ZZTJ Translations: The Sixteen Kingdoms Era (Books 95-106)

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Unread postby Taishi Ci 2.0 » Sun Feb 26, 2017 4:54 am


The First Year of Yonghe (The Yisi Year, 345 AD)


1. In spring, the first month, on the new moon of the day Jiaxu (February 21st), Empress Dowager Chu hung white gauze curtains at Taiji Palace, and she attended court while carrying Emperor Mu.


2. Zhao's Duke of Yiyang, Shi Jian, was based in Guanzhong. He burdened the people with corvee labor and heavy taxes. Ministers and officers with long hair were ordered to cut it and surrender the shorn hair. Some of it was used to fashion hat tassels, while the rest was given to the palace attendants. The Chief Clerk took the hair to tell Shi Hu about it, and Shi Hu had Shi Jian recalled to Ye.

The Duke of Leping, Shi Bao, governed Chang'an in his place. A hundred and sixty thousand people from Yongzhou, Sizhou, Qinzhou, and Bingzhou were brought to Chang’an to construct the Weiyang Palace.


3. Shi Hu was an avid hunter. But by now, he had grown old, and because of his weight he could no longer mount a horse. Therefore, he had built a thousand hunting carts to ride in. Then he set a date for when the encircling hunt would begin. The barricades establishing the borders of the encircling hunt were set up from Lingchang Ford south to Xinyang and east to Yangdu. Officers were sent out to ensure that all the animals were bound within this enclosure, and anyone who harmed an animal was subjected to capital punishment. Under cover of these orders, the officers would demand beautiful women and fine oxen or horses from many families of the common people, and if they could not obtain them, they would falsely charge the family as having harmed animals meant for the hunt. More than a hundred people who resisted were killed in this manner.

The encircling hunt was a steppe tradition that lasted for thousands of years. A large stretch of land would be marked off as the site prepared for the hunt, and then all animals nearby would be hounded by subordinates into moving into the enclosure. Then barriers would be set up to prevent the animals from escaping, and the officials would continue their work, slowly forcing the animals into smaller and smaller spaces. Once they had gotten the animals into a small enough space, then the nobles and warriors would ride in and slaughter the animals freely.

Two hundred and sixty thousand people were also compelled into corvee labor, to build palaces at Luoyang. More than twenty thousand heads of cattle belonging to them were seized, and sent to the governing officials in Shuozhou.

Shuozhou was a far northern province, where presumably there was much more flat land for pasturage.

The number of ranks for female palace attendants was increased. For the imperial palace, there were twenty-four ranks; for the Eastern Palace (the Crown Prince's residence), twelve ranks; and for the residences of the Dukes and Marquises, more than seventy fiefs in all, nine ranks. To fill these ranks, over thirty thousand women were seized from the people, in order to be divided up between the three groups. The Crown Prince Shi Xuan and the various nobles also secretly ordered another ten thousand women be seized. The county officials would demand the most beautiful women, and in many cases they went so far as to seize wives away from their husbands. Over three thousand such husbands were either killed during the struggle or took their own lives after losing their wives. When the women reached Ye, Shi Hu came out to personally inspect them. He rewarded the officials charged with this duty whom he felt were the most adept at it, making twelve of them into Marquises.

In Jing-Chu, Yangzhou, and Xuzhou, the refugees began to stir up trouble. The local governors were unable to quell the disturbances. Over fifty of them were imprisoned or executed. The Household Councillor with Golden Tassel, Lu Ming, offered sharp criticism because of this, but this only angered Shi Hu, and he sent the palace guards to beat Lu Ming to death.


4. It was earlier mentioned that Murong Huang had opened up more land for tillage. He loaned out cattle to the poor so that they could till the land. But he demanded a tax of eighty percent from them, while for those who brought their own cattle, the tax was seventy percent.

The 記室參軍 Feng Yu sent in a petition criticizing this policy. His belief was, "The ancients would only tax the farmers on government land a tenth, and this was the fairest way under Heaven. After the mandate passed to Wei and Jin, benevolent government began to decline and waste away, but even then, those who were loaned oxen were only taxed sixty percent, while those who provided their own cattle were only taxed half; the figure certainly did not approach seventy or eighty percent.

“Since the Yongjia era (when the northern invasions took place), all the lands within the seas have been divided. But Prince Wuxuan (Murong Hui) comforted the land by his virtuous rule: the peoples of Han and of the steppe came from many miles away and joined together, carrying their children on their backs in swaddling cloths. They followed him, just as a red-faced babe follows his father and mother. The households grew to be ten times as large as before, and thirty to forty percent of them did not have any land to farm.

“Now your lordship has continued his administration. In the south, you routed the mighty Zhao; in the east, you twice defeated Goguryeo; in the north, you captured entirely the Yuwen. Furthermore, you have expanded our territory by three thousand li, and increased the population of the state by a hundred thousand households. Thus, it would be good for you to completely abolish the private enclosures (and give the land to the people), and grant oxen to those who have none. But you should not further add to their tax burden. Furthermore, with your people using your oxen, the oxen still belong to you and you alone! By doing this, you may prepare yourself for that day when you will point the banners of the Rong south: who among the people of those lands will not turn out to offer food and drink to your army, and which of them will stand with Shi Hu?

“Should any river, stream, ditch or irrigation channel be abandoned or blocked, you should have them restored and cleared. There will be irrigation even during droughts, and during heavy rains they may divert the waters.

“Even if just one man does not plow, he would by his indolence cause someone else to be hungry. And now we have some tens of thousands of people who do not farm; how can we ensure that every family and every person has all they need? Now we have many offices and official positions, which is a waste of salary. Those whose skills are not being fully used should be fired. The number of those who profit from artisanry and commerce should be regulated. Students who have spent three years studying without anything to show for it are just taking up room that could be given to more talented people, and should be sent back to farming.

“Your lordship has sagely virtue and broad insight, and you seek learning from all, including those who cut grass and chop wood. In the matter of Army Advisor Wang Xian's and 大夫 Liu Ming's excessive remarks, although their crime was great, even though you were merciful enough to spare their lives, you still removed them from office and barred them from further employment. If you seek honest advice but punish those who speak their mind, you would be like one who, wishing to go to Yue (in the south), heads north—you would never get what you wanted! The Chief Clerk of the Right, Song Gai, and others of his sort are sycophants who would do anything to preserve themselves. They recriminate those who offer admonishments, at the drop of a hat; they have no spine and are jealous of those who do. Thus they seek to hide things from your ears and eyes, and are the epitome of treachery."

Murong Huang issued a command in response, in which he stated, "I have reflected upon the 記室 Feng Yu’s remonstrations, and I fear that what he has said is the truth. The people are the foundation of the state, and the people are sustained by grain. Let all private enclosures be abolished, and the land be given to those people who do not have any farmland. Those who are truly destitute shall be given oxen by the state, and those who have extra means and would like to obtain oxen from the state shall be taxed according to the laws in Wei and Jin (i.e., taxed at 50%). The irrigation channels that are beneficial (to farming) shall undergo regular maintenance.

“Military campaigns are increasing, and there are many chances for establishing merit. Therefore, we cannot reduce the number of offices yet. Once the Central Plains have been pacified, then more on that subject may be discussed.

“The number of artisans, merchants, and students shall be reduced as is proper.

“It is very difficult for a minister to admonish his ruler. Although some of what is said may be presumptuous, I will pick out what is good and follow it. As for Wang Xian and Liu Ming, although their crimes merited their expulsions, my pettiness is also to blame. I will restore them to their original posts, so that they may continue to reproach my mistakes.

“Feng Yu has offered loyal words of admonishment, and proved that he truly understands the proper way to serve a king. I reward him with fifty thousand gold. Let it be known both within the court and in the realm: if anyone wishes to reproach me, let him not restrain himself regardless of his status. Let nothing be held back!"

Murong Huang often went to deliver lectures at the schools himself, and admitted over a thousand students. However, many of those were without true merit, and thus Feng Yu mentioned that.


5. The Jin court summoned the Guard General Chu Pou, to appoint him as the Inspector of Yangzhou and place him in charge of the imperial secretariat’s affairs. The Supervisor of the Masters of Writing, Liu Xia, and the Chief Clerk Wang Hu said to Chu Pou, "The Prince of Kuaiji (Sima Yu) is virtuous in command and is a source of hope, like the Duke of Zhou of old. You should give him the responsibility of the great affairs of state.” So Chu Pou declined the posts and went home.

On the day Renxu (?), the Prince of Kuaiji, Sima Yu, became the Grand General Who Nurtures The Army and was entrusted with managing the six affairs of the secretariat. Sima Yu was a simple man of few desires, but He was good at esoteric discussions . He often held discussions with Liu Tan, Wang Meng, and Han Bo of Yingchuan. He further made Chi Chao the 撫軍掾, and Xie Wan was made the Assistant Officer of the Household.

Chi Chao was the grandson of Chi Jian. As a youth, he stood out among his peers as not one to be bound by social norms. His father was Chi Yin, an unassuming fellow who was frugal in expenditures, by which he amassed several hundred thousand gold. Once he opened up his stores to let Chi Chao take what he wanted. Chi Chao distributed the funds among his friends and relatives, and in a single day he spent all the money.

Xie Wan was the younger brother of Xie An. Like his brother, he was renowned at the time for having clear insights and possessing great talents.


6. In Yan, a black dragon and a white dragon were seen at Mount Long. They coiled their heads together as they played, before they dropped their horns and left. Murong Huang personally offered a sacrifice. He ordered a general amnesty within his territory, and commanded the new palace being built to be named Helong.


7. Yu Yi developed an ulcer on his back. He asked that his son Yi Yuanzhi be named as General Who Upholds The State and Inspector of Jingzhou, to manage affairs after him; his Marshal, Zhu Dao of Yingyang, was made Colonel of Southern Nan Tribes, guarding Baling with a thousand men. In autumn, the seventh month, on the day Qiyue (August 16th), Yu Yi passed away. He was posthumously known as Marquis Su of Duting.


8. In the wake of Yu Yi's death, his general Gan Zan and some others rebelled, including killing the Champion General Cao Ju. Zhu Dao, the Chief Clerk of Anxi, Jiang Bin, the Marshal Who Establishes Valor, Mao Muzhi, General Yuan Zhen, and others banded together to execute them. Jiang Bin was the son of Jiang Tong.

Jiang Tong was a Western Jin official active during the War of the Eight Princes. He died in 310, during the early stages of the northern invasions.


9. In the eighth month, Jin’s Inspector of Yuzhou, Lu Yong, rebelled and fled to Zhao. Shi Hu ordered him to station at Shouchun.


10. Yu Yi having died, the Jin court debated who should succeed him in the west. Most of the court thought that, given that the Yu clan had been guarding the western borders for so long and that they had the support of the people there, Yu Yi's son Yu Yuanzhi should take up the post. But He Chong said, "It (the Jing-Chu region) is the western gate of the state, and has a population of many millions. It is bordered by the north by the strong barbarians, and neighbored in the west by the powerful Shu. Its rugged and treacherous land spans tens of thousands of li. If we appoint the right person to command it, then the Central Plains can be pacified, but if not then the security of the state will be threatened. Lu Kang often used to say, 'If this land (Jingzhou) holds, then Wu holds; if this land falls, then Wu falls'. Knowing this, how can we place a white-faced youth in command? Now there is Huan Wen, a heroic and crafty fellow with experience, not lacking in civil or military skill. To guard the west, there can be no better choice than Huan Wen."

The court ministers asked, "Will Yu Yuanzhi be willing to obey Huan Wen? If he leads soldiers against him, there will be considerable shame and fear." He Chong said, "Huan Wen has sufficient control; you need not worry."

Lu Kang was the son of Lu Xun, the Prime Minister of Eastern Wu. Lu Kang himself was a talented general as well, active during the early reign of Sun Hao.


11. Jin’s Magistrate of Danyang, Liu Tan, often marvelled at Huan Wen’s talents, and knew that he had ambitions to be more than a minister. He told Sima Yu, "Huan Wen cannot be given a post where he may gain a great victory; he must be kept under careful watch and restraint." He often urged the Prince to go assume the command himself with Liu Tan as his advisor, but Sima Yu would not heed him. Even when Liu Tan asked that he himself be sent to assume the command, Sima Yu did not listen to him.


12. On the day Gengchen (?), Jin’s Inspector of Xuzhou, Huan Wen, was named General Who Guards The West, Credential Bearer, and Commander of military affairs in Jingzhou, Sizhou, Yongzhou, Yizhou, Liangzhou, and Ningzhou. He was also named as Colonel of Southern Man Tribes and Inspector of Jingzhou. Yu Yuanzhi did not dare to oppose him. Liu Tan became the commander of army affairs at Mianzhong, and acting Administrator of Yicheng, succeeding Yu Fangzhi in that post. Yu Fangzhi was relocated to Yuzhang along with Yu Yuanzhi.


13. Huan Wen once went out to hunt in the snow. As he was going out, he passed by Liu Tan. Liu saw him dressed in his strict attire and asked him, "Old thief, what are you up to?" Huan Wen laughingly replied, "If it weren't for me being like this, you wouldn't get to sit and chat here."


14. Because Li Shi, the new ruler of Han, had no sons, his younger brother, the Grand General Li Guang, asked to become his crown prince, but Li Shi would not permit it. Ma Dang and Xie Siming remonstrated, saying, "Your Majesty does not have many brothers. If you refuse this, Yizhou may face great peril." They stubbornly asked him to reconsider. Li Shi believed that they were plotting with Li Guang against him, so he had the two of them executed, along with their families to the third degree. He sent the Grand Guardian Li Yi to arrest Li Guang at Fucheng, where he was demoted to Marquis of Linqiong. Li Guang killed himself.

When Xie Siming was arrested, he lamented, "The state endured so long as there were men like us. Now the danger comes!" And he joked as he went to his death calmly. Xie Siming was wise and learned, and was bold enough to have remonstrated openly; Ma Dang was well-regarded by the people. When they died, all the soldiers mourned their loss.


15. In winter, the tenth month, Murong Huang sent his son Murong Ke to attack Goguryeo. Murong Ke captured Nansu and left a garrison there before returning.


16. In the twelfth month, the ruler of Liang, Zhang Jun, attacked the state of Karasahr in the Western Reaches and accepted their surrender.

During this year, Zhang Jun adjusted the administrative boundaries of his territory. He split off the area of Wuwei and eleven other commandaries into Liang province, and made his son Zhang Chonghua its Inspector. He then made Xingjin and its eight commandaries into Hezhou, and made his Colonel Who Calms The Rong Tribes, Zhang Guan, its Inspector. He further divided Dunhuang and its three commandaries, along with the kingdoms of the Western Reaches and the three garrisons there, into Shazhou, and made his Colonel of Western Tribes Yang Xuan the Inspector there.

Zhang Jun named himself as Grand Commander, Grand General, and Acting Prince of Liang, commanding three provinces. He also began to appoint people as Libationers, Palace Attendants, 大夫s, 舍人s, 謁者s, and other offices. He named the positions of his officers like those of the Jin court, but with slightly altered titles, and he used chariots, clothing, and banners like those of a prince.


17. Shi Hu appointed the Champion General Yao Yizhong as Credential Bearer, Commander over the ten commandaries and six tribes, and Grand Champion General. Yao Yizhong was clear, frugal, honest and frank. He did not put on airs when managing things, and there was no subject that he feared to broach. But Shi Hu valued him highly. Every time there was a discussion on a major issue, Shi Hu would have him participate and decide on the outcome, and all the other court ministers feared him and behaved respectfully to him.

Zuo Wei of Wucheng was the younger brother of one of Shi Hu's favored concubines. He once trespassed into Yao Yizhong's camp, and harassed the troops there. Yao Yizhong arrested him and reprimanded him, saying, "You are a colonel whose job is to prevent disorderly conduct, and yet you bully lesser people. But I am a great minister; having seen this with my own eyes, I cannot let you go." He ordered those around him to execute Zuo. But Zuo kowtowed until blood flowed and begged for his life, and Yao's attendants remonstrated with him, so Yao relented.


18. Murong Huang, believing that the ancient feudal lords (of the Eastern Zhou era) all changed the reign year title upon assuming their thrones, no longer began to keep the Jin reign title. He declared that he was in the twelfth year of his personal reign.


19. Shi Hu ordered the General Who Conquers The East, Deng Heng, to march with tens of thousands of soldiers to camp at Le'an and to make siege engines, in order to prepare for an attack against Yan. Murong Huang appointed his son Murong Ba as General Who Pacifies The Di, and he guarded Tuhe. Deng Heng feared him, and so he did not dare invade.

石季龍來伐,既還,猶有兼併之志,遣將鄧恆率眾數萬屯于樂安,營攻取之備。垂戍徒河,與恆相持,恆憚而不敢侵。(Jinshu 123.1)

When Shi Le invaded Yan, the first invasion failed, but Shi Le still harbored ambitions of conquering the territory, so he sent his general Deng Heng to lead several tens of thousands of soldiers to camp at Le'an. The Zhao camp there prepared to attack and capture the Murong territory. Murong Chui camped at Tuhe, where he maintained a stalemate with Deng Heng. Deng Heng feared him, and did not dare to actually invade.
Last edited by Taishi Ci 2.0 on Thu Aug 17, 2017 10:42 pm, edited 8 times in total.
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Unread postby Taishi Ci 2.0 » Sun Feb 26, 2017 4:56 am


The Second Year of Yonghe (The Bingwu Year, 346 AD)


1. In spring, the first month, on the day Bingyin (March 4th), there was a general amnesty in Jin.


2. On the day Jimao (February 21st), He Chong passed away. He was posthumously known as Marquis Wenmu of Duxiang.

He Chong possessed intellectual and spiritual capacity, and conducted the court with a stern expression. He took the well-being of the state as his personal responsibility: he worked dutifully to sustain things, and did not give privileges to those who were close to him.


3. Originally, the Buyeo people had resided at Mount Lu. When Baekje invaded them, they lost their land, and moved west, closer to Yan. They did not build any defenses there. Murong Huang placed his son Murong Jun in command of three armies under his own brother Murong Jun, his son Murong Ke, and Muyu Gen. They attacked the Buyeo with seventeen thousand horsemen. Murong Jun coordinated things from the center, while letting Murong Ke implement actual military maneuvers. After defeating the Buyeo, their king Hyeon and fifty thousand households were captured and brought back to Yan. Murong Huang appointed the former king Hyeon as his General Who Guards The Army, and married his daughter to him.

Buyeo was a Korean kingdom somewhat to the north of Goguryeo.

Baekje was one of the Korean Three Kingdoms. It occupied the southwestern portion of the Korean peninsula.


4. In the second month, on the day Guichou (March 27th), Jin’s Household Counsellor of the Left, Cai Mo, was named as acting Minister Over The Masses, and conducted affairs of state together with the Prince of Kuaiji, Sima Yu.


5. Chu Pou recommended for office the former Household Counsellor, Gu He, and the former Chief Clerk of the Right of the Minister Over The Masses, Yin Hao. In the third month, on the day Bingzi (April 19th), Gu He was made the Prefect of the Masters of Writing, while Yin Hao was named as General Who Establishes Valor and Inspector of Yangzhou.

Since Gu He was in mourning for his mother, he refused to accept his appointment, saying to his close associates, "There were cases in ancient times when a person would take off his mourning clothes to follow a lord, but that was because his talents were so great that he could change the world. But as for someone like me, if I did the same, it would only serve to diminish the way of filial piety and offend tradition." And those who knew him praised him.

Yin Hao also at first refused office. Sima Yu wrote to him stating, "Being in this time of great misfortune, where dangers and corruptions are at their utmost, you have profound knowledge and wide learning, enough to help us to make it through. If you continue to remain in deep hermitage, and only follow your own desires, I fear that all hopes for the world will be gone. But if you come and accept office, then the flow may be reversed, and we shall go from decline to revival. Your decision to come or stay will decide whether the realm will perish or rise. You must treat the nation as your own family. I ask that you give this matter due thought." So Yin Hao took up office.


6. In summer, the fourth month, on the new moon of the day Jiyou (May 22nd), there was an eclipse.


7. In the fifth month, on the day Bingxu (June 28th), the de facto ruler of Liangzhou, Zhang Jun, passed away. Jin granted him the posthumous title Duke Zhongcheng of Xiping.

The Liangzhou officials raised his son Zhang Chonghua as Commissioner Bearing Credentials, Grand Commander, Grand Commandant, Colonel Who Protects The Qiang, Governor of Liangzhou, Duke of Xiping, and Acting Prince of Liang. A general amnesty was declared within the realm. Zhang Chonghua honored his stepmother Lady Yan as Grand Princess Dowager, and his mother Lady Ma as Princess Dowager.


8. Zhao's Attendant of the Yellow Gate, Yan Sheng, disliked the Master of Writing Zhu Gui. It had been raining for some time, drenching the roads. Yan Sheng slandered Zhu Gui, saying that he had not maintained the roads, and was maligning the court, so Shi Hu arrested Zhu Gui.

Pu Hong remonstrated, saying, "Since Your Majesty already had palaces in Xiangguo and Ye, what need was there to build more palaces in Luoyang and Chang’an? Furthermore, you have been hunting as you liked in your thousands of hunting carts, enclosing off thousands of li of land to serve as the hunting ground, and stolen tens of thousands of wives to fill your rear palaces. Is this the way a sagely emperor or a wise king ought to act?

“Now the roads have not been maintained, and you wish to kill the Master of Writing. But Your Majesty has not maintained your own virtue, and that was the source of these rains; Heaven sent them for seventy days before they ended. How can you expect the roads to be cleared after that in two days? Even if we had a million spirit soldiers, they could not possibly accomplish that in two days. How much less can mere mortals do so? If this is the sort of punishment you administer, what will become of all within the four seas? What will become of later generations? You ought to halt the construction work, open up the hunting land, send back the women, and pardon Zhu Gui. If you do that, then the multitude will respect you."

Although Shi Hu was displeased by Pu Hong’s words, he did not charge him with any offense, and he did halt the construction work at Chang’an and Luoyang. However, in the end, he still executed Zhu Gui. He also implemented a law against private discussions among government ministers. Subordinates were ordered to inform against their superiors, and slaves to inform against their masters. After that, when the ministers met during court assembly, they only exchanged looks, and did not converse when passing by each other again.


9. Zhao's General Wang Zhuo led an attack against Zhang Chonghua. He invaded Wujie, and captured the Liang generals Cao Quan and Hu Xuan, taking seven thousand households back to Yongzhou. Zhao’s Inspector of Liangzhou, Ma Qiu, and General Sun Fudou attacked Jincheng; the Administrator there, Zhang Chong, surrendered.

Liangzhou was in an uproar. Zhang Chonghua quickly gathered together troops, and sent an army under the General Who Conquers The South Pei Heng to oppose Zhao. Pei Heng sought refuge at Guangwu, and for a long time refused to offer battle.

The Marshal of Liangzhou, Zhang Dan, said to Zhang Chonghua, "The state lives or dies upon its soldiers; soldiers are victorious or defeated based upon their general. It has been the recent custom to choose someone of long service to be a commander. But when Han Xin was chosen as general, no regard was made to his past accomplishments. When a sage lord appoints people, he does not follow set guidelines; but whoever’s talents are up to the task, he is entrusted with important responsibilities. We have already been invaded by a strong enemy, and yet our generals will not advance against them, thus the people's hearts suffer with fear. I recommend the Registrar, Xie Ai; he is talented in both civil and military affairs, and he may be employed to repulse Zhao."

Zhang Chonghua summoned Xie Ai, and asked him for a plan. Xie Ai replied that, given seven thousand men, he would break the Zhao army to repay their trust in him. Zhang Chonghua commissioned Xie Ai as General of 中堅, gave him five thousand horse and foot, and bade him attack Ma Qiu.

Xie Ai led his soldiers to Zhenwu. During the night, two owls alighted on the fang-tipped flags of the army camp and began hooting. Xie Ai said, "When playing Liubo, he who has the owls will have the victory. Now these owls are hooting on our flags. Let it be the sign of our victory." They advanced and attacked the Zhao army, routing them and killing five thousand.

Zhang Chonghua enfeoffed Xie Ai as the Earl of Fulu.

六博 Liubo was a board game played by many during the Han dynasty. However, it later passed out of favor as other games like Go became more popular.

Method of play: Two people sit facing each other over a board, and the board is divided into twelve paths, with two ends, and an area called the "water" in the middle. Twelve game pieces are used, which according to the ancient rules are six white and six black. There are also two "fish" pieces, which are placed in the water. The throwing of the dice is done with a jade. The two players take turns to throw the dice and move their pieces. When a piece has been moved to a certain place it is stood up on end, and called an "owl (梟 or 驍) ". Thereupon it can enter the water and eat a fish, which is also called "pulling a fish". Every time a player pulls a fish he gets two tokens, and if he pulls two fish in a row he gets three tokens [for the second fish]. If a player has already pulled two fish but does not win it is called double-pulling a pair of fish. When one player wins six tokens the game is won. (From Wikipedia)


10. Ma Qiu succeeded at capturing Jincheng. The garrison commander there, Che Ji of Dunhuang, refused to surrender; he fell on his sword. Ma Qiu moved on to attack Daxia. Liangzhou’s Army Protector, Liang Shi, arrested the Administrator, Song Yan, and turned the city over to Ma Qiu. Ma ordered Song Yan to write to the Commandant of Wanshu, Song Ju of Dunhuang, to convince him to surrender. Song Ju said, "For a loyal servant who has not succeeded, death is the only recourse!" He first killed his wife and children before taking his own life. Ma Qiu said of them, "They acted righteously," and ordered Che Ji's and Song Ju's burials.


11. In winter, in Han, the Grand Guardian Li Yi rose in rebellion from Jinshou, and many people of Shu flocked to his banner, to the number of tens of thousands. Li Shi feared to leave his capital and would not come out. When Li Yi was riding towards one of the capital gates, the archers on the gate shot and killed him. His multitudes dispersed. A general amnesty was declared, and the reign title was changed to Jianing.

Li Shi was arrogant and licentious, showing no concern for the affairs of state. He spent most of his time in the palace, hardly ever visiting with his ministers. He avoided the old ministers, whom he feared, and only kept about him those he trusted, who slandered others in order to advance themselves. In administering punishments, he was excessively harsh, and thus he alienated the people from him.

Originally, there had not been any of the Lao people in Shu. But from this time, they began to enter Shu from the mountains, spreading from Baxi to Jianwei and Zitong, until the mountains were filled with several hundred thousand of their settlements. The government could not control them, and they posed a great threat to the common people. Furthermore, famine and hunger broke out. Things became bleak all across the territory.

The Lao people are the natives of modern Laos, but they also spread into other areas, from China to Thailand.


12. Jin’s General Who Maintains The West, Huan Wen, wished to launch a campaign against Han. His subordinates did not think this would be advisable.

But the Minister of Jiangxia, Yuan Qiao, said to Huan Wen, "When one organizes great ventures, he must rise beyond the common sentiment. A wise man knows the course of action in his own heart, and does not need to wait for a consensus. Those who plague the realm are only the barbarians and Shu. But although Shu is dangerous, they are weaker than the barbarians. If we want to be rid of these threats, we should first take out the easier target.

“Li Shi does not follow the proper path, so his ministers and people are not loyal. Furthermore, he considers his land treacherous and far away, so he has not prepared for battle. We should send ten thousand elite soldiers to march swiftly and lightly against them. Before they have any idea of our invading, we will already be deep within their territory, and may decide things in a single battle. Shu is a rich and abundant land, filled with innumerable people. These were the materials which the Marquis of Wu, Zhuge Liang, used to contend with the Central Plains. If we could take it for ourselves, it would be of great benefit to the state.

“The others fear that if you march west, the barbarians will take advantage of your absence and attack. This fear seems reasonable, but it is not. If the barbarians hear that we have marched many miles in pursuit of conquest, they will believe that we have fully prepared our territory to meet any attacks, and they will not dare to move against us. Furthermore, the garrisons along the Yangzi can keep guard, so there is no need to worry."

Huan Wen agreed. This Yuan Qiao was the son of Yuan Gui.

Yuan Gui was a Jin minister who greatly assisted in the formation of Eastern Jin south of the Yangzi following the fall of the north. He was a descendant of Yuan Huan, a Cao-Wei officer.


13. In the eleventh month, on the day Xinwei (December 10th), Huan Wen sent ahead his army to invade Han, under the command of the Inspector of Yizhou, Zhou Fu, and the Administrator of Nanjun and Prince of Qiao, Sima Wuzi. After sending notice to the court, he set out for Han as well. Huan Wen left his personal Chief Clerk, Fan Wang, behind to handle affairs, and Fan was charged with matters in the four commandaries of Lianzhou. Yuan Qiao with two thousand men formed the vanguard of the army.


14. The court soon learned of Huan Wen’s campaign. Since the road to Shu was long and dangerous, and Huan Wen was marching so far with so few men, they all believed he would come to ruin. Only Liu Tan believed that Huan would definitely succeed. When they asked him why, Liu Tan said, "I know the measure of the man. Huan Wen does not do anything if he is not certain of success. I only fear that after he is victorious over Shu, he will command the authority of the court."
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Unread postby Taishi Ci 2.0 » Sun Feb 26, 2017 4:59 am


The Third Year of Yonghe (The Dingwei Year, 347 AD)


1. In spring, the second month, Huan Wen's army reached Qingyi. Li Shi drafted many soldiers, and sent the Guard General of the Right, his uncle Li Fu, the General Who Guards The South, his cousin Li Quan, the General of the Front, Zan Jian, and others to oppose Huan Wen's invasion. The Han troops marched from Shanyang to attack Heshui. Most of the Han generals wished to ambush the Jin army south of the Yangzi, but Zan Jian did not agree; he lead his troops north of the Yangzi from Cape Yuanyang, intending to cross over towards Jianwei.


2. In the third month, Huan Wen's army reached Pengmo. They discussed splitting up into two groups, each taking their own route, to divide the attentions of the Han soldiers.

But Yuan Qiao said, "By now, our army has marched ten thousand li into the enemy’s territory. If we can win a victory, then we may ensure the overall success of this campaign. But if we are not victorious, there can be no escape. By remaining together, we preserve our strength, and can determine all with a single battle.

“However, if we split up, then our soldiers’ hearts will also be divided. Then, if either half of the army should be defeated, that will be the end of our campaign. Rather than risk that, we should all advance as one body, and we should abandon our cooking pots, only marching with three days' rations, to show our determination not to return. Then we can be sure of victory."

Huan Wen agreed. He left the Army Advisor Sun Sheng and Zhou Chu to remain behind with the weaker soldiers and guard their baggage train, while he led the rest of the infantry to march on, straight towards Chengdu. This Zhou Chu was the son of Zhou Fu.

Zhou Fu was listed a few paragraphs above as one of Huan Wen’s generals. He was an Eastern Jin officer of long service.


3. Li Fu marched forward and attacked Pengmo. Sun Sheng and the others vigorously met the attack, and drove him off.

Huan Wen advanced, encountering Li Quan, and three times prevailed in battle; the Han soldiers retreated to Chengdu. Han’s General Who Guards The East, Li Weidou, defected to Huan Wen's side.

When Zan Jian reached Jianwei, he finally learned that Huan Wen's army had taken a different road. He counter-marched his men back to where they had been, but by the time they reached Shadou Ford, Huan Wen's army was only ten li from Chengdu, so Zan Jian's army all dispersed.


4. Li Shi, gathering what troops he could, marched out of Chengdu to fight Huan Wen's army at the suspension bridges made of bamboo.

Huan Wen's vanguard troops had the worst of the initial clash, with the Army Advisor Gong Hu being killed in the fighting, and Huan Wen's horse was struck in the head by an arrow. The Jin army was afraid, and Huan Wen wished to retreat, but the drum leader accidentally beat the drums instead (to sound the advance). Then Yuan Qiao drew his sword and led his men into the fray; the tide turned, and the Han soldiers were routed.

Huan Wen led the remaining victorious soldiers towards Chengdu, and they set fire to the city gates. The people of Han were afraid, and no longer wished to fight. During the night, Li Shi fled the city through the eastern gate. When he reached Jiameng Pass, he sent the 散騎常侍 Wang You to give notice of his surrender to Huan Wen, stating that "Li Shi of Lüeyang bows his head and submits to the capital punishment". Li Shi himself then came to the camp of the Jin army bound by ropes to a coffin. Huan Wen loosed the ropes and burned the coffin, and sent Li Shi and ten other members of the Han royal family back to Jiankang.

Huan Wen named Han’s former Minister of Works, Qiao Xian, to be his advisor. He promoted the wise and praised the good among the locals, and so the people of Shu were appeased.


5. Jin’s Administrator of Nhật Nam, Xiahou Lan, was greedy and corrupt. He bullied and took from the foreign merchants, and he also levied boats and building materials from the people, saying that he was planning to launch a campaign; because of that, the whole state was angry and indignant.

The king of Lâm Ấp, Phạm Văn, marched to attack Nhật Nam; his soldiers killed five or six thousand, slew Xiahou Lan, and sacrificed his corpse as an offering to Heaven. Phạm Văn sent a proclamation outlining the reasons for his campaign to Jin’s Inspector of Jiaozhou, Zhu Fan, further requesting that he be allowed to mark the northern border of Lâm Ấp’s territory at Hengshan. Once Phạm Văn's army had departed, Zhu Fan sent the Protector Liu Xiong to guard Nhật Nam.

日南 Nhật Nam or Rinan was a Jin commandary in what is now Vietnam. Lâm Ấp was earlier mentioned in Book 95.


6. Some of Han's former leaders rose up against Huan Wen, including the Supervisor of the Masters of Writing, Wang Shi, the General Who Guards The East, Deng Ding, the General Who Pacifies The South, Wang Run, General Kui Wen, and others. Each gathered more than ten thousand men. Huan Wen himself marched to attack Deng Ding, while sending Yuan Qiao to attack Kui Wen; both were routed. Huan Wen ordered the new Inspector of Yizhou, Zhou Fu, to guard Pengmo, and execute Wang Shi and Wang Run. Huan Wen remained at Chengdu for thirty days, then set out to return to Jiangling.

When Li Shi arrived at Jiankang, he was given the title Marquis of Guiyi.

In summer, the fourth month, on the day Dingsi (May 25th), the rebels Deng Ding, Kui Wen, and others entered and occupied Chengdu. Jin’s General Who Subjugates Barbarians, Yang Qian, abandoned Fucheng and retreated to fortify Deyang.


7. Zhao's Inspector of Liangzhou, Ma Qiu, attacked Liangzhou’s city of Fuhan. The Administrator of Jinchang, Lang Tan, finding that guarding the entire city was difficult, wished to abandoned the outer city. The Administrator of Wucheng, Zhang Quan, said, "If you abandon the outer city, it will upset the hearts of the people, and that will be the end of us." The Colonel Who Calms The Rong Tribes, Zhang Qu, agreed with this sentiment. So the entire city was guarded.

Fuhan is the modern city of Linxia, in Gansu province.

Ma Qiu led an army of eighty thousand men, and surrounded the city. His soldiers constructed siege ladders and dug tunnels, and advanced on every side. But they could not break into the city, and Ma Qiu suffered tens of thousands of dead or wounded. Shi Hu sent General Liu Hun with twenty thousand horse and foot to reinforce Ma Qiu.

Lang Tan, annoyed that his advice had been overruled, instructed a certain warrior, Li Jia, to lure a thousand Zhao soldiers into the city. There, Zhang Qu and others fiercely attacked them, killing over two hundred, and the rest retreated. Zhang Qu burned the Jin army's siege gear, and Ma Qiu was forced to fall back to Daya.


8. Shi Hu appointed the Palace Secretary, Shi Ning, as General Who Conquers The West, and sent him along with twenty thousand soldiers from Bingzhou and Sizhou to further reinforce Ma Qiu. Zhang Chonghua's general, Song Qin, and others surrendered to Zhao with twenty thousand households.

Zhang Chonghua commissioned Xie Ai as Commissioner Bearing Credentials and Directing Instructor. Xie Ai marched with thirty thousand horse and foot to the bank of the Yellow River. Xie Ai himself rode about in a light carriage, wearing a white headdress, and he had the drums sounded as he advanced. When Ma Qiu saw this, he angrily said, "This Xie Ai is a mere bookish youth. See how he leads this army. He is belittling me."

Ma Qiu ordered three thousand Black Spear Dragon Cavalry to attack. As the riders approached, those who were with Xie Ai became greatly afraid, and they urged him to mount a horse and ride away. Xie Ai ignored them, and simply stepped down from his carriage and sat in a folding chair, pointing his commander's sign in all directions as though directing an attack. The Zhao troops, fearing that he had laid an ambush, did not dare to advance any further.

Meanwhile, another Liangzhou general, Zhang Mao, led troops along a hidden road and attacked the Zhao camp from the rear. The Zhao army fled, and Xie Ai collected his troops and pursued them, completely routing them, and killing the officers Du Xun and Ji Yu, as well as taking the heads of thirteen thousand enemy soldiers. Ma Qiu fled alone on horseback to Daya.

Cao Cao performed an act of similar conspicuous unconcern while sitting on a folding chair during his first campaign against Ma Chao in 209. As mentioned in de Crespigny's To Establish Peace: "The main body went over first, and Cao Cao stayed behind with a few hundred Tiger Warriors on the south bank to hold the rear. Ma Chao brought ten thousand horsemen and foot-soldiers to attack them. The arrows came down like rain, but Cao Cao sat on a folding chair and made no move." (209.E)


9. In the fifth month, Ma Qiu and Shi Ning marched with a hundred and twenty thousand soldiers to camp south of the Yellow River. Liu Ning and Wang Zhuo captured Jinxing, Guangwu, and Wujie before reaching Quliu. Zhang Chonghua sent General Niu Xuan to attack, but he retreated back to Fuhan, and there was great fear in Guzang.

Zhang Chonghua considered going to lead the army himself, but Xie Ai strenuously opposed this. The Assistant Attendant Officer, Suo Xia, said, "A ruler is responsible for guarding the entire state; he cannot act rashly." So Xie Ai was made Commissioner Bearing Credentials, Commander of the expeditionary force, and acting Guard General, and Suo Xia was appointed as General of 軍正. They marched with twenty thousand horse and foot to help defend against Zhao.

The Liang Attendant Officer, Yang Kang, defeated Liu Ning at Shafu; Liu Ning retreated to garrison at Jincheng.


10. In the sixth month, on the day Xinyou (July 28th), a general amnesty was declared in Jin.


11. In autumn, the seventh month, the soldiers of Lâm Ấp again invaded Nhật Nam, and killed the Protector Liu Xiong.


12. In Shu, the rebels Kui Wen and Deng Di had with them Fan Ben, the son of Cheng’s former Prime Minister, Fan Changsheng. They proclaimed him as Emperor. They deluded the populace with occult and mystical things, and most of the people of Shu flocked to them.


13. Shi Hu once more sent General Who Conquers The West Sun Fudu and General Liu Hun with twenty thousand horse and foot to reinforce Ma Qiu. After crossing the Yellow River at Changqu, they attacked Zhang Chonghua, and they built a walled city at Changzui.

Xie Ai had set up the fang-tipped flags to rally the Liangzhou soldiers before the campaign, when suddenly the wind blew the banners and flags towards the southeast. Suo Xia said, "The wind itself is giving orders to the army. It points the banners towards the enemy. It is a sign of Heaven's favor."

Xie Ai's army went to Shenyao, and there Wang Zhuo attacked their vanguard. But Wang Zhuo was defeated, and he fled south of the Yellow River.

In the eighth month, on the day Wuwu (September 23rd), Xie Ai's army advanced and attack Ma Qiu, completely routing him, and Ma Qiu fled back to Jincheng. When Shi Hu heard of it, he exclaimed, "I had conquered the Nine Provinces with just an auxiliary force, and yet today, with the combined strength of the Nine Provinces, I am frustrated at Fuhan. So long as the enemy has this man, we cannot defeat them!"

Xie Ai returned from the fight against Zhao. He then campaigned against more than ten thousand tribes in the region, including that of Siguzhen, and they were all routed and dealt with.


14. By this time, Shi Hu was the master of ten provinces. He began to amass great stores of gold and silks, and great treasures presented by other states. Warehouses were filled with these goods, too many to record. However, Shi Hu felt that this was still not enough, so he began digging up the graves of rulers of former eras, and plundering their gold and treasures.


15. The Buddhist monk Wu Jin warned Shi Hu, "The tribes will soon face decline, and Jin will experience a revival. The Jin people (the ethnic Han) should be put to hard labor to sap their spirits."

So Shi Hu sent his Master of Writing, Zhang Qun, to gather the ethnic Han people of the nearby commandaries, to the number of a hundred and sixty thousand people, along with a hundred thousand carts, and put them to work constructing the Hualin Gardens and a long wall north of Ye, encompassing tens of li. Shen Zhong, Shi Pu, Zhao Lan, and others sent in a petition warning of the disturbances seen in the heavens, and the exhaustion of the people. But Shi Hu was angry with them and said, "If the wall is completed in the morning, I will not regret it if I perish the same evening." He ordered Zhang Qun to have the people work through the night with lamps to provide light. A great storm blew in with heavy rains, and the dead numbered tens of thousands.

Over a period of time, the various states had sent in sixteen rhinoceroses and seven white deer. Shi Hu ordered the 司虞 Zhang Hezhu to teach the animals how to pull a harness, and displayed it before the court.


16. In the ninth month, Shi Hu ordered his crown prince Shi Xuan to offer sacrifices for blessings across the land, and to hold hunts while he was traveling. Shi Xuan led the grand procession of a hundred and eighty thousand tribesmen in six armies out through the Jinming Gate, riding in a grand carriage adorned with feathers and waving the imperial banners. Shi Hu watched the proceedings from the top of the Lingshao Terrace behind the palace. He happily said, “Like father, like son! So long as the sky does not fall or the earth collapse, what more can I ask for? Nothing but to spend my days enjoying playing with my sons and grandsons.”


17. At every place where Shi Xuan resided, he compelled people to set up barriers, stretching for a hundred li on each of four sides, and force animals to gather within the enclosure by evening. He compelled civil and military officers to kneel upright (with knees at 90 degrees) in a circle around the barrier. Then bright lamps were lit, and Shi Xuan ordered over a hundred light cavalry to ride in and begin shooting arrows at the animals, while he and his concubines looked on from their carriage until all the animals had been killed. If any animal escaped from the enclosure, one of the enclosure officials was blamed; those who held titles were forced to surrender their horse and walk on foot for a day, while those without titles were given a hundred lashings. More than ten thousand soldiers died of hunger or cold; in the fifteen commandaries of the three provinces that Shi Xuan passed through, all the stores were depleted.


18. Shi Hu gave his son Shi Tao, the Duke of Qin, the same assignment as Shi Xuan. Shi Tao’s procession passed from Bingzhou into Qinzhou and Yongzhou, and they did the same things as Shi Xuan's procession had.

Shi Xuan was angry that Shi Tao was now put on the same footing as himself, and his jealousy grew. The eunuch Zhao Sheng, who also had bad blood with Shi Tao, began persuading Shi Xuan and urging him to do away with Shi Tao. So Shi Xuan began plotting for how he might kill Shi Tao.


19. Ma Qiu again launched an attack against Zhang Chonghua's general Zhang Mao. He defeated Zhang Mao, killing about three thousand.

Liangzhou's Protector of the Army at Fuhan, Li Kui, led seven thousand men to surrender to Zhao. After that, many of the Di and Qiang south of the Yellow River also went over to Zhao.


20. In winter, the tenth month, on the day Yichou (November 29th), Jin's Minister Herald, Yu Gui, arrived in Liangzhou. He had been sent there to confer upon Zhang Chonghua the titles of Palace Attendant, Grand Commander, Commander of Longyou and Guanzhong military affairs, Grand General, Inspector of Liangzhou, and Duke of Xiping.

When Yu Gui reached Guzang, Zhang Chonghua was unwilling to accept the proposed conferrals, because he wanted to become Prince of Liang. So he sent his attendant Chen Meng to privately tell Yu Gui, "For generations, my lord’s family had been loyal servants to Jin, yet now you favor him less than the Xianbei? How can this be? The court has granted Murong Huang the title of Prince of Yan, yet our lord is only to be Grand General? How is this a due reward for loyal service? Sir, why don’t you mobilize the people west of the Yellow River to jointly recommend the ruler of their province to become Prince of Liang? When a minister is sent out on a mission, it is all right for him to make such executive decisions, as long as it is to the state’s benefit.”

Yu Gui replied, "Sir, wrongly have you spoken! During the reigns of the Three Dynasties (Xia, Shang, and Zhou), the most noble rank conferred was High Duke. Only when the power of the Zhou began to fade did the lords of Wu and Chu start to assume the kingly title. The only reason why the other feudal lords put up with them was because they had treated Wu and Chu as mere barbarians. If rulers of states like Qi and Lu declared themselves kings, would the other lords not rush to attack them? Emperor Gaozu of Han (Liu Bang) did make kings of Han Xin and Peng Chao, but then he later executed them; he was just making them kings to buy time, and not because he really meant to do them honor.

During the Spring and Autumn period, despite the fact that the various warlords exercised de facto independence, most of them still claimed to be vassals of the Zhou dynasty, and they held their titles as Duke or Marquis under Zhou authority. However, the southern states of Chu and Wu, seen as more barbaric by the other states, claimed to be Kings by their own authority. As the subsequent Warring States period went on, most of the other states also began to declare themselves Kings.

“As your honorable lord is loyal and wise, His Majesty conferred the title of High Duke on him, entrusting him to the protection of a corner of the empire. This is the highest possible favor and honor. How could you possible measure him against the Xianbei barbarians? As I understand it, rewards are great or small depending on the size of the achievements they are given for. Now, your honorable lord has only just inherited his position. If he is to be made Prince now, and later he goes on to lead forth the armies of Heyou to pacify the east, defeat the Hu and the Jie barbarians, restore the imperial tombs, and welcome the Son of Heaven back to Luoyang, then what additional reward would remain for him to be given?”

So Zhang Chonghua ceased asking for the title.

At Wudu, the King of the Di, Yang Chu (of Chouchi), sent notice of his submission to Jin. The court named him as Commissioner Bearing Credentials, General Who Conquers The South, Inspector of Yongzhou, and Duke of Chouchi.


21. In the twelfth month, Jin’s Protector of the Army Who Arouses Might, Xiao Jingwen, killed the General Who Subjugates Barbarians, Yang Qian. He attacked Fucheng and took it, and declared himself the Governor of Yizhou. He further captured Baxi, and then marched to Hanzhong.
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Re: ZZTJ Translations: The Sixteen Kingdoms Era (Books 95-10

Unread postby Lady Wu » Mon Feb 27, 2017 2:04 am

342: I have a raging crush on Murong Han (and Xianyu Liang too, but mostly Murong Han)

壬寅 = Renyin, not Gengyin

3. Yu Yi drank poison and died: I wonder if that was voluntary...

4. 三月,初以武悼後配食武帝廟。: 後 is a mistraditionalization of 后, or empress. 武悼后 is楊芷, Sima Yan’s empress who was executed by Jia Nanfeng on trumped-up charges of rebellion. After her death, she was not allowed to be honoured in Sima Yan’s temple. This is the year where they first allowed her to share in the sacrifices (配食) in Sima Yan’s temple.

5. 數有妖怪: probably “many strange sightings” (not just beasts, but also other uncanny, supernatural things/events)

樂鄉 : I think it should be Lexiang.

一旦 = in case (not in a short time)

又江州當溯流數千里 = Jiangzhou is some thousand lis upstream (which makes it way more work to transport stuff there)

軍府: the military (writ large; not specifically about residences)

方岳重將,固當居要害之地,為內外形勢,使闚□之心不知所向 = A high-ranking general defending an important location should be stationed in a strategic location (要害之地 = a critical location), to form a barricade against outside forces, so that those seeking an opportunity to attack us won’t know where to hit us.

是以達人君子,直道而行,禳避之道,皆所不取 = A true man follows the straight way, and does not take evasive paths dictated by superstition.

正當擇人事之勝理,思社稷之長計耳 = At this time we should choose the correct path in managing personnel movement, for the sake of the longevity of the nation.

6. 不豫 = feeling unwell

疾篤= gravely ill

敕宮門無得內宰相 = forbidding the Prime Minister from entering the palace

推問,果然 = Upon investigation, it turned out to be so.

庾冰自以兄弟秉權日久,恐易世之後 = Since Yu Bing and his brother had been controlling power for a long time, he was afraid that after a new lord ascended the throne...

以國有強敵 = because the nation is beset with strong enemies

故武王不授聖弟,非不愛也 = King Wu did not pass his throne on to the Duke of Zhou, and not because he did not love him.

並以弈繼琅邪哀王 = and appointing Sima Yi to continue Prince Ai of Langye’s line. (琅邪哀王 = 司馬安國, son of 司马裒 son of Sima Rui, and who died before he turned a year old.)

9. 亮陰不言 = kept silent as was tradition for an emperor in mourning (亮陰 = the mourning period for an emperor, where he was supposed to leave all state matters to his ministers and focus on mourning)

徒行 = went on foot

乃升素輿至陵所 = then boarded a plain white carriage to continue the journey to the tombs

己未 = Jiwei (the whole 己已巳 thing is stupid annoying!)

“He Chong was based at Jingkou, where he could avoid Yu Bing”: Well, that was awkward.


性識庸暗: His temperament and knowledge are both inferior. (see if you can word it better)

I know well the condition of their land: “I know well the lay of their land”? This refers back to how he pretended to be insane so he could roam all over and memorize where everything was.

常有闚□之志 = I can’t find the character in the blank, but this line would probably be more like “They have been eyeing our land greedily” or “They have been thinking of conquering us”? 志 can be translated as “desire” as well.

禍將及己 = they’ll know that they’ll be next (and so they will attack us first)

觀其勢力,一舉可克 = Considering their current strength, we can overcome them in one go.

如返手耳 = it will be as easy as flipping your hand over

利盡東海 = We can reap all (盡 = all) the profits of East China Sea

縱有蹉跌,其腹心己潰,四支無能為也 = Even if they may face defeat, the enemy’s core will have been destroyed, and the rest of their forces won’t be able to do much.

12. 勁兵 = crack troops!

自帥羸兵以備南道 = he himself went to guard the southern route with the weaker troops

阿佛和度加 is one person, according to this Korean encyclopedia. The romanization for 아불화도가 should be Abulhwadoga.

由是皝不復窮追 = and because of that (Wang Yu’s loss), Murong Huang did not keep pursuing Go Soe.

遣使招釗 = Instead, he sent messengers to persuade Go Soe to surrender (but Go Soe wouldn’t budge)

13. 俟其束身自歸,然後返之,撫以恩信,策之上也 = Once Go Soe presents himself, bound, for submission, then we can return his father’s body and his mother to him. And we will console him (settle his mind? make him feel good about us?) by granting him favours. This is the best plan. (Sorry I can't word this better so it doesn't sound like some horrible kink. :oops: )

14. 征豫章太守褚裒為待中、尚書。= He summoned (征) her father Chu Pou, the Administrator of Yuzhang , to the capital to serve as blahblahblah.

15. “He employed over four hundred thousand people in these efforts.” Where did Shi Hu get all these people from????

閣道: For some reason Wiktionary only gives definitions for that word in Russian. If you believe my Russian reading comprehension, the term means boardwalk. Yes, Shi Hu wants a friggin’ boardwalk between Ye to Xiangguo.

敕河南四州治南伐之備,並、朔、秦、雍嚴西討之資,青、冀、幽州為東征之計,皆三五發卒。= He had the four provinces south of the Yellow River to prepare for a campaign to the south; the provinces of Bing, Shuo, Qin, and Yong to prepare for a western campaign; the provinces of Qing, Ji, and You to prepare for a campaign eastward. In all these provinces, two males were drafted from a household of three males, or three males were drafted from a household of five males. (Ok so that’s how he got all those people. But still, what was the population of that time?!)

諸州軍造甲者五十餘萬人,船夫十七萬人,為水所沒,虎狼所食者三分居一。加之公侯、牧宰競營私利,百姓失業愁困。 = Together, the provinces put together 500k+ armed men and 170k sailors; of these, a third either drowned or were eaten by wild beasts. On top of that, the local lords and officials competed to fill their private coffers, causing the populace to lose their means of living and worried about their destitution.

連結黨與,署置百寮 = He gathered followers to himself, and set up the various offices as in a state (i.e. he’s setting himself up to be king, and appointing people to various jobs and offices)

連坐者數千家 = Some thousands of families!

16. 虎畋獵無度,晨出夜歸: should be one sentence: Shi Hu hunted excessively, going out at dawn and not returning until night.

又多微行 = He also went out in plain clothes often (to inspect stuff)

猝有狂夫之變 = If some random crazy guy starts doing something crazy

廢民耘獲 = disrupting the people’s farming and harvesting

殆非仁聖之所忍為也 = I’m afraid this is not something that a benevolent and sage ruler would bear to do.

17. 以壯本根 = in order to strengthen your own base

聽置 = are allowed to have

自是以下,三分置一 = Not 100% sure how the math works here, but this seems to say, “those whose ranks are beneath theirs will be allowed retainers and troops at a ration of three to one, according to their rank”

嫌釁益深 = And the rifts between them and Shi Xuan deepened.

18. 上《皇德頌》者一百七人 = 107 people submitted memorials entitled “An Ode To Imperial Virtue”

自經於道樹者相望: perhaps include a bit emphasizing how many there were? This is literally "there were so many who hanged themselves on the trees along the roads, that the corpses would be able to see one another"
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Re: ZZTJ Translations: The Sixteen Kingdoms Era (Books 95-10

Unread postby Lady Wu » Tue Feb 28, 2017 11:33 pm

343: When the Yu Bros got ants in their pants

2. 皝使慕容輸出擊之 = Murong Shu should be Murong Han (typo in original)

[The Yu Yi stuff should probably be a separate paragraph?]

尚公主: doesn’t necessarily have to be a reward; it’s just “married to the princess”

有風概 = gentlemanly, chivalrous, having principles

相期以寧濟海內 =they made a pact (相期 = to set a date, to make an appointment) to bring peace (寧濟 = to bring peace and salvation) to the land (i.e. they made a pact to work together to reunify the land, etc.)

願陛下勿以常人遇之,常婿畜之 = I hope Your Majesty will not treat him like an average man, or keep (畜 = to keep something in a pen, like a farm animal) him like a regular son-in-law.

宜委以方、邵之任: 方叔 and 邵虎 were able and loyal ministers of King Xuan of Zhou

必有弘濟艱難之勳 = he will certainly accomplish great merits in helping us through this period of difficulty

此輩 = this kind of people (輩 = ilk, same kind of something; not necessarily generation here)

才名冠世 = talents (才) and fame are unmatched in the realm

然後徐議其任耳 = and then we can slowly (徐) discuss how to employ (任) them. (耳 is a contraction of 而已, a sentence particle meaning “that’s all”, “just that”, kind of like restricting the importance of something, in this case the urgency of appointing that kind of people)

累辭征辟 = repeated (累) declined (辭) recruitment (征 ) and appointment to official positions (辟 = to summon someone to take up an official position, by a ruler)

葛 = Zhuge Liang

常伺其出處,以卜江左興亡 = often spied on his comings and goings (i.e. whether he goes to take up an official position) in order to predict if Jin would rise or fall

嘗相與省之 = they once visited him together

當如蒼生何!= What should the people do?! (i.e., if this guy doesn’t come out of seclusion to save us, what are we to do?!)

雖雲談道,實長華競 = Although he (Wang Yifu) said he was talking of mystic ways, he was really encouraging the growth of the trend of vanity and excessiveness.

遇會處際 = I don’t know if “danger” is necessarily implied; he’s really saying, when this kind of opportunity knocks on your door, can you really just be the way you are?

3. 在郡貪殘 = in his commandery, he was greedy and cruel to the people.

庾冰與翼書屬之 = Yu Bing wrote to Yu Yi, asking him to protect Yin Xian

[Yu Yi’s letter]: Lord Yin is haughty and acts without restraint, probably because he has a good son. Thus I had hitherto tolerated him more or less, out of that consideration. However, if you look at the overall picture of how the Southland has been ruled, you’d see we’ve been encouraging (嫗煦 = nurture) powerful bullies, who often become a plague (蠹) to the people. Even when the law is carried out, it’s always the poor and lowly who are punished. For example, last year, a million 斛 of grain was stolen from Stone City, and all by powerful people. But they put the blame on the inspector of the granaries and executed him. When Shan Xia was Chief of Yuyao, he uncovered 2,000 households that were hidden by the powerful people [the 2k households would have been generating income for the powerful guys but not paying taxes]. So those powerful people banded together and drove him out, and caused him to not know a moment of peace again. Even though this was all due to the previous prime minister (aka Wang Dao)’s fatuousness, this is really the cause of the demise of the Southland. Brother, you and I are unfortunate enough to be entangled in the affairs of these times; since we cannot remove ourselves from these worldly affairs, we should try to set things straight, with eyes opened. Out of the 20-odd commanderies of Jingzhou, Changsha is the worst-governed. If we don’t demote the bad governor, how would we be different from the one who executed the granary inspector?

4. 遣使...: and thus he sent messengers... (the 以 clause is the reason for someone’s subsequent action)

刻期 = to set a date

5. 下詔議 = an edict went out for the ministers to discuss [how to retake the Central Plains]

翼欲悉所部之眾 = Yu Yi wanted (欲) to lead all (悉) the troops under his command

表桓宣為 = He (Yu Yi) petitioned (表) for Huan Xuan to be...

並發所統六州奴及車牛驢馬 = and mobilized all the bondmen, carriages, and beasts of burden from the six provinces under his (Yu Yi’s) command

6. 燕王皝使納馬千匹為禮 = Murong Huang told him to send 1,000 horses as a gift (and Tuoba refused to give him anything, and we get another case of “So and so was rude to me so I’m going to launch a military campaign against him!!”)

10. 辛巳: On the Xinsi day...

以為翼繼援 = to reinforce Yu Yi (basically, Yu Yi kept pushing the envelope northward, and since Yu Bing had been asking to go outside an play all the time, they were like welp fine go reinforce your brother)
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Re: ZZTJ Translations: The Sixteen Kingdoms Era (Books 95-10

Unread postby Lady Wu » Wed Mar 01, 2017 4:24 pm

344: It did not happen it did not happen it did not happen lalalalala not listening

1. 享 = to feast

3. 然不利於將 = but it will bring harm to the generals

4. 南羅大 = the chief of Nanluo

勇冠三軍: We had that before with Murong Ba! He’s the “champion of the three armies”, aka ridiculously OP.

“territory for farmlang”: farmland

5. 卿有佳書而不見與 = You have good books but you never let me read them

執要 = handle the bigger picture/the key things

執職 = handle the actual implementation/work

是以後稷播種,堯不預焉 = Thus, when Houji sowed, King Yao did not intervene. (Houji was credited with teaching the commoners to sow various grains, thus preventing a serious famine during the times of the Mythical Kings)

占候、天文,晨夜其苦,非至尊之所宜親,殿下將焉用之 = Working in divination and reading the heavens is a tiring task done in the early morning and the late night. This is not a task for he who holds the highest office to attend to personally. What use would you have for my books?

6. 逸豆歸事趙甚謹 = Yidougui was very respectful to Zhao as a vassal

貢獻屬路 = Continuously sending them tribute (literally, the road was always full of those bearing tribute to Zhao)

7. 藉翰勇略 = relied on Murong Han’s bravery

吾負罪出奔,既而復還,今日死已晚矣= I, a guilty man(負罪 = to bear a crime, to be guilty), had fled and returned. I ought to have died long ago.

命矣夫 = It is just fate!

飲藥而卒 = He secretly rode out of Jicheng under the cover of the night and into the west.

8. Tuoba Shiyijian: Again??? Does he not learn?

10. 伐宮材 = harvest lumber for building a palace

引於漳水 = send the lumber downstream on the Zhang River

罷之 = and put an end to it

虎意惜朗 = He wanted to keep Wang Lang (惜 is not so much “pity” here than “couldn’t bear to part with, be loath to be parted with”)

虎乃下詔 = He issued an edict (he didn’t summon Wang Bo) [recounting his crime for the arrow thing and ordering for him to be cut in half etc.]

追贈司空 = He elevated Wang Bo posthumously to the rank of Minister of Works

獻、文承基 = Emperor Xian (Li Xiang) and Emperor Wen (Li Shou) continued their legacy.

16. 式乾殿 = Shiqian Palace (乾 when read as “gan” means “dry”, and when read as “qian” means the first of the trigrams, the symbol of highest yang power. Usually when used in a name the “qian” meaning is used, since “dry” isn’t auspicious)

上疏固請居籓 = He sent in a memorial insisting on being posted to an outlying province (籓 = 藩 = vassal state, outlying province, somewhere on the border) (Why couldn’t they leave Chu Pou alone?)

17. 庾翼以家國情事 = Because it was too much to handle both family affairs and national affairs, Yu Yi...

翼還鎮夏口 = Yu Yi returned to guard Xiakou

復欲移鎮樂鄉,詔不許: Again?? Why is everyone being like a broken record this year?
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Re: ZZTJ Translations: The Sixteen Kingdoms Era (Books 95-10

Unread postby Lady Wu » Thu Mar 02, 2017 11:51 pm

345: The year where everyone's name was X之

1.白紗帷 = white gauze curtains?

抱帝臨軒 = she attended court, carrying the emperor.

2. 冠纓 = hat tassels

取發白趙王虎 = took the hair (發 is mistraditionalization of 髮) to tell (白 is usually talking to someone in person) Shi Hu

3. 罪至大辟 = sentenced to capital punishment (大辟)

女官: not necessarily concubines; some of these would just be attendants or women who managed the day-to-day running of a household. Perhaps “female attendants” would cover both cases?

金紫光祿大夫: Hu Sanxing's note: 即光祿大夫之加金章紫綬者--i.e. a 光祿大夫 who is given a gold seal and purple ribbon

拉殺 = to beat someone to death

4. 以牛假貧民: more like loaning them oxen

苑中: I think this refers to the land in his private enclosures

天下之中正也 = This is the fairest way under heaven

假官田官牛者不過稅其什六,自在有牛者中分之: Those who loaned oxen from the government to till government lands were only taxed 60%, while those who had their own oxen (and who farmed government lands) paid 50%.

綏之以德 = comforted the land by his virtuous rule

襁負而歸之者 = people came to him, carrying their children on their backs in swaddling cloths

無用者什有三四: Typo, 用 should be 田. Thirty to forty percent of them were without land to farm.

拓地三千里 = enlarged our state by 3,000 li

是宜悉罷苑囿 = thus it would be good for you to completely abolish the private enclosures (and give the land to the people)

且以殿下之民用殿下之牛,牛非殿下之有,將何在哉!= Furthermore, with your people using your oxen, the oxen still belong to you and you alone! (literally, if the oxen don’t belong to you, who else could they belong to?)

川瀆溝渠有廢塞者,皆應通利 = Should any river, stream, ditch or irrigation channel be abandoned or blocked, you should have them restored and cleared

一夫不耕,或受之饑。況游食數萬,何以得家給人足乎?= Even if just one man does not plow, he would cause someone else to be hungry. And now we have some tens of thousands of people who do not farm; how can we ensure that every family and every person has all they need?

今官司猥多,虛費廩祿,苟才不周用,皆宜澄汰。= Now we have many offices and official positions, which is a waste of salary. Those whose skills are not being fully used should be fired.

工商末利,宜立常員。= The number of those who profit from artisanry and commerce should be regulated.

學生三年無成,徒塞英俊之路,皆當歸之於農。= Students who have spent three years studying without anything to show for it are just taking up room that could be given to more talented people (literally: are just blocking the way of those who have talents), and should be sent back to farming.

博采芻蕘 = seek learning from all, including those who cut grass and chop wood

夫求諫諍而罪直言,是猶適越而北行,必不獲其所志矣!= If you seek honest advice but punish those who speak their mind, you would be like one who, wishing to go to Yue, heads north—you would never get what you wanted!

右長史 = Chief Clerk of the Right

阿媚苟容 = are sycophants who would do anything to preserve themselves

輕劾諫士,己無骨鯁,嫉人有之,掩蔽耳目,不忠之甚者也。= They recriminate those who offer admonishments, at the drop of a hat; they have no spine and are jealous of those who do. Thus they seek to hide things from your ears and eyes, and are the epitome of treachery.

可悉罷苑囿 = let all private enclosures be abolished

實貧者,官與之牛 = Those who are truly destitute shall be given oxen by the state

力有餘願得官牛者,並依魏、晉舊法 = Those who have extra means and would like to obtain oxen from the state, shall be taxed according to the laws in Wei and Jin (i.e., taxed at 50%)

溝瀆果有益者,令以時修治 = The irrigation channels that are beneficial (to farming) shall undergo regular maintenance.

今戎事方興,勳伐既多,歲未可喊: 歲未可喊 seems to be typos for 官未可減. 戎事 = military affairs. So, this should read, “Military campaigns are increasing, and there are many chances for establishing merit. Therefore, we cannot reduce the number of offices yet.”

工商、學生皆當裁擇 = The number of artisans, merchants, and students shall be reduced as is proper.

夫人臣關言於人主,至難也 = It is very difficult for a minister to admonish his ruler.

亦由孤之無大量也 = my pettiness is also to blame (literally: it’s also because of my lack of magnanimity)

封生蹇蹇,深得王臣之體 = Feng Yu has offered loyal words of admonishment, and proved that he truly understands the proper way to serve a king.

宣示內外 = let it be known both within the court and in the realm

不拘貴賤 = regardless of his status

常親臨庠序講授,考校學徒至千餘人,頗有妄濫者,故封裕及之。= He often went to deliver lectures at the schools himself, and admitted over a thousand students. However, many of those were without true merit, and thus Feng Yu mentioned that.

5. 詔征衛將軍褚裒: 征 = summon. They’re summoning poor Chu Pou again. When will they leave him alone??

足下宜以大政授之 = You should give him the responsibility of the great affairs of state. (Yours isn’t wrong, but the original sentence is very clearly in active voice, like those dudes are telling Chu Pou he should let Sima Yu do the job instead)

尤善玄言 = He was good at esoteric discussions (Taoist philosphy stuff)

少卓犖不羈 = As a youth, he stood out among his peers and not one to be bound by social norms

簡默沖退: not just quiet, but also leading a simple life and not pursuing fame and vain things

嘗開庫任超所取 = Once he opened up his stores to let Chi Chao take what he wanted.

一日都盡 = and in one day he spent all that money

6. 解角而去 = the dropped their horns and left

8. 作亂 = rebelled

10. 朝議皆以諸庾世在西籓,人情所安 = Most of the court thought that, given that the Yus had been guarding the western borders for so long and that they had the support of the people there, (it would be good to appoint Yuanzhi as per Yu Yi’s request)

北帶強胡,西鄰勁蜀,地勢險阻,周旋萬里 = It (the Jing-Chu region) is bordered by the north by the strong barbarians, and neighboured in the west by the powerful Shu. Its rugged and treacherous land spanns tens of thousands of li.

得人則..., 失人則... = If we appoint the right person, then... But if we appoint the wrong person, then...

社稷可憂 = the security of the state will be threatened

存則吳存,亡則吳亡 = if this land holds, then Wu holds; if this land falls, then Wu falls.

11. 每奇溫才 = often marvelled at Huan Wen’s talents

以己為軍司 = and appoint him (Liu Tan) as his advisor

12. along with Yu Yuan.: Yu Yuanzhi

13. 我不為此,卿安得坐談乎 = If I don’t dress like this, you won’t get to sit and chat here. (Meaning, if I don’t go out and hunt and look tough, you guys won’t get to sit here in peace and chitchat)

14. 解思明 = Xie Siming

16. 官員皆仿天朝而微變其名 = He named the position of his officers like those of the Jin court, but with slightly altered titles.

車服旌族擬於王者 = He used chariots, clothing, and banners like those of a prince

17. 不治威儀,言無畏避 = He did not surround himself with pomp to puff up his importance (can’t English this...), and there was nothing that he would fear or avoid talking about (i.e.he never held back when advising)

朝之大議,每與參決 = Every time there was a discussion on a major issue, Shi Hu would have him participate and decide on the outcome.

公卿皆憚而下之 = all the lords and ministers feared him and behaved respectfully to him

嘗入弋仲營 = He once trespassed into Yao Yizhong’s camp

數之 = reprimanded him

爾為禁尉 = You are a colonel whose job is to prevent disorderly conduct (and yet you bully regular people)

18. 諸侯: probably clarify as “local lords”? This is referring to the Eastern Zhou dynasty where each state’s historical records went by the reign of the local lord, rather than that of the Zhou king.

19. 治攻具 = to make siege engines
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Unread postby Taishi Ci 2.0 » Mon Mar 06, 2017 6:55 pm

Future posts will include some commentary from the scholar Hu Sanxing.

Hu Sanxing's comments will be in this color.
"You have attacked us before, and we survived! You cannot defeat us. Submit!"
"We have. You did. We can. No."
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Unread postby Taishi Ci 2.0 » Mon Mar 06, 2017 6:56 pm


The Fourth Year of Yonghe (The Wushen Year, 348 AD)


1. In summer, the fourth month, Lâm Ấp attacked Cửu Chân (Jiuzhen), slaughtering eighty to ninety percent of the people there.


Since Lâm Ấp was again attacking Nhật Nam, they passed through Cửu Chân (Jiuzhen). Cửu Chân commandary was in the Tang dynasty's 愛州 Aizhou.

趙秦公韜有寵于趙王虎,欲立之,以太子宣長,猶豫未决。宣嘗忤旨,虎怒曰:“悔不立韜也!”韜由是益驕,造堂于太尉府,號曰宣光殿,梁長九丈。宣見而大怒, 斬匠,截梁而去;韜怒,增之至十丈。宣聞之,謂所幸楊柸、牟成、趙生曰:“凶竪傲愎乃敢爾!汝能殺之,吾入西宮,當盡以韜之國邑分封汝等。韜死,主上必臨喪,吾因行大事,蔑不濟矣。”柸等許諾。

2. Zhao’s Duke of Qin, Shi Tao, enjoyed the favor of his father. In fact, Shi Hu had wanted to make Shi Tao his heir, but since the Crown Prince Shi Xuan was older, he hesitated to make a decision. Once, when Shi Xuan was disobedient, Shi Hu castigated him, saying, “If only I had made Shi Tao the heir!” Because of that, Shi Tao became increasingly more arrogant. He built a hall at his Grand Commandant's residence, naming it Xuangong Hall. The horizontal beams of the hall were nine zhang in length. Shi Xuan was furious when he saw it. (He would have further taken offense because it used the same character, 宣 Xuan, as his own name.) He killed the artisans before pulling down the beams and leaving. Shi Tao, equally angry, rebuilt the palace on a larger scale, making the beams ten zhang in length.

When Shi Xuan heard about it, he gathered together Yang Pei, Mou Cheng and Zhao Sheng. He told them, “My wicked and foolish brother dares to insult me! If you all can kill him, then once I enter the Western Palace (and become Emperor), I will divide up Shi Tao’s territory among you. After Shi Tao is dead, my lord father will have to come mourn for him. Then I will ‘accomplish the great thing’, and success will be assured.” So Yang Pei and the others agreed to the plot.


The Zuo Commentary says: "Pan Chong said to King Mu of Chu, 'Are you able to accomplish the great thing?'" (Wen 1.10) Du Yu's Annotations states, "By 'the great thing', Pan Chong meant 'to murder your lord'." (So Shi Xuan also meant to murder Shi Hu.)

The Zuo Commentary was an extensive series of comments and notes to the Chunqiu, or Spring and Autumn Annals, recounting the history of the several states of China during that period.

Du Yu was a Jin general most famous for helping to conquer the state of Wu. However, he also wrote his own commentary on the Zuo Commentary.

A longer excerpt from the Zuo Commentary on this story: "At an earlier period, the viscount of Chu, intending to declare Shangchen his successor, consulted his chief minister Zishang about it. Zishang said, "Your lordship is not yet old. You are also fond of many [of your children]. Should you degrade him hereafter, he will make disorder. The succession in Chu has always been from among the younger sons. Moreover, he has eyes [projecting] like a wasp's, and a wolf's voice;—he is capable of anything. You ought not to raise him to that position." The viscount did it however. But afterwards he wished to appoint his son Zhi instead, and to degrade Shangchen. Shangchen heard of his intention, but was not sure of it. He therefore told his tutor Pan Chong, and asked him how he could get certain information. Chong said, "Give a feast to Lady Jiang [The viscount's sister], and behave disrespectfully to her." The prince did so; when the lady became angry, she cried out, "You slave, no wonder the king wishes to kill you, and appoint Zhi in your place." Shangchen told this to his tutor, saying, "The report is true.' Chong then said, "Are you able to serve Zhi?" "No." "Are you able to leave the State?" "No." "Are you able to do the great thing?" "Yes."

'In winter, in the 10th month. Shangchen, with the guards of his palace, held the king as his prisoner. The king begged to have bear's paws to eat before he died, which was refused him; and on the day Dingwei he strangled himself. The prince [immediately] gave him the title of Ling, but his eyes would not shut. He changed it to Cheng, and they shut. [Shangchen] took his place, [and is known as] king Mu. He gave the house where he had lived as the eldest son to Pan Chong, made him grand-tutor, and commander of the palace guards.'

秋,八月,韜夜與僚屬宴于東明觀,因宿于佛精舍。宣使楊柸等緣獼猴梯而入,殺韜,置其刀箭而去。旦日,宣奏之,虎哀驚氣絕,久之方蘇。將出臨其喪,司空李農諫 曰:“害秦公者未知何人,賊在京師,鑾輿不宜輕出。”虎乃止,嚴兵發哀于太武殿。宣往臨韜喪,不哭,直言“呵呵”,使舉衾觀尸,大笑而去。收大將軍記室參 軍鄭靖、尹武等,將委之以罪。虎疑宣殺韜,欲召之,恐其不入,乃詐言其母杜後哀過危惙;宣不謂見疑,入朝中宮,因留之。建興人史科知其謀,告之;虎使收楊 柸、牟成,皆亡去;獲趙生,詰之,具服。虎悲怒彌甚,囚宣于席庫,以鐵環穿其頷而鏁之,取殺韜刀箭,舐其血,哀號震動宮殿。佛圖澄曰:“宣、起皆陛下之 子,今爲韜殺宣,是重禍也。陛下若加慈恕,福祚猶長。若必誅之,宣當爲彗星下掃鄴宮。”虎不從。積柴于鄴北,樹標其上,標末置鹿盧,穿之以繩,倚梯柴積。 送宣其下,使韜所幸宦者郝稚、劉霸拔其發,抽其舌,牽之登梯。郝稚以繩貫其頷,鹿盧絞上。劉霸斷其手足,斫眼潰腸,如韜之傷。四面縱火,烟炎際天,虎從昭儀已下數千人登中台以觀之。火滅,取灰分置諸門交道中。殺其妻子九人。宣小子才數歲,虎素愛之,抱之而泣,欲赦之,其大臣不聽,就抱中取而殺之。兒挽虎衣 大叫,至于絕帶,虎因此發病。又廢其後杜氏爲庶人,誅其四率已下三百人,宦者五十人,皆車裂節解,弃之漳水。洿其東宮以養猪牛。東官衛士十餘萬人皆謫戍凉 州。先是,散騎常侍趙攬言于虎曰:“宮中將有變,宜備之。”及宣殺韜,虎疑其知而不告,亦誅之。

3. In autumn, the eighth month, Shi Tao had attended a banquet with the ministers at the Dongming Pavilion, and was spending the night in a Buddhist house of refinement. Shi Xuan sent Yang Pei and the others to sneak into the temple using a monkey ladder. They killed Shi Tao and fled, leaving their swords and arrows behind.


The Commentary on the Water Classic says, "Shi Hu built the Dongming Pavilion by the eastern city walls of Ye. (10.19)"

This term "house of refinement" means a Buddhist temple. Since Buddhist monks would go there to refine themselves, it was also called a house of refinement. The 事物紀原 says, "During the reign of Emperor Ming of Han (28-75 AD), a house of refinement was built outside the walls of the eastern capital (Luoyang). There lived Jia Shemoteng (Kasyapa Matanga) and Zhu Falan (Dharmaratna)." (This refers to the White Horse Temple.)

This sort of ladder could be made small or large, and men could clamber up and down it like a monkey, so it was called a monkey ladder.

When dawn came, Shi Xuan reported what had happened. Shi Hu was so stricken by grief that his breath stopped and he did not respond for some time. When he was himself again, he wished to see the body to mourn, but the Minister of Works Li Nong said that “No one knows who it is that killed the Duke of Qin. The culprits may still be in the capital, so you cannot rashly go out.” So Shi Hu did not go out, but sent soldiers to Taiwu Palace to begin the mourning. When Shi Xuan approached the body, he did not weep, and even chuckled. When he had the shroud lifted to view the body, he greatly laughed and then left.

Shi Xuan arrested Zheng Jing and Yin Wu, advisors to the Grand General’s office, and was planning to put the blame on them for Shi Tao’s death on them. However, Shi Hu began to suspect that Shi Xuan himself was responsible. He was worried that Shi Xuan would ignore a direct summons, so instead he falsely sent out word that Shi Xuan’s mother, Empress Du, was deathly ill from grief. Shi Xuan did not doubt this report and came to the Central Palace, where he was arrested.

A man from Jianxing, Shi Ke, knew of the plot against Shi Tao and reported on it. Shi Hu sent guards to round up the assassins, but Yang Pei and Mou Cheng had already escaped. Only Zhao Sheng was captured, and he confessed.

Shi Hu’s grief and anger became even greater. He had Shi Xuan imprisoned in a storehouse for sitting mats, had a ring of iron put through his jaw and used that to lock him up, and compelled Shi Xuan to lick the blood from the swords and arrows that had killed Shi Tao. Shi Xuan’s howling shook the palace.

Fotudeng warned Shi Hu, “They are both Your Majesty's own sons. If you kill Shi Xuan for the sake of Shi Tao, it will only double your misfortune. If Your Majesty could subdue your anger and show him clemency, your good fortune will continue. But if you insist upon executing him, Shi Xuan will become a comet of ill fortune, crossing into the domain of the Ye Palace.” But Shi Hu did not listen to him.

Shi Hu set up a large pile of firewood north of Ye, and erected a column in the midst of it with a rope and winch. Then a ladder was leaned against the firewood pile, and Shi Hu had Shi Tao’s favorite eunuchs, Hao Zhi and Liu Ba, drag Shi Xuan up the ladder by his hair and tongue. Hao Zhi strung a rope through his jaw and used that and the pulley to hoist him up, while Liu Ba chopped off his hands and feet, put out his eyes, and cut open his stomach, to mimic the injuries that Shi Tao had suffered. Then a fire was set on all sides, and the flames continued until everything was consumed, while Shi Hu looked on with several thousand female attendants of the rank 昭儀 and lower from the Central Terrace. When the fire was quenched, the ashes were gathered and spread at crossroads at several of the city gates.


This was one of the Three Terraces of Ye (the same three built by Cao Cao). Shi Hu was on the central one, called the Copper Cauldron Terrace (the same as the Copper Bird Terrace).

Shi Hu also executed nine other members of Shi Xuan’s immeditate family, his wives and children. Shi Xuan’s youngest son at that time was only a few years old, and Shi Hu greatly loved him. He held the child while crying, and wished to pardon him. However, the other great ministers did not listen, and they took the child from Shi Hu and killed him. The boy grabbed onto Shi Hu’s robes and screamed as they tried to take him, until Shi Hu’s belt broke and the boy lost his grasp, and Shi Hu thus fell ill.

Empress Du, the mother of Shi Xuan and Shi Tao, was reduced to commoner status. He executed three hundred soldiers under the Eastern Palace’s command and fifty of Shi Xuan's eunuchs; they were all ripped apart by chariots, and their corpses were cast into the Zhang river. Shi Hu defiled the Eastern Palace, which had been Shi Xuan’s residence, and made it into a place for keeping pigs and cattle. The former Eastern Palace guards, more than a hundred thousand men, were all exiled to Liangzhou.


The Eastern Palace had four divisions of soldiers: Left, Right, Forward, and Rear.

Since Zhao did not actually possess Liangzhou, these men were sent to Jincheng, which was the army camp on the border with Liangzhou. This was why the 'strong men' later rebelled.

Sometime earlier, the Court Historian Zhao Lan had mentioned to Shi Hu, “There will soon be a disaster in the Eastern Palace; you should be on guard for it.” After Shi Xuan killed Shi Tao, Shi Hu suspected that Zhao Lan knew about the murder ahead of time, but did not report it. So Zhao Lan was also executed.


4. The Jin court was discussing Huan Wen’s conquest of Shu. It was proposed that the fief of Yuzhang Commandary be awarded to Huan Wen. The Master of Writing of the Left Minister, Xun Rui, said, "If Huan Wen later conquers the Yellow and Luo River regions, what then could he be rewarded with?" So Huan Wen was named as Grand General Who Conquers The West and assigned staff equal in authority to the Three Excellencies, and he was named Duke of Linhe. The Prince of Qiao, Sima Wuji, was promoted to General of the Front. Yuan Qiao was named as Dragon-Soaring General and granted the title Count of Xiangxi. Xun Rui was the son of Xun Song.


Xun Song was Xun Fan's younger brother. During the Disaster of Yongjia, they would meet in secret at the field outpost at Mi. At the beginning of Jianxing (313), Xun Fan also guarded Wan.

Xun Song and Xun Fan were great-great-grandsons of Xun Yu, Cao Cao’s advisor. Xun Fan had been an advisor who assisted the short-lived Emperor Min, who briefly established himself in Chang’an but was soon crushed by Han-Zhao.


5. With Huan Wen having eliminated Shu, his fame and influence began to spread, and the imperial court feared him. The Prince of Kuaiji, Sima Yu, knowing that the Inspector of Yangzhou Yin Hao had a famous reputation, respected both by people in office and those without office. So he brought Yin Hao into the court as his trusted supporter, and he had Yin Hao get involved in deciding on affairs of the court, so he could be used to counter Huan Wen. From then on, Huan Wen and Yin Hao were mutually suspicious of each other.


6. Yin Hao wished to promote two men whom he knew were renowned. He appointed the Chief Clerk to the General Who Conquers The North, Xun Xian, as Interior Minister of Wu, and the former Inspector of Jiangzhou, Wang Xizhi as General Who Protects The Army, to have them serve as his assistants. Xun Xiao was the younger brother of Xun Rui. Wang Xizhi was the nephew of Wang Dao. Wang Xizhi, who believed that only by having harmony between those responsible for internal affairs and those responsible for military affairs can the nation be safe, urged Yin Hao and Xun Xian not to treat Huan Wen as a rival, but Yin Hao did not heed him.


7. Murong Huang grew ill. He summoned his crown prince Murong Jun and admonished him, "The Central Plains are not yet pacified. You must entrust affairs of state to those who are worthy and valuable. Murong Ke is a valiant hero, and has often helped me. He is talented and can be entrusted with weighty affairs. You should make make use of him, to achieve my ambition!" He also said, "Yang Shiqiu (Yang Wu) is a noble and unsullied gentleman, loyal and faithful even through adversity. You may rely upon him for great things. Be sure to treat him well!" In the ninth month, on the day Bingshen (October 25th), he passed away.

皝嘗畋於西鄙,將濟河,見一父老,服硃衣,乘白馬,舉手麾皝曰:「此非獵所,王其還也。」秘之不言,遂濟河,連日大獲。後見白兔,馳射之,馬倒被傷,乃說所見。輦而還宮,引俊屬以後事。以永和四年死,在位十五年,時年五十二。俊僭號,追諡文明皇帝。(Jinshu, 109.45)

Murong Huang once went hunting in the western region. When he came to the Ji River, he saw an old man on the other side, who wore a cinnabar robe and rode a white horse. The man raised his hand and gestured at Murong Huang, warning him, "This is no hunting ground. The prince should go back." But without telling anyone of what he had seen, Murong Huang crossed over the river, and spent several days in hunting there. Soon he saw a white rabbit. He tried to shoot it from horseback, but his horse collapsed and injured him, and only then did he tell others what he had seen. They carried him back to the palace in a cart, and there he instructed Murong Jun on plans for the hereafter. In the fourth year of Yonghe (348 AD) he died. He was in the fifteenth year of his reign, and was fifty-two years old. When Murong Jun became Emperor, he honored his father as Emperor Wenming.

趙王虎議立太子,太尉張舉曰:「燕公斌有武略,彭城公遵有文德,惟陛下所擇。」虎曰:「卿言正起吾」戎昭將軍張豺曰:「燕公母賤,又嘗有過;彭城公母前 以太子事廢,今立之,臣恐不能無微恨。陛下宜審思之。」初,虎之拔上邽也,張豺獲前趙主曜幼女安定公主,有殊色,納于虎,虎嬖之,生齊公世。豺以虎老病, 欲立世爲嗣,冀劉氏爲太后,己得輔政,乃說虎曰:「陛下再立太子,其母皆出于倡賤,故禍亂相尋;今宜擇母貴子孝者立之。」虎曰:「卿勿言,吾知太子處矣。 」虎再與群臣議于東堂。虎曰:「吾欲以純灰三斛自滌其腸,何爲專生惡子,年逾二十輒欲殺父!今世方十歲,比其二十,吾已老矣。」乃與張舉、李農定議,令公 卿上書請立世爲太子。大司農曹莫不肯署名,虎使張豺問其故,莫頓首曰:「天下重器,不宜立少,故不敢署。」虎曰:「莫,忠臣也,然未達朕意;張舉、李農知 朕意矣,可令諭之。”遂立世爲太子,以劉昭儀爲後。

8. Shi Hu wished to select a new crown prince. The Grand Commandant Zhang Ju suggested, "Your son the Duke of Yan Shi Bin has martial talents, and your son Shi Zun the Duke of Pengcheng is wise and virtuous. Your Majesty may choose from these two."

Shi Hu said, "What you say is just as I was thinking."

But the General Who Awes The Rong, Zhang Chai, said, "The Duke of Yan had a lowborn mother, and he has already had one transgression (against Zhang Hedu). The Duke of Pengcheng’s mother (Zheng Yingtao, Shi Sui's mother) had been demoted before due to the former Crown Prince’s affair. If she becomes Empress again, I fear she might still hold a grudge. I pray Your Majesty reconsider."


The Chronicles of the Book of Jin states, "Shi Hu established the left and right positions of General Who Awes The Rong and General Who Shines Valor. These positions were above those of the Guards of the Left and Right." (Jinshu 106.61)

Years earlier (in 329), when Shi Hu had captured the last Han-Zhao stronghold of Shanggui, Zhang Chai had captured Liu Yao's daughter, the Princess of Anding. She had an outstanding complexion, and when she was brought to Shi Hu, he greatly favored her, and she gave birth to a son, who was now the Duke of Qi, Shi Shi. Zhang Chai, believing that Shi Hu was old and about to die, wished to place Shi Shi upon the throne, and have his mother Lady Liu become the Empress Dowager, so that he could control the government. He therefore said to Shi Hu, "When Your Majesty chose new crown princes in the past, their mothers were all of common blood, and that’s why disasters happened one after another, like Shi Sui and Shi Xuan did. You should now choose as your crown prince one who has a noble-born mother and who is filial himself." Shi Hu said, "Say no more; I know whom my crown prince shall be."

Shi Hu gathered his ministers at the Eastern Hall to discuss the matter again. He said to them, "I wish to drink three 斛 of ashes to clear out my intestines. Why do I keep giving birth to such evil sons? Whenever they turn twenty, they plot to kill their father! But my son Shi Shi is now only ten years old. By the time he is twenty, I’ll already be old." So he made a plan with Zhang Ju and Li Nong, and the nobles and ministers were asked to sign a petition that Shi Shi be made Crown Prince.

The Minister of Finance, Cao Mo, did not agree to sign, and Shi Hu sent Zhang Chai to ask why. Cao Mo, bowing his head, said, "The affairs of the empire cannot be left to a youth. I dare not sign my name to this."

Shi Hu said, "Cao Mo is a loyal minister, but in the end he does not understand my intentions. Zhang Ju and Li Nong know my wishes, and can announce my decision." So Shi Shi was named the Crown Prince, and Lady Liu became the Empress.


9. In winter, the eleventh month, on the day Jiachen (January 1st), the late Prince Wenming of Yan (Murong Huang) was buried. His second son Murong Jun inherited his title, and a general amnesty was declared. Messengers were sent to inform Jiankang of the mourning. His younger brother Murong Jiao was named as Worthy Prince of the Left, and the Chief Clerk of the Left, Yang Wu, became Prefect of 郎中.


10. In the twelfth month, Jin’s Household Counselor of the Left, acting Minister Over The Masses, and chief of the imperial secretariat, Cai Mo, was named as Palace Attendant and the actual Minister Over The Masses. But Cai Mo declined the posts, telling others, "If I were to become Minister Over The Masses, posterity will despise me, so I dare not accept the post."
Last edited by Taishi Ci 2.0 on Wed Jun 21, 2017 4:37 pm, edited 8 times in total.
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Unread postby Taishi Ci 2.0 » Mon Mar 06, 2017 7:06 pm


The Fifth Year of Yonghe (The Jiyou Year, 349 AD)


1. In spring, the first month, on the new moon of the day Dingwei (?), a general amnesty was declared in Jin.

趙王虎即皇帝位,大赦,改元太寧,諸子皆進爵爲王。故東宮高力等萬餘人謫戍凉州,行達雍城,既不在赦例,又敕雍州剌史張茂送之,茂皆奪其馬,使之步推鹿車, 致糧戍所。高力督定陽梁犢因衆心之怨,謀作亂東歸,衆聞之,皆踴抃大呼。犢乃自稱晋征東大將軍,帥衆攻拔下辨;安西將軍劉寧自安定擊之,爲犢所敗。高力皆 多力善射,一當十餘人,雖無兵甲,掠民斧,施一丈柯,攻戰若神,所向崩潰;戍卒皆隨之,攻陷郡縣,殺長吏、二千石,長驅而東,比至長安,衆已十萬。樂平王苞盡銳拒之,一戰而敗。犢遂東出潼關,進趣洛陽。趙主虎以李農爲大都督、行大將軍事,統衛軍將軍張賀度等步騎十萬討之,戰于新安,農等大敗;戰于洛陽,又 敗,退壁成皋。

2. Shi Hu declared himself Emperor; he proclaimed a general amnesty, and changed the reign era title to Taining. His sons all had their titles raised to that of Prince.

It was earlier mentioned that more than ten thousand “strong men” from the Eastern Palace had all been exiled to Liangzhou. When they reached Yongcheng, it was decided that they were not covered by the general amnesty. It was further ordered that they were to be escorted by the Inspector of Yongzhou, Zhang Mao, who confiscated their horses and made them push deer carts on foot to transport grain to where they were to be stationed. Liang Du of Dingyang, a captain of the “strong men”, took advantage of the men's resentment to lead them in rebellion, plotting to start a revolt and return to the east again. When his fellows heard of his plans, they leaped and shouted for joy.

Liang Du proclaimed himself as Jin's Grand General Who Conquers The East, and he led his initial followers to attack Xiabian. Liu Ning marched from Anding to try to stop the rebels, but he was defeated. The “strong men” were exceptionally powerful, and skilled with bow and arrow. Every one of them fought with the strength of ten men. Since they lacked any arms or armor, they took axes as they needed from the people and stuck them on the end of long poles, one zhang in length, to use as weapons. Their prowess was like gods, and all fled before them. Many officials were captured and killed as they advanced east, and by the time Liang Du reached Chang’an, his army had swelled to a hundred thousand men. Shi Bao tried to oppose them with all his elite troops, but was defeated in a single battle.

Liang Du continued his advance, marching east through Tong Gate, intending to capture Luoyang. Shi Hu appointed Li Nong as Grand Commander and acting Grand General, and sent him, the acting General Who Guards The Army, Zhang Hedu, and others with a hundred thousand soldiers to stop Liang Du. But Li Nong and the others were defeated at Xin’an, and again at Luoyang. They were forced to retreat to Chenggao.


The Compendium of Customs and Traditions says, "A deer cart is narrow and small, able to fit one deer."

Fufeng was the same as Yong(xian)cheng.

犢遂東掠滎陽、陳留諸郡,虎大懼,以燕王斌爲大都督,督中外諸軍事,統冠軍大將軍姚弋仲、車騎將軍蒲洪等討之。弋仲將其衆八千餘人至鄴,求見虎。虎病,未之見,引入領軍省,賜以己所御食。弋仲怒,不食,曰:“主上召我來擊賊,當面見授方略,我豈爲食來邪!且主上不見我,我何以知其存亡邪?”虎力疾見之,弋仲 讓虎曰:“兒死,愁邪?何爲而病?兒幼時不擇善人教之,使至于爲逆;既爲逆而誅之,又何愁焉!且汝久病,所立兒幼,汝若不愈,天下必亂。當先憂此,勿憂賊 也!犢等窮困思歸,相聚爲盜,所過殘暴,何所能至!老羌爲汝一舉了之!”弋仲情狷直,人無貴賤皆“汝”之,虎亦不之責,于坐授使持節、侍中、征西大將軍賜 以鎧馬。弋仲曰:“汝看老羌堪破賊否?”乃被鎧跨馬于庭中,因策馬南馳,不辭而出。遂與斌等擊犢于滎陽,大破之,斬犢首而還,討其餘黨,盡滅之。虎命弋仲 劍履上殿,入朝不趨,進封西平郡公;蒲洪爲侍中、車騎大將軍、開府儀同三司、都督雍、秦州諸軍事、雍州剌史,進封略陽郡公。

3. Liang Du continued east, taking several areas around Xingyang and Chenliu. Shi Hu was greatly afraid, and named the Prince of Yan, Shi Bin, as Grand Commander with authority over all military affairs. Shi Bin led the Grand Champion General, Yao Yizhong, the General of Cavalry and Chariots, Pu Hong, and others with an army to oppose Liang Du.

Yao Yizhong led a group of eight thousand men to Ye, and asked to see Shi Hu. Shi Hu was sick, and would not meet with him. Yao Yizhong was brought to the military headquarters and granted food reserved for the royal table. But Yao Yizhong, furious, refused the food, saying, "My lord has summoned me to fight the rebels, so he should meet me in person to instruct me of his plans. Do you suppose I came here just for food? If my lord will not meet with me, how can I know whether he is alive or dead?"

Despite his illness, Shi Hu came to meet with Yao Yizhong. Yao rebuked him, saying, "What, your son died and you’re sad? Why else would you be sick? You didn’t get good people to teach your son when he’s young, and that’s why he became disobedient. You killed him because he was disobedient, so what are you so sad about? Now you have been sick for some time, yet you place a young child as your heir. If anything happened to you, the realm would fall into chaos. You ought to be concerned about that, not about these rebels in front of you! Liang Du and his fellows banded together and rebelled because they were desperate and homesick. They’ve been killing and pillaging wherever they’ve gone. They can’t accomplish anything great. Just let me handle them for you!"

Yao Yizhong had a blunt and rash nature, not adhering to formalities but always addressing people as "you" regardless of whether they were superior or subordinate to him, but Shi Hu did not hold this against him. Even as Yao Yizhong was simply sitting there in front of him, Shi Hu immediately appointed Yao as Commissioner Bearing Credentials, Palace Attendant, and General Who Conquers The West without any fanfare or ceremony. He further gifted Yao Yizhong a set of armor and a fine horse. Yao Yizhong said, "Now watch; do you think I will able to smash the rebels or not?" He donned the armor and mounted the steed right there in the courtyard, and without taking his leave, he rode quickly away southward.

Yao Yizhong joined with Shi Bin and the others and attacked Liang Du at Xingyang, where they greatly routed the rebel army. Yao Yizhong took Liang Du's head and returned, mopping up the rest of the rebel forces, who were all extinguished. Shi Hu honored Yao Yizhong by granting him permission to enter court still wearing his sword and boots, and without needing to hasten. He also honored him with the title Duke of Xiping. Pu Hong was given the ranks of Palace Attendant, Grand General of Cavalry and Chariots, and staff with equal authority to those of the Three Excellencies, with command over military affairs in Yongzhou and Qinzhou; he was also granted the title Duke of Lüeyang.

Lady Wu's Note: Usually the promotion of someone to high military position would involve Ceremonies and Standing Outside on a Platform etc., which is why the “sitting right there” was worth mentioning.


4. A certain Ma Xu of Xiping gathered a body of troops and named himself General. Shi Bao attacked him and wiped him out, and executed over three thousand families.


5. In summer, the fourth month, Jin’s Inspector of Yizhou, Zhou Fu, and the Dragon-Soaring General, Zhu Dao, marched against the rebel leader Fan Ben and slew him, and so pacified Yizhou.


6. The Jin court sent their envoy Chen Chen to Yan, to confer upon Murong Jun the ranks of Commissioner Bearing Credentials, Palace Attendant, Grand Commander over military affairs north of the Yellow River, Governor of Youzhou and Pingzhou, Grand General, Grand Chanyu, and Prince of Yan.


7. Huan Wen sent his Protector Teng Jun to Jiaozhou and Guangzhou to campaign against King Phạm Văn of Lâm Ấp at Lurong, but Teng Jun was defeated by Phạm Văn, and retreated to defend Cửu Chân.


8. On the day Yimao (May 12th), Shi Hu became seriously ill. He named the Prince of Pengcheng, Shi Zun, as Grand General, and sent him to guard Guanyou. Shi Bin was named as Prime Minister, in charge of the imperial secretariat. Zhang Cai became the Grand General of 鎮衛, General Who Directs The Army, and Supervisor of the Masters of Writing; he was entrusted with affairs by imperial edict.


9. Empress Liu, fearing Shi Bin's potential influence over court affairs, and any danger to her son the Crown Prince, conspired with Zhang Chai against Shi Bin. When Shi Bin was spending some time at Xiangguo, they sent a messenger to falsely inform him, "Our lord's illness is starting to subside. The Prince may indulge in hunting, and tarry here a while longer." Shi Bin greatly enjoyed hunting, and had a fondness for drinking, so he remained on the hunt, and drank greatly.

Empress Liu and Zhang Chai then issued a false edict slandering Shi Bin as a disloyal and unfilial son, and they stripped him of his office and exiled him to his fief. They sent Zhang Chai's brother Zhang Xiong with five hundred soldiers to keep watch on Shi Bin.


10. On the day Yichou (May 22nd), Shi Zun came from Youzhou to Ye. He was ordered to receive his newly appointed position in the audience hall, and sent away with thirty thousand soldiers. Shi Zun left in tears.

That day, Shi Hu was feeling a little better, so he asked, "Did Shi Zun come here?"

Those around him told him, "He has already left."

Shi Hu said, "I regret not having a chance to see him!"


11. When Shi Hu was brought to the western hall, two hundred men from the Galloping Dragon Attendants were there laying prostrate before him. Shi Hu asked, "What have you come to ask for?"

They all said, "Your Majesty is not well; call the Prince of Yan to attend to you, and take charge of the soldiers." And some added, "We beg you to make him the Crown Prince."

Shi Hu said, "Is the Prince of Yan not here? Summon him!"

Those around him said, "The Prince is ill from drinking, and cannot come."

Shi Hu said, "Send a carriage to fetch him here, and I will present the seal to him." But no one acted on his orders. Shi Hu soon felt confused and bewildered, and he went back into the palace.

Zhang Chai sent Zhang Xiong with a false edict to kill Shi Bin, and so Shi Bin was murdered.


12. On the day Wuchen (May 25th), Empress Liu composed another false edict naming Zhang Chai as Grand Guardian and Commander of all military affairs, and gave him authority over the imperial secretariat, wielding the same authority as Huo Guang of Han.

The Palace Attendant Xu Tong exclaimed, "The chaos will soon begin. There is no need for me to be a part of it." So he took poison and died.


13. On the day Jisi (May 26th), Shi Hu passed away.

His Crown Prince, Shi Shi, rose to the throne. Shi Shi honored his mother Lady Liu as Empress Dowager. Lady Liu controlled court affairs, and she named Zhang Chai as Prime Minister. To mollify the other Princes, Zhang Chai proposed named Shi Zun and the Prince of Yiyang, Shi Jian, as Left and Right Prime Ministers, and Empress Liu assented.


14. Zhang Chai and the Grand Commandant, Zhang Ju, plotted to execute the Minister of Works, Li Nong. But since Zhang Ju had long been friends with Li Nong, he secretly informed Li Nong of the plot. Li Nong fled to Guangzong, and took charge of a militia of refugees, many tens of thousands of families, at Shangbai. Empress Dowager Liu ordered Zhang Ju to lead the capital soldiers to besiege Shangbai.

Zhang Chai named Zhang Li as Grand General Who Guards The Army, in charge of central military affairs, and to act as his adjutant.

彭城王遵至河內,聞喪;姚弋仲、蒲洪、劉寧及征虜將軍石閔、武衛將軍王鸞等討梁犢還,遇遵于李城,共說遵曰:“殿下長且賢,先帝亦有意以殿下爲嗣;正以末年 惛惑,爲張豺所誤。今女主臨朝,奸臣用事,上白相持未下,京師宿衛空虛,殿下若聲張豺之罪,鼓行而討之,其誰不開門倒戈而迎殿下者!”遵從之。

15. When Shi Zun arrived at Henei, he heard the news of Shi Hu’s passing.

After returning from the campaign against Liang Du, many of the Zhao generals, including Yao Yizhong, Pu Hong, Liu Ning, the General Who Conquers The Caitiffs, Shi Min, and the General of 武衛, Wang Luan, encountered Shi Zun at Licheng. They all urged him, "Your Highness is the eldest son, and worthy. We know that the Emperor had originally considered appointing you as his heir, but in the confusion of his final years has heeded the evil advice of Zhang Chai. Now a woman controls court affairs, and evil ministers direct matters. The capital troops have all advanced against Shangbai, and the capital’s defenses lie empty. Your Highness ought to proclaim Zhang Chai’s crimes, and march against the capital while sounding the drums along the way. Not a man there will not cast aside their spears and throw open the gates to welcome you!" Shi Zun agreed.

五月,遵自李城舉兵,還趣鄴,洛州刺史劉國帥洛陽之衆往會之。檄至鄴,張豺大懼,馳召上白之軍。丙戌,遵軍于蕩陰,戎卒九萬,石閔爲前鋒。豺將出拒之,耆 舊、羯士皆曰:“彭城王來奔喪,吾當出迎之,不能爲張豺守城也!”逾城而出;豺斬之,不能止。張離亦帥騰二千,斬關迎遵。劉氏懼,召張豺入,對之悲哭 曰:“先帝梓宮未殯,而禍難至此!今嗣子沖幼,托之將軍,將軍將若之何?欲加遵重位,能弭之乎?”豺惶怖不知所出,但雲“唯唯”。乃下詔,以遵爲丞相,領 大司馬、大都督、督中外諸軍,錄尚書事,加黃鉞、九錫。己醜,遵至安陽亭,張豺懼而出迎,遵命執之。庚寅,遵擐甲曜兵,入自鳳陽門,升太武前殿,擗踴盡 哀,退如東閣。斬張豺于平樂市,夷其三族。假劉氏令曰:“嗣子幼沖,先帝私恩所授,皇業至重,非所克堪,其以遵嗣位。”于是遵即位,大赦,罷上白之圍。辛卯,封世爲譙王,廢劉氏爲太妃,尋皆殺之。李農來歸罪,使複其位。尊母鄭氏爲皇太后,立妃張氏爲皇后,故燕王斌子衍爲皇太子。以義陽王鑒爲侍中、太傅,沛 王沖爲太保,樂平王苞爲大司馬,汝陰王琨爲大將軍,武興公閔爲都督中外諸軍事、輔國大將軍。

16. In the fifth month, Shi Zun raised troops and set out from Licheng, marching for Ye. The Inspector of Luozhou, Liu Guo, led his troops from Luoyang to join them. When Shi Zun’s proclamation against Zhang Chai’s crimes reached Ye, Zhang Chai was greatly afraid, and ordered the capital army to return from Shangbai.

On the day Bingxu (June 12th), Shi Zun's army was at Dangyin; they had raised ninety thousand soldiers altogether, and Shi Min commanded the vanguard. When Zhang Chai was about to march out to oppose him, the old troops and the Jie soldiers all said, "The Prince of Pengcheng has come in mourning. We ought to be welcoming him. We will not defend the city on Zhang Chai's behalf!" They abandoned the city and went out; Zhang Chai killed a few of the fleeing soldiers, but he could not prevent the rest from escaping. Zhang Li led two thousand cavalry to force open the gate and welcome in Shi Zun.

Empress Dowager Liu was afraid, and summoned Zhang Chai to her. In tears, she said to him, "The late Emperor's coffin is still in the palace, and yet we face this disaster! My son is still young, so I entrusted him to your care, General. Now what are we to do? If we grant Shi Zun additional offices, will he be appeased?" Zhang Chai did not know how to respond, but could only wail “yes, yes”. Thus an edict was issued, appointing Shi Zun as Prime Minister, Grand Commander, acting Grand Marshal, chief of all military affairs, and control of the imperial secretariat, and he was given the Imperial accoutrements and the Nine Bestowments.

On the day Jichou (June 15th), Shi Zun reached Anyang Palace. Zhang Chai fearfully went out to welcome him, and Shi Zun ordered him arrested. On the day Gengyin (June 16th), wearing armor and leading his troops, Shi Zun entered Fengyang Gate, and went to the front of Taiwu Palace, where he stomped his feet and wailed in mourning. After this, he returned to the eastern hall. Zhang Chai was beheaded at the Pingle market square, and his family were killed to the third degree.

Shi Zun forged an edict from Empress Dowager Liu saying, "My son is young, and the late Emperor selected him through selfish regard and favoritism, but the affairs of state are weighty, and beyond his ability to conduct successfully. Thus, Shi Zun will assume the throne." Shi Zun then claimed the throne, proclaiming a general amnesty, and ordered the siege at Shangbai to be lifted. On the day Xinmao (June 17th), Shi Shi’s title was changed to Prince of Qiao, and the deposed Lady Liu was named as Consort Dowager. Both of them were secretly put to death.

Li Nong returned to answer for his crime (of having supported Shi Shi as heir), and he was reinstated in his position. Shi Zun honored his mother Lady Zheng as Empress Dowager. He named his consort Lady Zhang as Empress, and his late brother Shi Bin's son Shi Yan was named as Crown Prince. Shi Jian was appointed as Palace Attendant and Grand Tutor; the Prince of Pei, Shi Chong, was named as Grand Guardian; Shi Bao was named as Grand Marshal; the Prince of Ruyin, Shi Kun, was appointed Grand General; the Duke of Wuxing, Shi Min, was named as Grand General Who Upholds The State, in charge of all military affairs.


17. On the day Jiawu (June 20th), there was a great wind in Ye that knocked down trees. Thunder roared, and hailstones as large as basins and scoops fell. A fire broke out at the Taiwu and Huihua Palaces, and all the gates, terraces, and pavilions the fire reached were burnt to the ground. Most of the carriages and items of clothing were burnt, and precious metals and stones alike were destroyed. It took over a month to extinguish the flames.

Lady Wu Note: (used as measurement of volume; 10 sheng to a dou).

時沛王沖鎮薊,聞遵殺世自立,謂其僚佐曰:“世受先帝之命,遵輒廢而殺之,罪莫大焉!其敕內外戒嚴,孤將親討之。”于是留寧北將軍沐堅戍幽州,帥衆五萬自薊 南下,傳檄燕、趙,所在雲集;比至常山,衆十餘萬,軍于苑鄉;遇遵赦書,沖曰:“皆吾弟也;死者不可複追,何爲複相殘乎!吾將歸矣!”其將陳暹曰:“彭城 篡弑自尊,爲罪大矣!王雖北旆,臣將南轅。俟平京師,擒彭城,然後奉迎大駕。”沖乃複進。遵馳遣王擢以書喻沖,沖弗聽。遵使武興公閔及李農等帥精卒十萬討 之,戰于平棘,沖兵大敗。獲沖于元氏,賜死,坑其士卒三萬餘人。

18. At this time, Shi Chong was guarding Ji. When he heard that Shi Zun had killed Shi Shi and set himself up as emperor, he told his subordinates, "Shi Shi had the late Emperor's mandate. Now Shi Zun has overthrown and executed him; there can be no greater crime! Therefore I order that all the troops within and without be made ready to march, and I myself will campaign against him."

Shi Chong left the General Who Calms The North, Mu Jian, to guard Youzhou, while he personally led an army of fifty thousand men south from Ji, sending out proclamations of his intentions across the regions of Yan and Zhao. By the time he reached Changshan, his army had grown to over a hundred thousand strong, and they camped at Yuanxing.

There, they received Shi Zun's letter of amnesty. Shi Chong said, "Both Shi Zun and Shi Shi are my younger brothers. Nothing can bring back the dead, so is there any point in us still trying to destroy the other? I will go back!"

His general Chen Xian said, "The Prince of Pengcheng murdered the rightful heir and usurped the throne; this crime is too great! Even if you go north, I will point the shafts of my carriage south. Then I will pacify the capital, capture the Prince of Pengcheng, and afterwards welcome your arrival.” So Shi Chong marched on.

Shi Zun sent Wang Zhuo to mediate with Shi Chong, but Shi Chong would not listen. So Shi Zun sent Shi Min, Li Nong, and others to lead an army of a hundred thousand soldiers against Shi Chong. They fought a battle at Pingji, and Shi Chong's soldiers were greatly defeated. Shi Chong was captured at Yuanshi and was ordered to commit suicide. Thirty thousand of his troops were buried alive.


19. Shi Min said to Shi Zun, "Pu Hong is an exceptional man. With him guarding the Guanzhong area, I fear that the regions of Qin and Yong will not be under the state’s control very much longer. Even though he was appointed there by the late Emperor’s last will, it is well for Your Majesty to alter the appointment as you have come to the throne." Shi Zun agreed, and removed Pu Hong's authority, otherwise keeping the system as before. Pu Hong was angry, and returned to Fangtou, sending a messenger to offer submission to Jin.

燕平狄將軍慕容霸上書于燕王俊曰:“石虎窮凶極暴,天之所弃,餘燼僅存,自相魚肉。今中國倒懸,企望仁恤,若大軍一振,勢必投戈。”北平太守孫興亦表言:“ 石氏大亂,宜以時進取中原。”俊以新遭大喪,弗許。霸馳詣龍城,言于俊曰:“難得而易失者,時也。萬一石氏衰而復興,或有英雄據其成資,豈惟失此大利,亦 恐更爲後患。”俊曰:“鄴中雖亂,鄧恒據安樂,兵强糧足,今若伐趙,東道不可由也,當由盧龍;盧龍山徑險狹,虜乘高斷要,首尾爲患,將若之何?”霸曰:“ 恒雖欲爲石氏拒守,其將士顧家,人懷歸志,若大軍臨之,自然瓦解。臣請爲殿下前驅,東出徒河,潜趣令支,出其不意,彼聞之,勢必震駭,上不過閉門自守,下 不免弃城逃潰,何暇禦我哉!然則殿下可以安步而前,無複留難矣。”俊猶豫未决,以問五材將軍封弈,對曰:“用兵之道,敵强則用智,敵弱則用勢。是故以大吞 小,猶狼之食豚也;以治易亂,猶日之消雪也。大王自上世以來,積德累仁,兵强士練。石虎極其殘暴,死未瞑目,子孫爭國,上下乖亂。中國之民,墜于塗炭,廷 頸企踵以待振拔,大王若揚兵南邁,先取薊城,次指鄴都,宣耀威德,懷撫遺民,彼孰不扶老提幼以迎大王?凶黨將望旗冰碎,安能爲害乎!”從事中郎黃泓曰:“ 今太白經天,歲集畢北,天下易主,陰國受命,此必然之驗也,宜速出師,以承天意。”折沖將軍慕輿根曰:“中國之民困于石氏之亂,咸思易主以救湯火之急,此千載一時,不可失也。自武宣王以來,招賢養民,務農訓兵,正俟今日。今時至不取,更複顧慮,豈天意未欲使海內平定邪,將大王不欲取天下也?”俊笑而從之。 以慕容恪爲輔國將軍,慕容評爲輔弼將軍,左長史陽鶩爲輔義將軍,謂之“三輔”。慕容霸爲前鋒都督、建鋒將軍。選精兵二十餘萬,講武戒嚴,爲進取之計。

20. Yan's General Who Pacifies The Di, Murong Ba, wrote to Murong Jun saying, "Shi Hu was violent and cruel, and Heaven has abandoned his state. Whatever embers of his remain are squabbling with each other. The Middle Kingdom is in dire straits, and they are looking for someone of benevolence to save them. If you will send forth the army, all will cast aside their weapons and welcome you."

The Administrator of Beiping, Sun Xing, also wrote to Murong Jun, saying, "The Shi clan is in chaos; now is the time to attack the Central Plains." But Murong Jun was still in great mourning, and he would not agree to the requests.

Murong Ba rode his horse to Longcheng, to speak with Murong Jun in person. He told Murong Jun, "That which is difficult to gain and easy to lose, is opportunity. If the Shi clan is given the opportunity to recover from this calamity, or some hero takes over their ready-made base, then not only will we be squandering this great opportunity ourselves, but I fear it will spell trouble for us in the future."

Murong Jun said, "Although Ye is in chaos, Deng Heng holds Anle, and he is strong in both men and grain. If we attack Zhao now, then we would not be able to advance by the eastern road, so we would have to take the route through Lulong. But the path through the mountains of Lulong are narrow and dangerous. If the enemy holds the higher elevation and cuts off our path, and attack us from either end of the path, then what would we do?"

Murong Ba replied, “Although Deng Heng wishes to defend Anle on behalf of the Shi clan, his soldiers will all be more concerned about ensuring the safety of their own families. The men's thoughts will turn towards going home. Then, if we advance against them, they will all naturally abandon Deng Heng. I ask that Your Highness let me lead the advance. I will march in the east from Tuhe, secretly capture Lingqi, and take the enemy unawares. They will be completely astounded when they hear of it. If they are wise, they will just shut the gates to preserve their own lives, while if they are foolish, they will abandon the city and flee. Either way, they would have no time to fight against us. Who would possibly be left behind to oppose us? Then Your Highness may advance as well without any worries. There will be no other cause for reservations."

Murong Jun still hesitated to decide, and so he asked the General of the Five Elements, Feng Yi, for his thoughts. Feng Yi replied, "When choosing the path of war, one must fight a strong enemy with strategy, and a weak enemy with force. And thus, if you use a larger force to swallow up a smaller force, it is as easy as a wolf eating a pig. Likewise, if you use order to replace chaos, it will be as easy as the sun melting the snow. Since the reign of our late lord, you have cultivated virtue and nurtured benevolence, strengthened the soldiers and bound together the people. Meanwhile, Shi Hu was excessively violent and cruel, and his heirs are fighting amongst themselves while his body is still warm. Everywhere has been thrown into chaos. The people of the Middle Kingdom are wallowed in great misery, seeking someone to save them. Now if Your Highness takes troops and marches south, first securing Ji, and then marching against the capital Ye, while displaying your might and demonstrating your virtue, comforting and consoling the people who have lost their state, while the enemy has abandoned them, who among the people will not welcome you when you arrive to support the old and carry the young? The evildoers, upon seeing your banners, will splinter and be crushed like brittle ice. How could they cause you any harm?"

The Assistant Palace Attendant, Huang Hong, said, "Venus remains north of the Net constellation, and the harvest has already been gathered in the north. This is an unerring sign that the rule of the land will change hands, and a northern state will receive the Mandate. You should lead out the troops at once, to fulfill Heaven's will."

The General Who Breaks And Charges, Muyu Gen, said, "The people of the Middle Kingdom suffer under the instability of the Shi clan's feuding. They all dream about having a new ruler to save them from imminent tragedy. This is the chance of a lifetime; it cannot be squandered. From the days of Prince Wuxuan (Murong Hui) until now, the people have been nurtured, farming has been cultivated, and the troops have been supplied, all in readiness for this very day. If you do not seize the moment when it arrives, and instead worry about one thing after another, would it mean that Heaven has not yet willed for the realm to be pacified, or that Your Highness has no desire to conquer the empire?" Murong Jun, laughing, agreed with his admonishment.

Murong Jun appointed Murong Ke as General Who Upholds The State, Murong Ping as General Who Upholds Assistance, and the Chief Clerk of the Left, Yang Wu, as General Who Upholds Virtue; these three were called the "Three Upholders" (because each of their titles had the character 輔 Fu "upholds" in it). Murong Ba was appointed as Vanguard Commander and General Who Establishes The Vanguard. Two hundred thousand soldiers were trained in military matters and made ready to deploy.

Lady Wu Note: Regarding the General of 五材, it is likely derived from a line in the Zuo Commentary: “天生五材,民並用之,廢一不可,誰能去兵?” (Nature produces the five elements (metal, wood, water, fire, earth), and the people use them all equally. Not one of them can be dispensed with. [By the same token,] who can dispense with military might? )

石季龍之死也,趙魏亂,垂謂俊曰:「時來易失,赴機在速,兼弱攻昧,今其時矣。」俊以新遭大喪,不許。慕輿根言於俊曰:「王子之言,千載一時,不可失也。」俊乃從之,以垂為前鋒都督。(Jinshu 123.2)

After Shi Hu's death, the regions of Zhao and Wei were thrown into chaos. Murong Chui said to Murong Jun, "When opportunity comes, it is easily lost. You should grasp this opportunity quickly to annex the weak and attack the confused. Now is the time to act." But Murong Jun had only just begun the mourning for their late father, and he would not allow it.

Then Muyu Gen said to Murong Jun, "Listen to the Prince's words. This is the chance of a lifetime. You cannot let it pass you by." So Murong Jun agreed, and he appointed Murong Chui as Commander of the Vanguard.


20. In the sixth month, Shi Hu was buried at Xianyuan Tomb. His posthumous name was Emperor Wu, and his temple name was Taizu.


21. In Jin, when Huan Wen heard of the civil war among the Shi princes, he moved to camp at Anlu, and sent several generals to forward positions to make preparations for any activities that might be conducted in the north.

Zhao's Inspector of Yangzhou, Wang Jia, surrendered his city of Shouchun to Jin. The General of the Gentlemen of the Palace of the West, Chen Kui, marched to take possession of Shouchun. The Grand General Who Conquers The North, Chu Pou (who was then at Jingkou), requested permission for a northern campaign against Zhao. The soldiers were made ready for military action, and troops were moved to Sikou.

The court discussed Chu Pou's proposal. They felt that as Chu Pou held a high position, it was unfitting for him to campaign into the enemy country himself; rather, a separate force should be sent instead. Chu Pou submitted a memorial stating, "I have already first sent Wang Yizhi and others to make straight for Pengcheng, and after that I sent Mi Yi to capture Xiapi. So now we should move quickly, and so seize the momentum."

In autumn, the seventh month, Chu Pou was further appointed as Grand Commander, in charge of military affairs for Xuzhou, Yanzhou, Qingzhou, Yangzhou, and Yuzhou. He personally led thirty thousand men to capture Pengcheng. Thousands of the northern people surrendered to Jin every day.

朝野皆以爲中原指期可複,光祿大夫蔡謨獨謂所親曰:“胡滅誠爲大慶,然恐更貽朝廷之憂。”其人曰:“何謂也?”謨曰:’夫能順天乘時,濟群生于艱難者,非上 聖與英雄不能爲也,自餘則莫若度德量力。觀今日之事,殆非時賢所及,必將經營分表,疲民以逞;既而材略疏短,不能副心,財殫力竭,智勇俱困,安得不憂及朝 廷乎!”

22. Both the Jin court and those in the field believed that the Central Plains could soon be retaken. Only the Household Counselor Cai Mo dissented, saying to those with him, “Defeating the barbarians would be honest cause for a grand celebration. But I fear that it would present the court with even greater concerns."

The others said, "Why do you say that?"

Cai Mo replied, “Only if one is the most preeminent of sages and heroes can one rescue the populace from great calamity, by following Heaven’s will and taking advantage of the opportunities of the times. The rest of us should just do an honest reckoning of our own virtues and abilities. I do not see this current matter (of invading Zhao) as something that can be accomplished by anyone of our times. All that will happen is that the operation will be run piecemeal and incoherently, with glory pursued at the expense of exhausting the populace. At the end, due to a lack of talent and knowledge, nothing will be achieved as desired; when money and strength are used up, and wits and courage depleted, how can the court be spared from worry?”


23. Five hundred families from Lujun rose up as soldiers for Jin, and asked Chu Pou for aid. He sent the generals Wang Kan and Li Mai with three thousand elite soldiers to welcome them. Zhao’s Grand Commander Who Campaigns Against The South, Li Nong, dispatched twenty thousand cavalry to fight Wang Kan and the others at Daibei. Wang Kan and the others were defeated, and all were expelled from Zhao. In the eighth month, Chu Pou fell back to garrison at Guangling. When Chen Kui heard this, he torched the grain around Shouchun, burned the city and fled. Chu Pou asked to be demoted, but the court refused, only ordering him to return to guard Jingkou and removing him from his position as Commander of the expeditionary force.

At that time, because of the great turmoil north of the Yellow River, more than two hundred thousand people had crossed over it, wishing to come to Jin. However, by then Chu Pou had already withdrawn and could no longer provide them with protection, so the refugees were exposed and could not make it back, and many were slaughtered.


24. Shi Bao plotted to lead troops from Guanyou to attack Ye. When his Chief Clerk of the Left, Shi Guang, his Marshal Cao Yao, and others remonstrated with him, Shi Bao became angry and killed Shi Guang and a hundred others.

Shi Bao was of a greedy nature, and he was not clever. The people of Yongzhou knew he could not succeed, so they sent word to Jin informing them of the situation, and Jin's Inspector of Lianzhou, Sima Xun, marched to respond.


Sima Xun was the great-great-grandson of Sima Yi's nephew, the Prince of Jinan Sima Sui (the son of Sima Yi's brother Sima Xun).

楊初襲趙西城,破之。九月,凉州官屬共上張重華爲丞相、凉王、雍、秦、凉三州牧。重華屢以錢帛賜左右寵臣;又喜博弈,頗廢政事。從事索振諫曰:“先王夙夜勤 儉以實府庫,正以仇耻未雪,志平海內故也。殿下嗣位之初,强寇侵逼,賴重餌之故,得戰士死力,僅保社稷。今蓄積已虛而寇仇尚在,豈可輕有耗散,以與無功之人乎!昔漢光武躬親萬機,章奏詣闕,報不終日,故能隆中興之業。今章奏停滯,動經時月,下情不得上通,沉冤困于囹圄,殆非明主之事也。”重華謝之。

25. The Duke of Chouchi, Yang Chu, attacked Zhao's city of Xicheng, and took it.

In the ninth month, the officials of Liangzhou several times asked that Zhang Chonghua assume the titles of Prime Minister, Prince of Liang, and Governor of Yongzhou, Qinzhou, and Liangzhou.

Zhang Chonghua often bestowed gifts of gold and silks upon his favored attendants. He also liked to spend time playing chupu and yiqi, while neglecting the affairs of government. The Assistant Officer Suo Zhen remonstrated with him, saying, "The late Prince worked hard day and night to strengthen the government and fill the warehouses, so that we would be ready to wipe away the dynasty's shame, and he desired to pacify all within the seas. After Your Highness came to the throne, we were invaded by strong enemies. It was only because large rewards were given that our warriors fought with all their might, and our state was barely saved. When we have already spent so much, and the hated enemy is still alive, how can you so casually give away our wealth, and to those who have done nothing to earn it? During the Han dynasty, Emperor Guangwu would personally attend to every affair. When reports and petitions arrive at his desk, he would reply to them before the end of the day. This was how he was able to achieve the restoration of the empire. But these days, reports and petitions are backlogged for months. Information from below do not make it to you, while the innocent languish in prison. This, I fear, is not how a wise lord should act." Zhang Chonghua apologized to him.

Chupu and Yiqi were popular board games of the time.


26. Sima Xun marched through Luo Valley, capturing Zhao's city of Changcheng. He halted at Xuangou, two hundred li from Chang'an. Sima Xun sent his 治中 Liu Huan to attack Chang'an. He killed Zhao's Administrator of Jingzhao, Liu Xiuli, and he also captured Hecheng. The people of the Three Adjuncts around Chang’an killed the Zhao commanders there and welcomed Sima Xun. Over thirty fortified places went over to him, and a host of fifty thousand men.

Shi Bao halted his plans to attack Ye, and sent his generals Ma Qiu, Yao Guo, and others to stop Sima Xun. Shi Zun also dispatched the General of Cavalry and Chariots, Wang Lang, with twenty thousand cavalry, ostensibly to attack Sima Xun, but also to arrest Shi Bao and bring him back to Ye. Sima Xun had few troops, and he feared Wang Lang, so he dared not advance.

In winter, the tenth month, Sima Xun abandoned Xuangou. He captured Wancheng, killing Zhao's Administrator of Nanyang, Yuan Jing, before returning to Lianzhou.


Changcheng was the site of a battle between Sima Wang and Deng Ai against Jiang Wei during one of Jiang’s northern campaigns.

初, 趙主遵之發李城也,謂武興公閔曰:“努力!事成,以爾爲太子。”既而立太子衍。閔恃功。欲專朝政,遵不聽。閔素驍勇,屢立戰功,夷、夏宿將皆憚之。既爲都督,總內外兵權,乃撫循殿中將士,皆奏爲殿中員外將軍,爵關外侯。遵弗之疑,而更題名善惡以挫抑之,衆鹹怨怒。中書令孟准、左衛將軍王鸞勸遵稍奪閔兵權, 閔益恨望,准等鹹勸誅之。

27. When Shi Zun’s army had set out from Licheng, Shi Zun had told Shi Min, "Exert yourself! When we are successful, you shall be my Crown Prince." But in the end, he chose Shi Yan as his Crown Prince instead.

Shi Min felt that Shi Zun’s success was due to his efforts. He wished to be placed in charge of court affairs, but Shi Zun would not hear of it. Shi Min was a great warrior, and had won many battles. All the veteran commanders both from the tribes and the Chinese lands feared him. Since becoming Commander, he held power over both the army and the palace troops, and he bought the loyalty of the captains and soldiers of the palace by petitioning for them to made Supernumerary Palace Generals and granted Marquisates Within The Passes. Although Shi Zun did not question these recommendations, he made his own judgments of the people whom Shi Min had selected, which earned their ire and resentment.

The Prefect of the Palace Secretariat, Meng Zhun, and the Guard General of the Left, Wang Luan, asked Shi Zun to slightly curtail Shi Min’s military authority. When this caused Shi Min to become disgruntled, they then urged that Shi Zun should execute Shi Min.

十一月,遵召義陽王鑒、樂平王苞、汝陽王琨、淮南王昭等入議于鄭太后前,曰:“閔不臣之迹漸著,今欲誅之,如何?”鑒等皆曰:“宜然!”鄭氏曰:“李城還兵,無棘奴,豈有今日!小驕縱之,何可遽殺!”鑒出,遣宦者楊環馳以告閔。閔遂劫李農及右衛將軍王基密謀廢遵,使將軍蘇彥、周成帥甲士三千人執遵于南台。 遵方與婦人彈棋,問成曰:“反者誰也?”成曰:“義陽王鑒當立。”遵曰:“我尚如是,鑒能幾時!”遂殺之于琨華殿,幷殺鄭太后、張後、太子衍、孟准、王鸞及上光祿張斐。鑒即位,大赦。以武興公閔爲大將軍,封武德王,司空李農爲大司馬,幷錄尚書事。郎闓爲司空,秦州刺史劉群爲尚書左僕射,侍中盧諶爲中書監。

28. In the eleventh month, Shi Zun summoned Shi Jian, Shi Bao, Shi Kun, the Prince of Runan, Shi Zhao, and others to a council meeting in the presence of his mother, Empress Dowager Zheng Yingtao. He told them, "Signs of Shi Min’s disloyalty are becoming more and more evident, and today I plan to execute him. What say you?"

Shi Jian and the others all said, "We agree!" But Lady Zheng said, "When you were setting out at Liyang, how else could you have reached today without Jinu (Shi Min’s childhood name)? If he is a bit arrogant, is that any reason to kill him?"

Shi Jian left the meeting, and sent his subordinate, the eunuch Yang Huan, by horse to alert Shi Min. Shi Min then dragooned Li Nong and the Guard General of the Right, Wang Ji, into a plot to depose Shi Zun. He sent the generals Su Yan and Zhou Cheng with three thousand soldiers to seize Shi Zun at the Southern Terrace.

Shi Zun was playing danqi with a woman there. He asked Zhou Cheng, "Who is the rebel?"

Zhou Cheng replied, "Shi Jian ought to ascend the throne."

Shi Zun said, "So long as I am here, Shi Jian shall have to wait his turn!"

So they killed Shi Zun at the Kunhua Palace. They also killed Empress Dowager Zheng, Empress Zhang, Crown Prince Shi Yan, Meng Zhun, Wang Luan, and the Upper Household Counselor, Zhang Fei.

Shi Jian then took the throne, and declared a general amnesty. He appointed Shi Min as Grand General, along with the title Prince of Wude. Li Nong was made the Grand Marshal, and put in charge of the imperial secretariat. Lang Kai was appointed the new Minister of Works, the Inspector of Qinzhou, Liu Qun, was named as Director of the Left of the Masters of Writing, and the Palace Attendant Lu Chen was appointed Palace Secretary.


This was the Southern Terrace of the Three Terraces of Ye. The Commentary on the Water Classic says, "South of the Copper Bird Terrace was the Golden Bird Terrace. It was eight zhang tall, and had a hundred and ninety rooms."

The Chronicles of the Book of Jin states, "Shi Hu had Upper and Central Household Counselors, each of whom had Left and Right Household Counsellors." (106.51)

Danqi was a game that first became popular during the Han dynasty. Two players, one black and one white, each try to attack each other with six pieces.

秦、雍流民相帥西歸,路由枋頭,共推蒲洪爲主,衆至十餘萬。洪子健在鄴,斬關出奔枋頭。鑒懼洪之逼,欲以計遣之,乃以洪爲都督關中諸軍事、征西大將軍、雍州 牧、領秦州刺史。洪會官屬,議應受與不;主簿程樸請且與趙連和,如列國分境而治。洪怒曰:“吾不堪爲天子邪,而雲列國乎!”引樸斬之。

29. The old refugees from Qinzhou and Yongzhou all wished to return to the west again. They traveled to Fangtou, asking for Pu Hong to become their leader; they numbered a hundred thousand in total. Pu Hong's son Pu Jian was at Ye; he cut his way out through the gates and fled to Fangtou.

Shi Jian was concerned about Pu Hong, and wished to send him away, so he appointed Pu Hong as Commander of Guanzhong affairs, Grand General Who Conquers The West, Governor of Yongzhou, and Inspector of Qinzhou. Pu Hong met with his subordinates, and asked whether or not he should accept these ranks. The Registrar Cheng Pu asked that he unite with Zhao, and that they should each administer their own territories as "neighboring states" (presumably as Jin vassals). Pu Hong angrily said, "Then you think I am insufficient to be the Son of Heaven, only fit to be a neighboring state, eh? " He had Cheng Pu dragged out and decapitated.


30. Chu Pou returned to Jingkou. When he heard the sound of many people crying, he inquired into it, and those around him said, "They are the relatives of those who died at the battle of Daibei." Chu Pou, deeply ashamed, fell ill; in the twelfth month, on the day Jiyou (January 1st), he passed away. He was posthumously known as Marquis Yuanmu of Duxiang.

The Interior Minister of Wu, Xun Xian, was appointed as Commissioner Bearing Credentials and leader of military affairs in Xuzhou, Yanzhou, and Jinling commandary in Yangzhou; he was also named Inspector of Xuzhou. At that time, he was twenty-eight. Since the time of the restoration of Jin (by Sima Rui), none of the other border commanders had been as young as him.


31. Shi Jian sent Shi Bao, the Prefect of the Palace Secretariat, Li Song, and the General of the Central Hall, Zhang Cai, to launch a night attack on Shi Min and Li Nong at the Kunhua Palace. However, the attack was a failure, and great confusion broke out among the guards. Shi Jian, afraid, pretended that he knew nothing of the matter, and that night executed Li Song and Zhang Cai at the western gate, and then had Shi Bao killed as well.


32. Zhao’s Prince of Xinxing, Shi Zhi, was another of Shi Hu's sons. During this time he had been guarding Xiangguo. He coordinated with Yao Yizhong, Pu Hong, and others, and he sent out proclamations near and far, announcing his wish to jointly attack Shi Min and Li Nong. Shi Min and Li Nong named Shi Kun as Grand Marshal, and sent him along with Zhang Ju and the Palace Attendant Huyan Sheng to lead seventy thousand horse and foot against Shi Zhi and the others.

中領軍石成、侍中石啓、前河東太守石輝謀誅閔、農;閔、農皆殺之。龍驤將軍孫伏都、劉銖等帥羯士三千伏于胡天,亦欲誅閔、農。鑒在中台,伏都帥三十餘人將升台挾鑒以攻之。鑒見伏都毀閣道,臨問其故。伏都曰:“李農等反,已在東掖門。臣欲帥衛士以討之,謹先啓知。”鑒曰:“卿是功臣,好爲官陳力。朕從臺上觀, 卿勿慮無報也。”于是伏都、銖帥衆攻閔、農,不克,屯于鳳陽門。閔、農帥衆數千毀金明門而入。鑒懼閔之殺己,馳招閔、農,開門內之,謂曰:“孫伏都反,卿宜速討之。”閔、農攻斬伏都等,自鳳陽至琨華,橫尸相枕,流血成渠。宣令內外六夷,敢稱兵仗者斬。胡人或斬關、或逾城而出者,不可勝數。

33. The Directing General of the Palace, Shi Cheng, the Palace Attendant, Shi Qi, and the former Administrator of Hedong, Shi Hui plotted to kill Shi Min and Li Nong. But Shi Min and Li Nong killed them all.

The Dragon-Soaring General, Sun Fudou, Liu Zhu, and others led three thousand Jie soldiers to lay an ambush at Hutian, also hoping to kill Shi Min and Li Nong. Shi Jian was in the Central Terrace; Sun Fudou led thirty men towards the terrace, planning to ascend, hold Shi Jian hostage, and force him to join the attack on Shi Min. When Shi Jian saw Sun Fudou destroy the walkway, he asked what was going on. Sun Fudou said, "Li Nong and the others are rebels, and they are already at the Dongye Gate. I wish to lead the guards to attack them. I came to inform you first."

Shi Jian replied, "You are an accomplished minister. Go ahead and fight hard for Us. We will watch you from the terrace. Do not worry about the reward after."

Sun Fudou and Liu Zhu then marched to attack Shi Min and Li Nong, but they were not successful, and they fell back to hold the Fengyang Gate. Shi Min and Li Nong led a crowd of a thousand soldiers to force passage into the Jinming Gate. Shi Jian was afraid that Shi Min would kill him, so he hurried to welcome Shi Min and Li Nong, opened the gate to let them inside, and told them, "Sun Fudou has turned traitor; you should put him down at once." Shi Min and Li Nong attacked and killed Sun Fudou and the others; from the Fengyang Gate to the Kunhua Palace, the path was strewn with fallen bodies, and blood flowed freely.

An order was proclaimed that any barbarian who dared to carry soldiers' weapons would be killed. Many of the tribesmen cut their way out of the gates or climbed over the walls and so fled, numbered beyond measure.

Lady Wu Note: 官 is like 官家 in an earlier book.

閔使尚書王簡、少府王郁帥衆數千守鑒于禦龍觀,懸食以給之。下令城中曰:“近日孫、劉構逆,支黨伏誅,良善一無預也。今日已後,與官同心者留,不同者各任所 之。敕城門不復相禁。”于是趙人百里內悉入城,胡、羯去者填門。閔知胡之不爲己用,班令內外:“趙人斬一胡首送鳳陽門者,文官進位三等,武官悉拜牙門。” 一日之中,斬首數萬。閔親帥趙人以誅胡、羯,無貴賤、男女、少長皆斬之,死者二十餘萬,尸諸城外,悉爲野犬豺狼所食。其屯戍四方者,閔皆以書命趙人爲將帥者誅之,或高鼻多須濫死者半。

34. Shi Min sent the Master of Writing, Wang Jian, and the Minister Steward, Wang Yu, with thousands of soldiers to keep Shi Jian under careful watch. They brought food to Shi Jian by hoisting it up with a rope.

An order went out through the city stating, "In recent days, Sun Fudou and Liu Zhu held traitorous designs. They and their co-conspirators have all been brought to justice. No good and innocent person was involved in this. From this day forward, those whose hearts are with the court may stay, and others may go where they please. Let no one block passage through the gates." Many of the Zhao people (that is, of Han ethnicity) within a hundred li flooded into the city, while the Jie and other tribal people rushed out of the gates.

Shi Min then knew that the tribal peoples would never help him, so another order was issued: "Any Zhao man who brings the head of a barbarian to the Fengyang Gate will be advanced three ranks if a minister or receive a reward if an officer." In the space of a single day, many tens of thousands of tribesmen were killed and their heads taken. Shi Min personally led the Zhao men to slaughter the Jie and other tribesmen; whether rich or poor, man or woman, young or old, all were killed, and the dead numbered over two hundred thousand. The corpses were brought outside the city, and left in the field for wild beasts to eat. As for tribemen garrisoned on the borders, Shi Min wrote to all the commanders who were of Zhao ethnicity, ordering them to kill their tribesman subordinates. More than half the dead were Han men with high noses or large beards (facial features like the tribesmen).


35. Murong Jun sent word to Liangzhou, asking Zhang Chonghua to participate in a joint attack against Zhao.


36. The king of Goguryeo, Go Soe, sent Yan’s former Colonel of Eastern Tribes, Song Huang, back to Yan. Murong Jun pardoned him, and further changed Song Huang’s first name to Huo, and welcomed him as a Commandant of the Capital.

This was the same Song Huang who had been a Yan officer, but who had defected to Zhao during Shi Hu’s invasion of Yan in 338, and who had then fled to Goguryeo; thus the pardon. Murong Jun changed Song Huang’s name because of the taboo on anyone using the same name, Huang, as his late father.
Last edited by Taishi Ci 2.0 on Wed Jun 21, 2017 4:42 pm, edited 15 times in total.
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