Zizhi Tongjian: The Han Dynasty (In Progress)

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Re: Zizhi Tongjian: The Han Dynasty (In Progress)

Unread postby Taishi Ci 2.0 » Sun Nov 03, 2019 2:09 am

I'm just glad that people are able to use these translations well. Did you have any comments or thoughts about things?
"You have attacked us before, and we survived! You cannot defeat us. Submit!"
"We have. You did. We can. No."
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Re: Zizhi Tongjian: The Han Dynasty (In Progress)

Unread postby Kongde » Wed Nov 06, 2019 1:14 pm

Jordan wrote:Thanks a lot for doing these and the one on the Jin dynasty. I really appreciate it.

It is appreciated by so many. This is great work and the continued dedication to this project is ever helpful. While I have not fully gotten around to reading these yet, it is certainly planned and would not be possible without your efforts. You have my and many others thanks!
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BOOK 12

Unread postby Taishi Ci 2.0 » Mon Nov 11, 2019 4:01 am

八年(壬寅、前一九九)

The Eighth Year of Liu Bang's Reign (The Renyin Year, 199 BC)


冬,上擊韓王信餘寇於東垣,過柏人。貫高等壁人於廁中,欲以要上。上欲宿,心動,問曰︰「縣名爲何?」曰︰「柏人。」上曰︰「柏人者,迫於人也。」遂不宿而去。十二月,帝行自東垣至。

1. In winter, the tenth month (of 200 BC), Liu Bang marched east and attacked King Xin of Hann's remaining soldiers at Dongyuan.

It was earlier mentioned that, because Liu Bang had shown blatant disrespect to the King of Zhao, Zhang Ao, Zhang Ao's retainers Guan Gao and others were plotting to kill Liu Bang. As Liu Bang was traveling, he passed through Boren county, where Guan Gao and the others were hiding in a lavatory to kill him. He was going to spend the night there, but he had some premonition, so he asked someone, "What is the name of this county?"

"Boren," someone told him.

"Boren, eh? Sounds like boren ('an oppressed man')," observed Liu Bang. So he kept traveling instead of spending the night there.

In the twelfth month (of 200 BC), Liu Bang returned to Chang'an from his trip to Dongyuan.

〈【章︰甲十五行本「上」下有「東」字;乙十一行本同;孔本同。】〉〈班《志》,高帝十一年,更名東垣曰眞定;武帝元鼎四年,置眞定國。〉〈班《志》,柏人縣屬趙國。《括地志》︰柏人故城,在邢州柏人縣西北十二里;至唐天寶元年,更柏人曰堯山。〉〈文穎曰︰置人廁壁中以伺高祖也。〉

(Some versions add that Liu Bang "marched east" in order to reach Dongyuan.

Regarding Dongyuan, according to the Book of Han, in the eleventh year of Liu Bang's reign (196 BC), he renamed Dongyuan to Zhending. In Emperor Wu of Han's fourth year of Yuanding (113 BC), it was reorganized as the Zhending princely fief.

Regarding Boren, according to the Book of Han, Boren county was part of the Zhao princely fief. The Comprehensive Gazetteer states, "The capital city of Boren was twelve li northwest of modern Boren county in Xingzhou. It was renamed to Yaoshan in Tang's first year of Tianbao (742)."

Wen Ying remarked, "The conspirators were waiting in the lavatory for Liu Bang.")


八年冬。上擊韓王信餘寇于東垣。建武侯靳歙有功。遷為車騎將軍。上還過趙。趙相貫高伏。兵柏人亭。欲為逆。上宿心動。曰。柏人者。迫於人也。乃去之... 十有一月。令士卒從軍死者。送歸于縣。給衣衾。長吏視葬。祠以少牢。十有二月至自東垣。(Records of Former Han 4, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

In the eighth year of Liu Bang's reign (199 BC), in the winter (of 200 BC), Liu Bang attacked King Xin of Hann's remaining soldiers at Dongyuan. Marquis Jianwu, Jin She, performed well during this campaign and was transferred to be General of Chariots and Cavalry.

As Liu Bang was returning from the campaign, he passed through the Zhao region. The Chancellor of Zhao, Guan Gao, had posted soldiers at the lodging in Boren to ambush Liu Bang. Liu Bang was planning to stay there, but he had some premonition. He said, "Boren sounds like boren ('an oppressed man')." So he left instead.

In the eleventh month (of 200 BC), Liu Bang ordered that the bodies of the soldiers who had died while on his campaigns should be sent back to their home counties; they should be provided with burial clothing and shrouds, and the local officials should oversee their funerals and offer Lesser Sacrifices to their spirits.

In the twelfth month (of 200 BC), Liu Bang returned to Chang'an from Dongyuan.


春,三月,行如洛陽。

2. In spring, the third month, Liu Bang traveled to Luoyang.

春三月行如洛陽。(Records of Former Han 4, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

In spring, the third month, Liu Bang traveled to Luoyang.


令賈人毋得衣錦、繡、綺、縠、絺、紵、罽,操兵、乘、騎馬。

3. Liu Bang declared a series of sumptuary laws, forbidding merchants from wearing clothing of brocade, embroidery, damask, gauze silk, fine linen, sackcloth, or wool, from bearing weapons, or from riding a carriage or a horse.

〈師古曰︰賈人,坐販賣者也。綺,文繒也,卽今之細綾也。絺,細葛也。紵,織紵爲布及疏也。罽,織毛,若今毼及氍毹之類也。操,持也。兵,凡兵器也。乘,駕車也。騎,單騎也。余據︰錦,織文也;繡,刺文而五采備者也;縠,縐紗也。〉

(Regarding these forbidden things, Yan Shigu remarked, "A merchant is someone who sits and sells wares. Embroidery means patterned silk, what we would now call sheer silk. Fine linen is what we now call poplin. Sackcloth means to weave cloth into thin clothing. Wool means woven hair, like what we would now call 毼 or 氍毹. To bear means to carry, and weapons are military equipment. The term 乘 means 'to ride in a carriage', and 騎 means 'to ride a lone horse'." I (Hu Sanxing) note that brocade means a woven pattern, embroidery means a pattern pricked and woven with five colors, and gauze silk means crape fabric.)


令人無得衣錦繡綺縠絺紵。(Records of Former Han 4, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

Liu Bang declared a series of sumptuary laws, forbidding people from wearing clothing of brocade, embroidery, damask, gauze silk, fine linen, or sackcloth.


秋,九月,行自洛陽至;淮南王、梁王、趙王、楚王皆從。

4. In autumn, the ninth month, Liu Bang returned to Chang'an from Luoyang. The King of Huainan, Qing Bu, the King of Liang, Peng Yue, Zhang Ao, and the Prince of Chu, Liu Jiao, all accompanied him.

九月至自洛陽。九年冬十月。淮南王趙王楚王來朝。置酒前殿。上為太上皇壽曰。始者大人常以臣不如仲。能治產業。今臣之業孰與仲多。殿上皆稱萬歲。(Records of Former Han 4, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

In the ninth month, Liu Bang returned to Chang'an from Luoyang.

In the ninth year of Liu Bang's reign (198 BC), in winter, the tenth month (of 199 BC), the King of Huainan, Qing Bu, the King of Zhao, Zhang Ao, and the Prince of Chu, Liu Jiao, came to court. Liu Bang held a wine feast in the front hall. He raised a cup to toast the longevity of his father, saying, "Back then, you were always telling me I wasn't as good as my brother Zhong when it came to working hard at an enterprise. Well, what do you think now; is Zhong still better at his enterprise than I am?" The whole hall hailed Liu Bang.


匈奴冒頓數苦北邊。上患之,問劉敬,劉敬曰︰「天下初定,士卒罷於兵,未可以武服也。冒頓殺父代立,妻羣母,以力爲威,未可以仁義說也。獨可以計久遠,子孫爲臣耳;然恐陛下不能爲。」上曰︰「柰何?」對曰︰「陛下誠能以適長公主妻之,厚奉遺之,彼必慕,以爲閼氏,生子,必爲太子。陛下以歲時漢所餘、彼所鮮,數問遺,因使辨士風諭以禮節。冒頓在,固爲子壻;死,則外孫爲單于;豈嘗聞外孫敢與大父抗禮者哉!可無戰以漸臣也。若陛下不能遣長公主,而令宗室及後宮詐稱公主,彼知,不肯貴近,無益也。」帝曰︰「善!」欲遣長公主。呂后日夜泣曰︰「妾唯太子、一女,柰何棄之匈奴!」上竟不能遣。

5. The Chanyu of the Xiongnu, Modu, was still causing many problems on Han's northern border, and Liu Bang was vexed by this issue. He asked Liu Jing what he should do.

Liu Jing told him, "Since the realm has only just been settled and the officers and soldiers are exhausted from war, we are not yet able to subdue the Xiongnu by use of force. Nor could we persuade Modu to recognize our benevolence and righteous and submit to us out of respect, for he killed his own father, took his place, and claimed his stepmothers as his wives; he would only respect strength. There is one method I know of that would deal with the Xiongnu in the long term, and it could even make Modu's descendants your subjects. Yet I fear that Your Majesty would not approve of it."

Liu Bang asked him, "What is your plan?"

Liu Jing replied, "If Your Majesty were able to send your eldest daughter to Modu to become his wife, and lavish him with gifts to accompany her arrival, then Modu would surely respect your daughter and make her his Yanshi. Then when she gives him a son, Modu would surely make that son his Crown Prince. In the meantime, Your Majesty could send several trade missions to exchange what the realm has a surplus of and the Xiongnu lack, and take advantage of those missions to also send skilled speakers who could instruct the Xiongnu on proper behavior and a sense of duty.

"If you do these things, then while Modu is still alive, he will conduct himself as your son-in-law, and after he is dead, then your grandson by your daughter would become the new Chanyu. And who has ever heard of a grandson daring to disrespect his grandfather? Thus you would gradually make the Xiongnu your subjects without even having to fight them.

"But supposing Your Majesty is not able to actually send your own eldest daughter to Modu, and you tried to pretend that some woman of your clan or even from your harem was one of your daughters and sent her instead, once Modu discovered the deception, he would not honor her so highly, and there would be no benefit to you."

Liu Bang said, "An excellent plan!"

At first, Liu Bang really was planning to send his eldest daughter to become Modu's wife. But the Empress, her mother Lü Zhi, cried day and night as she begged Liu Bang, "I only have two children, my daughter and the Crown Prince; don't throw my only daughter away to the Xiongnu!" So he was unable to send her.

〈罷,讀曰疲。〉〈適,讀曰嫡;謂皇后所生也。〉〈鮮,少也。〉

(In this passage, 罷 should be read as "exhausted", and 適 as "to marry".

Lou Jing was referring to Liu Bang's daughter by Lü Zhi, Princess Yuan of Lu.

The term 鮮 means "to lack".)


婁敬進計和匈奴。請以魯元公主妻單于。單于因之為女婿。有子則為外孫後世可以漸臣也。上將行之。呂后涕泣固請留之。乃止。(Records of Former Han 3, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

Lou Jing offered a plan to Liu Bang to arrange a marriage alliance with the Xiongnu. He asked Liu Bang to offer his daughter, Princess Yuan of Lu, to the Chanyu of the Xiongnu as a wife. The Chanyu would then make her his chief wife, and if he had a son by her, then the family of the Chanyu would become Liu Bang's descendants through his daughter, and they would gradually become subjects of the Han dynasty.

Liu Bang was going to do as Lou Jing proposed. But Lü Zhi wept and begged him not to send Princess Yuan, so he stopped.
Last edited by Taishi Ci 2.0 on Tue Nov 12, 2019 2:44 am, edited 5 times in total.
"You have attacked us before, and we survived! You cannot defeat us. Submit!"
"We have. You did. We can. No."
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Re: Zizhi Tongjian: The Han Dynasty (In Progress)

Unread postby Taishi Ci 2.0 » Mon Nov 11, 2019 4:05 am

九年(癸卯、前一九八)

The Ninth Year of Liu Bang's Reign (The Guimao Year, 198 BC)


冬,上取家人子名爲長公主,以妻單于。使劉敬往結和親約。

1. In the winter (of 199 BC), Liu Bang sent a girl of his household to become Modu's wife, claiming that she was his eldest daughter. He sent Liu Jing to arrange the marriage alliance and secure peace terms.

〈師古曰︰於外庶人家取女,而名之爲公主。〉

(Yan Shigu remarked, "He sent a girl taken from a commoner's family, but claimed that she was a princess.")


更以宗室女為公主。妻單于。結和親。歲致金幣賂遺之。(Records of Former Han 3, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

Liu Bang sent a girl of his household to become Modu's wife, claiming that she was his daughter. His envoys arranged the marriage alliance and secured peace terms, and every year the dynasty sent gifts of gold and silks to the Xiongnu.


臣光曰︰建信侯謂冒頓殘賊,不可以仁義說,而欲與爲婚姻,何前後之相違也!夫骨肉之恩,尊卑之敍,唯仁義之人爲能知之;柰何欲以此服冒頓哉!蓋上世帝王之御夷狄也,服則懷之以德,叛則震之以威,未聞與爲婚姻也。且冒頓視其父如禽獸而獵之,奚有於婦翁!建信侯之術,固已疏矣;況魯元已爲趙后,又可奪乎!

2. Your servant Sima Guang remarks: It was Marquis Jianxin (Liu Jing) himself who said that Modu was a cruel bandit who could never be won over by benevolence or righteousness. How gross a contradiction, then, to propose to win him over through a marriage! Only those who have any notion of benevolence and righteousness in the first place would ever respect the grace between flesh and blood and the precedence between the grand and the lowly. How could such a method ever cause a man like Modu to submit?

When it came to dealing with barbarians, the kings of ancient times had their methods. When the barbarians were submissive, those ancient kings would encourage them with displays of virtue; when the barbarians were rebellious, the kings would overawe them with a show of their authority. But I have never heard of an instance where the barbarians submitted because of a marriage alliance. And even beyond these general principles, Modu was a man who hunted his actual father like prey; why would he ever respect his father-in-law?

Bad enough for Marquis Jianxin to propose such a plan if those were the only faults. But he even went so far as to suggest that Princess Yuan of Lu be the one to be married off to Modu, despite the fact that she was already married to the King of Zhao! Was he going to wrest her away from her husband?

劉敬從匈奴來,因言︰「匈奴河南白羊、樓煩王,去長安近者七百里,輕騎一日一夜可以至秦中。秦中新破,少民,地肥饒,可益實。夫諸侯初起時,非齊諸田、楚昭、屈、景莫能興。今陛下雖都關中,實少民,東有六國之強族;一日有變,陛下亦未得高枕而臥也。臣願陛下徙六國後及豪桀、名家居關中;無事可以備胡,諸侯有變,亦足率以東伐。此強本弱末之術也。」上曰︰「善!」十一月,徙齊、楚大族昭氏、屈氏、景氏、懷氏、田氏五族及豪桀於關中,與利田、宅,凡十餘萬口。

3. When Liu Jing returned from the Xiongnu, he told Liu Bang, "Since the Xiongnu have occupied the lands of the Kings of Baiyang and Loufan and are south of the Yellow River, they are only seven hundred li from Chang'an. Their light cavalry could potentially reach the Qin region by riding for a single day and night.

"Meanwhile, the recent wars have drained the Qin region of manpower; there are much fewer people living there than such a rich land could potentially sustain, and the population could certainly be increased. And I note that when the feudal lords first rose up against Qin, none of the great clans among them were as powerful as the various Tian clans of Qi or the Zhao, Qu, or Jing clans of Chu. Thus Your Majesty faces a situation where your capital region of Guanzhong is underpopulated, while the lands of the former Six States have powerful clans living in them. If something unfortunate happened in the east, Your Majesty would not be able to sleep easy at night.

"Thus I ask Your Majesty to guard against both of these potential threats by shifting into Guanzhong the remaining scions of the Six States and the powerful or famous local clans of the east. By doing so, you would both bolster the population of Guanzhong in order to make it easier to defend against any thrust by the Xiongnu, while also ensuring that you could sustain an eastern campaign to put down any rebellion among the feudal lords. This is the technique of strong roots and weak branches."

Liu Bang replied, "Excellent!"

In the eleventh month (of 199 BC), Liu Bang relocated into Guanzhong the entire Zhao, Qu, Jing, Huai, and Tian clans from the Qi and Chu regions, as well as other local gentry, more than a hundred thousand people in all. He provided them with fine fields and houses.

〈秦中,謂關中,故秦地也。新破,謂經兵革之後未殷實。〉〈齊之王族,諸田也;楚之王族,昭、屈、景也;皆二國之強家。師古曰︰今高陵、櫟陽諸田,華陰、好畤諸景及三輔諸屈、諸懷尚多,皆此時之所徙也。屈,九勿翻。〉〈謂便利田宅也。〉

(Lou Jing refers to 秦中 "the Qin interior"; he means Guanzhong, the former territory of the state of Qin. The region was "recently drained" in that the population had been conscripted and had not yet had time to recover.

The Tian clan were the extended clan of the former rulers of the state of Qi, and the Zhao, Qu, and Jing clans likewise were the extended clans of the former rulers of the state of Chu. They were all powerful clans from those two states. Yan Shigu remarked, "The numerous people of the Tian clans living in Gaoling and Yueyang in our own times are the descendants of those who were relocated to Guanzhong during the events of this passage; the same applies to the Jing clans living in Huayin and Haozhi and the Qu and Huai clans living in the Three Adjuncts region (the commandaries of Pingyi, Fufeng, and Jingzhao). 屈 is pronounced 'ju (j-u)'."

This passage states that Liu Bang provided the relocated clans with fine fields and houses.)


十有一月。徙郡國大族豪傑名家十餘萬戶以實關中。婁敬之計也。(Records of Former Han 4, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

In the eleventh month (of 199 BC), Liu Bang relocated more than a hundred thousand households of great clans and gentry leaders from the various commandaries and princely fiefs into Guanzhong to bolster its local population. This was Lou Jing's strategy.


十二月,上行如洛陽。

4. In the twelfth month (of 199 BC), Liu Bang traveled to Luoyang.

十有二月行如洛陽。(Records of Former Han 4, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

In the twelfth month (of 199 BC), Liu Bang traveled to Luoyang.


貫高怨家知其謀,上變告之。於是上逮捕趙王及諸反者。趙午等十餘人皆爭自剄;貫高獨怒罵曰︰「誰令公爲之?今王實無謀,而幷捕王。公等皆死,誰白王不反者?」乃轞車膠致,與王詣長安。高對獄曰︰「獨吾屬爲之,王實不知。」吏治,搒笞數千,刺剟,身無可擊者;終不復言。呂后數言︰「張王以公主故,不宜有此。」上怒曰︰「使張敖據天下,豈少而女乎!」不聽。

5. Guan Gao remained so angry at Liu Bang that his family was aware of his plot, and somehow Liu Bang was informed of it. So Liu Bang sent out agents to arrest and capture Zhang Ao and his ministers who had been plotting the assassination.

When it became obvious that they were going to be arrested, more than ten of the plotting ministers, including Zhao Wu, were all about to cut their own throats. Guan Gao alone, angered by their plan, rebuked them by saying, "Who ordered you to kill yourselves? The King had no part in this plot, yet they've arrested him too. If you fellows all die, then who will testify to the innocence of our king?" So they allowed themselves to be arrested, and they rode in a cage cart back to Chang'an, along with Zhang Ao.

Guan Gao insisted to the prison officials, "We were the only ones involved in the plot. The King knew nothing about it." The officials tortured him; they beat and thrashed him thousands of times, and they pricked and pierced him all over so that there was not a single unwounded spot on his entire body. Yet he refused to say that Zhang Ao had been involved.

Lü Zhi kept insisting to Liu Bang, "The King of Zhao is married to my daughter; he could never have done something like this."

But Liu Bang always furiously replied, "If Zhang Ao thought he could take over the realm, would he have held back just for the sake of your daughter?" And he did not listen to her.

〈謀,謂謀弑上,事始上卷七年。變,非常也;謂上告非常之事。〉〈師古曰︰逮捕,謂事相連及者皆捕之。一曰︰在道守禁相屬不絕,若今之傳送囚耳。貢父曰︰逮者,其人存在,直追取之;捕者,其人亡,當討捕也;故有或但言逮,或但言捕,知異義也。一曰︰逮,易辭;捕,加力也。逮,徒呼召之;捕,則加束縛矣。〉〈白,明白也。〉〈師古曰︰轞車者,車而爲檻形,以版四周之,無所通見。《史記正義》曰︰膠致者,膠密不得開,送致京師也。〉〈《索隱》曰︰剟,亦刺也;應劭曰︰以鐵刺之也。〉〈而,汝也。〉

(Guan Gao and the others had been plotting to murder Liu Bang, as mentioned in Book 11, in the seventh year of Liu Bang's reign (-200.8).

The term 變 here means "unusual"; this passage was saying that someone informed Liu Bang that something unusual was going on.

This passage mentions that Liu Bang sent agents to 逮捕 Zhang Ao and the plotters. Yan Shigu argued, "This means that everyone who was 逮捕 'involved' or 'connected' to the plot was arrested. It is also said that it means that a checkpoint was established on the road, such as we do today when transferring prisoners." Gong Fu argued, "To 逮 means to immediately arrest someone who is present, while to 捕 means to pursue a fugitive and capture them. This is why sometimes it only mentions that someone was 逮ed and sometimes only that someone was 捕ed, because of the difference in precise meaning. It is also said that 逮 means to accomplish an arrest merely by speaking a command, while 捕 means an arrest requiring the use of force. 逮 is more to the effect of calling a summons, while 捕 means having to additionally tie up and bind someone."

To testify means to make clear.

Guan Gao and the others are described as going to Chang'an by means of 轞車膠致. Yan Shigu remarked, "A 轞車 'cage cart' is a cart shaped like a cage on all sides so that there is no escape from it." The Zhengyi commentary to the Records of the Grand Historian states, "膠致 means that it was glued shut and could not be open, in order to convey the criminal to the capital."

One of the tortures Guan Gao was subjected to is listed here as 剟. The Suoyin commentary to the Records of the Grand Historian states, "This means the same thing as to be pricked or stabbed." Ying Shao remarked, "This means to be pierced by iron."

Liu Bang refers to Lü Zhi with the term 而, meaning "you".)


趙相貫高逆謀發覺。同謀者趙午等十餘人。皆自刎死。高曰。若皆死。誰當明王不反。乃就檻車送詣長安。言王不知。考治身無完者。終不復言。(Records of Former Han 4, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

The treasonous plot of the Chancellor of Zhao, Guan Gao, was discovered.

More than ten of the plotting ministers, including Zhao Wu, were all about to cut their own throats. But Guan Gao told them, "If you fellows all die, then who will testify that our king was not a rebel?" So they rode in a cage cart back to Chang'an.

Guan Gao claimed that Zhang Ao had known nothing of his plot. He was tortured so much that there was not a single unwounded spot on his entire body. Yet he refused to say that Zhang Ao had been involved.


廷尉以貫高事辭聞。上曰︰「壯士!誰知者?以私問之。」中大夫泄公曰︰「臣之邑子,素知之,此固趙國立義不侵、爲然諾者也。」上使泄公持節往問之箯輿前。泄公與相勞苦,如生平驩,因問︰「張王果有計謀不?」高曰︰「人情寧不各愛其父母、妻子乎?今吾三族皆以論死,豈愛王過於吾親哉?顧爲王實不反,獨吾等爲之。」具道本指所以爲者、王不知狀。於是泄公入,具以報上。春,正月,上赦趙王敖,廢爲宣平侯,徙代王如意爲趙王。

6. The Minister of Justice reported Guan Gao's testimony of Zhang Ao's innocence to Liu Bang. Liu Bang said, "What a strong fellow! Does anyone know him? I want someone to ask him about it in private."

One of the Household Grandees, Lord Xie, replied, "Guan Gao and I are from the same town, and we were childhood friends. He is just the sort of man who would insist that the honor of Zhao could not be besmirched, and to have pledged to do something like kill you for it."

So Liu Bang sent Lord Xie to visit Guan Gao, bearing a Staff of Authority and bringing a sedan chair for him to sit in. Lord Xie asked Guan Gao about his aches and pains, and they spoke of the good old days. Then Lord Xie asked Guan Gao, "Was King Zhang really not involved in the plot?"

Guan Gao told him, "Is there anyone in the world who does not naturally love their parents, their wife, or their children? My own parents, wife, and children are at this very moment under the shadow of execution. Would I treasure the life of my king higher than that of my kin if I had to lie to preserve him? But I tell you, he truly had no part in this rebellion. Only I and the other ministers were involved." And right there in the road, he pointed out who had been involved and insisted that Zhang Ao had known nothing of it.

Lord Xie returned and told Liu Bang about what had happened. So in spring, the first month, Liu Bang pardoned Zhang Ao. However, he still demoted him to Marquis of Xuanping.

Liu Bang shifted the Prince of Dai, his son Liu Ruyi, to become the Prince of Zhao.

〈蓋欲求貫高平日相知昵者,以其私問之。〉〈班《表》︰郎中令之屬有太中大夫、中大夫,皆掌論議。泄,音薛。泄,姓也;秦時衞有泄姬。〉〈言以義自立,不受侵辱,重於然諾也。〉〈韋昭曰︰如今輿牀,人輿以行。師古曰︰箯輿者,編竹木以爲輿形,如今之食輿。高時搒笞刺剟委困,故以箯輿處之。《索隱》曰︰服虔云︰編竹木如今峻,可以糞除也。何休註《公羊》︰筍者,竹箯,一名編,齊、魯以北名爲筍。郭璞《三蒼註》云︰箯,轝土器。〉〈相勞,且問其所苦也。〉〈謂以罪論抵死。〉

(Liu Bang must have wanted to find someone who had known Guan Gao for a long time in order to see if he would privately change his story.

This passage mentions that Lord Xie was a 中大夫 “Household Grandee”. According to the Book of Han, among the subordinates of the Prefect of the Household Gentlemen were the Grand Household Grandee and the Household Grandees, all of whom supervised discussion.

泄 Xie is a surname, pronounced "xue". During the Qin dynasty, there was a Consort Xie in the state of Wey.

Lord Xie was saying that Guan Gao was the sort of man who would act on his own out of a sense of righteousness and would not accept shame or disgrace, so he would indeed have been someone who would have pledged to do such a thing.

The thing that Lord Xie brought for Guan Gao is listed as a 箯輿 "sedan chair". Wei Zhao remarked, "This was like our modern sedan beds; people rode around in them." Yan Shigu remarked, "This was bamboo and wood fashioned into the shape of a sedan, like our modern eating sedans. Guan Gao was still in sore pain from having been thrashed, beaten, and pricked, thus he was placed in this sedan chair." The Suoyin commentary to the Records of the Grand Historian states, "Fu Qian claimed that this was bamboo and wood fashioned like our modern 峻s, which could be used to clean up things." He Xiu's annotations to the Gongyang Commentary on the Spring and Autumn Annals states, "A 筍 is a bamboo sedan chair, also called a 編; the people of the regions from Qi and Lu north call it a 筍." Guo Pu's Notes on the Three Cangs states, "A 箯 is a tool for holding someone off the ground."

The term 相勞 means that Lord Xie was asking Guan Gao about his sufferings.

Guan Gao was saying that his family members were all being charged with the death sentence and were about to die.)


上曰。壯士哉。令人私問之。高曰。人情豈不各愛其親戚乎。今吾三族皆以論死。豈以王易吾親戚哉。具以情對。上乃詔赦趙王... 趙王張敖尚魯元公主。故封敖為宣平侯... 春正月。徙代王如意為趙王。(Records of Former Han 4, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

Liu Bang said, "What a strong fellow Guan Gao is!" He ordered someone to secretly ask Guan Gao about the plot.

Guan Gao told them, "Is there anyone in the world who does not naturally love their relatives? My own relatives are at this very moment under the shadow of execution to the third degree. Would I exchange the life of my king for those of my kin?" And he kept to his testimony.

Liu Bang thus issued an edict pardoning Zhang Ao from death. Since Zhang Ao was married to Liu Bang's daughter, Princess Yuan of Lu, he was only demoted to Marquis of Xuanping.

In spring, the first month, Liu Bang shifted the Prince of Dai, his son Liu Ruyi, to become the Prince of Zhao.


上賢貫高爲人,使泄公具告之曰︰「張王已出。」因赦貫高。貫高喜曰︰「吾王審出乎?」泄公曰︰「然。」泄公曰︰「上多足下,故赦足下。」貫高曰︰「所以不死、一身無餘者,白張王不反也。今王已出,吾責已塞,死不恨矣。且人臣有篡弑之名,何面目復事上哉!縱上不殺我,我不愧於心乎!」乃仰絕亢,遂死。

7. Liu Bang was impressed with Guan Gao and considered him a worthy man. He sent Lord Xie to tell Guan Gao, "King Zhang has already left." He was even going to pardon Guan Gao.

Guan Gao was happy to hear this report, saying, "Has my king really left?"

Lord Xie said, "He has indeed," then added, "Our sovereign thinks highly of you, my friend, and he is going to pardon you."

But Guan Gao replied, "The only reason that I chose not to die and allowed every inch of my body to be beaten was so that I could testify that King Zhang was not planning to rebel. Now that the king has left, my burden has been lifted, and I can die without regrets. Besides, I have now been stained with the name of a man who wanted to murder his sovereign. How could I ever face our sovereign and serve him again? Even if he did not kill me, I could never bear the shame!" And he looked up and cut his neck, then died.

〈蘇林曰︰亢,頸大脈也,俗所謂胡脈也。師古曰︰亢者,總謂頸耳。《爾雅》云︰亢,鳥嚨,卽喉嚨也。〉

(The thing which Guan Gao cut is described here as his 亢. Su Lin argued, "亢 refers to the main artery of the neck, commonly called the hu-artery." But Yan Shigu argued, "亢 is just a general term for the neck." The Erya dictionary states, "亢 means the throat of a bird, or the throat in general.")


嘉貫高之節。乃赦之。高曰。所不死者。欲明王不反。今王已出。吾責塞矣。且人臣有篡弒之名。將何面目復事上哉。乃仰天絕吭而死。(Records of Former Han 4, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

Liu Bang praised Guan Gao for his sense of duty, and he pardoned him as well.

But Guan Gao said, "The only reason that I chose not to die was so that I could testify that King Zhang was not planning to rebel. Now that the king has left, my burden has been lifted. Besides, I have now been stained with the name of a man who wanted to murder his sovereign. How could I ever face our sovereign and serve him again?" And he looked up to Heaven and cut his neck, then died.


荀悅論曰︰貫高首爲亂謀,殺主之賊;雖能證明其王,小亮不塞大逆,私行不贖公罪。《春秋》之義大居正,罪無赦可也。

8. In his Records of Former Han, the Later Han historian Xun Yue remarked: Guan Gao was the leader of a rebellious plot, a villain who planned to kill his sovereign. Although it is true that he exonerated his king through his testimony, how could a small virtue cancel out a great evil? Private conduct cannot make up for a public crime. The principles of the Spring and Autumn Annals occupy the center of virtue; such a crime could not be pardoned.

〈大居正者,以居正爲大也。〉

(By "the center of virtue", it means that they should be considered the most virtuous.)


荀悅曰。貫高首為亂謀。殺主之賊。雖能證明其王。小亮不塞大逆。私行不贖公罪。春秋之義大居正。罪無赦。趙王掩高之逆心。失將而必誅之義。使高得行其謀。不亦殆乎。無藩國之義。減死可也。侯之過歟。(Records of Former Han 4, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

Your servant Xun Yue remarks: Guan Gao was the leader of a rebellious plot, a villain who planned to kill his sovereign. Although it is true that he exonerated his king through his testimony, how could a small virtue cancel out a great evil? Private conduct cannot make up for a public crime. The principles of the Spring and Autumn Annals occupy the center of virtue; such a crime could not be pardoned.

As for the King of Zhao, he concealed Guan Gao's treasonous intentions when he ought to have executed him at once for expressing such sentiments. His failure to act was what allowed Guan Gao to try to carry out his scheme. The King thus also had some measure of blame. He ought to have been entirely stripped of his titles and fiefs, and even execution would not have been out of the question. To make him a Marquis was a mistake.


臣光曰︰高祖驕以失臣,貫高狠以亡君。使貫高謀逆者,高祖之過也;使張敖亡國者,貫高之罪也。

9. Your servant Sima Guang remarks: Gaozu lost his subject's loyalty through his arrogance; Guan Gao lost his lord's estate through his obstinance. It was Gaozu's fault that Guan Gao plotted rebellion; it was Guan Gao's crime that cost Zhang Ao his fief.

詔︰「丙寅前有罪,殊死已下,皆赦之。」

10. Liu Bang issued an edict stating, "Those who committed crimes before the last Bingyin day and were charged for them are hereby pardoned, except for those sentenced to death."

二月,行自洛陽至。

11. In the second month, Liu Bang returned to Chang'an from Luoyang.

初,上詔︰「趙羣臣賓客敢從張王者,皆族。」郎中田叔、孟舒皆自髡鉗爲王家奴以從。及張敖旣免,上賢田叔、孟舒等。召見,與語,漢廷臣無能出其右者。上盡拜爲郡守、諸侯相。

12. Earlier, when Zhang Ao and the other ministers had been arrested, Liu Bang had issued an edict stating, "Any of the ministers or retainers of Zhao who dare to follow King Zhang to the capital will be executed along with their families." Despite this, some of the Household Gentlemen of Zhang Ao's fief as King, including Tian Shu and Meng Shu, decided to shave their heads, fasten irons around their necks, and accompany Zhang Ao as household slaves.

After Zhang Ao was pardoned and released, Liu Bang was impressed by what Tian Shu, Meng Shu, and the others had done. He summoned them for a meeting and talked to them, and the imperial court ministers were unable to get the better of them. Liu Bang appointed them all as Administrators of commandaries or Chancellors of noble fiefs.

〈田叔、孟舒,皆趙國郎中也。〉〈師古曰︰古者以右爲尊;言材用無有過之者,故云無出其右也。貢父曰︰古者居則貴左,兵則貴右;貴右似戰國時俗也。〉〈班《表》︰郡守,秦官,掌治其郡,秩二千石。漢初,諸侯王國亦置丞相,統衆官、羣卿大夫都官,如漢朝。景帝中五年,令諸侯王不得復治國,天子爲置吏,改丞相曰相,秩二千石。〉

(Tian Shu and Meng Shu were both Household Gentlemen of the Zhao fief.

This passage more particularly states that none of the court ministers could 出其右 "get to their right" when arguing with Tian Shu and Meng Shu. Yan Shigu remarked, "In ancient times, the right side was considered more honorable. This passage was saying that none of the court ministers could surpass these two in terms of talents or use, thus it says that they could not 'get to their right'." Gong Fu remarked, "In ancient times, the left side was considered the more honorable during times of peace, while the right side was more honorable in times of war. In the Warring States era, the right side was generally the more honorable."

According to the Book of Han, the Administrator of a commandary was an office from the Qin dynasty; they governed their commandary, and they were of the Fully 2000 石 salary rank. As for Chancellors, at the beginning of the Han dynasty, the princes and the nobles appointed Prime Ministers of their fiefs, who supervised their other officials and commanded the great ministers of their capital staffs, just like in the imperial court. But in the fifth year of the middle part of Emperor Jing of Han's reign (145 BC), when the princes and nobles no longer personally administered their fiefs and local officials were all directly appointed by the Son of Heaven, the title of this office was changed from Prime Minister to Chancellor. They were also of the Fully 2000 石 salary rank.)


初捕趙王。詔有敢從者夷三族。趙王郎中田叔孟舒皆賢。召見之。漢朝廷臣無能出其右者。皆以為郡守。(Records of Former Han 4, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

Earlier, when Zhang Ao had been arrested, Liu Bang had issued an edict stating, "Any of the ministers or retainers of Zhao who dare to follow King Zhang to the capital will be executed along with their families to the third degree." But he recognized some of the Household Gentlemen of Zhang Ao's fief as King, including Tian Shu and Meng Shu, as worthy people. He summoned them for a meeting, and the imperial court ministers were unable to get the better of them. Liu Bang appointed them all as Administrators of commandaries.


夏,六月晦,日有食之。

13. In summer, on the last day of the sixth month, the day Yiwei, there was an eclipse.

〈【章︰甲十五行本「月」下有「乙未」二字;乙十一行本同;孔本同;張校同;退齋校同。】〉

(Some versions clarify that it was on "the day Yiwei" that this eclipse took place.)


夏六月乙未晦。日有食之。(Records of Former Han 4, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

In summer, on the last day of the sixth month, the day Yiwei, there was an eclipse.


更以丞相何爲相國。

14. During this year, Xiao He was promoted from Prime Minister to Chancellor of State.

〈【章︰甲十五行本「更」上有「是歲」二字;乙十一行本同;孔本同。】〉〈自丞相進相國,則相國之位尊於丞相矣。〉

(Some versions add that this event took place "during this year".

Considering that Xiao He was promoted from Prime Minister to Chancellor of State, the latter office must have been the more honorable one.)


上使使者拜丞相蕭何為相國。益封五千戶。令卒五百人一都尉。為相國衛。諸群臣皆賀。故秦東陵侯邵平獨揖曰。禍自此始矣。上暴露於外。而君守其內。非有矢石之難。而益封置衛者。以今淮陰侯新反於中。有疑君心。夫置衛者衛君。非所以寵君也。顧君讓封勿受。以家財給軍。何從之。上大悅。(Records of Former Han 4, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang)

In the eleventh year of Liu Bang's reign (196 BC), Liu Bang sent an envoy to appoint the Prime Minister, Xiao He, as Chancellor of State.

Liu Bang was even going to increase Xiao He's fief by five thousand years and assign a Commandant with five hundred soldiers as an armed escort for Xiao He. The other ministers all offered Xiao He their congratulations. But then Shao Ping, who had been Marquis of Dongling during the Qin dynasty, bowed to Xiao He and said, "This will mean disaster for you. It was our sovereign who has endured the rigors of the field, while you have merely been protecting his base and have not had to dodge even a single sling or arrow. Yet he is rewarding you by increasing your fief and assigning you these guards? No, this is all because the Marquis of Huaiyin (Han Xin) has just rebelled from within, and our sovereign is now suspicious of you as well. These guards are not a reward; they are meant to keep an eye on you. So I ask that you decline this increase in your fief and refuse to accept it, and that you distribute your family's wealth to provide for the army."

Xiao He did as Shao Ping suggested, and Liu Bang was greatly pleased by his response.

上已聞淮陰侯誅,使使拜丞相何為相國,益封五千戶,令卒五百人一都尉為相國衛。諸君皆賀,召平獨吊。召平者,故秦東陵侯。秦破,為布衣,貧,種瓜於長安城東,瓜美,故世俗謂之「東陵瓜」,從召平以為名也。召平謂相國曰:「禍自此始矣。上暴露於外而君守於中,非被矢石之事而益君封置衛者,以今者淮陰侯新反於中,疑君心矣。夫置衛衛君,非以寵君也。原君讓封勿受,悉以家私財佐軍,則上心說。」相國從其計,高帝乃大喜。(Records of the Grand Historian 53, Biography of Xiao He)

When Liu Bang heard that Han Xin had been executed (in 196 BC), he sent envoys to appoint Xiao He as Chancellor of State. Liu Bang was even going to increase Xiao He's fief by five thousand years and assign a Commandant with five hundred soldiers as an armed escort for Xiao He. The other ministers all offered Xiao He their congratulations. Only a certain Shao Ping warned him against it.

This Shao Ping had been Marquis of Dongling during the Qin dynasty. After the Qin dynasty fell, he became a commoner. He was poor, so he grew gourds east of the walls of Chang'an; they were fine gourds, often called "Dongling gourds", because of Shao Ping's former title.

Shao Ping told Xiao He, "This will mean disaster for you. It was our sovereign who has endured the rigors of the field, while you have merely been protecting his base and have not had to dodge even a single sling or arrow. Yet he is rewarding you by increasing your fief and assigning you these guards? No, this is all because the Marquis of Huaiyin (Han Xin) has just rebelled from within, and our sovereign is now suspicious of you as well. These guards are not a reward; they are meant to keep an eye on you. So I ask that you decline this increase in your fief and refuse to accept it, and that you distribute your family's wealth to provide for the army. Then our sovereign will be reassured."

Xiao He did as Shao Ping suggested, and Liu Bang was greatly pleased by his response.

上已聞誅信,使使拜丞相為相國,益封五千戶,令卒五百人一都尉為相國衛。諸君皆賀,召平獨弔。召平者,故秦東陵侯。秦破,為布衣,貧,種瓜長安城東,瓜美,故世謂「東陵瓜」,從召平始也。平謂何曰:「禍自此始矣。上暴露於外,而君守於內,非被矢石之難,而益君封置衛者,以今者淮陰新反於中,有疑君心。夫置衛衛君,非以寵君也。願君讓封勿受,悉以家私財佐軍。」何從其計,上說。(Book of Han 39, Biography of Xiao He)

When Liu Bang heard that Han Xin had been executed (in 196 BC), he sent envoys to appoint Xiao He as Chancellor of State. Liu Bang was even going to increase Xiao He's fief by five thousand years and assign a Commandant with five hundred soldiers as an armed escort for Xiao He. The other ministers all offered Xiao He their congratulations. Only a certain Shao Ping warned him against it.

This Shao Ping had been Marquis of Dongling during the Qin dynasty. After the Qin dynasty fell, he became a commoner. He was poor, so he grew gourds east of the walls of Chang'an; they were fine gourds, often called "Dongling gourds", because of Shao Ping's former title.

Shao Ping told Xiao He, "This will mean disaster for you. It was our sovereign who has endured the rigors of the field, while you have merely been protecting his base and have not had to dodge even a single sling or arrow. Yet he is rewarding you by increasing your fief and assigning you these guards? No, this is all because the Marquis of Huaiyin (Han Xin) has just rebelled from within, and our sovereign is now suspicious of you as well. These guards are not a reward; they are meant to keep an eye on you. So I ask that you decline this increase in your fief and refuse to accept it, and that you distribute your family's wealth to provide for the army."

Xiao He did as Shao Ping suggested, and Liu Bang was pleased by his response.
Last edited by Taishi Ci 2.0 on Sun Nov 17, 2019 8:56 pm, edited 5 times in total.
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BOOK 12

Unread postby Taishi Ci 2.0 » Mon Nov 11, 2019 4:09 am

十年(甲辰、前一九七)

The Tenth Year of Liu Bang's Reign (The Jiachen Year, 197 BC)


夏,五月,太上皇崩于櫟陽宮。秋,七月,癸卯,葬太上皇于萬年,楚王、梁王皆來送葬。赦櫟陽囚。

1. In summer, the fifth month, Liu Bang's father passed away at the palace at Yueyang.

In autumn, the seventh month, on the day Guimao, Liu Bang's father was buried at Wannian. Liu Jiao and Peng Yue came to attend the funeral.

Liu Bang pardoned the prisoners kept at Yueyang.

〈師古曰︰《三輔黃圖》云︰高祖初居櫟陽,太上皇因居櫟陽;旣崩,葬其北原,起萬年邑,置長、丞焉。《考異》曰︰《漢書》︰「五月,太上皇后崩。」「七月,癸卯,太上皇崩,葬萬年。」荀《紀》,五月無「后」字,七月無「崩」字。蓋荀悅之時,《漢書》本尚未訛謬故也;今從之。〉〈臣瓚曰︰萬年陵在櫟陽縣,故特赦之。〉

(Regarding Wannian, Yan Shigu remarked, "The Yellow Book of the Three Adjuncts Region states, 'Since Gaozu (Liu Bang) had originally resided at Yueyang, his father later had his own residence there. And when he passed away and was buried at the northern plains, Gaozu raised the town of Wannian there and appointed Clerks and Assistants for it.’"

Sima Guang's commentary in the Textual Analysis states, "At this point, the Annals of Emperor Gao in the Book of Han states that 'in the fifth month, the Empress Dowager (Liu Bang's mother) passed away', then states that 'in the seventh month, on the day Guimao, the Retired Emperor (Liu Bang's father) passed away and was buried at Wannian'. But in its version of these events, Xun Yue's Records of Former Han writes that the person who died in the fifth month was 太上皇 'the Retired Emperor', not 太上皇后 'the Empress Dowager'. Likewise, it does not state that the Retired Emperor died in the seventh month, only that he was buried then. It must have been the case that the Book of Han's account had not yet suffered as many textual corruptions at the time when Xun Yue was using it to write his Records of Former Han. Thus I follow Xun Yue's account."

Regarding the pardoned prisoners, Chen Zan remarked, "Wannian Tomb was in Yueyang county, thus Liu Bang issued this special pardon for these prisoners.")


十年冬十月。淮南王梁王燕王荊王楚王齊王長沙王來朝。夏五月。太上皇崩。秋七月癸卯。太上皇葬于萬年。八月令諸侯王皆立太上皇廟于國都。(Records of Former Han 4, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

In the tenth year of Liu Bang's reign (197 BC), in winter, the tenth month (of 198 BC), the King of Huainan, Qing Bu, the King of Liang, Peng Yue, the King of Yan, Lu Wan, the Prince of Jing, Liu Jia, the Prince of Chu, Liu Jiao, the Prince of Qi, Liu Fei, and the King of Changsha, Wu Chen, came to attend court.

In summer, the fifth month, Liu Bang's father passed away.

In autumn, the seventh month, on the day Guimao, Liu Bang's father was buried at Wannian.

In the eighth month, Liu Bang ordered the kings and feudal lords to all establish temples to his late father at the capitals of their fiefs.


定陶戚姬有寵於上,生趙王如意。上以太子仁弱,謂如意類己;雖封爲趙王,常留之長安。上之關東,戚姬常從,日夜啼泣,欲立其子。呂后年長,常留守,益疏。上欲廢太子而立趙王,大臣爭之,皆莫能得。御史大夫周昌廷爭之強,上問其說。昌爲人吃,又盛怒,曰︰「臣口不能言,然臣期期知其不可!陛下欲廢太子,臣期期不奉詔!」上欣然而笑。呂后側耳於東廂聽,旣罷,見昌,爲跪謝,曰︰「微君,太子幾廢。」

2. By now, Liu Bang greatly favored a woman of his harem, Consort Qi of Dingtao. She was the mother of his son Liu Ruyi. Liu Bang was not pleased with his Crown Prince, Liu Ying, feeling him to be too kindly and weak, while he considered Liu Ruyi to be much like himself. Even though Liu Ruyi was nominally the Prince of Zhao, Liu Bang usually kept Liu Ruyi at Chang'an. And whenever Liu Bang traveled to the east, Consort Qi often accompanied him, weeping and wailing day and night as she asked Liu Bang to make Liu Ruyi his heir instead. At the same time, Lü Zhi was an older woman by now, and she often remained behind in Chang'an, so Liu Bang had become distant from her. So Liu Bang wanted to set aside Liu Ying and make Liu Ruyi the new Crown Prince instead. His chief ministers all opposed this, but none of them could convince him.

The Imperial Secretary, Zhou Chang, also forcefully opposed the idea. Liu Bang asked him what his reasoning was. Zhou Chang tended to stutter, but he gave a zealous response: "I may have a hard time speaking, but I k-k-know this cannot be done! If Your Majesty plans to depose the Crown Prince, then I w-w-won't obey your order!"

Liu Bang was amused and laughed at this response.

Lü Zhi had been eavesdropping from the east wing of the hall, and when the meeting broke up, she came to see Zhou Chang and knelt before him to thank him, saying, "If not for you, Sir, the Crown Prince would've been deposed."

〈如淳曰︰衆妾之總稱也。《漢官》曰︰姬妾數百。臣瓚曰︰漢《秩祿令》及《茂陵書》︰姬,內官也,秩比二千石,位次倢妤下,在七子、八子之上。《索隱》曰︰《茂陵書》,姬是內官,是矣;然官號及婦人通稱姬者,姬,周之姓,所以《左傳》稱伯姬,叔姬;以言天子之宗女貴於他姓,故遂以姬爲婦人美號。〉〈吃,言之難也。〉〈師古曰︰以口吃故,重言期期。貢父曰︰期,讀如《荀子》「目欲綦色」之綦;楚人謂極爲綦。孔穎達曰︰《釋詁》曰︰X,汔也;杜預曰︰汔,期也。然則期字雖別,皆是近義,言其近當如此。《史記》稱高祖廢太子,周昌曰︰「臣期知其不可」;周昌又曰︰「臣期不奉詔。」言期者,意亦與汔同。〉〈韋昭曰︰東廂,殿東堂也。師古曰︰正寢之東西室皆曰廂,言似箱篋之形。〉

(The term for Consort is 姬. Ru Chun remarked, "This was a general term for the women of the harem. The Offices of Han states that there were hundreds of such women." Chen Zan remarked, "In the Han-era texts Decrees of Salaries and Income and Book of Maoling, it is stated that 'Consort was an interior office, of the Fully 2000 石 salary rank; it was below the Favored Beauty in rank and above the Seventh and Eight Children.’" The Suoyin commentary on the Records of Former Han states, "The Book of Maoling is correct in stating that Consort was the name of an interior office, but Consort was both the name of this office and a general term for a female consort. The term 姬 Ji was originally the surname of the royal family of the Zhou dynasty, and it is thus that the Zuo Commentary to the Spring and Autumn Annals identifies women as 'Bo Ji', 'Shu Ji', etc.; it was because the women of the Son of Heaven's clan wer honored with their surname. It later became a general honorific term for concubines."

To stutter is to have difficulty speaking.

In this passage, Zhou Chang's dialogue contains the seemingly nonsense character 期, and even repeats it. Yan Shigu remarks, "There were these two 期期s because Zhou Chang was a stutterer." Gong Fu remarked, "期 should be read as 綦 'very'; the people of the Chu region used this synonym for 極 'extremely'." Kong Yingda remarked, "The Shigu section of the Erya dictionary states that 'X means 汔 "end"', and Du Yu states that '汔 means 期'. Thus these characters, although different, have about the same meaning, so this must be about what 期 means. The 期 in Zhou Chang's dialogue must mean the same thing as 汔."

Lü Zhi is described as listening in from the 東廂 "east wing". Wei Zhao remarked, "The 東廂 meant the eastern chamber of the hall." Yan Shigu remarked, "The eastern and western rooms of the main bedchamber are called the boxes, because they form a shape like boxes.")


上欲廢太子。立戚夫人子如意。群臣爭之不能得。御史大夫周昌固爭之。上問其狀。昌為人剛直少言。對曰。臣雖口不能言。然心知其不可。陛下必欲廢太子。立戚夫人子如意。臣期不奉詔。昌嘗奏事。上方擁戚夫人。昌還走。上追之。騎昌項。上問曰。我何如主。曰。陛下桀紂主也。上笑之。(Records of Former Han 4, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

Liu Bang wanted to set aside the Crown Prince and replace him as heir with Liu Ruyi, his son by Consort Qi. His chief ministers all opposed this, but none of them could convince him.

The Imperial Secretary, Zhou Chang, also forcefully opposed the idea. Liu Bang asked him what his reasoning was. Zhou Chang was a man of blunt and few words. He said "I may have a hard time speaking, but I know this cannot be done. If Your Majesty plans to depose the Crown Prince and set up Consort Qi's son Ruyi instead, then I won't obey your order."

On one occasion, when Zhou Chang came to present some business to Liu Bang, he found Liu Bang embracing Consort Qi. Zhou Chang left. Liu Bang chased after him, grabbed him by the neck, and asked him, "What sort of ruler am I?"

Zhou Chang told him, "Your Majesty is a ruler like Jie of Xia or King Zhou of Shang."

Liu Bang laughed at that.


時趙王年十歲,上憂萬歲之後不全也;符璽御史趙堯請爲趙王置貴強相,及呂后、太子、羣臣素所敬憚者。上曰︰「誰可者?」堯曰︰「御史大夫昌,其人也。」上乃以昌相趙,而以堯代昌爲御史大夫。

3. Since at this time Liu Ruyi was only nine years old, Liu Bang was worried that Liu Ruyi would not be safe after he was dead. The Keeper of the Seals, Zhao Yao, thus asked Liu Bang to appoint an honored and strong Chancellor for Liu Ruyi's staff as Prince of Zhao, someone whom Lü Zhi, Liu Ying, and the ministers had long respected and feared.

Liu Bang asked, "Whom do you mean?"

Zhao Yan told him, "The Imperial Secretary, Zhou Chang, is just the man."

So Liu Bang appointed Zhou Chang as Chancellor of Zhao, and he had Zhao Yao replace Zhou Chang as Imperial Secretary.

〈符璽御史,御史之掌符璽者也,屬御史大夫。〉〈爲呂后殺戚夫人及如意張本。〉〈《考異》曰︰《史記》、《漢書‧張良傳》,皆云「十二年上擊黥布還,愈欲易太子」。按《百官表》︰「十年,趙堯爲御史大夫」,則是時太子位已定;今從之。〉

(The Keeper of the Seals was the member of the imperial secretariat in charge of the imperial seals; it was a subordinate of the Imperial Secretary.

This was why Lü Zhi later killed Consort Qi and Liu Ruyi.

Sima Guang's commentary in the Textual Analysis states, "The Records of the Grand Historian and the Biography of Zhang Liang in the Book of Han both state, 'In the twelfth year of Liu Bang's reign (195 BC), after Liu Bang returned from his campaign against Qing Bu, he gradually wanted to replace the Crown Prince.' But according to the Treatise of Court Officials, 'In the tenth year (197 BC), Zhao Yao was appointed as Imperial Secretary.' Thus the matter of the succession must have already been settled by this time. So I arrange events in accordance with this date of appointment.")


後上嘗心不樂悲歌。群臣不知所謂。符璽御史郎趙堯進曰。陛下所為不樂者。非以為趙王年少。而戚夫人與呂后有隙。萬歲之後。不能自全也。上曰然。堯曰。宜為趙王置貴強相。呂后太子群臣素所憚者。上曰誰可使。對曰。周昌可相趙王。上謂昌曰。吾極知其左遷。然吾憂趙王。非公莫可相者。乃以昌為趙相。以趙堯代昌為御史大夫。初趙人方與公謂昌曰。君之吏趙堯。奇士也。且代君位。昌笑曰。堯年少刀筆吏耳。何至是乎。卒如方與公言。(Records of Former Han 4, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

Later, Liu Bang seemed melancholy, and he was singing a sad song. None of his ministers knew why. But then the Keeper of the Seals, Zhao Yao, stepped forward and said, "Your Majesty is unhappy because the Prince of Zhao is so young and Empress Lü has a grudge against Consort Qi. You are worried that after you are no more, they will not be safe."

Liu Bang said, "It's so."

Zhao Yao said, "Then you should appoint an honored and strong Chancellor for the Prince of Zhao, someone whom Lü Zhi, Liu Ying, and the ministers have long respected and feared."

Liu Bang asked, "Whom could I send?"

Zhao Yan told him, "Zhou Chang could be the Prince's Chancellor."

So Liu Bang said to Zhou Chang, "I know you have always served at my side. But I am worried about the Prince of Zhao, and no one but you can serve as his Chancellor." And he appointed Zhou Chang as Chancellor of Zhao. He had Zhao Yao replace Zhou Chang as Imperial Secretary.

Earlier, natives of Zhao, Fang and Gong, had said to Zhou Chang, "Your subordinate Zhao Yao is a marvel. He will succeed you someday."

Zhou Chang had laughed and said, "Zhao Yao is just a young clerk; how could he rise so high?" But in the end, things turned out just like Fang and Gong said.


初,上以陽夏侯陳豨爲相國,監趙、代邊兵;豨過辭淮陰侯。淮陰侯挈其手,辟左右,與之步於庭,仰天嘆曰︰「子可與言乎?」豨曰︰「唯將軍令之!」淮陰侯曰︰「公之所居,天下精兵處也;而公,陛下之信幸臣也。人言公之畔,陛下必不信;再至,陛下乃疑矣;三至,必怒而自將。吾爲公從中起,天下可圖也。」陳豨素知其能也,信之,曰︰「謹奉敎!」

4. Sometime earlier, Liu Bang had appointed the Marquis of Yangxia, Chen Xi, as a Chancellor of State and had placed him in command of all the border soldiers in the Zhao and Dai regions. Before leaving to go to his new post, Chen Xi had gone to visit Han Xin and take his leave of him. Han Xin had taken Chen Xi by the hand, dismissed his attendants, and walked with him out into the courtyard. There, Han Xin had looked up to the heavens and sighed. "Can I tell you something?" he had asked Chen Xi.

Chen Xi had said, "You need only give the order, General!"

Han Xin had continued, "Sir, you are now about to be placed in command of a critical strategic place with elite troops, and His Majesty has always trusted and favored you. If someone were to tell His Majesty that you had risen against him, he would never believe it. But if another such report came in, he would start to suspect you, and if a third report claimed the same thing, he would surely become so angry at you that he would personally lead an army against you. Once that happens, I could rise up from within to support your cause. The whole realm could be ours."

Chen Xi had always known how talented Han Xin was, and he believed in him. He had declared, "I shall follow your instructions!"

〈夏,音賈。徐廣曰︰爲趙相國,將兵守代。〉〈辟,除也;屛除左右也。〉

(The second character of Yangxia, 夏, is pronounced "jia".

Chen Xi is described here as "Chancellor of State". Xu Guang remarked, "He was the Chancellor of State of the Zhao fief, and placed in command of the defense troops of Dai."

To dismiss is to send away; Han Xin was sending away his attendants to speak in private.)


初豨適代時。辭淮陰侯韓信。韓信既廢。恐懼怨望。乃與豨謀曰。趙代精兵處也。公反于外。上必自出。吾從中起。天下可圖也。(Records of Former Han 4, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

Earlier, when Chen Xi had been appointed to his new post at Dai, he had gone to visit the Marquis of Huaiyin, Han Xin, and take his leave of him. Since Han Xin had been deposed from his original title as King of Chu, he was afraid and resentful. So he plotted with Chen Xi, telling him, "The Zhao and Dai regions are strategically critical. If you rebel without, our sovereign would personally lead an army against you. Once that happens, I could rise up from within to support your cause. The whole realm could be ours."


豨常慕魏無忌之養士,及爲相守邊,告歸,過趙,賓客隨之千餘乘,邯鄲官舍皆滿。趙相周昌求入見上,具言豨賓客甚盛,擅兵於外數歲,恐有變。上令人覆案豨客居代者諸不法事,多連引豨。豨恐;韓王信因使王黃、曼丘臣等說誘之。

5. Chen Xi often recruited soldiers from among the former troops of Wei Wuzhi. And after reporting to his post at the border, on one occasion when he had asked for leave from his post and had been passing through the Zhao region, more than a thousand carriages of his guests and retainers had trailed behind him, and they had filled up the offices and residences of the city of Handan. The Chancellor of Zhao, Zhou Chang, had requested a meeting with Liu Bang, where he had told Liu Bang that Chen Xi had so many guests and retainers and had presumed to recruit soldiers for so many years that Zhou Chang feared that Chen Xi might be plotting something. And when Liu Bang had sent agents to investigate Chen Xi's guests living in Dai, many of the unlawful activities that they had uncovered led back to Chen Xi as well. Chen Xi was thus afraid for his position. And King Xin of Hann had also sent Wang Huang, Manqiu Chen, and others to persuade Chen Xi and entice him to rebel.

〈魏無忌,信陵君也。〉〈漢律︰二千石有予告,有賜告。予告者,在官有功最,法所當得也。賜告者,病滿三月當免,天子優賜其告,使得帶印綬、將官屬歸家治病。至成帝時,郡國二千石賜告不得歸家;至和帝時,賜、予皆絕。師古曰︰告者,請謁之言,謂請休耳。或謂之謝,謝,亦告也。《左傳》曰︰韓獻子告老;《禮記》曰︰若不得謝。《漢書》諸云謝病,皆同義。〉

(Wei Wuzhi was the same person as Lord Xinling.

According to the Han regulations, officials of the Two Thousand 石 salary rank were originally entitled to two forms of leave: meritorious and personal. Meritorious leave was granted by law to those officials who had achieved extraordinary things. Personal leave was granted when an official had been sick for three full months and ought to therefore leave their office. On such occasions, the Son of Heaven would specially grant someone personal leave, and entitle these officials to bring their seals and ribbons of office and their subordinate generals and officials back home with them while they tended to their illness. During the reign of Emperor Cheng of Han, this personal leave was no longer granted, and during the reign of Emperor He, both forms of leave were cancelled. Yan Shigu remarked, "The term 告 in this case means 'to call upon', but just in the sense of asking for rest. In some cases the term 謝 is used, which means the same thing. Thus the Zuo Commentary to the Spring and Autumn Annals has the phrase 'Han Xianzi 告 "asked to resign" on account of old age', the Book of Rites has the phrase 'If he be not allowed to 謝 "resign",' and the Book of Han often uses the phrase 謝病 'to resign on account of illness'; they all mean the same thing.")


九月。陳豨接下賓客。從車千餘乘。(Records of Former Han 4, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

In the ninth month, Chen Xi had a train of more than a thousand carriages of guests and retainers.


太上皇崩,上使人召豨,豨稱病不至;九月,遂與王黃等反,自立爲代王,劫略趙、代。上自東擊之。至邯鄲,喜曰︰「豨不據邯鄲而阻漳水,吾知其無能爲矣!」

6. When Liu Bang's father had passed away, Liu Bang had sent agents to summon Chen Xi to come attend the funeral as well. But Chen Xi had declined to come, claiming illness.

Now, in the ninth month, Chen Xi joined with Wang Huang and others and rebelled against Liu Bang. He declared himself King of Dai, and he marched his soldiers through the Zhao and Dai regions.

Liu Bang personally led an army to attack Chen Xi. When Liu Bang reached Handan, he was pleased and said, "I see that Chen Xi failed to march south and occupy Handan so that he could control the line of the Zhang River. Now I know that he has no talent!"

〈【章︰甲十五行本「不」下有「南」字;乙十一行本同;孔本同;張校同。】〉

(Some versions have Liu Bang observe that Chen Xi had not "marched south and" occupied Handan.)


豨反。上欲自擊之。建成侯周惞泣曰。陛下常自行。是無人可使。初惞從上。每有不利。終無離上之心。上以為愛我。賜上殿不趨。上遂東至邯鄲。(Records of Former Han 4, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

Chen Xi rebelled.

Liu Bang was planning to personally lead a campaign against Chen Xi. Marquis Jiancheng, Zhou Xin, wept as he said to Liu Bang, "Your Majesty is always leading these campaigns in person. Is there no one else you could send?"

This Zhou Xin had been Liu Bang's constant companion throughout his career; despite the many times Liu Bang had suffered defeat, Zhou Xin's regard for him had never wavered. Liu Bang thought, "He loves me." And he granted Zhou Xin the honor of entering court without having to hasten his steps.

Liu Bang marched east to Handan.


周昌奏︰「常山二十五城,亡其二十城;請誅守、尉。」上曰︰「守、尉反乎?」對曰︰「不。」上曰︰「是力不足,亡罪。」

7. Zhou Chang informed Liu Bang, "Twenty of the twenty-five cities of Changshan commandary have already been lost to the rebels. I ask that you execute the Administrator and the Commandant of Changshang."

Liu Bang asked, "Have the Administrator and the Commandant themselves rebelled against me?"

Zhou Chang replied, "They have not."

Liu Bang said, "Then their only fault was that they were not strong enough to save those cities. They have committed no crime."

〈秦滅趙,置鉅鹿、邯鄲郡;漢始置常山郡。杜佑《通典》曰︰漢常山郡故城,在趙州元氏縣西。守者,郡守;尉者,都尉。〉

(After Qin had conquered the state of Zhao, they had organized the Zhao region into the commandaries of Julu and Handan. It was not until the beginning of the Han dynasty that Changshan commandary was first created. Du You's Tongdian states, "The capital city of Han's Changshan commandary was west of Yuanshi county in modern Zhaozhou."

Zhou Chang refers to the 守尉 of Changshan. The 守 was the Administrator of the commandary; the 尉 was its Commandant.)


上令周昌選趙壯士可令將者,白見四人。上嫚罵曰︰「豎子能爲將乎?」四人慙,皆伏地;上封各千戶,以爲將。左右諫曰︰「從入蜀、漢,伐楚,賞未徧行;今封此,何功?」上曰︰「非汝所知。陳豨反,趙、代地皆豨有。吾以羽檄徵天下兵,未有至者,今計唯獨邯鄲中兵耳;吾何愛四千戶,不以慰趙子弟!」皆曰︰「善!」

8. Liu Bang ordered Zhou Chang to select some bold fellows from the Zhao region who could serve as generals. Zhou Chang recommended four such men to him. Upon meeting these four, Liu Bang was rude and castigated them, saying, "How could whelps like you be generals?" And the four men, ashamed, all bowed to the ground. But even so, Liu Bang appointed them all as generals and even granted each of them a fief of a thousand households.

Liu Bang's attendants said to him, "When you first entered the regions of Shu and Han, and when you campaigned against Chu, you were never so generous with rewards. Yet you have given these four men so much. What have they done to deserve it?"

Liu Bang replied, "You don't understand. Chen Xi has just rebelled, and he controls the entire regions of Zhao and Dai. I have sent out proclamations calling up the soldiers of the realm, but it will take time for them to arrive here. Until then, I have only the soldiers of the immediate area around Handan at my disposal. Should I be so stingy as to withhold four thousand households if it costs me the support of the young men of Zhao?"

They said, "Well said!"

選壯士可令將者四人。各封千戶侯。左右皆曰。此人何功而封千戶。上曰。非爾所知。夫陳豨反。趙代皆豨之有。吾以羽檄徵天下兵。未有至者。今獨邯鄲中兵至。吾何愛四千戶。不以慰趙子弟心乎。復求樂毅之後。得樂叔。封樂鄉侯。號曰華成君令吏民為豨所劫略皆赦其罪。(Records of Former Han 4, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

Liu Bang selected four bold fellows from the Zhao region who could serve as generals, and granted each of them a fief of a thousand households.

Liu Bang's attendants said to him, "What have these fellows done to deserve such fiefs?"

Liu Bang replied, "You don't understand. Chen Xi has just rebelled, and he controls the entire regions of Zhao and Dai. I have sent out proclamations calling up the soldiers of the realm, but it will take time for them to arrive here. Until then, I have only the soldiers of the immediate area around Handan at my disposal. Should I be so stingy as to withhold four thousand households if it costs me the support of the young men of Zhao?"

Liu Bang also sought out the descendants of Yue Yi. He found a certain Yue Shu, appointed him as Marquis of Yuexiang, and granted him the title Lord Huacheng.

Liu Bang declared that he would pardon all those officials or people who had been forced by Chen Xi to support his rebellion.


又聞豨將皆故賈人;上曰︰「吾知所以與之矣。」乃多以金購豨將,豨將多降。

9. Liu Bang heard that all of Chen Xi's generals had originally been merchants. "In that case," he said, "I know just how to win them over." He sent Chen Xi's generals large amounts of gold, and many of them surrendered to him.

〈師古曰︰與,如也,言能如之何也。貢父曰︰與,猶待也。原父曰︰知與之者,知所以與之之術也。豨將皆故賈人,賈人嗜利,乃多以金購之。〉

(In this passage, Liu Bang says that he knows how to 與 the rebel generals. Yan Shigu remarked, "與 means 'like'; that is, Liu Bang knew what sort of people the generals were, he could appraise them." Gong Fu remarked, "與 means 'deal with'; he knew how to deal with them." Yuan Fu remarked, "與 means that he knew the method to win them over. Chen Xi's generals had all been merchants, and since merchants are greedy for profit, Liu Bang sent them large sums of gold to bribe them.")


問豨將皆故賈人。曰吾知易與之矣。乃多與金購豨將。將多降。是時沛人任敖素善於上。上以客從。拜為上黨太守。堅守不下。封敖廣阿侯。御史大夫趙堯擊豨有功。封江邑侯。詔御史曰。獄之疑者。吏或不敢決。或有死者。久而不能論。無罪者久繫。自今已後有疑獄者。各讞所屬二千石。二千石不能決。移之廷尉。廷尉不決。具奏以聞。(Records of Former Han 4, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

Liu Bang heard that all of Chen Xi's generals had originally been merchants. "In that case," he said, "I know just how to win them over." He sent Chen Xi's generals large amounts of gold, and many of them surrendered to him.

A native of Pei, Ren Ao, had long been friends with Liu Bang and had accompanied him as a retainer. Liu Bang had appointed him as Administrator of Shangdang. During this rebellion, Ren Ao held his city and refused to submit to Chen Xi. Liu Bang appointed him as Marquis of Guang'a.

The Imperial Secretary, Zhao Yao, performed well during the campaign against Chen Xi. He was appointed as Marquis of Jiangyi.

Liu Bang issued an edict through the office of the Imperial Secretary stating, "There have been many suspects held in prison whom the officials have still not determined their guilt or innocence. Some have even died while languishing in the prison, without any discussion as to their fate. Many innocent people have been imprisoned for a long time. From now on, all imprisoned suspects are to have their cases decided by the Two Thousand 石 salary officials. Any cases which these officials cannot decide on are to be forwarded to the Minister of Justice; any cases which the Minister of Justice cannot decide on are to be forwarded to me."
Last edited by Taishi Ci 2.0 on Tue Nov 12, 2019 4:14 am, edited 1 time in total.
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BOOK 12

Unread postby Taishi Ci 2.0 » Mon Nov 11, 2019 4:18 am

十一年(乙巳、前一九六)

The Eleventh Year of Liu Bang's Reign (The Yisi Year, 196 BC)


冬,上在邯鄲。陳豨將侯敞將萬餘人游行,王黃將騎千餘軍曲逆,張春將卒萬餘人渡河攻聊城;漢將軍郭蒙與齊將擊,大破之。太尉周勃道太原入定代地,至馬邑,不下,攻殘之。趙利守東垣,帝攻拔之,更命曰眞定。帝購王黃、曼丘臣以千金,其麾下皆生致之。於是陳豨軍遂敗。

1. In the winter (of 197 BC), Liu Bang was at Handan. Chen Xi's general Hou Chang led more than ten thousand soldiers to march around as a mobile force, while Wang Huang led more than a thousand cavalry to camp at Quni and Zhang Chun led more than ten thousand soldiers to cross the Yellow River and attack Liaocheng. The Han general Guo Meng joined with the generals of the Qi fief to attack Zhang Chun, and they greatly routed him.

The Grand Commandant, Zhou Bo, marched along the roads through Taiyuan to enter and pacify the Dai region. When he came to Mayi, the city would not surrender, so he assaulted it and massacred the city.

Zhao Li was defending Dongyuan. Liu Bang assaulted the city and took it, then renamed it to Zhending.

Liu Bang bribed Wang Huang and Manqiu Chen with a thousand gold. Their subordinates then arrested the two generals and came to surrender.

Chen Xi's army was thus defeated.

〈班《志》,聊城縣屬東郡。《括地志》︰聊城故城,在博州聊城縣西二十里,春秋時齊之西界。聊,攝也。戰國時亦爲齊地。〉〈殘,謂多所殺戮。〉

(According to the Book of Han, Liaocheng county was part of Dong commandary. The Comprehensize Gazetteer states, "The capital city of Liaocheng was twenty li west of modern Liaocheng county in Bozhou. During the Spring and Autumn era, it was along the western border of the state of Chu. 聊 Liao means 'assist'. It was also part of Qi during the Warring States era."

To massacre means to kill and execute many people.)


十一年冬十月。遣周勃征代地。(Records of Former Han 4, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

In the eleventh year of Liu Bang's reign (196 BC), in winter, the tenth month (of 197 BC), Liu Bang sent Zhou Bo to campaign in the Dai region.


淮陰侯信稱病,不從擊豨,陰使人至豨所,與通謀。信謀與家臣夜詐詔赦諸官徒、奴,欲發以襲呂后、太子;部署已定,待豨報。其舍人得罪於信,信囚,欲殺之。春,正月,舍人弟上變,告信欲反狀於呂后。呂后欲召,恐其儻不就;乃與蕭相國謀,詐令人從上所來,言豨已得,死,列侯、羣臣皆賀。相國紿信曰︰「雖疾,強入賀。」信入,呂后使武士縛信,斬之長樂鐘室。〈師古曰︰懸鐘之室。〉信方斬,曰︰「吾悔不用蒯徹之計,乃爲兒女子所詐,豈非天哉!」遂夷信三族。

2. Han Xin had excused himself from joining the campaign against Chen Xi by claiming to be ill. But he secretly sent agents to Chen Xi in order to coordinate their plot. Han Xin was plotting to have his families and retainers spread a false edict during the night declaring the pardons of the local convicts-laborers and slaves, then use them to launch a surprise attack against Lü Zhi and the Crown Prince. He had his followers all set to act, but was waiting to hear back from Chen Xi first.

One of Han Xin's retainers committed had some crime against Han Xin, and Han Xin had imprisoned him and was planning to kill him. In spring, the first month, the younger brother of this retainer informed the government of Han Xin's plot, saying that Han Xin was planning to rebel against Lü Zhi.

At first, Lü Zhi was going to directly summon Han Xin. But she was afraid that he might find some pretext to refuse. So she plotted with Xiao He, and they decided to arrange for a false messenger to arrive in the capital from the front lines to claim that Chen Xi had already been captured and killed. They summoned the nobles and ministers to come and offer congratulations. Xiao He wrote a letter to Han Xin stating, "Although you are sick, even you must muster your strength and come to offer congratulations."

When Han Xin arrived, Lü Zhi had a strong man tie him up, and she had Han Xin beheaded in the bell chamber of Changle Palace. Just before being beheaded, Han Xin said, "I regret I did not listen to Kuai Che's advice. I was fooled by this woman and child. It must be fate!" His clan was executed to the third degree.

〈有罪而居作者爲徒;有罪而沒入官者爲奴。〉〈按班《書‧功臣表》,告信反者,舍人樂說也,封愼陽侯。〉〈儻,或然之辭。〉〈不用蒯徹,見十卷四年。〉

(This passage states that Han Xin was planning to pardon the 徒s and 奴s. 徒s were criminals who remained in place and worked; 奴s were criminals who were compelled to be government slaves.

According to the List of Accomplished Ministers in the Book of Han, the person who informed the government of Han Xin's plot was his retainer Yue Shou, who was appointed as Marquis of Shenyang.

The term 儻 here means "to decline".

Yan Shigu remarked, "The bell chamber was the room where the bells were hung."

Kuai Che had earlier advised Han Xin to abandon his loyalty to Liu Bang and become an independent power, as mentioned in Book 10, in the fourth year of Liu Bang's reign (-203.13).)


春正月。淮陰侯韓信謀反。與陳豨為內應。欲夜詐詔諸宮徒奴。以襲呂后太子。其舍人告之。呂后與蕭何謀。詐令人從上所來。言陳豨已死。群臣皆賀。遂執信斬之。夷三族。信方斬。歎曰。悔不用蒯通之言。為女子所執。(Records of Former Han 4, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

In spring, the first month, the Marquis of Huaiyin, Han Xin, plotted rebellion, planning to support Chen Xi's rebellion from within the capital. Han Xin was plotting to have a false edict issued during the night declaring the pardons of the convicts-laborers and slaves of the palaces, then use them to launch a surprise attack against Lü Zhi and the Crown Prince.

One of Han Xin's retainers informed against him. Lü Zhi plotted with Xiao He, and they decided to arrange for a false messenger to arrive in the capital from the front lines to claim that Chen Xi was already dead. When the ministers all came to offer their congratulations, they arrested Han Xin and beheaded him. They also killed his clan to the third degree.

Just before being beheaded, Han Xin sighed, "I regret I did not listen to Kuai Tong's advice. I was captured by this woman and child."

漢十一年,陳豨反,高祖自將,至邯鄲。未罷,淮陰侯謀反關中,呂后用蕭何計,誅淮陰侯,語在淮陰事中。(Records of the Grand Historian 53, Biography of Xiao He)

In the eleventh year of Liu Bang's reign (196 BC), Chen Xi rebelled against him. Liu Bang personally led an army to deal with this rebellion, and he marched to Handan. But before Chen Xi's rebellion could be put down, the Marquis of Huaiyin (Han Xin) plotted to rebel from within Guanzhong. Lü Zhi used Xiao He's advice and executed Han Xin. This is further mentioned in the Biography of Han Xin.

陳豨反,上自將,至邯鄲。而韓信謀反關中。呂后用何計誅信。語在信傳。(Book of Han 39, Biography of Xiao He)

When Chen Xi rebelled, Liu Bang personally led an army to campaign against him, and he marched to Handan. But then Han Xin plotted rebellion in Guanzhong. Lü Zhi used Xiao He's advice and executed Han Xin. This is further mentioned in the Biography of Han Xin.


臣光曰︰世或以韓信首建大策,與高祖起漢中,定三秦,遂分兵以北,禽魏,取代,仆趙,脅燕,東擊齊而有之,南滅楚垓下,漢之所以得天下者,大抵皆信之功也。觀其距蒯徹之說,迎高祖於陳,豈有反心哉!良由失職怏怏,遂陷悖逆。夫以盧綰里閈舊恩,猶南面王燕,信乃以列侯奉請;豈非高祖亦有負於信哉?臣以爲高祖用詐謀禽信於陳,言負則有之;雖然,信亦有以取之也。始,漢與楚相距滎陽,信滅齊,不還報而自王;其後漢追楚至固陵,與信期共攻楚而信不至;當是之時,高祖固有取信之心矣,顧力不能耳。及天下已定,信復何恃哉!夫乘時以徼利者,市井之志也;醻功而報德者,士君子之心也。信以市井之志利其身,而以士君子之心望於人,不亦難哉!是故太史公論之曰︰「假令韓信學道謙讓,不伐己功,不矜其能,則庶幾哉!於漢家勳,可以比周、召、太公之徒,後世血食矣!不務出此,而天下已集,乃謀畔逆;夷滅宗族,不亦宜乎!」

3. Your servant Sima Guang remarks: Through the ages, there have been people who consider Han Xin to have been the mastermind of the rise of the Han dynasty. After all, he rose up together with Gaozu at Hanzhong and settled the Three Qins region, then took an independant command and marched north, captured Wei, took Dai, humbled Zhao, coerced Yan, marched east and attacked Qi and conquered it, and then marched south and vanquished Chu at Gaixia. Thus they consider that it was all thanks to Han Xin's efforts that Han was able to obtain the realm. And when we see how Han Xin disregarded Kuai Che's advice and came to welcome Gaozu at the meeting of the feudal lords at Chen, how could anyone have considered him to have possessed a rebellious heart? Yet despite his exceptional skills, he lost his position, which caused him first to become disgruntled and afterwards to ruin himself by straying into treason. Considering that Lu Wan, who in the end was just Gaozu's childhood friend from the same village, was allowed to face south and possess the title King of Yan, why should Han Xin have been reduced to being a mere marquis who had to ask for meetings? Wasn't Gaozu to blame for Han Xin's fate?

I do agree that Gaozu deserved some of the blame, since he used a false plan to arrest Han Xin at Chen. However, Han Xin was not without fault either. After all, during the long stalemate between Chu and Han at Xingyang, after Han Xin conquered Qi, he ought to have returned and reported that he had accomplished his mission. However, rather than do this, he presumed to ask that he be named King of Qi instead. And afterwards, when Gaozu was pursuing the Chu army to Guling, Han Xin had agreed to come join his forces to attack Chu. Yet he never came. These were the incidents that caused Gaozu to want to rid himself of Han Xin; it was only because of his momentary weakness that he failed to get rid of Han Xin at once. But after Gaozu had settled the realm, what further use did he have for Han Xin?

One who takes advantage of circumstances to press for their own interests has the avarice of a man on the street, while one who tempers great accomplishments with virtuous conduct has the heart of a superior fellow. In his own conduct, Han Xin displayed the avarice of a common man, yet he hoped other people would treat him like he was a superior fellow. What did he expect?

And this was why the Grand Scribe (Sima Qian) had this to say about Han Xin: "If only Han Xin had learned to remain modest, cautious, and yielding, instead of relying upon his achievements and being conceited about his talents! Think of how different his fate might have been. He had achieved so much on behalf of the royal family of Han that he would have been considered a modern-day example of the Duke of Zhou, the Duke of Shao, or the Grand Duke (Jiang Ziya), and his descendants would have honored him for generations to come! Yet instead of doing that, he went so far as to plot treason even after the realm was already at peace! Wasn't the execution of his family and the destruction of his clan the natural result?"

〈見卷六年。〉〈見十卷四年。〉〈見十卷五年。〉

(Liu Bang had arrested Han Xin after tricking him into attending a meeting at Chen, as mentioned in Book 11, in the sixth year of Liu Bang's reign (-201.1-2).

After conquering Qi, Han Xin had asked Liu Bang to appoint him as King of Qi, as mentioned in Book 10, in the fourth year of Liu Bang's reign (-203.11).

Han Xin had failed to join his forces with Liu Bang at Guling, resulting in the Han army being routed, as mentioned in Book 11, in the fifth year of Liu Bang's reign (-202.1).)


將軍柴武斬韓王信於參合。

4. The general Chai Wu took the head of King Xin of Hann at Canhe.

〈《姓譜》︰柴姓,高柴之後。班《志》,參合縣屬代郡。《括地志》︰參合故城在朔州定襄縣北。〉

(Regarding the surname 柴 Chai, the Registry of Surnames states, "They are the descendants of Gao Chai."

According to the Book of Han, Canhe county was part of Dai commandary. The Comprehensive Gazetteer states, "The capital city of Canhe was north of Dingxiang county in Shuozhou.")


上還洛陽,聞淮陰侯之死,且喜且憐之;問呂后曰︰「信死亦何言?」呂后曰︰「信言恨不用蒯徹計。」上曰︰「是齊辯士蒯徹也。」乃詔齊捕蒯徹。蒯徹至,上曰︰「若敎淮陰侯反乎?」對曰︰「然,臣固敎之。豎子不用臣之策,故令自夷於此;如用臣之計,陛下安得而夷之乎!」上怒曰︰「烹之!」徹曰︰「嗟乎!冤哉烹也!」上曰︰「若敎韓信反,何冤?」對曰︰「秦失其鹿,天下共逐之,高材疾足者先得焉。跖之狗吠堯;堯非不仁,狗固吠非其主。當是時,臣唯獨知韓信,非知陛下也。且天下銳精持鋒欲爲陛下所爲者甚衆,顧力不能耳,又可盡烹之邪?」上曰︰「置之。」

5. When Liu Bang returned to Luoyang, he felt a mix of joy and pity when he learned that Han Xin was dead. He asked Lü Zhi, "Did Han Xin have any last words?"

She told him, "Han Xin said that he regretted not following Kuai Che's advice."

Liu Bang said, "I know this Kuai Che; he's a slick talker from Qi."

So he issued an edict ordering Kuai Che arrested. When Kuai Che arrived, Liu Bang said to him, "Did you advise the Marquis of Huaiyin to rebel against me?"

Kuai Che replied, "Yes, I did advise him to do that. But the fool didn't follow my strategy, and now he's destroyed himself. If he had done as I advised, how could Your Majesty have ever captured and killed him?"

Angry at this response, Liu Bang ordered, "Boil him alive!"

"What's this?" exclaimed Kuai Che. "You're going to boil an innocent man alive?"

Liu Bang said, "You just told me that you advised Han Xin to rebel. How could you be innocent?"

Kuai Che replied, "When the Qin dynasty faltered, that was the start of the hunt; the deer was set loose, and all the realm was chasing after it. Only the one with the highest talents and the swiftest feet was able to catch it first. Besides, haven't you heard the story of when the dog of the bandit Zhi barked at Emperor Yao? Did the dog bark because Yao was not a benevolent man? Of course not. But it is in a dog's nature to bark at anyone who is not its master. Back then, Han Xin was the man I was familiar with, not Your Majesty. Furthermore, the realm is full of countless people who are whetting and sharpening their fine blades because they want to be where Your Majesty is; only their lack of strength holds them back. Are you going to boil every single one of those people too?"

Liu Bang ordered, "Release him."

〈喜者,喜除其偪;憐者,憐其功大。〉〈銳精,言磨淬精鐵而銳之也。〉〈師古曰︰顧,念也。余謂顧,反視也,反己而自視其力有所不能也。〉〈置,猶舍也,又赦也。〉

(Liu Bang was glad about Han Xin's death because this meant that the threat that Han Xin had posed had been removed. But he also felt pity because Han Xin had done so much for him.

The term 銳精 means to whet and sharpen keen iron and temper it.

Kuai Che mentions that the jealous people are 顧ing that their strength is not enough. Yan Shigu remarked, "This means that they were dwelling upon this fact." I (Hu Sanxing) believe that 顧 means 'to glance sideways'; that is, they were glancing at Liu Bang's strength and reckoning that it could not be overcome.

To release means to let go or to pardon.)


上自邯鄲至洛陽。召蒯通。將烹之。通曰。臣聞狗各吠非其主。當彼之時。臣但知有齊王信。不知有陛下。且秦失其鹿。天下爭逐之。高才輕足者先得。當此之時。爭欲為陛下所為。顧力不能。可盡烹邪。乃赦之。(Records of Former Han 4, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

When Liu Bang returned to Luoyang from Handan, he summoned Kuai Tong and was going to have him boiled alive.

Kuai Tong objected, "I have heard that any dog will bark at whoever is not its master. Back then, Han Xin was the man I was familiar with, not Your Majesty. Besides, when the Qin dynasty faltered, that was the start of the hunt; the deer was set loose, and all the realm was chasing after it. Only the one with the highest talents and the swiftest feet was able to catch it first. Furthermore, the realm is full of countless people who want to be in Your Majesty's position; only their lack of strength holds them back. Are you going to boil every single one of those people too?"

Liu Bang pardoned him.


立子恆爲代王,都晉陽。

6. Liu Bang appointed his son Liu Heng as Prince of Dai, with his capital at Jinyang.

〈晉陽,漢爲太原郡治所。如淳曰︰《文紀》言都中都。又文帝過太原,復晉陽、中都二歲,似遷都於中都也。〉

(During the Han dynasty, Jinyang was the administrative center of Taiyuan commandary. Ru Chun remarked, "The Annals of Emperor Wen states that the capital of Liu Heng's (the future Emperor Wen’s) fief as Prince of Dai was at Zhongdu. When Emperor Wen passed through Taiyuan, he exempted Jinyang and Zhongdu from taxes for two years. It must have been around then when he shifted his capital as Prince to Zhongdu.")


立皇子恆為代王。都晉陽。(Records of Former Han 4, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

Liu Bang appointed his son Liu Heng as Prince of Dai, with his capital at Jinyang.


大赦天下。

7. Liu Bang declared a general amnesty across the realm.

赦天下。(Records of Former Han 4, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

Liu Bang declared an amnesty across the realm.


上之擊陳豨也,徵兵於梁;梁王稱病,使將將兵詣邯鄲。上怒,使人讓之。梁王恐,欲自往謝。其將扈輒曰︰「王始不往,見讓而往,往則爲禽矣;不如遂發兵反。」梁王不聽。梁太僕得罪,亡走漢,告梁王與扈輒謀反。於是上使使掩梁王,梁王不覺,遂囚之洛陽。有司治︰「反形已具,請論如法。」上赦以爲庶人,傳處蜀青衣。西至鄭,逢呂后從長安來。彭王爲呂后泣涕,自言無罪,願處故昌邑。呂后許諾,與俱東。至洛陽,呂后白上曰︰「彭王壯士,今徙之蜀,此自遺患;不如遂誅之。妾謹與俱來。」於是呂后乃令其舍人告彭越復謀反。廷尉王恬開奏請族之,上可其奏。三月,夷越三族。

8. When Liu Bang had launched his campaign against Chen Xi, he had summoned soldiers from the Liang region to join his army. Peng Yue had claimed to be ill in order to avoid joining the campaign, instead sending his generals to lead his troops to Handan. Liu Bang, angered by this, had sent envoys to rebuke Peng Yue.

Now afraid, Peng Yue was planning to go apologize to Liu Bang in person. His general Hu Zhe warned him, "Considering that at first you did not go to join him, and are only now going to apologize to him after being reprimanded, he will surely arrest you once you arrive. You would do better to raise your troops and rebel against him." But Peng Yue did not listen to him. Then the Minister Coachman of Liang was charged with some crime, and he fled to Liu Bang and informed him that Peng Yue was plotting rebellion with Hu Zhe. Liu Bang sent his agents to arrest Peng Yue, and they took him by surprise and imprisoned him at Luoyang.

Liu Bang's officials declared, "The evidence of the King of Liang's intention to rebel is already clear. We ask that you deal with him according to the law." Liu Bang pardoned Peng Yue from the death sentence, but he demoted him to be a commoner and exiled him to Qingyi in the Shu region.

As Peng Yue was heading west towards his exile, Lü Zhi happened to be coming east from Chang'an, and they encountered each other on the road at Zheng. Peng Yue wept to Lü Zhi, proclaiming his innocence, and he begged her to let him go back to his hometown at Changyi instead. Lü Zhi pretended to sympathize with his request, and they both traveled east again. But when they arrived at Luoyang, Lü Zhi met with Liu Bang and told him, "The King of Liang is a bold fellow, yet you are merely exiling him to Shu. You are only storing up trouble for yourself. It would be better to execute him. I presumed to bring him back with me." And she ordered her retainers to claim that Peng Yue had once again been plotting rebellion.

The Minister of Justice, Wang Tiankai, submitted a memorial asking to have Peng Yue and his family executed. Liu Bang gave his assent. In the third month, Peng Yue and his family were executed to the third degree.

〈臣瓚曰︰扈輒勸越反而越不誅,是反形已具也。〉〈青衣道屬蜀郡。臣瓚曰︰今漢嘉是也。章懷太子賢曰︰青衣道,在大江、青衣二水之會,今嘉州龍遊縣也。〉〈二世二年,彭越起於昌邑。〉〈此以《漢書‧本紀》爲據;《史記‧高祖紀》作「夏,夷彭越三族」,《年表》書「越反,誅」,又在十年夏誅彭越,蓋以盧綰言爲據。〉

(Chen Zan remarked, "The court ministers interpreted Peng Yue's failure to execute Hu Zhe for urging him to rebel as evidence that Peng Yue really did intend to rebel, thus the evidence was 'already clear'."

Qingyi circuit was part of Shu commandary. Chen Zan remarked, "It is the same place as modern Hanjia." Crown Prince Zhanghuai, Li Xian, remarked, "Qingyi circuit was at the confluence of the Yangzi and the Qingyi River. It was the same place as Longyou county in modern Jiazhou."

Peng Yue had first risen up with soldiers at Changyi, as mentioned in Book 8, in the second year of the Second Emperor of Qin's reign (actually the third year, -207.11).

This passage of the Zizhi Tongjian follows the account of the Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang) in the Book of Han by placing Peng Yue's execution in the third month of this year. But the Annals of Emperor Gaozu in the Records of the Grand Historian states that "in summer (that is, between the fourth and sixth months), Peng Yue's family was executed to the third degree". And the Table of Years places the entry "Peng Yue rebelled and was executed" in the summer of the tenth year of Liu Bang's reign (197 BC). These things must have been based on the statements of Lu Wan.)


三月。梁王彭越反。誅三族。上擊陳豨時。徵兵梁王。梁王但遣將往。上怒之。梁王欲自行。其將扈輒曰。王始不行。見讓而往。即為擒矣。不如遂發兵反。梁王不聽稱疾。梁王太僕有罪亡者。告彭越與扈輒謀反。上捕囚越。赦為庶人。徙之蜀。道逢呂后於路。涕泣曰無罪。願歸昌邑。呂后與俱還洛陽。謂上曰。彭越壯士徙之蜀。自貽後患。不如遂誅之。呂后令其舍人告彭越復謀反。乃誅之。夷三族。(Records of Former Han 4, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

In the third month, the King of Liang, Peng Yue, rebelled. He and his clan were executed to the third degree.

When Liu Bang had launched his campaign against Chen Xi, he had summoned soldiers from the Liang region to join his army. But Peng Yue, failing to come in person, only sent his generals to support the campaign. Liu Bang was angered by this.

Peng Yue now wished to go join Liu Bang in person. His general Hu Zhe warned him, "Considering that at first you did not go to join him, and are only now going to him after being reprimanded, he will surely arrest you once you arrive. You would do better to raise your troops and rebel against him." Peng Yue refused to rebel, but he canceled his plans to go to Liu Bang by claiming to be ill. Then the Minister Coachman of Liang was charged with some crime, and he fled to Liu Bang and informed him that Peng Yue was plotting rebellion with Hu Zhe. Liu Bang arrested Peng Yue; he pardoned him from the death sentence, but he still demoted him to be a commoner and exiled him to the Shu region.

As Peng Yue was heading west towards his exile, Lü Zhi happened to be coming east from Chang'an, and they encountered each other on the road. Peng Yue wept to Lü Zhi, proclaiming his innocence, and he begged her to let him go back to his hometown at Changyi instead. They both traveled east again. But when they arrived at Luoyang, Lü Zhi told Liu Bang, "Peng Yue is a bold fellow, yet you are merely exiling him to Shu. You are only storing up trouble for yourself. It would be better to execute him." And she ordered her retainers to claim that Peng Yue had once again been plotting rebellion.

Thus Peng Yue and his clan were executed.


梟越首洛陽,下詔︰「有收視者,輒捕之。」梁大夫欒布使於齊,還,奏事越頭下,祠而哭之。吏捕以聞。上召布,罵,欲烹之。方提趨湯,布顧曰︰「願一言而死。」上曰︰「何言?」布曰︰「方上之困於彭城,敗滎陽、成皋間,項王所以遂不能西者,徒以彭王居梁地,與漢合從苦楚也。當是之時,王一顧,與楚則漢破,與漢則楚破。且垓下之會,微彭王,項氏不亡。天下已定,彭王剖符受封,亦欲傳之萬世。今陛下一徵兵於梁,彭王病不行,而陛下疑以爲反;反形未具,以苛小案誅滅之。臣恐功臣人人自危也。今彭王已死,臣生不如死,請就烹!」於是上乃釋布罪,拜爲都尉。

9. Liu Bang had Peng Yue's head hung up at Luoyang, and he issued an edict stating, "Anyone who takes down the head shall be arrested."

One of Peng Yue's ministers in his fief as King of Liang, Luan Bu, had been away on a diplomatic mission to the Prince of Qi. When he returned to Luoyang, he took down Peng Yue's head and wept as he made offerings to Peng Yue's spirit. The officials arrested Luan Bu and brought him in for questioning.

Liu Bang summoned Luan Bu and castigated him, planning to have him boiled alive. He had the cauldron prepared and was having the cauldron struck to heat it faster.

Luan Bu said, "Allow me to say one thing before I die."

Liu Bang asked, "What is it?"

Luan Bu said, "When you were in distress at Pengcheng, and again when you were defeated between Xingyang and Chenggao, the reason that King Xiang (Xiang Yu) was not able to drive you further west was because King Peng was controlling the Liang region and supporting the cause of Han by making trouble for Chu. The fate of the war was in King Peng's hands back then; if he had sided with Chu, Han would have lost, while if he had sided with Han, Chu would have lost. And at the final battle at Gaixia, if King Peng had not supported you, the Xiang clan would not have been defeated.

"After the realm was settled, King Peng was content to accept your seal and submit to your authority, so long as he could leave a legacy for generations to come. Yet all because King Peng was unable to respond to your summons a single time due to his illness, Your Majesty suspected him of rebellion, and despite the fact that there was no clear evidence that he planned to rebel, you barely bothered to investigate before you executed him and wiped out his clan. I fear that such will be the fate of all accomplished subjects from now on.

"Since King Peng is already dead, my own life is not worth living. So go ahead and boil me!"

Liu Bang decided to pardon Luan Bu of his crime, and he appointed him as a Capital Commandant.

〈《姓譜》︰欒,晉卿欒氏之後。〉〈提,挈也;挈而趨鼎,欲投之於湯。〉

(Regarding the surname 欒 Luan, the Registry of Surnames states, "They are the descendants of the Luan clan, who were ministers of the state of Jin."

To strike means to hit; they were striking the cauldron because Liu Bang wanted to cast Luan Bu into the boiling water.)


梟其首。令曰。敢有收視者輒捕之。梁太傅欒布為彭越使于齊還。報命首下。祠而哭之。上欲烹之。方提頭趨湯鑊。布曰。願一言而死。曰。陛下非彭越。項氏不亡。今天下已定。彭王剖符受封。亦欲傳之萬世。今一徵兵。王不自行。而疑以為反。反形未見。以苛察誅之。臣恐功臣人人自危。彭王已死。臣生不如死。請就湯鑊。上赦之。拜為都尉。(Records of Former Han 4, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

Liu Bang had Peng Yue's head hung up, and he issued a decree stating, "Anyone who takes down the head shall be arrested."

Peng Yue's Grand Tutor, Luan Bu, had been away on a diplomatic mission to the Prince of Qi. When he returned to Luoyang, he took down Peng Yue's head and wept as he made offerings to Peng Yue's spirit.

Liu Bang summoned Luan Bu and castigated him, planning to have him boiled alive. He had the cauldron prepared and was having the cauldron struck to heat it faster.

Luan Bu said, "Allow me to say one thing before I die."

He continued, "If Your Majesty had not had the support of Peng Yue, the Xiang clan would not have been defeated. And after the realm was settled, King Peng was content to accept your seal and submit to your authority, so long as he could leave a legacy for generations to come. Yet all because King Peng was unable to respond to your summons a single time, Your Majesty suspected him of rebellion, and despite the fact that there was no clear evidence that he planned to rebel, you barely bothered to investigate before you executed him. I fear that such will be the fate of all accomplished subjects from now on.

"Since King Peng is already dead, my own life is not worth living. So go ahead and throw me in the boiling cauldron!"

Liu Bang decided to pardon Luan Bu of his crime, and he appointed him as a Capital Commandant.


丙午,立皇子恢爲梁王;丙寅,立皇子友爲淮陽王。罷東郡,頗益梁;罷潁川郡,頗益淮陽。

10. On the day Bingwu, Liu Bang appointed his son Liu Hui as Prince of Liang. On the day Bingyin, he appointed his son Liu You as Prince of Huaiyang. He abolished Dong commandary in order to make the Liang princely fief larger, and he abolished Yingchuan commandary to do the same for the Huaiyang princely fief.

〈《考異》曰︰《漢書‧諸侯王表》作「三月丙午」。按劉羲叟《長曆》︰三月丙辰朔,無丙午;今從《史記‧年表》。今按《史記‧年表》作「二月丙午」,但《通鑑》先書「三月夷彭越三族」,方於此書「立子恢爲梁王」,則又是三月丙午。〉

(Sima Guang's commentary in the Textual Analysis states, "The Table of Princes and Nobles in the Book of Han states that Liu Hui's appointment as Prince of Liang took place 'in the third month, on the day Bingwu'. But according to Liu Xisou's Calendar Records, the first day of the third month of this year was a Bingchen day, thus there could not have been a Bingwu day during that month. So I follow the account of the Table of Years in the Records of the Grand Historian." However, I (Hu Sanxing) note that the Table of Years lists Liu Hui's appointment as being in 'the second month, on the day Bingyin'. Yet the Zizhi Tongjian's account has already progressed into the third month by this passage, since above it stated that 'in the third month', Peng Yue was executed. So the Bingwu day mentioned in this passage would also have to be interpreted as being the Bingwu day of the third month.)


立皇子恢為梁王。皇子友為淮陽王。(Records of Former Han 4, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

Liu Bang appointed his son Liu Hui as Prince of Liang, and he appointed his son Liu You as Prince of Huaiyang.


夏,四月,行自洛陽至。

11. In summer, the fourth month, Liu Bang returned to Chang'an from Luoyang.

夏四月。上行自洛陽。(Records of Former Han 4, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

In summer, the fourth month, Liu Bang returned to Chang'an from Luoyang.


五月,詔立秦南海尉趙佗爲南粵王,使陸賈卽授璽綬,與剖符通使,使和集百越,無爲南邊患害。

12. In the fifth month, Liu Bang issued an edict appointing the Commandant of Nanhai commandary, Zhao Tuo, as King of Nanyue. He sent Lu Jia to present Zhao Tuo with his seals and ribbons, and Zhao Tuo agreed to recognize Han authority and conduct a regular exchange of envoys. Thus peace was arranged with the Yue peoples of the far south, and there were no worries on the southern border.

〈《晉志》︰秦使任囂、趙佗攻粵,略取陸梁地,遂定南粵,以爲桂林、南海、象三郡,非三十六郡之限;乃置南海尉以典之,所謂「東南一尉」也。余謂始皇二十六年,分天下爲三十六郡,郡置守、尉、監。三十三年,取南粵,置南海、桂林、象郡;此南海尉止典南海一郡兵,猶三十六郡之尉也,安得兼典桂林、象郡!任囂旣死,秦已破滅,趙佗始擊幷桂林、象郡,以此知非兼典也。佗,徒河翻。〉〈《姓譜》︰陸,古天子陸終之後。〉

(The Records of Jin states, "The Qin dynasty sent Ren Xiao and Zhao Tuo south to attack the Yue region. They marched through and conquered the Luliang region before proceeding to the Yue region and pacifying that as well. The Yue region was organized into the three commandaries of Guilin, Nanhai, and Xiang; these three commandaries were not considered part of the thirty-six commandaries that made up the dynasty proper. The Qin dynasty appointed a Commandant of Nanhai to supervise this new region, and the post was called 'the Commandant of the Southeast'." But I (Hu Sanxing) note that in the twenty-sixth year of the First Emperor's reign (221 BC), when he divided the realm into thirty-six commandaries, he appointed Administrators, Commandants, and Chiefs for each of them. It was in the thirty-third year of his reign (214 BC) that he obtained the territory of Nanyue and created the commandaries of Nanhai, Guilin, and Xiang. Thus the Commandant of Nanhai only supervised the soldiers of that single commandary alone, like the Commandant of any other commandary. How could this Commandant have also been in charge of Guilin and Xiang as well? It was only after Ren Xiao had passed away and the Qin dynasty had already collapsed that Zhao Tuo first began extending his authority as Commandant of Nanhai over Guilin and Xiang as well. Thus we know that the Commandant of Nanhai did not already possess such authority.

Zhao Tuo's given name, 佗, is pronounced "te (t-e)".

Regarding the surname 陸 Lu, the Registry of Surnames states, "They are the descendants of Luzhong, a descendant of one of the ancient Sons of Heaven.")


五月。遣楚人陸賈使南越。立尉佗為王。(Records of Former Han 4, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

In the fifth month, Liu Bang sent a native of Chu, Lu Jia, as an envoy to Nanyue to appoint Zhao Tuo as King of Nanyue.


初,秦二世時,南海尉任囂病且死,召龍川令趙佗,語曰︰「秦爲無道,天下苦之。聞陳勝等作亂,天下未知所安。南海僻遠,吾恐盜兵侵地至此,欲興兵絕新道自備,待諸侯變;會病甚。且番禺負山險,阻南海,東西數千里,頗有中國人相輔;此亦一州之主也,可以立國。郡中長吏,無足與言者,故召公告之。」卽被佗書,行南海尉事。囂死,佗卽移檄告橫浦、陽山、湟谿關曰︰「盜兵且至,急絕道,聚兵自守!」因稍以法誅秦所置長吏,以其黨爲假守。秦已破滅,佗卽擊幷桂林、象郡,自立爲南越武王。

13. Earlier, during the reign of the Second Emperor of Qin, the Commandant of Nanhai at that time, Ren Xiao, had fallen ill and was near death. He had summoned the Prefect of Longchuan, Zhao Tuo, to speak with him. He had instructed Zhao Tuo, "Qin is without principle, and all the realm despises them. I have heard that Chen Sheng and others have already stirred up a rebellion against them. No one knows when the realm will be at peace again. Nanhai is a remote and distant place, and I was afraid that the rebel soldiers might come attack this place as well, so I wanted to raise troops and cut off the new roads to defend the region, then wait for the feudal lords to rise up and see what they do. But now this illness is going to claim my life.

"Now the city of Panyu has strong natural defenses from the mountains surrounding it, not to mention the southern sea. For thousands of li in either direction, east or west, this is the one place where people from the Middle Kingdom gather together. It is the focal point of the whole province, and whoever possesses it could use it as a base to found their own kingdom. But the Chief Clerk of Nanhai is not a man worth speaking with, thus I summoned you to tell you about this." And he had written up a letter for Zhao Tuo, provisionally appointing him as his successor as Commandant of Nanhai.

After Ren Xiao had passed away, Zhao Tuo had spread proclamations to the border passes at Hengpu, Yangshan, and Huangxi stating, "Rebel soldiers are on their way here. Bar the roads at once and gather soldiers to prepare defenses!" And he had taken advantage of opportunities to use the laws against the officials appointed by Qin to execute them and replace them by provisionally appointing his own followers to all the local posts. By the time the Qin dynasty had fallen, Zhao Tuo had already attacked Guilin and Xiang commandaries and annexed them into his own domain. He had proclaimed himself King Wu ("the Martial") of Nanyue.

〈囂,音敖。〉〈班《志》︰龍川縣屬南海郡。裴氏《廣州記》︰龍川本博羅縣之東鄕,有龍穿地而出,卽穴流泉,因以爲號。師古曰︰今循州。〉〈蘇林曰︰新道,秦所新通越道。〉〈班《志》︰番禺縣屬南海郡,尉佗所都。今爲廣州治所。〉〈武帝伐南越,遣楊僕出豫章,下橫浦;則橫浦通豫章之路也。杜佑曰︰橫圃關在虔州大庾縣西南。《南康記》曰︰南野大庾嶺三十里至橫浦,有秦時關,其下謂爲塞上。班《志》︰陽山侯國屬桂陽郡。姚氏曰︰連州陽山縣上流百餘里有騎田嶺,當是陽山關。《新唐書‧地理志》︰連州陽山縣有故秦湟谿關。《郡國志》︰陽山縣理洭水之南,卽其故墟,本南越置關之邑,故關在縣西北四十里茂溪口。〉〈桂林,後武帝改爲鬱林郡。象郡,武帝改爲日南郡。〉〈韋昭曰︰生以武爲號,不稽於古也。〉

(Ren Xiao's given name, 囂, is pronounced "ao".

According to the Book of Han, Longchuan county was part of Nanhai commandary. Master Pei's Records of Guangzhou states, "Longchuan was originally the eastern district of Boluo county. A dragon burrowed out of the earth there, and there was springwater inside the cave, thus the name Longchuan ('Dragon's River')." Yan Shigu remarked, "It is the modern Xunzhou."

Regarding the "new roads", Su Lin remarked, "These were the new roads to the Yue region which the Qin dynasty had built."

According to the Book of Han, Panyu county was part of Nanhai commandary. Zhao Tuo made it his capital. It is now the administrative center of Guangzhou.

Regarding 橫浦 Hengpu, when Emperor Wu of Han later sent his generals to campaign against Nanyue, he sent Yang Pu out from Yuzhang to march by way of Hengpu. So there must have been a road from Yuzhang to Hengpu. Du You remarked, "橫圃 Hengpu Pass is southwest of Dayu county in Qianzhou." The Records of Nankang states, "One continues south for thirty li through the Dayu Ranges until reaching Hengpu, which was a pass during the Qin dynasty, and its lower area is still called a barrier."

According to the Book of Han, the Marquisate of Yangshan was part of Guiyang commandary. Master Yao remarked, "The Qitian Ranges are more than a hundred li above Yangshan county in Lianzhou." That must have been where Yangshan Pass was.

The Geographical Records of the New Book of Tang states, "The old Huangxi Pass from the Qin era is in Yangshan county in Lianzhou." The Records of Fiefs and Commandaries states, "The Likuang River flows south of Yangshan county; there are some ruins there where the state of Nanyue had originally placed a town around a pass. This pass was at Maoxikou, forty li northwest of the county."

Guilin commandary was the same place that Emperor Wu of Han later renamed to Yulin, and Xiang commandary was the same place he renamed to Nhật Nam (Rinan).

This passage notes that Zhao Tuo named himself King Wu ("the Martial"). Such descriptive names were usually given posthumously. Wei Zhao remarked, "Zhao Tuo was acting unusually in giving himself such a name while he was still alive.")


佗者。秦時為南海郡尉。因天下之亂。遂有南越。(Records of Former Han 4, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

Zhao Tuo had been appointed as Commandant of Nanhai commandary during the Qin dynasty. He had taken advantage of the chaos following the collapse of the Qin dynasty to take over the Nanyue region.


陸生至,尉佗魋結、箕倨見陸生。陸生說佗曰︰「足下中國人,親戚、昆弟、墳墓在眞定。今足下反天性,棄冠帶,欲以區區之越與天子抗衡爲敵國,禍且及身矣!且夫秦失其政,諸侯、豪傑並起,唯漢王先入關,據咸陽。項羽倍約,自立爲西楚霸王,諸侯皆屬,可謂至強,然漢王起巴、蜀,鞭笞天下,遂誅項羽,滅之;五年之間,海內平定。此非人力,天之所建也。天子聞君王王南越,不助天下誅暴逆,將相欲移兵而誅王。天子憐百姓新勞苦,故且休之,遣臣授君王印,剖符通使。君王宜郊迎,北面稱臣;乃欲以新造未集之越,屈強於此!漢誠聞之,掘燒王先人冢,夷滅宗族,使一偏將將十萬衆臨越,則越殺王降漢如反覆手耳!」於是尉佗乃蹶然起坐,謝陸生曰︰「居蠻夷中久,殊失禮義。」因問陸生曰︰「我孰與蕭何、曹參、韓信賢?」陸生曰︰「王似賢也。」復曰︰「我孰與皇帝賢?」陸生曰︰「皇帝繼五帝、三皇之業,統理中國;中國之人以億計,地方萬里,萬物殷富;政由一家,自天地剖判未始有也。今王衆不過數十萬,皆蠻夷,崎嶇山海間,譬若漢一郡耳,何乃比於漢!」尉佗大笑曰︰「吾不起中國,故王此;使我居中國,何遽不若漢!」乃留陸生與飲,數月,曰︰「越中無足與語。至生來,令我日聞所不聞。」賜陸生橐中裝直千金,他送亦千金。陸生卒拜尉佗爲南越王,令稱臣,奉漢約。歸報,帝大悅,拜賈爲太中大夫。

14. In the present, when Lu Jia arrived at Panyu, Zhao Tuo received him with his legs sprawled out, and he had his hair tied up in a bun. Lu Jia said to him, "Sir, you are a native of the Middle Kingdom, and your relatives both living and dead are all at Zhending. Yet here I find you going against your own nature; you have cast aside your hat and your belt, and you think that you can lead the rabble of the Yue people in a contest of strength against the Son of Heaven like an enemy state. At this rate, disaster will claim you!

"When the Qin dynasty failed in its administration of the realm, all the feudal lords and the heroes of the realm rose up against it. But it was the King of Han who was first into Guanzhong, and he occupied the Qin capital at Xianyang. When Xiang Yu broke the pact among the lords and declared himself Hegemon-King of Western Chu, he made all the other feudal lords his subordinates and his strength knew no bounds. But even so, when the King of Han rose up from the regions of Ba and Shu, he placed his crop and bridle over all the realm, and he executed Xiang Yu and destroyed his state. Within the space of five years, he had brought the whole realm within the seas under his control. This was not the result of his mortal efforts, but from the assistance of Heaven itself.

"Now the Son of Heaven has heard that you have made yourself King of Nanyue, and he has noticed that you failed to assist the rest of the realm in executing the wicked traitors. His generals and ministers were all urging him to send troops and execute you. But the Son of Heaven took pity on the people, who have so recently suffered so much, and decided to spare them from such an effort. Instead, he has sent me to present you with a seal as king, and arrange for you to submit to his authority and agree to exchange envoys. You ought to have come out to welcome my arrival at the border, and faced north to confirm your submission to the Son of Heaven as his subject. Yet instead, I find you assembling this flock of Yue people and flaunting your obstinance! When the Son of Heaven learns of this, he will burn the tombs of your ancestors, exterminate your clan, and send a general to lead an army of a hundred thousand soldiers to the borders of your domain. Then the Yue people will kill you and surrender to Han as quickly as the turn of a hand!"

Zhao Tuo hurried to assume a proper sitting posture, and he apologized to Lu Jia, saying, "I've lived too long among the barbarians, and I've forgotten how to conduct myself properly."

A little later, Zhao Tuo asked Lu Jia, "Would you consider me as worthy a man as Xiao He, Cao Can, or Han Xin?"

Lu Jia replied, "You seem a worthy enough fellow."

Zhao Tuo then asked, "Am I as worthy as the Emperor?"

Lu Jia replied, "The Emperor has inherited the legacy of the Five Emperors and Three Sovereigns, and he has united the Middle Kingdom under his command. The population of the Middle Kingdom is reckoned in the hundreds of millions, it expands for ten thousand square li, and it is a rich and bountiful land with countless products. Yet the Emperor rules all this land like a single family. There has been no one like him since the beginning of time, when the heavens and the earth divided. How very unlike yourself! The population of your kingdom is no more than a few hundred thousand barbarians, and the whole length and breadth of your domain is no larger than a single commandary of the Han dynasty. How could you possibly compare yourself with Han?"

Zhao Tuo laughed heartily and said, "Naturally I wouldn't have measured up in the Middle Kingdom; that's why I'm the King of this place. If I were living in the Middle Kingdom, could I ever have compared to Han?"

Zhao Tuo had Lu Jia stay with him for several months, and they often drank together. Zhao Tuo told him, "The Yue region has no one worthy of conversation. But every day I speak with you, Sir, I learn things I've never heard before." And he gave Lu Jia a bag of jewels worth a thousand gold and other things worth another thousand.

In the end, Lu Jia successfully arranged to have Zhao Tuo accept the title King of Nanyue as offered by the Han dynasty and to declare himself Liu Bang's vassal, and he arranged peaceful relations between Han and Nanyue. When Lu Jia returned to Chang'an and reported the success of his mission, Liu Bang was greatly pleased, and he appointed Lu Jia as a Grand Household Grandee.

〈服虔曰︰今兵士椎頭髻也。師古曰︰椎髻者,一撮之髻,其形如椎。〉〈尉佗本眞定人,故賈云然。〉〈背父母之國,不念墳墓、宗族,是反天性也;椎髻以從蠻夷之俗,是棄冠帶也。〉〈師古曰︰未集,言未成也。〉〈師古曰︰屈強,謂不柔服也。〉〈師古曰︰蹶然,驚起之貌也。〉〈師古曰︰言有何迫促而不如漢也。余謂遽者,急促也,今江南人謂之便;何至便不如漢也。〉〈張晏曰︰橐中裝,珠玉之寶也。裝,裹也。如淳曰︰明月珠之屬也。師古曰︰有底曰囊,無底曰橐;言其寶物質輕而價重,可入囊橐以齎行,故曰橐中裝。〉〈蘇林曰︰非橐中物,故曰他送。師古曰︰他,猶餘也。〉

(Zhao Tuo is described as having his hair tied up in a bun. Fu Qian remarked, "Even today, soldiers bind up their hair in a 椎 'node' or bun." Yan Shigu remarked, "Hair in a 'node' or bun means hair wrapped up to resemble this shape."

Zhao Tuo was a native of Zhending, thus Lu Jia's observation that he was a native of the Middle Kingdom.

Lu Jia accused Zhao Tuo of "going against your nature" by abandoning the country of his parents and not considering the tombs of his ancestors and "casting aside your hat and belt" by tying his hair in a bun and adopting the customs of the southern tribes.

Lu Jia describes Zhao Tuo's army of Yue people as 未集 "not formed". Yan Shigu remarked, "This means incomplete."

Lu Jia describes Zhao Tuo's attitude as 屈強 "obstinate". Yan Shigu remarked, "This means unyielding."

This passage describes Zhao Tuo as being 蹶然 upon hearing Lu Jia's speech. Yan Shigu remarked, "This means having an astonished expression."

Regarding Zhao Tuo's self-deprecation, Yan Shigu remarked, "He was saying that there was no way he could threaten to match Han." I (Hu Sanxing) believe that the term 遽 means "hurriedly", and even today the people of the Southland use this expression; Zhao Tuo was saying that he could not possibly catch up with Han.

Zhao Tuo is described as giving Lu Jia a 橐中裝 "bag of jewels". Zhang Yan remarked, "This was a bag of pearls and gems. 裝 means 'a wrapping'." Ru Chun remarked, "These were things like night-glowing pearls." Yan Shigu remarked, "A bag with a bottom is called a 囊, while one without a bottom is called a 橐. The expression means treasures which are slight in substance but worth a great deal, small enough that one can pack them all into a bag, thus the term."

This passage uses the term 他 to describe the other things that Zhao Tuo gave to Lu Jia. Su Lin remarked, "These were things that were not in the bag of gems, thus it says 他 'other' things." Yan Shigu remarked, "By 他, it meant 'additional' things.")


賈至。尉佗椎髻箕踞見賈。賈曰足下中國之人。親戚昆季墳墓在真定。今足下反天性。棄冠帶。欲以區區之越。與天子抗行為敵國。禍且及身矣。天子聞君王南越。不助天下誅暴秦。將欲移兵於王。天子為百姓勤勞。遣臣授君王印綬。剖符通使。王且郊迎北面稱臣。乃欲以新造未集之越。屈彊於此。漢誠聞之。掘燒王先人墳墓。夷滅宗族。遣一偏將。將十萬師以臨越。越人即殺王降漢。如反手耳。於是尉佗乃蹶然起坐而謝曰。吾居蠻夷中久。殊失禮儀。因問賈曰。我孰與蕭何曹參賢。賈曰。王則賢矣。復問我孰與皇帝賢。賈曰。皇帝起豐沛。討暴秦。誅彊楚。為天下興利除害。繼五帝三王之業。統治中國。政由一家。自天地剖判已來。未曾有也。今王眾不過數十萬。皆蠻夷崎嶇山海。譬猶漢之一郡。何乃比於漢也。佗大笑曰。吾不起中國故王此。使我起中國。何遽不若漢。乃遂受符印稱王。賜賈橐中裝直千金。餘贈送亦千金。賈還報命。拜太中大夫。(Records of Former Han 4, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

When Lu Jia arrived in Nanyue, Zhao Tuo received him with his legs sprawled out, and he had his hair tied up in a bun. Lu Jia said to him, "Sir, you are a native of the Middle Kingdom, and your relatives both living and dead are all at Zhending. Yet here I find you going against your own nature; you have cast aside your hat and your belt, and you think that you can lead the rabble of the Yue people in a contest of strength against the Son of Heaven like an enemy state. At this rate, disaster will claim you.

"Now the Son of Heaven has heard that you have made yourself King of Nanyue, and he has noticed that you failed to assist the rest of the realm in executing the wicked Qin dynasty. Most of his generals were urging him to send troops against you. But the Son of Heaven, to spare the common people from such a burden, decided instead to send me to present you with a seal as king and arrange for you to submit to his authority and agree to exchange envoys. You ought to have come out to welcome my arrival at the border, and faced north to confirm your submission to the Son of Heaven as his subject. Yet instead, I find you assembling this flock of Yue people and flaunting your obstinance. When the Son of Heaven learns of this, he will dig up and burn the graves and tombs of your ancestors, exterminate your clan, and send a general to lead an army of a hundred thousand soldiers to the borders of your domain. Then the Yue people will kill you and surrender to Han as quickly as the turn of a hand."

Zhao Tuo hurried to assume a proper sitting posture, and he apologized to Lu Jia, saying, "I've lived too long among the barbarians, and I've forgotten how to conduct myself properly."

A little later, Zhao Tuo asked Lu Jia, "Would you consider me as worthy a man as Xiao He or Cao Can?"

Lu Jia replied, "You seem a worthy enough fellow."

Zhao Tuo then asked, "Am I as worthy as the Emperor?"

Lu Jia replied, "The Emperor rose up at Feng and Pei, campaigned against the cruel Qin dynasty, and destroyed the powerful state of Chu. On behalf of the realm, he has promoted good and eliminated evil. He has inherited the legacy of the Five Emperors and Three Sovereigns, and he governs Middle Kingdom like a single family. There has been no one like him since the beginning of time, when the heavens and the earth divided. How very unlike yourself! The population of your kingdom is no more than a few hundred thousand barbarians, and the whole length and breadth of your domain with all its mountains and seas is no larger than a single commandary of the Han dynasty. How could you possibly compare yourself with Han?"

Zhao Tuo laughed heartily and said, "Naturally I wouldn't have measured up in the Middle Kingdom; that's why I'm the King of this place. If I were living in the Middle Kingdom, could I ever have compared to Han?"

In the end, Lu Jia successfully arranged to have Zhao Tuo accept the title King of Nanyue as offered by the Han dynasty and to declare himself Liu Bang's vassal, and Zhao Tuo gave Lu Jia a bag of jewels worth a thousand gold and other things worth another thousand. When Lu Jia returned to Chang'an and reported the success of his mission, Liu Bang appointed Lu Jia as a Grand Household Grandee.


陸生時時前說稱《詩》、《書》,帝罵之曰︰「乃公居馬上而得之,安事《詩》、《書》!」陸生曰︰「居馬上得之,寧可以馬上治之乎?且湯、武逆取而以順守之;文武並用,長久之術也。昔者吳王夫差、智伯、秦始皇,皆以極武而亡。鄕使秦已幷天下,行仁義,法先聖,陛下安得而有之!」帝有慙色,曰︰「試爲我著秦所以失天下、吾所以得之者及古成敗之國。」陸生乃粗述存亡之徵,凡著十二篇。每奏一篇,帝未嘗不稱善,左右呼萬歲;號其書曰「《新語》」。

15. From time to time, Lu Jia had tried to persuade Liu Bang of something or other by quoting to him from the Book of Poetry or the Book of Documents. Liu Bang eventually lashed out at Lu Jia, saying, "I gained the realm from the back of a horse! What use do I have for those old texts?"

Lu Jia retorted, "Your Majesty may have gained the realm from the back of your horse, but can you rule it from there? After all, Tang of Shang and King Wu of Zhou both turned aside from martial affairs after gaining the realm and secured their rule through submission. It is by properly mixing civil and military affairs that one ensures the longevity of their dynasty. It was King Fuchai of Wu, Zhi Yao of Jin, and the First Emperor of Qin who dealt with everything through force, and look what happened to their states. If the Qin dynasty, having conquered the realm by force, had then ruled it with benevolence and righteousness and followed the laws of the sages of old, how could Your Majesty have ever claimed the realm for yourself?"

Liu Bang looked ashamed at this rebuke. He said, "Then please compile for me a book on the things which caused Qin to lose the realm and allowed me to gain it, and on the mistakes of the rulers of the ancient states."

So Lu Jia put together a rough sketch on the causes of these rises and falls, and composed a text in twelve chapters. Whenever he presented one of these chapters to Liu Bang, Liu Bang never failed to commend him, and his attendants wished for his long life. Lu Jia named this text the New Words.

〈粗,略也。〉

(A sketch is a summary.)


賈時上前說詩書。上罵之曰。吾居馬上得天下。安用詩書乎。賈對曰。陛下居馬上得之。寧能馬上治之乎。且湯武逆取而順守。文武並用。久長之道。昔吳王夫差極武而亡。泰任刑法不變而滅。向使秦已兼天下。行仁義。法先王。陛下安得而有之。上有慚色。謂賈曰。試為我著秦之所以失天下。吾所以得天下。及古今成敗之故。賈凡著書十二篇。每奏一篇。上讀之未嘗不稱善。號其書曰新語。(Records of Former Han 4, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

From time to time, Lu Jia had tried to persuade Liu Bang of something or other by quoting to him from the Book of Poetry or the Book of Documents. Liu Bang eventually lashed out at Lu Jia, saying, "I gained the realm from the back of a horse. What use do I have for those old texts?"

Lu Jia retorted, "Your Majesty may have gained the realm from the back of your horse, but can you rule it from there? After all, Tang of Shang and King Wu of Zhou both turned aside from martial affairs after gaining the realm and secured their rule through submission. It is by properly mixing civil and military affairs that one ensures the longevity of their dynasty. In former times, King Fuchai of Wu dealt with everything through force, yet his state fell; the Qin dynasty enforced harsh laws without flexibility, yet they were vanquished. If the Qin dynasty, having conquered the realm by force, had then ruled it with benevolence and righteousness and practiced the laws of the kings of old, how could Your Majesty have ever claimed the realm for yourself?"

Liu Bang looked ashamed at this rebuke. He said, "Then please compile for me a book on the things which caused Qin to lose the realm and allowed me to gain it, and on the mistakes of the rulers of the ancient states."

So Lu Jia composed a text in twelve chapters. Whenever he presented a chapter and Liu Bang read it, Liu Bang never failed to commend him. Lu Jia named this text the New Words.


帝有疾,惡見人,臥禁中,詔戶者無得入羣臣,羣臣絳、灌等莫敢入,十餘日。舞陽侯樊噲排闥直入,大臣隨之。上獨枕一宦者臥。噲等見上,流涕曰︰「始,陛下與臣等起豐、沛,定天下,何其壯也!今天下已定,又何憊也!且陛下病甚,大臣震恐;不見臣等計事,顧獨與一宦者絕乎!且陛下獨不見趙高之事乎?」帝笑而起。

16. Liu Bang became seriously ill. He no longer wished to see anyone; he lay in bed deep inside the palace, and ordered his guards not to let anyone in to see him. Zhou Bo, Guan Ying, and the other ministers did not dare to force their way in, and the situation continued for more than ten days.

Then the Marquis of Wuyang, Fan Kuai, burst through the inner palace doors and charged in, with the chief ministers following behind him. Liu Bang was lying alone in his bed, with only a single eunuch keeping him company. When Fan Kuai and the others saw Liu Bang, they wept and said, "How could it be that you were so strong when you first rose up with us at Feng and Pei and conquered the realm, and so exhausted now that the realm is at peace? Besides, we were all so worried and afraid when we heard that Your Majesty had become so ill. Yet instead of meeting with us to plan for the future, you spent your time all alone with just a eunuch? Has Your Majesty forgotten what happened with Zhao Gao?"

Liu Bang laughed, and he rose from his sickbed.

〈戶者,謂守門戶者也。〉〈班《志》,舞陽縣屬潁川郡。應劭曰︰舞水出其縣之南。《史記正義》︰在許州葉縣東十里。師古曰︰闥,宮中小門也;一曰︰門屛也。〉〈憊,疲極也。〉〈謂與李斯謀殺扶蘇立胡亥也。〉

(The term 戶 here means the guards of the palace gates.

According to the Book of Han, Wuyang county was part of Yingchuan commandary. Ying Shao remarked, "The Wu River emerged south of the county (thus the name Wuyang, 'north of the Wu River')." The Zhengyi commentary to the Records of the Grand Historian states, "It was ten li east of She county in modern Xuzhou."

Regarding the term 闥, Yan Shigu remarked, "This means the inner gates of the palace; some say it means the screen doors."

Fan Kuai uses the term 憊; this means "exhausted, worn out".

Fan Kuai was referring to how the eunuch Zhao Gao had taken advantage of monopolizing access to the dying First Emperor of Qin to have the heir Ying Fusu killed and replaced by Ying Huhai.)


先是上嘗疾困。惡見人。詔戶者無納群臣。群臣莫敢入。十餘日。樊噲乃排闥直入。大臣隨之。上獨枕一宦者臥。噲等見上流涕曰。陛下疾甚。大臣震恐。久不見臣等計事。顧獨枕一宦者。嗟乎。陛下獨不見趙高之事乎。上笑而起。(Records of Former Han 4, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

Earlier, Liu Bang had become seriously ill. He no longer wished to see anyone; he ordered his guards not to let anyone in to see him. The ministers did not dare to force their way in, and the situation continued for more than ten days.

Then Fan Kuai burst through the inner palace doors and charged in, with the chief ministers following behind him. Liu Bang was lying alone in his bed, with only a single eunuch keeping him company. When Fan Kuai and the others saw Liu Bang, they wept and said, "We were all so worried and afraid when we heard that Your Majesty had become so ill. Yet instead of meeting with us to plan for the future, you spent your time all alone with just a eunuch? Has Your Majesty forgotten what happened with Zhao Gao?"

Liu Bang laughed, and he rose from his sickbed.


秋,七月,淮南王布反。

17. In autumn, the seventh month, Qing Bu launched a rebellion.

初,淮陰侯死,布已心恐。及彭越誅,醢其肉以賜諸侯。使者至淮南,淮南王方獵,見醢,因大恐,陰令人部聚兵,候伺旁郡警急。布所幸姬,病就醫,醫家與中大夫賁赫對門,赫乃厚餽遺,從姬飲醫家;王疑其與亂,欲捕赫。赫乘傳詣長安上變,言「布謀反有端,可先未發誅也。」上讀其書,語蕭相國,相國曰︰「布不宜有此,恐仇怨妄誣之。請擊赫,使人微驗淮南王。」淮南王見赫以罪亡上變,固已疑其言國陰事;漢使又來,頗有所驗;遂族赫家,發兵反。反書聞,上乃赦賁赫,以爲將軍。

18. Qing Bu had already been worried for his position after Han Xin had been killed. And when Peng Yue was executed, his body parts were chopped up, pickled, and sent out among the feudal lords to serve as a warning. When one of these agents brought some of Peng Yue's remains to Huainan, Qing Bu was in the middle of hunting, and he was struck with fear when he saw the remains. So Qing Bu secretly ordered his agents to gather troops, and he was watching the neighboring commandaries to look out for any emergency.

Qing Bu had a certain concubine he favored. When she became sick, she went to visit a doctor. Living across from this doctor was one of Qing Bu's Household Grandees, Bi He, who lavished Qing Bu's concubine with gifts and went to drink with her with the doctor's family. Qing Bu was suspicious that Bi He was taking liberties with his concubine, and he was going to arrest Bi He. But Bi He took a courier horse and fled to Chang'an, where he reported to Liu Bang that Qing Bu was plotting rebellion. He claimed, "Qing Bu is already on the cusp of rebelling. You should move quickly to execute him before he can act."

When Liu Bang read Bi He's letter, he asked Xiao He what he thought. Xiao He told him, "Qing Bu would not do something like this; I fear that Bi He is just slandering him because of some grudge between them. Please arrest Bi He, then send envoys to secretly investigate the King of Huainan."

But when Qing Bu discovered that Bi He had fled from justice to take refuge with Liu Bang, he was paranoid that Bi He had informed Liu Bang of what he was planning. And when Liu Bang's envoys arrived, he was certain that they were investigating him. So Qing Bu executed Bi He's family, then raised his troops in rebellion. When the envoys wrote back to Chang'an, Liu Bang pardoned Bi He and made him a general.

〈師古曰︰反者被誅,皆以爲醢,卽《刑法志》所謂「菹其骨肉」是也。賈公彥曰︰有骨爲臡,無骨爲醢;菜、肉通。全物若䐑爲菹,細切爲韲。作臡、醢者,必先膊乾其肉及漬剉之,雜以粱、麯及鹽,漬以美酒,塗置甀中,百日則成矣。〉〈賁,音肥,姓也;赫,其名也。《姓譜》有賁姓,以爲縣賁父之後;《風俗通》,魯有賁浦;皆音奔。〉〈師古曰︰微驗者,不顯言其事。〉

(Regarding the 醢 "pickling" of Peng Yue's corpse, Yan Shigu remarked, "After being executed, the bodies of rebels were always pickled; this is what is meant when the Records of Laws and Punishments says to 'brine their bones and remains'." Jia Gongyan remarked, "The term describing the outcome of this act was either 臡 or 醢, depending on whether bones were present or not. Herbs were mixed in with the remains. If the whole body was preserved in one piece, that was called 菹; if the body was chopped to pieces, that was called 韲. In either case, bodies that were going to be pickled were first cut open to have their innards cut out, then stuffed with grain, millet, and salt and soaked in fine wine to be brined; they were placed into a vase, and after a hundred days the process was complete."

The name of Qing Bu's subordinate was Bi He. His surname, 賁, is pronounced "fei". The Registry of Surnames has a listing for the surname Bi, stating that those with this surname are the descendants of Xian Bifu, and the Fengsu Tong mentions that there was a Bi Pu in the state of Lu; both of those texts pronounce the surname as "ben".

Yan Shigu remarked, "The envoys 'secretly' investigated in that they did not openly state their purpose.")


於是醢彭越。以醢遍賜諸侯。淮南王英布聞越死見醢。乃驚恐。陰有疑謀。(Records of Former Han 4, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

Liu Bang had Peng Yue's body chopped up and pickled, then distributed the pickled pieces out among the feudal lords. When the King of Huainan, Qing Bu, heard that Peng Yue was dead and saw the pickled body part, he was shocked and afraid, and he secretly made some suspicious plots.


上召諸將問計。皆曰︰「發兵擊之,坑豎子耳,何能爲乎!」汝陰侯滕公召故楚令尹薛公問之。令尹曰︰「是固當反。」滕公曰︰「上裂地封之,疏爵而王之;其反何也?」令尹曰︰「往年殺彭越,前年殺韓信;此三人者,同功一體之人也,自疑禍及身,故反耳!」滕公言之上,上乃召見,問薛公,薛公對曰︰「布反不足怪也。使布出於上計,山東非漢之有也;出於中計,勝敗之數未可知也;出於下計,陛下安枕而臥矣。」上曰︰「何謂上計?」對曰︰「東取吳,西取楚,幷齊,取魯,傳檄燕、趙,固守其所,山東非漢之有也。」「何謂中計?」「東取吳,西取楚,幷韓,取魏,據敖倉之粟,塞成皋之口,勝敗之數未可知也。」「何謂下計?」「東取吳,西取下蔡,歸重於越,身歸長沙,陛下安枕而臥,漢無事矣。」上曰︰「是計將安出?」對曰︰「出下計。」上曰︰「何爲廢上、中計而出下計?」對曰︰「布,故麗山之徒也,自致萬乘之主,此皆爲身,不顧後、爲百姓萬世慮者也;故曰出下計。」上曰︰「善!」封薛公千戶。乃立皇子長爲淮南王。

19. Liu Bang summoned his generals to discuss how to deal with Qing Bu's rebellion. They all said, "Let's raise troops and attack him! We'll bury the fool! What could he do?"

The Marquis of Ruyin, Xiahou Ying, summoned the former Prefect-Intendant of Chu, Lord Xue, and asked him what he thought. Lord Xue told him, "It is only natural that Qing Bu is rebelling now."

Xiahou Ying asked him, "But our sovereign split off part of his territory to grant to Qing Bu as his own domain, and he granted him titles and made him a king. Why then should he rebel?"

Lord Xue said, "Because this year you killed Peng Yue, and last year you killed Han Xin. Peng Yue, Han Xin, and Qing Bu all achieved the same thing on behalf of the dynasty. Yet now the first two are dead, and Qing Bu is suspicious that the same thing is going to happen to him. Why wouldn't he rebel?"

Xiahou Ying mentioned what Lord Xue had said to Liu Bang. So Liu Bang summoned Lord Xue to meet with him. He asked Lord Xue for his further thoughts on the rebellion.

Lord Xue told him, "There is not much to wonder about for how this rebellion will play out. I foresee three possible strategies that Qing Bu could follow. If he uses the best strategy available to him, then the Han dynasty will definitely lose control of the lands east of the mountains. If he uses the next-best strategy, I am not certain which side will emerge victorious. And if he uses the worst strategy, then Your Majesty can rest easy, assured of your success."

Liu Bang asked, "What would be his best strategy?"

Lord Xue replied, "If he were to take the Wu region to his east and the Chu region to his west, take over the Qi region, and capture the Lu region, then fortify his defenses while sending proclamations to the Yan and Zhao regions asking them to join his cause, then you will definitely lose control of all the lands east of the mountains."

Liu Bang asked, "And the next-best strategy?"

Lord Xue continued, "If, after first taking Wu and Chu, Qing Bu were to annex the Hann region and capture the Wei region, then seize the grain at the Ao Granary and hold the pass at Chenggao against you, then I am not certain which side would win the struggle."

Liu Bang asked, "And the worst strategy?"

Lord Xue replied, "If, after first taking Wu, Qing Bu were to march west to take Xiacai while establishing a base for himself in the Yue region and planning to retreat to Changsha if needed, then Your Majesty could rest easy, for Han would have nothing to fear."

Liu Bang asked, "Which of these strategies do you suppose he will follow?"

Lord Xue replied, "He will go with the worst strategy."

Liu Bang asked, "Why would he set aside the best and next-best strategies to follow the worst one?"

Lord Xue replied, "Qing Bu was originally nothing more than a convict laborer at Mount Li. Although he is now the master of a realm of ten thousand chariots, he still only thinks about himself; he does not plan for the future or consider what is best for the common people in the generations to come. That is why I think he will follow the worst strategy."

"Excellent!" said Liu Bang. And he granted Lord Xue a fief of a thousand households.

Liu Bang appointed his son Liu Chang as Prince of Huainan.

〈班《志》,汝陰縣屬汝南郡,春秋胡子之國。《史記正義》曰︰汝陰卽今陽城。余據唐陽城縣屬河南郡,與漢汝南之汝陰相去頗遠。又據《史記‧滕公傳》︰「平城圍解,增食細陽千戶」,細陽縣屬汝南郡,蓋與汝陰鄰境。《索隱》曰︰汝陰屬汝南,亦據班《志》也。〉〈吳,謂荊王劉賈所封之地;楚,謂楚王交所封之地;齊,謂齊王肥所封之地。魯亦入楚境;韓地,時以益淮陽國;魏地,梁王友所封也。下蔡縣屬沛郡,春秋時之州來也。越,會稽地,故越王句踐之墟也。長沙,吳芮所封國,時其子臣嗣封。黥布都六,阻淮爲固,故策其西取下蔡,東取劉賈,以據全淮。越在東南,故策其歸輜重於越以自厚,爲深固不可取之計;布娶於長沙王,故策其身歸長沙;料其出於麗山之徒,慮不及遠也。〉〈事見八卷秦二世二年。〉〈《考異》曰︰《史記‧諸侯年表》云︰「十二月,庚子,厲王長元年。」《漢書‧諸侯王表》︰「十月庚午立。」今從《漢書‧帝紀》。〉

(According to the Book of Han, Ruyin county was part of Runan commandary; it had been the fief of the Viscount of Hu during the Spring and Autumn era. The Zhengyi commentary to the Records of the Grand Historian states, "Ruyin is the modern Yangcheng." I (Hu Sanxing) note that although during Tang, Yangcheng county was indeed part of Tang's Runan commandary, Yangcheng was still relatively far from where Ruyin county had been in Han's version of Runan commandary. I also note that the Biography of Xiahou Ying in the Records of the Grand Historian states that "After the siege of Pingcheng was lifted, Liu Bang increased Xiahou Ying's fief by granting him a thousand households from Xiyang.” Xiyang county was also part of Runan commandary, and it must've been adjacent to Ruyin county. The Suoyin commentary to the Records of the Grand Historian states, "Ruyin county was part of Runan commandary, as the Book of Han states."

Regarding the various regions mentioned in this passage, the Wu region referred to the domain of the Prince of Jing, Liu Jia; the Chu region referred to the domain of the Prince of Chu, Liu Jiao; the Qi region referred to the domain of the Prince of Qi, Liu Fei; the Lu region was also part of Liu Jiao's fief; the Hann region at this time had been added to the domain of the Prince of Huaiyang; the Wei region had been granted to the Prince of Liang, Liu You [should be Liu Hui]; Xiacai county was part of Pei commandary, and had been the state of Zhoulai during the Spring and Autumn era; the Yue region referred to Kuaiji commandary, the ruins of old King Goujian of Yue; and Changsha was the domain granted to the late King of Changsha, Wu Rui, and now being ruled by his son Wu Chen.

Since Qing Bu's capital was at Liu, the Huai River was his defensive bastion. Thus in the worst strategy, he would be moving west to take Xiacai and east to capture Liu Jia's domain in order to control the full line of the Huai River. The Yue region was to Qing Bu's southeast, and he would want to capture it as a supply base in order to keep himself sustained, as a deep foundation which could not be taken. And since Qing Bu was married to Wu Chen's sister, he would consider Changsha the place to flee to if anything happened. This was the logic that revealed Qing Bu's thinking as still being merely the former convict laborer who did not think for the future.

Qing Bu had originally been a convict laborer, working on the tomb of the First Emperor of Qin at Mount Li, as mentioned in Book 8, in the second year of the Second Emperor's reign (-208.17).

Sima Guang's commentary in the Textual Analysis states, "The Tables of Years of the Feudal Lords in the Records of the Grand Historian states, 'The first year of Prince Li, Liu Chang, began on the twelfth month of this year, on the day Gengzi.' And the version of that table in the Book of Han states, 'His first year began in the tenth month, on the day Gengwu.' But I follow the account of the Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang) in the Book of Han in placing it at this time.")


汝陰侯問故楚令尹薛公曰。布何故反。對曰。往年殺韓信。今年殺彭越。此三人者同功一體之人。自疑禍及其身故反耳。夏侯嬰乃言薛公於上。上召問之。薛公對曰。布出上計。則山東非漢之有也。出中計。勝敗之數未可知。布出下計。陛下高枕而臥耳。上曰。何謂上計。對曰。東取吳。西取楚。并齊與魯。傳檄燕趙。固守其所。山東非漢之有。何謂中計。對曰。東取吳。西取楚。并齊韓。取魏。據敖倉之粟塞成皋之口。勝敗之數。未可見也。何謂下計。東取吳。西取蔡。歸重於越。身歸長沙。陛下無患矣。上曰。此計將安出。曰必出下計。布故驪山徒耳。致萬乘之王。此皆為身。不顧其後。不為百姓萬世之業也。上曰善。封薛公為千戶侯。上遂自征布。赦死罪已下。皆令從軍。立皇子長為淮南王。(Records of Former Han 4, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

The Marquis of Ruyin (Xiahou Ying) asked the former Prefect-Intendant of Chu, Lord Xue, "Why is Qing Bu rebelling?"

Lord Xue said, "Because this year you killed Peng Yue, and last year you killed Han Xin. Peng Yue, Han Xin, and Qing Bu all achieved the same thing on behalf of the dynasty. Yet now the first two are dead, and Qing Bu is suspicious that the same thing is going to happen to him. Why wouldn't he rebel?"

Xiahou Ying mentioned what Lord Xue had said to Liu Bang. So Liu Bang asked Lord Xue for his further thoughts on the rebellion.

Lord Xue told him, "I foresee three possible strategies that Qing Bu could follow. If he uses the best strategy available to him, then the Han dynasty will definitely lose control of the lands east of the mountains. If he uses the next-best strategy, I am not certain which side will emerge victorious. And if he uses the worst strategy, then Your Majesty can rest easy, assured of your success."

Liu Bang asked, "What would be his best strategy?"

Lord Xue replied, "If he were to take the Wu region to his east and the Chu region to his west, take over the Qi region, and capture the Lu region, then fortify his defenses while sending proclamations to the Yan and Zhao regions asking them to join his cause, then you will definitely lose control of all the lands east of the mountains."

Liu Bang asked, "And the next-best strategy?"

Lord Xue continued, "If, after first taking Wu and Chu, Qing Bu were to annex the Qi and Hann regions and capture the Wei region, then seize the grain at the Ao Granary and hold the pass at Chenggao against you, then I am not certain which side would win the struggle."

Liu Bang asked, "And the worst strategy?"

Lord Xue replied, "If, after first taking Wu, Qing Bu were to march west to take Cai while establishing a base for himself in the Yue region and planning to retreat to Changsha if needed, then Your Majesty could rest easy, for Han would have nothing to fear."

Liu Bang asked, "Which of these strategies do you suppose he will follow?"

Lord Xue replied, "He will go with the worst strategy. Qing Bu was originally nothing more than a convict laborer at Mount Li. Although he is now the master of a realm of ten thousand chariots, he still only thinks about himself; he does not plan for the future or consider what is best for the common people in the generations to come."

"Excellent!" said Liu Bang. And he granted Lord Xue a fief of a thousand households. Then he personally led an army to campaign against Qing Bu. He pardoned all criminals up until those sentenced to death and ordered them to join his army.

Liu Bang appointed his son Liu Chang as Prince of Huainan.


是時,上有疾,欲使太子往擊黥布。太子客東園公、綺里季、夏黃公、角里先生說建成侯呂釋之曰︰「太子將兵,有功則位不益,無功則從此受禍矣。君何不急請呂后,承間爲上泣言︰『黥布,天下猛將也,善用兵。今諸將皆陛下故等夷,乃令太子將此屬,無異使羊將狼,莫肯爲用;且使布聞之,則鼓行而西耳。上雖病,強載輜車,臥而護之,諸將不敢不盡力。上雖苦,爲妻子自強!』」於是呂釋之立夜見呂后。呂后承間爲上泣涕而言,如四人意。上曰︰「吾惟豎子固不足遣,而公自行耳。」

20. Since Liu Bang was still sick, he was considering having the Crown Prince, Liu Ying, command the army against Qing Bu.

At this time, there were four men serving as retainers of the Crown Prince's household: Lord Dongyuan, Qi Liji, Lord Xiahuang, and Master Jiaoli. They spoke to the Marquis of Jiancheng, Lü Shi, and advised him, "If the Crown Prince commands the army on this campaign, then even if he is successful he can expect no further benefit for himself, while if he fails then he can expect misfortune. Sir, you ought to hurry to speak to the Empress and ask her to tearfully inform our sovereign, 'Qing Bu is a fierce general and skilled at using soldiers. Besides, the generals leading this campaign are all Your Majesty's old followers, so to place the Crown Prince in charge of them is no different from sending a sheep to command wolves; they would never take orders from him. And if Qing Bu were to hear of it, he would immediately beat the drums and march west against us. So although you are sick, you must at least gather enough strength to ride in a covered wagon with the army and supervise them; even though you would be a mere invalid, the generals would still never dare not to do their utmost for you. You may be ill, but you must be strong for your wife and son!'"

Lü Shi went that very night to speak to Lü Zhi, and she soon took advantage of an opportunity and tearfully spoke to Liu Bang, saying exactly what the four men had proposed.

Liu Bang decided, "I suppose there's no point in sending that brat. I'll just have to do it myself."

〈此所謂四皓也,避秦之亂,隱於商山。《索隱》曰︰按《陳留志》云︰園公,姓唐,字宣明,居園中,因以爲號。夏黃公,姓崔,名廣,字少通,齊人,隱居夏里脩道,故號曰夏黃公。角里先生,河內軹人,太伯之後,姓周,名術,字元道,京師號曰霸上先生,一曰角里先生。角,盧谷翻。〉〈班《志》,建成侯國屬沛郡。〉〈師古曰︰太子嗣君,位已至矣,雖更立功,位無加益。〉〈師古曰︰夷,平也;言故時皆齊等。〉〈師古曰︰輜車,衣車也。〉〈《考異》曰︰《史記》、《漢書》皆云「呂澤夜見呂后」,按《恩澤侯表》有周呂侯澤、建成侯釋之。今此上云建成侯,而下云呂澤,恐誤;當爲釋之是。又《留侯世家》︰「上欲廢太子,立戚夫人子趙王如意,大臣多諫爭,未能得堅決者也。呂后恐,不知所爲。人或謂呂后曰︰『留侯善畫計策,上信用之。』呂后乃使建成侯呂澤劫留侯,曰︰『君常爲上謀臣。今上易太子,君安得高枕而臥乎?』留侯曰︰『始,上數在困急之中,幸用臣策;今天下安定,以愛欲易太子,骨肉之間,雖臣等百餘人何益!』呂澤強要曰︰『爲我畫計。』留侯曰︰『此難以口舌爭也。顧上有不能致者,天下有四人。四人者,年老矣,皆以爲上嫚侮人,故逃匿山中,義不爲漢臣;然上高此四人。今公誠能無愛金、玉、璧、帛,令太子爲書,卑辭安車,因使辯士固請;宜來。來,以爲客,時時從入朝,令上見之,則必異而問之。問之,上知此四人賢,則一助也。』於是呂后令呂澤使人奉太子書,卑辭厚禮,迎此四人。四人至,客建成侯所。上欲使太子擊黥布,四人相謂曰︰『凡來者,將以存太子。太子將兵,事危矣。』乃說建成侯云云。上遂自行。上破布歸,置酒,太子侍。四人從太子,年皆八十有餘,鬚眉皓白,衣冠甚偉。上怪問之,曰『彼何爲者?』四人前對,各言名姓︰曰東園公、角里先生、綺里季、夏黃公。上乃大驚曰︰『吾求公數歲,公辟逃我;今公何自從吾兒游乎?』四人皆曰︰『陛下輕士,善罵,臣等義不受辱,故恐而亡匿。竊聞太子爲人,仁孝,恭敬,愛士,天下莫不延頸欲爲太子死者,故臣等來耳。』上曰︰『煩公幸卒調護太子。』四人爲壽已畢,起去。上目送之,召戚夫人指示四人者曰︰『我欲易之,彼四人輔之,羽翼已成,難動矣!呂氏眞而主矣!』戚夫人泣。上曰︰『爲我楚舞,吾爲若楚歌。』歌曰︰『鴻鵠高飛,一舉千里,羽翮已就,橫絕四海。橫絕四海,當可柰何!雖有繒繳,尚安所施!』歌數闋,戚夫人噓唏流涕。上起去,罷酒。竟不易太子者,留侯本招此四人之力也。」按高祖剛猛伉厲,非畏搢紳譏議者也。但以大臣皆不肯從,恐身後趙王不能獨立,故不爲耳。若決意欲廢太子,立如意,不顧義理,以留侯之久故親信,猶云「非口舌所能爭」,豈山林四叟片言遽能柅其事哉!借使四叟實能柅其事,不過汚高祖數寸之刃耳,何至悲歌云「羽翮已成,繒繳安施」乎!若四叟實能制高祖使不敢廢太子,是留侯爲子立黨以制其父也;留侯豈爲此哉!此特辯士欲夸大四叟之事,故云然;亦猶蘇秦約六國從,秦兵不敢闚函谷關十五年;魯仲連折新垣衍,秦將聞之卻軍五十里耳。凡此之類,皆非事實。司馬遷好奇,多愛而采之,今皆不取。〉〈惟,思也。〉

(These four gentlemen were known as the Four Hao's. They had fled from the chaos during the collapse of Qin and had lived in hermitage at Mount Shang. The Suoyin commentary to the Records of the Grand Historian states, "According to the Records of Chenliu, Lord Yuan's surname was Tang and his style name Xuanming; he lived in a garden, thus his title ('Lord Garden'). Lord Xiahuang's name was Cui Guang, styled Shaotong; he was a native of Qi, and had lived in hermitage at Xiudao in Xiali, thus his title. Master Jiaoli's name was Zhou Shu, styled Yuandao; he was a native of Zhi county in Henei commandary, and was a descendant of Taibo. In the capital region he was known as Master Bashang, or else as Master Jiaoli. The first character of his title, 角, is pronounced 'lu (l-u)'."

According to the Book of Han, the marquisate of Jiancheng was part of Pei commandary.

Yan Shigu remarked, "The four gentlemen were saying that, since the Crown Prince was already the heir, he could not possibly rise any higher in status even if he were successful in the campaign."

The four gentlemen use the term 夷. Yan Shigu remarked, "This term means 'equal'; they were saying that the generals had all once been Liu Bang's equals.”

The thing which the gentlemen recommend Liu Bang ride in was a 輜車. Yan Shigu remarked, "This means a covered wagon."

To suppose is to think.

Sima Guang's commentary in the Textual Analysis states, "I should first note that the Records of the Grand Historian and the Book of Han both state that it was 'Lü Ze' that went to see Lü Zhi during the night. But according to the Table of Noble Marital Relatives, Lü Ze had been appointed as Marquis of Zhoulü, while it was Lü Shi who was appointed as Marquis of Jiancheng. Thus when these passages first identify the person to whom the four gentlemen spoke as the Marquis of Jiancheng, and then identify the same person as Lü Ze, I fear they are mistaken. So I have corrected the account by identifying this person as Lü Shi instead.

"More generally, there is a long account in the Biography of Zhang Liang in the Records of the Grand Historian which has to do with the Four Haos. I shall quote it below, then explain why I chose not to include it:

Liu Bang wanted to set aside the Crown Prince, Liu Ying, and replace him with Liu Ruyi, who was his son by Consort Qi. Many of his chief ministers fiercely remonstrated against this, but they could not shake his determination. Lü Zhi was afraid, but she did not know what to do. Then someone advised her, "The Marquis of Liu (Zhang Liang) is skilled at making plans, and our sovereign trusts him and follows his advice."

So Lü Zhi sent the Marquis of Jiancheng, Lü Ze, to compel Zhang Liang to help them. Lü Ze told him, "Sir, you are always making plans for our sovereign. Now he is going to set aside the Crown Prince. How can you rest easy knowing that?"

Zhang Liang told him, "Our sovereign was inclined to follow my plans before because those were his years of adversity. But now the realm is at peace. Besides, the fact that he favors another son and wants him to be the Crown Prince instead is a family matter. Even if you had more than a hundred men like me, how could we ever get between his flesh and blood?"

But Lü Ze still forced him, saying, "You must think of something for us."

Zhang Liang said, "This is not something that mere rhetoric can solve. But I do know that there are four gentlemen whom our sovereign has always wanted to get, but has not been able to. These four gentlemen are all aged fellows, and since they feel that our sovereign tends to castigate and shame people, they have chosen to live in hermitage among the mountains rather than serve as subjects of Han. But this has only caused our sovereign to value them all the more. If you do not love your gold, jade, and silk too much, then command the Crown Prince to write a letter to these four gentlemen, using humble language, and send them a comfort carriage along with the letter. Then send a skilled speaker to talk to them and reinforce the Crown Prince's request to have them come join him, and they should come. Once they arrive, have them become retainers in the Crown Prince's household, and have them accompany the Crown Prince whenever he attends court so that our sovereign notices them. He will ask around to find out who they are, and when he discovers that they are the four worthy gentlemen he has been seeking, that will help secure the Crown Prince's position."

So Lü Zhi ordered Lü Ze to have someone make the Crown Prince write a letter using humble language and great ceremony, and they welcomed the arrival of the four gentlemen. When the four men came, they became retainers under the Marquis of Jiancheng.

When Liu Bang was planning to have Liu Ying lead the campaign against Qing Bu, the four gentlemen said to one another, "We came here in order to help preserve the Crown Prince. If he commands this campaign, his position will be in danger." So they advised the Marquis of Jiancheng to say such and such, and Liu Bang decided to lead the campaign himself.

After Liu Bang had defeated Qing Bu and returned to the capital, he held a feast, and Liu Ying attended as well. The four gentlemen accompanied Liu Ying to the feast; they were all more than eighty years old by now, their hair and eyes were luminously white, and their hats and clothing were exceptional. Liu Bang marveled at them, and he asked someone, "Who are they?" The four gentlemen stepped forward and gave their names: Lord Dongyuan, Master Jiaoli, Qi Liji, and Lord Xiahuang. Liu Bang was shocked to hear this, and he said to them, "How many years did I ask you gentlemen to join me, and yet you avoided me? Why then are you now in the train of my son?"

They said to him, "Your Majesty never respected gentlemen and liked to be rude to them. We wished to uphold our honor and not endure shame, thus we were afraid of you and hid from you. But we have heard that the Crown Prince is a man of good character: he is benevolent and filial, reverent and respectful, and a friend to gentlemen. There is no one in all the realm who would not stretch out their necks and die on his behalf. Thus we came to join him."

Liu Bang asked, "Then I shall have to trouble you gentlemen to guide and instruct the Crown Prince."

After finishing their toasts to Liu Bang's longevity, the four gentlemen got up and left. Liu Bang watched them leave. Then he called over Consort Qi and, pointing to the four gentlemen, said to her, "I wanted to replace the Crown Prince, but now that he has these four fellows helping him, his wings are already complete. It would be difficult to dislodge him now! The Lü clan will be the masters now!"

Consort Qi began to weep. Liu Bang told her, "Dance a dance of Chu for me, and I will sing a Chu song for you." And he sang, "How high the swan flies, rising for a thousand li. His wings are already complete, he stretches over the Four Seas. Stretching over the Four Seas, how could anyone catch him? Even if you had bindings, how could you take him?" He sang several such stanzas, as Consort Qi sobbed and wept. Then Liu Bang got up and left, and the feast was over.

"Thus ends the account; now for the objections. Gaozu was a determined, fierce, willful, and harsh man; he was not the sort to be afraid of the talking of his government ministers. But none of the chief ministers were willing to go along with his scheme to make the Prince of Zhao (Liu Ruyi) the new Crown Prince. Gaozu must have abandoned the plan simply because he was afraid that the Prince of Zhao would not be able to rule without any support after he himself was dead. And if he were still absolutely determined to set aside the Crown Prince and have Liu Ruyi succeed him instead, he would not have been convinced otherwise by appeals to righteousness. The Marquis of Liu, who had certainly been close to him for a long time, is even quoted in this account as saying that 'this is not something that mere rhetoric can solve'. How then could a few words from some old geezers out of the wild have possibly convinced him to change his mind? Even if these geezers really could have convinced Gaozu, it would have troubled him no more than a few inches of dirt on his blade; how could he have been driven to such emotion as to sing such things as 'His wings are already complete; even if you had bindings, how could you take him'? Besides, if these geezers had really made Gaozu feel that he would not dare to set aside the Crown Prince, that would have meant that the Marquis of Liu had acted as a partisan of the son to manipulate the father. Would he ever have done such a thing?

“The whole account is just a bunch of nonsense by debaters who wanted to exaggerate the reputation of these four gentlemen. It is the same sort of nonsense that gives rise to such claims as 'Su Qin forged an alliance of the Six States, so the Qin soldiers did not dare to venture out of Hangu Pass for fifteen years,' or, 'Lu Zhonglian defeated Xinyuan Yan in a debate, and when the Qin generals heard it they retreated for fifteen li'. There is no substance to such accounts. Sima Qian loved a good story, and he was inclined to include many of them in his history. But I do not include them.")


初上欲廢太子。呂后聞之。使留侯為太子計。留侯曰。上有所不能致者四人。曰東園公。夏黃公。用里先生。綺里季。皆逃在山中。然上高之。今令太子卑辭安車。迎此四人來以為客。時隨入朝。則一助也。呂后從其計。四人果來。年皆八十。鬚眉皓白。故謂之四皓。初黥布反時。上欲使太子將兵擊布。四人相謂曰。凡來將以安太子。太子將兵。事危矣。有功則位無益也。無功從此受禍。乃令呂后對上泣涕。而言黥布善為兵。諸將皆陛下故人。今乃令太子獨將兵擊之。恐諸將莫肯為用。且懼布聞之。鼓行而西耳。陛下雖疾。彊載輜車臥而護之。諸將不敢不盡力。上乃自行... 上雖聽之。而心欲廢太子。及讌置酒。太子侍。四人從。上怪而問之。四人前對。各言姓名。上乃驚曰。吾召公等不奉詔。今侍太子者何。四人對曰。陛下喜罵輕士。臣等義不受辱。故亡。今聞太子仁孝。愛人敬士。天下莫不延頸願為太子死者。臣等故來。上曰煩公等幸卒調護太子。四人退。上召戚夫人指示曰。吾欲易太子。彼四人者為之輔。羽翼已成。難搖動也。太子遂定。(Records of Former Han 4, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

Earlier, Liu Bang had wanted to set aside the Crown Prince, Liu Ying. When Lü Zhi heard this, she had compelled the Marquis of Liu (Zhang Liang) to develop a plan for the Crown Prince.

Zhang Liang said, "There are four gentlemen whom our sovereign has always wanted to get, but has not been able to: Lord Dongyuan, Master Yongli, Qi Liji, and Lord Xiahuang. These four gentlemen are all mere hermits, but this has only caused our sovereign to value them all the more. You should now command the Crown Prince to write a letter to these four gentlemen, using humble language, and send them a comfort carriage along with the letter so that they will come to join him as his retainers. Then have them accompany the Crown Prince whenever he attends court. That will help secure the Crown Prince's position."

Lü Zhi did as Zhang Liang advised, and the four gentlemen indeed came. They were all eighty years old by now, and their hair and eyes were luminously white. Thus they were called the Four Haos ("Luminescences").

Earlier, during Qing Bu's rebellion, Liu Bang was planning to have Liu Ying lead the campaign against Qing Bu. The four gentlemen said to one another, "We came here in order to help preserve the Crown Prince. If he commands this campaign, his position will be in danger. Even if he is successful he can expect no further benefit for himself, while if he fails then he can expect misfortune."

So they ordered Lü Zhi to tearfully tell Liu Bang, "Qing Bu is skilled at using soldiers, while the generals leading this campaign are all Your Majesty's old followers. Yet you would send the Crown Prince alone to command them to attack Qing Bu. I fear they would never take orders from him. Besides, I am afraid that if Qing Bu were to hear of it, he would immediately beat the drums and march west against us. So although you are sick, you must at least gather enough strength to ride in a covered wagon with the army and supervise them; even though you would be a mere invalid, the generals would still never dare not to do their utmost for you." Liu Bang thus decided to lead the campaign himself.

Later, although Liu Bang said that he agreed with Shusun Tong's remonstration against replacing the Crown Prince, in his heart he still wanted to set aside the Crown Prince.

Liu Bang held a feast. The Crown Prince came to attend the feast, and the Four Haos accompanied him. Liu Bang marveled at them, and he asked who they were. The four gentlemen stepped forward and gave their names. Liu Bang was shocked, and he said to them, "Why is it that you gentlemen did not heed my edict summoning you to join me, yet now I find you in the train of my son?"

They said to him, "Your Majesty liked to be rude and belittle gentlemen. We wished to uphold our honor and not endure shame, thus we hid from you. But we have heard that the Crown Prince is a man of good character: he is benevolent and filial, loves the people, and respects gentlemen. There is no one in all the realm who would not stretch out their necks and die on his behalf. Thus we came to join him."

Liu Bang asked, "Then I shall have to trouble you gentlemen to protect and instruct the Crown Prince."

After the four gentlemen left, Liu Bang called over Consort Qi and, pointing to the four gentlemen, said to her, "I wanted to replace the Crown Prince, but now that he has these four fellows helping him, his wings are already complete. It would be difficult to dislodge him now."

Thus the Crown Prince's position was secured.


於是上自將兵而東,羣臣居守,皆送至霸上。留侯病,自強起,至曲郵,見上曰︰「臣宜從,病甚。楚人剽疾,願上無與爭鋒!」因說上令太子爲將軍,監關中兵。上曰︰「子房雖病,強臥而傅太子。」是時,叔孫通爲太傅,留侯行少傅事。發上郡、北地、隴西車騎、巴蜀材官及中尉卒三萬人爲皇太子衞,軍霸上。

21. As Liu Bang began to lead his army east for the campaign, the ministers who were going to remain behind in the capital escorted him as far as Bashang. Zhang Liang too had been seriously ill, but he gathered enough strength to rise from his sickbed to escort Liu Bang as far as Quyou. He said to Liu Bang, "I ought to be going with you, but I am too ill to go. But let me warn you: the people of Chu are full of zeal, and you should not clash with them head-on!"

Zhang Liang advised Liu Bang to appoint Liu Ying as a general and place him in command of the soldiers remaining behind at Guanzhong. Liu Bang told him, "Zifang, though you are ill, be strong enough to help guide the Crown Prince." Since at this time Shusun Tong was the Grand Tutor to the Crown Prince, Liu Bang appointed Zhang Liang as the provisional Lesser Tutor. And he had the carts and cavalry from Shang, Beidi, and Longxi commandaries, the reserves from the Ba and Shu regions, and the thirty thousand soldiers of the Palace Commandant organized as the guards of the Crown Prince and had them camp at Bashang.

〈司馬彪曰︰長安縣東有曲郵聚。《索隱》曰︰今在新豐西,俗謂之郵頭。《漢書舊儀》云︰五里一郵,郵人居間相去一里半。按郵乃今之候也。〉〈班《志》︰太子太傅、少傅,古官。予據古世子有三師、三少,至漢惟太傅、少傅耳。〉〈應劭曰︰材官,有材力者。《漢官儀》曰︰民年二十三爲正,一歲爲衞士,二歲爲材官、騎士,習射、御、騎馳、戰陳,常以八月,太守、都尉、令、長、丞、尉會都試,課殿最;水處則習船;邊郡將萬騎行障塞,烽火,追虜。師古曰︰車,常擬軍興者,若近代之戎車也;騎,常所養馬,幷其人使行充騎,若今武馬及所養者主也;至光武罷省。班《表》︰中尉,秦官,掌徼循京師;武帝太初元年,更名執金吾。〉

(Regarding 曲郵 Quyou, Sima Biao remarked, "There was a Quyou Gathering Place east of Chang'an county." The Suoyin commentary to the Records of the Grand Historian states, "It is now west of Xinfeng, and is commonly called Qutou." The Explanations of Old Things of the Book of Han states, "There was one 郵 'post station' every five li, and the people of the 郵 lived a li and a half apart from one another." So 郵 must be the equivalent of the modern term 候.

The Book of Han states, "The offices of Grand Tutor and Lesser Tutor to the Crown Prince have existed since ancient times. I (Ban Gu) note that in ancient times, there were Three Instructors and Three Lessers, but by the time of the Han dynasty there are only the two Grand and Lesser Tutors."

This passage refers to 材官 "reserves" from Ba and Shu. Ying Shao remarked, "They are called 材官 because of the 材力 'capabilities' that they have." The Rites of Han Offices states, "People are drafted into active service for one year upon reaching the age of twenty-two, then serve as guards for two years, then serve as reserves or riders. They practice archery, defenses, riding, and battle formations. Usually, in the eighth month of each year, the Administrators, Commandants, Prefects, Chiefs, Ministers, and lesser Commandants will assemble them in the capital to drill them and instruct them in the rear of the palace. Water regions will train with boats as well. Border commandaries will lead ten thousand cavalry to march out through the border passes, light signal fires, and chase off the nearby tribes."

Yan Shigu remarked, "'Carts' refers to vehicles built for military purposes, what we would now call war-carts; 'cavalry' means horses raised for the army, along with the people trained to ride them, what we would now call war-horses and their trainers. These things existed all during the Former Han dynasty, but were abolished by the era of Emperor Guangwu of Han."

According to the Book of Han, the Palace Commandant had been a Qin office, and it was in charge of security in the capital region. In Emperor Wu of Han's first year of Taichu (104 BC), it was renamed to Bearer of the Gilded Mace.)


布之初反,謂其將曰︰「上老矣,厭兵,必不能來。使諸將,諸將獨患淮陰、彭越,今皆已死,餘不足畏也。」故遂反。果如薛公之言,東擊荊。荊王賈走死富陵;盡劫其兵,渡淮擊楚。楚發兵與戰徐、僮間,爲三軍,欲以相救爲奇。或說楚將曰︰「布善用兵,民素畏之。且兵法︰『諸侯自戰其地爲散地』,今別爲三,彼敗吾一軍,餘皆走,安能相救!」不聽。布果破其一軍,其二軍散走;布遂引兵而西。

22. When Qing Bu had first begun his rebellion, he had told his generals, "Our sovereign is an old man by now, and tired of war. He won't come in person; he'll send some general to do the job for him. But his only generals of note were the Marquis of Huaiyin (Han Xin) and Peng Yue, and they're both dead now, so the rest aren't worth worrying about." Thus he launched his rebellion.

As Lord Xue had predicted, Qing Bu's first move was to march east to attack Liu Jia's domain. Liu Jia fled to Fuling, where he died. Qing Bu took over all of his forces.

Next, Qing Bu crossed the Huai River and attacked the Chu region. The forces of the Prince of Chu marched to face the rebels between Xu and Tong. They split into three groups, planning to support one another for some strategy. Someone advised the Chu generals, "Qing Bu is skilled at using soldiers, and the people have always feared him. Besides, the Art of War states that 'when the feudal lords fight on their own territory, their soldiers will be inclined to scatter'. Now that you have split our forces into three, if the enemy defeats one of these groups, the others will scatter. Then how could they support one another?" But the generals did not listen. And indeed, after Qing Bu routed one of these groups, the other two scattered and fled.

Qing Bu then led his soldiers further west.

〈班《志》,富陵縣屬臨淮郡。《括地志》︰富陵故城,在楚州盱眙縣東北六十里。〉〈班《志》,臨淮郡有徐縣、僮縣,楚蓋發兵與布戰於二縣之間。杜預曰︰徐在下邳僮縣東。《括地志》︰大徐城在泗州徐城縣北四十里,古徐國也。〉〈師古曰︰不聚一處而分爲三,欲互相救,出奇譎。〉

(According to the Book of Han, Fuling county was part of Linhuai commandary. The Comprehensive Gazetteer states, "The capital city of Fuling was sixty li northeast of Xuyi county in modern Chuzhou."

According to the Book of Han, Linhuai commandary contained the counties of Xu and Tong. The Chu army must have mustered their forces to face Qing Bu between these two counties. Du Yu remarked, "Xu was east of Tong county in Xiapi commandary." The Comprehensive Gazetteer states, "The city of Daxu was forty li north of Xucheng county in Sizhou; in ancient times it had been the state of Xu."

Regarding the Chu army's tactics, Yan Shigu remarked, "They must have split into three groups instead of concentrating as one because they wanted to support another for some deceptive maneuver.")


秋淮南王黥布謀反。謂其將曰。上老矣。厭兵。必不能自來。諸將獨韓信與彭越。今皆死矣。餘不足畏。遂反... 布果東擊楚。楚王分軍為三。欲以相救為奇兵。或謂楚將曰。諸侯自戰其地為散地。今分軍為三。布散其一。兩軍散走。安能相救。不聽。布果敗其一軍。而二軍皆走。(Records of Former Han 4, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

In the autumn, the King of Huainan, Qing Bu, plotted rebellion. He said to his generals, "Our sovereign is an old man by now, and tired of war. He won't come in person; he'll send some general to do the job for him. But his only generals of note were Han Xin and Peng Yue, and they're both dead now, so the rest aren't worth worrying about." Thus he launched his rebellion.

As Lord Xue had predicted, Qing Bu's first move was to march east to attack the Chu region. The forces of the Prince of Chu split into three groups, planning to support one another for some strategy. Someone advised the Chu generals, "It is said that 'when the feudal lords fight on their own territory, their soldiers will be inclined to scatter'. Now that you have split our forces into three, if Qing Bu defeats one of these groups, the others will scatter. Then how could they support one another?" But the generals did not listen. And indeed, after Qing Bu routed one of these groups, the other two scattered and fled.
Last edited by Taishi Ci 2.0 on Sun Nov 17, 2019 8:53 pm, edited 8 times in total.
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BOOK 12

Unread postby Taishi Ci 2.0 » Mon Nov 11, 2019 4:25 am

十二年(丙午、前一九五)

The Twelfth Year of Liu Bang's Reign (The Bingwu Year, 195 BC)


冬,十月,上與布軍遇於蘄西,布兵精甚。上壁庸城,望布軍置陳如項籍,上惡之。與布相望見,遙謂布曰︰「何苦而反?」布曰︰「欲爲帝耳!」上怒罵之,遂大戰。布軍敗走,渡淮,數止,戰不利,與百餘人走江南,上令別將追之。

1. In winter, the tenth month (of 196 BC), Liu Bang's army encountered Qing Bu's army west of Qi. Qing Bu's troops were exceptionally skilled, so Liu Bang fortified the walls of Tangcheng. When he looked out at the rebels, he saw that Qing Bu's army had adopted the same formation that Xiang Yu had once used. This greatly disturbed Liu Bang. He spotted Qing Bu from far off, and he called out to him, "What grievance has caused you to rebel?"

Qing Bu yelled back, "I just want to be the Emperor!"

Liu Bang, angered, castigated him.

The two sides fought a great battle. Qing Bu's army was defeated and scattered. Qing Bu led his forces back across the Huai River. He tried to halt and resume the fight several times, but he always had the worst of the fighting. Eventually, he fled south of the Yangzi with about a hundred riders. Liu Bang sent other generals to pursue him.

〈班《志》,蘄縣屬沛郡。〉〈以布軍銳甚,故堅壁以挫之。庸城,地名,必亦在蘄縣西。〉

(According to the Book of Han, Qi county was part of Pei commandary.

Qing Bu's army was exceptionally skilled, thus Liu Bang fortified his ramparts to blunt their attack.

Tangcheng was also the name of a place; it must have also been west of Qi county.)


布遂與帝遇于齊西會简。布兵精甚。其置陣如項羽軍。上惡之。上謂布曰。何苦反。布曰。我欲為帝耳。上罵之。遂戰。布敗。十二年冬十月。上破布軍。布走江南。(Records of Former Han 4, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

Liu Bang's army encountered Qing Bu's army west of Qi. Qing Bu's troops were exceptionally skilled, and his army adopted the same formation that Xiang Yu had once used. This greatly disturbed Liu Bang. He said to Qing Bu, "What grievance has caused you to rebel?"

Qing Bu yelled back, "I just want to be the Emperor!"

Liu Bang castigated him.

The two sides fought. Qing Bu was defeated.

In the twelfth year of Liu Bang's reign (195 BC), in winter, the tenth month (of 196 BC), Liu Bang routed Qing Bu's army. Qing Bu fled south of the Yangzi.


上還,過沛,留,置酒沛宮,悉召故人、父老、諸母、子弟佐酒,道舊故爲笑樂。酒酣,上自爲歌,起舞,慷慨傷懷,泣數行下,謂沛父兄曰︰「游子悲故鄕。朕自沛公以誅暴逆,遂有天下;其以沛爲朕湯沐邑,復其民,世世無有所與。」樂飲十餘日,乃去。

2. As Liu Bang was returning from the campaign against Qing Bu, he passed through Pei. He stopped there and held a feast in the palace at Pei, where he summoned all his old associates, the elders and fathers of the city, and the women and young people too. The streets were filled with the laughter and music of his old associates.

After becoming mellow with wine, Liu Bang began to sing and dance. He was so moved by melancholy that tears ran down his face. He said to the elders of Pei, "The wandering youth is always sad when he returns home. I rose from being Duke of Pei to executing the wicked traitors and gaining the whole realm. So let Pei be my own personal town, the source of hot water to wash my hair. I shall exempt the people of Pei from taxes and labor for the rest of time."

Liu Bang feasted and enjoyed himself in Pei for more than ten days before departing.

〈《括地志》︰沛宮故地,在徐州沛縣東南二十里一十步。〉〈應劭曰︰不醒、不醉曰酣;一曰︰酣,洽也。〉〈師古曰︰游子,行客也。悲,謂顧念也。〉〈復除其民,不豫賦役。與,讀曰預。〉

(The Comprehensive Gazetteer states, "The old palace at Pei was twenty li and ten paces southeast of Pei county in modern Xuzhou."

This passage describes Liu Bang as becoming 酣 "mellow". Ying Shao remarked, "This means to be neither sober nor quite drunk. It is also said that it means to be in harmony."

Yan Shigu remarked, "A wanderer is a traveling guest. He was melancholy in that being home made his mind think about it."

Liu Bang was exempting the people of Pei from taxation or corvee labor.)


上還過沛。悉召故人父老子弟置酒。上自歌曰。大風起兮雲飛揚。威加海內兮歸故鄉。安得猛士兮守四方。上乃起舞。慷慨傷懷。泣數行下。歎息曰。游子悲故鄉。吾萬歲之後。魂魄猶思沛。其以沛為朕湯沐邑。復其人。世無所與。又以豐比沛。既至長安。立豐縣。豐之枌榆故廬社。皆如舊制也。(Records of Former Han 4, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

As Liu Bang was returning from the campaign against Qing Bu, he passed through Pei. He stopped there and held a feast in the palace at Pei, where he summoned all his old associates, the elders and fathers of the city, and the young people too.

Liu Bang sang a song about himself. He sang, "A great wind rose; my cloud took flight. All within the seas now feel my might. Now I return to my old hometown. Where shall I find warriors of renown? The corners of the realm will need good men, bold and strong, to it defend."

Liu Bang then got up to dance. He was so moved by melancholy that tears ran down his face. He sighed as he said, "The wandering youth is always sad when he returns home. Even ten thousand years from now, my spirit will still think of Pei." So he made Pei his own personal town, and he exempted the people of Pei from taxes and labor for the rest of time.

Liu Bang also had much regard for Feng; it was a place as familiar to him as Pei. So when he returned to Chang'an, Liu Bang established a new Feng county, and the trees and buildings of this new Feng were laid out just like the original Feng.


漢別將擊英布軍洮水南、北,皆大破之。布故與番君婚,以故長沙成王臣使人誘布,僞欲與亡走越,布信而隨之。番陽人殺布茲鄕民田舍。

3. The Han generals pursuing Qing Bu attacked his forces on the north and south sides of the Tao River.

Qing Bu was the brother-in-law of the King of Changsha, Wu Chen. Wu Chen thus sent envoys to trick Qing Bu into passing through his domain by making Qing Bu think that he could then flee further into the Yue region. Qing Bu trusted Wu Chen's promise and went with the envoys. But a native of Poyang killed Qing Bu at the home of a farmer in Zixiang.

〈蘇林曰︰洮,音兆。徐廣曰︰洮,音道,在江、淮間。余據布軍旣敗走江南,則洮水當在江南。羅含《湘中記》︰零陵有洮水。《水經註》︰洮水出洮陽縣西南,東流注于湘水。如淳《註》︰洮陽之洮,音韜。蓋布舊與長沙王婚,其敗也,往從之,而洮水又在長沙境內,疑近是也。杜佑曰︰漢洮陽縣城在永州湘源縣西北。按今全州,漢洮陽縣地,有洮水,在清湘縣北。〉〈師古曰︰茲鄕,鄡陽縣之鄕也。班《志》,鄡陽縣屬豫章郡。鄡,古么翻。余據《史記》及《漢書‧高紀》,皆言「追斬布番陽」,竊意茲鄕當在番陽界,非鄡陽。〉

(Regarding the Tao River, Su Lin remarked, "It is pronounced 'zhao'." Xu Guang remarked, "It is pronounced 'dao'. It was between the Yangzi and the Huai River." But I (Hu Sanxing) note that we have just read above that after his army was defeated, Qing Bu had fled south of the Yangzi already. So the Tao River must have been south of the Yangzi. Luo Han's Records of the Xiang River Region states, "There is a Tao River in Lingling commandary." The Commentary on the Water Classic states, "The Tao River emerges southwest of Taoyang ('north of the Tao River') county, then flows east until it joins with the Xiang River." Ru Chun's Annotations states, "The first character of Taoyang, 洮, is pronounced 'tao'. It must've been the case that, since Qing Bu was Wu Chen's brother-in-law and was heading for his domain after being defeated, and the Tao River was within Wu Chen's domain, it must've been nearby." Du You remarked, "The capital city of Han's Taoyang county was northwest of Xiangyuan county in Yongzhou." The modern Quanzhou was the same area as Han's Taoyang county, and there is a Tao River there, north of Qingxiang county.

Regarding Zixiang, Yan Shigu remarked, "This was a district in Qiaoyang county, and the Book of Han states that Qiaoyang county was part of Yuzhang commandary. The first character of Qiaoyang, is pronounced 'ge (g-e)'." But I (Hu Sanxing) note that both the Records of the Grand Historian and the Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang) in the Book of Han state that "Qing Bu was pursued to Poyang and beheaded there". I suspect that Zixiang was a place within Poyang in general, and not specifically in Qiaoyang county.")


長沙王使人殺之。(Records of Former Han 4, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

The King of Changsha (Wu Chen) sent agents to kill Qing Bu.


周勃悉定代郡、鴈門、雲中地,斬陳豨於當城。

4. Zhou Bo pacified the commandaries of Dai, Yanmen, and Yunzhong. He took Chen Xi's head at Dangcheng.

〈班《志》,當城縣屬代郡。闞駰《十三州記》︰當城在高柳東八十里;縣當桓都山作城,故曰當城。《史記正義》曰︰當城在朔州定襄縣界。《考異》曰︰《盧綰傳》云︰「漢使樊噲擊斬豨」,按斬豨者周勃,非樊噲也。〉

(According to the Book of Han, Dangcheng county was part of Dai commandary. Kan Yin's Records of the Thirteen Provinces states, "Dangcheng was eighty li east of Gaoliu; it was built at Mount Huandu, thus its name." The Zhengyi commentary to the Records of the Grand Historian states, "Dangcheng was within the current area of Dingxiang county in Shuozhou."

Sima Guang's commentary in the Textual Analysis states, "The Biography of Lu Wan states that 'Han sent Fan Kuai to attack Chen Xi, and Fan Kuai took his head'. But the person who took Chen Xi's head was Zhou Bo, not Fan Kuai.")


周勃定代斬陳豨。(Records of Former Han 4, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

Zhou Bo settled the Dai region and took Chen Xi's head.


上以荊王賈無後,更以荊爲吳國;辛丑,立兄仲之子濞爲吳王,王三郡、五十三城。

5. Since Liu Jia had died without any heirs, the title Prince of Jing was left empty. Liu Bang decided to rename the title to the Prince of Wu, and on the day Xinchou, he appointed Liu Bi, the son of his elder brother Liu Zhong, as the Prince of Wu. Liu Bi was granted three commandaries and fifty-three cities as his domain.

〈服虔曰︰濞,音帔,普懿翻。〉〈爲後濞以吳反張本。〉

(Fu Qian remarked, "Liu Bi's given name, 濞, is pronounced 'pei' or 'pi (p-i)'."

This was why Liu Bi was later able to rebel against the dynasty, during the Rebellion of the Seven States.)


上立沛侯濞為吳王。濞者。郃陽侯仲之子也。已拜。上相曰。汝面狀有反相。漢後五十年東南有亂。豈非汝也。然天下一家。慎勿反也。濞頓首曰不敢。(Records of Former Han 4, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

Liu Bang appointed the Marquis of Pei, Liu Bi, as Prince of Wu. This Liu Bi was the son of the Marquis of Heyang, Liu Zhong.

After granting Liu Bi this appointment, Liu Bang studied his face. He told Liu Bi, "You have the look of a rebel about you. If the Han dynasty experiences a rebellion in the southeast in fifty years, you'd be the cause of it, wouldn't you? But remember, the realm is all one family now. Be cautious, and do not rebel."

Liu Bi kowtowed to him and said, "I would not dare to do so."


十一月,上過魯,以太牢祠孔子。

6. In the eleventh month (of 196 BC), Liu Bang passed through Lu, where he offered a Grand Sacrifice to the spirit of Confucius.

上過魯。以大牢祀孔子。(Records of Former Han 4, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

Liu Bang passed through Lu, where he offered a Grand Sacrifice to the spirit of Confucius.


上從破黥布歸,疾益甚,愈欲易太子。張良諫不聽,因疾不視事。叔孫通諫曰︰「昔者晉獻公以驪姬之故,廢太子,立奚齊,晉國亂者數十年,爲天下笑。秦以不蚤定扶蘇,令趙高得以詐立胡亥,自使滅祀,此陛下所親見。今太子仁孝,天下皆聞之。呂后與陛下攻苦食啖,其可背哉!陛下必欲廢適而立少,臣願先伏誅,以頸血汙地!」帝曰︰「公罷矣,吾直戲耳!」叔孫通曰︰「太子,天下本,本一搖,天下振動;柰何以天下爲戲乎?」時大臣固爭者多;上知羣臣心皆不附趙王,乃止不立。

7. After returning to Chang'an from his triumph against Qing Bu, Liu Bang's illness became even more severe. He once again began thinking about replacing Liu Ying as Crown Prince with Liu Ruyi. Zhang Liang tried to remonstrate with him, but Liu Bang would not listen. Thus Zhang Liang withdrew from affairs on account of illness.

Shusun Tong then remonstrated with Liu Bang, saying, "In ancient times, Duke Xian of Jin listened to the pleading of Consort Li by putting aside his Crown Prince and making Xiqi his heir instead. That led to decades of civil strife within Jin, and they became the laughingstock of the realm. And in more recent times, the First Emperor of Qin did not confirm his eldest son Ying Fusu as his heir, which gave Zhao Gao the opportunity to place Ying Huhai upon the throne instead. That led to the destruction of the dynasty; Your Majesty saw this happen with your own eyes.

"Now all the realm has heard of the Crown Prince's reputation as a benevolent and filial young man. Besides, Empress Lü was with you in your days of poverty and struggle. How could you turn your back on her and her son now? If Your Majesty truly intends to set aside the son of the lawful wife and exalt a younger son in his stead, then I ask that you first execute me and let the blood from my neck stain the ground!"

Liu Bang said, "Relax, Sir; it was only a jest!"

Shusun Tong replied, "The selection of a Crown Prince is the foundation of the whole realm; when the foundation is shifted, the whole realm shakes. How could you look upon the realm as a mere jest?"

And most of the chief ministers fiercely argued against setting aside Liu Ying as well. Liu Bang knew that none of them would support Liu Ruyi if he were made the heir, so he finally gave up the idea for good.

〈良先行太子少傅事,以諫不聽,因稱疾不肯視事。〉〈晉獻公嬖驪姬,欲立其子,故廢太子申生,而以驪姬之子奚齊屬荀息而立之。公薨,里克殺奚齊。荀息立其弟卓子。里克殺卓子,迎立惠公。惠公爲秦所執,旣歸而薨,子懷公立。秦納文公而殺懷公,晉乃定。〉〈事見《秦紀》。〉〈徐廣曰︰攻,猶今人言擊也。「啖」,一作「淡」。如淳曰︰食無菜茹爲啖。師古曰「啖」,當作「淡」;淡,謂無味之食也。言共攻擊勤苦之事,食無味之食也。孔文祥曰︰與帝俱攻冒苦難,俱食淡也。或曰︰攻,治也。余按《周禮‧丱人註》︰物地占其形色,知鹹啖也。《釋文》︰啖,《疏》作「鹹淡」。則知「啖」、「淡」古字通用。〉〈適謂太子,少謂趙王。〉

(Zhang Liang was remonstrating with Liu Bang in his capacity as provisional Lesser Tutor to the Crown Prince. But after Liu Bang refused to listen to him, Zhang Liang claimed illness and could no longer bear to be involved in affairs.

Duke Xian of Jin had favored Consort Li, and he wanted to make her son his heir. So he set aside his Crown Prince, Shensheng, and made Consort Li's son Xiqi his heir instead, under the supervision of Xun Xi. After Duke Xian passed away, Li Ke killed Xiqi. Xun Xi supported Xiqi's younger brother Zhuozi (the Lamented Youth) as the new Duke. But then Li Ke killed Zhuozi, then welcomed and acclaimed Yiwu as Duke Hui. Duke Hui was later captured by Qin, and though he returned to Jin, he too passed away; his son Duke Huai succeeded him. But Qin, who had been harboring Duke Xian's son Chong'er, killed Duke Huai and supported Chong'er as the new duke; he was Duke Wen of Jin. Only once Duke Wen came to power did the civil strife in Jin finally end.

Zhao Gao's manipulation of the Qin succession to have Ying Huhai succeed the First Emperor of Qin is mentioned in the Qin dynasty section of the Zizhi Tongjian (Book 7).

Shusun Tong tells Liu Bang that Lü Zhi has 攻苦食啖 with him. Xu Guang remarked, "To 攻 'strike' is what we would now call to 擊 'hit'. And 啖 'to eat' is also written as 淡 'bland, tasteless'." Ru Chun remarked, "啖 means 'to eat without vegetables', but Yan Shigu says that 啖 ought to be 淡, which means 'to eat something bland or flavorless'. Shusun Tong was saying that Lü Zhi had shared Liu Bang's experiences of enduring struggle and eating bland food." Kong Wenxiang remarked, "He was saying that both of them had endured difficulty and eaten bland food. Some say that 攻 in this case means 'to deal with'." I (Hu Sanxing) note that the Annotations on Young People in the Rites of Zhou has the passage, "They inspect the shape and color of it to see if it is salty or 啖", and the Shuowen dictionary states that "啖 is written as 淡 'bland' in the text 疏." So from this we know that in ancient times, these two characters were interchangeable.

The "son of the lawful wife" was the Crown Prince, and the "younger son" was Liu Ruyi.)


及還。其疾稍愈。欲易太子。太保叔孫通固諫曰。晉獻公以驪姬故。廢太子申生而立奚齊。晉國大亂數十年。秦不早定扶蘇。胡亥詐詔自立。使滅絕秦祀。臣敢以死爭之。(Records of Former Han 4, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

After returning to Chang'an from his triumph against Qing Bu, Liu Bang's illness became even more severe. He once again began thinking about replacing Liu Ying as Crown Prince.

The Grand Guardian, Shusun Tong, remonstrated with Liu Bang, saying, "In ancient times, Duke Xian of Jin listened to the pleading of Consort Li by putting aside his Crown Prince, Shensheng, and making Xiqi his heir instead. That led to decades of civil strife within Jin. And in more recent times, the First Emperor of Qin did not confirm his eldest son Ying Fusu as his heir, which allowed Ying Huhai to forge an edict and set himself up instead. That led to the destruction of the dynasty. Thus I dare to oppose your wishes, even to the death."


相國何以長安地陿,上林中多空地,棄;願令民得入田,毋收稾,爲禽獸食。上大怒曰︰「相國多受賈人財物,乃爲請吾苑!」下相國廷尉,械繫之。數日,王衞尉侍,前問曰︰「相國何大罪,陛下繫之暴也?」上曰︰「吾聞李斯相秦皇帝,有善歸主,有惡自與。今相國多受賈豎金,而爲之請吾苑以自媚於民,故繫治之。」王衞尉曰︰「夫職事苟有便於民而請之,眞宰相事;陛下柰何乃疑相國受賈人錢乎?且陛下距楚數歲,陳豨、黥布反,陛下自將而往;當是時,相國守關中,關中搖足,則關以西非陛下有也!相國不以此時爲利,今乃利賈人之金乎?且秦以不聞其過亡天下;李斯之分過,又何足法哉!陛下何疑宰相之淺也!」帝不懌。是日,使使持節赦出相國。相國年老,素恭謹,入,徒跣謝。帝曰︰「相國休矣!相國爲民請苑,吾不許;我不過爲桀、紂主,而相國爲賢相。吾故繫相國,欲令百姓聞吾過也。」

8. Xiao He felt that the land immediately around Chang'an was too cramped to support the common people, while much of the land at Liu Bang's private parks at Shanglin was empty and not being used. So he wanted to allow the people to move into the park lands and turn them into farms, and instead of gathering up their straw as taxes, he wanted to let them use it as fodder for their livestock. But Liu Bang was furious when he heard this request. He fumed, "The Chancellor of State was already taking bribes from merchants, and now he wants me to hand over my park lands to the people!" And he handed Xiao He over to the Minister of Justice, who had him tied and bound.

Several days later, when Wang Weishu was attending upon Liu Bang, he stepped forward and said to him, "What great crime has the Chancellor of State committed, that Your Majesty became so angry that you had him tied up?”

Liu Bang said, "I have heard that when Li Si served as Chancellor to the First Emperor of Qin, whenever something good happened, he attributed it to his sovereign, but whenever something bad happened, he took the blame himself. Now the Chancellor of State has been accepting filthy lucre from merchants, and he asked me to give up my parks just to curry favor with the people. That's why I had him tied up and questioned."

Wang Weishu replied, "It is the true duty of a grand minister, if he perceives that something would benefit the people, to ask for the sovereign to do it. Why would Your Majesty be so suspicious of the Chancellor of State's request that you even believe that he has taken bribes from merchants? Besides, Your Majesty was at war with Chu for several years, and you went in person to deal with the rebellions of Chen Xi and Qing Bu. All those times that you were away, the Chancellor of State was protecting Guanzhong for you. If he had allowed any disturbance to happen in Guanzhong, all the lands west of Hangu Pass would have been lost to you! Yet the Chancellor of State never took advantage of those circumstances in order to gain things for himself. So then why would he be interested in taking gold from merchants now? Furthermore, it was because the rulers of Qin never had to hear about their faults that they lost control of the realm. Why should Li Si's arrangement have been a good thing for the law? And why does Your Majesty think so little of your Chancellor of State?"

Liu Bang was downcast upon hearing this rebuke. That very day, he sent an agent bearing a Staff of Authority to pardon Xiao He and free him. By this time, Xiao He was an older man, but he was still as reverent and cautious as he had ever been, and when he came in to see Liu Bang, he knelt down and asked forgiveness. But Liu Bang told him, "Be at ease, my Chancellor! You were thinking of the people's good when you asked me to let them use my park lands. In making your request, you were acting as a worthy chancellor, while in refusing it, I showed myself to be no better as a ruler than Jie of Xia or King Zhou of Shang. I only had you tied up so that the people would hear of my faults."

〈陿,與狹同。〉〈師古曰︰稾,禾稈也,言恣人田之,不收其稾稅也。《索隱》曰︰苗子還種田人,收稾入官。〉〈師古曰︰前問,謂進而請也。〉〈師古曰︰媚,愛也;求愛於民。〉〈師古曰︰懌,悅也;感尉之言,故慙悔而不悅也。〉

(In this passage, 陿 should be read as 狹 "cramped".

This passage states that Xiao He proposed not gathering up the 稾. Yan Shigu remarked, "This means the straw. Xiao He wanted to let the people have full liberty to farm the land, and to not take their straw as taxes." The Suoyin commentary to the Records of the Grand Historian states, "Seedlings were still of use to farmers, and they were gathered up as straw and collected by the government."

This passage states that Wang Weishu 前問ed. Yan Shigu remarked, "This means to step forward and make a request."

Liu Bang accuses Xiao He of wanting to 媚 the people. Yan Shigu remarked, "This term means 'love'; he wanted to win the love of the people."

Yan Shigu remarked, "To be downcast is to be displeased; Liu Bang was moved by Wang Weishu's rebuke, so he was ashamed and regretful and not happy.")


上擊布也。數使使勞相國。或謂何曰。君居關中。甚得百姓心。上畏君傾動關中。君何不多買人田宅。賤貰貸以自汙。不然。上心不安。何從之... 十有二月還京師。民遮道上書數千人。言相國彊賤買民田宅。上笑曰。相國亦愛利乎。使相國自謝民。後蕭何為民復請上林苑中空地。令民得入田。無收稿為禽獸食。上怒曰。相國多受賈人金錢。為人請吾苑。乃詔下廷尉。王衛尉諫曰。相國何罪。繫之暴也。上曰。吾聞李斯相秦。有善歸主。有惡自與。今相國多受賈人錢。為請吾苑。以自媚於人。王衛尉曰。事苟有便於人而請之。宰相職也。陛下奈何乃疑相國受賈人金乎。且陛下拒楚數年。及陳豨反時。上自將兵往。當時相國守關中。關中搖足。則關西非陛下之有。相國不以此時為利乃今利賈人金錢乎。且秦以不聞其過而亡天下。夫李斯之分過。又何足法哉。上乃令相國復其位。(Records of Former Han 4, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

While Liu Bang was away on campaign against Qing Bu, he kept sending envoys back to Guanzhong to give Xiao He trouble. Someone advised Xiao He, "Sir, in all the time that you've been managing Guanzhong, you've greatly won the hearts of the people. Our sovereign is afraid that you might stir up Guanzhong against him. Why not dirty your reputation a bit by buying up lots of farmland and residences and taking out loans? Otherwise, our sovereign's heart will remain uneasy about you." Xiao He did as they advised.

In the twelfth month (of 196 BC), Liu Bang returned to Chang'an. He encountered thousands of people along the road who told him that the Chancellor of State (Xiao He) had been taking out loans and buying up farmlands and residences. At that time, Liu Bang had only laughed in response and said, "So, even the Chancellor of State likes to do a little well for himself." And he had made Xiao He apologize to the people for this behavior.

Later, Xiao He asked Liu Bang to grant the empty lands at his private parks at Shanglin to the common people. He wanted to allow the people to move into the park lands and turn them into farms, and instead of gathering up their straw as taxes, he wanted to let them use it as fodder for their livestock. But Liu Bang was furious when he heard this request. He fumed, "The Chancellor of State was already taking bribes from merchants, and now he wants me to hand over my park lands to the people!" And he handed Xiao He over to the Minister of Justice.

Wang Weishu remonstrated with Liu Bang for this. He said, "What great crime has the Chancellor of State committed, that Your Majesty became so angry that you had him tied up?”

Liu Bang said, "I have heard that when Li Si served as Chancellor of Qin, whenever something good happened, he attributed it to his sovereign, but whenever something bad happened, he took the blame himself. Now the Chancellor of State has been accepting filthy lucre from merchants, and he asked me to give up my parks just to curry favor with the people."

Wang Weishu replied, "It is the duty of a grand minister, if he perceives that something would benefit the people, to ask for the sovereign to do it. Why would Your Majesty be so suspicious of the Chancellor of State's request that you even believe that he has taken bribes from merchants? Besides, Your Majesty was at war with Chu for several years, and you went in person to deal with the rebellion of Chen Xi. All those times that you were away, the Chancellor of State was protecting Guanzhong for you. If he had allowed any disturbance to happen in Guanzhong, all the lands west of Hangu Pass would have been lost to you! Yet the Chancellor of State never took advantage of those circumstances in order to gain things for himself. So then why would he be interested in taking gold from merchants now? Furthermore, it was because the rulers of Qin never had to hear about their faults that they lost control of the realm. Why should Li Si's arrangement have been a good thing for the law?"

Liu Bang thus had Xiao He restored to his positions.

漢十二年秋,黥布反,上自將擊之,數使使問相國何為。相國為上在軍,乃拊循勉力百姓,悉以所有佐軍,如陳豨時。客有說相國曰:「君滅族不久矣。夫君位為相國,功第一,可複加哉?然君初入關中,得百姓心,十餘年矣,皆附君,常複孳孳得民和。上所為數問君者,畏君傾動關中。今君胡不多買田地,賤貰貸以自汙?上心乃安。」於是相國從其計,上乃大說。上罷布軍歸,民道遮行上書,言相國賤彊買民田宅數千萬。上至,相國謁。上笑曰:「夫相國乃利民!」民所上書皆以與相國,曰:「君自謝民。」相國因為民請曰:「長安地狹,上林中多空地,棄,原令民得入田,毋收槁為禽獸食。」上大怒曰:「相國多受賈人財物,乃為請吾苑!」乃下相國廷尉,械繫之。數日,王衛尉侍,前問曰:「相國何大罪,陛下系之暴也?」上曰:「吾聞李斯相秦皇帝,有善歸主,有惡自與。今相國多受賈豎金而為民請吾苑,以自媚於民,故系治之。」王衛尉曰:「夫職事苟有便於民而請之,真宰相事,陛下奈何乃疑相國受賈人錢乎!且陛下距楚數歲,陳豨、黥布反,陛下自將而往,當是時,相國守關中,搖足則關以西非陛下有也。相國不以此時為利,今乃利賈人之金乎?且秦以不聞其過亡天下,李斯之分過,又何足法哉。陛下何疑宰相之淺也。」高帝不懌。是日,使使持節赦出相國。相國年老,素恭謹,入,徒跣謝。高帝曰:「相國休矣!相國為民請苑,吾不許,我不過為桀紂主,而相國為賢相。吾故系相國,欲令百姓聞吾過也。」(Records of the Grand Historian 53, Biography of Xiao He)

In the twelfth year of Liu Bang's reign (195 BC), in the autumn, Qing Bu rebelled. While Liu Bang was away on this campaign against Qing Bu, he kept sending envoys back to Guanzhong to give Xiao He trouble. Xiao He's position as Chancellor of State placed him in command of the whole military, and he had won the devoted service of the common people. Furthermore, he alone controlled the full logistical support of the army at the front, just as during Chen Xi's rebellion.

Someone advised Xiao He, "Sir, your clan is in serious danger of being exterminated. You have already risen to become Chancellor of State, and your achievements surpass all others. What further rank or salary could you expect? Furthermore, even when you first entered Guanzhong, you won the hearts of the people, and in the more than ten years that you have governed the region, everyone has become devoted to you because of your constant hard work. Our sovereign keeps asking about you because he is afraid that you might stir up Guanzhong against him. Why not dirty your reputation a bit by buying up lots of farmland and residences and taking out loans? Then our sovereign's heart will be at peace." Xiao He did as they advised, and Liu Bang indeed was greatly pleased.

After Liu Bang disbanded the army he had lead against Qing Bu and was returning to Chang'an, he encountered people along the road who told him that the Chancellor of State (Xiao He) had been taking out loans of enormous sums and compelling the people to sell him their farmlands and residences. When he arrived and Xiao He came to pay his respects, Liu Bang laughed and said, "I see you've been taking advantage of the people!" The common people then sent up a letter in support of Xiao He, who replied to them, "I personally apologize to the people."

Later, Xiao He made a request to Liu Bang on behalf of the people: "The land immediately around Chang'an is cramped, while much of the land at your private parks at Shanglin is empty and not being used. I would like to allow the people to move into the park lands and turn them into farms, and instead of gathering up their straw as taxes, I would let them use it as fodder for their livestock."

But Liu Bang was furious when he heard this request. He fumed, "The Chancellor of State was already taking bribes from merchants, and now he wants me to hand over my park lands to the people!" And he handed Xiao He over to the Minister of Justice, who had him tied and bound.

Several days later, when Wang Weishu was attending upon Liu Bang, he stepped forward and said to him, "What great crime has the Chancellor of State committed, that Your Majesty became so angry that you had him tied up?”

Liu Bang said, "I have heard that when Li Si served as Chancellor to the First Emperor of Qin, whenever something good happened, he attributed it to his sovereign, but whenever something bad happened, he took the blame himself. Now the Chancellor of State has been accepting filthy lucre from merchants, and he asked me to give up my parks just to curry favor with the people. That was why I had him tied up."

Wang Weishu replied, "It is the true duty of a grand minister, if he perceives that something would benefit the people, to ask for the sovereign to do it. Why would Your Majesty be so suspicious of the Chancellor of State's request that you even believe that he has taken bribes from merchants? Besides, Your Majesty was at war with Chu for several years, and you went in person to deal with the rebellions of Chen Xi and Qing Bu. All those times that you were away, the Chancellor of State was protecting Guanzhong for you. If he had allowed any disturbance to happen in Guanzhong, all the lands west of Hangu Pass would have been lost to you. Yet the Chancellor of State never took advantage of those circumstances in order to gain things for himself. So then why would he be interested in taking gold from merchants now? Furthermore, it was because the rulers of Qin never had to hear about their faults that they lost control of the realm. Why should Li Si's arrangement have been a good thing for the law? And why does Your Majesty think so little of your Chancellor of State?"

Liu Bang was downcast upon hearing this rebuke. That very day, he sent an agent bearing a Staff of Authority to pardon Xiao He and free him. By this time, Xiao He was an older man, but he was still as reverent and cautious as he had ever been, and when he came in to see Liu Bang, he knelt down and asked forgiveness. But Liu Bang told him, "Be at ease, my Chancellor! You were thinking of the people's good when you asked me to let them use my park lands. In making your request, you were acting as a worthy chancellor, while in refusing it, I showed myself to be no better as a ruler than Jie of Xia or King Zhou of Shang. I only had you tied up so that the people would hear of my faults."

其秋,黥布反,上自將擊之,數使使問相國何為。曰:「為上在軍,拊循勉百姓,悉所有佐軍,如陳豨時。」客又說何曰:「君滅族不久矣。夫君位為相國,功第一,不可復加。然君初入關,本得百姓心,十餘年矣。皆附君,尚復孳孳得民和。上所謂數問君,畏君傾動關中。今君胡不多買田地,賤貰貣以自汙?上心必安。」於是何從其計,上乃大說。上罷布軍歸,民道遮行,上書言相國彊賤買民田宅數千人。上至,何謁。上笑曰:「今相國乃利民!」民所上書皆以與何,曰:「君自謝民。」後何為民請曰:「長安地骥,上林中多空地,棄,願令民得入田,毋收稿為獸食。」上大怒曰:「相國多受賈人財物,為請吾苑!」乃下何廷尉,械繫之。數日,王衛尉侍,前問曰:「相國胡大罪,陛下繫之暴也?」上曰:「吾聞李斯相秦皇帝,有善歸主,有惡自予。今相國多受賈豎金,為請吾苑,以自媚於民。故繫治之。」王衛尉曰:「夫職事苟有便於民而請之,真宰相事也。陛下柰何乃疑相國受賈人錢乎!且陛下距楚數歲,陳豨、黥布反時,陛下自將往,當是時相國守關中,關中搖足則關西非陛下有也。相國不以此時為利,乃利賈人之金乎?且秦以不聞其過亡天下,夫李斯之分過,又何足法哉!陛下何疑宰相之淺也!」上不懌。是日,使使持節赦出何。何年老,素恭謹,徒跣入謝。上曰:「相國休矣!相國為民請吾苑不許,我不過為桀紂主,而相國為賢相。吾故繫相國,欲令百姓聞吾過。」(Book of Han 39, Biography of Xiao He)

That autumn, Qing Bu rebelled. While Liu Bang was away on this campaign against Qing Bu, he kept sending envoys back to Guanzhong to inquire about Xiao He. For Liu Bang thought to himself, "Xiao He's position as Chancellor of State places him in command of the whole military, and he has won the devoted service of the common people. Furthermore, he alone controls the full logistical support of the army at the front, just as during Chen Xi's rebellion."

Someone advised Xiao He, "Sir, your clan is in serious danger of being exterminated. You have already risen to become Chancellor of State, and your achievements surpass all others. What further rank or salary could you expect? Furthermore, even when you first entered Guanzhong, you won the hearts of the people, and in the more than ten years that you have governed the region, everyone has become devoted to you because of your constant hard work. Our sovereign keeps asking about you because he is afraid that you might stir up Guanzhong against him. Why not dirty your reputation a bit by buying up lots of farmland and residences and taking out loans? Then our sovereign's heart will be at peace." Xiao He did as they advised, and Liu Bang indeed was greatly pleased.

After Liu Bang disbanded the army he had lead against Qing Bu and was returning to Chang'an, he encountered people along the road who told him that the Chancellor of State (Xiao He) had been compelling thousands of people to sell him their farmlands and residences. When he arrived and Xiao He came to pay his respects, Liu Bang laughed and said, "I see you've been taking advantage of the people!" The common people then sent up a letter in support of Xiao He, who replied to them, "I personally apologize to the people."

Later, Xiao He made a request to Liu Bang on behalf of the people: "The land immediately around Chang'an is cramped, while much of the land at your private parks at Shanglin is empty and not being used. I would like to allow the people to move into the park lands and turn them into farms, and instead of gathering up their straw as taxes, I would let them use it as fodder for their livestock."

But Liu Bang was furious when he heard this request. He fumed, "The Chancellor of State was already taking bribes from merchants, and now he wants me to hand over my park lands to the people!" And he handed Xiao He over to the Minister of Justice, who had him tied and bound.

Several days later, when Wang Weishu was attending upon Liu Bang, he stepped forward and said to him, "What great crime has the Chancellor of State committed, that Your Majesty became so angry that you had him tied up?”

Liu Bang said, "I have heard that when Li Si served as Chancellor to the First Emperor of Qin, whenever something good happened, he attributed it to his sovereign, but whenever something bad happened, he took the blame himself. Now the Chancellor of State has been accepting filthy lucre from merchants, and he asked me to give up my parks just to curry favor with the people. That was why I had him tied up."

Wang Weishu replied, "It is the true duty of a grand minister, if he perceives that something would benefit the people, to ask for the sovereign to do it. Why would Your Majesty be so suspicious of the Chancellor of State's request that you even believe that he has taken bribes from merchants? Besides, Your Majesty was at war with Chu for several years, and you went in person to deal with the rebellions of Chen Xi and Qing Bu. All those times that you were away, the Chancellor of State was protecting Guanzhong for you. If he had allowed any disturbance to happen in Guanzhong, all the lands west of Hangu Pass would have been lost to you. Yet the Chancellor of State never took advantage of those circumstances in order to gain things for himself. So then why would he be interested in taking gold from merchants now? Furthermore, it was because the rulers of Qin never had to hear about their faults that they lost control of the realm. Why should Li Si's arrangement have been a good thing for the law? And why does Your Majesty think so little of your Chancellor of State?"

Liu Bang was downcast upon hearing this rebuke. That very day, he sent an agent bearing a Staff of Authority to pardon Xiao He and free him. By this time, Xiao He was an older man, but he was still as reverent and cautious as he had ever been, and when he came in to see Liu Bang, he knelt down and asked forgiveness. But Liu Bang told him, "Be at ease, my Chancellor! You were thinking of the people's good when you asked me to let them use my park lands. In making your request, you were acting as a worthy chancellor, while in refusing it, I showed myself to be no better as a ruler than Jie of Xia or King Zhou of Shang. I only had you tied up so that the people would hear of my faults."


陳豨之反也,燕王綰發兵擊其東北。當是時,陳豨使王黃求救匈奴;燕王綰亦使其臣張勝於匈奴,言豨等軍破。張勝至胡,故燕王臧荼子衍出亡在胡,見張勝曰︰「公所以重於燕者,以習胡事也;燕所以久存者,以諸侯數反,兵連不決也。今公爲燕,欲急滅豨等;豨等已盡,次亦至燕,公等亦且爲虜矣。公何不令燕且緩陳豨,而與胡和!事寬,得長王燕;卽有漢急,可以安國。」張勝以爲然,乃私令匈奴助豨等擊燕。燕王綰疑張勝與胡反,上書請族張勝。勝還,具道所爲者;燕王乃詐論他人,脫勝家屬,使得爲匈奴間。而陰使范齊之陳豨所,欲令久亡,連兵勿決。

9. When Chen Xi had launched his rebellion, Lu Wan had raised his troops from his domain as King of Yan to attack Chen Xi from the northeast. At that time, Chen Xi had sent Wang Huang as an envoy to seek aid from the Xiongnu. Lu Wan had also sent his subordinate Zhang Sheng to the Xiongnu to tell them that the armies of Chen Xi and the others would be defeated.

When Zhang Sheng had arrived in the tribal lands, he had encountered Zang Yan, the son of the former King of Yan, Zang Tu; Zang Yan had fled to take refuge living among the tribal peoples. When Zang Yan met Zhang Sheng, he had told him, "You are highly prized by the King of Yan because you are familiar with barbarian ways. The King of Yan has only been able to keep his domain for so long because there have been all these rebellions by the other feudal lords, and the fighting has not yet been settled. Yet now you, acting on behalf of Yan, want to destroy Chen Xi and the others at once. But as soon as they are gone, it will be Yan's turn next, and you and yours will become captives too. Why not instruct the King of Yan to make an arrangement with Chen Xi instead, and agree to peace with the barbarians? If you are successful, then the King of Yan will be able to maintain himself. And who knows? If there is some emergency in Han, he might be able to settle the state."

Zhang Sheng had agreed with this logic. So he had secretly ordered the Xiongnu to help Chen Xi and the others attack Yan instead. Lu Wan had suspected that Zhang Sheng had defected to the tribes, and he wrote a letter to Liu Bang asking him for permission to wipe out Zhang Sheng's family. But then Zhang Sheng had returned to Yan and explained everything to Lu Wan. So Lu Wan, making excuses to others, had allowed Zhang Sheng and his family to slip away and take refuge among the Xiongnu. Then Lu Wan had secretly sent Fan Qi to visit Chen Xi, and the two sides had agreed to array their forces to form a stalemate, with neither side forcing a battle.

〈陳豨反於代,代在燕之西南,故綰擊其東北。〉〈欲使之連兵相持,勝負久而不決也。〉

(Chen Xi had rebelled at Dai. Since Dai was southwest of Yan, Lu Wan was attacking Chen Xi from his northeast.

Lu Wan wanted to maintain a stalemate; the two armies would remain engaged, but there would be no battle to decide victory.)


漢擊黥布,豨常將兵居代。漢擊斬豨,其裨將降,言燕王綰使范齊通計謀於豨所。帝使使召盧綰,綰稱病;又使辟陽侯審食其、御史大夫趙堯往迎燕王,因驗問左右。綰愈恐,閉匿,謂其幸臣曰︰「非劉氏而王,獨我與長沙耳。往年春,漢族淮陰,夏,誅彭越,皆呂氏計。今上病,屬任呂后;呂后婦人,專欲以事誅異姓王者及大功臣。」乃遂稱病不行,其左右皆亡匿。語頗泄,辟陽侯聞之。歸,具報上,上益怒;又得匈奴降者,言張勝亡在匈奴爲燕使。於是上曰︰「盧綰果反矣!」春,二月,使樊噲以相國將兵擊綰,立皇子建爲燕王。

10. During Qing Bu's rebellion, Chen Xi had often led his forces to camp in Dai. After Zhou Bo took Chen Xi's head, one of Chen Xi's subordinates surrendered. He informed the Han army that Lu Wan had sent Fan Qi to establish communications with Chen Xi and plot together. Liu Bang thus sent envoys to summon Lu Wan to the capital, but Lu Wan claimed to be ill. So Liu Bang sent the Marquis of Piyang, Shen Yiji, and Zhao Yao to visit Lu Wan's domain, ostensibly to bring him to the capital, but really to investigate and talk to his subordinates.

Lu Wan became even more afraid, and he tried to cover his tracks. He told his closest subordinates, "Of all the people who were made kings who weren't members of the Liu clan, only the King of Changsha and myself remain. It was due to the plotting of the Lü clan that the Marquis of Huaiyin (Han Xin) and his clan were executed last spring and Peng Yue was executed last summer. And now that our sovereign has fallen ill, he will leave affairs in the hands of Empress Lü. She is a jealous woman, and she will surely want to monopolize power by executing all the kings not of the Liu clan and all of the most accomplished ministers."

Lu Wan claimed to be too sick to travel, and his ministers all kept their silence. But somehow word of Lu Wan's activities leaked out anyway, and Shen Yiji learned of it. When Shen Yiji returned to the capital, he reported what he had heard to Liu Bang, who became even more angry. And a defector from the Xiongnu also reported that Zhang Sheng was alive and living among the Xiongnu, acting as an agent of Yan. Liu Bang declared, "So Lu Wan really has rebelled!"

In spring, the second month, Liu Bang appointed Fan Kuai as a Chancellor of State and sent him to command troops to attack Lu Wan. He appointed his son Liu Jian as the Prince of Yan.

〈【章︰甲十五行本「病」下有「上」字;乙十一行本同;孔本同。】〉〈班《志》,辟陽縣屬信都國。辟,必亦翻。《姓譜》有審姓。食其,音異基。〉〈謂閉其蹤跡,藏匿其人也。〉

(Some versions clarify that "Liu Bang" sent envoys to Lu Wan.

According to the Book of Han, Piyang county was part of the Xindu princely fief. The first character of Piyang, 辟, is pronounced "bi (b-i)".

The surname 審 Shen is listed in the Registry of Surnames. Shen Yiji's given name, 食其, is pronounced "yiji".

This passage states that Lu Wan attempted to 閉匿. He was trying to 閉 "cover his tracks" and 匿 "hide away his people".)


或言燕王綰與豨通謀。上召盧綰。盧綰謂其臣曰。往年族淮陰侯彭越。皆呂后計。今上疾病。呂后婦人。專欲誅異姓及大功臣。遂稱疾不行。上怒。使樊噲將兵擊之... 立皇子建為燕王。(Records of Former Han 4, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

Someone reported that the King of Yan, Lu Wan, had been plotting with Chen Xi. So Liu Bang summoned Lu Wan.

Lu Wan told his ministers, "It was due to the plotting of Empress Lü that the Marquis of Huaiyin (Han Xin) and Peng Yue and their clans were exterminated. And now that our sovereign has fallen ill, he will leave affairs in the hands of Empress Lü. She will surely want to monopolize power by executing all the kings not of the Liu clan and all of the most accomplished ministers." So he claimed illness in order not to go to the capital.

Liu Bang, angered by this response, sent Fan Kuai to lead troops to attack Lu Wan.

Liu Bang issued an edict establishing thirty families to tend to the tomb of the First Emperor of Qin, and ten families to tend to the tomb of King Yin of Chu (Chen Sheng). These families were exempted from taxes.

In the second month, Liu Bang appointed his son Liu Jian as Prince of Yan.


詔曰︰「南武侯織,亦粵之世也,立以爲南海王。」

11. Liu Bang issued an edict stating, "The Marquis of Nanwu, Zhi, is also a descendant of the old state of Yue. I hereby appoint him as King of Nanhai."

〈文穎曰︰高祖五年,以象郡、桂林、南海、長沙立吳芮爲長沙王。象郡、桂林、南海屬尉佗;佗未降,遙奪以封芮耳。後佗降漢,十一年,更立佗爲南越王。自此王三郡,芮惟得長沙、桂陽耳。今封織南海王,復遙奪佗一郡,織未得王之。〉

(Wen Ying remarked, "In Gaozu's fifth year (202 BC), he had appointed Wu Rui as King of Changsha. He had nominally granted Wu Rui the commandaries of Xiang, Guilin, Nanhai, and Changsha as his domain, but the first three of these were really controlled by Zhao Tuo, who had not yet submitted to the Han dynasty, so they were granted to Wu Rui in name only. Later, after Zhao Tuo submitted to Han in Gaozu's eleventh year (196 BC) and was appointed as King of Nanyue, he was confirmed in his possession of these three commandaries, and Wu Rui only really possessed Changsha and Guiyang. And in this instance, although Zhi was nominally appointed as King of Nanhai, Zhao Tuo still controlled that commandary in truth, so Zhi was only being granted it in name but not in substance.")


上擊布時,爲流矢所中,行道,疾甚。呂后迎良醫。醫入見,曰︰「疾可治。」上嫚罵之曰︰「吾以布衣提三尺取天下,此非天命乎!命乃在天,雖扁鵲何益!」遂不使治疾,賜黃金五十斤,罷之。呂后問曰︰「陛下百歲後,蕭相國旣死,誰令代之?」上曰︰「曹參可。」問其次,曰︰「王陵可;然少戇,陳平可以助之。陳平知有餘,然難獨任。周勃重厚少文,然安劉氏者必勃也,可令爲太尉。」呂后復問其次,上曰︰「此後亦非乃所知也。」夏,四月,甲辰,帝崩于長樂宮。丁未,發喪,大赦天下。

12. During the campaign against Qing Bu, Liu Bang had been struck by a stray arrow, and on the road, his illness had worsened.

Lü Zhi called a skilled doctor to treat Liu Bang's illness. When the doctor came in and inspected Liu Bang, he said, "I can treat this illness."

But Liu Bang rudely castigated the doctor. He said, "Why do you think that I, a mere commoner with a three-foot blade, was able to conquer the realm? Only because it was the will of Heaven! So if it is Heaven's will that I should perish now, it wouldn't do any good even if you brought Bian Que himself here to treat me!" And he did not allow the doctor to tend to him, but gave him fifty catties of gold and dismissed him.

Lü Zhi asked Liu Bang, "After you are gone, once Chancellor Xiao passes away, who should I have replace him?"

Liu Bang told her, "You may have Cao Can succeed him."

Lü Zhi asked who should be next after Cao Can. Liu Bang replied, "Wang Ling would be suitable; he is a little dense, but Chen Ping can help him. Chen Ping is smarter, but he would have trouble acting on his own. And as for Zhou Bo, he may not be much of a civil servant, but if anyone can help secure the Liu clan, it's him. You can make him the Grand Commandant."

Lü Zhi asked who would be next after these people were all gone. Liu Bang replied, "By the time that happens, it won't be your concern anymore."

In summer, the fourth month, on the day Jiachen, Liu Bang passed away at the Changle Palace.

On the day Dingwei, mourning for Liu Bang was announced, and a general amnesty was declared throughout the realm.

〈師古曰︰三尺,謂劍也。〉〈扁鵲,古之良醫。〉〈師古曰︰戇,愚也。〉〈師古曰︰乃,汝也;言自此之後,汝亦終矣,不復知之。〉〈壽五十三。《考異》曰︰《漢書》云︰「呂后與審食其謀盡誅諸將。酈商見審食其,說以︰『如此,大臣內畔,諸將外反,亡可蹻足待也。』審食其入言之,乃以丁未發喪。」按呂后雖暴戾,亦安敢一旦盡誅大臣!又時陳平不在滎陽,樊噲不在代;此說恐妄,今不取。〉

(Liu Bang mentions that he was holding "a three-footer". Yan Shigu remarked, "By this, he means his sword."

Bian Que was a skilled doctor from ancient times.

Yan Shigu remarked, "Dense means foolish."

Regarding Liu Bang's final response, Yan Shigu remarked, "He was saying that by the time all those people were dead, Lü Zhi herself would have died as well, so it would no longer be her concern who succeeded them."

Liu Bang was fifty-two years old when he died.

Sima Guang's commentary in the Textual Analysis states, "At this point, the Book of Han states, 'Lü Zhi was plotting with Shen Yiji to execute all of Liu Bang's generals. But when Li Shang met with Shen Yiji, he advised him, "If you try to do this, the chief ministers will rebel from within while the generals will rise up from without, and disaster would overtake you in the time it takes to stand on tiptoes." Shen Yiji conveyed his words to Lü Zhi. So on the day Dingwei, she announced the mourning.' Now I grant that Empress Lü was a cruel and tyrannical woman. But would even she have dared to execute all the great ministers overnight? Besides, despite the claims of this account, at the time of Gaozu's death, Chen Ping was not at Xingyang and Fan Kuai was not at Dai (the two of them were on the road back from Dai). So I fear that this story is too absurd to believe, and I do not include it.")


詔為秦始皇帝置守廝三十家。楚隱王十家。復無所與。春二月。熒惑守心星。占曰王者惡之... 春三月。詔曰。吾有天下十二年。于今與天下賢士大夫共安輯之。至于褒賞功臣。可謂無負矣。其不義。背天下約。擅起兵者。與天下共伐誅之... 上擊黥布時。為流矢所中。疾甚。呂后迎良醫。良醫曰可治。上怒曰。吾以布衣。提三尺取天下。此非天命乎。命乃在天。雖扁鵲何益。遂不使治。呂后問曰。陛下即百歲之後。蕭相國終。孰可代者。上曰曹參可。又問其次。曰王陵可。然少戇。陳平可以佐之。平智有餘。然難獨任。周勃厚重少文。然安劉氏者必勃也。可為太尉。又問其次。上曰。過此以後。非乃所知... 夏四月甲辰。帝崩于長安宮。呂后畏諸將大臣。與審食其謀。欲盡誅大臣。數日不發喪。酈商謂辟陽侯曰。今陳平灌嬰將十萬眾守滎陽。樊噲周勃將二十萬眾定燕代。此四人聞帝崩。諸將皆誅。必連兵還嚮京師。大臣內叛。諸將外反。亡可翹足而待。審食其言之於呂后。乃以丁未發喪。大赦天下。(Records of Former Han 4, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

Liu Bang issued an edict establishing thirty families to tend to the tomb of the First Emperor of Qin, and ten families to tend to the tomb of King Yin of Chu (Chen Sheng). These families were exempted from taxes.

In spring, the second month, Mars resided in the Heart constellation. The diviners reported that this was an ill omen for a sovereign.

In spring, the third month, Liu Bang issued an edict stating, "In the twelve years that I have possessed the realm until now, I have shared it with the worthy people of the realm, and I have honored and rewarded accomplished subjects. One cannot reproach me or say that I have been unjust. Thus let all the realm unite to destroy anyone who violates the peace of the realm and presumes to raise soldiers."

During the campaign against Qing Bu, Liu Bang had been struck by a stray arrow, and his illness had worsened.

Lü Zhi called a skilled doctor to treat Liu Bang's illness. When the doctor came in and inspected Liu Bang, he said, "I can treat this illness."

But Liu Bang angrily said, "Why do you think that I, a mere commoner with a three-foot blade, was able to conquer the realm? Only because it was the will of Heaven. So if it is Heaven's will that I should perish now, it wouldn't do any good even if you brought Bian Que himself here to treat me." And he would not allow the doctor to treat him.

Lü Zhi asked Liu Bang, "After you are gone, once Chancellor Xiao passes away, who should I have replace him?"

Liu Bang told her, "You may have Cao Can succeed him."

Lü Zhi asked who should be next after Cao Can. Liu Bang replied, "Wang Ling would be suitable. But he is a little dense, so Chen Ping can help him. Chen Ping is smarter, but he would have trouble acting on his own. And as for Zhou Bo, he may not be much of a civil servant, but if anyone can help secure the Liu clan, it's him. You can make him the Grand Commandant."

Lü Zhi asked who would be next after these people were all gone. Liu Bang replied, "By the time that happens, it won't be your concern anymore."

In summer, the fourth month, on the day Jiachen, Liu Bang passed away at the Changle Palace.

Lü Zhi was afraid of Liu Bang's generals and great ministers. So she plotted with Shen Yiji to execute all of them, and for several days she would not announce mourning for Liu Bang's death. But then Li Shang told the Marquis of Piyang (Shen Yiji), "Chen Ping and Guan Ying are currently at Xingyang with a hundred thousand soldiers, and Fan Kuai and Zhou Bo are leading another two hundred thousand soldiers to pacify the regions of Yan and Dai. If these four generals hear that the Emperor is dead and that you have executed all the generals, they will surely bring their troops to march on the capital region. With the chief ministers supporting them from within while they rise up from without, disaster would overtake you in the time it takes to stand on tiptoes."

Shen Yiji conveyed his words to Lü Zhi. So on the day Dingwei, mourning for Liu Bang was announced, and a general amnesty was declared throughout the realm.


盧綰與數千人居塞下候伺,幸上疾愈,自入謝;聞帝崩,遂亡入匈奴。

13. Lu Wan and several thousand people had been watching and waiting at the border passes of the realm. Lu Wan was hoping that if Liu Bang recovered from his illness, Lu Wan could come and apologize to him. But when Lu Wan heard that Liu Bang was dead, he fled to live among the Xiongnu.

〈師古曰︰冀得上疾愈自入謝,以爲己身之幸也。〉

(Yan Shigu remarked, "He was hoping that if Liu Bang recovered then he could come and apologize to him, hoping that his life would be spared.")


綰將其家屬。與數千騎。居長城下。欲候上差。自入謝之... 盧綰聞上已崩。遂亡入匈奴中。(Records of Former Han 4, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

Lu Wan led his family and dependents, along with several thousand riders, to take up residence at the Long Wall. Lu Wan was hoping that if Liu Bang recovered from his illness, Lu Wan could come and apologize to him.

When Lu Wan heard that Liu Bang was already dead, he fled to live among the Xiongnu.


五月,丙寅,葬高帝於長陵。

14. In the fifth month, on the day Bingyin, Liu Bang was buried at Changling.

〈班《志》︰長陵縣,高帝置,屬左馮翊。皇甫謐曰︰長陵在渭水北,去長安城三十五里。臣瓚曰︰在長安北四十里。《括地志》︰在雍州咸陽縣東三十里。《漢官儀》曰︰古不墓祭;秦始皇起寢於墓側,漢因而不改。諸陵寢皆以晦、朔、二十四氣、三伏、社、臘及四時上飯;其親陵所宮人,隨鼓漏理被、枕,具盥水,陳妝具。陵旁起邑,置令、丞、尉奉守。〉

(According to the Book of Han, Changling county, which Liu Bang had established, was part of Zuopingyi commandary. Huangfu Mi remarked, "Changling is north of the Wei River, thirty-five li from the city of Chang'an." Chen Zan remarked, "It is forty li north of Chang'an." The Comprehensive Gazetteer states, "It is thirty li east of Xianyang county in Yongzhou."

The Rites and Offices of Han states, "In ancient times, it had not been the practice to offer sacrifices at tombs. But the First Emperor of Qin established this practice by building a chamber beside his tomb, and the Han dynasty continued the practice. Sacrifices would be offered at the tombs in these chambers on certain days throughout the year. Intimates from the palace would come and wash the clothing and pillow, wash the utensils, and apply adornments. And beside the tombs were raised villages, each assigned a Prefect, Assistant, and Commandant to maintain it.")


五月丙辰。皇帝葬長陵。(Records of Former Han 4, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

In the fifth month, on the day Bingchen, Liu Bang was buried at Changling.


初,高祖不脩文學,而性明達,好謀,能聽,自監門、戍卒,見之如舊。初順民心作三章之約。天下旣定,命蕭何次律、令,韓信申軍法,張蒼定章程,叔孫通制禮儀;又與功臣剖符作誓,丹書、鐵契,金匱、石室,藏之宗廟。雖日不暇給,規摹弘遠矣。

15. Liu Bang had never been one for refinement or education. But he was a naturally bright and clever man who was skilled at making plans and able to listen to others, and he treated even mere gate commanders or conscript soldiers like old friends. At the beginning of his reign, he won the hearts of the people by enacting his three precepts. After the realm was settled, he ordered Xiao He to organize the laws and ordinances, Han Xin to clarify the military regulations, Zhang Cang to settle the calendar and measurements, and Shusun Tong to establish the rites and ceremonies. He split tallies and swore oaths with his accomplished subjects, and he deposited red text, iron certificates, gold boxes, and stone chambers in the Ancestral Temple. And though he never knew a moment's peace, his models and patterns were grand and far-sighted.

〈見九卷元年。〉〈帝旣滅項羽,四夷未附,兵革未息,三章之法,不足以禦奸,蕭何攗摭秦法,取其宜於時者,作律九章。〉〈帝命張良、韓信序次兵法,凡百八十二家;删取要用,定著三十五家;諸呂用事而盜之。〉〈如淳曰︰章,曆數之章術也;程者,權、衡、尺、斗、斛之平法也。師古曰︰程,法式也。〉〈見上卷六年、七年。〉〈剖符作誓,謂剖符封功臣,刑白馬與爲山河帶厲之盟也。丹書、鐵契者,以鐵爲契,以丹書之。如淳曰︰金匱,猶金縢也。師古曰︰以金爲匱,以石爲室,重緘封之,重愼之義。蓋謂以丹書盟誓之言於鐵券,盛之以金匱、石室而藏之宗廟也。〉〈鄧展曰︰若畫工規模物之摹。韋昭曰︰正員之器曰規。摹者,如畫工未施,朱土摹之矣。師古曰︰取喻規摹,謂立制立範也。給,足也;日不暇給,言衆事繁多,常汲汲也。余謂日不暇給,蓋言項羽旣平,諸侯又叛也。〉

(Liu Bang's pledge of his three precepts to the people of the Qin region is mentioned in Book 9, in the first year of his reign (-206.4).

After Liu Bang had defeated Xiang Yu, he recognized that the various foreign tribes had not yet submitted to his dynasty, nor had the soldiers had time to rest from their labors, and that his original three precepts would not be sufficient to guard against all possible mischief that might arise. So he had ordered Xiao He to review the old Qin laws and take from them anything that was suitable for the times, and Xiao He had organized the laws into nine sections.

Liu Bang had ordered Zhang Liang and Han Xin to clarify the military regulations, which at that time ran to a hundred and eighty-two policies. They consolidated the regulations to the most critical aspects, and eventually settled upon thirty-five policies. But the Lü clan later made a mess of them.

This passage states that Zhang Cang settled the 章程. Ru Chun remarked, "章 means the aspects of the calendar; 程 means standardizing the various measurements, such as weight, length, and capacity." Yan Shigu remarked, "程 means the models of the law."

Shusun Tong's organizing of rites and ceremonies for the Han dynasty is mentioned in Book 11, in the sixth and seventh years of Liu Bang's reign (-201.20-21, -200.1).

By "split tallies and swore oaths", it meant that Liu Bang split tallies with his accomplished ministers and granted them fiefs, and he swore oaths with them at Baima and charged them to use the terrain as their defenses.

By "red text and iron certificates", it meant that the certificates were written on iron with red text. Ru Chun remarked, "By gold boxes, it meant gold bindings." Yan Shigu remarked, "The boxes were of gold and the chambers of stone in order to seal the writings within and ensure their validity." It must've been the case that the pacts were confirmed by the red text on the iron certificates, which were then deposited into the gold boxes and iron chambers and hidden away in the Ancestral Temple.

The final sentence describes Liu Bang's 規摹 "regulations and patterns". Deng Zhan remarked, "They were like the standards and patterns of a painting." Wei Zhao remarked, "They were the models of proper behavior. Patterns are like a painting which, though not complete, can be copied with red earth." Yan Shigu remarked, "He left instructions and models of behavior, what could be called establishing both systems and standards. The term 給 means 'sufficient'; in other words, he never had a day of free time because he was busy with so many affairs and was constantly anxious." I (Hu Sanxing) reckon that Liu Bang never had "a moment's peace" in that, even after the war with Xiang Yu was over, he still had to deal with constant rebellions from the feudal lords.)


讚曰。高祖起於布衣之中。奮劍而取天下。不由唐虞之禪。不階湯武之王。龍行虎變。率從風雲。征亂伐暴。廓清帝宇。八載之間。海內克定。遂何天之衢。登建皇極。上古已來。書籍所載。未嘗有也。非雄俊之才。寬明之略。厤數所授。神祇所相。安能致功如此。夫帝王之作。必有神人之助。非德無以建業。非命無以定眾。或以文昭。或以武興。或以聖立。或以人崇。焚魚斬蛇。異功同符。豈非精靈之感哉。書曰。天工人其代之。易曰。湯武革命。順乎天而應乎人。其斯之謂乎。故觀秦項之所亡。察大漢之所興。得失之驗。可見於茲矣。(Records of Former Han 4, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

Your servant Xun Yue evaluates Liu Bang as such: Liu Bang was a mere commoner. Yet, drawing his sword, he took the realm for himself. He was not like the founder of the Xia dynasty, Yu the Great, who received the throne in abdication from Emperor Shun. Nor was he like the founders of the Shang or Zhou dynasties, Tang of Shang and King Wu of Zhou, who had ruled as lesser kings in their own right before becoming the sovereign. Yet Liu Bang moved like a dragon and shifted like a tiger, and he led his forces like the winds and clouds. He campaigned against the rebellious and vanquished the wicked, and he brought tranquility to the empire. In the span of eight years, all the lands within the seas became peaceful and quiet. Liu Bang then strode the heavenly path and ascended to the imperial zenith. Since the beginning of time, in all of history, there has never been anyone like him. If he had not possessed the talents of a bold hero or the broad and perceptive mind of a schemer, if he had lacked the assistance of countless people or the aid of the very spirits themselves, could he have ever achieved such a thing?

Anyone who would rule as a sovereign must have the support of the spirits and the people. Unless they are virtuous, they will never establish their endeavor; unless they possess the mandate of Heaven, they will never settle the people. Some rulers rise to prominence through their refinement; others rise through military prowess; still others receive the acclaim of the people. And whether the omen of their rise takes the form of a cooked fish or a beheaded serpent, in every case it symbolizes the support of the essences and spirits. The Book of Documents states, "Though it be the will of Heaven, still it must be carried out by mortal hands." And the Book of Changes states, "When the Mandate was inherited by Tang of Shang and by King Wu of Zhou, it was in submission to the will of Heaven and in accordance with the wishes of the people." This is the very same principle. And by this principle, we can explain the fall of the Qin dynasty and of the Xiang clan, and examine the rise of the Han dynasty. The rise and fall of states all stems from this.


己巳,太子卽皇帝位,尊皇后曰皇太后。

16. On the day Jisi, Liu Ying rose to the throne. He would later be known as Emperor Hui.

Emperor Hui honored Lü Zhi as the Empress Dowager.

皇帝五月丙寅即位。年十六。尊高后曰皇太后... 令郡諸侯王立高廟。(Records of Former Han 5, Annals of Emperor Hui)

In the fifth month, on the day Bingyin, Liu Ying rose to the throne; he was fifteen years old. He would later be known as Emperor Hui.

Emperor Hui honored Lü Zhi as the Empress Dowager.

Emperor Hui ordered the commandaries and the princes and nobles to each establish temples to Liu Bang.


初,高帝病甚,人有惡樊噲云︰「黨於呂氏,卽一日上晏駕,欲以兵誅趙王如意之屬。」帝大怒,用陳平謀,召絳侯周勃受詔床下,曰︰「陳平亟馳傳載勃代噲將;平至軍中,卽斬噲頭!」二人旣受詔,馳傳,未至軍,行計之曰︰「樊噲,帝之故人也,功多;且又呂后弟呂X之夫,有親且貴。帝以忿怒故欲斬之,則恐後悔;寧囚而致上自誅之。」未至軍,爲壇,以節召樊噲。噲受詔,卽反接,載檻車傳詣長安;而令絳侯勃代將,將兵定燕反縣。

17. Earlier, during the height of Liu Bang's illness, someone had slandered Fan Kuai to him, saying, "Fan Kuai is a partisan of the Lü clan. If Your Majesty should happen to be 'late to appear' one day, Fan Kuai will have his troops execute the Prince of Zhao, Liu Ruyi, and his subordinates."

Liu Bang was furious to hear this claim. Following the advice of Chen Ping, he had summoned Zhou Bo and had him receive his edict beside his bed. He had told the two of them, "Chen Ping is to hurry forward to bring Zhou Bo to replace Fan Kuai as general. Once Chen Ping arrives at the army, he is to behead Fan Kuai!"

The two of them had accepted the edict, then set out to hurry to Fan Kuai's army. But before they had gotten there, while they were still on the road, they had said to one another, "Fan Kuai is one of the Emperor's old friends, and he has achieved much. Besides, he is the husband of Lü Zhi's younger sister Lü Xu, so he is close to her and highly esteemed. The Emperor only wants to behead him now because he is in a fit of rage, but we fear he will regret it later. We ought to merely arrest Fan Kuai and bring him back to the Emperor to let him order Fan Kuai's execution in person."

So before they had reached the army, they had raised an altar and summoned Fan Kuai to come to them. Fan Kuai had obeyed the edict and had his hands tied behind his back. He was placed in a cage cart and sent back to Chang'an. Zhou Bo took over command of Fan Kuai's army, and he led the troops to pacify the remaining rebellious counties in the Yan region.

〈師古曰︰惡,謂毀譖,言其罪惡也。晏駕者,天子當晨起早作;而忽崩殞,不出臨朝,凡臣子之心,猶謂宮車晚出也。〉〈如淳曰︰四馬,高足爲置傳,中足爲馳傳。律:諸當乘傳及發駕置傳,皆持尺五寸木傳信,封以御史大夫印章。其乘傳,參封之;參,三也。有期會,累封兩端,端各兩封,凡四封也。〉〈X,音須。師古曰︰行計,謂於道中行且計也。〉〈師古曰︰反縛兩手也。〉

(This passage states that someone 惡ed Fan Kuai. Yan Shigu remarked, "This means to slander his reputation; they were accusing him of crimes and evil deeds."

The Son of Heaven's carriage being "late to appear" was a euphemism for his death. The Son of Heaven was expected to rise early to attend the court meeting. Thus if he suddenly passed away overnight and his carriage was "late to appear", this was a way to say that he had passed away.

[An explanation of horse terms.]

Lü Xu's given name, X, is pronounced "xu".

Yan Shigu remarked, "By 'before they got there', it meant they came up with this idea while they were still traveling on the road."

Fan Kuai is described as being 反接. Yan Shigu remarked, "This meant to have his hands tied behind his back.")


平行,聞帝崩;畏呂X讒之於太后,乃馳傳先去。逢使者,詔平與灌嬰屯滎陽。平受詔,立復馳至宮,哭殊悲;因固請得宿衞中。太后乃以爲郎中令,使傅敎惠帝。是後呂X讒乃不得行。樊噲至,則赦,復爵邑。

18. While Chen Ping was on his way back to the capital, he learned that Liu Bang had passed away. He was now afraid that Lü Xu would slander him to Lü Zhi for his role in arresting her husband, so he rushed to return before that happened. He happened to encounter an envoy bearing an edict ordering him and Guan Ying to remain camped at Xingyang, but although he accepted the edict, he still hurried back to the palace. Once there, he wept and displayed exceptional grief, then took the opportunity to ask Lü Zhi to be assigned command of the household guards. Lü Zhi appointed him as Prefect of the Household Gentlemen, and sent him to instruct Emperor Hui. Although Lü Xu indeed later tried to slander Chen Ping, nothing came of it.

When Fan Kuai arrived at Chang'an, he was pardoned and had his fief and titles restored.

〈師古曰︰未至京師,於道中聞高帝崩。〉〈請得宿衞禁中也。〉〈班《表》︰郎中令,秦官,掌宮殿掖門戶;武帝太初元年,更名光祿勳。〉

(Yan Shigu remarked, "Chen Ping had not yet returned to the capital when he heard on the road that Liu Bang had passed away."

Chen Ping was asking to assume command of the household guards in the palace.

According to the Book of Han, Prefect of the Household Gentlemen was a Qin office, in charge of supervising the palace gate guards. In Emperor Wu of Han's first year of Taichu (104 BC), it was renamed to Superintendent of the Imperial Household.)


太后令永巷囚戚夫人,髡鉗,衣赭衣,令舂。遣使召趙王如意。使者三反,趙相周昌謂使者曰︰「高帝屬臣趙王,王年少;竊聞太后怨戚夫人,欲召趙王幷誅之,臣不敢遣王。王且亦病,不能奉詔。」太后怒,先使人召昌。昌至長安,乃使人復召趙王。王來,未到;帝知太后怒,自迎趙王霸上,與入宮,自挾與起居飲食。太后欲殺之,不得間。

19. Lü Zhi ordered Consort Qi to be imprisoned in Yongxiang; her hair was shaved, she was bound in irons, she was dressed in red clothes, and she was forced to pound grain.

Lü Zhi also sent envoys to summon Liu Ruyi back to the capital from his fief at Zhao. She sent envoys three times, yet each time Zhou Chang refused to comply with the order, telling them, "Emperor Gao assigned me to be the Prince of Zhao's minister, and the Prince is still young. I am afraid that, because of her grudge against Consort Qi, the Empress Dowager wants to have the Prince executed, so I dare not send him. Besides, he is too ill to heed the edict."

Angered by this, Lü Zhi decided to summon Zhou Chang himself to return to the capital first. After Zhou Chang arrived, she once again sent an envoy to summon Liu Ruyi again, and this time he set out for the capital. But Emperor Hui knew of Lü Zhi's hatred for Liu Ruyi, so he came out to welcome Liu Ruyi at Bashang before he could arrive at Chang'an. Emperor Hui escorted Liu Ruyi into the palace with him, and he spent all his time together with Liu Ruyi whenever they ate or slept. Lü Zhi still wanted to kill Liu Ruyi, but could find no opportunity to do so.

〈赭衣,囚服也;以赤土染之。〉〈間,隙也。〉

(Prisoner clothes were red; they were dyed with red earth.

An opportunity is an opening to act.)


先是太后囚戚夫人于永巷。髡鉗之令舂。且歌曰。子為王兮母為虜。終日常舂兮。與死同伍。相去數千里。誰可使告汝。呂后聞之曰。欲倚弱子邪。召趙王欲誅之。趙相周昌令王稱疾。使者三反。王不行。呂后乃召周昌。周昌至。復使召趙王。上知太后怒。自迎王于霸上。夾與起居。(Records of Former Han 5, Annals of Emperor Hui)

Earlier, Lü Zhi had ordered Consort Qi to be imprisoned in Yongxiang; her hair was shaved, she was bound in irons, and she was forced to pound grain.

Consort Qi sang to herself:

To think, a princedom for my son
While prison cell for me
To pound this grain the livelong day
My sole activity
Is this my fate forevermore
Or will death overwhelm?
Who can for me bring word to thee
Across the boundless realm?

When Lü Zhi heard this song, she mused, "So she thinks her little boy can save her, eh?" So Lü Zhi sent envoys to summon Liu Ruyi, planning to kill him. She sent envoys three times, yet each time the Chancellor of Zhao, Zhou Chang, refused to comply with the order, claiming that Liu Ruyi was too sick.

Lü Zhi thus decided to summon Zhou Chang himself to return to the capital first. After Zhou Chang arrived, she once again sent an envoy to summon Liu Ruyi again, and this time he set out for the capital. But Emperor Hui knew of Lü Zhi's hatred for Liu Ruyi, so he came out to welcome Liu Ruyi at Bashang before he could arrive at Chang'an, and they spent all their time together.
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BOOK 12

Unread postby Taishi Ci 2.0 » Mon Nov 11, 2019 4:27 am

孝惠皇帝

Beginning of the Reign of Emperor Xiao-Hui


〈荀悅曰︰諱「盈」之字曰「滿」。師古曰︰臣下以「滿」字代「盈」者,則知帝諱盈也︰他皆類此。高帝嫡長子。應劭曰︰《禮‧諡法》︰柔質慈民曰惠。師古曰︰孝子善述人之志,故漢家之諡,自惠帝以下皆稱孝也。〉

(Xun Yue remarked, "Since Emperor Hui's given name was Ying, the word 盈 Ying or 'surplus' was forbidden; it was always to be replaced by the synonym 滿 'full, abundant'." Yan Shigu remarked, "Subjects were now compelled to always substitute 滿 for instances of 盈, thus we know that the Emperor's given name 盈 Ying was taboo. It was the same for other Emperors."

Liu Ying was Liu Bang's eldest son by his lawful wife Lü Zhi.

Regarding Emperor Hui's posthumous title, Ying Shao remarked, "The Laws of Posthumous Names in the Book of Rites states, 'One who is of a gentle nature and kind towards the people may be called Hui ('the Gentle')." Yan Shigu remarked, "Emperor Hui's posthumous name was more properly Xiaohui ('the Filial and Gentle'). A filial son is skilled at continuing the legacy. Thus all the Han emperors from Emperor Hui onwards had the character Xiao in their posthumous titles (usually omitted in practice).")


元年(丁未、前一九四)

The First Year of Emperor Hui's Reign (The Dingwei Year, 194 BC)


冬,十二月,帝晨出射。趙王年少,不能蚤起;太后使人持酖飲之。犂明,帝還,趙王已死。太后遂斷戚夫人手足,去眼,煇耳,飲瘖藥,使居廁中,命曰「人彘」。居數日,乃召帝觀人彘。帝見,問知其戚夫人,乃大哭,因病,歲餘不能起。使人請太后曰︰「此非人所爲。臣爲太后子,終不能治天下。」帝以此日飲爲淫樂,不聽政。

1. In winter, the twelfth month (of 195 BC), Emperor Hui went out to shoot before dawn. Liu Ruyi, who was still a child, was not able to get up in time. Lü Zhi took advantage of Emperor Hui's absence to send someone to force Liu Ruyi to drink poison. By the time Emperor Hui returned at daylight, Liu Ruyi was already dead.

After this, Lü Zhi cut off Consort Qi's hands and feet, gouged out her eyes, deafened her ears, poisoned her so that she could no longer speak, and then set her loose into the lavatory. She ordered Consort Qi to now be called "the human swine". After Consort Qi had been living in this filth for several days, Lü Zhi brought Emperor Hui to come see "the human swine". When Emperor Hui recognized her as Consort Qi, he wept greatly and became so sick that for more than a year he could not get up.

Emperor Hui sent someone to tell Lü Zhi, "No human could have done such a thing as you have done. And since I am your son, I am no longer fit to govern the realm." From then on, Emperor Hui spent all his days drinking and indulging in pleasures and music, no longer attending to the affairs of state.

〈【章︰甲十五行本無「年」字;乙十一行本同;孔本同。】〉〈《廣志》︰鴆鳥大如鴞,毛紫綠色,有毒;頸長七八寸,食蝮蛇。雄名運日,雌名陰諧。以其毛歷飲食則殺人。范成大曰︰鴆,聞邕州朝天鋪及山深處有之,形如鵶差大,黑身,赤目,音如羯鼓;唯食毒蛇,遇蛇則鳴聲邦邦然。蛇入石穴,則於穴外禹步作法;有頃,石碎,啄蛇吞之。山有鴆,草木不生。秋冬之間脫羽。往時人以銀作爪拾取,著銀瓶中;否則手爛墮。鴆矢着人立死;集於石,石亦裂。此禽至兇極毒。所謂酖,卽鴆酒也。陸佃《埤雅》曰︰鴆,似鷹而紫黑,喙長七八寸,作銅色。食蛇,蛇入口輒爛;屎溺著石,石亦爲之爛。羽翮有毒,以櫟酒,飲殺人;惟犀角可以解,故有鴆處必有犀。〉〈徐廣曰︰犂,猶比也;比至天明也。諸言犂明者,將明時也。呂靜曰︰犂,結也。程大昌曰︰徐說非也。犂、黎,古字通。黎,黑也;黑與明相雜,欲曉未曉之交也,猶曰昧爽也。昧,暗也;爽,明也;亦明暗相雜也。遲明,卽未及乎明也。厥明、質明,則已曉也。〉〈師古曰︰去其眼睛,以藥薰耳令聾也。瘖,不能言也;以瘖藥飲之。〉〈師古曰︰令太后治事,己自如太子然。余謂惠帝之意,蓋以謂身爲太后子而不能容父之寵姬,是終不能治天下也。〉

(Some versions omit that Liu Ruyi was young "in years".

[A long passage about a poisonous bird, from whom the poison used to kill Liu Ruyi was derived.]

This passage describes the arrival of morning as 犂明. Xu Guang remarked, "犂 means 'like, about'. Thus 犂明 meant 'when it was about daylight'. Instances of the use of this term always mean the approach of morning." Lü Jing remarked, "犂 means 'gathered'." Cheng Dachang remarked, "Xu Guang's reasoning is incorrect. In ancient times, 犂 was a synonym for 黎, which means 'black'. Since 'black' and 明 'bright' are generally opposites in meaning, 犂明 is an expression meaning a time that was somewhat, but not quite, daybreak. It is similar to the term 昧爽, where 昧 means 'dim' and 爽 means 'bright', which are also opposites. The time was approaching daybreak, not yet bright. The terms to indicate that daybreak had actually arrived would be 厥明 or 質明."

Regarding Consort Qi's punishments, Yan Shigu remarked, "Her eyes were gouged out, and certain herbs were used to render her deaf. The term 瘖 'dumb' means that she could no longer speak; she was poisoned with dumbness medicine."

Regarding Emperor Hui's statement to Lü Zhi, Yan Shigu remarked, "He was telling her that she should govern affairs, while he would act as the Crown Prince." I (Hu Sanxing) argue that his sentiment must've been that, although he was Lü Zhi's son, he had not been able to save his father's favored concubine, and so in the end he was not fit to govern the realm.)


元年冬。改諸侯王相國為丞相。十二月。趙王如意薨。諡曰隱王... 數月。上晨出苑中獵。趙王不能早起。太后鴆而殺之。周昌乃謝病不朝見。呂后乃斷戚夫人手足。去眼熏耳。飲以喑藥。使居鞠室中。名曰人豕。召帝視之。帝驚乃大哭。因病歲餘不能起。使人謂太后曰。此非人所為。臣不堪為太后子。終不能治天下。遂不聽政事。(Records of Former Han 5, Annals of Emperor Hui)

In the first year of Emperor Hui's reign (194 BC), he changed the title of the chief ministers of the noble fiefs from Chancellor of State to Prime Minister.

In the twelfth month (of 195 BC), the Prince of Zhao, Liu Ruyi, passed away. He was posthumously known as Prince Yin.

Emperor Hui had been able to protect Liu Ruyi from Lü Zhi's wrath for several months. But one day, when Emperor Hui went out to hunt in the park before dawn, Liu Ruyi was not able to get up in time. Lü Zhi took advantage of Emperor Hui's absence to send someone to force Liu Ruyi to drink poison and killed him. Following Liu Ruyi's death, Zhou Chang stopped attending court sessions, pleading illness.

After this, Lü Zhi cut off Consort Qi's hands and feet, gouged out her eyes, deafened her ears, poisoned her so that she could no longer speak, and then set her loose into a rear chamber, calling her "the human swine". Lü Zhi then brought Emperor Hui to come see "the human swine". Emperor Hui was shocked, and he wept greatly and became so sick that for more than a year he could not get up.

Emperor Hui sent someone to tell Lü Zhi, "No human could have done such a thing as you have done. I can no longer bear to be your son." From then on, Emperor Hui no longer governed the realm or attended to the affairs of state.


臣光曰︰爲人子者,父母有過則諫;諫而不聽,則號泣而隨之。安有守高祖之業,爲天下之主,不忍母之殘酷,遂棄國家而不恤,縱酒色以傷生!若孝惠者,可謂篤於小仁而未知大誼也。

2. Your servant Sima Guang remarks: It is said that if one's father or mother commits a fault, one should remonstrate with them, and if the remonstration is not heeded, one should still continue to weep and wail to them over it. How could someone resort to acting as Emperor Hui did? His duty was to preserve the legacy that he had inherited from Gaozu (Liu Bang) and serve as lord of the realm. Yet because he could not bear the sight of the cruelty that his mother had inflicted, he abandoned his duties to the realm and took no further notice of it, and he drowned himself in wine and sensual pleasures! People like Emperor Hui could be described as possessing some small measure of benevolence, but lacking in understanding of true friendship.

〈見《記‧曲禮》。〉

(Sima Guang quotes from the Rites of Propriety chapter of the Book of Rites.)


徙淮陽王友爲趙王。

3. Lü Zhi shifted the Prince of Huaiyang, Liu You, to be the new Prince of Zhao.

〈高祖十一年,封友於淮陽。〉

(Liu Bang had earlier appointed Liu You as Prince of Huaiyang, in the eleventh year of his reign (-196.10).)


徙淮陽王。(Records of Former Han 5, Annals of Emperor Hui)

Lü Zhi shifted the Prince of Huaiyang.


春,正月,始作長安城西北方。

4. It was in spring, the first month, that the northwest corner of the walls of Chang'an first began to be built.

〈漢都長安,蕭何雖治宮室,未暇築城,帝始築之,至五年乃畢,故書以始事。杜佑曰︰惠帝所築長安城,在今大興城西北苑中。〉

(When Han had first established their capital at Chang'an, although Xiao He had built the palaces there, he had not yet had the opportunity to build walls for the city. Emperor Hui now began construction of the walls; they were completed in the fifth year of his reign (190 BC). Thus this passage states that it was at this time that the construction of the walls began. Du You remarked, "The walls of Chang'an which Emperor Hui built are now in the northwest park at the city of Daxing.")


春正月。城長安。(Records of Former Han 5, Annals of Emperor Hui)

In spring, the first month, the walls of Chang'an were built.
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BOOK 12

Unread postby Taishi Ci 2.0 » Mon Nov 11, 2019 4:30 am

二年(戊申、前一九三)

The Second Year of Emperor Hui's Reign (The Wushen Year, 193 BC)


冬,十月,齊悼惠王來朝;飲於太后前,帝以齊王,兄也,置之上坐。太后怒,酌酖酒置前,賜齊王爲壽。齊王起,帝亦起取卮;太后恐,自起泛帝卮。齊王怪之,因不敢飲,佯醉去;問知其酖,大恐。齊內史士說王,使獻城陽郡爲魯元公主湯沐邑。太后喜,乃罷歸齊王。

1. In winter, the tenth month (of 194 BC), the Prince of Qi, Liu Fei, came to attend court.

Liu Fei attended a feast that Lü Zhi presided over. Since Liu Fei was Emperor Hui's elder brother (by a different mother), Emperor Hui allowed Liu Fei to sit in the seat of honor. This gesture angered Lü Zhi. She had a cup of wine secretly poisoned, then offered it to Liu Fei as a toast to his longevity. Liu Fei was about to drink the wine when Emperor Hui got up and took the cup from him. Afraid for her son's life, Lü Zhi immediately got up and spilled the wine out of the cup. Liu Fei was astonished at this; he dared not drink any more wine, and he left the feast by pretending to be drunk. And when he asked around and learned that the cup had been poisoned, he was greatly afraid.

The Interior Minister of Liu Fei's fief as Prince of Qi, Shi, advised him to present Chengyang commandary as a gift to Lü Zhi's daughter, Princess Yuan of Lu, for use as her private town. This appeased Lü Zhi, and she allowed Liu Fei to return to his fief at Qi.

〈高祖庶長子肥也。〉〈蓋於宮中以兄弟齒列爲序,非外朝君臣之禮。〉〈師古曰︰內史,王國官;士,其名也。班《表》︰王國有內史,掌治民。〉

(Liu Fei was Liu Bang's eldest son, the son of one of his concubines.

Since Emperor Hui allowed Liu Fei to take a higher seat than himself at this feast, it must have been a family feast within the palace, where the seniority between brothers took precedence over the court rituals between a sovereign and his subject.

The person who gave Liu Fei this advice is listed as 內史士. Yan Shigu remarked, "內史 'Interior Minister' was this man's title; 士 Shi was his given name." According to the Book of Han, the princely fiefs each had Interior Ministers, who were in charge of governing the people.)


二年冬十月。齊王來朝。王、上之庶兄也。上與王讌飲太后前。置王上坐。如家人禮。太后怒。酌鴆酒令齊王為壽。齊王起。上亦起。太后恐。自反卮酒。王怪之。因偽醉而出。齊內史令王獻城陽郡以尊魯元公主。為湯沐邑。太后嘉而許之。乃遣王歸國。(Records of Former Han 5, Annals of Emperor Hui)

In the second year of Emperor Hui's reign (193 BC), in winter, the tenth month (of 194 BC), the Prince of Qi, Liu Fei, came to attend court.

Liu Fei attended a feast that Lü Zhi presided over. Since Liu Fei was Emperor Hui's elder brother (by a different mother), Emperor Hui allowed Liu Fei to sit in the seat of honor, following family protocols instead of state ones. This gesture angered Lü Zhi. She had a cup of wine secretly poisoned, then offered it to Liu Fei as a toast to his longevity. Liu Fei was about to drink the wine when Emperor Hui got up and took the cup from him. Afraid for her son's life, Lü Zhi immediately got up and spilled the wine out of the cup. Liu Fei was astonished at this; he left the feast by pretending to be drunk.

The Interior Minister of Liu Fei's fief as Prince of Qi ordered him to present Chengyang commandary as a gift to Lü Zhi's daughter, Princess Yuan of Lu, for use as her private town. Lü Zhi commended Liu Fei and accepted it on her daughter's behalf, and she allowed Liu Fei to return to his fief at Qi.


春,正月,癸酉,有兩龍見蘭陵家人井中。

2. In spring, the first month, on the day Guiyou, a pair of dragons were spotted in the well of a family in Yanling.

〈班《志》,蘭陵縣屬東海郡。師古曰︰家人,言庶人之家。《五行志》曰︰溫陵之家。〉

(According to the Book of Han, Yanling county was part of Donghai commandary.

Yan Shigu remarked, "By 'a family in Yanling', it meant the family of some commoners in that county. The Records of the Five Elements states that it was 'a family in Wanling'.")


春正月癸酉。有兩龍見於蘭陵人家井中。乙亥夕始不見。本志以為其後趙王幽死之象。(Records of Former Han 5, Annals of Emperor Hui)

In spring, the first month, on the day Guiyou, a pair of dragons were spotted in the well of a family in Yanling. They did not disappear until dusk on the day Yihai. The old histories state that this incident was an omen of the fate of the Prince of Zhao, Liu You, who was later arrested and died in prison.


隴西地震。

3. The earth shook in Longxi.

隴西地震天開。東北廣十餘丈。長二十餘丈。本志曰。地動陰有餘。天裂陽不足。人主微之應。(Records of Former Han 5, Annals of Emperor Hui)

The earth shook in Longxi, and the sky cracked, forming a gap more than ten zhang in width to the northeast and more than twenty zhang in length. According to the old histories, an earthquake symbolizes a superabundance of Yin (feminine) energy in the realm, and the sky cracking symbolizes an insufficiency of Yang (masculine) energy. This was an omen symbolizing the decline of the sovereign.


夏,旱。

4. In the summer, there was famine.

夏五月大旱。(Records of Former Han 5, Annals of Emperor Hui)

In summer, the fifth month, there was great famine.


郃陽侯仲薨。

5. The Marquis of Heyang, Liu Zhong, passed away.

〈仲,卽代王喜;封郃陽事見上卷高祖七年。〉

(Liu Zhong was the same person as Liu Xi, who had originally been appointed as Prince of Dai. In the seventh year of Liu Bang's reign (Book 11, -200.9), he had been demoted to Marquis of Heyang after abandoning his domain at Dai.)


郃陽侯仲薨。(Records of Former Han 5, Annals of Emperor Hui)

The Marquis of Heyang, Liu Zhong, passed away.


酇文終侯蕭何病,上親自臨視,因問曰︰「君卽百歲後,誰可代君者?」對曰︰「知臣莫如主。」帝曰︰「曹參何如?」何頓首曰︰「帝得之矣,臣死不恨!」

6. Xiao He became ill. Emperor Hui personally came to visit him and tend to his illness. He asked Xiao He, "Sir, after you are gone, who can succeed you?"

Xiao He said, "You know the answer better than anyone."

Emperor Hui asked, "Would Cao Can be suitable?"

Xiao He said, "Just as you say. Now I may die without regrets!"

初何病。上自臨問。百歲之後誰可代君者。對曰。知臣莫若君。上曰。曹參何如。對曰。陛下得之矣。何死不恨。(Records of Former Han 5, Annals of Emperor Hui)

Earlier, when Xiao He had become ill, Emperor Hui had personally come to visit him and tend to his illness. He asked Xiao He, "Sir, after you are gone, who can succeed you?"

Xiao He said, "You know the answer better than anyone."

Emperor Hui asked, "Would Cao Can be suitable?"

Xiao He said, "Just as you say. Now I may die without regrets."

何素不與曹參相能,及何病,孝惠自臨視相國病,因問曰:「君即百歲後,誰可代君者?」對曰:「知臣莫如主。」孝惠曰:「曹參何如?」何頓首曰:「帝得之矣!臣死不恨矣!」(Records of the Grand Historian 53, Biography of Xiao He)

For a long time, Xiao He and Cao Can had not been able to stand being around one another.

Yet when Xiao He became ill and Emperor Hui personally came to visit him and tend to his illness, he asked Xiao He, "Sir, after you are gone, who can succeed you?"

Xiao He said, "You know the answer better than anyone."

Emperor Hui asked, "Would Cao Can be suitable?"

Xiao He said, "Just as you say! Now I may die without regrets!"

高祖崩,何事惠帝。何病,上親自臨視何疾,因問曰:「君即百歲後,誰可代君?」對曰:「知臣莫如主。」帝曰:「曹參何如?」何頓首曰:「帝得之矣。何死不恨矣!」(Book of Han 39, Biography of Xiao He)

After Liu Bang passed away, Xiao He served Emperor Hui.

When Xiao He became ill, Emperor Hui personally came to visit him and tend to his illness. He asked Xiao He, "Sir, after you are gone, who can succeed you?"

Xiao He said, "You know the answer better than anyone."

Emperor Hui asked, "Would Cao Can be suitable?"

Xiao He said, "Just as you say. Now I may die without regrets!"


秋,七月,辛未,何薨。何置田宅,必居窮僻處,爲家,不治垣屋。曰︰「後世賢,師吾儉;不賢,毋爲勢家所奪。」

7. In autumn, the seventh month, on the day Xinwei, Xiao He passed away. He was posthumously known as Marquis Wenzhong ("the Cultured and Fulfilled") of Zan.

Whenever Xiao He purchased farmland or houses, he always made sure to choose poor and remote places, and in his home, he never restored the walls or rooms. He said, "If my descendants are worthy people, I want to provide an example of frugality for them to follow. And if they are not worthy, then at least no one will be tempted to deprive them of such humble possessions."

〈《諡法》︰有始有卒曰終。蒙曰︰克成令名曰終。〉〈師古曰︰僻,隱也。垣,牆也。〉

(The Laws of Posthumous Names states, "One who has finished what they started may be called Zhong ('Fulfilled')." Meng remarked, "One who completes their endeavors and gains a reputation for themself may be called Zhong."

Yan Shigu remarked, "Remote means obscure; 垣 means 'walls'.")


七月。相國蕭何薨。諡文終侯... 初。何買田宅。必居窮僻處。為家不治園屋。且曰。後世賢師吾約。不賢毋為勢家所奪。(Records of Former Han 5, Annals of Emperor Hui)

In the seventh month, the Chancellor of State, Xiao He, passed away. He was posthumously known as Marquis Wenzhong.

Whenever Xiao He purchased farmland or houses, he always made sure to choose poor and remote places, and in his home, he never restored the gardens or rooms. He said, "If my descendants are worthy people, I want to provide an example of frugality for them to follow. And if they are not worthy, then at least no one will be tempted to deprive them of such humble possessions."

何置田宅必居窮處,為家不治垣屋。曰:「後世賢,師吾儉;不賢,毋為勢家所奪。」孝惠二年,相國何卒,諡為文終侯。後嗣以罪失侯者四世,絕,天子輒複求何後,封續酇侯,功臣莫得比焉。太史公曰:蕭相國何於秦時為刀筆吏,錄錄未有奇節。及漢興,依日月之末光,何謹守管籥,因民之疾法,順流與之更始。淮陰、黥布等皆以誅滅,而何之勳爛焉。位冠群臣,聲施後世,與閎夭、散宜生等爭烈矣。【索隱述贊】蕭何為吏,文而無害。及佐興王,舉宗從沛。關中既守,轉輸是賴。漢軍屢疲,秦兵必會。約法可久,收圖可大。指獸發蹤,其功實最。政稱畫一,居乃非泰。繼絕寵勤,式旌礪帶。(Records of the Grand Historian 53, Biography of Xiao He)

Whenever Xiao He purchased farmland or houses, he always made sure to choose poor and remote places, and in his home, he never restored the walls or rooms. He said, "If my descendants are worthy people, I want to provide an example of frugality for them to follow. And if they are not worthy, then at least no one will be tempted to deprive them of such humble possessions."

In the second year of Emperor Hui's reign (193 BC), Xiao He passed away. He was posthumously known as Marquis Wenzhong.

The title of Marquis of Zan continued to be inherited by Xiao He's descendants. On four occasions, the title was deprived from one of his descendants who had committed some crime, but the Emperors always sought out another descendant to grant the title to. Yet none of Xiao He's descendants ever matched him in achievements.

Sima Qian's Appraisal: During the Qin dynasty, Xiao He was a mere clerk, and there was no record of his achieving anything remarkable. Yet during the rise of the Han dynasty, Xiao He shone with the luster of the Sun and Moon. He was careful and diligent in his reforms of the court music, and responding to the people's exhaustion from the harsh laws of Qin, he heeded their wishes and gave the realm a new start. The Marquis of Huaiyin (Han Xin), Qing Bu, and others who had initially accomplished much on behalf of the dynasty eventually met with execution and the extermination of their families. Yet Xiao He's achievements endured. He rose to become chief amongst all of the dynasty's ministers, and his influence lasted through the ages. In the pantheon of great ministers of history, he would be a worthy rival for Hong Yao, San Yisheng, and the other ancients.

Suoyin Commentary Appraisal: In his service as a clerk, Xiao He never committed a fault. When he began to assist Liu Bang, he raised his family to follow Liu Bang from Pei. After being placed in charge of Guanzhong, he undertook logistics as his duty. Though the Han armies were often smashed or starved, Xiao He never failed to send more troops and supplies from the Qin region. He organized the laws and made them fit to endure, and his collection of the old Qin records could be called a great achievement. "The hunter points out the beasts and sets the dogs loose for the chase" well describes why Xiao He's achievements placed him above all others. In his administration he was uniform, and in his residence he was not extravagent. He constantly declined honors and was cautious in his conduct. May he serve as a model for the ages.

何買田宅必居窮辟處,為家不治垣屋。曰:「令後世賢,師吾儉;不賢,毋為勢家所奪。」孝惠二年,何薨,諡曰文終侯。子祿嗣,薨,無子。高后乃封何夫人同為酇侯,小子延為筑陽侯。孝文元年,罷同,更封延為酇侯。薨,子遺嗣。薨,無子。文帝復以遺弟則嗣,有罪免。景帝二年,制詔御史:「故相國蕭何,高皇帝大功臣,所與為天下也。今其祀絕,朕甚憐之。其以武陽縣戶二千封何孫嘉為列侯。」嘉,則弟也。薨,子勝嗣,後有罪免。武帝元狩中,復下詔御史:「以酇戶二千四百封何曾孫慶為酇侯,布告天下,令明知朕報蕭相國德也。」慶,則子也。薨,子壽成嗣,坐為太常儀牲瘦免。宣帝時,詔丞相御史求問蕭相國後在者,得玄孫建世等十二人,復下詔以酇戶二千封建世為酇侯。傳子至孫獲,坐使奴殺人減死論。成帝時,復封何玄孫之子南讀長喜為酇侯。傳子至曾孫,王莽敗乃絕。(Book of Han 39, Biography of Xiao He)

Whenever Xiao He purchased farmland or houses, he always made sure to choose poor and remote places, and in his home, he never restored the walls or rooms. He said, "If my descendants are worthy people, I want to provide an example of frugality for them to follow. And if they are not worthy, then at least no one will be tempted to deprive them of such humble possessions."

In the second year of Emperor Hui's reign (193 BC), Xiao He passed away. He was posthumously known as Marquis Wenzhong.

Xiao He's son Xiao Lu succeeded him.

Xiao Lu died without any sons. Lü Zhi thus appointed Xiao He's wife Tong as the new Marquis of Zan, and she appointed his younger son Xiao Yan as Marquis of Zhuyang. But in the first year of Emperor Wen's reign (180 BC), Tong was deprived of the title and Xiao Yan was made the Marquis of Zan instead.

When Xiao Yan passed away, his son Xiao Yi succeeded him.

Xiao Yi died without any sons. Emperor Wen thus appointed his younger brother Xiao Ze as the new Marquis of Zan. However, Xiao Ze was later stripped of the title for having committed a crime. In the second year of Emperor Jing's reign (156 BC), he issued an edict through the Imperial Secretary stating, "The old Chancellor of State, Xiao He, was the greatest minister of Emperor Gao (Liu Bang), who shared the realm with him. Now his lineage shall be cut off, which drives me to deep pity. I hereby appoint Xiao He's grandson Xiao Jia to the title of Marquis of Wuyang county, with its two thousand households as fief." This Xiao Jia was Xiao Ze's younger brother.

When Xiao Jia passed away, his son Xiao Sheng succeeded him. But Xiao Sheng was later convicted of a crime and stripped of his title. During the Yuanshou reign era (122-117 BC), Emperor Wu issued an edict through the Imperial Secretary stating, "Xiao He's great-grandson Xiao Qing is hereby granted the title of Marquis of Zan, along with its fief of two thousand and four hundred households. Let the world thus take note how I thus repay the old Chancellor of State, Xiao He, for his virtues." This Xiao Qing was Xiao Ze's son.

When Xiao Qing passed away, his son Xiao Shoucheng succeeded him. But Xiao Shoucheng was convicted for failing to provide sacrificial resources to the Minister of Ceremonies and was stripped of his title. During the reign of Emperor Xuan, he issued an edict to the Prime Minister and Imperial Secretary ordering them to seek out descendants of Xiao He. They found twelve of Xiao He's great-great-grandsons, and one of them, Xiao Jianshi, was appointed as Marquis of Zan and granted its fief of two thousand households.

The title Marquis of Zan then passed from Xiao Jianshi down to his grandson Xiao Huo. But Xiao Huo was convicted of sending a slave to kill someone and was barely spared the death sentence. During the reign of Emperor Cheng, Xiao He's great-great-great-grandson Nandu Changxi was appointed as the new Marquis of Zan.

The title then passed from him down to his great-grandson. But after the fall of Wang Mang, the title was abolished.


癸巳,以曹參爲相國。參聞何薨,告舍人:「趣治行!吾將入相。」居無何,使者果召參。始,參微時,與蕭何善;及爲將相,有隙;至何且死,所推賢惟參。參代何爲相,舉事無所變更,一遵何約束。擇郡國吏木訥於文辭、重厚長者,卽召除爲丞相史;吏之言文刻深、欲務聲名者,輒斥去之。日夜飲醇酒;卿、大夫以下吏及賓客見參不事事,來者皆欲有言,參輒飲以醇酒;間欲有所言,復飲之,醉而後去,終莫得開說,以爲常。見人有細過,專掩匿覆蓋之;府中無事。

8. On the day Guisi, Cao Can was appointed to succeed Xiao He as Chancellor of State.

When Cao Can first heard that Xiao He had passed away, he told his retainers, "Quickly get yourselves in order! I'll be appointed as Chancellor soon." And in no time at all, the messenger indeed arrived summoning him for his new appointment.

Years earlier, when both of them had still been nobodies, Cao Can and Xiao He had been good friends. Later, after Cao Can became a general and Xiao He became a chancellor, their relationship began to strain. But even so, when Xiao He was on his deathbed, he felt that Cao Can was the only person worthy enough to succeed him. And after Cao Can became Chancellor of State, he honored and followed all of Xiao He's policies without changing or reforming anything.

When it came to selecting members of the Prime Minister's staff, if any officials from the provinces or princely fiefs wrote to Cao Can with plain and straightforward words and showed proper esteem for their superiors, he would choose them, but he always rejected and sent away those who wrote in fancy rhetoric and wanted to make names for themselves. Cao Can also got sloshed in drinking day and night, and none of the nobles, chief ministers, or anyone else who came to him to talk about government affairs could ever make any headway. If someone did come wanting to talk about such things, Cao Can always plied them with wine first to get them tipsy, and if they still tried to broach the subject, he would make them drink further until they were drunk and then send them away. Thus no one could ever get in a word edgewise with him. And if Cao Can ever saw someone committing a minor fault, he would always cover it up for them. Thus there were no issues on his staff.

〈師古曰︰舍人,猶言家人也。一曰︰私屬官主家事者也。余據戰國時,蘇秦使舍人資送張儀入秦,李斯爲呂不韋舍人,謂爲私屬官可也,以爲主家事則拘矣。趣,讀曰促,速也。治行,謂飭治行裝也。〉〈居無何,謂居無幾時也。〉〈言推舉以爲賢也。〉〈師古曰︰舉,皆也;言凡事無更改。〉〈木,質朴也。訥,謇於言也。〉〈漢制︰丞相官屬,長史之下有掾史、令史等。〉〈斥,卻也,逐也。師古曰︰醇酒不澆,謂厚酒也。〉〈言不事丞相之事。〉〈開,啓也;謂有所啓白。以爲常者,飲之以酒也。〉

(Yan Shigu remarked, "By 舍人 'retainers', it meant the members of Cao Can's family. It is also said that it meant the chief of affairs of his household." I (Hu Sanxing) note that in texts about the Warring States era, Su Qin is described as sending a 舍人 to escort Zhang Yi into Qin, and Li Si is described as being a 舍人 to Lü Buwei. So I think that a 舍人 is a person's private subordinate, and a 'chief of household affairs' is not far off.

Cao Can orders his retainers to 趣治行. 趣 should be read as 促 "urgently", or 速 "quickly". 治行 means "to get oneself in order and put on one's attire".

The term 居無何 means "in no time at all".

The phrase 推賢惟參 means that Xiao He felt that Cao Can was the only one worthy to recommend succeeding him.

The term 舉 in this case means "all"; in other words, Cao Can did not change anything.

Regarding the term 木訥, 木 means "plain and unadorned", and 訥 means "upright or honest speech".

According to the Han system, the Chief Clerk of the Prime Minister's staff had such subordinates as Officials and Clerks.

The term 斥 means "to block" or "to drive away".

Yan Shigu remarked, "To get 'sloshed' is to drink indulgently; it was saying that he was a heavy drinker.

Cao Can would not allow people to talk to him about the affairs of the Prime Minister's actions.

By "getting in a word edgewise", it means that people could not get a chance to bring up the official affairs.

This passage states that "this was his usual practice"; it meant getting people mellow with wine.)


癸巳。齊丞相曹參為相國。初。參在齊。召長老諸先生數百人。問以時政。長老諸先生言人人殊異。膠西蓋公治黃老術。曰。治道貴清靜而民自定。參乃師蓋公。齊國大治。初田榮欲叛項羽。劫齊處士。不預者死。齊處士東郭先生梁石君隱在劫中。及榮敗。二人媿之。隱居深山。蒯通謂曹參曰。彼東郭先生隱居不出。君未嘗卑禮下節以求士也。願足下禮之。參曰諾。皆以為上客。而齊人安期生嘗干項羽。項羽不用其策。已而羽欲封之。亦不肯受封。曹參聞蕭何薨。告其舍人曰。趣治行。吾且入相矣。使者召參。參始微時與蕭何善。及為齊相有隙。至何疾。所推賢惟參。參為相國。遵何之政。擇郡國吏謹厚者則除為丞相史。其文刻深務聲名者。輒斥去之。日夜飲酒。見人有細過。專覆蓋之。府中無事。(Records of Former Han 5, Annals of Emperor Hui)

On the day Guisi, the Prime Minister of the Prince of Qi, Cao Can, was appointed to succeed Xiao He as Chancellor of State.

Earlier, while Cao Can had been serving in Qi, he had summoned hundreds of local elders and leaders and asked them about the circumstances of the day and the administration of the government. They all gave him different advice. But he was interested by the response of Lord Gai of Jiaoxi commandary, who was a believer in Huang-Lao practices. Lord Gai told him, "Govern with principle and honor tranquility and peacefulness, and the people will be settled of their own accord." Cao Can thus followed the advice of Lord Gai, and the princely fief of Qi was well-governed.

Many years before, when Tian Rong had wanted to rebel against Xiang Yu, he had forced the recluses of Qi to serve him and killed anyone who refused. Two of these recluses in the east, Master Dongguo and the Lord of Liangshi, managed to avoid being forced to serve. After Tian Rong was defeated, these two felt guilty, so they were living in deep seclusion in the mountains. Kuai Tong thus advised Cao Can, "Master Dongguo is living in seclusion and will not come out because our lord has never once conducted himself with humility to invite him to come. Sir, you should treat him with ceremony."

Cao Can said, "So be it." And thus he was able to recruit so many gentlemen.

When the Qi region had been at peace, the people there had been under Xiang Yu's power, but he had not used their advice. Later, when Xiang Yu wished to grant them fiefs, they could not bear to receive them.

When Cao Can first heard that Xiao He had passed away, he told his retainers, "Quickly get yourselves in order. I'll be appointed as Chancellor soon." And in no time at all, the messenger indeed arrived summoning him for his new appointment.

When both of them had still been nobodies, Cao Can and Xiao He had been good friends. Later, after Cao Can became Chancellor of Qi, their relationship began to strain. But even so, when Xiao He was on his deathbed, he felt that Cao Can was the only person worthy enough to succeed him. And after Cao Can became Chancellor of State, he honored and followed all of Xiao He's policies without changing or reforming anything.

When it came to selecting members of the Prime Minister's staff, if any officials from the provinces or princely fiefs wrote to Cao Can with plain and straightforward words, he would choose them, but he always rejected and sent away those who wrote in fancy rhetoric and wanted to make names for themselves. Cao Can also got sloshed in drinking day and night. And if Cao Can ever saw someone committing a minor fault, he would always cover it up for them. Thus there were no issues on his staff.


參子窋爲中大夫,帝怪相國不治事,以爲「豈少朕與?」使窋歸,以其私問參。參怒,笞窋二百,曰︰「趣入侍!天下事非若所當言也!」至朝時,帝讓參曰︰「乃者我使諫君也。」參免冠謝曰︰「陛下自察聖武孰與高帝?」上曰︰「朕乃安敢望先帝!」又曰︰「陛下觀臣能孰與蕭何賢?」上曰︰「君似不及也。」參曰︰「陛下言之是也。高帝與蕭何定天下,法令旣明。今陛下垂拱,參等守職,遵而勿失,不亦可乎!」帝曰︰「善!」

9. Cao Can's son Cao Zhu was serving in the palace as a Household Grandee. Emperor Hui was concerned about Cao Can's lack of attention to his duties as Chancellor of State, and he wondered, "Does he think me a mere child?"

So he sent Cao Zhu home to have him privately ask Cao Can what he was going. But Cao Can, angered by his son's questioning, beat Cao Zhu two hundred times, then scolded him, "Back to the palace with you! The affairs of the realm are nothing for you to talk about!"

When Cao Can later attended court, Emperor Hui rebuked him, saying, "I was the one who sent your son to remonstrate with you."

Cao Can removed his hat by way of apology. He said, "Your Majesty, do you believe you possess as much sage insight and martial prowess as Emperor Gao (Liu Bang) did?"

Emperor Hui replied, "How could I dare hope to match the achievements of my late father?"

Cao Can continued, "And does Your Majesty believe that I could be as worthy a man as Xiao He was?"

Emperor Hui replied, "You don't seem to be his equal."

Cao Can concluded, "It is just as Your Majesty says. Emperor Gao and Xiao He were the ones who settled the realm and clarified the laws and ordinances. That being so, isn't it only proper that Your Majesty reigns with folded hands and I maintain Xiao He's policies, honoring them without allowing for any loss?"

Emperor Hui replied, "Well said!"

〈師古曰︰言豈以我爲年少故也。與,讀曰歟。〉〈師古曰︰乃者,猶言曩者。〉

(Emperor Hui wonders to himself the sentence 豈少朕與? Yan Shigu remarked, "He was saying, 'could it be that he is slighting me because of my young age?' 與 should be read as 歟 (an exclamatory particle)."

Yan Shigu remarked, "乃者 means 'the one who spoke to you before'.")


上怪而問參不治政事之意。參對曰。陛下聖德。孰與高皇帝。上曰。朕安敢望先帝。又問陛下視臣孰與蕭何。上曰。君似不及也。參曰。陛下言之是也。高皇時與蕭何定天下。法令既具。陛下垂拱。臣等守職。遵而勿失。不亦可乎。上曰善。(Records of Former Han 5, Annals of Emperor Hui)

Emperor Hui was concerned about Cao Can's lack of attention to his duties as Chancellor of State.

Cao Can said to Emperor Hui, "Your Majesty, do you believe you possess as much sage insight and virtue as Emperor Gao (Liu Bang) did?"

Emperor Hui replied, "How could I dare hope to match the achievements of my late father?"

Cao Can continued, "And how does Your Majesty compare me to Xiao He?"

Emperor Hui replied, "You don't seem to be his equal."

Cao Can concluded, "It is just as Your Majesty says. Emperor Gao and Xiao He were the ones who settled the realm and clarified the laws and ordinances. That being so, isn't it only proper that Your Majesty reigns with folded hands and I and the other ministers maintain Xiao He's policies, honoring them without allowing for any loss?"

Emperor Hui replied, "Well said."


參爲相國,出入三年,百姓歌之曰︰「蕭何爲法,較若畫一。曹參代之,守而勿失;載其清淨,民以寧壹。」

10. Cao Can served as Chancellor of State for three years. The common people had a song about him: "Xiao He made the laws complete and clarified them all. Cao Can kept the laws intact, preserved them great and small. Thanks to his tranquility, the people could stand tall."

〈較若,猶今言較然也。畫一,言其整齊也。〉

(The term 較若 is equivalent to our modern term 較然 "clearly, evidently". And 畫一 means that Xiao He set the laws in good order.)


民歌之曰。蕭何為法。較若畫一。曹參代之。守而勿失。載其清淨。民因寧謐。(Records of Former Han 5, Annals of Emperor Hui)

The common people had a song about Cao Can: "Xiao He made the laws complete and clarified them all. Cao Can kept the laws intact, preserved them great and small. Thanks to his tranquility, the people could stand tall."
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BOOK 12

Unread postby Taishi Ci 2.0 » Mon Nov 11, 2019 4:31 am

三年(己酉、前一九二)

The Third Year of Emperor Hui's Reign (The Jiyou Year, 192 BC)


春,發長安六百里內男女十四萬六千人城長安,三十日罷。

1. In spring, 146,000 men and women living within six hundred li of Chang'an were drafted to help work on building the walls of the city. After thirty days, they were dismissed.

三年春。發京師六百里內男女十四萬六千人。築長安城。三十日罷。(Records of Former Han 5, Annals of Emperor Hui)

In the third year of Emperor Hui's reign (192 BC), in spring, 146,000 men and women living within six hundred li of Chang'an were drafted to help work on building the walls of the city. After thirty days, they were dismissed.


以宗室女爲公主,嫁匈奴冒頓單于。是時,冒頓方強,爲書,使使遺高后,辭極褻嫚。高后大怒,召將相大臣,議斬其使者,發兵擊之。樊噲曰︰「臣願得十萬衆橫行匈奴中!」中郎將季布曰︰「噲可斬也!前匈奴圍高帝於平城,漢兵三十二萬,噲爲上將軍,不能解圍。今歌吟之聲未絕,傷夷者甫起,而噲欲搖動天下,妄言以十萬衆橫行,是面謾也。且夷狄譬如禽獸,得其善言不足喜,惡言不足怒也。」高后曰︰「善!」令大謁者張釋報書,深自謙愻以謝之,幷遺以車二乘,馬二駟。冒頓復使使來謝,曰︰「未嘗聞中國禮義,陛下幸而赦之。」因獻馬,遂和親。

2. A woman of the imperial clan, claimed to be a princess, was sent off in marriage to Modu.

By this time, Modu was especially powerful. He wrote a letter to Lü Zhi, addressing her in lewd and presumptuous language, and had his envoy bring it to her. This greatly angered Lü Zhi, and she summoned the generals, ministers, and chief officials. She proposed beheading Modu's envoy and raising an army to attack the Xiongnu. Fan Kuai even declared, "I'm willing to lead an army of a hundred thousand to march right into Xiongnu territory!"

But then the General of the Household Gentlemen, Ji Bu, said, "Fan Kuai ought to be beheaded for that remark! When the Xiongnu besieged Emperor Gao at Pingcheng before, the Han army at that time was 320,000 strong, and Fan Kuai was one of the chief generals, yet even back then he wasn't able to break the siege. Even after all these years, the mournful cries of the families of those lost at Pingcheng have still not ceased, and the wounds of that war have not yet healed. Yet now Fan Kuai wants to stir up the realm again and rashly declares that he can march into Xiongnu territory with merely a hundred thousand soldiers? He is lying to your face!

"Besides, the barbarians are no different from animals. We wouldn't be happy if they used nice words to address us, so why should we get so riled up when they use rude language?"

Lü Zhi replied, "Well said!" So she had the Chief Diplomat, Zhang Shi, write a response to Modu in her own name, using exceptionally modest and humble language to decline his request. She also sent Modu two carriages and four horses to pull them.

Modu sent back another envoy offering his own apologies, saying, "I have had no experience of the rites and ceremonies of the Middle Kingdom, but Your Majesty was kind and forgave me." And he presented a horse as tribute. Thus the marriage alliance with the Xiongnu continued.

〈褻,汚也。嫚,傲也。〉〈漢有五官、左、右中郎三將,秩二千石,典領中郎,屬郎中令。〉〈見上卷高祖七年。《考異》曰︰《季布傳》云︰「前陳豨反於代時,匈奴圍高帝於平城」。按平城之圍,乃韓王信反,非陳豨反也。〉〈謾,欺誑也。〉〈謁者,秦官,掌賓贊受事,員七十人。大謁者,蓋其長也。《考異》曰︰《史記‧文帝本紀》及《惠景間侯者表》、《漢書‧匈奴傳》皆作「澤」;《史記‧呂后本紀》︰「八年,中大謁者張釋」,《漢書‧紀》作「釋卿」,《恩澤侯表》及《周勃傳》皆云「張釋」;顏師古《註》曰︰《荊燕吳傳》云「張擇」。今從《史記‧呂后本紀》、《漢書‧恩澤侯表》、《周勃傳》。〉〈愻,與遜同,順也。〉

(This passage describes the language of Modu's first letter as being 褻嫚. 褻 "lewd" means "filthy", and 嫚 "presumptuous" means "arrogant".

Han had the ranks of General of the Household Gentlemen For All Purposes and of the Left and Right as well; they were of the Two Thousand 石 salary rank. They supervised and directed the Household Gentlemen, and were subordinates of the Prefect of the Household Gentlemen.

The Xiongnu siege of Liu Bang's army at Pingcheng is mentioned in Book 11, in the seventh year of Liu Bang's reign (-200.6).

Ji Bu accuses Fan Kuai as being 謾; this means lying or being deceptive.

Diplomats were a Qin office, in charge of receiving guests and making responses; there were seven of them. The "Chief Diplomat" must've been their leader.

The term 愻 means "modest, submissive".

Sima Guang's commentary in the Textual Analysis states, "The Biography of Ji Bu has Ji Bu mention 'when Chen Xi rebelled at Dai and the Xiongnu besieged Emperor Gao at Pingcheng'. But it was King Xin of Hann who rebelled at the time of the siege of Pingcheng, not Chen Xi.

"Regarding the Chief Diplomat who wrote the response to Modu, he is listed as Zhang 澤 Ze in the Annals of Emperor Wen in the Records of the Grand Historian, the Table of Nobles of the Era From Emperor Hui To Emperor Jing, and the Account of the Xiongnu in the Book of Han; as Shi Qiu in the Annals of Empress Lü in the Records of the Grand Historian and in the Book of Han; as Zhang Shi in the Table of Favored Nobles and the Biography of Zhou Bo; and as Zhang 擇 Ze in Yan Shigu's Annotations to the Biographies of the Princes of Jing, Yan, and Wu. I chose to follow the accounts of the third group and list him in this passage as Zhang Shi.")


以宗室女為公主。妻匈奴單于。(Records of Former Han 5, Annals of Emperor Hui)

A woman of the imperial clan, claimed to be a princess, was sent off in marriage to the Chanyu of the Xiongnu.


夏,五月,立閩越君搖爲東海王。搖與無諸,皆越王句踐之後也,從諸侯滅秦,功多,其民便附,故立之。都東甌,世號東甌王。

3. In summer, the fifth month, Emperor Hui appointed the Lord of Min-Yue, Yao, as the King of the Eastern Sea.

Yao and Wuzhu were both descendants of the old King of Yue, Goujian. They had helped the other feudal lords to overthrow the Qin dynasty, they had achieved much, and the people of the region supported them. Thus they were both appointed as Kings. Yao had his capital at Dong'ou, and for generations he was known as the King of Dong'ou.

〈閩越王無諸,高祖五年受封,都冶,今福州候官是也。帝又封搖於東海。東海,卽東甌,今溫州永嘉是也。應劭曰︰搖封東海,在吳郡東南濱海,此閩越、東越所由分也。〉

(Liu Bang had earlier appointed Wuzhu as King of Min-Yue, as mentioned in the fifth year of his reign (Book 11, -202.14). His capital was at Ye, which is now Houguan in Fuzhou.

Emperor Hui now appointed Yao as King of the Eastern Sea, and Dong'ou is the modern Yongjia in Wenzhou. Ying Shao remarked, "By 'Eastern Sea', it meant that Yao was appointed as King of the southeastern sea coast in Wu commandary. And this was the beginning of the split between the regions of Min-Yue and Dongyue.")


夏五月。立閩越君繇為東甌王。初。繇與諸粵俱佐諸侯伐秦。繇功未錄。故立為王。都甌東。號東甌。(Records of Former Han 5, Annals of Emperor Hui)

In summer, the fifth month, Emperor Hui appointed the Lord of Min-Yue, Yao, as the King of Dong'ou.

Earlier, Yao and the various Yue leaders had helped the other feudal lords to overthrow the Qin dynasty, yet Yao's achievements had never been recognized. Thus he was now appointed as King. Yao had his capital at Oudong, and his state was known as Dong'ou.


六月,發諸侯王、列侯徒隸二萬人城長安。

4. In the sixth month, twenty thousand convicts were drafted from the domains of the princes and nobles and sent to Chang'an to work on the walls of Chang'an.

〈自元年始作長安城西北方;今年春,又發長安六百里內男女就役;不欲復勞之,故發王侯徒隸。〉

(Work on the walls of Chang'an had begun in the first year of Emperor Hui's reign (194 BC), in the northwestern corner. And in the spring of this year, Emperor Hui had already drafted people living within six hundred li of Chang'an to work on the walls. He did not wish to further trouble these local people, thus he drafted convicts and workers from the fiefs of the princes and nobles.)


六月。發諸侯王列侯徒屬一萬人城長安。(Records of Former Han 5, Annals of Emperor Hui)

In the sixth month, ten thousand convicts were drafted from the domains of the princes and nobles and sent to Chang'an to work on the walls of Chang'an.


秋,七月,都廐災。

5. In autumn, the seventh month, the capital stables burned.

〈都廐,大廐也,屬太僕。〉

(The capital stables were the Grand Stables, under the supervision of the Minister Coachman.)


秋七月。都廄災。南越王尉佗稱臣奉貢。(Records of Former Han 5, Annals of Emperor Hui)

In autumn, the seventh month, the capital stables burned.

The King of Nanyue, Zhao Tuo, affirmed his status as vassal to the Han dynasty and sent tribute.


是歲,蜀湔氐反,擊平之。

6. During this year, the Di tribes of Jian in Shu commandary rebelled. They were attacked and pacified.

〈班《志》,湔氐道屬蜀郡㟭山,在西徼外,江水所出。又《百官表》︰有蠻夷曰道,則其地蓋湔氐居之,故曰道也。湔,則前翻;裴松之音翦。〉

(According to the Book of Han, there was a Jiandi circuit in Minshan county in Shu commandary; it was beyond the western frontier, at the origins of the Yangzi. And the Table of Offices also states that "a tribal district is called a circuit". So this Jiandi circuit must have been the place where the Jian Di tribes lived. 湔 is pronounced "zian (z-ian)"; Pei Songzhi states that it is pronounced "jian".)
Last edited by Taishi Ci 2.0 on Mon Nov 18, 2019 2:39 am, edited 1 time in total.
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