Zizhi Tongjian: The Jin Dynasty (Part 2)

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BOOK 107

Unread postby Taishi Ci 2.0 » Sun Oct 07, 2018 9:51 pm


The Twelfth Year of Taiyuan (The Dinghai Year, 387 AD)


1. In spring, the first month, on the day Yisi (February 12th), Zhu Xu was appointed as Jin’s Inspector of Qingzhou and Yanzhou, and he was stationed at Pengcheng in place of Xie Xuan. Zhu Xu asked to move his base to Huaiyin, and the Jin court agreed. Xie Xuan was appointed as Interior Minister of Kuaiji.


(Zhu Xu asked to change his base to Huaiyin because of the newly-risen power of Later Yan. They were certain to advance and capture the region south of the Yellow River, and since the road from Jiankang to Pengcheng was very far, reinforcements would not be able to reach Zhu Xu in time if anything happened.

Xie Xuan was shown special honor by being given this interior post.)


2. On the day Dingwei (February 14th), a general amnesty was declared in Jin.


3. Murong Chui reviewed his soldiers at the Yellow River. The Prince of Gaoyang, Murong Long, said to him, "Wen Xiang's followers are just pale-faced scholars, no more than a flock of birds. They believe that with the line of the Yellow River to guard them, they can be safe. But if our grand army will cross over the river, then their banners will tremble and fall, and they will not fight against us." Murong Chui agreed.

On the day Wuwu (February 25th), he sent out the General Who Guards The North, Lan Han, and the General Who Protects The Army, Ping You. They crossed over the Yellow River forty li west of Qiaoniao, while Murong Long arrayed the main body on the northern bank. As expected, Wen Pan and Wen Kai fled and gathered in a city. Ping You pursued and attacked them, and he greatly routed them. During the night, Wen Xiang led his wife and children to flee to Pengcheng, while more than thirty thousand of his households all surrendered to Yan.

Murong Chui appointed the Prince of Taiyuan, Murong Kai, as Inspector of Yanzhou, and he was stationed at Dong'a.


(Wei Zhao remarked, "To review means to display. One displays one’s soldiers in order to show one's martial might."

Dong'a must have been the city that Wen Xiang’s forces had gathered at.)


4. Before, when Murong Chui had been at Chang'an, he and Fu Jian had once been been talking while holding hands. After Murong Chui left Fu Jian, the 宂從僕射, Guang Zuo, said to Fu Jian, "Is Your Majesty not inclined to doubt Murong Chui? I tell you that he not will be your subordinate for very long." Fu Jian mentioned this to Murong Chui.

Later, when Fu Pi abandoned Ye and fled to Jinyang, Guang Zuo and two others, the Gentleman-Attendant of the Yellow Gate, Feng Fu, and the Administrator of Julu, Feng Quan, all fled to Jin. This Feng Quan was the son of Feng Yi. After Murong Chui resumed his siege of Ye, a former Qin minister, Zhu Su of Xihe, and others each fled to Jin with their own soldiers. The Jin court appointed Guang Zuo and the others as Administrators of commandaries north of the Yellow River, and they made their camps at Jibei and Puyang. They were under the command of Wen Xiang. When Wen Xiang was defeated, all of them came to surrender to the Yan army. Murong Chui pardoned them, and treated them well just as before.

When he saw Guang Zuo among them, he wept so much that he soaked his lapels. Murong Chui said to Guang Zuo, "The King of Qin treated us so well, and I in turn did my utmost on his behalf. But the two Dukes (Fu Pi and Fu Hui) suspected me, and fearing for my life, I turned my back on him. Every time I think about it, I cannot sleep at night." And Guang Zuo was also deeply touched with sorrow.

Murong Chui tried to reward Guang Zuo with gold and silks, but Guang Zuo firmly declined them. Murong Chui said, "So then, you still suspect me?"

Guang Zuo replied, "What I did before, I did purely out of loyalty. Never did I think that you would dwell on that comment even until now. For me to shirk that would be death!"

Murong Chui said, "It is because of your loyalty that you declined what I offered before. I was only joking just now." And Murong Chui treated him even better than before, appointing him as a Regular Palace Attendant.


(Some versions include the phrase "After Murong Chui went out".

Fu Pi's flight to Jinyang is mentioned in Book 106, in the tenth year of Taiyuan (385.46).

Guang Zuo had followed Fu Pi to Ye, as mentioned in Book 105, in the ninth year (384.56).

Feng Yi had served Former Yan, and Former Yan's rise at Changli was thanks to his efforts.

Murong Chui had begun his siege of Ye in Book 105, in the ninth year (384.11).

Jibei and Puyang were both commandaries. The first character of Puyang, 濮, is pronounced "bu (b-u)".

Guang Zuo and the others are described as being 羈 to Wen Xiang. Yan Shigu remarked, "羈 means to be subordinate to another."

The "two Dukes" were the Duke of Changle, Fu Pi, and the Duke of Pingyuan, Fu Hui. Murong Chui's poor relationships with them are mentioned in Book 105, in the ninth year (384).

In Murong Chui's last quote, he borrows the words of Confucius.

Guang Zuo was a eunuch in the Former Qin court, and this was why Murong Chui now appointed him as Regular Palace Attendant.)


5. Zhai Liao sent his son Zhai Zhao to invade Chenliu and Yingchuan commandaries. Zhu Xu sent his general Qin Ying to attack Zhai Zhao and drive him off.


6. The new Emperor of Qin, Fu Deng, honored his concubine Lady Mao as his Empress, and he appointed the Prince of Bohai, Fu Yi, as Crown Younger Brother. This Lady Mao was the daughter of Mao Xing.

Fu Deng sent envoys to appoint the Prince of Donghai, Fu Zuan, as Commissioner Bearing Credentials, Commander of all military affairs, Grand Instructor, acting Grand Marshal, and Prince of Lu. Fu Zuan's younger brother Fu Shinu was appointed as Grand General Who Nurtures The Army, Governor of Bingzhou, and Duke of Shuofang. But Fu Zuan angrily said to the envoys, "The Prince of Bohai is our late lord's son. How is it that the Prince of Nan'an (Fu Deng) did not place him on the throne, but set himself up instead?"

Fu Zuan’s Chief Clerk, Wang Lü, remonstrated with him, saying "The Prince of Nan'an has already established himself, and there is no means of changing that now. Furthermore, the invaders and the caitiffs have not yet been conquered. We cannot have members of the royal family feuding with one another." So Fu Zuan accepted the appointments.

At this time, several commanders were aligned with Fu Zuan. Among them were the Lushi leader Pengpeigu, the Xiongnu Zhuge leader Dongcheng, Zhang Longshi, and a leader of the Qiang of Xinping, Lei Wudi. Altogether, Fu Zuan had more than a hundred thousand soldiers.


(With Fu Deng and Fu Zuan joining their soldiers, their power and influence began to increase, and this was why these commanders joined them.)


7. Yao Chang relocated thirty thousand gentry households from Qinzhou to Anding.


(In the previous year, Yao Chang had relocated the people of Anding to repopulate Chang'an. Now, he relocated the gentry of Qinzhou to repopulate Anding. This must have been because when Yao Chang had first risen in revolt, Anding had been his base, but now he wanted to use Chang'an as his capital. This was the reason why he gradually began relocating people from near and far.)


8. Earlier, a native of Anci county, Qi She, had gathered a host of more than eight thousand families and captured Xinzha, then submitted to Yan. Murong Chui had appointed Qi She as Administrator of Wei commandary.

But now, Qi She rebelled against Yan in favor of the Jin commander Zhang Yuan. Zhang Yuan led more than ten thousand soldiers to advance and camp at Wengkou in Zhu'a, where he summoned Zhai Liao, so that both of them could support Qi She.


(During Former Han, Anci county was part of Bohai commandary. During Later Han, it was part of the Guangling princely fief, and during Jin, it was part of the Yan princely fief.

Xinzha must have been in Wei commandary.

During Han, Zhu'a county was part of Pingyuan commandary, and during Jin, it was part of Jinan commandary. Zhang Yuan advanced from Taishan to camp there. Liu Xu remarked, "Yucheng county in Jizhou was the Han dynasty’s Zhu’a county. In the first year of the Tianbao reign era (742), its name was changed." Song Bai remarked, "Zhu'a was the same as Dong'a. The ancient state of Zhu was founded by the Yellow Emperor's descendants. The ancients called it Dong'a, as did the state of Qi. The Han dynasty named it Zhu'a county; its capital city was two li northeast of modern Fengqi county. The Tang dynasty changed its name to Yucheng.")


9. Murong Long said to Murong Chui, "Xinzha is a firm redoubt. If you attack it, you will not be able to take it easily. But if you leave your soldiers camped under the walls of the city, that will give Zhang Yuan time to gather the refugees to him and summon the Dingling from the west, and he would become a very grave danger. However, although Zhang Yuan currently has many soldiers, they are all newly attached to him, and they do not yet have the strength to fight. Since Zhang Yuan is headed for Xinzha, you should attack him first. Zhang Yuan and his sons are known for their bravery and boldness, so they could not bear to flee you or avoid a battle. You can capture them in a single fight. Once Zhang Yuan is routed, then Qi She will not be able to maintain his position."

Murong Chui agreed.


(By "the Dingling", Murong Long meant Zhai Liao.)


10. In the second month, Murong Chui sent the Prince of Fanyang, Murong De, the Prince of Chenliu, Murong Shao, and the Dragon-Soaring General, Zhang Chong, to lead twenty thousand horse and foot to join together with Murong Long and attack Zhang Yuan.

When the army arrived at Doucheng, more than twenty li from Wengkou, they loosened the saddles on their horses and paused to rest. Zhang Yuan led his soldiers to move against them at once, and the Yan soldiers were shocked and afraid. Murong De's soldiers ran away, but Murong Long compelled his soldiers not to move. When Zhang Yuan's son Zhang Gui charged forward out of the army’s formation, Murong Long sent his Left and Right 王末s to counter-attack him, and they beheaded him. Then Murong Long slowly advanced to battle, and Zhang Yuan's soldiers had to retreat.

Murong De had to go more than a li before he could rein in his soldiers and bring them back to join Murong Long's men. He said to Murong Long, "The enemy's morale is very keen. We should not be quick to engage them."

Murong Long replied, "Zhang Yuan pushed his men ahead and did not prepare any defenses for himself because he was expecting a great victory. But my soldiers were hemmed in by the Yellow River's fords behind them, and forced into such a position, they had to fight to defend themselves. That was why they were able to resist the enemy's attack. Now our foes, denied their expected victory, have lost their original zeal; they are only thinking of going this way or thought, and they cannot put up much resistance. So we should attack them at full force."

Murong De said, "I shall follow your lead." So they advanced, and fought again at Wengkou. They greatly routed the enemy, taking more than 7,800 heads. Zhang Yuan escaped and went to guard Sanbukou. The Yan soldiers advanced to Licheng, and many of the fortified places in the counties and commandaries of Qingzhou, Yanzhou, and Xuzhou surrendered to them. Murong Chui appointed Murong Shao as Inspector of Qinzhou, and he was stationed at Licheng. Murong De and the others led the army back.

A native of Xinzha, Tong Luan, arrested Qi She and handed him over. Murong Chui executed Qi She and his sons, but everyone else was left as before.


(Murong Long's reasoning was that the soldiers would have the river crossing as a danger to them. A powerful enemy would be before them, and retreating meant death by drowning, so they would each wish to fight of their own accord.

Ever since Han, Licheng county had been part of Jinan commandary.

Events unfolded just as Murong Long had predicted.

The Sound Catalog of Tang states, "冬 Tong is a surname.")


11. In the third month, Fu Deng appointed Dou Chong as Governor of Southern Qinzhou, Yang Ding as Governor of Yizhou, Yang Bi as Minister of Works and Governor of Lianzhou, and Qifu Guoren as Grand General, Grand Chanyu, and Prince of Yuanchuan.


(The Tongdian states, "Yuanchuan is in Wuquan county in Lanzhou, near the Greater and Lesser Yu Valleys." I (Hu Sanxing) believe the Yuanchuan mentioned in this passage is the same place which the Tongdian refers to.)


12. In Yan, a native of Shanggu commandary, Wang Min, killed the Administrator there, Feng Ji. Meanwhile, a native of Dai commandary, Xu Qian, drove out the Administrator there, Jia Run. Both of them went over to the Wuhuan warlord Liu Xian.


(This was why Later Yan later attacked Liu Xian.)

Despite having the same name, this Xu Qian is not to be confused with Tuoba Gui’s minister Xu Qian.


13. Yan's Prince of Lelang, Murong Wen, was appointed as Deputy Director of the Right of the Masters of Writing.


14. In summer, the fourth month, on the day Wuchen (May 6th), Emperor Xiaowu honored his mother Li Lingrong as Consort Dowager, and she was treated with the same rites for an Empress Dowager.


15. Later Qin's General Who Conquers The West, Yao Shuode, felt that his position was threatened by Yang Ding, so he fell back to defend Jingyang. Yang Ding and Fu Zuan jointly attacked him, and they fought a battle at Jingyang, where Yao Shuode was greatly defeated. Then Yao Chang marched from Yinmi to reinforce him, so Fu Zuan fell back to camp at Fulu.


(During Former Han, Jingyang county was part of Anding commandary. During Later Han and Jin it had been abolished, but Former Qin revived it as part of Longdong commandary. The Tongdian states, "Han's Jingyang county was at the capital city of Jingyang county in modern Pingliang commandary."

Yinmi county was part of Anding commandary. During Yin (Shang), it was the state of Mi.

Regarding Fulu, there was a Fucheng county in Tang's Fangzhou; this was the same place.)


16. Murong Chui returned from Qiaoniao to Zhongshan. It was then that Murong Rou, Murong Sheng, and Murong Hui arrived from Zhangzi. So on the day Gengzi (?), Murong Chui declared a general amnesty.

Murong Chui asked Murong Sheng, "What are the feelings of the people in Zhangzi like? Could I capture it?"

Murong Sheng replied, "The western army is full of confusion, and the people there long to return east again. Your Majesty need merely practice benevolent government and await them. As soon as your grand army approaches, the people will certainly cast aside their spears and come to you, just like a filial son returning to his compassionate father."

Murong Chui was delighted to hear this.

On the day Guiwei (May 21st), Murong Chui appointed Murong Rou as Prince of Yangping, Murong Sheng as Duke of Changle, and Murong Hui as Duke of Qinghe.


(Murong Rou and the others had fled from Zhangzi in the previous year; only now did they arrive at Zhongshan.

Some versions record the day of Murong Chui's amnesty as the day Gengchen (May 18th).

Murong Chui was happy that his son and grandsons had safely returned east again, and this was why he issued the amnesty.)


17. A native of Gaoping commandary, Zhai Chang, arrested Yan’s Administrator there, Xu Hanyuan, and surrendered the commandary to Zhai Liao. Murong Chui said to his generals, "With the forces of a single city, Zhai Liao is able to shift between each of the three states (Jin, Yan, and Western Yan). We are compelled to campaign against him."

In the fifth month, Murong Chui appointed the Prince of Zhangwu, Murong Zhou, as Chief of all military affairs and ordered him to support the Crown Prince, Murong Bao, in guarding Zhongshan. Murong Chui himself led his generals south to attack Zhai Liao, with Murong Kai as the Commander of the Vanguard. The soldiers of Zhai Liao’s army were all natives of the regions of Yan and Zhao, and when they heard that Murong Kai was coming, they all said, "He is the son of the Prince of Taiyuan (Murong Ke), our own parent!" And they all went over to him. Zhai Liao was afraid, and he sent a messenger asking to submit to Yan. Murong Chui appointed Zhai Liao as Governor of Xuzhou and Duke of Henan. He came to the border at Liyang, accepted Zhai Liao's submission, and then returned.


(The "three states" were Jin, Later Yan, and Western Yan.

Murong Kai's father Murong Ke had governed Former Yan, and the people of the Yan and Zhao regions cherished him; this is why they said such things.)


18. A native of Jingxing county, Jia Bao, recruited and gathered more than five thousand of the Dingling from the northern mountains, Zhai Yao and others. They launched a surprise attack against Zhongshan during the night, and captured the outer walls of the city. Murong Zhou led irregular troops outside, while Murong Bao raised a clamor from the inside. They both attacked the rebels and greatly routed them, capturing the whole army. Only Jia Bao and Zhai Yao escaped alone on horseback.


(Jingxing county was part of Changshan commandary.)


19. Liu Xian held expansive territory, and his soldiers were strong. He was renowned among those in the north. But at this time, he and his brothers fought with one another.

Tuoba Gui’s Chief Clerk, Zhang Gun, said to him, "Liu Xian's ambition is conquest. If we do not take advantage of the dissension among his forces now to conquer him first, he will certainly pose a threat later on. However, we cannot defeat him alone. Please ask Yan to help us in attacking him."

Tuoba Gui agreed, so he sent An Tong to Yan again to beg for another army.


(Tuoba Gui had already been bolstered by the defections of Liu Nuzhen and Liu Feini (Book 106, 386.15 and 386.35), and this was why Zhang Gun said this.

Tuoba Gui had earlier sent An Tong to beg for an army from Later Yan to help against Tuoba Kudei (Book 106, 386.40), and this was why this passage says he was sent An Tong to visit Later Yan "again".)

袞常參大謀,決策幃幄,太祖器之,禮遇優厚。袞每告人曰:「昔樂毅杖策於燕昭,公達委身於魏武,蓋命世難可期,千載不易遇。主上天姿傑邁,逸志凌霄,必能囊括六合,混一四海。夫遭風雲之會,不建騰躍之功者,非人豪也。」遂策名委質,竭誠伏事。時劉顯地廣兵強,跨有朔裔,會其兄弟乖離,共相疑阻。袞言於太祖曰:「顯志大意高,希冀非望,乃有參天貳地,籠罩宇宙之規。吳不并越,將為後患。今因其內釁,宜速乘之。若輕師獨進,或恐越逸。可遣使告慕容垂,共相聲援,東西俱舉,勢必擒之。然後總括英雄,撫懷遐邇,此千載一時,不可失也。」太祖從之。(Book of Northern Wei 24, Biography of Zhang Gun)

Zhang Gun often advised Tuoba Gui on great plans, developing policies and strategies within Tuoba Gui's own tent. Tuoba Gui appreciated him, and treated him with great courtesy and respect.

Zhang Gun was always telling people, "In former times, Yue Yi wielded authority and developed plans for King Zhao of Yan, and Gongda (Xun You) was a close assistant to Wu of Wei (Cao Cao). Thus were they able to deal with the difficulties of the age in a timely manner and encounter the rarest of achievements. Now our sovereign has been blessed with numerous talents, and he has unsurpassed ambitions that soar to the heavens. He will surely be able to take all the Six Directions within his grasp and unite all within the Four Seas. When someone finds themself in an age of turmoil, unless they establish vaulting achievements, they are no one of worth."

So Zhang Gun gave his all to develop his plans and his reputation, and he tended to his affairs with full devotion.

At this time, Liu Xian possessed abundant territory and strong soldiers, and he stood astride the regions of Shuo and Yi. But he was feuding with his brothers, and they were all suspicious and wary of each other. Zhang Gun said to Tuoba Gui, "Liu Xian has grand ambitions and lofty goals, and he has uncommon hopes and expectations for himself; he aims to reach to the sky and cover the earth, holding all the world in his net. In ancient times, when the state of Wu did not conquer Yue when it had the opportunity, Yue was the one that conquered Wu in the end. Now we see that Liu Xian is current dealing with internal disputes, so we should quickly take advantage of him. However, if you were to rush forward on your own, I worry that you might still fail. But you could send an envoy to inform Murong Chui of the situation and join together with him to attack from both east and west. Then you would certainly overcome Liu Xian. Afterwards, you could gather together heroes to you and comfort and cherish those living near and far. This is the opportunity of a lifetime; you cannot let it slip away."

Tuoba Gui heeded his advice.


20. The Jin court summoned a hermit from Kuaiji, Dai Kui, but Dai Kui kept refusing and would not come. When the counties and commandaries there continued to hound him, Dai Kui fled to hide in Wu commandary.

Xie Xuan wrote a petition to the court stating, "Dai Kui is 'living in retirement to study his aims'. And with the royal mandate not yet being enforced throughout the realm, he does not want to endure the hardships of such a life in office. Since Your Majesty already treasures and appreciates Dai Kui so much, you should let him ensure he maintains both his life and his reputation. I ask that you rescind the order to summon him."

Emperor Xiaowu permitted it. This Dai Kui was the elder brother of Dai Lu.


(The Analects has the phrase, "Living in retirement to study their aims. (16.11)"

Xie Xuan was the Interior Minister of Kuaiji, and this was why he submitted this petition on Dai Kui's behalf.

Dai Lu is last mentioned in Book 104, in the fourth year of Taiyuan (379.7).)


21. Fu Deng appointed his elder brother Fu Tongcheng as Minister Over The Masses, acting Prefect of the Masters of Writing, and Prince of Yingchuan. He appointed his younger brother Fu Guang as Chief of the Palace Secretariat and Prince of Ancheng. He appointed his son Fu Chong as Deputy Director of the Left of the Masters of Writing and Prince of Dongping.


22. Murong Chui returned from Liyang to Zhongshan.


23. Wu Shen killed Yan's Administrator of Qinghe, Ding Guo. A native of Zhangwu commandary, Wang Zu, killed Yan’s Administrator there, Bai Qin. And a native of Bohai commandary, Zhang Shen, captured Gaocheng and rebelled against Yan. Murong Chui ordered Murong Wen to campaign against these threats.


(Gaocheng county was part of Bohai commandary. Li Xian remarked, "The capital city of Gaocheng was in the south of Yanshan county in modern Cangzhou.")


24. Qifu Guoren led thirty thousand cavalry to surprise attack the tribes of the three Xianbei chieftains Migui, Yugou, and Tilun at Liuquan. In autumn, the seventh month, he fought with Mei Yigan and Jinxi at Kehunchuan. Mei Yigan and Jinxi were greatly defeated, and the three tribes all surrendered to him.


(Migui led one tribe, Yugou led another tribe, and Tilun led the third tribe.

Liuquan was at Gaoping.

According to the Chronicles of the Book of Jin, when Qifu Guoren attacked the three tribes, Mei Yigan and Jinxi joined their forces to surprise attack him in turn, and this was why it says they met in battle at Kehunchuan. That place was in the northeast of Yongshi county in Tianshui commandary.)


25. Fu Deng's army was at Wating. Yao Chang attacked the commander Pengpei Gu's fortress, and took it. Pengpei Gu fled to Xingcheng. Yao Chang returned to Yinmi, and appointed his Crown Prince, Yao Xing, to guard Chang'an.


(Pengpei Gu was a member of the Lushi Hu people. He had set up his fortress at Er county.

The Tongdian states, "Xingcheng is in the west of Fangzhou.")


26. Yan's Prince of Zhao, Murong Lin, campaigned against Wang Min at Shanggu and beheaded him.


27. Liu Weichen sent horses to Yan as tribute, but Liu Xian plundered them. Murong Chui was furious, and he sent Murong Kai to lead soldiers to help Murong Lin attack Liu Xian. They greatly routed Liu Xian, who fled to the western hills of Mayi. Tuoba Gui led soldiers to join with Murong Lin and attack Liu Xian at Mi Marsh, and Liu Xian was routed again. Liu Xian then fled to Western Yan, while Murong Lin gathered up all the rest of his soldiers, and captured thousands and tens of thousands of horses, cattle, and sheep.


(According to the Annals of Emperor Daowu (Tuoba Gui) in the Book of Northern Wei, Mi Marsh was south of Mayi.

Now that Liu Xian was finished, the Tuoba clan began to grow stronger. Speaking from the side of the Murong clan, they would have done better not to save Northern Wei these two times, since that would have prevented Northern Wei from bringing their own state to ruin.)

後太祖討顯于馬邑,追至彌澤,大破之。衞辰與慕容垂通好,送馬三千匹於垂,垂遣慕容良迎之。顯擊敗良軍,掠馬而去。垂怒,遣子麟、兄子楷討之,顯奔馬邑西山。麟輕騎追之,遂奔慕容永於長子。部眾悉降於麟,麟徙之中山。(Book of Northern Wei 23, Biography of Liu Xian)

Later, Tuoba Gui campaigned against Liu Xian at Mayi. He pursued him to Mi Marsh and greatly routed him.

Liu Weichen had established good relations with Murong Chui, and he sent three thousand horses to him. Murong Chui sent Murong Liang to come accept the horses. But Liu Xian attacked and defeated Murong Liang's army, then stole the horses and left. Furious, Murong Chui sent his son Murong Lin and his nephew Murong Kai to campaign against Liu Xian, who fled to the western hills of Mayi. Murong Lin pursued him with light cavalry, and Liu Xian fled to Murong Yong at Zhangzi. His forces all surrendered to Murong Lin, who relocated them to Zhongshan.

太祖遂破走顯。(Book of Northern Wei 24, Biography of Zhang Gun)

Tuoba Gui routed Liu Xian and drove him away.


28. Lü Guang's generals Peng Huang and Xu Jiong attacked Zhang Dayu at Lintao and routed him. Zhang Dayu fled to Guangwu, and Wang Mu fled to Jiankang. In the eighth month, the people of Guangwu captured Zhang Dayu and sent him to Guzang, where he was beheaded.

Wang Mu surprise attacked and captured Jiuquan, where he proclaimed himself Grand General and Governor of Liangzhou.


(Zhang Dayu's flight to Lintao is mentioned in the previous year, in Book 106 (386.53).)


29. On the day Xinsi (September 16th), Emperor Xiaowu appointed his son Sima Dezong as Crown Prince. A general amnesty was declared in Jin.


30. Murong Chui appointed Liu Xian's younger brother Liu Keni as King of the Wuhuan. He consoled Liu Keni’s people, and relocated more than eight thousand tribes to Zhongshan.


31. Qin's Administrator of Pingyi, Lan Du, led twenty thousand soldiers from Pinyang into Hening, where he plotted with Fu Zuan to attack Chang'an. But Fu Zuan's younger brother Fu Shinu urged Fu Zuan to declare himself Emperor. When Fu Zuan would not agree, Fu Shinu killed Fu Zuan and took his place. This caused Lan Du to break off relations with Fu Shinu.

Then the ruler of Western Yan, Murong Yong, attacked Lan Du. Lan Du sent a messenger and sought aid from Later Qin, and Yao Chang wished to go in person to save him. His Prefect of the Masters of Writing, Yao Min, and his Deputy Director of the Left, Yin Wei, said to him, "Fu Deng is nearby at Wating. If you make a move now, he will take advantage of your absence to attack our rear."

But Yao Chang replied, "Fu Deng has a great many soldiers now, and he cannot get them under his control in a single day and night (or, they cannot reach us in a single day and night). And Fu Deng is slow to act and hesitant to decide. He is certainly unable to lightly move his army deep into our territory. Within two months, I will definitely rout the rebels and then return. Even if Fu Deng comes, he will be unable to do anything."

In the ninth month, Yao Chang's army reached Niyuan. Fu Shinu counter-attacked him, but was greatly defeated, and he fled to the Xianbei. Yao Chang gathered up Fu Shinu's soldiers, and Dongcheng and the others all surrendered to him.


(Pinyang county had been created by Former Qin's Duke Li (Fu Sheng). Since Han, it had been part of Pingyi commandary. Ying Shao remarked, "This region was north of the Pin River, thus the name Pinyang (‘north of the Pin River’)." According to the Chronicles of the Book of Jin, Hening was in the southeast of Xingcheng, north of the mountain ranges.

Some versions say that Lan Du "sent a messenger" to Later Qin.

In the sentence about Fu Deng, the character 制 should be 至 (that is, "they cannot come here in a single day and night").

The Geographical Records of the Book of Han states that Niyang county was in Beidi commandary. Ying Shao's Annotations states, "The Pi River comes from Yuji among the northern Man tribes."

With the defeat of Fu Zuan and his brother, Fu Deng now stood alone.)


32. Fu Deng advanced and captured Hu Kong’s fortress. The tribes and the native people came to him, more than a hundred thousand.


(This was the fortress that Qin’s Colonel of Camped Cavalry, Hu Kong, had built. It was in Xinping commandary.)


33. In winter, the tenth month, Zhai Liao once again rebelled against Yan. He sent soldiers under Wang Zu and Zhang Shen to attack and raid Qinghe and Pingyuan commandaries.


34. Yao Chang advanced to attack Murong Yong west of the Yellow River, and Murong Yong fled. But Lan Du then arrayed his soldiers to hold to his defenses, so Yao Chang attacked him. In the twelfth month, he captured Lan Du, and then returned to Xingcheng.


(This passage calls Murong Yong "the King of Western Yan" when it should be "the lord of Western Yan".

The specific location of this battle was at Longmen in Huayin county, which was west of the Yellow River.)


35. Yao Fangcheng attacked the fortress of Qin's Inspector of Yongzhou, Xu Song. He took it, and captured Xu Song.

When Yao Fangcheng listed Xu Song’s offenses, Xu Song reviled him, saying, "Your Yao Chang has committed a crime deserving of ten thousand deaths. Many years ago, Fu Huangmei wanted to behead him, but our late lord (Fu Jian) stopped him. Yao Chang was entrusted with great roles both at court and on the borders, and he received the highest of favors and trust. Not even one’s personally-raised dog or horse would have received such grace. Yet Yao Chang committed the ultimate betrayal. How can you Qiang folk guide the new age? Put me to death at once, so I can see our late lord capture Yao Chang and deal with him in the world below!"

Yao Fangcheng was furious, and he subjected Xu Song to the three dismemberments. He buried alive all of Xu Song's soldiers, and gave out their wives and children as rewards to his own army.

Yao Chang dug up Fu Jian's body, whipped it countless times, stripped off its clothing and left it naked, wrapped it in thorns, then dug a pit and buried the body in it.


(Fu Huangmei had planned to execute Yao Chang following Yao Xiang's defeat, as mentioned in Emperor Mu's first year of Shengping (357).

The crime which Xu Song accused Yao Chang of was his murder of Fu Jian in the Buddhist temple at Xinping.

Some versions include the sentence "so I can see our late lord capture Yao Chang and deal with him in the world below" at the end of Xu Song's diatribe.

In the three dismemberments, first the legs are cut off, then the person is cut in half at the waist, and finally the neck is severed.

Fu Jian was buried in the area between Xu Song's and Hu Kong's fortresses. Since Xu Song's fortress had just fallen, this was why Yao Chang was able to dig up and whip Fu Jian's corpse in order to indulge his resentment.)


36. There was great hunger in Liangzhou. A head of rice cost five hundred 錢. People ate each other, and more than half the people died.


37. Lü Guang's Administrator of Xiping, Kang Ning, proclaimed himself King of the Xiongnu. He killed the Administrator of Huanghe, Qiang Xi, and rebelled. The Administrator of Zhangye, Peng Huang, also rebelled. To the east he formed ties with Kang Ning, and to the west he was in contact with Wang Mu.

Lü Guang wished to personally attack Peng Huang, but his generals all said, "Kang Ning is currently to the south, waiting for a dispute to break out so he can pounce. If Kang Ning comes before Peng Huang and Wang Mu can be punished, then you will be faced with enemies in front and rear, and you will certainly be in grave danger."

Lü Guang replied, "What you say does have merit. Yet if I do not advance against them now, that simply means I would be sitting here waiting for them to come against me. If the three invaders all join their soldiers together, and combine from east and west, nothing outside of this city would be under our control any longer. That would mean the end of everything. Now Peng Huang has only just rebelled, and he does not yet have any close bonds formed with Kang Ning and Wang Mu. If I move against him quickly, he will be relatively easy to capture."

So Lü Guang led thirty thousand cavalry, and they advanced along the roads at twice the usual pace. Once they arrived, they attacked Peng Huang for twenty days and then took his city, and Peng Huang was executed.


(At the end of Han, part of Jincheng commandary had been split off to form Xiping commandary. It was in Tang's Shanzhou.

Huanghe commandary had been created by the Zhang clan of Former Liang, and it must have also been within the territory of Shanzhou.

The "three invaders" were Kang Ning, Peng Huang, and Wang Mu.)


38. Before, when Wang Mu had raised troops in rebellion, he had sent a messenger seeking help from a hermit of Dunhuang, Guo Yu. Guo Yu sighed and said, "The people shall be buttoning their garments on the left soon. How can I ignore their pleas?" So he and his fellow from the same commandary, Suo Gu, raised soldiers in support of Wang Mu. They transported thirty thousand 石 of millet to keep them supplied.

Wang Mu appointed Guo Yu as Chief Clerk of the Left of the Greater Staff and General Who Directs The Army, and he appointed Suo Gu as Administrator of Dunhuang. However, Wang Mu later listened to slander and led troops to attack Suo Gu. Guo Yu remonstrated with Wang Mu, but to no avail. He greatly wept as he left the city, and he raised his hands in apology to the city, saying, "I shall never see you again!" He went back home and covered his face with a quilt. Refusing to speak to anyone, he did not eat and so starved himself.

When Lü Guang heard of all this, he said, "With those two caitiffs fighting one another, they’ve become just a pack of wild animals. We cannot shrink from the labor of a few battles now, when it means we might ‘gain lasting repose by one great effort’." So he led twenty thousand horse and foot to attack Jiuquan, and took it. He advanced to camp at Liangxing. Wang Mu led his soldiers to return east, but before he could arrive, his troops all scattered. Wang Mu fled alone on horseback, but the Prefect of Songma, Guo Wen, beheaded him and sent his head to Guzang.


("To gain lasting repose by one great effort" was an old proverb.

Liangxing commandary was created by the Zhang clan of Former Liang. It was in Changle county in Tang's Guazhou.

Songma county was part of Jiuquan commandary. It must have been created during Cao-Wei or Jin. 騂 is pronounced "song (s-ong)".

Lü Guang had newly taken the Hexi region, but he was plagued by internal rebellions and attacks from external enemies. Although he was victorious in many battles, he never gained a stable foundation, and so he was unable to pass on the territory to his descendants.)
Last edited by Taishi Ci 2.0 on Sun Oct 21, 2018 6:27 am, edited 3 times in total.
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BOOK 107

Unread postby Taishi Ci 2.0 » Sun Oct 07, 2018 9:55 pm


The Thirteenth Year of Taiyuan (The Wuzi Year, 388 AD)


1. In spring, the first month, Xie Xuan passed away. He was posthumously known as Duke Xianwu (“the Presented and Martial”) of Kangle.


(Kangle county was part of Yuzhang commandary.)


2. In the second month, Fu Deng's army was at Chaona, while Yao Chang's army was at Wudu.


(Since Han, Chaona county had been part of Anding commandary.

This Wudu was also within Anding. The Records of the Five Dynasties states, "Western Wei formed Anwu commandary from Chaona county.” Anwu was the old Han name for the county. The name Wudu must have come from this name Anwu.)


3. Zhai Liao sent his Marshal, Sui Qiong, to visit Yan and apologize for his crimes. But in light of his repeated betrayals, Murong Chui rejected this; he beheaded Sui Qiong and broke off relations. So Zhai Liao proclaimed himself Heavenly King of Wei, changed the reign era title to Jianguang, and established the imperial offices.


(眭 Sui is a surname. Yan Shigu states it is pronounced "sui (x-ui)". The Leipian dictionary states it is pronounced "yei (y-ei)".)


4. Yan's Inspector of Qingzhou, Murong Shao, felt threatened by Jin's Administrator of Pingyuan, Pilü Hun, so he fell back to camp at Huangshi Redoubt. Murong Chui then appointed Murong Shao as Inspector of Xuzhou. This Pilü Hun was the son of Pilü Yu. Due to the turmoil following the fall of Qin, he had seized control of the Qi region and then submitted to Jin.


(During the end of the Han dynasty, the Yellow Scarves had gathered together in this place to protect themselves, and that was why it was named Huangshi ("Yellow Scarves") Redoubt. The people of Qi called a fortress or rampart a 固 "redoubt". Since Murong Shao had fallen back from Licheng to camp there, that place was north of the city of Zhangqiu in Jinan commandary.

Pilü Yu, Duan Kan's talented commander, is mentioned in Book 100, in Emperor Mu's twelfth year of Yonghe (356.1).

This was why Murong De later killed Pilü Hun.)


5. In the third month, on the day Yihai (May 7th), Murong Chui appointed Murong Bao as chief of affairs of the Masters of Writing, letting him manage the government, while Murong Chui only attended to the broader decisions.


6. Murong Lin attacked Xu Qian and routed him. Xu Qian fled to Western Yan. Murong Lin abolished Dai commandary, and relocated all of the people there to Longcheng.


(Xu Qian's rebellion in alignment with Liu Xian is mentioned in the previous year (387.12).)


7. Since Du Jin had had such a large hand in Lü Guang having settled Liangzhou, Lü Guang appointed him as Administrator of Wuwei. He was treated with great honor and favor, and none of the other ministers were as well-respected.

At that time, Lü Guang's nephew Shi Cong arrived from Guanzhong. Lü Guang asked him, "What do the people of the Central Provinces say about my administration?"

Shi Cong replied, "I have only heard about what Du Jin has done, not what you have done, Uncle."

Because of that, Lü Guang became suspicious of Du Jin, and he killed him.


(Du Jin’s service on Lü Guang’s behalf is mentioned in Book 106, in the tenth year of Taiyuan (385).)


8. Lü Guang held a feast with his ministers, where he discussed the affairs of government. His Army Advisor, Duan Ye of Jingzhao, said, "Your Grace, you are too severe in applying the law."

Lü Guang said, "Wu Qi ruled without mercy, yet he made Chu strong. Shang Yang enforced harsh punishments, yet he made Qin rise."

Duan Ye replied, "Wu Qi brought grief upon himself, and Shang Yang caused his family to be ruined. In both causes, it was because of their ruthlessness. Your Grace, you have only just begun to establish your state. Even if you imitate the ‘brilliant road’ of Yao and Shun, I would still be worried that you might not be successful. But to go so far as to honor the methods of Wu Qi and Shang Yang? How then can you hope to win over the people of this province?"

Lü Guang changed his expression and apologized to Duan Ye.


(Wu Qi's life is mentioned in Book 1, in the fifteenth year of the reign of King An of Zhou (387 BC). Shang Yang's life is mentioned in Book 2, in King Xian's thirty-first year (338 BC).

The Book of Poetry has the verse, "The high hill is looked up to; the Jing road is easy to be travelled on. (Che Xia.5)" Mao Chang remarked, "This 景 Jing means grand." Zheng Xuan remarked, "景 Jing means bright." So it must be that for the ancients, one who has high virtues should be respected and looked up to, and a road that has clear paths should be followed.

When Juqu Mengxun and his brothers raised troops in revolt and acclaimed Duan Ye to be their leader, it was because the people of Liangzhou came to him in respect for this sort of rhetoric.)


9. In summer, the fourth month, on the day Wuwu (June 19th), Zhu Xu was appointed as Jin’s Commander of military affairs in Sizhou, Yongzhou, Lianzhou, and Qinzhou, and as Inspector of Yongzhou. He was stationed at Luoyang. The Prince of Qiao, Sima Tian, inherited Zhu Xu's original positions as Commander of military affairs in the four provinces of Yanzhou, Jizhou, Youzhou, and Bingzhou, and as Inspector of Qingzhou and Xuzhou.


(Some versions emphasize that Sima Tian was the Commander of "the four provinces of" etc.)


10. Qifu Guoren routed the Xianbei leader Yuezhi Chilu at Pingxiang, and captured his son Yuezhi Jiegui.


(During Han, Pingxiang county was part of Tianshui commandary, and during Jin, it was part of Lüeyang commandary.

Yuezhi must have originally been the name of one of the Xianbei tribes; it later became a clan name.)


11. On the day Dinghai (?), Murong Chui honored his wife Lady Duan as his Empress, and he appointed Murong Bao as acting Grand Chanyu. This Lady Duan was the daughter of the Household Counselor with Golden Tassel of the Right, Duan Yi. Her younger sister was married to Murong De. This Duan Yi was the uncle of Murong Bao. Murong Chui posthumously named the original Lady Duan, his first wife, as Empress Chengzhao.


(This was why Murong Bao later hounded Lady Duan to death.

The original Lady Duan's death is mentioned in Book 100, in Emperor Mu's twelfth year of Shengping (358.17).)


12. In the fifth month, Qin's Crown Younger Brother, Fu Yi, passed away. He was posthumously named Prince Xian'ai (“the Presented and Mourned”).


13. Zhai Liao moved his base to Huatai.


(Zhai Liao moved from Liyang to Huatai because he had broken off relations with Later Yan, and he wished to use the Yellow River as a bulwark to defend himself. The city of Huatai was in the west of Baima county. It was the city of Linyan in the state of Zheng during the Spring and Autumn era, and it was in Tang's Huazhou.)


14. In the sixth month, Qifu Guoren passed away. He was posthumously known as Prince Xuanlie (“the Understanding and Zealous”), and his temple name was Liezu.

Qifu Guoren's son Qifu Gongfu was still young, so his ministers acclaimed Qifu Guoren's younger brother Qifu Gangui as Grand Commander, Grand General, Grand Chanyu, and King of Henan. A general amnesty was declared, and the reign era title was changed to Taichu.


(At this time, the Qifu clan held portions of Liangzhou south of the Yellow River, and this was why Qifu Gangui’s title was "of Henan (south of the Yellow River)."

This was why Qifu Gongfu later killed Qifu Gangui.)


15. Tuoba Gui routed the Kumo Xi people south of the Ruoluo River. In autumn, the seventh month, the Kumo Xi again surprise attacked the Wei camp, but Tuoba Gui routed them again.

These Kumo Xi people had originally been part of the Yuwen group, and they were of the same stock as the Khitans, though of a different origin. When their ancestors had been routed by Murong Huang, they had moved their residence to within Songmo.


(The New Book of Tang states, "The Xi were also an eastern Hu people. They were routed by the Xiongnu, and they sought refuge at Mount Wuwan. They were the descendants of the leader Tadun, whom Cao Cao killed.”

The Ruoluo River was the Raoyao River, which flowed through the Xi territory.

The country of the Khitans was forty li from east to west, reaching to the borders of the Zhenzhu border pass of the realm. As it advanced eastwards, the ground gradually became higher. The west was lush with pine trees, stretching for tens of lis, even into Pingzhou.)


16. Since the spring, Qin and Later Qin had been locked in stalemate. They had many battles, but both sides had their victories and defeats, and each side broke off and returned. Since Later Qin had not yet completed their conquest after all this time, many of the people of Guanxi began to go back over to Qin again.


17. Qifu Gangui honored his wife Lady Bian as Queen. He created the imperial offices, ruling in the Han style. He appointed his Marquis of Nanchuan, Chulian Qidou, as his Prime Minister. He appointed his Inspector of Lianzhou, Ti Juan, as his Imperial Secretary. He appointed Bian Rui of Jincheng as his Chief Clerk of the Left, and he appointed his Inspector of Eastern Qinzhou, Mi Yi, as his Chief Clerk of the Right. He appointed Zhai Qing of Wushi as his Marshal of the Left. He appointed his Prince of Lüeyang, Song Shou, as his Registrar. He appointed his cousin Qifu Kedan as Governor of Lianzhou, and he appointed his younger brothers Qifu Yizhou and Qifu Qujuan as Governors of Qinzhou and Hezhou.


(出連 Chulian was also the name of a tribe that became a clan name.

The Qifu clan organized their province of Eastern Qinzhou around Nan'an.

In Qifu Gangui's creation of these provincial governors, he did no more than distribute them between the Yellow River and the Long mountains.)


18. In the eighth month, Fu Deng appointed his son Fu Chong as Crown Prince, his son Fu Bian as Prince of Nan'an, and his son Fu Shang as Prince of Beihai.


19. Yan's General Who Protects The Army, Ping You, joined together with Murong Zhou to campaign against Wu Shen. They routed Wu Shen, who fled to guard Yimu.


(Since Han, Yimu county had been part of Qinghe commandary.)


20. Tuoba Gui secretly had ambitions of conquering Yan. He sent his Duke of Jiuyuan, Tuoba Yi, as an envoy to Zhongshan. Murong Chui asked Tuoba Yi, "Why did the Prince of Wei not come himself?"

Tuoba Yi replied, "Our past rulers served the Jin royal family, just as yours did, and for ages we have been as brothers. It is not unreasonable for a minister like me to now come to you as an envoy."

Murong Chui said, "I have now grown mighty enough to surpass the four seas. What is the use in speaking of such olden days?"

Tuoba Yi replied, "If Yan does not cultivate virtue and ceremony, but wishes to grow stronger through the use of military might, then there will soon be a confrontation, and there was no use in my coming here."

When Tuoba Yi returned, he said to Tuoba Gui, "The lord of Yan is growing old and frail, and their crown prince is dull and weak. Furthermore, their Prince of Fanyang (Murong De) thinks very highly of his own talents, and he could never serve as a minister to the young master. Once the lord of Yan is no more, they will be sure to experience internal difficulties. That is when they will be ripe for conquest. But it is not yet that time."

Tuoba Gui was pleased.

This Tuoba Yi was Tuoba Gui's nephew by his younger brother of the same mother, Tuoba Han (or, he was Tuoba Gui's cousin by his paternal uncle, Tuoba Han).


(Northern Wei and Later Yan were both of Xianbei origin. Their ancestors, Tuoba Liwei and Murong Shegui, had both served the Jin royal family.

At this time, Murong De considered himself without peer in the Later Yan royal family.

This was why Northern Wei later attacked Later Yan.

Some versions state that Tuoba Yi was "Tuoba Gui's cousin by his paternal uncle, Tuoba Han".)


21. In the ninth month, Qifu Gangui moved his capital to Jincheng.


22. Zhang Shen attacked Guangping, and Wang Zu attacked Leling. On the day Renwu (November 10th), Murong Long led his soldiers to campaign against them.


23. In winter, the tenth month, Yao Chang returned to Anding. Fu Deng then annexed Xinping, and led more than ten thousand soldiers to besiege Yao Chang's camp. But there was great wailing on all sides, and Yao Chang ordered those within his camp to add to the sound by wailing too, so Fu Deng retreated.


24. In the twelfth month, on the day Gengzi (January 27th of 389), Jin's Prefect of the Masters of Writing, Xie Shi, passed away. He was posthumously known as Duke Xiang (“the Beneficial”) of Nankang.


25. Murong Kai and Murong Lin led their soldiers to join with Murong Long at Hekou, where they attacked Zhang Shen. Wang Zu led the soldiers of his several ramparts to all come to save Zhang Shen. At night, they raided the Yan camp, but the Yan soldiers counter-attacked and drove them off.

Murong Long wished to pursue them. Murong Kai and Murong Lin said, "Wang Zu is an old bandit, and we fear he may be deceiving us in order to set an ambush. It would be better to wait and make sure of that."

But Murong Long replied, "They are no more than an unruly mob, a flock of birds that has all come at once, hoping to decide things in a single stroke. They have no established common bond that would compel them to both advance and retreat as one. Now that the battle has gone against them and they are on the run, the whole lot of them is beyond control. If we press our pursuit against them, we shall capture them all before having traveled more than a few li. Furthermore, Zhang Shen's only hope was in relying on Wang Zu to help him. Once Wang Zu is routed, then Zhang Shen shall have to surrender."

So he left Murong Kai and Murong Lin to contain Zhang Shen in his rampart, while he and Ping You attacked Wang Zu along different roads. By daylight, they had captured most of them and returned, and they displayed the heads of those they had captured to Zhang Shen. On the day Jiayin (February 10th of 389), Zhang Shen came out and surrendered, and Wang Zu also returned to admit to his crimes.


(The Water Classic states, "The Hengzheng River flows through Jiancheng county in Bohai commandary. It flows east, and on the left it meets with the Hutuo branch of the Yellow River at a crossing. It also flows northeast into Qinghe commandary, and this place is called Hekou." The Geographical Records of the Book of Northern Wei states, "The Zhang River flows through the west of Fuyang county, where the Heng River flows into it. This place is now called Hekou.")


26. Qin appointed the Prince of Yingchuan, Fu Tongcheng, as Grand Commandant.


(This Fu Tongcheng was Fu Deng's elder brother.)
"You have attacked us before, and we survived! You cannot defeat us. Submit!"
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Re: Zizhi Tongjian: The Jin Dynasty (Part 2)

Unread postby Taishi Ci 2.0 » Sun Oct 07, 2018 10:01 pm


The Fourteenth Year of Taiyuan (The Jichou Year, 389 AD)


1. In spring, the first month, Yan appointed Murong Rou to guard Xiangguo.


2. By now, Yan's Prince of Liaoxi, Murong Nong, had been at Longcheng for five years. Having put all affairs in order there, he submitted a petition stating, "Since I was ordered here to put down rebellions and guard the territory, my officers and soldiers have had several years of rest. Meanwhile, Qinzhou, Xuzhou, Jingzhou, and Yongzhou continue to be plagued by numerous invaders. I hope that someone may be dispatched here to take my place and allow me to return, so that I may fully exert what efforts I may offer. To live without wasted energy, and to die without regrets; that is what I desire!"

On the day Gengshen (February 16th), Murong Chui summoned Murong Nong and appointed him as Palace Attendant and Colonel-Director of Retainers. Murong Long was appointed as Commander of military affairs in Youzhou and Pingzhou, Grand General Who Conquers The North, and Governor of Youzhou. A Separate Administration terrace was set up at Longcheng, and Murong Long was placed in charge of the Masters of Writing for this separate administration. Ping You was also appointed as Murong Long's Chief Clerk in his capacity as Grand General Who Conquers The North, and the Cavalier In Regular Attendance, Feng Fu, was appointed as his Marshal; both of them were made Masters of Writing in his administration. Murong Long sustained and expanded the systems that Murong Nong had earlier put in place, and so the regions of Liao and Jie were settled.


(Murong Nong had been guarding Longcheng as a result of his assignments campaigning against the rebel Yu Yan and against Goguryeo, as mentioned in Book 106, in the tenth year of Taiyuan (385.65).

Liao and Jie meant the Liao River and Jieshi.)


3. Yao Chang had been defeated several times by the Qin army. He claimed that this was because they had received the aid of Fu Jian's spirit, so he set up a statue of Fu Jian in the midst of his own camp. He prayed to the statue, saying, "It was my elder brother Yao Xiang who compelled me to seek revenge. It was by his command that the misfortune at Xinping came to pass; I myself am blameless. Fu Deng is only Your Majesty's distant relative, yet he still seeks to have revenge for you. Could I have done any less for the sake of my own elder brother? Furthermore, it was none other than Your Majesty who encouraged me to establish myself by appointing me as Dragon-Soaring General, and I dare not disobey such a mandate! Thus have I set up this statue of Your Majesty here. I pray that Your Majesty shall keep no further account of my transgressions."

Fu Deng ascended a platform, from where he called out to Yao Chang from afar, "You were a servant who murdered his lord, yet now you make a statue of him and beg it for a blessing. How could you gain any benefit from that?" And in a great cry he shouted, "Why will Yao Chang, the rebel who murdered his lord, not come out and face me? Let me settle this with you!"

But Yao Chang did not comply.

Later on, since he did not gain any further advantage in battle, and there were several disturbances every night in his camp, Yao Chang cut the head off the statue of Fu Jian and sent it to Qin.


(Yao Xiang's defeat and execution by Former Qin is mentioned in Book 100, in Emperor Mu's first year of Shengping (357.5).

Fu Jian's murder at Xinping is mentioned in Book 106, in the tenth year of Taiyuan (385.44).

Fu Jian had appointed Yao Chang as Dragon-Soaring General in Book 105, in the eighth year of Taiyuan (383.5).)


4. Fu Deng appointed Qifu Gangui as Qin's Grand General, Grand Chanyu, and Prince of Jincheng.


5. On the day Jiayin (?), Tuoba Gui raided the Gaoche people and routed them.


6. In the second month, Lü Guang proclaimed himself King of the Three He's. He declared a general amnesty, and he changed his reign era title to Linjia. He further established the imperial offices.

At this time, Lü Guang's wife Lady Shi, his son Lü Shao, and his younger brother Lü Deshi came from Chouchi to Guzang. Lü Guang honored Lady Shi as Concubine, and he named Lü Shao as his heir.


(Lü Guang's style name was Shiming.

At this time, Lü Guang possessed the territory of Liangzhou and Hexi, but he could not yet lay claim to the region of the Three He's (Hedong, Henan, and Henei).

During the chaos around Chang'an (from Western Yan's attack), Lü Guang's family had fled to Chouchi to seek refuge with the Yang clan.))


7. On the day Guisi (March 21st), Tuoba Gui attacked the forces of Tutulin at the Nü River. He greatly routed Tutulin, and relocated all of his tribes before returning.


(The Nü River was west of the Ruoluo River, more than three thousand li from Pingcheng. Emperor Xianzu (Xianwen) of Northern Wei renamed it to Wuchuan.)


8. Fu Deng made a base for his supply train at Dajie. He then led more than ten thousand light cavalry to attack the Qiang leader Mizao Bao of Anding, and defeated him.


(Dajie was between Anding and Xinping.

The Bao in Mizao Bao's name, here written 保, should be 堡.)


9. In summer, the fourth month, Zhai Liao attacked Xingyang, and captured Jin's Administrator there, Zhang Zhuo.


10. Yan charged Murong Sheng with guarding Ji, where he restored and repaired the old palaces.


(Murong Jun had originally relocated the Former Yan capital from Longcheng to Ji, and this was why there were "old" palaces there.)


11. In the fifth month, a native of Qinghe commandary, Jin Zhan, beheaded Wu Shen and sent his head to Zhongshan.


(The outbreak of Wu Shen's rebellion is mentioned in Book 106, in the eleventh year of Taiyuan (386.46, 57).)


12. Qifu Gangui attacked Hounian's forces and greatly routed them.

At this time, many of the people from the regions of Qinzhou and Liangzhou, as well as the Xianbei, Qiang, and other tribes, began to come over to Qifu Gangui, and he granted all of them ranks and titles.


13. Yao Chang was defeated several times by Fu Deng. So he sent his General of the Central Army, Yao Chong, to surprise attack Dajie. But Fu Deng intercepted Yao Chong at Anqiu, and defeated him again.


(The Geographical Records of the Book of Northern Wei states, "Ancheng was in Yinpan county in Anding commandary.")


14. Murong De and Murong Lin attacked He Ne, and pursued him as far as Mount Wugen. Feeling weak and threatened, He Ne asked to surrender. He was relocated to Shanggu, and his younger brother He Lianggan was sent to Zhongshan as a hostage.


15. In autumn, the seventh month, Jin's Chief Clerk to the General of Agile Cavalry, Wang Shen, was appointed as Inspector of Jingzhou and Commander of military affairs in Jingzhou, Yizhou, and Ningzhou. This Wang Shen was the younger brother of Wang Guobao.


(Wang Shen’s given name 忱 is pronounced "shen (sh-en)".)

Wang Guobao was mentioned in Book 105, 383.22.


16. Fu Deng attacked Later Qin's General of the Right, Wu Zhong, and others at Pingliang and defeated them. In the eighth month, Fu Deng occupied Goutou Plains to threaten Anding. Yao Chang's generals all urged him to fight a decisive battle, but Yao Chang told them, "When weak invaders achieve success over strong enemies, it is because their soldiers fear for their families. I shall use this to plan how to capture them."

So he left Yao Min to guard Anding, while he himself led thirty thousand cavalry to launch a night attack against Fu Deng's supply camp at Dajie. They took the camp, and killed Empress Mao and the Prince of Nan'an, Fu Shang (or, the Prince of Nan'an, Fu Bian, and the Prince of Beihai, Fu Shang).They captured dozens of Fu Deng's esteemed commanders, and rounded up more than fifty thousand men and women and drove them back to their base.

Lady Mao was a woman both beautiful and brave, and she was adept at riding and archery. When the Later Qin soldiers entered her camp, she took up her bow and arrows and mounted her horse, leading a group of several hundred braves to fight back, and they killed more than seven hundred men. Only when their numbers dwindled and they could no longer put up a resistance did the Later Qin soldiers capture them. Yao Chang was about to take her as his woman, but Lady Mao castigated him, weeping as she said, "Yao Chang, first you murdered the Son of Heaven, and now you want to besmirch an Empress. How can the Yellow Heaven and the spirits of Earth put up with you?" So Yao Chang killed her.

Yao Chang's generals now wished to attack the Qin army because of the shock and alarm this situation had put them in, but Yao Chang told them, "Although Fu Deng's men are now in turmoil, they are still emboldened by their great rage. We cannot take them lightly." So he ended the attack.

Fu Deng collected his remaining men and withdrew to camp at Hu Kong's fortress. Yao Chang sent Yao Shuode to guard Anding, while he relocated more than a thousand families from Anding to Yinmi, and he sent his General Who Conquers The South, his younger brother Yao Jing, to guard it.


(Fu Deng suffered this defeat because he had brought the bulk of his forces to battle while leaving his supply base lightly defended.

Some versions say that Fu Deng's Prince of Nan'an was Fu Bian, and Fu Shang was his Prince of Beihai.

Fu Shang was Fu Deng's son.

Some versions write that Lady Mao led several hundred 力 instead of braves, and some versions write that they killed more than seven hundred men.

By the Son of Heaven, Lady Mao means when Yao Chang killed Fu Jian.

Victorious soldiers become proud, and furious soldiers become determined. Determination can overcome pride. There are many instances of soldiers who were initially defeated, but who ultimately achieved victory. Yao Chang understood the potential of soldiers, and this was why he gathered up his men and ended his attack.)


17. In the ninth month, on the day Gengwu (October 24th), Jin appointed the Deputy Director of the Left, Lu Na, as Prefect of the Masters of Writing.


18. Since Fu Deng had withdrawn to the east, Yao Chang sent Yao Shuode to form local administrative divisions in Qinzhou. He sent his cousin Yao Cháng to camp at Longcheng, Xing Nu to camp at Jicheng, and Yao Xiáng to camp at Lüeyang. But then Yang Ding attacked Longcheng and Jicheng and took them. He beheaded Yao Cháng and captured Xing Nu. Yao Xiáng abandoned Lüeyang and fled to Yinmi.

Yang Ding declared himself Governor of Qinzhou and Prince of Longxi. Qin confirmed these appointments and assisted him.


(During Han, Longcheng county had been part of Tianshui commandary. Jin had abolished it. At this time, it was part of Lüeyang commandary.)


19. In winter, the tenth month, Fu Deng appointed Dou Chong as Grand Marshal, Commander of military affairs in Longdong, and Governor of Yongzhou. Yang Ding was appointed as Prime Minister of the Left, Commander of all military affairs, and Governor of Qinzhou and Lianzhou, and Yang Bi was appointed as Commander of military affairs in Longyou and Governor of Southern Qinzhou and Yizhou. They made arrangements to attack Later Qin together. They also arranged for each of them to lead their forces for a meeting at Chang'an, along with the Chief of military affairs west of the Yellow River and Inspector of Bingzhou, Yang Zheng, and the Commander of military affairs east of the Yellow River and Inspector of Jizhou, Yang Kai.

Yang Zheng and Yang Kai were both natives of Hedong commandary. After Fu Pi's defeat, Yang Zheng and Yang Kai had gathered together hosts of several tens of thousands of refugee families. Yang Zheng had occupied the region west of the Yellow River, while Yang Kai had occupied the regions between the lakes and passes. They sent envoys asking Fu Deng for his instructions, and Fu Deng accepted their assistance.


(Some versions include the sentence "Yang Bi was appointed as Commander of military affairs in Longyou and Governor of Southern Qinzhou and Yizhou".

Following the loss of Dajie, Fu Deng's personal army's strength had been weakened, and this was why he made arrangements with Dou Chong and the others in order to jointly fight Later Qin.)


20. Yan appointed Murong Wen as Inspector of Jizhou. Zhai Liao sent the Dingling leader Gu Di to falsely surrender to Murong Wen in his tent. On the day Yiyou (November 8th), Gu Di struck Murong Wen and killed him, along with his Chief Clerk, Sima Qu. Gu Di then led two hundred guard households to flee towards Western Yan. Murong Long proclaimed at Xiangguo that he would hunt down Murong Wen's killers, and he captured all of them. Only Gu Di escaped. Murong Wen was posthumously known as Prince Dao (“the Grieved”).


(Later Yan's Inspector of Jizhou administered that territory from Xindu.

He Chengtian's Garden of Surnames mentions the surname 故 Gu.

Some versions add that Gu Di meet with Murong Wen "beneath his tent".)


21. In the eleventh month, Peng Xinian of Fuhan aligned himself with Qifu Gangui, who appointed him as Inspector of Northern Hezhou.


(Fuhan had long been the administrative center of Hezhou. But since Qifu Gangui had already formed a province of Hezhou within his original territory, with Qu Juan as its Governor, he had to place Fuhan in a separate Northern Hezhou, in order to make Peng Xinian its Inspector.)


22. At first, when Emperor Xiaowu had first assumed control of the government, he made his authority felt, and he had the stature of a ruler. But as time went on, he became addicted to wine and sensual pleasures, and he left affairs in the hands of the Prince of Langye, Sima Daozi. Sima Daozi was also fond of wine, and he and Emperor Xiaowu spent day and night indulging in wine and song.

Emperor Xiaowu also honored and exalted the Buddha, so he spent great sums of money on Buddhist causes, and his close attendants were all old nuns and Buddhist monks. Those around Emperor Xiaowu, becoming so familiar with him, squabbled with one another to grasp at power and colluded to seek favors. Bribes flowed freely, the ranks of officials became filled with those who had purchased their offices, and matters of justice and punishment were thrown into disorder and turmoil.

The Prefect of the Masters of Writing, Lu Na, looked up at the palace and sighed, "It is a good house, but that insipid brat wants to bring it crashing down!"

The Guard General of the Left Directing The Barracks, Xu Ying of Kuaiji, sent up a petition stating, "The government officials of the administrative bureaus and the military officers of the guards barracks have been mating with the servant girls, and they have children by them who are given the surnames of their mothers. They have been appointed as Administrators of commandaries and Prefects of counties regardless of their home districts or their place in the rank system, and some of them have even still retained their original offices from the capital. Even Buddhist monks and wet nurses are contending with each other to advance their relatives and partisans, not to mention taking bribes. With such people administering affairs and supervising soldiers, governance and education are no longer in order, the violent and immoral are not charged with crimes, restrictions and ordinances are not enforced, and robbers and thieves openly roam the roads. Although in past years edicts have been issued ordering officials to act with full rectitude, the matter has been so quibbled with that nothing has been enforced.

"From what I have heard, the Buddha was an honest, lofty, sublime, and modest god. But the Buddhist monks of today merely emulate his laws and dress themselves in the clothes of his order; they cannot even adhere to the bare commands of the Five Precepts, much less approach refinement! They mislead their followers, chase after status for themselves, take from the common people, and claim money in the form of tithes, all without conducting themselves as befitting those who request alms."

The petition was accepted, but it was put aside.


(In the first year of Taiyuan (376.1), Empress Dowager Chongde had ended her regency over the Jin court, and Emperor Xiaowu had personally assumed control of affairs.

Regarding the term 姏姆, 姏 is a title for an old woman, and a 姆 is a female instructor.

Lu Na more specifically refers to Emperor Xiaowu as 纖兒. The term 纖 means to be less than something. So to be 纖兒 means to be even less than a young child.

The Guard General of the Left was in charge of the barracks soldiers, so it was called the Guard General of the Left Directing The Barracks.

Xu 營 Ying's given name is also listed as 榮 Rong.

When these secret trysts between officials and servant girls got the women pregnant, the children were given the surnames of their mothers, in order to obscure the identities of their fathers.

Xu Ying was saying that these Buddhist monks were only emulating the laws of the Buddha and wearing the robes of his order, but without honoring his teachings.

The Five Precepts of the Buddha forbade licentiousness, stealing, killing, lying, or drinking to excess.)


23. Sima Daozi's influence was felt both in court and on the borders, and his power spread near and far. Emperor Xiaowu gradually became uneasy about the situation, but ostensibly still continued to honor and commend him.

The Palace Attendant, Wang Guobao, had won Sima Daozi's favor thanks to his slander and flattery, and he could also stir up the court and the crowd. He spread a rumor through the Eight Ministries that Sima Daozi should be promoted to Prime Minister, Governor of Yangzhou, and Bearer of the Yellow Battle-axe, and be shown exceptional honors.

The General Who Protects The Army, Che Yin of Nanping commandary, said to himself, "This was how King Cheng of Zhou honored the Duke of Zhou. But when our current sovereign 'acts as the sun', he does not compare with King Cheng. And considering the Prince's position, how could he act as the Duke of Zhou?" So he declined to sign the petition suggesting this, claiming illness.

When the petition was submitted, Emperor Xiaowu was furious, but he commended Che Yin's restraint.


(After the Jin dynasty crossed the Yangzi, they had the ministries of the Personnel Bureau, the Sacrifices bureau, the Five Regiments, the Overseers of the People, the Five Logistical Directors of the Masters of Writing, the two Deputy Directors, and the Prefect; these were the Eight Ministries.

Regarding the office of General Who Protects The Army, Shen Yue remarked, "During the Qin dynasty, there was the rank of Chief Commandant Who Protects The Army. The Han dynasty appointed Chen Ping as Central Commandant Who Protects The Army, and he protected all of the generals. When Li Guang was appointed as General of Agile Cavalry, he was subordinate to the General Who Protects The Army." So it must be that "Protects The Army" meant that this general protected all the generals. Wu of Wei (Cao Cao) appointed Han Huo as Army-Protector. The more serious office was General Who Protects The Army, and the less serious was Army-Protector of the Center.

When the sovereign faces south and provides his brilliance as he administers the realm, he is said to be 'acting as the sun'.)


24. The Gentlemen-Attendants of the Masters of Writing, Fan Ning and Xu Miao, were closely trusted by Emperor Xiaowu. They often stepped forward to offer loyal words of advice to him, to help rectify good behavior and correct his faults, as well as point out and denounce his perverse partisans.

Wang Guobao was Fan Ning's nephew, and Fan Ning especially hated his flattery, so he urged Emperor Xiaowu to dismiss him. Yuan Yuezhi of Chen commandary had Sima Daozi's favor, so Wang Guobao had Yuan Yuezhi get the Buddhist abbess Miaoyin to pass a letter to the mother of the Crown Prince, the Refined Lady Chen, stating, "Wang Guobao is loyal and circumspect; you ought to trust him and be close to him." When Emperor Xiaowu found out about this, he became angry, and he had Yuan Yuezhi beheaded on some other pretext. Wang Guobao was deeply afraid, and he and Sima Daozi slandered Fan Ning and had him sent away to serve as Administrator of Yuzhang.

When Fan Ning was about to set out for his post, he sent up a petition stating, "The beacon fires on the borders are not lit to signal any emergency, yet the government grain stores lie empty and bare; it is an ancient precept that the common people should not be disturbed from their lives for more than three days in a year, yet now they are so burdened and troubled by labor that they nearly do not even get three days of rest in a year. Things have gotten to the point where those with children cannot raise them, and widows and widowers do not dare to remarry. I fear for the fortunes of the state. We are kindling a fire beneath a pile of wood; need I say more?"

He also sent up another petition stating, "By now, it has many many years since the people of the Central Plains crossed the Yangzi and took up their residence here in the Southland, and they have become settled in their livelihoods. Thought the ancestors of everyone in the realm had their places of origin, their descendants have since moved and shifted their residences in accordance with the circumstances of the times; how can we now fail to recognize that fact? I say that we should rectify the registration of the people and record their household designations according to their actual places of residence.

“Furthermore, human desire is insatiable, and it is only restraint that determines their luxury or frugality. Yet now, there are many people who, even owning many residences, still feel that they do not possesses enough. It is not because their resources are insufficient for their living, but because they have no discipline; they strive for everything fine and fair, great and glorious, and they no know limits on their behavior.

“Traditionally, someone who has passed away at the age of eighteen has been described as dying ‘as a minor’, because they had not yet become an adult. Yet now, the court claims those who are merely fifteen years old as fully fit for conscription, and those who are twelve as half-fit. That is to burden them with duties not fit for such children; how could it not violate the natural order of things or cause suffering for the common people? I say that only those who are nineteen years old should be considered fully fit for such service, and those who are fifteen should be considered half-fit. That will prevent people from dying while still mere children, and allow the population to grow and spread."

Emperor Xiaowu accepted and followed many of these suggestions.


(Some versions include the character 支 after the character 尼 before Miaoyin's name.

The Royal Regulations of the Book of Rites states, "Only three days' labour was required (by the state) from the people in the course of a year," and "In all his employment of them, the minister imposed (only) the tasks of old men (on the able-bodied), and gave (to the old) the food-allowance of the able-bodied."

Some versions include the sentence "I fear for the fortunes of the state" in Fan Ning's first petition.

"Kindling a fire beneath a pile of wood" was an expression used by the Former Han minister Jia Yi.

At this time, the Jin government had organized the people who had crossed south of the Yangzi by establishing surrogate versions of the commandaries and counties they had originally occupied in the north, and did not register them by their actual places of residence.

Someone who passes away before becoming an adult is said to have died "as a minor". Grief is displayed for their having been robbed of their adulthood.)


25. When Fan Ning arrived at Yuzhang commandary, he sent out fifteen Consultants to the other counties to seek out and inquire about the local customs and policies. He also granted his officials leave to go home and inquire about their superiors' good and bad points.

Xu Miao wrote a letter to Fan Ning stating, "My friend, if you will be receptive, discerning, wise, and impartial, and conduct your affairs with alacrity, then your officials will act cautious so as to avoid any cause for offense, and the people will listen to you without being led astray. Why should you wait in your headquarters and await reports from your local agents, allowing them to adorn their empty reputations? These agents will do no more than drain resources away from the people. What good man or superior fellow does not tend to his duties, that you must have so many people providing reports on him?

“Ever since ancient times, never once have those who were recruited to serve as someone's eyes and ears not turned out to be miscreants. They will be a little loyal at first, but not fully loyal in the end; they will be a little trustworthy at first, but not really trustworthy in the end. For they will always seek to advance themselves by slander and flattery; good and evil will exchange places, and how will you be able to guard against it?

“My friend, if you will be careful in your selection of your administrators, you will certainly gain the good people of the region to serve as managers, and your managers will all obtain excellent officials to manage civil affairs. And if you choose just and honest people to oversee cases, then you will be able to discern between the pure and the corrupt, the capable and the inept. Then you could be secure in your position, and what need would you have for these eyes and ears? In former times, even Empress Mingde of Han, the Lady Ma, never once resorted to these sorts of agents, yet one could praise her foresight. How much less could a real man do without these sorts of people?"


(There were sixteen counties in Yuzhang commandary: Nanchang, Hauhun, Xingan, Jiancheng, Wangcai, Yongxiu, Jianchang, Wuping, Yuzhang, Pengze, Ai, Kangle, Fengcheng, Xinchang, Yifeng, and Zhongli. One of these counties was the headquarters, so Fan Ning sent one Consultant out to each of the other fifteen.

By being "granted leave", Fan Ning had his officials take a full day of rest before returning to their offices.

Where Xu Miao uses the term 負 "bear", he means in the sense of "bearing a crime"; that is, the officials would fear committing any offense, so they would be especially cautious in all their duties.

Xu Miao uses the term 人聽 "as the people hear". This term is more properly written as 民聽. But the material in this passage was taken from the Book of Jin, whose authors were writing during the Tang dynasty, and in order to observe the naming taboo on the given name of Tang's Emperor Taizong (Li Shimin), they changed the 民 to 人. The Zizhi Tongjian has copied this change.

The expression 蠶漁 "silkworms and fisheries" means that the agents would take the produce of the silkworms and the bounty of the fisheries away from the people.

Xu Miao uses the word 寔. Zheng Xuan remarked, "In the eastern parts of the regions of Zhao and Wei, the words 寔 and 實 have the same pronunciation. 寔 means 'is, to be'. The Hann Yi poem in the Book of Poetry has the verse 'realizing his walls, and realizing his moats, realizing his fields, and realizing his revenues'. The word 實 'realizing' ought to be written as 寔 'making so'. The idea behind this verse is that the ancestors of the Marquis of Hann were feeble and weak, and much of the fief that they had been granted had wasted away or been cut short. But now that the Marquis of Hann was taking up this old office, he was continuing the endeavor that had been cut short. So in this sense, by 'realizing', he was building up and repairing the walls, he was restoring his moats and wells, he was tending to his farming fields, and he was gathering and collecting his tax revenues; in all these cases, he was restoring these things to how they had once been." Kong Yingda remarked, "The term 'realizing' in this verse means that all of these things had once been the case, and they were now being restored to their original condition. Now in our time, this term 實 should no longer be used, and we have switched to 寔, instructing people that it means 'is, to be'. But in the eastern parts of the regions of Zhao and Wei, 寔 and 實 are pronounced the same, as Zheng Xuan experience in his time. We see in the sixth year of Duke Huan in the Zuo Commentary the phrase '寔 came to Lu'. So it was from this time that the pronunciations were the same, although the character changed to a different form." In my (Hu Sanxing's) view, Xu Miao used the word 寔 in the sense of instructing Fan Ning on what ought to be the case, so it has the same sense as 'justice, righteousness'.

The subordinates of a commandary's Administrator were called 綱紀.

攝 means "general, all"; 按 means "reliable". So Xu Miao was saying that the managers would find reliable people to entrust civil affairs to.

Lady Ma was the wife of Emperor Ming of Han; her posthumous name was Empress Mingde.)


26. In the twelfth month, Yao Chang ordered his General of the East Gate, Ren Pen, to send false word to Fu Deng enticing him to come attack Anding, offering to open the gate of the city to let him in. Fu Deng was about to do so. But Fu Deng's General Who Conquers The East, Lei Wudi, had his troops out in the field. When he heard about this supposed defection, he rode hard to visit Fu Deng, warning him, "Yao Chang is very crafty and false; you cannot trust this report!"

So Fu Deng stopped. When Yao Chang heard that Lei Wudi had come to warn Fu Deng, he said to his generals, "It was all because this Qiang fellow saw Fu Deng that the plan fell through!"

Lei Wudi was a bold and calculating man, surpassing others. When Fu Deng considered this, he secretly feared him. Afraid of what might happen to him, Lei Wudi surrendered to Later Qin. Yao Chang appointed him as his General Who Guards The Army.


(Yao Chang had assigned this General of the East Gate to guard the East Gate of Anding.)


27. Fu Deng appointed Fu Guang as his Minister Over The Masses.
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BOOK 107

Unread postby Taishi Ci 2.0 » Sun Oct 07, 2018 10:05 pm


The Fifteenth Year of Taiyuan (The Gengyin Year, 390 AD)


1. In spring, the first month, on the day Yihai (February 26th), Sima Tian passed away. He was posthumously known as Prince Jing ("the Respectful") of Qiao.


2. Murong Yong led his troops towards Luoyang. Zhu Xi marched north from Heyin and crossed the Yellow River, then attacked Murong Yong and defeated him. Murong Yong fled back to Shangdang. Zhu Xi pursued him as far as the White River.

But then Zhai Liao plotted to march towards Luoyang himself. So Zhu Xi brought his troops back and attacked Zhai Liao in turn, driving him off.

Zhu Xi left his General of Hawkish Display, Zhu Dang, to camp at the Stone Gate, and he sent his son Zhu Lüe to protect Luoyang, with his Army Advisor, Zhao Fan, to assist him. Zhu Xu himself returned to Xiangyang.


(Some versions include the sentence "Murong Yong fled back to Shangdang".

The Commentary on the Water Classic states, "The White River flows west of the capital city of Gaodu county in Shangdang commandary, then on east, passing through Tianjing Pass." So when Zhu Xu reached this place, he was a hundred and sixty li from Murong Yong's base at Zhangzi.)


3. Thanks to the favor he had been shown up until now, Sima Daozi was growing ever more arrogant and unrestrained, and sometimes when he was drunk at feasts, he would act very improper and disrespectful. Emperor Xiaowu grew even more uneasy at this situation. He wanted to select people who were influential at that time and place them in command of border posts, so that he would secretly be able to control Sima Daozi.

Emperor Xiaowu asked the Crown Prince's Leader of the Guards of the Left, Wang Ya, "I want to use Wang Gong and Yin Zhongkan. What do you think about them?"

Wang Ya replied, "Wang Gong does have an elegant bearing and is esteemed for his simplicity, and his ambitions are right and proper. And Yin Zhongkan is a careful and meticulous fellow, commended for his culture and sense of righteousness. However, they are both severe and narrow-minded because of that, and they have no great talent for administration or planning. If you assign them to border posts, they may do alright so long as there is nothing troubling the realm. But if anything should happen, they will definitely cause trouble!"

But Emperor Xiaowu did not listen to him. This Wang Gong was the son of Wang Yun; this Yin Zhongkan was the grandson of Yin Rong.

In the second month, on the day Xinsi (March 4th), the Prefect of the Palace Secretariat, Wang Gong, was appointed as Commander of military affairs in Qingzhou, Yanzhou, Youzhou, Bingzhou, and Jizhou and as Inspector of Yanzhou and Qingzhou, and he was stationed at Jingkou.


(This was why Wang Gong and Yin Zhongkan later rose up with soldiers.

Wang Yun was the father of Empress Wang.

Yin Rong is mentioned in Book 96, in Emperor Cheng's fifth year of Xiankang (339.15).)


3. In the third month, on the day Wuchen (April 20th), a general amnesty was declared in Jin.


4. Yao Chang attacked Qin's Administrator of Fufeng, Qi Yinan, at Fort Xinluo. He took the fort, and Qi Yinan fled.

Fu Deng attacked Later Qin's Administrator of Tianshui, Zhang Yesheng, at Longdong. Yao Chang came to reinforce him, so Fu Deng withdrew.


(Longdong was a place in Jingyang county in Anding commandary.)


5. In summer, the fourth month, Qin's General Who Guards The East, Wei Jiefei, declared himself the Heavenly King of Chong. Wei Jiefei led the Di and other tribes to attack Later Qin's General Who Maintains The North, Yao Dangcheng, at Xingcheng. Lei Wudi also rebelled against Later Qin and supported Wei Jiefei, and he attacked Later Qin's General Who Conquers The East, Yao Hande, at Lirun.

Yao Chang wanted to lead an attack against the rebels. His ministers all said to him, "Why is it that Your Majesty does not worry about Fu Deng when he is only sixty li away from us, but you worry about Wei Jiefei when he is six hundred li away?"

Yao Chang replied, "We have a stalemate with Fu Deng; I cannot quickly vanquish him, nor can he quickly capture my city. But Lei Wudi is a man of uncommon intelligence and cunning. If he can join with Wei Jiefei to the south and form ties with Dongcheng to the east, then once they capture Xingcheng and Lirun and hold them, we will no longer control anything to the northeast of Chang'an." So Yao Chang secretly led sixteen hundred elite soldiers to march towards the rebels.

Wei Jiefei and Lei Wudi had tens of thousands of soldiers, and people from the Di and other tribes kept coming to join them one after the other. But when Yao Chang saw that the rebels were all concentrated in one army, he was delighted. His ministers thought this strange, so they asked him about it. Yao Chang replied, "Wei Jiefei had enticed Lei Wudi to join his cause, and countless numbers of tribes are supporting him. Even if I had smashed his main army in the field, his remaining partisans would not be easily pacified. But now, see how they have all flocked to the same place. If I can defeat them here, I shall take care of all of them at once; none shall be left."

When Wei Jiefei and the other leaders saw how small the Later Qin army was, they sent their whole army to attack it. But Yao Chang maintained stout ramparts and would not march out to battle, in order to appear weak. Meanwhile, he secretly sent the General of the Central Army, his son Yao Chong, to lead several hundred cavalry to strike the enemy army from behind. Wei Jiefei's soldiers were thrown into a panic, and Yao Chang sent the General Who Guards Distant Places, Wang Chao, and others to let loose their soldiers to attack the enemy. They killed Wei Jiefei and more than ten thousand of his generals and soldiers.

Lei Wudi asked to surrender, and Yao Chang treated him just as before. Lei Wudi told people, "I used to say that I was the boldest and most cunning man of this age. But after seeing how Old Man Yao gets out of such constant straits, I'll have to share the title with him!"


(The Chronicles of the Book of Jin records Wei 揭 Jiefei's name as Wei 褐 Hefei. We saw earlier in the Zizhi Tongjian, in the first year of Taiyuan (376.22), that Former Qin had sent their General of the Court, Wei 曷 Hefei, to deal with the Di and Qiang tribes. This must have been the same person.

Lirun was the name of a place, south of Xingwang. Li Yanshou remarked, "There is a Lirun Garrison in the east of Pingyi commandary." According to the Biographies of Imperial Relatives in the Book of Northern Wei, during the time that the Prince of Anding, Tuoba Xie, was serving as Inspector of Huazhou, he sent in a petition stating, "I respectfully note that this province currently has its headquarters at Fort Lirun. But although it is only the old territory of the Liang region and the ancient fiefs of the states of Jin and Rui, the various tribes here have all aligned with us. In order to better control the tribes, I ask that I move my base to the old city of Pingyi."

At this time, Fu Deng had gathered his forces near Chang'an, and was occupying the Qianhu Redoubt in Xinfeng county.

Dongcheng was a leader of the Zhuge branch of the Xiongnu; at this time, he was occupying Beidi commandary.

Yao Chang's remarks here about his enemies all being gathered in one place was the same logic that Cao Cao had outlined during his campaign against Ma Chao and Han Sui (Book 66, 211.G in de Crespigny’s To Establish Peace).

This passage shows how Yao Chang won over Lei Wudi's heart.)


6. When Yao Chang had set up his campsite before the battle, he had dug holes in the ground to set up barricades for his defenses. After the battle, Yao Chang ordered Yao Dangcheng to place a tree in each of these holes in order to commemorate the victory. After a year, when he asked Yao Dangcheng about it, Yao Dangcheng said, "The campsite was too small, so I expanded it."

Yao Chang replied, "I've been in battles all my life, ever since I tied up my hair and became a man, yet never had I experienced a battle like that before, where I routed an army of thirty thousand with barely a thousand soldiers of my own. The fact that the campsite was so small was exactly what was so remarkable about it. What glory could there be in a larger one?"


(There were "barricade holes" because the soldiers had dug holes in the ground and raised wooden beams in them to act as barricades.)


7. The ruler of the Tuyuhun people, Murong Shilian, sent envoys bearing tribute to Qifu Gangui. Qifu Gangui appointed Murong Shilian as Governor of Shazhou and Prince of Bailan.


(There was a province of Shazhou at this time; it had been created by the Zhang clan of Former Liang, made up of the commandaries of Dunhuang and Jinchang and the Defense Posts of the Protectorate of the Western Reaches, Colonel of the Western Reaches, and Grand Protector of Yumen Pass. But the Tuyuhun could not have controlled this territory. Li Yanshou remarked, "There was a place within the Tuyuhun domain, several hundred square li in size all around, full of yellow sand. Trees and grasses did not grow there. So this place was called Shazhou ('Desert Province').")


8. On the day Bingyin (?), Tuoba Gui met Murong Lin at Mount Yixin. They attacked the Helan, Hetulin, and Hexi clans and routed them. The Hetulin and Hexi clans both surrendered to Wei.


(Mount Yixin is north of Niuchuan; the Helan clan resided there. According to the Histories of the Northern Dynasties, the region from Mount Yuyin north was the territory of the Helan clan.

This passage shows how Later Yan was later driven out by Northern Wei.)


9. In autumn, the seventh month, a native of Pingyi commandary, Guo Zhi, raised troops at Guangxiang to support Qin. He spread proclamations through the Three Adjuncts region stating, "Yao Chang is harsh and cruel, a blight against the gods and the people. Our families received the benevolence of His Late Majesty, equal to Yao and Shun; those who are not the sons of his Constant Companions and his Receivers of Words are the grandsons of his chief ministers and his local administrators. Who among you can bear to live with this shame, rather than die for the sake of righteousness?"

All of the fortified places in that region supported his cause; only a native of Zheng county, Gou Yao, refused to support him and sided with Later Qin instead. Qin appointed Guo Zhi as Administrator of Pingyi, while Later Qin appointed Gou Yao as Inspector of Yuzhou.


(According to the Geographical Records of the Book of Northern Wei, there was a Guangxiang Plains in Zheng county. At this time, Zheng county was part of Jingzhao commandary.

"His Late Majesty" here means Fu Jian.

"Constant Companions" were Palace Attendants, and "Receivers of Words" were Masters of Writing.

Some versions add that Gou Zhong "refused to support" Guo Zhi.

Guo Yao later played a double game between Former Qin and Later Qin, for which he was executed by Later Qin, as seen below.)


10. Liu Weichen sent his son Liu Zhilidi to attack the Helan clan. Hard-pressed, He Ne asked to surrender to Wei. On the day Bingzi (August 26th), Tuoba Gui led his troops to assist He Ne, and Liu Zhilidi retreated. Tuoba Gui relocated the tribes of the Helan clan, placing them along his eastern border.


11. In the eighth month, the Jin general Liu Laozhi attacked Zhai Yu at Juancheng. Zhai Yu fled north of the Yellow River. Liu Laozhi also defeated Zhai Liao at Huatai. Zhang Yuan came to surrender.


(The outbreak of Zhai Liao's and Zhang Yuan's rebellion is mentioned in Book 106, in the eleventh year of Taiyuan (386.5, 12).)


13. In the ninth month, a native of Beiping commandary, Wu Zhu, gathered an army of more than a thousand people and acclaimed the Buddhist sramana monk Fazhang as the Son of Heaven. He marauded through Beiping commandary, then invaded Guangdu county and entered the city of Bailang.

At this time, Murong Long was burying his wife, and the province's commandary and county officials had all gathered for the funeral. When they heard that Wu Zhu had rebelled, they asked Murong Long to return to the city and then send the main army to campaign against him. But Murong Long said, "By now, this region has become settled, and the people have no heart for rebellion. Wu Zhu and the other rebel leaders have just beguiled a few fools into joining them and cajoled them into gathering together. They cannot accomplish anything."

So he remained where he was to finish his wife's burial, and he merely ordered the Administrator of Guangping and the Prefect of Guangdu (or Beiping) to go back first, then sent the Marquis of Anchang, Murong Jin, to lead more than a hundred cavalry to gather at Bailang. When Wu Zhu's people heard that these cavalry had arrived, they all scattered, and Wu Zhu was caught and beheaded.


(During Former Han, Bailang county was part of Beiping commandary. It was abolished during Later Han and Jin. The Geographical Records of the Book of Northern Wei states, "In Northern Wei's eighth year of (Taiping)zhenjun (447), they created Jiande commandary, administered from the city of Bailang, which was part of Guangdu county." During Later Yan, it must have been part of Beiping commandary.

This passage ought to state that Murong Long sent back the Administrator of Beiping commandary, not Guangping.)


14. Wang Guobao was appointed as Jin's Prefect of the Palace Secretariat, and soon he was also appointed as General Who Leads The Central Army.


(This was Sima Daozi's doing.)


15. On the day Dingwei (September 26th), the Administrator of Wu commandary, Wang Xun, was appointed as Deputy Director of the Right of the Masters of Writing.


16. Murong Shilian of the Tuyuhun passed away. His son Murong Shipi succeeded him.

Murong Shipi saw how the kindness and benevolence of his father and grandfather had been rewarded with invasions and incursions on all sides by their neighbors. So he strictly commanded his soldiers and generals, hoping to establish a great achievement.

In winter, the tenth month, Qifu Gangui sent envoys to appoint Murong Shipi as Governor of Shazhou and Prince of Bailan, but Murong Shipi refused to accept the titles.


(The kindness and benevolence of Murong Pixi and Murong Shilian are mentioned in Book 103, in Emperor Jianwen's first year of Xian'an (371.11-12).

This was why Qifu Gangui later campaigned against the Tuyuhun.)


17. In the twelfth month, Guo Zhi and Gou Yao fought in eastern Zheng. Guo Zhi was defeated, and he fled to Luoyang.


("Eastern Zheng" means in the east of Zheng county.)


18. Yuezhi Jiegui occupied Pingxiang and rebelled against Qifu Gangui.


(Yuezhi Jiegui had earlier sided with the Qifu clan, as mentioned above, in the twelfth year of Taiyuan (actually the thirteenth year, 387.10).)
Last edited by Taishi Ci 2.0 on Thu Oct 18, 2018 7:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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BOOK 107

Unread postby Taishi Ci 2.0 » Sun Oct 07, 2018 10:08 pm


The Sixteenth Year of Taiyuan (The Xinmao Year, 391 AD)


1. In spring, the first month, Yan created a Separate Administration terrace at Ji. Murong Sheng was appointed as chief of affairs of the Masters of Writing for this administration.


2. Qifu Gangui attacked Yuezhi Jiegui. Yuezhi Jiegui surrendered, and Qifu Gangi gave him a woman of his clan as a wife.


3. He Rangan plotted to kill his elder brother He Ne. When He Ne found out about it, he raised his troops, and the two brothers attacked each other. Tuoba Gui reported the matter to Yan, asking them to send an army to campaign against the Helan clan, with himself serving as a guide. In the second month, on the day Jiaxu (?), Murong Chui sent Murong Lin to lead his troops to attack He Ne, and he sent Lan Han to lead the soldiers of Longcheng to attack He Rangan.


(Since Later Yan sent the soldiers of Longcheng to attack He Rangan's tribes, he must have controlled the eastern half of the Helan clan.)


4. In the third month, Fu Deng marched from Yong to attack Later Qin's General Who Maintains The East, Jin Rong, at Fort Fanshi. Fu Deng captured the fort, then crossed the Wei River and attacked Later Qin's Administrator of Jingzhao, Wei Fan, at Fort Duanshi. However, he was unsuccessful there. He advanced to occupy Qulao.


(Qulao was in the northeast of Du county.)


5. In summer, the fourth month, Lan Han routed He Rangan at Niudou.


(Niudou meant "Oxen Gathering Place". 都 can mean "to gather", and this place was at Niuchuan. When the tribal people let their livestock graze and shepherded their flocks, they gathered at this place, thus the name.)


6. Gou Yao had an army of ten thousand soldiers. He secretly contacted Fu Deng and asked him to march to his position, offering to support him against Later Qin from within. So Fu Deng marched from Qulao towards Fanchuan, and his army camped at the Matou Plains. In the fifth month, Yao Chang led troops to counter-attack him, but Fu Deng attacked and routed him, and beheaded Wu Zhong.

Yao Chang gathered up his scattered soldiers and was about to return to battle. Yao Shuode said to him, "Your Majesty, you have always been cautious about rushing into battle, always wishing to develop a strategy first and then execute it. Yet now, having just been defeated, you want to try and threaten the enemy again. Why is that?"

Yao Chang replied, "Fu Deng has always been slow and sluggish to use his soldiers, uncertain of what he is facing. But this time, he rushed his soldiers forward and marched straight ahead, and now he is off occupying our eastern territory. That must be because that villain Gou Yao is colluding with him. If I am slow to act now, then his plan will be fulfilled. That is why I have to hurry to scatter them and split them apart before they can finish joining their forces."

So he charged into battle, and greatly routed Fu Deng. Fu Deng retreated to camp at Mei.


(The 繁川 Fanchuan mentioned in this passage must have been the same place as 樊川 Fanchuan in Duling county.

Judging by Yao Chang's comment about Fu Deng being in "our eastern territory", the Matou Plains must have been east of Chang'an.

One who is skilled at commanding soldiers can observe their enemy's movements and perceive their feelings and intentions. By doing so, they can control their enemy.)


7. Qin's Inspector of Yanzhou, Qiang Jinchui, occupied Xinping and surrendered to Later Qin, sending them his son Qiang Zi as a hostage. Yao Chang led several hundred cavalry into Qiang Jinchui's camp. His subordinates had remonstrated with him, but Yao Chang had said, "Qiang Jinchui has just abandoned Fu Deng, so if he tries to get rid of me now, who will be left for him to turn to? Besides, he has only just submitted to us, so now is the time to reassure him and form close ties with him. Why should I suspect him and show lack of trust?" When Yao Chang arrived in the camp, many of the Di wanted to capture him, but Qiang Jinchui did not heed them.


(Qiang Jinchui was a member of one of the Di branches, a distant relative of the Former Qin ruling clan. Yao Chang wanted to reassure him and form ties with him in order to win over Fu Deng's other partisans.)


8. In the sixth month, on the day Jiachen (July 20th), Murong Lin routed He Ne at Chicheng and captured him. He accepted the surrender of tens of thousands of He Ne's tribes. Murong Chui ordered Murong Lin to return He Ne's tribes to their former residences, while relocating He Rangan's tribes to Zhongshan.

When Murong Lin returned to Zhongshan, he said to Murong Chui, "Based on what I have seen of the actions and movements of Tuoba Gui, he will pose a threat to our state someday. It would be better to make him come to our court, and have his younger brother manage his domain."

But Murong Chui did not listen.


(The Water Classic states, "The Yellow River flows east of Chicheng, through the south of Zhenling county in Yunzhong commandary. It flows further south through the west of Tongguo county in Dingxiang commandary." And according to the Annals of Emperor Daowu (Tuoba Gui) in the Book of Northern Wei, in the third year of Dengguo (388), Emperor Daowu visited Dongchicheng. In Emperor Mingyuan's eighth year of Taichang (423), he built long walls south of Changchuan, beginning at Chicheng and stretching west to Wuyuan, stretching for more than two thousand li.

The term 攝 here means "to employ" or "to bring".

Wicked and crafty as he was, Murong Lin recognized that in the end, Tuoba Gui could not be controlled. Yet Murong Chui did not heed his words. Heaven used Tuoba Gui as its pawn to destroy Later Yan, and although Murong Chui was wise and calculating, he could not realize this.)

袞又從破賀訥,遂命羣官登勿居山,遊宴終日。從官及諸部大人請聚石為峰,以記功德,命袞為文。(Book of Northern Wei 24, Biography of Zhang Gun)

Zhang Gun also accompanied Tuoba Gui when he routed He Ne. Tuoba Gui then ordered his subordinates and ministers to ascended Mount Wuju, where they spent the whole days in feasting and celebration. Then the officials and the various chiefs asked to raise a stone as a stele, to record Tuoba Gui's virtues and achievements, and Tuoba Gui ordered Zhang Gun to compose the text.


9. Murong Yong invaded Henan commandary. Jin's Administrator there, Yang Quanqi, attacked Murong Yong and routed him.


10. In autumn, the seventh month, on the day Renshen (August 17th), Murong Chui went to Fanyang.


(During Han, Fanyang county was part of Zhuo commandary. Emperor Wen of Cao-Wei (Cao Pi) renamed Zhuo commandary to Fanyang commandary.)


11. Tuoba Gui sent his younger brother Tuoba Gu to present tribute to Yan. Since Murong Chui was now old and frail, and his sons and younger brothers were in charge of affairs, they detained Tuoba Gu, demanding fine horses in exchange for him. But Tuoba Gui refused to agree, and he broke off relations with Yan and sent Zhang Gun to restore good relations with Western Yan.

Tuoba Gu fled and tried to escape back to Wei, but Murong Bao pursued and captured him. However, Murong Chui treated him just as well as before.


(This incident was what led to hostility between Northern Wei and Later Yan.)


12. Fu Deng attacked Xinping, but Yao Chang reinforced it, so Fu Deng withdrew.


13. Qin's General of Agile Cavalry, Mei Yigan, sent his two sons to Qifu Gangui as hostages, and asked to join forces with him to attack the Xianbei leader Dadou. Qifu Gangui and Mei Yigan attacked Dadou at Fort Mingchan and captured the fort. Dadou put on a disguise and fled, but Qifu Gangui rounded up his remaining forces and returned, and he sent back Mei Yigan's sons.

However, Mei Yigan then rebelled against Qifu Gangui, joining forces with Liu Weichen to the east. In the eighth month, Qifu Gangui led ten thousand cavalry to campaign against Mei Yigan, who fled to the city of Talou. Qifu Gangui shot an arrow at Mei Yigan, which struck him in the eye.


(According to the Chronicles of the Book of Jin, at this time, Dadou occupied the city of Anyang. This city was in Longcheng county in Tang's Qinzhou. Fort Mingchan must have been at the same place.

The city of Talou was in Gaoping. In Emperor Taizong of Tang's (Li Shimin's) sixth year of Zhenguan (631), he organized the surrendered Göktürk households into Yuanzhou, which was administered by the city of Talou in Pinggao. Emperor Gaozong created Talou county, which was later folded into Xiaoguan county in Yuanzhou.)


14. In the ninth month, on the day Guiwei (October 27th), Jin appointed the Deputy Director of the Right of the Masters of Writing, Wang Xun, as Deputy Director of the Left. The Crown Prince's Chief of Affairs, Xie Yan, was appointed as the new Deputy Director of the Right.

The Academician of the Grand Academy, Fan Hongzhi, proposed promoting Yin Hao's posthumous title, as an indication that he had been a minister who had not bowed to Huan Wen's wishes. But at this time, the Huan clan was still numerous, and Wang Xun had once been an official serving under Huan Wen. He felt that Huan Wen had deposed the foolish and established the wise, and he had been fulfilling his duty as a loyal and faithful minister. So he had Fan Hongzhi sent away to serve as Prefect of Yuhang. This Fan Hongzhi was the grandson of Fan Wang.


(Wang Xun had once been Huan Wen's Registrar.

During Han, Yuhang county was part of Kuaiji commandary. Gu Lai remarked, "This county was formed by Qin Shihuang. During Later Han, it was split off as part of Wu commandary. Eastern Wu split it off again as part of Wuxing commandary."

Fan Wang had been charged with a crime by Huan Wen, as mentioned in Book 101, in Emperor Ai's fifth year of Shengping (361.15).)


15. In winter, the tenth month, on the day Renchen (?), Murong Chui returned to Zhongshan.


(He was returning from Fanyang.)


16. For many years, the Rouran people had been obedient subjects of Dai for generations. When their leader Yujiulü Desuyuan passed away, his forces and his tribes split into two. His elder son Yujiulü Pihouba had succeeded his father in control of the eastern frontier, while his second son Yujiulü Yunheti had gone to reside on the western frontier. After Fu Jian conquered Dai, the Rouran aligned themselves with Liu Weichen.


(Regarding the origins of the Rouran people, the Account of the Rouran in the Book of Northern Wei states, "Near the end of the reign of Tuoba Liwei (~277), his cavalry raiders captured a slave who was young enough that his hair only reached his shoulders. This slave had forgotten his original name, so his master gave him the name Mugulü. This Mugulü had a bald head. Since 'Mugulü' and 'Yujiulü' were similar in pronunciation, his descendants later took Yujiulü to be their clan's name. When Mugulü became strong, he escaped his bondage and became a cavalry soldier. During the reign of Tuoba Yilu (308-316), Mugulü was charged with being late for an assignment and was going to be beheaded, so he fled and hid at Guangmoxi Valley. He gathered together other fugitives, until he had assembled more than a hundred people, and they went to live among the Hetulin people. After Mugulü passed away, his son Cheluhui was bold and strong, and he formed his own people. It was from this time that they called themselves the Rouran."

The second character of Yujiulü Yunheti's given name, 紇, is pronounced "hu (h-u)".

Former Qin's conquest of Dai is mentioned in Book 104, in the first year of Taiyuan (376.14-19).)


17. After Tuoba Gui became the King of Dai, when he campaigned against the Gaoche and other northern tribal peoples, all of the other tribes submitted to him, but the Rouran did not.

On the day Wuxu (?), Tuoba Gui led his troops to attack the Rouran. But the Rouran only gathered their forces and fled. Tuoba Gui pursued them for six hundred li.

Then the Wei generals had Zhang Gun tell Tuoba Gui, "The enemy is far away, and our grain is exhausted. We had better head back at once."

Tuoba Gui asked his generals, "If we killed our reserve horses, that would give us three days' worth of food, wouldn’t it?"

His generals replied, "It would."

Then they pressed their pursuit, traveling twice as fast, and caught up with the Rouran below Mount Nanchuang at Daqi. They greatly routed the Rouran and captured half their forces. Yujiulü Pihouba and his commander Wuji each gathered up their remaining forces and fled. Tuoba Gui sent Zhangsun Song and Zhangsun Fei to pursue them.

Tuoba Gui asked his generals and subordinates, "Do you all know why I mentioned three days' worth of food before?"

They replied, "We don't know why."

He said, "The Rouran have been driving their livestock hard for many days, so they would have to stop when they came to water. Since we are pursuing them with light cavalry, we could definitely catch up to them within three days."

They all said, "We would not have thought of that."

Zhangsun Song caught up with Wuji and beheaded him at Pingwangchuan. Zhangsun Fei pursued Yujiulü Pihouba as far as Mount Zhuoxie, where Yujiulü Pihouba brought his forces to surrender. Zhangsun Fei captured Yujiulü Yunheti's son Yujiulü Heduohan, his nephews Yujiulü Shelun and Yujiulü Hulü, and several hundred others of the Yujiulü clan and their partisans. Yujiulü Yunheti fled towards Liu Weichen, but Tuoba Gui pursued him and caught up with him, so Yujiulü Yunheti too surrendered.

Tuoba Gui relocated all of the Yujiulü forces and tribes to Yunzhong.


(Northern cavalry soldiers each used two horses: one for riding, and one to keep in reserve.

By now, the territory under Northern Wei's control extended further north than Dai's domain had. Since the Rouran fled west to reach Mount Nanchuang, it must have been west of Daqi. The Annals of Emperor Daowu (Tuoba Gui) in the Histories of the Northern Dynasties records this mountain as Mount Nanshang.

This was why Yujiulü Shelun later rebelled, fled, and established his own state.)

從太祖征蠕蠕。蠕蠕遁走,追之五六百里。諸部帥因袞言於太祖曰:「今賊遠糧盡,不宜深入,請速還軍。」太祖令袞問諸部帥,若殺副馬,足三日食否。皆言足也。太祖乃倍道追之,及於廣漠赤地南床山下,大破之。既而太祖問袞:「卿曹外人知我前問三日糧意乎?」對曰:「皆莫知也。」太祖曰:「此易知耳。蠕蠕奔走數日,畜產之餘,至水必留。計其道程,三日足及。輕騎卒至,出其不意,彼必驚散,其勢然矣。」袞以太祖言出告部帥,咸曰:「聖策長遠,非愚近所及也。」(Book of Northern Wei 24, Biography of Zhang Gun)

Zhang Gun accompanied Tuoba Gui during his first campaign against the Rouran. The Rouran ran and hid, and the Northern Wei army pursued them for five or six hundred li. Then the Northern Wei generals had Zhang Gun tell Tuoba Gui, "The enemy is far away, and our grain is exhausted. We should not go any further into their territory. Please have the army turn back at once."

Tuoba Gui ordered Zhang Gun to ask his generals whether, if they killed their reserve horses, that would give the army three days' worth of food or not.

His generals replied that it would.

Then they pressed their pursuit, traveling twice as fast, and caught up with the Rouran below Mount Nanchuang at the red lands in the vast desert. They greatly routed the Rouran.

Tuoba Gui asked Zhang Gun, "Do you and the others know why I mentioned three days' worth of food before?"

He replied, "We don't know why."

He said, "It is simple enough to explain. The Rouran had been fleeing for several days now, but they had a great many livestock with them as well, so they would have to stop when they came to water. If we reckoned the roads they took, we could definitely catch up to them within three days. So I sent light cavalry to catch them unawares, meaning they would certainly panic and scatter, leaving them powerless."

Zhang Gun conveyed Tuoba Gui's words to the generals, who all said, "What an excellent plan and what great foresight. We were too foolish to have thought of that."


18. Zhai Liao passed away. His son Zhai Zhao succeeded him, and changed the reign era title to the first year of Dingding.

Zhai Zhao attacked Ye, but Murong Nong attacked and resisted him.


(This was why Later Yan would later vanquish Zhai Zhao.)


19. Lü Guang sent troops to take advantage of Qifu Gangui's absence by attacking his territory. When Qifu Gangui heard this, he led his soldiers back, so Lü Guang also withdrew.


(Qifu Gangui was away on his campaign against Mei Yigan.)


20. Liu Weichen sent Liu Zhilidi to lead eight, nine, or ten thousand soldiers to attack Wei's southern territory. In the eleventh month, on the day Yimao (December 22nd), Tuoba Gui led five or six thousand soldiers to oppose them.

On the day Renwu (December 25th), the Wei army greatly routed Liu Zhilidi south of Mount Tieqi.

Liu Zhilidi fled alone on horseback. The Wei army took advantage of their victory to pursue him. On the day Wuzi (December 31st), they crossed south of the Yellow River at Jin Crossing in Wuyuan, and entered Liu Weichen's domain, throwing Liu Weichen's forces and tribes into panic and confusion.

On the day Xinmao (January 3rd of 392), Tuoba Gui captured Liu Weichen’s base at the city of Yueba, and Liu Weichen and his sons fled.

On the day Renchen (January 4th of 392), Tuoba Gui sent his generals in different directions to pursue their fleeing foes with light cavalry. His general Yi Wei captured Liu Zhilidi at Mount Mugen. Liu Weichen was killed by his subordinates.

In the twelfth month, Tuoba Gui's army went to the Salt Ponds, where they executed more than five thousand of Liu Weichen's clansmen and partisans and cast their bodies into the Yellow River.

All the territory south of the Yellow River surrendered to Wei. They captured more than three hundred thousand horses and more than four hundred thousand cattle and sheep, greatly enriching the resources of the state.


(Jin Crossing was in Yiliang and Jiuyuan counties in Wuyuan commandary.

According to the Chronicles of the Book of Jin, Yueba was the same city as Dailai.

Regarding this Yi Wei, according to the Records of Ministerial Clans in the Book of Northern Wei, Tuoba Lin's next-youngest brother became the founder of the Yilou clan, which was later shortened to the Yi clan.

Mount Mugen was in Wuyuan commandary, west of the Yellow River.

According to the Geographical Records of the Book of Han, there was a Salt Ministry in Chengyi county in Wuyuan commandary. And in Wuyuan county in Tang's Yanzhou, there were the Crow, White, and other such salt ponds. Song Bai remarked, "The Green and White salt ponds were in the north of Yanzhou."

Tuoba Gui thus avenged his anger at Liu Weichen's role in Former Qin's conquest of Dai from the beginning of his reign.)


21. Liu Weichen's young son Liu Bobo fled to the Xuegan tribe. Liu Weichen sent envoys demanding that Liu Bobo be handed over to him. The leader of the Xuegan, Taixizhang (or Daxizhang, or Taixifu), brought out Liu Bobo to show him to the envoys and told them, "Liu Bobo's state has just been routed and his family destroyed, and he came to me in his adversity. I ought to be destroyed along with him; how could I bear to hand him over to Wei?" And he sent Liu Bobo to stay with Mei Yigan, who gave Liu Bobo his daughter as a wife.


(Some versions write 太悉仗 Taixizhang's name as 大悉仗 Daxizhang or 太悉伏 Taixifu.

This was why Liu Bobo was later able to kill Mei Yigan and establishe his own state.)


22. On the day Wushen (January 20th of 392), Murong Chui went to Lukou.


23. Fu Deng attacked Anding. Yao Chang came from Yinmi to oppose him.

Yao Chang told his son Yao Xing, "When Gou Yao hears that I have gone north, he is sure to come here to see you. Arrest him and execute him." And indeed, Gou Yao came to see Yao Xing at Chang'an. Yao Xing sent Yin Wei to denounce Gou Yao and then execute him.


(Yao Chang would have gone north when he went from Chang'an to Yinmi.

Those who are skilled at dealing with their enemies are able to achieve what they wish by acting according to circumstances. Now Gou Yao had switched his allegiance between Former Qin and Later Qin, yet his base at Zheng was a mere three hundred li from Chang'an, so he was an ulcer on the very vitals of the Yao clan. If Yao Chang had summoned him, Gou Yao surely would not have come. And since he feared Yao Chang, so long as Yao Chang was present at Chang'an, Gou Yao would not have dared to come there of his own volition either. Even if Yao Chang had left the city in order to entice Gou Yao, he still would have been suspicious and not dared to come. But when the soldiers of Former Qin and Later Qin became locked in battle, and the border was threatened, Yao Chang was compelled to go north to deal with them. This was what would dispel Gou Yao's suspicions and fears; he would believe that with Yao Xing managing the Later Qin capital, he would be incapable. So Gou Yao rashly came to Chang'an, and thus sought his own death. Thus was this ulcer on the vitals of the Yao clan removed. Was this not achieving what they wished by acting according to circumstances?)


24. Yao Chang defeated Fu Deng east of Anding. Fu Deng withdrew to occupy Fort Lucheng.

Yao Chang held a great feast, where his generals all said, "Prince Wu of Wei (Yao Xiang) would not have left an enemy so close at hand. Your Majesty is too prudent."

Yao Chang laughed and said, "There are four aspects in which I cannot compare to my late elder brother. First, he was eight chi five cun tall, and his arms hung below his knees, so people were amazed and feared him. Second, with an army of a hundred thousand, he could contend for all the realm; he could advance wherever he wished, and his vanguard could not be broken. Third, he was warmly familiar with the ancient and he knew all about the modern; he could discuss anything and was skilled at everything, and he gathered up heroes and talents like a net. Fourth, in directing a great army, he could make everyone happy, and his soldiers would give their very lives for him. So in my attempts to gain achievements and establish a state, in advancing my plans and recruiting the worthy, I shall be glad if I can achieve even a measure of his potential."

Yao Chang's ministers all toasted his longevity.


(Lu Cheng was the name of a person. He had built this fort to protect himself, and so it became named after him.

When Yao Chang had declared himself Emperor, he had posthumously appointed his elder brother Yao Xiang as Prince Wu of Wei.

The expression 將牢 means to first be careful about oneself and not make any rash movements. Even today, people use this expression to refer to someone who is dependable.)
Last edited by Taishi Ci 2.0 on Fri Oct 19, 2018 4:55 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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BOOK 108

Unread postby Taishi Ci 2.0 » Fri Oct 12, 2018 8:38 pm


The Seventeenth Year of Taiyuan (The Renchen Year, 392 AD)


1. In spring, the first month, on the new moon of the day Jisi (February 10th), a general amnesty was declared in Jin.


2. Fu Deng honored his Zhaoyi concubine, Lady Li of Longxi, as his Empress.


3. In the second month, on the day Renyin (March 14th), Murong Chui went from Lukou to Hejian and Bohai commandaries. Zhai Zhao sent his general Zhai Du to raid Guantao county, and Zhai Du camped at Fort Sukang. In the third month, Murong Chui led troops south to attack Zhai Zhao.


(Su Kang was a person's name.

During Han, Guantao county was part of Wei commandary. During Jin, it was part of Yangping commandary.)


4. Qin's General of Agile Cavalry, Mei Yigan, led his forces to surrender to Later Qin. They appointed him as their General of Chariots and Cavalry and Duke of Gaoping.


5. Yao Chang was bedridden by illness, so he ordered Yao Shuode to guard Lirun and Yin Wei to guard Chang'an, while he summoned his Crown Prince, Yao Xing, to visit him at his field camp.

The General Who Conquers The South, Yao Fangcheng, said to Yao Xing, "The invaders and enemies have not yet been vanquished, and now our sovereign is bedridden by illness. Wang Tong and the other Qin generals who surrendered to us have their own forces, and they will be threats to us someday. You should get rid of all of them."

Yao Xing agreed, so he executed Wang Tong, Wang Guang, Fu Yin, Xu Cheng, and Mao Sheng. Yao Chang was furious, and he said, "Wang Tong and his brother were our guardians in our border provinces, and they had no ulterior motives. And Xu Cheng and the others were all famous generals of the old (Former Qin) court. We ought to have used them well; why kill them all?"


(At this time, Yao Chang was camped at Anding.

The people that Yao Xing executed had all been old ministers of the Fu clan of Former Qin.

If Yao Chang had really felt that Wang Tong and the others were blameless and had been killed for no reason, he ought to have looked into who had first proposed the idea of executing them. But he merely vented his anger and no more. How angry could he really have been?)


6. Murong Chui advanced to threaten Fort Sukang. In summer, the fourth month, Zhai Du fled south to Huatai. Zhai Zhao asked for aid from Western Yan.

Murong Yong discussed plans with his ministers. A Gentleman of the Masters of Writing, Bao Zun of Bohai commandary, said, "We should let these two foes weaken each other, then we can strike them both from behind. This is the strategy of Bian Zhuangzi."

But a Gentleman-Attendant of the Palace Secretariat, Zhang Teng of Taiyuan commandary, objected, "Murong Chui is strong while Zhai Zhao is weak; how could he weaken Murong Chui? Better for us to hurry and assist Zhai Zhao at once, in order to establish a balance of power. Let us lead troops to march towards Zhongshan; we can display many false soldiers during the day and light many extra torches at night. Murong Chui will certainly be spooked and march back to protect his capital. Then while we hold Murong Chui to the front, Zhai Zhao will be free to chase him from behind. This is an opportunity sent by Heaven; we cannot squander it."

But Murong Yong did not listen.


(If Zhai Zhao was defeated, then Western Yan's doom would be sealed.)

垂攻丁零翟釗於滑臺,釗請救於永,永謀於眾。尚書郎勃海鮑遵曰:「徐觀其弊,卞莊之舉也。」中書侍郎太原張騰曰:「強弱勢殊,何弊之有!不如救之,成鼎峙之勢。可引兵趣中山,晝多疑兵,夜倍其火,彼必懼而還師。我衝其前,釗躡其後,此天授之機,不可失也。」永不從。(Book of Northern Wei 95, Biography of Murong Yong)

When Murong Chui attacked the Dingling leader Zhai Zhao at Huatai, Zhai Zhao asked for aid from Murong Yong. So Murong Yong took council with his advisors. A Gentleman of the Masters of Writing, Bao Zun of Bohai commandary, told him, "You should let them destroy each other. This is the same plan as Bian Zhuang."

But a Gentleman-Attendant of the Palace Secretariat, Zhang Teng of Taiyuan commandary, objected, "When there is such a difference in power between them, how could they destroy one another? Better for us to Zhai Zhao, in order to establish a balance of power. Let us lead troops to march towards Zhongshan; we can display many false soldiers during the day and light many extra fires at night. Murong Chui will certainly be spooked and march back to protect his capital. Then while we hold Murong Chui to the front, Zhai Zhao will be free to chase him from behind. This is an opportunity sent by Heaven; we cannot squander it."

But Murong Yong did not listen.


7. A general amnesty was declared in Yan.


8. In the fifth month, on the new moon of the day Dingmao (June 7th), there was an eclipse.


9. In the sixth month, Murong Chui's army was at Liyang. They were on the bank of the Yellow River, about to cross over, but Zhai Zhao arrayed his troops on the south bank to oppose them.

On the day Xinhai (July 21st), Murong Chui shifted his camp to a western crossing, forty li west of Liyang. He gathered more than a hundred ox-hide boats, and he pretended to array soldiers and weapons there as though he were going to cross over. Zhai Zhao quickly led his troops to this crossing. But then Murong Chui secretly sent his General of the Central Ramparts, Wang Zhen of Guilin commandary, and others to cross the river at Liyang during the night and set up a camp on the south bank. By the time morning came, the camp was finished. When Zhai Zhao heard this, he rushed back and attacked Wang Zhen and the others at their camp. Murong Chui ordered Wang Zhen and the others to hold fast to their defenses and not offer battle. Zhai Zhao's soldiers were exhausted and suffering from heatstroke, and they assaulted the camp but could not take it, so Zhai Zhao was about to lead them away. Then Wang Zhen and the others led their own troops out to fight a battle, and Yan's General of Agile Cavalry, Murong Nong, crossed the river at the western crossing and marched to join the battle. Hemmed in on both sides, Zhai Zhao's soldiers were greatly routed.

Zhai Zhao fled back to Huatai, where he brought his wife and children and gathered up his remaining forces to cross north of the Yellow River and ascend Mount Bailu. He took advantage of the terrain there to defend himself, and the Yan soldiers could make no headway against him. Murong Nong said, "Zhai Zhao has no grain, so he cannot maintain his position on the mountain for very long." So he led his troops back, only leaving riders to keep an eye on the mountain. As expected, Zhai Zhao came back down, and Murong Nong led his troops back to ambush him. He captured Zhai Zhao's entire army; Zhai Zhao escaped on a lone horse and fled to Zhangzi.

Murong Yong appointed Zhai Zhao as Grand General of Chariots and Cavalry, Governor of Yanzhou, and Prince of Chen commandary. But after a year, Zhai Zhao plotted rebellion, so Murong Yong killed him.


(比 in this case means "when something came or arrived".

Heatstroke is to be injured by heat.

When it came to how to deal with bringing his soldiers across the Yellow River, Murong Chui had alternating policies. When he faced Wen Xiang, he led his troops straight across and captured him; when he faced Zhai Zhao, he displayed false soldiers to the west while secretly sending his soldiers across to the east. In both cases, he was victorious. He saw where his enemies were firm and where they were brittle, and then exploited it.

At this time, Murong Nong was Later Yan's Grand General of Agile Cavalry; this passage has dropped the "Grand" from his title.

The Commentary on the Water Classic states, "There is a Mount Bailu in the north of Xiuwu county in Henei commandary.")

釗敗降永,永以釗為車騎大將軍、東郡王。歲餘,謀殺永,永誅之。(Book of Northern Wei 95, Biography of Murong Yong)

Zhai Zhao was defeated, and he surrendered to Murong Yong. Murong Yong appointed Zhai Zhao as Grand General of Chariots and Cavalry and Prince of Chen commandary. But after a year, Zhai Zhao plotted to kill Murong Yong, so Murong Yong executed him.


10. Earlier, Hao Gui, Cui Cheng, Cui Hong of Qinghe commandary, Zhang Zhuo of Xinxing commandary, Kui Teng of Liaodong commandary, and Lu Zuan of Yangping commandary had all held office under Qin. They had fled during the collapse of Qin, and the Jin court had appointed them as Administrators of the commandaries of Jizhou, with each of them leading their own forces south of the Yellow River. But they later accepted ranks and titles from the Zhai clan. Now that the Zhai clan was defeated, they all surrendered to Yan, and Murong Chui used them as suited their talents.

Zhai Zhao had controlled seven commandaries and more than thirty thousand households; these were all maintained by Yan as before. Murong Chui appointed the Prince of Zhangwu, Murong Zhou, as Inspector of Yanzhou and Yuzhou, and he was stationed at Huatai. Murong Chui also relocated more than seven thousand households from Xuzhou to Liyang, and he appointed the Prince of Pengcheng, Murong Tuo, as the Inspector of Xuzhou, stationed at Liyang. This Murong Tuo was Murong Chui's nephew.

Murong Chui appointed Cui Yin as Murong Zhou's Marshal.


(夔 Kui was a surname. There was a Kui An among Shi Le's generals.

The people of Xuzhou must have been pillaged by Zhai Zhao.)

堅亡,避難於齊魯之間,為丁零翟釗及司馬昌明叛將張願所留縶。郝軒歎曰:「斯人而遇斯時,不因扶搖之勢,而與鷃雀飛沉,豈不惜哉!」慕容垂以為吏部郎、尚書左丞、高陽內史。所歷著稱,立身雅正,與世不羣,雖在兵亂,猶勵志篤學,不以資產為意,妻子不免飢寒。(Book of Northern Wei 24, Biography of Cui Hong)

After Fu Jian's fall, Cui Hong hid from the dangers of the age in the Qi and Lu regions, but he was forced to serve the Dingling leader Zhai Zhao and the Jin rebel general Zhang Yuan. Hao Xuan lamented, "Such a man, and yet he lives in such an age; if he is not swept up by a cyclone, he is caught up by a flock of birds! Is it not lamentable?"

Murong Chui appointed Cui Hong as a Gentleman of the Personnel Bureau, Assistant of the Left of the Masters of Writing, and Interior Minister of Gaoyang. He won a great reputation for himself, but he maintained a refined and proper attitude, never mixing with the trends of the age. Even with all the armies and turmoil of the era, Cui Hong still maintained his ambitions and was diligent in his studies. He had no regard for enriching himself through some industry, and his wife and children were not spared from hunger or cold.


11. Regarding this Cui Yin, Murong Chui had earlier had him serve as an assistant to three other princes. He had served the Prince of Chenliu, Murong Shao, when he had been General Who Guards The South; he had served the Prince of Taiyuan, Murong Kai, when he had been General Who Conquers the West; and he had served the Prince of Lelang, Murong Wen, when he had been General Who Conquers The East. Cui Yin was talented, capable, wise, quick-witted, forceful, and just. He delighted in correcting and remonstrating behavior, and the four princes he served under all dreaded him. But thanks to him, laws and punishments were simplified, taxes and labor burdens were eased, refugees returned to their homes, and the population grew and multiplied.


12. In autumn, the seventh month, Murong Chui returned to Ye. He appointed Murong Kai as Governor of Jizhou, and he appointed the Household Counselor of the Right, Hae Yeoul, as Supervisor of the Left.


13. When Fu Deng heard that Yao Chang was seriously ill, he was delighted, and he reported it at the shrine of Shizu (Fu Jian). He declared a general amnesty, and all officials were advanced by two ranks. Fu Deng fattened his horses and drilled his troops, then advanced to threaten Anding, some ninety li from the city.

In the eighth month, Yao Chang's illness abated somewhat, so he went out to oppose Fu Deng. Fu Deng led his troops out of his camp, about to do battle, when Yao Chang sent his General Who Maintains The South, Yao Xilong, to attack Fu Deng's camp from another direction. Afraid, Fu Deng pulled back to his camp. Then during the night, Yao Chang led his troops away to his rear. When morning came, Fu Deng's scouts reported, "The enemy's camps are already empty, and we don't know where they've gone."

Astonished, Fu Deng said, "Who are these enemies, that they can come and go without my knowing or realizing it? They said their general was dead, then suddenly he reappears again. Why must I be burdened to live in the same age as these Qiang?"

So Fu Deng led his own troops back to Yong. Yao Chang then returned to Anding.


(A serious sickness is called an illness.

Fu Jian's temple name was Shizu.

Having been defeated several times by Yao Chang, Fu Deng was now afraid of him. This must have been why his spirit was so broken at this time.)


14. Lü Guang sent his General of the Right, his younger brother Lü Bao, and others to attack Qifu Gangui. But Lü Bao was killed, along with more than ten thousand of his officers and soldiers. Lü Guang also sent his General of the Household Gentlemen Rapid as Tigers, his son Lü Zuan, to attack the Southern Qiang leader Peng Xinian. But Lü Zuan was also defeated. Lü Guang himself marched to attack Peng Xinian at Fuhan. He captured Fuhan, and Peng Xinian fled to Gansong.


(Gansong commandary was created by Qifu Guoren.)


15. In winter, the tenth month, on the day Xinhai (November 18th), Jin's Inspector of Jingzhou, Wang Shen, passed away.


(Wang Shen's given name 忱 is pronounced "shen (sh-en)".)


16. Jin's Inspector of Yongzhou, Zhu Xu, resigned his post on account of old age and infirmity. The Jin court appointed the Crown Prince's Guard Leader of the Right, Chi Hui, as the new Inspector of Yongzhou, and Chi Hui took over for Zhu Xu at Xiangyang. This Chi Hui was the son of Chi Tan.


(Chi Tan is mentioned in Book 100, in Emperor Mu's third year of Shengping (359.12).)


17. At this time, natives of the Ba and Shu regions who were now living in Guanzhong rebelled against Later Qin. They occupied Hongnong in support of Qin.

Fu Deng appointed Dou Chong as Prime Minister of the Left, and Dou Chong shifted his camp to Huayin. Chi Hui sent the general Zhao Mu to guard the Jinyong fortress at Luoyang. Jin's Administrator of Henan, Yang Quanqi, led his army to Hucheng, attacked Dou Chong, and drove him off.


18. In the eleventh month, on the day Guiyou (December 10th), Emperor Xiaowu appointed the Yellow Gate Attendant, Yin Zhongkan, as Commander of military affairs in Jingzhou, Yizhou, and Ningzhou and as Inspector of Jingzhou, and he was stationed at Jiangling.

Although Yin Zhongkan had a heroic reputation, he was really only of superficial worth, and people who talked about him said that he was not fully suited to the job. While he was in office, although he enjoyed carrying out small acts of kindness, he did not grasp the larger picture.


19. Jin's Duke of Nan commandary, Huan Xuan, was the son of Huan Wen. Because of his personal talents and his family background, he considered himself a hero who was entitled to great things. But the Jin court was suspicious of him, and he was neglected; he did not receive office until he was twenty-two years old, when he was appointed as Horse-Washer to the Crown Prince.

Huan Xuan once came to visit the Prince of Langye, Sima Daozi. When Sima Daozi became drunk, he looked around at his guests with wide eyes and said, "When Huan Wen became old and grey, he wanted to play the rebel, didn't he?" Huan Xuan prostrated himself on the ground and sweated heavily, unable to rise. From then on, Huan Xuan was ever more uneasy, and he often gnashed his teeth at Sima Daozi.

Later, Huan Xuan was sent out to serve as Administrator of Yixing. But Huan Xuan was depressed at not having achieved his ambitions, and he sighed, "My father was lord of nine provinces; am I his son to be nothing more than a Chief of the Five Lakes?" So he abandoned his post and returned to his fief. He sent up a petition to explain himself, stating, "My late father acted diligently to rectify and restore the royal affairs, and the court owes more to him than I can reckon. And might I not ask: who was responsible for allowing His Late Majesty to ascend like a dragon, and to whom does Your Majesty owe your 'brilliant virtue'?" This petition was tabled, and no response was sent.


(Huan Xuan felt that he was entitled because of his talents and his family background.

Yu Fan remarked, "There are Five Lakes around Lake Tai: Lake Ge, Lake Tao, Lake She, Lake Kuai, and Lake Tai itself. This is not to mention the small branches of Lake Tai, which all feed into it. This is why the whole Lake Tai region is called the Five Lakes." Wei Zhao remarked, "The Five Lakes are Lake Xu, Lake Li, Lake Tao, Lake Ge, and Lake Tai." Li Shanzhang stated that the Five Lakes were Lake Zhangtang, Lake She, Lake Kuai, Lake Ge, and Lake Tai. The Records of the Interior of the Wu Region states, "The Five Lakes are Lake Gong, Lake You, Lake Xu, Lake Meiliang, and Lake Jinding."

Huan Xuan had inherited his father Huan Wen's title as Duke of Nan commandary.

Huan Xuan's petition was referring to how Huan Wen had deposed the Duke of Haixi (Emperor Fei) and replaced him with Emperor Jianwen. Emperor Xiaowu had then been able to succeed Emperor Jianwen. The Book of Changes states, "The trigram for brightness, repeated, forms Li. The great man, in accordance with this, cultivates more and more his brilliant virtue, and diffuses its brightness over the four quarters of the land (Li 1).)


20. Now that Huan Xuan was at Jiangling, Yin Zhongkan was very respectful and fearful of him. The Huan family had been established in Jingzhou for generations, and Huan Xuan himself was domineering, so the local people feared him more than they did Yin Zhongkan.

On one occasion, Huan Xuan was playing around on a horse in front of Yin Zhongkan's office, and he pointed his lance at Yin Zhongkan. Yin Zhongkan's Army Advisor of the Central Regiment, Liu Mai of Pengcheng commandary, said to Huan Xuan, "I see you are long of lance, but short of sense." Huan Xuan was displeased by this remark, and Yin Zhongkan turned pale.

After Huan Xuan left, Yin Zhongkan said to Liu Mai, "You fool! Huan Xuan will send people to kill you this very night, and how will I be able to save you?" He sent Liu Mai back to the capital so that he could escape from danger. Huan Xuan indeed sent people after him, but Liu Mai barely made his escape.


(The Tongsu Dictionary states, "A spear that is one zhang eight chi in length is called a lance."

By "pointing" the lance, this passage means that Huan Xuan was lifting the lance in Yin Zhongkan's direction, as though he were about to stab him.

When Emperor Yuan (Sima Rui) began the restoration in the Southland, he created Army Advisors of thirteen offices; among these were the Central Regiment, the Outer Regiment, and the Cavalry Regiment.

The "capital" meant Jiankang.)


21. The Army Advisor to the General Who Conquers The Caitiffs, Hu Fang of Yuzhang commandary, was passing through Jiangling. He came to see Yin Zhongkan and persuaded him, "Huan Xuan has uncommon ambitions and desires. He is always sullenly resigning his offices, and Commissioner, you are treating him with far too much honor. I fear he is plotting something, and it won't be long now!" But Yin Zhongkan was displeased by this suggestion.

Hu Fang's brother-in-law and fellow commandary native, Luo Qisheng, was serving as Yin Zhongkan's Merit Evaluator. When Hu Fang was about to leave, he said to Luo Qisheng, "Marquis Yin has already thrown down his weapons to serve this fellow, and he is sure to come to disaster. Sir, if you do not figure out a way to get out of here quickly, it will be too late for regrets later!"


(Some versions state that Luo Qisheng was "from the same commandary" as Hu Fang.

This was why Huan Xuan later killed Luo Qisheng and Yin Zhongkan.)


22. On the day Gengyin (December 27th), Emperor Xiaowu's son Sima Dewen was appointed as the new Prince of Langye. Sima Daozi's title was changed to Prince of Kuaiji.


23. In the twelfth month, Murong Chui returned to Zhongshan. He appointed the Prince of Liaoxi, Murong Nong, as Commander of military affairs in Yanzhou, Yuzhou, Jingzhou, Xuzhou, and Yongzhou, and Murong Nong was stationed at Ye.


24. A leader of the Xiuguan people, Quan Qiancheng, occupied Xianqin county and declared himself Governor of Qinzhou.


(休官 Xiuguan was the name of one of the various Yi tribes.

Xianqin county was created by Emperor Guangwu of Han, as part of Hanyang commandary. Jin changed its name from Xianqin to Xianxin, and restored Hanyang's former name as Tianshui commandary.

The Biography of Yao Xing in the Chronicles of the Book of Jin records 權千成 Quan Qiancheng's name as 權干城 Quan Gancheng, a gentry leader from Lüeyang commandary.)


25. A native of Qinghe commandary, Li Liao, sent up a petition asking that the Jin government of Yanzhou restore the temple of Confucius and assign households to keep it washed and swept clean. He established his own school of instruction, where he gathered students and instructed them, telling them, "When people talk about things seeming well but really being an emergency, this is what they mean!" But his petition was not put into effect.


(The temple of Confucius was in the Lu region. During Former Han, Lu commandary was part of Xuzhou, and during Later Han and Western Jin, it was part of Yuzhou. The reason that Li Liao sent this petition to the government of Yanzhou was because after the restoration of Jin, Lu commandary had been split off as part of Jin's province of Yanzhou.

Li Liao uses the word 寔; this is the same term as in the expressions 寔義 or 虛實.)
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BOOK 108

Unread postby Taishi Ci 2.0 » Fri Oct 12, 2018 8:41 pm


The Eighteenth Year of Taiyuan (The Guisi Year, 393 AD)


1. In spring, the first month, Murong Rou passed away. He was posthumously known as Prince Xiao ("the Filial") of Yangping.


2. Quan Qiancheng felt threatened by Qin, so he asked to surrender to Qifu Gangui. Qifu Gangui appointed him as Inspector of Eastern Qinzhou, Grand Overseer of the Xiuguan, and Duke of Xianqin.


3. In summer, the fourth month, on the day Gengzi (May 6th), Murong Chui promoted his Crown Prince, Murong Bao, as Grand Chanyu. He appointed the Prince of Anding, Kunuguan Wei, as Grand Commandant. He appointed the Prince of Fanyang, Murong De, as Minister Over The Masses. He appointed Murong Kai as Minister of Works. And he appointed Murong Shao as Supervisor of the Right of the Masters of Writing.

In the fifth month, Murong Chui appointed his sons Murong Xi, Murong Lang, and Murong Jian as Prince of Hejian, Prince of Bohai, and Prince of Boling.


4. By now, Dou Chong had grown conceited and overbearing. He asked that Fu Deng appoint him as Prince of Tianshui, but Fu Deng would not consent. So in the sixth month, Dou Chong declared himself King of Qin, and he changed the reign era title to the first year of Yuanguang.


(Someone who is overbearing bullies others in order to exalt themselves.)


5. Qifu Gangui appointed his son Qifu Chipan as Crown Prince. Qifu Chipan was bold, calculating, wise, and decisive; he even surpassed his father in these respects.


6. In autumn, the seventh month, Fu Deng attacked Dou Chong at Fort Yeren. Dou Chong asked for aid from Later Qin.

Yin Wei said to Yao Chang, "The Crown Prince (Yao Xing) has established a reputation as a benevolent and generous man, and he is known as such near and far. However, he has not yet had a chance to display his boldness or his cunning. I ask that you send him to attack Fu Deng now, so that he may prove himself."

Yao Chang agreed. So Yao Xing led troops to attack Fort Hukong, causing Fu Deng to lift his siege of Dou Chong to march to meet him there. But Yao Xing then made a surprise attack against Pingliang, capturing much there before returning. Then Yao Chang sent Yao Xing back to guard Chang'an.


(To be known for something is to have a reputation for that quality.

Ever since the loss of Dajie, Fu Deng had used Pingliang as his base.)


7. It was earlier mentioned that after the destruction of Liu Weichen and his domain, the Xuegan leader Taixifu had refused to hand over Liu Weichen's son Liu Bobo to Tuoba Gui. So in the eighth month, Tuoba Gui launched a surprise attack on Taixifu's city and massacred it. Taixifu fled to Qin.


(Northern Wei's campaign against Liu Weichen is mentioned in Book 107, in the sixteenth year of Taiyuan (391.20-21).)


8. The Di leader Yang Fusong rebelled against Jin and fled to Later Qin. Yang Quanqi and Zhao Mu pursued him. In the ninth month, on the day Bingxu (?), they defeated Yang Fusong at Tong Gate. But then the Later Qin general Yao Chong came to reinforce Yang Fusong, and he defeated the Jin army; Zhao Mu was killed.


9. In winter, the tenth month, Yao Chang became seriously ill. He returned to Chang'an.


10. Murong Chui proposed a campaign against Western Yan. His generals all said, "There are no current internal disputes among Murong Yong's people which we can exploit, and our armies have been campaigning already for years on end. The soldiers are weary and exhausted. It cannot be done yet."

But Murong De said, "Murong Yong is just a branch or leaf of our real state, yet he too has presumed to call himself Emperor. By doing so, he is misleading the people and confusing them as to who is legitimate. We should get rid of him at once, in order to unite the hearts of the people. Though the soldiers may be weary, even inferior soldiers would be able to win!"

Murong Chui replied, "The Minister Over The Masses thinks just as I do. Even though I've become an old man, with a sagging head and a fading mind, I could still handle Murong Yong. I can't leave this villain behind for my descendants to deal with." So he had his soldiers prepare for war.


(Murong Chui did not want to leave Murong Yong behind as a threat for his descendants. Little did he know that Tuoba Gui was already lying in wait, watching for his chance to take the Dai region and the north. Thus it becomes clear that for those who wish to preserve their family or their state, they should not concern themselves with ensuring that there is no enemy state or foreign threat; what they ought to concern themselves with is preserving their state to hand down to their successors and maintaining their family so that it will survive, and making sure in both cases that it will be strong enough to meet any coming challenges.)


11. In the eleventh month, Murong Chui set out from Zhongshan with seventy thousand horse and foot. He sent the General Who Guards The West and Prince of Danyang, Murong Zuan (or Zan), and the Dragon-Soaring General, Zhang Chong, to march from Jingxing and attack Western Yan's Duke of Wuxiang, Murong You, at Jinyang. The General Who Conquers The East, Ping Gui, attacked Western Yan's General Who Guards The East, Duan Ping, at Shating. Murong Yong sent his Prefect of the Masters of Writing, Diao Yun, and his General of Chariots and Cavalry, Murong Zhong, to lead fifty thousand soldiers to guard Luchuan. This Murong You was the younger brother of Murong Yong.

In the twelfth month, Murong Chui arrived at Ye.


(Murong 纘 Zuan's given name should be 瓚 Zan.

Shating was southwest of Ye.)

垂遣其龍驤將軍張崇攻永弟武鄉公友於晉陽,永遣其尚書令刁雲率眾五萬屯潞川。(Book of Northern Wei 95, Biography of Murong Yong)

Murong Chui sent his Dragon-Soaring General, Zhang Chong, to attack Murong Yong's Duke of Wuxiang, his younger brother Murong You, at Jinyang. Murong Yong sent his Prefect of the Masters of Writing, Diao Yun, to lead fifty thousand troops to camp at Luchuan.


12. On the day Jihai (?), Yao Chang summoned his Grand Commandant, Yao Min, his Supervisors, Yin Wei and Yao Huang, his general Yao Damu, and his Master of Writing, Di Bozhi, to see him inside the palace. He entrusted them all with his will, to serve as regents over the government.

Yao Chang said to Yao Xing, "If anyone advises you to harm these gentlemen, you must not accept such advice. Grant them your grace as your own flesh and blood, and treat the great ministers with proper courtesy. Show trust to those of worth and benevolence to the common people. Then all will be maintained, and I shall have no regrets."

Yao Huang bowed his head and wept as he asked for a plan for how to defeat Fu Deng. But Yao Chang replied, "The grand design is nearly fulfilled. Yao Xing has enough talent and intelligence to handle this. Why ask any more about it?"

On the day Gengzi (?), Yao Chang passed away.

Yao Xing hid his father’s death and did not conduct mourning. He appointed his uncles Yao Xu and Yao Shuode to guard Anding and Yinmi, and he appointed his younger brother Yao Chong to defend Chang'an.


(Yao Chang advised Yao Xing to treat his regents well and respect them; Fu Jiàn had advised Fu Sheng to kill his regents if they opposed him. Yao Chang had offered the superior advice.

Yao Chang was sixty-three years old when he died.)


13. Someone said to Yao Shuode, "Sir, you have long held a great and martial reputation, and you have the most powerful forces at your command. Now that the succession has just taken place, the court is sure to be suspicious of you. It would be best if you went back to Qinzhou, and awaited events to see what happens."

But Yao Shuode replied, "The Crown Prince is ambitious, tolerant, magnanimous, and wise. He surely has no concerns about me. We have not even defeated Fu Deng yet, so if we were to turn against our own flesh and blood, that would lead to our ruin. If I am to die, so be it; I shall not do as you suggest." And he went to see Yao Xing, who treated him with great praise and courtesy and sent him back.

Yao Xing appointed himself as Grand General, and he appointed Yin Wei as his Chief Clerk and Di Bozhi as his Marshal. He led his forces to campaign against Qin.


(Yao Shuode had originally raised his personal troops at Longshang and occupied Jicheng. This was in the Qinzhou region, which was why this person advised him to return there.)
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BOOK 108

Unread postby Taishi Ci 2.0 » Fri Oct 12, 2018 8:47 pm


The Nineteenth Year of Taiyuan (The Jiawu Year, 394 AD)


1. In spring, the first month, Fu Deng heard that Yao Chang was dead. Very pleased, he declared, "Yao Xing is a mere brat; I could thrash him with just a cane." So he declared a general amnesty, and he gathered all his forces to march east. He left his Minister Over The Masses and Prince of Ancheng, Fu Guang, to defend Yong, and he left his Crown Prince, Fu Chong to guard Fort Hukong.

Fu Deng sent envoys to appoint Qifu Gangui as Qin's Prime Minister of the Left, Prince of Henan, and acting Governor of Qinzhou, Lianzhou, Yizhou, Liangzhou, and Shazhou; he was also granted the Nine Bestowments.


(Some versions add that this event was in "the first month".

Those who underestimate their enemies are defeated. This was why Fu Deng met his doom not during the long war against Yao Chang, but only now, when Yao Xing had newly ascended the throne.)


2. Before this time, Tufa Sifujian had passed away, and his son Tufa Wugu had succeeded him. Tufa Wugu was heroic, bold, and had grand ambitions. He plotted with the great general Fen Tuo to capture Liangzhou.

Fen Tuo said, "Sir, you will certainly obtain Liangzhou. But first, you must tend to your agricultural duties and instruct your people in warfare, while courteously welcoming the talented and worthy and reforming your administration and enforcements. Only afterwards can you take Liangzhou."

Tufa Wugu listened to his advice.

Lü Guang sent envoys to appoint Tufa Wugu as his Grand Champion General and Grand Overseer of the Xianbei of Hexi. Tufa Wugu took council with his subordinates, asking them, "Should I accept these appointments?"

They all said, "We have a great many soldiers and horses; why should you be subordinate to another?"

But Shizhen Ruoliu did not answer. Tufa Wugu said to him, "Do you fear Lü Guang?"

Shizhen Ruoliu replied, "We have not yet established a firm foundation for ourselves. The small are no match for the great. If Lü Guang should fight to the death against us, how could we oppose him? It would be better to accept his appointments to make him arrogant, and await divisions within his domain that we can exploit before acting. Then we could not help but win."

So Tufa Wugu accepted the appointments.


(Tufa Wugu wished to annex Lü Guang's territory.

Fen Tuo and Shizhen Ruoliu were both people who could analyze the situation and suggest the right way to adapt to circumstances.

This passage demonstrates Tufa Wugu's rise.

紛 Fen and 石眞 Shizhen must have also been tribal surnames.)


3. In the second month, Fu Deng attacked Fort Zhuge Yaonu and Fort Bopu and took them.


(These two forts were east of Fort Hukong.)


4. Murong Chui left his Duke of Qinghe, Murong Hui, to guard Ye. He drafted soldiers from Sizhou, Jizhou, Qingzhou, and Yanzhou. He sent Murong Kai out from Fukou and Murong Nong out from Huguan, while Murong Chui himself marched out from Shating to attack Western Yan. Each force flaunted its strength, and they all paused.

When Murong Yong heard this, he split up his soldiers and placed them on different roads to oppose the Yan armies and defend against them. He gathered his grain at Taibi, and he sent his General Who Conquers The East, his cousin's son Yi Dougui the Younger, his General Who Guards The East, Wang Ciduo, and his General of the Right, Le Maju, to lead more than ten thousand soldiers to camp there.


(This passage refers to the place Murong Chui departed from as 沙庭 Shating, but it should be 沙亭, as mentioned earlier; it was southwest of Ye.

Murong Chui split up his forces in order to sow doubt among the enemy, and make them uncertain of which place to defend.

The Commentary on the Water Classic states, "The north side of Lu county faces the old city of Taibi; the Zhang River emerges south of there, and it was originally established by the Marquis of Lu." According to the Geographical Records of the Book of Northern Wei, Yiling county in Xiangyuan commandary was originally Lu county during Han and Jin, and there was a Taibi there.

At this time, there were two people serving in Western Yan named Yi Dougui, so the one mentioned in this passage was called Yi Dougui the Younger.)


5. In summer, the fourth month, Fu Deng led his forces from Liumo to gather at Feiqiao. Later Qin's Administrator of Shiping, Yao Xiang, occupied Fort Mawei to oppose him. Yao Xing sent Yin Wei to lead troops to reinforce Yao Xiang, and Yin Wei occupied Feiqiao to meet Fu Deng's attack. Fu Deng's soldiers tried to cross the river, but they could not get across, and twenty to thirty percent of his troops drowned. So they launched a fierce assault against Yin Wei.

Yao Xing quickly sent Di Bozhi to tell Yin Wei, "Fu Deng's invasion has been blunted. You should hold fast to your defenses and wear him out."

But Yin Wei declared, "His Late Majesty has only just 'ascended to the golden clouds', and the people are still afraid and uncertain. If I do not devote my full strength and effort to capturing the enemy, then the grand design will be lost!" So he went forth to offer battle to the Qin army, and they were greatly defeated.

That night, the Qin army scattered. Fu Deng fled on a lone horse back to Yong. When Fu Chong and Fu Guang heard about the defeat at Feiqiao, they both abandoned their cities and fled. By the time Fu Deng arrived, there was no place of refuge for him, so he fled to Pingliang. He gathered up and assembled his scattered forces and went into Mount Mamao.


(Some versions specify that this battle was "in the fourth month".

Yin Wei uses the expression 登遐. Zheng Xuan remarked, "登 means to ascend, and 遐 means oneself. So in the sense that 'one ascends', it is the same sort of expression as 'going away to be an immortal' (that is, to die)."

The city of Pingliang was in Chunyin county in Han's Anding commandary. Later on, during Later Zhou, Ji county in Pingliang commandary was first created. During Tang, it was Yuanzhou county.

Later, after Helian Ding's defeat, Northern Wei also occupied the Mamao Ranges in order to capture Xi Jin. So this Mamao place must have been a critical strategic point in Pingliang.)


6. Murong Chui halted his army southwest of Ye, and for more than a month he did not advance. Murong Yong was puzzled by this behavior. He decided that Murong Chui must have felt that the road through Taixing was too broad, and that Murong Chui wanted to use a secret road to come at him. So Murong Yong summoned all his forces to camp at Zhi Pass, and only the army at Taibi was left to hold the Taixing road.

On the day Jiaxu (June 4th), Murong Chui led his main army out from Fukou, and they entered Tianjing Gate. In the fifth month, on the day Yiyou (June 15th), the Yan army arrived at Taibi. Murong Yong sent his Grand Commandant, his cousin Yi Dougui the Elder, to reinforce the army at Taibi, but Ping Gui attacked and routed him. Yi Dougui the Younger came out to offer battle, but Murong Nong attacked and routed him as well, and he beheaded Le Maju and captured Wang Ciduo, then laid siege to Taibi. Murong Yong then summoned all his forces back, and personally led fifty thousand elite troops to oppose the Yan army. But his generals Diao Yun and Murong Zhong were unnerved and afraid, and they led their forces to surrender to Yan. Murong Yong executed their wives and children.

On the day Jihai (June 29th), Murong Chui put his army in formation south of Taibi, and sent his General of Agile Cavalry, Murong Guo, with more than a thousand cavalry to lay in ambush among the ravines. On the day Gengzi (June 30th), the Yan and Western Yan armies clashed. Murong Chui pretended to retreat, and Murong Yong's soldiers pursued him. But after they had traveled several li, Murong Guo's cavalry sprang their ambush from out of the ravines and cut off Murong Yong's rear. Then the Yan forces advanced against the Western Yan army from all sides; they greatly routed them, taking more than eight thousand heads. Murong Yong fled back to Zhangzi.

When his generals defending Jinyang heard of the defeat, they abandoned the city and fled. Murong Zan and others advanced and occupied Jinyang.


(According to the Geographical Records of the Book of Han, there was a Tianjing Gate in Gaodu county in Shangdang commandary. Cai Yong remarked, "There is a Tianjing Gate on Mount Taixing; it is north of the Well constellation, thus the name Tianjing ('Heavenly Well')." I (Hu Sanxing) note that there is a Taixing Gate in Jincheng county in modern Zezhou, inside of which are three Tianjing Springs; this must have been the same place as Tianjing Gate.)

垂停鄴,月餘不進,永乘詭道伐之,乃攝諸軍還於太行軹關。垂進師,入自木井關,攻永從子征東將軍小逸豆歸、鎮東將軍王次多於臺壁。永遣其從兄太尉大逸豆歸救次多等,垂將平規擊破之。永率眾五萬與垂戰於臺壁南,為垂所敗,奔還長子,嬰城固守。(Book of Northern Wei 95, Biography of Murong Yong)

Murong Chui halted at Ye, and for more than a month he did not advance. Murong Yong believed that Murong Chui was planning to take a secret route to campaign against him, so he ordered his generals to pull back to Zhi Pass at Taixing.

Murong Chui then advanced, entering through Mujing Gate. He attacked Murong Yong's General Who Conquers The East, his nephew Yi Dougui the Younger, and his General Who Guards The East, Wang Duoci, at Taibi. Murong Yong sent his Grand Commandant, his cousin Yi Dougui the Elder, to reinforce Wang Ciduo and the others, but Murong Chui's general Ping Gui attacked and routed him.

Murong Yong led fifty thousand soldiers to fight Murong Chui south of Taibi. But he was defeated by Murong Chui, so he fled back to Zhangzi and shut the gates to defend the city.


7. Yao Xing now began the mourning for Yao Chang, and he declared himself Emperor at Huaili. He declared a general amnesty, and he changed the reign era title to the first year of Huangchu. Then he returned to Anding. He posthumously honored Yao Chang as Emperor Wuzhao ("the Martial and Bright"), and his temple name was Taizu.


(Yao Xing, styled Zilüe, was Yao Chang's eldest son.

During Han, Huaili county was part of Fufeng commandary. During Jin, it was part of Shiping commandary. Song Bai remarked, "The capital city of Han's Huaili county was seven li southeast of Xingping county in Tang's Qizhou."

Now that Yao Xing had routed Fu Deng, he felt it was a suitable time to begin the mourning for Yao Chang and officially rise to the throne.)


8. In the sixth month, on the day Renzi (?), Jin posthumously honored the Grand Concubine of the Prince of Kuaiji, Lady Zheng, as Empress Dowager Jianwenxuan.

The ministers proposed that the late Empress Dowager should be offered sacrifices at the same temple as Emperor Yuan. But the Crown Prince's Leader of the Front, Xu Miao, objected, "During her lifetime, Empress Dowager Xuan was never joined in matrimony with His Late Majesty. How then can his descendants offer her equal sacrifices with their forebearer?"

Then the Wise Instructor of the National Academy, Zang Dao of Dongguan commandary, replied, "Since we are now rectifying Empress Dowager Xuan's title, we cannot fail to express our full feelings to her. Let us establish a separate temple, and thereby honor and exalt the father. We would then ease the worries of the son, while also acting wisely and honorably. In a single undertaking, we would fulfill three virtues. Would that not be excellent?"

So they established a temple for her on the west road of the Grand Temple.


(The Laws of Posthumous Names states, "One who is sage, excellent, and hears all may be called Xuan ('Understanding')."

The Records of Jin states, "When Emperor Hui was established in the Eastern Palace as Crown Prince during his father Emperor Wu's reign, there was only the Leader of the Central Guards. In the fifth year of Taishi (269), these were split into the Leaders of Left and Right Guards, each commanding one army. After Emperor Hui became Emperor and Emperor Huai was in the Eastern Palace as Crown Prince, the additional posts of Leader of the Front and Rear Guards were created. At the beginning of the restoration in the Southland, these last two positions were abolished. But during Emperor Xiaowu's Taiyuan reign era, they were reestablished."

Xu Miao was saying that Lady Zheng was never Emperor Yuan's (Sima Rui's) chief wife. 伉 means to be matched, and 儷 means to be joined.

According to the Biographies of Scholars in the Book of Jin, when Emperor Yuan moved the Hundred and Six Bells and gloriously established the restoration of the dynasty, although at that time he honored scholarship and encouraged learning and particularly delved into chanting, one never heard the sounds of stringed instruments or singing in the palace schools. But Emperor Ming was refined and fond of scattered accounts, and Emperor Jianwen was diligent and delighted in studies of the most ancient records, so they recruited and gathered together students and disciples, and they sought out and rewarded those of achievement. So this office of Wise Instructor of the National Academy would have been created during one of their reigns.

嚴 here means "to honor", and 禰 means a father's temple.

They would be "easing the worries of a son" in the sense that Emperor Jianwen had once worried for Empress Dowager Xuan, who was his mother. The Spring and Autumn Annals states, "The mother is exalted by the son.")


9. Murong Chui advanced his army to besiege Zhangzi.

Murong Yong wished to flee to Later Qin. But his Palace Attendant, Lan Ying, said to him, "Years ago, when Shi Hu campaigned against Longdu (Jicheng), Taizu (Murong Huang) held firm and did not flee, and in the end, that led to the foundation of Great Yan's rise. Now Murong Chui is an old man of seventy years; he is old and weary, and his soldiers are worn out. He cannot remain here for years on end, having his soldiers attack us. You need only to hold the city and wear him out."

So Murong Yong followed his advice.


(Shi Hu's campaign against Murong Huang is mentioned in Book 96, in Emperor Cheng's fourth year of Xiankang (338).

When armies clash, there are infinite possibilities for what the specific circumstances might be. One can only win a hundred victories in a hundred battles if one both knows oneself and knows one's enemy. If Murong Yong thought that he could emulate what had happened at the battle of Jicheng, he would have needed fellow defenders at Zhangzi who would give their all to defend the city without fleeing, like Murong Huang's generals once had!)


10. Fu Deng sent the Prince of Ruyin, his son Fu Zong, as a hostage to Qifu Gangui to ask him for aid, and he promoted Qifu Gangui's title to Prince of Liang and offered him his sister as a wife. So Qifu Gangui sent his General of the Front Army, Qifu Yizhou, and others to led ten thousand cavalry to reinforce Fu Deng.

In autumn, the seventh month, Fu Deng led his troops out to meet up with Qifu Gangui's soldiers. But Yao Xing marched from Anding to Jingyang and fought Fu Deng south of the mountain. He captured Fu Deng, and killed him. Then Yao Xing disbanded his armies, and sent his soldiers home to tend to their farms and livelihoods. He relocated thirty thousand households from Yinmi to Chang'an, and he granted Fu Deng's Empress Li to Yao Huang.

When Qifu Yizhou and the others heard that Fu Deng had already been defeated, they led their troops back. Fu Chong fled to Huangzhong, where he declared himself Emperor of Qin and changed the reign era title to the first year of Yanchu. He posthumously honored Fu Deng as Emperor Gao ("the Lofty"), with the temple name Taizong.


(Yao Xing and Fu Deng fought south of Mount Mamao.

Fu Deng was fifty-one years old when he died.)


11. Later Qin's General Who Maintains The South, Qiang (or Yang) Xi, and their General Who Guards Distant Places, Qiang Duo, rebelled against them and acclaimed Dou Chong as their leader. Yao Xing himself came to campaign against them. When his army arrived at Wugong, Qiang Duo's nephew Qiang Liangguo killed him and surrendered. Qiang (or Yang) Xi fled to Qinzhou. Dou Chong fled to Qianchuan, but a Di leader from Qianchuan, Chou Gao, arrested Dou Chong and sent him to Yao Xing.


(Some versions write Qiang Xi's surname as Yang.

"Qianchuan" was Qian county in Fufeng commandary.)


12. Lü Guang appointed his son Lü Fu as Commander of military affairs west of Yumen Pass and Grand Protector of the Western Reaches, and he was stationed at Gaochang. Lü Guang ordered the sons and younger brothers of his chief ministers to accompany Lü Fu.


13. In the eighth month, on the day Jisi (September 27th), Emperor Xiaowu honored the Grand Concubine, Li Lingrong, as Empress Dowager, and she resided in Chongxun Palace.


14. Facing extreme duress, Murong Yong sent his Duke of Changshan, his son Murong Hong, and others to ask for aid from Chi Hui, even presenting him with a jade seal. Chi Hui sent up a petition to the Jin court stating, "If Murong Chui is allowed to annex Murong Yong, he will become that much greater of a threat. It would be better if both forces continue to exist, then we may gradually exploit opportunities to wear them both out." Emperor Xiaowu agreed, so he issued an edict ordering the Inspector of Qingzhou and Yanzhou, Wang Gong, and the Inspector of Yuzhou, Yu Kai, to assist Murong Yong. This Yu Kai was the grandson of Yu Liang. Afraid that Jin would not send troops to reinforce him, Murong Yong further sent his Crown Prince, Murong Liang, to serve as their hostage. But Ping Gui pursued Murong Liang and caught up with him at Gaodu, where he captured him.

Murong Yong even reported his dire situation to Wei. So Tuoba Gui sent his Duke of Chenliu, Tuoba Qian, and his general Yu Yue to lead fifty thousand cavalry east across the Yellow River, and they camped at Xiurong to support Murong Yong. This Tuoba Qian was the son of Tuoba Hegen.

But before the reinforcements from Jin and Wei had arrived, Yi Dougui the Elder's subordinate general Fa Qin and others opened the gates of Zhangzi and welcomed in the Yan soldiers. The Yan soldiers captured Murong Yong and beheaded him, along with more than thirty of his nobles and chief ministers, including his great generals Diao Yun and Yi Dougui the Elder.

Yan thus came into possession of the eight commandaries and more than seventy thousand households that Murong Yong had controlled, along with a great abundance of carriages, clothing, dancers and musicians, and treasures and fine goods from the old court. Murong Chui appointed Murong Zan as Inspector of Bingzhou and stationed him at Jinyang, and he appointed the Prince of Yidu, Murong Feng, as Inspector of Yongzhou and stationed him at Zhangzi.

Several of Murong Yong's former ministers were recruited by Yan and granted offices suited for their talents: his Supervisor of the Masters of Writing, Qu Zun of Changli commandary, his Master of Writing, Wang De of Yangping commandary, his Chief of the Palace Library, Li Xian of Zhongshan commandary, his Chief of Affairs of the Crown Prince's Household, Feng Ze of Bohai commandary, his Gentleman of the Yellow Gate, Humu Liang of Taishan commandary, his Gentleman of the Palace Secretariat, Zhang Teng, and his Gentleman of the Masters of Writing, Gongsun Biao of Yan commandary.


(After the Yu clan was purged by Huan Wen, Yu Kai was unable to rise to high office, and this was why he was in such a relatively meager position as Inspector of Yuzhou.

Gaodu county was part of Shangdang commandary. During Sui, it was Dangchuan county in Zezhou, and during Tang, it was Jincheng county.

The Xiurong mentioned here was Northern Xiurong, in Han's Dingxiang commandary; Northern Wei later created a Xiurong county in Xiurong commandary. There was also a Xiurong Garrison sixty li northwest of the Fen River; tribal peoples from the Northern Xiurong were relocated to reside there, so it was called Southern Xiurong. Liu Xu remarked, "Xiurong county in Xinzhou was where Han's Fenyang county was. Sui shifted the capital city of Xiurong county to this place, thus its name."

Tuoba Hegen is mentioned in Book 104, in the first year of Taiyuan (376.18). He was one of Tuoba Shiyijian's sons, so this Tuoba Qian would have been Tuoba Gui's cousin. The first character of Tuoba Hegen’s given name, 紇, is pronounced "hu (h-u)".

Li Xian and Gongsun Biao would later go on to serve Northern Wei, where they achieved conspicuous office.)

大逸豆歸部將潛為內應,垂勒兵密進,永奔北門,為前驅所獲,垂數而戮之,并斬永公卿已下刁雲、大逸豆歸等三十餘人。永所統新舊民戶,及服御、圖書、器樂、珍寶,垂盡獲之。(Book of Northern Wei 95, Biography of Murong Yong)

Yi Dougui the Elder's subordinate general secretly supported the Later Yan army from within, and Murong Chui ordered his soldiers to secretly advance. Murong Yong fled to the northern gate, but he was captured by the vanguard soldiers. Murong Chui reprimanded him and then killed him. He also beheaded more than thirty of Murong Yong's chief nobles and ministers, including Diao Yun and Yi Dougui the Elder. Murong Chui captured all of the new and old people and households that had lived under Murong Yong, as well as his clothing and chariots, his record books, his instruments and tools, and his fine treasures and trinkets.


15. In the ninth month, Murong Chui returned from Zhangzi to Ye.


16. In winter, the tenth month, Qifu Gangui drove Fu Chong out of his territory. Fu Chong fled to the King of Longxi, Yang Ding. Yang Ding left his Marshal, Shao Jiang, to guard Qinzhou, while he led twenty thousand soldiers to help Fu Chong launch a joint attack against Qifu Gangui. Qifu Gangui sent his Governor of Liangzhou, Qifu Kedan, his Governor of Qinzhou, Qifu Yizhou, and his General Who Uplifts Righteousness, Qifu Jiegui, to lead thirty thousand cavalry to oppose them.

Qifu Yizhou fought Yang Ding, but was defeated at Pingzhou (or Pingchuan). Qifu Kedan and Qifu Jiegui were about to lead their troops away in retreat, but Qifu Kedan's Marshal, Zhai Wen, brandished his sword and angrily declared, "Our sovereign is establishing his foundation through boldness and martial valor; no one can stand before him, and his might is felt throughout the regions of Qin and Shu. General, you are a member of the royal clan, and you hold a position as chief commander of the army. You ought to be doing your utmost to carry out your orders and assist your family and your state. Though the Governor of Qinzhou has suffered a reverse, your two armies remain fully intact. Why should you be so rash as to flee in defeat? How will you be able to show your face before our lord? I may not hold any command here, but that will not stop me from taking your head!"

Qifu Kedan apologized to him, saying, "I was only going to retreat because I did not know how strong the morale of our army was. But if they are resolute as you say, then I shall gladly face death!"

So he led his cavalry to charge forward into battle, and Qifu Yizhou and Qifu Jiegui also led their soldiers behind him. They greatly defeated Yang Ding's soldiers, and killed Yang Ding and Fu Chong and took seventeen thousand enemy heads.

Qifu Gangui thus came into possession of all the territory of Longxi.


(The generals listed here as Kedan, Yizhou, and Jiegui were all members of the Qifu clan. Qifu 軻彈 Kedan's given name is listed in the Chronicles of the Book of Jin as 軻殫 Kedan.

Qifu Gangui had appointed people as nominal Governors of Liangzhou and Qinzhou, but he did not really possess those territories at the time. It was only following this victory that Qifu Gangui actually came into possession of Qinzhou.

This passage lists the initial battle as taking place at 平州 Pingzhou. But the Chronicles of the Book of Jin lists it as 平川 Pingchuan, and that is how it should be written here.

It was in Emperor Mu's seventh year of Yonghe (351) that Former Qin had been established, when Fu Jiàn declared himself Emperor of Qin. It had passed through six rulers and lasted for forty-one years, then perished.)


17. Yang Ding had had no sons. But his uncle Yang Fugou had a son, Yang Sheng, who had earlier gone to guard Chouchi. So after Yang Ding's death, Yang Sheng declared himself Jin's General Who Conquers The West, Inspector of Qinzhou, and Duke of Chouchi. He granted Yang Ding the posthumous title Prince Wu ("the Martial"). He also sent envoys to the Jin court proclaiming his vassalage.

The Crown Prince of Qin, Fu Xuan, fled to Yang Sheng.

Yang Sheng split the Di and Qiang into twenty different Garrisons, each defending their own camps; he did not establish commandaries or counties.


(Some versions clarify that it was Yang Sheng who organized the Di and Qiang in this manner.)


18. Murong Chui went on an eastern patrol through Yangping and Pingyuan commandaries. He ordered Murong Nong to cross the Yellow River and join the General Who Maintains The South, Yin Guo, to launch campaigns through Qingzhou and Yanzhou. Murong Nong attacked Linqiu while Yin Guo attacked Yangcheng, and both places were captured. Jin's Administrator of Dongping, Wei Jian, died in battle, while the Administrators of Gaoping, Taishan, and Langye commandaries all abandoned their cities as their forces scattered and fled. Murong Nong advanced his army as far as the seashore, and he appointed local officials for the new territory.


(Murong Nong was on the shore of the eastern sea.)


19. It was earlier mentioned that Tuoba Gui had captured the Rouran leader Yujiulü Yunheti and his sons Yujiulü Heduohan and Yujiulü Shelun. At this time, Yujiulü Heduohan and Yujiulü Shelun abandoned their father and fled west with their forces. The Wei general Zhangsun Fei pursued them and caught up with them at Mount Bana in Shang commandary, where he beheaded Yujiulü Heduohan.

Yujiulü Shelun gathered up several hundred remaining followers and fled to the leader Yahouba, who placed him on the southern border of his domain. But Yujiulü Shelun then launched a surprise attack against Yahouba and killed him. Yahouba's sons Qiba and Wuxie and others all fled to Wei. Yujiulü Shelun pillaged the western regions of Wuyuan commandary, then fled north across the deserts.


(The Rouran's surrender to Northern Wei is mentioned in Book 107, in the sixteenth year of Taiyuan (391.16-17).

From this time on, the Rouran became a constant menace to Northern Wei.

According to the Chronicles of the Book of Jin, Yujiulü Shelun was one of the Xianbei from the Hexi region. So the Rouran in general must have also descended from the Xianbei.)


20. In the eleventh month, Murong Nong defeated Pilü Hun at the Long River, then entered Linzi. In the twelfth month, Murong Chui recalled Murong Nong and the others from their eastern campaign.


(Guo Yuansheng's Assorted Notes on Campaigns states, "There is a Mount Feng twenty li south of Guanggu. The Yang River flows south of it, then flows northeast. The people of the time called it the Shigou River. It emerges from north of Mount Weisu, then flows east to join with the Juyang River, at the place called Shigoukou ('mouth of the Shigou'). However, there are times when the river is blocked up downstream, and the river floods during the spring and summer, causing the water to billow endlessly, so it is also called the Longquan River.")


21. Yao Xing sent envoys to restore good relations with Yan. His Crown Prince, Yao Bao, had a son Yao Min; Yao Xing sent him to Yan as well, and they appointed Yao Min as Duke of Hedong.


(As with Han-Zhao and Later Zhao, now that Former Qin no longer exists, the Zizhi Tongjian stops making a distinction between Former and Later Qin. So from this point on, Later Qin is simply listed as Qin.)


22. Qifu Gangui declared himself King of Qin, and he declared a general amnesty.


(From this point on, the Zizhi Tongjian refers to the Qifu state as Western Qin.)
Last edited by Taishi Ci 2.0 on Mon Oct 22, 2018 3:42 am, edited 1 time in total.
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BOOK 108

Unread postby Taishi Ci 2.0 » Fri Oct 12, 2018 8:50 pm


The Twentieth Year of Taiyuan (The Yiwei Year, 395 AD)


1. In spring, the first month, Murong Chui sent his Cavalier In Regular Attendance, Feng Ze, to lead a return delegation to visit Qin. Murong Chui also went hunting in Guangchuan, Bohai, and Changle commandaries before returning home.


(Emperor Gaozu of Han (Liu Bang) had established Xindu commandary. In Emperor Jing of Han's second year (156 BC), it became the Guangchuan princely fief. Emperor Ming of Han further renamed it to Lecheng, and Emperor An of Han renamed it again to Anping. Jin renamed it to Changle commandary, and they also established a separate Guangchuan commandary.)


2. Qifu Gangui appointed his Crown Prince, Qifu Chipan, as acting Prefect of the Masters of Writing. He appointed his Chief Clerk of the Left, Bian Rui, as Supervisor of the Left, and he appointed his Chief Clerk of the Right, Mi Yi, as Supervisor of the Right. He created subordinate offices that matched those once established by Wu of Wei (Cao Cao) and Emperor Wen of Jin (Sima Zhao); however, he still called himself Grand Chanyu and Grand General, and Bian Rui and others still held their subordinate offices as staff members to those titles.


3. The Xuegan leader Taixifu fled from Chang'an to north of the mountain ranges. From Shang commandary west, all the Xianbei and other tribes supported him.


("North of the mountain ranges" means north of the Jiuzong Ranges.

Taixifu had earlier fled to Former Qin, as mentioned above, in the eighteenth year (393.7).)


4. In the second month, on the day Jiayin (March 11th), Jin's Prefect of the Masters of Writing, Lu Na, passed away.


5. In the third month, on the new moon of the day Gengchen (April 6th), there was an eclipse.


6. Jin's Crown Prince, Sima Dezong, was sent to live in the Eastern Palace. The Intendant of Danyang, Wang Ya, was appointed as acting Lesser Tutor.


7. By now, Sima Daozi held so much authority that he did whatever he pleased. He had a pair of favorites, Zhao Ya and Ru Qianqiu, who had originally been no more than an entertainer and a local patrol official in Qiantang county, but they advanced in office through flattery and bribes. Sima Daozi appointed Zhao Ya as Administrator of Wei commandary and Ru Qianqiu as Libationer-Consultant to the General of Agile Cavalry.

Zhao Ya established an eastern estate for Sima Daozi, where he piled up hills and dug moats, using up enormous sums of money and labor. Emperor Xiaowu once came to visit the estate, where he said to Sima Daozi, "Your estate has exceptional hills, but there is too much ornamentation and decoration." Sima Daozi made no response.

After Emperor Xiaowu left, Sima Daozi said to Zhao Ya, "If our sovereign knew that even the hills were artificially made, you'd be dead for sure!"

But Zhao Ya replied, "So long as you are here, Sir, how dare I die?" And he only continued to expand the place even more.

Ru Qianqiu sold offices and gathered influence, and he amassed countless wealth. The Prefect of Boping, Wu Xing, heeded the people's anger at the situation by sending up a petition reporting what was going on. This caused Emperor Xiaowu to dislike Sima Daozi even more.

Due to pressure from the Empress Dowager, Emperor Xiaowu could not bear to outright demote or dismiss Sima Daozi from his posts. But he did continue to enlist influential people and keep them close to serve as checks against Sima Daozi, both within the court and out on the borders, including Wang Gong, Chi Hui, Yin Zhongkan, Wang Xun, Wang Ya, and others. For his part, Sima Daozi had his own people to serve as his pawns, including Wang Guobao and the Interior Minister of Langye, Wang Guobao's cousin Wang Xu. From this time on, factionalism and partisanship between the two sides arose, and there was no longer any sense of the old love and friendship between them. But the Empress Dowager always stepped in to keep peace between Emperor Xiaowu and Sima Daozi and break up their disputes.

During an informal moment, the Gentleman-Attendant of the Palace Secretariat, Xu Miao, said to Emperor Xiaowu, "Emperor Wen of Han was a wise sovereign, yet even he had cause to regret what happened to his brother, the Prince of Huainan (Liu Chang). And Shizu (Sima Yan) was an intelligent and accomplished ruler, but he too was ashamed at the fate of his brother the Prince of Qi (Sima You). When there is dissension between brothers, it is a true cause for concern. Now the Prince of Kuaiji (Sima Daozi) has indeed committed many debauched and indulgent acts, yet you should still show magnanimity and tolerance towards him, and put an end to all this talk. That would provide for the security of the state without and peace of mind for the Empress Dowager within."

Emperor Xiaowu accepted his advice, and so he trusted Sima Daozi as he had before.


(During Former Han, Qiantang county was part of Kuaiji commandary. During Later Han, it was part of Wu commandary. The Records of Qiantang states, "The commandary's Consultant-Manager, Hua Xin, proposed building this dyke in order to check the flow of the seawater. When construction on the dyke began, a tax was imposed of one thousand coins for every gentlemen of at least one bushel's worth. Within a month, the funds had flowed in like gathering clouds, but although the dyke was not yet completed, nothing further could be collected. So those of greater means all contributed and then left, thus allowing the dyke to be completed. This was why the place became named Qiantang ('Coins Dyke')."

Yang Zhengheng remarked, "The surname 茹 Ru has long existed in the Zhe region."

During Han, Boping county was part of Dong commandary. During Jin, it was part of Pingyuan commandary. After Jin relocated south of the Yangzi, it was nominally part of Wei commandary, but both it and that commandary were merely the surrogate versions that were established in the Southland, not the actual northern territories.

Emperor Wen of Han's dispute with the Prince of Huainan (Liu Chang) is mentioned in Book 14, in the sixth year of Emperor Wen's reign (175 BC).

Emperor Wu's (Sima Yan's) dispute with the Prince of Qi (Sima You) is mentioned in Book 81, in the fourth year of Taikang (283.3-6, 8-10).)


8. Earlier, following Yang Ding's death, Jiang Ru of Tianshui commandary had launched a surprise attack and occupied Shang commandary. In summer, the fourth month, Qifu Gangui sent Qifu Yizhou to lead six thousand cavalry to campaign against Jiang Ru.

The Supervisor of the Left, Bian Rui, and the Master of Writing of the People's Bureau, Wang Gongshou, said to Qifu Gangui, "Qifu Yizhou has grown arrogant because of his many victories. You cannot assign him to this task, or else he will certainly underestimate the enemy and suffer defeat."

But Qifu Gangui replied, "Qifu Yizhou is agile and bold, and none of my other generals can match him. I need only to grant him some assistants to help him." So he appointed the General Who Pacifies The North, Wei Qian, as Qifu Yizhou's Chief Clerk, and he appointed the General of the Left 禁, Wu He, as Qifu Yizhou's Marshal.

When the Western Qin army arrived at Dahan Range, Qifu Yizhou did not bother to put his army into formation. He only went hunting and drinking with his generals and officers, and he ordered, "Anyone who dares to speak of military matters will be beheaded!" Wei Qian and Wu He tried to remonstrate with him, but to no avail.

Then Jiang Ru counter-attacked Qifu Yizhou and greatly routed him.


(務 Wu is a surname. There was a certain Wu Guang in ancient times.

The Dahan Range was west of Shanggui.)


9. At this time, Tuoba Gui openly rebelled against Yan, and he began raiding and threatening their territories along the border passes of the realm. In the fifth month, on the day Jiaxu (?), Murong Chui sent Murong Bao, Murong Nong, and the Prince of Zhao, Murong Lin, to lead eighty thousand soldiers from Wuyuan to campaign against Wei, while sending Murong De and Murong Shao to lead another army of eighteen thousand horse and foot to follow behind them.

The Cavalier In Regular Attendance, Gao Hu, remonstrated with Murong Chui, stating, "The lords of Wei and Yan have been intermarried for generations, and when Wei was experiencing internal disputes, Yan helped to preserve it. By doing so, we established our virtue and generosity, and we formed good and lasting relations. When there was that incident when we demanded horses from Wei and, being denied them, we detained the lord of Wei's younger brother, the fault there was with us. Why should we be so rash as to raise our troops and attack them?

"Besides, Tuoba Shegui (Tuoba Gui) is a profound and bold man, very capable at planning. Though young, he has survived many difficulties. His soldiers are skilled, and his horses are strong; we cannot think lightly of them. As for the Crown Prince (Murong Bao), he still has many years ahead of him, and he has resolute ambitions and fierce spirit. If you now entrust him with this task (or campaign), he is certain to underestimate Wei and not take them seriously. If by chance the campaign should go against us, we would suffer serious damage and loss of prestige. I implore Your Majesty to reconsider this strategy!"

But Gao Hu's words were so sharp and pointed that they only angered Murong Chui, who had Gao Hu stripped of office. This Gao Hu was the son of Gao Tai.


(Tuoba Shiyijian had twice married women of the Murong clan, though both had died young. And in Emperor Ai's first year of Longhe (362.14), Tuoba Shiyijian had granted his daughter to Former Yan, who also granted one to him as a wife.

Later Yan's military assistance on behalf of Northern Wei during Tuoba Gui's disputes with the Helan and other clans is mentioned in Book 106 and 107, in the eleventh year of Taiyuan (386.49) and the twelfth year (387.27).

The incident involving Later Yan's demand of horses in exchange for returning Tuoba Gui's younger brother Tuoba Gu is mentioned in Book 107, in the sixteenth year (391.11).

Xiao Zixian remarked, "Tuoba Gui's style name was Shegui."

Some versions state that Murong Bao was being assigned to this 征 "campaign" rather than 任 "task".

During Former Yan, when Murong Chui had been General of Chariots and Cavalry, Gao Tai had served as his Attendant Officer of the Household Gentlemen.)

十年五月,太子寶率衆八萬伐魏,范陽王德為之後繼。(Annals of the Sixteen Kingdoms 11, Biography of Murong Chui)

In the tenth year of Jianxing (395), the fifth month, Murong Bao led an army of eight thousand to campaign against Northern Wei, with the Prince of Fanyang, Murong De, acting as his reserves.


10. In the sixth month, on the day Guichou (July 8th), Murong Kai passed away. He was posthumously known as Prince Yuan ("the Foremost") of Taiyuan.


11. Qifu Gangui shifted his base to Xicheng.


(This was the Xicheng in Yuanchuan.)


12. In autumn, the seventh month, Lü Guang led a hundred thousand soldiers to campaign against Western Qin. Western Qin's Upholder of the Left, Migui Zhou, and their Guard General of the Left, Mozhe Gudi, urged Qifu Gangui to declare himself Lü Guang's vassal and sent his son Qifu Chibo to serve as his hostage. Qifu Gangui did so, and then Lü Guang led his troops away. But then Qifu Gangui regretted having followed this advice, so he killed Migui Zhou and Mozhe Gudi.


(密 Mi is a surname, derived from the state of Mi. The Registry of Surnames states, "The Han dynasty had a Master of Writing named Mi Zhong." However, we see at the end of this passage that the Zizhi Tongjian only lists the given name of the Upholder of the Left as Zhou, not Guizhou. So it must be that his full surname was 密貴 Migui.

莫者 Mozhe was a tribal compound surname.)


13. When Tuoba Gui's advisor Zhang Gun heard that the Yan army was approaching, he said to Tuoba Gui, "Yan was victorious at Huatai and triumphant at Zhangzi, and now they have poured out all the resources and power of their state to come at us. They surely must be thinking little of us. You should appear to be weak in order to make them arrogant. Then you will be able to overcome them."

Tuoba Gui agreed, so he scattered all the livestock and products of his forces and tribes, and he marched west across the Yellow River, more than a thousand li, to avoid the Yan army. When the Yan army arrived at Wuyuan, they accepted the surrender of more than thirty thousand separate Wei households, and they gathered up more than a hundred thousand bushels of broomcorn millet and stored them at Heicheng. The Yan army than advanced to the banks of the Yellow River, and they built boats to use to cross over.

Tuoba Gui sent his Marshal of the Right, Xu Qian, to beg for an army from Qin.


(Later Yan's victory at Huatai over Zhai Zhao is mentioned above, in the seventeenth year of Taiyuan (392.9). Their victory at Zhangzi over Murong Yong is mentioned in the previous year (394.14).

Zhang Gun describes Later Yan's victory as 狃. This term means the same as 忸. Du Yu remarked, "忸 means 忲".

Heicheng was in Wuyuan, north of the Yellow River. According to the Annals of Emperor Daowu (Tuoba Gui) in the Book of Northern Wei, in the fifth year of Dengguo (390), when Liu Weichen sent his son Liu Zhilidi out through the border pass of the realm at Guyang, Liu Zhilidi raided as far as Heicheng. So we may know its position.

The Water Classic states, "The Yellow River bends at New Qinzhong and flows south, passing through the south of several counties, including Wuyuan, Western Anyang, Chengyi, Yiliang, Linwo, and Guyang.")

魏聞寶將至,徙于河西,寶臨河不敢濟。(Annals of the Sixteen Kingdoms 11, Biography of Murong Chui)

When Northern Wei heard that Murong Bao was coming, they relocated to the west side of the Yellow River. Murong Bao marched to the banks of the Yellow River, but he did not dare to cross over.

慕容寶來寇也,太祖使謙告難於姚興。(Book of Northern Wei 24, Biography of Xu Qian)

When Murong Bao led his invasion of Northern Wei, Tuoba Gui sent Xu Qian to report the difficulty of his situation to Yao Xing.

慕容寶之來寇也,袞言於太祖曰:「寶乘滑臺之功,因長子之捷,傾資竭力,難與爭鋒。愚以為宜羸師卷甲,以侈其心。」太祖從之,果破之參合。(Book of Northern Wei 24, Biography of Zhang Gun)

When Murong Bao launched his invasion of Northern Wei, Zhang Gun said to Tuoba Gui, "Murong Bao gained merit at Huatai and was triumphant at Zhangzi, and now he has poured out all the resources and power of his state. It would be difficult to face him directly. I humbly suggest that you display weak troops and tarnished armor, in order to make him arrogant."

Tuoba Gui followed his advice, and so he routed Murong Bao at Canhe Slope in the end.


14. Tufa Wugu attacked the Yifu, Zhejue, and other tribal forces; he routed them all and accepted their surrender. He built a fortress at Lianchuan and made it his capital.

There lived a certain Zhao Zhen of Guangwu commandary. Even as a youth, this Zhao Zhen had remarkable capacity for planning. When he heard that Tufa Wugu was at Lianchuan, he abandoned his family to come join him. Tufa Wugu happily declared, "Now that I have Sir Zhao, the grand design can be achieved!" And he appointed Zhao Zhen as his Marshal of the Left.

Lü Guang appointed Tufa Wugu as his Duke of Guangwu commandary.


(The Yifu and Zhejue were west of the Tufa clan.

Lianchuan was at Huangzhong.)


15. A trailing star was spotted, passing from the Waiting Girl constellation to the Weeping Stars. Emperor Xiaowu was deeply troubled by this. At Hualin Park, he raised a cup of wine to toast the star and said to it, "O trailing star, I offer you this cup of wine! Has there ever been a Son of Heaven who lived forever?"


(The Astrological Records states, "The Waiting Girl constellation has four stairs. She 'waits' in that she is waiting to sell herself, for she has a perverse occupation." The Head, Ox, and Girl constellations all represent Yangzhou. The Empty constellation is two stars, and the Danger constellation is three stars; they are omens for the death of a sovereign. The Weeping and the Tomb constellations are four stars, and they are below the Danger constellation. When a sovereign dies, there is weeping, for his tomb is raised."

When Jin established their capital at Jiankang, they imitated the architecture of the old capital at Luoyang, so they established another Hualin Park at Jiankang.)


16. In the eighth month, Tuoba Gui assembled his soldiers south of the Yellow River. In the ninth month, he advanced to the banks of the river.

Murong Bao put his own troops in formation and prepared to ferry his troops across the river. But a violent wind sprang up, blowing several dozen of his ships against the southern bank. The Wei army captured more than three hundred of his armored soldiers, but they released them and sent them back.


17. At the time when Murong Bao had set out with his army from Zhongshan, Murong Chui was already ill. And by the time Murong Bao arrived at Wuyuan, Tuoba Gui had sent his agents out to patrol the roads back to Zhongshan. They lay in wait for Murong Chui's messengers and captured them all. So for several months, Murong Bao received no word of Murong Chui's condition.

Then Tuoba Gui sent the captured messengers to the banks of the Yellow River and had them announce, "If your father is already dead, why haven't you returned yet?" Murong Bao and the other Yan commanders were disturbed and afraid, and the Yan soldiers and officers were shaken and unsettled.


18. Tuoba Gui sent Tuoba Qian to lead fifty thousand cavalry to camp along the eastern bend of the Yellow River, and he sent his Duke of Dongping, Tuoba Yi, to lead a hundred thousand cavalry to camp along the northern bend of the Yellow River. He also sent his Duke of Lüeyang, Tuoba Zun, to lead seventy thousand cavalry to block the Yan army's route to the south. This Tuoba Zun was the son of Tuoba Shoujiu.

Yao Xing sent Yang Fusong to lead troops to assist Wei.


(From Jincheng, the Yellow River passes through the commandaries in Wuwei, Tianshui, Anding, and Beidi, then turns northeast until it reaches Woye county in Shuofang commandary; only at that point does it loop back to the southeast. This passage states that Tuoba Qian and Tuoba Yi camped at "Hedong" and "Hebei", but these should be understood as being positions within the loop of the Yellow River; they had not actually crossed over the river to the east or north. According to the History of the Northern Dynasties, Tuoba Yi camped at Shuofang.

Tuoba Shoujiu is mentioned in Book 104, in the first year of Taiyuan (376.18). He was another of Tuoba Shiyijian's sons, so this Tuoba Zun was Tuoba Gui's cousin.)

興遣將楊佛嵩率眾來援,而佛嵩稽緩。太祖命謙為書以遺佛嵩曰:「夫杖順以翦遺,乘義而攻昧,未有非其運而顯功,無其時而著業。慕容無道,侵我疆埸,師老兵疲,天亡期至,是以遣使命軍,必望克赴。將軍據方邵之任,總熊虎之師,事與機會,今其時也。因此而舉,役不再駕,千載之勳,一朝可立。然後高會雲中,進師三魏,舉觴稱壽,不亦綽乎。」佛嵩乃倍道兼行。太祖大悅,賜謙爵關內侯。重遣謙與佛嵩盟曰:「昔殷湯有鳴條之誓,周武有河陽之盟,所以藉神靈,昭忠信,夫親仁善隣,古之令軌,歃血割牲,以敦永穆。今既盟之後,言歸其好,分災恤患,休戚是同。有違此盟,神祗斯殛。」(Book of Northern Wei 24, Biography of Xu Qian)

Yao Xing sent his general Yang Fusong to lead forces to come reinforce Tuoba Gui. But Yang Fusong was slow in leading his troops to come to Northern Wei. So Tuoba Gui ordered Xu Qian to write a letter to Yang Fusong. He wrote, "A true man obeys his orders and carries them out promptly, adheres to righteousness and attacks the ignorant. There has never been a case when someone was slow in carrying out their mission and still exalted themselves with glory, nor an instance when someone ignored the proper timing and still achieved their design. Now the Murong clan is without principle, and they have invaded our border territories. Their leader is old and their soldiers are exhausted, and their state is on the brink of doom. It was for this reason that you were dispatched to command your army, for you are sure to meet with success. General, you hold the same positions as the ancient chief ministers Fang Shu and Shao Hu, and you command an army of tigers and bears. Now is the very moment when the right materials and the right circumstances align for you. You need only set out and achieve your mission without delay, and in a single morning you can carry out the achievement of a thousand years. Then we shall all meet together at Yunzhong, and as we advance together through the Three Wei regions, we shall lift our cups and toast to our longevity. Would that not be sufficient?"

Having received this letter, Yang Fusong advanced quickly along multiple roads to reach the Northern Wei army. Tuoba Gui was greatly pleased at this result, and he appointed Xu Qian as a Marquis Within The Passes.

Tuoba Gui then sent Xu Qian to swear an oath together with Yang Fusong. This was the oath: "In ancient times, Tang of Yin had his Pleadge of Mingtiao, and King Wu of Zhou had his Pact of Heyang. By these oaths, they presented themselves before the gods and spirits and displayed their loyalty and trust. They swore to be benevolent friends and good neighbors, and to uphold the ancient rules and regulations. They offered up animal sacrifices and smeared the blood on their mouths as tokens of their oath, as evidence of their honesty and enduring solemn intent. As we now swear this oath, we pledge to follow their good example; we shall share our sorrows and comfort each other in our adversity, and we will experience weal and woe together. If anyone should violate this pact, may the spirits strike him down."


19. A mystic in the Yan army, Jin An, said to Murong Bao, "The omens are not favorable, and the Yan army will certainly be greatly defeated. But if you leave at once, you may escape the danger."

But Murong Bao did not listen to him. As Jin An withdrew, he told people, "Our corpses will all be lost here in the wild; we shall not return home again!"


20. The Yan and Wei armies remained in stalemate for several weeks.

Murong Lin's general Muyu Song and others believed that Murong Chui truly was dead, and they plotted to organize an uprising to acclaim Murong Lin as the new sovereign of Yan. But the plot was discovered, and Muyu Song and the others were killed. This led to mutual suspicion between Murong Bao, Murong Lin, and others.

In winter, the tenth month, on the day Xinwei (November 23rd), the Yan army burned their boats and marched away during the night. At this time, the ice in the Yellow River had not yet frozen together, so Murong Bao believed that the Wei army would not be able to march across the river, and he did not prepare any scouts to keep an eye on the area. But in the eleventh month, on the day Jimao (December 1st), a violent wind sprang up, and the ice froze together. Then Tuoba Gui led his troops across the river. He left his baggage train behind and selected some twenty thousand elite and zealous cavalry to rush after the Yan army in pursuit.

寶引師還。(Annals of the Sixteen Kingdoms 11, Biography of Murong Chui)

Murong Bao led his troops back towards Later Yan.


21. When the Yan army reached Canhe Slope, there was a great wind, and a black aura resembling a dyke appeared; it came from behind the army and then rose over them. The Buddhist sramana monk, Zhi Tanmeng, said to Murong Bao, "This violent and swift wind and aura are signs that the soldiers of the Wei army are about to arrive in your rear. You should send soldiers to oppose them."

But Murong Bao believed that by now, the Wei army was too far away to pose any threat, so he only laughed and did not follow the advice. Zhi Tanmeng continued to ask for troops to be sent, but to no avail.

Murong Lin even angrily declared, "His Highness has divine martial prowess, and he commands a great host; he could march clear across the desert if he wished. Would those braided caitiffs dare to come from so far away? Yet Zhi Tanmeng speaks such wild words to disturb the army. He should be beheaded as punishment!"

Zhi Tanmeng tearfully said, "The Fu clan (of Former Qin) had an army of a million soldiers, yet they were defeated at Huainan, exactly because they trusted too much in their numbers and underestimated their enemy and did not heed Heaven's warnings!"

And Murong De urged Murong Bao to follow Zhi Tanmeng's advice as well. So Murong Bao sent Murong Lin to lead thirty thousand cavalry to camp at the rear of the main host, to guard against anything unusual. But Murong Lin still believed that Zhi Tanmeng did not know what he was talking about, so he let his riders wander and hunt as they pleased, and he did not bother to prepare any defenses.

Murong Bao also sent some riders out to see if they could spot the Wei army. The riders went for more than ten li without spotting anything, so they loosed their saddles and rested.


(Tanmeng was more properly this monk's complete name. Zhi was his surname from before he became a monk.

We saw earlier, in the sixteen year of Taiyuan (391.8), that Murong Lin already knew that Tuoba Gui would certainly pose a threat to Later Yan. Yet here, he speaks so lightly of him. Could it have been that he was still suspicious of Tuoba Gui in his heart, and so he wished to have Murong Bao be the commander who was defeated? And we see later on that when Murong Bao was unable to defend Zhongshan, Murong Lin was not able to establish himself there either; it must have all been because of Murong Lin's rebellious ways.

Fu Jian's repeated disregard of unfavorable omens, and Former Qin's subsequent defeat at the battle of Fei River, are mentioned in Books 104 and 105, in the seventh and eighth years of Taiyuan (382-383).)


22. The Wei army rode hard day and night. On the day Yiyou (December 7th), at dusk, they arrived on the western side of Canhe Slope. The Yan army was camped on the eastern side, having set their camps south of Mount Panyang along the river. During that night, Tuoba Gui split up his forces, and his soldiers secretly advanced towards the Yan camps, keeping sticks in their mouths and tying the mouths of their horses shut to ensure silence.

By dawn of the next day, the day Bingxu (December 8th), the Wei army had ascended the mountain, and was in position next to the Yan camps. The Yan soldiers were in the midst of preparing to march away to the east, but when they turned and saw the Wei army, the officers and soldiers were stricken with total panic and thrown into confusion. Then Tuoba Gui set loose his soldiers to attack the enemy. The Yan soldiers were driven back against the river; men and horses stampeded and trampled each other, and tens of thousands drowned in the river. Tuoba Zun was also in position to intercept the Yan army's line of retreat. Forty or fifty thousand of the Yan soldiers all threw down their weapons and offered up their hands, and were thus taken captive; no more than a few thousand broke through the encirclement and got away.

Murong Bao and the other Yan commanders all fled on lone horses and barely made their escapes. The Wei soldiers killed Murong Shao, and they captured several thousand of the Yan generals and officials, including the Prince of Luyang, Murong Wonu, the Prince of Guilin, Murong Daocheng, and the Duke of Jiyin, Yin Guo. Many tens of thousands of weapons, armor, grain, and other military supplies were also captured. This Murong Daocheng was the nephew of Murong Chui. Murong Shao was posthumously known as Prince Dao ("the Grieved") of Chenliu.


(The Commentary on the Water Classic states, "The Kebuni River flows out of the mountains sixty li southeast of Woyang county in Yanmen commandary. It flows northwest until it enters the Wo River. Those combined rivers then flow east, passing through the south of Canhe county."

The Later Yan soldiers were returning east again.)

寶次於參合,俄而魏軍大至,三軍奔潰,寶與德等數千騎奔免。(Annals of the Sixteen Kingdoms 11, Biography of Murong Chui)

When Murong Bao's army passed by Canhe, the main Northern Wei army suddenly appeared there. Most of Murong Bao's three armies scattered and fled, and Murong Bao and Murong De only made their escape with several thousand cavalry.


23. Tuoba Gui selected those captured Yan ministers who were talented and useful and employed them. These included Yan's Administer of Dai commandary, Jia Gui of Guangchuan commandary, the Chief Clerk to the General of Agile Cavalry and Administrator of Changli, Jia Gui's cousin Jia Yi, and a Gentleman to the Grand Astrologer, Zhao Chong of Liaodong commandary.

As for the rest of the prisoners, Tuoba Gui planned to provide them all with clothing and food and then send them back home again, in order to comfort and win over the people of the Central Provinces. But his Central Chieftain, Wang Jian, said to him, "The Yan army was powerful and numerous, and they poured out the resources of their state to come and attack us. We were lucky to have won such a great victory. It would be better for you to kill all of these prisoners. Then their state will be left empty and bare, and it will be easy for us to conquer it. Besides, these soldiers invaded us; having captured them, how can you just let them go?"

So Tuoba Gui had them all buried alive.

In the twelfth month, Tuoba Gui returned to Shengle in Yunzhong commandary.


(Some versions add that Zhao Chong was "of Liaodong commandary".

Zhao Chong's surname 晁 is pronounced "zhao (zh-ao)".

The Zizhi Tongjian had earlier mentioned, in Emperor Hui's fifth year of Yuankang (295.4), a city called Shengle in Dingxiang commandary; it now identifies Shengle as being in Yunzhong. It must have been that the earlier state of Dai, Northern Wei's predecessor, had not maintained constant borders for the commandaries and counties within their domain. During Former Han, Chengle county was part of Dingxiang commandary; during Later Han, it was part of Yunzhong commandary. So when the earlier part of the Zizhi Tongjian said "Shengle in Dingxiang", this was the capital city of that county from Former Han, and when it here says "Shengle in Yunzhong", it was the capital city of that county from Later Han.)

寶敗,佛嵩乃還。(Book of Northern Wei 24, Biography of Xu Qian)

After Murong Bao was defeated, Yang Fusong returned to Later Qin.


24. Murong Bao was ashamed of his defeat at Canhe Slope, so he asked for another campaign against Wei. And Murong De said to Murong Chui, "After their victory at Canhe Slope, the caitiffs will think little of the Crown Prince. Your Majesty, you should use your divine cunning to subdue them; otherwise, they will cause trouble for us later on."

So Murong Chui appointed Murong Hui as chief of affairs of the Separate Administration and acting Inspector of Youzhou, and had him replace Murong Long at Longcheng. He also appointed the Prince of Yangcheng, Lan Han, as General of the Household Gentlemen of the North, and had him replace the Duke of Changle, Murong Sheng, at Ji. Murong Chui ordered Murong Long and Murong Sheng to lead all their best troops to come to Zhongshan, and set a date for the following year for a grand campaign against Wei.


25. During this year, Yao Xing appointed his uncles Yao Xu and Yao Shuode as Prince of Jin and Prince of Longxi, and he appointed his younger brothers Yao Chong and Yao Xiang as Duke of Qi and Duke of Changshan.
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BOOK 108

Unread postby Taishi Ci 2.0 » Fri Oct 12, 2018 8:57 pm


The Twenty-First Year of Taiyuan (The Bingshen Year, 396 AD)


1. In spring, the first month, Murong Long arrived at Zhongshan, having brought his armored soldiers from Longcheng. But although the army maintained strict discipline, their morale had only barely been restored.


(The people of the Han era had a saying: "The prowess of a victorious army bolsters their morale a hundred-fold; the soldiers of a defeated army cannot be restored in the same generation." This is an example of that saying.)


2. The Xiuguan leader Quan Wanshi led his forces to surrender to Western Qin.


(As mentioned earlier, since Qifu Gangui had now declared himself the King of Qin, the Zizhi Tongjian distinguishes his state of Qin from Yao Xing's by calling the Qifu state Western Qin.)


3. Murong Chui had sent Ping Gui to draft troops from Jizhou. However, in the second month, Ping Gui rebelled against Yan at Lukou, having gathered troops from Boling, Wuyi, and Changle commandaries. The Inspector of Jizhou, his cousin's son Ping Xi, remonstrated with Ping Gui, but to no avail. The Prefect of Haiyang, Ping Gui's younger brother Ping Han, also raised troops in rebellion in Liaoxi commandary to support Ping Gui.

Murong Chui sent his General Who Guards The East, Yu Song, to attack Ping Gui, but Yu Song was defeated and killed. So Murong Chui himself marched to attack Ping Gui. When Murong Chui reached Lukou, Ping Gui abandoned his army and fled across the Yellow River with his wife and children, Ping Xi, and several dozen followers. Murong Chui led his troops back.

Ping Han led his troops towards Longcheng. Murong Hui sent the Duke of Dongyang, Murong Gen, and others to attack Ping Han, and they routed him. Ping Han fled into the southern hills.


(Ever since Han, Haiyang county had been part of Liaoxi commandary.

Ping Gui and his brother rebelled against Later Yan because of Later Yan's defeat during the campaign against Northern Wei.

These "southern hills" were the hills in the south of Bailang and Xuwu counties.)


4. In the third month, on the day Gengzi (April 20th), Murong Chui left Murong De to guard Zhongshan, while he led his soldiers to secretly set out. They crossed the Qing Range and passed through Tian Pass, boring paths and clearing roads through the mountains. They arrived in Wei territory, having taken the Wei army by surprise, and they marched straight towards Yunzhong.

Tuoba Qian led thirty thousand families from his tribes to guard Pingcheng. When Murong Chui reached the Lie Range, he appointed Murong Nong and Murong Long as his vanguard leaders and sent them to surprise attack Tuoba Qian. At this time, since the Yan soldiers had so recently been defeated, they were all afraid of the Wei army; only the soldiers that had come from Longcheng were still bold and keen, and they surged forward. Tuoba Qian had not prepared any defenses. In the intercalary month, on the day Yimao (May 5th), the Yan army arrived at Pingcheng. Only now did Tuoba Qian realize what was going on. He led his forces out to fight the Yan army, but he was defeated and killed, and the Yan army captured all his forces and tribes.

Disturbed and afraid, Tuoba Gui planned to flee. But when his forces heard that Tuoba Qian had been killed, they all began to waver in their loyalties, and Tuoba Gui did not know which place would be safe for him.


(The "Qing Range" must have been the Guangchang Range. It was in the south of Guangchang county in Dai commandary, at the place called the Five Circles Road. There is a southern precipice there that juts out into the sky, where a great pile of boulders have piled straight up, forming a wall; this must have been Tian Pass.

The Lie Range, or Hunting Range, was northeast of Mount Xiawu. During the time that Northern Wei had its capital at Pingcheng, its rulers often hunted there.

Tuoba Qian was renowned for his boldness throughout the northern regions of Dai. His defeat and death in battle thus caused the other Northern Wei forces to waver. However, since Heaven willed Later Yan’s doom, Murong Chui himself soon passed away. This was something that no human effort could have accomplished.)

十一年三月,垂大衆出參合,太子寶出天門。(Annals of the Sixteen Kingdoms 11, Biography of Murong Chui)

In the eleventh year of Jianxing (396), the third month, Murong Chui led a large army to Canhe, while Murong Bao led one to Tian Pass.


5. When Murong Chui's army passed through Canhe Slope, they saw the piles of bones there, stacked up like hills. He made a shrine for them to console their spirits. His soldiers all wept and wailed, and the sounds of their grief shook the mountains and valleys. Murong Chui himself became so ashamed and agitated that he coughed up blood, and he developed an illness. But he continued to lead his army forward while riding in a horse-drawn carriage. His army halted thirty li northwest of Pingcheng. When Murong Bao and the other Yan commanders heard that Murong Chui had fallen ill, they led their forces to fall back.

Defectors from the Yan army fled to inform Tuoba Gui. They told him, "Murong Chui has already died, and they are keeping his corpse with his army." Tuoba Gui wanted to pursue the withdrawing Yan soldiers, but when he heard that Pingcheng had already fallen, he led his soldiers back to Mount Yin.


(The people of the Cao-Wei era had a saying: "A dead Zhuge (Liang) scares away a live Zhongda (Sima Yi)." When Tuoba Gui heard that Murong Chui was dead, but still did not dare to advance, this was something of the same sort.)

垂至參合,見積骸如山,設祭弔之,死者父兄各皆號哭,軍哀慟,垂慙憤嘔血,因而寢疾... 寶等至雲中,聞垂疾,皆引歸,及垂子平城。(Annals of the Sixteen Kingdoms 11, Biography of Murong Chui)

When Murong Chui's army passed through Canhe, they saw the piles of bones there, stacked up like hills. He made a shrine for them to console their spirits. The fathers and elder brothers of the dead all wept and wailed, and the army was mournful and melancholy. Murong Chui himself became so ashamed and agitated that he coughed up blood, and he developed an illness.

Murong Bao and the other Later Yan generals had gotten as far as Yunzhong when they heard that Murong Chui was ill. They led their forces back, and met Murong Chui at Pingcheng.


6. Murong Chui remained at Pingcheng for several dozen days. But after his illness turned critical, he had the city of Yanchang built and then withdrew.

In summer, the fourth month, on the day Guiwei (June 2nd), Murong Chui passed away at Shang Valley in Juyang county.

Murong Chui's death was kept secret, and the mourning was not announced. On the day Bingshen (June 15th), the Yan army returned to Zhongshan. On the day Wuxu (June 17th), the mourning for Murong Chui began. He was posthumously known as Emperor Chengwu ("the Accomplished and Martial"), and his temple name was Shizu.

On the day Renyin (June 21st), Murong Bao ascended the throne. He declared a general amnesty, and he changed the reign era title to the first year of Yongkang.


(The Water Classic states, "The city of Yanchang was forty li north of Pingcheng."

Li Xian remarked, "The capital city of Juyang county was in the east of modern Guizhou. The first character in Juyang, 沮, is pronounced 'zu (z-u)'."

Murong Chui was seventy years old when he died.

Murong Bao, styled Daoyou, was Murong Chui's fourth son.)

垂築燕昌城而還... 夏四月,薨于上谷之俎陽,年七十二,諡武成皇帝。廟號世祖。(Annals of the Sixteen Kingdoms 11, Biography of Murong Chui)

Murong Chui built the city of Yanchang and then returned.

In summer, the fourth month, Murong Chui passed away at Shang Valley in Zuyang. He was seventy-one years old. He was posthumously known as Emperor Wucheng, and his temple name was Shizu.


7. In the fifth month, on the day Xinhai (June 30th), Murong De was appointed as Commander of military affairs in Jizhou, Yanzhou, Qingzhou, Xuzhou, Jingzhou, and Yuzhou, Grand General of Chariots and Cavalry, and Governor of Jizhou, and he was stationed at Ye. Murong Nong was appointed as Commander of military affairs in Bingzhou, Yongzhou, Yizhou, Lianzhou, Qinzhou, and Liangzhou and as Governor of Bingzhou, and he was stationed in Jinyang. The Prince of Anding, Kunuguan Wei, was appointed as Grand Instructor, and the King of Buyeo, Hae Yeoul, was appointed as Grand Tutor.

On the day Jiayin (July 3rd), Murong Lin was appointed as Supervisor of the Left of the Masters of Writing, and Murong Long was appointed as Supervisor of the Right. Murong Sheng was appointed as Colonel-Director of Retainers. Murong Feng was appointed as Inspector of Jizhou.


(Hae Yeoul was the son of the former King of Buyeo. When Murong Huang had conquered the Buyeo people, he had captured Hae Yeoul. After Former Yan fell, he served in Former Qin. When Former Qin collapsed, he returned to the Yan region, where Murong Chui appointed him as the new King of Buyeo.)


8. On the day Yimao (July 4th), Jin's Cavalier In Regular Attendance, Liu Gai of Pengcheng commandary, was appointed as Inspector of Xuzhou, and he was stationed at Juancheng.


9. On the day Jiazi (July 13th), Jin's Duke of Wangcai, Xie Yan, was appointed as Supervisor of the Left of the Masters of Writing.


(Wangcai county was part of Yuzhang commandary. Shen Yue remarked, "During Emperor Ling of Han's Zhongping reign era (184-189), some of the people of Shangcai county in Runan commandary moved to this city. The new county was also named Shangcai. In Emperor Wu of Jin's (Sima Yan's) first year of Taikang (280), he changed its name to Wangcai." Song Bai remarked, "The people of Shangcai thought back to their former homeland, and so the county was named Wangcai ('thinking about Cai').")


10. As mentioned earlier, Murong Chui had been married to two Lady Duans during his life. The elder Lady Duan had given birth to his sons Murong Ling and Murong Bao, and the younger Lady Duan had given birth to his sons Murong Lang and Murong Jian. Murong Chui had also had other sons by his beloved concubines: Murong Lin, Murong Nong, Murong Long, Murong Rou, and Murong Xi.

When Murong Bao had first become Crown Prince, he had had a fine reputation. But before long, he became indulgent and remiss, and people near and far lost hope in him.

The younger Lady Duan had once said to Murong Chui, "If the Crown Prince became ruler during a peaceful era, he would be able to maintain the state. But since the state is currently plagued by troubles and difficulties, I fear he would not have the talents to be able to guide it safely through. But there are the Princes of Liaoxi and Gaoyang (Murong Nong and Murong Long), both of whom are Your Majesty's worthy sons. You should choose one of them and entrust him with the grand design. As for the Prince of Zhao, Murong Lin, he is wicked, crafty, and far too willful. He will surely cause trouble for the state someday. You should get rid of him at once."

However, Murong Bao had been skilled at tending to Murong Chui's personal duties, and many of those around Murong Chui recommended him as well, so Murong Chui felt that he would be a worthy heir. He said to Lady Duan, "You want to make me become another Duke Xian of Jin!"

Lady Duan wept as she withdrew, and she said to her sister, Murong De's wife, "The whole realm knows that the Crown Prince is not talented. I was offering advice on behalf of the fortunes of our state, yet our lord thinks I am acting like Li Ji of old. Why is he so bitter? It's plain to see that the Crown Prince will surely bring disaster to our state, and the Prince of Fanyang (Murong De) has uncommon talents and potential. If Yan's future becomes uncertain, might he not become King?"

Murong Bao and Murong Lin both resented Lady Duan for her advice.


(稱 here means to have a good reputation and recommendations.

Murong Chui had first been married to the elder Lady Duan, but she had been slandered by Empress Dowager Kezuhun of Former Yan and died. After Murong Chui became Emperor of Later Yan, he posthumously honored the elder Lady Duan as Empress. Following her death, Murong Chui took the younger Lady Duan as his new wife. This is why the Zizhi Tongjian distinguishes between the two of them as the elder and younger Lady Duan.

Duke Xian of the ancient state of Jin had heeded the slander of his concubine Li Ji and put his son and Crown Prince, Shensheng, to death.)


11. On the day Yichou (July 14th), Murong Bao sent Murong Lin to tell Empress Duan, "Empress, you often said that our sovereign would not be able to maintain the grand design. Do you still feel that way or not? You had better kill yourself now, if you want to ensure the safety of the Duan clan!"

But Empress Duan angrily replied, "You and your brother do not even shrink from threatening and putting your own mother to death; how could you possibly protect what your father built? Do you suppose I enjoy dying? But what truly concerns me is that the state will not survive for long." And she killed herself.

Murong Bao proposed that, because Empress Duan had plotted to depose him and interfere with the succession, she had acted in a way unbecoming of a mother and an empress, and the full mourning rites should not be observed for her. Most of his ministers agreed with him.

But the Prefect of the Palace Secretariat, Sui Sui, hoarsely shouted in court, "A son has no right to withdraw the honors due to his mother. Empress Ansi of Han, the Lady Yan, was personally involved in keeping Emperor Shun from inheriting the throne. Yet even then, Emperor Shun still granted her the same sacrifices suited for her position and placed her in the Ancestral Temple. How can you propose such a thing for Her Late Majesty just over some hearsay which no one knows the truth about?"

So Empress Duan was granted full mourning rites.


(To yell loudly until it becomes painful is to be hoarse.

Empress Yan's role in the disputed succession of Emperor Shun of Han is mentioned in Book 50, in Emperor An of Han's third year of Yanguang (124).)


12. In the sixth month, on the day Guiyou (July 22nd), Tuoba Gui sent his generals Wang Jian and others to attack Yan's Administrator of Guangning, Liu Kangni. They beheaded him, and relocated his tribes and forces to Pingcheng. Yan's Administrator of Shanggu and Duke of Kaifeng, Murong Xiang, abandoned his commandary and fled. This Murong Xiang was the great-grandson of Murong Huang.


(During Han, Guangning county was part of Shanggu commandary. During Jin's Taikang reign era (280-289), it was split off as Guangning commandary.)


13. On the day Dinghai (August 5th), Wei's Grand Concubine, Lady He, passed away.


(She was Tuoba Gui's mother.)


14. Murong Bao settled all the old local household registries: he cleaned up and managed the discrepancies and revised all the household and population figures, and he abolished the private households maintained by generals and nobles and settled them in the public domains of the commandaries and counties. These things caused the gentry and the common people to sigh in resentment, and they became alienated from Murong Bao.


(The "private households maintained by generals and nobles" must have been households which the generals and nobles kept as their own personal forces.

It was not necessarily wrong to implement policies like these, in theory. But Murong Bao had only just risen to the throne, and the Later Yan army had so recently been defeated. Not to mention that so many people were mourning the loss of their relatives, and many were now inclined toward rebellion. So it was just that the circumstances were not appropriate for implementing such policies yet, and Murong Bao acted too quickly in trying to carry them out. The Great Learning states, "Things have their root and their branches. Affairs have their end and their beginning. To know what is first and what is last will lead near to what is taught in the Great Learning.")


15. Lü Guang now declared himself Heavenly King, and he named his state Great Liang. He declared a general amnesty, and he changed the reign era title to the first year of Longfei. He created the imperial offices. He appointed his heir Lü Shao his Crown Prince, and he appointed twenty of his sons and younger brothers as Dukes and Marquises. He appointed his Prefect of the Palace Secretariat, Wang Xiang, as Supervisor of the Left of the Masters of Writing, and he appointed five people as Masters of Writing, including his Gentleman-Author, Duan Ye.


(Lü Guang, styled Shiming, was a member of the Di people, a native of Lüeyang commandary. His father, Lü Polou, was an early supporter of Fu Jian.)


16. Lü Guang sent envoys to appoint Tufa Wugu as Liang's Grand General Who Conquers The South, Governor of Yizhou, and Worthy Prince of the Left. But Tufa Wugu told his envoys, "King Lü's sons are corrupt and licentious, and his three nephews are violent and cruel. People near and far feel sorrow and anger because of them. How then can I violate the wishes of the common people by accepting such unjust titles? In fact, I ought to claim title as king or emperor myself." So though he kept the envoys' gifts and instruments, he apologized to them and sent them away.


(The sons of Lü Guang who are mentioned in historical texts were Lü Zuan, Lü Hong, Lü Shao, and Lü Fu. As for his "three" nephews, we saw one listed earlier, Shi Cong, whose slander led to Du Jin's death. But as for the other two, that remains unclear.)


17. Ping Gui gathered together his remaining partisans and occupied Gaotang county. Murong Bao sent Murong Long to lead troops to campaign against him. The people of the east had long cherished Murong Long because of his kindness, and throngs of them filled the roads to welcome him.

In autumn, the seventh month, Murong Long advanced and camped his army on the banks of the Yellow River. Ping Gui abandoned Gaotang and fled. Murong Long sent the General Who Establishes Might, Murong Jin, and others to cross the Yellow River and pursue Ping Gui, and they beheaded him in Jibei commandary. Ping Xi fled to Pengcheng.


(Ever since Han, Gaotang county had been part of Pingyuan commandary.

The people filled the roads one after another to see Murong Long.)


18. Emperor Xiaowu took the daughter of the former Prefect of the Palace Secretariat, Wang Xianzhi, as the Concubine of the Crown Prince. This Wang Xianzhi was the son of Wang Xizhi.


(Wang Xizhi was Wang Dao's cousin's son.)


19. The Wei ministers urged Tuoba Gui to declare himself Emperor. It was at this time that Tuoba Gui began to use the banners and pennants associated with the Son of Heaven, and he had people call out to make way for him whenever he came or went. He changed the reign era title to the first year of Huangshi.

Tuoba Gui's Army Advisor, Zhang Xun of Shanggu commandary, urged him to advance and capture the Central Plains. Tuoba Gui approved of the idea.


(Tuoba Gui was the grandson of Tuoba Shiyijian by his chief wife, and the son of Tuoba Shi, as mentioned in Book 104, in the first year of Taiyuan (376.18-19).

By now, it had been fourteen years since Fu Jian's defeats at the Huai and Fei Rivers. In all that time, the regions around Guanzhong and the Yellow River had seen the rise and full of numerous barbarian leaders. Yet the people of Jin only looked on, and took no part in what was going on. Then Tuoba Gui rose to power, and the division into the Northern and Southern Dynasties became settled. The north and south having been settled, it was only a matter of time until the north annexed the south. Alas! And from the Sui dynasty onward, out of every ten people who won acclaim and reputation of the age, six or seven were the descendants of these people of Dai and the north. How greatly did the influence of their clans increase!)

明年,慕容垂復來寇。太祖謂謙曰:「今事急矣,非卿豈能復致姚師,卿其行也。」謙未發而垂退,乃止。及聞垂死,謙上書勸進。太祖善之。(Book of Northern Wei 24, Biography of Xu Qian)

The following year (396), Murong Chui led another invasion of Northern Wei. Tuoba Gui said to Xu Qian, "We face pressing matters once again. How could I have any hopes of summoning the Yao clan's army again without you? So I must send you to them again." But Xu Qian had barely set out before Murong Chui retreated, so he stopped. And when word spread that Murong Chui had died, Xu Qian sent Tuoba Gui a letter urging him to advance. Tuoba Gui approved.


20. Murong Nong moved all his forces, tens of thousands of people, to Bingzhou. But Bingzhou had long suffered from a shortage of grain stores, and during this year there was drought and frost there, so the common people could not find enough food for themselves. And Murong Nong also sent his various Protector-Generals to command the various tribes. So both the common people and the tribes resented him, and they secretly asked the Wei army to come.

In the eighth month, on the day Jihai (October 16th), Tuoba Gui led a great undertaking to campaign against Yan. He led more than four hundred thousand horse and foot south from Mayi, and they crossed through Gouzhu; their banners and flags stretched for more than two thousand li, and they advanced at the roll of the drums. The General of the Left, Li Li of Yanmen commandary, led fifty thousand cavalry as the vanguard. Tuoba Gui also sent his generals Feng Zhen and others along eastern roads to pass through Jundu and surprise attack Yan's province of Youzhou.


(之 here means "towards, to".

Tuoba Gui could not have launched this great undertaking unless he was certain of success thanks to the support from within.

The Records of Ministerial Clans in the Book of Northern Wei states, "During the reign of Tuoba Jiefen, there were many tribes of new surnames who came to join the Tuoba. One of these was the Bi clan, which later changed their surname to Feng."

During Former Han, Jundu county was part of Shanggu commandary. During Later Han, it was part of Guangyang commandary. During Jin, it was part of the Yan princely fief. There was also a Jundu Pass. Li Xian remarked, "There is a Mount Jundu in the northwest of Changping county in modern Youzhou.")


21. Yan's Grand General Who Conquers The North, Governor of Youzhou and Pingzhou, and Duke of Qinghe was Murong Hui. He had a lowborn mother, but he grew up to be strong; he was a bold and talented man, with great capabilities and skills, and Murong Chui had treasured him. When Murong Bao campaigned against Wei, Murong Chui had ordered Murong Hui to handle affairs in the Eastern Palace and the general affairs of government, and he had been shown the same ceremonies due to a Crown Prince. When Murong Chui himself left on campaign against Wei, he had sent Murong Hui to Longcheng and entrusted him with affairs in the northeast, and Murong Hui always selected talented and trusted people to fill government offices.

After Murong Chui's illness became critical, he sent word ordering Murong Bao to make Murong Hui his heir. But because Murong Bao was very fond of the Duke of Puyang, his youngest son Murong Ce, he was not inclined towards Murong Hui. At the same time, Murong Sheng was the same age as Murong Hui, and he was ashamed at having to be his subordinate. So he and Murong Lin both urged Murong Bao to make Murong Ce his heir instead, and Murong Bao heeded them.

On the day Yihai (September 22nd), Murong Bao honored his concubine Lady Duan as his Empress, and he appointed Murong Ce as his Crown Prince. Murong Hui and Murong Sheng both had their titles advanced to Prince.

At this time, Murong Ce was only ten years old, and he had long been foolish and weak. When Murong Hui heard what had happened, he was irritated and resentful.


(Murong Hui was left in charge of affairs in the court.

Murong Ce is described as being 憃; this means dull or foolish.)


22. In the ninth month, Murong Zhou conducted the burial of Murong Chui and Empress Cheng'ai at Xuanping Tomb at Longcheng.

Murong Bao issued an edict ordering Murong Zhou to relocate all of Murong Long's advisors and assistants, his personal forces, and his household dependents back to Zhongshan. But Murong Hui violated the order, and he kept many of the forces back instead of sending them to Zhongshan. And by now, Murong Zhou was advanced in age and deserved seniority and honor, yet Murong Hui was always bullying and insulting him. So people who saw these things all knew that Murong Hui had his own ambitions.


(This Empress Cheng'ai was the Lady Duan whom Murong Bao had killed.

During the previous year, when Murong Long had left his post at Longcheng to return to Zhongshan, Murong Hui had replaced him in command there. This was why Murong Bao now ordered Murong Zhou to return Murong Long's former forces and subordinates in that region to Zhongshan.

This was why Murong Bao and Murong Hui soon plotted against each other.)


23. On the day Wuwu (November 4th), the Wei army arrived at Yangqu county. They passed through the western hills and approached Jinyang, and Tuoba Gui sent riders to circle the city and whip up a clamor before rejoining the army. Murong Nong came out to offer battle, but he was greatly defeated.

When Murong Nong fled back to Jinyang, his Marshal, Muyu Song, closed the gates and barred him from entering. So Murong Nong took his wife and children and fled east with several thousand riders. Wei's General Who Directs The Army of the Center, Zhangsun Fei, pursued them. He caught up with them at Luchuan (or Luzhou), where he captured Murong Nong's wife and children. The local Yan army was entirely lost, and Murong Nong himself was injured, but he still escaped to Zhongshan with three riders.


(Ever since Han, Yangqu county had been part of Taiyuan commandary. Song Bai remarked, "The capital city of Yangqu county was fifty li northwest of Taiyuan county. It was moved to this location at the end of Former Han. Emperor Wen of Sui renamed it to Yangzhi, and it was later renamed again to Fenyang county."

We saw earlier that someone named Muyu Song had plotted to put Murong Lin in power and had been executed for it. This was another man with the same name.

The rank of 中領將軍 was created by Northern Wei, but it was equivalent to the rank of 中領軍 from Cao-Wei and Jin.

Some versions state that the place where Zhangsun Fei caught up with Murong Nong was at 州 Luzhou instead of 川 Luchuan.)


24. Tuoba Gui thus conquered Bingzhou. So he now established government ministries and bureaus for the first time; he appointed Inspectors, Administrators, Gentlemen of the Masters of Writing, and similar subordinate offices, and he filled these posts with learned people. Whenever scholar-officials came to visit his army camp, regardless of their age, Tuoba Gui always brought them in and consoled and nurtured them, and he had people go out and spread word that anyone who had even the slightest talent or use would all be evaluated and appraised.

On the day Jiwei (November 5th), Tuoba Gui sent his General Who Upholds The State, Xi Shou (or Xi Mu), to raid the region around Fenchuan, and he captured Yan's Prince of Danyang, Murong Maide, and their Protector-General of Lishi county, Gao Xiuhe.

Tuoba Gui appointed his Gentleman-Attendant of the Palace Secretariat, Zhang Xun, and others as the local Administrators. They gathered together and nurtured the scattered refugees, and they encouraged and instructed the people in farming and silkworm cultivation.


(This passage demonstrates how Tuoba Gui was able to conquer the Central Plains.

Some versions write Xi 收 Shou's given name as 牧 Mu.

Ever since Han, Lishi county had been part of Xihe commandary. Later Yan had assigned a Protector-General there to supervise the local tribes.)

并州平,以謙為陽曲護軍,賜爵平舒侯、安遠將軍。皇始元年卒官,時年六十三。贈平東將軍、左光祿大夫、幽州刺史、高陽公,諡曰文。子洛陽,襲。從征慕容寶,為冠軍司馬。後為祁令。(Book of Northern Wei 24, Biography of Xu Qian)

After Northern Wei conquered Bingzhou, Tuoba Gui appointed Xu Qian as Protector-General of Yangqu, Marquis of Pingshu, and General Who Calms Distant Places.

In the first year of Huangshi (396), Xu Qian passed away while in office; he was sixty-three years old. Tuoba Gui posthumously appointed him as General Who Pacifies The East, Household Counselor of the Left, Inspector of Youzhou, and Duke of Gaoyang, and his posthumous name was Wen ("the Cultured").

Xu Qiang's son Xu Luoyang inherited his titles. He accompanied Tuoba Gui during his campaign against Murong Bao, where he served as Marshal to the Champion General. He later became Prefect of Qi.


25. When Murong Bao heard that the Wei army was approaching, he held a council in the Eastern Hall. The Intendant of Zhongshan, Fu Mo, proposed, "The Wei army is now numerous and strong, and even after traveling a thousand li, they are still riding high from their victories and flush with zeal. If we allow them to enter the plains, we will be no match for them. We should occupy the strategic points and prevent that from happening."

Sui Sui said, "The Wei army is mostly cavalry, and their mobility allows them to move swiftly to and fro. But that also means they must carry their provisions with them on their horses, so they cannot have brought more than ten days' worth of food. We should order the commandaries and counties to concentrate all the common people together. Have every thousand families gather into their own fort, with deep moats and high ramparts, and then torch the fields before the Wei army arrives. When the enemy is denied anything to forage, within sixty days, their food will be gone and they will have to retreat."

The Master of Writing, Feng Yi, offered, "The Wei army now has hundreds of thousands of soldiers; they are the most powerful enemy of the realm. Even if the common people build fortresses, they will not be able to hold out against the enemy. That would only be bundling up our soldiers and grain as depots for the enemy to sack. Furthermore, such a policy would disturb the people and shake their hearts, not to mention show ourselves as weak. It would be better to hold fast to the passes and gates and oppose the enemy in battle. That is the best plan."

Murong Lin said, "With the morale the Wei army has gained from their recent victories, we would not be able to withstand their vanguard. We should concentrate our defenses at Zhongshan. Wait for the enemy to wear themselves out, and then we can defeat them."

So Murong Bao repaired the walls of Zhongshan and gathered grain supplies there, preparing to endure a long assault. He ordered Murong Nong to go out and camp at Anxi county, and he left all military activities to Murong Lin.


(Fu Mo was a relative of the Former Qin royal clan; he had earlier surrendered to Later Yan, as mentioned in Book 106, in the eleventh year of Taiyuan (386.9).

Murong Bao was defeated because he tried to defend this lone city rather than occupy the strategic places and opposing the Northern Wei army's advance.

During Former Han, Anxi county was known as Anxian. During Later Han, it was renamed to Anxi by Emperor Zhang. It was part of Zhongshan commandary.

This was why Murong Lin was later able to rebel.)


26. Emperor Xiaowu was addicted to wine, and he often lost himself in the pleasures of the inner palace. While drunk, he rarely attended to government affairs, and outsiders only seldom got a chance to see him.

Honored Lady Zhang enjoyed the most favor in the rear palace, and everyone there feared her. On the day Gengshen (November 6th), Emperor Xiaowu held a feast in the rear palace, and his singers and dancers were all in attendance. By now, Lady Zhang was approaching thirty years old. Emperor Xiaowu teased her by saying, "You're getting too old; it's time for you to be replaced. I'd like someone younger." Lady Zhang was secretly offended by the remark. By nightfall, Emperor Xiaowu was drunk, and he went to sleep in the Qingshu Palace. Lady Zhang plied his remaining eunuchs with wine and had them all sent away. Then she had the servant girls press a pillow against Emperor Xiaowu's face until they smothered him. She heavily bribed Emperor Xiaowu's attendants, so that they would say, "He suddenly died from some nightmare." At the time, since the Crown Prince, Sima Dezong, was still young and weak and Sima Daozi was muddled and indulgent, there was no further investigation into the death.

Wang Guobao knocked on the palace gates during the night, wanting to come inside to see Emperor Xiaowu's final testament. But the Palace Attendant, Wang Shuang, stopped him, saying, "His Majesty has only just passed away, and the Crown Prince has not yet arrived; anyone who dares enter will be beheaded!" So Wang Guobao stopped. This Wang Shuang was the younger brother of Wang Gong.

On the day Xinyou (November 7th), Sima Dezong ascended the throne, and a general amnesty was declared. He would be known as Emperor An.


(Some versions state that Emperor Xiaowu was drunk "on few days".

This passage is saying that Emperor Xiaowu was often drunk, and during those times he rarely dealt with affairs of state.

Emperor Xiaowu had built the Qingshu Palace.

The Broad Sounds dictionary states, "Nightmares occur during sleep." Mao Huang remarked, "One has a nightmare when one's aura is stopped up, one's heart trembles, and one's spirit is shaken.")


27. On the day Guihai (November 9th), the Jin officials submitted a memorial stating, "The Prince of Kuaiji, Sima Daozi, should be promoted as Grand Tutor, Governor of Yangzhou, and Bearer of the Yellow Battle-axe, and all military affairs should be entrusted to his command."


28. Emperor An was still young, and he was unintelligent; he could not speak, and he was unable to distinguish between feeling hungry and full or feeling hot and cold; he could not even feed himself or go to and get out of bed on his own. But the Prince of Langye, his younger brother by the same mother Sima Dewen, was naturally respectful and diligent, and he often remained at Emperor An's side and helped him with his living, so that Emperor An could sustain himself.


(Du Yu remarked, "To be 'unintelligent' is a way of calling someone an imbecile."

Sima Dewen helped Emperor An by providing for his mouth and his body.)


29. Up until now, Wang Guobao and his partisans had aligned themselves with Sima Daozi, and they did whatever they pleased regardless of the laws. Several times, they were tied up by the Middle Minister of the Imperial Secretariat, Chu Can.

Wang Guobao once even built a building that was as tall as Qingshu Palace, which caused Emperor Xiaowu to greatly hate him. Afraid, Wang Guobao then flattered Emperor Xiaowu while putting down Sima Daozi, which caused Emperor Xiaowu to once again personally favor him. But this in turn made Sima Daozi furious. Once, when they met inside the government ministries, Sima Daozi castigated Wang Guobao to his face and threw his sword at him. However, their old relationship was later fully restored.

After Emperor Xiaowu's death, Wang Guobao once again inclined towards Sima Daozi, and he and Wang Xu were constant sources of bad influences and slander. Sima Daozi was misled by them all the more, and he leaned upon them as his close companions. So they advised on and interfered with the affairs of court and state, and their power was felt near and far. Everyone at that time hated them.


(Wang Guobao's partisanship on behalf of Sima Daozi is first mentioned in Book 105, in the eighth year of Taiyuan (383.22).)


30. When Wang Gong came to visit the imperial tombs, he always maintained a stern expression and spoke bluntly. Sima Daozi deeply feared him. As Wang Gong was leaving a court session, he lamented, "The rooms and rafters may be new, but I still feel the sighs of the Drooping Millet poem!"

Wang Xu tried to convince Wang Guobao that, when Wang Gong entered court, Wang Guobao should urge the princes to place soldiers in ambush who would spring out and kill him. But Wang Guobao would not permit it.

Sima Daozi wanted to promote harmony between both sides, so he acted deeply humble to Wang Gong, hoping to do away with the bad blood between them. But whenever Wang Gong began speaking about the times or the government, he always assumed a harsh voice and expression. So Sima Daozi realized that Wang Gong would never be won over, and he began to plot against him instead.


(There were different local regionalisms for what people called the rafters of a ceiling or roof. The popular term in the Qin region was 椽; in the Qi and Lu regions, it was 桷; in the Zhou region, it was 榱.

The Drooping Millet poem was written by a great Zhou minister after he passed by the old palaces and ancestral temples and saw that they were now all covered with grain and millet.)


31. Someone urged Wang Gong to place troops in ambush at court and have them execute Wang Guobao. But Wang Gong considered how the Inspector of Yuzhou, Yu Kai, both possessed a great many troops and horses and was a partisan of Wang Guobao. He was afraid of what Yu Kai's reaction might be to such an incident, so he hesitated to act.

Then Wang Xun said to Wang Gong, "Although Wang Guobao will surely cause disaster and turmoil eventually, he has not yet committed any action that obviously demands his execution. If you were to do something rash before he has defamed himself, you would surely lose the hopes of those both within the court and without. And when you possess such strong soldiers in the capital region, if you have them act, who will not call it treason? If Wang Guobao truly cannot be reformed, hatred of him will eventually spread through all the realm. Then you would be heeding the wishes of the people by removing him, and you would have no fear of failure."

So Wang Gong gave up the idea. But he said to Wang Xun, "Sir, lately you seem like Hu Guang to me."

Wang Xun replied, "Wang Ling argued forcefully in court, while Chen Ping remained cautious and silent. Ask again in a few years, and you will see how things stand!"


(Wang Gong's comment about Hu Guang meant that he felt that Wang Xun was just trying to stay in the good graces of both the good people at court and the bad influences merely in order to secure his own personal position and salary. 比 in this case means "lately".

The Han minister Wang Ling lost his position because of his arguments in court, while Chen Ping was eventually able to allay the suspicions of the Liu clan against him through his cautious and quiet behavior.)


32. In winter, the tenth month, on the day Jiashen (November 30th), Emperor Xiaowu was buried at Longping Tomb.

Wang Gong returned to his border post. As he was about to leave the capital, he said to Sima Daozi, "Our sovereign is still in the mourning shed, so the chief minister's position will face the same difficulties as Yi Yin and Huo Guang. Great Prince, when you are attending to all the affairs of state, I implore you to accept forthright advice, avoid improper influences, and keep away from flatterers and sycophants."

Wang Guobao and the others were left even more afraid of him.


33. Tuoba Gui sent his Champion General, Yu Lidi of Dai, and his General Who Calms The Northern Frontier, Gongsun Lan, to lead twenty thousand horse and foot to secretly march from Jinyang and follow the hidden roads that the Han general Han Xin had once built. On the day Jiyou (?), Tuoba Gui himself marched from Jingxing to assemble his forces at Zhongshan.

Li Xian surrendered to Wei, and Tuoba Gui appointed him as Chief Clerk of the Left to the General Who Conquers The East.


(According to the Records of Ministerial Clans in the Book of Northern Wei, during the reign of Tuoba Jiefen, another of the tribes that came to join him was the Wuniuyu clan, which later changed their surname to Yu.

Han Xin had built a hidden road from Jingxing in order to campaign against the state of Zhao.

Li Xian had originally been a Western Yan minister; the previous year, he had surrendered to Later Yan.)


34. Western Qin's Governor of Liangzhou, Qifu Kedan, felt uneasy around the Governor of Qinzhou, Qifu Yizhou. So he fled to Liang.


35. Tuoba Gui advanced to attack Changshan; he took it, and captured Yan's Administrator there, Gou Yan. As he continued to advance east from Changshan, some of the local Yan officials fled while others surrendered. All of the commandaries and counties submitted to Wei; only the three cities of Zhongshan, Ye, and Xindu still held out.

In the eleventh month, Tuoba Gui ordered Tuoba Yi to lead fifty thousand cavalry to attack Ye, and he ordered his Champion General, Wang Jian, and his General of the Left, Li Li, to attack Xindu. On the day Wuwu (January 3rd of 397), Tuoba Gui's army advanced to Zhongshan; on the day Jiwei (January 4th of 397), they launched an assault against the city. But Murong Long was guarding the southern wall of the city, and he led his troops in fierce battle; they fought from dawn until afternoon, and killed or wounded thousands of Wei soldiers, until the Wei army eventually halted their assault.

Then Tuoba Gui said to his generals, "Zhongshan has stout defenses, and Murong Bao certainly cannot bear to come out and face us in open battle. If we launch a full assault, that will greatly harm our soldiers. But a long siege would only be a waste of grain. It would be better for us to go and capture Ye and Xindu first. Then we can return and deal with Zhongshan."

On the day Dingmao (January 12th of 397), Tuoba Gui led his soldiers south.


(Zhongshan was the Later Yan capital, and Ye and Xindu were guarded by Murong De and Murong Feng, so all three were important garrisons.)


36. Murong Zhou was returning from Longcheng. When he heard that Wei had invaded, he rushed to Ji, where he assisted the General Who Guards The North and Prince of Yangcheng, Murong Lan, in guarding the city. This Murong Lan was the cousin of Murong Chui. One of Wei's generals, Shi Hetou, attacked Ji but could not capture it, so he fell back to camp at Yuyang county.


(According to the Records of Ministerial Clans in the Book of Northern Wei, still another of the clans which joined the Tuoba during Tuoba Jiefen's reign was the Washilan clan, which later changed their surname to Shi.

During Han, Yuyang county was part of Yuyang commandary. Jin abolished it.)


37. Tuoba Gui's army was at Lukou.

Yan's Administrator of Boling, Shen Yong, fled south of the Yellow River, while their Administrator of Gaoyang, Cui Hong, fled to hide among the coastal islands. But Tuoba Gui had long heard of Cui Hong's reputation, so he sent riders to pursue Cui Hong and find him. They captured him and brought him back. Tuoba Gui appointed Cui Hong as a Gentleman-Attendant of the Yellow Gate, and entrusted him with working together with his Attendant Officer and Gentleman-Attendant of the Yellow Gate, Zhang Gun, to oversee important affairs of state, and they developed systems and implemented policies together.

Yan's Prefect of Boling, Qu Zun, surrendered to Wei. Tuoba Gui appointed him as his Prefect of the Palace Secretariat, and Qu Zun was put in charge of all incoming and outgoing messages and ordinances, as well as composing and overseeing all compositions and edicts.


(Cui Hong hid among the islets off the coast.

This was why Cui Hong and his son became honored and exalted in Northern Wei.)

太祖征慕容寶,次於常山,玄伯棄郡,東走海濱。太祖素聞其名,遣騎追求,執送於軍門,引見與語,悅之,以為黃門侍郎,與張袞對總機要,草創制度。(Book of Northern Wei 24, Biography of Cui Hong)

When Tuoba Gui campaigned against Murong Bao, he passed through Changshan commandary. Cui Hong abandoned his commandary post and fled to hide among the coastal islands. But Tuoba Gui had long heard of Cui Hong's reputation, so he sent riders to pursue Cui Hong and find him. They captured him and brought him back to the gate of the army camp. Tuoba Gui had Cui Hong brought to see him, and they talked together. Tuoba Gui was pleased with him, and he appointed Cui Hong as a Gentleman-Attendant of the Yellow Gate, and entrusted him with working together with Zhang Gun to oversee important affairs of state, and they developed systems and implemented policies together.


38. Murong De sent the Prince of Nan'an, Murong Qing, and others to attack the Wei army below the walls of Ye during the night. They routed the Wei army, which retreated to camp at Xincheng.

Murong Qing and the others wished to pursue the enemy and attack them again. But the Attendant Officer With Separate Carriage, Han Zhuo, said, "The ancients developed a plan first and only attacked afterwards. There are four reasons why the Wei army cannot be attacked. They have come a long way to face us and have kept their soldiers back, where they would have the advantage in a field battle; that is the first reason. They have penetrated deeply into the capital region, and have positioned their soldiers on deadly ground; that is the second reason. Their vanguard having been defeated, their rear formations are sure to be much more stout; that is the third reason. And they are many while we are few; that is the fourth reason.

"As well, there are three reasons why our army cannot act now. We would be fighting a battle on terrain of their choosing rather than ours; that is the first reason. If we act but are defeated, it will be difficult to steady the hearts of the army; that is the second reason. And we have not yet repaired the walls and moats, so if an enemy comes we would be unprepared for them; that is the third reason.

"Besides, the Wei army has no supplies or grain. It would be best to fortify our defenses and hold our position, and wait for them to exhaust themselves."

Murong De agreed, so he summoned Murong Qing back to the city. This Murong Qing was the elder brother of Murong Xiang.


(Murong Chui had built Xincheng near Ye during his long siege of that city.

When fighting on terrain of the enemy's choosing, it is easy for the soldiers to be defeated and scattered.)


39. In the twelfth month, Wei's Duke of Liaoxi, He Lailu, led twenty thousand cavalry to join with Tuoba Yi in the attack on Ye. This He Lailu was the younger brother of He Ne.


(This was why He Lailu was later in a position to surrender to Murong De.

According to the Records of Ministerial Clans in the Book of Northern Wei, one of the clans that joined the Tuoba was the Helai clan. There was also a clan in the north called the Helan clan, which later shortened their surname to He. It must have been these people were from a common source, where the ones who joined the Tuoba became the Helai and the ones who remained in the north became the Helan. Lan and Lai certainly sound similar. And there was also a Helai clan known among the Xiongnu.)


40. There was a certain Chieftain of Wei, Meigen, who was valorous and bold. But Tuoba Gui disliked him, and Meigen was afraid that he would be executed. So on the day Jichou (February 3rd of 397), he led several dozen of his personal soldiers to surrender to Yan. Murong Bao appointed him as Grand General Who Guards The East and Duke of Yanmen.

Meigen asked to return to launch a surprise attack against the Wei army. But Murong Bao was loath to spare many troops, so he only gave him some hundred cavalry. Meigen was able to bluff his way into the Wei camp during the night, and Tuoba Gui did not realize what was going on until battle had actually broken out, so he fled in panic. But because Meigen had so few soldiers, he could not actually destroy such a larger enemy army. So he could only take many enemy heads before returning to Yan.


(This passage demonstrates how Murong Bao was unable to take advantage of defectors within the Northern Wei forces to destroy them.)


41. Yang Sheng sent envoys to the Jin court to ask for their instructions. The court appointed him as General Who Guards The South and Duke of Chouchi. Yang Sheng petitioned to have Fu Xuan appointed as General Who Pacifies The North.


42. During this year, Yuezhi Jiegui led twenty thousand households to rebel against Western Qin and surrender to Qin. Qin placed him at Chengji and appointed him as their General Who Guards The West and Duke of Pingxiang.


(Yuezhi Jiegui had earlier surrendered to Western Qin, as mentioned in Book 107, in the sixteenth year of Taiyuan (391.2).

Ever since Han, Chengji county had been part of Tianshui commandary.)


43. Yao Shuode attacked Jiang Ru at Shanggui. Jiang Ru led his forces to surrender. Qin appointed Yao Shuode as Governor of Qinzhou, stationed at Shanggui; Jiang Ru was appointed as a Master of Writing.

The local leaders Qiang Xi and Quan Qiancheng led thirty thousand soldiers to besiege Shanggui together. Yao Shuode attacked and routed them; Qiang Xi fled to Chouchi, then fled to Jin. Then Yao Shuode marched west and attacked Quan Qiancheng at Lüeyang, and Quan Qiancheng surrendered.


44. After Western Yan fell, the local officials that it had appointed all kept their personal soldiers close to maintain their positions, including their Administrator of Hedong, Liu Gong. Yao Xing sent Yao Xu to attack them, but Liu Gong and the others led their troops to hold the line of the Yellow River and oppose him, and Yao Xu was unable to cross.


45. Earlier, during the Disaster of Yongjia, the Xue clan of Fenyin had kept all their kinfolk and partisans gathered together, using the Yellow River to defend themselves, and they had refused to serve the Liu or Shi clans of Han-Zhao and Later Zhao. After the Fu clan of Former Qin rose, they respectfully invited Xue Jiang to come to them, and they had appointed him as General Who Guards The East.

At this time, Xue Jiang led his troops from the Qin region to cross the river at Longmen, and he entered Puban, causing Liu Gong and the others to surrender. Yao Xing then appointed Yao Xu as Governor of Bingzhou and Jizhou, and he was stationed at Puban.


(The Geographical Records of the Wei Region states, "There is a Mount Longmen north of Mount Liang. Yu the Great bored a canal there to connect with the Yellow River at Meng Crossing. The canal was eighty paces across, and traces and markings of it still exist even today to mark the work." Mount Liang is in the northwest of Xiayang county of Pingyi commandary.)
Last edited by Taishi Ci 2.0 on Mon Oct 22, 2018 12:12 am, edited 5 times in total.
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