Zizhi Tongjian: The Jin Dynasty (Part 2)

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Re: ZZTJ Translations: The Sixteen Kingdoms Era (Books 95-10

Unread postby Lady Wu » Thu Jun 22, 2017 1:56 am

358: Dying of emotion when bound in the rain is such BS. A certain horse found Jia Jian.

1. 司徒昱稽首歸政: more specifically, handing the reins back to Emperor Mu (and not necessarily resigning from all responsibilities)

3. 能曳牛卻走 = walk backward dragging an ox

城無高下,皆可超越 = He was able to scale any city wall, high or low. (城’s primary meaning is “city walls”)

出入秦陳者四、五 = He rode into Qin’s formation and out again, four or five times.

堅募人生致之 = Fu Jian asked for Zhang Qi to be captured alive.

鷹揚將軍呂光刺蚝,中之= The General of Hawkish Display, Lu Guang, thrust his spear at Zhang Qi and hit him.

鄧羌擒蚝以獻 = Deng Qiang captured Zhang Qi and brought him back to Fu Jian. (獻 = to offer, as in to bring him back to Fu Jian as a trophy)

The people of Qin called Zhang Hao: Zhang Qi ;) (I keep saying Hao too)

4. 燕主俊遣領軍將軍慕輿根,將兵助司徒評攻馮鴦: Logically what you have isn’t wrong, but this is more like “Murong Jun sent Muyu Gen to help Murong Ping attack Feng Yang. Murong Ping had set off first and was the leader of the campaign, which your translation doesn’t reflect.

賊謂國家力止於此 = The enemies believe that our (the nation’s) strength is limited to this

遂相固結,冀幸萬一 = and thus they will stand united with each other, hoping for a lucky break.

形勢方振 = our morale has just been boosted

皆有離心: “all of them have their hearts divided” sounds like each man was feeling conflicted within, but this means everyone was thinking of deserting or something

計慮未定 = (conjoined with previous clause) and they (the enemy) have yet to settle on a strategy.

從而攻之 = If we take aadvantage of this and attack them

鴦與其黨果相猜忌: 其黨 = his ilk? Not necessarily “partisans”, just people in his camp. 果相猜忌 echoes the previous line about how everyone was just thinking for himself, so, “indeed, Feng Yang and his followers began to suspect one another”

其黨盡降 = and his followers all surrendered (Feng Yang didn’t)

言鴦心僥倖於萬一可以保城也= This is saying, Feng Yang’s heart held onto the hope that they might just be able to keep the city.

6. 訪於僕射王彪之: maybe use an active clause? “Sima Yu paid Wang Biaozhi a visit.”

然溫居上流,已割天下之半,其弟復處西籓;兵權萃於一門,非深根固蒂之宜。人才非可豫量,但當令不與殿下作異者耳。= But Huan Wen is already in charge of the upper reaches of the Yangtze, and thus half of the realm; if you further place his younger brother on the western border, all military power of the realm would be concentrated into the hands of one family (一門)—this is hardly an advisable route to ensuring stability in the country. Of course, one cannot predict talented people; just ensure that you don’t have someone who will defy you.

司、豫、冀、幷所統,皆僑郡也: see earlier note (a few years ago?) on “pretend provinces”. This is saying that the provinces referred to are all “make-believe” ones.

7. 才流經通: defined by HSX in his notes: 言其才具可以經世,於時人流輩中爲通達也。”this phrase means he had the talents to managing the realm, and was perceptive and insightful among his peers”

使之處廊廟,固是後來之秀 = If he is placed in a position in the imperial court, he will surely become an outstanding character of the younger generation

今以之俯順荒餘,近是違才易務矣 = But now you have him go take care of ravished lands. This is almost like you’re appointing him to the opposite of his abilities.

言邊郡兵民皆兵荒之餘,彫瘵未蘇而獷悍難調,當俯就而柔順之;今萬非其才而用之,則爲違才。以萬之才可以處廊廟,而使之處邊鄙,則爲易事。: This is HSX expounding on the previous line: “the text is saying, the people who live in the border commandaries, having just survived wars, were living in great destitution and thus were wild and difficult to control. So the proper thing to do would be to tame them by appeasing them and showing them kindness. Now, Xie Wan was not that kind of talent, but he was employed in such a position. This is what “違才” refers to. With Xie Wan’s talents, he could hold his own in the imperial court, but instead he was sent to the distant borderlands. This is what “易事” means.

以君邁往不屑之韻: defined by HSX in “言其矜高不屑軍中之細務也”—“this is saying that Xie Wan held himself to be high beyond the mundane matters of running an army”. The original line might be rendered as: “Sir, given that you are inclined to hold yourself to be above mundane matters,”

而俯同群碎,誠難為意也。然所謂通識,正當隨事行藏耳。= it is understandable that this matter is not to your liking, since you are now sent to be among the common people. However, the idea of being “insightful and wise” means one should adjust his behaviour according to the situation he is in.

8. Xie Wan became Inspector of Xuzhou: should be Yuzhou

堅減膳徹樂 : cut meals and abolished entertainment

開山澤之利 ,公私共之 = he opened up the lands in the hills and by the lakes, allowing them to be used by both the government and the public.

息兵: 兵 should be interpreted as “weapons, military activity”. So this is more accurately “halted military activities” (which of course entailed the soldiers got some rest, but has other implications like reduced defence spending)

9. 王猛日親幸用事: Close, it’s actually “gaining more favours and powers by the day”

不然,吾不處世!= literally, “Else, I will not live on this earth anymore!” (this has nothing to do with his name). Maybe “Else I’m not a man!”?

然後百寮可肅。= And then the other ministers will show respect. (implying to Wang Meng)

10. 欲中立以自固 = desiring self-preservation through remaining neutral.

陽騖攻昌別將於黎陽 = Yang Wu attacked one of Gao Chan’s subordinates at Liyang

歷奔滎陽,其眾皆降 = Li Li fled to Xingyang, but his men all surrendered (Li Li didn’t)

撫之: I haven’t decided on a translation that I like, but this is closer to “comfort, pacify, settle” than “nurture”. It’s like he’s supposed to go there and tell the people not to panic and life is all good, etc.

11. 略地河南,分置守宰。= He took over the lands of Henan, and assigned officials to the local governments.

後漢 = During the Later Han

陽平郡 = Yangping commandary

12. 令州郡校實見丁: HSX defines校實 in his notes: 檢校其實數也—“校實 means to check and verify the actual numbers”. 見 is often used interchangeably with 現. So this is saying, “He ordered each province and commandary to check and verify the number of men currently living in each place.

寬其期日 = and granted an extension on the date

13. 时燕调发繁数 = At that time, numerous military drafts and levies were being conducted in Yan

自今非军期严急,不得遣使 = From now on, except for urgent matters relating to meeting military deadlines, let them not send messengers.

自馀赋发皆责成州郡 = Let the local offices (“the provinces and commandaries”) be responsible for all other matters relating to drafts and levies

其群司所遣弹督先在外者,一切摄还。= Recall everyone that was sent by the ministries to inspect and hurry the local offices.

14. 固守亦不能免 = Even with defending, we can’t avoid death. (the object of 免, “avoid”, is omitted and implied; the customary suspects are “death”, “downfall”, loss”, "Bad Things", etc.)

吾自結髮,志立功名,而每值窮厄,豈非命乎!= Since I have come of age (aka worn my hair in a topknot like a man), I had vowed to achieve something and make a name for myself. But at every turn (每) I am faced with insurmountable perils. What is this, if not fate?

我如欲逃,必不相遣 = If I had wanted to escape, I would not have sent you away.

今當為卿曹決鬥,若勢不能支,卿等可趣去 = Now I will go fight a final battle for your sake. But if my strength is insufficient to hold them off, you must hurry and flee.

晉自棄中華,非吾叛也: the tone is more like, “It’s Jin who abandoned the Central Lands; I have abandoned no one.”

民既無主,強則托命 = Since the people had no lord over them, they had to entrust their lives to whoever was the strongest.

既已事人,安可改節!= Now that I have pledged to serve someone, how can I bow to another?

吾束脩自立 = Ever since I began schooling and set my own path

羨復責之: 責 = to admonish, to chastise

堅發此言,江東將相其愧多矣 = These words of Jia Jian’s should make Southland generals and ministers alike feel ashamed.

謂從師就學,便有志於自立: HSX’s explanation of the phrase “束脩自立” : “This is saying that since he followed a teacher and began to study, he had decided to become independent (literally, to stand firm on his own)

慢羨而孩視之也= he was being arrogant to Xun Xian and treating him as a boy. (not his own child necessarily, just being patronizing) (I’m wondering in “Son, leave your old man alone”, if it’d be better to use “boy” instead of “son”, for the pejorative sense with less of a familial care tone)

言若駕御兒女然 = 御 means to mind the business of someone, like one’s children

16. 荀羨疾篤 = Xu Xian became gravely ill

17. 段氏才高性烈 = Lady Duan was talented but of a fierce temperament.

段與慕容本抗衡之國,故自以爲貴姓 = The Duans and the Murongs used to be opposing states, and that’s why she felt her name was of a high class.

為巫蠱: Not sure “magicians” fully conveys the meaning here—it’s more like they were engaged in witchcraft (or voodoo, for black magic against someone)

俊收段氏及弼下大長秋、延尉考驗 = Murong Jun arrested Lady Duan and Gao Bi, and sent them to be interrogated by the Manager of the Empress’s Palace and the Chief Justice

段氏及弼志氣確然,終無撓辭 = They were firm in spirit and admitted to nothing.

掠治日急 = The beatings and interrogation were growing harsher by the day

垂愍之 = Murong Chui felt sorry for them

人生會當一死 = Everyone must die eventually

何堪楚毒如此!不若引服。= Why continue bearing this torture? You might as well admit to it.

段氏歎曰:「吾豈愛死者耶!若自誣以惡逆 = Lady Duan sighed and said, “Am I one to begrudge death? But if I falsely admit to evil and traitorous acts...”

辯答益明 = From then on, her responses to her interrogators became even better and better (益) articulated

引服,自引而誣服也 = 引服 means to bear witness against oneself and to admit guilt wrongly.

後眾盡歸劉悉勿祈 =his followers who were left behind all joined Liu Xiwuqi
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Re: ZZTJ Translations: The Sixteen Kingdoms Era (Books 95-10

Unread postby Lady Wu » Thu Jun 22, 2017 11:06 pm

359: Jin continues to be an embarrassment

2. 勤弟思来奔: fled to Jin

3. 好施,八也 = eighth, he was generous

卿譽之雖過,然此兒在,吾死無憂矣 = Although your praise was exaggerated, if he were still alive, I may die with no regrets

此其所以為損也 = this detracts from his virtues

伯陽之言,藥石之惠也,汝宜誡之!= Boyang’s words are good medicine. You would do well to heed them!

暐甚不平 = Murong Wei was very indignant.

4. 數其殘暴之罪而鞭之 = He listed Shi Hu’s crimes against humanity (literally, “his crimes of cruelty and tyranny) and flogged the corpse

屍倚橋柱不流 = The body caught against the bridge pillar and did not flow further.

(I feel like the explanation of Fu Jian’s honouring Shi Hu needs to be a “translator’s note”, since it’s not in the main text.)

東明觀 : Should be a Daoist temple

史終言之 = The text is summarizing the story here.

5. 未克而卒 = but died before he had vanquished him.

7. 由是人情不附 : Maybe better as “so he did not gain general support from the people”—it’s not just people weren’t his close buddies, but more like no one wanted to support him.

因廢涼王玄靚而代之 = So he deposed Zhang Xuanjing and took over his position.

壯士: strong man? brawler? fighter?

奄入南城 = suddenly (奄) rode through the southern city gate

及末年,任所遊處,不復依四時而居。= In his later years, he would stay wherever he pleased, and no longer changed his dwellings by the season.

任為心膂 = and employed him as his right-hand man (literally, “employed him [in a position as trusted and central] as his heart and spine”)

9. 掠人財貨、子女 = plundering people’s possessions, children, and womenfolk.

為百姓患 = He was a scourge on the common people.

猛下車收德,奏未及報,已陳屍於市 = As soon as Wang Meng arrived at his new office (like, he just got out of his car), he arrested Qiang De. And before his memorial had been delivered to Fu Jian, Qiang De’s corpse was already put on display in the marketplace.

疾惡糾案 = condemning the evil, and setting right cases that were tried wrongly

無所顧忌 = without fear or hesitation

殺戮、刑免 = were executed or removed from their positions

凶 = to do violent things

11. 詔謝萬軍下蔡 = an edict ordered Xie Wang to encamp at Xiacai

郗曇軍高平以擊燕 = and Chi Tan to encamp at Gaoping in order to attack Yan.

但以嘯詠自高 = given to wild roaring and singing to show off his elevated status

宜數接對諸將以悅其心 = you must interact with the officers frequently to please their hearts

直以如意指四坐云 = he used his ruyi (如意 is an ornamental object in the form of a short sceptre: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ruyi_(scepter)) to point all around and said

諸將益恨之 = all the generals hated him even more (益)

如意,鐵如意也 = the如意 he had was a metal ruyi

所以益恨也 = and thus their grudge against him grew deeper

乃自隊帥以下,無不親造,厚相親托 = so, he paid personal visits (親造) to everyone from (自) section commanders (隊帥) to those beneath them (以下), and implored them earnestly (the object is omitted here, but it’s understood that he implored them to give him face, and for his sake, work with his stupid brother)

萬以為燕兵大盛,故曇退,即引兵還 = Xie Wan believed that to be a sign of an increase of Yan forces, and that’s why when Chi Tan retreated, he withdrew as well

萬狼狽單歸 = Xie Wan escaped alone frantically.

軍士欲因其敗而圖之,以安故而止 = His men wanted to take advantage of him due to his loss, but only stopped because of Xie An.

既至 = Upon his return

降曇號建武將軍 = and Chi Tan was demoted to be the General who Establish Valor

相次皆沒於燕。= fell to Yan one by one.

山桑 = Shansang

尋遷太子詹事 = and later on transferred him to be Manager of the Crown Prince’s Palace

餘官如故 = and kept his previous positions.

勝殘致治之主也 = he will be a ruler who can defeat the wicked and bring about good governance.

汝善遇之 = You must treat him well.

15. 居中宿衛: a guard position that is permitted to stay overnight in the inner palace ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

詹事: Manager of the Crown Prince’s Palace

領選如故 = while continuing to perform his duties in the previously-granted positions.

處士: a man of virtue who has hitherto declined office

16. 燕所征郡國兵悉集鄴城。= All the soldiers that Yan drafted from the local states gathered at Ye.

去年所徵,今乃悉集: Don’t think you translated this one: “The soldiers drafted from last year were only now gathered.”
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Re: ZZTJ Translations: The Sixteen Kingdoms Era (Books 95-10

Unread postby Lady Wu » Fri Jun 23, 2017 4:39 am


入寇: most likely Jin, since 寇 has a pejorative meaning invasion by bandits (or other illegitimate enemies)

4. Fang Wu: should be Yang Wu

時太后可足渾氏頗預外事 = At that time, Empress Dowager Kezuhun was quite involved in matters beyond the inner palace (i.e., government matters. The 外 in 外事 here refers to the domain beyond what a woman was supposed to take care of)

意外之變 = unexpected turns for the worse

思有以自全 = and consider how to preserve yourself

且定天下者,殿下之功也 = Furthermore, it was due to your merits that the realm was settled (the state was created? Peace was brought to our land?)

俟畢山陵 = once the late lord’s tomb has been completed

雲何而遽有此議? = Why do you suddenly propose such a thing?

恐乖遠近之望 = I fear this will let down what near and far had hoped in us. (乖 = to betray, to go against)

秘書臨 = probably typo of 秘書監

過蒙先帝厚恩,引參顧命 = It’s only because our late lord granted him great favours that he was brought in to be involved with state affairs.

而小人無識,自國哀已來,驕很日甚,將成禍亂。= However, as a base fellow, he is ignorant, and since the state went into mourning, he has been increasingly arrogant and impudent. He will soon cause disaster.

此殷法也,非周法也。= This was the law of the Yin (Shang dynasty), not the law of the Zhou.

5. 二公,國之親賢 = The two lords are close relatives to the throne and wise men

必不肯爾 = They will certainly not do that kind of thing.

安知非太師欲為亂也! = How do we know that it’s not the Grand Tutor who’s plotting rebellion?

根又思戀東土 = Muyu Gen also missed the eastern land (aka Longcheng)

外寇非一 = There are multiple states hostile to us (literally: External enemies are not just one)

國大憂深 = The greater our state grows, the more we have to worry about.

太宰恪舉止如常 = Murong Ke acted normally (舉止 = moving and stopping, i.e. daily behaviour)

人不見其有憂色 = No one saw him looking worried.

或說以宜自戒備 = Some suggested that he should increase security

當安重以鎮之 = I need to be calm and steady to quiet them down

6. 而朝廷之禮,兢兢嚴謹 = He acted cautiously and deliberately when it came to the court protocol

量才授任,人不逾位 = He appointed people to positions according to their abilities, ensuring all are appropriate for their positions (or, ensuring no one had to do work beyond their position or skill)

隨宜他敘,不令失倫,唯以此為貶 = He would shuffle them to other positions according to the situation, and not let them lose their rank. By this alone would he discipline them.

時人以為大愧 = People then would take such treatment as great shame

以敍遷爲他官,不令失其倫等也 = He transferred them to other positions of the same grade, and did not let them lose their social ranking.

桓溫能料敵 = and Huan Wen could tell a worthy foe when he saw one

7. 以燕朝多難 = seeing how there were so many troubles in Yan (以 indicates a reason)

帥騎二萬 ,觀兵河南 = to lead 20k riders to put on a military parade in Henan

陵在龍城,因以爲名 = Because the tomb was in Longcheng, it was called so (Longling)

史言恪當國有大憂、衆心危疑之際,處之有方 = The text is saying that in this time when the state was besieged with great worries and the people were feeling uncertain, Murong Ke was able to handle matters properly.

觀兵,曜兵以示之也 = 觀兵 means to hold up weapons to show them off (兵’s original meaning is weapon. 曜 = to shine)

Sun Yong was among the Yan officers who resisted the Yan invasion: Zhao invasion?

再為司隸,偽王公已下莫不累跡。= now that he was further granted control over Sili, none from the false nobles on down were not fearful of him.

8. 請田內地 = permit him the use of some farmland within Qin borders

雲中: Is this a place name?

朕方以恩信懷戎狄 = I had just started to show grace and good faith to the tribes

而汝貪小利以敗之,何也! = and you, for petty greed, attacked them. What is the meaning of that?

白衣領職 : we had this one before—to continue serving in office but as a commoner

遣使還其所獲: I think this is referring to goods, not people. “He sent a messenger to return what Jia Yong looted”

9. 因求婚 = He took the occasion to ask for a wife (not necessarily marrying into the family)

10. 日有食之,既。= There was a total solar eclipse.

11. 雖為布衣,時人皆以公輔期之 = although he was a commoner, people had expectations of him like a high minister of the state.

安石不出: 不出 is not just “not coming out”, it’s “not take up office”

安海游東山,常以妓女自隨 = Whenever Xie An travelled in Mount Dong, he often had female singers and performers go with him. (In this time period, 妓女 is simply a woman who performed, generally singing or dancing. Sexual relations are not necessarily implied) (海 is likely typo of 每)

召之必至 = If you summon him, he will come.

見家門貴盛而安獨靜退,謂曰:「丈夫不如此也?」= When she saw how honoured the clan was but Xie An only kept to himself in hermitage, she said, “Is this how a man should live?”

恐不免耳 = I might not escape that fate. (see earlier for omitted object in 不免)

劉惔以清談貴顯 = Liu Tan became revered and prosperous due to his skill in Pure Conversation.

余謂盛名之下,其實難副 = In my view, when one has a lofty reputation, it is difficult to live up to it.

又值石氏之亂,以爲可以立功,敗於輕率也。= And, when chaos befell the Shi clan, he thought he could take advantage of that and achieve something, and so he was defeated from being rash and reckless.

戒溫而爲之備 = He watched out for Huan Wen and guarded himself from him.

溫旣死而值秦之強,兢兢焉爲自保之謀,常持懼心,此其所以濟也。= Once Huan Wen had died, it was just when Qin was becoming strong. Xie An acted cautiously in order to protect himself, constantly maintaining a sense of apprehension, and that was what saved him.

史氏謂其能矯情鎭物,蓋因屐齒之折、白雞之夢而知之耳 = The historians say that Xie An was able to put on a poker face, holding back his emotions so people could not guess what he’s thinking. And they knew it because of the incidents of him breaking his sandal and having the dream with the white chicken.

忽夢乘溫輿行十六里 = I dreamed that I was riding in Huan Wen’s carriage, for 16 li (Huan Wen wasn’t in the carriage)

乘溫輿者,代其位也 = Riding in Huan Wen’s carriage means to take over his position.

今太歲在酉,吾病殆不起乎!= I don’t think I will recover from this illness!

12. 非懷德也 = it’s not because they were inspired by your virtue
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Re: ZZTJ Translations: The Sixteen Kingdoms Era (Books 95-10

Unread postby Lady Wu » Sun Jul 09, 2017 3:56 am


6. 燕河內太守呂護並其眾 = Lu Hu took over Gao Chang’s soldiers

拜護冀州刺史 = the Jin court made him Inspector of Jizhou

老賊經變多矣 = The old rebel is experienced (literally: the old rebel has experienced many difficult circumstances)

坐而守之,休兵養士,離間其黨 = we’ll sit and wait, resting our troops while causing division among his supporters

8. 當以死報 = you must repay the state with your very lives

10. 吾所部士卒多羸,器甲不精,宜深為之備。 = Most of the soldiers in my section are weak, and their equipment is not the best. We should really be on our guard against them.

乃多課櫓楯,親察行夜者。= Thus he [Huangfu] tested the armaments numerous times, and personally inspected those patrolling at night.

晉武帝以祕書幷中書省 = Sima Yan subsumed the office of 中書省 under 祕書

12. 宋澄豈特機事不稱哉,遂赤其族!= Isn’t this exactly Song Cheng not being able to react fast enough when the situation arose? And that it led to his clan being wiped out!

素為桓溫所惡 = Fan Wang was despised by Huan Wen (為A 所 B = “to be B’ed by A”)

失期 = missing the deadline

好儒學: 好 = to like. More accurate as “Fan Ning delighted in Confucian studies” (doesn’t mean he was good at it...)

桀、紂縱暴一時,適足以喪身覆國,為後世戒,豈能回百姓之視聽哉!= Though Jie and Zhou were wanton and tyrranical for a while, it was only enough to cause them to lose their lives and their rule, and to become a warning tale for later generations. They could not continue to twist the perceptions of the people!

故吾以為一世之禍輕,歷代之患重,自喪之惡小,迷眾之罪大也。= That’s why I think that, being the scourge of one generation is a trivial matter, while bringing threat to multiple ages is serious.; and that causing one’s own downfall is a petty crime, but deceiving the populace is a grave sin.

蓋惡其異己也。: That’s because he disliked how he was in opposition to him.

若汪於此時能立異,必知溫之心迹矣。= If Fan Wang could have objected (立異: to put forth a different opinion), he would have found about about Huan Wen’s true intentions.

17. 國人患之 = He was a bane to the people of Liang. (患 = to consider X a bane/source of grief; 之 = him (Zhang Yong)

國家事欲未靜 = It seems like the state is still in turmoil!

值邕於門下 = Just then (值 = at that time, it chanced that), Zhang Yong was standing under the gate

邕得逸走 = Zhang Yong got to escape,

汝將士世為涼臣,何忍以兵相向邪!= You and your forefathers have all been loyal servants of the Liang. How could you bear to point your weapons at us?

今所取者,止張邕耳 = We’re here to take Zhang Yong only.

於是邕兵悉散走 = Thereupon, all of Zhang Yong’s troops dispersed

涼浸衰矣: And thus Liang is gradually (浸) on the decline.

19. 秦王堅命牧伯守宰各舉孝悌、廉直、文學、政事 = Fu Jian ordered the local officials to recommend to office people in the Filial, Uprightness, Scholarship, and Administration categories [it’s like in the Han when people were recommended as Filial and Incorrupt; there would presumably be a quota for each category]

察其所舉,得人者賞之,非其人者罪之 = Fu Jian personally assessed the recommended people. He rewarded officials who recommended capable people, and punished those who recommended incapable ones. (grammar note: 得人 = to hire someone suitable; 得人者 = those who hired someone suitable. This is the topic of the sentence. The subject is omitted but understood as Fu Jian. So, this is literally, “As for those who recommended suitable people, Fu Jian rewarded them.”)

由是人莫敢妄舉,而請托不行 = Thus no one dared to make careless recommendations, and no more did people ask for official positions as a favour. (請托 = to ask someone to help you or someone you know to get a job; may involve bribes, or repaying favours, or anything that doesn’t have to do with the competency of the candidate)

士皆自勵 = All scholars encouraged themselves to excel

雖宗室外戚,無才能者皆棄不用 = All those who were incompetent, be they of the ruling family (宗室) or related by marriage (外戚), were barred from office.
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Re: ZZTJ Translations: The Sixteen Kingdoms Era (Books 95-10

Unread postby Lady Wu » Sun Jul 09, 2017 4:47 pm

362: In which Huan Wen is being a big baby

諱丕 = Emperor Ai’s first name was Pi. (諱 is just a way to say “the respected one’s given name is X)

短折 = to die young (not necessary about reign length)

始度百姓田 = it was then that they first measured the area of people’s farmlands

畝取十分有一,率畝稅米三升= For every mu of land, a tax of 10% was imposed, which converts to 3 sheng of grain per mu of land

3. 晉將陳祐弊卒千餘 = Chen You only had a thousand weak (弊) soldiers

介守孤城,不足取也!= He defends just one isolated city. We can defeat him easily.

7. 自永嘉之亂播渡江表者,一切北徙,以實河南。= [Huan Wen also proposed that] all who had fled south of the Yangzi since the Diaster of Yongjia should be relocated north, in order to populate the Henan region.

不敢為異 = did not dare to disagree with him

雖並知不可,莫敢先諫 = Although they all knew the plan was impossible, none dared to be the first in remonstrating against him.

信順協於天人 = he had the trust of the people and facilitation from Heaven [I chose this translation to match HSX’s notes]

存者老子長孫,亡者丘隴成行 = Those who are still alive, their children are already old and their grandchildren are grown; the graves of those who have died lie in numerous rows.

若遷都旋軫之日,中興五陵,即復緬成遐域 = If some day we should remove to the capital back to where it was, the five tombs of the emperors since the Restoration (i.e. Eastern Jin) would then be left behind in a distant territory.

秦山之安,既難以理保,烝烝之思,豈不纏於聖心哉 = Logically speaking, it would be difficult to guarantee the security of Mount Tai. And would the Emperor’s heart not also be seized with longing for his forebears? [I.e., it’s hard to ensure that the move will go smoothly and all will be safe up there, and at the same time the emperor’s gonna miss the tombs of his forefathers.]

使儒者著作東觀,有其名,尚未有官。= The court ordered scholars to author books at Dongguan, and thus the name came about (著作 = to author, to write), though it was not yet an official position.

於此始有其官 = And this was when the position was officially instated

隸中書省 = It reported to the Director of the Palace Secretariat.

祕書監 = Secretarial Director? Secretary of State??

併統著作省 = which subsumed the Office of the Authors (省 = office)

蓋著作雖別置省,而猶隸祕書也 = While Authoring was set as a distinct office, it was still under the Secretarial Office.

而承明、金馬亦著作之所也 = Chengming and Jinma were the offices for the Authoring staff.

天之所助者順也,人之所助者信也 = When one is helped by Heaven, that mean he has received facilitation (literally: things go smoothly for him). When one is helped by others, that means he has received trust. [I don’t like my wording; see if you can do better. This is a topic-comment structure.]

言以理觀之 = Meaning, if you look at it from the point of view of reason

保泰山之安也: I wonder if “the safety of Mount Tai” is just an figure of speech, meaning “ensuring everything is as secure as Mount Tai. (Mount Tai was considered the largest mountain and thus unmoveable and secure.)

言若遷洛,纏心於江南陵寢,孝思進進也。= He’s saying, if they moved to Luoyang, the emperor would miss the imperial tombs in the Southlands, and be troubled by his filial thoughts.

溫今此舉,誠欲大覽始終,為國遠圖 = It’s true that Huan Wen proposed this for long-term considerations and the future benefits of the state.

豈不以反舊之樂賒,而趨死之憂促哉!= Can that not be because the joy of returning to their former lands is far off, but the fear of impending death is nigh?

何者?= Why is that so?

一朝頓欲拔之 = But he wishes to uproot them (the people) all at one go (literally: in one morning)

提挈萬裡 ,逾險浮深,離墳墓,棄生業: the subject here is the common people. “They would have to bring their families on long journeys, risking life and limb, leaving their buried dead and abandoning their means of living.

田宅不可復售,舟車無從而得 = They would have no one to sell their land and houses to, and nowhere would they be able to obtain transportation.

捨安樂之國,適習亂之鄉,將頓僕道塗,飄溺江川,僅有達者。= They would be made to leave a land of peace and happiness, to travel to a place wracked by chaos; thus they would likely collapse by the wayside or drown in the great rivers; few of them would ever arrive.

此仁者所宜哀矜,國家所宜深慮也!= This would be something that any benevolent person should mourn, and that the state should consider carefully!

奈何捨百勝之長理,舉天下而一擲哉! = Why should we abandon this logical, fail-proof plan, and instead risk the entire realm in one move? (一擲 refers to gambling, like one throw of dice. “This is like betting the realm on one throw of the dice”)

致意興公,何不尋君《遂初賦》,而知人家國事邪!= Go tell Sun Chuo, he should go implement his “Fulfilling My Original Resolve”, and keep his nose out of other people’s dealings in state affairs.

8. 非事實也 = There is no substance to his talk.

但從之,自無所至。= Just go ahead and let him have his way. Nothing will come out of it.

非夫外身徇國,孰能若此?= How would anyone propose this who is not ready to give his life to the cause of the state?

諸所處分,委之高算 = We will entrust all the necessarily planning for this to your esteemed abilities.

但河洛丘墟,所營有廣,經始之勤,致勞懷也。= However, there is much to do to restore the ruins between the Yellow and the Luo Rivers. You would have to work hard to manage them, and we expect this to be a heavy burden on your mind. [This wins in the “Passive-aggressive Edict” category!]

言在昔者,自下本上之辭;言昔在者,從上自下爲稱。: This is a quote form Zheng Xuan’s commentary on the尧典 in the Book of Documents, explaining why the BoD used the phrase “昔在” instead of “在昔” (they really both mean “in the old days...”). The line means, if one says “在昔”, he’s looking to the past from the current point of view, while if one says “昔在”, he’s looking at the present from the point of view in the past.

9. 方當蕩平區宇,旋軫舊京 = We should first pacify the realm and return the imperial seat to the former capital

若其不爾,宜改遷園陵,不應先事鐘虡!= But if that doesn’t work, we should first move the imperial tombs here, and not the bells and bell-stands!

13. 運米五萬斛以饋洛陽: 饋 has the meaning of a gift. This is not just storing stuff there.

14. 代王什翼犍納女於燕,燕人亦以女妻之。= Shiyijian sent women as tribute to Yan. And Yan also sent him a woman to be his wife.
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Re: ZZTJ Translations: The Sixteen Kingdoms Era (Books 95-10

Unread postby Lady Wu » Sun Jul 09, 2017 9:49 pm


2. 皇太妃周氏薨於琅邪第: ... in her residence (第) in Langye

帝就第治喪 = The emperor went to the residence to manage the funeral

應服緦麻: maybe make it clearer as “You should wear the fine hemp cloth of mourning (implied: for three months according to the rites) (instead of dedicating yourself to mourning for 3 years, which would basically mean not doing anything else but stay by the parent’s grave and mourn and abstain from meat and drink and sex and entertainment)”

又欲降服期 = The emperor then wanted to reduce the mourning period (implied: to one year)

厭屈私情 = You must suppress your personal feelings (“subsume” is incorrect)

乃服緦麻。= And thus the emperor undertook the rite of wearing fine hemp.

王爲諸侯緦,縗弁而加環絰 = A king mourns his deceased nobles by wearing fine hemp (for three months). He wears a plain white hat with a band of hemp.

爲人後者爲之子,故爲所後服斬衰三年,而降其父母朞。= When one is adopted to continue another person’s line, he is that person’s son. That’s why he would wear coarse, unhemmed cloth for three years in mourning for the one whose line he was continuing, while reducing the length of mourning for his parents by birth.

虨以爲應服緦者,蓋以帝入後大宗,則周氏者琅邪之母,當以服諸侯者服之也。= Bin was of the opinion that the emperor should wear three months of fine hemp, because he (the emperor) had been adopted into the main imperial line, while Lady Zhou was still the mother of the Prince of Langye. And thus the emperor should respect her passing by adopting the mourning rites appropriate for a deceased noble.

4. 能令公喜,能令公怒 = Can make Lord Huan happy or make him mad.

溫氣概高邁,罕有所推 = Huan Wen was of a lofty mind, and rarely endorsed (praised? recommended?) anyone.

與超言,常自謂不能測,傾身待之,超亦深自結納 = But whenever he spoke with Chi Chao, he would admit that he was out of Chi Chao’s league (literally, cannot probe the depths of Chi Chao’s knowledge), and treated him with full respected. Chi Chao, on his part, also took his friendship with Huan Wen seriously.

皆未易才也 = they are both people of rare talents.

8. 郭氏以張天錫專政,與大臣張欽等謀誅之。: 以 again introduces a “reason” clause. This means, “Lady Guo, for the reason that Zhang Tianxi had seized all power to himself, plotted with Zhang Qin and others to kill him.”

劉肅 = Liu Su, not Shu

弒玄靚 = They murdered Zhang Xuanjing (not Tianxi)

沖公 = Duke Chong

11. 輻數至多 = and were of many spokes
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Re: ZZTJ Translations: The Sixteen Kingdoms Era (Books 95-10

Unread postby Lady Wu » Sun Jul 09, 2017 11:08 pm

364: In which Huan Wen plays "gotta catch 'em all" with official titles.

令西北士民僑寓東南者,所在以土著爲斷也 = The order was for those who had migrated to the southeast from the northwest to be recorded and administered by their current place of habitation.

斷谷餌藥以求長生 = seeking immortality by eating nothing (斷谷 = to abstain from all food) and by taking elixirs instead.

此非成乘所宜為;陛下茲事,實日月之食。= This is not what an emperor should be doing. What you’re doing is as disastrous as an eclipse of the sun or the moon.

5. 至是書其官名而不姓,堅冰至矣。= And now, the text notes his official title and does not give his surname. This shows that his power has solidified. (See the note on the first line of the坤 hexagram.)

6. 溫辭不至 = Wen gave an excuse and did not go.

其所辭必於不受 = and whatever position he declined he would never accept.

人言汝勝我,定不及也。= They say you will come to surpass me, but I think you won’t even match me.

10. 生弟晉公柳等猶有五人 = Fu Sheng still had five brothers alive, including Fu Liu.

11. 勁自表求配祐效力 = Shen Jing submitted a memorial asking to be assigned to serve under Chen You.

令自募壯士,得千餘人以行。= And ordered him to recruit men by himself and to set off after he had more than a thousand.

勁屢以少擊燕眾,摧破之 = Time after time, Shen Jing attacked the Yan army with a small force, and defeated them every time.

乃以救許昌為名 = therefore, on the pretext of relieving Xuchang...

14. 富商趙掇等車服僭侈,諸公競引以為卿。= There were some rich merchants, including Zhao Duo, who wore extravagant clothing and rode about in fine carriages, and the dukes all raced to recommend them to be ministers.

宜令有司推檢,辟召非其人者,悉降爵為侯 = I ought to have an office investigate into these selections, and any duke who was found to have selected unworthy people will be demoted to the rank of marquis.

自今國官皆委之銓衡 = From now on, all officials of this state will be selected by the office of Evaluations. (see HSX note)

自非命士已上,不得乘車馬 = Anyone who is not an appointed official is forbidden from riding carriages.

去京師百裡內= Within a radius of 100 li of the capital

銓衡,謂吏部尚書也: Not sure where you got “gold-silver” from, but銓衡 is a scale or an instrument of measurement. 吏部尚書 is the Ministry of Personnel.
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Re: ZZTJ Translations: The Sixteen Kingdoms Era (Books 95-10

Unread postby Lady Wu » Mon Jul 10, 2017 1:55 am


3. 絹二匹: “bolts of silk” may be better than roll

是吾以財殺士也 = then I would be [guilty of] killing a minister for the sake of material goods. (the subject is “I”)

故史以此言其寬厚之一端 = that’s why the text uses this story to describe his magnanimity

4. moved his base to Gushe: should be “Gushu”

荊州、揚州之義城 = Yicheng of Jing and Yang Provinces (HSX’s note indicates that the city belonged to both provinces)

義城郡置於襄陽,襄陽郡屬荊州,而義城郡領揚州淮南之平阿、下蔡。蓋桓宣先從祖約退屯淮南,後鎭襄陽,陶侃以其淮南部曲置義成郡於穀城,蓋有揚州之民而又置揚州僑縣於穀城;穀城,荊州統內之地也,故曰荊州、揚州之義成;曰義成者,言以義成軍,因而名郡。後人又於「成」字旁添「土」,失其初立郡之旨矣: ok this part is complicated. I’m just going to talk it through. Yicheng was located at Xiangyang, and Xiangyang belonged to Jingzhou, but Yicheng Commandary was in charge of Ping’e and Xiacai (counties?) of Huainan in Yangzhou (cross-provincial jursidiction, whee). This was because Huan Xuan retreated together with Zu Yue to Huainan, and from there they relocated to Xiangyang (so there are Huainan natives in their army). Later, Tao Kan had those Huainan soldiers set up Yicheng Commandary, with the seat of government at Gucheng. But because there were refugees from Yangzhou, they set up some of those “surrogate counties” (for the counties in Yangzhou that the refugees were from). So there were Yangzhou counties inside a commandary that’s set up within the borders of Jingzhou, and so that’s why it’s called “Yicheng of Jing and Yang provinces”.

It’s called Yicheng for “using Righteousness (Yi) to build (cheng) an army”. But through folk etymology people changed the character of “cheng”, so the original intent in establishing the commandary was lost.

京兆郡屬雍州,時亦僑立於襄陽 : They had a surrogate Jingzhou Commandary in Xiangyang.

5. 事遂寢 = so the plan was put aside

7. 今洛陽城高而兵弱,易克也 = Although Luoyang has high walls, their soldiers are weak. It is easy to conquer.

勁神氣自若 = Shen Jing looked self-possessed.

恪略地至崤、澠 = Murong Ke conquered all the land up to the Xiao Mountains and the Mian River

配方一萬= He was given 10k troops (方 is typo for 兵) (Yan is so miserly! Only 10K???)

10. 使沈勁為戮 = I caused Shen Jing to be executed.

然身為元帥,實有愧於四海 = As the commander-in-chief, I am ashamed to face all within the Four Seas.

12. 太宰恪為將 = As a general, Murong Ke...

撫士卒務綜大要,不為苛令= In nurturing his troops, he attended to the main issues and did not make harsh or tedious orders (i.e. he didn’t micromanage)

使人人得便安 = letting everyone be comfortable and at ease

平時營中寬縱,似若可犯 = In normal times, his camps were lax, and looked like they could be easily assaulted

然警備嚴密,敵至莫能近者,故未嘗負敗。= But he had set keen watches and strong guards

14. 而騖謙恭謹厚,過於少時 = He was more modest and courteous than he was in his youth

豈奕之謙德有愧於騖邪? = Was it because Feng Yi was not as modest as Yang Wu was?

16. 徙會稽王昱復為琅邪王 = Sima Yu was transferred to be Prince of Langye again.

奉恭王祀 = to continue the line of the Prince of Langye (Sima Rui was originally Prince of Langye like his father and grandfather before him. When he ascended to the throne, he needed someone to continue that line since he was now grafted onto the main imperial branch)

王號慕請服 = Sima Yu, grieving for her, asked to be allowed to mourn for her (see earlier note about adoption and mourning rites—since he was now in the Prince of Langye’s line, he was supposed to reserve the highest mourning rites for the former Prince and Princess of Langye, instead of his own birth parents. So, in order fo him to undertake the full mourning rites for one’s parents, he would have to be removed from the Prince of Langye’s position)

康帝、哀帝及今帝 = ... and the current emperor

22. 治中、別駕及州之豪右,言語忤意,即於坐梟斬之,或親射殺之。= If any of his assistants (治中 and 別駕 are both aides to a provincial inspector) or the powerful people of the province offended him in speech, he would have them beheaded on the spot, or he would shoot them to death personally with a bow and arrow.
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Re: ZZTJ Translations: The Sixteen Kingdoms Era (Books 95-10

Unread postby Lady Wu » Wed Jul 19, 2017 9:24 pm


諱弈 = Emperor’s Fei’s given name was Yi. (see previous note on 諱. There is no meaning “become” here)

4. 擒勳及其黨 : see earlier note on 其黨. Probably best to translate as “and his supporters”

8. Jin declared an amnesty in Lianzhou and Yizhou.: Lianzhou should be Liangzhou

9. 劍履上殿: ...sword and shoes

11. in Lü and Gaoping: Lü should be Lu

12. Lueyang (umlaut not necessary when in –ue)

13. 魯陽 = Luyang (no umlaut)

14. 兄弟貴顯 = He and his brothers had great prestige and privilege.

大司馬溫忌之 = Huan Wen was wary of them.
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Re: ZZTJ Translations: The Sixteen Kingdoms Era (Books 95-10

Unread postby Lady Wu » Wed Jul 19, 2017 9:24 pm

367: RIP Murong Ke, the best Huo Guangs of all Huo Guangs

1. Lü and Gaoping: no umlaut on Lu

3. Wang Meng marched on and attacked Lüeyang.: Lueyang

卽武都白馬氐之地。: ...the White Horse Di people of Wudu

5. 大夏: Despite the HSX note, you should probably keep this as Daxia. What he was describing was the standard pronunciation, which would be something like “hya”, from which Modern Mandarin “xia” is derived.

今當深壁高壘,以聽後詔。= Now, I should (當) build up our fortifications, in order to (以 = for the purpose of) await (聽) further orders.

不亦可乎: probably more idiomatic as “wouldn’t that be a good idea?” (it’s a rhetorical question)

猛書如此;吾本來伐叛,不來與秦戰 = That’s what Wang Meng’s letter says. I came originally to fight rebels and not to fight with Qin.

賢曰 = Li Xian, Prince Zhanghuai of the Tang Dynasty

7. 李儼猶未納秦師: Li Yan had still not let the Qin army in.

王猛白服乘輿: you left out the “riding in a carriage” part

儼開門延之: 延 = to bring someone inside (i.e. Li Yan opened the gates to let them in)

將士繼入 = soldiers rushed in as well (literally, soldiers followed Wang Meng in)

8. 奈何束手於人 = Why would you bind your own hands and give yourself up to another?

王猛孤軍遠來 : 孤軍 isn’t necessary a small army, but rather one without backup reinforcements

因守以老之: to keep up our defences in order to (以) wear them out (老 is a verb here, meaning to make something old, not fresh)

彼將自退 = then they would retreat on their own

猛責儼以不即出迎 = Wang Meng chastised Li Yan for not coming out to welcome them at once.

以儼歸 = and brought Li Yan back as a captive.

9. 吳王垂,將相之才,十倍於臣 = Murong Chui is a talented man capable of being a great general and a prime minister. He is 10 times greater than I am.

辟土服遠: One who expands the territory and brings distant lands to submission (服 is a verb here to mean “to bring to submission”)

10. 貴兄常侍及奮、覆兄弟並相知有素: Your honourable brother and your nephews are all friends of mine.

此言何以及我 = Why do you tell me such things?

君似奸人,得無因緣假托乎!= You look like a sly sort. Perhaps you’re just making this up?

請窮治之 = and asked him to thoroughly investigate the matter

12. 魯陽 = Luyang

魯陽關 = Luyang Pass

14. 犯其穄田: “trampled over” might be better than “violated”

亦有過江在晉陵界者 = There were also some who crossed the river at the boundaries of Jinling

徐、兗二州,或治江北,江北又僑立幽、冀、青、幷四州: This is talking about the “surrogate districts”—Jin had Xuzhou and Yanzhou governed (nominally) from the region north of the Yangzi, and also set up surrogate versions of You/Ji/Qing/Bing in the same area.

16. 隱而不問 = he suppressed the matter and did not inquire into it.

吾待卿等,恩亦至矣 = I have treated you with the utmost favour.

何苦而反 = why would you rebel? (何苦 = “why bother”, “why torture yourself with”, etc.)

今止不征 = Now I revoke my order for you to come (to Chang’an)

卿宜罷兵,各安其位 = You should halt your military action and go back to your own positions.

17. 乃散葦於其上 = He had reeds scattered over the ice
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