Zizhi Tongjian: The Han Dynasty (In Progress)

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BOOK 14

Unread postby Taishi Ci 2.0 » Wed Jan 22, 2020 5:14 am

九年(庚午、前一七一)

The Ninth Year of Emperor Wen's Reign (The Gengwu or Metal Horse Year, 171 BC)


春,大旱。

1. In the spring, there was drought.

九年夏大旱。(Records of Former Han 7, Annals of Emperor Wen)

In the ninth year of Emperor Wen's reign (171 BC), in the spring, there was drought.
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BOOK 14

Unread postby Taishi Ci 2.0 » Wed Jan 22, 2020 5:15 am

十年(辛未、前一七○)

The Tenth Year of Emperor Wen's Reign (The Xinwei or Metal Goat Year, 170 BC)


冬,上行幸甘泉。

1. In the winter (of 171 BC), Emperor Wen went to Ganquan.

十年冬。上行幸甘泉。(Records of Former Han 8, Annals of Emperor Wen)

In the tenth year of Emperor Wen's reign (170 BC), in the winter (of 171 BC), Emperor Wen went to Ganquan.


將軍薄昭殺漢使者。帝不忍加誅,使公卿從之飲酒,欲令自引分,昭不肯;使羣臣喪服往哭之,乃自殺。

2. Emperor Wen's uncle Bo Zhao killed a Han messenger. Although this was a crime deserving of death, Emperor Wen could not bear to have Bo Zhao executed. He sent the nobles and chief ministers to go and drink with Bo Zhao, hoping that Bo Zhao would be convinced to do away with himself, but Bo Zhao was unwilling. Thus Emperor Wen resorted to having his ministers dress in mourning clothes and go to see Bo Zhao while weeping for him. Bo Zhao thus killed himself.

〈引分,猶言引決也。〉

(By "do away with himself", the passage means to kill himself.)


將軍薄昭有罪自殺。(Records of Former Han 8, Annals of Emperor Wen)

The general Bo Zhao committed a crime and took his own life.


臣光曰︰李德裕以爲︰「漢文帝誅薄昭,斷則明矣,於義則未安也。秦康送晉文,興如存之感;況太后尚存,唯一弟薄昭,斷之不疑,非所以慰母氏之心也。」臣愚以爲法者天下之公器,惟善持法者,親疏如一,無所不行,則人莫敢有所恃而犯之也。夫薄昭雖素稱長者,文帝不爲置賢師傅而用之典兵;驕而犯上,至於殺漢使者,非有恃而然乎!若又從而赦之,則與成、哀之世何異哉!魏文帝嘗稱漢文帝之美,而不取其殺薄昭,曰︰「舅后之家,但當養育以恩而不當假借以權,旣觸罪法,又不得不害。」譏文帝之始不防閑昭也,斯言得之矣。然則欲慰母心者,將愼之於始乎!

3. Your servant Sima Guang remarks: Li Deyu of the Tang dynasty said of this incident, "When it came to Emperor Wen of Han's execution of Bo Zhao, I will allow that it was wise in terms of enforcing the law. Yet I cannot consider it a righteous action. After all, there was that occasion that inspired the Weiyang poem from the Book of Poetry where, when Duke Kang of Qin escorted his uncle Duke Wen of Jin to the north side of the Wei River to bid him farewell, Duke Kang was so moved by emotion because Duke Wen reminded him of his late mother, who had been Duke Wen's sister. If Duke Kang felt such grief about his mother although she had already been dead for some time, how much more would Emperor Wen's mother Lady Bo have lamented the loss of her only brother Bo Zhao? So although I do not doubt Emperor Wen's resolve, I cannot say that his action soothed his mother's heart."

Now foolish though I may be, still it seems to me that the law is something that must be applied impartially to all. If the law is to be maintained well, there can be no distinction between one's close relations and other people, none to whom it does not apply. When that is the case, then no one will dare to violate the law while presuming their status will save them. As for Bo Zhao, although he had always been considered a good man, the error that Emperor Wen committed was to not assign worthy instructors to tutor him, but instead left him in charge of military affairs. This made Bo Zhao conceited enough to think that he could act with impunity, to the extent that he even killed a Han messenger. If this is not arrogance, what is? And if, having allowed things to come to this state, Emperor Wen appeased Bo Zhao and pardoned him, then how would he have been any different than his descendants Emperor Cheng or Emperor Ai, who were completely at the mercy of their maternal relatives?

Though Emperor Wen of Cao-Wei (Cao Pi) was always extolling Emperor Wen's excellent qualities, he too faulted Emperor Wen for having killed Bo Zhao. But his reasoning was, "Emperor Wen ought to have cultivated and nurtured a gracious spirit in his uncle instead of lending him power and authority. For when Bo Zhao went so far as to break the law, Emperor Wen was thus left with no choice but to kill him."

Now that is a valid criticism of Emperor Wen, for not having guarded against having to punish Bo Zhao from the beginning. But we must be cautious against condoning such justifications as "soothing a mother's heart"!

〈《詩‧小序》曰︰秦康公之母,晉獻公之女。文公遭驪姬之難,未反而秦姬卒。穆公納文公,康公時爲太子,贈送文公于渭之陽;念母之不見也,我見舅氏,如母存焉。〉

(Li Deyu refers to the Weiyang poem in the Book of Poetry. The notes to that poem state, "The mother of Duke Kang of Qin was the daughter of Duke Xian of Jin. When Chong'er, who later became Duke Wen of Jin, had fled Jin to escape the machinations of Duke Xian's concubine Consort Li, he had not yet returned to Jin before his sister in Qin passed away. Duke Mu of Qin later agreed to shelter Chong'er; at that time, Duke Mu of Qin was still the Crown Prince of Qin. He wrote this poem when he escorted Chong'er to the north side of the Wei River, saying, 'Although I regret I can no longer see my mother, when I see you, Uncle, it is like my mother is still alive.'")
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Re: BOOK 14

Unread postby Kongde » Mon Feb 17, 2020 1:51 am

Taishi Ci 2.0 wrote:九年(庚午、前一七一)

The Ninth Year of Emperor Wen's Reign (The Gengwu or Metal Horse Year, 171 BC)


春,大旱。

1. In the spring, there was drought.

Sounds like an eventful year
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BOOK 15

Unread postby Taishi Ci 2.0 » Mon Mar 23, 2020 1:23 am

前十一年(壬申、前一六九)

The Eleventh Year of Emperor Wen’s Reign (The Renshen or Water Monkey Year, 169 BC)


冬,十一月,上行幸代;春,正月,自代還。

1. In winter, the eleventh month (of 170 BC), Emperor Wen traveled to Dai. In spring, the first month, he returned from Dai.

十一年冬十有一月。上行幸代。春正月。上至自代。(Records of Former Han 8, Annals of Emperor Wen)

In the eleventh year of Emperor Wen’s reign (169 BC), in winter, the eleventh month (of 170 BC), Emperor Wen traveled to Dai. In spring, the first month, he returned from Dai.


夏,六月,梁懷王揖薨,無子。賈誼復上疏曰:「陛下卽不定制,如今之勢,不過一傳、再傳,諸侯猶且人恣而不制,豪植而大強,漢法不得行矣。陛下所以爲藩扞及皇太子之所恃者,唯淮陽、代二國耳。代,北邊匈奴,與強敵爲鄰,能自完則足矣;而淮陽之比大諸侯,廑如黑子之著面,適足以餌大國而不足以有所禁禦。方今制在陛下;制國而令子適足以爲餌,豈可謂工哉!臣之愚計,願舉淮南地以益淮陽,而爲梁王立後,割淮陽北邊二、三列城與東郡以益梁。不可者,可徙代王而都睢陽。梁起於新郪而北著之河,淮陽包陳而南揵之江,則大諸侯之有異心者破膽而不敢謀。梁足以扞齊、趙,淮陽足以禁吳、楚,陛下高枕,終無山東之憂矣,此二世之利也。當今恬然,適遇諸侯之皆少;數歲之後,陛下且見之矣。夫秦日夜苦心勞力以除六國之禍;今陛下力制天下,頤指如意,高拱以成六國之禍,難以言智。苟身無事,畜亂,宿禍,孰視而不定;萬年之後,傳之老母、弱子,將使不寧,不可謂仁。」帝於是從誼計,徙淮陽王武爲梁王,北界泰山,西至高陽,得大縣四十餘城。後歲餘,賈誼亦死,死時年三十三矣。

2. In summer, the sixth month, the Prince of Liang, Emperor Wen’s son Liu Yi, passed away. He was posthumously known as Prince Huai (“the Cherished”) of Liang.

Liu Yi did not have any sons to succeed him. Jia Yi thus sent up a petition to Emperor Wen, stating, “It was because Your Majesty did not settle affairs properly earlier that the situation of the realm has come to this. It will be no more than a generation or two before the feudal lords are too arrogant and uncontrollable; they will become so strong and will have consolidated so much influence that the laws of the Han court shall no longer hold any sway in their territories.

“Now that the Prince of Liang has passed away, the only princes left whom Your Majesty can depend upon to safeguard the dynasty and protect the Crown Prince are the Princes of Huaiyang and Dai. Yet Dai is on the northern border with the Xiongnu, and faced with this powerful threat, it can only focus all its strength on defending itself. And as for Huaiyang, compared with the great feudal lords, it is as tiny as a mole on a face; it is too puny to withstand their might, while being just strong enough for them to want to gobble it up. Power is still in Your Majesty’s hands for now. But is this the system which Your Majesty wishes to leave in place, to have your sons become mere morsels?

“Thus I humbly propose that Your Majesty ought to increase the domain of the Prince of Huaiyang by granting him all the territory south of the Huai River and north of the Yangzi, while at the same time finding some successor to the title Prince of Liang and increasing that fief by carving off two or three cities from the northern border of Huaiyang and adding Dong commandary as well. Or if you do not find that idea suitable, then you should shift the Prince of Dai to be Prince of Liang instead and have him relocate his capital to Suiyang. In either scenario, the fief of the Prince of Liang would stretch from Xinqi north to the Yellow River, while the domain of the Prince of Huaiyang would encompass the Chen region and adjoin the Yangzi to the south. Then even if there are those among the feudal lords who were harboring sinister intentions, they would lose their nerve and never dare to actually carry out their wicked designs. Liang would be strong enough to shield against the Princes of Qi and Zhao, while Huaiyang would be powerful enough to check the Princes of Wu and Chu. Thus Your Majesty would be able to rest easy, knowing that no threat could arise from east of the mountains. By following this plan, you would ensure peace and stability in the realm for two generations.

“There is only a false peace at the moment because the feudal lords are all still young. But it will only be a few more years before Your Majesty realizes the truth of my words. Have you forgotten that the state of Qin, which only had Guanzhong as its base, toiled day and night and expended every effort to remove the threat posed by the Six States that lay east of the mountains? Yet Your Majesty, whose power and authority extends throughout the realm and who could enforce your will with a mere glance, seems content to sit with folded hands and allow this same threat to reach fruition. It is difficult to call that intelligence. Shall you stand by and do nothing, thus nurturing the threat and storing up disaster for the future? Who would not recognize that as unsustainable? And after you are no more, you would be leaving an unstable realm for your aged mother and your tender son to deal with. I cannot call that benevolence.”

Emperor Wen decided to follow Jia Yi’s advice. He shifted the Prince of Huaiyang, Liu Wu, to be the new Prince of Liang, and he increased the size of Liu Wu’s fief so that it stretched north to Taishan and west to Gaoyang, thus adding more than forty major counties.

A little more than a year later (in 168 BC), Jia Yi too passed away. He was thirty-two years old.

〈揖受封事見十三卷二年。〉〈服虔曰:一、二傳世也。〉〈言人人自恣而不可制也。〉〈言其矜豪自植立,太過於強也。〉〈淮陽王武、代王參,帝之子而太子之弟也,故云所恃唯此二國。〉〈廑,與僅同。師古曰:黑子,今所謂黶子也。〉〈言國小如魚餌,適足爲所吞食。〉〈睢陽故宋國,微子所封;班《志》屬梁國。《括地志》:宋州宋城縣,在州南二里外,城中本漢之睢陽縣也。漢文帝封子武於大梁,以其地卑濕,徙睢陽,故改曰梁。〉〈班《志》,新郪縣屬汝南郡。應劭曰:秦爲郪丘;漢興,爲新郪。師古曰:潁川縣。〉〈陳,卽謂古陳國之地也。晉灼曰:包,取也。如淳曰:揵,謂立封界也;或曰:揵,接也。〉〈如淳曰:從誼言,可二世安耳。師古曰:言帝身及太子嗣位之時。〉〈師古曰:恬,安也。少,謂年少。〉〈如淳曰:但動頤指麾,則所欲皆如意。仲馮曰:頤、指,兩事。〉

(Emperor Wen had appointed Liu Yi as Prince of Liang in Book 13, in the second year of his reign (-188.10).

Jia Yi states that these events will take place “in no more than 一傳、再傳”. Fu Qian remarked, “He meant within 一 ‘one’ or 再 ‘two’ generations.”

Jia Yi was saying that the feudal lords were becoming conceited and uncontrollable, and that they were putting their own people in power and becoming too strong.

The Prince of Huaiyang, Liu Wu, and the Prince of Dai, Liu Can, were the sons of Emperor Wen and the younger brothers of the Crown Prince, Liu Qi. This was why Jia Yi said that they were the only two princes whom the court could rely upon.

Jia Yi uses the term 廑; this should be read as 僅 “merely, no more than”.

Jia Yi compares the size of the domain of the Prince of Huaiyang to a “black spot”. Yan Shigu remarked, “He meant a mole.”

Jia Yi was saying that Huaiyang was as small as fishbait, only good enough to be swallowed up.

Suiyang had been the capital of the state of Song; this was the fief granted to Weizi (brother of the final King of Shang) at the beginning of the Zhou dynasty. According to the Book of Han, it was part of the Liang princely fief. The Comprehensive Gazetteer states, “Songcheng county in Songzhou is two li south from the provincial capital; within the city is the Suiyang county from the Han dynasty. When Emperor Wen of Han granted a fief to his son Liu Wu, Liu Wu originally had his capital at the city of Daliang, but because that place was meager and damp, he shifted his capital to Suiyang, which was thus renamed to Liang.”

According to the Book of Han, Xinqi county was part of Runan commandary. Ying Shao remarked, “During the Qin dynasty, it was called Qiqiu; at the beginning of the Han dynasty, it was Xinqi.” Yan Shigu remarked, “It was a county in Yingchuan commandary.”

The Chen region refers to the territory of the old state of Chen.

Jin Shuo remarked, “To ‘encompass’ means to acquire.”

Ru Chun remarked, “To ‘adjoin’ means to mark as a border, or some say that it means to be adjacent with.”

Jia Yi describes the outcome of following his plan as being 二世之利. Ru Chun remarked, “This simply meant that if his plan was followed, there would be peace for two generations.” Yan Shigu remarked, “Jia Yi was saying that there would be peace during Emperor Wen’s reign and during the reign of the Crown Prince.”

Yan Shigu remarked, “恬 means calm, serene. 少 in this instance means young in age.”

Jia Yi describes Emperor Wen as having enough authority to 頤指如意. Ru Chun argued, “This meant that he needed only to convey an expression or make a gesture and his wishes would be followed.” Zhongfeng argued, “頤 and 指 refers to two different concepts.”)


夏六月。梁王楫薨。無子。國除。楫。上之少子也。好讀書。上愛之。故以賈誼為傅。王墮馬薨。誼自傷為傅無狀。旦暮哭泣。歲餘亦卒。誼時年三十。(Records of Former Han 8, Annals of Emperor Wen)

In summer, the sixth month, the Prince of Liang, Liu Yi, passed away. He had no sons, so his fief was abolished.

Liu Yi was Emperor Wen's youngest son, and he was fond of reading books. Emperor Wen had loved him, and he had appointed Jia Yi to serve as his Tutor. But Liu Yi fell from a horse and died. Jia Yi blamed himself for not being careful enough; he wept and wailed day and night, and a little more than a year later, he too passed away. He was twenty-nine years old.


徙城陽王喜爲淮南王。

3. Emperor Wen also shifted the Prince of Chengyang, Liu Xi, to be Prince of Huainan.

〈喜,城陽王章之子,齊悼惠王肥之孫。〉

(Liu Xi was the son of the first Prince of Chengyang, Liu Zhang, and was a grandson of Prince Daohui of Qi, Liu Fei.)


匈奴寇狄道。

4. The Xiongnu raided Didao.

〈狄道縣爲隴西郡治所。師古曰:其地有狄種,故曰狄道。〉

(Didao county was governed by Longxi commandary. Yan Shigu remarked, “This area was populated by the 狄 Di tribes, thus it was called 狄道 ‘Circuit of the Di’.”)


匈奴寇邊狄道。(Records of Former Han 8, Annals of Emperor Wen)

The Xiongnu raided the border regions at Didao.


時匈奴數爲邊患,太子家令潁川鼂錯上言兵事曰:「《兵法》曰:『有必勝之將,無必勝之民。』繇此觀之,安邊境,立功名,在於良將,不可不擇也。臣又聞:用兵臨戰合刃之急者三:一曰得地形,二曰卒服習,三曰器用利。《兵法》,步兵、車騎、弓弩、長戟、矛鋋、劍楯之地,各有所宜;不得其宜者,或十不當一。士不選練,卒不服習,起居不精,動靜不集,趨利弗及,避難不畢,前擊後解,與金鼓之指相失,此不習勒卒之過也,百不當十。兵不完利,與空手同;甲不堅密,與袒裼同;弩不可以及遠,與短兵同;射不能中,與無矢同;中不能入,與無鏃同;此將不省兵之禍也,五不當一。故《兵法》曰:『器械不利,以其卒予敵也;卒不可用,以其將予敵也;將不知兵,以其主予敵也;君不擇將,以其國予敵也。』四者,兵之至要也。臣又聞:小大異形,強弱異勢,險易異備。夫卑身以事強,小國之形也;合小以攻大,敵國之形也;以蠻夷攻蠻夷,中國之形也。今匈奴地形、技藝與中國異:上下山阪,出入溪澗,中國之馬弗與也;險道傾仄,且馳且射,中國之騎弗與也;風雨罷勞,飢渴不困,中國之人弗與也;此匈奴之長技也。若夫平原、易地,輕車、突騎,則匈奴之衆易橈亂也;勁弩、長戟,射疏、及遠,則匈奴之弓弗能格也;堅甲、利刃,長短相雜,遊弩往來,什伍俱前,則匈奴之兵弗能當也;材官騶發,矢道同的,則匈奴之革笥、木薦弗能支也;下馬地鬬,劍戟相接,去就相薄,則匈奴之足弗能給也;此中國之長技也。以此觀之:匈奴之長技三,中國之長技五;陛下又興數十萬之衆以誅數萬之匈奴,衆寡之計,以一擊十之術也。雖然,兵,凶器,戰,危事也;故以大爲小,以強爲弱,在俛仰之間耳。夫以人之死爭勝,跌而不振,則悔之無及也;帝王之道,出於萬全。今降胡、義渠、蠻夷之屬來歸誼者,其衆數千,飲食、長技與匈奴同。賜之堅甲、絮衣、勁弓、利矢,益以邊郡之良騎,令明將能知其習俗、和輯其心者,以陛下之明約將之。卽有險阻,以此當之;平地通道,則以輕車、材官制之;兩軍相爲表裏,各用其長技,衡加之以衆,此萬全之術也。」帝嘉之,賜錯書,寵答焉。

5. By this time, the Xiongnu often raided the border regions. Thus the Prefect of the Crown Prince’s Household, Chao Cuo of Yingchuan commandary, sent up a petition to Emperor Wen offering military advice.

He wrote, “According to the Art of War, although there are individual generals who always triumph in battle, there is no such thing as a people who cannot be defeated. Considering that, the way to bring peace to the borders and to establish great deeds will be through skilled generals. We cannot avoid considering such things.

“One of the military principles that I have heard is that there are three critical elements of battlefield tactics: favorable terrain, discipline and uniformity, and durable equipment.

“According to the Art of War, various terrain is more or less suited to different types of soldiers, whether they be infantry, charioteers, cavalry, bowmen, crossbowmen, lancers, spearmen, or armed with sword and shield. If such soldiers fight on terrain which is unsuited to them, they will lose even in a battle of ten to one.

“If the officers do not carefully select their formations or the soldiers do not adhere to discipline, if the troops do not keep order while holding ground or concentrate together while moving, if they are unable to move fast enough either to press an advantage or to escape from danger, if the vanguard advances to attack while the rear is dispersing, or if there is discord between the sounds of the bells of drums, then these are faults of discipline or uniformity, and in such cases a hundred men will be no match for ten.

“If the weapons are not fully keen, one might as well be fighting with bare hands; if the armor is not firm and stout, one might as well be fighting without a shirt. If the arrows cannot reach their targets, they might as well be daggers; if they can reach, but cannot wound, they might as well not have arrowheads. If the soldiers are equipped with such lackluster weapons, they will lose even when they outnumber the enemy five to one.

“This is why the Art of War states, ‘When the equipment is faulty, the soldiers will be lost; when the soldiers cannot be used, the general will be lost; when the general does not know their soldiers, the ruler will be lost; when the ruler does not select proper generals, the state will be lost.’ These four things point to the importance of soldiers.

“I have also heard that greater and smaller forces have different strategies, stronger and weaker groups have different arts, and more or less hazardous terrain requires different preparations. To humble oneself and serve the powerful is the strategy of a lesser state. To unite smaller groups together in order to attack a greater threat is the strategy of our enemies. And to use one group of barbarians to attack another is the strategy of our Middle Kingdom.

“Now the Xiongnu have their strategies and their advantages, while we have our own. When it comes to riding up and down hills and slopes or dashing in and out of gullies and ravines, our horses cannot compare to those of the Xiongnu. When it comes to navigating narrow roads and precipitous cliffs, or riding and shooting arrows at the same time, our cavalry are inferior to those of the Xiongnu. And when it comes to enduring the lashing of the wind and the rains or undergoing thirst and hunger without suffering, our people are not so hardy as the Xiongnu. These are three advantages the Xiongnu hold over us.

“However, when it comes to fighting on flat ground or easy terrain, where we can use our light carts and our charging cavalry, the hosts of the Xiongnu easily fall to pieces. When we can bring our powerful crossbows and our long halberds to bear, thus giving us the advantage of range and reach, the bows of the Xiongnu cannot shoot so far as ours can. When it comes to the quality of our formations and of our equipment, where we have fine armor and keen blades, and which allow long and short weapons to work in conjunction while the crossbowmen move in mobile bands, then even groups of five or ten of our soldiers are sufficient to press the advance, while the Xiongnu’s soldiers cannot stand against us. When our officers give the command to shoot and our volleys of arrows are launched in unison, the hide armor or wooden shields of the Xiongnu are inadequate to resist them. And whenever we are able to get down off our horses and clash in the melee of blades and halberds, so that we press the foe and threaten them from many sides, then the Xiongnu are unable to maintain their cohesion. These are five advantages which the Middle Kingdom possesses.

“Thus we can see that, although the Xiongnu have their three advantages, we have our five. Furthermore, Your Majesty is able to field an army of hundreds of thousands to punish the Xiongnu, who can only muster tens of thousands. With such a disparity, we will require every one of them to fight ten of ours.

“Still, weapons are a frightful tool, and battles are always a risk. Thus even the many might be overcome by the few, and even the strong may fall prey to the weak. This may be all that stands between bowing one’s head or raising it. By the time one seeks battle to their ruin and things fall apart without any hope of being restored, it is too late for regrets.

“It is the way of a sovereign to find a use for everything. Now there are some thousands of barbarians who have already submitted to us, whether they be from the northern tribes, from the Yiqu, or from the southern peoples. In their customs and their advantages, they are no different from (or, can match) the Xiongnu. Thus Your Majesty ought to supply these people with sturdy armor and padded clothing, strong bows and fine arrows, and good horses from the border commanderies. Find a wise general who is acquainted with their customs and can win over their hearts, and have him lead them on your behalf. Then when our forces are faced with difficult terrain, we may employ these soldiers to handle it, while when we have level ground and open roads, our light carts and our skilled soldiers can be used. Thus these two armies can work in tandem, each according to their advantages, and both sides will benefit from the other. This is the art of using every possible material.”

Emperor Wen praised Chao Cuo, and he wrote back a letter to him with a favorable response.

〈太子家令,屬詹事。張晏曰:太子稱家,故曰家令。臣瓚曰:《茂陵中書》:太子家令,秩八百石。潁川本韓國;秦置郡,漢因之。《風俗通》:衞大夫史鼂之後。《姓譜》:王子朝之後。錯,倉故翻;音錯雜之錯者非。〉〈師古曰:鋋,鐵杷短矛也。孔穎達曰:《方言》云:矛,吳、揚、江‧淮南、楚、五湖之間謂之鉇,或謂之鋋,或謂之鏦;其柄謂之矜。晉陳安執丈八蛇矛,蓋蛇卽《方言》之所謂鉇也。〉〈師古曰:金,金鉦。鼓,所以進衆,金,所以止衆。「指」,當作「音」。〉〈應劭曰:袒裼,肉袒。〉〈師古曰:鏃,矢鋒也。〉〈師古曰:易,平勢也。〉〈師古曰:彼我之力不能相勝,則須連結外援共制之也。〉〈師古曰:不煩華夏之兵,使其同類自相攻擊也。〉〈弗與,猶言不如也。〉〈仄,古側字。〉〈師古曰:突騎,言其驍銳可用衝突敵人也。〉〈師古曰:疏,亦闊遠也。仲馮曰:「長戟」恐誤。或者勁弩如今九牛大弩,以槍爲矢歟,故可射疏及遠也;然戟有鈎,又不可射。余謂文意各有所屬;勁弩,所以射疏,長戟,所以及遠也。〉〈師古曰:五人爲伍,十人爲什。〉〈如淳曰:騶,矢也。處平易之地,可以矢相射也。臣瓚曰:材官,騎射之官也。射者騶發,其用矢者同中一的,言其工妙也。師古曰:騶,矢之善者;《春秋傳》作「菆」,其音同耳。材官,有材力者。騶發,發騶矢以射也。手工,矢善,故中則同的。的,謂所射之準臬也。〉〈孟康曰:革笥,以皮作如鎧者被之。木薦,以木板作如楯。一曰:革笥,木薦之,以當人心也。師古曰:一說非也。〉〈師古曰:迫也。〉〈師古曰:給,謂相連及。〉〈師古曰:言不知其術,則雖大必小,雖強必弱。〉〈服虔曰:蹉跌不可復起也。師古曰:跌,足失據也。〉〈【章:甲十五行本「同」下有「可」字;乙十一行本同;孔本同;張校同。】〉〈衡,與橫同。〉

(The Prefect of the Crown Prince’s Household was a subordinate of the 詹事. Zhang Yan remarked, “It was the Household of the Crown Prince, thus this person was called its Prefect.” Chen Zan remarked, “The Internal Records of Maoling states, ‘The Prefect of the Crown Prince’s Household had a salary rank of eight hundred bushels.’”

Yingchuan was originally part of the state of Hann. The Qin dynasty organized it into Yingchuan commandary, and the Han dynasty maintained it.

Regarding those with the surname 鼂 Chao, the Fengsu Tong states, “They are the descendants of Chao, a great minister of the state of Wey.” The Registry of Surnames states, “They are the descendants of the prince Chao.”

Chao Cuo’s given name 錯 is pronounced “cu (c-u)”, not like “cuo”.

One of the weapons that Chao Cuo mentions is a 鋋. Yan Shigu remarked, “This means a short spear with an iron handle.” Kong Yingda remarked, “The Fangyan mentions that people of the south, from the Wu, Yang, or Chu regions or those living south of the Yangzi or the Huai River or among the Five Lakes, call a spear a 鉇, and some call them a 鋋 or a 鏦; they call the handle a 矜.” I (Hu Sanxing) note that Chen An from the Jin dynasty era is described as wielding a serpent 矛 ‘spear’ eight zhang in length. Perhaps by ‘serpent’, it meant the thing which in the Fangyan is called a 鉇.

One of the weapons Chao Cuo mentions is a 金. Yan Shigu remarked, “This meant a ‘metal’ bell. The drums were used to command the soldiers to advance, while the bell was used to call a halt. 指 should be read as 音 ‘sounds’.”

To be “without a shirt” means to have an exposed torso.

Yan Shigu remarked, “The arrowhead is the point of the arrow.”

Yan Shigu remarked, “易 in this instance means flat, level terrain.”

Regarding the strategy of “uniting smaller groups together”, Yan Shigu remarked, “This meant that, in situations where neither one state nor the other was strong enough on its own to overcome the other, one would join together with outside forces in order to defeat the stronger enemy together.”

Regarding “using barbarians to fight barbarians”, Yan Shigu remarked, “This meant using people of their own kind to attack one another, in order to not have to trouble the soldiers of Huaxia (ethnic Han troops).”

弗與 means “not as good as”.

仄 is an old form of the character 側 “inclined, leaning to one side”.

Yan Shigu remarked, “By ‘charging cavalry’, he meant spirited cavalry which could be used to charge into the enemy’s formation.”

When Chao Cuo mentions bringing “powerful crossbows and long halberds to bear”, Yan Shigu remarked, “疏 in this case means ‘far and wide’.” Zhongfeng remarked, “I fear that ‘long halberds’ here is a mistake. There are some who say that ‘powerful crossbows’ would be things like our modern nine-ox large crossbows, which can use spear-shafts as their ammunition, and so such things could indeed be shot a long ways like a projectile. But the text specifies halberds, which have hooks and which cannot be shot.” I (Hu Sanxing) presume that Chao Cuo was expressing the same concept with different applications: the crossbows would have range because of how far they could shoot, while the halberds would have reach because of how far away one could attack with them.

Chao Cuo uses the terms 什 and 伍. A group of five soldiers was a 伍, while a group of ten was a 什.

Chao Cuo uses the phrase 材官騶發. Ru Chun argued, “騶 means a volley. That is, when the army is on flat terrain, then the archers can shoot a volley of arrows in unison.” Chen Zan argued, “材官 means the officers of the horse archers. The archers would shoot a volley of arrows, thus all the arrows would be launched in unison, which can be called a fine art.” Yan Shigu argued, “騶 means those skilled at archery; this same term was used in the Spring and Autumn Annals with the same pronunciation, though written there as 菆. The 材官 meant those who were skilled and talented. 騶發 thus means a volley of arrows shot together. This is a sort of skill; when archers are skilled, then the volley will be in unison. And by 的, Chao Cuo meant that the archers would all be up to the same standard of shooting.”

Meng Kang remarked, “Hide armor means to fashion leather like a suit of armor and wear it. Wooden shields means to form blocks of wood like shields and use them to block. But some claim that these terms are just expressions for morale.” Yan Shigu disputes this latter interpretation.

Yan Shigu remarked, “To press means to threaten. Cohesion means keeping together and aligned.”

Yan Shigu remarked, “Chao Cuo was saying that when one does not know how to handle military affairs, then even larger forces can be defeated by smaller ones, and even stronger forces can be defeated by weaker ones.”

Fu Qian remarked, “To collapse means to be unable to rise up again.” Yan Shigu remarked, “To falter means to lose one’s footing.”

Some versions write “can match” rather than “are no different from” the Xiongnu.

衡 in this instance means “mutual”.)


錯又上言曰:「臣聞秦起兵而攻胡、粵者,非以衞邊地而救民死也,貪戾而欲廣大也,故功未立而天下亂。且夫起兵而不知其勢,戰則爲人禽,屯則卒積死。夫胡、貉之人,其性耐寒;揚、粵之人,其性耐暑。秦之戍卒不耐其水土,戍者死於邊,輸者僨於道。秦民見行,如往棄市,因以讁發之,名曰『讁戍』;先發吏有讁及贅壻、賈人,後以嘗有市籍者,又後以大父母、父母嘗有市籍者,後入閭取其左。發之不順,行者憤怨,有萬死之害而亡銖兩之報,死事之後,不得一算之復,天下明知禍烈及己也;陳勝行戍,至於大澤,爲天下先倡,天下從之如流水者,秦以威劫而行之之敝也。胡人衣食之業,不著於地,其勢易以擾亂邊境,往來轉徙,時至時去;此胡人之生業,而中國之所以離南畮也。今胡人數轉牧、行獵於塞下,以候備塞之卒,卒少則入。陛下不救,則邊民絕望而有降敵之心;救之,少發則不足,多發,遠縣纔至,則胡又已去。聚而不罷,爲費甚大;罷之,則胡復入。如此連年,則中國貧苦而民不安矣。陛下幸憂邊境,遣將吏發卒以治塞,甚大惠也。然今遠方之卒守塞,一歲而更,不知胡人之能。不如選常居者家室田作,且以備之,以便爲之高城深塹;要害之處,通川之道,調立城邑,毋下千家。先爲室屋,具田器,乃募民,免罪,拜爵,復其家,予冬夏衣、稟食,能自給而止。塞下之民,祿利不厚,不可使久居危難之地。胡人入驅而能止其所驅者,以其半予之,縣官爲贖。其民如是,則邑里相救助,赴胡不避死。非以德上也,欲全親戚而利其財也;此與東方之戍卒不習地勢而心畏胡者功相萬也。以陛下之時,徙民實邊,使遠方無屯戍之事;塞下之民,父子相保,無係虜之患;利施後世,名稱聖明,其與秦之行怨民,相去遠矣。」上從其言,募民徙塞下。

6. Chao Cuo sent up another petition stating, “I have heard that when the Qin dynasty raised troops to attack the tribes in the north and the Yue peoples in the south, they did not launch these campaigns in order to safeguard the borders of the realm and spare the people from death, but simply from the sheer greed of wishing to expand their territory. That was the reason why, before they could consolidate their distant conquests, the realm fell into turmoil.

“Besides, they did not understand the principle that one should never send troops into a region without understanding its people and its terrain. Otherwise, your army will be captured in battle, and even if you never engage the enemy, your soldiers will still perish in heaps in their camps. In the far north, the Hu and Mo people are adapted to the cold; in the far south, the Yang and Yue people are inured to the heat. Yet the garrison conscripts of Qin, who were completely unaccustomed to these strange climates, expired in droves whenever they made camp and fell down dead one after the other whenever they marched.

“Is it any wonder that the people of Qin viewed such conscription as akin to a death sentence? The draft was simply a punishment by another name, and it was even called ‘the punishment draft’. That was why the first people to be conscripted were the layabouts and the merchants, then those who had ever engaged in trade, after that the parents and grandparents of convicted criminals, and finally anyone from ‘the left side of town’. This draft stirred up dissension among the people, and its enforcement kindled their fury and resentment. Tens of thousands died at the camps, yet not a shred of profit was gained, nor were the relatives of the deceased recompensed in the slightest. Thus it became clear to all the realm that the flames of disaster were already raging. And indeed, it was one of these very conscripts, Chen Sheng, who at Daze called on the realm to rise against Qin, and the people flowed to him like water. All the power and coercion of Qin proved powerless to stop it.

"As for the tribal peoples themselves, their livelihood is not tied to the land, and their nomadic lifestyle easily permits them to cause trouble in the border regions; they are always on the move, here today and gone tomorrow. They are quite unlike the people of the Middle Kingdom, who depend upon their 'southern fields' to sustain themselves. And whenever the migration of their flocks or the wandering of their hunts happens to bring the tribesmen close to our borders, they take the opportunity to scout out our border defenses and make raids against us when the garrisons are weak. If Your Majesty chooses not to reinforce the border regions when these raids happen, then the people living in those areas will lose hope and consider submitting to the enemy instead. But even if you do send reinforcements, if you only send a few then they will not be strong enough to drive off the raiders, while if you send a large force, then by the time they reach the distant counties under threat, the raiders will be long gone. And what then? If you leave the army there to serve as a garrison, the expense of maintaining it will be ruinous. But if you disband it, then the foreigners will raid us again, and we will be right back where we started. By the time this sort of thing has dragged on for a few years, the Middle Kingdom will have exhausted itself, yet without bringing the people any closer to peace.

"Now I know that Your Majesty has been most kind in that, being deeply anxious about protecting the borders, you have sent generals and officials to raise troops to guard them. However, since the current policy is (or, it has been ordered) that garrison conscripts serve only a single year on the frontier before returning home, this does not give them enough time to familiarize themselves with the customs and abilities of the tribal peoples. So rather than simply sending conscripts to maintain garrisons on the border, I propose that you select people to relocate to live at the borders on a permanent basis, with their families, their homes, and their fields right there with them. Furthermore, in order to defend these things, they may augment the natural defenses by raising walls and digging moats, they can occupy critical locations and channel the rivers as roads, and they may organize themselves into towns and cities of at least a thousand families each. Begin by building homes and buildings and preparing farming tools and implements, then entice people to relocate to these areas by offering criminal pardons and noble titles, exemption from taxation and corvee labor, and initial stipends of summer and winter clothing and of food until they are able to provide for themselves. Such generosity will be necessary to convince people to relocate to such difficult and dangerous places. Furthermore, promise that if these residents are able to stop a tribal raid, they will be rewarded with half of the goods retaken from the raiders, which the county officials will redeem.

"Given these incentives, the towns and villages in the border regions will band together to help one another and will pursue the raiders rather than avoid danger. Rather than acting out of an abstract sense of virtue towards you, they will be motivated by their self-interests to act, both to preserve their families and relatives and to obtain wealth for themselves. This would be ten thousand times better than the garrison conscripts of the east, who are unaccustomed to the local terrain and who fear the tribesmen in their hearts. If Your Majesty carries out this proposal at once and thus fills up the border regions with local families, then you will remove the need to send out garrison conscripts to those regions at all, for they will become the homeland of the locals, who will defend it together, fathers and sons, so that you will no longer have to fear the foreigners. This benefit would pass down for generations, and win you a reputation as a wise sovereign. What a difference this would be compared to the policies of the Qin dynasty, which stirred up the hatred of the people."

Emperor Wen followed Chao Cuo's advice, and he recruited people and relocated them to live in the border regions.

〈服虔曰:僨,仆也。〉〈應劭曰:秦以讁發戍,先自吏有過至于大父母、父母嘗有市籍者;曹輩盡,復入閭取其左者發之,未及取右而秦亡。孟康曰:秦時復除者居閭之左,後發役不供,復役之也。師古從應說。閭,里門也;居閭之左者,一切發之。〉〈漢律:人出一算,算百二十錢。〉〈師古曰:猛火曰烈,取以喻耳。〉〈事見七卷二世元年。〉〈師古曰:南畮,所以耕種處也。〉〈師古曰:纔,淺也,猶言僅至也;他皆類此。〉〈【章:甲十五行本「今」作「令」;孔本同。】〉〈歲更,見十三卷高后五年。〉〈因山川地形之便而爲之城塹。〉〈師古曰:調,謂算度之也。摠計城邑之中,令有千家以上也。〉〈謂有罪者免其罪,無罪者拜爵以勸其徙。〉〈謂民之欲往者,復除其家征役。〉〈師古曰:初徙之時,縣官且稟給其衣食,於後能自供贍乃止也。予,讀曰與;下同。〉〈孟康曰:謂胡入爲寇,驅收中國,能奪得之者,以半予之。師古曰:孟說非也。言胡人入爲寇,驅略漢人及畜產也。人能止得其所驅者,令其本主以半賞之。〉〈張晏曰:得漢人,官爲贖也。師古曰:張說非也。此承上句之言,謂官爲備價贖之耳。〉〈師古曰:言非以此事欲立德義於主上也。〉〈言其功萬倍於東方之戍卒也。〉〈師古曰:行怨民,言發怨恨之民使行戍役也。〉

(Chao Cuo uses the term 僨. Fu Qian remarked, “This means to fall down.”

Regarding the Qin dynasty’s draft policies, Ying Shao argued, “When Qin drafted these garrison conscripts, they began with the parents and grandparents of anyone who had committed a fault or engaged in trade, and when these were all exhausted, they drafted from the left side of town. They would have continued on to drafting from the right side as well, but the dynasty fell before then.” Meng Kang argued, “During the Qin dynasty, those who were exempted from taxes lived on the left side of town; they were later compelled to perform corvee labor, and then conscripted as well.” Yan Shigu agreed with Ying Shao. The “left side” of town in this regard is relative to the village gate; the people in question lived to the left of the gate.

According to Han regulations, the value of a person was one 算, which equaled 120 cash.

Regarding the term 烈, Yan Shigu remarked, “This means a fierce fire; Chao Cuo was using it as an expression.”

Chen Sheng had been a leader of conscripts on their way to the north; when they came to Daze, he began an uprising against the Qin dynasty. This is mentioned in Book 7, in the first year of the reign of the Second Emperor of Qin (-209.6).

Regarding the expression "southern fields", Yan Shigu remarked, "This meant the place where plants were plowed."

Regarding the term 纔, Yan Shigu remarked, "This means shallow; in other words, they would have barely arrived. The other uses of this term mean the same thing."

Some versions have 令 "it has been ordered" rather than 今 "the current policy is".

The policy of reducing the length of service for garrison conscripts is mentioned in Book 13, in the fifth year of Lü Zhi's reign (-183.4).

The local residents would use the natural terrain, the hills and rivers, as a base and supplement them with walls and moats.

Regarding the term 調, Yan Shigu remarked, "This meant to calculate. It would be calculated and ordered such that all of the cities and towns would have populations of a thousand families or greater."

Chao Cuo was proposing that those who had been charged with crimes would have their crimes pardoned if they moved to the border regions, while those who were blameless would be enticed by the offer of noble titles. As further encouragement, the people who moved would have their families exempted from taxes and corvee labor.

Regarding the government stipends, Yan Shigu remarked, "Upon first relocating to the border regions, the county officials would provide these people with food and clothing until they would be able to provide for themselves, then stop. Instances of 予 should be read as 'share with, provide, grant'."

Chao Cuo proposes that when the residents are able to halt raids by the tribal peoples, they should be "granted half". Meng Kang argued, "He was saying that when the tribesmen raided into the Middle Kingdom, if the local residents were able to take any of them prisoner, they would be granted half of them as personal slaves." Yan Shigu argued, "Meng Kang is incorrect. The thing which the raiding tribesmen would be taking were Han residents and their livestock. Thus if the local residents could retake these things, then their original owners would be commanded to grant half of their recovered goods to them."

Chao Cuo further mentions that the county officials would "redeem" the people. Zhang Yan argued, "He meant that if the residents took possession of captured Han people, the county officials would compensate them for the value." Yan Shigu argued, "Zhang Yan is incorrect. This is simply a continuation of the previous sentence; in other words, it is simply saying that the county officials would appraise the value of the recovered goods."

Yan Shigu remarked, "Chao Cuo was saying that the local residents would be encouraged to act simply by self-interest, not out of a wish to demonstrate virtuous or righteous behavior to their sovereign."

Chao Cuo was saying that the results of his settler policies would be ten thousand times better than the original policy of the eastern garrison conscripts.

Yan Shigu remarked, "By 'stirring up the hatred of the people', Chao Cuo meant the anger and resentment that arose because of the Qin dynasty's garrison conscript policy.")


錯復言:「陛下幸募民徙以實塞下,使屯戍之事益省,輸將之費益寡,甚大惠也。下吏誠能稱厚惠,奉明法,存卹所徙之老弱,善遇其壯士,和輯其心而勿侵刻,使先至者安樂而不思故鄕,則貧民相募而勸往矣。臣聞古之徙民者,相其陰陽之和,嘗其水泉之味,然後營邑、立城,製里、割宅,先爲築室家,置器物焉,民至有所居,作有所用。此民所以輕去故鄕而勸之新邑也。爲置醫、巫以救疾病,以脩祭祀,男女有昏,生死相卹,墳墓相從,種樹畜長,室屋完安。此所以使民樂其處而有長居之心也。臣又聞古之制邊縣以備敵也,使五家爲伍,伍有長,十長一里,里有假士,四里一連,連有假五百,十連一邑,邑有假候,皆擇其邑之賢材有護、習地形、知民心者;居則習民於射法,出則敎民於應敵。故卒伍成於內,則軍政定於外。服習以成,勿令遷徙,幼則同遊,長則共事。夜戰聲相知,則足以相救;晝戰目相見,則足以相識;驩愛之心,足以相死。如此而勸以厚賞,威以重罰,則前死不還踵矣。所徙之民非壯有材者,但費衣糧,不可用也;雖有材力,不得良吏,猶亡功也。陛下絕匈奴不與和親,臣竊意其冬來南也;壹大治,則終身創矣。欲立威者,始於折膠;來而不能困,使得氣去,後未易服也。」

7. Chao Cuo later sent up yet another petition, stating, "Your Majesty has been most kind in your initial efforts; you have recruited people to move to the border regions to populate them, you have organized camps and garrisons in those regions to better defend them, and you have transported resources to those areas to keep them better supplied. But what remains is to ensure that the local officials can demonstrate kindness and generosity to the settlers, uphold your wise laws, care for and look after the elderly and the children among the settlers while treating the strong adults well, and soothe their hearts without infringing upon them. If they can do so, then the first people to move to the border regions will be so satisfied with their new lives that they will no longer think of their former homes, and poor people across the realm will encourage one another to move to the frontiers as well.

"I have heard that when the ancients wished to relocate people to a new area, they would first study the local terrain and get a taste of the rivers and springs, then set up towns and settlements, raise walls, measure distances, and carve out houses. Thus they built residences for families and prepared tools ahead of time, so that once the settlers arrived, they would already have houses to live in and tools to use. This is the way to make people be quick to give up their old neighborhoods and persuade each other to move to the new towns. As well, the local officials should appoint doctors and shamans to tend to the settlers' pains and illnesses, maintain their prayers and sacrifices, and arrange marriages between their children. The people will support one another in life and death, their graves and tombs shall be laid out side by side, they shall all grow trees and tend livestock together, and their households shall all know peace. And it is by such measures that the people will come to love their new homes and be inclined to live there forever.

"I have also heard that when in ancient times it was necessary to organize the population of a border county in order to guard against foreign threats, the local officials organized the people as such: Every five families would be organized into a band, to be headed by a Chief. Every ten bands would be organized into a ward, to be headed by a Provisional Leader. Every four wards would be organized into a company, to be headed by a Provisional Leader of Five Hundred. Every ten companies would be organized into a town, to be headed by a Provisional Scout. All of these leaders were chosen from among the worthy and talented people within each town or smaller component, especially those who could protect the area, knew the local terrain, and were familiar with the hearts of the people. When they remained in one place, they drilled the people as a militia, training them in the arts of archery; when they moved out, they instructed the people on how to face the enemy in battle.

"And when these individual groups each completed their training, civil and military affairs in the region took care of themselves. Once discipline was established, the officials did not permit the people to scatter or go wherever they wished, but commanded the children to play together and the adults to work together. Thus if fighting broke out at night, all the people would be within earshot of one another and there would be enough of them present to save each other, while if there was fighting during the day, the people would all be within sight of one another and would be able to recognize each other. And when the people loved one another, they were willing even to give their lives for each other. With these measures as the foundation, and liberal rewards to show generosity and strict punishments to demonstrate authority, then even when the people in the vanguard perished in the fighting, the people in the rear would not turn back to flee.

"Thus unless there are strong and talented people among the settlers, any amount of resources or supplies will be worthless. And even if such people are present, unless there are excellent officials to supervise and guide them, nothing can be accomplished.

"Since Your Majesty has recently cut off relations with the Xiongnu and refused to send them a princess to maintain the marriage alliance, I venture to observe that they might move south this winter against us. Thus we should take this time to set everything in order so that by the time winter arrives, we may punish their insolence. If we wish to demonstrate our authority over them, we would do well to first 'break off the sap'. But if they come south and we are not able to humble them now, and instead allow them to do as they will and then depart, it will be hard to cow them later on."

〈如淳曰:將,送也;或曰:資也。〉〈【章:甲十五行本「募」作「慕」;乙十一行本同;孔本同。】〉〈之,往也。〉〈師古曰:昏,謂婚姻配合也。〉〈師古曰:種樹,謂桑、果之屬。張晏曰:畜長,六畜也。貢父曰:所種、畜積、長茂。余謂畜長當從張說。〉〈服虔曰:五百,帥名也。師古曰:假,大也。仲馮曰:假,古者戍皆有期,代則不置。古曰假,謂其權設;猶假司馬之類,亦非常置也。余謂五百,卽後所謂伍伯也。賈公彥曰:伍伯者,漢制,五人爲伍;伯,長也。沈約曰:舊說,古者君行師從,卿行旅從;旅者,五百人也,今諸官府至郡各置五百四,以象師從、旅從,依古義也。候,卽軍候也。〉〈師古曰:有保護之能者也。〉〈師古曰:各守其業也。〉〈師古曰:還踵,回旋其足也。〉〈師古曰:意,儗也。〉〈師古曰:創,懲艾也。〉〈蘇林曰:秋氣至,膠可折,弓弩可用;匈奴常以爲候而出軍。〉〈師古曰:使之得勝,逞志氣而去。〉

(Chao Cuo states that Emperor Wen has 將 resources to the settlers. Ru Chun remarked, "將 in this instance means 'to send', although some people claim that it means 'funds'."

Some versions write the character 募 "recruit" as 慕 "respect".

The term 之 here means "move to".

Chao Cuo states that the officials should ensure that the children of the settlers "have marriages". Yan Shigu remarked, "By this he means that they should arrange marriages for these people."

Chao Cuo uses the phrases 種樹 and 畜長. Regarding the former, Yan Shigu remarked, "種樹 'Plant trees' meant such trees as mulberry or fruit trees." As for the latter, Zhang Yan argued, "畜長 'raising' meant to raise the six kinds of livestock." Gongfu argued, "種樹畜長 should be understood as 種 'plant', 畜 'amass resources', and 長 'grow fruitful'." I (Hu Sanxing) reckon that Zhang Yan is correct.

Regarding the titles of the leaders of these local units, Fu Qian remarked, "A 五百 'five hundred' was the name of an army leader." Yan Shigu remarked, "The term 假 means 'great'." Zhongfeng remarked, "假 means 'provisional'. In ancient times, this term applied to the leader of an army camp who had a fixed term and lost it once their replacement arrived. Thus the ancients used it as a prefix, like in such terms as 假司馬 'Provisional Marshal', as an indication of an unusual appointment." I (Hu Sanxing) reckon that the term 五百 later shifted into the term 伍伯 'leader of band of five'. Regarding that term, Jia Gongyan remarked, "Under the Han system, a group of five families was a band, and the 伯 was its leader." Shen Yue remarked, "In ancient times, when a sovereign personally led an army then the term used was 師, while if a subordinate led it then the appropriate term was 旅. This term 旅 literally meant 'five hundred men'. Thus even in our times where the various garrisons and even the commandaries each have their groups of five hundred and use these terms 師 and 旅, they are following these old meanings." Lastly, 候 "scout" meant in the sense of a military scout.

Chao Cuo mentions people who can "protect". Yan Shigu remarked, "He meant people who were able to guard and protect the people or region."

Chao Cuo states that the officials would not allow the common people to "scatter or go wherever they wished". Yan Shigu remarked, "He means in the sense of not letting the people go off in different directions while pursuing their livelihoods, but rather keeping them close together."

Chao Cuo uses the term 還踵 "turn back". Yan Shigu remarked, "This means to turn their feet away."

Chao Cuo uses the term 意. Yan Shigu remarked, "In this instance, 意 means 'to suspect'."

Chao Cuo uses the term 創. Yan Shigu remarked, "This means 'to punish, to chastise'."

Regarding the expression "break off the sap", Su Lin remarked, "When the autumn winds come, it becomes possible to break off sap from the trees, which is useful for bows and crossbows. The Xiongnu were often scouting out the borders of the realm to lead their forces forward."

Yan Shigu remarked, "Chao Cuo was raising the possibility that the Xiongnu would be able to score a victory over the border forces and indulge their ambitions before departing.")


錯爲人陗直刻深,以其辯得幸太子,太子家號曰「智囊」。

8. Chao Cuo was a stern, forthright, and profound man. He won the favor of the Crown Prince, Liu Qi, through his nimble tongue, and Liu Qi even called Chao Cuo by the name "Bag of Wisdom".

〈師古曰:陗,與峭同。陗,謂峻陿也。韋昭曰:岸高曰峭。臣瓚曰:陗,峻陗。〉〈師古曰:言其一身所有皆是智算,若囊橐之盛物也。〉

(Regarding the term 陗, Yan Shigu remarked, "This means the same thing as 峭 'lofty'. It refers to precipitous cliffs or ridges." Wei Zhao remarked, "A high and lofty place is called a 峭." Chen Zan remarked, "陗 is short for 峻陗 'lofty and precipitous'."

Regarding the nickname Bag of Wisdom, Yan Shigu remarked, "This meant that his whole body was full of wisdom and cunning, as though he were a container filled with it.")
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BOOK 15

Unread postby Taishi Ci 2.0 » Mon Mar 23, 2020 1:25 am

十二年(癸酉、前一六八)

The Twelfth Year of Emperor Wen's Reign (The Guiyou or Water Rooster Year, 168 BC)


冬,十二月,河決酸棗,東潰金隄、東郡;大興卒塞之。

1. In winter, the twelfth month (of 169 BC), the Yellow River flooded its banks at Suanzao, and to the east it burst at Golden Dyke and in Dong commandary. A great draft of laborers was summoned to restrict the river again.

〈班《志》,酸棗縣屬陳留郡。師古曰:金隄在東郡白馬界,今滑州。《括地志》:金隄,一名千里隄,在白馬縣東五里。余據河隄自汴口以東,緣河積石爲堰,通河古口,咸曰金隄。又《水經註》:濮陽縣故城在河南,與衞縣分水;城北十里有瓠河口,有金隄。〉

(According to the Book of Han, Suanzao county was part of Chenliu commandary.

Yan Shigu remarked, "Golden Dyke was in Baima county in Dong commandary, in modern Huazhou." The Comprehensive Gazetteer states, "Golden Dyke, also called Thousand-Li Dyke, was five li east of Baima county." I (Hu Sanxing) note that there is a dyke of the Yellow River steering it east from the mouth of the Bian River, a large pile of stones have been piled up there as a weir which allows access through the old mouth of the Yellow River, and everyone calls this place Golden Dyke. Furthermore, the Commentary on the Water Classic states, "The capital city of Puyang county is south of the Yellow River, with Wey county adjacent to it on the north side. Ten li north of the city is the mouth of the Hu River, and the place called Golden Dyke.")


十二年冬十有二月。河決東郡酸棗。潰金隄。春正月。賜諸侯王女邑各三千戶。二月。出孝惠後宮美人令得嫁。(Records of Former Han 8, Annals of Emperor Wen)

In the twelfth year of Emperor Wen's reign (168 BC), in winter, the twelfth month (of 169 BC), the Yellow River flooded its banks at Suanzao in Dong commandary, and it burst at Golden Dyke.

In spring, the first month, Emperor Wen conferred grants of three thousand households to each of the daughters of the various princes and nobles of the realm.

In the second month, the beauties living in the rear palace who had once been Emperor Hui's concubines were ordered to go back out into the world and become married.


春,三月,除關,無用傳。

2. In spring, the third month, checkpoints were abolished and identification was no longer required.

〈張晏曰:傳,信也;若今過所也。如淳曰:兩行書繒帛,分持其一,出入關,合之乃得過,謂之傳也。李奇曰:傳,棨也。師古曰:張說是也。古者或用棨,或用繒帛;棨者,刻木爲合符也。康曰:傳以木爲之,長尺五,書符於上爲信。〉

(This passage states that 傳 was no longer used. Zhang Yan argued, "This means identification, like our modern passports." Ru Chun argued, "This was where a letter of two columns and written on silk was split in half, and when someone went in or out of a checkpoint, they presented their half, and if it matched up with the one at the checkpoint, they were permitted passage. This was why it was called a 傳 'passage'." Li Qi argued, "A 傳 is a 棨 'tally of authority'." Yan Shigu argued, "Zhang Yan is correct. In ancient times, sometimes people used tallies of authority, while other times they used silk letters. The 棨 'tally of authority' was a piece of wood, split in half, and combined to prove one's credentials." Meng Kang remarked, "A 傳 was a piece of wood, five chi long, with a letter of credential atop it to prove one's identity.")


三月。詔曰。孝弟。天下之大順也。力田。為生民之本也。三老。眾民之師也。廉直。吏民之所表也。朕甚嘉此二三大夫之行。其遣謁者勞賜各有差。及問民所疾苦。是歲吳有馬生角在耳前。上向右長三寸半。左角長二寸半。圍皆二寸。本志以為吳後舉兵為逆之象也。(Records of Former Han 8, Annals of Emperor Wen)

In the third month, Emperor Wen issued an edict stating, "Filial sons and humble younger brothers are demonstrations to the realm of great obedience. Hardworking farmers are the foundation of the lives of the people. The Thrice Venerables are the teachers of the masses. Honest and forthright speakers are the source of petitions on behalf of the officials and the people. I deeply commend the conduct of these rare fellows. I hereby dispatch my agents to recognize the achievements of these people and reward them as they each deserve, and to ask after the aches and pains of the common people."

During this year, a horse was born in the Wu region which had a horn in front of its ear. It curved up to the right for three and a half cun, and to the left for two and a half cun, and it was two cun thick all around. The historical records considered this to be an omen for when the Prince of Wu later raised troops and engaged in treason.


鼂錯言於上曰:「聖王在上而民不凍飢者,非能耕而食之,織而衣之也,爲開其資財之道也。故堯有九年之水,湯有七年之旱,而國亡捐瘠者,以畜積多而備先具也。今海內爲一,土地人民之衆不減湯、禹,加以無天災數年之水旱,而畜積未及者,何也?地有遺利,民有餘力;生穀之土未盡墾,山澤之利未盡出,游食之民未盡歸農也。夫寒之於衣,不待輕暖;飢之於食,不待甘旨;飢寒至身,不顧廉恥。人情,一日不再食則飢,終歲不製衣則寒。夫腹飢不得食,膚寒不得衣,雖慈父不能保其子,君安能以有其民哉!明主知其然也,故務民於農桑,薄賦斂,廣畜積,以實倉廩,備水旱,故民可得而有利也。民者,在上所以牧之;民之趨利,如水走下,四方無擇也。夫珠、玉、金、銀,飢不可食,寒不可衣;然而衆貴之者,以上用之故也。其爲物輕微易藏,在於把握,可以周海內而無飢寒之患。此令臣輕背其主而民易去其鄕,盜賊有所勸,亡逃者得輕資也。粟、米、布、帛,生於地,長於時,聚於力,非可一日成也;數石之重,中人弗勝,不爲姦邪所利,一日弗得而飢寒至。是故明君貴五穀而賤金玉。今農夫五口之家,其服役者不下二人,其能耕者不過百畮,百畮之收不過百石。春耕,夏耘,秋穫,冬藏,伐薪樵,治官府,給繇役;春不得避風塵,夏不得避暑熱,秋不得避陰雨,冬不得避寒凍,四時之間無日休息;又私自送往迎來、弔死問疾、養孤長幼在其中。勤苦如此,尚復被水旱之災,急政暴賦,賦斂不時,朝令而暮改。有者半賈而賣,無者取倍稱之息,於是有賣田宅,鬻妻子以償責者矣。而商賈,大者積貯倍息,小者坐列販賣,操其奇贏,日游都市,乘上之急,所賣必倍。故其男不耕耘,女不蠶織,衣必文采,食必粱肉;無農夫之苦,有仟伯之得。因其富厚,交通王侯,力過吏勢,以利相傾;千里游敖,冠蓋相望,乘堅、策肥、履絲、曳縞、此商人所以兼幷農人,農人所以流亡者也。方今之務,莫若使民務農而已矣。欲民務農,在於貴粟;貴粟之道,在於使民以粟爲賞罰。今募天下入粟縣官,得以拜爵,得以除罪。如此,富人有爵,農民有錢,粟有所渫。夫能入粟以受爵,皆有餘者也;取於有餘以供上用,則貧民之賦可損,所謂損有餘,補不足,令出而民利者也。今令民有車騎馬一匹者,復卒三人;車騎者,天下武備也,故爲復卒。神農之敎曰:『有石城十仞,湯池百步,帶甲百萬,而無粟,弗能守也。』以是觀之,粟者,王者大用,政之本務。今民入粟受爵至五大夫以上,乃復一人耳,此其與騎馬之功相去遠矣。爵者,上之所擅,出於口而無窮;粟者,民之所種,生於地而不乏。夫得高爵與免罪,人之所甚欲也;使天下人入粟於邊以受爵、免罪,不過三歲,塞下之粟必多矣。」帝從之,令民入粟於邊,拜爵各以多少級數爲差。錯復奏言:「陛下幸使天下入粟塞下以拜爵,甚大惠也。竊恐塞卒之食不足用,大渫天下粟。邊食足以支五歲,可令入粟郡縣矣;郡縣足支一歲以上,可時赦,勿收農民租。如此,德澤加於萬民,民愈勤農,大富樂矣。」上復從其言,詔曰:「道民之路,在於務本。朕親率天下農,十年于今,而野不加辟,歲一不登,民有飢色;是從事焉尚寡而吏未加務。吾詔書數下,歲勸民種樹而功未興,是吏奉吾詔不勤而勸民不明也。且吾農民甚苦而吏莫之省,將何以勸焉!其賜農民今年租稅之半。」

3. Chao Cuo once again spoke to Emperor Wen. He said, "The reason why the sage kings of ancient times were able to ensure that the common people did not suffer from cold or hunger was not because they personally plowed the fields to grow food for them or weaved thread to make clothes for them, but because they guided the people down the proper path to gathering these resources for themselves. That was why, although Yao experienced nine years of flooding during his reign and Tang of Shang endured seven years of famine in his time, the people never suffered from hunger or want, because those rulers had prepared supplies ahead of time and guarded against such disasters.

"Now in our time, all the realm within the seas has been united, nor is our territory or our population any smaller than in the times of Tang of Shang or Yu the Great. Beyond that, we have not suffered through several years of natural disasters like flooding or famine as they did. Yet despite these things, we have not stored up as many provisions and resources like they did. Why is that? It is because the land remains untapped to its fullest extent, and the people have not exerted their every effort. There is good soil which has not yet been cultivated for crops, rich bounties of the mountains and marshes which have not yet been collected, and wanderers who have not yet been employed for agriculture.

"When someone is shivering, they will accept any clothing rather than wait for fine garments; when someone is starving, they will consume any food rather than wait for delicacies. When driven to extremes by hunger or cold, no one will have any regard for modesty or shame. It is the nature of people that unless they eat twice a day, they will become hungry, and unless they mend their clothes throughout the year, they will grow cold. And when the stomach hungers without food and the skin shivers without clothing, even a loving father will not be able to protect his children. Under such circumstances, how could any sovereign maintain their people?

"The wise sovereign is aware of this possibility. This is why they instruct the people in agriculture and silkworm cultivation, they keep taxes low and practice frugality, they gather a broad assortment of provisions in order to keep the granaries full, and they guard against the prospect of flooding or famine. And the people are the ones who benefit from these policies. For the people look to the sovereign as their shepherd and guide, and they chase after benefits like water flowing downhill, regardless of where they are.

"What use are pearls, jewels, gold, and silver? You cannot eat them when you are hungry, nor can you wear them when you are cold. Yet the people value them so highly because those above them esteem such things. They are small and light things, easy to conceal, and anyone who possesses such things may wander all throughout the land within the seas without worrying about hunger or cold. Such things cause servants to betray their masters and the people to abandon their villages, they encourage banditry, and they provide easily-transportable wealth for fugitives and wanderers.

"But the situation is very different with grains and crops, cloth and silk. These things are produced by the earth, they take a long time and much effort to obtain, and they cannot be produced in a day. Several containers of these goods are too heavy for an average person to steal, so there is no benefit for any villain to make off with them. Yet anyone who goes a single day without them will be driven to hunger or cold. Thus the wise sovereign esteems the Five Grains and shuns gold and jewels.

"In any given family with five people, at least two of them will be called away to perform corvee labor, while those who remain behind and are able to plow will not be able to farm more than a hundred 畮 of land, the yield of which will not exceed a hundred bushels. There is not a single day of rest for farmers in any season: they must plow in the spring, weed in the summer, harvest in the autumn, and store in the winter, and all through the year they must fetch kindling and firewood, tend to government duties, and perform corvee labor. They suffer from the winds and dust of spring, the burning heat of summer, the clouds and rain of autumn, and the bitter cold of winter. Then there are their own personal affairs, whether receiving guests or traveling themselves, offering condolences for the dead and tending to the health of the sick, and raising the young and caring for the aged among them. All this suffering is bad enough, without even considering the disasters posed by flooding or famine, or the oppression caused by taxes that are either too heavy or too sudden, since government policies can change in the space of a single day. Those farmers who have anything worth selling are compelled to sell their goods for half of what they are worth, and those without anything are compelled to take loans that make them pay back double. Is it any wonder that they are forced to sell their homes and fields and rent out the labor of their wives and children (or, their children and grandchildren) in order to pay their debts?

"The lives of merchants and peddlers could hardly be more different. The greater merchants hoard stockpiles and sell resources at double their value, while the lesser merchants sit in the market lanes and peddle their wares. They take advantage of their abundance and their luxury goods to wander daily about the cities and marketplaces, and they exploit the urgency of the sovereign's desires to sell their goods at twice the profit. And the result of this is that although their sons never plow or weed and their daughters never tend silkworms or weave, they always dress in patterned brocades and dine on choice grains and fine meats. They never experience the hardship of the farmer, yet they easily obtain money by the hundreds or thousands. Thanks to their wealth and their generous spending, they enjoy free intercourse with princes and nobles; their power surpasses the influence of the officials, and they use their profits to drive others to ruin. For a thousand li they stroll and saunter, with caps and tassels all within sight of each other. They ride in sturdy carriages drawn by fat horses, and they tread in silk shoes with trains of pure white behind them. Merchants have all this abundance, yet they still take from the farmers what little they have, compelling the farmers to become mere wanderers.

"Right now, no duty is more important than to encourage the people to focus on agriculture. The way to do this is to demonstrate your esteem for grain, and the method to do that is to exchange grain for either rewards or pardons. Announce that if the people of the realm deliver their grain to the county offices, they will be rewarded either through the granting of noble titles or the expulsion of crimes. By doing this, the rich will give up their grain in order to be granted noble titles while the farmers will sell it for good money, and either way the grain supply will circulate freely. When the rich give up their grain in order to obtain titles, it is because they have an excess amount of it. By obtaining this excess, it becomes available for the sovereign's use, and then the taxes on the poor people may be reduced. This may be called 'obtaining the surplus to make up the deficiency'; send out this order, and the people will benefit by it.

"It is currently the policy that for every rider among the people who joins the army along with a horse and cart, three other people are exempted from the draft. The justification for this is that carts and cavalry form the military defenses of the realm. But I note that Shennong had a saying: 'A city may have stone walls ten spans tall and a moat a hundred paces wide, with a hundred thousand armored soldiers to protect it, but unless it has grain, it cannot be defended.' We see from that how critically important grain is to a ruler; it is the foundation of government. Yet whenever someone among the people offers up grain in order to receive a noble title, from the rank of Fifth Rank Grandee on up, only a single person is thus exempted from the draft by their contribution. Why should this be, when the achievement of those who donate grain is so much greater than the mere service of a cavalryman?

"Noble titles can be given out at the sovereign's discretion, for they never run out; he needs only say the word in order to dispense them. And grain is grown by the people; it comes from the ground year after year. To obtain a lofty title or to escape punishment from crimes are the great wishes of the people. Thus if you direct the people of the realm to send grain to the borders in order to obtain titles or pardons, then in less than three years, the border regions will surely have an abundance of grain."

Emperor Wen did as Chao Cuo advised: he ordered the people to send grain to the border regions, rewarding them with noble titles each according to their level of contribution.

Chao Cuo then submitted another petition, stating, "Your Majesty has been most kind by implementing the policy of having the realm send grain to the border regions in exchange for grain. Yet I venture to state that my fear is not only that the border militias might not have enough food for themselves, but that grain in general might not circulate throughout the realm properly. Thus once the border regions have enough grain to sustain themselves for five years, you might order their remaining grain to be sent out to various commandaries and counties, and you might declare that whenever a commandary or county has at least enough grain to sustain itself for a year, a local amnesty will be declared and there will be an exemption of rent payments for the farmers. By doing so, your virtue will spread through all the people, and they will be encouraged to work diligently at their farmwork. Great wealth and happiness would result."

Emperor Wen once again followed his advice. He issued an edict stating, "To encourage the people in their duties is the foundation of my guidance as their ruler. I have personally steered the realm towards the importance of agriculture. Yet for the past ten years, no new ground has been broken for fields, and whenever there is a lean year, the people have hungry expressions. It is because there are so few people who esteem their farming duties, and that the officials have not urged them as much as they ought to. For several years now, I have issued edicts encouraging the people to cultivate the land, yet it has been to no avail; the officials have not been diligent in enforcing my will, nor been clear in encouraging the people. How bitterly my farmers have suffered, yet the officials do nothing; how is that encouragement? Thus I hereby exempt the farmers from half of this year's land tax."

〈孟康曰:肉腐爲瘠。捐,骨不埋者。或曰:捐,謂有飢相棄捐者;或謂貧乞者爲捐。師古曰:瘠,瘦病也;言無相棄捐而瘦病者耳;貧乞之釋,尤疏僻焉。〉〈師古曰:苟禦風霜,不求美麗也。〉〈師古曰:旨,美也。〉〈師古曰:周,謂周遍而遊行。〉〈師古曰:中人者,處強弱之中也。〉〈師古曰:服,事也;服公事之役也。〉〈師古曰:本直千錢,止得五百也。〉〈如淳曰:取一償二爲倍稱。師古曰:稱,舉也,今俗所謂舉錢者也。余謂如說是。〉〈【章:甲十五行本「妻子」作「子孫」;乙十一行本同;退齋校同。】〉〈師古曰:行賣曰商,坐販曰賈。列,市列也,若今市中賣物行也。〉〈師古曰:奇贏,謂有餘財而蓄聚奇異之物也;一說︰奇,謂殘餘物也。〉〈師古曰:上所急求,則其價倍貴。〉〈師古曰:粱,好粟也,卽今之粱米。〉〈師古曰:仟,謂千錢;伯,謂百錢也。白,今俗猶謂百錢爲一伯。〉〈乘堅車,策肥馬。師古曰:堅,謂好車也。縞,皓素也;繒之精白者也。〉〈師古曰:渫,散也。〉〈師古曰:損,減也。〉〈如淳曰:復三卒之算錢也;或曰:除三夫不作甲卒也。師古曰:當爲卒者,免其三人;不爲卒者,復其錢。〉〈應劭曰:仞,六尺五寸也。師古曰:此說非也;八尺曰仞,取人伸臂之一尋也。〉〈師古曰:池,城邊池也、以沸湯爲池,不可輒近,言嚴固之甚。〉〈師古曰:五大夫,第九爵。〉〈時令入粟六百石爵上造,稍增至四千石爲五大夫,萬二千石爲大庶長。〉〈師古曰:入諸郡縣以備凶災也。〉〈師古曰:辟,讀曰闢,開也。〉〈師古曰:登,成也;言五穀一歲不成則衆庶飢餒,是無蓄積故也。〉〈師古曰:從事,謂從農事也。〉

(Chao Cuo uses the term 捐瘠. Meng Kang remarked, "瘠 means rotten meat, and 捐 means unburied bones. Some people define 捐 as meaning either 'those who collapse of starvation' or 'poor beggars'." Yan Shigu remarked, "瘠 means to be malnourished. Chao Cuo was simply saying that no one was starving or malnourished. The definition as 'poor beggars' is even further off the mark."

Yan Shigu remarked, "Anyone who is desperate to wear something to protect against winds and storms will not demand beautiful clothing. And the term 旨 means 'fine, exquisite'."

Yan Shigu remarked, "The term 周 here means 'to travel around and about'."

Chao Cuo uses the term 中人. Yan Shigu remarked, "This means someone of average strength, neither especially strong nor weak."

Chao Cuo uses the term 服. Yan Shigu remarked, "服 in this instance means 'affairs, duties'; the people are compelled to serve their official duties by way of corvee labor."

Chao Cuo states that farmers are compelled to 半賈而賣 "sell things for half what was paid for them". Yan Shigu remarked, "For instance, something that had been purchased for a thousand cash was now sold for no more than five hundred."

Chao Cuo describes the farmers' loans as 倍稱. Ru Chun argued, "When one takes a loan that requires paying back double the initial amount, this is called a 倍稱." Yan Shigu argued, "稱 in this instance means 'put up', like in our modern common saying of 'to put up for cash'." I (Hu Sanxing) reckon that Ru Chun was correct.

Some versions state that farmers had to rent out their "children and grandchildren" rather than their "wives and children".

Chao Cuo describes the merchants as 商賈. Yan Shigu remarked, "Those who wander to sell their wares are called 商 'peddlers', while those who sit in place to do business are called 賈 'merchants'."

Chao Cuo uses the term 列. Yan Shigu remarked, "This is short for 市列 'market lanes', as in the modern market areas where wares are sold."

Chao Cuo describes the merchants as possessing 奇贏. Yan Shigu remarked, "This means their excess wealth and their stockpiles of various luxury goods. Some say that 奇 refers to surplus or leftover goods."

Chao Cuo mentions the merchants taking advantage of the sovereign's 急 "urgency". Yan Shigu remarked, "It is because of the sovereign's urgent desire for their goods that the merchants are able to obtain a double profit from them."

Chao Cuo describes the merchants as eating 粱 and meat. Yan Shigu remarked, "粱 means choice grains, like our modern term '粱 rice'."

Chao Cuo describes the merchants being able to obtain money by the 仟s and 伯s. Yan Shigu remarked, "仟 means a 千 'thousand' cash, and 伯 means a 百 'hundred' cash. The term 白 is even today sometimes used as a synonym for 伯."

By 乘堅 "riding in sturdy" and 策肥 "drawn by fat", Chao Cuo refers to sturdy carriages and fat horses. Yan Shigu remarked, "Sturdy means a good carriage."

Chao Cuo uses the term 縞. Yan Shigu remarked, "This means pure white; in other words, silks of the purest white."

Yan Shigu remarked, "To 渫 'circulate' means to scatter or distribute. To 損 'reduce' means to lower or lessen."

Chao Cuo mentions that cavalrymen who join the army cause three other people to be 復卒. Ru Chun remarked, "This means that three people would be exempted from taxation; some say that it means they would not be drafted as soldiers." Yan Shigu remarked, "Regarding the three people, those who normally qualified for the draft would be exempted from it, while those who did not would be exempt from taxation."

In Shennong's saying, he uses the unit of measurement 仞. Ying Shao argued, "This means six chi and five cun." Yan Shigu argued, "Ying Shao is incorrect. A 仞 is equivalent to eight chi, about the length of an outstretched arm, like the unit of measurement 尋 (also eight chi)."

Regarding a "moat", Yan Shigu remarked, "This is the moat around the walls of a city, filled with boiling water, so that no one can approach it. It is an expression for something sturdy and fortified."

Yan Shigu remarked, "A Fifth-Rank Grandee is the ninth rank of noble titles."

At this time, Emperor Wen ordered that anyone who contributed six hundred bushels of grain or more would be granted noble titles; those who contributed as much as four thousand bushels would be appointed as Fifth-Rank Grandees, and those who contributed as much as twelve thousand bushels would be appointed as 大庶長s.

Yan Shigu remarked, "Chao Cuo wished to have grain distributed to the various commandaries and counties in order to guard against natural disasters."

Yan Shigu remarked, "The term 辟 should be read as 'open', as in, to expand new fields. 登 should be read as 'complete'; Emperor Wen was saying that if there was a year without a full harvest, then the people became hungry, because there were no grain stores to cover for the shortage."

Yan Shigu remarked, "The expression 從事 'follow their duties' refers to those engaged in farming.")
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BOOK 15

Unread postby Taishi Ci 2.0 » Mon Mar 23, 2020 1:30 am

十三年(甲戌、前一六七)

The Thirteenth Year of Emperor Wen's Reign (The Jiaxu or Wood Dog Year, 167 BC)


春,二月,甲寅,詔曰:「朕親率天下農耕以供粢盛,皇后親桑以供祭服;其具禮儀!」

1. In spring, the second month, on the day Jiayin, Emperor Wen issued an edict stating, "I have been an example to the realm by personally plowing the fields in order to obtain sacrificial grain, and the Empress has done the same by personally tending to the silkworms in order to prepare sacrificial cloth. Let rites and ceremonies be prepared for these things!"

〈稷曰明粢,在器曰盛。〉

(Sacrificial grain still in the field is called 明粢; in containers, it is called 盛.)


初,秦時祝官有祕祝,卽有災祥,輒移過於下。夏,詔曰:「蓋聞天道,禍自怨起而福繇德興,百官之非,宜由朕躬。今祕祝之官移過於下,以彰吾之不德,朕甚弗取。其除之!」

2. Originally, the Qin dynasty had an office among the Invokers called the Secret Invoker; whenever there was some natural disaster, the Secret Invoker would ritually transfer the faults of the sovereign to their subordinates instead. This office had been maintained through the rise of the Han dynasty. But during this year, in the summer, Emperor Wen issued an edict stating, "I have heard that when Heaven inflicts disasters to show its displeasure or bestows blessings to approve of virtue, it has nothing to do with the officials, but is focused on the conduct of the sovereign. To maintain this office of Secret Invoker, and thus transfer my faults to my subordinates, is to make manifest my own lack of virtue; I shall never stand for it. Let it be abolished!"

〈應劭曰:祕祝之官,移過於下,國家諱之,故曰祕也。〉

(Ying Shao remarked, "The Secret Invoker transferred faults to subordinates. The state was forbidden to speak of it, thus it was called Secret.")


十三年夏。除祕祝之官。詔曰。祕祝之官。移過於下。朕弗取。其除之。名山大川。其在諸侯封內。各有自奉祠。天子之官不領。齊及濟南國廢。令太祝歲時至祠。(Records of Former Han 8, Annals of Emperor Wen)

In the thirteenth year of the reign of Emperor Wen (167 BC), in the summer, Emperor Wen abolished the office of Secret Invoker. He issued an edict stating, "The purpose of this office is to transfer faults to subordinates. I cannot allow this. It is hereby abolished."

Some of the famous mountains and great rivers located within the domains of the feudal lords had shrines set up there on local initiatives, without the authorization of Emperor Wen's officials. The local shrines in the Qi and Jinan fiefs were disbanded, and Emperor Wen ordered the Grand Blesser to conduct annual sacrifices at these places instead.


齊太倉令淳于意有罪,當刑,詔獄逮繫長安。其少女緹縈上書曰:「妾父爲吏,齊中皆稱其廉平;今坐法當刑。妾傷夫死者不可復生,刑者不可復屬,雖後欲改過自新,其道無繇也。妾願沒入爲官婢,以贖父刑罪,使得自新。」天子憐悲其意,五月,詔曰:「《詩》曰:『愷弟君子,民之父母。』今人有過,敎未施而刑已加焉,或欲改行爲善而道無繇至,朕甚憐之!夫刑至斷支體,刻肌膚,終身不息,何其刑之痛而不德也!豈爲民父母之意哉!其除肉刑,有以易之;及令罪人各以輕重,不亡逃,有年而免。具爲令!」丞相張蒼、御史大夫馮敬奏請定律曰:「諸當髡者爲城旦、舂;當黥髡者鉗爲城旦、舂;當劓者笞三百;當斬左止者笞五百;當斬右止及殺人先自告及吏坐受賕、枉法、守縣官財物而卽盜之、已論而復有笞罪者皆棄市。罪人獄已決爲城旦、舂者,各有歲數以免。」制曰:「可。」

3. The Granary Prefect of the princely fief of Qi, Chunyu Yi, was convicted of a crime. He was scheduled to be mutilated, and an edict was issued imprisoning him and transferring him to Chang'an.

Chunyu Yi's youngest daughter Chunyu Tiying sent up a letter to the court, stating, "When my father served as an official, everyone in the Qi region praised him for being honest and fair. Yet now he has been charged with breaking the law and is going to be mutilated. It pains me to think that those who are executed can never again live their lives, and those who are mutilated can never again rejoin society; though they might wish to change their ways and have a new beginning, there is no road open to them. I am fully willing to become a government slave if by doing so I can save my father from being mutilated and let him have a new start."

Emperor Wen was moved by this letter and pitied the family’s plight. So in the fifth month, he issued an edict stating, "The Book of Poetry has the verse, 'The joyful sovereign is the mother and father of the people.' Yet whenever someone among the people commits a fault, they are mutilated before they can receive instruction to change their ways. Once this occurs, even if some among them wish to reform themselves and do good, there is no path for them to do so. How deeply I pity their fates! When the punishments go so far as to tear away limbs or carve off muscle and skin, there is never a recovery from these injuries. How can these punishments be so injurious and so unvirtuous? And by permitting these things, how am I showing my regard to the people as their parent? Let other punishments be used in place of these mutilations. Assign proper sentences to each offender according to their crime, and so long as they do not try to escape, let their sentences end after their allotted years. Thus I command!"

The Prime Minister, Zhang Cang, and the Imperial Secretary, Feng Jing, submitted a memorial asking to clarify the laws according to Emperor Wen's wishes. They proposed, "Let those who would have been sentenced to shaving of the head be sentenced to dawn-service at the walls or pounding of grain. Let those who would have been sentenced to shaving and tattooing of the head be sentenced to being shackled in iron (or, let those who would have been sentenced to tattooing of the head be sentenced to be shaved and shackled in iron) and likewise performing dawn-service at the walls or pounding of grain. Let those who would have been sentenced to having their nose cut off be sentenced to three hundred strokes of the cane, and those who would have been sentenced to having their left foot cut off be sentenced to five hundred strokes. Let those who would have been sentenced to having their right foot cut off, murderers who turned themselves in, officials charged with bribery or perversion of justice, Administrators or Prefects charged with embezzlement, and those repeat offenders who would originally have been beaten with the cane all be sentenced to public execution. And let those who are already serving indefinite sentences performing dawn-service at the walls or pounding of grain be given definite lengths to their sentences, after which they shall be released."

Emperor Wen decreed, "Let it be so."

〈太倉令,齊王國官也。《姓譜》:淳于出於姜姓,州公之後。〉〈師古曰:逮,及也;辭之所及,則追捕之,故謂之逮。一曰:逮者,在道將送,防禦不絕,若今之傳送囚。〉〈師古曰:屬,聯也。〉〈繇,古由字通用。〉〈漢制:永巷令典官婢。〉〈師古曰:《大雅‧泂酌》之詩也。言君子有和樂簡易之德,則其下尊之如父,親之如母也。〉〈師古曰:息,生也。〉〈孟康曰:其不亡逃者,滿其年數,得免爲庶人。〉〈師古曰:使更爲條例。〉〈髡,X也,謂去其髮及其耏鬢。應劭曰:城旦者,旦起行治城;舂者,婦人不豫外傜,但舂作米:皆四歲刑也。〉〈【章:乙十一行本作「當黥者髡鉗爲」。】〉〈鉗者,以鐵束其頸。〉〈師古曰:止,足也;當斬右足者,以其罪次重,故從棄市也。殺人先自告,謂殺人先自首得免罪者也。吏受賕枉法,謂受賂而曲公法者也。守縣官財物而卽盜之,卽今律所謂主守自盜者也。殺人害重、受賕、盜物贓汙之身,故此三罪已被論而又犯笞,亦皆棄市。〉〈城旦、舂滿三歲爲鬼薪、白粲,鬼薪、白粲一歲爲隸臣妾,隸臣妾一歲免爲庶人;隸臣妾滿二歲爲司寇,司寇一歲及作如司寇二歲皆免爲庶人。〉

(Granary Prefect was an office of the Qi princely fief.

The Registry of Surnames states, "The surname 淳于 Chunyu originally came from the 姜 Jiang surname. Those with this surname are the descendants of the Duke of 州 Zhou."

This passage states that Chunyu Yi was 逮ed. Yan Shigu remarked, "This means 'to catch up'; that is, word is sent out, and then the person is pursued and arrested, thus the use of this term. It is also said that those who are 逮ed are people who are escorted on the road, under constant supervision by guards, like our modern prisoner escorts."

Yan Shigu remarked, "The term 屬 here means 'join with'."

繇 is an old form of the term 由 "by means of".

According to the Han system, the Prefect of Yongxiang was in charge of the government's female slaves.

Yan Shigu remarked, "Emperor Wen quotes from the Pool-Water poem of the Daya section of the Book of Poetry. This verse means that when a superior fellow displays the virtues of peacefulness, joy, simplicity, and easiness, then his subordinates will honor him like a father and be close to him like a mother."

Yan Shigu remarked, "The term 息 in this instance means 'emerge'."

Meng Kang remarked, "Emperor Wen meant that, so long as the prisoner did not try to escape, after the years of their sentence had elapsed, they would be set free and released back into the general population."

Yan Shigu remarked, "Emperor Wen was ordering his officials to prepare these new regulations."

To be shaved is to be shorn of hair; that is, the hair on top of the head, around the temples, and the beard would all be shaved.

Ying Shao remarked, "Those performing 'dawn-service on the walls' were required to rise at dawn in order to perform repairs on the city walls. 'Pounding of grain' referred to women who were not required to perform any other labor beyond pounding of rice and grain. Both sentences were for four years."

Some versions state that people sentenced to tattooing of the face would be shaved and shackled in iron, rather than that those sentenced to both shaving and tattooing would instead be shackled in iron. To be "shackled in iron" meant to wear an iron collar around the neck.

Zhang Cang and Feng Jing refer to the removal of one's 止. Yan Shigu remarked, "止 in this instance means the foot. Removal of the right foot was reserved for more serious crimes than removal of the left foot; this was why those sentenced to removal of the right foot were instead sentenced to execution instead. 'Murderers who turned themselves in' means someone who killed another person but then came to report their crime in the hopes of escaping punishment. 'Bribery and perversion of justice' meant those who took bribes and acted contrary to justice. 'Embezzlement' meant those in public office, like Administrators or Prefects, who stole the money entrusted to them, like what our modern laws call theft of public funds. Murder was a serious harm, while bribery and embezzlement soiled the offender. This was why those three crimes, as well as repeat offenders, were now sentenced to execution."

Those who were sentenced to service for dawn-service on the walls or as pounders of grain served three years as 'ghost laborers' and 'white sacrificers'. After three years, they performed one more year of service as general government slaves, after which they were released back into the public. Those who were originally sentenced as government slaves served two years as 'outlaw managers', then two years in equivalent service as government slaves before being released.)


夏五月。詔除肉刑。時齊太倉令淳于公有罪當刑。淳于公有女五人。無男。嘗罵其女曰。生女不生男。緩急無有益。小女緹縈自傷泣。乃隨父到長安。上書曰。妾父為吏。齊國皆稱廉平。今坐法當刑。妾聞夫死者不可復生。刑者不可復贖。雖欲改過自新。其道無由。妾願沒身為官奴。以贖父刑。使得自新。天子悲憐其意。遂下令曰。夫訓導不純。而愚民陷焉。或欲改行為善。其道無由也。夫刑者。至斷支體。刻肌膚。終身不復。何其刑之痛而不得理也。其除肉刑。有以易之。遂改定律。(Records of Former Han 8, Annals of Emperor Wen)

In summer, the fifth month, Emperor Wen issued an edict abolishing mutilating punishments.

At that time, the Granary Prefect of the princely fief of Qi, Lord Chunyu, was convicted of a crime. He was scheduled to be mutilated. Lord Chunyu had five daughters, but no sons, and once he had scolded his daughters by saying, "Why did you have to be born as women instead of men? You only bring me more trouble, no benefit."

Lord Chunyu's youngest daughter Chunyu Tiying followed her father to Chang'an, weeping and blaming herself all the way. She sent up a letter to the court, stating, "When my father served as an official, everyone in the Qi princely fief praised him for being honest and fair. Yet now he has been charged with breaking the law and is going to be mutilated. I have heard that those who are executed can never again live their lives, and those who are mutilated can never again redeem themselves; though they might wish to change their ways and have a new beginning, there is no road open to them. I am fully willing to become a government slave if by doing so I can save my father from being mutilated and let him have a new start."

Emperor Wen was moved by this letter and pitied the family’s plight. He issued a decree stating, "My guidance and instruction of the people has been imperfect, and the foolhardy among them often fall into peril. Though some among these wish to reform their conduct and do good, there is no road open to them. When the punishments go so far as to tear away limbs or carve off muscle and skin, there is never a recovery from these injuries. Why should we commit such gruesome punishments when there is no reason for them? I hereby abolish mutilating punishments. Let them be exchanged for other punishments, and the laws thus be reformed and settled."


是時,上旣躬修玄默,而將相皆舊功臣,少文多質。懲惡亡秦之政,論議務在寬厚,恥言人之過失;化行天下,告訐之俗易。吏安其官,民樂其業,畜積歲增,戶口寖息。風流篤厚,禁罔疏闊,罪疑者予民,是以刑罰大省,至於斷獄四百,有刑錯之風焉。

4. By this time, Emperor Wen cultivated a profound and reflective character. His generals and ministers, who held office because of their past deeds, were mostly simple people without great learning. Eager to avoid the misrule that had led to the fall of the Qin dynasty, Emperor Wen hosted discussions on how to be generous and magnanimous, and he felt ashamed at the prospect of mentioning someone's faults or failures. His good conduct soon influenced the realm, and communication between everyone became simple and easy. The officials were secure in their posts, and the people were happy in their livelihoods; the government stores of grains increased each year, and the population grew fruitful and multiplied. Sincerity and magnanimity became the general behavior, and laws and regulations were permissive and relaxed. Minor criminals and suspects were left among the people, and convictions and punishments were so reduced that only four hundred serious offenders were actually punished and imprisoned. Punishments became nearly obsolete.

〈自下告上曰訐。師古曰︰面相斥罪也。〉〈疏,與疎同。〉〈師古曰︰從輕斷。予,讀曰與。〉〈師古曰︰謂普天之下重罪者也。〉〈應劭曰︰錯,置也。民不犯法,無所刑也。〉

(This passage uses the term 訐; this means communications from below to above. Yan Shigu remarked, "People reprimanded one another for their crimes to their faces."

The term 疏 means the same thing as 疎 "lax, relaxed".

Yan Shigu remarked, "The offenders allowed to mingle with the people were small offenders. The term 予 should be read as 'with, among'."

Yan Shigu remarked, "This passage was saying that four hundred of the most serious offenders across the realm were actually imprisoned."

This passage uses the expression 刑錯之風. Ying Shao remarked, "錯 means 'to place'. The expression meant that the people did not violate the laws, and there was no resort to punishments.")


六月,詔曰:「農,天下之本,務莫大焉。今勤身從事而有租稅之賦,是爲本末者無以異也,其於勸農之道未備。其除田之租稅!」

5. In the sixth month, Emperor Wen issued an edict stating, "Agriculture is the foundation of the realm; no duty is greater. Yet I notice that when it comes to taxes imposed on those employed in various trades, there is no distinction between those performing the most important trades and those performing the least important. This is no way to encourage the practice of agriculture. I hereby abolish the taxes on farmland!"

〈李奇曰:本,農也;末,賈也。言農與賈俱出租無異也,故除田租。〉

(Li Qi remarked, "The 'most important' workers were farmers, while the 'least important' were merchants. Emperor Wen was saying that it was wrong that both of these kinds of workers should be taxed at the same rate, thus he abolished the taxes on farmland.")


六月。詔除民田租。(Records of Former Han 8, Annals of Emperor Wen)

In the sixth month, Emperor Wen issued an edict abolishing the tax on farmland.
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BOOK 15

Unread postby Taishi Ci 2.0 » Mon Mar 23, 2020 1:32 am

十四年(乙亥、前一六六)

The Fourteenth Year of Emperor Wen's Reign (The Yihai or Wood Pig Year, 166 BC)


冬,匈奴老上單于十四萬騎入朝那、蕭關,殺北地都尉卬,虜人民畜產甚多;遂至彭陽,使奇兵入燒回中宮,候騎至雍甘泉。帝以中尉周舍、郎中令張武爲將軍,發車千乘、騎卒十萬軍長安旁,以備胡寇;而拜昌侯盧卿爲上郡將軍,甯侯魏遫爲北地將軍,隆慮侯周竈爲隴西將軍,屯三郡。上親勞軍,勒兵,申敎令,賜吏卒,自欲征匈奴。羣臣諫,不聽;皇太后固要,上乃止。於是以東陽侯張相如爲大將軍,成侯董赤、內史欒布皆爲將軍,擊匈奴。單于留塞內月餘,乃去。漢逐出塞卽還,不能有所殺。

1. In the winter (of 167 BC), the Laoshang Chanyu of the Xiongnu led 140,000 cavalry into Chaona and Xiaoguan. They killed the Commandant of Beidi, Ang, and kidnapped countless people and took their produce and livestock. They advanced to Pengyang, they sent special troops to burn the Huizhong Palace, and their scouts rode as far as Ganquan in Yong.

Emperor Wen appointed the Palace Commandant, Zhou She, and the Prefect of the Household Gentlemen, Zhang Wu, as generals and assigned them a thousand carts and a hundred thousand cavalry to camp near Chang'an in order to defend against the Xiongnu invaders. He also appointed the Marquis of Chang, Lu Qiu, as General of Shang commandary, he appointed the Marquis of Ning, Wei Chi, as General of Beidi, and he appointed the Marquis of Longlu, Zhou Zao, as General of Longxi, and he had these three generals camp their forces in their assigned commandaries. Emperor Wen personally went to inspect the troops and encourage them. He provided his orders and instructions, and he distributed rewards among the officers and soldiers.

Emperor Wen even planned to personally lead the campaign against the Xiongnu. His ministers remonstrated against this idea, but could not sway him. Yet when Empress Dowager Bo forcefully opposed it as well, he gave up on the idea. Instead he appointed the Marquis of Dongyang, Zhang Xiangru, as Grand General, and he appointed the Marquis of Cheng, Dong Chi, and the Interior Director, Luan Bu, as generals, and he sent them to lead an army to attack the Xiongnu.

The Laoshang Chanyu remained within the realm for a little more than a month, then withdrew his forces. The Han army pursued them beyond the border passes, but they were unable to kill any of the Xiongnu.

〈班《志》,朝那縣屬安定郡。應劭曰:《史記》,故戎那邑也。蕭關在朝那界,唐屬原州之境,後置蕭關縣,爲武州治所。《史記正義》曰:蕭關,今古隴山關,在原州平涼縣界。〉〈徐廣曰:卬,姓段。師古曰:非也,姓孫。卬,五郎翻。〉〈班《志》,彭陽縣屬安定郡。師古曰:卽今彭原縣。《括地志》:彭陽縣故城,在今涇州臨涇縣東二十里彭原。寧州雍縣,班《志》屬扶風。〉〈昌侯「盧卿」,《功臣表》作「旅卿」,古字借用也。《姓譜》:姜姓之後封於盧,以國爲氏,與甯侯、隆慮侯皆高祖功臣。昌侯國屬琅邪郡。甯侯國在河內脩武縣界。隆慮侯國亦屬河內郡。三人分屯三郡,故各以郡爲將軍號。遫,古速字。〉〈文穎曰:要,劫也,哀痛祝誓之言。余謂固要,力止也。要,讀曰邀。〉〈成侯董赤,高帝功臣董渫之子。成侯國屬涿郡。赤,《史記正義》音赫。〉

(According to the Book of Han, Chaona county was part of Anding commandary. Ying Shao remarked, "According to the Records of the Grand Historian, it was originally Chaoyi in the Rong lands."

Xiaoguan was within Chaona county. During Tang, it was originally part of Yuanzhou, then later was established as its own Xiaoguan county, governed by Wuzhou. The Zhengyi commentary to the Records of the Grand Historian states, "Xiaoguan or Xiao Pass was the same place as the modern Gulongshan Pass, in Pingliang county in Yuanzhou."

Regarding the "Commandant of Beidi, Ang", Xu Guang argued, "Ang was this man's surname." Yan Shigu argued, "Xu Guang was incorrect; this man's surname was Sun." In either case, the name 卬 is pronounced "wang (w-ang)".

According to the Book of Han, Pengyang county was also part of Anding commandary. Yan Shigu remarked, "It was the same place as the modern Pengyuan county." The Comprehensive Gazetteer states, "The capital city of Pengyang county was at Pengyuan, twenty li east of Linjing county in modern 涇 Jingzhou."

According to the Book of Han, Yong county was part of Fufeng commandary. During Tang, it was part of Ningzhou.

The person listed in this passage as the Marquis of Chang, 盧卿 Lu Qiu, is recorded in the Table of Accomplished Ministers as 旅卿 Lü Qiu. In ancient times these two characters were interchangeable. The Registry of Surnames states, "One of the descendants of the Jiang clan was granted a fief at 盧 Lu, and their descendants took the name of the fief as their surname." Lu Qiu, Wei Chi, and Zhou Zao were all accomplished ministers from Liu Bang's era. The Marquisate of Chang was part of Langye commandary. The Marquisate of Ning was in Xiuwu county in Henei commandary, and the Marquisate of Longlu was also in Henei commandary. These three generals each camped in the commandaries to which they had been assigned as generals (Shang, Beidi, and Longxi). Wei Chi's given name 遫 Chi was an old form of the character 速 Su.

This passage describes Empress Dowager Bo as 固要ing Emperor Wen. Wen Ying remarked, "要 means to coerce, as in to achingly entreat or vow." But I (Hu Sanxing) reckon that 固要 means to forcefully prevent or stop something, and that 要 should be read as 邀 "intercept, block, cut off".

The Marquis of Cheng, Dong Chi, was the son of one of Liu Bang's accomplished ministers, Dong Xie. The Marquisate of Cheng was part of Zhuo commandary. According to the Zhengyi commentary of the Records of the Grand Historian, Dong Chi's given name 赤 is pronounced "he".)


十四年冬。匈奴老上單于寇邊。以十四萬騎入蕭關。殺北地都尉□邛。遂至彭陽。使騎兵入燒回中宮。候騎至雍。起烽火通甘泉。上遣王將軍屯隴西北地上郡。中尉周舍為衛將軍。郎中令張武為車騎將軍。軍渭北。車千乘騎卒十萬。上親勞軍。勒兵車。令賜吏卒。上欲自征匈奴。群臣諫不聽。皇太后固止之。乃止。東陽侯張相如為大將軍。內史欒布皆為將軍。擊匈奴出塞。(Records of Former Han 8, Annals of Emperor Wen)

In the fourteenth year of Emperor Wen's reign (166 BC), in the winter (of 167 BC), the Laoshang Chanyu of the Xiongnu led 140,000 cavalry into Xiaoguan. They killed the Commandant of Beidi, Qiong. They advanced to Pengyang, they sent riders to burn the Huizhong Palace, and their scouts rode as far as Yong. The beacon fires were lit as far as Ganquan.

Emperor Wen sent imperial generals to camp at the commandaries of Longxi, Beidi, and Shang. He appointed the Palace Commandant, Zhou She, as Guard General, and he appointed the Prefect of the Household Gentlemen, Zhang Wu, as General of Chariots and Cavalry. He assigned them a thousand carts and a hundred thousand cavalry and infantry to camp north of the Wei River. Emperor Wen personally went to inspect the troops and their carts and to encourage them. He provided his orders and instructions, and he distributed rewards among the officers and soldiers.

Emperor Wen even planned to personally lead the campaign against the Xiongnu. His ministers remonstrated against this idea, but could not sway him. Yet when Empress Dowager Bo forcefully opposed it as well, he gave up on the idea. Instead he appointed the Marquis of Dongyang, Zhang Xiangru, as Grand General, and he appointed the Interior Director, Luan Bu, and others as generals. They attacked the Xiongnu and drove them out of the border passes.

漢孝文皇帝十四年,匈奴單于十四萬騎入朝那、蕭關,殺北地都尉卬,虜人民畜產甚多,遂至彭陽。使奇兵入燒回中宮,候騎至雍甘泉。於是文帝以中尉周舍、郎中令張武爲將軍,發車千乘,騎十萬,軍長安旁以備胡寇。而拜昌侯盧卿爲上郡將軍,甯侯魏遬爲北地將軍,隆慮侯周灶爲隴西將軍,東陽侯張相如爲大將軍,成侯董赤爲前將軍,大發車騎往擊胡。單于留塞內月餘乃去,漢逐出塞即還,不能有所殺。(Records of the Grand Historian 110, Account of the Xiongnu)

In the fourteenth year of Emperor Wen's reign (166 BC), the (Laoshang) Chanyu of the Xiongnu led 140,000 cavalry into Chaona and Xiaoguan. They killed the Commandant of Beidi, Ang, and kidnapped countless people and took their produce and livestock. They advanced to Pengyang, they sent special troops to burn the Huizhong Palace, and their scouts rode as far as Ganquan in Yong.

Emperor Wen appointed the Palace Commandant, Zhou She, and the Prefect of the Household Gentlemen, Zhang Wu, as generals and assigned them a thousand carts and a hundred thousand cavalry to camp near Chang'an in order to defend against the Xiongnu invaders. He also appointed the Marquis of Chang, Lu Qiu, as General of Shang commandary, he appointed the Marquis of Ning, Wei Su, as General of Beidi, and he appointed the Marquis of Longlu, Zhou Zao, as General of Longxi. He appointed the Marquis of Dongyang, Zhang Xiangru, as Grand General. And he appointed the Marquis of Cheng, Dong Chi, as General of the Front. He sent them all to lead a large draft of carts and cavalry to attack the Xiongnu.

The Chanyu remained within the realm for a little more than a month, then withdrew his forces. The Han army pursued them beyond the border passes, but they were unable to kill any of the Xiongnu.

孝文十四年,匈奴單于十四萬騎入朝那蕭關,殺北地都尉卬,虜人民畜產甚多,遂至彭陽。使騎兵入燒回中宮,候騎至雍甘泉。於是文帝以中尉周舍、郎中令張武為將軍,發車千乘,十萬騎,軍長安旁以備胡寇。而拜昌侯盧卿為上郡將軍,甯侯魏遫為北地將軍,隆慮侯周灶為隴西將軍,東陽侯張相如為大將軍,成侯董赤為將軍,大發車騎往擊胡。單于留塞內月餘,漢逐出塞即還,不能有所殺。(Book of Han 94-1, Account of the Xiongnu)

In the fourteenth year of Emperor Wen's reign (166 BC), the (Laoshang) Chanyu of the Xiongnu led 140,000 cavalry into Chaona and Xiaoguan. They killed the Commandant of Beidi, Ang, and kidnapped countless people and took their produce and livestock. They advanced to Pengyang, they sent special troops to burn the Huizhong Palace, and their scouts rode as far as Ganquan in Yong.

Emperor Wen appointed the Palace Commandant, Zhou She, and the Prefect of the Household Gentlemen, Zhang Wu, as generals and assigned them a thousand carts and a hundred thousand cavalry to camp near Chang'an in order to defend against the Xiongnu invaders. He also appointed the Marquis of Chang, Lu Qiu, as General of Shang commandary, he appointed the Marquis of Ning, Wei Chi, as General of Beidi, and he appointed the Marquis of Longlu, Zhou Zao, as General of Longxi. He appointed the Marquis of Dongyang, Zhang Xiangru, as Grand General. And he appointed the Marquis of Cheng, Dong Chi, as a general. He sent them all to lead a large draft of carts and cavalry to attack the Xiongnu.

The Chanyu remained within the realm for a little more than a month, then withdrew his forces. The Han army pursued them beyond the border passes, but they were unable to kill any of the Xiongnu.


上輦過郎署,問郎署長馮唐曰:「父家何在?」對曰:「臣大父趙人,父徙代。」上曰:「吾居代時,吾尚食監高祛數爲我言趙將李齊之賢,戰於鉅鹿下。今吾每飯意未嘗不在鉅鹿也。父知之乎?」唐對曰:「尚不如廉頗、李牧之爲將也。」上搏髀曰:「嗟乎,吾獨不得廉頗、李牧爲將!吾豈憂匈奴哉!」唐曰:「陛下雖得廉頗、李牧,弗能用也。」上怒,起,入禁中,良久,召唐,讓曰:「公柰何衆辱我,獨無間處乎!」唐謝曰:「鄙人不知忌諱。」上方以胡寇爲意,乃卒復問唐曰:「公何以知吾不能用廉頗、李牧也?」唐對曰:「臣聞上古王者之遣將也,跪而推轂,曰:『閫以內者,寡人制之;閫以外者,將軍制之。』軍功爵賞皆決於外,歸而奏之,此非虛言也。臣大父言:李牧爲趙將,居邊,軍市之租,皆自用饗士;賞賜決於外,不從中覆也。委任而責成功,故李牧乃得盡其智能;選車千三百乘,彀騎萬三千,百金之士十萬,是以北逐單于,破東胡,滅澹林,西抑強秦,南支韓、魏;當是之時,趙幾霸。其後會趙王遷立,用郭開讒,卒誅李牧,令顏聚代之;是以兵破士北,爲秦所禽滅。今臣竊聞魏尚爲雲中守,其軍市租盡以饗士卒,私養錢五日一椎牛,自饗賓客、軍吏、舍人,是以匈奴遠避,不近雲中之塞。虜曾一入,尚率車騎擊之,所殺甚衆。夫士卒盡家人子,起田中從軍,安知尺籍、伍符!終日力戰,斬首捕虜,上功幕府,一言不相應,文吏以法繩之,其賞不行;而吏奉法必用。臣愚以爲陛下賞太輕,罰太重。且雲中守魏尚坐上功首虜差六級,陛下下之吏,削其爵,罰作之。由此言之,陛下雖得廉頗、李牧,弗能用也!」上說。是日,令唐持節赦魏尚,復以爲雲中守,而拜唐爲車騎都尉。

2. On one occasion, as Emperor Wen was riding his carriage past the office of the Household Gentlemen, he stopped for a visit and asked the Chief of the Office, Feng Tang, "Elder, where is your family from?"

Feng Tang told him, "My grandfather was a native of the state of Zhao, though my father moved to Dai."

Emperor Wen said, "During the years that I was Prince of Dai, my Steward of Meals back then, Gao Qu, often told me stories about how worthy a man the Zhao general Li Qi was, when he fought beneath the walls of Julu. I cannot even eat a meal anymore without picturing myself standing there at Julu like in those stories. Elder, did you ever know Li Qi?"

Feng Tang replied, "Li Qi was still not so great a general as Lian Po or Li Mu."

Emperor Wen beat his thigh and exclaimed, "Oh, if only I had someone like Lian Po or Li Mu to serve as my general! Then why would I ever have to fear the Xiongnu?"

Feng Tang retorted, "Even if Your Majesty had Lian Po or Li Mu serving you, you wouldn't be able to use them properly."

Furious at this response, Emperor Wen got up and stormed off into the inner apartments. After some time, he summoned Feng Tang and rebuked him, saying, "Sir, why did you shame me like that in front of everyone, instead of saying such a thing in private?"

Feng Tang apologized, saying, "Forgive your foolish subject; I did not show discretion."

Emperor Wen was still thinking about the recent invasion by the Xiongnu. So he asked Feng Tang, "What gave you the impression that, even if I had Lian Po and Li Mu serving me, I would not be able to use them properly?"

Feng Tang said, "I have heard that in ancient times, whenever the sovereign was going to send out a general, he would kneel before the wheel of the general's carriage and say, 'General, I wield authority within the palace, but you wield authority outside it.' And this was no idle talk, for the accomplishments and deeds achieved during military service were all rewarded in the field, according to the whims of the general, and only afterwards did the general send back word to inform the sovereign of what the general had already decided.

"My grandfather told me all about the life of Li Mu. He said that when Li Mu served as a general of Zhao, he was stationed on the borders of the state. He used the taxes collected from the army camp markets to finance feasts for his officers, and he made his own decisions on granting gifts and rewards without waiting for confirmation. And those people whom he employed saw it as their duty to ensure complete success. This was why Li Mu was able to draw upon their full talents and expertise. He personally selected 1,300 carts, 13,000 gifted mounted archers, and a hundred thousand skilled infantry to serve in his army. These were the forces he used to drive off the Chanyu of the Xiongnu to the north, smash the eastern tribes and conquer the Danlin people, grapple with mighty Qin to the west, and fend off Hann and Wei to the south. It was thanks to him that during his lifetime, Zhao nearly became a hegemon controlling all the other states. But later, the King of Zhao shifted Li Mu away and even listened to the slander of Guo Kai against him, so that in the end Li Mu was executed and replaced by Yan Ju. It was not long afterwards that the north of Zhao was overrun, and they were conquered by Qin.

"Now I recall that Your Majesty had earlier appointed Wei Shang as Administrator of Yunzhong. Wei Shang too had the habit of using the taxes from the army camp markets to feast his officers and soldiers, and even went so far as to use his own funds to provide an ox for a feast every five days, in order to feed his guests, officers, and retainers. And during the time that he was Administrator, the Xiongnu stayed far away from Yunzhong and hardly dared to encroach upon it. There was an occasion when they actually did so, but Wei Shang led his carts and cavalry to attack them and killed a great many of them. The soldiers of his army were all sons of common families, who came up from their fields to join the army; what knowledge could they have had of victory reports or casualty lists? They simply fought all day with all their strength, taking heads and prisoners. Yet when the report of their achievements was sent to the government and there were some slight inconsistencies, the officials chose not only not to reward the soldiers, but even to insist upon the law by arresting Wei Shang. I venture to propose that Your Majesty has been too meager with rewards and too harsh with punishments. Indeed, when it was discovered that Wei Shang's casualty list of the number of enemy heads and captives taken had been off by six, Your Majesty even ordered your officials to strip Wei Shang of his noble title and sentence him to a year's punishment.

"That is why I said that even if Your Majesty had Lian Po or Li Mu, you would not be able to use them properly!"

Emperor Wen was pleased by Feng Tang's assessment. That very day, he granted Feng Tang a Staff of Authority and sent him to pardon Wei Shang and restore him to his post as Administrator of Yunzhong. He also appointed Feng Tang as a Commandant of Chariots and Cavalry.

〈署,郎舍也。〉〈尚食監,主膳食之官。〉〈當是秦將王離圍鉅鹿時。〉〈每食時,念高祛所言,其心未嘗不在鉅鹿。〉〈搏,拊也。《左傳》曰:搏膺而踊。〉〈師古曰:何不於隙間之處而言。〉〈閫,門橛也。〉〈《索隱》曰:軍中立市,市有稅;稅卽租也。〉〈師古曰:覆,謂覆白之也。一說,不從中覆校其所用之數,亦通。〉〈弓弩引滿爲彀;謂騎兵能射者。服虔曰:良士直百金。晉灼曰:百金,喻貴重也。〉〈澹林,卽襜襤。〉〈事見六卷始皇十八年。〉〈服虔曰:私廩假錢。《索隱》曰:按漢市肆租稅之入爲私奉養。服虔曰:私廩假錢是也。或云:官所別給也。余謂當從《漢書》以私養錢屬下句。〉〈師古曰:家人子,謂庶人家之子也。〉〈李奇曰:尺籍,所以書軍令;伍符,軍士伍伍相保之符信也。如淳曰:《漢軍法》曰:吏卒斬首,以尺籍書下縣移郡;令人故行不行,奪勞二歲。伍符,亦什五之符要節度也。或曰:以尺簡書,故曰尺籍也。《索隱》曰:按尺籍者,謂書其斬首之功於一尺之板。伍符者,令軍人伍伍相保,不容姦詐也。〉〈《索隱》曰:應,謂數不同也。〉〈蘇林曰:一歲刑爲罰作。〉〈詳考班《表》,漢無車騎都尉官。時使唐主中尉及郡國車士。〉

(The Office was the residence of the Household Gentlemen.

The Steward of Meals was in charge of supplying food.

The battle of Julu which Li Qi had fought in was when the Qin general Wang Li besieged that city.

Emperor Wen was saying that whenever he ate, he invariably thought of Gao Qu's words and could not help thinking about the battle of Julu.

To beat is to strike. The Zuo Commentary to the Spring and Autumn Annals has the phrase, "He beat his breast and leapt up."

Yan Shigu remarked, "Emperor Wen was asking Feng Tang why he had not offered his criticism in a private place, rather than in public."

The term 閫 means "within the gates or posts".

Feng Tang refers to the 軍市之租 "taxes of the army camp markets". The Suoyin commentary to the Records of the Grand Historian states, "There would be markets set up in the army camps, and they would be taxed, or charged rent."

Feng Tang states that Li Mu would make his own decisions in the field and not follow the 中覆. Yan Shigu remarked, "覆 means to verify or to ask for confirmation. In other words, Li Mu would not wait for his decisions to be confirmed."

Li Mu's mounted archers are described as being 彀. This means a fully-drawn bow or crossbow; in other words, it was an adjective for skilled mounted archers.

Li Mu's soldiers are described as being 百金 "hundred gold". Fu Qian remarked, "Fine officers are worth a hundred gold." Jin Zhuo remarked, "It was an expression for their great esteem."

Feng Tang refers to the Danlin people; these were the same as the Chanlan people.

Li Mu's death is mentioned in Book 6, in the eighth year of the First Emperor's reign (241 BC).

Feng Tang describes Wei Shang as using 私養錢 to purchase oxen. Fu Qian argued, "These were personal funds that he had gathered." The Suoyin commentary to the Records of the Grand Historian argued, "He was using the taxes and rent of the army market camps to make these personal purchases." Fu Qian remarked, "It was his personal funds. Some say that these were a separate government salary." I (Hu Sanxing) argue that the Book of Han's version of this account is correct in listing the "personal funds" as something separate from the taxes and rent.

Feng Tang describes Wei Shang's soldiers as 家人子. Yan Shigu remarked, "He was saying that they were the sons of common families."

Feng Tang mentions 尺籍s and 伍符s. Li Qi remarked, "尺籍s were army ordinances; 伍符s were credentials for the army's mutual defense between units." Ru Chun remarked, "According to the Military Regulations of Han, whenever officials or soldiers took enemy heads in battle, the 尺籍 would be written out to the local county and then sent to the commandary; those officials who failed to submit these reports when required to do so would be stripped of their office and put to hard labor. As for the 伍符s, they were for the mutual defense of the army units, so that there would be no opening for any wicked plan."

Regarding the term 應, the Suoyin commentary to the Records of the Grand Historian states, "應 in this case means 'consistent', so that in this report there were several inconsistencies."

Feng Tang says that Emperor Wen sentenced Wei Shang to 罰作. Su Lin remarked, "This means a year of punishment."

This passage states that Feng Tang was appointed as Commandant of Chariots and Cavalry. According to the treatises of the Book of Han, there was no such office as this in the central Han government. It must have been that Feng Tang was appointed as the Chief Commandant of his commandary and placed in command of the carts and soldiers there.)


師還時。上輦過郎署。見郎署長馮唐。年七十餘矣。問曰。父老何自為郎。家安在。對曰。臣趙人。上曰。吾居代時。尚食監高祛數謂我言趙將李齊之賢。戰於鉅鹿下。吾每餟食。意未嘗不在鉅鹿下也。父老知之。對曰。齊尚不如廉頗李牧之為將也。臣大父趙時為將卒善廉頗。臣父為代郡將時善李牧。故知其為人也。上曰。嗟乎。吾得廉頗李牧之為將。豈憂匈奴哉。唐曰。陛下雖得之。不能用。上怒。起入禁中。良久召唐曰。公眾辱我。獨無閑處也。何以言之。吾不能用也。唐謝因對曰。臣聞古之王者之遣將也。跪而推轂。曰自閫以內。寡人制之。自閫以外。將軍制之。軍功爵賞。皆決於外。李牧為趙將居邊。軍市之租。皆自用饗士卒。賞賜決於外。不從中覆也。委任而責成功。牧乃得展其智力。北逐單于。破東胡。滅澹林。西抑疆秦。南距韓魏。當此之時趙幾霸。會趙王遷立。用郭開讒而殺李牧。是以為秦所滅。今臣聞魏尚為雲中守。軍市之租盡以給士卒。出私養錢。五月一殺牛。以饗士卒軍人。是以匈奴遠遁。不敢近雲中之塞。虜嘗大入。尚率車騎擊之。所傷殺甚眾。上功幕府。誤差六級。文吏以法繩之。陛下下之吏。削爵罰及之。其賞不行。吏奉法必用。臣愚以為陛下賞太輕。罰太重。由此言之。陛下雖得頗牧。弗能用也。上悅。是日令唐持節赦魏尚。復以為雲中守。拜唐為車騎都尉。主中尉及郡車騎士。至景帝時為楚相。卒為名臣。荀悅曰。以孝文之明也。本朝之治。百寮之賢。而賈誼見逐。張釋之十年不見省用。馮唐白首屈於郎署。豈不惜哉。夫以絳侯之忠。功存社稷。而猶見疑。不亦痛乎。夫知賢之難。用人不易。忠臣自古之難也。雖在明世。且猶若茲。而況亂君闇主者乎。然則屈原赴湘水。子胥鴟夷於江。安足恨哉。周勃質朴忠誠。高祖以為安劉氏者必勃也。既定漢室。建立明主。眷眷之心。豈有異哉。狼狽失據。塊然囚執。俛首撫襟。屈於獄吏。豈不愍哉。夫忠臣之於其主。猶孝子之於其親。盡心焉。盡力焉。進而喜。非貪位。退而憂。非懷寵。結志於心。慕戀不已。進得及時。樂行其道。故仲尼去魯日遲遲而行。孟軻去齊三宿而後出境。彼誠仁聖之心。夫賈誼過湘水。弔屈原。惻愴慟懷。豈徒忿怨而已哉。與夫苟患失之者。異類殊意矣。及其傅梁王。梁王薨。哭泣而從死。豈可謂不忠乎。然人主不察。豈不哀哉。及釋之屈而思歸。馮唐困而後達。有可悼也。此忠臣所以泣血。賢俊所以傷心也。(Records of Former Han 8, Annals of Emperor Wen)

As the army was returning from the fight against the Xiongnu, Emperor Wen's carriage was passing by the office of the Household Gentlemen. The Chief of the Office, Feng Tang, was more than seventy years old. Emperor Wen stopped at the office for a visit and asked Feng Tang, "Elder, how are you one of the Household Gentlemen at your age? Where is your family from?"

Feng Tang told him, "We are natives of the Zhao region."

Emperor Wen said, "During the years that I was Prince of Dai, my Steward of Meals back then, Gao Qu, often told me stories about how worthy a man the Zhao general Li Qi was, when he fought beneath the walls of Julu. I cannot even eat a meal anymore without picturing myself standing there at Julu like in those stories. Elder, did you ever know Li Qi?"

Feng Tang replied, "Li Qi was still not so great a general as Lian Po or Li Mu. My grandfather served the state of Zhao as a soldier under Lian Po, and my father served in Dai commandary under Li Mu; both of them attested to how great those two were as generals, thus I know that Li Qi was not their match."

Emperor Wen exclaimed, "Oh, if only I had someone like Lian Po or Li Mu to serve as my general! Then why would I ever have to fear the Xiongnu?"

Feng Tang retorted, "Even if Your Majesty had Lian Po or Li Mu serving you, you wouldn't be able to use them properly."

Furious at this response, Emperor Wen got up and stormed off into the inner apartments. After some time, he summoned Feng Tang and rebuked him, saying, "Sir, why did you shame me like that in front of everyone, instead of saying such a thing in private? And what did you mean by saying that even if I had Lian Po and Li Mu serving me, I would not be able to use them properly?"

Feng Tang said, "I have heard that in ancient times, whenever the sovereign was going to send out a general, he would kneel before the wheel of the general's carriage and say, 'General, I wield authority within the palace, but you wield authority outside it.' And indeed, the accomplishments and deeds achieved during military service were all rewarded in the field.

"When Li Mu served as a general of Zhao, he was stationed on the borders of the state. He used the taxes collected from the army camp markets to finance feasts for his officers, and he made his own decisions on granting gifts and rewards without waiting for confirmation. And those people whom he employed saw it as their duty to ensure complete success. This was why Li Mu was able to draw upon their full strength and expertise. He drove off the Chanyu of the Xiongnu to the north, smashed the eastern tribes and conquered the Danlin people, grappled with mighty Qin to the west, and fended off Hann and Wei to the south. It was thanks to him that during his lifetime, Zhao nearly became a hegemon controlling all the other states. But later, the King of Zhao shifted Li Mu away and even listened to the slander of Guo Kai against him and killed Li Mu. Thus Zhao was conquered by Qin.

"Now I recall that Your Majesty had earlier appointed Wei Shang as Administrator of Yunzhong. Wei Shang too had the habit of using the taxes from the army camp markets to feast his officers and soldiers, and even went so far as to use his own funds to provide an ox for a feast on the fifth month of every year, in order to feed his officers and soldiers. And during the time that he was Administrator, the Xiongnu stayed far away from Yunzhong and hardly dared to encroach upon it. There was an occasion when they actually launched a great attack there, but Wei Shang led his carts and cavalry to attack them and killed a great many of them. But when in sending up a report of this success to the government it was discovered that his figures were off by six, the civil officials pressed the law by tying Wei Shang up, and Your Majesty handed him over to your officials and stripped him of his rank and title. Rewards were not granted, while the officials insisted that the law must be upheld. I venture to propose that Your Majesty has been too meager with rewards and too harsh with punishments.

"That is why I said that even if Your Majesty had Lian Po or Li Mu, you would not be able to use them properly."

Emperor Wen was pleased by Feng Tang's assessment. That very day, he granted Feng Tang a Staff of Authority and sent him to pardon Wei Shang and restore him to his post as Administrator of Yunzhong. He also appointed Feng Tang as a Commandant of Chariots and Cavalry, as a Chief Central Commandant, and as Officer of Chariots and Cavalry for his commandary.

By the time of Emperor Jing's reign, Feng Tang became Chancellor of the Prince of Chu, and he died a famous minister.

Your servant Xun Yue remarks: Emperor Wen was a wise sovereign, who governed the court well and employed many worthy people. Yet even during his reign, Jia Yi was driven away, Zhang Shizhi labored for ten years without receiving a substantial government post, and Feng Tang grew white-haired and bent-backed in the Office of the Household Gentlemen. Is it not regrettable? And even a loyal man like Zhou Bo, who preserved the dynasty through his actions, was still viewed with suspicion. Is it not painful to think of? How difficult it is for an intelligent and worthy minister to preserve themselves. Nor is it easy for the sovereign to properly employ them.

Ever since ancient times, the lot of a loyal minister has never been easy. Even during the reign of an enlightened ruler like Emperor Wen, there were still such instances as these. How much worse it becomes during the reign of a blind or troublesome lord! In such times did Qu Yuan cast himself into the Xiang River and Wu Zixu had his head hurled into the Yangzi. It is painful even to think about!

Zhou Bo was an unassuming man, loyal and earnest by nature. Liu Bang even said of him that Zhou Bo would surely be the one to preserve the Liu clan. And after Zhou Bo indeed fulfilled this prediction, he ensured the succession of a wise sovereign in Emperor Wen. His heart yearned for the dynasty; how could he have had any sinister desires? Yet he first lost his position on account of embarrassment, and later he was arrested and compelled to bow his head and grasp his sleeves in submission to the interrogation officials. Is it not pitiful?

A loyal subject regards their master like a filial son regards their parents. They serve their liege with all their heart and all their strength. If they advance, though they are pleased, they do not crave their position; if they withdraw, though they are anxious, they do not cherish favor. They bind their hearts to the service of their sovereign, without regard for themselves; they advance or obtain when the time is right, and they are happy to move when the circumstances demand it. After all, even Zhongni (Confucius) was slow to depart Lu after he had decided to leave his home state, and even Meng Ke (Mencius) remained three more nights in Qi before acting on his decision to depart. Earnest and benevolent are the hearts of sages.

When Jia Yi was crossing the Xiang River, he consoled the spirit of Qu Yuan, his chest burning with sorrow and grief. Was this not a much greater display than if he had simply been angry at his fate? How exceptionally different he was from someone who was simply resentful at having lost their position! And when Jia Yi became Tutor to the Prince of Liang, he wept and wailed after the Prince's demise and then followed him into death. How could anyone say that he was not loyal? Yet the lord of men did not fully appreciate his subject. Is it not lamentable?

And to think that Zhang Shizhi remained obscure and thought of resigning and returning home, and Feng Tang toiled for a long time and only achieved prominence late in life. One cannot help but grieve for them. Bitter beats the heart of the worthy and talented servant, and bloody are the tears of the loyal minister.

馮唐者,其大父趙人。父徙代。漢興徙安陵。唐以孝著,爲中郎署長,事文帝。文帝輦過,問唐曰:「父老何自爲郎?家安在?」唐具以實對。文帝曰:「吾居代時,吾尚食監高袪數爲我言趙將李齊之賢,戰於鉅鹿下。今吾每飯,意未嘗不在鉅鹿也。父知之乎?」唐對曰:「尚不如廉頗、李牧之爲將也。」上曰:「何以?」唐曰:「臣大父在趙時,爲官(卒)[率]將,善李牧。臣父故爲代相,善趙將李齊,知其爲人也。」上既聞廉頗、李牧爲人,良説,而搏髀曰:「嗟乎!吾獨不得廉頗、李牧時爲吾將,吾豈憂匈奴哉!」唐曰:「主臣!陛下雖得廉頗、李牧,弗能用也。」上怒,起入禁中。良久,召唐讓曰:「公柰何眾辱我,獨無閒處乎?」唐謝曰:「鄙人不知忌諱。」當是之時,匈奴新大入朝那,殺北地都尉卬。上以胡寇爲意,乃卒復問唐曰:「公何以知吾不能用廉頗、李牧也?」唐對曰:「臣聞上古王者之遣將也,跪而推轂,曰閫以內者,寡人制之;閫以外者,將軍制之。軍功爵賞皆決於外,歸而奏之。此非虛言也。臣大父言,李牧爲趙將居邊,軍市之租皆自用饗士,賞賜決於外,不從中擾也。委任而責成功,故李牧乃得盡其智能,遣選車千三百乘,彀騎萬三千,百金之士十萬,是以北逐單于,破東胡,滅澹林,西抑彊秦,南支韓、魏。當是之時,趙幾霸。其後會趙王遷立,其母倡也。王遷立,乃用郭開讒,卒誅李牧,令顏聚代之。是以兵破士北,爲秦所禽滅。今臣竊聞魏尚爲雲中守,其軍市租盡以饗士卒,[出]私養錢,五日一椎牛,饗賓客軍吏舍人,是以匈奴遠避,不近雲中之塞。虜曾一入,尚率車騎擊之,所殺其眾。夫士卒盡家人子,起田中從軍,安知尺籍伍符。終日力戰,斬首捕虜,上功莫府,一言不相應,文吏以法繩之。其賞不行而吏奉法必用。臣愚,以爲陛下法太明,賞太輕,罰太重。且雲中守魏尚坐上功首虜差六級,陛下下之吏,削其爵,罰作之。由此言之,陛下雖得廉頗、李牧,弗能用也。臣誠愚,觸忌諱,死罪死罪!」文帝説。是日令馮唐持節赦魏尚,復以爲雲中守,而拜唐爲車騎都尉,主中尉及郡國車士。七年,景帝立,以唐爲楚相,免。武帝立,求賢良,舉馮唐。唐時年九十餘,不能復爲官,乃以唐子馮遂爲郎。遂字王孫,亦奇士,與余善。(Records of the Grand Historian 102, Biography of Feng Tang)

Feng Tang's grandfather was a native of the state of Zhao. His father moved to Dai. During the rise of the Han dynasty, the family moved to Anling. Feng Tang was recommended for his filial piety, and he was appointed as Chief of the Household Gentlemen. He served during the reign of Emperor Wen.

On one occasion, as Emperor Wen was riding his carriage past the office of the Household Gentlemen, he stopped for a visit and asked Feng Tang, "Elder, how are you a Household Gentlemen at your age? Where is your family from?"

Feng Tang replied according to the background mentioned above.

Emperor Wen said, "During the years that I was Prince of Dai, my Steward of Meals back then, Gao Qu, often told me stories about how worthy a man the Zhao general Li Qi was, when he fought beneath the walls of Julu. I cannot even eat a meal anymore without picturing myself standing there at Julu like in those stories. Elder, did you ever know Li Qi?"

Feng Tang replied, "Li Qi was still not so great a general as Lian Po or Li Mu."

Emperor Wen asked, "How can you be sure of that?"

Feng Tang replied, "When my grandfather served the state of Zhao as an officer, he was on good terms with Li Mu, and when my father served as Chancellor of Dai commandary, he had a good relationship with Li Qi; both of them attested to how great those two were as generals."

As Emperor Wen listened to the sort of people that Lian Po and Li Mu were, he praised their excellence. Then he beat his thigh and exclaimed, "Oh, if only I had someone like Lian Po or Li Mu to serve as my general! Then why would I ever have to fear the Xiongnu?"

Feng Tang retorted, "My lord! Even if Your Majesty had Lian Po or Li Mu serving you, you wouldn't be able to use them properly."

Furious at this response, Emperor Wen got up and stormed off into the inner apartments. After some time, he summoned Feng Tang and rebuked him, saying, "Sir, why did you shame me like that in front of everyone, instead of saying such a thing in private?"

Feng Tang apologized, saying, "Forgive your foolish subject; I did not show discretion."

At that time, the Xiongnu had just led a great invasion into Chaona, where they had killed the Commandant of Beidi, Ang. Emperor Wen was still thinking about the recent invasion. So he asked Feng Tang, "What gave you the impression that, even if I had Lian Po and Li Mu serving me, I would not be able to use them properly?"

Feng Tang said, "I have heard that in ancient times, whenever the sovereign was going to send out a general, he would kneel before the wheel of the general's carriage and say, 'General, I wield authority within the palace, but you wield authority outside it.' And this was no idle talk, for the accomplishments and deeds achieved during military service were all rewarded in the field, according to the whims of the general, and only afterwards did the general send back word to inform the sovereign of what the general had already decided.

"My grandfather told me all about the life of Li Mu. He said that when Li Mu served as a general of Zhao, he was stationed on the borders of the state. He used the taxes collected from the army camp markets to finance feasts for his officers, and he made his own decisions on granting gifts and rewards without waiting for confirmation. And those people whom he employed saw it as their duty to ensure complete success. This was why Li Mu was able to draw upon their full talents and expertise. He personally selected 1,300 carts, 13,000 gifted mounted archers, and a hundred thousand skilled infantry to serve in his army. These were the forces he used to drive off the Chanyu of the Xiongnu to the north, smash the eastern tribes and conquer the Danlin people, grapple with mighty Qin to the west, and fend off Hann and Wei to the south. It was thanks to him that during his lifetime, Zhao nearly became a hegemon controlling all the other states. But later, the King of Zhao shifted Li Mu away because of his mother's meddling and even listened to the slander of Guo Kai against him, so that in the end Li Mu was executed and replaced by Yan Ju. It was not long afterwards that the north of Zhao was overrun, and they were conquered by Qin.

"Now I recall that Your Majesty had earlier appointed Wei Shang as Administrator of Yunzhong. Wei Shang too had the habit of using the taxes from the army camp markets to feast his officers and soldiers, and even went so far as to use his own funds to provide an ox for a feast every five days, in order to feed his guests, officers, and retainers. And during the time that he was Administrator, the Xiongnu stayed far away from Yunzhong and hardly dared to encroach upon it. There was an occasion when they actually did so, but Wei Shang led his carts and cavalry to attack them and killed a great many of them. The soldiers of his army were all sons of common families, who came up from their fields to join the army; what knowledge could they have had of victory reports or casualty lists? They simply fought all day with all their strength, taking heads and prisoners. Yet when the report of their achievements was sent to the government and there were some slight inconsistencies, the officials chose not only not to reward the soldiers, but even to insist upon the law by arresting Wei Shang. Rewards were not sent out, yet the officials were sure to enforce the law. I venture to propose that Your Majesty's laws are too explicit, and that you have been too meager with rewards and too harsh with punishments. Indeed, when it was discovered that Wei Shang's casualty list of the number of enemy heads and captives taken had been off by six, Your Majesty even ordered your officials to strip Wei Shang of his noble title and sentence him to a year's punishment.

"That is why I said that even if Your Majesty had Lian Po or Li Mu, you would not be able to use them properly. I am an honest fool, and if I have spoken of anything taboo, then may I perish for my crime, may I perish!"

Emperor Wen was pleased by Feng Tang's assessment. That very day, he granted Feng Tang a Staff of Authority and sent him to pardon Wei Shang and restore him to his post as Administrator of Yunzhong. He also appointed Feng Tang as a Commandant of Chariots and Cavalry, as a Chief Central Commandant, and as Officer of Chariots and Cavalry for his commandary.

In the seventh year (157 BC), Emperor Jing succeeded to the throne. Feng Tang was appointed as Chancellor to the Prince of Chu, but was later removed from office. During the reign of Emperor Wu, when Emperor Wu was seeking worthy and able people to serve in office, people recommended Feng Tang. However, Feng Tang was more than ninety years old by then and could no longer serve in office, so his son Feng Sui was appointed as a Household Gentleman instead. Feng Sui, styled Wangsun, was an exceptional fellow as well. He was a good friend of mine (Sima Qian).

馮唐,祖父趙人也。父徙代。漢興徙安陵。唐以孝著,為郎中署長,事文帝。帝輦過,問唐曰:「父老何自為郎?家安在?」具以實言。文帝曰:「吾居代時,吾尚食監高祛數為我言趙將李齊之賢,戰於鉅鹿下。吾每飲食,意未嘗不在鉅鹿也。父老知之乎?」唐對曰:「齊尚不如廉頗、李牧之為將也。」上曰:「何已?」唐曰:「臣大父在趙時,為官帥將,善李牧。臣父故為代相,善李齊,知其為人也。」上既聞廉頗、李牧為人,良說,乃拊髀曰:「嗟乎!吾獨不得廉頗、李牧為將,豈憂匈奴哉!」唐曰:「主臣!陛下雖有廉頗、李牧,不能用也。」上怒,起入禁中。良久,召唐讓曰:「公眾辱我,獨亡間處虖?」唐謝曰:「鄙人不知忌諱。」當是時,匈奴新大入朝那,殺北地都尉卬。上以胡寇為意,乃卒復問唐曰:「公何以言吾不能用頗、牧也?」唐對曰:「臣聞上古王者遣將也,跪而推轂,曰:『闑以內寡人制之,闑以外將軍制之;軍功爵賞,皆決於外,歸而奏之。』此非空言也。臣大父言李牧之為趙將居邊,軍市之租皆自用饗士,賞賜決於外,不從中覆也。委任而責成功,故李牧乃得盡其知能,選車千三百乘,彀騎萬三千匹,百金之士十萬,是以北逐單于,破東胡,滅澹林,西抑彊秦,南支韓、魏。當是時,趙幾伯。後會趙王遷立,其母倡也,用郭開讒,而誅李牧,令顏聚代之。是以為秦所滅。今臣竊聞魏尚為雲中守,軍市租盡以給士卒,出私養錢,五日壹殺牛,以饗賓客軍吏舍人,是以匈奴遠避,不近雲中之塞。虜嘗一入,尚帥車騎擊之,所殺甚眾。夫士卒盡家人子,起田中從軍,安知尺籍伍符?終日力戰,斬首捕虜,上功莫府,一言不相應,文吏以法繩之。其賞不行,吏奉法必用。愚以為陛下法太明,賞太輕,罰太重。且雲中守尚坐上功首虜差六級,陛下下之吏,削其爵,罰作之。繇此言之,陛下雖得李牧,不能用也。臣誠愚,觸忌諱,死罪!」文帝說。是日,令唐持節赦魏尚,復以為雲中守,而拜唐為車騎都尉,主中尉及郡國車士。十年,景帝立,以唐為楚相。武帝即位,求賢良,舉唐。唐時年九十餘,不能為官,乃以子遂為郎。遂字王孫,亦奇士。魏尚,槐里人也。(Book of Han 50, Biography of Feng Tang)

Feng Tang's grandfather was a native of the state of Zhao. His father moved to Dai. During the rise of the Han dynasty, the family moved to Anling. Feng Tang was recommended for his filial piety, and he was appointed as Chief of the Household Gentlemen. He served during the reign of Emperor Wen.

On one occasion, as Emperor Wen was riding his carriage past the office of the Household Gentlemen, he stopped for a visit and asked Feng Tang, "Elder, how are you a Household Gentlemen at your age? Where is your family from?"

Feng Tang replied according to the background mentioned above.

Emperor Wen said, "During the years that I was Prince of Dai, my Steward of Meals back then, Gao Qu, often told me stories about how worthy a man the Zhao general Li Qi was, when he fought beneath the walls of Julu. I cannot even eat a meal anymore without picturing myself standing there at Julu like in those stories. Elder, did you ever know Li Qi?"

Feng Tang replied, "Li Qi was still not so great a general as Lian Po or Li Mu."

Emperor Wen asked, "How can you be sure of that?"

Feng Tang replied, "When my grandfather served the state of Zhao as an officer, he was on good terms with Li Mu, and when my father served as Chancellor of Dai commandary, he had a good relationship with Li Qi; both of them attested to how great those two were as generals."

As Emperor Wen listened to the sort of people that Lian Po and Li Mu were, he praised their excellence. Then he beat his thigh and exclaimed, "Oh, if only I had someone like Lian Po or Li Mu to serve as my general! Then why would I ever have to fear the Xiongnu?"

Feng Tang retorted, "My lord! Even if Your Majesty had Lian Po or Li Mu serving you, you wouldn't be able to use them properly."

Furious at this response, Emperor Wen got up and stormed off into the inner apartments. After some time, he summoned Feng Tang and rebuked him, saying, "Sir, why did you shame me like that in front of everyone, instead of saying such a thing in private?"

Feng Tang apologized, saying, "Forgive your foolish subject; I did not show discretion."

At that time, the Xiongnu had just led a great invasion into Chaona, where they had killed the Commandant of Beidi, Ang. Emperor Wen was still thinking about the recent invasion. So he asked Feng Tang, "What gave you the impression that, even if I had Lian Po and Li Mu serving me, I would not be able to use them properly?"

Feng Tang said, "I have heard that in ancient times, whenever the sovereign was going to send out a general, he would kneel before the wheel of the general's carriage and say, 'General, I wield authority within the palace, but you wield authority outside it. Army deeds will be rewarded in the field, according to your wishes, and only afterwards reported back to me.' And this was no idle talk.

"My grandfather told me all about the life of Li Mu. He said that when Li Mu served as a general of Zhao, he was stationed on the borders of the state. He used the taxes collected from the army camp markets to finance feasts for his officers, and he made his own decisions on granting gifts and rewards without waiting for confirmation. And those people whom he employed saw it as their duty to ensure complete success. This was why Li Mu was able to draw upon their full talents and expertise. He personally selected 1,300 carts, 13,000 gifted mounted archers, and a hundred thousand skilled infantry to serve in his army. These were the forces he used to drive off the Chanyu of the Xiongnu to the north, smash the eastern tribes and conquer the Danlin people, grapple with mighty Qin to the west, and fend off Hann and Wei to the south. It was thanks to him that during his lifetime, Zhao nearly became a lord of the realm, controlling all the other states. But later, the King of Zhao shifted Li Mu away because of his mother's meddling and even listened to the slander of Guo Kai against him, so that in the end Li Mu was executed and replaced by Yan Ju. Thus Zhao was conquered by Qin.

"Now I recall that Your Majesty had earlier appointed Wei Shang as Administrator of Yunzhong. Wei Shang too had the habit of using the taxes from the army camp markets to feast his officers and soldiers, and even went so far as to use his own funds to provide an ox for a feast every five days, in order to feed his guests, officers, and retainers. And during the time that he was Administrator, the Xiongnu stayed far away from Yunzhong and hardly dared to encroach upon it. There was an occasion when they actually did so, but Wei Shang led his carts and cavalry to attack them and killed a great many of them. The soldiers of his army were all sons of common families, who came up from their fields to join the army; what knowledge could they have had of victory reports or casualty lists? They simply fought all day with all their strength, taking heads and prisoners. Yet when the report of their achievements was sent to the government and there were some slight inconsistencies, the officials chose not only not to reward the soldiers, but even to insist upon the law by arresting Wei Shang. Rewards were not sent out, yet the officials were sure to enforce the law. I venture to propose that Your Majesty's laws are too explicit, and that you have been too meager with rewards and too harsh with punishments. Indeed, when it was discovered that Wei Shang's casualty list of the number of enemy heads and captives taken had been off by six, Your Majesty even ordered your officials to strip Wei Shang of his noble title and sentence him to a year's punishment.

"That is why I said that even if Your Majesty had Lian Po or Li Mu, you would not be able to use them properly. I am an honest fool, and if I have spoken of anything taboo, then may I perish for my crime!"

Emperor Wen was pleased by Feng Tang's assessment. That very day, he granted Feng Tang a Staff of Authority and sent him to pardon Wei Shang and restore him to his post as Administrator of Yunzhong. He also appointed Feng Tang as a Commandant of Chariots and Cavalry, as a Chief Central Commandant, and as Officer of Chariots and Cavalry for his commandary.

Ten years later (in 157 BC), Emperor Jing succeeded to the throne. Feng Tang was appointed as Chancellor to the Prince of Chu. During the reign of Emperor Wu, when Emperor Wu was seeking worthy and able people to serve in office, people recommended Feng Tang. However, Feng Tang was more than ninety years old by then and could no longer serve in office, so his son Feng Sui was appointed as a Household Gentleman instead. Feng Sui, styled Wangsun, was an exceptional fellow as well.

Wei Shang was a native of Huaili county.


春,詔廣增諸祀壇場、珪幣,且曰:「吾聞祠官祝釐,皆歸福於朕躬,不爲百姓,朕甚愧之。夫以朕之不德,而專饗獨美其福,百姓不與焉,是重吾不德也。其令祠官致敬,無有所祈!」

3. In the spring, Emperor Wen issued an edict expanding the various altars for offering sacrifices, whether of heaped or cleared earth, as well as the jade tablets and silks to be offered.

The edict also stated, "I have heard that when the sacrificial officials offer prayers and seek blessings, they always ask for blessings on my behalf, rather than for the common people. I am deeply shamed by this. Already I was lacking in virtue, yet they would try to glorify me alone with these blessings and grant the people no share in them. This only further demonstrates my lack of virtue. I hereby order the officials to be reverent, and not to seek anything!"

〈師古曰:築土爲壇、除土爲場;珪幣,所以薦神。〉〈如淳曰:釐,福也。師古曰:「釐」,本作「禧」,假借用耳。〉〈與,讀曰預。〉

(This edict refers to 壇場s and 珪幣s. Yan Shigu remarked, "壇 meant a raised mound of earth, while 場 was a flattened space. 珪 'jade tablets' and 幣 'silks' were the things to be presented to the spirits."

The edict states that the sacrificial officials prayed for 釐 "blessings". Ru Chun remarked, "This means good fortune." Yan Shigu remarked, "釐 was originally 禧; they were simply synonyms."

與 should be read as 預 "to share, to take part in".)


春三月詔曰。昔先王遠施不求其報。望祠不祈其福。右賢左戚。先民後己。至明之極也。今聞祠官祝釐。皆歸福於朕躬。不為百姓。朕甚媿之。是重吾不德也。其令祠官致敬。無有所祈。(Records of Former Han 8, Annals of Emperor Wen)

In spring, the third month, Emperor Wen issued an edict stating, "The rulers of ancient times spread their blessings wide without any expectation of being repaid, and when offering prayers and sacrifices to the spirits, they did not seek good fortune for themselves. They honored worthy people first and their own relatives second, and they honored the people first and themselves last. This was the epitome of wisdom. Yet now I have heard that when the sacrificial officials offer prayers and seek blessings, they always ask for blessings on my behalf, rather than for the common people. I am deeply shamed by this, for this only compounds my lack of virtue. I hereby order the officials to be reverent, and not to seek anything."


是歲,河間文王辟彊薨。

4. During this year, the Prince of Hejian, Liu Bijiang, passed away. He was posthumously known as Prince Wen ("the Civil") of Hejian.

初,丞相張蒼以爲漢得水德,魯人公孫臣以爲漢當土德,其應,黃龍見;蒼以爲非,罷之。

5. Earlier, there had been an ongoing debate between the Prime Minister, Zhang Cang, and a native of the Lu region, Gongsun Chen. Zhang Cang maintained that the Han dynasty ruled through the virtue of Water, while Gongsun Chen was sure that it was the virtue of Earth that prevailed. He predicted that if this was the case, then there would be a sighting of a yellow dragon. Zhang Cang denied this, and (thus) dismissed him.

〈【章:甲十五行本「非」下有「是」字;乙十一行本同;孔本同。】〉〈公孫臣上書曰:「始,秦得水德;推終始傳,漢當土德。土德之應,黃龍見;宜改正朔,服色尚黃。」張蒼以爲:「漢乃水德,河決金隄,其符也。公孫臣言非是,罷之。」〉

(Some versions add a "thus" to the middle of the final sentence.

Gongsun Chen's letter listing his beliefs stated, "It was the Qin dynasty who earlier ruled by the virtue of Water. Since their era ended and a new one replaced it, Han ought to rule by the virtue of Earth. When Earth prevails, a yellow dragon will be sighted. Thus we ought to reform the calendar and change the official color of our clothes to yellow." Zhang Cang's response was "Han rules by the virtue of Water; the bursting of the Yellow River at Golden Dyke was an omen confirming this. Gongsun Chen speaks falsely, and he is dismissed.")


魯人公孫臣上書。言秦為水德。從所不勝。漢當為土德。其符當有黃龍見。丞相張蒼好律厤。以漢為水德。河水沒金隄其符也。公孫臣言非。是以罷之。於是從蒼議。色尚外黑內赤。以此從水德。(Records of Former Han 8, Annals of Emperor Wen)

Gongsun Chen of the Lu region sent up a letter to Emperor Wen stating, "It is said that the Qin dynasty ruled through the virtue of Water. Following the pattern of the overcoming cycle, the Han dynasty must rule through the virtue of Earth (which overcomes Water). The omen to confirm this will be the sighting of a yellow dragon."

But the Prime Minister, Zhang Cang, was well-acquainted with the principles of the calendar system, and he argued that it was Water that the Han dynasty represented, pointing to the flooding of the Yellow River at Golden Dyke as an omen proving this. When Gongsun Chen disputed Zhang Cang's judgment, Zhang Cang dismissed him. So people heeded Zhang Cang's judgment, and the colors of official clothing were black on the outside and red within, to conform with a rule through the virtue of Water.
Last edited by Taishi Ci 2.0 on Sun Mar 29, 2020 9:42 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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BOOK 15

Unread postby Taishi Ci 2.0 » Mon Mar 23, 2020 1:36 am

十五年(丙子、前一六五)

The Fifteenth Year of Emperor Wen's Reign (The Bingzi or Fire Rat Year, 165 BC)


春,黃龍見成紀。帝召公孫臣,拜爲博士,與諸生申明土德,草改曆、服色事。張蒼由此自絀。

1. In the spring, a yellow dragon was sighted at Chengji. Emperor Wen summoned Gongsun Chen and appointed him as an Academician, and Gongsun Chen and the other scholars discussed and clarified how the dynasty ruled by the virtue of Earth, as well as reformed the calendar and changed the color of official outfits. Zhang Cang chose to retire.

〈班《志》,成紀縣屬天水郡,庖犧所生處。〉〈師古曰:草,謂創造之。〉

(According to the Book of Han, Chengji county was part of Tianshui commandary. It was the birthplace of Paoxi.

Yan Shigu remarked, "草 in this case means to create something.")


十五年春。黃龍見於成紀。上召公孫臣為傅士。從土德也。(Records of Former Han 8, Annals of Emperor Wen)

In the fifteenth year of Emperor Wen's reign (165 BC), in the spring, a yellow dragon was sighted at Chengji. Emperor Wen summoned Gongsun Chen and appointed him as an Academician, and he heeded Gongsun Chen's argument that the Han dynasty ruled by the virtue of Earth.


夏,四月,上始幸雍,郊見五帝,赦天下。

2. In summer, the fourth month, Emperor Wen visited Yong for the first time, where he visited the altars of the Five Emperors. He declared a general amnesty.

〈秦立白帝、赤帝、黃帝、青帝畤於雍,漢高帝又立黑帝畤,故雍有五帝畤。〉

(The Qin dynasty had established altars to the White Emperor, Red Emperor, Yellow Emperor, and Green Emperor at Yong, and Liu Bang later established an altar to the Black Emperor there as well. Thus Yong had altars to these Five Emperors.)


夏四月。上幸雍。始郊。見五帝。修名山大川之祀。(Records of Former Han 8, Annals of Emperor Wen)

In summer, the fourth month, Emperor Wen visited Yong, where for the first time he conducted sacrifices there, visited the altars of the Five Emperors, and restored the shrines to the famous mountains and great rivers of the realm.


九月,詔諸侯王、公卿、郡守舉賢良、能直言極諫者,上親策之。太子家令鼂錯對策高第,擢爲中大夫。錯又上言宜削諸侯及法令可更定者,書凡三十篇。上雖不盡聽,然奇其材。

3. In the ninth month, Emperor Wen issued an edict ordering the princes and nobles, the chief officials and ministers, and the Administrators to recommend people who were worthy, excellent, and able to offer forthright criticism. Emperor Wen personally examined them. Chao Cuo had the highest grade among those examined, so he was appointed as a Household Counselor.

Chao Cuo also submitted to Emperor Wen a book in thirty chapters, urging him to break up the territories of the feudal lords and reform the laws and ordinances. Although Emperor Wen did not follow all of his advice, he still appreciated Chao Cuo's talents.

是歲,齊文王則、河間哀王福皆薨,無子,國除。

4. During this year, the Prince of Qi, Liu Zé, and the new Prince of Hejian, Liu Fu, both passed away. They were posthumously known as Prince Wen ("the Civil") of Qi and Prince Ai ("the Lamented") of Hejian respectively. Since neither of them had any sons, their fiefs were abolished.

〈齊王則,哀王襄之子,悼惠王肥之孫。河間王福,辟彊之子,趙幽王子遂之孫。〉

(Liu Zé was the great-grandson of Liu Bang, the grandson of Prince Daohui of Qi, Liu Fei, and the son of Prince Ai of Qi, Liu Xiang.

Liu Fu was the great-grandson of Liu Bang, the grandson of Prince You of Zhao, Liu You, and the son of Liu Bijiang.)


齊王肥薨。無子。國除。(Records of Former Han 8, Annals of Emperor Wen)

The Prince of Qi, Liu Fei, passed away. He had no sons, so his fief was abolished.


趙人新垣平以望氣見上,言長安東北有神,氣成五采。於是作渭陽五帝廟。

5. A native of the Zhao region, Xinyuan Ping, reported his readings of the ethers to Emperor Wen. He said that a divine spirit was present to the northeast of Chang'an, where the five auras had appeared. Emperor Wen thus built a temple to the Five Emperors on the north side of the Wei River.

〈韋昭曰:在渭城。師古曰:《郊祀志》云:在長安東北,非渭城也;韋說謬矣。余據水北爲陽,長安在渭南,渭城在渭北,五帝廟或在渭城界,韋說未可非也。《括地志》:渭陽五帝廟,在雍州咸陽縣東三十里。〉

(Regarding the location of this temple, Wei Zhao argued, "This temple was at Weicheng." Yan Shigu argued, "According to the Records of Suburban Sacrifices, this temple was northeast of Chang'an, not at Weicheng; Wei Zhao was mistaken." I (Hu Sanxing) note that this passage lists the place that the temple was built as 渭陽 Weiyang. The term 陽 Yang refers to the north side of a river, thus 渭陽 could be read as "on the north side of the Wei River". Chang'an was on the south side of the Wei River, while Weicheng was on the north side. So perhaps it was the case that this temple to the Five Emperors was at Weicheng, and Wei Zhao was not necessarily incorrect. The Comprehensive Gazetteer states, "The Temple of the Five Emperors at Weiyang was thirty li east of Xianyang county in Yongzhou.")


趙人新垣平。以望氣見上。言長安東北有神氣。成五采色。若人冠冕焉。天下此瑞。宜立祠祠上帝。以合符應。於是始作渭陽五帝廟。同宇五殿五門。各如其帝色。上親郊祀。(Records of Former Han 8, Annals of Emperor Wen)

A native of the Zhao region, Xinyuan Ping, reported his readings of the ethers to Emperor Wen. He said that a divine spirit was present to the northeast of Chang'an, where the five auras had appeared, like a person being capped or crowned. He said that this was a good omen for the realm, and that in response Emperor Wen ought to build a shrine at which to offer prayers to the Supreme Deity in order to heed the omen. Emperor Wen thus built a temple to the Five Emperors on the north side of the Wei River; they were in the same complex, but with a different hall for each of the Emperors, each with gates the same color as that Emperor's color. Emperor Wen personally conducted prayers and sacrifices there.
Last edited by Taishi Ci 2.0 on Wed Mar 25, 2020 7:35 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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BOOK 15

Unread postby Taishi Ci 2.0 » Mon Mar 23, 2020 1:37 am

十六年(丁丑、前一六四)

The Sixteenth Year of Emperor Wen's Reign (The Dingchou or Fire Ox Year, 164 BC)


夏,四月,上郊祀五帝于渭陽五帝廟。於是貴新垣平至上大夫,賜累千金;而使博士、諸生刺《六經》中作《王制》,謀議巡狩、封禪事。又於長門道北立五帝壇。

1. In summer, the fourth month, Emperor Wen conducted the suburban sacrifices at the Temple of the Five Emperors north of the Wei River. Emperor Wen honored Xinyuan Ping, promoting him as high as the rank of Supreme Counselor, and bestowed him a thousand gold. He also commanded the Academicians and other scholars to assemble the Royal Regulations part of the Six Classics and to discuss imperial processions and the fengshan sacrifices. He also established another altar to the Five Emperors north of the Changmen road.

〈周官有上大夫。漢官有太中大夫、中大夫、諫大夫;爵十九級,有大夫、五大夫,而上大夫不見於《表》。〉〈師古曰:刺,采取也。卽今《禮記‧王制篇》是也。〉〈如淳曰:長門,亭名,在長安城東南。《括地志》:長門故亭,在雍州萬年縣東北苑中。〉

(This passage states that Emperor Wen appointed Xinyuan Ping as a 上大夫 "Supreme Counselor". The Han dynasty had the positions of 太中大夫 "Grand Household Counselor", 中大夫 "Household Counselor", and 諫大夫 "Counselor-Remonstrant", and among its noble titles were 大夫 "Grandee" and 五大夫 "Fifth-Rank Grandee", but the tables of Han offices and titles do not mention any such title as 上大夫. It did exist during the Zhou dynasty.

This passage states that the scholars 刺ed the Royal Regulations. Yan Shigu remarked, "To 刺 means to gather and collect. The Royal Regulations refers to the chapter by that name in the Book of Rites."

Ru Chun remarked, "Changmen was the name of a district, southeast of the walls of Chang'an." The Comprehensive Gazetteer states, "Changmen district was in the gardens northeast of Wannian county in Yongzhou.")


十六年夏四月。上郊祀五帝於渭陽... 有輝光然屬天。於是拜平為上大夫。(Records of Former Han 8, Annals of Emperor Wen)

In the sixteenth year of Emperor Wen's reign (164 BC), in summer, the fourth month, Emperor Wen conducted the suburban sacrifices at the Temple of the Five Emperors north of the Wei River, where a radiance seemed to descend from Heaven. Emperor Wen honored Xinyuan Ping, promoting him to be Supreme Counselor.


徙淮南王喜復爲城陽王。又分齊爲六國;丙寅,立齊悼惠王子在者六人:楊虛侯將閭爲齊王,安都侯志爲濟北王,武成侯賢爲菑川王,白石侯雄渠爲膠東王,平昌侯卬爲膠西王,扐侯辟光爲濟南王。淮南厲王子在者三人:阜陵侯安爲淮南王,安陽侯勃爲衡山王,陽周侯賜爲廬江王。

2. It was earlier mentioned that Emperor Wen had shifted the Prince of Chengyang, Liu Xi, to be Prince of Huainan. At this time, he restored Liu Xi to his original title as Prince of Chengyang.

Emperor Wen also split the former fief of the Prince of Qi into six smaller fiefs, and on the day Bingyin, he granted these six fiefs to the six living sons of Prince Daohui of Qi, Liu Fei. He appointed the Marquis of Yangxu, Liu Jianglü, as the new Prince of Qi. He appointed the Marquis of Andu, Liu Zhi, as Prince of Jibei. He appointed the Marquis of Wucheng, Liu Xian, as Prince of Zaichuan. He appointed the Marquis of Baishi, Liu Xiongqu, as Prince of Jiaodong. He appointed the Marquis of Pingchang, Liu Ang, as Prince of Jiaoxi. And he appointed the Marquis of Le, Liu Biguang, as Prince of Jinan.

Emperor Wen further granted princely titles to the three living sons of Prince Li of Huainan, Liu Chang. He appointed the Marquis of Fuling, Liu An, as the new Prince of Huainan. He appointed the Marquis of Anyang, Liu Bo, as Prince of Hengshan. And he appointed the Marquis of Yangzhou, Liu Ci, as Prince of Lujiang.

〈十一年,徙城陽王喜王淮南,今復其舊;將復以淮南地分王厲王三子安、勃、賜也。楊虛,據《水經》,河水過楊虛縣;《註》引《地理志》曰:楊虛,平原之隸縣也,城在高唐之西南;而班《志》無此縣,不知酈道元所謂志者何志也。《史記正義》曰:安都故城,在瀛州高陽縣西南三十九里。濟北王,都盧。「武成」,《史記》作「武城」。《索隱》曰:武城縣屬平原。《正義》曰:貝州縣。菑川王,都劇。班《志》,金城郡有白石縣。《正義》曰:白石故城,在德州安德縣北二十里。膠東王,都卽墨。班《志》,平昌,侯國,屬平原郡。膠西王,都高苑。扐,侯國,屬平原郡。濟南王,都東平陵。阜陵縣屬九江郡。淮南王,都壽春。安陽屬汝南郡。衡山王,都六。陽周縣屬上郡。廬江王,都江南。扐,音力。〉

(Emperor Wen had shifted Liu Xi from Prince of Chengyang to Prince of Huainan in the eleventh year of his reign (-169.3). He now restored Liu Xi to his original title, and he divided the fief of the Prince of Huainan into three to distribute to the three living sons of Liu Chang: Liu An, Liu Bo, and Liu Ci.

Regarding Yangxu, the Water Classic states that the Yellow River flows through Yangxu county, and Li Daoyuan's Commentary on the Water Classic quotes the "Geographical Records" as saying, "Yangxu was a county of Pingyuan commandary, and its capital was southwest of Gaotang." But the Geographical Records of the Book of Han does not mention any such county as Yangxu. I (Hu Sanxing) do not know which "Geographical Records" Li Daoyuan would have been quoting from.

The Zhengyi commentary to the Records of the Grand Historian states, "The capital city of Andu county was thirty-nine li southwest of Gaoyang county in modern 瀛 Yingzhou."

The princely fief of Jibei had its capital at Lu.

This passage states that Liu Xian was the Marquis of 武成 Wucheng, while the relevant section of the Records of the Grand Historian records his title as Marquis of 武城 Wucheng. The Suoyin commentary to the Records of the Grand Historian states, "武城 Wucheng county was part of Pingyuan commandary." The Zhengyi commentary to that text states, "It was a county in modern Beizhou."

The princely fief of Zaichuan had its capital at Ju.

According to the Book of Han, there was a Baishi county in Jincheng commandary. The Zhengyi commentary states, "The capital city of Baishi was twenty li north of Ande county in modern Dezhou."

The princely fief of Jiaodong had its capital at Jimo.

According to the Book of Han, Pingchang was a marquisate in Pingyuan commandary.

The princely fief of Jiaoxi had its capital at Gaoyuan.

Le was a marquisate in Pingyuan commandary. The name of this marquisate, 扐, is pronounced "li".

The princely fief of Jinan had its capital at Eastern Pingling.

Fuling county was part of Jiujiang commandary.

The princely fief of Huainan had its capital at Shouchun.

Anyang county was part of Runan commandary.

The princely fief of Hengshan had its capital at Liu.

Yangzhou county was part of Shang commandary.

The princely fief of Lujiang had its capital at Jiangnan.)


五月。分齊為六國。立齊悼惠王子六人。將閭為齊王。志為濟北王。辟光為濟南王。賢為淄川王。卬為膠西王。雄渠為膠東王。立淮南厲王三子。安為淮南王。勃為衡山王。賜為廬江王。建成侯良薨。無後。(Records of Former Han 8, Annals of Emperor Wen)

In the fifth month, Emperor Wen split the former fief of the Prince of Qi into six smaller fiefs, and he granted these six fiefs to the six living sons of Prince Daohui of Qi, Liu Fei. He appointed Liu Jianglü as the new Prince of Qi. He appointed Liu Zhi as Prince of Jibei. He appointed Liu Xian as Prince of Zaichuan. He appointed Liu Xiongqu as Prince of Jiaodong. He appointed Liu Ang as Prince of Jiaoxi. And he appointed Liu Biguang as Prince of Jinan.

Emperor Wen further granted princely titles to the three living sons of Prince Li of Huainan, Liu Chang. He appointed Liu An as the new Prince of Huainan. He appointed Liu Bo as Prince of Hengshan. And he appointed Liu Ci as Prince of Lujiang.

The Marquis of Jiancheng, Liu Liang, passed away without any successors.


秋,九月,新垣平使人持玉杯上書闕下獻之。平言上曰:「闕下有寶玉氣來者。」已,視之,果有獻玉杯者,刻曰「人主延壽」。平又言:「臣候日再中。」居頃之,日卻,復中。於是始更以十七年爲元年,令天下大酺。平言曰:「周鼎亡在泗水中。今河決,通於泗,臣望東北汾陰直有金寶氣,意周鼎其出乎!兆見,不迎則不至。」於是上使使治廟汾陰,南臨河,欲祠出周鼎。

3. In autumn, the ninth month, Xinyuan Ping had someone present a jade cup and a letter at the palace gates. At the same time, he told Emperor Wen, "There is an aura of precious jade coming from the palace gates." When Emperor Wen sent someone to investigate, they indeed found the jade cup there, with the inscription "Long Life to the Lord of Men".

Then Xinyuan Ping predicted, "I foresee the Sun returning to its zenith." It was past noon by then, but after a short while, the Sun indeed stopped and then moved back to its zenith. Emperor Wen thus decided to restart the counting of the years of his reign, so that the following year, which would have been the seventeenth year, would now be the first year of the new era. He also ordered all the realm to indulge in great drinking to celebrate.

Xinyuan Ping further said, "You know that the Zhou dynasty lost their dynastic tripods in the Si River. But when the Yellow River flooded recently and poured through the Si River, I noticed that there was an aura of precious metal to the northeast of the river, right at Fenyin county. The tripods of Zhou will appear there! However, although this omen has appeared, there must be willingness to receive it. Otherwise, nothing will come of it."

So Emperor Wen sent agents to build a temple at Fenyin, facing the Yellow River to the south, hoping that through prayer the Zhou tripods would appear there.

〈漢律:三人無故羣飲,罰金四兩。今詔橫賜得會聚飲食。師古曰:酺,布也;言王德布於天下而合聚飲食爲酺。《周禮》族師:春秋祭酺。《註》:酺者,爲人烖害之神也。有馬酺,有蝝螟之酺與人鬼之酺,亦爲壇位如雩禜。族長無飲酒之禮,因祭酺而與其民以長幼相獻酬焉。《正義》曰:古者祭酺,聚錢飲酒,故後世聽民聚飲,皆謂之酺。《漢書》,每有嘉慶,令民大酺,是其事也。彼《註》云因祭酺而與其民長幼相酬,鄭《註》所謂祭酺,合醵也。〉〈班《志》,汾陰縣屬河東郡。師古曰:直,謂正當汾陰也。宋白曰:蒲州寶鼎縣,古綸氏地,夏少康所邑也。汾水南流過縣,漢置汾陰縣,今縣北九十里汾陰故城是也。〉

(This passage states that Emperor Wen commanded the realm to indulge in 酺s. According to the Han laws, if three people gathered for a feast without any good reason, they would be fined four pairs of gold. This edict was thus giving the people indulgence to gather for such feasts and drinking. Yan Shigu remarked, "酺 means 'blanket, to spread over'; in other words, the royal virtue was being spread across the realm, so that people could gather to drink and feast." The Instructor in the text Rites of Zhou mentions that "In the spring and in the autumn, there were sacrifices and 酺s." The Annotations to that text remarks, "酺 means for people to ask the spirits to expunge harms. There would be sacrifices of a horse and of certain kinds of insects to men and spirits, and people would build altars to pray for rain. The clan elders at that time had no rites or rituals for eating and drinking, so when they gathered for these 酺s, they and their people would all present wine to one another, young and old." The Zhengyi commentary to the Records of the Grand Historian states, "In ancient times, there were the sacrifices and the 酺s, and on these occasions, people would gather together to eat and drink. Thus in later ages when people gathered to drink, they called these occasions 酺s." According to the Book of Han, whenever there was a moment of congratulations or of good fortune, the sovereign would order the people to hold a grand 酺; this was the same sort of thing. The thing described above in the Annotations was the same thing as what Zheng Xuan in his own Annotations calls 酺s, that is, a gathering for drinking.

According to the Book of Han, Fenyin county was part of Hedong commandary.

Xinyuan Ping says that the metal aura is 直 at Fenyin. Yan Shigu remarked, "By 直 he means precisely at Fenyin." Song Bai remarked, "Baoding ('Precious Tripods') county in Puzhou was in ancient times the territory of the Lun clan, where Shaokang of the Xia dynasty resided. The Fen River flowed south through the county, and in the Han dynasty the area was organized as Fenyin ('South of the Fen River') county; its capital city was ninety li north of the modern capital.")


秋九月得玉杯。刻曰人主延壽。新原平令人獻之。詐言闕下有神玉氣。令天下大酺。(Records of Former Han 8, Annals of Emperor Wen)

In autumn, the ninth month, a jade cup was found, with the inscription "Long Life to the Lord of Men". Xinyuan Ping had ordered someone to present it, while falsely claiming that there was a divine precious aura at the palace gates. Emperor Wen ordered all the realm to indulge in celebratory drinking.
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BOOK 15

Unread postby Taishi Ci 2.0 » Mon Mar 23, 2020 1:38 am

後元年(戊寅、前一六三)

The First Year of the Second Part of Emperor Wen's Reign (The Wuyin or Earth Tiger Year, 163 BC)


冬,十月,人有上書告新垣平「所言皆詐也」;下吏治,誅夷平。是後,上亦怠於改正、服、鬼神之事,而渭陽、長門五帝,使祠官領,以時致禮,不往焉。

1. In winter, the tenth month (of 164 BC), people reported to Emperor Wen about Xinyuan Ping that "his claims are all falsehoods". Emperor Wen handed Xinyuan Ping over to his justice officials, and they executed Xinyuan Ping and his clan.

After this, Emperor Wen lost interest in reforming the calendar, changing the colors of the official outfits, or the affairs of the gods and spirits. And though he appointed sacrificial officials to tend to the new temples to the Five Emperors north of the Wei River and at Changmen, and to conduct ceremonies at the appropriate times, he no longer visited them.

〈師古曰:夷者,平也;謂盡平除其家室、宗族。〉〈師古曰:正,正朔也;服,服色在。〉

(This passage describes what happened to Xinyuan Ping as 夷平. Yan Shigu remarked, "The one who was exterminated was Xinyuan Ping. In other words, they executed all of Xinyuan Ping's family and clan."

This passage states that Emperor Wen lost interest in reforming the 正 and 服. Yan Shigu remarked, "正 was short for 正朔 'the calendar', and 服 was short for 服色 'the colors of official outfits'.")


後元年冬十月。新原平詐發覺。遂謀反。誅夷二族。(Records of Former Han 8, Annals of Emperor Wen)

In the first year of the second part of Emperor Wen's reign (163 BC), in winter, the tenth month (of 164 BC), Xinyuan Ping's falsehoods were discovered. He plotted rebellion, but he and his family were executed to the second degree.


春,三月,孝惠皇后張氏薨。

2. In spring, the third month, the Empress of Emperor Hui, Lady Zhang, passed away.

〈孝惠皇后,張敖之女;諸呂之誅,徙居北宮。張晏曰:后黨於呂氏,故不曰崩。〉

(This Lady Zhang had been the daughter of the King of Zhao, Zhang Ao. She became the Empress of Emperor Hui. But after the purge of the Lü clan, she had been exiled to the northern palace.

There are several terms which are parsed as "passed away", but which differ in distinction of honor. As an Empress, Lady Zhang's death would normally have been recorded using the term 崩. But this passage instead uses the term 薨, which is of lesser distinction. Zhang Yan remarked, "Lady Zhang had been one of the partisans of the Lü clan, thus she was not granted the honor of having her death described as 崩.")


春三月。孝惠皇后張氏薨。(Records of Former Han 8, Annals of Emperor Wen)

In spring, the third month, the Empress of Emperor Hui, Lady Zhang, passed away.


詔曰:「間者數年不登,又有水旱、疾疫之災,朕甚憂之。愚而不明,未達其咎:意者朕之政有所失而行有過與?乃天道有不順,地利或不得,人事多失和,鬼神廢不享與?何以致此?將百官之奉養或廢,無用之事或多與?何其民食之寡乏也?夫度田非益寡,而計民未加益,以口量地,其於古猶有餘;而食之甚不足者,其咎安在?無乃百姓之從事於末以害農者蕃,爲酒醪以靡穀者多,六畜之食焉者衆與?細大之義,吾未得其中,其與丞相、列侯、吏二千石、博士議之;有可以佐百姓者,率意遠思,無有所隱!」

3. Emperor Wen issued an edict stating, "The past few years, there have been bad harvests, not to mention flooding, famine, and pestilences and plagues. I have been deeply concerned about these things, yet because I am foolish instead of wise, I cannot understand what the source of these disasters has been. Have I governed poorly? Or were there faults in my conduct? Have I disobeyed the way of Heaven? Or did I fail to reap all the bounty of the earth? Are the affairs of the people in turmoil? Or have the gods and spirits not received their due? Whence comes these things? Are the salaries of my officials too meager? Or are the useless demands of my people too great? Why do the people have so little food with which to sustain themselves?

"There has been no decrease in the amount of farmland in the realm. Neither has there been an increase in the population. Under these same conditions, the ancients enjoyed plenty; how can it be that my people have so little? Is there such a gross number of people who engage in the least important trades, to the neglect of agriculture? Or are there so many people who press the food grains into wine? Or could it be that too much of the grain has become fodder for the Six Livestock?

"I have not yet been able to determine the mean between the important and the insignificant. Let the Prime Minister, the nobles, the officials of Two Thousand Bushel salary rank, and the Academicians discuss this matter with me. Think of ways to help the people and guide the state for the long term, and hold nothing back!"

〈與,與歟同;下同。〉〈師古曰:度,謂量計之。〉〈師古曰:蕃,多也。〉〈師古曰:醪,汁滓酒也。靡,散也。〉〈六畜,馬、牛、羊、犬、豕、雞。〉

(與 as it is used in this edict means the same thing as 歟, a particule expressing exasperation or uncertainty.

Yan Shigu remarked, "The term 度 here means 'measurement, account'. 蕃 'Gross' means 'many, abundant'. 醪 means the juice and dregs of wine. 靡 means 'to scatter'."

The Six Livestock were horses, cattle, sheep, dogs, pigs, and chicken.)
Last edited by Taishi Ci 2.0 on Wed Mar 25, 2020 7:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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