SGZ Biography of Cao Cao

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Unread postby Lexus Fiend » Sun Sep 25, 2005 11:35 pm

Time for me to chime in and say well done and thanks. I had planned on just checking the new messages in the forums, but I got sucked into this bio, and for that, I thank you :D
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Unread postby Liu Yuante » Fri Sep 30, 2005 9:47 pm

I'm making this update a bit early because my computer is acting funny and I want to get this bit entered in just in case I have another hard drive failure. As such, the last Pei note to Emperor Xian's lengthy edict granting the Nine Distinctions to Cao Cao is interrupted about 40% through, but I decided to be nice and not cut it mid-sentence. When the rest of that note is finished in the next few days it will be appended to this post rather than receiving a seperate one of its own so look for it here.

Before I get to the main text I want to mention how difficult this section was. Over in the Classical Chinese thread I whined about it a bit and Lady Wu gave some info on the style of the writing, for those interested. There are undoubtedly a few errors and oversights but overall I'm exceedingly pleased with how it turned out. I should note that there are a number of parts of this section that contain grammatical annotation where later authors have commented and explained various characters used in the text. Rather than using these to alter the main text itself I have rendered the main text according to the characters present within it, and have left the corrections to the annotations themselves, which I have also translated. In this way the original language is preserved and the reader can see for himself where later commentators have made their emendations.




In the winter, during the tenth month, His Excellency led an army north from Changan on an expedition against Yang Qiu and surrounded Anding. Qiu surrendered and His Excellency restored his noble rank, employing him to stay and soothe the common people. 79 In the twelfth month he returned from Anding and left Xiahou Yuan stationed at Changan.

79 The Summary History of Wei states, “During the Huangchu period Yang Qiu was made General Who Punishes Criminals and was given special advancement, being conferred the rank of Marquis of Linjing, which he held to the end of his life.

In the seventeenth year, in the spring and during the first month, His Excellency returned to Ye. The Son of Heaven bestowed His Excellency with the privilege to present himself unannounced, to enter the imperial court without haste and to go into the palace hall wearing his sword and boots, just as Xiao He formerly practiced. Of the remnant of Ma Chao’s multitudes, Liang Xing and his men were stationed at Lantian and His Excellency tasked Xiahou Yuan with attacking and suppressing them. From Henei commandery he cut off the counties of Dangyin, Chaoge and Linlu; from Dong commandery he cut off the counties of Wei, Dunqiu, Dongwuyang and Fagan; from Julu commandery he cut off the counties of Yingtao, Quzhou and Nanhe; from Guangping commandery he cut off the county of Rencheng and from the state of Zhao he cut off the counties of Xiang, Handan and Yiyang, for the purpose of adding them to Wei commandery.

In the winter, during the tenth month, His Excellency launched an expedition against Sun Quan.

In the eighteenth year, during the spring and in the first month, he led the army to the mouth of the Ruxu River, broke through Quan’s encampment to the west of the Yellow River, captured Quan’s Chief Controller Gongsun Yang and then led the army back. His Excellency issued an imperial decree combining the fourteen provinces and rearranging them as nine provinces. In the summer, during the fourth month, he arrived at Ye.

In the fifth month, on the bingshen day, the Son of Heaven tasked the Imperial Counselor Chi Lu with the Staff of Authority to bestow upon His Excellency the title of Duke of Wei 80, saying, “On account of lacking virtue, We met with grave misfortune in our youth. We passed over to Western lands and migrated to Tang and Wei. We were at this time like a decorative ribbon, 81 the ancestral temples lacked sacrifices and the worship of the grain god was not in place. A fearful and covetous throng divided up all of Xia and took control over the people of the land, We were unable to obtain control and our heavenly mandate from the High Ancestor was soon to fall to earth. We took to rising early in the morning and feigning sleep, and were shaken by fear to the point of faintheartedness, saying, ‘Both our grandfather and father had assisting officials who first upheld them, 82 what such person will have pity for our plight?’ Thus was Heaven’s inner feeling appealed to and it gave forth the Prime Minister, to preserve and stabilize the royal family and us. He gives great assistance with the hardships and troubles and We have come to absolutely rely on him. Presently We are going to have a ceremony of conferment for His Lordship, and we hope that he will respectfully obey our wishes.

“In earlier times when Dong Zhuo first gave rise to the national calamity, a throng of lords gave up their positions for the purpose of conferring about the imperial household. 83 His Lordship then entered to give assistance, first opening the way to soldiers, and this was because of his loyalty to the imperial dynasty. Later on the Yellow Turbans rebelled, proclaiming a change in the fixed order of the Heavens and encroaching on three of our provinces. It spread to the common people and he excised the Turbans for the sake of pacifying eastern Xia, and so this was the work of His Lordship. Han Xian and Yang Feng confined us to make use of imperial might and His Lordship sent in forces, overcame and expelled their villainy and forthwith he moved us to Xu city where he constructed our capital and surrounding district. He set up the government altars of sacrifice and did not deviate from our ancestors’ heritage, such that all matters concerning ghosts and spirits were settled and regulated, and this too was the work of His Lordship. When Yuan Shu rebelled with intent to usurp and made his display at Huainan, he was terrified and in awe of His Lordship’s intelligence. His Lordship employed a grand stratagem and Qiao Rui and Shu’s followers at Qiyang were beheaded. The border of his power extended southward, Yuan Shu accordingly was utterly destroyed, and this too was the work of His Lordship. He turned the point of his sword eastward to launch an expedition and Lu Bu was summarily dispatched. His Lordship availed himself of Bu’s supply carts and prepared to return when Zhang Yang met a violent death. Sui Gu was made to admit his guilt and Zhang Xiu kowtowed and surrendered; this, too, was the work of His Lordship. When Yuan Shao rebelled against the heavenly order and schemed to endanger the state, he relied upon his great numbers and weighed the soldiers within the land but lightly as the case at the time was that the imperial forces were few and weak. The whole land was fearful and there were none that possessed a strong will. His Lordship was of great moral integrity and his skill and ability were bright as the sun. In indignation he roused his military forces to action and used his cleverness to devise strategy, such that on arriving at Guandu he thoroughly destroyed the whole throng of villains, 84 thus causing for the nation and me to be saved from danger of falling. This, too, was His Lordship’s work. He crossed his army over the great Yellow River and extended his control to four provinces. Yuan Tan and Gao Gan both had their heads cut off and exposed, all the pirates fled in disarray and the Black Mountain bandits were reined in. This, too, was His Lordship’s work. The three tribes of the Wuhuan had instigated disorder for two generations, Yuan Shang fell in with them and they seized and oppressed the north, gathering horses and grain carts, yet in but a single battle they were routed. This was also the work of His Lordship. Liu Biao haughtily turned his back and did not give tribute for his post. When the imperial army first set forth the shocking news caused him to die in advance of their arrival and one hundred cities in eight commanderies altogether knelt in obeisance. This, too, was the work of His Lordship. Ma Chao and Cheng Yi joined together to aid each other in wickedness, occupying a place near banks of the Yellow River at Tong Pass, whereat they sought to achieve their aim. His Lordship exterminated them south of the Wei River, displaying ten thousand severed ears. Forthwith the fringe territories were set in order and the Rong barbarians were consoled and pacified, and this, too, was His Lordship’s work. Dingling of the Xianbi took (the situation) seriously and arrived, as did the Shanyu of the Xiongnu Bowu, and they requested official positions. This was also the work of His Lordship. His Lordship has the heroic achievement of having settled the Empire, upholding it by means of brilliant virtue. He has spread order between the four seas and propagated virtuous social mores. To me he has given frequent instruction and has exercised caution with regard to torture and imprisonment. Officials are devoid of tyrannous action and the people do not harbor wicked thoughts. He has shown diligent reverence for the imperial clan, memorializing to preserve for posterity the lives of the deceased, and of those who formerly were virtuous, and achieved merit in bygone times, there were none who were not taken into account. Though Yi Yin brought order to the Heavens and Duke Zhou spread illumination to the four seas, they are nothing in comparison to His Lordship.


80 The Book of Han continued states, “Lu was styled Hongyu and was a native of Gaoping in Shanyang. When he was young he studied under Zheng Xuan and at the beginning of Jianan he served in the Gentlemen of the General Staff.” Yu Pu’s Records of Jiangbiao state, “One time, while alone, Emperor Xian saw Lu and the Privy Treasurer Kong Rong, and he asked Rong, ‘What are Hongyu’s strong points?’ Rong replied, ‘He is suitable for following orders but is not suited for authority.’ Lu lifted his tablet and said, ‘Rong formerly governed Beihai and the government caused the people to scatter about, such was the stability of his administration!’ Soon after he and Rong kept their distance from each other to the point that they became unfriendly. His Excellency composed a letter to reconcile them. Lu received honor and income for meritorious service and was made Imperial Counselor.

81 The Detailed Record of His Excellency states, “The sovereign was like a superfluous (贅) tassel (旒).” He Xiu says, “贅 Zhui4 (Superfluous) is pronounced like 綴 zhui4 (patch together). 旒 Liu2 (tassel) is equivalent in meaning to 旂 qi2 (flag). ‘Tassel’ is used metaphorically, meaning that the Emperor was an accessory to those who were seizing territory left and right.”

82 The Life of Marquis Wen states, “Those who also first upheld them.” Zheng Xuan says, “To be upheld one must first have ministers. And so he named His Excellency as Imperial Counselor.”

83 The Record of the Zuo Clan states, “The various lords gave up their positions for the purpose of sowing discord in the imperial government.” Fu Qian says, “My position is that the various lords gave up their personal interests so as to assist the imperial house.”

84 The Book of Odes states, “Directing the Heavenly throne is like being a shepherd in his field." Zheng Xian says, “Read 届 jie2 (arrive, limit) as 极 ji2 (extreme, highest, throne).” The Hong Fan states, “By this standard Gun met a violent demise.”

“We have heard that when former kings sought to make plain the virtue of a person they would grant him land and assign to him the use of the common people. They honored them by bestowing favor and preparing gifts, so that the feudatories defended the royal household and in this era everyone made obeisance. Such was the case in the time of King Cheng of Zhou. The states of Guan and Cai were restless, punishing them was difficult and Cheng was anxious for meritorious service. He thereupon dispatched Duke Kang of Shao and Duke Tai of Qi with authority to go forth, eastward to the sea, west to the Yellow River, north to Muling and south to Wudi, levying troops against the five marquises and the nine feudal chieftains. The people of his era gave him favor as a great master because he expanded the imperial borders out to the East China Sea. Further on in the time of King Xiang there were persons in Chu who did not do their duty for the King, and so he designated Wen of Jin to ascend to rank of High Duke. He granted him the use of the Two Carriages, Warriors Rapid as Tigers, the Ceremonial axe and the Battleaxe, Black-Millet Liquor, and the Bow and Arrows, and he fully opened up Nanyang, for which the people of his time regarded him as an ally of the King. For this reason the Zhou Kingdom did not come to ruin and through these two states alone was prosperous. Presently His Lordship is regarded as being of great and manifest virtue and has made plain his defense of our person. He has received with respect the Will of Heaven, scattering forth his great uprightness out to ((緩爰) huan3 yuan2) the Nine Territories. There are none that do not obey his will 85 and his achievements are as lofty as those of Yi or Zhou, yet his rewards are inferior to those of Qi and Jin, and We are greatly ashamed. When We were but very young We were entrusted with ascending over the great mass of common people, and We are always lamenting and fainting from the difficulties, it is as if We were wading through an icy whirlpool. Were it not for His Lordship’s assistance We would be without any control. Now We take Ji province’s commanderies of Hedong, Henei, Wei, Zhao, Zhongshan, Changshan, Julu, Anping, Ganling and Pingyuan, ten commanderies in all, and confer on His Lordship the rank of Duke of Wei. We grant to His Lordship black earth (玄土) and thatching straw made from white grass (白茅), and also decoratively engraved tortoiseshell to offer up to the great altar of the god of land. In former times during the Zhou dynasty, the Duke of Bi and the Duke of Mao came forward to render assistance as ministers, and as counts they defended Zhou and Shao. They held responsibility for both internal and external affairs, and His Lordship is certainly deserving of this. Accordingly he is to be Imperial Chancellor while also holding the position of Governor of Ji province as before. In addition, We grant to His Lordship the Nine Distinctions and in this I hope that he will respectfully submit to our wishes. He has planned and administered the ceremonial rites and regulations, acted as a moral standard for the common people and caused them to go about their occupations peacefully with none straying from their commitments. We therefore dispense to His Lordship use of the Grand Chariot and War Chariot, one of each, with two teams black stallions. His Lordship has pursued the division and allocation of agricultural labor so that farm workers are variegated (昏 hun1) in their duties 86 , accumulating great stores of grain and silk, and the empire prospered. Accordingly We put at His Lordships disposal the garments of Imperial Robe and Crown, with matching Crimson Shoes. His Lordship is honest and reverent yet modest and self-effacing, causing the common people’s conduct to flourish. The young show courtesy for the old and all about everything is harmonious, wherefore We dispense to His Lordship the Suspended Musical Instruments and the Six Ranks of Dancers. His Lordship has made proclamations on morals and manners outward in all directions, so that distant persons have changed their ways and Huaxia is rejuvenated. We therefore grant to His Lordship to reside behind the Vermilion Door. He is detailed in his understanding of philosophy and gives thought to the difficulties of the emperor, appoints only the virtuous to government office and the good are certain to be raised up out of the crowd. Accordingly We grant to His Lordship to ascend by means of the Inner Stairway. His Lordship holds control over the country and adopts a stern countenance towards those dwelling within, as he does not back away from even the most insignificant of evils. Therefore We give to him Warriors Rapid as Tigers numbering three hundred men. His Lordship has piously rectified the heavenly punishments and criminal codes and regulations. 87 He put an end to forced labor as punishment for offenders, and there were none that were not put to death. We accordingly give to His Lordship the Ceremonial Axe and the Battle-Axe, one of each. His Lordship has the tread of a dragon and the glance of a tiger, with a sweeping gaze from on high stretching in every direction. He sent sudden attacks against those that rebelled against moral order and subdued the land within the four seas. Therefore We give to him a Red Bow, with one hundred Red Arrows, and ten Black Bows with one thousand Black Arrows. His Lordship has laid a foundation by means of his kindness and reverence, and his filial piety and helpfulness have served as a model of virtue. He is renowned for his dutiful sincerity and is affected by Our laments. Wherefore We bestow on His Lordship one vessel of the Black Millet Liquor with accompanying Jade Libation Cup. We now install His Lordship as Imperial Chancellor of the State of Wei with a group of one hundred assistant ministers serving under him, just as the feudal lords’ enfeoffment as kings at the start of Han. Go forward by our own decree and respectfully submit to our wishes! In short, give relief to your people, assist by means of your numerous talents, make full use of your manifest virtue and raise again our fallen mandate from the High Ancestor! 88

85 Pan Gong states, “He brought peace to (爰 yuan2) the multitudes.” Zheng Xuan states, “爰 yuan2 (pull, in) equates to 於 yu2 (at, to, by). He pacified those in concealment by means of his multitudes.” Jun Shi states, “He went forth daily to the outlying coastal areas and there were none who did not obey his will.” 率 shuai4 (converge, obey) equates to 循 xun2 (adhere to, abide by) and 俾 bi3 (cause, enable) equates to 使 shi3 (cause, use). Like the the sun he spread illumination to the four corners of the empire, and there were none who did not abide by the law and be willing to serve.

86 Pan Geng states, “He stabilized the devastated system of agriculture and the performance of the work was no longer disordered (昏 hun1).” Zheng Xuan states, “昏 hun1 (variegated, confused, chaotic) should be 勉 mian3 (exhort, make effort).”

87 The statement “His Lordship has piously rectified the heavenly punishments” comes from the Guo Yu and Wei Zhao makes the following annotation on it, “糾 jiu1 (rectify, gather together) should be 察 cha2 (inquire, look into). 虔 qian2 (pious, devout) should be 敬 jing4 (respect, venerate). 刑 xing2 (punishment, torture) should be 法 fa3 (law, way).”

88 These are the words of the Latter Han Minister of Writing and Left Prime Minister Pan Xu. Xu was styled Yuanmao and was a citizen of Zhongmou in Chenliu. The Book of Wei adds a decree of His Excellency’s saying, “Of men who received the Nine Distinctions and completely liberated all the land, the Duke of Zhou was one such man. Han made kings of eight men whose family names were different (i.e. non-Liu), as they were close affiliates of the High Ancestor from his rise up from the common class to the founding of the Imperial estate. Such honors come to the great, how can I compare to them?” Altogether he declined three times. Thereupon the Military Adviser of the Center and Marquis of the village of Lushu Xun You, the Military Advisor of the Front and Marquis of the village of Dongwu Zhong Yao, the Military Advisor of the Left Liang Mao, the Military Advisor of the Right Mao Jie, the General Who Pacifies Caitiffs and Marquis of Huaxiang Liu Xun, the General Who Establishes Firmness and Marquis of the village of Qingyuan Liu Ruo, the General Who Calms the Waves and Marquis of Gaoan Xiahou Dun, the General Who Manifests Firmness and Marquis of a chief village Wang Zhong, the General Who Exerts Might and Marquis of Yuexiang Liu Zhan, the General Who Establishes Loyalty and Marquis of the village of Changxiang Xianyu Fu, the General Who Exerts Firmness and Marquis of the village of Anguo Cheng Yu, the Grand Palace Grandee and Marquis of Duxiang Jia Xu, the Military Advisor of Offering Sacrifices and Marquis of the village of Qianqiu Dong Zhao, the Marquis of a chief village Xue Hong, the Marquis of the village of Nanxiang Dong Meng, the Marquises Within the Imperial Domain Wang Can and Fu Xun, the Assistants of Sacrifices Wang Xuan, Yuan Huan, Wang Lang, Zhang Cheng, Ren Fan and Du Xi, the Escort to the Army and Marquis of the village of Guoming Cao Hong, the Conveyor of the Army and Marquis of the village of Wansui Han Hao, the General of Resolute Cavalry and Marquis of the village of Anping Cao Ren, the General Who Gives Protection to the Army Wang Tu, and the Palace Attendants Wan Qian, Xie Huan and Yuan Ba and others urged him to receive it, saying, “From the ancient time of the Three Dynasties territory has been conferred upon officials in return for perfectly executing their orders. Official rank has been bestowed on those who assist their ruler, in all cases so as to honor their achievements and reward their virtue in acting to defend the country to its very borders. Previously the empire collapsed into disorder and when a throng of fierce and able men rose up you overstepped them and came to domineer over the strategic passes, and so we cannot refrain from speaking out. With pure heart you exerted yourself in the restoration of order to the point of nearly dying from the hardships. You put the two usurping, rebel Yuan to death, stamped out every sect of the Yellow Turban bandits, exterminated the rebellious foreign chieftains, cleared away and distributed abandoned and weed-choked land and have been immersed in freezing cold and dampness for more than twenty years. In the whole of recorded deeds up to now there are no such accomplishments as these. In former times the Duke of Zhou followed in the footsteps of (Kings) Wen and Wu and took up the completion of their undertaking. His loftiness rests upon his writing skill, that he, with both hands clasped, bowed respectfully before the many dukes and princes and was as diligent as Yan and Shang. For this reason, after only two years, of the three divisions of the empire Lu Wang already had two and could rely on the eight hundred feudal chiefs. Consequently, though he took hold of the Battle-Axe of Authority and directed the reins of power for only a short time, he vastly expanded the royal territory, bridging provinces and doubling the size of the country. The Duke of Zhou had eight sons, all of them becoming marquises and counts, and a strong white bull and red horse were sacrificed to all of them, with the manner of the ceremony and sacrificial objects mimicking those of the Imperial household. Glory and commendation are bestowed on the prosperous, such as these great men. At the time of the start of Han rewards were given to the ministers Zhang Er and Wu Rui for their meritorious service in the hinterlands, incorporating their cities as foreign adjuncts, which faced south and remained independent. These all reflect that a wise lord, to achieve control, must reward with authority, and that a worthy minister, to officiate wisely, must accept them with submissiveness. The Three Dynasties established this standard and the Han Emperors made it clear. Your hard work is more outstanding than that of Zhou and Lu (吕), your schemes and exploits dwarf those of Zhang and Wu, your evaluation of internal affairs is twice as good as that of Qi and Lu (鲁) and your proposals concerning the use of the land exceed those of Changsha. It is correct tradition that you be granted the state of Wei and honored with the Nine Distinctions and moreover, those who received rewards in olden times could still conceal their cherished jade beneath coarse, brown clothing. Furthermore you have made marquises of all your generals, who are fortunate to be attached to a great and eminent man and have gained by pilfering from your grand efforts. We wear purple, ornamental buckles and cherished, golden seals, one hundred in number so bestowed, such that your generals consequently will live on for all time while Your Excellency forswears reward by the emperor. Of us, your generals, this refusal has caused our hearts to be uneasy; of the emperor, you have gone against the favor of the imperial court; and of the people, you have disappointed their great hope for you to be crowned. You are forgetting the grand profession of assistant to the country and are embracing the meager occupation of an ordinary man, and all of us are greatly fearful.” Whereupon His Excellency, admonished for his disobedience, submitted to the imperial decree but would only accept Wei commandery. His men spoke again, saying, “You hid from sight when you were first conferred the State of Wei, giving thought to the wisdom of the imperial court, and considering the advice of the throng of your fellow-officials, whereafter you wrote to accept the appointment. However Your Illustrious Excellency continues to go against the Emperor’s intentions and will not ascend to the grand ceremony. Presently you should reverently receive the imperial appointment and conform and yield to the expectations of your men, but you choose to forsake the great and accept the small, giving away the nine and accepting just the one. Thus you make the awards of the Han Emperor out to be no good, and the pleas of your men to be disagreeable. In former times the conferments upon Qi and Lu extended out to the East China Sea, and the territory’s taxable units of farmland numbered four thousand families, laying a foundation of prosperity from which to launch far-reaching enterprises and making it easier to render meritorious service. Because of this they were able to successfully achieve the worthy deeds of giving assistance to their rulers, and establishing and upholding them. Now, although the State of Wei has in its possession ten commanderies it is still smaller than Qufu, as with regard to the number of families it cannot sport even half. Regarding usability for defending the imperial house and establishing walls for protection it is also insufficient. The emperor made his order through seeing how Qin perished through the disaster of being without assistants, and guards against the formerly daily hardships of trauma and dissolution, and so seeks to establish a worthy person to put a stop to the ruination. This is the root source of why Your Illustrious Excellency should respectfully submit to the emperor’s appointment and no longer refuse.” His Excellency thereupon accepted the appointment. The Wei Lue records His Excellency submitting a letter of thanks to the emperor, saying, “Your minister received the late emperor’s generous kindness of extending to me a position in officialdom. Being by nature weak and idle my hopes and expectations were fully satisfied, and I did not dare to yearn for high office and so become illustrious and influential. When Dong Zhuo’s insurrection occurred the righteous acted to risk their lives during the troubles, and for this reason I roused myself vigorously to go forth and ravage the rebel multitudes at swordpoint. And so came many years’ traveling as I offered military service, up to the present. The inflammation of the two Yuan surged forth simultaneously and we were caught in the middle of their encroachment. Your Majesty and myself were chilled with fear and mutually concerned, and looking with reverence upon the capital city, I advanced to receive the fierce enemy forces. I was constantly fearful that Your Lordship and myself alike would both fall into the tiger’s maw as I sincerely did not expect myself able to fully face them at the same time. You relied on the spirits of your forebears to protect you, to likewise exterminate the evil ones and make it possible to clandestinely use Your minister to unknowingly move between them. Your Majesty increased your favor, rewarding over and above the position of prime minister by granting me noble rank and salary. Your abundant magnanimity and vast favor, my whole life’s desire, were truly unexpected. I sspeak my plans from the heart and am overjoyed just to hold office. I have retained my string of marquisates to pass on to my descendants while I myself am entrusted with the emperor’s life, so that they need never be worried with responsibility. I did not wish for Your Majesty to issue forth your great desire, that of preparing to bestow the founding of a state, and thereupon confer it upon a simpleton like your minister. This territory, in comparison to that of Qi and Lu, is an identical gift of kingly domain but in contrast your minister is without those men’s accomplishments that were suitable for receiving it. When, on returning, I heard of your kindly appointment, I did not have an audience with you to accept. The seriousness of the imperial order was brought home to me and caused for your minister in his heart to submit to the pressure. I submitted myself to a frugal reward only because, in holding the position of a high minister, my duty is to manage the imperial household and so my life does not belong to me, so how could I dare to be selfish? However, soon after I withdrew my humble intentions and my readiness to decline, and was compelled to ascend to receive the original appointment. As I now receive this territory and prepare to have my vassal state set down in writing, I am uncertain of the future and have anxiety for later generations. Just as a father and son swear a lifelong, mutual oath, burning their bodies to ash at the end of their lives, so in like manner do I respond to your grand favor. I bear the might of Heaven in my countenance and with great trepidation I accept the imperial order.”


Adrian
Last edited by Liu Yuante on Fri Oct 14, 2005 3:06 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread postby Liu Yuante » Fri Oct 14, 2005 3:11 am

EDIT: the latter section of the massive Pei note only partially done in the previous update is now finished and posted. By my reckoning I am now 75% done with the bio. God willing, my wife4's disability will come in, I can go on leave, and I'll be able to finish this in timely fashion and move on to Cao Pi (whose bio is fortunately quite shorter).

ust a note for anyone who has read the update, that ending bit was originally interpreted as favorable to the personages mentioned. Then I saw portion just after, not posted yet, that made me change my mind, but now I've gone back and rendered it as favorable again, making a few corrections (or, I believe they are corrections).

I'm not as accomplished at this as others (if at all) so I'll issue another reminder that all of these are subject to change should I either detect an error or have one pointed out to me.

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Unread postby James » Fri Oct 14, 2005 3:23 am

Well… I don’t think there are many people harder to translate than Cao Cao? I guess when you look at it that way, pretty much everyone is easier. :lol:
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Unread postby Liu Yuante » Sat Nov 05, 2005 4:06 am

James wrote:Well… I don’t think there are many people harder to translate than Cao Cao? I guess when you look at it that way, pretty much everyone is easier. :lol:


Hmm, maybe. I think the bio of some advisor heavy on the imperial-style decrees would be pretty horrific, though.

Anyway, here's s'more.

In the fall, during the seventh month, His Excellency began setting up the Wei government and ancestral temples. The Son of Heaven wed three of His Excellency’s daughters and they became court ladies, though the youngest remained in the country until she came of age. 89 In the ninth month he constructed the Golden Tiger Pavilion and dug out a canal to divert the Zhang River water into the White canal so as to connect it with the Yellow River. In the winter, during the tenth month, he divided Wei commandery into eastern and western districts under control of a Chief Commandant. In the eleventh month he first set up the Masters of Writing, the Regular Attendants and the Six Ministries. 90

89 The Record of Emperor Xian’s Daily Life states, “The Emperor tasked the Staff of Authority to the Acting Grand Master of Ceremonies, Grand Minister of Agriculture and Marquis of the village of Anyang Wang Yi and had him send black jade, red silk and fifty bolts of thin, coarse silk to Ye as payment for the marriage. Five men to serve as assistants to the marriage, all of them of Yilang rank, were also granted to assist His Excellency with the matter as well as one man to serve as deputy assistant.

90 The Annals of the Wei Clan state, “His Excellency appointed Xun You to be Prefect of the Masters of Writing, Liang Mao to be Supervisor, Mao Jie, Cui Yan, Chang Lin, Xu Yi, and He Kui to be Masters of Writing and Wang Can, Du Xi, Wei Ji and He Xia to be Regular Palace Attendants.

Ma Chao was in Hanyang commandery and was again spurring the Qiang and Hu to do evil. The King of the Di Qian Wan rebelled in response to Chao and encamped at Xingguo. His Excellency tasked Xiahou Yuan with punishing them.

In the nineteenth year, in the spring and during the first month, His Excellency for the first time ploughed the sacred field. Zhao Qu of Nanan, Yin Feng of Hanyang and others sent a punitive expedition against Chao, beheading his wife and son, and Chao fled to Hanzhong. Han Sui traveled to Jincheng and joined up with the King of the Di Qian Wan’s army to lead the ten thousand cavalry of the Qiang and Hu and enjoin Xiahou Yuan in battle. Yuan struck and inflicted a massive defeat on them and Sui fled to Xiping. Yuan and all of his generals assaulted Xingguo and slaughtered the inhabitants. His Excellency eliminated Andong and Yongyang commandery.

When the Grand Administrator of Anding Guanqiu Xing was preparing to assume that office, His Excellency warned him, saying, “The Qiang and Hu desire unimpeded access through China and you yourself must bear the arriving men they dispatch and be careful not to send out men against them. Capable men are one in a thousand so you must certainly make known to the Qiang and Hu that it would be rash to strive to engage you for the sake of desiring benefit for themselves, that it would be of no value to act contrarily with base intentions, and therefore would be a fruitless enterprise.” When Xing arrived he dispatched Colonel Fan Ling to go to the Qiang within and Ling succeeded in so instructing the Qiang, causing for himself to be asked to be Chief Commandant of Shu state. His Excellency said, “I knew in advance that you would be suitable, for though you are not a sage, still I repay you for your numerous achievements alone.” 91


91 The Records of Emperor Xian’s Daily Life state, “The Emperor tasked the Acting Grand Master of Ceremonies, Grand Minister of Agriculture and Marquis on the village of Anyang Wang Yi, and the Director of the Imperial Clan Liu Ai, with the Staff of Authority, with five men as assistants. They sent bundles of silk and a team of horses and additionally sent officials of the Gentlemen in Attendance at the Yellow Gates, supporting imperial court officials and two eunuchs of the Regular Palace Attendants to welcome the two noblemen from the Duke of Wei’s state. In the second month, on the guihai day, the Emperor, at the Duke of Wei’s ancestral temple, gave official seals to them. On the jiazi day the Emperor called on the Duke of Wei at his palace by the Gate of Prolonged Autumn to welcome him to ascend the chariot. The Emperor dispatched the Prefect of the Gentlemen of the Palace, the Privy Treasurer, the Bo Shi, the Prefect of the Imperial Horsemen of the Yellow Stables and the Imperial Chancellor with their subordinate officials to attend to the him. On the guiyou day, when they arrived at Weicang, the Emperor sent the Palace Attendant Dan, with a voluminous crowd of Men Rapid as Tigers all about him, on horseback to welcome them. On the yihai day the two noblemen entered the palace and the Imperial Clerk Grandee, the Jiang Dafu with salary of fully two thousand shi and the Gentleman-Consultants congregated at the rear of the palace, while the two ministers of the State of Wei, the Regular Palace Attendants and two Gentlemen of the Household joined with the Excellencies and Ministers of Han in the palace hall for a celebratory banquet.

In the third month the Emperor placed His Excellency above all the Marquises and Kings, giving him the Golden Seal, the Scarlet Sash and the Cap for Long Journeys. 92

92 The Record of Emperor Xian’s Daily Life states, “The Emperor tasked the General of the Gentlemen of the Household on the Left Yang Xuan and the Marquis of a village Pei Mao with the Staff of Authority to convey the seal to His Excellency.

In the seventeenth year His Excellency launched an expedition against Sun Quan. 93

93 The Annals of the Nine Provinces state, “The Advisor to the Army Fu Gan remonstrated with him, saying, ‘There are two primary tools for governing the empire, civil administration and the military. To use the military you must first be powerful and to utilize civil administration you must first be benevolent. Power and virtue together are sufficient for achievement and from them the path to becoming king is prepared. Formerly the empire was in great disorder and the high and low were all out of place. Your Illustrious Excellency used military force to expel them and out of every ten, nine were so pacified. Currently you are not yet the bearer of the Imperial Mandate, there are also Wu and Shu, Wu having the natural defense of the Yangtze River and Shu the impediment of lofty mountains. It would be difficult to make them submit through brute force, but easy to pacify them through virtuous administration. I believe that you may for the time being put aside your armor, lay down your weapons, rest your army and give support to your soldiers by parceling out land to give as conferments, awarding people according to their contributions. If you follow these guidelines then the hearts of those within and without will be steady, persons of merit will put forth effort and the whole of the empire will be aware of your administration. Afterwards you can establish schools for the purpose of instructing those of a good nature and developing their righteousness and moral integrity. Your Excellency’s repute as a conquering general spreads fear to the lands within the four seas and if you cultivate civil administration to complement this, then in all the land there will be none who will think of not submitting. Currently you have raised a multitude of one hundred thousand soldiers and have stationed them on the banks of the Yangtze River, and if the rebels stand pat and rely on deep storehouses then your infantry and cavalry will not be able to put their talents to use. In this unexpected turn of events you will be without the use of their advantages, and so your great power will be subverted and you will not subdue the hearts of the enemy. Your Illustrious Excellency should consider Yu Shun’s wielding the battle-axe righteously, using all of your power to cultivate virtue and in this way bring about victory.” His Excellency did not obey and consequently the army failed to achieve. Gan was styled Yancai, was a native of Beidi and to the end of his life served as Imperial Chancellor to the Cao family. He had a son named Xuan.

Earlier, Song Jian of Longxi proclaimed himself King of the Source of the Yellow River Who Will Pacify Han, gathering a multitude at Fuhan, and had been changing the imperial reign years and setting up officials of all rank and type for thirty years. His Excellency dispatched Xiahou Yuan from Xingguo to punish him. In the winter, during the tenth month, he slaughtered the men of Fuhan, beheading Jian and pacifying Liang province.

His Excellency returned from Hefei.

The Han Empress, who was of the Fu clan, had earlier conspired with her kinsmen to send a letter to the Colonel of Garrison Cavalry Wan, saying that the Emperor hated His Excellency for executing Dong Cheng, and their writing was very hateful. When His Excellency learned of it the Empress was dethroned and put to death and her kinsmen were all executed. 94


94 The Record of Cao Man states, “His Excellency dispatched Hua Xin with soldiers to forcefully enter the palace and collect the Empress and she barricaded the door and hid inside the wall. Xin destroyed the door, opened up the wall, and led the Empress away. The Emperor was at this time seated with the Palace Assistant Grandee Chi Lu when the Empress, with bedraggled hair and walking barefoot, went by and grasped the Emperor’s hand, saying, “Can you not protect my life from this villainy?” The Emperor replied, “I, too, do not know when my fated time will come.” The Emperor said to Lu, “Master Chi, how can there be such villainy in a tranquil world?” Soon after His Excellency prepared the Empress and executed her, and Wan and his clansmen were put to death, to the tune of one hundred men.

In the twelfth month His Excellency arrived at Mengjin. The Son of Heaven bestowed on His Excellency the right to wear a yak’s tail braid in his hair and to set up the Musical Rack of Bells at his palace. On the ziwei day His Excellency issued a decree saying, “A man having an official’s ability is not necessarily able to obtain advancement and a man who obtains advancement to officialdom does not necessarily have ability. How can it be that Chen Ping, who was sincere in his conduct, and Su Qin, who was trustworthy, were villainous? Chen Ping brought order to Han and Su Qin gave aid to the weakened Yan. From this one can say of them that though an official has flaws, that their use should not be abolished! If those in administration would give clear thought to this meaning then no officials would be left behind in stagnation, and the government will be without wasted occupations.” He spoke again, saying, “When a man is punished by torture, one hundred of his family members are likewise punished, but within the army the statute concerning prisoners is not only to blame their adult relatives but also permits the army to engage in putting their children to death, and I am greatly fearful of this. This being so I have decided it is sensible to revise the law and order that the law be punishment by torture.”

In the twentieth year, during the spring and in the first month, the Son of Heaven set up one of His Excellency’s daughters to be Empress. His Excellency did away with the commanderies of Yunzhong, Dingxian, Wuyuan and Shuofang, replacing each commandery with a single county over its populace and joined them all as Xinxing commandery.

In the second month His Excellency led an expedition westward against Zhang Lu and on arriving at Chencang he prepared to head from Wudu into Di territory. The Di people were blocking the way and he had earlier dispatched Zhang He, Zhu Ling and their men to attack and defeat them. In the summer, during the fourth month, His Excellency left from Chencang to enter the San Pass and arrived at Hechi. The King of the Di Doumao had a multitude of ten thousand men and depended on the treacherous terrain to avoid submission. In the fifth month His Excellency attacked and massacred them. Xiping and Jincheng’s leaders, Qu Yan, Jiang Shi and their men, joined forces to behead Han Sui and deliver his head. 95 In the autumn, during the seventh month, His Excellency arrived at Yangping. Zhang Lu tasked his brother Wei, together with his general Yang Ang and his men, to seize Yangping Pass and across the hills they erected walls ten li in length. His Excellency attacked but was unable to capture them and thereupon led the army away. When the rebels saw the great army retreat their defensive preparations dissolved. His Excellency thereupon secretly dispatched Xie Piao, Gao Zuo and their men into the passes on horseback to make a night raid, massively defeating them and beheading their general Yang Ren. They advanced to attack Wei and he and his men fled into the night, while Lu was routed and fled to Bazhong. His Excellency’s army entered Nanzheng and thoroughly looted Lu’s home and storehouses of their valuables. 96 Ba and Han commanderies both capitulated. His Excellency turned over Hanning commandery to become part of Hanzhong and divided off Hanzhong’s counties of Anyang and Xicheng to form Xicheng commandery, and installed a Grand Administrator. He also divided off Xi county to form Shangyong commandery and installed a Chief Commandant.


95 The Dianlue states, “Sui was styled Wenyue and started in the same commandery as Bian Zhang, and they both became famous in the western provinces. Zhang became Army Supervisor of the General Staff. Sui went to the capital to present a scheme and when He Jin became aware of Sui’s fame he met with him in private. Sui tried to persuade Jin to order the execution of all the eunuchs but Jin would not comply, and then asked him to go home. Song Yang of Liang province, Gong Yu from the north and others gathered and rebelled, selecting Zhang and Sui to be their leaders. Soon thereafter Zhang fell ill and died and Sui led Yang and the others in plunder without end. He obstructed the army by means of armed rebellion for thirty-six years, up until the time of his death at more than seventy years of age.” Liu Ai’s Records of Emperor Ling states, “Zhang originally was called Yan.”

96 The Book of Wei states, “The army traveled one thousand li from the capital to the mountains, up and down over dangerous and difficult terrain, and the soldiers toiled hard. His Excellency therefore made a great sacrifice and there were none whose efforts he overlooked.


Regarding the divvying up of Hanzhong commandery's counties, according to de Crespigny's index all of those counties were in Nanyang, not Hanzhong. I'm not sure if there were changes made in one of Cao Cao's previous rearrangements or what, but the text says they were in Hanzhong, so that's how it stays.

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Unread postby Liu Yuante » Sat Dec 03, 2005 8:52 pm

Et cetera, et cetera...


In the eighth month Sun Quan besieged Hefei, and Zhang Liao and Li Dian attacked and defeated him.

In the ninth month, in Ba the King of the Seven Clans of the Yi Po Hu and the Marquis of the city of Cong Du Huo moved the Yi to Ba and the Chinese citizens came and clustered about Cong city. 97 His Excellency thereupon divided Ba commandery, appointing Hu Grand Administrator of Badong commandery and appointing Huo Grand Administrator of Baxi commandery, conferring upon each of them the rank of Marquis. The Son of Heaven assigned to His Excellency control over the granting of official posts of all Marquises, Administrators and Ministers. 98


97 Sun Sheng states, “Po (朴) has the same tone as Fu (浮), and Huo (濩) has the same tone as Hu (户).”

98 Kong Yan’s Annals of Han and Wei state, “The Son of Heaven utilized His Excellency to carry out external appointments and the rewards given at the time of service, so in the interests of efficiency he assigned to His Excellency direct control over the granting of official posts of all Marquises, Administrators and Ministers. The decree stated, ‘A man with overall control of the army is reliant upon rewards and punishments to exhort goodness and punish vice, and they ought not be drawn out over an extended period for, as Sima’s Law says, ‘One giving rewards should not take more than a single day’ if one desires for the common people to quickly see the benefits of acting virtuously. In former times of resurgence, when Deng Yu entered the Passes he held direct control over granting military appointments and performed a ceremonial libation to Li Wen, making him Grand Administrator of Hedong. Lai She also held control over granting official posts and made Gao Jun General Who Opens Roadways, and on examination of their principal biographies, in each case they did not make a request in advance but knew to carve the seal of office at the time of the service. This standard Shi Zu divinely understood, that when considering the enactment of punishments of rewards, one should use all due haste in displaying one’s affection to subordinates and in making great and meritorious service known. Such is the lesson of the Spring and Autumn Annals, that when a great man leaves his territory he may engage in matters without authorization, and is indifferent because he must focus on benefiting the state, pacifying the nation and nothing else. Moreover Your Lordship holds the appointments of the two feudal princes and has mastery over the nine provinces. You have launched expeditions against the foreigners within Xia and when the army has traveled beyond the boundaries of the imperial domain you have lost the possibility of rewarding then and there because of this intervening distance. You have had to delay rewards while awaiting the imperial order, which accordingly brings the business of the times to a standstill, and this is certainly not Our intention. From now on, at the time of deeds of those that distinguish themselves and ought to be marked as deserving favor, carve an informal seal of conferment at your convenience and in all cases employ loyalty and righteousness to obtain mutual encouragement and reward. Please do not have any hesitations.”

In the winter, during the tenth month, His Excellency first set up the ranks from Marquis of Title to Quintuple Grandee, that together with the old ranks of Marquis and Marquis within the Imperial Domain constituted six grades, for use in rewarding military service. 99

99 The Book of Wei states, “His Excellency established Marquises of Title as the eighteenth grade of noble rank and the Marquis Within the Passes as the seventeenth, each receiving the golden seal with purple ribbon. His Excellency also established the External Marquis Within the Imperial Domain as the sixteenth grade, receiving the copper seal with tortoiseshell button and black ribbon. Quintuple Grandee was made fifteenth grade, receiving the copper seal with jade button, and also having the black ribbon. None of these received tax income from landholdings and together with the old ranks of Marquis and Marquis Within the Imperial Domain constituted six grades. Your Servant Songzhi is of the opinion that the landless fiefdoms of the present day originated from these (ranks).

In the eleventh month, from Bazhong Lu prepared the remainder of his men to surrender. His Excellency bestowed Lu and his five sons with the rank of Marquis. Liu Bei raided Liu Zhang, taking Yi province, and forthwith occupied Bazhong. His Excellency dispatched Zhang He to strike at him.

In the twelfth month His Excellency returned from Nanzheng, leaving Xiahou Yuan stationed at Hanzhong. 99


99 In praise of His Excellency’s conduct the Palace Attendant Wang Can composed five occasional poems for the purpose of commending His Excellency’s work, and said, “Soldiers know both joy and hardship, one need only ask those who are so employed. When those so employed are engaged for long periods in military affairs, is not some peace needed for a time to offer gifts to one’s troops? Your Excellency the Prime Minister went out on campaign to the right of the Passes and with awesome fury you brandished the might of Heaven. In one fell cut you decimated the Xun barbarians and with a second swath brought the submission of the Qiang barbarians, and to the west you took control of the rebel frontier lands before suddenly bending down to gather up the soldiers who had been left behind. You laid out rewards for having passed over lofty mountains and gave meat and drink for having crossed rivers. Those within the army ate exceedingly much and man and horse alike were full to bursting. Those who had traveled on foot rode two to a horse on the way back and those who had gone forth with nothing now were provided for. You opened up three thousand li of land and your journey there and back was rapid as flight, there was singing and dancing as you entered Ye city and of those whom you had so lately conquered none were disobedient.”

In the twenty-first year, during the spring and in the second month, His Excellency returned to Ye. 100 In the third month on the renyin day (April 7th, 216) His Excellency ploughed the sacred field. 101 In the summer, during the fifth month, the Son of Heaven advanced His Excellency to noble rank as King of Wei. 102

100 The Book of Wei states, “On the xinwei day (March 7, 216) the officials prepared a great sacrifice in announcement of his arrival, commending his exploits at the ancestral temple, and on the jiawu day (March 30, 216) at the commencement of the spring sacrifice His Excellency issued a decree saying, ‘There are some critics who expressed the opinion at the spring sacrifices that when I ascend to the palace I ought to remove my boots. I have received the bestowal of imperial decree that I may wear my sword and not remove my shoes when ascending to the palace. Now, to be engaged in matters at the ancestral temple and remove my shoes would be to honor my deceased father but discard the imperial order and show respect for my ancestors but not the emperor, and it is for this reason that I dare not remove my boots when ascending to the palace. Additionally, when the sacrifice is approached for cleansing the water is conveyed by hand but the hands are not washed. It is out of respect that a man cleanses his hands by washing, and I have not heard of conveying (the water) without performing the rite of washing the hands, moreover ‘sacrifices are made to spirits in compliance with them’, so for this reason do I, for my part, receive water and wash my hands. In addition, when the ritual of appeasement of the spirits is finished, the steps are descended toward the curtain and we may rise, I wait until the playing of music has come to an end, so as not to offend my ancestors if the sacrifice is delayed and is not finished quickly. This is the reason why I sit and wait until the music has ended and the spirits have departed, and then stand up. When the sacrificial meat is received for offering to the spirits it is given over to the Palace Attendants, and it is so that it is treated carefully and with reverence that one does not carry it the entire way. However the ancients carried it themselves when engaged in offering sacrifice and this is the reason why, when offering to the spirits, I carry it the entire way and then go back. Zhongni said, ‘Though I go against the majority I am still humble’, and I say this with all sincerity.”

101 The Book of Wei states, “The officials presented a memorial saying, ‘Through all four seasons you engage in military training, to the detriment of agriculture. Han took up the system of Qin whereby for three of the seasons there was no training, and only in the tenth month put the horse-drawn chariots to use, showing favor at the Yangtze’s southern pass. They would take five battalions of soldiers and have them march backwards and forwards in practice of the eight arrays, and proclaim their intent to make use of them. Presently the progression to Metal has not completed and the soldiers and common people are grounded in old habits. From here on out you should not perform military training through all four seasons and only when autumn begins should you choose a propitious day to ride out in the great imperial chariot, and proclaim your command of the army, thus continuing the system of Han.’ The memorial was approved.”

102 The Biography of Emperor Xian contains an imperial decree stating, “Of the monarchs of antiquity, though they claimed to make varied distinctions with different grades of noble rank, so far as the honoring of men of great merit, establishing them for their merits and virtues, glory went to the progenitors of families and were passed down to their descendants. They became numerous among a clan’s family and relatives, how could it be that there was any uniqueness? In former times Our Sage Ancestor received the heavenly mandate and began carving out a foundation, creating Our district of Xia and serving as an example for both ancient and modern administration. He joined together all the different noble ranks and used them to seal off the mountain passes and rivers so as to erect defensive borders, doing so by employing the families of different clans to occupy adjacent territories. Therefore, to the end of their lives they defended these places and peace was maintained by many successors. The years passed peacefully and the officials ruled without opposition. Shi Zu restored the nation and resolved the difficulties of the time, and therefore there was freedom from worry for hundreds of years, equal to when the king was set upon the throne by the feudal lords of the clans. I was not virtuous enough to continue the great enterprise and suffered the constant division and ruination of the land. A throng of bloodthirsty men loosed calamity from the west to the east and I was weak and powerless before the hardships. Being caught between these things I was fearful of drowning in difficulty, on account of having disgraced the sacred virtue of the previous emperors. I then had the good fortune that the spirits of heaven sent His Lordship, who with righteousness in hand exerted himself with speedy and fearful martial spirit, defending Us from adversity and capturing and defending the ancestral temples. Of the common people of Huaxia who were left behind he nursed in them proper human relations and there were none who were not so affected. His Lordship’s diligence exceeds that of Ji and Yu, his devotion is equal to that of Yi and Zhou but he hides himself behind modesty and self-effacement and remained at his position because of great respectfulness. Therefore, when my messengers first set up the State of Wei and bestowed on His Lordship this territory, I grew afraid when His Lordship went against the imperial decree and worried over his staunch refusal. For this reason, as in my heart I wanted him to submit to my wishes, I conferred on His Lordship to ascend to the rank of Duke. I desired for there to be the imperial recognition of his lofty virtue that awaited his meritorious achievements. Han Sui and Song Jian went south to bind up Ba and Shu commanderies and a throng of rebels joined with them, and they conspired to endanger the government. His Excellency again prepared for the task and, with dragon-tread and tiger-vigor, he decapitated and exposed the heads of their chiefs and slaughtered those within their hideaways. When he went west on expedition and battled at Yangping, he himself had donned armor and traveled deep into dangerous and difficult terrain. He cleared out and exterminated the verminous rebels and put an end to their terrible evil, wiping clean and pacifying the western frontier. His banner hangs over ten thousand li of territory, the sound of his voice reaches and brings stability to distant places and he has brought peace to Our land of Xia. Because of Tang and Yu’s greatness the Three Empresses celebrated their achievements and of the work that Wen and Wu began, and were assisted in by Dan and Shi, the Two Founders completed it and were heroes who aided the divine mandate. These men were holy and sagacious sovereigns and themselves depended on government officials If they granted land and distributed valuables for the purpose of making known the achievements of their ministers, how can it be that We of scant virtue can so rely upon His Lordship for assistance but have not been generous with officially decreed rewards and in reciprocating the incomparable relief granted Us by the divinities? Presently We advance His Lordship to the noble rank of King of Wei and give the use of the Staff of Authority to the Acting Palace Assistant Grandee and Director of the Imperial Clan Liu Ai to convey the imperial seal and Black Earth for sacrifice to the god of land, as well as thatching straw made from White Grass, a golden Tiger Tally with the first through fifth (levels of authority) and a bamboo tally with first through tenth (levels of authority). Though His Lordship has been raised to the position of king, he is to remain Prime Minister and Governor of Ji Province as before. As such I submit to the Duke of Wei the royal seal with attached tally of imperial conferment. Respectfully submit to Our decree compensating you for everything (you have done) and your numerous achievements of subdual and pacification, and use them to raise up Our ancestors’ fallen mandate.”



The end of Xian's edict is a nice stopping place (though some more of that Pei note remains), as I would like to talk about this business of Tallies and help avoid some confusion.

The Tiger Tally thread provides the best info for people wanting to know what one is, courtesy of Great Deer and Lady Wu, so I will be brief: Tiger Tally is the English rendering usually given for a fujie 符节. A fujie is a type of fu 符, which is an item that is cut in half, with the other half borne by an individual as proof of authority, a gate pass/passport , etc. Fujie are used for administrative/governmental purposes. The golden Tiger Tally mentioned above is a jin hufu 金虎符. Hu is literally tiger and fu is tally, so there is no way of avoiding the duplication of the term Tiger Tally. So that the reader is not confused, what I have rendered above as Tiger Tally is not referring to fujie in general, but to a specific type of fujie.

To avoid confusion, should one occur later in this translation or in other translations I do, the general term fujie will be referred to as an Administrative Tally, with the specific types translated according to what they are called in the text (tiger, bamboo, etc). Please note that the jie in fujie is different from jie 節, a Staff of Authority, which is a staff with three yak's tails on top, and of which there are three varieties with different privileges, the most commonly encountered of which is jiajie.

I also wish to mention the granting of titles by Cao Cao delineated in this portion of the bio. The old code under Latter Han had 20 grades of noble rank culminating in the rank of full Marquis. Cao Cao retained the rank of full Marquis as well as the rank below it, Marquis Within the Imperial Domain. When the Pei note calls the next set of ranks the eighteenth, seventeenth, etc, it is because Cao Cao is replacing the ranks at those levels with the ranks named in the note. Quintuple Grandee was the 9th rank and the lowest rank requiring personal recognition (the 8 grades below were general appointments). The note says Cao Cao made it "fifteenth" but he did away with the six grades between this new "fifteenth" and the eight general appointments. The end sum of all this is that the new system was eight general appointments, followed by Quintuple Grandee (retaining its position at number 9 despite being named "fifteenth) and then the other five ranks enumerated in the text, with the highest two remaining unchanged, as noted before. These ranks then were 10th through 14th in the new system, despite the note's naming of them as eighteenth, seventeenth, etc. the note probably reads that way so as to emphasize that the new ranks are to come after the two grades that were retained. It would have been less confusing, however, to simply note that Cao Cao did away with nine of the 12 grades requiring personal recognition and replaced them with three of his own, for a net loss of six grades, or a total of 14.

The bio overall is 88% done. It may be complete by the New Year, but if not then, no only a few days later.

Adrian
Last edited by Liu Yuante on Sun Dec 04, 2005 5:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread postby Sam » Sat Dec 03, 2005 11:05 pm

Excellent work, Adrian - I'm really looking forward to the biography finally being completed and put on KMA. Do you have any plans for any other translations after the biography's completion?
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Unread postby Liu Yuante » Sun Dec 04, 2005 2:50 am

Sam wrote:Excellent work, Adrian - I'm really looking forward to the biography finally being completed and put on KMA. Do you have any plans for any other translations after the biography's completion?


Thank you, and I of course would be pleased to see it go up on KMA but at this point I'm not certain that it should. Granted I think it's at least as worthy as the other Cao Cao SGZ bios available online, but in comparison to the majority of the bios translated by SoSZ' denizens it is clearly inferior, either in accuracy or in phrasing. I will of course go back and revise, and then there is also the matter of annotation - there is an awful lot I want to point out and elaborate on. Since it is known that I knew zero Chinese prior to June of last year I suspect that James will want someone with a lengthier exposure to the language to give an assessment before it goes anywhere, and I would do the same thing were I in that position. We'll just have to see what quality the final product ends up as.

As for other translations I will continue doing more. I'm torn, though - part of me wants to do Sima Yi's bio from the Book of Jin since he's one of the most famous figures of the time and has no SGZ bio, but the obsessive-compulsive in me wants me to do everything in order, which means next in line would be Cao Pi. But doing either would mean continuing to immerse myself in my least favorite of the three kingdoms. I think someone here wanted Liu Feng's bio done - it can't be all that long so I may do that. I guess the real answer is I have no idea right now - I'll flip a coin when the time comes.

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Unread postby James » Mon Dec 05, 2005 9:42 am

It is a very large project indeed. Maybe someone would be willing to go over the biography and share their thoughts once you’ve completed it? We will have to see as time passes. I would certainly love to see it shared with everyone, however, and it is made very clear that the biographies on KMA are not 'professional' to the degree one might expect in, say, <i>Empresses and Consorts</i> or Rafe’s work.

Thank you very much for the time, once again. I’ve enjoyed reading thus far! :)
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Unread postby Liu Yuante » Sun Jan 01, 2006 5:54 pm

It's nearly finished. We begin with the rest of the prior Pei note:


The King of Wei submitted a letter to the Emperor regarding the three appointments stating that he would not accept the threefold imperial edict as repayment. Again the Emperor personally drafted an imperial edict, saying, “The Grand Sage, because of his merits and virtues, was loftily praised and his loyalty and kindness have become the standard, because he established a foundation he became famous and his hundred years of work should be admired. In accordance with the Way he was a just administrator and the utmost effort he put into this conduct should be imitated. As a result his merits and contributions were without end and when he died his magnificence was glorified in writing. Ji and Qi recorded their sovereigns’ wisdom and Zhou and Shao caused for the dissemination of Wen and Wu’s knowledge. Though I manage numerous officials, still I both raise my head and sigh and lower it in contemplation; how can I be a similar such disseminator for His Lordship? I have given thought to the achievements of the men of old and the praise they received for them, and I have thought on His Lordship’s loyal and diligent service and his magnificence demonstrated therein. Consequently, each time I resolve to have a tally carved from jade and issue an imperial decree setting up a ceremony of conferment, and I awake from sleep in deep depression over my own lack of virtue in neglecting to abide by the rites. Currently His Lordship has again disobeyed Our order and stays firm in politely declining, and considers improper Our innermost desire for him to serve as an example to later generations. I ask that he please hold his will in check and not persist in declining.” The Book of the Four Calligraphic Styles states, “Liang Gu had caused for His Excellency to serve as Commandant of the Northern Battalion.” The Record of Cao Man states, “When Gu was with the Masters of Writing, the Deputy Minister on the Right Sima Jiangong served in that office. At the time of His Excellency’s becoming King he summoned Jiangong to Ye, and they joined each other in having a friendly drink, His Excellency asking Jiangong, ‘Am I presently still fit to be made Commandant or not?’ Jiangong replied, ‘Prior to being elevated to King-hood you were only ever suitable to be Commandant’, and The King of Wei roared with laughter. Jiangong was also called Fang and was the father of Sima Xuanwang.” Your servant Songzhi notes that according to the biography of Sima Biao, Jiangong did not serve as Deputy Minister on the Right but I doubt this and think it untrue. Wang Yin in the Book of Jin states that when King Zhao of Jin usurped the throne he desired to honor his ancestors as emperors. The court scholar Ma Ping in his commentary states that the office of the Intendant of Jingzhao had in former times selected King Wu of Wei to be Commandant of the Northern Battalion to prevent the rebels from breaching the borders, and from this Jiangong’s position is verified.

103 The Book of Wei states, “His Excellency first established the rites and ordinances of the office of the Director of the Imperial Clan.”

In the winter, during the tenth month, His Excellency took the reins of the army 104 and forthwith launched an expedition against Sun Quan, and in the eleventh month his arrived at Qiao.

104 The Book of Wei states, “The King of Wei personally beat the metal drum to signal the army to advance or retreat.”

In the twenty-second year, during the spring and in the first month, the King of Wei’s army was at Juchao, and in the second month he advanced the army to garrison west of the Yangtze River at Haoxi. Quan had erected walls at Ruxu for defense and the King of Wei soon after pressed forward to attack him, and Quan withdrew. In the third month the King of Wei led his army back, leaving Xiahou Dun, Cao Ren and Zhang Liao garrisoned at Juchao.

In the summer, during the fourth month, the Son of Heaven assigned the King of Wei the right to display the Son of Heaven’s own banner and to announce his comings and goings so as to give warning to clear a path. In the fifth month he constructed the Palace By the Water. In the sixth month he employed the Adviser to the Army Hua Xin to act as Imperial Counselor. 105 In the winter, during the tenth month, the Son of Heaven gave the order that the King of Wei was to wear the King’s Crown with twelve tassels, to ride in the Root of Gold chariot drawn by six horses, accompanied by the Chariots of the Five Seasons, and that the General of the Gentlemen of the Household For All Purposes Pi was to be crown prince of Wei.


105 The Book of Wei States, “The King of Wei first set up the office of the Commandant of the Guard. In the autumn, during the eighth month, he issued a decree saying, ‘In former times Yi Zhi was considered by Fu Shui to have come from lowly men and Guan Zhong was a rebel against Duke Huan, but in each case they employed them in order to be successful. Xiao He and Cao Can were county officials and Han Xin and Chen Ping suffered from a dishonorable reputation, but they smilingly dismissed the insults, and in the end they were able to bring the imperial enterprise to fruition, such that their renown will resound for a thousand years. Wu Qi was so insatiably desirous of being a general that he murdered his wife to prove his sincerity, distributed gold to entreat officials and when his mother died he did not return. But when he was in Wei the men of Zou did not dare to travel eastward and when he was in Chu the Three Jin did not dare to make designs on the south. Currently the Son of Heaven permits those men who are not of the very greatest virtue to be abandoned among the commoners, with the result that the brave are not called upon to face the enemy forces in battle. If there is a minor official of mean virtue but of uniquely lofty ability, perhaps he would be worthy of a general’s post. If a person suffers from a dishonorable reputation and we smilingly overlook his behavior, then perhaps, though he is inhumane and unfilial, he can manage state affairs and the use of military techniques. As such, each man will be promoted according to ability so that none such will be neglected.’”

Liu Bei dispatched Zhang Fei, Ma Chao and Wu Lan to garrison Xiabian; the King of Wei dispatched Cao Hong to repel them.

In the twenty-third year, during the spring and in the first month, the Prefect Grand Physician of Han Ji Ben, together with the Privy Treasurer Geng Zhi and Director of Uprightness Wei Huang and others, rebelled. They attacked Xu and burnt the Chief Clerk to the Imperial Chancellor Wang Bi’s estate walls 106 and so Bi, together with the General of the Gentlemen of the Household in Charge of Agriculture Yan Kuang of Yingzhuan, dispatched a punitive expedition to behead them. 107


106 The History of King Wu of Wei records a decree saying, “I advance Wang Bi to Chief Clerk, as he has been one of my officials since I made my way through the thorny and difficult times. He is loyal and diligent in his duties, his mind is solid as iron and he is a good and honest official of the state. I have been remiss for a long time in not granting him official advancement, and just as if I were to forsake a fine, thoroughbred horse and not ride it, should I not be alarmed and seek to rectify things? For this reason let official advancement be granted to him to be set up in his proper place, and so be promoted to Chief Clerk over all government affairs, as is befitting.”

107 The Annotations to the Revealed Record of the Three Adjuncts state, “At this time there was at Jingzhao a man named Jin Yi, styled Deyi, who considered himself to be a servant of Han for life and from Ridi he had sent a punitive expedition against Mang Heluo. His fealty was remarkable and his reputation for moral integrity gathered like a pile of leaves. He saw that the Han throne was about to be changed and some said it was therefore a necessary time for rising up. He thereupon sighed deeply at this truth, giving free vent to his grievance and forthwith he jointly plotted with Geng Ji, Wei Huang, Ji Ben, Ben’s son Miao, Miao’s younger brother Mu and others. Ji was styled Jixing and when he was young he acquired a good reputation serving as an assistant to the Imperial Chancellor. The King of Wei bestowed especial veneration and distinction upon him, and reassigned him to the Palace Attendants to guard the Privy Treasurer. Miao was styled Wenran and Mu was styled Siran. Because Yi’s vehement opinions at Ridi had become known but Yi was also on friendly terms with Wang Bi, they therefore separated them so that they could kill Bi. They desired to take possession of the Son of Heaven in order to attack Wei, with aid from Liu Bei in the south. At the time Guan Yu had grown powerful and the King of Wei was at Ye, having left Bi in command of the army to supervise affairs within Xu. Wenran and the others led a force comprised of their family servants numbering one thousand men, and by night they torched the gate and attacked Bi. Yi had dispatched men to act as agents from within and they shot Bi in the shoulder. Bi did not know who the attackers were and out of habit from his friendship with Yi he sought refuge from him, in the darkness calling out for Deyi. Yi’s family did not know it was Bi and, thinking it someone acting with Wenran and the others, they made the mistake of replying, ‘Is Wang Changshi dead yet? That minister of Cao is aiding the usurpation!’ Bi thereupon turned and fled in the other direction.” One commentator states, “Bi desired to take refuge with Yi when his Controller At Headquarters spoke to him, saying, ‘Regarding the unexpected events of this day, are you aware that who is at the gate and who you are flinging yourself toward are one?’ He then helped Bi flee to Nancheng. When they saw by the light of day that Bi was still alive, Wenran and the throng of others dispersed because of their failure. Ten days later, without warning Bi perished from his injury.” The Annals of Emperor Xian state, “They rounded up Ji, Huang and the others and were preparing to behead them when Ji cried out the King of Wei’s name, saying, ‘The disobedience was mine and not the desire of my offspring, as my children chanced upon this gathering and were in this place only by accident!’ Huang lowered his head, with his cheeks in his hands, right up to the moment of his death.” The Annotations to the Collected Records of Shanyang state, “When the King of Wei heard that Wang Bi had died he was filled with rage and issued a summons for all of the Han officials (at Xu) to come to Ye, where he ordered those who had fought the fire to stand to the left, and those who had not to stand to the right. The gathering of men believed that those who had fought the fire would certainly be found blameless so they all went to the left. However, the King of Wei opined, ‘The ones who did not fight the fire did not add to the confusion, so those who did fight the fire are therefore the true malefactors.’ He then killed all of them.

Cao Hong defeated Wu Lan and beheaded Lan’s general Ren Kui and his men. In the third month, Zhang Fei and Ma Chao traveled to Hanzhong, and Yinpingdi and Qiangduan beheaded Wu Lan and sent them his head.

In the summer, during the fourth month, in Dai commandery Shangyu of the Wuhuan and Wuchendi and their men rebelled, and the King of Wei dispatched Yanling Houzhang to defeat them. 108


108 The Book of Wei records a decree made by the King of Wei saying, “At the end of winter a leprous pestilence descended from the heavens, the people have become withered and sickly, the army is beginning to disperse, the cultivation of land is dwindling and I am very concerned about this. As such, I issue this decree to officials and citizens, men and women alike. For women of seventy or more years of age who are without husband or children, and for those twelve years of age or younger who are without parents or brothers, whose eyes are without sight, whose hands are incapable of work, whose legs are incapable of walking, and or who are without a wife’s marriage property received from her father and elder brothers, are to be fed from government granaries for life. Children up to twelve years of age, that are impoverished and unable to provide for themselves, are accordingly to be provided with a loan. For the decrepit who are in need of providers, and who are over ninety years of age and also unable to work, they are to have a person residing with them.”

In the sixth month the King of Wei issued a decree saying, “Those interred in ancient times were required to rest in barren earth. As such I order that the frontier highlands to the west of the ancestral temple’s Western Panther Gate to be used for my tomb, because the elevated area can serve as the foundation and will not require mounding up the earth or planting trees. The Zhou custom regarding the tombs of subordinates within the burial ground was that all of the feudal lords were to rest to the right, left and in front while the ministers and senior officials were to reside in back, and the Han regulations also had this standard for the accompanying tombs. The ministers and officials deemed as being persons of achievement will be suitable to accompany my tomb, and their vast number will serve as a region of portent, showing the worth of mutual cooperation.”

In the autumn, during the seventh month, the King of Wei took control of the army and forthwith went west on an expedition against Liu Bei, and in the ninth month he arrived at Changan.

In the winter, during the tenth month, at Wan the defending officer Hou Yin and his men rebelled, seized the Grand Administrator of Nanyang, plundered and robbed the officials and citizenry and fortified Wan. Earlier, Cao Ren had been sent to attack Guan Yu and encamped at Fancheng. The next month, the King of Wei sent Ren to surround Wan.




As stated above, this is almost done. On the home stretch practically, about 6% left to go. The next update will be the finish, I'm not going to give a timetable because everytime I do it just falls through, but it won't be long.

Adrian
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Liu Yuante
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