Comprehensive Biography for Zhong Hui

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Comprehensive Biography for Zhong Hui

Unread postby DaoLunOfShiji » Thu May 10, 2018 7:31 pm

Zhong Hui, style Shiji (225-March 3rd, 264)

The Zhong clan hailed from Yingchuan commendary in Yuzhou.[1] During the Han Dynasty Yuzhou comprised of two separate commendaries; Yingchuan and Runan, however in the Three Kingdoms those two would become 9: Yingchuan, Runan, Chen, Lu, Qiao, Yiyang, Yang'an, Xiangcheng and Ruyin. During the Later Han period Yingchuan specifically was considered one of, if not the most important center of learning.[2] This reputation was earned due to Zhong Hao, the great grandfather of Zhong Hui. Zhong Hao was well versed in law and in poetry, and he held a considerable influence among the countries teachers and all admired him.[3] The capital of Luoyang was in an uproar to the eunuchs targeting the qingyi movement. They were a group of ministers aimed at reforming the state, and because of this Zhong Hao kept out of politics, even forbidding his owns sons from it as well. He told them to focus on the family, and knowledge. Due to this, many people had ties to the Zhong clan.[4] There wasn’t a Zhong in politics until Zhong Hao’s grandson Yao.[5] He himself was a very respected man and teacher. Zhong Yao contributed greatly to the rise of Emperor Wu of Wei, Cao Cao, along with the establishment of the Wei Dynasty rising through the ranks all the way to the rank of Grand Tutor under Emperor Ming of Wei, Cao Rui.[6] Zhong Yao had three named wives, Lady Sun, Lady Jia and Zhang Changpu,[7] along with three named children Zhong Yu, Zhong Shao and Zhong Hui,[8] as well as an unnamed daughter that would marry Xun Xi.[9]

Zhong Yao, Hui's father, had a very successful career under the Cao. However that career hit a roadblock in several forms. In 219 a man he had employed as a junior officer, Wei Feng, turned traitor. Because of his ties Zhong Yao was dismissed for office on a charge of bad judgement by Wu-di.[10] Furthermore his successful military career had reached a stalling point before this and Yao had no longer been sent upon foreign or domestic campaigns.[11] Adding upon this, he shared a close relationship with Wen-di of Wei, Cao Pi, who would restore his authority and promote him upon ascending to the throne. However he had received no promotions before the ascension when Wen-di succeeded Wu-di, as so many others who had signed the commemorative stele for Wen-di had.[12] Despite his great rank he would achieve under Wen-di it is theorized that the Zhong clan had now become stagnant, and not trusted. Though he rose high in office this came over a period of time and can be seen as a long drawn out punishment.[13] Effectively the Zhong had become dependent upon two generations of leaders for status because of these setbacks.[14] Zhong Yao's two sons, Yu and Shao, were both born in the early 200s when his career was soaring beneath Wu-di. Though when everything hit a roadblock in 219, there began a possible generational gap that his family could not fill. He took a new concubine at this time from the Zhang clan, a woman who had been orphaned. Her personal name is lost but her style name was Changpu.[15] The difference in age between her and Yao was great, but Changpu was a chance for Zhong Yao to see his clan perhaps rise from the ashes without needing the good will of a family that had tossed them from favor.[16] Keep in mind that much of this is a theory, though a theory based on evidance when one looks at Zhong Yao's career shortly before and after his removal from office due to the Wei Feng incident. Howard L. Goodman presents a very convincing case on the matter, that which ties directly into Zhong Hui's rise and eventual fall from greatness that we will get to. Zhong Hui was, to put it bluntly, the last hope for his entire clan according to this theory.

Zhong Yao and Zhang Changpu would have a child together, and his name was Zhong Hui.[17] However while Zhang Changpu was still carrying Zhong Hui the family ran into some trouble. Lady Sun, the primary wife of Zhong Yao and mother to his three other children,[18] came into conflict with Zhang Changpu. Lady Sun was a petty, jealous and disgusting woman who often harmed the other women of the house. This was no more apparent than when she attempted to poison Lady Zhang in an effort to force an abortion upon the pregnant woman. Luckily Zhang Changpu tasted something wrong with her food and spit it out, though she did collapse and fall ill. She was bedridden for 10 days.[19] In that time a servant approached her, begging her to come forward with her accusations against Lady Sun, but Zhang Changpu refused. “If wife and concubine harm each other, the family will be destroyed and eventually the country will be ruined. There are histories as warnings. If the lord believes me, who else can understand the real situation? She is estimating my behavior with her mind. She thinks that I will tell the lord, so she must be earlier than me. The whole thing starts from her, how it can be too bad!” Said Lady Zhang, and she proceeded to feign illness and refuse to see anyone.[20] As she expected Lady Sun came to her husband and said, “I would love to see Zhang to have a son, so I put the medication into her drink. How could you say that I poison her!”[21] Zhong Yao was puzzled by this. Lady Sun had came to him rebuking Zhang Changpu even though Zhang Changpu had not spoken to him. “It is great to have the medication for having a boy, but it is inhumane to put it into someone’s food secretly.” Zhong Yao chided her, calling her act inhuman, divorcing her and making Lady Jia his primary wife.[22] Zhong Hui was born that year in 225 to the adoration and joy of his parents.

Being so proud of his son, Zhong Yao took Hui to meet with Jiang Ji who was a very prominent minister in Wei. Jiang Ji was said to have a very discerning eye, and with a single glance he would see just how truly talented a person was. When he saw Zhong Hui, Jiang Ji proclaimed he was truly extraordinary.[23] Of course stories like these are always to be taken with a grain of salt. Zhong Hui was very young when his father passed away, and although a child can learn and show great knowledge from a young age how could one possibly discern their ability with only one look? Perhaps, if it happened, Jiang Ji was merely saying such a thing as to not offend his friend? We cannot say for sure, but what we can derive is that this story is one of many that would back up the claim that Zhong Hui was bright from youth. Hui's parents took a very hands on approach to his training. The Zhong's were very well read, particularly Yao and Lady Zhang was no different. From the age of three for fourteen, Zhong Yao and Zhang Changpu instructed Zhong Hui through many classic works. Zhong Hui specifically recalls the Lunyu, Shijing, Shangshu, Yijing, Chunqiu Zuozhuan, Guoyu, the Zhou Li, Liji and his fathers own commentary on the Yijing.[24] His mother also had her own commentary on the Yijing that I am sure he was familiar with, though we cannot date it so I will not outright say he studied it in his youth. Zhong Yao passed away in 230 when Hui was only 5, thus the rest of Zhong Hui's upbringing was thanks to his mother, and perhaps that of his brothers who were roughly the same age as Lady Zhang.[25] More than likely inspired by his father, Zhong Hui studied calligraphy. One often imitated their master's style when doing so, and Zhong Hui became so good at this he could forge any document he desired.[26] This devotion and care shown to him by his parents was marvelous for his academic life, as it landed him in the Imperial Academy at the age of 15 years old.[27]

Though his families prominence did fade, Zhong Yao had died while holding the rank of Grand Tutor[28] and Zhong Yu had begun ascending in the domestic sphere though his career hit a road block with Cao Shuang and he soon found himself on the outs.[29] During the Zhengshi era in the reign of Cao Fang, Zhong Hui would hold his first position in the Empire. Hui was nominated to be an assistant at the Palace Library sometime before 245. His face for debate and his vast knowledge impressed many and earned the attention of those higher up.[30] He and another youth named Wang Bi were renown in the empire before they were even 20 years old.[31] Director of Personnel, He Yan, who had sought to create a coalition of well off families and bright individuals, both for political and intellectual gains.[32] Among these individuals were Zhong Hui's same-age nephew Xun Xu and Pei Xiu.[33] He Yan's thought process around this was not only to build a solid future for their regime, but also to immortalize himself through the talent of youth.[34] Zhong Hui was lifted to the post of Deputy Secretary at the Central Secretariat and although he did have a minor role in government, his time was spent more-so in the scholarly circles. This time in particular was said to be extra crucial for Zhong Hui's philosophical views. He adopted much of his own view on the Sages from He Yan. A great amount of his poetry, nearly all of it lost, dealt with the subject of the Sages and Immortality.[35] Specifically Zhong Hui felt drawn to He Yan's assertion that "Sages do not have emotions" , referring to fondness, anger, sorrow and joy. This was often a point of contention for many, but Zhong Hui found himself arguing in favor of this and winning.[36]

During his younger years Zhong Hui came into conflict with a relative of his. His same-age nephew, Xun Xu, who was the son of his sister and the Late Xun Xi.[37] Xun Xu had collected a very valuable sword and Zhong Hui wanted it, so he forged a letter in Xun Xu's hand writing and found a way to trick Xun Xu's servants into giving him the blade, effectively stealing it.[38] When Xun Xu heard of this he sought to get back at Zhong Hui, and so he went to his new mansion that Hui had yet to move into and painted a life like mural of his father of it. Everything, even the hat atop Yao's head looks realistic. Upon seeing this Zhong Hui felt great shame and returned the blade.[39]

249 would prove to be a year of great importance for China, but particularly for Zhong Hui. The Cao, who had seemingly held his family down primarily due to the 219 incident though were certainly returning to prominence under Wen-di and Ming-di, were put in danger through the rise of the Sima, supported by the gentry. The gentry felt no loyalty to the Cao who assumed their post through conquest. Though Wen-di of Wei, Cao Pi, tried to entrench the Cao with them and gain their loyalty, he died before this could ever happen.[40] The General-In-Chief Cao Shuang with the Emperor, took a large group of his faction from Luoyang in order to pay their respects at the grave of Ming-di of Wei, Cao Rui, at the Gaoping Mausoleum on February 5th.[41] This was a significant moment as it had been the first time ever that a Wei Emperor would ever visit the tomb of a former Emperor, as well as the last time. This Han tradition was abolished by Wu-di of Wei, Wen-di continued this tradition, pushing forward the idea that the sacrifices and worship must be held at the dynastic temple rather than the tombs.[42] Among this group that were taking this trip to the Gaoping Tombs was Zhong Hui, who at the time was serving as Gentleman of Writing.[43] Zhang Changpu had previously spoken with her son several yars before this, graping tightly on his hand and warning him of Cao Shuang's extravagance and how one day it may bring him to ruin. She warned him not to become too involved.[44] As she fortold disaster would befall the Cao. As the Emperor and his crew were out of town the Grand Tutor Sima Yi, Xuan-di of Jin, launched a coup inside of Luoyang. The Sima, with an edict from the Empress-Dowager, sized the armory, gates and bridges, ordering Cao Shuang to give up his authority and surrender himself. He was charged with high treason, but he did not give himself up.[45] During this commotion several prominent ministers came to see Lady Zhang Changpu at home. They were Liu Fang, Xiahou He and a friend of Zhong Hui's, Wei Guan. They were baffled, Lady Zhang did not at all seem scared or concerned for her son's safety. When they asked why this was, Zhang Changpu replied that Cao Shuang had brought this upon himself, and that since this coup did not involve heavy soldiers it would end soon. She also figured her son would be safe as he is by the Emperor's side.[46] Eventually Cao Shuang did surrender his authority and turn himself in, though not long after he and many of his supporters, along with their families were put to death to the third degree. The Emperor was solely in the hands of the Sima.[47] Zhong Hui was able to remain unscathed. Perhaps this was due to his father's previous rank, or maybe that he himself did not hold a high rank and thus had no sway in the overall policies of the group. Either way, he lived to see another day.

Zhong Hui did not seem to be employed by the Sima right away however, not until Jing-di of Jin assumed control after his father passed away. Sima Shi, Jing-di of Jin had instructed Yu Song to draft an edict, however when Shi read it he was displeased. He ordered Yu Song compile a better one. Zhong Hui was a friend of Yu Song and noticed he had distressed over this job, and so he took it from Yu Song and simply changed five words. When Yu Song turned it over to Jing-di of Jin he was blown away, though immediately he knew this was not the work of Yu Song, but of another. Yu Song admitted to it and said hat it was Zhong Hui, someone he had longed to introduce to Jing-di of Jin. Shi demanded Zhong Hui come see him, and Hui stayed at home for ten days while he mulled over just what exactly he would say to Jing-di of Jin. When he came to Shi's home the two spent the entire day talking. After Hui had left, Jing-di of Jin decried that Zhong Hui had the greatest talent and that he would assist hegemons.[48] I must cast major doubts on this stories legitimacy. Zhong Hui was of a well known family whose father was one of the highest ministers of the state at the end of his life. Zhong Hui's fame was known throughout the empire at this time. How can Jing-di of Jin not know who he is? Furthermore, how can you tell that someone else edited a paper merely by the changing of five words? It is a ludicrous story, though I believe it exists solely for Jing-di of Jin's appraisal. Xun Yu was said to also be an aide to hegemons, and this appraisal for Zhong Hui further connects the two as they would also be known as their lords own Zhang Liang's.

After the execution of Cao Shuang and his cohorts many in Wei felt uneasy. If Xuan-di of Jin could harm the royal family, would anyone be safe? Xiahou Ba, son of the famous Yuan, felt this way and so he betrayed his people to flee to the warlord state of Shu. When he had arrived he spoke with another defector named Jiang Wei who had asked him if Xuan-di of Jin would make a campaign against Shu. Xiahou Ba replied that he would be too busy with managing internal affairs and would not bother with an invasion, however there is a youth named Zhong Hui that will be cause of anxiety of Wu and Shu should he achieve power.[49] The legitimacy of this story is debatable. The source, the Shiyu, as well as another which adopts it from the "historian" Xi Zuochi are not exactly reliable. Though I have included them, I will make my objections known.

Zhong Hui would eventually be appointed to the legislative bureau under Jing-di of Jin, handling all of his confidential documents.[50] The two became very intimate and were close friends.[51] There is no concrete evidence to suggest it, but given his role as an adviser now for Jing-di of Jin he may have been apart of the defense against Zhuge Ke of Wu's invasion at Xincheng.

Jing-di faced a threat similar to that of Cao Shuanng several years earlier, a threat he himself made a reality when the Sima usurped Imperial authority from the Cao.[52] Li Feng, Xiahou Xuan and Zhang Qi had created a plot in order to kill Jing-di, that way they could replace him with Xiahou Xuan. Zhang Qi had been the father to the Empress while Li Feng's son married Wei Ming-di's daughter. Xiahou Xuan was a relative of the Imperial Clan as well,[53] so they all justifications aside from loyal supporters desiring to remove a cancer on their Empire. Their plan was to take advantage of a ceremony in which a palace woman was to be presented as an Honorable Lady, and during the ceremony they would use the palace guards to storm Jing-di and kill him immediately. However this plan did not go off as Jing-di grew suspicious and detained Li Feng, whom he interrogated and beat to death.[54] Xiahou Xuan and the rest were arrested and charged with treason, and the one tasked with prosecuting them and taking their confession was Zhong Hui's eldest half-brother, Zhong Yu.[55] Zhong Hui had actually gone along with his brother to see Xiahou Xuan in prison while Yu attempted to get his confession. Hui was rebuffed by Xuan however, scoffing at his youth and claiming he was simply trying to use social links and ceremonies to befriend him.[56] Xiahou Xuan was soon executed not long after this, along with the rest of the conspirators.[57] Jing-di had found a way to implicate the Emperor in this conspiracy and submitted a lengthy memorial with a range of charges, forcing him to abdicate the throne. Jing-di wished to enthrone Cao Ju, the Prince of Pengcheng, however Empress Dowager Ming-Yuan interjected and persuaded him to enthrone Cao Mao. He was bright and fierce, though young. Jing-di inquired what sort of man the Emperor was, and Zhong Hui replied "As genius as Cao Zhi, as martial as Cao Cao[58]

In response to the tyrannical rise of Jing-di the veteran general and close ally of the throne Guanqiu Jian, along with Cao Shuang's friend Wen Qin rose up in rebellion in Shouchun with the intention of removing Jing-di from power.[59] For Jing-di this could not come at a worse time as he recently had surgery to remove a tumor in his eye and was meant to rest. He did not want to field the army against the loyal rebels and nearly all other officials agree. However Zhong Hui along with Fu Jia and Wang Su argued that it was the duty of Jing-di to lead the army and fight.[60] Jing-di was convinced and he fielded the army, bringing Zhong Hui along as an adviser.[61] "I shall go inspire of my ailments!"[62]

On January 29th the Imperial army lead by Jing-di attacked the loyal rebels, leaving his brother Sima Zhao, Wen-di, behind in Luoyang.[63] Wang Ji was given the tally to command the soldiers of Xu Chang who advised him that the reason the rebellion is centralized only in Huainan was due to the lower officials and people being forced on penalty of death to support them. When the righteous army arrives, it will break their spirit and they will have the rebels heads.[64] Wang Ji was to serve in the vanguard, and as the army came to Yinqiao, two of Guanqiu Jian's generals came and immediately surrendered.[65] Wang Ji advised Jing-di that hiding behind city walls and transporting supplies from far away would welcome disaster, but Jing-di refused to listen. Wang Ji then went about on his own to act against terrain of contention by marching to Nandun and seizing it before Guanqiu Jian could ever arrive, thus forcing him to retreat. The Wu army led by Sun Jun arrived and besieged Shouchun, to which Jing-di ordered the men to reinforce the walls and hold the city. He proceeded to order Zhuge Dan and Xu to march to Shouchun, and then sent Hu Xun to Qiao and Song in order to cut off the retreat of the Wu.[66] Guanqiu Jian and Wen Qin's forces were entirely terrified and at their wits end. Many of them fled north to surrender while some refused and continued to fight, who were mainly farmers which is a sad state of affairs for the rebellion.[67] Deng Ai, the Governor of Yanzhou, crossed a river and manned the city of Luojia. Wen Qin thought to make use of this and attacked, however Jing-di's army made a secret march and united with Deng Ai, defeating Wen Qin. He was sent fleeing to Wu with his sons, and soon Guanqiu Jian attempted to flee and was killed in a field.[68]

The suppression of the rebellion was a great success, but it was not without it's loss. Jing-di's health was failing him greatly and he returned to Xuchang. Jia Chong was ordered to superintend the armies in the army and reassert dominance. Zhong Hui and the others followed Jing-di, but soon Wen-di came from Luoyang to inquire on his brother. Jing-di ordered him take command of all the forces and he died not long after.[69] Fu Jia had received a personal edict from the Emperor of Wei, stating that he is to take charge of the army while Wen-di remains in Xuchang. Fu Jia came to Zhong Hui with this matter and the two of them discussed it. Fu Jia submitted a memorial to the throne that they were giving command to Wen-di, and Zhao proceeded to march the army to Luoyang. The Emperor was thereby forced to make Wen-di Grand General.[70] Zhong Hui at this time had begun to wear an arrogant expression quite often, and this irked Fu Jia who was not one to keep his tongue behind his lips if a person bothered him. "Your aims are bigger than your capacities. Meritorious work will be difficult to achieve. You must be cautious."[71] Zhong Hui payed him no heed.Due to his role that Hui played in the suppression of the revolt, and his efforts in transferring power from Jing-di to Wen-di, Zhong Hui earned the supreme trust of Wen-di. Much as it was like with Jing-di, Zhong Hui became extremely close with Wen-di. He even turned down very prominent appointments from the court, all so that he may remain a clerk for his friend.[72] Zhong Hui knew that true power does not come from the title you have, but from the position you are at. Cao Mao was the Emperor, yet Sima Zhao controlled the Empire. Zhong Hui was, however, awarded a village Marquissate and appointed Gentleman at the Yellow Gates, as well as Metropollitan Commandant.[73]

The Wei Emperor Cao Mao had begun to surround himself with many bright individuals, holding poetry sessions and debates btween scholars. Those invited were the likes of Chen Tai, Sima Wang, Zhong Yu, Xun Yi, Xun Xu, Pei Xiu and, of course, Zhong Hui.[74] Many of those involved were awarded specials titles, and Pei Xiu and Zhong Hui were specifically given the honor of riding in the Imperial Carriage.[75]

Tragedy struck the Zhong family in 257 as Zhong Hui's mother, Lady Zhang Changpu fell ill and died. The Emperor Cao Mao made sure that Wen-di of Jin paid for all of her funeral expenses.[76] During that time Zhong Hui resigned from all posts and remained at home, practicing filial mourning.[77] During this time he penned a biography about his mother, 'The Biography of my Mother, the Lady Zhang'.[78] Zhong Hui's mourning ended embruptly however as Jia Chong had a talk with Wen-di about the Inspector of Yangzhou, Zhuge Dan. Wen-di came to suspect Zhuge Dan, who had ties to both Cao Shuang's regime and Xiahou Xuan, of having rebellions intent. The Emperor appointed Zhuge Dan to the rank of Minister of Works, one of the Three Excellencies, which would force him back to the capital and away from his base of power.[79] Zhong Hui heard of this terrible idea and he quickly rushed to Wen-di's home and told him that this would only force Zhuge Dan to rebel, but he was too late and Wen-di would not halt the order because he felt it would be too much work.[80] Having received the order to come to Luoyang for his post, Zhuge Dan became terrified for his life and rose up in revolt as Zhong Hui had warned about.[81] He feared that Yue Chen, son of Yue Jin, was responsible for this and so he organized his army and attacked, chasing him into the top floor of his home and murdering him.[82] Zhuge Dan proceeded to levy large amounts of soldiers, pardoning those who had been committed of crimes, earning the loyalty of the people in the area. He amassed a large amount of provisions and as well as an army and closed all the city gates in Shouchun. He then sent Wu Gang with his young son Zhuge Jing to Wu, exchanging his son as a hostage for reinforcements from Wu. Sun Chen happily accepted and marched an army north.[83] Sun Jun sent Quan Yi and Duan, Tang Zi, Wang Zuo and Zhu Yi. Wen Qin also returned and he was able to sneak past the Imperial army and get into the city with reinforcements.[84]

Wen-di of Jin mustered a large host of 260,000 and marched east toward Shouchun, with him Zhong Hui but not only him... He brought also brought along the Empress Dowager and the Emperor himself.[85] Just as he had proven successful under his brother, Wen-di appointed Wang Ji as his Commander-In-Chief and had him lead the vanguard.[86] When Wang Ji arrived Wen-di refused to let him engage in battle with Wen Qin and the Wu who had only just arrived, luckily he listened as at that time the secondary unit led by Zhu Yi arrived and had Ji engaged Qin he would've been surrounded.[87] Wen-di eventually gave the order for the army to lay siege to the castle from all sides, forming double columns of men who dug ditches and make sturdy ramparts. The Wu under Wen Qin made multiple attempts at sallying out but they were defeated each time.[88] Shi Bao, Zhou Tai and Hu Zhi were then ordered to hand pick soldiers and form a mobile detachment to counter any external enemy attacks.[89] Zhu Yi struck but he was cut off by Zhou Tai at Yangyuan, and forced to retreat. Zhou Tai pursued and slaughtered two thousand men.[90] Not long after that Sun Chen arrived at Huoli with the main Wu army and met with Zhu Yi. He once more sent him out alongside Ding Feng and Li Fei with 50,000 soldiers to relieve the siege. Zhu Yi constructed a forward supply depot and marched out. He was immediately attacked by Shi Bao and Zhou Tai, and while this was happening Hu Lie with a small troop attacked the supply depot and burned Zhu Yi's provisions. Shi Bao and Zhou Tai defeated Zhu Yi and sent him fleeing back to Sun Chen.[91] When Zhu Yi arrived back at camp he quarreled with Sun Chen. Chen demanded he go out and continue fighting, but Zhu Yi said that the Wei forces were far too great and powerful, and that they had no supplies to continue on fighting with. Enraged, Sun Chen had him summoned to his tent where he ambushed him with guards and beat him to death at Huoli. Sun Chen retreated not long after that and lost public support of every last person in Wu.[92]

Wen-di soon let spies loose into the ranks of Zhuge Dan's forces to proclaim that the Wu army was succeeding and that relief was coming soon. Furthermore the Wei lacked provisions and their weak and sick were piling up. Zhuge Dan's soldiers believed this and let their guard down, becoming careless and believing the siege would not last long so they became gluttonous with their provisions.[93] This plan was fruitful as a foot shortage problem became a major issue in Shouchun and there were no reinforcements in site. Jiang Ban and Jiao Yi both came to Zhuge Dan, begging him to let them attack as there is little chance for victory, they shall die with their honor intact rather than starve like rats.[94] Wen Qin disagreed with them and said that they were close, somehow, to breaking Wei so why would they run the risk of losing everything? Jiang Ban and Jiao Yi persisted and Wen Qin grew angry, as did Zhuge Dan who threatened to execute them. Under the cover of night the two fled, scaling the city walls and surrendering to Wen-di.[95]

Sometime after the rebellion had begun and the initial Wu reinforcements arrived, Quan Hui and Yi had some sort of family quarrel so they took their mother, other family members and their soldiers and went north to surrender to Wei.[96] At the time their brother and several other members of their family were inside Shouchun serving Wen Qin and Zhuge Dan as commanders. When they came north to surrender Zhong Hui advised Sima Zhao that he could use this to their advantage and destroy Zhuge Dan's rebellion.[97] Wen-di agreed and Zhong Hui forced a letter in secret to Quan Hui and Yi in the city, and he sent it secretly into the city. It would inform them that the people in Wu, particularly Sun Chen, were absolutely furious that he was failing to overcome Wei and relieve the siege, so their family was to be put to death, which was why their family fled to join Wei. Quan Yi, Hui and the rest of their family in Shouchun immediately opened the city gates and came out to surrender.[98] Zhong Hui, with one plan, turned the entirety of one of Wu's most powerful and prestigious clans into Wei supporters. This act shocked Zhuge Dan's army, whose morale plummeted after the news broke. Wen-di awarded the surrendered Quan very well.[99] Though it is the only recorded act of Zhong Hui in this battle, his contributions are described as enormous.[100]

Wen Qin and the others were now growing desperate and they attempted to sally out of the southern portion of the sige and attack in large numbers for nearly a week. The Imperial army threw rocks, fired catapults, rockets, shot arrows constantly. Dead and wounded piled up and rivers turned red.[101] They were forced to pull back into the city but with supplies so low thousands fled and surrendered. Wen Qin wished to send all the innocents out of the city so they might be saved and provisions can be rationed, however Zhuge Dan refused.[102] The two argued and came to hate one another, becoming suspicious. When Wen Qin came to visit Zhuge dan to discuss something entirely different he had Wen Qin killed.[103] Hearing of their father's death, his sons Yang and Hu revolted in the city but the soldiers did not join them. They fled, scaling the walls and running to Wen-di. The many officers pleaded with the traitors to be killed but Wen-di said "Putting Wen Qin to death cannot atone for his crime; his sons certainly ought to be put to death. But Wen Yang and Wen Hu have come to surrender because they are desperate; furthermore, the city is not yet taken. By killing them, we shall only be making them the more firm in their resolution.[104] The two Wen's were promoted greatly and the people in Shouchun were astonished as Wen-di's benevolence, but suffered daily due to lack of supplies. Noticing the archers on the walls were no longer shooting, Wen-di gave the final order to attack the city. Drums and armor clamored and they attacked from all sides, scaling the city walls and they captured the city.[105] Zhuge Dan and his subordinates made one last charge into the ranks, but Hu Fen cut off Zhuge Dan's head. The subordinates were captured, all several hundred of them. They were put into a line and each asked to surrender to Wen-di. However they individually proclaimed "To die for Excellency Zhuge is an honor!", they were each killed one by one.[106] Yu Quan of Wu saw this act and he was moved greatly, and he sought to die alone side. He removed his helmet so all could know his face and charged alone at Wen-di before being cut down.[107] Tang Zi, Wang Zui and various other generals of Wu came with bindings to surrender, along with tens of thousands of soldiers.[108] Wen-di came to trust Zhong Hui without question and honored him daily.[109] The court continued to attempt to honor Zhong Hui for his accomplishments, but still he desired to remain a Secretary in the Headquarters of Wen-di, though despite this minimal rank there was not a single matter in the entire Empire that Zhong Hui did not have involvement in.[110] The Court had even sought to honor him as Marquis of Chen, the same Marquissate as his father Yao, but he turned it down.[111] The people of the time remarked that Wen-di had acquired his very own Zifang.[112] Zifang being the style name of Emperor Gaozu of the Han, Liu Bang's most trusted and faithful adviser Zhang Liang. At the time there truly was no high compliment possible.

It seems that sometime after the death of Zhuge Dan and of the Emperor of Wei, and the enthronement of the final Emperor Zhong Hui would come into conflict with a famous scholar named Ji Kang.[113] Ji Kang was one of the fabled Seven Sages of the Bamboo grove.[114] Shan Tao had requested that Ji Kan previously take up a post under Wen-di, however Ji Kang responses with a scathing letter.[115] Zhong Hui had actually admired Ji Kang quite a lot. There is an instance of him penning some work of his own and seeking Ji Kang's opinion on it, so he went to Ji Kang's home. However he became too scared to confront him and simply threw it into Kang's window and ran away.[116] The great conflict between the two came sometime in 262 when Zhong Hui came to visit Ji Kang's home in order to both show him another piece he wrote, as well as to recruit Ji Kang. However when Zhong Hui arrived Ji Kang would not even give him the time of day. Ji Kang sat, legs spread as he was forging iron. Not even a passing glance was given to Zhong Hui. Hui waited for sometime but Kang remained resolute not to speak, and so Zhong Hui began to depart. When he did so Ji Kang spoke up, "What did you hear that made you come? What are you seeing that is making you leave?" Zhong Hui turned to Ji Kang, "I heard what I heard, hence I came. I see what I see, hence I go."[117] From that moment on Zhong Hui held a grudge against Ji Kang for snubbing him so.[118] It is importance to realize that Zhong Hui's literary work was heavily inspired by his late father and mother, the latter whom he lost only a few years prior and was given no time to grieve before Zhuge Dan rebelled. The wound may still be fresh and Ji Kang may have, accidentally, put pressure on it.[119] Ji Kang was friends with a man named Lu An whose brother had actually charged An with being unfilial and cuckolding him. [120] Ji Kang presented himself as a witness to these charges. Zhong Hui hopped on the opportunity and slandered Ji Kang to Wen-di, citing that he once wanted to help Guanqiu Jian, and the stated that Lu An and Ji Kang were dangerous to a peaceful nation. Wen-di had them both put to death on the advise of Zhong Hui. [121] There is no excuse for that. While holding a grudge or hating someone is acceptable, albeit childish in the eyes of some, we can all agree that having them murdered is never the right way to go. What Zhong Hui did was petty and cruel. He had an innocent man who was a rude to him murdered. Hurt feelings or not, the act is wrong.

The following year in 263 had proven to the final straw for Wen-di of Jin, as the Shu had been led north into Imperial lands by Jiang Wei numerous times. Invading the empire and causing a great hassle. A Stableman by the name of Lu Yi offered to assassinate Jiang Wei in order to cut the problem off at the root, however Xun Xu interjected and said that for Wen-di to act so deviously and underhandedly, it would only hurt his majesty and not assert it.[122] Wen-di agreed with the point he made and then publicly declared his intention of conquering Shu with a large invasion. All of the ministers including the veteran general Deng Ai voiced their opinions on this, decrying it as a logistical impossibility. However there existed one lone voice that spoke in favor of the invasion: Zhong Hui.[123] Zhong Hui argued and debated with every single minister on behalf of Wen-di, and he was able to turn all but Deng Ai into supporters of the invasion. Deng Ai still felt that the terrain was too dangerous and Shu still had strength to resist, thus Wei would invite disaster. Wen-di was convinced set in his ways and the invasion was to happen.[124] Because of his ardent support for the plan, Zhong Hui and Wen-di alone planned the entire thing, spending countless sleepless nights together. Zhong Hui was appointed to Commander-In-Chief of Guanzhong and General Who Guards the West, as well as 100,000 soldiers.[125] Deng Ai was named General Who Subdues the West and given 30,000 soldiers, and the Inspector of Yongzhou Zhuge Xu was given another 30,000.[126] Xun Xu at the time had been held hostage by Wen-di as a way to ensure Zhong Hui's loyalty, and he had warned that trusting Zhong Hui was not a wise course of action. Wen-di asked what should be done to avert any potential disaster, and Xun Xu requested Wei Guan be sent with him. This action would spare Xun Xu's life down the line.[127] Wei Guan, the Minister of Justice, was to serve as Army Director Who Garrisons the West and given 1,000 soldiers.[128]

Xun Xu was not the only person to warn Wen-di of putting too much faith in Zhong Hui. Hui's eldest half-brother, Yu also warned that Zhong Hui cannot be trusted. Lady Xin Xianying also predicted his disloyalty, along with Empress Wen-Ming, Wang Yuanji, Jia Chong and Shao Ti.[129] Liu Shi was once asked if Deng Ai and Zhong Hui would conquer Shu, and he replied that they indeed would overcome the rebels, but that neither of them would return home.[130] As Zhong Hui was leaving he payed a visit to another of the Sages of the Bamboo Grove, Wang Rong, to which Wang Rong gave Zhong Hui some sagely advice. "The Daoists have the saying, "Do all bust boast not.' What is difficult is not success but preservation."[131]

Zhong Hui and his army were to march directly onto Hanzhong, while Deng Ai was to meet Jiang Wei and Zhuge Xu was to cut off his retreat and prevent him from reuniting with the men in Hanzhong.[132] The grand army of the Empire met at Luoyang, at which point Wen-di distributed gifts to all the soldiers and generals, gave out orders and had the four commanders swear their oaths of success. Deng Dun cried out that Shu could not be taken, and so Wen-di had him executed then and there as a warning.[133] News of the impending Imperial Wei army descending upon Shu had reached the ears of Liu Shan, the sovereign of Shu. Immediately he sent word for Liao Hua to rush to reinforce Jiang Wei, while Zhang Yi and Dong Jue moved to Yang'an pass.[134] The Shu army was ordered not to fight in the passes but to withdraw to Luocheng and Hancheng, that way they could defend the fortresses and split the invading army. Zhong Hui's army at the time was divided into several columns as they approached Hanzhong.[135] Arriving in Hanzhong Zhong Hui's army swept across the Shu forces, sending Li Fu to attack Luocheng and Xun Kai to Hancheng. Each fort fell rather quickly and the earliest engagement on Zhong Hui's front proved very successful.[136] While nearing Yang'an Zhong Hui had heard that the grave, or one of the graves, of Zhuge Liang was nearby and so he ordered a sacrifice at his tomb.[137]

Zhong Hui's army came upon Yang'an pass which was defended by Jiang Shu and Fu Qian. The two of them did not get along, and indeed Jiang Shu demanded he be allowed to march out and earn merit, but Fu Qian refused and ordered him to defend the pass.[138] Jiang Shu was furious and lied to Fu Qian, saying that the two should do as they please. If Fu Qian wishes to earn merit defending then all the best, but he shall go and fight. Fu Qian did not think any more of it and let him go, but this was a trick. Jiang Shu led his troops directly to Zhong Hui's vanguard commander, Hu Lie, and and welcomed him. Yang'an was entirely taken by surprise and Zhong Hui attacked the city. Fu Qian fought hand to hand but he was killed.[139] Zhong Hui gathered all the supplies, carrying everything before him, and marched onward.[140]

Zhong Hui ordered a subordinate of his named Xu Yi, the son of the famous Xu Chu, to march ahead and repair the roads. When Zhong Hui came upon a bridge Yi was supposed to repair his horses hoof went through a hole in the wood. Furious, Zhong Hui had Xu Yi executed right then there. The son of such a famous general was executed for such a tiny thing, this frightened all the soldiers in his army. Zhong Hui was not going to settle for imperfection, not on his first campaign in command.[141]

Deng Ai had defeated Jiang Wei twice in battle at this point, but Zhuge Xu was not able to capture Jiang Wei, nor keep him from escaping. [142] Jiang Wei slipped past the Wei army and he intended to gather the men from Yinping and march to defend Yangan, but the news had arrived that Zhong Hui had taken Yangan already. Jiang Wei then ordered the majority of the Shu army to Jiange to hold the pass and resist Zhong Hui. Dong Jue, Zhang Yi and Liao Hua joined Jiang Wei.[143] Zhong Hui met staunch resistance at Jiange and he could not overcome the defenders, not even with the newly added forces of Zhuge Xu with him. Supplies were running dangerously low.[144] During this time Zhong Hui took to sending a letter to Jiang Wei, in which he said "With your civil and military accomplishments, Your Lordship cherishes plans for rescuing the world; through your achievements you brought succor to Ba-Han and your fame permeates our China. Far and near, there is no one that does not honor your name. I always recall that we once shared the Great. The relationship between Gongzi Cha of Wu and Gongsun Qiao of may describe our friendship.”[145] Jiang Wei had not budged and continued to resist. At this time it had truly become difficult to transport supplies and Zhong Hui had serious thoughts of ending the campaign then and there.[146]

Deng Ai had figured that it would be impossible to overcome Jiange like this, and so a risk must be taken. He proposed using the Yinping Pass to circumnavigate Jiange and attack Chengdu.[147] Zhuge Xu refused this plan and went and joined Zhong Hui, and this proved to be a mistake. Zhong Hui already harboring rebellious intentions used this to slander Zhuge Xu in a message to Wen-di, calling him a coward. Wen-di fell for it and ordered Zhuge Xu be sent to Luoyang in a prison cart. Zhong Hui then absorbed his 30,000 soldiers.[148] Zhong Hui was running low on supplies and he was considering ending the campaign.[149] He had conquered a sizable portion of Yizhou so far. Nothing was stopping them from returning again and taking the rest. Deng Ai was able to surprise Jiangyou and Mianzhu Pass, kill Zhuge Zhan and force Liu Shan into submission, thus ending the warlord state of Shu Han. [150] Liu Shan ordered the Shu generals to lay down their arms, and Zhong Hui treated them all well. He forbid his men from plundering or doing anything dishonorable.[151] Deng Ai took Chengdu as his base and Zhong Hui would garrison at Jiange.[152] Wen-di made Deng Ai the Grand Commandant and Zhong Hui the Minister Over the Masses, promoting each of them to one of the Three Excellencies. Zhong Hui’s adopted son by Zhong Shao who was a hostage with Wen-di was made a Marquis and his nephew, or perhaps adopted son who had served him during the Conquest was as well.[153] Zhuge Xu was pardoned and made Minister of Ceremonies[154] though the exact timing of this is not exactly clear. It certainly happened sometime after the Conquest of Shu.

Though Jiang Wei is often criticized for his military ability, rightly so for the most part in my opinion, his hold out at Jiange proved incredibly effective though futile in the end. However one must think upon it, how can Jiang Wei stop both Zhong Hui and Deng Ai? One brought a massive army to their doorstop and presented a daunting image of death, while the other merely had less than 30,000 soldiers. Sun Sheng looks unfavorably at Jiang Wei because of this, stating that when he came to Shu the people of the day still showed sorrow at Jiang Wei's lack of ability. Though I agree on Sun Sheng's view of Jiang Wei in general, I would echo Pei Songzhi's view that there was nothing Jiang Wei could do. Staying to hold Zhong Hui means Deng Ai takes Jiangyou, Mianzhu and Chengdu. A failure. Leaving Jiange to chase down Deng Ai means Zhong Hui takes Jiange and now puts Chengdu at the mercy of his 100,000 strong army. A man cannot fight two at once in this way. Truly there is fault to befall the likes of Yan Yu who withdrew large amounts of soldiers from the border of Wu to return to Shu, when those soldiers could have in fact moved toward the front lines, or perhaps garrisoned at the outlying Chengdu defenses, yet when Deng Ai takes the city you hear nothing of him. Jiang Wei's lack of ability can be blamed on many things, however this is one thing I will allow him a pass on. He was against two of the era's best, and although he proved successful in resisting one it took all of his strength and the other went unopposed.

With Zhong Hui garrisoned at Jiange he would meet with many of the Shu officers, including that of Jiang Wei that was truly a fated meeting. "You are late in coming" said Zhong Hui as he first lay eyes on him. Jiang Wei, with a tear in his eye said "Even my seeing you today is too early." Zhong Hui admired his honesty and for that the two became friends.[155] Du Yu, a personal friend and adviser to Zhong Hui, had asked him once who was truly greater; Zhuge Dan or Jiang Wei. Zhong Hui replied that "If I should compare Boyue to the scholars of the Great Rule, Gongxiu cannot win over him."[156] There exists a tale in which Zhong Hui's rebellious side was drawn to the forefront by that of Jiang Wei, which the great intent of stirring him up, killing him and restoring Liu Shan to power. Jiang Wei said to him, “I have heard that since the rebellion of Huainan, you have never committed a single mistake in strategy and that the prosperity of the House of Jin is all due to your service. Now that you have also conquered Shu, your prowess and virtue shake the world; the people respect you for your achievements and your master is afraid of your plans. What are you going to do with yourself? Han Xin did not revolt to the Han when conditions were unsettled and so his loyalty was doubted after he had conquered the Empire. The Great Officer Zhong did not follow Fan Li to the Five Lakes and so he stabbed himself to death. Is it that their sovereigns were unenlightened and they, who were subjects, foolish? It was all because of a difference in interests. Now, you have made great achievements and your great virtue has become well known. Why do you imitate Gao Zhugong in floating a boat and effacing yourself in order that you may keep your achievements unsullied and protect your person, and finally climb the O’mei mountain and roam in the company of Chisongzi?”[157] However Zhong Hui gave no reply, which caused Jiang Wei to say “You have shown wisdom and power in many things. I, an old man, shall leave it to your own discretion.”[158] This story of Jiang Wei being the cause for rebellion is ridiculous and baseless, wishing to paint Jiang Wei as some sort of mastermind. The author of this tale is Xi Zuochi, a man who in this very same source, lies and forges a document which Pei Songzhi calls him out on. Why then would I ever believe a single thing he ever writes? I have included his fable as a way to compile information, but I will let my objections be known. I do not trust his word for a second. Did Jiang Wei have the desire on killing Zhong Hui when their rebellion rose up? Pei Songzhi believes it to be possible, as do I, but was Jiang Wei the reason it happened? No. Many warned against trusting Zhong Hui, and with the slander of Zhuge Xu he had already proven himself to be selfish, and his execution of Ji Kang was inhuman. His rebellion was a matter of his own arrogance, or perhaps more. But not that of Jiang Wei's pure influence alone.

After Zhong Hui had conquered Shu he had found a sword with the engraving on it which read 太一, Grand One.[159] I will quote Jiuyangda directly on the significance of this story, "So the term for the supreme ruler is 「 皇帝 」 , which is commonly translated as “Emperor,” though this is an imperfect rendering because “Emperor” derives from “Imperator,” a title for a military commander, whereas the origins of the term 「 皇帝 」 has religious significance. Consider 「 帝 」 specifically for a moment. It derives from a pictograph of a religious altar, and originally was a term for “god.” Namely, there was the “God of Heaven” 「 天 帝」, also called the “Supreme God” or “God Above” 「上帝」 , the god of rulers above all others. After the introduction of Christianity these terms were associated with the Christian god, though in 1715 the Catholic Church officially rejected them in favor of the term “Ruler of Heaven” 「 天主 」 instead. The God of Heaven was associated with the North Pole Star (Polaris), which was originally named “Grand One”「 太一 」 , and eventually the name of the star became a name for the Supreme God as well."[160]

At this time Zhong Hui was in a precarious position. His eldest brother Yu had died in late 263, or perhaps very early 264 while Zhong Hui had been campaigning[161], his second brother Shao may have already been dead[162], his adopted son and same-age nephew were both held hostage by a lord who had no trust in him.[163] At his back currently was an army of 130,000 soldiers and surrounding him were the untapped lands of Yizhou.[164] You may also take into account that the world was still very much a wild west. Many dominating families have come along at this point: Yuan, Cao, Sima, Sun and Liu, along with many more. Three became the domineering powers but one was overthrown, and a second no longer held an empire. If they may rule, why not the Zhongs? I invite you to think back earlier on the possibility that Zhong Hui was in fact born in ensure the success and survival of the Zhong at a time when there was a genorational gap in the Zhong family. At this time, at least one of Zhong Yao's sons were dead while the other is presumed dead. Without Zhong Hui the family would only have the descendents of Yu and Shao, all of whom were not certain on the age of, but certainly young enough to be adopted by Hui. As mentioned before, the Zhong's relied on others for their military ranks and honors, as well as civil titles for a long time and what did it earn them? Zhong Yao did become Grand Tutor, yes, but was it the Zhong that control the empire now? No. It was the Sima who took power for themselves. So with the already established precedent of a grab for power happening within Wei, his clan's prominence fading, his own star rising, perhaps a divine sign with the Grand One blade and being perhaps the last of his lineage, Why is one surprised Zhong Hui has plans of rebellion? It is entirely possibly that all of these situations, combined together, may be the direct cause for what Zhong Hui plans next.

As the precedent has been set several times now in his life, Zhong Hui was an excellent calligrapher. Not only this but his position at Jiange was perfect. All lines of communication between Chengdu and Luoyang, ie Wen-di and Deng Ai, came directly through Jiange and Hui would use this to his sinister advantage. Zhong Hui intercepted letters from Deng Ai to Wen-di, editing them to make Deng Ai appear overly arrogant, self-important and rebellious, while also forging Wen-di's replies to Deng Ai. Zhong Hui's grand design was to alienate the two from each other, turning Wen-di against Deng Ai at which point Zhong Hui could "justly" remove Deng Ai, assume his forces and launch a preemptive strike on Wen-di.[165] Zhong Hui would allow several letters through evidently, these were very defensive and suddenly speaking of grand plans on taking over Wu. As Wen-di had not been receiving Deng Ai's actual letters this shocked him.[166] Truthfully I am not sure that we cannot trust any single letter penned by Deng Ai in this time, as we cannot be certain what was his and what was Zhong Hui, so I echo Hu Sanxing's caution when thinking what was actually said by Deng Ai.[167] With distrust sown between lord and vassal, Zhong Hui then went to the subordinates of himself and Deng Ai, turning the likes of Shi Zuan, Wei Guan and Hu Lie against Deng Ai. They all signed a memorial that implicated Deng Ai in having rebellious intentions, and so Sima Zhao ordered Zhong Hui to arrest him at once.[167]

Zhong Hui now sought to eliminate two birds with one stone. Wei Guan's troops were minimal and so Zhong Hui desired to have Deng Ai kill Wei Guan, not only to add further onto Ai's crimes but to remove Wei Guan too.[168] Wei Guan saw through this but he had to go through with the mission. Wei Guan arrived at Chengdu during the night and called to him various generals and officers, present the decree to arrest Deng Ai. He stated rank and reward would be plenty, but any who refused would be executed with their whole families. At dawn, Wei Guan and his men burst into the hall of Chengdu and stormed Deng Ai who had been laying down sleeping. He and his song Zhong were arrested and put into cage carts and sent off under armed guard.[169] Deng Ai's former officers were furious at this and plotted to free Deng Ai. They armed themselves and stormed Wei Guan's encampment, but Guan simply welcomed them in and pretended to draft a petition to beg Wen-di to realize that this was all a misunderstanding. The soldiers put their arms down and trusted Wei Guan completely.[170]

It appears not long after this Zhong Hui recieved a message from Wen-di which read, “I fear Deng Ai might not submit. I have ordered Jia Chong to lead 10,000 infantry and cavalry into the Xie Valley and station at Yuecheng. I will lead 100,000 troops to garrison at Chang'an. We will be meeting each other soon.”[171] Zhong Hui had been found out, and he would no longer be able to plan to launch his surprise strike from Yizhou. He summoned all those closest to him and said on the matter, “When His Excellency ordered me to arrest Deng Ai, he knew I was capable of accomplishing the task alone. However, now, since he has brought his troops here, he must be suspecting me. We should take action quickly. If we succeed, the Empire is ours. If we fail, we can retreat back to Shu Han and do as Liu Bei did before us. It is widely known that my plans have never failed once since the Shouchun rebellions. How can I be contented with such fame?”[172] Zhong Hui had to act far earlier than he had ever wanted. His plan would be to give Jiang Wei the vanguard force which would march to Xie Valley and hit Chang'an while he himself leads the main force not far behind. After seizing Changan the army would divide infantry and cavalry: one sailing along the Wei and Yellow rivers while the other travels on land, meeting on the outskirts of Luoyang and seizing the city in 5 days.[173]

Zhong Hui arrived in Chengdu with his personal army and soon detained Wei Guan, Hu Lie and the rest, bringing them to the Imperial Palace.[174] There he removed an Imperial Edict from the late Empress Dowager Ming-Yuan which stated that the loyal men must rise up and kill the tyrant in the court.[175] This edict has been decried as a forgery and it is certainly possible. Zhong Hui has presented himself very capable of forging documents many times. However he also had direct access to the Imperial Palace for sometime now so there is a possibility of it also being real.

There was hesitation in the air and soon Zhong Hui wrote down on a cloth that he showed only to Wei Guan, "I intend to kill Hu Lie and the others."[176] Wei Guan and Zhong Hui had been friends all their lives, but Zhong Hui had already tried to get Wei Guan killed, and Guan realized this. Wei Guan did not permit Zhong Hui to kill them, and so the two now suspected the other of wanting to kill the other.[177] Those who did not agree with Zhong Hui's plans were quickly arrested and put into government buildings which were used as makeshift prisons.[178] Two men were able to escape imprisonment and they were Zhong Hui's closest allies and friends on this conquest: Qiu Jian and Du Yu. However Du Yu was married to the Sima and Qiu Jian was a former subordinate Hu Lie. Qiu Jian in particular would prove to be the one to save this situation entirely. With all of the prisoners locked away, Zhong Hui now had the intention of killing them all, assuming their commands and launching his rebellion. Qiu Jian spoke with Zhong Hui and asked if he may bring food to the prisoners, which Zhong Hui agreed to.[179] When Qiu Jian came to Hu Lie the two talked and Jian told Lie everything. Lie wrote a secret letter to his son outside the city walls, the seventeen year old Yuan. Qiu Jian agreed to give it to him and under the cover of night he fled the city. Hu Yuan read the letter from his father which stated, "According to the secret message I have received from Qiu Jian, Zhong Hui has already dug a large ditch and made several thousand white painted clubs. He intends to summon all the troops from the outside to make each of them a gift of a white cap and to appoint them as sanjiang, and then to kill them with the clubs one after another and throw their bodies into the ditch."[180] The message was now circulating among the armies that Zhong Hui planned to rebel.[181]

Zhong Hui, however, seemed to now want to fix the issues with Wei Guan and he pressured him to continue talking about the matter, hoping to sway him. The two talked the entire night without sleeping, though they both had a sword across their laps the entire time.[182] Zhong Hui knew there was a commotion outside and so he ordered Guan to go and comfort and reassure the people that everything was fine. Little did Hui known, but Guan wanted to leave and may have actually been the one responsible for the message getting out in the first place! "Sir, you are the master of the Three Armies, you ought to go yourself and comfort them" Wei Guan said, but Hui interjected "Sir is the supervising director, you ought to go first and I will follow." Wei Guan took advantage of this and left, one he turned the corner he sprinted and ran. Zhong Hui realized he made a grave error and called for Wei Guan to come back at once, however Guan feigned illness and fell to the ground. However Zhong Hui's men continued to chase after him, so Wei Guan ate salt and vomitied, looking pale and weak. The soldiers all believed him and left him be. Zhong Hui sent doctors to check on him, and all reported he was ill and near death. This comforted Zhong Hui.[183] Wei Guan drafted a call to arms for the troops to rally and kill Zhong Hui, but little did he know they were already prepared.[184] At Dawn they struck, lead by the seventeen year old Hu Yuan. Storming the palace they killed all the rebels in sight.[185] Zhong Hui attempted to resist, sending his guards left and right to fight to their deaths but the sheer number and ferocity of Hu Yuan's men was too much. The various generals all pounced, stabbing and cutting Zhong Hui. With only several hundred men left to him, Zhong Hui attempted to flee down the hallways but they were wounded and tired. Hu Yuan chased him down and killed them all.[187] Zhong Hui's nephew/adopted son that came with him was killed by his side, and so was his adopted son in Luoyang along with his children. However thanks to the efforts of Zhong Yu and Xun Xu, as well as the merits of the deceased Zhong Yao the rest of their dwindling clan was saved.[188] Chaos remained in the city for several more days, however the likes of Hu Lie, Wei Guan and Du Yu calmed it and settled the issues.[189]

The fabled sword Zhong Hui found wound up in the hands of his former subordinate Wang Bosheng, however Bosheng lost it in a river.[190] Another subordinate of Zhong Hui's named Xiang Xiong took Zhong Hui's body, cleaning it and burying him with honors. Hearing of this Wen-di became enrages, but Xiong was able to calmly explain his reasoning and did not incur any consequences for his actions.[191] He Zeng succeeded Zhong Hui as Minister over the Masses.[192] A descendant of Zhong Hui, Zhong Yan, would marry Wang Hun who would conquer Wu[193] and another descendant would be a successful Eastern Jin minister and commander, though his fate was also a sad one.[194]

And thus ends the complicated and interesting story of Zhong Hui. One of the greatest minds in the land turned dead rebel. From an early age he was hailed as a genius, a one of a kind brilliant man! Perhaps even the last hope for his clan in the eyes of his father, which may be why Yao took such a hands on approach to aiding his growth during the five years he was present in his life. Regardless, the public thought on his genius truly was founded and it aided his rise in power quite a lot. Earning the trust of two Sima leaders, he eventually ran the government at one point, played a pivotal role in the largest battle of the era and drafted up the plan for invading Shu. His conquest of Hanzhong was an incredibly impressive feat rivaled only by a few others. However he was resisted at Jiange and almost called off the invasion if not for Deng Ai. His jealously and ambition, regardless of what that ambition was, proved to be fatal for so many innocent lives. However I do hope I was able to present an understanding as to why he did what it was he did. Same being for the slander and execution of Ji Kang. Though I am not excusing his actions, and I will echo the words of his father and call what he did "Inhuman". Ji Kang, Deng Ai, Deng Zhong and the rest were innocent victims of Zhong Hui's ego. It is a shame that such a talented man went down this path. Truly there were few as talented as him, and in another reality maybe he would be hailed as as the hero he could've been, but instead he will be known by most as a dead traitor in a distant land.


[1] Chen Shou, Zhong Hui's Sanguozhi biography
[2] Alan K.L Chan, Zhong Hui's "Laozi" Commentary and the Debate on Capacity and Nature in Third-Century China
[3] Alan K.L Chan, Zhong Hui's "Laozi" Commentary and the Debate on Capacity and Nature in Third-Century China
[4] Rafe de Crespigny, Biographical Dictionary of the Later Han to Three Kingdoms
[5] Xuesanguo, Chen Shou, Zhong Yao's Sanguozhi biography
[6] Xuesanguo, Chen Shou, Zhong Yao's Sanguozhi biography
[7] Pei Songzhi's Annotationm Zhong Hui, The Biography of my Mother, Lady Zhang, Chen Shou, Zhong Hui's Sanguozhi biography
[8] Xuesanguo, Chen Shou, Zhong Yao's Sanguozhi biography
[9] Howard L. Goodman, Xun Xu and the Politics of Precision in Third-century AD China
[10] Xuesanguo, Chen Shou, Zhong Yao's Sanguozhi biography
[11] Howard L. Goodman, The Calligrapher Chung Yu
[12] Howard L. Goodman, The Calligrapher Chung Yu
[13] Howard L. Goodman, The Calligrapher Chung Yu
[14] Howard L. Goodman, The Calligrapher Chung Yu
[15] Howard L. Goodman, The Calligrapher Chung Yu
[16] Howard L. Goodman, The Calligrapher Chung Yu
[17] Gongjin's Campaign Memorials, Pei Songzhi's Annotations Zhong Hui, The Biography of my Mother, Lady Zhang, Chen Shou, Zhong Hui's Sanguozhi biography
[18] Gongjin's Campaign Memorials, Pei Songzhi's Annotations Zhong Hui, The Biography of my Mother, Lady Zhang, Chen Shou, Zhong Hui's Sanguozhi biography
[19] Gongjin's Campaign Memorials, Pei Songzhi's Annotations Zhong Hui, The Biography of my Mother, Lady Zhang, Chen Shou, Zhong Hui's Sanguozhi biography
[20] Gongjin's Campaign Memorials, Pei Songzhi's Annotations Zhong Hui, The Biography of my Mother, Lady Zhang, Chen Shou, Zhong Hui's Sanguozhi biography
[21] Gongjin's Campaign Memorials, Pei Songzhi's Annotations Zhong Hui, The Biography of my Mother, Lady Zhang, Chen Shou, Zhong Hui's Sanguozhi biography
[22] Gongjin's Campaign Memorials, Pei Songzhi's Annotations Zhong Hui, The Biography of my Mother, Lady Zhang, Chen Shou, Zhong Hui's Sanguozhi biography
[23] Alan K.L Chan, Zhong Hui's "Laozi" Commentary and the Debate on Capacity and Nature in Third-Century China
[24] Chen Shou, Zhong Hui's Sanguozhi biography
[25] Howard L. Goodman, The Calligrapher Chung Yu
[26] Howard L. Goodman, The Calligrapher Chung Yu
[27] Chen Shou, Zhong Hui's Sanguozhi biography
[28] Xuesanguo, Chen Shou, Zhong Yao's Sanguozhi biography
[29] Xuesanguo, Chen Shou, Zhong Yu's sub-biography, Zhong Yao's Sanguozhi biography
[30] Chen Shou, Zhong Hui's Sanguozhi biography
[31] Rudolf G. Wager, A Chinese Reading of the Daodejing: Wang Bi's Commentary on the Laozi with Critical Text and Translation
[32] Rudolf G. Wager, A Chinese Reading of the Daodejing: Wang Bi's Commentary on the Laozi with Critical Text and Translation
[33] Rudolf G. Wager, A Chinese Reading of the Daodejing: Wang Bi's Commentary on the Laozi with Critical Text and Translation
[34] Rudolf G. Wager, A Chinese Reading of the Daodejing: Wang Bi's Commentary on the Laozi with Critical Text and Translation
[35] Alan K.L Chan, Zhong Hui's "Laozi" Commentary and the Debate on Capacity and Nature in Third-Century China
[36] Chen Shou, Zhong Hui's Sanguozhi biography
[37] Richard B. Mather, A New Account of Tales of the World, Liu Yiqing, Shishuo Xinyu
[38] Richard B. Mather, A New Account of Tales of the World, Liu Yiqing, Shishuo Xinyu
[39] Richard B. Mather, A New Account of Tales of the World, Liu Yiqing, Shishuo Xinyu
[40] Howard L. Goodman, Ts'ao P'i Transcendence
[41] Achilles Fang, Chronciles of the Three Kingdoms, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[42] Rafe de Crespigny, Imperial Warlord
[43] Chen Shou, Zhong Hui's Sanguozhi biography
[44] Pei Songzhi's Annotationm Zhong Hui, The Biography of my Mother, Lady Zhang, Chen Shou, Zhong Hui's Sanguozhi biography
[45] Achilles Fang, Chronciles of the Three Kingdoms, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[46] Pei Songzhi's Annotationm, Guo Song, Shiyu, Chen Shou, Zhong Hui's Sanguozhi biography
[47] Pei Songzhi's Annotationm, Guo Song, Shiyu, Chen Shou, Zhong Hui's Sanguozhi biography
[48] Pei Songzhi's Annotationm, Guo Song, Shiyu, Chen Shou, Zhong Hui's Sanguozhi biography
[49] Chen Shou, Zhong Hui's Sanguozhi biography
[50] Achilles Fang, Chronciles of the Three Kingdoms, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[51] Achilles Fang, Chronciles of the Three Kingdoms, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[52] Achilles Fang, Chronciles of the Three Kingdoms, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[53] Achilles Fang, Chronciles of the Three Kingdoms, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[54] Howard L Goodman, Exegetes and Exegeses on the Book of Changes in the Third Century a.d.: Historical and Scholastic Contests for Wang Pi
[55] Achilles Fang, Chronciles of the Three Kingdoms, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[56] Xuesanguo, Chen Shou, Cao Mao's Sanguozhi biography
[57] Achilles Fang, Chronciles of the Three Kingdoms, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[58] Chen Shou, Zhong Hui's Sanguozhi biography
[59] Chen Shou, Zhong Hui's Sanguozhi biography
[60] Achilles Fang, Chronciles of the Three Kingdoms, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[61] Achilles Fang, Chronciles of the Three Kingdoms, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[62] Achilles Fang, Chronciles of the Three Kingdoms, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[63] Achilles Fang, Chronciles of the Three Kingdoms, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[64] Achilles Fang, Chronciles of the Three Kingdoms, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[65] Achilles Fang, Chronciles of the Three Kingdoms, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[66] Achilles Fang, Chronciles of the Three Kingdoms, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[67] Chen Shou, Zhong Hui's Sanguozhi biography
[68] Chen Shou, Zhong Hui's Sanguozhi biography
[69] Chen Shou, Zhong Hui's Sanguozhi biography
[70] Chen Shou, Zhong Hui's Sanguozhi biography
[71] Chen Shou, Zhong Hui's Sanguozhi biography
[72] Xuesanguo, Chen Shou, Cao Mao's Sanguozhi biography
[73] Xuesanguo, Chen Shou, Cao Mao's Sanguozhi biography
[74] Chen Shou, Zhong Hui's Sanguozhi biography
[75] Chen Shou, Zhong Hui's Sanguozhi biography
[76] Chen Shou, Zhong Hui's Sanguozhi biography
[77] Xuesanguo, Chen Shou, Zhuge Dan's Sanguozhi biography
[78] Chen Shou, Zhong Hui's Sanguozhi biography
[79] Chen Shou, Zhong Hui's Sanguozhi biography
[80] Xuesanguo, Pei Songzhi's annotation, Guo Song, Shiyu, Chen Shou, Zhuge Dan's Sanguozhi biography
[81] Achilles Fang, Chronciles of the Three Kingdoms, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[82] Achilles Fang, Chronciles of the Three Kingdoms, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[83] Xuesanguo, Chen Shou, Zhuge Dan's Sanguozhi biography
[84] Achilles Fang, Chronciles of the Three Kingdoms, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[85] Achilles Fang, Chronciles of the Three Kingdoms, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[86] Achilles Fang, Chronciles of the Three Kingdoms, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[87] Achilles Fang, Chronciles of the Three Kingdoms, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[88] Achilles Fang, Chronciles of the Three Kingdoms, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[89] Achilles Fang, Chronciles of the Three Kingdoms, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[90] Achilles Fang, Chronciles of the Three Kingdoms, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[91] Achilles Fang, Chronciles of the Three Kingdoms, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[92] Achilles Fang, Chronciles of the Three Kingdoms, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[93] Achilles Fang, Chronciles of the Three Kingdoms, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[94] Achilles Fang, Chronciles of the Three Kingdoms, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[95] Chen Shou, Zhong Hui's Sanguozhi biography
[96] Chen Shou, Zhong Hui's Sanguozhi biography
[97] Chen Shou, Zhong Hui's Sanguozhi biography
[98] Chen Shou, Zhong Hui's Sanguozhi biography
[99] Chen Shou, Zhong Hui's Sanguozhi biography
[100] Achilles Fang, Chronciles of the Three Kingdoms, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[101] Achilles Fang, Chronciles of the Three Kingdoms, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[102] Achilles Fang, Chronciles of the Three Kingdoms, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[103] Achilles Fang, Chronciles of the Three Kingdoms, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[104] Achilles Fang, Chronciles of the Three Kingdoms, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[105] Xuesanguo, Chen Shou, Zhuge Dan's Sanguozhi biography
[106] Xuesanguo, Chen Shou, Zhuge Dan's Sanguozhi biography
[107] Xuesanguo, Chen Shou, Zhuge Dan's Sanguozhi biography
[108] Chen Shou, Zhong Hui's Sanguozhi biography
[109] Chen Shou, Zhong Hui's Sanguozhi biography
[110] Chen Shou, Zhong Hui's Sanguozhi biography
[111] Chen Shou, Zhong Hui's Sanguozhi biography
[112] Chen Shou, Zhong Hui's Sanguozhi biography
[113] Alan K.L Chan, Zhong Hui's "Laozi" Commentary and the Debate on Capacity and Nature in Third-Century China
[114] Alan K.L Chan, Zhong Hui's "Laozi" Commentary and the Debate on Capacity and Nature in Third-Century China
[115] Alan K.L Chan, Zhong Hui's "Laozi" Commentary and the Debate on Capacity and Nature in Third-Century China
[116] Alan K.L Chan, Zhong Hui's "Laozi" Commentary and the Debate on Capacity and Nature in Third-Century China
[117] Alan K.L Chan, Zhong Hui's "Laozi" Commentary and the Debate on Capacity and Nature in Third-Century China
[118] Alan K.L Chan, Zhong Hui's "Laozi" Commentary and the Debate on Capacity and Nature in Third-Century China
[119] Alan K.L Chan, Zhong Hui's "Laozi" Commentary and the Debate on Capacity and Nature in Third-Century China
[120] Alan K.L Chan, Zhong Hui's "Laozi" Commentary and the Debate on Capacity and Nature in Third-Century China
[121] Alan K.L Chan, Zhong Hui's "Laozi" Commentary and the Debate on Capacity and Nature in Third-Century China
[122] Achilles Fang, Chronciles of the Three Kingdoms, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[123] Chen Shou, Zhong Hui's Sanguozhi biography
[124] Chen Shou, Zhong Hui's Sanguozhi biography
[125] Chen Shou, Zhong Hui's Sanguozhi biography
[126] Achilles Fang, Chronciles of the Three Kingdoms, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[127] Howard L. Goodman, Xun Xu and the Politics of Precision in Third-century AD China
[128] Fornandon, Fang Xuanling, Wei Guan's Jinshu biography
[129] Achilles Fang, Chronciles of the Three Kingdoms, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[130] Achilles Fang, Chronciles of the Three Kingdoms, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[131] Fang Xuanling, Wang Rong's Jinshu biography
[132] Achilles Fang, Chronciles of the Three Kingdoms, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[133] Achilles Fang, Chronciles of the Three Kingdoms, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[134] Achilles Fang, Chronciles of the Three Kingdoms, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[135] Achilles Fang, Chronciles of the Three Kingdoms, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[136] Chen Shou, Zhong Hui's Sanguozhi biography
[137] Chen Shou, Zhong Hui's Sanguozhi biography
[138] Achilles Fang, Chronciles of the Three Kingdoms, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[139] Achilles Fang, Chronciles of the Three Kingdoms, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[140] Achilles Fang, Chronciles of the Three Kingdoms, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[141] Chen Shou, Zhong Hui's Sanguozhi biography
[142] Achilles Fang, Chronciles of the Three Kingdoms, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[143] Achilles Fang, Chronciles of the Three Kingdoms, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[144] Chen Shou, Zhong Hui's Sanguozhi biography
[145] Chen Shou, Zhong Hui's Sanguozhi biography
[146] Chen Shou, Zhong Hui's Sanguozhi biography
[147] Achilles Fang, Chronciles of the Three Kingdoms, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[148] Chen Shou, Zhong Hui's Sanguozhi biography
[149] Chen Shou, Zhong Hui's Sanguozhi biography
[150] Achilles Fang, Chronciles of the Three Kingdoms, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[151] Chen Shou, Zhong Hui's Sanguozhi biography
[152] Achilles Fang, Chronciles of the Three Kingdoms, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[153] Achilles Fang, Chronciles of the Three Kingdoms, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[154] Gongjin's Campaign Memorials, Fang Xuanling, Wang Yuanji's Jinshu
[155] Lucy Zhang, Chen Shou, Jiang Wei's Sanguozhi biography
[156] Lucy Zhang, Chen Shou, Jiang Wei's Sanguozhi biography
[157] Lucy Zhang, Pei Songzhi's Annotations, Xi Zuochi, Han Jin Chunqiu, Chen Shou, Jiang Wei's Sanguozhi biography
[158] Lucy Zhang, Pei Songzhi's Annotations, Xi Zuochi, Han Jin Chunqiu, Chen Shou, Jiang Wei's Sanguozhi biography
[159] Jiuyangda, Tao Hongjing, Catalog of Single and Double Edged Swords from Ancient Times to Present
[160] Jiuyangda
[161] Xuesanguo, Chen Shou, Zhong Yu's sub-biography, Zhong Yao's Sanguozhi biography
[162] Howard L. Goodman, The Calligrapher Chung Yu
[163] Howard L. Goodman, Xun Xu and the Politics of Precision in Third-century AD China
[164] Achilles Fang, Chronciles of the Three Kingdoms, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[165] Chen Shou, Zhong Hui's Sanguozhi biography
[166] Achilles Fang, Chronciles of the Three Kingdoms, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[167] Achilles Fang, Chronciles of the Three Kingdoms, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[168] Chen Shou, Zhong Hui's Sanguozhi biography
[169] Fornandon, Fang Xuanling, Wei Guan's Jinshu biography
[170] Fornandon, Fang Xuanling, Wei Guan's Jinshu biography
[171] Chen Shou, Zhong Hui's Sanguozhi biography
[172] Chen Shou, Zhong Hui's Sanguozhi biography
[173] Chen Shou, Zhong Hui's Sanguozhi biography
[174] Chen Shou, Zhong Hui's Sanguozhi biography
[175] Chen Shou, Zhong Hui's Sanguozhi biography
[176] Fornandon, Fang Xuanling, Wei Guan's Jinshu biography
[177] Fornandon, Fang Xuanling, Wei Guan's Jinshu biography
[178] Fornandon, Fang Xuanling, Wei Guan's Jinshu biography
[179] Achilles Fang, Chronciles of the Three Kingdoms, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[180] Achilles Fang, Chronciles of the Three Kingdoms, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[181] Fornandon, Fang Xuanling, Wei Guan's Jinshu biography
[182] Fornandon, Fang Xuanling, Wei Guan's Jinshu biography
[183] Fornandon, Fang Xuanling, Wei Guan's Jinshu biography
[184] Fornandon, Fang Xuanling, Wei Guan's Jinshu biography
[185] Chen Shou, Zhong Hui's Sanguozhi biography
[186] Chen Shou, Zhong Hui's Sanguozhi biography
[187] Chen Shou, Zhong Hui's Sanguozhi biography
[188] Chen Shou, Zhong Hui's Sanguozhi biography
[189] Fornandon, Fang Xuanling, Wei Guan's Jinshu biography
[190] Jiuyangda, Tao Hongjing, Catalog of Single and Double Edged Swords from Ancient Times to Present
[191] Achilles Fang, Chronciles of the Three Kingdoms, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[192] Fornandon, Fang Xuanling, He Zeng's Jinshu biography
[193] Fornandon, Fang Xuanling, Zhong Yan's Jinshu biography
[194] Fornandon, Fang Xuanling, Zhong Ya's Jinshu biography
Last edited by DaoLunOfShiji on Wed Jul 25, 2018 12:12 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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DaoLunOfShiji
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Re: Comprehensive Biography for Zhong Hui

Unread postby Sun Fin » Fri May 11, 2018 5:10 pm

Why are you wasting your time writing about this jerk?















Just kidding! His a fascinating man, great bio!
Have a question about a book or academic article before you buy it? Maybe I have it!
Check out my library here for a list of Chinese history resources I have on hand!
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Sun Fin
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