Zizhi Tongjian: The Han Dynasty (In Progress)

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BOOK 13

Unread postby Taishi Ci 2.0 » Fri Dec 06, 2019 4:05 pm

七年(庚申、前一八一)

The Seventh Year of Lü Zhi's Reign (The Gengshen or Metal Monkey Year, 181 BC)


冬,十二月,匈奴寇狄道,略二千餘人。

1. In winter, the twelfth month (of 182 BC), the Xiongnu once again raided Didao, this time kidnapping more than two thousand people.

七年冬十二月。匈奴寇狄道。(Records of Former Han 6, Annals of Empress Gao (Lü Zhi))

In the seventh year of Lü Zhi's reign (181 BC), in winter, the twelfth month (of 182 BC), the Xiongnu once again raided Didao.


春,正月,太后召趙幽王友。友以諸呂女爲后,弗愛,愛他姬。諸呂女怒,去,讒之於太后曰︰「王言『呂氏安得王!太后百歲後,吾必擊之。』」太后以故召趙王。趙王至,置邸,不得見,令衞圍守之,弗與食;其羣臣或竊饋,輒捕論之。丁丑,趙王餓死,以民禮葬之長安民冢次。

2. In spring, the first month, Lü Zhi summoned the Prince of Zhao, Liu You, to the capital.

Liu You had taken a woman of the Lü clan to be his Princess, but he did not love her, preferring one of his concubines instead. His wife, incensed, left and slandered him to Lü Zhi, telling her, "I have heard the Prince saying, 'How could members of the Lü clan be made princes? Once the Empress Dowager is no more, I shall surely attack them.'" This was why Lü Zhi had summoned Liu You.

When Liu You arrived, Lü Zhi confined him to his residence and would not allow anyone to meet with him. She ordered guards to keep watch over the house and not to let any food be brought in. Whenever some of Liu You's subordinates snuck food into the residence, they were charged with crimes.

On the day Dingchou, Liu You starved to death. He was buried in a common graveyard at Chang'an, with the rites suited to a commoner. He was later known as Prince You ("the Hidden") of Zhao.

〈惠帝元年,友自淮陽徙王趙。〉〈言置之趙邸也。師古曰︰郡國朝宿之舍在京師者率名邸。邸,至也,言所歸至也。〉〈捕其饋者,以罪論之。〉

(Liu You had originally been Prince of Huaiyang. In the first year of Emperor Hui's reign (194 BC), Lü Zhi had shifted Liu You to be the new Prince of Zhao.

This passage means that Lü Zhi posted Liu You in his residence as Prince of Zhao. Yan Shigu remarked, "Such residences were prepared for when princes and nobles from the fiefs and commandaries came to the capital to attend court. The term 邸 'residence' means 至 'arrived', since they were arriving from afar."

Liu You's servants were charged with crimes if they smuggled in food for him.)


春正月趙王友死于邸。呂氏女為趙王后王后妒。讒王於高后曰。呂氏安得王。太后百年後。吾必擊之。高后怒之。至邸。令衛士圍之。不得食遂幽死。以民禮葬之長安。諡為幽王。(Records of Former Han 6, Annals of Empress Gao (Lü Zhi))

In spring, the first month, the Prince of Zhao, Liu You, died at his residence in the capital.

Liu You had taken a woman of the Lü clan to be his Princess. Out of jealously, she slandered him to Lü Zhi, telling her, "I have heard the Prince saying, 'How could members of the Lü clan be made princes? Once the Empress Dowager is no more, I shall surely attack them.'" Lü Zhi, angered, summoned Liu You to the capital.

When Liu You arrived, Lü Zhi confined him to his residence. She ordered guards to keep the house surrounded and not to let any food be brought in. Liu You eventually starved to death. He was buried at Chang'an, with the rites suited to a commoner, and given the posthumous name Prince You.

其明年,趙王友入朝,幽死于邸。三趙王皆廢。(Records of the Grand Historian 52, Biography of Liu Xiang)

The following year (180 BC, but this seems to be an error), the Prince of Qi, Liu You, came to court, where he died in obscurity at his residence. Thus three Princes of Zhao (Liu Ruyi, Liu You, and Liu Hui) had all been deposed.

凡立十四年。友以諸呂女為后,不愛,愛它姬。諸呂女怒去,讒之於太后曰:「王曰『呂氏安得王?太后百歲後,吾必擊之。』」太后怒,以故召趙王。趙王至,置邸不見,令衛圍守之,不得食。其群臣或竊饋之,輒捕論之。趙王餓,乃歌曰:「諸呂用事兮,劉氏微;迫脅王侯兮,彊授我妃。我妃既妒兮,誣我以惡;讒女亂國兮,上曾不寤。我無忠臣兮,何故棄國?自快中野兮,蒼天與直!于嗟不可悔兮,寧早自賊!為王餓死兮,誰者憐之?呂氏絕理兮,託天報仇!」遂幽死。以民禮葬之長安。(Book of Han 38, Biography of Liu You)

Liu You was Prince of Zhao for thirteen years (194-181 BC).

Liu You had taken a woman of the Lü clan to be his Princess, but he did not love her, preferring one of his concubines instead. His wife, incensed, left and slandered him to Lü Zhi, telling her, "I have heard the Prince saying, 'How could members of the Lü clan be made princes? Once the Empress Dowager is no more, I shall surely attack them.'" This angered Lü Zhi, and she summoned Liu You to the capital.

When Liu You arrived, Lü Zhi confined him to his residence and would not allow anyone to meet with him. She ordered guards to keep watch over the house and not to let any food be brought in. Whenever some of Liu You's subordinates snuck food into the residence, they were arrested and charged with crimes.

Liu You slowly starved. He sang a song to himself: "How ruthless are the the Lü clan, oh! how lowly now are we. And now I too shall be undone, by wife, my enemy. A villain she would make of me, her envy my demise; oh! the ruses of a woman, so rarely realized! Was I not a faithful son, loyal to my sire? Why then shall I lose my fief, and in this place expire? Oh! ye Heavens, tell me true: shall this be my fate? If only my life I had taken, I might be spared this wait! Alas, regrets are no avail, and none shall for me mourn; who'll pity me, although I starve, since I was princely born? Oh! ye Heavens, I have just a single plea: revenge! Smite the Lü clan for their crimes, and thus my death avenge!"

Not long after this, he died in obscurity. He was buried at Chang'an, with the rites suited to a commoner. He was later known as Prince You of Zhao.


己丑,日食,晝晦。太后惡之,謂左右曰︰「此爲我也!」

3. On the day Jichou, there was a total eclipse. Lü Zhi was disturbed by this event, telling those around her, "This is about me!"

己丑晦。日有食之。既在營室九度。為宮室之中。高后惡之。曰此為我也。(Records of Former Han 6, Annals of Empress Gao (Lü Zhi))

On the last day of the first month, the day Jichou, there was a total eclipse; of the nine chambers of the astrological regions, it was within the palace chamber. Lü Zhi was disturbed by this event, saying, "This is about me!"


二月,徙梁王恢爲趙王,呂王產梁王。梁王不之國,爲帝太傅。

4. In the second month, Lü Zhi shifted the Prince of Liang, Liu Bang's son Liu Hui, to be the new Prince of Zhao.

Lü Zhi also appointed Lü Chan to be the new Prince of Liang. But Lü Chan did not leave to go to his fief, but stayed in Chang'an and served as the Grand Tutor.

高后七年
徙王趙。呂產徙王梁。(Records of the Grand Historian 17, Annual Timeline of the Han Princes)

In the seventh year of Lü Zhi's reign (181 BC), Lü Zhi shifted Liu Hui to be the Prince of Zhao, and she shifted Lü Chan to be the Prince of Liang.

台弟產為梁王... 後徙梁王恢為趙王。(Records of Former Han 6, Annals of Empress Gao (Lü Zhi))

In the first year of her reign (187 BC), in the tenth month (of 188 BC), Lü Zhi appointed Lü Tai's younger brother Lü Chan as Prince of Liang.

Later, Lü Zhi shifted the Prince of Liang, Liu Hui, to be the new Prince of Zhao.

十六年,趙幽王死,呂后徙恢王趙。(Book of Han 38, Biography of Liu Hui)

Liu Hui was Prince of Liang for fifteen years (196-181 BC). In the fifteenth year (181 BC), after Prince You of Zhao (Liu You) died, Lü Zhi shifted Liu Hui to be the new Prince of Zhao.


秋,七月,丁巳,立平昌侯太爲濟川王。

5. In autumn, the seventh month, on the day Dingsi, Lü Zhi appointed the Marquis of Pingchang, Liu Tai, as Prince of Jichuan.

〈四年,封太爲昌平侯;班《表》亦作「昌平」,此誤以「平」字在上。濟川,卽濟南、濟北之地,蓋割齊封之。時太年幼,未嘗之國。〉

(Lü Zhi had earlier appointed Liu Tai as a marquis in the fourth year of her reign (-184.1), though that passage lists his title as Marquis of Changping. The Tables of the Book of Han also list his title as Marquis of Changping. This passage must have mistakenly reversed the characters as Pingchang.

Jichuan was the region between Jibei and Jinan; it must have been carved out from the fief of the Prince of Qi in order to be given to Liu Tai.

Since Liu Tai was still young, he never went out to his fief.)


呂X女爲將軍、營陵侯劉澤妻。澤者,高祖從祖昆弟也。齊人田生爲之說大謁者張卿曰︰「諸呂之王也,諸大臣未大服。今營陵侯澤,諸劉最長;今卿言太后王之,呂氏王益固矣。」張卿入言太后,太后然之,乃割齊之琅邪郡封澤爲琅邪王。

6. Lü Zhi's sister Lü Xu's daughter married the general and Marquis of Yingling, Liu Ze.

This Liu Ze was Liu Bang's second cousin. A native of Qi, Tian Sheng, had advised the Grand Diplomat, Zhang Qiu, "The great ministers may not necessarily go along with the members of the Lü clan being made princes. But there is the Marquis of Yingling, Liu Ze, who is the eldest of all the living members of the Liu clan. If you will convince the Empress Dowager to make him a prince, then the positions of the princes of the Lü clan will be secured."

Zhang Qiu then went and conveyed this advice to Lü Zhi, who agreed, so she carved out part of the fief of the Prince of Qi to make a new fief as Prince of Langye and then appointed Liu Ze as Prince of Langye.

〈班《志》,營陵縣屬北海郡,或曰營丘。應劭曰︰師尚父封於營丘。陵,亦丘也。臣瓚曰︰營丘,卽臨淄、營陵,《春秋》謂之緣陵。師古曰︰臨菑、營陵皆故營丘地。《括地志》︰營陵故城,在青州北海縣南三十里。〉〈張卿,卽前大謁者張釋也。〉〈秦滅齊,以瀕海之地置琅邪郡;漢因之。《考異》曰︰《史記‧世家》、《漢書‧列傳》,皆云田生先說張卿令風大臣立呂產爲呂王,然後說令王澤。按太后自以呂王嘉驕恣廢之,以產代爲呂王,非始封於呂;又諸呂之王已久,何必待田生之謀!以此不取。〉

(According to the Book of Han, Yingling county was part of Beihai commandary; it was also called Yingqiu. Ying Shao remarked, "Shi Shangfu (Jiang Ziya) was granted his fief at Yingqiu. Ling ‘mound’ and Qiu ‘hillock’ are synonyms." Chen Zan remarked, "Yingqiu was the same place as Linzi and Yingling; the Spring and Autumn Annals refers to it as Yuanling." Yan Shigu remarked, "Linzi and Yingling were both originally the Yingqiu region." The Comprehensive Gazetteer states, "The capital city of Yingling was thirty li south of Beihai county in Qingzhou."

The Zhang Qiu mentioned in this passage must have been the Zhang Shi mentioned earlier, who was also identified as Grand Diplomat.

After the state of Qin had conquered the state of Qi, they had organized the part of the seashore in Qi as Langye commandary. The Han dynasty maintained this classification.

Sima Guang's commentary in the Textual Analysis states, "The Biography of Liu Ze in the Records of the Grand Historian and the Imperial Marital Relatives chapter in the Book of Han both claim that Tian Sheng first advised Zhang Qiu to have Lü Zhi induce the chief ministers to appoint Lü Chan as Prince of Lü, and that only afterwards did he advise Zhang Qiu to have Lü Zhi appoint Liu Ze as a prince. But specifically, these accounts are wrong because we have already seen that Lü Zhi had appointed Lü Chan as Prince of Lü on her own initiative, after having deposed Lü Jia from that title for his arrogance and lack of restraint. And generally, Lü Zhi had already appointed members of the Lü clan as princes long before this time; she hardly needed to have waited for this Tian Sheng to offer his advice before she did so! So I do not include those parts of the accounts.")


高后七年
初置琅邪國。王澤元年。故營陵侯。(Records of the Grand Historian 17, Annual Timeline of the Han Princes)

In the seventh year of Lü Zhi's reign (181 BC), Lü Zhi created the new title Prince of Langye, and she appointed Liu Ze as Prince of Langye. He had previously been Marquis of Yingling.

立營陵侯劉澤為琅邪王。澤高帝族昆弟。本以將軍擊陳豨有功。故封齊。齊人田生嘗遊乏資。以干澤。澤以三百金為田生壽。乃謂太后所幸中謁者張釋卿曰。太后欲王諸呂。及重自發之。恐大臣不聽。今釋卿最幸於太后。何不諷大臣以聞太后。太后必喜。呂氏既王。萬戶侯亦釋卿有。釋卿從之。諸呂已為王。高后賜釋卿金千斤。釋卿以其半進田生。田生不受。又說曰。呂氏之王也。大臣未服。今劉澤於諸劉長。大臣所信。獨不見用。常有觖望也。今令太后裂地十餘縣以王之。彼喜而去。諸呂王益固矣。遂封澤為琅邪王。(Records of Former Han 6, Annals of Empress Gao (Lü Zhi))

Lü Zhi appointed the Marquis of Yingling, Liu Ze, as Prince of Langye.

This Liu Ze was Liu Bang's younger kinsman. He had originally performed well during the campaign against Chen Xi (in 197-196 BC), thus he had been granted his original title as Marquis of Yingling (in the Qi region).

A native of the Qi region, Tian Sheng, had once come to Liu Ze after running short of traveling funds, and Liu Ze had given him three hundred gold to sustain himself. Later, Tian Sheng advised the Palace Diplomat, Zhang Shiqiu, whom Lü Zhi favored, telling him, "I know that the Empress Dowager wishes to make princes of members of the Lü clan, and is on the point of doing it on her own authority, but is still afraid that the chief ministers will not obey her. Sir, you are the person whom the Empress Dowager favors most. Why not induce the great ministers to listen to the Empress Dowager's wishes? Then the Empress Dowager will surely be pleased, and when she appoints the members of her clan as princes, you too will gain a marquisate of ten thousand households."

Zhang Shiqiu did as Tian Sheng advised. Once the members of the Lü clan were appointed as princes, Lü Zhi gave Zhang Shiqiu a thousand catties of gold. He tried to give half of it to Tian Sheng, but Tian Sheng declined it.

Tian Sheng then advised him, "The great ministers may not necessarily go along with the members of the Lü clan being made princes. And there is Liu Ze, who is the eldest of all the living members of the Liu clan; the great ministers trust him. He has often seemed dissatisfied lately. If you will convince the Empress Dowager to carve out a dozen or so counties and grant them to him as a prince, he will be happy and go to his new fief, and then the positions of the princes of the Lü clan will be secured." Thus Lü Zhi appointed Liu Ze as Prince of Langye.

燕王劉澤者,諸劉遠屬也。高帝三年,澤為郎中。高帝十一年,澤以將軍擊陳豨,得王黃,為營陵侯。高后時,齊人田生游乏資,以畫干營陵侯澤。澤大說之,用金二百斤為田生壽。田生已得金,即歸齊。二年,澤使人謂田生曰:「弗與矣。」田生如長安,不見澤,而假大宅,令其子求事呂后所幸大謁者張子卿。居數月,田生子請張卿臨,親修具。張卿許往。田生盛帷帳共具,譬如列侯。張卿驚。酒酣,乃屏人說張卿曰:「臣觀諸侯王邸弟百餘,皆高祖一切功臣。今呂氏雅故本推轂高帝就天下,功至大,又親戚太后之重。太后春秋長,諸呂弱,太后欲立呂產為[呂]王,王代。太后又重發之,恐大臣不聽。今卿最幸,大臣所敬,何不風大臣以聞太后,太后必喜。諸呂已王,萬戶侯亦卿之有。太后心欲之,而卿為內臣,不急發,恐禍及身矣。」張卿大然之,乃風大臣語太后。太后朝,因問大臣。大臣請立呂產為呂王。太后賜張卿千斤金,張卿以其半與田生。田生弗受,因說之曰:「呂產王也,諸大臣未大服。今營陵侯澤,諸劉,為大將軍,獨此尚觖望。今卿言太后,列十餘縣王之,彼得王,喜去,諸呂王益固矣。」張卿入言,太后然之。乃以營陵侯劉澤為瑯邪王。瑯邪王乃與田生之國。田生勸澤急行,毋留。出關,太后果使人追止之,已出,即還。(Records of the Grand Historian 51, Biography of Liu Ze)

Liu Ze was a distant relative of the Liu clan. In the third year of Liu Bang's reign (204 BC), he appointed Liu Ze as a Household Gentleman. In the eleventh year (196 BC), Liu Ze served as a general in the campaign against Chen Xi, and he captured Wang Huang. He was appointed as Marquis of Yingling.

During the reign of Lü Zhi, a native of the Qi region, Tian Sheng, came to appeal to Liu Ze after running short of traveling funds. Liu Ze was greatly pleased by him, and he gave Tian Sheng two hundred catties of gold to sustain himself. After receiving this gold, Tian Sheng returned to the Qi region.

Two years later, Liu Ze sent someone to tell Tian Sheng, "If only I could be there with you."

Tian Sheng thus decided to go visit Chang'an again, where Liu Ze was still living. However, Tian Sheng did not go to see Liu Ze. Instead, he rented a large house, while ordering his son to build a rapport with one of Lü Zhi's favored ministers, the Grand Diplomat, Zhang Ziqiu. After several months of living in this house, Tian Sheng had his son invite Zhang Qiu to visit, while he personally arranged the house for his arrival. Zhang Qiu agreed to visit, and when he arrived, he saw that Tian Sheng's house was full of curtains, canopies, and other accessories of the kind suitied to a minor marquis. This display of opulence astonished Zhang Qiu.

After they were mellow from wine, Tian Sheng dismissed his attendants and said to Zhang Qiu, "I have seen more than a hundred such lodges in the capital, laid out for the various princes and nobles, all because of the great deeds they did on behalf of Gaozu (Liu Bang). Now the Lü clan too provided critical support to Emperor Gao and enabled him to gain the realm, and their achievements are vast indeed. The Empress Dowager herself is a member of the royal family by marriage. But she is getting on in years, and the Lü clan itself is rather weak. It is for that reason that she wishes to appoint Lü Chan as Prince of Lü. However, I fear that the chief ministers would not accept the Empress Dowager making such an important proposal as that. But Sir, she highly favors you, and the chief ministers respect you as well. Why not induce the chief ministers to agree to the Empress Dowager's request? That would surely please her, and after the Lü clan have been made princes, you yourself could be appointed as a marquis of ten thousand households. This is the Empress Dowager's sincere desire, and you are a close minister to her. Unless you act urgently, I fear you might suffer misfortune."

Zhang Qiu greatly agreed with Tian Sheng's thinking. So he induced the chief ministers to speak to Lü Zhi. When she held a court session and asked them what they wished to say, they requested that Lü Chan be appointed as Prince of Lü. Lü Zhi rewarded Zhang Qiu with a thousand catties of gold. He tried to give half of it to Tian Sheng, but Tian Sheng declined it.

Tian Sheng then advised him, "The great ministers may not necessarily go along with Lü Chan being made a prince. And there is the Marquis of Yingling, Liu Ze, who is a member of the Liu clan and has served as a great general. He has often seemed dissatisfied lately. If you will convince the Empress Dowager to carve out a dozen or so counties and grant them to him as a prince, he will be happy and go to his new fief, and then the positions of the princes of the Lü clan will be secured."

Zhang Qiu went and spoke to Lü Zhi about this, and she agreed with the proposal. So she appointed Liu Ze as Prince of Langye.

Liu Ze planned to bring Tian Sheng with him to his new fief. Tian Sheng urged Liu Ze to head out at once and not to linger. By the time that Liu Ze had gone east of the passes, Lü Zhi had reconsidered her decision and had indeed sent agents to chase after Liu Ze and stop him. But he was already gone, so they returned.

燕王劉澤,高祖從祖昆弟也。高祖三年,澤為郎中。十一年,以將軍擊陳豨將王黃,封為營陵侯。高后時,齊人田生游乏資,以畫奸澤。澤大說之,用金二百斤為田生壽。田生已得金,即歸齊。二歲,澤使人謂田生曰:「弗與矣。」田生如長安,不見澤,而假大宅,令其子求事呂后所幸大謁者張卿。居數月,田生子請張卿臨,親脩具。張卿往,見田生帷帳具置如列侯。張卿驚。酒酣,乃屏人說張卿曰:「臣觀諸侯邸第百餘,皆高帝一切功臣。今呂氏雅故本推轂高帝就天下,功至大,又有親戚太后之重。太后春秋長,諸呂弱,太后欲立呂產為呂王,王代。呂后又重發之,恐大臣不聽。今卿最幸,大臣所敬,何不風大臣以聞太后,太后必喜。諸呂以王,萬戶侯亦卿之有。太后心欲之,而卿為內臣,不急發,恐過及身矣。」張卿大然之,乃風大臣語太后。太后朝,因問大臣。大臣請立呂產為呂王。太后賜張卿千金,張卿以其半進田生。田生弗受,因說之曰:「呂產王也,諸大臣未大服。今營陵侯澤,諸劉長,為大將軍,獨此尚觖望。今卿言太后,裂十餘縣王之,彼得王喜,於諸呂王益固矣。」張卿入言之。又太后女弟呂須女亦為營陵侯妻,故遂立營陵侯澤為琅邪王。琅邪王與田生之國,急行毋留。出關,太后果使人追之。已出,即還。(Book of Han 35, Biography of Liu Ze)

Liu Ze was Liu Bang's second cousin. In the third year of Liu Bang's reign (204 BC), he appointed Liu Ze as a Household Gentleman. In the eleventh year (196 BC), Liu Ze served as a general in the campaign against Chen Xi, and he fought Chen Xi's general Wang Huang. He was appointed as Marquis of Yingling.

During the reign of Lü Zhi, a native of the Qi region, Tian Sheng, came to appeal to Liu Ze after running short of traveling funds. Liu Ze was greatly pleased by him, and he gave Tian Sheng two hundred catties of gold to sustain himself. After receiving this gold, Tian Sheng returned to the Qi region.

Two years later, Liu Ze sent someone to tell Tian Sheng, "If only I could be there with you."

Tian Sheng thus decided to go visit Chang'an again, where Liu Ze was still living. However, Tian Sheng did not go to see Liu Ze. Instead, he rented a large house, while ordering his son to build a rapport with one of Lü Zhi's favored ministers, the Grand Diplomat, Zhang Qiu. After several months of living in this house, Tian Sheng had his son invite Zhang Qiu to visit, while he personally arranged the house for his arrival. Zhang Qiu came to visit, and when he arrived, he saw that Tian Sheng's house was full of curtains, canopies, and other accessories of the kind suitied to a minor marquis. This display of opulence astonished Zhang Qiu.

After they were mellow from wine, Tian Sheng dismissed his attendants and said to Zhang Qiu, "I have seen more than a hundred such lodges in the capital, laid out for the various princes and nobles, all because of the great deeds they did on behalf of Emperor Gao (Liu Bang). Now the Lü clan too provided critical support to Emperor Gao and enabled him to gain the realm, and their achievements are vast indeed. The Empress Dowager herself is a member of the royal family by marriage. But she is getting on in years, and the Lü clan itself is rather weak. It is for that reason that she wishes to appoint Lü Chan as Prince of Lü. However, I fear that the chief ministers would not accept the Empress Dowager making such an important proposal as that. But Sir, she highly favors you, and the chief ministers respect you as well. Why not induce the chief ministers to agree to the Empress Dowager's request? That would surely please her, and after the Lü clan have been made princes, you yourself could be appointed as a marquis of ten thousand households. This is the Empress Dowager's sincere desire, and you are a close minister to her. Unless you act urgently, I fear you might suffer misfortune."

Zhang Qiu greatly agreed with Tian Sheng's thinking. So he induced the chief ministers to speak to Lü Zhi. When she held a court session and asked them what they wished to say, they requested that Lü Chan be appointed as Prince of Lü. Lü Zhi rewarded Zhang Qiu with a thousand catties of gold. He tried to give half of it to Tian Sheng, but Tian Sheng declined it.

Tian Sheng then advised him, "The great ministers may not necessarily go along with Lü Chan being made a prince. And there is the Marquis of Yingling, Liu Ze, who is a member of the Liu clan and has served as a great general. He has often seemed dissatisfied lately. If you will convince the Empress Dowager to carve out a dozen or so counties and grant them to him as a prince, he will be happy and go to his new fief, and then the positions of the princes of the Lü clan will be secured."

Zhang Qiu went and spoke to Lü Zhi about this. Lü Zhi had her younger sister Lü Xu marry her daughter to Liu Ze, and she appointed Liu Ze as Prince of Langye.

Liu Ze planned to bring Tian Sheng with him to his new fief. Tian Sheng urged Liu Ze to head out at once and not to linger. By the time that Liu Ze had gone east of the passes, Lü Zhi had reconsidered her decision and had indeed sent agents to chase after Liu Ze and stop him. But he was already gone, so they returned.

哀王八年,高后割齊瑯邪郡立營陵侯劉澤為瑯邪王。(Records of the Grand Historian 52, Biography of Liu Xiang)

In Liu Xiang's eighth year as Prince of Qi (181 BC), Lü Zhi carved off Langye commandary from Liu Xiang's fief to grant to the Marquis of Yingling, Liu Ze, as Prince of Langye.

高后七年,割齊琅邪郡,立營陵侯劉澤為琅邪王。(Book of Han 38, Biography of Liu Xiang)

In the seventh year of Lü Zhi's reign (181 BC), she carved off Langye commandary from Liu Xiang's fief to grant to the Marquis of Yingling, Liu Ze, as Prince of Langye.


趙王恢之徙趙,心懷不樂。太后以呂產女爲王后,王后從官皆諸呂,擅權,微伺趙王,趙王不得自恣。王有所愛姬,王后使酖殺之。六月,王不勝悲憤,自殺。太后聞之,以爲王用婦人棄宗廟禮,廢其嗣。

7. Liu Hui was unhappy with having been moved to Zhao. Lü Zhi had compelled him to marry the daughter of Lü Chan, and her accompanying officials were all members of the Lü clan as well. They monopolized power for themselves, while keeping a close watch on Liu Hui's activities, so that he could never do as he pleased. And though Liu Hui had a concubine whom he loved, his wife had her poisoned to death.

In the sixth month, unable to overcome his agitation and grief, Liu Hui killed himself. When Lü Zhi learned of this, she felt that Liu Hui had cast aside his duties to his lineage for the sake of a lover, so she stripped his heir of his title.

〈諸侯王有國,所以奉宗廟也。今恢以愛姬之故,至於自殺,故以棄宗廟禮罪之。〉

(When the nobles or princes were granted fiefs, they were expected to uphold their duties to the ancestral temple. Since Liu Hui had been so in love with his concubine that he had gone so far as to kill himself over her, Lü Zhi felt that he had committed a crime by neglecting his duties to his lineage.)


高后七年
自殺。(Records of the Grand Historian 17, Annual Timeline of the Han Princes)

In the seventh year of Lü Zhi's reign (181 BC), Liu You killed himself.

夏五月。尊昭靈夫人為昭靈后。武哀侯為武哀王。高帝姊宣成夫人為昭哀后。六月。趙王恢自殺。呂產女為趙王后。後宮皆諸呂女也。擅權。王不得自恣。王有愛姬。王后鴆而殺之。王怒。悲憂自殺。呂后以為用婦人言故自殺。無思奉宗廟之禮。廢其嗣。(Records of Former Han 6, Annals of Empress Gao (Lü Zhi))

In summer, the fifth month, Lü Zhi posthumously honored Lady Zhaoling (Liu Bang's mother) as Empress Zhaoling, she posthumously honored Marquis Wu'ai (Liu Bang's eldest brother Liu Bo) as Prince Wu'ai, and she posthumously honored Lady Xuancheng (Liu Bang's sistr) as Empress Zhao'ai.

In the sixth month, the Prince of Zhao, Liu Hui, killed himself.

Lü Zhi had compelled Liu Hui to marry the daughter of Lü Chan, and the women of his harem were all members of the Lü clan as well. They monopolized power for themselves, so that Liu Hui could never do as he pleased. And though Liu Hui had a concubine whom he loved, his wife had her poisoned to death.

Angered by the death of his wife and unable to overcome his agitation and grief, Liu Hui killed himself. Lü Zhi felt that Liu Hui had cast aside his duties to his lineage for the sake of a lover, so she stripped his heir of his title.

恢心不樂。太后以呂產女為趙王后,王后從官皆諸呂也,內擅權,微司趙王,王不得自恣。王有愛姬,王后鴆殺之。王乃為歌詩四章,令樂人歌之。王悲思,六月自殺。太后聞之,以為用婦人故自殺,無思奉宗廟禮,廢其嗣。(Book of Han 38, Biography of Liu Hui)

Liu Hui was unhappy with having been moved to Zhao. Lü Zhi had compelled him to marry the daughter of Lü Chan, and her accompanying officials were all members of the Lü clan as well. They monopolized power for themselves, while keeping a close watch on Liu Hui's activities, so that he could never do as he pleased. And though Liu Hui had a concubine whom he loved, his wife had her poisoned to death. Liu Hui wrote a song for her in four stanzas and ordered his musicians to sing it.

In the sixth month, unable to overcome his agitation and grief, Liu Hui killed himself. When Lü Zhi learned of this, she felt that Liu Hui had cast aside his duties to his lineage for the sake of a lover, so she stripped his heir of his title.


是時,諸呂擅權用事;朱虛侯章,年二十,有氣力,忿劉氏不得職。嘗入侍太后燕飲,太后令章爲酒吏。章自請曰︰「臣將種也,請得以軍法行酒。」太后曰︰「可。」酒酣,章請爲《耕田歌》;太后許之。章曰︰「深耕穊種,立曲欲疏;非其種者,鋤而去之!」太后默然。頃之,諸呂有一人醉,亡酒,章追,拔劍斬之而還,報曰︰「有亡酒一人,臣謹行法斬之!」太后左右皆大驚,業已許其軍法,無以罪也;因罷。自是之後,諸呂憚朱虛侯,雖大臣皆依朱虛侯,劉氏爲益強。

8. By now, the Lü clan completely monopolized affairs. Liu Zhang, who was nineteen years old and full of strength and energy, resented the pitiful state of the Liu clan.

On one occasion, when Liu Zhang was attending a feast held by Lü Zhi, she ordered him to serve as the Wine Overseer. Liu Zhang said, "Since I am an adult now, please allow me to carry out my role with the wine by upholding military regulations." Lü Zhi gave her consent.

After becoming mellow, Liu Zhang asked if he could sing a song of his own design, Ode of Plowing the Fields. Lü Zhi allowed it. Then Liu Zhang sang, "Deeply plow and plant your seeds, spread them out wherever one needs. And if any you'd rather not sprout, then root them up and cast them out!" Lü Zhi was left silent.

A short time later, one of the members of the Lü clan got drunk and began to stagger off. But Liu Zhang chased after him and, drawing his sword, decapitated the man. Then he returned and reported to Lü Zhi, "He was going to go out while drunk, so I have beheaded him according to the law!" Lü Zhi and those with her were greatly astonished at this behavior, but she had already agreed to let him enforce military regulations, so he had not actually committed a crime. He was dismissed.

From then on, the Lü clan all feared Liu Zhang. But although the chief ministers all supported him, the Liu clan became even more oppressed.

〈師古曰︰穊,稠也。穊種,言多生子孫也。疏立者,四散置之,令爲藩輔也。非其種者鋤而去之,以斥諸呂也。〉〈師古曰︰亡酒,避酒而逃亡也。〉

(Regarding the terms used in the Ode to Plowing the Fields, Yan Shigu remarked, "To 穊 means to sow; 'sowing the seeds' was a metaphor for having many sons and grandsons. And one 疏立 'spreads them out' by spreading them on every side in order to have them grow further. The line about 'root them up and cast them out' was a criticism of the Lü clan."

Yan Shigu remarked, "The term 亡酒 means 'going out while drunk'.")


朱虛侯章怒呂氏專權。侍宴。高后令章為酒令。章自請曰。臣將種也。請以軍法行酒令。后可之。酒酣。章進起舞曰。請為太后作歸田之歌。皇太后笑曰。汝安知田事。試說之。曰。深耕穊植。立苗欲疏。非其類者。鉗而去之。高后嘿然。有頃。諸呂有一人亡酒。章追斬之。太后及諸左右大驚。以前許章軍法。無以罪也。因罷。自是諸呂憚章。大臣皆依朱虛侯兄弟以為彊。(Records of Former Han 6, Annals of Empress Gao (Lü Zhi))

The Marquis of Zhuxu, Liu Zhang, hated how the Lü clan completely monopolized affairs.

On one occasion, when Liu Zhang was attending a feast held by Lü Zhi, she ordered him to serve as the Wine Overseer. Liu Zhang of his own volition said, "Since I am an adult now, please allow me to carry out my role with the wine by upholding military regulations." Lü Zhi gave her consent.

After becoming mellow, Liu Zhang got up to dance and said, "Please allow me to compose a Song of Going To The Fields for the Empress Dowager."

Lü Zhi laughed and said, "What do you know of farming? But you may give it a try."

Then Liu Zhang sang, "Deeply plow and plant your seeds, spread them out wherever one needs. And if any you'd rather not sprout, then root them up and cast them out!" Lü Zhi was left silent.

A short time later, one of the members of the Lü clan got drunk and began to stagger off. But Liu Zhang chased after him and decapitated the man. Lü Zhi and those with her were greatly astonished at this behavior, but she had already agreed to let him enforce military regulations, so he had not actually committed a crime. He was dismissed.

From then on, the Lü clan all feared Liu Zhang, while the chief ministers all supported him and his brother Liu Xingju as bold fellows.

高后立諸呂諸呂為三王,擅權用事。朱虛侯年二十,有氣力,忿劉氏不得職。嘗入待高后燕飲,高后令朱虛侯劉章為酒吏。章自請曰:「臣,將種也,請得以軍法行酒。」高后曰:「可。」酒酣,章進飲歌舞。已而曰:「請為太后言耕田歌。」高后兒子畜之,笑曰:「顧而父知田耳。若生而為王子,安知田乎?」章曰:「臣知之。」太后曰:「試為我言田。」章曰:「深耕穊種,立苗欲疏,非其種者,鉏而去之。」呂后默然。頃之,諸呂有一人醉,亡酒,章追,拔劍斬之,而還報曰:「有亡酒一人,臣謹行法斬之。」太后左右皆大驚。業已許其軍法,無以罪也。因罷。自是之後,諸呂憚朱虛侯,雖大臣皆依朱虛侯,劉氏為益彊。(Records of the Grand Historian 52, Biography of Liu Xiang)

Lü Zhi had appointed three members of her Lü clan as princes, and her clan monopolized affairs. Liu Zhang, who was nineteen years old and full of strength and energy, resented the pitiful state of the Liu clan.

On one occasion, when Liu Zhang was attending a feast held by Lü Zhi, she ordered him to serve as the Wine Overseer. Liu Zhang on his own volition said, "Since I am an adult now, please allow me to carry out my role with the wine by upholding military regulations."

Lü Zhi replied, "So be it."

After becoming mellow, Liu Zhang stepped forward to dance and sing. Then he asked, "Please allow me to compose a Song of Plowing The Fields for the Empress Dowager."

Lü Zhi, who regarded Liu Zhang as a mere brat, laughed and said, "Perhaps your father might have known something of farmwork. But you've been the son of a prince since the day you were born. What do you know of the fields?"

Liu Zhang said, "I know enough."

Lü Zhi said, "Then see if you can tell me about them."

Then Liu Zhang sang, "Deeply plow and plant your seeds, spread them out wherever one needs. And if any you'd rather not sprout, then root them up and cast them out." Lü Zhi was left silent.

A short time later, one of the members of the Lü clan got drunk and began to stagger off. But Liu Zhang chased after him and, drawing his sword, decapitated the man. Then he returned and reported to Lü Zhi, "He was going to go out while drunk, so I have beheaded him according to the law." Lü Zhi and those with her were greatly astonished at this behavior, but she had already agreed to let him enforce military regulations, so he had not actually committed a crime. He was dismissed.

From then on, the Lü clan all feared Liu Zhang. But although the chief ministers all supported him, the Liu clan became even more oppressed.

是歲,趙王友幽死于邸。三趙王既廢,高后立諸呂為三王,擅權用事。章年二十,有氣力,忿劉氏不得職。嘗入侍燕飲,高后令章為酒吏。章自請曰:「臣,將種也,請得以軍法行酒。」高后曰:「可。」酒酣,章進歌舞,已而曰:「請為太后言耕田。」高后兒子畜之,笑曰:「顧乃父知田耳,若生而為王子,安知田乎?」章曰:「臣知之。」太后曰:「試為我言田意。」章曰:「深耕穊種,立苗欲疏;非其種者,鉏而去之。」太后默然。頃之,諸呂有一人醉,亡酒,章追,拔劍斬之,而還報曰:「有亡酒一人,臣謹行軍法斬之。」太后左右大驚。業已許其軍法,亡以罪也。因罷酒。自是後,諸呂憚章,雖大臣皆依朱虛侯。劉氏為彊。(Book of Han 38, Biography of Liu Xiang)

This was the same year as when Liu You died in obscurity at his residence in the capital (181 BC). Three princes of Zhao had thus been deposed, while Lü Zhi had appointed three members of her Lü clan as princes, and her clan monopolized affairs. Liu Zhang, who was nineteen years old and full of strength and energy, resented the pitiful state of the Liu clan.

On one occasion, when Liu Zhang was attending a feast held by Lü Zhi, she ordered him to serve as the Wine Overseer. Liu Zhang on his own volition said, "Since I am an adult now, please allow me to carry out my role with the wine by upholding military regulations."

Lü Zhi replied, "So be it."

After becoming mellow, Liu Zhang stepped forward to sing and dance. Then he asked, "Please allow me to tell the Empress Dowager about plowing the fields."

Lü Zhi, who regarded Liu Zhang as a mere brat, laughed and said, "Perhaps your father might have known something of farmwork. But you've been the son of a prince since the day you were born. What do you know of the fields?"

Liu Zhang said, "I know enough."

Lü Zhi said, "Then see if you can tell me about them."

Then Liu Zhang sang, "Deeply plow and plant your seeds, spread them out wherever one needs. And if any you'd rather not sprout, then root them up and cast them out." Lü Zhi was left silent.

A short time later, one of the members of the Lü clan got drunk and began to stagger off. But Liu Zhang chased after him and, drawing his sword, decapitated the man. Then he returned and reported to Lü Zhi, "He was going to go out while drunk, so I have beheaded him according to the law." Lü Zhi and those with her were greatly astonished at this behavior, but she had already agreed to let him enforce military regulations, so he had not actually committed a crime. He was dismissed from the feast.

From then on, the Lü clan all feared Liu Zhang. But although the chief ministers all supported him, the Liu clan remained oppressed.


陳平患諸呂,力不能制,恐禍及己;嘗燕居深念,陸賈往,直入坐;而陳丞相不見。陸生曰︰「何念之深也!」陳平曰︰「生揣我何念?」陸生曰︰「足下極富貴,無欲矣;然有憂念,不過患諸呂、少主耳。」陳平曰︰「然。爲之柰何?」陸生曰︰「天下安,注意相;天下危,注意將。將相和調,則士豫附;天下雖有變,權不分。爲社稷計,在兩軍掌握耳。臣嘗欲謂太尉絳侯;絳侯與我戲,易吾言。君何不交驩太尉,深相結!」因爲陳平畫呂氏數事。陳平用其計,乃以五百金爲絳侯壽,厚具樂飲;太尉報亦如之。兩人深相結,呂氏謀益衰。陳平以奴婢百人、車馬五十乘、錢五百萬遺陸生爲飲食費。

9. Chen Ping was exceedingly worried about the strength of the Lü clan; he was concerned that they were beyond all control, and that he too would suffer disaster.

One day, Chen Ping was sitting at his home, deep in thought. He was so focused on his thoughts that he did not even notice when Lu Jia came in and sat down in front of him. Lu Jia asked him, "What are you thinking so deeply about?"

Chen Ping asked, "Can you guess what I have been pondering?"

Lu Jia replied, "You are so rich and esteemed that there cannot be anything you desire, my friend. Thus for you to be so lost in your thoughts, you can only have been thinking about the danger posed by the Lü clan and the situation of our young sovereign."

Chen Ping said, "Just so. But what are we to do?"

Lu Jia replied, "When the realm is at peace, we look to the chief minister; when the realm is in peril, we look to the chief general. When the minister and the general are in accord, then all others will go along with them, and even if something unexpected happens to the realm, their combined authority will not be divided. Thus the fortunes of state rest in the hands of two men alone. You are one of them; who do you suppose the other one is? I myself have often spoken to the Grand Commandant (Zhou Bo) before about this matter, but he thought I was only joking and put me off. Sir, why not speak to the Grand Commandant at once and forge a deep personal bond with him?" And he gave Chen Ping all the advice he could offer regarding the Lü clan.

Chen Ping followed Lu Jia's advice; he gave five hundred gold to Zhou Bo as part of a toast, and he treated him to wine and song. Zhou Bo too reciprocated the friendship. Thus these two men became very close, and the plotting of the Lü clan grew more fraught.

Chen Ping sent Lu Jia a hundred slaves, fifty carriage horses, and five million gold as drinking funds.

〈師古曰︰以國家不安,故靜居獨慮其方策。〉〈師古曰︰言不因門人將命而徑自入座,平方深思,不覺其至。〉〈揣,度也。〉〈師古曰︰豫,素也。余謂豫,順也。〉〈【章︰甲十五行本「軍」作「君」;乙十一行本同;孔本同;退齋校同。】〉〈【章︰甲十五行本「嘗」作「常」;乙十一行本同;孔本同。】〉〈謂,告語也。言絳侯素與之戲狎,輕易其言也。周勃封絳侯。班《志》,絳縣屬河東郡,晉之舊都。〉〈師古曰︰厚爲其具而與太尉樂飲。〉

(Yan Shigu remarked, "Because the state was not at peace, Chen Ping stayed in his residence and dwelled on his thoughts and plans."

Yan Shigu remarked, "This passage was saying that although the doorkeepers announced Lu Jia's arrival and Lu Jia even came inside and sat down in front of him, Chen Ping was so deep in thought that he did not realize it."

Chen Ping uses the term 揣; this means "reckon" or "guess".

Lu Jia uses the term 豫. Yan Shigu parses this as "then the gentlemen of the realm will 豫 'long' support them". But I (Hu Sanxing) believe that in this case, 豫 means "obey".

Some versions phrase Lu Jia's phrase "two men alone" as "two men, yourself and the General, alone".

Some versions add that Lu Jia had "often" spoke to Zhou Bo about the matter.

Lu Jia had "spoken" to Zhou Bo in that he had mentioned the matter to him. This passage was saying that Zhou Bo had always taken Lu Jia's warnings to be jokes and had brushed off his words.

This passage more specifically refers to Zhou Bo by his title as Marquis of Jiang. According to the Book of Han, Jiang county was part of Hedong commandary; it had once been the capital of the state of Jin.

Yan Shigu remarked, "Chen Ping was generous to Zhou Bo and shared wine and song with him.")


是時大臣憂諸呂之亂。陸賈說陳平周勃曰。天下安。注意相。天下危。注意將。將相和則權不分。今為社稷計。在二君掌握耳。何不能交太尉勃乎。以千金為太尉結歡。勃亦如之。遂戳力同心。平乃賜賈金五百斤。僮百人... 諸呂之始王也。呂后畏大臣及有口辯者。陸賈為太中大夫。自度不能爭之。乃謝病免。於是以所使越時囊中裝千金。以與五子。各二百斤。令為產業。賈常安車駟馬。從歌鼓瑟侍者十人。與其子約曰。過汝家。給人馬酒食。極歡十日。有寶劍直百金。所死家得寶劍一。歲中往來。及過他家。卒不過再三。遊於漢庭公卿之閒。名聲甚顯。及誅呂氏。立孝文。賈頗有力。(Records of Former Han 6, Annals of Empress Gao (Lü Zhi))

At this time, the chief ministers were all worried about the strength of the Lü clan. Lu Jia advised Chen Ping to speak to Zhou Bo, saying, "When the realm is at peace, we look to the chief minister; when the realm is in peril, we look to the chief general. When the minister and the general are in accord, then their combined authority will not be divided. Thus the plans for securing the fortunes of state rest in the hands of you two gentlemen alone. Why not speak to the Grand Commandant at once and forge a deep personal bond with him?"

Chen Ping gave a thousand hundred gold to Zhou Bo to strengthen his ties of friendship with him, and Zhou Bo too reciprocated the friendship. Thus they combined their efforts and were of one heart.

Chen Ping sent Lu Jia a hundred slaves and five hundred catties of gold.

When Lü Zhi had first appointed members of the Lü clan as princes, she had feared those among the chief ministers who were skilled at argument and debate. At that time, Lu Jia was serving as a Grand Counselor of the Household. Since he reckoned that he was unable to argue against Lü Zhi’s decisions, he resigned his post on account of illness.

Lu Jia had earlier been given a bag of gems worth a thousand gold by the King of Nanyue, Zhao Tuo, during his diplomatic mission to Nanyue. He sold the gems and distributed the gold among his five sons, giving two hundred gold to each, and charged them to use the money for business endeavors. He himself usually rode around in a comfort carriage pulled by a quartet of horses, followed by ten attendants who sang, beat the drums, or plucked the zither. He pledged to his sons, “When I pass by your houses, wine and dine my people and horses and grant me your full welcome for ten days. I have treasures and swords worth a hundred gold, and after I pass away, your family will gain them.” During those years, he visited a great many people once, but never visited the same place twice or thrice. He wandered among all the great nobles and ministers of the Han court, and he gained a conspicuous reputation and influence.

During the purge of the Lü clan and the acclamation of Emperor Xiao-Wen, Lu Jia played his part as well.


太后使使告代王,欲徙王趙。代王謝之,願守代邊。太后乃立兄子呂祿爲趙王,追尊祿父建成康侯釋之爲趙昭王。

10. Lü Zhi sent envoys to speak with the Prince of Dai, Liu Bang's son Liu Heng, wishing to appoint him as the new Prince of Zhao. But Liu Heng declined the offer, wanting to keep defending the border in the Dai region.

Lü Zhi thus appointed her nephew Lü Lu as the new Prince of Zhao, and she posthumously appointed Marquis Kang ("the Peaceful") of Jiancheng, Lü Lu's father Lü Ze, as Prince Zhao ("the Brilliant") of Zhao.

〈高祖七年,立子恆爲代王。〉

(Liu Bang had appointed Liu Heng as Prince of Dai in the seventh year of his reign (actually the eleventh year, -196.6).)


高后七年
初王呂祿元年。呂后兄子,胡陵侯。(Records of the Grand Historian 17, Annual Timeline of the Han Princes)

In the seventh year of Lü Zhi's reign (181 BC), she appointed Lü Lu as Prince of Zhao. This Lü Lu was her nephew, and had previously been Marquis of Huling.

祿為趙王。(Records of Former Han 6, Annals of Empress Gao (Lü Zhi)

In the first year of her reign (187 BC), in the tenth month (of 188 BC), Lü Zhi appointed Lü Tai's younger brother Lü Lu as Prince of Zhao.


九月,燕靈王建薨;有美人子,太后使人殺之。國除。

11. In the ninth month, the Prince of Yan, Liu Bang's son Liu Jian, passed away. He was posthumously known as Prince Ling ("the Ghostly") of Yan.

Liu Jian had had a son by a concubine, but Lü Zhi sent agents to kill him. The fief was thus abolished.

〈高祖初封盧綰於燕,綰入匈奴,乃立建爲燕王。美人子,美人所生之子也。〉

(Liu Bang had originally appointed his friend Lu Wan as King of Yan, but Lu Wan had fled to take refuge among the Xiongnu. So Liu Bang had appointed Liu Jian as the Prince of Yan.

Liu Jian had had a son by his concubine.)


高后七年
絕。(Records of the Grand Historian 17, Annual Timeline of the Han Princes)

In the seventh year of Lü Zhi's reign (181 BC), Liu Jian's lineage was cut off.

八月。燕王建薨。(Records of Former Han 6, Annals of Empress Gao (Lü Zhi))

In the eighth month, the Prince of Yan, Liu Jian, passed away.

十五年薨,有美人子,太后使人殺之,絕後。(Book of Han 38, Biography of Liu Jian)

Liu Jian was Prince of Yan for fourteen years (195-181 BC), then passed away.

Liu Jian had had a son by a concubine, but Lü Zhi sent agents to kill him. The fief was thus abolished.


遣隆慮侯周竈將兵擊南越。

12. Lü Zhi sent the Marquis of Longlu, Zhou Zao, to lead troops to attack Southern Yue.

〈班《志》,隆慮縣屬河內郡;至後漢,避殤帝諱,改曰林慮。〉

(According to the Book of Han, Longlu county was part of Henei commandary. During the Later Han dynasty, in order to avoid the naming taboo for Emperor Shang’s given name, it was renamed to Linlu.)


南越侵長沙。遣隆慮侯周灶將兵擊之。(Records of Former Han 6, Annals of Empress Gao (Lü Zhi))

Since Southern Yue had raided Changsha, Lü Zhi sent the Marquis of Longlu, Zhou Zao, to lead troops to attack Southern Yue.
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BOOK 13

Unread postby Taishi Ci 2.0 » Fri Dec 06, 2019 4:13 pm

八年(辛酉、前一八○)

The Eighth Year of Lü Zhi's Reign (The Xinyou or Metal Rooster Year, 180 BC)


冬,十月,辛丑,立呂肅王子東平侯通爲燕王;封通弟莊爲東平侯。

1. In winter, the tenth month (of 181 BC), on the day Xinchou, Lü Zhi appointed the Marquis of Dongping, Lü Tai's son Lü Tong, as the new Prince of Yan. She appointed Lü Tong's younger brother Lü Zhuang as the new Marquis of Dongping.

〈東平,地名,在濟東;宣帝甘露二年爲東平國。〉

(Dongping was the name of a place, east of the Ji River. In Emperor Xuan's second year of Ganlu (52 BC), it was organized into the Dongping princely fief.)


高后八年
十月辛丑,初王呂通元年。肅王子,故東平侯。(Records of the Grand Historian 17, Annual Timeline of the Han Princes)

In the eighth year of Lü Zhi's reign (180 BC), in the tenth month (of 181 BC), on the day Xinchou, Lü Zhi appointed Lü Tong as Prince of Yan. This Lü Tong was the son of Lü Tai, and had previously been Marquis of Dongping.


三月,太后祓,還,過軹道,見物如蒼犬,撠太后掖,忽不復見。卜之,云「趙王如意爲祟」。太后遂病掖傷。

2. In spring, the third month, Lü Zhi went out to purify herself. On her way home, as she was passing through Zhidao, she saw a beast shaped like a black dog; it bit her in the side, then disappeared. A diviner told her, "This was the spirit of the Prince of Zhao, Liu Ruyi, returned as a phantom." And Lü Zhi developed an illness from the wound in her side.

〈【張︰「三」上脫「春」字。】〉〈師古曰︰祓者,除惡之祭。〉〈師古曰︰撠,謂拘持之也。撠,音戟。拘,居足翻。掖,與腋同。〉〈祟,神禍也,鬼厲也。〉

(Some versions add that this was "in spring".

Yan Shigu remarked, "To purify is to offer sacrifices in order to ward off evil."

This passage describes Lü Zhi as being bitten in the 掖; this means the armpit (or the part of the torso covered by the arm).

A phantom is an evil spirit or ghost.)


高后夢見物如蒼狗橶后腋。忽然不見。卜之云。趙王如意為祟。遂病腋傷。(Records of Former Han 6, Annals of Empress Gao (Lü Zhi))

Lü Zhi dreamed that she saw a beast shaped like a black dog; it bit her in the side, then disappeared. A diviner told her, "This was the spirit of the Prince of Zhao, Liu Ruyi, returned as a phantom." And Lü Zhi developed an illness from the wound in her side.


太后爲外孫魯王偃年少孤弱,夏,四月,丁酉,封張敖前姬兩子侈爲新都侯,壽爲樂昌侯,以輔魯王。又封中大謁者張釋爲建陵侯,以其勸王諸呂,賞之也。

3. It was earlier mentioned that Lü Zhi had appointed her grandson Zhang Yan as Prince of Lu. But she felt that Zhang Yan was still too young and tender on his own. So in summer, the fourth month, on the day Dingyou, Lü Zhi appointed two of Zhang Ao's other sons by concubines as marquises to help support Zhang Yan; she appointed Zhang Chi as Marquis of Xindu and Zhang Shou as Marquis of Yuechang.

She also appointed the Grand Palace Diplomat, Zhang Shi, as Marquis of Jianling; this was a reward for Zhang Shi having urged her to appoint the members of the Lü clan as princes.

〈偃,張敖子。〉〈班《志》,新都縣屬南陽郡。〉〈徐廣曰︰樂昌,今細陽之池陽鄕。余據班《志》,細陽縣屬汝南郡;又東郡有樂昌縣。《考異》曰︰《史記‧惠景間侯者表》「新都」作「信都」;「壽」作「受」。今從《本紀》。〉〈如淳曰︰灌嬰爲中謁者,後常以閹人爲之;諸官加中者,多閹人也。班《志》,建陵縣屬東海郡。〉

(Zhang Yan was the son of Zhang Ao (with Princess Yuan of Lu).

According to the Book of Han, Xindu county was part of Nanyang commandary.

Xu Guang remarked, "Yuechang was the same place as Chiyang district in modern Xiyang." But I (Hu Sanxing) note that according to the Book of Han, Xiyang county was in Runan commandary, while Dong commandary had a Yuechang county.

Sima Guang's commentary in the Textual Analysis states, "The Table of Marquises During The Reigns of Emperors Wen and Jing in the Records of the Grand Historian records Zhang Chi's new title as Marquis of 信都 Xindu rather than 新都 Xindu, and it records Zhang Shou's given name as 受 Shou rather than 壽 Shou. But I follow the account of the Annals of Empress Lü."

Ru Chun remarked, "Although at one point Guan Ying served as Palace Diplomat, in later years it was usually a eunuch who held that title. Indeed, many of the ranks with Palace attached to their title were held by eunuchs."

According to the Book of Han, Jianling county was part of Donghai commandary.)


八年春。封中謁者張釋卿為列侯。諸中宦者令丞。皆賜爵關內侯食邑。(Records of Former Han 6, Annals of Empress Gao (Lü Zhi))

In the eighth year of Lü Zhi's reign (180 BC), in spring, she appointed the Palace Diplomat, Zhang Shiqiu, as a minor marquis. The palace eunuchs serving as Prefects or Assistants were all appointed as Marquises Within The Passes and granted fiefs.

元王弱,兄弟少,乃封張敖他姬子二人:壽為樂昌侯,侈為信都侯。(Records of the Grand Historian 89, Biography of Zhang Ao)

Lü Zhi felt that Zhang Yan was still too tender on his own, and that his brothers by the same mother, Princess Yuan of Lu, were still too young as well. So she appointed two of Zhang Ao's other sons by concubines as marquises to help support Zhang Yan; she appointed Zhang Chi as Marquis of Xindu and Zhang Shou as Marquis of Yuechang.

又憐其年少孤弱,乃封敖前婦子二人:壽為樂昌侯,侈為信都侯。(Book of Han 32, Biography of Zhang Ao)

Lü Zhi felt that Zhang Yan was still too young and tender on his own. So she appointed two of Zhang Ao's other sons by concubines as marquises to help support Zhang Yan; she appointed Zhang Chi as Marquis of Xindu and Zhang Shou as Marquis of Yuechang.


江、漢水溢,流萬餘家。

4. The Yangzi and the Han River flooded, driving more than ten thousand families from their homes.

夏。江水漢水溢流萬餘家。河內水溢流萬家。(Records of Former Han 6, Annals of Empress Gao (Lü Zhi))

The Yangzi and the Han River flooded, driving more than ten thousand families from their homes. The Henei River also flooded, driving another ten thousand families from their homes.


秋,七月,太后病甚,乃令趙王祿爲上將軍,居北軍;呂王產居南軍。太后誡產、祿曰︰「呂氏之王,大臣弗平。我卽崩,帝年少,大臣恐爲變。必據兵衞宮,愼毋送喪,爲人所制!」辛巳,太后崩,遺詔︰大赦天下,以呂王產爲相國,以呂祿女爲帝后。高后已葬,以左丞相審食其爲帝太傅。

5. In autumn, the seventh month, Lü Zhi became gravely ill. So she assigned Lü Lu to be Supreme General and placed him in command of the Northern Army, and she placed Lü Chan in command of the Southern Army. She instructed them, "The great ministers have never truly accepted having the members of our clan be princes. Soon I will be dead, and the Emperor is still a child. I fear the great ministers might try something. You must keep a firm grip on the soldiers and the palace guards, and be cautious and do not declare mourning for me, or else the others will dominate you!"

On the day Xinsi, Lü Zhi passed away.

In accordance with her last will, a general amnesty was declared across the realm, Lü Chan was appointed as Chancellor of State, and Lü Lu's daughter was married to the Little Emperor and became Empress. After Lü Zhi was buried, Shen Yiji was appointed as Grand Tutor.

〈班《表》︰中壘校尉掌北軍壘門外。又有中尉掌徼循京師,屬官有中壘、寺互等令、丞。至後漢始置北軍中候,掌監五營。劉昭《註》曰︰舊有中壘校尉,領北軍營壘之事;中興,省中壘,但置中候以監五營。又據班《表》︰中壘以下八校尉,皆武帝置。意者武帝以前,北軍屬中尉,故領中壘令、丞等官;南軍蓋衞尉所統。班《表》︰衞尉掌宮門衞屯兵。周勃之入北軍也,尚有南軍。乃先使曹窋告衞尉毋入呂產殿門,然後使朱虛侯逐產,殺之未央宮郎中府吏廁中,以此知南軍屬衞尉也。〉〈《考異》曰︰《史記‧將相表》︰「八年七月辛巳,食其爲太傅;」「九月丙戌,復爲丞相;後九月免。」《漢書‧公卿表》︰「七年七月辛巳,食其爲太傅;」「八年九月,復爲丞相;後九月免。」以《長曆》推之︰八年七月無辛巳,九月無丙戌,閏月羣臣代邸上議,無食其名。二《表》皆誤,今從《史記‧本紀》,免相在此月。《本紀》又云︰「八月壬戌,食其復爲左丞相。」亦誤。〉

([A long passage about the Northern and Southern Armies.]

Sima Guang's commentary in the Textual Analysis states, "According to the Table of Generals and Ministers in the Records of the Grand Historian, 'In the eighth year of Lü Zhi's reign (180 BC), in the seventh month, on the day Xinsi, Shen Yiji was appointed as Grand Tutor.' Then, 'In the ninth month, on the day Bingxu, he was further appointed as Prime Minister; in the second ninth month, he was stripped of office.' The Table of Chief Ministers in the Book of Han states, 'In the seventh year of Lü Zhi's reign (181 BC), in the seventh month, on the day Xinsi, Shen Yiji was appointed as Grand Tutor.' Then, 'In the eighth year (180 BC), in the ninth month, he was further appointed as Prime Minister; in the second ninth month, he was stripped of office.' Now according to the Calendar Records, there was no Xinsi day in the seventh month of the eighth year, and there was no Bingxu day in the ninth month. And when the officials gathered in the residence of Dai in the intercalary month to discuss affairs (after having purged the Lü clan), there is no mention of them discussing Shen Yiji. So the two Tables must be mistaken. I follow the account of the Annals of Empress Lü and of Emperor Wen in the Records of the Grand Historian, which state that he was deprived of his title during this month. However, the Annals too are mistaken when they claim that 'in the eighth month, on the day Renxu, Shen Yiji was further appointed as Prime Minister of the Left'.")


呂產為相國。呂祿為上將軍... 秋九月辛巳。高后崩于未央宮... 讚曰。本紀稱孝惠高后之時。海內得離戰爭之苦。君臣俱無為。故惠帝拱己。高后女主。制政不出房闥而天下宴然。刑罰罕用。民務稼穡。衣食滋殖矣。及福祚諸呂大過。漸至縱橫。殺戮鴆毒。生於豪彊。賴朱虛周陳。惟社稷之重。顧山河之誓。殲討篡逆。匡救漢祚。豈非忠哉。王陵之徒精潔。心過於丹青矣。(Records of Former Han 6, Annals of Empress Gao (Lü Zhi))

In the seventh year of her reign (181 BC), Lü Zhi appointed Lü Chan as Chancellor of State and Lü Lu as Supreme General.

In the eighth year of her reign (180 BC), in autumn, the ninth month, on the day Xinsi, Lü Zhi passed away in the Weiyang Palace.

Your servant Xun Yue evaluates Empress Gao as such: Sima Qian and Ban Gu complete their respective Annals of Empress Gao with these remarks praising her: [etc.] So much is true. But she extended too much favor and indulgence to the members of her Lü clan, and she became more and more wanton in her behavior; she killed, executed, and poisoned people as she pleased, and in life she was domineering and forceful. But thanks to the efforts of the Marquis of Zhuxu (Liu Zhang), Zhou Bo, and Chen Ping, the altars of state were saved in the end, for they served like the natural defenses of the dynasty. They purged and removed the usurpers and traitors, and they rectified and saved the Han dynasty. How could their actions have been anything but an expression of loyalty? Wang Ling and his sort may have clung to their purity, but their hearts were more than crimson and green.


諸呂欲爲亂,畏大臣絳、灌等,未敢發。朱虛侯以呂祿女爲婦,故知其謀,乃陰令人告其兄齊王,欲令發兵西,朱虛侯、東牟侯爲內應,以誅諸呂,立齊王爲帝。齊王乃與其舅駟鈞、郎中令祝午、中尉魏勃陰謀發兵。齊相召平弗聽。八月,丙午,齊王欲使人誅相;相聞之,乃發卒衞王宮。魏勃紿邵平曰︰「王欲發兵,非有漢虎符驗也。而相君圍王固善,勃請爲君將兵衞王。」召平信之。勃旣將兵,遂圍相府;召平自殺。於是齊王以駟鈞爲相,魏勃爲將軍,祝午爲內史,悉發國中兵。

6. The members of the Lü clan were now planning to launch a coup. However, they were afraid of Zhou Bo, Guan Ying, and the other chief ministers, so they did not yet dare to act. But Liu Zhang, whose wife was Lü Lu's daughter, learned of their plot, and he secretly sent someone to bring word of their intentions to the Prince of Qi, his elder brother Liu Xiang. He wanted to have Liu Xiang raise the troops of his fief and march west against the capital at Chang'an, while Liu Zhang and Liu Xingju supported him from within Chang'an by slaughtering the Lü clan. Then they would acclaim Liu Xiang to be the new Emperor.

Upon receiving word from Liu Zhang, Liu Xiang began to secretly raise his troops, together with his uncle Si Jun, his Prefect of the Household Gentlemen, Zhu Wu, and his Central Commandant, Wei Bo. But the Chancellor of Qi, Shao Ping, refused to go along with their plan. In the eighth month, on the day Bingwu, Liu Xiang tried to send someone to execute Shao Ping. But when Shao Ping learned of this, he mustered the soldiers of the Qi fief and then surrounded Liu Xiang's palace. Then Wei Bo came to see Shao Ping and deceived him, saying, "Although the Prince wanted to raise his troops, he has not received the tiger tally of authority allowing him to do so. And you already have him surrounded, which ensures that he can do no wrong. Please allow me to command the troops for you, in order to keep watch over the Prince." Shao Ping believed him, but as soon as Wei Bo took command of the soldiers, he led them to surround the Chancellor's office instead. Shao Ping killed himself.

Liu Xiang appointed Si Jun as his new Chancellor, Wei Bo as a general, and Zhu Wu as the Interior Minister, and he raised all the forces of his fief.

〈班《表》︰諸侯王,高祖初置,有太傅輔王,內史治國民,中尉掌武職,丞相統衆官,如漢朝。景帝中五年,令諸侯王不得復治國,天子爲置吏,改丞相曰相。武帝分漢內史爲左右,後又更右爲京兆尹,左爲馮翊,中爲執金吾,郎中令爲光祿勳;故王國如故,損其郎中令秩千石;改太僕曰僕,秩亦千石。成帝綏和元年,更令相治民如郡太守,中尉如郡都尉。康曰︰廣陵人召平與東陵侯召平及此召平,凡三人。此召平之子奴,以平死事封黎侯,見《功臣表》。《姓譜》︰駟,鄭七穆駟氏之後。祝,周武王封黃帝之後於祝,後以爲氏。〉〈【章︰甲十五行本「邵」作「召」;乙十一行本同;孔本同。】〉〈應劭曰︰銅虎符第一至第五,國家當發兵,遣使者至郡合符,符合乃聽受之。張晏曰︰符以代古之圭璋,從簡易也。予據《史記‧文帝紀》︰「三年九月,初與郡國守相銅虎符。」旣有「初」字,則前乎文帝之時當未有銅虎符也。召平、魏勃事在三年之前,何緣有虎符發兵!班《史》於《文紀》三年,只書「初與郡守爲銅虎符」,汰去「國相」二字。溫公則但書勃語於此,而《文紀》不復書,豈亦有疑於此邪?〉

(According to the Book of Han, when Liu Bang first created the staffs of the Kings or Princes, they had several important ministers. Each of them had a Grand Tutor, who assisted the Prince, an Interior Minister, who governed the people of the fief, a Central Commandant, who handled the military staff, and a Prime Minister, who supervised the various civil officials; all of this was similar to the imperial court at the capital. Later, in the fifth year of the middle part of Emperor Jing's reign (145 BC), he ordered that the Princes were no longer allowed to directly administer their fiefs, but all officials of the fiefs would be directly appointed by the son of Heaven; at that time, the office of Prime Minister was renamed to Chancellor. His successor Emperor Wu then divided the office of the imperial Interior Minister into Interior Ministers of the Left and Right, and later he renamed these offices to Intendant of Jingzhao and Intendant of Fengyi. He also changed the name of the Central Commandant to Bearer of the Gilded Mace and the name of the Prefect of the Household Gentlemen to the 光祿勳. The princely fiefs remained as before, although their Prefects of the Household Gentlemen had their salary rank set at a thousand 石, as did their Minister Coachmen, who were renamed to simply Coachmen. In Emperor Cheng's first year of Suihe (8 BC), he further ordered that the Chancellors of the princely fiefs would administer the people in the same role as the Administrators of commandaries, and the Central Commandants would likewise fulfill the same role as Commandants of commandaries.

Regarding the "Chancellor of Qi, Shao Ping", Meng Kang remarked, "This Shao Ping was a different person from 'Shao Ping of Guangling commandary' and 'the Marquis of Dongling, Shao Ping'. This Shao Ping's son was Shao Nu, who was appointed as Marquis of Li because of Shao Ping's death, as mentioned in the Table of Accomplished Ministers."

Regarding the surname 駟 Si, the Registry of Surnames states, "Those with this surname are the descendants of the Si clan, one of the seven great clans of the state of Zheng."

Those with the surname 祝 Zhu are the descendants of one of the descendants of the Yellow Emperor; this fellow was granted his fief at Zhu, and his descendants took the name of this fief as their clan name.

Shao Ping's surname is written throughout this passage as 召 Shao, but in the phrase "Wei Bo deceived Shao Ping", some versions write his surname as 邵 Shao.

Wei Bao claims that Liu Xiang lacked the "tiger tally of authority". Ying Shao remarked, "There were five ranks of these bronze tigers. When the state planned to muster troops, the court would send agents out to the commandaries with one half of the tally and combine it with the other half possessed by the prince or local administrator. Only when the tally halves were combined did the local authority have authorization to raise troops." Zhang Yan remarked, "These tiger tallies replaced the jade tablets which had until then been used for the same purpose, since they were easier to deal with." I (Hu Sanxing) note that there is a passage in the Annals of Emperor Wen in the Records of the Grand Historian which states, "In the third year of Emperor Wen's reign (177 BC), the ninth month, bronze tiger tallies were first distributed to the Administrators and Chancellors of the commandaries and fiefs." The fact that it says "first" implies that before that time, there were no tiger tallies distributed. Yet this incident with Wei Bo and Shao Ping (in 180 BC) took place three years before the time of that passage. How then could there have been any tiger tallies in use? It is true that the corresponding passage in the Book of Han's version of the Annals of Emperor Wen only says that these tiger tallies were first distributed to "the Administrators of commandaries", without mentioning the Chancellors of fiefs. Sima Guang thus had some justification for including this mention of tiger tallies in Wei Bo's speech. Yet there is still that inconsistency; how to resolve it?)


諸呂恐為大臣所誅。謀作亂。欲廢少帝而立呂產。朱虛侯婦呂祿女。密聞其謀告章。章乃使人陰告其兄齊王嬰。令發兵西。章及興居欲從中與大臣為內應。誅諸呂。立齊王。(Records of Former Han 6, Annals of Empress Gao (Lü Zhi))

The members of the Lü clan, fearing that they would be executed by the chief ministers, now plotted a coup; they planned to depose the Little Emperor and place Lü Chan upon the throne instead. But Liu Zhang, whose wife was Lü Lu's daughter, secretly learned of their plot from her, and he secretly sent someone to bring word of their intentions to the Prince of Qi, his elder brother Liu Xiang. He wanted to have Liu Xiang raise the troops of his fief and march west against the capital at Chang'an, while Liu Zhang and Liu Xingju, along with the chief ministers, supported him from within Chang'an by slaughtering the Lü clan. Then they would acclaim Liu Xiang to be the new Emperor.

其明年,高后崩。趙王呂祿為上將軍,呂王產為相國,皆居長安中,聚兵以威大臣,欲為亂。朱虛侯章以呂祿女為婦,知其謀,乃使人陰出告其兄齊王,欲令發兵西,朱虛侯、東牟侯為內應,以誅諸呂,因立齊王為帝。齊王既聞此計,乃與其舅父駟鈞、郎中令祝午、中尉魏勃陰謀發兵。齊相召平聞之,乃發卒衛王宮。魏勃紿召平曰:「王欲發兵,非有漢虎符驗也。而相君圍王,固善。勃請為君將兵衛衛王。」召平信之,乃使魏勃將兵圍王宮。勃既將兵,使圍相府。召平曰:「嗟乎!道家之言『當斷不斷,反受其亂』,乃是也。」遂自殺。於是齊王以駟鈞為相,魏勃為將軍,祝午為內史,悉發國中兵。(Records of the Grand Historian 52, Biography of Liu Xiang)

The following year (180 BC), Lü Zhi passed away. But the Prince of Zhao, Lü Lu, was the Supreme General, and the Prince of Lü, Lü Chan, was the Chancellor of State. They remained in Chang'an, at the head of armies, in order to overawe the chief ministers. They plotted to launch a coup. But Liu Zhang, whose wife was Lü Lu's daughter, learned of their plot, and he secretly sent someone to bring word of their intentions to Liu Xiang. He wanted to have Liu Xiang raise the troops of his fief and march west against the capital at Chang'an, while Liu Zhang and their younger brother Liu Xingju supported him from within Chang'an by slaughtering the Lü clan. Then they would acclaim Liu Xiang to be the new Emperor.

Upon receiving word from Liu Zhang, Liu Xiang began to secretly raise his troops, together with his uncle Si Jun, his Prefect of the Household Gentlemen, Zhu Wu, and his Central Commandant, Wei Bo. But when the Chancellor of Qi, Shao Ping, learned what they were up to, he mustered the soldiers and guards of the Qi fief and then surrounded Liu Xiang's palace. Then Wei Bo came to see Shao Ping and deceived him, saying, "Although the Prince wanted to raise his troops, he has not received the tiger tally of authority allowing him to do so. And you already have him surrounded, which ensures that he can do no wrong. Please allow me to command the troops for you, in order to keep watch over the Prince." Shao Ping believed him, and he placed Wei Bo in command of his troops, but as soon as Wei Bo took command of the soldiers, he led them to surround the Chancellor's office instead. Shao Ping lamented, "Alas! It is just as the Daoists say: 'Fail to act when you should, and you will be the one to suffer calamity instead'." And he killed himself.

Liu Xiang appointed Si Jun as his new Chancellor, Wei Bo as a general, and Zhu Wu as the Interior Minister, and he raised all the forces of his fief.

其明年,高后崩。趙王呂祿為上將軍,呂王產為相國,皆居長安中,聚兵以威大臣,欲為亂。章以呂祿女為婦,知其謀,乃使人陰出告其兄齊王,欲令發兵西,朱虛侯、東牟侯欲從中與大臣為內應,以誅諸呂,因立齊王為帝。齊王聞此計,與其舅駟鈞、郎中令祝午、中尉魏勃陰謀發兵。齊相召平聞之,乃發兵入衛王宮。魏勃紿平曰:「王欲發兵,非有漢虎符驗也。而相君圍王,固善。勃請為君將兵衛衛王。」召平信之,乃使魏勃將。勃既將,以兵圍相府。召平曰:「嗟乎!道家之言『當斷不斷,反受其亂』。」遂自殺。於是齊王以駟鈞為相,魏勃為將軍,祝午為內史,悉發國中兵。(Book of Han 38, Biography of Liu Xiang)

The following year (180 BC), Lü Zhi passed away. But the Prince of Zhao, Lü Lu, was the Supreme General, and the Prince of Lü, Lü Chan, was the Chancellor of State. They remained in Chang'an, at the head of armies, in order to overawe the chief ministers. They plotted to launch a coup. But Liu Zhang, whose wife was Lü Lu's daughter, learned of their plot, and he secretly sent someone to bring word of their intentions to Liu Xiang. He wanted to have Liu Xiang raise the troops of his fief and march west against the capital at Chang'an, while Liu Zhang, their younger brother Liu Xingju, and the chief ministers supported him from within Chang'an by slaughtering the Lü clan. Then they would acclaim Liu Xiang to be the new Emperor.

Upon receiving word from Liu Zhang, Liu Xiang began to secretly raise his troops, together with his uncle Si Jun, his Prefect of the Household Gentlemen, Zhu Wu, and his Central Commandant, Wei Bo. But when the Chancellor of Qi, Shao Ping, learned what they were up to, he mustered the soldiers and guards of the Qi fief and then surrounded Liu Xiang's palace. Then Wei Bo came to see Shao Ping and deceived him, saying, "Although the Prince wanted to raise his troops, he has not received the court's tiger tally of authority allowing him to do so. And you already have him surrounded, which ensures that he can do no wrong. Please allow me to command the troops for you, in order to keep watch over the Prince." Shao Ping believed him, and he placed Wei Bo in command of his troops, but as soon as Wei Bo took command of the soldiers, he led them to surround the Chancellor's office instead. Shao Ping lamented, "Alas! It is just as the Daoists say: 'Fail to act when you should, and you will be the one to suffer calamity instead'." And he killed himself.

Liu Xiang appointed Si Jun as his new Chancellor, Wei Bo as a general, and Zhu Wu as the Interior Minister, and he raised all the forces of his fief.


使祝午東詐琅邪王曰︰「呂氏作亂,齊王發兵欲西誅之。齊王自以年少,不習兵革之事,願舉國委大王。大王,自高帝將也;請大王幸之臨菑,見齊王計事。」琅邪王信之,西馳見齊王。齊王因留琅邪王,而使祝午盡發琅邪國兵,幷將之。琅邪王說齊王曰︰「大王,高皇帝適長孫也,當立;今諸大臣狐疑未有所定;而澤於劉氏最爲長年,大臣固待澤決計。今大王留臣,無爲也,不如使我入關計事。」齊王以爲然,乃益具車送琅邪王。琅邪王旣行,齊遂舉兵西攻濟南;遺諸侯王書,陳諸呂之罪,欲舉兵誅之。

7. It was earlier mentioned that Liu Xiang's elder kinsman Liu Ze had been appointed as Prince of Langye, with part of Liu Xiang's original fief carved out and given to him. Liu Xiang now sent Zhu Wu east to deceive Liu Ze. Zhu Wu told him, "The Lü clan is launching a coup. The Prince of Qi has raised his troops, planning to march west and execute them all. But as the Prince is still a young man and unpracticed in the ways of war, he is willing to entrust command of his forces to you, Prince, since you have been a general since Emperor Gao's era. Prince, please come to Linzi and meet with the Prince of Qi so that he may discuss this affair with you."

Liu Ze believed Zhu Wu, and he hurried west to meet with Liu Xiang. Liu Xiang detained him, while sending Zhu Wu out to muster all the soldiers of the Langye fief and annex them into his own army.

Liu Ze advised Liu Xiang, "Prince, you are the eldest son of Emperor Gao's eldest son, and you ought to be the one upon the throne. But right now, the chief ministers are all wary and uncertain, and they would not necessarily go along with that idea. Since I am the eldest living member of the Liu clan, they are surely waiting on my decision. But if you keep me detained here, I can do you no good. It would be better to send me into Guanzhong to act on your behalf."

Liu Xiang felt that this was fair, so he provided Liu Ze with a carriage to escort him to the capital. As soon as Liu Ze was gone, Liu Xiang mustered all his troops and marched west to attack Jinan. He sent letters out to the feudal lords, listing the crimes of the Lü clan and calling on them to raise their own forces to help purge the Lü clan.

〈琅邪王,劉澤也。三年,割齊琅邪封之。〉〈言澤自高帝時爲將。〉〈臨菑,卽古營丘,齊國所都。〉〈《考異》曰︰《史記‧澤世家》、《漢書‧傳》,皆以爲澤與齊王合謀;蓋誤。今從《史記‧呂后本紀》、《齊王世家》、《漢書‧呂后紀》、《齊王傳》。〉〈齊王襄,悼惠王之子,高帝之長孫也。〉〈濟南本屬齊,元年割以封呂台;台卒,產嗣封。〉

(Liu Ze's appointment as Prince of Langye is mentioned above, in the third year of the Little Emperor's reign (-181.6). Part of the Qi fief had been carved out as a fief for him.

Zhu Wu was saying that Liu Ze had served as a general ever since Liu Bang's time.

Linzi, formerly known as Yingqiu, was Liu Xiang's capital as Prince of Qi.

Sima Guang's commentary in the Textual Analysis states, "Regarding Liu Ze's involvement in Liu Xiang's plot, the Biography of Liu Ze in the Records of the Grand Historian and in the Book of Han both claim that he was a willing participant. But they must be in error. I follow the accounts of the Annals of Empress Lü in the Records of the Grand Historian, the Biography of Liu Xiang in that text, the Annals of Empress Lü in the Book of Han, and the Biography of Liu Xiang in that text."

Liu Xiang was the son of Liu Fei, who was Liu Bang's eldest son. He was thus the eldest of Liu Bang's grandsons.

Jinan commandary had originally been part of Liu Xiang's fief as Prince of Qi. In the first year of Lü Zhi's reign (-187.9), it was carved out and granted to Lü Tai as Prince of Lü, and after Lü Tai's death, Lü Chan had inherited that title.)


齊王令人誘琅邪王。欲令興二國兵。琅邪王既至。因留之。悉發琅邪兵。以中尉魏勃為將軍。并將之。(Records of Former Han 6, Annals of Empress Gao (Lü Zhi))

Liu Xiang sent someone to deceive the Prince of Langye, Liu Ze, wanting to take command of the forces of both fiefs. When Liu Ze arrived, Liu Xiang detained him and mustered all the soldiers of his fief as Prince of Langye. He appointed his Central Commandant, Wei Bo, as a general and placed him in command of the combined armies.

及太后崩,瑯邪王澤乃曰:「帝少,諸呂用事,劉氏孤弱。」乃引兵與齊王合謀西,欲誅諸呂。至梁,聞漢遣灌將軍屯滎陽,澤還兵備西界,遂跳驅至長安。(Records of the Grand Historian 51, Biography of Liu Ze)

After Lü Zhi's death, Liu Ze said to himself, "The Emperor is young, the Lü clan controls affairs, and the Liu clan is isolated and weak." So he led his troops to join with the Prince of Qi (Liu Xiang), and they plotted to march west and purge the Lü clan. But when Liu Ze arrived at the Liang region, he heard that the court had sent Guan Ying to lead an army to camp at Xingyang. So Liu Ze led his troops back to the defensive preparations at the western border of his domain, then hurried alone to go to Chang'an.

澤王琅邪二年,而太后崩,澤乃曰:「帝少,諸呂用事,諸劉孤弱。」引兵與齊王合謀西,欲誅諸呂。至梁,聞漢灌將軍屯滎陽,澤還兵備西界,遂跳驅至長安。(Book of Han 35, Biography of Liu Ze)

In Liu Ze's second year as Prince of Langye, Lü Zhi passed away. Liu Ze said to himself, "The Emperor is young, the Lü clan controls affairs, and the Liu clan is isolated and weak." So he led his troops to join with the Prince of Qi (Liu Xiang), and they plotted to march west and purge the Lü clan. But when Liu Ze arrived at the Liang region, he heard that the court had sent Guan Ying to lead an army to camp at Xingyang. So Liu Ze led his troops back to the defensive preparations at the western border of his domain, then hurried alone to go to Chang'an.

使祝午東詐瑯邪王曰:「呂氏作亂,齊王發兵欲西誅之。齊王自以兒子,年少,不習兵革之事,願舉國委大王。大王自高帝將也,習戰事。齊王不敢離兵,使臣請大王幸之臨菑見齊王計事,并將齊兵以西平關中之亂。」瑯邪王信之,以為然,(西)[迺]馳見齊王。齊王與魏勃等因留瑯邪王,而使祝午盡發瑯邪國而并將其兵。瑯邪王劉澤既見欺,不得反國,乃說齊王曰:「齊悼惠王高皇帝長子,推本言之,而大王高皇帝適長孫也,當立。今諸大臣狐疑未有所定,而澤於劉氏最為長年,大臣固待澤決計。今大王留臣無為也,不如使我入關計事。」齊王以為然,乃益具車送瑯邪王。瑯邪王既行,齊遂舉兵西攻呂國之濟南。於是齊哀王遺諸侯王書曰:「高帝平定天下,王諸子弟,悼惠王於齊。悼惠王薨,惠帝使留侯張良立臣為齊王。惠帝崩,高后用事,春秋高,聽諸呂擅廢高帝所立,又殺三趙王,滅梁、燕、趙以王諸呂,分齊國為四。忠臣進諫,上惑亂不聽。今高后崩,皇帝春秋富,未能治天下,固恃大臣諸(將)[侯]。今諸呂又擅自尊官,聚兵嚴威,劫列侯忠臣,矯制以令天下,宗廟所以危。今寡人率兵入誅不當為王者。」(Records of the Grand Historian 52, Biography of Liu Xiang)

Liu Xiang now sent Zhu Wu east to deceive Liu Ze. Zhu Wu told him, "The Lü clan is launching a coup. The Prince of Qi has raised his troops, planning to march west and execute them all. But as the Prince is still a young man and unpracticed in the ways of war, he is willing to entrust command of his forces to you, Prince, since you have been a general since Emperor Gao's era and are a veteran of warfare. The Prince of Qi, not daring to leave his soldiers unattended, has sent me to ask you, Prince, to please come to Linzi and meet with him so that he may discuss this affair with you. Together, you can command his forces and march west to quell the turmoil in Guanzhong."

Liu Ze believed Zhu Wu, and he hurried west to meet with Liu Xiang. Liu Xiang, Wei Bo, and others then detained him, while sending Zhu Wu out to muster all the soldiers of the Langye fief and annex them into his own army.

Liu Ze, seeing that he had been deceived and would not be able to return to his fief, advised Liu Xiang, "Prince, you are the eldest son of Emperor Gao's eldest son, Prince Daohui of Qi, and you ought to be the one upon the throne. But right now, the chief ministers are all wary and uncertain, and they would not necessarily go along with that idea. Since I am the eldest living member of the Liu clan, they are surely waiting on my decision. But if you keep me detained here, I can do you no good. It would be better to send me into Guanzhong to act on your behalf."

Liu Xiang felt that this was fair, so he provided Liu Ze with a carriage to escort him to the capital. As soon as Liu Ze was gone, Liu Xiang mustered all his troops and marched west to attack Jinan commandary in Lü Chan's fief as Prince of Lü.

Liu Xiang also sent letters out to the feudal lords. He wrote, "After Emperor Gao pacified and settled the realm, he appointed his sons and younger relatives as princes, and Prince Daohui was granted Qi as his fief. When Prince Daohui passed away, Emperor Hui sent the Marquis of Liu, Zhang Liang, to acclaim me as the new Prince of Qi. However, after Emperor Hui passed away, Empress Gao took control of affairs. As the years went on, she granted more and more power to her Lü clan by deposing the people whom Emperor Gao had appointed. She killed three Princes of Zhao, she extinguished the fiefs of the Princes of Liang, Yan, and Zhao and granted those titles to members of her Lü clan instead, and she has split the Qi fief into four parts. Though loyal ministers stepped forward to offer remonstrations against her actions, our sovereign was confused and misled and did not heed them.

"Although Empress Gao too has now passed away, the Emperor is still a mere child with countless years ahead of him; he is not yet able to personally govern the realm, and he is fully dependent upon his chief ministers and the feudal lords. Because of that, the Lü clan are still presuming to grant themselves exalted titles and positions, they are gathering soldiers to flaunt their power and authority, they are oppressing accomplished nobles and loyal ministers, and they are forging edicts to give out their own orders to the realm. The lineage of the royal family is in peril. It is for these reasons that I am now leading my troops to the capital to purge them; I have no ambition to become sovereign."

使祝午紿琅邪王曰:「呂氏為亂,齊王發兵欲西誅之。齊王自以兒子,年少,不習兵革之事,願舉國委大王。大王自高帝將也,習戰事。齊王不敢離兵,使臣請大王幸之臨菑見齊王計事,并將齊兵以西平關中之亂。」琅邪王信之,以為然,乃馳見齊王。齊王與魏勃等因留琅邪王,而使祝午盡發琅邪國而并將其兵。琅邪王劉澤既欺,不得反國,乃說齊王曰:「齊悼惠王,高皇帝長子也,推本言之,大王高皇帝適長孫也,當立。今諸大臣狐疑未有所定,而澤於劉氏最為長年,大臣固待澤決計。今大王留臣無為也,不如使我入關計事。」齊王以為然,乃益具車送琅邪王。琅邪王既行,齊遂舉兵西攻呂國之濟南。於是齊王遺諸侯王書曰:「高帝平定天下,王諸子弟。悼惠王薨,惠帝使留侯張良立臣為齊王。惠帝崩,高后用事,春秋高,聽諸呂擅廢帝更立,又殺三趙王,滅梁、趙、燕,以王諸呂,分齊國為四。忠臣進諫,上或亂不聽。今高后崩,皇帝春秋富,未能治天下,固待大臣諸侯。今諸呂又擅自尊官,聚官嚴威,劫列侯忠臣,撟制以令天下,宗廟以危。寡人帥兵入誅不當為王者。」(Book of Han 38, Biography of Liu Xiang)

Liu Xiang now sent Zhu Wu to deceive Liu Ze. Zhu Wu told him, "The Lü clan is launching a coup. The Prince of Qi has raised his troops, planning to march west and execute them all. But as the Prince is still a young man and unpracticed in the ways of war, he is willing to entrust command of his forces to you, Prince, since you have been a general since Emperor Gao's era and are a veteran of warfare. The Prince of Qi, not daring to leave his soldiers unattended, has sent me to ask you, Prince, to please come to Linzi and meet with him so that he may discuss this affair with you. Together, you can command his forces and march west to quell the turmoil in Guanzhong."

Liu Ze believed Zhu Wu, and he hurried to meet with Liu Xiang. Liu Xiang, Wei Bo, and others then detained him, while sending Zhu Wu out to muster all the soldiers of the Langye fief and annex them into his own army.

Liu Ze, seeing that he had been deceived and would not be able to return to his fief, advised Liu Xiang, "Prince, you are the eldest son of Emperor Gao's eldest son, Prince Daohui of Qi, and you ought to be the one upon the throne. But right now, the chief ministers are all wary and uncertain, and they would not necessarily go along with that idea. Since I am the eldest living member of the Liu clan, they are surely waiting on my decision. But if you keep me detained here, I can do you no good. It would be better to send me into Guanzhong to act on your behalf."

Liu Xiang felt that this was fair, so he provided Liu Ze with a carriage to escort him to the capital. As soon as Liu Ze was gone, Liu Xiang mustered all his troops and marched west to attack Jinan commandary in Lü Chan's fief as Prince of Lü.

Liu Xiang also sent letters out to the feudal lords. He wrote, "After Emperor Gao pacified and settled the realm, he appointed his sons and younger relatives as princes, and Prince Daohui was granted Qi as his fief. When Prince Daohui passed away, Emperor Hui sent the Marquis of Liu, Zhang Liang, to acclaim me as the new Prince of Qi. However, after Emperor Hui passed away, Empress Gao took control of affairs. As the years went on, she granted more and more power to her Lü clan. She deposed the Emperor and set up another in his place, she killed three Princes of Zhao, she extinguished the fiefs of the Princes of Liang, Yan, and Zhao and granted those titles to members of her Lü clan instead, and she has split the Qi fief into four parts. Though loyal ministers stepped forward to offer remonstrations against her actions, our sovereign was confused and misled and did not heed them.

"Although Empress Gao too has now passed away, the Emperor is still a mere child with countless years ahead of him; he is not yet able to personally govern the realm, and he is fully dependent upon his chief ministers and the feudal lords. Because of that, the Lü clan are still presuming to grant themselves exalted titles and positions, they are gathering officials to flaunt their power and authority, they are oppressing accomplished nobles and loyal ministers, and they are forging edicts to give out their own orders to the realm. The lineage of the royal family is in peril. It is for these reasons that I am now leading my troops to the capital to purge them; I have no ambition to become sovereign."


相國呂產等聞之,乃遣潁陰侯灌嬰將兵擊之。灌嬰至滎陽,謀曰︰「諸呂擁兵關中,欲危劉氏而自立。今我破齊還報,此益呂氏之資也。」乃留屯滎陽,使使諭齊王及諸侯與連和,以待呂氏變,共誅之。齊王聞之,乃還兵西界待約。

8. When Lü Chan and the others heard that Liu Xiang was leading an army west, they sent the Marquis of Yingyin, Guan Ying, to lead troops to attack him. But when Guan Ying arrived at Xingyang, he thought to himself, "The Lü clan controls Guanzhong by force of arms, and they want to depose the Liu clan from power and set themselves up instead. If I smash the army of the Prince of Qi and then return to tell them so, that will only benefit the Lü clan." So he halted his army at Xingyang, while sending agents to convey his thoughts to Liu Xiang and the feudal lords and arrange peace terms with them. He was planning to wait until the Lü clan made an open bid for power, then have all of their forces join together to purge the Lü clan. When Liu Xiang heard this, he led his troops to the western border of his domain and waited until this arrangement could be worked out.

〈班《志》,潁陰縣屬潁川郡。〉

(According to the Book of Han, Yingyin county was part of Yingchuan commandary.)


呂產等遣大將軍灌嬰擊齊王。嬰乃陰與齊王約。留兵屯榮陽。(Records of Former Han 6, Annals of Empress Gao (Lü Zhi))

Lü Chan and the others sent the Grand General, Guan Ying, to attack Liu Xiang. But Guan Ying made a secret arrangement with Liu Xiang, and he camped his army at Xingyang.

漢聞齊發兵而西,相國呂產乃遣大將軍灌嬰東擊之。灌嬰至滎陽,乃謀曰:「諸呂將兵居關中,欲危劉氏而自立。我今破齊還報,是益呂氏資也。」乃留兵屯滎陽,使使喻齊王及諸侯,與連和,以待呂氏之變而共誅之。齊王聞之,乃西取其故濟南郡,亦屯兵於齊西界以待約。(Records of the Grand Historian 52, Biography of Liu Xiang)

When Lü Chan and the others heard that Liu Xiang was leading an army west, they sent the Grand General, Guan Ying, to lead troops east to attack him. But when Guan Ying arrived at Xingyang, he thought to himself, "The Lü clan controls Guanzhong by force of arms, and they want to depose the Liu clan from power and set themselves up instead. If I smash the army of the Prince of Qi and then return to tell them so, that will only benefit the Lü clan." So he halted his army at Xingyang, while sending agents to convey his thoughts to Liu Xiang and the feudal lords and arrange peace terms with them. He was planning to wait until the Lü clan made an open bid for power, then have all of their forces join together to purge the Lü clan. When Liu Xiang heard this, he led his troops west and reclaimed his former possession of Jinan commandary, then camped his forces at the western border of his domain and waited until this arrangement could be worked out.

漢聞之,相國呂產等遣大將軍潁陰侯灌嬰將兵擊之。嬰至滎陽,乃謀曰:「諸呂舉兵關中,欲危劉氏而自立,今我破齊還報,是益呂氏資也。」乃留兵屯滎陽,使人諭齊王及諸侯,與連和,以待呂氏之變而共誅之。齊王聞之,乃屯兵西界待約。(Book of Han 38, Biography of Liu Xiang)

When Lü Chan and the others heard that Liu Xiang was leading an army west, they sent the Grand General and Marquis of Yingyin, Guan Ying, to lead troops east to attack him. But when Guan Ying arrived at Xingyang, he thought to himself, "The Lü clan controls Guanzhong by force of arms, and they want to endanger the Liu clan and set themselves up instead. If I smash the army of the Prince of Qi and then return to tell them so, that will only benefit the Lü clan." So he halted his army at Xingyang, while sending agents to convey his thoughts to Liu Xiang and the feudal lords and arrange peace terms with them. He was planning to wait until the Lü clan made an open bid for power, then have all of their forces join together to purge the Lü clan. When Liu Xiang heard this, he camped his forces at the western border of his domain and waited until this arrangement could be worked out.


當是時,濟川王太、淮陽王武、常山王朝及魯王張偃皆年少,未之國,居長安;趙王祿、梁王產各將兵居南、北軍;皆呂氏之人也。列侯羣臣莫自堅其命。

9. At this time, since Zhang Yan and three of the remaining supposed sons of Emperor Hui, Liu Tai, Liu Wu, and Liu Chao, were still young, they had not yet left the capital to go out to their fiefs, but were still in Chang'an. And Lü Lu and Lü Chan were both in control of the soldiers of the Southern and Northern Armies, which were filled with their relatives. None of the nobles or ministers in the capital could be certain of their lives.

太尉絳侯勃不得主兵。曲周侯酈商老病,其子寄與呂祿善。絳侯乃與丞相陳平謀,使人劫酈商,令其子寄往紿說呂祿曰︰「高帝與呂后共定天下,劉氏所立九王,呂氏所立三王,皆大臣之議,事已布告諸侯,皆以爲宜。今太后崩,帝少,而足下佩趙王印,不急之國守藩,乃爲上將,將兵留此,爲大臣諸侯所疑。足下何不歸將印,以兵屬太尉;請梁王歸相國印,與大臣盟而之國。齊兵必罷,大臣得安,足下高枕而王千里,此萬世之利也。」呂祿信然其計,欲以兵屬太尉;使人報呂產及諸呂老人,或以爲便,或曰不便,計猶豫未有所決。

10. Zhou Bo could not exert unquestioned authority over the soldiers. But he knew that the Marquis of Quzhou, Li Shang, was old and sick by now, and that Li Shang's son Li Ji was good friends with Lü Lu. So he and Chen Ping plotted together, and they sent someone to kidnap Li Shang.

Then they ordered Li Ji to go and deceive Lü Lu by telling him, "It was Emperor Gao (Liu Bang) and Empress Lü who settled the realm together. When they appointed the nine current princes of the Liu clan, and the three current princes of the Lü clan, it was done properly, since they had discussed the appointments with the chief ministers and announced them to all the feudal lords. Yet now the Empress Dowager has passed away, and the Emperor is still a child. You possesses the seal of the Prince of Zhao, yet rather than hurry to your assigned fief to defend the border, you are acting as Supreme General and commanding troops in the capital. Thus the chief ministers and the feudal lords are all suspicious of you. Why not return your general's seal, hand over your troops to the Grand Commandant (Zhou Bo), ask the Prince of Liang (Lü Chan) to return his seal as Chancellor of State, and make an agreement with the chief ministers that you will both go out to your fiefs? Then the Prince of Qi's army will disband of its own accord, and the chief ministers will feel reassured with you. You will be able to sleep soundly, as master of a fief of a thousand li. That would bring you a benefit of ten thousand generations."

Lü Lu agreed with this advice, and he was planning to hand his soldiers over to Zhou Bo. But when he sent word of his intentions to Lü Chan and the other elders of the Lü clan, some agreed with the proposal while others did not, and they hesitated and could not come to a decision.

〈班《志》,曲周縣屬廣平國。〉〈楚王交,高祖弟。代王恆、淮南王長,高祖子。吳王濞,高祖姪。琅邪王澤,劉氏疏屬。齊王襄,高祖孫。常山王朝、淮陽武、濟川王太,惠帝子。〉〈梁王呂產、趙王呂祿、燕王呂通也。〉〈【章︰甲十五行本重「諸侯」二字;乙十一行本同;孔本同;張校同。】〉

(According to the Book of Han, Quzhou county was part of the Guangping princely fief.

The nine princes of the Liu clan at this time were: the Prince of Chu, Liu Jiao, Liu Bang's younger brother; the Prince of Dai, Liu Heng, and the Prince of Huainan, Liu Chang, both of whom were Liu Bang's sons; the Prince of Wu, Liu Bi, Liu Bang's nephew; the Prince of Langye, Liu Ze, a distant kinsman of the royal family; the Prince of Qi, Liu Xiang, Liu Bang's grandson; and the Prince of Changshan, Liu Chao, the Prince of Huaiyang, Liu Wu, and the Prince of Jichuan, Liu Tai, all of whom were Emperor Hui's supposed sons.

The three princes of the Lü clan at this time were the Prince of Liang, Lü Chan, the Prince of Zhao, Lü Lu, and the Prince of Yan, Lü Tong.

Some versions repeat the term "the feudal lords" such that the passage says that "the feudal lords" were the ones in particular that the process used to appoint the various princes had been proper.)


曲周侯酈商。其子寄與呂祿善。周勃陳平使人執劫商。而令寄說呂祿曰。高帝與呂后定天下。劉氏所立九王。呂氏所立三王。皆大臣之義。事已布告諸侯王。諸侯王以為宜。今太后崩。少帝幼。足下不急之國守蕃。乃為上將將兵。為大臣諸侯所疑。何不速歸將軍印綬。因以兵屬太尉。請梁王亦歸相印。與大臣盟而之國。高枕而王千里。此萬世之利。祿然其計。報產及諸呂。多以為不便。計未決。(Records of Former Han 6, Annals of Empress Gao (Lü Zhi))

The Marquis of Quzhou was Li Shang, and his son Li Ji was good friends with Lü Lu. Zhou Bo and Chen Ping thus sent someone to kidnap Li Shang.

Then they ordered Li Ji to persuade Lü Lu by telling him, "It was Emperor Gao (Liu Bang) and Empress Lü who settled the realm together. When they appointed the nine current princes of the Liu clan, and the three current princes of the Lü clan, it was done properly, since the chief minister felt that the appointments were righteous and when the announcements were made to all the feudal lords, the feudal lords consented to them. Yet now the Empress Dowager has passed away, and the Emperor is still a child. As for you, rather than hurry to your assigned fief to defend the border, you are acting as Supreme General and commanding troops in the capital. Thus the chief ministers and the feudal lords are all suspicious of you. Why not quickly return your general's seal, hand over your troops to the Grand Commandant (Zhou Bo), ask the Prince of Liang (Lü Chan) to return his seal as Chancellor of State, and make an agreement with the chief ministers that you will both go out to your fiefs? You will be able to sleep soundly, as prince of a fief of a thousand li. That would bring you a benefit of ten thousand generations."

Lü Lu agreed with this advice. But when he sent word of his intentions to Lü Chan and the other elders of the Lü clan, many felt that the plan was impractical, and they hesitated and could not come to a decision.


呂祿信酈寄,時與出游獵,過其姑呂X。X大怒曰︰「若爲將而棄軍,呂氏今無處矣!」乃悉出珠玉、寶器散堂下,曰︰「毋爲他人守也!」

11. Since Lü Lu trusted Li Ji, he decided to go out hunting with him. As they passed by the house of Lü Lu's aunt Lü Xu, she furiously told him, "You are a general, yet now you've abandoned your army. The Lü clan is finished!" And she threw all of her pearls, jade, and treasures out of her house, declaring, "I won't let anyone else claim these!"

〈X,呂后之妹,樊噲之妻;於祿,姑也。〉

(Lü Xu was Lü Zhi's younger sister, and the widow of Fan Kuai, thus she was Lü Lu's aunt.)


祿信寄。與俱出遊。過其姑呂X。X怒曰。汝為將軍而棄軍。呂氏今無類矣。乃悉出珠玉寶器散之堂下。曰無為他人守也。(Records of Former Han 6, Annals of Empress Gao (Lü Zhi))

Since Lü Lu trusted Li Ji, he decided to go out wandering with him. As they passed by the house of Lü Lu's aunt Lü Xu, she furiously told him, "You are a general, yet now you've abandoned your army. The Lü clan is finished!" And she threw all of her pearls, jade, and treasures out of her house, declaring, "I won't let anyone else claim these!"


九月,庚申旦,平陽侯窋行御史大夫事,見相國產計事。郎中令賈壽使從齊來,因數產曰︰「王不早之國;今雖欲行,尚可得耶!」具以灌嬰與齊、楚合從欲誅諸呂告產,且趣產急入宮。平陽侯頗聞其語,馳告丞相、太尉。

12. In the ninth month, at dawn on the day Gengshen, since Cao Zhu was acting as the Imperial Secretary, he happened to be discussing state affairs with Lü Chan. While they were talking, the Prefect of the Household Gentlemen, Jia Shou, returned from an assignment to the Qi region. He rebuked Lü Chan, telling him, "You should have gone out to your fief earlier! Even if you wanted to go now, could you even reach it?" And he informed Lü Chan that Guan Ying had joined forces with Liu Xiang and the Prince of Chu, Liu Jiao, all of whom now intended to carry out a 'vertical alliance' to purge the Lü clan. He urged Lü Chan to hurry into the palace. As Cao Zhu had overheard their discussion, he quickly sent news of these events to Chen Ping and Zhou Bo.

〈《考異》曰︰《史記‧本紀》,「八月庚申旦」上有「八月丙午」。《漢書‧高后紀》亦云「八月庚申」。今以《長曆》推之,下「八月」當爲「九月」。〉〈《姓譜》︰周康王封唐叔虞少子公明於賈城,子孫以國爲氏。又,晉大夫賈季食邑於賈,其後以邑爲氏。〉〈師古曰︰齊、楚俱在山東,連兵西鄕,欲誅諸呂,亦猶六國爲從以敵秦,故謂之合從也。〉

(Sima Guang's commentary in the Textual Analysis states, "The Annals of Empress Lü in the Records of the Grand Historian notes that this event took place 'in the eighth month, at dawn on the day Gengshen'. However, above that entry it notes a different event in the same year as taking place 'in the eighth month, on the day Bingwu'. The Annals of Empress Lü in the Book of Han also places this event 'in the eighth month, on the day Gengshen'. But taking into account both the list of days as mentioned in the Calendar Records and the fact that the Records of the Grand Historian lists 'the eighth month' twice, it must have been the case that the second 'eighth month' should have been 'the ninth month'. I have altered the chronology accordingly."

Regarding the surname 賈 Jia, the Registry of Surnames states, "King Kang of Zhou granted Shuyu of Tang's youngest son Gongming a fief at Jiacheng, and his descendants took the name of this fief as their clan name. There was also one of the chief ministers of the state of Jin, Jia Ji, who had his fief at Jia, and his descendants also took the name of this fief as their clan name."

Regarding the term "vertical alliance", Yan Shigu remarked, "Since the Princes of Qi and Chu were uniting the forces east of the mountains to march west against the capital to purge the Lü clan, they were acting similar to former times, where the Six States of the Warring States era east of the mountains would combine forces to fight the state of Qin, a policy known as a 'vertical alliance'. Thus Jia Shou uses this term here.")


太尉欲入北軍,不得入。襄平侯紀通尚符節,乃令持節矯內太尉北軍。太尉復令酈寄與典客劉揭先說呂祿曰︰「帝使太尉守北軍,欲足下之國。急歸將印,辭去!不然,禍且起。」呂祿以爲酈況不欺己,遂解印屬典客,而以兵授太尉。太尉至軍,呂祿已去。太尉入軍門,行令軍中曰︰「爲呂氏右袒,爲劉氏左袒!」軍中皆左袒。太尉遂將北軍;然尚有南軍。丞相平乃召朱虛侯章佐太尉;太尉令朱虛侯監軍門,令平陽侯告衞尉︰「毋入相國產殿門!」

13. Zhou Bo wanted to gain access to the troops of the Northern Army, but could not get in. Since the Marquis of Xiangping, Ji Tong, was serving as Master of Credentials, Zhou Bo ordered him to provide him with false credentials granting Zhou Bo access to the Northern Army in his capacity as Grand Commandant.

At the same time, he had ordered Li Ji and the Director of Guests, Liu Jie, to go and advise Lü Lu, "The Emperor has ordered the Grand Commandant to take command of the Northern Army, and he wants you to go out to your fief. You should hand over your seal as general and take your leave at once! Otherwise, you'll be caught up in disaster." Since Lü Lu never suspected that Li Ji might deceive him, he had indeed handed over his seal to Liu Jie and assigned his soldiers to Zhou Bo's command. By the time Zhou Bo arrived at the Northern Army, Lü Lu had already left.

When Zhou Bo came into the gate of the Northern Army, he sent out an order among the soldiers: "Let those who support the Lü clan bare their right arms, and those who support the Liu clan bare their left arms!" The soldiers all bared their left arms. Zhou Bo thus assumed command of the Northern Army.

The plotters still had to account for the Southern Army. So Chen Ping summoned Liu Zhang and told him to assist Zhou Bo. Zhou Bo ordered Liu Zhang to take charge of the soldiers guarding the palace gates, and he ordered Liu Xingju to tell the Commandant of the Guards, "Do not let the Chancellor of State (Lü Chan) through the gates!"

〈班《志》,襄平縣屬遼東郡。張晏曰︰紀通,紀信子也。尚,主也;今符節令也。晉灼曰︰紀信焚死,不見其後。《功臣表》云︰通,紀成之子,以成死事故封侯。貢父曰︰漢祖以善用人得天下,豈忘紀信之功哉!疑成者,卽信之一名也。通尚符節,故使持節矯以帝命內勃北軍。內,讀曰納。〉〈班《志》︰典客,秦官,掌諸侯、歸義蠻夷;景帝中六年,更名大行令;武帝太初元年,更名大鴻臚。〉〈師古曰︰袒者,脫衣袖而肉袒也;左、右袒者,偏脫其一耳。鄭氏註《覲禮》云︰凡爲禮事者左袒;若請罪待刑則右袒。〉〈衞尉,掌宮門衞屯兵。平陽侯時爲御史大夫,蓋將丞相之命以告衞尉,使毋納產也。〉

(According to the Book of Han, Xiangping county was part of Liaodong commandary.

Regarding this Ji Tong, Zhang Yan argued, "He was the son of Ji Xin. The term 尚 here means 'master'; he was the Prefect of Credentials." Jin Zhuo argued, "Ji Xin had been burned to death, and he had had no heirs. The Table of Accomplished Ministers identifies this Ji Tong as the son of Ji Cheng, and that he had been appointed as a marquis after Ji Cheng's death." Gong Fu argued, "Liu Bang gained the realm because he was so skilled at making use of people. Could he possibly have overlooked Ji Xin's achievements? I suspect that this 'Ji Cheng' was another name for Ji Xin. Ji Tong was Master of Credentials, thus he was able to give Zhou Bo false credentials for an imperial order placing the Northern Army under Zhou Bo's authority. The term 內 here should be read as 納 'accepted'."

According to the Book of Han, Director of Guests had been a Qin office; it was in charge of relations with the feudal lords and the various foreign tribes who had submitted to imperial authority. In the sixth year of the middle part of Emperor Jing's reign (144 BC), the office was renamed to Prefect of Envoys. In Emperor Wu's first year of Taichu (104 BC), it was further renamed to Grand Herald.

Yan Shigu remarked, "To 'bare' means to remove one's shirt and expose the flesh beneath. To bare the left or right simply meant to expose the left or right arm." Zheng Xuan's Annotations to the Rites of Audience states, "It was traditional to bare the left arm; baring the right arm was done by those asking forgiveness for their crimes and expecting punishment."

The Commandant of the Guards was in charge of the guards stationed at the palace gates. Since Cao Zhu was acting as Imperial Secretary at this time, Chen Ping and Zhou Bo must have had him convey the order not to allow Lü Chan through the gates.)


八月。太尉周勃復令寄謂祿曰。帝使太尉守北軍。欲令足下之國。急歸將軍印綬辭去。不然禍且起。祿遂解印屬典客。而以兵授勃。勃入軍門。行令軍中曰。為呂氏者右袒。為劉氏者左袒。軍皆左袒。勃遂統北軍兵。(Records of Former Han 6, Annals of Empress Gao (Lü Zhi))

In the eighth month, Zhou Bo once again ordered Li Ji to tell Lü Lu, "The Emperor has ordered the Grand Commandant to take command of the Northern Army, and he wants to order you to go out to your fief. You should hand over your seal as general and take your leave at once. Otherwise, you'll be caught up in disaster." Lü Lu thus handed over his seal to the Director of Guests and assigned his soldiers to Zhou Bo's command.

When Zhou Bo came into the gate of the Northern Army, he sent out an order among the soldiers: "Let those who support the Lü clan bare their right arms, and those who support the Liu clan bare their left arms." The soldiers all bared their left arms. Zhou Bo thus assumed command of the Northern Army.


呂產不知呂祿已去北軍,乃入未央宮,欲爲亂。至殿門,弗得入,徘徊往來。平陽侯恐弗勝,馳語太尉。太尉尚恐不勝諸呂,未敢公言誅之,乃謂朱虛侯曰︰「急入宮衞帝!」朱虛侯請卒,太尉予卒千餘人。入未央宮門,見產廷中。日餔時,遂擊產;產走。天風大起,以故其從官亂,莫敢鬬;逐產,殺之郎中府吏廁中。朱虛侯已殺產,帝命謁者持節勞朱虛侯。朱虛侯欲奪其節,謁者不肯。朱虛侯則從與載,因節信馳走,斬長樂衞尉呂更始。還,馳入北軍報太尉,太尉起拜賀。朱虛侯曰︰「所患獨呂產;今已誅,天下定矣!」遂遣人分部悉捕諸呂男女,無少長皆斬之。辛酉,捕斬呂祿而笞殺呂X,使人誅燕王呂通而廢魯王張偃。戊辰,徙濟川王王梁。遣朱虛侯章以誅諸呂事告齊王,令罷兵。

14. Unaware that Lü Lu had already given up control of the Northern Army, Lü Chan now rushed to the Weiyang Palace, planning to launch a coup. But when he came to the gates, the guards would not let him in, so he paced back and forth in front of them.

Cao Zhu was afraid that the Liu faction might not succeed, and he hurried to inform Zhou Bo. But Zhou Bo, who was also afraid that the Lü clan might still win out in the end, did not dare to openly give an order to purge them. Instead, he told Liu Zhang, "Hurry into the palace and guard the Emperor!"

Liu Zhang asked him for some soldiers, so Zhou Bo assigned him about a thousand troops. Liu Zhang then led them to the gates of the Weiyang Palace, where he saw Lü Chan standing in the courtyard. It was about dinnertime by then. Liu Zhang and his soldiers rushed to attack Lü Chan, who fled. A great wind suddenly sprang up then, throwing the officials following Lü Chan into confusion, and none of them dared to oppose the soldiers. Liu Zhang pursued Lü Chan and killed him in the lavatory of the office of the Household Gentlemen.

Since Liu Zhang had killed Lü Chan, the Little Emperor sent a diplomat bearing a Staff of Authority to go to Liu Zhang and offer his congratulations. Liu Zhang tried to wrest the Staff of Authority away from the diplomat, but they would not give it up. So Liu Zhang forced admittance into the diplomat's carriage, and he was thus able to get through the checkpoints. He beheaded the Commandant of the Guards of Changle Palace, Lü Gengshi. Then he returned to the Northern Army and reported his deeds to Zhou Bo, who rose and saluted him in congratulations. Liu Zhang said, "Lü Chan was the only one I was worried about, but now that he's been executed, the realm can be settled!"

The plotters sent out their agents to round up every member of the Lü clan, man or woman, young or old. All of them were beheaded. On the day Xinyou, they arrested Lü Lu and killed him, and they thrashed Lü Xu to death. They also executed Lü Tong, and they stripped Zhang Yan of his title as Prince of Lu. On the day Xuchen, they changed Liu Tai's title from Prince of Jichuan to Prince of Liang.

The plotters sent Liu Zhang out to inform Liu Xiang that the Lü clan had been purged and to order him to disband his army.

〈予,讀曰與。〉〈如淳曰︰郎中令,掌宮殿門戶,故府在宮中。〉〈申時食爲餔。〉〈師古曰︰因謁者所持之節,用爲信也。章與謁者同車,故爲門者所信,得入長樂宮。〉〈呂產旣誅,故徙太王梁。〉

(The term 予 here should be read as 與 "assigned".

The meal eaten in the evening was dinner.

Ru Chun remarked, "The Prefect of the Household Gentlemen supervised his charges inside the palace, thus his office was inside the palace."

Yan Shigu remarked, "The diplomat carried the Staff of Authority as a sign of trust. By riding in the same carriage as the diplomat, Liu Zhang was able to take advantage of this sign of trust to gain access to the Changle Palace."

Lü Chan had been Prince of Liang; now that he had been executed, the title was transferred to Liu Tai.)


高后七年
二月丁巳,王太元年。惠帝子。
高后八年
九月誅,國除。
孝文元年
廢為侯。(Records of the Grand Historian 17, Annual Timeline of the Han Princes)

In the seventh year of Lü Zhi's reign (181 BC), in the second month, on the day Dingsi, she appointed Liu Jia as Prince of Liang; he was Emperor Hui's son.

In the eighth year of Lü Zhi's reign (180 BC), in the ninth month, Lü Chan, Lü Lu, and Lü Tong were executed. Their fiefs were abolished into their constituent commandaries.

In the first year of Emperor Wen's reign (179 BC), Zhang Yan was demoted to a marquis.

及呂氏之誅。其卒見全者。皆建之力也... 而朱虛侯將率千人入未央宮斬呂產。辛酉。斬呂祿。諸呂無問長幼皆斬之... 於是告齊王令罷兵。(Records of Former Han 6, Annals of Empress Gao (Lü Zhi))

During the purge of the Lü clan, it was all thanks to the efforts of Zhu Jian that Shen Yiji was spared from execution.

The Marquis of Zhuxu, Liu Zhang, led a thousand soldiers into the Weiyang Palace and beheaded Lü Chan. Then every member of the Lü clan, young or old, was beheaded.

The chief ministers sent word to Liu Xiang, ordering him to disband his army.

呂祿、呂產欲作亂關中,朱虛侯與太尉勃、丞相平等誅之。朱虛侯首先斬呂產,於是太尉勃等乃得盡誅諸呂... 而遣朱虛侯以誅呂氏事告齊王,令罷兵。(Records of the Grand Historian 52, Biography of Liu Xiang)

Lü Lu and Lü Chan wished to launch a coup in Guanzhong. But Liu Zhang and the Grand Commandant, Zhou Bo, the Prime Minister, Chen Ping, and others executed them. Liu Zhang first took the head of Lü Chan, and Zhou Bo and the others then executed all the rest of the Lü clan.

The chief ministers sent Liu Zhang out to inform Liu Xiang that the Lü clan had been purged and to order him to disband his army.

呂祿、呂產欲作亂,朱虛侯章與太尉勃、丞相平等誅之。章首先斬呂產,太尉勃等乃盡誅諸呂... 而遣章以誅呂氏事告齊王,令罷兵。(Book of Han 38, Biography of Liu Xiang)

Lü Lu and Lü Chan wished to launch a coup. But Liu Zhang and the Grand Commandant, Zhou Bo, the Prime Minister, Chen Ping, and others executed them. Liu Zhang first took the head of Lü Chan, and Zhou Bo and the others then executed all the rest of the Lü clan.

The chief ministers sent Liu Zhang out to inform Liu Xiang that the Lü clan had been purged and to order him to disband his army.

高后崩,諸呂無道,大臣誅之,而廢魯元王及樂昌侯、信諸侯。孝文帝即位,復封故魯元王偃為南宮侯,續張氏。(Records of the Grand Historian 89, Biography of Zhang Ao)

After Lü Zhi's death, since the Lü clan was without principle, the chief ministers purged them. They stripped Zhang Yan and his brothers of their titles.

Later, during Emperor Wen's reign, he appointed Zhang Yan as Marquis of the Southern Palace, so that he would be able to continue Zhang Er's lineage.

高后崩,大臣誅諸呂,廢魯王及二侯。孝文即位,復封故魯王偃為南宮侯。薨,子生嗣。武帝時,生有罪免,國除。元光中,復封偃孫廣國為睢陵侯。薨,子昌嗣。太初中,昌坐不敬免,國除。孝平元始二年,繼絕世,封敖玄孫慶忌為宣平侯,食千戶。(Book of Han 32, Biography of Zhang Ao)

After Lü Zhi's death, the chief ministers purged the Lü clan. They stripped Zhang Yan and his brothers of their titles.

Later, during Emperor Wen's reign, he appointed Zhang Yan as Marquis of the Southern Palace.

When Zhang Yan passed away, his son Zhang Sheng succeeded him. Early in the reign of Emperor Wu, Zhang Sheng was accused of a crime and stripped of his title, so the fief was abolished. But during the Yuanguang reign era (134-129 BC), Zhang Yan's grandson Zhang Guangguo was appointed as Marquis of Suiling.

When Zhang Guangguo passed away, his son Zhang Chang succeeded him. During the Taichu reign era (104-101 BC), Zhang Chang was charged with being unfilial and stripped of his title, so the fief was abolished.

In Emperor Ping's second year of Yuanshi (2 AD), in order to restore Zhang Er's severed lineage, Zhang Ao's great-great-grandson Zhang Qingji was once again appointed as Marquis of Xuanping, with a fief of a thousand households.


灌嬰在滎陽,聞魏勃本敎齊王舉兵,使使召魏勃至,責問之。勃曰︰「失火之家,豈暇先言丈人而後救火乎!」因退立,股戰而栗,恐不能言者,終無他語。灌將軍熟視笑曰︰「人謂魏勃勇;妄庸人耳,何能爲乎!」乃罷魏勃。灌嬰兵亦罷滎陽歸。

15. While Guan Ying was at Xingyang, he heard that Wei Bo had been the one to convince Liu Xiang to raise his troops and march for the capital. Guan Ying sent agents to summon Wei Bo to Xingyang, then berated him and asked why he had done such a thing.

At first, Wei Bo replied, "When the house is on fire, one does not first seek permission from the master before fighting the blaze!" But he soon stepped back, and slapped his thighs because they were quivering so much; he was too afraid to speak, so he said nothing further.

Guan Ying broke into a smile and said, "People always told me that Wei Bo was a brave man. How could he be this brash mediocrity?" And he dismissed Wei Bo.

Guan Ying also disbanded his army and returned from Xingyang.

〈師古曰︰言以社稷將危,故舉兵而正之,不暇待有詔命也。股,脚也。戰者,懼之甚也。栗,與慄同。〉

(Yan Shigu remarked, "Wei Bo was saying that when the fortunes of the state were threatened, he had made Liu Xiang raise his troops to rectify the situation at once, and did not have free time to wait for an imperial order to act. The term 股 means 'thigh'. He slapped them because of how frightened he was. 栗 is the same as 慄 'quivering'.")


灌嬰在滎陽,聞魏勃本教齊王反,既誅呂氏,罷齊兵,使使召責問魏勃。勃曰:「失火之家,豈暇先言大人而後救火乎!」因退立,股戰而栗,恐不能言者,終無他語。灌將軍熟視笑曰:「人謂魏勃勇,妄庸人耳,何能為乎!」乃罷魏勃。魏勃父以善鼓琴見秦皇帝。及魏勃少時,欲求見齊相曹參,家貧無以自通,乃常獨早夜埽齊相舍人門外。相舍人怪之,以為物,而伺之,得勃。勃曰:「願見相君,無因,故為子埽,欲以求見。」於是舍人見勃曹參,因以為舍人。一為參御,言事,參以為賢,言之齊悼惠王。悼惠王召見,則拜為內史。始,悼惠王得自置二千石。及悼惠王卒而哀王立,勃用事,重於齊相。(Records of the Grand Historian 52, Biography of Liu Xiang)

While Guan Ying was at Xingyang, he heard that Wei Bo had been the one to convince Liu Xiang to raise his troops and march for the capital. Since by now the Lü clan had been purged, Liu Xiang was going to disband his army. Guan Ying sent agents to summon Wei Bo to Xingyang, then berated him and asked why he had done such a thing.

At first, Wei Bo replied, "When the house is on fire, one does not first seek permission from the master before fighting the blaze!" But he soon stepped back, and slapped his thighs because they were quivering so much; he was too afraid to speak, so he said nothing further.

Guan Ying broke into a smile and said, "People always told me that Wei Bo was a brave man. How could he be this brash mediocrity?" And he dismissed Wei Bo.

Wei Bo's father, who had been skilled at playing the zither, had once met the First Emperor of Qin. And when Wei Bo was young, he had wanted to meet the Chancellor of Qi at that time, Cao Can. But since his family was poor, he lacked the connections to get an audience. So he often spent day and night sweeping outside the gates of the Chancellor's office all by himself. The servants there were amazed by his behavior, believing it strange, and eventually they asked him his purpose. Wei Bo told them, "I wanted to meet the Chancellor, but have no way to do so. Thus I have been sweeping here, hoping to get an audience." So the servants brought him to meet Cao Can, and in this manner he became employed as a servant as well. He later became a driver for Cao Can's carriage, and they spoke together. Cao Can was impressed and believed him to be a worthy man, and he recommended him to Liu Fei. Liu Fei thus summoned him for a meeting, and he appointed Wei Bo as one of his Interior Ministers. So he rose as high as a Two Thousand 石 salary official during the time of Liu Fei, and after Liu Fei passed away and Liu Xiang succeeded him, Wei Bo served him as well and rose to become Chancellor of Qi.

灌嬰在滎陽,聞魏勃本教齊王反,既誅呂氏,罷齊兵,使使召責問魏勃。勃曰:「失火之家,豈暇先言丈人後救火乎!」因退立,股戰而栗。恐不能言者,終無他語。灌將軍孰視,笑曰:「人謂魏勃勇,妄庸人耳,何能為乎!」乃罷勃。勃父以善鼓琴見秦皇帝。及勃少時,欲求見齊相曹參,家貧無以自通,乃常獨早埽齊相舍人門外。舍人怪之,以為物而司之,得勃。勃曰:「願見相君無因,故為子埽,欲以求見。」於是舍人見勃,曹參因以為舍人。壹為參御言事,以為賢,言之悼惠王。王召見,拜為內史。始悼惠王得自置二千石。及悼惠王薨,哀王嗣,勃用事重於相。(Book of Han 38, Biography of Liu Xiang)

While Guan Ying was at Xingyang, he heard that Wei Bo had been the one to convince Liu Xiang to raise his troops and march for the capital. Since by now the Lü clan had been purged, Liu Xiang was going to disband his army. Guan Ying sent agents to summon Wei Bo to Xingyang, then berated him and asked why he had done such a thing.

At first, Wei Bo replied, "When the house is on fire, one does not first seek permission from the master before fighting the blaze!" But he soon stepped back, and slapped his thighs because they were quivering so much; he was too afraid to speak, so he said nothing further.

Guan Ying broke into a smile and said, "People always told me that Wei Bo was a brave man. How could he be this brash mediocrity?" And he dismissed Wei Bo.

Wei Bo's father, who had been skilled at playing the zither, had once met the First Emperor of Qin. And when Wei Bo was young, he had wanted to meet the Chancellor of Qi at that time, Cao Can. But since his family was poor, he lacked the connections to get an audience. So he often spent the mornings sweeping outside the gates of the Chancellor's office all by himself. The servants there were amazed by his behavior, believing it strange, and eventually they asked him his purpose. Wei Bo told them, "I wanted to meet the Chancellor, but have no way to do so. Thus I have been sweeping here, hoping to get an audience." So the servants brought him to meet Cao Can, and in this manner he became employed as a servant as well. He later became a driver for Cao Can's carriage, and they spoke together. Cao Can was impressed and believed him to be a worthy man, and he recommended him to Liu Fei. Liu Fei thus summoned him for a meeting, and he appointed Wei Bo as one of his Interior Ministers. So he rose as high as a Two Thousand 石 salary official during the time of Liu Fei, and after Liu Fei passed away and Liu Xiang succeeded him, Wei Bo served him as well and rose to become Chancellor of Qi.


班固贊曰︰孝文時,天下以酈寄爲賣友。夫賣友者,謂見利而忘義也。若寄父爲功臣而又執劫;雖摧呂祿以安社稷,誼存君親可也。

16. In the Book of Han, the historian Ban Gu remarked: During Emperor Wen's reign, the general sentiment was that Li Ji had sold out his friend Lü Lu. But someone who sells out a friend is someone who chases after self-interest and turns their back on what is right. Could this apply to what Li Ji had done? After all, Li Ji's father Li Shang was an accomplished servant of the dynasty, and moreover Li Ji was being compelled to act because his father was under duress. Although he brought about Lü Lu's death, friendship can be set aside for the sake of preserving one's lord and one's father.

〈言寄與祿友善,詭說之出游,因奪其兵而誅之,是寄賣友也。〉〈師古曰︰周勃劫其父,令其子行說。予謂劫者,劫質也。蓋劫寄父商爲質,諭以不行說祿將殺之也。蓋當時皆以寄爲賣友,故固發明父子、朋友各有其倫,爲人臣子者當知所緩急先後也。〉

(Ban Gu was referring to how, although Li Ji was Lü Lu's friend, he had deceived him into going out hunting, thus giving the other plotters the opportunity to seize command of Lü Lu's soldiers and execute him. Thus Li Ji had "sold out" Lü Lu.

Yan Shigu remarked, "Zhou Bo had kidnapped Li Shang in order to compel his son Li Ji to deceive Lü Lu." I (Hu Sanxing) say that "duress" meant that Li Shang was a hostage. It must have been the case that, since Li Shang was Zhou Bo's hostage, if Li Ji had not advised Lü Lu as Zhou Bo demanded, Zhou Bo would have killed Li Shang. So although people at the time believed that Li Ji had sold out his friend, Ban Gu later made these remarks in order to clarify the competing demands on Li Ji between being a friend to Lü Lu and ensuring the life of his father. Ban Gu was showing how one of these relationships should take precedence over the other.)


諸大臣相與陰謀曰︰「少帝及梁、淮陽、恆山王,皆非眞孝惠子也;呂后以計詐名他人子,殺其母養後宮,令孝惠子之,立以爲後及諸王,以強呂氏。今皆已夷滅諸呂,而所立卽長,用事,吾屬無類矣!不如視諸王最賢者立之。」或言︰「齊王,高帝長孫,可立也。」大臣皆曰︰「呂氏以外家惡而幾危宗廟,亂功臣。今齊王舅駟鈞,虎而冠;卽立齊王,復爲呂氏矣。代王方今高帝見子最長,仁孝寬厚;太后家薄氏謹良。且立長固順,況以仁孝聞天下乎!」乃相與共陰使人召代王。

17. The chief ministers gathered in secret council to discuss what to do next. They said to one another, "The Little Emperor and the Princes of Liang, Huaiyang, and Hengshan are not really the sons of Emperor Hui. Empress Lü merely took these boys from someone else and killed their mothers, gave them false names, raised them in secret in the rear palace, and ordered Emperor Hui to adopt them. Making one of them the heir and the others into princes were all done purely to strengthen the position of the Lü clan. Although we have purged the Lü clan themselves, if we allow these false sons to grow to manhood and take command of affairs, that will be the end of us! We had better find out which of the true princes is worthiest and support him as the new emperor."

Some of them argued, "The Prince of Qi (Liu Xiang) is Emperor Gao's eldest grandson. We might support him."

But the others replied, "The Lü clan were marital relatives of Emperor Hui, and we have just seen how close they came to toppling the royal family and inflicting disaster upon the accomplished ministers. The Prince of Qi too has a wicked uncle, Si Jun, who is no more than a tiger in human clothing. If we support the Prince of Qi to be the new emperor, it will be the Lü clan all over again.

"There is another option: the Prince of Dai (Liu Heng). He is the eldest of Emperor Gao's living sons, and he is a benevolent, filial, magnanimous, and generous man. And his mother Consort Bo will make a fine and respectful Empress Dowager. The realm will already be inclined to obey our decision just by supporting the eldest son, so naturally they will be even more willing to accept a sovereign as benevolent and filial as the Prince of Dai!"

So they secretly sent envoys to summon Liu Heng to the capital.

〈言駟鈞惡戾,如虎而著冠。〉〈言高帝見在諸子惟代王爲最長也。代王,高帝姬薄氏所生。薄姓,戰國已有之;《風俗通》︰衞有賢人薄疑。〉

(The ministers were saying that Si Jun was so wicked and despicable that he was no better than a tiger wearing a human's hat.

The ministers were saying that of the sons of Liu Bang who were still alive, Liu Heng was the oldest.

Liu Heng was the son of Liu Bang by Consort Bo. Regarding the surname 薄 Bo, it already existed by the time of the Warring States era, since the Fengsu Tong mentions that there was a worthy man in the state of Wey named Bo Yi.)


大臣謀以為少帝及諸王皆非惠帝子。欲盡誅之。立齊王。議者曰。王暴戾。虎冠之。代王母家薄氏。君子也。且代王親高帝子。於今為長。仁孝聞於天下。以子則順。以賢則大臣安。乃迎代王。(Records of Former Han 6, Annals of Empress Gao (Lü Zhi))

The chief ministers discussed how the Little Emperor and the Princes of Liang, Huaiyang, and Hengshan were not really the sons of Emperor Hui, and they planned to execute them all and acclaim Liu Xiang as the new emperor. But some of them argued, “The Prince of Qi is a violent and cruel man, no more than a tiger in human clothing. But the Prince of Dai (Liu Heng), the son of Lady Bo, is a worthy fellow. He is the eldest of Emperor Gao's living sons, and the realm knows of his benevolent and filial reputation. Since he is the eldest son, the people will support him, and since he is a worthy man, the chief ministers will feel reassured as well.”

So they welcomed Liu Heng to come to the capital.

而瑯邪王亦從齊至長安。大臣議欲立齊王,而瑯邪王及大臣曰:「齊王母家駟鈞,惡戾,虎而冠者也。方以呂氏故幾亂天下,今又立齊王,是欲復為呂氏也。代王母家薄氏,君子長者;且代王又親高帝子,於今見在,且最為長。以子則順,以善人則大臣安。」於是大臣乃謀迎立代王... 王既罷兵歸,而代王來立,是為孝文帝。(Records of the Grand Historian 52, Biography of Liu Xiang)

Liu Ze arrived in Chang'an from Qi.

The chief ministers discussed whether they should support Liu Xiang to be the new Emperor. But Liu Ze and some of the other chief ministers argued against it. They said, "The Prince of Qi's uncle from his mother's family, Si Jun, is a wicked and despicable man, no more than a tiger in human clothing. We have just seen how close the Lü clan came to bringing turmoil to the realm. If we support the Prince of Qi to be the new Emperor, it will be the Lü clan all over again. Why not the Prince of Dai? His mother's family is the Bo clan, and he is a worthy fellow himself. Besides, he is the eldest living son of Emperor Gao. Since he is a son of Emperor Gao, the people will support him, and since he is a good man, the chief ministers will feel reassured as well."

Thus they plotted to welcome Liu Heng to the capital. Liu Xiang disbanded his army and returned to his fief, while Liu Heng came to the capital and was acclaimed as the new Emperor, later to be known as Emperor Wen.

而琅邪王亦從齊至長安。大臣議欲立齊王,皆曰:「母家駟鈞惡戾,虎而冠者也。訪以呂氏故,幾亂天下,今又立齊王,是欲復為呂氏也。代王母家薄氏,君子長者,且代王,高帝子,於今見在,最為長。以子則順,以善人則大臣安。」於是大臣乃謀迎代王... 齊王既罷兵歸,而代王立,是為孝文帝。(Book of Han 38, Biography of Liu Xiang)

Liu Ze arrived in Chang'an from Qi.

The chief ministers discussed whether they should support Liu Xiang to be the new Emperor. But they decided, "The Prince of Qi's uncle from his mother's family, Si Jun, is a wicked and despicable man, no more than a tiger in human clothing. We have just seen how close the Lü clan came to bringing turmoil to the realm. If we support the Prince of Qi to be the new Emperor, it will be the Lü clan all over again. Why not the Prince of Dai? His mother's family is the Bo clan, and he is a worthy fellow himself. Besides, he is the eldest living son of Emperor Gao. Since he is a son of Emperor Gao, the people will support him, and since he is a good man, the chief ministers will feel reassured as well."

Thus they plotted to welcome Liu Heng to the capital. Liu Xiang disbanded his army and returned to his fief, while Liu Heng came to the capital and was acclaimed as the new Emperor, later to be known as Emperor Wen.


代王問左右,郎中令張武等曰︰「漢大臣皆故高帝時大將,習兵,多謀詐。此其屬意非止此也,特畏高帝、呂太后威耳。今已誅諸呂,新啑血京師,此以迎大王爲名,實不可信。願大王稱疾毋往,以觀其變。」中尉宋昌進曰︰「羣臣之議皆非也。夫秦失其政,諸侯、豪桀並起,人人自以爲得之者以萬數,然卒踐天子之位者,劉氏也;天下絕望,一矣。高帝封王子弟,地犬牙相制,此所謂磐石之宗也;天下服其強,二矣。漢興,除秦苛政,約法令,施德惠,人人自安,難動搖,三矣。夫以呂太后之嚴,立諸呂爲三王,擅權專制;然而太尉以一節入北軍一呼,士皆左袒,爲劉氏,叛諸呂,卒以滅之。此乃天授,非人力也。今大臣雖欲爲變,百姓弗爲使,其黨寧能專一邪!方今內有朱虛、東牟之親,外畏吳、楚、淮陽、琅邪、齊、代之強。方今高帝子,獨淮南王與大王;大王又長,賢聖仁孝聞於天下,故大臣因天下之心而欲迎立大王。大王勿疑也!」代王報太后計之,猶豫未定。卜之,兆得大橫,占曰︰「大橫庚庚,余爲天王,夏啓以光。」代王曰︰「寡人固已爲王矣,又何王?」卜人曰︰「所謂天王者,乃天子也。」於是代王遣太后弟薄昭往見絳侯,絳侯等具爲昭言所以迎立王意。薄昭還報曰︰「信矣,毋可疑者。」代王乃笑謂宋昌曰︰「果如公言。」

18. Upon receiving this summons, Liu Heng asked his attendants how he should respond. His Prefect of the Household Gentlemen, Zhang Wu, and others told him, "The chief ministers of the imperial court were all great generals during the reign of Emperor Gao; they are practiced in warfare and are very crafty and cunning. They have never been satisfied to remain the subordinates of someone else. It was only because they feared the power of Emperor Gao and Empress Dowager Lü that they never made a move. But now they have slaughtered the Lü clan and tasted blood in the capital. Prince, they are claiming to welcome you as their new ruler, but you cannot trust them. We would ask you to claim illness, remain here, and await further developments."

But then Liu Heng's Central Commandant, Song Chang, stepped forward and said, "What the others tell you is all wrong, and there are three points which argue against it. When the Qin dynasty lose control of the realm, the old nobles and various bold heroes all rose up to contend for control, and tens of thousands of people each believed that they alone would be the ones to obtain the realm. Yet in the end the one who claimed the place of Son of Heaven was the Liu clan, and all others surrendered their hopes of reaching that exalted rank. That is the first point.

"Then Emperor Gao appointed his sons and younger relatives as princes across the realm, forming a link of relationships like the interlocking teeth of a dog, and on this rock did he establish the foundation of his dynasty. The whole realm submitted to his strength. That is the second point.

"When the Han dynasty began, they did away with the harsh laws of Qin, reformed the laws and ordinances, and promoted virtue and kindness. The people thus became so settled that it would be hard for anyone to once again rouse them to cause trouble. That is the third point.

"Furthermore, although Empress Dowager Lü made every effort to secure her family's usurpation of power by appointing three of her relatives as princes and monopolizing control of the state, it took merely the Grand Commandant (Zhou Bo) alone, with a Staff of Authority in his hands and a shout on his lips, to march into the Northern Army and call on them to bare their left arms in support of the Liu clan, and the treasonous Lü clan was slaughtered in the end. This can only have been divine assistance, not mortal efforts alone.

"Even if the chief ministers wanted to try something now, the common people would not support them, so how could they and their partisans take control? Besides, you still have plenty of powerful relatives. Within the capital, there are the Marquises of Zhuxu and Dongmou (Liu Zhang and Liu Xingju), and out in the realm there are the princes of Wu, Chu, Huaiyang, Langye, and Qi, not to mention yourself; the chief ministers fear their power.

"Of the sons of Emperor Gao, Prince, only you and the Prince of Huainan remain. You are the elder, and the whole realm has heard of how worthy, benevolent, and filial you are. Thus, the chief ministers are heeding the wishes of the people by inviting you to the capital. There is no cause for doubts!"

Liu Heng informed Consort Bo of this advice, yet he was still uncertain. He took a divination by means of heating a tortoise shell. Once the cracks had appeared, the diviner informed him, "This is the Great Transversal result. You shall become a Heavenly King, honoring the precedent of the Xia dynasty."

Liu Heng said, "But I am already a prince. Shall I become a prince again?"

The diviner explained, "By Heavenly King, I mean as the Son of Heaven."

Liu Heng then sent his uncle Bo Zhao to go ahead to the capital and meet with Zhou Bo. Zhou Bo and the others explained to Bo Zhao their intent to welcome Liu Heng and support him as the new emperor. When Bo Zhao returned, he told Liu Heng, "You can trust them, and need not doubt any further."

Liu Heng laughed and said to Song Chang, "Sir, it is just as you said."

〈師古曰︰言常有異志也。屬意,猶言注意也。〉〈《索隱》曰︰《漢書》作「喋」。陳湯、杜業皆言「喋血」,無盟歃事。《廣雅》曰︰喋,履也。予旣從啑字音義,當與歃同;若從喋字,則有履之義。《公羊傳》曰︰京,大也;師,衆也︰天子之居,必以衆大之辭言之。〉〈師古曰︰言地形如犬之牙,交而相入也。石大而下平,磐據地面,不可得而移動,故以爲喻也。〉〈「淮陽」,《史記》作「淮南」,當從之。〉〈應劭曰︰龜曰兆,筮曰卦。卜者以荊灼龜,文正橫也。〉〈服虔曰︰庚庚,橫貌。李奇曰︰庚庚,其繇文也。占,謂其繇也。張晏曰︰先是五帝官天下,老則嬗賢;至夏啓始傳嗣,能光先君之業。文帝亦襲父迹,言似啓也。師古曰︰繇,本作「籀」。籀,書也。謂讀卜詞。孔穎達曰︰兆者,龜之亹坼;繇者,卜之文辭。〉〈毋,與無通。〉

(Yan Shigu remarked, "Zhang Wu was saying that the chief ministers had often had sinister intentions, and that their thinking had not stopped at remaining mere subordinates."

This passage describes the state of blood in the capital as 啑 "flowing, chattering". The Suoyin commentary to the Records of the Grand Historian states, "The Book of Han's version of this passage has the term 喋 'chattering'. Chen Tang and Du Ye read this as 'bathed in blood', not as referring to any sort of blood oath. The Guangya dictionary states that 喋 means 'treading in'." I (Hu Sanxing) reckon that if we read this character as 啑, then the meaning should be like a blood oath, while if we read it as 喋, then the meaning should be like treading in blood.

Regarding the term 京師 "the capital district", the Gongyang Commentary to the Spring and Autumn Annals states, "京 means 'great', and 師 means 'a host'. The residence of the Son of Heaven is surely the place where a great host of people comes to speak to him, thus this term."

Regarding Song Chang's references to a dog's teeth and a rock, Yan Shigu remarked, "He was saying that Liu Bang had assigned the princely fiefs like forming the teeth of a dog, which interlock together. The place beneath a large rock is flat, thus it commands control of that spot of earth and cannot be dislodged. These things were expressions."

This passage at one point refers to a Prince of "Huaiyang"; this should be the Prince of Huainan, as it is in the corresponding passage of the Records of the Grand Historian.

Regarding forms of divination, Ying Shao remarked, "兆 means a divination by tortoise shell, while 筮 means a divination by yarrow sticks. In the former, the diviner heats the tortoise shell and reads the interpretation through the cracks that appear."

[A series of divination explanations.]

毋 should be read as 無 "no, none".)


初大臣迎王於代。郎中令張武議曰。大臣未可信。王宜稱疾無行。以觀其變。中尉宋昌曰。群臣之議皆非也。夫秦失其政。豪傑並起。然卒踐天子位者。劉氏也。天下絕其望。一也。高帝王子弟。犬牙相制。所謂盤石之宗也。天下服其彊。二也。漢興。除秦苛政。人人自安難搖動。三也。今大臣雖欲為變。百姓不為使。其黨豈能專一邪。且內有朱虛東牟之親。外有諸侯之彊。必無異心矣。高帝子獨淮南王與大王。大王又長。賢聖聞於天下。故大臣迎大王。大王勿疑。卜之兆。得大橫。占曰。大橫庚庚。余為天王。夏啟以光。王乃令舅薄昭見太尉周勃還。(Records of Former Han 7, Annals of Emperor Wen)

Upon Liu Heng's being summoned to the capital by the chief ministers, his Prefect of the Household Gentlemen, Zhang Wu, told him, "The chief ministers cannot necessarily be trusted. You ought to claim illness, remain here, and await further developments."

But then Liu Heng's Central Commandant, Song Chang, said, "What the others tell you is all wrong, and there are three points which argue against it. When the Qin dynasty lose control of the realm, various bold heroes all rose up, yet in the end the one who claimed the place of Son of Heaven was the Liu clan, and all the rest of the realm surrendered their hopes of reaching that exalted rank. That is the first point.

"Then Emperor Gao appointed his sons and younger relatives as princes across the realm, forming a link of relationships like the interlocking teeth of a dog, and one could say that on this rock did he establish the foundation of his dynasty. The whole realm submitted to his strength. That is the second point.

"When the Han dynasty began, they did away with the harsh laws of Qin. The people thus became so settled that it would be hard for anyone to once again rouse them to cause trouble. That is the third point.

"Furthermore, although Empress Dowager Lü made every effort to secure her family's usurpation of power by appointing three of her relatives as princes and monopolizing control of the state, it took merely the Grand Commandant (Zhou Bo) alone, with a Staff of Authority in his hands and a shout on his lips, to march into the Northern Army and call on them to bare their left arms in support of the Liu clan, and the treasonous Lü clan was slaughtered in the end. This can only have been divine assistance, not mortal efforts alone.

"Even if the chief ministers wanted to try something now, the common people would not support them, so how could they and their partisans take control? Besides, you still have plenty of powerful relatives. Within the capital, there are the Marquises of Zhuxu and Dongmou (Liu Zhang and Liu Xingju), and out in the realm there are the powerful feudal lords. The chief ministers surely harbor no sinister motives.

"Of the sons of Emperor Gao, Prince, only you and the Prince of Huainan remain. You are the elder, and the whole realm has heard of how worthy and wise you are. That is why the chief ministers are inviting you to the capital. There is no cause for doubts."

Liu Heng took a divination by means of heating a tortoise shell, and received the Great Transversal result. The diviner told him, "You shall become a Heavenly King, honoring the precedent of the Xia dynasty."

Liu Heng then sent his uncle Bo Zhao to go ahead to the capital and meet with Zhou Bo, then return.


乃命宋昌參乘,張武等六人乘傳,從詣長安。至高陵,休止,而使宋昌先馳之長安觀變。昌至渭橋,丞相以下皆迎。昌還報。代王馳至渭橋,羣臣拜謁稱臣,代王下車答拜。太尉勃進曰︰「願請閒。」宋昌曰︰「所言公,公言之;所言私,王者無私。」太尉乃跪上天子璽、符。代王謝曰︰「至代邸而議之。」

19. Liu Heng ordered Song Chang to ride in his carriage with him, while six others, including Zhang Wu, rode in a side carriage. They all began to travel towards Chang'an. When they stopped to rest at Gaoling, Liu Heng sent Song Chang to hurry ahead to Chang'an to check on the situation. When Song Chang reached Weiqiao, all the officials from Chen Ping on down were there to welcome him. Song Chang came back and reported what he had seen. Liu Heng then hurried forward to Weiqiao, where the ministers all performed obeisance to him, addressing themselves as his subjects. Liu Heng got down from his carriage and responded in kind.

Zhou Bo stepped forward and said, "Might I speak with you in private?"

Song Chang interrupted, "If it is public business you wish to discuss, then discuss it in public. And if it is some personal matter, sovereigns do not have such things."

Zhou Bo then knelt and presented Liu Heng with the seals and insignia of the Son of Heaven. But Liu Heng declined to accept them, saying, "Let us go to the residence of the Prince of Dai first, where we may discuss this further."

〈師古曰︰戎事則稱車右,其餘則曰參乘。參者,三也,蓋取三人爲義。〉〈班《志》,高陵縣屬左馮翊。《括地志》︰高陵故城在雍州高陵縣西一里。〉〈蘇林曰︰渭橋,在長安北三里。《索隱》曰︰咸陽宮在渭北,興樂宮在渭南,秦昭王通兩宮之間作渭橋,長三百八十步。《關中記》云︰石柱以北屬扶風,石柱以南屬京兆。〉〈包愷曰︰閒,言欲向空閑處。師古曰︰閒,容也,猶今言中閒也;請容暇之頃,當有所陳,不欲於衆中顯論也。他皆類此。〉

(Yan Shigu remarked, "Regarding such carriages, in cases of military affairs, they were called 'right carriages', while in other cases, they were called 'triple carriages'. Triple means three, so this must have meant that they contained three passengers."

According to the Book of Han, Gaoling county was part of Pingyi commandary. The Comprehensive Gazetteer states, "The capital city of Gaoling was one li west of modern Gaoling county in Yongzhou."

Su Lin remarked, "Weiqiao ('Bridge on the Wei River') was three li north of Chang'an." The Suoyin commentary to the Records of the Grand Historian states, "The Xianyang Palace was on the north side of the Wei River, while the Xingle Palace was on the south side. King Zhao of Qin had built a bridge over the Wei River between these two sites, 380 paces in length." The Records of Guanzhong states, "The north side of this column was Fufeng commandary, while the south side was Jingzhao commandary."

Zhou Bo asked Liu Heng for 閒. Bao Kai remarked, "This meant he wanted to go to an unoccupied place." Yan Shigu remarked, "閒 means open, as in our modern expression 中閒 'openness'; Zhou Bo was asking for a moment of privacy, where he could explain his intentions without making them public to everyone. Other terms are of the same nature.")


王乃行。群臣迎于渭橋。太尉周勃進曰。請避左右以聞。宋昌曰。所言公。公言之。所言私。王者無私。勃乃跪上天子璽。王謝曰。至邸議之。(Records of Former Han 7, Annals of Emperor Wen)

Liu Heng thus set out for the capital. The chief ministers came to welcome him at Weiqiao.

Zhou Bo stepped forward and said, "I would like to tell you something away from where your attendants can hear it."

Song Chang interrupted, "If it is public business you wish to discuss, then discuss it in public. And if it is some personal matter, sovereigns do not have such things."

Zhou Bo then knelt and presented Liu Heng with the seals of the Son of Heaven. But Liu Heng declined to accept them, saying, "Let us go to my residence first, where we may discuss this further."


後九月,己酉晦,代王至長安,舍代邸,羣臣從至邸。丞相陳平等皆再拜言曰︰「子弘等皆非孝惠子,不當奉宗廟。大王,高帝長子,宜爲嗣。願大王卽天子位!」代王西鄕讓者三,南鄕讓者再,遂卽天子位;羣臣以禮次侍。

20. In the second ninth month, on the day Jiyou, the last day of that month, Liu Heng arrived at Chang'an. He stayed in the residence of the Prince of Dai, and the ministers all came to see him there. Chen Ping and the others once again performed obeisance to him. They said, "The child Liu Hong and the other young princes in the capital are not truly the sons of Emperor Hui, and they are not fit to uphold the lineage of the royal family. Prince, you are the eldest living son of Emperor Gao, and you ought to inherit the throne. Prince, please take your place as the Son of Heaven!"

Liu Heng, who at first was sitting facing to the west, declined their request three times. Then after he began facing south, he declined twice more. But in the end, he agreed to become the Son of Heaven. The ministers then arrayed themselves before him, according to their proper precedence.

〈如淳曰︰讓羣臣也。或曰︰賓主位東西面,君臣位南北面;故西鄕坐三讓不受,羣臣猶稱宜,乃更南鄕坐,示變卽君位之漸也。余謂如說以代王南鄕坐爲卽君位之漸,恐非代王所以再讓之意。蓋王入代邸而漢廷羣臣繼至,王以賓主禮接之,故西鄕;羣臣勸進,王凡三讓,羣臣遂扶王正南之位,王又讓者再;則南鄕非王之得已也,羣臣扶之使南鄕耳。遽以爲南鄕坐,可乎!鄕,讀曰嚮。〉

(This passage states that Liu Heng was at first facing west, then changed to face south (as would have been proper for a reigning sovereign). Ru Chun remarked, "He was facing towards the ministers. Some people say that, in the original positions with Liu Heng facing west and the ministers facing east, they were in the positions proper for a host and his guests, but afterwards when Liu Heng was facing south and the ministers were facing north, they were in the positions proper for a sovereign and his subjects. This was because, since the ministers had refused to accept his first three rejections, Liu Heng moved himself to face south to display that he was gradually beginning to accept their request to become the new ruler." But I (Hu Sanxing) believe that the idea that Liu Heng willingly shifted himself to face south conflicts with the fact that he then declined the offer twice more. It must have been that at the beginning, he was willingly sitting in the role of host and thus facing west, but after the first three times that he had declined the ministers' offer, they were the ones to compel him to move so that he would be facing south, prompting him to once again decline the offer regardless. It was not that he moved to face south of his own volition, but simply that the ministers made him do so. How could he have done so willingly? The term 鄕 here should be read as 嚮 "facing towards".)


閏月朔之代邸。王西向讓帝位者三。南向讓者再。遂即皇帝位。(Records of Former Han 7, Annals of Emperor Wen)

At the beginning of the intercalary month, Liu Heng and the chief ministers gathered at the residence of the Prince of Dai. Liu Heng, who at first was sitting facing to the west, declined their request three times. Then after he began facing south, he declined twice more. But in the end, he agreed to become the Emperor. He would later be known as Emperor Wen.


東牟侯興居曰︰「誅呂氏,臣無功,請得除宮。」乃與太僕汝陰侯滕公入宮,前謂少帝曰︰「足下非劉氏子,不當立!」乃顧麾左右執戟者掊兵罷去;有數人不肯去兵,宦者令張釋諭告,亦去兵。滕公乃召乘輿車載少帝出。少帝曰︰「欲將我安之乎?」滕公曰︰「出就舍。」舍少府。乃奉天子法駕迎代王於邸,報曰︰「宮謹除。」代王卽夕入未央宮。有謁者十人持戟衞端門,曰︰「天子在也,足下何爲者而入!」代王乃謂太尉。太尉往諭,謁者十人皆掊兵而去,代王遂入。夜,拜宋昌爲衞將軍,鎭撫南北軍;以張武爲郎中令,行殿中。有司分部誅滅梁、淮陽、恆山王及少帝於邸。文帝還坐前殿,夜,下詔書赦天下。

21. Liu Xingju told the other ministers, "I had no credit in the purging of the Lü clan. Please allow me to go and clear out the palace." So he and the Minister Coachman, Xiaohou Ying, went into the palace. They stood before the Little Emperor and declared, "You are no son of the Liu clan; you cannot occupy the throne!" And they ordered the guards attending the Little Emperor to lay down their weapons and leave. Several of them were not willing to abandon their weapons at first, but after the Director of Eunuchs, Zhang Yi, conveyed his orders to them, they too lay them down and left. Xiahou Ying then summoned a carriage and escorted the Little Emperor out of the palace.

The Little Emperor asked him, "Where are you taking me?"

Xiahou Ying replied, "Out to a residence." And they lodged the Little Emperor in the office of the Lesser Staff.

Then they brought the carriage of the Son of Heaven to receive Liu Heng at the residence of the Prince of Dai, saying, "The palace has been cleared."

That evening, Liu Heng traveled to the Weiyang Palace. There were ten attendants standing at the Duan Gate of the palace, bearing halberds; they demanded, "The Son of Heaven is here, so why have you come?" Liu Heng spoke to Zhou Bo, who went forward and instructed the attendants, and they all lay aside their weapons and left. Liu Heng thus entered the palace.

That night, Liu Heng appointed Song Chang as Guard General and General Who Guards The Northern and Southern Armies, and he appointed Zhang Wu as Prefect of the Household Gentlemen and Inspector of the Palace Halls.

The various officials executed the Little Emperor and the Princes of Liang, Huaiyang, and Hengshan at their residences.

Liu Heng returned and took up residence in the Front Hall of the palace. He would later be known as Emperor Wen. During the night, an edict of amnesty across the realm was issued.

〈除宮,清宮也。應劭曰︰舊典,天子行幸,所至必遣靜室令先按行清淨殿中,以備非常。余謂此時羣臣雖奉帝卽位,而少帝猶居禁中,蓋有所屛除也。〉〈掊,《類篇》曰︰頓也。〉〈班《表》︰宦者令屬少府。張釋,卽大謁者、封建陵侯者,釋本宦者,故兼是官。〉〈康曰︰天子以天下爲家,不以宮室爲常處。當乘輿以行天下,故託乘輿言。余謂康說乘輿本不與古義相悖;但此所謂乘輿車,不當以此解之。漢乘輿之制︰輪,朱班,重牙,貳轂,兩轄。金薄繆龍爲輿倚較,文虎伏軾,龍首銜X。左右吉陽筩,鸞雀立衡。X文畫輈,羽蓋華蚤。建大旗十二斿,畫日月升龍。駕六馬,象鑣鏤錫金鍐方釳。插翟尾,朱兼繁纓,赤罽易茸,金就十有二。左纛以犛牛尾爲之,在左騑馬X上,大如斗。此卽法駕。文帝已立,少帝安得乘此出宮乎!沈約《禮志》云︰魏、晉御小出,多乘輿車。輿車,今之小輿。滕公職爲太僕,與東牟侯除宮,亦無緣召乘輿、金根以載少帝。意者此輿車蓋天子常所乘輿車,卽魏、晉間小輿也。〉〈《漢官儀》︰天子鹵簿有大駕、法駕、小駕。大駕,公卿奉引,大將軍驂乘,屬車八十一乘。法駕,公卿不在鹵簿中,惟京兆尹、執金吾、長安令奉引,侍中驂乘,屬車三十六乘。蔡邕曰︰法駕,乘金根車,駕六馬,有五時副車,駕四馬;侍中驂乘,屬車三十六乘。沈約《禮志》︰漢制︰乘輿金根車,輪皆朱班、重轂、兩轄、飛軨。轂外復有轂,施轄,其外復設轄,銅貫其中。飛軨以赤油爲之,廣八寸,長注地,繫軸頭,謂之飛軨。金,金薄繆龍爲輿倚較。較在箱上,X文畫藩;藩,箱也。文虎伏軾,鸞雀立衡,X文畫轅。翠羽蓋,黃裹,所謂黃屋也。金華施橑末,建太常十二斿,畫日月升龍,駕六黑馬,施十二鸞、金爲叉髦,插以翟尾。又加左纛,所謂左纛輿也。路,如周玉路之制。應劭《漢官鹵簿圖》︰乘輿大駕,則御鳳凰車,以金根爲副,又五色安車、五色立車各五乘,建龍旗,駕四車,施八鸞,餘如金根之制,猶周金路也。車各如方色,所謂五時副車。白馬者,朱其鬣。安車者、坐乘。又有建華蓋九重甘泉鹵簿者,道車五乘,游車九乘,在乘輿車前。又有象車,最在前、試橋道。宋明帝時,建安王休仁議曰︰秦改周輅制爲金根,通以金薄周匝四面;漢、魏、二晉,因循莫改。〉〈郎、謁者皆執戟以宿衞宮殿。前所書少帝左右執戟者,亦中郎、郎中、謁者之官也。端門,未央宮前殿之正南門也。〉〈班《表》︰前、後、左、右將軍,皆周末官,秦因之,漢不常置。蔡質《漢儀》︰漢興,置大將軍、驃騎將軍,位次丞相;車騎將軍、衞將軍、左、右、前、後將軍,皆金紫,位次上卿。余據大將軍始於灌嬰,驃騎、車騎、左、右、前、後將軍,景、武之後方有其官;衞將軍則始置於此。〉〈行,謂案行也。〉

(To "clear" the palace meant to purify it. Ying Shao remarked, "According to ancient customs, whenever the Son of Heaven was going to travel somewhere, he would invariably send the Prefect of Purifying the Household on ahead to investigate the residence and clean the halls in order to guard against anything untoward." I (Hu Sanxing) reckon that the issue in this passage was that although the ministers were about to acclaim Liu Heng as the new sovereign, the Little Emperor was still in residence in the forbidden apartments, thus they must have needed to remove him.

According to the Leibian dictionary, to discard meant to lay aside.

[Two long passages about carriage types.]

The Household Gentlemen and the Diplomats served as household guards of the palace, wielding weapons and standing in guard of it. The guards mentioned above as attending the Little Emperor were also of this sort.

The Duan Gate was the main southern gate of the Front Hall of the Weiyang Palace.

This passage mentions that Song Chang was appointed as Guard General. According to the Book of Han, the ranks of General of the Front, Rear, Left, and Right were all original offices of the Zhou dynasty in its final years, which the Qin dynasty then adopted, and the Han dynasty maintained them. Cai Zhi's Ceremonies of Han states, "Several offices were created at the beginning of the Han dynasty. The Grand General and the General of Agile Cavalry were inferior in rank to the Prime Minister; the General of Chariots and Cavalry, the Guard General, and the Generals of the Left, Right, Front, and Rear were all offices of Golden Tassel and inferior to the Chief Ministers." I (Hu Sanxing) note that Guan Ying had been the first person appointed as Grand General, and that the ranks of General of Agile Cavalry, General of Chariots and Cavalry, and Generals of the Left, Right, Front, and Rear all first appear during the reigns of Emperors Jing and Wu. This passage marked the first appearance of the Guard General.

The term 行 here should be understood as 案行 "investigate, inspect".)


高后八年
非子,誅,國除。為文帝。(Records of the Grand Historian 17, Annual Timeline of the Han Princes)

In the eighth year of Lü Zhi's reign (180 BC), in the ninth month, Liu Chao and Liu Wu were denied as Emperor Hui's sons. They were executed and their fiefs were abolished. Liu Heng took the throne (as Emperor Wen).

東牟侯興居與太僕夏侯嬰陰共入宮中誅少帝... 淮南丞相張蒼為御史大夫。(Records of Former Han 6, Annals of Empress Gao (Lü Zhi))

The Marquis of Dongmou, Liu Xingju, and the Minister Coachman, Xiahou Ying, secretly went into the palace together and executed the Little Emperor.

The Prime Minister of Huainan, Zhang Cang, was appointed as the new Imperial Secretary.

拜宋昌為衛將軍。領南北軍。赦天下。賜民爵一級。酺五日。(Records of Former Han 7, Annals of Emperor Wen)

Emperor Wen appointed Song Chang as Guard General and placed him in command of the Southern and Northern Armies. He declared an amnesty across the land, granted the common people each one grade of nobility, and declared five days of celebratory drinking.

濟北王興居,齊悼惠王子,以東牟侯助大臣誅諸呂,功少。及文帝從代來,興居曰:「請與太仆嬰入清宮。」廢少帝,共與大臣尊立孝文帝。(Records of the Grand Historian 52, Biography of Liu Xingju)

Liu Xingju was the son of Liu Fei. During his time as Marquis of Dongmou, although he had joined with the chief ministers to purge the Lü clan, he did not achieve very much during the coup. Thus when Liu Heng arrived from his princedom at Dai and was going to be acclaimed as the new Emperor, Liu Xingju asked him, "Please allow me and the Minister Coachman, Xiaohou Ying, to cleanse the palace for you." He deposed the Little Emperor, and together with the chief ministers he honored Liu Heng as the new Emperor, later known as Emperor Wen.

濟北王興居初以東牟侯與大臣共立文帝於代邸,曰:「誅呂氏,臣無功,請與太僕滕公俱入清宮。」遂將少帝出,迎皇帝入宮。(Book of Han 38, Biography of Liu Xingju)

When Liu Xingju and the chief ministers gathered to welcome Liu Heng at the residence of the Prince of Dai, "I had no credit in the purging of the Lü clan. Please allow me and the Minister Coachman and Lord of Teng (Xiahou Ying) to go and clear out the palace." He led the Little Emperor out of the palace, and he welcomed Liu Heng into the palace.
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BOOK 13

Unread postby Taishi Ci 2.0 » Fri Dec 06, 2019 4:46 pm

太宗孝文皇帝上

Beginning of the Reign of Emperor Wen of Han, Taizong, Liu Heng


〈荀悅曰︰諱「恆」之字曰「常」,高祖中子也。母曰薄姬。禮,祖有功而宗有德。漢之子孫,以爲功莫盛於高帝,故爲帝者太祖之廟;德莫盛於文帝,故爲帝者太宗之廟。自唐以來,諸帝廟號莫不稱宗,而此義泯矣。《諡法》︰經緯天地曰文。〉

(Emperor Wen was one of Liu Bang's middle sons.

Xun Yue remarked, "Since Liu Heng's given name was Heng, the word 恆 Heng or 'constant' was forbidden; it was always to be replaced by the synonym 常 'constant'."

According to tradition, the temple names of emperors were marked with either the character Zu or Zong. Zu was given in recognition of achievements, while Zong was given in recognition of virtues. Since none of the descendants of the Han royal line could have ever matched Liu Bang in achievements, he was granted the temple name Taizu, Tai meaning 'most, highest'. Likewise, since none of them could have ever matched Emperor Wen in virtues, he was granted the temple name Taizong. But from the time of the Tang dynasty onwards, this distinction between Zu and Zong fell into disuse.

The Laws of Posthumous Names states, "One who weaves together Heaven and Earth may be called Wen ('the Cultured').")


元年(壬戌、前一七九)

The First Year of Emperor Wen's Reign (The Renxu or Water Dog Year, 179 BC)


冬,十月,庚戌,徙琅邪王澤爲燕王;封趙幽王子遂爲趙王。

1. In winter, the tenth month (of 180 BC), on the day Gengxu, Liu Ze's title was changed from Prince of Langye to Prince of Yan. Liu Sui, the son of Prince You of Zhao, was appointed as the new Prince of Zhao.

〈澤以呂后七年自營陵侯封琅邪王。齊王起兵誅諸呂,澤失國,西至京師,與大臣共立帝,以功徙封燕王。趙王友幽死於呂后七年,徙梁王恢王趙,恢尋以逼死,以其國封呂祿。祿誅,乃復封友長子遂爲趙王。〉

(Liu Ze had originally been Marquis of Guling. In the seventh year of Lü Zhi's reign (-181.6), she had appointed him as Prince of Langye. When Liu Xiang raised his troops in his fief as Prince of Qi in order to march against the Lü clan, Liu Ze had lost control of his fief. But since he had then gone west to the capital and plotted with the other ministers to acclaim Emperor Wen, he was appointed as Prince of Yan as reward for his achievement.

Prince You of Zhao, Liu You, had been imprisoned by Lü Zhi and killed in the seventh year of her reign (-181.2). The Prince of Liang, Liu Hui, had then briefly been appointed as Prince of Zhao to replace him, but he was soon hounded to death. The title Prince of Zhao then passed to Lü Chan. Now that Lü Chan had been executed and the title was once again vacant, Liu You's eldest son Liu Sui was appointed to succeed his father as Prince of Zhao.)


孝文元年
十月庚戌,徙燕。國除為郡。趙王遂元年。幽王子。(Records of the Grand Historian 17, Annual Timeline of the Han Princes)

In the first year of Emperor Wen's reign (179 BC), in the tenth month (of 180 BC), on the day Gengxu, Liu Ze's title was shifted to Prince of Yan. His former title Prince of Langye was abolished. The same day, Liu Sui was appointed as Prince of Zhao; he was the son of Liu You.

元年冬十月。皇帝見于高廟。車騎將軍薄昭迎皇太后于代。封太尉周勃萬戶。賜金五千斤。丞相陳平將軍灌嬰邑各三千戶。金三千斤。朱虛侯章襄平侯通二千戶。金千斤。十有二月。立趙幽王子遂為趙王。徙琅邪王澤為燕王。(Records of Former Han 7, Annals of Emperor Wen)

In the first year of the first half of his reign (179 BC), in winter, the tenth month (of 180 BC), Emperor Wen visited Liu Bang's ancestral temple.

Emperor Wen sent the General of Chariots and Cavalry, Bo Zhao, to return to his former fief at Dai and escort his mother, now the Empress Dowager, to the capital.

Emperor Wen granted Zhou Bo a fief of ten thousand households and five thousand 斤 of gold. He granted the Prime Minister, Chen Ping, and Guan Ying each a fief of three thousand households and three thousand 斤 of gold. He granted Liu Zhang and the Marquis of Xiangping, Liu Tong, each a fief of two thousand households and a thousand 斤 of gold.

In the twelfth month (of 180 BC), Emperor Wen appointed Liu Sui, the son of the late Prince You of Zhao, as the new Prince of Zhao. He transferred the Prince of Langye, Liu Ze, to become Prince of Yan.

高后崩,孝文即位,立幽王子遂為趙王。(Book of Han 38, Biography of Liu Sui)

After Lü Zhi's death, Emperor Wen succeeded her. He appointed Liu You's son Liu Sui as the new Prince of Zhao.

代王亦從代至。諸將相與瑯邪王共立代王為天子。天子乃徙澤為燕王。(Records of the Grand Historian 51, Biography of Liu Ze)

The Prince of Dai (Liu Heng) also came to the capital from Dai, and Liu Ze and the other generals and chancellors acclaimed him as the new Son of Heaven (as Emperor Wen).

Emperor Wen transferred Liu Ze to be Prince of Yan.

代王亦從代至。諸將相與琅邪王共立代王,是為孝文帝。文帝元年,徙澤為燕王。(Book of Han 35, Biography of Liu Ze)

The Prince of Dai (Liu Heng) also came to the capital from Dai, and Liu Ze and the other generals and chancellors acclaimed him as the new Emperor; he would later be known as Emperor Wen.

In the first year of his reign (179 BC), Emperor Wen transferred Liu Ze to be Prince of Yan.

而徙瑯邪王王燕。(Records of the Grand Historian 52, Biography of Liu Xiang)

During this year (179 BC), Emperor Wen shifted Liu Ze from being Prince of Langye to being Prince of Yan.

而徙琅邪王王燕。(Book of Han 38, Biography of Liu Xiang)

During this year (179 BC), Emperor Wen shifted Liu Ze from being Prince of Langye to being Prince of Yan.


陳平謝病;上問之,平曰︰「高祖時,勃功不如臣,及誅諸呂,臣功亦不如勃;願以右丞相讓勃。」十一月,辛巳,上徙平爲左丞相,太尉勃爲右丞相,大將軍灌嬰爲太尉。諸呂所奪齊、楚故地,皆復與之。

2. Chen Ping asked to resign his position on account of illness. When Emperor Wen inquired further, Chen Ping told him, "During the time of Emperor Gao, Zhou Bo's achievements were not as great as mine. But during the purge of the Lü clan, my achievements were not as great as his. Thus I asked to yield my position as Prime Minister of the Right to him."

In the eleventh month (of 180 BC), on the day Xinsi, Emperor Wen transferred Chen Ping to be Prime Minister of the Left. Zhou Bo was appointed as Prime Minister of the Right, and Guan Ying was appointed as Grand Commandant to succeed Zhou Bo.

All of the lands of the fiefs of the Princes of Qi and Chu which the Lü clan had carved out for other fiefs were restored to those two princes.

〈呂后封呂台爲呂王,得梁地,奪齊、楚之地以傅益之。〉

(Lü Zhi had carved off these lands from the fiefs of the Princes of Qi and Chu and granted them to Lü Tai, along with the Liang region, when she had appointed Lü Tai as Prince of Lü.)


丞相平病。讓位於太尉。周勃為左丞相。位第一。平為右丞相。位第二。大將軍灌嬰為太尉。(Records of Former Han 7, Annals of Emperor Wen)

Chen Ping asked to resign his position to Zhou Bo on account of illness. Emperor Wen appointed Zhou Bo as Prime Minister of the Left, the more senior of the two offices, and appointed Chen Ping as Prime Minister of the Right, which was inferior. The Grand General, Guan Ying, was appointed as Grand Commandant to succeed Zhou Bo.

乃復以瑯邪予齊,復故地。(Records of the Grand Historian 51, Biography of Liu Ze)

Emperor Wen restored Liu Ze's former domain as Prince of Langye back into the domain of the Prince of Qi.

而復以琅邪歸齊。(Book of Han 35, Biography of Liu Ze)

Emperor Wen restored Liu Ze's former domain as Prince of Langye back into the domain of the Prince of Qi.

孝文帝元年,盡以高后時所割齊之城陽、瑯邪、濟南郡復與齊。(Records of the Grand Historian 52, Biography of Liu Xiang)

In the first year of the first half of Emperor Wen's reign (179 BC), he restored to Liu Xiang's fief as Prince of Qi the commandaries which had been carved out to form other fiefs during Lü Zhi's reign: Chengyang, Langye, and Jinan.


論誅諸呂功,右丞相勃以下益戶、賜金各有差。絳侯朝罷趨出,意得甚;上禮之恭,常目送之。郎中安陵袁盎諫曰︰「諸呂悖逆,大臣相與共誅之。是時丞相爲太尉,本兵柄,適會其成功。今丞相如有驕主色,陛下謙讓;臣主失禮,竊爲陛下弗取也!」後朝,上益莊,丞相益畏。

3. The court discussed the relative achievements of those who had participated in the purge of the Lü clan, and everyone responsible from Zhou Bo on down were granted rewards and had their fiefs increased in proportion to their deeds.

At the very beginning of Emperor Wen's reign, whenever court broke up for the day, Zhou Bo was always quick to depart and acted very willful, and Emperor Wen too treated him with great respect and often watched him leave. One of the Household Gentlemen, Yuan Ang of Anling county, remonstrated with Emperor Wen for this behavior. He said, "It was because of the treasonous presumption of the Lü clan that the chief ministers banded together to destroy them. Back then, the Prime Minister was Grand Commandant in command of soldiers, which allowed him to accomplish his deed. Now he has seems to have an arrogant look about him, and Your Majesty is very modest and yielding towards him. You have thus lost the proper relationship between sovereign and servant, and I fear that Your Majesty cannot allow this to continue!" So from then on, during court, Emperor Wen was more forceful, while Zhou Bo was more reverent.

〈上禮勃恭甚,其罷朝也,常目送之;待其旣出,然後肆體自如。〉〈安陵屬右扶風,惠帝所起陵邑。按《姓譜》︰轅、袁、爰三姓皆出陳轅濤塗之後。按《史記》作「爰盎」,《漢書》作「袁盎」,則「袁」、「爰」通也。〉〈如,似也。〉

(Emperor Wen was exceptionally respectful towards Zhou Bo, thus whenever court ended, he would watch Zhou Bo until he left; only after Zhou Bo was gone would Emperor Wen resume his normal state.

Anling county was part of Zuofufeng commandary; it was the same place where Emperor Hui's tomb was located.

According to the Registry of Surnames, the surnames 轅 Yuan, 袁 Yuan, and 爰 Yuan all derived from the descendants of Yuan Taotu of the state of Chen. And regarding Yuan Ang, the Records of the Grand Historian writes his surname as 爰 Yuan while the Book of Han writes it as 袁 Yuan, thus we know that both of those surnames were homophonous.

The term 如 here means "like".)


十二月,詔曰︰「法者,治之正也。今犯法已論,而使無罪之父母、妻子、同產坐之,及爲收帑,朕甚不取!其除收帑諸相坐律令!」

4. In the twelfth month (of 180 BC), Emperor Wen issued an edict stating, "To rule by law means to govern justly. Yet until now, whenever a person is charged with a crime, their guilt is extended even to the innocent members of their family, whether their mother and father, their wife, their siblings, or even their children. I cannot allow such a thing! Thus I hereby order that no longer will children or other relatives be held accountable for the same crime as the offender!"

〈應劭曰︰帑,子也。秦法︰一人有罪,幷坐其室家。今除此律。〉

(Emperor Wen uses the term 帑. Ying Shao remarked, "This means child. According to the laws of the Qin dynasty, whenever someone committed a crime, their whole family or household would be held responsible. This policy was now abolished.")


除收孥相坐法律。(Records of Former Han 7, Annals of Emperor Wen)

Emperor Wen abolished the policy of holding children accountable for the crimes committed by their parents.


春,正月,有司請蚤建太子。上曰︰「朕旣不德,縱不能博求天下賢聖有德之人而禪天下焉,而曰豫建太子,是重吾不德也;其安之!」有司曰︰「豫建太子,所以重宗廟、社稷,不忘天下也。」上曰︰「楚王,季父也;吳王,兄也;淮南王,弟也︰豈不豫哉?今不選舉焉,而曰必子;人其以朕爲忘賢有德者而專於子,非所以優天下也!」有司固請曰︰「古者殷、周有國,治安皆千餘歲,用此道也;立嗣必子,所從來遠矣。高帝平天下爲太祖,子孫繼嗣世世不絕,今釋宜建而更選於諸侯及宗室,非高帝之志也。更議不宜。子啓最長,純厚慈仁,請建以爲太子。」上乃許之。

5. In spring, the first month, the officials asked Emperor Wen to designate one of his sons as his Crown Prince.

Emperor Wen told them, "I am not a virtuous man, and I already consider it bad enough that I am not at liberty to seek out some worthy and virtuous sage from the realm and yield my position to them. Yet here you are discussing why I should establish a Crown Prince. To do so would only compound my lack of virtue. I will not have it!"

The ministers said, "To establish a Crown Prince would show that you understand your duty to your lineage and to the altars of state, and that you have not forgotten your responsibility to the realm."

Emperor Wen replied, "There is the Prince of Chu, my uncle (Liu Jiao), the Prince of Wu, my cousin (Liu Bi), and the Prince of Huainan, my younger brother (Liu Chang). Could I not select one of them to be my heir? Yet rather than choose one of them, you demand me to make my son my heir. People will recognize that I thus cast away considerations of worthiness and virtue purely to pass on my position to my son. That would not set a good example for (or, that would only trouble) the realm!"

But the ministers insisted, saying, "The ancient Yin (Shang) and Zhou dynasties, which ruled securely for more than a thousand years each, both followed this principle of succession. Primogeniture has been the policy since ancient times. And since Emperor Gao settled the realm and was enshrined as Taizu, it is his descendants who ought to succeed to his throne, generation after generation, without end. For you to set aside this policy and seek out someone from among the feudal lords or your extended clan instead would not be in accordance with Emperor Gao's wishes. We ought not discuss this any further. Of your sons, Liu Qi is the eldest, and he is pure, generous, kind, and benevolent. We ask that you establish him as your Crown Prince."

Emperor Wen at last agreed to do so.

〈師古曰︰重,謂增益也。安,猶徐也;言不宜汲汲耳。〉〈【章︰甲十五行本「優」作「憂」;乙十一行本同;孔本同;退齋校同。】〉〈師古曰︰所以能爾者,以承嗣相傳故也。〉〈釋,舍也。宜建,謂嗣也。〉〈師古曰︰不當更議。〉〈啓,景帝名。〉

(Yan Shigu remarked, "To compound means to increase. Emperor Wen uses the term 安 to mean 'do away with'; he merely meant he ought not do something that would cause him such anxiety."

Some versions write the term 優 "excellent" as 憂 "worry, concern".

Yan Shigu remarked, "The ministers were proposing that it was because of the policy of primogeniture that the Shang and Zhou dynasties had been able to pass on their reigns for so many generations."

To "set aside" meant to table a discussion, while "this policy" referred to primogeniture.

Yan Shigu remarked, "The ministers were saying that they should not further argue over the succession."

Liu Qi was the future Emperor Jing.)


春正月。有司請早建太子。上謙讓不聽。有司固請。上曰。諸侯王功臣多有賢者。而不必子。人其以朕忘賢與有德者。而專于其子。非所以憂天下。有司請曰。立嗣必子。所從來久矣。今適宜立。而更求諸侯宗室。非高帝之志。子啟最長。敦厚慈仁。請建以為太子。上許焉而立之。(Records of Former Han 7, Annals of Emperor Wen)

In spring, the first month, the officials asked Emperor Wen to quickly designate one of his sons as his Crown Prince. Emperor Wen was modest and yielding, so he was not going to agree, but the officials strenuously insisted.

Emperor Wen told them, "There are many worthy people among the various princes and nobles and the accomplished ministers. My heir need not necessarily be my son. People will recognize that I thus cast away considerations of worthiness and virtue purely to pass on my position to my son. That would only trouble the realm."

But the ministers insisted, saying, "Your heir must be your son; that has been tradition since ancient times. For you to set aside this policy and seek out someone from among the feudal lords or your extended clan instead would not be in accordance with Emperor Gao's wishes. Of your sons, Liu Qi is the eldest, and he is pure, generous, kind, and benevolent. We ask that you establish him as your Crown Prince."

Emperor Wen at last agreed to do so.


三月,立太子母竇氏爲皇后。皇后,清河觀津人。有弟廣國,字少君,幼爲人所略賣,傳十餘家,聞竇后立,乃上書自陳。召見,驗問,得實,乃厚賜田宅、金錢,與兄長君家於長安。絳侯、灌將軍等曰︰「吾屬不死,命乃且縣此兩人。兩人所出微,不可不爲擇師傅、賓客;又復效呂氏,大事也!」於是乃選士之有節行者與居。竇長君、少君由此爲退讓君子,不敢以尊貴驕人。

6. In the third month, Emperor Wen honored Liu Qi's mother Lady Dou as his Empress.

This Lady Dou was a native of Guanjin county in Qinghe commandary. She had a younger brother named Dou Guangguo, styled Shaojun. As a child, Dou Guangguo had been sold into servitude and passed between more than ten different families. When Dou Guangguo heard that Lady Dou had become the new Empress, he sent a letter to the court explaining who he was. He was summoned and examined, and was found to be telling the truth. Lady Dou provided him with a house and fields, along with funds, and he and his elder brother Dou Changjun lived in Chang'an.

Zhou Bo, Guan Ying, and others said to one another, "Our very lives will now be in the hands of these two fellows. They have come from obscurity. We must provide them with teachers and instructors, or else we may face the calamity of another Lü clan!" So they selected gentlemen who were dutiful and of good conduct and had them live with the Dou brothers. Dou Changjun and Dou Shaojun thus became refined gentlemen, humble and yielding, and they did not dare to seek out glory and honor or become proud and arrogant.

〈《春秋》之法,母以子貴。《風俗通》︰夏帝相遭有窮氏之難,其妃方娠,逃出自竇而生少康,其後氏焉。〉〈班《志》,觀津縣屬信都國,清河郡無觀津。蓋信都、清河本皆趙地,景帝二年爲廣川國,四年爲信都郡,而清河郡則高帝置;此在未分置之前,故繫之清河。杜佑曰︰漢觀津縣在德州蓨縣東北。〉〈觀絳、灌所以處二竇,後世大臣以文義自持者,其智識及此乎!〉

(According to the principles of the Spring and Autumn Annals, a mother is exalted by the status of her son.

Regarding the surname 竇 Dou, the Fengsu Tong states, "When the Emperor of the Xia dynasty was overthrown by the Youqiong clan, his consort, who was then pregnant, fled and hid herself in a 竇 'hole', where she gave birth to the royal scion Shaokang. Their descendants then took 竇 Dou as their clan name."

According to the Book of Han, Guanjin county was part of the Xindu princely fief; there was no Guanjin county listed in Qinghe commandary. But we must consider the time when the Book of Han was written. Xindu and Qinghe were both originally part of the Zhao princely fief. In Emperor Jing's second year (155 BC), he created the Guangchuan princely fief, and in his fourth year (153 BC), he created Xindu commandary. So Qinghe commandary must have first been created by Liu Bang. At this time, the other places had not yet been split off, so Guanjin county must have still been part of the original Qinghe commandary. Du You remarked, "Guanjin county was northeast of modern Tiao county in Dezhou."

It was thanks to Zhou Bo and Guan Ying arranging the education of these two Dou brothers that in later ages, the chief ministers held fast to refined and righteous behavior of their own accord. How intelligent they were!)


封將軍薄昭為軹侯。三月。立皇太子母竇氏為皇后。初孝惠時出宮人以賜諸王。各五人。竇姬家在清河。賂主者吏願至趙。吏誤置代伍中。竇姬泣啼而行。既至代。幸於王。生景帝。而代皇后及其四子皆先亡。故竇姬為皇后。兄長君。弟廣國。字少君。家於長安。絳侯等曰。吾屬命乃懸於此兩人。為選賢人。令與居止。由此皆為退讓君子。(Records of Former Han 7, Annals of Emperor Wen)

Emperor Wen appointed Bo Zhao as Marquis of Zhi.

In the third month, Emperor Wen honored Liu Qi's mother Lady Dou as his Empress.

Earlier, Emperor Hui had sent out some women from his harem to distribute among the various princes, assigning five women to each of them. Since Lady Dou's family was in Qinghe commandary in the Zhao princely fief, the official in charge of assigning the women agreed to assign her to Zhao, but then he mistakenly sent her to Dai instead. When she arrived in Dai, she found favor with Liu Heng, and she gave birth to his son Liu Qi. Then Liu Heng's wife and his four sons by her all passed away, so Liu Qi was his eldest remaining son. This was why Lady Dou became the Empress.

Lady Dou had a younger brother named Dou Guangguo, styled Shaojun, who was living in Chang'an. Zhou Bo and others said to one another, "Our very lives will now be in the hands of these two fellows." So they selected worthy people and had them live with the Dou brothers. Dou Changjun and Dou Shaojun thus became refined gentlemen, humble and yielding.


詔振貸鰥、寡、孤、獨、窮困之人。又令︰「八十已上,月賜米、肉、酒;九十已上,加賜帛、絮。賜物當稟鬻米者,長吏閱視,丞若尉致;不滿九十,嗇夫、令史致;二千石遣都吏循行,不稱者督之。」

7. Emperor Wen issued an edict ordering supplies to be granted to widows, widowers, orphans, elderly people without children, and those unable to provide for themselves. He further ordered, "Those people older than eighty years old shall be granted monthly stipends of rice, meat, and wine, and those older than ninety years old shall also be granted silks and cotton. The county officials shall supervise the allocations of food supplies to those designated to receive them, and the assistants shall distribute them to the people; in the cases of those people not yet ninety years old, the local supervisors or collectors shall distribute their stipends. The officials of Two Thousand 石 salary rank are directed to send out inspectors to travel through their subordinate counties, and anyone who is unworthy of their roles shall be held accountable."

〈師古曰︰振,起也,爲給貸之,令其存立也。諸振救、振贍,其義皆同。今流俗作字從「貝」者,非也,自別有訓。〉〈稟,給也。鬻,讀曰粥,糜。〉〈師古曰︰長吏,縣之令、長也。若者,豫及之辭;致者,送至也;或丞、或尉自致之也。班《表》︰縣令、長皆秦官,掌治其縣。萬戶以上爲令,秩千石至六百石;減萬戶爲長,秩五百石至三百石;皆有丞、尉,秩四百石至二百石;是爲長吏。〉〈漢制︰十里一亭,十亭一鄕。鄕有嗇夫,職聽訟、收賦稅。《風俗通》曰︰嗇者,省也;夫,賦也;言消息百姓,均其賦役。又漢制︰縣長吏百石以下有所謂斗食佐史。《漢官》云︰斗食佐史,卽斗食令史。〉〈蘇林曰︰取其都吏有德也。如淳曰︰《律說》︰都吏,今督郵是也。閑惠曉事,卽爲文無害都吏。師古曰︰如說是。其循行有不如詔意者,二千石察視責罰之。〉

(Yan Shigu remarked, "To 振 'rouse' means to rise; they were distributing these stipends to rouse the people and sustain their livelihoods. The specific term used, 振貸, has the same meaning as the terms 振救 and 振贍. But the terms used in our time which commonly employ the 貝 radical are not the same; they have their own meanings."

To 稟 means to give.

The term 鬻 should be read as 粥 "gruel, congee".

Yan Shigu remarked, "The 'county officials' meant the Prefects or Chiefs that supervised each county. 若 meant to prepare, and 致 meant to send out; either the assistants or the commandants were directed to personally distribute these stipends." According to the Book of Han, Prefects and Chiefs of counties were both offices inherited from the Qin dynasty, and they supervised and governed the counties to which they were assigned. Prefects governed counties which contained populations of ten thousand households or more, and had salary ranks between One Thousand and Six Hundred 石; Chief governed counties with fewer households than ten thousand, and had salary ranks between Five Hundred and Three Hundred 石. All of them had subordinates, Assistants and Commandants, whose salary ranks ranged between Four Hundred and Two Hundred 石. These were the county officials.

According to the Han system, every ten hamlets made up one village, and every ten villages made up one district. Each district had a supervisor, who listened to law cases and collected taxes and rent. The Fengsu Tong states, "The supervisor was in charge of overseeing the district, while the collector was in charge of tax collection. They provided news to the common people and made their taxes and corvee labor service were administered impartially." Also according to the Han system, those county officials whose salary rank was One Hundred 石 or fewer were called Assistant Grain Clerks. The Offices of Han states, "They had two similar titles, 斗食佐史 or 卽斗食令史."

Regarding the inspectors, Su Lin argued, "They would investigate the local officials to determine who among them was virtuous." Ru Chun argued, "According to the Statements of Law text, these inspectors were the same as our modern superintendents; they were intended purely to investigate and bring back news, but did not personally inflict harm on the local officials." Yan Shigu remarked, "Ru Chun is correct. Those whom the inspectors found to be not in compliance with the edict would be investigated and convicted by the Two Thousand 石 salary rank officials (like Administrators).")


詔曰。今方春和。草木群生之物。皆有以自樂。而吾百姓鰥寡孤獨窮困之人。咸阽於死亡而莫之省憂。朕為民父母將何如。其議所以賑貸之。於是出布帛米肉賜之。其肉刑耐罪已上。不用此令。(Records of Former Han 7, Annals of Emperor Wen)

Emperor Wen issued an edict stating, "It is now spring, when nature is in harmony; the plants and grasses are all in bloom, and each enjoys its repose. Yet among my people, there are those who stand at the brink of death without hope of relief: widows, widowers, orphans, elderly people without children, and those unable to provide for themselves. Am I not as a parent unto the people? Therefore, I propose to grant stipends to such people. Let cloth and silk, rice and meat, be sent out among them. But I exempt from this order those who have been punished with mutilation or any greater punishment."


楚元王交薨。

8. Liu Jiao passed away. He was posthumously known as Prince Yuan ("the Foremost") of Chu.

孝文元年
夷王郢元年。(Records of the Grand Historian 17, Annual Timeline of the Han Princes)

In the first year of Emperor Wen's reign (179 BC), Liu Ying succeeded Liu Jiao as Prince of Chu.

楚元王交薨。(Records of Former Han 7, Annals of Emperor Wen)

Liu Jiao passed away. He was posthumously known as Prince Yuan of Chu.


夏,四月,齊、楚地震,二十九山同日崩,大水潰出。

9. In summer, the fourth month, the earth shook in the Qi and Chu princely fiefs; twenty-nine mountains collapsed on the same day, and great waters poured out.

夏四月。齊楚地震山崩。二十九所同日俱大發潰水出。本志曰。為水沴土。(Records of Former Han 7, Annals of Emperor Wen)

In summer, the fourth month, the earth shook in the Qi and Chu princely fiefs; twenty-nine mountains collapsed on the same day, and great waters poured out. The old texts state that "Earth is polluted by Water".


時有獻千里馬者。帝曰︰「鸞旗在前,屬車在後,吉行日五十里,師行三十里;朕乘千里馬,獨先安之?」於是還其馬,與道里費;而下詔曰︰「朕不受獻也。其令四方毋求來獻。」

10. Around this time, someone presented Emperor Wen with a horse capable of running a thousand li a day as tribute. But Emperor Wen said, "When I go out in my carriage, with the luan banners in front and the escort carriages behind, I am lucky to travel fifty li in a day; it is usually closer to thirty. What need then would I have for a horse that can run a thousand li in a day?" And he returned the horse, along with travel expenses to see it home. He also issued an edict stating, "I will not accept tribute, and I hereby direct all regions not to seek tribute on my behalf."

〈劉昭《志》︰乘輿大駕、法駕,前驅有九斿、雲䍐、鳳凰闟戟、皮軒、鸞旗,皆大夫載。鸞旗者,編羽毛,列繫幢旁;民或謂之雞翹,非也。胡廣曰︰鸞旗,以銅作鸞鳥車衡上。與本《志》不同。《晉志》曰︰鸞旗車,駕四馬,先輅所載也。〉〈漢制︰大駕,屬車八十一乘,備千乘萬騎。劉昭曰︰古者諸侯貳車九乘。秦滅六國,兼其車服。古大駕屬車八十一乘;法駕半之。沈約曰︰屬車皆皂蓋、黃裏。〉

(Liu Zhao's Records states, "When the imperial carriage rode out, it was preceded by the nine-tipped flags, the cloud poles, the phoenix halberds, the hide curtains, and the luan banners, all accoutrements of a great man. The luan banners were clumps of feathers fastened along the sides of curtains; the common people sometimes mistakenly call them the chicken plumes." Hu Guang remarked, "The luan banners were bronze-cast luan birds carried ahead of the carriage." This conflicts with the original account. The Records of Jin states, "The luan baner carriage was pulled by four horses and drawn in front of the imperial carriage."

According to the Han system, the imperial carriage was escorted by eighty-one carriages; a thousand carriages and ten thousand riders were prepared." Liu Zhao remarked, "In ancient times, the feudal lords had nine accompanying carriages. After the state of Qin conquered the other Six States, they combined all of their carriages together. The ancient sovereigns had eighty-one escort carriages, while the modern imperial carriage had half of that." Shen Yue remarked, "These carriages all had black covers and yellow interiors.")


六月。令郡國無來獻。(Records of Former Han 7, Annals of Emperor Wen)

In the sixth month, Emperor Wen ordered the commandaries and fiefs not to send him any tribute.


帝旣施惠天下,諸侯、四夷遠近驩洽;乃脩代來功,封宋昌爲壯武侯。

11. Emperor Wen displayed kindness towards all the realm, and the feudal lords and all the foreign tribes, near and far, were welcoming and harmonious.

Emperor Wen honored the achievements of those officials who had come with him from his former fief at Dai. He appointed Song Chang as Marquis of Zhuangwu.

〈班《志》,壯武屬膠東國。《括地志》︰壯武故城,在萊州卽墨縣西六十里,古萊夷之國。〉

(According to the Book of Han, Zhuangwu county was part of the Jiaodong princely fief. The Comprehensive Gazetteer states, "The capital city of Zhuangwu was sixty li west of Jimo county in modern Laizhou; in ancient times it had been the state of the tribes of Lai.")


封衛將軍宋昌為壯武侯。又令列侯從高帝入蜀漢者。皆增邑。吏二千石已上從高帝者。皆食邑。(Records of Former Han 7, Annals of Emperor Wen)

Emperor Wen appointed Song Chang as Marquis of Zhuangwu. He ordered that those nobles who had accompanied Liu Bang into the Shu-Han region should have their fiefs increased, and that the officials of Two Thousand Bushel salary rank or above who had done so should be granted fiefs.


帝益明習國家事。朝而問右丞相勃曰︰「天下一歲決獄幾何?」勃謝不知;又問︰「一歲錢穀入幾何?」勃又謝不知;惶愧,汗出沾背。上問左丞相平。平曰︰「有主者。」上曰︰「主者謂誰?」曰︰「陛下卽問決獄,責廷尉;問錢穀,責治粟內史。」上曰︰「苟各有主者,而君所主者何事也?」平謝曰︰「陛下不知其駑下,使待罪宰相。宰相者,上佐天子,理陰陽,順四時;下遂萬物之宜;外鎭撫四夷諸侯;內親附百姓,使卿大夫各得任其職焉。」帝乃稱善。右丞相大慚,出而讓陳平曰︰「君獨不素敎我對!」陳平笑曰︰「君居其位,不知其任邪?且陛下卽問長安中盜賊數,君欲強對邪?」於是絳侯自知其能不如平遠矣。居頃之,人或說勃曰︰「君旣誅諸呂,立代王,威震天下。而君受厚賞,處尊位,久之,卽禍及身矣。」勃亦自危,乃謝病,請歸相印,上許之。秋,八月,辛未,右丞相勃免,左丞相平專爲丞相。

12. Emperor Wen wished to familiarize himself more with state affairs. So during court, he asked Zhou Bo, "How many law cases are decided in the realm each year?"

Zhou Bo apologized, saying that he did not know.

Then Emperor Wen asked, "How much money and grain comes into and goes out of the state treasury each year?"

Zhou Bo once again had to apologize and admit his ignorance, and he was so ashamed that sweat soaked his back.

Then Emperor Wen asked Chen Ping the same things. Chen Ping told him, "Everyone has their own role."

Emperor Wen asked, "What do you mean by roles?"

Chen Ping replied, "If Your Majesty wishes to inquire about law cases, the Minister of Justice is responsible for that. If you wish to inquire about money and grain revenue, the Interior Minister of Revenue is responsible for that."

Emperor Wen said, "If everyone has their own role, then might I ask what your own role is?"

Chen Ping apologized, saying, "I am a mere second-rate horse, yet Your Majesty condescended to saddle me with the role of a chief minister. What then is the role of a chief minister? Above, they support the Son of Heaven, grasp the state of the natural order, and heed the passing of the four seasons; below, they supervise the various affairs and decide what should be done. Without, they protect and comfort the feudal lords and the various foreign tribes; within, they tend to and care for the common people. They ensure that all the great ministers act according to their own duties."

Emperor Wen commended him for this response.

Zhou Bo was now greatly ashamed. When court ended, he came to Chen Ping and apologized to him, saying, "Why didn't you ever instruct me of how to reply to such things?"

Chen Ping laughed and said, "You hold a role like Prime Minister, and yet you don't even know what the role entails? But then, if His Majesty had asked you how many bandits there were in Chang'an, perhaps you could have given a more forceful response?"

Zhou Bo thus knew that his talents were far inferior to those of Chen Ping. And sometime later, someone advised Zhou Bo, "Sir, you were the chief one responsible for purging the Lü clan and acclaiming the Prince of Dai, and your power shakes the realm. Since then, you have received generous rewards and were granted an exalted position. If you allow this to continue, you too might suffer disaster." Zhou Bo thus felt that he was in danger. So he pleaded illness and asked to return his seal as a Prime Minister. Emperor Wen allowed it.

In autumn, the eighth month, on the day Xinwei, Zhou Bo resigned his position as Prime Minister of the Right, and Chen Ping's title was changed from Prime Minister of the Left to simply Prime Minister.

〈【章︰乙十一行本「入」上有「出」字;並刊一格。】〉〈廷尉,掌刑辟;故決獄當問之。〉〈班《表》︰治粟內史,秦官,掌穀貨;故錢穀出入當問之。武帝太初元年,改爲大司農。〉〈師古曰︰駑,凡馬之稱,非駿者也,故以自喻。〉

(Some versions have Emperor Wen additionally ask how much money and grain "goes out of" the state treasury each year.

The Minister of Justice was in charge of administering justice, thus he decided the law cases and would have been the person to ask about it.

According to the Book of Han, the Interior Minister of Revenue was a Qin office, in charge of grain and resources, thus he would have been the person to ask about the flow of money and grain in and out of the treasury. In Emperor Wu's first year of Taichu (104 BC), this office was renamed to Grand Minister of Finance.

Chen Ping refers to himself as a 駑. Yan Shigu remarked, "This means an average horse, an unexceptional one. Chen Ping was using this term to refer to himself.")


上問勃。天下一歲決獄錢穀出入幾何。謝不知。甚媿之。上以問平。平曰。陛下即問決獄責廷尉。問錢穀責治粟內史。上曰。君所主者何事。對曰。陛下不知臣駑下。使臣待罪宰相。宰相在上佐天子。調理陰陽。下遂萬物之宜。外鎮撫四夷。內親附百姓。使公卿大夫各得其職。上曰善。勃出謂平曰。君素不教我對。平曰。處其位獨不知任。或謂勃曰。君誅諸呂。立代王。威鎮天下。受厚賞。處尊位久。即禍及身矣。勃謝病歸相印。平轉為右丞相。(Records of Former Han 7, Annals of Emperor Wen)

Emperor Wen asked Zhou Bo, "How many law cases are decided in the realm each year? How much money and grain comes into and goes out of the state treasury each year?"

Zhou Bo apologized, saying that he did not know, and his ignorance deeply shamed him.

Then Emperor Wen asked Chen Ping the same things. Chen Ping told him, "If Your Majesty wishes to inquire about law cases, the Minister of Justice is responsible for that. If you wish to inquire about money and grain revenue, the Interior Minister of Revenue is responsible for that."

Emperor Wen said, "If everyone has their own role, then might I ask what your own role is?"

Chen Ping replied, "I am a mere second-rate horse, yet Your Majesty condescended to saddle me with the role of a chief minister. What then is the role of a chief minister? Above, they support the Son of Heaven and grasp the state of the natural order; below, they supervise the various affairs and decide what should be done. Without, they protect and comfort the various foreign tribes; within, they tend to and care for the common people. They ensure that all the great ministers act according to their own duties."

Emperor Wen replied, "Well said."

When court ended, Zhou Bo asked Chen Ping, "Why didn't you ever instruct me of how to reply to such things?"

Chen Ping laughed and said, "You hold a role like Prime Minister, and yet you don't even know what the role entails?"

Someone advised Zhou Bo, "Sir, you were the chief one responsible for purging the Lü clan and acclaiming the Prince of Dai, and your power shakes the realm. Since then, you have received generous rewards and were granted an exalted position. If you allow this to continue, you too might suffer disaster." Zhou Bo thus pleaded illness and asked to return his seal as a Prime Minister. Chen Ping's title was changed to Prime Minister of the Right.


初,隆慮侯竈擊南越,會暑濕,士卒大疫,兵不能隃領。歲餘,高后崩,卽罷兵。趙佗因此以兵威財物賂遺閩越、西甌、駱,役屬焉。東西萬餘里,乘黃屋左纛,稱制與中國侔。

13. It was earlier mentioned that Lü Zhi had sent Zhou Zao to attack the state of Southern Yue. But it was so hot during this campaign that great pestilence spread among the officers and soldiers of this expeditionary army, and the army did not even march south of the southern mountain ranges. Then by the following year, since Lü Zhi had passed away, the army was disbanded.

Zhao Tuo then took advantage of this opportunity to threaten the borders of the realm with his soldiers. He also sent gifts and presents to the states of Minyue, Xi'ou, and Luo and made them his vassals. His domain as Emperor of Southern Yue stretched for more than a thousand li from east to west. He rode in a carriage with a yellow canopy and a feather banner on the left side, mimicking the carriage of the Son of Heaven, and he organized his state using the same systems as the Middle Kingdom.

〈事見高后七年。〉〈劉昫曰︰唐黨州,古西甌所居也;漢屬鬱林郡界。駱,越也;唐貴州鬱平縣,古西甌、駱越所居,漢爲鬱林廣鬱縣地。又,潘州亦西甌、駱越地,漢合浦郡地也。又,高州茂名縣及鬱林軍,亦古西甌之地。宋白曰︰秦象林郡皆西甌地。師古曰︰西甌者,卽駱越也;言西者,以別東甌也。《廣州記》曰︰交趾有駱田,仰潮水上下;人食其田,名爲駱侯,諸縣自名爲駱將,銅印青綬,卽今之令。後蜀王子將兵討駱侯,自稱爲安陽王,治封溪縣。南越王尉佗攻破安陽王,令二使典主交趾、九眞二郡,卽甌駱也。〉

(Lü Zhi had sent Zhou Zao to attack Southern Yue in the seventh year of her reign (-181.12).

Liu Xu remarked, "The Tang dynasty organized Dangzhou in the same place which the ancient state of Xi'ou ('Western Ou', as contrasted with Dong'ou or 'Eastern Ou'). During the Han dynasty, this was the area of Yulin commandary. Luo was a state of the Yue people. During Tang, Yuping county in Guizhou was in the same area as the ancient states of Xi'ou and Luo-yue. During Han, this was the area of Guangyu county in Yulin commandary. Tang's Panzhou was also the area of Xi'ou and Luo-yue; during Han, this was Hepu commandary. And Tang's Maoming county in Gaozhou and its Yulin Garrison were also in the area of old Xi'ou." Song Bai remarked, "The Qin dynasty's Xiang and Yulin commandaries were all the same areas as Xi'ou." Yan Shigu remarked, "Xi'ou was the same place as Luo-yue; it was called Xi'ou to differentiate it from Dong'ou." The Records of Guangzhou states, "There was a Luo fief in Jiaozhi, which had the Chao River above and below it. The person who held this fief had the title Marquis of Luo, the counties were called the generals of Luo, and it had copper seals and green ribbons, like a modern Prefect. During the Warring States era, the son of the King of Shu led troops to campaign against the Marquis of Luo; he called himself the King of Anyang, and he governed his fief from Xi county. When the King of Southern Yue, Zhao Tuo, attacked and conquered the King of Anyang, he directed his Masters of Canons to govern it as the commandaries of Jiaozhi and Jiuzhen; this was the same place as Ou and Luo.")


高後遣將軍隆慮侯灶往擊之。會暑溼,士卒大疫,兵不能踰嶺。歲餘,高后崩,即罷兵。佗因此以兵威邊,財物賂遺閩越、西甌、駱,役屬焉,東西萬餘里。乃乘黃屋左纛,稱制,與中國侔。(Records of the Grand Historian 113, Account of Southern Yue)

Lü Zhi later sent the Marquis of Longlü, the general Zhou Zao, to attack the state of Southern Yue. But it was so hot during this campaign that great pestilence spread among the officers and soldiers of this expeditionary army, and the army did not even march south of the southern mountain ranges. Then by the following year, since Lü Zhi had passed away, the army was disbanded.

Zhao Tuo then took advantage of this opportunity to once more threaten the borders of the realm with his troops. He also sent gifts and presents to the states of Minyue, Xi'ou, and Luo and made them his vassals. His domain as Emperor of Southern Yue stretched for more than a thousand li from east to west. He rode in a carriage with a yellow canopy and a feather banner on the left side, mimicking the carriage of the Son of Heaven, and he organized his state using the same systems as the Middle Kingdom.

高後遣將軍隆慮侯灶擊之,會暑濕,士卒大疫,兵不能逾領。歲餘,高後崩,即罷兵。佗因此以兵威財物賂遺閩粵、西甌駱,伇屬焉。東西萬餘里。乃乘黃屋左纛,稱制,與中國侔。(Book of Han 95, Account of Southern Yue)

Lü Zhi later sent the Marquis of Longlü, the general Zhou Zao, to attack the state of Southern Yue. But it was so hot during this campaign that great pestilence spread among the officers and soldiers of this expeditionary army, and the army did not even march south of the southern mountain ranges. Then by the following year, since Lü Zhi had passed away, the army was disbanded.

Zhao Tuo then took advantage of this opportunity to once more threaten the borders of the realm with his troops. He also sent gifts and presents to the states of Minyue, Xi'ou, and Luo and made them his vassals. His domain as Emperor of Southern Yue stretched for more than a thousand li from east to west. He rode in a carriage with a yellow canopy and a feather banner on the left side, mimicking the carriage of the Son of Heaven, and he organized his state using the same systems as the Middle Kingdom.


帝乃爲佗親冢在眞定者置守邑,歲時奉祀;召其昆弟,尊官、厚賜寵之。復使陸賈使南越,賜佗書曰︰「朕,高皇帝側室之子也,棄外,奉北藩于代。道里遼遠,壅蔽樸愚,未嘗致書。高皇帝棄羣臣,孝惠皇帝卽世;高后自臨事,不幸有疾,諸呂爲變,賴功臣之力,誅之已畢。朕以王、侯、吏不釋之故,不得不立;今卽位。乃者聞王遺將軍隆慮侯書,求親昆弟,請罷長沙兩將軍。朕以王書罷將軍博陽侯;親昆弟在眞定者,已遣人存問,脩治先人冢。前日聞王發兵於邊,爲寇災不止。當其時,長沙苦之,南郡尤甚;雖王之國,庸獨利乎!必多殺士卒,傷良將吏,寡人之妻,孤人之子,獨人父母,得一亡十,朕不忍爲也。朕欲定地犬牙相入者;以問吏,吏曰︰『高皇帝所以介長沙土也,』朕不得擅變焉。今得王之地,不足以爲大;得王之財,不足以爲富。服領以南,王自治之。雖然,王之號爲帝。兩帝並立,亡一乘之使以通其道,是爭也;爭而不讓,仁者不爲也。願與王分棄前惡,終今以來,通使如故。」

14. Since Zhao Tuo's relatives were still living in Zhending commandary and his ancestors were buried there, Emperor Wen ensured that the graves of his family were taken care of and were offered yearly sacrifices, and he summoned Zhao Tuo’s younger relatives to court and favored them with conspicuous offices and many rewards. Then he once again sent Lu Jia south as an envoy to visit Southern Yue.

Lu Jia brought with him a letter from Emperor Wen to Zhao Tuo. The letter stated, "I am a son of Emperor Gao (Liu Bang) by one of his concubines, and having been set aside from the affairs of the capital, I maintained the northern border of the realm from my fief at Dai. Being as you and I were at that time extremely distant from one another and quite ignorant of one another's affairs, we have never had the opportunity to exchange letters. After Emperor Gao took his leave of his ministers, Emperor Xiao-Hui inherited his legacy, and then Empress Gao (Lü Zhi) personally presided over affairs, until unhappily disease claimed her. Then the Lü clan plotted treason, but thanks to the efforts of our accomplished ministers, this threat to the dynasty was purged. I was then compelled by the princes, nobles, and officials, who would not absolve me of the responsibility, to inherit the throne myself, thus I have become Emperor.

"Recently, King, I have heard that you sent a letter to my general the Marquis of Longlu, inquiring about your relatives and asking that the two armies in Changsha be disbanded. I write to inform you that, in response to your letter, I have disbanded the army of my general the Marquis of Boyang. As regards to your relatives in Zhending, I have already sent agents to ask after their health and restore and repair the graves of your ancestors.

"Yet in recent days, King, I have also heard that you have raised troops and led them to the borders of the realm, and have been making frequent incursions into our territory. Changsha is even now suffering from these depredations, and the situation in Nan commandary is even worse. Though you be the king of your own state, of what benefit are these actions to you? You are only killing countless officers and soldiers and wounding good generals and officials; you are making wives into widows, children into orphans, and leaving parents with no one to support them. For every one person who survives, ten are lost; how can I bear to think about it?

"Wishing to settle the border issue between us so that there would be no overlapping territories, I have inquired among my officials, who have told me that Emperor Gao set the borders of the realm along the southern border of the territory of the King of Changsha. I would not presume to change this. I would not make my state grand, King, by depriving you of yours; I would not enrich my people by wresting away your goods. I am content to allow you to govern the lands south of the mountain ranges as you see fit. However, recently you have been styling yourself as Emperor. As we both claim that title, this dispute has arisen, and not a single envoy's carriage has traveled between our domains. To argue about such a thing rather than yield is not what a benevolent person should do. Thus I am willing to set aside our respective past grievances and, from now on, to exchange envoys between us as before."

〈師古曰︰言非正嫡所生。〉〈孟康曰︰辭讓帝位,不見置也。〉〈佗,眞定人,親昆弟皆在眞定,故來求之。呂后七年,佗反,攻長沙,故遣兩將軍屯於長沙以備之。〉〈博陽,齊地。《高祖功臣表》有博陽侯陳濞,蓋於此時爲將軍也。《索隱》曰︰博陽縣在汝南。〉〈師古曰︰言越兵寇邊,長沙、南郡皆厭苦之,而漢兵亦當拒戰,其於越亦非利也。〉〈介,隔也。〉〈蘇林曰︰山領名也。如淳曰︰長沙南界。予謂服領者,自五嶺以南,荒服之外,因以稱之。〉〈亡,與無同。〉〈師古曰︰彼此共棄,故曰分。〉〈師古曰︰從今通使至於終久,故曰「終今以來」也。〉

(Emperor Wen more specifically refers to himself as "the son of a woman of a side-chamber". Yan Shigu remarked, "He meant that he had not been born to Liu Bang's legal wife."

Meng Kang remarked, "Emperor Wen was saying that the officials and ministers had not allowed him to decline the offer of becoming the new Emperor."

Zhao Tuo was a native of Zhending commandary, and his relatives were all still living there, thus he inquired after them.

After Zhao Tuo had rebelled against Han and attacked Changsha, in the seventh year of Lü Zhi's reign (181 BC), she had sent two generals to camp at Changsha to guard against him.

Boyang was in the Qi region. The Table of Accomplished Ministers of Liu Bang's Reign mentions a "Marquis of Boyang, Chen Bi"; he must have been one of the two generals on the southern border at this time. The Suoyin commentary to the Records of the Grand Historian states, "Boyang county is in Runan commandary."

Regarding the sentence "Though you be the king of your own state, of what benefit are these actions to you?", Yan Shigu remarked, "Emperor Wen was saying that Changsha and Nan commandaries had greatly suffered from the border incursions of the Southern Yue army, yet the Han armies had been able to fight off the Southern Yue army, thus Zhao Tuo was deriving no benefits from his attacks."

The term 介 here means "border, frontier".

Emperor Wen states that he is content to let Zhao Tuo govern the areas south of 領. Su Lin remarked, "This meant the southern mountain ranges." Ru Chun remarked, "This meant south of the borders of Changsha." I (Hu Sanxing) reckon that he meant all the areas from the Five Ranges south, which were part of the 荒服 'zone of desolation'.

亡 means the same thing as 無 "no, none".

Yan Shigu remarked, "Emperor Wen was saying that he wanted both to set aside the Han grievances against Zhao Tuo and Zhao Tuo's grievances against Han, thus he used the term 分 'respective'."

Yan Shigu remarked, "Emperor Wen was saying that he wanted the exchange of envoys, now beginning, to continue indefinitely, thus he said 'from now on'.")


太中大夫陸賈使越。上賜尉佗書曰。朕頃以南越王自治之。雖然。王之號為帝。兩帝並立。豈無一乘之使以道其道路。是爭也。爭而不讓。仁者不由也。王之昆弟在真定。已使人存問。修治王先人廝墓。願與王分棄前患。從今已來。與王通使如故。故使賈喻意。(Records of Former Han 7, Annals of Emperor Wen)

The Grand Counselor of the Household, Lu Jia, went to Southern Yue as an envoy. Emperor Wen sent with him a letter to Zhao Tuo. He wrote, "I understand that you govern your own domain as King of Southern Yue. Though this is fair, I have heard that you have gone so far as to style yourself as Emperor. As we both claim that title, not a single envoy's carriage has traveled between our domains, thus this dispute. To argue about such a thing rather than yield is not what a benevolent person should do. I have already sent agents to Zhending to inquire after your living relatives there and to restore and repair the graves of your ancestors. I am willing to set aside our respective past grievances and, from now on, to exchange envoys between us as before. Thus have I sent Lu Jia to convey my intentions to you."

及孝文帝元年,初鎮撫天下,使告諸侯四夷從代來即位意,喻盛德焉。乃為佗親冢在真定,置守邑,歲時奉祀。召其從昆弟,尊官厚賜寵之。詔丞相陳平等舉可使南越者,平言好畤陸賈,先帝時習使南越。乃召賈以為太中大夫,往使。因讓佗自立為帝,曾無一介之使報者。(Records of the Grand Historian 113, Account of Southern Yue)

In the first year of Emperor Wen's reign (179 BC), in order to reassure the realm after his ascension to the throne, he sent out envoys to visit the various feudal lords and foreign tribes and explain to them his intentions in leaving his former position as Prince of Dai to accept the throne and to make clear his many virtues.

During this time, since Zhao Tuo's family was still living in Zhending commandary and his ancestors were buried there, Emperor Wen ensured that the graves of his family were taken care of and were offered yearly sacrifices, and he summoned Zhao Tuo’s younger relatives to court and favored them with conspicuous offices and many rewards. He ordered the Prime Minister, Chen Ping, and others to recommend a suitable envoy to go to Southern Yue, and Chen Ping mentioned Lu Jia of Haozhi, who had previous experience in that role from having served as Liu Bang's envoy to Southern Yue. So Emperor Wen appointed Lu Jia as a Grand Counselor of the Household and sent him to Southern Yue. Emperor Wen's message to Zhao Tuo rebuked him for having declared himself Emperor and having failed to send any envoys to Han to inform them of this development.

文帝元年,初鎮撫天下,使告諸侯四夷從代來即位意,諭盛德焉。乃爲佗親塚在真定置守邑,歲時奉祀。召其從昆弟,尊官厚賜寵之。召丞相平舉可使粵者,平言陸賈先帝時使粵。上召賈爲太中大夫,謁者一人爲副使,賜佗書曰:「皇帝謹問南粵王,甚苦心勞意。朕,高皇帝側室之子,棄外奉北籓於代,道里遼遠,壅蔽樸愚,未嘗致書。高皇帝棄群臣,孝惠皇帝即世,高後自臨事,不幸有疾,日進不衰,以故悖暴乎治。諸呂爲變故亂法,不能獨制,乃取它姓子爲孝惠皇帝嗣。賴宗廟之靈,功臣之力,誅之已畢。朕以王侯吏不釋之故,不得不立,今即位。乃者聞王遺將軍隆慮侯書,求親昆弟,請罷長沙兩將軍。朕以王書罷將軍博陽侯,親昆弟在真定者,已遣人存問,修治先人塚。前日聞王發兵于邊,爲寇災不止。當其時,長沙苦之,南郡尤甚,雖王之國,庸獨利乎!必多殺士卒,傷良將吏,寡人之妻,孤人之子,獨人父母,得一亡十,朕不忍爲也。朕欲定地犬牙相入者,以問吏,吏曰『高皇帝所以介長沙土也』,朕不得擅變焉。吏曰:『得王之地不足以爲大,得王之財不足以爲富,服領以南,王自治之。』雖然,王之號爲帝。兩帝並立,亡一乘之使以通其道,是爭也;爭而不讓,仁者不爲也。願與王分棄前患,終今以來,通使如故。故使賈馳諭告王朕意,王亦受之,毋爲寇災矣。上褚五十衣,中褚三十衣,下褚二十衣,遺王。願王聽樂娛憂,存問鄰國。」(Book of Han 95, Account of Southern Yue)

In the first year of Emperor Wen's reign (179 BC), in order to reassure the realm after his ascension to the throne, he sent out envoys to visit the various feudal lords and foreign tribes and explain to them his intentions in leaving his former position as Prince of Dai to accept the throne and to make clear his many virtues.

During this time, since Zhao Tuo's family was still living in Zhending commandary and his ancestors were buried there, Emperor Wen ensured that the graves of his family were taken care of and were offered yearly sacrifices, and he summoned Zhao Tuo’s younger relatives to court and favored them with conspicuous offices and many rewards. He ordered the Prime Minister, Chen Ping, to recommend a suitable envoy to go to Southern Yue, and Chen Ping mentioned Lu Jia, who had previous experience in that role from having served as Liu Bang's envoy to Southern Yue. So Emperor Wen appointed Lu Jia as a Grand Counselor of the Household and sent him to Southern Yue, along with another envoy as an assistant.

Lu Jia brought with him a letter from Emperor Wen to Zhao Tuo. The letter stated, "The Emperor respectfully inquires after the health of the King of Southern Yue, who doubtless is enduring considerable stress and concern. I am a son of Emperor Gao (Liu Bang) by one of his concubines, and having been set aside from the affairs of the capital, I maintained the northern border of the realm from my fief at Dai. Being as you and I were at that time extremely distant from one another and quite ignorant of one another's affairs, we have never had the opportunity to exchange letters. After Emperor Gao took his leave of his ministers, Emperor Xiao-Hui inherited his legacy, and then Empress Gao (Lü Zhi) personally presided over affairs, until unhappily disease claimed her. Yet rather than announce the mourning for her at once, the Lü clan perverted affairs and plotted treason, planning to make a false son of Emperor Xiao-Hui succeed to the throne. Yet thanks to the spirits of my ancestors and the efforts of our accomplished ministers, this threat to the dynasty was purged. I was then compelled by the princes, nobles, and officials, who would not absolve me of the responsibility, to inherit the throne myself, thus I have become Emperor.

"Recently, King, I have heard that you sent a letter to my general the Marquis of Longlu, inquiring about your relatives and asking that the two armies in Changsha be disbanded. I write to inform you that, in response to your letter, I have disbanded the army of my general the Marquis of Boyang. As regards to your relatives in Zhending, I have already sent agents to ask after their health and restore and repair the graves of your ancestors.

"Yet in recent days, King, I have also heard that you have raised troops and led them to the borders of the realm, and have been making frequent incursions into our territory. Changsha is even now suffering from these depredations, and the situation in Nan commandary is even worse. Though you be the king of your own state, of what benefit are these actions to you? You are only killing countless officers and soldiers and wounding good generals and officials; you are making wives into widows, children into orphans, and leaving parents with no one to support them. For every one person who survives, ten are lost; how can I bear to think about it?

"Wishing to settle the border issue between us so that there would be no overlapping territories, I have inquired among my officials, who have told me that Emperor Gao set the borders of the realm along the southern border of the territory of the King of Changsha. I would not presume to change this. They have also told me, 'We would not make our state grand by depriving the King of his state; we would not enrich our people by wresting away his goods. We would be content to allow him to govern the lands south of the mountain ranges as he sees fit.' However, recently you have been styling yourself as Emperor. As we both claim that title, this dispute has arisen, and not a single envoy's carriage has traveled between our domains. To argue about such a thing rather than yield is not what a benevolent person should do. Thus I am willing to set aside our respective past grievances and, from now on, to exchange envoys between us as before.

"I am now sending my envoy Lu Jia to hurry to see you and convey my intentions to you. May you accept my proposals, King, and refrain from further violations of our border. I include as gifts for you fifty rolls of high-quality silk floss, thirty rolls of mid-quality, and twenty rolls of lower-quality. I hope that you will indulge in music and amusements, King, and likewise inquire after your neighbors."


賈至南越。南越王恐,頓首謝罪;願奉明詔,長爲藩臣,奉貢職。於是下令國中曰︰「吾聞兩雄不俱立,兩賢不並世。漢皇帝,賢天子。自今以來,去帝制、黃屋、左纛。」因爲書,稱︰「蠻夷大長、老夫臣佗昧死再拜上書皇帝陛下曰︰老夫,故越吏也,高皇帝幸賜臣佗璽,以爲南越王。孝惠皇帝卽位,義不忍絕,所以賜老夫者厚甚。高后用事,別異蠻夷,出令曰︰『毋與蠻夷越金鐵、田器、馬、牛、羊;卽予,予牡,毋予牝。』老夫處僻,馬、牛、羊齒已長。自以祭祀不脩,有死罪,使內史藩、中尉高、御史平凡三輩上書謝過,皆不反。又風聞老夫父母墳墓已壞削,兄弟宗族已誅論。吏相與議曰︰『今內不得振於漢,外亡以自高異,』故更號爲帝,自帝其國,非敢有害於天下。高皇后聞之,大怒,削去南越之籍,使使不通。老夫竊疑長沙王讒臣,故發兵以伐其邊。老夫處越四十九年,于今抱孫焉。然夙興夜寐,寢不安席,食不甘味,目不視靡曼之色,耳不聽鍾鼓之音者,以不得事漢也。今陛下幸哀憐,復故號,通使漢如故;老夫死,骨不腐。改號,不敢爲帝矣!」

15. When Lu Jia arrived in Southern Yue, Zhao Tuo was afraid to see him. He kowtowed to Lu Jia and asked forgiveness for his crimes. He stated that he was willing to heed the imperial edict, once again declare himself a vassal of Han, and present tribute. He sent out an ordinance in his domain stating, "I have heard that two roosters cannot perch on the same branch, nor two worthy gentlemen inhabit the same era. The Emperor of Han is a worthy Son of Heaven. From now on, I shall do away with my imperial systems and no longer ride in a carriage with a yellow canopy and a feather banner on the left side."

Zhao Tuo replied to Emperor Wen's letter, styling himself as "The great chief of the Man tribes and your servant Zhao Tuo, in his twilight years, once more presenting a letter to Your Majesty the Emperor". He wrote, "I was originally just an official in the Yue region. Emperor Gao was gracious enough to present me with his seal of office and appoint me as King of Southern Yue. When Emperor Xiao-Hui inherited the throne, he was just and could not bear to deprive me of this title, and he granted me generous gifts.

"However, when Empress Gao took control of affairs, she sent out an order stating, 'Do not trade gold or iron, farming tools, horses, cattle, or sheep with the Man tribes of Yue; if you do sell them livestock, sell them only males, not females.' I occupy a cramped region, and the horses, cattle, and sheep here are already all long in the tooth. If the sacrifices cannot be maintained, that is a capital offense. I tried having my Interior Minister, Po, my Chief Commandant, Gao, and my Secretary, Ping, each send letters apologizing for my offenses, but there was no response. Furthermore, I heard a rumor that the graves of my parents had been desecrated and ruined, and that my brothers and kinfolk had been executed. Then my ministers discussed with me, saying, 'Within, we cannot regain our standing with Han; without, we have no way to exalt ourselves'. It was only for these reasons that I declared myself Emperor; it was purely as Emperor of my own state, for I would not have dared to infringe upon the realm. But when Empress Gao heard what I had done, she was furious, and she removed Southern Yue from the dynastic registry and halted the exchange of envoys. I presumed to suspect that the King of Changsha had slandered me to her. Thus I raised my troops to campaign against the King of Changsha's borders.

"I have governed the Yue region for forty-eight years now, and I have grown old enough to be cradling my grandson in my arms. Yet even so, I wake early in the morning and sleep only late into the night, I cannot rest peacefully, I do not enjoy the flavors of my food, my eyes cannot take in the richness of the colors I look upon, and my ears cannot appreciate the tunes of the bells and drums. All this is because I have been unable to serve Han. Yet now Your Majesty is gracious enough to take pity upon me, restore my former title, and exchange envoys with me as before. Though I die now, my bones will not wither away. I will change my title, and not dare to call myself Emperor any further!"

〈以越爲蠻夷,故曰蠻夷越。〉〈予,讀曰與。牡,雄也;牝,雌也。恐其蕃息,故不予牝。〉〈師古曰︰齒已長,謂老也。〉〈師古曰︰風聞,謂風聲傳聞也。誅論者,以罪論死也。〉〈言爲漢所貶削,不得振起也。〉〈張揖曰︰靡,細也。曼,澤也。〉

(The Yue region was inhabited by the Man tribes, thus Lü Zhi forbade trading with "the Man tribes of Yue".

The term 予 here means "with".

The terms 牡 and 牝 refer to male and female livestock. Lü Zhi forbade the trading of female livestock because she was concerned that Southern Yue would thus increase their herds over time.

Yan Shigu remarked, "To be long in the tooth means to be old."

Yan Shigu remarked, "The expression 風聞 'heard on the wind' means to have heard the spread of information by rumor. And 誅論 means to have heard that someone had been executed."

Zhao Tuo's ministers were saying that since Han had repressed them, they could not hope to regain their position.

Zhao Tuo states that he cannot 靡曼 the colors he sees. Zhang Yi remarked, "靡 means detail, and 曼 means luster.")


南越蠻夷大長老夫臣佗曰。高后聽信讒臣。別異蠻夷。故改號聊以自娛。自帝其國。未敢有害於天下。老夫夙興夜寐。寢不安席。食不甘味。凡以不得事漢故也。陛下幸哀憐臣。通使如故。老夫死骨不朽。不敢為帝。謹北面因使者奉獻。(Records of Former Han 7, Annals of Emperor Wen)

Zhao Tuo replied to Emperor Wen's letter, styling himself as "The great chief of the Man tribes of Southern Yue and your old servant Zhao Tuo". He wrote, "Empress Gao believed in slander against me and alienated the various Man and other tribes here. Thus I changed my title purely to gratify myself and to claim dominion as Emperor over my state, for I would not have dared to infringe upon the realm. I wake early in the morning and sleep only late into the night, I cannot rest peacefully, and I do not enjoy the flavors of my food. All this is because I have been unable to serve Han. Yet now Your Majesty is gracious enough to take pity upon me and exchange envoys with me as before. Though I die now, my bones will not wither away. I will dare to call myself Emperor any further; I will diligently face north and send my envoys bearing tribute to you."

陸賈至南越,王甚恐,為書謝,稱曰:「蠻夷大長老夫臣佗,前日高后隔異南越,竊疑長沙王讒臣,又遙聞高后盡誅佗宗族,掘燒先人冢,以故自棄,犯長沙邊境。且南方卑溼,蠻夷中閒,其東閩越千人眾號稱王,其西甌駱裸國亦稱王。老臣妄竊帝號,聊以自娛,豈敢以聞天王哉!」乃頓首謝,願長為藩臣,奉貢職。於是乃下令國中曰:「吾聞兩雄不俱立,兩賢不并世。皇帝,賢天子也。自今以後,去帝制黃屋左纛。」陸賈還報,孝文帝大說。遂至孝景時,稱臣,使人朝請。然南越其居國竊如故號名,其使天子,稱王朝命如諸侯。(Records of the Grand Historian 113, Account of Southern Yue)

When Lu Jia arrived in Southern Yue, Zhao Tuo was afraid to see him. He wrote a letter of apology to Emperor Wen, styling himself as "The great chief of the Man tribes and your servant Zhao Tuo, in his twilight years". He wrote, "In recent days, Empress Gao became alienated from Southern Yue, and I presumed to suspect that the King of Changsha had slandered me to her. Furthermore, I heard a rumor that Empress Gao had executed my entire clan and had dug up and desecrated the graves of my parents. Thus I cut myself off from the realm and encroached upon the King of Changsha's borders. Besides, I observe that although the south is a lowly and humble place and situated among the Man and other tribes, yet even the ruler of Minyue to my east styled himself King although he rules a mere thousand people, and even the rulers of Xi'ou and Luoluo call themselves kings as well. So my rash decision to name myself Emperor was purely a matter of personal amusement to compare with these local upstarts. Could I have dared to infringe upon the authority of the Heavenly King?" And he kowtowed and apologized to Lu Jia, saying that he would remain a border vassal forever and offer tribute to Han.

Zhao Tuo also sent out an ordinance in his domain stating, "I have heard that two roosters cannot perch on the same branch, nor two worthy gentlemen inhabit the same era. The Emperor of Han is a worthy Son of Heaven. From now on, I shall do away with my imperial systems and no longer ride in a carriage with a yellow canopy and a feather banner on the left side."

When Lu Jia returned to Chang'an, Emperor Wen was overjoyed with his success. And all down through the reign of Emperor Jing, Zhao Tuo continued to call himself a vassal of Han and sent envoys to the Han court seeking their instructions. However, within Southern Yue itself, he secretly continued to style himself Emperor like before; he only used the title King and ranked himself only among the feudal lords when sending envoys to visit the Son of Heaven.

陸賈至,南粵王恐,乃頓首謝,願奉明詔,長爲籓臣,奉貢職。於是下令國中曰:「吾聞兩雄不俱立,兩賢不並世。漢皇帝賢天子。自今以來,去帝制黃屋左纛。」因爲書稱:「蠻夷大長老夫臣佗昧死再拜上書皇帝陛下:老夫故粵吏也,高皇帝幸賜臣佗璽,以爲南粵王,使爲外臣,時內貢職。孝惠皇帝即位,義不忍絕,所以賜老夫者厚甚。高後自臨用事,近細士,信讒臣,別異蠻夷,出令曰:『毋予蠻夷外粵金鐵田器;馬、牛、羊即予,予牡,毋與牝。』老夫處辟,馬、羊、羊齒已長,自以祭祀不修,有死罪,使內史籓、中尉高、御史平凡三輩上書謝過,皆不反。又風聞老夫父母墳墓已壞削,兄弟宗族已誅論。吏相與議曰:『今內不得振於漢。外亡以自高異。』故更號爲帝,自帝其國,非敢有害於天下也。高皇后聞之大怒,削去南粵之籍,使使不通。老夫竊疑長沙王讒臣,故敢發兵以伐其邊。且南方卑濕,蠻夷中西有西甌,其衆半羸,南面稱王;東有閩粵,其衆數千人,亦稱王;西北有長沙,其半蠻夷,亦稱王。老夫故敢妄竊帝號,聊以自娛。老夫身定百邑之地,東西南北數千萬里,帶甲百萬有餘,然北面而臣事漢,何也?不敢背先人之故。老夫處粵四十九年,於今抱孫焉。然夙興夜寐,寢不安席,食不甘味,目不視靡曼之色,耳不聽鐘鼓之音者,以不得事漢也。今陛下幸哀憐,復故號,通使漢如故,老夫死骨不腐,改號不敢爲帝矣!謹北面因使者獻白璧一雙,翠鳥千,犀角十,紫貝五百,桂蠹一器,生翠四十雙,孔雀二雙。昧死再拜,以聞皇帝陛下。」陸賈還報,文帝大說。遂至孝景時,稱臣遣使入朝請。然其居國,竊如故號;其使天子,稱王朝命如諸侯。(Book of Han 95, Account of Southern Yue)

When Lu Jia arrived in Southern Yue, Zhao Tuo was afraid to see him. He kowtowed to Lu Jia and accepted the wise edict from Emperor Wen, saying that he would remain a border vassal forever and offer tribute to Han. He sent out an ordinance in his domain stating, "I have heard that two roosters cannot perch on the same branch, nor two worthy gentlemen inhabit the same era. The Emperor of Han is a worthy Son of Heaven. From now on, I shall do away with my imperial systems and no longer ride in a carriage with a yellow canopy and a feather banner on the left side."

Zhao Tuo wrote a letter of apology to Emperor Wen, "The great chief of the Man tribes and your servant Zhao Tuo, in his twilight years, once more presenting a letter to Your Majesty the Emperor". He wrote, "I was originally just an official in the Yue region. Emperor Gao was gracious enough to present me with his seal of office and appoint me as King of Southern Yue, bidding me to act as a border minister and present regular payments of tribute. When Emperor Xiao-Hui inherited the throne, he was just and could not bear to deprive me of this title, and he granted me generous gifts.

"However, when Empress Gao took control of affairs, she surrounded herself with petty people and heeded the slander of her ministers. She broke off relations with the tribal peoples here, and she sent out an order stating, 'Do not trade gold or iron, farming tools, horses, cattle, or sheep with the Man tribes of Yue; if you do sell them livestock, sell them only males, not females.' I occupy a cramped region, and the horses, cattle, and sheep here are already all long in the tooth. If the sacrifices cannot be maintained, that is a capital offense. I tried having my Interior Minister, Po, my Chief Commandant, Gao, and my Secretary, Ping, each send letters apologizing for my offenses, but there was no response. Furthermore, I heard a rumor that the graves of my parents had been desecrated and ruined, and that my brothers and kinfolk had been executed. Then my ministers discussed with me, saying, 'Within, we cannot regain our standing with Han; without, we have no way to exalt ourselves'. It was only for these reasons that I declared myself Emperor; it was purely as Emperor of my own state, for I would not have dared to infringe upon the realm. But when Empress Gao heard what I had done, she was furious, and she removed Southern Yue from the dynastic registry and halted the exchange of envoys. I presumed to suspect that the King of Changsha had slandered me to her. Thus I raised my troops to campaign against the King of Changsha's borders.

"Besides, I observe that although the south is a lowly and humble place and situated among the Man and other tribes, yet even the ruler of Minyue to my east styled himself King although he rules a mere few thousand people, and even the ruler of Xi'ou, whose host is half old men, also faces south and calls himself a King. And to my northwest, there is also the King of Changsha, who claims that title although half of his people are Man and other tribes. So my rash decision to name myself Emperor was purely a matter of personal amusement to compare with these local upstarts. I had personally settled a region of a hundred towns, my domain stretched for thousands and tens of thousands of li in all directions, and I had more than a million soldiers under arms. Why then should I alone have been the one to face north and continue to be only a vassal to the Han dynasty? But I would never have dared to go against the prerogatives of your ancestors.

"I have governed the Yue region for forty-eight years now, and I have grown old enough to be cradling my grandson in my arms. Yet even so, I wake early in the morning and sleep only late into the night, I cannot rest peacefully, I do not enjoy the flavors of my food, my eyes cannot take in the richness of the colors I look upon, and my ears cannot appreciate the tunes of the bells and drums. All this is because I have been unable to serve Han. Yet now Your Majesty is gracious enough to take pity upon me, restore my former title, and exchange envoys with me as before. Though I die now, my bones will not wither away. I will change my title, and not dare to call myself Emperor any further!

"Respectfully facing north in submission, I send my envoy to present gifts to Your Majesty: a pair of white jade discs, a thousand kingfisher feathers, ten rhinoceros horns, five hundred purple cowries, a bunch of laurel-eating insects, forty live kingfishers, and two peacocks. Even as I taste death, I perform obeisance to Your Majesty and await Your Majesty's response."

When Lu Jia returned to Chang'an, Emperor Wen was overjoyed with his success. And all down through the reign of Emperor Jing, Zhao Tuo continued to call himself a vassal of Han and sent envoys to the Han court seeking their instructions. However, within Southern Yue itself, he secretly continued to style himself Emperor like before; he only used the title King and ranked himself only among the feudal lords when sending envoys to visit the Son of Heaven.


齊哀王襄薨。

16. Liu Xiang passed away. He was posthumously known as Prince Ai ("the Lamented") of Qi.

〈《諡法》︰恭仁短折曰哀。〉

(The Laws of Posthumous Names states, "One who is respectful and benevolent and whose life is cut short may be called Ai ('the Lamented').")


孝文元年
薨。文王則元年。(Records of the Grand Historian 17, Annual Timeline of the Han Princes)

In the first year of Emperor Wen's reign (179 BC), Liu Xiang passed away. Liu Zé succeeded him.

齊王襄薨。(Records of Former Han 7, Annals of Emperor Wen)

The Prince of Qi, Liu Xiang, passed away.

是歲,齊哀王卒,太子(側)[則]立,是為文王。(Records of the Grand Historian 52, Biography of Liu Xiang)

During this year (179 BC), Liu Xiang passed away. He was posthumously known as Prince Ai of Qi.

Liu Xiang's son Liu Zé inherited his title as Prince of Qi.

是歲,齊哀王薨,子文王則嗣。(Book of Han 38, Biography of Liu Xiang)

During this year (179 BC), Liu Xiang passed away. He was posthumously known as Prince Ai of Qi.

Liu Xiang's son Liu Zé inherited his title as Prince of Qi.


上聞河南守吳公治平爲天下第一,召以爲廷尉。吳公薦洛陽人賈誼,帝召以爲博士。是時賈生年二十餘。帝愛其辭博,一歲中,超遷至太中大夫。賈生請改正朔,易服色,定官名,興禮樂,以立漢制,更秦法;帝謙讓未遑也。

17. Emperor Wen heard that the Administrator of Henan, Lord Wu, was the greatest in the realm when it came to governing justly. So Emperor Wen summoned him to the capital to serve as Minister of Justice. Lord Wu then recommended Jia Yi of Luoyang to Emperor Wen, and Emperor Wen summoned him as well and appointed Jia Yi as an Academician.

At this time, this Jia Yi was just over twenty years old. Emperor Wen treasured him for his rhetoric and learning, and in the space of one year, he promoted Jia Yi as high as a Grand Counselor of the Household. Jia Yi asked to reform the calendar, change the colors of the government outfits, settle the names of the various offices, and clarify the rites and music, thus establishing a unique Han system and setting aside the old Qin laws. But Emperor Wen, who was modest and yielding, was in no rush to implement such reforms.

〈班《志》,洛陽縣屬河南郡。〉〈班《表》︰博士,秦官,掌通古今,秩比六百石,員多至數十人。武帝建元五年,初置《五經》博士;宣帝黃龍元年,增員十二人;屬奉常。〉〈言其贍於文辭而博識也。〉〈班《表》︰太中大夫,掌論議,無員,多至數十人,秩比千石;屬郎中令。〉〈正朔,謂夏建寅爲人正,商建丑爲地正,周建子爲天正。秦之建亥,非三統也,而漢因之,此當改也。周以火德王,色尚赤。漢繼周者也,以土繼火,色宜尚黃,此當易也。唐、虞官百,夏、商官倍,周官則備矣,六卿各率其屬,凡三百六十。秦立百官之職名,漢因循而不革,此當定也。高祖之時,叔孫通采秦儀以制朝廷之禮,因秦樂人以作宗廟之樂,此當興也。誼之說雖未爲盡醇,而其志則可尚矣。〉

(According to the Book of Han, Luoyang county was part of Henan commandary.

According to the Book of Han, Academicians were a Qin office, in charge of discussing affairs both ancient and modern. They were of Equivalent To Six Hundred 石 salary rank, and there were up to about a dozen of them at a time. It was in Emperor Wu's fifth year of Jianyuan (136 BC) that he established Academicians of the Five Classics, and in Emperor Xuan's first year of Huanglong (49 BC) that they were increased to twelve members. They were under the supervision of the Minister of Ceremonies.

This passage is saying that Emperor Wen appreciated Jia Yi's skill at writing and his erudition.

According to the Book of Han, the Grand Counselors of the Household were in charge of discussions and councils. There was no set number, and there were up to about a dozen of them at a time. They were of Equivalent To One Thousand 石 salary rank. They were under the supervision of the Prefect of the Household Gentlemen.

Regarding the calendar, the Xia dynasty had set its basis as Yin and People, the Shang dynasty as Chou and Earth, and the Zhou dynasty as Zi and Heaven. The Qin dynasty had set it as Hai, without regard to the Three Foundations, and the Han dynasty had inherited their system. Jia Yi now proposed to reform it.

The Zhou dynasty had ruled by the virtue of Fire, and the colors of their clothes were red. When the Han dynasty succeeded the Zhou dynasty, they ruled by the virtue of Earth, viewing it as the successor to Fire, and the colors of their clothes were Yellow. Jia Yi now proposed to reform this.

The ancient Emperors Tang (Yao) and Yu (Shun) had first created the imperial offices, and the Xia and Shang dynasties had increased them. By the time of the Zhou dynasty, with their expansion of the offices, the Six Ministers each had their various subordinates, and the number of offices increased to 360. And the Han dynasty had inherited the names of offices as the Qin dynasty had established before them. Jia Yi now proposed to settle the names of this offices.

During Liu Bang's reign, Shusun Tong had picked out elements of the court ceremonial of the Qin dynasty in order to organize rites and ceremonies for the newly-established Han court, and the musicians of the Qin dynasty had performed the music at the Han ancestral temple. Jia Yi now proposed to clarify proper rites and music.

Although Jia Yi's proposals were not entirely pure, his ambitions were admirable.)
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BOOK 13

Unread postby Taishi Ci 2.0 » Fri Dec 06, 2019 4:50 pm

二年(癸亥、前一七八)

The Second Year of Emperor Wen's Reign (The Guihai or Water Pig Year, 178 BC)


冬,十月,曲逆獻侯陳平薨。

1. In winter, the tenth month (of 179 BC), Chen Ping passed away. He was posthumously known as Marquis Xian ("the Presented") of Quni.

二年冬十月。丞相平薨。諡獻侯。(Records of Former Han 7, Annals of Emperor Wen)

In the second year of the first half of Emperor Wen’s reign (178 BC), in winter, the tenth month (of 179 BC), the Prime Minister, Chen Ping, passed away. He was posthumously known as Marquis Xian ("the Presented”).


詔列侯各之國;爲吏及詔所止者,遣太子。

2. Emperor Wen issued an edict ordering the various nobles in the capital to each go out to their assigned fiefs. Those officials who were personally excluded from this order were still compelled to send their heirs out to their fiefs.

〈李奇曰︰爲吏,謂爲卿、大夫者;詔所止,謂特以恩愛見留。余謂當時如周勃者是也。〉

(Li Qi remarked, "By 'the officials', it meant the chief ministers and grandees of the capital; the edict not applying to them was a mark of special grace and favor in allowing them to remain." I (Hu Sanxing) reckon that at this time, this exclusion applied to such people as Zhou Bo.)


十一月,乙亥,周勃復爲丞相。

3. With Chen Ping's death, the post of Prime Minister had been left vacant. In the eleventh month (of 179 BC), on the day Yihai, Zhou Bo was appointed as the new Prime Minister.

十有一月乙亥。周勃復為左丞相。(Records of Former Han 7, Annals of Emperor Wen)

In the eleventh month (of 179 BC), on the day Yihai, Zhou Bo was reappointed as Prime Minister of the Left.


癸卯晦,日有食之。詔︰「羣臣悉思朕之過失及知見之所不及,匄以啓告朕。及舉賢良、方正、能直言極諫者,以匡朕之不逮。」因各敕以職任,務省繇費以便民;罷衞將軍;太僕見馬遺財足,餘皆以給傳置。

4. On the day Guimao, the last day of that month, there was an eclipse.

Emperor Wen issued an edict stating, "I request to have all ministers who are aware of my faults and errors or who know of my shortcomings to come and inform me of such things. I also ask that people be nominated as Worthy and Excellent, Honest and True, and as people able to offer blunt talk and fully remonstrate with me, in order to help ensure I do not go astray." He further ordered that all officials, whatever their role, should reduce their expenditures and labor demands in order to benefit the people. He disbanded the army of the Guard General, and he ordered the Minister Coachman to store only as much grain as was needed to feed the horses, while distributing out all the rest to the various post-stations.

〈匄,乞也。〉〈賢良方正之舉昉此。〉〈省,減也。繇,讀曰徭,役也。〉〈按班《紀》,詔曰︰「朕旣不能遠德,故憪然念外人之有非,是以設備未息。今縱不能罷邊屯戍,又飭兵厚衞,其罷衞將軍軍。」《通鑑》傳寫逸一「軍」字耳。〉〈班《表》︰太僕掌輿馬。言減見在之馬,所留財足充事而已。置者,置傳驛之所,因名置也。〉

(The term 匄 means "request".

This marked the first instance of people being nominated as Worthy and Excellent or Honest and True candidates.

To reduce means to lessen. The term 繇 should be read as 徭 "corvee", or labor demands.

Regarding the abolishment of the army of the Guard General (that is, the army within the capital), the relevant part of Emperor Wen's full edict as listed in the Book of Han has this passage: "It is because of my lack of distant virtue that I am always worrying about foreign states attempting something untoward and have been compelled to establish border garrisons in case of any incident. Though I am not at liberty to do away with these border camps, shall I at the same time adorn my own dwelling with so many guards? Thus I hereby abolish the army of the Guard General." This last part, 衞將軍軍 "the army of the Guard General", is there written with the 軍 character repeated, but the Zizhi Tongjian omits the second 軍 in its summary of this order; 衞將軍 could be interpreted as simply “the Guard General”.

The Minister Coachman was responsible for providing for the imperial horses. Emperor Wen was saying to reduce the amount of stored grain to strictly meet the needs of these horses. The term "posts" refers to the various post-stations or couriers, and is thus abbreviated.)


癸卯晦。日有食之。詔舉賢良方正直言極諫者。(Records of Former Han 7, Annals of Emperor Wen)

On the day Guimao, the last day of that month, there was an eclipse.

Emperor Wen issued an edict requesting people be nominated as Worthy and Excellent, Honest and True, and as people able to offer blunt talk and fully remonstrate with him.


潁陰侯騎賈山上書言治亂之道曰︰「臣聞雷霆之所擊,無不摧折者;萬鈞之所壓,無不糜滅者。今人主之威,非特雷霆也;埶重,非特萬鈞也。開道而求諫,和顏色而受之,用其言而顯其身,士猶恐懼而不敢自盡;又況於縱欲恣暴、惡聞其過乎!震之以威,壓之以重,雖有堯、舜之智,孟賁之勇,豈有不摧折者哉!如此,則人主不得聞其過,社稷危矣。昔者周蓋千八百國,以九州之民養千八百國之君,君有餘財,民有餘力,而頌聲作。秦皇帝以千八百國之民自養,力罷不能勝其役,財盡不能勝其求。一君之身耳,所自養者馳騁弋獵之娛,天下弗能供也。秦皇帝計其功德,度其後嗣世世無窮;然身死纔數月耳,天下四面而攻之,宗廟滅絕矣。秦皇帝居滅絕之中而不自知者,何也?天下莫敢告也。其所以莫敢告者,何也?亡養老之義,亡輔弼之臣;退誹謗之人,殺直諫之士。是以道諛、媮合苟容,比其德則賢於堯、舜,課其功則賢於湯、武;天下已潰而莫之告也。今陛下使天下舉賢良方正之士,天下皆訢訢焉曰︰『將興堯舜之道、三王之功矣。』天下之士,莫不精白以承休德。今方正之士皆在朝廷矣;又選其賢者,使爲常侍、諸使,與之馳驅射獵,一日再三出。臣恐朝廷之解弛,百官之墮於事也。陛下卽位,親自勉以厚天下,節用愛民,平獄緩刑;天下莫不說喜。臣聞山東吏布詔令,民雖老羸癃疾,扶杖而往聽之,願少須臾毋死,思見德化之成也。今功業方就,名聞方昭,四方鄕風而從;豪俊之臣,方正之士,直與之日日射獵,擊兔、伐狐,以傷大業,絕天下之望,臣竊悼之!古者大臣不得與宴游,使皆務其方而高其節,則羣臣莫敢不正身脩行,盡心以稱大禮。夫士,脩之於家而壞之於天子之廷,臣竊愍之。陛下與衆臣宴游,與大臣、方正朝廷論議,游不失樂,朝不失禮,軌事之大者也。」上嘉納其言。

5. One of Guan Ying's attendant riders, Jia Shan, sent up a letter to Emperor Wen regarding orderly and chaotic governance. He wrote, "I have heard that when lightning strikes, it destroys whatever it touches; when a five-ton weight falls, it crushes whatever it lands upon. Is not the might wielded by a ruler of men much like a bolt of lightning, and is not the power of their authority as great as a crushing weight? Even when a sovereign opens a clear path to receive criticism and actively seeks it out, listening to it with a calm and composed expression and accepting it, and heeding the advice of the one who gives it and exalting them for their efforts, even then people will still be so afraid to criticize the ruler that they will not dare to speak their full mind. How much more so is this the case when the ruler is unrestrained, indulgent, violent, and cruel, and hates to hear mention of their faults? When the lightning strikes and the weight falls, who can avoid being snuffed out, though they possess the intellect of Yao and Shun or the strength of Meng Ben? Thus, when the sovereign does not hear about their faults, the fortunes of state are endangered.

"In ancient times, the Zhou dynasty presided over the 1,800 fiefs of the realm, sustained by the common people of the Nine Provinces, and during their reign the sovereign was rich and the people were healthy. Thus we sing odes to the memory of Zhou. Yet when the First Emperor of Qin reigned over these same 1,800 fiefs and these same people, all their strength was insufficient to carry out his projects, and all their wealth was not enough to satisfy his demands. The resources of all the realm could not maintain the indulgent hunting and other little diversions of this one man alone. The First Emperor believed that his virtues and achievements had been so great that his descendants would reign over the realm for endless millenia. Yet within a mere few months after his death, the whole realm rose up and attacked the Qin dynasty, and the First Emperor's lineage was severed. He was living in a state on the brink of disaster, yet never once did he realize it. Why was that? Because no one in the realm dared to tell him so. And why was it that no one dared to say it? Because he had no righteous ministers who would steer him towards the right path or assist him in ruling the state; he drove away anyone whom he believed was slandering him, and he killed those gentlemen who dared to openly criticize him. He lost himself in the company of flatterers and sycophants, who were always saying that his virtues were as great as those of Yao and Shun and his achievements were as grand as those of Tang of Shang and King Wu of Zhou. The realm was already bursting, yet no one breathed a word of it.

“Now I note that Your Majesty has been actively seeking out Worthy and Excellent, Honest and True gentlemen from across the realm to address your faults. The whole realm has responded with admiration for you, saying, ‘He will restore the principles of Yao and Shun and carry on the achievements of the Three Sovereigns (Yu the Great, Tang of Shang, and King Wu of Zhou).’ There has not been a single one of the gentlemen across the realm who has not responded to your call by trying to make spotless their own behavior in order to be called upon. Yet, with all these honest and true gentlemen now serving in the court, I further note that Your Majesty has selected those whom you deemed worthiest among them and chosen them to constantly be by your side as your Regular Attendants and other escorts. You have often gone out riding about or hunting with them, sometimes going out thrice in the same day for such excursions. I am afraid that this has only resulted in the court becoming more slack and remiss and the officials becoming indolent in their duties.

“When Your Majesty first came to the throne, you were personally diligent in tending to the affairs of the realm, dutiful in employing good servants and treasuring the common people, and just in reviewing legal cases and judicious in enforcing punishments. Everyone in the realm was pleased with your efforts. I have even heard that whenever your envoys traveled east of the mountains to proclaim your edicts there, the common people would invariably take up their walking sticks and journey to hear for themselves the words of your decrees; even sickness or old age could not deter them from making the trip, and they considered it a blessing to be spared from death just long enough to receive your commands. Such was the complete transformative power of your virtue. How lamentable, then, when your achievements and endeavors are on the verge of being fulfilled and your reputation close to being sealed, when people from every corner are inclined to turn towards you and heed your will, that you should have these talented subjects and these honest and proper gentlemen follow you about while shooting at game, hunting rabbits, and chasing after foxes day after day. You are harming the great enterprise of state and dashing the hopes of the realm. How can I not grieve for you?

“In ancient times, great ministers did not partake of amusements or wanderings with the sovereign; rather, they tended to their principles and focused on their duties. Thus not a one of them dared not to rectify themselves or improve their conduct, and they all poured out their hearts to maintain the great rituals of life. Is it not regrettable to consider how such gentlemen might, though cultivating themselves and their families, be remiss in their duties to the court of the Son of Heaven? I cannot help but pity them. So let it be the common run of people whom Your Majesty brings with you to your feasts and your excursions, while you restrict your dealings with the great ministers and the honest and true gentlemen to your court discussions. By doing so, you may have your personal diversions without sacrificing your happiness, while still holding your court sessions with the appropriate amount of respectful distance and ritual behavior, and your discussions will not lose their purpose. That would greatly restore the proper way of things.”

Emperor Wen commended Jia Shan and took heed of his advice.

〈潁陰侯,灌嬰也。騎者,蓋在侯家爲騎從也。〉〈周爵五等而土三等︰公、侯百里,伯七十里,子、男五十里;不滿爲附庸。九州,州方千里。八州,州二百一十國;天子之縣內九十三國,凡九州,千七百七十三國。曰千八百國者,舉成數也。〉〈周改《禹貢》徐、梁二州合之於青、雍,分冀州之地以爲幽、幷。職方氏所掌曰揚州、荊州、豫州、青州、兗州、雍州、幽州、冀州、幷州。〉〈頌者,美盛德之形容也。〉〈弋,繳射也。〉〈言爲諂諛,導迎主意,納之於邪也。〉〈師古曰︰潰,水旁決也;言天下已壞,如水之潰也。〉〈訢,讀曰欣。〉〈師古曰︰厲精而爲潔白也。〉〈班《表》︰左‧右曹、諸吏、散騎常侍、中常侍,皆加官。〉〈解,讀曰懈。弛,放也。墮,與惰同。〉〈癃,病也,老也,疲病也。〉〈鄕,讀曰嚮。〉〈師古曰︰安息曰宴。與,讀曰豫。〉〈師古曰︰方,道也;一曰︰方,謂廉隅也。〉〈【章︰甲十五本「軌」上有「議不失計」四字;乙十一行本同;孔本同;張校同;退齋校同。】〉〈師古曰︰軌,謂法度也。〉

(This passage identifies Jia Shan as "a rider of the Marquis of Yingyin". The Marquis of Yingyin was Guan Ying. By "rider", it must have meant one of the attendant riders of Guan Ying's noble household.

At the beginning of the Zhou dynasty, there were five ranks of nobility and three tiers of fief sizes. Dukes and marquises had fiefs of one hundred li, earls had fiefs of seventy li, and viscounts and barons had fiefs of fifty li. Those who had fiefs smaller than this were vassals of the others. There were nine provinces, each of which was a thousand li square. Eight of these provinces contained 210 fiefs each, and the remaining province contained the ninety-three fiefs of the Son of Heaven, making nine provinces in all. There were thus a total of 1,773 fiefs. Jia Shan was simply rounding this number up to 1,800 fiefs.

The original Nine Provinces were listed in the Tribute of Yu in the Book of Documents: Yanzhou, Jingzhou, Yuzhou, Qingzhou, Xuzhou, Lianzhou, Yongzhou, Yangzhou, and Jizhou. Of these original nine, the Zhou dynasty combined Xuzhou and Lianzhou into Qingzhou and Yongzhou, and they split Jizhou into three parts, creating the new provinces of Youzhou and Bingzhou. The Zhifang office mentions the provinces of Yanzhou, Jingzhou, Yuzhou, Qingzhou, Yangzhou, Yongzhou, Youzhou, Jizhou, and Bingzhou.

Odes extoll the great virtues of a subject.

The term 弋 means to shoot a retractable arrow.

Jia Shan was saying that the people surrounding the First Emperor of Qin were flatterers and sycophants, who always humored whatever he desired and went along with his every whim.

Yan Shigu remarked, "To burst is when a river floods its banks; Jia Shan was saying that the realm had already collapsed like a burst riverbank."

訢 should be read as 欣 “joyful”.

Jia Shan uses the term 精白. Yan Shigu remarked, “This means that they would reform their behavior in order to purify themselves.”

Jia Shan refers to Emperor Wen employing people as his “Regular Attendants and other such escorts”. According to the Book of Han, this included the Managers of the Left and Right, the various envoys, the Cavaliers In Regular Attendance, and the Palace Regular Attendants, all of which were additional promotions behind regular office ranks.

解 should be read as 懈 “slack”; 弛 means “remiss”; 墮 is the same thing as “indolent”.

癃 means “sick, infirm, exhausted, suffering”.

鄕 should be read as 嚮 “towards”.

Regarding the term 宴, Yan Shigu remarked, “This means rest or relaxation.”

與should be read as 豫 “partake in comfort”.

Jia Shan states that the ancient ministers would tend to their 方. Yan Shigu remarked, “This means their principles; it is also said that it means their honesty or frugality.”

Some versions have Jia Shan add that “your discussions will not lose their purpose” if Emperor Wen acts as he proposes.

Regarding the term 軌, Yan Shigu remarked, “This means laws or moral standards.”)


上每朝,郎、從官上書疏,未嘗不止輦受其言。言不可用置之,言可用采之,未嘗不稱善。

6. Whenever Emperor Wen was traveling to attend court, he never failed to halt his carriage and receive the letters and petitions even of Household Gentlemen or of other lower officials. He implemented all advice that was practicable and tabled all advice that was infeasible, and he never failed to commend these recommendations.

帝從霸陵上欲西馳下峻阪。中郎將袁盎騎,並車擥轡。上曰︰「將軍怯邪?」盎曰︰「臣聞『千金之子,坐不垂堂』。聖主不乘危,不徼幸。今陛下騁六飛馳下峻山,有如馬驚車敗,陛下縱自輕,柰高廟、太后何!」上乃止。

7. On one occasion, Emperor Wen had departed from Baling in his carriage and wished to rush west to Xiajun Slope. But the General of the Household Gentlemen, Yuan Ang, who was riding alongside him, came up and stopped Emperor Wen's cart by grabbing the bridle. Emperor Wen asked him, "General, are you so timid?"

Yuan Ang replied, "I have heard it said that 'the child of a rich family does not sit beneath a sagging roof'. A sage ruler does not court danger or tempt fate. Yet Your Majesty was just about to let your six horses go galloping off towards Mount Xiajun. Suppose a horse fell down and the carriage toppled over? Then Your Majesty would have been too careless with your own safety. How would you ever explain yourself to the Empress Dowager or to the spirit of your late father?"

So Emperor Wen gave up the idea.

〈班《志》,霸陵縣屬京兆。故芷陽也;帝起陵邑,因更名。〉〈擥,與攬同。〉〈師古曰︰言富人之子則自愛也。垂堂,謂坐堂外邊,恐墜墮也。〉

(According to the Book of Han, Baling county was part of Jingzhao commandary. It had originally been named Zhiyang, but was renamed to Baling ("Tomb at the Ba River") after Emperor Wen raised a tomb there.

The term 擥 means the same thing as 攬 "to see, to view".

Regarding the saying which Yuan Ang quoted, Yan Shigu remarked, "He meant that the child of a rich family will love their life enough to protect it. A 'sagging roof' means sitting under the eaves of a roof, out of fear that it might fall or collapse onto them.")


上從霸陵欲西馳下峻阪。盎進攢轡。上曰。將軍怯邪。盎曰。臣聞聖主不乘危。陛下乘六騑。馳不測之山。比有馬驚車敗。陛下縱自輕。奈高廟太后何。上乃止。(Records of Former Han 7, Annals of Emperor Wen)

On one occasion, Emperor Wen had departed from Baling in his carriage and wished to rush west to Xiajun Slope. But Yuan Ang came up and stopped Emperor Wen's cart by grabbing the bridle. Emperor Wen asked him, "General, are you so timid?"

Yuan Ang replied, "I have heard it said that a sage ruler does not court danger. Yet Your Majesty was just about to let your six horses go galloping off towards those unfathomable mountains. Suppose a horse fell down and the carriage toppled over? Then Your Majesty would have been too careless with your own safety. How would you ever explain yourself to the Empress Dowager or to the spirit of your late father?"

So Emperor Wen gave up the idea.


上所幸愼夫人,在禁中常與皇后同席坐。及坐郎署,袁盎引卻愼夫人坐。愼夫人怒,不肯坐;上亦怒,起,入禁中。盎因前說曰︰「臣聞『尊卑有序,則上下和』。今陛下旣已立后,愼夫人乃妾;妾、主豈可與同坐哉!且陛下幸之,卽厚賜之;陛下所以爲愼夫人,適所以禍之也。陛下獨不見『人彘』乎!」於是上乃說,召語愼夫人,愼夫人賜盎金五十斤。

8. In addition to Empress Dou, Emperor Wen was also very fond of a certain Lady Shen. Whenever the three of them were together in the inner apartments, they often all sat together on the same mat.

On one occasion, during a meeting at the office of the Household Gentlemen, Yuan Ang shifted Lady Shen's seat back away from the others. Lady Shen was angry at this treatment and refused to sit there, and Emperor Wen was furious; he got up and began to walk into the inner apartments. But Yuan Ang stepped in front of him and advised him, "I have heard that 'when the exalted and the humble maintain their proper places, then there will be harmony between all'. Your Majesty has already established an Empress, while Lady Shen is only your concubine. How could you allow a concubine to share the same seat as the Empress? Besides, Your Majesty goes too far in favoring Lady Shen and granting gifts to her. By doing these things, you are only sending her down the path to disaster. Does Your Majesty intend for her to become another 'human swine'?"

Emperor Wen was pleased by these remarks. He summoned Lady Shen and instructed her according to what Yuan Ang had said, and Lady Shen gave Yuan Sheng fifty 斤 of gold.

〈蘇林曰︰郎署,上林中直衞之署也。如淳曰︰盎時爲中郎將,天子幸署,豫設供張待之,故得引卻愼夫人坐也。愼,姓也。古有愼到。〉〈人彘事見上卷惠帝元年。〉

(Su Lin remarked, "The office of the Household Gentlemen was the office of the Direct Guards in the Shanglin Park." Ru Chun remarked, "Yuan Ang was the General of the Household Gentlemen, and since Emperor Wen was visiting this office, he was assigned to prepare the place and attend upon them. Thus he was in a position to drive Lady Shen from her seat."

愼 Shen was a surname; there was a Shen Dao in ancient times.

In the last years of Liu Bang's reign, although Lü Zhi was his Empress, Liu Bang favored a certain Lady Qi more than her; he even planned to have Lady Qi's son succeed him, rather than Lü Zhi's son. After Liu Bang's death, Lü Zhi retaliated against Lady Qi by mutilating her and casting her out into a lavatory, calling her the 'human swine'. Lady Qi's fate is mentioned in Book 12, in the first year of Emperor Hui's reign (-194.1). Yuan Ang was suggesting that Lady Shen might suffer the same fate through the jealousy of Empress Dou.)


上幸上林苑。皇后慎夫人在禁中嘗同坐。及坐郎署。盎卻慎夫人席。慎夫人怒。不肯坐。上怒起。盎因前說曰。臣聞尊卑有序。上下協和。妾主豈可同坐哉。陛下所幸慎夫人。適所以禍之。獨不見人豕乎。上乃悅。以語慎夫人。夫人賜盎金五十斤。宦者趙同數毀盎。盎患之。盎兄子種謂盎曰。宜庭辱之。使其毀不用。後上出。趙同參乘。盎伏之車前曰。古者天子所共與六尺乘輿者。皆天下豪俊。今漢雖乏人。陛下獨奈何與刑餘之人共載。上笑推同下。同泣下車。(Records of Former Han 7, Annals of Emperor Wen)

In addition to Empress Dou, Emperor Wen was also very fond of a certain Lady Shen. Whenever the three of them were together in the inner apartments, they often all sat together on the same mat.

On one occasion, during a meeting at the office of the Household Gentlemen at Shanglin Park, Yuan Ang shifted Lady Shen's seat back away from the others. Lady Shen was angry at this treatment and refused to sit there, and Emperor Wen was furious and got up. But Yuan Ang stepped in front of him and advised him, "I have heard that 'when the exalted and the humble maintain their proper places, then there will be harmony between all'. How could you allow a concubine to share the same seat as your wife? Besides, Your Majesty goes too far in favoring Lady Shen and granting gifts to her. Does Your Majesty intend for her to become another 'human swine'?"

Emperor Wen was pleased by these remarks. He summoned Lady Shen and instructed her according to what Yuan Ang had said, and Lady Shen gave Yuan Sheng fifty 斤 of gold.

The eunuch Zhao Tong often slandered Yuan Ang to Emperor Wen, and Yuan Ang despised him. Yuan Ang's nephew Yuan Zhong advised him, "You ought to shame Zhao Tong in court. Then his slander will no longer have any effect."

Thus when Emperor Wen was later about to set out in his carriage and Zhao Tong was riding together with him, Yuan Ang bowed in front of the carriage and declared, "In ancient times, the Son of Heaven only ever permitted great heroes and talents to ride together with him in his carriage pulled by six horses. Though we of the Han dynasty cannot equal the ancients, even so, how can Your Majesty share your carriage with this mutilated half-man?"

Emperor Wen laughed, then pushed Zhao Tong out of his carriage, who wept as he got out.


賈誼說上曰︰「《管子》曰︰『倉廩實而知禮節,衣食足而知榮辱。』民不足而可治者,自古及今,未之嘗聞。古之人曰︰『一夫不耕,或受之飢;一女不織,或受之寒。』生之有時而用之無度,則物力必屈。古之治天下,至纖,至悉,故其畜積足恃。今背本而趨末者甚衆,是天下之大殘也;淫侈之俗,日日以長,是天下之大賊也。殘、賊公行,莫之或止;大命將泛,莫之振救。生之者甚少而靡之者甚多,天下財產何得不蹷!漢之爲漢,幾四十年矣,公私之積,猶可哀痛。失時不雨,民且狼顧;歲惡不入,請賣爵子;旣聞耳矣。安有爲天下阽危者若是而上不驚者!世之有饑、穰,天之行也;禹、湯被之矣。卽不幸有方二三千里之旱,國胡以相恤?卒然邊境有急,數十百萬之衆,國胡以餽之?兵、旱相乘,天下大屈,有勇力者聚徒而衡擊,罷夫、羸老,易子齩其骨。政治未畢通也,遠方之能僭擬者並舉而爭起矣;乃駭而圖之,豈將有及乎!夫積貯者,天下之大命也;苟粟多而財有餘,何爲而不成!以攻則取,以守則固,以戰則勝,懷敵附遠,何招而不至!今敺民而歸之農,皆著於本,使天下各食其力,末技、游食之民轉而緣南畮,則畜積足而人樂其所矣。可以爲富安天下,而直爲此廩廩也,竊爲陛下惜之!」上感誼言,春,正月,丁亥,詔開藉田,上親耕以率天下之民。

9. Jia Yi sent up a petition stating, "It is written in the works of Guan Zhong that 'only when the granaries are full can the people know their proper conduct and duties, and only when there is enough clothing and food to go around can people appreciate honor or shame'. From ancient times until now, never has there been a state which could be governed when the people lacked enough to survive. And the ancients had this saying: 'if a man does not plow, someone will go hungry; if a woman does not weave, someone will go cold'. When the people heed the seasons and devote their full efforts to these two tasks, then there will be enough to provide for everyone.

“When the ancients governed the realm, all people were devoted to these tasks to the most minute degree, and thus there were abundant resources and everyone could be sustained. But in our times, there are a great many people who have abandoned the roots to chase after the branches, and they are doing great damage to the realm. Day by day, the trend towards licentiousness and extravagance grows worse; this is a great theft against the realm. How openly this damage and this theft are going on, yet no one tries to stop it; how shallow people perceive their great duty to be, yet no one tries to steady them. So few people are productive, while so many people are wasteful. What else could this do but exhaust the resources of the realm?

“It has been nearly forty years by now since the establishment of the Han dynasty, yet public and private resources are both in a deplorable state. There have been unseasonable dry spells, causing the common people to gaze about in fear and apprehension; there have been years of bad harvest, compelling the people to go so far as to ask the nobles for aid or even sell their own children. Such things have reached even your ears. How you not be distraught when the realm is in such a perilous state?

“Every age has its share of years of feast and years of famine, according to the whims of Heaven; even Yu the Great and Tang of Shang were not spared from these. If some region of two or three thousand square li should suffer the misfortune of famine, will not the people of the state and the tribes suffer alike? If some emergency should arise on the border and require the dispatch of an army of hundreds of thousands or millions, will not the people of the state and the tribes be impoverished alike? And a succession of such disasters, by sword or starvation, will bring the realm to its knees. Those with strength and a bold spirit will band together into swarms of rogues; they will pillage the adults, harass the elderly, and leave the children to nibble on the bones. And no sooner will the government have dealt with such internal problems than those distant tribes who presume to claim their own authority will gather in their hosts and rise against us. Though we might, shocked to action, make plans against them, how could we hope to succeed?

“Thus it is the critical duty of everyone in the realm to lay up stores of supplies and set them aside. So long as the realm possesses ample grain and abundant resources, how could we ever fail? We would be certain of taking any place we attacked, holding any place we defended, and winning any battle we fought. Who would not then submit to our call, whether friend or foe, near or far?

“Thus I ask you to send the people back to their farms and have everyone tend to the root of the state. Let everyone earn their food by the sweat of their brow, and let those ‘branch-pullers’ and vagabonds all arrange their south-facing fields. Then there will be sufficient stores, and the people will be satisfied. That is the way to bring peace and prosperity to the realm, rather than allow it to reach this current dire state. I implore Your Majesty to consider this!”

Emperor Wen was impressed by Jia Yi's advice. In spring, the first month, on the day Dinghai, Emperor Wen issued an edict creating the Sacred Field, and he personally plowed the field there as a demonstration to the people of the realm of the importance of farmwork.

〈《管子》,管仲之書。〉〈屈,盡也。〉〈師古曰︰本,農業也;末,工、商也。言人棄農業而務工、商者甚衆。殘,謂傷害天下也。〉〈孟康曰︰泛,覆也。師古曰︰字本作「覂」,此通用。振,舉也。〉〈靡,讀曰糜,散也。〉〈蹷,傾竭也。〉〈鄭氏曰︰民欲有畔意,若狼之顧望也。李奇曰︰狼性怯,走喜還顧。言民見天不雨,心亦恐也。師古曰︰李說是。〉〈如淳曰︰賣爵級又賣子也。余謂請賣爵子,猶言請爵、賣子也。入粟得以拜爵,故曰請爵。富者有粟以徼上之急,至於請爵;貧者無以自活,至於賣子。〉〈如淳曰︰聞於天子之耳。〉〈阽危,欲墜之意。〉〈李奇曰︰天之行氣,不能常熟也。或曰︰行,道也;師古曰︰穰,豐也。〉〈卒,讀曰猝。〉〈齩,齧也。〉〈敺,與驅同。〉〈廩,與凜同;廩廩,危懼之意。師古曰︰言務耕農,厚畜積,則天下富安,何乃不爲而常不足,直廩廩若此也。〉〈應劭曰︰古者天子耕藉田千畝,爲天下先。藉者,典藉之常也。韋昭曰︰藉,借也;借民以治之,以奉宗廟,且以勸率天下使務農也。臣瓚曰︰景帝詔曰︰「朕親耕,后親桑,爲天下先。」本以躬親爲義,不得以假借爲稱也。藉,謂蹈藉也。師古曰︰《國語》云︰宣王卽位,不藉千畝。虢文公諫。則藉非假借明矣。瓚說是也。〉

(Jia Yi refers to the text Guanzi; these were the writings of Guan Zhong.

The term 屈 here means "all, fully".

Regarding Jia Yi's use of the terms "roots" and "branches", Yan Shigu remarked, "By roots, he meant agriculture; by branches, he meant artisans or merchants. He was saying that there were a great many people who had abandoned farming to work as artisans or merchants instead. And by damage, he meant that such people were harming the realm."

Meng Kang remarked, "By 'shallow', Jia Yi meant toppled or fallen." Yan Shigu remarked, "Although this passage uses the term 泛 for 'shallow', the original texts used the term 覂; these are synonyms."

To "steady" means to uphold or lift up.

Jia Yi describes the people as being 狼顧. Master Zheng argued, “This meant they wished to look about them, like the 顧 ‘turning gaze’ of a 狼 ‘wolf’.” Li Qi argued, “The wolf is skittish by nature, and likes to look back as it walks. Jia Yi was saying that the hearts of the people were full of fear because they would look up at the sky and vainly search for signs of rain.” Yan Shigu remarked, “Li Qi is correct.”

Jia Yi uses the phrase 請賣爵子. Ru Chun remarked, “He meant that they were 請 ‘requesting’ to 賣 ‘sell’ their 爵 ‘noble titles’ and their 子 ‘children’.” I (Hu Sanxing) reckon that Jia Yi was saying that the people were 請爵 “making requests of the nobles” and 賣子 “selling their children”. It was the wealthy who had stores of grain in case of emergencies, and at such times the people would go so far as to request grain from them. And the poorest among them, in order to sustain themselves, would go so far as to sell their children for money.

Ru Chun remarked, “Jia Yi was saying that such incidents had even reached the ears of the Son of Heaven (Emperor Wen).”

Something in a perilous state means something that is about to collapse or fall.

Jia Yi uses the phrase 天之行. Li Qi remarked, “This means the changing seasons and conditions, which prevent the crops from always being ripe.” Others say that 行 in this instance means “the way (of Heaven)”.

Yan Shigu remarked, “The term 穰 means ‘abundance, plenty’.”

The term 卒 here should be read as 猝 “sudden, unexpected”.

To nibble means to gnaw.

The term 敺 here means “to drive, to charge”.

The term 廩 means the same thing as 凜 “cold, chilly”; 廩廩 means a dangerous or frightening situation. Yan Shigu remarked, “Jia Yi was saying that focusing on farming and agriculture would produce abundant stores and bring peace and prosperity to the realm, so how could the reverse situation of a constant lack of supplies, the dangers of the conditions then present, be allowed to exist?”

The Sacred Field is more precisely named the 藉 field. Ying Shao remarked, "In ancient times, the Son of Heaven had a Sacred Field of a thousand 畝, to serve as an example for the realm. 藉 means in the sense of the regular canons and precepts." Wei Zhao remarked, "藉 means 'to borrow'; the Emperor borrowed the common people to govern them, to uphold his duty to his lineage, and to urge upon the realm the importance of tending to their agricultural duties." Chen Zan remarked, "Emperor Jing of Han had an edict stating, 'I shall personally plow the Sacred Field, and the Empress shall personally weave silks, to serve as examples for the realm.' It meant that the Emperor would personally plow this field; there is no sense of 'borrowing' implied by the use of 藉. Rather, 藉 means in the sense of 'treading the path'." Yan Shigu remarked, "It states in the Discourses of the States that when King Xuan of Zhou rose to the throne, he failed to plow the thousand 畝 of his 藉 field, and Duke Wen of Guo remonstrated with him for it. Thus we can see that 藉 is not meant in the sense of borrowing or taking; Chen Zan is correct.")


太中大夫賈誼說曰。管子有言。倉廩實。知禮節。民不足而可治者。未嘗聞也。古人有言曰。一夫不耕。或受之飢。一女不織。或受之寒。生之有時。而用之無度。物力必匱。且歲有飢餓。天之常行。即不幸有方二三千里之旱。國何以相卹。卒然邊境有急。數百萬之眾。國家何以饋之。方今之務。務在絕末伎遊食之巧。驅民而歸之於農。春正月。詔開籍田。(Records of Former Han 7, Annals of Emperor Wen)

One of the Grand Counselors of the Household, Jia Yi, advised Emperor Wen, "It is written in the works of Guan Zhong that 'only when the granaries are full can the people know their proper conduct and duties'. Never has there been a state which could be governed when the people lacked enough to survive. And the ancients had this saying: 'if a man does not plow, someone will go hungry; if a woman does not weave, someone will go cold'. When the people heed the seasons and devote their full efforts to these two tasks, then there will be enough to provide for everyone.

“To experience a year of starvation or hunger is a common natural occurrence. If some region of two or three thousand square li should suffer the misfortune of famine, will not the people of the state suffer alike? If some emergency should arise on the border and require the dispatch of an army of hundreds of thousands or millions, will not the people of the state be impoverished alike?

“Thus the thing to be done now is to put an end to the ingenious activities of those ‘branch-pullers’ and vagabonds, and drive the common people back to their fields.”

In spring, the first month, Emperor Wen issued an edict creating the Sacred Field.


三月,有司請立皇子爲諸侯王。詔先立趙幽王少子辟彊爲河間王,朱虛侯章爲城陽王,東牟侯興居爲濟北王;然後立皇子武爲代王,參爲太原王,揖爲梁王。

10. In the third month, the ministers asked Emperor Wen to appoint his sons as princes. Emperor Wen had earlier issued an edict appointing Liu Bijiang, the younger son of Prince You of Zhao, as the Prince of Hejian, Liu Zhang as Prince of Chengyang, and Liu Xingju as Prince of Jibei. So now for his own sons, Emperor Wen issued another edict, appointing Liu Wu as Prince of Dai, Liu Can as Prince of Taiyuan, and Liu Yi as Prince of Liang.

〈師古曰︰辟彊,言辟禦彊梁,亦猶辟兵、辟非耳。辟,必亦翻。彊,其良翻。一說,辟,讀曰闢,彊,讀曰疆;闢疆,言開土地也。賈誼《書》曰︰衞侯朝于周,周行人問其名。衞侯曰︰「辟彊。」行人還之曰︰「啓彊、辟彊,天子之號也,諸侯弗得用。」更其名曰燬。其義兩說並通;他皆倣此。河間本屬趙國;元年以幽王子遂爲趙王,至是又分河間以王遂之弟辟彊。〉〈城陽、濟北本皆屬齊,今分以王章、興居,二人皆悼惠王子。〉

(Regarding the name Bijiang, Yan Shigu remarked, "辟彊 Bijiang is a shorter version of 辟禦彊梁 'hold back and stoutly support', as in the expressions 辟兵 'defend with troops' or 辟非 'oppose'. 辟 is pronounced 'bi (b-i)', and 彊 is pronounced 'qiang (q-iang)'. Some say that 辟 should be read as 闢 and 彊 should be read as 疆; the combined term 闢疆 means 'to open ground, to break new territory'. Jia Yi's New Writings states, 'When the Marquis of Wey came to attend the royal Zhou court, the court sent a runner to ask the Marquis what his given name was, and the Marquis told them, "Bijiang". The runner returned and told the court, "啓彊 Bijiang and 辟彊 Bijiang (both of which would mean Expander of Lands) are the titles of the Son of Heaven; they cannot be used by the feudal lords." So the Marquis was compelled to change his given name to Hui.' We can tell from this story that the terms 辟彊 and 辟彊 meant the same thing, and the others are of the same nature."

Until this time, Hejian had been a commandary in the domain of the Prince of Zhao. Liu You's elder son, Liu Sui, had been appointed to that title in the first year of the first half of Emperor Wen's reign (-179.1). At this time, Hejian was split off from Liu Sui's domain and granted to his younger brother Liu Bijiang for his own fief as Prince of Hejian.

As with Hejian and Zhao, Chengyang and Jibei had been commandaries in the domain of the Prince of Qi. They were now split off from that domain and granted to Liu Zhang and Liu Xingju, both of whom were Liu Xiang's younger brothers, to serve as their own fiefs.)


孝文二年
初置城陽邵。初置濟北。分為河閒,都樂成。初置太原,都晉陽。復置梁國。二月乙卯景王章元年。章,悼惠王子,故朱虛侯。二月乙卯,王興居元年。興居,悼惠王子,故東牟侯。二月乙卯,初王文王辟強元年。辟強,趙幽王子。二月乙卯,初王參元年。參,文帝子。二月乙卯,初王懷王勝元年。勝,文帝子。二月乙卯,初王武元年。武,文帝子。靖王著元年。(Records of the Grand Historian 17, Annual Timeline of the Han Princes)

In the second year of Emperor Wen's reign (178 BC), he created the new titles of Prince of Chengyang, Prince of Jibei, Prince of Hejian, and Prince of Taiyuan, and he restored the title Prince of Liang. In the second month, on the day Yimao, he appointed Liu Zhang as Prince of Chengyang; Liu Zhang was a son of Liu Fei, and had previously been Marquis of Zhuxu. He appointed Liu Xingju as Prince of Jibei; Liu Xingju was Liu Zhang's younger brother, and had previously been Marquis of Dongmou. He appointed Liu Pijiang as Prince of Hejian; Liu Pijiang was the son of Liu You. And he appointed Liu Can, Liu Sheng, and Liu Wu as Prince of Taiyuan, Prince of Liang, and Prince of Dai respectively; they were all Emperor Wen's sons.

Wu Zhe succeeded Wu You as King of Changsha.

太子太傅張相如免。太中大夫石奮為太子太傅。奮。趙人也。初為小吏事高帝。恭敬謹慎。甚見親信。於是以選傅太子立趙王。遂弟辟疆為河間王。朱虛侯章為城陽王。東牟侯興居為濟北王。立皇子武為代王。參為太原王。揖為梁王。(Records of Former Han 7, Annals of Emperor Wen)

The Grand Tutor to the Crown Prince, Zhang Xiangru, was stripped of office. One of the Grand Counselors of the Household, Shi Fen, was appointed as the new Grand Tutor to the Crown Prince. This Shi Fen was a native of the Zhao region. He had originally been just a minor official during the reign of Liu Bang, but because he was reverent and respectful, cautious and considerate, he was shown great closeness and trust. He was eventually selected to be Tutor to the Crown Prince and to select the Prince of Zhao.

Emperor Wen appointed Liu Bijiang, the younger brother of the Prince of Zhao, Liu Sui, as the Prince of Hejian. He appointed Liu Zhang as Prince of Chengyang and Liu Xingju as Prince of Jibei. Among his own sons, Emperor Wen appointed Liu Wu as Prince of Dai, Liu Can as Prince of Taiyuan, and Liu Yi as Prince of Liang.

二年,有司請立皇子為王。上曰:「趙幽王幽死,朕甚憐之。已立其長子遂為趙王。遂弟辟彊及齊悼惠王子朱虛侯章、東牟侯興居有功,皆可王。」於是取趙之河間立辟彊。(Book of Han 38, Biography of Liu Sui)

In the second year of the first half of Emperor Wen's reign (178 BC), the ministers asked Emperor Wen to appoint his sons as princes. Emperor Wen said, "Prince You of Zhao (Liu You) died in obscurity; I deeply pity his fate. I have already appointed his eldest son Liu Sui as Prince of Zhao. But his younger brother Liu Bijiang has achievements as well, as do the Marquis of Zhuxu, Liu Zhang, and the Marquis of Dongmou, Liu Xingju. I shall appoint them all as princes as well." So he split off Hejian commandary from Liu Sui's fief and granted it to Liu Bijiang as Prince of Hejian.

益封朱虛侯、東牟侯各二千戶... 齊文王元年,漢以齊之城陽郡立朱虛侯為城陽王,以齊濟北郡立東牟侯為濟北王。(Records of the Grand Historian 52, Biography of Liu Xiang)

In the first year of the first half of Emperor Wen's reign (179 BC), he increased the fiefs of Liu Zhang and Liu Xingju by two thousand households each.

In Liu Zé's first year as Prince of Qi (178 BC), Emperor Wen appointed Liu Zhang as Prince of Chengyang and granted him Chengyang commandary, and he appointed Liu Xingju as Prince of Jibei and granted him Jibei commandary.

益封朱虛侯、東牟侯各二千戶,黃金千斤。(Book of Han 38, Biography of Liu Xiang)

In the first year of the first half of Emperor Wen's reign (179 BC), he increased the fiefs of Liu Zhang and Liu Xingju by two thousand households each, and he gave them each a thousand catties of gold.

城陽景王章,齊悼惠王子,以朱虛侯與大臣共誅諸呂,而章身首先斬相國呂王產於未央宮。孝文帝既立,益封章二千戶,賜金千斤。孝文二年,以齊之城陽郡立章為城陽王。(Records of the Grand Historian 52, Biography of Liu Zhang)

Liu Zhang was the son of Liu Fei. During his time as Marquis of Zhuxu, he had joined with the chief ministers to purge the Lü clan; Liu Zhang had been the one to behead the Chancellor of State and Prince of Lü, Lü Chan, at Weiyang Palace. After Emperor Wen came to the throne, he increased Liu Zhang's fief by two thousand households and granted him a thousand catties of gold.

In the second year of Emperor Wen's reign (178 BC), he carved off Chengyang commandary from the princely fief of Qi and granted it to Liu Zhang as Prince of Chengyang.

城陽景王章,孝文二年以朱虛侯與東牟侯興居俱立。(Book of Han 38, Biography of Liu Zhang)

In the second year of Emperor Wen's reign (178 BC), he appointed Liu Zhang and Liu Xingju as Prince of Chengyang and Prince of Jibei.

孝文帝二年,以齊之濟北郡立興居為濟北王,與城陽王俱立。(Records of the Grand Historian 52, Biography of Liu Xingju)

In the second year of Emperor Wen's reign (178 BC), he carved off Jibei commandary from the princely fief of Qi and granted it to Liu Xingju as Prince of Jibei, the same as had been done for the Prince of Chengyang, Liu Zhang.


五月,詔曰︰「古之治天下,朝有進善之旌,誹謗之木,所以通治道而來諫者也。今法有誹謗、訞言之罪,是使衆臣不敢盡情而上無由聞過失也,將何以來遠方之賢良!其除之!」

11. In the fifth month, Emperor Wen issued an edict stating, "When the ancients governed the realm, they set up the Banner of Remarks and raised the Complaints Post, so that there would be avenues for the sovereign to maintain the proper way and accept remonstration. Yet now the law forbids complaints and 'insidious talk', judging them to be crimes. Such things cause the ministers to withhold their full feelings and the sovereign to remain ignorant of his faults; how could such things ever attract good and worthy people of distant places? I hereby abolish these crimes!"

〈應劭曰︰旌,幡也;堯設之五達之道,令民進善也。如淳曰︰欲有進者,於旌下言之。〉〈服虔曰︰堯作之,橋梁交午柱頭也。應劭曰︰橋梁邊版,所以書政治之愆失也;至秦去之,今乃復施也。《索隱》曰︰《尸子》云︰堯立誹謗之木。韋昭曰︰慮政有闕失,使書於木。此堯時然也,後代因以爲飾;今宮外橋頭四柱木是。鄭玄註《禮》云︰一縱一橫爲午;謂以木貫表柱四出,卽今之華表。崔浩以爲木貫柱四出名桓,陳、楚俗桓聲近和,又云和表,則華又與和相訛也。〉〈師古曰︰高后元年,詔除訞言令。今猶有訞言罪,則是中間重設此條。〉

(The Banner of Remarks is more precisely called the Banner of 進善 "Advancing the Good". Ying Shao remarked, "A banner is a long, narrow flag. Emperor Yao set up this banner at a crossroads in order to allow the common people to use it to advance the cause of what was right." Ru Chun remarked, "Those who wished to advance the good would stand beneath the banner and speak."

Regarding the Complaints Post, Ru Chun remarked, "Emperor Yao made this, fashioning a wooden cross-post beside a bridge." Ying Shao remarked, "This was a slat on the side of a bridge, upon which people could address the faults or errors being made in governing the realm. The Qin dynasty had abolished it, but at this time it was restored." The Suoyin commentary to the Records of the Grand Historian states, "The Shizi text states that this was a wooden post set up by Emperor Yao." Wei Zhao remarked, "People would ponder what was lacking or erroneous in government and write them on the post. In Emperor Yao's time it was of practical use, but in later ages it became more of a decoration. These are the same four posts which are set up around the exterior of the palace in our times." Zheng Xuan's Annotations to the Book of Rites states, "Ru Chun describes the post as being 午; this means one horizontal and one vertical. In other words, the post was linked together to emerge on four sides, like our modern huabiao pillars." Cui Hao noted that the emergences of these posts were called 'huan', and people in the Chen and Chu regions tended to pronounce 'huan' as 'he'; they called these sorts of posts hebiao rather than huabiao, owing to this corruption.

Yan Shigu remarked, "Lü Zhi had issued an edict abolishing the ordinance against 'insidious talk' in the first year of her reign (-187.6). Yet here we see that there was still a law in force against such talk. The ordinance must have been restored sometime between then and now.")


夏五月詔曰。古有誹謗之木。所以通諫者。今法有誹謗妖言之罪。是使眾臣不敢盡心。而上無由聞其過。今其除之。秋九月。初與郡守為銅虎竹使符。(Records of Former Han 7, Annals of Emperor Wen)

In the fifth month, Emperor Wen issued an edict stating, "The ancients had the Complaints Post, so that there would be avenues for the sovereign to receive remonstration. Yet now the law forbids complaints and 'insidious talk'. Such things cause the ministers to withhold their full feelings and the sovereign to remain ignorant of his faults. I hereby abolish these crimes."

In autumn, the ninth month, Emperor Wen first began dividing copper tiger tallies of authority and distributing the halves with the Administrators of the commandaries.


九月,詔曰︰「農,天下之大本也,民所恃以生也;而民或不務本而事末,故生不遂。朕憂其然,故今茲親率羣臣農以勸之;其賜天下民今年田租之半。」

12. In the ninth month, Emperor Wen issued an edict stating, "Agriculture is the great foundation of the realm, and the people depend upon it for their livelihood. Yet there are those among the people who ignore the root in order to tend to the branches instead, thus failing in their duties. This has caused me great concern. Thus I shall lead my ministers in farming work in order to encourage the people of the realm to tend their fields, and I shall also reduce this year's farm tax by half across the realm."

燕敬王澤薨。

13. Liu Ze passed away. He was posthumously known as Prince Jing ("the Respectful") of Yan.

〈《諡法》︰合善典法曰敬。〉

(The Laws of Posthumous Names states, "One who aligns with and maintains the laws and canons may be called Jing ('the Respectful').")


孝文二年
薨。康王嘉元年。(Records of the Grand Historian 17, Annual Timeline of the Han Princes)

In the second year of Emperor Wen's reign (178 BC), Liu Ze passed away. He was succeeded by Liu Jia.

澤王燕二年,薨,謚為敬王。傳子嘉,為康王。(Records of the Grand Historian 51, Biography of Liu Ze)

Liu Ze was Prince of Yan for two years, then passed away. He was posthumously known as Prince Jing. His son Liu Jia succeeded him, and Liu Jia was later posthumously known as Prince Kang.

澤王燕二年,薨,諡曰敬王。子康王嘉嗣,九年薨。(Book of Han 35, Biography of Liu Ze)

Liu Ze was Prince of Yan for two years, then passed away. He was posthumously known as Prince Jing. His son Liu Jia succeeded him, and served as Prince of Yan for nine years before he too passed away; he was posthumously known as Prince Kang.
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BOOK 14

Unread postby Taishi Ci 2.0 » Wed Jan 22, 2020 4:53 am

前三年(甲子、前一七七)

The Third Year of Emperor Wen’s Reign (The Jiazi or Wood Rat Year, 177 BC)


冬,十月,丁酉晦,日有食之。

1. In winter, the tenth month (of 178 BC), on the day Dingyou, the last day of that month, there was an eclipse.

三年冬十月丁酉晦。日有食之。(Records of Former Han 7, Annals of Emperor Wen)

In the third year of Emperor Wen's reign (177 BC), in winter, the tenth month (of 178 BC), on the day Dingyou, the last day of that month, there was an eclipse.


十一月,丁卯晦,日有食之。

2. In the eleventh month (of 178 BC), on the day Dingmao, the last day of that month, there was an eclipse.

十一月乙卯晦。又食之。(Records of Former Han 7, Annals of Emperor Wen)

In the eleventh month (of 178 BC), on the day Yimao, the last day of that month, there was another eclipse.


詔曰︰「前遣列侯之國,或辭未行。丞相,朕之所重,其爲朕率列侯之國!」十二月,免丞相勃,遣就國。乙亥,以太尉灌嬰爲丞相;罷太尉官,屬丞相。

3. Emperor Wen issued an edict stating, “I earlier sent out an edict ordering the various nobles in the capital to each go out to their assigned fiefs. Yet some of them have declined to obey this order and have not yet set out. Now I highly esteem the Prime Minister, Zhou Bo. Let him go out to his fief at once and thus serve as a leading example for the other nobles to follow!”

In the twelfth month (of 178 BC), Emperor Wen removed Zhou Bo from his position as Prime Minister and had him go out to his fief.

On the day Yihai, Emperor Wen appointed the Grand Commandant, Guan Ying, as the new Prime Minister. With the office of Grand Commandant now vacant, Emperor Wen abolished it, placing its subordinates under the command of the Prime Minister instead.

〈事見上卷上年。〉〈漢承秦制,以丞相、太尉、御史大夫爲三公。今周勃自丞相罷就國,灌嬰自太尉爲丞相,因罷太尉官;蓋三公不必備之意,且兵柄難以輕屬也。〉

(Emperor Wen’s earlier edict to this effect is mentioned in Book 13, in the second year of his reign (-178.2).

The Han dynasty had inherited the governmental structure of the Qin dynasty, thus they had the offices of the Three Excellencies: the Prime Minister, the Grand Commandant, and the Imperial Secretary. Yet in this passage, Emperor Wen at one stroke sent Zhou Bo out to his fief, transferred Zhou Bo’s position as Prime Minister to Guan Ying, and abolished the office of Grand Commandant which Guan Ying had vacated. Thus it must have been the case that the offices of the Three Excellencies were not each always in existence. Besides, it would have been difficult to leave military authority in too many hands.)


詔曰。前遣列侯之國。辭未行。丞相朕之所重。其為朕率列侯之國。遂免勃就國。十二月。太尉灌嬰為丞相。罷太尉官。(Records of Former Han 7, Annals of Emperor Wen)

Emperor Wen issued an edict stating, “I earlier sent out an edict ordering the various nobles in the capital to each go out to their assigned fiefs. Yet some of them have declined to obey this order and have not yet set out. Now I highly esteem the Prime Minister, Zhou Bo. Let him go out to his fief at once and thus serve as a leading example for the other nobles to follow.”

Emperor Wen removed Zhou Bo from his position as Prime Minister and had him go out to his fief.

In the twelfth month (of 178 BC), Emperor Wen appointed the Grand Commandant, Guan Ying, as the new Prime Minister. With the office of Grand Commandant now vacant, Emperor Wen abolished it.


夏,四月,城陽景王章薨。

4. In summer, the fourth month, Liu Zhang passed away. He was posthumously known as Prince Jing (“the Brilliant”) of Chengyang.

〈《諡法》︰由義而濟曰景;耆意大慮曰景;布義行剛曰景。〉

(The Laws of Posthumous Names states, “One who is successful due to righteous behavior may be called Jing (‘the Brilliant’); one who maintains their thoughts in great concern may be called Jing; one who spreads righteousness and acts with severity may be called Jing.”)


四月。城陽王章薨。(Records of Former Han 7, Annals of Emperor Wen)

In the fourth month, the Prince of Chengyang, Liu Zhang, passed away.

立二年卒。(Records of the Grand Historian 52, Biography of Liu Zhang)

Liu Zhang passed away after two years as Prince of Chengyang (in 177 BC). He was posthumously known as Prince Jing of Chengyang.

二年薨。(Book of Han 38, Biography of Liu Zhang)

In his second year as Prince of Chengyang (177 BC), Liu Zhang passed away. He was posthumously known as Prince Jing of Chengyang.


初,趙王敖獻美人於高祖,得幸,有娠。及貫高事發,美人亦坐繫河內。美人母弟趙兼因辟陽侯審食其言呂后;呂后妬,弗肯白。美人已生子,恚,卽自殺。吏奉其子詣上,上悔,名之曰長,令呂后母之,而葬其母眞定。後封長爲淮南王。

5. It was earlier mentioned that two of Liu Bang’s sons were still alive at this time: Emperor Wen and the Prince of Huainan, Liu Chang.

Many years earlier, the King of Zhao, Zhang Ao, had presented a beautiful woman to Liu Bang. They coupled, and she became pregnant with his son. However, when Guan Gao’s conspiracy against Liu Bang came to light and Zhang Ao’s household was arrested, this woman too was charged and imprisoned in Henei commandary. Her maternal uncle Zhao Jian asked the Marquis of Piyang, Shen Yiji, to intercede with Lü Zhi on behalf of his niece. But Lü Zhi, being a jealous woman, was unwilling to plead her case to Liu Bang. Angered by her treatment, the woman killed herself. She had already given birth to the boy by then, so the officials brought the child to see his father Liu Bang, who was ashamed at what had happened. He named this son Chang; he ordered Lü Zhi to raise him, and he buried Liu Chang’s mother at Zhending. And later, he appointed Liu Chang as Prince of Huainan.

〈見十二卷高祖九年。〉見十二卷高祖十一年。〉

(Zhang Ao’s retainer Guan Gao had organized a plot to assassinate Liu Bang, but it leaked out and Zhang Ao’s household and retainers were arrested. This is mentioned in Book 12, in the ninth year of Liu Bang’s reign (-198.5).

Liu Bang’s appointment of Liu Chang as Prince of Huainan is mentioned in the same book, in the eleventh year of his reign (-196.19).)


初。高帝八年過趙。趙王獻美人。幸有身。生厲王長。趙王不敢內之。築外宮而處之。及貫高事。盡捕王家。厲王母亦在繫中。其弟趙廉因辟陽侯言呂后。呂后妒不肯白。辟陽侯不彊爭。厲王以生母以恚自殺。趙廉奉厲王詣長安。高帝憐之。令呂后母之。(Records of Former Han 7, Annals of Emperor Wen)

In the eighth year of Liu Bang's reign (199 BC), when Liu Bang was passing through Zhao, the King of Zhao, Zhang Ao, had presented a beautiful woman to Liu Bang. They coupled, and she became pregnant with his son, but Zhang Ao did not dare to propose that the woman become part of Liu Bang's harem; he merely built an outer palace for her to live in. Later, when Guan Gao’s conspiracy against Liu Bang came to light and Zhang Ao’s household was arrested, this woman too was charged and imprisoned. Her younger brother Zhao Lian asked the Marquis of Piyang, Shen Yiji, to intercede with Lü Zhi on behalf of his sister. But Lü Zhi, being a jealous woman, was unwilling to plead her case to Liu Bang, and Shen Yiji did not press the matter. Angered by her treatment, the woman killed herself. She had already given birth to the boy by then, so Zhao Lian brought the child to Chang'an to see his father Liu Bang, who pitied the boy. He named this son Chang, and he ordered Lü Zhi to raise him.


淮南王蚤失母,常附呂后,故孝惠、呂后時得無患;而常心怨辟陽侯,以爲不強爭之於呂后,使其母恨而死也。及帝卽位,淮南王自以最親,驕蹇,數不奉法;上常寬假之。是歲,入朝,從上入苑囿獵,與上同車,常謂上「大兄」。王有材力,能扛鼎。乃往見辟陽侯,自袖鐵椎椎辟陽侯,令從者魏敬剄之;馳走闕下,肉袒謝罪。帝傷其志爲親,故赦弗治。當是時,薄太后及太子、諸大臣皆憚淮南王。淮南王以此,歸國益驕恣,出入稱警蹕,稱制擬於天子。袁盎諫曰︰「諸侯太驕,必生患。」上不聽。

6. Now since he had lost his mother, Liu Chang had often remained close to Lü Zhi, so during the reigns of Emperor Hui and of Lü Zhi, he had not caused any trouble. However, all this time, he had held a grudge against Shen Yiji, feeling that Shen Yiji had not argued forcefully enough with Lü Zhi to save his mother’s life, causing his mother to give in to anger and die.

After Emperor Wen took the throne, since Liu Chang saw himself as Emperor Wen’s closest relative, he became extremely arrogant and sometimes did not even obey the laws. Yet Emperor Wen was always tolerant and forgiving with him.

During this year, Liu Chang came to court. He followed Emperor Wen when he travelled to his parks to go hunting, he rode with Emperor Wen in the same carriage, and he kept calling him “Elder Brother” instead of a proper term of address for the sovereign.

Liu Chang was a strong man, able to heft a cauldron. One day, he happened to see Shen Yiji. Acting impulsively, he drew an iron hammer from his sleeve and hit Shen Yiji with it, then ordered his follower Wei Jing to stab him to death. Liu Chang then hurried to the palace gate, where he bared his torso and begged forgiveness for the crime he had just committed. Emperor Wen, forgiving of Liu Chang because he was his own brother, pardoned him for this crime and did not prosecute him for it.

By now, Empress Dowager Bo, the Crown Prince, Liu Qi, and the other chief ministers were all afraid of Liu Chang. And even after Liu Chang left the capital and went back to his own fief, he only became even more proud and conceited. Whenever he went in or out, he ordered the people in the streets to make way, as though he were the Emperor. And in the organization of his princely staff, he emulated the same standards as in the imperial court.

Yuan Ang remonstrated with Emperor Wen about Liu Chang’s behavior, telling him, “The Prince of Huainan is the most arrogant of all the nobles. He will surely cause trouble someday.”

But Emperor Wen did not listen to him.

〈時高祖諸子惟帝及長在,故自以爲最親。〉〈驕蹇,謂不順也。扛,舉也。〉〈爲淮南王謀反廢張本。〉

(Since Emperor Wen and Liu Chang were the only surviving sons of Liu Bang, Liu Chang considered himself to be Emperor Wen’s closest relative.

Liu Chang was arrogant in that he was disobedient.

To heft means to lift.

This was why Liu Chang later plotted rebellion and was stripped of his title.)


淮南王長殺辟陽侯審食其...厲王有才力。力能扛鼎。怨辟陽侯不赦其母。乃造辟陽侯。即自袖金椎椎殺之。馳詣闕肉袒請罪。上赦之不治。(Records of Former Han 7, Annals of Emperor Wen)

The Prince of Huainan, Liu Chang, killed the Marquis of Piyang, Shen Yiji.

Liu Chang was a strong man, able to heft a cauldron. He resented Shen Yiji for not having been able to get his mother pardoned. One day, he happened to see Shen Yiji. Acting impulsively, he drew an iron hammer from his sleeve and hit Shen Yiji with it, killing him. Liu Chang then hurried to the palace gate, where he bared his torso and begged forgiveness for the crime he had just committed. Emperor Wen pardoned him for this crime and did not prosecute him for it.


五月,匈奴右賢王入居河南地,侵盜上郡保塞蠻夷,殺掠人民。上幸甘泉。遣丞相灌嬰發車騎八萬五千,詣高奴擊右賢王;發中尉材官屬衞將軍,軍長安。右賢王走出塞。

7. In the fifth month, the Xiongnu’s Worthy Prince of the Right marched into the region south of the northern loop of the Yellow River; he raided and plundered the various local tribes defending the borders of the realm in Shang commandary, and he killed and kidnapped (or pillaged) among the local people there.

Emperor Wen personally traveled to Ganquan, while he sent Guan Ying to draft 85,000 cavalry and carts and to march to attack the Worthy Prince of the Right at Gaonu. Emperor Wen also mustered the central commandants and palace guards who had originally been subordinate to the Guard General and stationed them at Chang’an.

The Worthy Prince of the Right fled back out beyond the border passes of the realm.

〈右賢王,匈奴貴王也,居西方,直上郡以西,接氐、羌。師古曰︰北地郡之北、黃河之南,卽白羊王所居。余謂其地在北河之南,蒙恬所收,衞青所奪,皆是地也。〈【章︰甲十五行本「掠」作「略」;乙十一行本同;孔本同。】〉〈蔡邕曰︰天子車駕所至,臣民以爲僥倖,故曰幸。見令、長、三老、官屬,親臨軒作樂,賜以酒、食、帛、葛、越巾、佩帶之屬;民爵有級數;或賜田租之半;故因謂之幸也。師古曰︰甘泉宮在雲陽,本秦林光宮。《括地志》︰在雍州雲陽縣西北三十八里。《元和郡國志》︰雲陽縣西北三十八里有車箱阪,縈紆曲折,財通單軌,上阪卽平原宏敞。甘泉宮之地亦曰車盤嶺。沈[宋]敏求《長安志》︰雲陽磨石嶺,山有甘泉。〉〈此中尉所掌材官士也。觀此,益足以明二年罷衞將軍軍,衞將軍之官本不罷也。〉

(Worthy Prince of the Right was an esteemed title among the Xiongnu. It was “Right” from the perspective facing south, for this prince resided in the west, being adjacent to Shang commandary further west and also close to the Di and Qiang peoples.

Regarding the region south of the northern loop of the Yellow River, Yan Shigu remarked, “The area from Beidi commandary north and from this line of the Yellow River south was the domain of the King of Baiyang.” I (Hu Sanxing) note that the region in question was the same region which Meng Tian had earlier captured for the realm on behalf of the Qin dynasty, and which Wei Qing would later recapture during the reign of Emperor Wu of Han.

Some versions state that the Xiongnu “pillaged” rather than “kidnapped” the local population.

In this and many other passages, the precise verb used to describe the visit of a Son of Heaven to some location is that he 幸 “favored” it with a visit. Cai Yong remarked, “Whenever the Son of Heaven goes somewhere in his carriage, the local ministers and people look upon his visit as a favor or blessing, thus the use of this term. When the Son of Heaven arrives, the local Prefects, Chiefs, Thrice Venerables, and other local officials from the nearby counties will all personally come to welcome his arrival with music, and the Son of Heaven will bestow them with gifts of wine, food, silk, beans, Yue cloth, belts and ornaments, and other such things. The local people are granted noble titles or advanced in them, and sometimes their land taxes are halved. Thus the idea that his every visit is a ‘favor’.”

Regarding Ganquan, Yan Shigu remarked, “The Ganquan Palace is at Yunyang; it was originally the Linguang Palace during the Qin dynasty.” The Comprehensive Gazetteer states, “It is thirty-eight li northwest of Yunyang county in Yongzhou.” The Records of Commandaries and Fiefs of the Yuanhe Era states, “There is a Chexiang Slope thirty-eight li northwest of Yunyang county, which is a tangled area, bent and broken, where wealth passes through only by a single track. The top of this slope has a grand, flat expanse.” The area around Ganquan Palace was also called Chepan Ridge. Shen Minqiu’s Records of Chang’an states, “There is a Mount Ganquan at Moshi Ridge in Yunyang.”

These were the central commandants who commanded the palace guards.

We can see from this passage that, although the position of Guard General itself had clearly been abolished in the second year of Emperor Wen’s reign, its subordinate offices had still been retained.)


五月。匈奴寇北地河內。丞相灌嬰擊之。衛將軍軍長安。(Records of Former Han 7, Annals of Emperor Wen)

In the fifth month, the Xiongnu invaded the northern regions within the bend of the Yellow River. The Prime Minister, Guan Ying, attacked them. The army of the Guard General was stationed at Chang'an.


上自甘泉之高奴,因幸太原,見故羣臣,皆賜之;復晉陽、中都民三歲租。留游太原十餘日。

8. Emperor Wen went from Ganquan to Gaonu, then visited Taiyuan. He saw all his old subordinates there from his years as Prince of Dai, and he rewarded them. He exempted the population of the counties of Jinyang and Zhongdu from taxes for three years. In all, he spent more than ten days traveling around Taiyuan in pleasure.

〈班《志》,晉陽、中都二縣皆屬太原郡。高帝十一年,立帝爲代王,都晉陽。如淳《註》曰︰《文紀》言都中都,又,帝復晉陽、中都二歲,似遷都於中都也。《括地志》︰中都故城,在汾州平遙縣西南十三里。宋白曰︰漢文帝爲代王,都中都,故介休縣東南中都城也。《史記‧諸侯年表》︰高帝十年,封子恆爲代王,都中都。〉

(According to the Book of Han, Jinyang and Zhongdu counties were both part of Taiyuan commandary.

Liu Bang had originally appointed Emperor Wen as Prince of Dai in the eleventh year of his reign (196 BC). At that time, Emperor Wen’s capital as Prince of Dai was at Jinyang. Ru Chun remarked, “The Annals of Emperor Wen do not mention that Zhongdu was ever his capital while Prince of Dai. But judging by the fact that he exempted both Jinyang and Zhongdu from taxes, it was probably the case that he shifted his capital at some point from Jinyang to Zhongdu.” The Comprehensive Gazetteer states, “The capital city of Zhongdu was thirteen li southwest of Pingyao county in Fenzhou.” Song Bai remarked, “When Emperor Wen of Han was Prince of Dai, his capital was at Zhongdu; this was the same place as the city of Zhongdu southeast of the capital city of modern Jiexiu county.” The Annual Timeline of Han Princes in the Records of the Grand Historian states, “In the tenth year of Liu Bang’s reign (197 BC), he appointed his son Liu Heng as Prince of Dai, with his capital at Zhongdu.”)


上自至高都。因幸太原。見群臣故人皆賜之。舉功行賞。復晉陽中都民三歲租。留太原。遊十餘日。(Records of Former Han 7, Annals of Emperor Wen)

Emperor Wen went to Gaonu, then visited Taiyuan. He saw all his old subordinates there from his years as Prince of Dai, and he rewarded them. He recognized achievements and granted gifts. He exempted the population of the counties of Jinyang and Zhongdu from taxes for three years. In all, he spent more than ten days traveling around Taiyuan in pleasure.


初,大臣之誅諸呂也,朱虛侯功尤大,大臣許盡以趙地王朱虛侯,盡以梁地王東牟侯。及帝立,聞朱虛、東牟之初欲立齊王,故絀其功,及王諸子,乃割齊二郡以王之。興居自以失職奪功,頗怏怏;聞帝幸太原,以爲天子且自擊胡,遂發兵反。帝聞之,罷丞相及行兵皆歸長安,以棘蒲侯柴武爲大將軍,將四將軍、十萬衆擊之;祁侯繒賀爲將軍,軍滎陽。秋,七月,上自太原至長安。詔︰「濟北吏民,兵未至先自定及以軍城邑降者,皆赦之,復官爵;與王興居去來者,赦之八月,濟北王興居兵敗,自殺。

9. Now during the purge of the Lü clan several years earlier, the Marqius of Zhuxu, Liu Zhang, had been invaluable in helping Zhou Bo and the other chief ministers take control of the capital and kill Lü Chan and Lü Lu. And since those two had been Prince of Liang and Prince of Zhao at the time of their deaths, the chief ministers had agreed that when everything was settled, they would appoint Liu Zhang as the new Prince of Zhao and would appoint the Marquis of Dongmou, his younger brother Liu Xingju, as the new Prince of Liang. However, after Emperor Wen took the throne, he learned that Liu Zhang and Liu Xingju had originally been planning to support their elder brother Liu Xiang as the new Emperor instead of him. So he slighted their achievements, and when he was granting appointments as princes, instead of making Liu Zhang and Liu Xingju the Princes of Zhao and Liang as promised, he had merely carved off two commandaries from Liu Xiang’s fief as Prince of Qi and granted these to them instead, naming them as Prince of Chengyang and Prince of Jibei.

Since then, Liu Xiang and Liu Zhang had already passed away. But Liu Xingju was still alive, and he was often disgruntled. He resented Emperor Wen for having deprived him of the title that he felt was rightfully his. So when Liu Xingju heard that Emperor Wen was away at Taiyuan, he believed that Emperor Wen was planning to personally lead a campaign against the Xiongnu and would thus be away for a long time. He seized this supposed opportunity, and raised his troops in rebellion.

When Emperor Wen heard that Liu Xingju was in revolt, he disbanded the expeditionary army under Guan Ying and recalled those troops to the capital. He appointed the Marquis of Jipu, Chai Wu, as Grand General and assigned him four generals and a hundred thousand soldiers to attack Liu Xingju. He also appointed the Marquis of Qí, Zeng He, as a general and had him station an army at Xingyang.

In autumn, the seventh month, Emperor Wen returned to Chang’an from Taiyuan. He issued an edict stating, “I hereby announce to the officials and people of the Prince of Jibei: Whoever voluntarily submits to the government before the soldiers have arrived, by having their garrison, city, or town surrender, will be pardoned and have their ranks and titles restored. Anyone who abandons Liu Xingju and comes to our side will be pardoned.”

In the eighth month, Liu Xingju’s army was defeated. He killed himself.

〈事見上卷呂后八年。〉〈絀,敕律翻,貶下也。〉〈行兵,行擊匈奴之兵也。〉〈應劭曰︰棘蒲,卽常山平棘縣。師古非之。余據《靳歙傳》,則棘蒲,趙地也,在安陽以東。宋白曰︰棘蒲,春秋時晉邑,漢初爲棘蒲,後改爲平棘。蓋亦本應說也。《班志》,祁縣屬太原郡,晉大夫賈辛邑。《括地志》︰幷州祁縣城是也。柴武、繒賀,皆高帝功臣。《姓譜》︰柴姓,高柴之後。繒,亦姓也,以國爲氏。《國語》云︰申、繒方強。韋昭《註》︰繒出於姒姓。〉。」〈師古曰︰雖始與興居共反,今棄之去而來降者亦赦之。貢父曰︰高帝詔曰︰「與綰居去來歸者赦之」,今此文當云︰「與王興居居去來者赦之」,蓋脫一「居」字也。余謂貢父說是。〉

(The involvement of Liu Xingju and his brothers in the purge of the Lü clan is mentioned in Book 13, in the eighth year of Lü Zhi’s reign (180 BC).

To slight is to diminish or disparage.

The expeditionary army was the army that had been assembled to attack the Xiongnu.

Regarding the location of Jipu, Ying Shao remarked, “Jipu was the same place as Pingju county in Changshan commandary.” Yan Shigu disagreed with him. I (Hu Sanxing) note that according to the Biography of Jin She, Jipu was in the Zhao region, east of Anyang. Song Bai remarked, “Jipu was a town in the state of Jin during the Spring and Autumn Era. It was still named Jipu by the beginning of the Han dynasty, but was later renamed to Pingji.” So Ying Shao must have been correct.

According to the Book of Han, Qí county was part of Taiyuan commandary, the hometown of the Jin minister Jia Xin. The Comprehensive Gazetteer states, “This was the same place as the capital city of Qí county in modern Bingzhou.”

Chai Wu and Zeng He were both accomplished ministers from Liu Bang’s era. Regarding their surnames, the Registry of Surnames states, “Those with the surname 柴 Chai are the descendants of Gao Chai.” As for 繒 Zeng, this was a surname taken from the name of a fief. The Discourses of the States mentions it: “At that time, the states of Shen and Zeng were powerful…” Wei Zhao’s Annotations states, “The surname Zeng came from the surname 姒 Si.”

Regarding Emperor Wen’s edict, Yan Shigu remarked, “He was stating that anyone who, although having originally supported Liu Xingju in his rebellion, now abandoned him and came to surrender to the government would be pardoned.” Gongfu remarked, “There is a particular phrase in this edict, 與王興居去來者 ‘all those who abandon Liu Xingju and come to us’, which has a precedent in a similar phrase used by Liu Bang in an edict offering pardons for the followers of Lu Wan during his rebellion: 與綰居去來歸者 ‘all those who abandon Lu Wan and come to us’. However, I note the use of the character 居 ‘residing with, standing with’ in both of these phrases, which must have been part of the expression. So strictly speaking, the phrase in Emperor Wen’s edict ought to be 與王興居居去來者, with the 居 used twice, once to complete the name of 興居 Liu Xingju and again to carry on with the expression. But 居 only appears once. The other 居 must be missing.” I (Hu Sanxing) agree with his reasoning.)


濟北王興居聞上自擊胡。乃發兵反。秋大旱。七月。上自太原還。八月。將軍柴武擊濟北王興居。興居自殺。赦諸與興居反者。秋九月。封齊悼惠王子七人為列侯。(Records of Former Han 7, Annals of Emperor Wen)

When the Prince of Jibei, Liu Xingju, heard that Emperor Wen was personally going to fight the barbarians, he raised his own troops in rebellion.

During the autumn, there was great famine.

In the seventh month, Emperor Wen returned from Taiyuan.

In the eighth month, the general Chai Wu attacked Liu Xingju. Liu Xingju killed himself, but Emperor Wen pardoned those who had assisted him in his rebellion.

In the fourth year of Emperor Wen's reign (176 BC), in autumn, the ninth month, Emperor Wen appointed seven sons of Liu Fei as minor marquises.

二年,濟北王反,漢誅殺之,地入于漢。後二年,孝文帝盡封齊悼惠王子罷軍等七人皆為列侯。(Records of the Grand Historian 52, Biography of Liu Xiang)

In Liu Zé's second year as Prince of Qi (177 BC), Liu Xingju rebelled against the court. The court executed him, and they assumed direct control of his fief as Prince of Jibei.

Two years later (175 BC), Emperor Wen appointed seven sons of Liu Fei, including Liu Bajun, as minor marquises.

立二年,反。始大臣誅呂氏時,朱虛侯功尤大,許盡以趙地王朱虛侯,盡以梁地王東牟侯。及孝文帝立,聞朱虛、東牟之初欲立齊王,故絀其功。及二年,王諸子,乃割齊二郡以王章、興居。章、興居自以失職奪功。章死,而興居聞匈奴大入漢,漢多發兵,使丞相灌嬰擊之,文帝親幸太原,以為天子自擊胡,遂發兵反於濟北。天子聞之,罷丞相及行兵,皆歸長安。使棘蒲侯柴將軍擊破虜濟北王,王自殺,地入于漢,為郡。(Records of the Grand Historian 52, Biography of Liu Xingju)

In Liu Xingju's second year as Prince of Jibei (177 BC), he rebelled against the Han court.

During the purge of the Lü clan several years earlier, the Marqius of Zhuxu, Liu Zhang, had been invaluable in helping the chief ministers take control of the capital and kill Lü Chan and Lü Lu. And since those two had been Prince of Liang and Prince of Zhao at the time of their deaths, the chief ministers had agreed that when everything was settled, they would appoint Liu Zhang as the new Prince of Zhao and would appoint Liu Xingju as the new Prince of Liang. However, after Emperor Wen took the throne, he learned that Liu Zhang and Liu Xingju had originally been planning to support the Prince of Qi, their elder brother Liu Xiang, as the new Emperor instead of him. So he slighted their achievements, and when in the second year of his reign (178 BC) he was granting appointments as princes, instead of making Liu Zhang and Liu Xingju the Princes of Zhao and Liang as promised, he had merely carved off two commandaries from Liu Xiang’s fief as Prince of Qi and granted these to them instead, naming them as Prince of Chengyang and Prince of Jibei. Both of them felt that they had been deprived of their due.

Since then, Liu Zhang had already passed away. But Liu Xingju was still alive. He soon heard that the Xiongnu had led a major invasion into Han territory, and that the Han court was drafting a large army to repel the invasion, with Emperor Wen personally going to Taiyuan while sending the Prime Minister, Guan Ying, to attack the Xiongnu. Liu Xingju believed that Emperor Wen was planning to personally lead a campaign against the Xiongnu and would thus be away for a long time. He seized this supposed opportunity, and raised his troops in rebellion at Jibei.

When Emperor Wen heard that Liu Xingju was in revolt, he disbanded the expeditionary army under Guan Ying and recalled those troops to Chang'an. He sent the Marquis of Jipu, Chai Wu, to lead generals to attack Liu Xingju. They routed Liu Xingju's army and captured him. He killed himself, and the Han court took direct control of Jibei and made it a commandary again.

始誅諸呂時,朱虛侯章功尤大,大臣許盡以趙地王章,盡以梁地王興居。及文帝立,聞朱虛、東牟之初欲立齊王,故黜其功。二年,王諸子,乃割齊二郡以王章、興居。章、興居意自以失職奪功。歲餘,章薨,而匈奴大入邊,漢多發兵,丞相灌嬰將擊之,文帝親幸太原。興居以為天子自擊胡,遂發兵反。上聞之,罷兵歸長安,使棘蒲侯柴將軍擊破,虜濟北王。王自殺,國除。文帝憫濟北王逆亂以自滅,明年,盡封悼惠王諸子罷軍等七人為列侯。(Book of Han 38, Biography of Liu Xingju)

During the purge of the Lü clan, the Marqius of Zhuxu, Liu Zhang, had been invaluable in helping the chief ministers take control of the capital and kill Lü Chan and Lü Lu. And since those two had been Prince of Liang and Prince of Zhao at the time of their deaths, the chief ministers had agreed that when everything was settled, they would appoint Liu Zhang as the new Prince of Zhao and would appoint Liu Xingju as the new Prince of Liang. However, after Emperor Wen took the throne, he learned that Liu Zhang and Liu Xingju had originally been planning to support the Prince of Qi, their elder brother Liu Xiang, as the new Emperor instead of him. So he slighted their achievements, and when in the second year of his reign (178 BC) he was granting appointments as princes, instead of making Liu Zhang and Liu Xingju the Princes of Zhao and Liang as promised, he had merely carved off two commandaries from Liu Xiang’s fief as Prince of Qi and granted these to them instead, naming them as Prince of Chengyang and Prince of Jibei. Both of them felt that they had been deprived of their due.

A little more than a year later, Liu Zhang passed away. But Liu Xingju was still alive. He soon heard that the Xiongnu had led a major invasion into Han territory, and that the Han court was drafting a large army to repel the invasion, with Emperor Wen personally going to Taiyuan while sending the Prime Minister, Guan Ying, to attack the Xiongnu. Liu Xingju believed that Emperor Wen was planning to personally lead a campaign against the Xiongnu and would thus be away for a long time. He seized this supposed opportunity, and raised his troops in rebellion.

When Emperor Wen heard that Liu Xingju was in revolt, he disbanded the expeditionary army under Guan Ying and recalled those troops to Chang'an. He sent the Marquis of Jipu, Chai Wu, to lead generals to attack Liu Xingju. They routed Liu Xingju's army and captured him. He killed himself, and his fief was abolished.

Emperor Wen regretted that Liu Xingju had destroyed his lineage through treason. The following year (176 BC), he appointed seven sons of Liu Fei, including Liu Bajun, as minor marquises.


初,南陽張釋之爲騎郎,十年不得調,欲免歸。袁盎知其賢而薦之,爲謁者僕射。

10. Earlier, Zhang Shizhi of Nanyang commandary had received an appointment as a Cavalier Gentleman. Yet for ten years he had not been granted any further appointment, so he was planning to resign his position and return home. But Yuan Ang, who recognized that Zhang Shizhi was a worthy fellow, recommended him to Emperor Wen, who at last appointed him as Supervisor of Diplomats.

〈秦置南陽郡,漢因之。郎屬郎中令,掌守門戶,出充車騎。郎中有車、騎、戶三將,主車曰車郎,主騎曰騎郎,主戶衞曰戶郎,皆以中郎將主之。〉〈調,選也。〉〈班《表》︰謁者掌賓讚受事,秩比六百石;有僕射,秩比千石。應劭曰︰謁,請也,白也。僕,主也。《漢官儀》曰︰僕射,秦官也。僕,主也;古者主武事,每官必有主射者以督課之。〉

(The Qin dynasty had originally created Nanyang commandary, and the Han dynasty kept it.

The Household Gentlemen (young men in the capital who awaited real appointments after a period of supervision) were under the supervision of the Prefect of the Household Gentlemen. They were in charge of guarding the gates, and when they went out, they accompanied the Emperor on horses or in carts. There were three subdivisions of them, led by the General of the Cart Gentlemen, the General of the Cavalier Gentlemen, and the General of the Guard Gentlemen, all of whom reported to the General of the Household Gentlemen.

Zhang Shizhi had not received any “appraisal”, that is, he had not been selected for further appointment.

According to the Book of Han, the 謁者 Diplomats handled guests and receptions; they were of Equivalent To Six Hundred Bushel salary rank, while their Supervisor was of Equivalent To One Thousand Bushels salary rank. Ying Shao remarked, “謁 means to request or to report, and 僕 means director or supervisor.” The Rites of Han Offices states, “僕射 Supervisor was a Qin office. 僕 means director, and in ancient times those with this title were in charge of military affairs, such that every office always had such a supervisor to direct and train people in 射 ‘archery’.”)


張釋之為郎。十年不得調用。欲歸。袁盎賢之。言於上以為謁者僕射。(Records of Former Han 8, Annals of Emperor Wen)

Zhang Shizhi served as a Gentleman. Yet for ten years he had not been granted any further appointment, so he was planning to return home. But Yuan Ang, who recognized that Zhang Shizhi was a worthy fellow, mentioned him to Emperor Wen, who at last appointed him as Supervisor of Diplomats.


釋之從行,登虎圈,上問上林尉諸禽獸簿。十餘問;尉左右視,盡不能對。虎圈嗇夫從旁代尉對。上所問禽獸簿甚悉,欲以觀其能;口對響應,無窮者。帝曰︰「吏不當若是邪!尉無賴。」乃詔釋之拜嗇夫爲上林令。釋之久之前,曰︰「陛下以絳侯周勃何如人也?」上曰︰「長者也。」又復問︰「東陽侯張相如何如人也?」上復曰︰「長者。」釋之曰︰「夫絳侯、東陽侯稱爲長者,此兩人言事曾不能出口,豈效此嗇夫喋喋利口捷給哉!且秦以任刀筆之吏,爭以亟疾苛察相高,其敝,徒文具而無實,不聞其過,陵遲至於土崩。今陛下以嗇夫口辨而超遷之,臣恐天下隨風而靡,爭爲口辯而無其實。夫下之化上,疾於景響,舉錯不可不審也!」帝曰︰「善!」乃不拜嗇夫。上就車,召釋之參乘。徐行,問釋之秦之敝,具以質言。至宮,上拜釋之爲公車令。

11. On one occasion, Zhang Shizhi accompanied Emperor Wen on a trip.

When they came to the Tiger Pen at Shanglin Park, Emperor Wen asked one of the Commandants of the park more than ten questions about the animals held there, but the Commandant only looked from side to side without answering any of the questions. But one of the other Tiger Pen officials approached from one side and began answering the questions instead. Emperor Wen asked him a great deal about the animals, wishing to test his abilities, yet the official instantly responded to every question and always had something to say. Emperor Wen declared, “Why should this fellow be a mere official? And that Commandant is good for nothing.” So he ordered Zhang Shizhi to present the official with an appointment as Prefect of Shanglin Park.

Zhang Shizhi stood pondering in front of Emperor Wen for a while. Then he asked him, “Your Majesty, what sort of man do you consider the Marquis of Jiang, Zhou Bo, to be?”

Emperor Wen replied, “He is a good man.”

Zhang Shizhi then asked, “And what do you think of the Marquis of Dongyang, Zhang Xiangru?”

Emperor Wen replied, “He too is worthy.”

Zhang Shizhi continued, “You consider those two men to be worthy. Yet neither of them could be called good speakers. If they are good men, then what are we to make of this fellow, who only prattles on incessantly and uses slick words to win you over? Besides, when the Qin dynasty employed clerks, they placed the most exacting emphasis upon clever writing and rhetoric without any regard to substance. Thus their officials had a great facility with words, yet they had nothing to say. The rulers of Qin never heard of their faults, and in the end their dynasty eroded bit by bit until it collapsed. And now that Your Majesty has become entranced by the tongue of this official and plans to elevate him, I fear that all the realm will likewise wish to tell Your Majesty whatever you would like to hear; they would strive for elegance while caring nothing for truth. The lowly follow the example of the exalted like a shadow mimics substance. Please think carefully before you make a mistake!”

Emperor Wen replied, “Well said!” And he decided against appointing the official.

For the rest of that trip, whenever Emperor Wen was in his carriage, Zhang Shizhi rode beside him in a side-carriage. Emperor Wen asked him about the shortcomings of the Qin dynasty, and Zhang Shizhi instructed him. When they returned to the palace, Emperor Wen appointed Zhang Shizhi as Prefect of Carriages.

〈虎圈,養虎之所,在上林。班《表》︰有令,有八丞、十二尉;武帝以後屬水衡都尉。禽獸簿,謂簿錄禽獸之大數也。〉〈蓋帝問之而不能對,故倉皇失措而左右視也。師古曰︰視其屬官,盡不能對;非也。〉〈師古曰︰能,謂材也。能,本獸名,形似羆,足似鹿,爲物堅中而強力,故人之有賢材者皆謂之能。〉〈虎圈嗇夫,掌虎圈之吏也。悉,詳盡也。響應者,如響應聲,言其捷也。〉〈言其才無足恃賴也。《援神契》曰︰蝟多賴,故不使超揚。賴,才也。《孟子》︰富歲子弟多賴。朱子曰︰賴,藉也。〉〈班《志》,東陽縣屬臨淮郡。〉〈師古曰︰刀,所以削書也;古者用簡牒,故吏皆以刀筆自隨也。《揚子》曰︰刀不利,筆不銛。《說文》︰楚謂之聿,吳謂之不律,燕謂之弗,秦謂之筆。《釋名》︰筆,述也;述事而書之也。〉〈師古曰︰陵,丘陵也;陵遲,言如丘陵之逶遲稍卑下也。又曰陵夷。夷,平也;言其頹替若丘陵之漸平也。〉〈如淳曰︰質,誠也。〉

(The Tiger Pen was at Shanglin Park; it was a place for raising tigers.

According to the Book of Han, Shanglin Park was administered by a Prefect, eight Assistants, and twelve Commandants. Emperor Wu later made these officials subordinate to the Commandant of Capital Waterways.

Emperor Wen was asking the Commandant about the registry of animals; this was the records of how many animals were kept at the Tiger Pen.

The Commandant must have been struck dumb and only looked from side to side because he was unable to answer Emperor Wen’s questions. Yan Shigu argued that “he saw these questions as being suited to his subordinates, not him, thus he would not answer them”, but I (Hu Sanxing) do not agree.

This passage states that Emperor Wen wished to observe the official’s 能 “abilities”. Yan Shigu remarked, “能 now means ‘abilities, talent, potential’. Originally, it was the name of a beast that was shaped like a bear, but with feet like a deer; it had a sturdy core and was quite strong. Thus the term began to be used to describe a worthy and talented person, someone who possessed能.”

The precise title of the official mentioned in this passage was a 嗇夫; he was an official who helped manage the Tiger Den.

The responses of the official are described as being 響應; this means a quick response, responding immediately to the question.

Emperor Wen calls the Commandant 無賴 “good for nothing”; this meant that his talents were not reliable. The text Pledge to Assist the Gods states, “Most hedgehogs are 賴 ‘reliable’, thus they do not go beyond.” In that instance, 賴 means “talented”. And Mengzi has the phrase “In good years, most of the young people are 賴”, to which Zhuzi remarks, “This means ‘reliable’.”

According to the Book of Han, Dongyang county was part of Linhuai commandary.

The Qin clerks that Zhang Shizhi mentions are more precisely described as 刀筆之吏 “blade and brush officials”. Yan Shigu remarked, “The ‘blade’ was for carving the texts. In ancient times, officials would use blades or brushes to write simple missives as they saw fit.” Yang Xiong’s Exemplary Sayings has the phrase, “When the blade is not keen or the brush is not sharp”. The Shuowen dictionary states, “Regarding the 筆 ’brush’, a tool used for writing, the people of the Chu region call it a 聿 ‘yu’, the people of the Wu region call it a 律 ‘lü’, the people of the Yan region call it a 弗 ‘fu’, and the people of the Qin region call it a 筆 ‘bi’.” The Erya dictionary states, “筆 means ‘to relate’; one relates events by recording them with the 筆.”

Regarding the term 陵遲 “erode”, Yan Shigu remarked, “陵 is meant in the sense of 丘陵 ‘mounds and hills’. 陵遲 thus means a hill that is slowly worn down over time. An alternate term is 陵夷, where 夷 here means ‘flat, worn flat’. The expression meant that Qin’s authority was worn away like a hill that is slowly eroded into a flat surface.”

This passage states that Zhang Shizhi 質ed Emperor Wen. Ru Chun remarked, “質 here means ‘to instruct’.”)


上幸上林苑。釋之從。登虎圈。上問上林尉禽獸簿。尉不能對。虎圈嗇夫代尉對。響應無窮。上曰。為吏不當如此邪。詔釋之拜嗇夫。欲為上林令。釋之進曰。陛下以周勃張相如何如人。上曰。長者也。釋之曰。此兩人稱為長者。言事曾未出口。豈若嗇夫喋喋利口捷給哉。且秦任刀筆吏。爭以苛察相高。故政陵遲至於土崩。今以嗇夫口辯而超遷之。臣恐天下隨風而爭。口辯無實。上之化下。疾於影響。舉錯不可不察。上曰善。乃止。拜釋之為公車令。(Records of Former Han 8, Annals of Emperor Wen)

On one occasion, Zhang Shizhi accompanied Emperor Wen on a trip.

When they came to the Tiger Pen at Shanglin Park, Emperor Wen asked one of the Commandants of the park about the animals held there, but the Commandant could not answer him. But one of the other Tiger Pen officials approached from one side and began answering the questions instead; he instantly responded to every question and always had something to say. Emperor Wen declared, “Why should this fellow be a mere official?” So he ordered Zhang Shizhi to present the official with an appointment as Prefect of Shanglin Park.

Zhang Shizhi stepped forward and said, “Your Majesty, what sort of men do you consider Zhou Bo and Zhang Xiangru to be?”

Emperor Wen replied, “They are worthy gentlemen.”

Zhang Shizhi continued, “You consider those two men to be worthy. Yet neither of them could be called good speakers. If they are good men, then what are we to make of this fellow, who only prattles on incessantly and uses slick words to win you over? Besides, when the Qin dynasty employed clerks, they placed the most exacting emphasis upon clever writing and rhetoric without any regard to substance. That was why in the end their dynasty eroded bit by bit until it collapsed. And now that Your Majesty has become entranced by the tongue of this official and plans to elevate him, I fear that all the realm will likewise wish to tell Your Majesty whatever you would like to hear; they would strive for elegance while caring nothing for truth. The lowly follow the example of the exalted like a shadow mimics substance. Please think carefully before you make a mistake.”

Emperor Wen replied, “Well said!” And he decided against appointing the official. He appointed Zhang Shizhi as Prefect of Carriages.


頃之,太子與梁王共車入朝,不下司馬門。於是釋之追止太子、梁王,無得入殿門,遂劾「不下公門,不敬,」奏之。薄太后聞之;帝免冠,謝敎兒子不謹。薄太后乃使使承詔赦太子、梁王,然後得入。帝由是奇釋之,拜爲中大夫;頃之,至中郎將。

12. Not long after Zhang Shizhi’s appointment as Prefect of Carriages, there was an incident where the Crown Prince, Liu Qi, and the Prince of Liang, his younger brother Liu Yi, failed to halt their carriage at the Sima Gate on their way to attend court. Zhang Shizhi immediately chased after them and halted their carriage, forbidding them from entering the palace gates. He submitted a petition reproaching the two of them, stating that they had “failed to halt at a public gate and displayed a lack of proper respect”. Empress Dowager Bo got word of what had happened, and Emperor Wen was obliged to go to her, cap in hand, and apologize to her for having failed to teach his sons to be more reverent of the laws. Only then did she send agents bearing Emperor Wen’s edict pardoning the two princes and allowing them into the palace.

This incident only made Emperor Wen appreciate Zhang Shizhi all the more. He appointed Zhang Shizhi as a Household Counselor, and shortly after that, Zhang Shizhi was further promoted to be General of the Household Gentlemen.

〈中大夫掌論議,屬郎中令,其位在太中大夫之下,諫大夫之上。武帝太初元年,更名中大夫曰光祿大夫,秩比二千石;太中大夫秩比千石如故。至《後漢志》有光祿大夫、太中大夫、中散大夫、諫議大夫。胡廣曰︰光祿大夫,本爲中大夫,武帝元狩五年置,爲光祿大夫、諫大夫,世祖中興,以爲諫議大夫。又有太中、中散大夫。此四等,於古皆爲天子之下大夫,視列國之上卿。〉〈班《表》︰公車令屬衞尉。《漢官儀》︰公車司馬令掌殿司馬門。如淳曰︰《宮衞令》︰諸出入殿門、公車司馬門者,皆下;不如令者,罰金四兩。程大昌曰︰《通典》衞尉公車令曰︰胡廣云︰諸門各陳屯夾道,其旁設兵以示威武,交節立戟以遮訶出入。〉

(According to the Book of Han, the Prefect of Carriages was subordinate to the Commandant of the Guards. The text Rites and Offices of Han states, “The Prefect of Carriages and Marshals was in charge of managing the public gates of the palace.” Ru Chun remarked, “According to the Ordinances of the Palace Guards, all people going into or out of the palace gates or the public carriage gates were obliged to halt their carriages at those places and momentarily get out of them; anyone who failed to heed this order was subject to a fine of four pairs of gold.” Cheng Dachang remarked, “The Tongdian’s entry on the Prefect of Carriages under the Commandant of the Guards quotes Hu Guang as saying, ‘The various gates each had troops garrisoned there as checkpoints, set up on either side as a display of power and authority, and wielding halberds and holding tallies of authority in order to regulate passage in or out.’”

Household Counselors managed discussions and councils. They were subordinate to the Prefect of the Household Gentlemen, and were lower in rank than the Grand Household Counselors and higher in rank than the Counselors-Remonstrant. In Emperor Wu’s first year of Taichu (104 BC), he renamed the Household Counselors to Counselors With Golden Tassel, at a salary rank of Equivalent To Two Thousand Bushels, while the Grand Household Counselors remained at their existing salary rank of Equivalent To One Thousand Bushels. And by the time of the Records of Later Han, we see listed Counselors With Golden Tassel, Grand Household Counselors, Household Counselors of Various Affairs, and Counselors of Discussion and Remonstration. Hu Guang remarked, “The Counselors With Golden Tassel were originally the Household Counselors. Emperor Wu created the new title in his fifth year of Yuanshou (118 BC), along with the Counselors-Remonstrant. After Shizu (Emperor Guangwu) restored the dynasty, he created Counselors of Discussion and Remonstration. There were also Grand Household Counselors and Household Counselors of Various Affairs. Ever since ancient times, these four positions had been ranked below the chief ministers of the Son of Heaven, but above the chief ministers of the various feudal states.”)


時梁王來朝。與太子共載。入朝不下司馬門。釋之禁止不得入朝。劾奏不敬。上乃免冠謝太后曰。教兒子不謹。太后使使承詔赦太子及梁王。乃得入朝。後為中郎將。(Records of Former Han 8, Annals of Emperor Wen)

At this time, the Prince of Liang came to court, and he was riding in the same carriage as the Crown Prince. They failed to halt their carriage at the Sima Gate on their way to attend court. Zhang Shizhi halted their carriage, forbidding them from entering court. He submitted a petition reproaching the two of them, stating that they had displayed a lack of proper respect. Emperor Wen was obliged to visit Empress Dowager Bo, cap in hand, and apologize to her, saying, "I failed to teach my sons to be more reverent of the laws." Only then did she send agents bearing Emperor Wen’s edict pardoning the two princes and allowing them into court.

Emperor Wen appointed Zhang Shizhi as General of the Household Gentlemen.


從行至霸陵,上謂羣臣曰︰「嗟乎!以北山石爲椁,用紵絮斮陳漆其間,豈可動哉!」左右皆曰︰「善!」釋之曰︰「使其中有可欲者,雖錮南山猶有隙;使其中無可欲者,雖無石椁,又何戚焉!」帝稱善。

13. On one occasion, Zhang Shizhi and other ministers accompanied Emperor Wen on a trip to Baling. Emperor Wen said to his ministers, “Oh, if only I could have the stones of those northern hills to build my sarcophagus, and used ramie and cotton to pad it and then lacquered it shut! Then I could have no fear of my tomb ever being disturbed!”

The other ministers all exclaimed, “Well said, well said!”

But Zhang Shizhi observed, “If you keep valuable things inside your tomb, someone will eventually find a way to break inside even if your tomb were sealed within the southern hills themselves. But if you don’t keep valuable things inside, you would have no cause to worry even if you lacked a sarcophagus!”

Emperor Wen praised his remarks.

〈師古曰︰美石出京師北山,今宜州石是。斮絮以漆著其間也。康曰︰紵,檾屬;細者爲絟,麤者爲紵。陸璣《草木疏》曰︰紵,亦麻也。科生數十莖,宿根在地中,至春自生,不歲種也。荊、揚之間,一歲三收;今官園種之,歲再刈。刈便生剝之,以鐵若竹挾之,表厚皮自脫,但得其裹韌如筋者,謂之徽紵。今南越紵布皆用此麻。錮,冶銅鑄塞以爲固也。師古曰︰有可欲,謂多藏金玉而厚葬之,人皆欲發取之也,是有間隙也;無可欲,謂不寘器備而薄葬,人無欲攻掘取之者,故無憂也。〉

(Regarding these hills north of Baling, Yan Shigu remarked, “Emperor Wen wished to obtain fair-looking stones from the hills north of the capital region; this was the same place as the modern Yizhou Stones.”

Emperor Wen wished to use cotton padding and lacquer to seal up the interior of his tomb.

Regarding 紵 “ramie”, Meng Kang remarked, “This is a kind of fiber plant. The rough version of this plant is called ramie, while the fine version is called 絟.” Lu Ji’s Types of Trees and Grasses states, “Ramie is a kind of hemp. It grows with dozens of stalks and sends roots down into the earth as well. It grows naturally in spring, and does not need to be re-sown every year. In the Jingzhou and Yangzhou regions (in the south), one can harvest this plant three times a year, and even these days the officials that grow it in the imperial garden (in the north) can reap it twice a year. After having harvested it, one must then peel it; using iron tough as bamboo to apply it, the shell naturally comes off, allowing one to obtain the interior, which is pliable like tendons or sinew. Thus it is called fine ramie. And this is the sort of hemp which the people of Southern Yue use in their ramie cloth even today.”

In this instance, to “seal” means to pour molten copper or bronze into cracks in order to seal shut (like inside a mountain).

Regarding Zhang Shizhi’s sentiment, Yan Shigu remarked, “He was saying that if Emperor Wen’s tomb had anything valuable inside of it, such as if Emperor Wen were given a lavish burial with a large amount of gold and jade hidden away in the tomb, since there would be so many people who wished to steal such things, they would eventually find some way to break into the tomb regardless of its defenses, while if Emperor Wen were given a simple burial without any valuables inside the tomb, there would not be anyone who would want to break inside because there would be nothing worth stealing, thus Emperor Wen would not need to worry about his tomb being disturbed.”)


從上至霸陵。上望北山。悽然傷懷。謂群臣曰。嗟乎。以北山石為槨。用紵絮斮漆。其堅豈可動哉。左右皆曰善。釋之進曰。使其中有可欲。雖錮南山猶可隙。使其中無可欲者。雖無石槨。又何戚焉。上稱善。(Records of Former Han 8, Annals of Emperor Wen)

On one occasion, Zhang Shizhi and other ministers accompanied Emperor Wen on a trip to Baling. Emperor Wen gazed at the northern hills, and he felt so mournful that it pained him. He said to his ministers, “Oh, if only I could have the stones of those northern hills to build my sarcophagus, and used ramie and cotton to pad it and then lacquered it shut! Then it would be so secure that I would have no fear of my tomb ever being disturbed!”

The other ministers all exclaimed, “Well said, well said!”

But Zhang Shizhi stepped forward and said, “If you keep valuable things inside your tomb, someone will eventually find a way to break inside even if your tomb were sealed within the southern hills themselves. But if you don’t keep valuable things inside, you would have no cause to worry even if you lacked a sarcophagus!”

Emperor Wen praised his remarks.


是歲,釋之爲廷尉。上行出中渭橋,有一人從橋下走,乘輿馬驚;於是使騎捕之,屬廷尉。釋之奏當︰「此人犯蹕,當罰金。」上怒曰︰「此人親驚吾馬;馬賴和柔,令他馬,固不敗傷我乎!而廷尉乃當之罰金!」釋之曰︰「法者,天下公共也。今法如是;更重之,是法不信於民也。且方其時,上使使誅之則已。今已下廷尉;廷尉,天下之平也,壹傾,天下用法皆爲之輕重,民安所錯其手足!唯陛下察之!」上良久曰︰「廷尉當是也。」

14. During this year, Zhang Shizhi was appointed as Minister of Justice.

There was an incident where Emperor Wen was travelling across the middle bridge over the Wei River, and someone suddenly rushed out from under the bridge and startled the horses of Emperor Wen’s carriage. Emperor Wen had one of his escort riders arrest the man, then handed him over to Zhang Shizhi to render judgment.

Zhang Shizhi’s verdict was, “This man was guilty of failing to make way for the Emperor’s procession and obstructing the road. He shall be punished by paying a fine.”

But this response angered Emperor Wen, who said, “This man went so far as to startle my horses! It was a good thing that the horses he happened to startle were reliable and gentle ones. If they had been some other horses, I surely would have been injured! Yet you say that you are only going to make him pay a fine as his punishment!”

Zhang Shizhi replied, “The law must be applied impartially. This man’s crime was obstructing the road, and the punishment for obstructing the road is a fine. If I increase his punishment only because Your Majesty wishes it, then the people will lose faith in the fairness of the law. If, in the heat of the moment, Your Majesty had immediately ordered this man’s execution, that would have been one thing. But you handed him over to me to render judgment, and since I am the Minister of Justice, I must be constant and impartial in my verdicts. If even once I bend the law, then the lower officials will likewise be arbitrary in their enforcement of the law. Then how could the common people be sure of the law? It would be like being unsure of the movements of their own hands and feet. I implore Your Majesty to consider this!”

For a long time, Emperor Wen was silent. At last he said, “The Minister of Justice is correct.”

〈張晏曰︰中渭橋,在渭橋中路。臣瓚曰︰中渭橋,兩岸之中。《索隱》曰︰張晏、臣瓚之說皆非也。按今渭橋有三所︰一所在城西北咸陽路,曰西渭橋;一所在城東北高陵路,曰東渭橋;其中渭橋在長安故城之北。〉〈崔浩曰︰奏當,謂處其罪也。《索隱》曰︰按《百官志》云︰廷尉掌平刑罰、奏當,一應郡國讞疑罪,皆處當以報之也。如淳曰︰蹕,止行人。《乙令》︰蹕先至而犯者,罰金四兩。〉

(This passage states that Emperor Wen was at 中渭橋. Zhang Yan argued, “This means that he was 中 ‘on’ the road at 渭橋 Weiqiao or ‘the bridge over the Wei River’.” Chen Zan argued, “It means that he was 中 ‘between’ the two banks of the Wei River.” The Suoyin commentary to the Records of the Grand Historian argued, “Zhang Yan and Chen Zan are wrong. There were then, and even now there are, three bridges over the Wei River. One is northwest of the city, on the road towards Xianyang, and is called the Western Bridge; one is northeast of the city, on the road towards Gaoling, and is called the Eastern Bridge; the last is due north of the walls of Chang’an, and is called the 中 ‘Middle’ Bridge. It was this Middle Bridge which Emperor Wen was crossing.”

Cui Hao remarked, “To render a verdict means to decide what crime, if any, someone has committed.” The Suoyin commentary states, “According to the Records of Offices, the duty of the Minister of Justice was to impartially render verdicts and inflict punishments. Whenever the justice officials of a commandary or princely fief were unsure of how to resolve a case under their own jurisdiction, they would forward it to the Minister of Justice for him to render a verdict on it.”

Ru Chun remarked, “To obstruct the road is to block traffic on it.” The text Yiming states, “When a call has been sent ahead to make way for the imperial procession, yet someone is still blocking the road when the procession arrives, they will be punished with a fine of four pairs of gold.”)


其後人有盜高廟坐前玉環,得;帝怒,下廷尉治。釋之按「盜宗廟服御物者」爲奏當棄市。上大怒曰︰「人無道,乃盜先帝器!吾屬廷尉者,欲致之族;而君以法奏之,非吾所以共承宗廟意也。」釋之免冠頓首謝曰︰「法如是,足也。且罪等,然以逆順爲差。今盜宗廟器而族之,有如萬分一,假令愚民取長陵一抔土,陛下且何以加其法乎?」帝乃白太后許之。

15. Later, there was an incident where someone stole a jade ring that was lying in front of Liu Bang’s ancestral temple. The man was arrested. Emperor Wen was angry that someone would do such a thing, and he handed the criminal over to Zhang Shizhi for judgment.

Zhang Shizhi decided to give the criminal the punishment suitable for “stealing equipment of the imperial household’s ancestral temple”, and recommended that the offender be publicly executed in the Chang’an marketplace.

This verdict greatly angered Emperor Wen, who said, “This man was so wicked that he went so far as to steal an item from His Late Majesty! When I handed him over to you, I was expecting you to order the extermination of his entire clan. Yet you are only going to inflict his punishment according to what is prescribed by law? If I allowed it, I would not be making a proper response for a violation against my clan’s ancestral temple.”

Zhang Shizhi took off his cap and kowtowed in apology to Emperor Wen, but even so, he replied, “The law is sufficient for this crime. Besides, there are different violations of criminal offense, according to whether the crime was impulsive or premeditated. If we respond to a theft at the ancestral temple by exterminating the entire clan of the offender, then if, Heaven forbid, some fool were to go so far as to steal a handful of earth from Emperor Gao’s tomb at Chang Tomb, what greater punishment could Your Majesty possibly inflict against this greater crime?”

Emperor Wen explained this reasoning to Empress Dowager Bo, and he agreed to Zhang Shizhi’s verdict.

〈得,言捕得也。〉〈《索隱》曰︰謂依律而斷也。〉〈共,讀曰恭。〉〈如淳曰︰罪等,俱死罪也。盜玉環不若長陵土之逆。仲馮曰︰此等,讀如等級之等,言凡罪之等差。〉〈長陵,高祖陵也。張晏曰︰不欲指言,故以取土喻之也。師古曰︰抔,謂以手掬之也。〉

(This passage states that the thief was “taken”; this means to be arrested.

Where Emperor Wen mentions that Zhang Shizhi is deciding only “according to what is prescribed by law”, the Suoyin commentary to the Records of the Grand Historian states, “This means that Zhang Shizhi was only following the letter of the law in his decisions and not taking circumstances into account.''

In this passage, 共 should be read as 恭 “respectful”.

Zhang Shizhi uses the term 罪等. Ru Chun argued, “This meant that, although both crimes were worthy of a death sentence, stealing a jade ring was not as serious a violation as stealing earth from Chang Tomb.” Zhongfeng remarked, “This should be read as ‘different degrees of offense’, that there were different levels of crimes.”

Chang Tomb was Liu Bang’s tomb.

Zhang Yan remarked, “Zhang Shizhi used a euphemism of stealing ‘a handful of earth’ because he did not want to actually say the potential crime of stealing items from inside of Liu Bang’s tomb.” Yan Shigu remarked, “A handful means a quantity of something small enough to fit in one’s hand or hands.”)
Last edited by Taishi Ci 2.0 on Thu Feb 20, 2020 4:46 pm, edited 10 times in total.
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BOOK 14

Unread postby Taishi Ci 2.0 » Wed Jan 22, 2020 4:56 am

四年(乙丑、前一七六)

The Fourth Year of Emperor Wen’s Reign (The Yichou or Wood Ox Year, 176 BC)


冬,十二月,潁陰懿侯灌嬰薨。

1. In winter, the twelfth month (of 177 BC), Guan Ying passed away. He was posthumously known as Marquis Yi (“the Exemplary”) of Yingyin.

四年冬十二月。丞相灌嬰薨。諡隱侯。(Records of Former Han 7, Annals of Emperor Wen)

In the fourth year of Emperor Wen's reign (176 BC), in winter, the twelfth month (of 177 BC), the Prime Minister, Guan Ying, passed away. He was posthumously known as Marquis Yin (“the Hidden”).


春,正月,甲午,以御史大夫陽武張蒼爲丞相。蒼好書,博聞,尤邃律曆。

2. In spring, the first month, on the day Jiawu, the Imperial Secretary, Zhang Cang of Yangwu, was appointed as Prime Minister.

Zhang Cang was fond of reading and was very learned and educated, especially when it came to laws and the calendar.

〈班《志》︰陽武縣屬河南郡。〉

(According to the Book of Han, Yangwu county was part of Henan commandary.)


正月御史大夫張蒼為丞相。(Records of Former Han 7, Annals of Emperor Wen)

In the first month, the Imperial Secretary, Zhang Cang of Yangwu, was appointed as Prime Minister.


上召河東守季布,欲以爲御史大夫。有言其勇、使酒、難近者;至,留邸一月,見罷。季布因進曰︰「臣無功竊寵,待罪河東,陛下無故召臣,此人必有以臣欺陛下者。今臣至,無所受事,罷去,此人必有毀臣者。夫陛下以一人之譽而召臣,以一人之毀而去臣,臣恐天下有識聞之,有以闚陛下之淺深也!」上默然,慚,良久曰︰「河東,吾股肱郡,故特召君耳。」

3. Emperor Wen summoned the Administrator of Hedong, Ji Bu, to the capital. He was planning to appoint Ji Bu as the new Imperial Secretary. However, someone then told Emperor Wen that Ji Bu was a wild man, given to drinking, and was difficult to be around. So after Ji Bu arrived at Chang’an, he remained idle in his lodge for a month, until Emperor Wen finally agreed to see him, and only then to bid him farewell.

Ji Bu stepped forward and said, “I was blessed to have received your favor, despite my lack of achievements, and you burdened with the task of governing Hedong. When Your Majesty summoned me to the capital for no reason, it was surely because someone made much of my virtues to Your Majesty. And now that you are merely sending me back to the same post without having given me anything further to do, it must be because someone else slandered me to Your Majesty. I fear that when the realm gets word that Your Majesty summoned me because of the rash words of one person and then dismissed me because of the slander of someone else, people will think you are shallow indeed!”

Emperor Wen could give no response, for he was ashamed. At last he stammered out, “Hedong is a vital commandary, like one of my own arms, and I just wanted to summon you to see how things were going.”

〈河東本韓、魏之地,秦置郡。〉〈應劭曰︰使酒,酗酒也。師古曰︰言因酒霑洽而使氣也。近,謂附近天子而爲大臣。〉〈師古曰︰旣引見而罷令還郡也。貢父曰︰見罷,猶言見逐、見棄耳,非引見也。〉〈師古曰︰謂妄言其賢,故云欺也。〉

(Hedong commandary had originally been the territory of the states of Hann and Wei. After the state of Qin conquered the region, it organized it into Hedong commandary.

Someone describes Ji Bu as 使酒 “given to drinking” and 難近 “hard to be around”. Ying Shao remarked, “This first term meant that he was a drunkard.” Yan Shigu remarked, “The first term means that he would get drunk and go wild, and the second term means that it would be difficult to keep him close by at court, as a direct minister of the Son of Heaven.”

Regarding the term 見罷 “to see off, to bid farewell”, Yan Shigu argued, “This meant he was summoning Ji Bu for a meeting in order to dismiss him and send him back to his commandary post.” Gongfu argued, “The term simply means to see someone leave or be dismissed, and does not further mean to summon to a meeting.”

Ji Bu uses the term 欺 “to make much of”. Yan Shigu remarked, “He said this because he meant that someone had hastily praised his worthiness.”)


袁盎為御史大夫。時御史大夫韋孟闕。是時上徵河東太守季布。欲以為御史大夫。聞其使酒。乃不用。遣歸郡。夏五月。復諸劉有屬籍者。家無所與。六月雨雪。(Records of Former Han 7, Annals of Emperor Wen)

Yuan Ang was appointed as the new Imperial Secretary.

Emperor Wen had originally planned to fill the vacant post by appointing the Administrator of Hedong, Ji Bu, as the new Imperial Secretary. But when he heard that Ji Bu was inclined towards drinking, he did not grant him the appointment, but sent him back to his commandary post.

In summer, the fifth month, Emperor Wen exempted from taxation all members of the Liu clan who had registered dependents, and their families were exempted from labor demands.

In the sixth month, there was rain and snow.


上議以賈誼任公卿之位。大臣多短之曰︰「洛陽之人,年少初學,專欲擅權,紛亂諸事。」於是天子後亦疏之,不用其議,以爲長沙王太傅。

4. Emperor Wen proposed appointing Jia Yi as one of the Three Excellencies or Nine Ministers. But most of the chief officials disparaged Jia Yi, saying, “This young fellow from Luoyang has only just been educated, yet he wants to monopolize power for himself and cause chaos and confusion in affairs.” So Emperor Wen himself also gradually became estranged from Jia Yi. He did not use his proposals, and he eventually sent Jia Yi away to serve as Grand Tutor to the King of Changsha.

〈長沙王,吳差也。漢制︰諸侯王國有太傅輔王。疏,與疎同。〉

(By this time, the King of Changsha was Wu Cha.

According to the Han systems, each of the princes or marquises had a Grand Tutor for their fiefs to help them govern.

Estranged means the same thing as “to become distant from”.)


絳侯周勃旣就國,每河東守、尉行縣至絳,勃自畏恐誅,常被甲,令家人持兵以見之。其後人有上書告勃欲反,下廷尉;廷尉逮捕勃,治之。勃恐,不知置辭;吏稍侵辱之。勃以千金與獄吏,吏乃書牘背示之曰︰「以公主爲證。」公主者,帝女也,勃太子勝之尚之。薄太后亦以爲勃無反事。帝朝太后,太后以冒絮提帝曰︰「絳侯始誅諸呂,綰皇帝璽,將兵於北軍;不以此時反,今居一小縣,顧欲反邪!」帝旣見絳侯獄辭,乃謝曰︰「吏方驗而出之。」於是使使持節赦絳侯,復爵邑。絳侯旣出,曰︰「吾嘗將百萬軍,然安知獄吏之貴乎!」

5. It was earlier mentioned that Zhou Bo had left the capital and gone to live at his fief as Marquis of Jiang. From that time on, he became so afraid of being executed that whenever the Administrator or Commandant of Hedong came to see him at his estate while traveling through Jiang county, Zhou Bo would often put on armor and order his family members to grasp weapons before he would admit these guests.

Later, someone sent up a letter claiming that Zhou Bo was intending to rebel and should be handed over to the Minister of Justice. The Minister had Zhou Bo arrested and interrogated him. Zhou Bo was afraid, because he did not know what they wanted him to say, and the officials began to do intrusive and shameful things to him.

Zhou Bo paid a thousand gold to one of the prison officials, who allowed him to write a message on the back of an official slip: “Have the Princess testify on my behalf.” This Princess was Emperor Wen’s daughter; she was married to Zhou Bo’s heir Zhou Shengzhi.

Empress Dowager Bo also doubted that Zhou Bo could have been plotting rebellion. When Emperor Wen held a court session at which she was present, she struck him with a head covering, saying, “Didn’t the Marquis of Jiang purge the Lü clan, hold the Imperial Seal in his hands, and command the soldiers of the Northern Army? Why would he have failed to rebel back then, and only do so now, when all he controls is one little county?”

Emperor Wen then reviewed Zhou Bo’s statements to the prison officials, and he apologized, saying, “According to the investigation, he should be released.” He sent an agent, bearing a Staff of Authority, to pardon Zhou Bo and restore his title and estate to him.

When Zhou Bo left the prison, he lamented, “To think that I once commanded an army of a million men! Now I know how much power a prison official wields!”

〈漢承秦制,郡有守,有尉;守掌治其郡,尉掌佐守典武職甲卒。行縣,循行屬縣也。〉〈師古曰︰置,立也。辭,對獄之辭。〉〈【章︰甲十五行本下「吏」字上重「獄」字;乙十一行本同;孔本同。】〉〈牘,木簡也,以書獄辭。李奇曰︰牘,吏所執簿。韋昭曰︰牘,版也。《索隱》曰︰簿,卽牘也;故《魏志》「秦宓以簿擊頰」,卽亦簡牘之類也。應劭曰︰冒絮,陌頟絮也。如淳曰︰太后恚怒,遭得左右物提之也。晉灼曰︰《巴蜀異物志》謂頭上巾爲冒絮。師古曰︰冒,覆也;老人所以覆其頭。提,擊之也。提,徒計翻;《索隱》音抵,擲也。〉

(The Han dynasty had continued the system of the Qin dynasty, in which each commandary had an Administrator and a Commandant. The Administrator governed the commandary, while the Commandant defended it and supervised military affairs.

The Administrator and the Commandant would have been going through patrols of the counties of their commandary.

This passage states that Zhou Bo did not know 置辭. Yan Shigu remarked, “置 means ‘establish, place’, while 辭 meant the proper response to the officials.”

Some versions repeat the word “prison” to clarify that it was the same prison official whom Zhou Bo bribed that allowed Zhou Bo to write on the back of his slip.

The thing which Zhou Bo wrote on the back of, a 牘, was a wooden register used to record the interrogations of the prison officials. Li Qi remarked, “A 牘 was the book that officials held.” Wei Zhao remarked, “A 牘 is a 簿 ‘register’.” The Suoyin commentary to the Records of the Grand Historian states, “A 簿 is a wooden tablet or slip. Thus the phrase seen in the Biography of Qin Mi in the Records of the Three Kingdoms, ‘Qin Mi struck him on the cheek with his 簿’. It was a kind of register slip.”

This passage more precisely states that Zhou Shengzhi was 尚 “esteemed” by the Princess. Wei Zhao remarked, “This was a sort of euphemism when one does not dare to use the phrase ‘married to’.”

The thing which Empress Dowager Bo struck Emperor Wen with was a 冒絮. Ying Shao remarked, “This was a piece of a roadside willow.” Ru Chun remarked, “The Empress Dowager was so enraged that she grabbed at whatever happened to be at hand to strike Emperor Wen.” Jin Zhuo remarked, “The Records of Unique Objects of the Ba and Shu Regions states that a scarf worn about the head is there called a 冒絮.” Yan Shigu remarked, “冒 means ‘cover’; old people would wear these things to cover their heads.”

To strike means to hit. The Suoyin commentary parses the Empress Dowager’s action as throwing the head covering at Emperor Wen.)


絳侯周勃有罪。逮繫詔獄。勃在國常恐懼。每郡守使丞尉行縣。勃常被甲持兵。人有告勃欲反。下廷尉。吏侵辱之。勃以千金與獄吏。吏乃止。勃以公主為證。公主孝文女。太子勝尚之。及薄昭為言薄太后。因請上曰。絳侯奉高帝璽。持兵於北軍。此時猶不反。今居一小縣乃反邪。上赦勃。復爵邑。就國。勃出曰。吾嘗將百萬眾於北軍。安知獄吏之貴哉。(Records of Former Han 7, Annals of Emperor Wen)

The Marquis of Jiang, Zhou Bo, was charged with a crime and was tied up and imprisoned.

Ever since going to his fief, Zhou Bo had become so afraid that whenever the Administrator sent the Commandant of his commandary to patrol through the local counties, Zhou Bo would often put on armor and grasp weapons.

Later, someone claimed that Zhou Bo was intending to rebel and should be handed over to the Minister of Justice. The prison officials did intrusive and shameful things to him. Then Zhou Bo paid a thousand gold to one of the prison officials, so they stopped.

Zhou Bo had the Princess testify on his behalf. This Princess was Emperor Wen’s daughter; she was married to Zhou Bo’s heir Zhou Sheng.

Bo Zhao also spoke to Empress Dowager Bo on Zhou Bo's behalf. So she asked Emperor Wen to spare him, saying, “Didn’t the Marquis of Jiang once hold Emperor Gao's (Liu Bang's) seal in his hands and command the soldiers of the Northern Army? Why would he have failed to rebel back then, and only do so now, when all he controls is one little county?”

Emperor Wen thus pardoned Zhou Bo and restored his title and estate to him.

When Zhou Bo left the prison, he lamented, “To think that I once commanded the Northern Army, an army of a million men! Now I know how much power a prison official wields!”


作顧成廟。

6. The Gucheng Temple was built.

〈服虔曰︰顧成廟,在長安城南;還顧見城,故名之。應劭曰︰帝自爲廟,制度卑狹,若顧望而成,猶文王靈臺不日成之,故曰顧成也。如淳曰︰身存而爲廟,若周之顧命也。景帝廟號德陽,武帝廟號龍淵,昭帝廟號徘徊,宣帝廟號樂遊,元帝廟號長壽,成帝廟號陽池。師古曰︰以還顧見城,於義無取;又,書本不作城郭字。應說近之。〉

(Regarding the etymology of the name of this temple, Fu Qian argued, “Gucheng Temple was south of the walls of Chang’an. It was called 顧成 Gucheng because if one 顧 ‘turns one’s head’ back, one can see the 城 ‘walls’ (a homophone for 成) of the city.” Ying Shao argued, “It was called Gucheng because, since Emperor Wen personally planned the construction of his temple, he wanted it to be built to a humble and small standard, so that it would be completed in the time that it takes to 顧成 ‘finish turning one’s head’. In this he was emulating the method by which King Wen of Zhou built his Ling Terrace, which was completed in less than a day.” Ru Chun argued, “Emperor Wen was building this temple while still alive, attending to his final affairs, just like the Zhou dynasty in their 顧命 ‘last will’. As for the names of the ancestral temples of the rest of the Former Han emperors, Emperor Jing’s temple was called Deyang, Emperor Wu’s was called Longyuan, Emperor Zhao’s was called Paihuai, Emperor Xuan’s was called Yueyou, Emperor Yuan’s was called Changshou, and Emperor Cheng’s was called Yangchi.” Yan Shigu argued, “The ‘looking back towards the city’ explanation abuses the meaning of the characters and makes no sense. Besides, the text does not mention that the temple was built in the suburbs of the city. Ying Shao’s reasoning is closest to the mark.”)


作顧成廟。(Records of Former Han 7, Annals of Emperor Wen)

The Gucheng Temple was built.
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BOOK 14

Unread postby Taishi Ci 2.0 » Wed Jan 22, 2020 4:58 am

五年(丙寅、前一七五)

The Fifth Year of Emperor Wen’s Reign (The Bingyin or Fire Tiger Year, 175 BC)


春,二月,地震。

1. In spring, the second month, the earth shook.

五年春二月地震。(Records of Former Han 7, Annals of Emperor Wen)

In the fifth year of Emperor Wen's reign (175 BC), in spring, the second month, the earth shook.


初,秦用半兩錢,高祖嫌其重,難用,更鑄莢錢。於是物價騰踊,米至石萬錢。夏,四月,更造四銖錢;除盜鑄錢令,使民得自鑄。

2. Originally, the realm had been using the banliang currency created by the Qin dynasty. Liu Bang had disliked this currency because of its relatively heavy weight and felt it was hard to use, so during his reign he had cast the “elm seed” currency to use instead. However, the price of goods had risen so rapidly that a bushel of rice eventually cost ten thousand of this cash.

In summer, the fourth month, Emperor Wen ordered the casting of a new “four zhu” currency to use. He also abolished the prohibition of counterfeiting, and allowed the common people to cast their own coins.

〈秦半兩錢,重如其文。〉〈如淳曰︰如榆莢也。杜佑曰︰莢錢,如榆莢,重一銖,半徑五分,文曰「漢興」,卽應劭所謂五分錢。〉〈應劭曰︰文帝以五分錢太輕小,更作四銖錢,文亦曰「半兩」,今民間半兩錢最輕小者是也。〉

(The banliang coins had weighed as much as their name implied.

Regarding the “elm seed” coins, Ru Chun remarked, “They were shaped like these seeds.” Du You remarked, “The ‘seed coins’ were shaped like elm seeds. They were one zhu in weight, and one half was split into five parts, with the inscription ‘Han Rises’. These were the coins which Ying Shao calls the ‘five-part coins’.”

Regarding the “four zhu” coins, Ying Shao remarked, “Emperor Wen felt that the five-part coins (which were one zhu in weight) were too light and small. So he cast these four zhu coins, although they were inscribed as being ‘banliang’ coins. These are the smallest banliang coins which are still in use among the people (in ~190 AD).”)


夏四月。除盜鑄錢令。更造四銖錢。(Records of Former Han 7, Annals of Emperor Wen)

In summer, the fourth month, Emperor Wen ordered the casting of a new “four zhu” currency to use. He also abolished the prohibition of counterfeiting.


賈誼諫曰︰「法使天下公得雇租鑄銅、錫爲錢,敢雜以鉛、鐵爲他巧者,其罪黥。然鑄錢之情,非殽雜爲巧,則不可得贏;而殽之甚微,爲利甚厚。夫事有召禍而法有起姦;今令細民人操造幣之勢,各隱屛而鑄作,因欲禁其厚利微姦,雖黥罪日報,其勢不止。乃者,民人抵罪多者一縣百數,及吏之所疑搒笞奔走者甚衆。夫縣法以誘民使入陷阱,孰多於此!又民用錢,郡縣不同︰或用輕錢,百加若干;或用重錢,平稱不受。法錢不立︰吏急而壹之乎?則大爲煩苛而力不能勝;縱而弗呵乎?則市肆異用,錢文大亂;苟非其術,何鄕而可哉!今農事棄捐而采銅者日蕃,釋其耒耨,冶鎔炊炭;姦錢日多,五穀不爲多。善人怵而爲姦邪,愿民陷而之刑戮;刑戮將甚不詳,柰何而忽!國知患此,吏議必曰『禁之』。禁之不得其術,其傷必大。令禁鑄錢,則錢必重;重則其利深,盜鑄如雲而起,棄市之罪又不足以禁矣。姦數不勝而法禁數潰,銅使之然也。銅布於天下,其爲禍博矣,故不如收之。」賈山亦上書諫,以爲︰「錢者,亡用器也,而可以易富貴。富貴者,人主之操柄也;令民爲之,是與人主共操柄,不可長也。」上不聽。

3. Jia Yi remonstrated against these new policies. He said, “It has been the law until now to employ copper and tin in casting currency, and that anyone who dared to intermix these materials with brass or iron for some ingenious purpose would be punished by having their face tattooed. For when it comes to minting currency, if coins are cast purely, there is no benefit to be gained by it, while if the slightest amount of other material debases the currency, great profits can be had. When the natural state of affairs thus already tempts the people to act immorally, how can we alter the law to further spur them on to such wickedness? We would be inducing even the most average of people to obtain tools for making currency and secretly set up their own private mints, and even if we wished to prevent them from thus indulging in an activity which promises great profits and only meager dangers, even if we marked people as criminals and imprisoned them every single day, that would not be enough to halt it. The people would sink into such widespread criminal activity that there would be hundreds of such counterfeiters in every county, and untold numbers of people would fall under the suspicion of the officials and be apprehended, beaten, and driven out. What worse example could there be of a situation when the law is so depraved and the people are so tempted that they all tumble right into a trap?

“Furthermore, if the people are allowed to mint currency, there will be no set standard of coins among all the commandaries and counties. Some will use light cash, yet a hundred such coins will be worth what one should be; others will use heavy cash, but though the value will be proper, people will not accept it. There will be no regulation of the currency, and despite the best efforts of the officials, how could they standardize it? The situation would pose a great deal of trouble, yet no amount of effort could resolve it. And could we simply stand by and do nothing to address it? Thus each market would use its own version of currency, and the money supply would suffer from great confusion. Shall we be so negligent of monetary policy that we would allow the situation to descend to such turmoil?

“Even now, every day more and more farmers are casting aside their agricultural duties and engaging in minting; they are throwing away their plows and hoes and tending to their smelting fires instead. Perverse currency swells by the day, while the supply of the Five Grains dwindles just as rapidly. Good people are tempted to evil, and honest people are driven to criminal acts. To permit such a situation to develop and only then condemn so many of these new criminals would be most unjust. Could we possibly remain ignorant of this fact?

“When the state recognizes this evil, there will surely be those officials whose solution is simply to say, ‘ban the private minting of currency’. But to simply ban the practice would be insufficient to address the problem, and great harm would still ensue. If private minting is banned, that would simply mean that the currency that does exist would be heavy, and heavy currency would ensure great profits for those still willing to counterfeit. Such counterfeiters would gather like clouds, and even public executions of such criminals would not be enough to put a stop to the practice. The source of the perversion of the people and the powerlessness of the laws is the possession of copper itself. And since copper is widespread across the realm, the problem likewise threatens all places. Thus the best thing to do would be public confiscation of all copper.”

Jia Shan also submitted a letter of remonstration, stating, "Currency is useless in itself. But by possessing it, one can easily become wealthy and exalted. Wealth and status are levers of power which the ruler of the people ought to wield, so to allow people to obtain these things for themselves means that they would have the same access to such levers as the ruler. This would not be sustainable."

But Emperor Wen did not listen to their objections.

〈師古曰︰雇租,謂雇傭之直,或租其本。〉〈師古曰︰殽,謂亂雜也;不得贏,謂無餘利也;言不雜鉛、鐵則無利也。〉〈師古曰︰微,謂精妙也;言殽雜鉛、鐵,其術精妙,不可覺知,而得利甚厚,故令人輕犯姦而不可止也。余謂微,細也;言姦民殽雜鉛、鐵,其所費甚微,而得利甚厚也。〉〈師古曰︰操,持也;人人皆得鑄錢也。〉〈屛,蔽也;言各自隱蔽而鑄錢也。〉〈蘇林曰︰報,論。余據《張湯傳》有訊、鞫、論、報,《嚴延年傳》有報囚,師古《註》皆以爲論奏獲報。原父《註》則謂報者爲斷決囚,若今有司書囚罪,長吏判準斷,是也。〉〈縣,讀曰懸。師古曰︰懸,謂開立之。〉〈師古曰︰阱,穿地以陷獸也。〉〈應劭曰︰時錢重四銖;法錢百文,賞重一斤十六銖;輕則以錢足之若干枚令滿平也。師古曰︰若干,且設數之言也。干,猶箇也,謂當如此箇數也。而胡廣云︰若,順也;干,求也;當順所求而與之矣。〉〈應劭曰︰用重錢則平稱有餘,不能受也。臣瓚曰︰秦錢重半兩,漢初鑄莢錢,文帝更鑄四銖錢。秦錢與莢錢皆當廢,而故與四銖並行。民以其見廢,故用輕錢則百加若干;用重錢則雖一當一猶復不受;是以郡縣不同也。師古曰︰應說是也。〉〈師古曰︰依法之錢也。〉〈鄕,讀曰嚮。〉〈言民棄其農而冶銅炊炭,故五穀不爲多。〉〈怵,誘也;言動心於爲姦邪也。愿,謹也。師古曰︰詳,平也。忽,忽忘也。〉〈師古曰︰令,謂法令也。〉

(Yan Shigu remarked, “The government ‘employed’ copper and tin in that it collected these to use as the foundation of currency.”

Regarding the term 殽 “debase”, Yan Shigu remarked, “This means to intermix with other elements.”

Yan Shigu remarked, “Jia Yi was saying that casting coins where the value of the coin was exactly the same as the value of the materials used to cast it would result in no profit, while debasing the coin with other elements such that the value of the coin surpassed that of the materials would bring a profit.”

Jia Yi describes debasing currency with 微. Yan Shigu remarked, “This term means ‘exquisite’; in other words, Jia Yi was saying that if the currency was debased with brass or iron, these materials would be so miniscule that people would not realize it, thus allowing the counterfeiters to reap great profit from the production of such coins, and there would be no way to halt people from rushing to engage in such wicked practices.” I (Hu Sanxing) say that 微 means “slight, meager”; in other words, wicked people would be able to use a meager amount of such resources to gain great profits from the process.

Regarding the term 操, Yan Shigu remarked, “This means ‘grasp, hold’; that is, everyone would take up the practice of casting currency.”

The term 屛 means “shielded, sheltered”. Jia Yi meant that people would hide their counterfeiting activities.

Jia Yi mentions the possibility of daily 報s of criminals. Su Lin remarked, “報 means ‘to discuss’.” I (Hu Sanxing) note that when in the Biography of Zhang Tang there is the phrase “question, interrogate, discuss, and 報 ‘report’” and when in the Biography of Yan Yannian there is the phrase “報 ‘report’ and imprison”, in both cases Yan Shigu’s annotations to those passages state that 報 in these instances means to discuss, render a verdict, arrest, and report the action. Yuan Fu’s annotations state that 報 means to decide to imprison someone, the same as when in our time the officials deliver a letter of imprisonment for a crime or the local officials pass a sentence.

縣 should be read as 懸 “fall, topple”. Yan Shigu remarked, “懸 means to open and establish.”

Yan Shigu remarked, “’Trap’ in this passage refers to a pit dug in the ground to catch animals.”

Jia Yi states that if light cash is used, 百加若干. Ying Shao remarked, “At this time, the official currency was the ‘four zhu’ coin. According to law, one zhu would be a hundred wen, and one catty was sixteen zhu. Thus there would need to be a 若干 ‘great deal’ of such light currency in order to equal the standard.” Yan Shigu remarked, “若干 means ‘a certain amount of something’. 干 is a measurement word, to say something like ‘there is this many 干 of a thing’. (Thus 百加若干 would be something like 'a hundred of them would be like a single unit'.)” But Hu Guang remarked, “若 means ‘to submit’, and 干 means ‘to ask’; thus 若干 means to submit to what is asked to receive it.”

Jia Yi says of the heavy cash that 平稱不受. Ying Shao argued, "He meant that if heavy cash were used, the balance would be more than was claimed, and people would not accept it." Chen Zan argued, "The Qin dynasty had used heavy cash in the form of the banliang coins, while at the beginning of the Han dynasty light cash in the form of the elm seed coins appeared. Emperor Wen then had the 'four zhu' coins cast for use. The Qin coins and the elm seed coins were thus meant to be abolished for use as currency, and everyone was supposed to use the four zhu coins. So if people saw someone trying to use one of these abolished coins, the light cash would only be accepted at rates like a hundred to one, and although the heavy cash would ostensibly be worth the same amount as its name (banliang or 'half a liang'), people would not accept it as such. Thus there would not be a uniform policy in every commandary and county." Yan Shigu remarked, "Ying Shao is correct."

Yan Shigu remarked, "Regulation of the currency meant enforcement of the laws with regards to currency."

鄕 should be read as 嚮 "face towards".

Jia Yi was saying that since the common people would abandon farming to engage in counterfeiting, there would consequently be a lack of grain due to the reduction in farmwork.

To be tempted is to be enticed; that is, the hearts of the people would be tempted to do mischief or evil. "Honest" in this sense means cautious. Yan Shigu remarked, "詳 in this passage means 'just, fair'. And 忽 means 'neglect, overlook'."

Yan Shigu remarked, "令 in this passage means a law ordinance.")


賈誼諫曰。法使民得顧租鑄錢。錢敢雜以鉛鐵他巧者。其罪黥。然鑄錢之情。非偽雜巧則不得贏。辨利巧之甚微。其利甚厚。夫事有招禍。法有起姦。今令細民操造幣之勢。各隱屏而鑄作。因欲禁其厚利。絕其微姦。雖黥罪日報。其勢不止。農事棄捐。採銅日多。姦不可絕已。潁川人賈山上書諫曰。夫錢者無用之器。而可用易富貴。富貴者人主之操柄。令為之。是與人主共操柄。不可長也。上不聽。(Records of Former Han 7, Annals of Emperor Wen)

Jia Yi remonstrated against these new policies. He said, “It has been the law until now to employ copper and tin in casting currency, and that anyone who dared to intermix these materials with brass or iron for some ingenious purpose would be punished by having their face tattooed. For when it comes to minting currency, if coins are cast purely, there is no benefit to be gained by it, while by means of the slightest ingenuity, great profits can be had. When the natural state of affairs thus already tempts the people to act immorally, how can we alter the law to further spur them on to such wickedness? We would be inducing even the most average of people to obtain tools for making currency and secretly set up their own private mints, and even if we wished to prevent them from thus indulging in an activity which promises great profits and only meager dangers, even if we marked people as criminals and imprisoned them every single day, that would not be enough to halt it. Agricultural affairs would be cast aside, while counterfeiters would increase by the day. The evil would be beyond stopping."

A native of Yingchuan commandary, Jia Shan, also submitted a letter of remonstration, stating, "Currency is useless in itself. But by possessing it, one can easily become wealthy and exalted. Wealth and status are levers of power which the ruler of the people ought to wield, so to allow people to obtain these things for themselves means that they would have the same access to such levers as the ruler. This would not be sustainable."

But Emperor Wen did not listen to their objections.


是時,太中大夫鄧通方寵幸,上欲其富,賜之蜀嚴道銅山,使鑄錢。吳王濞有豫章銅山,招致天下亡命者以鑄錢;東煑海水爲鹽;以故無賦而國用饒足。於是吳、鄧錢布天下。

4. By this time, there was a certain Grand Household Counselor whom Emperor Wen favored, Deng Tong. Emperor Wen wanted to enrich Deng Tong, so he granted him a copper mine at Yandao in Shu commandary and encouraged him to mint currency.

The Prince of Wu, Liu Bi, also possessed a copper mine at Yuzhang commandary. He attracted fugitives from across the realm to come to his domain in order to mint currency, and he boiled water from the eastern sea to produce salt. Thus he became considerably wealthy without having to impose any direct taxes on his domain.

Because of these things, the currency minted by Deng Tong and by Liu Bi spread across the realm.

〈班《志》,嚴道屬蜀郡。《括地志》︰雅州榮經縣北三里有銅山,卽鄧通得賜銅山鑄錢者也。唐榮經,卽漢嚴道也。〉〈豫章,秦鄣郡地,高帝分置豫章郡。〉〈史言吳以強富致叛。〉

(According to the Book of Han, Yandao county was part of Shu commandary. The Comprehensive Gazetteer states, "There is a copper mountain three li north of Xingjing county in Yazhou; this was the same copper mountain which Deng Tong was granted in order to mint currency." Tang's Xingjing county was the same place as Han's Yandao.

Yuzhang commandary had been part of the Zhang commandary formed by the Qin dynasty. Liu Bang had split off part of Zhang to form Yuzhang.

This passage explains why Liu Bi eventually became wealthy and powerful enough to rebel.)


是時吳王即山鑄錢。而幸臣鄧通亦賜銅山。得自鑄錢。吳王鄧通錢甚盛矣。通。蜀人也。上嘗夢欲上天而不能。有一黃頭郎推之。顧見其衣後穿。覺而求之漸臺。見郎中鄧通衣後穿。如夢中所見。遂寵幸之。通亦謹身媚上而已。不得預政事。有善相者。相通云當貧餓死。故賜通銅山。得自鑄錢。(Records of Former Han 7, Annals of Emperor Wen)

At this time, the Prince of Wu, Liu Bi, mined the mountains of his domain and cast coins from the copper. Emperor Wen also granted a copper mine to his favored minister, Deng Tong, so that he too could cast coins. Because of these things, the currency minted by Deng Tong and by Liu Bi spread across the realm.

This Deng Tong was a native of the Shu region. Emperor Wen had once had a dream in which he was stretching towards the heavens, but could not reach them, when suddenly a yellow-headed gentleman lifted him up. Emperor Wen turned his head back and saw that the back of the man's robe was torn. After Emperor Wen woke up, he began looking for the man from his dream among the officials. When he saw Deng Tong among the Household Gentlemen, he noticed that the back of Deng Tong's robe was torn, just like the man in his dream. Emperor Wen thus favored Deng Tong, who for his part restricted himself to personally flattering and humoring Emperor Wen without getting involved in state affairs. They were both fond of each other, and Emperor Wen said that he did not wish to have Deng Tong die as a poor and hungry man. This was why he granted Deng Tong the copper mine so that Deng Tong could mint his own coins.


初,帝分代爲二國;立皇子武爲代王,參爲太原王。是歲,徙代王武爲淮陽王;以太原王參爲代王,盡得故地。

5. Originally, Emperor Wen had split the princely fief of Dai into two halves, appointing his son Liu Wu as Prince of Dai and his son Liu Can as Prince of Taiyuan. But during this year, he shifted Liu Wu to be Prince of Huaiyang instead, and he appointed Liu Can as Prince of Dai and granted him all of the original domain of Dai.

〈事見上卷二年。〉〈故代國之地。〉

(Emperor Wen had made these original appointments in Book 13, in the second year of his reign (-178.10).

Emperor Wen granted Liu Can all of the territory which had originally been the domain of the Prince of Dai.)


徙代王武為懷陽王。徙太原王參為代王。(Records of Former Han 7, Annals of Emperor Wen)

Emperor Wen shifted the Prince of Dai, Liu Wu, to be Prince of Huaiyang instead, and he shifted the Prince of Taiyuan, Liu Can, to be the new Prince of Dai.
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BOOK 14

Unread postby Taishi Ci 2.0 » Wed Jan 22, 2020 5:07 am

六年(丁卯、前一七四)

The Sixth Year of Emperor Wen's Reign (The Dingmao or Fire Rabbit Year, 174 BC)


冬,十月,桃、李華。

1. In winter, the tenth month (of 175 BC), the peach and plum trees blossomed.

〈華,讀如花。〉

(華 should be read as "blossomed".)


六年冬十月桃李花。(Records of Former Han 7, Annals of Emperor Wen)

In the sixth year of Emperor Wen's reign (174 BC), in winter, the tenth month (of 175 BC), the peach and plum trees blossomed.


淮南厲王長自作法令行於其國,逐漢所置吏,請自置相、二千石;帝曲意從之。又擅刑殺不辜及爵人至關內侯;數上書不遜順。帝重自切責之,乃令薄昭與書風諭之,引管、蔡及代頃王、濟北王興居以爲儆戒。

2. It was earlier mentioned that Liu Chang had been presumptuous in his conduct within his domain as Prince of Huainan. Over time, he became more and more so. He began to drive out the local officials whom the Han court had appointed and replaced them with his own choices as Chancellors and Two Thousand Bushel salary rank officials, yet Emperor Wen appeased him and permitted him to do so. Liu Chang also claimed for himself the authority to inflict death sentences and to grant noble titles, as high as the rank of Marquis Within The Passes. There were even several instances where he ignored the express commands of the court.

Yet despite all this, Emperor Wen found it too difficult to personally reproach Liu Chang. So he ordered his uncle Bo Zhao to write a letter to Liu Chang, admonishing and instructing him. The letter even drew upon past examples of the fates of other nobles as warning to Liu Chang, such as the Lords of Guan and Cai from the Zhou dynasty and Prince Qing ("the Timid") of Dai (Liu Zhong) and the Prince of Jibei, Liu Xingju, from more recent times.

〈王國自相至內史、中尉皆吏二千石,漢爲置之,餘得自置。今長驕橫,逐漢所置吏而請自置之。〉〈關內侯,爵第十九。爵自上出,非侯王所擅。〉〈師古曰︰重,難也。〉〈周公誅管叔、蔡叔。代頃王,高祖兄仲也。《諡法》︰甄心動懼曰頃;敏以敬愼曰頃。廢爲侯事見十一卷高祖七年。興居事見上三年。風,讀曰諷。〉

(Within the princely fiefs, the officials from the Chancellors down to the Interior Ministers and the Central Commandants were all of Two Thousand Bushel salary rank. The Han court directly appointed these officials, while all others were left to the various Princes to appoint for themselves. But Liu Chang now drove out the court appointees and asked to be able to directly appoint even these chief officials as well.

Marquis Within The Passes was the nineteenth rank of nobility. But the court was the exclusive source of noble appointments; marquises and princes were not empowered to make such appointments.

This passage states that Emperor Wen felt it was 重 to personally criticize Liu Chang. Yan Shigu remarked, "This means he felt it was difficult."

風 should be read as 諷 "to persuade by example".

During the Zhou dynasty, the Duke of Zhou had been compelled to execute his brothers the Lords of Guan and Cai.

Prince Qing of Dai was Liu Bang's elder brother Liu Zhong. The Laws of Posthumous Names states, "One of careful heart who is moved by fear may be called Qing; one who is nimble, respectful, and fearful may be called Qing." Liu Zhong had initially been appointed as Prince of Dai, but after he abandoned his domain during an attack by the Xiongnu, Liu Bang demoted him to being a marquis instead. This is mentioned in Book 11, in the seventh year of Liu Bang's reign (-200.9, which lists this brother as Liu Xi).

Emperor Wen's nephew Liu Xingju had launched an unsuccessful rebellion against him. This is mentioned above, in the third year of Emperor Wen's reign (-177.9).)


初長居國驕恣。不用漢法。出稱警。入稱蹕。自作法令。上令將軍薄昭與長書。責之曰。大王以千里為宅居。以萬人為臣妾。此高皇帝之厚德。今大王所行危亡之道。高皇帝之神靈。必不廟食於大王之手矣。昔周公誅管蔡以寧周室。高帝廢代王以便事。濟北舉兵。皇帝誅之以安漢。故周行之於前。漢用之於後。今大王欲以親戚之意。故望於上。大王終不可得也。宜急改行上書謝罪。(Records of Former Han 7, Annals of Emperor Wen)

Over time, the Prince of Huainan, Liu Chang, had become more and more presumptuous and arrogant in his fief. He did not follow the laws of the Han court, he ordered the people to make way for him when he went in or out and thus claimed a sole prerogative of the Emperor, and he enforced his own laws and ordinances.

Emperor Wen ordered the general Bo Zhao to write a letter to Liu Chang criticizing him for his behavior. Bo Zhao wrote, "Great Prince, you have been granted a region of a thousand li to serve as your estate and countless people to serve as your subjects. These things are thanks to the generosity and virtue of Emperor Gao (Liu Bang). Yet you are currently following the road to disaster. Emperor Gao's spirit will surely not accept any sacrificial offering by your hand.

"In ancient times, the Duke of Zhou was compelled to execute his brothers, the Lords of Guan and Cai, in order to restore order to the royal house of Zhou. Emperor Gao likewise deposed his brother the Prince of Dai as a result of his failures. And even in our own era, when the Prince of Jibei rose in rebellion, the Emperor had to execute him in order to bring peace back to the Han dynasty. You have before you the examples of the Zhou dynasty in earlier times and the Han dynasty in recent times. Thus you cannot presume that, thanks to your close kinship to our sovereign, His Majesty will appease you. Such tolerance cannot last forever.

"Great Prince, I implore you to reform your behavior at once and to send up a letter asking forgiveness for your crimes."


王不說,令大夫但、士伍開章等七十人與棘蒲侯柴武太子奇謀以輦車四十乘反谷口;令人使閩越、匈奴。事覺,有司治之;使使召淮南王。王至長安,丞相張蒼、典客馮敬行御史大夫事,與宗正、廷尉奏︰「長罪當棄市。」制曰︰「其赦長死罪,廢,勿王;徙處蜀郡嚴道邛郵。」盡誅所與謀者。載長以輜車,令縣以次傳之。

3. Liu Chang was not pleased by this criticism. He organized a plot with seventeen people, including one of his Counselors, Dan, and one of his officers, Kai Zhang. They planned to work together with Chai Wu's heir Chai Qi to gather forty carts of military equipment at Gukou to launch a rebellion there, and Liu Chang also sent agents to open communications with the Xiongnu and with the people of the Minyue region.

However, the plot was discovered, and when the officials conducted interrogations, they discovered Liu Chang's involvement. Liu Chang was thus summoned to the capital. When he arrived at Chang'an, the Prime Minister, Zhang Cang, and the Director of Guests, Feng Jing, who was acting as the provisional Imperial Secretary, joined with the Director of the Imperial Clan and the Minister of Justice to submit a petition stating, "Liu Chang's crime deserves a public execution in the marketplace."

Emperor Wen issued a response stating, "I shall spare Liu Chang from execution. But he will be stripped of his title and no longer be a prince. He is hereby exiled to Qiongyou in Yandao county in Shu commandary."

The other plotters were all executed. Liu Chang was sealed in a covered carriage, and the officials of the counties he was going to pass through were ordered to take care of him during his journey.

〈說,讀曰悅。〉〈開,姓也。《姓譜》︰衞公子開方之後。〉〈師古曰︰輦車,古人輓行以載兵器也。谷口在長安北,處多險阻。班《志》,谷口縣屬左馮翊。《括地志》︰谷口故城,在雍州醴泉縣東北四十里。〉〈邛郵,置名。師古曰︰郵,行書之舍。余據班《志》,嚴道有邛來山,邛水所出,蓋於其地置郵驛也。杜佑曰︰邛州臨邛縣南有邛來山,在雅州百丈縣。嚴道,今雅州。宋白曰︰秦滅楚,徙嚴王之族以實此地,故曰嚴道。〉

(說 should be read as 悅 "pleased, happy".

開 Kai is a surname. The Registry of Surnames states, "Those with this surname are the descendants of Prince Kaifang of the state of Wey."

This passage states that the plotters were going to use 輦車s. Yan Shigu remarked, "These were pull-carts which the ancients used to transport military equipment."

Gukou was north of Chang'an; it was a place of very rugged and narrow terrain. According to the Book of Han, Gukou county was part of Zuofengyi commandary. The Comprehensive Gazetteer states, "The capital city of Gukou was forty li northeast of Liquan county in Yongzhou."

Qiongyou was the name of a place. Yan Shigu remarked, "郵 You means a lodging house for couriers." I (Hu Sanxing) note that according to the Book of Han, there was a Mount Qionglai in Yandao county, which was the source of the Qiong River. It must have been the case that a lodging house had been built there, thus the name Qiongyou. Du You remarked, "There is a Mount Qionglai in the south of Linqiong county in Qiongzhou, in Baizhang county in Yazhou. Yandao was the modern Yazhou." Song Bai remarked, "After the state of Qin conquered the state of Chu, they relocated the clan of King Yan of Chu to this place to populate it, thus it was named Yandao.")


十一月。淮南王長謀反發覺。徙蜀郡... 王得書不悅。復令人使閩越匈奴。與棘蒲侯太子柴奇謀反。群臣廷尉雜奏表請論如法制。詔曰。朕不忍致法。其赦長死罪。廢王。有司請徙長蜀郡邛都。於是盡誅所與謀者。載長以輜車。令縣次傳送。給肉日五斤。酒五升。令美人才人得幸者十人從之。(Records of Former Han 7, Annals of Emperor Wen)

Liu Chang was not pleased by this letter. He sent agents to open communications with the Xiongnu and with the people of the Minyue region, and he organized a plot with Chai Wu's heir Chai Qi.

In the eleventh month (of 175 BC), Liu Chang's plot to rebel was discovered. The Minister of Justice and other ministers all sent up petitions asking that Liu Chang be dealt with according to the laws.

Emperor Wen issued a response stating, "I cannot bear to resort to the judgment of the laws, and I shall spare Liu Chang from execution. But he will be stripped of his title and no longer be a prince."

The officials then asked for Liu Chang to be exiled to Qiongdu in Shu commandary. The other plotters were all executed.

Liu Chang was sealed in a covered carriage, and the officials of the counties he was going to pass through were ordered to provide him each day with five 斤 of meat and five 升 of wine. Emperor Wen also ordered ten beauties and entertainers whom Liu Chang favored to accompany him.


袁盎諫曰︰「上素驕淮南王,弗爲置嚴傅、相,以故致此。淮南王爲人剛,今暴摧折之,臣恐卒逢霧露病死,陛下有殺弟之名,柰何?」上曰︰「吾特苦之耳,今復之。」

4. Yuan Ang remonstrated with Emperor Wen. He said, "You have always been indulgent with the Prince of Huainan, nor have you appointed strict tutors or ministers to guide him to the right path. That is what brought about (or, brought things to) this situation. And I note that the Prince has an unyielding nature. I am afraid that, having met with such a sudden fall from grace, the Prince may suddenly fall ill on the road and pass away. Then Your Majesty would be tarnished with the reputation of someone who killed his younger brother. How could you allow that?"

Emperor Wen replied, "To hear of such a bitter outcome is more than I can bear. I shall recall him at once."

〈【章︰甲十五行本「致」作「至」;乙十一行本同;孔本同。】〉〈卒,讀曰猝,終也。〉〈師古曰︰暫困苦之,令其自悔,卽追還也。〉

(Some versions write 至 "brought things to" rather than 致 "brought about".

The term 卒 here means "suddenly" or "will result in".

Yan Shigu remarked, "The pain of hearing of such a bitter prospect caused Emperor Wen to regret his decision, thus he recalled Liu Chang.")


淮南王之徙也。中郎將楚人袁盎諫曰。淮南王為人剛彊。行道有不遂。陛下有殺弟之名。奈何。上曰。吾將苦之耳。(Records of Former Han 7, Annals of Emperor Wen)

After Liu Chang had been exiled, the General of the Household Gentlemen, Yuan Ang, remonstrated with Emperor Wen. He said, "The Prince has an unyielding nature. If anything should happen to him on his journey, then Your Majesty would be tarnished with the reputation of someone who killed his younger brother. How could you allow that?"

Emperor Wen replied, "To hear of such a bitter outcome is more than I can bear."


淮南王果憤恚不食死。縣傳至雍,雍令發封,以死聞。上哭甚悲,謂袁盎曰︰「吾不聽公言,卒亡淮南王!今爲柰何?」盎曰︰「獨斬丞相、御史以謝天下乃可。」上卽令丞相、御史逮考諸縣傳送淮南王不發封餽侍者,皆棄市;以列侯葬淮南王於雍,置守冢三十戶。

5. Liu Chang indeed became so angry and indignant during his journey that he refused to eat and starved to death. But none of the officials of the counties that his carriage passed through dared to look inside his carriage, until at last when he came to Yong county, the officials there checked on him and discovered his death.

Emperor Wen greatly wept and mourned Liu Chang's death. He said to Yuan Ang, "I didn't listen to your words, and now the Prince of Huainan is no more! What am I to do?"

Yuan Ang advised him, "You might have the Prime Minister and the Imperial Secretary beheaded as an apology to the realm."

Emperor Wen decided to order Zhang Cang and Feng Jing to arrest and interrogate the county officials who had not looked inside Liu Chang's carriage, as well as those attendants who were supposed to have ensured that Liu Chang was fed. All of them were publicly executed in the marketplace. Emperor Wen also had Liu Chang buried at Yong, with the rites fit for a minor marquis, and he assigned thirty households to maintain Liu Chang's grave there.

〈班《志》,雍縣屬抹風。〉〈輜車有封,前此所經縣傳莫敢發;至雍,令乃發之。〉

(According to the Book of Han, Yong county was part of Fufeng commandary.

There was a seal on Liu Chang's covered carriage, and until it reached Yong, none of the county officials had dared to peer within.)


長在道怨。不肯食而死。乃以民禮葬于雍。置守墓三十家。而誅諸縣送傳不謹者... 令還之。及長死。上悲號甚恨。盎曰。陛下有高世之名三。此不足毀名。陛下在代時。太后嘗病三年。陛下目不交睫。睡不解衣冠。湯藥非陛下口所嘗不進。夫曾參以布衣猶難之。陛下親以王者行之。孝過曾參遠矣。諸呂用事。大臣專制。陛下從代來。乘六乘之傳。馳不測之淵。雖賁育之勇不及陛下。陛下至代邸。西向讓天下者三。南向讓者再。夫許由一讓而名立。陛下五讓。過於許由四矣。陛下遷淮南王。欲使改過。有司宿衛不慎。故病死。上意乃解。(Records of Former Han 7, Annals of Emperor Wen)

Liu Chang became so angry while on the road that he refused to eat and died of starvation. He was buried at Yong, with the rites fit for a commoner, and Emperor Wen assigned thirty families to guard and maintain his grave.

After receiving Yuan Ang's warning, Emperor Wen had immediately ordered Liu Chang to be brought back. But by the time his orders caught up with Liu Chang's party, Liu Chang was already dead. Emperor Wen thus bitterly resented his decision, and he mourned woefully.

Yuan Ang consoled him, saying, "Do not lose heart, Your Majesty. You have already performed three virtuous deeds which so surpass the age that this shall not be enough to tarnish your reputation.

"When Your Majesty was at your former fief as Prince of Dai, and your mother the Empress Dowager was sick for three years, you were her constant companion. You never took your eyes off of her, you never gave her soup or medicine without tasting it first, and even when you fell asleep you never removed your cap and robe. Even such an exemplar as Zeng Can of old would have been hard-pressed to match your conduct, for Your Majesty acted with princely conduct, and you far surpassed Zeng Can in filial piety.

"When the Lü clan was purged and the chief ministers assumed control of affairs, Your Majesty hitched your carriage of six horses and came at once from Dai to the capital, rushing ahead heedless of the unfathomable peril which may have awaited you. Even fellows as bold as old Meng Ben or Xia Yu could not have equaled Your Majesty for the courage you then displayed.

"After Your Majesty arrived in the capital and you were meeting with the chief ministers in your residence as Prince of Dai, three times you declined the throne while facing west, and twice more while facing south. The ancient Xu You gained a reputation for the ages simply for declining a throne a single time, yet Your Majesty did so five times. Thus you have surpassed him four times over.

"The reason that Your Majesty exiled the Prince of Huainan was because you wanted him to reform his mistakes. His demise of illness was the fault of the officials whom you assigned to guard and protect him, for they were remiss in their duties."

Emperor Wen was thus relieved from his grief.


匈奴單于遺漢書曰︰「前時,皇帝言和親事,稱書意,合歡。漢邊吏侵侮右賢王;右賢王不請,聽後義盧侯難支等計,與漢吏相距。絕二主之約,離兄弟之親,故罰右賢王,使之西求月氏擊之。以天之福,吏卒良,馬力強,以夷滅月氏,盡斬殺、降下,定之;樓蘭、烏孫、呼揭及其旁二十六國,皆已爲匈奴,諸引弓之民幷爲一家,北州以定。願寢兵,休士卒,養馬,除前事,復故約,以安邊民。皇帝卽不欲匈奴近塞,則且詔吏民遠舍。」帝報書曰︰「單于欲除前事,復故約,朕甚嘉之!此古聖王之志也。漢與匈奴約爲兄弟,所以遺單于甚厚;倍約、離兄弟之親者,常在匈奴。然右賢王事已在赦前,單于勿深誅!單于若稱書意,明告諸吏,使無負約,有信,敬如單于書。」

6. The Chanyu of the Xiongnu, Modu, wrote a letter to the Han court: "Originally, the Emperor spoke to us of peace and kinship, and the ideas expressed in his letters were most agreeable to us. Now it so happened that some of the Han border officials violated and injured the domain of our Worthy Prince of the Right. The Prince, instead of asking permission from me as to how he might react to these provocations, instead heeded the advice of the Marquis of Houyilu, Nanzhi, and others by engaging in mutual hostility with the Han officials. By doing so, he violated the agreement between the Han Emperor and myself, and he acted contrary to proper conduct between brother and brother. For that reason, I punished the Prince by sending him west to seek out the Yuezhi people and attack them.

"Thanks to the blessings of Heaven, the excellence of our officials and soldiers, and the energy and strength of our horses, we slaughtered the Yuezhi, and those whom we did not kill or behead all submitted to us. Thus have we conquered them. And we had already done the same to the Loulan, Wusun, and Hujie peoples and the twenty-six states neighboring them, so that by now all the people of the bow have become one family and the northern regions are all settled. It is now my wish to turn aside from warfare, rest my soldiers and officers, tend to my horses, and put aside our past disputes, in order to bring peace to the people of the border regions. And if the Emperor is unwilling to have the Xiongnu located so close to the border passes of his realm, then I am prepared to order my officials and my people to relocate further away."

Emperor Wen wrote a response to Modu stating, "I greatly commend the Chanyu for his willingness to put aside our past quarrels and restore our ties of friendship! This is the sort of thing which the sage kings of old would aspire to. I do note that when Han and the Xiongnu swore to be as brothers, we sent generous gifts to the Chanyu, while those who have 'violated the agreement and acted contrary to proper conduct between brother and brother' have often been on the Xiongnu side. Still, I have already forgiven the past transgressions of your Worthy Prince of the Right; may the Chanyu have no further concern of how to punish him! But if you truly hold the sentiments expressed in your letter, then I ask you to clearly instruct your officials not to violate our agreement, but to keep faith and to respect what you have written to me."

〈師古曰︰稱,副也;言與所遺書意相副,而共結歡親。〉〈《索隱》曰︰難支,匈奴將名也。〉〈樓蘭國,在西域之東垂,後曰鄯善。自武帝開河西之後,地最近漢,當白龍堆之道。烏孫國,治赤谷城。師古曰︰烏孫於西域諸戎,其形最異,今之胡人,青眼,赤須,狀類獼猴,是其種也。《史記正義》︰呼揭國,在瓜州西北。余據班《史》,匈奴北服丁零、呼揭之國。宣帝時,匈奴乖亂,其西方呼揭王自立爲呼揭單于。《西域傳》,呼揭不在三十六國之數,而烏孫國東與匈奴接,則呼揭蓋在烏孫之東、匈奴西北也。師古曰︰揭,丘例翻;《索隱》其列翻;《正義》音犂。〉〈《釋名》曰︰弓,穹也;張之穹穹然也。〉

(Yan Shigu remarked, "稱 here means 'assist'; Modu was saying that the sentiments expressed in Emperor Wen's letters were pleasing to both sides and were welcomed and encouraged by both."

The Suoyin commentary to the Records of the Grand Historian states, "難支 Nanzhi was the name of a Xiongnu general."

The state of Loulan was on the eastern border of the Western Reaches (the city-states of the Tarim Basin); it was later called Shanshan. After Emperor Wu expanded the Han dynasty into the Hexi region, Loulan was very close to Han territory, on the road for Bailong Mound.

The state of the Wusun people was ruled from the city of Chigu. Yan Shigu remarked, "The Wusun were a people of the Western Reaches. They had a very distinctive look, and even today, people among the barbarians who have green eyes, red hair, and features like macaque monkeys are from Wusun stock."

Regarding the Hujie people, the Zhengyi commentary to the Records of the Grand Historian states, "Their state was northwest of Guazhou." I (Hu Sanxing) note that according to the Book of Han, the peoples whom the Xiongnu subdued to their north were the Dingling and the Hujie. And during the reign of Emperor Xuan, when the Xiongnu were taking advantage of chaos in the realm, the King of the Hujie to their west declared himself the Chanyu of the Hujie. The Account of the Western Reaches does not list the Hujie as being one of the thirty-six states of that region, but simply declares that the Wusun bordered the Xiongnu to their east. So the Hujie must have been east of the Wusun and northwest of the Xiongnu. As for the second character of the word Hujie, 揭, Yan Shigu pronounces it as "qi (q-i)", the Suoyin commentary pronounces it as "qie (q-ie)", and the Zhengyi commentary pronounces it as "li".

Regarding Modu's expression "the people of the 弓 'bow'", the Shiming dictionary provides a definition of 弓 as "vault", as in a broad vault of expanse (like the sky).)


後頃之,冒頓死,子稽粥立,號曰老上單于。老上單于初立,帝復遣宗室女翁主爲單于閼氏,使宦者燕人中行說傅翁主。說不欲行,漢強使之。說曰︰「必我也,爲漢患者!」中行說旣至,因降單于,單于甚親幸之。

7. Shortly after this, Modu passed away.

Modu's son Jizhou succeeded him, and he was called the Laoshang Chanyu.

Since the Laoshang Chanyu had just succeeded Modu, Emperor Wen decided to send another woman of the imperial clan to become his Yanshi. He also ordered a eunuch, Zhonghang Yue of the Yan region, to escort the woman to the Xiongnu. Zhonghang Yue protested, not wishing to go, but the court compelled him. Zhonghang Yue declared, "Since it must be me, I shall bring misfortune to Han!"

After he arrived in the Xiongnu domain, Zhonghang Yue submitted to the Laoshang Chanyu and became his subject. The Laoshang Chanyu greatly favored him and kept him close at hand.

〈稽,音雞。粥,音育。〉〈中行,姓;說,名。中行本出荀氏,晉荀林父將中行,因以爲氏。〉〈言爲漢患者必我也。史倒其文,因當時語。〉

(The second character of Jizhou's name, 粥, is pronounced "yu".

中行 Zhonghang was this man's surname; 說 Yue was his given name. The surname Zhonghang came from the Xun clan; Xun Linfu of the state of Jin had led the 中行 "central column" of an attack during a certain campaign, and this became the name of his clan.

Zhonghang Yue was more straightforwardly saying, "I shall be the one who brings misfortune to Han!" The histories have reversed his expression, according to the speech of the time.)


初,匈奴好漢繒絮、食物。中行說曰︰「匈奴人衆不能當漢之一郡,然所以強者,以衣食異,無仰於漢也。今單于變俗,好漢物;漢物不過什二,則匈奴盡歸於漢矣。」其得漢繒絮,以馳草棘中,衣袴皆裂敝,以示不如旃裘之完善也;得漢食物,皆去之,以示不如湩酪之便美也。於是說敎單于左右疏記,以計課其人衆、畜牧。其遺漢書牘及印封,皆令長大,倨傲其辭,自稱「天地所生、日月所置、匈奴大單于。」

8. Until this time, the Xiongnu had begun to gain a taste for Han silks and foods. But Zhonghang Xue now advised the Chanyu, "The population of the Xiongnu does not even equal a single commandary of the Han dynasty. Yet they remain strong, and the source of this strength is that they have their own clothes and food and do not need to rely upon Han to obtain them. But now, Chanyu, you are changing the customs of the Xiongnu and making them desire Han goods instead. And considering that you can only meet a fifth of this demand for Han goods, at this rate, the Xiongnu will all submit to Han in order to obtain what they desire."

Zhonghang Yue took some Han silk and rode a horse through some brambles and thorns, which tore the silk clothes to shreds, in order to display how silks were not as good as leather clothing, which would have endured such thorns intact. And he took Han food and threw it away, in order to show how it was not as good as milk and cream. He also educated the Chanyu's attendants on how to make records and accounts, so that they could keep track of their population and their livestock.

Zhonghang Yue arranged so that the letters and seals which the Xiongnu sent to Han were all made bigger and longer, and he had the Chanyu use arrogant language when he wrote letters to Han. The Chanyu even referred to himself in these letters as "Grand Chanyu of the Xiongnu, born of Heaven and Earth and chosen of the Sun and Moon".

〈繒,帛也;絮,綿也。〉〈師古曰︰言漢費物十分之二,則匈奴之衆將盡歸於漢矣。〉〈去,棄也。〉〈湩,乳汁也。酪,以乳爲之。〉

(This passage refers to 繒絮. 繒 were silks, and 絮 were silk floss.

Yan Shigu remarked, "Zhonghang Yue was saying that the Chanyu only had enough of a store of Han goods to supply a fifth of the Xiongnu, so the Xiongnu would naturally go and submit to Han in order to get more of the goods that they desired."

To throw away means to get rid of.

湩 means milk, and 酪 means paste or juice made from milk.)


漢使或訾笑匈奴俗無禮義者,中行說輒窮漢使曰︰「匈奴約束徑,易行;君臣簡,可久;一國之政,猶一體也。故匈奴雖亂,必立宗種。今中國雖云有禮義,及親屬益疏則相殺奪,以至易姓,皆從此類也。嗟!土室之人,顧無多辭,喋喋佔佔!顧漢所輸匈奴繒絮、米糵,令其量中、必善美而已矣,何以言爲乎!且所給,備、善,則已;不備、苦惡,則候秋熟,以騎馳蹂而稼穡耳!」

9. Sometimes, Han envoys to the Xiongnu would disparage and mock them as being crude people without any ritual behavior or sense of righteousness. But whenever this happened, Zhonghang Yue would retort to them, "The ways of the Xiongnu are simple and direct, making it easy for anyone to carry out. And the relationship between the Chanyu and his followers is straightforward, ensuring that their ways can endure for a long time. The whole state is governed as though it were all one body. So even on the occasions where there is internal dissension among the Xiongnu, they will still be confident of maintaining the clan intact. But how different it is with the people of the Middle Kingdom! They claim to possess 'ritual behavior and a sense of righteousness', yet whenever there is the slightest discord between family members, they turn to mutual killing and theft at once, and sometimes it gets so bad that people of the same family will break off from one another and take different surnames.

"Bah! Spare us your talk, you dwellers of mud huts, for you have so many words and yet so little to say! All that we require from you is that the silks and cottons and the rice and yeast that you bring to us as tribute both meet the quota that we have demanded and that they be of fine and beautiful quality! There's no need for words! And we shall be satisfied so long as these things are up to the right standards. But if they are not, then when the autumn harvest comes, you may expect our horsemen to come and trample down your crops!"

〈訾,毀也。〉〈匈奴之人,逐水草,居廬帳,非如中國有室屋,故謂中國人爲土室之人。師古曰︰嗟者,歎愍之言。〉〈師古曰︰顧,思念也。喋喋,利口也;佔佔,衣裳貌也;言漢人且當思念,無爲喋喋佔佔。〉〈師古曰︰顧,念也。中,猶滿也;量中者,滿其數也。〉〈師古曰︰苦,猶麤也。蹂,踐也。而,汝也。〉

(The term 訾 means "to disparage".

The Xiongnu were a nomadic people who followed the movements of the waters and grasses; they lived in felt tents, rather than having permanent buildings like the people of the Middle Kingdom. Thus Zhonghang Yue referred to such people as "dwellers of mud huts".

Regarding Zhonghang Yue's exclamation 嗟, Yan Shigu remarked, "This is a word expressing grief and pity."

Yan Shigu remarked, "顧 means 'think of, consider'. In Zhonghang Yue's expression 喋喋佔佔, 喋喋 means 'skilled at speech', and 佔佔 means 'clothing and appearance'. The full expression means that the Han people liked to think, but they had nothing to say or clothing to wear."

One of the terms that Zhonghang Yue uses to refer to low-quality tribute is 苦. Yan Shigu remarked, "In this context, 苦 means 'rough, crude'."

To trample is to trod upon.

In this context, 而 means "you".)


梁太傅賈誼上疏曰︰「臣竊惟今之事勢,可爲痛哭者一,可爲流涕者二,可爲長太息者六;若其他背理而傷道者,難徧以疏舉。進言者皆曰︰『天下已安已治矣』,臣獨以爲未也;曰安且治者,非愚則諛,皆非事實知治亂之體者也。夫抱火厝之積薪之下而寢其上,火未及然,因謂之安;方今之勢,何以異此!陛下何不壹令臣得孰數之於前,因陳治安之策,試詳擇焉!使爲治,勞志慮,苦身體,乏鐘、鼓之樂,勿爲可也;樂與今同,而加之諸侯軌道,兵革不動,匈奴賓服,百姓素朴,生爲明帝,沒爲明神,名譽之美垂於無窮,使顧成之廟稱爲太宗,上配太祖,與漢亡極,立經陳紀,爲萬世法;雖有愚幼、不肖之嗣猶得蒙業而安。以陛下之明達,因使少知治體者得佐下風,致此非難也。夫樹國固必相疑之勢,下數被其殃,上數爽其憂,甚非所以安上而全下也。今或親弟謀爲東帝,親兄之子西鄕而擊;今吳又見告矣。天子春秋鼎盛,行義未過,德澤有加焉,猶尚如是;況莫大諸侯,權力且十此者虖!然而天下少安,何也?大國之王幼弱未壯,漢之所置傅、相方握其事。數年之後,諸侯之王大抵皆冠,血氣方剛;漢之傅、相稱病而賜罷,彼自丞、尉以上徧置私人;如此,有異淮南、濟北之爲邪!此時而欲爲治安,雖堯、舜不治。黃帝曰︰『日中必X!操刀必割。』今令此道順而全安甚易,不肯蚤爲,已乃墮骨肉之屬而抗剄之,豈有異秦之季世虖!其異姓負強而動者,漢已幸而勝之矣,又不易其所以然;同姓襲是跡而動,旣有徵矣,其勢盡又復然。殃禍之變,未知所移,明帝處之尚不能以安,後世將如之何!臣竊跡前事,大抵強者先反。長沙乃二萬五千戶耳,功少而最完,勢疏而最忠;非獨性異人也,亦形勢然也。曩令樊、酈、絳、灌據數十城而王,今雖以殘亡可也;令信、越之倫列爲徹侯而居,雖至今存可也。然則天下之大計可知已︰欲諸王之皆忠附,則莫若令如長沙王;欲臣子勿菹醢,則莫若令如樊、酈等;欲天下之治安,莫若衆建諸侯而少其力。力少則易使以義,國小則亡邪心。令海內之勢,如身之使臂,臂之使指,莫不制從,諸侯之君不敢有異心,輻湊並進而歸命天子。割地定制,令齊、趙、楚各爲若干國,使悼惠王、幽王,元王之子孫畢以次各受祖之分地,地盡而止;其分地衆而子孫少者,建以爲國,空而置之,須其子孫生者舉使君之;一寸之地,一人之衆,天子亡所利焉,誠以定治而已。如此,則臥赤子天下之上而安,植遺腹,朝委裘而天下不亂;當時大治,後世誦聖。陛下誰憚而久不爲此!天下之勢方病大瘇,一脛之大幾如要,一指之大幾如股,平居不可屈伸,一二指慉,身慮無聊。失今不治,必爲錮疾,後雖有扁鵲,不能爲已。病非徒瘇也,又苦XX。元王之子,帝之從弟也;今之王者,從弟之子也。惠王之子,親兄子也;今之王者,兄子之子也。親者或亡分地以安天下,疏者或制大權以偪天子,臣故曰非徒病瘇也,又苦XX。可痛哭者,此病是也。天下之勢方倒縣。凡天子者,天下之首。何也?上也。蠻夷者,天下之足。何也?下也。今匈奴嫚侮侵掠,至不敬也;而漢歲致金絮采繒以奉之。足反居上,首顧居下,倒縣如此,莫之能解,猶爲國有人乎?可爲流涕者此也。今不獵猛敵而獵田彘,不搏反寇而搏畜菟,翫細娛而不圖大患,德可遠加而直數百里外,威令不勝,可為流涕者此也。今庶人屋壁得爲帝服,倡優下賤得爲后飾;且帝之身自衣皁綈,而富民牆屋被文繡;天子之后以緣其領,庶人孽妾以緣其履;此臣所謂舛也。夫百人作之不能衣一人,欲天下亡寒,胡可得也;一人耕之,十人聚而食之,欲天下亡飢,不可得也;飢寒切於民之肌膚,欲其亡爲姦邪,不可得也。可爲長太息者此也。商君遺禮義,棄仁恩,幷心於進取;行之二歲,秦俗日敗。故秦人家富子壯則出分,家貧子壯則出贅;借父耰鉏,慮有德色;母取箕帚,立而誶語;抱哺其子,與公倂倨;婦姑不相說,則反脣而相稽;其慈子、耆利,不同禽獸者亡幾耳。今其遺風餘俗,猶尚未改,棄禮義,捐廉恥日甚,可謂月異而歲不同矣。逐利不耳,慮非顧行也;今其甚者殺父兄矣。而大臣特以簿書不報、期會之間以爲大故,至於俗流失,世壞敗,因恬而不知怪,慮不動於耳目,以爲是適然耳。夫移風易俗,使天下回心而鄕道,類非俗吏之所能爲也。俗吏之所務,在於刀筆、筐篋而不知大體。陛下又不自憂,竊爲陛下惜之!豈如今定經制,令君君、臣臣,上下有差,父子六親各得其宜!此業壹定,世世常安,而後有所持循矣;若夫經制不定,是猶渡江河亡維楫,中流而遇風波,船必覆矣。可爲長太息者此也。夏、殷、周爲天子皆數十世,秦爲天子二世而亡。人性不甚相遠也,何三代之君有道之長而秦無道之暴也?其故可知也。古之王者,太子乃生,固舉以禮,有司齊肅端冕,見之南郊,過闕則下,過廟則趨,故自爲赤子而敎固已行矣。孩提有識,三公、三少明孝仁禮義以道習之,逐去邪人,不使見惡行,於是皆選天下之端士、孝弟博聞有道術者以衞翼之,使與太子居處出入。故太子乃生而見正事,聞正言,行正道,左右前後皆正人也。夫習與正人居之不能毋正,猶生長於齊不能不齊言也;習與不正人居之不能毋不正,猶生長於楚之地不能不楚言也。孔子曰︰『少成若天性,習貫如自然。』習與智長,故切而不媿;化與心成,故中道若性。夫三代之所以長久者,以其輔翼太子有此具也。及秦而不然,使趙高傅胡亥而敎之獄,所習者非斬、劓人,則夷人之三族也。胡亥今日卽位而明日射人,忠諫者謂之誹謗,深計者謂之妖言,其視殺人若艾草菅然。豈惟胡亥之性惡哉?彼其所以道之者非其理故也。鄙諺曰︰『前車覆,後車誡。』秦世之所以亟絕者,其轍跡可見也;然而不避,是後車又將覆也。天下之命,縣於太子,太子之善,在於早諭敎與選左右。夫心未濫而先諭敎,則化易成也;開於道術智誼之指,則敎之力也;若其服習積貫,則左右而已。夫胡、粵之人,生而同聲,嗜欲不異;及其長而成俗,累數譯而不能相通,有雖死而不相爲者,則敎習然也。臣故曰選左右、早諭敎最急。夫敎得而左右正,則太子正矣,太子正而天下定矣。《書》曰︰『一人有慶,兆民賴之。』此時務也。凡人之智,能見已然,不能見將然。夫禮者禁於將然之前而法者禁於已然之後,是故法之所爲用易見而禮之所爲生難知也。若夫慶賞以勸善,刑罰以懲惡,先王執此之政,堅如金石;行此之令,信如四時;據此之公,無私如天地;豈顧不用哉?然而曰禮云、禮云者,貴絕惡於未萌而起敎於微眇,使民日遷善、遠罪而不自知也。孔子曰︰『聽訟,吾猶人也;必也使毋訟乎。』爲人主計者,莫如先審取舍,取舍之極定於內而安危之萌應於外矣。秦王之欲尊宗廟而安子孫,與湯、武同;然而湯、武廣大其德行,六七百歲而弗失,秦王治天下十餘歲則大敗。此亡他故矣,湯、武之定取舍審而秦王之定取舍不審矣。夫天下,大器也;今人之置器,置諸安處則安,置諸危處則危。天下之情,與器無以異,在天子之所置之。湯、武置天下於仁、義、禮、樂,累子孫數十世,此天下所共聞也;秦王置天下於法令、刑罰,禍幾及身,子孫誅絕,此天下之所共見也;是非其明效大驗邪!人之言曰︰『聽言之道,必以其事觀之,則言者莫敢妄言。』今或言禮誼之不如法令,敎化之不如刑罰,人主胡不引殷、周、秦事以觀之也!人主之尊譬如堂,羣臣如陛,衆庶如地。故陛九級上,廉遠地,則堂高;陛無級,廉近地,則堂卑。高者難攀,卑者易陵,。故古者聖王制爲等列,內有公、卿、大夫、士,外有公、侯、伯、子、男,然後有官師、小吏,延及庶人,等級分明而天子加焉,故其尊不可及也。里諺曰︰『欲投鼠而忌器。』此善諭也。鼠近於器,尚憚不投,恐傷其器,況於貴臣之近主乎!廉恥節禮以治君子,故有賜死而無戮辱。是以黥、劓之罪不及大夫,以其離主上不遠也;禮︰不敢齒君之路馬,蹴其芻者有罰,所以爲主上豫遠不敬也。今自王、侯、三公之貴,皆天子之所改容而禮之也,古天子之所謂伯父、伯舅也;而令與衆庶同黥、劓、髡、刖、笞、傌、棄市之法,然則堂不無陛虖!被戮辱者不泰迫虖!廉恥不行,大臣無乃握重權、大官而有徒隸無恥之心虖!夫望夷之事,二世見當以重法者,投鼠而不忌器之習也。臣聞之︰履雖鮮不加於枕,冠雖敝不以苴履。夫嘗已在貴寵之位,天子改容而禮貌之矣,吏民嘗俯伏敬畏之矣;今而有過,帝令廢之可也,退之可也,賜之死可也,滅之可也;若夫束縛之、係緤之,輸之司寇,編之徒官,司寇小吏詈罵而搒笞之,殆非所以令衆庶見也。夫卑賤者習知尊貴者之一旦吾亦乃可以加此也,非所以尊尊、貴貴之化也。古者大臣有坐不廉而廢者,不謂不廉,曰『簠簋不飾』;坐汙穢淫亂、男女無別者,不曰汙穢,曰『帷薄不脩』;坐罷軟不勝任者,不謂罷軟,曰『下官不職』。故貴大臣定有其罪矣,猶未斥然正以呼之也,尚遷就而爲之諱也。故其在大譴、大何之域者,聞譴、何則白冠氂纓,盤水加劍,造請室而請罪耳,上不執縛係引而行也。其有中罪者,聞命而自弛,上不使人頸X而加也。其有大罪者,聞命則北面再拜,跪而自裁,上不使人捽抑而刑之也,︰『子大夫自有過耳,吾遇子有禮矣。』遇之有禮,故羣臣自憙;嬰以廉恥,故人矜節行。上設廉恥、禮義以遇其臣,而臣不以節行報其上者,則非人類也。故化成俗定,則爲人臣者皆顧行而忘利,守節而伏義,故可以託不御之權,可以寄六尺之孤,此厲廉恥、行禮義之所致也,主上何喪焉!此之不爲而顧彼之久行,故曰可爲長太息者此也。」誼以絳侯前逮繫獄,卒無事,故以此譏上。上深納其言,養臣下有節,是後大臣有罪,皆自殺,不受刑。

10. By this time, Jia Yi had been appointed as Grand Tutor to the Prince of Liang. He now sent up another petition to Emperor Wen. This is what he wrote:

"I venture to state that I perceive one dire emergency, two sources of grief, and six potential concerns with the state of the realm. Yet how difficult it is to find anyone who will bring up such things, rather than argue against logic and violate good principles. Everyone who offers their thoughts on the realm is quick to declare, 'The realm is at peace, and well-governed.' Yet I deny that this is so. Anyone who believes this is either ignorant or a flatterer; none of them understand the true difference between a stable realm and one on the verge of chaos. Imagine a man who, having laid out a pile of firewood, goes to sleep on top of it; shall we declare him to be perfectly safe, simply because no spark has yet appeared to set the pile ablaze? Yet what difference is there between that man and the state of affairs in the realm? So I hope that Your Majesty will permit me to point out several such potential problems before they are allowed to ripen, and thus explain to you the methods of securing peace and stability. May you pay close attention to my words, and draw upon them for advice!

"To secure stability will require straining one's ambitions (or thinking) and concerns and exhausting one's body and strength. Nor can the musical arrangements of the bells and drums be neglected. But if you can bring the musical arrangement into harmony with modern times, if you can induce proper behavior and attitude among the feudal lords and ensure that the soldiers cause no disturbance, if you can bring the Xiongnu to heel and cultivate simplicity among the common people, how exalted will Your Majesty be in history! In life, you shall be known as a wise sovereign; in death, you shall be respected as a sage soul. The wonder of your name shall pass down for all eternity. Your temple name at Gucheng shall be Taizong, 'the Great Exemplar', just as His Late Majesty was Taizu, 'the Great Progenitor'. The Han dynasty would endure forever, and the practices and precedents that you establish would become settled law for ten thousand generations. And even if your successors should be feckless youths or unworthy heirs, still your legacy would remain secure.

"Your Majesty is already a wise and worthy sovereign. And if you allow someone who knows a few things about governing the realm well to assist you with these undertakings, it will not be hard to make such a future reality.

"The first focus should be on the feudal lords. It is inevitable that, when several powerful domains are established, they will eye both the court and one another with suspicion. Some of those below are bound to suffer disaster; some of those above will always make worrying mistakes. Such a situation never leads to stability for the court or safety for the feudal lords. Even in the last few years, Your Majesty's own brother plotted to become Emperor of the east, and your own nephew faced west to attack the capital. Not to mention the troubling actions taken by the Prince of Wu (Liu Bi). It is undeniable that Your Majesty still has many years ahead of you, and you have been exceptionally virtuous and kind, nor has there been any fault in your conduct. Yet these lords still dared to act this way. And even then, they were comparatively minor threats. How much worse will it be when there is a greater threat from the feudal lords, with ten times as much power and strength as these smaller rebellions?

"Why then has such a threat not developed, so that the realm briefly enjoys a small measure of peace? Only because the princes of the greatest domains are still children and have not yet become men, and the court has appointed Tutors and Chancellors who are for the moment restraining them. But it will only be a few years until these princes become adults; their blood will be up, and their spirits will be undaunted. The court appointees will plead illness and thus excuse themselves from further service, while these princes will fill all their local offices from Assistant and Commandant on up with their own partisans. Once these things happen, why would any of them act any differently from the Prince of Huainan or the Prince of Jibei? If you allow such things to come to pass, even ancient sages like Yao and Shun would not be able to ensure stability.

"The situation calls for the Yellow Emperor's advice: 'When the sun is at its peak, roast! When the knife is in your hand, carve!' It is only by following this principle that you may very easily ensure both stability for the realm and security for the feudal lords. Yet if you cannot bear to take the trouble to do this now, in the end you shall have to resort to fighting against and killing the children of your own flesh and blood. How would that be any different from the slaughter of the princes during the reign of the Second Emperor of Qin?

"In the first years of the dynasty, when the kings not of the Liu clan were emboldened by their strength and rose in rebellion, the dynasty was fortunate indeed to have triumphed against them, for it was no easy feat to have done so. Yet by now, the princes of the Liu clan are about to tread the same path as those past rebels. Having already experienced the same thing once, we cannot allow the princes to rise to such heights as the old kings. No one knows where calamity and disaster might spring up. And if a wise sovereign like Your Majesty is unwilling to take steps now to ensure stability, what problems will later generations face?

"In my humble view, judging from past examples, it is always the most powerful domains which are the first to rebel. By way of contrast, consider the King of Changsha, Wu Rui, and his descendants. Their domain contains a mere 25,000 households. Yet though they have achieved comparatively little on behalf of the dynasty, they have always held their fief in perfect security, and though they are so distant from Your Majesty's bloodline as to not even be part of the Liu clan, they have always been perfectly loyal to the court. Why did this happen? Not simply because Wu Rui and his descendants have different characters from other people. Of equal importance was the fact that they were never as strong as the other feudal lords. I shall elaborate further upon that thought. Your Majesty is quite aware that Han Xin and Peng Yue rebelled against the dynasty and were executed in the end, while Fan Kuai, Li Shang, Guan Ying, and the Marquis of Jiang, Zhou Bo, remained loyal subjects. Yet I propose that if it had been these latter four who had been appointed kings of dozens of cities, they would have been the ones who met with violent ends, and if Han Xin and Peng Yue had been appointed as mere marquises, they would still be with us.

"What are the great principles to be drawn from these things, to ensure stability in the realm? That if you wish to ensure that the princes remain loyal and supportive, then you must place them in the same circumstances as that of the King of Changsha; that if you wish to prevent your subjects from being reduced to pickled corpses like Peng Yue was, then you must place them in the same circumstances as that of Fan Kuai, Li Shang, and the others; in short, that if you wish to ensure stability in the realm, then you must establish many feudal lords, but make all of them weak. When they are weak, then it will be easy to steer them towards righteous behavior; when their domains are small, they will never develop evil hearts.

"The realm within the seas must be like a body. In a body, it is the torso which controls the arms, and it is the arms which control the fingers; the fingers cannot rebel against the will of the arms, nor the arms go against the wishes of the torso. When the realm matches the state of a body, then the feudal lords will never dare to harbor sinister motives. As the spokes of a wheel are all branches of the hub, so too will the lords heed the commands of the court.

"Thus my recommendation is for Your Majesty to carve up the great domains in order to better control them. Turn the great princedoms of Qi, Zhao, and Chu into a host of little domains, and distribute them out among all the various sons and grandsons of Prince Daohui of Qi (Liu Fei), Prince You of Zhao (Liu You), and Prince Yuan of Chu (Liu Jiao) so that each may claim some share of the inheritance of their forefathers. Once these princedoms have been carved to pieces, name every little domain as its own fief, appoint these young descendants as the nominal lords of them, and then confirm them in their new titles once they reach adulthood. There will be an abundance of lords then, each of whom will possess only a handful of territory. And although it will seem as though you yourself will derive no benefit from this, in fact you will have done it in order to ensure stability for all the realm.

"If you do these things, then even if the Son of Heaven is just a red-faced child, a babe in swaddling clothes, or even still in the womb, the realm will not experience turmoil. Undertake this great labor now, and later generations will extol you as a sage. Your only fear should be that you might stand by and do nothing!

"As it is, the realm may rather be compared to a body whose legs and feet are so swollen that the shins are as thick as the torso and the toes are as thick as the thighs. Even at this stage, the body will not be able to bend or stretch the legs, and one or two of the toes will be inflamed; the limbs will be totally unresponsive to the will of the trunk. And if the disease is not treated at once, it will surely become terminal, and even a doctor as skilled as Bian Que would not be able to save the patient.

"Nor is the pain simply in the feet, but it extends to the soles as well. The current Prince of Chu, being the grandson of Prince Yuan, is your cousin's son; the current Prince of Qi, being Prince Hui's grandson, is your nephew's son. Of your close relatives who were princes, some have indeed have their fiefs divided up following their deaths in order to stabilize the realm. Yet these more distant relatives have been allowed to amass greater power, enough to threaten the Son of Heaven. This is why I say that the pain extends to the soles as well.

"All these things pose a dire emergency to the realm.

"In other respects, the realm is like a man who is hanging upside down. The Son of Heaven is the head of the realm. Why? Because he should be on the top. And the barbarians are the feet of the realm. Why? Because they should be on the bottom. Yet in our time, the Xiongnu raid and pillage freely into the realm, and they are grossly disrespectful. At the same time, the Han court presents yearly tributes of gold, silk, and brocades to the Xiongnu. This is to place the feet on top and the head on the bottom. What a sad state for the realm to be in, yet no one can save it; will no one act on behalf of the state? This is the first source of grief for the realm.

"Why is it that you are more willing to hunt wild swine than hunt our powerful enemies, more willing to pluck the herbs of your garden than pluck out rebels and invaders? Why is it that you amuse yourself with idle distractions rather than concern yourself with the great dangers to the realm? Why is it that though your virtues are esteemed far and wide, your real power extends no more than a few hundred li and your authority and your commands are not respected (or, people do not submit to your authority and commands)? This is the second source of grief for the realm.

"I note that in our times, the common people adorn their homes and houses in imperial splendor, and they dress even their song girls in finery fit for the Empress. Is it right that Your Majesty should dress yourself in somber black, while rich commoners have homes full of patterned embroidery? Is it proper that your Empress should wear coverings that reach no lower than her neck, while the wretched women of commoners wear coverings that stretch down to their feet? I call this perverse. Besides, one person's weaving cannot supply clothing for a hundred idlers, meaning the realm will inevitably go cold; one man's plowing cannot feed ten layabouts, meaning the realm will not avoid starvation. And once the people feel biting cold and hunger in their very flesh, it will be impossible to keep them from evil. This is the first potential concern for the realm.

"When Lord Shang (Shang Yang) governed the state of Qin, he did away with ritual and righteous behavior and threw out benevolence and grace, steering the people to think only of how to advance themselves and gain profit. Within two years of such reconditioning, the culture and habits of the people of Qin were completely depraved. Thus among the rich families of that state, their sons all demanded their share of their father's inheritance as soon as they were grown, while even in the poor families, their sons were sent out to secure favorable marriages as soon as they were of age. When children lent their rake or their hoe to their father, they thought only of putting on a virtuous expression, and when their mothers used their broom and dustpan, they would only stand by and mock them. Mothers would nurse their infants while in public as though nothing were amiss, and husbands and wives would not please one another, but only gave one another lip and examined each other for imperfections. What remained of their desires? Only that they loved their children and hungered for profit. And in that, how different were they from savage beasts?

"Lord Shang's degradation of the people of Qin did not simply vanish. Its dregs remain with us, poisoning the culture of the realm, and it has not yet been reformed. Even now, more and more people cast aside ritual and righteous behavior and abandon their sense of modesty or shame. One could say that though the dates have changed, the times are the same. The people reckon how they should act purely based on whether it will bring them profit or not, and they take no account of proper behavior in their conduct, to the extent that a great many people have gone so far as to kill their fathers and elder brothers. Yet the chief ministers take no notice of these things, because they are not to be found in the facts and figures and temporary conditions that they refer to as the chief concerns. How dire are the traditions of the people, and how broken and debased the age! Yet these ministers remain placid and think that nothing is wrong; they turn a blind eye and a deaf ear to all this, and feel that all is right with the world.

"One who would reform the customs and transform the behavior of the people must stir up their hearts and turn them towards good principles. Of course, such things are beyond the abilities of meager officials; they reckon their duty only has to do with their carving knives and their brushes, their accounts and their boxes of records. They know nothing of the big picture. Yet even Your Majesty does not trouble yourself with these concerns. How anxious I feel for you! What better time than now to establish good traditions among the people? Let the sovereign be sovereign, and the ministers be ministers; let there be distinctions between those above and those below, and let fathers, sons, and the Six Kin all take their proper places! If you but take up this task now and settle things within your own lifetime, then ages to come will all know peace, and the people of the future will all remain dutiful and obedient. But if you fail to establish good customs now, then the realm shall be like a boat trying to cross the Yangzi or the Yellow River with neither rope nor oar; as soon as a wind springs up during the crossing, the ship of state will surely capsize. This is the second potential concern for the realm.

"The Xia, Yin (Shang), and Zhou dynasties ruled as Sons of Heaven for dozens of generations. Yet the Qin dynasty lasted only two generations before it fell. But the basic nature of people never changed all that time. Why then was it that the sovereigns of those first three dynasties were principled and so endured, while the sovereigns of the Qin dynasty lacked principle and so perished? We find the answer in their upbringing.

"In the era of the ancient sovereigns, no sooner was a Crown Prince born than he began to be trained and instilled in the ways of propriety. The officials cultivated in him abstinence, reverence, moderation, and dignity, and he was a witness at the imperial sacrifices conducted at the southern suburbs of the capital. Whenever he passed through the gates of the palace, they made sure that he descended from his carriage; whenever he entered the Ancestral Temple, they made sure that he was not slow in his conduct. Thus even when he was a mere red-faced child, his education had already begun and his future character was being shaped. As soon as he became aware of the world, Greater and Lesser tutors were appointed to instruct him in wisdom, filial piety, ritual conduct, and righteous behavior and see that he practiced such things in his conduct. They drove bad influences away from him and did not permit him to see evil behavior; instead, they selected proper gentlemen, filial brothers, educated fellows, and principled people to be his constant companions, and they lived together with him and went wherever he went. Thus during his childhood the Crown Prince witnessed proper behavior, heard proper speech, acted with proper principles, and was surrounded by proper people. It would have been absurd for anyone who grew up among such examples of goodness not to become a good man as well, as incomprehensible as someone who grows up in the Qi region yet remains ignorant of how to speak the Qi language. Likewise, anyone who grows up with only evil influences will invariably become an evil man himself, just as anyone whose native land is the Chu region cannot help but learn the Chu tongue. Confucius said, 'What is formed in childhood becomes innate; what is practiced becomes second nature in time.' When knowledge and practice are worthy, then one can be examined without shame; when customs and the heart are properly shaped, then one acts with principle as though by instinct. It was because the sovereigns of those three dynasties guided and protected their Crown Princes in such a manner that their dynasties long endured.

"What a contrast the First Emperor of Qin presented! He left his heir Ying Huhai in the care of Zhao Gao, who instructed him based on crime and punishment; Ying Huhai was so often a witness to the punishments of criminals that he was regularly presented with the spectacle of this man being beheaded, that man having his nose cut off, and another man having his entire family wiped out. No sooner had Ying Huhai taken the throne himself than he at once indulged in shooting arrows at people and killing them himself. He looked upon those who offered loyal opposition as slanderers, and he considered those who expressed thoughts of long-term reforms as spouting malicious talk. He viewed the deaths of people as no more serious than blades of grass being mown. Was this simply because Ying Huhai was naturally evil? No, it was because those who should have educated him properly did not act according to reason.

"The proverb says, 'When the front cart topples, let the rear cart take warning.' The traces of what caused the violent downfall of the Qin dynasty can still be seen even now. For Your Majesty not to avoid following the same track would be the same thing as the rear cart toppling over for the same reason that the front cart did. The fate of the realm depends on the character of the Crown Prince, and whether he will be a good man or not depends upon whether he is educated and instructed in goodness from an early age and surrounded by proper companions. If you educate and instruct someone while their heart has not yet been filled up already, then it is easy to transform their behavior and ensure it remains good; it is by the force of education that you may indicate to them how to develop good principles, talents, intelligence, and a friendly spirit. But if you wait until they are already set in their ways, you can do no more than surround them with good people.

"Consider the Xiongnu people of the north and the Yue peoples of the south. Their newborns cry the same as ours do, and their wants and desires are no different from ours. Yet by the time they grow up, each of them are so fixed that they require translators and cannot communicate with us directly, and even if their life depended upon it, they could not change their ways. This is because of the ways that they were educated, which became innate in them.

"Thus I say that it is imperative that Your Majesty select good companions for the Crown Prince and begin his proper education at once. If these things are done, then the Crown Prince will become a proper man; when the Crown Prince is proper, then the realm will know peace. As the Book of Document states, 'When the One Man (the Son of Heaven) is joyous, the teeming masses may rely upon him.' Now is the time to act.

“The average person can only perceive things that have already happened; they cannot perceive what is yet to come. Ritual behavior is designed to stop things before they happen; laws are designed to prevent things only after they have happened. Thus we know that laws are for dealing with what is easily seen, while ritual behavior is for dealing with what is hard to predict. To offer honors and rewards in order to encourage goodness and to inflict convictions and punishments to guard against evil was the policy followed by the kings of old, and by doing so they ensured that their rule was as solid as gold. In executing their commands, they were as certain as the passing of the seasons; in enforcing justice, they were as impartial as Heaven and Earth. How could one not follow their example?

“All those who talk about ritual behavior emphasize that one must nip evil while it is still in the bud and cultivate goodness while it is still meager. By doing so, day by day the people will turn towards goodness and avoid evil without even consciously thinking about it. Confucius says, ‘If it comes down to litigations, I am the same as anyone else. But far better that one never has to resort to litigation in the first place.’ There is no better plan to make on behalf of the people than to first examine oneself, preserving one’s admirable qualities and discarding one’s despicable ones. Through such cultivation, one can achieve tranquility within and ensure stability without.

“Did the King of Qin (the First Emperor) wish to leave a lasting legacy and secure a peaceful realm for his descendants? Tang of Shang and King Wu of Zhou sought these things just as much. But the difference was that Tang of Shang and King Wu of Zhou spread their own virtues and conduct far and wide throughout the realm, and so for six or seven hundred years their dynasties never faltered, while the King of Qin governed the realm for little more than a decade and his dynasty quickly collapsed. There was no other reason for these different outcomes than that Tang of Shang and King Wu of Zhou cultivated their characters after they had obtained the realm, keeping the good and casting out the evil, while the King of Qin failed to do the same after his own conquest.

“The realm is like a storehouse of tools, which the common people employ. When they are provided with tools that will bring about stability, stability will result; when they are given tools that will incur danger, danger is inevitable. Indeed, the character of the people of the realm is simply the combination of such tools. And it is the Son of Heaven who determines which tools they shall be. Benevolence, righteousness, ritual behavior, and courtly ceremonial: these were the tools which Tang of Shang and King Wu of Zhou provided. Thus their descendants ruled for dozens of generations. Everyone in the realm knows this story. Laws, commands, convictions, and punishments: these were the tools which the King of Qin saw fit to use. Thus his descendants suffered death and destruction, and he was lucky that he was spared such a fate himself. Everyone in the realm remembers these events. Could there be any clearer examples than these precedents?

“There is a certain saying: ‘One who would speak of methods must be sure to examine their results, so that they will not make any rash remarks.’ Yet there are some who claim even today that it is better to rely upon laws and ordinances than it is to rely upon ritual behavior and a friendly spirit, that convictions and punishments are better methods than education and cultural reform. Can the ruler of men not look upon the fates of Yin (Shang), Zhou, and Qin to see how false this is?

“The ruler of men is like a grand hall on a raised platform, while his ministers are like the steps leading up to it and the common people are like the level ground below. When the steps have nine distinct levels and the incline rises high away from the ground, then the hall will occupy a lofty height; when the steps have no distinction between them and the incline lies near to the ground, then the hall will be a modest structure. And a lofty hall would be difficult to assail, while a modest one would be easily shaken; this is only natural. It was for just this reason that the sage kings of old created levels and distinctions among all their ministers. Within their courts, they had their Excellencies, their Ministers, their Counselors, and their Gentlemen; out in the realm, they appointed their Dukes, their Marquises, their Earls, their Barons, and their Viscounts. There were even distinctions between the leaders of bureaus and the lesser officials, and between them and the common people. With such a hierarchy in place, the Son of Heaven naturally stood atop a vast edifice, and no one could come close to his exalted position.

“There is another saying, one that people use in the villages: ‘Wanting to drive out a mouse, but fearing to damage a tool in the process.’ A wise proverb indeed. For even when a mouse is present and a suitable tool is close at hand, still one might hesitate, not wishing to damage the tool just to drive the mouse away. Now that is just the case of a mouse and a common fellow; how much more serious the situation when it involves grand ministers who are nearly as exalted as the sovereign himself!

“A superior fellow conducts himself with modesty, dutifulness, ritual behavior, and a sense of shame. Thus even when his sovereign decrees that he must take his own life, he is glad to be spared the disgrace of being executed. The reason that mutilations such as the cutting off of the nose or the tattooing of the phase are not inflicted upon the chief ministers of the state is because they are close in stature to the ruler. Anyone who dared to inspect the teeth of the Emperor’s horse upon the road or dared to tread upon the horse’s fodder would be guilty of a crime, not because there is anything special about the horse itself, but simply because it is the Emperor’s horse and thus to do such things would be disrespectful to him. People like the princes, nobles, and the Three Excellencies likewise stand above others because it is the Son of Heaven who has granted them their places and treats them with courtesy, to the extent that in ancient times the Son of Heaven would address them as Lord-Father or Lord-Uncle.

“How then could one make no distinction between them and the common run of people, subjecting all alike to tattooing of the face, chopping off of the feet or nose, shaving of the hair, beating with the cane, or the disgrace of execution, sometimes publicly? Would that be any different than to remove the stairs between the hall and the ground entirely? And would those who are about to suffer such disgrace accept their fates quietly? Unless they possess modesty and a sense of shame, who among them will willingly surrender their great authority and their grand titles and tarnish themselves by becoming known as criminals? The Second Emperor of Qin employed such harsh laws against even his own nobles and chief ministers, and at Wangyi Palace, he suffered from the same justice he had been so quick to mete out to others. That is what happens when one is quick to drive out a mouse, heedless of what damage to the tool might result.

“I have heard that, no matter how spotless one’s shoes might be, one must never put them on the pillow; no matter how shabby one’s hat might be, its place is never in the shoe basket. Once someone has been granted an exalted and favored position, and has received the courtesy and respect of the Son of Heaven himself, the lower officials and the common people will all bow to them out of fear and respect. If such a person then commits an offense, of course there are certain punishments one could resort to: dismissal, exile, an order to commit suicide, and the purging of their clan after their death are all acceptable. But it is quite another thing to have them tied up with hands bound, to put them in a cart and bring them to the Director of Punishments, to hand them over to his attendants, and to have petty officials berate them and beat them with canes. That is practically the same thing as to command all the people to witness their degradation and disgrace. Shall the meager and the lowly be allowed to become accustomed to seeing those who were once honored and exalted fall to the same state as themselves in the space of a single morning? That is no way to have the honored be honored and the exalted be exalted.

“In cases where in ancient times one of the chief ministers had been immodest and despicable and so was deposed, it was never announced that that they had been immodest, but only that ‘their food basket had been unadorned’. When one of them had been perverse and filthy and had not observed distinctions between the sexes, it was never announced that they had been perverse, but only that ‘their bed curtain had not been maintained’. When one of them had been weak in office, it was never announced that they had been weak, but only that ‘they had had no knowledge of their subordinates’. This was because, although these great ministers had indeed committed offenses, one could not openly state their crimes, so these euphemisms were employed and the actual charges were taboo. Likewise, when it would seem that a great censure or a great investigation would be necessary, the ancient sovereigns would send ahead someone to visit the guilty minister, wearing a white cap with a yak-hair tassel and bearing a plate of water with a sword laid across it. They would not ask the minister to accept judgment, but simply to accept their guilt. Thus the sovereign could have justice carried out without having to resort to tying up the guilty ministers. Those who had committed average crimes would simply do away with themselves as soon as they received the sovereign’s command, so that the sovereign did not need to have someone else sully the necks of his chief ministers. And those who had committed the gravest offenses would face north (towards the sovereign) and perform obeisance once they received the command, then kneel and put an end to themselves, so that the sovereign would not have to send someone to pull back their hair and execute them. The sovereign would simply say, ‘Sir, you need only recognize your fault, and I will show you this courtesy.’ Granted this courtesy, the ministers would respond favorably. And when they are modest and have a sense of shame, then they will be sure to uphold their duty. When offered a chance by their sovereign to avoid shame and to act with the ritual behavior and righteous conduct fitting of a minister, no one would ever refuse to uphold their duty and respond to their sovereign’s grace.

“When these things have been done, then your ministers and your people will all consider their conduct rather than their profit, and they will maintain their duty and submit to what is right. Then you would never need to flaunt your authority, and you may safely entrust the realm even to the rule of a child. When granted such a chance to offer courtesy and uphold what is right by avoiding shame and disgrace, what ruler could squander it? Yet I perceive that rather than do this, Your Majesty is inclined to continue following the opposite path. This is another potential concern for the realm.”

Jia Yi had seen how Zhou Bo’s arrest and interrogation had resulted in nothing. This was why he had included these final remarks criticizing Emperor Wen’s handling of it. Emperor Wen took this advice close to heart, and he cultivated a sense of duty among his ministers and subordinates. From then on, whenever one of the chief officials was guilty of a crime, they would kill themselves instead of being subjected to public punishments.

〈誼自長沙徵爲梁懷王太傅。〉〈厝,置也。〉〈孰,古熟字通。〉〈【章︰甲十五行本「志」作「智」;乙十一行本同;孔本同。】〉〈師古曰︰軌道,言遵法制也。〉〈鄭氏曰︰今建立國泰大,其勢固必相疑也。臣瓚曰︰樹國於險固,諸侯強大,則必與天子有相疑之勢也。師古曰︰鄭說是。〉〈如淳曰︰爽,忒也。〉〈親弟,謂淮南厲王長謀反。親兄之子,謂齊悼惠王子濟北王興居欲西擊滎陽。鄕,讀曰嚮。〉〈如淳曰︰時吳王濞不循漢法,有告之者。〉〈應劭曰︰鼎,方也。〉〈師古︰莫大,謂無有大於其國者,言最大也。十此,謂十倍於此。余謂誼之大意,蓋謂淮南、濟北當文帝之時尚敢以一國爲變,使諸侯相合,襲是跡而動,則其權力十倍於此,爲患莫大焉。〉〈師古曰︰大抵,猶言大略也。〉〈孟康曰︰日中盛者,必暴X也。臣瓚曰︰太公曰︰「日中不X,是謂失時;操刀不割,失利之期。」言當及時也。師古曰︰X,謂暴曬之也。〉〈應劭曰︰抗其頭而剄之也。師古曰︰墮,毀也。抗,舉也。剄,割頸也。〉〈徵,證驗也。〉〈師古曰︰尋前事之蹤跡。〉〈漢初功臣封王者,獨長沙王吳芮傳國至文帝時。〉〈師古曰︰使以義,使之遵禮義也。〉〈服虔曰︰言天下安,雖赤子、遺腹在位猶不危也。應劭曰︰植遺腹,朝委裘,皆未有所知也。孟康曰︰委裘,若容衣,天子未坐[朝],事先帝裘衣也。〉〈師古曰︰稱其聖明。〉〈如淳曰︰腫足曰瘇。〉〈脛,腳脛。《釋名》曰︰脛,莖也,直而長,似物莖也。〉〈師古曰︰慉,謂動而痛也。聊,賴也。〉〈師古曰︰錮疾,堅久之疾。〉〈師古曰︰X,古蹠字。足下曰蹠,今所呼腳掌是也。盭,古戾字;言足蹠反戾,不可行也。〉〈楚元王交,高帝之弟,其子於文帝爲從弟。齊悼惠王肥,高帝之庶長子,其子於文帝爲親兄子。〉〈師古曰︰廣立藩屛,則天下安,故曰以安天下。偪,古逼字。〉〈縣,古懸字通;下同。〉〈師古曰︰顧,亦反也。〉〈師古曰︰顚倒如此而不能解救,豈謂國有明智之人乎?〉〈【章︰甲十五行本「勝」作「伸」;乙十一行本同;孔本同;張校同;退齋校同。】〉〈綈,厚繒也。〉〈師古曰︰孽,庶賤者。〉〈師古曰︰耰,摩田器。言以耰及鉏借與其父,而容色自矜以爲恩德也。〉〈服虔曰︰誶,猶罵也。張晏曰︰誶語,讓也。〉〈師古曰︰哺,飤也,言婦抱其子而哺之,乃與其舅併倨,無禮之基也。〉〈應劭曰︰稽,計也,相與計校也。〉〈師古曰︰惟有慈愛其子而貪嗜財利,不異於禽獸也。無幾,言不多也。仲馮曰︰誼謂秦人不知孝義,但知愛子、貪利而已,此其去禽獸無幾也。耆,古嗜字通用。〉〈師古曰︰言其所追赴,惟計利與不耳,念慮之中非顧所行之善惡。貢父曰︰慮,大率也。〉〈師古曰︰恬,安也。〉〈師古曰︰適,當也;謂事理當然。〉〈師古曰︰刀,所以削書札,筐篋,所以盛書也。〉〈賢曰︰六親,謂父、子、兄、弟、夫、婦也。〉〈師古曰︰執持而順行之。〉〈師古曰︰維所以繫船,楫所以刺船也。《詩》曰︰紼縭維之。〉〈師古曰︰乃,始也。〉〈齊,讀曰齋。〉〈仲馮曰︰嬰兒體色赤,故曰赤子。〉〈師古曰︰孩,小兒也;提,謂提撕之。〉〈太師、太傅、太保爲三公;少師、少傅、少保爲三少。〉〈師古曰︰貫,亦習也。〉〈師古曰︰每被切磋,故無大過可愧恥之事。〉〈劓,割鼻也。〉〈艾,與刈同。師古曰︰菅,茅也。〉〈師古曰︰亟,急也。車跡曰轍。〉〈譯,傳言也。夷狄與中國言語不同,故使通夷狄之言者譯之,《周禮》象胥是也。〉〈蘇林曰︰言其人不能易事相爲處。〉〈師古曰︰《周書‧呂刑》之辭也。一人,天子也;言天子有善,則兆庶獲其利。〉〈師古曰︰將然,謂欲有其事。〉〈師古曰︰眇,細小也。〉〈師古曰︰《論語》載孔子之言也。言使吾聽訟與衆人齊等,然能先以德義化之使無訟。〉〈師古曰︰取,所擇用也;舍,所棄置也。舍,讀曰捨;下同。〉〈師古曰︰極,中也;萌,始生也。〉〈師古曰︰官師,一官之長。〉〈杜佑曰︰刑不上大夫者,古之大夫有坐不廉汙穢者,則曰簠簋不飾;淫亂男女無別者,則曰帷薄不脩;罔上不忠者,則曰臣節未著;罷軟不勝任者,則曰下官不職;干國之紀,則曰行事不請。此五者,大夫定罪之名矣,不忍斥然正以呼之。其在五刑之域者云云,如後誼所云。〉〈齒,謂審其齒歲也。蹴,蹋也。芻,馬所食草。《記‧曲禮》︰以足蹴路馬芻有誅,齒路馬有誅。〉〈師古曰︰天子呼諸侯長者,同姓則曰伯父,異姓則曰伯舅。伯,長也。〉〈刖,斷足也。傌,毛晃曰︰戮辱也。〉〈師古曰︰迫天子也。〉〈如淳曰︰決罪曰當。閻樂殺二世於望夷宮,本由秦制無忌上之風也。仲馮曰︰趙高殺二世,蓋又以法定其罪。〉〈師古曰︰裁,謂自刑殺也。〉〈服虔曰︰子者,男子美號。〉〈師古曰︰憙,讀曰喜。喜,好也;好爲志氣也。〉〈師古曰︰嬰,加也。矜,尚也。〉〈言臣下矜尚節行,故可託以權柄,不須復加制御。應劭曰︰六尺之孤,未能自立者也。〉〈師古曰︰喪,失也;言如此則於主上無所失。〉〈此,謂以禮義廉恥遇其臣;彼,謂戮辱貴臣。言不爲此而反久行彼也。〉〈師古曰︰苴者,履中之藉。〉〈師古曰︰禮貌,謂加禮容而敬之也。〉〈師古曰︰緤,謂以長繩係之也。〉〈師古曰︰司寇,主刑罰之官。編,次列也。徒官,謂刑徒輸作於官者。〉〈蘇林曰︰知有一旦之刑。〉〈師古曰︰簠簋,所以盛飯也;方曰簠,圓曰簋。《埤雅》曰︰龜有靈德,伏匿而噎,善潛而不志於養,故古者簠簋皆爲龜形於其上,而大臣以貪墨坐廢者曰簠簋不飾。賈公彥曰︰簠,內圓外方;簋,內方外圓;皆受斗二升。〉〈師古曰︰罷,廢於事也。軟,弱也。罷,讀曰疲。〉〈師古曰︰譴,責也。何,問也。域,界局也。〉〈鄭氏曰︰以毛作纓。白冠,喪服也。〉〈應劭曰︰請室,請罪之室。胡公《漢官》︰車駕出,有清室令在前先驅,此官有別獄也。如淳曰︰水性平,若己有正罪,君以平法治之也。加劍,當以自刎也。或曰︰殺牲以盤水取頸血,故示若此也。〉〈師古曰︰中罪,非大非小也。弛,廢也;自廢而死。蘇林曰︰不戾其頸而親加刀鋸。X,古戾字。〉〈漢人相傳以大臣不對理陳冤爲故事,多有聞命而引決者;然詣獄受刑者亦多有之,史特大槪言之耳。〉

(Jia Yi had earlier been appointed as Grand Tutor to the King of Changsha; he was then summoned back from Changsha to be assigned as Grand Tutor to Prince Huai of Liang.

To 厝 'lay out' is to set or to place.

In ancient times, the characters 孰 and 熟 'ripen' were interchangeable.

Some versions have Jia Yi mention "thinking" rather than "ambitions".

Yan Shigu remarked, "By 'proper behavior and attitude', Jia Yi meant that the feudal lords would respect the laws and regulations of the court."

Jia Yi uses the expression 樹國固. Master Zheng argued, "Jia Yi was saying that when large and powerful 國 'domains' are 樹 'planted' or established, they will 固 'naturally' look upon each other with suspicion." Chen Zan argued, "He was saying that when the 樹國 'trunk domain' or the region of the central government is located in rough and 固 'sturdy' terrain on one side, and the feudal lords are made large and strong on the other side, then the feudal lords will naturally be mutually suspicious with the Son of Heaven." Yan Shigu argued, "Master Zheng is correct."

Regarding the term 爽, Ru Chun remarked, "This means 'to err'."

Jia Yi refers to Emperor Wen's "own brother" and "own nephew". The brother was Prince Li of Huainan, Liu Chang, who was Emperor Wen's younger brother. The nephew was the Prince of Jibei, Liu Xingju, who was the son of Prince Daohui of Qi, Emperor Wen's brother Liu Fei.

鄕 should be read here as 嚮 "towards".

Regarding Liu Bi's activities, Ru Chun remarked, "By this time, Liu Bi was unsubmissive to the laws of the court, and reports had come back informing of this."

The term 鼎 means "right now, at the present time".

Jia Yi floats the prospect of the greater threat posed by the 莫大 feudal lords. Yan Shigu remarked, "By 莫大, he meant 'none greater', as in the greatest feudal lord whom no one else could surpass in territory. And by 十此 'ten this', he meant 十倍於此 'ten times this'." I (Hu Sanxing) reckon that Jia Yi's thinking must have been that, since Liu Chang and Liu Xingju had dared to rebel against Emperor Wen with only the resources of a single domain each, later on there might be an even worse situation where several of the feudal lords decided to band together and rise in rebellion all at the same time. This would be ten times as dangerous as the first rebellions, thus it would pose an 莫大 "unsurpassable" threat to the dynasty.

Jia Yi uses the term 大抵. Yan Shigu remarked, "This means 'generally, nearly all'."

The Yellow Emperor advises that one should X 'roast' when the sun is at its peak. Meng Kang remarked, "He was saying that the time when one must be sure to roast is when the sun is at its zenith." Chen Zan remarked, "The Grand Duke (Jiang Ziya) had a similar saying: 'To not roast when the sun is at its peak is to lose time; to not carve when the knife is in your hand is to squander good opportunities.' In both cases, the idea was that one should take appropriate action at the right time." Yan Shigu remarked, "X means to have something tanned or roasted by the heat of the sun."

Jia Yi warns that Emperor Wen may have to 墮 and 抗剄 members of his family. Ying Shao remarked, "The second term means to 抗 'strike' one's head and 剄 'cut their throat'." Yan Shigu remarked, "The first term means 'to destroy'. 抗 means 'to raise or lift', and 剄 means 'to injure the neck'."

In this context, 徵 means "evidence from past experience".

Yan Shigu remarked, "By 'judging from past examples', Jia Yi meant that he was looking back on past events."

Of the kings that had been appointed at the beginning of the Han dynasty, Wu Rui's descendants were the only ones who had kept their title as King of Changsha all this time.

Yan Shigu remarked, "By 'steer them toward righteous behavior', Jia Yi meant making the lords honor the rites and ceremonies and display righteous conduct."

Two of the expressions which Jia Yi uses to describe infant rulers are 植遺腹 and 朝委裘. Ying Shao openly admits, "I do not know what these mean." Fu Qian argued, "Jia Yi was saying that the realm would be at peace, and even if the sovereign was a child or still in the womb, there would not be any danger." Meng Kang remarked, "委裘 is like 'accommodating clothing'; if the Son of Heaven was too young to preside over court, the court would simply carry on the practices of the late sovereign."

Yan Shigu remarked, "By 'extol', Jia Yi meant that people would praise Emperor Wen as a sage and wise ruler."

Jia Yi refers to a sickness of great 瘇ing. Ru Chun remarked, "This means a swelling in the feet."

The term 脛 means the shins. The Yiming dictionary states, "The shins are also called the 'stems', because they are long and straight and thus resemble stems."

Yan Shigu remarked, "To be 慉 'inflamed' means to cause pain when moved. 聊 means 'reliable'."

Yan Shigu remarked, "A terminal illness is one that has set in for good."

Bian Que was a skilled doctor from ancient times.

Yan Shigu remarked, "The term X is an ancient term for 'soles of the feet'. The bottom of the foot is called its sole, what we would now call the 腳掌 'soles of the feet'. And 盭 is an ancient term for 戾 'violate, go against'. The idea was that, with this illness, the soles of the feet would be unresponsive to the mind, and the person could not move."

Liu Jiao was Liu Bang's younger brother, making his son Emperor Wen's cousin and his grandson Emperor Wen's cousin's son. Liu Fei was Liu Bang's son, making him Emperor Wen's brother, his son Emperor Wen's nephew, and his grandson Emperor Wen's nephew's son.

Yan Shigu remarked, "When the fiefs were broadly established as a screen and shield, then the realm enjoyed peace, thus Jia Yi said that some of the fiefs were broken up 'in order to stabilize the realm'."

偪 is an old term for 逼 "to threaten".

The term 縣 should be read as 懸 "hanging down".

Yan Shigu remarked, "In this context, 顧 should be read as 'conversely'."

Yan Shigu remarked, "Jia Yi was saying, 'when the realm is in this situation and yet no one can save it, how can anyone claim that there are wise and intelligent people in the state?"

Some versions write 伸 "submit" rather than 勝 "overcome".

The term 綈 means "thick silk".

Yan Shigu remarked, "The term 孽 means 'lowly, cheap'."

Yan Shigu remarked, "A rake is a farming tool. Jia Yi was saying that when children lent their rake and their hoe to their father, they had a conceited expression, feeling that they were being generous and virtuous for having done so."

Jia Yi mentions that children will 誶語 when their mother is sweeping. Fu Qian remarked, "誶 means 'to scold'." Zhang Yan remarked, "誶語 means 'to rebuke'."

Yan Shigu remarked, "The term 哺 means 'to nurse, to suckle'. Jia Yi was saying that, even while a mother was holding her child and nursing it, she would interact normally with her uncle without any sort of ceremony."

Ying Shao remarked, "稽 means 'to analyze'. Jia Yi was saying that husbands and wives would analyze one another (for flaws)."

Yan Shigu remarked, "Jia Yi was saying that possessing only the qualities of 'loving their children and hungering after profit' made the people little better than savage beasts. The term 無幾 means 'not much different than, nearly the same'." Zhongfeng remarked, "Jia Yi was saying that, lacking filial piety or righteous behavior and only possessing love for their children and greed for profit, these people were nearly the same as beasts." In ancient times, the term 耆 was interchangeable with 嗜 "hunger for, hanker for".

Yan Shigu remarked, "Jia Yi was saying that people would choose what to chase after or pursue based purely on whether it would bring them profit or not, and in their 慮 'thoughts' they would give no consideration to whether they were doing good or evil deeds." Gongfu remarked, "慮 means 'generally, in the main'."

Yan Shigu remarked, "Placid means peaceful, undisturbed."

Yan Shigu remarked, "The term 適 means 'proper, appropriate'; in other words, the complacent ministers felt that everything was as it should be."

Yan Shigu remarked, "The carving knife was a tool for carving letters, and the basket was a place full of records."

Li Xian remarked, "The Six Kin were Father, Son, Elder Brother, Younger Brother, Husband, and Wife."

Yan Shigu remarked, "The term 持循 means to remain dutiful and be obedient."

Yan Shigu remarked, "Ropes were used to restrain the boat, and oars were used to guide the boat. The Book of Poetry has the verse, 'Fastened by the band of the 維 "rope".'"

Yan Shigu remarked, "乃 in this context means 'the beginning, to begin'."

The term 齊 here should be read as 齋 "abstinent".

Zhongfeng remarked, "Infants have red bodies, thus they are called 'red-faced children'."

Regarding the term 孩提, Yan Shigu remarked, "孩 means a child, and 提 means 'to tear through' (ie, to become aware)."

The Greater and Lesser tutors were the Grand Instructor, the Grand Tutor, and the Grand Guardian, and the Lesser equivalents of those titles.

Yan Shigu remarked, "貫 is a synonym for 習 'practice, custom'."

The precise term used for examining the Crown Prince is 切. Yan Shigu remarked, "This means 切磋 'to carve'; that is, someone could be constantly appraised or examined like a gem, yet would have no great faults to reproach themself with, thus they could be unashamed of their affairs."

The term 劓 means "to have the nose cut off".

To "mow" grass is to cut it. Yan Shigu remarked, "菅 means 'grass'."

Yan Shigu remarked, "亟 means 'extremity'. The traces of a cart are called its 'tracks'."

To translate means to convey words. The foreign peoples had different languages from the people of the Middle Kingdom, thus it was necessary to translate when sending envoys to communicate with these people. The Xiangxu official mentioned in the Rites of Zhou was such an official.

Su Lin remarked, "Jia Yi was saying that the foreign peoples could not easily change their place."

Yan Shigu remarked, "The 'One Man' quote comes from the 'Marquis of Lü on Punishments' chapter of the Book of Documents. The 'One Man' meant the Son of Heaven. The quote meant that if the Son of Heaven was a good man, then they people of the realm would benefit from his goodness."

Yan Shigu remarked, “The term 將然 means ‘something that one wishes to take place’.”

Jia Yi states that goodness should be instilled while it is still 眇. Yan Shigu remarked, “This means ‘meager, slight’.”

Yan Shigu remarked, “Confucius’s quote about ‘litigations’ comes from the Analects. He was saying that if he needed to preside over a litigation into an offence that someone had already committed, there was nothing more remarkable about his ability to do so than anyone else, but that it would be better if he could first instill virtue and righteous behavior in people so that there was never a cause for a litigation in the first place.”

Jia Yi states that the ruler should examine themself and 取舍. Yan Shigu remarked, “取 means to keep and use; 舍 means to discard and throw away. All instances of 舍 in this passage should be read as 捨 ‘throw out’.”

Yan Shigu remarked, “極 in this context should be read as ‘within, while’. 萌 ‘shoots’ means ‘something that has only just begun’.”

Yan Shigu remarked, “廉 here means ‘incline’. 陵 means ‘to bully, to take advantage of’.”

Yan Shigu remarked, “官師 ‘bureau chief’ means the leader of a bureau.”

Du You remarked, “The chief ministers were not directly subjected to punishments. In cases where in ancient times one had been immodest and despicable, it would be said that ‘their food basket had been unadorned’. When one of them had been perverse and not observed distinctions between the sexes, it would be said that ‘their bed curtain had not been maintained’. When one of them had deceived their sovereign and had not been loyal, it would be said that ‘they had been remiss in their duty’. When one of them had been weak in office, it would be said that ‘they had had no knowledge of their subordinates’. And when one of them had distorted the records of the state, it would be said that ‘they had acted without permission’. These five terms were euphemisms, used to obscure the true nature of their offenses. And Jia Yi was talking about similar versions of these euphemisms in later times.”

To 齒 “tooth” a horse meant to check its age by examining its teeth. To tread is to step on. Fodder is food for horses. The Summary of the Rules of Propriety chapter of the Book of Rites states, “If someone tramples on the horses’ forage, he should be punished, and also if he looks at their teeth (in order to calculate their age).”

Yan Shigu remarked, “When the Son of Heaven addressed feudal lords who were older than him, if they had the same surname as him, he called them Lord-Father, otherwise, Lord-Uncle. 伯 in this context means ‘older’.”

刖 means “to cut off the foot or feet”. According to Mao Huang, 傌 meant “to suffer the shame of execution”.

Jia Yi states that chief ministers or nobles threatened with conspicuous punishments would be “threatening”. Yan Shigu remarked, “He meant they would threaten the Son of Heaven.”

Ru Chun remarked, “To decide upon a punishment means to 當 ‘mete it out’ or to render a verdict. When Yan Yue killed the Second Emperor at Wangyi Palace, it had been because the Qin dynasty had governed in such a way that no awe or reverence was shown to superiors or the chief officials.” Zhongfeng remarked, “When Zhao Gao killed the Second Emperor, he must have justified it by couching it in terms of convicting the Second Emperor of a crime.”

Jia Yi refers to a 苴 of shoes. Yan Shigu remarked, “This meant a basket of shoes.”

Yan Shigu remarked, “The term 禮貌 meant to show courtesy and a respectful expression.”

Yan Shigu remarked, “The term 緤 meant to be bound with a long cord.”

Yan Shigu remarked, “The Director of Punishments was the official in charge of punishing the guilty. 編 meant to be arrayed. The 徒官s were the officials who accompanied the criminal’s cart to the ministry.”

Su Lin remarked, “The common people would know that such punishments could degrade chief officials in the space of a single morning.”

Regarding the terms 簠 and 簋, Yan Shigu remarked, “These were terms for baskets full of food; a square basket was called a 簠, and a round one called a 簋.” The Piya dictionary states, “The tortoise is a noble and virtuous creature; it lies prone and concealed, yet makes sounds of warning, and though it is skilled at remaining hidden, it harbors no unseemly designs. Thus the ancients would draw images of tortoises on the exteriors of their baskets, and when a chief minister was guilty of greed and embezzlement and was removed from office, the euphemism would be that ‘his basket was unadorned (with the image of the tortoise)’.” Jia Gongyan remarked, “A 簠 is a basket that is round on the inside and square on the outside, while a 簋 has the opposite design. Both could hold two 升 of grain.”

Regarding the term 罷軟, Yan Shigu remarked, “罷 means remiss in affairs, and 軟 means weak. 罷 in this context should be read as 疲 ‘weary’.”

Regarding the terms 譴 and 何, Yan Shigu remarked, “譴 ‘censure’ means a denunciation, and 何 means an inquiry or investigation. 域 meant ‘scope, scale’.”

Regarding yak-hair tassels, Master Zheng remarked, “They were fashioned from hair.”

White caps were worn as a sign of mourning.

Jia Yi mentions the possibility of guilty chief ministers having to 請室. Ying Shao remarked, “This meant to be judged guilty of their crimes in a court.” Master Hu’s text Offices of Han states, “When the carriages or carts went out, the Prefect of the Pure Chamber would lead the way; this office had a separate prison.”

Ru Chun remarked, “The gesture of the plate of water was because water is level by nature, thus it was a symbol that since the offender was guilty, the sovereign would be impartial in punishing him. But the sword was added to indicate that the offender should cut their own throat. Some say that when an animal was sacrificed, there would be a plate of water on hand to collect the blood dripping from its neck, and that the plate being offered in this instance meant the same thing.”

Yan Shigu remarked, “中 crimes were those that were neither especially great nor especially small.”

Jia Yi mentions that the guilty will heed the command and 自弛. Yan Shigu remarked, “To 弛 means to depose or get rid of, thus to 自弛 ‘get rid of oneself’ means to commit suicide.”

Su Lin remarked, “The sovereign was allowing the offender to cut his own throat, rather than have it be sullied by another. X should be read as 戾 ‘to sully’.”

Yan Shigu remarked, “To 自裁 ‘cut oneself’ means to commit suicide.”

Yan Shigu remarked, “To 捽 means ‘to grasp the hair’. And 抑 means ‘to press’.”

Fu Qian remarked, “子 ‘Sir’ was a polite term of address for men.”

Yan Shigu remarked, “憙 should be read as 喜, meaning ‘pleased’; they would be pleased to have their wishes of avoiding shame and disgrace fulfilled.”

Yan Shigu remarked, “嬰 means ‘to add’. And 矜 in this context means ‘honor, respect’.”

Jia Yi was saying that when the ministers were sure to act dutiful and with good conduct, the sovereign could govern them simply through his personal authority and would not need to further resort to official responses.

Jia Yi more precisely states that the realm could be left in the hands of a 六尺之孤 “six-inch orphan”, a term from the Analects. Ying Shao remarked, “This means a ruler who cannot establish his own rule yet.”

Yan Shigu remarked, “喪 in this context means ‘to squander, to let slip by’. Jia Yi was saying that a ruler should not let such an opportunity pass him by.”

By “do this”, Jia Yi meant showing courtesy and a chance to avoid shame and disgrace to guilty chief ministers; by “the opposite path”, he meant enforcing executions and public disgrace against chief ministers. He was saying that Emperor Wen was squandering the first option and insisting upon the other one.

It did become a general trend after this time for chief ministers to kill themselves upon receiving an imperial order, rather than argue their innocence to the justice officials. But even afterwards, there were still many people who accepted official punishment instead of killing themselves. So the concluding remarks must have been making a general statement.)
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BOOK 14

Unread postby Taishi Ci 2.0 » Wed Jan 22, 2020 5:13 am

七年(戊辰、前一七三)

The Seventh Year of Emperor Wen’s Reign (The Wuchen or Earth Dragon Year, 173 BC)


冬,十月,令列侯太夫人、夫人、諸侯王子及吏二千石無得擅徵捕。

1. In winter, the tenth month (of 174 BC), Emperor Wen ordered that the mothers and wives of the various feudal lords, the sons of princes, and officials of Two Thousand Bushel salary rank were not authorized to order drafts of troops or to make arrests.

〈如淳曰︰列侯之妻稱夫人;列侯死,子復爲列侯,乃得稱太夫人;子不爲列侯,不得稱也。〉

(Ru Chun remarked, “Regarding the term 太夫人 ‘Dowager Wife’, 夫人 was the term for the wife of a noble, thus when the noble died and his son succeeded him, the widow became known as the ‘Dowager Wife’. But if the son was not her child, she was not granted any title.”)


夏,四月,赦天下。

2. In summer, the fourth month, an amnesty was declared for the realm.

七年夏四月。赦天下。(Records of Former Han 7, Annals of Emperor Wen)

In the seventh year of Emperor Wen's reign (173 BC), in summer, the fourth month, an amnesty was declared for the realm.


六月,癸酉,未央宮東闕罘罳災。

3. In the sixth month, on the day Guiyou, the screen towers of the eastern gate of the Weiyang Palace burned.

六月辛酉。未央宮闕罘罳災。本志以為東闕。所以朝諸侯之門也。罘罳在外。諸侯之象也。僭大之咎也。典客馮敬為御史大夫。(Records of Former Han 7, Annals of Emperor Wen)

In the sixth month, on the day Guiyou, the screen towers of the eastern gate of the Weiyang Palace burned. The eastern gate had originally been planned to receive the feudal lords and other nobles to the palace, since they arrived from the east of the capital, and these screen towers outside the gate were an omen representing them; it represented a great censure.

The Director of Guests, Feng Jing, was appointed as Imperial Secretary.


民有歌淮南王者曰︰「一尺布,尚可縫;一斗粟,尚可舂;兄弟二人不相容!」帝聞而病之。

4. A song about Liu Chang began to spread among the common people: “Even an inch of cloth can still be split, even a measure of grain can still be shared. How could two brothers not put up with each other?”

When Emperor Wen heard this song, he felt bitter guilt.

〈臣瓚曰︰一尺布可縫而共衣,一斗粟可舂而共食,況以天下之廣,而兄弟不相容乎!〉

(Chen Zan remarked, “Even something as small as an inch of cloth can still be divided, and even something as small as a measure of grain can still be husked and shared. Why was it then, when the realm was so vast, that these two brothers could not put up with one another?”)
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BOOK 14

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

八年(己巳、前一七二)

The Eighth Year of Emperor Wen’s Reign (The Jisi or Earth Snake Year, 172 BC)


夏,封淮南厲王子安等四人爲列侯。賈誼知上必將復王之也,上疏諫曰︰「淮南王之悖逆無道,天下孰不知其罪!陛下幸而赦遷之,自疾而死,天下孰以王死之不當!今奉尊罪人之子,適足以負謗於天下耳。此人少壯,豈能忘其父哉!白公勝所爲父報仇者,大父與叔父也。白公爲亂,非欲取國代主;發忿快志,剡手以衝仇人之匈,固爲俱靡而已。淮南雖小,黥布嘗用之矣,漢存,特幸耳。夫擅仇人足以危漢之資,於策不便。予之衆積之財,此非有子胥、白公報於廣都之中,卽疑有剸諸、荊軻起於兩柱之間,所謂假賊兵,爲虎翼者也。願陛下少留計!」上弗聽。

1. In the summer, Emperor Wen appointed four of Liu Chang’s sons, including Liu An, as minor marquises.

Jia Yi knew that Emperor Wen would surely plan to appoint these sons as princes eventually. So he sent up a petition remonstrating with Emperor Wen, stating, “The Prince of Huainan was an arrogant traitor without principle, and who in all the realm does not know of his crimes? Though Your Majesty was tolerant and only exiled him rather than execute him, he still passed away of illness on the road, and who in all the realm does not believe that this was a fitting fate? Thus for you to honor the sons of such a criminal will only incur the slander and criticism of all the realm.

“And when these boys grow into men, do you think they will forget what happened to their father? In ancient times, when Bai Gongsheng avenged the death of his father, he did so against his grandfather and his uncles. He did not cause turmoil because he wanted to take over the state and replace the ruler; he wanted only to express his resentment and achieve his ambition by driving his hand into the breast of his hated enemy. Thus they both came to ruin. Though the princely fief of Huainan is small, Qing Bu once used it as the base for his own rebellion, and it was thanks to good fortune that the Han dynasty survived that. Yet now you are going to furnish those who hate you with the resources to once again endanger the dynasty; this is no good plan. They will have such riches that even if they do not go so far as to openly lead an army against you as Wu Zixu and Bai Gongsheng did, still they might hire assassins like Tuan Zhu or Jing Ke to strike you down in your own audience chamber. To grant soldiers to such villains is to add wings to a tiger. I implore Your Majesty to reconsider this!”

But Emperor Wen did not listen to him.

〈淮南厲王長子安封阜陵侯,勃封安陽侯,賜封陽周侯,良封東城侯。〉〈師古曰︰言若尊王其子,則是淮南王無罪,漢枉殺之也。〉〈師古曰︰少壯,猶言稍長大。〉〈白公勝,楚平王之孫,太子建之子。建得罪於平王,出奔而死於鄭,勝又奔吳;子胥以吳師入郢,勝蓋預焉,是讎其大父也。及其還楚,殺子西、子期,是讎其叔父也。剡,利也。靡,師古曰︰言與讎人俱斃。康曰︰碎也。〉〈事見十二卷高祖十一年。〉〈師古曰︰言漢之勝布得存,此直天幸耳。〉〈師古曰︰言假四子以資權,則當危漢。〉〈剸諸,吳人,爲闔閭刺殺王僚。荊軻事見七卷始皇二十年。兩柱之間,南面鄕明,人君聽政正坐之處。〉〈應劭曰︰《周書》云︰無爲虎傅翼,將飛入邑,擇人而食之。〉

(Of Liu Chang’s four sons, Emperor Wen now appointed his eldest son Liu An as Marquis of Fuling, Liu Bo as Marquis of Anyang, Liu Ci as Marquis of Yangzhou, and Liu Liang as Marquis of Dongcheng.

Yan Shigu remarked, “Jia Yi was saying that if Emperor Wen honored Liu Chang’s sons, that would be like saying that Liu Chang had committed no crime, and thus the dynasty had been unjust in killing him.”

Jia Yi describes Liu Chang’s sons as 少壯 “not yet mature”. Yan Shigu remarked, “This meant that they were not grown up yet.”

Bai Gongsheng was the grandson of King Ping of Chu, by his Crown Prince, Jian. When King Ping accused Jian of a crime, Jian fled the state and died in the state of Zheng. Bai Gongsheng fled as well, going to the state of Wu. Later, when the Wu general Wu Zixu led the army of Wu to enter the Chu capital at Ying, Bai Gongsheng must have taken advantage of the situation by going on ahead and killing King Ping to avenge his father. And after Bai Gongsheng had returned to Chu, he also killed his uncles Zixi and Ziqi. Thus he had killed “his grandfather and his uncles” in vengeance.

To 剡 means “to sharpen”.

Jia Yi states that both Bai Gongsheng and his foes 靡ed. Yan Shigu remarked, “This means that both of them went to ruin.” Meng Kang remarked, “They destroyed one another.”

Qing Bu had been King of Huainan when he led a rebellion against Liu Bang; he enjoyed initial victories before ultimately being defeated by Liu Bang’s army. This is mentioned in Book 12, in the eleventh year of Liu Bang’s reign (-196.17).

Yan Shigu remarked, “Jia Yi was saying that it had only been through Heaven’s blessing that the Han dynasty had triumphed over Qing Bu and still existed.”

Yan Shigu remarked, “Jia Yi was saying that giving Liu Chang’s four sons these resources and authority would endanger the dynasty.”

Tuan Zhu was a native of the state of Wu; he assassinated the King of Wu, Liao, on behalf of Helü, who then took control of Wu.

Jing Ke was an assassin who had unsuccessfully attempted to kill the First Emperor of Qin. This is mentioned in Book 7, in the twentieth year of the First Emperor’s reign (227 BC).

Jia Yi more precisely states that assassins might kill Emperor Wen “between your two pillars”. In the imperial audience chamber, the Emperor would sit facing south between two pillars, where he would listen to and preside over affairs.

Regarding the expression “adding wings to a tiger”, Ying Shao remarked, “The Book of Zhou states, ‘Do not add wings to a tiger, allowing it to fly into town and grab people and eat them.’”)


八年夏。封淮南王子四人。安為阜陵侯。勃為安陽侯。賜為周陽侯。良為東城侯。梁王太傅賈誼。知上將復王之。諫曰。淮南王悖逆無道。陛下幸赦而遷之。疾病而死。天下誰不以王死之為大當。今復尊罪人之子。適足以負謗於天下耳。雖割之而王四子。四子一心。此非有白公子胥興於廣都之中。必有專諸荊軻起於兩楹之間矣。(Records of Former Han 7, Annals of Emperor Wen)

In the eighth year of Emperor Wen's reign (172 BC), in the summer, Emperor Wen granted fiefs to four of Liu Chang’s sons. He appointed Liu An as Marquis of Fuling, Liu Bo as Marquis of Anyang, Liu Ci as Marquis of Zhouyang, and Liu Liang as Marquis of Dongcheng.

The Grand Tutor to the Prince of Liang, Jia Yi, knew that Emperor Wen would surely plan to appoint these sons as princes eventually. So he remonstrated with Emperor Wen, stating, “The Prince of Huainan was an arrogant traitor without principle. Though Your Majesty was tolerant and only exiled him rather than execute him, he still passed away of illness on the road, and who in all the realm does not believe that this was a most fitting fate? Thus for you to honor the sons of such a criminal will only incur the slander and criticism of all the realm.

“Even if you carve out fiefs to grant to these four sons as princes, they will still be of one heart against you. Even if they do not go so far as to openly lead an army against the capital as Wu Zixu and Bai Gongsheng did, still they will surely hire assassins like Tuan Zhu or Jing Ke to strike you down in your own audience chamber."


有長星出于東方。

2. A long comet appeared in the east.

〈文穎曰︰孛、彗、長三星,其占略同,然其形象少異︰孛星光芒短,其光四出,蓬蓬孛孛也;彗星,光芒參參如掃彗;長星,有一直,指或竟天,或三丈、二丈無常也。大法,彗、孛星多爲除舊布新,長星多爲兵革事。〉

(Wen Ying remarked, “There are three types of comets: bushy, broom, and long. They are all basically the same omen, but they have some slight differences. The light from bushy comets goes out in all directions, and is consequently short, going around like a bush. The light from broom comets is split like the hairs of a broom. Long comets have a single long tail, of varying length; whether two zhang, three zhang, or stretching towards the horizon, there is no set pattern. As for omens, bushy and broom comets are omens of the end of old things and the beginning of new ones, while long comets tend to be omens of warfare.”)


有長星出于東方。(Records of Former Han 7, Annals of Emperor Wen)

A long comet appeared in the east.
Last edited by Taishi Ci 2.0 on Thu Feb 20, 2020 3:58 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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