him.


(Sima Xiao was based in Yuzhou.

The term 銓 means to gain the measure of, or to select.

The Registry of Surnames states, "Those with the surname 皮 Pi are the descendants of Zhongpi of the state of Fan."

According to the Records of Jin, Jingzhou originally administered twenty-two commandaries. In time, the three commandaries of Guiyang, Wuchang, and Ancheng were split off as part of Jiangzhou, leaving nineteen commandaries. Then three more commandaries, Xincheng, Weixing, and Shangyong, were split off as part of Lianzhou, leaving sixteen commandaries. By the reign of Emperor Huai, the six commandaries of Changsha, Hengyang, Xiangdong, Lingling, Shaoling, and Guiyang were formed into Xiangzhou. At that time, Jingzhou still had eleven commandaries. So in Liu Hong's remark here, he has shorted himself a commandary. (There seems to be some confusion over Guiyang, listed twice here.))


17. When Sima Yong heard that Li Han and the other plotters in Luoyang were dead, he raised his troops to campaign against Sima Ai.

Now Sima Ying had earlier petitioned the court asking that he be allowed to prepare his army to march against the rebel Zhang Chang, and the court had granted their permission. But by the time he was ready, he heard both that Zhang Chang had already been defeated and that Sima Yong was now marching against Sima Ai. Sima Ying thus wished to join in the campaign against Sima Ai.

His advisor Lu Zhi remonstrated with him, saying, "Lord, you had great achievements before, and yet you gave up power and declined favor, and thus you gained great appreciation. If you were to now (or, you ought to now) leave your army outside the passes and enter the court wearing civil attire, (then) that would be the business of a hegemon."

And his Army Advisor, Shao Xu of Wei commandary, also said, "A man's brothers are as important to him as the right and left hands are to the body. Yet rather than face the enemies of all the realm, Your Highness plans to first cut off one of your own hands. How can this be?"

But Sima Ying would not listen to them.

In the eighth month, Sima Yong and Sima Ying submitted a joint petition, stating, "Sima Ai has not been just in recognizing and rewarding achievements, and he is monopolizing the reins of power together with the Supervisor of the Right, Yang Xuanzhi, and the General of the Left, Huangfu Shang. He has even killed loyal and esteemed officials. We ask that Yang Xuanzhi and Huangfu Shang be put to death, and that Sima Ai be sent away to his fief."

An imperial edict in Emperor Hui's voice was issued responding, "Sima Yong has presumed to raise a great army and turn his banners towards the capital and the imperial carriage. I shall personally lead the Six Armies to punish this wicked traitor. Sima Ai is hereby appointed as Grand Commandant and as Commander of all military affairs, in order to confront this enemy."


(Sima Ying's resignation from his initial role as co-regent with Sima Jiong and his return to Ye is mention in the previous book, in the first year of Yongning (301.30).

Some versions parse Lu Zhi's phrase "if you were to now" as "you ought to now".

"Outside the passes" means beyond the suburbs and passes of the capital.

The "loyal and esteemed officials" mentioned in the joint petition refers to Li Han and the other plotters, executed by Sima Ai before their plot could be carried out.

Sima Guang's commentary in the Textual Analysis states, "The Annals of Emperor Hui in the Book of Jin states, 'In the twelfth month of the first year of Tai'an (302), Sima Ai executed Sima Jiong, and he was then appointed as Grand Commandant and as Commander of all military affairs.' The Annals of Jin states, 'In the seventh month of the second year of Tai'an (303), Sima Yong and Sima Ying rose up with their soldiers. In response to this, Sima Ai was appointed as Grand Commandant and as Commander in order to campaign against them.' Now in the aftermath of Sima Jiong's death, Sima Ying still had a light grasp on court affairs, and so Sima Ai would not have had a reason to become Commander of all military affairs then. Furthermore, we saw earlier (301.28) that Sima Yong had already been appointed Grand Commandant, so Sima Ai could not have been appointed to that either before Sima Yong rose up. So I follow the account of the Annals of Jin.")


18. Sima Yong appointed Zhang Fang as Commander, placing him in charge of an army of seventy thousand elite soldiers. Zhang Fang marched east from Hangu towards Luoyang.

Sima Ying brought his troops to camp at Zhaoge. He appointed the Interior Minister of Pingyuan, Lu Ji, as General of the Front and Commander of the Vanguard. Sima Ying selected others, including the General of the Household Gentlemen Who Commands The North, Wang Cui, the Champion General, Qian Xiu, the Army Protector of the Center, Shi Chao, and others to lead an army of more than two hundred thousand soldiers, and they marched south towards Luoyang.

Now Lu Ji was somewhat of a recent recruit to Sima Ying's banner, and yet he had thus been placed ahead of several generals overnight, so Wang Cui and the others were not inclined to obey him. The Commandant of Baisha, Sun Hui, was a close friend to Lu Ji, and he urged Lu Ji to resign his command in favor of Wang Cui. But Lu Ji told him, "The generals already say that I am like a mouse with my head looking this way and that. If I were to further do as you suggest, that would only bring me misfortune all the quicker." So he accepted his role.

Sima Ying had his forces arrayed from Zhaoge to Heqiao, and the beatings of their drums could be heard for several hundred li.


(Shen Yue remarked, "The title of Champion General first appeared when King Huai of Chu appointed Song Yi as Champion General of 卿子. Cao-Wei had appointed Wen Qin as Champion General."

Baisha was southeast of Ye.

"The mouse's head looks both ways" was a common vulgar saying during Han. Fu Qian remarked, "The mouse's head turns now forwards, now backwards." Lu Dian's Piya text states, "This is an old saying. The mouse is a suspicious creature; it often peeps out of its den without deciding to really come out. So it is said that the mouse's head is always looking both ways, hither and thither."

The Heqiao mentioned in this passage was the Heqiao at Fuping Crossing.)


19. On the day Yichou (September 21st), Emperor Hui went to Thirteen Li Bridge. Grand Commandant Sima Ai sent Huangfu Shang at the head of more than ten thousand soldiers to resist Zhang Fang at Yiyang.

On the day Jisi (September 25th), Emperor Hui returned to the Xuanwu Platform. On the day Gengwu (September 26th), he took up residence at Shilou. In the ninth month, on the day Dingchou (October 3rd), he camped at Heqiao.

On the day Renzi (?) (or, the day Renwu, October 8th), Zhang Fang attacked Huangfu Shang and defeated him.

On the day Jiashen (October 10th), Emperor Hui's army was at the Mang Hills. On the day Dinghai (October 13th), Emperor Hui was at Yanshi County. On the day Xinmao (October 17th), he took up residence at Doutian.

Sima Ying advanced to camp south of the Yellow River, using the Qing River as his rampart.

On the day Guisi (October 19th), Yang Xuanzhi was so anxious and afraid that he passed away, and Emperor Hui brought the army back to Luoyang's eastern walls. On the day Bingshen (October 22nd), Emperor Hui was at Goushi, where he attacked Qian Xiu and drove him off. A general amnesty was declared.

Zhang Fang entered the outskirts of Luoyang. There was great plundering, and the dead numbered tens of thousands.


(Thirteen Li Bridge was west of Luoyang, thirteen li from the walls, thus its name.

The Commentary on the Water Classic states, "East of Luoyang's Daxia Gate is the Xuanwu Overlook, built into the walls. To the south it overlooks the Tianyuan Pond, and to the north it gazes down on the Xuanwu Platform. Jia Chong's former residence was west of this platform.”

Some versions record the day Ren 子 zi as Ren 午 wu.

During Han, Yanshi County was part of Henan commandary. Jin abolished it, but Sui restored it. It was northeast of Luoyang.

According to the Five Elements chapter of the Book of Jin, there was a Doutian Rampart east of Luoyang.

This passage describes Sima Ying's army as moving "to Henan", by which it means that he crossed south of the Yellow River (He) at Heqiao, not that he went to Henan County. The Qing River mentioned here was the Qingji River.)


20. In Shu, Li Liu became deathly ill. He said to his generals, "The General of Agile Cavalry, Li Xiang, is benevolent and wise, and he would be enough to see this affair to fruition. But the General of the Front, Li Xiong, is a brave and heroic man, almost the equal of Heaven. May all of you entrust affairs to the General of the Front."

Li Liu then passed away, and the rebels all acclaimed Li Xiong as Grand Commander, Grand General, and Governor of Yizhou, with his base at Picheng.

Li Xiong sent Pu Tai of Wudu to deceive Luo Shang. Pu Tai convinced Luo Shang to launch an attack on Picheng, saying that he would assist Luo Shang's army from inside the city. Luo Shang sent Kui Bo to lead an army to attack Picheng. Pu Tai had arranged that he would light a fire within the city to draw out Li Xiang's troops into the streets, and then he would drop down siege ladders for Kui Bo's men to climb up. When Kui Bo's men saw the fires rising, they strove to scale the ladders, but they were then flank attacked by Li Xiang's soldiers and greatly routed. Li Xiang's men pursued their fleeing enemies through the night until they reached the walls of Chengdu, where they falsely hailed a cry of victory, saying, "We have already taken Picheng!" They were let inside the Lesser City, but when Luo Shang realized what had happened, he withdrew into the Greater City to hold out there. Kui Bo was severely injured, and Li Xiong captured him alive, but he pardoned Kui Bo and did not kill him.

Li Xiang attacked Jianwei and so cut off Luo Shang's supply lines. He captured the Administrator there, Xi Hui, and killed him.


(Li Te's younger brother Li Xiang had been appointed as General of Agile Cavalry, and his youngest son Li Xiong had been appointed as General of the Front.

朴 Pu was a surname, one of the seven surnames of the Bandun Man people. Sun Sheng remarked, "朴 is pronounced 'fu'."

Kui Bo had originally been one of the refugee commanders, but he had defected to Luo Shang.)


21. Sima Jing's general Shi Chao advanced to threaten Goushi. In winter, the tenth month, on the day Renyin (October 28th), Emperor Hui returned to the palace. On the day Dingwei (November 2nd), the imperial army defeated Sima Ying’s general Qian Xiu outside the Dongyang Gate.

Sima Ying sent his general Ma Xian to assist Lu Ji. On the day Wushen (November 3rd), Sima Ai brought Emperor Hui with him to fight Lu Ji at the Jianchun Gate. Sima Ai's Marshal Wang Hu sent several thousand cavalry with halberds fastened to their mounts to break through Ma Xian's formation. Ma Xian's army was thrown into confusion, and he was captured and killed. Lu Ji's army suffered a great defeat, and they withdrew to Seven Li Gully. The dead lay in piles, and the river was choked with their corpses. Sima Ai executed Jia Chong and Lu Ji's other chief commanders, sixteen men in all. Shi Chao escaped and got away.


(The Commentary on the Water Classic states, "The Dongyang Gate was the middle gate on Luoyang's eastern walls during Han." It further states, "The Jianchun Gate was the upper gate on the eastern walls. The Gu River passed in front of it, and there was a stone bridge over the river."

Sima Guang's commentary in the Textual Analysis states, "The Biography of Lu Ji in the Book of Jin states, 'They fought at Luyuan'. But I follow the account of the Annals of Emperor Hui in the Book of Jin.")


22. During all this time, the eunuch Meng Jiu had received the favor of Sima Ying.

There had been an instance where Meng Jiu wanted to have his father appointed as Prefect of Handan. Sima Ying's Chief Clerk of the Left, Lu Zhi, and his other subordinates did not dare to speak out against this proposal. But then the Marshal of the Right, Lu Ji's brother Lu Yun, refused to give his approval and would not consent to the idea, saying, "Handan County is suited for one of Your Highness's officials. How could it be given to the father of a member of the Yellow Gate?" Meng Jiu deeply resented this.

Meng Jiu had a younger brother, Meng Chao, who was serving as a subcommander in Lu Ji's army in charge of ten thousand men. Before the army had fought a battle, the soldiers were engaging in great plunder. Lu Ji arrested the ringleaders. Meng Chao led more than a hundred iron cavalry straight into Lu Ji's section of the camp and liberated the men he had arrested, turning his head towards Lu Ji to say, "You raccoon dog slave, can you lead or can't you?"

Lu Ji's Marshal, Sun Zheng of Wu commandary, urged Lu Ji to kill Meng Chao, but Lu Ji could not follow his advice. Meng Chao began spreading a rumor through the army: "Lu Ji is about to rebel." And he wrote a letter to Meng Jiu, saying that Lu Ji was a hesitant and overly cautious man, and that was why the army was so slow to do anything.

During the battle, Meng Chao would not accept Lu Ji's orders, and he rashly moved his soldiers forward on his own. He was lost when the army was defeated. Meng Jiu suspected that Lu Ji had killed him, so he slandered Lu Ji to Sima Ying by saying, "Lu Ji is of two minds regarding the Prince of Changsha (Sima Ai)."

Qian Xiu had long curried favored with Meng Jiu, and the generals Wang Chan and Hao Cheng and the subordinate commander Gongshi Fan had all become his pawns; each of these men testified on Meng Jiu's behalf. Sima Ying became very angry, and he sent Qian Xiu to lead soldiers to arrest Lu Ji. Sima Ying's advisor Wang Zhang remonstrated with him, saying, "The difference in strength between us and the enemy today is so great that we could use anyone at all against them and know we would still be ultimately successful, much less a man as clever and accomplished as Lu Ji! The only issue is that Lu Ji is a fellow from Wu, and Your Highness has used him more than was proper, so now the veteran generals from the north all resent him."

But Sima Ying would not listen.

When Lu Ji heard that Qian Xiu had come for him, he removed his military clothing and put on a white cap. Then he went to meet with Qian Xiu, and when he saw the letter from Sima Ying, he lamented, "If only I could hear the call of the cranes of Huating again!"

Qian Xiu then killed him.

Sima Ying also arrested Lu Ji's younger brothers, the Interior Minister of Qinghe, Lu Yun, and the Libationer to the General Who Pacifies The East, Lu Dan, as well as Sun Zheng. He put all of them in prison.


(During Han, Handan County was part of the Zhao princely fief. During Cao-Wei and Jin, it was part of Guangping commandary. During Sui and Tang, it was part of Cizhou.

Li Yun's remark meant that counties like Handan County were sufficient to support a member of a noble's staff.

Lu Ji was a Commander, and yet he had to conduct affairs with the younger brother of a Yellow Gate official; he could have just resigned.

錄 means to arrest.

Yang Zhengheng remarked, "'Raccoon dog' is the name of an animal; it delights in sleeping, much like the fox." I, Hu Sanxing, believe that Meng Chao was comparing Lu Ji to a raccoon dog.

If Lu Ji had been able to heed Sun Zheng's advice and beheaded Meng Chao, that would have been like when Sima Rangxu executed Zhuang Jia. It was for this reason that Lu Ji was killed by Sima Ying. How could he not have been an earnest and talented man?

The various princes and nobles in command of troops, and those officials who held border posts, all had subordinates who were "below the tent" commanders, who commanded those soldiers "below the tent".

In Emperor Wen of Cao-Wei's (Cao Pi) second year of Huangchu (221), he split off part of Wei commandary to form Yangping commandary.

公師 Gongshi is a compound surname.

Lu Ji is noted as wearing a white 帢. A 帢 is a kind of cap; a cap with four depressed corners is called a 帢. The Records of Jin states, "During the time when the realm was in disorder and in want, Wu of Wei (Cao Cao) was lacking in goods, so he devised an old leather cap, and cut fine silk for it to produce a 帢, in order to distinguish its worth. It was originally an army ornamentation, not intended for general use." Xu Yuan remarked, "It is said that the 帢 cap did not originally have a raised place in it. But when Xun Wenruo (Xun Yu) was wearing it, he took a branch and hit the hat with it until he had created a raised place, and called it good. It is now worn as part of congratulatory or mourning occasions."

Lu Ji's words about the cranes of Huating recall Li Si's lament about his yellow dog shortly before his execution in the marketplace of Xianyang.

At the time of this passage, Huating was part of Wu commandary. Huating Valley and the Huating River had been within Jiaxing County, but at the beginning of Tang, Huating County was split off from Jiaxing County. It was seventy li east of where the modern county is. Cranes fly out of this place, and people call it the Crane's Nest.

According to the Biography of Lu Yun in the Book of Jin, Lu Yun had been transferred from his post as Interior Minister of Qinghe to serve as the Marshal of the Right to the Grand General, which was Sima Ying's rank. This passage ought to identify him as Marshal of the Right rather than Interior Minister of Qinghe.

Sima Guang's commentary in the Textual Analysis states, "Regarding Sun 拯 Zheng, the Annals of Jin identifies him as Sun 承 Cheng. But I follow the account of the Biography of Sun Zheng in the Book of Jin.")


23. Sima Ying’s 記室, Jiang Tong, Cai Ke of Chenliu, Zao Song of Yingchuan, and others all submitted a petition to Sima Ying, stating, "Lu Ji's lack of proper planning resulted in defeat, and if you intended to kill him for that, it would have been sufficient. But as for him going so far as to plot rebellion and treason, the whole army knows that this was not so. We ask that before you do anything further, you first investigate these accusations of Lu Ji's supposed rebel intent. If there is the slightest evidence to substantiate them, it will not be too late to execute Lu Yun and the others as well."

Jiang Tong and these others continued to plead with Sima Ying incessantly, but Sima Ying put them off for three days. Then Cai Ke was given an audience, and when he came before Sima Ying, he kowtowed until blood flowed from his head as he begged, "Lu Yun is the target of Meng Jiu's resentment; everyone near and far knows this. If you will kill him even so, Your Highness, how greatly will this foolish minister pity you!"

Dozens of Sima Ying's officials and subordinates followed Cai Ke into the audience, all pleading with him through tears. Sima Ying was moved by this display, and he looked as though he were about to pardon Lu Yun. But Meng Jiu hustled Sima Ying away, and he gave an expedited order to put Lu Yun and Lu Dan to death, along with Lu Ji's family to the third degree.

The prison officials tortured Sun Zheng hundreds of times, until the bones showed through on his ankles, but to the very end he insisted Lu Ji was innocent. The prison officials knew that Sun Zheng was righteous and indomitable, and they said to him, "Who does not know of the wickedness of Lu Ji and Lu Yun? Sir, do you care nothing for your own life?"

Sun Zheng lifted his head towards Heaven and lamented, "Sir Lu and his brother were great talents of the age, and I received their attention and their love. Since I could not save them from death, how could I possibly bear to slander them?"

Meng Jiu and the others knew that Sun Zheng would not bend, so they ordered the prison officials to forge a confession in Sun Zheng's hand. After Sima Ying had killed Lu Ji, he often regretted his decision. But when he saw the forged confession from Sun Zheng, he was greatly pleased, and he said to Meng Jiu and the others, "If not for your loyalty, I could not have gotten rid of this wicked fellow."

Sun Zheng was executed, along with his family to the third degree.

During Sun Zheng's imprisonment, his two students, Fei Ci and Zai Yi, had visited the prison officials to attest to Sun Zheng's innocence. Sun Zheng had tried to send them away, telling them, "My sense of righteousness does not allow me to abandon the Lu brothers, and so death shall be my share. Why are you doing this for me?"

They replied, "Sir, if you cannot abandon the Lu brothers, neither can we abandon you!"

They had continued to insist on Sun Zheng's innocence, until Meng Jiu had them killed as well.


(The two sides of the foot, inside and out, are called the ankles.

The surname 宰 Zai was originally the name of a government office, and it later became a clan name. During the Spring and Autumn era, Zhou had a Zai Xuan, and Confucius had a nephew named Zai Yu.)


24. Sima Ai brought Emperor Hui to attack Zhang Fang. When Zhang Fang's soldiers saw the imperial carriage was with the enemy army, they all retreated and fled, so Zhang Fang was greatly defeated, with more than five thousand of his soldiers killed.

Zhang Fang retreated to camp at Thirteen Li Bridge. His soldiers were afraid, and wanted to flee by cover of night. Zhang Fang said to them, "Victory and defeat are both the common lot of an army. But one who is skilled at using soldiers can turn a defeat into a success. If I were to now advance and then build a rampart, so as to catch the enemy off guard, that would be a great plan."

So, taking advantage of the dark of the night, he secretly marched his soldiers back to within seven li of Luoyang, and then built rampart walls several rows thick, while foraging for grain and fruit to keep his army fed. Since Sima Ai had just won a victory over Zhang Fang, he believed there was nothing left to fear from him. But in the eleventh month, when Sima Ai heard that Zhang Fang had completed these ramparts, he led his soldiers to attack him again, but without success.

The court discussed how, seeing as Sima Ai and Sima Ying were brothers, the court might be able to mediate between them to resolve their conflict. So they sent the Prefect of the Palace Secretariat, Wang Yan, and others to go and speak to Sima Ying, with the proposal that he and Sima Ai could divide up the realm with Shan as their border, each of them residing in their own domains. But Sima Ying would not agree to their proposal.

Sima Ai then wrote his own letter to Sima Ying, outlining the advantages and disadvantages, and wishing to arrange peace terms with him. Sima Ying wrote back, "If you will send me the heads of Huangfu Shang and the others, then I will take my troops back to Ye."

But Sima Ai could not do this.


(Sima Guang's commentary in the Textual Analysis states, "The Biography of Sima Yong in the Book of Jin identifies the place that Zhang Fang retreated to as 'the Jue River Bridge'. But I follow the account of the Annals of Emperor Hui in the Book of Jin."

The Dukes of Zhou and Shao had divided the realm at Shan and styled themselves the Two Lords. Shan was at Hongnong. By this proposal of dividing the realm at Shan and invoking the examples of the Dukes of Zhou and Shao, the court merely wished to have Sima Ai and Sima Ying follow their examples as the Two Lords, and did not mean for them to actually divide the realm at Shan.)


25. Sima Ying advanced his army to once again threaten the capital region, while Zhang Fang breached the Qianjin Dam, so the water mills all ran dry. He also sent the slave girls of the noble families to grind up food by hand and distribute it to his soldiers. Any officials who were not actively campaigning, from the highest ranks on down, as well as any boys thirteen years or older, were forced into corvee labor, and slaves were sent out to assist the soldiers.

Both public and private matters were so impoverished and pressured that a single 石 of rice now cost ten thousand cash. The will of imperial edicts could now only be enforced in Luoyang alone.

The Registrar to the General of Agile Cavalry, Zu Ti of Fanyang, said to Sima Ai, "Liu Chen is a loyal and righteous man, firm and resolute, and Yongzhou has enough soldiers to control Hejian. You should send out an edict to Liu Chen, ordering him to raise his troops and attack Sima Yong. When Sima Yong feels such pressure, he will certainly recall Zhang Fang to come save him. This would be an excellent plan."

Sima Ai agreed with his suggestion. Liu Chen heeded the edict and spread notice to all corners of his province, and most of the commandaries of Yongzhou brought their troops to him. With the combined forces of seven commandaries, Liu Chen had tens of thousands of soldiers, and he led them towards Chang'an.


(The Commentary on the Water Classic states, "The Qianjin Dam is fifteen li east of the capital of Henan County." The Records of Luoyang states, "Qianjin Dam was an old weir for controlling the Gu River. During Cao-Wei, the weir was restored, and named Qianjin Dam."

With the capital region in such dire straits, no matter how many battles he won, how could Sima Ai have prevailed?

At this time, Sima Ai was himself the General of Agile Cavalry, so Zu Ti was his own Registrar.

Yongzhou administered seven commandaries, with its headquarters at Anding; some say that at this time, it was at Xinping.)


26. Sima Ai also sent Huangfu Shang to travel along byroads, bearing an edict written in Emperor Hui's own hand, ordering You Kai and Sima Yong's other generals campaigning against Huangfu Zhong to disband their armies, and giving Huangfu Zhong the command to advance his army to attack Sima Yong. Huangfu Shang went along these byroads as far as Xinping, where he encountered his uncle. This uncle had long hated Huangfu Shang, and he sent word to Sima Yong, who arrested Huangfu Shang and killed him.


27. In the twelfth month, the Gentleman-Consultant Zhou Qi and the former Interior Minister of Nanping, Wang Ju, raised troops in the Southland to campaign against Zhang Chang's erstwhile commander Shi Bing. They acclaimed the former Administrator of Wuxing, Gu Mi of Wu commandary, as Commander of military affairs of nine commandaries of Yangzhou. They spread proclamations through the provinces and commandaries, and killed all the officials that Shi Bing had appointed. The former Imperial Secretary, He Xun, then raised troops in Kuaiji as well, and the Interior Minister of Lujiang, Hua Tan of Guangling, Ge Hong of Danyang, and Gan Zhuo all rose up in support of Gu Mi too. This Zhou Qi was the son of Zhou Chu; this He Xun was the son of He Shao; this Gan Zhuo was the great-grandson of Gan Ning.


(Eastern Wu had created Nan commandary south of the Yangzi. After Jin conquered Eastern Wu, they renamed this commandary to Nanping, and they created a new Nan commandary north of the Yangzi.

Zhou Qi's given name 玘 is pronounced "ki (k-i)".

Yangzhou originally administered eighteen commandaries. Sima Yan had carved out the commandaries of Yuzhang, Poyang, Luling, Linchuan, Jian'an, Nankang, and Jin'an as part of the new Jiangzhou, leaving Yangzhou with eleven commandaries. In this passage, the loyalists acclaim Gu Mi as only the Commander of the nine commandaries of Danyang, Xuancheng, Piling, Wu, Wuxing, Kuaiji, Dongyang, Xin'an, and Linhuai. Since Huainan and Lujiang commandaries were north of the Yangzi, they were not included.

Zhou Chu's service in the campaign against the rebel Qiwannian is mentioned in Book 82, in the sixth and seventh years of Yuankang (296.5 and 297.1). He Shao served the final Emperor of Eastern Wu, Sun Hao, who had He Shao killed. Gan Ning served the Grand Emperor of Eastern Wu, Sun Quan, and was renowned as a bold commander. These three descendants were thus from powerful clans of the Wu region.)


28. Shi Bing sent his general Qiang Du to lead several tens of thousands of soldiers to oppose Zhou Qi, but Zhou Qi attacked and killed Qiang Du.

Shi Bing then marched from Linhuai to Shouchun. When the General Who Conquers The East, Liu Zhun, heard that Shi Bing was coming, he became afraid and did not know what to do.

The Logistical Director of Guangling, Chen Min of Lujiang, led his soldiers to Shouchun, and he told Liu Zhun, "These people are not happy to be camped so far from home; they have only been forced into it by the bandits. They are nothing but a flock of crows, and we can easily scatter them. Allow me to lead the soldiers to rout them on your behalf."

So Liu Zhun turned over his soldiers to Chen Min, and sent him to attack Shi Bing.


(The Registry of Surnames states, "羌 Qiang is a surname."

Chen Min had originally been a 令史 of the Masters of Writing, and was then sent out to be the Logistical Director of Hefei, where he transported the grain and rice of the south to the north by rivers to support the central provinces. He was then moved to be Logistical of Guangling.)


29. In the intercalary month, Li Xiong pressed his assault against Luo Shang at Chengdu. Luo Shang's army had no food. So Luo Sheng left the General of the Standard, Zhang Luo, to hold the city, while he fled during the night east down the Niubing River. Zhang Luo opened the gates of the city and surrendered to Li Xiong.

When Li Xiong entered Chengdu, his soldiers and people were hungry and exhausted, so he led his soldiers to forage at Qi County, where they dug up wild taros and ate them.

Xu Xiong had sat on his hands and done nothing to advance against the rebels in Shu, so he was summoned to the capital to answer for his crimes.


(Sima Guang's commentary in the Textual Analysis states, "The Biography of Li Xiong in the Chronicles of the Book of Jin records the name of Luo Shang's General of the Standard as Luo Te. But I follow the account of the Huayang Guozhi."

The Commentary on the Water Classic states, "The Niubing River is in Niubing County in Jianwei commandary." Liu Xu remarked, "Another name for the Luo River is the Niubing River." Du You remarked, "Yang'an County in Jianzhou was Han's Niubing County". Meng Kang remarked, "鞞 is pronounced 'bi'." Yan Shigu remarked, "鞞 is pronounced 'ber (b-er)'."

During Han, Qi County was part of Guanghan commandary. Jin abolished it. The Records of the Five Dynasties states, "Qi County was once called Wucheng. Emperor Daye of Sui (Yang Guang) renamed it Qi County. During Tang, it was administered by Zizhou." Song Bai remarked, "The capital of Han's old Qi County was ninety li south of the modern county. It was along the Yangzi, where the site of the old city of the King of Qi can be seen, so Qijiang became the name of the county."

It was said that these "squatting owls (taros)" were below Mount Min.

Xu Xiong's appointment as Inspector of Lianzhou is mentioned in the previous book, in the first year of Tai'an (302.4).)


30. The General Who Maintains The North and Commander of military affairs in Youzhou was Wang Jun. Since he could see that the realm was engulfed by turmoil, he wanted to arrange ties with the local tribes. So he gave one of his daughters in marriage to the Xianbei leader Duan Wuwuchen, and another daughter to the Yuwen general Su Nuyan. He also petitioned Liaoxi commandary to appoint Duan Wuwuchen as Duke of Liaoxi. This Wang Jun was the son of Wang Chen.


(The Yuwen state had a general named Su Nuyan, mentioned in the last book (302.19).

This was why Wang Jun was later able to use the forces of the Duan clan to attack Sima Ying and Shi Le.

Wang Chen was a minister of Cao-Wei; he had participated in the murder of the Duke of Gaogui (Emperor Cao Mao) on behalf of Sima Zhao.)


31. It was earlier mentioned that Li Rui and other local leaders in Ningzhou had rebelled on behalf of Li Te. After Mao Shen and the other local leaders had been killed by the Inspector of Ningzhou, Li Yi, Li Rui had fled to the leader of the tribes of Wuling, Yulingcheng.

Yulingcheng visited Li Yi to ask for a pardon on Li Rui's behalf, and Li Yi permitted it. But when Li Rui arrived to receive the pardon, Li Yi killed him instead. Yulingcheng was furious, and he led the tribes in rebellion to attack Li Yi.


(This local uprising is mentioned in the previous book, in the first year of Tai'an (302.8).

The Wuling tribe was the name of a tribe close to the borders of Ningzhou.)


32. The Prefect of the Masters of Writing, Yue Guang, had a daughter who was Sima Ying's concubine. Someone slandered him to Sima Ai because of that. Sima Ai asked Yue Guang about it, but Yue Guang's expression was unchanged, and he only said, "Shall I give up my five sons on behalf of one daughter?"

But Sima Ai still suspected him.


(Yue Guang was saying that if he were in league with Sima Ying, his five sons would be executed.)
Last edited by Taishi Ci 2.0 on Wed Dec 06, 2017 5:21 am, edited 6 times in total.
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Unread postby Taishi Ci 2.0 » Mon Nov 20, 2017 3:42 am


The First Year of Yongxing (The Jiazi Year, 304 AD)


(After Sima Ai's death, the reign era title was first changed to Yong'an. After Emperor Hui was moved to Chang'an, then the reign era title was changed to Yongxing.)


1. In spring, the first month, on the day Bingwu (February 29th), Yue Guang passed away from anxiety.


2. Sima Ai fought against Sima Ying's army several times; he routed them, and altogether he captured or killed sixty or seventy thousand soldiers. Sima Ai had never once failed to properly conduct himself with ceremony, and though the food supplies within the city grew smaller by the day, the officers and soldiers never lost heart. Zhang Fang, believing that Luoyang could not yet be taken, wanted to return to Chang'an.

But the Prince of Donghai, Sima Yue, was concerned that Sima Ai would not prevail. So on the day Guihai (March 17th), Sima Yue secretly assembled several palace officials and arrested Sima Ai, sending him to a branch ministry.

On the day Jiazi (March 18th), Sima Yue informed Emperor Hui of the situation. An edict was issued stripping Sima Ai of his offices and sending him to the Jinyong fortress. A general amnesty was declared, and the reign era title was changed to the first year of Yong'an.

When the gates of Luoyang were opened, the generals and soldiers of the household guards could see that the enemy armies outside were not very numerous. They regretted what had happened, and they planned to liberate Sima Ai and carry on the fight against Sima Ying.

Sima Yue, fearing that this might come to pass, wanted to kill Sima Ai to forestall the hopes of the soldiers. The Gentleman-Attendant of the Yellow Gate, Pan Tao, told him, "You cannot kill him yourself; your hands must remain clean of this."

So Sima Yue sent men to secretly make arrangements with Zhang Fang. On the day Bingyin (March 20th), Zhang Fang claimed Sima Ai from out of the Jinyong fortress. When Sima Ai was brought to Zhang Fang's camp, Zhang Fang had him burned to death. Even the officers and soldiers of Zhang Fang's army wept for Sima Ai. Sima Ai was posthumously known as Prince Li ("the Harsh") of Changsha.


(After Sima Ai's death, it was the partisans of Sima Ying and Sima Yong who arranged to heap this loathsome posthumous name (Li, "the Harsh") on him.

It was at this time that the reign era title was changed to Yong'an.

Sima Guang's commentary in the Textual Analysis states, "Regarding the nighttime plot against Sima Ai, the Biography of Sima Yue in the Book of Jin states, 'The generals of the palace and the Marshals of the Three Divisions, sick of the long fighting and defense of the city, secretly worked together with the Guard General of the Left, Zhu Mo, to arrest Sima Ai during the night and send him to a branch ministry. They compelled Sima Yue to be their leader.' But I follow the account of the Biography of Sima Ai in the Book of Jin.

"Regarding the order of a general amnesty and the changing of the reign era title to Yong'an, the Annals of Emperor Hui in the Book of Jin has these two entries: first, 'In the twelfth month of the second year of Tai'an (303), on the day Jiazi (January 18th of 304), a general amnesty was declared.' And second, 'In the first month of the first year of Yongxing (304), a general amnesty was declared, and the reign era title was changed (to Yong'an).' I suspect that these were actually the same event.

"Regarding the timing of Sima Ai's death, the Annals of Emperor Hui in the Book of Jin, the Annals of the Thirty Kingdoms, and the Annals of Jin all state, 'In the twelfth month of the second year of Tai'an (303), Sima Ai was killed.' But the Biography of Sima Ai in the Book of Jin states, 'Earlier, when Sima Ai had first taken hold of power, a rumor spread through Luoyang: "When the grasses and trees begin to sprout, Sima Ai will be killed." Sima Ai was deposed on the twenty-fifth day of the first month (of Yong'an, 304), and died on the twenty-seventh day, just as this rumor foretold.' Now the Biography of Yue Guang in the Book of Jin states, 'Sima Ying was Yue Guang's son-in-law, and this created friction between Yue Guang and Sima Ai. As Yue Guang was involved with court affairs, some people spread slander and hearsay against him. Yue Guang passed away from the anxiety.' With this as a reference point, if we look back to the Annals of Emperor Hui in the Book of Jin, it states, 'In the first year of Yongxing (304), in the first month, on the day Bingwu (February 29th), Yue Guang passed away.' If at the time of Yue Guang's death, Sima Ai were still alive, then the record of his being deposed on the twenty-fifth day of the first month of this year is valid, and so I have moved this event to the first month of Yongxing. Though I note that the Annals of Jin states, 'In the eighth month of the second year of Tai'an (303), Yue Guang took his own life.' Additionally, according to the Annals of Emperor Hui, it was during the first month of this year (304) that Sima Ying was appointed as Prime Minister and sent his troops to occupy the city gates in place of the household guards. I suspect that such things would have all been done in the immediate aftermath of Sima Ai's death. Lastly, there were indeed a Jiazi and a Bingyin day near the end of the first month of this year (304). For all these reasons, I follow the account of the Biography of Sima Ai.")


3. The nobles and officials all came to Ye to see Sima Ying and beg forgiveness for their crimes. Sima Ying entered the capital, but then returned to his post at Ye. An edict was issued appointing Sima Ying as Prime Minister, and Sima Yue was promoted to Prefect of the Masters of Writing.

Sima Ying sent the General Who Seizes Valor, Shi Chao, and his other generals to lead fifty thousand soldiers to occupy the twelve gates of Luoyang. Anyone in the palace whom he suspected was put to death, and all of the household guards and soldiers were replaced.

Sima Ying petitioned that Lu Zhi be appointed as the Chief of the Palace Secretariat, and he kept Lu Zhi with him at Ye, in order to provide advice for his duties as Prime Minister.


(The walls of Luoyang had twelve gates. The eastern gates were the three Jianchun, Dongyang, and Qingming Gates. The southern gates were the four Kaiyang, Jinyang, Pingchang, and Xuanyang Gates. The western gates were the three Guangyang, Ximing, and Changhe Gates. The northern gates were the two Daxia and Guangmo Gates. These were the twelve gates.)


4. Sima Yong's personal army was camped at Zheng County, in order to remain in contact with the eastern armies and provide any needed aid. But when Sima Yong heard that Liu Chen had risen against him, he fell back to guard Weicheng County. Sima Yong sent his Protector Yu Kui to counter-attack Liu Chen at Haozhi County. But Yu Kui's army was defeated, and Sima Yong, afraid, withdrew back into Chang'an and ordered Zhang Fang to return with his army.

Zhang Fang took more than ten thousand slave girls from both public and private sources around Luoyang before marching back west. In order to supply his army, he killed people and mixed their flesh with beef and horse meat to feed his soldiers.


(At this time, Zheng County was part of Jingzhao commandary, on the site of the fief that King Xuan of Zhou had granted to his younger brother, Duke Huan of Zheng. During Tang, it was part of Huazhou.

Weicheng County was where the old Xianyang of the Qin dynasty was. During Former Han, it was part of Fufeng commandary. It was abolished during Later Han, but the name of the place still lingered. Shi Le recreated it as Shi'an County. During Tang, its name was changed back to Xianyang County, as part of Jingzhao.

During Former Han, Haozhi County was part of Fufeng commandary. It was abolished during Later Han and Jin. In Tang's second year of Wude (619), the territory was split off from Liquan County to reform Haozhi County, as part of Jingzhao.)


5. Liu Chen crossed the Wei River with his army, and fought Sima Yong, who suffered several defeats.

Liu Chen sent the Prefect of Anding, Ya (or Wei) Bo, and the Merit Evaluator, Huangfu Dan, to lead five thousand elite armored soldiers to attack Chang'an. This army entered the gates of the city and even fought their way to Sima Yong's own canopy. But Liu Chen's main body was slow in coming up to reinforce them, and when the Administrator of Pingyi, Zhang Fu, saw that this advance army had no reserves, he led his own soldiers to flank attack them. Ya (or Wei) Bo and Huangfu Dan were killed, and their (or, Liu Chen's) army was defeated, with the remaining soldiers banding together and retreating.

Zhang Fang sent his general Dun Wei to attack these soldiers during the night. Liu Chen's army, taken by surprise, scattered. Liu Chen himself fled to the south with his personal followers, but he was pursued and captured.

When Liu Chen was brought before Sima Yong, he said to him, "Even if I had received some slight courtesy from you, the sense of justice between a minister and his sovereign is a still greater matter. I could not disobey an edict of the Son of Heaven, no matter what measure of strength the contest would entail. The day I shook out my sleeves in determination was the day that I resolved to die. Even if you slice me up into mincemeat, my death will be 'as sweet as the shepherd's purse'."

Sima Yong, furious, had Liu Chen whipped before cutting him in half at the waist.

The Administrator of Xinping, Zhang Guang of Jiangxia, had several times devised plans on behalf of Liu Chen. Sima Yong arrested Zhang Guang and questioned him about it. Zhang Guang replied, "Inspector Liu never used my humble advice, and that is why Your Highness is where you are today!"

Sima Yong approved of this, and treated Zhang Guang to feasts, while petitioning for him to be appointed as Marshal to the Guard General of the Right.


(Some versions record the name of this Prefect of Anding as 衞 Wei instead of 衙 Ya.

Huangfu Dan's given name 澹 is pronounced "tan (t-an)" or "tan (t-an)".

Some versions add the clarification that "Liu Chen's" army was the one who was defeated and retreated in the wake of Zhang Fu's flank attack.

敦 Dun is a surname.

Liu Chen's mention of "slight courtesy" refers to Sima Yong retaining him as an Army Instructor and then as Inspector of Yongzhou.

The Zuo Commentary to the Spring and Autumn Annals states, "Song put to death the envoy of Chu. When the Viscount of Chu heard of it, he shook out his sleeves and rose from his seat. (Huan 14.4)"

The Book of Poetry has the verse, "Who says that the sowthistle is bitter? It is as sweet as the shepherd's purse. (Gu Feng 2)")


6. In the Shu region, Luo Shang had retreated as far as Jiangyang. He sent word to the court of the current situation, and an edict was issued granting Luo Shang authority over the soldiers and taxes of Badong, Ba, and Fuling commandaries.

Luo Shang sent his Attendant Officer With Separate Carriage, Li Xing, to visit Liu Hong in Jingzhou and ask him for food supplies. Seeing as the supply lines between the two commanders were distant and obstructed, and Jingzhou itself was already suffering from shortages, Liu Hong's accounts-keepers wanted to only send Luo Shang five thousand 斛s of rice from Lingling commandary. But Liu Hong told them, "The whole realm is all part of the same family, and we cannot work at cross purposes. If I give Luo Shang these supplies now, then I will no longer have cause for concern on my western border." And he instead sent Luo Shang thirty thousand 斛s of rice, with which he could sustain himself.

Li Xing hoped that he would be able to remain in Jingzhou as an Army Advisor for Liu Hong, but Liu Hong took away his hand tablet and sent him on his way back to Luo Shang. Liu Hong also dispatched the 治中 He Song to lead soldiers to camp at Badong as a reserve force for Luo Shang.

At this time, there were more than a hundred thousand people who had come to Jingzhou as refugees. Because they were in an unfamiliar land and they were impoverished, many of them turned to banditry. But Liu Hong was generous in supplying the refugees with fields and seed stores, and he employed those among them who were worthy and talented, with anyone so selected being employed according to their abilities. So the refugees became tranquil and stable.


(The Huayang Guozhi states, "Luchuan County in Luzhou was originally Han's Jiangyang County. The modern Jiang'an County was also part of the old Jiangyang County."

The three commandaries Badong, Ba, and Fuling were normally part of Lianzhou. Luo Shang had now been given authority and command over them.

The "accounts-keepers" were those officials who assisted and advised Liu Hong on the affairs of his department.

Liu Hong was saying that, with Luo Shang at Ba and Fuling, he could serve as a buffer or shield for Jingzhou to the west, and thus Liu Hong would not need to worry about that border.

The "hand tablet" was an old tablet. When officials respectfully offered advice on government or noble affairs, they held this tablet up. By Liu Hong taking away Li Xing's tablet, he showed that he would not permit Li Xing to abandon Luo Shang's affairs to work under him instead.)


7. In the third (or, second) month, on the day Yiyou (May 17th, or ?), Sima Ying petitioned that Empress Yang Xianrong be deposed and kept under house arrest at the Jinyong fortress. He also asked that Crown Prince Sima Tan be demoted back to his former title as Prince of Qinghe.


(Some versions record this event as being in the second month instead of the third.

Yang Xianrong's selection as Empress is mentioned in Book 83, in the first year of Yongkang (300.30). Sima Tan's selection as Crown Prince is mentioned in Book 84, in the first year of Tai'an (302.5).)

This event probably took place in the second month, because the third month is mentioned again in the following passage, and the date of Sima Ying’s appointment as Crown Younger Brother in the passage after that would have taken place before the date listed here if it were the third month.


8. In Yangzhou, Chen Min fought with the bandit general Shi Bing dozens of times. Even though Shi Bing's host was ten times the size of Chen Min's army, whenever Chen Min attacked him, he always won a victory.

Chen Min and Zhou Qi attacked Shi Bing together at Jiankang (Jianye). In the third month, Shi Bing fled north, seeking refuge with Feng Yun. But Feng Yun's Marshal, Zhang Tong, beheaded both Feng Yun and Shi Bing, and then offered his surrender. Yangzhou and Xuzhou were thus pacified.

Zhou Qi and He Xun then disbanded their forces and returned home, saying nothing about their accomplishments or any rewards. The court appointed Chen Min as Chancellor of Guangling.


(This Feng Yun was a bandit leader in Xuzhou who supported Shi Bing.)


9. As the role of Crown Prince was now vacant, Sima Yong petitioned that Sima Ying be appointed to fill it, as the Crown Younger Brother. On the day Wushen (May 1st), an edict was issued appointed Sima Ying as Crown Younger Brother and Commander of all military affairs, while keeping his authority as Prime Minister. A general amnesty was declared. The imperial carriages, clothing, and other ornaments were all moved to Ye, and Sima Ying wielded power as Cao Cao once had during the Han dynasty.

Sima Yong was appointed as Grand Governor, Grand Commander, and Governor of Yongzhou.

The former Grand Tutor, Liu Shi, was appointed as Grand Commandant. But Liu Shi declined this post on account of his old age.


(For the Son of Heaven to stay in Luoyang while his heir set himself up at Ye was contrary to principle. And how could it be proper that all the imperial accoutrements were sent there as well?)


10. Crown Younger Brother Sima Ying grew more presumptuous and extravagant by the day. He used his personal favorites to handle affairs, and he lost much of the goodwill among the people that he once had. So Sima Yue entered into a plot to campaign against Sima Ying, together with the Guard General of the Right, Chen Zhen, the former General of Changsha, Shangguan Si, and others.

In autumn, the seventh month, on the new moon of the day Wuxu (August 17th), Chen Zhen brought his soldiers into the Yunlong Gate of the palace, and an edict was issued summoning the Three Excellencies, the government officials, and the people of the palace, placing all of them under military readiness to campaign against Sima Ying. Shi Chao fled to Ye.

On the day Wuxu (August 19th), a general amnesty was declared, and Yang Xianrong and Sima Tan were restored to their titles as Empress and Crown Prince.

On the day Jihai (August 20th), Sima Yue brought Emperor Hui with him as he set out on his northern campaign against Sima Ying. Sima Yue himself was appointed as Grand Commander.

The former Palace Attendant, Ji Shao, was summoned to accompany Emperor Hui's procession. Another Palace Attendant, Qin Zhun, said to Ji Shao, "You are setting out with this army now, and it is hard to know whether it will go well or ill for them. If anything should happen, do you have a good horse ready?"

Ji Shao sternly replied, "My charge is to accompany and protect the imperial carriage, and I shall live or die with it. What need would I have for a good horse?"


(After Sima Ai's death, the people of this time hoped that Sima Ying would rectify and support the imperial family. But his misbehavior was to such an extent as this that he lost much of the goodwill of the people.

The "people of the palace" were the commanders of the Three Divisions.

During the time that Sima Ai had been in power, he had appointed Ji Shao as a Palace Attendant. After Sima Ai's death, Ji Shao was stripped of office and demoted to be a commoner. But now that Sima Yue was setting out against Sima Ying, he recalled Ji Shao to accompany the procession.)


11. Sima Yue sent out proclamations summoning soldiers from every corner to join him. Bodies of men flocked to his side, until by the time Sima Yue reached Anyang, his host had swelled to more than a hundred thousand men. Everyone in Ye was shocked and afraid.

Sima Ying held a meeting with his ministers to ask them for plans of what to do. The Prince of Dong'an, Sima Yao, told him, "The Son of Heaven is accompanying this army. You ought to remove your armor, bind yourself in ropes, and go out to welcome them and beg forgiveness for your crimes."

Sima Ying refused to listen to that. He sent Shi Chao to lead an army of fifty thousand soldiers to oppose Sima Yue.

The General Who Breaks And Charges, Qiao Zhiming, urged Sima Ying to go out to welcome the imperial carriage. But Sima Ying angrily replied, "You are known as an intelligent man, and so you offer me advice. But our lord is simply being forced by miscreants to do what they demand. Why then would you have me tie my hands and present myself to their judgment?"


(The Records of Jin states, "Anyang County was part of Wei commandary." The Geographical Records of Wei states, "The city of Anyang was forty li south of Ye.")


12. Chen Zhen's two younger brothers Chen Kuang and Chen Gui came from Ye to join Sima Yue's army. They said that everyone inside Ye had already scattered. Because of that, Sima Yue did not prepare much in the way of defenses.

On the day Jiwei (September 9th), Shi Chao's army suddenly appeared, and Sima Yue's army was totally routed at Dangyin.

Emperor Hui was injured on the cheek, and he was hit by three arrows. All of the ministers, attendants, and guards who were with him scattered. But Ji Shao, wearing his court dress, got off his horse and climbed onto Emperor Hui's carriage, shielding Emperor Hui with his own body. Sima Yue's soldiers impaled Ji Shao on the shafts of the carriage, which broke off. Emperor Hui begged them, "He is a loyal minister; do not kill him!"

But the soldiers replied, "According to the Crown Younger Brother's orders, Your Majesty is the only person we cannot harm."

So they killed Ji Shao, and his blood splashed on Emperor Hui's clothes. Emperor Hui collapsed into the grass, and he lost his six seals.

Shi Chao brought Emperor Hui back to his own camp. Emperor Hui was greatly famished, so Shi Chao took him to the river, and his attendants fed him autumn-ripened peaches.

Sima Ying sent Lu Zhi to welcome Emperor Hui. On the day Gengshen (September 10th), Emperor Hui entered Ye. A general amnesty was declared, and the reign era title was changed to Jianwu.

Emperor Hui's attendants wanted to wash the blood off of his clothing. But Emperor Hui refused them, saying, "This is Palace Attendant Ji Shao's blood; do not wash it out!"


(During Han, Dangyin County was part of Henei commandary. During Jin, it was part of Wei commandary. During Tang, it was Dangyin County in Xiangzhou. According to the Commentary on the Water Classic, this county took its name from the Tang River. Song Bai remarked, "The old Tangyin County was south of the Tang River. During Han, Anyang County was folded into Tangyin, but during Sui, Tangyin was folded into Anyang. So the two counties, Anyang and Tangyin, were adjacent to one another." Yan Shigu remarked, "蕩 is pronounced 'tang'."

The term 轅 means the carriage shafts. According to the Local Dialects, 轅 is the term which the people of the Chu and Wey regions use for this concept.

Peaches which ripen in the summer are fit for Emperors to eat, while autumn-ripened peaches are not suitable for one so exalted. But they gave these to Emperor Hui because they had no pity for him.

The term 浣 means "to wash".

Emperor Hui could say such things as this; who says that he was a dullard or a dolt?)


13. Chen Zhen, Shangguan Si, and Sima Yue's other generals brought Sima Tan back to Luoyang to guard it.

Sima Yue himself fled to Xiapi, but the Commander of Xuzhou and Prince of Dongping, Sima Mao, would not admit him. So Sima Yue continued his flight and went back to his fief at Donghai. Sima Ying, leaning on Sima Yue's brothers, issued an order summoning him, but Sima Yue would not obey the order. The former General Who Seizes Valor, Sun Hui, wrote Sima Yue a letter urging him to tend to his border post for the general benefit of the royal clan. Sima Yue employed Sun Hui as his 記室 Army Advisor, and he consulted and discussed things with him.

The Palace Marquis of the Northern Army, Gou Xi, fled to the Prince of Fanyang, Sima Xiao. On his own authority, Sima Xiao appointed Gou Xi as the acting Inspector of Yanzhou.


(Sima Yue, Sima Teng, Sima Lue, and Sima Mo were all proclaimed members of the royal clan.

At this time, Sima Xiao was guarding Xuchang.)


14. It was earlier mentioned that the Commander of Youzhou was Wang Jun. When the three Princes Sima Jiong, Sima Ying, and Sima Yong had risen up against Sima Lun, Wang Jun had kept his soldiers at hand without responding to either side, and he forbade any of the gentry or people of his region from responding to the Princes' call for soldiers. Sima Ying had wished to campaign against him, but was unable to. Wang Jun also desired to move against Sima Ying.

Sima Ying now appointed his Marshal of the Right, He Yan, as the Inspector of Youzhou, with secret orders to kill Wang Jun. He Yan arranged a plot with the Chanyu of the Wuhuan, Shen Deng, to go traveling with Sima Ying to the Qing Spring south of Jicheng, and there do away with him. But when the appointed day came, there was a heavy storm; the soldier's equipment was soaked and damp, so they could not set out as expected.

Shen Deng believed that this was a sign that Heaven was helping Wang Jun, so he informed Wang Jun of He Yan's plot. Wang Jun and Shen Deng then secretly set their troops in order, and made arrangements with the Inspector of Bingzhou and Duke of Dongying, Sima Teng. They all surrounded He Yan and killed him, before directing the soldiers of Youzhou back to their camps. This Sima Teng was Sima Yue's younger brother.

Sima Ying then issued an edict summoning Wang Jun. But Wang Jun and Sima Teng, along with the Xianbei leader Duan Wuwuchen and the Wuhuan leader Jiezhu, all marched together on a campaign against Sima Ying. Sima Ying sent the General of the Household Gentlemen of the North, Wang Bin, and Shi Chao to attack them.


(The joint campaign of the Princes against Sima Lun is mentioned in the previous book, in the first year of Yongning (330.11-22).

If Sima Ying had not been warring with his brothers, and had simply denounced Wang Jun's crimes and marched against him, he would have had plenty of strength to do so; how could it be that he 'was unable to'?

This He Yan had advised Sima Ying to rise up with his soldiers to campaign against Sima Lun; he was a close confidant to Sima Ying.

They directed the soldiers of Youzhou, who had been under He Yan's command.)


15. Sima Ying was angry that Sima Yao had counseled him to surrender. In the eighth month, on the day Wuchen (September 18th), he arrested Sima Yao and killed him.

Earlier, when Prince Gong ("the Respectful") of Langye, Sima Yao's elder brother Sima Jin, had passed away, Sima Jin's son Sima Rui had inherited that title. This Sima Rui was a profound and nimble fellow with great capacity. During the time that he served as General of the Left, he became good friends with Sima Yue's Army Advisor, Wang Dao. This Wang Dao was the cousin of Wang Dun. He was very knowledgeable and perceptive in his foresight. Seeing all the difficulties that the court was under, Wang Dao often urged Sima Rui to return to his fief.

After Sima Yao's death, Sima Rui had followed Emperor Hui at Ye. Afraid that disaster might befall him, he was about to flee back to his fief. But Sima Ying had previously issued orders barring passage at all the gates and all the river crossings, so that no nobles or exalted ministers would be allowed to leave. When Sima Rui came to Heyang, he was stopped by the officials guarding the river crossing there. His follower Song Dian came up behind him and struck him with a whip, laughing at him and saying, "You servant-master, these officials are supposed to be stopping honorable people. What are they holding you up for?" The officials, deceived, allowed him to pass through. When Sima Rui reached Luoyang, he found his wife Lady Xiahou, and together they fled back to his fief.


(Sima Ying was angry at Sima Yao's suggestion that he tie himself up and welcome the Son of Heaven to apologize for his crimes.

Wang Dao was the Army Advisor to the Prince of Donghai, which was Sima Yue's title.

The gates were set up at important points along the road to control passage in or out; the river crossings were to control anyone crossing over the rivers.

A servant-master was the overseer of a household's servants.

Thus began Sima Rui's rise as the later Emperor Yuan, who would revive Jin in the south as Eastern Jin.)


16. The Attendant Officer of the Household Gentlemen of the Prime Minister's Staff, Wang Cheng, announced Meng Jiu's perverse and greedy affairs. He urged Sima Ying to execute Meng Jiu. Sima Ying did as he advised.


17. At Luoyang, Shangguan Si became cruel and unrestrained. The acting Intendant of Henan, Zhou Fu, was the cousin of Zhou Jun. He plotted with the Colonel-Director, Man Fen, and others to execute Shangguan Si. But their plot was discovered; Man Fen and the other plotters died, but Zhou Fu fled and so made his escape.

When Sima Yue had marched out on campaign against Sima Ying, Grand Governor Sima Yong had sent the General of the Right and Administrator of Pingyi, Zhang Fang, to lead twenty thousand soldiers to save Sima Ying. But when Sima Yong heard that Emperor Hui had entered Ye, he ordered Zhang Fang to guard Luoyang instead. Shangguan Si and his general Miao Yuan opposed Zhang Fang, but they were greatly defeated and withdrew back into the city. Crown Prince Sima Tan then attacked Shangguan Si and Miao Yuan during the night, and they both fled.

Zhang Fang entered Luoyang. Sima Tan waited at the Guangyang Gate to welcome Zhang Fang and saluted him. Zhang Fang got down off his carriage and stopped Sima Tan. But he deposed Sima Tan and Empress Yang Xianrong once again.


(Zhou Jun had won merits in battle under Wang Hun, during the campaign against Eastern Jin (Book 81, 280).

The first southern gate on Luoyang's western wall was called the Guangyang Gate.)


18. Sometime before this, Sima Ying had petitioned to have the Xiongnu's Worthy King of the Left, Liu Yuan, appointed as Champion General and as chief over the military affairs of the Five Divisions of the Southern Xiongnu, and Sima Ying had had Liu Yuan bring his soldiers to Ye.

Liu Yuan's son Liu Cong was a brave and valiant fellow who surpassed other men, while also being learned and steeped in the classics and the histories. Not only did he delight in composition, he could also draw back a bow of three hundred 斤. Following his coming-of-age capping ceremony, he came to the capital region, and he interacted with every man of renown. Sima Ying appointed Liu Cong as General Who Amasses Crossbows.


(During the time that Yang Jun was regent over the government, he had appointed Liu Yuan as Grand Commander of the Five Divisions. At the end of the Yuankang era (~300), Liu Yuan had been blamed for the rebellion of some of his people and stripped of that office. After Sima Ying was posted in Ye, he petitioned that Liu Yuan be granted this post as chief of the Five Divisions.

The Book of Rites states, "When one is ten years old, we call him a boy; he goes (out) to school. When he is twenty, we call him a youth; he is capped. (Rules of Propriety 1.12)")


19. In the midst of the civil strife in Jin, the Xiongnu's Worthy King of the Right, Liu Yuan's great-uncle Liu Xuan, had said to his kinsmen, "Ever since the fall of the Han dynasty, our titles as Chanyus have been empty ones, and we have not gained a further foot of land. Though we have been given plenty of supposedly noble titles, in reality, all of our households are equally lowly. But though our numbers have declined, we still have at least twenty thousand men who can fight. Why then have we bowed our heads and accepted that we must labor on these people's behalf, lingering in obscurity for more than a hundred years?

"Now the Worthy King of the Left is a brave and martial man who can stand astride the age. If Heaven did not wish for we Xiongnu to rise, why would it have sent us such a man as him? The Sima clan is rending itself apart, the flesh from the bones, and all within the Four Seas boils over in confusion and calamity. This is just the time for us to revive the old endeavors of the Huhanxie!"

So they had plotted amongst themselves, and they had acclaimed Liu Yuan as the Grand Chanyu. They had sent their partisan Huyan Xiu to visit Ye to inform Liu Yuan of what was going on.


(The Southern Xiongnu's organization into the Five Divisions under the overlordship of Han is mentioned in Book 67, in Emperor Xian of Han's twenty-first year of Jian'an (216.I in de Crespigny's To Establish Peace).

Liu Xuan uses the term 編戶. 編 here means "in equal sequence". People call them "men in equal sequence", or "households in equal sequence", by which they mean that their rooms are all linked together in sequence; they are registered all the same, with no distinction of superiority or inferiority among them.

Some versions include the phrase "accept".

The term 奄 here means "obscurity" or "in fright".

During the time of Emperor Xuan of Han, the Xiongnu leader Jihoushan came to his court, and he was styled the Huhanxie Chanyu. And during Emperor Guangwu's day, the Xiongnu's King Who Chases The Sun, Bi, also aligned himself with the Middle Kingdom, and he was also styled the Huhanxie Chanyu.

Yan Shigu remarked, "The Book of Han mentions that one of the exalted tribes of the Xiongnu was the Huxian clan; they became the modern Huyan clan.")


20. At that time, Liu Yuan had bowed before Sima Ying and asked leave to go back to his territory to attend a funeral, but Sima Ying had rebuffed him. So Liu Yuan had ordered Huyan Xiu to go on back first, to tell Liu Xuan and the others to begin gathering together the warriors of the Five Divisions and of other tribes. Ostensibly, they would be doing this to provide assistance for Sima Ying, but in reality, this would be a prelude to rebellion.

Now, with Wang Yun and Sima Teng having risen up with soldiers and marching against Sima Ying, Liu Yuan urged Sima Ying, "The forces of these two command posts, Youzhou and Bingzhou, are considerable, and they number more than a hundred thousand men. I fear that your personal guards and the soldiers of the local comandaries will not be able to withstand them. Your Highness, please grant me leave to return to my territory and persuade the Five Divisions of the Xiongnu to come to the aid of the state."

Sima Ying replied, "Can you really muster the strength of the Five Divisions? Even if you can, the Xianbei and the Wuhuan are not so easily overcome. I plan to bring the imperial carriage back to Luoyang to blunt the ardor of the enemy. From there, I can send out proclamations across the realm, summoning the loyal to deal with the traitors. Sir, what do you think of that?"

Liu Yuan told him, "Your Highness, you are Emperor Wu's (Sima Yan's) own son. You have performed great deeds on behalf of the royal family, and your power and grace extend near and far. Who within the Four Seas will not fight even unto death on Your Highness' behalf? How could I have any difficulty in mustering the Five Divisions for you? As for your enemies, Wang Jun is a mediocre sort of fellow, and the Duke of Dongying (Sima Teng) is just some distant and inferior relative of the royal clan. How could they contend with Your Highness? But if you were to abandon the palace at Ye, you would display weakness before men, and you would not reach Luoyang. Even if you did get to Luoyang, you would not be able to recover your lost power and authority.

"I ask Your Highness to nurture and rally the officers and soldiers of your present command, to ensure that you may maintain your position here. Allow me to bring two of the Divisions to smite the Duke of Dongying and the other three Divisions to behead Wang Jun. When I have the heads of those two miscreants, they shall be hung up and displayed as quickly as one points towards the sun."

Sima Ying, pleased by Liu Yuan's words, appointed him as Northern Chanyu and Advisor to the Prime Minister's household.


(The two "command posts" that Liu Yuan mentions were Youzhou and Bingzhou.

Sima Ying was arguing that he did not have enough strength to withstand the assault of both Wang Jun and Sima Teng, and he wanted to send proclamations throughout the realm to gain more soldiers, in order to use the loyal to deal with the traitors.

Sima Teng was the grandson of the Marquis of Dongwu, Sima Yi's younger brother Sima Kui; this was why Liu Yuan calls him "an inferior and distant relative".

When Sima Ying fled after his defeat and lost his authority, it was just as Liu Yuan here predicted.)


21. When Liu Yuan arrived at the city of Zuoguo, Liu Xuan and the others hailed him as the Grand Chanyu. Within twenty days, Liu Yuan gathered a host of fifty thousand men, with their base at Lishi. Liu Yuan appointed his son Liu Cong as Prince of Luli.

Liu Yuan sent five thousand elite cavalry under the Prince of Wulu of the Left, Liu Hong, to go on ahead to reinforce Sima Ying's general Wang Cui and oppose Sima Teng. But when Liu Hong found that Wang Cui had already been defeated by Sima Teng, he could do no more than come back again.


(The city of Zuoguo was the capital city of the Xiongnu's Division of the Left. According to the Chronicles of the Book of Jin, at the beginning of Emperor Guangwu of Han's Jianwu era (~25 AD), the Southern Chanyu of the Xiongnu had come to dwell west of the Yellow River at Meiji. The Zuoguo which was now in Lishi was where the court of the Chanyu had relocated to. The Commentary on the Water Classic states, "The city of Zuoguo is on the right bank of the Fen River, southwest of Jiexiu County." Du You remarked, "Zuoguo is in Lishi County in Shizhou." Song Bai remarked, "There is a Lishi River in the northeast of Lishi County, from which the county takes its name." Ever since Han, Lishi County had been part of Xihe commandary.

Yan Shigu remarked, "蠡 is pronounced 'li (l-i)." This title Prince of Luli was the same as the title Prince of Guli during the Han era. Although the characters 谷 Gu and 鹿 Lu are not the same, they are pronounced the same.)


22. Wang Jun and Sima Teng joined their forces to attack Wang Bin, who was greatly routed. Wang Jun appointed his Registrar Qi Hong as leader of the vanguard, and Qi Hong defeated Shi Chao at Pingji. Wang Jun then pressed his victory to march his army forward.

When Wang Jun's outriders reached Ye, everyone in the city was greatly disturbed; the officials all ran for their lives, and the officers and soldiers all scattered. Lu Zhi urged Sima Ying to take Emperor Hui with him back to Luoyang. At that time, Sima Ying still had fifteen thousand armored soldiers at hand. During the night, Lu Zhi split these soldiers into divisions and was about to set out. But Sima Ying's mother Lady Cheng, who was still very attached to Ye, did not want to leave, and Sima Ying thus hesitated and could not make a final decision. Within a short time, even these remaining soldiers all scattered as well. Sima Ying could only lead several dozen of his personal cavalry followers, with Lu Zhi bringing Emperor Hui in tow in a calf-drawn cart. They fled to the south towards Luoyang.

In their hasty flight, none of them had brought any supplies. But the Yellow Gate attendants had three thousand cash in their bags as personal funds, and by imperial edict these were confiscated and used to purchase food along the road; the party ate by night by spreading out the clothes of the Yellow Gate attendants as quilts, and they ate off tiles and out of basins.

When the party arrived at Wen County, they were about to pay their respects at the imperial tombs there. Emperor Hui had lost his shoes, and when he accepted the shoes of one of his followers, he took them with tears in his eyes.

After the imperial party crossed the Yellow River, Zhang Fang sent his son Zhang Pi with three thousand riders from Luoyang to escort them, and they welcomed Emperor Hui with a proper imperial carriage. By the time the party was below the Mang Hills north of Luoyang, Zhang Fang himself brought more than ten thousand riders to welcome Emperor Hui's arrival. Zhang Fang was about to make a full obeisance when Emperor Hui descended from his carriage and personally stopped him.

Once Emperor Hui arrived at the palace, a few of his attendants who had earlier fled now returned, and so the functions of government could be roughly maintained. On the day Xinsi (October 1st), a general amnesty was declared.


(The Registry of Surnames states, "The surname 祁 Qi came from the name of the Yellow Emperor's twenty-fifth son. Furthermore, the fourth-generation descendant of Marquis Xian of Jin, Xi, was granted his fief at Qi, and so he became known as Qi Xi."

During Han, Pingji County was part of Changshan commandary. During Jin, it was part of the Zhao princely fief. Liu Xu remarked, "Han's Pingji County was south of the modern Pingyi County in Zhaozhou."

Regarding the calf-drawn cart, under the Jin system, this would have been a black-wheeled calf-drawn cart, which the various nobles rode in.

The term 貸 here means to borrow or confiscate.

Emperor Hui's ancestors of the Sima clan were natives of Xiaojing Village in Wen County in Henei. All of them from the Intendant of Henan, Emperor Hui's great-great grandfather Sima Fang, and further back were buried in Wen County.

The Book of Rites states, "According to the rules for audiences, the Son of Heaven did not go down from the hall and meet the princes. To descend from the hall and meet the princes, was an error on the part of the Son of Heaven, which began with King Yi, and was afterwards observed. (Border Sacrifices 10)" Yet Emperor Hui did such a thing in this passage. How greatly was this an instance of "King Yi descending from the hall to meet the princes".)


23. Wang Jun entered Ye, and his army sacked the city; a great many people died. Wang Jun sent the Wuhuan leader Jiezhu to pursue Sima Ying. Jiezhu pursued Sima Ying's party as far as Zhaoge, but he could not overtake them.

Wang Jun returned to Ji. His Xianbei soldiers pillaged the people and took women for themselves, and he ordered, "Anyone who dares to keep anything hidden shall be beheaded!" Eight thousand bodies thus filled the Yi River.


(Wang Jun advanced, but he was unable to rescue his sovereign. But even worse, he let the Xianbei and the Wuhuan oppress the Xia and trouble the Hua (ethnic Han). His death at Shi Le's hand was too long in coming.)


24. Sima Teng requested military assistance from the Xianbei leader Tuoba Yituo, asking him to attack Liu Yuan. Tuoba Yituo and his younger brother Tuoba Yilu joined their forces and attacked Liu Yuan at Xihe, routing him. They made an alliance with Sima Teng at Fendong before returning to their territory.


(This was the first instance of the Tuoba clan's military support for Bingzhou.)


25. When Liu Yuan heard that Sima Ying had abandoned Ye, he lamented, "Sima Ying did not heed my advice, but followed his own counsel. Now he has fled and his forces have scattered. What a slave he is! But I did give him my word, and I can do no less than come to his assistance."

And he was on the point of marching his soldiers out to attack the Xianbei and the Wuhuan. But Liu Xuan and the other Xianbei leaders remonstrated with Liu Yuan, telling him, "The people of Jin made slaves out of we Xiongnu to oppress us. Now they are destroying one another, flesh and bone. Heaven has abandoned them, and it calls to us to revive the endeavors of the Huhanxie. The Xianbei and the Wuhuan are of the same affinity as us, and they could help us. Why should you attack them?"

Liu Yuan replied, "You all speak well! But a true leader would follow the examples of Han Gaozu (Liu Bang) and Wu of Wei (Cao Cao). Why merely settle for being like the Huhanxie?"

Liu Xuan and the others kowtowed to him and said, "They were not your equals!"


(The Xianbei and the Wuhuan were branches of the general "Eastern Hu" tribes. Like the Xiongnu, they had the same spirit of hard strength of the northern people. This was why Liu Xuan and the others said that they were "of the same affinity".)


26. The soldiers of Jingzhou captured and beheaded the former rebel leader Zhang Chang, and all of his partisans were executed with their families to the third degree.


(Zhang Chang had fled to Mount Xiajun in the previous year; at this time, he was captured and vanquished.)


27. In the Shu region, Li Xiong considered his next move. Seeing as the local leader Fan Changsheng was famous for his virtue and was held in high esteem by the people of Shu, Li Xiong wanted to welcome Fan Changsheng as his sovereign and subordinate himself as a minister to him. But Fan Changsheng would not accept his offer. Li Xiong's generals all asked that he himself should assume the imperial title.

In winter, the tenth month, Li Xiong styled himself as the King of Chengdu. He declared a general amnesty, and changed the reign era title to the first year of Jianxing. He abolished the laws of Jin, replacing them with the Seven Standards of law.

Li Xiong appointed his uncle Li Xiang as Grand Tutor and his elder brother Li Shi as Grand Guardian. Among his other kinsmen and commanders, he appointed Li Li as Grand Commandant, Li Yun as Minister Over The Masses, Li Huang as Minister of Works, Li Guo as Grand Governor, Yan Shi as Prefect of the Masters of Writing, and Yang Bao as Supervisor of the Masters of Writing.

Li Xiong honored his mother Lady Luo as Queen Dowager, and he posthumously honored his father Li Te as King Jing ("the Splendid") of Chengdu.

Because Li Xiong appreciated the clever plans that Li Guo and Li Li could devise, in all matters he always consulted them first and only afterwards carried out his plans. But even so, Li Guo and Li Li conducted themselves properly and only became even more cautious in their behavior.


(This passage shows how the various Li leaders maintained the distinctions between sovereign and ministers and worked to uphold one another, thus showing that there is honor even among thieves.)


28. Liu Yuan moved his capital to Zuoguo. More and more tribal and Jin people flocked to his side.

Liu Yuan announced to his ministers, "From ancient times, the Han dynasty possessed the realm for many ages, and their grace was woven into the hearts of the people. I myself am a nephew of the imperial line of Han, and we are as close to one another as an older and a younger brother. When the older brother has died, is it not proper that the younger brother shall take up his inheritance?"

So Liu Yuan established his own state, and named it Han. Liu Xuan and the others urged Liu Yuan to assume the imperial title, but he told them, "The four corners of the realm have not yet been settled. I shall merely follow the example of Gaozu (Liu Bang) and style myself King of Han."

Thus did Liu Yuan claim the throne as King of Han. He declared a general amnesty, and he changed the reign era title to the first year of Yuanxi. He posthumously honored the late Duke of Anle, Liu Shan, as Emperor Xiaohuai ("the Filial and Cherished"), and he built altars to the Three Founders and Five Ancestors of Han and offered sacrifices to them.

Liu Yuan honored his wife Lady Huyan as Queen. He appointed Liu Xuan as Prime Minister, Cui You as Imperial Secretary, Liu Hong as Grand Commandant, Fan Long as Grand Herald, and Zhu Ji as Minister of Ceremonies. Cui Yizhi of Shangdang and Chen Yuanda of the Rear Division of the Xiongnu were both appointed as Gentlemen of the Yellow Gates. Liu Yuan appointed his junior kinsman Liu Yao as General Who Establishes Valor.

Cui You declined his appointment and would not accept it.


(Liu Yuan was styled Yuanhai.

Sima Guang's commentary in the Textual Analysis states, "Regarding the location of Liu Yuan's capital, in the next book of ZZTJ I have written, 'There was great famine in Lishi, and Liu Yuan relocated to Liting'. So Liu Yuan must have still been at Lishi. According to Du You's Tongdian encyclopedia, 'The court of the Southern Chanyu at Zuoguo was in Lishi.' So although Liu Yuan was noted as having moved to Zuoguo, he must have still been within Lishi County.

"Regarding the timing of the foundings of Han-Zhao and Cheng-Han, according to the Annals of Emperor Hui in the Book of Jin, Li Xiong and Liu Yuan declared themselves as Kings in the eleventh month, after Emperor Hui had been moved to Chang'an. But according to the Huayang Guozhi, Li Xiong declared himself King in the tenth month, with one version saying it was in the twelfth month. And the Annals of the Thirty Kingdoms, the Annals of Jin, and the Notes on the Sixteen Kingdoms all state that it was in the tenth month. I follow their accounts."

Liu Yuan considered the Three Founders of Han to be Gaozu (Liu Bang), Shizu (Emperor Guangwu), and Zhaolie (Liu Bei). He considered the Five Ancestors to be Taizong (Emperor Wen), Shizong (Emperor Wu), Zhongzong (Emperor Zhao), Xianzong (Emperor Ming), and Suzong (Emperor Zhang).

Liu Yuan thus followed the Han model in all his appointments and systems of government.

The "Rear Division" was the Northern Division of the Southern Xiongnu, based at Xinxing.

Cui You had been Liu Yuan's teacher; Fan Long and Zhu Ji had been his fellow students. Since Cui You had been able to instruct Liu Yuan in principles, but he could not bow to Liu Yuan, he could not adapt himself to the virtues of a tribesman.

Shen Yue's Annotations states that Cao-Wei had created the rank of General Who Establishes Valor.)


29. This Chen Yuanda had had great ambitions since youth. Liu Yuan had once tried to recruit him, but Chen Yuanda had not responded to him then. After Liu Yuan became King of Han, someone said to Chen Yuanda, "Sir, shouldn't you be afraid?"

Chen Yuanda laughed and replied, "I've had the measure of that man for a long time, and he also holds me in high esteem. You may be sure that within two or three days, the courier will deliver his letter to me."

The very next morning, Liu Yuan's letter summoning Chen Yuanda arrived just as he had predicted. So Chen Yuanda worked for Liu Yuan, often stepping forward to provide loyal words before withdrawing to compose private petitions. Even the sons or younger brothers of people all knew about him.


This passage states that Chen Yuanda would "carve grass"; the "grass" here was the stalks used in the composition of petitions and memorials.)


30. This Liu Yao had been born with white eyebrows, and there was a red glow to his eyes. He was a precocious youth, and possessed great bravery. He was orphaned as a child, so Liu Yuan raised him. When Liu Yao grew up, he had a very stalwart look to him, and his nature was magnanimous, upright, and exalted, so that he stood out from the crowd. He delighted in reading books, and was skilled at composition. But he was skilled with the bow as well; he could shoot an arrow at a piece of iron one 寸 thick and still have the arrow pierce right through it.

Liu Yao often compared himself to the ancients Yue Yi, Xiao He, and Cao Shen. At that time, there was no one who agreed with his self-estimation. Liu Cong was the only one who appreciated him, and he told Liu Yao, "Yongming, you should follow in the footsteps of Gaozu of Han (Liu Bang) and Wu of Wei (Cao Cao); why settle for just being like those other honored gentlemen?"


(The term 拓 here means magnanimous; the term 落 means upright.

Liu Yao's style name was Yongming. "Those other honored gentlemen" refers to Yue Yi, Xiao He, and Cao Shen.)


31. Now that Emperor Hui had returned to Luoyang, Zhang Fang wielded control over the affairs of state thanks to his command over the soldiers, and Sima Ying no longer had any power.

The Commander of Yuzhou and Prince of Fanyang, Sima Xiao, the Commander of Xuzhou and Prince of Dongping, Sima Mao, and others sent up a petition stating, "As Sima Ying has failed to achieve the burden of victory, he should have his fief demoted by one city, in special compliance with this order. Grand Governor Sima Yong should take charge of the affairs of Guanyou, and in the selection and choosing of aid or employment in all of the provinces and commandaries, all such matters should first be referred to him. In all the great affairs of the court, whether deposing or promoting, adding or subtracting, Sima Ying should always be consulted for every kind.

"Zhang Fang has authority to guard the borders of the state, but he has now overstepped his bounds and has not returned to the west. He ought to be sent back to his commandary, and all the changes that he has made should be reverted to what they were before. The Minister Over The Masses, Wang Rong, and the Minister of Works, Sima Yue, are both loyal to the state and careful men. They should be granted responsibilities of state as well and employed in the business of the court. Wang Jun has done good deeds to bring stability to the fortunes of state, and he should be especially honored; let him keep hold of Youzhou and Shuofang and maintain his position as guardian of the northern borders.

"With we your ministers doing our utmost to safeguard the city, and the borders all in hands of members of the imperial family, Your Majesty may find repose in loosened robe and clasped hands, while all within the Four Seas rectifies itself."


(Sima Guang's commentary in the Textual Analysis states, "The Biography of Sima Xiao in the Book of Jin notes that 'This petition was submitted together with the General Who Guards The East, Zhou Fu.' Now according to the Biography of Zhou Fu in the Book of Jin, 'When Emperor Hui returned to Luoyang from Chang'an, Zhou Fu was sent out and appointed as General Who Pacifies The East and Commander of Yangzhou, replacing Liu Zhun as the General Who Guards The East.' And this petition mentions Zhang Fang as still being alive. So it must have been submitted at the time when Emperor Hui returned to Luoyang from Ye."

At this time, Sima Yong was the Grand Governor, which is why he is so called here.

The intent of this petition was that the provinces and commandaries of Guanyou would listen to Sima Yong before doing anything, and the court would also first consult with him before executing any action.

Let us consider the phrase 疇咨. Kong Anguo claims that "疇 means 'who, whoever'." And Yan Shigu claims that "疇 means 'who, whoever', and 咨 means 'plan, plot'." By their logic, then, the phrase 每輒疇咨 would be parsed as "the plans proposed by anyone in each instance". But I, Hu Sanxing, fear that both of them are wrong in their annotations. I would say that 疇 means "kind, sort" and 咨 means "ask, inquire". In other words, any great affairs of the court, of any kind, would first need to be consulted with Sima Yong.

Zhang Fang's actual office was Administrator of Pingyi, thus the demand that he return to "his commandary".

Wang Jun's "good deeds" here were his raising of soldiers to attack Sima Ying.)


32. By now, Zhang Fang had been at Luoyang for a long time; his soldiers had had their fill of pillaging. They were all restless, none wanting to remain in Luoyang any longer, so they discussed bringing Emperor Hui back to Chang'an with them and making that the capital. But Zhang Fang feared that Emperor Hui and the court nobles and ministers would not go along with it, so he wanted to wait for Emperor Hui to expose himself so he could force him into it. He asked Emperor Hui to go pay his respects at the Ancestral Temple, but Emperor Hui refused.

In the eleventh month, on the day Yiwei (December 14th), Zhang Fang sent his soldiers into the palace, bringing an imperial carriage to receive Emperor Hui. Emperor Hui fled from them and hid among the bamboo in the rear gardens, but the soldiers brought him back out and forced him to climb into the carriage. Emperor Hui wept as he did so.

From horseback, Zhang Fang kowtowed to Emperor Hui and said, "The invaders and bandits are spread thickly, and the household guards are too few here. I invite Your Majesty to view my ramparts, which I have spent my whole strength to prepare against anything that might happen."

At this time, all of the ministers had fled and hidden themselves. Only the Chief of the Palace Secretariat, Lu Zhi, remained in attendance with Emperor Hui. He told Emperor Hui, "Your Majesty, all you can do today is go along with the General of the Right's demands." So Emperor Hui went to visit Zhang Fang's ramparts, and he ordered Zhang Fang to prepare transport carts for all the palace servants and treasures.

Seeking wives for themselves, the soldiers of Zhang Fang's army raided the rear palaces, fighting with one another to enter all the hidden places. They cut up all the flowing ornaments and martial banners to use as reins for their horses. Everything that had been accumulated all down through Wei and Jin was now plundered; nothing was left behind.

Zhang Fang was even about to set fire to the Ancestral Temple and the palace grounds in order to discourage anyone from returning there. But Lu Zhi said to him, "Dong Zhuo was a man without principles, and he burned Luoyang to the ground. The enmity of his name is still with us, a hundred years later. How could you do the same thing he did?" So Zhang Fang stopped.


(The "feelings of the crowd" were those of Zhang Fang's soldiers.

At this time, Zhang Fang was General of the Right.

Mao Huang remarked, "The flowing ornaments were round objects painted and embroidered with balls, borrowing from the Five Hues, and all alike hanging down. They were called 'flowing' because they also contained hair, which added to the appearance of one's hair, and hung down as it did, thus the term 'flowing'. People today call braiding the head in this fashion as 'ornaments'." Meng Kang remarked, "The war banners were assigned to soldiers, with every five under one banner." A 帴 is a horse rein or bridle.

Dong Zhuo's burning of Luoyang as he moved the capital to Chang'an is mentioned in Book 59, in Emperor Xian of Han's first year of Chuping (189.J in de Crespigny's To Establish Peace).)


33. Emperor Hui remained at Zhang Fang's ramparts for three days. Zhang Fang then forced Emperor Hui, Sima Ying, the Prince of Yuzhang, Sima Chi, and others to come with him to Chang'an. Wang Rong fled to Jia County.

Sima Yong led his ministers and officials and thirty thousand horse and foot to welcome Emperor Hui at Bashang. Sima Yong stood before Emperor Hui and performed obeisance, and Emperor Hui climbed down from his carriage and stopped Sima Yong. Emperor Hui then entered Chang'an, and the household of the General Who Conquers The West was converted into his palace.

Only the Supervisor of the Masters of Writing, Xun Fan, the Colonel-Director, Liu Tun, and the Intendant of Henan, Zhou Fu, were left behind in Luoyang to function as a Separate Terrace. In the administration of affairs, the two places were called the Eastern and Western Terraces. This Xun Fan was the son of Xun Xu.

On the day Bingwu (December 25th), the Separate Terrace issued a general amnesty, and the reign era title was changed back to Yong'an.

On the day Xinchou (December 20th), Yang Xianrong was restored to her position as Empress.


(During Former Han, Jia County was part of Yingchuan commandary. It was abolished during Later Han, but during Jin it was part of Xiangcheng commandary. During Sui and Tang, it was Jiacheng County in Ruzhou.

The household of the General Who Conquers The West had been Sima Rong's residence.

Luoyang was the Eastern Terrace, and Chang'an the Western Terrace.

Xun Xu was friends with Jia Chong, and gained honor and glory during the rise of Jin.)


34. In Shu, Luo Shang moved his camp to Ba commandary. He sent his soldiers to pillage the Shu region, and they captured Li Xiang's wife Lady Zan and his son Li Shou.


(昝 Zan is a surname.)


35. In the twelfth month, on the day Dinghai (February 4th of 305), an edict was issued demoting Sima Ying from his position as Crown Younger Brother; he was once again Prince of Chengdu, and he was ordered to his estate. In his place, Sima Chi was named as the new Crown Younger Brother. Emperor Hui had originally had twenty-five brothers, but by now, only Sima Ying, Sima Chi, and the Prince of Wu, Sima Yann, were still alive. Sima Yann was an inferior sort of man, but Sima Chi had long delighted in learning even as a youth, and so he was chosen to replace Sima Ying.

An edict was issued appointing Sima Yue as Grand Tutor, so that he could assist Sima Yong in upholding the royal clan, with Wang Rong acting as an advisor to court affairs. The Household Counselor With Golden Tassel, Wang Yan, was appointed as Supervisor of the Left of the Masters of Writing. The Prince of Gaomi, Sima Lue, was appointed as General Who Guards The South and acting Colonel-Director of Retainers, and charged with guarding Luoyang. The General of the Household Gentlemen of the East, Sima Mo, was appointed as General Who Tranquilizes The North and Commander of military affairs in Jizhou, and charged with guarding Ye.

The government officials all returned to their former posts. The provinces and commandaries were ordered to abolish wasteful governance, love the people, and tend to their fundamental duties. After all had been made ready, then they would return to the eastern capital (Luoyang). A general amnesty was declared, and the reign era title was changed again (to Yongxing). This Sima Lue and this Sima Mo were both the younger brothers of Sima Yue.

Since Wang Jun had left Ye, Sima Yue sent Sima Mo to guard it.

Seeing as all the realm was turned against one another, and difficulties and disasters kept on coming, Sima Yong now had an edict issued ordering peace between everyone, hoping to gain some sense of stability.

Sima Yue declined his appointment as Grand Tutor.

Another edict was issued appointing Sima Yong as Commander of all military affairs. Zhang Fang was appointed as General Who Leads The Army of the Center, Chief of the Masters of Writing, and acting Administrator of Jingzhao.


(Sima Guang's commentary in the Textual Analysis states, "The Annals of Emperor Hui in the Book of Jin record the Prince of Gaomi at this time as 'Sima Jian'. According to the Biographies of the Imperial Relatives, Prince Xiao of Gaomi, Sima Lue, had the style name Yuanjian. At this time he was Commander of military affairs in Qingzhou, and later moved his base to Jingzhou, but there was no record of his ever having been based in Luoyang. Yet if the Sima Jian mentioned here is Sima Lue, what are we to make of this order if he had not come to Luoyang? Perhaps he was in Luoyang at one time, and his biography simply failed to mention it." As for what I, Hu Sanxing, believe, during this time the orders of the court did not reach the border posts, and so Sima Lue was simply never at Luoyang.

Regarding Sima Mo, the Annals of Emperor Hui in the Book of Jin states that at this time he was "General of the Household Gentlemen of the East", but the Biography of Sima Mo in the Book of Jin states that he was "General of the Household Gentlemen of the North". Furthermore, according to the Jin system, the Generals of the Four Directions were either the Generals Who Conquer, Guard, Maintain, or Pacify; there were no Generals Who Tranquilize. I fear that this mention of Sima Mo as "General Who Tranquilizes" should have been "General Who Maintains".

Sima Yong was saying that once the soldiers obstructing the roads had stood down, then the way would be clear for the return to Luoyang. Since Emperor Hui was in Chang'an at this time, Luoyang was called the "eastern capital".

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

If Sima Yong wanted to arrange peace between brothers, he should have done so during the time of friction between Sima Ai and Sima Ying. But he did nothing then, and it was too late now.

Since Emperor Hui was in Chang'an, the Administrator of Jingzhao was really in control of the imperial carriage. Zhang Fang had command of soldiers and the favor of Sima Yong, and so he was made acting Administrator of Jingzhao.)


36. Sima Teng sent his general Nie Xuan to attack the King of Han, Liu Yuan. They fought a battle at Daling, where Nie Xuan's soldiers were greatly defeated.


(Ever since Han, Daling County had been part of Taiyuan commandary. Wei Shou's Geographical Records states that there was the city of Daling in the Shouyang County that was administrated by Taiyuan commandary. It was in a place between Tang's Liaozhou and Bingzhou. Du You remarked, "Wenshui County is Han's Daling County.")


37. Liu Yuan sent Liu Yao to invade Taiyuan commandary, and Liu Yao captured Xuanshi, Tunliu, Zhangzi, and Zhongdou counties.

Liu Yuan also sent his Champion General, Qiao Xi, to invade Xihe commandary, and Qiao Xi captured Jiexiu County. The Prefect of Jiexiu, Jia Hun, refused to surrender, so Qiao Xi killed him. Qiao Xi was about to rape Jia Hun's widow Lady Zong, but she upbraided him as she wailed, so Qiao Xi killed her as well.

When Liu Yuan heard about all this, he was furious; he said, "If Heaven takes notice of men's affairs, Qiao Xi will bear a heavy weight!" He had Qiao Xi recalled and demoted by four ranks, and he had Jia Hun's body collected and given a burial.


(Xuanshi, Tunliu, and Zhangzi counties were part of Shangdang commandary; Zhongdu County was part of Taiyuan commandary. Li Xian remarked, "Xuanshi County is our modern Gaoping County in Zezhou." Liu Xu remarked, "Lingchuan County in Zezhou was Han's Xuanshi County. Gaoping was within the territory of Han's Xuanshi." During Tang, Tunliu and Zhangzi were both part of Luozhou. Yan Shigu remarked, "泫 is pronounced 'guan (g-uan)". 屯 is pronounced 'chun'. 長 in this instance is pronounced like the Chang in changduan; Lu Deming pronounces it like the Zhang in zhangyou."

During Han, Jiexiu County was part of Taiyuan commandary. During Jin, it was part of Xihe commandary. During Tang, it was part of Fenzhou.)
Last edited by Taishi Ci 2.0 on Mon Dec 11, 2017 12:59 am, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: ZZTJ Translations: Western Jin (Book 79-85)

Unread postby Taishi Ci 2.0 » Mon Nov 20, 2017 3:43 am

An image of the "flowing ornaments":

"You have attacked us before, and we survived! You cannot defeat us. Submit!"
"We have. You did. We can. No."
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Re: ZZTJ Translations: Western Jin (Book 79-85)

Unread postby Fornadan » Mon Nov 20, 2017 6:12 am

In the third (or, second) month, on the day Yiyou (May 17th, or ?), Sima Ying petitioned that Empress Yang Xianrong be deposed and kept under house arrest at the Jinyong fortress. He also asked that Crown Prince Sima Tan be demoted back to his former title as Prince of Qinghe.


(Some versions record this event as being in the second month instead of the third.

Yang Xianrong's selection as Empress is mentioned in Book 83, in the first year of Yongkang (300.30). Sima Tan's selection as Crown Prince is mentioned in Book 84, in the first year of Tai'an (302.5).)

This event probably took place in the second month, because the third month is mentioned again in the following passage, and the date of Sima Ying’s appointment as Crown Younger Brother in the passage after that would have taken place before the date listed here if it were the third month.
JS004 dates it to 2nd Month, yiyou = 8 April
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