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 (225-264)

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 Cao Cao, along with the establishment of the Wei Dynasty rising through the ranks all the way to the rank of Grand Tutor under 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 into the Xun clan. [9] If you’re interested in them, I covered Zhong Yao, Zhong Yu and Zhang Changpu in a separate case before, as well as the son of Zhong Hui’s sister and Xun Xi, Xun Xu on my tumblr. They will all eventually be posted here once I properly cite them and clear any errors I find.

Our story as it directly relates to Zhong Hui actually begins before his birth sometime in 225. [9] His mother, Lady Zhang came into conflict with Zhong Yao’s wife, Lady Sun. Lady Sun is described as petty, jealous, cruel and desiring to bring harm to all of Zhong Yao’s concubines. While Zhang Changpu was pregnant with Zhong Hui Lady Sun attempted to poison her. Lady Sun slipped poison secretly into Lady Zhang’s meal, and lucky Lady Zhang found out about it and quickly spit the food out, however she fell ill and became bedridden for 10 days. [10]

A servant inquired into why Lady Zhang was ill, and she replied that she had been poisoned. The servant asked why she did not take this to her husband, and Zhang responded that when the wife and the concubine fight, it will ruin the family and eventually the country. She also knew that Lady Sun was eager to prove her innocence, so if she waited over a week Lady Sun would implicate herself by telling Zhong Yao she only sought to use a potion to make sure she had a boy rather than a girl. Lady Sun approached Zhong Yao, decrying Zhang Changpu as a liar, stating she would never poison her and only wished to help her have a son. Seeing as Zhang Changpu never spoke to Zhong Yao, you can imagine Zhong Yao was a bit confused by this. He stated that, while trying to aid her in giving birth to a son is admirable, to secretly put it into her food is inhuman. Zhong Yao questioned Lady Zhang on the matter, and she simply repeated what she said to the servant. Zhong Yao was amused at her genius, and he eventually divorced the Lady Sun. [11]

Later in that year Zhong Hui was finally born. [12] His parents dotted on him like no other, and from an early age they both took an interest in teaching him. [13] Zhong Yao was so proud of his son that he took him to meet Jiang Ji. Jiang Ji was said to have a very discerning eye, and with a single glance he could tell how talented a person was. Upon one look at Zhong Hui, Jiang Ji decried he was extraordinary. [14] Zhong Hui’s time with his father was short however as Zhong Yao passed away 5 years after the birth of his son in 230, [15] however Zhong Hui recounts that his mother was certainly a caring woman and a fine teacher. She had taken up his formal education, and from the age of three to fourteen he was instructed in various works such as the Lunyu, Shijing, Shangshu, Yijing, Chunqiu Zuozhuan, Guoyu, the Zhou Li, Liji and his fathers own commentary on the Yijing. [16]This personal hand his parents played in his upbringing and schooling proved very beneficial for the young Zhong Hui, as he was invited to the Imperial Academy at 15 years old. [17] Similar to a kid in middle school getting into an Ivy League school.

Zhong Hui’s career in the government began sometime during the reign of Cao Fang, during the Zhengshi Era. [18] He was assigned to be an assistant in the palace library. [19] I’ve pinpointed it sometime before 245 as Wang Bi’s personal biography points out that he and Zhong Hui were lauded as intellectuals and enjoyed fame before they were 20. Given that Zhong Hui was born in 225, 245 would be 20 years later. [20] Regardless that post did not last long as Zhong Hui’s fame grew. His vast intellect and talent for debating earned him a promotion to deputy secretary at the Central Secretariat. [21] Try saying that five times as fast.

There is no doubt that Zhong Hui was a part of Cao Shuang’s regime, albeit a very small part. Much like men like Wang Bi he was more associated with the intellectuals, rather than the officials. [22] Wang Baoxuan argues that Zhong Hui was drawn to He Yan’s views on the Sages, and that it aided his own views. [23] Zhong Hui served in this regime along side Pei Xiu, whose career would mirror his own, and his nephew Xun Xu. While the politics of Cao Shuang’s regime, and their effect on Wei’s stability are argued to death there is no doubt that this time gave rise to some of the finest minds of a generation.

However that rise would not last. In 249 Cao Shuang and the Emperor of Wei, Cao Fang, along with many others, including Zhong Hui, took a trip to pay their respects to Cao Rui at the Gaoping Tombs. [24] While they were outside of Luoyang Sima Yi suddenly launched a coup within the city. He seized the armory, the gates, the bridges, and with an edict from the Empress he ordered Cao Shuang to give up his authority and return to the city. [25] While this commotion was going on Liu Fang, Wei Guan and Xiahou He approached Zhong Hui’s mother and inquired as to why she wasn’t worried for her sons safety. She retorted that Cao Shuang’s behavior had earned this, and that since her son is beside the Emperor, no one is more safe than he is. She also guessed the coup would not last long as there were no armies involved in it. She was completely right about everything. [26] Zhong Hui was safe, Cao Shuang and those implicated with him were all put to death and the matter was settled within a week. [27]

Eventually Sima Yi passed away and Sima Shi came to replace him. [28] Zhong Hui would find himself in Sima Shi’s employ but the circumstances are unknown. The Shiyu tells a tale about how this happened, but I don’t believe it and neither does Pei Songzhi… nor anyone with a brain. The story goes that Sima Shi instructed Yu Song to draft up an edict for something. When Shi saw it, he thought it was terrible and he ordered Yu Song to write a better one. Yu Song was distressed and when Zhong Hui went to his house he offered his help. Zhong Hui simply changed five words, and when it was presented to Sima Shi he was blown away. He immediately knew Yu Song was not responsible and demanded to know who was. He replied it was Zhong Hui, and that he had always wanted to recommend him for service. Shi demanded Hui be brought to him, however Zhong Hui decided to stay home for 10 days and think about what he would say. On the 10th day he visited Sima Shi early in the morning and the two talked until well after midnight. Sima Shi stated that Zhong Hui had the greatest talent and he would assist future rulers. [29]

Here’s the big issues with this.

How can you possibly tell someone else edited something by changing five words?
If Yu Song had wanted to recommend Zhong Hui, why didn’t he?
Zhong Hui was already famous and Sima Shi must’ve known about him.
Zhong Hui’s father was once the Grand Tutor, there is no way Shi didn’t know about him.
Thus I don’t believe the Shiyu’s story. It’s interesting though.

Regardless of what happened Zhong Hui was in Sima Shi’s employ under the legislative bureau. [30] He became a very personal friend of Sima Shi’s and served as his most intimate adviser. He handled all of his confidential documents. [31] While there is nothing to suggest it happened, it is possible that Zhong Hui accompanied Sima Shi when dealing with Zhuge Ke’s invasion at Hefei.

Things for Sima Shi were not perfect. There was a plot against him involving Li Feng and Xiahou Xuan. Their plan was to summon troops to the capital, kill Sima Shi outside of the palace and instill Xiahou Xuan as the new Grand General in their place. However this place was discovered and Sima Shi beat Li Feng to death. He sent Xiahou Xuan and the other’s off to seek judgement from Zhong Hui’s half-brother, Yu, who was the Minister of Justice. Eventually all the conspirators were killed. [32] Sima Shi seemingly traced this plan the Emperor Cao Fang, and he deposed him, replacing him with Cao Mao. [33] This pleased all parties involved as for the Empress Dowager, Cao Mao was bright and fierce, and for Sima Shi he was still a child thus staying out of his way. Sima Shi inquired into what kind of a man Cao Mao was with Zhong Hui, and Zhong Hui stated that he was as brilliant as Cao Zhi, and as mighty as Cao Cao. [34]

Anyways things only got worse from there. Sima Shi had surgery on his eye to remove a tumor and it was successful, however he had to take time to relax. [35] Something he did not have as Guanqiu Jian and Wen Qin rose up in revolt in Shouchun. They specifically named Sima Shi alone as a traitor. They also had an edict from the Empress Dowager in hand as well. [36] Nearly every official spoke out saying that Sima Shi should rest, and let his uncle take care of matters. His health is too important for him to potentially get worse in the field. However Zhong Hui, Fu Jia and Wang Su all argued that Sima Shi much personally lead the army and deal with these “rebels”. [37] Sadly it isn’t expressly stated what Zhong Hui did on this campaign, but he absolutely did follow Sima Shi in battle and the campaign was a resounding success thanks to Wang Ji and Deng Ai. [38]

But again, fate wasn’t kind to Sima Shi. The stress of the campaign caused his surgery wounds to reopen and he fell deathly ill at Xuchang, leaving Jia Chong behind to take care of things after the campaign was won. [39] Sima Zhao visited his brother on his death bed and he ordered Zhao take over for him. [40] Zhong Hui was, at that time, in Sima Shi’s home taking charge of important matters. At that time an edict from the Emperor arrived, and he went to discuss the matter with Fu Jia and they both agreed what they should do. Sima Zhao at this time was stuck in Xuchang and soon orders came from Cao Mao after the death of Sima Shi. Fu Jia is to take command of the army and return to Luoyang, while Sima Zhao remains in Xuchang. However on the advise of Fu Jia, Shao Ti, Wang Su and most notably Zhong Hui, Sima Zhao took control of the army and marched them directly to Luoyang. [41] Zhao figuratively put a sword to the throat of the young Emperor and forced him to bestow the rank of Grand General on him. [42] Due to his role played in the suppression of the revolt, as well as the transferring of power from Shi to Zhao, Zhao grew to trust Zhong Hui greatly. The two became very close friends and every time the court tried to appoint Zhong Hui he would decline, citing that he would remain a mere clerk for Sima Zhao. [43]

Zhong Hui had begun to grow arrogant at this time and he had Fu Jia had a falling out. The two were arguing quite often, with Fu Jia often calling Zhong Hui not as smart as he thinks he is. {44] He has a point. Zhong Hui was undeniably brilliant, but he thought he was even more so.

Eventually Cao Mao would start to hold poetry sessions and debates between scholars. [45] Cao Mao was a well read man and enjoyed the company of many intellectuals including Chen Tai, Zhong Yu, Xun Yi, Xun Xu, Pei Xiu and Zhong Hui. [46] Cao Mao thought highly of all of them and bestowed titles on each of them, including Zhong Hui. [47]

Zhong Hui would eventually become Palace Attendant at the Yellow Gates to Metropolitan Commandant all within the span of a year. [48]

In the early half of 257 tragedy struck as Zhong Hui’s mother, Zhang Changpu passed away. [49] He retired from office to practice filial mourning, and during this time he penned her biography. [50] However this all came to an end.

Later in that year Zhuge Dan revolted from Wei in Shouchun, siding with Wu in order to fight the Sima clan. [51] Sima Zhao lead an army out personally to fight him, even going so far as to bring the Emperor and the Empress Dowager along with him. [52] Zhong Hui served as his chief adviser on this campaign and the SGZ states that Zhong Hui’s contributions were numerous. [53] One plan in particular was exceedingly brilliant. One of the most prominent clans in Wu dating back to it’s foundations being built was the Quan clan. Quan Zong in particular became one of Wu’s greatest men. However over the years several of the Quan clan had actually defected to Wei sometime before after a family quarrel under Quan Yi and Hui. When Zhuge Dan rose his banners, Wu sent reinforcements led by Quan Yi (different one) including various members of the Quan family. They all took up position in Shouchun. Zhong Hui spoke with Sima Zhao and told him that he could forge letters in secret to Quan Hui and Yi in the city, claiming that those in Wu were furious that they couldn’t lift the siege on Shouchun and threatened to execute their families if they did not repel Sima Zhao. Zhao agreed to this and Zhong Hui wrote these letters, no doubt employing his excellent calligraphy skill. Fearing for their lives the entire Quan family fled to Wei, and in 258 Quan Yi and the rest flung open the gates of Shouchun and with several thousand soldiers surrendered to Sima Zhao who treated them all well. [54] Zhong Hui was able to get one of a Dynasty’s most prolific families to defect with a simple ruse.

His feats at Shouchun prompted Sima Zhao to claim that Zhong Hui was his very own Zifang. [55] Comparing his relationship to that of Liu Bang and Zhang Liang, a similar thing Cao Cao had done. Sima Zhao honored him daily and lavished him with rewards. [56] Zhong Hui was riding a wave of fame and praise at this point. All of it well earned. The court desired to make him Marquis of Chen, the same as his father, however he turned it down. [57] Eventually he was appointed to Duputy Director of Retainers, and at this time every single matter in the state went through Zhong Hui. [58] There wasn’t anything Zhong Hui didn’t have his hands in at this time.

Sometime after Zhuge Dan’s rebellion, Zhong Hui had a desire to seek out and employ Ji Kang. [59] Ji Kang was a well respected scholar, and one of the fabled Seven Sages of the Bamboo Grove. [60] Previously Shan Tao recommended that Xi Kang take up a post under Sima Zhao, but Kang responded with a letter that lambasted not only Shan Tao, but also Sima Zhao, stating he would never serve such a man. [61]Zhong Hui had two agendas for his visit.

1: To employ Ji Kang.
2: To show Ji Kang his work, which was no doubt inspired by Ji Kang’s own writings as Kang was someone Zhong Hui respected.
[62]

Ji Kang was, at the time, forging iron and didn’t bother to look at Zhong Hui. Zhong Hui stood their in silence for some time and he turned to leave.

Ji Kang asked him “What did you hear that made you come? What are you seeing that is making you leave?"

Zhong Hui simply replied "I heard what I heard, hence I have come. I see what I see, hence why I go." [63]

Zhong Hui held a grudge against Ji Kang for this, and let’s take a second to look into this. As I pointed out before, Zhong Hui actually admired Ji Kang. He felt proud of his own work, which was influenced by Ji Kang and he was shunned without Ji Kang even looking at it. Not only that, but his work was also heavily inspired by that of his father and his mother, the latter who had only passed away a few years prior. Given Ji Kang’s response, it’s understandable that Zhong Hui would hold a grudge. However the way he went about after that is unforgivable.

Ji Kang was friends with a man named Lu An whose brother had actually charged An with being unfilial. [64] Ji Kang presented himself as a witness to these charges. Zhong Hui hopped on the opportunity and slandered Ji Kang to Sima Zhao, citing that he once wanted to help Guanqiu Jian, and the stated that Lu An and Ji Kang were dangerous to a peaceful nation. Sima Zhao had them both put to death on the advise of Zhong Hui. [65] 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.

In 263 Sima Zhao had become furious with the constant attacks by Shu under Jiang Wei. A stableman by the name of Lu Yi offered his services to assassinate Jiang Wei, however Xun Xu interjected and stated that in order to assert his majesty he should deal with rebels fairly, not underhandedly. Sima Zhao agreed and he proclaimed his desire to wipe out Shu with a large invasion. [66] Not a single minister agreed… except for Zhong Hui. Zhong Hui argued and debated with every last minister in the court and he was able to convince all but one, Deng Ai. Deng Ai held the opinion that Shu was not weak enough, the terrain was too dangerous and any invasion would surely meet disaster. Zhong Hui was appointed commander-in-chief of Guanzhong [67] and Sima Zhao had Shi Zuan eventually convince Deng Ai of the mission. [68]

Zhong Hui and Sima Zhao planned the entire invasion together in secret, and Zhong Hui was appointed General Who Guards the West and put in front of a host of 100,000 soldiers. [69] Deng Ai was named General Who Subdues the West with 30,000 soldiers at his back, while Zhuge Xu was given another 30,000 soldiers. [70] Xun Xu warned that by sending Zhong Hui off, rebellion was imminent. More-so Sima Zhao did not trust Deng AI entirely either, so Xun Xu’s solution was to send the Minister of Justice, Wei Guan, as the Inspector of the Army to keep everyone in line. [71] It is important to remember, Zhong Hui and Xun Xu were related and Sima Zhao had been effectively holding Xun Xu as a hostage. [72]

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. [73]

Liu Shi was onced asked if Deng Ai and Zhong Hui will conquer Shu, and he replied that they would, but neither would return. [74]

Zhong Hui’s army marched along several routes toward Hanzhong and when they arrived, they were met with Shu’s defenses. Two separate castles of Luocheng and Hancheng. The idea was to keep the Wei army bogged down by two castles so they could not advance further. However Zhong Hui divided his armies up and sent Li Fu with 10,000 soldiers to attack Luocheng while Xun Kai attacked Hancheng. Shu’s initial defensive plan was foiled and Wei gained a great victory. [75]

Sometime during this invasion there was a destroyed road, or bridge, and Zhong Hui ordered Xu Yi, son of the famous Xu Chu to repair it. When Zhong Hui arrived he saw the poor state of Xu Yi’s work and he had him executed. [76]

While the Wei army was traveling sometime during October, Zhong Hui came upon the tomb of Zhuge Liang where he offered a sacrifice. [77] There’s no doubt in my mind he was doing this as an attempt to win over the people of Shu, to show that these invaders were not monsters.

The main bulk of the Wei army now came upon Yangan Pass, and Zhong Hui instructed Hu Lie to lead the vanguard. [78] Yangan was, however, not held firmly by Shu's defenders. Jiang Shu felt underutilized having to serve under Fu Qian and these two were often arguing. I would not be surprised if they came to blows. [79] When Zhong Hui’s army had arrived Jiang Shu told Fu Qian that the only way to earn merit is on the battlefield, not hiding away. Jiang Shu then took his army and intended to leave the pass and fight Hu Lie, and Fu Qian thougth nothing of it. However Jiang Shu threw open the gates and defected to Wei. Hu Lie assaulted the pass and Fu Qian was cornered and butchered. Zhong Hui plundered the pass and continued on forward. Zhong Hui seized all of Hanzhong in an extraordinary amount of time. [80]


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. [81] 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. [82]

The Shu resistance was working. Zhong Hui was having difficulties overcoming the defenders, and sometime during this battle he actually sent a letter to Jiang Wei. It was very flattering, comparing them to ancient figures that were friends fighting for opposite lands. He even remarks that they once shared the same Emperor. Jiang Wei serving under Cao Rui. [83]

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. [84] 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 Sima Zhao, calling him a coward. Sima Zhao fell for it and ordered Zhuge Xu be sent to Luoyang in a prison cart. Zhong Hui then absorbed his 30,000 soldiers. [85] Zhong Hui was running low on supplies and he was considering ending the campaign. [86] He had conquered a sizable portion of Yizhou so far. Nothing was stopping them from returning again and taking the rest.

Luckily for the campaign, Deng Ai was able to surprise Jiangyou and Mianzhu Pass, kill Zhuge Zhan and force Liu Shan into submission, thus ending the bandit state of Shu Han. [87] 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. [88]

Deng Ai took him Chengdu as his base and Zhong Hui would garrison at Jiange. [89] Sima Zhao 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 was made a Marquis and his nephew who had served him during the Conquest was as well. [90]

According to the Jinji Zhong Hui and Jiang Wei’s first face to face meeting went as thus;

Zhong Hui asked Jiang Wei, “Why did you come so late?“

Jiang Wei put on a solemn face and replied with tears, “It is fast for me to get here today!”

Zhong Hui awed at that.

Zhong Hui and Jiang Wei had become rather close during the following months. They shared seating mats together and rode in the same carriage. Zhong Hui once remarked to Du Yu that Jiang Wei surpassed Zhuge Dan’s ability. [91]

Zhong Hui came from a prestigious family. From youth he was trained for greatness and he lived up to that greatness. Sima Shi and Sima Zhao trusted him more than most nearly everyone. His feats at Shouchun were remarkable and he came to run the entire government at one point. He seized Hanzhong and eventually all of Shu with Deng Ai. In his mind, his current position was so secure and his fame was so wide spread that he was the only option left to rule. There were two problems in to deal with first. Wei Guan and Deng Ai.

Deng Ai had recently been presuming Imperial Authority by giving out promotions to those in Shu, despite not having the authority to do so. [92] His reasoning was sound, to quell the populace and treat them benevolently. Getting rid of taxes and doing what he could to fix the economy. However by acting this way he earned the scorn of Sima Zhao who already was bothered by him for resisting the Conquest to being with. [93]

Zhong Hui would use this to his advantage. Given his position at Jiange, he was in the direct line of contact between Deng Ai and Sima Zhao. He would intercept every letter and forge new ones. The ones to Deng Ai would make it seem like Sima Zhao is suspecting Deng Ai of treason, while the others to Sima Zhao made it seem like it was Deng Ai being treasonous. Not only this, but Zhong Hui also got in contact with Wei Guan, Hu Lie and many others and he convinced them that Deng Ai was acting rebellious. His arrogance had become a problem for many at this point, and they bought into it. All of them signed a memorial and sent it to Sima Zhao, who then ordered Deng Ai be arrested. [94]

Zhong Hui now had his opportunity to get rid of Wei Guan and Deng Ai. He charged Wei Guan with arresting Deng Ai. [95] His plan was that since Deng Ai was actually innocent, he would kill Wei Guan in self defence, thus giving Zhong Hui a reason to kill him and assume complete control. However that didn’t happen. Deng Ai went peacefully and he was shipped off in a cage cart along with his song to Luoyang under armed guard. [96] Not long after this Zhong Hui received quite the haunting letter from Sima Zhao.

“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.” [97]

Zhong Hui was shocked to his core when he read it. He spoke with his close aids, including Jiang Wei, and he said

“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?” [98]

Sima Zhao had cunningly seen through Zhong Hui’s plans without outright calling him a traitor and attacking him. This would force Zhong Hui’s hand. It’s important to note that many people including Fu Jia, Shao Ti, Jia Chong, Wang Yuanji and even Zhong Hui’s own brother, Yu, and nephew Xun Xu spoke out against trusting him too much.

Zhong Hui’s plan was to be as follows.

1:Jiang Wei would lead a vanguard force out of the Xie Valley to attack the city of Chang'an. Zhong Hui would follow behind with the main army and provide support.
2:After capturing Chang'an, the army would be split into two groups – infantry and cavalry. The infantry would sail along the Wei and Yellow rivers towards Meng Ford near Luoyang while the cavalry would ride towards Luoyang on land. Zhong Hui estimated that the journey would take five days.
3:The infantry and cavalry would rendezvous outside Luoyang and attack the city together. [99]

Zhong Hui entered Chengdu with his forces and summoned every official to the former throne room under the pretense of holding a memorial for the recently deceased Empress Dowager. [100] Zhong Hui then presented an edict from her that declared Sima Zhao a traitor and stated that all loyal ministers and generals must rise up to fight him. [101]

Is this edict real? It’s possible. Zhong Hui had personal access to the Emperor, let’s not forget that. She had certainly had a hand in at least Guanqiu Jian’s revolt, but possibly Wang Ling, Li Feng and Zhuge Dan as well. But this is also Zhong Hui. He has proven himself on two counts of being excellent at forging documents and handwriting. It’s equally possible that it is fake. Officials records obviously side with a false edict.

Those who did not join Zhong Hui were rounded up and arrested. Rooms in the palace were used as jails in the meantime, however two men were able to escape imprisonment. [102] Qiu Jian and Du Yu. Two men Zhong Hui conscidered friends and trusted greatly. [103][104] However Qiu Jian was a subordinate formerly of Hu Lie who was imrpisoned and he asked if he could bring food personally to the prisoners. Zhong Hui wasn’t one to upset a friend, and so he agreed. Qiu Jian told him that Zhong Hui had intended on killing all the prisoners and siezing their command, and so Hu Lie begged Qiu Jian to get a message to his son, the 17 year old Yuan, outside the city and tell him what was happening. [105]

Under the cover of night Qiu Jian fled the city and met with the army outside the city and he told him of what was happening. They all made a pact to kill the traitors and on March 3rd, the drums sounded loudly outside the city. The gates were broken down and Hu Yuan, Qiu Jian and the rest stormed into the city. [106] Zhong Hui quickly ordered that the prisoners be killed, but Hu Lie and the rest used every piece of furniture they could to seal off the doors. [107] The loyalists stormed the palace and killed Jiang Wei, Zhong Yong and Zhong Hui, as well as any others that joined them. [108] Chengdu remained in chaos for a few days but Hu Lie was able to contain everything. [109] Wei Guan and Tian Xu, a subordinate of Zhong Hui, used this chaos to assassinate Deng Ai who they had a grudge against. [110] If the Shiyu is to be believed, Pang Hui used this time as well to enact vengeance and slaughter the Guan family. [111]

Zhong Hui’s adopted son and his children, as well as the children of Yong were all put to death for being implicated on Zhong Hui’s treachery, however thanks to Xun Xu, Zhong Yu and the accomplishments of Zhong Yao, the Zhong clan was saved from extermination. [112] A subordinate of Zhong Hui’s named Xiang Xiong took Zhong Hui’s body and buried him with honors. He incurred the wrath of Sima Zhao, but he was able to calm him down and explain his reasoning. [113] Sadly many of Zhong Hui’s writings were destroyed by Sima Zhao, leaving only a fracture that we have now. [114]

Thus ends the story of Zhong Hui. He was the son of one of the greatest ministers in the land, and one of the most cunning women. His life began perfectly and he was hailed as a genius. That hailing was correct as he rose quickly through the ranks and earned merit everywhere he went. Whether as a scholar, debater, politician, adviser or general he met success. He was evidently a very trusting man, though certainly not trustworthy himself. His treatment of Ji Kang, Xu Yi and Deng Ai is petty, unforgivable and to steal a word from his father, "inhuman". His act of rebellion was foolish and cost a lot of good men their lives. It’s a real shame when one images what state the land would’ve been in had Zhong Hui remained loyal. His achievements are only rivaled by a very few elite figures. Whether you love him like me, or despise him like most, you have to admit he was a damn talented man. Truly Zhong Hui is someone that should be lauded as a hero and one of the finest intellectuals of the Three Kingdoms, however he ended up 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] Chen Shou, Zhong Yao's Sanguozhi biography
[6] Chen Shou, Zhong Yao's Sanguozhi biography
[7] Zhong Hui, The Biography of my Mother, Lady Zhang
[8] Chen Shou, Zhong Yao's Sanguozhi biography
[9] Fang Xuanling, Xun Xu's Jinshu biography
[10] Chen Shou, Zhong Hui's Sanguozhi biography
[11] Zhong Hui, The Biography of my Mother, Lady Zhang
[12] Zhong Hui, The Biography of my Mother, Lady Zhang
[13] Chen Shou, Zhong Hui's Sanguozhi biography
[14] Zhong Hui, The Biography of my Mother, Lady Zhang
[15] Alan K.L Chan, Zhong Hui's "Laozi" Commentary and the Debate on Capacity and Nature in Third-Century China
[16] Chen Shou, Zhong Hui's Sanguozhi biography
[17] Zhong Hui, The Biography of my Mother, Lady Zhang
[18] Chen Shou, Zhong Hui's Sanguozhi biography
[19] Alan K.L Chan, Zhong Hui's "Laozi" Commentary and the Debate on Capacity and Nature in Third-Century China
[20] Chen Shou, Zhong Hui's Sanguozhi biography
[21] He Shao, Wang Bi Beizhuan
[22] Chen Shou, Zhong Hui's Sanguozhi biography
[23] Rudolf G. Wager, A Chinese Reading of the Daodejing: Wang Bi's Commentary on the Laozi with Critical Text and Translation
[24] Alan K.L Chan, Zhong Hui's "Laozi" Commentary and the Debate on Capacity and Nature in Third-Century China
[25] Chen Shou, Cao Fang's Sanguozhi biography
[26] Zhong Hui, The Biography of my Mother, Lady Zhang
[27] Chen Shou, Cao Shuang's Sanguozhi biography
[28] Fang Xuanling, Sima Yi's Jinshu biography
[29] Shiyu, Pei Songzhi's annotations, Chen Shou, Zhong Hui's Sanguozhi biography
[30] Chen Shou, Zhong Hui's Sanguozhi biography
[31] Chen Shou, Zhong Hui's Sanguozhi biography
[32] Fang Xuanling, Sima Shi's Jinshu biography
[33] Chen Shou, Cao Fang's Sanguozhi biography
[34] Chen Shou, Cao Mao's Sanguozhi biography
[35] Fang Xuanling, Sima Shi's Jinshu biography
[36] Chen Shou, Guanqiu Jian's Sanguozhi biography
[37] Chen Shou, Zhong Hui's Sanguozhi biography
[38] Fang Xuanling, Sima Shi's Jinshu biography
[39] Fang Xuanling, Sima Shi's Jinshu biography
[40] Fang Xuanling, Sima Shi's Jinshu biography
[41] Chen Shou, Zhong Hui's Sanguozhi biography
[42] Fang Xuanling, Sima Zhao's Jinshu biography
[43] Chen Shou, Zhong Hui's Sanguozhi biography
[44] Chen Shou, Zhong Hui's Sanguozhi biography
[45] Chen Shou, Cao Mao's Sanguozhi biography
[46] Chen Shou, Zhong Yi's sub-biography in Zhong Yao's Sanguozhi biography
[47] Chen Shou, Zhong Hui's Sanguozhi biography
[48] Chen Shou, Zhong Hui's Sanguozhi biography
[49] Chen Shou, Zhong Hui's Sanguozhi biography
[50] Zhong Hui, The Biography of my Mother, Lady Zhang
[51] Chen Shou, Zhuge Dan's Sanguozhi biography
[52] Chen Shou, Cao Mao's Sanguozhi biography
[53] Chen Shou, Zhong Hui's Sanguozhi biography
[54] Chen Shou, Zhong Hui's Sanguozhi biography
[55] Chen Shou, Zhong Hui's Sanguozhi biography
[56] Chen Shou, Zhong Hui's Sanguozhi biography
[57] Chen Shou, Zhong Hui's Sanguozhi biography
[58] Chen Shou, Zhong Hui's Sanguozhi biography
[59] Chen Shou, Zhong Hui's Sanguozhi biography
[60] Alan K.L Chan, Zhong Hui's "Laozi" Commentary and the Debate on Capacity and Nature in Third-Century China
[61] Achilles Fang, Chronciles of the Three Kingdoms, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[62] Alan K.L Chan, Zhong Hui's "Laozi" Commentary and the Debate on Capacity and Nature in Third-Century China
[63] Chen Shou, Zhong Hui's Sanguozhi biography
[64] Chen Shou, Zhong Hui's Sanguozhi biography
[65] Chen Shou, Zhong Hui's Sanguozhi biography
[66] Fang Xuanling, Xun Xu's Jinshu biography
[67] Chen Shou, Zhong Hui's Sanguozhi biography
[68] Chen Shou, Deng Ai's Sanguozhi biography
[69] Chen Shou, Zhong Hui's Sanguozhi biography
[70] Achilles Fang, Chronciles of the Three Kingdoms, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[71] Fang Xuanling, Xun Xu's Jinshu biography
[72] Howard L. Goodman, Xun Xu and the Politics of Precision in 3rd Century AD China
[73] Chen Shou, Zhong Hui's Sanguozhi biography
[74] Achilles Fang, Chronciles of the Three Kingdoms, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[75] Chen Shou, Zhong Hui's Sanguozhi biography
[76] Chen Shou, Zhong Hui's Sanguozhi biography
[77] Chen Shou, Zhong Hui's Sanguozhi biography
[78] Chen Shou, Zhong Hui's Sanguozhi biography
[79] Chen Shou, Zhong Hui's Sanguozhi biography
[80] Chen Shou, Zhong Hui's Sanguozhi biography
[81] Chen Shou, Jiang Wei's Sanguozhi biography
[82] Chen Shou, Jiang Wei's Sanguozhi biography
[83] Chen Shou, Zhong Hui's Sanguozhi biography
[84] Chen Shou, Deng Ai's Sanguozhi biography
[85] Chen Shou, Zhong Hui's Sanguozhi biography
[86] Chen Shou, Zhong Hui's Sanguozhi biography
[87] Chen Shou, Deng Ai's Sanguozhi biography
[88] Chen Shou, Zhong Hui's Sanguozhi biography
[89] Chen Shou, Zhong Hui's Sanguozhi biography
[90] Chen Shou, Zhong Hui's Sanguozhi biography
[91] Chen Shou, Jiang Wei's Sanguozhi biography
[92] Chen Shou, Zhong Hui's Sanguozhi biography
[93] Chen Shou, Zhong Hui's Sanguozhi biography
[94] Chen Shou, Zhong Hui's Sanguozhi biography
[95] Chen Shou, Deng Ai's Sanguozhi biography
[96] Chen Shou, Deng Ai'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] Chen Shou, Zhong Hui's Sanguozhi biography
[101] Robert J. Cutter, Empressess and Consorts
[102] Chen Shou, Zhong Hui's Sanguozhi biography
[103] Chen Shou, Zhong Hui's Sanguozhi biography
[104] Fang Xuanling, Du Yu's Jinshu biography
[105] Chen Shou, Zhong Hui's Sanguozhi biography
[106] Chen Shou, Zhong Hui's Sanguozhi biography
[107] Chen Shou, Zhong Hui's Sanguozhi biography
[108] Chen Shou, Zhong Hui's Sanguozhi biography
[109] Chen Shou, Zhong Hui's Sanguozhi biography
[110] Chen Shou, Deng Ai's Sanguozhi biography
[111]Shiyu, Pei Songzhi annotation, Chen Shou, Pang De's Sanguozhi biography
[112] Achilles Fang, Records of the Three Kingdoms, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[113] Achilles Fang, Records of the Three Kingdoms, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[114] Alan K.L Chan, Zhong Hui's "Laozi" Commentary and the Debate on Capacity and Nature in Third-Century China
Last edited by DaoLunOfShiji on Sun May 20, 2018 10:27 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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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!
Interested in the history behind the novel? Find a list of english language Three Kingdom sources here.
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