Comprehensive Biography for Sima Zhao

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

Comprehensive Biography for Sima Zhao

Unread postby DaoLunOfShiji » Sun Apr 14, 2019 4:39 am

I had totally forgotten to post this here. :lol:

Emperor Wen of Jin, Sima Zhao, style Zishang (211-265)

Emperor Wen of Jin, Sima Zhao, was born in 211 to Xuan-di of Jin (Sima Yi) and Empress Xuan-Mu (Zhang Chunhua).[1] Wen-di was the second eldest son with the first being Jing-di (Sima Shi) born three years prior.[2] Wen-di would be married to the daughter of Wang Su, Empress Dowager Wen-Ming (Wang Yuanji).[3] The time of this wedding was likely 232 at the earliest.[4] This marriage produced several children with two most prominent being the eldest and second eldest. Wu-di of Jin, Sima Yan, and the Prince of Qi, Sima You.[5] Prince of Qi would eventually be adopted by Zhao’s elder brother Jing-di, and raised as his own as he had no sons to succeed him.[6]

In the year 237 Gongsun Yuan, the Administrator of Liaodong, was becoming a growing influence and was teasing the idea of aligning with Sun Quan of Wu. However due to pressure from Ming-di of Wei, Cao Rui, Gongsun Yuan killed the Wu Emissaries and stayed loyal to Wei.[7] Ming-di sent the general Guanqiu Jian with a sealed edict to summon Gongsun Yuan. Yuan, however, marched an army to the Liaosui and fought Guanqiu Jian. The Wei army could not overcome the Liaodong forces, and soon a heavy rainfall caused the waters the rise and force Guanqiu Jian’s retreat.[8] On August 4th Gongsun Yuan returned to his seat of power in Liaodong and proclaimed himself to be King of Yan.[9] Xuan-di campaigned against Gongsun Yuan and scored a great victory, executing Gongsun Yuan and much of his family and supporters.[10] Wen-di was eneoffed as a Marquis of Xincheng for his father’s accomplishments[11], however he was not apart of this campaign. It was quite common for a child to be awarded for their parents feats in a battle or campaign. Wen-di does not appear to have been involved in any military or court matters at all in his life prior to this, but his brother Jing-di had. He held the rank of Cavalier-Attendant and after this campaign he would become Military Protector of the Palace.[12] Wen-di would hold the post of Director of Agriculture in Luoyang, and Commander of the Palace Gentlemen. Wei Ming-di had a reign of extravagance, often building vast structures and forcing the people to work on them, and to counter this after Ming-di’s death Wen-di would not take from the farmers, and he treated them remarkably well. All of the people were greatly pleased and Wen-di would be promoted to Cavalier-Attendant[13].

Ming-di of Wei passed away in the year 239 and the Crown-Prince ascended the throne[14], and Xuan-di of Jin along with Cao Shuang were put in place to be co-regents with Empress Dowager Ming-Yuan.[15] This triumvirate worked well together for some time, and Cao Shuang even petitioned to have Xuan-di elevated to the rank of Grand Tutor, with the reason being that all previous Commanders-In-Chief’s died in office. So he was saying he wished to preserve Xuan-di.[16] The Grand Tutor, while holding no official power, had direct access to the Emperor and ranked above even the Three Excellencies.[17] This promotion to Grand Tutor is often seen as a way of removing Sima Yi from power, however this seems incorrect. Any tension that would form between Cao Shuang and Xuan-di would come years after this promotion, and the edict which announced said promotion even said that Sima Yi would retain his military command.[18] It’s reasonable to say that Cao Shuang did it was a sign of his humility as he outranked Xuan-di previously. Furthermore it is said that since Xuan-di was both high in age and rank, Cao Shuang would serve him as if he were his own father, consulting him on every matter and never acting upon his own authority.[19] Wen-di was promoted to Commissioner of Agriculture in Luoyang.[20]

Relations between the two factions of Cao and Sima did, however, break down starting 244 when Xiahou Xuan, Li Sheng and Deng Yang advised Cao Shuang to invade Shu with the intention of not only establishing Cao Shuang’s martial authority but also to stem the rising influence of the Sima.[21] The General-In-Chief followed their advice, however Xuan-di opposed the idea but he could not halt Cao Shuang.[22] Wen-di followed Cao Shuang on this invasion and served as General Who Conquers Shu. In 244 Cao Shuang and Wen-di set off with a sizable army to invade Shu in the West.[23] The Imperial Army sized somewhere between sixty[24] to one hundred thousand[25] men when they set off to Luo Valley in Hanzhong. The Shu Han soldiers numbered no more than 30,000 and they were under the command of Wang Ping.[26] The generals all suggested holding up in the walled cities to defend against Wei and await for reinforcements, however Wang Ping disagreed. “Hanzhong is nearly a thousand li from Fou. If the enemy takes the city of Guan, it will be an overwhelming disaster for us. At this point, the thing to do is first to send the hujun Liu Min and the canjun Tu to occupy the mountain Xingshi, while I defend the rear. If the enemy sends out a force toward the Huangjin [valley] I will personally lead a thousand men to meet it. The troops from Fou will arrive soon. This is the best plan.”[27] None other than Liu Min agreed with Wang Ping, but the two of them traveled to Xingshi together and set up an array of banners to make the appearance of a mighty defensive force.[28] The Imperial Army was levying the Di and Qiang of Hanzhong to transport supplies, but they did not have the means to do so for such a large force.[29] When the Wei army entered the valley they met the Shu Han army and could not advance.[30] During the night Wang Lin of Shu Han attacked in the night, striking at Wen-di’s camp in order to strike fear into Wei’s heart and force them to route, however Wen-di remained calm the entire time and this forced Wang Lin to flee.[31] The Imperial Wei army was unable to gain any ground, and their supplies were all but depleted. After speaking with Yang Wei[32] and Wen-di of Jin who said “Fei Yi is using possession of the defiles to resist and defend. [If we] advance, [we will] not catch [him] in battle, attacking him is not possible. We ought to immediately turn around the army, and use it as a plan for later.”[33] Cao Shuang officially decided to withdraw from the campaign.[34] It is also recorded that Xuan-di of Jin sent a letter to Xiahou Xuan and said “In the Chunqiu the severest reproofs are given those of greatest virtue. Formerly Emperor Wu (Cao Cao) twice entered Hanzhong and came close to being badly defeated, as you know. Now the mountain Xingshi is very steep, and the Shu troops have already occupied it. If we advance and fail to take it, our retreat will be cut off, and the army will certainly be annihilated. How are you going to take such a responsibility?”[35] Xiahou Xuan grew afraid of this as he feared the repercussions and advised Cao Shuang to retreat.[36] While pulling back Fei Yi of Shu attacked after occupying three ridges. Cao Shuang was forced to advance up the steep terrain and fought a gruesome battle that Wen-di was involved in. They broke through the Shu forces and were able to pull out of Hanzhong.[37][38] Even though the invasion was a failure Wen-di was still promoted to Consultant Gentleman.[39]

The political climate in Wei in 249 became rather toxic[40], and tension between the two factions reach an all time high. Xuan-di had even feigned illness and near death to Li Sheng, a subordinate of General-In-Chief Cao Shuang, and requested that he take in his sons, Jing-di and Wen-di, and swear friendship with them.[41] This was all, of course, a ruse to get the Cao off their guard. And it worked.

Cao Shuang took on a rather significant moment for the Empire when he took the Emperor to visit the Gaoping Tomb, the resting place of Ming-di of Wei, on February 5th.[42] The importance of his moment is that it had been the first time, and the last time, that an Emperor of Wei would lead the city to pay respects to a former Emperor. This Han tradition lasted for a very long time but it was abolished by Wu-di of Wei, and his son Wen-Di and his son Ming-di continued this practice, believing that sacrifices and worship should be at the dynastic temple and not the tombs themselves.[43] In secret Xuan-di and his son Jing-di plotted to kill Cao Shuang, however Wen-di, Sima Zhao, was not involved in these plans.[44] However there is a different account that says both Jing-di and Wen-di were involved in these plans with their father.[45] Regardless of the involvement in the planning, Wen-di certainly was involved in it’s execution.[46]

The night of February 4th in 249 Xuan-di and Jing-di met with Wen-di, and there they told him of their plan to kill the General-In-Chief Cao Shuang. That night Xuan-di ordered spies to watch his sons closely in the night. Jing-di slept well but Wen-di was restless.[47] When the Emperor and the General-In-Chief left the city to go pay their respects at Gaoping Tomb, the Sima struck. Their three armies assembled at the Sima Gate and those of the eldest son, Jing-di, were in top tier shape. He even hid soldiers among the commoners.[48] The Sima worked together with the Empress Dowager and seized control of Luoyang by closing the city gates, capturing the arsenal and taking control of a bridge of the Luoshui.[49] Wen-di’s army marched to the Palace of the Emperor and the Empress and guarded them.[50] Xuan-di memorialized the Emperor at Gaoping Tomb, citing various crimes committed by the General-In-Chief and asking for his resignation. There was no word in reply as the General and his supporters felt that harm would befall them, and so Xuan-di sent Chen Tai and Xu Yun to persuade the General-In-Chief. Finally he gave him and surrendered, but no-more than a week later was he executed, along with the vast majority of his supporters and their families.[51] Though his brother Jing-di saw a promotion as Marquis of Changpingxiang, a large fief and a title of General of the Guards[52], Wen-di himself did not seem to achieve any rank but he was given a larger addition to his fief with 1,000 households.[53]

That very same year Jiang Wei of Shu launched one of his many Northern Campaigns, striking at Yongzhou. While invading Wei lands he constructed two forts and had Gou An dnd Li Xin guard them, while also inciting the Qiang into revolting against Wei. Guo Huai and Chen Tai resisted the invaders on both fronts, and Chen Tai drafted a plan to defeat the fortresses. he cited the steep roads and lack of provisions sent there, along with the fact that Jiang Wei had forced the Qiang into fighting for him. Chen Tai asserts that by attacking now they can take it with little bloodshed, and the steep terrain would allow them to repel any reinforcements. Guo Huai agreed and Chen Tai set off with Deng Ai and Xu Zhi to besiege Chucheng. There they cut off the supply route and the water supply. The Shu Han forces attempted to get the Wei army to engage in battle but they would not budge.[54] Wen-di served as General Who Calms the West on this campaign and garrisoned at Guanzhong, overseeing the entire operation. Guo An and the others had yet to surrender, so Wen-di marched his army out further in order to strike fear into the Shu army and threaten Shu territory, which caused Jiang Wei to flee after being defeated by Guo Huai, and cause the surrender of the men inside of the castle.[55] Wen-di was appointed to Commander-In-Chief and held military command, stationed at Xuchang.[56]

After the Cao were removed from power and Jiang Wei had been defeated, Xuan-di saw fit to attempt to seal the loyalty of many generals through promotions. One of such promotions was the veteran Wang Ling, who served as Minister of Works. He was appointed to Grand Commandant, with military tally and battle-axe.[57] Wang Ling saw through this act and noticed that the Sima were simply holding the Emperor, who was weak and ineffective, as a puppet and he saw fit to move the capital to Xuchang and install the Prince of Chu, Cao Biao, on the throne, who was strong willed, elder and talented.[58] Wang Ling conspired together with Linghu Yu, who kept up a dialogue with the Prince. Wang Ling’s own son was contacted about this and he wished his father would not stir up such a disaster. In 251 Wang Ling began to act by mustering soldiers, requesting to march south against the Wu who had blocked the Tushui, but he was denied. He then sent his general Yang Hong to the Inspector of Yanzhou, Huang Hua, to discuss deposing the Emperor. However instead of this they both signed a pledge and turned it over to Xuan-di, revealing the plan. Xuan-di mustered an army and he marched east to campaign against Wang Ling via he waterways.[59] Wen-di accompanied his father on this excursion who lead soldiers eastward against Wang Ling, amassing an army from the area north of the Huai river.[60] Before he had mobilized the army, however, Xuan-di had sent a letter absolving Wang Ling of any crime as to lower his guard. However after the pardon arrived, so did the army. Knowing that he had no hope of survival, Wang Ling went alone on a boat to welcome Xuan-di, sending a officer ahead with his seal of office, tally and battle-axe to hand them over. As Wang Ling and Xuan-di met, Wang Ling was in bindings so Xuan-di cut them. The two began teir journey to the capital, but along the way on June 15 Wang Ling drank poison and died.[61] For his involved in this campaign Wen-di was rewarded with a Marquis post for his young son the Prince of Qi, Sima You, who had yet to be adopted by Jing-di[62] as well as an addition to his own fief with 300 households.[63]

Several moths later on the 7th of September of that same year, Xuan-di passed away.[64] He was succeeded by his eldest son, Jing-di, who was named General-in-Chief Who Pacifies the Army, and named Regent.[65] There was, evidently, a popular saying at the time, “When Yi Yin is gone, his son Yi Zhi should take over.”[66] Wen-di was eventually raised to Superintendent of the Army, Marshal of Yang, General Who Calms the East and Commander-in-Chief.[67]

In previous years the founding Emperor of Wu, Sun Quan, constructed a dam at Dongxing to obstruct Lake, however he was forced to withdraw and construction was never complete. The Grand Tutor and regent of Wu, Zhuge Ke, marched a force to Dongxing and finished the large dam, as well as constructed two fortresses on either side of the damn. Leaving behind two generals with a thousand men, he returned to Wu.[68] The significance of this was due to the fact that Lake Chao was inside of Wei territory, thus meaning that Zhuge Ke was occupying Wei land. At the time Zhuge Dan heard of this, he spoke with Jing-di and said to him “This is exactly what is referred to as making the enemy come to you and not being made to go to him. Let us now make the Wu invasion our opportunity to let Wenshu (Wang Chang) press on to Jiang Ling and Zhonggong (Guanqiu Jian) proceed towards Wuchang, thus taking control of the upper course of the Chiang which flows through the territory of Wu; then let us take our best troops to attack the two fortifications. By the time their reinforcements arrive we shall have made a great catch.”[69]

Guanqiu Jian, Wang Chang and Hu Zun all offered their own individual plans for attacking the south and he sought the advice of Fu Jia. Fu Jia stated that to lead an all out campaign would be a disaster at the current time, but to plan ahead for the enemies collapse is wise. Through agricultural colonies and benevolent laws, Wu will collapse. Jing-di did not accept this proposal and so the invasion was to begin. Wang Chang was to attack Nanjun, Guanqiu Jian was to attack Wuchang, while Hu Zun and Zhuge Dan were to take a large force of 70,000 to Dongxing.[70] Zhuge Ke responded with 40,000 soldiers to save Dongxing, however the dam had already been seized by Hu Zun. Zun had built platoon bridges across the lake to seize the dam and he then divided his army to attack both forts, but was not able to overcome them. Given that this was during February the cold was still brutal and so Hu Zun and his men drank and laughed around a fire, relaxing and not caring for their duties. It was at this time the Wu army struck with the vanguard lead by Ding Feng. They strip off their armor except for their helmets, swords and shields. This display made the drunk Wei army laugh and they did not attack, however the Wu army roared loudly and banged on drums, striking and destroying the Wei defenders. Lu Ju soon arrived and dealth another great defeat to Wei and the Imperial army attempted to flee. Many jumped into the water to escape but their heavy armor pulled them under. Many died from drowning or being trampled and the total was in the tens of thousands. Wang Chang and Guanqiu Jian, hearing of the defeat at Dongxing, burned their camps and fled. Hearing of this great defeat Jing-di lamented and took the blame entirely on himself. None of the generals were blamed other than Wen-di who would have been in charge of the military affairs, who was stripped of his enfeoffment. Both Zhuge Dan and Guanqiu Jian were promoted heavily.[71] Zhuge Ke attempted to press forward to Xinchang and take the city, but he was defeated greatly and killed by Sun Jun in a coup in Wu.[72] Wen-di, being the Marshal of Yang and direct superior to Hu Zun who failed at Dongxing and caused the attack on Wu to collapse, was certainly at fault for this as well and was to bear responsibility for the defeat.[73] Wen-di was not convinced of this, however, as he spoke with his Marshal Wang Yi and asked “Who was responsible for our recent defeat?” The Marshal replied “Responsibility lies with the army commander.” To which Sima Zhao said in a rage, “The Marshal means to make me shoulder the blame?” and had Wang Yi executed.[74] Wen-di’s unchecked ego, privilege and position made him think he was free of responsibility. He not only fails in battle, but he also kills a subordinate for daring to say he take responsibility for said failure! How could anyone look to him at a leader if he is unwilling to accept responsibility? Jing-di, while at court, recieved memorials from ministers asking that Wang Chang, Guanqiu Jian, Hu Zun and the rest all be demote for their failure, however Jing-di retorted “It is because I did not listen to Gongxiu [Zhuge Dan] that we have come to this plight. In this I am culpable; how can the generals be at fault?”[75] All were absolved of guilt and in fact were even promoted, save Wen-di, who was stripped of his enfeoffment.[76]

Despite the initial welcome to Jing-di’s regency[77], the ever-growing power of the Sima, coupled with the neglect that certain Cao partisans felt; this was reaching a tipping point. Several of these people who were set to oppose the Sima were very prominent, including Li Feng who was the father in law to a Princess, Xiahou Xuan who was a former subordinate of Cao Shuang and Zhang Ji who was the father to the Empress.[78] Jing-di had previously been married to Xiahou Xuan’s sister, Hui, however she had died many years before this moment in time.[79] Jing-di had also greatly admired Li Feng and held him in close confidence, however Li Feng was also loyal to the Cao in his heart. He recognized that both Xiahou Xuan and Zhang Ji had been shut out of any meaningful position since the Sima took over, and so he sought to tap into their ambition.[80] Li Feng approached both men and professed his desire to remove Jing-di from power and to replace him with Xiahou Xuan. Zhang Ji came from the same home Commandary, and thus was willing to lend his support, and Xiahou Xuan eventually agreed to the plan.[81] The plan in question went as followed: They were to use the day of a ceremony that one of the palace women was to be promoted to Honorable Lady, and at the height of the ceremony the eunuchs were to scurry the Emperor away to safety, palace troops and loyal officials of Wei would strike and kill Jing-di in the name of the Emperor, replacing him with Xiahou Xuan as regent.[82] This plan fell through however as Jing-di caught wind of this plan, most likely through one of the eunuchs betraying the Pro-Cao conspirators[83] and Jing-di summoned Li Feng to see him. Li Feng was questioned but he would not budge on the matter, in fact he berated Jing-di “You and your father have harbored an insidious plot, and want to overthrow the dynasty. It is a pity my strength is not sufficient to seize and exterminate you.”[84] and so Jing-di beat him to death with the pommel of his sword. The others were sent to the Minister of Justice, Zhong Yu, and charged with High Treason, then proceeded to the East Market for execution along with their families[85] Empress Zhang was degraded as well.[86]

What role the Emperor played in this plot is unknown by most reliable sources, yet there is a story related from two rather unsavory sources that recall the Young Emperor of Wei desiring to make an attempt on both Wen-di and Jing-di. The Emperor was incensed that his power base had been all but exterminated, and so he desired to strike back against the Sima. In 254, at the suggestion of Xu Yun, he ordered Wen-di, who had been at Xuchang at this time, to strike at Jiang Wei of Shu in the West who had been repeatedly attacking their borders and was currently raiding Longyou. As Wen-di came to the capital with his soldiers the Emperor came out to the Pingluo Guan Terrace to see him march by, and his attendants advised him to use this moment to kill Wen-di and take his soldiers to kill Jing-di as well. The men around the Emperor swore to die together but the Emperor was afraid of failure and dared not to act. Wen-di’s soldiers entered the city, and this gave Jing-di all the cause he needed to begin his plan to depose the Young Emperor.[87]

Regardless if this previous story, which is highly suspect, is accurate or not, the Emperor was at least involved through relation to the conspirators. This being the case put the Sima in a very compromising position. Ever since their revolt against the General-In-Chief in 249, the Sima had stylized the Government in their way, consolidating their power and filling the ranks with those loyal to them. Not only this but the Young Emperor had grown up under the watchful eye of the Sima. Xuan-di had been the Grand Tutor for him, and both he and Jing-di were the regents. Thus making the Young Emperor the perfect and most credible person to eventually abdicate to the Sima. I share Carl Leban’s laugh at the situation that all the Sima had done was undone by a single failed coup attempt. Succession of Wei to Jin could’ve come even sooner had it not been for Li Feng, Xiahou Xuan and Zhang Ji. Ironically their failure may have kept Wei alive a bit longer.[88] Never again could the Young Emperor be that credible source of abdication now that he was tied to a coup on the Sima. Given his young age he more than likely would’ve outlived his regents as well! So he must be dealt with.

On October 17, 254 The Empress Dowager, perhaps coerced or even forged, issued a pronouncement on the subject of Heaven’s Son,

“The Monarch is now mature enough to rule, but His Majesty failed to govern all the state affairs. His Majesty indulged himself in his intimacy with palace attendants and consorts for perverted joys. He stayed close to entertainers and failed to discipline them so that they do not conduct indecent and brutal behaviors. He invited relatives of his consorts of the Six Palaces to stay at the Imperial Chambers. Such deeds brought stains to the immaculate normal human relations of the Imperial House, and stirred the ethical order between men and women. He was also coerced by a group of villains, thus he cannot fulfill his duties on the Throne.”[89]

In response Jing-di summoned all of the courtiers to him to discuss deposing the Young Emperor, With tears in his eyes, the mark of a good actor, Jing-di spoke ‘It is the order of the Empress Dowager; what will you gentlemen do with respect to the Royal House?’ The courtiers, all pale in the face, replied "Of old, Yi Yin banished Taijia and thus brought tranquility to Yin; Huo Guang deposed the Prince of Changyi and thus made Han secure. As for taking extraordinary measures to save the Empire, the two dynasties practiced it in the past and the duty devolves upon Your Excellency at this moment. In this business of today, we all obey your command.” Jing-di replied “Since you gentlemen expect so much from me, how shall I evade my duty?”.[90][91][92]

Jing-di, along with the various officials, drafted a scathing memorial full of various charges against the Young Emperor, ranging from torture, public sex, 'disrupting the distinction between men and women’, ignoring his studies and duties, along with showing contempt for the Empress Dowager,

“We hear that the Son of the Heaven should live up to his duties to take care of the masses and bring peace to all places under the Heaven. Nowadays, the Monarch has grown up, yet has not governed the state affairs in person. He orders young entertainers such as Guo Huai 郭懷 and Yuan Xin 袁信 to practice perverted games in the nude. He also dressed himself up to mimick a coquettish woman from Liaodong. Seeing that scene, the passers-by all covered their eyes with their hands. Director of Imperial Music Troupe (qīngshānglìng 清商令) Linghu Jing 令狐景 admonished him. He burned iron to scorch the man.[2] When the Empress Dowager was in the bereavement of her mother Heyangjun, His Majesty kept having fun as usual. Vice Director of Imperial Music Troupe (qīngshāngchéng 清商丞) Pang Xi 龐熙 admonished him again, but he was reluctant to listen. When the Empress Dowager returned to the North Palace, where she had Beauty Zhang executed, the Monarch held a bitter grudge. When Xi admonished, he was irritated, and grabbed a stone to cast at the man with a slingshot. Every time when a document was submitted to him, he would not even lay his eyes on it. The Empress Dowager ordered him to receive academic lectures at the Chamber of Shiqian, but he declined again. Therefore, he is not a qualified ruling heir of the Imperial House. We advised that the Empress Dowager should take back the Imperial Seal and Ribbon, and the Monarch could return to his previous fief as Prince Qi.”[93]

These charges being levied against the Young Emperor are egregious, but at least some may be backed up through another source. This would be through a former subject who was murdered by the Sima; He Yan. Yan publicly admonished the Young Emperor, saying “From now on, whether Your Majesty presents himself in the Shiqian Hall or relaxes in the rear garden, it would be well to be attended by your ministers. Your parties, accordingly, should be held quietly. At the same time state documents should be inspected, government matters studied, and interpretation of the Classics expounded. This may be made a regulation for ten thousand generations.”[94] However a Qing Dynasty scholar and commentator on the Sanguozhi named He Chao firmly rejects these charges made by Sima Shi, “[Cao] Fang oversaw the government for several years, and did not resemble Changyi’s [Liu He’s] initial conduct. If his virtue as a ruler really did have deficiencies, and he spread evils to the masses, then why did [Sima] Shi have difficulty in enacting the removal? Now considering the Dowager’s Order came from the innermost private chambers, it can be known that they were false accusations.”[95] Furthermore the Young Emperor’s own biography by Chen Shou records not only his reduction of expenses, but also the freeing of slaves and reports of his devotions to his studies. These all could have come after He Yan’s admonishments.[96] Adding onto this I can find no mention of these people being tortured outside of Jing-di’s memorial.

The entire premise of the Sima partisans arguments stem from their charges relating to Liu He in 74 BCE, thus making it easy to convince those on the fence that their cause was righteous, when in reality it was to make the Sima usurpation easier down the line. The larger question at hand is what did the ever-adored Empress Dowager Ming-Yuan do during this? Well she would intercept Jing-di face to face. In fact Jing-di had made the first move! He sent Guo Zhi, the uncle of the Empress, directly to the Empress Dowager to explain to her the situation at hand. She had been with the Young Emperor at the time and Guo Zhi said to the Son of Heaven, “The General-In-Chief wishes to depose Your Highness and set up the Prince of Pengcheng.” Hearing this, the Emperor got up and left. The Empress Dowager was greatly angered by this and Zhi said “You have had a son and could not teach him. Now the General-In-Chief’s intent is already decided, and he had alerted his troops outside to prepare for anything out of the ordinary. One can only follow his wishes. What more is there to say?” She then asserted herself and demanded an audience with Jing-di, stating that she had something to speak with him about. Guo Zhi, speaking down to her, stated “How could you get an audience? You had best get the State Seal and Cord.” The Empress, broken, lamented and sent her servants to fetch the State Seal and Cord, setting them beside her. Guo Zhi then left and reported this to Jing-di, who was excited as he felt his plans were one step closer to completion. Jing-di then sent an envoy to deliver the seal and cord of the Young Emperor to demote him to Duke of Shaoling, ordering him to depart at once. When he received the command the Emperor mounted his chariot and left the Empress, both of them wept greatly. Dozens of officials, including Sima Fu, escorted the carriage and were in tears. Fu himself could not control his grief.[97] The now Prince of Qi was sent to live on his own fief as what can only be described as solitary confinement. He was not even allowed to bring any of the women of the court with him. In fact his most favorite one had been given to a Wu defector by Jing-di, simply to spite the Young Emperor.[98] As the Emperor left for his fief he lamented “I received unusual grace from the previous generations. When the Late Emperor was dying, he entrusted me to guard the state in his will. I let him down for his commitment, and failed to perform good governance and correct my mistakes. Following the ancient precedents, the courtiers would rather betray me for the security of the state, so that my ancestors could continue to enjoy their offerings at the Imperial Temple.” After the Emperor departed Guo Huai and the others mentioned in Jing-di’s memorial were all executed.[99]

Jing-di then sent an emissary to take the State Seal and Cord from the Empress Dowager in order to give it to the Prince of Pengcheng and place him upon the throne, however the Empress Dowager retorted “The Prince of Pengcheng is my younger uncle, if he comes to be set up, where do I go? And shall the "Illumined” Soverign have his posterity cut off? I think that the Duke of Gaogui Village is an elder grandson of the Cultured Sovereign, the son of a younger brother of the Illuminated Soverign. With respect to Rites, a cadet line has the obligation to provide posterity for the main line of descent. Discuss this thoroughly!“ With one master stroke the Empress Dowager threw yet another wrench into the plans of the Sima. The Prince of Pengcheng was already 70 and thus not long for the world. By putting him in power it would strip away the power of the Empress Dowager and allow Jing-di to do as he likes and place anyone upon the throne without hinderance, or even usurp it. However the Ming-Yuan was far too bright for Jing-di’s liking and she used the cultures adherance to Rites to stem the Sima’s ambition. Jing-di was forced to speak with the officers of the court who all agreed that the Duke of Gaogui Village would be the proper successor to the Prince of Qi. Reluctantly Jing-di sent a final memorial to the Empress Dowager requesting the State Seal and Cord, but she retorted "I wish to personally give him the State Seal and Cord by my own hand.” effectively shutting the Sima out.[100] The Empress Dowager had played her hand perfectly by refusing to allow Jing-di to place who he wanted on the throne. A young child like the Duke could not legitimately hand over power. By putting the young Cao Mao there Sima Shi’s plan were foiled, though in the future Sima Zhao would certainly come head to head with this new Emperor.

Jing-di only took on a few honors, more than likely as a way to built up his credibility once more. However most importantly he rewarded those who supported his bid at removing the Young Emperor.[101]

Greater resentment of the Sima had begun to take hold now following the deaths of Xiahou Xuan and Li Feng, along with the removal of the Young Emperor. Veterans and Cao Partisans alike grew discontent and insecure, most notably Guanqiu Jian and Wen Qin. Jian’s son, Dian, said to his father “You occupy an important provincial office. The State is in danger, yet you remain unruffled and stick to your own post. You will be blamed throughout the Empire for this.” Guanqiu Jian agreed with his son and so he began to to conspire with Wen Qin in Shouchun. At the beginning of 255 the two proclaimed, with an alleged falsified edict of the Empress Dowager, that Jing-di was endangering the Dynasty and should be dismissed and sent to his fief, and that he was to be replaced by his brother Wen-di who Jian called “magnanimous” “intelligent” “fond of doing good”, as well as “loyal”. Furthermore they site that Sima Fu and Wang were both adamantly loyal and should be relied upon. The two then sent an envoy to Zhuge Dan in attempt to enlist his aid in the rebellion, however Zhuge Dan killed the envoy.[102] Previously Jing-di had to have surgery on his eye to remove a tumor and this was still healing at the time of this revolt, thus many, including Wen-di, thought it would be best to let someone else handle this matter. However Fu Jia, Wang Su and Zhong Hui had all convinced Jing-di that it would be best to lead this army himself, and so he did. The Loyal Rebels were crushed but the toll on Jing-di’s health was great and he fell seriously ill.[103] Wen-di had been stationed at Luoyang at the time and he inquired on his brother’s health.[104] With his illness turning fatal, Jing-di entrusted everything to Wen-di and then passed away at the age of 48.[105]

Zhong Hui had been in the confidence of Jing-di at the time and he handled all important confidential matters. There he found a personal edict from the Emperor which commanded that Fu Jia were to take command of the army and return to the capital, while Wen-di was to remain at Xuchang. Zhong Hui took this to Fu Jia and the two agreed to hand over control of the military to Wen-di. Fu Jia then submitted a memorial to the throne on the matter, and Wen-di proceeded to lead the army to Luoyang.[106] The Emperor then appointed Wen-di to Grand General, Palace Attendant, Commander-In-Chief of All Armies in the Center and Outside, Recording the Affairs of the Masters of Writing, and giving the ability to wear his sword when in the Palace. As is the tradition, Wen-di declined the honors.[107]

The Emperor’s move to bestow power upon Fu Jia is an odd one. Ever since his young career Jia had been a Sima partisan.[108] The Emperor was no fool and he must have known this, so why would he willingly put power in the hands of Fu Jia? Perhaps he may have thought Fu Jia would come around to see that the state needed him? I do not have the answer to this. However the Emperor certainly was not content to sit on his hands silently while Wen-di ran the state. He often held meetings with prominent Confucian scholars and literary minds such as Pei Xiu, Wang Chen and Zhong Hui.[109] One one such occasion the Emperor took to arguing that Shaokang was superior to Gaozu of Han, as Gaozu merely founded a Dynasty whereas Shaokang saved his from a usurper. The significance of this being that the Emperor viewed himself in the same line as Shaokang, having to fight for his dynasty against a wicked usurper.[110] However at the time the Emperor was only sixteen years old and held no real power in his government, thus all he could really do was let his dissatisfaction be known in private and attempt to gather allies. The timing with this story is coupled with Wen-di receiving the honors of a Sovereigns Gown, Cap and Red Slippers from the Emperor. It’s likely that if the story related to the Son of Heaven comparing himself to Shaokang is true, then it may have come after this. A way for the Emperor to express his frustration.[111]

Given that the Emperor was seeking to gather support, and he had a close partisan of Wen-di’s nearby in Zhong Hui, as well as Wen-di’s own cousin Sima Wang, it’s highly likely that Wen-di was uncertain of his position. So he sought to find out who exactly was loyal to him and who was loyal to Wei, and once person in question was someone with ties to the Cao. Most notably Cao Shuang, and this was Zhuge Dan who was stationed in Shouchun. He had his Senior Clerk, Jia Chong, go and speak with Zhuge Dan about a desire to attack Wu, but in reality it was to test the loyalty of Dan. When they spoke Zhuge Dan was openly hostile toward the Sima and proclaimed his will to die for Wei. Chong reported this to Wen-di, and on Chong’s advice had summoned Dan to come to the capital to serve as Minister of Works.[112] Zhong Hui, having been practicing filial mourning after the death of his mother, heard of this news and quickly rushed to Wen-di in order to get him to stop. He told Wen-di that by taking Zhuge Dan from his power base he would only encourage him to revolt. Wen-di thought it was too late to recall the messenger, and in the end Zhong Hui was proven right.[113] This situation is very similar to Wen-di’s father and Wang Ling, both appointed men in important areas to key positions, most notably to remove them from their bases of power and in the end each ended up revolting.

Having received the Imperial Order, Zhuge Dan became afraid and he rebelled.[114] Dan suspected that Yue Chen, son of Yue Jin, played a role in this as the messenger was merely a courier and not someone from the court, and that Dan was to hand over his authority to Yue Chen. Therefor he mustered his armies and went to Yangzhou, but the people attempted to close the city gates. Dan chastised them and said “Were you not my former officials?” as he previously was head of the region. The people thus opened the gates and Dan hunted Yue Chen through the streets and into the top floor of a building where he was cornered and killed.[115] Zhuge Dan gathered over a hundred thousand men from the various prefectures and counties around him, as we all the fifty thousand from Yangzhou and then shut the city gates of Shouchun to defend. He even sent his son Zhuge Jing as a hostage to Eastern Wu to ask for assistance.[116] Sun Chen agreed to aid Zhuge Dan and sent Wen Qin, the defector and former ally of Guanqiu Jian, to aid Shouchun.[117]

Wen-di sought to isolate Zhuge Dan from his power base initially through the use of a special amnesty, which was delivered to all generals, citizens, officials and soldiers of Huainan that had been 'deceived’ by Zhuge Dan.[118] The success of this appears unknown to me, however I do not think it did much judging by what happens after the rebellion. Many of Wen-di’s officials urged him to strike fast, but Wen-di was aware of the threat coming from Wu thanks to Zhong Yu[119] and so he mustered a great host from Qing, Xu, Jing and Yu, along with soldiers from around the capital. Further adding to his arsenal, though perhaps more as a statement against the rebels and even the Emperor himself or even more-so a preventive measure against any coup, Wen-di took along the Emperor and the Empress Dowager as he headed to battle at Shouchun.[120] Wang Ji was named as Commander-In-Chief of all the armed forces in Yangzhou and Yuzhou, and Wen-di sent him ahead with Chen Qian and many others to besiege the city.[121] However because Wen-di had waited to gather his full strength before attacking the city Wang Ji was not able to fully encircle the city, allowing Wen Qin, Quan Yi and the Wu reinforcements to rush into the city to reinforce Zhuge Dan.[122] Wen-di then ordered Wang Ji to pull his soldiers back to create fortifications to surround the city with, however Ji constantly requested permission to attack the city instead. At that time Zhu Yi had led 30,000 men to Anfeng, acting as reinforcements to Wen Qin and so Wang Ji was sent to occupy a nearby hill. Wang Ji thought this decision was quite frankly terrible. “Now, our fortifications are getting stronger and our troops are on the point of being assembled; we have only to apply all our thoughts to guarding our positions, in the meantime preventing them from making a sortie and fleeing. Should we move our men and defend the defiles (of the Northern Hill), giving the enemy freedom of action, then even a man of the greatest wisdom will not be able to repair the consequences.”[123] Wang Ji then sent a memorial to the throne as he decided on his own authority to attack the city, and the Emperor (or more-so Wen-di) gave his approval. Wang Ji surrounded Shouchun and and dug all around the city, constructing siege ramparts and building a solid siege foundation to which the Sima forces could attack from. From inside the city Wen Qin repeatedly tried to sally forth and break the siege but he was defeated every time. Wen-di then ordered Shi Bao, Hu Zhi and Zhou Tai to attack Zhu Yi at Liqiang, and while they did so ordered Hu Lie to take 5,000 men and attack Zhu Yi’s supplies at Dulu. Hu Lie burned all of the supplies and Shi Bao defeated Zhu Yi forcing him to flee.[124]

Zhu Yi returned to the Wu camp at Huoli where he met with Sun Chen. Chen ordered Yi to go back into the fight and either win or die, but Yi refused by stating the soldiers lacked food. Sun Chen, at the height of idiocy, had Zhu Yi summoned to his tent on September 26th and beaten to death. Two days later he officially renounced his support of Zhuge Dan and withdrew Wu’s army from the fight.[125] Hearing of this news Wen-di lamented on the situation, “That Zhu Yi failed to reach Shouchun is not his fault. Yet the Wu killed him, the intention being no more than to excuse themselves to the besieged in Shouchun and to strengthen Zhuge Dan’s determination, so that he may continue to hope for reinforcements. Now we ought to make the siege the more vehement and prevent them from sallying and fleeing, eluding them in various ways.”[126] Then he let slip the fake news that the Wu reinforcements were nearing the city and the Wei army was low on provisions, and on the verge of collapsing. This tricked the men inside of the city to let their guard down and become far more careless with their food, eating up their supplies much quicker as they figured aid would arrive soon and Wen-di would be beaten.[127] Jiao Yi and Jiang Ban urged that Zhuge Dan and Wen Qin should sally forth and fight, rather than sitting by and being indolent. Wen Qin and Zhuge Dan were both enraged at this, and Zhuge Dan desired to execute them, so they scaled the walls and fled the city, surrendering to Wen-di.[128] Wen-di treated them remarkably well and used them to lower the morale of the Zhuge soldiers in the city.[129]

At one point in Wu there had been a quarrel in the Quan family, and so members of the family had defected to Wei. It just so happens that other members of the family were inside Shouchun with Zhuge Dan, and due to the low morale and how well the Quan had been treated by Wen-di, Zhong Hui proposed forging a letter to Quan Yi in the city, informing him that Sun Chen was planning on executing the entire Quan clan for his failures, and Quan Yi fell for it. The threw open the gates of Shouchun and surrendered to Wen-di entirely. He rewarded them greatly and treated all who surrendered very well, making them prefect lords.[130] Inside the city Wen Qin spoke with Zhuge Dan and said “Jiang Ban and Jiao Yi thought that we would not be able to make a sally, hence they fled; Quan Duan and Quan Yi also went out together with their troops and surrendered. This is a time when the enemy must be unprepared; so we may fight now.”, to which Zhuge Dan agreed.[131] The defenders attacked the southern section of the Sima forces for 6 days in an attempt to break the siege. Arrows and stones were thrown, catapults used and blood was flowing. The Zhuge troops pulled back into the city in defeat. With morale destroyed and the food growing smaller, tens of thousands surrendered to Wen-di.[132] At this point food was so low and a lot of it had to do with the amount of soldiers in the city. Wen Qin desired to release all of the northern troops and conserve provisions by relying solely on those from Wu. Zhuge Dan refused this plan and so the two came to hate one another. They each suspected one another of ill intent and one day when they were to plan something together, Zhuge Dan had Wen Qin killed.[133] Wen Qin’s two sons Yang and Hu attempted to rally the soldiers in the name of vengeance, but none would follow them so they fled the city and personally submitted to Wen-di. He said to them “[Wén] Qīn’s crime cannot be excused from punishments, and his sons indeed should be killed, but [Wén] Yāng and [Wén] Hǔ in destitution submitted to the Mandate, and moreover the city is not yet taken, and killing them would harden their hearts.” and so the two Wen’s were pardoned, put at the head of several hundred horsemen and sent to the city to shout at those inside to lower their spirits and entice more defections, “[Wén] Qīn’s sons were not killed, so what do the rest of you have to fear?“[134] Wen-di rewarded the two greatly by making them Generals and enfeoffing them both as Marquis Within the Passes. This news reached the city and morale was at an all time low for Zhuge Dan’s forces. It was at this point Wen-di came forward and personally manned the barricades, ordering an all out attack on the city from four sides. Horns were blown, soldiers scaled the walls and inside none dare defend. Only several hundred loyal men would fight and they mounted horses and charged from the small gate into the Sima forces. Hu Fen’s unit met them and he personally took Zhuge Dan’s head.[135] The bannermen of Zhuge Dan were all captured and brought before Wen-di, demanding their surrender. However every last one of them shouted "To die for Excellency Zhuge is no regret!” And they were executed, one after another.[136] Hearing of this news, Yu Quan of Wu who served Zhuge Dan spoke, “A man receives commands from his ruler, to lead troops to save men, and even if I cannot succeed, and am helpless before the enemy, I do not seek anything more.” He then removed his helmet and charged alone into battle and died.[137] Tang Zi and the others from Wu bound themselves and came to Wen-di and surrendered. Tens of thousands of soldiers were taken.[138]

Many beneath Wen-di urged him to execute the surrendered Wu soldiers as their families were all still in Wu, thus their loyalty was always in question. Furthermore they also believed the area was still in rebellion and the populace needed to be punished. Wen-di retorted, “The ancients in using troops, preserving the state is best, so kill the leaders and nothing more. Should the Wú soldiers escape and flee back, then they can report the greatness of the central states.” No one was killed, the people were divided among the populace and peace came to the region.[139] Truly of everything done by Wen-di at this point I believe his bright mind shines the most here. The Sima were always seen in a very negative light given that there have been at least four attempts to overthrow them, two of which ended up in open rebellion. Showing supreme hostility is not what the people need. They need benevolence and that is what Wen-di gave them.

Wen-di eneoffed Tang Zi and gave title and rank to all others. He even permitted Wen Yang and Hu to bury their father at their family graveyard.[140]

Despite his initial failure at planning causing Wang Ji to go rogue, Wen-di’s handling of this campaign was incredibly impressive. He relied upon the best possible individuals and got the most out of them. Be it Zhong Hui, Hu Lie or Wang Ji. His presence at the fortifications drove the Sima army on to success and struck fear into the hearts of the defenders who could not fight back. Even more impressive, however, was his handling of defectors and the aftermath of the rebellion. All who gave in, rather than being butchered as his father had done, were treated exceptionally well. The people in the area were pardoned and kindness was shown to all. May it be a lowly footsoldier or a Wu General, everyone was treated well. To know when to shown kindness is the mark of a gifted leader.

In reference to Wang Ji’s disobeying of orders that lead to the Sima victory, Wen-di personally wrote a letter to him that said “In the beginning there were various opinions, but a large number of persons advocated that the army should move. At that time, I was personally on the scene, hence I also agreed with them. You, jiangjun, profoundly pondered on the merits and demerits of that measure; you alone persisted in your opinion. Disobeying the command of the Emperor and refusing to listen to the opinion of the multitude, you finally have brought about our controlling the enemy and capturing the rebels. Not even the exploits recorded by the ancients can be superior to this.”[141] Furthermore he also wanted to sent in light armed soldiers to barge into Wu to take the families of Tang Zi and the others, and then exterminate Wu. However Wang Ji interjected and reminded him that Zhuge Ke made a similar attempt and met with death eventually, meanwhile he references Wu-di of Wei’s victory over Yuan Shao at Guandu, saying that his victory was enough and he did not need to pursue.[142]

Due to his great contributions on the campaign, Zhong Hui had begun to rise in the ranks and became a very close confidant of Wen-di, who honored him and entrusted him. The people of the day remarked that their relationship was like that of Gaozu of Han and Zhang Liang.[143][144] This earned Wen-di the council of his wife Empress Wen-Ming at the time who told him “Zhong Hui will forsake moral principles for profits. He is likely to cause trouble if over favored. He shouldn’t be entrusted with responsibilities of importance.”[145] She would be one of many to attempt to dissuade Wen-di to not trust Zhong Hui, but certainly she was the most famous of them all. And my favorite.

Wen-di had been very fond of one of the Seven Sages of the Bamboo Grove named Ruan Ji. He had taken Ruan Ji into his headquarters as an Adjutant, and since he loved Ruan Ji dearly Wen-di wanted to give him anything in the world he wanted. Ruan Ji stated that he wished to be Governor of Dongping, and Wen-di was overjoyed at this and agreed. Ji left on a donkey and arrived by the shortest roads. He then destroyed all the walls of the official bureaus, drafted a poem about how much he hated the people and the area and then left all in the span of 10 days.[146] Despite this… ridiculous display, Wen-di still adored him. There even came a time in which he desired to marry his son Wu-di, Sima Yan, to Ruan Ji’s daughter. However Ruan Ji drank himself into a stuper for sixty days until Wen-di stopped asking.[147]

Sometime after Wen-di and the Emperor returned to the capital at Luoyang, the Emperor “ordered” Wen-di to become Chancellor of the State, Duke of Jin and the Nine Distinctions. He declined these honors on nine separate occasions before the Emperor finally relented.[148] Many of the higher ranking civil and military officials were going to go to Wen-di personally to get him to accept, and one of these men rushed off to find Ruan Ji. Ruan Ji had been drunk at the time and they commanded he write the request for Wen-di, as perhaps the words of someone he loved would convince him to accept. However as Ruan Ji was too drunk he needed to be propped up. Yet without even looking Ruan Ji penned a memorial to Wen-di that was said to be 'divine in nature’.[149] Despite this though, Wen-di still declined. It was clear that he wanted to ascend the throne, but there were certainly two things on Wen-di’s mind.

[list=]Replicating Wu-di and Wen-di of Wei’s ascension,
Testing the waters to see how receptive the military and ministers would be to him accepting these proposals. The great issue at hand, however, was this current Emperor who would not roll over and let Wen-di assume the throne and destroy Wei.[/list]

In the first month of Spring in 259, there was a sighting of two yellow dragons in a well in Ningling. Over the years there had been many sightings of dragons ever since 233 during the reign of Ming-di.[150] It is said that the sighting of the dragon in the well since Ming-di correspond with the rise and fall of rulers.[151] More specifically the sightings of dragons were green, which symbolize losing a throne whereas yellow symbolize gaining it.[152] With this most recent sighting the Ministers took it as a happy sign, yet the Emperor spoke “The dragon is a [symbol of] the Lord’s power. If above it is not in Heaven and below it is not afi eld, but rather is frequently straitened in wells, this is not an auspicious harbinger.”[153] The Emperor penned a poet entitled Submerged Dragon, and when Wen-di heard of this [or read it] he was greatly angered.[154] The poem itself serves to criticize Wen-di, asserting that the Emperor is a subservient to a puppet master, thus casting Wen-di in the light of a disloyal minister. One last time the Emperor attempted to advance Wen-di to Chancellor of the State, Duke of Jin and conferred with the Nine Bestowments, but yet again he declined.[155]

The second of June, 260 CE. The Emperor of Wei passed away at the age of 19.[156] This is all the information provided by Chen Shou’s Sanguozhi with no anecdotes added. Being a subject of Jin and the Sima, it was all the terrified scholar could possibly write. His life most certainly was on the line with this most crucial subject. Should Chen Shou record the truth of the matter the entire Sima families claim to legitimacy and their Dynasty would be null and void. Everything they built would vanish. Chen Shou could not say it, but other sources did. The Emperor of Wei was murdered. The act of Regicide, the murder of a soverign. The exact details have been compiled through the efforts of Pei Songzhi in his efforts to annotate Chen Shou’s work[157], as well as Sima Guang with the Zizhi Tongjian who strung together the events.[158]

Day by day the Emperor was losing his authority to Wen-di of Jin, and he had finally reached his threshhold. On the second of June in 260 he summoned Palace Attendant Wang Chen, Master of Writing Wang Jing and the Honorary Regular Palace Attendant Wang Ye and spoke, “Sima Zhao’s ambition is known even to people in the roads. I will not sit and be insultingly deposed. Today I will personally go out with you gentlemen and punish him.” Wang Jing, shocked by these words, replied “Of old the ‘Luminous’ Duke of Lu could not tolerate the Ji clan; he was defeated, fl ed and lost his state, to be laughed at by the world. Now the authority has been at [Zhao’s] gate already for a long time. The court and all quarters would go to their deaths for him. This disregard for the order of refraction and compliance is not a matter of one day. More, [even] your bodyguard is empty and under-strength; weapons are few and puny. On what will your Majesty rely to act thus all at once? Isn’t it wishing to expunge some disease and instead worsening it? You have not fathomed the [possible] disaster, which should be properly reexamined.” The Emperor angrily pulled an edict from his robe and threw it on the ground, “I am determined to act! If I die, what’s to fear? How much less [is there to fear] when I will not necessarily die!” He then left to go and inform the Empress Dowager of his plan. Chen and Ye fled to speak tell Wen-di about this, but Jing refused to follow. The Emperor then drew his sword and climted into his chariot in full armor, surrounded by his guards and palace attendants. Drumming and shouting shook the streets of Luoyang. Wen-di’s younger brother, Zhou, attempted to stop the Son of Heaven at the East Gate, but as he could not fight the Emperor he and his men dispersed. The aptly named Protector of the Army in the Capital, Jia Chong, entered from outside the palace compoud and intercepted the Son of Heaven below the Southern Gate Tower. Cheng Ji, a subordinate of Chong, spoke and said “This business is becoming critical! What do you say?” Chong replied “In today’s affairs, there is nothing to ask about,” Cheng Ji then went forward with his weapon in hand and he stabbed the Emperor, who fell off the chariot and died in the streets of Luoyang. When Wen-di heard of this he threw himself to the ground and cried out “What will the world think of me?” Chen Tai and Grand Tutor Sima Fu rushed to the scene and held the Emperor’s dead body in their arms, weeping profusely and Sima Fu was shouting “The murder of your Highness is my crime!”[159] Wen-di held a meeting with his ministers to plan their excuse and outline what it was they would do next, however the Minister of Ceremonies Chen Tai refused to come. Wen-di sent his maternal uncle Xun YI to fetch him. Tai remarked “The commentators of this age have always compared me with you. Now uncle you do not match me.” It took the coercion of his entire family, but finally a somber Chen Tai came with tears in his eyes. Wen-di took him to the Forbidden Chamber and asked “Xuanbo, what do I do?” Chen Tai replied “Only beheading Jia Chong is the least that can apologize to the realm.” Wen-di paused for a long time and said, “Think of something else.” To which Tai replied, “The only thing I could say is more extreme than that. I do not know any less extreme.”, an obvious reference to Wen-di being punished thus he asked no more.[160]

All of this had been left out from Chen Shou’s Sanguozhi. Does this make it inherently false? It does not. Not in this circumstance. The situation surrounding the Emperor and his death is a direct black mark of the Sima’s hold on the mandate. They murdered their sovereign. They wrote the history and it benefits them to brush past this portion of their rise as quickly as possible. Chen Shou had no choice in the matter. We are just lucky that alternative sources do exist to flesh out exactly what it was that happened on that day.

Wen-di had devised himself a plan to save himself. He would make a scapegoat out of Cheng Ji! In open court he deflected all blame from himself by saying that when the late Emperor moved against him he had ordered all of his soldiers not to attack the Emperor under martial law, hence why Sima Zhou and even Jia Chong did not attack. However Cheng Ji violated this order and killed the Emperor, thus he and his whole family were handed over to the Minister of Justice.[161][161a][161b][161c] The Empress Dowager issued an edict decrying the late Emperor as a unfilial son who wished to do harm to her and the state. She had him demoted to the rank of a commoner, as well as ordering the arrest of Wang Jing and his family who were executed.[162]

Sima Fu and the other ministers memorialized the throne, “We have seen the Palace Orders, that the former Duke of Gāoguì village was rebellious and without principle, and brought disaster upon himself, and so following the precedent of Hàn King of Chāngyì being deposed for his crimes, he would be buried as a commoner. We servants who provided for the Throne could not correct and prevent disaster or restrain treacherous rebellion, but face this Order with utter shock, and our insides are torn with mourning and fear. By the principles of the Chūnqiū, even Kings are no exceptions, while it is recorded: ‘Xiāng-wáng was sent out to reside at Zhèng.’ Because he could not learn from his mother, he could not return to the throne. Now the Duke of Gāoguì village was reckless and errant, almost endangered the State Altars, brought disaster upon himself, and cannot be tolerated by men or by spirits, and so is buried as a commoner, and this is truly according to ancient laws. However, we your servants plead with your highness to have mercy surpassing all, for though we believe in great justice we are yet held down by pity, so that the hearts of we your servants truly cannot bear it, and believe by your grace he can be buried with the Rites of a King.”[163] Two days after his death the former Emperor, now Duke of Gaogui Village, was buried northwest of Luoyang by the Chan stream. The escorts chariots were few and without banners, and all commoners gathered to watch, saying “It is Heaven’s Son who was killed the day before yesterday.” Some buried their face in their hands and wept, unable to control their grief.“ Pei Songzhi remarks on the matter "Your Servant Sōngzhī believes if the escort chariots were few and without banners and flags, how could it be considered a burial by the Rites of a King? Those were lies of utmost evil, when what is said does not match what is real.”[164]

During the former Emperors attempt on Wen-di’s life, there had been a Gatekeeper that prevented a member of Wen-di’s family[165] from entering the palace in order to kill the Emperor, however he was turned away by force of arms. Wen-di had wanted to kill this man and his entire family, however hsi adviser Xun Xu urged restraint and the man was simply demoted. This showed that Wen-di was compassionate and would be his attempt to reflect well in the eyes of the people.[166]

Similar to the case with Jing-di and the Young Emperor Cao Fang and Li Feng, all the work that had been put into legitimized succession through the current Emperor was gone. No more could the current Emperor be used as a vessel for abdication. Wen-di, whether directly or indirectly, was responsible for killing his Emperor. The Duke of Gaogui Village rose up in an attempt to save his dynasty and failed, but in reality he bought it a little more time. Though that time did not mean much he at least was able to stick it to the Sima. All of their careful planning, all of their pretending to be loyal subjects, all of the putting on airs about modesty; it was all for naught. Wen-di would have to start all over again from scratch. However this time he would not repeat the mistake of his brother. He would not consult the Empress Dowager on who should succeed. He forced his hand and made her recall a Prince of his choosing.[167] Wen-di was in his 50s now and time was not on his side. He had to secure his and his families hold on Wei in order to officially declare his dynasty. Blunder after blunder had been made and the Sima’s ambition was halted time after time. At this time, Wen-di was racing time itself to fulfill his lofty ambition. One has to wonder what went through Wen-di’s mind with the death of the Emperor. Certainly a defiant thorn in his side was gone, and yet with this death on his hands he must’ve known he could more than likely never legitimately assume the throne from Wei. Wen-di was a regicide. Whether it was his intention or not, his actions lead directly to the death of the Emperor.

Wen-di had gone to extreme lengths to protect Jia Chong for his role in the death of the Emperor, even outright refusing the request of a long-time friend in Chen Tai for him to be punished. Chong had been a loyal Sima partisan for some time now, even divorcing his initial wife Li Wan who sister to Li Feng who attempted to kill Jing-di.[168] One may argue through translation that Chong had plausible deniability when the death of the Emperor came about. When Cheng Ji asked what should be done about the Emperor attempting to kill Wen-di, Chong replied “In today’s affairs, there is nothing to ask about”, essentially that Jia Chong gave no direct order. However the Weimozhuan instead gives a more direct role to Jia Chong. Cheng Ji asked “Should we kill him or capture him?” referring to the Emperor of Wei, to which Chong replied “Kill him!”[169] The relationship between Wen-di and Chong is always a unique one and it brings up the question; who does one owe allegiance to? The Emperor or your Lord? And what responsibility does Jia Chong hold for the Emperors death?[170]

The day after the death of the former Emperor, the Empress Dowager then had Wu-di of Jin, Sima Yan, go to Ye to fetch the Duke of Changdaoxiang, Cao Huan, who would become the new Emperor on the 27th of June.[171] Not long after Wen-di was again offered the rank of Duke of Jin and the Nine Bestowments, which he continued to decline.[172] Wen-di, despite his repeated and rather annoying continuation of putting on the mask of a loyal retainer by denying this rank and honor, increased his own influence greatly to the point that all would come to realize just who truly was at the top of the Empire. The Shushen people, who had not sent tribute to the Empire since Wu of Zhou nearly 1,000 years prior, reestablished contact with China and sent tribute which the Emperor directly sent to Wen-di’s office.[173] The significance of this follows the examples of Zhou and Wei: that auspicious tribute (i.e something rare at a significant time) should be turned over to the object of Heaven’s favor. The adult who ruled rather than the youngster on the throne.[174] By doing this the Emperor was letting all know that it was Wen-di who had Heaven’s favor, and if he was to accept it then all others must too.

Wen-di now turned his attention to outer affairs and he had truly become vexed by Jiang Wei of Shu Han, who had repeatedly lead attacks onto Imperial Wei lands. It was at this time that a stableman named Lu Yi offered to travel to Shu in order to assassinate him. However an adviser to Wen-di, Xun Xu, quickly interjected. “As Prime Minister of the Empire, Your Excellency ought to punish the rebels by fair means. But you would employ an assassin to eliminate the rebels; this is not the way to extend your example to the land within the four seas.” Wen-di heard this wisdom and he relented.[175] He was not going to let these invasions go unpunished, and in 263 he let his ambition be know: Shu Han was to be conquered. Every member of the court opposed this strategy, even senior military officials such as Deng Ai citing logistic impossibilities and terrain advantages that Yizhou gave.[176] However one man alone advocated for this invasion, and this was Zhong Hui. Together with Zhong Hui, Wen-di studied the topography and planned out the invasion together.[177] Wen-di then issued a proclamation to the world,

“Since our pacification of Shouchun, we have not engaged in a campaign for six years, during which time we put our weapons in order and repaired our armor with the intention of dealing with the two rebel counties. Now, the territory of the Wu is large and wide, low and damp; it would give us some trouble, because in order to attack it we would have to employ workers. It would be better to conquer Ba-shu first; three years later we shall sail down with the tide, advancing simultaneously on land and on water; this is like destroying Guo to take Yu. I calculate that the Shu have altogether ninety thousand troops, of which not less than forty thousand are stationed in Chengdu to guard it and other places against any eventuality; this being so, the remaining troops can number no more than fifty thousand. Now, we shall keep Jiang Wei occupied at Dazhong, so that he cannot attend to the East; we shall proceed directly to Luogu, take their defenseless positions, and launch a surprise attack on Hanzhong.

If they defend themselves in their walled cities and fortresses, they will have to disperse their forces, and their head will be cut off from their tail. We shall then storm their cities with our large forces and disperse our well-equipped troops to plunder their fields. They will not be able to defend Jiange, nor preserve Guantou. Since Liu Shan is a stupid sovereign, their overthrow will be certain when the frontier cities on the outside are taken, and the population on the inside is shaken.”[178][178a]

Wen-di officially named Zhong Hui Commander-In-Chief of Guanzhong and General Who Guards the West, with 100,000 soldiers beneath his command. Deng Ai was named General Who Subdues the West and given 30,000 soldiers. Zhuge Xu, the Inspector of Yongzhou, was given 30,000 soldiers as well.[179] Over the years there had been many close to Wen-di who had spoken of their mistrust of Zhong Hui and warned of his ambition, most notably Wen-di’s own wife as mentioned earlier. However one of these was also Zhong Hui’s eldest half-brother, Yu. “Zhong Hui is crafty and one cannot vouch for his honesty. He should not be given too much trust.” which elicited a laugh and a reassurance of the Zhong clan’s safety if Hui were to rebel.[180] Another crucial part to Zhong Hui’s loyalty came in the common practice of taking hostages, usually children, to ensure loyalty. As Zhong Hui had no birth children to speak of, his adopted son as well as his same age nephew Xun Xu would serve as these hostages. However Xun Xu’s was not a direct hostage situation. Wen-di merely kept him close by and still did rely upon his council. With the many Sima partisans worried about Xun Xu’s connection to Zhong Hui, Xun Xu urged Wen-di not to trust Zhong Hui, and to recommend sending Wei Guan to serve as Military Inspector and Minister of Justice[181] and given 1,000 soldiers.[182]

Zhong Hui’s army were to attack Hanzhong directly, while Deng Ai was to fight with Jiang Wei and Zhuge Xu was to cut off his retreat.[183] Wen-di distributed gifts to the soldiers and generals, dispensed their orders and have the three commanders swear their oath of success.[184] During this ceremony Deng Dun cried out that Shu could not be taken and so Wen-di had him executed as a warning to any that dare speak out.[185] The Shu Han army shored up the defenses in Hancheng and Luocheng just as Zhong Hui’s army were marching into Hanzhong from multiple paths. The Imperial Army attacked, with Zhong Hui sending Li Fu and Xun Kai to besiege and seize each castle.[186] Furthermore thanks to the defection of Shu Han general Jiang Shu, Zhong Hui was able to sieze Yang'an Pass.[187] Deng Ai had already met Jiang Wei in battle, and defeated him. He intended to put up further resistance against Deng Ai but news had reached him that Zhong Hui was meeting great success in Hanzhong, and so he intended to head to Yang'an Pass, which hadn’t fallen at that time. As he was pulling back Deng Ai once more attacked and defeated him at the Qiangshui in a fierce battle. The Shu Han forces fled toward Qiaotou where Zhuge Xu was waiting to cut them off. Through a brilliant maneuving of feigning marching north, forcing Zhuge Xu to follow him and open the road, Jiang Wei was able to swing back around and escape. Jiang Wei soon made it to Yinping and intended to finally head to Yang'an Pass, but it was too late and Zhong Hui had taken it. This forced Jiang Wei to withdraw the defenders from Yinping, and summon the army to mount a resistance at Jiange.[188]

As Deng Ai and Zhong Hui conquered wherever they went[189], a steady stream of loot from Yizhou was being sent back to the capital.[189] With this news of the armies tremendous success, and booty rolling in the Emperor one last time offered for Wen-di to take the title of Duke of Jin and the Nine Bestowments, and Wen-di would humbly decline. However in a move mimicking Wu-di of Wei, Cao Cao, Ruan Ji imitated Pan Xu’s memorial of 50 years prior and requested Wen-di take the offer. A myriad of officials too attempted to persuade Wen-di and he finally gave in. This too was a following of the model set forth by Wu-di of Wei.[190] Wen-di officially became the Duke of Jin.[191][191a]

Upon arriving at Yinping with Zhuge Xu, Deng Ai decided that he would hand pick the most elite troops and he desired to march west, proceeding through Yinping to Jiangyou and then on to Chengdu.[192] Zhuge Xu felt his orders were specifically to intercept Jiang Wei, and going westward were not mentioned in the Imperial Edict, therefor he withdrew his soldiers and joined with Zhong Hui.[193] Zhong Hui then sent Tian Chang toward Jiangyou who destroyed three Shu Han ambushes, and then met up with Deng Ai. The two then made the rough trek through Yinping while Zhong Hui and Zhuge Xu were stuck at Jiange.[194] Zhong Hui, already having rebellious thoughts in mind, desired to increase his military might even further and so he turned his attention to Zhuge Xu. In secret he sent a memorial to Wen-di slandering Zhuge Xu as a coward who would not attack, and so Wen-di sent a cage cart to have him arrested and escorted back to the capital, thus putting Zhong Hui in command of Xu’s former troop of 30,000.[195] Despite Wen-di’s desire to party it up and accept promotions as if things were all done in Shu, that just wasn’t the case. The Shu Han defenders had rallied together, Jiang Wei, Liao Hua, Zhang Yi, Dong Jue etc. and were putting up a staunch defense at Jiange and Zhong Hui was not able to overcome them. Transportation of supplies was becoming very difficult and Hui was looking to call the campaign off and settle with what they took.[196] The acceptance of the slander of Zhuge Xu is an interesting one. Generally this commentator simply chalked it up to the closeness between Zhong Hui and Wen-di, however as evidenced by his mistrust through the use of Wei Guan, as well as the many people warning against trusting him, I now come to believe the reason for this is due to Wen-di himself being furious with Zhuge Xu. If you recall the Three Generals accepted their orders and swore an oath before setting off to Shu. Zhuge Xu’s orders were to intercept Jiang Wei. With the initial great sucess the Wei army had, Wen-di finally felt comfortable enough to accept the Nine Bestowments and Duke of Jin title. However just after this we see Zhuge Xu fail at his duty, and not long after the entire campaign is in danger of collapsing because of the resistance at Jiange held up by Jiang Wei. If this entire invasion were to fail the fault would be Zhuge Xu and it would make Wen-di look like a fool for celebrating so early, and be yet another wrench in the Sima cogwheel of usurpation. He couldn’t have been happy.

Deng Ai, hearing of this difficulty Zhong Hui was having and desire to retreat, submitted a petition to Wen-di,

“The rebels are already crushed. We ought to take advantage of this opportunity. We should proceed from Yinping, through Xiejing, past Deyangting of the Han dynasty, to Fou, and appear at a place a hundred li west of Jiange and three hundred odd li distant from Chengdu. With our mobile detachment we should storm their base and take them unawares. Then will the troops defending Jiange have to retreat towards Fou, in which case Zhong Hui can advance in double columns; if the troops defending Jiange should not retreat, then the troops assigned to defend Fou will be insufficient.“[197]

Deng Ai marched across some 217 miles of uninhabited terrain, crafting gallery roads and bridges as he moved. The terrain was high mountains, deep valleys and harsh cliffs. With their own supplies running low, the men knew there was no retreating and so they discarded their heavy equipment and decided to push on. They came to the edge of the mountains and rolled themselves in rugged furs, rolling down the sides of the mountain all the way to the bottom. The men then rallied and pushed on to Jiangyou which was taken by surprise and immediately surrendered.[197] Deng Ai soon met Zhuge Zhan at Fou and defeated them, forcing the Shu Han army to Mianzhu Pass. Yet again Deng Ai attacked with his son and Shi Zuan, but they were repelled by Zhuge Zhan. However they rallied and attacked once more, killing the defenders. Deng Ai then proceeded to march upon Chengdu and surround the city, eventually forcing the Latter Ruler of Shu Han, Liu Shan, to surrender officially.[199] Jiang Wei came directly to Zhong Hui and surrendered, who treated him very well. Hui ordered his men not to plunder.[200] For their great success in Shu Han, Deng Ai was given the greatest honors and promoted to the highest of the Three Excellencies, Grand Commandant, while Zhong Hui was also promoted to an Excellency rank, serving as Minister Over the Masses.[201]

With Shu Han now pacified and the issue of legitimate succession to the Han settled, Deng Ai now went about enfeoffing and promoting people despite not having the ability to do so.[202] Deng Ai presumed Imperial authority and gave rank to the likes of Liu Shan, along with various officials with civil and militarily. He also gave rank to those that had served beneath him such as Shi Zuan and Jian Hong.[203] Although he forbade any pillaging of any kind, he had grown very arrogant and outspoken, "Thanks to having met me, you gentlemen are what you are today. Had you met men like Wu Han, you all could have been exterminated.”[204] At this time Deng Ai had sent a memorial to Wen-di that that urged treating Liu Shan and the others in Shu excellent, that way they could entice the Sovereign of Wu, Sun Xiu, into surrendering and bringing peace to the land. Had they sent Liu Shan to the capital, the Sovereign of Wu would think he was a banished prisoner and put up a staunch resistance. Deng Ai further explains that Shan’s sons also be treated very well and enfeoffed as dukes and lords.[205][205a] Wen-di was rather taken aback by this and he may have seen this as Deng Ai’s presumption of authority, and thus began to suspect him. He then sent Wei Guan to Deng Ai to chastise him, and order him to request approval before acting on his own authority.[206] Much like Wen-di was taken aback, so was Deng Ai. He yet again submitted another memorial, this time explaining his actions and how beneficial they could be.[207][207a] Zhong Hui was at Jiange Pass at the time, while Deng Ai was in Chengdu and Wen-di was at Luoyang. This put him at the perfect point to intercept any letters the two sent one another, and he did just that. Using his superb calligraphy skills he would forge letters from Deng Ai to make him seem more boastful, arrogant and rebellious, all while destroying Wen-di’s replies and crafting new ones to make it appear he was more suspicious of Deng Ai.[208] As Deng Ai was presuming authority Zhong Hui sought to take advantage of this for personal gain, and with Wei Guan the two secretly memorialized Wen-di and said that Ai was plotting a rebellion and so Wen-di ordered a cage cart be sent and Deng Ai be arrested.[209] The validity of the letters sent by Deng Ai to Wen-di are truly suspect. Achilles Fang and Hu Sanxing both believe that any letter sent cannot be trusted as it’s undoubtedly true that Zhong Hui had been forging letters. How can we be certain any surviving letter was actually written by Deng Ai at this point?

Zhong Hui thereby decided to get rid of the last remaining threat, so he thought, in the region by sending Wei Guan to go and arrest Deng Ai. Guan’s troops were merely 1,000 while Deng Ai commanded tens of thousands and controlled Chengdu. Hui had hoped Ai would kill Guan, thus incriminating himself. Guan knew this and thus waited till Deng Ai was sleeping and then stormed the city. He arrested Ai and his son Zhong and put them in the cage cart.[210] Deng Ai’s soldiers were furious at this and they wanted justice, so they marched on Wei Guan’s camp. Guan came out unarmed to meet them and lied, promising to write a memorial to clear Ai’s name. The generals all believed him and dispersed.[211] Zhong Hui soon arrived in Chengdu and had Deng Ai sent off to the capital.[212] It appears that either just before or just after Zhong Hui arrived in Chengdu, he had received a letter from Wen-di that changed everything, “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.”[213] Wen-di had figured out Zhong Hui’s intentions. He had been plotting a rebellion with Jiang Wei and intended to become the sole power in Yizhou, and rise up to take the Empire for himself. His plan was to march from Xie Valley and strike Chang'an, and then travel by land and river to Luoyang and sieze it within 5 days. However Wen-di had countered this before Hui had even made his intentions known.[214] The inevitable showdown between Zishang and Zifang may have tore the nation in two, but it never came. Zhong Hui and Jiang Wei were killed by rebellious soldiers under Hu Yuan, while Deng Ai was hunted down and killed by Wei Guan.[215][215a][215b] With only a single letter, Wen-di had killed two of his greatest threats and on the 15th of March, the issues in Yizhou were settled and amnesty was given to all in Shu.[216]

With every possible thread to him now removed Wen-di was soon advanced from Duke to King of Jin.[217] Again in replication of Wu-di of Wei, Wen-di got as close to the Imperial Throne as he possibly could without taking it. Since the Han’s founding it had been established that ministers of great merit are to be awarded, but only sons of the Emperor could be Princes. To go against this put the Dynasty in grave danger. To ascend to this point shows that the general consensus at the time was in support of what Wen-di was doing, thus discarding loyalty for the Wei and instead now harboring it for the Jin. As yet another dagger into the back of Wei, Wen-di instated the ancient system of the Five Feudal Ranks of Zhou, just below te rank of Prince. This had been abolished by the Qin. The greatest among the Sima and Jin loyalists; Xun Yi, Jia Chog, Zheng Zhong and Pei Xiu, would draft this constitution and it would serve to show the world that Jin was the new power.[218] A twist with the dagger came with the posthumous enfeoffing of Xuan-di and Jing-di as posthumous Princes. Without even officially usurping the dynasty, Wen-di had now made his family canonically legacy princes within the Cao Wei dynasty.[219]

In an amusing fashion, Wen-di’s desire to copy Wu-di of Wei extended even to the issue with succession. Wu-di of Wei had a famous, albeit blown out of proportion, succession debate between Wen-di of Wei and Prince Si. Wen-di of Wei was the elder but Prince Si was favored. The debate was ended and the elder succeeded. Wen-di, without an original thought in his mind, questioned whom exactly among his sons would become the heir-apparent. The two candidates were Wu-di of Jin, Sima Yan, and Prince of Qi, Sima You. Both of these were sons of Empress Wen-Ming, however Prince of Qi had been adopted by Jing-di as he had no male heirs to call this own. Thus the naming of Prince of Qi as the heir would return succession and power to Jing-di’s line rather than his own. This action may have been an attempt to reduce future infighting between the descendants of Jing-di and his own.[220] Prince of Qi was younger, filial, talented, fair and just. Earlier Wen-di would often say “The Empire is Prince of Qi’s. I am now serving as Prime Minister in proxy, but after my death the great function will be handed over to Sima Yu.”[221] Wen-di was truly desiring to name the Prince of Qi as Crown Prince, however due to the intervention of Jia Chong, Pei Xiu, He Zeng, Yang Xiu, Shan Tao and others, Wen-di officially declared that Wu-di would become the Crown Prince.[222] The amusing factor of this all was that Wu-di of Wei had a 10 year time frame of knowing Wen-di of Wei would be the heir apparent, and yet Wen-di of Jin seemed to rush making Wu-di of Jin his Crown Prince, suggesting he was already deathly ill at the time. Wen-di may have very well been racing against death itself at this point to replicate Wu-di of Wei’s actions.

In an unprecedented event, peace had come to China. Wu and Wei had all but agreed to a ceasefire as tribute from Wu had been sent. However this was not sent to the Emperor, but directly to Wen-di himself. Playing the role of the humble subject, Wen-di refused this honor over and over until the Sovereign of Wu finally relented.[223] Wen-di then went about making his final moves copying Wu-di of Wei and cementing his families power. Three times did Wu-di take Imperial Regalia; once in 214 and twice in 217 where he took multiples all totaling to seven. Wen-di, perhaps compelled by the aspect of death looming over his head, took all seven at once.[224] He proceeded to elevate the titles of his wife, heir, children and grand children, as well as furthering the establishment of the Jin bureaucracy.[225] Then for several months it seems that Wen-di went silent. No actions were taken aside from June of that same year, when a general amnesty was declared. Two and a half months of nothing, followed by the news on September 6th, 265. Wen-di of Jin had passed away. All of his work had lead to him succeeding, but he could not beat death. But he still beat Wei. Heaven’s favor lay with the Sima and Wei gave-way to Jin as Wu-di of Jin ascended the throne. Men from Eastern Wu were even sent to attend the funeral for Wen-di, who was buried at Chongyang Tomb on October 20th.[226]

Thus ends the story of Emperor Wen of Jin, Sima Zhao. A most interesting figure who sought to create an empire all for himself, only to die just on the cusp of his desires. He was a truly opportunistic man; vicious, cunning and able to turn the worst situation into a victory. Though his early life saw him play second fiddle to his father and brother, Zhao would cement his own legacy once the two of them were dead. Whether in politics or in battle, he proved to be very able. His handling of the Zhong Hui crisis and Zhuge Dan’s rebellion, particularly the aftermath was masterful. However he certainly was not without his errors. Whether it was the blunder at Lake Chao, his initially terrible plan at Zhuge Dan’s rebellion or the fact that his entire invasion of Shu hinged on one man; and politically we saw him build up his majesty and importance under Cao Mao, taking honors and cementing his power only for all of that work to be undone in a single day. He had to completely begin from scratch with a whole new Emperor, but this time it seemed nearly unstoppable. Despite the hiccup in his Conquest of Shu, it still succeeded. Despite his own faction splintering and rebelling, he still came out on top. Honor after honor, Sima Zhao came one step closer to usurping the Cao but he would never make it. Illness took him too soon, but what he built was expanded upon by his son. And while that certainly mirrors the efforts of Cao Cao, he was no Cao Cao. In the end despite all of his successes he was a thin-skinned child who killed someone for telling him to accept responsibility for his failures. He gave into slander frequently. He used people and tossed them aside without remorse. And no matter what he did in his life, he will always be remember for being the killer of an Emperor. He is a regicide. Regardless of his political brilliance, his eagerness drove two rebellions against himself and caused his Emperor to attempt to free his state and family from the grasp of a usurper. All were killed. Wei was destroyed. A new foundation for a dynasty was created, however it is very amusing that despite all of the Sima’s efforts to take down Wei in three generations; their own dynasty began to crumble from the inside in only one due to the greed of the Sima. What goes around, comes around eh? Heh.

[1] BookOfJin, Fang Xuanling, Sima Zhao’s Jinshu biography
[2] Gongjin’s Memorial Campaign, Fang Xuanling, Sima Shi’s Jinshu biography
[3] Gongjin’s Memorials, Fang Xuanling, Wang Yuanji’s Jinshu biography
[4] Gongjin’s Memorials, Fang Xuanling, Wang Yuanji’s Jinshu biography - This comes off my calculation based off Yuanji’s birthdate and the typical ‘coming of age’ provided by Rafe de Crespigny as well as Sima Yan being born several years later.
[5] Gongjin’s Memorials, Fang Xuanling, Wang Yuanji’s Jinshu biography
[6] Gongjin’s Memorial Campaign, Fang Xuanling, Sima Shi’s Jinshu biography
[7] Achilles Fang, Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[8] Achilles Fang, Chen Shou, Guanqiu Jian’s Sanguozhi biography
[9] Achilles Fang, Chen Shou, Cao Rui’s Sanguozhi bigraphy
[10] Achilles Fang, Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[11] BookOfJin, Fang Xuanling, Sima Zhao’s Jinshu biography
[12] Gongjin’s Memorial Campaign, Fang Xuanling, Sima Shi’s Jinshu biography
[13] BookOfJin, Fang Xuanling, Sima Zhao’s Jinshu biography
[14] Achilles Fang, Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[15] Achilles Fang, Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[16] Timothy M. Davis, Sima Yi’s Jinshu biography
[17] Jiuyangda, Houhanshu Treatise 24
[18] Xuesanguo, Chen Shou, Cao Shuang’s Sanguozhi biography
[19] Achilles Fang, Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[20] Timothy M. Davis, Ranking Men and Assessing Talent: Xiahou Xuan’s Response to an Inquiry by Sima Yi
[21] Achilles Fang, Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[22] Xuesanguo, Chen Shou, Cao Shuang’s Sanguozhi biography
[23] BookOfJin, Fang Xuanling, Sima Zhao’s Jinshu biography
[24] Xuesanguo, Chen Shou, Cao Shuang’s Sanguozhi biography
[25] Achilles Fang, Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[26] Achilles Fang, Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[27] Achilles Fang, Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[28] Achilles Fang, Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[29] Xuesanguo, Chen Shou, Cao Shuang’s Sanguozhi biography
[30] Xuesanguo, Chen Shou, Cao Shuang’s Sanguozhi biography
[31] BookOfJin, Fang Xuanling, Sima Zhao’s Jinshu biography
[32] Xuesanguo, Chen Shou, Cao Shuang’s Sanguozhi biography
[33] BookOfJin, Fang Xuanling, Sima Zhao’s Jinshu biography
[34] Xuesanguo, Chen Shou, Cao Shuang’s Sanguozhi biography
[35] Xuesanguo, Pei Songzhi’s annotations, Xi Zuochi, Han Jin Chunqiu, Chen Shou, Cao Shuang’s Sanguozhi biography
[36] Xuesanguo, Pei Songzhi’s annotations, Xi Zuochi, Han Jin Chunqiu, Chen Shou, Cao Shuang’s Sanguozhi biography
[37] Xuesanguo, Pei Songzhi’s annotations, Xi Zuochi, Han Jin Chunqiu, Chen Shou, Cao Shuang’s Sanguozhi biography
[38] BookOfJin, Fang Xuanling, Sima Zhao’s Jinshu biography
[39] BookOfJin, Fang Xuanling, Sima Zhao’s Jinshu biography
[40] Pei Songzhi, annotation to Chen Shou’s biography on Zhong Hui, He Shao, Wang Bi Beizhuan
[41] Achilles Fang, Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[42] Achilles Fang, Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[43] Rafe de Crespigny, Imperial Warlord
[44] Gongjin’s Memorial Campaign, Fang Xuanling, Sima Shi’s Jinshu biography
[45] Achilles Fang, Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[46] Achilles Fang, Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[47] Gongjin’s Memorial Campaign, Fang Xuanling, Sima Shi’s Jinshu biography
[48] Gongjin’s Memorial Campaign, Fang Xuanling, Sima Shi’s Jinshu biography
[49] Achilles Fang, Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[50] BookOfJin, Fang Xuanling, Sima Zhao’s Jinshu biography
[51] Achilles Fang, Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[52] Gongjin’s Memorial Campaign, Fang Xuanling, Sima Shi’s Jinshu biography
[53] BookOfJin, Fang Xuanling, Sima Zhao’s Jinshu biography
[54] Achilles Fang, Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[55] BookOfJin, Fang Xuanling, Sima Zhao’s Jinshu biography
[56] BookOfJin, Fang Xuanling, Sima Zhao’s Jinshu biography
[57] Fuyonggu, Chen Shou, Wang Ling’s Sanguozhi biography
[58] Fuyonggu, Chen Shou, Wang Ling’s Sanguozhi biography
[59] Fuyonggu, Chen Shou, Wang Ling’s Sanguozhi biography
[60] BookOfJin, Fang Xuanling, Sima Zhao’s Jinshu biography
[61] Fuyonggu, Chen Shou, Wang Ling’s Sanguozhi biography
[62] Fuyonggu’s translation of a portion of Sima You’s Jinshu biography
[63] BookOfJin, Fang Xuanling, Sima Zhao’s Jinshu biography
[64] Timothy M. Davis, Sima Yi’s Jinshu biography
[65] Gongjin’s Memorial Campaign, Fang Xuanling, Sima Shi’s Jinshu biography
[66] Gongjin’s Memorial Campaign, Fang Xuanling, Sima Shi’s Jinshu biography
[67] BookOfJin, Fang Xuanling, Sima Zhao’s Jinshu biography
[68] Achilles Fang, Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[69] Achilles Fang, Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[70] Achilles Fang, Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[71] Achilles Fang, Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[72] Achilles Fang, Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[73] BookOfJin, Fang Xuanling, Sima Zhao’s Jinshu biography
[74] Fuyonggu, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[75] Achilles Fang, Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[76] Achilles Fang, Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[77] Gongjin’s Memorial Campaign, Fang Xuanling, Sima Shi’s Jinshu biography
[78] Achilles Fang, Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[79] The Jinshu asserts that she had been poisoned by Sima Shi. I have my doubts on this claim. She was killed in 234, poisoned by her husband, for her ties to the Cao. This was 5 years before Cao Rui would die which gave the Sima the opportunity to rise in revolt. The timing of this seems incredibly odd. I don’t see what he gains from killing her then, nor do I see what the author of the Jinshu, or whomever he was drawing this information had to gain from making this up. Needless to say it is rather perplexing.
[80] Timothy M. Davis, Ranking Men and Assessing Talent: Xiahou Xuan’s Response to an Inquiry by Sima Yi
[82] Timothy M. Davis, Ranking Men and Assessing Talent: Xiahou Xuan’s Response to an Inquiry by Sima Yi
[83] A eunuch is missing from those eventually executed, thus leading to the suspicion that a eunuch betrayed the cause and it was not another source such as Jia Chong, whom was married to Li Feng’s daughter Li Wan at the time.
[84] Shishuo Xinyu
[85] Achilles Fang, Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[86] Achilles Fang, Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[87] Xi Zuochi’s Han Jin Chunqiu and Guo Song’s Wei Jin Shiyu - Such an elaborate plan made it nowhere into the SGZ prime. Not only this but it cites that Xu Yun played a large role in this. The issue with this being that, well… Xu Yun was dead. And had been dead. He was a conspirator of Li Feng’s and was killed. Thus casting this story in a very poor light. I doubt it’s legitimacy but I have decided to include it regardless.
[88] Carl Leban, The Accession of Sima Yan, AD 265: Legitimation by Ritual Replication
[89] Achilles Fang, Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[90] Achilles Fang, Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[91] Carl Leban, Weishu translation
[92] Gongjin’s Memorial Campaign, Fang Xuanling, Sima Shi’s Jinshu biography - Thanks to clarification from BookOfJin for identifying that GMC had an incorrect variation of this, attributing this discussion between Emperor Cao Fang and his subordinates.
[93] Gongjin’s Memorial Campaign, Fang Xuanling, Sima Shi’s Jinshu biography
[94] Xuesanguo, Chen Shou, Cao Fang’s Sanguozhi biography draft
[95] He Chao’s commentary on the Sanguozhi Jijie, quote posted by Jiuyangda
[96] Xuesanguo, Chen Shou, Cao Fang’s Sanguozhi biography draft
[97] Carl Leban, Yu Huan, Weilue translation
[98] Carl Leban, Wei Zhao, Wushu translation
[99] Gongjin’s Memorial Campaign, Fang Xuanling, Sima Shi’s Jinshu biography
[100] Carl Leban, Yu Huan, Weilue translation
[101] Carl Leban, The Accession of Sima Yan, AD 265: Legitimation by Ritual Replication
[102] Achilles Fang, Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[103] Gongjin’s Memorial Campaign, Fang Xuanling, Sima Shi’s Jinshu biography
[104] BookOfJin, Fang Xuanling, Sima Zhao’s Jinshu biography
[105] Gongjin’s Memorial Campaign, Fang Xuanling, Sima Shi’s Jinshu biography
[106] Achilles Fang, Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[107] BookOfJin, Fang Xuanling, Sima Zhao’s Jinshu biography - The SGZ makes note that Sima Zhao declined the honors as well, but the text is missing from the main passage of the ZZTJ. It is likely in reference to the sword and not the control of the govornment, as Sima Zhao most certainly controlled all matters in Wei after the death of his brother.
[108] Achilles Fang, translation of portions of Fu Jia’s Sanguozhi biography
[109] Achilles Fang, translation of portions of Fu Jia’s Sanguozhi biography
[110] Achilles Fang, translation of portions of Xi Zuochi’s Han Jin Chunqiu
[111] Achilles Fang, Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[112] BookOfJin, Fang Xuanling, Jia Chong’s Sanguozhi biography
[113] Carl Leban, Chen Shou, Zhong Hui’s Sanguozhi biography
[114] Xuesanguo, Chen Shou, Zhuge Dan’s Sanguozhi biography
[115] Achilles Fang, Guo Song, Wei Jin Shiyu
[116] Xuesanguo, Chen Shou, Zhuge Dan’s Sanguozhi biography
[117] Achilles Fang, Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[118] Carl Leban, The Accession of Sima Yan, AD 265: Legitimation by Ritual Replication
[119] Xuesanguo, Chen Shou, Zhong Yu’s Sanguozhi biography
[120] Carl Leban, The Accession of Sima Yan, AD 265: Legitimation by Ritual Replication
[121] Achilles Fang, Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[122] Achilles Fang, Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[123] Achilles Fang, Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[124] BookOfJin, Fang Xuanling, Shi Bao’s Jinshu biography - The ZZTJ leaves out Hu Zhi, however the Jinshu mentions him fighting with Shi Bao and Zhou Tai, so I’ve gone with the Jinshu account.
[125] Achilles Fang, Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[126] Achilles Fang, Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[127] Achilles Fang, Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[128] Xuesanguo, Xi Zuochi, Han Jin Chunqiu
[129] Xuesanguo, Chen Shou, Zhuge Dan’s Sanguozhi biography
[130] Achilles Fang’s translation of a portion of Zhong Hui’s Sanguozhi biography
[131] Xuesanguo, Xi Zuochi, Han Jin Chunqiu
[132] Achilles Fang, Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[133] Xuesanguo, Chen Shou, Zhuge Dan’s Sanguozhi biography
[134] Xuesanguo, Chen Shou, Zhuge Dan’s Sanguozhi biography
[135] Xuesanguo, Chen Shou, Zhuge Dan’s Sanguozhi biography
[136] Xuesanguo, Chen Shou, Zhuge Dan’s Sanguozhi biography
[137] Xuesanguo, Gan Bao, Jinji
[138] Xuesanguo, Chen Shou, Zhuge Dan’s Sanguozhi biography
[139] Xuesanguo, Chen Shou, Zhuge Dan’s Sanguozhi biography
[140] Achilles Fang, Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[141] Achilles Fang, Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[142] Achilles Fang, Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[143] Achilles Fang, Chen Shou, Zhong Hui’s Sanguozhi biography
[144] Gaozu of Han is Liu Bang, the founding Emperor of the Han Dynasty that rose in revolt against the Qin and defeated Chu. Zhang Liang was called his most intimate adviser and aided him greatly. This comparrison was also made with Cao Cao and Xun Yu.
[145] Gongjin’s Memorial Campaign, Fang Xuanling, Wang Yuanji’s Jinshu biography
[146] Donald Holzman, Poetry and Poltics: The Life and Works of Juan Chi, A.D. 210-263
[147] Donald Holzman, Poetry and Poltics: The Life and Works of Juan Chi, A.D. 210-263
[148] Achilles Fang, Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[149] Donald Holzman, Poetry and Poltics: The Life and Works of Juan Chi, A.D. 210-263
[150] Achilles Fang, Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[151] Carl Leban, The Accession of Sima Yan, AD 265: Legitimation by Ritual Replication
[152] Carl Leban, The Accession of Sima Yan, AD 265: Legitimation by Ritual Replication - "This interpretation of “green” seems to make no sense at all, and may be forced into the explanation. The Five-Element series in use is the Han-derived “generative” series: Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, and Water.”
[153] Carl Leban, Xi Zuochi, Han Jin Chunqiu
[154] Achilles Fang, Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[155] Achilles Fang, Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[156] Carl Leban, Chen Shou, Cao Mao’s Sanguozhi biography
[157] “In order to fill the gaps in Chen Shou’s account, I have recovered all those events not set down by Chen of which it is proper to keep a record.” - Excerpt from Pei Songzhi’s memorial to the Emperor upon his submission of the annotated Sanguozhi.
[158] Carl Leban, The Accession of Sima Yan, AD 265: Legitimation by Ritual Replication
[159] Adapted from passages in the Han Jin Chunqiu, Wei Jin Shiyu, Jinji, Jinshu and Weimozhuan.
[160] Xuesanguo, Gan Bao, Jinji
[161] Carl Leban, The Accession of Sima Yan, AD 265: Legitimation by Ritual Replication
[161a] Jinshu jiaowen records “Sima Zhao used [Cheng] Ji to cover everyone’s ears and eyes, and did not really punish any criminals.”
[161b] Xun Xu’s Jinshu biography records “It was ordered that punishment of Cheng Ji stopped with his person.”
[161c] Xi Zuochi’s Weishi Chunqiu records “Cheng Ji and his brothers would not submit to punishment, unclothed ascended house, angrily saying rebellious obscenities; from below they were shot, at and so killed.”
[162] Carl Leban, The Accession of Sima Yan, AD 265: Legitimation by Ritual Replication
[163] Xuesanguo, annotation to Cao Mao’s Sanguozhi biography from Xi Zuochi’s Han Jin Chunqiu
[164] Xuesanguo, annotation to Cao Mao’s Sanguozhi biography from Pei Songzhi
[165] Howard L. Goodman, Xun Xu and the Politics of Precision in Third-century AD China
[166] Howard L. Goodman, Xun Xu and the Politics of Precision in Third-century AD China
[167] Reason being for this assertion comes from Carl Leban, and is that Cao Huan was the son of Cao Yu and the grandson of Cao Cao, thus making him the same generation as Cao Rui - Empress Dowager Guo’s husband. Furthermore Cao Pi had living grandsons and with these out there, he could use this to enhance his own claims of legitimacy by weaking that of Cao Huan simply by saying there are others whose birthright it is to sit upon the throne. Regardless of the intention it meant the Empress Dowager had no power in this situation.
[168] BookOfJin, Fang Xuanling, Jia Chong’s Jinshu biography
[169] Jiuyangda, translated passage from the Weimozhuan
[170] The Jinshu records in the biography of Jia Chong - At the Duke of Gaogui district’s attack on the Chancellor’s Office, Chong led the multitudes to resist in battle at the Southern Watchtower. The army was about to be defeated. The Cavalry Controller Cheng Cui’s younger brother, the Retainer to the Heir-Apparent, Ji, spoke to Chong, saying: “Today’s affair, what can we do?” Chong said: “His Excellency has reared you lot, precisely planning for today. Why ask again!” Ji hence drew out his halberd and violated the imperial route.
[171] Achilles Fang, Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[172] Achilles Fang, Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[173] The Jinshu records in the Biography of Foreign Peoples - [The Sushen] have arrow point stone [perhaps flint], armor of leather and bone, bows of spindle-wood three feet five inches [long] and arrows of hu-wood a foot eight inches long. In the time of the “Martial” King of Zhou they presented their hu-wood arrows and arrow point stone. When the Duke of Zhou was assisting the “Perfect” King, they again sent an envoy with congratulations. After that for more than a thousand years, even the flourishing of Qin and Han never drew them [hither], until the “Cultured” Sovereign [Sima Zhao] served as Chancellor [sic! he had refused the post still] of Wei. At the end of the Jingyuan period they came offering hu-wood arrows, arrow point stone, bows, armor and sable furs. The Wei Sovereign ordered [the gifts] sent to the Chancellor’s office.
[174] Carl Leban, The Accession of Sima Yan, AD 265: Legitimation by Ritual Replication
[175] Howard L. Goodman, Xun Xu and the Politics of Precision in Third-century AD China
[176] Achilles Fang, Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[177] Achilles Fang’s tranlation of a portion of Zhong Hui’s Sanguozhi biography - Because the Shu had disturbed the frontiers on several occasions, Sima Wenwang, calculating that Shu was a small country, its people worn out and its national resources drained, wished to send a large force against it. Only Zhong Hui agreed that Shu could be taken; together with him, he studied topography and discussed general plans.
[178] Achilles Fang, Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[178a] The Jinshu records in the Annals of Wen-di - If we plan to take Wu, we must construct battleships and open up water routes, for which we must employ more than ten million units of work, that is, one hundred thousand workers for more than one hundred days. Furthermore, the southern land is low and damp, so that disease and epidemic will be certain to break out. We should now take Shu first; three years later, we shall sail down the tide from Bashu, advancing simultaneously on land and on water; this is like destroying Yu to conquer Guo, and swallowing Han to annex Wei.
[179] Achilles Fang, Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[180] Achilles Fang, Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[181] Howard L. Goodman, Xun Xu and the Politics of Precision in Third-century AD China
[182] BookOfJin, Fang Xuanling, Wei Guan’s Jinshu biography
[183] Achilles Fang, Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[184] Achilles Fang, Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[185] Achilles Fang, Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[186] Achilles Fang, Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[187] Achilles Fang, Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[188] Achilles Fang, Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[189] Carl Leban, Fang Xuanling, Sima Zhao’s Jinshu biography
[190] Carl Leban, The Accession of Sima Yan, AD 265: Legitimation by Ritual Replication
[191] Achilles Fang, Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[191a] About fucking time…
[192] Achilles Fang, Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[193] Achilles Fang, Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[194] Achilles Fang, Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[195] Achilles Fang, Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[196] Achilles Fang, Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[197] Achilles Fang, Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[198] Achilles Fang, Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[199] Achilles Fang, Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[200] Achilles Fang, Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[201] Achilles Fang, Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[202] Achilles Fang, Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[203] Achilles Fang, Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[204] Achilles Fang, translation of Deng Ai’s Sanguozhi biography
[205] Achilles Fang, Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[205a] The memorial in question reads as follows - “In battle, sometimes uproar should precede action. If we now use our conquest of Shu as the opportunity to act against Wu, the Wu will be shattered by fear; this is the time when we should carry all before us. On the other hand, as a result of the great campaign we have made, our generals and troops are worn out and cannot be employed immediately. Therefore we must take time in executing our plan. We ought to leave here twenty thousand men of the Longyou troops and another twenty thousand me of the Shu troops, manufacture salt by boiling and iron by smelting [2] for the important functions of war and husbandry; at the same time we ought to construct ships in preparation for sailing downstream (toward the Wu). After these are done, we should send our envoys to tell them how their interests will be affected. Then, the Wu will be certain to surrender to us; we may thus conquer them without making any campaign against them.

Now we ought to treat Liu Shan liberally in order to induce Sun Xiu to surrender, bring peace to the gentry and the people in order to make the people from afar come to us. If we, without any ado, were to send Liu Shan to the capital, the Wu would think that he was being banished; they would be discouraged in their intention to come over to us. We ought to stretch a point and temporarily leave him as he is now. In the autumn or winter of the following year, when the Wu will have been conquered, it may be possible.

Liu Shan ought to be enfeoffed as Prince of Fufeng with emoluments; also his attendants ought to be supplied with their needs. In the prefecture of Fufeng, there is the Dongzhuowu [5], which ought to be converted into his palace. His sons ought to be enfeoffed as Dukes and Lords, with the different xian in the prefecture as their appanages. By this means, would he be shown special honors for having surrendered.

We ought to set aside Guangling and Chengyang for the Wu (i.e. Sun Xiu, who would be enfeoffed as Prince of one of these prefectures upon his surrender). Then will he be filled with awe and love us for our virtue, and will surrender voluntarily.”
[206] Achilles Fang, Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[207] Achilles Fang, Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[207a] The memorial in question reads as follows - “When, under your orders, I started on the expedition, I received your instructions. Now the arch-rebel has surrendered. In presuming the Imperial authority and conferring appointments, my intention was to put the newly surrendered at ease; I think I acted properly as far as it was expedient. Now, the Shu have surrendered one and all; their territory extends to the South China Sea and in the east it abuts on Wujun and Kuaiji. Therefore, it is necessary that I restore tranquility as early as possible. If I must await instructions from the State, the journey back and forth would take days and months. It is a principle prescribed since the Chunqiu period that a Great Officer, 'if he, going out of the country, can stabilize the foundation of his country and effect advantages to the State, may take power into his own hand.’

Now, the Wu have not surrendered and they are intimately associated with the Shu. We should not bind ourselves to routine and fail to act properly. The Art of War (bingfa) says, 'One does not seek fame when advancing nor evade punishment when retreating.’ I indeed fall short of the ancients of virtue, but I do not act too modestly and ruin the cause of the State.”
[208] Achilles Fang, translation of Zhong Hui’s Sanguozhi biography
[209] BookOfJin, Fang Xuanling, Wei Guan’s Jinshu biography. The Jinshu says the two reported Deng Ai’s 'conduct’, while the ZZTJ says they reported his desire to rebel.
[210] BookOfJin, Fang Xuanling, Wei Guan’s Jinshu biography.
[211] BookOfJin, Fang Xuanling, Wei Guan’s Jinshu biography.
[212] Achilles Fang, Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[213] Achilles Fang, Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[214] Achilles Fang, Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[215] Achilles Fang, Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[215a] Zhong Hui’s family was mostly spared due to the efforts of Zhong Yao and Yu, and their contributions to the Empire. Zhong Hui’s adopted son in Luoyang had been killed. Sima Zhao quarreled with a subordinate of Zhong Hui’s who had taken to burying Hui with honors, however after speaking with him he calmed down and understood. This is the story of Xiang Xiong, who also had to bury a previous “rebel” in Wang Jing.
[215b] The male members of Deng Ai’s clan were exterminated and the rest were exiled to Gansu.
[216] Carl Leban, The Accession of Sima Yan, AD 265: Legitimation by Ritual Replication
[217] Achilles Fang, Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[218] Carl Leban, The Accession of Sima Yan, AD 265: Legitimation by Ritual Replication
[219] Carl Leban, The Accession of Sima Yan, AD 265: Legitimation by Ritual Replication
[220] Carl Leban, The Accession of Sima Yan, AD 265: Legitimation by Ritual Replication
[221] Achilles Fang, Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[222] Achilles Fang, Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
[223] Carl Leban, The Accession of Sima Yan, AD 265: Legitimation by Ritual Replication
[224] Carl Leban, The Accession of Sima Yan, AD 265: Legitimation by Ritual Replication
[225] Carl Leban, The Accession of Sima Yan, AD 265: Legitimation by Ritual Replication
[226] Fuyonggu, Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian
"Looking at Zhong Hui is like viewing an armory, one sees only spears and lances"
— Pei Kai
Check out this list of historical resources I have.
Check out this list of cited biographies I have written.
User avatar
DaoLunOfShiji
Scholar
 
Posts: 341
Joined: Wed Aug 02, 2017 3:26 pm
Location: "A genius like Cao Zhi, as martial as Cao Cao."

Re: Comprehensive Biography for Sima Zhao

Unread postby Sun Fin » Sun Apr 14, 2019 12:25 pm

Another great bio DaoLun! Made the 90 mins I spent on a train this morning more bearable!
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!
User avatar
Sun Fin
Librarian of Shen Zhou
 
Posts: 7668
Joined: Sat Nov 10, 2007 9:20 pm
Location: Vicar Factory

Re: Comprehensive Biography for Sima Zhao

Unread postby Jia Nanfeng » Sun Apr 14, 2019 2:12 pm

Excellent biography. Thank you for sharing! :pika:
User avatar
Jia Nanfeng
Sage
 
Posts: 287
Joined: Sun Oct 22, 2017 6:30 pm


Return to Sanguo Yanyi Symposium

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot] and 12 guests

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