Zizhi Tongjian: Western Jin (Book 79-92)

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Re: ZZTJ Translations: Western Jin (Book 79-87)

Unread postby Taishi Ci 2.0 » Thu Jan 04, 2018 1:45 am

Sorry, I've been away on holiday.

The implication here, stated expressly in her Book of Jin biography, was that she was kidnapping young men for sexual gratification and then eliminating them afterwards. Her entry in the book Biographical Dictionary of Chinese Women has more about the episode.
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Re: ZZTJ Translations: Western Jin (Book 79-87)

Unread postby waywardauthor » Thu Jan 04, 2018 6:11 am

You know, I think that if you contacted some of the Asian Studies departments, you might find someone who could proofread this and potentially get around to publishing it at some point. Joseph Yap has been publishing some chapters that he translated, and he's not a historian or a professor who specializes in the trade. Not sure if that's something you want, but you're more than halfway to connecting this piece to the section you've already translated, and combined those 27 chapters would probably be among the most significant contributions to the English field of early medieval Chinese history in quite some time.
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Re: ZZTJ Translations: Western Jin (Book 79-87)

Unread postby Taishi Ci 2.0 » Sat Jan 06, 2018 11:49 pm

I have made some initial contacts in that regard, but for now this is just a pet project for the forum and anyone interested in the Jin/Sixteen Kingdoms period. I'd want to make quite a few more revisions and notes before I'd consider it fit for publication. Thanks for your interest and I hope you enjoy reading it.
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Re: ZZTJ Translations: Western Jin (Book 79-87)

Unread postby Jia Nanfeng » Sun Jan 07, 2018 6:04 pm

Taishi Ci 2.0 wrote:Sorry, I've been away on holiday.

The implication here, stated expressly in her Book of Jin biography, was that she was kidnapping young men for sexual gratification and then eliminating them afterwards. Her entry in the book Biographical Dictionary of Chinese Women has more about the episode.

Ah, understood.

Do you believe the account as written? It seems to me that they would have at least named those supposedly killed, if true. Not saying it's false for that reason alone, of course, but I know the records (and particularly the Jinshu) were biased against her and her family.

And no worries about the delay! Hope you had a good holiday.
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Unread postby Taishi Ci 2.0 » Mon Jan 08, 2018 2:48 am


The Sixth Year of Yongjia (The Renshen Year, 312 AD)


1. In spring, the first month, Han's Empress Huyan passed away. She was posthumously known as Empress Wuyuan ("the Foremost").


2. Han's General Who Guards The North, Jin Chong, and their General Who Pacifies The North, Bo Ku, invaded Bingzhou. On the day Xinwei (February 12th), they besieged Jinyang.


(靳 Jin is a surname.

Bo Ku's given name 珝 is pronounced "ku (k-u)".)


3. On the day Jiaxu (February 15th), the Emperor of Han, Liu Cong, selected the daughters of his Minister Over The Masses, Wang Yu, and his Prefect of the Masters of Writing, Ren Yi, as his 昭儀 concubines of the Left and Right. He chose the daughters of his Grand General Who Guards The Army, Wang Zhang, his Chief of the Palace Secretariat, Fan Long, and his Supervisor of the Left, Ma Jing, as his 夫人 concubines. And he chose the daughter of his Supervisor of the Right, Zhu Ji, as his Honored Concubine. All of these women were given golden seals and purple tassels.

Liu Cong was about to claim the daughters of his Grand Guardian, Liu Yin, as well, but the Crown Younger Brother, Liu Yi, strenuously objected. So Liu Cong asked his Grand Governor, Liu Yannian, and his Grand Tutor, Liu Jing, what they thought about the matter. They told him, "It is true that both of you are surnamed Liu. But the Grand Guardian says that his lineage is as a descendant of Duke Kang of the ancient state of Liu. Since his family tree therefore does not intersect with yours, where is the harm in knowing his daughters?"

Liu Cong was pleased with their remarks, and he appointed Liu Yin's daughters Liu Ying and Liu E as his Honored Ladies of the Left and Right; their positions were even above the 昭儀 concubines. Liu Cong also claimed Liu Yin's four granddaughters as Honored Women, and their positions were second after the Honored Concubines.

These six daughters and granddaughters of Liu Yin were so favored that they surpassed the women of the rear palace, and from this time on it was rare that Liu Cong left their company. So affairs were all decided by the Yellow Gate Attendants.


(Duke Kang of Liu was a minister during the Zhou dynasty. He took his food from the fief of Liu, and so his descendants took Liu as their clan name. Liu Cong was a Xiongnu, who claimed their Liu surname as nephews of the Han imperial lineage. This was why Liu Yannian and Liu Jing said that Liu Cong and Liu Yin were not from the same family tree.)


4. The late Prince of Xinye, Sima Xin, had once had a certain Hu Kang as his General of the Standard. At this time, this Hu Kang gathered up a host of men at Jingling, where he declared himself Duke of Chu. Hu Kang invaded and plundered the Jingzhou region.

Hu Kang appointed Sima Xin's former Marshal to the Colonel of Southern Man Tribes, Du Zeng of Xinye, as his Administrator of Jingling. This Du Zeng was a true hero of the three armies, able to swim across a river even while wearing armor.


(The first letter of Hu Kang's given name, 亢, is pronounced "gang".

This was why Du Zeng later rebelled in Jingzhou.)


5. In the second month, on the new moon of the day Renzi (March 24th), there was an eclipse.


6. Shi Le built fortifications at Ge Slope. He began farming and built ships there, planning to attack Jianye.

The Prince of Langye, Sima Rui, gathered together all the soldiers of the Southland at Shouchun. He appointed the Chief Clerk to the General Who Guards The East, Ji Zhan, as General Who Displays Might, granting him command over these armies to campaign against Shi Le.


(The Imperial Mirror states, "There is a Ge Slope in Tongyang County in Runan commandary." Li Xian remarked, "Ge Slope is in the northwest of Xincai County in modern Yuzhou."

Sima Rui was himself the Grand General Who Guards The East, so Ji Zhan was his Chief Clerk.)


7. At that time, great storms sprang up, and it kept on raining even into the third month. Shi Le's army suffered from hunger and plague, and more than half of them died. When they heard that Sima Rui's army was approaching, Shi Le and his subordinates gathered together to discuss what to do.

Shi Le's Chief Clerk of the Right, Diao Ying, proposed that Shi Le should first send an offer of submission to Sima Rui, offering to pacify the Yellow River region to atone for his crimes against Jin. Then, once Sima Rui's army had withdrawn, they would have time to decide on their next move. In response to that, Shi Le only uttered a sorrowful cry.

Next, the General of Central Firmness, Kui An, asked that they move the army to higher ground in order to get away from the water. Shi Le replied, "General, why are you so cowardly?"

Then, Kong Chang and others, more than thirty generals, asked that they each lead their own detachments along separate roads to launch a night attack on Shouchun. They proposed to behead the Wu generals, occupy their cities, eat their grain, and break into Danyang and conquer the Southland in the space of a year. Shi Le laughed and said, "Now that is the sort of plan for bold generals!" And he granted each of them a roll of horse armor.

Then Shi Le turned to Zhang Bin and asked him, "Sir, what do you think?"

Zhang Bin replied, "General, you have attacked Jin's capital, imprisoned their Son of Heaven, killed and harmed their princes and nobles, and ravished their concubines and princesses. If you were to pluck out one hair on your head for every such crime against them, General, you would run out of hairs before you ran out of crimes. How then could you return to being their servant? Since you killed Wang Mi last year, you should not have come here. And Heaven itself is pouring out these storms upon you for hundreds of li around as a warning that you should not remain in this place.

"Now the city of Ye has the sturdy defenses of the Three Terraces, it is close to Pingyang to the west, and it is flanked on all sides by mountains and rivers. You should move north and capture Ye. Once you have Ye, you can use it to conquer the whole region north of the Yellow River, and once Hebei is yours, General, there will be no one in all the realm who can stand against you.

"Jin is only guarding Shouchun right now because they are afraid you will march to attack them. Once they hear that we have left, they will be glad just to have survived. How could they have any thought of pursuing us to strike our rear, since we would get the better of them? General, you should send the supply carts back north first, while you lead the bulk of the army towards Shouchun. Once the supply carts are far away enough from here, then you can double back with the main body after them. Why should you fear either to advance or retreat and so go nowhere?"

Shi Le shook out his sleeves, stroked his beard, and declared, "It shall be just as Sir Zhang says!" And he blamed Diao Ying, saying, "Sir, since you had such an important role in helping support my endeavors, you ought to have been proposing a way to assist me in completing great things. How could you have urged me to surrender to Jin? For such a proposal, I ought to behead you! But since I've always known you to be a coward, I will show you some special favor." So he demoted Diao Ying to being just a general, while he promoted Zhang Bin to Diao Ying’s post as Chief Clerk of the Right, and he called Zhang Bin "Marquis of the Right".


(General of Central Resolve was a rank that Shi Le himself had created.

The Registry of Surnames states, "Those with the surname 夔 Kui are the descendants of the Viscount of Kui from the Spring and Autumn era."

Shi Le's remark about Kong Chang's plan was that it did not develop some special strategy for determining victory or defeat, but merely proposed to boldly meet the enemy in battle.

To pluck means to pull out. Zhang Bin was saying if Shi Le plucked one hair for each crime, he would not have enough hairs; in other words, he had too many crimes to surrender.

The Commentary on the Water Classic states, "Northwest of the city of Ye are the Three Terraces. They all use the walls of the city as their foundations. In Han's fifteenth year of Jian'an (210), Wu of Wei (Cao Cao) built these Three Terraces. The central one was called the Copper [Bird] Terrace; it was originally ten zhang tall, and Shi Hu later extended it to twelve zhang. The southern one was called the Golden Sparrow Terrace, and it was eight zhang tall. The northern one was called the Frozen Well Terrace, and it too was eight zhang tall."

Zhang Bin was saying that Ye was close to the Han capital at Pingyang, so it could easily be reinforced by them.

Ever since ancient times, the states south of the Yangzi had been able to muster enough soldiers to defend themselves, but they did not have the capacity to advance against the north; this was the reason for Zhang Bin's estimation.)


8. Shi Le led his soldiers out from Ge Slope, sending Shi Hu to lead two thousand cavalry towards Shouchun. These cavalry encountered Jin's forces building boats, and Shi Hu led his soldiers to attack and capture the boats, but they were defeated by Ji Zhan. Ji Zhan then pursued the fleeing cavalry for a hundred li, until he ran into Shi Le's army. Shi Le placed his soldiers in a defensive formation to await an attack, but Ji Zhan did not dare to attack them, and he fell back and returned to Shouchun.


9. Liu Cong changed Emperor Huai's title from Duke of Ping'a to Duke of Kuaiji, with the same authority as the Three Excellencies.

Liu Cong casually asked Emperor Huai, "When you were still just the Prince of Yuzhang, you and Wang Wuzi (Wang Ji) were hosting me, and Wang Wuzi introduced me to you. You said you had heard of my name for a long time, and you gave me a bow crafted from cudrania wood and a silver inkstone. Do you still remember?"

Emperor Huai replied, "How could I dare to forget it? But what I regret was that I did not realize back then that I was in the presence of a dragon!"

Liu Cong asked him, "How was it that your family tore themselves apart as they did, the flesh from the bones?"

Emperor Huai replied, "It was because your great state of Han was about to receive Heaven's mandate. To oblige Your Majesty, we fought one another. That was Heaven's will, not the actions of men! Besides, if my family had been able to maintain Emperor Wu's (Sima Yan's) endeavor, and all our clan had remained in harmony, how could Your Majesty have been able to overcome us?"

Liu Cong was pleased, and he granted Emperor Huai the youngest of his Honored Women as a wife, telling him, "She is the granddaughter of a famous minister; you are fortunate to have met her."


(Wang Ji's style name was Wuzi. He was the son of Wang Hun.)


10. The Duke of Dai, Tuoba Yilu, sent troops to rescue Jinyang from the Han siege. In the third month, on the day Yiwei (May 6th), the Han soldiers were defeated and fled.

Bo Ku's soldiers were the first to retreat, so Jin Chong arbitrarily arrested Bo Ku and beheaded him. Liu Cong was furious at this, and he sent an envoy bearing credentials who executed Jin Chong.

帝遣軍討之,聰退走。(Book of Northern Wei)

Tuoba Yilu sent an army to campaign against Xing Yan, and Liu Cong retreated.


11. Liu Cong claimed the two daughters of his General Who Upholds Han, his brother-in-law Zhang Shi, as two more of his Honored Women. Their names were Zhang Huiguang and Zhang Liguang. It was Empress Dowager Zhang's idea to select them.


(Despite having exactly the same name, this 張寔 Zhang Shi was not the same 張寔 Zhang Shi who was the son of Jin's Inspector of Liangzhou, Zhang Gui.

This Lady Zhang had been Liu Yuan's secondary wife. Liu Cong was her son, so he honored her as Empress Dowager.)


12. The Registrar to the Inspector of Liangzhou, Ma Fang, advised Zhang Gui, "You ought to respond to the imperial order and lead your troops to the capital, to provide assistance to the imperial clan."

Zhang Gui followed his advice, and immediately sent out proclamations throughout Guanzhong, stating he would honor and uphold the Prince of Qin, Sima Ye. He also proclaimed, "I am now sending the Protector of the Vanguard, Song Pei, to lead twenty thousand horse and foot directly to Chang'an. The General of the Household Gentlemen of the West, Zhang Shi, shall lead thirty thousand soldiers from the Army of the Center, and the Administrator of Wuwei, Zhang Tian, shall lead twenty thousand tribal cavalry, to follow behind in a continuous line."


(By a continuous line, he meant a line that had no breaks in it.)

又聞秦王入關,乃馳檄關中曰:「主上遘危,遷幸非所,普天分崩,率土喪氣。秦王天挺聖德,神武應期。世祖之孫,王今為長。凡我晉人,食土之類,龜筮克從,幽明同款。宜簡令奪奉登皇位。今遣前鋒督護宋配步騎二萬,徑至長安,翼衛乘輿,折沖左右。西中郎寔中軍三萬,武威太守張琠胡騎二萬,駱驛繼發,仲秋中旬會于臨晉。」(Book of Jin 86.1)

When Zhang Gui heard that the Prince of Qin (Sima Ye, the future Emperor Min) had entered Guanzhong, he sent out couriers to spread a proclamation through Guanzhong, stating, "Our sovereign has met with difficulties, and things have gone ill for him; the whole sky is cracked and falling, and all the people are in mourning. The Prince of Qin has the natural qualities of wisdom and virtue, and his martial spirit is in accordance with the age. Furthermore, he is the grandson of Shizu (Sima Yan), and by now is the most senior of the royal princes. We people of Jin are the sort who eat of the earth; let us follow the readings of the tortoise shells and the yarrow stalks, so that this world and the other world shall be in alignment. Let us clear the way for the Prince to assume the imperial title. I am now sending my Vanguard Commander of the Front, Song Pei, with twenty thousand horse and foot to make straight for Chang'an, where they shall serve as wings and guards to the imperial carriage and clear a path for him to either side. The General of the Household Gentlemen of the West, Zhang Shi, is with the Central Army of thirty thousand, and the Administrator of Wuwei, Zhang Tian, has twenty thousand tribal cavalry; their courier horses are constantly setting out, and they shall meet at Linjin in the middle of the second month of autumn."


13. In summer, the fourth month, on the day Bingyin (June 6th), Jin's General Who Conquers The South, Shan Jian, passed away.


14. Liu Cong appointed his sons to princely titles. He appointed Liu Fu as Prince of Bohai, Liu Ji as Prince of Jinan, Liu Luan as Prince of Yan, Liu Mai as Prince of Chu, Liu Quan as Prince of Qin, Liu Cao as Prince of Wei, and Liu Chi as Prince of Zhao.


15. Liu Cong was not provided with fish and crabs to his satisfaction, and so he beheaded the Capital Waterways Manager of the Left and Prince of Xiangling, Liu Chu. Liu Cong was building the two Wanming and Huiguang Halls, but before they were completed, he beheaded the Director of Architects and Duke of Wangdu, Jin Ling. Liu Cong spent his time watching the fish in the Fen River, not returning even by dusk or nightfall.

The Grand General of the Central Army, Wang Zhang, remonstrated with him, saying, "Your Majesty, seeing you act like this is causing headaches and heartbreaks for your ministers. Even one so foolish as I am can tell that the people have not yet fully come over to the side of Han, and they still have great regard for Jin in their hearts. Furthermore, Liu Kun is close at hand, and assassins lurk around every corner. When a king or emperor ventures out for the slightest reasons, even a single man can overcome him. Your Majesty, I pray you will reform yourself and turn back towards virtue, in order to restore good fortune!"

Liu Cong was furious with this admonishment, and he ordered Wang Zhang to be beheaded as well. But Lady Wang kowtowed and begged for her father's life, and so Wang Zhang was merely thrown in jail.

Empress Dowager Zhang considered that Liu Cong had gone too far in his punishments, and she refused to eat for three days. And Liu Yi and the Chanyu, Liu Cong's son Liu Can, bound themselves to coffins before coming to sharply rebuke Liu Cong as well. Exasperated, Liu Cong said, "What have I done that comes close to the tyranny of King Jie of Xia or King Zhou of Shang? And yet you all come crying to me for these people!"

Even Liu Yannian, Liu Yin, and the other chief ministers, along with more than a hundred other nobles, took off their caps and wept as they said to Liu Cong, "Your Majesty, your achievements are vast and your virtues are profound. In all of time, there have been few who could compare with you. From the age of Tang and Yu (Emperors Yao and Shun) until now, no one has equalled you. But now you have changed. Because of slight failings, you have gone so far as to execute a prince and a duke, and when met with forthright words against such personal grudges, you even hastily imprisoned a great general. No one knows where all this might end, and so everyone lives in fear, so scared that they even forget to sleep or eat."

Liu Cong was ashamed, and he told them, "Up until now, I have behaved like a great drunkard, and forgotten my original resolve. Had it not been for your words, I never would have heard of my trespasses." He rewarded each of them with a hundred bolts of silk.

He also sent a Palace Attendant with a Staff of Authority to pardon Wang Zhang, telling him, "Sir, His Late Majesty considered you like one of his own hands. Your good deeds stretch even into this age, and how could I dare to have forgotten them? I pray that you can put this incident behind us. So long as you can exert your full feelings and regard for the state, Sir, I shall support you. I now promote you as General of the Agile Cavalry and Duke of Dingxiang commandary. From now on, if I should have any shortcomings, do all that you can to rectify them!"


(During Han, Xiangling County was part of Hedong commandary. During Jin, it was part of Pingyang commandary.

We see from later in this passage that the nobles mention that Liu Cong has executed "a prince and a duke", so it must be that we should read 襄陵王攄 as "Prince of Xiangling, Liu Chu" rather than as "Wang Chu of Xiangling". His given name 攄 is pronounced "chu (ch-u)".

Regarding Liu Kun, Wang Zhang was saying that his base at Jinyang was not far from the Han capital at Pingyang.

Lady Wang was the daughter of Wang Zhang.

When the nobles say "a prince and a duke", they mean Liu Chu and Jin Ling; when they say "a great general", they mean Wang Zhang.

解 in this passage means "clear".)


16. It was earlier mentioned that Shi Le had killed the Han general Wang Mi. Han's General Who Maintains The North, Zhao Gu, and their General Who Pacifies The North, Wang Mi's younger brother Wang Sang, feared that Shi Le would come for them next. So they led their troops back towards Pingyang. Their armies were so short of grain that the soldiers ate one another. They crossed west over the Yellow River at Qiaoniao Crossing, and attacked and plundered the counties of Hebei commandary.

Liu Kun had appointed his nephew Liu Yan as Administrator of Wei commandary, stationed at Ye. Zhao Gu and Wang Sang feared that Liu Yan would intercept them, so he (or, they) sent his (or, the) Chief Clerk Lin Shen to Liu Kun as a hostage. Liu Kun appointed Zhao Gu as Jin's Inspector of Yongzhou, and Wang Sang as their Inspector of Yuzhou.


(The details of Shi Le killing Wang Mi are mentioned in Book 87, in the fifth year of Yongjia (311.33).

The second character in the name of Qiaoniao Crossing, 磽, is pronounced "niao (n-iao)".

Some versions add that Wang Sang and Zhao Guo "attacked and plundered the counties of Hebei commandary".

Some versions phrase the second to last sentence as "Zhao Gu and Wang Sang" instead of just "Wang Sang".

The Registry of Surnames states, "Those with the surname 臨 Lin are the descendants of Da Lin.")


17. Jia Ya and the other Jin loyalists in Guanzhong besieged Chang'an for several months. Han's Prince of Zhongshan, Liu Yao, tried to fight them off several times, but was always defeated. In the end, he forced more than eighty thousand men and women to leave with him as he fled back to Pingyang. Sima Ye then came from Yongzhou to enter Chang'an. In the fifth month, Liu Cong demoted Liu Yao to Grand Dragon-Soaring General, although he maintained his duties as Grand Commander.

Liu Cong sent his Prince of Henei, his son Liu Can, to attack Fu Zhi at Sanzhu, and sent his General of the Right, Liu Can, to attack the Jin general Guo Mo at Huai. Fu Zhi soon fell ill and passed away, and Liu Can broke into his city. He sent Fu Zhi's sons and grandsons, as well as more than twenty thousand households from his city, back to Pingyang.


(According to the Biography of Fu Zhi in the Book of Jin, Fu Zhi was at this time camped at a small fort at Meng Crossing. There were two islets at Meng Crossing at the fief of the Marquis of Heping, Ci, and there was also Tao Islet; thus the place was called Sanzhu ("Three Islets").)


18. In the sixth month, Liu Cong wanted to appoint his Honored Lady, Liu Ying, as his Empress. However, Empress Dowager Zhang favored Liu Cong's Honored Woman, Zhang Huiguang, instead. Liu Cong had no other choice, so he agreed with her wishes. Liu Ying soon passed away.


19. In Han, Liu Yin passed away. He was posthumously known as Duke Wenxian ("the Cultured and Presented") of Dachang.

During the time that Liu Yin served as a minister, he never showed expressions indicating that he disapproved of decrees. But there were a great many things which he patched up or improved in the furtherance of affairs. Whenever Liu Cong held a council with his ministers and discussed what he planned to do, Liu Yin never spoke against him during open council. But after the other ministers left, Liu Yin would remain behind alone with Liu Cong. Then Liu Yin would explain and make clear everything for Liu Cong, and offer his own ideas on what should be done, and Liu Cong never failed to follow Liu Yin's suggestions.

Liu Yin often warned his sons and grandsons, "A ruler of men must be one who is amenable to constant criticism in the undertaking of his duties. Now of course there is no man who really appreciates having his transgressions brought up to his face, much less a ruler of ten thousand chariots! So it is a merit when one tactfully rebukes their sovereign, and does not display a contrary or disodient expression. It is only the person who does not point out their sovereign's transgressions who has reason to fear."

Liu Yin advanced in office under Han as far as Palace Attendant, Grand Guardian, and Chief of the Masters of Writing. He was granted the honors of entering court while still wearing his sword and shoes and without needing to hasten his step, as well as being allowed to enter the Hall while riding in a carriage. But even when Liu Yin was among such exalted company as nobles and chief ministers, he was often unassuming and wore a humble and yielding expression. This was why he was able to manage in such a arrogant and violent state. And so he protected his own wealth and honor without losing his office or reputation, and he lived out his full life to die of natural causes.


(Song Bai remarked, "Xichuan County in Xizhou was Han's Puzi County. When Liu Yuan claimed the throne and rose in rebellion, he created Dachang commandary."

商 here means to consider; to 榷者 means to suggest one's own plans.

Liu Yin uses the term 幾諫. One who is 幾諫 is one who sees shortcomings and rebukes them. Houxi Sheng remarked, "When it comes to rulers, there are those who rebuke them openly and those who rebuke them tactfully. As for the latter, in using soft and loyally favorable words, most of what he says is put into effect; as for the former, in exposing transgressions with forthright words and strong spirit, most of what he says is held against him. It is thus honorable to be one who rebukes tactfully.")


20. Liu Cong appointed the Prince of Hejian, Liu Yii, as General of Chariots and Cavalry, and the Prince of Pengcheng, Liu Yiy, as Guard General; both of them were given command of the household guards. He appointed the Prince of Gaoping, Liu Kui, as General Who Conquers The South, stationed at Lishi. He appointed the Prince of Jinan, Wang Ji, as General Who Conquers The West, and built the city of Xiping for him to reside in. He appointed the Prince of Wei, Liu Cao, as General Who Conquers The East, stationed at Puzi.


(The city of Xiping was built west of Pingyang.)


21. Zhao Gu and Wang Sang marched from Huai, asking to return to Han. Liu Cong sent his General Who Guards Distant Places, Liangfu Ji, to led troops to receive them. But before Liangfu Ji arrived, the Chief Clerk Lin Shen and the general Mou Mu led ten thousand of Zhao Gu's and Wang Sang's troops in rebellion, and they went over to the Jin official Liu Yan at Ye. Zhao Gu followed Liangfu Ji back west, but Wang Sang brought his own forces east to flee back to Qingzhou. Zhao Gu sent his soldiers to pursue and kill Wang Sang at Quliang. Wang Sang's general Zhang Feng led his remaining soldiers to join Liu Yan as well. Liu Cong appointed Zhao Gu as Inspector of Jingzhou and acting Administrator of Henan, stationed at Luoyang.


(Liangfu Ji's given name 疵 is pronounced "ji (j-i)".

Quliang County was part of Guangping commandary. When Cao-Wei created Guangping commandary, it was administered from the city of Quliang. Liu Xu remarked, "Yongnian County in Tang's Mingzhou was within the territory of Han's Quliang County.")


22. Shi Le marched back north from Ge Slope. But the places that he passed through had strengthened their defenses and stripped their fields bare. Though his army ravaged and pillaged, they could not capture anything. The army suffered from extreme hunger, and the officers and soldiers ate one another.

When Shi Le reached Dongyan, he heard that Jin's Administrator of Ji, Xiang Bing, had gathered up a force of several thousand at Fangtou. Shi Le was about to cross over the Yellow River, but he was afraid that Xiang Bing would intercept his crossing.

Zhang Bin told him, "I have heard that all of Xiang Bing's boats are still in a waterway and have not yet been brought up onto the land. You should send some light infantry along byroads to attack and capture those boats, then use them to let the main body cross over the Yellow River. Once your whole host is across, you can certainly capture Xiang Bing."

In autumn, the seventh month, Shi Le sent Zhi Xiong and Kong Chang to Wenshi Crossing, where they fashioned rafts and secretly crossed over the Yellow River and then captured the boats. Then Shi Le led the rest of his troops to Ji Crossing and crossed over the Yellow River. He attacked Xiang Bing and greatly routed him, capturing all of his funds and stores.

With his army's strength restored, Shi Le pressed on and advanced to Ye. Liu Yan defended himself in the Three Terraces at Ye, but Lin Shen, Mou Mu, and his other commanders led their men to surrender to Shi Le.


(According to the Water Classic, "The city of Dongyan is in the east of Suanzao County. The Yellow River flows northeast from Suanzao to Yan Crossing, and then on north of the capital city of Dongyan County." From what I, Hu Sanxing, know, the two Records of Han mention that there was a Yan County in Dong commandary, but they do not mentioned a Dongyan County. What to make of that? Wei Shou's Geographical Records does mention a Dongyan County, which during Jin was part of the Puyang princely fief. Li Xian remarked, "The capital city of Dongyan was in Zuocheng County in modern Huazhou."

Also according to the Water Classic, "When the Qi River reaches Liyang, it enters the Yellow River, eighteen li west of Zhehai Point. In Han's ninth year of Jian'an (204), Wu of Wei (Cao Cao) built a weir at the rivermouth, beneath a great lumber tree, and redirected the Qi River east into Bai Canal, in order to facilitate supply movements. So the people of that time called this place Fangtou ('lumber head')." Du You remarked, "Fangtou was within Wei County in modern Ji commandary." Song Bai remarked, "The city of Fangtou was in the south of modern Wei County, eight li from the Yellow River."

向 Xiang is a surname.

Zhang Bin says that Xiang Bing's boats have "not yet been brought up"; he means brought up onto the riverbank. When boats are not in use, then they are pushed up onto the dry land. They are brought away from the river and then dried. After a day of this, they can be harnessed again.

The Water Classic still further states, "The Yellow River flows north of the capital city of Dongyan County, where there is a place called Ji Crossing.")


23. Shi Le's generals wanted to assault the Three Terraces. But Zhang Bin said, "Although Liu Yan is weak, he still has several thousand defenders, and the Three Terraces are a sturdy fortification. If we assault them, it will not be easy to take them. But if we leave them be and go elsewhere, they will fall apart of their own accord. Right now, your true enemies are Wang Pengzu (Wang Jun) and Liu Yueshi (Liu Kun). You should go and overcome them first; Liu Yan is too weak to lend them any assistance.

"Furthermore, the realm is suffering from great hunger and chaos. Your Grace, although you command a great army, and you wander wherever you will, the people have no set desires; this is not the way to protect yourself against all circumstances or control the four corners of the realm. It would be better to select a place and occupy it, where you can gather up stores of grain and other supplies. Then inform Pingyang to the west of your intentions to conquer Youzhou and Bingzhou. That shall be a hegemon king's endeavor. Handan and Xiangguo are places that are suited for victory. Choose one of them and make it your capital."

Shi Le declared, "The Marquis of the Right's plan it is!" And he advanced and occupied Xiangguo.


(Wang Jun's style name was Pengzu; Liu Kun's style name was Yueshi.

By Youzhou and Bingzhou, Zhang Bin more specifically meant Wang Jun and Liu Kun.

During Han, Handan County was part of the Zhao princely fief. During Jin, it was part of Guangping commandary. Xiangguo County had originally been created by Qin as Xindu. Xiang Yu renamed it to Xiangguo. During Han, it was part of the Zhao princely fief. During Jin, it was part of Guangping commandary. Xindu was recreated as another county; during Former Han, it was part of the Xindu princely fief, and during Later Han, it was part of the Anping princely fief. Song Bai remarked, "Sui renamed Xiangguo to Longgang County. During Tang, it was administered by Xingzhou.")


24. Then Zhang Bin said to Shi Le, "Now that you have taken up residence here, Pengzu and Yueshi will be deeply wary of you. I fear that before you can complete your walls and defenses, and before you can gather up enough goods and supplies, the two of them will both attack you. You ought to forage for as much grain as you can, while you send someone to Pingyang explaining why you are guarding this place."

Shi Le followed his advice. He split up his forces into several groups to go attack Jizhou, where most of the forts and ramparts in the counties and commandaries there surrendered to him, and so his forces transported their grain stores back to Xiangguo.

Shi Le also sent a petition to Liu Cong, and so Liu Cong appointed him as Commander of military forces in Jizhou, Youzhou, Bingzhou, and Yingzhou, as well as Governor of Jizhou. Liu Cong also advanced Shi Le's title to Duke of Shangdang.


(This passage mentions a 營州 Yingzhou. This Yingzhou does not appear among the nineteen provinces mentioned in the Geographical Records of Jin's Taikang Era. According to the Geographical Records chapter of the Book of Jin, "In the second year of Xianning (276), Jin split off the commandaries of Changli, Liaodong, Xuantu, Daifang, Leliang, and other commandaries and princely fiefs, five in all, and formed Pingzhou from them." When Murong Xi occupied Helong, that was when he first created Yingzhou at Sujun, and appointed an Inspector to guard it. Northern Wei created Yingzhou at Helong. During Shi Le's time, there was not yet any such province as Yingzhou. The Records of Commandaries and Fiefs states, "The territory of Yingzhou was divided at Yingshi, thus the name Yingzhou.")


25. Liu Kun sent out proclamations throughout the provinces and commandaries, setting a date in the tenth month to meet at Pingyang and attack Han.

Over time, Liu Kun had been growing more arrogant, and he delighted in sensual pleasures. Xu Run of Henan obtained Liu Kun's favor thanks to his musical performance and appreciation, and so Liu Kun appointed him as Prefect of Jinyang. Xu Run was arrogant and uninhibited, and governed however he liked. The Army Protector, Linghu Sheng, often admonished him, and Linghu Sheng also urged Liu Kun to kill Xu Run, but Liu Kun would not do it. Xu Run then slandered Linghu Sheng to Liu Kun, and after several incidents of this, Liu Kun killed Linghu Sheng. Liu Kun's mother told him, "You were unable to manage and control an arrogant and cruel fellow in order to further long-term plans; even worse, you have let yourself be the one so won over. Disaster will certainly befall us."


26. Linghu Sheng's son Linghu Ni fled to Han, where he informed them of what Liu Kun's actual situation was. Liu Cong was greatly pleased, and he sent Liu Can and Liu Yao to lead troops to invade Bingzhou, with Linghu Ni acting as their guide.

When Liu Kun heard of the invasion, he marched out to the east, gathering up soldiers in Changshan and Zhongshan commandaries. He also sent his generals He Shen and Zhang Qiao to lead troops to oppose Liu Can. He further sent word to Tuoba Yilu, asking him for assistance again.

He Shen and Zhang Qiao were both defeated and killed. Liu Can and Liu Yao then took advantage of the weak defenses to attack Jinyang. The Administrator of Taiyuan, Gao Qiao, and the Attendant Officer With Separate Carriage to the Inspector of Bingzhou, He Yu, surrendered Jinyang to Han.

In the eighth month, on the day Gengxu (September 18th), Liu Kun returned to rescue Jinyang, but he was unable to. So he led several dozen of his attendant riders to flee to Changshan. On the day Xinhai (September 19th), Liu Can and Liu Yao entered Jinyang. On the day Renzi (September 20th), Linghu Ni killed Liu Kun's mother and father.


(He San's surname 郝 is pronounced "he (h-e)".

Sima Guang's commentary in the Textual Analysis states, "The Biography of Liu Kun in the Book of Jin states, 'His subordinate Pang Chun surrendered to Han, and the Wuhuan of Yanmen rebelled again. So Liu Kun personally went out to deal with them. Taking advantage of his absence, Liu Can attacked and captured Jinyang.' However, according to Liu Kun's Response to the Crown Prince, he states, 'On the sixth day of the seventh month, Liu Cong once more devised a plan seeking death. So I went east to gather up the soldiers of Zhongshan and Changshan, as well as bring together the armies of Leping and Shangdang. But before I had completed this task, Jinyang had already fallen.' The Annals of the Sixteen Kingdoms also states, 'Liu Kun gathered up soldiers in Changshan.' So the original Biography is mistaken.")


27. Having captured Jin's Master of Writing, Lu Zhi, their Palace Attendant, Xu Xia, and their Guard Commander of the Right of the Crown Prince, Cui Wei, Liu Can and Liu Yao sent them to Pingyang. Liu Cong restored Liu Yao to his rank as Grand General of Chariots and Cavalry, and he appointing the General of the Front, Liu Feng, as Inspector of Bingzhou, stationed at Jinyang.

In the ninth month, Liu Cong appointed Lu Zhi as Grand Instructor to the Crown Younger Brother, Cui Wei as Grand Tutor to him, and Xu Xia as Grand Guardian to him. He appointed Gao Qiao and Linghu Ni as Guard Generals of Valor.


28. On the day Jimao (October 17th), Han's Commandant of the Guards, Liang Fen, fled to Chang'an.


29. On the day Xinsi (October 19th), Jia Ya and the other Jin loyalists in Chang'an acclaimed Sima Ye as Crown Prince. They established their own Acting Terrace administration at Chang'an, and raised an altar to inform the spirits. They established an ancestral temple and an altar to soil and grain, and declared a general amnesty.

Yan Ding was appointed as 詹事 to the Crown Prince, in command of the affairs of state. Jia Ya was promoted to Grand General Who Conquers The West, and the Inspector of Qinzhou and Prince of Nanyang, Sima Bao, was appointed as Grand Marshal.

They issued orders that the Minister of Works, Xun Fan, would be in charge of events near and far, and the Household Counselor With Golden Tassel, Xun Zu, would be acting Colonel-Director of Retainers and acting Inspector of Yuzhou, and he and Xun Fan would guard Kaifeng together.


(Sima Guang's commentary in the Textual Analysis states, "The Annals of Emperor Huai in the Book of Jin states, 'Jia Ya campaigned against Liu Can in the Three Adjuncts region (around Chang'an), and drove him out. With Guanzhong now being somewhat secure, he acclaimed the Prince of Qin (Sima Ye) as Crown Prince.' Now Jia Ya and the other loyalists had attacked Liu Can at Xinfeng in the fifth year of Yongjia (311), and Liu Can had been defeated and returned to Pingyang. Then Sima Ye entered Yongcheng. In the third month of the sixth year of Yongjia (312), Liu Yao abandoned Chang'an and fled, and Sima Ye then entered Chang'an, since the Han soldiers had all already retreated. At the time that Sima Ye was made the Crown Prince, Liu Can was at Pingyang. So the Annals are mistaken."

Informing the spirits is an act which sometimes happens when one assumes power or when one ascends the throne; it is a ritual of offering sacrifices to Heaven. When Emperor Shun assumed power, several times he informed the spirit of the Supreme Emperor. Kong Anguo's Annotations states, "To inform is to recount the events of one's assuming power or accession to the throne. One then informs Heaven and the Five Emperors. When Tang of Shang took the mandate from Xia, he explained himself to the Supreme Heaven and the spirits of the earth.” This was the same sort of event."

The 詹事 to the Son of Heaven directs and oversees his subordinate officials. At this time, the Crown Prince had only established an Acting Terrace administration, and so the 詹事 oversaw the other ministers and affairs. Since the powers of the office had not yet been rectified to its nominal title, the 詹事 was really more the role of a Prime Minister.

During Han, Kaifeng County was part of Henan commandary. During Jin, it was part of Xingyang commandary.)

是年,晉雍州刺史賈疋、京兆太守閻鼎,以晉懷帝為劉聰所執,共立懷帝兄子秦王業為太子,於長安稱行臺。(Book of Northern Wei 1)

During this year (312), since Emperor Huai of Jin had been captured by Liu Cong, Jin's Inspector of Yongzhou, Jia Ya, and their Administrator of Jingzhao, Yan Ding, acclaimed the Prince of Qin, Emperor Huai's nephew Sima Ye, as the Crown Prince, and they set up an Acting Terrace government at Chang'an.


30. Jin's Inspector of Qinzhou, Pei Bao, occupied strategic passes to block the soldiers of Liangzhou. Zhang Shi, Song Pei, and other Liangzhou generals attacked and routed him, and Pei Bao fled to the Rouxiong (or, Sangxiong) Fort.


(Some versions have the first character of the name of this fort as 桑 Sang instead of 柔 Rou.)


31. In winter, the tenth month, Liu Cong appointed more of his sons as Princes. He appointed Liu Heng as Prince of Dai, Liu Cheng as Prince of Wu, Liu Lang as Prince of Yingchuan, Liu Gao as Prince of Lingling, Liu Xu as Prince of Danyang, Liu Jing as Prince of Shu, Liu Tan as Prince of Jiujiang, and Liu Huang as Prince of Linchuan.

Liu Cong appointed Wang Yu as Grand Guardian, Wang Zhang as Grand Commandant, Ren Yi as Minister Over The Masses, Ma Jing as Minister of Works, Zhu Ji as Prefect of the Masters of Writing, Fan Long as Supervisor of the Left, and Huyan Yan as Supervisor of the Right.


32. Tuoba Yilu sent his son Tuoba Liuxiu, his nephew Tuoba Pugen, and his generals Wei Xiong, Fan Ban, and Ji Dan to lead a host of several tens of thousands as a vanguard to attack Jinyang. Tuoba Yilu himself led another host of two hundred thousand to follow behind this vanguard. Liu Kun gathered up several thousand of his scattered soldiers and acted as a guide for the Tuoba army.

Tuoba Liuxiu fought with Liu Yao at Fendong. Liu Yao's army was defeated, his horse was lost, and he was pierced by seven wounds. Han's General Who Campaigns Against Caitiffs, Fu Hu, gave his own horse to Liu Yao. Liu Yao did not want to accept it, telling Fu Hu, "You should take this chance to save yourself. I have already been seriously injured, and this is where I shall die."

Fu Hu replied, "When I was just a nobody, Great Prince, you were the one who brought me as far as I am today. I have often considered how I might repay you, and now that time has come. Besides, the Han royal family is only newly established. The world can do without Fu Hu, Great Prince, but not without you!"

And he lifted Liu Yao onto his horse and sent him back across the Fen River, while Fu Hu himself returned to battle and perished.

Liu Yao returned to Jinyang, where during the night, he, Liu Can, and Liu Feng pillaged the people of Jinyang and then crossed over Mount Meng to return towards Pingyang.

In the eleventh month, Tuoba Yilu pursued them. He fought them at Lan Valley, where the Han soldiers were greatly defeated. Tuoba Yilu captured Liu Feng, and he beheaded Xing Yan and others, more than three thousand altogether. Corpses lay along the roads for several hundred li. Tuoba Yilu then held a great hunt at Mount Shouyang, where he displayed and inspected the flesh and meat, until the mountain ran red.

Liu Kun entered the camp gate on foot and made obeisance to offer his thanks, while asking that the army continue its advance. Tuoba Yilu replied, "It was because I did not come early enough that your mother and father were brought to harm. Truly, the shame is on both of us. But by now, you have already recovered your provincial territory. My army has come a long way, and my soldiers and horses are all weary and exhausted. We should wait for a time and then launch another undertaking. We cannot vanquish Liu Cong yet."

So Tuoba Yilu gave Liu Kun gifts of more than a thousand heads each of horses, oxen, and sheep, along with a hundred carriages, before he went back to his territory. Tuoba Yilu left his generals Ji Dan, Duan Fan, and others to camp at Jinyang.


(Sima Guang's commentary in the Textual Analysis states, "The Annals of the Sixteen Kingdoms states, 'Tuoba Yilu sent his sons Tuoba Lisun and Tuoba Youliuxu.' The Chronicles of the Book of Jin lists Tuoba Yilu's son's name as 'Tuoba Binliuxu'. The Collected Writings of Liu Kun mentions the 'Worthy Kings of the Left and Right' and 'the Worthy King of the Right, Tuoba Pusugen'. But I follow the account of the Book of Northern Wei."

His commentary further states, "Regarding this 箕 Ji Dan, the Annals of the Sixteen Kingdoms and the Book of Northern Wei records his name as 姬 Ji Dan. But I follow the Biography of Liu Kun in the Book of Jin."

According to the Records of the Five Dynasties, there was a Mount Meng in Shi'ai County in Taiyuan commandary. Wei Shou remarked, "Shi'Ai County was Han's and Jin's Shang'ai County." According to the Records of Jin, Shang'ai County was part of Leping commandary. Also according to the Records of the Five Dynasties, there was a Mount Meng in Jinyang County. So this Mount Meng must have straddled the borders between the two counties of Jinyang and Shi'ai.

Lan Valley was southwest of Mount Meng.

Xing Yan had rebelled against Liu Kun, as mentioned in Book 87 in the fifth year of Yongjia (311.43).

Mount Shouyang was in Shouyang County in Leping commandary. Wei Shou's Geographical Records writes its name as 受 Shouyang rather than 壽 Shouyang. This county must have been created by Jin. Song Bai remarked, "Shouyang County was originally the territory of Han's Yuci County. Jin created Shouyang County.")

五年,劉琨遣使乞師以討劉聰、石勒。帝以琨忠義,矜而許之。會聰遣其子粲襲晉陽,害琨父母而據其城,琨來告難,帝大怒,遣長子六脩、桓帝子普根,及衞雄、范班、姬澹等為前鋒,帝躬統大眾二十萬為後繼。粲懼,焚輜重,突圍遁走。縱騎追之,斬其將劉儒、劉豐、簡令、張平、邢延,伏尸數百里。琨來拜謝,帝以禮待之。琨固請進軍,帝曰:「吾不早來,致卿父母見害,誠以相愧。今卿已復州境,然吾遠來,士馬疲弊,且待終舉。賊奚可盡乎?」饋琨馬牛羊各千餘,車令百乘,又留勁銳戍之而還。(Book of Northern Wei 1)

In the fifth year (312), Liu Kun once more begged for assistance, in order to campaign against Liu Cong and Shi Le. Because Liu Kun was loyal and righteous, Tuoba Yilu sympathized with him and agreed to his request.

Soon, Liu Cong sent his son Liu Can to attack Jinyang, and Liu Can killed Liu Kun's father and mother and occupied his city. Liu Kun came to Dai to tell Tuoba Yilu of his travails, and Tuoba Yilu was moved to great anger. So he sent his eldest son Tuoba Liuxiu, Tuoba Yituo's son Tuoba Pugen, and his generals Wei Xiong, Fan Ban, Ji Dan, and others to lead the vanguard, while he himself followed behind with a main body of two hundred thousand soldiers as reserves. Liu Can, frightened, burned his supply train, burst through the Dai encirclement, and fled. The Dai cavalry pursued him, killing his generals Liu Ru, Liu Feng, Jian Ling, Zhang Ping, and Xing Yan, and the dead littered the ground for hundreds of li.

Liu Kun came to offer his thanks, and Tuoba Yilu treated him with proper ceremony and respect. Liu Kun ardently asked that the Dai army press forward. But Tuoba Yilu replied, "It was because I did not come early enough that your mother and father were brought to harm. Truly, the shame is on both of us. But by now, you have already recovered your provincial territory, while my army has come a long way, and my soldiers and horses are all weary and exhausted. We should wait for a time and then launch another undertaking. How can the enemy be vanquished yet?" So Tuoba Yilu gave Liu Kun gifts of more than a thousand heads each of horses, oxen, and sheep, along with a hundred carriages. He left strong and keen troops to camp at Jinyang before he returned to Dai.


33. Liu Kun moved his residence to Yangqu, where he gathered up his scattered forces. Lu Shen was serving as an Army Advisor under Liu Can, but he fled to join Liu Kun. So the people of Han killed his father Lu Zhi and his younger brothers Lu Mi and Lu Shenn.

Fu Hu was posthumously appointed as Inspector of Youzhou.


(Yangqu County was part of Taiyuan commandary, north of Jinyang.

Lu Shen's given name 諶 is pronounced "shen (sh-en)".

Sima Guang's commentary in the Textual Analysis states, "The Biography of Liu Cong in the Chronicles of the Book of Jin states, 'Lu Zhi urged the Crown Younger Brother, Liu Yi, to rise in rebellion. For this, he was executed.' Now Lu Zhi had earlier urged the Prince of Chengdu, Sima Ying, to rise up on behalf of Sima Jiong's righteous cause, and he had rebuked Sima Ying for attacking the Prince of Changsha, Sima Ai. He was a loyal, righteous, honest, and sincere man, and from first to last he never wavered from such conduct. He was not the sort of person to advocate rebellion. So I follow the account of the Biography of Lu Shen in the Book of Jin.")


34. In the twelfth month, Liu Cong honored Lady Zhang as his Empress. He appointed her father Zhang Shi as Household Counselor With Golden Tassel of the Left.


35. It was earlier mentioned that Jia Ya had killed Peng Dangzhong during his campaign in Guanzhong. Peng Dangzhong's son Peng Tianhu now led several tribes to attack Jia Ya. Peng Tianhu feigned that he had been defeated and then fled. Jia Ya pursued him, but fell into a gully during the night. Peng Tianhu captured and killed him. Han appointed Peng Tianhu as Inspector of Liangzhou (or, Lianzhou).

The Administrator of Shiping, Qu Yun, was generally acclaimed as acting Inspector of Yongzhou.

Yan Ding and the Administrator of Jingzhao, Liang Zong, battled for power, and so Yan Ding killed Liang Zong. Qu Yun, the Army Protector Who Nurtures The Yi Tribes, Suo Chen, and the Administrator of Pingyi, Liang Su, joined their soldiers together to attack Yan Ding, who went out and fled to Yong, where he was killed by the Di tribesman Dou Shou.


(Jia Yi's defeat of Peng Dangzhong is mentioned in Book 87, in the fifth year of Yongjia (311.37).

Sima Guang's commentary in the Textual Analysis states, "The Annals of Emperor Huai in the Book of Jin states, 'Jia Ya campaigned against the bandit Zhang Lian, where he came to harm.' The Biography of Jia Ya in the Book of Jin states, 'Peng Tianhu attacked Jia Ya. Jia Ya was defeated and fled, but he fell into a gully and died.' But I follow the account of the Annals of the Sixteen Kingdoms."

Some versions state that Han appointed Peng Tianhu as Inspector of "Lianzhou" rather than Liangzhou.

The Xiongnu and the Jie were both powerful, and so Jia Ya, Yan Ding, Qu Yun, and Suo Chen surrendered their heart's desires to a common cause, binding their strength together to restore the Jin royal family. Yet they still feared they would not be able to secure themselves, and so butchered one another! We can see here the ultimate defeat of the court at Chang'an.)


36. You Lun and Zhang Chai of Guangping gathered together a host of several tens of thousands and occupied the city of Yuanxiang, where they accepted office under Wang Jun's authority. Shi Le sent Kui An, Zhi Xiong, and others, seven generals in all, to attack them. He broke through their outer ramparts.

Wang Jun sent his Protector Wang Chang to lead several armies against Shi Le, along with the Duke of Liaoxi, Duan Jilujuan, Duan Jilujuan's younger brothers Duan Pidi and Duan Wenyang, and his cousin Duan Mopei. They led a host of fifty thousand to attack Shi Le at Xiangguo.


(The Registry of Surnames states, "The surname 游 You comes from Guangping. The son of the Duke of Zheng, Yan, had the style name Ziyou, and so his descendants took this You as their clan name."

According to Wei Shou's Geographical Records, There was a city of Yuanxiang in Ren County in Guangping commandary. Song Bai remarked, "Ren County was within the territory of Later Han's Nanluan County. The Shi clan of Later Zhao established Yuanxiang County there. During Tang, it was Ren County, as part of Xingzhou."

This passage describes You Lun and Zhang Chai as 假署. One who is 假署 is acting on their own while accepting the offices of another for a time.

Sima Guang's commentary in the Textual Analysis states, "Regarding Duan 疾
Jilujuan, the Biography of Shi Le in the Chronicles of the Book of Jin and the Book of Northern Wei both record his name as Duan 就 Jiulijuan. But I follow the account of the Biography of Wang Jun in the Book of Jin."

His commentary further states, "Regarding Duan 柸 Mopei, the Book of Northern Wei records his name as Duan 破 Mopo. But again, I follow the account of the Biography of Wang Jun in the Book of Jin.")


37. Duan Jilujuan camped at Zhuyang. Shi Le sent out several generals to fight him, but they were all defeated by Duan Jilujuan. Duan Jilujuan then constructed great siege weapons, preparing to attack the walls of Xiangguo. Shi Le's army was greatly afraid.

Shi Le assembled his generals and advisors and told them, "Our defenses here are not yet complete, and we do not have enough grain or supplies. The enemy is numerous while we are few, and there is no help coming from outside. I want to risk everything on a decisive battle. What do you think?"

His generals all told him, "It would be better to hold fast to our defenses and wear out the enemy. Wait for them to retreat, then we may attack them."

But Zhang Bin and Kong Chang said, "Among the Xianbei, the Duan clan is the most heroic and bold, and none moreso than Duan Mopei. The enemy's keen spirit all stems from Duan Mopei. We have heard that Duan Jilujuan has set a day for an assault on the northern wall. His army has come from a long ways away, and after fighting for several days, they say that our army is isolated and weak and does not dare to march out to fight them. So they shall certainly be complacent. We should halt our sorties against them, to make a show of being cowardly. Meanwhile, we should carve out more than twenty postern gates into the northern wall. We can wait for them to come close, and before their formation is in order, we can suddenly march out through the postern gates when they do not suspect it. Then we make straight for Duan Mopei's canopy. The enemy will be so shocked and unaware that no plan will avail them, and we can certainly rout them. Once Duan Mopei is defeated, then the remaining enemies will not fight, and they will scatter."

Shi Le followed their advice, and he secretly carved out the postern gates. When Duan Jilujuan organized his planned assault on the northern wall, Shi Le stood atop the wall to observe the enemy army. He saw that some of the enemy officers and soldiers had put down their weapons and laid down to rest, and so he ordered Kong Chang to lead elite troops to burst out of the postern gates and launch their attack, while his men atop the wall beat the drums to raise their spirits. Kong Chang attacked Duan Mopei's canopy, but he could not overcome Duan Mopei and so retreated. Duan Mopei then pursued him, but when he entered into the rampart gate, he was captured by Shi Le's army.

Duan Jilujuan and the others then retreated. Kong Chang pressed the victory and pursued them to attack, leaving piles of bodies for more than thirty li and capturing five thousand armored horses. Duan Jilujuan gathered up his remaining forces and returned to his camp at Zhuyang.


(According to Ban Gu's Geographical Records and to the Tributes of Yu in the Book of Documents, the Jiang River enters the sea at Xindu. The Commentary on the Water Classic states, "The Jiang Drain passes north, east of the city of Xindu. It scatters into the marches and islets, west until it reaches the east of Xindu. Then it continues on into the ditch in Guangchuan County named for Zhang Jia, where it all enters into the sea." So when Duan Jilujuan camped at "Zhuyang", he camped north of these islets.

The Chapter on Preparing Postern Gates in the Mozi states, "In the walls, a postern gate is every hundred paces. Use two carriages as measurements for their length. Fashion them from wood and cover them with mud, then tie up the postern gates from within. To control the width of the gates, order men to place projections within the gate four paces from where a person enters them. The sides of the gate function like a bag, which can ensnare an ambush; they are also a stopping point. When the enemies enter, their wheels will be halted beneath them, and then you can beat the bag over them." Du You remarked, "Postern gates are carved into the walls as hidden gates. They allow one to be close to the action, not permitting more than five or six 寸. Sometimes during the night, when an enemy has only just arrived and their camp is not yet in order, you may sent elite cavalry to make a sudden charge through these postern gates and attack them before they are prepared and strike them when they do not expect it."

Shi Le could see that the enemies had put down their weapons and laid down, so he knew that they were complacent. Then he ordered Kong Chang to march out and attack them, so these were the soldiers whose spirits he was raising.)


38. Now that he had Duan Mopei as a hostage, Shi Le sent a messenger to ask for peace from Duan Jilujuan, and Duan Jilujuan agreed to peace. Duan Wenyang criticized him, saying, "Will you bow your head to these caitiffs because of the loss of Duan Mopei alone? If you achieve nothing, you will incur Wang Pengzu's wrath, and bring future troubles on yourself!"

But Duan Jilujuan would not agree. He also sent armored horses and gold and silver to Shi Le as bribes, and he also sent him Duan Mopei's three younger brothers as hostages, asking Shi Le to return Duan Mopei in exchange.

Shi Le's generals all urged him to kill Duan Mopei, but Shi Le told them, "The Xianbei of Liaoxi have established their own state, and I have no grudge against them. They are just Wang Jun's pawns. To kill one man and so gain the enmity of a whole state is no good plan. By returning Duan Mopei, the Duan clan will certainly hold me in great esteem, and they will not let themselves be used by Wang Jun any longer."

So he sent back golds and silks as a response to the proposal, and he also sent Shi Hu to swear an alliance with Duan Jilujuan at Zhuyang, where they formed a bond as close as brothers. Then Duan Jilujuan led his forces away, and since Wang Chang could not stand against Shi Le along, he was also obliged to return to Wang Jun's base at Ji.

Shi Le then summoned Duan Mopei and treated him to feasts and drinks, swearing an oath as father and son, before sending him back to Liaoxi. Duan Mopei lay in the mud, faced south from the sun, and performed obeisance three times. From then on, the Duan clan's hearts were inclined towards Shi Le, and so Wang Jun's power began to decline.


(In the Art of War, Sun Wu proposes, "Alienate those who are close to each other." This was an instance of those "close to each other". However, when this passage says that "the Duan clan" was inclined towards Shi Le, it means Duan Mopei in particular. If it had been Duan Pidi or Duan Wenyang, they would have been against Shi Le to the end.)


39. You Lun and Zhang Chai asked to surrender to Shi Le.

Shi Le attacked Xindu, and killed Jin's Inspector of Jizhou, Wang Xiang. Wang Jun reappointed Shao Ju as acting Inspector of Jizhou, and had him guard Xindu.


40. During this year, there was great pestilence.


41. Wang Cheng was the younger brother of the great Jin minister Wang Yan. When the two of them had been young, their reputation was known throughout the Four Seas. Liu Kun had said to Wang Cheng, "Although you play the part of an aloof gentleman, I know that really you are a gallant man and easily moved. One who conducts himself like that will find it hard to die."

It was earlier mentioned that Wang Cheng had been sent to Jingzhou. When Wang Cheng arrived at Jingzhou, he was pleased with the Interior Minister of Chengdu, Wang Ji, saying that Wang Ji was second only to himself, so that inwardly they were bound as close as heart and spine and outwardly they were like fangs and claws.

Wang Cheng had often been defeated by the rebel leader Du Tao, and although inwardly he began to lose hope, outwardly he still remained as proud as before. He showed no signs of fear or anxiety, and merely spent day and night drinking and playing chess with Wang Ji. Wang Cheng's subordinates were thus alienated from him. The Administrator of Nanping, Ying Zhan, remonstrated with him several times, but Wang Cheng would not listen.


(Liu Kun was saying that Wang Cheng's heart was easily moved, and he took pleasure in acting gallantly.

The term 綜 means to bind together, as when one holds the warp and brings together the weft. So in this case, it means someone with whom one can lead and conduct affairs.)

王平子形甚散朗,內實勁俠。(New Tales 32.1)

Wang Cheng's outward appearance was very relaxed and open, but inwardly he was really a headstrong knight-errant. (tr. Richard Mather)


42. Wang Cheng himself led an army out to attack Du Tao, and his army went to Zuotang.

Shan Jian's former Army Advisor, Wang Chong, gathered up a host of men to receive Ying Zhan as the new Inspector of Jingzhou. But since Wang Chong had no authority to do this, Ying Zhan abandoned him and fled to Nanping. So Wang Chong simply proclaimed himself as the new Inspector instead.

Wang Cheng was afraid, and he sent his general Du Rui to guard Jiangling, while he moved his own base to Canling, and soon further fled to Tazhong. Wang Cheng's Attendant Officer With Separate Carriage, Guo Shu, remonstrated with him, saying, "Commissioner, so long as you remain close to your province, even if you change nothing about your administration, the people of the province will still bind their hearts to you. If you gather up the soldiers of Huarong to the west, that will be quite sufficient to deal with this wretch. Why then have you abandoned the province and been so hasty to run away?"

Wang Cheng would not listen to him, and he only wanted to have Guo Shu return east. Guo Shu said, "Commissioner, I would just be enforcing policies from ten thousand li away, and I could not rectify or correct anything, since you have run away and truly cannot bear to cross the Yangzi."

So Guo Shu remained camped at Dunkou.

When Sima Rui heard what had happened, he summoned Wang Cheng to Jianye to serve as an Army Libationer-Consultant, while he appointed another Army Libationer-Consultant, Zhou Yi, to replace Wang Cheng as Inspector of Jingzhou. Wang Cheng answered the summons.


(During Later Han, Zuotang County was part of Wuling commandary. During Jin, it was part of Nanping commandary. The Records of the Five Dynasties states, "Canling County in Liyang commandary was once called Zuotang County."

Nanping commandary was adminstered from Jiang'an.

During Han, Canling County was part of Wuling commandary. During Jin, it was part of Nanping commandary. Ying Shao remarked, "The first character of Canling, 孱, is pronounced 'jian'." Yan Shigu says that 孱 is pronounced "sh-ian". Liu Xu remarked, "Anxiang County in Lizhou was Han's Canling County."

The Tazhong mentioned here was not the same Tazhong where Jiang Wei once grew grain, though they have the exact same name. This Tazhong was east of Canling.

Huarong County was part of Nan commandary.

Guo Shu was Jingzhou's Attendant Officer With Separate Carriage, so he says that he would be "enforcing policies from ten thousand li away".

The Commentary on the Water Classic states, "The Dun River flows south, passing into Lake Taibai in Mianyang County. From that lake, it flows southeast into the Yangzi; this place is called Dunkou ('mouth of the Dun'). 沌 is pronounced 'chan (ch-an)'.")


43. Zhou Yi had only just arrived in Jingzhou when a refugee from Jianping, Fu Mi, and others rose in rebellion to welcome Du Tao, and Du Tao's subordinate general Wang Zhen invaded Mianyang. Zhou Yi felt he was trapped between two fires and could hold nothing.

The Commander of the Expeditionary Forces, Wang Dun, sent the Administrator of Wuchang, Tao Kan, the Administrator of Shunyang, Zhou Fang, and the Interior Minister of Liyang, Gan Zhuo, to attack Du Tao together, while Wang Dun himself advanced to camp at Yuzhang in order to serve as a reserve force for these forward elements.


(It was Emperor Wu of Southern Liang who created Mianyang as a commandary. According to Shen Yue's Records, when Tao Kan was Inspector of Jingzhou, he originally administered the province from Mianyang. So it must be that at the time of this passage, there was already at least a city of Mianyang, within the territory of Jingling commandary. Song Bai remarked, "Mianyang County in Fuzhou was a county established by Han." The Records of Commandaries and Fiefs states, "Mianyang County was the city of the King of Chu."

In Emperor Huai's fifth year of Yongjia (311), Sima Rui had further promoted Wang Dun as Commander of Expeditionary Forces.

In Emperor Hui's first year of Yongxing (304), he split off the two counties of Wujiang and Liyang from Huainan commandary and formed Liyang commandary from them.

Sima Guang's commentary in the Textual Analysis states, "The Biography of Wang Cheng in the Book of Jin states, 'At this time, Wang Dun was in Jiangzhou, stationed at Yuzhang.' But Wang Dun was currently Inspector of Yangzhou, and serving as Commander over the various expeditionary armies. He could not have been in Jiangzhou.")


44. As Wang Cheng was passing by on his way to Jianye, he stopped to visit Wang Dun. Although over time Wang Cheng's reputation had been eclipsed by Wang Dun's, Wang Cheng still treated Wang Dun the same as before and so slighted him. Wang Dun was furious, and he slandered Wang Cheng by saying he was in secret correspondence with Du Tao, then ordered his strong men to beat Wang Cheng to death.

When Wang Ji heard that Wang Cheng was dead, he feared disaster for himself as well. Now Wang Ji's father Wang Yi and his elder brother Wang Ju had both once been Inspector of Guangzhou, so Wang Ji asked that Wang Dun grant him this post as well, but Wang Dun refused.

Soon, a general of Guangzhou, Wen Shao, and others rebelled against the current Inspector, Guo Ne, and clamored for Wang Ji to come serve as their Inspector. So Wang Ji led his slaves, guests, students, and others, more than a thousand people in all, to Guangzhou. Guo Ne sent soldiers to oppose their entrance, but the generals and officers in this army had all served during the time that Wang Ji's father and elder brother had been Inspector, and rather than fight Wang Ji they surrendered to him. Guo Ne then fled his post, and the province welcomed Wang Ji.


(Sima Guang's commentary in the Textual Analysis states, "Regarding the dates of Wang Cheng's death, Zhou Yi's defeat, Wang Dun's shifting of his camp to Yuzhang, and Wang Ji's entrance into Guangzhou, neither the Annals nor the Biographies of those concerned in the Book of Jin list either the years or the months. But according to the Biography of Wei Jie in the Book of Jin, Wei Jie served under Wang Dun at Yuzhang, and he passed away in the sixth year of Yongjia (312). So I have appended all of these events onto the end of this year."

When Wang Ji's father Wang Yi had been Inspector of Guangzhou, he had deeply won the regard of the people of Nanyue.)


45. Wang Ru's army was growing smaller and weak from hunger, and when the government armies attacked him, most of his partisans surrendered. Wang Ru felt that he was too weak to continue, so he surrendered to Wang Dun.


(Sima Guang's commentary in the Textual Analysis states, "There is no record of what year or month that Wang Ru surrendered. But the following year (that is, 313), many of his former partisans entered Hanzhong. So I have also appended this event to the end of this year.")


46. The Army Director to the General Who Guards The East, Gu Rong, and the former Horse Washer of the Crown Prince, Wei Jie, both passed away.

This Wei Jie was the grandson of Wei Guan. He was devilishly handsome and charming, and practiced in Pure Conversation. Whenever there were people who were inferior to him, he could be accomodating with them, and whenever there were people who disagreed with them, he could reason with them. For that reason, to the end of his life, he never displayed either a joyous or an angry expression.


47. Jin's Administrator of Jiangyang, Zhang Qi, killed the (acting) Inspector of Yizhou, Wang Yi, and took over from him. This Zhang Qi was the grandson of Zhang Yi. But Zhang Qi soon fell ill and passed away.

The civil and military officials of the Three Offices in Yizhou jointly petitioned that the Administrator of Fuling, Xiang Chen, be appointed as acting Colonel of Western Yi Tribes, and that their base be shifted south to guard Fuling.


(During Han, Jiangyang County was part of Jianwei commandary. Shu-Han split it off as Jiangyang commandary. Sui folded it back into Longshan County in Lingzhou, and during Tang it was Pengshan County in Meizhou.

Some versions state that Wang Yi was the "acting" Inspector of Yizhou.)


48. A leader of the Chiting Qiang of Nan'an commandary, Yao Yizhong, moved his base east to Yumei. Tens of thousands of tribesmen and ethnic Han carried their children on their backs and came to join Yao Yizhong. He proclaimed himself as Colonel Who Protects The Qiang, Inspector of Yongzhou, and Duke of Fufeng.


(The Commentary on the Water Classic states, "Emperor Ling of Han split off Yuandao County as Nan'an commandary. The Chiting River flows out of the Chi Valley in the eastern mountains of that commandary. It flows west, passing north of that city, and then south into the Wei River. That place is called Chitingchuan."

Yumei was Shumi County in Han's Fufeng commandary; Jin abolished it. Song Bai remarked, "In the east of Qianyuan County in Longzhou is the Shumi Marsh, where an old city was. Wushan County was also within the territory of Han's Yumi County.")
Last edited by Taishi Ci 2.0 on Thu Mar 01, 2018 5:47 am, edited 6 times in total.
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Unread postby Taishi Ci 2.0 » Mon Jan 08, 2018 2:59 am


Beginning of the Reign of Sima Ye, Emperor Min


(Sima Ye, styled Yanqi, was the grandson of Emperor Wu (Sima Yan) and the son of Prince Xiao of Wu, Sima Yann. He was sent out from his father's line to continue the line of the Prince of Qin, his uncle Sima Jian, and so Sima Ye was later granted that title of Prince of Qin. The Laws of Posthumous Surnames states, "One who encounters misfortune and turmoil may be called Min ('the Pitied'); one who experiences anxiety on behalf of the state may be called Min.")


The First Year of Jianxing (The Guiyou Year, 313 AD)


(The reign era title changed to the first year of Jianxing in summer, the fourth month.)


1. In spring, the first month, on the new moon of the day Dingchou (February 12th), Liu Cong held a feast for his ministers at the Guangji Hall. He made Emperor Huai dress in green clothing and serve the wine. Yu Min, Wang Juan, and other former Jin ministers could not contain their grief and indignation at the sight of this display, and they began to weep. Liu Cong resented them.

Then someone told Liu Cong that Yu Min and the others were plotting to hand Pingyang over to Liu Kun. So in the second month on the day Dingwei (March 14th), Liu Cong killed Yu Min, Wang Juan, and other former Jin ministers, more than ten in all. Emperor Huai also came to harm.

Liu Cong declared a general amnesty, and he reclaimed the Duchess of Kuaiji, Lady Liu, as one of his Honored Women.


(In the third (fifth?) year of Yongjia (309; 311?), Yu Min, Wang Juan, and Emperor Huai had all been taken prisoner by Han.

Emperor Huai was twenty-nine years old when he died.

In the sixth year of Yongjia (312.9), Liu Cong had granted Lady Liu to Emperor Huai as a wife. Under Han, Emperor Huai's title was Duke of Kuaiji, and so this Lady Liu is here called the Duchess of Kuaiji.)


2. Regarding Emperor Huai's life, Xun Song remarked: Emperor Huai had a natural bearing that was clear and exceptional, and even though he was young, he had a hero's cunning. If he had come to power in an age of peace, he would have been able to maintain culture as an excellent lord. But he rose to the throne after the chaos of Emperor Hui's reign, and was faced with the dominance of the Prince of Donghai (Sima Yue). This was why, even though he did not even have the infamies of Kings You and Li of Zhou to reproach him, he still suffered from disaster and was sent into ruin!


(劭 here means "high, exceptional".)


3. On the day Yihai (April 11th), Han's Empress Dowager Zhang passed away. She was posthumously known as Empress Guangxian ("the Presented").

Empress Zhang could not endure her grief at the loss, and on the day Dingchou (?), she also passed away. She was posthumously known as Empress Wuxiao ("the Filial").


(Empress Zhang was Empress Dowager Zhang's nephew's daughter.)


4. On the day Jimao (?), the Han minister Wang Zhang passed away. He was posthumously known as Duke Zhongmu ("the Loyal and Solemn") of Dingxiang.


5. In the third month, Liu Cong selected his Honored Lady, Liu E, as his new Empress.

To honor Liu E, Liu Cong built the Huangyi Hall. The Minister of Justice, Chen Yuanda, sharply remonstrated with Liu Cong over this. Chen Yuanda said, "When Heaven establishes a superior fellow as a trunk for the branches of the common people, it is in order that such a man may guide and direct them, not so that he may toil the people to gratify the wishes of a single person. Now the royal family of Jin has surrendered their virtue, and our Great Han has taken it up. The eyes of the people are upon you, watching to find a place where they may enjoy repose.

"It was for such reasons that Emperor Guangwen (Liu Yuan) dressed himself mostly in cloth and dwelled in places without heavy mattresses. He neither adorned his Empresses and his concubines with fine brocades and silks, nor fed his carriage horses on millet. And the people loved him because of such frugality. But in the time since your accession to the throne, Your Majesty, you have already built more than forty great halls and temples, not to mention your military adventures. Supplies have been transported about so incessantly that hunger and plague have sprung up, and the dead perish one after another. Yet even now, you are still considering more such construction projects. How can this be the sort of regard that a parent shows to their people?

"Even now, there are still remnants of the Jin dynasty; they occupy Guanzhong in the west and possess the Southland beyond the Yangzi. Furthermore, Li Xiong has taken hold of Ba and Shu, Wang Jun and Liu Kun are so close at hand as to be peering over your ramparts at you, and Shi Le and Cao Yi have been sending in fewer tributes and fewer reports of their activities. Yet rather than worry about such things, Your Majesty is planning to build more halls and palaces, as though there were no emergencies right before your very eyes!

"In former times, Taizong (Emperor Wen of Han) ruled the land during an age of peace, when millets and silks were spread far and wide. Yet even he considered the expenditure of a hundred gold to be a matter for serious consideration, and he decided against building his terraces rather than spend such a sum for their construction. Now Your Majesty is ruling during an age of turmoil and want, and all your territory amounts to no more than a mere two commandaries of Taizong's former domain. Furthermore, Taizong needed only to make military defenses to guard against the Xiongnu and the Shanyue, much unlike your own military needs.

"For Your Majesty's construction projects of palaces and other such things to have gone on to such an extent, how can I dare not to speak up against it, even at the cost of my own life?"

Liu Cong was furious at such a rebuke, and he cried, "I am the Son of Heaven! If I want to build a hall, who are you to question me, you rat! You even dare to pile on with your ranting! Unless I kill a rat like you, my hall will not be completed!" And he ordered his attendants, "Drag him out and behead him! Hang his head at the east market, along with the heads of his wife and sons! That will send the rats scurrying back into their holes!"

Before this time, Liu Cong had built the Lizhong Court in the Xiaoyao Garden, and Chen Yuanda had a lock placed around his waist and was brought into the Lizhong Court. As he was being led in chains under the trees of the garden, Chen Yuanda exclaimed, "The words that I said were for the benefit of the altars of state, yet His Majesty is now going to kill me. But it is as Zhu Yun once said: 'So long as I may wander with Longfeng and Bi Gan, it is enough!'" The attendants who were dragging him could not move him.


(Regarding the name of the 䳨儀 Huangyi Hall, the male version of a phoenix is called the Feng, and the female version the 䳨 Huang. The Book of Documents states, "The male and female phœnix come with their 儀 measured frolicking (into the court). (Yi & Ji 5)"

Liu Yuan's posthumous name was Emperor Guangwen.

Regarding Shi Le and Cao Yi, when Chen Yuanda speaks of their "tributes", he means their tributes and offerings as subordinates; when he speaks of their "reports", he means their actions in fulfillment of imperial orders.

Emperor Wen of Han's halting of his terrace construction project for the sake of not taxing the people for the needed one hundred gold is mentioned in Book 15, in the seventh year of the latter half of Emperor Wen's reign (157 BC).

At the time of this passage, Liu Cong's territory only encompassed the two Han commandaries of Hedong and Xihe.

During Emperor Wen of Han's era, he only needed military defenses against the Xiongnu and the Shanyue.

The Han minister Zhu Yun made this statement in Book 32, in Emperor Cheng of Han's first year of Yuanyan (12 BC).

The second character of Longfeng's name, 逢, is pronounced "piang (p-iang)".)


6. The Grand Minister Over The Masses, Ren Yi, the Household Counselors With Golden Tassel, Zhu Ji and Fan Long, the Grand General of Agile Cavalry and Prince of Hejian, Liu Yii, and others all kowtowed before Liu Cong until blood flowed from their heads, begging him, "Chen Yuanda was long known by His Late Majesty, and from the very moment he first received his orders from your father, he came and conducted himself as a devoted follower of the state, exhausting his full loyalty in consideration for the affairs of the dynasty. He held back nothing which he did not know to be true. We foolish ministers were the ones who did no more than collect our salaries without saying anything about such matters, and not a one of us can see what is happening now without feeling ashamed. Although Chen Yuanda's words may have been blunt, even presumptuous, we pray that Your Majesty will put up with them. If on account of a harsh criticism you now execute an exceptional minister, what will you be doing to future generations?"

Liu Cong could make no response.


(Chen Yuanda's appointment as a Han-Zhao minister is mentioned in Book 85, in Emperor Hui's first year of Yongxing (304.29).)


7. When Empress Liu E heard what was going on, she secretly ordered her attendants to halt the execution, while she sent Liu Cong a petition she wrote in her own hand: "The palaces and buildings are already built to a proper state, and there is no need to further trouble the people for the sake of building more. The lands within the Four Seas are not yet united, and one should respect the people's strength.

"The Minister of Justice's words were said for the good fortune of the altars of state, and so Your Majesty ought to be rewarding him with titles and awards. But rather than do that, you are actually going so far as to execute him. What will those within the Four Seas say about Your Majesty for having done such a thing? When a loyal minister steps forth to offer remonstration, he does so even though it means disregarding his own personal interests. The ruler of men who finds himself so rebuked must also not consider his own personal interests.

"Your Majesty, if you kill a remonstrating minister just in order to build a palace hall for me, then it will be because of me that loyal and excellent men will now guard their tongues, it will be because of me that those near and far grow to hate and despise you, it will be because of me that public and private resources will suffer strain, and it will be because of me that the fortunes of state will be threatened. With the sins of all the realm falling on my head, how could I keep on living?

"From all that I have read on the downfalls of states or the destructions of families ever since ancient times, there has never once been such ruin that did not come about because of a favored woman, and this fact has often pained my heart. Do not do such a thing merely to gratify your desires in the present day, or else you will make future generations see me in the same way that we see those ancient women!

"I am so earnest in this plea that I have neither put my face in order nor prepared my hair with scarves or combs, and I am willing to end my life here in this hall if it would prevent Your Majesty from committing such a transgression!"

Liu Cong reflected upon this petition, and his expression changed.


(When describing the danger to the fortunes of state, Liu E uses the term 阽. Ru Chun remarked, "When 阽 danger is near, one knows that ruin is imminent."

Liu E mentions a 櫛; this is the name for a kind of comb or hair binding.)


8. Ren Yi and the others continued to kowtow, weeping without end. At last, Liu Cong told them, "Having been Emperor for this long by now, I have let my passions get the better of me; I expressed my joy and my anger more than I should have, and I did not control myself. Chen Yuanda is a loyal minister, and I have not given him his due treatment. You gentlemen have struck your heads in order to enlighten me to this fact, and your honest appeals on behalf of assisting the state have been righteous indeed. I let my shame hide away in my heart; how now shall I ever forget it?"

And he ordered Ren Yi and the others to put their caps back on and retake their seats. Liu Cong himself led Chen Yuanda back into the court building and showed Empress Liu E's petition to him, telling him, "With assistance from without like you, and assistance from within like the Empress, what will I need to worry about any longer?"

He awarded Ren Yi and the others great amounts of grains and silks each, and he further ordered the Xiaoyao Garden to be renamed the Naxian ("Receiving the Worthies") Garden and the Lizhong Court to be renamed the Kuixian ("Shamed by the Worthies") Court.

Liu Cong said to Chen Yuanda, "You ought to be the one who fears me, and yet you made me afraid of you!"


(Liu Cong uses the term 戢; it means "to hide, conceal".

The use of the term "up" in this passage means "to ascend the steps of the court building".)


9. In the Shu region, Jin's Colonel of Western Yi Tribes, Xiang Chen, passed away. His subordinates acclaimed the Administrator of Wenshan, Lan Wei, as the new Colonel. Lan Wei led his officials and other subordinate people north out of the region, wanting to march towards Badong. The Cheng generals Li Gong and Fei Hei intercepted his march and attacked him, and they captured him.


(向 Xiang is a surname.

The first character of Wenshan, 汶, is pronounced "min".

The Registry of Surnames states, "The given name of Duke Mu of Zheng was 蘭 Lan, and his various branch descendants took that as their clan name. During Han, there was a Lan Guang who served as Administrator of Wuling." The Accounts of the Xiongnu mentions a Xiongnu clan named 蘭 Lan, but this is not the same Lan clan mentioned here.

Lan Wei wanted to return to Jin.)


10. In summer, the fourth month, on the day Bingwu (May 12th), news of Emperor Huai's demise reached Chang'an. The Crown Prince, Sima Ye, began mourning for Emperor Huai, and he put on his original clothing.

On the day Renshen (June 7th), Sima Ye assumed the imperial title himself, as Emperor Min. A general amnesty was declared, and the reign era title was changed to the first year of Jianxing.

Emperor Min appointed the Guard General, Liang Fen, as Minister Over The Masses. He appointed the Inspector of Yongzhou, Qu Yun, as Supervisor of the Left of the Masters of Writing with chief authority over the affairs of that bureau. He appointed the Administrator of Jingzhao, Suo Chen, as Supervisor of the Left of the Masters of Writing and as acting Director of the Ministry of Personnel and Intendant of Jingzhao.

At this time, there were not even a hundred households still living inside of Chang'an, and there were great thickets of sagebrush and thorns all around. Only four carts remained to handle any business, public or private. The imperial officials did not even have official robes to wear or seals to carry; they merely wrote their names on mulberry slats and called that good.

Suo Chen was soon appointed as Guard General and as acting Grand Commandant, and he handled all national military affairs.


(Zheng Qiao's Tongzhi encyclopedia states, "During the Wei era, the Son of Heaven was capped for his coming of age ceremony a single time. It should be mentioned that according to ancient tradition among the gentry, there were three successive capping ceremonies, to further honor the young man and display his intentions. But as for the Son of Heaven and the feudal lords, they do not have this additional ceremony; being so close to their seats of power, their honor is great and their virtue complete, and they need not further announce their intents to the gentry." According to tradition, the capping ceremony was at the ancestral temple. But from the time of Wei on, it no longer took place there. The capping ceremony, as well as the accession as the Crown Prince, followed the traditions of Wei by this time.

It was at this time that the reign era title became Jianxing.)


11. Liu Yao and Han's Colonel-Director of Retainers, Qiao Zhiming, attacked Chang'an, and their General Who Pacifies The West, Zhao Ran, led his forces to join them. Jin issued an edict ordering Qu Yun to camp at the city of Huangbai to resist this attack.


12. Shi Le sent Shi Hu to attack Ye. The Jin defenders at Ye scattered, and their commander Liu Yan fled to Linqiu.

The refugees in the Three Terraces at Ye all surrendered to Shi Le. Initially, Shi Le appointed Tao Bao as Administrator of Wei commandary to comfort these people. Sometime afterwards, he had Shi Hu replace Tao Bao to guard Ye.


(During Former Han, Linqiu County was part of Dong commandary. During Later Han, it was part of Jiyin commandary. During Jin, it was part of the Puyang princely fief. Li Xian remarked, "The capital city of Linqiu was in the north of Leize County in modern Puzhou.")


13. Before this time, Liu Kun had appointed the Administrator of Chenliu, Jiao Qiu, as Inspector of Yanzhou. But it happened that Xun Fan had appointed Li Shu as Inspector of Yanzhou as well. Li Shu wanted to attack Jiao Qiao, and so Liu Kun ordered Jiao Qiu to return to him.

Now, with Ye having been lost to Shi Le, Liu Kun appointed Liu Yan as the next Inspector of Yanzhou, and ordered him to guard Linqiu.

There lived a certain former Gentleman-Attendant of the Palace Secretariat, Chi Jian, who gained a reputation as a youth for his integrity and fortitude. This Chi Jian led more than a thousand families from Gaoping to take refuge from the turmoil, and they guarded themselves at Mount Yi. Sima Rui, making his own appointment, selected Chi Jian as the new Inspector of Yanzhou, to be stationed at Qushan.

These three men, Li Shu, Liu Yan, and Chi Jian, each camped in a different commandary, and the officials and people of Yanzhou did not know which of them they should follow.


(The Commentary on the Water Classic states, "Mount Yi is in the north of Qu County, taking its name from the village of Yi. The mountain stretches twenty li from east to west. It is a lofty peak which stands alone, and it had boulders in plenty which are all arrayed by one another, while being almost entirely lacking in soil. Many of the great stones have holes or cavities in them, and there are many interconnected tunnels, to the extent that there are a great many dwelling places in the mountain, and so it is commonly called 'the Yi Caves'. When danger threatens, all of the local families retreat to this Mount Yi. No matter how vast the host of invaders who approach it, they cannot do any harm to the people there. During the Yongjia era of the Jin dynasty, Chi Jian led the defenses of families on this mountain. There is now a great marsh south of the mountain, called the Qugong Marsh. Thus is there the verse in the Book of Poetry, "He shall maintain the possession of Hu and Yi. (Bi Gong 7)"

Qushan is in Qu County in Lu commandary.

Sima Guang's commentary in the Textual Analysis states, "According to the Collected Writings of Liu Kun, on the eleventh month of the second year of Jianxing (314), on the new moon of the day Renyin (December 29th), Liu Kun wrote his Response to the Prime Minister (Sima Rui) which states, 'Although Qiao Jiu comes from a poor background, he has courage and skill in both civil and military affairs. Gou Xi had appointed him as Administrator of Chenliu, but he was still in Henan fighting against Shi Le, and he knew the methods to keep that region calm and secure. It was for such reasons that I appointed him as acting Inspector of Yanzhou. When I later heard that Lord Xun Fan had appointed Li Shu to Yanzhou, he spoke much of Li Shu's family's prestige, and he would not hear of Qiao Jiu sharing command with him on the same day. When I proposed that, on account of Qiao Jiu's courage and skill and his ability to confront the dangers, he might be employed in that capacity just for the time being, Li Shu still could not abide being together with him. And even though Wang Xuan is a young man, he went so far as to want to attack Qiao Jiu together with Li Shu. Considering the enmity that already existed between Qiao Jiu and Wang Xuan, I ordered Qiao Jiu to return. But now, the people of the province will not submit or obey Li Shu. The officials of Two Thousand 石 salary rank and the chief civil and military luminaries keep sending me letters asking me to send them Qiao Jiu as their Inspector. I sent my nephew Liu Yan to take over the affairs of Yanzhou in Qiao Jiu's stead. In the first month of last year, I sent him to visit Ye. When he arrived, he beheaded Wang Sang and drove off Zhao Gu...'

"Here I cut out some other material of this sort before continuing with the letter.

"'Now Shi Le is occupying Xiangguo and is posing a threat to Ye, and so I have ordered Liu Yan to go south. Liu Yan is currently administering his domain from Linqiu. However, Li Shu and Chi Qian both want to contend with him for control of Yanzhou, with some people saying they have been appointed by Lord Xun Fan and some saying they have been appointed by yourself, Your Highness. For our people to be at each other's throats when the great invaders have not even been destroyed is the way to destruction, so I have ordered Liu Yan to merely defend his own territory and do no more.'

“Now, Wang Sang and Zhao Gu's defeat and Shi Le's initial attack on Ye both took place in the sixth year of Yongjia (312). Furthermore, Liu Kun's Response includes the sentence, 'News has arrived from Chang'an indicating the Prince of Qin (Sima Ye) is our sovereign.' And as for dates, the first day of the eleventh month of the second year of Jianxing (314) was a Bingshen day, the first day of the eleventh month of the first year of Jianxing (313) was a Renshen day, and the first day of the twelfth month of that year was a Renyin day. So it must be that this letter from Liu Kun was written on the Renyin day that was the first day of the twelfth month of the first year of Jianxing (313), and the date was only marked down as a reminder.")


14. Sima Rui appointed the former Interior Minister of Lujian, Hua Tan, as an Army Libationer-Consultant.

It was earlier mentioned that Zhou Fu had refused a summons from Luoyang, and Sima Rui had dispatched an army to defeat his forces. This Hua Tan had himself once served under Zhou Fu at Shouchun. So Sima Rui asked Hua Tan, "Why did Zhou Zuxuan rebel?"

Hua Tan replied, "Even after Zhou Fu is already dead, the whole realm still has such harsh words to say about him. Zhou Fu could see that the invaders and the bandits were growing more powerful, and so he wanted to move the capital to remove the danger posed to the state. Those who held power over the government were not pleased with him, and that was why they raised soldiers to campaign against him. Yet it was hardly any time at all after Zhou Fu's death that Luoyang was indeed lost. Is it not slander to call such actions rebellion?"

Sima Rui said, "Zhou Fu held a border post as a General Who Conquers or Who Guards, and he commanded strong soldiers. Yet when he was summoned he would not go, and when danger threatened he did not help against it. It was for those reasons that the realm considers him guilty."

Hua Tan replied, "It was indeed as you say. But to not lend aid when danger threatened is a thing that all the realm was guilty of; Zhou Fu was not the only one who failed to do so."


(Zhou Fu's style name was Zuxuan.

The particulars of Zhou Fu's rebellion are mentioned in Book 87, in the fourth and fifth years of Yongjia (310.28, 311.6).)


15. Many of Sima Rui's advisors and ministers were inclined to not attend to their duties, preferring to act above it all. So the Copyist Army Advisor, Chen Yun, said to Sima Rui, "When times were still peaceful in the capital at Luoyang, the court ministers considered the virtues of caution, respect, and circumspection to be mean and vulgar values, and they instead exulted in acting haughty, unconcerned, and whimsical. The spread of these attitudes was what led to the loss of the state in the first place. Yet even now, your officials and your subordinates are still indulging in the excesses of the Western Terrace (Luoyang), and they focus on furthering their influence and glorifying themselves. The front cart has already toppled over, yet the rear cart is following the exact same path and will suffer the same fate. From now on, I ask that you remove all such people who are afflicted by this disease from office."

But Sima Rui did not listen to him.

Now after Sima Jiong, Sima Ying, and Sima Yong had risen up against Sima Lun and overthrown him, they had published the Jihai Registry, in which they recorded those who had achieved merits on behalf of the cause and how they had been rewarded. Ever since, the Jihai Registry had been consulted for further usage. Chen Yun argued against this practice as well, saying, "When the Prince of Zhao (Sima Lun) usurped power and turned traitor, and Emperor Hui lost his place on the throne, the three Princes rose up with their soldiers to punish him, and it was for that particular purpose that they showed their grace and favor to people in order to show appreciation for the righteous actions that they had done. But even now, merits are evaluated or not and appraised as great or small all according to how people were listed in the Jihai Registry, to the extent that even mere private soldiers go about wearing gold and purple medals and household servants are entrusted with authority and planning duties, rather than these things being assigned to those whose reputations and performance deserve them. For the sake of true moral standards, I ask that you do away with all of this!"

Chen Yun came from a poor and obscure family, and he often discussed rectifying things in such ways. These things earned him the ire of many within Sima Rui's government, and they had him sent away to serve as Administrator of Qiao commandary.


(The Copyist Army Advisor was the subordinate officer of the 總錄, and handled his civil cases. From above, he assisted those below, advocating proper and lawful behavior against those who had fallen short of the law. He also attended to the several affairs of the sacrificial offices. The 白氏六帖 states, "The Registrar in a province and the Postal Director in a commandary had the same duties as a Copyist Army Advisor." Now I, Hu Sanxing, note that Sima Rui had employed Chen Yun as a Copyist Army Advisor; he must have also had a Registrar, as may be seen in the 辨誤.

People in the Southland called the capital at Luoyang the Western Terrace.

The uprising of Sima Jiong and the other princes against Sima Lun is mentioned in Book 84, in Emperor Hui's first year of Yongning (301.11).

Chen Yun uses the term 斷; he means "decided by", in the sense that all merits, whether great or slight, lacking or exceptional, were determined in accordance with the entries in the Jihai Registry.)


16. The Administrator of Wuxing, Zhou Qi, came from a clan that was strong and extensive, so Sima Rui was inclined to suspect and fear him. Furthermore, many of Sima Rui's close advisors and aides were people who had fled from their original offices or defense posts in the north and had come south to join him, and they had pushed aside the longtime natives of the Wu region, earning their ire. Zhou Qi himself lost his position because of this tendency, and he was also belittled by Diao Xie, both of which pushed his shame and his anger past the breaking point. So Zhou Qi secretly plotted with his partisans to throw out the offenders and take over the government, then let the gentry of the Southland resume their former places. But this plot leaked, and Zhou Qi was so afraid and agitated that he passed away.

Before he died, he said to his son Zhou Xie, "It was those bumpkins who have killed me; if you can drive them out, then you will truly be my son."


(Zhou Qi's given name 玘 is pronounced "xi (x-i)".

The people of the Wu region called those from the Central Provinces "bumpkins".)


17. Shi Le attacked Li Yun at Shangbai and killed him. Wang Jun reappointed Bao Sheng as Inspector of Qingzhou.


(The city of Shangbai was in Guangzong County in Anping commandary.

Li Hun and Bao Sheng were both commanders of Lifeseeker armies.)


18. Wang Jun sent Zao Song to lead several armies to camp at the Yi River. He also summoned Duan Jilujuan, planning to coordinate with him to attack Shi Le together. But Duan Jilujuan would not come to him. Furious, Wang Jun sent heavy bribes to Tuoba Yilu to buy his help, and he sent out a call to arms to Murong Hui and other local commanders to campaign against Duan Jilujuan. Tuoba Yilu sent his Worthy King of the Right, Tuoba Liuxiu, to lead soldiers to join up with Wang Jun, but this force was defeated by Duan Jilujuan.

Murong Hui sent his son Murong Han to attack the Duan clan, and he captured Tuhe and Xincheng. But by the time Murong Han reached Yangle, he heard that Tuoba Liuxiu had been defeated, so he turned back as well. Murong Han stayed behind at Tuhe to guard it, taking advantage of its natural defenses.


(Duan Jilujuan had made peace with Shi Le to free his younger brother Duan Mopei from Shi Le's control, and so he was not willing to join Wang Jun to attack Shi Le again.

Yangle County was part of Liaoxi commandary. Li Xian remarked, "Yang County was in the east of modern Pingzhou.")


19. At first, many of the people who had fled from the turmoil of the Middle Kingdom had gone north to live under Wang Jun. But Wang Jun had not been able to sustain them or keep them assured, and he did not maintain good government or proper law. So the gentry and the common people began to leave him in turn. Nor were the brothers of the Duan clan any more enticing: they were uncouth fighting fellows, and they did not treat scholar-officials with any proper respect. Only Murong Hui administered his domain with culture and wisdom, and this won him the great love of the people, so many of them flocked to him.

Murong Hui raised up those of his people who were heroic and talented, and those with ability were granted offices suited to them. For advisors, he employed Pei Yi of Hedong, Yang Dan of Beiping, Huang Hong of Lujiang, and Lu Chang of Dai. And for his closest men, he employed You Sui of Guangping, Pang Xian of Beihai, Xifang Qian of Beiping, Song Shi of Xihe, and Feng Chou and Pei Kai. To manage confidential affairs, he employed Song Gai of Pingyuan, Huangfu Ji of Anding and his younger brother Huangfu Zhen, Mou Kai of Lanling, Liu Bin of Changli, and Feng Yi and Feng Yu. This Feng Yu was the son of Feng Chou.


(Regarding the surname 西方 Xifang, Master He's Garden of Surnames states, "Shaohan or Master Jintian had his domain in the 西方 west, and so his descendants took 西方 Xifang ('the west') as their clan name.")


20. Pei Yi was honest, just, and had great calculation. He was serving as Jin's Administrator of Changli, and Pei Yi's elder brother Pei Wu was Administrator of Xuantu.

When Pei Wu passed away, Pei Yi and Pei Wu's son Pei Kai began a journey back to their homeland to mourn for him. When they were passing through Murong Hui's city, Murong Hui received them with great respect and ceremony, and as they were leaving his city, he gave them great funds to finance their trip.

The pair travelled as far as Liaoxi, where the road further on was blocked. Pei Yi wanted to return to Murong Hui's domain. Pei Kai said, "Our homeland is in the south; why should we return to the north? Besides, we are all adrift right now; the Duan clan are the strong ones, while the Murong clan is weak. Why would you leave this place to go back to that one?"

Pei Yi replied, "The Middle Kingdom is still wracked by chaos; to go there now would be to cast ourselves into the tiger's maw. And the road to our homeland is so long that how could we ever successfully reach it? If we simply wait right here hoping that the chaos will be quelled, there is no telling how many months or years it will be.

"Now you want to find some place where you can be secure, but how can you be so rash as to consider someone like the Duan brothers? Just look at them; how can they possibly make plans to sustain themselves in the long run, much less receive the great men of the state? Lord Murong has cultivated his conduct and acts with benevolence and justice, and he has the ambition of a hegemon king. Not only that, but his territory is bountiful and his people are settled. If we were to follow him, in the best case we could perform great deeds and make a great name for ourselves, and even if not, we could at least ensure the safety of our family and our clan. How can you doubt him so?"

This won Pei Kai over. And when they returned to Murong Hui's domain, Murong Hui was overjoyed to see them.

Yang Dan was honest, forthright, profound, and nimble-minded. He was serving as Jin's Administrator of Liaoxi. When Murong Han routed the Duan clan at Yangle, he captured Yang Dan, and Murong Hui treated Yang Dan with ceremony and employed him.

You Sui, Pang Xian, and Song Shi had all once served as Administrator of Changli. The three of them, along with Huang Hong, had all fled to Wang Jun’s base at Ji, and later went to join Murong Hui.

Wang Jun had handwritten several letters to You Sui's elder brother You Chang summoning him, and You Chang was inclined to go join him. You Sui told him, "Pengzu (Wang Jun) does not rule fairly when it comes to either governance or justice, and the Hua (ethnic Han) and Rong (tribesmen) are all turning against him. Even I would not be able to maintain them for long. Elder Brother, you would certainly find it 'difficult to advance'."

You Chang replied, "Pengzu is the kind of man to hold grudges, and he is very suspicious as well. Whenever someone abandons him to go north with the refugees, he orders them pursued and killed. Now he has eagerly written me these letters in his own hand, and if I delay in going to join him, that will implicate you too. Besides, the realm is in chaos, and our clan should split up so that not all of us will be lost."

You Sui agreed to his advice, and so You Chang remained with Wang Jun and perished with him.

Song Gai had once served under Wang Jun together with Du Qun and Liu Xiang of Pingyuan. Then later they had gone to serve under the Duan clan, but since neither Wang Jun nor the Duan clan could provide them sufficient protection, they all led their various refugees to join Murong Hui.

Jin's Colonel of Eastern Yi Tribes, Cui Bi, asked Huangfu Ji to serve as his Chief Clerk. But even though Cui Bi used humble words to entice Huangfu Ji to join him, he could not win him over. Then Murong Hui summoned Huangfu Ji as well, and Huangfu Ji and his younger brother Huangfu Zhen both went to join Murong Hui.

Zhang Tong of Liaodong was occupying the two commandaries of Lelang and Daifang. He had been fighting a running battle with the King of Goguryeo, Go Eulbul, and the war had dragged on for over a year without success. Wang Zun of Lelang urged Zhang Tong to lead his people, more than a thousand families, to go join Murong Hui. Murong Hui created Lelang commandary for Zhang Tong and appointed him as the Administrator, and he appointed Wang Zun as an Army Advisor.


(When Pei Yi and Pei Kai went west from Xuantu to travel towards their homeland, the road they took passed through Murong Hui's city of Jicheng.

The second character of Xuantu, 菟, is pronounced "tou (t-ou)".

Pei Yi was saying that the road from their starting point at Changli to their homeland in Hedong was very long, and the road was blocked, so they could not make it back to their homeland. He was also saying that the whole realm was in chaos, and the roads would not have cleared up by then.

You Sui quotes the Book of Changes when he says it will be "difficult to advance". The First Nine Undivided entry of the Book of Changes states, "It will be difficult to advance. It will be advantageous for one to abide correct and firm." Regarding this passage, Wang Bi remarked, "When one cannot move forward, that is what is meant by being 'difficult to advance'." Ma remarked, "To be difficult to advance is to spin in place."

Regarding Huangfu Ji, the ancients had a saying: "The bird chooses its tree; how can the tree choose its bird?")


21. It was earlier mentioned that the rebel leader Wang Ru had surrendered to Wang Dun. Li Yun of Fuling, Wang Jian of Baxi, and some of Wang Ru's other former followers led more than three thousand families from Xiangyang into Hanzhong. Jin's Inspector of Lianzhou, Zhang Guang, sent his Army Advisor Jin Miao to lead soldiers to block the approach of these forces. But Jin Miao took bribes from Li Yun and Wang Jian and so urged Zhang Guang to accept their surrender to him. Zhang Guang followed his advice, and allowed the people to settle at Chenggu.

But then, once Jin Miao had seen how many fine treasures that Li Yun, Wang Jian, and their followers possessed, he wanted to take all of them for himself. So he now advised Zhang Guang, "The followers of Li Yun and Wang Jian have not taken up the plow, but only grip their weapons all the tighter. It is not difficult to guess what they mean to do. Better to smash and kill the whole lot of them. Otherwise, they will definitely become a threat."

Zhang Guang once again followed his advice. In the fifth month, Jin Miao led soldiers to attack and kill Li Yun and Wang Jian.

Wang Jian's son-in-law Yang Hu gathered up their remaining followers to attack Zhang Guang, and he camped at the E River. Zhang Guang sent his son Zhang Mengchang to campaign against Yang Hu, but without success.


(A greedy subordinate and a blind leader; it was from this that Lianzhou's troubles began.)


22. On the day Renchen (June 27th), Emperor Min appointed Sima Rui as Prime Minister of the Left, Grand Commander, and Commander of all military affairs east of Shan (that is, east of Luoyang). He appointed the Prince of Nanyang, Sima Bao, as Prime Minister of the Right, Grand Commander, and Commander of all military affairs west of Shan.

He issued an edict stating, "You are hereby ordered to sweep away and cast out these leviathans, and recover the coffin of His Late Majesty. I order the two provinces of Youzhou and Bingzhou (Wang Jun and Liu Kun) to send three hundred thousand soldiers to advance straight for Pingyang. The Prime Minister of the Right (Sima Bao) shall lead a further three hundred thousand soldiers from Qinzhou, Liangzhou, Lianzhou, and Yongzhou to march for Chang'an, and the Prime Minister of the Left (Sima Rui) shall likewise send two hundred thousand elite troops to march for Luoyang. Once these forces have joined together, then the great undertaking may be achieved."


(This is what the expression "to divide the realm at Shan" means, to split the realm east and west at Shan, or Luoyang.

Emperor Min refers to the 鯨鯢. This is a great fish, which cannot be controlled when it is on the hook. It is a term used for describing an especially cruel enemy.

Emperor Min meant that since Emperor Huai had come to harm at Pingyang, his coffin had not yet returned to the imperial palace.)


23. Liu Yao camped at Puban.


24. Shi Le sent Kong Chang to attack Dingling, where he killed Tian Hui. Bao Sheng led his forces to surrender to Shi Le, and Shi Le captured the other commandaries and counties east of the mountains in turn. Liu Cong appointed Shi Le as Palace Attendant and Grand General Who Conquers The East.

The Wuhuan also turned against Wang Jun, and secretly went over to Shi Le.


(During Han, Dingling County was part of Yingchuan commandary. During Jin, it was part of Xiangcheng commandary.

Wang Jun had appointed Tian Hui as his Inspector of Yanzhou.

This passage shows how Wang Jun was gradually becoming isolated and weaker.)


25. In the sixth month, Liu Kun and Tuoba Yilu joined their forces north of the mountain passes, plotting to attack Han. In autumn, the seventh month, Liu Kun advanced and occupied Lan Valley, while Tuoba Yilu sent Tuoba Pugen to camp at Beiqu County. Liu Kun sent his Director of the Army, Han Ju, to march south from Xihe, planning to have him attack Xiping.

Liu Cong sent his Grand General, his son Liu Can, and others to oppose Liu Kun, while sending his General of Agile Cavalry, Liu Yii, and others to oppose Tuoba Pugen, and sending his General Who Sweeps Away Jin, Lan Yang, and others to reinforce Xiping.

When Liu Kun and the others heard of these troop movements, they withdrew their own forces. Liu Cong had his armies press on and camp in the field, plotting how they might further advance and capture territory.


(During Han, Beiqu County was part of Hedong commandary. During Jin, it was part of Pingyang commandary. During the Spring and Autumn era, the son of the Duke of Jin, Yiwu, had dwelled in the village there. Song Bai remarked, "Jiacheng County in Cizhou was originally Han's Beiqu County." Yan Shigu remarked, "The second character of Beiqu, 屈, is pronounced 'ju (j-u)'."

The city of Xiping was west of Pingyang. Liu Cong had built it as a dwelling place for the Prince of Jinan, his son Liu Ji.)

帝復戒嚴,與琨更剋大舉。命琨自列晉行臺,部分諸軍,帝將遣十萬騎從西河鑒谷南出,晉軍從蒲坂東度,會於平陽,就食聰粟,迎復晉帝。事不果行。(Book of Northern Wei 1)

Tuoba Yilu once more kept his troops in readiness, planning for a great undertaking together with Liu Kun. He ordered Liu Kun to set up his own acting government for Jin and divide up his forces. The plan was for Tuoba Yilu himself to send a hundred thousand cavalry to march from Xihe south through Jian Valley, while the Jin army would march east from Puban. They would meet at the Han-Zhao capital at Pingyang, where they would feast on Liu Cong's grain, welcome Emperor Huai, and return him to his domain. However, the plan was never carried out.


26. Emperor Min sent his Commandant of the Central Hall, Liu Shu, to bear his edict to Sima Rui to arrange for a time for Sima Rui's forces to advance and restore Emperor Min back to the Central Plains. In the eighth month, on the day Guihai (September 26th), Liu Shu arrived at Sima Rui's base at Jiankang. Sima Rui explained to him that as he was still occupied in pacifying the Southland, he was not yet free to launch a northern expedition.

Sima Rui appointed his Chief Clerk to the General Who Guards The East, Diao Xie, as Chief Clerk to the Prime Minister of the Left. He appointed his Attendant Officer of the Household Gentlemen, Liu Kui of Pengcheng, as his Director of Justice. He appointed the Interior Minister of Shaoling, Dai Miao of Guangling, as an Army Libationer-Attendant. He appointed his Army Advisor, Zhang Kai of Danyang, as the new Attendant Officer of the Household Gentlemen. He appointed the Master of Writing, Zhong Ya of Yingchuan, as his Recordskeeping Army Advisor. He appointed Huan Xuan of the Qiao princely fief as a Retainer. He appointed Xiong Yuan of Yuzhang as his Registrar. He appointed Kong Yu of Kuaiji as his Official.

This Liu Kui was skilled and well-versed in the classics and the histories, and he delighted in attending upon Sima Rui, which was why Sima Rui was especially close to him and treasured him.


(The Commandant of the Central Hall was subordinate to the two Generals of the Guards.

In Sun Hao of Eastern Wu's first year of Baoding (266), he had split off the northern half of the Lingling Command Post to form Shaoling commandary. Song Bai remarked, "Shaoling was Han's Zhaoling County. Eastern Wu established it as Shaoling commandary, and during Tang it was Shaozhou."

This was why Diao Xie and Liu Kui later alienated Wang Dun and his brothers.)

(It was during this year that the city of Jianye was renamed Jiankang. Emperor Min’s given name was 業 Ye, and to avoid the naming taboo, 建業 Jianye was renamed to Jiankang.)


27. Xiong Yuan sent up a petition to Sima Rui, stating, "Ever since you have set yourself up here, the management of affairs has not been in accordance with established laws and practices. Systems are only cobbled together at the particular moment when they are called for, and the whole system of the court changes overnight. Things are such that the directors do not dare to rely upon any precedents or laws at all, and have to report on and seek counsel for every single case that comes their way. This is no way to run a government.

"Foolish I may be, but whoever would criticize my words ought to draw from established laws or from the classics and commentaries as the basis of their reasonings. Without forthright speech to express one's thoughts, and without precedents for guidance, the old laws and canons will be lost. If you could clear up these obstructions and make established systems, so that there are clear paths and practices to follow, that would be to achieve the conduct of a superior fellow, and prevent the ministers from exercising full control."

But because of the numerous affairs he was dealing with, Sima Rui could not follow this advice.


(Xiong Yuan uses the term 關; this means "report on".)


28. It was earlier mentioned that Zu Ti of Fanyang had served under Sima Ai. This Zu Ti had had great ambitions ever since youth. He once served with Liu Kun as Registrars in Sizhou. They were sleeping on the same bed together when, during the middle of the night, Zu Ti heard a rooster crow. He kicked Liu Kun awake and said, "This is no evil sound!" And he got up and did a sword dance.

Zu Ti later crossed the Yangzi, and Sima Rui appointed him as an Army Libationer-Consultant. Zu Ti resided at Jingkou, where he rounded up local brave fellows. With such men in hand, he said to Sima Rui, "The cause of the turmoil within the Jin royal family was not because of lack of virtue among those above, but because of anger and rebellion among those below. Thus did the royal clan fight one another for power, and turned themselves all into fishbait. They even brought in the Rong and Di tribes through the border defenses, and let their poison seep into the Middle Land.

"Now the people have been abandoned to suffer the ravages of these cruel invaders. But they wish to exert themselves, and Great Prince, you are truly the one who can command them and send them forth. If you will send someone like me to lead them and recover the Central Plains, then all the heroes of every fief and commandary will see how the wind blows and come rushing to heed your call!"

But Sima Rui had never had any inclination to conduct a northern expedition. He merely appointed Zu Ti as General Who Exerts Might and as Inspector of Yuzhou. Although he gave him food stores to feed a thousand troops and three thousand bolts of cloth to dress them in, he did not supply Zu Ti with any arms or armor, and he told Zu Ti to recruit his own soldiers.

Zu Ti was leading his forces, more than a hundred families, back north across the Yangzi. During the crossing, he tapped on an oar and declared, "If I, Zu Ti, cannot purge the Central Plains and restore them, then I shall be like this great Yangzi River!"

Having crossed the Yangzi, he camped at Huaiyin County, where he built smithies and foundries for weapons. He recruited more than two thousand soldiers before beginning his advance.


(Han's Zhuo commandary was renamed by Emperor Wen of Cao-Wei (Cao Pi) to Fanling commandary.

This passage states that Zu Ti 蹴ed Liu Kun to 覺 him. To 蹴 is to kick, and to 覺 is to awaken.

When Sun Quan of Eastern Wu had moved from Wu to Dantu, he renamed that place to Jingcheng; Mount Jingxian was to the east of it. Because of the mountains, this city served as a natural fortress. And since it was so close to a crossing of the Yangzi, it was called Jingkou ("river mouth at the capital").

This passage state that Zu Ti 糾ed up some brave fellows. When one binds a cord around three times, one 糾s; so to 糾 is to round up three times into one.

Sima Rui gave Zu Ti food stores for a thousand soldiers and cloth bolts for three thousand, but no more.

During Former Han, Huaiyin County was part of Linhuai commandary. During Later Han, it was part of the Xiapi princely fief. During Jin, it was part of Guangling commandary.)


29. It was earlier mentioned that Hu Kang had formed a group of rebels in Jingzhou, with Du Zeng and others as his subordinates. But Hu Kang was suspicious and paranoid by nature, and he killed several of his valiant generals. Du Zeng was thus afraid. He secretly arranged to have Wang Chong's soldiers come attack Hu Kang. Hu Kang sent all of his elite soldiers outside to face this threat, leaving the inside of his city exposed. Du Zeng then killed Hu Kang and took over his forces.


(Wang Chong was a bandit leader in Jingzhou.)


30. Sima Rui's minister Zhou Yi was camped at the city of Xunshui, where he was besieged by the rebel leader Du Tao. Tao Kan sent the General of Brilliant Might, Zhu Ci, to reinforce Zhou Yi, and so Du Tao broke off the siege and fell back to guard Lingkou.

Tao Kan mused, "Du Tao must be marching towards Wuchang." So he marched back along shortcuts to that commandary to await Du Tao, and as Tao Kan expected, Du Tao arrived to attack. Tao Kan then sent Zhu Ci to counter-attack Du Tao, and Zhu Ci greatly routed him. Du Tao ran away back to Changsha.

Zhou Yi came out of Xunshui and sought refuge with Wang Dun at Yuzhang, who accepted him.

Tao Kan sent his Army Advisor, Wang Gong, to report his victory to Wang Dun. Wang Dun remarked, "If it weren't for Marquis Tao, we would've lost all of Jingzhou!" And he sent in a petition asking that Tao Kan be appointed as Inspector of Jingzhou and stationed between the Mian River and the Yangzi.

Sima Rui summoned Zhou Yi back to Jiankang, and once more appointed him as Army Libationer-Consultant.


(Regarding Xunshui, the Record of Mount Lu states, "Xunyang County was north of the Yangzi, on the north bank of the Xun River." Was this "Xunshui" not therefore just the old city of Xunyang?

Shen Yue's Records states, "Of the forty general ranks created by Cao-Wei, General of Brilliant Might was the third-ranking one."

This passage claims that Du Tao fell back to defend 泠口 Lingkou. The Commentary on the Water Classic States, "The Ling River has its source flowing south out of Mount Jiuyi. It then flows north through the southwest of Lingdao County, and on east until it enters the Duxi River. It also flows northwest to where it enters the Ying River, at a place called 泠口 Lingkou." Now I, Hu Sanxing, note that this Lingkou was very far away from Wuchang. Meanwhile, according to the Commentary, the Yangzi turns south at the capital city of Qichun, and then east until it reaches 銅零口 Tonglingkou. Could this not be the "Lingkou" in question?

Shortcuts are roads for quick travel.

The Commentary on the Water Classic further states, "The Dun River becomes White Lake at Mianyang, and then flows southeast from there, passing south of Mianyang County until it enters the Yangzi. That place is called Dunkou." Lu You remarked, "The Jianning Garrison at Jiangling was at Dunkou." When Wang Dun had Tao Kan appointed as Inspector of Jingzhou, this was where he initially posted him, and had him moved to Linzhang the following year. The Biography of Tao Kan in the Book of Jin states, "He initially guarded Dunkou, and then moved into the Mian and Yangzi region." The Commentary further states, "The capital city of Linzhang was south of the Mian River." So this passage's "between the Mian River and the Yangzi" meant at Linzhang.)


31. It was earlier mentioned that the Di ruler Yang Maosou had made himself Worthy Prince of the Right in the small western state of Chouchi. Sometime afterwards, Yang Maosou's son Yang Nandi had sent his own adopted son Yang Fanyi to visit Lianzhou. Yang Fanyi had secretly sold a slave to an esteemed man. As punishment, Zhang Guang had Yang Fanyi whipped and then killed. Yang Nandi was furious, saying, "This Inspector has only newly arrived and in the wake of a great famine, yet he places the lives of our Di people in the hands of his soldiers and people. If a Di man had committed some minor offense, could he not pardon it?"

When Zhang Guang began fighting with Yang Hu, both sides sent word to Yang Maosou asking him to help them. Yang Maosou sent Yang Nandi to assist Zhang Guang. Yang Nandi asked Zhang Guang to send him funds, but Zhang Guang refused to do so. Meanwhile, Yang Hu showered Yang Nandi with bribes, and he also told him, "Zhang Guang had taken all the fine treasures that the refugees had before. Rather than fight me now, you should be fighting him." Yang Nandi was greatly pleased.

When Zhang Guang went to fight Yang Hu, he placed Zhang Mengchang in the front line and put Yang Nandi in the rear as his reserves. But Yang Nandi and Yang Hu pressed together and attacked Zhang Mengchang between them, greatly routing him. Zhang Mengchang and his younger brother Zhang Yuan both died. Zhang Guang withdrew into his city to defend himself.

By the ninth month, Zhang Guang had become so agitated and stressed that he developed an illness. His subordinates and officials urged him to fall back to occupy Weixing. But Zhang Guang drew his sword and declared, "I have received a heavy responsibility from the state. If I cannot punish these bandits, then I must accept death like becoming an immortal. Why speak of retreat?" As soon as he finished speaking, he passed away.

The provincial officials acclaimed his youngest son Zhang Mai to take over the provincial affairs. But Zhang Mai was lost in battle against the Di, so the officials acclaimed the Administrator of Shiping, Hu Zixu, as the acting leader of Lianzhou.


(Yang Nandi uses the term 貰; it means to pardon or to forgive.

Yang Hu was referring to how Jin Miao had killed the refugee leaders and taken their treasures.

Although Zhang Guang trusted Jin Miao and brought about the invasion in the first place, his spirit and zeal were also commendable.)


32. Xun Fan passed away at Kaifeng.


(Xun Fan and Fu Zhi each passed away one after the other, and so of the two Acting Terrace administrations east of Shan, now only Xun Zu's remained.

Sima Guang's commentary in the Textual Analysis states, "The Annals of Emperor Min in the Book of Jin states, 'Xun Fan passed away at Xingyang.' But I follow the account of the Biography of Xun Fan in the Book of Jin.")


33. Liu Yao and Zhao Ran attacked Qu Yun at the city of Huangbai. Qu Yun fought them several times, but was always defeated. Emperor Min issued an edict appointing Suo Chen as Grand General Who Conquers The East, and sent him with troops to assist Qu Yun.


34. Wang Gong was returning to Tao Kan after giving his report to Wang Dun. When Wang Gong arrived at Jingling, he forged an order from Tao Kan, appointing Du Zeng as Grand Commander of the Vanguard. He attacked Wang Chong and beheaded him, and accepted the surrender of his full force.

Tao Kan then summoned Du Zeng, but Du Zeng would not come. Afraid that he would be punished for forging Tao Kan's order, Wang Gong joined with Du Zeng to rebel against Tao Kan. In winter, the tenth month, Tao Kan's soldiers were greatly defeated, and he barely escaped with his life. Wang Dun petitioned to have Tao Kan demoted to commoner status while keeping his office.

Tao Kan then led his forces, including Zhou Fang and others, to advance and attack Du Tao, greatly routing him. So Wang Dun then petitioned to have Tao Kan's status restored.


35. Zhao Ran said to Liu Yao, "Qu Yun has led the bulk of his forces out into the field, leaving Chang'an defenseless. We can attack it." So Liu Yao sent Zhao Ran to led five thousand elite cavalry to raid Chang'an.

On the night of the day Gengyin (?), Zhao Ran's cavalry entered the outer walls of Chang'an. Emperor Min retreated to the Sheyan Tower. Zhao Ran set fire to the Dragon's Tail and the various barracks, and killed or plundered more than a thousand people. At dawn on the day Xinmao (?), he fell back to camp at the Xiaoyao Garden.

On the day Renchen (?), the Jin general Qu Jian led five thousand soldiers from Echeng to reinforce Chang'an. On the day Guisi (?), Zhao Ran led his cavalry away. Qu Jian pursued them, but he encountered Liu Yao at Lingwu, where Qu Jian's soldiers were greatly defeated.


(The Dragon's Tail was a road constructed along the walls of the city, a narrow slope that gradually rose higher, as a means of ascending the walls. The Water Classic also states, "During the time of the Qin dynasty, there was a black dragon which arose from out of the southern hills near Chang'an and drank from the Wei River. The path it took through the hills created a road, more than sixty li in length, with its head at the Wei River and its tail at Fanchuan. When Xiao He of Han built the Weiyang Palace, he carved off the top of Mount Dragon Head and placed it there. The head was twenty zhang in heigh, and the way down from there became lower until reaching the tail, which was five or six zhang in height." So the Dragon's Tail mentioned in this passage was the tail of this mountain.

The Commentary on the Water Classic further states, "The Chen River emerges from Huangzi Slope at Fanchuan. It flows north, passing west of the walls of Chang'an, and joins the waters of Kunming Pond. The Chen River then flows further northeast, passing south of the shrine of Deng Ai, and further east of there it splits into two rivers, with one river flowing east into the Xiaoyao Garden."

Echeng was the Qin dynasty's Epang Palace.

Former Han's Beidi commandary had a Lingwu County, but it was abolished during Later Han and Jin. During the time of Northern Wei, they created Xianyang commandary, which had the two counties of Chiyang and Lingwu as subordinate counties. The city of Huangbai was in Chiyang. So the Lingwu mentioned in this passage must have been the same Lingwu that was in Former Han's Beidi commandary and Northern Wei's Xianyang commandary.)


36. Yang Hu and Yang Nandi continued to press their attack against Lianzhou. Hu Zixu abandoned his city and fled. Yang Nandi declared himself the Inspector of Lianzhou.


37. Liu Yao became complacent because of his recent victory and did not make any defensive preparations. In the eleventh month, Qu Yun led his troops to attack Liu Yao. The Han soldiers were greatly defeated, and Qu Yun's army killed Liu Yao's Champion General, Qiao Zhiming. Liu Yao led his soldiers back to Pingyang.


38. There had once been a prophecy that stated, "The one to replace Han shall be 'High Road'." Wang Jun considered that since his father's style name had been Chudao ("Place Road"), he himself was the fulfilment of this prophecy. So he plotted to claim imperial title for himself. The former Administrator of Bohai, Liu Liang, the Administrator of Beihai, Wang Tuan, and the Official to the Minister of Works, Gao Rou, sharply criticized Wang Jun for considering this step, but Wang Jun killed them all.

Huo Yuan of the Yan princely fief was a fellow who kept aloof from political affairs in his ambitions and desires, and he had often declined to respond to summons or requests. Wang Jun now asked him what he thought about his imperial prospects. But when Huo Yuan would not respond to him, Wang Jun slandered Huo Yuan as being in communication with the enemies of state, and he killed Huo Yuan and hung up his head.

Thus were the gentry and the people further shocked and incensed at Wang Jun. Furthermore, Wang Jun became more proud and arrogant by the day. He no longer personally attended to government affairs, but left everything in the hands of severe miscreants, especially the trio of Zao Song, Zhu Shuo, and Tan Heng. A ditty spread among the northern provinces which went, "Among the men of government, Zhu Qiubo is the worst. And it's Young Master Zao who's got the whole place in his purse." Their policies were so troublesome that those living under Wang Jun could not bear to obey them, and many people rebelled and went over to the Xianbei.

The Attendant Officer, Han Xian, was watching over Liucheng County. He spread a claim that Murong Hui was able to receive and accept the scholars and the people, wishing thereby to mock Wang Jun. Wang Jun was furious, and he killed Han Xian.


(Wang Jun was another Yuan Shu.

Despite having the exact same name, the Gao Rou in this passage was not the same Gao Rou who served Cao-Wei.

Qiubo was Zhu Shuo's style name. Zao Song was Wang Jun's son-in-law, and so the ditty calls him Young Master Zao.

During Former Han, Liucheng County was part of Liaoxi commandary. Later Han and Jin abolished it.)


39. Wang Jun had only been powerful to begin with because he relied upon the support of the Xianbei and the Wuhuan to give him strength. But by now, they had all turned against him. Even worse, his territory suffered from locusts and drought in successive years, making his soldiers even weaker.

Shi Le wanted to attack Wang Jun, but he was uncertain of Wang Jun's exact situation. He was about to send envoys to Wang Jun to better observe his condition, and his advisors suggested that he follow the example of Yang Hu and Lu Kang by exchanging letters with Wang Jun.

Shi Le asked Zhang Bin what he thought should be done. Zhang Bin replied, "Wang Jun earned his reputation as a minister of Jin, but what he really wants is to overthrow Jin and establish himself as sovereign. He is only held back by the fact that none of the great heroes from within the Four Seas has come to join him, and so his great desire is to gain himself a fine general. He is like a Xiang Yu who is searching for his own Han Xin.

"Now General, your own might is known throughout the realm. Even if you were to use humble words and excessive ceremony and fully placed yourself at Wang Jun's disposal, even then I am not certain he would trust you. How much less can you address him as an equal and an enemy, as though the two of you were Yang Hu and Lu Kang? When you are dealing with a fellow who is plotting something, you must send an envoy to measure his intentions, or else it will be hard to be sure of his ambitions."

Shi Le replied, "Excellent!"

In the twelfth month, Shi Le sent his Retainers Wang Zichun and Dong Zhao to bring Wang Jun many precious treasures, and they presented a petition to him from Shi Le which stated, "I, Shi Le, am a mere meager barbarian. Thrust into an age of famine and turmoil, I drifted about and encountered dangers, scurrying into Jizhou in order to save my life, and hiding away and gathering together a host to defend ourselves and preserve our futures.

"Now the altars of Jin have been swept away by the tribes, and the Central Plains are without a sovereign. Your Highness, you and I are neighbors of the same province. You are honored and exalted, and every clan within the Four Seas wants to have you as their Emperor; for if not you, who else could it be? I have risked my life and raised up soldiers to punish evil and quell chaos purely so that I could clear Your Highness's road to rule. Now I earnestly plea that Your Highness will heed the will of Heaven and obey the wishes of the people, and quickly mount the imperial throne.

"I shall serve Your Highness as I serve Heaven and Earth or my own mother and father. May Your Highness kindly consider the desires of my simple heart, and look upon me as a son."

The envoys also presented a letter to Zao Song, and heavily bribed him.


(The advisors wanted Shi Le to exchange letters with Wang Jun following the ceremonies of contact between enemy states.

Shi Le uses the term 屯; this means "difficulties".

Shi Le was a native of Wuxiang in Shangdang commandary, while Wang Jun was a native of Taiyuan commandary, so Shi Le calls them "neighbors of the same province".)


40. By this time, Duan Jilujuan had just rebelled against Wang Jun, and many of the gentry and the people living under him had already abandoned him and left. So when he heard that Shi Le wanted to serve under him, Wang Jun was greatly pleased.

He asked Wang Zichun, "Lord Shi is a hero of the age, and he occupies the regions of Zhao and Wei. Yet he would make himself my vassal? Can I trust him?"

Wang Zichun replied, "General Shi's strength and talents are great and extensive, just as you say. However, it is Your Highness who is honored and exalted throughout the Central Provinces, and your might has spread among the tribes and the Xia (ethnic Han). It is true that ever since ancient times there have been barbarians who have served as famous ministers that upheld the state, but not a one of them has ever become King or Emperor in their own right.

"It is not that General Shi despises kingship and so is offering the throne to Your Highness. Rather, it has always been the case that kingship is not a matter of one's strength or cunning. Although General Shi is strong enough to become a king, he would certainly not have the approval of either Heaven or the people. Xiang Yu was just as strong, but he lost to Han in the end. To compare General Shi to Your Highness is to compare the morning dew to the light of the sun.

"With these distant examples serving as a mirror to current events, General Shi is presenting himself to Your Highness. Thus does General Shi grasp the wisdom of the prophecy and display his foresight ahead of other men. Your Highness, what further cause do you have to doubt him?"

Wang Jun was delighted. He appointed Wang Zichun and Dong Zhao as minor Marquises, and he sent back a favorable response, sending a great sum of funds as a reward.


41. It was earlier mentioned that Shi Le had accepted the surrender of You Lun, who had been serving Wang Jun. You Lun's elder brother You Tong was also serving Wang Jun as his Marshal, and was guarding Fanyang. You Tong secretly sent a messenger to Shi Le, offering to surrender to him. Shi Le beheaded the messenger and sent the head to Wang Jun. Although Wang Jun did not punish You Tong, he trusted Shi Le all the more, seeing him as loyal and true to him. He no longer doubted Shi Le.


(You Lun had occupied and been guarding Yuanxiang. He falsely surrendered to Shi Le, but Shi Le had already attacked and captured him.)


42. During this year, Sima Rui sent his eldest son by his wife, Sima Shao, to guard Guangling. He also appointed his Official to the Prime Minister, Cai Mo, as an Army Advisor. This Cai Mo was the son of Cai Ke.


43. Liu Yao besieged Jin's Intendant of Henan, Wei Jun, at the Shiliang fortress. Jin's Inspector of Yanzhou, Liu Yan, and the Administrator of Henei, Guo Mo, sent troops to reinforce Wei Jun. Liu Yao split up his soldiers to counter-attack these two thrusts at Hebei, and he defeated them. Wei Jun fled during the night, but he was captured and killed.


(The Shiliang fortress was north of the Luo River.

Hebei was north of the Yellow River, north of the Fuping Crossing.)


44. Tuoba Yilu selected the city of Shengle to be the northern capital of his domain, while he administered from Pingcheng as the southern capital. He also built the city of Xinping on the north bank of the Lei River, and sent Tuoba Liuxiu to guard it, placing him in acting command of the southern part of his domain.


(During Former Han, Shengle County was part of Dingxiang commandary. During Later Han, it was part of Yunzhong commandary. Pingcheng was part of Han's Yanmen commandary. The Comprehensive Gazetteer states, "Dingxiang County in Shuozhou was originally Han's Pingcheng County. When Northern Wei flourished, they created Shuozhou at Shengle, and created Dengzhou at Pingcheng. So Pingcheng was also called Daidu ('capital of Dai'). After Gaozu (Emperor Xiaowen of Northern Wei) moved the Northern Wei capital to Luoyang, the rebel Poliuhan Baling later caused trouble in this region, and so this former capital became a ruin. Dengzhou then had to be administered from the capital city of Sizhou's Xiurong commandary, and Yunzhou had to be administered as part of Bingzhou." In Wei Shou's Geographical Records, everything north of the mountain passes is given a mere summary account. After Sui began to flourish, they drove out the Rouran to the north and restored the former border from Han times, abolishing or merging the commandaries and counties that had been set up during Northern Wei. Shengle was thus folded into Dali County in Dingxiang commandary, and Pingcheng was folded into Yunnei County in Mayi commandary. After Tang routed the Rouran, they did away with all of Northern Wei's and Sui's northern territory changes. So Eyang County in Shuozhou was Han's Dingxiang and Northern Wei's Sanggan territory; Jinhe County in the Chanyu Commandary Post was Emperor Daowu of Northern Wei's former capital; and Yunzhong County in Yunzhou was Northern Wei's capital at Pingcheng. Naturally, since it was three hundred and fifty-seven li from the Chanyu Command Post north to Shuozhou, the distance between Shengle and Pingcheng may be reckoned accordingly. Du You remarked, "Yunzhong was in the north of modern Mayi commandary; Pingcheng, in that modern commandary, was the Deng'an Garrison in Sui's Yunnei County." The Imperial Annals in the Book of Northern Wei states, "Tuoba Yilu established the city of Pingcheng as the southern capital, and a further hundred li to the south, on the northern bank of the Lie River at the Huanggua Mound, he built the city of Xinping, which the people of Jin called the city of Xiaoping." Du You further remarked, "Mayi commandary in Shuozhou was Northern Wei's capital city of Pingcheng, and in the north of the commdanry they created the Huaishuo Garrison. After Northern Wei moved their capital to Luoyang, they created this region as Shuozhou. At the beginning of Northern Wei, Yunzhong was more than three hundred li north of the capital city of Dingxiang in the modern commandary. When Northern Qi created Shuozhou, they built a new city southwest of the old capital, and once again named it Pingcheng. Later, they moved it to Mayi, and so that is the city in modern commandary which bears that name. The commandary was administered from Eyang County, which was also Han's former Dingxiang County. It contained Qin's city of Mayi and the Wuzhou Pass, and the Zi River also had its origin there." Song Bai remarked, "Tang's Zhenwu Garrison was at the old Chanyu Command Post, which was Han's Shengle County in Dingxiang commandary. It was south of Mount Yi and north of the Huang River, at the place where Northern Wei had their capital of Shengle. After Tang pacified the Rouran, they created the Yunzhong Command Post there, and later changed it to the Chanyu Command Post."

Ban Gu's Geographical Records states, "In Junmi County in Zuobeiping commandary, the Lei River flows south to Wuzhong, and then east until it enters the Geng River." Li Daoyuan's Commentary on the Water Classic states, "The Geng River and the Baoqiu River flow together. East of Junmi, at Pingcheng, they both split very far apart." So the city of Xinping was not on the north bank of this Lei River. According to the Book of Northern Wei, Emperor Daowu went west to Mayi to view the Head of the Lei. So the Lei River must have had its source in Mayi, and then flowed northeast to pass south of Pingcheng. Li Daoyuan was a man of Northern Wei, and he wrote a commentary for the Water Classic; although he wrote extensively on the affairs of the Dai capitals, at first he did not say that there was a Lei River at Pingcheng, but only said that the Shi River flowed south of Pingcheng. The Commentary states, "The Shi River has its origin at Mount Shitou in Yinguan County in Yanmen commandary; it is also called the Zhi River. It flows northeast, out of the mountain, and passing west of the capital city of Yinguan County, which is thus called Loufan District. There is also the Chuan River in Mayi, which joins with the Sanggan River and flows into the Shi River. The Shi River then flows east, passing south of Pingcheng, and further east, passing south of Xialuo County in Guangning, and then still further east until it reaches Yuyang, where it enters the Si Canal." Furthermore, according to Ban Gu's Geographical Records, Mount Leitou was in Loufan District in Yinguan County in Yanmen commandary; this was the origin of the Zhi River, which flowed east until Quanzhou where it entered the sea. Yan Shigu remarked that the name of this other name for the Shi River, 治, was pronounced "Yi" (rather than Zhi). I, Hu Sanxing, propose that the river that flowed out of this Mount Leitou probably also had the name Lei River at this time. And according to how Yan Shigu says it should be pronounced, the sound is relatively similar. So when Li Daoyuan describes the Shi River in his Commentary, he must mean the Lei River. What's more, according to Ding Du's Collected Sounds, the characters 漯 Luo, 灅 Lei, and 㶟 Lei are all described as "a river that flows out of Yanmen". This must be another case of that. Lastly, according to the Leipian dictionary, 灅 is pronounced "lei (l-ui)".)

六年,城盛樂以為北都,修故平城以為南都。帝登平城西山,觀望地勢,乃更南百里,於灅水之陽黃瓜堆築新平城,晉人謂之小平城,使長子六脩鎮之,統領南部。(Book of Northern Wei 1)

In the sixth year (313), Tuoba Yilu fortified Shengle as his northern capital and repaired the former city of Pingcheng to serve as his southern capital. He ascended the western hills of Pingcheng and gazed out over the land to survey it. Then, a further hundred li to the south at the Huanggua Mound north of the Lei River, he built another city, Xinping or New Pingcheng, which the people of Jin called Xiaoping or Little Pingcheng. He sent his eldest son Tuoba Liuxiu to guard Xinping and assume command of the southern division of Dai.
Last edited by Taishi Ci 2.0 on Fri Feb 16, 2018 10:03 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: ZZTJ Translations: Western Jin (Book 79-88)

Unread postby Jia Nanfeng » Mon Jan 08, 2018 4:46 pm

Ooooh, another chunk of the translation just in time for my day off from work. I was going to catch up on some chores but this is more exciting. :P

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Re: ZZTJ Translations: Western Jin (Book 79-88)

Unread postby DaoLunOfShiji » Tue Jan 09, 2018 5:48 am

The amount of work you've put into this is stellar. Bravo, man. Bravo.
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Re: ZZTJ Translations: Western Jin (Book 79-88)

Unread postby Taishi Ci 2.0 » Thu Jan 11, 2018 5:52 pm

Thank you to everyone for your support.

I've created a Patreon page regarding my work; any donations would be greatly appreciated.
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Unread postby Taishi Ci 2.0 » Mon Jan 22, 2018 4:41 am


The Second Year of Jianxing (The Jiaxu Year, 314 AD)


1. In spring, the first month, on the day Xinwei (February 1st), there was a star that fell to the ground. There were also three stars contending for the sky, that came from the west and passed to the east.


(The second chapter of the Astrological Records in the Book of Jin states, "When three, four, five, or six stars all come out at once and contend with one another, soldiers will fight it out in the realm below." It also states, "When three stars all appear at the same time, within thirty days, the feudal lords will contend with each other to become Emperor.")


2. On the day Dingchou (February 7th), a general amnesty was declared by Emperor Min's court in Chang'an.


3. There was a shooting star that came out of the Cowherd constellation and entered into the Purple Enclosure portion of the night sky, and its brilliance lit up the ground. The shooting star then fell to the Earth north of the Han capital of Pingyang, where it transformed into a mass of flesh; it was thirty paces in length and twenty-seven paces in breadth.

The Emperor of Han, Liu Cong, was unsettled by this event, and he asked his chief ministers what they thought it meant. Chen Yuanda told him, "Women are being shown too much favor; this is an omen of the downfall of the state."

Liu Cong replied, "You are interpreting this by the divinations of the Naturalist philosophy. But what does such a thing have to do with human affairs?"

Now Liu Cong's Empress, Liu E, was a virtuous and wise woman. Up until now, whenever Liu Cong had acted without principle, Liu E had always corrected him and set him back on the right path. But on the day Jichou (February 19th), Liu E passed away; she was posthumously known as Empress Wuxuan ("the Proclaimer"). After that, Liu Cong's other favored women fought amongst each other, and there was no longer any hierarchy governing them in the Rear Palace.


(According to the first chapter of the Astrological Records in the Book of Jin, the Cowherd constellation was made up of six stars, and was south of the River Drum constellation.

Sima Guang's commentary in the Textual Analysis states, "When the Biography of Liu Cong in the Chronicles of the Book of Jin mentions this event, one of the things that Chen Yuanda and others tell Liu Cong is, ‘We fear this omen has to do with this business of three Empresses in the Rear Palace.' However, Liu Cong's appointment of three simultaneous Empresses did not happen until the following year (that is, 315), and so had not happened yet at the time of this event.")


4. Liu Cong created the offices of the Seven Excellencies, including the office of Prime Minister. He also created the sixteen Grand General ranks, including Grand General Who Upholds The Han. Each of these offices were assigned two thousand soldiers, and Liu Cong appointed his sons to fill them. He also created the offices of Directors of Retainers of the Left and Right, each of which was placed in command of more than two hundred thousand households, with an Interior Minister assigned for every ten thousand households. Liu Cong also created Assistant Chanyus of the Left and Right, each of which was placed at the head of a hundred thousand tribes of the Six Tribes, with every ten thousand tribes being assigned their own Commandant. He further created the offices of Selectant Masters of Writing of the Left and Right, all of whom selected canons to uphold and advance. The offices from the Directors of Retainers down to the Six Ministers were all subordinate to the Supervisor.

Liu Cong appointed his son Liu Can as Prime Minister and as acting Grand General, granting him authority over the affairs of the Masters of Writing, and he advanced Liu Can's noble title to Prince of Jin. He granted the Prince of Jiangdu, Liu Yannian, authority over the Six Bureaus of the Masters of Writing. The Prince of Ruyin, Liu Jing, was appointed as Grand Instructor. Wang Yu was appointed as Grand Tutor, Ren Yi was appointed as Grand Guardian. Ma Jing was appointed as Grand Minister Over The Masses. Zhu Ji was appointed as Grand Minister of Works. The Prince of Zhongshan, Liu Yao, was appointed as Grand Marshal.


(We see from the list of seven people at the end of this passage (from Liu Can down to Liu Yao) that these Seven Excellencies offices were the ones mentioned there: Prime Minister, Grand Tutor, Grand Instructor, Grand Guardian, Grand Minister Over The Masses, Grand Minister of Works, and Grand Marshal.

Regarding the Grand General titles, the suffixes or prefixes were: Who Upholds The Han, Who Protects The Army, of the Central Army, of the Upper Army, Who Nurtures The Army, Who Guards X, Who Protects X, of the Capital, of the Front, Rear, Left, Right, Upper, or Lower Army, Who Upholds The State, Dragon-Soaring, and Tiger-Fanged.

The Six Tribes were the Xiongnu, the Jie, the Xianbei, the Di, the Qiang, and the Man tribes of Ba or Ba-Man. Some say that the sixth one was the Wuhuan, not the Ba-Man.

This is the first instance we see of the Masters of Writing being described as having Six Bureaus. Shen Yue's Annotations states, "During the reign of Emperor Kang of Jin (343-344), in the minister He Chong's Petition Recording Delegations of Authority, he states, 'During the Xiankang era (335-342), affairs were split into three Authorities, with Wang Dao overseeing one of them while Xun Song and Lu Ye each managed the affairs of six Bureaus.' Now it must have been the case that there were, therefore, twenty-four bureaus. If there had only been twelve, then with Xun Song and Lu Ye each managing six, what would that leave for Wang Dao to do? If we suppose that Wang Dao was the overall supervisor while Xun Song and Lu Ye each directly managed half, then the petition would not have also said that Wang Dao oversaw 'one of them'. Later on, whenever the offices of the Two Authorities were created, invariably it says that each of these offices oversaw the affairs of six Bureaus, as though the number indeed stopped at twelve. But as for what these twelve bureaus were, I do not know all of them. When Zhang Hua oversaw the government during Western Jin, and Yu Liang did so during Eastern Jin, they are both recorded as having managed the 'Seven Bureaus' of the Masters of Writing, and I do not know what those would have been either." As for me, Hu Sanxing, I note that after Liu-Song's Yuanjia era (~453), the Prince of Jiangxia, Liu Yigong, the Prince of Shixing, Liu Rui, and the Prince of Nanqiao, Liu Yixuan, each held authority over their own six Bureaus of the Masters of Writing. Master Shen Yue personally served in one of the Southern Dynasties, holding several high offices, and even he did not know the specifics of such things for sure. How then are those of us who came after him supposed to have any inkling of what they were? Du You remarked, "In He Chong's Petition Recording Delegations of Authority, he states, 'During the Xiankang era (335-342), affairs were split into three Authorities, with Wang Dao overseeing one of them while Xun Song and Lu Ye each managed the affairs of two Bureaus.' After the Jin royal family crossed the Yangzi, they had the bureaus of Personnel, Sacrifices, 左民, the Five Divisions, and Logistics; these were the Five Bureaus." Now at the beginning of the Jin dynasty, there were the Six Supervisories of Personnel, the Three Excellencies, Guest Management, Equippages, Tuntian Farming, and Logistics, while during the Taikang era (280-289) there were the Six Bureaus of Personnel, Palace Affairs, the Five Divisions, Agricultural Oversight, Logistics, and 左民; in both cases they were six bureaus. If things were like Du You said, then the Six Bureaus would be the Six Supervisories. Shen Yue records He Chong's petition as having said "each managed the affairs of six bureaus" rather than Du You's "two bureaus", and this must be what caused the error.)


5. On the day Renchen (February 22nd), Wang Zichun and Shi Le's other envoys to Wang Jun returned to Shi Le’s base at Xiangguo, bringing Wang Jun's own envoys with them. Shi Le hid his strongest troops and his best armor, only letting Wang Jun's envoys see his weaker soldiers and his now empty stores. Then he faced north and made obeisance to the envoys as he accepted the letter they had brought from Wang Jun.

Wang Jun had sent Shi Le a elk-tail, which Shi Le pretended he dare not actually grasp. He hung the elk-tail up on a wall and made obeisance before it day and night, saying, "Even though I cannot see Lord Wang himself, so long as I can see what he has sent me, it is as if I am seeing him personally."

Shi Le sent Dong Zhao back to Wang Jun to present a petition to him, stating that in the middle of the third month, Shi Le would visit Youzhou to hail Wang Jun as his Emperor. He also wrote another letter to Wang Jun’s favored minion Zao Song, asking to be appointed as Governor of Bingzhou and Duke of Guangping.


(An elk is a kind of deer whose tail can rise up and swat away flies and mites. Many Jin nobles wielded elk-tails as treasured symbols of their authority.)


6. Shi Le asked Wang Zichun about how Wang Jun governed his domain. Wang Zichun said, "There was flooding in Youzhou last year, and so the people have no grain to eat. But even though Wang Jun has amassed millet by the millions, he does not give any of it out to help the people. His punishments and his administration are harsh and cruel, and he heavily burdens the people with troublesome taxes and corvee labor. The loyal and the virtuous are alienated from him within, and the various tribes are turning against him without.

"Everyone knows that Wang Jun is destined to fall soon, yet he does not act any differently from normal, and he shows no sign of concern. In fact, he continues to build more and more terraces and pavilions. He has already created the imperial offices, and he even says that Gaozu of Han (Liu Bang) and Wu of Wei (Cao Cao) cannot compare with him."

Shi Le leaned against a table and laughed, saying, "Now we can truly capture Wang Pengzu."

When Wang Jun's envoys returned to his base at Ji, they all said, "Shi Le's situation shows he is isolated and weak. He is sincere and honest, without any ulterior intentions." Wang Jun was greatly pleased, and he became even more arrogant and complacent, not bothering to make any further preparations against Shi Le.


(The Five Grains could not sprout because of the flooding, and so the people had no grain to eat.)


7. It was earlier mentioned that the refugee leader Yang Hu and the Chouchi general Yang Nandi had joined together to attack Jin’s forces in Lianzhou. At this time, Yang Hu plundered the officials and people of Hanzhong and then fled to the state of Cheng. Natives of Lianzhou, Zhang Xian and others, rose up with soldiers and drove Yang Nandi out of the province. After Yang Nandi left, Zhang Xian handed over the region to Cheng. Thus, the regions of Hanjia, Fuling, and Hanzhong all became part of Cheng. The Emperor of Cheng, Li Xiong, appointed Li Feng as his Inspector of Lianzhou, he appointed Ren Hui as his Inspector of Ningzhou, and he appointed Li Gong as his Inspector of Jingzhou.


(The attacks of the refugee leader Yang Hu and the Chouchi general Yang Nandi against Lianzhou are mentioned in the previous book, in the first year of Jianxing (313.31, 36).

Hanjia had originally been Qingyi County during Former Han, as part of Shu commandary. In Emperor Shun of Later Han's second year of Yangjia (133), the county was renamed to Hanjia. Shu-Han split the county off as Hanjia commandary.)


8. Li Xiong did not focus on himself, but rather delighted in worthy people, and he appointed them to offices befitting their talents. He ordered the Grand Tutor, Li Xiang, to cultivate the people within, while ordering Li Feng and the other border commanders to entice and cherish people from without. When it came to justice and administration, he was magnanimous and simple, and no one who had a case pending against them languished in prison. He established schools for learning, and created historical bureaus.

As for his taxation, each adult man paid three 斛 of grain per year, with adult women and the infirm paying half that amount. And for taxes on silk, each household did not have to pay more than several zhang of 絹 silk and several 兩s of 綿 silk. He did not make many demands of the people, and corvee labor service was rare. So the people grew prosperous and numerous, and even those who had only recently come over to him were all restored to their offices.

Even during this era when great turmoil gripped the realm, nothing was amiss in the Shu region. They had several harvests per year, and people felt so secure that they did not even shut their gates, and no one picked up things lying on the road which someone else had left by mistake.

A tribal king from Hanjia, Chonggui, Fan Zhao of Zhuti, and Quan Jiang of Jianning all came to join Cheng.

At one point, there was some alarm in Ba commandary, and people reported the presence of Jin soldiers. Li Xiong said, "I have often been worried that the Prince of Langye (Sima Rui) was too puny and weak and would be vanquished by Shi Le, and this has been a source of 'much disturbance' for me. I hardly expected that he would even be able to raise soldiers like this. Such a thing actually makes me feel more assured."

However, Li Xiong's government did possess some shortcomings. His court had no official system of ranks, and he gave out offices and titles excessively. His officials received no salary payments, so they took what they wanted from the people. And his army was not divided up into divisions and regiments, and its discipline was lacking. These were its faults.


(This passage uses the term 調; it means taxes.

The name of the commandary 朱提 Zhuti is pronounced "Zhushi".

The surname 爨, pronounced "quan (q-uan)", was a tribal surname.

To be 耿耿 "much disturbed" means to be worried; it is a term from the Book of Poetry (Bo Zhou 1).)


9. In the second month, on the day Renyin (March 4th), Emperor Min's court at Chang'an made several appointments. They appointed Zhang Gui as Grand Commandant, Governor of Liangzhou, and Duke of Xiping commandary. They appointed Wang Jun as Grand Marshal and Commander of military affairs in Youzhou and Jizhou. They appointed Xun Zu as Minister Over The Masses, acting Supervisor of the Left of the Masters of Writing, and Colonel-Director of Retainers, and they confirmed his authority of his Acting Terrace administration. And they appointed Liu Kun as Grand General and Commander of military affairs in Bingzhou. Lastly, because Zhang Gui was old and infirm by now, they further appointed his son Zhang Shi as Vice Inspector.


(This was the first time someone had ever been appointed as Vice Inspector.)

建興元年,晉湣帝即位于長安,遣使者拜軌鎮西大將軍、開府儀同三司、加侍中,封西平郡公,固讓不受。三年,進拜太尉、涼州牧。以軌年老多疾,拜子寔行撫軍,副涼州剌史。(16 Kingdoms)

In the first year of Jianxing (313), Emperor Min ascended the throne of Jin at Chang'an. He sent messengers to Liangzhou appointing Zhang Gui as Grand General Who Guards The West, a Separate Office with equal ceremonial to the Three Excellencies, Palace Attendant, and Duke of Xiping. But Zhang Gui declined these titles and would not accept them.

In the third year (315), Zhang Gui was promoted as Grand Commandant and Governor of Liangzhou. Because Zhang Gui was now old and often sick, his son Zhang Shi was appointed as acting General Who Nurtures The Army and Vice Inspector of Liangzhou.

俄而秦王為皇太子,遣使拜軌為驃騎大將軍、儀同三司,固辭。秦州刺史裴苞、東羌校尉貫與據險斷使,命宋配討之。西平王叔與曹祛餘黨麹儒等劫前福祿令麹恪為主,執太守趙彝,東應裴苞。寔回師討之,斬儒等,左督護陰預與苞戰陝西,大敗之,苞奔桑凶塢。皇太子遣使重申前授,固辭。左司馬竇濤言於軌曰:「曲阜周旦弗辭,營丘齊望承命,所以明國憲,厲殊勳。天下崩亂,皇輿遷幸,州雖僻遠,不忘匡衛,故朝廷傾懷,嘉命屢集。宜從朝旨,以副群心。」軌不從。初,寔平麹懦[儒],徙元惡六百餘家。治中令狐瀏曰:「夫除惡人,猶農夫之去草,令絕其本,勿使能滋。今宜悉徙,以絕後患。」寔不納。儒黨果叛,寔進平之。湣帝即位,進位司空,固讓。太府參軍索輔言於軌曰:「古以金貝皮幣為貨,息穀帛量度之秏。二漢制五銖錢,通易不滯。泰始中,河西荒廢,遂不用錢。裂匹以為段數。縑布既壞,市易又難,徒壞女工,不任衣用,弊之甚也。今中州雖亂,此方主安全,宜復五銖以濟通變之會。」軌納之,立制准布用錢,錢遂大行,人賴其利。是時劉曜寇北地,軌又遣參軍麹陶領三千人衛長安。帝遣大鴻臚辛攀拜軌侍中、太尉、涼州牧、西平公,軌又固辭。(Book of Jin 86.1)

The Prince of Qin soon became the Crown Prince, and he sent messengers to appoint Zhang Gui as Grand General of the Agile Cavalry, with equal ceremonial to the Three Excellencies. However, Zhang Gui firmly declined these honors.

The Inspector of Qinzhou, Pei Bao, and the Colonel of Eastern Qiang Tribes, Guan Yu, occupied the local passes and prevented the movement of messengers in and out. Zhang Gui ordered Song Pei to campaign against them. A native of Xiping commandary, Wang Shu, and Cao Qu's former partisans, Qu Ru and others, forced the former Prefect of Fulu County, Qu Ke, to act as their leader. They arrested the Administrator of Xiping, Zhao Yi, and then marched east to join Pei Bao. Zhang Shi brought his own army back to campaign against them, and he killed Qu Ru and the others. The Protector of the Left, Yin Yu, fought Pei Bao at Shanxi and greatly defeated him. Pei Bao fled to the Sangxiong Fortress.

The Crown Prince sent more messengers to once again grant the honors mentioned above to Zhang Gui, but he continued to decline them. Zhang Gui's Marshal of the Left, Dou Tao, advised him, "Zhou Dan of Qufu (the Duke of Zhou) did not decline such things, and Qi Wang of Yingqiu accepted imperial orders, thus making clear the structures of their states and encouraging exceptional service. Now the realm has fallen into chaos, and the imperial carriage is at the mercy of fortune. Although your province is distant and far away, you have not forgotten your duty to guard and protect the dynasty. This is why the court has so cherished your service, and has repeatedly sent you these commendations. You should follow the court's decree, so that you will agree with their wishes." But Zhang Gui would not do so.

Earlier, after Zhang Shi had pacified Qu Nuo (probably meant to be Qu Ru), he had relocated away more than six hundred families of the ringleaders of the rebellion. The 治中 Linghu Liu said to Zhang Shi, "You have gotten rid of the main culprits, but that is like being a farmer who merely shears the grass. You ought to root them out entirely, and not give them a chance to sprout again. Relocate every one of the rebels, to deter future threats." But Zhang Shi did not follow his advice. As expected, Qu Ru's partisans had rebelled, and so Zhang Shi advanced and pacified them as well.

After the Crown Prince rose to the imperial throne as Emperor Min, he promoted Zhang Gui as Minister of Works, but Zhang Gui still firmly declined such a post.

The Army Advisor to the Greater Staff, Suo Fu, advised Zhang Gui, "The ancients used gold, cowrie shells, and leather currency as means of exchange, in order to lessen the expenditure of grain and silk. During Former and Later Han, the wuzhu currency was established, which allowed for easy exchange without things getting sluggish. But during the Taishi era (265-274), the Hexi region (Liangzhou) fell into waste and ruin, and so the currency was no longer used. The effect was like that of a broken pot. The demand for silk and cloth collapsed, and so markets could no longer remain open; without markets, the women workers of the silk were driven away; there was then no one to make clothing, and so the situation became serious indeed. However, although the Central Provinces are now in turmoil, this region is in perfect peace and security. You should reintroduce the wuzhu currency here to stimulate market exchanges and facilitate trade." Zhang Gui followed his advice, and he set up a system of exchange for cloth using currency. The currency then went into great circulation, and people praised how useful it was.

At this time, Liu Yao invaded Beidi commandary. So Zhang Gui sent his Army Advisor Qu Tao to lead three thousand men to guard Chang'an. Emperor Min sent the Grand Herald, Xin Pan, to grant Zhang Gui the titles of Palace Attendant, Grand Commandant, Governor of Liangzhou, and Duke of Xiping. But Zhang Gui continued to decline such titles.


10. Shi Le set his troops in readiness to march, and was about to attack Wang Jun. However, he still hesitated and would not march.

Zhang Bin said to him, "If you mean to attack someone, you must catch him while he is still unaware. But you have kept your army ready to act for several days now without moving. What other reason could there be than that you are afraid that Liu Kun and the Xianbei and Wuhuan will strike us from behind?"

Shi Le replied, "It is as you say. What are we to do about them?"

Zhang Bin said, "There is no one among those three forces who is as clever or bold as you, General. Even though you will be marching quite a ways away, your enemies will not dare to make a move against you. Besides, none of them has ever said anything to show they believe you could do such a thing as march a thousand li away to capture Youzhou. Because your men march lightly, to send your army there and back again will take no more than twenty days. Even if your enemies do think to take advantage of your absence, by the time they have finished making their plans and have led their armies out, we will have already returned.

"You should also consider that although Liu Kun and Wang Jun are both renowned as loyal servants of Jin, they are really bitter enemies of one another. If you wrote a letter to Liu Kun and sent him a hostage in order to ask for peace, he would certainly be delighted to both gain our submission and see Wang Jun come to ruin; he would never send reinforcements to save Wang Jun by attacking us.

"When using soldiers, the most essential thing is speed. Let there be no further delay."

Shi Le replied, "Marquis of the Right, you have just cleared up everything I was hesitant about. What do I have to worry about now?"


(The term 了 in this passage means "to decide or clear up".)


11. So Shi Le's men advanced by night with torchlights. When they reached Bairen, Shi Le killed his Registrar You Lun, because his elder brother You Tong was in Wang Jun’s service at Fanyang and Shi Le feared that You Lun would leak what his army was planning.

Shi Le sent an envoy with a letter and hostages to present to Liu Kun, explaining himself for the crimes and faults he had committed, and asking to make amends by campaigning against Wang Jun. Liu Kun was greatly pleased, and he sent proclamations throughout the provinces and commandaries declaring, "Tuoba Yilu and I were just discussing launching a campaign against Shi Le. But now Shi Le, like a scampering dog with nowhere to run, has asked to capture Youdu as an offering for his crimes. So now I shall send Tuoba Liuxiu south to attack Pingyang, to do away with the presumptuous traitor and accept the surrender of the Jie who flees from his doom. I have acted in submission to Heaven and in accordance with the will of the people, serving as a wing of the royal family, and now my sincerity of these past years has been rewarded with such blessings!"


(Bairen County was part of the Zhao princely fief. During Tang, it was Yaoshan County in Xingzhou.

The "presumptuous traitor" was Liu Cong; the "fleeing Jie" was Shi Le.

Wang Jun and Liu Kun both saw Shi Le as just a pawn they could play, one who did not think for himself. This was why they were divided and conquered.

Sima Guang's commentary in the Textual Analysis states, "The text of this proclamation in the Collected Writings of Liu Kun has the heading 'Proclaimed on the day Jiaxu (April 5th), fifth day of the third month which begins on the day Gengwu (April 1st)'. Now although it was on the day Renshen (April 3rd) that Shi Le captured Youzhou, Liu Kun at Jinyang could not have already known that in such a short span of time. But I wanted to finish narrating Liu Kun's involvement in this account first and then afterwards cover Shi Le's part, so I placed this proclamation at this part of the account.")


12. In the third month, Shi Le's army reached the Yi River. Wang Jun's Protector Sun Wei sent couriers to report the situation to Wang Jun, and he planned to lead troops to block Shi Le's approach, but You Tong forbade it.

Wang Jun's generals and advisors all told him, "Barbarians are greedy and not to be trusted. Shi Le must have something sinister planned. We ask that you attack him."

But Wang Jun angrily replied, "Lord Shi is just coming because he wants to pay homage to me. Whoever dares to suggest an attack will be beheaded!"

No one dared to say another word. And Wang Jun prepared a feast to welcome Shi Le.

On the the morning of the day Renshen (April 3rd), Shi Le arrived at Ji, and he called for the gatekeepers to open the gates. Still suspicious that there might be some ambush waiting for him, Shi Le first drove a thousand heads of cattle and sheep into the city; he claimed that these were offerings, but he really wanted them to clog the roads and alleys.

It was at this point that Wang Jun began to be afraid, and he kept sitting down and then standing up again.

Once Shi Le had entered the city, he turned his soldiers loose to sack the place. Wang Jun's subordinates asked that he resist the attack, but Wang Jun still refused to agree. Then Shi Le advanced up the stairs into Wang Jun's Court of Affairs. Wang Jun fled into his Stately Chamber, but Shi Le's soldiers arrested him. Shi Le also summoned Wang Jun's wife, and made them both sit together, with Wang Jun being held up in front.

Wang Jun scolded Shi Le, saying, "How dare a barbarian like you make a fool of me? What wicked treason is this?"

Shi Le replied, "You hold the loftiest of offices, and you have powerful soldiers at hand. Yet you sat and watched as the court you served was overthrown, and you did nothing to lend them aid. Now you even want to exalt yourself as the Son of Heaven. Is that not 'wicked treason'? And even though you held an important office, you gave in to perverse greed, inflicting your tyranny on the common people and taxing and harming the loyal and the good. Poison has spread through the whole Yan region, and whose fault is it but yours?"

Shi Le ordered his general Wang Luosheng to lead five hundred riders to escort Wang Jun back to Xiangguo. Wang Jun tried to throw himself into the river, but they restrained him and pulled him back out again. When they reached Xiangguo, Wang Jun was beheaded in the marketplace there.


(Sima Guang's commentary in the Textual Analysis states, "When this story is mentioned in the Annals of the Thirty Kingdoms, at first it states, 'On the day Guiyou (April 4th), Shi Le captured Youzhou'. But then later it states, 'On the morning of the day Renwu (April 13th), Shi Le arrived at Ji.' But the Petition that Liu Kun wrote states, 'On the third day of the third month, Shi Le advanced to and captured the city of Ji.' So it must have taken place on the day Renshen.

Regarding the livestock, Shi Le meant to say that he was presenting them as offerings to Wang Jun.

The Central Hall was called the Court of Affairs, because this was where cases were heard and investigated. Han and Jin both called it the 聽 Court of Affairs, but from the time of the Six Dynasties on, a 广 was added to the 聽 character, making it the 廳 Ministry of Affairs.

A chamber without four walls is called Stately.

In this passage, Wang Jun uses the term 調 to mean "to play with or make a mockery of".)


13. Shi Le executed ten thousand of Wang Jun's underlings and elite soldiers. Wang Jun's generals and advisors all struggled with one another to be the first to rush to the gate of Shi Le's army camp to beg forgiveness for their crimes, and their bribes flowed freely. But the former Master of Writing, Pei Xian, and the Attendant Officer of the Household Gentlemen, Xun Chuo, did not come to his camp.

So Shi Le summoned them to question them. He said to them, "Wang Jun was violent and cruel, and so I campaigned against him and executed him. Now these people are all coming to congratulate me and ask for forgiveness, while you two gentlemen plan to suffer the same fate that Wang Jun did. Why do you not try to avoid the death sentence?"

They replied, "Our families have served the Jin court for generations, and we shall not lightly shirk our responsibilities. Though Wang Jun was wicked and coarse, he was still a border commander of Jin. This was why we obeyed him, and did not dare to turn against him. Sir, you are a short-sighted fellow who does not cultivate virtue or righteousness, and you abuse power and enforce your decrees through might. If we can escape from serving you by dying, then what reason do we have to run? Please just put us to death."

They left without making obeisance. Then Shi Le called them back again and apologized to them, and he treated them like honored guests. This Xun Chuo was the grandson of Xun Xu.

Shi Le blamed Zhu Shuo, Ji Song, and Wang Jun's other favorites for taking bribes and causing trouble in his administration, making themselves nuisances in Youzhou, and he also blamed You Tong for his former disloyalty to Wang Jun; all of them were beheaded.

Shi Le looked into the records of household wealth for all of Wang Jun's generals, subordinates, and close family members. All of them had untold wealth stored away. Only Pei Xian and Xun Chuo had modest wealth, and they each only had a little more than ten 斛s of salt and rice. Shi Le remarked, "It is not Youzhou that I am pleased to obtain, but these two gentlemen." He appointed Pei Xian as an Attendant Officer of the Household Gentlemen, and Xun Chuo as an Army Advisor.

Shi Le divided up the various refugees in the area and sent them all back to their homelands. He stayed in Ji for two days, where he burned down Wang Jun's halls and palaces. He appointed the former Master of Writing, Liu Han of the Yan princely fief, as his acting Inspector of Youzhou, and had him camp at Ji. Having set the defenses there in order, Shi Le returned to Xiangguo.

Sun Wei intercepted his march and attacked him, and Shi Le barely made his escape.


(Pei Xian's flight to Youzhou is mentioned in Book 87, in Emperor Huai's fifth year of Yongjia (311.29).

The abuses of Zhu Shuo and Wang Jun's other favorites are mentioned in Book 88, in the first year of Jianxing (313.38).

You Tong had been disloyal because he had secretly tried to turn Fanyang over to Shi Le (Book 88, 313.41).

This passage mentions that Pei Xian and Xun Chuo had "only a little more than a hundred volumes of books". A book of full pages in sequence is called a volume.)


14. When Shi Le arrived at Xiangguo, he sent a messenger to present Wang Jun's head to the Han capital at Pingyang as an announcement of his victory. Han appointed Shi Le as Grand Commander, Commander of military affairs east of Shan (that is, east of Luoyang), Grand General of the Agile Cavalry, and Grand Chanyu, and his fief was increased to twelve commandaries. But Shi Le declined these, and merely accepted an additional two commandaries.


(This term "east of Shan" meant the same thing as the "divided the realm at Shan" concept mentioned in earlier chapters.)


15. Liu Kun requested soldiers from the Duke of Dai, the Xianbei leader Tuoba Yilu, for an attack against Han. But at this time, more than ten thousand families from various tribes under Tuoba Yilu's command were plotting to go over to Shi Le. Tuoba Yilu purged all of them, but because of the instability, he was not able to link up with Liu Kun.

Soon Liu Kun realized that Shi Le did not actually intend to surrender to him, and so he became very afraid. He sent up a petition stating, "Out of the eight provinces of the northeast, Shi Le has already conquered seven. Out of the local commanders whom the former court appointed to this region, I am the only one left. Shi Le is occupying Xiangguo, and only the mountains cut him off from me. When dawn breaks and when night falls, the cities and fortresses are all shocked and afraid. Although I cherish loyalty and indignation, my strength is insufficient to keep them compliant!"


(When Shi Le entered Ye, he killed the Commander and Prince of Dongyan, Sima Teng. When he raided Xindu, he killed the Inspector of Jizhou, Wang Bin. When he attacked Juancheng, he killed the Inspector of Yanzhou, Yuan Fu. When he attacked Xincai, he killed the Inspector of Yuzhou and Prince of Xincai, Sima Que. When he attacked Mengcheng, he captured the Inspector of Qingzhou, Gou Xi. When he captured Shangbai, he beheaded the next Inspector of Qingzhou, Li Yun. When he attacked Xindu again, he killed the Inspector of Jizhou, Wang Xiang. When he attacked Dingling, he killed the next Inspector of Yanzhou, Tian Hui. When he attacked Youzhou, he captured Wang Jun. Having gotten rid of Li Yun and Tian Hui and taken over all that Wang Jun controlled, Shi Le had now "conquered seven provinces".

The mountains which Liu Kun mentions were the range of mountains stretching from Mount Taixing and Mount Deng to the mountains in You and Jie, which formed an unbroken chain. Xiangguo was east of this line of mountains, while Jinyang was west of it.)

七年,帝復與劉琨約期,會於平陽。會石勒擒王浚,國有匈奴雜胡萬餘家,多勒種類,聞勒破幽州,乃謀為亂,欲以應勒,發覺,伏誅,討聰之計,於是中止。(Book of Northern Wei 1)

In the seventh year (314), Tuoba Yilu once again agreed on a date for a campaign together with Liu Kun, planning to converge on Pingyang. But soon, Shi Le captured Jin's Inspector of Youzhou, Wang Jun. There were more than ten thousand families of the various Xiongnu tribes in Dai, many of whom were from the same kind of people as Shi Le, and when they heard that he had taken Youzhou, they plotted rebellion from within, planning to support Shi Le. The plot was discovered and the leaders were taken and executed, but because of the instability, the planned campaign against Liu Cong was canceled.


16. Liu Han did not want to obey Shi Le, so he fled to Duan Pidi, and so Duan Pidi came and occupied Ji.

Wang Jun's former Attendant Officer of the Household Gentlemen, Yang Yu, was the nephew of Yang Dan. He fled to Lingzhi, where he joined Duan Jilujuan.

Zhu Zuoche of Kuaiji, Kong Zuan of the Lu princely fief, and Humu Yi of Taishan fled from Ji to Changli, where they joined Murong Hui.

By this time, several tens of thousands of refugee families had fled from the Middle Kingdom to Murong Hui's domain, and so he created émigré commandaries for them according to their origins. For the natives of Jizhou, he created Jiyang commandary; for the natives of Yuzhou, Chengzhou commandary; for the natives of Qingzhou, Yingqiu commandary; and for the natives of Bingzhou, Tangguo commandary.


(During Han, Lingzhi County was part of Liaoxi commandary. It was the site of the ancient state of the Lord of Guzhu. Jin abolished the county, but when the Duan clan occupied it, they made it the capital of their domain. Pei Songzhi remarked, "The second character of Lingzhi, 支, is pronounced 'qi (j-i)'." Du You remarked, "Lingzhi was in the territory of Lulong County in modern Beiping commandary."

According to Wei Shou's Geographical Records, Jiyang commandary was created in the territory of Pinggang County in Han's Beiping commandary.

Chengzhou was a region in Yuzhou, thus the name of this Chengzhou commandary.

The Records of Former Han states, "There is a Yu River in Linyu County in Liaoxi commandary. Its headwaters come from the White Wolf River, and it flows south, passing to the west of the city of Yingqiu." This was where Murong Hui created this Yingqiu commandary.

Bingzhou was the site of the ancient state of Tang, and so Murong Hui named this commandary Tangguo.

Chengzhou and Tangguo were created on vacant lands.)


17. Earlier, Wang Jun had appointed a certain Shao Xu as Administrator of Leling, camped at Yanci. After Wang Jun was defeated, Shao Xu submitted to Shi Le, who took his son Shao Ai as a Protector.

Then Liu Yin of Donglai, whom Wang Jun had appointed as Administrator of Bohai, abandoned his commandery and came to join Shao Xu. He told Shao Xu, "Whoever wants to achieve great things must maintain great justice. Sir, you are a loyal servant of Jin. How can you sully yourself by following a bandit?"

And soon afterwards, Duan Pidi wrote a letter to Shao Xu asking him to join him and so give his allegiance to the Prime Minister of the Left, Sima Rui. Shao Xu agreed to do so.

Those who were with him asked him, "If you abandon Shi Le to join Duan Pidi, what will happen to Shao Ai?"

Shao Xu wept and said, "How can I remain a traitor just to save my son?" And he killed several people who tried to talk him out of it. When Shi Le heard of this, he killed Shao Ai.

Shao Xu sent Liu Yin south across the Yangzi to visit Jiankang. Sima Rui appointed Liu Yin as an Army Advisor, and he appointed Shao Xu as Administrator of Pingyuan.

Shi Le sent troops to besiege Shao Xu, but then Duan Pidi sent his younger brother Duan Wenyang to reinforce him, and so Shi Le broke off the siege and left.


(Yanci was originally Fuping County in Former Han's Pingyuan commandary. Emperor Ming of Later Han renamed it to Yanci. Jin split it off as the administrative center of Leling commandary. The Records of the Nine Regions states, "History records that when Qin Shihuang went on his eastern travels, he carved steles to express his feelings and left them in this place, and so it gained this name." Wei Shou's Geographical Records states, "There is a Fucheng city in Yanci County in Leling commandary; this was where Shao Xu resided.")


18. There was great famine in Xiangguo. Two 升 of grain cost one jin of silver, and a 斤 of meat cost one 兩 of silver.


19. The rebel leader Du Zeng's general Wang Zhen attacked the Jin commander Tao Kan at Linzhang. Tao Kan fled to Shezhong. Zhou Fang came to reinforce Tao Kan, who then attacked Du Zeng's soldiers and routed them.


(The Commentary on the Water Classic states, "Linzhang was in Dunyang County in Jiangxia commandary. The Mian River flowed through the north of Dunyang County, and then east flowing north of the capital city of Linzhang." Song Bai remarked, "Jin's Jiangxia commandary was administered from Linzhang. In the first year of Yixi (405), it was shifted to Xiakou."

Ding Du remarked, "She is the name of a river, in western Yang." The Commentary on the Water Classic states, "The Yun River passes through Anling County in Jiangxia commandary and then flows southeast, where it splits into two rivers. To the east it flows into the She River, while to the west it enters the Mian River.")


20. In summer, the fifth month, the Inspector of Liangzhou, Zhang Gui, was confined to his sickbed. His last testament was, "Let the civil and military officials, the generals and the advisors, tend to and comfort the common people, so that you may consider how to repay the state above and secure your families below."

On the day Jichou (June 19th), Zhang Gui passed away. He was posthumously known as Duke Wumu ("the Martial and Solemn") of Xiping.

His Chief Clerk, Zhang Xi, and the other Liangzhou officials petitioned to have his eldest son Zhang Shi inherit his father's offices.


(Sima Guang's commentary in the Textual Analysis states, "The Annals of Emperor Min in the Book of Jin records the date of Zhang Gui's death as 'the day Renchen (June 22nd)’. But I follow the account of the Records and Transcriptions of Former Liang. However, I note that that text states that 'Zhang Gui was buried at Jian Tomb'. But there were no such imperial names for the tombs of the de facto rulers of Former Liang until Zhang Zun later claimed imperial title and retroactively renamed them, so that cannot have happened at this time."

Zhang Xi's given name 璽 is pronounced "si (s-i)".)

五月,軌寢疾,立子寔為世子。己丑,薨於正寢,年六十。葬建陵,册贈侍中、太尉,諡武穆,張祚僭號,追尊武王,廟號太(宗)〔祖〕。(16 Kingdoms, Former Liang)

In the fifth month of that year, Zhang Gui was bedridden with illness; he chose his son Zhang Shi to be the heir to his positions. On the day Jichou (June 19th), he passed away in his main bedroom. He was fifty-nine years old. He was buried at Jian Tomb, and posthumously appointed as Palace Attendant and Grand Commandant. His posthumous title was Wumu ("the Martial and Solemn"). When Zhang Zuo later usurped the throne (of Former Liang), he posthumously honored Zhang Gui as Prince Wu, and gave him the temple name Taizong (or Taizu).

在州十三年,寢疾,遺令曰:「吾無德於人,今疾病彌留,殆將命也。文武將佐咸當弘盡忠規,務安百姓,上思報國,下以寧家。素棺薄葬,無藏金玉。善相安遜,以聽朝旨。」表立子寔為世子。卒年六十。諡曰武公。(Book of Jin 86 (Zhang Gui))

In Zhang Gui's thirteenth year in Liangzhou, he was bedridden by illness. This was his final testament: "I am a man without virtue. Now this illness has brought me to the verge of death, and I am about to meet my final end. Let all my civil and military subordinates and officers conduct themselves with full loyalty and rectitude. Tend to and comfort the common people, so that you may consider how to repay the state above and secure your families below. Give me an unadorned coffin and a simple funeral, and do not bury me with gold or jade. Work well together with Anxun (Zhang Shi), and heed the imperial decrees." He petitioned to have his son Zhang Shi inherit his positions. He passed away at the age of fifty-nine. His posthumous name was Duke Wu ("the Martial").

建興元年,長史張璽等表寔嗣位。(16 Kingdoms, Former Liang)

In the first year of the Jianxing reign era (313), Zhang Shi's Chief Clerk, Zhang Xi, and others petitioned the court to have Zhang Shi recognized as the heir to Zhang Gui's positions.


21. Liu Yao and the Han general Zhao Ran invaded the Chang'an region. In the sixth month, Liu Yao camped at Weirui, and Zhao Ran camped at Xinfeng.

The Jin general Suo Chen led soldiers out to oppose them. Zhao Ran's expression showed that he did not think much of Suo Chen. His Chief Clerk Lu Hui warned him, "The Jin sovereign and his ministers know that they are not as strong as we are, and so they will oppose us to the death. You cannot take them lightly."

But Zhao Ran replied, "Sima Mo was strong, and yet I overcame him as easily as snapping a twig. Suo Chen is just some whelp. How could he ever dirty my horse's hooves or my sword's blade?"

When morning came, Zhao Ran led several hundred of his riders out to fight against Suo Chen, saying, "I will capture him before breakfast."

He fought Suo Chen west of the city, where Zhao Ran's soldiers were defeated and fell back. Zhao Ran lamented, "I didn't listen to what Lu Hui said, and now things have come to this. How can I ever face him again?" So he sent ahead orders to have Lu Hui beheaded.

Lu Hui said, "The General was brash and reckless and so rushed into defeat. Now, just to avoid having to face someone who was right when he was wrong, he is going to put a loyal and good man to death so he can vent his rage. So long as Heaven and Earth exist, the General's head will roll!"

Emperor Min issued an edict promoting Suo Chen to Grand General of the Agile Cavalry and Supervisor of the Left of the Masters of Writing; he was granted authority over the Masters of Writing, and all affairs were in his hands.


(Regarding the place where Liu Yao camped, the Zuo Commentary to the Spring and Autumn Annals has this line: "The Duke of Guo defeated the Rong tribes at Weirui (Min 2.1)." Du Yu's commentary on this sentence states, "The place where he defeated them was 渭汭 Weirui. Where a river makes a sharp bend, that place is called its 汭 rui; so Weirui would be 'bend of the Wei River'." Wang Su's commentary states, "The 汭 rui is where a river enters another." Lü Chen's commentary states, "The 汭 rui is where rivers join together." So this place 渭汭 Weirui was where the Wei River entered the Yellow River.
Zhao Ran's defection from and defeat of Sima Mo are mentioned in Book 87, in Emperor Huai's fifth year of Yongjia (311.31).
Zhao Ran and Suo Chen fought west of the city of Xinfeng.

Lu Hui uses the terms 忌前 and 害勝. 忌前 means "to avoid appearing before someone"; 害勝 means "someone who has gotten the better of or harmed you".)


22. Liu Yao and Zhao Ran then joined with the general Yin Kai and led several tens of thousands of troops towards Chang'an. The Jin general Qu Yun counterattacked them at Pingyi, but he was defeated. He gathered up his soldiers, and during the night, he raided Yin Kai's camp. This time, Yin Kai's troops were defeated and he was killed.

Liu Yao then fell back and attacked Jin's Administrator of Henei, Guo Mo, at Huai, establishing three camps to besiege him.
Guo Mo's food was exhausted, so he sent his wife to Liu Yao as a hostage and asked to purchase grain from Liu Yao. But after he had purchased the grain, Guo Mo withdrew back into his defenses and continued to hold out. Liu Yao was furious, and he drowned Guo Mo's wife in the Yellow River and kept up his assault.

Then Guo Mo sought to seek refuge with Li Ju at Xinzheng. Li Ju ordered his nephew Guo Song to provide an escort for Guo Mo, but Guo Song's troops were so few that they did not dare to advance. Around this time, Liu Kun sent his Army Advisor Zhang Zhao to lead a contingent of more than five hundred Xianbei cavalry to reinforce Chang'an. The roads were blocked and the riders could not advance, so they had turned around and were on their way back to Liu Kun's domain. But as they were passing by Li Ju's camp, Li Ju persuaded Zhang Zhao to help him, and sent his cavalry to attack Liu Yao's soldiers. When the Han soldiers saw the Xianbei cavalry approaching, they fled without fighting, and so Guo Mo was able to lead his forces to join Li Ju.

Liu Cong ordered Liu Yao to return to his original camp at Puban.


(Sima Guang's commentary in the Textual Analysis states, "Regarding this Han commander 殷 Yin Kai, the Annals of Jin records his name as 段 Duan Kai. But I follow the account of the Biography of Qu Yun in the Book of Jin."

During Han, Xinzheng County was part of Henan commandary. Jin abolished it; the former territory of the county was within the borders of Xingyang commandary. The younger brother of King Xuan of Zhou, Duke Huan of Zheng, had been granted his fief at Zheng County in Jingzhao commandary. His son, Duke Wu, had his own fief between Guo and Kuai, and so his state became known as Zheng. The Zuo Commentary to the Spring and Autumn Annals records Duke Zhuang of Zheng as saying, "My father's (Duke Wu's) new fief was in this place. (Yin 11.3)". Thus did it have the name Xinzheng ("New Zheng"), to distinguish it from the original Zheng in Jingzhao commandary.)


23. In autumn, Zhao Ran attacked Beidi, and Qu Yun fought back against him. Zhao Ran was struck by a crossbow bolt and killed.


24. It was at this time that Shi Le first ordered a census of the households of his provinces and commandaries to be carried out. Then taxes were levied: each household paid two bolts of silk and two 斛s of millet.


25. In winter, the tenth month, Emperor Min appointed Zhang Shi as Commander of military affairs in Liangzhou, Inspector of Liangzhou, and Duke of Xiping.

十月,帝遣使授西中郎將涼州剌史西平公。(16 Kingdoms, Former Liang)

In the tenth month of the first year of Jianxing (313), Emperor Min sent envoys to appoint Zhang Shi as General of the Household Gentlemen of the West, Inspector of Liangzhou, and Duke of Xiping.

軌卒,州人推寔攝父位。湣帝因下策書曰:「維乃父武公,著勳西夏。頃胡賊狡猾。侵逼近甸,義兵銳卒,萬里相尋,方貢遠珍,府無虛歲。方委專征,蕩清九域,昊天不吊,凋餘籓後,朕用悼厥心。維爾雋劭英毅,宜世表西海。今授持節、都督涼州諸軍事、西中郎將、涼州刺史、領護羌校尉、西平公。往欽哉!其闡弘先緒,俾屏王室。」(Book of Jin 86 (Zhang Shi))

After his father Zhang Gui passed away, the people of Liangzhou acclaimed Zhang Shi to inherit his duties. So Emperor Min sent him a decree letter which stated, "You have maintained the legacy of your father Duke Wu, and you have performed many achievements among the western Xia (ethnic Han). At this time, the barbarian invaders are very crafty and cunning. But though they encroach upon and threaten your region, men of righteousness and keen soldiers all come to you from every side, traveling ten thousand li, and bringing tributes of distant treasures, so that your staff never has a barren year. We now charge you to go forth and conquer, and purge the Nine Regions. If the center cannot hold, the borders shall not long survive; this fact has pained me and made my heart ache. Maintain your excellence, your heroism, and your resolution, so that history shall speak of the Western Sea. You are hereby appointed as Credential Bearer, Commander of military affairs in Liangzhou, General of the Household Gentlemen of the West, Inspector of Liangzhou, acting Colonel Who Protects The Qiang, and Duke of Xiping. Thus do I decree! Continue and expand your existing endeavors, and support the royal house."


26. In the eleventh month, Liu Cong appointed Liu Can as Chancellor of State and Grand Chanyu, and left him in charge of the affairs of state.

Although Liu Can was still young, he had boundless talents. Coupled with being appointed to the chief office of state, he became arbitrary and indulgent. He kept worthy people at arm's length while surrounding himself with flatterers, and he dealt harshly with anyone who dared to admonish him. So the people of the state began to be wary of him.


(This was why Liu Can was later killed by Jin Zhun.)


27. It was earlier mentioned that Sima Rui's minister Zhou Qi had encouraged his son Zhou Xie to purge Sima Rui's court of northerners and restore the Southlanders to their rightful place. Zhou Xie now took heed of his father's last will for him. Thanks to the resentment of the Southlanders, he was able to plot rebellion with them. He had the Merit Evaluator of Wuxing, Xu Fu, forge a decree from the Prime Minister's Attendant Officer of the Household Gentlemen, Zhou Xie’s uncle Zhou Ran. Using this decree, Zhou Xie gathered together many people, planning to move against Sima Rui’s chief ministers Wang Dao and Diao Xie. Many of the disaffected gentry sided with him, and a kinsman of Sun Hao, Sun Bi, also raised troops at Guangde and joined him.


(Zhou Qi's death and his final words to his son Zhou Xie are mentioned in Book 88, in the first year of Jianxing (313.16).

Shen Yue remarked, "I suspect that Guangde County was established by Eastern Wu, as part of Xuancheng commandary. That place is where the modern Guangde Garrison is." Song Bai remarked, "Guangde County was originally Qin's Zhang commandary; Han made it into Zhang County.")
Last edited by Taishi Ci 2.0 on Tue Feb 27, 2018 6:39 am, edited 4 times in total.
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