Zizhi Tongjian: The Han Dynasty (In Progress)

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

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Wed Sep 18, 2019 6:21 pm

Taishi Ci 2.0 wrote:I'm not Jordan though...


I'm so sorry Taishi Ci, I don't know why that happened and I can only apologize.
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Re: Zizhi Tongjian: The Han Dynasty (In Progress)

Unread postby Jia Nanfeng » Thu Sep 19, 2019 6:49 pm

Thanks for your continued contributions to this field, Taishi Ci! :mrgreen:
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BOOK 9

Unread postby Taishi Ci 2.0 » Fri Sep 27, 2019 1:27 am

〈項羽之分天下,王諸將也,王沛公於巴、蜀、漢中,曰漢王。王怒,欲攻羽。蕭何諫曰︰「語曰『天漢』,其稱甚美。」於是就國。及滅項羽,有天下,遂因始封國名而號曰漢。【章︰「項羽至曰漢」,乙十一行本無此五十九字。】〉

(When Xiang Yu divided the realm and appointed his generals as Kings of the various states, he appointed Liu Bang as King over the regions of Ba, Shu, and Hanzhong, with the title King of Han. Liu Bang was angry at this treatment, and wanted to attack Xiang Yu. But Xiao He remonstrated with him, saying, "The old texts speak of the 'Heavenly Han'. To possess this title is very fortunate." So Liu Bang went to his state. And later, after Liu Bang conquered Xiang Yu and possessed all the realm, he took the name of his original domain, Han, to serve as the name of his dynasty.

Some versions omit the first sentence of the above commentary.)


太祖高皇帝上之上

Beginning of the Reign of Emperor Gao of Han, Taizu, Liu Bang


〈姓劉氏,諱邦,字季;沛豐邑中陽里人。張晏曰︰《諡法》無高,以帝爲功最高而爲帝之太祖,故特起此名焉。【章︰乙十一行本「人」下有「秦二世元年,陳涉起蘄,沛父老立季爲沛公;二年,項羽更立爲漢王,明年稱漢元年;五年卽帝位。」三十七字。無「張晏」至「名焉」二十五字。】〉

(Emperor Gao was named Liu Bang, styled Ji. He was a native of Zhongyang village in Feng in Pei commandary. Zhang Yan remarked, "Gao ('The Supreme') is not a title that appears among the posthumous titles listed in the Laws of Posthumous Names. Liu Bang was granted this title because he had achieved the supreme merit of becoming Emperor and serving as the progenitor for his dynasty."

Some versions omit Zhang Yan's remarks in the above commentary and replace it with the following: In the first year of the Second Emperor of Qin's reign (209 BC), when Chen Sheng rose up at Qi, the elders of Pei acclaimed Liu Bang as Duke of Pei. In the second year (208 BC), Xiang Yu changed Liu Bang's title to King of Han. Liu Bang reckoned the following year (actually 206 BC) as the first year of the Han dynasty, and in the fifth year (202 BC), became Emperor.)


元年(乙未、前二○六)

The First Year of Liu Bang's Reign (The Yiwei or Wood Goat Year, 206 BC)


是歲實乙未也。(Records of Former Han 2, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

The first year of Liu Bang's reign (206 BC) was a Yiwei year.


冬,十月,沛公至霸上;秦王子嬰素車、白馬,係頸以組,封皇帝璽、符、節,降軹道旁。諸將或言誅秦王。沛公曰︰「始懷王遣我,固以能寬容。且人已降,殺之不祥。」乃以屬吏。

1. In winter, the tenth month (of 207 BC), Liu Bang arrived at Bashang. The King of Qin, Ying Ziying, came out to surrender to Liu Bang on the side of the road at Zhidao. He rode in a plain carriage pulled by white horses, with his ribbons tied around his neck, and bearing the Imperial Seal and his tallies and staffs of authority.

Some of Liu Bang's generals advised him to execute Ying Ziying. But Liu Bang told them, "It was because he felt I would display grace and magnanimity that King Huai sent me here in the first place. Besides, this man has already surrendered. To kill him would invite misfortune." So he appointed Ying Ziying as one of his subordinate officials.

〈古有三正︰子爲天正,周用之,以十一月爲歲首;丑爲地正,殷用之,以十二月爲歲首;寅爲人正,夏用之,以十三月爲歲首。秦,水德,謂建亥之月水得位,故以十月爲歲首。高祖以十月至霸上,因而不革。至武帝太初元年,定曆,改用夏正,始以寅爲歲首;至于今因之。〉〈《考異》曰︰《史記》、《漢書》、荀悅《漢紀》,皆云「是月五星聚東井」。按魏收《後魏書‧高允傳》︰崔浩集諸術士考校漢元以來日月薄蝕、五星行度,幷譏前史之失,別爲魏曆,以示允。允曰︰「善言遠者必先驗於近。且漢元年冬十月五星聚於東井,此乃曆術之淺事,今譏漢史而不覺此謬,恐後之譏今猶今之譏古。」浩曰︰「所繆云何?」允曰︰「按《星傳》︰金、水二星常附日而行,冬十月,日旦在尾、箕,昏沒於申南,而東井方出於寅北,二星何因背日而行!是史官欲神其事,不復推之於理。」浩曰︰「欲爲變者,何所不可!君獨不疑三星之聚,而怪二星之來。」允曰︰「此不可以空言爭,宜更審之。」時坐者咸怪。東宮少傅游雅曰︰「高君長於曆,當不虛言也。」後歲餘,浩謂允曰︰「先所論者,本不經心;及更考究,果如君語,以前三月聚於東井,非十月也。」今從之,十月不言五星聚。〉〈應劭曰︰子嬰不敢襲帝號,但稱王耳。素車、白馬,喪人之服。組者,天子韍也。係頸,言欲自殺也。師古曰︰此組,謂綬也,所以帶璽也。組,今綬紛絛是也。應劭曰︰璽,信也;古者尊卑共之。《左傳》︰襄公在楚,季武子使公冶問璽書,追而與之。秦、漢尊者以爲信,羣下乃避之。《漢官儀》曰︰子嬰上始皇璽,因服御之;代代傳受,號「漢傳國璽」。沈約曰︰高祖入關,得秦始皇藍田玉璽,螭虎紐,文曰「受天之命,皇帝壽昌」。後代名傳國璽。《史記正義》曰︰天子有六璽︰皇帝行璽,皇帝之璽,皇帝信璽,天子行璽,天子之璽,天子信璽。皇帝信璽,凡事皆用之,璽令施行。天子信璽,以遷拜、封諸侯之璽,以發兵,皆以武都紫泥封。虞喜《志林》曰︰傳國璽自在六璽之外;天子凡七璽。符,《說文》曰︰信也。韋昭曰︰符,發兵符也。師古曰︰符,諸所合符以爲契者也。《周禮》,地官之屬有掌節。鄭玄《註》云︰節,猶信也,行者所執之信。《三禮義宗》曰︰節長尺二寸;秦、漢以下改爲旌幢之形。韋昭曰︰節者,使所擁也。《釋名》云︰爲號令賞罰之節也。師古曰︰節以毛爲之,上下相重,取象竹節,將命者持之以爲信。徐廣曰︰軹道,在霸陵。蘇林曰︰亭名也,在長安東十三里。《漢宮殿疏》曰︰軹道亭東去霸城觀四里,觀東去霸水百步。《括地志》︰軹道在雍州萬年縣東北十六里苑中。〉〈事見上卷秦二世二年。〉〈屬,付也。屬吏者,付之於吏,使監守之也。〉

(In ancient times, there were the Three Standards. Zi was the Standard of Heaven; the Zhou dynasty followed this one, and used the eleventh month of the lunar calendar as the beginning of the new calendar year. Chou was the Standard of Earth; the Yin (Shang) dynasty followed this one, and used the twelfth month as the beginning of the new year. Yin was the Standard of the People; the Xia dynasty followed this one, and used the thirteenth month as the beginning of the new year. The Qin dynasty, which ruled through the virtue of Water, said that the Jianhai month corresponded with those who ruled by Water, and so they used the tenth month as the beginning of the new year. As for Liu Bang, it so happened that the tenth month was the one in which he arrived at Bashang (and completed his conquest of Qin), so he kept the Qin calendar system and did not change it. Not until Emperor Wu of Han's first year of Taichu (104 BC) was the calendar system resettled and the old Xia practice of beginning the new year in the Yin or first month restored. And that practice has continued from that time up until our own time.

Sima Guang's commentary in the Textual Analysis states, "When recording Liu Bang's arrival at Bashang, the Records of the Grand Historian, the Book of Han, and Xun Yue's Records of Former Han all state that 'there was a conjunction of the five planets (Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn) in the Eastern Well portion of the night sky (which corresponded to the Qin region)'. But I, being fully convinced by the merits of a discussion that took place between Gao Yun and Cui Hao as mentioned in the Book of Northern Wei, agree with Gao Yun's assertion that this supposed conjunction did not happen at this time, and so I omit it from my account." This discussion, taken from the Biography of Gao Yun in the Book of Northern Wei, is excerpted below:

Cui Hao had gathered together a group of various scholars and mystics to analyze historical accounts of solar and lunar eclipses and the movements of the five planets, from the beginning of the Han dynasty down through his own time. He ridiculed the gaps in the old historical accounts when compared to the calendar records of the Northern Wei dynasty, and he showed his work to Gao Yun.

Gao Yun said, "If you want to speak credibly on distant things, you had better first be sure you know what you are talking about when speaking about things nearby. For instance, right at the beginning of the historical accounts of the Han dynasty, the historians have inserted this ridiculous mention of a conjunction of the five planets in the Eastern Well, claiming that it took place in the tenth month of the first year of the dynasty (207 BC). If you are mocking the old Han histories, how could you overlook such an egregious error as this one? It makes me worried that people in the future will make fun of you as much as you are making fun of people in the past."

Cui Hao asked, "Why do you think the conjunction was an error?"

Gao Yun replied, "According to the Astronomical Traditions, the Gold Planet (Venus) and the Water Planet (Mercury) constantly travel through the sky in close proximity to the Sun. Now consider that in the tenth month, that being in winter, the Sun appears in the Tail and Winnowing Basket parts of the sky when it rises in the morning and disappears in the south of the Shen part of the sky when it sets in the evening, while at the same time the Eastern Well is in the north of Yin. How then could the Gold and Water Planets abandon their places near the Sun and appear far away from it in the Eastern Well? This was simply an instance of the Han historians wishing to bolster the beginning of their dynasty with a good omen, without stopping to think about how illogical such a conjunction would be."

Cui Hao said, "Well, I certainly don't doubt that the historians might have changed things around! But I do wonder why you only seem to take fault with the positions of those two planets and not the other three."

Gao Yun replied, "That's because I am not as prepared to make an assertion about them; I would need to study them further first."

Everyone who was present for the discussion was amazed, and the Lesser Tutor to the Eastern Palace, You Ya, declared, "Lord Gao is most experienced in astronomical affairs, and he would not make empty claims."

Several years later, Cui Hao said to Gao Yun, "I originally didn't put much faith in those things you said before about the conjunction. But after studying the matter further, everything has proved just as you said. It would have been the previous third month when there was a conjunction in the Eastern Well, not in that tenth month."

Thus ends the account.

Regarding Ying Ziying's surrender, Ying Shao remarked, "Ziying had not dared to claim the title of Emperor, thus he was merely known as King of Qin. The plain carriage and white horses were signs of mourning. The ribbon was his ribbon as Son of Heaven, and by tying it around his neck, he displayed his intention to kill himself." On this last subject, Yan Shigu remarked, "This ribbon, also called a tassel, was the tassel for holding the Seal." It is what we would now call a silk braid. Ying Shao further remarked, "The Seal was a sign of trust, respected in ancient times by both the honored and the lowly. According to the Zuo Commentary to the Spring and Autumn Annals, when Duke Xiang of Lu was in the state of Chu, Ji Wuzi sent Gongye to ask after the Duke and his seal, and Gongye pursued and caught up with him. During the Qin and Han dynasties, whoever possessed the Seal had its trust, and their subordinates avoided it. The Records of Rites and Offices of the Han Dynasty states, 'Ziying had received the First Emperor's Seal, and so the people submitted to his control. The Seal was exchanged from generation to generation, becoming known as the "Han Heirloom Seal of the State".'" Shen Yue remarked, "When Liu Bang entered Guanzhong, he received the First Emperor of Qin's Imperial Seal at Lantian; it was adorned with handles of tigers and chi-dragons, and upon it were written the words 'Having received the Mandate of Heaven, may the Emperor live long and prosper'. Later generations called it the Heirloom Seal of the State." The Zhengyi commentary to the Records of the Grand Historian states, "The Son of Heaven had six seals: the Transmitting, Possession, and Trust Seals in his role as Emperor, and the same three kinds of seals in his role as Son of Heaven. The Emperor's Seal of Trust was used for all occasions, and the seal was used to give orders and compel actions. The Son of Heaven's Seal of Trust was used when transferring or conferring titles to the feudal lords, stamping a seal on the appointments with the purple clay of Wudu." Yu Xi's Forest of Records states, "The Imperial Seal was separate from the other six seals; the Son of Heaven thus possessed seven seals." As for the tallies, the Shuowen dictionary states, "This was a symbol of trust." Wei Zhao remarked, "The tallies were those tallies used when sending out troops." Yan Shigu remarked, "These tallies were those joined together as signs of pledges." And for the staffs of authority, the Rites of Zhou mentions that the subordinates of the Earth Minister would wield these staffs. Zheng Xuan's Annotations states, "The staffs were a symbol of trust, that those executing orders acted with the trust of their superiors." The Sanliyizong states, "These staffs were a chi and two cun in length. From the time of the Qin and Han dynasties on, they were changed to be the shape of banners." Wei Zhao remarked, "The staffs were used to execute authority." The Yiming dictionary states, "The staffs were used to grant rewards and pass judgments." Yan Shigu remarked, "The staffs had feathers placed on them such that the top and bottom were of equal weight, and they were made from ivory and bamboo. Someone leading troops or granting orders would wield it as a sign of trust."

Regarding Zhidao, Xu Guang remarked, "This place was at Baling." Su Lin remarked, "Zhidao was the name of a place, thirteen li east of Chang'an." The Records of the Palaces at Chang'an states, "It was four li from Zhidao Point east to Bacheng Overlook, and a hundred paces from there east to the Ba River." The Comprehensive Gazetteer states, "Zhidao was in the gardens sixteen li northeast of Wannian county in Yongzhou."

King Huai of Chu's selection of Liu Bang to attack Guanzhong because of his potential for righteous conduct is mentioned in Book 8, in the second year of the reign of the Second Emperor of Qin (-208.43).

Liu Bang made Ying Ziying an official in that he kept him close at hand. He kept him among his officials and had him direct a defense.)


子嬰為秦王四十六日,楚將沛公破秦軍入武關,遂至霸上,使人約降子嬰。子嬰即系頸以組,白馬素車,奉天子璽符,降軹道旁。(Records of the Grand Historian 6, Annals of the Second Emperor of Qin)

Ying Ziying was King of Qin for just forty-six days, before the Chu general Liu Bang routed the Qin army and entered Wu Pass. When Liu Bang reached Bashang, he sent agents to arrange for Ying Ziying to surrender. Ying Ziying rode out to surrender to Liu Bang on the side of the road at Zhidao, riding in a plain carriage pulled by white horses, with his ribbons tied around his neck, and bearing the Seal of the Son of Heaven.

漢元年
十月
秦王子嬰降。(Records of the Grand Historian 16, Monthly Timeline of the Chu-Han Contention)

In the first year of Liu Bang's reign (206 BC), in the tenth month (of 207 BC), Ying Ziying surrendered to Liu Bang.

漢元年冬十月。五星聚于東井。從歲星也。東井。秦之分野。五星所聚。是謂易行。有德者昌。無德者殃。沛公至霸上。秦王子嬰素車白馬。繫頸以組。奉皇帝璽降于軹道旁。沛公執之以屬吏。(Records of Former Han 2, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

In the first year of Liu Bang's reign (206 BC), in winter, the tenth month (of 207 BC), there was a conjunction of the Five Planets in the Eastern Well constellation of the sky, following the Year Star (Jupiter). The Eastern Well symbolizes the Qin region, and a conjunction of the Five Planets signifies a change; those who are virtuous will prosper, while those without virtue will suffer disaster.

Liu Bang arrived at Bashang. The King of Qin, Ying Ziying, came out to surrender to Liu Bang on the side of the road at Zhidao. He rode in a plain carriage pulled by white horses, with his ribbons tied around his neck, and bearing the Imperial Seal and his tallies and staffs of authority. Liu Bang appointed Ying Ziying as one of his subordinate officials.


賈誼論曰︰秦以區區之地致萬乘之權,招八州而朝同列,百有餘年,然後以六合爲家,殽、函爲宮;一夫作難而七廟墮,身死人手,爲天下笑者,何也?仁誼不施而攻守之勢異也。

2. In his essay The Faults of Qin, the Han scholar Jia Yi made these remarks: The state of Qin brought the whole of the land under their sole authority, roused eight provinces and held a single court for all the land. In little more than a hundred years, they had united the Six Directions into one family and held the whole region between the Xiao Mountains and Hangu Pass as their palace. Yet it required merely the rebellion of a single common fellow to topple Qin's seven ancestral temples; they were killed at the hands of others, and they became the laughingstock of all the realm. Why was this? Because benevolence and a friendly spirit were not practiced. To take power is very different than to keep it.

〈蘇林曰︰招,舉也。秦國,周職方雍州之地耳;旣破六國,乃舉豫、兗、青、揚、荊、幽、冀、幷八州有之。六國與秦俱稱王,是爲同列。〉〈六合,天、地、東、西、南、北。〉〈《記》︰天子七廟,三昭、三穆,與太祖之廟而七。〉

(Su Lin remarked, "To rouse is to lift. During the Zhou dynasty, the state of Qin had originally possessed only the territory of the future province of Yongzhou. But after crushing the Six States, it held control over the future provinces of Yuzhou, Yanzhou, Qingzhou, Yangzhou, Jingzhou, Youzhou, Jizhou, and Bingzhou as well; these were the other eight provinces. And since the rulers of the other six states had claimed to be kings, just the same as Qin, so Qin was able to hold a single court."

The Six Directions were Heaven, Earth, East, West, South, and North.

The Records of the Grand Historian states, "The Son of Heaven had seven ancestral temples: three for their ancestors with the temple name Zhao, three more for those with the temple name Mu, and the seventh for the Progenitor of the dynasty.")


於是秦遂亡矣。本傳曰。賈生之過秦曰。(Records of Former Han 2, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

Thus did Qin perish. In his essay The Faults of Qin, the Han scholar Jia Yi made these remarks... (etc.)


沛公西入咸陽,諸將皆爭走金帛財物之府分之,蕭何獨先入收秦丞相府圖籍藏之,以此沛公得具知天下阨塞、戶口多少、強弱之處。沛公見秦宮室、帷帳、狗馬、重寶、婦女以千數,意欲留居之。樊噲諫曰︰「沛公欲有天下耶,將爲富家翁耶?凡此奢麗之物,皆秦所以亡也,沛公何用焉!願急還霸上,無留宮中!」沛公不聽。張良曰︰「秦爲無道,故沛公得至此。夫爲天下除殘賊,宜縞素爲資。今始入秦,卽安其樂,此所謂『助桀所虐』。且忠言逆耳利於行,毒藥苦口利於病,願沛公聽樊噲言!」沛公乃還軍霸上。

3. Liu Bang entered the Qin capital at Xianyang. His generals all dashed through the city, rushing towards the treasury so that they could divide up all the gold, silks, and other wealth among themselves. Only Xiao He first went to the office of the Prime Minister to obtain the record books and other hidden writings there. He gave these to Liu Bang, and Liu Bang was thus able to learn all the strategic locations across the realm, the population counts for all regions, and the strong and weak points of the empire.

When Liu Bang entered the Qin palace and saw all the beautiful canopies, dogs and horses, dazzling treasures, and thousands of concubines and other women there, he wanted to stay and enjoy these delights. Fan Kuai remonstrated with him, saying, "Duke, weren't you going to claim all the realm? Or would you rather just be some rich old man? These shiny trinkets were what brought about the downfall of Qin. What good would they do you? Please return to Bashang at once; don't stay here in the palace!" But Liu Bang did not listen to him.

Then Zhang Liang told him, "It was because Qin was without principle, Duke, that you were able to get here in the first place. Since your cause was to destroy the wicked bandits of Qin on behalf of the realm, you ought to be seeking out coarse and plain clothing for yourself. Yet having only just entered Qin's heartland, you now intend to linger here and enjoy their vices? You would be acting just like the old proverb, 'joining the tyrant Jie in his wickedness'. Besides, just as good medicine is bitter to the tongue but soothing to the body, loyal words are displeasing to the ear but beneficial for your conduct. Duke, please take heed of what Fan Kuai has said!"

Liu Bang thus brought his army back to Bashang.

〈樊噲起於狗屠,識見如此。余謂噲之功當以諫留秦宮爲上,鴻門誚讓項羽次之。《姓譜》︰周宣王封仲山甫於樊,後因氏焉。〉〈縞素,有喪之服;謂弔民也。〉

(Fan Kuai had got his start as a butcher of dogs, thus he knew such things as this. To me (Hu Sanxing), this moment was Fan Kuai's greatest achievement, and his denunciation of Xiang Yu at the Hongmen Banquet was second-best. As for his surname 樊 Fan, the Registry of Surnames states, "King Xuan of Zhou granted Zhongshan Fu a fief at Fan, and his descendants took their surname from the fief."

Coarse and plain clothing was worn in times of mourning. Wearing it now would symbolize Liu Bang's sympathy with the plight of the people.)


漢元年
十月
沛公入破咸陽,平秦,還軍霸上,待諸侯約。(Records of the Grand Historian 16, Monthly Timeline of the Chu-Han Contention)

In the first year of Liu Bang's reign (206 BC), in the tenth month (of 207 BC), Liu Bang entered Xianyang and conquered Qin. Then he brought his army back to Bashang, to await the arrival of the other feudal lords.

沛公入咸陽。宮室婦女珍寶犬馬之飾甚盛。欲留之。張良諫沛公曰。秦為無道。故使沛公得至於此。今始至秦。即安其樂。此助桀為虐也。乃還軍霸上。諸將皆爭取秦寶貨。蕭何獨悉收秦圖書。(Records of Former Han 2, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

Liu Bang entered the Qin capital at Xianyang.

The Qin palace was full of countless women, treasures, and ornamented dogs and horses, and Liu Bang wanted to remain there. But Zhang Liang remonstrated with him, saying, "It was because Qin was without principle, Duke, that you were able to get here in the first place. Yet having only just entered Qin's heartland, you now intend to linger here and enjoy their vices? You would be acting just like the old proverb, 'joining the tyrant Jie in his wickedness'." So Liu Bang brought his army back to Bashang.

Liu Bang's generals all rushed towards the treasury so that they could claim all the wealth and treasures of Qin. Only Xiao He collected the Qin record books.

沛公至咸陽,諸將皆爭走金帛財物之府分之,何獨先入收秦丞相御史律令圖書藏之... 項王與諸侯屠燒咸陽而去。漢王所以具知天下阸塞,戶口多少,彊弱之處,民所疾苦者,以何具得秦圖書也。(Records of the Grand Historian 53, Biography of Xiao He)

When Liu Bang entered the Qin capital at Xianyang, his generals all dashed through the city, rushing towards the treasury so that they could divide up all the gold, silks, and other wealth among themselves. Only Xiao He first went to the office of the Prime Minister to obtain the histories, laws, decrees, and edict books and other hidden writings there. Later, since Xiang Yu and the other feudal lords sacked and burned down Xianyang and then left, Liu Bang was the only one to know all the strategic locations across the realm, the population counts for all regions, the strong and weak points of the empire, and the concerns and complaints of the common people, all thanks to Xiao He being able to obtain the Qin records.

沛公至咸陽,諸將皆爭走金帛財物之府分之,何獨先入收秦丞相御史律令圖書臧之。沛公具知天下阨塞,戶口多少,彊弱處,民所疾苦者,以何得秦圖書也。(Book of Han 39, Biography of Xiao He)

When Liu Bang entered the Qin capital at Xianyang, his generals all dashed through the city, rushing towards the treasury so that they could divide up all the gold, silks, and other wealth among themselves. Only Xiao He first went to the office of the Prime Minister to obtain the histories, laws, decrees, and edict books and other hidden writings there. Liu Bang thus knew all the strategic locations across the realm, the population counts for all regions, the strong and weak points of the empire, and the concerns and complaints of the common people, all thanks to Xiao He being able to obtain the Qin records.


十一月,沛公悉召諸縣父老、豪傑,謂曰︰「父老苦秦苛法久矣!吾與諸侯約,先入關者王之;吾當王關中。與父老約,法三章耳︰殺人者死,傷人及盜抵罪。餘悉除去秦法,諸吏民皆案堵如故。凡吾所以來,爲父老除害,非有所侵暴;無恐!且吾所以還軍霸上,待諸侯至而定約束耳。」乃使人與秦吏行縣、鄕、邑,告諭之。秦民大喜,爭持牛、羊、酒食獻饗軍士。沛公又讓不受,曰︰「倉粟多,非乏,不欲費民。」民又益喜,唯恐沛公不爲秦王。

4. In the eleventh month (of 207 BC), Liu Bang gathered together all the elders and leading figures of the local counties. He told them, "How long you elders have suffered under the harsh laws of Qin! But as I was part of a pact with the other feudal lords that the first to enter Guanzhong would become its king, I am thus entitled to be King of Guanzhong. So I make a pledge to you elders today. I shall reduce the laws to a mere three precepts: murderers shall be killed, and those who assault or rob others shall be punished in proportion to their crime. All other elements of Qin law I hereby abolish, and I intend to leave all of the officials and the people living in peace as you once did. I have come to this place only to save you elders from suffering, and I intend to cause you no further harm, so have no fear! And I am taking my army back to Bashang purely to await the arrival of the other feudal lords, so that we may complete the terms of our pact."

Liu Bang sent agents out to accompany the Qin officials to pass through all the counties, districts, and towns of Guanzhong to inform and instruct the people. The people of the Qin region were overjoyed. They hurried to bring cattle, sheep, and wine to present to Liu Bang's soldiers. But Liu Bang declined these offerings, saying, "We have abundant provisions in our stores, and we are not in want of anything. I do not wish to thus tax the people." This only increased the people's esteem for Liu Bang. Their only fear was that Liu Bang might not be named as King of Qin.

〈苛,細也。〉〈服虔曰︰隨輕重制法也。李奇曰︰傷人有曲直,盜贓有多少,罪名不可預定;凡言抵罪,未知抵何罪也。師古曰︰抵,至也,當也。服、李二說並得之。〉〈案,次第也;堵,牆堵也︰言不遷動也。〉〈秦制︰縣大率方百里,十里一亭,十亭一鄕,所封食邑。〉

(To be harsh is to be severe.

Liu Bang said that those people who assaulted or robbed others would be 抵罪. Fu Qian remarked, "This means 'to be dealt with in proportion to their crime'." Li Qi remarked, "Since there are degrees of assault and different values of stolen goods, definite punishments cannot be uniformly applied for these crimes. So by the term 抵罪, it meant that he would have to judge by the extent of their crimes." Yan Shigu remarked, "抵 means 'extent' or 'suitability'. Fu Qian and Li Qi both spoke true on this subject."

Liu Bang said that the people would all 案堵 as before. 案 means a row of houses, and 堵 means a wall. The expression meant that the people would not be disturbed in their lives.

According to the Qin system, counties were organized to be a hundred square li in size, with every ten li having a village and every ten villages making up a district. These were the standards used for granting fiefs.)


漢元年
十一月
沛公出令三章,秦民大悅。(Records of the Grand Historian 16, Monthly Timeline of the Chu-Han Contention)

In the first year of Liu Bang's reign (206 BC), in the eleventh month (of 207 BC), Liu Bang declared his Three Precepts. The people of the Qin region were very pleased with him.

十有一月。沛公與秦人約法三章。殺人者死,傷人者刑,及盜抵罪。吏人皆安堵如故。民爭獻牛酒。又讓不受。於是民知德義矣。(Records of Former Han 2, Annals of Liu Bang)

In the eleventh month (of 207 BC), Liu Bang swore his Three Precepts to the people of Qin: murderers would be killed, and those who assaulted or robbed others would be punished in proportion to their crime. He intended to leave all of the officials and the people living in peace as they once did.

The people of Qin hurried to bring cattle and wine to present to Liu Bang. But Liu Bang declined these offerings and would not accept them. So the people knew that he was virtuous and righteous.


項羽旣定河北,率諸侯兵欲西入關。先是,諸侯吏卒、繇使、屯戍過秦中者,秦中吏卒遇之多無狀。及章邯以秦軍降諸侯,諸侯吏卒乘勝多奴虜使之,輕折辱秦吏卒。秦吏卒多怨,竊言曰︰「章將軍等詐吾屬降諸侯。今能入關破秦,大善;卽不能,諸侯虜吾屬而東,秦又盡誅吾父母妻子,柰何?」諸將微聞其計,以告項羽。項羽召黥布、蒲將軍計曰︰「秦吏卒尚衆,其心不服;至關不聽,事必危。不如擊殺之,而獨與章邯、長史欣、都尉翳入秦。」於是楚軍夜擊阬秦卒二十餘萬人新安城南。

5. After Xiang Yu had conquered all the regions north of the Yellow River, he wanted to lead the armies of the various feudal lords west to enter Guanzhong.

In earlier times, whenever the soldiers, corvee laborers, or garrison conscripts from the regions of the Six States had passed through Qin territory, the Qin officials and soldiers who encountered them had often mistreated them. So after the Qin general Zhang Han had surrendered his army to the feudal lords, the soldiers of the other states took advantage of their victory by taking many captives as slaves to serve them, and they were quick to denounce and shame the former Qin soldiers and officials. Many of these soldiers and officials were angered by this treatment. They secretly said to one another, "General Zhang and the others fooled us into surrendering to the feudal lords. Now we are going to march into Guanzhong to attack Qin. If we triumph, that's well and good. But if we fail, we'll be forced to return east with the feudal lords, and Qin will execute all of our fathers, mothers, wives, and children. What shall we do?"

When the generals of the other states learned of the secret plans of the surrendered Qin soldiers, they informed Xiang Yu of what was going on. Xiang Yu summoned Qing Bu and General Pu and plotted with them. He said, "There are simply too many of these former Qin officials and soldiers, and they are not inclined to obey us. If they turn against us when we reach Guanzhong, things will become serious indeed. We would do better to attack and kill them now, sparing only Zhang Han, Sima Xin, and Dong Yi to bring with us into Qin."

So the Chu army attacked the former Qin officials and soldiers during the night and buried alive more than two hundred thousand of them south of the city of Xin'an.

〈言無善狀也。〉〈班《志》,縣屬弘農郡。師古曰︰今穀州縣。《括地志》︰新安故城,在洛州澠池縣東一十二里。〉

(This passage was saying that the Qin officials and soldiers of the past had not treated the other people well.

According to the Book of Han, Xin'an county was part of Hongnong commandary. Yan Shigu remarked, "It is now a county in Guzhou." The Comprehensive Gazetteer states, "The capital city of Xin'an was twelve li east of Mianchi county in Luozhou.")


漢元年
十月
項羽將諸侯兵四十餘萬,行略地,西至於河南。張耳從楚西入秦。從項羽略地,遂入關。
十一月
羽詐阬殺秦降卒二十萬人於新安。(Records of the Grand Historian 16, Monthly Timeline of the Chu-Han Contention)

In the first year of Liu Bang's reign (206 BC), in the tenth month (of 207 BC), Xiang Yu led the armies of the feudal lords, more than four hundred thousand strong, to march west until they reached Henan. Zhang Er accompanied Xiang Yu's army west into the Qin region, and Wei Bao accompanied him as well.

In the eleventh month (of 207 BC), Xiang Yu used deception to kill and bury alive two hundred thousand of the surrendered Qin soldiers at Xin'an.

西至新安。卒心不服出怨言。羽乃夜擊之。坑秦降卒二十餘萬人。(Records of Former Han 2, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

Xiang Yu marched west to Xin'an. The soldiers were insubordinate, and they were grumbling against him. So during the night, Xiang Yu attacked them and buried alive more than two hundred thousand of the surrendered Qin soldiers.

項籍之引兵西至新安,又使布等夜擊阬章邯秦卒二十餘萬人。(Records of the Grand Historian 91, Biography of Qing Bu)

Xiang Yu led his troops west to Xin'an, where he ordered Qing Bu and others to attack Zhang Han's surrendered Qin troops during the night; more than two hundred thousand of them were buried alive.

項籍之引兵西至新安,又使布等夜擊阬章邯秦卒二十餘萬人。(Book of Han 34, Biography of Qing Bu)

Xiang Yu led his troops west to Xin'an, and he ordered Qing Bu and others to attack Zhang Han's surrendered Qin troops during the night; more than two hundred thousand of them were buried alive.


或說沛公曰︰「秦富十倍天下,地形強。聞項羽號章邯爲雍王,王關中,今則來,沛公恐不得有此。可急使兵守函谷關,無內諸侯軍;稍徵關中兵以自益,距之。」沛公然其計,從之。

6. Someone advised Liu Bang, "The Qin region is ten times richer than the rest of the realm, and its terrain is very strong. And I've heard that Xiang Yu has announced Zhang Han as King of Yong and is going to make him the ruler of Guanzhong. If he arrives here, Duke, I'm afraid you won't be able to possess the region. But you might quickly send troops to hold Hangu Pass and forbid the soldiers of the other states from entering Guanzhong. That would give you enough time to gradually recruit more troops from Guanzhong, which you could use to oppose the other lords."

Liu Bang agreed with the advice and did as the person suggested.

沛公乃遣兵距關。欲王關中。(Records of Former Han 2, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

Liu Bang sent troops to hold the passes, for he wanted to be King of Guanzhong.


已而項羽至關,關門閉;聞沛公已定關中,大怒,使黥布等攻破函谷關。十二月,項羽進至戲。沛公左司馬曹無傷使人言項羽曰︰「沛公欲王關中,令子嬰爲相,珍寶盡有之。」欲以求封。項羽大怒,饗士卒,期旦日擊沛公軍。當是時,項羽兵四十萬,號百萬,在新豐鴻門;沛公兵十萬,號二十萬,在霸上。

7. When Xiang Yu arrived at Hangu Pass, he found the pass closed against him and learned that Liu Bang had already conquered Guanzhong. Furious, he sent Qing Bu and others to attack Hangu Pass, and they broke through it.

In the twelfth month (of 207 BC), Xiang Yu advanced to Xi. Liu Bang's Marshal of the Left, Cao Wushang, sent someone to tell Xiang Yu, "The Duke of Pei wants to be King of Guanzhong. He has ordered Ying Ziying to become his Chancellor, and he has taken all the treasures and jewels of the palace." And he asked for a noble title for himself. Xiang Yu was furious to hear this report. He threw a feast for his officers and soldiers, planning to attack Liu Bang's army the following morning.

At this time, Xiang Yu commanded an army of four hundred thousand, which he claimed was a million, and he was camped at Hongmen in Xinfeng. Liu Bang's army was a hundred thousand strong, which he claimed was two hundred thousand, and he was camped at Bashang.

〈新豐縣本秦驪邑,高祖七年方置,史以後來縣名書之。應劭曰︰太上皇思東歸,於是高祖改築城市街里以象豐,徙豐民以實之,故號新豐。孟康曰︰鴻門在新豐東十七里,舊大道下阪口名也。姚察云︰在新豐古城東,末至戲水,道南有斷原,南北洞門是也。《水經註》︰今新豐古城東有阪,長二里餘,塹原通道,南北洞開,有同門汰,謂之鴻門。孟康言在新豐東十七里,無之;蓋指縣治而言,非謂城也。自新豐古城西至霸城五十里,霸城西十里則霸水,又西二十里則長安城。〉

(Xinfeng county was known as Liyi during the Qin dynasty. It was not until the seventh year of Liu Bang's reign (200 BC) that Xinfeng county was created. The histories are using its name anachronistically to refer to the location of Xiang Yu's army. Ying Shao remarked, "When the Retired Emperor (Liu Bang's father) became homesick for his old home at Feng, Liu Bang rebuilt this place so that the walls, markets, streets, and villages all resembled Feng, and he relocated the people of Feng to live there, calling it Xinfeng ('New Feng')." Meng Kang remarked, "Hongmen was seventy li east of Xinfeng; Hongmen or Hong Pass was the name of an opening beneath a slope beside the old highway." Yao Cha remarked, "East of the old city of Xinfeng, before one reaches the Xi River, there is a split plain south of the road, with a road passing north to south through the gap." The Commentary on the Water Classic states, "There is a slope east of the old city of Xinfeng, more than two li long, with a navigable gap through it running north to south, with some remnants at the place called Hongmen. Meng Kang said that this place was seventy li east of Xinfeng, but he was mistaken; he must have reckoned from the administrative center of Xinfeng county rather than the city itself. It was fifty li from the old city of Xinfeng west to Bacheng, another forty li west from Bacheng to the Ba River, and then a further twenty li west from there to the city of Chang'an.")


是時項羽率諸侯兵四十萬眾。號百萬眾。(Records of Former Han 2, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

At this time, Xiang Yu was leading an army of the other feudal lords. His army was four hundred thousand strong, but he claimed it was a million.

至關,不得入,又使布等先從閒道破關下軍,遂得入,至咸陽。布常為軍鋒。(Records of the Grand Historian 91, Biography of Qing Bu)

When Xiang Yu arrived at Hangu Pass, he found the pass closed against him. So he sent Qing Bu and others on ahead by a side road, and they attacked Liu Bang's army at Hangu Pass and broke through it. Xiang Yu then advanced to Xianyang, and Qing Bu often led his vanguard.

至關,不得入,又使布等先從間道破關下軍,遂得入。至咸陽,布為前鋒。(Book of Han 34, Biography of Qing Bu)

When Xiang Yu arrived at Hangu Pass, he found the pass closed against him. So he sent Qing Bu and others on ahead by a side road, and they routed Liu Bang's army at Hangu Pass and broke through it. Xiang Yu then advanced to Xianyang, and Qing Bu often led his vanguard.


范增說項羽曰︰「沛公居山東時,貪財,好色;今入關,財物無所取,婦女無所幸,此其志不在小。吾令人望其氣,皆爲龍虎,成五采,此天子氣也。急擊勿失!」

8. Fan Zeng advised Xiang Yu, "I have heard of this Duke of Pei before. When he was still living east of the mountains, he was greedy for wealth and enjoyed sensual pleasures. Yet now that he has entered Guanzhong, he has declined to claim any of the Qin dynasty's treasures for himself or experience the pleasures of its women? This shows that he harbors some uncommon ambition. And I had earlier ordered people to interpret his aura, and they tell me that dragons and tigers appeared, and the five colors were all present, in accordance with the aura of a Son of Heaven. You must lose no time in attacking the Duke of Pei at once!"

〈《周禮》︰眡祲氏掌十煇之法,以觀妖祥,辨吉凶。卽後世所謂望氣者也。《晉‧天文志》︰天子氣,內赤外黃,四方所發之處當有王者。若天子欲有遊往處,其地亦先發此氣,或如城門隱隱在氣霧中,或氣象青衣人無手,在日西,或如龍馬,或雜色鬱鬱衝天者,皆帝王之氣。〉

(The Rites of Zhou states, "The Readers of Auras interpreted the laws of the Ten Glamours, in order to observe magical influences and manage good or ill fortune." This was the same role which in later times was called "reading the ethers". The Astrological Records of the Book of Jin states, "The aura of the Son of Heaven is red within and yellow without, and it can appear in any place in which a sovereign shall appear. If the Son of Heaven wishes to travel somewhere, that place too will first give off this kind of aura or ether. For instance, the city gates may subtly give off a kind of fine mist, or there may be an aura resembling a man dressed in green and without hands. And west of the Sun, there may be a figure like a dragon or horse, or there may be various colors abundant across the heavens. These are all ethers of a king or emperor.")


楚左尹項伯者,項羽季父也,素善張良,乃夜馳之沛公軍,私見張良,具告以事,欲呼與俱去,曰︰「毋俱死也!」張良曰︰「臣爲韓王送沛公;沛公今有急,亡去,不義,不可不語。」良乃入,具告沛公。沛公大驚。良曰︰「料公士卒足以當項羽乎?」沛公默然曰︰「固不如也。且爲之柰何?」張良曰︰「請往謂項伯,言沛公之不敢叛也。」沛公曰︰「君安與項伯有故?」張良曰︰「秦時與臣游,嘗殺人,臣活之。今事有急,故幸來告良。」沛公曰︰「孰與君少長?」良曰︰「長於臣。」沛公曰︰「君爲我呼入,吾得兄事之。」張良出,固要項伯;項伯卽入見沛公。沛公奉巵酒爲壽,約爲婚姻,曰︰「吾入關,秋毫不敢有所近,籍吏民,封府庫而待將軍。所以遣將守關者,備他盜之出入與非常也。日夜望將軍至,豈敢反乎!願伯具言臣之不敢倍德也。」項伯許諾,謂沛公曰︰「旦日不可不蚤自來謝。」沛公曰︰「諾。」於是項伯復夜去,至軍中,具以沛公言報項羽;因言曰︰「沛公不先破關中,公豈敢入乎!今人有大功而擊之,不義也;不如因善遇之。」項羽許諾。

9. Chu's Intendant of the Left, Xiang Bo, was Xiang Yu's uncle. He had long been good friends with Zhang Liang. So he rode quickly through the night to travel to Liu Bang's camp, where he secretly meet with Zhang Liang. He told Zhang Liang what was going on in Xiang Yu's camp, and he said that the two of them ought to flee together, saying, "Don't die here together with the rest of them!"

But Zhang Liang told him, "I have been accompanying the Duke of Pei on behalf of the King of Hann. It would not be right for me to abandon him when he is in distress. I must speak with him first."

Zhang Liang then went to see Liu Bang and told him the situation. Liu Bang was shocked to learn what was happening. Zhang Liang continued, "Duke, considering the quality of your soldiers, would you be any match for Xiang Yu?"

Liu Bang was quiet for a moment, then said, "Certainly not. But what can I do?"

Zhang Liang replied, "Please come speak to Xiang Bo, and have him tell Xiang Yu that you had no intention of turning against him."

Liu Bang said, "Do you have some history with this Xiang Bo?"

Zhang Liang replied, "During the Qin dynasty, the two of us wandered together. There was an occasion where he killed someone, and I was able to save his life. So now that this emergency has come up, he has come to see me and tell me about it."

Liu Bang asked, "Which of you is older?"

Zhang Liang replied, "He is."

Liu Bang said, "Then call him in for me, and I will treat him like an elder brother."

Zhang Liang went out and insisted that Xiang Bo come with him to meet with Liu Bang. So Xiang Bo came to see him. Liu Bang toasted his longevity and arranged a marriage between their two families. Then Liu Bang said, "In all the time since I entered Guanzhong, I've not disturbed the slightest hair. I have only made a survey of the officials and the people and sealed up the government stores and arsenals while awaiting General Xiang's arrival. I only sent troops to hold the passes in order to defend against bandits or anything else unusual. I've been watching day and night, waiting for the General's arrival. How could I dare to turn against him? I hope that you will do me the kindness of relaying my words and saying that I did not dare to rebel against the General's abundant virtues."

Xiang Bo agreed to speak on his behalf, but he added, "You will still need to come to the General's camp at dawn and apologize in person."

Liu Bang replied, "I shall do so."

So Xiang Bo left the same night and returned to Xiang Yu's camp, where he passed along Liu Bang's words to Xiang Yu. He also said, "If it hadn't been for the Duke of Pei conquering Guanzhong already, how could you have entered it this easily? He has achieved something so great, yet now you are planning to attack him. That is unjust. You would do better to receive him with kindness."

Xiang Yu agreed to do so.

〈楚官有左尹、右尹。〉〈文穎曰︰毫,秋乃成好,舉盛而言也。師古曰︰毫成之時,端極纖細,適足喻小,非言其盛。〉

(Chu's form of government had Intendants of the Left and Right.

Liu Bang claims that he has not taken a single 毫. Of this term, Wen Ying remarked, "This is known as 'autumn down', a type of hair that does not form completely until that season, used as an expression." Yan Shigu remarked, "When autumn down appears, it is small and minute in the extreme. It is an expression to mean something small, of no significance.")


項羽季父項伯告張良令出。良曰。今事急亡去則不義。乃告沛公。令見項伯。自解于項羽。(Records of Former Han 2, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

Xiang Yu's uncle Xiang Bo told Zhang Liang to flee. But Zhang Liang said, "It would not be right for me to abandon the Duke of Pei when he is in distress." So he informed Liu Bang of the situation. Liu Bang ordered him to bring in Xiang Bo, and he asked him to explain himself to Xiang Yu.


沛公旦日從百餘騎來見項羽鴻門,謝曰︰「臣與將軍戮力而攻秦,將軍戰河北,臣戰河南;不自意能先入關破秦,得復見將軍於此。今者有小人之言,令將軍與臣有隙。」項羽曰︰「此沛公左司馬曹無傷言之;不然,籍何以至此!」項羽因留沛公與飲。范增數目項羽,舉所佩玉玦以示之者三;項羽默然不應。范增起,出,召項莊,謂曰︰「君王爲人不忍。若入前爲壽,壽畢,請以劍舞,因擊沛公於坐,殺之。不者,若屬皆且爲所虜!」莊則入爲壽,壽畢,曰︰「軍中無以爲樂,請以劍舞。」項羽曰︰「諾。」項莊拔劍起舞。項伯亦拔劍起舞,常以身翼蔽沛公,莊不得擊。

10. At dawn, Liu Bang arrived at Hongmen to see Xiang Yu, accompanied by some hundred riders. He apologized to Xiang Yu, saying, "General, you and I were both doing our utmost to attack Qin; you were fighting on the north side of the Yellow River, while I fought on the south side. I never expected that I would really be the first one to enter Guanzhong and smash Qin, and thus have a chance to meet you again like this. Yet now, thanks to the words of some miscreant, someone has turned you against me."

Xiang Yu replied, "It was just because of what your Marshal of the Left, Cao Wushang, told me. Otherwise, how could things have ever come to this?" And he invited Liu Bang to remain to eat with him.

Fan Zeng kept gesturing at Xiang Yu with his eyes, and three times he lifted the jade ring ornament he was wearing to show Xiang Yu. But Xiang Yu remained quiet and gave no sign of agreement. So Fan Zeng got up and went out. Then he summoned Xiang Zhuang and said to him, "Our leader cannot bear to kill this fellow. You should go inside and offer the Duke of Pei a toast to his longevity. Then after making the toast, ask to perform a sword dance. During the dance, you can strike the Duke of Pei right where he is sitting and kill him. Otherwise, we shall all be his captives in the end!"

Xiang Zhuang thus entered the tent and offered a toast, and after the toast was over, he said, "There's no amusement to be found in an army camp. Allow me to perform a sword dance."

Xiang Yu said, "Very well."

So Xiang Zhuang drew his sword and got up to begin his sword dance. But Xiang Bo also drew his sword and began a sword dance as well, and he kept moving in front of Liu Bang to shield him, so Xiang Zhuang never had a chance to strike him.

〈玦如環而有缺。增舉以示羽,蓋欲其決意殺沛公也。〉〈若,汝也。師古曰︰凡言爲壽者,謂進爵於尊者而獻無疆之壽。〉

(A ring is like a loop, but with a gap in it. Fan Zeng must have been lifting his jade ring to show to Xiang Yu as a sign that he wanted Xiang Yu to decide to kill Liu Bang.

The term 若 here means "you".

Yan Shigu remarked, "To toast someone's longevity is to offer a toast honoring them and present them with boundless longevity.")


沛公遂見羽於鴻門。亞父范增欲擊沛公。羽不聽。范增謂項莊曰。汝入以劍舞。因擊沛公。項莊既舞。項伯常以身蔽沛公。(Records of Former Han 2, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

Liu Bang came to see Xiang Yu at Hongmen. Xiang Yu's Second Father, Fa Zeng, wanted to attack Liu Bang, but Xiang Yu would not listen to him. So Fan Zeng said to Xiang Zhuang, "Go inside and perform a sword dance, then take the chance to attack Liu Bang." Xiang Zhuang performed the sword dance, but Xiang Bo kept blocking Liu Bang with his own body.


於是張良至軍門見樊噲。噲曰︰「今日之事何如?」良曰︰「今項莊拔劍舞,其意常在沛公也。」噲曰︰「此迫矣,臣請入,與之同命!」噲卽帶劍擁盾入。軍門衞士欲止不內,樊噲側其盾以撞,衞士仆地。遂入,披帷立,瞋目視項羽,頭髮上指,目眦盡裂。項羽按劍而跽曰︰「客何爲者?」張良曰︰「沛公之參乘樊噲也。」項羽曰︰「壯士!賜之巵酒。」則與斗巵酒。噲拜謝,起,立而飲之。項羽曰︰「賜之彘肩!」則與一生彘肩。樊噲覆其盾於地,加彘肩其上,拔劍切而啗之。項羽曰︰「壯士復能飲乎?」樊噲曰︰「臣死且不避,巵酒安足辭!夫秦有虎狼之心,殺人如不能舉,刑人如恐不勝;天下皆叛之。懷王與諸將約曰︰『先破秦入咸陽者,王之。』今沛公先破秦,入咸陽,毫毛不敢有所近,還軍霸上以待將軍。勞苦而功高如此,未有封爵之賞,而聽細人之說,欲誅有功之人,此亡秦之續耳,竊爲將軍不取也!」項羽未有以應,曰︰「坐!」樊噲從良坐。

11. Then Zhang Liang went to the gate of the camp to see Fan Kuai. Fan Kuai asked, "How are things going?"

Zhang Liang replied, "Xiang Zhuang is performing a sword dance, and he's definitely got the Duke of Pei on his mind."

Fan Kuai declared, "Then he's in danger! I'll go in too, to share his danger with him!" And he buckled on his sword belt, grabbed his shield, and strode into the camp. The guards at the gate wanted to stop him, but Fan Kuai pushed them aside with his shield and knocked them to the ground. He walked up to the tent, yanked the curtain aside, and glared at Xiang Yu; his hair stood on end, and his eyes were full of fire.

Xiang Yu grasped his blade and began getting to his feet, saying, "Who is this guest?"

Zhang Liang told him, "One of the Duke of Pei's bodyguards, Fan Kuai."

Xiang Yu said, "He is a bold fellow! Give him a cup of wine."

So they served Fan Kuai a cup. Fan Kuai saluted in thanks, got up, and took the cup and drank it.

Xiang Yu said, "Give him a haunch of pork!"

So they gave him some pork. Fan Kuai put his shield on the ground, placed the pork upon it, and drew his blade and carved up the pork.

Xiang Yu asked, "Warrior, will you drink some more wine?"

Fan Kuai declared, "I wouldn't shrink even from death, so how could I decline another cup of wine? The Qin dynasty possessed the hearts of tigers and wolves; they killed people as though they would never be able to overcome them, and they punished people as though they feared they could never control them. That was why all the realm rebelled against them. Now King Huai certainly made a pact with his generals that 'the first to conquer Qin and enter Xianyang will become its king'. And the Duke of Pei was the very one who smashed Qin and entered Xianyang, where he never dared to touch even a single hair, before bringing his army back to Bashang to wait for your arrival, General. Such bitter toils he has endured; such great achievements he has performed! Yet not only have you not rewarded him with his proper title, but you have paid heed to the words of some villain and are now planning to execute this accomplished man. You are doing the same things that doomed Qin, General. How could you do this?"

Xiang Yu could not make any proper response, but only stammered out, "Sit down!"

Fan Kuai went to sit next to Zhang Liang.

〈盾,所以蔽身者也。〉〈撞,擊也。〉〈在旁曰帷。《釋名》曰︰帷,圍也,以自障圍也。〉〈瞋,怒目也。〉〈眦,目際也。〉〈跽,長跪也。〉

(A shield is a took for defending the body.

To push someone aside is to strike them.

The tent curtains are the material hanging down around the tent. The Yiming dictionary states, "The tent curtains surround the tent to keep the interior obscured."

To glare is to stare angrily at something.

The 眦s are the edges of the eyes.

跽 "kneeling" in this passage meant a tall kneel.)


於是甚急。賢成君樊噲聞之。杖劍楯衝門而入。立於帳下。羽曰。壯士哉。賜之卮酒豚肩。既飲酒。拔劍切肉。肉盡。因責讓羽曰。沛公先定關中。以待大王。今大王聽讒臣之言。乃欲誅沛公。臣恐天下解心疑大王也。所以遣兵守關者。以備他盜也。羽默然。遂無誅。(Records of Former Han 2, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

Since the situation was so urgent, Lord Jiancheng, Fan Kuai, grabbed his sword and shield and strode into the camp. When Fan Kuai stood at the tent flap, Xiang Yu said, "He is a bold fellow! Give him a cup of wine and a haunch of pork."

Fan Kuai drank the wine and used his sword to cut the meat. After finishing the meat, he denounced Xiang Yu, saying, "Since the Duke of Pei was the first to settle Guanzhong, he was awaiting your arrival, Great King. Yet now, having listened to the words of some slanderer, you are planning to execute him. I fear that will cause the realm to lose heart and become suspicious of you. The only reason the Duke sent troops to guard the passes was to guard against bandits."

Xiang Yu was left silent, and he did not execute Liu Bang.


坐須臾,沛公起如廁,因招樊噲出。沛公曰︰「今者出,未辭也,爲之柰何?」樊噲曰︰「如今人方爲刀俎,我方爲魚肉,何辭爲!」於是遂去。鴻門去霸上四十里,沛公則置車騎,脫身獨騎;樊噲、夏侯嬰、靳彊、紀信等四人持劍、盾步走,從驪山下道芷陽,間行趣霸上。留張良使謝項羽,以白璧獻羽,玉斗與亞父。沛公謂良曰︰「從此道至吾軍,不過二十里耳。度我至軍中,公乃入。」沛公已去,間至軍中,張良入謝曰︰「沛公不勝桮杓,不能辭,謹使臣良奉白璧一雙,再拜獻將軍足下;玉斗一雙,再拜奉亞父足下。」項羽曰︰「沛公安在?」良曰︰「聞將軍有意督過之,脫身獨去,已至軍矣。」項羽則受璧,置之坐上。亞父受玉斗,置之地,拔劍撞而破之,曰︰「唉,豎子不足與謀!奪將軍天下者,必沛公也;吾屬今爲之虜矣!」沛公至軍,立誅殺曹無傷。

12. Sometime later, Liu Bang got up to go to the lavatory, then called Fan Kuai out to see him. Liu Bang told him, "I want to leave now, but I haven't properly taken leave of our hosts. What should I do?"

Fan Kuai replied, "Our hosts are the knife and the carving block, and we're the fish and the meat! Forget about saying your goodbyes, just go!"

So they left at once. Since Hongmen was forty li from Bashang, Liu Bang left his carriage and escort riders behind and hurried back on a lone horse. Fan Kuai, Xiahou Ying, Jin Jiang, and Ji Xin took their blades and shields and fled on foot; they traveled from Mount Li down the road to Zhiyang, then took back roads to return to Bashang.

Zhang Liang remained behind at Hongmen, in order to offer apologies to Xiang Yu on Liu Bang's behalf. He was ordered to give Xiang Yu a pair of white jade discs, and to give Fan Zeng a pair of jade dippers. Liu Bang had instructed Zhang Liang, "It's no more than twenty li from the road back to my camp. Wait until I have returned to my army, and then go in to see Xiang Yu."

So after Liu Bang left, Zhang Liang waited the proper amount of time, then came in to offer apologies. He told Xiang Yu, "The Duke of Pei could not hold his alcohol, so he was unable to properly take leave of you. But he wanted to have me present you with this pair of white jade discs as thanks on his behalf. And I was to give this pair of jade dippers to your Second Father (Fan Zeng) as well."

Xiang Yu asked, "Where is the Duke of Pei now?"

Zhang Liang replied, "He heard that you were going to reproach him, General, so he left on his own. By now, he must have returned to his army."

So Xiang Yu accepted the discs, and granted Zhang Liang the seat of honor. But Fan Zeng threw the jade dippers to the ground and smashed them with his blade. He said, "Alas! I can't achieve anything with this whelp! It'll be the Duke of Pei who wrests the realm away from you, General! We'll all be his slaves in the end!"

When Liu Bang reached his army, he executed Cao Wushang.

〈置,留也;留車騎於鴻門,不以自隨。〉〈《姓譜》︰夏侯出自夏后之後,杞簡公爲楚所滅,其弟佗奔魯,魯悼公以佗出自夏后氏,受爵爲侯,謂之夏侯,因而命氏。紀,春秋紀侯之後,以國爲姓。〉〈班《志》︰京兆霸陵縣,故芷陽也;文帝更名。間,空也;投空隙而行。〉〈師古曰︰謂視責也。〉

(Liu Bang was leaving his carriage and riders at Hongmen so that they would not accompany him.

The Registry of Surnames states, "Those with the surname 夏侯 Xiahou are the descendants of the Xia dynasty. When Duke Qi of Jian was conquered by the state of Qi, his younger brother, Gongzi Tuo, fled to the state of Lu. Duke Dao of Lu, considering Gongzi Tuo to be a descendant of the Xia dynasty, appointed him as Marquis of Xia, and his descendants made Xiahou ('Marquis of Xia') into their surname." And, "Those with the surname 紀 Ji are the descendants of the Marquises of Ji of the Spring and Autumn era; they took their surname from the name of their state."

According to the Book of Han, Baling county in Jingzhao commandary was originally known as Zhiyang county; Emperor Wen of Han changed its name.

"Back" roads were empty ones; they took these roads to avoid encounters.

Zhang Liang mentions that Liu Bang was afraid that Xiang Yu would 有意督過 him. Yan Shigu remarked, "This means to hold something against him."

"Alas!" is a mournful exclamation.)


漢元年
十二月
與項羽有纳,見之戲下,講解。(Records of the Grand Historian 16, Monthly Timeline of the Chu-Han Contention)

In the first year of Liu Bang's reign (206 BC), in the twelfth month (of 207 BC), Liu Bang had a falling out with Xiang Yu. But he went to see Xiang Yu at Xi, and the tension was dispelled.

沛公乃還霸上。范增怒曰。吾屬今為沛公虜矣。(Records of Former Han 2, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

Liu Bang returned to Bashang. Fan Zeng angrily said, "We will become the slaves of this Duke of Pei in the end."


居數日,項羽引兵西,屠咸陽,殺秦降王子嬰,燒秦宮室,火三月不滅;收其貨寶、婦女而東。秦民大失望。

13. After several days, Xiang Yu led his troops west. He sacked Xianyang, killed Ying Ziying, and set fire to the Qin palaces. The fires raged through the city for three months. Xiang Yu also gathered up the treasures and concubines of the Qin palace and brought them back east. The people of the Qin region were thus greatly disappointed.

〈秦民初見沛公無所侵暴而悅,及爲項羽殘滅,失其初所望也。〉

(The people of Qin had been pleased when Liu Bang had not troubled them at all. But then Xiang Yu arrived and treated them violently and cruelly. Thus their original high hopes were dashed.)


沛公遂入咸陽,封宮室府庫,還軍霸上。居月餘,諸侯兵至,項籍為從長,殺子嬰及秦諸公子宗族。遂屠咸陽,燒其宮室,虜其子女,收其珍寶貨財,諸侯共分之。滅秦之後,各分其地為三,名曰雍王、塞王、翟王,號曰三秦。項羽為西楚霸王,主命分天下王諸侯,秦竟滅矣。後五年,天下定於漢。(Records of the Grand Historian 6, Annals of the Second Emperor of Qin)

Liu Bang entered Xianyang and confiscated the contents of Qin's palaces, arsenals, and warehouses before bringing his army back to Bashang. He waited there for more than a month, until at last the armies of the other feudal lords arrived, led by Xiang Yu.

Xiang Yu killed Ying Ziying and the remaining princes and kinsman of the Qin royal family. Then he sacked Xianyang, set fire to the Qin palaces, kidnapped their children, gathered up all their treasures and funds, and divided the booty among the feudal lords.

After Qin was no more, Xiang Yu split the Qin region into three parts and assigned them to three kings, so that the region became known as the Three Qins: the King of Yong, the King of Sai, and the King of Dai. Xiang Yu declared himself Hegemon-King of Western Chu, and he organized the division of the realm and made kings out of the feudal lords.

This was the end of the Qin dynasty. Five years afterwards (in 202 BC), the realm would once again be settled by the Han dynasty.

漢元年
十二月
至關中,誅秦王子嬰,屠燒咸陽。(Records of the Grand Historian 16, Monthly Timeline of the Chu-Han Contention)

In the first year of Liu Bang's reign (206 BC), in the twelfth month (of 207 BC), Xiang Yu entered Guanzhong, executed Ying Ziying, and sacked and burned Xianyang.

羽遂殺子嬰。收其寶貨婦女而東。燒秦宮室。火三月不滅... 羽所過殘賊。秦人失望。(Records of Former Han 2, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

Xiang Yu killed Ying Ziying and set fire to the Qin palaces. The fires raged through the city for three months. Xiang Yu also gathered up the treasures and concubines of the Qin palace and brought them back east.

Xiang Yu pillaged all the places he passed through. The people of Qin were thus disappointed in their hopes.


韓生說項羽曰︰「關中阻山帶河,四塞之地,地肥饒,可都以霸。」項羽見秦宮室皆已燒殘破,又心思東歸,曰︰「富貴不歸故鄕,如衣繡夜行,誰知之者!」韓生退曰︰「人言楚人沐猴而冠耳,果然!」項羽聞之,烹韓生。

14. A Master Han advised Xiang Yu, "Guanzhong is flanked by mountains and surrounded by rivers, well-defended on all sides, and it is a land of great bounty and plenty. It is the ideal capital for a hegemon."

But Xiang Yu had already burned down all the Qin palaces, and he wanted to return home to the east again. So he said, "Not going back to your hometown after becoming rich and powerful is like wearing a fine coat while walking around at night. Who would know about it?"

Master Han left, then told other people, "They say that people from Chu are mere monkeys dressed in hats. How true!"

When Xiang Yu learned of this, he had Master Han boiled alive.

〈師古曰︰沐猴,獼猴也。言雖著人衣冠,其心不類人也。果然,如人之言也。〉

(Master Han describes people from Chu as 沐猴s. Yan Shigu remarked, "These are the same thing as macaque monkeys. The expression meant that although such people are dressed in fine clothes, they lack the hearts of humans. And 'how true' meant that reality was just as the saying said.")


韓生說羽令都關中。羽曰。富貴不歸故鄉。如衣錦夜行。韓生曰。人謂楚人曰沐猴而冠。果然。羽聞之怒。殺韓生。(Records of Former Han 2, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

A Master Han advised Xiang Yu to make Guanzhong his capital. But Xiang Yu said, "Not going back to your hometown after becoming rich and powerful is like wearing a fine coat while walking around at night."

Master Han told someone, "They say that people from Chu are mere monkeys dressed in hats. How true."

When Xiang Yu learned of this, he became angry and killed Master Han.


項羽使人致命懷王;懷王曰︰「如約。」項羽怒曰︰「懷王者,吾家所立耳,非有功伐,何以得專主約!天下初發難時,假立諸侯後以伐秦。然身被堅執銳首事,暴露於野三年,滅秦定天下者,皆將相諸君與籍之力也。懷王雖無功,固當分其地而王之。」諸將皆曰︰「善!」春,正月,羽陽尊懷王爲義帝,曰︰「古之帝者,地方千里,必居上游。」乃徙義帝於江南,都郴。

15. Xiang Yu sent envoys to request further orders from King Huai. King Huai decreed, "Fulfill the terms of the pact."

But Xiang Yu angrily declared to his generals, "Who is King Huai anyway? He's just a pawn that my family propped up. He doesn't have any personal achievements to speak of. What gave him the right to arrange a pact like this anyway? The only reason that we supported the descendants of the old feudal lords in the first place was because the realm was still in turmoil. But who was it that endured the fighting and led the charges, lay blanketed by dew for three years in the field, and brought about the destruction of Qin? It was you and I who achieved all this! And since King Huai has achieved nothing, we ought to divide up his land between us and rule as kings."

His generals all yelled, "Excellent!"

In spring, the first month, Xiang Yu ostensibly honored King Huai as Emperor Yi, declaring, "According to ancient traditions, the sovereigns of old ruled over a personal domain of a thousand square li. Let the new Emperor dwell at the upper reaches of the river." And they relocated Emperor Yi to the Southland, with his new capital at Chen.

〈言如前約,使沛公王關中。〉〈張晏曰︰積功曰伐。〉〈謂初起兵時。〉〈游,卽流也;言居水之上流。〉〈《史記》曰︰長沙郴縣。班《志》,郴縣屬桂陽郡。蓋高祖定天下,方分長沙爲桂陽郡也。〉

(King Huai was saying to fulfill the original pact by making Liu Bang the King of Guanzhong.

Xiang Yu says that King Huai has no achievements or 伐s. Zhang Yan remarked, "伐 in this sense means a great many achievements."

By "the realm was still in turmoil", Xiang Yu referred to the very beginning of the uprising against Qin.

The upper reaches of the river was the upper flow; that is, Xiang Yu wanted Emperor Yi to reside at the upper flow of the river.

The Records of the Grand Historian states, "郴 Chen county was in Changsha commandary." But according to the Book of Han, Chen county was part of Guiyang commandary. It must have been that after Liu Bang united the realm, only then did he split off part of Changsha commandary to form Guiyang commandary.)


漢元年
一月
諸侯尊懷王為義帝。
二月
徙都江南郴。(Records of the Grand Historian 16, Monthly Timeline of the Chu-Han Contention)

In the first year of Liu Bang's reign (206 BC), in the first month, the feudal lords honored King Huai as Emperor Yi.

In the second month, Xiang Yu shifted Emperor Yi's capital to Chen in the Southland.

春正月。羽陽尊懷王為義帝。徙之長沙。都郴。(Records of Former Han 2, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

In spring, the first month, Xiang Yu ostensibly honored King Huai as Emperor Yi. He exiled Emperor Yi to Changsha, with his capital at Chen.


二月,羽分天下王諸將。羽自立爲西楚霸王,王梁、楚地九郡,都彭城。羽與范增疑沛公,而業已講解,又惡負約,乃陰謀曰︰「巴、蜀道險,秦之遷人皆居之。」乃曰︰「巴、蜀亦關中地也。」故立沛公爲漢王,王巴、蜀、漢中,都南鄭。而三分關中,王秦降將,以距塞漢路︰章邯爲雍王,王咸陽以西,都廢丘;長史欣者,故爲櫟陽獄掾,嘗有德於項梁;都尉董翳者,本勸章邯降楚;故立欣爲塞王,王咸陽以東,至河,都櫟陽;立翳爲翟王,王上郡,都高奴。項羽欲自取梁地,乃徙魏王豹爲西魏王,王河東,都平陽。瑕丘申陽者,張耳嬖臣也,先下河南郡,迎楚河上,故立申陽爲河南王,都洛陽。韓王成因故都,都陽翟。趙將司馬卬定河內,數有功,故立卬爲殷王,王河內,都朝歌。徙趙王歇爲代王。趙相張耳素賢,又從入關,故立耳爲常山王,王趙地,治襄國。當陽君黥布爲楚將,常冠軍,故立布爲九江王,都六。番君吳芮率百越佐諸侯,又從入關,故立芮爲衡山王,都邾。義帝柱國共敖將兵擊南郡,功多,因立敖爲臨江王,都江陵。徙燕王韓廣爲遼東王,都無終。燕將臧荼從楚救趙,因從入關,故立荼爲燕王,都薊。徙齊王田巿爲膠東王,都卽墨。齊將田都從楚救趙,因從入關,故立都爲齊王,都臨菑。項羽方渡河救趙,田安下濟北數城,引其兵降項羽,故立安爲濟北王,都博陽。田榮數負項梁,又不肯將兵從楚擊秦,以故不封。成安君陳餘棄將印去,不從入關,亦不封。客多說項羽曰︰「張耳、陳餘,一體有功於趙,今耳爲王,餘不可以不封。」羽不得已,聞其在南皮,因環封之三縣。番君將梅鋗功多,封十萬戶侯。

16. In the second month, Xiang Yu divided up the realm and appointed his generals as kings over the various regions.

Xiang Yu declared himself the Hegemon-King of Western Chu, claiming for his domain the nine commandaries of the Liang and Chu regions, with Pengcheng as his capital.

Xiang Yu and Fan Zeng were still suspicious of Liu Bang. However, his achievement was undeniable, and they were hesitant to openly break the terms of the pact. So they secretly plotted together, saying, "The regions of Ba and Shu are narrow places, and they are the places where Qin used to send their exiles." And they reasoned, "Aren't Ba and Shu also technically part of Guanzhong?" So they appointed Liu Bang as King of Han, with the regions of Ba, Shu, and Hanzhong as his domain, and with his capital at Nanzheng.

To ensure that Liu Bang would be isolated in his new domain, Xiang Yu split the Qin region into three parts and gave them to the three surrendered Qin generals. He appointed Zhang Han as King of Yong, ruling Guanzhong from Xianyang west, with his capital at Feiqiu. He appointed Sima Xin as King of Sai, ruling Guanzhong from Xianyang east to the Yellow River, with his capital at Yueyang. And he appointed Dong Yi as King of Di, ruling over Shang commandary, with his capital at Gaonu. Xiang Yu thus favored Sima Xin and Dong Yi because Sima Xin had once done a favor for Xiang Liang while serving as the prison overseer at Yueyang, and Dong Yi had urged Zhang Han to surrender to Chu while he was Zhang Han's Commandant.

The Liang region had been part of the state of Wei. But since Xiang Yu was claiming this region for himself, he relocated the current King of Wei, Wei Bao, to rule only the territory of Hedong commandary as King of Western Wei, with his capital at Pingyang.

Since Shen Yang of Xiaqiu had earlier subdued Henan commandary and then welcomed the Chu army upstream of the Yellow River, and he was a close friend to Zhang Er, Xiang Yu appointed Shen Yang as King of Henan, with his capital at Luoyang.

King Cheng of Hann, who already occupied the Hann region, was confirmed in his title, with his capital at Yangdi.

Since the Zhao general Sima Ang had pacified Henei commandary and had many other achievements as well, Xiang Yu appointed him as King of Yin, ruling over Henei commandary, with his capital at Chaoge.

Xiang Yu relocated the current King of Zhao, Zhao Xie, to be merely King of Dai instead. But Zhao Xie's Chancellor, Zhang Er, had long enjoyed a reputation as a worthy man and had also accompanied Xiang Yu on his march into Guanzhong. So Xiang Yu appointed Zhang Er as King of Changshan, ruling over the Zhao region, with his capital at Xiangguo.

The Lord of Dangyang, Qing Bu, had served as a Chu general and had often surpassed the other Chu generals as well. So Xiang Yu appointed him as King of Jiujiang, with his capital at Liu.

The Lord of Po, Wu Rui, had led the Hundred Yue peoples to support the feudal lords in their uprising, and he too had accompanied Xiang Yu during his march into Guanzhong. So Xiang Yu appointed Wu Rui as King of Hengshan, with his capital at Zhu.

Emperor Yi's Pillar of State, Gong Ao, had led troops to attack Nan commandary and had many other achievements as well. So Xiang Yu appointed him as King of Linjiang, with his capital at Jiangling.

Xiang Yu relocated the current King of Yan, Han Guang, to be King of Liaodong, with his capital at Wuzhong. But since the Yan general Zang Tu had led troops to help Chu save Zhao, and then had accompanied Xiang Yu during his march into Guanzhong, Xiang Yu appointed Zang Tu as the new King of Yan, with his capital at Ji.

Xiang Yu relocated the current King of Qi, Tian Fu, to be King of Jiaodong, with his capital at Jimo. But since the Qi general Tian Du had led troops to help Chu save Zhao, and then had accompanied Xiang Yu during his march into Guanzhong, Xiang Yu appointed Tian Du as the new King of Qi, with his capital at Linzai. And when Xiang Yu had first crossed the Yellow River to rescue Zhao, Tian An had subdued several cities in Jibei and then led his troops to surrender to Xiang Yu. So Xiang Yu appointed Tian An as King of Jibei, with his capital at Boyang. Since Tian Rong had criticized Xiang Liang several times and had refused to lead his troops to join Chu and attack Qin, Xiang Yu did not grant him any title.

Since the Lord of Cheng'an, Chen Yu, had abandoned his general's seal and had not accompanied Xiang Yu during his march into Guanzhong, Xiang Yu initially did not grant him any title either. But many people objected and advised Xiang Yu, "Zhang Er and Chen Yu had equal achievements in Zhao. Yet now you would make Zhang Er a king while giving Chen Yu nothing?" Feeling compelled to offer Chen Yu something, and hearing that Chen Yu was now at Nanpi, Xiang Yu granted him a fief of three counties.

Wu Rui's general Mei Xuan had many achievements as well. So Xiang Yu appointed him as a marquis of ten thousand households.

〈文穎曰︰《史記‧貨殖傳》︰淮以北,沛、陳、汝南、南郡爲西楚;彭城以東,吳、廣陵爲東楚;衡山、九江、江南長沙、豫章爲南楚。羽欲都彭城,故自稱西楚。孟康曰︰舊名江陵爲南楚,吳爲東楚,彭城爲西楚。師古曰︰孟說是也。〉〈班《志》,縣屬楚國。《史記正義》曰︰徐州縣。〉〈巴、蜀、漢中,秦所置三郡地也。班《志》,南鄭縣屬漢中。《括地志》︰南鄭縣,今梁州治所。近世有李文子者,蜀人也,著《蜀鑑》曰︰南鄭自南鄭,漢中自漢中。南鄭乃古褒國,秦未得蜀以前,先取之。漢中乃金、洋、均、房等州六百里是也。秦旣得漢中,乃分南鄭以隸之而置郡焉,南鄭與漢中爲一自此始。《春秋》「楚人、巴人滅庸」,卽今均、房兩州地。班《志》,漢中郡治西城,今金州上庸郡是也。〉〈班《志》︰扶風槐里縣,周曰犬丘,懿王所都也;秦曰廢丘;高祖三年更名。韋昭曰︰犬丘,周懿王所都;秦欲廢周,故曰廢丘。《括地志》︰廢丘故城,在雍州始平縣東南一十里。〉〈韋昭曰︰塞在長安,名桃林塞。《史記正義》曰︰桃林塞,今華州潼關。師古曰︰取河、華之固爲阨塞耳,非桃林也。櫟陽縣屬馮翊。《括地志》︰漢七年,分櫟陽城內爲萬年縣;隋改爲大興縣;唐復萬年。秦獻公所城櫟陽故城,在今雍州櫟陽縣東北二十五里。項梁嘗有櫟陽逮,請蘄獄掾曹咎書以抵欣而事得已,所謂「有德於梁」也。櫟,音藥。〉〈以上郡北近戎、翟,因以名國。班《志》,高奴縣屬上郡。《索隱》曰︰今鄜州有高奴城。《括地志》︰延州城卽漢高奴縣。杜佑曰︰延州,春秋白翟之地;漢爲膚施、高奴、臨河縣地;後魏置東夏州,後改延州,以界內延水爲名。董翳都高奴,今金明縣是。〉〈班《志》,縣屬河東郡。〉〈《括地志》︰洛陽故城,在洛州洛陽縣東北二十六里,周公所築,卽成周城也。《輿地志》︰成周之地,秦莊襄王以爲洛陽縣,三川守治焉。後漢都雒陽,改爲「雒」。漢以火德,忌水,故去「洛」旁「水」而加「隹」。魏於行次爲土;土,水之忌也,水得土而流,土得水而柔,故除「隹」而加「水」。〉〈河內郡朝歌縣,故殷都也,因以名國。〉〈《括地志》︰邢州本漢襄國縣;秦置三十六郡,於此置信都縣,屬鉅鹿郡;項羽改曰襄國。予據班《志》,襄國縣屬趙國,信都縣屬信都國,漢蓋又分爲二縣。宋白曰︰趙王歇都襄國,今邢州所理龍岡縣城是也。〉〈班《志》,當陽縣屬南郡。九江,應劭曰︰江自廬江尋陽分爲九。《地理志》︰九江在尋陽縣南,皆東合爲大江。《史記正義》曰︰九江郡卽壽州。楚自陳徙壽春,號曰郢。秦滅楚,於此置九江郡。〉〈班《志》,邾縣屬江夏郡。《括地志》︰邾故城,在黃州黃岡縣東南二十里。〉〈共,人姓也。《姓譜》︰共,商諸侯之國。晉有左行共華。又云︰鄭共叔段後。臨江,孟康曰︰本南郡,漢改爲臨江國,江陵縣屬焉。〉〈故無終子之國。班《志》,無終縣屬北平郡,非遼東郡界。蓋羽令韓廣都於無終,而令併王遼東之地故也。〉〈《姓譜》︰臧姓,魯孝公子臧僖伯之後。〉〈班《志》,薊縣屬廣陽國。師古曰︰今幽州縣。《水經註》︰薊城西北隅有薊丘,故名薊。〉〈《史記正義》曰︰博陽在濟北。班《志》︰太山郡盧縣,濟北王都。豈博陽卽此地邪!余據濟北有博關,博陽蓋在博關之南也。〉〈班《志》,南皮縣屬勃海郡。闞駰曰︰章武有北皮亭,故此云南。《括地志》︰南皮故城,在滄州南皮縣北四里。〉

(Regarding Xiang Yu's claim to "Western Chu", Wen Ying argued, "According to the Local Products chapter of the Records of the Grand Historian, the area from the Huai River north, including the commandaries of Pei, Chen, Runan, and Nan, were known as Western Chu. The area from Pengcheng east and including the commandaries of Wu and Guangling were known as Eastern Chu. And the area including the commandaries of Hengshan and Jiujiang, and in the Southland the commandaries of Changsha and Yuzhang, were known as Southern Chu. It must have been because Xiang Yu wanted to make Pengcheng his capital that he claimed the title King of Western Chu." But Meng Kang argued, "The old name for Jiangling was Southern Chu; for Wu, Eastern Chu; and for Pengcheng, Western Chu." Yan Shigu remarked, "Meng Kang is correct."

According to the Book of Han, Pengcheng county was part of the Chu princely fief. The Zhengyi commentary to the Records of the Grand Historian states, "It was a county in Xuzhou."

Ba, Shu, and Hanzhong were three commandaries created by the Qin dynasty. According to the Book of Han, Nanzheng county was part of Hanzhong commandary. The Comprehensive Gazetteer states, "Nanzheng county is the modern administrative center of Lianzhou." And in recent times there was a certain Li Wenzi, a native of Shu, who compiled the Mirror of Shu, which states, "Nanzheng came from Nanzheng, and Hanzhong from Hanzhong." Nanzheng had once been the ancient state of Bao. Before the state of Qin had acquired the Nanzhong region, it first took this area over. Hanzhong made up the six hundred li of area now comprised by the provinces of Jinzhou, Yangzhou, Junzhou, Fangzhou, and others. After Qin took Hanzhong as well, they split off Nanzheng from their original territory to use it as an administrative center for the new commandary of Hanzhong, and this was when Nanzheng and Hanzhong first became part of the same region. And where the Spring and Autumn Annals mention that "The people of Chu and Ba conquered Yong", they must be referring to the same areas as modern Junzhou and Fangzhou. According to the Book of Han, Hanzhong commandary was governed from Xicheng county at that time, the same place as Shangyong ("Upper Yong") commandary in modern Jinzhou.

According to the Book of Han, there was a Huaili county in Fufeng commandary; it was called Quanqiu during the Zhou dynasty, and had been the capital of King Yi of Zhou. Qin called it Feiqiu. It was renamed to Huaili in the third year of Liu Bang's reign (204 BC). Wei Zhao remarked, "Quanqiu ('Dog Mound') was the capital of King Yi of Zhou. Since the state of Qin's ambition was to overthrow Zhou, they renamed it to Feiqiu ('Toppled Mound')." The Comprehensive Gazetteer states, "The capital city of Feiqiu was ten li southeast of Shiping county in Yongzhou."

"Sai" more strictly means "border" or "pass". Wei Zhao remarked, "'Sai' referred to Taolinsai or Taolin Pass, which was at Chang'an." The Zhengyi commentary to the Records of the Grand Historian states, "Taolin Pass is the modern Tong Gate in Huazhou." Yan Shigu remarked, "'Sai' does not refer to Taolin, but merely to the general border defenses between Henei and Hualin."

櫟陽 Yueyang county was part of Fengyi commandary. The Comprehensive Gazetteer states, "In the seventh year of the Han dynasty (200 BC), the city of Yueyang was split off to be part of Wannian county. The Sui dynasty renamed this county to Daxing, but the Tang dynasty changed it back to Wannian. The capital city of Yueyang county that Duke Xian of Qin had walled was twenty-five li northeast of Yueyang county in modern Yongzhou." The first character of Yueyang, 櫟, is pronounced "yao".

At some point, Xiang Liang had been captured in Yueyang county, where he had begged the prison manager to write a letter to Sima Xin on his behalf, and Sima Xin had released him. This was how Sima Xin had "done a favor" for Xiang Liang.

Dong Yi was appointed as King of "Di" because his domain, at Shang commandary, was positioned to keep a close watch on the northern Rong and Di tribes.

According to the Book of Han, Gaonu county was part of Shang commandary. The Suoyin commentary to the Spring and Autumn Annals states, "There is a city of Gaonu in modern Fuzhou." The Comprehensive Gazetteer states, "The capital city of Yanzhou was Gaonu county during the Han dynasty." Du You remarked, "During the Spring and Autumn era, the modern province of Yanzhou was the territory of the White Di tribe. The Han dynasty organized this area into the counties of Fushi, Gaonu, and Linhe. Northern Wei organized the region as Eastern Xiazhou, later renamed to Yanzhou, because of the Yan River that ran through the region. Dong Yi had his capital at Gaonu, the same place as modern Jinming county."

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

The Comprehensive Gazetteer states, "The capital city of Luoyang conty was twenty-six li northeast of modern Luoyang county in Luozhou. It was built by the Duke of Zhou to serve as capital city for King Cheng of Zhou." The Geographical Records states, "This area was the domain of King Cheng of Zhou. King Zhuangxiang of Qin organized it as Luoyang county, the administrative center of Sanchuan commandary. Later Han made Luoyang its capital, changing the first character of Luoyang from 洛 to 雒. This was because, since the Han dynasty ruled by virtue of Fire, it had an aversion to Water, so it removed the water radical on the left side of 洛 and added the 隹 element to the character. Later Han was followed by Cao-Wei, which ruled by virtue of Earth. Since Earth was the bane of Water, as earth added to water makes it flow and water added to earth makes it soft, Cao-Wei restored the water radical and dispensed with the 隹."

Sima Ang was appointed as King of "Yin" because Chaoge county in his domain of Henei commandary had been the capital of the ancient Yin (Shang) dynasty.

The Comprehensive Gazetteer states, "Xingzhou was originally Xiangguo county during the Han dynasty. When the earlier Qin dynasty divided the realm into thirty-six commandaries, they organized this place into Xindu county as part of Julu commandary. Xiang Yu changed its name to Xiangguo." I (Hu Sanxing) note that according to the Book of Han, Xiangguo county was part of the Zhao princely fief while Xindu county was part of the Xindu princely fief. It must've been that the Han dynasty had split the original region into two different counties. Song Bai remarked, "The King of Zhao, Zhao Xie, had his capital at Xiangguo, the same place as the capital city of Longgang county in modern Xingzhou."

According to the Book of Han, Danyang county was part of Nan commandary.

Regarding Jiujiang, Ying Shao remarked, "It is called Jiujiang ('Nine Rivers') because from Lujiang to Xunyang, the Yangzi splits into nine parts." The Comprehensive Gazetteer states, "The Nine Rivers were south of Xunyang county; they all joined the Yangzi to the east." The Zhengyi commentary to the Records of the Grand Historian states, "Jiujiang commandary was the same place as Shouzhou. When the state of Chu relocated their capital to Shouchun from Chen, they named the city Ying. After Qin conquered Chu, they organized this area as Jiujiang commandary."

According to the Book of Han, Zhu county was part of Jiangxia commandary. The Comprehensive Gazetteer states, "The capital city of Zhu was twenty li southeast of Huanggang county in Huangzhou."

共 Gong is a surname. The Registry of Surnames states, "Those with the surname 共 Gong are the descendants of the marquises of the Shang dynasty. The state of Jin later possessed a 左行 named Gong Hua." It also states, "They are the descendants of Gong Shuyin of the state of Zheng."

Regarding Linjiang, Meng Kang remarked, "This was originally called Nan commandary. Han renamed it to the Linjiang princely fief. Jiangling county was part of it."

Wuzhong had once been the fief of the ancient Viscount of Wuzhong.

Han Guang was appointed as King of "Liaodong", but Wuzhong county was part of Beiping commandary, not Liaodong commandary. It must have been that in appointing him as King of Liaodong, though Han Guang's capital was at Wuzhong, Xiang Yu also annexed Liaodong commandary into Han Guang's domain.

Regarding the surname 臧 Zang, the Registry of Surnames states, "They are the descendants of Duke Xiao of Lu by his son Zang Xibo."

According to the Book of Han, Ji county was part of the Guangyang princely fief. Yan Shigu remarked, "It is now a county in modern Youzhou." The Commentary on the Water Classic states, "There was a Ji Mound at the northwest corner of the city of Ji, which gave the city its name."

The Zhengyi commentary to the Records of the Grand Historian states, "Boyang was in Jibei commandary." The Book of Han claims, "Lu county in Taishan commandary had been the capital of the King of Jibei." But how could such a place as that have possibly been the same place as Boyang? I (Hu Sanxing) note that there was a Bo Pass in Jibei commandary; Boyang ('South of the Bo') must therefore have been somewhere to the south of that.

According to the Book of Han, Nanpi county was part of Bohai commandary. Kan Yin remarked, "There was a Beipi ('North Pi') Point in Zhangwu commandary, thus this county was named Nanpi ('South Pi')." The Comprehensive Gazetteer states, "The capital city of Nanpi was four li north of Nanpi county in modern Cangzhou.")


漢元年
十二月
分天下,立諸侯。羽倍約,分關中為四國。分楚為四。分趙為代國。分魏為殷國。臧荼從入,分燕為二國。項羽怨榮,分齊為三國。
一月
項籍自立為西楚霸王。更名為常山。更為西魏。
二月
西楚主伯,項籍始,為天下主命,主十八王。王吳芮始,故番君。王共敖始,故楚柱國。王英布始,故楚將。王張耳始,故楚將。王趙歇始,故趙王。王田都始,故齊將。王田安始,故齊將。王田市始,故齊王。漢王始,故沛公。王章邯始,故秦將。王司馬欣始,故秦將。王董翳始,故秦將。王臧荼始,故燕將。王韓廣始,故燕王。王魏豹始,故魏王。王司馬卬始,故趙將。王韓成始,故韓將。王申陽始,故楚將。
三月
都彭城。都邾。都江陵。都六。都襄國。都代。都臨菑。都博陽。都即墨。都南鄭。都廢丘。都櫟陽。都高奴。都薊。都無終。都平陽。都朝歌。都陽翟。都洛陽。(Records of the Grand Historian 16, Monthly Timeline of the Chu-Han Contention)

In the first year of Liu Bang's reign (206 BC), in the twelfth month (of 207 BC), Xiang Yu divided up the realm and established the new feudal lords. He broke King Huai's pact by dividing Guanzhong up into four states (Han, Yong, Sai, and Di) rather than making Liu Bang the king of all of it. He split Chu into four parts (Chu, Hengshan, Linjiang, and Jiujiang), he split off part of Zhao to form Dai, he split off part of Wei to form Yin, and he split off part of Hann to form Henan. Since the Yan general Zang Tu had followed Xiang Yu to Guanzhong, Xiang Yu also split Yan in half (Yan and Liaodong). And since Xiang Yu was angry at Tian Rong, he split Qi into three states (Linzi, Jibei, and Jiaodong).

In the first month, Xiang Yu declared himself Hegemon-King of Western Chu. He renamed Zhao to Changshan, and he renamed Wei to Western Wei.

In the second month, Xiang Yu decided who would be the kings of these new Eighteen Kingdoms, which he would preside over. He appointed the Lord of Po, Wu Rui, as King of Hengshan. He appointed Chu's Pillar of State, Gong Ao, as King of Linjiang. He appointed his general Qing Bu as King of Jiujiang. He appointed Zhang Er as King of Changshan, with Zhao Xie shifted to be King of Dai. He appointed the Qi generals Tian Du and Tian An as King of Linzi and King of Jibei respectively, with the current King of Qi, Tian Fu, shifted to be King of Jiaodong. He appointed Liu Bang as King of Han. He appointed the former Qin generals Zhang Han, Sima Xin, and Dong Yi as King of Yong, King of Sai, and King of Di respectively. He appointed Zang Tu as the new King of Yan, with the current King of Yan, Han Guang, shifted to be King of Liaodong. He appointed the Zhao general Sima Ang as King of Yin, with the current King of Wei, Wei Bao, shifted to be King of Western Wei. And he appointed his general Shen Yang to be King of Henan, with the current King of Hann, King Cheng, confirmed in that title.

In the third month, Xiang Yu assigned capitals to the new lords. He made Pengcheng his own capital. He assigned Wu Rui to Zhu, Gong Ao to Jiangling, Qing Bu to Liu, Zhang Er to Xiangguo, Zhao Xie to Dai, Tian Du to Linzi, Tian An to Boyang, Tian Fu to Jimo, Liu Bang to Nanzheng, Zhang Han to Feiqiu, Sima Xin to Yueyang, Dong Yi to Gaonu, Zang Tu to Ji, Han Guang to Wuzhong, Sima Ang to Pingyang, Wei Bao to Chaoge, King Cheng of Hann to Yangdi, and Shen Yang to Luoyang.

羽自立為西楚霸王。王梁楚地九郡。都彭城。立沛公為漢王。王巴蜀漢中四十一縣。都南鄭。三分關中。立秦三將。章邯為雍王。司馬忻為塞王。董翳為翟王。黥布為九江王。徙趙王歇為代王。立張耳為常山王。徙魏王豹為西魏王。徙燕王廣為遼東王。燕將臧荼為燕王。徙齊王市為膠東王。齊將田都為齊王。趙將司馬邛數有功。立為殷王。瑕丘申陽先下河南。迎楚王於河上。立陽為河南王。吳芮率百越佐諸侯。立芮為衡山王。義帝柱國共敖。別將擊河南功多。立敖為臨江王。舊齊王建之孫田安。初以濟北數城降。立為濟北王。田榮背項梁。陳餘不從入關。故皆不王。然素聞餘賢。封南皮三縣為鄱君。別將枚鋗功多。封十萬戶侯。(Records of Former Han 2, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

Xiang Yu appointed himself as Hegemon-King of Western Chu; he took the nine commandaries of the Liang and Chu regions as his domain, with his capital at Pengcheng.

He appointed Liu Bang as King of Han; he granted Liu Bang the forty-one counties of the Ba, Shu, and Hanzhong regions as his domain, with his capital at Nanzheng.

Xiang Yu split Guanzhong into three parts and gave them to the three surrendered Qin generals: Zhang Han became King of Yong, Sima Xin became King of Sai, and Dong Yi became King of Di.

Xiang Yu appointed Qing Bu as King of Jiujiang.

He shifted the current King of Zhao, Zhao Xie, away and made him King of Dai instead, and he appointed Zhang Er as King of Changshan.

He shifted the current King of Wei, Wei Bao, away and made him King of Western Wei instead.

He shifted the current King of Yan, Han Guang, away and made him King of Liaodong instead, and he appointed the Yan general Zang Tu as the new King of Yan.

He shifted the current King of Qi, Tian Fu, away and made him King of Jiaodong instead, and he appointed the Qin general Tian Du as the new King of Qi.

Since the Zhao general Sima Qiong had many achievements, Xiang Yu appointed him as King of Yin.

Since Shen Yang of Xiaqiu had earlier subdued Henan commandary and welcomed Xiang Yu at Heshang, Xiang Yu appointed him as King of Henan.

Wu Rui had led the forces of the Baiyue region to support the feudal lords in their uprising. So Xiang Yu appointed Wu Rui as King of Hengshan.

Emperor Yi's Pillar of State, Gong Ao, had led his own force to attack Henan, and he had many achievements. So Xiang Yu appointed Gong Ao as King of Linjiang.

Tian An, who was the grandson of the former King of Qi, Tian Jian, had earlier led several cities in Jibei commandary to surrender to Xiang Yu. So Xiang Yu appointed Tian An as King of Jibei.

Since Tian Rong had refused to support Xiang Liang, and Chen Yu had not joined Xiang Yu during his march into Guanzhong, Xiang Yu did not make either of them kings. However, he had always heard that Chen Yu was a worthy man, so he appointed him as Lord of Po and granted him three counties, including Nanpi.

Another general, Mei Xuan, had many achievements as well. So Xiang Yu appointed him as a marquis of ten thousand households.

初,諸侯相與約,先入關破秦者王其地。沛公既先定秦,項羽後至,欲攻沛公,沛公謝之得解。羽遂屠燒咸陽,與范增謀曰:「巴蜀道險,秦之遷民皆居蜀。」乃曰:「蜀漢亦關中地也。」故立沛公為漢王,而三分關中地,王秦降將以距漢王。(Book of Han 39, Biography of Xiao He)

Originally, the feudal lords had sworn a pact with one another that the first of them to enter Guanzhong and smash the Qin dynasty would become the king of the Qin region. Liu Bang was the first one to do so. When Xiang Yu arrived afterwards, he was planning to attack Liu Bang, but Liu Bang apologized to him and so was able to escape. Xiang Yu then sacked and burned down Xianyang.

Xiang Yu then plotted together with Fan Zeng, saying, "The regions of Ba and Shu are narrow places, and the Shu region is where Qin used to send their exiles." And they reasoned, "Aren't Shu and Han also technically part of Guanzhong?" So they appointed Liu Bang as King of Han. They also split Guanzhong into three parts and appointed surrendered Qin generals as the kings of these three domains, in order to keep Liu Bang contained.

張耳從項羽諸侯入關。漢元年二月,項羽立諸侯王,張耳雅游,人多為之言,項羽亦素數聞張耳賢,乃分趙立張耳為常山王,治信都。信都更名襄國。陳餘客多說項羽曰:「陳餘、張耳一體有功於趙。」項羽以陳餘不從入關,聞其在南皮,即以南皮旁三縣以封之,而徙趙王歇王代。(Records of the Grand Historian 89, Biography of Zhang Er & Chen Yu)

Zhang Er accompanied Xiang Yu and the other feudal lords on their campaign into Guanzhong.

In the first year of Liu Bang's reign (206 BC), in the second month, Xiang Yu was appointing people as kings or nobles. Zhang Er was a refined man, and many people spoke on his behalf. Xiang Yu himself had also long heard that Zhang Er was a worthy man. So he split off part of the kingdom of Zhao and granted it to Zhang Er, appointing him as King of Changshan, with his base at Xindu; he also renamed Xindu to Xiangguo.

Many of Chen Yu's retainers spoke to Xiang Yu, saying, "Zhang Er and Chen Yu had equal achievements in Zhao." But Xiang Yu thought less of Chen Yu, because he had not joined his campaign into Guanzhong. He heard that Chen Yu was now at Nanpi, so he granted him a fief of three counties around Nanpi.

Xiang Yu relocated Zhao Xie to be merely King of Dai instead.

耳從項羽入關。項羽立諸侯,耳雅遊,多為人所稱。項羽素亦聞耳賢,乃分趙立耳為常山王,治信都。信都更名襄國。餘客多說項羽:「陳餘、張耳一體有功於趙。」羽以餘不從入關,聞其在南皮,即以南皮旁三縣封之。而徙趙王歇王代。(Book of Han 32, Biography of Zhang Er & Chen Yu)

Zhang Er accompanied Xiang Yu on his campaign into Guanzhong.

When Xiang Yu was appointing people as kings or nobles, Zhang Er was a refined man, and many people spoke on his behalf. Xiang Yu himself had also long heard that Zhang Er was a worthy man. So he split off part of the kingdom of Zhao and granted it to Zhang Er, appointing him as King of Changshan, with his base at Xindu; he also renamed Xindu to Xiangguo.

Many of Chen Yu's retainers spoke to Xiang Yu, saying, "Zhang Er and Chen Yu had equal achievements in Zhao." But Xiang Yu thought less of Chen Yu, because he had not joined his campaign into Guanzhong. He heard that Chen Yu was now at Nanpi, so he granted him a fief of three counties around Nanpi.

Xiang Yu relocated Zhao Xie to be merely King of Dai instead.

漢元年,項羽封諸侯,欲有梁地,乃徙魏王豹於河東,都平陽,為西魏王。(Records of the Grand Historian 90, Biography of Wei Bao)

In the first year of Liu Bang's reign (206 BC), when Xiang Yu was granting titles to the feudal lords, since he wanted the Liang region for his own domain, he relocated Wei Bao to rule only the territory of Hedong commandary as King of Western Wei, with his capital at Pingyang.

羽封諸侯,欲有梁地,乃徙豹於河東,都平陽,為西魏王。(Book of Han 33, Biography of Wei Bao)

When Xiang Yu was granting titles to the feudal lords, since he wanted the Liang region for his own domain, he relocated Wei Bao to rule only the territory of Hedong commandary as King of Western Wei, with his capital at Pingyang.

項王封諸將,立布為九江王,都六。(Records of the Grand Historian 91, Biography of Qing Bu)

When Xiang Yu was granting titles to his generals, he appointed Qing Bu as King of Jiujiang, with his capital at Liu.

項王封諸將,立布為九江王,都六。(Book of Han 34, Biography of Qing Bu)

When Xiang Yu was granting titles to his generals, he appointed Qing Bu as King of Jiujiang, with his capital at Liu.

及項羽相王,以芮率百越佐諸侯,從入關,故立芮為衡山王,都邾。其將梅鋗功多,封十萬戶,為列侯。(Book of Han 34, Biography of Wu Rui)

When Xiang Yu was appointing kings, he appreciated Wu Rui's merits in having led the Hundred Yue peoples to support the feudal lords against Qin and for having accompanied him into Guanzhong. So he appointed Wu Rui as King of Hengshan, with his capital at Zhu.

Wu Rui's general Mei Xuan had many achievements as well. So Xiang Yu appointed him as a marquis of ten thousand households.


漢王怒,欲攻項羽;周勃、灌嬰、樊噲皆勸之。蕭何諫曰︰「雖王漢中之惡,不猶愈於死乎?」漢王曰︰「何爲乃死也?」何曰︰「今衆弗如,百戰百敗,不死何爲!夫能詘於一人之下而信於萬乘之上者,湯、武是也。臣願大王王漢中,養其民以致賢人,收用巴、蜀,還定三秦,天下可圖也。」漢王曰︰「善!」乃遂就國;以何爲丞相。

17. Liu Bang was angry at his treatment, and he wanted to attack Xiang Yu. Zhou Bo, Guan Ying, and Fan Kuai all encouraged him to do so. But Xiao He remonstrated with them, saying, "Though you have been shamed, is that not better than death?"

Liu Bang asked, "What makes you think we will die?"

Xiao He replied, "With an army like yours, you'd suffer a hundred defeats in a hundred battles; how could you not die? Besides, there have been those who consented to bow to one man while being entrusted as lord of a domain of ten thousand chariots, Tang of Shang and King Wu of Zhou among them. So I ask you, Great King, to accept your role as King of Hanzhong. Nurture its people and attract its worthy talents, gather up and use the resources of Ba and Shu, and then return to Guanzhong and conquer the Three Qins. Then the realm could still be yours."

Liu Bang replied, "Well said!" And he went to his new domain, appointing Xiao He as his Prime Minister.

〈灌,《風俗通》曰︰斟灌氏之後。〉〈雍、翟、塞爲三秦。〉

(Regarding the surname 灌 Guan, the Fengsu Tong states, "People with this surname are the descendants of Master Guan of Zhen.

The "Three Qins" were the sub-regions of Yong, Di, and Sai.)


漢王欲叛楚。蕭何諫曰。雖王漢中之惡。不猶愈於死乎。且語稱天漢。其稱甚美。夫能屈於一人之下。則伸於萬人之上。湯武是也。願大王王漢。撫其民以致賢人。收用巴蜀。還定三秦。天下可圖也。乃就國。賜曹參爵為建成侯。樊噲為臨武侯。(Records of Former Han 2, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

Liu Bang wanted to rebel against Chu. But Xiao He remonstrated with him, saying, "Though you may be dissatisfied with Hanzhong, it is not worth throwing your life away. Besides, the old texts speak of the 'Heavenly Han'. To possess this title is very fortunate. Furthermore, there have been those who consented to bow to one man while being entrusted with the affairs of the many, Tang of Shang and King Wu of Zhou among them. So I ask you, Great King, to accept your role as King of Han. Nurture its people and attract its worthy talents, gather up and use the resources of Ba and Shu, and then return to Guanzhong and conquer the Three Qins. Then the realm could still be yours."

So Liu Bang went to his state. He appointed Cao Can as Marquis Jiancheng and Fan Kuai as Marquis Linwu.

沛公為漢王,以何為丞相。(Records of the Grand Historian 53, Biography of Xiao He)

After Liu Bang became King of Han, he appointed Xiao He as his Prime Minister.

漢王怒,欲謀攻項羽。周勃、灌嬰、樊噲皆勸之,何諫之曰:「雖王漢中之惡,不猶愈於死乎?」漢王曰:「何為乃死也?」何曰:「今眾弗如,百戰百敗,不死何為?周書曰『天予不取,反受其咎』。語曰『天漢』,其稱甚美。夫能詘於一人之下,而信於萬乘之上者,湯武是也。臣願大王王漢中,養其民以致賢人,收用巴蜀,還定三秦,天下可圖也。」漢王曰:「善。」乃遂就國,以何為丞相。(Book of Han 39, Biography of Xiao He)

Liu Bang was angry at his treatment, and he wanted to attack Xiang Yu. Zhou Bo, Guan Ying, and Fan Kuai all encouraged him to do so. But Xiao He remonstrated with them, saying, "Though you must be displeased to have been made King of Hanzhong, is that not better than death?"

Liu Bang asked, "What makes you think we will die?"

Xiao He replied, "Your army would never do; you'd suffer a hundred defeats in a hundred battles, so how could you not die? Besides, the Zhou texts state, 'One who does not accept what Heaven offers is sure to receive its censure'. Not to mention that the old texts speak of the 'Heavenly Han'. To possess this title is very fortunate. Furthermore, there have been those who consented to bow to one man while being entrusted as lord of a domain of ten thousand chariots, Tang of Shang and King Wu of Zhou among them. So I ask you, Great King, to accept your role as King of Hanzhong. Nurture its people and attract its worthy talents, gather up and use the resources of Ba and Shu, and then return to Guanzhong and conquer the Three Qins. Then the realm could still be yours."

Liu Bang replied, "Well said." And he went to his new domain, appointing Xiao He as his Prime Minister.


漢王賜張良金百鎰,珠二斗;良具以獻項伯。漢王亦因令良厚遺項伯,使盡請漢中地,項王許之。

18. Liu Bang granted Zhang Liang a hundred 鎰 of gold and two 斗 of pearls. Zhang Liang gave them all to Xiang Bo.

Liu Bang also ordered Zhang Liang to send Xiang Bo a generous letter, asking him to request the Hanzhong region for Liu Bang. Xiang Yu agreed to assign him the region.

夏,四月,諸侯罷戲下兵,各就國。項王使卒三萬人從漢王之國。楚與諸侯之慕從者數萬人,從杜南入蝕中。張良送至襃中,漢王遣良歸韓;良因說漢王燒絕所過棧道,以備諸侯盜兵,且示項羽無東意。

19. In summer, the fourth month, the feudal lords disbanded their troops and discarded their standards, and each went to their separate domains.

Xiang Yu sent thirty thousand troops to accompany Liu Bang to his new domain. The tens of thousands of soldiers from the Chu army and from the conscripts of the other states marched from Du south into Shizhong.

Zhang Liang accompanied Liu Bang as far as Baozhong, where Liu Bang sent him back to return to Hann. Before leaving, Zhang Liang advised Liu Bang to burn down the plank roads after he passed through them. This would have the practical effect of preventing the other feudal lords from attacking him, but would also give Xiang Yu the impression that Liu Bang had no thoughts of returning to the east.

〈師古曰︰戲,謂軍之旌麾也。先是,諸侯從項羽入關者,各帥其兵聽命於羽。今旣受封爵,各使就國,故總言罷戲下也。一說云︰時從羽在戲水之上,故言罷戲下。此說非也。羽見高祖於鴻門,此時已過戲矣;又入燒宮室,不復在戲也。《漢書》通以戲爲麾。〉〈漢京兆杜縣之南也。如淳曰︰蝕,入漢中道川谷名。近世有程大昌者著《雍錄》曰︰以地望求之,關中南面背礙南山,其有微徑可達漢中者,唯子午谷在長安正南,其次向西則駱谷。此蝕中,若非駱谷,卽是子午谷。李奇蝕,音力。〉〈《地理志》,襃中縣屬漢中郡。師古曰︰襃中,言居襃谷之中。《括地志》︰襃谷在梁州襃城縣北五十里南中山。李文子曰︰襃谷在襃城北,南谷曰襃,北谷曰斜,同爲一谷。自襃谷至鳳州界一百三十里,始通斜谷。斜谷在鳳翔府郿縣。谷中襃水所流,穴山架木而行。〉〈師古曰︰棧,卽閣也,今謂之閣道;蓋架木爲之。〉

(This passage states that the feudal lords 罷戲ed their troops. Yan Shigu remarked, "戲 in this instance means 'the standards of the troops under their command'. Earlier, the feudal lords who had accompanied Xiang Yu into Guanzhong had each been leading their own armies, under the overall command of Xiang Yu. But now that they were accepting their titles and each traveling to their own domains, the histories say that they disbanded their armies. There are some who claim that 戲 should be understood as the proper noun Xi, that is, that the sentence should read 'they disbanded their troops at Xi'. But this is not so. When Xiang Yu met with Liu Bang at Hongmen, he had already passed Xi by then, and when he advanced further and torched the palaces at Xianyang, he was not at Xi either. The Book of Han simply used the character 戲 instead of the more proper character 麾 because of their similarity in sound."

During Han, Du county was in Jingzhao commandary; the troops were marching south of Du.

Regarding Shizhong, Ru Chun remarked, "Shi was the name of a valley passing through the road to Hanzhong." And in recent ages there has been a Cheng Dachang who compiled the Records of the Yong Region, which states, "Concerning the state of the terrain, the south side of Guanzhong is flanked by difficult mountains. The other road to pass through them and reach Hanzhong goes through either Ziwu Valley, directly south of Chang'an, or Luo Valley, further to the west." So Shizhong must either be Luo Valley or Ziwu Valley. And according to Li Qi, Shi is pronounced "li".

According to the Geographical Records, Baozhong county was part of Hanzhong commandary. Yan Shigu remarked, "It is named Baozhong ('Within Bao') because it is situated within Bao Valley." The Comprehensive Gazetteer states, "Bao Valley is at Mount Nanzhong, fifty li north of Baocheng county in Lianzhou." Li Wenzi remarked, "Bao Valley is north of Baocheng; the south part of the valley is called Bao and the north part Xie Valley, but it is the same valley. It is a hundred and thirty li from Bao Valley to the edge of Fengzhou, where the road through Xie Valley begins. Xie Valley is in Mei county in the Fenghuang Garrison. The Bao River flows through Bao Valley, cutting through mountains and carrying away trees as it goes."

Yan Shigu remarked, "Planks are the same as shelves, and we would now call these 'shelf roads'; they must have been made from wood.")


漢元年
四月
諸侯罷戲下兵,皆之國。(Records of the Grand Historian 16, Monthly Timeline of the Chu-Han Contention)

In the first year of Liu Bang's reign (206 BC), in the fourth month, the feudal lords disbanded their troops and discarded their standards, and each went to their separate domains.

夏四月。諸侯皆就國... 張良燒絕棧道。示無還心。良因絕棧道而還於韓。於是沛公遂至南鄭。封呂公為臨泗侯。(Records of Former Han 2, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

In summer, the fourth month, the feudal lords all returned to their states.

Zhang Liang burned and destroyed the plank roads, to show that Liu Bang had no intention of returning. After destroying the roads, Zhang Liang returned to Hann.

Liu Bang then went to Nanzheng. He appointed his father-in-law Lord Lü as Marquis of Linsi.


田榮聞項羽徙齊王巿於膠東,而以田都爲齊王,大怒。五月,榮發兵距擊田都,都亡走楚。榮留齊王巿,不令之膠東。巿畏項羽,竊亡之國。榮怒,六月,追擊殺巿於卽墨,自立爲齊王。是時,彭越在鉅野,有衆萬餘人,無所屬。榮與越將軍印,使擊濟北。秋,七月,越擊殺濟北王安。榮遂幷王三齊之地,又使越擊楚。項王命蕭公角將兵擊越,越大破楚軍。

20. It was earlier mentioned that Tian Rong was serving as Tian Fu's Chancellor. When Tian Rong heard that Xiang Yu intended to relocate Tian Fu elsewhere and to diminish his title from King of Qi to King of Jiaodong, with Tian Du being appointed as the new King of Qi, Tian Rong was furious.

In the fifth month, Tian Rong raised troops to oppose Tian Du; he attacked Tian Du and drove him out. Tian Du fled to Chu.

Tian Rong compelled Tian Fu to remain where he was, and would not let him go to his new fief as King of Jiaodong. But since Tian Fu was afraid of Xiang Yu, he secretly fled to his new domain. Angered by this, in the sixth month, Tian Rong pursued Tian Fu and killed him at Jimo. Tian Rong then declared himself the new King of Qi.

At this time, Peng Yue was at Juye. He still commanded an army of more than ten thousand soldiers, and he had not pledged his allegiance to anyone. So Tian Rong gave Peng Yue a general's seal and sent him to attack Jibei. In autumn, the seventh month, Peng Yue attacked the King of Jibei, Tian An, and killed him. Tian Rong thus took over all of the Three Qi regions.

Tian Rong now sent Peng Yue to attack Chu directly. Xiang Yu ordered Xiao Gongjiao to lead troops to attack Peng Yue, but Peng Yue greatly routed this Chu army.

〈三齊,謂齊及濟北、膠東也。〉

(The Three Qi regions were the commandaries of Qi, Jibei, and Jiaodong.)


漢元年
五月
田榮擊都,都降楚。
六月
田榮擊殺市。齊王田榮始,故齊相。
七月
田榮擊殺安。屬齊。(Records of the Grand Historian 16, Monthly Timeline of the Chu-Han Contention)

In the first year of Liu Bang's reign (206 BC), in the fifth month, Tian Rong attacked Tian Du, who surrendered to Chu.

In the sixth month, Tian Rong attacked and killed Tian Fu, then declared himself the new King of Qi.

In the seventh month, Tian Rong attacked and killed Tian An as well. All of Qi thus submitted to his control.

田榮怨項羽不肯王己。又不令市徙膠東。市畏楚。亡之國。六月。田榮殺市。自立為齊王。而擊田都。都亡走楚。田榮與彭越將軍印綬。令反徇梁地... 後眾萬餘人在鉅野中無所屬。乃受榮印綬。擊殺濟北王安。榮遂并三齊之地。(Records of Former Han 2, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

Tian Rong was angry that Xiang Yu had not appointed him as a King. Tian Rong compelled Tian Fu to remain where he was, and would not let him go to his new fief as King of Jiaodong. But since Tian Fu was afraid of Chu, he secretly fled to his new domain. Angered by this, in the sixth month, Tian Rong killed Tian Fu. Tian Rong then declared himself the new King of Qi.

Tian Rong attacked Tian Du and drove him out. Tian Du fled to Chu.

Tian Rong granted a general's seal and ribbon to Peng Yue and ordered him to rebel against Chu and occupy the Liang region. At this time, Peng Yue was at Juye. He commanded an army of more than ten thousand soldiers, and he had not pledged his allegiance to anyone. He accepted Tian Rong's seal and ribbon, then attacked and killed Tian An.

Tian Rong thus took over all of the Three Qi regions.

昌邑未下,沛公引兵西。彭越亦將其眾居鉅野中,收魏散卒。項籍入關,王諸侯,還歸,彭越眾萬餘人毋所屬。漢元年秋,齊王田榮畔項王,乃使人賜彭越將軍印,使下濟陰以擊楚。楚命蕭公角將兵擊越,越大破楚軍。(Records of the Grand Historian 90, Biography of Peng Yue)

When Liu Bang proved unable to subdue Changyi, he abandoned his attack and led his troops away to the west. Peng Yue also led his troops back to Juye, where he gathered more scattered soldiers from the Wei region.

By the time Xiang Yu returned from his campaign into Guanzhong, Peng Yue commanded an army of more than ten thousand soldiers, and he had not pledged his allegiance to anyone. In the first year of Liu Bang's reign (206 BC), the King of Qi, Tian Rong, rebelled against Xiang Yu. He sent agents to give Peng Yue a general's seal and sent him to subdue Jibei as an attack against Chu.

Xiang Yu ordered Xiao Gongjiao to lead troops to attack Peng Yue, but Peng Yue greatly routed this Chu army.

昌邑未下,沛公引兵西。越亦將其眾居鉅野澤中,收魏敗散卒。項籍入關,王諸侯,還歸,越眾萬餘人無所屬。齊王田榮叛項王,漢乃使人賜越將軍印,使下濟陰以擊楚。楚令蕭公角將兵擊越,越大破楚軍。(Book of Han 34, Biography of Peng Yue)

When Liu Bang proved unable to subdue Changyi, he abandoned his attack and led his troops away to the west. Peng Yue also led his troops back to Juye, where he gathered more scattered soldiers from the Wei region.

By the time Xiang Yu returned from his campaign into Guanzhong, Peng Yue commanded an army of more than ten thousand soldiers, and he had not pledged his allegiance to anyone. So when the King of Qi, Tian Rong, rebelled against Xiang Yu, he sent agents to give Peng Yue a general's seal and sent him to subdue Jibei as an attack against Chu.

Xiang Yu ordered Xiao Gongjiao to lead troops to attack Peng Yue, but Peng Yue greatly routed this Chu army.


張耳之國,陳餘益怒曰︰「張耳與餘,功等也;今張耳王,餘獨侯,此項羽不平!」乃陰使張同、夏說說齊王榮曰︰「項羽爲天下宰不平,盡王諸將善地,徙故王於醜地。今趙王乃北居代,餘以爲不可。聞大王起兵,不聽不義;願大王資餘兵擊常山,復趙王,請以趙爲扞蔽!」齊王許之,遣兵從陳餘。

21. Meanwhile, Chen Yu stewed in anger when he learned that Zhang Er was now King of Changshan. He said, "I achieved just as much as Zhang Er did, yet he is made a king while I am only a marquis. This Xiang Yu is unjust!"

So he secretly sent Zhang Tong and Xia Shuo as envoys to meet with Tian Rong, to tell him, "Xiang Yu is unjust in his governance of the realm. He has given all the best land and titles to his own generals, while moving the former kings to barren wastelands. I could not bear the thought of the King of Zhao being sent north to live in Dai. But then I heard of your uprising, Great King, which cannot but be a righteous cause. Great King, I hope you will furnish me with soldiers so that I can attack Changshan and restore the King of Zhao. Let Zhao be your shield!"

Tian Rong agreed to the request, and sent troops to serve under Chen Yu.

〈師古曰︰扞蔽,猶言藩屛也。〉

(Chen Yu promises that Zhao will be a 扞蔽 for Qi. Yan Shigu remarked, "This term means a shield or screen; in other words, a buffer region.")


陳餘既怒張耳。且怒項羽之不王己也。乃請兵于齊以伐趙。(Records of Former Han 2, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

Chen Yu already had a grudge against Zhang Er, and he was angry that Xiang Yu had not made him a king as well as Zhang Er. So he asked for troops from Qi to use to campaign against Zhao.

張耳之國,陳餘愈益怒,曰:「張耳與餘功等也,今張耳王,餘獨侯,此項羽不平。」及齊王田榮畔楚,陳餘乃使夏說說田榮曰:「項羽為天下宰不平,盡王諸將善地,徙故王王惡地,今趙王乃居代!願王假臣兵,請以南皮為捍蔽。」田榮欲樹黨於趙以反楚,乃遣兵從陳餘。(Records of the Grand Historian 89, Biography of Zhang Er & Chen Yu)

Chen Yu stewed in anger when he learned that Zhang Er was now King of Changshan. He said, "I achieved just as much as Zhang Er did, yet he is made a king while I am only a marquis. This Xiang Yu is unjust."

Since at this time the King of Qi, Tian Rong, was fighting against Chu, Chen Yu sent Xia Yue to meet with Tian Rong to tell him, "Xiang Yu is unjust in his governance of the realm. He has given all the best land and titles to his own generals, while moving the former kings to barren wastelands. Even the King of Zhao has been sent off to Dai! O King, I hope you will furnish me with soldiers. Let Nanpi be your shield."

Tian Rong wanted to gain the Zhao region as an ally against Chu, so he sent troops to serve under Chen Yu.

耳之國,餘愈怒曰:「耳與餘功等也,今耳王,餘獨侯。」及齊王田榮叛楚,餘乃使夏說說田榮曰:「項羽為天下宰不平,盡王諸將善地,徙故王王惡地,今趙王乃居代!願王假臣兵,請以南皮為扞蔽。」田榮欲樹黨,乃遣兵從餘。(Book of Han 32, Biography of Zhang Er & Chen Yu)

Chen Yu stewed in anger when he learned that Zhang Er was now King of Changshan. He said, "I achieved just as much as Zhang Er did, yet he is made a king while I am only a marquis."

Since at this time the King of Qi, Tian Rong, had rebelled against Chu, Chen Yu sent Xia Yue to meet with Tian Rong to tell him, "Xiang Yu is unjust in his governance of the realm. He has given all the best land and titles to his own generals, while moving the former kings to barren wastelands. Even the King of Zhao has been sent off to Dai! O King, I hope you will furnish me with soldiers. Let Nanpi be your shield."

Tian Rong wanted to gain the Zhao region as an ally against Chu, so he sent troops to serve under Chen Yu.


項王以張良從漢王,韓王成又無功,故不遣之國,與俱至彭城,廢以爲穰侯;已,又殺之。

22. Xiang Yu disliked King Cheng of Hann, both because his subject Zhang Liang had accompanied Liu Bang and because he felt that King Cheng had achieved nothing. So he did not allow King Cheng to go to his domain, but took him with him to Pengcheng, where he demoted him to be Marquis of Rang instead. And after a short while, he killed him.

〈班《志》,穰縣屬南陽郡。〉

(According to the Book of Han, Rang county was in Nanyang commandary.)


漢元年
七月
項羽誅成。(Records of the Grand Historian 16, Monthly Timeline of the Chu-Han Contention)

In the first year of Liu Bang's reign (206 BC), in the seventh month, Xiang Yu executed King Cheng of Hann.

項王殺韓王成。以張良從漢入秦故也。(Records of Former Han 2, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

Xiang Yu killed King Cheng of Hann, because Zhang Liang had accompanied Liu Bang during his march into the Qin region.


初,淮陰人韓信,家貧,無行,不得推擇爲吏,又不能治生商賈,常從人寄食飲,人多厭之。信釣於城下,有漂母見信飢,飯信。信喜,謂漂母曰︰「吾必有以重報母。」母怒曰︰「大丈夫不能自食;吾哀王孫而進食,豈望報乎!」淮陰屠中少年有侮信者曰︰「若雖長大,好帶刀劍,中情怯耳。」因衆辱之曰︰「信能死,刺我;不能死,出我袴下!」於是信孰視之,俛出袴下,蒲伏。一市人皆笑信,以爲怯。

23. There lived a certain Han Xin of Huaiyin. He had been a fellow from a poor family and was of poor conduct; he could not gain a recommendation to serve as an official, nor could he make his living as a peddler or merchant. He had often begged people for food on the street, and thus many people had despised him.

On one occasion when Han Xin had been fishing outside the city, a washerwoman had noticed that he was starving and had given him some food. Han Xin was happy, and had told the woman, "I will greatly repay you someday."

But she had waved him off, saying, "You're a grown man who can't even feed himself; how could you ever repay me? I just gave you food because I took pity on you."

On another occasion, there had been a young man among the butchers of Huaiyin who had bullied Han Xin, telling him, "You might be a grown up who likes to walk around wearing a blade, but you're really just a coward." And he had shamed Han Xin by raising his voice so others could hear him say, "If you're ready to die, Han Xin, then take a stab at me. But if you can't bear to do it, then crawl under my legs!"

Han Xin, who thought little of the man, had bowed down and crawled between the man's legs. Everyone in the marketplace had laughed at him, and they all thought him a coward.

〈班《志》︰武帝元狩六年,置臨淮郡,淮陰縣屬焉。《史記正義》曰︰今楚州縣。無行,言無善行可推擇也。〉〈行賣曰商,坐販曰賈。〉〈以水擊絮曰漂。〉〈徐廣曰︰「袴」,一作「胯」;胯,股也。《漢書》作「跨」,同耳。師古曰︰跨,兩股之間。〉〈俛,俯首也。〉

(According to the Book of Han, in Emperor Wu of Han's sixth year of Yuanshou (117 BC), he created Linhuai commandary, with Huaiyin county as part of it. The Zhengyi commentary to the Records of the Grand Historian states, "It is now a county in modern Chuzhou."

Han Xin had "no connections" in that he did not have anyone who could help recommend or recruit him.

A traveling salesman is a peddler, while a stationary one is a merchant.

This woman was a washerwoman in that she used the water to wash clothing.

The bully uses the term "my 袴". Xu Guang remarked, "袴 is also written as 胯, which means 'legs'. The Book of Han uses the character 跨 in this tale; it has the same meaning." Yan Shigu remarked, "跨 means the space between two legs."

Han Xin is described as 俛ing; this means "to bow one's head down".)


淮陰人韓信為治粟都尉。初。信家貧。常寄食於下鄉亭長。亭長妻厭之。乃自絕而去。釣於下邳城下。有漂母憐信。食信數十日。信曰。富貴我必厚報母。母怒曰。大丈夫不能自食。吾豈求報乎。淮陰市有少年眾辱信曰。能死殺我。不能死出我跨下。信遂俛而出其跨下。市人大笑之。信母死。家貧無以葬。乃行營高敞葬地。令其傍可置萬家者。(Records of Former Han 2, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

Liu Bang appointed Han Xin of Huaiyin as a Commandant of Grain.

Han Xin had originally come from a poor family, and he often had to beg for food from the local village chief. But when the chief's wife despised him, Han Xin stopped going there.

For a while, when Han Xin was fishing below the walls of Xiapi, a washing woman took pity on him and provided him with food for dozens of days. Han Xin eventually told her, "I will certainly repay your generosity." But she angrily replied, "You're a grown man who can't even feed himself; how could you ever repay me?"

At one point, a young man in the Huaiyin marketplace shamed Han Xin by saying, "If you're prepared to die, then kill me. If not, then crawl between my legs." Han Xin then bowed down and crawled between the man's legs. The people in the marketplace all greatly laughed at him.

When Han Xin's mother passed away, he was too poor to properly bury her. But he made a grave for her at a very open place, spacious enough to fit ten thousand households.

淮陰侯韓信者,淮陰人也。始為布衣時,貧無行,不得推擇為吏,又不能治生商賈,常從人寄食飲,人多厭之者,常數從其下鄉南昌亭長寄食,數月,亭長妻患之,乃晨炊蓐食。食時信往,不為具食。信亦知其意,怒,竟絕去。信釣於城下,諸母漂,有一母見信飢,飯信,竟漂數十日。信喜,謂漂母曰:「吾必有以重報母。」母怒曰:「大丈夫不能自食,吾哀王孫而進食,豈望報乎!」淮陰屠中少年有侮信者,曰:「若雖長大,好帶刀劍,中情怯耳。」眾辱之曰:「信能死,刺我;不能死,出我袴下。」於是信孰視之,俛出袴下,蒲伏。一市人皆笑信,以為怯。(Records of the Grand Historian 92, Biography of Han Xin)

Han Xin was a native of Huaiyin. He was originally a commoner from a poor family, and was of poor conduct; he could not gain a recommendation to serve as an official, nor could he make his living as a peddler or merchant. He often begged people for food on the street, and thus many people had despised him.

For several months, Han Xin took advantage of the kindness of the District-Chief of Nanchang, who made sure he was fed. But this annoyed the District-Chief's wife, and eventually, one morning she made breakfast early and ate it at her own sleeping place. When the usual time for breakfast arrived and Han Xin came to eat, he saw that there was no food ready for him. Angry when he realized that she had snubbed him, Han Xin stormed off in a huff.

On one occasion when Han Xin was fishing outside the city, there were several women washing clothes there. One of them noticed that he was starving and, for days upon end, she kept him fed. Han Xin was happy, and he told the woman, "I will greatly repay you someday."

But she angrily waved him off, saying, "You're a grown man who can't even feed himself; how could you ever repay me? I just gave you food because I took pity on a young gentleman like yourself."

On another occasion, there was a young man among the butchers of Huaiyin who bullied Han Xin, telling him, "You might be a grown-up who likes to walk around wearing a blade, but you're really just a coward." And he shamed Han Xin by raising his voice so others could hear him say, "If you're ready to die, Han Xin, then take a stab at me. But if you can't bear to do it, then crawl under my legs."

Han Xin, who thought little of the man, bowed down and crawled between the man's legs. Everyone in the marketplace laughed at him, and they all thought him a coward.

韓信,淮陰人也。家貧無行,不得推擇為吏,又不能治生為商賈,常從人寄食。其母死無以葬,乃行營高燥地,令傍可置萬家者。信從下鄉南昌亭長食,亭長妻苦之,乃晨炊蓐食。食時信往,不為具食。信亦知其意,自絕去。至城下釣,有一漂母哀之,飯信,竟漂數十日。信謂漂母曰:「吾必重報母。」母怒曰:「大丈夫不能自食,吾哀王孫而進食,豈望報乎!」淮陰少年又侮信曰:「雖長大,好帶刀劍,怯耳。」眾辱信曰:「能死,刺我;不能,出跨下。」於是信孰視,俛出跨下。一巿皆笑信,以為怯。(Book of Han 34, Biography of Han Xin)

Han Xin was a native of Huaiyin. He was originally a commoner from a poor family, and was of poor conduct; he could not gain a recommendation to serve as an official, nor could he make his living as a peddler or merchant. He often begged people for food on the street. When his mother passed away, he was too poor to give her a proper funeral, but he buried her at a high and level place, spacious enough to accommodate ten thousand households.

For a time, Han Xin took advantage of the kindness of the District-Chief of Nanchang, who made sure he was fed. But this annoyed the District-Chief's wife, and eventually, one morning she made breakfast early and ate it at her own sleeping place. When the usual time for breakfast arrived and Han Xin came to eat, he saw that there was no food ready for him. Angry when he realized that she had snubbed him, Han Xin broke off his ties with them.

On one occasion when Han Xin was fishing outside the city, a washer woman took pity on him and, for days upon end, she kept him fed. Han Xin told the woman, "I will greatly repay you someday."

But she angrily waved him off, saying, "You're a grown man who can't even feed himself; how could you ever repay me? I just gave you food because I took pity on a young gentleman like yourself."

On another occasion, there was a young man in Huaiyin who bullied Han Xin, telling him, "You might be a grown-up who likes to walk around wearing a blade, but you're really just a coward." And he shamed Han Xin by raising his voice so others could hear him say, "If you're ready to die, Han Xin, then take a stab at me. But if you can't bear to do it, then crawl under my legs."

Han Xin, who thought little of the man, bowed down and crawled between the man's legs. Everyone in the marketplace laughed at him, and they all thought him a coward.


及項梁渡淮,信杖劍從之;居麾下,無所知名。項梁敗,又屬項羽,羽以爲郎中;數以策干羽,羽不用。漢王之入蜀,信亡楚歸漢,未知名。爲連敖,坐當斬;其輩十三人皆已斬,次至信,信乃仰視,適見滕公,曰︰「上不欲就天下乎,何爲斬壯士?」滕公奇其言,壯其貌,釋而不斬;與語,大說之,言於王。王拜以爲治粟都尉,亦未之奇也。

24. After Xiang Liang had crossed the Huai River, Han Xin had taken up his sword and gone to join him. But he had served only as a soldier under Xiang Liang's command, and no one had known about him. Once Xiang Liang was defeated, Han Xin had come under Xiang Yu's command, who had appointed him as a cadet. Han Xin had offered Xiang Yu several plans, but Xiang Yu had never used them. And after Liu Bang went to his new domain in the Shu region, Han Xin had deserted Chu to join Liu Bang's state of Han instead. But he had still lacked any reputation.

Han Xin served as a law official under Liu Bang. But he was charged with some crime and was scheduled to be executed. On the day of his planned execution, thirteen of his peers had already been executed ahead of him. When it was Han Xin's turn, he looked up and saw Xiahou Ying some ways away. He called out to Xiahou Ying, "Doesn't our sovereign want to possess the realm? Why is he beheading such a bold warrior?" Xiahou Ying was struck by his words, and upon closer inspection, he was impressed by Han Xin's appearance as well. So he released Han Xin and spared him from the death sentence.

Xiahou Ying spoke further with Han Xin and, being very pleased with him, recommended him to Liu Bang. Liu Bang thus appointed Han Xin as a Commandant of Grain. But Liu Bang did not yet see anything unusual about Han Xin.

〈據《史記‧表》,信爲連敖,典客;班《表》作「票客」,《索隱》以爲誤。徐廣於周竈《表》,以連敖爲典客,蓋以信《表》爲據。李奇曰︰楚官名。如淳曰︰連敖,楚官。《左傳》,楚有連尹、莫敖;其後合爲一官號。〉〈滕公,卽夏侯嬰;初從高祖爲滕令,故號滕公。〉〈班《表》︰治粟內史,秦官,掌穀貨;都尉蓋其屬也。至漢,改內史爲大司農。〉

(The first office that Han Xin was appointed to under Liu Bang was 連敖. According to the treatises of the Records of the Grand Historian, this was a law official. The Book of Han records his rank as 票客, but the Suoyin commentary to the Records of the Grand Historian asserts that this is an error. Xu Guang states that the treatises of Zhou Zao states that the 連敖 was a law official, and must have taken its reasoning from the treatises of the Book of Han. Li Qi remarked, "連敖 is the name of a Chu office." Ru Chun remarked, "It was a Chu office. In the Zuo Commentary to the Spring and Autumn Annals, it mentions in Chu the two offices of 連尹 and 莫敖, which were later combined into the single office of 連敖."

From this passage on, the Zizhi Tongjian refers to Xiahou Ying as the "Duke of Teng". Xiahou Ying had originally been Prefect of Teng when he joined Liu Bang, thus this title now.

According to the Book of Han, during the Qin dynasty, there was an office called the Interior Minister of Grain, in charge of handling grain supplies. The "Commandant of Grain" must have been a subordinate office. During the Han Dynasty, the Interior Minister of Grain was renamed to the Grand Minister of Agriculture (or, the Minister of Finance).)


後事項羽為郎中。羽不能用而去。歸於漢。坐事當斬。已伏鑕。仰視乃見夏侯嬰曰。王不欲取天下邪。而斬壯士。太僕嬰言之於王。赦之不誅。以為都尉。(Records of Former Han 2, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

Han Xin later served under Xiang Yu as a cadet. But Xiang Yu did not properly use him, so Han Xin left and came to Han instead.

Han Xin was charged with some crime and was going to be beheaded. His head was already on the chopping block when he looked over and saw Xiahou Ying. He called out, "Doesn't the King want to claim the realm? Why then is he beheading a strong fellow?" Xiahou Ying (who was Minister Coachman) mentioned this to Liu Bang, and Han Xin was pardoned rather than executed. Liu Bang appointed him as a Commandant of Grain.

及項梁渡淮,信杖劍從之,居戲下,無所知名。項梁敗,又屬項羽,羽以為郎中。數以策干項羽,羽不用。漢王之入蜀,信亡楚歸漢,未得知名,為連敖。坐法當斬,其輩十三人皆已斬,次至信,信乃仰視,適見滕公,曰:「上不欲就天下乎?何為斬壯士!」滕公奇其言,壯其貌,釋而不斬。與語,大說之。言於上,上拜以為治粟都尉,上未之奇也。(Records of the Grand Historian 92, Biography of Han Xin)

After Xiang Liang crossed the Huai River, Han Xin took up his sword and went to join him. But he served only as a soldier under Xiang Liang's command, and no one knew about him. Once Xiang Liang was defeated, Han Xin came under Xiang Yu's command, who appointed him as a cadet. Han Xin offered Xiang Yu several plans, but Xiang Yu never used them. And after Liu Bang went to his new domain in the Shu region, Han Xin deserted Chu to join Liu Bang's state of Han instead. But he still lacked any reputation.

Han Xin served as a law official under Liu Bang. But he was charged with some crime and was scheduled to be executed. On the day of his planned execution, thirteen of his peers had already been executed ahead of him. When it was Han Xin's turn, he looked up and saw Xiahou Ying some ways away. He called out to Xiahou Ying, "Doesn't our sovereign want to possess the realm? Why is he beheading such a bold warrior?" Xiahou Ying was struck by his words, and upon closer inspection, he was impressed by Han Xin's appearance as well. So he released Han Xin and spared him from the death sentence.

Xiahou Ying spoke further with Han Xin and, being very pleased with him, recommended him to Liu Bang. Liu Bang thus appointed Han Xin as a Commandant of Grain. But Liu Bang did not yet see anything unusual about Han Xin.

及項梁度淮,信乃杖劍從之,居戲下,無所知名。梁敗,又屬項羽,為郎中。信數以策干項羽,羽弗用。漢王之入蜀,信亡楚歸漢,未得知名,為連敖。坐法當斬,其疇十三人皆已斬,至信,信乃仰視,適見滕公,曰:「上不欲就天子乎?而斬壯士!」滕公奇其言,壯其貌,釋弗斬。與語,大說之,言於漢王。漢王以為治粟都尉,上未奇之也。(Book of Han 34, Biography of Han Xin)

After Xiang Liang crossed the Huai River, Han Xin took up his sword and went to join him. But he served only as a soldier under Xiang Liang's command, and no one knew about him. Once Xiang Liang was defeated, Han Xin came under Xiang Yu's command, who appointed him as a cadet. Han Xin offered Xiang Yu several plans, but Xiang Yu never used them. And after Liu Bang went to his new domain in the Shu region, Han Xin deserted Chu to join Liu Bang's state of Han instead. But he still lacked any reputation.

Han Xin served as a law official under Liu Bang. But he was charged with some crime and was scheduled to be executed. On the day of his planned execution, thirteen of his peers had already been executed ahead of him. When it was Han Xin's turn, he looked up and saw Xiahou Ying some ways away. He called out to Xiahou Ying, "Doesn't our sovereign want to be the Son of Heaven? Yet now he's beheading such a bold warrior!" Xiahou Ying was struck by his words, and upon closer inspection, he was impressed by Han Xin's appearance as well. So he released Han Xin and spared him from the death sentence.

Xiahou Ying spoke further with Han Xin and, being very pleased with him, recommended him to Liu Bang. Liu Bang thus appointed Han Xin as a Commandant of Grain. But Liu Bang did not yet see anything unusual about Han Xin.


信數與蕭何語,何奇之。漢王至南鄭,諸將及士卒皆歌謳思東歸,多道亡者。信度何等已數言王,王不我用,卽亡去。何聞信亡,不及以聞,自追之。人有言王曰︰「丞相何亡。」王大怒,如失左右手。居一二日,何來謁王。王且怒且喜,罵何曰︰「若亡,何也?」何曰︰「臣不敢亡也,臣追亡者耳。」王曰︰「若所追者誰?」何曰︰「韓信也。」王復罵曰︰「諸將亡者以十數,公無所追;追信,詐也!」何曰︰「諸將易得耳;至如信者,國士無雙。王必欲長王漢中,無所事信;必欲爭天下,非信無可與計事者。顧王策安所決耳!」王曰︰「吾亦欲東耳,安能鬱鬱久居此乎!」何曰︰「計必欲東,能用信,信卽留;不能用信,終亡耳。」王曰︰「吾爲公以爲將。」何曰︰「雖爲將,信不留。」王曰︰「以爲大將。」何曰︰「幸甚!」於是王欲召信拜之。何曰︰「王素慢無禮;今拜大將,如呼小兒,此乃信所以去也。王必欲拜之,擇良日,齋戒,設壇場,具禮,乃可耳。」王許之。諸將皆喜,人人各自以爲得大將。至拜大將,乃韓信也,一軍皆驚。

25. Han Xin spoke with Xiao He several times, and Xiao He too was impressed by him.

Now by the time that Liu Bang had arrived at Nanzheng, his generals, officers, and soldiers were all singing songs of Chu to themselves and longing to return home. Many of them deserted Liu Bang along the road. Han Xin, too, felt that although Xiao He and others had recommended him to Liu Bang, Liu Bang would never properly use him. So he left as well.

When Xiao He heard that Han Xin had left, without even waiting to tell anyone where he was going, Xiao He hurried to chase after Han Xin. Someone told Liu Bang, "The Prime Minister has abandoned us." Liu Bang was furious, feeling like he had lost one of his own hands. But after only one or two days, Xiao He reappeared, coming to pay his respects.

Liu Bang, feeling a mixture of joy and anger, reprimanded Xiao He. "Why did you abandon me?"

Xiao He replied, "I would never dare to abandon you. I was merely chasing after someone who left us."

Liu Bang asked, "Who were you chasing after?"

Xiao He replied, "It was Han Xin."

Once again angry, Liu Bang demanded, "Dozens of my generals have deserted me, yet you did not chase after them. So you expect me to believe you were chasing after this Han Xin? You're lying!"

Xiao He replied, "Generals are as easily found as lost. But a man like Han Xin? He has no peer in our state. O King, if you wish for nothing more than to remain in Hanzhong forever, you can certainly dispense with Han Xin. But if you wish to contend for control of the realm, no one but Han Xin will be able to accomplish it for you. It is for you to decide what your strategy shall be, at once!"

Liu Bang said, "Of course I want to return east again. How could I just remain in this place forever?"

Xiao He replied, "If you are determined to return east, then make use of Han Xin, and he will stay with us. But if you do not use him, he will leave for good eventually."

Liu Bang said, "Then, for your sake, I shall make him one of my generals."

Xiao He replied, "Even that much, I fear, will not be enough to make him stay."

Liu Bang said, "Then I shall make him my chief general."

Xiao He replied, "That would be excellent indeed!"

Liu Bang was going to simply summon Han Xin to see him and grant him the appointment without any formality. But Xiao He argued, "O King, you have always been like this: straightforward and without any pomp. Now you would appoint this man as your chief general in the same manner that someone summons a small child. That will surely cause Han Xin to leave you. No, since you are going to grant him this appointment, you must choose an auspicious day for the occasion, stage a military review of your troops, build an altar for the ceremony, and act with all the proper protocol. Only then would the appointment be acceptable."

Liu Bang agreed to do so, and announced the coming ceremony at which he would appoint his chief general. All of his generals were pleased to hear this announcement, for they were all sure that they would be the one chosen. But when the day came and it was revealed that Han Xin of all people would now be the chief general, the whole army was shocked.

〈師古曰︰爲國家之奇士。余謂何言漢國之士僅有信一人,他無與比也。〉

(Xiao He described Han Xin as being "without peer in our state". Yan Shigu remarked, "This means that he was an exceptional fellow of the state." But I (Hu Sanxing) argue that Xiao He's thinking went further, and that he believed that Han Xin was so exceptional that no one in Han could compare with him.)


蕭何知其賢。王不能用。信亡。蕭何遽自追之。不及以聞。三日乃至。王怒曰。何之。何曰。追亡者耳。王曰。諸將亡者十輩。公無所追。追信。詐也。何曰。諸將易得耳。大王必欲定天下。非信無可用者。王乃以為大將軍。何曰。大王性素慢人。每拜大將軍。若召小兒。此信所以去也。宜立壇場。齋七日。設九賓禮而拜之。既拜信。眾咸驚焉。(Records of Former Han 2, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

Xiao He knew that Han Xin was a worthy man. But Liu Bang was not properly using him, so Han Xin left. Xiao He immediately left to chase after him, without stopping to inform anyone. He returned three days later.

Liu Bang angrily asked him, "Why did you leave?"

Xiao He replied, "I was merely chasing after someone else who had fled."

Liu Bang demanded, "Dozens of my generals have deserted me, yet you did not chase after them. So you expect me to believe you were chasing after this Han Xin? You're lying!"

Xiao He replied, "Generals are as easily found as lost. But Great King, if you wish to contend for control of the realm, no one but Han Xin will be able to accomplish it for you."

Liu Bang was going to appoint Han Xin as his chief general. Xiao He told him, "Great King, you have always been a straightforward man, and you appoint your leading generals with no greater ceremony than you would in summoning a small child. That will make Han Xin leave you. You should build an altar for the ceremony, hold seven days of military reviews, and establish the rites of the nine guests when you make the appointment.

Liu Bang appointed Han Xin in this manner. His whole army was shocked.

何進言韓信,漢王以信為大將軍。語在淮陰侯事中。(Records of the Grand Historian 53, Biography of Xiao He)

Xiao He recommended Han Xin to Liu Bang, and Liu Bang appointed Han Xin as his chief general. This is further mentioned in the Biography of Han Xin.

何進韓信,漢王以為大將軍,說漢王令引兵東定三秦。語在信傳。(Book of Han 39, Biography of Xiao He)

Xiao He recommended Han Xin to Liu Bang, and Liu Bang appointed Han Xin as his chief general. Han Xin persuaded Liu Bang to lead his troops east to conquer the Three Qins region. This is further mentioned in the Biography of Han Xin.

信數與蕭何語,何奇之。至南鄭,諸將行道亡者數十人,信度何等已數言上,上不我用,即亡。何聞信亡,不及以聞,自追之。人有言上曰:「丞相何亡。」上大怒,如失左右手。居一二日,何來謁上,上且怒且喜,罵何曰:「若亡,何也?」何曰:「臣不敢亡也,臣追亡者。」上曰:「若所追者誰?」何曰:「韓信也。」上復罵曰:「諸將亡者以十數,公無所追;追信,詐也。」何曰:「諸將易得耳。至如信者,國士無雙。王必欲長王漢中,無所事信;必欲爭天下,非信無所與計事者。顧王策安所決耳。」王曰:「吾亦欲東耳,安能郁郁久居此乎?」何曰:「王計必欲東,能用信,信即留;不能用,信終亡耳。」王曰:「吾為公以為將。」何曰:「雖為將,信必不留。」王曰:「以為大將。」何曰:「幸甚。」於是王欲召信拜之。何曰:「王素慢無禮,今拜大將如呼小兒耳,此乃信所以去也。王必欲拜之,擇良日,齋戒,設壇場,具禮,乃可耳。」王許之。諸將皆喜,人人各自以為得大將。至拜大將,乃韓信也,一軍皆驚。(Records of the Grand Historian 92, Biography of Han Xin)

Han Xin spoke with Xiao He several times, and Xiao He too was impressed by him.

Now by the time that Liu Bang had arrived at Nanzheng, dozens of his generals had deserted Liu Bang along the road. Han Xin, too, felt that although Xiao He and others had recommended him to Liu Bang, Liu Bang would never properly use him. So he left as well.

When Xiao He heard that Han Xin had left, without even waiting to tell anyone where he was going, Xiao He hurried to chase after Han Xin. Someone told Liu Bang, "The Prime Minister has abandoned us." Liu Bang was furious, feeling like he had lost one of his own hands. But after only one or two days, Xiao He reappeared, coming to pay his respects.

Liu Bang, feeling a mixture of joy and anger, reprimanded Xiao He. "Why did you abandon me?"

Xiao He replied, "I would never dare to abandon you. I was merely chasing after someone who left us."

Liu Bang asked, "Who were you chasing after?"

Xiao He replied, "It was Han Xin."

Once again angry, Liu Bang demanded, "Dozens of my generals have deserted me, yet you did not chase after them. So you expect me to believe you were chasing after this Han Xin? You're lying."

Xiao He replied, "Generals are as easily found as lost. But a man like Han Xin? He has no peer in our state. O King, if you wish for nothing more than to remain King of Hanzhong forever, you can certainly dispense with Han Xin. But if you wish to contend for control of the realm, no one but Han Xin will be able to accomplish it for you. It is for you to decide what your strategy shall be, at once."

Liu Bang said, "Of course I want to return east again. How could I just remain in this place forever?"

Xiao He replied, "If you are determined to return east, then make use of Han Xin, and he will stay with us. But if you do not use him, he will leave for good eventually."

Liu Bang said, "Then, for your sake, I shall make him one of my generals."

Xiao He replied, "Even that much, I fear, will not be enough to make him stay."

Liu Bang said, "Then I shall make him my chief general."

Xiao He replied, "That would be excellent indeed."

Liu Bang was going to simply summon Han Xin to see him and grant him the appointment without any formality. But Xiao He argued, "O King, you have always been like this: straightforward and without any pomp. Now you would appoint this man as your chief general in the same manner that someone summons a small child. That will surely cause Han Xin to leave you. No, since you are going to grant him this appointment, you must choose an auspicious day for the occasion, stage a military review of your troops, build an altar for the ceremony, and act with all the proper protocol. Only then would the appointment be acceptable."

Liu Bang agreed to do so, and announced the coming ceremony at which he would appoint his chief general. All of his generals were pleased to hear this announcement, for they were all sure that they would be the one chosen. But when the day came and it was revealed that Han Xin of all people would now be the chief general, the whole army was shocked.

數與蕭何語,何奇之。至南鄭,諸將道亡者數十人。信度何等已數言上,不我用,即亡。何聞信亡,不及以聞,自追之。人有言上曰:「丞相何亡。」上怒,如失左右手。居一二日,何來謁。上且怒且喜,罵何曰:「若亡,何也?」何曰:「臣非敢亡,追亡者耳。」上曰:「所追者誰也?」曰:「韓信。」上復罵曰:「諸將亡者已數十,公無所追;追信,詐也。」何曰:「諸將易得,至如信,國士無雙。王必欲長王漢中,無所事信;必欲爭天下,非信無可與計事者。顧王策安決。」王曰:「吾亦欲東耳,安能鬱鬱久居此乎?」何曰:「王計必東,能用信,信即留;不能用信,信終亡耳。」王曰:「吾為公以為將。」何曰:「雖為將,信不留。」王曰:「以為大將。」何曰:「幸甚。」於是王欲召信拜之。何曰:「王素嫚無禮,今拜大將如召小兒,此乃信所以去也。必欲拜之,擇日齋戒,設壇場具禮,乃可。」王許之。諸將皆喜,人人各自以為得大將。至拜,乃韓信也,一軍皆驚。(Book of Han 34, Biography of Han Xin)

Han Xin spoke with Xiao He several times, and Xiao He too was impressed by him.

Now by the time that Liu Bang had arrived at Nanzheng, dozens of his generals had deserted Liu Bang along the road. Han Xin, too, felt that although Xiao He and others had recommended him to Liu Bang, Liu Bang would never properly use him. So he left as well.

When Xiao He heard that Han Xin had left, without even waiting to tell anyone where he was going, Xiao He hurried to chase after Han Xin. Someone told Liu Bang, "The Prime Minister has abandoned us." Liu Bang was furious, feeling like he had lost one of his own hands. But after only one or two days, Xiao He reappeared, coming to pay his respects.

Liu Bang, feeling a mixture of joy and anger, reprimanded Xiao He. "Why did you abandon me?"

Xiao He replied, "I would never dare to abandon you. I was merely chasing after someone who left us."

Liu Bang asked, "Who were you chasing after?"

Xiao He replied, "It was Han Xin."

Once again angry, Liu Bang demanded, "Dozens of my generals have deserted me, yet you did not chase after them. So you expect me to believe you were chasing after this Han Xin? You're lying."

Xiao He replied, "Generals are as easily found as lost. But a man like Han Xin? He has no peer in our state. O King, if you wish for nothing more than to remain King of Hanzhong forever, you can certainly dispense with Han Xin. But if you wish to contend for control of the realm, no one but Han Xin will be able to accomplish it for you. It is for you to decide what your strategy shall be, at once."

Liu Bang said, "Of course I want to return east again. How could I just remain in this place forever?"

Xiao He replied, "If you are determined to return east, then make use of Han Xin, and he will stay with us. But if you do not use him, he will leave for good eventually."

Liu Bang said, "Then, for your sake, I shall make him one of my generals."

Xiao He replied, "Even that much, I fear, will not be enough to make him stay."

Liu Bang said, "Then I shall make him my chief general."

Xiao He replied, "That would be excellent indeed."

Liu Bang was going to simply summon Han Xin to see him and grant him the appointment without any formality. But Xiao He argued, "O King, you have always been like this: straightforward and without any pomp. Now you would appoint this man as your chief general in the same manner that someone summons a small child. That will surely cause Han Xin to leave you. No, since you are going to grant him this appointment, you must choose an auspicious day for the occasion, stage a military review of your troops, build an altar for the ceremony, and act with all the proper protocol. Only then would the appointment be acceptable."

Liu Bang agreed to do so, and announced the coming ceremony at which he would appoint his chief general. All of his generals were pleased to hear this announcement, for they were all sure that they would be the one chosen. But when the day came and it was revealed that Han Xin of all people would now be the chief general, the whole army was shocked.


信拜禮畢,上坐。王曰︰「丞相數言將軍;將軍何以敎寡人計策?」信辭謝,因問王曰︰「今東鄕爭權天下,豈非項王耶?」漢王曰︰「然。」曰︰「大王自料,勇悍仁強孰與項王?」漢王默然良久,曰︰「不如也。」信再拜賀曰︰「惟信亦以爲大王不如也。然臣嘗事之,請言項王之爲人也︰項王喑惡叱咤,千人皆廢,然不能任屬賢將;此特匹夫之勇耳。項王見人,恭敬慈愛,言語嘔嘔,人有疾病,涕泣分食飲;至使人,有功當封爵者,印刓敝,忍不能予;此所謂婦人之仁也。項王雖霸天下而臣諸侯,不居關中而都彭城;背義帝之約,而以親愛王諸侯,不平;逐其故主而王其將相,又遷逐義帝置江南,所過無不殘滅;百姓不親附,特劫於威強耳。名雖爲霸,實失天下心,故其強易弱。今大王誠能反其道,任天下武勇,何所不誅;以天下城邑封功臣,何所不服;以義兵從思東歸之士,何所不散!且三秦王爲秦將,將秦子弟數歲矣,所殺亡不可勝計;又欺其衆,降諸侯,至新安,項王詐阬秦降卒二十餘萬,唯獨邯、欣、翳得脫。秦父兄怨此三人,痛入骨髓。今楚強以威王此三人,秦民莫愛也。大王之入武關,秋毫無所害;除秦苛法,與秦民約法三章;秦民無不欲得大王王秦者。於諸侯之約,大王當王關中,關中民咸知之;大王失職入漢中,秦民無不恨者。今大王舉而東,三秦可傳檄而定也。」於是漢王大喜,自以爲得信晚,遂聽信計,部署諸將所擊;留蕭何收巴、蜀租,給軍糧食。

26. After the ceremony was concluded, Han Xin took the seat of the guest of honor. Liu Bang said to him, "The Prime Minister has told me much about you, General. How do you propose to instruct a humble fellow like myself in strategy?"

Han Xin offered his words of thanks. Then he said, "If you are going to return east and fight for control of the realm, who else but King Xiang would be your opponent?"

Liu Bang replied, "Very true."

Han Xin asked, "Great King, in your estimation, when it comes to boldness, valor, compassion, and strength, how do you compare with King Xiang?"

Liu Bang was silent for some time, before at last replying, "I am not his equal."

Han Xin then congratulated Liu Bang for expressing this sentiment. "I agree that in these respects, you are no match for King Xiang. But, since I once served under King Xiang, allow me to explain what kind of person he is. He is the sort of man who nurses anger and lashes out in violence. It is true that a thousand men would be no match for him. Yet he cannot retain or employ worthy generals. So he possesses merely the boldness of a common fellow.

“As for his regard for his fellow man, he can be modest and respectful, loving and kind. He can speak soothing words of sympathy, and when someone falls ill, he would weep and share his meal with them. But when it comes to using people, if one of his subordinates had achieved something worthy of a noble title, King Xiang would rub the seal of office raw before he would bear to hand it over to them. So he possesses merely the compassion of a woman.

“Although King Xiang rules as hegemon over all the realm and all the feudal lords are his vassals, he declined to reside in Guanzhong and made Pengcheng his capital instead. He also broke Emperor Yi's pact, and he made his close and favored subordinates into the kings of the realm. This proves he is unjust. He drove out the original feudal lords and made kings out of their generals and chancellors instead, and he exiled Emperor Yi to the Southland. Furthermore, he has never passed any settlement without brutally sacking it. The common people will not support him. So he possesses merely the strength of a bully.

“King Xiang calls himself a hegemon, but in reality, he's lost the hearts of the people. Thus his current strength can easily be reduced to weakness. If you, Great King, can earnestly practice the virtues that oppose his vices and employ the martial and bold fellows of the realm, what foe will you not be able to overcome? If you grant the cities and towns of the realm as fiefs to accomplished subjects, who will not obey your rule? And if you lead your righteous soldiers back to their homeland in the east, who will not scatter before you?

“As for the three Kings of the Qin region, remember that they were all recently generals of the Qin dynasty, and during their careers they led countless young men of Qin to their deaths. Then they forced their armies to surrender to the feudal lords, and when they came to Xin'an, King Xiang deceptively had more than two hundred thousand of the surrendered Qin soldiers buried alive, sparing only Zhang Han, Sima Xin, and Dong Yi. So the elders of the Qin region hate those three to their very marrow. They rule only because of the power of Chu; the people of the Qin region have no love for them. But when you entered the Qin region through Wu Pass, Great King, you did the people no harm and inflicted no pillage upon them, and you abolished the harsh laws of the Qin dynasty and ruled the people only by your three precepts. So there is not a single person in all the Qin region who does not wish to make you their king instead. Besides, according to the pact between the feudal lords, Guanzhong ought to be yours by right, and everyone in the whole region is well aware of it. Nor is there anyone among them who does not hate the fact that you were deprived of this title and sent into Hanzhong instead. So when you raise your troops and begin your march to the east, it will take only word of your coming before the Three Qins submit to you."

Liu Bang was overjoyed with this analysis, and he only lamented that Han Xin had been so late to join him. So he listened to Han Xin's plans, and he reorganized his army divisions to prepare for the campaign. He left Xiao He in charge of collecting the taxes of the Ba and Shu regions and keeping the army supplied with provisions.

〈「惟」,《史記》作「惟」,《漢書》作「唯」。師古曰︰唯,應辭。仲馮曰︰「惟」字當屬下句,讀如本字。余謂如《漢書》本文,則當如師古;如《史記》本文,則當如仲馮。「賀曰」,句斷。〉〈喑惡,懷怒氣也。叱咤,發怒聲也。〉〈鄧展曰︰和好貌。〉〈蘇林曰︰手弄角訛,不忍授也。余謂角訛者,刓之義;敝,舊敝也。〉〈散,謂四散而立功。劉氏曰︰用東歸之兵擊東方之敵,此敵無不敗散也。貢父曰︰何不散者,言義兵無敵,諸侯之兵無不離散以敗也。〉〈謂章邯、司馬欣、董翳三人。〉〈師古曰︰部分而署置之。〉

(This passage has Han Xin beginning his second paragraph with the character 惟. In this, it agrees with the account of this story in the Records of the Grand Historian, while the Book of Han's version of this episode instead has the character 唯. Yan Shigu argued, "唯 means to speak in agreement." Zhong Feng argued, "The 惟 character is marking the beginning of a new sentence, and should be read as-is." I (Hu Sanxing) reckon that if the Book of Han has the original account of this passage, then Yan Shigu is correct; if the Records of the Grand Historian is the original one, then Zhong Feng is correct. The sentence break is at "congratulated and said".

Han Xin describes Xiang Yu as being 喑惡叱咤. To 喑惡 "keep evil silent" means to harbor an angry spirit; to 叱咤 "bawl in anger" means to lash out with anger.

Han Xin states that Xiang Yu could speak to people with 嘔嘔. Deng Zhan remarked, "This means an agreeable and likable appearance."

Han Xin claims that Xiang Yu would rather 刓敝 a seal of office than part with it. Su Lin remarked, "This means he would rub it with his hands until deformed, rather than give it up." I (Hu Sanxing) reckon that it would be "deformed" in the sense of being worn-down and shabby.

One of Han Xin's boasts is that "who will not 散?" Generally 散 means "to scatter". In this instance, he means "who will not scatter from every side to achieve things for you?" Master Liu argued, "The idea was that, since Liu Bang would be leading his troops home to the east and attacking his eastern foe, not one of his enemies would not scatter in defeat." Liang Fu argued, "By 'who will not 散?', Han Xin meant that the troops of Liu Bang's uprising would have no match, and not one of the soldiers of the other feudal lords would not scatter in defeat."

By "the three kings of the Qin region", Han Xin refers to Zhang Han, Sima Xin, and Dong Yi.

Yan Shigu remarked, "Liu Bang was 'reorganizing' his army by dividing up his forces and creating new divisions.")


信見王曰。今東向爭天下。豈非項王也。王曰然。信曰。大王自料勇悍仁彊孰與項王。王曰。不如也。信再拜曰。唯信亦以為大王不如也。然項王喑嗚叱吒。千人皆靡。然不能屬任賢將。此特匹夫之勇耳。項王與人恭敬。人有疾病。流涕與之分食。至於封賞。吝而不能與。此特匹婦之仁耳。雖王天下。不居關中。都彭城。又背義帝約。而以親疏王諸侯不平。所過無不殘滅。百姓不附。雖名為伯。實失天下心。故曰其強易弱。今大王誠能反其道。任天下武勇。何所不誅。以天下城邑封功臣。何所不服。以義兵從思東歸之士。何所不勝。且三秦王詐其眾降諸侯。項王詐坑秦降卒二十餘萬人。唯邯忻翳等三人得脫。秦人父兄怨此三人。痛入骨髓。大王入關。秋毫一無所取。除秦苛法。吏人無不欲得大王王秦。於諸侯之約。大王當王關中。王失職之蜀。秦人無有不恨者。今大王舉兵而東。三秦可傳檄而定也。於是王大喜。自以為得信晚也。(Records of Former Han 2, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

Han Xin met with Liu Bang and said, "Since you are now going to return east and fight for control of the realm, who else but King Xiang would be your opponent?"

Liu Bang replied, "Very true."

Han Xin asked, "Great King, in your estimation, when it comes to boldness, valor, compassion, and strength, how do you compare with King Xiang?"

Liu Bang replied, "I am not his equal."

Han Xin made obeisance to Liu Bang again, then continued, "I agree that in these respects, you are no match for King Xiang. But King Xiang is the sort of man who nurses anger and lashes out in violence. It is true that a thousand men would be no match for him. Yet he cannot retain or employ worthy generals. So he possesses merely the boldness of a common fellow.

“As for his regard for his fellow man, he can be modest and respectful, and when someone falls ill, he would weep and share his meal with them. But when it comes to rewarding people, he is stingy and unwilling to share. So he possesses merely the compassion of a woman.

“Although King Xiang rules over all the realm, he declined to reside in Guanzhong and made Pengcheng his capital instead. He also broke Emperor Yi's pact, and he made his close and favored subordinates into the kings of the realm. This proves he is unjust. Furthermore, he has never passed any settlement without brutally sacking it. The common people will not support him.

“King Xiang calls himself the Lord of the Realm, but in reality, he's lost the hearts of the people. Thus his current strength can easily be reduced to weakness. If you, Great King, will demonstrate the virtues he lacks by employing the martial and bold fellows of the realm, what foe will you not be able to overcome? If you grant the cities and towns of the realm as fiefs to accomplished subjects, who will not obey your rule? And if you lead your righteous soldiers back to their homeland in the east, where will they not be victorious?

“As for the three Kings of the Qin region, remember that they forced their armies to surrender to the feudal lords, and King Xiang deceptively had more than two hundred thousand of the surrendered Qin soldiers buried alive, sparing only Zhang Han, Sima Xin, and Dong Yi. So the elders of the Qin region hate those three to their very marrow. But when you entered the Qin region, Great King, you did the people no harm, and you abolished the harsh laws of the Qin dynasty. So there is not a single official or person in all the Qin region who does not wish to make you their king instead. Besides, according to the pact between the feudal lords, Guanzhong ought to be yours by right. Nor is there anyone among them who does not hate the fact that you were deprived of this title and sent into the Shu region instead. So when you raise your troops and march to the east, it will take only word of your coming before the Three Qins submit to you."

Liu Bang was overjoyed with this analysis, and he only lamented that Han Xin had been so late to join him.

漢王引兵東定三秦,何以丞相留收巴蜀,填撫諭告,使給軍食。(Records of the Grand Historian 53, Biography of Xiao He)

When Liu Bang led his troops east to conquer the Three Qins region, Xiao He remained behind in his domain as his Prime Minister. He gathered the resources of the Ba and Shu regions, he defended, comforted, instructed, and informed the people there, and he kept Liu Bang's army supplied with provisions.

信拜禮畢,上坐。王曰:「丞相數言將軍,將軍何以教寡人計策?」信謝,因問王曰:「今東鄉爭權天下,豈非項王邪?」漢王曰:「然。」曰:「大王自料勇悍仁彊孰與項王?」漢王默然良久,曰:「不如也。」信再拜賀曰:「惟信亦為大王不如也。然臣嘗事之,請言項王之為人也。項王喑噁叱咤,千人皆廢,然不能任屬賢將,此特匹夫之勇耳。項王見人恭敬慈愛,言語嘔嘔,人有疾病,涕泣分食飲,至使人有功當封爵者,印刓敝,忍不能予,此所謂婦人之仁也。項王雖霸天下而臣諸侯,不居關中而都彭城。有背義帝之約,而以親愛王,諸侯不平。諸侯之見項王遷逐義帝置江南,亦皆歸逐其主而自王善地。項王所過無不殘滅者,天下多怨,百姓不親附,特劫於威彊耳。名雖為霸,實失天下心。故曰其彊易弱。今大王誠能反其道:任天下武勇,何所不誅!以天下城邑封功臣,何所不服!以義兵從思東歸之士,何所不散!且三秦王為秦將,將秦子弟數歲矣,所殺亡不可勝計,又欺其眾降諸侯,至新安,項王詐阬秦降卒二十餘萬,唯獨邯、欣、翳得脫,秦父兄怨此三人,痛入骨髓。今楚彊以威王此三人,秦民莫愛也。大王之入武關,秋豪無所害,除秦苛法,與秦民約,法三章耳,秦民無不欲得大王王秦者。於諸侯之約,大王當王關中,關中民咸知之。大王失職入漢中,秦民無不恨者。今大王舉而東,三秦可傳檄而定也。」於是漢王大喜,自以為得信晚。遂聽信計,部署諸將所擊。(Records of the Grand Historian 92, Biography of Han Xin)

After the ceremony was concluded, Han Xin took the seat of the guest of honor. Liu Bang said to him, "The Prime Minister has told me much about you, General. How do you propose to instruct a humble fellow like myself in strategy?"

Han Xin offered his words of thanks. Then he said, "If you are going to return east and fight for control of the realm, who else but King Xiang would be your opponent?"

Liu Bang replied, "Very true."

Han Xin asked, "Great King, in your estimation, when it comes to boldness, valor, compassion, and strength, how do you compare with King Xiang?"

Liu Bang was silent for some time, before at last replying, "I am not his equal."

Han Xin then congratulated Liu Bang for expressing this sentiment. "I agree that in these respects, you are no match for King Xiang. But, since I once served under King Xiang, allow me to explain what kind of person he is. He is the sort of man who nurses anger and lashes out in violence. It is true that a thousand men would be no match for him. Yet he cannot retain or employ worthy generals. So he possesses merely the boldness of a common fellow.

“As for his regard for his fellow man, he can be modest and respectful, loving and kind. He can speak soothing words of sympathy, and when someone falls ill, he would weep and share his meal with them. But when it comes to using people, if one of his subordinates had achieved something worthy of a noble title, King Xiang would rub the seal of office raw before he would bear to hand it over to them. So he possesses merely the compassion of a woman.

“Although King Xiang rules as hegemon over all the realm and all the feudal lords are his vassals, he declined to reside in Guanzhong and made Pengcheng his capital instead. He also broke Emperor Yi's pact, and he made his close and favored subordinates into the kings of the realm. This proves he is unjust. And when the feudal lords saw that King Xiang had driven out Emperor Yi and exiled him to the Southland, they too drove out the kings that they had once served under and took all the best lands for themselves. Furthermore, King Xiang has never passed any settlement without brutally sacking it. The common people will not support him. So he possesses merely the strength of a bully.

“King Xiang calls himself a hegemon, but in reality, he's lost the hearts of the people. Thus his current strength can easily be reduced to weakness. If you, Great King, can earnestly practice the virtues that oppose his vices and employ the martial and bold fellows of the realm, what foe will you not be able to overcome? If you grant the cities and towns of the realm as fiefs to accomplished subjects, who will not obey your rule? And if you lead your righteous soldiers back to their homeland in the east, who will not scatter before you?

“As for the three Kings of the Qin region, remember that they were all recently generals of the Qin dynasty, and during their careers they led countless young men of Qin to their deaths. Then they forced their armies to surrender to the feudal lords, and when they came to Xin'an, King Xiang deceptively had more than two hundred thousand of the surrendered Qin soldiers buried alive, sparing only Zhang Han, Sima Xin, and Dong Yi. So the elders of the Qin region hate those three to their very marrow. They rule only because of the power of Chu; the people of the Qin region have no love for them. But when you entered the Qin region through Wu Pass, Great King, you did the people no harm and inflicted no pillage upon them, and you abolished the harsh laws of the Qin dynasty and ruled the people only by your three precepts. So there is not a single person in all the Qin region who does not wish to make you their king instead. Besides, according to the pact between the feudal lords, Guanzhong ought to be yours by right, and everyone in the whole region is well aware of it. Nor is there anyone among them who does not hate the fact that you were deprived of this title and sent into Hanzhong instead. So when you raise your troops and begin your march to the east, it will take only word of your coming before the Three Qins submit to you."

Liu Bang was overjoyed with this analysis, and he only lamented that Han Xin had been so late to join him. So he listened to Han Xin's plans, and he reorganized his army divisions to prepare for the campaign.

信以拜,上坐。王曰:「丞相數言將軍,將軍何以教寡人計策?」信謝,因問王曰:「今東鄉爭權天下,豈非項王邪?」上曰:「然。」信曰:「大王自料勇悍仁彊孰與項王?」漢王默然良久,曰:「弗如也。」信再拜賀曰:「唯信亦以為大王弗如也。然臣嘗事項王,請言項王為人也。項王意烏猝嗟,千人皆廢,然不能任屬賢將,此特匹夫之勇也。項王見人恭謹,言語姁姁,人有病疾,涕泣分食飲,至使人有功,當封爵,刻印刓,忍不能予,此所謂婦人之仁也。項王雖霸天下而臣諸侯,不居關中而都彭城;又背義帝約,而以親愛王,諸侯不平。諸侯之見項王逐義帝江南,亦皆歸逐其主,自王善地。項王所過亡不殘滅,多怨百姓,百姓不附,特劫於威,彊服耳。名雖為霸,實失天下心,故曰其彊易弱。今大王誠能反其道,任天下武勇,何不誅!以天下城邑封功臣,何不服!以義兵從思東歸之士,何不散!且三秦王為秦將,將秦子弟數歲,而所殺亡不可勝計,又欺其眾降諸侯。至新安,項王詐阬秦降卒二十餘萬人,唯獨邯、欣、翳脫。秦父兄怨此三人,痛於骨髓。今楚強以威王此三人,秦民莫愛也。大王之入武關,秋豪亡所害,除秦苛法,與民約,法三章耳,秦民亡不欲得大王王秦者。於諸侯之約,大王當王關中,關中民戶知之。王失職之蜀,民亡不恨者。今王舉而東,三秦可傳檄而定也。」於是漢王大喜,自以為得信晚。遂聽信計,部署諸將所擊。(Book of Han 34, Biography of Han Xin)

After the ceremony, Han Xin took the seat of the guest of honor. Liu Bang said to him, "The Prime Minister has told me much about you, General. How do you propose to instruct a humble fellow like myself in strategy?"

Han Xin offered his words of thanks. Then he said, "If you are going to return east and fight for control of the realm, who else but King Xiang would be your opponent?"

Liu Bang replied, "Very true."

Han Xin asked, "Great King, in your estimation, when it comes to boldness, valor, compassion, and strength, how do you compare with King Xiang?"

Liu Bang was silent for some time, before at last replying, "I am not his equal."

Han Xin then congratulated Liu Bang for expressing this sentiment. "I agree that in these respects, you are no match for King Xiang. But, since I once served under King Xiang, allow me to explain what kind of person he is. He is the sort of man who acts like a bird and suddenly lashes out. It is true that a thousand men would be no match for him. Yet he cannot retain or employ worthy generals. So he possesses merely the boldness of a common fellow.

“As for his regard for his fellow man, he can be modest and respectful. He can speak soothing words of sympathy, and when someone falls ill, he would weep and share his meal with them. But when it comes to using people, if one of his subordinates had achieved something worthy of a noble title, King Xiang would rub the seal of office raw before he would bear to hand it over to them. So he possesses merely the compassion of a woman.

“Although King Xiang rules as hegemon over all the realm and all the feudal lords are his vassals, he declined to reside in Guanzhong and made Pengcheng his capital instead. He also broke Emperor Yi's pact, and he made his close and favored subordinates into the kings of the realm and was unjust to the feudal lords. And when the feudal lords saw that King Xiang had driven out Emperor Yi and exiled him to the Southland, they too drove out the kings that they had once served under and took all the best lands for themselves. Furthermore, he has never passed any settlement without brutally sacking it. The common people will not support him; they are only cowed by his sheer might. So he possesses merely the strength of a bully.

“King Xiang calls himself a hegemon, but in reality, he's lost the hearts of the people. Thus his current strength can easily be reduced to weakness. If you, Great King, will earnestly oppose him and employ the martial and bold fellows of the realm, what foe will you not be able to overcome? If you grant the cities and towns of the realm as fiefs to accomplished subjects, who will not obey your rule? And if you lead your righteous soldiers back to their homeland in the east, who will not scatter before you?

“As for the three Kings of the Qin region, remember that they were all recently generals of the Qin dynasty, and during their careers they led countless young men of Qin to their deaths. Then they forced their armies to surrender to the feudal lords, and when they came to Xin'an, King Xiang deceptively had more than two hundred thousand of the surrendered Qin soldiers buried alive, sparing only Zhang Han, Sima Xin, and Dong Yi. So the elders of the Qin region hate those three to their very marrow. They rule only because of the power of Chu; the people of the Qin region have no love for them. But when you entered the Qin region through Wu Pass, Great King, you did the people no harm and inflicted no pillage upon them, and you abolished the harsh laws of the Qin dynasty and ruled the people only by your three precepts. So there is not a single person in all the Qin region who does not wish to make you their king instead. Besides, according to the pact between the feudal lords, Guanzhong ought to be yours by right, and everyone in the whole region is well aware of it. Nor is there anyone among them who does not hate the fact that you were deprived of this title and sent into Hanzhong instead. So when you raise your troops and begin your march to the east, it will take only word of your coming before the Three Qins submit to you."

Liu Bang was overjoyed with this analysis, and he only lamented that Han Xin had been so late to join him. So he listened to Han Xin's plans, and he reorganized his army divisions to prepare for the campaign.


八月,漢王引兵從故道出,襲雍;雍王章邯迎擊漢陳倉。雍兵敗,還走;止,戰好畤,又敗,走廢丘。漢王遂定雍地,東至咸陽;引兵圍雍王於廢丘,而遣諸將略地。塞王欣、翟王翳皆降,以其地爲渭南、河上、上郡。令將軍薛歐、王吸出武關,因王陵兵以迎太公、呂后。項王聞之,發兵距之陽夏,不得前。

27. In the eighth month, Liu Bang led his troops out from Gudao to launch a surprise attack against Zhang Han's state of Yong. Zhang Han met them in battle at Chencang, but the Yong army was defeated. They retreated into their state, stopping to fight at Haozhi, but were again defeated. This time, they fled to Feiqiu. Once Liu Bang had pacified most of the territory of Yong, he marched east to Xianyang; he personally led troops to besiege Zhang Han at Feiqiu, while sending his other generals out to march through the rest of Guanzhong.

Sima Xin and Dong Yi both surrendered to Liu Bang. Liu Bang organized their former domains into the commandaries of Weinan, Heshang, and Shang.

Liu Bang ordered his generals Xue Ou and Wang Xi to march out through Wu Pass and lead Wang Ling's troops to fetch his father and his wife Lü Zhi. But when Xiang Yu heard of this attempt, he sent troops to oppose them at Yangxia, so they could not make any progress.

〈《春秋釋例》︰掩其不備曰襲。班《志》,故道縣屬武都郡。《括地志》︰故道,今鳳州兩當縣。杜佑《通典》曰︰故道,鳳州梁泉、兩當縣地。〉〈班《志》,陳倉縣屬扶風;唐之岐州寶雞縣是也。杜佑曰︰故城在縣東二十里。班《志》,好畤縣屬扶風。孟康曰︰畤,神靈之所止也。師古曰︰卽今雍州好畤縣。宋白曰︰漢好畤故縣,在今縣東南四十三里奉天縣界好畤故城是也。李文子曰︰在今鳳翔天興縣界。〉〈渭南,後曰京兆;河上,後曰馮翊。〉

(The Annotations to the Spring and Autumn Annals states, "To launch a surprise attack is to come upon the enemy while they are unprepared."

According to the Book of Han, Gudao county was part of Wudu commandary. The Comprehensive Gazetteer states, "Gudao is now Liangdang county in modern Fengzhou." Du You's Tongdian states, "Gudao county was made up of the territory now comprising Liangquan and Liangdang counties in Fengzhou."

According to the Book of Han, Chencang county was part of Fufeng commandary. It was the same place as Baoji county in Qizhou during the Tang dynasty. Du You remarked, "The capital city of Chencang was twenty li west of the county."

According to the Book of Han, Haozhi county was part of Fufeng commandary. Meng Kang remarked, "The second character of Haozhi, 畤, means the stopping place of a divine spirit." Yan Shigu remarked, "It was the same place as Haozhi county in modern Yongzhou." Song Bai remarked, "The capital city of Han's Haozhi county was forty-three li southeast of the modern county, the city of Haozhi in Fengtian county." Li Wenzi remarked, "It was within Tianxing county in modern Fengxiang commandary."

Weinan commandary was later renamed to Jingzhao, and Heshang to Pingyi.)


漢元年
八月
欣降漢,國除。翳降漢,國除。邯守廢丘,漢圍之。
九月
屬漢,為渭南、河上郡。屬漢為上郡。(Records of the Grand Historian 16, Monthly Timeline of the Chu-Han Contention)

In the first year of Liu Bang's reign (206 BC), in the eighth month, Sima Xin and Dong Yi surrendered to Han, and their states were abolished. Zhang Han held out at Feiqiu, so the Han army besieged the city.

In the ninth month, Liu Bang organized Sima Xin's former domain into the commandaries of Weinan and Heshang, and he organized Dong Yi's former domain into Shang commandary.

五月。與韓信俱東。蕭何留守蜀。王進兵襲雍王章邯。敗走廢丘。令將軍樊噲圍之。王遂東... 塞王忻翟王翳來降。(Records of Former Han 2, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

In the fifth month, Liu Bang and Han Xin advanced to the east. Xiao He remained behind to defend the Shu region.

Liu Bang's troops advanced and launched a surprise attack against Zhang Han. Zhang Han was defeated, and he fled to Feiqiu. Liu Bang ordered Fan Kuai to maintain a siege around Feiqiu, while he continued further east.

Sima Xin and Dong Yi came and surrendered to Liu Bang.

八月,漢王舉兵東出陳倉,定三秦。(Records of the Grand Historian 92, Biography of Han Xin)

In the eighth month, Liu Bang led his troops east from Chencang, and he conquered the Three Qins.

漢王舉兵東出陳倉,定三秦。(Book of Han 34, Biography of Han Xin)

In the eighth month, Liu Bang led his troops east from Chencang, and he conquered the Three Qins.

漢高帝滅秦,為漢王,王巴、蜀。閬中人范目,有恩信方略,知帝必定天下,說帝,為募發賨民,要與共定秦。秦地既定,封目為長安建章鄉侯。帝將討關東,賨民皆思歸;帝嘉其功而難傷其意,遂聽還巴。謂目曰:「富貴不歸故鄉,如衣繡夜行耳。」徙封閬中慈鄉侯。目固辭。乃封渡沔侯。故世謂:「〔三秦〕亡,范三侯」也。目復〔請〕除民羅、朴、昝、鄂、度、夕、龔七姓不供租賦。閬中有渝水。賨民多居水左右,天性勁勇;初為漢前鋒,陷陣,銳氣喜舞。帝善之,曰:「此武王伐紂之歌也。」乃令樂人習學之。今所謂《巴渝舞》也。(Huayang Guozhi 1, History of the Ba Region)

After Liu Bang conquered the Qin dynasty, he was appointed as King of Han and ruled the regions of Ba and Shu. There was a certain native of Langzhong, Fan Mu, who was gracious, trustworthy, proper, and cunning, and he knew that Liu Bang would surely conquer the realm someday. So he spoke to Liu Bang, and on Liu Bang's behalf he raised troops from among the local Cong tribes and led them to help Liu Bang retake the Qin region. After Qin was reconquered, Liu Bang appointed Fan Mu as Marquis of Jianzhang District in Chang'an county.

Liu Bang next planned to march east of the mountains. But the Cong people all longed to return home. Liu Bang, respecting their achievements on his behalf and loath to deny them their wishes, allowed them to return to the Ba region. He said to Fan Mu, "To become rich and exalted and then not return home would be like putting on a fine coat and then walking around wearing it only at night." He offered to change Fan Mu's title to Marquis of Ci District in Langzhong, but Fan Mu strenuously declined. So Liu Bang appointed him as Marquis of Dumian instead. Thus the local saying, "The Three Qins reclaimed, and to three titles named." And on Fan Mu's behalf, seven local clans of the Ba region were exempted from taxation: the Luo, Pu, Zan, E, Du, Xi, and Gong clans.

There is a Yu River in Langzhong. Many of the Cong people live on either side of this river. They are bold and wild by nature, and when they served in the Han vanguard and smashed the enemy formations, they were full of zeal and liked to dance. Liu Bang was delighted by their display, saying, "This was the sort of singing they sang when King Wu of Zhou campaigned against King Zhou of Shang." And he ordered his musicians to learn their song. This is the music now called the Ba-Yu Dance.


王陵者,沛人也,先聚黨數千人,居南陽,至是始以兵屬漢。項王取陵母置軍中,陵使至,則東鄕坐陵母,欲以招陵。陵母私送使者。泣曰︰「願爲老妾語陵︰善事漢王,漢王長者,終得天下;毋以老妾故持二心。妾以死送使者!」遂伏劍而死。項王怒,亨陵母。

28. This Wang Ling was a native of Pei. He had earlier gathered together several thousand of his partisans and occupied Nanyang. It was at this time that he first had his troops submit to Han.

Xiang Yu had taken Wang Ling's mother and placed her inside his camp, and when an envoy from Wang Ling arrived, Xiang Yu had Wang Ling's mother sit in the seat facing east, thus hoping to entice Wang Ling to join his side. But Wang Ling's mother secretly accompanied the envoy as he was leaving. She sobbed as she said to the envoy, "Tell my son this message: do your best for the King of Han, for his reign will endure and he will possess the realm in the end. Do not let your old mother make you be of two hearts! I will grant you my death!" And she drew a sword and killed herself. Xiang Yu, furious, had her body boiled.

〈古以東鄕之位爲尊。沛公見羽於鴻門,羽東鄕坐;韓信東鄕坐李左車而師事之,是也。〉

(In ancient times, the seat facing east was the place of honor. During the Hongmen Banquet, Xiang Yu had sat in this position. And when Han Xin later had Li Zuoche sit in the same position while discussing army affairs with him, the logic was the same.)


是時沛人王陵聚黨數千人在南陽。始來從漢。項羽得陵母。漢使至楚。羽使母招陵。陵母見使者曰。為我告陵。漢王長者也。終事之無二心。因伏劍死。(Records of Former Han 2, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

[In the second year (205 BC), the first month,] Wang Ling of Pei first led his band of several thousand followers from Nanyang to join Liu Bang.

Xiang Yu took Wang Ling's mother captive. When a Han envoy came to Chu, Xiang Yu wanted to have Wang Ling's mother compel him to come over to Xiang Yu's side. But Wang Ling's mother told the envoy, "Tell my son this message: the King of Han will endure, and you must not be be of two hearts." Then she drew a sword and killed herself.


項王以故吳令鄭昌爲韓王,以距漢。

29. Xiang Yu appointed the former Prefect of Wu, Zheng Chang, as the new King of Hann, so that Zheng Chang could resist Han.

〈班《志》,吳縣屬會稽郡。〉

(According to the Book of Han, Wu county was part of Kuaiji commandary.)


漢元年
八月
韓王鄭昌始,項羽立之。(Records of the Grand Historian 16, Monthly Timeline of the Chu-Han Contention)

In the first year of Liu Bang's reign (206 BC), in the eighth month, Xiang Yu appointed Zheng Chang as the new King of Hann.

以故吳令鄭昌為韓王。距漢。(Records of Former Han 2, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

Xiang Yu appointed the former Prefect of Wu, Zheng Chang, as the new King of Hann, so that Zheng Chang could resist Han.


張良遺項王書曰︰「漢王失職,欲得關中;如約卽止,不敢東。」又以齊、梁反書遺項王曰︰「齊欲與趙幷滅楚。」項王以此故無西意,而北擊齊。

30. Zhang Liang sent Xiang Yu a letter stating, "The King of Han only wanted to possess Guanzhong because it was his by right. But now, he already has what he was due from the pact. He would not dare to go east."

And there were also people in the Qi and Liang regions sending letters to Xiang Yu stating, "Qi plans to unite with Zhao and conquer Chu."

Because of these things, Xiang Yu had no further anxiety about the west, but turned north to attack Qi instead.

張良遺項羽書曰。漢失職之蜀。欲得關中。如約則止。不敢反也。又以齊反書遺羽曰。齊欲滅楚國。羽以故不南而北擊齊兵。(Records of Former Han 2, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

Zhang Liang sent Xiang Yu a letter stating, "The King of Han was not satisfied to be foisted off with the Shu region, and he only wanted to possess Guanzhong because it was his by right. He would not dare to return."

And there were also people in the Qi region sending letters to Xiang Yu stating, "Qi wants to conquer Chu."

Because of these things, Xiang Yu did not turn south, but turned north to attack Qi's troops instead.


燕王廣不肯之遼東;臧荼擊殺之,幷其地。

31. Han Guang was unwilling to go to his new domain in Liaodong. So Zang Tu attacked and killed Han Guang, then took over his territory.

漢元年
八月
臧荼擊廣無終,滅之。
九月
屬燕。(Records of the Grand Historian 16, Monthly Timeline of the Chu-Han Contention)

In the first year of Liu Bang's reign (206 BC), in the eighth month, Zang Tu attacked Han Guang at Wuzhong and conquered him.

In the ninth month, Han Guang's former state of Liaodong came under Zang Tu's control.

遼東王韓廣不肯徙之國。故燕王臧荼殺廣。并其地。(Records of Former Han 2, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

Han Guang was unwilling to go to his new domain in Liaodong. So Zang Tu killed Han Guang, then took over his territory.


是歲,以內史沛周苛爲御史大夫。

32. During this year, Liu Bang appointed his Interior Minister, Zhou Ke, as Imperial Secretary.

〈班《表》︰御史大夫,秦官,位上卿,掌副宰相。應劭曰︰侍御史之率,故稱大夫。〉

(According to the treatises of the Book of Han, Imperial Secretary had been a Qin office; it was one of the highest ranks, acting as a supporter to the Prime Minister. Ying Shao remarked, "The title is more properly 'Grandee of the Imperial Bureau', because it supervised the Imperial Bureau.")


項王使趣義帝行,其羣臣、左右稍稍叛之。

33. Xiang Yu sent his agents to deal with Emperor Yi, and Emperor Yi's subordinates and attendants gradually turned against him.
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BOOK 9

Unread postby Taishi Ci 2.0 » Fri Sep 27, 2019 1:33 am

二年(丙申、前二○五)

The Second Year of Liu Bang's Reign (The Bingshen or Fire Monkey Year, 205 BC)


冬,十月,項王密使九江、衡山、臨江王擊義帝,殺之江中。

1. In winter, the tenth month (of 206 BC), Xiang Yu secretly ordered Qing Bu, Wu Rui, and Gong Ao to attack Emperor Yi, and they killed him in the Southland.

〈九江王,黥布;衡山王,吳芮;臨江王,共敖。〉

(This passage refers to the King of Jiujiang, that being Qing Bu, the King of Hengshan, Wu Rui, and the King of Linjiang, Gong Ao.)


漢二年
十月
項羽滅義帝。(Records of the Grand Historian 16, Monthly Timeline of the Chu-Han Contention)

In the second year of Liu Bang's reign (205 BC), in the tenth month (of 206 BC), Xiang Yu did away with Emperor Yi.

二年冬十月。項羽使九江王布殺義帝于郴。(Records of Former Han 2, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

In the second year of Liu Bang's reign (205 BC), in winter, the tenth month (of 206 BC), Xiang Yu ordered Qing Bu to kill Emperor Yi at Chen.

漢元年四月,諸侯皆罷戲下,各就國。項氏立懷王為義帝,徙都長沙,乃陰令九江王布等行擊之。其八月,布使將擊義帝,追殺之郴縣。(Records of the Grand Historian 91, Biography of Qing Bu)

In the first year of Liu Bang's reign (206 BC), the fourth month, the feudal lords all left their gathering at Xi and each went to their new fiefs. Xiang Yu appointed King Huai as Emperor Yi and relocated his capital to Changsha. He secretly ordered Qing Bu and others to go and attack Emperor Yi. In the eighth month of that year, Qing Bu sent his generals to attack Emperor Yi, and they pursued and killed him at Chen county.

尊懷王為義帝,徙都長沙,乃陰令布擊之。布使將追殺之郴。(Book of Han 34, Biography of Qing Bu)

Xiang Yu honored King Huai as Emperor Yi and relocated his capital to Changsha. He secretly ordered Qing Bu to attack Emperor Yi. Qing Bu sent his generals to attack Emperor Yi, and they pursued and killed him at Chen.


陳餘悉三縣兵,與齊兵共襲常山。常山王張耳敗,走漢,謁漢王於廢丘;漢王厚遇之。陳餘迎趙王於代,復爲趙王。趙王德陳餘,立以爲代王。陳餘爲趙王弱,國初定,不之國,留傅趙王;而使夏說以相國守代。

2. Chen Yu raised all the troops of three counties and joined with the Qi troops to launch a joint surprise attack against Changshan. Zhang Er was defeated, and he fled to Han to pay his respects to Liu Bang at Feiqiu. Liu Bang treated him well.

Chen Yu sent troops to welcome the return of Zhao Xie, and restored him to his original title as King of Zhao. Zhao Xie, respecting Chen Yu's achievements, granted him his own former title as King of Dai. However, Chen Yu believed that since Zhao Xie was still young and Zhao had only just been reconquered, he could not turn over power directly to Zhao Xie just yet. So he did not go to his new domain at Dai, but merely appointed Xia Yue as his Chancellor of State and had him keep guard over Dai while Chen Yu remained in Zhao.

漢二年
十月
歇復王趙。耳降漢。
十二月
歇以陳餘為代王,故成安君。(Records of the Grand Historian 16, Monthly Timeline of the Chu-Han Contention)

In the second year of Liu Bang's reign (205 BC), in the tenth month (of 206 BC), Zhao Xie was restored as King of Zhao. Zhang Er fled to Han.

In the twelfth month (of 206 BC), Zhao Xie appointed Lord Cheng'an, Chen Yu, as King of Dai.

破常山。趙王張耳欲走楚。齊客有甘公者說耳曰。漢王入秦。五星從歲星於東井。其占曰當以義取天下。漢入秦可謂能義矣。楚雖彊。後終屬於漢耳。乃走漢。漢以故秦柱下史陽武人張蒼為常山太守。陳餘迎趙王歇。反之於趙。立餘為代王。餘以趙王弱乃使夏說為國相居代。餘相趙。張耳間行歸漢。漢以為成信侯。(Records of Former Han 2, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

Chen Yu took Changshan.

Zhang Er wished to flee to Chu. But a Qi diplomat, Lord Gan, advised him, "When the King of Han entered the Qin region, there was that conjunction of the Five Planets in the Eastern Well. The diviners say that this means that one who acts with righteousness will attain the realm, and the King of Han's entrance into the Qin region could indeed be called a righteous action. Though Chu is strong, they will become subservient to Han in the end." So Zhang Er fled to Han instead. Liu Bang appointed Qin's former 柱下史, Zhang Cang of Yangwu, as his Administrator of Changshan.

Chen Yu welcomed the return of Zhao Xie, and restored him to his original title as King of Zhao. Zhao Xie granted Chen Yu his own former title as King of Dai. However, since Zhao Xie was still young, Chen Yu did not go to his new domain at Dai, but merely appointed Xia Yue as his Chancellor of State and had him keep guard over Dai while Chen Yu remained in Zhao as its Chancellor.

Zhang Er fled to Han along back roads. Liu Bang appointed him as Marquis Chengxin.

陳餘因悉三縣兵襲常山王張耳。張耳敗走,念諸侯無可歸者,曰:「漢王與我有舊故,而項羽又彊,立我,我欲之楚。」甘公曰:「漢王之入關,五星聚東井。東井者,秦分也。先至必霸。楚雖彊,後必屬漢。」故耳走漢。漢王亦還定三秦,方圍章邯廢丘。張耳謁漢王,漢王厚遇之。陳餘已敗張耳,皆復收趙地,迎趙王於代,復為趙王。趙王德陳餘,立以為代王。陳餘為趙王弱,國初定,不之國,留傅趙王,而使夏說以相國守代。(Records of the Grand Historian 89, Biography of Zhang Er & Chen Yu)

Chen Yu raised all the troops of three counties to launch a surprise attack against Zhang Er. Zhang Er was defeated and fled.

Zhang Er was uncertain to whom he could flee now, for he did not think any of the feudal lords would support him. He said, "There is the King of Han (Liu Bang), perhaps; we have an old friendship. But King Xiang is quite powerful, and he was the one who made me King of Changshan. I ought to go to Chu."

But Lord Gan told him, "When the King of Han entered Guanzhong, there was that conjunction of the five planets in the Eastern Well constellation. The Eastern Well is a symbol of the Qin region, and the first person to occupy that area will surely become the hegemon. Although Chu is strong for now, they will surely become subservient to Han in the end."

So Zhang Er fled to Han. Liu Bang had just conquered the Three Qins region and was laying siege to Zhang Han at Feiqiu. Zhang Er went there to pay his respects to Liu Bang, and Liu Bang treated him well.

Having defeated Zhang Er, Chen Yu reclaimed all of the Zhao region. He sent troops to welcome the return of Zhao Xie, and restored him to his original title as King of Zhao. Zhao Xie, respecting Chen Yu's achievements, granted him his own former title as King of Dai. However, Chen Yu believed that since Zhao Xie was still young and Zhao had only just been reconquered, he could not turn over power directly to Zhao Xie just yet. So he did not go to his new domain at Dai, but merely appointed Xia Yue as his Chancellor of State and had him keep guard over Dai while Chen Yu remained in Zhao.

餘悉三縣兵,襲常山王耳。耳敗走,曰:「漢王與我有故,而項王彊,立我,我欲之楚。」甘公曰:「漢王之入關,五星聚東井。東井者,秦分也。先至必王。楚雖彊,後必屬漢。」耳走漢。漢亦還定三秦,方圍章邯廢丘。耳謁漢王,漢王厚遇之。餘已敗耳,皆收趙地,迎趙王於代,復為趙王。趙王德餘,立以為代王。餘為趙王弱,國初定,留傅趙王,而使夏說以相國守代。(Book of Han 32, Biography of Zhang Er & Chen Yu)

Chen Yu raised all the troops of three counties to launch a surprise attack against Zhang Er. Zhang Er was defeated and fled.

Zhang Er said to himself, "I have an old friendship with the King of Han (Liu Bang). But King Xiang is quite powerful, and he was the one who made me King of Changshan. I ought to go to Chu."

But Lord Gan told him, "When the King of Han entered Guanzhong, there was that conjunction of the five planets in the Eastern Well constellation. The Eastern Well is a symbol of the Qin region, and the first person to occupy that area will surely become the sovereign. Although Chu is strong for now, they will surely become subservient to Han in the end."

So Zhang Er fled to Han. Liu Bang had just conquered the Three Qins region and was laying siege to Zhang Han at Feiqiu. Zhang Er went there to pay his respects to Liu Bang, and Liu Bang treated him well.

Having defeated Zhang Er, Chen Yu reclaimed all of the Zhao region. He sent troops to welcome the return of Zhao Xie, and restored him to his original title as King of Zhao. Zhao Xie, respecting Chen Yu's achievements, granted him his own former title as King of Dai. However, Chen Yu believed that since Zhao Xie was still young and Zhao had only just been reconquered, he could not turn over power directly to Zhao Xie just yet. So he did not go to his new domain at Dai, but merely appointed Xia Yue as his Chancellor of State and had him keep guard over Dai while Chen Yu remained in Zhao.


張良自韓間行歸漢︰漢王以爲成信侯。良多病,未嘗特將,常爲畫策臣,時時從漢王。

3. Zhang Liang took back roads to return from Hann and join Liu Bang again. Liu Bang appointed him as Marquis Chengxin.

Zhang Liang was often sickly, and he never led troops directly in battle. But he often provided strategies, and time after time he accompanied Liu Bang.

〈特將,未嘗獨將兵也。〉

(This passage states that Zhang Liang never once 特將ed. This means he never directly commanded soldiers.)


漢王如陝,鎭撫關外父老。

4. Liu Bang traveled to Shan, where he protected and comforted the elders of the regions beyond Guanzhong.

漢二年
十月
王至陝。(Records of the Grand Historian 16, Monthly Timeline of the Chu-Han Contention)

In the second year of Liu Bang's reign (205 BC), in the tenth month (of 206 BC), Liu Bang went to Shan.


河南王申陽降,置河南郡。

5. The King of Henan, Shen Yang, surrendered to Liu Bang. Liu Bang organized his former domain into Henan commandary.

漢二年
十一月
屬漢,為河南郡。(Records of the Grand Historian 16, Monthly Timeline of the Chu-Han Contention)

In the second year of Liu Bang's reign (205 BC), in the eleventh month (of 206 BC), Shen Yang surrendered to Han. Liu Bang organized his former domain into Henan commandary.

河南王...來降。(Records of Former Han 2, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

The King of Henan came and surrendered to Liu Bang.


漢王以韓襄王孫信爲韓太尉,將兵略韓地。信急擊韓王昌於陽城,昌降。十一月,立信爲韓王;常將韓兵從漢王。

6. Liu Bang appointed Hann Xin, who was the grandson of the late King Xiang of Hann, as the Grand Commandant of Hann and had him lead troops to march through the Hann region. Hann Xin fiercely attack Zheng Chang at Yangcheng, and Zheng Chang surrendered. In the eleventh month (of 206 BC), Liu Bang promoted Hann Xin to King of Hann. Hann Xin often led the Hann troops to support Liu Bang.

漢二年
十一月
韓王信始,漢立之。(Records of the Grand Historian 16, Monthly Timeline of the Chu-Han Contention)

In the second year of Liu Bang's reign (205 BC), in the eleventh month (of 206 BC), Liu Bang appointed Hann Xin as the new King of Hann.

高祖二年
十一月,初王韓信元年。都馬邑。(Records of the Grand Historian 17, Annual Timeline of the Han Princes)

In the second year of Liu Bang's reign (205 BC), in the eleventh month (of 206 BC), Hann Xin became King of Hann, with his capital at Mayi.

韓王來降。十有一月。立舊韓王孫信為韓王。使諸將略地。若一郡降者。封萬戶侯。(Records of Former Han 2, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

The King of Hann (Zheng Chang) came and surrendered to Liu Bang. In the eleventh month (of 206 BC), Liu Bang appointed Hann Xin, who was the grandson of the late King Xiang of Hann, as the new King of Hann. He also sent his generals to march through the land, telling them that anyone who got a commandary to surrender to Han would be appointed as a marquis of ten thousand households.


漢王還都櫟陽。

7. Liu Bang returned to Guanzhong, where he shifted his capital to Yueyang.

諸將拔隴西。

8. Liu Bang's generals captured Longxi.

漢二年
十一月
漢拔我隴西。(Records of the Grand Historian 16, Monthly Timeline of the Chu-Han Contention)

In the second year of Liu Bang's reign (205 BC), in the eleventh month (of 206 BC), Han wrested Longxi from Zhang Han's control.


春,正月,項王北至城陽。齊王榮將兵會戰,敗,走平原,平原民殺之。項王復立田假爲齊王。遂北至北海,燒夷城郭、室屋,坑田榮降卒,係虜其老弱、婦女,所過多所殘滅。齊民相聚叛之。

9. In spring, the first month, Xiang Yu reached Chengyang. Tian Rong led troops to meet him in battle, but was defeated. He fled to Pingyuan, but the people of Pingyuan killed him.

It was earlier mentioned that Tian Rong had driven out the former King of Qi, Tian Jia, and Tian Jia had fled to Chu. At this time, Xiang Yu restored Tian Jia's title as King of Qi.

Xiang Yu marched as far north as Beihai, where he burned and slaughtered all the cities, towns, and residences. He had all of Tian Rong's surrendered soldiers buried alive, and he took as captives their old and young relatives and their wives and daughters. He brutally sacked most of the places that he passed through. The people of Qi thus stirred one another to rebel against him.

漢二年
正月
項籍擊榮,走平原平原民殺之。
二月
項籍立故齊王田假為齊王。(Records of the Grand Historian 16, Monthly Timeline of the Chu-Han Contention)

In the second year of Liu Bang's reign (205 BC), in the first month, Xiang Yu attacked Tian Rong. Tian Rong fled to Pingyuan, where the locals killed him.

In the second month, Xiang Yu restored Tian Jia's former title as King of Qi.

春正月。項羽伐齊殺田榮。齊降於楚。羽焚其城郭。殺降卒。繫虜老弱。齊復叛楚降漢。(Records of Former Han 2, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

In spring, the first month, Xiang Yu campaigned against Qi and killed Tian Rong. Qi surrendered to Chu. But Xiang Yu burned their cities and towns, killed their surrendered soldiers, and tied up and took captive their old and young people. So Qi once again rebelled against Chu and sided with Han instead.


漢將拔北地,虜雍王弟平。

10. The Han generals took Beidi, where they captured Zhang Han's younger brother Zhang Ping.

漢二年
正月
漢拔我北地。(Records of the Grand Historian 16, Monthly Timeline of the Chu-Han Contention)

In the second year of Liu Bang's reign (205 BC), in the first month, Han wrested Beidi from Zhang Han's control.


三月,漢王自臨晉渡河。魏王豹降,將兵從;下河內,虜殷王卬,置河內郡。

11. In the third month, Liu Bang crossed the Yellow River at Linjin. The King of Wei, Wei Bao, surrendered to Liu Bang and led his troops to join him.

Liu Bang subdued Henei and captured the King of Yin, Sima Ang, then organized his former domain into Henei commandary.

〈班《志》,臨晉縣屬馮翊,故大荔也,秦取之,更名臨晉。應劭曰:臨晉水,故名。臣瓚曰:晉水在河之東,此縣在河之西,不得臨晉水。舊說,秦築高壘以臨晉國,故曰臨晉。章懷太子賢曰:臨晉故城,在今同州朝邑縣西南。余按《唐書‧地理志》,蒲州有臨晉縣。宋白曰:漢臨晉縣在今臨晉縣東南十八里,故解城是也。後魏改爲北解縣。周省。隋分猗氏縣,置桑泉縣。唐天寶十二載,改臨晉縣。天寶之改縣,必有所據,則應劭臨晉水之說,未可厚非。秦之臨晉在河西,臣瓚、章懷之說皆是也。師古曰︰其地在河之西濱,東臨晉境,卽今之同州朝邑界也。《史記正義》曰︰臨晉卽蒲津關。〉

(According to the Book of Han, Linjin county was in Pingyi commandary. It was originally called Dali. After the state of Qin took the region, they renamed it to Linjin. Ying Shao argued, "It was on the Jin River, so its name Linjin ('Along Jin') should be understood as 'On the Jin River'." But Chen Zan argued, "The Jin River was east of the Yellow River while this county was west of it, so it cannot have been on the Jin River. According to ancient sources, Qin built a high rampart here to closely watch the state of Jin, and this is what 'Along Jin' means." Crown Prince Zhanghuai of Tang, Li Xian, remarked, "The capital city of Linjin was southwest of Chaoyi county in modern Tongzhou." But I (Hu Sanxing) do note that the Geographical Records of the Book of Tang states that there was a Linjin county in Puzhou. Song Bai remarked, "Han's Linjin county was eighteen li southeast of the modern Linjin county; it was the same place as the city of Jiecheng. Northern Wei renamed it to Beijie county. Northern Zhou abolished it. Sui split off the territory from Yishi county and formed Sangquan county. In Tang's twelfth year of Tianbao (753), it was renamed to Linjin." For Tang to have renamed the county to Linjin must have meant that at that time, it was indeed along the Jin River. So Ying Shao (who wrote during the Han dynasty) may not have been entirely incorrect in his assertion of the source of Linjin's name. But the fact was that the state of Qin did organize Linjin county west of the Yellow River, as Chen Zan and Li Xian both attest. Yan Shigu remarked, "The area was on the west bank of the Yellow River, looking across to the territory of Jin on the east bank. It is the same place as Chaoyi county in modern Tonghou." The Zhengyi commentary to the Records of the Grand Historian states, "Linjin was the same place as Pujin Pass.")


漢二年
三月
降漢。王擊殷。降漢,卬廢。
四月。
為河內郡,屬漢。(Records of the Grand Historian 16, Monthly Timeline of the Chu-Han Contention)

In the second year of Liu Bang's reign (205 BC), in the third month, Wei Bao surrendered to Han. Liu Bang attacked Sima Ang's state of Yin, and Sima Ang too surrendered to him; his state was abolished.

In the fourth month, Liu Bang organized Sima Ang's former domain into Henei commandary.

三月。魏王豹降。(Records of Former Han 2, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

In the third month, Wei Bao surrendered to Liu Bang.

漢王還定三秦,渡臨晉,魏王豹以國屬焉。(Records of the Grand Historian 90, Biography of Wei Bao)

After Liu Bang had returned and conquered the Three Qins region, he marched to Linjin. Wei Bao led his state and his subordinates to submit to Liu Bang.

漢王還定三秦,渡臨晉,豹以國屬焉。(Book of Han 33, Biography of Wei Bao)

After Liu Bang had returned and conquered the Three Qins region, he marched to Linjin. Wei Bao led his state and his subordinates to submit to Liu Bang.


初,陽武人陳平,家貧,好讀書。里中社,平爲宰,分肉甚均。父老曰︰「善,陳孺子之爲宰!」平曰︰「嗟乎,使平得宰天下,亦如是肉矣!」及諸侯叛秦,平事魏王咎於臨濟,爲太僕,說魏王,不聽。人或讒之,平亡去。後事項羽,賜爵爲卿。殷王反,項羽使平擊降之;還,拜爲都尉,賜金二十鎰。

12. There lived a certain Chen Ping of Yangwu. He came from a poor family, but he enjoyed reading books. His village acclaimed him as their local leader. Chen Ping was a butcher, and he always carved his chunks of meat to be exactly equal. The elders would say, "What a fine butcher this Scholar Chen is!" Chen Ping replied, "Ah, if you let me be the butcher for all the realm, I'd cut my meat just as fairly!"

When the feudal lords rebelled against Qin, Chen Ping initially served under the King of Wei, Wei Jiu, at Linjin and was appointed as Minister Coachman. He tried to offer advice to Wei Jiu, but to no avail. Then someone slandered him, so he ran away.

Later, Chen Ping served Xiang Yu, who granted him a sinecure. When the King of Yin, Sima Ang, rebelled against Chu, Xiang Yu sent Chen Ping to attack Sima Ang and compel him to submit again. After Chen Ping's successful return, he was appointed as Commandant and granted twenty 鎰 of gold.

〈孔穎達曰︰按《祭法》曰︰大夫以下成羣立社曰置社。《註》云︰大夫不得特立社,與民族居,百家以上則共立一社,今時里社是也。如鄭此言,則周之政法,百家以上得立社;其秦、漢以來,雖非大夫,民二十五家以上則得立社,故云今之里社。又《鄭志》云︰《月令》「命民社」,謂秦社也。自秦以下,民始得立社。〉〈師古曰︰宰,主切割肉也。〉〈班《表》︰太僕,秦官,掌輿馬。應劭曰︰周穆王所置,蓋大御衆僕之長也。〉〈張晏曰︰禮秩如卿,不治事。〉〈【章︰乙十一行本「反」下有「楚」字;孔本同;張校同;退齋校同;傳校同。】〉

(This passage states that Chen Ping served as 中社 of his village. Kong Yingda remarked, "According to the Ceremonies and Laws, 'The gentry and their inferiors would assemble a meeting and acclaim a leader called a 置社.' Zheng Xuan's Annotations states, 'It was not that the gentry themselves made a special appointment, but that they, resided together with the people and their kin, would join together with the common people to acclaim a 社 together, and this was the same thing as what we now call a 里社.' Considering what Zheng Xuan said, it must have been the case that the common people were included in these assembles according to the laws and government of Zhou, and from the time of Qin and Han onwards, although there were no gentry present, the common people forming twenty-five or more families would acclaim a 社 over them, thus the modern title of 里社. And the Records of Zheng states, 'Where the Monthly Edicts mentions that 'they ordered the 社s of the common people', this was the Qin equivalent of the same office. It was only beginning with the Qin era onwards that the common people were able to acclaim their own 社s."

Chen Ping's job was as a 宰. Yan Shigu remarked, "A 宰's chief role is to cut and carve up meat."

According to the treatises of the Book of Han, Minister Coachman was a Qin office, in charge of the carriages and horses. Ying Shao remarked, "The office was created by King Mu of Zhou, and must have been the chief supervisor of the coachmen."

Zhang Yan remarked, "To have a sinecure is to be granted the ceremonies and salary of an office, but without any duties."

Some versions clarify that it was "Chu" that Sima Ang rebelled against.)


宰 both means "butcher" and is part of a title for the chief minister of state.

陳平、陽武人也。家貧好讀書。少時嘗為里中社宰。分肉甚平均。父老善之。平曰。嗟乎。使平宰天下。亦如此肉矣。(Records of Former Han 2, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

Chen Ping was a native of Yangwu. He came from a poor family, but he enjoyed reading books. When he was a young man, his village acclaimed him as their local leader. Chen Ping was a butcher, and he always carved his chunks of meat to be exactly equal. The elders praised him for this. Chen Ping replied, "Ah, if you let me be the butcher for all the realm, I'd cut my meat just as fairly!"


居無何,漢王攻下殷,項王怒,將誅定殷將吏。平懼,乃封其金與印,使使歸項王;而挺身間行,杖劍亡,渡河,歸漢王於脩武,因魏無知求見漢王。漢王召入,賜食,遣罷就舍。平曰︰「臣爲事來,所言不可以過今日。」於是漢王與語而說之,問曰︰「子之居楚何官?」曰︰「爲都尉。」是日,卽拜平爲都尉,使爲參乘,典護軍。諸將盡讙曰︰「大王一日得楚之亡卒,未知其高下,而卽與同載,反使監護長者!」漢王聞之,愈益幸平。

13. When, shortly after this, Liu Bang attacked Sima Ang and forced him to surrender to him, Xiang Yu was angry, and he was going to execute the generals and officials who had supposedly brought Sima Ang's domain back under control. Chen Ping feared for his life. So he sealed up his gold and his seal of office and sent agents to return them to Xiang Yu, while he himself fled along back roads, leaving his cane and sword behind and fleeing totally nude. He crossed the Yellow River and came to join Liu Bang at Xiuwu, where Wei Wuzhu asked Liu Bang to meet with him. Liu Bang summoned Chen Ping to see him, gave him a meal, and sent him to rest in a house. Chen Ping said to himself, "I’ve never experienced anything like this."

Then Liu Bang came to talk with him and was pleased with him. He asked Chen Ping, "Sir, what office did you hold in Chu?"

Chen Ping replied, "I was a Commandant."

So that same day, Liu Bang appointed Chen Ping as Commandant and placed him in command of supervising and inspecting his army.

The other generals all grumbled, "It's only been one day since this fugitive from Chu arrived, yet the Great King, who is totally ignorant of how important he might really have been in Chu, treats him the same as us and even makes him the senior inspector of the army!"

But when Liu Bang heard about this, he only favored Chen Ping all the more.

〈師古曰︰言無幾時。〉〈挺,拔也;言平拔身間出而行也。〉〈使平典護軍而監護諸將也。〉〈讙,譁然不服之聲。〉

(Yan Shigu remarked, "The phrase 居無何 means 'within no amount of time at all'."

To 挺 means to straighten; in other words, Chen Ping was "straightening his back" and departing from Chu.

Chen Ping was being placed in charge of inspecting the army and supervising its generals.

To grumble is to mutter insubordinate words.)


陳平因魏無知始來... 事魏王及項羽不能用。歸漢。漢王與參乘。令典護諸將。諸將皆怒曰。大王一旦得楚之亡卒。乃命監護長者。王愈益任用之。(Records of Former Han 2, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

It was at this time that Chen Ping first came to join Liu Bang, thanks to Prince Wuzhi of Wei.

Since neither the King of Wei nor Xiang Yu were able to properly use Chen Ping, he came to join Liu Bang. Liu Bang placed him in command of supervising and inspecting his generals.

The other generals all grumbled, "It's only been one day since this fugitive from Chu arrived, yet the Great King makes him the senior inspector of the army"

But Liu Bang only favored Chen Ping all the more.


漢王南渡平陰津,至洛陽新城。三老董公遮說王曰︰「臣聞『順德者昌,逆德者亡』;『兵出無名,事故不成』。故曰︰『明其爲賊,敵乃可服。』項羽爲無道,放殺其主,天下之賊也。夫仁不以勇,義不以力,大王宜率三軍之衆爲之素服,以告諸侯而伐之,則四海之內莫不仰德,此三王之舉也。」於是漢王爲義帝發喪,袒而大哭,哀臨三日,發使告諸侯曰︰「天下共立義帝,北面事之。今項羽放殺義帝江南,大逆無道!寡人悉發關中兵,收三河士,南浮江、漢以下,願從諸侯王擊楚之殺義帝者!」

14. Liu Bang crossed south of the Yellow River at Pingyin Crossing, then marched to Xincheng at Luoyang.

The local Thrice Venerable, Lord Dong, stopped Liu Bang and advised him, "I have heard it said both that 'one who heeds virtue will prosper, while one who ignores virtue will perish' and 'an army sent forth without legitimacy will fail'. And thus it is said, 'Expose your enemy's crimes, and your foes will submit to you'.

"Now Xiang Yu is without principle, having exiled and killed his lord, and he is the enemy of all the realm. One who acts with benevolence need not flaunt a bold attitude; one who acts with righteousness need not employ force. Great King, you should lead the forces of your three armies to dress in mourning for Emperor Yi, and announce your intentions to the feudal lords to lead a campaign against Xiang Yu to avenge him. Then there would be no one within the Four Seas who would not bow to your virtue. This was how the ancient three sovereigns conducted themselves."

Liu Bang thus held mourning for Emperor Yi; he bared his arm and led a great wail, and he continued the mourning for three days. He sent out his envoys to the other feudal lords to tell them, "The whole realm had acclaimed Emperor Yi and faced north in submission to him. But now, Xiang Yu has exiled Emperor Yi to the Southland and then killed him. He is a vile traitor, without principle! Thus I am sending forth all the troops of Guanzhong and gathering together the troops of the Three Hes (Henan, Hedong, and Henei), and I am sending troops south to sail down the Yangzi and the Han River. I ask all of the kings and marquises of the realm to join me and attack Chu for their murder of Emperor Yi!"

〈班《志》,平陰縣屬河南郡。《水經》︰河水逕平陰縣北。魏文帝改平陰曰河陰。洛陽縣屬河南郡;新城時屬縣界,惠帝四年始置新城縣。《括地志》︰洛州伊闕縣,在州南七十里,本漢新城也;隋文帝改新城爲伊闕,取伊闕山爲名。〉〈班《表》︰十里一亭,亭有長;十亭一鄕,鄕有三老,掌敎化;秦制。橫道自言曰遮。〉〈放,謂遷義帝於郴;殺,謂殺之江中。〉〈伐有罪則兵出有名。〉〈文穎曰︰以,用也;己有仁,天下歸之,可不用勇而天下自服;己有義,天下奉之,可不用力而天下自定。〉〈如淳曰︰袒,亦如禮袒踊也。師古曰︰袒,謂脫衣之袖也。〉〈韋昭曰︰河南、河東、河內也。〉〈《史記正義》曰︰南收三河士,發關內兵,從雍州入子午道至漢中,歷漢水而水,東行至徐州擊楚。余謂《正義》之說迂矣!三河在彭城之北,已不可謂南收三河士。若發關內兵,南浮江、漢,獨不能出武關而浮江、漢,而必入子午谷至漢中而下漢水邪!況子午道此時亦未通鑿,其可引之而爲說乎!此特言發三河士以攻其北,又南浮江、漢,下兵以夾攻之也。服虔曰︰漢名王爲諸侯。師古曰︰非也。當時漢未有此稱號,直言諸侯及王耳。〉

(According to the Book of Han, Pingyin county was part of Henan commandary. The Water Classic states, "The Yellow River flows north of Pingyin county. Emperor Wen of Cao-Wei (Cao Pi) renamed Pingyin to Heyin."

Luoyang county was part of Henan commandary. At the time of this passage, Xincheng was part of Luoyang county. It was not until the fourth year of the reign of Emperor Hui of Han (192 BC) that Xincheng became its own county. The Comprehensive Gazetteer states, "Yique county in Luozhou, seventy li south of the provicional capital, was originally Xincheng during Han. Emperor Wen of Sui renamed Xincheng to Yique, drawing the name from Mount Yique."

According to the treatises of the Book of Han, every ten villages were organized into a ward, which each had a mayor, and every ten wards were organized into a district. Every district had a Thrice Venerable, who was responsible for instilling education and good culture among the populace. This was the Qin system.

Lord Dong is described as 遮ing Liu Bang. This term means "to block one's path and begin speaking unprompted".

To have "legitimacy" for a military campaign, one must be marching against those who have committed crimes.

Xiang Yu had "exiled" Emperor Yi by forcing him to move to Chen, and he had "killed" him by arranging for his death.

Regarding Lord Gong's slogan about benevolence and righteousness, Wen Ying remarked, "The term 以 here means 'to require the use of'. If one already has benevolence, then the realm will naturally flock to them, and one will receive their submission without having to make a show of strength. And if one already has righteousness, then the realm will naturally support their cause, and one will attain peace without needing to employ brute force."

Liu Bang is described as 袒ing during his mourning. Ru Chun remarked, "袒 means the ceremony of baring the arm and leaping about." Yan Shigu remarked, "It means to remove the sleeve of the clothing."

Regarding the Three He regions, Wei Zhao remarked, "These were Henan, Hedong, and Henei."

The Zhengyi commentary to the Records of the Grand Historian interprets Liu Bang's campaign plans as follows: "He intended to march south to gather up the troops of the Three Hes and raise all the soldiers of Guanzhong, then march from Yongzhou down the road through Ziwu Valley to Hanzhong, where they would sail down the Han River to the Yangzi, then travel east to Xuzhou to attack Chu." But I (Hu Sanxing) have to object that this is a very roundabout way of picturing it! First of all, Xiang Yu's capital at Pengcheng was south of the Three Hes, so already the idea that Liu Bang would march south to get the troops of the Three Hes does not make any sense. Second, if the plan was for the soldiers of Guanzhong to go south and sail down the Han River and the Yangzi, couldn't they simply have gone through Wu Pass and thus immediately reached those rivers? Why would they need to go all the way through Ziwu Valley to Hanzhong and only then sailed down the Han River? Besides, the road through Ziwu Valley did not even exist at this time, so why even include that? No, Liu Bang's thinking was clearly a two-pronged attack, where the troops of the Three Hes would attack Chu from the north while a different force would sail down the Han River and the Yangzi to strike Chu from the south.

In his proclamation, Liu Bang uses the term 侯王. Fu Qian argued, "Liu Bang was here claiming a role as 王 'king' over the 侯 'feudal lords'." But Yan Shigu argued, "This is incorrect. At this time, Han did not yet claim supreme sovereignty over the realm. 侯王 simply meant the 'marquises and kings' that Liu Bang was addressing himself to.")


王至洛陽。新城三老董公說王曰。臣聞順德者昌。逆德者亡。兵出無名。事故不成。明其為賊。敵乃可服。項王殺義帝。是天下之賊也。夫仁者不以勇。義者不以力。若三軍之眾。為之素服。以告諸侯。而事東伐。此湯武之舉也。王善之。乃與義帝發喪。大臨三日。素縞以告諸侯。(Records of Former Han 2, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

Liu Bang came to Luoyang. The Thrice Venerable of Xincheng, Lord Dong, advised him, "I have heard it said both that 'one who heeds virtue will prosper, while one who ignores virtue will perish' and 'an army sent forth without legitimacy will fail'. And thus it is said, 'Expose your enemy's crimes, and your foes will submit to you'.

"Now King Xiang killed Emperor Yi, and he is the enemy of all the realm. One who acts with benevolence need not flaunt a bold attitude; one who acts with righteousness need not employ force. Great King, you should lead the forces of your three armies to dress in mourning for Emperor Yi, and announce your intentions to the feudal lords to lead an eastern campaign. This would be the same undertaking as Tang of Shang and King Wu of Zhou performed."

Liu Bang approved of this advice. He thus held mourning for Emperor Yi for three days, and he dressed in mourning garb as he announced his intentions to the feudal lords.


使者至趙,陳餘曰︰「漢殺張耳,乃從。」於是漢王求人類張耳者斬之,持其頭遺陳餘;餘乃遣兵助漢。

15. When Liu Bang's envoys came to Zhao, Chen Yu told them, "If Han wants our support, then they should kill Zhang Er first." Liu Bang found a man who closely resembled Zhang Er and beheaded him, then sent the head to Chen Yu. Thus deceived, Chen Yu sent troops to support Han.

王使人招陳餘。陳餘曰。漢殺張耳乃從。漢乃求人類耳者送其首。(Records of Former Han 2, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

Liu Bang sent envoys to ask Chen Yu to support him. Chen Yu told them, "If Han wants our support, then they should kill Zhang Er first." Liu Bang found a man who closely resembled Zhang Er and beheaded him, then sent the head to Chen Yu.

漢二年,東擊楚,使使告趙,欲與俱。陳餘曰:「漢殺張耳乃從。」於是漢王求人類張耳者斬之,持其頭遺陳餘。陳餘乃遣兵助漢。(Records of the Grand Historian 89, Biography of Zhang Er & Chen Yu)

In the second year of Liu Bang's reign (205 BC), when Liu Bang marched east to attack Chu, he sent envoys to Zhao to ask them to help him. Chen Yu told them, "If Han wants our support, then they should kill Zhang Er first." Liu Bang found a man who closely resembled Zhang Er and beheaded him, then sent the head to Chen Yu. Thus deceived, Chen Yu sent troops to support Han.

漢二年,東擊楚,使告趙,欲與俱。餘曰:「漢殺張耳乃從。」於是漢求人類耳者,斬其頭遺餘,餘乃遣兵助漢。(Book of Han 32, Biography of Zhang Er & Chen Yu)

In the second year of Liu Bang's reign (205 BC), when Liu Bang marched east to attack Chu, he sent envoys to Zhao to ask them to help him. Chen Yu told them, "If Han wants our support, then they should kill Zhang Er first." Liu Bang found a man who closely resembled Zhang Er and beheaded him, then sent the head to Chen Yu. Thus deceived, Chen Yu sent troops to support Han.


田榮弟橫收散卒,得數萬人,起城陽;夏,四月,立榮子廣爲齊王,以拒楚。項王因留,連戰,未能下。雖聞漢東,旣擊齊,欲遂破之而後擊漢,漢王以故得率諸侯兵凡五十六萬人伐楚。到外黃,彭越將其兵三萬餘人歸漢。漢王曰︰「彭將軍收魏地得十餘城,欲急立魏後。今西魏王豹,眞魏後。」乃拜彭越爲魏相國,擅將其兵略定梁地。漢王遂入彭城,收其貨寶、美人,日置酒高會。

16. After Tian Rong's death, his younger brother Tian Heng gathered up his scattered soldiers and assembled an army of several tens of thousands. He rose up at Chengyang. In summer, the fourth month, he acclaimed Tian Rong's son Tian Guang as the new King of Qi, and he resisted Chu. Xiang Yu thus remained in the Qi region, fighting a series of battles against Tian Heng, but he had not yet been able to subdue him.

By this time, Xiang Yu had heard of the eastern advance of the Han armies. But since he was already in the middle of fighting Qi, he wanted to rout them first and then turn to attack Han afterwards.

Thanks to the support of other feudal lords, Liu Bang now commanded a coalition army of about 560,000 on a campaign against Chu. When he reached Waihuang, Peng Yue led his own forces, more than thirty thousand soldiers, to join Han as well. Liu Bang said to himself, "General Peng has subdued more than ten cities in the Wei region, and he urgently wants to support a scion of the royal house of Wei. The King of Western Wei, Wei Bao, is just such a fellow." So he appointed Peng Yue as Wei’s Chancellor of State, and he assigned him his soldiers to march through and pacify the Liang region.

Liu Bang marched into Pengcheng. He gathered up Xiang Yu's treasures and wealth and his beautiful women, and he set a day to hold a great feast.

〈《史記正義》曰︰城陽,濮州雷澤是。余考《正義》所謂城陽,乃班《志》濟陰郡之城陽縣,田榮初與項羽會戰之地。榮旣敗而北走,死於平原,羽遂至北海,燒夷城郭、室屋,則濟陰之城陽已隔在羽軍之後。田橫所起,蓋班《志》城陽國之地,春秋莒之故虛也。羽旣連戰未能克橫,而漢入彭城,遂南從魯出胡陵至蕭以擊漢。莒、魯舊爲鄰國,則此城陽爲莒之故虛明矣。〉〈項羽併王梁、楚,徙魏王豹於河東,號西魏王。今越所下外黃十餘城,皆梁地也。〉

(The Zhengyi commentary to the Records of the Grand Historian states, "This Chengyang was the same place as Leize in modern Puzhou." I (Hu Sanxing) do note that the Book of Han lists a Chengyang county in Jinan commandary. But Jinan was the same place as Tian Rong's first battle with Xiang Yu. And considering that following this defeat, Tian Rong fled north and died at Pingyuan, and Xiang Yu then marched as far as Beihai, burning the cities, towns, and residences as he went, then the Chengyang county in Jiyin would have been in Xiang Yu's rear. So instead of that Chengyang, the place that Tian Heng rose up must have been the area of the Chengyang princely fief mentioned in the Book of Han, at the ruins of the ancient state of Ju from the Spring and Autumn era. Furthermore, we read in the next passage that, following Xiang Yu's failure to subdue Tian Heng at once and Liu Bang's occupation of Pengcheng, Xiang Yu then marched south from Lu out through Huling to Xiao in order to attack Liu Bang. And considering that the states of Ju and Lu had been neighbors, it becomes even more clear that this Chengyang was at the ruins of Ju.

Xiang Yu had claimed the Chu and Liang regions as part of his own domain as king, and had shifted the former King of Wei, Wei Bao, to Hedong commandary instead, thus his new title as King of Western Wei.

The more than ten cities that Peng Yue had subdued, including Waihuang, were all in the Liang region.)


漢二年
三月
田榮弟橫反城陽。
四月。
齊王田廣始。廣,榮子,橫立之。王伐楚至彭城。從漢伐楚。從漢伐楚。(Records of the Grand Historian 16, Monthly Timeline of the Chu-Han Contention)

In the second year of Liu Bang's reign (205 BC), in the third month, Tian Rong's younger brother Tian Heng rebelled against Xiang Yu at Chengyang.

In the fourth month, Tian Heng acclaimed Tian Rong's son Tian Guang as King of Qi.

Liu Bang campaigned against Chu, marching as far as Pengcheng. Wei Bao and King Xin of Hann both accompanied his campaign.

夏四月。田橫立榮子廣為齊王。橫為相。止城陽。項羽與齊戰。漢王率諸侯之師凡五十六萬人東襲楚。至外黃。彭越將三萬人歸漢。漢拜為相國。令定梁地。王遂入彭城。悉收楚美人寶貨。置酒高會。(Records of Former Han 2, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

In summer, the fourth month, Tian Heng acclaimed Tian Rong's son Tian Guang as the new King of Qi, with Tian Heng serving as his Chancellor, and they stopped at Chengyang. Xiang Yu was locked in battle with Qi.

Thanks to the support of other feudal lords, Liu Bang now commanded a coalition army of about 560,000 on a surprise eastern campaign. When he reached Waihuang, Peng Yue led his own forces, thirty thousand soldiers, to join Han as well. Liu Bang appointed Peng Yue as Wei’s Chancellor of State and ordered him to settle the Liang region.

Liu Bang marched into Pengcheng. He gathered up Chu's treasures and wealth and beautiful women, and he held a great feast with wine.

漢王二年春,與魏王豹及諸侯東擊楚,彭越將其兵三萬餘人歸漢於外黃。漢王曰:「彭將軍收魏地得十餘城,欲急立魏後。今西魏王豹亦魏王咎從弟也,真魏後。」乃拜彭越為魏相國,擅將其兵,略定梁地。(Records of the Grand Historian 90, Biography of Peng Yue)

In the second year of Liu Bang's reign (205 BC), in spring, he joined together with the King of Wei, Wei Bao, and the other feudal lords to march east and attack Chu. Peng Yue led his own forces, more than thirty thousand soldiers, to join Liu Bang at Waihuang. Liu Bang said to himself, "General Peng has subdued more than ten cities in the Wei region, and he urgently wants to support a scion of the royal house of Wei. The King of Western Wei, Wei Bao, is the younger cousin of the late King of Wei, Wei Jiu; he is certainly such a man." So he appointed Peng Yue as Wei’s Chancellor of State, and he assigned him his soldiers to march through and pacify the Liang region.

漢二年春,與魏豹及諸侯東擊楚,越將其兵三萬餘人,歸漢外黃。漢王曰:「彭將軍收魏地,得十餘城,欲急立魏後。今西魏王豹,魏咎從弟,真魏也。」乃拜越為魏相國,擅將兵,略定梁地。(Book of Han 34, Biography of Peng Yue)

In the second year of Liu Bang's reign (205 BC), in spring, he joined together with Wei Bao and the other feudal lords to march east and attack Chu. Peng Yue led his own forces, more than thirty thousand soldiers, to join Liu Bang at Waihuang. Liu Bang said to himself, "General Peng has subdued more than ten cities in the Wei region, and he urgently wants to support a scion of the royal house of Wei. The King of Western Wei, Wei Bao, is the younger cousin of the late King of Wei, Wei Jiu; he is certainly such a man." So he appointed Peng Yue as Wei’s Chancellor of State, and he assigned him his soldiers to march through and pacify the Liang region.


項王聞之,令諸將擊齊,而自以精兵三萬人南,從魯出胡陵至蕭。晨,擊漢軍而東至彭城,日中,大破漢軍。漢軍皆走,相隨入穀、泗水,死者十餘萬人。漢卒皆南走山,楚又追擊至靈璧東睢水上;漢軍卻,爲楚所擠,卒十餘萬人皆入睢水,水爲之不流。圍漢王三匝。會大風從西北起,折木,發屋,揚沙石,窈冥晝晦,逢迎楚軍,大亂壞散,而漢王乃得與數十騎遁去。欲過沛收家室,而楚亦使人之沛取漢王家;家皆亡,不與漢王相見。

17. When Xiang Yu heard that Liu Bang had actually occupied Pengcheng, he ordered his generals to keep up the fight against Qi, while he himself led thirty thousand elite soldiers back south, from Lu out through Huling to Xiao. He attacked the Han army and drove them east to Pengcheng in the morning, and by noon he had greatly routed them. The Han soldiers all scattered. They stampeded to the Gu and Si Rivers, with more than a hundred thousand deaths. Then they fled south into the hills, while the Chu army pursued and attacked them as far as Lingbi and east to the banks of the Sui River. The Han army tried to fall back, but they were so pressed in by the Chu army that more than a hundred thousand of them were lost in the Sui River, which became so choked with corpses that it no longer flowed.

Xiang Yu surrounded Liu Bang with three lines. But at that time, a great wind blew in from the northwest, strong enough to snap trees and fling off roof tiles. The wind kicked up so much sand and dust that the sky was blotted out by the haze, and it threw the Chu army into great confusion. Liu Bang and several dozen riders were thus able to slip out from the encirclement.

As Liu Bang was passing through Pei, he wanted to gather up his family there. The Chu army also sent their agents to Pei to capture Liu Bang's family. But by then, Liu Bang's family had already fled, so he could not find them.

〈魯,卽伯禽所都;秦置魯縣,屬薛郡;漢後以薛郡爲魯國。《史記正義》曰︰魯,今兗州曲阜縣。蕭縣,秦屬泗水郡;唐徐州蕭縣是也。〉〈臣瓚曰︰穀、泗二水皆在沛郡彭城。《水經註》︰睢水出陳留縣西蒗蕩渠,東過沛郡相縣;又逕彭城郡之靈璧而東南流,項羽敗漢王處也。《漢書》又云︰東逼穀、泗。服虔曰︰水名也,在沛國相縣界。又詳睢水逕穀熟而兩分,而睢水爲蘄水,故二水所在枝分,通爲兼稱。穀水之名,蓋因地變。然則穀水卽睢水也。睢水又東南至下相而入于泗,謂之睢口。泗水又東南過彭城縣東北,南至下邳入淮。孟康曰︰靈璧故小縣,在彭城南。《史記正義》曰︰靈璧在徐州符離縣西北九十里。〉〈擠,排也。〉

(The Lu mentioned in this passage had been the capital of Bo Qin, the ancient founder of the state of Lu. The Qin dynasty organized this area into Lu county, as part of Xue commandary. The Han dynasty later renamed Xue commandary to the Lu princely fief. The Zhengyi commentary to the Records of the Grand Historian states, "Lu was the same place as Qufu county in modern Yanzhou."

During the Qin dynasty, Xiao county was part of Sishui commandary. It was the same place as Xiao county in Xuzhou during the Tang dynasty.

Chen Zan remarked, "The Gu and Si Rivers both passed by Pengcheng in Pei commandary."

The Commentary on the Water Classic states, "The Sui River emerged from the Langdang Canal west of Chenliu county, then flowed east, passing through Xiang county in Pei commandary, then passed by Lingbi in Pengcheng commandary and flowed southeast, at the place where Xiang Yu defeated the King of Han (Liu Bang)." The Book of Han also states, "This river flowed east, close to the Gu and Si Rivers." Fu Qian remarked, "The river of this name was in Xiang county in the Pei princely fief. We also find that the Sui River passes through Gushu and then splits into two, with the Sui River becoming the Qi River. So the two rivers must have been branches of the same river, each of which had their own name. The Gu River must have been named after Gushu. And the Sui River must have been the same as the Gu River. The Sui River also flowed southeast as far as Xiang, where it entered the Si River, at the place called Suikou ('Mouth of the Sui River'). The Si River then flowed southeast, passing northeast of Pengcheng county, then south as far as Xiapi, where it entered the Huai River."

Meng Kang remarked, "Lingbi was a small county, south of Pengcheng." The Zhengyi commentary to the Records of the Grand Historian states, "Lingbi was ninety li northwest of Fuli county in Xuzhou."

The term 擠 means "to press".)


漢二年
四月。
項羽以兵三萬破漢兵五十六萬。壞走。(Records of the Grand Historian 16, Monthly Timeline of the Chu-Han Contention)

In the second year of Liu Bang's reign (205 BC), in the fourth month, Xiang Yu led an army of thirty thousand and routed Liu Bang's army of 560,000. Liu Bang's army collapsed and fled.

羽聞之。留其將擊齊。自以精兵三萬人歸。晨襲漢軍於濉水上。從旦至日中。殺漢士卒十餘萬人。皆入濉水。濉水為之不流。漢軍大敗。圍王三匝。會天大風。揚沙晝晦。楚軍大亂。而王得與數十騎遁去。(Records of Former Han 2, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

When Xiang Yu heard that Liu Bang had actually occupied Pengcheng, he ordered his generals to keep up the fight against Qi, while he himself led thirty thousand elite soldiers back south. He launched a surprise attack against the Han army at the Sui River at dawn; they fought from morning until noon. Xiang Yu's army killed more than a hundred thousand of the Han soldiers, who all rushed into the Sui River, which became so choked with corpses that it no longer flowed. The Han army was greatly defeated.

Xiang Yu surrounded Liu Bang with three lines. But at that time, a great wind blew in and kicked up so much sand and dust that the sky was blotted out by the haze, and it threw the Chu army into great confusion. Liu Bang and several dozen riders were thus able to slip out from the encirclement.


漢王道逢孝惠、魯元公主,載以行。楚騎追之,漢王急,推墮二子車下。滕公爲太僕,常下收載之;如是者三,曰︰「今雖急,不可以驅,柰何棄之!」故徐行。漢王怒,欲斬之者十餘;滕公卒保護,脫二子。審食其從太公、呂后間行求漢王,不相遇,反遇楚軍;楚軍與歸,項王常置軍中爲質。

18. Liu Bang happened to find his son Liu Ying and his eldest daughter on the road, so he let them ride in his carriage. But since Liu Bang's group was being closely pursued by Chu riders, Liu Bang was so worried about the danger that he kept pushing his two children out of the carriage, only to be thwarted by his Minister Coachman, Xiahou Ying, who would place them back in the carriage again. After three instances of this, Xiahou Ying scolded Liu Bang, saying, "Surely the danger is not so great as to cast out your children! Why abandon them?" And he slowed the carriage. Liu Bang was so angry that more than ten times he threatened to behead Xiahou Ying. But Xiahou Ying was able to protect the two children, so they were all able to escape.

Shen Yiji was leading Liu Bang's father and his wife Lü Zhi along back roads, trying to reach Liu Bang. But instead of finding Liu Bang, they were captured by the Chu army, who brought them back with them. Xiang Yu kept them in his camp as hostages.

〈魯元公主,帝女也。服虔曰︰元,長也;食邑於魯。韋昭曰︰元,諡也。師古曰︰公主,惠帝姊也,以其最長,故號曰元,不得爲諡。貢父曰︰韋昭是也。〉〈審,姓;食其,名。食其,音異基。將間行以避楚軍,乃反與楚軍相遇也。〉

(Liu Ying and Liu Bang's daughter are anachronistically referred to in this passage by their later titles, Emperor Hui and Princess Yuan of Lu. Regarding the latter title, Fu Qian remarked, "Yuan means 'foremost', and Lu was the name of her fief." Wei Zhao argued, "Yuan ('the Foremost') was her posthumous title." But Yan Shigu argued, "The princess was Emperor Hui's elder sister; she was the oldest child, which is what Yuan refers to, rather than being a posthumous title." Gong Fu remarked, "Wei Zhao is correct."

審 Shen was this man's surname, and 食其 Yiji, pronounced "yi ji", his given name.

Shen Yiji and the others were taking back roads to avoid the Chu army, but unexpectedly they encountered the Chu army instead.)


道逢孝惠魯元公主載行。楚追急。輒推墮之。夏侯嬰嘗收載之。遂得免。而太公呂后被獲于楚。(Records of Former Han 2, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

Liu Bang happened to find his son Liu Ying and his eldest daughter on the road, so he let them ride in his carriage. But since Liu Bang's group was being closely pursued by Chu riders, Liu Bang kept pushing his two children out of the carriage, only to be thwarted by Xiahou Ying, who would place them back in the carriage again. Thus they were all able to escape. But Liu Bang's father and his wife Lü Zhi were captured by Chu.


是時,呂后兄周呂侯爲漢將兵,居下邑;漢王間往從之,稍稍收其士卒。諸侯皆背漢,復與楚。塞王欣、翟王翳亡降楚。

19. At this time, the Marquis of Zhoulü, Lü Zhi's elder brother, was a general under Liu Bang and was camped at Xiayi. Liu Bang took back roads to flee to his position, then gradually began to gather up his scattered soldiers.

The feudal lords all turned against Han and once again sided with Chu. Sima Xin and Dong Yi fled Liu Bang to surrender to Chu.

〈班《志》,下邑縣屬梁國。梁國,秦碭郡;漢改焉。宋白曰︰今宋州碭山縣卽古下邑城。〉

(According to the Book of Han, Xiayi county was part of the Liang princely fief, which was known as Dang commandary during the Qin dynasty. Song Bai remarked, "Dangshan county in modern Songzhou was the old city of Xiayi.")


時諸侯皆復歸楚。(Records of Former Han 2, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

At this time, the feudal lords all turned against Han and once again sided with Chu.


田橫進攻田假,假走楚,楚殺之;橫遂復定三齊之地。

20. Tian Heng advanced and attacked Tian Jia. Tian Jia fled to Chu, but they killed him. Tian Heng thus controlled all of the Three Qis.

漢二年
三月
擊假,走楚,楚殺假。(Records of the Grand Historian 16, Monthly Timeline of the Chu-Han Contention)

In the second year of Liu Bang's reign (205 BC), in the third month, Tian Heng attacked Tian Jia. Tian Jia fled to Chu, but they killed him.


漢王問羣臣曰︰「吾欲捐關以東;等棄之,誰可與共功者?」張良曰︰「九江王布,楚梟將,與項王有隙;彭越與齊反梁地;此兩人可急使。而漢王之將,獨韓信可屬大事,當一面。卽欲捐之,捐之此三人,則楚可破也!」

21. Liu Bang said to his subordinates, "I wanted to grant the territory east of the passes to worthy people. Yet now they've all abandoned me. Who will stand with me now to complete my achievement?"

Zhang Liang told him, "There is the King of Jiujiang, Qing Bu; he is a bold general of Chu, yet he is on bad terms with Xiang Yu. And there is Peng Yue, who has split control of the Liang region with Qi. You should send envoys to these two men at once. As for your own generals, only Han Xin can be trusted with weighty responsibility and granted an independent command. If you intend to grant that territory to anyone, then entrust it to these three men, and Chu can be destroyed!"

〈師古曰︰捐關以東,謂不自有其地,將以與人,令其立功共破楚也。余謂等棄之者,言捐以與人,與棄等也。〉〈師古曰︰梟,謂最勇健也。〉〈師古曰︰屬,委也。〉

(Regarding Liu Bang's remarks, Yan Shigu remarked, "By ‘grant the territory east of the passes', he meant that he would not control it directly, but would give it up to others and then order them to assist him in destroying Chu." And as for the term 等棄之, I (Hu Sanxing) say that Liu Bang meant that the people whom he had previously been intending to give this territory to had abandoned him.

Zhang Liang more precisely describes Qing Bu as an "owlish" general. Yan Shigu remarked, "By owlish, he meant that Qing Bu was the boldest and toughest."

Zhang Liang uses the term 屬. Yan Shigu remarked, "In this instance, it means 'to entrust'.")


初,項王擊齊,徵兵九江,九江王布稱病不往,遣將將軍數千人行。漢之破楚彭城,布又稱病不佐楚。楚王由此怨布,數使使者誚讓,召布。布愈恐,不敢往。項王方北憂齊、趙,西患漢,所與者獨九江王;又多布材,欲親用之,以故未之擊。 漢王自下邑徙軍碭,遂至虞,謂左右曰︰「如彼等者,無足與計天下事!」謁者隨何進曰︰「不審陛下所謂。」漢王曰︰「孰能爲我使九江,令之發兵倍楚?留項王數月,我之取天下可以百全。」隨何曰︰「臣請使之!」漢王使與二十人俱。

22. Earlier, when Xiang Yu had attacked Qi, he had summoned troops from Jiujiang. But Qing Bu, claiming illness to avoid coming in person, had merely sent his generals to lead a few thousand men to support the campaign. And when Xiang Yu had routed the Han army at Pengcheng, Qing Bu had once again claimed illness and had not provided any assistance. These things caused Xiang Yu to be angry at Qing Bu, and he sent envoys several times to reprimand him for his behavior and summoning him to report to Xiang Yu. But Qing Bu, becoming even more afraid, never dared to come. And since Xiang Yu was already having to deal with Qi and Zhao to the north and Han to the west, Jiujiang was his only peaceful border. Besides, he still thought highly of Qing Bu's talents and wanted to keep his support. So he never outright attacked Qing Bu.

Liu Bang shifted his army from Xiayi to Dang, then marched to Yu. He said to his attendants, "You people are useless. You're not good enough to help me gain the realm!"

One of his diplomats, Sui He, stepped forward and asked, "Might I ask what exactly Your Majesty is saying?"

Liu Bang replied, "Would you be able to go to Jiujiang as my envoy and have them lead their troops to attack Chu? As long as they can keep King Xiang busy for a few months, I will definitely be able to attain the realm."

Sui He said, "Allow me to serve as your envoy!"

Liu Bang sent him, along with twenty others.

〈以辭相責曰誚讓。〉〈師古曰︰多者,猶重也。〉〈班《志》,虞縣屬梁國。師古曰︰今宋州虞城縣。宋白曰︰古虞國。舜禪禹,封其子商均於虞;少康奔虞卽此。〉〈《姓譜》︰隨姓,隨侯之後。又云︰杜伯之玄孫會爲晉大夫,食采於隨,曰隨武子;後因以爲姓。〉

(To reprimand means to lay blame on someone.

This passage states that Xiang Yu 多ed Qing Bu's abilities. Yan Shigu remarked, "This meant that he still thought highly of them."

According to the Book of Han, Yu county was part of the Liang princely fief. Yan Shigu remarked, "It was the same place as Yucheng county in modern Songzhou." Song Bai remarked, "This area had been the ancient state of Yu. When Yao abdicated to Shun, he granted Yu as a fief to his son Shangjun. And this was the same Yu that Shaokang later fled to during his exile."

The Registry of Surnames states, "Those with the surname 隨 Sui are the descendants of the Marquis of Sui." It also states, "Du Bo's great-great-grandson Du Hui was a chief minister of the state of Jin; he was granted a fief at Sui and called Viscount Wu of Sui, and his descendants took the name of this fief as their surname.")


王謂群臣曰。誰能為我說九江王令背楚。項羽必留。必留三月。我之取天下。可以萬全。有儒者隨何請使。(Records of Former Han 2, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

Liu Bang said to his ministers, "Who can persuade the King of Jiujiang (Qing Bu) to betray Chu and support me instead? If he does so, he can keep Xiang Yu occupied, and as long as Xiang Yu is tied down for three months, my conquest of the realm shall be assured." A scholar named Sui He asked to go as the envoy.

漢二年,齊王田榮畔楚,項王往擊齊,徵兵九江,九江王布稱病不往,遣將將數千人行。漢之敗楚彭城,布又稱病不佐楚。項王由此怨布,數使使者誚讓召布,布愈恐,不敢往。項王方北憂齊、趙,西患漢,所與者獨九江王,又多布材,欲親用之,以故未擊。漢三年,漢王擊楚,大戰彭城,不利,出梁地,至虞,謂左右曰:「如彼等者,無足與計天下事。」謁者隨何進曰:「不審陛下所謂。」漢王曰:「孰能為我使淮南,令之發兵倍楚,留項王於齊數月,我之取天下可以百全。」隨何曰:「臣請使之。」乃與二十人俱,使淮南。(Records of the Grand Historian 91, Biography of Qing Bu)

In the second year of Liu Bang's reign (205 BC), the King of Qi, Tian Rong, rebelled against Chu. When Xiang Yu marched to attack Tian Rong, he summoned troops from Jiujiang. But Qing Bu, claiming illness to avoid coming in person, had merely sent his generals to lead a few thousand men to support the campaign. And later, when Xiang Yu defeated the Han army west of Pengcheng, Qing Bu once again claimed illness and did not provide any assistance to Chu. These things caused Xiang Yu to be angry at Qing Bu, and he sent envoys several times to reprimand him for his behavior and summoning him to report to Xiang Yu. But Qing Bu, becoming even more afraid, never dared to come. And since Xiang Yu was already having to deal with Qi and Zhao to the north and Han to the west, Jiujiang was his only peaceful border. Besides, he still thought highly of Qing Bu's talents and wanted to keep his support. So he never outright attacked Qing Bu.

In the third year (204 BC), Liu Bang attacked Chu, but was defeated in a great battle at Pengcheng. He left the Liang region behind and came to Yu. There he said to his attendants, "You people are useless. You're not good enough to help me gain the realm."

One of his diplomats, Sui He, stepped forward and asked, "Might I ask what exactly Your Majesty is saying?"

Liu Bang replied, "Would you be able to go to Huainan as my envoy and have them lead their troops to betray Chu? As long as they can keep King Xiang busy in Qi for a few months, I will definitely be able to attain the realm."

Sui He said, "Allow me to serve as your envoy."

Liu Bang sent him to Jiujiang, along with twenty others.

齊王田榮叛楚,項王往擊齊,徵兵九江,布稱病不往,遣將將數千人行。漢之敗楚彭城,布又稱病不佐楚。項王由此怨布,數使使者譙讓召布,布愈恐,不敢往。項王方北憂齊、趙,西患漢,所與者獨布,又多其材,欲親用之,以故未擊。漢王與楚大戰彭城,不利,出梁地,至虞,謂左右曰:「如彼等者,無足與計天下事者。」謁者隨何進曰:「不審陛下所謂。」漢王曰:「孰能為我使淮南,使之發兵背楚,留項王於齊數月,我之取天下可以萬全。」隨何曰:「臣請使之。」乃與二十人俱使淮南。(Book of Han 34, Biography of Qing Bu)

The King of Qi, Tian Rong, rebelled against Chu. When Xiang Yu marched to attack Tian Rong, he summoned troops from Jiujiang. But Qing Bu, claiming illness to avoid coming in person, had merely sent his generals to lead a few thousand men to support the campaign. And later, when Xiang Yu defeated the Han army at Pengcheng, Qing Bu once again claimed illness and did not provide any assistance to Chu. These things caused Xiang Yu to be angry at Qing Bu, and he sent envoys several times to reprimand him for his behavior and summoning him to report to Xiang Yu. But Qing Bu, becoming even more afraid, never dared to come. And since Xiang Yu was already having to deal with Qi and Zhao to the north and Han to the west, Qing Bu was his only peaceful border. Besides, he still thought highly of Qing Bu's talents and wanted to keep his support. So he never outright attacked Qing Bu.

Liu Bang fought a great battle against Chu at Pengcheng. However, he was unsuccessful. He left the Liang region behind and came to Yu. There he said to his attendants, "You people are useless. You're not good enough to help me gain the realm."

One of his diplomats, Sui He, stepped forward and asked, "Might I ask what exactly Your Majesty is saying?"

Liu Bang replied, "Would you be able to go to Huainan as my envoy and have them lead their troops to betray Chu? As long as they can keep King Xiang busy in Qi for a few months, I will definitely be able to attain the realm."

Sui He said, "Allow me to serve as your envoy."

Liu Bang sent him to Jiujiang, along with twenty others.


五月,漢王至滎陽,諸敗軍皆會,蕭何亦發關中老弱未傅者悉詣滎陽,漢軍復大振。楚起於彭城,常乘勝逐北,與漢戰滎陽南京、索間。

23. In the fifth month, Liu Bang marched to Xingyang. By now, the scattered soldiers from the earlier defeats had all returned to him. Xiao He also sent out all the men of Guanzhong that were normally either too old or too young to serve as soldiers, along with those from unregistered households, to go and join Liu Bang at Xingyang. The Han army's morale was thus restored.

After setting out from Pengcheng, the Chu army often pressed their victories to push further north. They fought the Han army south of Xingyang, between Jing and Suo.

〈孟康曰︰古者二十而傅;三年耕有一年儲,故二十三而後役之。如淳曰︰律言二十三傅之,疇官各從其父疇學之;高不滿六尺二寸以下爲罷癃。《漢儀注》云︰民年二十三爲正,一歲爲衞士,一歲爲材官、騎士,習射御,馳戰陳。又曰︰年五十六乃得免爲庶民,就田里。今老弱未傅者皆發之。未二十爲弱,過五十六爲老。師古曰︰傅,著也;言著名籍給公家傜役也。〉〈京縣,秦屬三川郡;漢改曰河南郡,卽鄭共叔所居京城也。應劭曰︰京縣今有大索、小索亭。《括地志》︰京縣城在鄭州滎陽縣東南二十里,滎陽縣卽大索城。杜預曰︰成皋城東有大索城;又有小索故城,在滎陽縣北四里。宋白曰︰滎陽縣故城在鄭州滎澤縣南十七里平原上,索水逕其東,卽項羽圍漢王處;秦三川郡亦曾移理於此。《括地志》所謂滎陽縣卽大索城,乃唐之滎陽縣。晉灼曰︰索,音册。師古音求索之索。〉

(This passage describes the men that Xiao He drafted as being 老, 弱, or not yet 傅ed. Meng Kang remarked, "In ancient times, a man was not 傅 'registered' until he was nineteen years old. He then spent three years farming, by which time he would have built up a surplus of one year's worth of grain. Thus, at the age of twenty-two, he would be ready for corvee service." Ru Chun remarked, "According to the law, a man was not registered until he was twenty-two years old, when he would be apprenticed according to his father's livelihood. And those who were not even six chi and two cun in height were were exempted for being infirm. The Han Yizhu states, 'Men of the commoners were registered as active soldiers at twenty-two years of age. Then they would spend one year as a guard and one year as a militia or cavalry soldier, training themselves in archery and in battle drill.' It also states, 'At fifty-five, men were released from service and sent back to their farms or villages.' These were the three groups which Xiao He was now drafting from. Those less than nineteen years old were 弱, those more than fifty-five were 老." Yan Shigu remarked, "傅 means to be registered; that is, registered for the census, tax rolls, household records, and corvee labor service."

During the Qin dynasty, Jing county was part of Sanchuan commandary, which Han renamed to Henan commandary. This was the same Jing as the city of Jing that Gong Shu of Zheng resided in. Ying Shao remarked, "In modern day Jing county, there is a Greater Suo Point and a Lesser Suo Point." The Comprehensive Gazetteer states, "The capital city of Jing county was twenty li southeast of Xingyang county in Zhengzhou. Xingyang county was the same place as the city of Greater Suo." Du Yu remarked, "There is a city of Greater Suo east of the city of Chenggao, and a city of Lesser Cuo four li north of Xingyang county." Song Bai remarked, "The capital city of Xingyang county was located on plains seventeen li south of Xingze county in Zhengzhou. The Suo River flowed east of it. This was the place where Xiang Yu besieged the King of Han (Liu Bang). Qin's Sanchuan commandary was also administered from here at one point. The Comprehensive Gazetteer mentions that Xingyang county was the same place as the city of Greater Suo. It was also the Xingyang county of the Tang dynasty.” Jin Zhuo remarked, "Suo is pronouced 'ce'." But Yan Shigu remarked that Suo is pronounced "suo".)


漢二年
五月。
王走滎陽。(Records of the Grand Historian 16, Monthly Timeline of the Chu-Han Contention)

In the second year of Liu Bang's reign (205 BC), in the fifth month, Liu Bang fled to Xingyang.

楚進兵而西。蕭何悉發關中卒詣軍。韓信亦收餘兵。與王會擊楚于京索間。大敗之。(Records of Former Han 2, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

The Chu army advanced and marched west.

Xiao He sent out all the soldiers of Guanzhong to reinforce Liu Bang's army. Han Xin also gathered up scattered soldiers and joined with Liu Bang to attack the Chu army between Jing and Suo. They greatly defeated the Chu army.

漢二年,出關,收魏、河南,韓、殷王皆降。合齊、趙共擊楚。四月,至彭城,漢兵敗散而還。信復收兵與漢王會滎陽,復擊破楚京、索之間,以故楚兵卒不能西。(Records of the Grand Historian 92, Biography of Han Xin)

In the second year of Liu Bang's reign (205 BC), he marched out of Guanzhong. He conquered the regions of Wei and Henan, and the Kings of Hann and Yin both surrendered to him. Then joining forces with Qi and Zhao, Liu Bang led a combined attack against Chu. By the fourth month, the combined army had reached Pengcheng. But there the Han soldiers were defeated, and they scattered and fled back west. Han Xin then gathered up soldiers and joined with Liu Bang at Xingyang, then counterattacked and routed the Chu army between Jing and Suo. Chu was thus unable to advance further west past Xingyang.

二年,出關,收魏、河南,韓、殷王皆降。令齊、趙共擊楚彭城,漢兵敗散而還。信復發兵與漢王會滎陽,復擊破楚京、索間,以故楚兵不能西。(Book of Han 34, Biography of Han Xin)

In the second year of Liu Bang's reign (205 BC), he marched out of Guanzhong. He conquered the regions of Wei and Henan, and the Kings of Hann and Yin both surrendered to him. Then joining forces with Qi and Zhao, Liu Bang led a combined attack against Chu at Pengcheng. But there the Han soldiers were defeated, and they scattered and fled back west. Han Xin then gathered up soldiers and joined with Liu Bang at Xingyang, then counterattacked and routed the Chu army between Jing and Suo. Chu was thus unable to advance further west past Xingyang.


楚騎來衆,漢王擇軍中可爲騎將者,皆推故秦騎士重泉人李必、駱甲;漢王欲拜之。必、甲曰︰「臣故秦民,恐軍不信臣;願得大王左右善騎者傅之。」乃拜灌嬰爲中大夫令,李必、駱甲爲左、右校尉,將騎兵擊楚騎於滎陽東,大破之,楚以故不能過滎陽而西。漢王軍滎陽,築甬道屬之河,以取敖倉粟。

24. The Chu army had a large body of cavalry. Liu Bang wanted to select one of his generals to command his own cavalry. Everyone suggested Qin's former cavalry commanders, Li Bi and Luo Jia of Zhongquan. Liu Bang thus planned to appoint them. But they told him, "We used to be from Qin, and we fear your army would not trust us. Please select one of your own generals to be the main leader, and we will be his captains." So Liu Bang appointed Guan Ying as 中大夫令 and Li Bi and Luo Jia as his Colonels of the Left and Right. They led Liu Bang's cavalry to attack the Chu cavalry east of Xingyang and greatly routed them. Chu was thus unable to advance further west past Xingyang.

While Liu Bang's army was at Xingyang, he built a sheltered road down to the Yellow River, in order to ensure the safety of his supplies being transferred from the Ao Granary.

〈班《志》,重泉縣屬馮翊。《括地志》︰重泉故城,在同州蒲城縣東南四十五里。《姓譜》︰齊太公之後有公子駱,子孫以爲氏。又《史記》︰惡來革之玄孫曰大駱。〉〈如淳曰︰傅,猶言隨從者。〉〈《括地志》︰敖倉在鄭州滎陽西北十五里。縣門之東北臨汴水,南帶三皇山。〉

(According to the Book of Han, Zhongquan county was part of Pingyi commandary. The Comprehensive Gazetteer states, "The capital city of Zhongquan was forty-five li southeast of Pucheng county in Tongzhou."

Regarding the surname 駱 Luo, the Registry of Surnames states, "Among the descendants of the Grand Duke of Qi (Jiang Ziya) was a Gongzi Luo, whose descendants took his name as their clan name." And the Records of the Grand Historian states, "Elaige (Elai) had a great-great-grandson named Daluo."

Li Bi and Luo Jia use the term 傅. Ru Chun remarked, "This means that they will follow this person."

The Comprehensive Gazetteer states, "The Ao Granary was fifteen li northwest of Xingyang in Zhengzhou. Northwest of the city gate was the Bian River, and to the south of the city was Mount Sanhuang.")


騎將灌嬰又敗楚騎于滎陽東。故楚師不能復進。(Records of Former Han 2, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

Liu Bang's cavalry general Guan Ying also defeated the Chu cavalry east of Xingyang. Thus the Chu army was unable to advance any further west.


周勃、灌嬰等言於漢王曰︰「陳平雖美如冠玉,其中未必有也。臣聞平居家時盜其嫂;事魏不容,亡歸楚;不中,又亡歸漢。今日大王尊官之,令護軍。臣聞平受諸將金,金多者得善處,金少者得惡處。平,反覆亂臣也,願王察之!」漢王疑之,召讓魏無知。無知曰︰「臣所言者能也,陛下所問者行也。今有尾生、孝己之行,而無益勝負之數,陛下何暇用之乎!楚、漢相距,臣進奇謀之士,顧其計誠足以利國家不耳。盜嫂、受金,又何足疑乎!」漢王召讓平曰︰「先生事魏不中,事楚而去,今又從吾游,信者固多心乎?」平曰︰「臣事魏王,魏王不能用臣說,故去事項王。項王不能信人,其所任愛,非諸項,卽妻之昆弟,雖有奇士不能用。聞漢王能用人,故歸大王。臣躶身來,不受金無以爲資。誠臣計畫有可采者,願大王用之;使無可用者,金具在,請封輸官,得請骸骨。」漢王乃謝,厚賜,拜爲護軍中尉,盡護諸將。諸將乃不敢復言。

25. Zhou Bo, Guan Ying, and others said to Liu Bang, "Chen Ping may be as pleasing as a jade ornament, but he does not necessarily have any real worth. Besides, we've heard that during the time when he was still living at home, he raped his sister-in-law. Beyond that, when Wei would not put up with him, he fled to Chu, and not long afterwards, he left them to join us. Yet you have granted him high office, Great King, and made him the supervisor of your armies. We have even heard that he has been accepting bribes from your generals; he treats best those who give him the most money, while those who give little are given short shrift. This Chen Ping is nothing more than an opportunistic scoundrel. We urge you to investigate him!"

Liu Bang became suspicious of Chen Ping because of these accusations. Since Prince Wuzhi of Wei was the one who had recommended Chen Ping to him, Liu Bang summoned Prince Wuzhi and reprimanded him.

But Prince Wuzhi replied, "I recommended Chen Ping to you before because of his talents. Now you are asking me about his virtues? His conduct could be as spotless as the ancients Weisheng or Xiaoji, but if he couldn't bring you victories, what use would he be to you? Great King, you are in the middle of a fierce war between yourself and Chu, so I brought you a fellow who could provide you with exceptional strategies. So I trust that you will consider his worth in terms of his benefit to your state. Why should you doubt him just because of some reports about rape or taking bribes?"

Liu Bang then summoned Chen Ping and reprimanded him as well, saying, "You used to serve Wei, but then left them for Chu. Then you abandoned Chu as well and wandered to us. How much can I really trust you?"

Chen Ping replied, "I left Wei because, although I tried to offer advice to the King of Wei, he would not use my ideas. As for King Xiang, the only people he trusts are his own family members or his relatives by marriage. If you're not one of them, then no matter how exceptional you might be, he won't use you. It was because I heard that the King of Han could properly use people that I came to serve you, Great King.

“As for the bribes, I admit it. But considering that I came to you with nothing to my name, not even the clothes on my back, how could I have provided for myself without accepting such funds? If my strategies meet with your approval, Great King, then I urge you to use them. And if you will not use me, then here is the gold; send it all to the treasury, as long as you spare my life."

Liu Bang then apologized to Chen Ping. He showered him with gifts and appointed him as Central Commandant Protecting The Army, in charge of supervising all other generals. From then on, Liu Bang's other generals no longer dared to speak against Chen Ping.

〈孟康曰︰飾冠以玉,光好外見,中無所有也。〉〈尾生,古之信士;或曰,卽微生高。孝己,商高宗之子,以孝行著。〉〈躶,赤身也。〉

(Liu Bang's generals describe Chen Ping as being as pleasing as a 冠玉. Meng Kang remarked, "To wear a 玉 'jade' on one's 冠 'hat' results in an ornament that, while looking flashy and pleasing, has no practical worth."

Weisheng was an ancient exemplar; some say that he was the same person as Weysheng Gao.

Xiaoji was the son of Gaozong of Shang; he was commended for his filial nature.

Chen Ping states that he was 躶 when he left Chu. This means to be nude.)


陳平為亞將。屬韓信。或曰。陳平雖美丈夫。如冠玉耳。未有所知也。平居家盜婬其嫂。在官受金。王以讓魏無知。無知曰。大王所知者行也。臣所言者能也。顧其計誠足以益國耳。又何疑。王以平為護軍中尉。盡監護諸將。諸將乃不敢言。(Records of Former Han 2, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

Chen Ping was serving as Liu Bang's second-highest general, below only Han Xin. Someone said to Liu Bang, "Chen Ping may be a fellow as pleasing as a jade ornament, but he does not necessarily have any real worth. During the time when he was still living at home, he raped his sister-in-law, and since he's been in office, he has been taking bribes."

Liu Bang reprimanded Prince Wuzhi of Wei.

But Prince Wuzhi replied, "You are talking about conduct, but I recommended Chen Ping to you because of his talents. My only consideration was whether his plans would be of benefit to the state. Why do you doubt him?"

So Liu Bang appointed Chen Ping as Central Commandant Protecting The Army, in charge of supervising all other generals. From then on, Liu Bang's other generals no longer dared to speak against Chen Ping.


魏王豹謁歸視親疾;至則絕河津,反爲楚。

26. Wei Bao asked to return to his kingdom in order to care for a sick relative. But after he had returned to Wei, he severed access across the Yellow River fords and turned against Han, siding with Chu instead.

〈謁歸,謂謁告而歸也。〉〈豹都平陽,在河東,故斷其津濟以拒漢軍。〉

(To 謁歸 means to pay one's respects before going home.

Wei Bao's capital at Pingyang was on the east side of the Yellow River. Thus he cut off the fords in order to keep out the Han army.)


漢二年
五月。
豹歸,叛漢。(Records of the Grand Historian 16, Monthly Timeline of the Chu-Han Contention)

In the second year of Liu Bang's reign (205 BC), in the fifth month, Wei Bao returned to his domain, then turned against Han.

遂從擊楚於彭城。漢敗,還至滎陽,豹請歸視親病,至國,即絕河津畔漢。(Records of the Grand Historian 90, Biography of Wei Bao)

Wei Bao accompanied Liu Bang in his campaign to attack Pengcheng. After the Han army had been defeated, when they reached Xingyang, Wei Bao asked to return to his kingdom in order to care for a sick relative. But after he had returned to Wei, he severed access across the Yellow River fords and turned against Han.

遂從擊楚於彭城。漢王敗,還至滎陽,豹請視親病,至國,則絕河津畔漢。(Book of Han 33, Biography of Wei Bao)

Wei Bao accompanied Liu Bang in his campaign to attack Pengcheng. After the Han army had been defeated, when they reached Xingyang, Wei Bao asked to return to his kingdom in order to care for a sick relative. But after he had returned to Wei, he severed access across the Yellow River fords and turned against Han.


六月,漢王還櫟陽。

27. In the sixth month, Liu Bang returned to Yueyang.

漢二年
六月。
王入關。(Records of the Grand Historian 16, Monthly Timeline of the Chu-Han Contention)

In the second year of Liu Bang's reign (205 BC), in the sixth month, Liu Bang went to Guanzhong.

六月漢王歸櫟陽。(Records of Former Han 2, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

In the sixth month, Liu Bang returned to Yueyang.


壬午,立子盈爲太子;赦罪人。

28. On the day Renwu, Liu Bang appointed his son Liu Ying as Crown Prince. He declared an amnesty for criminals.

漢二年
六月。
立太子。(Records of the Grand Historian 16, Monthly Timeline of the Chu-Han Contention)

In the second year of Liu Bang's reign (205 BC), in the sixth month, Liu Bang appointed his Crown Prince.

壬午。立子盈為太子。赦罪人。(Records of Former Han 2, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

On the day Renwu, Liu Bang appointed his son Liu Ying as Crown Prince. He declared an amnesty for criminals.


漢兵引水灌廢丘,廢丘降,章邯自殺。盡定雍地,以爲中地、北地、隴西郡。

29. The Han army diverted a river and flooded Feiqiu. Feiqiu surrendered, and Zhang Han killed himself.

Now that Liu Bang had conquered all of Zhang Han's kingdom of Yong, he organized the territory into the commandaries of Zhongdi, Beidi, and Longxi.

〈自置中地郡後,至九年罷,屬內史。武帝建元六年,分爲右內史;太初元年,更名主爵都尉爲右扶風。〉

(It was at this time that Zhongdi was established as a commandary. But in the ninth year (198 BC), Zhongdi was abolished and the territory was made part of Neishi. In Emperor Wu of Han's sixth year of Jianyuan (135 BC), the territory was once again split off as Right Neishi. In the first year of Taichu (104 BC), it was further renamed to Right Fufeng.)


漢二年
六月。
漢殺邯廢丘。
七月
屬漢,為隴西、北地、中地郡。(Records of the Grand Historian 16, Monthly Timeline of the Chu-Han Contention)

In the second year of Liu Bang's reign (205 BC), in the sixth month, the Han army killed Zhang Han at Feiqiu.

In the seventh month, Liu Bang organized Zhang Han's former domain into the commandaries of Longxi, Beidi, and Zhongdi.

引水灌廢丘。章邯自殺。(Records of Former Han 2, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

The Han army diverted a river and flooded Feiqiu. Zhang Han killed himself.


關中大饑,米斛萬錢,人相食。令民就食蜀、漢。

30. There was a great famine in Guanzhong, and the price of rice rose to ten thousand 錢. People resorted to cannibalism. Liu Bang sent the people to the Shu and Han regions to seek food there.

關中大飢。米斗五千。人相食。(Records of Former Han 2, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

There was a great famine in Guanzhong, and the price of rice rose to five thousand per 斗. People resorted to cannibalism.


初,秦之亡也,豪桀爭取金玉,宣曲任氏獨窖倉粟。及楚、漢相距滎陽,民不得耕種,而豪桀金玉盡歸任氏,任氏以此起,富者數世。

31. Earlier, during the fall of Qin, most of the great families had scrambled to take all the gold and treasures they could find. Only the Ren clan of Xuanqu had hidden stores of grain instead.

By now, with the fierce fighting between Chu and Han at Xingyang, the people could no longer plow their fields. The other great families thus had to trade away all their gold and treasures to the Ren clan in order to buy their grain. This led to the rise of the Ren clan, who remained prosperous for generations.

〈漢有長水宣曲胡騎,高祖功臣有宣曲侯,蓋地名也。張揖曰︰宣曲,宮名,在昆明池西。師古曰︰宣曲,觀名。《索隱》曰︰《上林賦》云︰西馳宣曲。當在京輔,今闕其地。窖,穿地以藏粟也。〉

("Ren clan" in this passage is preceded by the term 宣曲 Xuanqu. There was a rank of Barbarian Cavalry of Changshui at Xuanqu during the Han dynasty, and among Liu Bang's accomplished subjects was a Marquis of Xuanqu. So Xuanqu must have been the name of a place. Zhang Yi argued, "Xuanqu was the name of a palace, west of Kunming Pond." Yan Shigu argued, "Xuanqu was the name of an Overlook." The Suolin commentary to the Spring and Autumn Annals states, "The Ode to Shanglin has the verse 'galloping west to Xuanqu'; this must have been a place within the capital region, and we have merely lost its location."

The term 窖 means "to bury grain in the ground to hide it".)


秋,八月,漢王如滎陽,命蕭何守關中侍太子,爲法令約束,立宗廟、社稷、宮室、縣邑;事有不及奏決者,輒以便宜施行,上來,以聞。計關中戶口,轉漕、調兵以給軍,未嘗乏絕。

32. In autumn, the eighth month, Liu Bang went to Xingyang. He ordered Xiao He to defend Guanzhong and assist the Crown Prince, as well as to put the laws and regulations in order and set up the Ancestral Temple, the altars to the spirits of soil and grain, the palaces, and the counties and towns. If there was anything that did not require a personal decision from Liu Bang, then Xiao He was to make his own decisions and put them into effect, and only then refer his decisions to Liu Bang.

Xiao He recorded the populations and household registers of Guanzhong. And he kept a steady flow of supplies and new troops to Liu Bang at the frontlines, so that there was never a break in supplies.

漢二年
六月。
復如滎陽。(Records of the Grand Historian 16, Monthly Timeline of the Chu-Han Contention)

In the second year of Liu Bang's reign (205 BC), in the sixth month, Liu Bang returned to Xingyang.

漢王立社稷於長安。施恩惠。賜人爵。蜀漢人從軍者家復租稅二歲。關中人從軍者復租一歲。人年五十已上。能善道教訓者復徭役。常以十月賜民牛酒。蕭何守關中。治櫟陽宮。定約束。轉漕給軍。專任關中事... 秋八月如滎陽。(Records of Former Han 2, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

Liu Bang set up altars to the spirits of soil and grain at Chang'an. He also made demonstrations of his generosity and kindness to the people by distributing noble titles. The families of people from the Shu and Han regions who had joined his army were exempted from taxes and rent for two years, and the families of people from Guanzhong who did the same were exempted from taxes for one year. Those who were already more than fifty years old and who were skilled at educating and instructing the populace were also exempted from taxes and corvee labor. And Liu Bang often presented the common people with oxen and wine in the tenth month of each year.

Xiao He was left behind to guard Guanzhong. He restored the palaces at Yueyang, put the laws and regulations in order, and kept a steady flow of supplies to the army. He was entrusted with all administrative affairs in Guanzhong.

In autumn, the eighth month, Liu Bang returned to Xingyang.

漢二年,漢王與諸侯擊楚,何守關中,侍太子,治櫟陽。為法令約束,立宗廟社稷宮室縣邑,輒奏上,可,許以從事;即不及奏上,輒以便宜施行,上來以聞。關中事計戶口轉漕給軍,漢王數失軍遁去,何常興關中卒,輒補缺。上以此專屬任何關中事。漢三年,漢王與項羽相距京索之間,上數使使勞苦丞相。鮑生謂丞相曰:「王暴衣露蓋,數使使勞苦君者,有疑君心也。為君計,莫若遣君子孫昆弟能勝兵者悉詣軍所,上必益信君。」於是何從其計,漢王大說。(Records of the Grand Historian 53, Biography of Xiao He)

In the second year of Liu Bang's reign (205 BC), when Liu Bang and the other feudal lords were away fighting Chu, Liu Bang ordered Xiao He to defend Guanzhong, assist the Crown Prince, and govern from Yueyang. He was to put the laws and regulations in order and set up the Ancestral Temple, the altars to the spirits of soil and grain, the palaces, and the counties and towns. If there was anything that required a personal decision from Liu Bang, then Xiao He was to forward a request to him and implement it after Liu Bang had given his consent; otherwise, he was to make his own decisions and put them into effect, and only then refer his decisions to Liu Bang.

Xiao He recorded the populations and household registers of Guanzhong. And he kept a steady flow of supplies and new troops to Liu Bang at the frontlines. Although on several occasions Liu Bang lost his army and was driven back, Xiao He kept sending him new recruits from Guanzhong, so Liu Bang was always able to recover his losses. And it was from this time that Liu Bang entrusted all the affairs of Guanzhong to Xiao He.

In the third year of Liu Bang's reign (204 BC), when Liu Bang was opposing Xiang Yu in the region between Suo and Jing, he kept sending envoys back to Guanzhong to harry Xiao He and demand things of him. Master Bao advised Xiao He, "The King is experiencing the rigors of the field, and the reason that he keeps sending these envoys to harass you is because he has become suspicious of you. I can offer you no better advice than for you to send your younger relatives who are skilled at leading soldiers to all go and join the King's army at the frontlines. Then he will surely regain his trust in you." Xiao He did as he advised, and Liu Bang was greatly pleased.

何以丞相留收巴蜀,填撫諭告,使給軍食。漢二年,漢王與諸侯擊楚,何守關中,侍太子,治櫟陽。為令約束,立宗廟、社稷、宮室、縣邑,輒奏,上可許以從事;即不及奏,輒以便宜施行,上來以聞。計戶轉漕給軍,漢王數失軍遯去,何常興關中卒,輒補缺。上以此剸屬任何關中事。漢三年,與項羽相距京、索間,上數使使勞苦丞相。鮑生謂何曰:「今王暴衣露蓋,數勞苦君者,有疑君心。為君計,莫若遣君子孫昆弟能勝兵者悉詣軍所,上益信君。」於是何從其計,漢王大說。(Book of Han 39, Biography of Xiao He)

Xiao He remained behind in Liu Bang's domain as his Prime Minister. He gathered the resources of the Ba and Shu regions, he defended, comforted, instructed, and informed the people there, and he kept Liu Bang's army supplied with provisions.

In the second year of Liu Bang's reign (205 BC), when Liu Bang and the other feudal lords were away fighting Chu, Liu Bang ordered Xiao He to defend Guanzhong, assist the Crown Prince, and govern from Yueyang. He was to put the laws and regulations in order and set up the Ancestral Temple, the altars to the spirits of soil and grain, the palaces, and the counties and towns. If there was anything that required a personal decision from Liu Bang, then Xiao He was to forward a request to him and implement it after Liu Bang had given his consent; otherwise, he was to make his own decisions and put them into effect, and only then refer his decisions to Liu Bang.

Xiao He recorded the populations and household registers of Guanzhong. And he kept a steady flow of supplies and new troops to Liu Bang at the frontlines. Although on several occasions Liu Bang lost his army and was driven back, Xiao He kept sending him new recruits from Guanzhong, so Liu Bang was always able to recover his losses. And it was from this time that Liu Bang entrusted all the affairs of Guanzhong to Xiao He.

In the third year of Liu Bang's reign (204 BC), when Liu Bang was opposing Xiang Yu in the region between Suo and Jing, he kept sending envoys back to Guanzhong to harry Xiao He and demand things of him. Master Bao advised Xiao He, "The King is experiencing the rigors of the field, and the reason that he keeps sending these envoys to harass you is because he has become suspicious of you. I can offer you no better advice than for you to send your younger relatives who are skilled at leading soldiers to all go and join the King's army at the frontlines. Then he will surely regain his trust in you." Xiao He did as he advised, and Liu Bang was greatly pleased.


漢王使酈食其往說魏王豹,且召之。豹不聽,曰︰「漢王慢而侮人,罵詈諸侯、羣臣如罵奴耳,吾不忍復見也!」於是漢王以韓信爲左丞相,與灌嬰、曹參俱擊魏。

33. Since Wei Bao had defected from his side, Liu Bang sent Li Yiji to go and speak with him and summon him to return. But Wei Bao would not listen, telling Li Yiji, "The King of Han is rude and harmful to others, and he rebukes the feudal lords and their ministers as though they were nothing more than his slaves! I could not stand to see him again!"

Liu Bang thus decided to appoint Han Xin as Prime Minister of the Left and send him to attack Wei, along with Guan Ying and Cao Can.

使酈食其說魏王豹。豹曰。漢王侮慢人。罵詈諸侯王如奴虜耳。吾不忍復見也... 乃以韓信為左丞相。與曹參灌嬰俱擊魏。(Records of Former Han 2, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

Since Wei Bao had defected from his side, Liu Bang sent Li Yiji to go and speak with him and persuade him to return. But Wei Bao told him, "The King of Han is rude and harmful to others, and he rebukes the other kings and feudal lords as though they were nothing more than his slaves. I could not stand to see him again."

Liu Bang appointed Han Xin as Prime Minister of the Left and sent him, Cao Can, and Guan Ying to attack Wei.

漢王聞魏豹反,方東憂楚,未及擊,謂酈生曰:「緩頰往說魏豹,能下之,吾以萬戶封若。」酈生說豹。豹謝曰:「人生一世閒,如白駒過隙耳。今漢王慢而侮人,罵詈諸侯群臣如罵奴耳,非有上下禮節也,吾不忍復見也。」(Records of the Grand Historian 90, Biography of Wei Bao)

When Liu Bang heard that Wei Bao had turned against him, he was too busy dealing with Chu on his eastern front to attack Wei Bao. So he said to Li Yiji, "I shall have to trouble you to go and persuade Wei Bao for me. If you can make him submit, I will grant you a fief of ten thousand households."

Li Yiji thus went to persuade Wei Bao. But Wei Bao declined, telling Li Yiji, "A man's existence in this world is nothing more than the flash of a white horse through a crack in the door. The King of Han is rude and harmful to others, and he rebukes the feudal lords and their ministers as though they were nothing more than his slaves. He shows no appreciation for the difference in ceremony between the lowly and the esteemed. I could not stand to see him again."

漢王謂酈生曰:「緩頰往說之。」酈生至,豹謝曰:「人生一世間,如白駒過隙。今漢王嫚侮人,罵詈諸侯群臣如奴耳,非有上下禮節,吾不忍復見也。」(Book of Han 33, Biography of Wei Bao)

Liu Bang said to Li Yiji, "I shall have to trouble you to go and persuade Wei Bao for me."

Li Yiji thus went to persuade Wei Bao. But Wei Bao declined, telling Li Yiji, "A man's existence in this world is nothing more than the flash of a white horse through a crack in the door. The King of Han is rude and harmful to others, and he rebukes the feudal lords and their ministers as though they were nothing more than his slaves. He shows no appreciation for the difference in ceremony between the lowly and the esteemed. I could not stand to see him again."


漢王問食其︰「魏大將誰也?」對曰︰「柏直。」王曰︰「是口尚乳臭,安能當韓信!」「騎將誰也?」曰︰「馮敬。」曰︰「是秦將馮無擇子也,雖賢,不能當灌嬰。」「步卒將誰也?」曰︰「項它。」曰︰「不能當曹參。吾無患矣!」韓信亦問酈生︰「魏得無用周叔爲大將乎?」酈生曰︰「柏直也。」信曰︰「豎子耳!」遂進兵。

34. Liu Bang asked Li Yiji, "Who is Wei's chief general?"

Li Yiji replied, "Bai Zhi."

Liu Bang said, "That one is a mere suckling. How could he be a match for Han Xin? Well, what about their cavalry general?"

Li Yiji replied, "Feng Jing."

Liu Bang said, "The son of the Qin general Feng Wuze, eh? He's good, but Guan Ying is better. And their infantry general?"

Li Yiji replied, "Xiang Ta."

Liu Bang said, "He'll be no match for Cao Can. What do I have to worry about?"

Han Xin also asked Li Yiji, "Are you sure that Zhou Shu isn't their chief general?"

Li Yiji replied, "I tell you, it's Bai Zhi."

Han Xin said, "A mere whelp!" And he led his troops to advance.

〈《姓譜》︰柏,柏皇氏之後。顓頊師柏招;帝嚳師柏景。春秋柏國爲楚所滅。〉〈言其少不經事,弱不任事,若未離乳保之懷者。〉

(Regarding the surname 柏 Bai, the Registry of Surnames states, "They are the descendants of the imperial Bai clan. Zhuanxu had a leader named Bai Zhao; Diku had a leader named Bai Jing. During the Spring and Autumn era, the state of Bai was conquered by Chu."

By "suckling", Liu Bang meant that Bai Zhi was young and inexperienced, unsuited to his role, like a child who has not yet been weaned from their mother's milk.)


食其還。王問魏大將軍誰也。曰柏直也。王曰此將其口尚乳臭。不能當韓信。騎將馮敬不能當灌嬰。步將項他不能當曹參。吾無患矣... 韓信聞魏不以周叔為大將軍乃喜。(Records of Former Han 2, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

When Li Yiji returned from Wei, Liu Bang asked him, "Who is Wei's chief general?"

Li Yiji replied, "Bai Zhi."

Liu Bang said, "That one is a mere suckling. How could he be a match for Han Xin? Their cavalry general Feng Jing is no match for Guan Ying. And their infantry general Xiang Ta cannot compare to Cao Can. I have nothing to worry about."

Han Xin was delighted to hear that Wei had not appointed Zhou Shu as their chief general.

漢之敗卻彭城,塞王欣、翟王翳亡漢降楚,齊、趙亦反漢與楚和。六月,魏王豹謁歸視親疾,至國,即絕河關反漢,與楚約和。漢王使酈生說豹,不下。其八月,以信為左丞相,擊魏。(Records of the Grand Historian 92, Biography of Han Xin)

Following the Han defeat and retreat at Pengcheng, Sima Xin and Dong Yi both defected from Han and surrendered to Chu, and Qi and Zhao turned against Han as well. In the sixth month, the King of Wei, Wei Bao, asked leave to return to his domain in order to care for a sick relative. But after he was back in Wei, he blocked the Yellow River crossings and turned against Han to support Chu instead. Liu Bang sent Li Yiji to try to persuade Wei Bao to submit again, but he would not give in.

In the eighth month, Liu Bang appointed Han Xin as Prime Minister of the Left and sent him to attack Wei.

漢之敗卻彭城,塞王欣、翟王翳亡漢降楚,齊、趙、魏亦皆反,與楚和。漢王使酈生往說魏王豹,豹不聽,乃以信為左丞相擊魏。信問酈生:「魏得毋用周叔為大將乎?」曰:「跷直也。」信曰:「豎子耳。」遂進兵擊魏。(Book of Han 34, Biography of Han Xin)

Following the Han defeat and retreat at Pengcheng, Sima Xin and Dong Yi both defected from Han and surrendered to Chu, and Qi, Zhao, and Wei turned against Han as well. Liu Bang sent Li Yiji to try to persuade Wei Bao to submit again, but Wei Bao would not listen.

Liu Bang appointed Han Xin as Prime Minister of the Left and sent him to attack Wei.

Han Xin asked Li Yiji, "Are you sure that Zhou Shu isn't Wei's chief general?"

Li Yiji replied, "I tell you, it's Bai Zhi."

Han Xin said, "A mere whelp." And he led his troops to advance to attack Wei.


魏王盛兵蒲坂以塞臨晉。信乃益爲疑兵,陳船欲渡臨晉,而伏兵從夏陽以木罌渡軍,襲安邑。魏王豹驚,引兵迎信。九月,信擊虜豹,傳詣滎陽;悉定魏地,置河東、上黨、太原郡。

35. Wei Bao posted his forces at Puban in order to oppose any crossing of the Yellow River from Linjin. Han Xin thus stationed a large number of diversionary soldiers and arrayed his boats at Linjin as if he intended to force a crossing there. But he led hidden troops to cross the river at Xiayang instead, riding in wooden jars, then led a surprise attack against Anyi. Wei Bao, panicking, led his forces to face Han Xin. In the ninth month, Han Xin attacked and captured Wei Bao, then sent him to Xingyang.

Now that Liu Bang controlled the whole Wei region, he organized it into the commandaries of Hedong, Shangdang, and Taiyuan.

〈班《志》,夏陽縣屬馮翊,秦之少梁也,秦惠文王十一年更名。《史記正義》曰︰夏陽在同州北韓城界。木罌,服虔曰︰以木柙縛罌缶以渡也。韋昭曰︰以木爲器如罌缶以渡軍,無船,且尚密也。師古曰︰服說是。罌缶,謂瓶之大腹小口者也。〉〈傳,言以驛馬傳送詣漢王所。〉

(According to the Book of Han, Xiayang county was part of Pingyi commandary. It had originally been known as Shaoliang in the state of Qin. In the eleventh year of the reign of King Huiwen of Qin (328 BC), it was renamed to Xiayang. The Zhengyi commentary to the Records of the Grand Historian states, "Xiayang was within the city of Beihan in Tongzhou."

The things that Han Xin's troops crossed the river in were 木罌. Fu Qian argued, "These 木罌 were 木 'wooden' cages lashed to 罌 'narrow-mouth jars' to use for crossing." But Wei Zhao argued, "They used 木 'wood' as a material shaped like a 罌 'narrow-mouth jar' to cross the army over; since they were not boats, it increased the element of surprise." Yan Shigu argued, "Fu Qian is correct. 罌缶 refers to large jars with narrow mouths."

The term 傳 here means that Wei Bao was sent by post horse to see Liu Bang.)


漢二年
九月
漢將信虜豹。
後七月
屬漢,為河東、上黨郡。(Records of the Grand Historian 16, Monthly Timeline of the Chu-Han Contention)

In the second year of Liu Bang's reign (205 BC), in the ninth month, the Han general Han Xin captured Wei Bao.

In the second ninth month, Liu Bang organized Wei Bao's former domain into the commandaries of Hedong and Shangdang.

遂進兵。偽陳船欲渡臨晉。魏聚伏兵以距之。信乃伏兵從下陽。以木罌缶渡軍、襲安邑。虜魏王豹。初。豹有姬曰薄姬。許負相之。當生天子。豹恃此而反。豹敗。王遂納薄姬。是生文帝。(Records of Former Han 2, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

Han Xin advanced to campaign against Wei. He pretended to gather a fleet at Linjin as though he planned to cross the Yellow River there. Wei assembled troops in ambush there to oppose the crossing. But Han Xin led hidden troops to cross the river at Xiayang instead, riding in wooden jars, then led a surprise attack against Anyi, where he captured Wei Bao.

Earlier, a physiognomist had studied the face of Wei Bao's concubine Lady Bo and predicted that she would give birth to a Son of Heaven. Relying upon this prediction, Wei Bao had turned against Liu Bang. Now, after Wei Bao's defeat, Liu Bang took Lady Bo into his own harem, and she gave birth to his son Liu Heng (the future Emperor Wen).

於是漢王遣韓信擊虜豹於河東,傳詣滎陽,以豹國為郡。(Records of the Grand Historian 90, Biography of Wei Bao)

Liu Bang sent Han Xin to attack Wei Bao. Han Xin captured Wei Bao at Hedong and sent him to Xingyang. Wei Bao's former domain was organized into commandaries.

漢王遣韓信擊豹,遂虜之,傳豹詣滎陽,以其地為河東、太原、上黨郡。(Book of Han 33, Biography of Wei Bao)

Liu Bang sent Han Xin to attack Wei Bao. Han Xin captured Wei Bao and sent him to Xingyang. Wei Bao's former domain was organized into the commandaries of Hedong, Taiyuan, and Shangdang.

魏王盛兵蒲阪,塞臨晉,信乃益為疑兵,陳船欲度臨晉,而伏兵從夏陽以木罌缻渡軍,襲安邑。魏王豹驚,引兵迎信,信遂虜豹,定魏為河東郡。(Records of the Grand Historian 92, Biography of Han Xin)

Wei Bao posted a large army at Puban in order to oppose any crossing of the Yellow River from Linjin. Han Xin thus stationed a large number of diversionary soldiers and arrayed his boats at Linjin as if he intended to force a crossing there. But he led hidden troops to cross the river at Xiayang instead, riding in wooden jars, then led a surprise attack against Anyi. Wei Bao, panicking, led his forces to face Han Xin, but Han Xin captured him. He then organized Wei Bao's former domain into Hedong commandary.

魏盛兵蒲阪,塞臨晉。信乃益為疑兵,陳船欲度臨晉,而伏兵從夏陽以木罌缶度軍,襲安邑。魏王豹驚,引兵迎信。信遂虜豹,定河東。(Book of Han 34, Biography of Han Xin)

Wei Bao posted a large army at Puban in order to oppose any crossing of the Yellow River from Linjin. Han Xin thus stationed a large number of diversionary soldiers and arrayed his boats at Linjin as if he intended to force a crossing there. But he led hidden troops to cross the river at Xiayang instead, riding in wooden jars, then led a surprise attack against Anyi. Wei Bao, panicking, led his forces to face Han Xin, but Han Xin captured him. He then organized Wei Bao's former domain into Hedong commandary.


漢之敗於彭城而西也,陳餘亦覺張耳不死,卽背漢。韓信旣定魏,使人請兵三萬人,願以北舉燕、趙,東擊齊,南絕楚糧道。漢王許之,乃遣張耳與俱,引兵東,北擊趙、代。後九月,信破代兵,禽夏說於閼與。信之下魏破代,漢輒使人收其精兵詣滎陽以距楚。

36. After Liu Bang had been defeated at Pengcheng and had retreated west, Chen Yu had realized that Zhang Er was not dead after all. So he too switched his support from Han to Chu.

Now that Han Xin had dealt with Wei, he asked for thirty thousand troops so that he could march north to attack Yan and Zhao, head east to attack Qi, and go south to cut off Chu's supply lines. Liu Bang agreed, and he sent Zhang Er to join Han Xin.

Han Xin led his troops east and north to attack Zhao and Dai. In the second ninth month, Han Xin routed the Dai army and captured Xia Yue at Eyu.

Since Han Xin had subdued Wei and routed Dai, Liu Bang sent agents to gather up the elite troops under his command and bring them back to Xingyang in order to oppose Chu.

〈時趙王歇王趙,陳餘王代。〉

(At this time, Zhao Xie was the King of Zhao, and Chen Yu was the King of Dai.)


餘將從漢。聞耳詐死。乃止... 三年冬十月。韓信張良及曹參等破代。擒夏說。(Records of Former Han 2, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

Chen Yu was about to support Han. But when he heard that Zhang Er was not actually dead, he stopped.

In the third year of Liu Bang's reign (204 BC), in winter, the tenth month (of 205 BC), Han Xin, Zhang Liang, Cao Can, and others routed Dai and captured Xia Yue.

漢之敗於彭城西,陳餘亦復覺張耳不死,即背漢。(Records of the Grand Historian 89, Biography of Zhang Er & Chen Yu)

After Liu Bang was defeated west of Pengcheng, Chen Yu realized that Zhang Er was not dead after all. So he switched his support from Han to Chu.

漢敗於彭城西,餘亦聞耳詐死,即背漢。(Book of Han 32, Biography of Zhang Er & Chen Yu)

After Liu Bang was defeated west of Pengcheng, Chen Yu realized that Zhang Er's supposed death had been a ruse. So he switched his support from Han to Chu.

漢王遣張耳與信俱,引兵東,北擊趙、代。後九月,破代兵,禽夏說閼與。信之下魏破代,漢輒使人收其精兵,詣滎陽以距楚。(Records of the Grand Historian 92, Biography of Han Xin)

Liu Bang sent Zhang Er to join Han Xin.

Han Xin led his troops east and north to attack Zhao and Dai. In the second ninth month, Han Xin routed the Dai army and captured Xia Yue at Eyu.

Since Han Xin had subdued Wei and routed Dai, Liu Bang sent agents to gather up the elite troops under his command and bring them back to Xingyang in order to oppose Chu.

使人請漢王:「願益兵三萬人,臣請以北舉燕、趙,東擊齊,南絕楚之糧道,西與大王會於滎陽。」漢王與兵三萬人,遣張耳與俱,進擊趙、代。破代,禽夏說閼與。信之下魏、代,漢輒使人收其精兵,詣滎陽以距楚。(Book of Han 34, Biography of Han Xin)

Han Xin sent agents to tell Liu Bang, "Please grant me thirty thousand additional soldiers. I ask to be allowed to march north to subdue Yan and Zhao, east to attack Qi, south to cut off Chu's supply lines, and then west to rejoin you at Xingyang."

Liu Bang sent Zhang Er with thirty thousand soldiers to join Han Xin. Together, they advanced and attacked Zhao and Dai. They routed the army of Dai and captured Xia Yue at Eyu.

Since Han Xin had subdued Wei and Dai, Liu Bang sent agents to gather up the elite troops under his command and bring them back to Xingyang in order to oppose Chu.
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BOOK 10

Unread postby Taishi Ci 2.0 » Wed Oct 09, 2019 2:54 am

三年(丁酉、前二○四)

The Third Year of Liu Bang's Reign (The Dingyou or Fire Rooster Year, 204 BC)


冬,十月,韓信、張耳以兵數萬東擊趙。趙王及成安君陳餘聞之,聚兵井陘口,號二十萬。

1. In winter, the tenth month (of 205 BC), Han Xin and Zhang Er led several thousand troops east to attack Zhao. When the King of Zhao, Zhao Xie, and Lord Cheng'an, Chen Yu, learned of this, they gathered soldiers at Jingxing Pass to guard against the invasion. They claimed to have mustered two hundred thousand soldiers.

〈杜佑曰:井陘口在鎭州鹿泉縣,今謂之土門。按宋白《續通典》:鎭州石邑縣有井陘山,甚險固。又,鹿泉縣,本漢石邑縣地,隋開皇十六年置,至德初改名獲鹿。又,井陘縣,《穆天子傳》「天子獵于鉶山」,卽此地。《註》云:燕、趙謂山脊爲陘。陘山在縣東南十八里,四方高,中央下,如井,故曰井陘。〉

(Du You remarked, "Jingxing Pass is in Luquan county in Zhenzhou; it is now called Tu Pass." According to Song Bai's Continued Tongdian encyclopedia, "There is a Mount Jingxing in Shiyi county in Zhenzhou, very strong and sturdy." And, "Luquan county was originally Han's Shiyi county. Luquan was created in Sui's thirteenth year of Kaihuang (593), and renamed to Huolu during the Dechu reign era." And, "Jingxing county was the same place mentioned in the Tales of King Mu, Son of Heaven: 'The Son of Heaven went hunting at Mount Xing.'" The Annotations adds, "The people in the Yan and Zhao regions call mountains ranges 'xings'. Mount Xing was eighteen li southeast of the county. It was high all around, but lower in the center, like a well, thus the name Jingxing ('Well Range').")


信與張耳以兵數萬,欲東下井陘擊趙。趙王、成安君陳餘聞漢且襲之也,聚兵井陘口,號稱二十萬。(Records of the Grand Historian 92, Biography of Han Xin)

Han Xin and Zhang Er led several thousand troops east, planning to march down through Jingxing Pass to attack Zhao. When the King of Zhao, Zhao Xie, and Lord Cheng'an, Chen Yu, learned of this, they gathered soldiers at Jingxing Pass to guard against the invasion. They claimed to have mustered two hundred thousand soldiers.

信、耳以兵數萬,欲東下井陘擊趙。趙王、成安君陳餘聞漢且襲之,聚兵井陘口,號稱二十萬。(Book of Han 34, Biography of Han Xin)

Han Xin and Zhang Er led several thousand troops east, planning to march down through Jingxing Pass to attack Zhao. When the King of Zhao, Zhao Xie, and Lord Cheng'an, Chen Yu, learned of this, they gathered soldiers at Jingxing Pass to guard against the invasion. They claimed to have mustered two hundred thousand soldiers.


廣武君李左車說成安君曰:「韓信、張耳乘勝而去國遠鬬,其鋒不可當。臣聞『千里餽糧,士有飢色;樵蘇後爨,師不宿飽。』今井陘之道,車不得方軌,騎不得成列;行數百里,其勢糧食必在其後。願足下假臣奇兵三萬人,從間路絕其輜重;足下深溝高壘勿與戰。彼前不得鬬,退不得還,野無所掠,不至十日,而兩將之頭可致於麾下;否則必爲二子所禽矣。」成安君嘗自稱義兵,不用詐謀奇計,曰:「韓信兵少而疲,如此避而不擊,則諸侯謂吾怯而輕來伐我矣。」

2. The Lord of Guangwu, Li Zuoche, advised Chen Yu, "Han Xin and Zhang Er are pressing their earlier victories by advancing deep into enemy territory. To attack them directly would be unwise. But as I have heard, 'When food must be transported a thousand li, the soldiers will have hungry looks; when the soldiers must resort to gathering firewood and kindling to cook their meals, they will rest on empty bellies.'

“Now the road through Jingxing is so narrow that carts are forced to advance in a single file, nor can cavalry ride abreast either. And, since the enemy's army will have to travel through several hundred li of such terrain, their supplies are sure to be lagging behind them. So I ask you to grant me thirty thousand special troops, which I will use to take back roads to loop around and cut off their supply line. At the same time, you can deepen your moats and raise your ramparts at the front line while refusing to offer battle. The enemy will thus be unable to force a battle to their front or to retreat to their rear, and even their attempts to forage or pillage for food will be fruitless. In less than ten days, the heads of the two enemy generals will be beneath your banner. But if you do not follow this strategy, it will be the two of them who capture us."

But Chen Yu, who considered himself the leader of a righteous army, refused to use deception or indirect strategies. He replied, "Han Xin's troops are few, and they are already exhausted. If I avoid such an army rather than attack it, the other lords will call me a coward, and they will be quick to come campaign against me as well."

〈謂乘取代之勝勢也。〉〈樵,取薪也;蘇,取草也。〉〈方軌,謂車併行。〉〈鄭康成曰:行道曰糧,謂糒也;止居曰食,謂米也。〉〈師古曰:間路,微路也。輜,衣車也;重,謂載重物車也;故行者之資,總曰輜重。《釋名》云:輜,廁也,所載衣服雜廁其中。〉

(By "pressing their earlier victories", Li Zuoche refers to Han Xin's recent victory over Dai.

Li Zuoche's saying describes the soldiers looking for cooking materials as 樵蘇ing. To 樵 is to gather firewood, while to 蘇 is to gather kindling.

Li Zuoche says that on the road at Jingxing, carts cannot 方軌. This means to advance in rows.

Li Zuoche describes the enemy supplies as 糧食. Zheng Kangcheng remarked, "Supplies eaten on the road are 糧, called 糒 'field rations'; supplies eaten at a fixed base are 食, called 米 'meals'."

Li Zuoche says that he will follow 間 roads and cut the enemy's 輜重. Yan Shigu remarked, "間 roads are obscure roads. 輜, literally 'light', means clothing supplies; 重, literally 'heavy', means the carts carrying heavy supplies. Thus the supplies necessary for an army to travel are generally called by the combined term 輜重 'impedimenta'." The Shiming dictionary states, "輜 means 'latrine', in the sense that these are the carts carrying clothing and miscellaneous hygiene supplies.")


韓信之伐趙也。廣武君李左車說成安君陳餘曰。漢兵乘勝遠鬥。其鋒不可當也。臣聞千里餽糧。士有飢色。樵蘇後爨。師不宿飽。今井陘之道。車不得方軌。騎不得成列。行數百里。其勢糧食必在後。願足下假臣奇兵三萬人。從間路絕其輜重。足下深溝高壘勿與戰。彼前則不得鬥。退則不得還。野無所掠。不十日。兩將之頭可懸于麾下矣。陳餘曰。韓信兵號數萬。千里徑來襲我。亦不罷勞。今我二十萬。避而不擊。後有大者。何以距之。諸侯謂吾怯而輕來伐我。不聽。(Records of Former Han 2, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

When Han Xin campaigned against Zhao, the Lord of Guangwu, Li Zuoche, advised Chen Yu, "The Han soldiers are pressing their earlier victories by advancing deep into enemy territory. To attack them directly would be unwise. But as I have heard, 'When food must be transported a thousand li, the soldiers will have hungry looks; when the soldiers must resort to gathering firewood and kindling to cook their meals, they will rest on empty bellies.'

“Now the road through Jingxing is so narrow that carts are forced to advance in a single file, nor can cavalry ride abreast either. And, since the enemy's army will have to travel through several hundred li of such terrain, their supplies are sure to be lagging behind them. So I ask you to grant me thirty thousand special troops, which I will use to take back roads to loop around and cut off their supply line. At the same time, you can deepen your moats and raise your ramparts at the front line while refusing to offer battle. The enemy will thus be unable to force a battle to their front or to retreat to their rear, and even their attempts to forage or pillage for food will be fruitless. In less than ten days, the heads of the two enemy generals will be beneath your banner."

But Chen Yu replied, "Han Xin only has a few tens of thousands of soldiers, and since they have marched for a thousand li to come attack, they are sure to be exhausted. Meanwhile, I command an army of two hundred thousand. If I avoid such an army rather than attack it, the other lords will call me a coward, and they will be quick to come campaign against me as well." And he did not follow Li Zuoche's advice.

廣武君李左車說成安君曰:「聞漢將韓信涉西河,虜魏王,禽夏說,新喋血閼與,今乃輔以張耳,議欲下趙,此乘勝而去國遠鬬,其鋒不可當。臣聞千里餽糧,士有飢色,樵蘇後爨,師不宿飽。今井陘之道,車不得方軌,騎不得成列,行數百里,其勢糧食必在其後。願足下假臣奇兵三萬人,從閒道絕其輜重;足下深溝高壘,堅營勿與戰。彼前不得鬬,退不得還,吾奇兵絕其後,使野無所掠,不至十日,而兩將之頭可致於戲下。願君留意臣之計。否,必為二子所禽矣。」成安君,儒者也,常稱義兵不用詐謀奇計,曰:「吾聞兵法十則圍之,倍則戰。今韓信兵號數萬,其實不過數千。能千里而襲我,亦已罷極。今如此避而不擊,後有大者,何以加之!則諸侯謂吾怯,而輕來伐我。」不聽廣武君策,廣武君策不用。(Records of the Grand Historian 92, Biography of Han Xin)

The Lord of Guangwu, Li Zuoche, advised Chen Yu, "They say that the Han general Han Xin forded the Western Yellow River, captured the King of Wei, took Xia Yue prisoner, and tasted blood at Eyu. Now he has Zhang Er supporting him, and they have discussed marching down into Zhao. They are pressing their earlier victories by advancing deep into enemy territory. To attack them directly would be unwise. But as I have heard, 'When food must be transported a thousand li, the soldiers will have hungry looks; when the soldiers must resort to gathering firewood and kindling to cook their meals, they will rest on empty bellies.'

“Now the road through Jingxing is so narrow that carts are forced to advance in a single file, nor can cavalry ride abreast either. And, since the enemy's army will have to travel through several hundred li of such terrain, their supplies are sure to be lagging behind them. So I ask you to grant me thirty thousand special troops, which I will use to take back roads to loop around and cut off their supply line. At the same time, you can deepen your moats and raise your ramparts at the front line, fortifying your defenses while refusing to offer battle. The enemy will thus be unable to force a battle to their front or to retreat to their rear thanks to my special troops behind them, and even their attempts to forage or pillage for food will be fruitless. In less than ten days, the heads of the two enemy generals will be beneath your banner. I implore you to heed my strategy. Otherwise, it will be the two of them who capture us."

But Chen Yu, who was a scholarly man and who considered himself the leader of a righteous army, refused to use deception or indirect strategies. He replied, "I have heard from the Art of War that when one has ten times the enemy's numbers, one surrounds them, and when double their numbers, one fights them. Now Han Xin may claim that he has tens of thousands of soldiers, but he really has no more than a few thousand. To lead such a meager force a thousand li to launch a surprise attack against us must mean that they are already exhausted. If I avoid such an army rather than attack it, then when a greater army invades in the future, what more could I possibly do? The other lords will call me a coward, and they will be quick to come campaign against me as well."

So he did not follow Li Zuoche's advice, and Li Zuoche's strategy went unheeded.

廣武君李左車說成安君曰:「聞漢將韓信涉西河,虜魏王,禽夏說,新喋血閼與。今乃輔以張耳,議欲以下趙,此乘勝而去國遠鬥,其鋒不可當。臣聞『千里餽糧,士有飢色;樵蘇後爨,師不宿飽。』今井陘之道,車不得方軌,騎不得成列,行數百里,其勢糧食必在後。願足下假臣奇兵三萬人,從間道絕其輜重;足下深溝高壘勿與戰。彼前不得鬥,退不得還,吾奇兵絕其後,野無所掠鹵,不至十日,兩將之頭可致戲下。願君留意臣之計,必不為二子所禽矣。」成安君,儒者,常稱義兵不用詐謀奇計,謂曰:「吾聞兵法『什則圍之,倍則戰。』今韓信兵號數萬,其實不能,千里襲我,亦以罷矣。今如此避弗擊,後有大者,何以距之?諸侯謂吾怯,而輕來伐我。」不聽廣武君策。(Book of Han 34, Biography of Han Xin)

The Lord of Guangwu, Li Zuoche, advised Chen Yu, "They say that the Han general Han Xin forded the Western Yellow River, captured the King of Wei, took Xia Yue prisoner, and tasted blood at Eyu. Now he has Zhang Er supporting him, and they have discussed marching down into Zhao. They are pressing their earlier victories by advancing deep into enemy territory. To attack them directly would be unwise. But as I have heard, 'When food must be transported a thousand li, the soldiers will have hungry looks; when the soldiers must resort to gathering firewood and kindling to cook their meals, they will rest on empty bellies.'

“Now the road through Jingxing is so narrow that carts are forced to advance in a single file, nor can cavalry ride abreast either. And, since the enemy's army will have to travel through several hundred li of such terrain, their supplies are sure to be lagging behind them. So I ask you to grant me thirty thousand special troops, which I will use to take back roads to loop around and cut off their supply line. At the same time, you can deepen your moats and raise your ramparts at the front line, while refusing to offer battle. The enemy will thus be unable to force a battle to their front or to retreat to their rear thanks to my special troops behind them, and even their attempts to forage or pillage for food will be fruitless. In less than ten days, the heads of the two enemy generals will be beneath your banner. I implore you to heed my strategy. Otherwise, it will be the two of them who capture us."

But Chen Yu, who was a scholarly man and who considered himself the leader of a righteous army, refused to use deception or indirect strategies. He replied, "I have heard from the Art of War that when one has ten times the enemy's numbers, one surrounds them, and when double their numbers, one fights them. Now Han Xin may claim that he has tens of thousands of soldiers, but that cannot be true. And to have marched a thousand li to launch a surprise attack against us must mean that they are already exhausted. If I avoid such an army rather than attack it, then when a greater army invades in the future, what more could I possibly do? The other lords will call me a coward, and they will be quick to come campaign against me as well."

So he did not follow Li Zuoche's advice.


韓信使人間視,知其不用廣武君策,則大喜,乃敢引兵遂下。未至井陘口三十里,止舍。夜半,傳發,選輕騎二千人,人持一赤幟,從間道萆山而望趙軍。誡曰:「趙見我走,必空壁逐我;若疾入趙壁,拔趙幟,立漢赤幟。」令其裨將傳餐,曰:「今日破趙會食!」諸將皆莫信,佯應曰「諾。」信曰:「趙已先據便地爲壁;且彼未見吾大將旗鼓,未肯擊前行,恐吾至阻險而還也。」乃使萬人先行,出,背水陳;趙軍望見而大笑。

3. Han Xin had sent spies to the Zhao camp, and they reported back that Chen Yu was not going to use Li Zuoche's plan. Han Xin was delighted, and he felt emboldened to lead his troops down the pass. He ordered a halt when the army was thirty li from the far exit of Jingxing Pass.

That night, Han Xin sent out orders and dispatches; he would select two thousand light cavalry, with each man bearing a red flag, and send them along back roads to a secluded place among the mountains to observe the Zhao army. The order stated, "When the Zhao army sees my army retreating, they will surely chase after me and leave their defenses empty. At that time, you will surge forward and occupy the Zhao defenses, pull down their banners, and plant these red banners of Han." And he ordered his subordinate generals to prepare a light breakfast, telling them, "We'll save the feasting for after we smash Zhao today!"

None of his generals shared his confidence, but they went along with it and said, "Indeed."

Han Xin said to his army officials, "Zhao has already occupied their chosen terrain and set up their ramparts. I could send out an advance force; the enemy would not be quick to attack them, for fear that I might withdraw the rest of my army into the pass." So he sent out ten thousand troops to go ahead as a vanguard, and they arrayed themselves with their backs to a river. When the Zhao army saw this, they all laughed.

〈止軍而舍息也。〉〈傳發,傳令軍中使發兵。〉〈漢旗幟皆赤。〉〈如淳曰:萆,依山以自覆蔽也。杜佑曰:卑山,今名抱犢山,在鎭州石邑縣。井陘山亦在石邑,意「間道萆山」卽此地。師古曰:蔽隱於山,使敵不見。〉〈若,汝也。疾,速也。〉〈服虔曰:立,駐。傳餐,食也。如淳曰:小飯曰餐。言破趙乃當共飽食也。〉〈信蓋謂趙聚兵塞井陘之口,欲俟信出險而後擊之;若見前鋒便縱兵接戰,則信必將阻險而還師也。〉〈《史記正義》曰:綿蔓水自幷州北流入井陘縣界,卽信背水陳處。〉

(Han Xin was calling his army to halt for the night.

By "orders and dispatches", it meant that Han Xin was sending out orders to his army and dispatching troop movements.

The banners and flags of Han were all red.

The place that Han Xin sent these two thousand light cavalry to is listed as 萆山. Ru Chun argued, "The riders were moving along the 山 ‘mountains’ in order to 萆 'obscure' themselves." Du You argued, "What was then called 卑山 Mount Bi and is now called Mount Baodu is in Shiyi county in Zhenzhou. Mount Jingxing was also in Shiyi. Thus Mount Bi was the place that they went to." Yan Shigu argued, "They were shielding themselves with the mountains, so that the enemy would not notice."

Many dialogues in this era use the term 若, generally meaning "if", but usually in these contexts meaning "you".

To surge means to hurry forward.

Fu Qian remarked, "To plant is to set up."

Han Xin orders his generals to 傳餐; this means to supply a meal. Ru Chun remarked, "A small meal is called a 餐. Han Xin was saying that the troops could eat all they liked after they routed Zhao."

In Han Xin's final statement, his thinking must have been that since the Zhao soldiers had gathered at the exit to Jingxing Pass, their hope was to wait until after Han Xin had left the safety of the more defensive terrain of the pass and then attack him on open ground. Thus they would be concerned that if they let loose their troops to attack at the first sight of Han Xin's vanguard, Han Xin would surely respond by falling back on the sturdier terrain of the pass.

The Zhengyi commentary to the Records of the Grand Historian states, "The Mianman River ran from Bingzhou north into Jingxing county; this was the place where Han Xin placed his troops with their backs to the river.")


韓信使人闚之。知其不用廣武君計。乃敢進兵。未至井徑口三十里。止舍。夜半選輕騎二千人。人持一赤幟。從間道萆山而望趙軍。信戒曰。趙見我走。必空壁逐我。汝疾入。拔趙幟。立漢赤幟。乃使萬人先行。背水為陣。(Records of Former Han 2, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

Han Xin had sent spies to the Zhao camp, and they reported back that Chen Yu was not going to use Li Zuoche's plan. Han Xin felt emboldened to lead his troops down the pass. He ordered a halt when the army was thirty li from the far exit of Jingxing Pass.

That night, Han Xin selected two thousand light cavalry, with each man bearing a red flag, and sent them along back roads to a secluded place among the mountains to observe the Zhao army. Han Xin ordered them, "When the Zhao army sees my army retreating, they will surely chase after me and leave their defenses empty. At that time, you will surge forward and occupy the Zhao defenses, pull down their banners, and plant these red banners of Han."

Han Xin sent out ten thousand troops to go ahead as a vanguard, and they arrayed themselves with their backs to a river.

韓信使人閒視,知其不用,還報,則大喜,乃敢引兵遂下。未至井陘口三十里,止舍。夜半傳發,選輕騎二千人,人持一赤幟,從閒道萆山而望趙軍,誡曰:「趙見我走,必空壁逐我,若疾入趙壁,拔趙幟,立漢赤幟。」令其裨將傳飱,曰:「今日破趙會食!」諸將皆莫信,詳應曰:「諾。」謂軍吏曰:「趙已先據便地為壁,且彼未見吾大將旗鼓,未肯擊前行,恐吾至阻險而還。」信乃使萬人先行,出,背水陳。趙軍望見而大笑。(Records of the Grand Historian 92, Biography of Han Xin)

Han Xin had sent spies to the Zhao camp, and they reported back that Chen Yu was not going to use Li Zuoche's plan. Han Xin was delighted, and he felt emboldened to lead his troops down the pass. He ordered a halt when the army was thirty li from the far exit of Jingxing Pass.

That night, Han Xin sent out orders and dispatches; he would select two thousand light cavalry, with each man bearing a red flag, and send them along back roads to a secluded place among the mountains to observe the Zhao army. The order stated, "When the Zhao army sees my army retreating, they will surely chase after me and leave their defenses empty. At that time, you will surge forward and occupy the Zhao defenses, pull down their banners, and plant these red banners of Han." And he ordered his subordinate generals to prepare a light breakfast, telling them, "We'll save the feasting for after we smash Zhao today!"

None of his generals shared his confidence, but they went along with it and said, "Indeed."

Han Xin told his army officials, "Zhao has already occupied their chosen terrain and set up their ramparts. I could send out an advance force; the enemy would not be quick to attack them, for fear that I might withdraw the rest of my army into the pass." So he sent out ten thousand troops to go ahead as a vanguard, and they arrayed themselves with their backs to a river. When the Zhao army saw this, they all laughed.

信使間人窺知其不用,還報,則大喜,乃敢引兵遂下。未至井陘口三十里,止舍。夜半傳發,選輕騎二千人,人持一赤幟,從間道萆山而望趙軍,戒曰:「趙見我走,必空壁逐我,若疾入,拔趙幟,立漢幟。」令其裨將傳餐,曰:「今日破趙會食。」諸將皆嘸然,陽應曰:「諾。」信謂軍吏曰:「趙已先據便地壁,且彼未見大將旗鼓,未肯擊前行,恐吾阻險而還。」乃使萬人先行,出,背水陳。趙兵望見大笑。(Book of Han 34, Biography of Han Xin)

Han Xin had sent spies to the Zhao camp, and they reported back that Chen Yu was not going to use Li Zuoche's plan. Han Xin was delighted, and he felt emboldened to lead his troops down the pass. He ordered a halt when the army was thirty li from the far exit of Jingxing Pass.

That night, Han Xin sent out orders and dispatches; he would select two thousand light cavalry, with each man bearing a red flag, and send them along back roads to a secluded place among the mountains to observe the Zhao army. The order stated, "When the Zhao army sees my army retreating, they will surely chase after me and leave their defenses empty. At that time, you will surge forward and occupy the Zhao defenses, pull down their banners, and plant these red banners of Han." And he ordered his subordinate generals to prepare a light breakfast, telling them, "We'll save the feasting for after we smash Zhao today."

None of his generals shared his confidence, but they pretended to go along with it and said, "Indeed."

Han Xin told his army officials, "Zhao has already occupied their chosen terrain and set up their ramparts. I could send out an advance force; the enemy would not be quick to attack them, for fear that I might withdraw the rest of my army into the pass." So he sent out ten thousand troops to go ahead as a vanguard, and they arrayed themselves with their backs to a river. When the Zhao army saw this, they all laughed.


平旦,信建大將旗鼓,鼓行出井陘口;趙開壁擊之,大戰良久。於是信與張耳佯棄鼓旗,走水上軍;水上軍開入之,復疾戰。趙果空壁爭漢旗鼓,逐信、耳。信、耳已入水上軍,軍皆殊死戰,不可敗。信所出奇兵二千騎共候趙空壁逐利,則馳入趙壁,皆拔趙旗,立漢赤幟二千。趙軍已不能得信等,欲還歸壁;壁皆漢赤幟,見而大驚,以爲漢皆已得趙王將矣,兵遂亂,遁走,趙將雖斬之,不能禁也。於是漢兵夾擊,大破趙軍,斬成安君泜水上,禽趙王歇。

4. At dawn, Han Xin displayed his flags and banners as commander, beat the drums, and advanced out of Jingxing Pass. The Zhao army opened their ramparts to attack him, and a great battle ensued. Han Xin and Zhang Er then feigned retreat, casting aside the drums and banners, and they fell back to the soldiers who had been posted on the river. These troops parted to admit the others, and the army then zealously resumed fighting. As predicted, the Zhao army left their ramparts behind as they scrambled to capture the Han banners and drums and to chase after Han Xin and Zhang Er. But by then, Han Xin and Zhang Er had already reached their troops by the river, and the whole army fought with such grim determination that the Zhao army could not defeat them.

At the same time, the two thousand light cavalry that Han Xin had sent out earlier took advantage of the abandoned Zhao defenses to rush in and capture their ramparts, where they tore down the Zhao banners and planted their two thousand red Han banners. The Zhao army was already planning to withdraw back into their defenses after being unable to defeat Han Xin's army in the field. But when the Zhao soldiers saw so many Han banners hanging over their ramparts, they were shocked, believing that Han troops had already captured Zhao Xie. The soldiers panicked, then broke and ran; though their generals went so far as to cut down some of them to halt the stampede, they could do nothing to stop it.

The Han armies then attacked the Zhao army from both sides and greatly routed them. They took Chen Yu's head at the Zhi River, and captured Zhao Xie.

〈師古曰:殊,絕也;言決意必死。〉〈《水經註》:泜水卽井陘山水,世謂之鹿泉水,東北流,屈逕陳餘壘,又東注綿蔓水。師古曰:泜,音祗,又丁計翻。〉

(Han Xin's troops posted at the river are described as 殊. This means "cut off"; that is, they fought with the determination that they were going to die.

The Commentary on the Water Classic states, "The Zhi River was the river which flowed through Mount Jingxing, and for generations has been called the Luquan River. It flows northeast, bending to pass by Chen Yu's ramparts, then east to flow into the Mianman River." Yan Shigu remarked, "Zhi is pronounced 'zhi', or 'di (d-i)'.")


漢三年
十月
漢將韓信斬陳餘。漢滅歇。
十一月
屬漢,為太原郡。屬漢,為郡。(Records of the Grand Historian 16, Monthly Timeline of the Chu-Han Contention)

In the third year of Liu Bang's reign (204 BC), in the tenth month (of 205 BC), Han Xin took the head of Chen Yu and vanquished Zhao Xie.

In the eleventh month (of 205 BC), Liu Bang organized Chen Yu's former domain into Taiyuan commandary and organized Zhao Xie's former domain into its constituent commandaries.

進伐趙。獲趙王歇。斬成安君陳餘... 平旦。信建大將旗鼓出井陘口。趙開壁擊之。大戰良久。於是信耳佯不勝。偽棄旗鼓。走還水上軍。趙空壁爭漢旗鼓。逐信耳。於是二千騎馳入趙壁。皆拔趙幟。立漢赤幟二千。趙軍不能敗水上軍。乃還。見漢赤幟。大驚。以為漢皆已破趙眾矣。遂亂而走。趙將雖斬之不能禁。於是漢兵夾擊大破之。(Records of Former Han 2, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

Han Xin advanced and campaigned against Zhao. He captured Zhao Xie and took the head of Lord Cheng'an, Chen Yu.

On the dawn of the day of the battle, Han Xin displayed his flags and banners as commander, beat the drums, and advanced out of Jingxing Pass. The Zhao army opened their ramparts to attack him, and a great battle ensued. Han Xin and Zhang Er then feigned retreat, casting aside the drums and banners, and they fell back to the soldiers who had been posted on the river. The Zhao army left their ramparts behind as they scrambled to capture the Han banners and drums and to chase after Han Xin and Zhang Er.

At the same time, the two thousand light cavalry that Han Xin had sent out earlier took advantage of the abandoned Zhao defenses to rush in and capture their ramparts, where they tore down the Zhao banners and planted their two thousand red Han banners. The Zhao army was unable to defeat Han Xin's army at the river. And when the Zhao soldiers returned to their ramparts and saw so many Han banners hanging over them, they were shocked, believing that Han troops had already routed the Zhao army. The soldiers panicked, then broke and ran; though their generals went so far as to cut down some of them to halt the stampede, they could do nothing to stop it.

The Han armies then attacked the Zhao army from both sides and greatly routed them.

漢三年,韓信已定魏地,遣張耳與韓信擊破趙井陘,斬陳餘泜水上,追殺趙王歇襄國。(Records of the Grand Historian 89, Biography of Zhang Er & Chen Yu)

In the third year of Liu Bang's reign (204 BC), after having already conquered the Wei region, Han Xin and Zhang Er fought and routed the Zhao army at Jingxing. They took Chen Yu's head at the Zhi River, and they pursued Zhao Xie to Xiangguo and killed him.

漢遣耳與韓信擊破趙井陘,斬餘泜水上,追殺趙王歇襄國。(Book of Han 32, Biography of Zhang Er & Chen Yu)

Liu Bang sent Han Xin and Zhang Er to attack Zhao. They fought and routed the Zhao army at Jingxing. They took Chen Yu's head at the Zhi River, and they pursued Zhao Xie to Xiangguo and killed him.

平旦,信建大將之旗鼓,鼓行出井陘口,趙開壁擊之,大戰良久。於是信、張耳詳弃鼓旗,走水上軍。水上軍開入之,復疾戰。趙果空壁爭漢鼓旗,逐韓信、張耳。韓信、張耳已入水上軍,軍皆殊死戰,不可敗。信所出奇兵二千騎,共候趙空壁逐利,則馳入趙壁,皆拔趙旗,立漢赤幟二千。趙軍已不勝,不能得信等,欲還歸壁,壁皆漢赤幟,而大驚,以為漢皆已得趙王將矣,兵遂亂,遁走,趙將雖斬之,不能禁也。於是漢兵夾擊,大破虜趙軍,斬成安君泜水上,禽趙王歇。(Records of the Grand Historian 92, Biography of Han Xin)

At dawn, Han Xin displayed his flags and banners as commander, beat the drums, and advanced out of Jingxing Pass. The Zhao army opened their ramparts to attack him, and a great battle ensued. Han Xin and Zhang Er then feigned retreat, casting aside the drums and banners, and they fell back to the soldiers who had been posted on the river. These troops parted to admit the others, and the army then zealously resumed fighting. As predicted, the Zhao army left their ramparts behind as they scrambled to capture the Han banners and drums and to chase after Han Xin and Zhang Er. But by then, Han Xin and Zhang Er had already reached their troops by the river, and the whole army fought with such grim determination that the Zhao army could not defeat them.

At the same time, the two thousand light cavalry that Han Xin had sent out earlier took advantage of the abandoned Zhao defenses to rush in and capture their ramparts, where they tore down the Zhao banners and planted their two thousand red Han banners. The Zhao army was already planning to withdraw back into their defenses after being unable to defeat Han Xin's army in the field. But when the Zhao soldiers saw so many Han banners hanging over their ramparts, they were shocked, believing that Han troops had already captured Zhao Xie. The soldiers panicked, then broke and ran; though their generals went so far as to cut down some of them to halt the stampede, they could do nothing to stop it.

The Han armies then attacked the Zhao army from both sides and greatly routed them with many captives. They took Chen Yu's head at the Zhi River, and captured Zhao Xie.

平旦,信建大將旗鼓,鼓行出井陘口,趙開壁擊之,大戰良久。於是信、張耳棄鼓旗,走水上軍,復疾戰。趙空壁爭漢鼓旗,逐信、耳。信、耳已入水上軍,軍皆殊死戰,不可敗。信所出奇兵二千騎者,候趙空壁逐利,即馳入趙壁,皆拔趙旗幟,立漢赤幟二千。趙軍已不能得信、耳等,欲還歸壁,壁皆漢赤幟,大驚,以漢為皆已破趙王將矣,遂亂,遁走。趙將雖斬之,弗能禁。於是漢兵夾擊,破虜趙軍,斬成安君泜水上,禽趙王歇。(Book of Han 34, Biography of Han Xin)

At dawn, Han Xin displayed his flags and banners as commander, beat the drums, and advanced out of Jingxing Pass. The Zhao army opened their ramparts to attack him, and a great battle ensued. Han Xin and Zhang Er then cast aside the drums and banners and fell back to the soldiers who had been posted on the river, then zealously resumed fighting. As predicted, the Zhao army left their ramparts behind as they scrambled to capture the Han banners and drums and to chase after Han Xin and Zhang Er. But by then, Han Xin and Zhang Er had already reached their troops by the river, and the whole army fought with such grim determination that the Zhao army could not defeat them.

At the same time, the two thousand light cavalry that Han Xin had sent out earlier took advantage of the abandoned Zhao defenses to rush in and capture their ramparts, where they tore down the Zhao banners and planted their two thousand red Han banners. The Zhao army was already planning to withdraw back into their defenses after being unable to defeat Han Xin's army in the field. But when the Zhao soldiers saw so many Han banners hanging over their ramparts, they were shocked, believing that Han troops had already routed Zhao Xie and his generals. The soldiers panicked, then broke and ran; though their generals went so far as to cut down some of them to halt the stampede, they could do nothing to stop it.

The Han armies then attacked the Zhao army from both sides and routed them with many captives. They took Chen Yu's head at the Zhi River, and captured Zhao Xie.


諸將効首虜,畢賀,因問信曰:「兵法:『右倍山陵,前左水澤。』今者將軍令臣等反背水陳,曰『破趙會食』,臣等不服,然竟以勝。此何術也?」信曰:「此在兵法,顧諸君不察耳!兵法不曰:『陷之死地而後生,置之亡地而後存』?且信非得素拊循士大夫也,此所謂『驅市人而戰之』,其勢非置之死地,使人人自爲戰;今予之生地,皆走,寧尚可得而用之乎!」諸將皆服,曰:「善!非臣所及也。」

5. Han Xin's generals reviewed the heads and captives they had taken. After festivities were concluded, they said to Han Xin, "The Art of War instructs us to 'have mountains and mounds to one's right and rear, rivers and marshes to one's left and front'. Yet during this battle, General, you had us place our backs to the river and claimed that we would 'feast after smashing Zhao'. We did not believe you, yet we won a victory all the same. How do you explain your technique?"

Han Xin replied, "But this too is in the Art of War! It's just that you gentlemen have not studied it closely enough! For does it not say, 'The peril of deadly ground results in survival; place your troops on deadly ground and you preserve them'? Besides, I was not leading an army of long-serving veterans; my forces were more like that saying, 'sweep up the marketplace and send them to battle'. Thus I was compelled to place them on deadly ground, and make each man want to fight for his own life. If I had posted them on ground that offered any avenue of escape, they all would have fled, and then how could I have done anything with them?"

The generals were all convinced, and they said, "Amazing! We are not your equals."

〈《孫子‧九地》:疾戰則存、不戰則亡爲死地。曹操《註》曰:前有高山,後有大水,進不得,退有礙者。〉〈師古曰:言如忽入市廛,驅其人以赴戰,非素所習練者也。〉

(The Nine Situations chapter of the Arts of War states, "Ground on which we can only be saved from destruction by fighting without delay, is desperate ground." Cao Cao's Annotations states, "This applies to situations where there are high mountains ahead and a great river behind, such that one cannot advance and one is obstructed behind."

Regarding Han Xin's saying, Yan Shigu remarked, "This means to form an army merely by rushing into the marketplace and alleyways and sweeping up anyone one finds to force them to fight. In other words, people with no experience in fighting.")


既而諸將問信曰。兵法右背山陵。前左水澤。今將軍令臣等反背水陣。何也。信曰。置之死地而後生。此兵法也。且信非得素拊循士大夫也。所謂驅市人而戰。故置之死地。既人人自為戰。即與生地皆走。尚安得而用之乎。諸將皆服。曰非所及也。(Records of Former Han 2, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

The other Han generals said to Han Xin, "The Art of War instructs us to 'have mountains and mounds to one's right and rear, rivers and marshes to one's left and front'. Yet during this battle, General, you had us place our backs to the river. Why was this?"

Han Xin replied, "Does the Art of War not say, 'Place your troops on deadly ground and you preserve them'? Besides, I was not leading an army of long-serving veterans; my forces were more like that saying, 'sweep up the marketplace and send them to battle'. Thus I was compelled to place them on deadly ground, and make each man want to fight for his own life. If I had posted them on ground that offered any avenue of escape, they all would have fled, and then how could I have done anything with them?"

The generals were all convinced, and they said, "We are not your equals."

諸將效首虜,(休)畢賀,因問信曰:「兵法右倍山陵,前左水澤,今者將軍令臣等反背水陳,曰破趙會食,臣等不服。然竟以勝,此何術也?」信曰:「此在兵法,顧諸君不察耳。兵法不曰『陷之死地而後生,置之亡地而後存』?且信非得素拊循士大夫也,此所謂『驅市人而戰之』,其勢非置之死地,使人人自為戰;今予之生地,皆走,寧尚可得而用之乎!」諸將皆服曰:「善。非臣所及也。」(Records of the Grand Historian 92, Biography of Han Xin)

Han Xin's generals reviewed the heads and captives they had taken. After festivities were concluded, they said to Han Xin, "The Art of War instructs us to 'have mountains and mounds to one's right and rear, rivers and marshes to one's left and front'. Yet during this battle, General, you had us place our backs to the river and claimed that we would 'feast after smashing Zhao'. We did not believe you, yet we won a victory all the same. How do you explain your technique?"

Han Xin replied, "But this too is in the Art of War! It's just that you gentlemen have not studied it closely enough. For does it not say, 'The peril of deadly ground results in survival; place your troops on deadly ground and you preserve them'? Besides, I was not leading an army of long-serving veterans; my forces were more like that saying, 'sweep up the marketplace and send them to battle'. Thus I was compelled to place them on deadly ground, and make each man want to fight for his own life. If I had posted them on ground that offered any avenue of escape, they all would have fled, and then how could I have done anything with them?"

The generals were all convinced, and they said, "Amazing. We are not your equals."

諸校劾首虜休,皆賀,因問信曰:「兵法有『右背山陵,前左水澤』,今者將軍令臣等反背水陳,曰破趙會食,臣等不服。然竟以勝,此何術也?」信曰:「此在兵法,顧諸君弗察耳。兵法不曰『陷之死地而後生,投之亡地而後存』乎?且信非得素拊循士大夫,經所謂『敺市人而戰之』也,其勢非置死地,人人自為戰;今即予生地,皆走,寧尚得而用之乎!」諸將皆服曰:「非所及也。」(Book of Han 34, Biography of Han Xin)

Han Xin's generals reviewed the heads and captives they had taken. After festivities were concluded, they said to Han Xin, "The Art of War instructs us to 'have mountains and mounds to one's right and rear, rivers and marshes to one's left and front'. Yet during this battle, General, you had us place our backs to the river and claimed that we would 'feast after smashing Zhao'. We did not believe you, yet we won a victory all the same. How do you explain your technique?"

Han Xin replied, "But this too is in the Art of War! It's just that you gentlemen have not studied it closely enough. For does it not say, 'The peril of deadly ground results in survival; place your troops on deadly ground and you preserve them'? Besides, I was not leading an army of long-serving veterans; my forces were more like that saying, 'sweep up the marketplace and send them to battle'. Thus I was compelled to place them on deadly ground, and make each man want to fight for his own life. If I had posted them on ground that offered any avenue of escape, they all would have fled, and then how could I have done anything with them?"

The generals were all convinced, and they said, "We are not your equals."


信募生得廣武君者予千金。有縛致麾下者,信解其縛,東鄕坐,師事之。問曰:「僕欲北伐燕,東伐齊,何若而有功?」廣武君辭謝曰:「臣,敗亡之虜,何足以權大事乎!」信曰:「僕聞之:百里奚居虞而虞亡,在秦而秦霸;非愚於虞而智於秦也,用與不用,聽與不聽也。誠令成安君聽足下計,若信者亦已爲禽矣;以不用足下,故信得侍耳。今僕委心歸計,願足下勿辭!」廣武君曰:「今將軍涉西河,虜魏王,禽夏說;東下井陘,不終朝而破趙二十萬衆,誅成安君;名聞海內,威震天下,農夫莫不輟耕釋耒,褕衣甘食,傾耳以待命者,此將軍之所長也。然而衆勞卒罷,其實難用。今將軍欲舉倦敝之兵頓之燕堅城之下,欲戰不得,攻之不拔,情見勢屈;曠日持久,糧食單竭。燕旣不服,齊必距境以自強。燕、齊相持而不下,則劉、項之權未有所分也,此將軍所短也。善用兵者,不以短擊長而以長擊短。」韓信曰:「然則何由?」廣武君對曰:「方今爲將軍計,莫如按甲休兵,鎭撫趙民,百里之內,牛酒日至,以饗士大夫;北首燕路,而後遣辨士奉咫尺之書,暴其所長於燕,燕必不敢不聽從。燕已從而東臨齊,雖有智者,亦不知爲齊計矣。如是,則天下事皆可圖也。兵固有先聲而後實者,此之謂也。」韓信曰:「善!」從其策,發使使燕,燕從風而靡;遣使報漢,且請以張耳王趙,漢王許之。楚數使奇兵渡河擊趙,張耳、韓信往來救趙,因行定趙城邑,發兵詣漢。

6. Han Xin had offered a thousand gold to anyone who captured Li Zuoche alive. When Li Zuoche was indeed captured, Han Xin had the guards bring Li Zuoche to his tent, where Han Xin loosed his bonds, offered Li Zuoche the seat facing east, and discussed military affairs with him.

Han Xin said to Li Zuoche, "I want to march north to campaign against Yan and east to campaign against Qi. Do you think I would be successful?"

Li Zuoche offered his apologies, saying, "I am merely a captive from a defeated army. How could I be qualified to discuss such great affairs with you?"

Han Xin replied, "I have heard that when Baili Xi was living in the state of Yu, Yu fell, but when he went to the state of Qin, Qin triumphed. It was not that Baili Xi was foolish when he lived in Yu and wise when he went to Qin, but rather, it was because Yu did not use him or listen to his advice, while Qin did. Likewise, if Lord Cheng'an (Chen Yu) had listened to your advice before, then I would have been the one taken captive. It is only because he did not use your strategy that I can have you as my guest today. And now that I am baring my heart to hear your thinking, you must not decline to offer it!"

Li Zuoche said, "Then allow me, General, to point out your strengths and your weaknesses. You stole across the Western Yellow River, captured the King of Wei, and made Xia Yue your prisoner; to the east, you descended through Jingxing and in the space of a single morning broke the Zhao army of two hundred thousand and took the head of Lord Cheng'an. Your reputation is known throughout the seas, and your might shakes the realm. There is not a farmer in all the land who would not cast aside their plow and put down their hoe to adorn your clothing, sweeten your food, and bend their ear to heed your commands. Such are your strengths.

“However, your army is now exhausted and your troops tired, and it would be difficult to accomplish anything with them at the moment. Yet you would bring such worn-out soldiers to camp themselves beneath the walls of Yan's fortified cities. That would do no good; you could neither subdue Yan's cities by assault nor compel their soldiers to come out and face you in open battle. You would only sap the morale of your own forces, and by remaining locked in stalemate for days on end, you would soon exhaust your provisions. Furthermore, since Yan would not have submitted to you, Qi too would be emboldened to fortify their own border against you. And, with Yan and Qi supporting one another against you, you would no longer have a free hand to influence the contest between the King of Han and King Xiang. Such are your weaknesses.

“One who is skilled at using soldiers fights not by pitting their weaknesses against the enemy's strengths, but by pitting their strengths against the enemy's weaknesses."

Han Xin asked, "Then what am I to do?"

Li Zuoche replied, "General, I can offer you no better strategy at the moment than to put aside your armor and let your troops rest, while you protect and comfort the people of Zhao. Have daily feasts of beef and wine to toast the leading figures of all the region within a hundred li. In the meantime, remain facing the road north to Yan, and after some time, send some skilled speakers to Yan to present your arguments to them and make your strengths abundantly clear. Yan would not dare not to heed your commands after that. Then once Yan has submitted, move east to put pressure on Qi. By that point, even if Qi has someone clever on their side, they would not be able to devise a plan to save Qi from you. Once you have done these things, then you may consider how to deal with the rest of the realm.

“When it comes to warfare, it is the perception of your strength that must come first, and the substance afterwards. That is what I have been speaking of to you."

Han Xin said, "Well said!" And he followed Li Zuoche's strategy. He sent envoys to Yan, and Yan indeed recognized the circumstances and submitted. Han Xin sent agents to inform Liu Bang of his success. He also asked that Zhang Er be appointed as King of Zhao, and Liu Bang said that he would do so.

On several occasions, Chu sent groups of special soldiers across the Yellow River to attack the Zhao region. But Zhang Er and Han Xin marched to reinforce the area, and they took the opportunity to pacify all the cities and towns of Zhao and draft more troops to send back to Liu Bang.

〈何若,猶言何如也。〉〈權,所以稱物,見其輕重也。左車蓋謂兵者國之大事,如己者敗亡之餘,不足以審處其輕重。〉〈百里奚,虞之大夫,虞公不能用以亡;秦穆公信而用之,遂霸西戎。〉〈言得侍左右以求敎。〉〈褕,靡也。此言當時之人,畏信之威聲,不能自保其生業,皆輟耕、釋耒,褕靡其衣,甘毳其食,以苟生於旦夕,不復爲久遠計。〉〈兵,詭道也,乘勢以爲用者也。見,顯露也。屈,盡也。吾之情見則敵知所備,勢屈則敵得乘吾之敝矣。〉〈單,盡也。〉〈由,從也,言當從何計也。〉〈師古曰:八寸曰咫。咫尺者,言其簡牘或長咫,或長尺,喻輕率也。〉〈暴,顯也,示也,露也。〉

(Han Xin uses the term 何若; this means "how will it go?"

Li Zuoche asks how he is 權 "qualified" to speak on great affairs; this is a term of evaluation, to consider his own strengths and weaknesses. Li Zuoche must have figured that, since military affairs are critical to a state and he himself was merely a prisoner from a state that had just been defeated, he was in no place to offer such advice.

Baili Xi had once been a chief minister of the state of Yu. However, the Duke of Yu could not use him properly, and Yu was destroyed. Baili Xi later worked for Duke Mu of Qin, who did use him well, and thus Duke Mu triumphed over the Western Rong tribes.

By his "guest", Han Xin meant that he was able to have Li Zuoche attend him and offer him instruction.

One of Li Zuoche's expressions is that the common farmers will "褕 your clothing and sweeten your food". 褕 means to make beautiful. The expression meant that the people of the time would be so afraid of Han Xin's power and authority that, convinced that they would not be able to sustain their livelihoods as farmers, they would all abandon their plows and hoes and rush to adorn his clothing and sweeten his food in desperate bids to lengthen their own lives even for just a few more days, giving no further thought to the long term.

Warfare is a matter of deception, and one must take advantage of the circumstances as they appear. The term 見 here means "to make obvious", and 屈 means "all". In other words, the weakness of Han Xin's army against the enemy's preparations would be made very clear, while the enemy would be able to take advantage of their weakened state.

The term 單 here means "to exhaust".

Han Xin uses the term 由, meaning "follow", as in "what plan should I follow?"

Li Zuoche refers to "letters of 咫 and 尺". Yan Shigu remarked, "Eight 寸 made one 咫. These letters were called '咫 and 尺' because some were a 咫 in length, others a 尺. They specifically referred to letters of instruction to be followed at once."

Li Zuoche uses the term 暴; this means "to make evident, to display, to make clear".)


信令軍中曰。生得廣武君購千金。信得之。乃東面師事之。問曰。吾欲北攻燕。東伐齊。何如。對曰。敗軍之將。不可以語勇。亡國之大夫。不可以圖存。又何問焉。信曰。向使成安君聽子之計。則信亦將為子擒矣。固問之。對曰。足下威振諸侯。名聞海內。然士卒罷勞。其實難用。今足下舉倦弊之兵。頓之燕堅城之下。情見力屈。曠日糧竭。若燕不拔。齊必距境以自彊。二國相持。則劉項之權。未有所分也。不如按甲休兵。日享士卒。大夫北首燕路。然後使一乘之使。奉咫尺之書。燕不敢不從。燕從而臨齊。齊雖有智者。亦不能為齊計也。兵法固有先聲而後實者。此之謂也。信曰善。乃發使使燕。燕聽命。於是請立張耳為趙王。以拊循趙眾。(Records of Former Han 2, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

Han Xin had offered a thousand gold to anyone who captured Li Zuoche alive. When Li Zuoche was indeed captured, Han Xin offered Li Zuoche the seat of his tent facing east and discussed military affairs with him.

Han Xin asked Li Zuoche, "I want to march north to attack Yan and east to campaign against Qi. Do you think I would be successful?"

Li Zuoche replied, "The general of a defeated army has no right to speak of bold plans; the minister of a fallen state has no right to speak of conquest or survival. Why ask me such things?"

Han Xin said, "If Lord Cheng'an (Chen Yu) had listened to your advice before, then I would have been the one taken captive." And he insisted upon asking Li Zuoche his thoughts.

Li Zuoche replied, "Your reputation is known throughout the seas, and your might makes the feudal lords tremble. However, your army is now exhausted and your troops tired, and it would be difficult to accomplish anything with them at the moment. Yet you would bring such worn-out soldiers to camp themselves beneath the walls of Yan's fortified cities. Your strength would quickly be spent, and you would soon exhaust your provisions. Furthermore, since Yan would not have submitted to you, Qi too would be emboldened to fortify their own border against you. And, with Yan and Qi supporting one another against you, you would no longer have a free hand to influence the contest between King Liu and King Xiang.

“It would be better for you to put aside your armor and let your troops rest, holding daily feasts for your soldiers. In the meantime, remain facing the road north to Yan, and after some time, send a carriage of envoys to present your letter of demands. Yan would not dare not to heed your commands after that. Then once Yan has submitted, put pressure on Qi. By that point, even if Qi has someone clever on their side, they would not be able to devise a plan to save Qi from you.

“When it comes to warfare, it is the perception of your strength that must come first, and the substance afterwards. That is what I have been speaking of to you."

Han Xin said, "Excellent!" And he followed Li Zuoche's strategy. He sent envoys to Yan, and Yan heeded his commands. Han Xin sent agents to inform Liu Bang of his success. He also asked that Zhang Er be appointed as King of Zhao, in order to calm and reassure the people of the Zhao region.

信乃令軍中毋殺廣武君,有能生得者購千金。於是有縛廣武君而致戲下者,信乃解其縛,東鄉坐,西鄉對,師事之... 於是信問廣武君曰:「仆欲北攻燕,東伐齊,何若而有功?」廣武君辭謝曰:「臣聞敗軍之將,不可以言勇,亡國之大夫,不可以圖存。今臣敗亡之虜,何足以權大事乎!」信曰:「仆聞之,百里奚居虞而虞亡,在秦而秦霸,非愚於虞而智於秦也,用與不用,聽與不聽也。誠令成安君聽足下計,若信者亦已為禽矣。以不用足下,故信得侍耳。」因固問曰:「仆委心歸計,願足下勿辭。」廣武君曰:「臣聞智者千慮,必有一失;愚者千慮,必有一得。故曰『狂夫之言,聖人擇焉』。顧恐臣計未必足用,願效愚忠。夫成安君有百戰百勝之計,一旦而失之,軍敗鄗下,身死泜上。今將軍涉西河,虜魏王,禽夏說閼與,一舉而下井陘,不終朝破趙二十萬眾,誅成安君。名聞海內,威震天下,農夫莫不輟耕釋耒,褕衣甘食,傾耳以待命者。若此,將軍之所長也。然而眾勞卒罷,其實難用。今將軍欲舉倦獘之兵,頓之燕堅城之下,欲戰恐久力不能拔,情見勢屈,曠日糧竭,而弱燕不服,齊必距境以自彊也。燕齊相持而不下,則劉項之權未有所分也。若此者,將軍所短也。臣愚,竊以為亦過矣。故善用兵者不以短擊長,而以長擊短。」韓信曰:「然則何由?」廣武君對曰:「方今為將軍計,莫如案甲休兵,鎮趙撫其孤,百里之內,牛酒日至,以饗士大夫醳兵,北首燕路,而後遣辯士奉咫尺之書,暴其所長於燕,燕必不敢不聽從。燕已從,使諠言者東告齊,齊必從風而服,雖有智者,亦不知為齊計矣。如是,則天下事皆可圖也。兵固有先聲而後實者,此之謂也。」韓信曰:「善。」從其策,發使使燕,燕從風而靡。乃遣使報漢,因請立張耳為趙王,以鎮撫其國。漢王許之,乃立張耳為趙王。楚數使奇兵渡河擊趙,趙王耳、韓信往來救趙,因行定趙城邑,發兵詣漢。(Records of the Grand Historian 92, Biography of Han Xin)

Han Xin had ordered his soldiers not to kill Li Zuoche, and had even offered a thousand gold to anyone who captured Li Zuoche alive. When Li Zuoche was indeed captured, Han Xin had the guards bring Li Zuoche to his tent, where Han Xin loosed his bonds, offered Li Zuoche the seat facing east while he took the seat facing west, and discussed military affairs with him.

Han Xin said to Li Zuoche, "I want to march north to attack Yan and east to campaign against Qi. Do you think I would be successful?"

Li Zuoche offered his apologies, saying, "I have heard that the general of a defeated army has no right to speak of bold plans, and the minister of a fallen state has no right to speak of conquest or survival. I am merely a captive from a defeated army. How could I be qualified to discuss such great affairs with you?"

Han Xin replied, "I have heard that when Baili Xi was living in the state of Yu, Yu fell, but when he went to the state of Qin, Qin triumphed. It was not that Baili Xi was foolish when he lived in Yu and wise when he went to Qin, but rather, it was because Yu did not use him or listen to his advice, while Qin did. Likewise, if Lord Cheng'an (Chen Yu) had listened to your advice before, then I would have been the one taken captive. It is only because he did not use your strategy that I can have you as my guest today." And he earnestly pleaded, "I am baring my heart to hear your thinking; you must not decline to offer it."

Li Zuoche said, "Perhaps it will be as they say: even the wise make one mistake in a thousand, while even the foolish can be right as often. As the proverb has it, 'the sage can find something worthwhile even in the words of a madman'. So though I do not necessarily have any good advice for you, I can at least demonstrate my loyalty.

"Now Lord Cheng'an had strategies that ensured a hundred victories in a hundred battles, yet in a single morning he lost everything; his army was defeated beneath the walls of Hao, and he himself perished at the Zhi River. Meanwhile, General, you stole across the Western Yellow River, captured the King of Wei, and made Xia Yue your prisoner at Eyu. Then you descended through Jingxing and in the space of a single morning broke the Zhao army of two hundred thousand and took the head of Lord Cheng'an. Your reputation is known throughout the seas, and your might shakes the realm. There is not a farmer in all the land who would not cast aside their plow and put down their hoe to adorn your clothing, sweeten your food, and bend their ear to heed your commands. Such are your strengths.

“However, your army is now exhausted and your troops tired, and it would be difficult to accomplish anything with them at the moment. Yet you would bring such worn-out soldiers to camp themselves beneath the walls of Yan's fortified cities. That would do no good; you could neither subdue Yan's cities by assault nor compel their soldiers to come out and face you in open battle. You would only sap the morale of your own forces, and by remaining locked in stalemate for days on end, you would soon exhaust your provisions. Furthermore, since even Yan, despite their relative weakness, would not have submitted to you, Qi too would be emboldened to fortify their own border against you. And, with Yan and Qi supporting one another against you, you would no longer have a free hand to influence the contest between the King of Han and King Xiang. Such are your weaknesses.

“Thus I venture to propose that you are making a mistake. One who is skilled at using soldiers fights not by pitting their weaknesses against the enemy's strengths, but by pitting their strengths against the enemy's weaknesses."

Han Xin asked, "Then what am I to do?"

Li Zuoche replied, "General, I can offer you no better strategy at the moment than to put aside your armor and let your troops rest, while you protect Zhao and comfort those who have lost their relatives in battle. Have daily feasts of beef and wine to toast the leading figures of all the region within a hundred li. In the meantime, remain facing the road north to Yan, and after some time, send some skilled speakers to Yan to present your arguments to them and make your strengths abundantly clear. Yan would not dare not to heed your commands after that. Then once Yan has submitted, make demonstrations to the east to put pressure on Qi. By that point, even if Qi has someone clever on their side, they would not be able to devise a plan to save Qi from you. Once you have done these things, then you may consider how to deal with the rest of the realm.

“When it comes to warfare, it is the perception of your strength that must come first, and the substance afterwards. That is what I have been speaking of to you."

Han Xin said, "Well said." And he followed Li Zuoche's strategy. He sent envoys to Yan, and Yan indeed recognized the circumstances and submitted. Han Xin sent agents to inform Liu Bang of his success. He also asked that Zhang Er be appointed as King of Zhao, so that Zhang Er could take the lead in protecting and comforting the Zhao region. Liu Bang agreed, so he appointed Zhang Er as King of Zhao.

On several occasions, Chu sent groups of special soldiers across the Yellow River to attack the Zhao region. But Zhang Er and Han Xin marched to reinforce the area, and they took the opportunity to pacify all the cities and towns of Zhao and draft more troops to send back to Liu Bang.

信乃令軍毋斬廣武君,有生得之者,購千金。頃之,有縛而至戲下者,信解其縛,東鄉坐,西鄉對,而師事之... 於是問廣武君曰:「僕欲北攻燕,東伐齊,何若有功?」廣武君辭曰:「臣聞『亡國之大夫不可以圖存,敗軍之將不可以語勇。』若臣者,何足以權大事乎!」信曰:「僕聞之,百里奚居虞而虞亡,之秦而秦伯,非愚於虞而智於秦也,用與不用,聽與不聽耳。向使成安君聽子計,僕亦禽矣。僕委心歸計,願子勿辭。」廣武君曰:「臣聞『智者千慮,必有一失;愚者千慮,亦有一得。』故曰『狂夫之言,聖人擇焉。』故恐臣計未足用,願效愚忠。故成安君有百戰百勝之計,一日而失之,軍敗鄗下,身死泜水上。今足下虜魏王,禽夏說,不旬朝破趙二十萬眾,誅成安君。名聞海內,威震諸侯,眾庶莫不輟作怠惰,靡衣媮食,傾耳以待禽者。然而眾勞卒罷,其實難用也。今足下舉倦敝之兵,頓之燕堅城之下,情見力屈,欲戰不拔,曠日持久,糧食單竭。若燕不破,齊必距境而以自彊。二國相持,則劉項之權未有所分也。臣愚,竊以為亦過矣。」信曰:「然則何由?」廣武君對曰:「當今之計,不如按甲休兵,百里之內,牛酒日至,以饗士大夫,北首燕路,然後發一乘之使,奉咫尺之書,以使燕,燕必不敢不聽。從燕而東臨齊,雖有智者,亦不知為齊計矣。如是,則天下事可圖也。兵故有先聲而後實者,此之謂也。」信曰:「善。敬奉教。」於是用廣武君策,發使燕,燕從風而靡。乃遣使報漢,因請立張耳王趙以撫其國。漢王許之。楚數使奇兵度河擊趙,王耳、信往來救趙,因行定趙城邑,發卒佐漢。(Book of Han 34, Biography of Han Xin)

Han Xin had ordered his soldiers not to kill Li Zuoche, and had even offered a thousand gold to anyone who captured Li Zuoche alive. When Li Zuoche was indeed captured, Han Xin had the guards bring Li Zuoche to his tent, where Han Xin loosed his bonds, offered Li Zuoche the seat facing east while he took the seat facing west, and discussed military affairs with him.

Han Xin said to Li Zuoche, "I want to march north to attack Yan and east to campaign against Qi. Do you think I would be successful?"

Li Zuoche offered his apologies, saying, "I have heard that the general of a defeated army has no right to speak of bold plans, and the minister of a fallen state has no right to speak of conquest or survival. How could someone like me be qualified to discuss such great affairs with you?"

Han Xin replied, "I have heard that when Baili Xi was living in the state of Yu, Yu fell, but when he went to the state of Qin, Qin dominated. It was not that Baili Xi was foolish when he lived in Yu and wise when he went to Qin, but rather, it was because Yu did not use him or listen to his advice, while Qin did. Likewise, if Lord Cheng'an (Chen Yu) had listened to your advice before, then I would have been the one taken captive. I am baring my heart to hear your thinking; I hope you will not decline to offer it."

Li Zuoche said, "Perhaps it will be as they say: even the wise make one mistake in a thousand, while even the foolish can be right as often. As the proverb has it, 'the sage can find something worthwhile even in the words of a madman'. So though I do not necessarily have any good advice for you, I can at least demonstrate my loyalty.

"Now Lord Cheng'an had strategies that ensured a hundred victories in a hundred battles, yet in a single morning he lost everything; his army was defeated beneath the walls of Hao, and he himself perished at the Zhi River. Meanwhile, General, you captured the King of Wei, made Xia Yue your prisoner, and in the space of a single morning broke the Zhao army of two hundred thousand and took the head of Lord Cheng'an. Your reputation is known throughout the seas, and your might shakes the realm. There is not a farmer in all the land who would not set aside their work and indulge in sloth in order to adorn your clothing, sweeten your food, and bend their ear to heed your commands.

“However, your army is now exhausted and your troops tired, and it would be difficult to accomplish anything with them at the moment. Yet you would bring such worn-out soldiers to camp themselves beneath the walls of Yan's fortified cities. That would do no good; you could neither subdue Yan's cities by assault nor compel their soldiers to come out and face you in open battle. You would only sap the morale of your own forces, and by remaining locked in stalemate for days on end, you would soon exhaust your provisions. Furthermore, since you would have failed to have broken Yan, Qi too would be emboldened to fortify their own border against you. And, with Yan and Qi supporting one another against you, you would no longer have a free hand to influence the contest between the King of Han and King Xiang. Such are your weaknesses.

“Thus I venture to propose that you are making a mistake."

Han Xin asked, "Then what am I to do?"

Li Zuoche replied, "General, I can offer you no better strategy at the moment than to put aside your armor and let your troops rest. Have daily feasts of beef and wine to toast the leading figures of all the region within a hundred li. In the meantime, remain facing the road north to Yan, and after some time, send an envoy in a carriage to Yan to present your arguments to them and make your strengths abundantly clear. Yan would not dare not to heed your commands after that. Then once Yan has submitted, make demonstrations to the east to put pressure on Qi. By that point, even if Qi has someone clever on their side, they would not be able to devise a plan to save Qi from you. Once you have done these things, then you may consider how to deal with the rest of the realm.

“When it comes to warfare, it is the perception of your strength that must come first, and the substance afterwards. That is what I have been speaking of to you."

Han Xin said, "Well said. I shall be sure to respect your instructions." And he followed Li Zuoche's strategy. He sent envoys to Yan, and Yan indeed recognized the circumstances and submitted. Han Xin sent agents to inform Liu Bang of his success. He also asked that Zhang Er be appointed as King of Zhao, in order to reassure that region. Liu Bang agreed to do so.

On several occasions, Chu sent groups of special soldiers across the Yellow River to attack the Zhao region. But Zhang Er and Han Xin marched to reinforce the area, and they took the opportunity to pacify all the cities and towns of Zhao and draft more troops to help Liu Bang.


甲戌晦,日有食之。

7. On the day Jiaxu, the last day of that month, there was an eclipse.

〈月盡爲晦。〉

(The last day of the month was a new moon, where the moon is totally obscured.)


甲戌晦日有食之。(Records of Former Han 2, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

On the day Jiaxu, the last day of that month, there was an eclipse.


十一月,癸卯晦,日有食之。

8. In the eleventh month (of 205 BC), on the day Guimao, the last day of that month, there was an eclipse.

隨何至九江,九江太宰主之,三日不得見。隨何說太宰曰:「王之不見何,必以楚爲強,漢爲弱也。此臣之所以爲使。使何得見,言之而是,大王所欲聞也;言之而非,使何等二十人伏斧質九江市,足以明王倍漢而與楚也。」太宰乃言之王。

9. It was earlier mentioned that Liu Bang had sent Sui He to speak to the King of Jiujiang, Qing Bu, and attempt to turn him against Chu to support Han. But when Sui He arrived at Jiujiang, he was received only by the Master Host, and for three days he was unable to see Qing Bu.

Sui He said to the Master Host, "The reason that the King has not received me must be because he views Chu as strong and Han as weak. But that is precisely why I have come to see him. If I can meet with him and he approves of what I have to say, it will be to his benefit. And if he does not approve of my words, then he may simply chop off the heads of myself and my twenty escorts in the Jiujiang marketplace; that would be a clear enough sign that he is against Han and with Chu."

The Master Host thus mentioned the matter to Qing Bu.

〈此太宰非周官之太宰。漢奉常屬官有太宰。師古曰:具食之官。信使入國,必使人爲之主;時布使太宰主何也。〉〈倍,與背同。〉

(Sui He was initially received by Qing Bu's 太宰. This title is usually interpreted as the high office of Grand Governor, but in this instance it is not the same rank as that Zhou title. Instead, it is the same position as the 太宰 "Master Host" that was later a subordinate office of the Minister of Ceremonies. Yan Shigu remarked, "This official was in charge of food and items. When envoys came to visit the state, these people served as their hosts. And at this time, Qing Bu had sent this person to play host to Sui He."

Sui He uses the term 倍; this means the same thing as "against".)


至九江。三日不得見。何說太宰曰。今臣所言是邪。大王所欲聞。非邪。何等二十人伏斧鑕於淮南市。以明大王背漢而與楚也。太宰言之於王而見之。(Records of Former Han 2, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

When Sui He arrived at Jiujiang, for three days he was unable to see Qing Bu.

Sui He said to the Master Host, "If I can meet with the King and he approves of what I have to say, it will be to his benefit. And if he does not approve of my words, then he may simply chop off the heads of myself and my twenty escorts in the Huainan marketplace; that would be a clear enough sign that he is against Han and with Chu."

The Master Host thus mentioned the matter to Qing Bu, and Sui He received a meeting.

至,因太宰主之,三日不得見。隨何因說太宰曰:「王之不見何,必以楚為彊,以漢為弱,此臣之所以為使。使何得見,言之而是邪,是大王所欲聞也;言之而非邪,使何等二十人伏斧質淮南市,以明王倍漢而與楚也。」太宰乃言之王。(Records of the Grand Historian 91, Biography of Qing Bu)

When Sui He arrived at Jiujiang, he was received only by the Master Host, and for three days he was unable to see Qing Bu.

Sui He then persuaded the Master Host, "The reason that the King has not received me must be because he views Chu as strong and Han as weak. But that is precisely why I have come to see him. If I can meet with him and he approves of what I have to say, it will be to his benefit. And if he does not approve of my words, then he may simply chop off the heads of myself and my twenty escorts in the Jiujiang marketplace; that would be a clear enough sign that he is against Han and with Chu."

The Master Host thus mentioned the matter to Qing Bu.

至,太宰主之,三日不得見。隨何因說太宰曰:「王之不見何,必以楚為彊,以漢為弱,此臣之所為使。使何得見,言之而是邪,是大王所欲聞也;言之而非邪,使何等二十人伏斧質淮南巿,以明背漢而與楚也。」太宰乃言之王。(Book of Han 34, Biography of Qing Bu)

When Sui He arrived at Jiujiang, he was received only by the Master Host, and for three days he was unable to see Qing Bu.

Sui He then persuaded the Master Host, "The reason that the King has not received me must be because he views Chu as strong and Han as weak. But that is precisely why I have come to see him. If I can meet with him and he approves of what I have to say, it will be to his benefit. And if he does not approve of my words, then he may simply chop off the heads of myself and my twenty escorts in the Huainan marketplace; that would be a clear enough sign that he is against Han and with Chu."

The Master Host thus mentioned the matter to Qing Bu.


王見之。隨何曰:「漢王使臣敬進書大王御者,竊怪大王與楚何親也?」九江王曰:「寡人北鄕而臣事之。」隨何曰:「大王與項王俱列爲諸侯,北鄕而臣事之者,必以楚爲強,可以託國也。項王伐齊,身負版築,爲士卒先。大王宜悉九江之衆,身自將之,爲楚前鋒;今乃發四千人以助楚。夫北面而臣事人者,固若是乎?漢王入彭城,項王未出齊也。大王宜悉九江之兵渡淮,日夜會戰彭城下;大王乃撫萬人之衆,無一人渡淮者,垂拱而觀其孰勝。夫託國於人者,固若是乎?大王提空名以鄕楚而欲厚自託,臣竊爲大王不取也!然而大王不背楚者,以漢爲弱也。夫楚兵雖強,天下負之以不義之名,以其背盟約而殺義帝也。漢王收諸侯,還守成皋、滎陽,下蜀、漢之粟,深溝壁壘,分卒守徼乘塞。楚人深入敵國八九百里,老弱轉糧千里之外。漢堅守而不動,楚進則不得攻,退則不能解,故曰楚兵不足恃也。使楚勝漢,則諸侯自危懼而相救;夫楚之強,適足以致天下之兵耳。故楚不如漢,其勢易見也。今大王不與萬全之漢而自託於危亡之楚,臣竊爲大王惑之!臣非以九江之兵足以亡楚也;大王發兵而倍楚,項王必留;留數月,漢之取天下可以萬全。臣請與大王提劍而歸漢,漢王必裂地而封大王;又況九江必大王有也。」九江王曰:「請奉命。」陰許畔楚與漢,未敢泄也。

10. Qing Bu agreed to meet with Sui He. Sui He said to him, "The King of Han has sent me to respectfully present you, Great King, with a letter. If I may be so bold, Great King, what is your relationship with Chu?"

Qing Bu replied, "I face north and serve them as a subject."

Sui He said, "Great King, you and King Xiang hold equal titles among the ranks of the feudal lords. So the reason that you 'face north and serve them as a subject' must be because you view Chu as strong and believe they can be entrusted with the future of your state. But I notice that when King Xiang campaigned against Qi, he himself bore the weight of the building materials and led his soldiers from the front. At that time, Great King, you should have led all the forces of Jiujiang and personally brought them to his aid, acting as the vanguard of the Chu army. Yet you did no more than send four thousand of your soldiers to aid Chu. Is this the way for one who 'faces north and serves as a subject' to act? And again, when the King of Han entered Pengcheng, King Xiang had not yet returned from Qi. At that time, Great King, you ought to have led all the forces of Jiujiang across the Huai River to attack the King of Han yourself, for you would have been able to reach Pengcheng and attack him in no time at all. Yet you held your ten thousand troops in reserve and did not send a single one of them across the Huai River; instead, you folded your hands and watched to see who between the King of Han and King Xiang would be the victor. Is this the way for one to act towards the state that one has entrusted the future of their own state to? Great King, you are making an empty show of submission to Chu while really seeking how best to benefit yourself. But I fear that you will never gain what you seek!

"Yet you have not yet actively turned against Chu. That must be because you view Han as weak. But I propose that, though Chu's army may be strong, it has been saddled with an unrighteous reputation by all the realm, since Chu betrayed Emperor Yi's pact and killed him as well. It is the King of Han who has rallied the support of the feudal lords while falling back to hold Chenggao and Xingyang, keeping supplies sent from the regions of Shu and Han, deepening his moats and fortifying his ramparts, and dispersing his troops to guard the frontiers and block the passes. Chu, on the other hand, has plunged eight or nine hundred li deep into enemy territory while depending upon its old men and young boys to transport grain a thousand li to keep them fed. Han is holding its position so well and not stirring from its defenses that the Chu army can neither advance and seize their defenses nor fall back in good order. Thus one cannot consider the Chu army to be a force one could rely upon. Even if Chu gains the upper hand over Han for a time, the other feudal lords will all worry about their own safety and rush to rescue Han from peril; Chu's strength is thus merely enough to invite the wrath of all the realm. Thus one can easily perceive that Chu is inferior to Han. Yet you, Great King, would rather stand by Chu, who are on the brink of doom, rather than guarantee your survival by supporting the King of Han. I admit I am very puzzled by that!

"Now I am not arguing that the forces of Jiujiang alone are sufficient for you to destroy Chu. But if you will raise your troops and attack Chu, Great King, then King Xiang will have to respond to your attack. If you could thus keep him occupied for a few months, then Han's conquest of the realm would be assured. Thus I invite you to draw your sword and join the cause of Han. The King of Han would surely carve out some land and make you its king, and of course Jiujiang would be included."

Qing Bu replied, "It shall be as you wish." And he secretly planned to betray Chu and side with Han instead. But he did not yet dare to make this public.

〈李奇曰:版,牆版也;築,杵也。〉〈垂拱者,垂衣拱手也。〉〈徼,循也。凡邊謂之邊徼,蓋使人循徼,機[譏]禁姦非,因以名之。《索隱》曰:徼,謂邊境亭障,以徼繞邊陲,常守之也。乘,登也;登塞垣而守之。〉〈言楚自彭城至滎陽、成皋,中間有梁地間之;彭越時反梁地,是楚之敵國也,故云深入敵國八九百里。〉

(Sui He says that Xiang Yu personally carried the 版築. Li Qi remarked, "The 版 were the wall-slats; the 築 were the pestles."

Sui He was suggesting that in doing nothing to respond to Liu Bang's occupation of Pengcheng, Qing Bu was lowering his sleeves and folding his hands.

Sui He says that Liu Bang had dispersed troops to guard the 徼. This term means "the frontier". Borders are often referred to as "the frontier". So he must have meant that Liu Bang had sent troops to guard the frontier in order to keep out anything unwanted, thus the name. The Suoyin commentary to the Records of the Grand Historian states, "徼 refers to the borders and barriers, the loop of defenses along the borders, places often defended." Sui He also says that the troops will 乘 the passes; 乘 in this case means "to ascend", as in to ascend the walls of the passes and guard them.

By "eight or nine hundred li deep into enemy territory", Sui He refers to the distance between the Chu capital at Pengcheng and the front line with Liu Bang at Xingyang and Chenggao. The space in between those places was the Liang region, which Peng Yue occupied in rebellion against Chu. Thus the whole distance was "enemy territory", which Xiang Yu had marched eight or nine hundred li through.)


九江王稱疾。遣四千人助楚... 何曰。竊見大王之與楚。何也。王曰。寡人北面而臣事之。何曰。大王臣事楚者。以為可託國也。項王伐齊。身自負版築以為士卒先。大王宜悉舉淮南之眾。身為先鋒。乃發四千人以助楚。夫北面而臣事人者。固若是乎。漢王戰於彭城。項王未出齊也。大王宜埽淮南之眾。日夜會戰。今無一人渡淮者。垂拱而觀其孰勝。夫託國於人固若是乎。大王提空名以向楚。而欲厚自託。臣竊危之。夫楚兵雖彊。負不義之名。以其背盟約而殺義帝也。漢王收諸侯之兵。還守成皋滎陽下。獨深溝高壘。分卒守徼乘塞。楚人還兵間行。以梁地深入敵國八九百里。楚欲戰則不得。攻城則力不能。老弱轉輸千里之外。漢堅守不動。進則不得前。退則不得解。楚亦不足恃也。楚勝則諸侯自危懼而相救。夫楚之彊。適足以致天下之兵耳。臣非以淮南之眾。足以亡楚也。今大王舉兵而背攻楚。楚王必留數月。漢之取天下。可以萬全。大王不與萬全之漢。而自託於危亡之楚。臣竊惑之。布陰許之。(Records of Former Han 2, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

During Xiang Yu's campaign against Qi (in 206 BC), Qing Bu claimed illness. He sent four thousand soldiers to help Chu.

At this time, during their meeting, Sui He said to Qing Bu, "If I may be so bold, Great King, what is your relationship with Chu?"

Qing Bu replied, "I face north and serve them as a subject."

Sui He said, "Great King, the reason that you 'face north and serve them as a subject' must be because you entrust them with the future of your state. But I notice that when King Xiang campaigned against Qi, he himself bore the weight of the building materials and led his soldiers from the front. At that time, Great King, you should have led all the forces of Huainan and personally brought them to his aid, acting as the vanguard of the Chu army. Yet you did no more than send four thousand of your soldiers to aid Chu. Is this the way for one who 'faces north and serves as a subject' to act? And again, when the King of Han was fighting at Pengcheng, King Xiang had not yet returned from Qi. At that time, Great King, you ought to have led all the forces of Huainan to attack the King of Han yourself, for you would have been able to reach Pengcheng and attack him in no time at all. Yet you sent not a single man across the Huai River; instead, you folded your hands and watched to see who would be the victor. Is this the way for one to act towards the state that one has entrusted the future of their own state to? Great King, you are making an empty show of submission to Chu while really seeking how best to benefit yourself. But I fear that you will never gain what you seek!

"Though Chu's army may be strong, it has been saddled with an unrighteous reputation, since Chu betrayed Emperor Yi's pact and killed him as well. It is the King of Han who has rallied the support of the feudal lords while falling back to hold Chenggao and Xingyang, deepening his moats and fortifying his ramparts, and dispersing his troops to guard the frontiers and block the passes. Chu, on the other hand, has plunged eight or nine hundred li along back roads of the Liang region and deep into enemy territory. Though they wish to fight, they cannot bring on a battle, and even if they wish to assault Han's defenses, they are not strong enough to take them. All the while, they are depending upon their old men and young boys to transport grain a thousand li to keep them fed. Han is holding its position so well and not stirring from its defenses that the Chu army can neither advance and seize their defenses nor fall back in good order. Thus one cannot consider the Chu army to be a force one could rely upon. Even if Chu gains the upper hand over Han for a time, the other feudal lords will all worry about their own safety and rush to rescue Han from peril; Chu's strength is thus merely enough to invite the attacks of all the realm.

"Now I am not arguing that the forces of Huainan alone are sufficient for you to destroy Chu. But if you will raise your troops and betray and attack Chu, Great King, then King Xiang will have to respond to your attack. If you could thus keep him occupied for a few months, then Han's conquest of the realm would be assured. Yet you, Great King, would rather stand by Chu, who are on the brink of doom, rather than guarantee your survival by supporting the King of Han. I admit I am very puzzled by that!"

Qing Bu secretly agreed to support Han.

王見之。隨何曰:「漢王使臣敬進書大王御者,竊怪大王與楚何親也。」淮南王曰:「寡人北鄉而臣事之。」隨何曰:「大王與項王俱列為諸侯,北鄉而臣事之,必以楚為彊,可以讬國也。項王伐齊,身負板筑,以為士卒先,大王宜悉淮南之眾,身自將之,為楚軍前鋒,今乃發四千人以助楚。夫北面而臣事人者,固若是乎?夫漢王戰於彭城,項王未出齊也,大王宜騷淮南之兵渡淮,日夜會戰彭城下,大王撫萬人之眾,無一人渡淮者,垂拱而觀其孰勝。夫讬國於人者,固若是乎?大王提空名以鄉楚,而欲厚自讬,臣竊為大王不取也。然而大王不背楚者,以漢為弱也。夫楚兵雖彊,天下負之以不義之名,以其背盟約而殺義帝也。然而楚王恃戰勝自彊,漢王收諸侯,還守成皋、滎陽,下蜀、漢之粟,深溝壁壘,分卒守徼乘塞,楚人還兵,閒以梁地,深入敵國八九百里,欲戰則不得,攻城則力不能,老弱轉糧千里之外;楚兵至滎陽、成皋,漢堅守而不動,進則不得攻,退則不得解。故曰楚兵不足恃也。使楚勝漢,則諸侯自危懼而相救。夫楚之彊,適足以致天下之兵耳。故楚不如漢,其勢易見也。今大王不與萬全之漢而自讬於危亡之楚,臣竊為大王惑之。臣非以淮南之兵足以亡楚也。夫大王發兵而倍楚,項王必留;留數月,漢之取天下可以萬全。臣請與大王提劍而歸漢,漢王必裂地而封大王,又況淮南,淮南必大王有也。故漢王敬使使臣進愚計,願大王之留意也。」淮南王曰:「請奉命。」陰許畔楚與漢,未敢泄也。(Records of the Grand Historian 91, Biography of Qing Bu)

Qing Bu agreed to meet with Sui He. Sui He said to him, "The King of Han has sent me to respectfully present you, Great King, with a letter. If I may be so bold, Great King, what is your relationship with Chu?"

Qing Bu replied, "I face north and serve them as a subject."

Sui He said, "Great King, you and King Xiang hold equal titles among the ranks of the feudal lords. So the reason that you 'face north and serve them as a subject' must be because you view Chu as strong and believe they can be entrusted with the future of your state. But I notice that when King Xiang campaigned against Qi, he himself bore the weight of the building materials and led his soldiers from the front. At that time, Great King, you should have led all the forces of Huainan and personally brought them to his aid, acting as the vanguard of the Chu army. Yet you did no more than send four thousand of your soldiers to aid Chu. Is this the way for one who 'faces north and serves as a subject' to act? And again, when the King of Han was fighting at Pengcheng, King Xiang had not yet returned from Qi. At that time, Great King, you ought to have led all the forces of Huainan across the Huai River to attack the King of Han yourself, for you would have been able to reach Pengcheng and attack him in no time at all. Yet you held your ten thousand troops in reserve and did not send a single one of them across the Huai River; instead, you folded your hands and watched to see who between the King of Han and King Xiang would be the victor. Is this the way for one to act towards the state that one has entrusted the future of their own state to? Great King, you are making an empty show of submission to Chu while really seeking how best to benefit yourself. But I fear that you will never gain what you seek.

"Yet you have not yet actively turned against Chu. That must be because you view Han as weak. But I propose that, though Chu's army may be strong, it has been saddled with an unrighteous reputation by all the realm, since Chu betrayed Emperor Yi's pact and killed him as well. And whereas King Xiang rules through sheer might based on his past triumphs, it is the King of Han who has rallied the support of the feudal lords while falling back to hold Chenggao and Xingyang, keeping supplies sent from the regions of Shu and Han, deepening his moats and fortifying his ramparts, and dispersing his troops to guard the frontiers and block the passes. Chu, on the other hand, being obliged to travel through the Liang region, has plunged eight or nine hundred li deep into enemy territory while depending upon its old men and young boys to transport grain a thousand li to keep them fed. Though they seek to force battles, they cannot obtain them; though they try to assault the Han defenses, they are not strong enough to take them. Though they have advanced as far as Xingyang and Chenggao, Han is holding its position so well and not stirring from its defenses that the Chu army can neither advance and seize their defenses nor fall back in good order. Thus one cannot consider the Chu army to be a force one could rely upon. Even if Chu gains the upper hand over Han for a time, the other feudal lords will all worry about their own safety and rush to rescue Han from peril; Chu's strength is thus merely enough to invite the wrath of all the realm. Thus one can easily perceive that Chu is inferior to Han. Yet you, Great King, would rather stand by Chu, who are on the brink of doom, rather than guarantee your survival by supporting the King of Han. I admit I am very puzzled by that.

"Now I am not arguing that the forces of Huainan alone are sufficient for you to destroy Chu. But if you will raise your troops and betray Chu, Great King, then King Xiang will have to respond to your attack. If you could thus keep him occupied for a few months, then Han's conquest of the realm would be assured. Thus I invite you to draw your sword and join the cause of Han. The King of Han would surely carve out some land and make you its king, and of course Huainan would be included. This is why the King of Han has respectfully sent me here to advance my foolish plan to you, hoping that you will agree with his thoughts."

Qing Bu replied, "It shall be as you wish." And he secretly planned to betray Chu and side with Han instead. But he did not yet dare to make this public.

王見之。隨何曰:「漢王使使臣敬進書大王御者,竊怪大王與楚何親也。」淮南王曰:「寡人北鄉而臣事之。」隨何曰:「大王與項王俱列為諸侯,北鄉而臣事之,必以楚為彊,可以託國也。項王伐齊,身負版築,以為士卒先。大王宜悉淮南之眾,身自將,為楚軍前鋒,今乃發四千人以助楚。夫北面而臣事人者,固若是乎?夫漢王戰於彭城,項王未出齊也,大王宜埽淮南之眾,日夜會戰彭城下。今撫萬人之眾,無一人渡淮者,陰拱而觀其孰勝。夫託國於人者,固若是乎?大王提空名以鄉楚,而欲厚自託,臣竊為大王不取也。然大王不背楚者,以漢為弱也。夫楚兵雖彊,天下負之以不義之名,以其背明約而殺義帝也。然而楚王特以戰勝自彊。漢王收諸侯,還守成皋、滎陽,下蜀、漢之粟,深溝壁壘,分卒守徼乘塞。楚人還兵,間以梁地,深入敵國八九百里,欲戰則不得,攻城則力不能,老弱轉糧千里之外。楚兵至滎陽、成皋,漢堅守而不動,進則不得攻,退則不能解,故楚兵不足罷也。使楚兵勝漢,則諸侯自危懼而相救。夫楚之彊,適足以致天下之兵耳。故楚不如漢,其勢易見也。今大王不與萬全之漢,而自託於危亡之楚,臣竊為大王或之。臣非以淮南之兵足以亡楚也。夫大王發兵而背楚,項王必留;留數月,漢之取天下可以萬全。臣請與大王杖劍而歸漢王,漢王必裂地而分大王,又況淮南,必大王有也。故漢王敬使使臣進愚計,願大王之留意也。」淮南王曰:「請奉命。」陰許叛楚與漢,未敢泄。(Book of Han 34, Biography of Qing Bu)

Qing Bu agreed to meet with Sui He. Sui He said to him, "The King of Han has sent me to respectfully present you, Great King, with a letter. If I may be so bold, Great King, what is your relationship with Chu?"

Qing Bu replied, "I face north and serve them as a subject."

Sui He said, "Great King, you and King Xiang hold equal titles among the ranks of the feudal lords. So the reason that you 'face north and serve them as a subject' must be because you view Chu as strong and believe they can be entrusted with the future of your state. But I notice that when King Xiang campaigned against Qi, he himself bore the weight of the building materials and led his soldiers from the front. At that time, Great King, you should have led all the forces of Huainan and personally brought them to his aid, acting as the vanguard of the Chu army. Yet you did no more than send four thousand of your soldiers to aid Chu. Is this the way for one who 'faces north and serves as a subject' to act? And again, when the King of Han was fighting at Pengcheng, King Xiang had not yet returned from Qi. At that time, Great King, you ought to have led all the forces of Huainan across the Huai River to attack the King of Han yourself, for you would have been able to reach Pengcheng and attack him in no time at all. Yet you held your ten thousand troops in reserve and did not send a single one of them across the Huai River; instead, you folded your hands and watched to see who between the King of Han and King Xiang would be the victor. Is this the way for one to act towards the state that one has entrusted the future of their own state to? Great King, you are making an empty show of submission to Chu while really seeking how best to benefit yourself. But I fear that you will never gain what you seek.

"Yet you have not yet actively turned against Chu. That must be because you view Han as weak. But I propose that, though Chu's army may be strong, it has been saddled with an unrighteous reputation by all the realm, since Chu betrayed Emperor Yi's pact and killed him as well. And whereas King Xiang rules through sheer might based on his past triumphs, it is the King of Han who has rallied the support of the feudal lords while falling back to hold Chenggao and Xingyang, keeping supplies sent from the regions of Shu and Han, deepening his moats and fortifying his ramparts, and dispersing his troops to guard the frontiers and block the passes. Chu, on the other hand, being obliged to travel through the Liang region, has plunged eight or nine hundred li deep into enemy territory while depending upon its old men and young boys to transport grain a thousand li to keep them fed. Though they seek to force battles, they cannot obtain them; though they try to assault the Han defenses, they are not strong enough to take them. Though they have advanced as far as Xingyang and Chenggao, Han is holding its position so well and not stirring from its defenses that the Chu army can neither advance and seize their defenses nor fall back in good order. Thus one cannot consider the Chu army to be a force one could rely upon. Even if Chu gains the upper hand over Han for a time, the other feudal lords will all worry about their own safety and rush to rescue Han from peril; Chu's strength is thus merely enough to invite the wrath of all the realm. Thus one can easily perceive that Chu is inferior to Han. Yet you, Great King, would rather stand by Chu, who are on the brink of doom, rather than guarantee your survival by supporting the King of Han. I admit I am very puzzled by that.

"Now I am not arguing that the forces of Huainan alone are sufficient for you to destroy Chu. But if you will raise your troops and betray Chu, Great King, then King Xiang will have to respond to your attack. If you could thus keep him occupied for a few months, then Han's conquest of the realm would be assured. Thus I invite you to draw your sword and join the cause of Han. The King of Han would surely carve out some land and make you its king, and of course Huainan would be included. This is why the King of Han has respectfully sent me here to advance my foolish plan to you, hoping that you will agree with his thoughts."

Qing Bu replied, "It shall be as you wish." And he secretly planned to betray Chu and side with Han instead. But he did not yet dare to make this public.


楚使者在九江,舍傳舍,方急責布發兵。隨何直入,坐楚使者上,曰:「九江王已歸漢,楚何以得發兵?」布愕然。楚使者起。何因說布曰:「事已構,可遂殺楚使者,無使歸,而疾走漢幷力。」布曰:「如使者敎。」於是殺楚使者,因起兵而攻楚。

11. There happened to be an envoy from Chu at Jiujiang as well, staying in a lodging house. He was reprimanding Qing Bu for having failed to send soldiers to support Chu. But then Sui He entered, took the seat above the Chu envoy, and declared, "The King of Jiujiang has already decided to support Han! How could he send any troops to Chu?"

Qing Bu was astonished. The Chu envoy got up to leave. But Sui He advised Qing Bu, "There is no going back now. You ought to kill this Chu envoy rather than let him return. Then hurry to combine your strength with that of Han."

Qing Bu replied, "I'll do as you instruct." So he killed the Chu envoy, then raised his troops to attack Chu.

〈傳舍,客舍也;前客舍之而去,後客復來舍之,傳相受也,故謂之傳舍。〉〈師古曰:構,結也;言背楚之事已結成也。〉

(A lodging house was a guest house; once the first guest had left, another guest could reside in it afterwards, so it often changed hands, thus the name.

Sui He tells Qing Bu that "the affair is already 構". Yan Shigu remarked, "構 means 'bound together'; he means that Qing Bu's betrayal of Chu has already been decided.")


會楚使至。方急責布發兵。何直入曰。九江王已歸漢。楚何得以令發兵。布甚愕。何因令布殺使者而起兵。(Records of Former Han 2, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

There happened to be an envoy from Chu at Jiujiang as well. He was fiercely reprimanding Qing Bu for having failed to send soldiers to support Chu. But then Sui He walked right in and declared, "The King of Jiujiang has already decided to support Han! How could Chu compel him to send any troops?"

Qing Bu was greatly astonished. Sui He then ordered Qing Bu to kill the Chu envoy and raise his troops to attack Chu.

楚使者在,方急責英布發兵,舍傳舍。隨何直入,坐楚使者上坐,曰:「九江王已歸漢,楚何以得發兵?」布愕然。楚使者起。何因說布曰:「事已搆,可遂殺楚使者,無使歸,而疾走漢并力。」布曰:「如使者教,因起兵而擊之耳。」於是殺使者,因起兵而攻楚。(Records of the Grand Historian 91, Biography of Qing Bu)

There happened to be an envoy from Chu at Jiujiang as well, staying in a lodging house. He was reprimanding Qing Bu for having failed to send soldiers to support Chu. But then Sui He entered, took the seat above the Chu envoy, and declared, "The King of Jiujiang has already decided to support Han! How could he send any troops to Chu?"

Qing Bu was astonished. The Chu envoy got up to leave. But Sui He advised Qing Bu, "There is no going back now. You ought to kill this Chu envoy rather than let him return. Then hurry to combine your strength with that of Han."

Qing Bu replied, "I'll do as you instruct; I can only raise my troops and attack them." So he killed the Chu envoy, then raised his troops to attack Chu.

楚使者在,方急責布發兵,隨何直入曰:「九江王已歸漢,楚何以得發兵!」布愕然。楚使者起,何因說布曰:「事已搆,獨可遂殺楚使,毋使歸,而疾走漢并力。」布曰:「如使者教。」因起兵而攻楚。(Book of Han 34, Biography of Qing Bu)

There happened to be an envoy from Chu at Jiujiang as well. He was reprimanding Qing Bu for having failed to send soldiers to support Chu. But then Sui He entered and declared, "The King of Jiujiang has already decided to support Han! How could he send any troops to Chu?"

Qing Bu was astonished. The Chu envoy got up to leave. But Sui He advised Qing Bu, "There is no going back now. You ought to kill this Chu envoy rather than let him return. Then hurry to combine your strength with that of Han."

Qing Bu replied, "I'll do as you instruct." So he raised his troops to attack Chu.


楚使項聲、龍且攻九江,數月,龍且破九江軍。布欲引兵走漢,恐楚兵殺之,乃間行與何俱歸漢。十二月,九江王至漢。漢王方踞床洗足,召布入見。布大怒,悔來,欲自殺;及出就舍,帳御、飲食、從官皆如漢王居,布又大喜過望。於是乃使人入九江;楚已使項伯收九江兵,盡殺布妻子。布使者頗得故人、幸臣,將衆數千人歸漢。漢益九江王兵,與俱屯成皋。

12. Chu sent Xiang Sheng and Long Ju to attack Jiujiang. After several months, Long Ju was able to rout the Jiujiang army. Qing Bu wanted to lead his remaining soldiers to flee to Han, but afraid that the Chu soldiers would kill him, he fled with just Sui He along back roads to reach Han.

In the twelfth month (of 205 BC), Qing Bu arrived in Han territory. Liu Bang summoned Qing Bu to come see him, and Qing Bu found him sitting on the edge of a bed while having his feet washed. Furious to be received this way, Qing Bu regretted having come to Han, and even planned to kill himself. But when he went to see his own lodgings, he discovered that the curtains and canopies, the food and drink, and the servants and officials were all equal to those in Liu Bang's lodgings. This greatly pleased Qing Bu, for it was more than he had expected to receive.

Qing Bu sent agents to go back to Jiujiang for him. But his agents discovered that Xiang Bo had already gathered up the remaining Jiujiang soldiers and had killed Qing Bu's wife and children. The agents were only able to assemble some of Qing Bu's former followers and favored servants and lead a few thousand people to return to Han.

Liu Bang assigned Qing Bu some extra soldiers, and the two of them camped at Chenggao.

〈且,子余翻。龍,姓;且,名。〉〈師古曰:高帝以布先久爲王,恐其意自尊大,故峻其禮,令布折服;已而美其帷帳,厚其飲食,多其從官,以悅其心。此權道也。〉

(Long Ju's given name 且 is pronounced "zu (z-u)". Long was his surname, Ju his given name.

Regarding Qing Bu's treatment in Han, Yan Shigu remarked, "Liu Bang was worried that, since Qing Bu had been a king for some time, he might think too highly of himself while serving under Liu Bang. So he received him with a rough reception in order to curb his spirit and make him more submissive. However, he also granted Qing Bu beautiful curtains and canopies, sent him generous food and drink, and assigned him many servants and officials in order to gladden Qing Bu's heart. This was a method to build influence over Qing Bu.")


漢三年
十二月
布身降漢,地屬項籍。(Records of the Grand Historian 16, Monthly Timeline of the Chu-Han Contention)

In the third year of Liu Bang's reign (204 BC), in the twelfth month (of 205 BC), Qing Bu personally surrendered to Han, while his domain fell under the control of Xiang Yu.

項羽使龍且擊淮南而身攻下邑... 十二月。九江王布及隨何至。布為楚所攻敗。故間行而來。王拒楚於成皋。(Records of Former Han 2, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

Xiang Yu sent Long Ju to attack Huainan, while he himself attacked Xiayi.

In the twelfth month (of 205 BC), Qing Bu and Sui He arrived back in Han. Qing Bu had been attacked and defeated by Chu, thus he had fled to Han along back roads.

Liu Bang opposed Chu at Chenggao.

楚使項聲、龍且攻淮南,項王留而攻下邑。數月,龍且擊淮南,破布軍。布欲引兵走漢,恐楚王殺之,故閒行與何俱歸漢。淮南王至,上方踞床洗,召布入見,布(甚)大怒,悔來,欲自殺。出就舍,帳御飲食從官如漢王居,布又大喜過望。於是乃使人入九江。楚已使項伯收九江兵,盡殺布妻子。布使者頗得故人幸臣,將眾數千人歸漢。漢益分布兵而與俱北,收兵至成皋。(Records of the Grand Historian 91, Biography of Qing Bu)

Chu sent Xiang Sheng and Long Ju to attack Huainan, while Xiang Yu stayed behind to attack Xiayi. After several months, Long Ju attacked Huainan and routed the Huainan army. Qing Bu wanted to lead his remaining soldiers to flee to Han, but afraid that Xiang Yu would kill him, he fled with just Sui He along back roads to reach Han.

When Qing Bu arrived in Han territory, Liu Bang summoned him. Qing Bu found Liu Bang sitting on the edge of a bed while having his feet washed. Furious to be received this way, Qing Bu regretted having come to Han, and even planned to kill himself. But when he went to see his own lodgings, he discovered that the curtains and canopies, the food and drink, and the servants and officials were all equal to those in Liu Bang's lodgings. This greatly pleased Qing Bu, for it was more than he had expected to receive.

Qing Bu sent agents to go back to Jiujiang for him. But his agents discovered that Xiang Bo had already gathered up the remaining Jiujiang soldiers and had killed Qing Bu's wife and children. The agents were only able to assemble some of Qing Bu's former followers and favored servants and lead a few thousand people to return to Han.

Liu Bang assigned Qing Bu some extra soldiers, and the two of them marched north, where they gathered more soldiers at Chenggao.

楚使項聲、龍且攻淮南,項王留而攻下邑。數月,龍且攻淮南,破布軍。布欲引兵走漢,恐項王擊之,故間行與隨何俱歸漢。至,漢王方踞床洗,而召布入見。布大怒,悔來,欲自殺。出就舍,張御食飲從官如漢王居,布又大喜過望。於是乃使人之九江。楚已使項伯收九江兵,盡殺布妻子。布使者頗得故人幸臣,將眾數千人歸漢。漢益分布兵而與俱北,收兵至成皋。(Book of Han 34, Biography of Qing Bu)

Chu sent Xiang Sheng and Long Ju to attack Huainan, while Xiang Yu stayed behind to attack Xiayi. After several months, Long Ju attacked Huainan and routed Qing Bu's army. Qing Bu wanted to lead his remaining soldiers to flee to Han, but afraid that Xiang Yu would attack him, he fled with just Sui He along back roads to reach Han.

When Qing Bu arrived in Han territory, Liu Bang summoned him. When he came in, Qing Bu found Liu Bang sitting on the edge of a bed while having his feet washed. Furious to be received this way, Qing Bu regretted having come to Han, and even planned to kill himself. But when he went to see his own lodgings, he discovered that the curtains and canopies, the food and drink, and the servants and officials were all equal to those in Liu Bang's lodgings. This greatly pleased Qing Bu, for it was more than he had expected to receive.

Qing Bu sent agents to go back to Jiujiang for him. But his agents discovered that Xiang Bo had already gathered up the remaining Jiujiang soldiers and had killed Qing Bu's wife and children. The agents were only able to assemble some of Qing Bu's former followers and favored servants and lead a few thousand people to return to Han.

Liu Bang assigned Qing Bu some extra soldiers, and the two of them marched north, where they gathered more soldiers at Chenggao.


楚數侵奪漢甬道,漢軍乏食。漢王與酈食其謀橈楚權。食其曰:「昔湯伐桀,封其後於杞;武王伐紂,封其後於宋。今秦失德棄義,侵伐諸侯,滅其社稷,使無立錐之地。陛下誠能復立六國之後,此其君臣、百姓必皆戴陛下之德,莫不嚮風慕義,願爲臣妾。德義已行,陛下南鄕稱霸,楚必斂袵而朝。」漢王曰:「善!趣刻印,先生因行佩之矣。」

13. It was earlier mentioned that Liu Bang had built a sheltered road from his frontline position down to the Yellow River in order to protect his supply line. But by now, the Chu army had launched several raids against the road, and the Han army was suffering from hunger and fatigue. Liu Bang thus plotted with Li Yiji on ways to weaken Chu's influence.

Li Yiji advised him, "In ancient times, although Tang of Shang conquered Jie of Xia, he still went so far as to grant noble title to Jie's descendants at Ji. Likewise, although King Wu of Zhou conquered King Zhou of Shang, he too granted King Zhou's descendants a noble title at Song. On the other hand, it was a sign of Qin's lack of virtue and abandonment of righteousness that, after they had conquered all the feudal lords, they snuffed out their altars of state and left their descendants no land to call their own. Thus I implore Your Majesty to restore the scions of the Six States to their former titles. By doing so, these rulers, their servants, and all the people will praise Your Majesty for your virtue, and every one of them will heed your supremacy and serve your cause, eager to be your subjects. Once your virtue and righteousness are thus established, Your Majesty may face south and claim the role of Hegemon over the other states, and even Chu will have no choice but to straighten their lapels and join your court."

Liu Bang replied, "Excellent! Let's carve these seals of state at once, and I will give them to you to distribute."

〈橈,弱也;其字從「木」。〉〈袵,衣襟也。〉〈言將使食其行使六國,授之以印而使佩之。〉

(The term 橈 here means "to weaken"; it follows its 木 "wood" radical.

The lapels are the front of a garment.

Liu Bang was saying that he would have Li Yiji travel through the former Six States and present them with the new seals to wear.)


與酈食其謀撓楚權。食其曰。昔湯伐桀。封其後于杞。武王伐殷。封其後于宋。秦滅六國。使無立錐之地。大王誠復六國之後。彼皆戴仰大王德義。願為大王臣妾。德義已行。南面稱伯。楚必斂衽而朝。王曰善。趨刻印。(Records of Former Han 2, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

Liu Bang plotted with Li Yiji on ways to weaken Chu's influence.

Li Yiji advised him, "In ancient times, although Tang of Shang conquered Jie of Xia, he still went so far as to grant noble title to Jie's descendants at Ji. Likewise, although King Wu of Zhou conquered King Zhou of Shang, he too granted King Zhou's descendants a noble title at Song. On the other hand, after Qin had conquered the Six States, they left their descendants no land to call their own. Thus I implore Your Majesty to restore the scions of the Six States to their former titles. By doing so, they will all praise Your Majesty for your virtue and righteousness, and they will be eager to be your subjects. Once your virtue and righteousness are thus established, Your Majesty may face south and claim the role of Lord over the other states, and even Chu will have no choice but to straighten their lapels and join your court."

Liu Bang replied, "Excellent. Let's carve these seals of state at once."


食其未行,張良從外來謁。漢王方食,曰:「子房前!客有爲我計橈楚權者,」具以酈生語告良,曰:「何如?」良曰:「誰爲陛下畫此計者?陛下事去矣!」漢王曰:「何哉?」對曰:「臣請借前箸,爲大王籌之,昔湯、武封桀、紂之後者,度能制其死生之命也;今陛下能制項籍之死命乎?其不可一也。武王入殷,表商容之閭,釋箕子之囚,封比干之墓;今陛下能乎?其不可二也。發巨橋之粟,散鹿臺之錢,以賜貧窮;今陛下能乎?其不可三也。殷事已畢,偃革爲軒,倒載干戈,示天下不復用兵;今陛下能乎?其不可四也。休馬華山之陽,示以無爲;今陛下能乎?其不可五也。放牛桃林之陰,以示不復輸積;今陛下能乎?其不可六也。天下游士,離其親戚,棄墳墓,去故舊,從陛下游者,徒欲日夜望咫尺之地。今復立六國之後,天下游士各歸事其主,從其親戚,反其故舊、墳墓,陛下誰與取天下乎?其不可七也。且夫楚唯無強,六國立者復橈而從之,陛下焉得而臣之?其不可八也。誠用客之謀,陛下事去矣!」漢王輟食,吐哺,罵曰:「豎儒幾敗而公事!」令趣銷印。

14. Li Yiji had not yet set out on his new mission before Zhang Liang arrived from afar and came to pay his respects to Liu Bang, who was in the middle of eating. Liu Bang said, "Zifang! Come and see! My friend has just devised a plan for me to weaken Chu's influence." And he explained Li Yiji's strategy to Zhang Liang, then asked, "What do you think?"

Zhang Liang cried, "Who has made this strategy for Your Majesty? Your Majesty's enterprise will fail!"

Liu Bang asked, "How so?"

Zhang Liang replied, "Allow me to borrow your chopsticks to illustrate my objections, Great King.

"It is true that in ancient times, Tang of Shang and King Wu of Zhou did grant noble fiefs to the descendants of Jie of Xia and King Zhou of Shang. But the reason they were able to do this is that, having just conquered the dynasties of the fathers, they held the power of life and death over the sons and grandsons. Does Your Majesty likewise hold Xiang Ji's life in your hands? That is my first objection.

"After King Wu of Zhou defeated King Zhou of Shang and entered the capital of Yin (Shang), he displayed his appreciation for King Zhou's outstanding ministers: he exalted Shang Rong's village, freed the Viscount of Ji from prison, and built a proper mound over the tomb of Bi Gan. Is Your Majesty likewise in a position to show magnanimity to the subjects of your enemy? That is my second objection.

"Having conquered Shang, King Wu gave away the stored grain of Juqiao and distributed the collected funds of Lutai, granting them to the poor and needy. Is Your Majesty likewise able to make such a show of generosity? That is my third objection.

"Since his enemy had already been defeated, King Wu exchanged his war carts for carriages and laid aside his halberds and dagger-axes, to demonstrate to the realm that he would have no further resort to violence. Is Your Majesty likewise in a position to put aside your sword? That is my fourth objection.

"King Wu set his horses to roam free south of Mount Hua, to show that he no longer needed them for war. Can Your Majesty likewise do without your horses? That is my fifth objection.

"King Wu even released his draft oxen north of Taolin, as a display that he no longer needed them to pull carts of supplies. Can Your Majesty likewise dispense with your draft oxen? That is my sixth objection.

"Turning from the ancient to the modern, Your Majesty ought to consider your own followers. They are wanderers of the realm who have put aside their old family ties and abandoned their homelands and the tombs of their ancestors to follow Your Majesty. They chose to do so because they are hoping, day and night, that you will someday award them with a few inches of land to call their own. But if you establish the scions of the fallen Six States, then all these wanderers will feel obliged to return to the service of their original masters, rejoin their families, and head back to their homelands and ancestral tombs again. Once that happens, who would be left to help Your Majesty claim the realm? That is my seventh objection.

"Furthermore, since you are still not stronger than Chu is, the very scions that you empower will only turn around and support Chu against you. Then how would any of them be your subjects? That is my eight objection.

“That is why, if you follow your friend's plan, Your Majesty's enterprise will fail!"

Liu Bang stopped eating and spat out his food. He swore, "That rotten pedant nearly ruined me!" And he ordered the seals to be melted down.

〈子房,張良字也。〉〈時漢王方食,故良言願借食前之箸,就用指畫。鄭玄曰:今人或謂箸爲挾提。〉〈商容,殷賢人。里門曰閭。表,顯異也。紂囚箕子,殺比干;武王克殷,釋箕子囚,封比干墓。《韓詩外傳》曰:商容執羽龠,馮於馬徒,欲以化紂而不能,遂去,伏於太行山。武王欲以爲三公,辭而不受。鄭玄曰:商家樂官,知禮容,所以禮署稱容臺。〉〈服虔曰:巨橋,倉名。許愼曰:鉅鹿之大橋有漕粟。杜佑曰:鉅橋倉在今廣平郡曲周縣。臣瓚曰:鹿臺今在朝歌城中;劉向曰:其大三里,高千尺。〉〈蘇林曰:革者,兵車也;軒者,朱軒、皮軒也;謂廢兵車而用乘車也。《說文》曰:軒,曲周屛車。如淳曰:革者,革車也;軒者,赤黻乘軒也;偃武備而治禮樂也。〉〈晉灼曰:桃林在弘農閺鄕南谷中。《山海經》曰:夸父之山,北有林焉,名曰桃林,廣圍三百里。《十三州記》:弘農有桃丘聚,卽桃林也。師古曰:桃林山谷在閺鄕縣東南,西南去湖城縣三十五里。〉〈服虔曰:惟當使楚無強,強則六國弱而從之。晉灼曰:當今惟楚大,無有強之者;若復立六國,六國皆橈而從之,陛下安得而臣之乎!〉〈哺,食在口中者。〉〈而,汝也。公,尊稱也。高祖嫚罵人,率曰「而公」、「乃公」,蓋自尊辭。〉

(Zifang was Zhang Liang's style name.

Since Liu Bang was in the middle of eating, Zhang Liang said he wished to borrow his chopsticks in order to illustrate his objections. Zheng Xuan remarked, "Some people today call chopsticks 'pressing sticks'."

Shang Rong was a worthy servant of the Yin (Shang) dynasty. The term 閭 means his ancestral village. And 表 means "to exalt the differences". As for the Viscount of Ji and Bi Gan, King Zhou of Shang had imprisoned the Viscount and killed Bi Gan. So when King Wu of Zhou entered Yin, he freed the Viscount and built a mound over Bi Gan's tomb. The Outer Traditions of the Poems of Hann states, "Shang Rong, grasping a feather flute and leaning on a horse, wanted to reform King Zhou of Shang, but could not. So he left, and lived in hiding at Mount Taixing. King Wu of Zhou later wanted to employ Shang Rong as one of his Three Excellencies, but Shang Rong declined and would not accept." Zheng Xuan remarked, "Shang Rong's family had been in charge of the musical rites, and he was aware of the proper forms and ways, for which he was commended."

Fu Qian remarked, "Juqiao was the name of a granary." Xu Shen remarked, "Juqiao ('Giant Bridge') was a large bridge at Julu where grain was shipped." Du You remarked, "The Juqiao granary was in Quzhou county in modern Guangping commandary."

Chen Zan remarked, "Lutai was within the modern city of Zhaoge." Liu Xiang remarked, "It was three li in size and a thousand chi tall."

Zhang Liang says that King Wu of Zhou exchanged his 革 for 軒. Su Lin remarked, "革s are war carts, while 軒 are crimson or leather carriages; it means that King Wu was giving up his war carts in exchange for normal carriages." The Shuowen dictionary states, "軒s are curtains that hang down around the sides of the carriage." Ru Chun remarked, "革 means battle carts, while 軒 are red silk hanging around a carriage. King Wu was putting aside war preparations in favor of the ornamentation of a ruler."

Jin Zhuo remarked, "Taolin is in the southern valleys of Wenxiang in Hongnong commandary." The Classic of Mountains and Seas states, "North of Mount Kuafu is a forest, called Taolin, which is three hundred li wide all around." The Records of the Thirteen Provinces states, "There is a Taoqiu Gathering Place in Hongnong commandary; this was the same place as Taolin." Yan Shigu remarked, "The valley at Mount Taolin was southeast of Wenxiang county. Thirty-five li to its southwest was Hucheng county."

In describing how the scions would react to Chu's strength, Zhang Liang uses the phrase 夫楚唯無強. Fu Qian remarked, "He meant that this was putting aside how strong Chu was; Chu was so strong that the scions, weak as they were, would support it instead." Jin Zhuo remarked, "He was saying that only Chu was strong at that time, with no one able to surpass them in strength; if Liu Bang empowered the scions of the Six States, they would simply turn against him and side with Chu instead, and then 'How would Your Majesty have them as subjects?'"

Liu Bang spat out his 哺; this means "food in the mouth".

Liu Bang refers to himself using the term 而公. 而 means "you", and 公 is a term of honor. But whenever Liu Bang was scorning or reprimanding others, he kept referring to himself as 而公 or 乃公. So he must have been using it as a term of honor for himself.)


未行。張子房至。王以問之。良曰。大事去矣。漢王方食。良曰。臣請借前箸以籌之。昔湯武封桀紂之後者。度能制其死命也。今大王能制項籍之死命乎。其不可一矣。武王入殷。表商容之閭。釋箕子之囚。封比干之墓。今大王能乎。其不可二矣。發鉅橋之粟。散鹿臺之財。以賑貧窮。今大王能乎。其不可三矣。偃革為軒。倒戢干戈。示不復用武。今大王能乎。其不可四矣。休馬華山之陽。示無所為。今大王能乎。其不可五矣。息牛桃林之埜。示天下不復輸積。今大王能乎。其不可六矣。天下游士。離親戚捐墳墓。去故舊。從大王遊者。日夜望尺寸之地。今乃立六國後。遊士各歸事其主。從親戚及故舊。大王誰與取天下乎。其不可七矣。且楚唯無彊。六國復撓而從之。大王安得復臣之哉。其不可八矣。誠用此計。大事去矣。漢王輟食吐哺。罵酈生曰。豎儒幾敗乃公事。令趨銷印。(Records of Former Han 2, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

Li Yiji had not yet set out on his new mission before Zhang Zifang (Zhang Liang) arrived. Liu Bang asked him what he thought of the idea.

Zhang Liang cried, "Your great enterprise will fail!" Since Liu Bang was in the middle of eating, Zhang Liang continued, "Allow me to borrow your chopsticks to illustrate my objections.

"It is true that in ancient times, Tang of Shang and King Wu of Zhou did grant noble fiefs to the descendants of Jie of Xia and King Zhou of Shang. But the reason they were able to do this is that, having just conquered the dynasties of the fathers, they held the power of life and death over the sons and grandsons. Does Your Majesty likewise hold Xiang Ji's life in your hands? That is my first objection.

"After King Wu of Zhou defeated King Zhou of Shang and entered the capital of Yin (Shang), he displayed his appreciation for King Zhou's outstanding ministers: he exalted Shang Rong's village, freed the Viscount of Ji from prison, and built a proper mound over the tomb of Bi Gan. Is Your Majesty likewise in a position to show magnanimity to the subjects of your enemy? That is my second objection.

"Having conquered Shang, King Wu gave away the stored grain of Juqiao and distributed the collected funds of Lutai, granting them to the poor and needy. Is Your Majesty likewise able to make such a show of generosity? That is my third objection.

"Since his enemy had already been defeated, King Wu exchanged his war carts for carriages and laid aside his halberds and dagger-axes, to demonstrate to the realm that he would have no further resort to violence. Is Your Majesty likewise in a position to put aside your sword? That is my fourth objection.

"King Wu set his horses to roam free south of Mount Hua, to show that he no longer needed them for war. Can Your Majesty likewise do without your horses? That is my fifth objection.

"King Wu even released his draft oxen in the wilds of Taolin, as a display that he no longer needed them to pull carts of supplies. Can Your Majesty likewise dispense with your draft oxen? That is my sixth objection.

"Turning from the ancient to the modern, Your Majesty ought to consider your own followers. They are wanderers of the realm who have put aside their old family ties and abandoned their homelands and the tombs of their ancestors to follow Your Majesty. They chose to do so because they are hoping, day and night, that you will someday award them with a few inches of land to call their own. But if you establish the scions of the fallen Six States, then all these wanderers will feel obliged to return to the service of their original masters, rejoin their families, and head back to their homelands and ancestral tombs again. Once that happens, who would be left to help Your Majesty claim the realm? That is my seventh objection.

"Furthermore, since you are still not stronger than Chu is, the very scions that you empower will only turn around and support Chu against you. Then how would any of them be your subjects? That is my eight objection.

“That is why, if you follow this plan, your great enterprise will fail."

Liu Bang stopped eating and spat out his food. He swore at Li Yiji, "Rotten pedant, you have nearly ruined me!" And he ordered the seals to be melted down.


荀悅論曰:夫立策決勝之術,其要有三:一曰形,二曰勢,三曰情。形者,言其大體得失之數也;勢者,言其臨時之宜、進退之機也;情者,言其心志可否之實也。故策同、事等而功殊者,三術不同也。初,張耳、陳餘說陳涉以復六國,自爲樹黨;酈生亦說漢王。所以說者同而得失異者,陳涉之起,天下皆欲亡秦;而楚、漢之分未有所定,今天下未必欲亡項也。故立六國,於陳涉,所謂多己之黨而益秦之敵也;且陳涉未能專天下之地也,所謂取非其有以與於人,行虛惠而獲實福也。立六國,於漢王,所謂割己之有而以資敵,設虛名而受實禍也。此同事而異形者也。及宋義待秦、趙之斃,與昔卞莊刺虎同說者也。施之戰國之時,鄰國相攻,無臨時之急,則可也。戰國之立,其日久矣,一戰勝敗,未必以存亡也;其勢非能急於亡敵國也,進乘利,退自保,故累力待時,乘敵之斃,其勢然也。今楚、趙所起,其與秦勢不並立,安危之機,呼吸成變,進則定功,退則受禍。此同事而異勢者也。伐趙之役,韓信軍於泜水之上而趙不能敗。彭城之難,漢王戰于睢水之上,士卒皆赴入睢水而楚兵大勝,何則?趙兵出國迎戰,見可而進,知難而退,懷內顧之心,無出死之計;韓信軍孤在水上,士卒必死,無有二心,此信之所以勝也。漢王深入敵國,置酒高會,士卒逸豫,戰心不固;楚以強大之威而喪其國都,士卒皆有憤激之氣,救敗赴亡之急,以決一旦之命,此漢之所以敗也。且韓信選精兵以守,而趙以內顧之士攻之;項羽選精兵以攻,而漢以怠惰之卒應之。此同事而異情者也。故曰:權不可豫設,變不可先圖;與時遷移,應物變化,設策之機也。

15. In his Records of Former Han, the Later Han historian Xun Yue remarked: Those who would offer strategies for victory must keep three factors in mind: shape, nature, and spirit. By shape, I mean the general advantages and disadvantages of a given situation. By nature, I mean the trends of the time which determine the possible opportunities and responses. By spirit, I mean the feelings and will of the people involved and whether or not their determination can be fulfilled. When the same strategies or the same battle plans produce different results at different times, it is because of the differences in these factors.

Earlier, Zhang Er and Chen Yu had advised Chen Sheng to empower the heirs of the Six States. Later, Li Yiji offered the same advice to the King of Han. Their advice was the same. But the advantages and disadvantages of their advice were different because of the different shape of circumstances. When Chen Sheng rose in rebellion, the whole realm was united for one purpose: to destroy Qin. But during the war between Chu and Han, it was not necessarily the universal wish of every person to destroy Xiang Yu. Thus, for Chen Sheng, following the advice of restoring the Six States would have resulted in giving him many new allies and giving Qin many new enemies. Furthermore, since the amount of territory that Chen Sheng directly controlled was small, in empowering the scions of the Six States he would be giving them territory which he did not actually control in the first place, so this would entail no loss to him. For the cost of an empty display of kindness, he would reap real benefits from the support of the restored lords. But the situation was different for the King of Han. He would have had to give up some of his actual territory if he were going to grant it to the restored scions, and the result of that would have only increased the number of enemies arrayed against him. He would have brought misfortune down upon himself, merely to claim an empty reputation. Such is an example of the factor of shape bringing about different results.

When the Chu general Song Yi declared that he would wait for Qin and Zhao to exhaust one another and then wield power over both, this was only the same strategy that Bian Zhuang had used to kill the two tigers. It would not have been out of place during the Warring States era. The nature of that era was such that all the states fought constantly against their neighbors, and there was ebb and flow between the various powers. In those days, one could await better opportunities, for the result of a single battle did not determine the fate of states. The nature of the era did not allow for easy conquest; the victor of a battle might claim the advantage for a time, but the loser could still withdraw, marshal their strength, and await another opportunity. Thus one could naturally conceive of taking advantage of two exhausted rivals. But by Song Yi's time, the nature of affairs had changed. Chu and Zhao had been newly restored, and their war against Qin was not like the old days. It was a crisis point, where a single shout would determine the life or death of either side; the victor would seal their conquest, while the loser must resign themselves to destruction. Thus the same strategy, affected by the factor of nature, would produce different outcomes.

During his campaign against Zhao, Han Xin posted his troops with their backs to the Zhi River, and the Zhao army was unable to defeat them. Yet earlier, during the battle of Pengcheng, the King of Han's soldiers fought up against the Sui River, but in the end they threw themselves into the river and the Chu army won a great victory. Why the different outcome? Because in the first case, the Zhao soldiers were coming out of their state to meet Han Xin in battle, and they knew that although they could advance if the opportunity presented itself, they could also retreat if things became difficult. They harbored a desire to look after themselves, and had no intention of going to their deaths. Han Xin's army, cut off at the river's edge, knew that only death awaited them if they were defeated, so they were not of two hearts. This was why Han Xin's army triumphed. But as for Pengcheng, the King of Han had led his soldiers deep into an enemy state and then held a feast for them; his officers and soldiers became slack and complacent, and they were not firm in their determination to fight. The Chu soldiers, on the other hand, knew that despite being from the stronger state, they had lost their capital to the enemy. So they were filled with indignation and a desire to redeem their shame, as well as save their state from danger, through winning a quick and decisive morning's victory. This was why the King of Han was defeated. Furthermore, Han Xin selected elite troops to hold his position while the Zhao army used soldiers thinking only of home to attack him, and Xiang Yu selected elite troops to attack Pengcheng while the King of Han used complacent soldiers to receive him. Thus the same battle plan produced different outcomes, because of the factor of spirit.

Thus it is said: One cannot easily determine the advantage ahead of time or plan without considering developments. One must shift and change with the times and adapt according to the situation, crafting their plans according to opportunities.

〈事見七卷秦二世元年。〉〈事見八卷秦二世三年。〉〈卞莊子刺虎。管豎子止之曰:「兩虎方食牛,牛甘必爭鬬,則大者傷,小者亡;從傷而刺,一舉必有兩獲。」莊子然之,果獲二虎。〉〈事見上卷三年。〉〈事見上卷二年。〉

(Zhang Er's and Chen Yu's advice to Chen Sheng is mentioned in Book 7, in the first year of the reign of the Second Emperor of Qin (-209.7).

Song Yi's strategy is mentioned in Book 8, in the third year of the reign of the Second Emperor of Qin (-207.3).

Bian Zhuangzi was going to kill a tiger. But Guan Shuzi stopped him and said, "There are two tigers eating a cow right now. The cow's meat is so delicious that the two tigers are fighting over it. The smaller one will be killed, but the larger one will still be wounded from the fight. You should wait for the fight to end, then follow the wounded one and kill it. Thus with one act, you will claim both tigers." Bian Zhuangzi agreed, and indeed he got both tigers.)

Han Xin's battle of Jingxing is mentioned above, in the third year of Liu Bang's reign (-204.3-4).

The battle of Pengcheng, where Xiang Yu routed Liu Bang, is mentioned in Book 9, in the second year of Liu Bang's reign (-205.16-17).)


荀悅曰。夫立策決勝之術。其要有三。一曰形。二曰勢。三曰情。形者言其大體得失之數也。勢者言其臨時之宜也。進退之機也。情者言其心志可否之意也。故策同事等而功殊者何。三術不同也。初。張耳陳餘說陳涉以復六國。自為樹黨。酈生亦說漢王。所以說者同。而得失異者。陳涉之起也。天下皆欲亡秦。而楚漢之分。未有所定。時天下未必欲亡項也。且項羽率從六國。攻滅彊秦之時勢則不能矣。故立六國於陳涉。所謂多己之黨。而益秦之敵也。且陳涉未能專天下之地也。所謂取非其有以與人行虛惠而獲實福也。立六國于漢王。所謂割己之有以資敵。設虛名而受實禍也。此同事而異形也。及宋義待秦趙之斃。與昔卞莊刺虎同說者也。施之戰國之時。鄰國相攻。無臨時之急。則可也。戰國之立。其日久矣。一戰勝敗。未必以存亡也。其勢非能急於亡敵國也。進乘利。退自保。故累力待時。乘敵之斃。其勢然也。今楚趙所起。其與秦勢不並立。安危之機。呼吸成變。進則成功。退則受禍。此同事而異勢者也。伐趙之役。韓信軍于泜水之上。而趙不能敗。彭城之難。漢王戰于濉水之上。士卒皆赴入濉水。而楚兵大勝。何則。趙兵出國迎戰。見可而進。知難而退。懷內顧之心。無必死之計。韓信軍孤在水上。士卒必死。無有二心。此信之所以勝也。漢王深入敵國。飲酒高會。士卒逸豫。戰心不固。楚以彊大之威。而喪其國都。項羽自外而入。士卒皆有憤激之氣。救敗赴亡之急。以決一旦之命。此漢之所以敗也。且韓信選精兵以守。而趙以內顧之士攻之。項羽選精兵以攻。而漢以怠惰之卒應之。此同事而異情者也。故曰權不可預設。變不可先圖。與時遷移。應物變化。設策之機也。(Records of Former Han 2, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

Your servant Xun Yue remarks: Those who would offer strategies for victory must keep three factors in mind: shape, nature, and spirit. By shape, I mean the general advantages and disadvantages of a given situation. By nature, I mean the trends of the time which determine the possible opportunities and responses. By spirit, I mean the feelings and will of the people involved and whether or not their determination can be fulfilled. When the same strategies or the same battle plans produce different results at different times, it is because of the differences in these factors.

Earlier, Zhang Er and Chen Yu had advised Chen Sheng to empower the heirs of the Six States. Later, Li Yiji offered the same advice to the King of Han. Their advice was the same. But the advantages and disadvantages of their advice were different because of the different shape of circumstances. When Chen Sheng rose in rebellion, the whole realm was united for one purpose: to destroy Qin. But during the war between Chu and Han, it was not necessarily the universal wish of every person to destroy Xiang Yu. Besides, Xiang Yu had led the forces of the Six States. The situation was different from that of destroying the decrepit Qin. Thus, for Chen Sheng, following the advice of restoring the Six States would have resulted in giving him many new allies and giving Qin many new enemies. Furthermore, since the amount of territory that Chen Sheng directly controlled was small, in empowering the scions of the Six States he would be giving them territory which he did not actually control in the first place, so this would entail no loss to him. For the cost of an empty display of kindness, he would reap real benefits from the support of the restored lords. But the situation was different for the King of Han. He would have had to give up some of his actual territory if he were going to grant it to the restored scions, and the result of that would have only increased the number of enemies arrayed against him. He would have brought misfortune down upon himself, merely to claim an empty reputation. Such is an example of the factor of shape bringing about different results.

When the Chu general Song Yi declared that he would wait for Qin and Zhao to exhaust one another and then wield power over both, this was only the same strategy that Bian Zhuang had used to kill the two tigers. It would not have been out of place during the Warring States era. The nature of that era was such that all the states fought constantly against their neighbors, and there was ebb and flow between the various powers. In those days, one could await better opportunities, for the result of a single battle did not determine the fate of states. The nature of the era did not allow for easy conquest; the victor of a battle might claim the advantage for a time, but the loser could still withdraw, marshal their strength, and await another opportunity. Thus one could naturally conceive of taking advantage of two exhausted rivals. But by Song Yi's time, the nature of affairs had changed. Chu and Zhao had been newly restored, and their war against Qin was not like the old days. It was a crisis point, where a single shout would determine the life or death of either side; the victor would seal their conquest, while the loser must resign themselves to destruction. Thus the same strategy, affected by the factor of nature, would produce different outcomes.

During his campaign against Zhao, Han Xin posted his troops with their backs to the Zhi River, and the Zhao army was unable to defeat them. Yet earlier, during the battle of Pengcheng, the King of Han's soldiers fought up against the Sui River, but in the end they threw themselves into the river and the Chu army won a great victory. Why the different outcome? Because in the first case, the Zhao soldiers were coming out of their state to meet Han Xin in battle, and they knew that although they could advance if the opportunity presented itself, they could also retreat if things became difficult. They harbored a desire to look after themselves, and had no intention of going to their deaths. Han Xin's army, cut off at the river's edge, knew that only death awaited them if they were defeated, so they were not of two hearts. This was why Han Xin's army triumphed. But as for Pengcheng, the King of Han had led his soldiers deep into an enemy state and then held a feast for them; his officers and soldiers became slack and complacent, and they were not firm in their determination to fight. The Chu soldiers, on the other hand, knew that despite being from the stronger state, they had lost their capital to the enemy. So Xiang Yu himself led them back to fight, and they were filled with indignation and a desire to redeem their shame, as well as save their state from danger, through winning a quick and decisive morning's victory. This was why the King of Han was defeated. Furthermore, Han Xin selected elite troops to hold his position while the Zhao army used soldiers thinking only of home to attack him, and Xiang Yu selected elite troops to attack Pengcheng while the King of Han used complacent soldiers to receive him. Thus the same battle plan produced different outcomes, because of the factor of spirit.

Thus it is said: One cannot easily determine the advantage ahead of time or plan without considering developments. One must shift and change with the times and adapt according to the situation, crafting their plans according to opportunities.


漢王謂陳平曰:「天下紛紛,何時定乎?」陳平曰:「項王骨鯁之臣,亞父、鍾離昩、龍且、周殷之屬,不過數人耳。大王誠能捐數萬斤金,行反間,間其君臣,以疑其心;項王爲人,意忌信讒,必內相誅,漢因舉兵而攻之,破楚必矣。」漢王曰:「善!」乃出黃金四萬斤與平,恣所爲,不問其出入。平多以金縱反間於楚軍,宣言:「諸將鍾離昩等爲項王將,功多矣,然而終不得裂地而王,欲與漢爲一,以滅項氏而分王其地。」項羽果意不信鍾離昩等。

16. Liu Bang said to Chen Ping, "The realm is in such a mess. When shall we ever know peace?"

Chen Ping replied, "King Xiang only has a few people whom he can rely upon to offer him honest advice: his Second Father (Fa Zeng), Zhongli Mo, Long Ju, Zhou Yin, and their sort. Great King, if you will entrust me with the use of several tens of thousands of catties of gold, I will use it to spread discord among King Xiang's forces and alienate him from his closest ministers by sowing suspicion in his heart. King Xiang is naturally inclined to be suspicious of others and believe in slander. That will surely lead to mutual fighting between him and his ministers. Then you would merely need to raise your troops and attack him, and Chu's destruction would be assured."

Liu Bang said, "Excellent!" And he gave Chen Ping forty thousand catties of gold to use as he wished, with no questions asked.

Chen Ping used most of the gold to encourage the spread of a rumor through the Chu army: "Zhongli Mo and the other generals have served King Xiang well and achieved much on his behalf, yet they are disgruntled because King Xiang has never carved out territory for them to rule over as kings. Now they plan to join with Han, and they will wipe out the Xiang clan and divide up King Xiang's territory to rule amongst themselves."

Xiang Yu indeed believed this rumor, and he no longer trusted Zhongli Mo and the others.

〈鍾離,古鍾離子之後,以國爲姓。龍姓出於龍伯氏;又曰,出於舜納言之龍。且,子余翻。〉

(Those with the surname 鍾離 Zhongli are the descendants of the ancient Viscount of Zhongli; they took the name of this fief as their surname.

The surname 龍 Long comes from the Longbo clan; some also claim that they are the descendants of Long, who served as Receiver of Words under the ancient Emperor Shun. Long Ju's given name 且 is pronounced "zu (z-u)".)


陳平進謀曰。項王大臣不過數人。大王能捐數萬斤金。間楚君臣。使相疑惑。可以破楚必矣。乃與陳平金四萬斤。不問出入。平多行反間。謂項羽曰。諸將功多矣。而終不得裂地而王。欲與漢為一以滅楚分王其地。項王疑之。(Records of Former Han 2, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

Chen Ping stepped forward and advised Liu Bang, "King Xiang only has a few chief ministers. Great King, if you will entrust me with the use of several tens of thousands of catties of gold, I will use it to spread discord among King Xiang's forces and alienate him from his closest ministers by sowing mutual suspicion and doubt between them. Then Chu's destruction would be assured."

Liu Bang gave Chen Ping forty thousand catties of gold to use as he wished, with no questions asked.

Chen Ping used most of the gold to encourage the spread of a rumor, which reached Xiang Yu's ears: "The generals have achieved much, yet they are disgruntled because King Xiang has never carved out territory for them to rule over as kings. Now they plan to join with Han, and they will wipe out the Xiang clan and divide up King Xiang's territory to rule amongst themselves."

Xiang Yu thus suspected his generals.


夏,四月,楚圍漢王於滎陽,急;漢王請和,割滎陽以西者爲漢。亞父勸羽急攻滎陽;漢王患之。項羽使使至漢,陳平使爲大牢具。舉進,見楚使,卽佯驚曰:「吾以爲亞父使,乃項王使!」復持去,更以惡草具進楚使。楚使歸,具以報項王;項王果大疑亞父。亞父欲急攻下滎陽城,項王不信,不肯聽。亞父聞項王疑之,乃怒曰:「天下事大定矣,君王自爲之,願賜骸骨!」歸,未至彭城,疽發背而死。

17. In summer, the fourth month, the Chu army besieged Liu Bang at Xingyang. The situation was so urgent that Liu Bang asked for peace terms, requesting only that all the realm west of Xingyang be recognized as Han territory. But Fan Zeng urged Xiang Yu to press his attack against Xingyang. Liu Bang was vexed by Fan Zeng.

When Xiang Yu sent an envoy to visit Liu Bang's side, Chen Ping organized a Grand Sacrifice feast to receive him. But when Chen Ping made his personal appearance and saw the envoy for himself, he pretended to be surprised, saying, "Oh, you're King Xiang's envoy! I thought you were the envoy from his Second Father!" And he had the dishes taken away and replaced with inferior fare to serve to the envoy. When the envoy returned, he reported to Xiang Yu what had happened. And this indeed caused Xiang Yu to be greatly suspicious of Fan Zeng.

Fan Zeng kept urging Xiang Yu to attack Xingyang and take it by force. But Xiang Yu no longer trusted Fan Zeng, so he could not bear to take his advice. When Fan Zeng discovered that Xiang Yu was suspicious of him, he angrily declared, "Then you handle the great affairs of the realm yourself, my lord, and grant (or, please allow) my old bones (leave to) go back home!" He left Xiang Yu's camp and was returning to Pengcheng, but an ulcer flared up on his back and he passed away before he reached the city.

〈古者諸侯遣使交聘,其牢禮各如其命數,以三牲具爲一牢。秦滅古法,軍興之時,不能備古之牢禮,故以太牢具爲盛禮。孔穎達曰:按《周禮》:膳夫,王日一舉,鼎十有二物,謂太牢也。是周公制禮,天子日食太牢,則諸侯日食少牢,大夫日食特牲,士日食特豚。至後世衰亂,《玉藻》云:天子日食少牢,朔月太牢;諸侯日食特牲,朔月少牢。則知大夫日食特豚,朔月特牲;士日食無文,朔月特豚。故《內則》云:見子具朔食。《註》云:天子太牢,諸侯少牢,大夫特豕,士特豚。諸侯祭以太牢,得殺牛;諸侯之大夫祭以少牢,得殺羊;天子大夫祭亦得殺牛,其諸侯及大夫饗食賓得用牛也。故大行人掌客,諸侯待賓,皆用牛也。公食大夫禮,大夫食賓禮,亦用牛也。〉〈服虔曰:去肴肉,更以惡草之具。惡,麤惡;草,草率也。〉〈【章:乙十一行本「賜」作「請」;孔本同。】〉〈疽,癰瘡也。〉

(What this passage calls the 大 "Great" sacrifice should be called the 太 "Grand" sacrifice. In ancient times, when the feudal lords exchanged diplomatic visits, they carried out sacrificial meals for the envoys, each in accordance with their stature, sacrificing three animals for the purpose. After the state of Qin did away with the old practices, since it was a time of military focus, they were not able to keep up the old traditions anymore. Thus they had the Grand Sacrifice as the highest ritual of this sort. Kong Yingda remarked, "According to the Rites of Zhou, when it came to meals, 'The King had a meal of twelve tripods, called the Grand Sacrifice. When the Duke of Zhou held sway over the rites of the Zhou dynasty, the daily meal of the Son of Heaven was the Grand Sacrifice. Thus the daily meals of the feudal lords were the Lesser Sacrifice, for great leaders of state the meal was the Special Sacrifice, and for mere gentlemen the meal was the Special Suckling Pig.' But in later generations the traditions declined, and so we see the Yuzao text state, 'The daily meal of the Son of Heaven is the Lesser Sacrifice, while the meal at the end of the month is the Greater Sacrifice; the daily meal of the feudal lords is the Special Sacrifice, while the meal at the end of the month is the Lesser Sacrifice.' We can assume that this trend continued further downward; the great leaders of state had the Special Suckling Pig as their daily meal and the Special Sacrifice to end their month, and the mere gentlemen had no special category for their daily meal and the Special Suckling Pig to end their month. It is for that reason that the Pattern of the Family chapter of the Book of Rites has the phrase 'as for the feast of the first day of the month', and the Notes explain that 'the Son of Heaven had the Grand Sacrifice, the feudal lords the Lesser Sacrifice, the great leaders of state the Special Pig, and the mere gentlemen the Special Suckling Pig'. When the feudal lords held a Grand Sacrifice, they obtained and killed a cow for it. When the great leaders of the feudal lords held a Lesser Sacrifice, they obtained and killed a sheep. The great leaders serving the Son of Heaven directly also obtained and killed a cow, and when the feudal lords and their great leaders held feasts for guests they too obtained and killed a cow. Thus when hosting important travelers and receiving the envoys of other states, a cow was always used for the sacrificial meal. And when the lords held meals for the great leaders, or the great leaders held meals for their guests, they too always used a cow."

Fu Qian remarked, "Chen Ping had the original meat dishes taken away and replaced with inferior fare." The lesser food is described as 惡草. 惡 means rough, while 草 means sloppy.

Some versions have Fan Zeng 請 "ask to" leave rather than demanding Xiang Yu 賜 "grant" him leave to return home.

An ulcer is an inflammation of a carbuncle.)


漢三年
四月
楚圍王滎陽。(Records of the Grand Historian 16, Monthly Timeline of the Chu-Han Contention)

In the third year of Liu Bang's reign (204 BC), in the fourth month, the Chu army besieged Liu Bang at Xingyang.

夏四月。楚圍漢王于滎陽。歷陽侯范增欲急擊滎陽。項羽不信。增怒乞骸骨歸。未到彭城。疽發背而死。(Records of Former Han 2, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

In summer, the fourth month, the Chu army besieged Liu Bang at Xingyang. The Marquis of Liyang, Fan Zeng, urged Xiang Yu to press his attack against Xingyang. But Xiang Yu did not trust him. Fan Zeng became so angry that he asked to return home. He left Xiang Yu's camp and was returning to Pengcheng, but an ulcer flared up on his back and he passed away before he reached the city.


五月,將軍紀信言於漢王曰:「事急矣!臣請誑楚,王可以間出。」於是陳平夜出女子東門二千餘人,楚因四面擊之。紀信乃乘王車,黃屋,左纛,曰:「食盡,漢王降。」楚皆呼萬歲,之城東觀。以故漢王得與數十騎出西門遁去,令韓王信與周苛、魏豹、樅公守滎陽。羽見紀信,問:「漢王安在?」曰:「已出去矣。」羽燒殺信。周苛、樅公相謂曰:「反國之王,難與守城!」因殺魏豹。

18. In the fifth month, Liu Bang's general Ji Xin told him, "The situation is urgent! Let me deceive Chu, O King, while you take the chance to escape."

Chen Ping sent more than two thousand women out of the east gate of Xingyang during the night. The Chu soldiers surrounded and attacked them. Ji Xin then came out of the city, riding in the king's carriage with a yellow canopy and a feather banner on the left side. He declared, "Our food is exhausted. The King of Han surrenders." The Chu soldiers all cheered, and they gathered east of the city to see him. Liu Bang was thus able to flee with a few dozen riders out of the west gate. He ordered King Xin of Hann, Zhou Ke, Wei Bao, and Lord Cong to stay behind and hold Xingyang.

When Xiang Yu saw Ji Xin and realized that he was not Liu Bang, he demanded, "Where is the King of Han?"

Ji Xin replied, "He is already gone."

Xiang Yu had Ji Xin burned alive.

Zhou Ke and Lord Cong said to one another, "How could we defend the city with a king who rebelled against the state?" So they killed Wei Bao.

〈誑,欺也。〉〈李斐曰:天子車以黃繒爲蓋裏。纛,羽幢也,在乘輿車衡左方上柱之。蔡邕曰:以犛牛尾爲之,大如斗,或在騑頭,或在衡。應劭曰:雉尾爲之,在左驂,當鑣上。師古曰:應說非。《爾雅翼》:犛,西南夷長髦牛也,似牛,而四節、腹下及肘皆有赤毛長尺餘,而尾尤佳,其大如斗。天子之車左纛,以此牛尾爲之,繫之左騑馬軛上。蓋馬在中曰服,在外曰騑,騑,卽驂也;安最外馬頭上,以亂馬目,不令相見也。〉

(To deceive is to mislead or cheat.

Regarding the king's carriage, Li Fei remarked, "The carriage of the Son of Heaven uses yellow silk for its canopy. The 纛 is a feathered banner, placed on the left side of the carriage yoke to mark it." Cai Yong remarked, "It uses a yak's tail for this purpose, as large as a 斗; it is sometimes on the horses pulling the carriage, sometimes on the yoke." Ying Shao remarked, "It uses a pheasant's tail. It is on the left carriage horse, upon its bridle." But Yan Shigu remarked, "Ying Shao is incorrect. According to the Erya dictionary, the yak is a kind of long-haired cattle from the southwestern tribes, resembling a cow, but with red hairs more than a chi long beneath its four joints and its belly. Its tail is especially prized, and is as large as a 斗. It is this tail which the Son of Heaven's carriage uses for its left feathered banner, tied to the yoke of the left harness horse." It must be that the center horse of a carriage team is called a 服 while the outer ones are called 騑s, that being the same thing as a 驂. It would've been best to place this atop the head of the outside horse, for if it distracted the horse's eyes, it would not have been able to coordinate properly with the other horses.)


漢三年
七月
王出滎陽。
八月
周苛、樅公殺魏豹。(Records of the Grand Historian 16, Monthly Timeline of the Chu-Han Contention)

In the third year of Liu Bang's reign (204 BC), in the seventh month, Liu Bang left Xingyang.

In the eighth month, Zhou Ke and Lord Cong killed Wei Bao.

五月。紀信謂王曰。臣請誑楚。可以間出。紀信乃乘王車出東門曰。漢王降楚。楚軍皆稱萬歲。之城東觀。漢王得與數十騎出城西門。令御史大夫周苛與魏王豹守滎陽。周苛曰。反國之王。難與共守。苛乃殺魏豹。項羽見紀信非漢王。乃大驚。怒燒殺紀信。(Records of Former Han 2, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

In the fifth month, Liu Bang's general Ji Xin told him, "Let me deceive Chu, while you take the chance to escape."

Ji Xin then came out of the east gate of the city, riding in the king's carriage. He declared, "The King of Han surrenders to Chu." The Chu soldiers all cheered, and they gathered east of the city to see him. Liu Bang was thus able to flee with a few dozen riders out of the west gate. He ordered King Xin of Hann, Zhou Ke, Wei Bao, and Lord Cong to stay behind and hold Xingyang.

Liu Bang's Imperial Secretary, Zhou Ke, and Wei Bao remained behind to hold Xingyang. Zhou Ke said to himself, "How could I defend the city with a king who rebelled against the state?" So he killed Wei Bao.

When Xiang Yu saw Ji Xin and realized that he was not Liu Bang, he was shocked, and he became so angry that he had Ji Xin burned alive.

漢王令豹守滎陽。楚圍之急,周苛遂殺魏豹。(Records of the Grand Historian 90, Biography of Wei Bao)

Liu Bang ordered Wei Bao to guard Xingyang. But when the Chu army surrounded the city, Wei Bao was killed by Liu Bang's general Zhou Ke.

漢王令豹守滎陽。楚圍之急,周苛曰:「反國之王,難與共守。」遂殺豹。(Book of Han 33, Biography of Wei Bao)

Liu Bang ordered Wei Bao to guard Xingyang. But when the Chu army surrounded the city, Liu Bang's general Zhou Ke said to himself, "It would be difficult to defend the city together with a king who rebelled against the state." So he killed Wei Bao.


漢王出滎陽,至成皋,入關,收兵欲復東,轅生說漢王曰:「漢與楚相距滎陽數歲,漢常困。願君王出武關,項王必引兵南走。王深壁勿戰,令滎陽、成皋間且得休息,使韓信等得安輯河北趙地,連燕、齊,君王乃復走滎陽。如此,則楚所備者多,力分;漢得休息,復與之戰,破之必矣!」漢王從其計,出軍宛、葉間。與黥布行收兵。羽聞漢王在宛,果引兵南;漢王堅壁不與戰。

19. Liu Bang left Xingyang, went to Chenggao, and then entered Guanzhong. He was planning to gather more soldiers and then return east to resume fighting again.

But a certain Master Yuan advised him, "Han and Chu have been fighting at Xingyang for several years now, and Han has often had the worst of it. You would do better to march out by way of Wu Pass instead. King Xiang would surely bring his troops south to face you. Then you could take advantage of that opportunity: shore up your ramparts and refuse to offer battle, while allowing the area between Xingyang and Chenggao to rest and recover. At the same time, it would allow Han Xin and the others an opening to settle the Zhao region and other areas north of the Yellow River and to join forces with Yan and Qi. Once these things come to pass, then you could return to Xingyang. By doing so, Chu will be forced to defend many places at once, so their strength will be divided, while your forces would have had a chance to rest. Then you could return to the fight, and you would surely smash Chu!"

Liu Bang followed his advice, and he had his army march out to the area between Wan and She, gathering up soldiers there together with Qing Bu. When Xiang Yu heard that Liu Bang was at Wan, he indeed led his troops south to face him. But Liu Bang stuck to his ramparts and would not offer battle.

〈轅,姓也。《姓譜》:陳大夫轅濤塗之後。以其所本考之,亦與爰、袁二姓通。〉〈師古曰:輯,與集同,謂和合也。《詩序》曰:「勞來還定安集之」;《春秋左氏傳》曰:「羣臣輯睦」。他皆類此。〉〈班《志》,二縣屬南陽郡。《史記正義》曰:宛,鄧州縣。葉,汝州縣。〉

(轅 Yuan was this fellow's surname. The Registry of Surnames states, "People with this surname are the descendants of the Chen minister Yuan Taotu." And if we investigate their origins, we find that this applies to the surnames 爰 Yuan and 袁 Yuan as well.

Master Yuan says that Han Xin will be able to 輯 the Zhao region. Yan Shigu remarked, "輯 is the same as 'gather', in the sense of bringing together in peace. Where the Preface to the Book of Poetry states, 'Even labors can be brought peacefully to bear', and the Zuo Commentary to the Spring and Autumn Annals states, 'We are united and harmonious', these are other instances of the same thing."

According to the Book of Han, Wan and She counties were part of Nanyang commandary. The Zhengyi commentary to the Records of the Grand Historian states, "Wan is part of Dengzhou, and She part of Ruzhou.")


王自西入關。收兵復東。轅生說曰。今出武關。項王必引兵而南大王深壁勿與戰。項羽用兵疾如雷電。令成皋滎陽間且得休息。使韓信等輯河北趙地。連燕齊。君王乃復屯滎陽。如此則楚所備者多力分。于漢王得休息。後與之戰。破楚必矣。漢王從之。王復出軍宛葉間。項羽果引而南。漢兵深壘自守。(Records of Former Han 2, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

Liu Bang went west into Guanzhong. He was planning to gather more soldiers and then return east to resume fighting again.

But a certain Master Yuan advised him, "You would do better to march out by way of Wu Pass instead. King Xiang would surely bring his troops south to face you. Then you could take advantage of that opportunity: shore up your ramparts and refuse to offer battle. Since King Xiang uses soldiers with the frenzy of rolling thunder, that will allow the area between Xingyang and Chenggao to rest and recover. At the same time, it would allow Han Xin and the others an opening to settle the Zhao region and other areas north of the Yellow River and to join forces with Yan and Qi. Once these things come to pass, then you could return to Xingyang. By doing so, Chu will be forced to defend many places at once, so their strength will be divided, while your forces would have had a chance to rest. Then you could return to the fight, and you would surely smash Chu."

Liu Bang followed his advice, and he had his army march out to the area between Wan and She. Xiang Yu indeed led his troops south to face him. But the Han soldiers stuck to their ramparts and only defended themselves.


漢王之敗彭城,解而西也,彭越皆亡其所下城,獨將其兵北居河上,常往來爲漢游兵擊楚,絕其後糧。是月,彭越渡睢,與項聲、薛公戰下邳,破,殺薛公。羽乃使終公守成皋,而自東擊彭越。漢王引兵北,擊破終公,復軍成皋。

20. Following Liu Bang's earlier defeat at Pengcheng and his withdrawal to the west, Peng Yue had abandoned the cities that he had subdued and led his army north to camp along the Yellow River. From this base, he had often led wandering troops to attack Chu on behalf of Han and cut the Chu supply lines.

During this month, Peng Yue crossed the Sui River and fought Xiang Sheng and the Duke of Xue at Xiapi. He routed them, killing the Duke of Xue.

Xiang Yu assigned Lord Zhong to guard Chenggao in his stead, while he personally marched east to attack Peng Yue. Liu Bang took advantage of this by leading his own army north. He attacked Lord Zhong and routed him, then returned to Chenggao.

〈終,姓也。《姓譜》曰:陸終之後。〉

(終 Zhong was this fellow's surname. The Registry of Surnames states, "Those with this surname are the descendants of Lu Zhong.")


是時彭越等擊楚。得項聲薛公于下邳。殺之。羽乃自擊彭越。(Records of Former Han 2, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

At this time, Peng Yue and others attacked Chu. They captured Xiang Sheng and the Duke of Xue at Xiapi and killed them. Xiang Yu personally marched to attack Peng Yue.

漢王之敗彭城解而西也,彭越皆復亡其所下城,獨將其兵北居河上。漢王三年,彭越常往來為漢游兵,擊楚,絕其後糧於梁地。(Records of the Grand Historian 90, Biography of Peng Yue)

Following Liu Bang's defeat at Pengcheng and his withdrawal to the west, Peng Yue abandoned the cities that he had subdued and led his army north to camp along the Yellow River. In the third year of Liu Bang's reign (204 BC), Peng Yue often led wandering troops to attack Chu on behalf of Han and cut the Chu supply lines.

漢王之敗彭城解而西也,越皆亡其所下城,獨將其兵北居河上。漢三年,越常往來為漢游兵擊楚,絕其糧於梁地。(Book of Han 34, Biography of Peng Yue)

Following Liu Bang's defeat at Pengcheng and his withdrawal to the west, Peng Yue abandoned the cities that he had subdued and led his army north to camp along the Yellow River. In the third year of Liu Bang's reign (204 BC), Peng Yue often led wandering troops to attack Chu on behalf of Han and cut the Chu supply lines.


六月,羽已破走彭越,聞漢復軍成皋,乃引兵西拔滎陽城,生得周苛。羽謂苛:「爲我,將以公爲上將軍,封三萬戶。」周苛罵曰:「若不趨降漢,今爲虜矣;若非漢王敵也!」羽烹周苛,幷殺樅公而虜韓王信,遂圍成皋。漢王逃,獨與滕公共車出成皋玉門,北渡河,宿小脩武傳舍。晨,自稱漢使,馳入趙壁。張耳、韓信未起,卽其臥內,奪其印符以麾召諸將,易置之。信、耳起,乃知漢王來,大驚。漢王旣奪兩人軍,卽令張耳循行,備守趙地。拜韓信爲相國,收趙兵未發者擊齊。諸將稍稍得出成皋從漢王。楚遂拔成皋,欲西;漢使兵距之鞏,令其不得西。

21. By the sixth month, Xiang Yu had already routed Peng Yue and put him to flight. When he heard that the Han army had retaken Chenggao, he led his troops back west again. He attacked Xingyang and took it, capturing Zhou Ke.

Xiang Yu told Zhou Ke, "Serve me, and I will make you a chief general and grant you a fief of thirty thousand households."

But Zhou Ke rebuked him, saying, "You didn't surrender to Han at once, so you're going to be their prisoner soon. You're no match for the King of Han!"

Xiang Yu boiled Zhou Ke alive. He also killed Lord Cong, and captured King Xin of Hann.

Xiang Yu then besieged Chenggao. Liu Bang fled the city through the Jade Gate, in a carriage together with Xiahou Ying. They went north and crossed the Yellow River, then spent the night in a lodging house at Lesser Xiuwu.

In the morning, Liu Bang posed as a Han messenger and was able to quickly enter Han Xin's army camp at Zhao. Han Xin and Zhang Er were still asleep and had not yet risen. So Liu Bang snuck into Han Xin's tent, stole his seals and tallies for commanding troops, and reassigned Han Xin’s soldiers to his own authority. When Han Xin and Zhang Er woke up and realized that Liu Bang was in the camp, they were shocked. Liu Bang thus seized control of their army. He ordered Zhang Er to march through the Zhao region and improve its defenses, and he appointed Han Xin as Chancellor of State and ordered him to draft the remaining available manpower of the Zhao region to make a new army with which to attack Qi.

Liu Bang's other generals gradually made their escape from Chenggao and came to join him. The Chu army eventually took Chenggao. They planned to advance further west, but Liu Bang sent troops to hold Gong and prevent the Chu army from advancing any further.

〈《漢書》「逃」作「跳」;如淳音逃;《史記‧項羽紀》作「逃」。晉灼曰:跳,獨出意。如淳曰:逃,謂走也。余謂《左氏傳例》:民逃其上曰潰,在上曰逃。太史公蓋用此例,溫公仍之。〉〈張晏曰:玉門,成皋北門。〉〈晉灼曰:在大脩武城東。〉〈【章:乙十一行本「循」作「徇」。】〉〈班《志》,鞏縣屬河南郡,卽東周君所居。《汝洛地圖》云:鞏,固也。鞏縣在洛水之間,言四面有山,可以鞏固。〉

(This passage states that Liu Bang 逃 "escaped" from Chenggao. In its account of this episode, the Book of Han writes this character as 跳 "leaped", which Ru Chun pronounces the same as 逃. The Biography of Xiang Yu in the Records of the Grand Historian also writes it as 逃. Jin Zhuo remarked, "By 'leaped', it means a flight." Ru Chun remarked, "By 'escaped', it means he ran away." I (Hu Sanxing) note that the Glossary to the Zuo Commentary states, "When the people flee from their sovereign, it is called 潰; when their sovereign flees, it is called 逃." The Grand Historian (Sima Qian) must have been following this principle, which Duke Wen (Sima Guang) then emulated in his own work.

Zhang Yan remarked, "The Jade Gate was the north gate of Chenggao."

Jin Zhuo remarked, "Lesser Xiuwu was east of the city of Greater Xiuwu."

Some versions state that Liu Bang ordered Zhang Er to 徇 "give in" rather than to 循 "go through".

According to the Book of Han, Gong county was part of Henan commandary, and had originally been the residence of the Lord of Eastern Zhou. The Geographical Records of the Ru and Luo Rivers Region states, "Gong means 'stout'. Gong county was within the Luo River and was said to have mountains on all sides, thus making it a stout position.")


漢四年
三月
漢御史周苛入楚,死。
四月
王出滎陽。豹死。(Records of the Grand Historian 16, Monthly Timeline of the Chu-Han Contention)

In the fourth year of Liu Bang's reign (203 BC), in the third month, Han's Imperial Secretary, Zhou Ke, went to Chu, where he died.

In the fourth month, Liu Bang left Xingyang, and Wei Bao died.

越敗走。羽乃引兵還。拔滎陽。獲周苛。謂苛曰。吾方以公為將軍。封萬戶侯。能為我盡節否。苛瞋目罵之。羽怒乃烹之。遂圍成皋。下之。所殺亦無數。(Records of Former Han 2, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

Peng Yue fled in defeat. Xiang Yu then brought his troops back again. He took Xingyang and captured Zhou Ke.

Xiang Yu said to Zhou Ke, "Will you serve me with full devotion if I make you my general and appoint you as a marquis of ten thousand households?"

But Zhou Ke glared at Xiang Yu and rebuked him, so Xiang Yu boiled him alive.

Xiang Yu then besieged Chenggao and took it. He killed countless people.

楚方急圍漢王於滎陽,漢王南出,之宛、葉閒,得黥布,走入成皋,楚又復急圍之。六月,漢王出成皋,東渡河,獨與滕公俱,從張耳軍修武。至,宿傳舍。晨自稱漢使,馳入趙壁。張耳、韓信未起,即其臥內上奪其印符,以麾召諸將,易置之。信、耳起,乃知漢王來,大驚。漢王奪兩人軍,即令張耳備守趙地。拜韓信為相國,收趙兵未發者擊齊。(Records of the Grand Historian 92, Biography of Han Xin)

Meanwhile, Chu was pressing a heavy siege against Liu Bang at Xingyang. Liu Bang fled to the south, passing through the area between Wan and She, where Qing Bu joined him. He fled into Chenggao, but Chu heavily besieged that place as well. In the sixth month, Liu Bang left Chenggao and went east across the Yellow River, traveling alone with just Xiahou Ying. They went to Xiuwu, where Zhang Er's army was, and stayed in a lodging house for the night.

In the morning, Liu Bang posed as a Han messenger and was able to quickly enter the Zhao ramparts. Han Xin and Zhang Er had not yet risen. So Liu Bang snuck into Han Xin's tent, stole his seals and tallies for commanding troops, and gave orders to Han Xin's generals, reassigning Han Xin’s soldiers to his own authority. When Han Xin and Zhang Er woke up and realized that Liu Bang was in the camp, they were shocked. Liu Bang thus seized control of their army. He ordered Zhang Er to guard the Zhao region and improve its defenses, and he appointed Han Xin as Chancellor of State and ordered him to draft the remaining available manpower of the Zhao region to make a new army with which to attack Qi.

楚方急圍漢王滎陽,漢王出,南之宛、葉,得九江王布,入成皋,楚復急圍之。四年,漢王出成皋,度河,獨與滕公從張耳軍修武。至,宿傳舍。晨自稱漢使,馳入壁。張耳、韓信未起,即其臥,奪其印符,麾召諸將易置之。信、耳起,乃知獨漢王來,大驚。漢王奪兩人軍,即令張耳備守趙地,拜信為相國,發趙兵未發者擊齊。(Book of Han 34, Biography of Han Xin)

Meanwhile, Chu was pressing a heavy siege against Liu Bang at Xingyang. Liu Bang left the city and went south, passing through the area between Wan and She, where Qing Bu joined him. He entered Chenggao, but Chu heavily besieged that place as well. In the fourth year of his reign (203 BC), Liu Bang left Chenggao and crossed the Yellow River, traveling alone with just Xiahou Ying. They went to Xiuwu, where Zhang Er's army was, and stayed in a lodging house for the night.

In the morning, Liu Bang posed as a Han messenger and was able to quickly enter the army ramparts. Han Xin and Zhang Er had not yet risen. So Liu Bang snuck into Han Xin's tent, stole his seals and tallies for commanding troops, and gave orders to Han Xin's generals, reassigning Han Xin’s soldiers to his own authority. When Han Xin and Zhang Er woke up and realized that Liu Bang was in the camp, they were shocked. Liu Bang thus seized control of their army. He ordered Zhang Er to guard the Zhao region and improve its defenses, and he appointed Han Xin as Chancellor of State and ordered him to draft the remaining available manpower of the Zhao region to make a new army with which to attack Qi.


秋,七月,有星孛于大角。

22. In autumn, the seventh month, there was a shooting star in the Great Horn constellation.

〈《隋‧天文志》:孛,彗之屬也;偏指曰彗,芒氣四出曰孛。孛者,孛孛然,非常惡氣之所生也。內不有大亂,必有大兵。天下合謀,暗蔽不明,有所傷害。晏子曰:「君若不改,孛星將出,彗何懼乎!」由是言之,災甚於彗。班《志》:房南衆星曰騎官,左角理,右角將。大角者,天王帝坐廷。〉

(The Astrological Records of the Book of Sui states, "A shooting star is a kind of comet; the mere moving object is called a comet, but it is called a shooting star when it has a great aura all around it. It is called a 孛 'vigorous' star because of this vigorous aura all around it, and it is an omen that gives rise to some uncommon evil spirit. If the state does not descend into great turmoil, there will still surely be some great clash of arms. The general plans of the whole realm will be struck blind, feeble, and foolish, and there will be much harm and injury." Yanzi once declared, "If you do not change, Sir, then a shooting star will appear, so why worry about a comet?" Judging by his words, shooting stars must have been much more serious than comets.

According to the Book of Han, "There is a body of stars south of the Room constellation called the Cavalry Office. The Left Horn is the Reason, the Right Horn is the General. The Great Horn is the seat of the Heavenly Sovereign.")


秋七月。有星孛于大角。大角為王坐。本志以為楚王亡之徵也。(Records of Former Han 2, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

In autumn, the seventh month, there was a shooting star in the Great Horn constellation. The Great Horn is the seat of kings, so this was an omen of the doom of the King of Chu (Xiang Yu).


臨江王敖薨,子尉嗣。

23. The King of Linjiang, Gong Ao, passed away. His son Gong Wei succeeded him.

漢三年
七月
王敖薨。臨江王驩。始,敖子。(Records of the Grand Historian 16, Monthly Timeline of the Chu-Han Contention)

In the third year of Liu Bang's reign (204 BC), in the seventh month, the King of Linjiang, Gong Ao, passed away. His son Gong Huan succeeded him.


漢王得韓信軍,復大振。八月,引兵臨河,南鄕,軍小脩武,欲復與楚戰。郎中鄭忠說止漢王,使高壘深塹勿與戰。漢王聽其計,使將軍劉賈、盧綰將卒二萬人,騎數百,渡白馬津,入楚地,佐彭越,燒楚積聚,以破其業,無以給項王軍食而已。楚兵擊劉賈,賈輒堅壁不肯與戰,而與彭越相保。

24. Now that Liu Bang had taken over Han Xin's army, the morale of his forces was greatly restored. In the eighth month, he led his troops to Linhe and Nanxiang and camped them at Lesser Xiuwu. He planned to once again fight against Chu. But one of the Household Gentlemen, Zheng Zhong, persuaded him to halt where he was and instead raise his ramparts and deepen his moats while refusing to offer battle. Liu Bang heeded his advice.

Liu Bang instead sent his generals Liu Jia and Lu Wan to lead twenty thousand infantry and a few hundred cavalry to cross the Yellow River at Baima Crossing and march into Chu territory to help Peng Yue burn Chu's grain stores and disrupt the livelihood of their population, restricting their activities to such supply raids. The Chu soldiers tried to attack Liu Jia, but he always held fast to his ramparts and would not offer battle, and he and Peng Yue helped defend each other.

〈漢制:議郎、中郎,秩比六百石;侍郎,比四百石;郎中,比三百石;皆屬郎中令。〉〈師古曰:積聚,所畜軍糧芻藳之屬也。〉

(According to the Han system, Gentlemen-Consultants and Palace Gentlemen had a salary rank of Equivalent to 600 石; Gentlemen-Attendants, of Equivalent to 400 石; and Household Gentlemen, of Equivalent to 300 石. They were all subordinate to the Prefect of the Household Gentlemen.

Yan Shigu remarked, "Grain stores are places where the army's grain, hay, and fodder have been stored.")


八月。王饗師河南。欲復戰。郎中令鄭忠說曰。王高壁深壘勿與戰。王乃使從兄劉賈與廬綰將兵入楚地。佐彭越。焚楚積聚。(Records of Former Han 2, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

In the eighth month, Liu Bang feasted his army at Henan. He planned to once again fight against Chu. But the Prefect of the Household Gentlemen, Zheng Zhong, advised him, "You should raise your ramparts and deepen your moats while refusing to offer battle." Liu Bang heeded his advice.

Liu Bang instead sent his cousin Liu Jia and Lu Wan to lead troops into Chu territory to help Peng Yue burn Chu's grain stores.

荊王劉賈者,諸劉,不知其何屬初起時。漢王元年,還定三秦,劉賈為將軍,定塞地,從東擊項籍。漢四年,漢王之敗成皋,北渡河,得張耳、韓信軍,軍修武,深溝高壘,使劉賈將二萬人,騎數百,渡白馬津入楚地,燒其積聚,以破其業,無以給項王軍食。已而楚兵擊劉賈,賈輒壁不肯與戰,而與彭越相保。(Records of the Grand Historian 51, Biography of Liu Jia)

Liu Jia was a kinsman of the Liu clan. It's unknown precisely when he first joined Liu Bang's cause.

In the first year of Liu Bang's reign (206 BC), when Liu Bang marched to reconquer the Three Qins, Liu Jia was serving him as a general, and he settled the Sai region for Liu Bang. Afterwards, he accompanied Liu Bang east in his campaign against Xiang Yu.

In the fourth year (203 BC), after Liu Bang was defeated at Chenggao, he went north of the Yellow River and obtained the armies of Zhang Er and Han Xin at Xiuwu, where he deepened his moats and fortified his ramparts. At the same time, he sent Liu Jia to lead twenty thousand infantry and a few hundred cavalry to cross the Yellow River at Baima Crossing and march into Chu territory to burn Chu's grain stores and disrupt the livelihood of their population, so that Xiang Yu could not keep his army fed. The Chu soldiers tried to attack Liu Jia, but he always held fast to his ramparts and would not offer battle, and he and Peng Yue helped defend each other.

荊王劉賈,高帝從父兄也,不知其初起時。漢元年,還定三秦,賈為將軍,定塞地,從東擊項籍。漢王敗成皋,北度河,得張耳、韓信軍,軍脩武,深溝高壘,使賈將二萬人,騎數百,擊楚,度白馬津入楚地,燒其積聚,以破其業,無以給項王軍食。已而楚兵擊之,賈輒避不肯與戰,而與彭越相保。(Book of Han 35, Biography of Liu Jia)

Liu Jia was Liu Bang's elder cousin. It's unknown precisely when he first joined Liu Bang's cause.

In the first year of Liu Bang's reign (206 BC), when Liu Bang marched to reconquer the Three Qins, Liu Jia was serving him as a general, and he settled the Sai region for Liu Bang. Afterwards, he accompanied Liu Bang east in his campaign against Xiang Yu.

After Liu Bang was defeated at Chenggao, he went north of the Yellow River and obtained the armies of Zhang Er and Han Xin at Xiuwu, where he deepened his moats and fortified his ramparts. At the same time, he sent Liu Jia to lead twenty thousand infantry and a few hundred cavalry to cross the Yellow River at Baima Crossing and march into Chu territory to burn Chu's grain stores and disrupt the livelihood of their population, so that Xiang Yu could not keep his army fed. The Chu soldiers tried to attack Liu Jia, but he always held fast to his ramparts and would not offer battle, and he and Peng Yue helped defend each other.


彭越攻徇梁地,下睢陽、外黃等十七城。九月,項王謂大司馬曹咎曰:「謹守成皋!卽漢王欲挑戰,愼勿與戰,勿令得東而已。我十五日必定梁地,復從將軍。」羽引兵東行,擊陳留、外黃、睢陽等城,皆下之。

25. Peng Yue attacked and raided through the Liang region. He compelled seventeen cities to submit, including Suiyang and Waihuang.

In the ninth month, Xiang Yu told his Grand Marshal, Cao Jiu, "Keep a close watch on Chenggao! If the King of Han tries to provoke you into fighting, be cautious and do not offer battle. Do nothing more than preventing him from advancing east. I will surely have the Liang region pacified within fifteen days, and then I will return here." Xiang Yu then led his troops east. He attacked Chenliu, Waihuang, Suiyang, and the other cities and recaptured them.

〈睢陽,秦縣,屬碭郡,漢屬梁國,故微子所封國也;唐爲宋州宋城縣。杜佑曰:漢外黃故城,在陳留郡雍丘縣東,《春秋》「齊桓公會諸侯於葵丘」,卽此。〉

(During the Qin dynasty, Suiyang county had been part of Dang commandary. During Han, it was part of the Liang princely fief. It had been the fief which the Viscount of Wei had been granted. During Sui, it was Songcheng county in Songzhou.

Du You remarked, "Han's city of Waihuang was east of Yongqiu county in Chenliu commandary. The Spring and Autumn Annals mentions that 'Duke Huan of Qi held a meeting of the feudal lords at Kuiqiu'; this was the same place.")


復擊破楚師於燕西。下梁地十七城。九月。東擊彭越。令大司馬曹咎長史欣守成皋... 項羽東伐外黃。外黃數日乃降。羽令男子十五已上詣城東。欲悉坑之。外黃令舍人兒年十三。說羽曰。彭越彊劫外黃。外黃恐。故且降以待大王。大王又欲坑之。百姓豈有所歸心哉。從此以東。梁地十餘城皆懼。莫敢下矣。羽赦之。羽初之山東。屬大司馬曹咎長史忻曰。漢即挑戰。慎勿與戰。勿令得東而已。我十五日必定梁地。(Records of Former Han 2 and 3, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

Peng Yue once again attacked and routed a Chu army west of Yan, and he subdued seventeen cities in the Liang region.

In the ninth month, Xiang Yu marched east to attack Peng Yue, while ordering his Grand Marshal, Cao Jiu, and Sima Xin to guard Chenggao.

Xiang Yu marched east and campaigned against Waihuang. After several days, Waihuang surrendered to him.

Xiang Yu ordered all the men within the city fourteen years old or older to come and see him east of the city. He was intending to bury all of them alive. But a twelve-year-old boy who was living in the household of the Prefect of Waihuang came to see Xiang Yu and told him, "Waihuang only surrendered to Peng Yue before because they were afraid of his strength and power. That's why they were awaiting your return, Great King, and surrendered to you again. But now you want to bury alive all these people? How could that gain you the hearts of the people? If you do this, then when you continue east, none of the dozen cities of the Liang region will dare to surrender to you as we have."

Xiang Yu thus pardoned the residents of Waihuang.

Before setting out for the regions east of the mountains, Xiang Yu had told Cao Jiu and Sima Xin, "If the King of Han tries to provoke you into fighting, be cautious and do not offer battle. Do nothing more than preventing him from advancing east. I will surely have the Liang region pacified within fifteen days."

漢四年冬,項王與漢王相距滎陽,彭越攻下睢陽、外黃十七城。項王聞之,乃使曹咎守成皋,自東收彭越所下城邑,皆復為楚。越將其兵北走穀城。(Records of the Grand Historian 90, Biography of Peng Yue)

In the fourth year of Liu Bang's reign (203 BC), in the winter (of 204 BC), while Xiang Yu was busy fighting Liu Bang at Xingyang, Peng Yue attacked and compelled seventeen cities to submit, including Suiyang and Waihuang. When Xiang Yu heard this, he left Cao Jiu behind to hold Chenggao while he personally marched east to attack the cities that Peng Yue had subdued. He recaptured them all, and Peng Yue led his soldiers to flee north to Gucheng.

項王與漢王相距滎陽,越攻下睢陽、外黃十七城。項王聞之,乃使曹咎守成皋,自東收越所下城邑,皆復為楚。越將其兵北走穀城。(Book of Han 34, Biography of Peng Yue)

While Xiang Yu was busy fighting Liu Bang at Xingyang, Peng Yue attacked and compelled seventeen cities to submit, including Suiyang and Waihuang. When Xiang Yu heard this, he left Cao Jiu behind to hold Chenggao while he personally marched east to attack the cities that Peng Yue had subdued. He recaptured them all, and Peng Yue led his soldiers to flee north to Gucheng.


漢王欲捐成皋以東,屯鞏、洛以距楚。酈生曰:「臣聞『知天之天者,王事可成』;王者以民爲天,而民以食爲天。夫敖倉,天下轉輸久矣,臣聞其下乃有藏粟甚多。楚人拔滎陽,不堅守敖倉,乃引而東,令適卒分守成皋,此乃天所以資漢也。方今楚易取而漢反卻,自奪其便,臣竊以爲過矣!且兩雄不俱立,楚、漢久相持不決,海內搖盪,農夫釋耒,工女下機,天下之心未有所定也。願足下急復進兵,收取滎陽,據敖倉之粟,塞成皋之險,杜太行之道,距蜚狐之口,守白馬之津,以示諸侯形制之勢,則天下知所歸矣。」王從之,乃復謀取敖倉。

26. By now, Liu Bang wanted to abandon the territory east of Chenggao and camp his forces at Gong and Luoyang to oppose Chu from that position. But Li Yiji advised him, "I have heard that 'only when one knows what Heaven's Heaven is can the royal business achieve success'. For the king, it is the people who are Heaven, and for the people, it is food which is Heaven; this is 'Heaven's Heaven'.

"Now the Ao Granary has long been the storehouse of all the realm, and I have heard that it has vast stores of grain hidden away there. Yet when the Chu army captured Xingyang, instead of fortifying and guarding the Ao Granary, they led their troops back east instead and left a division of mere convicts to hold Chenggao. Heaven has thus provided this opportunity to Han. When Chu presents such an easy target for you to take, and yet you wish to turn away from it and fall back, you are only defeating yourself, and I venture to call that a mistake!

"Besides, two roosters cannot perch on the same branch. Chu and Han have been fighting one another for a long time without any decisive result, and the whole realm has been stirred up by the turmoil. The farmers have cast aside their plows and the craftswomen have set down their tools, and the hearts of the people still have not known peace. So I urge you, my good fellow, to advance your troops at once. Reclaim Xingyang, occupy the stores at the Ao Granary, block the narrow terrain at Chenggao, cut off the road at Taixing, post troops at the Pass of Feihu, and guard the ford at the Baima Crossing. By doing these things, you will demonstrate to all the feudal lords that you are the master of the situation, and the realm will know to submit to you."

Liu Bang followed his advice, and he plotted to once again reclaim the Ao Granary.

〈《大戴禮》曰:食穀者智慧而巧。《古史考》曰:古者茹毛飲血,燧人氏鑽火,而人始裹肉而燔之曰炮。神農時,人方食穀,加米於燒石之上而食之。及黃帝時,始有釜甑,火食之道成矣。〉〈卒,謂卒之有罪讁者,所謂讁戍也。〉〈耒,手耕曲木也。〉〈如淳曰:上黨壺關也。臣瓚曰:飛狐口在代郡。師古曰:瓚說是,壺關無飛狐之名。《地道記》:恆山在上曲陽縣西北百四十里,北行四百五十里,得恆山岋,號飛狐口,北則代郡也。《水經註》:代郡南四十里有蜚狐關。《史記正義》曰:按蔚州飛狐縣北百五十里有秦、漢故代郡城,西南有山,俗號蜚狐口。〉〈謂因地形而據之以制敵。〉

(The Grand Traditions states, "Those who eat grain are intelligent, clever, and ingenious." The Analysis of Ancient Texts states, "In distant antiquity, people ate hair and drank blood. After discovering the use of flint to produce fire, people began to wrap meat and roast it, calling it roasted meat. It was not until the time of Shennong that people first began to eat grain, or cooked rice atop heated stones and ate it. And it was not until the time of the Yellow Emperor that people first began to use cauldrons and cooking utensils, and the practice of cooked food became complete."

By "convicts", Li Yiji refers to conscripts who had committed crimes, and were thus posted at such camps.

Li Yiji mentions the farmers' 耒s; these are hand-plows of bend wood.

Li Yiji advises Liu Bang to garrison "the Pass of 蜚狐 Feihu". Ru Chun argued, "This was 壺 Hu Pass in Shangdang commandary." But Chen Zan argued, "This was 飛狐 Feihu Pass in Dai commandary." Yan Shigu argued, "Chen Zan is correct; Hu Pass never had the name Feihu." The Records of Lands and Roads states, "Mount Deng is a hundred and forty li northwest of Quyang county. It stretches north for four hundred and fifty li, having the name the Mount Deng Ranges, and there is a pass there called Feihu Pass, going north to Dai commandary." The Commentary on the Water Classic states, "There is a Feihu Pass forty li south of Dai commandary." The Zhengyi commentary to the Records of the Grand Historian states, "The capital city of Dai commandary as it was during the Qin and Han dynasties was a hundred and fifty li north of Feihu county in Weizhou. To its southwest were mountains, commonly called Feihu Pass."

Li Yiji's general advice was that Liu Bang should wield territory over the strategic terrain in order to hold the upper hand over his enemy.)


酈食其說王曰。夫敖倉天下轉輸久矣。臣聞其下乃有積粟甚多。楚人不堅守敖倉。乃引兵而東。令士卒分守成皋。此天所以資漢也。且兩雄不俱立。楚漢又相持不決。百姓搔動。海內搖蕩。農夫失耒。紅女下機。天下之心未有所定。願大王急復進兵。收滎陽。據敖倉之粟。塞成皋之險。杜太行之道。距飛狐之口。守白馬之津。以示諸侯形制之勢。則天下知所歸矣... 王曰。善。乃進兵復守敖倉。(Records of Former Han 2, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

Li Yiji advised Liu Bang, "The Ao Granary has long been the storehouse of all the realm, and I have heard that it has vast stores of grain hidden away there. Yet instead of fortifying and guarding the Ao Granary, the Chu army led their troops back east instead and left a division to hold Chengao. Heaven has thus provided this opportunity to Han.

"Besides, two roosters cannot perch on the same branch. Chu and Han have been fighting one another for a long time without any decisive result. The common people have been stirred up by the turmoil, and chaos grips all within the Four Seas. The farmers have cast aside their plows and the craftswomen have set down their tools, and the hearts of the people still have not known peace. So I urge you, Great King, to advance your troops at once. Reclaim Xingyang, occupy the stores at the Ao Granary, block the narrow terrain at Chenggao, cut off the road at Taixing, post troops at the Pass of Feihu, and guard the ford at the Baima Crossing. By doing these things, you will demonstrate to all the feudal lords that you are the master of the situation, and the realm will know to submit to you."

Liu Bang said, "Excellent." And he advanced his troops to guard the Ao Granary.


食其又說王曰:「方今燕、趙已定,唯齊未下。諸田宗強,負海、岱,阻河、濟,南近於楚,人多變詐;足下雖遣數萬師,未可以歲月破也。臣請得奉明詔說齊王,使爲漢而稱東藩。」上曰:「善!」

27. Li Yiji also advised Liu Bang, "Since Yan and Zhao have been dealt with, only Qi remains defiant. The Tian clan of Qi is very powerful, and the Qi region is protected by the strong natural defenses of the sea, Mount Tai, the Yellow River, and the Ji River. Furthermore, they have Chu as a close neighbor to their south. Not to mention that the people of Qi are very crafty. My good fellow, even if you sent an army of tens of thousands to conquer Qi, it would take more than a mere few months to destroy them. So please allow me to bring an edict from you to present to the King of Qi and advise him to submit to you, so that he may serve you as your eastern vassal."

Liu Bang replied, "Excellent!"

〈齊地東至海,南至太山,故曰負海、岱;西阻清濟,北阻濁河,故曰阻河、濟。〉〈《考異》曰:《史記》、《漢書》皆以食其勸取敖倉及請說齊合爲一事,獨劉向《新序》分爲二;臣謂分爲二者是。〉

(The Qi region extended east to the ocean, south to Mount Tai, west to the Qing and Ji Rivers, and north to the Zhuo and Yellow Rivers; thus Li Yiji's description of these strong natural defenses.

Sima Guang's commentary in the Textual Analysis states, "Regarding Li Yiji's advice to Liu Bang at this time, the Records of the Grand Historian and the Book of Han [and the Records of Former Han] both conflate his advice to claim the Ao Granary and his request to go as an envoy to Qi as the same event. Only Liu Xiang's New Prefaces divides them into two different events. But I follow his example and list them separately.")


今燕趙已定。唯齊未下。雖數十萬之師。未可以歲月破也。臣請得奉明詔說齊王。使為漢稱東藩臣。(Records of Former Han 2, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

Li Yiji said to Liu Bang, "Since Yan and Zhao have been dealt with, only Qi remains defiant. Even if you sent an army of tens of thousands to conquer Qi, it would take more than a mere few months to destroy them. So please allow me to bring an edict from you to present to the King of Qi and advise him to submit to you, so that he may serve you as your eastern vassal."


乃使酈生說齊王曰:「王知天下之所歸乎?」王曰:「不知也。天下何所歸?」酈生曰:「歸漢!」曰:「先生何以言之?」曰:「漢王先入咸陽;項王負約,王之漢中。項王遷殺義帝;漢王聞之,起蜀、漢之兵擊三秦,出關而責義帝之處。收天下之兵,立諸侯之後;降城卽以侯其將,得賂卽以分其士;與天下同其利,豪英賢才皆樂爲之用。項王有倍約之名,殺義帝之負;於人之功無所記,於人之罪無所忘;戰勝而不得其賞,拔城而不得其封,非項氏莫得用事;天下畔之,賢才怨之,而莫爲之用。故天下之事歸於漢王,可坐而策也!夫漢王發蜀、漢,定三秦;涉西河,破北魏;出井陘,誅成安君;此非人之力也,天之福也!今已據敖倉之粟,塞成皋之險,守白馬之津,杜太行之阪,距蜚狐之口;天下後服者先亡矣。王疾先下漢王,齊國可得而保也;不然,危亡可立而待也!」

28. Liu Bang sent Li Yiji to speak to the King of Qi, Tian Guang. Li Yiji said to him, "Does the King know to whom the realm will submit in the end?"

Tian Guang replied, "I do not know. Whom shall it be?"

Li Yiji replied, "To Han!"

Tian Guang said, "Sir, what makes you say so?"

Li Yiji replied, "The King of Han was the first one to enter Xianyang. Yet King Xiang betrayed the pact and made him King in Hanzhong instead. And when King Xiang exiled and then killed Emperor Yi, once the King of Han learned of it, he raised the troops of the Shu and Han regions to attack the Three Qins, then marched out of the passes and denounced King Xiang for what he had done to Emperor Yi. He has gathered the soldiers of the realm, and he has acclaimed the heirs of the feudal lords. Whenever he captures a city, he grants it as a fief to one of his generals; whenever he obtains some goods, he distributes them among his soldiers. He shares his gains with all the realm, and the leading figures of the land and worthy and talented people are all pleased to serve him. King Xiang, on the other hand, has the crime of having betrayed the pact and the infamy of having killed Emperor Yi. He never remembers the achievements of his subordinates, while he never forgets their offenses. Those who win battles for him are not rewarded; those who capture cities for him are never granted them as fiefs. Unless you are part of King Xiang's own clan, he will never use you. So the whole realm hates him and the worthy and talented are furious with him and refuse to serve him. That is why one can easily reckon that the realm will submit to Han in the end!

"And have you not considered how the King of Han raised the troops of Shu and Han, conquered the Three Qins, crossed through the Western Yellow River region and smashed Northern Wei, and passed through Jingxing and took Lord Cheng'an's head? These were not achieved through mere mortal efforts; Heaven itself has blessed him! By now, the King of Han has already occupied the grain of the Ao Granary, blocked the narrow terrain at Chenggao, guarded the ford at the Baima Crossing, cut off the slope at Taixing, and posted troops at the Pass of Feihu.

"I warn you, the last among the rulers of the realm to submit to the King of Han will be the first to lose what they have. O King, you should be quick to submit to the King of Han at once. By doing so, you can preserve your kingdom of Qi and guard it. But if you do not, you will only be waiting for your own destruction!"

〈毛晃曰:背恩亡德曰負。〉〈河自砥柱以上、龍門以下爲西河。《索隱》曰:北魏,謂魏王豹,豹國於河北故也。亦謂之西魏,以大梁於安邑爲東也。〉〈酈生之說,形格勢禁之說也。蓋據敖倉,塞成皋,則項羽不能西;守白馬,杜太行,距蜚狐,則河北燕、趙之地盡爲漢有,齊、楚將安歸乎!白馬津在唐滑州。太行阪在唐澤州界。杜佑曰:蔚州飛狐縣,漢廣昌縣地;飛狐口在縣北,卽漢之飛狐道,通嬀川郡懷戎縣。〉

(Mao Huang remarked, "Those who betray gratitude and abandon virtue are called infamous."

The part of the Yellow River above Dizhu and below Longmen is called the Western Yellow River.

The Suoyin commentary to the Records of the Grand Historian states, "By 'Northern Wei', the text refers to the domain of the King of Wei, Wei Bao, whose kingdom was on the north side of the Yellow River. This area was also called Western Wei, while the Daliang region around Anyi was called Eastern Wei."

The thrust of Li Yiji's observations about Liu Bang's current positions was that these things now allowed him to dominate Xiang Yu. By occupying the Ao Granary and Chenggao, Liu Bang prevented Xiang Yu from advancing any further west; by guarding Baima Crossing, Taixing, and Feihu, he ensured that all the northern regions of Yan and Zhao would remain under Han's control. How then could the realm fall under Chu or Qi's control?

Baima Crossing was in Tang's Huazhou.

Taixing Slope was in Tang's Zezhou.

Du You remarked, "Feihu county in Weizhou was the area of Han's Guangchang county. Feihu Pass was north of the county, the same place as the Feihu Road during Han; it passed to Huairong county in Guichuan commandary.")


食其說齊王曰。知天下所歸。即齊國可得而有也。齊王曰。天下何歸。曰。漢王定三秦。出武關。而誅殺義帝之賊。收天下之兵。詔諸侯之業。降城即以侯其將。得賂即以分其士卒。與天下同其利。豪傑俊才皆樂為之用。諸侯之兵。四面而會。蜀漢之粟。方船而下。項王有殺義帝之名。有背約之負。於人之功無所記。於人之罪無所忘。戰勝而不得其賞。拔城而不得其封。非項氏莫敢用事。為人刻。印刓而不能授。積財而不能散。故天下叛之。賢才怨之。故天下歸漢。可坐而策也。夫漢王發蜀漢。定三秦。涉西河之外。授上黨之兵。北破趙魏。誅成安君。此黃帝之兵。非人之力。天之所授也。今已據敖倉之粟。塞成皋之險。守白馬之津。杜太行之阪。距飛狐之口。天下後服者先亡矣。王疾下漢。社稷可得而保也。(Records of Former Han 2, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

Li Yiji said to Tian Guang, "Does the King know to whom the realm will submit in the end, and to whom the state of Qi should turn?"

Tian Guang replied, "I do not know. Whom shall it be?"

Li Yiji replied, "The King of Han settled the Three Qins, then marched out of Wu Pass and sought to execute the rebel who killed Emperor Yi. He has gathered the soldiers of the realm, and he has announced his support of the feudal lords' endeavor. Whenever a city surrenders to him, he grants it as a fief to one of his generals; whenever he obtains some goods, he distributes them among his soldiers. He shares his gains with all the realm, and the leading figures of the land and worthy and talented people are all pleased to serve him. The soldiers of the feudal lords come from every side to join him, and the grain of the Shu and Han regions is constantly sent to him by boat. King Xiang, on the other hand, has the crime of having betrayed the pact and the infamy of having killed Emperor Yi. He never remembers the achievements of his subordinates, while he never forgets anyone's offenses. Those who win battles for him are not rewarded; those who capture cities for him are never granted them as fiefs. Unless you are part of King Xiang's own clan, he will never use you, and no matter your achievements, he is unwilling to grant you a seal as reward. Nor does he share his mounds of funds with anyone. So the whole realm is against him and the worthy and talented are furious with him. That is why one can easily reckon that the realm will submit to Han in the end.

"And have you not considered how the King of Han raised the troops of Shu and Han, conquered the Three Qins, crossed through the Western Yellow River region, recruited the soldiers of Shangdang, marched north and smashed Zhao and Wei, and took Lord Cheng'an's head? This is the generalship of the Yellow Emperor himself. These things were not achieved through mere mortal efforts; Heaven itself has blessed him. By now, the King of Han has already occupied the grain of the Ao Granary, blocked the narrow terrain at Chenggao, guarded the ford at the Baima Crossing, cut off the slope at Taixing, and posted troops at the Pass of Feihu.

"I warn you, the last among the rulers of the realm to submit to the King of Han will be the first to lose what they have. O King, you should be quick to submit to the King of Han at once. By doing so, you can preserve the fortunes of your state and defend it."


先是,齊聞韓信且東兵,使華無傷、田解將重兵屯歷下,軍以距漢。及納酈生之言,遣使與漢平,乃罷歷下守戰備,與酈生日縱酒爲樂。 韓信引兵東,未度平原,聞酈食其已說下齊,欲止。辨士蒯徹說信曰:「將軍受詔擊齊,而漢獨發間使下齊,寧有詔止將軍乎,何以得毋行也?且酈生,一士,伏軾掉三寸之舌,下齊七十餘城;將軍以數萬衆,歲餘乃下趙五十餘城。爲將數歲,反不如一豎儒之功乎!」於是信然之,遂渡河。

29. Earlier, when Tian Guang had heard that Han Xin was shifting his troops east towards the Qi border, he had sent his generals Hua Wushang and Tian Jie to lead heavy infantry to camp at Lixia to keep the Han army at bay. But now, Tian Guang accepted Li Yiji's advice and planned to submit to Han. So he sent envoys to arrange peace terms with Han, and he disbanded the defensive preparations at Lixia, while spending his days indulging in wine and pleasure together with Li Yiji.

Han Xin had indeed been shifting his troops to the east. But he had not yet reached Pingyuan before he learned that Li Yiji had already persuaded Qi to surrender to Han. He thus planned to cancel his campaign against Qi.

It was earlier mentioned that Kuai Che of Fanyang commandary had provided advice to Wu Chen when he had been King of Zhao. By this time, Kuai Che was serving under Han Xin. He now advised Han Xin, "General, you have received an edict to attack Qi. It may be true that the King of Han has sent some secret envoy to make Qi submit, but you have not received an edict ordering you to halt your campaign, have you? Why then should you cancel your campaign? Besides, General, although you have an army of tens of thousands at your command, it still took you more than a year to subdue the fifty or so cities of Zhao. This Li Yiji has done no more than bow from the crossbar of his carriage and wag his three-inch tongue, yet with that alone he has subdued the seventy or so cities of Qi. Are you going to let your years of service pale in comparison to what this mere pedant has achieved?"

Han Xin agreed with his advice. So he led his army across the Yellow River.

〈華,姓也。《姓譜》:宋華父督始立華氏。張揖曰:濟南歷山之下。余據《酈食其傳》曰:「軍於歷城」,則歷下卽濟南郡歷城縣。〉〈軾,車前橫木,人所憑者。掉,搖也。〉

(華 Hua was this fellow's surname. The Registry of Surnames states, "Hua Fudu of Song first established the Hua clan."

Regarding Lixia, Zhang Yi argued, "By 歷下 Lixia, it means that they camped 下 'below' 歷 'Mount Li' in Jinan commandary." But I (Hu Sanxing) note that the version of this account that appears in the Biography of Li Yiji states that the Qi army camped at "Licheng". So "Lixia" must have been the same place as Licheng county in Jinan commandary.

Kuai Che says that Li Yiji 軾掉s his tongue. A 軾 is a horizontal piece of wood at the front of a cart, pulled by manpower. 掉 means "wagging".)


齊王以為然。乃罷守兵。與食其日縱酒焉... 四年冬十月。韓信將伐齊。聞既和欲還。蒯通說信曰。將軍受詔擊齊。未有詔止。何以得無行乎。且酈生一儒士。仗軾下齊七十餘城。將軍以數十萬眾。乃下趙五十餘城。勞苦將士數年。反不如一豎儒之功乎。(Records of Former Han 2 and 3, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

Tian Guang believed Li Yiji's reasoning. So he disbanded his garrison troops, and he spent his days indulging in wine together with Li Yiji.

In the fourth year of Liu Bang's reign (203 BC), in winter, the tenth month (of 204 BC), Han Xin was about to campaign against Qi. But when he heard that peace had already been arranged, he was planning to cancel the campaign.

Kuai Tong advised Han Xin, "General, you have received an edict to attack Qi, and you have not received an edict ordering you to halt it. Why then should you cancel your campaign? Besides, General, although you have an army of hundreds of thousands at your command, it still took you and your soldiers more than a year of toil to subdue the fifty or so cities of Zhao. This Li Yiji has done no more than bow from the crossbar of his carriage, yet with that alone he has subdued the seventy or so cities of Qi. Are you going to let your years of service pale in comparison to what this mere pedant has achieved?"

信引兵東,未渡平原,聞漢王使酈食其已說下齊,韓信欲止。范陽辯士蒯通說信曰:「將軍受詔擊齊,而漢獨發閒使下齊,寧有詔止將軍乎?何以得毋行也!且酈生一士,伏軾掉三寸之舌,下齊七十餘城,將軍將數萬眾,歲餘乃下趙五十餘,為將數歲,反不如一豎儒之功乎?」於是信然之,從其計,遂渡河。齊已聽酈生,即留縱酒,罷備漢守御。(Records of the Grand Historian 92, Biography of Han Xin)

Han Xin had been shifting his troops to the east. But he had not yet crossed the Yellow River at Pingyuan before he learned that Liu Bang had sent Li Yiji to Qi as a diplomat, and Li Yiji had already persuaded Qi to surrender to Han. Han Xin thus planned to cancel his campaign against Qi.

But a wily speaker from Fanyang, Kuai Tong, advised Han Xin, "General, you have received an edict to attack Qi. It may be true that the King of Han has sent some secret envoy to make Qi submit, but you have not received an edict ordering you to halt your campaign, have you? Why then should you cancel your campaign? Besides, General, although you have an army of tens of thousands at your command, it still took you more than a year to subdue the fifty or so cities of Zhao. This Li Yiji alone has done no more than bow from the crossbar of his carriage and wag his three-inch tongue, yet with that alone he has subdued the seventy or so cities of Qi. Are you going to let your years of service pale in comparison to what this mere pedant has achieved?"

Han Xin felt that Kuai Tong was correct, so he followed his advice and led his army across the Yellow River.

By then, since Tian Guang had already accepted Li Yiji's advice, he had disbanded the defensive preparations against Han and was spending his days indulging in wine and pleasure.

信引兵東,未度平原,聞漢王使酈食其已說下齊。信欲止,蒯通說信令擊齊。語在通傳。信然其計,遂渡河。(Book of Han 34, Biography of Han Xin)

Han Xin had been shifting his troops to the east. But he had not yet crossed the Yellow River at Pingyuan before he learned that Liu Bang had sent Li Yiji to Qi as a diplomat, and Li Yiji had already persuaded Qi to surrender to Han. Han Xin thus planned to cancel his campaign against Qi.

Kuai Tong persuaded Han Xin to go ahead with his campaign against Qi. This is further mentioned in the Biography of Kuai Tong.

Han Xin followed Kuai Tong's advice and led his army across the Yellow River.

後漢將韓信虜魏王,破趙、代,降燕,定三國,引兵將東擊齊。未度平原,聞漢王使酈食其說下齊,信欲止。通說信曰:「將軍受詔擊齊,而漢獨發間使下齊,寧有詔止將軍乎?何以得無行!且酈生一士,伏軾掉三寸舌,下齊七十餘城,將軍將數萬之眾,乃下趙五十餘城。為將數歲,反不如一豎儒之功乎!」於是信然之,從其計,遂度河。齊巳聽酈生,即留之縱酒,罷備漢守禦。齊巳聽酈生,即留之縱酒,罷備漢守禦。(Book of Han 45, Biography of Kuai Tong)

Later, the Han general Han Xin had captured the King of Wei (Wei Bao) routed Zhao and Dai, and accepted the submission of Yan. Having secured these three states, Han Xin next planned to lead his troops east to attack Qi as well. But he had not yet reached Pingyuan before he learned that Li Yiji had already persuaded Qi to surrender to Han. He thus planned to cancel his campaign against Qi.

Kuai Tong advised Han Xin, "General, you have received an edict to attack Qi. It may be true that the King of Han has sent some secret envoy to make Qi submit, but you have not received an edict ordering you to halt your campaign, have you? Why then should you cancel your campaign? Besides, General, although you have an army of tens of thousands at your command, it still took you more than a year to subdue the fifty or so cities of Zhao. This Li Yiji has done no more than bow from the crossbar of his carriage and wag his three-inch tongue, yet with that alone he has subdued the seventy or so cities of Qi. Are you going to let your years of service pale in comparison to what this mere pedant has achieved?"

Han Xin agreed with Kuai Tong and followed his advice. So he led his army across the Yellow River.

By then, since Qi had already accepted Li Yiji's advice, they had disbanded their defensive preparations against Han and were spending their days indulging in wine and pleasure.
Last edited by Taishi Ci 2.0 on Thu Jan 16, 2020 12:32 am, edited 34 times in total.
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BOOK 10

Unread postby Taishi Ci 2.0 » Wed Oct 09, 2019 2:58 am

四年(戊戌、前二○三)

The Fourth Year of Liu Bang's Reign (The Wuxu or Earth Dog Year, 203 BC)


冬,十月,信襲破齊歷下軍,遂至臨淄。齊王以酈生爲賣己,乃烹之;引兵東走高密,使使之楚請救。田橫走博陽,守相田光走城陽,將軍田旣軍於膠東。

1. In winter, the tenth month (of 204 BC), Han Xin launched a surprise attack against the Qi army at Lixia, then advanced to Linzi. Tian Guang, believing that Li Yiji had sold him out, had Li Yiji boiled alive.

Tian Guang led his troops east to flee to Gaomi, and he sent envoys to Chu to ask them for help. Tian Heng fled to Boyang, the acting Chancellor, Tian Guāng, fled to Chengyang, and the general Tian Ji camped at Jiaodong.

〈高密縣在膠西,宣帝本始元年爲高密國。宋白曰:高密,春秋時晏平仲所食邑。〉〈此據《史記》也。班《書》作「橫走博」。博陽近清河博關,此正韓信自趙進兵之路。臨淄旣破,君、相皆出走。其後韓信旣虜田廣於濰水,灌嬰又敗田橫於嬴下。嬴縣亦屬太山郡。《括地志》:故嬴城在兗州博城縣東北百里。唐之博城,漢太山之博縣;此博陽,卽博城之陽。〉〈《括地志》:卽墨故城在萊州膠水縣南六十里,古齊地,漢爲膠東國,以其地在膠水之東也。〉

(Gaomi county was west of the Jiao River. In Emperor Xuan of Han's first year of Benshi (73 BC), it was organized into the Gaomi princely fief. Song Bai remarked, "During the Spring and Autumn era, Gaomi was the fief of Yan Pingzhong (Yan Ying)."

This passage uses the Records of the Grand Historian for its source in stating that Tian Heng fled to "Boyang". But the version of this account that appears in the Book of Han states that he fled to "Bo". Now Boyang was near Bo Pass in Qinghe commandary; this was directly in the line of Han Xin's advance from the Zhao region. After Linzi fell, Tian Guang and his ministers all scattered in different directions. Han Xin later captured Tian Guang at the Wei River, and then Guan Ying also defeated Tian Heng at Yingxia, Ying county also being part of Taishan commandary. The Comprehensive Gazetteer states, "The capital city of Ying was a hundred li northeast of Bocheng county in Yanzhou." Tang's Bocheng was the same place as Bo county in Han's Taishan commandary. So this "Boyang" must have meant "north of Bocheng".

The Comprehensive Gazetteer states, "The capital city of Jimo was sixty li south of Jiaoshui county in Laizhou. This was the ancient Qi region, which Han organized into the Jiaodong princely fief; it was named Jiaodong ('east of the Jiao River') because it was east of that river.")


信遂襲齊。齊王以酈生為賣己。乃烹之。齊王走高密... 田橫請救于楚。(Records of Former Han 3, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

Han Xin launched a surprise attack against Qi. Tian Guang, believing that Li Yiji had sold him out, had Li Yiji boiled alive.

Tian Guang fled east to Gaomi.

Tian Heng asked for aid from Chu.

信因襲齊歷下軍,遂至臨菑。齊王田廣以酈生賣己,乃亨之,而走高密,使使之楚請救。(Records of the Grand Historian 92, Biography of Han Xin)

Han Xin launched a surprise attack against the Qi army at Lixia, then advanced to Linzi. Tian Guang, believing that Li Yiji had sold him out, had Li Yiji boiled alive.

Tian Guang fled to Gaomi, and he sent envoys to Chu to ask them for help.

襲歷下軍,至臨菑。齊王走高密,使使於楚請救。(Book of Han 34, Biography of Han Xin)

Han Xin launched a surprise attack against the Qi army at Lixia, then advanced to Linzi. Tian Guang fled to Gaomi, and he sent envoys to Chu to ask them for help.

信因襲歷下軍,遂至臨菑。齊王以酈生為欺己而亨之,因敗走。(Book of Han 45, Biography of Kuai Tong)

Han Xin launched a surprise attack against the Qi army at Lixia, then advanced to Linzi. Tian Guang, believing that Li Yiji had sold him out, had Li Yiji boiled alive, then fled in defeat.


楚大司馬咎守成皋,漢數挑戰,楚軍不出。使人辱之,數日,咎怒,渡兵汜水。士卒半渡,漢擊之,大破楚軍,盡得楚國金玉、貨賂,咎及司馬欣皆自剄汜水上。漢王引兵渡河,復取成皋,軍廣武,就敖倉食。

2. It was earlier mentioned that Cao Jiu was guarding Chenggao. Liu Bang tried several times to entice him into battle, but the Chu army never stirred. So Liu Bang sent people to shame Cao Jiu, and after several days, Cao Jiu became so angry that he led his troops across the Si River. But his soldiers were only halfway across the river before the Han army attacked them and greatly routed them. They captured all the gold and jade of Chu, along with their funds. Cao Jiu and Sima Xin both cut their throats on the banks of the Si River.

Liu Bang then led his troops to cross the river, where he reclaimed Chenggao and camped his army at Guangwu, keeping them supplied from the Ao Granary.

〈張晏曰:汜水在濟陰界。如淳曰:汜,音祀。《左傳》曰:「鄙在鄭地汜。」臣瓚曰:高祖攻曹咎於成皋,咎渡汜水而戰,今成皋城東汜水是也。師古曰:瓚說得之,此水不在濟陰也。「鄙在鄭地汜」,釋者云在襄城,則亦非此汜水。舊讀音凡,今彼鄕人呼之音祀。《索隱》曰:此水今見名汜水,音似;臣瓚說是。張晏曰:在濟陰亦未全失。按古濟水當此截河而南,又東流溢爲滎澤。水南曰陰,此亦在濟之陰,非彼濟陰郡耳。《括地志》:汜水源出洛州汜水縣東南三十二里方山。《山海經》:浮戲之山,汜水出焉。〉〈孟康曰:於滎陽築兩城相對爲廣武,在敖倉西三皇山上。《括地志》:東廣武、西廣武在鄭州滎陽縣西二十里。戴延之《西征記》曰:三皇山上有二城,東曰東廣武,西曰西廣武,各在一山頭,相去百步。汴水從廣澗中東南流,今涸無水。城各有三面,在敖倉西。郭緣生《述征記》曰:一澗橫絕上過,名曰廣武,相對皆立城塹,遂號東、西廣武。〉

(Regarding the Si River, Zhang Yan remarked, "The Si River was in Jiyin." Ru Chun remarked, "汜 is pronounced 'si'. The Zuo Commentary mentions a place 'in the country of Zheng, in 汜'." Chen Zan remarked, "When Gaozu (Liu Bang) defeated Cao Jiu at Chenggao, Cao Jiu first crossed the Si River before fighting him. It seems clear from that that Chenggao must have been on the east side of the Si River." Yan Shigu remarked, "Chen Zan is correct, and this river could not have been in Jiyin commandary. And the line 'in the country of Zheng, in 汜' refers to Xiangcheng, so this 汜 cannot have been the Si River either. In ancient times, the name of this river, 汜, was pronounced 'fan', but in more modern times the locals pronounce it as 'si'." The Suoyin commentary to the Records of the Grand Historian states, "This river was what is now called the Si River, pronounced 'si'; it is as Chen Zan said." Zhang Yan remarked, "The claim that the Si River was 'in Jiyin' is not necessarily wrong. According to ancient sources, the Ji River branched off from the Yellow River at this place and flowed south, then east until it spilled out into Xing Marsh. And since the south side of a river is called its yin, Jiyin ('south of the Ji River') as a general term could indeed refer to this place; Zhang Yan need not have meant Jiyin commandary in particular." The Comprehensize Gazetteer states, "The Si River emerges from Mount Fang, thirty-two li southeast of Sishui county in Luozhou." The Classic of Mountains and Rivers states, "The Si River emerges from the mountains of Fuxi."

Meng Kang remarked, "Between the two cities of Xingyang and Gong was Guangwu; it was west of the Ao Granary, atop Mount Sanhuang." The Comprehensive Gazetteer states, "Eastern Guangwu and Western Guangwu were twenty li west of Xingyang county in Zhengzhou." Dai Yanzhi's Records of the Western Campaign states, "There are two forts atop Mount Sanhuang; the east one is called Eastern Guangwu, and the western one Western Guangwu. Each has the top of a hill in them, and they are a hundred paces apart. The Bian River used to run from Guang Gorge through to the southeast, although the gorge no longer has a river. The forts each have three sides, and they are west of the Ao Granary." Guo Yuansheng's Records of a Campaign Narrative states, "There are forts called Guangwu on either side above this gorge; they are called Eastern and Western Guangwu.")


而漢果挑戰。楚軍不出。使人辱之。數日。咎怒。渡兵汜水上。士卒半渡。漢擊破之。盡得楚國寶貨。曹咎長史忻皆自殺。王遂進兵取成皋。(Records of Former Han 3, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

Liu Bang indeed tried to offer battle, but the Chu army never stirred. So Liu Bang sent people to shame Cao Jiu, and after several days, Cao Jiu became so angry that he led his troops across the Si River. But his soldiers were only halfway across the river before the Han army attacked and routed them. They captured all the treasures of Chu, along with their funds. Cao Jiu and Sima Xin both killed themselves.

Liu Bang then advanced his troops and reclaimed Chenggao.


項羽下梁地十餘城,聞成皋破,乃引兵還。漢軍方圍鍾離昩於滎陽東,聞羽至,盡走險阻。羽亦軍廣武,與漢相守。數月,楚軍食少。項王患之,乃爲俎,置太公其上,告漢王曰:「今不急下,吾烹太公!」漢王曰:「吾與羽俱北面受命懷王,約爲兄弟,吾翁卽若翁;必欲烹而翁,幸分我一桮羹!」項王怒,欲殺之。項伯曰:「天下事未可知;且爲天下者不顧家,雖殺之無益,只益禍耳!」項王從之。

3. Xiang Yu had subdued more than ten cities in the Liang region, but then heard the news that Chenggao had fallen. So he brought his troops back west again. Liu Bang had just then surrounded Zhongli Mo east of Xingyang, but when he heard that Xiang Yu was coming, he retreated back to the natural defenses at Guangwu. Xiang Yu advanced to Guangwu as well, and the two sides once again entered a stalemate.

After several months, the supplies of the Chu army were running low. Xiang Yu was worried about this. It was earlier mentioned that the Chu army had captured Liu Bang's father during Liu Bang's flight from Pengcheng. So Xiang Yu now set up a platform and put Liu Bang's father on it, then announced to Liu Bang, "Unless you submit at once, I will boil your father alive!"

Liu Bang called back, "Xiang Yu, you and I both faced north and received the orders of King Huai (Emperor Yi), and at that time we swore an oath to be as brothers. That makes my old man your old man too. So if you're determined to boil him, at least send me a cup of the broth!"

Xiang Yu was furious with this response, and he was about to kill Liu Bang's father. But Xiang Bo told him, "We don't know yet who will gain the realm in the end. Besides, one who is determined to conquer the realm will not put aside such ambitions just for the sake of their family. Killing this man would not do you any good, it would only bring disaster down on you!"

Xiang Yu followed his advice.

〈如淳曰:俎,高几之上也。李奇曰:軍中巢櫓謂之俎。師古曰:俎者,所以薦肉,示欲烹之,故置俎上;如說是。《方言》:周、晉、秦、隴謂父爲翁。若,汝也;而,亦汝也。古者以桮盛羹,今之盃側有兩耳者也。〉

(This passage describes Liu Bang's father being placed upon a 俎. Ru Chun remarked, "A 俎 is a tall platform." Li Qi remarked, "A nest-tower in the middle of an army camp is called a 俎." Yan Shigu remarked, "A 俎 is used for displaying sacrificial meat, to demonstrate one's intention to boil it. This was why Liu Bang's father was placed atop it. It is as Ru Chun says."

Liu Bang uses the term 翁 "old man" to describe his father. The Fangyan book of regional dialects states, "People in the Zhou, Jin, Qin, and Long regions use the term 翁 for 'father'." Liu Bang also uses the terms 若 and 而 to address Xiang Yu; both of these mean "you".

The ancients would fill 桮 "cups" to the brim with their broth. This was the equivalent of the modern 盃 "cup" with two ears on its sides.)


羽下梁十餘城。聞曹咎破乃還。羽於廣武間為高俎。置太公於其上。曰漢不急下。吾烹太公。王不聽。羽怒。欲殺太公。項伯曰。夫為天下者不顧其家。殺之無益。但益怨耳。羽從之。(Records of Former Han 3, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

Xiang Yu had subdued more than ten cities in the Liang region, but then heard the news that Cao Jiu had been routed. So he brought his troops back west again.

Xiang Yu set up a high platform at Guangwu Gorge and put Liu Bang's father on it, then announced to Liu Bang, "Unless you submit at once, I will boil your father alive."

But Liu Bang did not listen. Xiang Yu was furious, and he was about to kill Liu Bang's father. But Xiang Bo told him, "One who is determined to conquer the realm will not put aside such ambitions just for the sake of their family. Killing this man would not do you any good, it would only make the King of Han angrier at you."

Xiang Yu followed his advice.


項王謂漢王曰:「天下匈匈數歲者,徒以吾兩人耳。願與漢王挑戰,決雌雄,毋徒苦天下之民父子爲也!」漢王笑謝曰:「吾寧鬬智,不能鬬力。」項王三令壯士出挑戰,漢有善騎射者樓煩輒射殺之。項王大怒,乃自被甲持戟挑戰。樓煩欲射之,項王瞋目叱之,樓煩目不敢視,手不敢發,遂走還入壁,不敢復出。漢王使人間問之,乃項王也,漢王大驚。

4. Xiang Yu said to Liu Bang, "It is all because of our personal animosity that the realm has experienced so many years of turmoil. I am prepared to fight a duel with you and let that determine the victor of our struggle. Let's not bring any further suffering to the fathers and sons of the realm!"

But Liu Bang only laughed and declined the offer, saying, "I'd rather match wits with you than blades."

Three times, Xiang Yu ordered a strong fellow from his army to go out and challenge someone from the Han army to a duel. But Liu Bang always responded by having a certain loufan, who was skilled at mounted archery, shoot and kill these champions. Furious at this treatment, Xiang Yu himself put on his armor, grasped his halberd, and went out to challenge the Han army. The loufan was going to shoot him as well, but Xiang Yu glared at him and shouted so intensely that the loufan could neither bear to look him in the eyes nor lift his hands to aim the bow, and he fled back into the Han ramparts and would not dare to come out again. When Liu Bang sent agents to ask around and see who this latest champion was and they reported back that it was King Xiang, Liu Bang was shocked.

〈師古曰:匈匈,喧擾之意。〉〈應劭曰:樓煩,胡人也。李奇曰:後爲縣,屬鴈門。此縣人善騎射。謂士爲樓煩,取其稱耳,未必樓煩人也。師古曰:李奇說是。〉〈間問,微問也。〉

(Xiang Yu describes the realm as being 匈匈. Yan Shigu remarked, "This means to be stirred up by turmoil."

The archer whom Liu Bang sent out to deal with the Chu champions is described as a 樓煩 “loufan”. Ying Shao remarked, "A 'loufan' was a barbarian." Li Qi remarked, "Loufan was later the name of a county in Yanmen commandary. The people of that county were skilled at mounted archery. But this passage, in calling the archer a 'loufan', was merely describing his talents in that regard, and it did not necessarily mean that he was from the later territory of Loufan county in particular." Yan Shigu remarked, "Li Qi is correct."

To "ask around" means to inquire in secret.)


使人謂曰。願與王挑戰。面決雌雄。王笑謝之曰。吾寧鬥智不鬥力。羽令壯士挑戰。漢使善射者樓煩射楚三人殺之。羽大怒。即自出。瞋目叱之。樓煩目不能視。手不能發。走還入壁。王使間問之。乃羽也。王大驚。(Records of Former Han 3, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

Xiang Yu sent someone to tell Liu Bang, "I am prepared to fight a duel with you. Let us determine this struggle, face to face."

But Liu Bang only laughed and declined the offer, saying, "I'd rather match wits with you than blades."

Three times, Xiang Yu ordered a strong fellow from his army to go out and challenge someone from the Han army to a duel. But Liu Bang always responded by having a certain loufan, who was skilled at archery, shoot and kill these champions. Furious at this treatment, Xiang Yu himself went out to challenge the Han army. Xiang Yu glared at the loufan and rebuked him so intensely that the loufan could neither bear to look him in the eyes nor lift his hands to aim the bow, and he fled back into the Han ramparts. When Liu Bang sent agents to ask around and see who this latest champion was and they reported back that it was King Xiang, Liu Bang was shocked.


於是項王乃卽漢王,相與臨廣武間而語。羽欲與漢王獨身挑戰。漢王數羽曰:「羽負約,王我於蜀、漢,罪一;矯殺卿子冠軍,罪二;救趙不還報,而擅劫諸侯兵入關,罪三;燒秦宮室,掘始皇帝冢,收私其財,罪四;殺秦降王子嬰,罪五;詐阬秦子弟新安二十萬,罪六;王諸將善地而徙逐故王,罪七;出逐義帝彭城,自都之,奪韓王地,幷王梁、楚,多自與,罪八;使人陰殺義帝江南,罪九;爲政不平,主約不信,天下所不容,大逆無道,罪十也。吾以義兵從諸侯誅殘賊,使刑餘罪人擊公,何苦乃與公挑戰!」羽大怒,伏弩射中漢王。漢王傷胸,乃捫足曰:「虜中吾指。」漢王病創臥,張良強請漢王起行勞軍,以安士卒,毋令楚乘勝。漢王出行軍,疾甚,因馳入成皋。

5. Xiang Yu arranged for another parley with Liu Bang, and they spoke with one another from either side of the Guangwu Gorge. Xiang Yu still hoped to face Liu Bang in single combat. But Liu Bang only denounced him, saying, "Xiang Yu, you broke the pact that King Huai swore to and made me King of Shu instead of King of Guanzhong; that was your first crime. You deceived and killed the Champion General of the Noble Youths (Song Yi); that was your second crime. After saving Zhao, instead of reporting back as you should have, you compelled the soldiers of the other feudal lords to follow you into Guanzhong; that was your third crime. You burned down the Qin palaces, dug up the tomb of the First Emperor, and kept all their treasures for yourself; that was your fourth crime. You killed the King of Qin, Ying Ziying, even though he had already surrendered; that was your fifth crime. You deceived and buried alive two hundred thousand young men of Qin at Xin'an; that was your sixth crime. You gave all the best land in the realm to your own generals while driving the original kings away; that was your seventh crime. You drove Emperor Yi out of Pengcheng and took it for yourself as your own capital, then stole land from the King of Hann and from the Liang and Chu regions and kept most of it as your own; that was your eighth crime. You had your agents secretly kill Emperor Yi in the Southland; that was your ninth crime. And you rule unjustly and did not keep faith with your original pact, such that the whole realm cannot put up with you; you are a traitor without principles, and that is your tenth crime. I am leading an uprising of righteous soldiers and a coalition of the feudal lords to exterminate a rebel. The only person you deserve to duel is another criminal. Why should I bother to duel you myself?"

Xiang Yu was so infuriated by these remarks that he pulled out a hidden crossbow and shot Liu Bang with it. The bolt struck Liu Bang in the chest. However, he only nursed his foot and told people, "That rascal's shot my toe."

Liu Bang was in so much pain from being shot that he wanted to lie down. But Zhang Liang compelled him to get up and walk around the camp in order to reassure the officers and soldiers and prevent Chu from realizing the opportunity they could exploit. Liu Bang did so, but his pain worsened afterwards, so he rushed into Chenggao.

〈卽,就也,從也。〉〈收私者,收取其財以爲私有。〉〈捫,摸也。師古曰:傷胸而捫足者,以安衆也。〉

(The term 卽 here means "to visit, to go to".

By "kept them for yourself", Liu Bang meant that Xiang Yu had taken all the riches of Qin for his own personal use.

To "nurse" means to gently hold. Yan Shigu remarked, "He nursed his foot, although he had actually been shot in the chest, in order to reassure his soldiers that he had not been seriously injured.")


於是王與羽臨廣武間而語。王數羽曰。汝背約王我於蜀漢。其罪一也。矯殺卿子冠軍而自立。其罪二也。受命救趙。不還報命。擅劫諸侯入關。其罪三也。與懷王約入咸陽無暴掠。汝燒秦宮室。掘始皇廝。多取財寶。其罪四也。殺秦降王子嬰。其罪五也。詐坑秦卒二十萬。其罪六也。皆王諸侯善地。而徙逐其主。令臣下爭叛。其罪七也。出義帝于彭城而自都之。多自與己地。其罪八也。殺義帝於江南。其罪九也。夫為人臣自欲爭天下。大逆無道。其罪十也。吾以義兵誅殘賊。使刑餘罪人擊公。何苦乃與公挑戰。羽怒。伏弩射王。中胸。王乃捫足曰。虜中吾指。王疾甚。入成皋。(Records of Former Han 3, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

Xiang Yu and Liu Bang spoke with one another from either side of the Guangwu Gorge. Liu Bang only denounced him, saying, "You broke the pact that King Huai swore to and made me King of Shu instead of King of Guanzhong; that was your first crime. You deceived and killed the Champion General of the Noble Youths (Song Yi) and took his place for yourself; that was your second crime. Your only orders were to save Zhao, yet after doing so, instead of reporting back as you should have, you compelled the soldiers of the other feudal lords to follow you into Guanzhong; that was your third crime. I upheld the pact and refused to pillage Xianyang when I entered it, while you burned down the Qin palaces, dug up the tomb of the First Emperor, and kept all their treasures for yourself; that was your fourth crime. You killed the King of Qin, Ying Ziying, even though he had already surrendered; that was your fifth crime. You deceived and buried alive two hundred thousand soldiers of Qin at Xin'an; that was your sixth crime. You gave all the best land in the realm to your own generals while driving the original kings away, and you stirred up subjects to rebel against their masters; that was your seventh crime. You drove Emperor Yi out of Pengcheng and took it for yourself as your own capital, then stole land and kept most of it as your own; that was your eighth crime. You killed Emperor Yi in the Southland; that was your ninth crime. And you, though a subject, sought to contend for control of all the realm for yourself; you are a traitor without principles, and that is your tenth crime. I am leading an uprising of righteous soldiers to exterminate a cruel rebel. The only person you deserve to duel is another criminal. Why should I bother to duel you myself?"

Xiang Yu was so infuriated by these remarks that he pulled out a hidden crossbow and shot Liu Bang with it. The bolt struck Liu Bang in the chest. However, he only nursed his foot and told people, "That rascal's shot my toe."

Liu Bang's pain worsened, so he rushed into Chenggao.


韓信已定臨淄,遂東追齊王。項王使龍且將兵,號二十萬,以救齊,與齊王合軍高密。

6. Once Han Xin had dealt with Linzi, he continued east in pursuit of Tian Guang. Xiang Yu sent Long Ju to lead an army, claimed to be two hundred thousand strong, to reinforce Qi. This Chu army joined forces with Tian Guang's army at Gaomi.

十有一月。楚使龍且救齊。號二十萬眾。與齊合軍。(Records of Former Han 3, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

In the eleventh month (of 204 BC), Chu sent Long Ju to lead an army, claimed to be two hundred thousand strong, to reinforce Qi. This Chu army joined forces with the Qi army.

韓信已定臨菑,遂東追廣至高密西。楚亦使龍且將,號稱二十萬,救齊。(Records of the Grand Historian 92, Biography of Han Xin)

Once Han Xin had dealt with Linzi, he continued east in pursuit of Tian Guang, arriving west of Gaomi. Xiang Yu sent Long Ju to lead an army, claimed to be two hundred thousand strong, to reinforce Qi.

信已定臨菑,東追至高密西。楚使龍且將,號稱二十萬,救齊。(Book of Han 34, Biography of Han Xin)

Once Han Xin had dealt with Linzi, he continued east in pursuit of Tian Guang, arriving west of Gaomi. Xiang Yu sent Long Ju to lead an army, claimed to be two hundred thousand strong, to reinforce Qi.


客或說龍且曰:「漢兵遠鬬窮戰,其鋒不可當。齊、楚自居其地,兵易敗散。不如深壁,令齊王使其信臣招所亡城;亡城聞王在,楚來救,必反漢。漢兵二千里客居齊地,齊城皆反之,其勢無所得食,可無戰而降也。」龍且曰:「吾平生知韓信爲人,易與耳!寄食於漂母,無資身之策;受辱於袴下,無兼人之勇;不足畏也。且夫救齊,不戰而降之,吾何功!今戰而勝之,齊之半可得也。」

7. One of Long Ju's guests advised him, "The Han soldiers are far from home, so they have no choice but to fight with everything they have. We cannot openly clash with their vanguard. Meanwhile, the Qi and Chu soldiers are close to their homes, so they might easily scatter when defeated. It would be better for you to fortify your ramparts and order the King of Qi to send out his trusted servants to go to the cities that have already fallen. When these cities hear that the King of Qi is nearby and that Chu has sent reinforcements, they will surely rebel against Han. The Han army are strangers, two thousand li deep into Qi territory, and if all the cities of Qi turn against them, they will have nowhere to obtain supplies. We would be able to make them surrender without even fighting a battle."

But Long Ju replied, "I've known what sort of person this Han Xin is for a long time; it would easy to defeat him! After all, he begged for food from a washerwoman, which shows that he doesn't know how to provide for himself, and he accepted the shame of crawling between another man's legs, which shows that he lacks the courage of a real man. He is not worth fearing. Besides, I came here to rescue Qi; if the Han army surrendered without my fighting a battle, what achievement could I claim? No, I shall fight and defeat them, and then half of Qi will be mine."

〈《孫子》九地,諸侯自戰其地爲散地。曹操曰:士卒戀土,道近易散者也。〉〈信臣,常所親信之臣。〉〈事見上卷元年。〉

(In the Nine Situations chapter of the Art of War, Sunzi describes the situation of the Qi and Chu soldiers as "When a feudal lord is fighting in their own territory, it is dispersive ground." Cao Cao's commentary on that passage states, "The officers and soldiers will long for home, and being so near to their homes, they may easily scatter."

By "trusted ministers", the guest meant ministers who had the ruler's full confidence.

Han Xin's early life, including the episodes that Long Ju describes, is mentioned in Book 9, in the first year of Liu Bang's reign (-206.23).)


或謂龍且曰。漢兵遠戰窮寇。其鋒不可當。齊楚自居其地。兵易敗散。不如深壁自守。命齊王使其信臣招所亡城。亡城聞王在。楚來救。必自叛漢。漢二千餘里。客居其間。勢無所得食。可無戰而降也。龍且曰。救齊而降之。吾有何功。今戰而勝之。齊之半可得而有。吾平生時知韓信之為人易與耳。(Records of Former Han 3, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

Someone advised Long Ju, "The Han soldiers are far from home, so they have no choice but to fight with everything they have. We cannot openly clash with their vanguard. Meanwhile, the Qi and Chu soldiers are close to their homes, so they might easily scatter when defeated. It would be better for you to fortify your ramparts and defend your position, while ordering the King of Qi to send out his trusted servants to go to the cities that have already fallen. When these cities hear that the King of Qi is nearby and that Chu has sent reinforcements, they will surely rebel against Han. The Han army are strangers, two thousand li deep into Qi territory, and if all the cities of Qi turn against them, they will have nowhere to obtain supplies. We would be able to make them surrender without even fighting a battle."

But Long Ju replied, "I came here to rescue Qi; if the Han army surrendered without my fighting a battle, what achievement could I claim? No, I shall fight and defeat them, and then half of Qi will be mine. Besides, I've known what sort of person this Han Xin is for a long time; it would easy to defeat him."

齊王廣、龍且并軍與信戰,未合。人或說龍且曰:「漢兵遠鬬窮戰,其鋒不可當。齊、楚自居其地戰,兵易敗散。不如深壁,令齊王使其信臣招所亡城,亡城聞其王在,楚來救,必反漢。漢兵二千里客居,齊城皆反之,其勢無所得食,可無戰而降也。」龍且曰:「吾平生知韓信為人,易與耳。且夫救齊不戰而降之,吾何功?今戰而勝之,齊之半可得,何為止!」(Records of the Grand Historian 92, Biography of Han Xin)

Tian Guang and Long Ju combined their forces in preparation to attack Han Xin, but they had not yet engaged him.

Someone advised Long Ju, "The Han soldiers are far from home, so they have no choice but to fight with everything they have. We cannot openly clash with their vanguard. Meanwhile, the Qi and Chu soldiers are close to their homes, so they might easily scatter when defeated. It would be better for you to fortify your ramparts and order the King of Qi to send out his trusted servants to go to the cities that have already fallen. When these cities hear that the King of Qi is nearby and that Chu has sent reinforcements, they will surely rebel against Han. The Han army are strangers, two thousand li deep into Qi territory, and if all the cities of Qi turn against them, they will have nowhere to obtain supplies. We would be able to make them surrender without even fighting a battle."

But Long Ju replied, "I've known what sort of person this Han Xin is for a long time; it would easy to defeat him. Besides, I came here to rescue Qi; if the Han army surrendered without my fighting a battle, what achievement could I claim? No, I shall fight and defeat them, and then half of Qi will be mine. Why should I hold back?"

齊王、龍且并軍與信戰,未合。或說龍且曰:「漢兵遠鬥,窮寇戰,鋒不可當也。齊、楚自居其地戰,兵易敗散。不如深壁,令齊王使其信臣招所亡城,城聞王在,楚來救,必反漢。漢二千里客居齊,齊城皆反之,其勢無所得食,可毋戰而降也。」龍且曰:「吾平生知韓信為人,易與耳。寄食於漂母,無資身之策;受辱於跨下,無兼人之勇,不足畏也。且救齊而降之,吾何功?今戰而勝之,齊半可得,何為而止!」(Book of Han 34, Biography of Han Xin)

Tian Guang and Long Ju combined their forces in preparation to attack Han Xin, but they had not yet engaged him.

Someone advised Long Ju, "The Han soldiers are far from home, so they have no choice but to fight with everything they have. We cannot openly clash with their vanguard. Meanwhile, the Qi and Chu soldiers are close to their homes, so they might easily scatter when defeated. It would be better for you to fortify your ramparts and order the King of Qi to send out his trusted servants to go to the cities that have already fallen. When these cities hear that the King of Qi is nearby and that Chu has sent reinforcements, they will surely rebel against Han. The Han army are strangers, two thousand li deep into Qi territory, and if all the cities of Qi turn against them, they will have nowhere to obtain supplies. We would be able to make them surrender without even fighting a battle."

But Long Ju replied, "I've known what sort of person this Han Xin is for a long time; it would easy to defeat him. After all, he begged for food from a washerwoman, which shows that he doesn't know how to provide for himself, and he accepted the shame of crawling between another man's legs, which shows that he lacks the courage of a real man. He is not worth fearing. Besides, I came here to rescue Qi; if the Han army surrendered without my fighting a battle, what achievement could I claim? No, I shall fight and defeat them, and then half of Qi will be mine. Why should I hold back?"


十一月,齊、楚與漢夾濰水而陳。韓信夜令人爲萬餘囊,滿盛沙。壅水上流;引軍半渡擊龍且,佯不勝,還走。龍且果喜曰:「固知信怯也!」遂追信。信使人決壅囊,水大至,龍且軍太半不得渡。卽急擊殺龍且,水東軍散走,齊王廣亡去。信遂追北至城陽,虜齊王廣。漢將灌嬰追得齊守相田光,進至博陽。田橫聞齊王死,自立爲齊王,還擊嬰,嬰敗橫軍於嬴下。田橫亡走梁,歸彭越。嬰進擊齊將田吸於千乘,曹參擊田旣於膠東,皆殺之,盡定齊地。

8. In the eleventh month (of 204 BC), the Qi and Chu armies faced Han Xin’s army; the two sides were drawn up on either bank of the Wei River. During the night, Han Xin sent agents to take more than ten thousand sacks, fill them with sand, and cast them into the river upstream to halt its flow. Han Xin then led half of his army across the riverbed to attack Long Ju. After some time, Han Xin pretended that he was losing the battle, and he withdrew back across the river. Long Ju exclaimed, "I knew he was a coward!" And he pursued Han Xin across the riverbed. But Han Xin then burst the dam of sacks, letting the river come flooding back down, and stranding most of Long Ju's army on the far side where they could not cross. Then Han Xin fiercely attacked Long Ju's army on his side of the river and killed him, while the rest of the army on the east bank scattered and fled. Tian Guang fled as well. Han Xin pursued him north to Chengyang and captured him.

Guan Ying pursued Tian Guāng and captured him as well, then advanced to Boyang.

When Tian Heng heard a report that Tian Guang was dead, he declared himself the new King of Qi. He turned back and attacked Guan Ying, but Guan Ying defeated him at Yingxia. Tian Heng fled to the Liang region and took refuge with Peng Yue.

Guan Ying advanced and attacked Tian Xi at Qiancheng while Cao Can attacked Tian Ji at Jiaodong; both of them were killed. Thus the whole Qi region was brought under Han Xin's control.

〈徐廣曰:濰水出東莞而東北流,至北海都昌縣入海。《索隱》曰:濰水出琅邪箕縣東北,至都昌入海。《水經註》:濰水逕高密縣故城西;韓信與龍且夾水而陳,卽此處。〉〈《史記正義》曰:城陽,雷澤縣是也,在濮州東南九十一里。予據班《志》,濟陰郡城陽縣雷澤在西北,此梁地也;自濰水追北至城陽,此乃漢城陽國之地。《正義》此誤,與上卷二年田橫起城陽同。〉〈千乘縣屬北海郡,高祖分置千乘郡。《括地志》:千乘故城,在淄州高苑縣北二十五里。〉

(Regarding the 濰 Wei River, Xu Guang remarked, "The Wei River emerges in Donglai, then flows northeast, and then north to Duchang county in Beihai commandary, where it enters the sea." The Suoyin commentary to the Records of the Grand Historian states, "The Wei River emerges to the northeast of Ji county in Langye commandary, and flows to Duchang, where it enters the sea." The Commentary on the Water Classic states, "The Wei River flows west of the capital city of Gaomi county; this was the place where Han Xin and Long Ju faced off on either side of the river."

Regarding Chengyang, the Zhengyi commentary to the Records of the Grand Historian states, "Chengyang was the same place as Leize county; it was ninety-one li southeast of Puzhou." But I (Hu Sanxing) note that according to the Book of Han, Leize or Lei Marsh was northwest of Chengyang county in Jiyin commandary. This would have been within the Liang region. So for the Han army to have pursued Tian Guang from the Wei River to Chengyang, the place that they went to must have been the same Chengyang as the Han dynasty's Chengyang princely fief. The Zhengyi commentary has once again made the same mistake regarding Chengyang that it did when Tian Heng rose up at Chengyang (see Book 9, in the second year (-205.16).

Qiancheng county was part of Beihai commandary. Liu Bang later split it off as Qiancheng commandary. The Comprehensive Gazetteer states, "The capital city of Qiancheng was twenty-five li north of Gaoyuan county in Zizhou.")


漢四年
十一月
漢將韓信破殺龍且。漢將韓信擊殺廣。
十二月
屬漢,為郡。(Records of the Grand Historian 16, Monthly Timeline of the Chu-Han Contention)

In the fourth year of Liu Bang's reign (203 BC), in the eleventh month (of 204 BC), Han Xin routed Long Ju's army and killed him, and he attacked and killed Tian Guang as well.

In the twelfth month (of 204 BC), Liu Bang organized Tian Guang's former domain into its constituent commandaries.

遂將兵與韓信夾濰水而陣。信乃夜令人為萬餘囊。盛沙以壅水上流。信引兵半渡擊龍且。信佯不勝走還。龍且追之渡水。信使人決壅。龍且軍大半不得渡。即擊破之。斬龍且。虜齊王廣。田橫復立為齊王。戰敗而亡。信遂平齊。(Records of Former Han 3, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

Long Ju led his troops to face Han Xin’s army; the two sides were drawn up on either bank of the Wei River. During the night, Han Xin sent agents to take more than ten thousand sacks, fill them with sand, and cast them into the river upstream to halt its flow. Han Xin then led half of his army across the riverbed to attack Long Ju. After some time, Han Xin pretended that he was losing the battle, and he withdrew back across the river. Long Ju pursued Han Xin across the riverbed. But Han Xin then ordered his agents to burst the dam of sacks, letting the river come flooding back down, and stranding most of Long Ju's army on the far side where they could not cross. Then Han Xin attacked Long Ju's army on his side of the river and routed it. He killed Long Ju and captured Tian Guang.

Tian Heng declared himself the new King of Qi, but he was defeated in battle and fled.

Thus the whole Qi region was brought under Han Xin's control.

遂戰,與信夾濰水陳。韓信乃夜令人為萬餘囊,滿盛沙,壅水上流,引軍半渡,擊龍且,詳不勝,還走。龍且果喜曰:「固知信怯也。」遂追信渡水。信使人決壅囊,水大至。龍且軍大半不得渡,即急擊,殺龍且。龍且水東軍散走,齊王廣亡去。信遂追北至城陽,皆虜楚卒。漢四年,遂皆降平齊。(Records of the Grand Historian 92, Biography of Han Xin)

The Qi and Chu armies faced Han Xin’s army; the two sides were drawn up on either bank of the Wei River. During the night, Han Xin sent agents to take more than ten thousand sacks, fill them with sand, and cast them into the river upstream to halt its flow. Han Xin then led half of his army across the riverbed to attack Long Ju. After some time, Han Xin pretended that he was losing the battle, and he withdrew back across the river. Long Ju exclaimed, "I knew he was a coward." And he pursued Han Xin across the riverbed. But Han Xin then burst the dam of sacks, letting the river come flooding back down, and stranding most of Long Ju's army on the far side where they could not cross. Then Han Xin fiercely attacked Long Ju's army on his side of the river and killed him, while the rest of the army on the east bank scattered and fled. Tian Guang fled as well. Han Xin pursued him north to Chengyang, and he captured all the Chu soldiers.

Thus, in the fourth year of Liu Bang's reign (203 BC), the whole Qi region was brought under Han Xin's control.

遂戰,與信夾濰水陳。信乃夜令人為萬餘囊,沙以壅水上流,引兵半度,擊龍且。陽不勝,還走。龍且果喜曰:「固知信怯。」遂追度水。信使人決壅囊,水大至。龍且軍太半不得度,即急擊,殺龍且。龍且水東軍散走,齊王廣亡去。信追北至城陽,虜廣。楚卒皆降,遂平齊。(Book of Han 34, Biography of Han Xin)

The Qi and Chu armies faced Han Xin’s army; the two sides were drawn up on either bank of the Wei River. During the night, Han Xin sent agents to take more than ten thousand sacks, fill them with sand, and cast them into the river upstream to halt its flow. Han Xin then led half of his army across the riverbed to attack Long Ju. After some time, Han Xin pretended that he was losing the battle, and he withdrew back across the river. Long Ju exclaimed, "I knew he was a coward." And he pursued Han Xin across the riverbed. But Han Xin then burst the dam of sacks, letting the river come flooding back down, and stranding most of Long Ju's army on the far side where they could not cross. Then Han Xin fiercely attacked Long Ju's army on his side of the river and killed him, while the rest of the army on the east bank scattered and fled. Tian Guang fled as well. Han Xin pursued him north to Chengyang, and he captured Tian Guang. The Chu soldiers all surrendered, and the whole Qi region was brought under Han Xin's control.


立張耳爲趙王。

9. Liu Bang now appointed Zhang Er as King of Zhao.

漢四年
十一月
趙王張耳始,漢立之。(Records of the Grand Historian 16, Monthly Timeline of the Chu-Han Contention)

In the fourth year of Liu Bang's reign (203 BC), in the eleventh month (of 204 BC), Liu Bang appointed Zhang Er as King of Zhao.

高祖四年
初王張耳元年。(Records of the Grand Historian 17, Annual Timeline of the Han Princes)

In the fourth year of Liu Bang's reign (203 BC), Zhang Er became King of Zhao.

漢立張耳為趙王。(Records of the Grand Historian 89, Biography of Zhang Er & Chen Yu)

Liu Bang appointed Zhang Er as King of Zhao.

四年夏,立耳為趙王。(Book of Han 32, Biography of Zhang Er & Chen Yu)

In the fourth year of Liu Bang's reign (203 BC), in the summer, Liu Bang appointed Zhang Er as King of Zhao.


漢王疾愈,西入關。至櫟陽,梟故塞王欣頭櫟陽市。留四日,復如軍,軍廣武。

10. Liu Bang's illness from his wound began to heal, so he went west into Guanzhong. When he came to Yueyang, he had Sima Xin's head hung up in the marketplace there. He stayed there for four days, then returned to his army at Guangwu.

〈師古曰:縣首於木上曰梟。《索隱》曰:欣自剄於汜水上,今梟之櫟陽者,以其故都,故梟以示之也。〉

(Liu Bang is described as 梟ing Sima Xin's head. Yan Shigu remarked, "To 梟 is to hang a head from a tree." The Suoyin commentary to the Records of the Grand Historian states, "Sima Xin had earlier perished when he cut his throat at the Si River. Liu Bang now hung up his head at Yueyang because Yueyang had been Sima Xin's capital when he had been King of Sai, so Liu Bang was showing off his death.")


韓信使人言漢王曰:「齊僞詐多變,反覆之國也;南邊楚。請爲假王以鎭之。」漢王發書,大怒,罵曰:「吾困於此,旦暮望若來佐我;乃欲自立爲王!」張良、陳平躡漢王足,因附耳語曰:「漢方不利,寧能禁信之自王乎!不如因而立之,善遇,使自爲守;不然,變生。」漢王亦悟,因復罵曰:「大丈夫定諸侯,卽爲眞王耳,何以假爲!」春,二月,遣張良操印立韓信爲齊王,徵其兵擊楚。

11. Han Xin sent envoys to Liu Bang to tell him, "The people of Qi are false and crafty, and very opportunistic. It is a region very given to switching sides. Besides, it is a direct neighbor of Chu to its south. So I ask that you appoint me as acting King of Qi so that I can safeguard the region."

When Liu Bang read this letter, he was furious, and he swore, "Hard-pressed as I am here, I'd been hoping day and night that Han Xin would come and help me! Yet now he wants to declare himself a king!"

But Zhang Liang and Chen Ping stepped on Liu Bang's foot, then whispered into his ear, "We are already having trouble here as it is. How can you prevent Han Xin from becoming a king either way? You might as well agree and name him King of Qi; he will be glad for it, and he will defend Qi out of his own self-interest. Otherwise, he may turn against you."

Liu Bang realized they were right. So he now said, "When such a man has conquered the feudal lords, I should make him a real king. Forget this nonsense about 'acting’ king!"

In spring, the second month, Liu Bang sent Zhang Liang to present Han Xin with his seal as King of Qi, and ordered him to bring his troops to attack Chu.

漢四年
二月
齊王韓信始,漢立之。(Records of the Grand Historian 16, Monthly Timeline of the Chu-Han Contention)

In the fourth year of Liu Bang's reign (203 BC), in the second month, Liu Bang appointed Han Xin as King of Qi.

高祖四年
初王信元年。故相國。(Records of the Grand Historian 17, Annual Timeline of the Han Princes)

In the fourth year of Liu Bang's reign (203 BC), Han Xin became King of Qi. He had been Chancellor of State.

使人言于王曰。齊國多詐。請為假王以鎮之。王大怒。張良陳平躡王足。諫曰。方漢不利。寧能禁信之自王乎。不如因而立之。春二月。遣張良立信為齊王。徵其兵擊楚。曹參為左丞相。(Records of Former Han 3, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

Han Xin sent envoys to Liu Bang to tell him, "The people of Qi are false and crafty. So I ask that you appoint me as acting King of Qi so that I can safeguard the region."

Liu Bang was furious. But Zhang Liang and Chen Ping stepped on Liu Bang's foot, then remonstrated with him, saying, "We are already having trouble here as it is. How can you prevent Han Xin from declaring himself a king either way? You might as well agree and name him King of Qi."

In spring, the second month, Liu Bang sent Zhang Liang to appoint Han Xin as King of Qi, and ordered him to bring his troops to attack Chu. He also appointed Cao Can as Prime Minister of the Left.

使人言漢王曰:「齊偽詐多變,反覆之國也,南邊楚,不為假王以鎮之,其勢不定。願為假王便。」當是時,楚方急圍漢王於滎陽,韓信使者至,發書,漢王大怒,罵曰:「吾困於此,旦暮望若來佐我,乃欲自立為王!」張良、陳平躡漢王足,因附耳語曰:「漢方不利,寧能禁信之王乎?不如因而立,善遇之,使自為守。不然,變生。」漢王亦悟,因復罵曰:「大丈夫定諸侯,即為真王耳,何以假為!」乃遣張良往立信為齊王,徵其兵擊楚。(Records of the Grand Historian 92, Biography of Han Xin)

Han Xin sent envoys to Liu Bang to tell him, "The people of Qi are false and crafty, and very opportunistic. It is a region very given to switching sides. Besides, it is a direct neighbor of Chu to its south. Unless there is an acting King of Qi to safeguard the region, it cannot be kept stable. So I ask that you appoint me as acting King of Qi."

At this time, Liu Bang was under a heavy siege by the Chu army at Xingyang. So when Han Xin's envoys arrived and Liu Bang read this letter, he was furious, and he swore, "Hard-pressed as I am here, I'd been hoping day and night that Han Xin would come and help me! Yet now he wants to declare himself a king!"

But Zhang Liang and Chen Ping stepped on Liu Bang's foot, then whispered into his ear, "We are already having trouble here as it is. How can you prevent Han Xin from becoming a king either way? You might as well agree and name him King of Qi; he will be glad for it, and he will defend Qi out of his own self-interest. Otherwise, he may turn against you."

Liu Bang realized they were right. So he now said, "When such a man has conquered the feudal lords, I should make him a real king. Forget this nonsense about 'acting’ king!"

Liu Bang sent Zhang Liang to acclaim Han Xin as King of Qi, and ordered him to bring his troops to attack Chu.

使人言漢王曰:「齊夸詐多變,反覆之國,南邊荒,不為假王以填之,其勢不定。今權輕,不足以安之,臣請自立為假王。」當是時,楚方急圍漢王於滎陽,使者至,發書,漢王大怒,罵曰:「吾困於此,旦暮望而來佐我,乃欲自立為王!」張良、陳平伏後躡漢王足,因附耳語曰:「漢方不利,寧能禁信之自王乎?不如因立,善遇之,使自為守。不然,變生。」漢王亦寤,因復罵曰:「大丈夫定諸侯,即為真王耳,何以假為!」遣張良立信為齊王,徵其兵使擊楚。(Book of Han 34, Biography of Han Xin)

Han Xin sent envoys to Liu Bang to tell him, "The people of Qi are false and crafty, and very opportunistic. It is a region very given to switching sides. Besides, it is a direct neighbor of Chu to its south. Unless there is an acting King of Qi to safeguard the region, it cannot be kept stable, and my current authority here is slight and insufficient to calm the people. So I ask that you appoint me as acting King of Qi."

At this time, Liu Bang was under a heavy siege by the Chu army at Xingyang. So when Han Xin's envoys arrived and Liu Bang read this letter, he was furious, and he swore, "Hard-pressed as I am here, I'd been hoping day and night that Han Xin would come and help me! Yet now he wants to declare himself a king!"

But Zhang Liang and Chen Ping came from behind and stepped on Liu Bang's foot, then whispered into his ear, "We are already having trouble here as it is. How can you prevent Han Xin from becoming a king either way? You might as well agree and name him King of Qi; he will be glad for it, and he will defend Qi out of his own self-interest. Otherwise, he may turn against you."

Liu Bang realized they were right. So he now said, "When such a man has conquered the feudal lords, I should make him a real king. Forget this nonsense about 'acting’ king!"

Liu Bang sent Zhang Liang to acclaim Han Xin as King of Qi, and ordered him to bring his troops to attack Chu.

信遂定齊地,自立為齊假王。漢方困於滎陽,遣張良即立信為齊王,以安固之。(Book of Han 45, Biography of Kuai Tong)

After Han Xin conquered the Qi region, he declared himself Acting King of Qi. At that time, Liu Bang was under distress at Xingyang, so he sent Zhang Liang to appoint Han Xin as King of Qi in order to secure his support.


項王聞龍且死,大懼,使盱台人武涉往說齊王信曰:「天下共苦秦久矣,相與勠力擊秦。秦已破,計功割地,分土而王之,以休士卒。今漢王復興兵而東,侵人之分,奪人之地;已破三秦,引兵出關,收諸侯之兵以東擊楚,其意非盡吞天下者不休,其不知厭足如是甚也!且漢王不可必:身居項王掌握中數矣,項王憐而活之;然得脫,輒倍約,復擊項王,其不可親信如此。今足下雖自以漢王爲厚交,爲之盡力用兵,必終爲所禽矣。足下所以得須臾至今者,以項王尚存也。當今二王之事,權在足下,足下右投則漢王勝,左投則項王勝。項王今日亡,則次取足下。足下與項王有故,何不反漢與楚連和,參分天下王之!今釋此時而自必於漢以擊楚,且爲智者固若此乎?」韓信謝曰:「臣事項王,官不過郎中,位不過執戟;言不聽,畫不用,故倍楚而歸漢。漢王授我上將軍印,予我數萬衆,解衣衣我,推食食我,言聽計用,故吾得以至於此。夫人深親信我,我倍之不祥;雖死不易!幸爲信謝項王。」

12. When Xiang Yu heard that Long Ju was dead, he became very afraid. He sent a native of Xutai, Wu She, as an envoy to visit Han Xin. Wu She advised him, "It was originally the wish of all the realm, burdened by the tyranny of Qin, to unite and throw off its oppression. Once Qin had been destroyed, then the achievements of the worthy were noted, territory was divided among them to rule as kings, and the soldiers were granted rest from their labors. Yet now, the King of Han has raised his troops and marched east, violated the territory of others, and stolen their land. Having first seized the Three Qins region, he then led his troops out of the passes and gathered up the soldiers of the other feudal lords to march further east and attack Chu. He has no other desire than to swallow up all the realm for himself, and nothing will ever be enough to satisfy him! Furthermore, he never keeps his word. Several times, King Xiang has held the King of Han's fate in the palm of his hand. But, taking pity on him, King Xiang has always spared his life. Yet every time, no sooner had the King of Han made his escape than he broke his promises and once again attacked King Xiang. Such a man cannot be trusted.

"Sir, you may have been a good friend to the King of Han thus far and granted him your full devotion in leading soldiers on his behalf. Yet in the end, you will become his prisoner. The only reason that you have been allowed such independence until now is because King Xiang is still alive. And at this very moment, it is you who will determine the winner of this struggle between King Xiang and the King of Han. If you support one side, the King of Han will win; if the other side, then King Xiang will triumph. And I warn you, as soon as King Xiang is no more, you will be the next to fall.

“Sir, you have a history with King Xiang. Why not turn against Han, come to an arrangement with Chu, and divide the realm between the three of you by ruling in your own right? Yet instead of doing that, you plan to remain faithful to Han and attack Chu. Would a wise man do such a thing?"

But Han Xin only offered his apologies, saying, "When I served under King Xiang, my position was no higher than a cadet and my rank no more than a halberd-bearer. Nor did King Xiang listen to my advice or use my strategies. That was why I abandoned Chu and went to Han. Then the King of Han granted me a seal as his chief general, assigned me an army of tens of thousands, shared his clothing with me and gave me some of his own food, listened to my advice and used my strategies. It was because of these things that I am where I am today. When a man has been shown such trust and faith as this, he invites disaster by betraying it. Even if I die, I will never turn against him! Please convey my apologies to King Xiang."

〈盱台,音吁怡。〉〈【章:乙十一行本「以」下有「與」字;孔本同;張校同;傳校同。】〉〈參分,卽三分。〉〈郎中,執戟宿衞。信先仕楚爲郎中,故云然。〉

(Xutai is pronounced "xuyi".

Some versions have Wu She say that Han Xin has been good friends "with" Liu Bang.

Wu She urges Han Xin to 參分 the realm; this means to divide it into three.

A cadet was a halberd-bearer of the household guards. Han Xin had earlier served in Chu as a halberd-bearer, thus his remarks here.)


楚使武涉招信。信曰。吾嘗事項王不見用。事漢。漢深信我。我背之不祥。(Records of Former Han 3, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

Chu sent Wu She to attempt to entice Han Xin to their side. But Han Xin told him, "Though I served under King Xiang once, he never used me, thus I went to Han. The King of Han has shown me great trust. For me to betray him would invite disaster."

楚已亡龍且,項王恐,使盱眙人武涉往說齊王信曰:「天下共苦秦久矣,相與勠力擊秦。秦已破,計功割地,分土而王之,以休士卒。今漢王復興兵而東,侵人之分,奪人之地,已破三秦,引兵出關,收諸侯之兵以東擊楚,其意非盡吞天下者不休,其不知厭足如是甚也。且漢王不可必,身居項王掌握中數矣,項王憐而活之,然得脫,輒倍約,復擊項王,其不可親信如此。今足下雖自以與漢王為厚交,為之盡力用兵,終為之所禽矣。足下所以得須臾至今者,以項王尚存也。當今二王之事,權在足下。足下右投則漢王勝,左投則項王勝。項王今日亡,則次取足下。足下與項王有故,何不反漢與楚連和,參分天下王之?今釋此時,而自必於漢以擊楚,且為智者固若此乎!」韓信謝曰:「臣事項王,官不過郎中,位不過執戟,言不聽,畫不用,故倍楚而歸漢。漢王授我上將軍印,予我數萬眾,解衣衣我,推食食我,言聽計用,故吾得以至於此。夫人深親信我,我倍之不祥,雖死不易。幸為信謝項王!」(Records of the Grand Historian 92, Biography of Han Xin)

When Xiang Yu heard that Long Ju was dead, he became afraid. He sent a native of Xuyi, Wu She, as an envoy to visit Han Xin. Wu She advised him, "It was originally the wish of all the realm, burdened by the tyranny of Qin, to unite and throw off its oppression. Once Qin had been destroyed, then the achievements of the worthy were noted, territory was divided among them to rule as kings, and the soldiers were granted rest from their labors. Yet now, the King of Han has raised his troops and marched east, violated the territory of others, and stolen their land. Having first seized the Three Qins region, he then led his troops out of the passes and gathered up the soldiers of the other feudal lords to march further east and attack Chu. He has no other desire than to swallow up all the realm for himself, and nothing will ever be enough to satisfy him! Furthermore, he never keeps his word. Several times, King Xiang has held the King of Han's fate in the palm of his hand. But, taking pity on him, King Xiang has always spared his life. Yet every time, no sooner had the King of Han made his escape than he broke his promises and once again attacked King Xiang. Such a man cannot be trusted.

"Sir, you may have been a good friend to the King of Han thus far and granted him your full devotion in leading soldiers on his behalf. Yet in the end, you will become his prisoner. The only reason that you have been allowed such independence until now is because King Xiang is still alive. And at this very moment, it is you who will determine the winner of this struggle between King Xiang and the King of Han. If you support one side, the King of Han will win; if the other side, then King Xiang will triumph. And I warn you, as soon as King Xiang is no more, you will be the next to fall.

“Sir, you have a history with King Xiang. Why not turn against Han, come to an arrangement with Chu, and divide the realm between the three of you by ruling in your own right? Yet instead of doing that, you plan to remain faithful to Han and attack Chu. Would a wise man do such a thing?"

But Han Xin only offered his apologies, saying, "When I served under King Xiang, my position was no higher than a cadet and my rank no more than a halberd-bearer. Nor did King Xiang listen to my advice or use my strategies. That was why I abandoned Chu and went to Han. Then the King of Han granted me a seal as his chief general, assigned me an army of tens of thousands, shared his clothing with me and gave me some of his own food, listened to my advice and used my strategies. It was because of these things that I am where I am today. When a man has been shown such trust and faith as this, he invites disaster by betraying it. Even if I die, I will never turn against him. Please convey my apologies to King Xiang!"

楚以亡龍且,項王恐,使盱台人武涉往說信曰:「足下何不反漢與楚?楚王與足下有舊故。且漢王不可必,身居項王掌握中數矣,然得脫,背約,復擊項王,其不可親信如此。今足下雖自以為與漢王為金石交,然終為漢王所禽矣。足下所以得須臾至今者,以項王在。項王即亡,次取足下。何不與楚連和,三分天下而王齊?今釋此時,自必於漢王以擊楚,且為智者固若此邪!」信謝曰:「臣得事項王數年,官不過郎中,位不過執戟,言不聽,畫策不用,故背楚歸漢。漢王授我上將軍印,數萬之眾,解衣衣我,推食食我,言聽計用,吾得至於此。夫人深親信我,背之不祥。幸為信謝項王。」(Book of Han 34, Biography of Han Xin)

When Xiang Yu heard that Long Ju was dead, he became afraid. He sent a native of Xutai, Wu She, as an envoy to visit Han Xin. Wu She advised him, "Sir, why not turn against Han and side with Chu? You have a history with King Xiang. Besides, the King of Han never keeps his word. Several times, King Xiang has held the King of Han's fate in the palm of his hand. But every time, no sooner had the King of Han made his escape than he broke his promises and once again attacked King Xiang. Such a man cannot be trusted.

"Sir, you may consider the relationship between yourself and the King of Han to be as good as gold. Yet in the end, you will become his prisoner. The only reason that you have been allowed such independence until now is because King Xiang is still alive. As soon as King Xiang is no more, you will be the next to fall. Why not abandon Han, come to an arrangement with Chu, and divide the realm between the three of you by ruling over Qi in your own right? Yet instead of doing that, you plan to remain faithful to Han and attack Chu. Would a wise man do such a thing?"

But Han Xin only offered his apologies, saying, "Although I served under King Xiang for several years, my position was no higher than a cadet and my rank no more than a halberd-bearer. Nor did King Xiang listen to my advice or use my strategies. That was why I abandoned Chu and went to Han. Then the King of Han granted me a seal as his chief general, assigned me an army of tens of thousands, shared his clothing with me and gave me some of his own food, listened to my advice and used my strategies. It was because of these things that I am where I am today. When a man has been shown such trust and faith as this, he invites disaster by betraying it. Please convey my apologies to King Xiang."

項王亦遣武涉說信,欲與連和。(Book of Han 45, Biography of Kuai Tong)

Xiang Yu also sent Wu She to speak to Han Xin, hoping to persuade him to agree to peace and cooperation with Chu.


武涉已去,蒯徹知天下權在信,乃以相人之術說信曰:「僕相君之面,不過封侯,又危不安;相君之背,貴乃不可言。」韓信曰:「何謂也?」蒯徹曰:「天下初發難也,憂在亡秦而已。今楚、漢分爭,使天下之人肝膽塗地,父子暴骸骨於中野,不可勝數。楚人走彭城,轉鬬逐北,乘利席卷,威震天下;然兵困於京、索之間,迫西山而不能進者,三年於此矣。漢王將十萬之衆,距鞏、雒,阻山河之險,一日數戰,無尺寸之功,折北不救。此所謂智勇俱困者也。百姓罷極怨望,無所歸倚;以臣料之,其勢非天下之賢聖固不能息天下之禍。當今兩主之命,縣於足下,足下爲漢則漢勝,與楚則楚勝。誠能聽臣之計,莫若兩利而俱存之,參分天下,鼎足而居,其勢莫敢先動。夫以足下之賢聖,有甲兵之衆,據強齊,從趙、燕,出空虛之地而制其後,因民之欲,西鄕爲百姓請命,則天下風走而響應矣,孰敢不聽!割大、弱強以立諸侯,諸侯已立,天下服聽,而歸德於齊。案齊之故,有膠、泗之地,深拱揖讓,則天下之君王相率而朝於齊矣。蓋聞『天與弗取,反受其咎;時至不行,反受其殃』。願足下熟慮之!」韓信曰:「漢王遇我甚厚,吾豈可鄕利而倍義乎!」蒯生曰:「始常山王、成安君爲布衣時,相與爲刎頸之交;後爭張黶、陳澤之事,常山王殺成安君泜水之南,頭足異處。此二人相與,天下至驩也,然而卒相禽者,何也?患生於多欲而人心難測也。今足下欲行忠信以交於漢王,必不能固於二君之相與也,而事多大於張黶、陳澤者;故臣以爲足下必漢王之不危己,亦誤矣!大夫種存亡越,霸句踐,立功成名而身死亡,野獸盡而獵狗烹。夫以交友言之,則不如張耳之與成安君者也;以忠信言之,則不過大夫種之於句踐也:此二者足以觀矣,願足下深慮之!且臣聞『勇略震主者身危,功蓋天下者不賞』。今足下戴震主之威,挾不賞之功,歸楚,楚人不信;歸漢,漢人震恐。足下欲持是安歸乎?」韓信謝曰:「先生且休矣,吾將念之。」後數日,蒯徹復說曰:「夫聽者,事之候也;計者,事之機也;聽過計失而能久安者鮮矣!故知者,決之斷也;疑者,事之害也。審豪釐之小計,遺天下之大數,智誠知之,決弗敢行者,百事之禍也。夫功者,難成而易敗,時者,難得而易失也;時乎時,不再來!」韓信猶豫,不忍倍漢;又自以爲功多,漢終不奪我齊,遂謝蒯徹。因去,佯狂爲巫。

13. Sometime later, although Wu She had already left, Kuai Che came to speak to Han Xin. Kuai Che knew that the balance of power now rested with Han. So, demonstrating his skills as a physiognomist, he said to Han Xin, "When I examine your face, I can see no greater destiny for you than that of a marquis, and I perceive a dangerous fate without peace. But when I examine your back, I see glory beyond description."

Han Xin said, "How do you figure?"

Kuai Che said, "When the realm first rose up, the only thought that the people had was to destroy Qin, nothing more. Yet by now, this war between Chu and Han has caused countless people of the realm to spill their innards upon the ground, and the bones of fathers and sons lie bleaching in the fields.

"On the one side, although the soldiers of Chu initially surged forth (or, rose up) from Pengcheng and drove the Han army north before them, their victories unfolding like a mat and their power shaking the realm, yet in the end they were halted between Jing and Suo and have not been able to push west past the mountains, thus this stalemate of the past three years. Meanwhile, though the King of Han commands an army of a hundred thousand (or, hundreds of thousands) and is holding back King Xiang at the natural defenses of Gong and Luo, even as he fights several battles every day, he has not been able to gain a single inch of new territory for his trouble, nor can he withdraw north from his position without peril. This demonstrates that both his cunning and his strength are spent. The common people are totally exhausted and without hope, lacking anyone to turn to. As I see it, only the most worthy and sagacious man could save the realm from this disaster.

"Now the fates of these two leaders rests in your hands, my friend. If you support Han, Han will win; if you support Chu, Chu will win. But if you seek my honest advice, I propose that you could do nothing better than to preserve both of them and divide the realm between the three of you. Then the realm would settle into a balance of power like the three legs of a tripod, and neither of them would dare to make the first move.

"I observe that you personally are a worthy and wise man, you command a host of armored soldiers, you occupy the powerful Qi region, and Zhao and Yan are on your side. You could approach both sides through empty terrain and control them from behind. With such power, you could face the western forces and fulfill the hopes of the realm by demanding they spare the lives of the people. Then the realm would flock to you like the rushing wind, and who would dare not to heed your commands? You could carve up the grand and humble the strong in order to set up the feudal lords once again. And that done, all the realm would hear and obey you, and virtue would rest with Qi. With you possessing the Qi region, all the land around the Jiao and Si Rivers, you could fold your hands and display modesty, and all the kings and lords of the realm would lead each other to attend your court.

"Yet I warn you: it is said that 'one who does not accept Heaven's blessing shall suffer its curse; one who does not seize opportunity will endure calamity'. Please, consider this proposal wisely!"

Han Xin replied, "The King of Han has shown me exceptional favor. How could I betray what is right just for the sake of my own benefit?"

Kuai Che said, "Have you forgotten the relationship between the King of Changshan (Zhang Er) and Lord Cheng'an (Chen Yu)? In the beginning, when they were both just commoners, they were such close friends that they swore to die together. But later, after that business with Zhang Yan and Chen Ze, the King killed Lord Cheng'an south of the Zhi River and left his head and his feet in different places. Why did these two, who had once been the best of friends, wind up destroying one another in the end? It was because people are full of suspicions and desires, and it is hard to ever know what someone else is really thinking. And as for you, the relationship that you have with the King of Han is nowhere near as close as the one between those two, and there are many more incidents between you which could give rise to suspicion than the mere matter of Zhang Yan and Chen Ze. Yet you believe that the King of Han will never threaten your life? You are mistaken!

"And do you recall the story of King Goujian of Yue and his minister Wen Zhong? Wen Zhong helped to bring Yue back from the brink of destruction, and thanks to his efforts, Goujian became a Hegemon among the lords. Yet despite these great achievements, Wen Zhong was killed by Goujian in the end. It is as the saying goes: 'when the wild beasts are all caught, even the hunting dog goes into the cooking pot'.

"You are neither as great a friend to the King of Han as Chen Yu was to Zhang Er, nor have you been as loyal and faithful to him as Wen Zhong was to Goujian. Yet see what their fates were. That is why I urge you to reconsider!

“Besides, I have also heard it said that 'the bold general who frightens his lord endangers himself; the servant whose achievements surpass all the realm will not be rewarded'. You yourself are a general whose power frightens his lord, and your achievements are so great that they cannot be properly rewarded. If you try to serve Chu, they will not trust you, while if you remain with Han, they will fear you. Do you not wish to preserve yourself?"

Han Xin apologized and said, "Please, Sir, stop for now. Let me think all this over."

Several days later, Kuai Che once again advised Han Xin, "Listening to advice is the basis of decisions; developing plans is the foundation of opportunity. How could anyone who ignored advice and failed to make plans last for long? Furthermore, it is the certain man who makes firm decisions, while the hesitant man wavers and comes to ruin. Everyone, both wise and foolish, knows that to obsess over the petty details means to miss the bigger picture of the realm. And if you shrink from acting upon your decisions, you invite a host of calamities. Success is difficult to achieve and easy to lose; time is hard to gain and easy to squander. Now is the time, now is the time! It will not come again!"

But Han Xin was still indecisive, and he could not bear to betray Han. He also considered that his achievements were so great that Liu Bang would never take the Qi region away from him. So he declined to follow Kuai Che's advice and sent him away. Kuai Che left him and, pretending to be mad, became a shaman.

〈以微言動信,言背漢則大貴也。〉〈師古曰:志在滅秦,所憂者唯此。〉〈【章:乙十一行本「走」作「起」;孔本同,退齋校同;傳校同。】〉〈【章:乙十一行本「十」上有「數」字。】〉〈折,挫也。北,奔也。不救者,不能自救也。〉〈師古曰:齊國在東,故曰西鄕。止楚、漢之戰鬬,士卒不死亡,故曰請命。〉〈膠、泗,二水名。〉〈師古曰:深拱,猶高拱也。〉〈師古曰:謂能聽善謀也。〉〈豪,長毛也。十豪爲釐。〉〈謝去,辭之使去也。〉

(Kuai Che was using a roundabout expression; by describing Han Xin's back, he was hoping that Han Xin might "turn his back" and gain great glory by betraying Han.

Yan Shigu remarked, "The realm's desire was to destroy Qin, they were concerned with nothing further."

Some versions state that the Chu soldiers "rose up" from Pengcheng rather than "surged forth" from it.

Some versions state that Liu Bang commands an army of "hundreds of thousands" rather than "a hundred thousand".

Kuai Che says that Liu Bang cannot 折北. 折 here means "to withdraw", and 北 in this case means "to flee". He would be unable to save himself in this case.

Kuai Che describes Han Xin making demands of "the western forces". Yan Shigu remarked, "Since the Qi region was to the east of the fighting between Chu and Han, they were described as the 'western' forces. And he would be demanding they 'spare the lives of the people' in that he would compel Chu and Han to end their war, so that no more soldiers would have to die."

The "Jiao and Si" refers to the Jiao and Si Rivers.

Kuai Che suggests that Han Xin could 深拱; Yan Shigu remarked, "This means to fold one's hands."

Yan Shigu remarked, "Kuai Che was referring to someone who is good at listening to advice and making good plans."

Kuai Che refers to "little plans of 豪 and 釐". A 豪 is a long hair, and ten 豪s make one 釐.

Han Xin took his leave of Kuai Che by declining his advice and sending him away.)


武涉已去。蒯通說信曰。漢王敗滎陽。傷成皋。還走宛葉間。此所謂智勇俱竭者也。楚兵困于京索之間。迫于西山而不能進。三年于此矣。銳氣挫于險塞。糧用盡于內藏。當今兩主之命。懸于足下。為足下計者。莫若兩存之。三分天下。鼎足而居。其勢莫敢先動。以足下之賢。有甲兵之眾。據彊齊。從燕趙。出空虛之地以制其後。因民之欲。西向為百姓請命。天下孰敢不聽。足下案齊國之固有淮泗之地。深拱揖讓。以懷諸侯。則天下君王相率而朝齊矣。信曰。吾豈可見利而背恩。通曰。常山王成安君為刎頸之交。而卒相滅。大夫種存亡越。伯勾踐。身死。語曰。野禽殫。走狗烹。飛鳥盡。良弓藏。敵國滅。謀臣亡。故以交友言之。則不過陳張。以君臣言之。則不過勾踐。大夫種。推此二者。足以觀之矣。且臣聞之。勇略振主者身危。功蓋天下者不賞。足下涉西河。虜魏王。擒夏說。下井陘。誅成安君之罪。以全於趙。脅燕定齊。南擁楚人之兵數十萬之眾。遂斬龍且。西向以報。此所謂功無二于天下。而英略不世出者也。足下挾不賞之功。戴振主之威。歸楚楚人不信。歸漢漢人震恐。足下欲持此安歸乎。夫勢在人臣之位。而有高天下之名。臣竊危之。夫隨廝養之役。失萬乘之權。守擔石之祿。闕卿相之位。計成而不能行者。事之禍也。故猛虎之猶豫。不如蜂蠆之致螫。孟賁之狐疑。不如童子之必至矣。夫功者難成而易敗。時者難值而易失。願足下無疑。信猶豫不忍背漢。又自以功高。漢終不奪我齊。遂謝通。通去乃佯狂為巫。(Records of Former Han 3, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

Sometime later, although Wu She had already left, Kuai Tong advised Han Xin, "The King of Han was defeated at Xingyang and wounded at Chenggao, and now he has fled back to the region between Wan and She. This demonstrates that both his cunning and his strength are spent. Meanwhile, the Chu soldiers were repulsed between Jing and Suo, and though they threaten the lands west of the mountains, they cannot advance. Such has been the situation for three years now. Zeal and passion have been blunted by sturdy defenses, and reserves of grain have been totally exhausted.

"Now the fates of these two leaders rests in your hands, my friend. I propose that you could do nothing better than to preserve both of them and divide the realm between the three of you. Then the realm would settle into a balance of power like the three legs of a tripod, and neither of them would dare to make the first move.

"I observe that you personally are a worthy and wise man, you command a host of armored soldiers, you occupy the powerful Qi region, and by marching through the Zhao and Yan regions, you could approach both sides through empty terrain and control them from behind. With such power, you could face the western forces and fulfill the hopes of the realm by demanding they spare the lives of the people. Who in all the realm would dare not to heed your commands? With you possessing the Qi region, all the land around the Jiao and Si Rivers, you could fold your hands and display modesty, and all the kings and lords of the realm would lead each other to attend your court in Qi.

Han Xin replied, "How could I betray what is right just for the sake of my own benefit?"

Kuai Tong said, "Have you forgotten the relationship between the King of Changshan (Zhang Er) and Lord Cheng'an (Chen Yu)? In the beginning, when they were both just commoners, they were such close friends that they swore to die together. But in the end, they destroyed one another.

"And do you recall the story of King Goujian of Yue and his minister Wen Zhong? Wen Zhong helped to bring Yue back from the brink of destruction, and thanks to his efforts, Goujian became a Lord among the nobles. Yet despite these great achievements, Wen Zhong was killed by Goujian in the end. It is as the saying goes: 'when the wild beasts are all caught, even the hunting dog goes into the cooking pot; when the birds are all gone, the hunting bow is put away'. When the enemy state has been conquered, that will mean the end of cunning servants.

"You are neither as great a friend to the King of Han as Chen Yu was to Zhang Er, nor have you been as loyal and faithful to him as Wen Zhong was to Goujian. Yet see what their fates were.

“Besides, I have also heard it said that 'the bold general who frightens his lord endangers himself; the servant whose achievements surpass all the realm will not be rewarded'. Your own deeds include passing through the Western Yellow River region, capturing the King of Wei, taking prisoner Xia Yue, descending through Jingxing, taking the head of Chen Yu, conquering the entire Zhao region, compelling Yan to submit, settling the Qi region, smashing the Chu army of hundreds of thousands to the south, taking the head of Long Ju, and then facing west to report. You have achieved more than anyone else in the realm, and no one in this age can match your heroism or cunning. Your achievements are so great that they cannot be properly rewarded, and the authority that you possess is enough to frighten your ruler. If you try to serve Chu, they will not trust you, while if you remain with Han, they will fear you. Do you not wish to preserve yourself? Your position is nominally that of a subject, yet your reputation surpasses anyone else in the realm. I cannot help but be concerned for you."

"And why should you cling to being the groomsman of another and squander the chance to be lord of a state of ten thousand chariots? Why should you be more concerned about a meager salary than wielding great authority? Disaster is the fate of those who can devise clever plans but cannot act upon them. A fierce tiger that yet hesitates to bite is worse than a little bee who is certain to sting; a warrior as bold as Meng Ben who yet hesitates is worse than a common fellow who is certain to act. Success is difficult to achieve and easy to lose; time is hard to gain and easy to squander. May you have no further hesitation."

But Han Xin was still indecisive, and he could not bear to betray Han. He also considered that his achievements were so great that Liu Bang would never take the Qi region away from him. So he apologized to Kuai Tong. Kuai Tong left him and, pretending to be mad, became a shaman.

武涉已去,齊人蒯通知天下權在韓信,欲為奇策而感動之,以相人說韓信曰:「仆嘗受相人之術。」韓信曰:「先生相人何如?」對曰:「貴賤在於骨法,憂喜在於容色,成敗在於決斷,以此參之,萬不失一。」韓信曰:「善。先生相寡人何如?」對曰:「願少閒。」信曰:「左右去矣。」通曰:「相君之面,不過封侯,又危不安。相君之背,貴乃不可言。」韓信曰:「何謂也?」蒯通曰:「天下初發難也,俊雄豪桀建號壹呼,天下之士雲合霧集,魚鱗襍遝,熛至風起。當此之時,憂在亡秦而已。今楚漢分爭,使天下無罪之人肝膽涂地,父子暴骸骨於中野,不可勝數。楚人起彭城,轉鬬逐北,至於滎陽,乘利席卷,威震天下。然兵困於京、索之閒,迫西山而不能進者,三年於此矣。漢王將數十萬之眾,距鞏、雒,阻山河之險,一日數戰,無尺寸之功,折北不救,敗滎陽,傷成皋,遂走宛、葉之閒,此所謂智勇俱困者也。夫銳氣挫於險塞,而糧食竭於內府,百姓罷極怨望,容容無所倚。以臣料之,其勢非天下之賢聖固不能息天下之禍。當今兩主之命縣於足下。足下為漢則漢勝,與楚則楚勝。臣願披腹心,輸肝膽,效愚計,恐足下不能用也。誠能聽臣之計,莫若兩利而俱存之,參分天下,鼎足而居,其勢莫敢先動。夫以足下之賢聖,有甲兵之眾,據彊齊,從燕、趙,出空虛之地而制其後,因民之欲,西鄉為百姓請命,則天下風走而響應矣,孰敢不聽!割大弱彊,以立諸侯,諸侯已立,天下服聽而歸德於齊。案齊之故,有膠、泗之地,懷諸侯以德,深拱揖讓,則天下之君王相率而朝於齊矣。蓋聞天與弗取,反受其咎;時至不行,反受其殃。願足下孰慮之。」韓信曰:「漢王遇我甚厚,載我以其車,衣我以其衣,食我以其食。吾聞之,乘人之車者載人之患,衣人之衣者懷人之憂,食人之食者死人之事,吾豈可以鄉利倍義乎!」蒯生曰:「足下自以為善漢王,欲建萬世之業,臣竊以為誤矣。始常山王、成安君為布衣時,相與為刎頸之交,後爭張黶、陳澤之事,二人相怨。常山王背項王,奉項嬰頭而竄,逃歸於漢王。漢王借兵而東下,殺成安君泜水之南,頭足異處,卒為天下笑。此二人相與,天下至驩也。然而卒相禽者,何也?患生於多欲而人心難測也。今足下欲行忠信以交於漢王,必不能固於二君之相與也,而事多大於張黶、陳澤。故臣以為足下必漢王之不危己,亦誤矣。大夫種、范蠡存亡越,霸句踐,立功成名而身死亡。野獸已盡而獵狗亨。夫以交友言之,則不如張耳之與成安君者也;以忠信言之,則不過大夫種、范蠡之於句踐也。此二人者,足以觀矣。願足下深慮之。且臣聞勇略震主者身危,而功蓋天下者不賞。臣請言大王功略:足下涉西河,虜魏王,禽夏說,引兵下井陘,誅成安君,徇趙,脅燕,定齊,南摧楚人之兵二十萬,東殺龍且,西鄉以報,此所謂功無二於天下,而略不世出者也。今足下戴震主之威,挾不賞之功,歸楚,楚人不信;歸漢,漢人震恐:足下欲持是安歸乎?夫勢在人臣之位而有震主之威,名高天下,竊為足下危之。」韓信謝曰:「先生且休矣,吾將念之。」後數日,蒯通復說曰:「夫聽者事之候也,計者事之機也,聽過計失而能久安者,鮮矣。聽不失一二者,不可亂以言;計不失本末者,不可紛以辭。夫隨廝養之役者,失萬乘之權;守儋石之祿者,闕卿相之位。故知者決之斷也,疑者事之害也,審豪氂之小計,遺天下之大數,智誠知之,決弗敢行者,百事之禍也。故曰『猛虎之猶豫,不若蜂蠆之致螫;騏驥之跼躅,不如駑馬之安步;孟賁之狐疑,不如庸夫之必至也;雖有舜禹之智,吟而不言,不如瘖聾之指麾也』。此言貴能行之。夫功者難成而易敗,時者難得而易失也。時乎時,不再來。願足下詳察之。」韓信猶豫不忍倍漢,又自以為功多,漢終不奪我齊,遂謝蒯通。蒯通說不聽,已詳狂為巫。(Records of the Grand Historian 92, Biography of Han Xin)

Sometime later, although Wu She had already left, Kuai Tong came to speak to Han Xin. Kuai Tong knew that the balance of power now rested with Han Xin, and wished to offer him a strategy to stir him to action. So, demonstrating his skills as a physiognomist, he said to Han Xin, "I happen to have some skill at predicting the fates of people by studying their appearances."

Han Xin said, "What is your technique?"

Kuai Tong replied, "I can see whether someone will be lowly or exalted by studying their bone structure, whether someone will reap joy or sorrow by examining their expression and figure, and whether someone will taste success or failure by analyzing their determination. With such a technique, I am invariably successful at my predictions."

Han Xin said, "Excellent. Then what do you make of me?"

Kuai Tong replied, "Perhaps we could have a little privacy."

Han Xin instructed his attendants, "Leave us."

Then Kuai Tong studied Han Xin and said, "When I examine your face, I can see no greater destiny for you than that of a marquis, and I perceive a dangerous fate without peace. But when I examine your back, I see glory beyond description."

Han Xin said, "How do you figure?"

Kuai Tong replied, "When the realm first rose up, there was one rallying cry that stirred so many bold heroes and talents, one sentiment that drew in the leaders of the realm like billowing clouds and gathering mist. No cause other than the destruction of the Qin dynasty could have drawn together such a swarm of fish, like raging flames or gusting wind. Yet by now, this war between Chu and Han has caused countless innocent people of the realm to spill their innards upon the ground, and the bones of fathers and sons lie bleaching in the fields.

"On the one side, although the soldiers of Chu initially rose up from Pengcheng and drove the Han army north before them as far as Xingyang, their victories unfolding like a mat and their power shaking the realm, yet in the end they were halted between Jing and Suo and have not been able to push west past the mountains, thus this stalemate of the past three years. Meanwhile, though the King of Han commands an army of hundreds of thousands and is holding back King Xiang at the natural defenses of Gong and Luo, even as he fights several battles every day, he has not been able to gain a single inch of new territory for his trouble, nor can he withdraw north from his position without peril. He was defeated at Xingyang, injured at Chenggao, and compelled to flee between Wan and She. This demonstrates that both his cunning and his strength are spent. The morale of both sides has been blunted by these repulses, and their grain from their bases is all spent. The common people are totally exhausted and without hope, lacking anyone to turn to. As I see it, only the most worthy and sagacious man could save the realm from this disaster.

"Now the fates of these two leaders rests in your hands, my friend. If you support Han, Han will win; if you support Chu, Chu will win. Yet there is a third path. It is for this very reason that I am now baring my heart to you and demonstrating you my full sincerity; my only fear is that you will decline to heed my foolish thoughts. But if you seek my honest advice, I propose that you could do nothing better than to preserve both of these leaders and divide the realm between the three of you. Then the realm would settle into a balance of power like the three legs of a tripod, and neither of them would dare to make the first move.

"I observe that you personally are a worthy and wise man, you command a host of armored soldiers, you occupy the powerful Qi region, and Zhao and Yan are on your side. You could approach both sides through empty terrain and control them from behind. With such power, you could face the western forces and fulfill the hopes of the realm by demanding they spare the lives of the people. Then the realm would flock to you like the rushing wind, and who would dare not to heed your commands? You could carve up the grand and humble the strong in order to set up the feudal lords once again. And that done, all the realm would hear and obey you, and virtue would rest with Qi. With you possessing the Qi region, all the land around the Jiao and Si Rivers, you could fold your hands and display modesty, and all the kings and lords of the realm would cherish your virtue and lead each other to attend your court.

"Yet I warn you: it is said that 'one who does not accept Heaven's blessing shall suffer its curse; one who does not seize opportunity will endure calamity'. Please, consider this proposal wisely."

Han Xin replied, "The King of Han has shown me exceptional favor; I have ridden in his carriage, dressed in his clothing, and eaten from his table. And I have heard that anyone who shares a man's carriage must share his adversity, anyone who shares a man's clothing must share his concerns, and anyone who shares a man's food must stand by him to the end. How could I betray what is right just for the sake of my own benefit?"

Kuai Tong said, "I understand your sentiment: you want to do right by the King of Han, and you want to leave a legacy to pass down to your descendants forever. Yet I still believe that you are wrong.

"Have you forgotten the relationship between the King of Changshan (Zhang Er) and Lord Cheng'an (Chen Yu)? In the beginning, when they were both just commoners, they were such close friends that they swore to die together. But later, after that business with Zhang Yan and Chen Ze, they became bitter enemies. The King betrayed King Xiang and, bearing Xiang Ying's head, he scurried away to join the King of Han instead. He borrowed the King of Han's troops to march east, and in the end, the King killed Lord Cheng'an south of the Zhi River and left his head and his feet in different places, making Lord Cheng'an the laughingstock of all the realm. Why did these two, who had once been the best of friends, wind up destroying one another in the end? It was because people are full of suspicions and desires, and it is hard to ever know what someone else is really thinking. And as for you, though you feel that you have been loyal and trustworthy to the King of Han, the relationship that you have with him is nowhere near as close as the one between those two, and there are many more incidents between you which could give rise to suspicion than the mere matter of Zhang Yan and Chen Ze. Yet you believe that the King of Han will never threaten your life? You are mistaken.

"And do you recall the story of King Goujian of Yue and his ministers Wen Zhong and Fan Li? They helped to bring Yue back from the brink of destruction, and thanks to their efforts, Goujian became a Hegemon among the lords. Yet despite these great achievements, they were killed by Goujian in the end. It is as the saying goes: 'when the wild beasts are all caught, even the hunting dog goes into the cooking pot'.

"You can talk about friendship and repayment all you like, but you are neither as great a friend to the King of Han as Chen Yu was to Zhang Er, nor have you been as loyal and faithful to him as Wen Zhong and Fan Li were to Goujian. Yet see what their fates were. That is why I urge you to reconsider.

“Besides, I have also heard it said that 'the bold general who frightens his lord endangers himself; the servant whose achievements surpass all the realm will not be rewarded'. Need I recount your own illustrious achievements, Great King? Did you not cross the Western Yellow River, capture the King of Wei (Wei Bao), make Xia Yue your prisoner, lead your troops down through Jingxing Pass, take the head of Lord Cheng'an, march through Zhao, coerce Yan, conquer Qi, smash a Chu army of two hundred to the south, kill Long Ju to the east, and then send word of all your achievements to the King of Han while facing west? If these are not peerless accomplishments and unrivalled strategies, what is? You are the exemplar of a general whose power frightens his lord, and your achievements are so great that they cannot be properly rewarded. If you try to serve Chu, they will not trust you, while if you remain with Han, they will fear you. Do you not wish to preserve yourself? You are nominally the subject of another, yet your power overshadows that of your sovereign and your name is known throughout the realm. Can you not see why I believe you are in danger?"

Han Xin apologized and said, "Please, Sir, stop for now. Let me think all this over."

Several days later, Kuai Tong once again advised Han Xin, "Listening to advice is the basis of decisions; developing plans is the foundation of opportunity. How could anyone who ignored advice and failed to make plans last for long? Only when you take in the basis of what is said can you avoid getting caught up in semantics; only when you grasp the foundation of a strategy can you keep from getting bogged down in details. And why should you cling to being the groomsman of another and squander the chance to be lord of a state of ten thousand chariots? Why should you be more concerned about a meager salary than wielding great authority? Furthermore, it is the certain man who makes firm decisions, while the hesitant man wavers and comes to ruin. Everyone, both wise and foolish, knows that to obsess over the petty details means to miss the bigger picture of the realm. And if you shrink from acting upon your decisions, you invite a host of calamities.

"Thus it is said: 'A fierce tiger that yet hesitates to bite is worse than a little bee who is certain to sting; a prized stallion who yet clops nervously is worse than a mere nag who steps assuredly; a warrior as bold as Meng Ben who yet hesitates is worse than a common fellow who is certain to act; a sage as wise as Yao or Shun who yet hesitates to speak is worse than a mute fool who at least displays his intentions through gestures.' The common element is to praise someone who can act on their decisions. Success is difficult to achieve and easy to lose; time is hard to gain and easy to squander. Now is the time, now is the time. It will not come again. May you consider this carefully."

But Han Xin was still indecisive, and he could not bear to betray Han. He also considered that his achievements were so great that Liu Bang would never take the Qi region away from him. So he declined to follow Kuai Tong's advice. When Kuai Tong saw that his words were useless, he pretended to be mad and became a shaman.

武涉已去,蒯通知天下權在於信,深說以三分天下,之計。語在通傳。信不忍背漢,又自以功大,漢王不奪我齊,遂不聽。(Book of Han 34, Biography of Han Xin)

Sometime later, although Wu She had already left, Kuai Tong came to speak to Han Xin. Kuai Tong knew that the balance of power in the realm now rested with Han, and he strenuously advised him to split the realm in three and proposed how he might do so. This is further mentioned in the Biography of Kuai Tong. But Han Xin could not bear to betray Han. He also considered that his achievements were so great that Liu Bang would never take the Qi region away from him. So he declined to follow Kuai Tong's advice.

蒯通知天下權在信,欲說信令背漢,乃先微感信曰:「僕嘗受相人之術,相君之面,不過封侯,又危而不安;相君之背,貴而不可言。」信曰:「何謂也?」通因請間,曰:「天下初作難也,俊雄豪桀建號壹呼,天下之士雲合霧集,魚鱗雜襲,飄至風起。當此之時,憂在亡秦而已。今劉、項分爭,使人肝腦塗地,流離中野,不可勝數。漢王將數十萬眾,距鞏、雒,岨山河,一日數戰,無尺寸之功,折北不救,敗滎陽,傷成皋,還走宛、葉之間,此所謂智勇俱困者也。楚人起彭城,轉鬥逐北,至滎陽,乘利席勝,威震天下,然兵困於京、索之間,迫西山而不能進,三年於此矣。銳氣挫於嶮塞,砕食盡於內藏,百姓罷極,無所歸命。以臣料之,非天下賢聖,其勢固不能息天下之禍。當今之時,兩主縣命足下。足下為漢則漢勝,與楚則楚勝。臣願披心腹,墮肝膽,效愚忠,恐足下不能用也。方今為足下計,莫若兩利而俱存之,參分天下,鼎足而立,其勢莫敢先動。夫以足下之賢聖,有甲兵之眾,據彊齊,從燕、趙,出空虛之地以制其後,因民之欲,西鄉為百姓請命,天下孰敢不聽!足下按齊國之故,有淮泗之地,懷諸侯以德,深拱揖讓,則天下君王相率而朝齊矣。蓋聞『天與弗取,反受其咎;時至弗行,反受其殃。』願足下孰圖之。」信曰:「漢遇我厚,吾豈可見利而背恩乎!」通曰:「始常山王、成安君故相與為刎頸之交,及爭張黶、陳釋之事,常山王奉頭鼠竄,以歸漢王。借兵東下,戰於鄗北,成安君死於泜水之南,頭足異處。此二人相與,天下之至驩也,而卒相滅亡者,何也?患生於多欲而人心難測也。今足下行忠信以交於漢王,必不能固於二君之相與也,而事多大於張黶、陳釋之事者,故臣以為足下必漢王之不危足下,過矣。大夫種存亡越,伯句踐,立功名而身死。語曰:『野禽殫,走犬亨;敵國破,謀臣亡。』故以交友言之,則不過張王與成安君;以忠臣言之,則不過大夫種。此二者,宜足以觀矣。願足下深慮之。且臣聞之,勇略震主者身危,功蓋天下者不賞。足下涉西河,虜魏王,禽夏說,下井陘,誅成安君之罪,以令於趙,脅燕定齊,南摧楚人之兵數十萬眾,遂斬龍且,西鄉以報,此所謂功無二於天下,略不世出者也。今足下挾不賞之功,戴震主之威,歸楚,楚人不信;歸漢,漢人震恐。足下欲持是安歸乎?夫勢在人臣之位,而有高天下之名,切為足下危之。」信曰:「生且休矣,吾將念之。」數日,通復說曰:「聽者,事之候也;計者,存亡之機也。夫隨廝養之役者,失萬乘之權;守儋石之祿者,闕卿相之位。計誠知之,而決弗敢行者,百事之禍也。故猛虎之猶與,不如蜂蠆之致酿;孟賁之狐疑,不如童子之必至。此言貴能行之也。夫功者難成而易敗,時者難值而易失。『時乎時,不再來。』願足下無疑臣之計。」信猶與不忍背漢,又自以功多,漢不奪我齊,遂謝通。通說不聽,惶恐,乃陽狂為巫。(Book of Han 45, Biography of Kuai Tong)

Kuai Tong knew that the balance of power now rested with Han Xin, and wished to persuade him to turn against Han. So he first appealed to Han Xin by saying, "I happen to have some skill at predicting the fates of people by studying their appearances. When I examine your face, I can see no greater destiny for you than that of a marquis, and I perceive a dangerous fate without peace. But when I examine your back, I see glory beyond description."

Han Xin said, "How do you figure?"

Kuai Tong asked him to speak in prviate, then replied, "When the realm first rose up, there was one rallying cry that stirred so many bold heroes and talents, one sentiment that drew in the leaders of the realm like billowing clouds and gathering mist. No cause other than the destruction of the Qin dynasty could have drawn together such a swarm of fish, like raging flames or gusting wind. Yet by now, this war between Chu and Han has caused countless people of the realm to spill their innards upon the ground, and refugees fill the fields.

"On the one side, though the King of Han commands an army of hundreds of thousands and is holding back King Xiang at the natural defenses of Gong and Luo, even as he fights several battles every day, he has not been able to gain a single inch of new territory for his trouble, nor can he withdraw north from his position without peril. He was defeated at Xingyang, injured at Chenggao, and compelled to flee between Wan and She. This demonstrates that both his cunning and his strength are spent. Meanwhile, although the soldiers of Chu initially rose up from Pengcheng and drove the Han army north before them as far as Xingyang, their victories unfolding like a mat and their power shaking the realm, yet in the end they were halted between Jing and Suo and have not been able to push west past the mountains, thus this stalemate of the past three years. The morale of both sides has been blunted by these repulses, and their grain from their bases is all spent. The common people lack anyone to turn to. As I see it, only the most worthy and sagacious man could save the realm from this disaster.

"Now the fates of these two leaders rests in your hands, my friend. If you support Han, Han will win; if you support Chu, Chu will win. Yet there is a third path. It is for this very reason that I am now baring my heart to you and demonstrating you my full sincerity; my only fear is that you will decline to heed my foolish thoughts. But if you seek my honest advice, I propose that you could do nothing better than to preserve both of these leaders and divide the realm between the three of you. Then the realm would settle into a balance of power like the three legs of a tripod, and neither of them would dare to make the first move.

"I observe that you personally are a worthy and wise man, you command a host of armored soldiers, you occupy the powerful Qi region, and Zhao and Yan are on your side. You could approach both sides through empty terrain and control them from behind. With such power, you could face the western forces and fulfill the hopes of the realm by demanding they spare the lives of the people. Who in all the realm would dare not to heed your commands? With you possessing the Qi region, all the land around the Huai and Si Rivers, you could fold your hands and display modesty, and all the kings and lords of the realm would cherish your virtue and lead each other to attend your court.

"Yet I warn you: it is said that 'one who does not accept Heaven's blessing shall suffer its curse; one who does not seize opportunity will endure calamity'. Please, consider this proposal wisely."

Han Xin replied, "The King of Han has shown me exceptional favor. How could I betray his grace just for the sake of my own benefit?"

"Have you forgotten the relationship between the King of Changshan (Zhang Er) and Lord Cheng'an (Chen Yu)? In the beginning, when they were both just commoners, they were such close friends that they swore to die together. But later, after that business with Zhang Yan and Chen Ze, they became bitter enemies. The King scurried away with his head in his hands to join the King of Han instead. He borrowed the King of Han's troops to march east, he fought Lord Cheng'an north of Hao, and in the end, the King killed Lord Cheng'an south of the Zhi River and left his head and his feet in different places. Why did these two, who had once been the best of friends, wind up destroying one another in the end? It was because people are full of suspicions and desires, and it is hard to ever know what someone else is really thinking. And as for you, though you feel that you have been loyal and trustworthy to the King of Han, the relationship that you have with him is nowhere near as close as the one between those two, and there are many more incidents between you which could give rise to suspicion than the mere matter of Zhang Yan and Chen Ze. Yet you believe that the King of Han will never threaten your life? You are mistaken.

"And do you recall the story of King Goujian of Yue and his minister Wen Zhong? Wen Zhong helped to bring Yue back from the brink of destruction, and thanks to his efforts, Goujian became a Hegemon among the lords. Yet despite these great achievements, Wen Zhong killed by Goujian in the end. It is as the saying goes: 'when the wild beasts are all caught, even the hunting dog goes into the cooking pot; when the enemy state is destroyed, the clever minister is doomed'.

"You can talk about friendship and repayment all you like, but you are neither as great a friend to the King of Han as Chen Yu was to Zhang Er, nor have you been as loyal and faithful to him as Wen Zhong was to Goujian. Yet see what their fates were. That is why I urge you to reconsider.

“Besides, I have also heard it said that 'the bold general who frightens his lord endangers himself; the servant whose achievements surpass all the realm will not be rewarded'. Did you not cross the Western Yellow River, capture the King of Wei (Wei Bao), make Xia Yue your prisoner, lead your troops down through Jingxing Pass, take the head of Lord Cheng'an for his crimes, issue your orders throughout Zhao, coerce Yan, conquer Qi, smash a Chu army of two hundred to the south, kill Long Ju, and then send word of all your achievements to the King of Han while facing west? If these are not peerless accomplishments and unrivalled strategies, what is? You are the exemplar of a general whose power frightens his lord, and your achievements are so great that they cannot be properly rewarded. If you try to serve Chu, they will not trust you, while if you remain with Han, they will fear you. Do you not wish to preserve yourself? You are nominally the subject of another, yet your name is known throughout the realm. Can you not see why I believe you are in danger?"

Han Xin apologized and said, "Please, Sir, stop for now. Let me think all this over."

Several days later, Kuai Tong once again advised Han Xin, "Listening to advice is the basis of decisions; developing plans is the foundation of opportunity. And why should you cling to being the groomsman of another and squander the chance to be lord of a state of ten thousand chariots? Why should you be more concerned about a meager salary than wielding great authority? And if you shrink from acting upon your decisions, you invite a host of calamities.

"Thus a fierce tiger that yet hesitates to bite is worse than a little bee who is certain to sting; a warrior as bold as Meng Ben who yet hesitates is worse than a common fellow who is certain to act. The common element is to praise someone who can act on their decisions. Success is difficult to achieve and easy to lose; time is hard to gain and easy to squander. 'Now is the time, now is the time. It will not come again.' May you have no further doubts about my advice."

But Han Xin still could not bear to betray Han. He also considered that his achievements were so great that Liu Bang would never take the Qi region away from him. So he declined to follow Kuai Tong's advice. When Kuai Tong saw that his words were useless, he was afraid, so he pretended to be mad and became a shaman.


秋,七月,立黥布爲淮南王。

14. In autumn, the seventh month, Liu Bang appointed Qing Bu as King of Huainan.

漢四年
七月
淮南王英布始,漢立之。(Records of the Grand Historian 16, Monthly Timeline of the Chu-Han Contention)

In the fourth year of Liu Bang's reign (203 BC), in the seventh month, Liu Bang appointed Qing Bu as King of Huainan.

高祖四年
十月乙丑,初王英布元年。(Records of the Grand Historian 17, Annual Timeline of the Han Princes)

In the fourth year of Liu Bang's reign (203 BC), in the tenth month, on the day Yichou, Qing Bu became King of Huainan.

秋七月。立黥布為淮南王。(Records of Former Han 3, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

In autumn, the seventh month, Liu Bang appointed Qing Bu as King of Huainan.

四年七月,立布為淮南王,與擊項籍... 布遂剖符為淮南王,都六,九江、廬江、衡山、豫章郡皆屬布。(Records of the Grand Historian 91, Biography of Qing Bu)

In the fourth year of Liu Bang's reign (203 BC), in the seventh month, Liu Bang appointed Qing Bu as King of Huainan and attacked Xiang Yu together with him.

After the realm was settled, Qing Bu accepted Han authority as King of Huainan. His capital was at Liu, and his domain included the commandaries of Jiujiang, Lujiang, Hengshan, and Yuzhang.

四年秋七月,立布為淮南王,與擊項籍... 布遂剖符為淮南王,都六,九江、廬江、衡山、豫章郡皆屬焉。(Book of Han 34, Biography of Qing Bu)

In the fourth year of Liu Bang's reign (203 BC), in autumn, the seventh month, Liu Bang appointed Qing Bu as King of Huainan and attacked Xiang Yu together with him.

After the realm was settled, Qing Bu accepted Han authority as King of Huainan. His capital was at Liu, and his domain included the commandaries of Jiujiang, Lujiang, Hengshan, and Yuzhang.


八月,北貉燕人來致梟騎助漢。

15. In the eighth month, the northern Hao people and the people of the Yan region sent fierce cavalry to assist Han.

〈應劭曰:北貉,國也。梟,健也。張晏曰:梟,勇也,若六博之梟也。師古曰:貉在東北方,三韓之屬,皆貉類也。蓋貉人及燕皆來助漢。孔穎達曰:經傳說貊多是東夷,故職方掌九夷、九貊。《鄭志》答趙商云:九貊,卽九夷也。又《周官》貊隸,《註》云征東北夷所獲。貉,讀與貊同。〉

(This passage describes the cavalry as 梟 "owlish". Ying Shao remarked, "The northern Hao were their own state. Owlish means strong." Zhang Yan remarked, "Owlish means bold, like the owls in the liubo game." Yan Shigu remarked, "The Hao people lived in the northeast; the people of the three Han (Korean) states were all part of this group of people. It was these people and the people of Yan who came to assist Han." Kong Yingda remarked, "The classics and the records state that most of the 貊 Mo people were from the eastern barbarians; it's for this reason that there are offices managing the 'nine barbarians and the nine Mo'. And the Records of Zheng have Zhao Shang remark, 'The nine Mo are the nine barbarians.' The Offices of Zhou lists a Colonel of the Mo, and its Annotations states that its duty was to campaign against the northeastern tribes." The name of these people, 貉, is pronounced "mo".)


漢王下令:軍士不幸死者,吏爲衣衾棺斂,轉送其家。四方歸心焉。

16. Liu Bang issued an order stating that any of his soldiers who had passed away would have funeral clothes and coffins provided for their bodies and would have their remains sent back to their families. People from every corner turned their hearts to him.

〈與作衣衾而斂尸於棺也。轉送,傳送也。〉

(Liu Bang was preparing clothing for the fallen and providing coffins for them. And they were being sent back home.)


八月初為算賦。令軍士死者。吏為衣衾棺斂傳送其家。四方歸心焉。(Records of Former Han 3, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

In the eighth month, Liu Bang first began calculating taxes. He also issued an order stating that any of his soldiers who had passed away would have funeral clothes and coffins provided for their bodies and would have their remains sent back to their families. People from every corner turned their hearts to him.


是歲,以中尉周昌爲御史大夫。昌,苛從弟也。

17. During this year, Liu Bang appointed his Central Commandant, Zhou Chang, as the Imperial Secretary. This Zhou Chang was the cousin of Zhou Ke.

〈班《表》:中尉,秦官,掌徼循京師;武帝太初元年更名執金吾。〉

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


中尉周昌為御史大夫。(Records of Former Han 3, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

Liu Bang appointed his Central Commandant, Zhou Chang, as the Imperial Secretary.


項羽自知少助,食盡;韓信又進兵擊楚,羽患之。漢遣侯公說羽請太公。羽乃與漢約,中分天下,割洪溝以西爲漢,以東爲楚。九月,楚歸太公、呂后,引兵解而東歸。漢王欲西歸,張良、陳平說曰:「漢有天下太半,而諸侯皆附;楚兵疲食盡,此天亡之時也。今釋弗擊,此所謂『養虎自遺患』也。」漢王從之。

18. Xiang Yu recognized that he could not expect much further help, and his supplies were exhausted. In addition, Han Xin had advanced his troops to attack Chu, and Xiang Yu was worried about him.

Liu Bang sent Hou Gong as an envoy to Xiang Yu, asking him to return Liu Bang's father to him. Xiang Yu took this opportunity to arrange general peace terms. The two sides agreed to divide the realm between them, marking their border at Hong Canal; all land west of it would belong to Han, all land east of it would belong to Chu. In the ninth month, Xiang Yu returned both Liu Bang's father and his wife Lü Zhi, and he led his troops away to the east.

Liu Bang too wished to withdraw to the west. But Zhang Liang and Chen Ping advised him, "Han now controls the greater half of the realm, and the feudal lords are all on your side. Furthermore, the Chu soldiers are exhausted and their food is gone. Heaven wills their destruction. But if you do not attack them now, you will only be fulfilling the old proverb: 'one who raises a tiger is storing up trouble for himself'."

Liu Bang followed their advice.

〈太公、呂后爲楚所得,見上卷三年。〉〈文穎曰:於滎陽下引河東南爲洪溝,以通宋、鄭、陳、蔡、曹、衞,與濟、汝、淮、泗會于楚,卽今官渡水也。應劭曰:滎陽東南二十里,蓋引河東南入淮、泗也。張華曰:大梁城在浚儀縣。此縣西北,渠水東經此城南,又北屈,分爲二渠:其一渠東南流,始皇鑿之,引河水以灌大梁,謂之洪溝;其一渠東經陽武縣南爲官渡水。杜佑曰:鄭州滎陽縣西有鴻溝,楚、漢分境之所。〉〈韋昭曰:凡數,三分有二爲太半,有一分爲少半。〉

(Liu Bang's father and his wife Lü Zhi had earlier been captured by Xiang Yu, as mentioned in Book 9, in the third year of Liu Bang's reign (actually the second year, -205.18).

Regarding the Hong Canal, Wen Ying remarked, "The Hong Canal ran from Xingyang southeast to the Yellow River. It passed through the Song, Zheng, Chen, Cai, Cao, and Wey regions and connected the Ji, Ru, Huai, and Si Rivers in Chu. It is the modern Guandu River." Ying Shao remarked, "The Hong Canal was twenty li southeast of Xingyang; it connected the Yellow River southeast to the Huai and Si Rivers." Zhang Hua remarked, "The city of Daliang was in Junyi county. Southwest of this county, the canal flowed east and passed south of the city, then bent north and split into two canals. One canal flowed southeast; this one had been carved out by the First Emperor of Qin, who had used it to divert the Yellow River to flood Daliang. This was the Hong Canal. The other canal flowed east, passing south of Yangwu county. This was the Guandu River." Du You remarked, "The Hong Canal, where Chu and Han agreed to split the realm, was west of Xingyang county in Zhengzhou."

Zhang Liang and Chen Ping claim that Liu Bang possesses "the greater half" of the realm. Wei Zhao remarked, "In numbers, if, for instance, one divides 3 into two unequal halves, then the 2 would be the 'greater' half and the 1 would be the 'lesser' half.")


漢四年
九月
太公、呂后歸自楚。(Records of the Grand Historian 16, Monthly Timeline of the Chu-Han Contention)

In the fourth year of Liu Bang's reign (203 BC), in the ninth month, Liu Bang's father and his wife Lü Zhi returned from Chu.

漢王遣侯公說項羽求太公。羽乃與漢約中分天下。割洪溝以西為漢。以東為楚。九月歸太公呂后。封侯公為平國君。項羽解而東歸。漢王欲西。張良陳平諫曰。今漢有天下大半。而諸侯皆附漢。楚兵疲食盡。此天亡之時也。不如因其幾而取之。(Records of Former Han 3, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

Liu Bang sent Hou Gong to Xiang Yu, asking him to return Liu Bang's father to him. Xiang Yu took this opportunity to arrange general peace terms. The two sides agreed to divide the realm between them, marking their border at Hong Canal; all land west of it would belong to Han, all land east of it would belong to Chu. In the ninth month, Xiang Yu returned both Liu Bang's father and his wife Lü Zhi. Liu Bang appointed Hou Gong as Lord Pingguo.

Xiang Yu disbanded his camps and led his troops away to the east. Liu Bang too wished to withdraw to the west. But Zhang Liang and Chen Ping remonstrated with him, saying, "Han now controls the greater half of the realm, and the feudal lords are all on your side. Furthermore, the Chu soldiers are exhausted and their food is gone. Heaven wills their destruction. You should take advantage of this opportunity and conquer Chu."
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BOOK 11

Unread postby Taishi Ci 2.0 » Wed Oct 30, 2019 10:40 pm

五年(己亥、前二○二)

The Fifth Year of Liu Bang's Reign (The Jihai or Earth Pig Year, 202 BC)


冬,十月,漢王追項羽至固陵,與齊王信、魏相國越期會擊楚;信、越不至,楚擊漢軍,大破之。漢王復堅壁自守,謂張良曰:「諸侯不從,柰何?」對曰:「楚兵且破,二人未有分地,其不至固宜;君王能與共天下,可立致也。齊王信之立,非君王意,信亦不自堅;彭越本定梁地,始,君王以魏豹故拜越爲相國;今豹死,越亦望王,而君王不早定。今能取睢陽以北至穀城皆以王彭越,從陳以東傅海與韓王信。信家在楚,其意欲復得故邑。能出捐此地以許兩人,使各自爲戰,則楚易破也。」漢王從之。於是韓信、彭越皆引兵來。

1. In winter, the tenth month (of 203 BC), Liu Bang pursued Xiang Yu to Guling. He had arranged a time for the King of Qi, Han Xin, and the Chancellor of State of Wei, Peng Yue, to meet him for a joint attack against Xiang Yu. However, the two of them never arrived, and when the Chu army attacked the Han army, they greatly routed Liu Bang. Liu Bang fell back to his ramparts and maintained his defenses.

Liu Bang said to Zhang Liang, "Why didn't the lords follow my plan?"

Zhang Liang replied, "You have already broken the power of the Chu army, yet you have not yet clarified territory that the King of Qi or Peng Yue control. So it was only natural that they declined to come assist you at Guling. But if you are really able to share control of the realm with them, then they will assist you. The King of Qi's rise to that title was never your intention, and he is not yet sure of his own defenses. As for Peng Yue, when he had originally pacified the Liang region on your behalf, you named him as Chancellor of State of Wei, serving under the King of Wei, Wei Bao. Yet although Wei Bao has died since then and Peng Yue has naturally hoped that he would become the new King of Wei, you have failed to grant him this title.

"What you could do is grant all the territory from Suiyang north to Gucheng to Peng Yue as King, and grant all the territory from Chen east to the coast to the King of Qi as additional territory. The King of Qi's family lives in the Chu region, and he hopes to gain his homeland for himself. By giving up control of these two areas and granting them to those two, you will cause both of them to want to fight for their new territory out of their own self-interest, and then it will be easy for you to destroy Chu."

Liu Bang followed his advice. Han Xin and Peng Yue then led their troops to help fight Chu.

〈徐廣曰:固陵在陽夏。晉灼曰:卽固始縣。余據班《志》,固始與陽夏爲兩縣,皆屬淮陽國。劉昭《志》:陳國陽夏縣有固陵聚。《括地志》:固陵,縣名,在陳州宛丘縣西北四十二里。〉〈李奇曰:言信、越未有益地之分也。韋昭曰:信等雖名爲王,未爲分畫疆界。余謂韋說是。〉〈言信自請爲假王,乃立之耳,非君王本意。〉〈見上卷二年。〉〈班《志》,睢陽縣屬梁國。劉昭《志》:穀城縣屬東郡,春秋之小穀也。《括地志》:穀城故城,在濟州東阿縣東二十六里。睢陽,宋州也。自宋州以北至濟州穀城際黃河,盡以封彭越。〉〈【章:甲十五行本「韓」作「齊」;乙十一行本同;孔本同。】〉〈陳,古陳國,班《志》之淮陽國也;唐爲陳州。自陳以東至于海幷齊舊地,盡以與齊王信。〉

(Xu Guang remarked, "Guling was at Yangxia." Jin Zhuo remarked, "Guling was the same place as Gushi county." I (Hu Sanxing) note that according to the Book of Han, Gushi and Yangxia were two different counties, both part of the Huaiyang princely fief. Liu Zhao's Records states, "There was a Guling Gathering Place in Yangxia county in the Chen princely fief." The Comprehensive Gazetteer states, "Guling was the name of a county, forty-two li northwest of Wanqiu county in Chengzhou."

Li Qi argued, "Han Xin and Peng Yue had not yet had their existing territories increased." But Wei Zhao argued, "Although Han Xin and others had nominally been named as kings, their actual territories had not yet been established." I (Hu Sanxing) believe that Wei Zhao is correct.

Zhang Liang was saying that Han Xin had been the one to request the title King of Qi for himself, and although Liu Bang had agreed to this, it had not been his original intention.

Peng Yue's appointment as Chancellor of State of Wei is mentioned in Book 9, in the second year of Liu Bang's reign (-205.16).

According to the Book of Han, Suiyang county was part of the Liang princely fief. Liu Zhao's Records states, "Gucheng county was part of Dong commandary; it had been Xiaogu during the Spring and Autumn era." The Comprehensive Gazetteer states, "The capital city of Gucheng was twenty-six li east of Dong'a county in Jizhou." Suiyang was the same place as the later Songzhou. All the region from Songzhou north to Gucheng at the Yellow River in Jizhou would be granted to Peng Yue.

This passage identifies the person who would be granted the region from Chen east to the sea as "the King of Qi, [Han] Xin". But some versions instead list this person as "the King of Hann, [Hann] Xin".

Chen had been the state of Chen in ancient times. According to the Book of Han, Chen county was part of the Huaiyang princely fief. During Tang, it was Chenzhou. All the region from Chen east to the sea had originally been part of the state of Qi, and this territory was now granted to Han Xin in his role as King of Qi.)


五年冬十月。王追項羽至陽夏南。與韓信彭越期。皆不至會。楚擊漢軍。大破之。王復深壘自守。王謂張良曰。諸侯不從奈何。對曰。大王能取睢陽以東。北至穀城。盡以王彭越。從陳以東傅海與韓信。則兩人必至而楚敗矣。王從之。信越皆至。(Records of Former Han 3, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

In the fifth year of Liu Bang's reign (202 BC), in winter, the tenth month (of 203 BC), Liu Bang pursued Xiang Yu to south of Yangxia. He had arranged a time for Han Xin and Peng Yue to meet him for a joint attack against Xiang Yu. However, the two of them never arrived, and when the Chu army attacked the Han army, they greatly routed Liu Bang. Liu Bang fell back to his ramparts and maintained his defenses.

Liu Bang said to Zhang Liang, "Why didn't the lords follow my plan?"

Zhang Liang replied, "Great King, you might grant all the territory from Suiyang east and north to Gucheng to Peng Yue as King, and grant all the territory from Chen east to the coast to Han Xin as additional territory. Then both of them would surely come, and Chu would be defeated."

Liu Bang followed his advice. Han Xin and Peng Yue then led their troops to help fight Chu.

漢五年秋,項王之南走陽夏,彭越復下昌邑旁二十餘城,得穀十餘萬斛,以給漢王食。漢王敗,使使召彭越并力擊楚。越曰:「魏地初定,尚畏楚,未可去。」漢王追楚,為項籍所敗碧陵。乃謂留侯曰:「諸侯兵不從,為之柰何?」留侯曰:「齊王信之立,非君王之意,信亦不自堅。彭越本定梁地,功多,始君王以魏豹故,拜彭越為魏相國。今豹死毋後,且越亦欲王,而君王不蚤定。與此兩國約:即勝楚,睢陽以北至穀城,皆以王彭相國;從陳以東傅海,與齊王信。齊王信家在楚,此其意欲復得故邑。君王能出捐此地許二人,二人今可致;即不能,事未可知也。」於是漢王乃發使使彭越,如留侯策。使者至,彭越乃悉引兵會垓下,遂破楚。(Records of the Grand Historian 90, Biography of Peng Yue)

In the fifth year of Liu Bang's reign (202 BC), in autumn, Xiang Yu fled south to Yangxia. Peng Yue subdued more than twenty cities around Changyi and captured more than a hundred thousand 斛 of grain, which he used to supply the Han army.

The Han army was defeated, so Liu Bang sent envoys to summon Peng Yue to combine his forces with Liu Bang. But Peng Yue told them, "The Wei region has only newly been settled, and the people still fear Chu. I cannot leave it yet." Liu Bang pursued Xiang Yu, but Xiang Yu defeated him at Biling.

Liu Bang said to Zhang Liang, "Why didn't the lords send their troops?"

Zhang Liang replied, "The King of Qi's (Han Xin's) rise to that title was never your intention, and he is not yet sure of his own defenses. As for Peng Yue, he originally pacified the Liang region on your behalf, and he has achieved much. Thus when you were still allied with the late King of Wei, Wei Bao, you named Peng Yue as Chancellor of State of Wei. Yet although Wei Bao has died since then and Peng Yue has naturally hoped that he would become the new King of Wei, you have failed to grant him this title.

"You ought to make a pact with these two states; if they help you to defeat Chu, you will grant all the territory from Suiyang north to Gucheng to Peng Yue as King, and grant all the territory from Chen east to the coast to the King of Qi as additional territory. The King of Qi's family lives in the Chu region, and he hopes to gain his homeland for himself. By giving up control of these two areas and granting them to those two, you will cause both of them to want to fight for their new territory out of their own self-interest. But if you cannot do this, then who knows what might happen?"

Liu Bang followed his advice, and he sent envoys to visit Peng Yue. After the envoys arrived, Peng Yue led all his troops to join with Liu Bang at Gaixia, and they routed Chu.

項王南走陽夏,越復下昌邑旁二十餘城,得粟十餘萬斛,以給漢食。漢王敗,使使召越并力擊楚,越曰:「魏地初定,尚畏楚,未可去。」漢王追楚,為項籍所敗固陵。乃謂留侯曰:「諸侯兵不從,為之奈何?」留侯曰:「彭越本定梁地,功多,始君王以魏豹故,拜越為相國。今豹死亡後,且越亦欲王,而君王不蚤定。今取睢陽以北至穀城,皆許以王彭越。」又言所以許韓信。語在高紀。於是漢王發使使越,如留侯策。使者至,越乃引兵會垓下。(Book of Han 34, Biography of Peng Yue)

When Xiang Yu fled south to Yangxia, Peng Yue subdued more than twenty cities around Changyi and captured more than a hundred thousand 斛 of grain, which he used to supply the Han army.

The Han army was defeated, so Liu Bang sent envoys to summon Peng Yue to combine his forces with Liu Bang. But Peng Yue told them, "The Wei region has only newly been settled, and the people still fear Chu. I cannot leave it yet." Liu Bang pursued Xiang Yu, but Xiang Yu defeated him at Guling.

Liu Bang said to Zhang Liang, "Why didn't the lords send their troops?"

Zhang Liang replied, "Peng Yue originally pacified the Liang region on your behalf, and he has achieved much. Thus when you were still allied with the late King of Wei, Wei Bao, you named Peng Yue as Chancellor of State of Wei. Yet although Wei Bao has died since then and Peng Yue has naturally hoped that he would become the new King of Wei, you have failed to grant him this title. You ought to grant all the territory from Suiyang north to Gucheng to Peng Yue as King." He also offered the same advice regarding Han Xin; this is mentioned in the Biography of Han Xin.

Liu Bang followed his advice, and he sent envoys to visit Peng Yue. After the envoys arrived, Peng Yue led all his troops to join with Liu Bang at Gaixia.

漢王之困固陵,用張良計,召齊王信,遂將兵會垓下。(Records of the Grand Historian 92, Biography of Han Xin)

When Liu Bang was in distress at Guling, he followed Zhang Liang's advice and summoned Han Xin to help him. Han Xin led his troops to join with Liu Bang at Gaixia.

漢王之敗固陵,用張良計,徵信將兵會陔下。(Book of Han 34, Biography of Han Xin)

After Liu Bang defeated at Guling, he followed Zhang Liang's advice and summoned Han Xin's troops to join him at Gaixia.


十一月,劉賈南渡淮,圍壽春,遣人誘楚大司馬周殷。殷畔楚,以舒屠六,舉九江兵迎黥布,並行屠城父,隨劉賈皆會。

2. In the eleventh month (of 203 BC), Liu Jia crossed south of the Huai River and besieged Shouchun. He sent agents to entice Chu's Grand Marshal, Zhou Yin, to defect to Han. Zhou Yin betrayed Chu; he marched from Shu and sacked the city of Liu, then raised the troops of Jiujiang to welcome the return of Qing Bu. He then marched to sack Chengfu, then marched to join Liu Jia's army.

〈舒,春秋之舒國也。班《志》,舒縣屬廬江郡。《括地志》:舒,今廬江之故舒城是也。〉〈《史記正義》曰:九江郡卽壽州。楚考烈王二十二年徙壽春,號曰郢;至王負芻,爲秦所滅,置九江郡;至唐爲廬、壽、滁、濠等州之地。〉

(舒 Shu had been the state of Shu during the Spring and Autumn era. According to the Book of Han, Shu county was part of Lujiang commandary." The Comprehensive Gazetteer states, "Shu was the same city as the modern city of Lujiang."

The Zhengyi commentary to the Records of the Grand Historian states, "Jiujiang commandary was the same place as Shouzhou. In the twenty-second year of the reign of King Kaolie of Chu (241 BC), he moved the capital of Chu to Shouchun and named it Ying. Following Chu's conquest by Qin, the region was organized as Jiujiang commandary. During Tang, this area made up the circuits of Luzhou, Shouzhou, Chuzhou, and Haozhou.")


漢五年,漢王追項籍至固陵,使劉賈南渡淮圍壽春。還至,使人閒招楚大司馬周殷。周殷反楚,佐劉賈舉九江,迎武王黥布兵,皆會垓下,共擊項籍。(Records of the Grand Historian 51, Biography of Liu Jia)

In the fifth year of Liu Bang's reign (202 BC), when Liu Bang had pursued Xiang Yu to Guling, he sent Liu Jia to cross south of the Huai River and besiege Shouchun. After Liu Jia returned, he sent agents to entice Chu's Grand Marshal, Zhou Yin, to defect to Han. Zhou Yin betrayed Chu and helped Liu Jia raise the troops of Jiujiang to welcome the return of King Wu ("the Martial"), Qing Bu. All of them then joined with Liu Bang at Gaixia to attack Xiang Yu together.

漢王追項籍至固陵,使賈南度淮圍壽春。還至,使人間招楚大司馬周殷。周殷反楚,佐賈舉九江,迎英布兵,皆會垓下,誅項籍。(Book of Han 35, Biography of Liu Jia)

When Liu Bang had pursued Xiang Yu to Guling, he sent Liu Jia to cross south of the Huai River and besiege Shouchun. After Liu Jia returned, he sent agents to entice Chu's Grand Marshal, Zhou Yin, to defect to Han. Zhou Yin betrayed Chu and helped Liu Jia raise the troops of Jiujiang to welcome the return of Qing Bu. All of them then joined with Liu Bang at Gaixia, where they executed Xiang Yu.

漢五年,布使人入九江,得數縣。六年,布與劉賈入九江,誘大司馬周殷,周殷反楚,遂舉九江兵與漢擊楚,破之垓下。(Records of the Grand Historian 91, Biography of Qing Bu)

In the fifth year of Liu Bang's reign (202 BC), Qing Bu sent agents into Jiujiang and regained several counties.

In the sixth year (201 BC), Qing Bu and Liu Jia entered Jiujiang. They enticed Chu's Grand Marshal, Zhou Yin. Zhou Yin betrayed Chu and raised the troops of Jiujiang to join forces with Han to attack Chu, where they routed Xiang Yu at Gaixia.

布使人之九江,得數縣。五年,布與劉賈入九江,誘大司馬周殷,殷反楚。遂舉九江兵與漢擊楚,破垓下。(Book of Han 34, Biography of Qing Bu)

Qing Bu sent agents into Jiujiang and regained several counties.

In the fifth year of Liu Bang's reign (202 BC), Qing Bu and Liu Jia entered Jiujiang. They enticed Chu's Grand Marshal, Zhou Yin. Zhou Yin betrayed Chu and raised the troops of Jiujiang to join forces with Han to attack Chu, where they routed Xiang Yu at Gaixia.


十二月,項王至垓下,兵少,食盡,與漢戰不勝,入壁;漢軍及諸侯兵圍之數重。項王夜聞漢軍四面皆楚歌,乃大驚曰:「漢皆已得楚乎,是何楚人之多也!」則夜起,飲帳中,悲歌忼慨,泣數行下,左右皆泣,莫能仰視。於是項王乘其駿馬名騅,麾下壯士騎從者八百餘人,直夜,潰圍南出馳走。平明,漢軍乃覺之,令騎將灌嬰以五千騎追之。項王渡淮,騎能屬者才百餘人。至陰陵,迷失道,問一田父,田父紿曰「左」。左,乃陷大澤中,以故漢追及之。

3. In the twelfth month (of 203 BC), Xiang Yu reached Gaixia. His soldiers were few, and his grain exhausted. He fought the Han army, but since he had the worst of the fighting, he withdrew into his ramparts. The Han army and the soldiers of the feudal lords surrounded him with many siege lines.

During the night, Xiang Yu heard the Han troops singing the songs of Chu on every side. Greatly astonished, he exclaimed, "Han must've already taken all of Chu; how else could they have so many Chu soldiers?" As night wore on and he ate in his tent, he sang a sad dirge and teared up several times. Those with him teared up as well, and no one could bear to look anyone else in the eyes.

Xiang Yu mounted his famed horse, Zhui (Black-White Piebald), and led about eight hundred strong fellows who chose to stay with him. In the dead of night, they burst out of the siege lines to the south and fled. When morning came and the Han army realized that Xiang Yu was gone, Liu Bang ordered his cavalry commander, Guan Ying, to lead five thousand cavalry to pursue him.

By the time Xiang Yu had crossed the Huai River, he only had about a hundred riders remaining. They came to Yinling, where they lost their way on the road. They asked an old farmer which way to go, and he misled them and said "Left". So they went left, but stumbled into a great marsh. Thus the Han cavalry were able to catch up with them.

〈李奇曰:沛洨縣聚邑名。張揖《三蒼注》:垓,堤名,在沛郡。《史記正義》曰:按垓下是高岡絕巖,今猶高三四丈;其聚邑及堤在垓之側,因取名焉,今在亳州眞源縣東十里。〉〈應劭曰:楚歌者,《雞鳴歌》也。漢已略得楚地,故楚歌者多,雞鳴時歌也。師古曰:楚歌者,爲楚人之歌,猶吳歈、越吟耳。若以雞鳴爲歌曲之名,於理則可,不得云雞鳴時也。高祖令戚夫人楚舞,自爲作楚歌,豈有雞鳴時乎!〉〈泣,目中淚也。〉〈蒼白雜毛曰騅。孔穎達曰:雜毛,是體有二種之色相間雜。〉〈班《志》,陰陵縣屬九江郡。《括地志》:陰陵故城,在濠州定遠縣西北六十里。〉〈紿,欺誑也。〉

(Li Qi remarked, "Gaixia was the name of a town in Xiao county in Pei commandary." Zhang Yi's Annotations to the Three Cangs states, "Gai was the name of a dyke in Pei commandary." The Zhengyi commentary to the Records of the Grand Historian states, "Gaixia was a tall and stout gorge in the hills, and even today it is still three or four zhang tall. The town and the dyke nearby took their name from it. It was ten li west of Zhenyuan county in Bozhou."

This passage states that the Han soldiers sang the 楚歌. Ying Shao argued, "By the 楚歌 'song of Chu', it means the Song of the Cock's Crow. Han had already occupied the Chu region, thus many of them sang this song of Chu, since it was the actual time of the cock's crow." But Yan Shigu argued, "By 楚歌 it means the 'songs of Chu'; that is, the songs that the people of Chu would sing, merely things like the songs of the Wu region or the chants of the Yue region. If the Cock's Crow was the particular song that they were singing, that could have been a logical conclusion in itself, but not by claiming that it was the time of the actual cock's crow. When Gaozu (Liu Bang) compelled his family members to dance the dances of Chu while he himself sang the songs of Chu, was it then also the 'time of the cock's crow'?"

To tear up is to form tears in the eyes.

The name Zhui means "intermixed black and white hair". Kong Yingda remarked, "A piebald horse is one with mixed hair, a different distribution of two colors across its body."

According to the Book of Han, Yinling county was in Jiujiang commandary. The Comprehensive Gazetteer states, "The capital city of Yinling was sixty li northwest of Dingyuan county in Haozhou."

To mislead is to deceive or lie.)


十有二月。諸侯皆會垓下。圍項羽數重。夜聞漢軍四面皆作楚歌。羽驚曰。漢已盡得楚乎。是何楚人歌之多也。夜起飲帳中。有美人曰虞姬。有駿馬曰騅。羽乃慷慨悲歌曰。力拔山兮氣蓋世。時不利兮騅不逝。騅不逝兮可奈何。虞兮虞兮奈若何。羽遂上馬。乃從八百餘騎。直夜潰圍南出。平明。漢軍乃覺之。命騎將灌嬰以五千騎追羽。羽至陰陵。迷失道路。漢軍追及之。(Records of Former Han 3, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

In the twelfth month (of 203 BC), the feudal lords gathered at Gaixia and surrounded Xiang Yu there with many siege lines.

During the night, Xiang Yu heard the Han troops singing the songs of Chu on every side. Astonished, he exclaimed, "Han must've already taken all of Chu; how else could they have so many Chu soldiers?"

As night wore on, Xiang Yu was drinking in his tent. He had a beautiful woman named Consort Yu, and a famed horse named Zhui (Black-White Piebald). Moved by grief, Xiang Yu sang a sad dirge:

My strength could pluck up mountains, the age's soul was mine
And yet I still have been laid low, by Heaven's cruel design
No longer have I lands to claim, no place for Zhui to roam
O Yu, dear Yu, my consort! When shall you see your home?

Xiang Yu mounted his horse and led about eight hundred riders. In the dead of night, they burst out of the siege lines to the south and fled. When morning came and the Han army realized that Xiang Yu was gone, Liu Bang ordered his cavalry commander, Guan Ying, to lead five thousand cavalry to pursue him.

Xiang Yu's group came to Yinling, where they lost their way on the road. Thus the Han cavalry were able to catch up with them.


項王乃復引兵而東,至東城,乃有二十八騎;漢騎追者數千人。項王自度不得脫,謂其騎曰:「吾起兵至今,八歲矣;身七十餘戰,未嘗敗北,遂霸有天下。然今卒困於此,此天之亡我,非戰之罪也!今日固決死,願爲諸君快戰,必潰圍,斬將,刈旗,三勝之,令諸君知天亡我,非戰之罪也。」乃分其騎以爲四隊,四鄕。漢軍圍之數重。項王謂其騎曰:「吾爲公取彼一將。」令四面騎馳下,期山東爲三處。於是項王大呼馳下,漢軍皆披靡,遂斬漢一將。是時,郎中騎楊喜追項王,項王瞋目而叱之,喜人馬俱驚,辟易數里。項王與其騎會爲三處,漢軍不知項王所在,乃分軍爲三,復圍之。項王乃馳,復斬漢一都尉,殺數十百人;復聚其騎,亡其兩騎耳。乃謂其騎曰:「何如?」騎皆伏曰:「如大王言!」

4. Xiang Yu rallied his followers and continued to the east. By the time he reached Dongcheng, he only had twenty-eight riders left, while there were still several thousand Han riders pursuing them.

Xiang Yu now no longer believed that escape was possible. So he said to his remaining riders, "It has been seven years now, from when I first rose up with troops until today. In that time, though I fought more than seventy battles, never once have I been defeated or forced to flee. Thus I became Hegemon over the realm. It is only by the will of Heaven that I have been brought to this sad state. No one can fault me for failing in battle!

"This is surely the day of our deaths. But I wish to bring on the battle, together with you gentlemen. I will break the enemy lines, take the head of their general, and topple their banners. I will triumph three times, so that you gentlemen can be sure that my doom is because of Heaven's will, not by any fault of mine."

Xiang Yu divided his riders into four divisions facing four directions. The Han army surrounded them with many lines. Xiang Yu declared to his riders, "I will go and take the head of an enemy general for you." He ordered his riders to charge in four directions, and arranged a time for the survivors to regroup in three different places in the eastern hills. Xiang Yu roared a great shout as he charged forth, causing the Han army to fracture, and he took the head of a Han general. At that time, one of the Han cadet riders, Yang Xi, pursued Xiang Yu, but when Xiang Yu glared at him and shouted, both Yang Xi and his horse were so panicked that he ran off helter skelter for several li.

After Xiang Yu and his remaining riders regrouped at the three places, since the Han army did not know where Xiang Yu was, they split their forces into three and surrounded all three of the places. Xiang Yu then charged out again; he took the head of one of Han's commandants and killed around a hundred people. By the time he rejoined his riders, there had only been two casualties among them. "Well?" he said to them; they bowed and said, "Just as you said, Great King!"

〈班《志》,東城縣屬九江郡。《括地志》:東城故城,在定遠東南五十里。〉〈《史記正義》曰:靡,言精體低垂。〉〈郎中騎,卽《漢官》所謂騎郎。〉〈師古曰:辟易,謂開張而易其故處。宋祁《國語補音》:易,未知其何據。〉

(According to the Book of Han, Dongcheng county was part of Jiujiang commandary. The Comprehensive Gazetteer states, "The capital city of Dongcheng was fifty li southeast of Dingyuan."

This passage states that the Han army was 靡. The Zhengyi commentary to the Records of the Grand Historian states, "By 靡, it means that their spirit was shaken."

Yang Xi is identified as a "rider of the Palace Gentlemen"; this is the same thing listed in the Book of Han as a cadet rider.

Yang Xi is described as 辟易ing. Yan Shigu remarked, "This means to spread out and change his former position." Song Qi's Pronunciation Notes of the Discourses of the States states, "易 means that he did not not know where he was.")


至東城。乃有二十八騎。追者數千。羽謂其騎曰。吾起兵八歲矣。身經九十餘戰。所當者破。未嘗敗。今困于此。固天亡我。非戰之罪也。今日固決死。願為諸君決戰。於是引其騎。因四隤山為圜陣。漢軍圍之數重。羽謂其騎曰。吾為公取彼一將。於是羽大呼馳下。漢軍皆披靡。遂取漢一將。騎將揚喜追羽。羽還叱喜。人馬皆驚。辟易數里。羽分其騎為三處。漢軍不知羽所在。分軍為三處復圍之。羽乃馳擊漢軍。復取一都尉。殺百人。羽復聚其騎。亡兩騎。(Records of Former Han 3, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

By the time Xiang Yu's group reached Dongcheng, they only had twenty-eight riders left, while there were still several thousand Han riders pursuing them.

Xiang Yu said to his remaining riders, "It has been seven years now, from when I first rose up with troops until today. In that time, though I fought more than ninety battles, I have always routed the enemy and never been defeated. It is only by the will of Heaven that I have been brought to this sad state. No one can fault me for failing in battle.

"This is surely the day of our deaths. But I wish to bring on the battle, together with you gentlemen."

Xiang Yu divided his riders into four divisions on four sides of a collapsed hill. The Han army surrounded them with many lines. Xiang Yu declared to his riders, "I will go and take the head of an enemy general for you." Xiang Yu roared a great shout as he charged forth, causing the Han army to fracture, and he took the head of a Han general. At that time, the Han general Yang Xi pursued Xiang Yu, but when Xiang Yu turned back at him and shouted, both Yang Xi and his horse were so panicked that he ran off helter skelter for several li.

Xiang Yu and his remaining riders regrouped in three different places. Since the Han army did not know where Xiang Yu was, they split their forces into three and surrounded all three of the places. Xiang Yu then charged out again; he took the head of one of Han's commandants and killed a hundred people. By the time he rejoined his riders, there had only been two casualties among them.


於是項王欲東渡烏江,烏江亭長檥船待,謂項王曰:「江東雖小,地方千里,衆數十萬人,亦足王也。願大王急渡;今獨臣有船,漢軍至,無以渡。」項王笑曰:「天之亡我,我何渡爲!且籍與江東子弟八千人渡江而西,今無一人還;縱江東父兄憐而王我,我何面目見之!縱彼不言,籍獨不愧於心乎!」乃以所乘騅馬賜亭長,令騎皆下馬步行,持短兵接戰。獨籍所殺漢軍數百人,身亦被十餘創。顧見漢騎司馬呂馬童,曰:「若非吾故人乎?」馬童面之,指示中郎騎王翳曰:「此項王也。」項王乃曰:「吾聞漢購我頭千金,邑萬戶;吾爲若德。」乃自刎而死。王翳取其頭;餘騎相蹂踐爭項王,相殺者數十人;最其後,楊喜、呂馬童及郎中呂勝、楊武各得其一體;五人共會其體,皆是,故分其戶,封五人皆爲列侯。

5. Xiang Yu had considered going east and crossing the Yangzi at Wujiang. The local post chief was even waiting for him at the riverside with a boat. The post chief said to him, "Although the Southland is a lesser region, still it is a land of a thousand square li that could sustain an army of hundreds of thousands. It is a worthy place to rule over as king. Great King, please cross the river at once; I have the boat here for you now, and once we cross, the Han army will not be able to follow."

But Xiang Yu only laughed and said, "Heaven has already ruined me; how could I cross the river now? Besides, of the eight thousand young men of the Southland that I originally brought north of the Yangzi, not a single one has survived to return home. Even if the elders of the Southland were to sympathize with me and make me their king, how could I bear to face them? Even if they didn't say anything, my heart could never bear the shame!" So he only gave his horse Zhui to the post chief.

Xiang Yu ordered his remaining riders to dismount and fight on foot, and he led them into one last stand, wielding short weapons. Xiang Yu alone killed several hundred Han soldiers, and he took more than ten wounds.

Eventually, Xiang Yu noticed the Marshal of the Han cavalry, a certain Lü Matong. Xiang Yu said, "Weren't you my subordinate once?"

Lü Matong turned to face Xiang Yu and, pointing him out to one of the cadet riders, Wang Yi, declared, "That's King Xiang."

Xiang Yu said, "I've heard that Han is offering a thousand gold and a fief of ten thousand households for my head. I'll let you claim the credit." And he cut his throat and died.

Wang Yi was able to grab Xiang Yu's head. But the other riders all scrambled to fight over Xiang Yu's body, and dozens of them killed each other in the scuffle. In the end, four men were each able to grab some other part of Xiang Yu's body: Yang Xi, Lü Matong, and two other cadets, Lü Sheng and Yang Wu. When they put the parts together with the head that Wang Yi took, it indeed formed Xiang Yu's body. So the reward was split between the five of them, and they were all appointed as minor marquises.

〈臣瓚曰:烏江在牛渚。《索隱》曰:按晉初屬臨淮。《括地志》:烏江亭,卽和州烏江縣是也;晉初爲縣。《水經》曰:江水又北得黃律口,《漢書》所謂烏江亭長檥船待項王,卽此地。余據烏江浦在今和州烏江縣東五十里,卽亭長檥船待羽處。〉〈應劭曰:檥,正也。孟康曰:檥,附也,附船著岸也。如淳曰:南方謂整船向岸曰檥。《索隱》曰:檥字,諸家各以意解耳。〉〈張晏曰:以故人難親斫之,故背之也。如淳曰:面,謂不正視也。師古曰:如說非。面,謂背之,不正向也,面縛,亦反偝而縛之;杜元凱以爲但見其面,非也。貢父曰:面之,直向之耳。〉〈《史記正義》曰:漢以一斤金爲千金,當一萬錢也。余謂一斤金與萬戶邑,多少不稱,《正義》之說,未可爲據也。〉〈班《書》,「德」作「得」;鄧展曰:令公得我以爲功也。《史記》作「德」;徐廣曰:亦可是功德之德。《史記正義》曰:言呂馬童與己是故人,舊有恩德於己。余謂羽蓋謂我爲汝自刎以德汝。〉〈【章:甲十五行本無「自」字;乙十一行本同;孔本同。】〉〈呂馬童封中水侯,王翳封杜衍侯,楊喜封赤泉侯,楊武封吳防侯,呂勝封涅陽侯。〉

(Chen Zan remarked, "Wujiang was at Niuzhu." The Suoyin commentary to the Records of the Grand Historian states, "According to the administrative geography at the beginning of the Jin dynasty (probably ~280 AD), Wujiang county was part of Linhuai commandary." The Comprehensive Gazetteer states, "Wujiang Point was the same place as Wujiang county in Hezhou; it was established as a county at the beginning of the Jin dynasty." The Water Classic states, "The Yangzi then flows north to Huangjinkou, the same place as described in the Book of Han where the post chief of Wujiang waited for King Xiang with a boat." I (Hu Sanxing) note that there is a Wujiang Rivermouth fifty li east of Wujiang county in modern Hezhou. This must have been the place where the post chief waited.

The post chief is described as being 檥. Ying Shao remarked, "This means he was 'right on' the riverbank." Meng Kang remarked, "This means he was along the riverbank." Ru Chun remarked, "The people of the south use this term 檥 to mean a boat right up on the bank." The Suoyin commentary to the Records of the Grand Historian states, "Many people have their own theories as to what this character 檥 means."

Lü Matong is described as 面ing Xiang Yu. Zhang Yan argued, "Since it would have been hard for him to cut down someone he personally knew, he 面 'turned his back' on Xiang Yu." Ru Chun argued, "面 here means to not look right at someone." But Yan Shigu argued, "Ru Chun is wrong. 面 in this case means to turn one's back on someone and not turn right towards them; likewise, the term 面縛 means to turn someone away and then bind them. Du Yuankai (Du Yu) believed that 面 meant to look at someone's face, but he was mistaken." Liang Fu argued, "To 面 someone merely means to look right at them."

Regarding the bounty on Xiang Yu's head, the Zhengyi commentary to the Records of the Grand Historian states, "Under the Han system, one catty of gold was equal to ten thousand gold, thus the bounty was for ten thousand." But I (Hu Sanxing) note that the bounty mentioned is for a thousand gold and a fief of ten thousand households, and it does not mention how much. So the Zhengyi commentary's reasoning is not necessarily correct.

In this passage, Xiang Yu tells Lü Matong that he will 德 'let him get the credit' for taking Xiang Yu's head. But in the Book of Han's version of this account, Xiang Yu says that he will 得 'grant Lü Matong his head'. Deng Zhan remarked, "Xiang Yu was saying that he would let Lü Matong claim the achievement of killing him." The Records of the Grand Historian uses 德 in its account, and Xu Guang remarked, "This meant the virtue of the deed of killing Xiang Yu." The Zhengyi commentary to the Records of the Grand Historian states, "Xiang Yu was saying that since he and Lü Matong were old friends, he would now repay Lü Matong's old grace and virtue." As for me (Hu Sanxing), I think that Xiang Yu must have been saying that he would kill himself as a favor to Lü Matong.

Some versions omit the clarification that Xiang Yu cut "his own" throat.

Regarding these five fellows and their titles, Lü Matong was appointed as Marquis of Zhongshui, Wang Yi was appointed as Marquis of Duyan, Yang Xi was appointed as Marquis of Chiquan, Yang Wu was appointed as Marquis of Wufang, and Lü Sheng was appointed as Marquis of Nieyang.)


漢五年
十二月
誅籍。(Records of the Grand Historian 16, Monthly Timeline of the Chu-Han Contention)

In the fifth year of Liu Bang's reign (202 BC), in the twelfth month (of 203 BC), Liu Bang executed Xiang Yu.

於是羽引軍東至烏江。亭長曰。江東雖小。地方千里。眾數十萬。亦足以王也。願大王急渡。今獨臣有船。漢軍至無以渡。羽曰。籍與江東士弟八千人渡江而西。今無一人還者。縱江東父兄憐而王我。我何面目見之哉。吾知公長者也。吾騎此馬五歲。常以一日行千里。吾不忍殺之。以賜公。乃令騎皆去其馬。短兵接戰。復殺漢軍百人。羽亦被十餘創。乃自剄而死。(Records of Former Han 3, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

Xiang Yu led his troops east to Wujiang. The local post chief said to him, "Although the Southland is a lesser region, still it is a land of a thousand square li that could sustain an army of hundreds of thousands. It is a worthy place to rule over as king. Great King, please cross the river at once; I have the boat here for you now, and once we cross, the Han army will not be able to follow."

But Xiang Yu said, "Of the eight thousand young men of the Southland that I originally brought north of the Yangzi, not a single one has survived to return home. Even if the elders of the Southland were to sympathize with me and make me their king, how could I bear to face them or look them in the eyes? Sir, I know you are a worthy fellow. I have ridden this horse of mine for four years now, and it often runs a thousand li in a single day. I cannot bear to kill it, so I give it to you."

Xiang Yu ordered his remaining riders to dismiss their own horses as well, and he led them into one last stand, wielding short weapons. Xiang Yu alone killed a hundred Han soldiers, and he took more than ten wounds.

In the end, Xiang Yu cut his throat and died.


楚地悉定,獨魯不下;漢王引天下兵欲屠之。至其城下,猶聞絃誦之聲;爲其守禮義之國,爲主死節,乃持項王頭以示魯父兄,魯乃降。漢王以魯公禮葬項王於穀城,親爲發哀,哭之而去。諸項氏枝屬皆不誅。封項伯等四人皆爲列侯,賜姓劉氏;諸民略在楚者皆歸之。

6. Almost the entire Chu region had now submitted to Han. Only the city of Lu refused to surrender. Liu Bang thus led the soldiers of all the realm to Lu, intending to sack the city. But when he reached the walls of Lu, he heard the sounds of strings and chants. He realized that Lu was defending the rites and sense of righteousness of its state, and was prepared to die in order to uphold its duty to its sovereign. So he displayed the head of Xiang Yu for the elders of Lu to see. This caused Lu to finally surrender.

Liu Bang had Xiang Yu buried at Gucheng, with the rites fit for his original position as Duke of Lu. Liu Bang personally led the mourning, and he wailed before leaving.

The other members of the Xiang clan and their partisans and dependents were all spared from execution. In fact, four members of the clan, including Xiang Bo, were appointed as minor marquises and granted the Liu surname.

All those who had earlier been held captive in Chu now returned home.

〈秦,魯縣屬薛郡,項羽初封於此,漢爲魯國。〉〈宋白曰:宋州穀熟縣,古穀城也,漢於此置薄縣,又改爲穀陽縣。〉

(During the Qin dynasty, Lu county had been part of Xue commandary. Xiang Yu had first been appointed as Duke of Lu; this was the same place. During Han, it became the Lu princely fief.

Song Bai remarked, "Gushu county in Songzhou was Gucheng in ancient times. Han established this area as Bao county, then renamed it to Guyang county.")


楚地悉平。獨魯後降。初懷王封羽為魯公。故以魯為號。葬羽於穀城山下。漢王為之發哀。封項伯等四人為列侯。賜姓劉氏。(Records of Former Han 3, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

The entire Chu region now submitted to Han. Lu held out for a time, but eventually surrendered. King Huai of Chu had originally appointed Xiang Yu as Duke of Lu, thus they had held out on his behalf.

Liu Bang had Xiang Yu buried at the foot of Mount Gucheng. He personally led the mourning.

Liu Bang appointed four members of the Xiang clan, including Xiang Bo, as minor marquises and granted them the Liu surname.


太史公曰:羽起隴畮之中,三年,遂將五諸侯滅秦,分裂天下而封王侯,政由羽出;位雖不終,近古以來未嘗有也!及羽背關懷楚,放逐義帝而自立;怨王侯叛己,難矣!自矜功伐,奮其私智而不師古,謂霸王之業,欲以力征經營天下。五年,卒亡其國,身死東城;尚不覺悟而不自責,乃引「天亡我,非用兵之罪也。」豈不謬哉!

7. At the end of his Biography of Xiang Yu, the Grand Historian, Sima Qian, made these remarks: Xiang Yu rose from obscurity. By the third year of the reign of the Second Emperor of Qin (207 BC), he was leading the armies of the other five feudal lords to vanquish Qin, and he divided the realm and appointed all its kings and nobles. All power was in his hands. Although his rule did not last for long, who in all of history can match his rise?

But Xiang Yu spurned Guanzhong in favor of the Chu region, and he deposed and drove out Emperor Yi and took power himself. And when he roused the anger of the kings and nobles and turned them against him, how could he maintain himself? Furthermore, he claimed all achievements and conquests were due to his own merits, and he relied upon his own understanding rather than seek the knowledge of the ancients. He conceived of himself as a hegemon-king, and wanted to rule the realm through military force. By the fifth year of Gaozu's (Liu Bang's) reign (202 BC), Xiang Yu's state had fallen and he himself perished at Dongcheng. Yet even to the very end, he never realized his mistakes or blamed himself, but only said, "Heaven has ruined me; I have committed no fault in battle." Could he have been more wrong?

〈畮,古畝字。〉〈此時山東六國,而齊、趙、韓、魏、齊並起,從羽伐秦,故云五諸侯。〉〈師古曰:背關,謂背約不王沛公於關中;懷楚,謂思東歸彭城也。余謂背關懷楚,文意一貫,言羽棄背關中之形勝而懷鄕歸楚也,不必分爲兩節。〉

(In the term 隴畮 "obscurity", this passage uses the character 畮, which is an ancient form of the character 畝.

There were six great states east of the passes: Qi, Zhao, Hann, Wei, Yan, and Chu. Xiang Yu was leading the armies of Chu himself, thus this passage states that the "other five" lords followed him against Qin.

Sima Qian uses the phrase 背關懷楚. Yan Shigu argued, "He was saying that Xiang Yu had 背關 'betrayed Guanzhong', that is, he had broken the pact that whoever was first into Guanzhong would be made its king, and appointed the Duke of Pei (Liu Bang) as King of Han instead. And that Xiang Yu had 懷楚 'longed for Chu', in that he wanted to return east to Pengcheng." But I (Hu Sanxing) believe that 背關懷楚 all expresses a single thought: that Xiang Yu had 背關懷楚 "spurned Guanzhong in favor of the Chu region", in that he declined to occupy Guanzhong as his own domain despite its favorable terrain because he longed to return to his homeland in Chu instead. The phrase should not be split into two concepts.)


揚子《法言》:或問:「楚敗垓下,方死,曰『天也!』諒乎?」曰:「漢屈羣策,羣策屈羣力;楚憞羣策而自屈其力。屈人者克,自屈者負;天曷故焉!」

8. This passage from Yang Xiong's Exemplary Sayings is also relevant:

Someone asked, "When Xiang Yu had been defeated at Gaixia and was about to die, he exclaimed, 'Heaven has ruined me!' Was he right?"

Yangzi replied, "The King of Han heeded the advice of his ministers, and he employed this advice through reliance upon the efforts of his subordinates. Xiang Yu spurned the advice of his ministers and relied only upon his own strength. One who depends upon others will succeed; one who depends only upon himself will fail. What did Heaven have to do with it?"

〈諒,信也。屈,盡也。〉〈憞,惡也。〉〈溫公曰:何預天事。〉

(Of the terms used in this passage, 諒 means "correct", 屈 means "fully", and 憞 means "spurned".

Duke Wen (Sima Guang) remarked, "The final sentence meant, 'What role did Heaven have in this?'")


漢王還,至定陶,馳入齊王信壁,奪其軍。

9. Liu Bang marched back from Lu. When he came to Dingtao, he rushed into Han Xin's ramparts and seized command of his army.

〈班《志》,定陶縣屬濟陰郡,古之陶邑;宋爲廣濟軍理所。〉

(According to the Book of Han, Dingtao county was part of Jiyin commandary. In ancient times, it had been the town of Tao. This was the same place where the Song dynasty later established the Guangji Garrison.)


項羽已破,高祖襲奪齊王軍。(Records of the Grand Historian 92, Biography of Han Xin)

After Xiang Yu was defeated, Liu Bang took Han Xin by surprise and seized control of his army.

項羽死,高祖襲奪信軍。(Book of Han 34, Biography of Han Xin)

After Xiang Yu's death, Liu Bang took Han Xin by surprise and seized control of his army.


臨江王共尉不降,遣盧綰、劉賈擊虜之。

10. The King of Linjiang, Gong Wei, refused to surrender to Liu Bang. So Liu Bang sent Lu Wan and Liu Jia to attack Gong Wei, and they captured him.

〈共敖,項羽封爲臨江王;尉,其子也。〉

(Xiang Yu had originally appointed Gong Wei's father Gong Ao as the King of Linjiang. After Gong Ao had passed away, Gong Wei had inherited his title.)


漢五年
十二月
漢虜驩。
正月
屬漢,為南郡。(Records of the Grand Historian 16, Monthly Timeline of the Chu-Han Contention)

In the fifth year of Liu Bang's reign (202 BC), in the twelfth month (of 203 BC), Han captured Gong Huan.

In the first month, Liu Bang organized Gong Huan's former domain into Nan commandary.

漢王因使劉賈將九江兵,與太尉盧綰西南擊臨江王共尉。共尉已死,以臨江為南郡。(Records of the Grand Historian 51, Biography of Liu Jia)

Liu Bang assigned Liu Jia command of the soldiers of Jiujiang, and sent him and the Grand Commandant, Lu Wan, southwest to attack the King of Linjiang, Gong Wei. After Gong Wei was dead, his former domain as King of Linjiang was organized into Nan commandary.

漢王因使賈將九江兵,與太尉盧綰西南擊臨江王共尉,尉死,以臨江為南郡。(Book of Han 35, Biography of Liu Jia)

Liu Bang assigned Liu Jia command of the soldiers of Jiujiang, and sent him and the Grand Commandant, Lu Wan, southwest to attack the King of Linjiang, Gong Wei. After Gong Wei was dead, his former domain as King of Linjiang was organized into Nan commandary.

漢五年冬,以破項籍,乃使盧綰別將,與劉賈擊臨江王共尉,破之。(Records of the Grand Historian 93, Biography of Lu Wan)

In the fifth year of Liu Bang's reign (202 BC), in winter, after having conquered Xiang Yu, Liu Bang sent Lu Wan to lead an independent command to join with Liu Jia and attack the King of Linjiang, Gong Wei. They routed him.

項籍死,使綰別將,與劉賈擊臨江王共尉。(Book of Han 34, Biography of Lu Wan)

After having killed Xiang Yu, Liu Bang sent Lu Wan to lead an independent command to join with Liu Jia and attack the King of Linjiang, Gong Wei.


春,正月,更立齊王信爲楚王,王淮北,都下邳。封魏相國建城侯彭越爲梁王,王魏故地,都定陶。

11. In spring, the first month, Liu Bang changed Han Xin's title from King of Qi to King of Chu; he was granted the Huaibei region as his domain, with his capital at Xiapi. Liu Bang also appointed the Marquis of Jiancheng, Peng Yue, as King of Liang; he was granted the old Wei region as his domain, with his capital at Dingtao.

漢五年
正月
殺項籍,天下平,諸侯臣屬漢。齊王韓信徙楚王。復置梁國。梁王彭越始。(Records of the Grand Historian 16, Monthly Timeline of the Chu-Han Contention)

In the fifth year of Liu Bang's reign (202 BC), in the first month, now that Xiang Yu was dead and the realm was at peace, the other feudal lords all submitted to Liu Bang. He shifted Han Xin's title to King of Chu, and he created the fief of Liang and appointed Peng Yue as King of Liang.

高祖五年
齊王信徙為楚王元年。初王彭越元年。(Records of the Grand Historian 17, Annual Timeline of the Han Princes)

In the fifth year of Liu Bang's reign (202 BC), Liu Bang shifted the King of Qi, Han Xin, to be King of Chu, and he appointed Peng Yue as King of Liang.

春正月。徙齊王韓信為楚王。都下邳。(Records of Former Han 3, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

In spring, the first month, Liu Bang changed Han Xin's title from King of Qi to King of Chu, with his capital at Xiapi.

項籍已死。春,立彭越為梁王,都定陶。(Records of the Grand Historian 90, Biography of Peng Yue)

Once Xiang Yu was dead, in spring, Liu Bang appointed Peng Yue as King of Liang, with his capital at Dingtao.

項籍死,立越為梁王,都定陶。(Book of Han 34, Biography of Peng Yue)

Once Xiang Yu was dead, in spring, Liu Bang appointed Peng Yue as King of Liang, with his capital at Dingtao.

漢五年正月,徙齊王信為楚王,都下邳。(Records of the Grand Historian 92, Biography of Han Xin)

In the fifth year of Liu Bang's reign (202 BC), in the first month, he shifted Han Xin to be King of Chu, with his capital at Xiapi.

徙信為楚王,都下邳。(Book of Han 34, Biography of Han Xin)

Liu Bang shifted Han Xin to be King of Chu, with his capital at Xiapi.


令曰:「兵不得休八年,萬民與苦甚;今天下事畢,其赦天下殊死以下。」

12. Liu Bang issued a decree stating, "The soldiers have been without rest for eight years, and the common people have suffered greatly. Now that affairs are concluded across the realm, I hereby issue a pardon for all crimes below the death sentence."

〈如淳曰:殊死,死罪之明白也;《左傳》曰:斬其木而弗殊。韋昭曰:殊死,斬刑也。師古曰:殊,絕也,異也;言其身首離絕而異處。貢父曰:予按《說文》:漢蠻夷殊。然則殊自死刑之名。〉

(Regarding the term 殊死, Ru Chun remarked, "This means a clear sentence of death for a crime; the Zuo Commentary to the Spring and Autumn Annals states, 'They chopped their trees, but did not sever them.'" Wei Zhao remarked, "This means to be punished with decapitation." Yan Shigu remarked, "To 殊 means to cut off or to separate, in the sense that decapitation means to sever or separate the head from the body." Liang Fu remarked, "The Shuowen dictionary states, 'This is a method of execution among the Han and Man people.' So it must mean the name of a death sentence.")


赦天下殊死已下。(Records of Former Han 3, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

Liu Bang issued a pardon across the realm for all crimes below the death sentence.


諸侯王皆上疏請尊漢王爲皇帝。二月甲午,王卽皇帝位于氾水之陽。更王后曰皇后,太子曰皇太子;追尊先媼曰昭靈夫人。

13. The feudal lords and kings all sent up a petition asking Liu Bang to honor himself by claiming the title of Emperor. So in the second month, on the day Jiawu, Liu Bang declared himself Emperor north of the Si River. His wife Lü Zhi's title was changed from Queen to Empress, and his son's title was changed to Imperial Crown Prince. He posthumously honored his mother as Lady Zhaoling.

〈蔡邕曰:上古天子稱皇,其次稱帝,其次稱王。秦承三王之末,自以德兼三皇、五帝,故幷以爲號。漢高受命,因而不改。張晏曰:氾水在濟陰界,取其氾愛弘大而潤下也。師古曰:據《叔孫通傳》:爲皇帝於定陶,則此水在濟陰是也。《括地志》:漢高祖卽位壇,在曹州濟陰縣界。〉〈高祖母曰劉媼。文穎曰:幽州及漢中皆謂老嫗爲媼。師古曰:媼,女老稱。〉

(The title generally translated as "Emperor" is 皇帝. Cai Yong remarked, "In distant antiquity, the Son of Heaven was originally called 皇, later called 帝, and eventually called King. The Qin dynasty, feeling that they were the successors of the three dynastic rulers (Xia, Shang, and Zhou) and that they had inherited the virtues of the Three 皇s and the Five 帝s, they combined the title into the single term 皇帝. When Gaozu of Han (Liu Bang) inherited the Mandate from them, he kept the tradition rather than change it.”

Zhang Yan remarked, "The Si River was in Jiyin commandary. It was named Si ('flooding') because it was wide and broad and flowed down." Yan Shigu remarked, "According to the Biography of Shusun Tong, Gaozu declared himself Emperor at Dingtao. So this river must have been in Jiyin." The Comprehensive Gazetteer states, "The place that Gaozu of Han raised an altar to declare himself Emperor was in Jiyin county in Caozhou."

Liu Bang's mother was known as Mama Liu. Wen Ying remarked, "People in Youzhou and in Hanzhong all referred to old women as 媼 Mama." Yan Shigu remarked, "The term 媼 refers to an old woman.")


漢五年
二月
甲午,王更號,即皇帝位於定陶。(Records of the Grand Historian 16, Monthly Timeline of the Chu-Han Contention)

In the fifth year of Liu Bang's reign (202 BC), in the second month, on the day Jiawu, Liu Bang advanced his title from King to Emperor at Dingtao.

群臣上皇帝尊號。王辭讓而後受。二月甲午。皇帝即位于汜水之陽。以十月為正。從火德。色尚赤。以應斬白蛇神母之符。尊王后曰皇后。太子曰皇太子。迫尊先媼曰昭靈夫人。(Records of Former Han 3, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

Liu Bang's ministers all sent up a petition asking Liu Bang to honor himself by claiming the title of Emperor. Liu Bang initially declined, but eventually accepted.

In the second month, on the day Jiawu, Liu Bang declared himself Emperor north of the Si River. He set the tenth month as the beginning of the new year. His dynasty would reign by the virtue of fire and would honor the color red, in accordance with the words of the old spirit woman after Liu Bang decapitated the white snake.

Liu Bang's wife Lü Zhi's title was changed from Queen to Empress, and his son's title was changed to Imperial Crown Prince. He posthumously honored his mother as Lady Zhaoling.


詔曰:「故衡山王吳芮,從百粵之兵,佐諸侯,誅暴秦,有大功;諸侯立以爲王,項羽侵奪之地,謂之番君。其以芮爲長沙王。」又曰:「故粵王無諸,世奉粵祀;秦侵奪其地,使其社稷不得血食。諸侯伐秦,無諸身率閩中兵以佐滅秦,項羽廢而弗立。今以爲閩粵王,王閩中地。」

14. Liu Bang issued an edict stating, "The former King of Hengshan, Wu Rui, led the soldiers of the Yue peoples to support the feudal lords and overthrow the violent Qin dynasty. He achieved great deeds. Yet when the feudal lords were being appointed as kings, Xiang Yu took away his land and called him merely the Lord of Po. I hereby appoint Wu Rui as King of Changsha."

It also stated, "The former King of Yue, Wuzhu, has maintained the sacrifices to the spirits of Yue. The Qin dynasty wrested away his domain and put an end to the sacrifices of his altar of state. When the feudal lords campaigned against Qin, Wuzhu personally led the soldiers of the Min region to help the struggle against Qin. Yet Xiang Yu cast him aside and did not make him a king. I hereby appoint Wuzhu as King of Min-Yue and grant him Minzhong as his domain."

〈如淳曰:詔,告也。自秦、漢以下,惟天子獨稱之。漢制度:帝之下書有四:一曰策書,二曰制書,三曰詔書,四曰誡敕。策書者,編簡也,其制長二尺,短者半之;篆書,起年月日,稱皇帝以命諸侯王;三公以罪免,亦賜策,而以隸書,用尺一木,兩行,此爲異也。制書,帝者制度之命。其文曰「制詔三公」,皆璽封,尚書令印重封,露布州郡也。詔書,詔,告也,其文曰「告某官如故事」。誡敕,謂敕刺史、太守,其文曰「有詔,敕某官」。他皆倣此。〉〈吳芮封衡山王,都邾;今封長沙王,都臨湘。〉〈粵王無諸,句踐之後;秦取其地置閩中郡;今復以封之。師古曰:閩越,今泉州、建安是其地。徐廣曰:今建安侯官地。《史記正義》曰:今閩州又改爲福。應劭曰:閩,音文飾之文。師古曰:非也;音緡。閩人本蛇種,故其字從「虫」。〉

(The thing that Liu Bang here issues is an 詔 "edict". Ru Chun remarked, "This was a sort of announcement. From the Qin and Han dynasties onward, only the Son of Heaven could issue an edict. According to the Han system, there were four sorts of announcements that the Emperor might issue: one was called a letter of direction, one a letter of authority, one an edict, and the last a letter of command. The letter of direction was an arrangement; the longer ones were two chi in length, with the shorter ones half that. It was written in stylized script, bearing the year, month, and day and acclaiming the Emperor's orders to the nobles and princes. A similar letter was also issued when one of the Three Excellencies was charged with a crime and removed from office, except that this was written in a plain script and only one chi in length, with two columns. The letter of authority displayed the Emperor's command of the system; it might say, 'this edict appoints one of the Three Excellencies', along with the ribbons of the title, and the Prefect of the Masters of Writing would present the seal and distribute the letter through the provinces and commandaries. The edict was as mentioned above, and it might say something like, 'such and such a person is hereby informed of the following'. The letter of command provided orders to the Inspectors and Administrators, and might say something like, 'this edict is hereby presented to command such and such a person'. Other letters were like these."

Wu Rui had been appointed as King of Hengshan, with his capital at Zhu. He was now appointed as King of Changsha, with his capital at Linxiang.

The King of Yue, Wuzhu, was a descendant of Goujian. The Qin dynasty had conquered his domain and organized it as Minzhong commandary. Liu Bang was now restoring his domain to him. Yan Shigu remarked, "The Min-Yue region was in modern Jian'an and Quanzhou." Xu Guang remarked, "It is now the 侯官 of Jian'an." The Zhengyi commentary to the Records of the Grand Historian states, "It is the modern Minzhou, also called Fu." Regarding the pronunciation of 閩, Ying Shao argued, "It is pronounced like the 'wen' in 'wenshi'." But Yan Shigu argued, "Not so; it is pronounced 'min'. The people of the Min region were originally snakes, thus the character for Min has the 虫 radical like 蛇 'snake' does.")


漢五年
二月
徙王長沙。屬淮南國。分臨江為長沙國。衡山王吳芮為為長沙王。(Records of the Grand Historian 16, Monthly Timeline of the Chu-Han Contention)

In the fifth year of Liu Bang's reign (202 BC), in the second month, Liu Bang shifted the King of Hengshan, Wu Rui, to be King of Changsha instead. He placed Hengshan commandary under Qing Bu's domain, and he split off Changsha commandary from the former state of Linjiang and granted that to Wu Rui.

高祖五年
二月乙未,初王文王吳芮元年。(Records of the Grand Historian 17, Annual Timeline of the Han Princes)

In the fifth year of Liu Bang's reign (202 BC), in the second month, on the day Yiwei, Liu Bang appointed Wu Rui as King of Changsha.

鄱君吳芮率百越佐諸侯。立芮為長沙王。越王無諸率閩中兵以佐滅秦。立無諸為越王。(Records of Former Han 3, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

Since the Lord of Po, Wu Rui, had led the Yue peoples to support the feudal lords, Liu Bang appointed him as King of Changsha. And since the King of Yue, Wuzhu, had led the soldiers of Minzhong to help vanquish the Qin dynasty, Liu Bang appointed him as King of Yue.

項籍死,上以鋗有功,從入武關,故德芮,徙為長沙王,都臨湘。(Book of Han 34, Biography of Wu Rui)

After Xiang Yu's death, Liu Bang appreciated Wu Rui because of the achievements of his general Mei Xuan, who had accompanied him into Guanzhong through Wu Pass. He shifted Wu Rui to be King of Changsha, with his capital at Linxiang.


帝西都洛陽。

15. Liu Bang went west and established Luoyang as his capital.

於是皇帝西都洛陽。(Records of Former Han 3, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

Liu Bang went west and established Luoyang as his capital.


夏,五月,兵皆罷歸家。

16. In summer, the fifth month, Liu Bang disbanded his armies and sent his soldiers back to their families.

夏五月。兵皆罷。(Records of Former Han 3, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

In summer, the fifth month, Liu Bang disbanded his armies.


詔:「民前或相聚保山澤,不書名數。今天下已定,令各歸其縣,復故爵、田宅;吏以文法敎訓辨告,勿笞辱軍吏卒;爵及七大夫以上,皆令食邑,非七大夫已下,皆復其身及戶,勿事。」

17. Liu Bang issued an edict stating, "Up until now, some of the common people have banded together in mountains and marshes to defend themselves and have thus been left out of the official registers. But now that the realm is at peace, I hereby order all such people to each return to their former counties of residence and once more accept their former titles and their farms and homes.

"The officials are hereby commanded to educate and instruct the people according to reason and righteousness, nor shall the military officials beat or shame them.

"All those possessing the rank of at least Seventh Grandee shall be granted a fief to sustain themselves. Those not of that rank shall be exempted from taxation and corvee labor, along with their households."

〈師古曰:辨告者,分別義理以曉喻之。〉〈臣瓚曰:秦制:列侯乃得食邑。今七大夫以上皆食邑,所以寵之也。師古曰:七大夫,公大夫也;爵第七,故謂之七大夫。〉〈應劭曰:不輸戶賦也。如淳曰:事,謂役使也。師古曰:復其身及一戶之內皆不傜賦也。〉

(Yan Shigu remarked, "辨告 means to enlighten and instruct by distinguishing righteousness and reason."

Chen Zan remarked, "According to the Qin system, no one was granted a fief until they were at least a marquis. This granting of fiefs to even those of Seventh Grandee or above was thus a show of generosity." Yan Shigu remarked, "A Seventh Grandee was part of the noble grandees; they were divided into seven ranks, thus the mention of 'Seventh' Grandee."

Ying Shao remarked, "These people were exempted from household taxation." Ru Chun remarked, "By 事, the edict refers to corvee labor or service." Yan Shigu remarked, "The edict exempted these people and their households from corvee labor and taxation.")


令人保其山澤者。各歸其田里。自賣為人奴婢者。免為庶人。(Records of Former Han 3, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

Liu Bang ordered those people who had fled into mountains and marshes to defend themselves to each return to their native farms and villages. He also freed as commoners those people who had sold themselves into slavery.


帝置酒洛陽南宮,上曰:「徹侯、諸將毋敢隱朕,皆言其情:吾所以有天下者何?項氏之所以失天下者何?」高起、王陵對曰:「陛下使人攻城掠地,因以與之,與天下同其利;項羽不然,有功者害之,賢者疑之,此其所以失天下也。」上曰:「公知其一,未知其二。夫運籌帷幄之中,決勝千里之外,吾不如子房;塡國家,撫百姓,給餉餽,不絕糧道,吾不如蕭何;連百萬之衆,戰必勝,攻必取,吾不如韓信。三者皆人傑,吾能用之,此吾所以取天下者也。項羽有一范增而不能用,此所以爲我禽也。」羣臣說服。

18. Liu Bang held a wine feast at the Southern Palace of Luoyang. He said to his guests, "My worthy nobles and generals, please speak freely to me and hold nothing back. Why was it that I gained the realm? Why did the Xiang clan lose the realm?"

Gao Qi and Wang Ling said to him, "Whenever Your Majesty ordered someone to take a city or occupy a region, you always granted it to them as their own. Thus the whole realm shared in your profit. Xiang Yu, on the other hand, was quick to do away with anyone who achieved great deeds and to suspect anyone who was worthy. That was why he lost the realm."

Liu Bang replied, "Gentlemen, you understand part of the truth, but not everything. Am I anyone special? For when it comes to devising long-term plans within the command tent and determining victory from a thousand li away, I am unequal to Zifang (Zhang Liang); when it comes to protecting the state, caring for the common people, maintaining stores of grain, and ensuring that supplies are promptly sent, I cannot compare with Xiao He; when it comes to leading an army of a million soldiers and being certain to win every battle and take every city, I am no match for Han Xin. But it was because I was able to make proper use of these three men, heroes all, that I was able to attain the realm. Xiang Yu only had a single Fan Zeng, and he could not even use him properly. That was why I overcame him in the end."

His ministers all agreed with his views.

〈《括地志》:南宮,在洛州洛陽縣東北二十六里洛陽故城中。《輿地志》:秦時,洛陽已有南、北宮。〉〈蔡邕曰:上者,尊位所在也;但言上,不敢言尊號耳。〉〈徹,通也。應劭曰:言其功德通於王室也。後避武諱,改曰通侯,亦曰列侯。〉〈張晏曰:詔使高官者起,故陵先對。臣瓚曰:《漢帝年紀》有信平侯臣陵、都武侯臣起。魏相、邴吉奏:高祖時,奏事有將軍臣陵、臣起。師古曰:張說非也。若言高官者起,則丞相蕭何、太尉盧綰及張良、陳平之屬皆在,陵不得而先對也。《姓譜》:齊太公之後,食采於高,因氏焉。〉

(The Comprehensive Gazetteer states, "The Southern Palace was within the old city of Luoyang, twenty-six li northeast of Luoyang county in modern Luozhou." The Geographical Records states, "By the time of the Qin dynasty, there were already Southern and Northern Palaces at Luoyang."

Beginning with this passage, the Zizhi Tongjian frequently refers to Liu Bang using the term 上. The same applies to most of the legitimate sovereigns in the Zizhi Tongjian. Cai Yong remarked, "上 'the Supreme' was a term used to refer to an exalted position; 上 was used to avoid directly naming the office."

The term 徹 means 通 "spread through"; they are pronounced "che" and "tong". Ying Shao remarked, "Both of these terms were used in the sense that someone's deeds and virtues had 'spread through' the royal house. But in order to avoid the taboo on Emperor Wu of Han's given name (徹 Che), instances of 徹 were all replaced with the synonym 通.”

In this passage, Wang Ling's name is preceded by the characters 高起. Zhang Yan argued, "By 高起, it means that Liu Bang was compelling his 高 'chief' ministers to 起 'rise' and respond to him, and Wang Ling was the first of them to do so." Chen Zan argued, "The Yearly Annals of the Han Emperors mentions 'the Marquis of Xinping, your servant Ling' and 'the Marquis of Duwu, your servant Qi'." Wei Xiang and Bing Ji argued, "During the reign of Gaozu (Liu Bang), there were petitions signed by the generals 'your servants Ling and Qi'." Yan Shigu argued, "Zhang Yan is incorrect. If it were true that Liu Bang was 'compelling his chief ministers to rise and respond', then surely the Prime Minister, Xiao He, the Grand Commandant, Lu Wan, or Chen Ping or Zhang Liang or their sort would have replied first. How could Wang Ling have been the first of them to respond?" The Registry of Surnames states, "The descendants of the Grand Duke of Qi (Jiang Ziya) were granted a fief at Gao, and they took their surname from the name of their fief.")


上置酒南宮。問群臣曰。吾所以得天下。羽所以失之者何。王陵對曰。陛下使人攻城略地。因以賞之。與天下同其利。項羽嫉賢妒能。有功者害之。賢者疑之。戰勝不蒙其功。得地不獲其利。所以失天下也。上曰。公知其一。未知其二。夫運籌帷幄之中。決勝千里之外。吾不如子房。鎮國家。撫百姓。給餉饋。吾不如蕭何。連百萬之眾。戰必勝。攻必取。吾不如韓信。三者皆人傑也。吾能用之。所以取天下也。羽有一范增。賢而不能用。此所以為我擒也。(Records of Former Han 3, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

Liu Bang held a wine feast at the Southern Palace of Luoyang. He asked his guests, "Why was it that I gained the realm? Why did the Xiang clan lose the realm?"

Wang Ling said to him, "Whenever Your Majesty ordered someone to take a city or occupy a region, you always granted it to them as their own. Thus the whole realm shared in your profit. Xiang Yu, on the other hand, was jealous of the worthy and envious of the talented, and he was quick to do away with anyone who achieved great deeds and to suspect anyone who was worthy. Those who won victories for him were not recognized for their achievements, and those who gained territory for him did not reap the benefits. That was why he lost the realm."

Liu Bang replied, "Sir, you understand part of the truth, but not everything. Am I anyone special? For when it comes to devising long-term plans within the command tent and determining victory from a thousand li away, I am unequal to Zifang (Zhang Liang); when it comes to protecting the state, caring for the common people, and maintaining stores of grain, I cannot compare with Xiao He; when it comes to leading an army of a million soldiers and being certain to win every battle and take every city, I am no match for Han Xin. But it was because I was able to make proper use of these three men, heroes all, that I was able to attain the realm. Xiang Yu only had a single Fan Zeng, and though Fan Zeng was a worthy man, Xiang Yu could not even use him properly. That was why I overcame him in the end."


韓信至楚,召漂母,賜千金。召辱己少年令出跨下者,以爲中尉;告諸將相曰:「此壯士也。方辱我時,我寧不能殺之邪?殺之無名,故忍而就此。」

19. When Han Xin came to his new domain at Chu, he summoned the washer woman who had once fed him and granted her a thousand gold.

He also summoned the man who had once bullied him by forcing him to crawl between his legs, and he appointed the man as a lieutenant. He reasoned to his generals, "This man was a bold fellow. Was there any doubt that I could have killed him back then if I had wanted to? But if I had killed him, I never would have reached the reputation that I have today. It was by bearing the shame back then that I became who I am now."

〈事見九卷元年。漂,匹妙翻。〉

(These events are mentioned in Book 9, in the first year of Liu Bang's reign (-206.23).)


信乃賜所從食漂母千金。召下鄉亭長曰。公小人也。為惠不終。賜錢百萬。召辱己少年曰。壯士哉。以為中尉。(Records of Former Han 3, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

When Han Xin came to his new domain at Chu, he rewarded the washer woman who had once fed him and gave her a thousand gold.

He summoned the post chief of his old village and told the man, "You are a petty person, and your kindness did not last." But he still gave him a million.

He also summoned the man who had once bullied him by forcing him to crawl between his legs, and told him, "You are a bold man." He appointed the man as a lieutenant.

信至國,召所從食漂母,賜千金。及下鄉南昌亭長,賜百錢,曰:「公,小人也,為德不卒。」召辱己之少年令出胯下者以為楚中尉。告諸將相曰:「此壯士也。方辱我時,我寧不能殺之邪?殺之無名,故忍而就於此。」(Records of the Grand Historian 92, Biography of Han Xin)

When Han Xin came to his new domain at Chu, he summoned the washer woman who had once fed him and granted her a thousand gold. He also sought out the old District-Chief of Nanchang, but only gave him a hundred cash, telling him, "You were a petty man, insufficient in virtue."

He also summoned the man who had once bullied him by forcing him to crawl between his legs, and he appointed the man as a lieutenant. He reasoned to his generals, "This man was a bold fellow. Was there any doubt that I could have killed him back then if I had wanted to? But if I had killed him, I never would have reached the reputation that I have today. It was by bearing the shame back then that I became who I am now."

信至國,召所從食漂母,賜千金。及下鄉亭長,錢百,曰:「公,小人,為德不竟。」召辱己少年令出跨下者,以為中尉,告諸將相曰:「此壯士也。方辱我時,寧不能死?死之無名,故忍而就此。」(Book of Han 34, Biography of Han Xin)

When Han Xin came to his new domain at Chu, he summoned the washer woman who had once fed him and granted her a thousand gold. He also sought out the old District-Chief of Nanchang, but only gave him a hundred cash, telling him, "You were a petty man, insufficient in virtue."

He also summoned the man who had once bullied him by forcing him to crawl between his legs, and he appointed the man as a lieutenant. He reasoned to his generals, "This man was a bold fellow. Was there any doubt that I could have killed him back then if I had wanted to? But if I had killed him, I never would have reached the reputation that I have today. It was by bearing the shame back then that I became who I am now."


彭越旣受漢封,田橫懼誅,與其徒屬五百餘人入海,居島中。帝以田橫兄弟本定齊地,齊賢者多附焉;今在海中,不敢,後恐爲亂。乃使使赦橫罪,召之。橫謝曰:「臣烹陛下之使酈生,今聞其弟商爲漢將;臣恐懼,不敢奉詔,請爲庶人,守海島中。」使還報,帝乃詔衞尉酈商曰:「齊王田橫卽至,人馬從者敢動搖者,致族夷!」乃復使使持節具告以詔商狀,曰:「田橫來,大者王,小者乃侯耳;不來,且舉兵加誅焉。」

20. It was earlier mentioned that the fugitive King of Qi, Tian Heng, had fled to Peng Yue to take refuge with him. But by now, since Peng Yue had accepted titles from Liu Bang and recognized his authority, Tian Heng feared that this meant the end of his protection and that he would eventually be executed. So he and more than five hundred of his followers fled to the sea and took shelter on an island.

Liu Bang considered how Tian Heng's brother Tian Rong and cousin Tian Dan had been the ones to originally settle the Qi region when the uprising against the Qin dynasty had begun, and that many of the worthy people of the Qi region had supported them. And now that Tian Heng was taking refuge on this island and not daring to leave, he might become a future source of trouble. So Liu Bang sent envoys to visit Tian Heng, pardoning him of his offenses and summoning him to come to the capital.

But Tian Heng told the envoys, "I had His Majesty's envoy, Master Li (Li Yiji), boiled alive. And I hear that Master Li's younger brother Li Shang is still serving Han as a general. So I fear I do not dare to heed this edict. Please allow me to live as a mere common fellow, and to defend myself on this island in the sea."

When the envoys returned, Liu Bang summoned the Commandant of the Guards, Li Shang, and told him, "The King of Qi, Tian Heng, is going to be coming to the capital. Anyone who dares to cause a disturbance will have their entire clan exterminated!" Then he sent more envoys to visit Tian Heng, bearing the Staff of Authority. They explained Liu Bang's command to Li Shang to Tian Heng and his followers, then said, "If Tian Heng come to the capital, he might even be appointed as a king, and at the very least he shall be appointed as a marquis. But if he does not come, then we shall raise troops and execute him."

〈海中山曰島。《史記正義》曰:海州東海縣有島山,去岸八十里。余按《北史》,楊愔避讒東入田橫島,是島以橫居之而得名。〉〈事見上卷四年。〉〈班《表》:衞尉,秦官,掌宮門衞屯兵。〉〈言誅夷其族也。〉〈《周禮》:司節掌守邦節,辨其用以輔王命。《註》云:節者,執以行爲信。邦節,珍圭、牙璋、穀圭、琬圭、琰圭也。守邦國用玉節,以玉爲之;守都鄙用角節,以角爲之。邦國之使,節用金;門關之節,用符;貨賄之節,用璽;道路之節,用旌。審此,則古之所執以爲信者,皆謂之節。自秦以來,有璽、符、節,則璽自璽,符自符,節自節,分爲三矣。漢之節,卽古之旌節也。鄭氏《註》以符節爲漢宮中諸宮詔符,璽節爲漢之印章,旌節爲漢使者所持節;則知漢所謂節,蓋古之旌節也。賢曰:節者,所以爲信,以竹爲之,柄長八尺,以旄牛尾爲之,毦三重。此漢制也。〉

(A mound among the sea is called an island.

The Zhengyi commentary to the Records of the Grand Historian states, "There is an island in Donghai county in Haizhou, eighty li off the coast." I (Hu Sanxing) note that the Histories of the Northern Dynasties mentions that when Yang Yin fled from slander by going east to stay on an island, it was described as being 'Tian Heng's Island'; it must have gotten its name by being the same island that Tian Heng had stayed on.

The court of Qi had boiled Li Yiji alive after believing that he had tricked them into not defending against Han Xin's surprise attack, as mentioned in Book 10, in the fourth year of Liu Bang's reign (-203.1).

Regarding the office of Commandant of the Guards, the Book of Han states, "This was a Qin office, in charge of the guards posted at the palace gates."

Liu Bang was saying that he would execute the entire clans of any offenders.

Regarding Staffs of Authority, the Rites of Zhou mentions that "the Director of Authority would wield the Staff of Defending the State in order to execute the royal commands." The Annotations to that text state, "This staff was wielded as a display of confidence in the agent to carry out the royal will. The Staffs of State were scepters of jade, ivory, paper, 琬 jade, or 琰 jade. Thus a Staff of Defending the State was made of jade to signify the royal will, and a Staff of Defending the Capital was made of horn for similar reasons. Envoys of the state would use staffs of gold; for gates or passes, they would use staffs of tallies; for wealth or resources, they would use staffs of seals; and when on the road, they would use staffs of banners." Thus we can see that the things which the ancients wielded to show the trust they enjoyed from the sovereign were all called 節s. But from the time of the Qin dynasty onwards, symbols of royal authority split into the three categories of 璽 "seals", 符 "tallies", and 節 "staffs", each with their own importance. The Han dynasty's staffs corresponded to the ancient banner staffs. Zheng Xuan's Annotations states that the equivalent of the tally staffs were the Han dynasty's decree tallies from its palaces, that of the seal staffs were the Han's engraved seals, and that of the banner staffs were the Han's Staffs of Authority. Thus whatever is referred to as a "staff" during the Han era would be the equivalent of the ancient banner staff. Li Xian remarked, "These staffs were symbols of trust. They were made of bamboo, with a handle eight chi long, and decorated with an ox's tail, thus adorned three times. This was the Han system.")


是時田橫與賓客五百人亡在海中。上遣使赦橫罪。曰。橫來。大者王。小者侯。不來將加誅。橫曰。臣烹酈食其。今聞其弟酈商為將。臣畏懼不敢奉詔。帝乃詔商曰。田橫至。敢有動者族誅。(Records of Former Han 3, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

By this time, Tian Heng and five hundred of his followers had fled to the sea and taken shelter on an island.

Liu Bang sent envoys to pardon Tian Heng's offenses. They said, "If Tian Heng come to the capital, he might even be appointed as a king, and at the very least he shall be appointed as a marquis. But if he does not come, then we shall execute him."

But Tian Heng told the envoys, "I had Li Yiji boiled alive. And I hear that Li Yiji's younger brother Li Shang is still serving Han as a general. So I fear I do not dare to heed this edict."

Liu Bang thus summoned Li Shang and told him, "The King of Qi, Tian Heng, is going to be coming to the capital. Anyone who dares to cause a disturbance will have their entire clan exterminated."


橫乃與其客二人乘傳詣洛陽。未至三十里,至尸鄕廐置。橫謝使者曰:「人臣見天子,當洗沐。」因止留,謂其客曰:「橫始與漢王俱南面稱孤;今漢王爲天子,而橫乃爲亡虜,北面事之,其恥固已甚矣。且吾烹人之兄,與其弟倂肩而事主;縱彼畏天子之詔不敢動,我獨不媿於心乎!且陛下所以欲見我者,不過欲一見吾面貌耳;今斬吾頭,馳三十里間,形容尚未能敗,猶可觀也。」遂自剄,令客奉其頭,從使者馳奏之。帝曰:「嗟乎!起自布衣,兄弟三人更王,豈不賢哉!」爲之流涕,而拜其二客爲都尉;發卒二千人,以王者禮葬之。旣葬,二客穿其冢傍孔,皆自剄,下從之。帝聞之,大驚。以橫客皆賢,餘五百人尚在海中,使使召之;至,則聞田橫死,亦皆自殺。

21. Tian Heng and two of his retainers thus rode in a rapid carriage to visit Luoyang. When they were not yet thirty li from the capital, they came to a relay station at Shixiang. Tian Heng apologized to Liu Bang's envoys and said, "A servant coming to see the Son of Heaven ought to wash up first." So they stopped there to stay the night.

Tian Heng then told his retainers, "I used to face south and call myself a king, of equal station with the King of Han. Yet now the King has become the Son of Heaven, while I am just a captive on the run. It would already be too much disgrace for me to face north and acknowledge him as my sovereign. But even more than that, how could I bring myself to serve under the same lord as the man whose elder brother I had boiled alive? Even if Li Shang is sufficiently afraid of the Son of Heaven's edict not to harm me, how could my heart bear the shame?

"Besides, the only reason that His Majesty wants to 'see' me is just so he can get a good look at my face. So go ahead and cut off my head now. It's only thirty li to the capital from here; if you hurry, death will not have changed my features."

After instructing his retainers to take his head with them, Tian Heng cut his own throat. The retainers and the envoys rushed to Luoyang to present the head to Liu Bang, who exclaimed, "Alas! This man and his brother and cousin rose from among the common people to each become King in turn. Were they not worthy fellows?" And he wept for Tian Heng. He appointed Tian Heng's two retainers as Capital Commandants, and he drafted two thousand people to build a tomb so that he could bury Tian Heng with the funeral rites fit for a king. No sooner was the funeral finished than the two retainers dug out two holes on the sides of the tomb and then cut their throats as well, so that they could follow their lord in death. When Liu Bang learned of this, he was astonished.

Liu Bang considered that all of Tian Heng's followers must be worthy people. So he once again sent envoys to summon the remaining five hundred or so followers waiting on Tian Heng's island. But when the envoys arrived and the remaining followers learned that Tian Heng was dead, they all killed themselves as well.

〈如淳曰:四馬,高足爲置傳,中足爲馳傳,下足爲乘傳;一馬、二馬爲軺傳。急者乘一乘傳。師古曰:蓋今之驛,古者以車,謂之傳車;其後單置馬,謂之驛騎。漢律:諸當乘傳及發駕置傳者,皆持尺五寸木傳信,封以御史大夫印章;其乘傳,參封之,參,三也;有期會,累封兩端,端各兩封,凡四封;乘置馳傳,五封之,兩端各二,中央一;軺傳,兩馬再封之;一馬一封,以馬駕軺車而乘傳曰一封軺傳。史炤所謂依乘符傳而行者本此;但擇焉而不精,語焉而不詳耳,終不若顏說簡而明。〉〈應劭曰:尸鄕,在偃師城西。臣瓚曰:按廐置,謂置馬以傳驛者。〉〈師古曰:王者自稱曰孤,蓋爲謙也。《老子道德經》曰:貴以賤爲本,高以下爲基,是以侯王自謂孤、寡、不穀。〉〈《史記正義》曰:田橫墓在偃師西十五里。〉

([Long commentary about carriage types.]

Ying Shao remarked, "Shixiang was west of the walls of Yanshi."

Chen Zan remarked, "A relay station is where one stations and can obtain relay horses."

Tian Heng refers to himself using the term 孤 "lone one". Yan Shigu remarked, "This was a term, probably of modesty, which kings used to refer to themselves." The Daodejing of Laozi states, "Dignity finds its root in its meanness, and what is lofty finds its stability in lowness. Hence princes and kings call themselves 孤 'Orphans,' 'Men of small virtue,' and as 'Carriages without a nave.'"

The Zhengyi commentary to the Records of the Grand Historian states, "The tomb of Tian Heng is fifteen li west of Yanshi.")


橫詣洛陽。至尸鄉亭三十里。謂其從者曰。橫與漢王並南面稱孤。今漢王為天子。而橫為亡虜。其辱已甚矣。且橫嘗烹人之兄。今與其弟並肩事主。彼雖畏詔。橫獨不媿于心哉。且陛下不過欲一見我面貌耳。今斬我頭馳三十里。容貌未及變。乃沐浴自刎。令客奉其首。上曰。嗟乎。起自布衣。兄弟三人。更立為王。豈不賢哉。為之流涕。而拜其二客為都尉。以王禮葬之。二客穿其廝旁皆自刎而從之。上聞大驚。以橫客為皆賢。聞其餘五百人在海島中。使使召之。聞橫死。亦皆自殺。(Records of Former Han 3, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

Tian Heng traveled to visit Luoyang. When his group was not yet thirty li from the capital, they came to a relay station at Shixiang. Tian Heng then told his retainers, "I used to face south and call myself a king, of equal station with the King of Han. Yet now the King has become the Son of Heaven, while I am just a captive on the run. That alone is shameful enough. But even more than that, how could I bring myself to serve under the same lord as the man whose elder brother I had boiled alive? Even if Li Shang is sufficiently afraid of the Son of Heaven's edict not to harm me, how could my heart bear the shame?

"Besides, the only reason that His Majesty wants to 'see' me is just so he can get a good look at my face. So go ahead and cut off my head now. It's only thirty li to the capital from here; if you hurry, death will not have changed my features."

After instructing his retainers to take his head with them, Tian Heng washed himself and then cut his own throat. The retainers brought the head to Liu Bang, who exclaimed, "Alas! This man and his brother and cousin rose from among the common people to each become King in turn. Were they not worthy fellows?" And he wept for Tian Heng. He appointed Tian Heng's two retainers as Capital Commandants, and he buried Tian Heng with the funeral rites fit for a king. No sooner was the funeral finished than the two retainers dug out two holes on the sides of the tomb and then cut their throats as well, so that they could follow their lord in death. When Liu Bang learned of this, he was astonished.

Liu Bang considered that all of Tian Heng's followers must be worthy people. So when he heard that more than five hundred of them were still on the island, he once again sent envoys to summon them. But when the envoys arrived and the remaining followers learned that Tian Heng was dead, they all killed themselves as well.


初,楚人季布爲項籍將,數窘辱帝。項籍滅,帝購求布千金;敢有舍匿,罪三族。布乃髡鉗爲奴,自賣於魯朱家。朱家心知其季布也,買置田舍;身之洛陽見滕公,說曰:「季布何罪!臣各爲其主用,職耳;項氏臣豈可盡誅邪?今上始得天下,而以私怨求一人,何示不廣也!且以季布之賢,漢求之急,此不北走胡,南走越耳。夫忌壯士以資敵國,此伍子胥所以鞭荊平之墓也。君何不從容爲上言之!」滕公待間,言於上,如朱家指。上乃赦布,召拜郎中,朱家遂不復見之。

22. Earlier, there had been a general serving under Xiang Yu, Ji Bu of Chu, who had often harassed and shamed Liu Bang. After Xiang Yu was defeated, Liu Bang posted a bounty of a thousand gold for Ji Bu's head and announced that anyone who dared to lodge or shelter him would have their clans executed to the third degree. Ji Bu shaved his hair, fastened irons around his neck, and posed as a slave, and he had himself sold to Zhu Jia of Lu.

Zhu Jia knew in his heart that his new slave was Ji Bu. So he purchased a house and fields to give to him. Then Zhu Jia personally went to Luoyang to visit Xiahou Ying, and told him, "What crime has Ji Bu committed? It is only natural for every servant to follow their own master. Do you intend to execute all of the former servants of the Xiang clan? Now that His Majesty has gained the realm, shall he display his lack of magnanimity by indulging in a personal grudge against one man?

“Besides, Ji Bu is a worthy fellow. If Han insists upon chasing after him so fiercely, then he will either flee north to the barbarians or run south to the Yue people. I am afraid that such a strong fellow would be a great asset to our enemies. It would be another instance of Wu Zixu whipping the corpse of King Ping of Jing (Chu). Can you not say something about this to our sovereign?"

Xiahou Ying thus waited for a good opportunity, then mentioned these arguments to Liu Bang just as Zhu Jia had described them. So Liu Bang pardoned Ji Bu and appointed him as a Household Gentleman. Nor was Zhu Jia further questioned.

〈季,姓也。周八士有季隨、季騧;魯有季氏。〉〈窘,困也。〉〈舍,止也。匿,隱也。〉〈髡,鬄其髮也。鉗,以鐵束項。朱家,魯之大俠。〉〈師古曰:職,常也;言此乃常道也。一曰:職,主掌其事也。〉〈伍子胥,楚大夫伍奢之子也。楚平王信讒而殺伍奢,子胥奔吳,藉吳師以破楚,入郢,發平王墓而鞭其尸。〉

(季 Ji is a surname. Among the Eight Gentlemen of Zhou were Ji Sui and Ji Gua, and there was a Ji clan in the state of Lu.

The term 窘 means "to harass".

To lodge means to house someone, and to shelter means to keep someone in hiding.

The term 髡 means "to shave the hair", and the term 鉗 means "to tie iron around the neck".

Zhu Jia was a great hero of the Lu region.

This passage describes the principle that "every servant follows their own master" as 職. Yan Shigu remarked, "The term 職 in this instance means 'commonplace'; that is to say, such a thing was a natural occurrence. Some say that 職 here means that he was following his own business."

Wu Zixu had been the son of the Chu minister Wu She. When King Ping of Chu had trusted in slander and killed Wu She, Wu Zixu had fled to the neighboring state of Wu. Later, taking advantage of the Wu army during its successful attack on Chu, Wu Zixu had dug up the tomb of King Ping and had whipped his corpse.)


楚將季布亦已亡匿。投濮陽周氏。漢購之急。周氏乃髡鉗布與家僮數十人。至魯朱家而賣之。朱家心知是季布。因買之。置田舍。乃見滕公曰。季布何罪。臣各為其主用耳。上始得天下。以私怒求一人。何示不廣也。且季布之賢。不南走越。即北走胡。夫忌壯士以資敵國。此伍子胥所以鞭荊王之墓也。夏侯嬰為言之。上乃赦布。拜為郎中。後為中郎將。布立然諾之信。時人為之語曰。得黃金百鎰。不如季布一諾。朱家者為任俠。所藏活者甚眾。豪士以百數。不伐其功。諸所嘗施。唯恐見之。賑人先於貧賤。衣不兼綵。食不重味。專以赴人之急。及布尊貴。朱家遂不復見之。(Records of Former Han 3, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

Another of Xiang Yu's former generals Xiang Yu, Ji Bu, had also gone into hiding, taking refuge with the Zhou clan of Puyang. Liu Bang posted a heavy bounty for Ji Bu's head. The Zhou clan shaved Ji Bu's hair, fastened irons around his neck, and kept him among the ranks of their dozens of household slaves.

Ji Bu was eventually sold to Zhu Jia of Lu. Zhu Jia had known in his heart that this slave was Ji Bu. Thus he had purchased him, and he gave Ji Bu a house and fields. Then Zhu Jia met with Xiahou Ying and told him, "What crime has Ji Bu committed? It is only natural for every servant to follow their own master. Now that His Majesty has gained the realm, shall he display his lack of magnanimity by indulging in a personal grudge against one man?

“Besides, Ji Bu is a worthy fellow. If Han insists upon chasing after him so fiercely, then he will either flee north to the barbarians or run south to the Yue people. I am afraid that such a strong fellow would be a great asset to our enemies. It would be another instance of Wu Zixu whipping the corpse of King Ping of Jing (Chu)."

Xiahou Ying mentioned these arguments to Liu Bang. So Liu Bang pardoned Ji Bu and appointed him as a Household Gentleman. Ji Bu later became General of the Household Gentlemen. And he established such a reputation for trustworthiness that the people of that time had a saying: "A hundred 鎰 of gold is worth less than a promise from Ji Bu."

There were a great many heroes like Zhu Jia who sheltered hundreds of such fugitives and allowed them to survive. Nor was Zhu Jia held to account for any offense. But they took no credit for these achievements. Rather than seek acclaim, they were more worried about being noticed. In order to aid their guests, they had expended their own funds, worn unwoven silk, and eaten meager food. They sought only to help those in need. Thus, Ji Bu became honored, and Zhu Jia was not further questioned.

季布者,楚人也。為氣任俠,有名於楚。項籍使將兵,數窘漢王。及項羽滅,高祖購求布千金,敢有舍匿,罪及三族。季布匿濮陽周氏。周氏曰:「漢購將軍急,跡且至臣家,將軍能聽臣,臣敢獻計;即不能,願先自剄。」季布許之。乃髡鉗季布,衣褐衣,置廣柳車中,并與其家僮數十人,之魯朱家所賣之。朱家心知是季布,乃買而置之田。誡其子曰:「田事聽此奴,必與同食。」朱家乃乘軺車之洛陽,見汝陰侯滕公。滕公留朱家飲數日。因謂滕公曰:「季布何大罪,而上求之急也?」滕公曰:「布數為項羽窘上,上怨之,故必欲得之。」朱家曰:「君視季布何如人也?」曰:「賢者也。」朱家曰:「臣各為其主用,季布為項籍用,職耳。項氏臣可盡誅邪?今上始得天下,獨以己之私怨求一人,何示天下之不廣也!且以季布之賢而漢求之急如此,此不北走胡即南走越耳。夫忌壯士以資敵國,此伍子胥所以鞭荊平王之墓也。君何不從容為上言邪?」汝陰侯滕公心知朱家大俠,意季布匿其所,乃許曰:「諾。」待閒,果言如朱家指。上乃赦季布。當是時,諸公皆多季布能摧剛為柔,朱家亦以此名聞當世。季布召見,謝,上拜為郎中。(Records of the Grand Historian 100, Biography of Ji Bu)

Ji Bu was a native of the Chu region. He had a bold spirit and in his youth was a wandering tough, where he gained a reputation in the Chu region. Xiang Yu employed him as one of his generals, and on several occasions he had put Liu Bang in a tight spot.

After Xiang Yu was defeated, Liu Bang posted a bounty of a thousand gold for Ji Bu's head and announced that anyone who dared to lodge or shelter him would have their clans executed to the third degree. Ji Bu hid with a certain Master Zhou of Puyang commandary, who told him, "Han has posted a heavy bounty on your head, General, and now you have come to my family. General, if you can follow my advice, I will dare to propose a plan for you. But if you cannot, then please go ahead and cut your own throat." Ji Bu agreed to do as he advised. He shaved his hair, fastened irons around his neck, put on commoner clothing, and posed as a slave. He and several dozen of Master Zhou's other household slaves rode around in a broad willow cart, and Ji Bu was eventually sold to Zhu Jia of Lu.

Zhu Jia knew in his heart that his new slave was Ji Bu. So he purchased a house and fields to give to him, and instructed his son, "You must heed this slave's words when it comes to farming affairs, and share your meals with him."

Then Zhu Jia rode in a light carriage to Luoyang. He went to visit Xiahou Ying, who hosted him for several days. Zhu Jia then took the opportunity to say, "What crime has Ji Bu committed, that our sovereign is hunting so fiercely for him?"

Xiahou Ying replied, "He often harassed our sovereign when he was Xiang Ji's (Xiang Yu's) general. Thus our sovereign hates him, and wants to get his hands on him."

Zhu Jia asked, "Sir, what sort of person do you think Ji Bu is?"

Xiahou Ying replied, "He's a worthy man."

Zhu Jia said, "It is only natural for every servant to follow their own master. Back then, Ji Bu was serving Xiang Ji, so he was only doing his duty. Do you intend to execute all of the former servants of the Xiang clan? Our sovereign has only just gained the realm, yet he is still indulging in a personal grudge by seeking out this one man. Shall he thus display his lack of magnanimity to all the realm?

“Besides, Ji Bu is indeed a worthy fellow. If Han insists upon chasing after him so fiercely, then he will either flee north to the barbarians or run south to the Yue people. I am afraid that such a strong fellow would be a great asset to our enemies. It would be another instance of Wu Zixu whipping the corpse of King Ping of Jing (Chu). Can you not say something about this to our sovereign?"

Xiahou Ying knew that Zhu Jia was a great man, and he suspected that he was sheltering Ji Bu. So he said, "I will see what I can do." He waited for a good opportunity, then mentioned these arguments to Liu Bang just as Zhu Jia had described them. So Liu Bang pardoned Ji Bu. At that time, many people praised Ji Bu for having been able to put aside his pride and resort to such measures to preserve himself, and Zhu Jia too gained a good reputation. When Ji Bu came to respond to Liu Bang's summons, he offered his apologies, and Liu Bang appointed him as a Household Gentleman.

季布,楚人也,為任俠有名。項籍使將兵,數窘漢王。項籍滅,高祖購求布千金,敢有舍匿,罪三族。布匿濮陽周氏,周氏曰:「漢求將軍急,跡且至臣家,能聽臣,臣敢進計;即否,願先自剄。」布許之。乃髡鉗布,衣褐,置廣柳車中,并與其家僮數十人,之魯朱家所賣之。朱家心知其季布也,買置田舍。乃之雒陽見汝陰侯滕公,說曰:「季布何罪?臣各為其主用,職耳。項氏臣豈可盡誅邪?今上始得天下,而以私怨求一人,何示不廣也!且以季布之賢,漢求之急如此,此不北走胡,南走越耳。夫忌壯士以資敵國,此伍子胥所以鞭荊平之墓也。君何不從容為上言之?」滕公心知朱家大俠,意布匿其所,乃許諾。侍間,果言如朱家指。上乃赦布。當是時,諸公皆多布能摧剛為柔,朱家亦以此名聞當世。布召見,謝,拜郎中。(Book of Han 37, Biography of Ji Bu)

Ji Bu was a native of the Chu region. In his youth, he gained a reputation as a wandering tough. Xiang Yu employed him as one of his generals, and on several occasions he had put Liu Bang in a tight spot.

After Xiang Yu was defeated, Liu Bang posted a bounty of a thousand gold for Ji Bu's head and announced that anyone who dared to lodge or shelter him would have their clans executed to the third degree. Ji Bu hid with a certain Master Zhou of Puyang commandary, who told him, "Han has posted a heavy bounty on your head, General, and now you have come to my family. General, if you can follow my advice, I will dare to propose a plan for you. But if you cannot, then please go ahead and cut your own throat." Ji Bu agreed to do as he advised. He shaved his hair, fastened irons around his neck, put on commoner clothing, and posed as a slave. He and several dozen of Master Zhou's other household slaves rode around in a broad willow cart, and Ji Bu was eventually sold to Zhu Jia of Lu.

Zhu Jia knew in his heart that his new slave was Ji Bu. So he purchased a house and fields to give to him. Then Zhu Jia went to Luoyang to see Xiahou Ying, and asked him, "What crime has Ji Bu committed, that our sovereign is hunting so fiercely for him? It is only natural for every servant to follow their own master. Back then, Ji Bu was serving Xiang Ji, so he was only doing his duty. Do you intend to execute all of the former servants of the Xiang clan? Our sovereign has only just gained the realm, yet he is still indulging in a personal grudge by seeking out this one man. Shall he thus display his lack of magnanimity to all the realm?

“Besides, Ji Bu is a worthy fellow. If Han insists upon chasing after him so fiercely, then he will either flee north to the barbarians or run south to the Yue people. I am afraid that such a strong fellow would be a great asset to our enemies. It would be another instance of Wu Zixu whipping the corpse of King Ping of Jing (Chu). Can you not say something about this to our sovereign?"

Xiahou Ying knew that Zhu Jia was a great man, and he suspected that he was sheltering Ji Bu. So he agreed to say something. He waited for a good opportunity, then mentioned these arguments to Liu Bang just as Zhu Jia had described them. So Liu Bang pardoned Ji Bu. At that time, many people praised Ji Bu for having been able to put aside his pride and resort to such measures to preserve himself, and Zhu Jia too gained a good reputation. When Ji Bu came to respond to Liu Bang's summons, he offered his apologies, and Liu Bang appointed him as a Household Gentleman.


布母弟丁公,亦爲項羽將,逐窘帝彭城西。短兵接,帝急,顧謂丁公曰:「兩賢豈相戹哉!」丁公引兵而還。及項王滅,丁公謁見。帝以丁公徇軍中,曰:「丁公爲項王臣不忠,使項王失天下者也。」遂斬之,曰:「使後爲人臣無傚丁公也!」

23. Lord Ding, who was Ji Bu's younger brother by the same mother, had also been one of Xiang Yu's generals. At one point, he had held Liu Bang in his power west of Pengcheng. He was closing in with a short weapon, and Liu Bang was sorely pressed. Liu Bang had turned to Lord Ding and pleaded to him, "We are worthy fellows, you and I! Must we cause each other such trouble?" Convinced, Lord Ding had led his troops away and let Liu Bang go.

Later, after Xiang Yu was defeated, Lord Ding came to present himself to Liu Bang. But Liu Bang paraded Lord Ding before his army and announced, "Lord Ding was a disloyal subject of King Xiang, and he caused King Xiang to lose the realm." He had Lord Ding beheaded, then declared to the soldiers, "Let no one follow his example!"

〈孟康曰:丁公及彭城賴齮追上,故曰兩賢也。師古曰:孟說非也。兩賢者,高祖自謂併與固也,言吾與固俱是賢,豈相戹困哉!故固感此言而止也。雖與賴齮同追,而高祖獨與固言也。《姓譜》:丁本自姜姓,齊太公子諡丁公,因以命氏。〉〈師古曰:行示也。〉

(Liu Bang uses the term 兩賢 "two worthies". Meng Kang argued, "Both Lord Ding and Lai Yi of Pengcheng were pursuing Liu Bang, thus he mentions these 'two worthies'." But Yan Shigu argued, "Meng Kang is incorrect. By 'two worthies', Gaozu was referring to himself and Ding Gu, in the sense of 'both yourself and I are worthy fellows, so why should we trouble one another?’ It was because Ding Gu was moved by these words that he decided to spare Gaozu. Although it is true that Lai Yi was also pursing Gaozu at that time, Gaozu was only referring to Ding Gu and himself."

The Registry of Surnames states, "Those of the surname 丁 Ding were originally part of the 姜 Jiang clan. One of the sons of the Grand Duke of Qi (Jiang Ziya) was given the posthumous name Ding, and his descendants took this as their surname."

Yan Shigu remarked, "To be paraded is to be shown off through movement.")


初季布異父弟丁公為楚將逐上。上迫急。顧謂丁公曰。兩賢豈相厄哉。丁公引兵而還。天下既定。斬丁公以徇軍曰。自今以後。為人臣者莫效丁公也。(Records of Former Han 3, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

Lord Ding, who was Ji Bu's younger brother by a different father, had also been one of Xiang Yu's generals. At one point, he had chasing after Liu Bang, and Liu Bang was sorely pressed. Liu Bang had turned to Lord Ding and pleaded to him, "We are worthy fellows, you and I! Must we cause each other such trouble?" Convinced, Lord Ding had led his troops away and let Liu Bang go.

Later, after the realm was settled, Liu Bang paraded Lord Ding before his army and beheaded him, then declared to the soldiers, "From now on, let no one follow Lord Ding's example!"

季布母弟丁公,為楚將。丁公為項羽逐窘高祖彭城西,短兵接,高祖急,顧丁公曰:「兩賢豈相戹哉!」於是丁公引兵而還,漢王遂解去。及項王滅,丁公謁見高祖。高祖以丁公徇軍中,曰:「丁公為項王臣不忠,使項王失天下者,乃丁公也。」遂斬丁公,曰:「使後世為人臣者無效丁公!」(Records of the Grand Historian 100, Biography of Ji Bu)

Lord Ding, who was Ji Bu's younger brother by the same mother, had also been one of Xiang Yu's generals. At one point, he had held Liu Bang in his power west of Pengcheng. He was closing in with a short weapon, and Liu Bang was sorely pressed. Liu Bang had turned to Lord Ding and pleaded to him, "We are worthy fellows, you and I! Must we cause each other such trouble?" Convinced, Lord Ding had led his troops away and let Liu Bang go.

Later, after Xiang Yu was defeated, Lord Ding came to present himself to Liu Bang. But Liu Bang paraded Lord Ding before his army and announced, "Lord Ding was a disloyal subject of King Xiang, and he caused King Xiang to lose the realm." He had Lord Ding beheaded, then declared to the soldiers, "Let no one from later ages follow his example!"

布母弟丁公,為項羽將,逐窘高祖彭城西。短兵接,漢王急,顧謂丁公曰:「兩賢豈相厄哉!」丁公引兵而還。及項王滅,丁公謁見高祖,以丁公徇軍中,曰:「丁公為項王臣不忠,使項王失天下者也。」遂斬之,曰:「使後為人臣無傚丁公也!」(Book of Han 37, Biography of Ji Bu)

Lord Ding, who was Ji Bu's younger brother by the same mother, had also been one of Xiang Yu's generals. At one point, he had held Liu Bang in his power west of Pengcheng. He was closing in with a short weapon, and Liu Bang was sorely pressed. Liu Bang had turned to Lord Ding and pleaded to him, "We are worthy fellows, you and I! Must we cause each other such trouble?" Convinced, Lord Ding had led his troops away and let Liu Bang go.

Later, after Xiang Yu was defeated, Lord Ding came to present himself to Liu Bang. But Liu Bang paraded Lord Ding before his army and announced, "Lord Ding was a disloyal subject of King Xiang, and he caused King Xiang to lose the realm." He had Lord Ding beheaded, then declared to the soldiers, "Let no one follow his example!"


臣光曰:高祖起豐、沛以來,罔羅豪桀,招亡納叛,亦已多矣。及卽帝位,而丁公獨以不忠受戮,何哉?夫進取之與守成,其勢不同。當羣雄角逐之際,民無定主;來者受之,固其宜也。及貴爲天子,四海之內,無不爲臣;苟不明禮義以示之,使爲臣者,人懷貳心以徼大利,則國家其能久安乎!是故斷以大義,使天下曉然皆知爲臣不忠者無所自容;而懷私結恩者,雖至於活己,猶以義不與也。戮一人而千萬人懼,其慮事豈不深且遠哉!子孫享有天祿四百餘年,宜矣!

24. Your servant Sima Guang remarks: From the time when Gaozu first rose up at Feng and Pei, he cast out a wide net to attract many heroes to his side. Of course, many of the people whom he enticed or who came to join him were defectors from other people. So then why, after he became Emperor, was Lord Ding the only person to be executed for such an offense?

It was because to attain the realm was not the same thing as to keep it. During the time of the uprising, heroes of the land had been driven to and fro, and the people had no set master to whom they owed their strict loyalty. Thus it was only proper that Gaozu should have accepted anyone who came to join him. But after he became honored as the Son of Heaven, there was no one in all the land within the Four Seas who was not his subject. If Gaozu had not made such a clear and public display of proper and righteous conduct to his people and charged them to be loyal subjects to him, then the people would have harbored divided thoughts and would have sought out opportunities to reap great advantages for themselves. If that had happened, could Gaozu's state have ever lasted as long as it did?

It was for this reason that Gaozu made such a display of what was right, and showed the realm a clear sign so that everyone would know that he would never tolerate disloyalty. And though there might still be those who cultivated private loyalties and personal favors, even to save their own lives, such things were never what was right. By executing a single man, Gaozu struck fear into the hearts of thousands and tens of thousands. Was he not farsighted? Was it not proper that his descendants thus inherited his state for more than four hundred years?

齊人婁敬戍隴西,過洛陽,脫輓輅,衣羊裘,因齊人虞將軍求見上。虞將軍欲與之鮮衣。婁敬曰:「臣衣帛,衣帛見;衣褐,衣褐見;終不敢易衣。」於是虞將軍入言上;上召見,問之。婁敬曰:「陛下都洛陽,豈欲與周室比隆哉?」上曰:「然。」婁敬曰:「陛下取天下與周異。周之先,自后稷封邰,積德絫善,十有餘世,至于太王、王季、文王、武王而諸侯自歸之,遂滅殷爲天子。及成王卽位,周公相焉,乃營洛邑,以爲此天下之中也,諸侯四方納貢職,道里均矣。有德則易以王,無德則易以亡。故周之盛時,天下和洽,諸侯、四夷莫不賓服,効其貢職。及其衰也,天下莫朝,周不能制也;非唯其德薄也,形勢弱也。今陛下起豐、沛,卷蜀、漢,定三秦,與項羽戰滎陽、成皋之間,大戰七十,小戰四十;天下之民,肝腦塗地,父子暴骨中野,不可勝數,哭泣之聲未絕,傷夷者未起;而欲比隆於成、康之時,臣竊以爲不侔也。且夫秦地被山帶河,四塞以爲固;卒然有急,百萬之衆可立具也。因秦之故,資甚美膏腴之地,此所謂天府者也。陛下入關而都之,山東雖亂,秦之故地可全而有也。夫與人鬬,不搤其亢,拊其背,未能全其勝也;今陛下案秦之故地,此亦搤天下之亢而拊其背也。」帝問羣臣。羣臣皆山東人,爭言:「周王數百年,秦二世卽亡。洛陽東有成皋,西有殽、澠,倍河,鄕伊、洛,其固亦足恃也。」上問張良。良曰:「洛陽雖有此固,其中小不過數百里,田地薄,四面受敵,此非用武之國也。關中左殽、函,右隴、蜀,沃野千里;南有巴、蜀之饒,北有胡苑之利。阻三面而守,獨以一面東制諸侯;諸侯安定,河、渭漕輓天下,西給京師;諸侯有變,順流而下,足以委輸;此所謂金城千里,天府之國也。婁敬說是也。」上卽日車駕西,都長安。拜婁敬爲郎中,號曰奉春君,賜姓劉氏。

25. A native of Qi, Lou Jing, was assigned to serve in the garrison camps at Longxi. Along the way, he came to Luoyang, riding in a pull-cart and wearing a wool coat. He asked a certain General Lu, who was also from the Qi region, for an audience with Liu Bang. General Lu was going to give him a fresh coat to wear, but Lou Jing told him, "One who wears silks should be seen in silks; one who wears hairs should be seen in hairs. I dare not exchange my clothing."

General Lu then went to see Liu Bang and mentioned Lou Jing to him. Liu Bang summoned Lou Jing and questioned him. Lou Jing said, "I see that Your Majesty has chosen Luoyang for your capital. Do you thus wish to emulate the glory of the Zhou dynasty?"

Liu Bang said, "Indeed."

Lou Jing replied, "But the way in which Your Majesty came into possession of the realm differs from how the Zhou dynasty did so.

"The royal line of Zhou had their progenitor, Houji, who was granted his fief at Tai. Houji and his descendants cultivated their virtues and accumulated good deeds, and this went on for more than ten generations, until the reigns of King Tai, King Ji, King Wen, and King Wu. It was only during the reign of King Wu that the feudal lords came of their own volition to support King Wu, and thus was King Wu able to conquer Yin (Shang) and become the Son of Heaven. And when King Wen's son King Cheng took the throne and the Duke of Zhou supported him as his Chancellor, they chose Luoyang to be their capital because it was the center of the realm; the roads from every corner of the realm were of the same length, thus the feudal lords would have equal journeys to present their tribute to the king. From such a position, a virtuous king could rule easily, but an unvirtuous king could easily lose their position. It was thus that during Zhou's ascendance, the whole realm was at peace and harmony, and not a one of the feudal lords or the barbarians dared not to obey and submit to the king's will or not to present tribute and serve in office. And after Zhou fell into decline, the whole realm ignored them, and Zhou could no longer control the realm. That was not only because the kings of Zhou lost their virtues, but also because their domain was so weak.

"Now Your Majesty rose up in Feng and Pei, you controlled the regions of Shu and Han, you conquered the Three Qins region, and in your fighting with Xiang Yu between Xingyang and Chenggao, you fought seventy great battles and forty small ones. Because of so much fighting, the common people of the realm have had their innards spill upon the ground, and the bones of countless fathers and sons lie bleaching in the field. The sounds of weeping have not yet died away, nor have the wounds of war had time to heal. Yet you believe that such an age can equal the magnificence of the era of King Cheng and King Kang. I venture to state that it cannot.

"Furthermore, I note that the Qin region is flanked by mountains and girded by rivers, with sturdy passes on every side to protect it, and if a crisis should arise, one could draft an army of a million soldiers from that area. This is why people call it the Storehouse of Heaven, because of its exceptionally rich and bountiful land. If Your Majesty were to move to Guanzhong and set your capital there, then even if the regions east of the mountains rose against you, the former lands of the state of Qin would remain perfectly secure. When you are fighting someone, unless you can grab them by the throat and grip them on the spine, you can never enjoy a true victory. May Your Majesty observe that the Qin region is the very throat and spine of the realm itself."

Liu Bang asked his ministers what they thought of the proposal. Most of them, being natives of the lands east of the mountains, objected to the idea. They said, "The kings of Zhou ruled for hundreds of years, while the Qin dynasty fell after only two generations. As for protection, Luoyang has Chenggao to the east and the Xiao Mountains and the Mian River to the west, not to mention the Yellow River above it and the Yi and Luo Rivers in the very suburbs. These defenses would be sufficient to protect it."

Then Liu Bang asked Zhang Liang his thoughts. Zhang Liang replied, "Although Luoyang indeed possesses these defenses, it is a small city no more than a few hundred li in size, it has meager farmlands, and it is faced with potential enemies on all sides. It is not the sort of place suited for martial endeavors. On the other hand, Guanzhong is protected by the Xiao Mountains and Hangu Pass on the one side and the Long Mountains and the Shu region on the other, and it has a thousand li of rich land. Furthermore, to the south there is the bounty of the regions of Ba and Shu, and to the north there is the plenty of the pasture lands of the barbarians. You could easily fortify three sides of the region and still control the feudal lords with the eastern border alone. If the feudal lords are peaceful and obedient, then the wealth of the realm can easily be shipped west along the Yellow and Wei Rivers to supply the capital region. If they are rebellious, then one can easily use these same rivers to ship grain downstream to support a campaign. This is why Guanzhong is called a Golden City of a Thousand Li and the Storehouse of Heaven. Lou Jing speaks true."

That very day, Liu Bang's carriage set out for the west, and he shifted his capital to Chang'an. He appointed Lou Jing as a Household Gentleman, gave him the title Lord Fengchun, and granted him the surname Liu.

〈《姓譜》:婁,邾婁國之後;一曰:離婁之後。〉〈蘇林曰:輅,一木橫遮車前,一人輓之,三人推之。〉〈衣,著也。帛,繒也。褐,織毛布之衣也。〉〈班《志》,邰縣屬右扶風。師古曰:卽今武功故城是。《史記正義》曰:雍州武功縣西南二十三里,故漦城是也。《說文》曰:邰,炎帝之後姜姓所封國,棄外家也。毛萇云:邰,姜嫄國,堯以天因邰而生后稷故,因封之於邰。〉〈夷,與痍同,創也。〉〈府,聚也;萬物所聚,謂之天府。〉〈張晏曰:搤,與扼同,促持之也。亢,喉嚨也。〉〈師古曰:殽,謂殽山,今陝州東二殽山是也。澠,卽澠池。〉〈河在洛陽城北,故曰倍;伊、洛二水在洛陽城南,故曰鄕。〉〈師古曰:沃者,漑灌也;言其土地皆有漑灌之利,故曰沃野。〉〈師古曰:謂安定、北地、上郡之北與胡相接之地,可以畜牧者也。養禽獸謂之苑。〉〈漢漕關東之時,自河入渭,自渭而上輸之長安。〉〈府者,物所聚也。天物所聚,不假人力,故曰天府。〉〈師古曰:凡言車駕,謂天子乘車而行,不敢指斥也。長安,本秦之鄕名也,高祖作都。奉春君,張晏曰:春,歲之始也;今婁敬發事之始,故曰奉春君也。〉

(The Registry of Surnames states, "Those with the surname 婁 Lou are the descendants of the state of Zhulou; it is also said that they are the descendants of Li Lou."

Regarding a 輓輅 "pull-cart", Su Lin remarked, "The 輅 was a horizontal bar of wood just in front of the cart; one man pulled it and three men pushed it."

Clothing is what one is wearing. 帛 means silk, while 褐 means woven hair.

According to the Book of Han, Tai county was part of Youfufeng commandary. Yan Shigu remarked, "It is the modern city of Wugong." The Zhengyi commentary to the Records of the Grand Historian states, "The old city of Chi was twenty-three li southwest of Wugong county in Yongzhou." The Shuowen dictionary states, "Tai was the fief granted to Jiang Xing, a descendant of the ancient Flame Emperor; they were the maternal relatives of Qi (Houji)." Mao Chang remarked, "Tai had been the state of Jiang Yuan. Since Houji was born there, Emperor Yao granted him Tai as his fief."

The term 夷 in this instance means "pain" or "wound".

A storehouse is where things are gathered. Since Guanzhong was the gathering of countless things, it was called the Storehouse of Heaven. It was "of Heaven" in that its goods were all naturally produced, without the need for human effort.

Zhang Yan remarked, "The term 搤 means to grab or strangle. And the 亢 is the throat or gullet."

The other ministers refer to "Xiao and Mian". Yan Shigu remarked, "Xiao meant the Xiao Mountains, the two Xiao Mountains east of modern Shanzhou. And Mian meant Mianchi."

The Yellow River ran north of Luoyang, thus the ministers mention that it is "above" Luoyang. And the Yi and Luo Rivers were south of Luoyang, thus they mention that these rivers are in "the very suburbs".

Yan Shigu remarked, "A land is 'rich' in that it has fertile fields for growing. Zhang Liang was saying that the soil of Guanzhong was very fertile and bountiful, thus he mentions the 'bounty of the land'. And the commandaries of Anding, Beidi, and Shang were in the north of Guanzhong, along the border with the lands of the barbarians; these lands were suitable for livestock and pasturage. Land used to raise domesticated animals is called pasturage."

During the Han dynasty, goods from east of the mountains were shipped up the Yellow River to the Wei River, then up the Wei River to where they could be transported to Chang'an.

Yan Shigu remarked, "Where the term 車駕 is used, it refers to the Son of Heaven traveling in his carriage, without daring to directly state that fact."

Chang'an had originally been the name of a district of Qin; Liu Bang now made it his capital.

Regarding Lou Jing's title as Lord Fengchun ("Upholder of Spring"), Zhang Yan remarked, "Spring is the beginning of the year, and Lou Jing had arranged this new beginning, thus he was the 'Upholder of Spring'.")


漢五年
六月
帝入關。(Records of the Grand Historian 16, Monthly Timeline of the Chu-Han Contention)

In the fifth year of Liu Bang's reign (202 BC), in the sixth month, Liu Bang moved to Guanzhong.

上欲都洛陽。戍卒婁敬求見。說上曰。陛下都洛陽。豈欲與周室比隆哉。上曰然。敬曰。陛下取天下與周室異。周之先。自后稷堯封之邰。積德十餘世。公劉避狄居豳。太王以狄伐故去豳。杖馬策之歧。國人爭歸之。文王為西伯始受命。武王伐殷。八百諸侯。不期而會孟津之上。成王即位。周公之屬傅焉。乃營成周。都洛邑。以為此天下中。四方納貢職。道里均矣。有德則易以王。無德則易以亡。凡居此者。欲務以德致人。不欲阻險。令後世驕奢以虐人。及周之衰。分而為二。天下莫朝。周不能制。形勢弱矣。今陛下用兵取天下。大戰七十。小戰四十。使百姓肝腦塗地。暴骨中野。哭泣之聲未絕。傷夷者未起。而欲比隆周室。臣竊以陛下為不侔矣。夫秦地被山帶河。四塞以為固。卒然有急。百萬之眾可具。因秦之資。膏腴之地。此所謂金城天府之國。陛下都關中。山東雖亂。秦地可全而有也。上問群臣。群臣皆山東人。咸言周七八百年。秦二世而亡。且洛陽東有成皋。西有澠池。背河向洛。其固不敵。此亦足恃也。上疑焉。問張良。張良曰。洛陽雖有此險。其中小。不過數百里。四面受敵。此非用武之國。夫關中左崤函。右隴蜀。沃野千里。南有巴蜀之饒。北有胡宛之利。阻三面而守。獨以一面東制。諸侯安定。河渭漕輓。足以西給京師。諸侯有變。順流而下。足以委輸。此所謂金城千里天府之國。婁敬之說是也。於是上即日車駕西入關。治櫟陽宮。拜婁敬為郎中。號奉春君。賜姓劉氏。(Records of Former Han 3, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

Liu Bang was planning to keep Luoyang as his capital. A conscript from the garrison camps, Lou Jing, sought an audience with Liu Bang. He said to Liu Bang, "I see that Your Majesty has chosen Luoyang for your capital. Do you thus wish to emulate the glory of the Zhou dynasty?"

Liu Bang said, "Indeed."

Lou Jing replied, "But the way in which Your Majesty came into possession of the realm differs from how the Zhou dynasty did so.

"The royal line of Zhou had their progenitor, Houji, who was granted his fief at Tai by the ancient Emperor Yao, and they held this fief for more than ten generations. His descendant Gongliu then moved to Bin to avoid the northern barbarians, until his descendant King Tai left Bin to avoid more such attacks; 'galloping his horses', he found a new place, and the people of the state all rushed to join him. It was during the time of his descendant King Wen, who accepted title as Lord of the West, that Houji's line first received the mandate of Heaven. His son King Wu campaigned against the Yin (Shang) dynasty, and eight hundred of the feudal lords came to meet him at Meng Crossing without even having to arrange an assembly. And when King Wen's son King Cheng took the throne and the Duke of Zhou supported him as his Chancellor, they brought the Zhou dynasty to fruition. They built the city of Chengzhou and chose Luoyang to be their capital because it was the center of the realm; the roads from every corner of the realm were of the same length, thus the feudal lords would have equal journeys to present their tribute to the king. From such a position, a virtuous king could rule easily, but an unvirtuous king could easily lose their position. They chose this site precisely because of its lack of natural defenses, for they wished to rule the realm by the strength of Zhou's virtue, and, if matters should come to that, to prevent the realm from suffering from cruelty by any wicked descendants of the royal line. And after Zhou fell into decline and split into two, the whole realm ignored them, and Zhou could no longer control the realm. This was because their domain was so weak.

"Now Your Majesty has gained control of the realm by means of military force; you fought seventy great battles and forty small ones. Because of so much fighting, the common people of the realm have had their innards spill upon the ground, and the bones of countless dead lie bleaching in the field. The sounds of weeping have not yet died away, nor have the wounds of war had time to heal. Yet you believe that such an age can equal the magnificence of the Zhou era. I venture to state that it cannot.

"Furthermore, I note that the Qin region is flanked by mountains and girded by rivers, with sturdy passes on every side to protect it, and if a crisis should arise, one could draft an army of a million soldiers from that area. That is possible because of the Qin region's resources, for it is an exceptionally rich and bountiful land, thus it is called a Golden City and the Storehouse of Heaven. If Your Majesty were to move to Guanzhong and set your capital there, then even if the regions east of the mountains rose against you, the Qin region would remain perfectly secure."

Liu Bang asked his ministers what they thought of the proposal. Most of them, being natives of the lands east of the mountains, objected to the idea. They said, "Zhou ruled for seven or eight hundred years, while the Qin dynasty fell after only two generations. As for protection, Luoyang has Chenggao to the east and Mianchi to the west, not to mention the Yellow River above it and the Luo River below. These defenses would be sufficient to protect it; no enemy is a match for them."

Liu Bang was still uncertain, so he asked Zhang Liang his thoughts. Zhang Liang replied, "Although Luoyang indeed possesses these defenses, it is a small city no more than a few hundred li in size,and it is faced with potential enemies on all sides. It is not the sort of place suited for martial endeavors. On the other hand, Guanzhong is protected by the Xiao Mountains and Hangu Pass on the one side and the Long Mountains and the Shu region on the other, and it has a thousand li of rich land. Furthermore, to the south there is the bounty of the regions of Ba and Shu, and to the north there is the plenty of the pasture lands of the barbarians. You could easily fortify three sides of the region and still control the feudal lords with the eastern border alone. If the feudal lords are peaceful and obedient, then the wealth of the realm can easily be shipped west along the Yellow and Wei Rivers, which would suffice to supply the capital region. If they are rebellious, then one can easily use these same rivers to ship grain downstream to support a campaign. This is why Guanzhong is called a Golden City of a Thousand Li and the Storehouse of Heaven. Lou Jing speaks true."

That very day, Liu Bang's carriage set out for the west, and he restored the palace at Yueyang. He appointed Lou Jing as a Household Gentleman, gave him the title Lord Fengchun, and granted him the surname Liu.

劉敬者,齊人也。漢五年,戍隴西,過洛陽,高帝在焉。婁敬脫輓輅,衣其羊裘,見齊人虞將軍曰:「臣願見上言便事。」虞將軍欲與之鮮衣,婁敬曰:「臣衣帛,衣帛見;衣褐,衣褐見:終不敢易衣。」於是虞將軍入言上。上召入見,賜食。已而問婁敬,婁敬說曰:「陛下都洛陽,豈欲與周室比隆哉?」上曰:「然。」婁敬曰:「陛下取天下與周室異。周之先自后稷,堯封之邰,積德累善十有餘世。公劉避桀居豳。太王以狄伐故,去豳,杖馬箠居岐,國人爭隨之。及文王為西伯,斷虞芮之訟,始受命,呂望、伯夷自海濱來歸之。武王伐紂,不期而會孟津之上八百諸侯,皆曰紂可伐矣,遂滅殷。成王即位,周公之屬傅相焉,乃營成周洛邑,以此為天下之中也,諸侯四方納貢職,道裏均矣,有德則易以王,無德則易以亡。凡居此者,欲令周務以德致人,不欲依阻險,令後世驕奢以虐民也。及周之盛時,天下和洽,四夷鄉風,慕義懷德,附離而并事天子,不屯一卒,不戰一士,八夷大國之民莫不賓服,效其貢職。及周之衰也,分而為兩,天下莫朝,周不能制也。非其德薄也,而形勢弱也。今陛下起豐沛,收卒三千人,以之徑往而卷蜀漢,定三秦,與項羽戰滎陽,爭成皋之口,大戰七十,小戰四十,使天下之民肝腦涂地,父子暴骨中野,不可勝數,哭泣之聲未絕,傷痍者未起,而欲比隆於成康之時,臣竊以為不侔也。且夫秦地被山帶河,四塞以為固,卒然有急,百萬之眾可具也。因秦之故,資甚美膏腴之地,此所謂天府者也。陛下入關而都之,山東雖亂,秦之故地可全而有也。夫與人鬬,不搤其亢,拊其背,未能全其勝也。今陛下入關而都,案秦之故地,此亦搤天下之亢而拊其背也。」高帝問群臣,群臣皆山東人,爭言周王數百年,秦二世即亡,不如都周。上疑未能決。及留侯明言入關便,即日車駕西都關中。於是上曰:「本言都秦地者婁敬,『婁』者乃『劉』也。」賜姓劉氏,拜為郎中,號為奉春君。(Records of the Grand Historian 99, Biography of Lou Jing)

Lou Jing was a native of the Qi region. In the fifth year of Liu Bang's reign (202 BC), he was assigned to serve in the garrison camps at Longxi. Along the way, he came to Luoyang, riding in a pull-cart and wearing a wool coat. Since Liu Bang happened to be in Luoyang at that time, Lou Jing mentioned to a certain General Lu, who was also from the Qi region, "I wish to say a few things to our sovereign." General Lu was going to give him a fresh coat to wear, but Lou Jing told him, "One who wears silks should be seen in silks; one who wears hairs should be seen in hairs. I dare not exchange my clothing."

General Lu then went to see Liu Bang and mentioned Lou Jing to him. Liu Bang summoned him and gave him a meal. Then Liu Bang questioned Lou Jing. Lou Jing said, "I see that Your Majesty has chosen Luoyang for your capital. Do you thus wish to emulate the glory of the Zhou dynasty?"

Liu Bang said, "Indeed."

Lou Jing replied, "But the way in which Your Majesty came into possession of the realm differs from how the Zhou dynasty did so.

"The royal line of Zhou had their progenitor, Houji, who was granted his fief at Tai by Emperor Yao. Houji and his descendants cultivated their virtues and accumulated good deeds, and this went on for more than ten generations. His descendant Gongliu then moved to Bin to avoid the northern barbarians, until his descendant King Tai left Bin to avoid more such attacks; 'galloping his horses', he found a new place, and the people of the state all rushed to join him. When King Wen served as Lord of the West, he decided the case of the Yu and Rui peoples and began to accept the mandate, and Lü Wang (Jiang Ziya) and Boyi came from the seashore to serve under him. When King Wu campaigned against King Zhou of Shang, eight hundred of the feudal lords came unbidden to meet him at Meng Crossing to tell him that King Zhou could be overthrown, and thus he conquered Yin (Shang). And when King Wen's son King Cheng took the throne and the Duke of Zhou served under him as his Chancellor, they built the city of Chengzhou and chose Luoyang to be their capital because it was the center of the realm; the roads from every corner of the realm were of the same length, thus the feudal lords would have equal journeys to present their tribute to the king. From such a position, a virtuous king could rule easily, but an unvirtuous king could easily lose their position. They chose this site precisely because of its lack of natural defenses, for they wished to rule the realm by the strength of Zhou's virtue, and, if matters should come to that, to prevent the realm from suffering from cruelty by any wicked descendants of the royal line. It was thus that during Zhou's ascendance, the whole realm was at peace and harmony, and not a one of the feudal lords or the barbarians dared not to obey; the dynasty cherished virtue and held fast to righteousness and in all things possessed the authority of a Son of Heaven, thus without posting a single garrison or waging a single battle, they still won over the people of the various tribes and great states, none of whom dared not to present tribute and serve in office. And after Zhou fell into decline and split into half, the whole realm ignored them, and Zhou could no longer control the realm. That was not only because the kings of Zhou lost their virtues, but also because their domain was so weak.

"Now Your Majesty rose up in Feng and Pei, where you first assembled three thousand soldiers. You controlled the regions of Shu and Han, you conquered the Three Qins region, and in your fighting with Xiang Yu between Xingyang and Chenggao, you fought seventy great battles and forty small ones. Because of so much fighting, the common people of the realm have had their innards spill upon the ground, and the bones of countless fathers and sons lie bleaching in the field. The sounds of weeping have not yet died away, nor have the wounds of war had time to heal. Yet you believe that such an age can equal the magnificence of the era of King Cheng and King Kang. I venture to state that it cannot.

"Furthermore, I note that the Qin region is flanked by mountains and girded by rivers, with sturdy passes on every side to protect it, and if a crisis should arise, one could draft an army of a million soldiers from that area. This is why people call it the Storehouse of Heaven, because of its exceptionally rich and bountiful land. If Your Majesty were to move to Guanzhong and set your capital there, then even if the regions east of the mountains rose against you, the former lands of the state of Qin would remain perfectly secure. When you are fighting someone, unless you can grab them by the throat and grip them on the spine, you can never enjoy a true victory. May Your Majesty observe that the Qin region is the very throat and spine of the realm itself, and thus set your capital there."

Liu Bang asked his ministers what they thought of the proposal. Most of them, being natives of the lands east of the mountains, objected to the idea. They pointed out how the kings of Zhou had ruled for hundreds of years, while the Qin dynasty fell after only two generations, thus their capital at Guanzhong was inferior to Zhou's capital at Luoyang. But Liu Bang was still uncertain. Then Zhang Liang offered his clear reasoning for moving the capital to Guanzhong instead. So that very day, Liu Bang's carriage set out for the west, and he shifted his capital to Chang'an.

Liu Bang declared, "The first one to propose making the Qin region the capital was Lou Jing. He shall henceforth be known as Liu Jing." He bestowed Lou Jing with the surname Liu, appointed him as a Household Gentleman, and gave him the title Lord Fengchun.

婁敬,齊人也。漢五年,戍隴西,過雒陽,高帝在焉。敬脫挽輅,見齊人虞將軍曰:「臣願見上言便宜。」虞將軍欲與鮮衣,敬曰:「臣衣帛,衣帛見,衣褐,衣褐見,不敢易衣。」虞將軍入言上,上召見,賜食。已而問敬,敬說曰:「陛下都雒陽,豈欲與周室比靈斯哉?」上曰:「然。」敬曰:「陛下取天下與周異。周之先自後稷,堯封之邰,積德累善十餘世。公劉避桀居豳。大王以狄伐故,去豳,杖馬棰去居岐,國人爭歸之。及文王為西伯,斷虞、芮訟,始受命,呂望、伯夷自海濱來歸之。武王伐紂,不期而會孟津上八百諸侯,遂滅殷。成王即位,周公之屬傅相焉,乃營成周都雒,以為此天下中,諸侯四方納貢職,道里鈞矣,有德則易以王,無德則易以亡。凡居此者,欲令務以德致人,不欲陰險,令後世驕奢以虐民也。及周之衰,分而為二,天下莫朝周,周不能制。非德薄,形勢弱也。今陛下起豐沛,收卒三千人,以之徑往,卷蜀漢,定三秦,與項籍戰滎陽,大戰七十,小戰四十,使天下之民肝腦塗地,父子暴骸中野,不可勝數,哭泣之聲不絕,傷夷者未起,而欲比靈斯成、康之時,臣竊以為不侔矣。且夫秦地被山帶河,四塞以為固,卒然有急,百萬之眾可具。因秦之故,資甚美膏腴之地,此所謂天府。陛下入關而都之,山東雖亂,秦故地可全而有也。夫與人鬥,不搤其亢,拊其背,未能全勝。今陛下入關而都,按秦之故,此亦搤天下之亢而拊其背也。」高帝問群臣,群臣皆山東人,爭言周王數百年,秦二世則亡,不如都周。上疑未能決。及留侯明言入關便,即日駕西都關中。於是上曰:「本言都秦地者婁敬,婁者劉也。」賜姓劉氏,拜為郎中,號曰奉春君。(Book of Han 43, Biography of Lou Jing)

Lou Jing was a native of the Qi region. In the fifth year of Liu Bang's reign (202 BC), he was assigned to serve in the garrison camps at Longxi. Along the way, he came to Luoyang, riding in a pull-cart and wearing a wool coat. Since Liu Bang happened to be in Luoyang at that time, Lou Jing mentioned to a certain General Lu, who was also from the Qi region, "I wish to say a few things to our sovereign." General Lu was going to give him a fresh coat to wear, but Lou Jing told him, "One who wears silks should be seen in silks; one who wears hairs should be seen in hairs. I dare not exchange my clothing."

General Lu then went to see Liu Bang and mentioned Lou Jing to him. Liu Bang summoned him and gave him a meal. Then Liu Bang questioned Lou Jing. Lou Jing said, "I see that Your Majesty has chosen Luoyang for your capital. Do you thus wish to emulate the glory of the Zhou dynasty?"

Liu Bang said, "Indeed."

Lou Jing replied, "But the way in which Your Majesty came into possession of the realm differs from how the Zhou dynasty did so.

"The royal line of Zhou had their progenitor, Houji, who was granted his fief at Tai by Emperor Yao. Houji and his descendants cultivated their virtues and accumulated good deeds, and this went on for more than ten generations. His descendant Gongliu then moved to Bin to avoid the northern barbarians, until his descendant King Da [Tai] left Bin to avoid more such attacks; 'galloping his horses', he found a new place, and the people of the state all rushed to join him. When King Wen served as Lord of the West, he decided the case of the Yu and Rui peoples and began to accept the mandate, and Lü Wang (Jiang Ziya) and Boyi came from the seashore to serve under him. When King Wu campaigned against King Zhou of Shang, eight hundred of the feudal lords came unbidden to meet him at Meng Crossing, and thus he conquered Yin (Shang). And when King Wen's son King Cheng took the throne and the Duke of Zhou served under him as his Chancellor, they chose Luoyang to be their capital because it was the center of the realm; the roads from every corner of the realm were of the same length, thus the feudal lords would have equal journeys to present their tribute to the king. From such a position, a virtuous king could rule easily, but an unvirtuous king could easily lose their position. They chose this site precisely because of its lack of natural defenses, for they wished to rule the realm by the strength of Zhou's virtue, and, if matters should come to that, to prevent the realm from suffering from cruelty by any wicked descendants of the royal line. Thus after Zhou fell into decline and split into half, the whole realm ignored them, and Zhou could no longer control the realm. That was not only because the kings of Zhou lost their virtues, but also because their domain was so weak.

"Now Your Majesty rose up in Feng and Pei, where you first assembled three thousand soldiers. You controlled the regions of Shu and Han, you conquered the Three Qins region, and in your fighting with Xiang Ji (Xiang Yu) at Xingyang, you fought seventy great battles and forty small ones. Because of so much fighting, the common people of the realm have had their innards spill upon the ground, and the bones of countless fathers and sons lie bleaching in the field. The sounds of weeping have not yet died away, nor have the wounds of war had time to heal. Yet you believe that such an age can equal the magnificence of the era of King Cheng and King Kang. I venture to state that it cannot.

"Furthermore, I note that the Qin region is flanked by mountains and girded by rivers, with sturdy passes on every side to protect it, and if a crisis should arise, one could draft an army of a million soldiers from that area. This is why people call it the Storehouse of Heaven, because of its exceptionally rich and bountiful land. If Your Majesty were to move to Guanzhong and set your capital there, then even if the regions east of the mountains rose against you, the former lands of the state of Qin would remain perfectly secure. When you are fighting someone, unless you can grab them by the throat and grip them on the spine, you can never enjoy a true victory. May Your Majesty observe that the Qin region is the very throat and spine of the realm itself, and thus set your capital there."

Liu Bang asked his ministers what they thought of the proposal. Most of them, being natives of the lands east of the mountains, objected to the idea. They pointed out how the kings of Zhou had ruled for hundreds of years, while the Qin dynasty fell after only two generations, thus their capital at Guanzhong was inferior to Zhou's capital at Luoyang. But Liu Bang was still uncertain. Then Zhang Liang offered his clear reasoning for moving the capital to Guanzhong instead. So that very day, Liu Bang's carriage set out for the west, and he shifted his capital to Chang'an.

Liu Bang declared, "The first one to propose making the Qin region the capital was Lou Jing. He shall henceforth be known as Liu Jing." He bestowed Lou Jing with the surname Liu, appointed him as a Household Gentleman, and gave him the title Lord Fengchun.


張良素多病,從上入關,卽道引,不食穀,杜門不出,曰:「家世相韓;及韓滅,不愛萬金之資,爲韓報讎強秦,天下振動。今以三寸舌爲帝者師,封萬戶侯,此布衣之極,於良足矣。願棄人間事,欲從赤松子游耳。」

26. Zhang Liang had always been sickly. After he accompanied Liu Bang into Guanzhong, he took up Daoist practices; he stopped eating grain, and he shut the doors of his house and did not venture out. He said, "My family had been Chancellors of Hann for generations. After Hann fell, I did not shrink from exhausting my resources in order to carry out revenge against the powerful Qin dynasty and stir up the realm to act. Now, thanks to the efforts of my three-inch tongue, I have been an instructor for the Emperor and have been granted a title as marquis of ten thousand households. This is the pinnacle of what a common person can achieve, and it is quite enough for me. Now I intend to put aside worldly affairs, and do no more than follow in the footsteps of Master Red Pine."

〈孟康曰:道,讀曰導;服辟穀藥而靜居行氣。〉〈事見七卷秦始皇二十九年。〉〈師古曰:赤松子,仙人號也,神農時爲雨師,服水玉,敎神農,能入火自燒。至昆山上,常止西王母石室,隨風雨上下。炎帝少女追之,亦得仙俱去。〉

(Meng Kang remarked, "The Dao means Daoism. It was a Daoist practice to abstain from eating grain in order to purify one's inner essence."

Zhang Liang's initial efforts to avenge Hann against Qin are mentioned in Book 7, in the twenty-ninth year of the First Emperor of Qin's reign (218 BC).

Regarding Master Red Pine, Yan Shigu remarked, "This was the name of an immortal sage. During the era of Shennong, Master Red Pine served as his Rain Master. He wore crystals, instructed Shennong, and could enter fire without roasting. Whenever he ascended Mount Kunlun, he would always stop at the Western Queen Mother's stone chamber, following the wind and rains up and down. The Flame Emperor's youngest daughter followed after him, and she too became an immortal and traveled with him.")


張良素多疾病。乃稱疾。曰。臣家五世相韓。及韓亡。不愛萬金之資。為韓報讎彊秦。天下震動。今以三寸舌為王者師。封萬戶。位為列侯。此布衣之極。於臣足矣。願棄人間事。欲從赤松子遊耳。乃學道不食穀。遂不仕。良為人容貌美麗如婦人女子。(Records of Former Han 3, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

Zhang Liang had always been sickly. So he now resigned on account of illness. He said, "My family had been Chancellors of Hann for five generations. After Hann fell, I did not shrink from exhausting my resources in order to carry out revenge against the powerful Qin dynasty and stir up the realm to act. Now, thanks to the efforts of my three-inch tongue, I have been an instructor for a sovereign and have been granted a title as marquis of ten thousand households. This is the pinnacle of what a common person can achieve, and it is quite enough for me. Now I intend to put aside worldly affairs, and do no more than follow in the footsteps of Master Red Pine." So he took up Daoist practices; he stopped eating grain, and he no longer served in office.

Zhang Liang had a beautiful appearance and bearing, as lovely as a wife or a girl.


臣光曰:夫生之有死,譬猶夜旦之必然;自古及今,固未有超然而獨存者也。以子房之明辨達理,足以知神仙之爲虛詭矣;然其欲從赤松子游者,其智可知也。夫功名之際,人臣之所難處。如高帝所稱者,三傑而已;淮陰誅夷,蕭何繫獄,非以履盛滿而不止耶!故子房託於神仙,遺棄人間,等功名於外物,置榮利而不顧,所謂「明哲保身」者,子房有焉。

27. Your servant Sima Guang remarks: All who are born are doomed to die, just as night invariably follows day. From ancient times until now, never once has there been some aloof hermit who managed to remain immortal. And Zifang (Zhang Liang), a wise and capable man of great insight, was surely clever enough to know that the stories of such immortals are all so much foolishness. Yet he claimed that he now wished to "follow in the footsteps of Master Red Pine". But this was only an indication of just how intelligent he really was.

For indeed, it is difficult for any accomplished fellow to safely be the servant of another. Liu Bang had named three of his followers as "heroes": Zhang Liang, Han Xin, and Xiao He. Yet Han Xin was eventually executed, and Xiao He spent time bound in prison. Having treated the first two in such a manner, could Liu Bang have been expected to do any less to Zifang? Thus Zifang used the pretext of seeking immortality to cast aside the affairs of men, disdaining fame or achievements and giving no further thought to glory or advantage. "Intelligent and wise, protecting his own person" is just the way to describe him.

〈【章:甲十五行本「未」下有「嘗」字;乙十一行本同;孔本同。】〉〈《詩》云:旣明且哲,以保其身。〉

(Some versions add that never "once" has anyone truly been immortal.

The Book of Poetry has the verse "Intelligent is he and wise, protecting his own person".)


六月,壬辰,大赦天下。

28. In the sixth month, on the day Renchen, a general amnesty was declared across the realm.

六月壬辰。大赦天下。(Records of Former Han 3, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

In the sixth month, on the day Renchen, a general amnesty was declared across the realm.


秋,七月,燕王臧荼反;上自將征之。

29. In autumn, the seventh month, the King of Yan, Zang Tu, rebelled against Han. Liu Bang personally led an army to campaign against him.

漢五年
八月
帝自將誅燕。(Records of the Grand Historian 16, Monthly Timeline of the Chu-Han Contention)

In the fifth year of Liu Bang's reign (202 BC), in the eighth month, Liu Bang personally led an army to execute the King of Yan, Zang Tu.

八月。燕王臧荼反。上自將擊燕。(Records of Former Han 3, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

In the eighth month, the King of Yan, Zang Tu, rebelled against Han. Liu Bang personally led an army to campaign against him.


趙景王耳、長沙文王芮皆薨。

30. Zhang Er and Wu Rui passed away. They were posthumously known as King Jing ("the Splendid") of Zhao and King Wen ("the Cultured") of Changsha.

漢五年
七月
耳薨,謚景王。薨,謚文王。趙王張敖始,耳子。長沙成王臣始,芮子。(Records of the Grand Historian 16, Monthly Timeline of the Chu-Han Contention)

In the fifth year of Liu Bang's reign (202 BC), in the seventh month, Zhang Er and Wu Rui passed away. They were posthumously known as King Jing of Zhao and King Wen of Changsha. Their sons Zhang Ao and Wu Chen succeeded them.

高祖四年
薨。
高祖五年
王敖元年。敖,耳子。薨。成王臣元年。(Records of the Grand Historian 17, Annual Timeline of the Han Princes)

In the fourth year of Liu Bang's reign (203 BC), Zhang Er passed away. His son Zhang Ao succeeded him as King of Zhao.

In the fifth year (202 BC), Wu Rui passed away. His son Wu Chen succeeded him as King of Changsha.

漢五年,張耳薨,謚為景王。子敖嗣立為趙王。(Records of the Grand Historian 89, Biography of Zhang Er & Chen Yu)

In the fifth year of Liu Bang's reign (202 BC), Zhang Er passed away. He was posthumously known as King Jing of Zhao.

Zhang Er's son Zhang Ao succeeded him as King of Zhao.

五年秋,耳薨,諡曰景王。子敖嗣立為王。(Book of Han 32, Biography of Zhang Er & Chen Yu)

In the fifth year of Liu Bang's reign (202 BC), in the autumn, Zhang Er passed away. He was posthumously known as King Jing of Zhao.

Zhang Er's son Zhang Ao succeeded him as King of Zhao.

一年薨,諡曰文王,子成王臣嗣。(Book of Han 34, Biography of Wu Rui)

Wu Rui passed away in the first year of his reign (202 BC). He was posthumously known as King Wen of Changsha. His son Wu Chen succeeded him.


九月,虜臧荼。壬子,立太尉長安侯盧綰爲燕王。綰家與上同里閈,綰生又與上同日;上寵幸綰,羣臣莫敢望,故特王之。

31. In the ninth month, Liu Bang captured Zang Tu. On the day Renzi, he appointed the Grand Commandant and Marquis of Chang'an, Lu Wan, as the new King of Yan.

Lu Wan's family was from the same village as Liu Bang's family, and he and Liu Bang had been born on the same day. Thus no one else could hope to enjoy the same favor that Lu Wan was shown. This was why Liu Bang went so far as to make Lu Wan a king.

〈班《表》:太尉,秦官,掌武事。漢制與丞相、御史大夫爲三公。應劭曰:自上安下曰尉。據《史記‧盧綰傳》,長安,故咸陽也。《正義》曰:秦咸陽在渭北;長安在渭南,蕭何起未央宮之處。〉〈閈,閭也;里門曰閈。〉〈《考異》曰:《史記》、《漢書‧高紀》,於此皆云「使丞相噲將兵平代地」。按《樊噲傳》:從平韓王信,乃遷左丞相;是時未爲丞相,又代地無反者,《噲傳》亦無此事;疑《紀》誤。〉

(According to the Book of Han, the Grand Commandant had been a Qin office; it was in charge of military affairs. During the beginning of the Han dynasty, the Grand Commandant was one of the Three Excellencies, along with the Prime Minister and the Imperial Secretary. Ying Shao remarked, "When one above settles one below, that is called 尉."

According to the Biography of Lu Wan in the Records of the Grand Historian, Chang'an was the same city as Xianyang. But the Zhengyi commentary states, "Qin's city of Xianyang had been north of the Wei River, while Chang'an was south of the Wei River, at the place where Xiao He raised the Weiyang Palace."

The term 閈 means a district of a village; a local gate is called a 閈.

Sima Guang's commentary in the Textual Analysis states, "At this point, the Annals of Gaozu (Liu Bang) in the Records of the Grand Historian and in the Book of Han both state, 'Liu Bang sent the Prime Minister, Fan Kuai, to lead troops to pacify the Dai region'. But according to the Biography of Fan Kuai, he was not appointed to that rank until after 'he accompanied the campaign to pacify King Xin of Hann and was then appointed Prime Minister of the Left'. Besides, the Dai region was not in rebellion at this time, and the Biography of Fan Kuai does not mention this supposed campaign either. I suspect the Annals are mistaken.")


漢五年
九月
反漢,虜荼。燕王盧綰始,漢太尉。(Records of the Grand Historian 16, Monthly Timeline of the Chu-Han Contention)

In the fifth year of Liu Bang's reign (202 BC), in the ninth month, Zang Tu, who had rebelled against Han, was captured. Liu Bang appointed Lu Wan as the new King of Yan.

高祖五年
後九月壬子,初王盧綰元年。(Records of the Grand Historian 17, Annual Timeline of the Han Princes)

In the fifth year of Liu Bang's reign (202 BC), in the second ninth month, on the day Renzi, Liu Bang appointed Lu Wan as King of Yan.

九月虜臧荼。立太尉盧綰為燕王。綰與上同里同日生。少相愛。後以將軍從擊項羽有功。故立為代王。丞相張蒼從擊臧荼有功。封北平侯。蒼明習天下圖書。善用算術。故命以列侯居相府主郡國上計也。(Records of Former Han 3, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

In the ninth month, Liu Bang captured Zang Tu. On the day Renzi, he appointed the Grand Commandant, Lu Wan, as the new King of Yan.

Lu Wan's family was from the same village as Liu Bang's family, and he and Liu Bang had been born on the same day, so they had been close friends ever since childhood. And later, Lu Wan had served Liu Bang as a general and achieved much during the war against Xiang Yu. This was why Liu Bang went so far as to make Lu Wan a king.

The Prime Minister, Zhang Cang, had achieved much during the campaign against Zang Tu, so Liu Bang appointed him as Marquis of Beiping. Zhang Cang was wise and well-versed in books of astrology, and he was skilled at performing divination. Thus Liu Bang ordered him to determine whom among the marquises would be most suited for leading Chancellors' staffs in the various commandaries and fiefs.

盧綰者,豐人也,與高祖同里。盧綰親與高祖太上皇相愛,及生男,高祖、盧綰同日生,里中持羊酒賀兩家。及高祖、盧綰壯,俱學書,又相愛也。里中嘉兩家親相愛,生子同日,壯又相愛,復賀兩家羊酒。高祖為布衣時,有吏事辟匿,盧綰常隨出入上下。及高祖初起沛,盧綰以客從,入漢中為將軍,常侍中。從東擊項籍,以太尉常從,出入臥內,衣被飲食賞賜,群臣莫敢望,雖蕭曹等,特以事見禮,至其親幸,莫及盧綰。綰封為長安侯。長安,故咸陽也... 七月還,從擊燕王臧荼,臧荼降。高祖已定天下,諸侯非劉氏而王者七人。欲王盧綰,為群臣觖望。及虜臧荼,乃下詔諸將相列侯,擇群臣有功者以為燕王。群臣知上欲王盧綰,皆言曰:「太尉長安侯盧綰常從平定天下,功最多,可王燕。」詔許之。漢五年八月,乃立虜綰為燕王。諸侯王得幸莫如燕王。(Records of the Grand Historian 93, Biography of Lu Wan)

Lu Wan was a native of Feng, from the same village as Liu Bang. Liu Bang's father was close to Lu Wan's family, and it so happened that both Liu Bang and Lu Wan were born on the same day, so the people of their village held a celebration with beef and wine to celebrate the happy occasion for these two families. And as Liu Bang and Lu Wan grew up, they studied together and became close friends. The people of their village congratulated the two families that two boys born on the same day should become such close friends, and they held another celebration with the same sorts of festivities.

During the time that Liu Bang was still a commoner and had to go into hiding because of some official matter, Lu Wan often accompanied him and rode in his carriage with him. When Liu Bang first rose up at Pei, Lu Wan brought his retainers to join Liu Bang's cause. He accompanied Liu Bang to his domain as King of Han, where Liu Bang appointed him as a general and kept him always by his side. And when Liu Bang marched east to fight Xiang Yu, he appointed Lu Wan as his Grand Commandant. Lu Wan was constantly with Liu Bang; they went in and out together and lay down on the same mat, and Liu Bang was always rewarding him with clothing and food and drink. None of Liu Bang's other subordinates could hope to receive such favorable treatment. Although there were those like Xiao He and Cao Can whom Liu Bang showed special respect and ceremony, no one could match Lu Wan when it came to Liu Bang's personal regard. He appointed Lu Wan as Marquis of Chang'an; Chang'an was the same place as the former city of Xianyang.

In the seventh month, Lu Wan returned from his campaign against Gong Wei. He accompanied Liu Bang during his campaign against the King of Yan, Zang Tu, and Zang Tu surrendered.

By now, Liu Bang had settled the realm. There were seven people who had been named as kings despite not being part of the royal Liu clan. Liu Bang had also wanted to appoint Lu Wan as a king as well, only he feared that this would have made his other subjects unhappy. But now that Zang Tu had been captured, Liu Bang issued an edict calling on his generals and nobles to recommend some accomplished fellow who could be appointed as the new King of Yan. They all knew that he wanted to name Lu Wan, so they all said, "The Grand Commandant and Marquis of Chang'an, Lu Wan, has often accompanied you and helped you to pacify and settle the realm. He is the most accomplished. You might make him the King of Yan." Liu Bang agreed to do so. In the fifth year of his reign (202 BC), in the eighth month, he appointed Lu Wan as King of Yan. None of the other kings or nobles could match him in favor.

盧綰,豐人也,與高祖同里。綰親與高祖太上皇相愛,及生男,高祖、綰同日生,里中持羊酒賀兩家。及高祖、綰壯,學書,又相愛也。里中嘉兩家親相愛,生子同日,壯又相愛,復賀羊酒。高祖為布衣時,有吏事避宅,綰常隨上下。及高祖初起沛,綰以客從,入漢為將軍,常侍中。從東擊項籍,以太尉常從,出入臥內,衣被食飲賞賜,群臣莫敢望。雖蕭、曹等,特以事見禮,至其親幸,莫及綰者。封為長安侯。長安,故咸陽也... 還,從擊燕王臧荼,皆破平。時諸侯非劉氏而王者七人。上欲王綰,為群臣觖望。及虜臧荼,乃下詔,詔諸將相列侯擇群臣有功者以為燕王。群臣知上欲王綰,皆曰:「太尉長安侯盧綰常從平定天下,功最多,可王。」上乃立綰為燕王。諸侯得幸莫如燕王者。(Book of Han 34, Biography of Lu Wan)

Lu Wan was a native of Feng, from the same village as Liu Bang. Liu Bang's father was close to Lu Wan's family, and it so happened that both Liu Bang and Lu Wan were born on the same day, so the people of their village held a celebration with beef and wine to celebrate the happy occasion for these two families. And as Liu Bang and Lu Wan grew up, they studied together and became close friends. The people of their village congratulated the two families that two boys born on the same day should become such close friends, and they held another celebration with the same sorts of festivities.

During the time that Liu Bang was still a commoner and had to go into hiding because of some official matter, Lu Wan often accompanied him and rode in his carriage with him. When Liu Bang first rose up at Pei, Lu Wan brought his retainers to join Liu Bang's cause. He accompanied Liu Bang to his domain as King of Han, where Liu Bang appointed him as a general and kept him always by his side. And when Liu Bang marched east to fight Xiang Yu, he appointed Lu Wan as his Grand Commandant. Lu Wan was constantly with Liu Bang; they went in and out together and lay down on the same mat, and Liu Bang was always rewarding him with clothing and food and drink. None of Liu Bang's other subordinates could hope to receive such favorable treatment. Although there were those like Xiao He and Cao Can whom Liu Bang showed special respect and ceremony, no one could match Lu Wan when it came to Liu Bang's personal regard. He appointed Lu Wan as Marquis of Chang'an; Chang'an was the same place as the former city of Xianyang.

After returning from his campaign against Gong Wei, Lu Wan accompanied Liu Bang during his campaign against the King of Yan, Zang Tu, and they routed Zang Tu and put down his rebellion.

By now, there were seven people who had been named as kings despite not being part of the royal Liu clan. Liu Bang had also wanted to appoint Lu Wan as a king as well, only he feared that this would have made his other subjects unhappy. But now that Zang Tu had been captured, Liu Bang issued an edict calling on his generals and nobles to recommend some accomplished fellow who could be appointed as the new King of Yan. They all knew that he wanted to name Lu Wan, so they all said, "The Grand Commandant and Marquis of Chang'an, Lu Wan, has often accompanied you and helped you to pacify and settle the realm. He is the most accomplished. You might make him the King of Yan." Liu Bang agreed to do so. In the fifth year of his reign (202 BC), in the eighth month, he appointed Lu Wan as King of Yan. None of the other kings or nobles could match him in favor.


項王故將利幾反;上自擊破之。

32. One of Xiang Yu's former generals, Li Ji, rebelled. Liu Bang personally attacked and routed him.

〈利幾以陳令降,上侯之潁川。上至洛陽,召之;利幾恐而反。《風俗通》:利,姓也。《姓譜》:楚公子食采於利,後以爲氏。〉

(Li Ji had been the Prefect of Chen at the time that he surrendered to Liu Bang, who had appointed him as a marquis in Yingchuan commandary. Shortly before this time, when Liu Bang came to Luoyang, he had summoned Li Ji. Fearing for his position, Li Ji had decided to rebel.

The Fengsu Tong states, "利 Li is a surname." The Registry of Surnames states, "One of the royal sons of the state of Chu was granted his fief at Li, and his descendants took their surname from the name of this fief.")


後九月,治長樂宮。

33. In the second ninth month, Liu Bang began restoring the Changle Palace.

〈程大昌《雍錄》曰:長樂宮,本秦之興樂宮,周迴二十里,高祖改修而居之;在長安城東隅。〉

(Cheng Dachang's Records of Yong states, "Changle Palace was originally the Qin dynasty's Xingle Palace. It had a perimeter of twelve li. Gaozu (Liu Bang) restored and renamed it and took up residence there. It was in the east corner of Chang'an.")


項王將鍾離昩,素與楚王信善。項王死後,亡歸信。漢王怨昩,聞其在楚,詔楚捕昩。信初之國,行縣邑,陳兵出入。

34. One of Xiang Yu's former generals, Zhongli Mo, had long been on good terms with Han Xin. So after Xiang Yu's death, Zhongli Mo had fled to take shelter with Han Xin. Liu Bang hated Zhongli Mo, and when he learned that he was in Han Xin's domain of Chu, he issued an edict ordering Zhongli Mo to be arrested.

Since Han Xin had only just come into control of his new domain, he led patrols through the counties and towns and kept his troops in formation as he went in and out.

項王亡將鐘離眛家在伊廬,素與信善。項王死後,亡歸信。漢王怨眛,聞其在楚,詔楚捕眛。信初之國,行縣邑,陳兵出入。(Records of the Grand Historian 92, Biography of Han Xin)

One of Xiang Yu's former generals, Zhongli Mei, had long been on good terms with Han Xin, and his family lived at Yilu. So after Xiang Yu's death, Zhongli Mei had fled to take shelter with Han Xin. Liu Bang hated Zhongli Mei, and when he learned that he was in Han Xin's domain of Chu, he issued an edict ordering Zhongli Mei to be arrested.

Since Han Xin had only just come into control of his new domain, he led patrols through the counties and towns and kept his troops in formation as he went in and out.

項王亡將鍾離辚家在伊廬,素與信善。項王敗,辚亡歸信。漢怨辚,聞在楚,詔楚捕之。信初之國,行縣邑,陳兵出入。(Book of Han 34, Biography of Han Xin)

One of Xiang Yu's former generals, Zhongli Lin, had long been on good terms with Han Xin, and his family lived at Yilu. So after Xiang Yu's death, Zhongli Lin had fled to take shelter with Han Xin. Liu Bang hated Zhongli Lin, and when he learned that he was in Han Xin's domain of Chu, he issued an edict ordering Zhongli Lin to be arrested.

Since Han Xin had only just come into control of his new domain, he led patrols through the counties and towns and kept his troops in formation as he went in and out.
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BOOK 11

Unread postby Taishi Ci 2.0 » Wed Oct 30, 2019 10:45 pm

六年(庚子、前二○一)

The Sixth Year of Liu Bang's Reign (The Gengzi or Metal Rat Year, 201 BC)


冬,十月,人有上書告楚王信反者,帝以問諸將,皆曰:「亟發兵,阬豎子耳!」帝默然。又問陳平,陳平曰:「人上書言信反,信知之乎?」曰:「不知。」陳平曰:「陛下精兵孰與楚?」上曰:「不能過。」平曰:「陛下諸將,用兵有能過韓信者乎?」上曰:「莫及也。」平曰:「今兵不如楚精而將不能及,舉兵攻之,是趣之戰也,竊爲陛下危之!」上曰:「爲之柰何?」平曰:「古者天子有巡狩,會諸侯。陛下第出,僞遊雲夢,會諸侯於陳。陳,楚之西界;信聞天子以好出游,其勢必無事而郊迎謁;謁而陛下因禽之,此特一力士之事耳。」帝以爲然;乃發使告諸侯會陳,「吾將南游雲夢。」上因隨以行。

1. In winter, the tenth month (of 202 BC), someone sent in a letter claiming that Han Xin intended to rebel against Liu Bang. Liu Bang asked his generals how he should respond. They all said, "Let's raise troops at once and bury the whelp!" Liu Bang remained silent.

Liu Bang then asked Chen Ping what he thought. Chen Ping asked him, "Is Han Xin aware that someone has sent this letter informing against him?"

Liu Bang replied, "He doesn't know."

Chen Ping asked, "How do your best troops compare with Han Xin's soldiers?"

Liu Bang replied, "They are no better."

Chen Ping asked, "Are any of Your Majesty's generals a better commander than Han Xin?"

Liu Bang replied, "None of them can match him."

Chen Ping said, "So, your troops are inferior to Han Xin's troops, and none of your generals are a match for him. Yet you intend to raise troops now and rush headlong into a war against him? I must say, that would be very dangerous for Your Majesty!"

Liu Bang asked, "Then what am I to do?"

Chen Ping replied, "In ancient times, whenever the Son of Heaven would go out on patrols, he would convene meetings of the feudal lords as well. So Your Majesty need only go out on a journey, pretending that you are taking a trip to Yunmeng, and on the way there you can convene a meeting of the lords at Chen. Since Chen is on the western border of Han Xin's domain of Chu, when he hears that the Son of Heaven is on a journey, he will certainly come to pay his respects to you without harboring any suspicions. When he arrives to see you, then you can arrest him, which would require merely the strength of some strong fellow."

Liu Bang agreed with this advice. So he sent out word to the feudal lords to convene at Chen, stating that "I am about to journey south to Yunmeng." Then he set out on his trip.

〈《白虎通》曰:天子所以巡狩者何?巡者,循也;狩者,收也;謂循行天下,收人道德太平,恐遠近不同,政化幽隱,有不得其所者,故必自行之,謹敬重民之意也。《孟子》曰:天子適諸侯曰巡守;巡守者,巡所守也。〉〈第,但也。〉

(This passage describes the activities of a Son of Heaven while on such trips as 巡狩. The White Tiger Discussions has a relevant passage: "What does it mean when the Son of Heaven 巡狩s? To 巡 ‘patrol’ means ‘to inspect’, and to 狩 ‘hunt’ means ‘to collect’. It means that the Son of Heaven makes an inspection throughout the realm, and collects people to promote propriety, virtue, and great peace. He does this out of concern that the distant places of the realm may not be in accord with the areas close to him, and fear that proper administration or culture may have fallen into obscurity, causing the people to lack such things. Thus he undertakes such journeys himself, and through diligence and respect he tends to the wishes of the people." And the Mengzi states, "When the Son of Heaven visited the princes, it was called a 巡守 'tour of inspection'; that is, he surveyed the States under their care."

The term 第 in this case means "you need only".)


六年冬。命復天下縣邑。或有告楚王信謀反。上問左右。左右皆曰。發兵以擊之。陳平曰。陛下用兵之精。孰與韓信。上曰。無能過也。平曰。陛下將有敵信者無。上曰。莫能及。平曰。臣竊為陛下危之。上曰。奈何。平曰。信未知有告反者。古者天子巡狩會諸侯。陛下偽出遊雲夢。會諸侯于陳。信必郊迎。因而執之。此一士之力。上從之。(Records of Former Han 3, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

In the sixth year of Liu Bang's reign (201 BC), in winter (of 202 BC), Liu Bang ordered the counties and towns of the realm to be restored.

Someone sent in a letter claiming that Han Xin was plotting to rebel against Liu Bang. Liu Bang asked those about him how he should respond. They all said, "Let's raise troops and attack him."

Then Chen Ping asked Liu Bang, "How do Your Majesty's best troops compare with Han Xin's soldiers?"

Liu Bang replied, "They are no better."

Chen Ping asked, "Are any of Your Majesty's generals a match for Han Xin, or not?"

Liu Bang replied, "None of them can match him."

Chen Ping said, "Then I must say, launching an attack would be very dangerous for Your Majesty."

Liu Bang asked, "But what am I to do?"

Chen Ping replied, "Han Xin does not yet know that someone has informed us of his rebellion. In ancient times, whenever the Son of Heaven would go out on patrols, he would convene meetings of the feudal lords as well. So Your Majesty need only go out on a journey, pretending that you are taking a trip to Yunmeng, and on the way there you can convene a meeting of the lords at Chen. Han Xin will certainly come to pay his respects to you at the border of his domain, and then you can arrest him, which would require merely the strength of some strong fellow."

Liu Bang followed Chen Ping's advice.

漢六年,人有上書告楚王信反。高帝以陳平計,天子巡狩會諸侯,南方有雲夢,發使告諸侯會陳:「吾將游雲夢。」實欲襲信,信弗知。(Records of the Grand Historian 92, Biography of Han Xin)

In the sixth year of Liu Bang's reign (201 BC), someone sent up a letter claiming that Han Xin was planning to rebel. Following Chen Ping's advice that the Son of Heaven was entitled to call an assembly of the feudal lords when he went on patrols or journeys, Liu Bang decided to announce he was taking a journey to a place in the south called Yunmeng, and he sent out notices to the feudal lords telling them to meet him for an assembly along the way at Chen. The true purpose of this meeting was so that Liu Bang could take Han Xin by surprise, but Han Xin was unaware of this.

有變告信欲反,書聞,上患之。用陳平謀,偽游於雲夢者,實欲襲信,信弗知。(Book of Han 34, Biography of Han Xin)

Someone reported that Han Xin was planning to rebel; when he read this letter, Liu Bang was disturbed. Following Chen Ping's advice, Liu Bang pretended that he was planning a journey to Yunmeng. He really planned to take Han Xin by surprise, but Han Xin was unaware of this.


楚王信聞之,自疑懼,不知所爲。或說信曰:「斬鍾離昩以謁上,上必喜,無患。」信從之。十二月,上會諸侯於陳,信持昩首謁上;上令武士縛信,載後車。信曰:「果若人言:『狡兔死,走狗烹;高鳥盡,良弓藏;敵國破,謀臣亡。』天下已定,我固當烹!」上曰:「人告公反。」遂械繫信以歸,因赦天下。

2. When Han Xin learned about the meeting, he was uncertain and afraid and did not know what to do. Someone advised him, "If you behead Zhongli Mo and then go pay your respects to our sovereign, he will surely be pleased with you, and then there will be nothing to fear." Han Xin followed this advice.

In the twelfth month (of 202 BC), Liu Bang convened the feudal lords at Chen. Han Xin arrived to pay his respects, carrying the head of Zhongli Mo. Liu Bang ordered a warrior to tie up Han Xin and bind him to a rear cart.

Han Xin exclaimed, "So it's just as they say! 'When the crafty rabbits are all dead, even the hunting dog is boiled; when the flying birds are all gone, the hunting bow is put away; when the enemy state is destroyed, the clever minister is doomed.' Now that the realm is at peace, I too shall be boiled!"

Liu Bang told him, "Someone told me you were planning to rebel."

Liu Bang had Han Xin bound and shackled and brought back to the capital with him. He declared an amnesty across the realm.

〈師古曰:黃石公《三略》之言。〉〈械者,加以杻械;繫者,加以徽索。〉

(Yan Shigu remarked, "Han Xin quotes from The Three Strategies of Huang Shigong."

To be shackled is to be fastened with shackles and cuffs; to be bound is to be wrapped in cords.)


漢五年
九月
王得故項羽將鍾離辚,斬之以聞。(Records of the Grand Historian 16, Monthly Timeline of the Chu-Han Contention)

In the fifth year of Liu Bang's reign (202 BC), in the ninth month, Han Xin obtained one of Xiang Yu's former generals, Zhongli Lin, and executed him at Wen.

遂執信。(Records of Former Han 3, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

Liu Bang arrested Han Xin.

六年,朝陳。(Records of the Grand Historian 90, Biography of Peng Yue)

In the sixth year of Liu Bang's reign (201 BC), Peng Yue attended the meeting of the feudal lords at Chen.

六年,朝陳。(Book of Han 34, Biography of Peng Yue)

In the sixth year of Liu Bang's reign (201 BC), Peng Yue attended the meeting of the feudal lords at Chen.

七年,朝陳。(Records of the Grand Historian 91, Biography of Qing Bu)

In the seventh year of Liu Bang's reign (200 BC), Qing Bu attended the meeting of the feudal lords at Chen.

六年,朝陳。(Book of Han 34, Biography of Qing Bu)

In the sixth year of Liu Bang's reign (201 BC), Qing Bu attended the meeting of the feudal lords at Chen.

高祖且至楚,信欲發兵反,自度無罪,欲謁上,恐見禽。人或說信曰:「斬眛謁上,上必喜,無患。」信見眛計事。眛曰:「漢所以不擊取楚,以眛在公所。若欲捕我以自媚於漢,吾今日死,公亦隨手亡矣。」乃罵信曰:「公非長者!」卒自剄。信持其首,謁高祖於陳。上令武士縛信,載後車。信曰:「果若人言,『狡兔死,良狗亨;高鳥盡,良弓藏;敵國破,謀臣亡。』天下已定,我固當亨!」上曰:「人告公反。」遂械系信。(Records of the Grand Historian 92, Biography of Han Xin)

When Liu Bang arrived at Chen near Han Xin's domain of Chu, Han Xin was uncertain of how to respond. He considered raising his troops and rebelling, but he felt that he had done nothing wrong to force his hand; he considered attending the meeting to pay his respects to Liu Bang, but he was afraid that he would be arrested.

Someone advised him, "If you behead Zhongli Mei and then go pay your respects to our sovereign, he will surely be pleased with you, and then there will be nothing to fear."

Han Xin met with Zhongli Mei to figure out what to do. Zhongli Mei told him, "The only reason that Han has not attacked Chu and taken it from you is because I am here. If you arrest me now to curry favor with Han, then though I die today, you will follow right behind me." And he even swore at Han Xin, "You are no good!" Then he cut his own throat.

Han Xin took Zhongli Mei's head and went to pay his respects to Liu Bang at Chen. Liu Bang ordered a warrior to tie up Han Xin and bind him to a rear cart.

Han Xin exclaimed, "So it's just as they say. 'When the crafty rabbits are all dead, even the hunting dog is boiled; when the flying birds are all gone, the hunting bow is put away; when the enemy state is destroyed, the clever minister is doomed.' Now that the realm is at peace, I too shall be boiled!"

Liu Bang told him, "Someone told me you were planning to rebel."

Liu Bang had Han Xin bound and shackled.

高祖且至楚,信欲發兵,自度無罪;欲謁上,恐見禽。人或說信曰:「斬辚謁上,上必喜,亡患。」信見辚計事,辚曰:「漢所以不擊取楚,以辚在。公若欲捕我自媚漢,吾今死,公隨手亡矣。」乃罵信曰:「公非長者!」卒自剄。信持其首謁於陳。高祖令武士縛信,載後車。信曰:「果若人言,『狡兔死,良狗亨。』」上曰:「人告公反。」遂械信。(Book of Han 34, Biography of Han Xin)

When Liu Bang arrived at Chen near Han Xin's domain of Chu, Han Xin was uncertain of how to respond. He considered raising his troops and rebelling, but he felt that he had done nothing wrong to force his hand; he considered attending the meeting to pay his respects to Liu Bang, but he was afraid that he would be arrested.

Someone advised him, "If you behead Zhongli Lin and then go pay your respects to our sovereign, he will surely be pleased with you, and then there will be nothing to fear."

Han Xin met with Zhongli Lin to figure out what to do. Zhongli Lin told him, "The only reason that Han has not attacked Chu and taken it from you is because I am here. If you arrest me now to curry favor with Han, then though I die today, you will follow right behind me." And he even swore at Han Xin, "You are no good!" Then he cut his own throat.

Han Xin took Zhongli Lin's head and went to pay his respects to Liu Bang at Chen. Liu Bang ordered a warrior to tie up Han Xin and bind him to a rear cart.

Han Xin exclaimed, "So it's just as they say. 'When the crafty rabbits are all dead, even the hunting dog is boiled.'"

Liu Bang told him, "Someone told me you were planning to rebel."

Liu Bang had Han Xin bound and shackled.


田肯賀上曰:「陛下得韓信,又治秦中。秦,形勝之國也,帶河阻山,地勢便利;其以下兵於諸侯,譬猶居高屋之上建瓴水也。夫齊,東有琅邪、卽墨之饒,南有泰山之固,西有濁河之限,北有勃海之利;地方二千里,持戟百萬;此東西秦也,非親子弟,莫可使王齊者。」上曰:「善!」賜金五百斤。

3. A certain Tian Ken congratulated Liu Bang for this achievement. He told him, "Your Majesty now has Han Xin within your power, and you rule the realm from the old heartland of Qin. The Qin region is a place suited for victory; it is girded by rivers and guarded by mountains, and it is a very fertile land. From this region, you may lead your troops downstream to dominate the feudal lords like rainwater rushing down the roof gutters.

"Now the Qi region is very similar to the Qin region. It has the bounty of Langye and Jimo to the east, the stout natural defenses of Mount Tai to the south, the barrier of the hazy Yellow River to the west, and the richness of Bohai to the north. It is a land of two thousand square li, and it could support a million men under arms. Thus Qi is an eastern Qin, just as Qin is a western Qi. And you should not allow anyone to be King of Qi except one of your immediate relatives."

Liu Bang said, "Well said!" And he granted Tian Ken five hundred catties of gold.

〈如淳曰:山東人謂關中爲秦中,師古曰:謂關中,秦地也。〉〈張晏曰:得形勢之勝便也。〉〈如淳曰:瓴,盛水瓶也。居高屋之上而翻瓴水,言其向下之勢順也。〉〈師古曰:二縣近海,財用之所出。〉〈泰山在齊之南境,齊負以爲固。〉〈晉灼曰:齊西有平原。河水東北過高唐;高唐,卽平原也。孟津號黃河,故曰濁河也。余謂孟津在河內,去平原甚遠,晉說失之拘;蓋河流渾濁,故謂之濁河也。〉〈《索隱》曰:崔浩云:勃,旁跌也。旁跌出者,橫在濟北,故《齊都賦》云:海旁出爲勃,名曰勃海郡。余據班《志》,齊地北至勃海,有高樂、高城、陽信、重合之地。〉〈言齊地形勝與秦亢衡也。〉

(Ru Chun remarked, "The people of the regions east of the mountains called Guanzhong the Qin region." Yan Shigu remarked, "Guanzhong was known as the Qin region."

Zhang Yan remarked, "Tian Ken was saying that the Qin region had very advantageous features and terrain."

Tian Ken's idiom more specifically refers to 瓴s. Ru Chun remarked, "瓴s are jars full of water. These are placed on top of tall buildings and turn out rainwater. The idea is that one can dominate others from a commanding height."

Tian Ken refers to "the bounty of Langye and Jimo". Yan Shigu remarked, "These two counties were close to the sea, thus they produced valuable and useful things."

Mount Tai was on the southern border of the Qi region, and Qi had relied upon it as a sturdy defense.

Tian Ken refers to the "hazy" Yellow River. Jin Zhuo remarked, "Pingyuan was on the west side of the Qi region. The Yellow River flowed east through Gaotang, which was the same place as Pingyuan. And the river at the Meng Crossing was called the Yellow River. This was what he meant by the 'hazy' Yellow River." But I (Hu Sanxing) note that the Meng Crossing was in Henei commandary, which is very far from Pingyuan, so Jin Zhuo must be mistaken. I reckon that by "hazy", Tian Ken was referring to the muddy and hazy flow of the Yellow River.

Regarding the name Bohai, the Suoyin commentary to the Records of the Grand Historian states, "Cui Hao remarked that 勃 Bo means 'an abundance', and this abundance comes from Jibei. Thus the Rhapsody on the Capital of Qi states, ‘Abundance comes from beside the sea, thus the commandary is called Bohai’." I (Hu Sanxing) note that according to the Book of Han, the Qi region stretched north as far as Bohai commandary, and this area included the areas of Gaole, Gaocheng, Yangxin, and Zhonghe.

Tian Ken was arguing that the Qi region was just as advantageous a region as the Qin region was.)


田肯賀上曰。甚善。陛下得韓信而又王關中也。夫齊東有琅邪即墨之饒。南有泰山之固。西有濁河之阻。北有渤海之利。地方二千里。帶甲百萬眾。此亦東秦。非親子弟。莫可使王齊者也。上曰。善。賜肯金五百斤。(Records of Former Han 3, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

A certain Tian Ken congratulated Liu Bang for this achievement. He told him, "Most excellent. Your Majesty now has Han Xin within your power, and you rule the realm from Guanzhong.

"Now the Qi region is very similar to the Qin region. It has the bounty of Langye and Jimo to the east, the stout natural defenses of Mount Tai to the south, the barrier of the hazy Yellow River to the west, and the richness of Bohai to the north. It is a land of two thousand square li, and it could support a million men under arms. Thus Qi is an eastern Qin, just as Qin is a western Qi. And you should not allow anyone to be King of Qi except one of your immediate relatives."

Liu Bang said, "Well said!" And he granted Tian Ken five hundred catties of gold.


上還,至洛陽,赦韓信,封爲淮陰侯。信知漢王畏惡其能,多稱病,不朝從;居常鞅鞅,羞與絳、灌等列。嘗過樊將軍噲。噲跪拜送迎,言稱臣,曰:「大王乃肯臨臣!」信出門,笑曰:「生乃與噲等爲伍!」

4. Liu Bang then returned to Luoyang. He pardoned Han Xin, but demoted his title to Marquis of Huaiyin.

Han Xin knew that Liu Bang feared and suspected him because of his abilities. So he often claimed to be ill in order to avoid attending court or accompanying Liu Bang on trips. He usually stayed at home, feeling disgruntled and ashamed that his status was the same as people like Zhou Bo or Guan Ying.

On one occasion, as Han Xin was passing by Fan Kuai, Fan Kuai knelt down and performed obeisance to him. Addressing himself as "your servant", Fan Kuai said things like, "Great King, you grace your servant with your presence!"

But when Han Xin went out of the gate, he laughed and said, "Now I'm no better than someone like Fan Kuai!"

〈朝,朝見也。從,從遊也。〉〈鞅鞅,志不滿也。絳侯周勃、灌將軍嬰。〉〈爲信怨望謀反張本。〉

(This passage states that Han Xin did not 朝從. 朝 means "to attend court", while 從 means "to accompany on trips".

To be disgruntled is to be unsatisfied that one's ambitions are unfulfilled.

This passage states that Han Xin felt himself no better off than Jiang and Guan. Jiang refers to the Marquis of Jiang, Zhou Bo; Guan refers to the general Guan Ying.

This was why Han Xin, burning with resentment, later plotted rebellion.)


高祖五年
反,廢。(Records of the Grand Historian 17, Annual Timeline of the Han Princes)

In the fifth year of Liu Bang's reign (202 BC), Han Xin rebelled. He was stripped of his title as King of Chu.

訊信反無驗。黜信為淮陰侯。(Records of Former Han 3, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

After investigation, Liu Bang determined that Han Xin had not been planning to rebel. But he still demoted Han Xin's title to Marquis of Huaiyin.

至雒陽,赦信罪,以為淮陰侯。信知漢王畏惡其能,常稱病不朝從。信由此日夜怨望,居常鞅鞅,羞與絳、灌等列。信嘗過樊將軍噲,噲跪拜送迎,言稱臣,曰:「大王乃肯臨臣!」信出門,笑曰:「生乃與噲等為伍!」(Records of the Grand Historian 92, Biography of Han Xin)

Liu Bang then returned to Luoyang. He pardoned Han Xin, but demoted his title to Marquis of Huaiyin.

Han Xin knew that Liu Bang feared and suspected him because of his abilities. So he often claimed to be ill in order to avoid attending court or accompanying Liu Bang on trips. Day and night, his resentment and anger grew. He usually stayed at home, feeling disgruntled and ashamed that his status was the same as people like Zhou Bo or Guan Ying.

On one occasion, as Han Xin was passing by Fan Kuai, Fan Kuai knelt down and performed obeisance to him. Addressing himself as "your servant", Fan Kuai said things like, "Great King, you grace your servant with your presence!"

But when Han Xin went out of the gate, he laughed and said, "Now I'm no better than someone like Fan Kuai!"

至雒陽,赦以為淮陰侯。信知漢王畏惡其能,稱疾不朝從。由此日怨望,居常鞅鞅,羞與絳、灌等列。嘗過樊將軍噲,噲趨拜送迎,言稱臣,曰:「大王乃肯臨臣。」信出門,笑曰:「生乃與噲等為伍!」(Book of Han 34, Biography of Han Xin)

Liu Bang then returned to Luoyang. He pardoned Han Xin, but demoted his title to Marquis of Huaiyin.

Han Xin knew that Liu Bang feared and suspected him because of his abilities. So he often claimed to be ill in order to avoid attending court or accompanying Liu Bang on trips. Day and night, his resentment and anger grew. He usually stayed at home, feeling disgruntled and ashamed that his status was the same as people like Zhou Bo or Guan Ying.

On one occasion, as Han Xin was passing by Fan Kuai, Fan Kuai knelt down and performed obeisance to him. Addressing himself as "your servant", Fan Kuai said things like, "Great King, you grace your servant with your presence."

But when Han Xin went out of the gate, he laughed and said, "Now I'm no better than someone like Fan Kuai!"


上嘗從容與信言諸將能兵多少。上問曰:「如我能將幾何?」信曰:「陛下不過能將十萬。」上曰:「於君何如?」曰:「臣多多而益善耳。」上笑曰:「多多益善,何爲爲我禽?」信曰:「陛下不能將兵而善將將,此乃信之所以爲陛下禽也。且陛下,所謂『天授,非人力』也。」

5. Sometime after this, Liu Bang was casually asking Han Xin about the relative merits of his generals. Liu Bang asked him, "How many soldiers do you think that I could command?"

Han Xin replied, "Your Majesty could command no more than a hundred thousand."

Liu Bang asked, "And yourself?"

Han Xin replied, "For me? The more the better."

Liu Bang laughed and said, "The more the better, eh? If you are so great a general, then how was it that I was able to make you my prisoner?"

Han Xin replied, "That was because Your Majesty's skill lies not in commanding soldiers, but in commanding generals. Thus you were able to take me captive. Besides, Your Majesty's endeavors are just like that saying: 'guided not by mortal strength, but by the will of Heaven'."

上問韓信曰。公相我能將幾何。信曰。陛下不過能將十萬。又問韓信。公能將幾何。對曰。臣多多益辦耳。上曰。何為為我臣。信曰。陛下雖不能將兵。而善將將。此所謂天授。非人力也。(Records of Former Han 3, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

At some point, Liu Bang asked Han Xin, "How many soldiers do you think that I could command?"

Han Xin replied, "Your Majesty could command no more than a hundred thousand."

Liu Bang asked, "And yourself?"

Han Xin replied, "For me? The more the better."

Liu Bang said, "Then why is it that you serve me?"

Han Xin replied, "Because Your Majesty's skill lies not in commanding soldiers, but in commanding generals. Your Majesty's endeavors are just like that saying: 'guided not by mortal strength, but by the will of Heaven'."

上常從容與信言諸將能不,各有差。上問曰:「如我能將幾何?」信曰:「陛下不過能將十萬。」上曰:「於君何如?」曰:「臣多多而益善耳。」上笑曰:「多多益善,何為為我禽?」信曰:「陛下不能將兵,而善將將,此乃言之所以為陛下禽也。且陛下所謂天授,非人力也。」(Records of the Grand Historian 92, Biography of Han Xin)

Liu Bang was in the habit of casually asking Han Xin about the relative merits of his generals. One time, Liu Bang asked him, "How many soldiers do you think that I could command?"

Han Xin replied, "Your Majesty could command no more than a hundred thousand."

Liu Bang asked, "And yourself?"

Han Xin replied, "For me? The more the better."

Liu Bang laughed and said, "The more the better, eh? If you are so great a general, then how was it that I was able to make you my prisoner?"

Han Xin replied, "That was because Your Majesty's skill lies not in commanding soldiers, but in commanding generals. Thus you were able to take me captive. Besides, Your Majesty's endeavors are just like that saying: 'guided not by mortal strength, but by the will of Heaven'."

上嘗從容與信言諸將能各有差。上問曰:「如我,能將幾何?」信曰:「陛下不過能將十萬。」上曰:「如公何如?」曰:「如臣,多多益辦耳。」上笑曰:「多多益辦,何為為我禽?」信曰:「陛下不能將兵,而善將將,此乃信之為陛下禽也。且陛下所謂天授,非人力也。」(Book of Han 34, Biography of Han Xin)

On one occasion, Liu Bang was asking Han Xin about the relative merits of his generals. Liu Bang asked him, "How many soldiers do you think that I could command?"

Han Xin replied, "Your Majesty could command no more than a hundred thousand."

Liu Bang asked, "And yourself?"

Han Xin replied, "For me? The more the better."

Liu Bang laughed and said, "The more the better, eh? If you are so great a general, then how was it that I was able to make you my prisoner?"

Han Xin replied, "That was because Your Majesty's skill lies not in commanding soldiers, but in commanding generals. Thus you were able to take me captive. Besides, Your Majesty's endeavors are just like that saying: 'guided not by mortal strength, but by the will of Heaven'."


甲申,始剖符封諸功臣爲徹侯。蕭何封酇侯,所食邑獨多。功臣皆曰:「臣等身被堅執銳,多者百餘戰,小者數十合。今蕭何未嘗有汗馬之勞,徒持文墨議論,顧反居臣等上,何也?」帝曰:「諸君知獵乎?夫獵,追殺獸兔者,狗也;而發縱指示獸處者,人也。今諸君徒能得走獸耳,功狗也;至如蕭何,發縱指示,功人也。」羣臣皆不敢言。張良爲謀臣,亦無戰鬬功;帝使自擇齊三萬戶。良曰:「始,臣起下邳,與上會留,此天以臣授陛下;陛下用臣計,幸而時中。臣願封留足矣,不敢當三萬戶。」乃封張良爲留侯。封陳平爲戶牖侯,平辭曰:「此非臣之功也。」上曰:「吾用先生謀,戰勝克敵,非功而何?」平曰:「非魏無知,臣安得進?」上曰:「若子,可謂不背本矣!」乃復賞魏無知。

6. On the day Jiashen, Liu Bang began to carve seals to grant to his various accomplished ministers to entitle them to noble fiefs.

Liu Bang appointed Xiao He as Marquis of Zan, and Xiao He had the largest fief of anyone. Liu Bang's other accomplished ministers complained to him about this. They said, "We were the ones who personally braved the dangers and faced the perils of battle; the greatest of us fought in more than a hundred battles, and even the lesser ones fought in dozens. Xiao He is merely a man of ink and letters, a councilor who has never once experienced the toil of sweating horses. Yet you would rank him above us all? How can that be?"

Liu Bang told them, "Aren't you fellows familiar with how hunting works? In hunting, it's the dog who chases after the wild hares and kills them, while it's the hunter who lets the dogs loose and shows them which way to go. You fellows can claim only the dog's credit for having chased after the prey, but Xiao He is the hunter who has allowed you to do your work and shown you where to go."

The others did not dare to reply.

Zhang Liang, having been an advisor, had also never actually participated in battle. Even so, Liu Bang was prepared to grant him a fief of thirty thousand households of his own choice from the Qi region. But Zhang Liang declined, saying, "I originally rose up with troops at Xiapi and then met Your Majesty at Liu. That was the hand of Heaven placing me at Your Majesty's disposal. It has already been enough of a blessing to me for Your Majesty to have employed my strategies. Just make me the Marquis of Liu, and that will be quite enough. I dare not accept a fief of thirty thousand households." So Liu Bang appointed him as Marquis of Liu.

Liu Bang appointed Chen Ping as Marquis of Huyou. Chen Ping objected, saying, "My achievements are not worth mentioning."

Liu Bang said, "But when I used your strategies, I was victorious in battle and smashed my enemies. How then can you claim no achievement?"

Chen Ping replied, "If it had not been for Wei Wuzhi, how could I have done anything?"

Liu Bang said, "Sir, you truly never turn your back on a friend!" And he granted rewards to Wei Wuzhi as well.

〈師古曰:剖,破也;與其合符而分授之也。〉〈班《志》,酇縣屬南陽郡。〉〈按班《書‧功臣表》:蕭何封酇,八千戶,而曹參封平陽,張良封留,皆萬戶,宜不得言何封邑獨多。蓋參以十二月甲申封,何以正月丙午封;功臣言何居上其意不能平者,特同日受封樊、酈、絳、灌諸人耳。張良亦以丙午封。諸人言何而不言良者,蓋高祖先使良自擇齊三萬戶,而良止受留萬戶,故不敢言也。〉〈師古曰:發縱,謂解紲而放之也。指示,以手指示之,今俗言放狗。縱,子用翻;而讀者乃爲蹤蹟之「蹤」,非也,書本皆不爲「蹤」字;自有逐蹤之狗,不待人發也。洪氏《隸釋》曰:元祐中,洺州治河堤,得《漢北海淳于長夏君碑》,其辭有曰「紹縱先軌」。又《北軍中候郭仲奇碑》,云「有山甫之縱」,又云「徽縱顯」,又《司隸校尉魯峻碑》,云「比縱豹、產」,又《圉令趙君碑》,云「羨其縱」,《外黃令高彪碑》,云「莫與比縱」,皆以「縱」爲「蹤」。《蕭何傳》:「發縱指示獸處。」顏師古《註》云:書本皆不爲「蹤」字,讀者乃爲蹤蹟之「蹤」,非也。據此數碑,則漢人固多借用;顏氏之《註》殆未然也。〉〈見八卷秦二世二年。〉〈戶牖,鄕名,屬陳留郡陽武縣。徐廣曰:陽武屬魏地。戶牖,今爲東昏縣,屬陳留。《索隱》曰:徐廣云:陽武屬魏,而《地理志》屬河南郡,蓋後陽武屬梁國耳。徐又云:戶牖,今爲東昏縣,屬陳留,與班《書‧地理志》同。按是秦時戶牖鄕屬陽武,至漢以戶牖鄕爲東昏縣,隸陳留郡也。《括地志》:東昏故城,在汴州陳留縣東北九十里。陳平亦十二月甲申封。〉〈平因無知見上事見九卷二年。〉

(Yan Shigu remarked, "To carve means to sever; Liu Bang carved these tallies and seals and distributed them."

According to the Book of Han, Zan county was part of Nanyang commandary.

According to the List of Accomplished Ministers in the Book of Han, Xiao He had a fief of eight thousand households when he was appointed as Marquis of Zan. Yet at that same time, Cao Can had been appointed as Marquis of Pingyang and Zhang Liang as Marquis of Liu, and both of them had been granted a fief of ten thousand households. So this passage should not claim that Xiao He had "the largest fief of anyone". It must have been that Cao Can was granted his fief at this time, the Jiashen day of the twelfth month, while Xiao He was not granted his fief until the Bingwu day of the following month. And the accomplished ministers must have been objecting that Xiao He's fief was "above" the level that he personally deserved, especially considering that this was the same day that Fan Kuai, Li Shang, Zhou Bo, and Guan Ying were granted their fiefs. Zhang Liang also received his appointment on the Bingwu day, but we see no record of anyone objecting to his exceptionally large fief. That must have been because although Liu Bang had originally offered him the thirty thousand households, Zhang Liang had declined that and accepted merely ten thousand households as Marquis of Liu, so no one dared to object to it.

[Long commentary about hunting terms.]

Zhang Liang had originally met and joined Liu Bang at Liu, as mentioned in Book 8, in the second year of the Second Emperor of Qin's reign (-208.18).

Huyou was the name of a district in Yangwu county in Chenliu commandary. Xu Guang remarked, "Yangwu was part of the Wei region. Huyou was the modern Donghun county, part of Chenliu commandary." The Suoyin commentary to the Records of the Grand Historian states, "Despite Xu Guang's claim, the Geographical Records states that Yangwu was part of Henan commandary. It simply must have been the case that Yangwu was later shifted to be part of the Liang princely fief. And as for Xu Guang's claim about Huyou, this is the same thing that the Geographical Records of the Book of Han states. So it must've been the case that during the Qin dynasty, Huyou district was part of Yangwu, and then later during the Han dynasty it became a district in Donghun county, which was administered by Chenliu commandary.” The Comprehensive Gazetteer states, “The capital city of Donghun was ninety li northeast of Chenliu county in Bianzhou."

Chen Ping also received his appointment on the Jiashen day of the twelfth month.

Wei Wuzhi had been the one to recommend Chen Ping to Liu Bang, as mentioned in Book 9, in the second year of Liu Bang's reign (-205.13).)


封蕭何為酇侯。父母兄弟封侯食邑者十餘人。以蕭何舉宗從征伐故也。封曹參為平陽侯。張良為留侯。陳平為戶牖侯... 周勃為絳侯。樊噲為舞陽侯。酈商為武成侯。食其子疥從征伐。以父故。封疥為高梁侯。夏侯嬰為汝陰侯。灌嬰為潁陽侯。周昌為汾陰侯... 封王陵為定國侯。陵始為縣豪。上兄事之。以其從上晚。故後行封。凡百四十有三人。是時民人散亡。居可得而數者纔十二三。是以大侯不過萬戶。小者不過五六百戶。封爵之日誓曰。使黃河如帶。太山如礪。國以永存。爰及苗裔。又申以丹書之信。重以白馬之盟。作八十侯之位次。陳平之始封。平辭曰。非臣之功也。上曰。吾用先生之謀。戰勝克敵。非功而何。對曰。非魏無知。安得進。上曰。若子可謂不背本矣。乃復賞無知... 以蕭何功最高。群臣皆曰。臣等被甲執兵。多者百餘戰。攻城略地。各有等差。蕭何無有汗馬之勞。徒持文物論議而已。今居臣等上。何也。上曰。諸君知獵乎。發縱指示獸者。人也。追得獸者。狗也。諸君徒能走得獸。功狗也。蕭何發縱。功人也。(Records of Former Han 3, Annals of Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang))

Liu Bang appointed Xiao He as Marquis of Zan, and he granted fiefs to Xiao He's parents and siblings, more than ten people in all, and appointed them as marquises as well. This was because Xiao He had sent out his family to support Liu Bang on his campaigns as well.

As for his other subordinates, Liu Bang appointed Cao Can as Marquis of Pingyang, Zhang Liang as Marquis of Liu, Chen Ping as Marquis of Huyou, Zhou Bo as Marquis of Jiang, Fan Kuai as Marquis of Wuyang, Li Shang as Marquis of Wucheng, Xiahou Ying as Marquis of Ruyin, Guan Ying as Marquis of Yingyang, and Zhou Chang as Marquis of Fenyin.

Li Yiji's son Li Jie had also accompanied Liu Bang on his campaigns. So in recognition of both his service and that of his father Li Yiji, Li Jie was appointed as Marquis of Gaoliang.

Liu Bang appointed Wang Ling as Marquis Dingguo. Wang Ling had originally raised the forces of a county to support Liu Bang, and Liu Bang had treated him like an elder brother. But Wang Ling had been a latecomer to Liu Bang's cause, so he was not appointed to a fief until later.

In all, Liu Bang granted fiefs to 143 people.

By this time, many people had scattered across the realm as refugees, such that barely twenty to thirty percent of the residents of any given place could actually be countered and registered. Thus the greater marquises had fiefs of no more than ten thousand households, and the lesser ones had fiefs of no more than five or six hundred.

On the day when Liu Bang granted these appointments, he swore this oath as well: "May the Yellow River serve as our belt and Mount Tai serve as our whetstone. May our state endure forever and our legacy pass down to our descendants." And he displayed his oath on a red letter, to confirm the alliance sworn at Baima.

When Liu Bang was granting the titles to the eighty people he appointed as marquises, he granted the first appointment to Chen Ping. Chen Ping objected, saying, "My achievements are not worth mentioning."

Liu Bang said, "But when I used your strategies, I was victorious in battle and smashed my enemies. How then can you claim no achievement?"

Chen Ping replied, "If it had not been for Wei Wuzhi, how could I have done anything?"

Liu Bang said, "Sir, you truly never turn your back on a friend." And he granted rewards to Wei Wuzhi as well.

Liu Bang reckoned Xiao He to have achieved the most of all his subjects. But Liu Bang's other accomplished ministers said to him, "We were the ones who actually wore armor and wielded weapons; the greatest of us fought in more than a hundred battles, and even the lesser ones fought in dozens. In assaulting cities and conquering regions, we each can claim our share. But Xiao He has never once experienced the toil of sweating horses; he is merely a civil bureaucrat and a councilor. Yet you would rank him above us all? How can that be?"

Liu Bang told them, "Aren't you fellows familiar with how hunting works? In hunting, it's the dog who chases after the beasts and kills them, while it's the hunter who lets the dogs loose and shows them which way to go. You fellows can claim only the dog's credit for having chased after the prey, but Xiao He is the hunter who has allowed you to do your work."

漢五年,既殺項羽,定天下,論功行封。群臣爭功,歲餘功不決。高祖以蕭何功最盛,封為酇侯,所食邑多。功臣皆曰:「臣等身被堅執銳,多者百餘戰,少者數十合,攻城掠地,大小各有差。今蕭何未嘗有汗馬之勞,徒持文墨議論,不戰,顧反居臣等上,何也?」高帝曰:「諸君知獵乎?」曰:「知之。」「知獵狗乎?」曰:「知之。」高帝曰:「夫獵,追殺獸兔者狗也,而發蹤指示獸處者人也。今諸君徒能得走獸耳,功狗也。至如蕭何,發蹤指示,功人也。且諸君獨以身隨我,多者兩三人。今蕭何舉宗數十人皆隨我,功不可忘也。」群臣皆莫敢言。(Records of the Grand Historian 53, Biography of Xiao He)

By the fifth year of Liu Bang's reign (202 BC), he had killed Xiang Yu and settled the realm. He was discussing the achievements of his subordinates and distributing fiefs to them. His subordinates all fought over who had achieved the most, and for more than a year no clear answer was reached.

Liu Bang felt that Xiao He's achievements were the greatest of all. So he appointed Xiao He as Marquis of Zan, and his fief was the largest one. But the other ministers objected, saying, "We were the ones who personally braved the dangers and faced the perils of battle; the greatest of us fought in more than a hundred battles, and even the lesser ones fought in dozens. In assaulting cities and conquering regions, we each can claim our share. But Xiao He is merely a man of ink and letters, a councilor who has never once experienced the toil of sweating horses or fought in a battle. Yet you would rank him above us all? How can that be?"

Liu Bang told them, "Do you know of hunting?"

They said, "We do."

Liu Bang added, "And you know of the hunting dog?"

They said, "We do."

Liu Bang continued, "In hunting, it's the dog who chases after the wild hares and kills them, while it's the hunter who lets the dogs loose and shows them where the beast is. You fellows can claim only the dog's credit for having chased after the prey, but Xiao He is the hunter who has allowed you to do your work and shown you where to go. Besides, you gentlemen have only supported me in your own persons; at best, you brought another two or three people as well. But Xiao He sent dozens of members of his clan to support me at the front. That is an achievement which cannot be forgotten."

The others did not dare to reply.

漢五年,已殺項羽,即皇帝位,論功行封,群臣爭功,歲餘不決。上以何功最盛,先封為酇侯,食邑八千戶。功臣皆曰:「臣等身被堅執兵,多者百餘戰,少者數十合,攻城略地,大小各有差。今蕭何未有汗馬之勞,徒持文墨議論,不戰,顧居臣等上,何也?」上曰:「諸君知獵