Zizhi Tongjian: The Jin Dynasty (Part 1)

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BOOK 89

Unread postby Taishi Ci 2.0 » Mon Jan 22, 2018 4:58 am

三年(己亥[乙亥]、三一五)

The Third Year of Jianxing (The Jihai [Yihai] Year, 315 AD)


The recording of this year as a 己亥 Jihai year is likely an error; it should be 乙亥 Yihai.

春,正月,徐馥殺吳興太守袁琇,有衆數千,欲奉周札爲主。札聞之,大驚,以告義興太守孔侃。勰知札意不同,不敢發。馥黨懼,攻馥,殺之;孫弼亦死。札子續亦聚衆應馥,左丞相睿議發兵討之。王導曰:「今少發兵則不足以平寇,多發兵則根本空虛。續族弟黃門侍郎莚,忠果有謀,請獨使莚往,足以誅續。」睿從之。莚晝夜兼行,至郡,將入,遇續於門,謂續曰:「當與君共詣孔府君,有所論。」續不肯入,莚牽逼與俱。坐定,莚謂孔侃曰:「府君何以置賊在坐?」續衣中常置刀,卽操刀逼莚,莚叱郡傳敎吳曾格殺之。莚因欲誅勰,札不聽,委罪於從兄卲而誅之。莚不歸家省母,遂長驅而去,母狼狽追之。睿以札爲吳興太守,莚爲太子右衞率。以周氏吳之豪望,故不窮治,撫勰如舊。

1. In spring, the first month, Xu Fu killed the Administrator of Wuxing, Yuan Xiu. He gathered up a host of several thousand people, planning to acclaim Zhou Zha as their leader. But when Zhou Zha heard what was going on, he was greatly shocked, and he sent notice to the Administrator of Yixing, Kong Kan. Zhou Xie knew that Zhou Zha did not agree with their intentions, so he did not dare to act himself. Xu Fu's followers became afraid, and they attacked Xu Fu and killed him. Sun Bi also died.

Zhou Zha's son Zhou Xu had also gathered up a host of people to support Xu Fu. Sima Rui discussed sending out soldiers to suppress this uprising. But Wang Dao advised him, "If you send too few soldiers, it will not be enough to put down the rebels, while if you send too many, you will leave our headquarters exposed. But there is the Gentleman-Attendant of the Yellow Gate, Zhou Xu's younger brother Zhou Yan. He is loyal and good at making plans. I ask that you just send Zhou Yan to deal with this matter. He will be enough to bring Zhou Xu to heel." Sima Rui followed his advice.

So Zhou Yan advanced through the night at double speed. When he reached the capital city of the commandary, he was about to enter when he met Zhou Xu at the gate. He said to Zhou Xu, "Let us both go together to visit Inspector Kong Kan. We have matters to discuss with him." Zhou Xu was initially not willing to let Zhou Yan inside the city, but Zhou Yan cajoled him until he was let inside.

Once they had all sat down together, Zhou Yan said to Kong Kan, "Commissioner, why are you siding with these bandits?"

Now Zhou Xu often carried a blade on his person, and when he heard Zhou Yan say this, he drew the blade to threaten him. Zhou Yan shouted at the Herald Executor, Wu Zeng, who immediately killed Zhou Xu.

Zhou Yan then wanted to punish Zhou Xie as well, but Zhou Zha would not hear of it; he pinned the blame on his cousin Zhou Shao instead and killed him. Zhou Yan went back at once without even going home to see his mother, and she felt she had no choice but to follow after him.

Sima Rui appointed Zhou Zha as the new Administrator of Wuxing, and he appointed Zhou Yan as Guard Commander of the Right to the Crown Prince.

Because the Zhou clan still held great influence in the Southland, Sima Rui did not fully punish them, and he accommodated Zhou Xie as though he had done nothing wrong.

〈琇,音秀,又音酉。〉〈傳敎,郡吏也;宣傳敎令者也。〉

(Yuan Xiu's given name 琇 is pronounced "xiu" or "you".

A Herald Executor was a commandary official; they made announcements and enforced decrees.)


詔平東將軍宋哲屯華陰。

2. Emperor Min ordered the General Who Pacifies The East, Song Zhe, to camp at Huayin.

〈華陰縣,前漢屬京兆,後漢、晉屬弘農郡。〉

(During Former Han, Huayin County was part of Jingzhao commandary. During Later Han and Jin, it was part of Hongnong commandary.)


成主雄立后任氏。

3. Li Xiong honored Lady Ren as his Empress.

玉衡五年正月,立妻任氏為皇后。(Annals of the Sixteen Kingdoms, Biography of Li Xiong)

In the fifth year of Yuheng, the first month, Li Xiong honored his wife Lady Ren as his Empress.

偽立其妻任氏為皇后。(Book of Jin 121, Biography of Li Xiong)

Li Xiong honored his wife Lady Ren as his Empress.


二月,丙子,以琅邪王睿爲丞相、大都督、督中外諸軍事,南陽王保爲相國,荀組爲太尉、領豫州牧,劉琨爲司空、都督幷‧冀‧幽三州諸軍事。琨辭司空,不受。

4. In the second month, on the day Bingzi (April 2nd), Emperor Min appointed Sima Rui as fully Prime Minister, Grand Commander, and Commander of all military affairs. He appointed the Prince of Nanyang, Sima Bao, as Chancellor of State. He appointed Xun Zu as Grand Commandant and acting Governor of Yuzhou. He appointed Liu Kun as Minister of Works and as Commander of military affairs in Bingzhou, Jizhou, and Youzhou. But Liu Kun declined the appointment as Minister of Works and would not accept it.

尋進位相國。(Book of Jin 37, Biography of Sima Mo)

Sima Bao was later promoted to Chancellor of State.


南陽王模之敗也,都尉陳安往歸世子保於秦州,保命安將千餘人討叛羌,寵待甚厚。保將張春疾之,譖安,云有異志,請除之,保不許;春輒伏刺客以刺安。安被創,馳還隴城,遣使詣保,貢獻不絕。

5. When the late Prince of Nanyang, Sima Mo, had been defeated earlier, his Commandant, Chen An, had gone to join Sima Mo’s eldest son Sima Bao in Qinzhou. Sima Bao ordered Chen An to lead more than a thousand men to campaign against rebelling Qiang tribes, and he showed Chen An great favor.

Another of Sima Bao's generals, Zhang Chun, resented Chen An for such special treatment. So he slandered Chen An, saying that he was up to no good, and he asked Sima Bao to get rid of him, but Sima Bao refused to do so. Then Zhang Chun sent an assassin to kill Chen An. Chen An was wounded by the assassin's blade, and so he rode away to Longcheng. But he sent a messenger to visit Sima Bao, and he continued to send tribute back to him.

〈見八十七卷懷帝永嘉五年。〉〈隴縣城也;前漢屬天水;後漢改天水爲漢陽;晉省。〉

(As mentioned above, Sima Mo's defeat and death are mentioned in Book 87, in Emperor Huai's fifth year of Yongjia (311.31).
The Longcheng mentioned here was the capital city of Long County. During Former Han, Long county was part of Tianshui commandary. During Later Han, Tianshui's name was changed to Hanyang. Jin abolished it.)


模之敗也,都尉陳安歸於保,保命統精勇千餘人以討羌,寵遇甚厚。保將張春等疾之,譖安有異志,請除之,保不許。春等輒伏客以刺安,安被創,馳還隴城,遣使詣保,貢獻不絕。(Book of Jin 37, Biography of Sima Mo)

After Sima Mo's defeat, his Commandant, Chen An, had gone to join Sima Bao. Sima Bao ordered Chen An to lead more than a thousand elite braves to campaign against Qiang tribes, and he showed Chen An great favor.

Zhang Chun and Sima Bao's other generals resented Chen An for such special treatment. So he slandered Chen An, and they slandered him by claiming he had sinister intentions and asked Sima Bao to get rid of him, but Sima Bao refused to do so. Then Zhang Chun and the others sent an assassin to kill Chen An. Chen An was wounded by the assassin's blade, and so he rode away to Longcheng. But he sent a messenger to visit Sima Bao, and he continued to send tribute back to him.


詔進拓跋猗盧爵爲代王,置官屬,食代、常山二郡。猗盧請幷州從事鴈門莫含於劉琨,琨遣之。含不欲行,琨曰:「以幷州單弱,吾之不材而能自存於胡、羯之間者,代王之力也。吾傾身竭貲,以長子爲質而奉之者,庶幾爲朝廷雪大恥也。卿欲爲忠臣,柰何惜共事之小誠而忘徇國之大節乎!往事代王,爲之腹心,乃一州之所賴也。」含遂行。猗盧甚重之,常與參大計。

6. Emperor Min issued an edict promoting Tuoba Yilu to Prince of Dai, along with the relevant subordinate offices for his officials, and granted him the two commandaries of Dai and Changshan.

Tuoba Yilu asked Liu Kun to send him the Attendant Officer of Bingzhou, Mo Han of Yanmen commandary. Liu Kun agreed to send him. Mo Han did not want to go serve under Tuoba Yilu, but Liu Kun said to him, "Bingzhou is weak and stands alone. The only reason I have been able to stand against the Xiongnu and the Jie despite my shortcomings is that the Prince of Dai has lent me his strength. I have pushed my body to the limit, spent all the resources that I had, and offered my eldest son to him as a hostage, all so that I could wipe away the great shame upon the court. Now you want to be a loyal minister, but how can you focus on this little display of integrity instead of thinking about how to be strong for the sake of the state? Go and serve the Prince of Dai, become close to him as the heart and stomach; the whole province depends upon it."

So Mo Han agreed to go. Tuoba Yilu greatly appreciated him, and often discussed great plans with him.

〈常山已爲石勒所有。拓跋氏建國曰代,始此。〉〈《姓譜》:莫姓,楚莫敖之後。〉〈琨以長子遵質於猗盧。〉

(By this time, Shi Le had already captured Changshan commandary.

Tuoba Yilu called his state Dai, and this was the beginning of that state's history as such (Dai being the precursor to Northern Wei).

The Registry of Surnames states, "Those with the surname 莫 Mo are the descendants of Mo Ao of Chu."

Liu Kun had sent his eldest son Liu Zun as a hostage to Tuoba Yilu.)


愍帝初,又進盧為代王,增食常山郡。(Book of Liu-Song 95, Account of the Suotou)

At the beginning of Emperor Min's reign, Yilu was promoted to Prince of Dai and further granted Changshan commandary as part of his fief.

八年,晉愍帝進帝為代王,置官屬,食代、常山二郡。帝忿聰、勒之亂,志欲平之。(Book of Northern Wei 1, Annals of the Tuoba Ancestors)

In the eighth year (315), Emperor Min of Jin advanced Tuoba Yilu's noble title to Prince of Dai. Tuoba Yilu was granted the authority to appoint his own officials and subordinates, and he was granted both Dai and Changshan commandaries as his fief. Tuoba Yilu despised Liu Cong and Shi Le for their rebellions, and his ambition was to pacify them.

莫含,雁門繁畤人也。家世貨殖,貲累巨萬。劉琨為并州,辟含從事。含居近塞下,常往來國中。穆帝愛其才器,善待之。及為代王,備置官屬,求含於琨。琨遣入國,含心不願。琨諭之曰:「當今胡寇滔天,泯滅諸夏,百姓流離,死亡塗地,主上幽執,沉溺醜虜。唯此一州,介在羣胡之間,以吾薄德,能自存立者,賴代王之力。是以傾身竭寶,長子遠質,覬滅殘賊,報雪大耻。卿為忠節,亦是奮義之時,何得苟惜共事之小誠,以忘出身之大益。入為代王腹心,非但吾願,亦一州所賴。」含乃入代,參國官。後琨徙五縣之民於陘南,含家獨留。含甚為穆帝所重,常參軍國大謀。卒於左將軍、關中侯。其故宅在桑乾川南,世稱莫含壁,或音訛,謂之莫回城云。(Book of Northern Wei 23, Biography of Mo Han)

Mo Han was a native of Fanzhi in Yanmen commandary. His family had been merchants for generations, and their wealth reckoned in the millions. When Liu Kun became Inspector of Bingzhou, he recruited Mo Han as an Attendant Officer. Mo Han resided near the borders of the realm, and so he was always coming and going from the Middle Kingdom. Tuoba Yilu treasured him for his talents and abilities, and he treated him well.

After Tuoba Yilu became Prince of Dai and was preparing his respective subordinate offices, he asked Liu Kun to send him Mo Han to serve under him. Liu Kun sent Mo Han to go to Dai, but Mo Han was not willing to go. Liu Kun ordered him to do so, telling him, “The barbarian invaders are so vast that they blot out the sky, and they are snuffing out all the peoples of Xia (ethnic Han). The common people are put to flight, or lying dead in the mud and dirt. Our sovereign (Emperor Huai) has been captured and hidden away, suffering from their depravity. I control only this one province, hemmed on all sides by so many barbarians. The only reason why I, despite my meager virtues, have been able to survive is that the Prince of Dai has lent me his strength. I have pushed my body to the limit, spent all the resources that I had, and offered my eldest son to him as a hostage, all so that I could smite the enemy and avenge and wipe away our great shame.

"You are loyal and steadfast, and you have also exerted yourself righteously. But how can you focus on this little display of integrity instead of thinking about how to labor for the sake of the state? For you to go to the Prince of Dai and serve him as close as the heart and stomach is not my wish alone; the whole province depends upon it."

So Mo Han went to Dai and served as an advisor of state. When Liu Kun later relocated the local families living in the five counties north of the borders of the realm which he granted to Tuoba Yilu, Mo Han's family was the only one to remain behind in the territory. Tuoba Yilu esteemed Mo Han, and often discussed great plans with him.

At the time of his death, Mo Han was General of the Left and a Marquis Of The Passes. His former home south of the Sangqian River was later called the Mo Han Rampart, and through what may have been a corruption, it was then called Mo Hui City.


猗盧用法嚴,國人犯法者,或舉部就誅,老幼相攜而行;人問:「何之?」曰:「往就死。」無一人敢逃匿者。

7. Tuoba Yilu enforced strict laws. There were some people in his state who violated the law and were tied together, young and old, in a single group and made to march to their execution ground. People asked, "What's going on?" The response was, "They are marching to their deaths." There was no one who dared to run or hide.

先是,國俗寬簡,民未知禁。至是,明刑峻法,諸部民多以違命得罪。凡後期者皆舉部戮之,或有室家相攜而赴死所,人問「何之」,答曰「當往就誅」。其威嚴伏物,皆此類也。(Book of Northern Wei 1)

Up until this time, the traditions of the Tuoba state had been magnanimity and simplicity, and the people had not known strict laws. But now, Tuoba Yilu established explicit punishments and strict laws. Many of the people of the various tribes, violating the laws, were charged with crimes. Later, when people were charged with death sentences for their crimes, sometimes whole families would be tied together in a single group and made to march to their execution ground. People asked, "What's going on?" The response was, "They are marching to their deaths." Such were the displays of Tuoba Yilu's power and majesty to awe his people.


王敦遣陶侃、甘卓等討杜弢,前後數十戰,弢將士多死,乃請降於丞相睿,睿不許。弢遺南平太守應詹書,自陳昔與詹「共討樂鄕,本同休戚。後在湘中,懼死求生,遂相結聚。儻以舊交之情,爲明枉直,使得輸誠盟府,廁列義徒,或北清中原,或西取李雄,以贖前愆,雖死之日,猶生之年也!」詹爲啓呈其書,且言「弢,益州秀才,素有清望,爲鄕人所逼。今悔惡歸善,宜命使撫納,以息江、湘之民!」睿乃使前南海太守王運受弢降,赦其反逆之罪,以弢爲巴東監軍。弢旣受命,諸將猶攻之不已。弢不勝憤怒,遂殺運復反,遣其將杜弘、張彥殺臨川內史謝摛,遂陷豫章。三月,周訪擊彥,斬之,弘奔臨賀。

8. Sima Rui's commander in Jingzhou, Wang Dun, sent Tao Kan, Gan Zhuo, and others to campaign against the rebel leader Du Tao. The two sides fought more than ten times, and most of Du Tao's officers and soldiers died in the fighting. So he sent word to Sima Rui asking to surrender, but Sima Rui refused to accept it.

Then Du Tao wrote a letter to the Administrator of Nanping, Ying Zhan, defending himself. He wrote, "Remember that we shared weal and woe together before, when we campaigned against the rebels in Lexiang. Now I am in Xiangzhou, fearing I shall die and begging that I might live, and so I hope that you will lend me your assistance. If you still have the same old regard we once shared, then may you straighten out this crooked situation and convey my sincerity to the Supreme Commissioner (Sima Rui). Let us join together to advance a righteous cause: perhaps we shall go north and purge the Central Plains, or perhaps we shall go west and capture Li Xiong. If I may atone for my past offenses, then even though this is the day of my death, it can be the year of my rebirth!"

So Ying Zhan sent in his own letter to Sima Rui, stating, "Du Tao was an Abundant Talent candidate from Yizhou, and he has long had pure intentions. It is just that he was forced into his situation by his countrymen. Now he regrets the evil he has done and wishes to be good again. You ought to grant him aid and comfort, in order to reassure the people of Jiangzhou and Xiangzhou!"

Sima Rui sent the former Administrator of Nanhai, Wang Yun, to accept Du Tao's surrender, pardon his treason, and appoint him as Chief of military affairs in Badong commandary. However, when Du Tao presented himself to accept this commission, Sima Rui's other generals still needled him incessantly. Unable to contain his anger and indignation at this treatment, Du Tao killed Wang Yun and once again rebelled.

Du Tao sent his generals Du Hong and Zhang Yan to kill the Interior Minister of Linchuan, Xie Chi, and they ravaged Yuzhang commandary. In the third month, Zhou Fang attacked Zhang Yan and killed him, and Du Hong fled to Linjia commandary.

〈見八十七卷懷帝永嘉五年。〉〈時琅邪王睿爲東南方鎭盟主,故曰盟府。〉〈羅尚刺益州,舉弢秀才。〉〈吳孫亮太平二年,分豫章東部都尉立臨川郡。〉〈臨賀縣,漢屬蒼梧郡,吳分立臨賀郡。〉

(Du Tao's and Ying Zhan's joint campaign against the Lexiang rebels is mentioned in Book 87, in Emperor Huai's fifth year of Yongjia (311.4).

At this time, Sima Rui was the head of all the border commanders in the Southeast, and so he was called the Supreme Commissioner.

When Luo Shang was Inspector of Yizhou, he had nominated Du Tao as an Abundant Talent candidate.

In Sun Liang of Eastern Wu's second year of Taiping (257), he split off the eastern Command Post of Yuzhang commandary to form Linchuan commandary.

During Han, Linjia County was part of Cangwu commandary. Eastern Wu split it off as Linjia commandary.)


而賊從青草湖密抄官軍,又遣其將張彥陷豫章,焚燒城邑。王敦時鎮湓口,遣督護繆蕤、李恆受訪節度,共擊彥。蕤于豫章、石頭,與彥交戰,彥軍退走,訪率悵下將李午等追彥,破之,臨陣斬彥。時訪為流矢所中,折前兩齒,形色不變。及暮,訪與賊隔水,賊眾數倍,自知力不能敵,乃密遣人如樵采者而出,於是結陣鳴鼓而來,大呼曰:「左軍至!」士卒皆稱萬歲。至夜,令軍中多布火而食,賊謂官軍益至,未曉而退。訪謂諸將曰:「賊必引退,然終知我無救軍,當還掩人,宜促渡水北。」既渡,斷橋訖,而賊果至,隔水不得進,於是遂歸湘州。訪復以舟師造湘城,軍達富口,而弢遣杜弘出海昏。時湓口騷動,訪步上柴桑,偷渡,與賊戰,斬首數百。賊退保廬陵,訪追擊敗之,賊嬰城處自守。尋而軍糧為賊所掠,退住巴丘。糧廩既至,復圍弘於廬陵。弘大擲寶物於城外,軍人競拾之,弘因陣亂突圍而出。訪率軍追之,獲鞍馬鎧杖不可勝數。弘入南康,太守將率兵逆擊,又破之,奔于臨賀。帝又進訪龍驤將軍。王敦表為豫章太守。加征討都督,賜爵尋陽縣侯。(Book of Jin 58, Biography of Zhou Fu)

Du Tao's bandits snuck up on the government army by passing through tall grasses and lakes, and Du Tao sent his general Zhang Yan to ravage Yuzhang commandary, where Zhang Yan burned the cities and towns. At this time, Wang Dun was stationed at Penkou. He sent the Protectors, Mou Rui and Li Heng, to act under Zhou Fang's authority and attack Zhang Yan together. At Yuzhang and Shitou, Mou Rui fought Zhang Yan, whose army retreated and fled. Zhou Fang led Li Heng's subordinate general Li Wu and others to pursue Zhang Yan, and they routed him, killing Zhang Yan in the midst of battle. At that time, Zhou Fang was hit by a stray arrow which knocked away two of his front teeth, but his expression did not change.

Around dusk, Zhou Fang encountered an army of the bandits at the Ge River. The bandit army was several times larger than his own, and Zhou Fang knew that he would be no match for them. So he secretly sent some people to go out as though foraging for firewood, then form up into formation and beat the drums as they returned, crying out, "The Army of the Left has arrived!" His officers and soldiers all hailed them. Then when night fell, Zhou Fang ordered his soldiers to light a large number of campfires. The bandits believed that Zhou Fang's army had been reinforced, and they retreated before dawn. But Zhou Fang said to his generals, "The bandits indeed retreated, but they will soon learn that we have received no reinforcements, and they will come back for us. We ought to cross north of the river before then." After crossing the river, he broke the bridge across. As predicted, the bandits returned, but since they could not get across the Ge River, they went back to Xiangzhou.

Zhou Fang regathered a naval force and headed for Xiangcheng, and his army advanced to Fukou. But meanwhile, Du Tao had sent Du Hong out from Haihun. At that time, Penkou was in an uproar. So Zhou Fang moved to Chaisang on foot and secretly crossed the river there, then fought the bandits and took hundreds of heads. The bandits retreated to guard Luling; Zhou Fang pursued them and attacked, defeating them, but the bandits maintained their defenses of the city. Then Zhou Fang's supplies were raided by the bandits, so he withdrew to Baqiu. After reaching the grain depot there, Zhou Fang returned and besieged Du Hong at Luling. Du Hong tossed great quantities of treasures and other goods outside the walls, causing Zhou Fang's soldiers to scramble for them. This made the army's formation break down, and Du Hong was able to break out of the siege. Zhou Fang led his army to pursue Du Hong, capturing countless numbers of saddles, horse armors, and canes. Du Hong entered Nankang, but the Administrator there led troops to intercept and attack him, once again routing him. Du Hong then fled into Linjia.

Sima Rui promoted Zhou Fang to be Dragon-Soaring General, and Wang Dun petitioned to have him appointed as Administrator of Yuzhang. He was also promoted to be Commander of the Expeditionary Forces, and appointed as Marquis of Xunyang county.


漢大赦,改元建元。

9. A general amnesty was declared in Han, and their reign era title was changed to the first year of Jianyuan.

〈《考異》曰:《十六國春秋》,建元元年在晉建興二年。同編脩劉恕言,今晉州臨汾縣嘉泉村有《漢太宰劉雄碑》,云「嘉平五年,歲在乙亥,二月六日立。」然則改建元在乙亥二月後也。〉

(Sima Guang's commentary in the Textual Analysis states, "According to the Annals of the Sixteen Kingdoms, Han's first year of Jianyuan was in Jin's second year of Jianxing (314). However, if we consult the records of Liu Shu, in Jiaquan Village in Linfen county in modern Jinzhou, there is a stele called Stele to the Grand Governor of Han, Liu Xiong. It bears the mark, 'This stele was raised on the sixth day of the second month of the fifth year of Jiaping, a Yihai year (315).' So it must be that the reign era title was changed to Jianyuan after the second month of this Yihai year.")


聰改嘉平為建元。(Book of Northern Wei 95, Biography of Liu Cong)

Liu Cong changed the reign era title from Jiaping to Jianyuan.

平陽地震,烈風拔樹髮屋。光義人羊充妻產子二頭,其兄竊而食之,三日而死。聰以其太廟新成,大赦境內,改年建元。(Book of Jin 102, Biography of Liu Cong)

The earth shook in Pingyang, and there was a gale fierce enough to rip off branches and pull off roof tiles. A native of Guangyi, Yang Chong, had a livestock who gave birth to a child with two heads. His elder brother stole it and ate it, but passed away three days later.

Since the Ancestral Temple had just been completed, Liu Cong declared a general amnesty within his domain, and he changed the reign era title to the first year of Jianyuan.


雨血於漢東宮延明殿,太弟义惡之,以問太傅崔瑋、太保許遐。瑋、遐說义曰:「主上往日以殿下爲太弟者,欲以安衆心耳;其志在晉王久矣,王公已下莫不希旨附之。今復以晉王爲相國,羽儀威重,踰於東宮,萬機之事,無不由之,諸王皆置營兵以爲羽翼,事勢已去;殿下非徒不得立也,朝夕且有不測之危,不如早爲之計。今四衞精兵不減五千,相國輕佻,正煩一刺客耳。大將軍無日不出,其營可襲而取;餘王並幼,固易奪也。苟殿下有意,二萬精兵指顧可得,鼓行入雲龍門,宿衞之士,孰不倒戈以迎殿下者!大司馬不慮其爲異也。」义弗從。東宮舍人荀裕告瑋、遐勸义謀反,漢主聰收瑋、遐於詔獄,假以他事殺之。使冠威將軍卜抽將兵監守東宮,禁义不聽朝會。义憂懼不知所爲,上表乞爲庶人,幷除諸子之封,褒美晉王,請以爲嗣;抽抑而弗通。

10. It rained blood at the Yanming Hall of Han's Eastern Palace.

The Crown Younger Brother, Liu Ai, was unnerved by this event. He asked his Grand Tutor, Cui Wei, and his Grand Guardian, Xu Xia, what they thought about it. They advised him, "Your Highness, when our sovereign appointed you as Crown Younger Brother years ago, it was only to reassure the hearts of the people. His intention has always been to have the Prince of Jin (Liu Can) succeed him, and there is no one from the Princes and Dukes on down who has not sided with the Prince. Now the Prince has been appointed as Chancellor of State, the pomp and ritual shown the Prince and the power and honor he possesses surpass what you receive in the Eastern Palace, and no affair of state is decided without his input. Furthermore, his brothers have all been assigned their own soldiers to act as his wings. Your Highness, things have already gotten this bad, and if you do not make some movement now to secure your position, you will be faced with incalculable danger day and night. It would be better to come up with some plan at once.

"Now consider: there are at least five thousand elite soldiers among your four guard divisions, while the Prince is so flippant than even a single assassin could do him in. Meanwhile, there is not a single day that the Grand General (Liu Fu) does not go off somewhere, so you could easily raid his barracks and take them over. The other princes are all still very young, and it would be a simple matter to overpower them. If Your Highness wishes, you could obtain twenty thousand elite soldiers with just a wave of your hand. Then beat the drums and enter the Yunlong Gate, and who among the palace guards will not thrown down their spears to welcome you? And there is no need to worry that the Grand Marshal (Liu Yao) might not support you."

But Liu Ai refused to go along with their plan.

A Retainer of the Eastern Palace, Xun Yu, reported that Cui Wei and Xu Xia were advising Liu Ai to commit rebellion. So Liu Cong arrested the two of them and ordered them interrogated, and then had them killed on other charges. He ordered the Champion General, Bo Chou, to lead soldiers to surround the Eastern Palace and forbid Liu Ai from attending court. Liu Ai was afraid because he did not know what was going on, and he wrote a petition begging to be made a commoner and doing away with his sons' noble titles. He even praised and exalted Liu Can, and asked that he be made Liu Cong's heir instead of himself. But Bo Chou detained the petition and would not send it on.

〈聰子粲,封晉王。〉〈事見上年。〉〈謂東宮、左、右、前、後四衞率所統兵也。〉〈粲弟勃海王敷,時爲大將軍。〉〈大司馬,謂中山王曜。〉〈東宮舍人,太子舍人之職。义以太弟居東宮。〉

(Liu Cong's son Liu Can had been granted the title Prince of Jin.

The assignment of soldiers to the other Han princes is mentioned above, in the previous year (314.4).

Regarding the five thousand guard soldiers, Cui Wei and Xu Xia refer to the Eastern Palace's guard divisions of the Left, Right, Front, and Rear.

At this time, the Prince of Bohai, Liu Can's younger brother Liu Fu, was Grand General.

Liu Yao was the Grand Marshal.

Retainers of the Eastern Palace were Retainers in the service of the Crown Prince. Since Liu Yi was the Crown Younger Brother, the same role, he was residing in the Eastern Palace, traditional residence of the Crown Prince.)


河東地震,雨血于平陽。建元元年正月,黑霧四塞,著人如墨,五日而止。(Annals of the Sixteen Kingdoms 1, Biography of Liu Cong)

The earth shook in Hedong, and it rained blood at Pingyang. In the first year of Jianyuan (315), the first month, black fog descended, seeming to stain people like ink; after five days, it lifted.

雨血於其東宮延明殿,徹瓦在地者深五寸。劉乂惡之,以訪其太師盧志、太傅崔瑋、太保許遐。志等曰:「主上往以殿下為太弟者,蓋以安眾望也,志在晉王久矣,王公已下莫不希旨歸之。相國之位,自魏武已來,非復人臣之官,主上本發明詔,置之為贈官,今忽以晉王居之,羽儀威尊逾于東宮,萬機之事無不由之,置太宰、大將軍及諸王之營以為羽翼,此事勢去矣,殿下不得立明也。然非止不得立而已,不測之危厄在於旦夕,宜早為之所。四衛精兵不減五千,余營諸王皆年齒尚幼,可奪而取之。相國輕佻,正可煩一刺客耳。大將軍無日不出,其營可襲而得也。殿下但當有意,二萬精兵立便可得,鼓行向雲龍門,宿衛之士孰不倒戈奉迎,大司馬不慮為異也。」乂弗從,乃止... 東宮舍人荀裕告盧志等勸乂謀反,乂不從之狀。聰於是收志、瑋、遐於詔獄,假以他事殺之。使冠威卜抽監守東宮,禁乂朝賀。乂憂懼不知所為,乃上表自陳,乞為黔首,並免諸子之封,褒美晉王粲宜登儲副,抽又抑而弗通。(Book of Jin 102, Biography of Liu Cong)

It rained blood at the Yanming Hall of the Eastern Palace, so hard that it soaked five cun deep through the roof tiles.

The Crown Younger Brother, Liu Ai, was unnerved by this event. He asked his Grand Instructor, Lu Zhi, his Grand Tutor, Cui Wei, and his Grand Guardian, Xu Xia, what they thought about it. Lu Zhi and the others advised him, "Your Highness, when our sovereign appointed you as Crown Younger Brother years ago, it was only to reassure the hearts of the people. His intention has always been to have the Prince of Jin (Liu Can) succeed him, and there is no one from the Princes and Dukes on down who has not sided with the Prince. Now the Prince has been appointed as Chancellor of State; ever since the days of Wu of Wei (Cao Cao), whoever held this office could not be considered a mere minister. Our sovereign originally published an edict clearly stating that this office was only to be awarded posthumously. Yet now, all of a sudden, he has granted it to the Prince. Both the pomp and ritual shown the Prince and the power and honor he possesses surpass what you receive in the Eastern Palace, and no affair of state is decided without his input. Furthermore, the Grand Governor, the Grand General, and the other princes have all been assigned their own soldiers to act as his wings. Your Highness, things have already gotten this bad, and if you do not make some movement now to secure your position, you will be faced with incalculable danger day and night. It would be better to come up with some plan at once.

"Now consider: there are at least five thousand elite soldiers among your four guard divisions. The other princes are all still very young, and it would be a simple matter to overpower them. The Prince of Jin is so flippant than even a single assassin could do him in. Meanwhile, there is not a single day that the Grand General (Liu Fu) does not go off somewhere, so you could easily raid his barracks and take them over. If Your Highness wishes, you could obtain twenty thousand elite soldiers with just a wave of your hand. Then beat the drums and enter the Yunlong Gate, and who among the palace guards will not thrown down their spears to welcome you? And there is no need to worry that the Grand Marshal (Liu Yao) might not support you."

But Liu Ai refused to go along with their plan, so it was halted.

A Retainer of the Eastern Palace, Xun Yu, reported that Lu Zhi and the others were urging Liu Ai to commit rebellion, though Liu Ai would not go along with them. So Liu Cong arrested Lu Zhi, Cui Wei, and Xu Xia and ordered them interrogated, and then had them killed on other charges. He ordered the Champion General, Bo Chou, to take command of the guard of the Eastern Palace and forbid Liu Ai from attending court. Liu Ai was afraid because he did not know what was going on, and he wrote a petition defending himself, begging to be made a commoner and doing away with his sons' noble titles. He even praised and exalted the Prince of Jin, Liu Can, and asked that he be made Liu Cong's heir instead of himself. But Bo Chou detained the petition and would not send it on.


漢青州刺史曹嶷盡得齊、魯間郡縣,自鎭臨菑,有衆十餘萬,臨河置戍。石勒表稱:「嶷有專據東方之志,請討之。」漢主聰恐勒滅嶷,不可復制,弗許。

11. It was earlier mentioned that the warlord Cao Yi had claimed his own dominion in the east around Qingzhou. By now, as Han's Inspector of Qingzhou, he had obtained all of the commandaries and counties in the Qi and Lu regions. He made Linzai his base, and he had an army of over a hundred thousand, posted at camps along the Yellow River.

Shi Le sent up a petition to Liu Cong stating, "Cao Yi has ambitions of taking full control of the east. Please allow me to campaign against him." But Liu Cong was worried that if Shi Le conquered Cao Yi, he would no longer be able to control Shi Le, so he forbade it.

其青州刺史曹嶷攻汶陽關、公丘,陷之,害齊郡太守徐浮,執建威劉宣,齊魯之間郡縣壘壁降者四十餘所。嶷遂略地,西下祝阿、平陰,眾十餘萬,臨河置戍,而歸於臨淄。嶷於是遂雄據全齊之志。石勒以嶷之懷二也,請討之。聰又憚勒之並齊,乃寢而弗許。(Book of Jin 102, Biography of Liu Cong)

Liu Cong's Inspector of Qingzhou, Cao Yi, attacked and took Wenyang Pass and Gongqiu, where he killed Jin's Administrator of Qi, Xu Fu, and captured their General Who Establishes Might, Liu Xuan. More than forty ramparts and fortified places in the Qi and Lu regions surrendered to him. Cao Yi then continued his campaign, moving west into Zhu'a and Pingyin. He had an army of more than a hundred thousand. He established camps along the Yellow River before returning to Linzai.

Cao Yi had the bold ambition to occupy the entire region of Qi. Shi Le was worried that Cao Yi was harboring ulterior motives, and he asked to campaign against him. But for his part, Liu Cong was afraid of letting Shi Le annex the Qi region, so he refused to grant permission.


聰納中護軍靳準二女月光、月華,立月光爲上皇后,劉貴妃爲左皇后,月華爲右皇后。左司隸陳元達極諫,以爲「並立三后,非禮也。」聰不悅,以元達爲右光祿大夫,外示優崇,實奪其權。於是太尉范隆等皆請以位讓元達,聰乃復以元達爲御史大夫,儀同三司。月光有穢行,元達奏之,聰不得已廢之,月光慙恚自殺,聰恨元達。

12. Liu Cong claimed the two daughters of his Army-Protector of the Center, Jin Zhun: these were Jin Yueguang and Jin Yuehua. He honored Jin Yueguang as Upper Empress, Liu Guifei as Empress of the Left, and Jin Yuehua as Empress of the Right.

His Director of Retainers of the Left, Chen Yuanda, harshly rebuked him, saying, "To establish three simultaneous Empresses goes against tradition." Liu Cong was displeased by this. So he appointed Chen Yuanda as Household Counselor With Golden Tassel of the Right, ostensibly to show him great honor, but really to take away his authority. But then the Grand Commandant, Fan Long, and others all asked to yield their own positions to Chen Yuanda. So Liu Cong reappointed Chen Yuanda as Imperial Secretary, with equal ceremonial to the Three Excellencies.

Jin Yueguang engaged in immoral conduct, and Chen Yuanda sent in a petition reporting it. Liu Cong felt he had no choice but to depose her, and Jin Yueguang then killed herself out of shame and anger. So Liu Cong resented Chen Yuanda for this.

〈聰置左右司隸。〉

(Director of Retainers of the Left and Right were offices that Liu Cong had created.)


聰如中護軍靳准第,納其二女為左右貴嬪,大曰月光,小曰月華,皆國色也。數月,立月光為皇后... 時聰以其皇后靳氏為上皇后,立貴妃劉氏為左皇后,右貴嬪靳氏為右皇后。左司隸陳元達以三後之立也,極諫,聰不納,乃以元達為右光祿大夫,外示優賢,內實奪其權也。於是太尉范隆、大司馬劉丹、大司空呼延晏、尚書令王鑒等皆抗表遜位,以讓元達。聰乃以元達為御史大夫、儀同三司... 聰宮中鬼夜哭,三日而聲向右司隸寺,乃止。其上皇后靳氏有淫穢之行,陳元達奏之。聰廢靳,靳慚恚自殺。靳有殊寵,聰迫于元達之勢,故廢之。既而追念其姿色,深仇元達。(Book of Jin 102, Biography of Liu Cong)

Liu Cong visited the residence of his Army-Protector of the Center, Jin Zhun. He claimed Jin Zhun's two daughters as his Honored Ladies of the Left and Right. The elder daughter was Jin Yueguang, and the younger was Jin Yuehua; both of them were national beauties. After several months, Liu Cong honored Jin Yueguang as his Empress.

Liu Cong honored his Empress, Lady Jin, as Upper Empress. He honored his Honored Lady, Lady Liu, as Empress of the Left. And he honored his Honored Lady of the Right, Lady Jin, as Empress of the Right.

The Director of Retainers of the Left, Chen Yuanda, felt that it was improper to establish three Empresses at once, and he harshly remonstrated with Liu Cong. Liu Cong did not accept his advice; instead, he appointed Chen Yuanda as Household Counselor With Golden Tassel of the Right, ostensibly to show him great honor, but really to take away his authority. But then the Grand Commandant, Fan Long, the Grand Marshal, Liu Dan, the Grand Minister of Works, Huyan Yan, the Prefect of the Masters of Writing, Wang Jian, and others all submitted petitions resigning their offices in order to yield their own positions to Chen Yuanda. So Liu Cong reappointed Chen Yuanda as Imperial Secretary, with equal ceremonial to the Three Excellencies.

There was ghastly wailing in Liu Cong's palace at night. After three days, the sound drifted towards the ministry of the Director of Retainers of the Right, then stopped.

Liu Cong's Upper Empress, Lady Jin, was guilty of obscene conduct, and Chen Yuanda submitted a memorial reporting it. Liu Cong deposed her, and out of shame and anger, Lady Jin killed herself. Lady Jin had enjoyed exceptional favor, but Liu Cong felt compelled to act because of Chen Yuanda's influence, so he deposed her. But Liu Cong continued to miss Lady Jin's beauty, and he held a deep grudge against Chen Yuanda.


夏,四月,大赦。

13. In summer, the fourth month, a general amnesty was declared in Jin.

六月,盜發漢霸、杜二陵及薄太后陵,得金帛甚多,詔收其餘以實內府。

14. In the sixth month, bandits plundered the Han dynasty tombs of Ba Tomb and Du Tomb (the tombs of Emperors Wen and Xuan), as well as the tomb of Empress Dowager Bo (Liu Bang's Consort Bo, Emperor Wen's mother). They made off with great quantities of gold and silk. Emperor Min's court in Chang'an felt that their own current resources were not sufficient, and so Emperor Min issued an edict ordering the remaining tomb goods to be claimed for use in government functions.

〈漢薄太后葬南陵,在霸陵之南。〉〈【章:甲十一行本「詔」上有「朝廷以用度不足」七字;乙十一行本同;孔本同;張校同;退齋校同。】〉

(The Han dynasty's Empress Dowager Bo was buried at Nan Tomb, south of Ba Tomb.

Some versions include the phrase "Emperor Min's court in Chang'an felt that their own current resources were not sufficient, and so...".)


時三秦人尹桓、解武等數千家,盜發漢霸、杜二陵,多獲珍寶。帝問綝曰:「漢陵中物何乃多邪?」綝對曰:「漢天子即位一年而為陵,天下貢賦三分之,一供宗廟,一供賓客,一充山陵。漢武帝饗年久長,比崩而茂陵不復容物,其樹皆已可拱。赤眉取陵中物不能減半,於今猶有朽帛委積,珠玉未盡。此二陵是儉者耳,亦百世之誡也。」(Book of Jin 60, Biography of Suo Chen)

At this time, several thousand families from the Three Qins region, including Yin Huan and Jie Wu, dug up and plundered the Han tombs at Ba Tomb and Du Tomb, plundering them of many valuables and treasures.

Emperor Min asked Suo Chen, "How was it that the Han tombs contained so many things?"

Suo Chen replied, "The Sons of Heaven of the Han dynasty began building their tombs even after a single year on the throne, and of the tribute and taxes sent to the court for tomb construction from across the realm, a third was provided for the ancestral temple, a third for providing for the laborers and residents of the tomb site, and a third for filling the imperial tombs. Emperor Wu of Han ruled for many years, yet even as he neared death, he did not cease filling his Mou Tomb with such treasures. And his descendants all followed his example. When the Red Eyebrow rebels plundered the imperial tombs during their time, they could not even take half of the valuables inside them. This was why even until our time, such treasures and marvelous things were still piled up in them, and the valuables had not yet been exhausted. Those two tombs in particular, Ba Tomb and Du Tomb, just happened to be frugal ones, and so for generations people hesitated to violate them."


辛巳,大赦。

15. On the day Xinsi (August 5th), Emperor Min’s court declared a general amnesty.

漢大司馬曜攻上黨,八月,癸亥,敗劉琨之衆於襄垣。曜欲進攻陽曲,漢主聰遣使謂之曰:「長安未平,宜以爲先。」曜乃還屯蒲坂。

16. Liu Yao attacked Shangdang. In the eighth month, on the day Guihai (September 16th), he defeated Liu Kun's army at Xiangyuan.

Liu Yao wished to advance to attack Yangqu, but Liu Cong sent a messenger to tell him, "Chang'an has not fallen yet; make that your first priority." So Liu Yao returned to his camp at Puban.

〈襄垣縣,屬上黨郡。陽曲,琨所居也。〉

(Xiangyuan county was part of Shangdang commandary. Yangqu was where Liu Kun was residing.)


劉曜寇長安,頻為王師所敗。曜曰:「彼猶強盛,弗可圖矣。」引師而歸... 劉曜進師上黨,將攻陽曲,聰遣使謂曜曰:「長安擅命,國家之深恥也。公宜以長安為先,陽曲一委驃騎。天時人事,其應至矣,公其亟還。」曜回滅郭邁,朝於聰,遂如蒲阪。(Book of Jin 102, Biography of Liu Cong)

Liu Yao attacked Chang'an, but he was repeatedly defeated by the Jin army. He declared, "The enemy is still too strong; we cannot overcome them yet." So he led his troops back.

Liu Yao advanced his army to Shangdang, planning to attack Yangqu. But Liu Cong sent a messenger to tell him, "It is a great shame to the state that Chang'an continues to defy our mandate. You should make Chang'an your priority; leave Yangqu to the General of Agile Cavalry. One must be sure to heed the circumstances of Heaven and the affairs of the people. Return at once."

So Liu Yao turned back and vanquished Guo Mai, reported to Liu Cong at court, and then returned to Puban.


陶侃與杜弢相攻,弢使王貢出挑戰,侃遙謂之曰:「杜弢爲益州小吏,盜用庫錢,父死不奔喪。卿本佳人,何爲隨之!天下寧有白頭賊邪?」貢初橫腳馬上,聞侃言,斂容下腳。侃知可動,復遣使諭之,截髮爲信,貢遂降於侃。弢衆潰,遁走,道死。侃與南平太守應詹進克長沙,湘州悉平。丞相睿承制赦其所部,進王敦鎭東大將軍,加都督江‧揚‧荊‧湘‧交‧廣六州諸軍事、江州刺史。敦始自選置刺史以下,寖益驕橫。

17. Tao Kan was locked in battle with Du Tao.

Du Tao sent Wang Gong out to offer battle to Tao Kan. From some ways away, Tao Kan said to Wang Gong, "When Du Tao was just a minor official in Yizhou, he embezzled government funds, and when his father died, he did not go home to mourn for him. You were a good man; how could you serve under someone like him? Besides, who has ever heard of a bandit who lives long enough for their hair to turn white?"

Now when Wang Gong had first ridden out, he had his legs crossed atop his horse. But when he heard what Tao Kan said, his expression became serious and he let his legs hang down. Tao Kan knew that he had gotten through to him, so he sent someone to convey his instructions to Wang Gong, along with a lock of hair he had shorn off as a pledge of trust. Wang Gong then surrendered to Tao Kan.

Du Tao's army scattered, and he ran away, but he died on the road. Tao Kan and Ying Zhan advanced to capture Changsha, and so all of Xiangzhou was pacified.

Under his own authority, Sima Rui issued an amnesty for Du Tao's former followers. He promoted Wang Dun to Grand General Who Guards The East, Commander of military affairs in Jiangzhou, Yangzhou, Jingzhou, Xiangzhou, Jiaozhou, and Guangzhou, and Inspector of Jiangzhou.

Wang Dun now began to appoint his own officials within the territories under his authority, from Inspectors on down, and he gradually became more arrogant and unrestrained.

〈言爲賊者,不得至老。〉〈貢叛侃見上卷元年。〉〈《考異》曰:《弢傳》云:「弢逃遁,不知所在。」《晉春秋》云:「城潰,弢投水死。」今從《帝紀》。〉〈長沙,杜弢之巢穴也。〉

(By "a bandit with white hair", Tao Kan meant that there was no such thing as a bandit who lived long enough to grow old and have white hair.

Wang Gong's betrayal of Tao Kan to join Du Zeng is mentioned in Book 88, in the first year of Jianxing (313.34).

Sima Guang's commentary in the Textual Analysis states, "Regarding Du Tao's fate, the Biography of Du Tao in the Book of Jin states, 'Du Tao ran away, and no one knew what became of him.' The Annals of Jin states, 'When his city fell, Du Tao cast himself into the river and drowned.' But I follow the account of the Annals of Emperor Min in the Book of Jin."

Changsha was Du Tao's lair.)


侃之滅弢也,敦以元帥進鎮東大將軍、開府儀同三司,加都督江揚荊湘交廣六州諸軍事、江州刺史,封漢安侯。敦始自選置,兼統州郡焉。(Book of Jin 98, Biography of Wang Dun)

After Tao Kan vanquished Du Tao, since Wang Dun was the overall commander in the region, Sima Rui promoted him to be Grand General Who Guards The East and granted him the privilege of a Separate Office with equal ceremonial to the Three Excellencies. He further appointed Wang Dun as Commander of military affairs in Jiangzhou, Yangzhou, Jingzhou, Xiangzhou, Jiaozhou, and Guangzhou, as Inspector of Jiangzhou, and as Marquis of Han'an. It was at this time that Wang Dun was first empowered to make his own selections and appointments, as well as directly govern the provinces and commandaries under his authority.


初,王如之降也,敦從弟稜愛如驍勇,請敦配己麾下。敦曰:「此輩險悍難畜,汝性狷急,不能容養,更成禍端。」稜固請,乃與之。稜置左右,甚加寵遇。如數與敦諸將角射爭鬬,稜杖之,如深以爲恥。及敦潛畜異志,稜每諫之。敦怒其異己,密使人激如令殺稜。如因閒宴,請劍舞爲歡,稜許之。如舞劍漸前,稜惡而呵之,如直前殺稜。敦聞之,陽驚,亦捕如誅之。

18. It was earlier mentioned that the rebel leader Wang Ru had surrendered to Wang Dun. Wang Dun's cousin Wang Leng treasured Wang Ru for his valor and bravery, and so he asked Wang Dun to give him Wang Ru as a subordinate. Wang Dun told him, "That one is ferocious and wild; he cannot easily be tamed. Besides, you are rash and you would not be able to handle him properly. He would cause you no end of trouble."

But Wang Leng insisted, and so Wang Dun finally handed him over. Wang Leng made him one of his attendants, and showed him great favor. However, Wang Ru often locked horns with Wang Dun's other generals and got into fights with them. Wang Leng caned him for this, which made Wang Ru deeply ashamed.

Now Wang Dun was secretly harboring sinister intentions, and Wang Leng often criticized him for that. Wang Dun was angry that Wang Leng was going against him, so he secretly sent someone to stir up Wang Ru and order him to kill Wang Leng. During an idle moment at a feast, Wang Ru asked to perform a sword dance to show off, and Wang Leng allowed it. As Wang Ru was performing his sword dance, he edged ever closer to Wang Leng. Now wary of him, Wang Leng scolded Wang Ru, who then stepped forward and killed Wang Leng.

When Wang Dun heard what happened, he pretended to be surprised, and he arrested Wang Ru and executed him.

〈見上卷懷帝永嘉六年。〉

(Wang Ru's surrender to Wang Dun is mentioned in Book 88, in Emperor Huai's sixth year of Yongjia (312.45).)


敦從弟豫章太守棱日夜切諫,敦怒,陰殺之。(Book of Jin 98, Biography of Wang Dun)

The Administrator of Yuzhang, Wang Dun's cousin Wang Leng, harshly remonstrated with him day and night. This angered Wang Dun, so he secretly killed Wang Leng.

敦從弟棱愛如驍武,請敦配己麾下。敦曰:「此輩虓險難蓄,汝性忌急,不能容養,更成禍端。」棱固請,與之。棱置諸左右,甚加寵遇。如數與敦諸將角射,屢鬥爭為過失,棱果不容而杖之,如甚以為恥。初,敦有不臣之跡,棱每諫之,敦常怒其異己。及敦聞如為棱所辱,密使人激怒之,勸令殺棱。如詣棱,因閑宴,請劍舞為歡,棱從之。如於是舞刀為戲,漸漸來前。棱惡而呵之不止,叱左右使牽去,如直前害棱。敦聞而陽驚,亦捕如誅之。(Book of Jin 100, Biography of Wang Ru)

Wang Dun's cousin Wang Leng treasured Wang Ru for his valor and bravery, and so he asked Wang Dun to give him Wang Ru as a subordinate. Wang Dun told him, "That one is ferocious and wild; he cannot easily be tamed. Besides, you are rash and you would not be able to handle him properly. He would cause you no end of trouble."

But Wang Leng insisted, and so Wang Dun finally handed him over. Wang Leng made him one of his attendants, and showed him great favor. However, Wang Ru often locked horns with Wang Dun's other generals and got into fights with them. Wang Leng indeed could not put up with him, so he caned him for this, which made Wang Ru deeply ashamed.

Now Wang Dun was secretly harboring sinister intentions, and Wang Leng often criticized him for that. Wang Dun was angry that Wang Leng was going against him. And when he heard that Wang Ru had been disgraced by Wang Leng's canings, he secretly sent someone to stir up Wang Ru and encourage and order him to kill Wang Leng.

Wang Ru went to visit Wang Leng, and during an idle moment at a feast, Wang Ru asked to perform a sword dance to show off, and Wang Leng allowed it. As Wang Ru was performing his sword dance, he edged ever closer to Wang Leng. Now wary of him, Wang Leng ordered Wang Ru to stop, and he commanded his attendants to drag him out. But Wang Ru then stepped straight forward and killed Wang Leng.

When Wang Dun heard what happened, he pretended to be surprised, and he arrested Wang Ru and executed him.


初,朝廷聞張光死,以侍中第五猗爲安南將軍,監荊‧梁‧益‧寧四州諸軍事、荊州刺史,自武關出。杜曾迎猗於襄陽,爲兄子娶猗女,遂聚兵萬人,與猗分據漢、沔。

19. Earlier, when Emperor Min's court in Chang'an heard that the Inspector of Lianzhou, Zhang Guang, had died, they appointed the Palace Attendant Diwu Yi as General Who Maintains The South, as Chief of military affairs inf Jingzhou, Lianzhou, Yizhou, and Ningzhou, and as Inspector of Jingzhou, and they sent him out to that region from Wuguan.

Du Zeng welcomed Diwu Yi's arrival at Xiangyang, marrying off his nephew to Diwu Yi's daughter. Then he gathered up a host of ten thousand soldiers, and jointly occupied the regions around the Han and Mian Rivers together with Diwu Yi.

〈光死,見上卷元年。〉〈《考異》曰:《周訪傳》云「征南大將軍」,今從《杜曾傳》。〉

(Zhang Guang's death is mentioned in Book 88, in the first year of Jianxing (313.31).

Sima Guang's commentary in the Textual Analysis states, "The Biography of Zhou Fang in the Book of Jin states that Diwu Yi was appointed as Grand General Who Conquers The South. But I follow the account of the Biography of Du Zeng in the Book of Jin.")


時梁州刺史張光卒,湣帝以侍中第五猗為征南大將軍,監荊、梁、益、寧四州,出自武關。賊率杜曾、摯瞻、胡混等並迎猗,奉之,聚兵數萬。(Book of Jin 58, Biography of Zhou Fang)

At this time, the Inspector of Lianzhou, Zhang Guang, had passed away. Emperor Min appointed one of the Palace Attendants, Diwu Yi, as Grand General Who Conquers The South and Chief of military affairs in Jingzhou, Lianzhou, Yizhou, and Ningzhou, and Diwu Yi went out from Wuguan. The bandit leaders Du Zeng, Zhi Zhan, Hu Hun, and others all welcomed Diwu Yi and acclaimed him, and together they had an army of tens of thousands.

會湣帝遣第五猗為安南將軍、荊州刺史,曾迎猗於襄陽,為兄子娶猗女,遂分據沔漢。(Book of Jin 100, Biography of Du Zeng)

At this time, Emperor Min appointed Diwu Yi as General Who Maintains The South and Inspector of Jingzhou and sent him to Jingzhou. Du Zeng welcomed Diwu Yi's arrival at Xiangyang, marrying off his nephew to Diwu Yi's daughter. They jointly occupied the regions around the Han and Mian Rivers.


陶侃旣破杜弢,乘勝進擊曾,有輕曾之志。司馬魯恬諫曰:「凡戰,當先料其將。今使君諸將,無及曾者,未易可逼也。」侃不從,進圍曾於石城。曾軍多騎兵,密開門突侃陳,出其後,反擊之,侃兵死者數百人。曾將趨順陽,下馬拜侃,告辭而去。

20. Now that Tao Kan had destroyed Du Tao, he pressed his victory by marching to attack Du Zeng, and he did not think much of Du Zeng's abilities. His Marshal, Lu Tian, remonstrated with him, saying, "When fighting a battle, one must put one's best general forward. But Commissioner, none of your generals are equal to Du Zeng. It will not be easy to threaten him." But Tao Kan ignored him, advancing to besiege Du Zeng at Shicheng.

Du Zeng's army had many cavalry, and they secretly opened the gates and burst through Tao Kan's formation. After charging out the other side, they turned and struck Tao Kan from behind, and several hundred of Tao Kan's soldiers died. Du Zeng's generals gathered at Shunyang, dismounted and saluted Tao Kan, and took their leave of him before departing.

〈《水經註》:沔水南逕石城西;城因山爲固,晉羊祜鎭荊州,立。晉惠帝元康九年,分江夏西部都尉置竟陵郡,治石城。今郢州長壽縣卽其地。〉

(The Commentary on the Water Classic states, "The Mian River flows south, passing west of Shicheng. The city has stout defenses because of its hills; when Yang Hu guarded Jingzhou during Jin, he founded the place. In Emperor Hui of Jin's ninth year of Yuankang (299), he split off the western Commandant Post of Jiangxia commandary to form Jingling commandary, which was governed from Shicheng. The city was in the region of Changshou county in modern Yingzhou.")


破陶侃於石城。(Book of Jin 58, Biography of Zhou Fang)

Du Zeng and the others routed Tao Kan at Shicheng.

時陶侃新破杜弢,乘勝擊曾,有輕曾之色。侃司馬魯恬言於侃曰:「古人爭戰,先料其將,今使君諸將無及曾者,未易可逼也。」侃不從,進軍圍之於石城。時曾軍多騎,而侃兵無馬,曾密開門,突侃陣,出其後,反擊其背,侃師遂敗,投水死者數百人。曾將趨順陽,下馬拜侃,告辭而去。(Book of Jin 100, Biography of Du Zeng)

Tao Kan had just routed Du Tao, so he pressed his victory by marching to attack Du Zeng, and he appeared not to think much of Du Zeng's abilities. His Marshal, Lu Tian, remonstrated with him, saying, "When the ancients fought a battle, they always put their best general forward. But Commissioner, none of your generals are equal to Du Zeng. It will not be easy to threaten him." But Tao Kan ignored him, advancing to besiege Du Zeng at Shicheng.

Du Zeng's army had many cavalry, while Tao Kan's soldiers had no horses. So Du Zeng secretly opened the gates and burst through Tao Kan's formation. After charging out the other side, his soldiers turned and struck Tao Kan from behind; Tao Kan's army was defeated, and hundreds of his soldiers died after throwing themselves into the river. Du Zeng's generals gathered at Shunyang, dismounted and saluted Tao Kan, and took their leave of him before departing.


時荀崧都督荊州江北諸軍事,屯宛,曾引兵圍之。崧兵少食盡,欲求救於故吏襄城太守石覽。崧小女灌,年十三,帥勇士數十人,踰城突圍夜出,且戰且前,遂達覽所;又爲崧書,求救於南中郎將周訪。訪遣子撫帥兵三千,與覽共救崧,曾乃遁去。

21. At this time, Xun Song had been appointed as Commander of military affairs in Jingzhou north of the Yangzi, and he was stationed at Wan. Du Zeng led his soldiers to besiege him. Xun Song had only a few soldiers and his food was exhausted, so he wanted to ask for reinforcements from the Administrator of Xiangcheng, his former subordinate Shi Lan.

Xun Song had a young daughter, Xun Guan, who was twelve years old. She led several dozen braves to climb over the walls of the city and burst through the siege lines during the night. They fought as they pushed forward, until at last they reached Shi Lan. Xun Guan also had a letter from her father, which she presented to the General of the Household Gentlemen of the South, Zhou Fang.

Zhou Fang dispatched his son Zhou Fu to lead three thousand soldiers, and together with Shi Lan they came to aid Xun Song. So Du Zeng broke off the siege and withdrew.

〈「江」,當作「沔」。〉

(This passage should say that Xun Song held Commander authority in Jingzhou north of the Mian River, not the Yangzi.)


攻平南將軍荀崧于宛,不克,引兵向江陵。(Book of Jin 58, Biography of Zhou Fang)

Du Zeng attacked the General of the South, Xun Song, at Wan. But he could not overcome Xun Song, so he led his troops towards Jiangling.

荀崧小女灌,幼有奇節。崧為襄城太守,為杜曾所圍,力弱食盡,欲求救于故吏平南將軍石覽,計無從出。灌時年十三,乃率勇士數千人,逾城突圍夜出。賊追甚急,灌督厲將士,且戰且前,得入魯陽山獲免。自詣覽乞師,又為崧書與南中郎將周訪請援,仍結為兄弟,訪即遣子撫率三千人會石覽俱救崧。賊聞兵至,散走,灌之力也。(Book of Jin 96, Biography of Xun Guan)

Xun Song had a young daughter, Xun Guan, who had great fortitude even as a youth. When Xun Song was serving as Administrator of Xiangcheng, he was besieged by Du Zeng. His army had little strength, and their food was exhausted, so he wanted to ask for reinforcements from the General Who Pacifies The South, his former subordinate Shi Lan. But he could not think of any way to get the word out to him.

At this time, Xun Guan was twelve years old. She led several thousand braves to climb over the walls of the city and burst through the siege lines during the night. The enemy fiercely pursued them, but Xun Guan sternly led her forces. They fought as they pushed forward, until at last they made it into the Luyang Hills and got away.

Then Xun Guan personally went to visit Shi Lan and begged him to send an army. She also had a letter from her father, which she presented to the General of the Household Gentlemen of the South, Zhou Fang, asking him for reinforcements as well. They formed a bond like brothers, and Zhou Fang sent his son Zhou Fu to lead three thousand soldiers to join with Shi Lan's soldiers to reinforce Xun Song together. When Du Zeng's forces heard that reinforcements were coming, they scattered and fled. This was thanks to Xun Guan's strength.


曾復致牋崧,求討丹水賊以自效,崧許之。陶侃遺崧書曰:「杜曾凶狡,所謂『鴟梟食母之物。』此人不死,州土未寧,足下當識吾言!」崧以宛中兵少,藉曾爲外援,不從。曾復帥流亡二千餘人圍襄陽,數日,不克而還。

22. Then Du Zeng wrote a letter to Xun Song, asking to make amends by leading a campaign against the bandits of Danshui. Xun Song gave his assent. Tao Kan sent a letter to Xun Song saying, "Du Zeng is vicious and crafty; he will bite the hand that feeds him. Until that man dies, the province will never be settled. My friend, mark my words well!" But Xun Song felt that because Wan had so few soldiers, he needed Du Zeng's outside assistance, so he did not heed Tao Kan's warning.

Du Zeng led a host of more than two thousand refugees to besiege Xiangyang, but after several days he could not take it, so he withdrew.

〈丹水縣,前漢屬弘農郡,後漢屬南陽郡,晉屬順陽郡。賢曰:丹水故城,在今鄧州內鄕縣,西南臨丹水。〉〈梟,一曰流離,《爾雅》作「鶹[黎鳥]」,陸璣《草木疏》曰:梟也,關西人謂之流離,大則食其母。《爾雅》有茅鴟,今鴟鳩也。似鷹而白;怪鴟,卽鴟鵂也;梟鴟,土梟也。孔穎達曰:鴞,惡聲之鳥,一名X,與梟一名鴟。《詩‧瞻卬》云「爲鴟爲梟」,是也,俗說以爲土梟,非也。陸璣《疏》云:鴞大如班鳩,綠色,惡聲之鳥也,入人家凶,賈誼所謂服鳥是也。其肉甚美,可爲羹X,又可爲炙。漢供御物,各隨其時,唯鴞冬夏常施之,以其美故也。〉〈識,記也。〉

(During Former Han, Danshui county was part of Hongnong commandary. During Later Han, it was part of Nanyang commandary. During Jin, it was part of Shunyang commandary. Li Xian remarked, "The capital city of Danshui county was in Neixiang county in modern Dengzhou, with the Dan River adjacent to it to the southwest."

Tao Kan more properly calls Du Zeng 'the horned owl that eats its mother'. The owl is also called the vagabond. The usual character is 梟, and the Erya dictionary also calls it the 鶹. Lu Ji's Notes on Roots and Woods states, "The horned owl is a type of owl, which the people of the regions west of the passes (west of Luoyang) call the vagabond. When it grows up, it eats its mother." The Erya dictionary also mentions the "thatched owl", what we would now call the collared owl. It resembles a hawk, but is white in color. But its nature is like an owl, and so we call it one. Owls are ground birds. Kong Yingda remarked, "The 鴞 (owl) is a bird that makes an evil sound. It is also called a X (owl), and it is the same as owls." The Zhan Yang section of the Book of Poetry has the verse, "She is no better than an owl (Zhan Yang 3)"; this is the same bird. It is commonly said to be a ground bird, but it is not. Lu Ji's Notes also states, "Large owls are like turtledoves. They are green in color, and they are birds that make an evil sound. They force themselves into people's homes, and so Jia Yi called them 'clothed birds'. Their meat is especially fine, useful for cooking in a stew or for roasting. During Han, the things offered to the Emperor were given according to their proper times; owls alone were often offered in the winter and summer, and so they were prized."

The term 識 is used in this passage to mean "remember".)


曾既而致箋于平南將軍荀崧,求討丹水賊以自效,崧納之。侃遺崧書曰:「杜曾凶狡,所將之卒皆豺狼也,可謂鴟梟食母之物。此人不死,州土未寧,足下當識吾言。」崧以宛中兵少,藉曾為外援,不從侃言。曾復率流亡二千餘人圍襄陽,數日不下而還。(Book of Jin 100, Biography of Du Zeng)

Du Zeng later wrote a letter to the General Who Pacifies The South, Xun Song, asking to make amends by leading a campaign against the bandits of Danshui. Xun Song gave his assent. Tao Kan sent a letter to Xun Song saying, "Du Zeng is vicious and crafty, and his troops are all wild dogs and wolves; he is like the owl, that eats its own mother. Until that man dies, the province will never be settled. My friend, mark my words well!" But Xun Song felt that because Wan had so few soldiers, he needed Du Zeng's outside assistance, so he did not heed Tao Kan's warning.

Du Zeng led a host of more than two thousand refugees to besiege Xiangyang, but after several days he could not take it, so he withdrew.


王敦嬖人吳興錢鳳,疾陶侃之功,屢毀之。侃將還江陵,欲詣敦自陳。朱伺及安定皇甫方回諫曰:「公入必不出。」侃不從。旣至,敦留侃不遣,左轉廣州刺史,以其從弟丞相軍諮祭酒廙爲荊州刺史。荊州將吏鄭攀、馬雋等詣敦,上書留侃,敦怒,不許。攀等以侃始滅大賊,而更被黜,衆情憤惋;又以廙忌戾難事,遂帥其徒三千人屯溳口,西迎杜曾。廙爲攀等所襲,奔于江安。杜曾與攀等北迎第五猗以拒廙。廙督諸軍討曾,復爲曾所敗。敦意攀承侃風旨,被甲持矛將殺侃,出而復還者數四。侃正色曰:「使君雄斷,當裁天下,何此不決乎!」因起如廁。諮議參軍梅陶、長史陳頒言於敦曰:「周訪與侃親姻,如左右手,安有斷人左手而右手不應者乎!」敦意解,乃設盛饌以餞之,侃便夜發,敦引其子瞻爲參軍。

23. Now Wang Dun had a favored fellow, Qian Feng of Wuxing commandary, who resented Tao Kan because of his success, and he often slandered Tao Kan. As Tao Kan was returning to Jiangling, he planned to go pay Wang Dun a visit to defend himself against these slanders. Zhu Ci and Huangfu Fang of Anding both remonstrated with him, saying, "If you go, Lord, you shall not return." But Tao Kan did not listen to them.

When he arrived at Wang Dun's headquarters, Wang Dun detained him and would not allow him to leave. He reassigned Tao Kan to be Inspector of Guangzhou, while he gave his post as Inspector of Jingzhou to the Army Libationer-Consultant to the Prime Minister, his own cousin Wang Yi.

But then the generals and officials of Jingzhou, Zheng Pan, Ma Juan, and others, came to visit Wang Dun as well, and they sent up a letter asking that Tao Kan be kept on as their leader. Wang Dun, furious, refused.

When Zheng Pan and the others considered that Tao Kan had just vanquished a powerful rebel, and as reward he had been demoted, they all felt indignant and mournful for him. Furthermore, they considered that Wang Yi would not be suited for his new position. So they led three thousand of their followers to camp at Yunkou, where they linked up with Du Zeng to the west. Then they all attacked Wang Yi, who fled to Jiang'an. Du Zeng and Zheng Pan and the other rebels then joined with Diwu Yi to the north, and guarded against Wang Yi. Wang Yi led several armies to campaign against Du Zeng, but Du Zeng defeated him again.

Considering that it was Tao Kan that Zheng Pan and the others were fighting for, Wang Dun put on his armor and grasped his spear, planning to kill Tao Kan. But he kept walking inside and out indecisively. Tao Kan sternly told him, "Commissioner, you must be decisive if you mean to govern the realm. Why hesitate like this?" And he got up and went to the privy.

Then Wang Dun's Consultant Advisor, Mei Tao, and his Chief Clerk, Chen Ban, advised him, "Zhou Fang and Tao Kan are close relatives by marriage. They are as close to one another as the left and right hands of the body. Has it ever been the case that when you cut off a man's left hand, the right hand does not respond?"

So Wang Dun decided not to kill Tao Kan, and he even threw a great feast for him as a farewell dinner. Then Tao Kan was sent off during the night, while Wang Dun summoned his son Tao Zhan to serve as an Army Advisor.

〈謂滅杜弢也。〉〈《水經註》:溳水出蔡陽縣東南,過隨縣,又南過江夏安陸縣,又東南分爲二水,西入于沔者謂之溳口。〉〈江安縣,屬南平郡,武帝太康元年分孱陵置。〉〈訪與侃結友,以女妻侃子瞻。〉

(The powerful rebel whom Tao Kan had just vanquished was Du Tao.

The Commentary on the Water Classic states, "The Yun River begins in the southeast of Caiyang County. It passes through Sui County, and then south it passes through Anling County in Jiangxia commandary. Further southeast of there, it splits into two rivers. To the west, it flows into the Mian River, and the place where it does so is called Yunkou ('mouth of the Yun')."

Jiang'an County was part of Nanping commandary. In Emperor Wu's first year of Taikang (280), he split it off from Canling.
Zhou Fang had formed a friendship with Tao Kan, and had married his daughter to Tao Kan's son Tao Zhan.)


初,交州刺史顧祕卒,州人以祕子壽領州事。帳下督梁碩起兵攻壽,殺之,碩遂專制交州。王機自以盜據廣州,恐王敦討之,更求交州。會杜弘詣機降,敦欲因機以討碩,乃以降杜弘爲機功,轉交州刺史。機至鬱林,碩迎前刺史脩則子湛行州事以拒之。機不得進,乃更與杜弘及廣州將溫卲、交州秀才劉沈謀復還據廣州。陶侃至始興,州人皆言宜觀察形勢,不可輕進;侃不聽,直至廣州,諸郡縣皆已迎機矣。杜弘遣使僞降,侃知其謀,進擊弘,破之,遂執劉沈於小桂。遣督護許高討王機,走之。機病死于道,高掘其尸,斬之。諸將皆請乘勝擊溫卲,侃笑曰:「吾威名已著,何事遣兵!但一函紙自定耳。」乃下書諭之。卲懼而走,追獲於始興。杜弘詣王敦降,廣州遂平。

24. Earlier, when the Inspector of Jiaozhou, Gu Mi, had passed away, the people of Jiaozhou had acclaimed his son Gu Shou as the de facto Inspector. But then his subordinate commander Liang Shuo had risen up with troops and attacked Gu Shou and killed him, so then Liang Shuo took control of the province.

As for Guangzhou, it was earlier mentioned that Wang Ji had forced his way into the province and taken control of it. Worried that Wang Dun would campaign against him, Wang Ji went to assist Jiaozhou. Around this time, Du Tao's former general Du Hong visited Wang Ji and surrendered to him. Since Wang Ji was already marching against Liang Shuo, Wang Dun announced that because of Wang Ji's merit in accepting Du Hong's surrender, Wang Ji would be reassigned as Inspector of Jiaozhou.

When Wang Ji arrived at Yulin, Liang Shuo welcomed Xiu Zhan, the son of the former Inspector Xiu Ze, placing him in charge of the province's affairs in order to oppose Wang Ji. Wang Ji could not advance any further. So he plotted with Du Hong, the Guangzhou general Wen Shao, and an Abundant Talent candidate from Jiaozhou, Liu Shen, to return and reoccupy Guangzhou.

Meanwhile, Tao Kan had arrived at Shixing, preparing to take up his post as Inspector of Guangzhou. The people of the province all told him that he should take some time to look into the situation in the province as it then stood, and not to rush ahead. But Tao Kan did not listen to them, and he went straight into Guangzhou. However, the commandaries and counties there had all already welcomed Wang Ji's return.

Du Hong sent a messenger falsely offering to surrender to Tao Kan, but Tao Kan knew his true intent. So he advanced and attacked Du Hong, routing him, and then captured Liu Shen at Xiaogui. Then Tao Kan sent his Protector, Xu Gao, to march against Wang Ji, and drove him out. Wang Ji fell ill and died on the road, but Xu Gao dug up his corpse and chopped his head off.

Tao Kan's generals all asked him to press his victory by attacking Wen Shao as well, but Tao Kan laughed and said, "My power and reputation are already established; what need is there to send troops? I can make him fold with just a letter and envelope." And he sent Wen Shao a letter bearing his instructions. Wen Shao was afraid and so he ran away, but he was pursued and captured at Shixing.

Du Hong went to visit Wang Dun and surrendered to him. So peace was restored to Guangzhou.

〈見上卷懷帝永嘉六年。〉〈杜弘,杜弢將也,弢敗,弘走降機。〉〈鬱林,秦桂林郡地,漢武帝平南越,更置鬱林郡;唐潯州桂平縣,古鬱林郡所治布山縣地也。〉〈吳孫晧甘露元年,分桂陽南部都尉立始興郡,治漢曲江縣,唐爲韶州。〉〈廣州,治南海郡番禺縣。〉〈秦置桂林郡,漢武帝改曰鬱林郡,治布山,桂林爲縣,屬焉。吳孫晧鳳凰三年,分立桂林郡,因謂桂林爲小桂。陶弘景曰:始興桂陽縣,卽是小桂。〉

(Wang Ji's takeover of Guangzhou is mentioned in Book 88, in Emperor Huai's sixth year of Yongjia (312.44).

Du Hong had been a general under Du Tao; when Du Tao was defeated, he fled to surrender to Wang Ji.

Yulin had originally been Guilin commandary during the Qin dynasty. After Emperor Wu of Han conquered Nanyue, he further created Yulin commandary. Guiping County in Tang's Xunzhou had originally been the old Yulin commandary's administrative center at Bushan County.

In Sun Hao of Eastern Wu's first year of Ganlu (265), he had split off the southern Commandant Post of Guilin commandary to form Shixing commandary. It was administered from Han's Quejiang County. During Tang, it was Shaozhou.

Qin had created Guilin commandary. Emperor Wu of Han had renamed the commandary to Yulin; it was administered from Bushan, while Guilin became just a county as part of the greater commandary. In Sun Hao of Eastern Wu's third year of Fenghuang (274), he had split Guilin off as its own commandary, and so this one became known as Xiaogui commandary. Tao Hongjing remarked, "Guilin county in Shixing commandary is called Xiaogui.")


初,新昌太守梁碩專威交土,迎立陶咸為刺史。咸卒,王敦以王機為刺史,碩發兵距機,自領交趾太守,乃迎前刺史修則子湛行州事。(Book of Jin 89, Biography of Wang Liang)

Earlier, the Administrator of Xinchang, Liang Shuo, had exerted control of the Jiao region; he had welcomed Tao Xian and established him as Inspector of Jiaozhou. After Tao Xian passed away, Wang Dun appointed Wang Ji as the new Inspector, but Liang Shuo raised troops to oppose Wang Ji. He appointed himself as acting Administrator of Jiaozhi, while welcoming Xiu Zhan, the son of the former Inspector, Xiu Ze, to administer the provincial affairs.

頃之,杜弢將杜弘南走廣州,求討桂林賊自效,敦許之。陶侃距弘不得進,乃詣零陵太守尹奉降,奉送弘與敦。(Book of Jin 98, Biography of Wang Dun)

Not long after this, Du Tao's former general Du Hong fled south into Guangzhou. He asked to make amends for his part in the rebellion by campaigning against bandits in Guilin, and Wang Dun gave his permission. However, Tao Kan opposed Du Hong, who could make no progress. So Du Hong visited the Administrator of Lingling, Yin Feng, and surrendered to him. Yin Feng sent him to Wang Dun.

機自以篡州,懼為王敦所討,乃更來交州。時杜弢餘黨杜弘奔臨賀,送金數千兩與機,求討桂林賊以自效。機為列上,朝廷許之。王敦以機難制,又欲因機討梁碩,故以降杜弘之勳轉為交州刺史。碩聞而遣子侯侯機于郁林,機怒其迎遲,責云:「須至州當相收拷。」碩子馳使報碩,碩曰:「王郎已壞廣州,何可復來破交州也!」乃禁州人不許迎之。府司馬杜贊以碩不迎機,率兵討碩,為碩所敗。碩恐諸僑人為機,於是悉殺其良者,乃自領交址太守。機既為碩所距,遂住郁林。時杜弘大破桂林賊還,遇機於道,機勸弘取交州。弘素有意,乃執機節曰:「當相與迭持,何可獨捉!」機遂以節與之。於是機與弘及溫邵、劉沈等並反。尋而陶侃為廣州,到始興,州人皆諫不可輕進,侃不聽。及至州,諸郡縣皆已迎機矣。侃先討溫邵、劉沈,皆殺之。機遣牙門屈藍還州,詐言增糧,密招誘所部,欲以距侃。侃即收藍斬之,遣督護許高討機走之,病死於道。高掘出其屍斬首,並殺其二子焉。(Book of Jin 100, Biography of Wang Ji)

Since Wang Ji had usurped control of Guangzhou, he was worried that Wang Dun would campaign against it, so he also came to Jiaozhou. At that time, Du Tao's former partisan Du Hong fled to Linhe, and he gave several thousand 兩 of gold to Wang Ji, asking that he be allowed to campaign against the bandits of Guilin to make amends. Wang Ji forwarded the request to the court, which granted their assent.

Wang Dun felt that Wang Ji would be difficult to control in any case, and he also wanted to have Wang Ji campaign against Liang Shuo. So he announced that because of Wang Ji's merit in accepting Du Hong's surrender, Wang Ji would be reassigned as Inspector of Jiaozhou. When Liang Shuo heard this, he sent his son to meet Wang Ji at Yulin. Wang Ji was angry that he had been late to arrive, and he castigated him, saying, "When I arrive at the provincial capital, I ought to have you arrested and beaten."

Liang Shuo's son sent a courier to report this to Liang Shuo, and Liang Shuo said, "Young Master Wang has already smashed Guangzhou; how can I let him come and break into Jiaozhou too?" So he restricted the people of the province and would not let them welcome Wang Ji. One of the Marshals on Liang Shuo's staff, Du Zan, opposed this decision, so he led troops to attack Liang Shuo, but he was defeated. Liang Shuo was afraid that the various emigres living in Jiaozhou would support Wang Ji, so he killed all the greatest of them, and appointed himself as acting Administrator of Jiaozhi.

Since Wang Ji was now opposed by Liang Shuo, he stopped at Yulin. By then, Du Hong had greatly routed the bandits of Guilin and had returned. He met Wang Ji on the way back, and Wang Ji urged Du Hong to take Jiaozhou for himself. Du Hong had his own idea, so he held Wang Ji's Staff of Authority and said, "Why keep that all to yourself? We should alternate it between ourselves!" So Wang Ji handed it over to him. Then Wang Ji, Du Hong, Wen Shao, Liu Shen, and others all rebelled together.

Tao Kan was later appointed as Inspector of Guangzhou. When he came to Shixing, the people of the province all remonstrated with him, telling him not to rush ahead. But Tao Kan did not listen to them, and he went straight into Guangzhou. However, the commandaries and counties there had all already welcomed Wang Ji's return.

Tao Kan first campaigned against Wen Shao and Liu Shen and killed them both. Wang Ji sent his General of the Serrated Gate, Qu Lan, to return to the province and spread word that he was gathering grain, while secretly recruiting and enticing soldiers to join him, hoping to oppose Tao Kan. But Tao Kan arrest Qu Lan and beheaded him. Then Tao Kan sent his Protector, Xu Gao, to campaign against Wang Ji. Xu Gao drove him out, and Wang Ji fell ill and passed away along the road. Xu Gao dug up his corpse and chopped off the head, and he killed Wang Ji's two sons.


侃在廣州無事,輒朝運百甓於齋外,暮運於齋內。人問其故,答曰:「吾方致力中原,過爾優逸,恐不堪事,故自勞耳。」

25. There was not much for Tao Kan to do in Guangzhou. So every morning he would move a hundred bricks out of his building, and every evening he would move them back inside. People asked him why he was doing this, and he replied, "I must keep up my strength for recovering the Central Plains. But because I have so much free time here, I am worried that I might not be able to bear it, and so I am just keeping myself busy."

〈甓,瓴甋也。〉

(A brick is a tile jar.)


王敦以杜弘爲將,寵任之。

26. Wang Dun appointed Du Hong as a general, and favored him with positions.

敦以為將,遂見寵待。南康人何欽所居險固,聚黨數千人,敦就加四品將軍,於是專擅之跡漸彰矣。(Book of Jin 98, Biography of Wang Dun)

Wang Dun employed Du Hong as a general, and treated him with special favor. And there was a certain native of Nankang commandary, He Qin, who occupied a fortified redoubt and gathered together several thousand followers. Wang Dun appointed this He Qin as a general of the fourth rank. By these examples, Wang Dun's presumption of authority became more apparent.


九月,漢主聰使大鴻臚賜石勒弓矢,策命勒爲陝東伯,得專征伐,拜刺史、將軍、守宰,封列侯,歲盡集上。

27. In the ninth month, Liu Cong sent his Grand Herald to present Shi Le with a bow and arrow. He granted Shi Le authority as Lord East of Shan, with the power to conduct campaigns as he wished and to make appointments of Inspectors, Generals, and other such local officials, as well as minor marquises, requiring that he send up a list of such appointees to Liu Cong each year.

〈集其所授官爵及其人之姓名而上之。〉

(Shi Le was required to gather up a list of everyone he had appointed, along with their names, and present this to Liu Cong.)


劉聰加勒陝東伯,得專征伐,封拜刺史、將軍、守宰、列侯,歲盡集上。(Book of Northern Wei 95, Biography of Shi Le)

Liu Cong granted Shi Le authority as Lord East of Shan, with the power to conduct campaigns as he wished and to make appointments of Inspectors, Generals, and other such local officials, as well as minor marquises, requiring that he send up a list of such appointees to Liu Cong each year.


漢大司馬曜寇北地,詔以麴允爲大都督、驃騎將軍以禦之。冬,十月,以索綝爲尚書僕射、都督宮城諸軍事。曜進拔馮翊,太守梁肅奔萬年。曜轉寇上郡。麴允去黃白城,軍于靈武,以兵弱,不敢進。

28. Liu Yao invaded Beidi. Emperor Min issued an edict appointing Qu Yun as Grand Commander and as General of the Agile Cavalry, ordering him to oppose Liu Yao's invasion. In winter, the tenth month, he appointed Suo Chen as Supervisor of the Masters of Writing and as Commander of military affairs in and around Chang'an itself.

Liu Yao advanced and captured Pingyi, where the local Administrator, Liang Su, fled to Wannian. Then Liu Yao captured Shang commandary. Qu Yun left the city of Huangbai and camped at Lingwu, but because he had so few soldiers, he did not dare to advance.

〈秦櫟陽縣,漢高祖改曰萬年,屬馮翊,晉屬京兆。〉〈漢北地郡之靈武縣也。〉

(Qin's Liyang county was renamed by Gaozu of Han (Liu Bang) to Wannian. During Han, it was part of Pingyi commandary. During Jin, it was part of Jingzhao.

Qu Yun's army was at the Lingwu county in Han's Beidi commandary.)


曜復攻北地,允為太都督、驃騎將軍,次於青白城以救之。曜聞而轉寇上郡,允軍于靈武,以兵弱不敢進。(Book of Jin 89, Biography of Qu Yun)

Liu Yao once again attacked Beidi commandary. Qu Yun was appointed as Grand Commander and General of Agile Cavalry, and he advanced to the city of Qingbai to reinforce Beidi. When Liu Yao heard this, he turned to invade Shang commandary instead. Qu Yun camped at Lingwu; because his troops were so few, he did not dare to advance.

劉曜又進軍,屯於粟邑。麹允饑甚,去黃白而軍于靈武。曜進攻上郡,太守張禹與馮翊太守梁肅奔於允吾。(Book of Jin 102, Biography of Liu Cong)

Liu Yao once again advanced, and camped at Suyi. Qu Yun's army was suffering from extreme hunger, so he left Huangbai and marched to Lingwu. Liu Yao advanced and attacked Shang commandary. Jin's Administrator of Shang, Zhang Yu, and their Administrator of Pingyi, Liang Su, fled to Yunwu.


帝屢徵兵於丞相保,保左右皆曰:「蝮虵螫手,壯士斷腕。今胡寇方盛,且宜斷隴道以觀其變。」從事中郎裴詵曰:「今虵已螫頭,頭可斷乎!」保乃以鎭軍將軍胡崧行前鋒都督,須諸軍集乃發。麴允欲奉帝往就保,索綝曰:「保得天子,必逞其私志。」乃止。於是自長安以西,不復貢奉朝廷,百官飢乏,採稆以自存。

29. Emperor Min had often requested that Sima Bao send him soldiers. Sima Bao's advisors all told him, "When a viper stings one's hand, a strong man will cut off his wrist. The barbarians’ invasions are already this bad. You must cut off the roads through the Long Mountains and then watch to see how the situation develops."

But the Attendant Officer of the Household Gentlemen, Pei Shen, objected, "But this viper is stinging the head. How can you cut off your own head?"

So Sima Bao appointed the General Who Guards The Army, Hu Song, as his Vanguard Commander, and he gathered together his forces and sent them off.

Qu Yun wished to bring Emperor Min to join Sima Bao. But Suo Chen said, "Once Sima Bao has the Son of Heaven in his grasp, he will certainly carry out his own secret desires." So Qu Yun stopped.

Thus, all the regions west of Chang'an slipped from imperial control, and they no longer sent tribute to Emperor Min's court. The officials in the capital were starving and in want, and they plucked wild grains to sustain themselves.

〈《漢書》,齊王曰:「蝮蠚手則斬手。」蓋以爲不如此,則流毒於一身,至於死也。〉〈禾自生曰稆。〉

(In the Book of Han, the Prince of Qi says, "If a viper stings your hand, cut it off." This is because if you do not do so, then the poison will spread through your body, until you die.

Grains that grow on their own are called wild grains.)


劉曜復率眾人馮翊,帝累徵兵于南陽王保,保左右議曰;「蝮蛇在手,壯士解其腕。且斷隴道,以觀其變。」從事中郎裴詵曰:「蛇已螫頭,頭可截不?」保以胡崧行前鋒都督,須諸軍集,乃當發。麹允欲挾天子趣保,綝以保必逞私欲,乃止。自長安以西,不復奉朝廷。百官饑乏,采穭自存。(Book of Jin 60, Biography of Suo Chen)

Liu Yao once again led an army to Pingyi commandary. Emperor Min repeatedly asked the Prince of Nanyang, Sima Bao, to send him soldiers. Sima Bao's advisors all told him, "When a viper stings one's hand, a strong man will cut off his wrist. You should cut off the roads through the Long Mountains and then watch to see how the situation develops."

But the Attendant Officer of the Household Gentlemen, Pei Shen, objected, "But this viper is stinging the head. How can you cut off your own head?"

So Sima Bao appointed Hu Song as his acting Vanguard Commander, and had him wait for his forces to gather before setting out.

Qu Yun wished to bring Emperor Min to join Sima Bao. But Suo Chen felt that this would only allow Sima Bao to carry out his own secret desires, so he put a stop to it.

Thus, all the regions west of Chang'an slipped from imperial control. The officials in the capital were starving and in want, and they plucked wild grains to sustain themselves.

於是關右翕然,所在應曜。曜進據黃阜。(Book of Jin 102, Biography of Liu Cong)

All of Guanyou thus went over to Liu Yao, who advanced and occupied Huangfu.


涼州軍士張冰得璽,文曰「皇帝行璽」,獻於張寔,僚屬皆賀。寔曰:「是非人臣所得留。」遣使歸于長安。

30. An officer of the Liangzhou army, Zhang Bing, discovered a seal. Printed on the seal were these characters: "Imperial Hereditary Seal". Zhang Bing presented the seal to Zhang Shi, and Zhang Shi's officials and subordinates all congratulated him. But Zhang Shi said, "This is not the sort of thing that a mere minister is meant to keep." So he sent an envoy to deliver the seal to Chang'an.

〈晉諸征、鎭能知君臣之分者,張氏父子而已。〉

(Out of all of Jin's border commanders, Zhang Gui and Zhang Shi were the only ones who knew the distinction between the sovereign and the minister.)


蘭池長趙奭上軍士張冰得璽,文曰「皇帝璽。」群僚上慶稱德,寔曰:「孤常忿袁本初擬肘,諸君何忽有此言!」因送于京師。(Book of Jin 86, Biography of Zhang Shi)

Zhang Bing, a major officer serving under the Mayor of Lanchi, Zhao Shi, discovered a seal. The characters "Imperial Seal" were printed on the seal. Zhang Shi's subordinates all greatly congratulated him, claiming that the discovery of this seal attested to his virtues. But Zhang Shi said, "I have often been moved to anger when I remembered that story of when Yuan Benchu (Yuan Shao) nudged Emperor Wu of Wei's (Cao Cao's) elbow with that jade seal that he had acquired. How could you gentlemen suddenly such things to me because of this seal?" And he sent an envoy to deliver the seal to Chang'an.

From the SGZ of Cao Cao: Yuan Shao also obtained a jade seal and at the Great Ancestor’s seat passed it in the direction of his elbow. The Great Ancestor responded with derisive laughter and loathing. (Translation by Adrian Loder)
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BOOK 89

Unread postby Taishi Ci 2.0 » Mon Jan 22, 2018 5:24 am

四年(丙子、三一六)

The Fourth Year of Jianxing (The Bingzi Year, 316 AD)


春,正月,司徒梁芬議追尊吳王晏,右僕射索綝等引魏明帝詔以爲不可;乃贈太保,諡曰孝。

1. In spring, the first month, Jin's Minister Over The Masses, Liang Fen, proposed posthumously honoring the late Prince of Wu, Emperor Min's father Sima Yann, with an imperial title. But the Supervisor of the Right, Suo Chen, and others objected by pointing to the edict regarding such matters that had once been issued by Emperor Ming of Wei (Cao Rui). So rather than an imperial title, Sima Yann was only posthumously appointed as Grand Guardian, and was given the posthumous name Xiao ("the Filial").

〈魏明帝詔見七十一卷太和三年。〉〈《考異》曰:《本傳》,「晏諡敬王。」今從《愍帝紀》。〉

(Emperor Ming of Cao-Wei's (Cao Rui's) ban on bestowing posthumous imperial title to the parents of cadet princes who came to the throne is mentioned in Book 71, in the third year of Taihe (229.14 in Fang's Chronicles).

Sima Guang's commentary in the Textual Analysis states, "The Biography of Sima Yann (or Prince Jing of Wu) in the Book of Jin lists his posthumous name as Jing ('the Respectful'). But I follow the account of the Annals of Emperor Min in the Book of Jin by listing his posthumous name as Xiao.")


漢中常侍王沈、宣懷、中宮僕射郭猗等,皆寵幸用事。漢主聰游宴後宮,或三日不醒,或百日不出;自去冬不視朝,政事一委相國粲,唯殺生、除拜乃使沈等入白之。沈等多不白,而自以其私意決之,故勳舊或不敍,而姦佞小人有數日至二千石者。軍旅歲起,將士無錢帛之賞,而後宮之家,賜及僮僕,動至數千萬。沈等車服、第舍踰於諸王,子弟中表爲守令者三十餘人,皆貪殘爲民害。靳準闔宗諂事之。

2. Han's Regular Palace Attendants, Wang Shen and Xuan Huai, their Supervisor of the Palace, Guo Yi, and others all received great favor and were entrusted with affairs. Liu Cong himself continued to indulge himself in feasts and delights in the Rear Palace. Sometimes he would go for three days without getting up, and sometimes he would not come out of the palace for a hundred days. Ever since winter, he had no longer appeared at court, and so all affairs of state were left in the hands of Liu Can. Only in cases of deciding life or death or the removal or granting of an appointment to office did Wang Shen and the others go into the Rear Palace to inform Liu Cong.

There were many things which these fellows did not report to him about, but made rulings on to suit their own personal interests. Some accomplished and longstanding officials languished in obscurity, while some perverse and flattering miscreants rose as high as Two Thousand 石 salary rank within a matter of days. Military expeditions were sent out every year, but the officers and soldiers were not given any money or silks as rewards, while among the families of those serving in the Rear Palace, even young male servants were granted rewards, and expenditures ran to the thousands or tens of thousands.

Wang Shen and the others had carriages, clothing, and residences that were even more lavish than those of the Princes, and they arranged to have more than thirty of their younger relatives and other kinfolk appointed to local offices. All of these fellows hurt the people through their corruption and cruelty. And the minister Jin Zhun worked his flattery on the entire royal clan.

〈謂他姓與沈等子弟有中表親者。〉

(This passage uses the term 中表. It thus includes those relatives of Wang Shen and the other sycophants who had different surnames from them.)


麟嘉元年,武庫陷,入地一丈五尺。聰自去冬至是遂不復受朝賀,軍國之事,一決於粲。立市於後庭,與宮人宴戲,或三日不醒。(Annals of the Sixteen Kingdoms 1, Biography of Liu Cong)

In the first year of Linjia (316), the Arsenal collapsed, sinking a zhang and five chi into the ground.

Ever since the previous winter, Liu Cong had no longer received his ministers in court, and all military or state affairs were decided by Liu Can. Liu Cong set up a market in his rear palace and played and feasted with his palace servants, sometimes not sobering up for three days.

聰遣武庫陷,入地一丈五尺。聰自去冬至是,遂不受朝賀,立市於後庭,與宮人讌戲,積日不醒... 阿諛日進,貨賄公行,後宮賞賜,動至千萬。(Book of Northern Wei 95, Biography of Liu Cong)

Liu Cong's Arsenal collapsed, sinking a zhang and five chi into the ground.

Ever since the previous winter, Liu Cong had no longer received his ministers in court. Liu Cong set up a market in his Rear Palace and played and feasted with his palace servants, sometimes not sobering up for days on end.

Flattery grew worse by the day, and funds and bribes flowed into the government. Rewards were distributed among the people of the Rear Palace, and expenditures ran to the thousands or tens of thousands.

聰武庫陷入地一丈五尺。時聰中常侍王沈、宣懷、俞容,中宮僕射郭猗,中黃門陵修等皆寵倖用事。聰游宴後宮,或百日不出,群臣皆因沈等言事,多不呈聰,率以其意愛憎而決之,故或有勳舊功臣而弗見敘錄,奸佞小人數日而便至二千石者。軍旅無歲不興,而將士無錢帛之賞,後宮之家賜齎及於僮僕,動至數千萬。沈等車服宅宇皆逾于諸王,子弟、中表布衣為內史令長者三十餘人,皆奢僭貪殘,賊害良善。靳准合宗內外諂以事之... 聰自去冬至是,遂不復受朝賀,軍國之事一決於粲,唯發中旨殺生除授,王沈、郭猗等意所欲皆從之。又立市於後庭,與宮人宴戲,或三日不醒。(Book of Jin 102, Biography of Liu Cong)

Liu Cong's Arsenal collapsed, sinking a zhang and five chi into the ground.

At this time, Liu Cong's Regular Palace Attendants, Wang Shen, Xuan Huai, and Yu Rong, the Deputy Director of the Central Palace, Guo Yi, the Keeper of the Yellow Gate, Ling Xiu, and others all received great favor and were entrusted with affairs. Liu Cong himself continued to indulge himself in feasts and delights in the Rear Palace, sometimes not emerging for a hundred days. The ministers had to convey all their wishes through Wang Shen and the others, and in most cases they did not bother to bring the petitions to Liu Cong, but merely decided things based upon their own personal likes or dislikes. This resulted in some accomplished and longstanding officials languishing in obscurity, while some perverse and flattering miscreants rose as high as Two Thousand 石 salary rank within a matter of days. Military expeditions were sent out every year, but the officers and soldiers were not given any money or silks as rewards, while among the families of those serving in the Rear Palace, even young male servants were granted rewards, and expenditures ran to the thousands or tens of thousands.

Wang Shen and the others had carriages, clothing, and residences that were even more lavish than those of the Princes, and they arranged to have more than thirty of their younger relatives and other kinfolk appointed as Interior Ministers over commandaries or Prefects and Chiefs over counties. Greedy and corrupt themselves, they brought harm to those who were good servants. And the minister Jin Zhun worked his flattery on the entire royal clan.

Ever since winter, Liu Cong had no longer presided over court, and so all affairs of the army and the state were decided by Liu Can. Only in cases of deciding life or death or the removal or granting of an appointment to office did Wang Shen, Guo Yi, and the others seek Liu Cong's wishes before issuing an edict. Liu Cong also set up a marketplace in the Rear Palace, where he feasted and played with the palace servants, sometimes not sobering up for three days.


郭猗與準皆有怨於太弟义,猗謂相國粲曰:「殿下光文帝之世孫,主上之嫡子,四海莫不屬心,柰何欲以天下與太弟乎!且臣聞太弟與大將軍謀因三月上巳大宴作亂,事成,許以主上爲太上皇,大將軍爲皇太子,又許衞軍爲大單于。三王處不疑之地,並握重兵,以此舉事,無不成者。然二王貪一時之利,不顧父兄,事成之後,主上豈有全理!殿下兄弟,固不待言;東宮、相國、單于,當在武陵兄弟,何肯與人也!今禍期甚迫,宜早圖之。臣屢言於主上,主上篤於友愛,以臣刀鋸之餘,終不之信,願殿下勿泄,密表其狀。殿下儻不信臣,可召將軍從事中郎王皮、衞軍司馬劉惇,假之恩意,許其歸首以問之,必可知也。」粲許之。猗密謂皮、惇曰:「二王逆狀,主上及相國具知之矣,卿同之乎?」二人驚曰:「無之。」猗曰:「茲事已決,吾憐卿親舊幷見族耳!」因歔欷流涕。二人大懼,叩頭求哀。猗曰:「吾爲卿計,卿能用之乎?相國問卿,卿但云『有之』;若責卿不先啓,卿卽云『臣誠負死罪。然仰惟主上寬仁,殿下敦睦,苟言不見信,則陷於誣譖不測之誅,故不敢言也。』」皮、惇許諾。粲召問之,二人至不同時,而其辭若一,粲以爲信然。

3. Now Guo Yi and Jin Zhun both resented the Crown Younger Brother, Liu Ai. So Guo Yi said to Liu Can, "Your Highness, you are the eldest grandson of Emperor Guangwen (Liu Yuan), and our sovereign was his eldest son in truth. There is no one within the Four Seas who does not submit themselves to you. Why then should you let the realm pass to the Crown Younger Brother?

“Besides, I have heard that the Crown Younger Brother is plotting with the Grand General (Liu Ji). They aim to start a coup during the great feast of the Double Third festival in the third month. Once their coup is complete, they will force our sovereign to become a Retired Emperor, while the Grand General will become the new Crown Prince, and the Guard General (Liu Mai) will become the Grand Chanyu. These three Princes occupy firm ground, and they each command strong soldiers. Considering such circumstances, they can hardly fail in their plot. And the two Princes (Liu Ai and Liu Ji) are greedy for short-term gains; they will not consider their father or elder brother, and so once their coup is an accomplished fact, how can our sovereign ever keep them under control? As for you and your brothers, Your Highness, words will avail you nothing; the Princes will hand over the Eastern Palace and the offices of Chancellor of State and of Chanyu to the Prince of Wuling and his brothers, and could they bear to share such things with anyone?

“Now the appointed hour of their plot is already dangerously close at hand, and so you should move against them as soon as possible. I have already expressed such sentiments to our sovereign several times, but he considers the Princes as his dear friends, and despite my most cutting remarks, he never would believe in me. I pray that Your Majesty will keep this whole thing to yourself, while secretly submitting a petition explaining the situation. And if Your Highness does not believe me, you may summon the Attendant Officer of the Household Gentlemen for the (Grand?) General, Wang Pi, and the Marshal to the Guard General, Liu Dun. With your permission, I shall have them come and report to you, so that you may certainly know the truth."

Liu Can gave his permission.

Then Guo Yi secretly met with Wang Pi and Liu Dun and told them, "The two Princes (Liu Ai and Liu Ji) are planning a rebellion, and our sovereign and the Chancellor of State already know all about it. Did you know as well?"

The two of them, astonished, replied, "We knew nothing of it."

Guo Yi told them, "Alas, the whole response has already been decided. I just lament that I shall have to see two of my dear old friends like yourselves be executed along with the rest of the traitors!" And he pretended to sigh and shed tears.

Now Wang Pi and Liu Dun were greatly alarmed, and they kowtowed begging to be saved. Then Guo Yi said, "I do have a plan for you, but can you follow it? When the Chancellor of State asks you about the plot, what you must say is, 'We knew about it'. Then if he blames you for not informing him sooner, you must say, 'Truly we have committed a crime deserving death. But we were afraid to say anything because of our sovereign's magnanimity and benevolence and Your Highness's friendly disposition. If we had said anything and you had not believed us, then we would have been charged with slander and marked for execution, and so we did not dare to say anything.'"

Wang Pi and Liu Dun agreed to do as he advised. When Liu Can summoned them and questioned them, although they did not give their testimonies at the same time, their words matched up with one another. So Liu Can believed Guo Yi all the more.

〈聰以子驥爲大將軍,子勱爲衞大將軍,皆粲弟也。又按時以子敷爲大將軍,敷卒後,乃以驥爲之。〉〈武陵兄弟,當是义之諸子。〉

(Liu Cong's son Liu Ji was the Grand General, and his son Liu Mai was the Grand General of the Guards; both of them were Liu Can's younger brothers. Now at this time, the Grand General was Liu Cong's son Liu Fu, but after Liu Fu's death, Liu Ji had replaced him in that office.

The Prince of Wuling and his brothers would have to be the sons of Liu Yi.)


郭猗有憾于劉乂,謂劉粲曰:「太弟于主上之世猶懷不逞之志,此則殿下父子之深仇,四海蒼生之重怨也。而主上過垂寬仁,猶不替二尊之位,一旦有風塵之變,臣竊為殿下寒心。且殿下高祖之世孫,主上之嫡統,凡在含齒,孰不系仰。萬機事大,何可與人!臣昨聞太弟與大將軍相見,極有言矣,若事成,許以主上為在太上皇,大將軍為皇太子。乂又許衛軍為大單于,二王已許之矣。二王居不疑之地,並握重兵,以此舉事,事何不成!臣謂二王茲舉,禽獸之不若也。背父親人,人豈親之!今又苟貪其一切之力耳,事成之後,主上豈有全理!殿下兄弟故在忘言,東宮、相國、單于在武陵兄弟,何肯與人!許以三月上巳因宴作難,事淹變生,宜早為之所。《春秋傳》曰:'蔓草猶不可除,況君之寵弟乎!'臣屢啟主上,主上性敦友于,謂臣言不實。刑臣刀鋸之余,而蒙主上、殿下成造之恩,故不慮逆鱗之誅,每所聞必言,冀垂採納。臣當入言之。願殿下不泄,密表其狀也。若不信臣言,可呼大將軍從事中郎王皮、衛軍司馬劉惇,假之恩顧,通其歸善之路以問之,必可知也。」 粲深然之。猗密謂皮、惇曰:「二王逆狀,主、相已具知之矣,卿同之乎?」二人驚曰?:「無之。」猗曰:「此事必無疑,吾憐卿親舊並見族耳。」於是歔欷流涕。皮、惇大懼,叩頭求哀。猗曰:「吾為卿作計,卿能用不?」二人皆曰:「謹奉大人之教。」猗曰:「相國必問卿,卿但云有之。若責卿何不先啟,卿即答云:'臣誠負死罪,然仰惟主上聖性寬慈,殿下篤于骨肉,恐言成詿偽故也。'」皮、惇許諾。粲俄而召問二人,至不同時,而辭若畫一,粲以為信然。(Book of Jin 102, Biography of Liu Cong)

Guo Yi had a grudge against Liu Ai. So Guo Yi said to Liu Can, "The Crown Younger Brother is of the same generation as our sovereign, yet he feels he was denied his rightful place, so he deeply resents both Your Highness and your father and has a deep grudge against the common people within the Four Seas. Yet our sovereign, in his surpassing generosity and tolerance, has not removed him from his position as second-most honored in the state. If there were some sudden development, I fear things would not end well for you. Furthermore, Your Highness, you are the eldest grandson of Gaozu (Liu Yuan), and our sovereign was his eldest son in truth. Whom among all the people does not respect and admire you? And when the affairs of state are of such importance, why should you share them with another?

“Yesterday, I heard that the Crown Younger Brother was meeting with the Grand General (Liu Ji). They are certainly plotting something. If they succeed in their coup, they will force our sovereign to become a Retired Emperor, while the Grand General will become the new Crown Prince. Liu Ai also means to make the Guard General (Liu Mai) become the Grand Chanyu. The two Princes have already agreed to go along with his plot. They occupy firm ground, and they each command strong soldiers. Considering such circumstances, they can hardly fail in their plot! I tell you, the two Princes are so fierce that they are worse than wild beasts. When they plan to betray their own father and relatives, how can anyone be safe from them? And they are so hungry for sole power that, once their coup is complete, how can our sovereign ever keep them under control? As for you and your brothers, Your Highness, words will avail you nothing; the Princes will hand over the Eastern Palace and the offices of Chancellor of State and of Chanyu to the Prince of Wuling and his brothers, and could they bear to share such things with anyone?

"Now they mean to launch their coup during the Double Third feast in the third month. If you delay at all, the situation may change, so you should move to get rid of them at once. The Spring and Autumn Annals states, 'Even mere grass and weeds cannot be removed if allowed to spread, much less the favored younger brother!'

"I have already expressed such sentiments to our sovereign several times, but he considers the Princes as his dear friends, and he said my words had no truth to them. Now though I am merely the remnants of a cut man (a eunuch), I have received the grace of our sovereign and Your Highness. That is why, heedless of the risk of being executed if I should happen to touch a sore spot and set off your rage, I have been sure to report all things that I have heard, hoping that you will condescend to pluck out and accept my advice. Thus I have come to tell you about it as well. I pray that Your Majesty will keep this whole thing to yourself, while secretly submitting a petition explaining the situation. And if Your Highness does not believe me, you may summon the Attendant Officer of the Household Gentlemen for the Grand General, Wang Pi, and the Marshal to the Guard General, Liu Dun. With your permission, I shall have them return to the right side and report to you, so that you may certainly know the truth."

Liu Can deeply believed him.

Then Guo Yi secretly met with Wang Pi and Liu Dun and told them, "The two Princes (Liu Ai and Liu Ji) are planning a rebellion, and our sovereign and the Chancellor of State already know all about it. Did you know as well?"

The two of them, astonished, replied, "We knew nothing of it."

Guo Yi told them, "Alas, the whole response has already been decided. I just lament that I shall have to see two of my dear old friends like yourselves be executed along with the rest of the traitors!" And he pretended to sigh and shed tears.

Now Wang Pi and Liu Dun were greatly afraid, and they kowtowed begging to be saved. Then Guo Yi said, "I do have a plan for you, but can you follow it?"

They replied, "We will do whatever you instruct."

Guo Yi said, "The Chancellor of State will surely ask you about the plot. When he does, what you must say is, 'We knew about it'. Then if he blames you for not informing him sooner, you must say, 'Truly we have committed a crime deserving death. But we were afraid to say anything because of our sovereign's magnanimity and benevolence and Your Highness's regard towards your own kin. We feared we would have been charged with slander.'"

Wang Pi and Liu Dun agreed to do as he advised. When Liu Can soon summoned them and questioned them, although they did not give their testimonies at the same time, their words matched up with one another. So Liu Can believed Guo Yi all the more.


靳準復說粲曰:「殿下宜自居東宮以領相國,使天下早有所繫。今道路之言,皆云大將軍、衞將軍欲奉太弟爲變,期以季春;若使太弟得天下,殿下無容足之地矣。」粲曰:「爲之柰何?」準曰:「人告太弟爲變,主上必不信。宜緩東宮之禁,使賓客得往來;太弟雅好待士,必不以此爲嫌,輕薄小人不能無迎合太弟之意爲之謀者。然後下官爲殿下露表其罪,殿下收其賓客與太弟交通者考問之,獄辭旣具,則主上無不信之理也。」粲乃令卜抽引兵去東宮。

4. Then Jin Zhun also advised Liu Can, "Your Highness should be the one who occupies the Eastern Palace, yet you are only acting as Chancellor of State. This has caused the realm to worry for a long time. By now, even people on the road all say that the Grand General and the Guard General wish to launch a coup to put the Crown Younger Brother on the throne, and they are preparing to move in the last month of spring (the third month). If the Crown Younger Brother obtains dominance over the realm, Your Highness will be on shaky ground indeed."

Liu Can asked him, "Then what am I to do?"

Jin Zhun replied, "People report that the Crown Younger Brother is planning a coup, but our sovereign does not believe them. You should send away the guards at the Eastern Palace, and then send guests to go in and out of there; the Crown Younger Brother is refined and enjoys hosting gentlemen, and he will certainly not suspect anything is amiss. You can easily mix in some miscreants who cannot help but humor the Crown Younger Brother's intentions and will join in his plot. Afterwards, I shall submit a petition on Your Highness's behalf listing their crimes, and you may arrest the guests who were in communication with the Crown Younger Brother and closely question them. Once you have their testimony as proof, our sovereign will have no reason not to believe you."

So Liu Can ordered Bo Chou to take away the troops keeping watch over the Eastern Palace.

〈時义居東宮。〉〈去年聰令卜抽將兵監守東宮。〉

(At this time, Liu Ai was residing in the Eastern Palace in his capacity as heir to the throne.

In the previous year after Liu Ai's advisors had attempted to have him carry out a coup (315.10), Liu Cong had ordered Bo Chou to lead troops to guard the Eastern Palace and keep watch over it.)


初,靳准從妹為乂孺子,淫于侍人,乂怒殺之,而屢以嘲准。准深慚恚,說粲曰:「東宮萬機之副,殿下宜自居之,以領相國,使天下知早有所系望也。」至是,准又說粲曰:「昔孝成距子政之言,使王氏卒成篡逆,可乎?」粲曰:「何可之有!」准曰:「然,誠如聖旨。下官亟欲有所言矣,但以德非更生,親非皇宗,恐忠言暫出,霜威已及,故不敢耳。」粲曰:「君但言之。」准曰:「聞風塵之言,謂大將軍、衛將軍及左右輔皆謀奉太弟,克季春構變,殿下宜為之備。不然,恐有商臣之禍。」粲曰:「為之奈何?」准曰:「主上愛信于太弟,恐卒聞未必信也。如下官愚意,宜緩東宮之禁固,勿絕太弟賓客,使輕薄之徒得與交遊。太弟既素好待士,必不思防此嫌,輕薄小人不能無逆意以勸太弟之心。小人有始無終,不能如貫高之流也。然後下官為殿下露表其罪,殿下與太宰拘太弟所與交通者考問之,窮其事原,主上必以無將之罪罪之。不然,今朝望多歸太弟,主上一旦晏駕,恐殿下不得立矣。」於是粲命卜抽引兵去東宮。(Book of Jin 102, Biography of Liu Cong)

Earlier, Jin Zhun's cousin had become Liu Ai's chief concubine. But when she acted obscenely with the palace servants, Liu Ai had angrily killed her and ridiculed Jin Zhun. Jin Zhun had been shamed and angered by this. So he had told Liu Can, "The Eastern Palace is the successor to the rulership of the state, and Your Highness should be the one who occupies it. That was why you were appointed as Chancellor of State: to let the realm know ahead of time that their hopes would be fulfilled."

At this time, Jin Zhun once again advised Liu Can, "In former times, when Emperor Xiao-Cheng of Han opposed the advice of Zizheng, he allowed the Wang clan to complete their usurpation of power over the dynasty. Do you think that was acceptable?"

Liu Can replied, "Certainly not!"

Jin Zhun continued, "Indeed, that is a wise judgment. I, too, have something that I have earnestly wished to tell you. But because I can boast of no greater virtue than a common fellow, nor can my intimacy with you compare with the imperial clan, I feared that my loyal words would merely be misinterpreted, and the evil thing would come to pass. That is why I dared not say anything."

Liu Can said, "Sir, you may speak freely."

Jin Zhun said, "I have been hearing rumors claiming that the Grand General, the Guard General, and the Supporters of the Left and Right are all plotting to acclaim the Crown Younger Brother, and they mean to launch their coup in the third month of spring. Your Highness ought to guard against that. Otherwise, I fear you will suffer the fate of Shangchen (King Mu of Chu)."

Liu Can asked him, "Then what am I to do?"

Jin Zhun replied, "Our sovereign loves and trusts the Crown Younger Brother, and I fear he would not believe such rumors. In my humble view, you should send away the guards at the Eastern Palace and lift the restriction against the Crown Younger Brother on receiving guests. Then send in some miscreants to interact with him. The Crown Younger Brother has always enjoyed hosting gentlemen, and he will certainly not suspect anything is amiss. Those miscreants cannot help but humor the Crown Younger Brother's intentions and will join in his plot, but they are no imitators of Guan Gao, and they will not stick by him to the end. Afterwards, I shall submit a petition on Your Highness's behalf listing their crimes, and you and the Grand Governor may arrest the guests who were in communication with the Crown Younger Brother and closely question them. Once you have their testimony as proof, our sovereign will have no reason not to charge them. But if you don't do this, there are many people in the court right now who will go over to the Crown Younger Brother, and if our sovereign should pass away, I fear you will not secure your succession."

So Liu Can ordered Bo Chou to take away the troops keeping watch over the Eastern Palace.


少府陳休、左衞將軍卜崇,爲人清直,素惡沈等,雖在公座,未嘗與語,沈等深疾之。侍中卜幹謂休、崇曰:「王沈等勢力足以回天地,卿輩自料親賢孰與竇武、陳蕃?」休、崇曰:「吾輩年踰五十,職位已崇,唯欠一死耳!死於忠義,乃爲得所;安能俛首仾眉以事閹豎乎!去矣卜公,勿復有言!」

5. The Minister Steward, Chen Xiu, and the Guard General of the Left, Bo Chong, were honest and direct when dealing with people, and they had long despised Wang Shen and his ilk. Even though such people occupied high posts, Chen Xiu and Bo Chong never spoke to them. So Wang Shen and the others also resented them as well.

The Palace Attendant, Bo Gan, said to Chen Xiu and Bo Chong, "Wang Shen and the others have enough power and influence to turn Heaven and Earth over. Do you gentlemen consider yourselves to be as close to the royal family or as personally virtuous as Dou Wu and Chen Fan of old?"

They replied, "We are already more than fifty years old, and we have already risen to such honored positions. Why should death concern us? If we should die for the sake of loyalty and righteousness, that would be a just reward. How could we bow our heads or lower our brows for the sake of those loathsome eunuchs? Begone, Lord Bo; not another word!"

〈言陳蕃之賢,竇武之親,且爲宦官所困,況休、崇等乎。〉

(Bo Gan was implying that, although Chen Fan of the Han dynasty was a worthy figure, and Dou Wu was close to the royal family, even they were brought to grief by the eunuchs of their day; how then would Chen Xiu and Bo Chong be able to avoid the same fate?)


二月,漢主聰出臨上秋閤,命收陳休、卜崇及特進綦毋達、太中大夫公師彧、尚書王琰、田歆、大司農朱諧,並誅之,皆宦官所惡也。卜幹泣諫曰:「陛下方側席求賢,而一旦戮卿大夫七人,皆國之忠良,無乃不可乎!藉使休等有罪,陛下不下之有司,暴明其狀,天下何從知之!詔尚在臣所,未敢宣露,願陛下熟思之!」因叩頭流血。王沈叱幹曰:「卜侍中欲拒詔乎!」聰拂衣而入,免幹爲庶人。

6. In the second month, Liu Cong went out to the Shangqiu Pavilion. He ordered the arrests of Chen Xiu, Bo Chong, the Specially Advanced minister Qiwu Da, the 太中大夫 Gongshi Yu, the Masters of Writing, Wang Yan and Tian Xin, and the Grand Minister of Finance, Zhu Xie. All of them were executed, because the eunuchs were against them.

Bo Gan wept as he remonstrated with Liu Cong, saying, "Your Majesty, you ought to be preparing seats to welcome the arrival of worthy people. Yet in a single morning, you will put seven chief ministers and counselors to death. Now there is no loyal or good man in the whole state who can be sure of escaping such a fate! If it were true that Chen Xiu and the others had committed crimes, why then did Your Majesty not turn them over to the other officials so that what they had done could be fully exposed? Now how is the realm to know such things? You have given me this edict, but I dare not promulgate it. I pray Your Majesty will reconsider this!" And he kowtowed until his blood flowed.

But Wang Shen rebuked him, saying, "Palace Attendant Bo wants to block an imperial edict!" Liu Cong shook out his sleeves and went back into the palace. Bo Gan was stripped of office and became a commoner.

〈殿之西閤也。〉〈【嚴:「諧」改「誕」。】〉〈卜幹爲侍中,詔經門下,因留之而諫。〉

(The Shangqiu Pavilion was the west pavilion of the Hall.

Zhu Xie's given name should be 誕 Dan, not 諧 Xie.

Bo Gan was a Palace Attendant; when the edict came to him, he held it up so that he could remonstrate with Liu Cong.)


聰臨上秋閣,誅其特進綦毋達,太中大夫公師彧,尚書王琰、田歆,少府陳休,左衛卜崇,大司農硃誕等,皆群閹所忌也。侍中卜幹泣諫聰曰:「陛下方隆武宣之化,欲使幽谷無考槃,奈何一旦先誅忠良,將何以垂之於後!昔秦愛三良而殺之,君子知其不霸。以晉厲之無道,屍三卿之後,猶有不忍之心,陛下如何忽信左右愛憎之言,欲一日屍七卿!詔尚在臣間,猶未宣露,乞垂昊天之澤,回雷霆之威。且陛下直欲誅之耳,不露其罪名,何以示四海!此豈是帝王三訊之法邪!」因叩頭流血。王沈叱幹曰:「卜侍中欲距詔乎?」聰拂衣而入,免幹為庶人。(Book of Jin 102, Biography of Liu Cong)

Liu Cong went out to the Shangqiu Pavilion. He executed the Specially Advanced minister, Qiwu Da, the 太中大夫, Gongshi Yu, the Masters of Writing, Wang Yan and Tian Xin, the Privy Steward, Chen Xiu, the Guard Commander of the Left, Bo CHong, the Grand Minister of Finance, Zhu Xie, and others. This was because the eunuchs were against them.

One of the Palace Attendants, Bo Gan, wept as he remonstrated with Liu Cong, saying, "Your Majesty, you have only recently inherited the throne, and you ought to be ensuring that no hidden worthy person remains in obscurity. Yet when in a single morning you execute such good and loyal people, how will you entice anyone to come to you afterwards? In ancient times, the rulers of the state of Qin treasured the Three Worthies, yet in the end killed them. This was how learned people knew that they would not succeed. Likewise, Duke Li of Jin was unprincipled, and even after he executed the Three Ministers, he still was unable to maintain his seat. Why then does Your Majesty rashly heed the words of your attendants, who are only expressing their personal desires, and so wish to execute seven chief ministers in a single day?

"You have given me this edict, but I dare not promulgate it. I beg Your Majesty to demonstrate the mercy of Heaven rather than the power of your wrath. Besides, if it is merely that Your Majesty wishes to execute these people, why stain their names with crimes and announce it to all within the Four Seas? How can this be the deep consideration of law as practiced by emperors and kings?" And he kowtowed until his blood flowed.

But Wang Shen rebuked him, saying, "Does Palace Attendant Bo wish to block an imperial edict?" Liu Cong shook out his sleeves and went back into the palace. Bo Gan was stripped of office and became a commoner.


太宰河間王易、大將軍勃海王敷、御史大夫陳元達、金紫光祿大夫西河王延等皆詣闕表諫曰:「王沈等矯弄詔旨,欺誣日月,內諂陛下,外佞相國,威權之重,侔於人主,多樹姦黨,毒流海內。知休等忠臣,爲國盡節,恐發其姦狀,故巧爲誣陷。陛下不察,遽加極刑,痛徹天地,賢愚傷懼。今遺晉未殄,巴、蜀不賓,石勒謀據趙、魏,曹嶷欲王全齊,陛下心腹四支,何處無患!乃復以沈等助亂,誅巫咸,戮扁鵲,臣恐遂成膏肓之疾,後雖救之,不可及已。請免沈等官,付有司治罪。」聰以表示沈等,笑曰:「羣兒爲元達所引,遂成癡也。」沈等頓首泣曰:「臣等小人,過蒙陛下識拔,得灑掃閨閤;而王公、朝士疾臣等如讎,又深恨陛下。願以臣等膏鼎鑊,則朝廷自然雍穆矣。」聰曰:「此等狂言常然,卿何足恨乎!」聰問沈等於相國粲,粲盛稱沈等忠清;聰悅,封沈等爲列侯。

7. The Grand Governor and Prince of Hejian, Liu Yi, the Grand General and Prince of Bohai, Liu Fu, the Imperial Secretary, Chen Yuanda, the Household Counselor With Gold And Purple Tassels, Wang Yan of Xihe commandary, and others all visited the palace and presented a petition of remonstration. It stated, "Wang Shen and the others have forged and manipulated the imperial edicts and decrees, and they have deceived and slandered people every day and every month. Inwardly, they flatter Your Majesty, while outwardly, they are sycophants to the Chancellor of State. Their power and influence is so great that they are the equals of an actual sovereign. They have sustained many of their wicked partisans, and their poison has spread throughout the Four Seas.

"They knew that Chen Xiu and the others recently executed were loyal ministers and would give their full devotion to the state, and they feared that their own wicked misdeeds would thus be exposed; this is why they employed their cunning to slander them and bring them to ruin. Then Your Majesty did not investigate the charges, but swiftly carried out the death sentence against them. Sorrow has spread throughout Heaven and Earth, and the worthy and foolish alike are distressed and fearful.

"Furthermore, Jin has yet to be destroyed, the regions of Ba and Shu have not submitted, Shi Le is plotting to take over the regions of Zhao and Wei, and Cao Yi wishes to keep all of the Qi region for himself. These are threats to Your Majesty's heart, stomach, and four limbs; how can you act as though they do not exist?

"But you further allow Wang Shen and the rest to stir up their mischief. You are 'executing Wu Xian and putting Bian Que to death'. We fear the disease is now beyond curing; although the disease can be tended to later, full recovery will be impossible. We ask that you strip Wang Shen and the rest of office, and hand them over to the officials so that their crimes might be dealt with."

Liu Cong showed the petition to Wang Shen and the others, and he laughed and said, "Chen Yuanda has brought over all these whelps, and now they've become fools."

Wang Shen and the others bowed their heads and wept, saying, "We are just miscreants. It was because Your Majesty plucked us from obscurity and gave us these offices that we can sprinkle water on and sweep the floors of these chambers and pavilions. Yet the Princes and court officials hate us as though we were their enemies, and they deeply despise Your Majesty. Please allow us to wash your cooking pots and cauldrons, and then the court will be harmonious again on its own."

Liu Cong said, "These people are always arrogant like this. Why should you be concerned about it?"

Liu Cong asked Liu Can about Wang Shen and the others, and Liu Can fully attested to their loyalty and honesty. So Liu Cong was pleased, and he appointed them all as minor marquises.

〈《考異》曰:《晉春秋》「易」作「士通」。今從《載記》。〉〈徹,通也。〉〈馬融曰:巫咸,殷巫也。扁鵲,古良醫也。秦醫緩視晉侯曰:「疾不可爲也,居膏之上,肓之下,攻之不可,達之不及,藥不至焉。」杜預曰:心下爲膏;肓,鬲也。徐曰:肓,《說文》曰:心下鬲上也。〉〈膏,潤也。〉

(Sima Guang's commentary in the Textual Analysis states, "The Annals of Jin records Liu Yi's given name as Shitong. But I follow the account of the Biography of Liu Cong in the Chronicles of the Book of Jin."

The petition uses the term 徹; it means "to spread through".

Ma Rong remarked, "Wu Xian was a shaman during the Yin (Shang) dynasty."

Bian Que was an ancient skilled doctor.

The edict more properly describes the condition of the state as "a disease between the heart and throat". In the Zuo Commentary to the Spring and Autumn Annals, the Qin doctor Huan informed the Marquis of Jin regarding his disease, "Nothing can be done for this disease. Its seat is above the heart and below the throat. If I assail it, it will be of no use; if I attempt to puncture it, it cannot be reached. Medicine will be no use (Cheng 10.5)." Du Yu's commentary on this passage states, "The area below the heart is the stomach; the 肓 (throat) is the 鬲 (throat)." Xu's commentary states, "The Shuowen dictionary states that the 肓 is 'below the heart and above the 鬲."

When the eunuchs use the term 膏, they mean "to wash".)


太宰劉易及大將軍劉敷、御史大夫陳元達、金紫光祿大夫王延等詣闕諫曰:「臣聞善人者,乾坤之紀,政教之本也。邪佞者,宇宙之螟螣,王化之蟊賊也。故文王以多士基周,桓靈以群閹亡漢,國之興亡,未有不由此也。自古明王之世,未嘗有宦者與政,武、元、安、順豈足為故事乎!今王沈等乃處常伯之位,握生死與奪於中,勢傾海內,愛憎任之,矯弄詔旨,欺誣日月,內諂陛下,外佞相國,威權之重,侔於人主矣。王公見之駭目,卿宰望塵下車,銓衡迫之,選舉不復以實,士以屬舉,政以賄成,多樹奸徒,殘毒忠善。知王琰等忠臣,必盡節于陛下,懼其奸萌發露,陷之極刑。陛下不垂三察,猥加誅戮,怨感穹蒼,痛入九泉,四海悲惋,賢愚傷懼。沈等皆刀鋸之餘,背恩忘義之類,豈能如士人君子感恩展效,以答乾澤也。陛下何故親近之?何故貴任之?昔齊桓公任易牙而亂,孝懷委黃皓而滅,此皆覆車於前,殷鑒不遠。比年地震日蝕,雨血火災,皆沈等之由。願陛下割翦凶醜與政之流,引尚書、御史朝省萬機,相國與公卿五日一入,會議政事,使大臣得極其言,忠臣得逞其意,則眾災自弭,和氣呈祥。今遺晉未殄,巴蜀未賓,石勒潛有跨趙魏之志,曹嶷密有王全齊之心,而復以沈等助亂大政,陛下心腹四支何處無患!復誅巫咸,戮扁鵲,臣恐遂成桓侯膏肓之疾,後雖欲療之,其如病何!請免沈等官,付有司定罪。聰以表示沈等,笑曰:「是兒等為元達所引,遂成癡也。」寢之。沈等頓首泣曰:「臣等小人,過蒙陛下識拔,幸得備灑掃宮閣,而王公朝士疾臣等如仇讎,又深恨陛下。願收大造之恩,以臣等膏之鼎鑊,皇朝上下自然雍穆矣。」聰曰:「此等狂言恆然,卿復何足恨乎!」更以訪粲,粲盛稱沈等忠清,乃心王室。聰大悅,封沈為列侯。(Book of Jin 102, Biography of Liu Cong)

The Grand Governor, Liu Yi, the Grand General, Liu Fu, the Imperial Secretary, Chen Yuanda, the Household Counselor With Gold And Purple Tassels, Wang Yan, and others all visited the palace and presented a petition of remonstration. It stated, "We have heard that good people are a credit to the world and serve as the foundation of good governance and education, while vile and wicked people are a blight upon the universe and bring doom and decay to the royal sway. This was why King Wen of Zhou, being surrounded by many good people, was able to lay the foundations for the Zhou dynasty, while Emperors Huan and Ling of Han, being surrounded by eunuchs, brought about the downfall of the Han dynasty. There has never been a rise or fall of a state that did not involve this principle. The wise kings of ancient times never allowed eunuchs to have a hand in state affairs. How can the policies of Emperors Wu, Yuan, An, or Shun of Han be worth following?

"Yet now, Wang Shen and the others are constantly at your side, and they have claimed the power to decide matters of life and death. Their power is felt all within the Four Seas. People are employed or not according to their personal whims, they have forged and manipulated the imperial edicts and decrees, and they have deceived and slandered people every day and every month. Inwardly, they flatter Your Majesty, while outwardly, they are sycophants to the Chancellor of State. Their power and influence is so great that they are the equals of an actual sovereign. They have sustained many of their wicked partisans, and their poison has spread throughout the Four Seas. The princes and nobles look upon them with alarm, and the chief ministers eat the dust of their chariots. They oppress good people, for no longer is the selection and rise of officials decided by worth; gentlemen are chosen and affairs are conducted by use of bribes. They have sustained many of their wicked partisans, and their poison has inflicted the loyal and good.

"They knew that Wang Yan and the others recently executed were loyal ministers and would give their full devotion to Your Majesty, and they feared that their own wicked misdeeds would thus be exposed; this is why they employed their cunning to slander them and bring them to ruin. Then Your Majesty did not investigate the charges, but swiftly carried out the death sentence against them. Anger has vaulted to Heaven above, and pain has descended to the Nine Springs below; sorrow has spread throughout Heaven and Earth, and the worthy and foolish alike are distressed and fearful.

Wang Shen and the others are merely remnants of cut men (eunuchs), people who have betrayed grace and forgotten righteousness. How could they, like gentlemen or superior fellows, be moved by grace or develop good examples rather than seek their own benefit? And how can Your Majesty keep them close and associate with them? How can you honor and employ them? In former times, when Duke Huan of Qi employed Yi Ya, that led to turmoil in Qi; when Emperor Xiaohuai (Liu Shan) trusted Huang Hao, his state was conquered in the end. This is an instance where the rear cart should take warning when the front cart topples; as it is said, 'the beacon of Yin is not far-distant'. The eclipses, earthquakes, rains of blood, and fires of recent years all came about because of Wang Shen and the rest.

"We implore Your Majesty to purge and remove the evil influences among the government, and bring in the Masters of Writing and the court officials of the Imperial Secretariat to administer affairs. Call a council of the Chancellor of State and the chief ministers for the fifth day, where they may discuss the affairs of government. Have the great ministers say what they will and induce loyal ministers to express their thoughts. Then all these disasters will go away on their own, and peace and fortune shall return.

"Furthermore, Jin has yet to be destroyed, the regions of Ba and Shu have not submitted, Shi Le is plotting to take over the regions of Zhao and Wei, and Cao Yi secretly wishes to keep all of the Qi region for himself. All these dangers, yet Your Majesty still allows Wang Shen and his ilk to meddle in the great affairs of state. These are threats to Your Majesty's heart, stomach, and four limbs; how can you act as though they do not exist?

"You are 'executing Wu Xian and putting Bian Que to death'. We fear the 'disease of Marquis Huan' is now beyond curing; even if you wished to tend to it later, how could you heal your illness? We ask that you strip Wang Shen and the rest of office, and hand them over to the officials so that their crimes might be dealt with."

Liu Cong showed the petition to Wang Shen and the others, and he laughed and said, "Chen Yuanda has brought over all these whelps, and now they've become fools." And he ignored the petition.

Wang Shen and the others bowed their heads and wept, saying, "We are just miscreants. It was because Your Majesty recognized our worth, plucked us from obscurity, and gave us these offices that we can sprinkle water on and sweep the floors of these chambers and pavilions. Yet the Princes and court officials hate us as though we were their enemies, and they deeply despise Your Majesty. Please withdraw the great favor you have shown us, and allow us merely to wash your cooking pots and cauldrons, and then the court will be harmonious again on its own."

Liu Cong said, "These people are always arrogant like this. Why should you be concerned about it?"

Liu Cong asked Liu Can about Wang Shen and the others, and Liu Can fully attested to their loyalty, honesty, and regard for the imperial family. So Liu Cong was greatly pleased, and he appointed them all as minor marquises.


太宰易又詣闕上疏極諫,聰大怒,手壞其疏。三月,易忿恚而卒。易素忠直,陳元達倚之爲援,得盡諫諍。及卒,元達哭之慟,曰:「『人之云亡,邦國殄悴。』吾旣不復能言,安用默默苟生乎!」歸而自殺。

8. Liu Yi paid another visit to the palace to present another petition offering a forceful remonstration, but Liu Cong was furious, and he personally ripped up the petition. In the third month, Liu Yi was so angry and resentful that he passed away.

Liu Yi had always been a loyal and forthright man, and Chen Yuanda had greatly appreciated having his assistance and hearing him fully express his faults. After Liu Yi passed away, Chen Yuanda was moved to tears. He lamented, "The poet says, 'Good men are going away, and the country is sure to go to ruin.' Since there is nothing more I can say, what is the use of living this life of silence?" So he went back to his home and killed himself.

〈《詩‧大雅‧瞻卬》之辭。〉

(Chen Yuanda quotes the Zhan Yang 5 poem of the Greater Odes of the Book of Poetry.)


太宰劉易詣闕,又上疏固諫。聰大怒,手壞其表,易遂忿恚而死,元達哭之悲慟,曰:「人之云亡,邦國殄悴。吾既不復能言,安用此默默生乎!」歸而自殺。(Book of Jin 102, Biography of Liu Cong)

The Grand Governor, Liu Yi, paid another visit to the palace to present another petition offering a forceful remonstration, but Liu Cong was furious, and he personally ripped up the petition. Liu Yi was so angry and resentful that he passed away.

After Liu Yii passed away, Chen Yuanda wept for him with deep mourning and grief. He lamented, "The poet says, 'Good men are going away, and the country is sure to go to ruin.' Since there is nothing more I can say, what is the use of living this life of silence?" So he went back to his home and killed himself.

及其死也,人盡冤之。(Book of Jin 102, Biography of Chen Yuanda)

When Chen Yuanda passed away, everyone felt he had been wronged.


初,代王猗盧愛其少子比延,欲以爲嗣,使長子六脩出居新平城,而黜其母。六脩有駿馬,日行五百里,猗盧奪之,以與比延。六脩來朝,猗盧使拜比延,六脩不從。猗盧乃坐比延於其步輦,使人導從出遊。六脩望見,以爲猗盧,伏謁路左;至,乃比延,六脩慙怒而去。猗盧召之不至,大怒,帥衆討之,爲六脩所敗。猗盧微服逃民間,有賤婦人識之,遂爲六脩所弒。拓跋普根先守外境,聞難來赴,攻六脩,滅之。

9. Up until now, Tuoba Yilu had loved his younger son Tuoba Biyan, and wanted to have Tuoba Biyan succeed him. So he sent his elder son Tuoba Liuxiu out to reside at the city of Xinping, and he demoted Tuoba Liuxiu's mother. Tuoba Liuxiu had a fine steed which was capable of running five hundred li in a single day, and Tuoba Yilu took it away and gave it to Tuoba Biyan.

When Tuoba Liuxiu came to court, Tuoba Yilu ordered him to make a sign of obeisance to Tuoba Biyan, but Tuoba Liuxiu refused to do so. Then Tuoba Yilu had Tuoba Biyan sit inside his foot carriage, and sent people to guide the carriage down the road. When Tuoba Liuxiu saw the carriage approaching, he thought that Tuoba Yilu was riding in it, and so he lay down prostrate on the side of the road to respect his father. But when the carriage came up and he saw that it was Tuoba Biyan inside, he was ashamed and furious and he left.

Tuoba Yilu summoned him, but Tuoba Liuxiu would not come. This greatly angered Tuoba Yilu, who led troops to march against his son, but Tuoba Liuxiu defeated his soldiers. Tuoba Yilu disguised himself and hid among the common people, but there was a rich woman who recognized him, and so Tuoba Liuxiu found him and murdered him.

Tuoba Yilu's nephew Tuoba Pugen had been stationed out on the border all this time. But when he heard that difficulties had sprung up, he attacked Tuoba Liuxiu and vanquished him.

〈建興元年,猗盧築新平城。新平城,唐謂之新城,在朔州界。〉〈步輦,不駕馬,使人輓之。〉

(Tuoba Yilu had built the city of Xinping in the first year of Jianxing (313.44). The full name was Xinpingcheng, but during Tang it was simply called Xincheng. It was in Shuozhou during Tang.

A foot carriage was not drawn by horses, but had men pulling it along.)


其後盧國內大亂,盧死,子又幼弱,部落分散。(Book of Liu-Song 95, Account of the Suotou)

Later, Yilu's domain fell into great chaos; Yilu himself died, and since his son was young and weak, the tribes all split from him.

九年,帝召六脩,六脩不至。帝怒,討之,失利,乃微服民間,遂崩。普根先守外境,聞難來赴,攻六脩,滅之。(Book of Northern Wei 1, Annals of the Tuoba Ancestors)

In the ninth year (316), Tuoba Yilu summoned his son Tuoba Liuxiu, but Tuoba Liuxiu would not come. Angry, Tuoba Yilu campaigned against his son, but he got the worst of it. He put on a disguise and hid among the common people, and soon passed away.

Tuoba Pugen had been guarding the border, but when he heard about the troubles in Dai, he came back, attacked Tuoba Liuxiu, and vanquished him.


普根代立,國中大亂,新舊猜嫌,迭相誅滅。左將軍衞雄、信義將軍箕澹,久佐猗盧,爲衆所附,謀歸劉琨,乃言於衆曰:「聞舊人忌新人悍戰,欲盡殺之,將柰何?」晉人及烏桓皆驚懼,曰:「死生隨二將軍!」乃與琨質子遵帥晉人及烏桓三萬家、馬牛羊十萬頭歸于琨。琨大喜,親詣平城撫納之,琨兵由是復振。

10. Tuoba Pugen then became Prince of Dai himself. There was great turmoil in the state, with the newer residents and the older ones each suspecting one another, with people on both sides being repeatedly executed or killed.

Dai's General of the Left, Wei Xiong, and their General of Trust and Righteousness, Ji Dan, had served under Tuoba Yilu for a long time, and they had the people on their side. They plotted to go over to Liu Kun and join him. So they said to the people, "We've heard that the old residents of Dai suspect the new ones of being ferocious and combative, and they want to kill all of us. What shall you do?"

The Jin people (ethnic Han) and the Wuhuan were all shocked and afraid to hear this, and they said, "In life and death, o Generals, we shall follow you!"

So they took Liu Kun's son Liu Zun, who had been a hostage under Tuoba Yilu, and led him and thirty thousand families of the Jin people and Wuhuan, as well as a hundred thousand heads of horses, cattle, and sheep, to go and join Liu Kun. Liu Kun was greatly delighted, and he personally came to visit Pingcheng to comfort and assure them. Thanks to this incident, Liu Kun's soldiers were reinvigorated.

〈舊人,索頭部人也;新人,晉人及烏桓人也。〉

(The "old residents" were the Suotou people (a branch of the Xianbei), while the "new residents" were the Jin people and the Wuhuan.)


衞雄、姬澹率晉人及烏丸三百餘家,隨劉遵南奔并州。(Book of Northern Wei 1)

Wei Xiong and Ji Dan led more than three hundred families of the Wuhuan and the people of Jin (ethnic Han), bringing them south to join Liu Kun in Bingzhou.

六脩之逆,國內大亂,新舊猜嫌,迭相誅戮。雄、澹並為羣情所附,謀欲南歸,言於眾曰:「聞諸舊人忌新人悍戰,欲盡殺之,吾等不早為計,恐無種矣。」晉人及烏丸驚懼,皆曰:「死亡隨二將軍。」於是雄、澹與劉琨任子遵率烏丸、晉人數萬眾而叛。琨聞之大悅,率數百騎馳如平城撫納之。(Book of Northern Wei 23 (Wei Xing & Ji Dan))

In the aftermath of Tuoba Liuxiu's rebellion (in 316), Dai suffered from great domestic turmoil. The newer residents and the older ones each suspected one another, with people on both sides being repeatedly executed or killed. Wei Xiong and Ji Dan both had the feelings of the people on their side. They plotted to go south and return to Jin. So they said to the people, "We've heard that the old residents of Dai suspect the new ones of being ferocious and combative, and they want to kill all of us. Unless we act quickly, we fear that soon there will be no more of us." The Jin people (ethnic Han) and the Wuhuan were all shocked and afraid, and they said, "In life and death, o Generals, we shall follow you." So Wei Xiong, Ji Dan, and Liu Kun's son Liu Zun, who had been serving as a hostage in Dai, led several tens of thousands of the Jin people and the Wuhuan in rebellion. When Liu Kun heard, he was overjoyed, and he led several hundred riders to meet them at Pingcheng to comfort and accept them.


夏,四月,普根卒。其子始生,普根母惟氏立之。

11. In summer, the fourth month, Tuoba Pugen passed away. His son had just been born, so Tuoba Pugen's mother Lady Wei installed him as Prince.

〈惟氏,猗㐌之妻。〉

(This Lady Wei had been Tuoba Yituo's wife.)


普根立月餘而薨。普根子始生,桓帝后立之。(Book of Northern Wei 1)

Tuoba Pugen was in power for little more than a month before he passed away. His son had only just been born, but Tuoba Yituo's wife placed him on the throne.


張寔下令:「所部吏民有能舉其過者,賞以布帛羊米。」賊曹佐高昌隗瑾曰:「今明公爲政,事無巨細,皆自決之,或興師發令,府朝不知;萬一違失,謗無所分。羣下畏威,受成而已。如此,雖賞之千金,終不敢言也。謂宜少損聰明,凡百政事,皆延訪羣下,使各盡所懷,然後采而行之,則嘉言自至,何必賞也!」寔悅,從之;增瑾位三等。

12. In Liangzhou, Zhang Shi issued a decree: "Any official who is able to point out my transgressions shall be rewarded with cloth, silk, sheep, and rice."

The Assistant Bandit Manager, Kui Jin of Gaochang, said to Zhang Shi, "Your Excellency, ever since you began running the government here, you have decided on every issue by yourself, no matter how great or small. There have been times when you issued orders for the army to set out without anyone in the court or government knowing about it beforehand. If anything should go wrong, there will be no one else for you to deflect the blame to. So the ministers are all afraid of your power, and they do no more than follow your instructions. With the situation like this, even if you offered a thousand gold as a reward, they would still never dare to say anything.

"I say that you should slacken your genius somewhat, and when managing the affairs of state, you should first consult with all the ministers on what to do. Let them each expend their full efforts on your behalf, and then you can choose the best course and follow that one. Then words of praise will come to you of their own accord, and what need will you have for offering rewards?"

Zhang Shi was pleased with this plan, and he heeded the advice. He increased Kui Jin's position by three ranks.

〈自漢以來,公府、方州、郡國諸曹,有掾,有屬,有佐史。《前漢書‧西域傳》,車師國有高昌壁。《唐書》曰:高昌國,漢車師前王庭也,後破高昌,置西州。觀此,則河西張氏固嘗於高昌之地置郡縣,至後魏時始爲高昌國也。隗,五罪翻。〉〈府朝,謂僚佐所集之處。〉

(Ever since the Han dynasty, there had been Officials, Subordinates, and Assistant Ministers acting under the court ministers, the border provincial commanders, and the various managers of the commanders and princely fiefs.

According to the Account of the Western Reaches in the Book of Han, there was a Gaochang Fortress in the state of Jushi. The Book of Tang states, "The state of Gaochang was originally the court of the King of Jushi during the Han dynasty. Han later conquered Gaochang, and created Xizhou there." From this passage of ZZTJ, we see that the Zhang clan of Hexi had created a commandary and counties out of the territory at Gaochang. It was not until the time of Northern Wei that Gaochang became a state in its own right.

Kui Jin's surname 隗 is pronounced "wui (w-ui)".

Kui Jin uses the term 府朝; he means all of the officials and subordinates of the court gathered together.)


下令國中曰:「忝紹前蹤,庶幾刑政不為百姓之患,而比年饑旱,殆由庶事有缺,竊慕箴誦之言,以補不逮。自今有面刺孤罪者,酬以束帛;翰墨陳孤過者,答以筐篚;謗言於市者,報以羊米。」賊曹佐高昌隗瑾進言曰:「聖王將舉大事,必崇三訊之法,朝置諫官以匡大理,疑承輔弼以補闕拾遺。今事無巨細,盡決聖慮,興軍布令,朝中不知,若有謬闕,則下無分謗。竊謂宜偃聰塞智,開納群言,政刑大小,與眾共之。若恆內斷聖心,則群僚畏威而面從矣。善惡專歸於上,雖賞千金,終無言也。」寔納之,增位三等,賜帛四十匹。(Book of Jin 86 (Zhang Shi))

Zhang Shi issued an edict to the people of his domain, stating, "I am unworthy to continue in my father's footsteps, and I cannot ensure that my administration of the government and my enforcement of the laws does not become a danger to the common people. Furthermore, the famine and drought of recent years were nearly due to my own shortcomings. So I earnestly seek to hear words of admonishment and accounts of my errors, in order to mend my faults. From now on, whoever criticizes me to my face shall be granted a bundle of silk; whoever composes an account of my transgressions in writing shall be given a whole basket; and whoever defames me in the marketplace shall be repaid with sheep and rice."

The Assistant Bandit Manager, Kui Jin of Gaochang, stepped forward and said, "A sage king who is about to set out on a great undertaking must be sure to honor the laws of the three inquiries. The court appoints remonstrant officials so that they may rectify the great principles, and they assist the ruler through their suspicions in order to fill in the gaps and account for the errors. Currently, every issue, no matter how great or small, are all determined by your own thoughts and concerns. There have been times when you issued orders for the army to set out without anyone in the court or government knowing about it beforehand. If anything should go wrong, there will be no one else for you to deflect the blame to.

“It is my humble opinion that you should rest your personal intellect and stop up your own knowledge, and instead begin to accept the advice of your ministers. The issues of administration and of the laws, whether large of small, should be a common undertaking among all. If everything is decided only according to your own feelings, then your ministers and subordinates will fear your power and be forced to comply. Good things and bad will all come from the same source at the top, and even if you offered rewards of a thousand gold, still no one would dare to say anything."

Zhang Shi accepted this advice. He increased Kui Jin's position by three ranks, and granted him forty bolts of silk.


寔遣將軍王該帥步騎五千人援長安,且送諸郡貢計。詔拜寔都督陝西諸軍事,以寔弟茂爲秦州刺史。

13. Zhang Shi sent his general Wang Gai to lead five thousand horse and foot to reinforce Chang'an. He also sent the produce and accounts of several commandaries. Emperor Min issued an edict appointing Zhang Shi as Commander of military affairs west of Shan, and appointing his younger brother Zhang Mao as Inspector of Qinzhou.

〈貢,土物也;計,計帳也。〉

(This passage mentions the "tribute" and "accounts" of the commandaries. The tribute was the local produce of the commandaries, and the accounts was their records and other accounting.)


遣督護王該送諸郡貢計,獻名馬方珍、經史圖籍于京師。會劉曜逼長安,寔遣將軍王該率眾以援京城。帝嘉之,拜都督陝西諸軍事。(Book of Jin 86 (Zhang Shi))

Zhang Shi sent his Protector Wang Gai to send produce and accounts of several of his commandaries to Chang'an, as well as tributes of famous horses, distant treasures, historical texts, and maps and ledgers.

Soon, Liu Yao threatened Chang'an. Zhang Shi sent his general Wang Gai to lead soldiers to reinforce the capital. Emperor Min praised him, and appointed him as Commander of military affairs West of Shan (that is, of the realm west of Luoyang).


石勒使石虎攻劉演于廩丘,幽州刺史段匹磾使其弟文鴦救之;虎拔廩丘,演奔文鴦軍,虎獲演弟啓以歸。

14. Shi Le sent Shi Hu to attack Liu Yan at Linqiu. Jin's Inspector of Youzhou, Duan Pidi, sent his younger brother Duan Wenyang to reinforce Liu Yan. Although Shi Hu captured Linqiu, Liu Yan fled to Duan Wenyang's army. Shi Hu captured Liu Yan's younger brother Liu Qi before returning.

寧州刺史王遜,嚴猛喜誅殺。五月,平夷太守雷炤、平樂太守董霸帥三千餘家叛,降於成。

15. Jin's Inspector of Ningzhou, Wang Xun, was a severe and violent man who delighted in killing and executions. In the fifth month, the Administrator of Pingyi, Lei Zhao, and the Administrator of Pingle, Dong Ba, led more than three thousand families in rebellion, and they submitted to the state of Cheng.

〈懷帝永嘉五年,遜表分牂柯、朱提、建寧,立平夷郡,卽漢平夷、鄨二縣之地。鄨,孟康音鱉。〉〈平樂郡,證以《隋志》,蓋置於越巂郡之邛部川,然不知誰所置也。〉

(In Emperor Huai's fifth year of Yongjia (311), Wang Xun had petitioned to split off portions of the commandaries of Zangke, Zhuti, and Jianning, and he formed the new commandary of Pingyi, comprised of Han's Pingyi and Bi counties. Meng Kang pronounces the name of this latter county, 鄨, as "bie".

As for Pingle commandary, if we consult the Records of Sui, we see that there was a Yuegui commandary established at Qiongbuchuan, but it is unknown who established it.)


六月,丁巳朔,日有食之。

16. In the sixth month, on the new moon of the day Dingsi (July 6th), there was an eclipse.

秋,七月,漢大司馬曜圍北地太守麴昌,大都督麴允將步騎三萬救之。曜遶城縱火,煙起蔽天,使反間紿允曰:「郡城已陷,往無及也!」衆懼而潰。曜追敗允於磻石谷,允奔還靈武,曜遂取北地。

17. In autumn, the seventh month, Liu Yao besieged Jin's Administrator of Beidi, Qu Chang. Qu Yun led thirty thousand horse and foot to reinforce Qu Chang.

Liu Yao set fires all around the city, and the smoke from the flames rose to blot out the sky. Then he sent defectors to tell Qu Yun, "The commandary capital has already fallen; you have come too late!" Qu Yun's army was afraid, and they scattered. Liu Yao pursued and defeated Qu Yun at Panshi Valley, and Qu Yun fled back to Lingwu.

Then Liu Yao captured Beidi.

〈晉北地郡,領泥陽、富平二縣耳。〉〈魏收《地形志》,北地郡銅官縣有石槃山。〉

(During Jin, Beidi commandary was merely the two counties of Niyang and Fuping.

According to the Geographical Records of the Book of Northern Wei, there was a Mount Shipan in Tongguan County in Beidi commandary.)


曜後復圍北地,太守麹昌遣使求救,允率步騎赴之。去城數十里,群賊繞城放火,煙塵蔽天,縱反間詐允曰:「郡城已陷,焚燒向盡,無及矣。」允信之,眾懼而潰。後數日,麹昌突圍赴長安,北地遂陷。(Book of Jin 89, Biography of Qu Yun)

Later, Liu Yao once again besieged Beidi. The Administrator of Beidi, Qu Chang, sent messengers asking for reinforcements. Qu Yun led horse and foot to reinforce Qu Chang.

When Qu Yun was several dozen li from the city, the enemy set fires all around the city walls, and the smoke from the flames rose to blot out the sky. Then they sent defectors to deceive Qu Yun, telling him, "The commandary capital has already fallen; it's already been burned, and you have come too late." Qu Yun believed them, and his army was afraid, so they scattered.

Several days later, Qu Chang broke out of the siege and marched to Chang'an, and so Beidi fell.

北地饑甚,人相食啖,羌酋大軍須運糧以給麹昌,劉雅擊敗之。麹允與劉曜戰于磻石谷,王師敗績,允奔靈武。(Book of Jin 102, Biography of Liu Cong)

Beidi was suffering from extreme hunger, and people were eating each other. The Qiang leader Dajunxu sent provisions to sustain the Jin general Qu Chang, but Liu Ya attacked and defeated him. Qu Yun fought Liu Yao at Panshi Valley, but the Jin army was defeated, and Qu Yun fled to Lingwu.


允性仁厚,無威斷,喜以爵位悅人。新平太守竺恢、始平太守楊像、扶風太守竺爽、安定太守焦嵩,皆領征、鎭,杖節,加侍中、常侍;村塢主帥,小者猶假銀青將軍之號;然恩不及下,故諸將驕恣而士卒離怨。關中危亂,允告急於焦嵩,嵩素侮允,曰:「須允困,當救之。」

18. Now Qu Yun was a kind-hearted man; he had no martial decisiveness, and he loved to hand out ranks and titles to please people. The Administrator of Xinping, Zhu Hui, the Administrator of Shiping, Yang Xiang, the Administrator of Fufeng, Zhu Shuang, and the Administrator of Anding, Jiao Song, were all granted acting authority as Generals Who Guard or Who Conquer; they were given Staffs of Authority, and they were also promoted as Palace Attendants or Regular Attendants. Even the leaders of the smallest villages or forts were still appointed as Generals with silver seals and green tassels. Because of this wanton generosity, the various generals became arrogant and unrestrained, and the officers and soldiers were alienated and resentful of them.

When Guanzhong was in danger and turmoil, Qu Yun pleaded for help from Jiao Song. But Jiao Song had long bullied Qu Yun, and he said, "Wait until Qu Yun is in trouble, and then I will save him."

〈征、鎭,四征、四鎭將軍號也。銀青將軍,加將軍號而假以銀印、青綬。〉

(The Generals Who Guard or Who Conquer were the generals of those descriptions for the four directions. "Generals of silver and green" means people who held titles as generals but also were granted silver seals and green tassels.)


允性仁厚,無威斷,吳皮、王隱之徒,無賴凶人,皆加重爵,新平太守竺恢,始平太守楊像、扶風太守竺爽、安定太守焦嵩,皆征鎮杖節,加侍中、常侍,村塢主帥小者,猶假銀青、將軍之號,欲以撫結眾心。然諸將驕恣,恩不及下,人情頗離,由是羌胡因此跋扈。(Book of Jin 89, Biography of Qu Yun)

Qu Yun was a kind-hearted man, and he did not like to exert his power. Wu Pu, Wang Yin, and their sort were all unreliable rascals, yet they were all granted lofty titles. The Inspector of Xinping, Zhu Hui, the Inspector of Shiping, Yang Xiang, the Administrator of Fufeng, Zhu Shuang, and the Administrator of Anding, Jiao Song, were all granted acting authority as Generals Who Guard or Who Conquer; they were given Staffs of Authority, and they were also promoted as Palace Attendants or Regular Attendants. Even the leaders of villages, forts, or small groups of soldiers were still appointed as Generals with silver seals and green tassels, for Qu Yun hoped to thus bound the hearts of the soldiers to him. But these generals were all arrogant and unrestrained, and Qu Yun's grace meant nothing to them. The people felt alienated. This allowed the Qiang and other tribes to flaunt their strength, and Guanzhong descended into chaos.

焦嵩,安定人。初率眾據雍。曜之逼京都,允告難於嵩,嵩素侮允,曰:「須允困,當救之。」及京都敗,嵩亦尋為寇所滅。(Book of Jin 89, Biography of Jiao Song)

Jiao Song was a native of Anding commandary. He had earlier led troops to occupy Yong. When Liu Yao threatened the capital at Chang'an, Qu Yun reported the dire condition of the capital to Jiao Song. But Jiao Song had long slighted Qu Yun, and he said, "Wait until Qu Yun is in trouble, and then I will save him." After the capital fell, Jiao Song was also soon vanquished by the invaders.


曜進至涇陽,渭北諸城悉潰。曜獲建威將軍魯充、散騎常侍梁緯、少府皇甫陽。曜素聞充賢,募生致之,旣見,賜之酒曰:「吾得子,天下不足定也!」充曰:「身爲晉將,國家喪敗,不敢求生。若蒙公恩,速死爲幸。」曜曰:「義士也。」賜之劍,令自殺。梁緯妻辛氏,美色,曜召見,將妻之,辛氏大哭曰:「妾夫已死,義不獨生,且一婦人而事二夫,明公又安用之!」曜曰:「貞女也。」亦聽自殺,皆以禮葬之。

19. Liu Yao advanced to Jingyang (or, the north of the Jing River), and Jin's forces in the cities north of the Wei River all scattered. Liu Yao captured their General Who Establishes Might, Lu Chong, the Cavalier In Regular Attendance, Liang Wei, and the Minister Steward, Huangfu Yang.

Liu Yao had long heard that this Lu Chong was a worthy fellow, and he ordered him to be taken alive. When he saw Lu Chong, he offered him some wine and said, "Now that I have you, Sir, nothing in the realm can stop me!"

But Lu Chong replied, "I am a general of Jin. My state has come to grief and ruin, but I will not dare to beg for my life. If you wish to be generous, then a quick death would be a blessing."

Liu Yao mused, "A martyr, then." So he gave Lu Chong a sword and ordered him to kill himself.

This Liang Wei had a wife, Lady Xin, who was beautiful. Liu Yao summoned her, and when he saw her, he was going to take her as a wife. But Lady Xin wailed loudly and said, "My husband is already dead, and it is not right that I should live on alone. Furthermore, one wife should not have two husbands. How can you do such a thing to me?"

Liu Yao mused, "What a chaste woman."

After hearing that Lady Xin had killed herself, Liu Yao had her and her husband both properly buried.

〈涇陽縣,前漢屬安定郡。班《志》曰:幵頭山在縣西,《禹貢》涇水所出,東北至陽陵入渭,過郡三,行千六十里。此言曜至涇陽,渭北諸城悉潰,則其兵已在池陽、陽陵二縣間,言在涇水之陽,非安定之涇陽縣也。〉

(During Former Han, Jingyang County was part of Anding commandary. The Ban family's Records states, "In the west of this county, there is a Mount Jiantou. This is where the Jing River mentioned in the Tributes of Yu in the Book of Documents flows from. It flows northeast until Yangling, where it enters the Wei River. It passes through three commandaries, and stretches for 1,060 li." Now the passage in ZZTJ mentions that "Liu Yao advanced to Jingyang, and Jin's forces in the cities north of the Wei River all scattered." So it must have been the case that his soldiers were already in the region of the two counties Chiyang and Yangling. So it cannot be the Jingyang County that was in Anding commandary, and the word Jingyang in this passage must just mean that he was "north of the Jing River".)


漢主聰立故張后侍婢樊氏爲上皇后,三后之外,佩皇后璽綬者復有七人。嬖寵用事,刑賞紊亂。大將軍敷數涕泣切諫,聰怒曰:「汝欲乃公速死邪,何以朝夕生來哭人!」敷憂憤,發病卒。

20. Liu Cong honored the late Empress Zhang's servant girl Lady Fan as Upper Empress. Besides the three Empresses, he also gave the seals and tassels suited for an Empress to another seven women. He loved and favored these women and let them handle things, and so the systems of rewards and punishments fell into disorder and chaos.

Liu Fu wept as he remonstrated with his father several times, but Liu Cong replied, "You just wish I would hurry up and die already. Why else would you come crying all the time, day and night?" Liu Fu became so anxious and agitated that he became ill and passed away.

〈據《載記》,三后,二靳氏及劉氏、樊氏爲四。《考異》曰:《劉聰載記》曰「四后之外」。按時靳上皇后已死,唯三后耳。云四,誤也。〉

(This passage states that there were three Empresses. According to the Biography of Liu Cong in the Chronicles of the Book of Jin, there were four: the two daughters of Jin Zhun along with Lady Liu and this Lady Fan. Regarding this discrepancy, Sima Guang's commentary in the Textual Analysis states, "The Chronicles phrases this passage as 'besides the four Empresses'. But by this time, the original Upper Empress, Jin Yueguang, had already passed away, and so there were only three Empresses. So when the Chronicles says four, it is mistaken.")


聰立上皇后樊氏,樊氏是聰張后之侍婢也。時稱后者四人,佩皇后璽綬者七人。(Book of Northern Wei 95, Biography of Liu Cong)

Liu Cong honored the late Empress Zhang's servant girl Lady Fan as Upper Empress. At this time, there were four Empresses, and Liu Cong also gave the seals and tassels suited for an Empress to another seven women.

聰立上皇后樊氏,即張氏之侍婢也。時四後之外,佩皇后璽綬者七人,朝廷內外無復綱紀,阿諛日進,貨賄公行,軍旅在外,饑疫相仍,後宮賞賜動至千萬。劉敷屢泣言之,聰不納,怒曰:「爾欲得使汝公死乎?朝朝夕夕生來哭人!」敷憂忿發病而死。(Book of Jin 102, Biography of Liu Cong)

Liu Cong honored Lady Fan as his Upper Empress; she was the late Empress Zhang's servant girl. At this time, besides the four Empresses, he also gave the seals and tassels suited for an Empress to another seven women. Liu Cong no longer paid any attention to the affairs of court. Flatterers and sycophants advanced by the time, bribes and wealth flowed freely, military expeditions continued unabated, and hunger and plague continued to spread. Yet the residents of the Rear Palace were granted rewards by the thousands and tens of thousands.

Liu Fu wept as he remonstrated with his father several times, but Liu Cong did not listen, and he angrily said, "You just wish I would hurry up and die already. Why else would you come crying all the time, day and night?" Liu Fu became so anxious and agitated that he became ill and passed away.


河東平陽大蝗,民流殍者什五六。石勒遣其將石越帥騎二萬屯幷州,招納流民,民歸之者二十萬戶。聰遣使讓勒,勒不受命,潛與曹嶷相結。

21. There was a great swarm of locusts in Hedong and Pingyang, and fifty to sixty percent of the people there fled or starved.

Shi Le sent his general Shi Yue to lead twenty thousand cavalry to camp in Bingzhou, where Shi Yue gathered up and accepted these refugees. More than two hundred thousand households went to join Shi Le. Liu Cong sent an envoy to rebuke Shi Le, but he refused to accept the order. He secretly formed a close connection with the Qingzhou warlord Cao Yi.

〈餓死於中野者曰殍,散而之他方者曰流。時勒蓋遣越屯上黨,招納幷州統內也。〉

(This passage uses the term 流殍. Those who starve to death in the open field are 殍; those who scatter away from their homeland are 流.

At this time, Shi Le sent Shi Yue to camp at Shangdang, to gather up and accept these people and establish control over the interior of Bingzhou.)


秋七月,河東大蝗,唯不食粟豆。司隸靳准率部民收而埋之,哭聲聞于十餘里,後乃鑽土飛出,復食黍豆。(Annals of the Sixteen Kingdoms 1, Biography of Liu Cong)

In autumn, the seventh month, there were swarms of locusts in Hedong commandary. They ate everything, only sparing the millet seeds. Han-Zhao's Colonel-Director, Jin Zhun, led the common people to gather them up and plant them, and the sound of weeping and wailing could be heard for more than ten li. Later, the locusts burrowed out of the soil and flew up again, and they even ate the broomcorn millet seeds.

平陽大饑,流叛死亡十有五六。石勒遣石越率騎二萬,屯於并州,以懷撫叛者。聰使黃門侍郎喬詩讓勒,勒不奉命,潛結曹嶷,規為鼎峙之勢。河東大蝗,唯不食黍豆。靳准率部人收而埋之,哭聲聞于十餘里,後乃鑽土飛出,復食黍豆。平陽饑甚,司隸部人奔于冀州二十萬戶,石越招之故也。(Book of Jin 102, Biography of Liu Cong)

There was great hunger in Pingyang, and fifty to sixty percent of the people there fled, rebelled, or starved.

Shi Le sent his general Shi Yue to lead twenty thousand cavalry to camp in Bingzhou, where Shi Yue gathered up and accepted these refugees. Liu Cong sent his Attendant of the Yellow Gate, Qiao Shi, rebuking Shi Le, but Shi Le refused to accept the order. He secretly formed a close connection with the Qingzhou warlord Cao Yi, planning to establish a balance of power.

There was a great swarm of locusts in Hedong. They ate everything, only sparing the millet seeds. Jin Zhun led his people to gather them up and plant them, and the sound of weeping and wailing could be heard for more than ten li. Later, the locusts burrowed out of the soil and flew up again, and they even ate the broomcorn millet seeds. There was great hunger in Pingyang, and twenty thousand households from the capital district fled to Jizhou; this was why Shi Yue recruited them.

七月,劉聰疾甚,以勒為大將軍,錄尚書事,受遺輔政。勒固辭,乃止。(Annals of the Sixteen Kingdoms 2, Biography of Shi Le)

In the seventh month, Liu Cong became gravely ill. He appointed Shi Le as Grand General and chief of affairs of the Masters of Writing, and charged him with serving as regent for the government. But Shi Le declined these offers, so Liu Cong stopped.


八月,漢大司馬曜逼長安。

22. In the eighth month, Liu Yao advanced to threaten Chang'an.

後劉曜又率眾圍京城。(Book of Jin 60, Biography of Suo Chen)

Later, Liu Yao once again led an army to besiege the capital.


九月,漢主宴羣臣於光極殿,引見太弟义。义容貌憔悴,鬢髮蒼然,涕泣陳謝,聰亦爲之慟哭;乃縱酒極歡,待之如初。

23. In the ninth month, Liu Cong held a feast for his ministers at the Guangji Hall, and had the Crown Younger Brother, Liu Ai, come and see him. By now, Liu Ai looked thin and pallid, and his hair had already turned grey at his temples. He wept as he defended himself and made apologies, and Liu Cong was also moved to tears at the sight of him. So he drank heavily and made merry with Liu Ai, and treated him as he had in the old days.

九月,犬與豕交于宮門。有豕著進賢冠,升聰御座,犬冠武冠帶綬,與豕并昇,俄而鬬死殿上,宿衛莫有見其入者。(Annals of the Sixteen Kingdoms 1, Biography of Liu Cong)

In the ninth month, a dog and a pig encountered one another at the Han-Zhao palace gates. The pig was dressed in the Jinxian cap of a civil official, and it climbed up into Liu Cong's imperial seat. But the dog, dressed in a military officer's cap and a silk belt, struggled with the pig to take a higher place. They soon fought one another to death in the hall. None of the household guards had seen how they had gotten inside.

有豕著進賢冠,犬冠武弁帶綬,並昇聰座,俄而鬬死,宿衞之人無見入者。(Book of Northern Wei 95, Biography of Liu Cong)

There was a pig dressed in the Jinxian cap of a civil official and a dog dressed in a military officer's cap and a silk belt, and they struggled with each other to claim the higher place in Liu Cong's imperial seat. They soon fought one another to death. None of the household guards had seen how they had gotten inside.

犬與豕交于相國府門,又交于宮門,又交司隸、御史門。有豕著進賢冠,升聰坐。犬冠武冠,帶綬,與豕並升。俄而鬥死殿上。宿衛莫有見其入者。而聰昏虐愈甚,無誡懼之心。宴群臣於光極前殿,引見其太弟乂,容貌毀悴,鬢髮蒼然,涕泣陳謝。聰亦對之悲慟,縱酒極歡,待之如初。(Book of Jin 102, Biography of Liu Cong)

A dog and a pig encountered one another outside the gates of the Chancellor of State's office, then again at the palace gates, then again at the gates of the Director of Retainers's bureau and the Imperial Secretary's office. The pig was dressed in the Jinxian cap of a civil official, and it climbed up into Liu Cong's imperial seat. But the dog, dressed in a military officer's cap and a silk belt, struggled with the pig to take a higher place. They soon fought one another to death in the hall. None of the household guards had seen how they had gotten inside.

Liu Cong's caprice and cruelty only grew all the more, and he no longer feared any reproach. He held a feast for his ministers at the front chamber of the Guangji Hall, and had the Crown Younger Brother, Liu Ai, come and see him. By now, Liu Ai looked thin and pallid, and his hair had already turned grey at his temples. He wept as he defended himself and made apologies, and Liu Cong was also moved to tears at the sight of him. So he drank heavily and made merry with Liu Ai, and treated him as he had in the old days.


焦嵩、竺恢、宋哲皆引兵救長安,散騎常侍華輯監京兆、馮翊、弘農、上洛四郡兵,屯霸上,皆畏漢兵強,不敢進。相國保遣胡崧將兵入援,擊漢大司馬曜於靈臺,破之。崧恐國威復振則麴、索勢盛,乃帥城西諸郡兵屯渭北不進,遂還槐里。

24. Jiao Song, Zhu Hui, and Song Zhe all led troops to come reinforce Chang'an. The Cavalier In Regular Attendance, Hua Ji, assumed command over the soldiers of Jingzhao, Pingyi, Hongnong, and Shangluo commandaries and had them camp at Bashang. But the soldiers all feared the strength of the Han soldiers, and they did not dare to advance.

Sima Bao sent Hu Song to lead soldiers to reinforce Chang'an, and they attacked Liu Yao at Lingtai and routed him. But Hu Song feared that if the state became powerful again, that would mean that Qu Yun and Suo Chen would become stronger and more influential as well. So he led all the soldiers from the commandaries west of Chang'an to camp north of the Wei River without advancing further, and then returned to Huaili.

〈《三輔黃圖》:周文王靈臺,在長安西四十里,高二丈,周回百二十步。〉〈麴允、索綝也。〉〈槐里縣,漢屬扶風,晉屬始平郡。〉

(The Yellow Atlas of the Three Adjuncts (the region around Chang'an) states, "King Wen of Zhou built the Lingtai terrace, forty li west of Chang'an. It was two zhang in height, and a hundred and twenty paces around."

The passage mentions "Qu and Suo"; it means Qu Yun and Suo Chen.

During Han, Huaili County was part of Fufeng commandary. During Jin, it was part of Shiping commandary.)


胡崧承檄奔命,破曜於靈台。崧慮國家威舉,則麹、索功盛,乃案兵渭北,遂還槐里。(Book of Jin 60, Biography of Suo Chen)

Hu Song heeded the imperial proclamations and hurried to obey Emperor Min's orders, and he routed Liu Yao at Lingtai. But Hu Song feared that if the state became powerful again, that would mean that Qu Yun and Suo Chen would become stronger and more influential as well. So he kept his soldiers north of the Wei River, and then returned to Huaili.


曜攻陷長安外城,麴允、索綝退保小城以自固。內外斷絕,城中飢甚,米斗直金二兩,人相食,死者太半,亡逃不可制,唯涼州義衆千人,守死不移。太倉有麴數十䴵,麴允屑之爲粥以供帝,旣而亦盡。冬,十一月,帝泣謂允曰:「今窮厄如此,外無救援,當忍恥出降,以活士民。」因歎曰:「誤我事者,麴、索二公也!」使侍中宗敞送降牋於曜。索綝潛留敞,使其子說曜曰:「今城中食猶足支一年,未易克也,若許綝以儀同、萬戶郡公者,請以城降。」曜斬而送之,曰:「帝王之師,以義行也。孤將兵十五年,未嘗以詭計敗人,必窮兵極勢,然後取之。今索綝所言如此,天下之惡一也,輒相爲戮之。若兵食審未盡者,便可勉強固守;如其糧竭兵微,亦宜早寤天命。」

25. Liu Yao assaulted and captured Chang'an's outer walls. Qu Yun and Suo Chen withdrew into the inner city to mount a defense.

Now that they were cut off from the outside, great hunger spread inside the city; a 斗 of rice cost two 兩 of gold, and people ate one another. More than half of the people died, and people deserted their posts without any way to stop them. Only a thousand righteous soldiers from Liangzhou defended the city to the death without moving. The Imperial Warehouse had several tens of 䴵 of yeast, and Qu Yun mashed it together into a gruel and presented it to Emperor Min. After that, the food stores were totally exhausted.

In winter, the eleventh month, Emperor Min wept as he said to Qu Yun, "We are already so impoverished and distressed as this, and there are no reinforcements coming to save us. We must bear our shame by going out and surrendering, so that the soldiers and the people can survive." And he lamented, "It is Lord Qu and Lord Suo who have so mismanaged our affairs!"

Emperor Min sent one of the Palace Attendants, Zong Chang, to present his letter of surrender to Liu Yao. But Suo Chen secretly detained Zong Chang, and instead sent his own son to advise Liu Yao, "There is still enough food inside the city to hold out for a whole year, and it would not be easy to capture it. But if you will appoint my father Suo Chen as General of Chariots and Cavalry, with equal ceremonial to the Three Excellencies, and as a Duke of a commandary of ten thousand households, he will ask the city to surrender."

In response, Liu Yao beheaded Suo Chen's son and sent the head back.

He said, "The leader of the imperial army must conduct himself righteously. I myself have commanded troops for fifteen years, but I have never once defeated anyone through trickery; rather, I have poured out the full strength of my army and let the contest determine victory. For Suo Chen to say such things, the whole realm must despise him, and everyone must want to execute him. If their soldiers and their stores are truly not yet exhausted, then they will exert themselves to defend the city all the more. But if their grain is so used up and their soldiers are so weak, then they will realize Heaven's mandate very soon."

〈涼州義衆,張軌父子所遣兵也。〉〈《考異》曰:《帝紀》作「宋敞」,今從《晉春秋》。〉〈【章:甲十一行本「以」下有「車騎」二字;乙十一行本同;張校同,云無註本亦無。】〉

(These righteous soldiers of Liangzhou were ones that Zhang Gui and his son Zhang Shi had sent to reinforce the city.

Sima Guang's commentary in the Textual Analysis states, "The Annals of Emperor Min in the Book of Jin records the name of the Palace Attendant whom Emperor Min assigned to bear the letter of surrender as 宋 Song Chang. But I follow the account of the Annals of Jin, which records it as 宗 Zong Chang."

Some versions include the phrase "General of Chariots and Cavalry" among the ranks that Suo Chen demanded.)


綝與麹允固守長安小城... 城中饑窘,人相食,死亡逃奔不可制,唯涼州義眾千人守死不移。帝使侍中宋敞送箋降於曜。綝潛留敞,使其子說曜曰:「今城中食猶足支一歲,未易可克也。若許綝以車騎、儀同、萬戶郡公者,請以城降。」曜斬而送之曰:「帝王之師,以義行也。孤將軍十五年,未嘗以譎詭敗人,必窮兵極勢,然後取之。今索綝所說如是,天下之惡一也,輒相為戮之。若審兵食未盡者,便可勉強固守。如其糧竭兵微,亦宜早悟天命。孤恐霜威一震,玉石俱摧。」(Book of Jin 60, Biography of Suo Chen)

Suo Chen and Qu Yun stoutly defended the inner walls of Chang'an. Great hunger and distress spread inside the city, and people ate one another. There was no stopping people from either dying or fleeing their posts. Only a thousand righteous soldiers from Liangzhou defended the city to the death without moving.

Emperor Min sent one of the Palace Attendants, Song Chang, to present his letter of surrender to Liu Yao. But Suo Chen secretly detained Song Chang, and instead sent his own son to advise Liu Yao, "There is still enough food inside the city to hold out for a whole year, and it would not be easy to capture it. But if you will appoint my father Suo Chen as General of Chariots and Cavalry, with equal ceremonial to the Three Excellencies, and as a Duke of a commandary of ten thousand households, he will ask the city to surrender."

In response, Liu Yao beheaded Suo Chen's son and sent the head back.

He said, "The leader of the imperial army must conduct himself righteously. I myself have commanded troops for fifteen years, but I have never once defeated anyone through trickery; rather, I have poured out the full strength of my army and let the contest determine victory. For Suo Chen to say such things, the whole realm must despise him, and everyone must want to execute him. If their soldiers and their stores are truly not yet exhausted, then they will exert themselves to defend the city all the more. But if their grain is so used up and their soldiers are so weak, then they will realize Heaven's mandate very soon. I fear that the power of frost and the tremble of quakes will smash both jade and stone alike."

劉曜復攻長安,百姓饑甚,死者太半。久之,城中窘逼,帝將出降,歎曰:「誤我事者,麹、索二公也。」(Book of Jin 89, Biography of Qu Yun)

Liu Yao once again attacked Chang'an; there was great hunger among the common people, and more than half of them died. After some time, because the capital was in such a dire state, Emperor Min was about to go out to surrender. He lamented, "It is Lord Qu and Lord Suo who have so mismanaged our affairs!"

大司馬曜攻陷長安外城... 長安饑甚,死過半,麴允為粥以供帝膳。帝泣曰:「今窘厄如此,外無救援,勢不自知。」乃使侍中宋敞奉箋降曜。(Annals of the Sixteen Kingdoms 1, Biography of Liu Cong)

The Grand Marshal, Liu Yao, attacked Chang'an and captured its outer walls.

There was extreme hunger in Chang'an, and more than half the people there died. Qu Yun prepared gruel in order to provide for Emperor Min. Emperor Min wept and said, "We are already so impoverished and distressed as this, and there are no reinforcements coming to save us. I know we cannot hold out." So he sent the Palace Attendant, Song Chang, to present his letter of surrender to Liu Yao.

劉曜陷長安外城。(Book of Jin 102, Biography of Liu Cong)

Liu Yao captured the outer walls of Chang'an.


甲午,宗敞至曜營;乙未,帝乘羊車,肉袒、銜璧、輿櫬出東門降。羣臣號泣,攀車執帝手,帝亦悲不自勝。御史中丞馮翊吉朗歎曰:「吾智不能謀,勇不能死,何忍君臣相隨,北面事賊虜乎!」乃自殺。曜焚櫬受璧,使宗敞奉帝還宮。丁酉,遷帝及公卿以下於其營;辛丑,送至平陽。壬寅,漢主聰臨光極殿,帝稽首於前。麴允伏地慟哭,扶不能起,聰怒,囚之,允自殺。聰以帝爲光祿大夫,封懷安侯。以大司馬曜爲假黃鉞、大都督、督陝西諸軍事、太宰,封秦王。大赦,改元麟嘉。以麴允忠烈,贈車騎將軍,諡節愍侯。以索綝不忠,斬于都市。尚書梁允、侍中梁濬等及諸郡守皆爲曜所殺,華輯奔南山。

26. On the day Jiawu (December 10th), Zong Chang arrived at Liu Yao's camp. On the day Yiwei (December 11th), Emperor Min came out in a sheep cart. Stripped to the waist, bearing jade in his mouth, and tied to a coffin, he came to the eastern gate of the camp in surrender. His ministers all cried out and wept, and they climbed onto the cart to grab at Emperor Min's hand. Emperor Min was so sorrowful that he could not control himself.

The Middle Assistant to the Imperial Secretary, Ji Lang of Pingyi commandary, lamented, "I was not smart enough to find a way to save us, and I was not brave enough to die. How can I bear to go along with my lord and the other ministers and face north in submission to a barbarian caitiff?" And he killed himself.

Liu Yao burned the coffin and took the jade from him, and he ordered Zong Chang to take Emperor Min back to the palace. On the day Dingyou (December 13th), Liu Yao had Emperor Min and everyone from his chief ministers on down moved into his own camp, and on the day Xinchou (December 17th) he sent them off to Pingyang.

On the day Renyin (December 18th), Liu Cong came out to the Guangji Hall, where Emperor Min bowed in submission before him. Qu Yun prostrated himself while wailing mournfully; this angered Liu Cong, who imprisoned him, and Qu Yun then killed himself.

Liu Cong appointed Emperor Min as Household Counselor With Golden Tassel, and granted him noble title as Marquis of Huai'an. As for Liu Yao, he appointed him as Bearer of the Gilded Battle-Axe, Grand Commander, Commander of all military affairs west of Shan, and Grand Governor, and his noble title was changed to Prince of Qin. Liu Cong declared a general amnesty, and changed the Han reign era title to the first year of Linjia.

Since Qu Yun had been loyal even to the very end, Liu Cong posthumously appointed him as General of Chariots and Cavalry, and gave him the posthumous title Marquis Jiemin ("Dutiful and Pitied"). Since Suo Chen had not been loyal, Liu Cong had him beheaded in the capital's marketplace (at Pingyang).

The Master of Writing, Liang Yun, the Palace Attendant Liang Jun, and others, as well as all of the commandary Administrators, were all killed by Liu Yao. Hua Ji fled to the southern hills.

〈允則忠矣,然猶在吉朗之後乎!〉〈平陽都市也。〉

(Qu Yun may have been loyal, but he was not as loyal as Ji Lang!

The "capital marketplace" was the one in Pingyang.)


及帝出降,綝隨帝至平陽,劉聰以其不忠於本朝,戮之於東市。(Book of Jin 60, Biography of Suo Chen)

Emperor Min then came out and surrendered. Suo Chen followed Emperor Min to Pingyang. Liu Cong felt that Suo Chen had been disloyal to his original court, so he executed him in the eastern marketplace.

帝至平陽,為劉聰所幽辱,允伏地號哭不能起。聰大怒,幽之於獄,允發憤自殺。聰嘉其忠烈,贈車騎將軍,諡節湣侯。(Book of Jin 89, Biography of Qu Yun)

When Emperor Min came to Pingyang, he was isolated and shamed by Liu Cong. Qu Yun prostrated himself on the ground and wept, unable to rise. This greatly angered Liu Cong, who threw Qu Yun in prison. Qu Yun became so agitated that he killed himself. Liu Cong commended Qu Yun for his loyalty even unto death, and he posthumously appointed him as General of Chariots and Cavalry and as Marquis Jiemin ("the Dutiful and Pitied").

挹祖朗,湣帝時為御史中丞。西朝不守,朗歎曰:「吾智不能謀,勇不能死,何忍君臣相隨北面事賊虜乎!」乃自殺。(Book of Jin 89, Biography of Ji Yi)

Ji Yi's grandfather was Ji Lang, who served as Middle Assistant to the Imperial Secretary during the reign of Emperor Min. When the court at Chang'an fell, Ji Lang lamented, "I was not smart enough to find a way to save us, and I was not brave enough to die. How can I bear to go along with my lord and the other ministers and face north in submission to a barbarian caitiff?" And he killed himself.

敞隨使者至,帝肉袒牽羊,輿櫬銜壁,出降東門。曜受璧焚櫬,遷愍帝及司徒梁汾、驃騎麴允等諸臣百餘人至於平陽。聰臨光極殿,帝稽顙,與麴允伏地大哭,扶不能起。聰大怒,允自殺。以帝為光祿大夫、懷安侯。以大司馬曜假黃鉞、大都督陝西諸軍事、太宰、秦王。(Annals of the Sixteen Kingdoms 1, Biography of Liu Cong)

Once Song Chang and the other envoys had arrived, Emperor Min stripped to the waist, tied himself to a coffin, carried a jade in his mouth, and came out pulling a lamb, coming to the east gate of Liu Yao's camp to surrender. Liu Yao took the jade and burned the coffin, and he sent Emperor Min to Pingyang, along with more than a hundred of his ministers, including his Minister Over The Masses, Liang Fen, and his General of Agile Cavalry, Qu Yun.

Liu Cong held court at the Guangji Palace, where Emperor Min kowtowed before him, and he and Qu Yun loudly wept as they lay prostrate on the ground, unable to rise. Liu Cong was greatly angered. Qu Yun killed himself.

Liu Cong appointed Emperor Min as Household Counselor With Golden Tassel and Marquis of Huai'an. He appointed the Grand Marshal, Liu Yao, as Bearer of the Gilded Battle-Axe, Grand Commander, Commander of all military affairs west of Shan, Grand Governor, and Prince of Qin.

聰遣劉曜攻陷長安,執晉愍帝,改建元為麟嘉。(Book of Northern Wei 95, Biography of Liu Cong)

Liu Cong sent Liu Yao to attack and capture Chang'an, and Liu Yao took Emperor Min prisoner. Liu Cong changed the reign era title from Jianyuan to Linjia.

湣帝使侍中宋敞送箋於曜,帝肉袒牽羊,輿櫬銜璧出降。及至平陽,聰以帝為光祿大夫、懷安侯,使粲告於太廟,大赦境內,改年麟嘉。麹允自殺。(Book of Jin 102, Biography of Liu Cong)

Emperor Min sent his Palace Attendant, Song Chang, to present his letter to Liu Yao. Emperor Min himself stripped to the waist and came out in a sheep cart to surrender, bearing jade in his mouth and tied to a coffin.

When Emperor Min arrived at Pingyang, Liu Cong appointed him as Household Counselor With Golden Tassel and as Marquis of Huai'an. He sent Liu Can to report the deed at the Ancestral Temple, he declared a general amnesty within his domain, and he changed the reign era title to the first year of Linjia.

Qu Yun killed himself.


干寶論曰:昔高祖宣皇帝,以雄才碩量,應時而起,性深阻有若城府,而能寬綽以容納;行數術以御物,而知人善采拔。於是百姓與能,大象始構。世宗承基,太祖繼業,威黜異圖,用融前烈。至于世祖,遂享皇極,仁以厚下,儉以足用,和而不弛,寬而能斷,掩唐、虞之舊域,班正朔於八荒,于時有「天下無窮人」之諺,雖太平未洽,亦足以明民樂其生矣。武皇旣崩,山陵未乾而變難繼起。宗子無維城之助,師尹無具瞻之貴,朝爲伊、周,夕成桀、跖;國政迭移於亂人,禁兵外散於四方,方岳無鈞石之鎭,關門無結草之固。戎、羯稱制,二帝失尊,何哉?樹立失權,託付非才,四維不張而苟且之政多也。夫基廣則難傾,根深則難拔,理節則不亂,膠結則不遷。昔之有天下者所以能長久,用此道也。周自后稷愛民,十六王而武始君之,其積基樹本,如此其固。今晉之興也,其創基立本,固異於先代矣。加以朝寡純德之人,鄕乏不貳之老,風俗淫僻,恥尚失所。學者以莊、老爲宗而黜《六經》,談者以虛蕩爲辨而賤名檢,行身者以放濁爲通而狹節信,進仕者以苟得爲貴而鄙居正,當官者以望空爲高而笑勤恪。是以劉頌屢言治道,傅咸每糾邪正,皆謂之俗吏;其倚杖虛曠,依阿無心者,皆名重海內。若夫文王日昃不暇食,仲山甫夙夜匪懈者,蓋共嗤黜以爲灰塵矣!由是毀譽亂於善惡之實,情慝奔於貨欲之塗,選者爲人擇官,官者爲身擇利,世族貴戚之子弟,陵邁超越,不拘資次。悠悠風塵,皆奔競之士;列官千百,無讓賢之舉。子眞著《崇讓》而莫之省,子雅制九班而不得用。其婦女不知女工,任情而動,有逆干舅姑,有殺戮妾媵,父兄弗之罪也,天下莫之非也。禮法刑政,於此大壞,「國之將亡,本必先顚,」其此之謂乎!故觀阮籍之行而覺禮敎崩弛之所由,察庾純、賈充之爭而見師尹之多僻,考平吳之功而知將帥之不讓,思郭欽之謀而寤戎狄之有釁,覽傅玄、劉毅之言而得百官之邪,核傅咸之奏、《錢神》之論而覩寵賂之彰。民風國勢,旣已如此,雖以中庸之才、守文之主治之,猶懼致亂,況我惠帝以放蕩之德臨之哉!懷帝承亂卽位,羈以強臣;愍帝奔播之後,徒守虛名。天下之勢旣去,非命世之雄材,不能復取之矣!

27. In discussing the fall of what would later be called Western Jin, the Eastern Jin historian Gan Bao made the following commentary:

The progenitor of the dynasty, Gaozu or Emperor Xuan (Sima Yi), had a great abundance of heroic talents, and he rose in accordance with the age he lived in. He had an indomitable will and a discerning mind, yet he could be also accommodating and accepting of others; he personally displayed many skills in all that he undertook, yet he was also good at appraising others and plucking out those who were suited. The common people all recognized his abilities, and it was thanks to him that the great laws of the dynasty were first given form.

Next were Shizong (Sima Shi), who laid the foundation, and Taizu (Sima Zhao), who continued the endeavor; they did away with those who opposed their design through their might, while achieving harmony with the worthies of the old guard.
Then when Shizu (Sima Yan) came into his own, he assumed the imperial majesty. His benevolence spread to all below, while his frugality ensured that no more was spent than needed. He was agreeable without being permissive, magnanimous while still able to impose limits. He restored the ancient lands of Tang and Yu (the ancient Emperors Yao and Shun), and brought civilization to the Eight Wastes. It was an age to which the proverb applied: 'not a man in the world was poor.' Though this great peace did not last for long, it was enough to dazzle the people and bring happiness to their lives.

But after Emperor Wu's (Sima Yan's) death, his tomb had not yet dried before troubles and difficulties sprang up one another another. The poet says, "The circle of the king's relatives is a fortified wall." But the imperial relatives of that time never provided the assistance of a fortified wall. And another poet says, "Awe-inspiring are you, O master Yin, and the people all look to you!" But the Master Yins of that time lacked the honor that inspires universal awe. Those who in the morning acted the part of the regents Yi Yin or Huo Guang all transformed into the tyrant King Jie or the bandit Liuxia Ji by the time evening came, and the reins of power passed through the hands of many wicked men. The guards and soldiers scattered to the four corners of the realm, so that the capital was left without even a weight to guard it and the gates were left open without even tied grass to secure them. Then the Xiongnu and the Jie seized control, and Emperors Huai and Min lost their exalted seats. Why was this? Because those who had power had no influence, and those they trusted affairs to had no talents. The Four Safeguards were not maintained, and instead short-sighted expediency prevailed.

When a building's foundation is broad, it is difficult to topple it; when a plant's roots are deep, it is difficult to pull it up. Firm governance cannot be shaken; strong ties cannot be sundered. Of all those who have ever sought the realm, these were the principles followed by those whose dynasties long endured. The progenitor of the Zhou dynasty was Houji, who won the love of the people, but it was not until sixteen generations after Houji that King Wu became an actual sovereign. Their foundation was as sturdy as the trunk of a tree, and so they endured.

But in our own era, when Jin rose, in the laying of its foundation and the setting up of its trunk, it was most unlike the dynasties of ages past. Furthermore, there were few men in the court who were completely virtuous, and few ministers who served for long without committing mistakes. The customs of the age were licentious and eccentric, with shame and honor not being recognized as such. In learning, they praised the teachings of Zhuangzi and Laozi while belittling the Six Classics; in discussion, they prized aloofness and liberality while scorning reputation and restraint; in conduct, they made way for permissiveness and corruption while barring discipline and fairness; in advancement of office, mean achievement was exalted while remaining principled was despised; in one's official duties, to gain an empty reputation was the main thing while diligent and respectable work was laughed at.

Thus were Liu Song's repeated recommendations for how to manage affairs and Fu Xian's constant admonishments for how to rectify improper conduct dismissed as the words of lowly officials. Thus did the ministers take indolence and apathy as their rod and their staff, and all within the Four Seas placed great store in those who merely echoed what everyone else said. If there had been anyone among them like King Wen, not taking time away from work to eat until after the sun had reached the middle of the sky, or like Zhongshan Fu, never idle day or night, they would have laughed such people into the dust!
Thus did the confusion of condemnation and praise muddy the real differences between good and evil, and proper and improper feelings were lost in the morass of materialism and indulgence. Those who appointed people to office made their selections based on how useful to them the man would be, and those who held office only did things that benefitted themselves. There were so many sons and younger brothers of honored imperial relatives that filled office that they piled up greater than a hill, and no account was taken of qualifications or seniority.

Long did this contention endure, this struggle among the officials; offices were created in their hundreds and thousands, with no one yielding their place or recommending a worthier one in their stead. Zizhen (Liu Shi) composed his Discussion on the Sublimity of Yielding, but it was ignored; Ziya (Liu Song) proposed changes to the Nine Ranks System, but they were not implemented.

The wives and daughters of that time knew not women's work, but became obstinate and willful, with some disobeying the will of their husband's parents and some killing and murdering concubines and maids. But their fathers and elder brothers did not hold their crimes against them, and no one in the realm considered them to be wrong.

By such means were rites, laws, justice, and governance made so rotten. As the saying goes, "For a state to approach ruin, first its roots must be destroyed." These were the things that saying pointed to!

We may observe the conduct of Ruan Ji and realize the decay and permissiveness of proper ceremony and instruction; we may investigate the fighting between Yu Chun and Jia Chong and see how rare true leaders were; we may look into the debating over the merits of the conquest of Wu and understand how generals refused to yield to one another; we may consider the plans of Guo Qin and wake up to the threat that was posed by the Rong and Di tribes; we may reflect upon the words of Fu Xuan and Liu Yi and grasp the evils of the officials; we may examine the petitions of Fu Xian and the words of the Discussion on the Divinity of Money and witness how conspicuously money was worshipped.

With such customs among the people and such a state of affairs in the government, even if a ruler of average talents and no great resolve for reforms had been on the throne, he still would have had cause to fear for disorder. How much more was this the case when we were faced with the dissolute virtues of our Emperor Hui! As for Emperor Huai, he came to the throne during a time of confusion and was restrained by powerful ministers, and Emperor Min then fled into exile merely to defend an empty title. With the condition of the state so far gone, even if there had been heroes in the world, they could not have been able to restore it!

〈言胸中有城府者多不能寬容,任數用術者多不能用人,而宣帝能之也。〉〈謂天下皆推其能,莫與爭也。〉〈劉良曰:象,法也;言晉之興成,大法從此始立也。〉〈謂內誅李豐、夏侯玄,外平毌丘儉、文欽、諸葛誕。〉〈呂延濟曰:享,當也;皇極,天子位也。〉〈八荒,謂八方之外,戎荒之地。〉〈呂向曰:言百姓盡富。〉〈宗子,謂八王搆難。《詩》曰:宗子維城。〉〈《詩》曰:赫赫師尹,民具爾瞻。〉〈謂楊駿、衞瓘、張華等。〉〈三十斤爲鈞,四鈞爲石。《左傳》:秦伐晉,晉魏顆敗秦師,獲杜回。顆夢老人結草以亢杜回,杜回躓而顚,故獲之。〉〈賈誼《策》曰:禮義廉恥,是謂四維,四維不張,國乃滅亡。〉〈李周翰曰:理節,謂政敎有條理、節度也。膠,固也。言君布仁惠之根基深廣,又不失理節,則人心固結而不可遷也。〉〈后稷子不窋,不窋子鞠,鞠子公劉,公劉子慶節,慶節子皇僕,皇僕子差弗,差弗子毀隃,毀隃子公非,公非子高圉,高圉子亞圉,亞圉子公叔祖類,公叔祖類子古公亶父,古公亶父子季歷,季歷子文王,文王子武王,凡十六王。〉〈《周官》有鄕老;不貳,謂不貳過者。〉〈言所恥者非所恥,所尚者非所尚也。〉〈呂延濟曰:望空,謂不識是非,但望空署名而已。〉〈頌、咸事並見《武紀》、《惠記》。〉〈文王自朝至于日中昃,不遑暇食,用咸和萬民。仲山甫夙夜匪懈以事一人。〉〈呂延濟曰:言選者不復爲官擇賢,爲官者但擇所利而趨。〉〈劉寔,字子眞;《崇讓論》見八十二卷武帝太康十年。〉〈劉頌,字子雅。九班之制見同上。〉〈二事皆賈后爲之倡。〉〈《左傳》曰:國將亡,本必先顚,而後枝葉從之。〉〈事見七十八卷魏元帝景元三年。〉〈事七十九卷武帝泰始七年、八年。〉〈平吳爭功及郭欽疏,並見八十一卷武帝太康元年。〉〈傅玄、劉毅,武帝時爲司隸,前後糾核,不避貴游,因其所言而得百官之邪也。〉〈傅咸奏見八十二卷惠帝元康四年;《錢神論》見八十三卷元康九年。〉〈劉良曰:中庸,謂非賢非愚之才;守文,謂守常平治世之主也。〉

(Regarding the sentence "He had an indomitable will and a discerning mind, yet he could be also accommodating and accepting of others; he personally displayed many skills in all that he undertook, yet he was also good at appraising others and plucking out those who were suited," Gan Bao said this because it is the case that most people who have such unshakable wills are not also able to be accomodating of others, and most people who display many talents themselves while in office are not also able to find the most use out of others, but Sima Yi was able to do these things.

By "the common people all recognized his abilities", Gan Bao meant that all the world acclaimed Sima Yi as an able man, and there was no one who disputed this.

This passage uses the term 象. Liu Liang remarked, "象 means laws." When Gan Bao says "it was thanks to him that the great laws of the dynasty were first given form", he means that the great laws which facilitated the ultimate rise and realization of the Jin dynasty began with Sima Yi.

By "they did away with those who opposed their design through their might", Gan Bao refers to when Sima Shi and Sima Zhao executed Li Feng and Xiahou Xuan within and pacified Guanqiu Jian, Wen Qin, and Zhuge Dan without.

This passage uses the term 享. Lü Yanji remarked, "享 means to assume." When Gan Bao says "he assumed the imperial majesty", he means that Sima Yan took the role of Son of Heaven."

The Eight Wastes means the places beyond the Eight Borders, the regions of the barbarians and the wastes.

Lü Xiang remarked, "The proverb 'not a man in the world was poor' means that the common people were all prosperous."

By "the imperial relatives", Gan Bao means the Eight Princes and the troubles they caused. The Book of Poetry has these verses: "The circle of the king's relatives is a fortified wall (Ban 7)", and "Awe-inspiring are you, O master Yin, and the people all look to you! (Jie Nan Shan 1)"

By "those who acted the part of the regents Yi Yin or Huo Guang", Gan Bao refers to Yang Jun, Wei Guan, Zhang Hua, and the others like them.

Where Gan Bao says "a weight to guard it", he more literally says a 鈞石. In measures of weight, thirty 斤 makes one 鈞, and four 鈞 makes one 石. As for "tied grass to secure it", the Zuo Commentary to the Spring and Autumn Annals states, "When Qin campaigned against Jin, Wei Ke of Jin defeated the army of Qin army, and captured Du Hui. Wei Ke had dreamt that an old man had tied grass together as a snare for Du Hui, who became tangled up in it and tripped, and so Wei Ke caught him. (Xuan 15.4)"

Regarding the Four Safeguards, Jia Yi's Strategies states, "Ceremony, righteousness, honesty, and shame are called the Four Safeguards. When the Four Safeguards are not maintained, then the state will perish in ruin."

Li Zhouhan remarked, "Firm governance means governing with cultivated principles and firmly established systems. Strong ties means steady ones." Gan Bao was saying that through benevolent and kind government, the roots and the foundation can become deep and broad, and when firm governance is also maintained, then the hearts of the people will be bound to the dynasty and cannot be sundered.

Houji's son was Buzhu; Buzhu's son was Ju; Ju's son was Gongliu; Gongliu's son was Qingjie; Qingjie's son was Huangpu; Huangpu's son was Chafu; Chafu's son was Huishu; Huishu's son was Gongfe; Gongfei's son was Gaoyu; Gaoyu's son was Yayu; Yayu's son was Gongshuzulei; Gongshuzulei's son was Gugongdanfu; Gugongdanfu's son was Jili; Jili's son was King Wen; King Wen's son was King Wu. These were the sixteen rulers from Houji to King Wu.

The offices of Zhou mentions the 鄕老. To 不貳 means not to make the same mistake twice.

By "shame and honor not being recognized as such", Gan Bao meant that what was shameful was not considered shameful, and what was honorable was not considered honorable.

Lü Yanji remarked, "By 'an empty reputation', Gan Bao meant that the duties of office were seen as unimportant, and only using it to gain an empty reputation mattered."

Liu Song and Fu Xian are mentioned in the chapters dealing with Sima Yan and Emperor Hui.

King Wen did not take time away from work to eat a meal during the time between morning and when the sun reached the middle of the sky, "thus seeking to secure the happy harmony of the myriads of the people (Book of Documents, Against Luxurious Ease)".

Zhongshan Fu was "never idle, day or night, in the service of the One man (Book of Poetry, Zheng Min 4)".

Lü Yanji remarked, "When Gan Bao said 'those who appointed people to office made their selections based on how useful to them the man would be, and those who held office only did things that benefitted themselves,' he meant that people were not appointed to office based on their worthiness, and people in office only did what was good for themselves and no more.”
Liu Shi's style name was Zizhen. His Discussion on the Sublimity of Yielding is mentioned in Book 82, in Sima Yan's tenth year of Taikang (289.7).

Liu Song's style name was Ziya. His proposals for changes to the Nine Ranks System are mentioned in the same place as Liu Shi (289.8).

In the paragraph on women's' offenses, the two examples "some disobeying the will of their husband's parents and some killing and murdering concubines and maids" refer to Empress Jia Nanfeng's actions.

The saying "for a state to approach ruin, first its roots must be destroyed" comes from the Zuo Commentary to the Spring and Autumn Annals: "I have heard the saying, that when a State is about to perish its root must first be destroyed, and then the destruction of the branches and leaves will follow (Min 1.6)".

The behavior of the Seven Sages eccentric Ruan Ji is mentioned in Book 78, in Emperor Yuan of Cao-Wei's (Cao Huan's) third year of Jingyuan (262.8-9).

The factional disputes between Yu Chun and Jia Chong are mentioned in Book 79, in Sima Yan's seventh and eighth years of Taishi (271 and 272).

The arguments over who could claim merit for the conquest of Eastern Wu, and Guo Qin's petition advocating the removal of the tribal populations from within the realm, are mentioned in Book 81, in Sima Yan's first year of Taikang (280.23-24, 26, 36).

During Sima Yan's reign, Fu Xuan and Liu Shi served as Directors of Retainers; they were always correcting and rectifying people, not shying away from the high and mighty either, and so we can see "the evils of the officials" in their words.
Fu Xian's petitions against the spread of bribes and money is mentioned in Book 82, in Emperor Hui's fourth year of Yuankang (294.4).

Lü Bao's Discussion on the Divinity of Money is mentioned in Book 83, in Emperor Hui's ninth year of Yuankang (299.7).
Regarding the phrase "a ruler of average talents and no great resolve for reforms", Liu Liang remarked, "Average talents means one whose talents are neither exceptionally bad nor good; no great resolve for reform means one who seeks to govern the world in accordance with how it already is.")


石勒圍樂平太守韓據于坫城,據請救於劉琨。琨新得拓跋猗盧之衆,欲因其銳氣以討勒。箕澹、衞雄諫曰:「此雖晉民,久淪異域,未習明公之恩信,恐其難用。不若且內收鮮卑之餘穀,外抄胡賊之牛羊,閉關守險,務農息兵,待其服化感義,然後用之,則功無不濟矣。」琨不從,悉發其衆,命澹帥步騎二萬爲前驅,琨屯廣牧,爲之聲援。

28. Shi Le besieged Jin's Administrator of Leping, Han Ju, at Diancheng (or Tiancheng). Han Ju asked for help from Liu Kun.

Since Liu Kun had just received an abundance of people from the refugees who had left Dai after Tuoba Yilu's death, he wanted to harness their keen spirit for a campaign against Shi Le. But their leaders Ji Dan and Wei Xiong remonstrated with him, saying, "Although these people are natives of Jin, they have been wallowing for a long time in a foreign land. Since they have not yet become familiar with Your Excellency's grace and trust, we fear that they will be difficult to use. It would be better to take the time to gather up the excess grain produced internally by the Xianbei, while raiding the barbarians externally and making off with their cattle and sheep. Close the passes and defend the narrow places while you tend to farming and let the soldiers rest. Instead of relying on mere obedience, wait for them to grow thankful and virtuous. Then you may use them, and you could achieve anything."

But Liu Kun did not listen to them. He turned out his whole army for the campaign, ordering Ji Dan to lead twenty thousand horse and foot as the vanguard. Liu Kun himself camped at Guangmu to act as reserves for Ji Dan.

〈余按武帝泰始中,分上黨、太原置樂平郡,治沾縣。沾縣,漢屬上黨郡。魏收《地形志》,樂平縣有沾城。師古曰:沾,音他兼翻。《載記》誤作「坫」,當讀從顏音。〉〈拓跋,鮮卑也。〉〈胡,謂劉、石也。〉〈廣牧縣,漢屬朔方郡;漢末省朔方,置廣牧縣於陘南,屬新興郡,非廣牧縣故地也。〉

(This passage states that Shi Le besieged Han Ju at 坫 Diancheng. I, Hu Sanxing, note that during Sima Yan's Taishi era (265-274), he split off parts of Shangdang and Taiyuan commandaries to form Leping commandary, which was governed at 沾 Tian County. During Han, this Tian County had been part of Shangdang commandary. According to Wei Shou's Geographical Records, there was a 沾 Tiancheng in Leping County. Yan Shigu remarked, "沾 is pronounced 'tian (t-ian)'." The source for this passage was the Biography of Shi Le in the Chronicles of the Book of Jin, but the Chronicles made an error in recording the name of the city as 坫 Diancheng; it should be 沾 Tiancheng, pronounced as Yan Shigu suggests.

The Tuoba were a Xianbei clan.

By "the barbarians", Ji Dan and Wei Xiong mean the Liu clan of the Xiongnu and Shi Le of the Jie.

During Han, Guangmu County was part of Shuofan commandary. Near the end of Han, Shuofang commandary was abolished, and Guangmu County was created south of the mountain passes, as part of Xinxing commandary. It was not where the former territory of the original Guangmu County was.)


會石勒攻琨樂平,太守韓據請救於琨。琨以得雄、澹之眾,欲因其銳,以滅石勒。雄、澹諫曰:「亂民飢疲,未可便用,宜休息觀釁而動。」琨不從,使雄、澹率眾討勒,琨屯廣牧為之聲援。(Book of Northern Wei 23 (Wei Xiong & Ji Dan))

Soon, Shi Le attacked Leping commandary, which was within Liu Kun's domain. The Administrator, Han Ju, asked Liu Kun for aid. Since Liu Kun had just received Wei Xiong's and Ji Dan's forces, he wanted to harness their keen spirit for a campaign against Shi Le. But Wei Xiong and Ji Dan remonstrated with him, saying, "Our people have just emerged from turmoil and are suffering from hunger and exhaustion. They cannot be used yet. You should let them rest and recover, while watching for any disputes among the enemy you can exploit. Then you can act." But Liu Kun would not listen. He sent Wei Xiong and Ji Dan to lead their forces to campaign against Shi Le, while he camped at Guangmu to be close enough to assist them.


石勒聞澹至,將逆擊之。或曰:「澹士馬精強,其鋒不可當,不若且引兵避之,深溝高壘以挫其銳,必獲萬全。」勒曰:「澹兵雖衆,遠來疲弊,號令不齊,何精強之有!今寇敵垂至,何可捨去!大軍一動,豈易中還!若澹乘我之退而逼之,顧逃潰不暇,焉得深溝高壘乎!此自亡之道也。」立斬言者。以孔萇爲前鋒都督,令三軍:「後出者斬!」勒據險要,設疑兵於山上,前設二伏,出輕騎與澹戰,陽爲不勝而走。澹縱兵追之,入伏中。勒前後夾擊澹軍,大破之,獲鎧馬萬計。澹、雄帥騎千餘奔代郡,韓據棄城走,幷土震駭。

29. When Shi Le heard that Ji Dan had arrived, he was about to march out and counter-attack him.

Someone said, "Ji Dan's soldiers and horses are elite and strong, and their vanguard cannot be overcome. It would be better to pull the soldiers back and avoid them. Then build deep moats and tall ramparts to blunt their zeal, and we shall be perfectly secure."

But Shi Le replied, "Although Ji Dan has many soldiers, they've come from far away and so are tired and weary, and their discipline is lacking. How can you call them strong or elite? And the enemy is already right on top of us, so how can you say we can get away from them? When the main body is moving, when has it ever been easy to turn them around? If Ji Dan learns that we are retreating and pursues us, our army would melt away in no time, and then what good would those deep moats and tall ramparts do us? This is the road to ruin." And he had the speaker beheaded.

Shi Le appointed Kong Chang as the Vanguard Commander, and ordered the three armies, "Whoever is late to arrive will be beheaded!" He occupied strategic narrow places, and set up false soldiers on the hills, while placing two ambushes ahead.

Then Shi Le sent out light cavalry to skirmish with Ji Dan's soldiers, and the cavalry pretended to be defeated and so fled. Ji Dan's soldiers fell out of formation as they pursued the cavalry, and they fell into the ambushes. Shi Le struck Ji Dan's army from front and rear, and greatly routed it, capturing around ten thousand armored horses. Ji Dan and Wei Xiong led some thousand cavalry to flee to Dai commandary.

Han Ju abandoned his city and fled, and the territory of Bingzhou was shaken and astonished.

前趙嘉麟元年,劉琨遣姚澹帥衆來討,勒與戰,澹軍大敗。(Annals of the Sixteen Kingdoms 2, Biography of Shi Le)

In Han-Zhao's first year of Jialin (316), Liu Kun sent Yao Dan to lead troops to come campaign against Shi Le. Shi Le fought them, and Yao Dan's army was greatly defeated.

勒率輕騎與雄、澹戰,澹大敗,率騎千餘,奔于代郡。(Book of Northern Wei 23, Biography of Wei Xiong & Ji Dan)

Shi Le sent light cavalry to fight Wei Xiong and Ji Dan. Ji Dan was greatly defeated, and he fled to Dai commandary at the head of some thousand cavalry.


十二月,乙卯朔,日有食之。

30. In the twelfth month, on the new moon of the day Yimao (December 31st), there was an eclipse.

〈《考異》曰:《帝紀》、《天文志》,皆誤作「甲申朔」。《宋志》「乙卯朔」,與《長曆》合。今從之。〉

(Sima Guang's commentary in the Textual Analysis states, "The Annals of Emperor Min and the Astrological Records, both in the Book of Jin, both mistakenly record this eclipse as taking place on 'the new moon of the day Jiashen'. But the Records of Liu-Song records it as 'the new moon of the day Yimao', and Yimao being the first day of the twelfth month of this year agrees with the Calendar Records. So I follow that account.")


司空長史李弘以幷州降石勒。劉琨進退失據,不知所爲,段匹磾遣信邀之,己未,琨帥衆從飛狐奔薊。匹磾見琨,甚相親重,與之結婚,約爲兄弟。勒分徙陽曲、樂平民于襄國,置守宰而還。

31. Liu Kun's Chief Clerk in his capacity as Minister of Works, Li Hong, surrendered Bingzhou to Shi Le.

Liu Kun himself had nowhere left that he could advance or retreat to, and he did not know what to do. Duan Pidi sent a letter to invite Liu Kun to join him, so on the day Jiwei (January 4th of 317), Liu Kun led his army from Feihu to flee to Ji. When Duan Pidi met with Liu Kun, they treated one another as the closest of friends. They arranged a marriage connection, and formed a bond like brothers.

Shi Le divided up and relocated the people of Yangqu and Leping commandaries to Xiangguo, and appointed local commanders in those areas before returning.

〈劉琨爲司空,以弘爲長史。幷州,時治陽曲。〉〈恆山在常山上曲陽縣西北,有阪,號飛狐口。〉

(Since Liu Kun was the Minister of Works, this Li Hong was his Chief Clerk.

At this time, Bingzhou was administered from Yangqu.

Regarding Feihu, there is a Mount Deng in the northwest of Upper Quyang county in Shangdang commandary; this Mount Deng has a certain slope called Feihukou ("Flying Fox's Mouth").)


琨長史李弘以并州來降。(Annals of the Sixteen Kingdoms 2, Biography of Shi Le)

Liu Kun's Chief Clerk, Li Hong, surrendered Bingzhou to Shi Le.


孔萇攻箕澹于代郡,殺之。

32. Kong Chang attacked Ji Dan at Dai commandary and killed him.

〈據《載記》,萇攻澹於桑乾,則此代郡乃後魏之代郡,非漢、晉之代郡也。〉

(According to the Biography of Shi Le in the Chronicles of the Book of Jin, Kong Chang more specifically attacked Ji Dan at Sanggan. So this "Dai commandary" must be the one that was later formed by Northern Wei, and not the Dai commandary that existed during Han and Jin.)


勒遣孔萇追滅之。(Book of Northern Wei 23 (Wei Xiong & Ji Dan))

Shi Le sent Kong Chang to pursue Ji Dan and vanquish him.


萇等攻賊帥馬嚴、馮䐗,久而不克。司、冀、幷、兗流民數萬戶在遼西,迭相招引,民不安業。勒問計於濮陽侯張賓,賓曰:「嚴、䐗本非公之深仇,流民皆有戀本之志,今班師振旅,選良牧守使招懷之,則幽、冀之寇可不日而清,遼西流民將相帥而至矣。」勒乃召萇等歸,以武遂令李回爲易北督護,兼高陽太守。馬嚴士卒素服回威德,多叛嚴歸之,嚴懼而出走,赴水死。馮䐗帥其衆降。回徙居易京,流民歸之者相繼於道。勒喜,封回爲弋陽子,增張賓邑千戶,進位前將軍;賓固辭不受。

33. Kong Chang and others attacked the bandit leaders Ma Yan and Feng Zhu, but for a long time they could not overcome them. Meanwhile, tens of thousands of households from Sizhou, Jizhou, Bingzhou, and Yanzhou had fled to Liaoxi, and more of them were being enticed to go there all the time, so the people did not maintain their livelihoods.

Shi Le asked the Marquis of Puyang, Zhang Bin, what he should do. Zhang Bin replied, "Ma Yan and Feng Zhu have no real grudge against you, Lord, and the refugees all long to return to their old homelands again. You should withdraw the army and bring them home, while appointing a worthy governor to summon the people and comfort them. Then the bandits of Youzhou and Jizhou will turn honest overnight, and the refugees in Liaoxi will lead each other back home."

So Shi Le ordered Kong Chang and the others to return, and he appointed the Prefect of Wusui County, Li Hui, as Protector North of the Yi River and as Administrator of Gaochang. Ma Yan's officers and soldiers had long respected Li Hui's might and virtue, and many of them turned against Ma Yan and went over to Li Hui. Ma Yan was afraid and he ran away, but he drowned in the river. Feng Zhu led his own forces to surrender. Then Li Hui moved his base to Yijing, where the refugees traveled along many different roads to join him.

Shi Le was pleased, and he appointed Li Hui as Viscount of Yiyang. He also increased Zhang Bin's fief by a thousand households and advanced his rank to General of the Front, but Zhang Bin declined these honors and would not accept.

〈嚴、䐗蓋爲盜於幽、冀之間。〉〈武遂縣,前漢屬河間國,後漢、晉屬安平國。易北,易水以北也。高陽縣,前漢屬涿郡,後漢屬河間國,武帝泰始元年分置高陽國。應劭曰:在高河之陽。〉〈易京,公孫瓚所築。〉

(Ma Yan and Feng Zhu were bandits in the Youzhou and Jizhou region.

During Former Han, Wusui County was part of the Hejian princely fief. During Later Han and Jin, it was part of the Anping princely fief.

The term Yibei means "north of the Yi River".

During Former Han, Gaoyang County was part of Zhuo commandary. During Later Han, it was part of the Hejian princely fief. In Sima Yan's first year of Taishi (265), he split it off as the Gaoyang princely fief. Ying Shao remarked, "It was north of the Gao River (hence the name Gaoyang)".

Yijing was the fortress built by Gongsun Zan (Book 61, 195.SS in de Crespigny's To Establish Peace).


丞相睿聞長安不守,出師露次,躬擐甲冑,移檄四方,刻日北征。以漕運稽期,斬督運令史淳于伯。刑者以刀拭柱,血逆流上,至柱末二丈餘而下,觀者咸以爲冤。丞相司直劉隗上言:「伯罪不至死,請免從事中郎周莚等官。」於是右將軍王導等上疏引咎,請解職。睿曰:「政刑失中,皆吾闇塞所致。」一無所問。

34. When Sima Rui heard that Chang'an had fallen, he led forth his army and lodged in the open field. He put on armor and sent out proclamations to every corner, setting a date for a northern expedition.

When the water-borne grain transports were slow to arrive, on the day Bingyin (January 11th of 317), he ordered the Transport Director, Chunyu Bo, to be beheaded. As the executioner was cleaning his blade on the column, the blood flew up; it flew more than two zhang up from the column before falling back down. Those who saw this all proclaimed Chunyu Bo's innocence.

Sima Rui's Director of Justice, Liu Wei, sent up a petition stating, "Chunyu Bo's crime was not so serious as to deserve death. I ask that you remove the Attendant Officer of the Household Gentlemen, Zhou Yan, and others from office." This led to the General of the Right, Wang Dao, and others sending up memorials admitting to their faults and asking to be relieved of their offices.

Sima Rui replied, "The deficiencies in governance and in the administration of justice are all due to my own ignorance and obstinacy." And nothing more was heard of the matter.

〈露次者,出宿于野,上無屋宇。〉〈【章:甲十一行本「期」下有「丙寅」二字;乙十一行本同;退齋校同。】〉

(To lodge in the open field means to set up a residence in the field in a place with no house.

Some versions state that Sima Rui ordered Chunyu Bo's execution "on the day Bingyin".)


隗性剛訐,當時名士多被彈劾,睿率容貸,由是衆怨皆歸之。南中郎將王含,敦之兄也,以族強位顯,驕傲自恣,一請參佐及守長至二十許人,多非其才,隗劾奏含,文致甚苦,事雖被寢,而王氏深忌疾之。

35. Liu Wei was the sort of man who was determined to expose misdeeds, and many of the famous gentlemen of that time had their offenses exposed by him. Coupled with Sima Rui's tolerance and favor shown to him, this won Liu Wei the ire of many.

The General of the Household Gentlemen of the South, Wang Han, was the elder brother of Wang Dun. Because he came from a powerful clan and he held a conspicuous rank, he was arrogant, proud, and unrestrained. He once asked for twenty or so people to be appointed as his subordinates or local officials, but most of them did not have the appropriate talents for their positions. Liu Wei submitted a petition of accusation against Wang Han, using very harsh language. Although the matter was put to rest, the Wang clan deeply resented Liu Wei because of it.

〈深文以致其罪。〉〈爲王敦請誅劉隗張本。〉

(Liu Wei used forceful language to expose Wang Han's misdeeds.

This was why Wang Dun later asked for Liu Wei to be executed.)


丞相睿以邵續爲冀州刺史。續女壻廣平劉遐聚衆河、濟之間,睿以遐爲平原內史。

36. It was earlier mentioned that Sima Rui had appointed the Jin loyalist Shao Xu as Administrator of Pingyuan. He now appointed Shao Xu as Inspector of Jizhou. Shao Xu's son-in-law, Liu Xia of Guangping, gathered together a host of people in the regions between the Yellow River and the Ji River, and Sima Rui appointed Liu Xia as Interior Minister of Pingyuan.

托跋普根之子又卒,國人立其從父鬱律。

37. Tuoba Pugen's infant son also passed away. The people of Dai acclaimed Tuoba Pugen's cousin Tuoba Yulü as the new ruler.

其冬,普根子又薨。平文皇帝諱鬱律立,思帝之子也。姿質雄壯,甚有威略。元年,歲在丁丑。(Book of Northern Wei 1)

That winter (of 316), Tuoba Pugen's infant son also passed away.

The next Prince of Dai was Emperor Pingwen, Tuoba Yulü, the son of Tuoba Fu. He had a naturally majestic bearing and character, and he was very powerful and cunning. The first year of Tuoba Yulü's reign as Prince of Dai was a Dingchou year (317).
Last edited by Taishi Ci 2.0 on Thu Jan 17, 2019 4:12 am, edited 24 times in total.
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Re: ZZTJ Translations: Western Jin (Book 79-89)

Unread postby Taishi Ci 2.0 » Mon Jan 22, 2018 5:27 am

As the commentary attached to the end of this book notes, this technically marks what is commonly considered the end of Western Jin, although there would be a couple more years before Emperor Min actually died and Sima Rui proclaimed imperial title to begin the Eastern Jin period. If I do any more books, they will probably continue to go here until I catch up with the start of the other thread in 332.
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Re: ZZTJ Translations: Western Jin (Book 79-89)

Unread postby Taishi Ci 2.0 » Thu Jan 25, 2018 6:55 am

I'll be adding in some excerpts from the Book of Jin in appropriate places. They'll be in spoiler boxes for now, unless I find a better way to format them. Takes up less space that way, but more of a pain to Ctrl+F.
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BOOK 90

Unread postby Taishi Ci 2.0 » Tue Feb 06, 2018 1:39 am

建武元年(丁丑、三一七)

The First Year of Jianwu (The Dingchou Year, 317 AD)


〈是年三月,方改元。〉

(The reign era title changed in the third year of this month.)


春,正月,漢兵東略弘農,太守宋哲奔江東。

1. In spring, the first month, the Han soldiers advanced east and captured Hongnong commandary. Jin's Administrator of Hanzhong, Song Zhe, fled to the Southland.

〈哲屯華陰,漢兵自長安東略,故棄城來奔。〉

(Song Zhe was camped at Huayin. Since the Han-Zhao soldiers were advancing east from Chang'an to capture Hongning, he abandoned that city and fled.)


黃門郎史淑、侍御史王沖自長安奔涼州,稱愍帝出降前一日,使淑等齎詔賜張寔,拜寔大都督、涼州牧、侍中、司空,承制行事;且曰:「朕已詔琅邪王時攝大位;君其協贊琅邪,共濟多難。」淑等至姑臧,寔大臨三日,辭官不受。

2. Jin's Yellow Gate Attendant, Shi Shu, and their Attendant Imperial Secretary, Wang Chong, fled from Chang'an to Liangzhou. There they claimed that the day before Emperor Min had gone out to surrender the city, he had ordered them to bring his edict to Zhang Shi, appointing him as Grand Commander, Governor of Liangzhou, Palace Attendant, and Minister of Works, and placing him in command of affairs. The edict also said, "I (Emperor Min) have already ordered the Prince of Langye (Sima Rui) to claim the great seat of office. Sir (Zhang Shi), may you assist the Prince of Langye, and overcome the many difficulties of the state together."

When Shi Shu and Wang Chong arrived at Guzang, Zhang Shi held a great mourning for three days, and he declined the offices and would not accept them.

二年十一月,帝將降劉曜,進寔侍中、司空、涼州牧。三年,始知劉曜逼遷天子平陽,大臨三日。(Annals of the Sixteen Kingdoms 7, Biography of Zhang Shi)

In the eleventh month of the second year (314), when Emperor Min was about to surrender to Liu Yao, he promoted Zhang Shi as Palace Attendant, Minister of Works, and Governor of Liangzhou.

In the third year (315), when Zhang Shi first learned that Liu Yao had forcefully moved Emperor Min to the Han-Zhao capital at Pingyang, he held a great mourning for him for three days.

及帝將降于劉曜,下詔於寔曰:「天步厄運,禍降晉室,京師傾陷,先帝晏駕賊庭。朕流漂宛許,爰暨舊京。群臣以宗廟無主,歸之於朕,遂以沖眇之身托于王公之上。自踐寶位,四載於茲,不能翦除巨寇以救危難,元元兆庶仍遭塗炭,皆朕不明所致。羯賊劉載僭稱大號,禍加先帝,肆殺籓王,深惟仇恥,枕戈待旦。劉曜自去年九月率其蟻眾,乘虛深寇,劫質羌胡,攻沒北地。麹允總戎在外,六軍敗績,侵逼京城,矢流宮闕。胡崧等雖赴國難,殿而無效,圍塹十重,外救不至,糧盡人窮,遂為降虜。仰慚乾靈,俯痛宗廟。君世篤忠亮,勳隆西夏,四海具瞻,朕所憑賴。今進君大都督、涼州牧、侍中、司空,承制行事。琅邪王宗室親賢,遠在江表。今朝廷播越,社稷倒懸,朕以詔王,時攝大位。君其挾贊琅邪,共濟難運。若不忘主,宗廟有賴。明便出降,故夜見公卿,屬以後事,密遣黃門郎史淑、侍御史王沖齎詔假授。臨出寄命,公其勉之!」寔以天子蒙塵,沖讓不拜。...寔知劉曜逼遷天子,大臨三日。(Book of Jin 86, Biography of Zhang Shi)

Soon, Liu Yao threatened Chang'an. Zhang Shi sent his general Wang Gai to lead soldiers to reinforce the capital. Emperor Min praised him, and appointed him as Commander of military affairs West of Shan (that is, of the realm west of Luoyang).

When Emperor Min was about to surrender to Liu Yao, he first sent an edict to Zhang Shi stating, "Heaven had stumbled into adversity, and disaster had overtaken the house of Jin. The capital at Luoyang had fallen, and His Late Majesty (Emperor Huai) had passed away among the court of the invaders. Set adrift for a time, eventually I came to the old capital at Chang'an. Since the ancestral temple was now left without a ruler, the ministers all turned to me, and so a tender youth such as myself was placed above the princes and nobles.

“But from the time when I first assumed my exalted position until things have now come to this state, I have been unable to exterminate the vast invaders or rescue the state from its difficulties. The incalculable miseries which have been inflicted upon the common people are all due to my lack of wisdom. This Liu clan of the Jie barbarians has falsely claimed the imperial title for themselves, and they have brought His Late Majesty to misfortune and killed the border princes. I had deeply cherished feelings of vengeance for this, and I 'slept on my spear and waited for dawn' for when I might have a chance to remove this shame.

“But ever since the ninth month of last year, when Liu Yao brought his swarm against us, his forces have passed through empty land and made a deep invasion, plundered and robbed the Qiang and other barbarians, and attacked and taken over Beidi. Qu Yun led the army out to face them, but our six armies were defeated time and again. Now the invaders are at the very gates of the capital, and their arrows land among the palace grounds. Although Hu Song and other commanders have come to face the perils with us, it has been to no avail. The enemy's siege lines and moats are ten lines deep. No reinforcements have come to save us. Our grain is gone, our people exhausted. We must surrender to the barbarians. Looking up, I feel ashamed before Heaven; looking down, I ache with sorrow for my ancestral house.

“Sir, you have long been known for your sincerity, loyalty, and excellence; your deeds swell through all the western Xia, and all within the Four Seas look up to you. Thus do I place my trust in you. You are hereby promoted to Grand Commander, Governor of Liangzhou, Palace Attendant, and Minister of Works, and granted full acting authority as you will.

“The Prince of Langye (Sima Rui) is a close kin of the royal family and a worthy man, and he is far away in the Southland. The court must now go into exile among the Yue (people of the far southeast), and the fortunes of state are in dire straits. I shall order the Prince to now take up the great position for himself. Sir, may you join together with and support the Prince, and pass through this difficult together. So long as you do not forget your sovereign, the ancestral house shall have someone upon whom it may rely.

“Tomorrow, I shall go out and surrender, and so tonight I am visiting with the nobles and ministers to plan for the hereafter. I have secretly dispatched the Yellow Gate Gentleman, Shi Shu, and the Attendant Imperial Secretary, Wang Chong, to bear this my edict and bring you your conferments. Come forth and heed my edict, and exert yourself on my behalf!"

Because Emperor Min was now a prisoner, Zhang Shi declined the offices and would not accept them.

When Zhang Shi learned that Liu Yao had forced Emperor Min to move to the Han-Zhao capital at Pingyang, he held a great mourning for three days.


初,寔叔父肅爲西海太守,聞長安危逼,請爲先鋒入援;寔以其老,弗許。及聞長安不守,肅悲憤而卒。

3. Up until this time, Zhang Shi's uncle Zhang Su had been the Administrator of Xihai. When Zhang Su heard that Chang'an was in danger, he asked to lead a vanguard force to come to its assistance. But because Zhang Su was old, Zhang Shi would not allow it. Later, when Zhang Su heard that Chang'an had fallen, he was so mournful and indignant that he passed away.

〈王莽置西海郡,光武中興,棄之。至獻帝興平二年,武威太守張雅請置西海郡,分張掖之居延一縣以屬之,雖郡名同,而非王莽西海郡之地。〉

(Wang Mang had created Xihai commandary. After Emperor Guangwu restored the Han dynasty, he did away with the commandary. Later, during Emperor Xian's second year of Xianping (195), the Administrator of Wuwei, Zhang Ya, asked that he be allowed to create a Xihai commandary, and he split off Juyan County from Zhangye commandary as part of it. However, although it had the same name as the Xihai commandary that Wang Mang had formed, it did not cover the same territory.)


建威將軍、西海太守張肅,寔叔父也,以京師危逼,請為先鋒擊劉曜。寔以肅年老,弗許。肅曰:「狐死首丘,心不忘本;鐘儀在晉,楚弁南音。肅受晉龍,剖符列位。羯逆滔天,朝廷傾覆,肅宴安方裔,難至不奮,何以為人臣!」寔曰:「門戶受重恩,自當闔宗效死,忠衛社稷,以申先公之志。但叔父春秋已高,氣力衰竭,軍旅之事非耆耄所堪。」乃止。既而聞京師陷沒,肅悲憤而卒。(Book of Jin 86, Biography of Zhang Shi)

The General Who Establishes Might and Administrator of Xihai commandary, Zhang Su, was Zhang Shi's uncle. When Zhang Su heard that Chang'an was in danger, he asked to lead a vanguard force to attack Liu Yao. But because Zhang Su was old, Zhang Shi would not allow it.

Zhang Su said, "A fox dies with its head pointed towards its burrow, to show that its heart has not forgotten where it came from; when Zhongyi was a prisoner in the ancient state of Jin, he still wore a cap of Chu and played a southern tune (Zuo Commentary, Cheng 9.8). I have received the favor of the Jin dynasty, not to mention you all. Now the Jie traitors fill the heavens and the court is about to fall. If I were to sit peacefully here at a distance and not exert myself when danger approaches, what kind of servant to the state would I be?"

Zhang Shi replied, "Our whole family has indeed received abundant favor, and it would be proper for our entire clan to be ready to give our lives in loyal defence of the altars of state, to demonstrate the will of my late father. But Uncle, you are already advanced in years, and your spirit is exhausted. Military expeditions are not something that a man of sixty or eighty can endure."

So Zhang Su stopped. Later, when Zhang Su heard that Chang'an had fallen, he was so mournful and indignant that he passed away.


寔遣太府司馬韓璞、撫戎將軍張閬等帥步騎一萬東擊漢;命討虜將軍陳安、安故太守賈騫、隴西太守吳紹各統郡兵爲前驅。又遺相國保書曰:「王室有事,不忘投軀。前遣賈騫瞻公舉動,中被符命,敕騫還軍。俄聞寇逼長安,胡崧不進,麴允持金五百,請救於崧,遂決遣騫等進軍度嶺。會聞朝廷傾覆,爲忠不遂,憤痛之深,死有餘責。今更遣璞等,唯公命是從。」璞等卒不能進而還。

4. Zhang Shi sent his Marshal of the Greater Staff (as Commander), Han Pu, the General Who Nurtures The Rong Tribes, Zhang Lang, and others to lead ten thousand horse and foot east to attack Han. He also ordered the General Who Campaigns Against Caitiffs, Chen An, the Administrator of An'gu, Jia Qian, and the Administrator of Longxi, Wu Shao, to each lead the soldiers of their commandaries as the vanguard of this army.

Zhang Shi also wrote a letter to the Chancellor of State, Sima Bao, stating, "When the royal family is in danger, one cannot fail to exert themself on its behalf. I had earlier dispatched Jia Qian, presuming to assist you in your own movements. But while that army was on the march, when I received your order, I commanded Jia Qian to bring his army back. Then I heard that the invaders were threatening Chang'an, and Hu Song could not advance. Qu Yun offered five hundred gold, asking for reinforcements for Hu Song. So I determined to sent Jia Qian and others to march their armies forward and cross the mountain ranges. But when I soon heard that the court had fallen, and my loyalty had not been enough, I felt extreme distress and pain, and I was nearly on the point of death. I am now once again dispatching Han Pu and others, and they only await your command for them to follow."

But the soldiers of Han Pu and the others could not advance, so they marched back towards Liangzhou again.

〈時張氏保據河西,有太府司馬、太府‧少府主簿等官;蓋以都督府爲太府,涼州府爲少府也。璞,匹角翻。〉〈撫戎將軍,蓋張氏創置。〉〈沈約《志》,魏置將軍四十號,討虜第十九。〉〈《晉志》曰:張茂分武興、金城、西平、安故四郡爲定州。蓋張氏分金城、西平二郡地置安故郡也。按安故縣,二漢屬隴西郡。《水經註》:洮水自臨洮縣東流,又屈而北流,逕安故縣故城西,又北逕狄道縣故城西。狄道,時已置武始郡;安故郡,蓋卽漢之一縣置郡。〉〈符命,蓋保符下寔也。〉〈自涼州濟河度沃于嶺,至狄道。〉

(At this time, Zhang Shi was occupying and guarding the Hexi region. He had the offices of Marshal of the Greater Staff and Registrars and other offices of the Greater and Lesser Staffs. The Greater Staff was in his capacity as Commander, and the Lesser Staff was in his capacity as Inspector of Liangzhou.

Han Pu's given name 璞 is pronounced "piao (p-iao)".

General Who Nurtures The Rong Tribes was an office that the Zhang clan of Liangzhou had created.

According to Shen Yue's Annotations, of the forty General titles which Cao-Wei had created, General Who Campaigns Against Caitiffs was the nineteenth.

The Records of Jin states, "Zhang Mao split off the four commandaries of Wuxing, Jincheng, Xiping, and An'gu to form Dingzhou." So the Zhang clan must have first split the commandaries of Jincheng and Xiping to form An'gu commandary. As for An'gu county, during Former and Later Han it was part of Longxi commandary. The Commentary on the Water Classic states, "The Tao River flows east from Lintao county, and then turns to flow north, passing west of the capital city of An'gu county, and then further north to pass west of the capital city of Didao county." By this time, Didao had already been split off as Wushi commandary. So An'gu commandary must have consisted of purely the old An'gu county as it was during Han.

When Zhang Shi says that Jia Qian "received orders", he means Sima Bao's orders.

The soldiers of Liangzhou would have crossed the Yellow River and passed through the mountain ranges, until they reached Didao.)


遣太府司馬韓璞、滅寇將軍田齊、撫戎將軍張閬、前鋒督護陰預步騎一萬,東赴國難。命討虜將軍陳安、故太守賈騫、隴西太守吳紹各統郡兵為璞等前驅。戒璞曰:「前遣諸將多違機信,所執不同,致有乖阻。且內不和親,焉能服物!今遣禦督五將兵事,當如一體,不得令乖異之問達孤耳也。」復遺南陽王保書曰:「王室有事,不忘投軀。孤州遠域,首尾多難,是以前遣賈騫,瞻望公舉。中被符命,敕騫還軍。忽聞北地陷沒,寇逼長安,胡崧不進,麹允持金五百請救於崧,是以決遣騫等進軍度嶺。會聞朝廷傾覆,為忠不達於主,遣兵不及於難,痛慨之深,死有餘責。今更遣韓璞等,唯公命是從。」(Book of Jin 86, Biography of Zhang Shi)

When Zhang Shi learned that Liu Yao had forced Emperor Min to move to the Han-Zhao capital at Pingyang, he held a great mourning for three days. Zhang Shi sent his Marshal of the Greater Staff (as Commander), Han Pu, the General Who Vanquishes The Invaders, Tian Ji, the General Who Nurtures The Rong Tribes, Zhang Lang, and the Vanguard Protector, Yin Yu, to lead ten thousand horse and foot east to rescue the state from its troubles. He also ordered the General Who Campaigns Against Caitiffs, Chen An, the former Administrator, Jia Qian, and the Administrator of Longxi, Wu Shao, to each lead the soldiers of their commandaries as the vanguard of this army.

Zhang Shi instructed Han Pu, "When I sent forth generals before, many of them did not trust each other, and so they did not work together and thus ran into problems. Besides, when there is not harmony within, how can you achieve anything? Now I am sending the five of you out on this military mission. You must be of one accord; do not allow divisions to spring up between you and keep you isolated."

Zhang Shi also wrote a letter to the Prince of Nanyang, Sima Bao, stating, "When the royal family is in danger, one cannot fail to exert themself on its behalf. My province is in a distant region, and faces many difficulties from head to tail. So I had earlier dispatched Jia Qian, presuming to assist you in your own movements. But while that army was on the march, when I received your order, I commanded Jia Qian to bring his army back. Then I suddenly heard that Beidi had fallen and the invaders were threatening Chang'an, and Hu Song could not advance. Qu Yun offered five hundred gold, asking for reinforcements for Hu Song. So I determined to sent Jia Qian and others to march their armies forward and cross the mountain ranges. But when I soon heard that the court had fallen, and my loyalty had not been enough and my soldiers had not arrived to save them in time, I felt extreme distress and pain, and I was nearly on the point of death. I am now once again dispatching Han Pu and others, and they only await your command for them to follow."


至南安,諸羌斷路,相持百餘日,糧竭矢盡。璞殺車中牛以饗士,泣謂之曰:「汝曹念父母乎?」曰:「念。」「念妻子乎?」曰:「念。」「欲生還乎?」曰:「欲。」「從我令乎?」曰:「諾。」乃鼓譟進戰,會張閬帥金城兵繼至,夾擊,大破之,斬首數千級。

5. When the Liangzhou soldiers reached Nan'an, the Qiang tribes blocked the roads further on. The two sides were locked in stalemate for more than a hundred days; the Liangzhou army's food was exhausted and their arrows were spent.

So Han Pu killed the plow oxen to feed his soldiers, and he wept as he asked them, "Do you all remember your fathers and mothers?"

They answered, "We do."

"Do you remember your wives and children?"

"We do."

"Do you want to return home alive again?"

"We do."

"Will you heed my orders?"

"We will."

So Han Pu beat the drums and sent his men forward to battle. Then Zhang Lang led the soldiers of Jincheng to reinforce them; they struck the Qiang from both sides and greatly routed them, taking thousands of heads.

〈南安郡,治䝠道縣。〉

(Nan'an commandary was administered from Huandao County.)


及璞次南安,諸羌斷軍路,相持百餘日,糧竭矢盡。璞殺駕牛饗軍,泣謂眾曰:「汝曹念父母乎?」曰:「念。」「念妻子乎?」曰:「念。」「欲生還乎?」曰:「欲。」「從我令乎?」曰:「諾。」乃鼓噪進戰。會張閬率金城軍繼至,夾擊,大敗之,斬級數千。(Book of Jin 86, Biography of Zhang Shi)

When Han Pu was passing through Nan'an, the Qiang tribes blocked the roads further on. The two sides were locked in stalemate for more than a hundred days; the Liangzhou army's food was exhausted and their arrows were spent. So Han Pu killed the plow oxen to feed his soldiers, and he wept as he asked them, "Do you all remember your fathers and mothers?"

They answered, "We do."

"Do you remember your wives and children?"

"We do."

"Do you want to return home alive again?"

"We do."

"Will you heed my orders?"

"We will."

So Han Pu beat the drums and sent his men forward to battle. Then Zhang Lang led the soldiers of Jincheng to reinforce them; they struck the Qiang from both sides and greatly routed them, taking thousands of heads.


先是,長安謠曰:「秦川中,血沒腕,唯有涼州倚柱觀。」及漢兵覆關中,氐、羌掠隴右,雍、秦之民,死者什八九,獨涼州安全。

6. Up until this time, a ditty had spread through Chang'an: "The lands of Qin have been laid waste; only Liangzhou is still safe." The Han soldiers had ravaged Guanzhong, while the Di and Qiang tribes had plundered Longyou. Eight or nine of every ten people in Yongzhou and Qinzhou had died. Only Liangzhou remained secure and peaceful.

時焦崧、陳安寇隴石,東與劉曜相持,雍秦之人死者十八九。初,永嘉中,長安謠曰:「秦川中,血沒腕,惟有涼州倚柱觀。」至是,謠言驗矣。(Book of Jin 86, Biography of Zhang Shi)

At this time, Jiao Song and Chen An invaded Longshi, joining together with Liu Yao to their east. Eight or nine of every ten people in the Yongzhou and Qinzhou regions died. Before, during the Yongjia reign era (307-312), a ditty had spread through Chang'an: "The lands of Qin have been laid waste; only Liangzhou is still safe." And so now, the ballad proved true.


二月,漢主聰使從弟暢帥步騎三萬攻滎陽,太守李矩屯韓王故壘,相去七里,遣使招矩。時暢兵猝至,矩未及爲備,乃遣使詐降於暢。暢不復設備,大饗,渠帥皆醉。矩欲夜襲之,士卒皆恇懼,矩乃遣其將郭誦禱於子產祠,使巫揚言曰:「子產有敎,遣神兵相助。」衆皆踊躍爭進。矩選勇敢千人,使誦將之,掩擊暢營,斬首數千級,暢僅以身免。

7. In the second month, the Emperor of Han, Liu Cong, sent his nephew Liu Chang to lead thirty thousand horse and foot to attack Xingyang. Jin's Administrator of Xingyang, Li Ju, was camped at the ramparts once built by the ancient King of Hann. When Liu Chang was seven li away from Li Ju's position, he sent envoys summoning Li Ju to come to him.

Now Liu Chang's army had arrived so suddenly that Li Ju had not prepared sufficient defenses to resist any attack. So he sent envoys to Liu Chang falsely offering his surrender. Liu Chang thus did not prepare any defenses for his own army; instead, he held a great feast, and all his officers drank to excess.

Li Ju wanted to launch a night attack against Liu Chang, but his officers and soldiers were all apprehensive and afraid. So Li Ju sent his general Guo Song to pray at the shrine of Zichan, and he had a shaman make an announcement: "Zichan has instructed us, and he shall send spirit soldiers to aid us in our attack." Heartened by this, Li Ju's soldiers enthusiastically raced each other to be first to volunteer. Li Ju selected a thousand brave fellows and had Guo Song lead them, and they launched a surprise attack on Liu Chang's camp; they took thousands of heads, and Liu Chang barely escaped with his life.

〈李矩屯新鄭,則韓王故壘亦在新鄭也。戰國時,韓滅鄭,徙都之,故有故壘在焉。〉〈子產相鄭,人懷其惠,爲之立祠。〉

(Li Ju was camped at Xinzheng, so these ramparts must have been the ones that the King of Hann had built at Xinzheng. During the Waring States era, after the state of Hann conquered the state of Zheng, they moved their capital to this place, and so the King of Hann had built ramparts here.

Zichan had been the Chancellor of the ancient state of Zheng. People cherished him for his kindness, and so they built a shrine to him.)


後劉聰遣從弟暢步騎三萬討矩,屯于韓王故壘,相去七里,遣使招矩。時暢卒至,矩未暇為備,遣使奉牛酒詐降於暢,潛匿精勇,見其老弱。暢不以為虞,大饗渠帥,人皆醉飽。矩謀夜襲之,兵士以賊眾,皆有懼色。矩令郭誦禱鄭子產祠曰:「君昔相鄭,惡鳥不鳴。凶胡臭羯,何得過庭!」使巫揚言:「東裏有教,當遣神兵相助。」將士聞之,皆踴躍爭進。乃使誦及督選楊璋等選勇敢千人,夜掩暢營,獲鎧馬甚多,斬首數千級,暢僅以身免。先是,郭默聞矩被攻,遣弟芝率眾援之。既而聞破暢,芝復馳來赴矩。矩乃與芝馬五百匹,分軍為三道,夜追賊,復大獲而旋。(Book of Jin 63, Biography of Li Ju)

Later, Liu Cong sent his cousin Liu Chang to lead thirty thousand horse and foot to campaign against Li Ju. He camped at the old rampart of the King of Hann, seven li from Li Ju's position, and sent envoys to summon him. At that time, since Liu Chang had only just arrived, Li Ju had not yet prepared any defenses. So he sent envoys to Liu Chang, offering him cattle and wine and pretending to surrender to him. And he hid his best and boldest warriors, only showing Liu Chang's envoys his old and weak soldiers. So Liu Chang was no longer worried about Li Ju, and he held a great feast for his commanders, who all ate and drank to their heart's content.

Then Li Ju plotted to launch a surprise attack during the night, but his soldiers all looked afraid, worried about how large the enemy army was. So Li Ju ordered Guo Song to pray at the shrine of the ancient minister Zichan of Zheng. Guo Song prayed to Zichan saying, "Sir, in ancient times when you were the Chancellor of Zheng, you disapproved even when the birds refused to hoot. Will you allow these wild barbarians and stinking Jie to violate the court?" And Li Ju had a shaman announce, "Dongling (Zichan) has instructed us, and he shall send spirit soldiers to aid us in our attack." Heartened by this, Li Ju's soldiers enthusiastically raced each other to be first to volunteer. Li Ju selected a thousand brave fellows, Yang Zhang and others, and had Guo Song lead them. They launched a surprise attack on Liu Chang's camp during the night; they stole a great many armored horses and took thousands of heads, and Liu Chang barely escaped with his life.

Earlier, Guo Mo had heard that Li Ju was being attacked, so he had sent his younger brother Guo Zhi to lead his troops to assist Li Ju. When Guo Zhi heard that Li Ju had just routed Liu Chang, he rushed forward to meet up with Li Ju. Li Ju then gave Guo Zhi five hundred horses and sent him to march his army in three detachments to pursue the fleeing enemies through the night, and the pursuit troops captured a great many of them before returning.

曜進攻李矩于滎陽,矩遣將軍李平師于成皋,曜覆而滅之。矩恐,送質請降。(Book of Jin 102, Biography of Liu Cong)

Liu Yao advanced and attacked Li Ju at Xingyang. Li Ju sent the general Li Ping to march to Chenggao, but Liu Yao turned and vanquished him. Afraid, Li Ju sent hostages and asked to surrender.


辛巳,宋哲至建康,稱受愍帝詔,令丞相琅邪王睿統攝萬機。三月,琅邪王素服出次,舉哀三日。於是西陽王羕及官屬等共上尊號,王不許。羕等固請不已,王慨然流涕曰:「孤,罪人也。諸賢見逼不已,當歸琅邪耳!」呼私奴,命駕將歸國。羕等乃請依魏、晉故事,稱晉王;許之。辛卯,卽晉王位,大赦,改元;始備百官,立宗廟,建社稷。

8. On the day Xinsi (March 27th), Song Zhe arrived at Jiankang, the base of the Prime Minister and Prince of Langye, Sima Rui. Song Zhe claimed to have an edict from Emperor Min, ordering Sima Rui to assume command over all affairs of the realm.

In the third month, Sima Rui put on mourning clothes and went out, and he held mourning for three days.

Then the Prince of Xiyang, Sima Yang, and the other officials all asked that Sima Rui assume the imperial title. But Sima Rui would not accept. Sima Yang and the others continued incessantly to ask him to do so, and Sima Rui wept greatly and said, "I am one who is at fault, yet you worthy men keep hounding me to do such a thing. I ought to just go back to Langye!" And he called for his household slave, ordering him to prepare his carriage to return to his fief at Langye.

So Sima Yang and the others tempered their request and now asked that he follow the examples of Cao Cao and his own forebears by merely proclaiming himself the Prince of Jin. Sima Rui agreed to do so.

On the day Xinmao (April 6th), he assumed the title Prince of Jin; he declared a general amnesty, and changed the reign era title to the first year of Jianwu. He also created the imperial offices, founded the Ancestral Temple, and established the altar to grain and soil.

〈沈約曰:建康,本秣陵縣,漢獻帝建安十六年置;孫權改秣陵爲建業,武帝平吳,還爲秣陵;太康三年,分秣陵之水北爲建業;愍帝卽位,避帝諱,改爲建康。〉〈杜預曰:出次,避正寢。〉〈西陽王羕,汝南王亮之子。〉〈私奴,謂私所畜養而給使令之奴,非以罪沒官者。〉

(Shen Yue remarked, "Jiankang was originally Moling County. It was created in Emperor Xian of Han's sixteenth year of Jian'an (211). Sun Quan of Eastern Wu changed its name to Jianye. After Jin conquered Eastern Wu, they restored the old name of Moling. In the third year of Taikang (282), the part of Moling County north of the river was split off as Jianye. After Emperor Min came to the throne, because of the taboo on his given name Ye, Jianye's name was changed to Jiankang."

Du Yu remarked, "The term 出次 'to go out' means to avoid the main bedchamber or palace."

This Prince of Xiyang, Sima Yang, was the son of the Prince of Runan, Sima Liang.

A household slave was one who had been raised as such and then assigned to an official, not someone who had been pressed into service as a result of a crime.)


有司請立太子,王愛次子宣城公裒,欲立之,謂王導曰:「立子當以德。」導曰:「世子、宣城,俱有朗雋之美,而世子年長。」王從之。丙辰,立世子紹爲王太子;封裒爲琅邪王,奉恭王後;仍以裒都督青、徐、兗三州諸軍事,鎭廣陵。以西陽王羕爲太保,封譙剛王遜之子承爲譙王。遜,宣帝之弟子也。又以征南大將軍王敦爲大將軍、江州牧,揚州刺史王導爲驃騎將軍、都督中外諸軍事、領中書監、錄尚書事,丞相左長史刁協爲尚書左僕射,右長史周顗爲吏部尚書,軍諮祭酒賀循爲中書令,右司馬戴淵、王邃爲尚書,司直劉隗爲御史中丞,行參軍劉超爲中書舍人,自餘參軍悉拜奉車都尉,掾屬拜駙馬都尉,行參軍舍人拜騎都尉。王敦辭州牧,王導以敦統六州,辭中外都督,賀循以老病辭中書令,王皆許之;以循爲太常。是時承喪亂之後,江東草創,刁協久宦中朝,諳練舊事,賀循爲世儒宗,明習禮學,凡有疑議,皆取決焉。

9. The officials asked that Sima Rui appoint a Crown Prince. Sima Rui favored the Duke of Xuancheng, his second son Sima Pou, and he wanted to make Sima Pou the Crown Prince. He hinted to Wang Dao, "When appointing a Crown Prince, one ought to choose the most virtuous."

But Wang Dao replied, "Your eldest son and the Duke of Xuancheng both have outstanding excellence, but your eldest son is also the older one."

So Sima Rui followed his advice. On the day Bingchen (?), Sima Rui appointed his eldest son Sima Shao as Crown Prince. He appointed Sima Pou as Prince of Langye, to continue the line of that fief as it had come down from his own father Prince Gong (Sima Jin). He also appointed Sima Pou as Commander of military affairs in Qingzhou, Xuzhou, and Yanzhou, and had him guard Guangling.

Sima Rui appointed Sima Yang as Grand Guardian, and he appointed the son of Prince Gang ("the Adamant") of Qiao, Sima Xun's son Sima Cheng (or Zheng), as the new Prince of Qiao. This Sima Xun was the nephew of Emperor Xuan (Sima Yi).

Sima Rui also appointed the Grand General Who Conquers The South, Wang Dun, as the Grand General and Governor of Jiangzhou. He appointed the Inspector of Yangzhou, Wang Dao, as General of Agile Cavalry, Commander of all military affairs, acting Chief of the Palace Secretariat, and director of affairs of the Masters of Writing.

He appointed the Prime Minister's Chief Clerk of the Left, Diao Xie, as Supervisor of the Left of the Masters of Writing, and he appointed the Chief Clerk of the Right, Zhou Yi, as the Secretary of the Masters of Writing. He appointed the Army Libationer-Consultant, He Xun, as Prefect of the Palace Secretariat, and he appointed the Marshals of the Right, Dai Yuan and Wang Sui, as Masters of Writing. He appointed the Director of Justice, Liu Wei, as Assistant of the Middle to the Imperial Secretary. He appointed the acting Army Advisor, Liu Chao, as Retainer of the Palace Secretariat, and he appointed the Army Advisor of Affairs, Kong Yu, as 長兼 of the Gentlemen of the Palace Secretariat.

The other Army Advisors were all assigned to the Commandant of Chariots, the other Officials were assigned to the Commandant of Side-Horses, and the acting Retainers and Army Advisors were assigned to the Commandant of Cavalry.

Wang Dun declined his appointment as Governor of Jiangzhou, and Wang Dao offered to administer six provinces on his behalf, declining the higher post of Commander of all military affairs. He Xun also declined the post of Prefect of the Palace Secretariat, on account of his old age and infirmity. Sima Rui granted all of their requests, and he merely appointed He Xun as Minister of Ceremonies.

Now because of the great loss and chaos of the realm, Sima Rui's court in the Southland was having to start fresh when it came to the workings of the government. But Diao Xie had long served in the original court as a eunuch, so he was well-versed in the traditional methods of how to run things. And He Xun had been a practicing Confucianist for several reigns, and he knew how to conduct the proper ceremonies and provide the right instructions clearly. So whenever there was some discussion on anything that was uncertain, everything was decided by their rulings.

〈帝後大宗,故以裒奉琅邪國祀。〉〈一本作「譙王承[氶],音拯。〉〈《晉志》曰:中書,晉初置舍人、通事各一人,江左合舍人、通事,謂之通事舍人,掌呈奏案。〉參軍事孔愉長兼中書郎;〈長兼,蓋始於此。〉〈三都尉,皆漢武帝置。奉車都尉,掌御乘輿車;駙馬都尉,掌駙馬;騎都尉,掌監羽林騎。師古曰:駙,副馬也;非正駕車,皆爲副馬。一曰:駙,近也,疾也。晉武帝以宗室、外戚爲三都尉;江左後罷奉車、騎二都尉,唯留駙馬都尉,奉朝請,諸尚公主者爲之。〉〈《廣雅》曰:草,造也;創,始也。〉

(Sima Rui's title was Prince of Langye. But when he later became Emperor, he had to give up that title. Nor could Sima Shao inherit it, since he was Crown Prince to the imperial line. So to ensure it continued as part of his family's line, he passed the title Prince of Langye to Sima Pou.

Some versions write the name of Sima Xun's son as Sima 氶, pronounced "zheng".

The Records of Jin states, "Regarding the Palace Secretariat, Jin had originally created a Retainer and a 通事 for that bureau, each of these being the office of a different person. After the court moved south of the Yangzi, they combined these two offices and called the combined office the 通事 Retainer. Its duties were to handle petitions, edicts, and cases."

The office of 長兼 was first created at this time.

The three Commandant offices mentioned here (of Chariots, of Side-Horses, and of Cavalry) had originally been created by Emperor Wu of Han. The Commandant of Chariots handled carriages and chariots and such vehicles; the Commandant of Side-Horses handled such horses; the Commandant of Cavalry handled and oversaw the Cavalry of the Feathered Forest guards. Yan Shigu remarked, "The 駙 'side' horse is the 副 'vice' horse; the horses that are not the main horse pulling the carriage are called the vice horses." Others state, "駙 means 'near' or 'painful'." When Emperor Wu of Jin (Sima Yan) founded the dynasty, he appointed blood and marital members of the royal family to these three Commandant offices. Eastern Jin later abolished the offices of Commandant of Chariots and Commandant of Cavalry, only retaining the Commandant of Side-Horses. Upon court request, those who were married to imperial princesses were assigned this office.

This passage states that Sima Rui's court was 草創. The Erya dictionary states, "草 means 'to build'" and "創 means 'begin'".)


譙剛王遜,字子悌,宣帝弟魏中郎進之子也。仕魏關內侯,改封城陽亭侯,參鎮東軍事,拜輕車將軍、羽林左監。五等建,徙封涇陽男。武帝受禪,封譙王,邑四千四百戶。泰始二年薨。二子:隨、承。定王隨立。薨,子邃立,沒于石勒,元帝以承嗣遜。閔王承字敬才,少篤厚有志行。拜奉車都尉、奉朝請,稍遷廣威將軍、安夷護軍,鎮安定。從惠帝還洛陽,拜遊擊將軍。永嘉中,天下漸亂,間行依征南將軍山簡,會簡卒,進至武昌。元帝初鎮揚州,承歸建康,補軍諮祭酒。湣帝徵為龍驤將軍,不行。元帝為晉王,承制更封承為譙王。(Book of Jin 37, Biography of Sima Xun & Sima Cheng)

Sima Xun, styled Ziti, was posthumously known as Prince Gang of Qiao. He was the son of one of Cao-Wei's Household Gentlemen, Sima Yi's younger brother Sima Jin. During Cao-Wei, Sima Xun was originally a Marquis Within The Passes, and later became Marquis of Chengyang village. He advised the General Who Guards The East on army affairs, and he was then appointed as General of Light Chariots and Leader of the Left of the Feathered Forest Guards. When the Five Ranks system was established, Sima Xun's title was changed to Baron of Jingyang. After Emperor Wu (Sima Yan) accepted the abdication, Sima Xun was appointed as Prince of Qiao, with a fief of four thousand four hundred households. He passed away in the second year of Taishi (266).

Sima Xun had two sons: Sima 隨 Sui and Sima Cheng. Sima Sui succeeded his father as Prince of Qiao; he was posthumously known as Prince Ding of Qiao. After Sima Sui passed away, his son Sima 邃 Sui succeeded him as Prince of Qiao. However, Sima Sui was killed by Shi Le. So Emperor Yuan (Sima Rui) had Sima Xun's second son Sima Cheng inherit the lapsed title as Prince of Qiao.

Sima Cheng, styled Jingcai, was posthumously known as Prince Min of Qiao. Even as a youth, he was sincere, generous, and purposeful in his conduct. He was appointed as Commandant Who Presents Chariots and 奉朝請, and he became General Who Spreads Might and Army-Protector Who Maintains Yi Tribes, stationed at Anding.

Sima Cheng accompanied Emperor Hui when he returned to Luoyang (in 306), and he was appointed as General Who Breaks And Charges. During the Yongjia era (307-312), as the realm fell into chaos, Sima Cheng took backroads to go to the General Who Conquers The South, Shan Jian. After Shan Jian soon passed away, Sima Cheng kept going, until he reached Wuchang. Since Emperor Yuan (Sima Rui) had just taken up his post as Inspector of Yangzhou, Sima Cheng came to join him at Jiankang, where he was appointed as a Libationer Army-Consultant. Emperor Min summoned Sima Cheng to the capital to serve as Dragon-Soaring General, but Sima Cheng did not go.

After Emperor Yuan declared himself Prince of Jin (in 317), he further appointed Sima Cheng as Prince of Qiao.

相府建,又爲舍人。于時天下擾亂,伐叛討貳,超自以職在近密,而書跡與帝手筆相類,乃絕不與人交書。時出休沐,閉門不通賓客,由是漸得親密。以左右勤勞,賜爵原鄉亭侯,食邑七百戶,轉行參軍。中興建,爲中書舍人,拜騎都尉、奉朝請。時臺閣初建,庶績未康,超職典文翰,而畏慎靜密,彌見親待。加以處身清苦,衣不重帛,家無儋石之儲。每帝所賜,皆固辭曰:「凡陋小臣,橫竊賞賜,無德而祿,殃咎足懼。」帝嘉之,不奪其志。尋出補句容令,推誠於物,爲百姓所懷。常年賦稅,主者常自四出結評百姓家貲。至超,但作大函,邨別付之,使各自書家產,投函中訖,送還縣。百姓依實投上,課輸所入,有踰常年。(Book of Jin 70, Biography of Liu Chao)

When Emperor Yuan was organizing his new staff as Prime Minister, Liu Chao was once again chosen to be a Retainer. At that time, the realm had been plunged into chaos, and constant campaigns were being launched against rebels and the disloyal. Since Liu Chao considered that he held a very close and intimate position, and his handwriting was similar to Emperor Yuan's, he never exchanged letters with other people. Even when he went off to rest or wash up, he would close his doors and not interact with guests. Because of this behavior, Emperor Yuan gradually grew even closer to him. He felt that Liu Chao was a diligent and hardworking attendant, and he rewarded him with the title Marquis of Yuanxiang village, with a fief of seven hundred households. He also transferred him to be an Army Advisor.

After the restoration of the dynasty, Liu Chao was appointed as a Retainer of the Palace Secretariat. He was further appointed as a Cavalry Commandant and as Convener of the Court. At this time, the government ministries had only been newly established, so the structure of everything was not yet in order. At the same time, Liu Chao had some knowledge of proper canons and documentation. Yet he remained cautious and meticulous, fearful of making any mistakes, and only paid even more personal attention to his duties.

Liu Chao exerted himself in his work, and he did not dress in finery, nor did his family have stores of grain kept away. But whenever Emperor Yuan tried to reward him with something, Liu Chao would always decline it, saying, "I am just a lowly and humble servant, so how can I seek rewards? If I acted without virtue and yet claimed a salary, I should have to fear misfortune." Emperor Yuan commended him, and he did not interfere with Liu Chao's desire.

Liu Chao was later sent out to serve as Prefect of Jurong. He practiced honesty in his duties, and the common people cherished him. Normally, for the yearly tax evaluation, the officials would usually send out agents to appraise the resources of the common people. But when Liu Chao became Prefect, instead he prepared great envelopes and sent them out to the various villages of the county, with orders for the villagers to conduct their own appraisals of themselves. He included envelopes inside to be filled with the information and then sent back to the county office. This caused the common people to give accurate estimations of their resources and send those back, and when the tax revenue actually came in, it exceeded what was collected in average years.

建武初,又遷征南大將軍,開府如故。中興建,拜侍中、大將軍、江州牧。(Book of Jin 98, Biography of Wang Dun)

At the beginning of the Jianwu reign era (317), Wang Dun was appointed as Grand General Who Conquers The South, maintaining his Separate Office as before. When the restoration of the dynasty was established, Wang Dun was appointed as a Palace Attendant, as Grand General, and as Governor of Jiangzhou.


劉琨、段匹磾相與歃血同盟,期以翼戴晉室。辛丑,琨檄告華、夷,遣兼左長史、右司馬溫嶠,匹磾遣左長史榮卲,奉表及盟文詣建康勸進。嶠,羨之弟子也,嶠之從母爲琨妻。琨謂嶠曰:「晉祚雖衰,天命未改,吾當立功河朔,使卿延譽江南。行矣,勉之!」

10. Liu Kun and Duan Pidi had sworn an oath of alliance together, smearing blood on their lips as the sign of their pledge, and they were still serving as wings of the Jin royal family.

On the day Xinchou (April 16th), Liu Kun sent out proclamations to inform the Hua (ethnic Han) and Yi tribes. He sent out the Combined Chief Clerk of the Left and Marshal of the Right, Wen Jiao, and Duan Pidi sent out his own Chief Clerk of the Left, Rong Shao; Wen Jiao and Rong Shao went to visit Jiankang to present Liu Kun's and Duan Pidi's joint petition urging Sima Rui to claim the imperial title.

This Wen Jiao was the nephew of Wen Xian; Wen Jiao's aunt was Liu Kun's wife. Liu Kun said to Wen Jiao, "Although the Jin dynasty is in dire straits, the mandate of Heaven has not passed from them yet. I will remain here and achieve things north of the Yellow River, while I am sending you to establish my reputation south of the Yangzi. Go, and exert yourself!"

〈漢之禪于魏也,文帝三讓,魏朝羣臣累表請順天人之望,此則勸進之造端也。晉受魏禪,何曾等亦然。是時愍帝蒙塵,四海無君,琨等勸進,爲得其正。〉〈溫羨見八十六卷惠帝永興二年。〉〈母之姊妹爲從母。〉

(When Han had abdicated the throne to Cao-Wei, Emperor Wen of Cao-Wei (Cao Pi) had declined the offered abdication three times. The Cao-Wei ministers had to repeatedly petition him to obey the wishes of Heaven and the people before he would accept. This was why Liu Kun and Duan Pidi now urged Sima Rui to claim the throne. When Jin had accepted the abdication of Cao-Wei, He Zeng and the other chief ministers had had to do the same thing. At this time, Emperor Min was hidden away, and the land between the Four Seas had no ruler. So Liu Kun and Duan Pidi urged Sima Rui to claim the throne to rectify this situation.

Wen Xian is mentioned in Book 86, in Emperor Hui's second year of Yongxing (306.21).

One's mother's younger sister is called one's 從母 "aunt".)


劉琨雖隔閡寇戎,志存本朝,謂溫嶠曰:「班彪識劉氏之復興,馬援知漢光之可輔。今晉阼雖衰,天命未改。吾欲立功於河北,使卿延譽於江南。子其行乎?」溫曰:「嶠雖不敏,才非昔人,明公以桓、文之姿,建匡立之功,豈敢辭命!」(New Tales 2.35)

Although Liu Kun had been isolated by the invading barbarians, his loyalty remained with the Jin court. He said to Wen Jiao,
"Ban Biao recognized that the royal Liu house of the Han dynasty would rise again, and Ma Yuan knew that Emperor Guangwu of Han was worthy of support. Although the Jin rule is today in decline, the mandate of Heaven has not yet been changed. I would like to establish my merit here north of the Yellow River, and have you extend my reputation south of the Yangzi. Will you do it?"

Wen Jiao replied, "Even though I'm not clever, and my ability isn't up to that of the ancients, nevertheless, since Your Excellency is establishing merits to restore the dynasty after the examples of Duke Huan of Qi and Duke Wen of Jin, how could I presume to refuse your command?" (Tr. Richard Mather)


王以鮮卑大都督慕容廆爲都督遼左雜夷流民諸軍事、龍驤將軍、大單于、昌黎公;廆不受。征虜將軍魯昌說廆曰:「今兩京覆沒,天子蒙塵,琅邪王承制江東,爲四海所係屬。明公雖雄據一方,而諸部猶阻兵未服者,蓋以官非王命故也。謂宜通使琅邪,勸承大統,然後奉詔令以伐有罪,誰敢不從!」處士遼東高詡曰:「霸王之資,非義不濟。今晉室雖微,人心猶附之,宜遣使江東,示有所尊,然後仗大義以征諸部,不患無辭矣。」廆從之,遣長史王濟浮海詣建康勸進。

11. Sima Rui appointed the Grand Commander of the Xianbei, Murong Hui, as Commander of military affairs of the various tribes and refugees beyond the Liao River, as Dragon-Soaring General, as Grand Chanyu, and as Duke of Changli.

Murong Hui declined these offices. But the General Who Conquers The Caitiffs, Lu Chang, advised Murong Hui, "Now the two capitals (Luoyang and Chang'an) have fallen and the Son of Heaven (Emperor Min) is 'covered in dust and driven away'. The Prince of Langye (Sima Rui) is in control in the Southland, and all within the Four Seas are subordinate to him. Your Grace, although through your heroic might you do now occupy this corner of the realm, there are still many people whose soldiers oppose you and who refuse to obey you, and that is because you do not pay heed to the royal mandate. I say that you ought to send messengers to the Prince of Langye and urge him to claim full control of affairs. Afterwards, he will grant you an edict to campaign against anyone who goes against you. Then who would dare not to obey you?"

And the hermit Gao Xu of Liaodong said, "You may have the makings of a hegemon-king, but unless you act righteously, you will not succeed. Although the Jin dynasty has been crippled, men's hearts are still inclined towards them. You should send messengers to the Southland and urge the Prince to claim the imperial title, and afterwards you will wield the authority of great justice in order to campaign against your enemies. Then you need have no fear."

So Murong Hui followed their advice, and he sent his Chief Clerk, Wang Ji, to cross the sea and visit Jiankang to urge Sima Rui to claim the imperial title.

〈遼左,卽遼東。流民,謂中州之民流移入遼東者。〉〈《左傳》,叔帶之難,襄王出居于鄭,使告難于魯。臧文仲對曰:「天子蒙塵于外,敢不奔問官守。」〉〈晉室雖衰,慕容、苻、姚之興,其初皆借王命以自重。〉

(The phrase "beyond the Liao River" meant Liaodong. The "refugees" were those people of the Middle Provinces who had moved to the region of Liaodong.

In the Zuo Commentary to the Spring and Autumn Annals, because of the troubles he was experiencing from his uncle Dai, King Xiang of Zhou went out to reside at Zheng, where he sent a messenger to announce his troubles to the state of Lu. Zang Wenzhong replied, "The Son of Heaven is covered with dust, driven out from Zhou. We dare not but fly to ask for his officers and guards. (Xi 24.4)"

Although the Jin dynasty had been crippled, the Murong (Murong Hui and Murong Huang of Former Yan), Fu (Fu Jiàn of Former Qin), and Yao (Yao Yizhong and Yao Xiang of Later Qin) founders all got their starts by relying upon the legitimacy of imperial support that Jin gave them.)


漢相國粲使其黨王平謂太弟义曰:「適奉中詔,云京師將有變,宜衷甲以備非常。」义信之,命宮臣皆衷甲以居。粲馳遣告靳準、王沈。準以白漢主聰曰:「太弟將爲亂,已衷甲矣!」聰大驚曰:「寧有是邪!」王沈等皆曰:「臣等聞之久矣,屢言之,而陛下不之信也。」聰使粲以兵圍東宮。粲使準、沈收氐、羌酋長十餘人,窮問之,皆懸首高格,燒鐵灼目,酋長自誣與义謀反。聰謂沈等曰:「吾今而後知卿等之忠也!當念知無不言,勿恨往日言而不用也!」於是誅東宮官屬及义素所親厚,準、沈等素所憎怨者大臣數十人,阬士卒萬五千餘人。夏,四月,廢义爲北部王,粲尋使準賊殺之。义形神秀爽,寬仁有器度,故士心多附之。聰聞其死,哭之慟,曰:「吾兄弟止餘二人而不相容,安得使天下知吾心邪!」氐、羌叛者甚衆,以靳準行車騎大將軍,討平之。

12. Han's Chancellor of State, Liu Cong's son Liu Can, sent his partisan Wang Ping to advise the Crown Younger Brother, Liu Cong's younger brother Liu Ai, "I have brought you an edict from the palace. It states that there is going to be some development in the capital soon, so you should put armor on under your clothes in case anything unusual happens." Liu Ai believed him, and he ordered his palace servants to keep their armor on under their clothing.

Liu Can then quickly sent word to Jin Zhun and Wang Shen. Wang Shen reported to Liu Cong, "The Crown Younger Brother is about to rebel; his people are already dressed in their covered armor!"

Liu Cong was greatly alarmed, and he said, "How can this be?"

Wang Shen and the others replied, "We have heard about this for a long time, and we have often told you so, but Your Majesty would not believe us."

So Liu Cong ordered Liu Can to surrounded the Eastern Palace with soldiers. Liu Can sent Jin Zhun and Wang Shen to arrest more than ten of the leaders of the Di and Qiang troops, and they closely questioned these leaders, hanging their heads on wooden poles and burning their eyes with heated irons, until the leaders all made up stories of how they had been plotting rebellion together with Liu Ai.

Liu Cong said to Wang Shen and the others, "Now I know just how loyal all of you are! Tell me everything that you know, and hold nothing back; do not resent that I did not listen to you before!" And Liu Cong executed the ministers and officials of the Eastern Palace, as well as all of Liu Ai's close associates and dozens of great ministers whom Jin Zhun, Wang Shen, and the others had long hated. More than fifteen hundred guards of the Eastern Palace were buried alive.

In summer, the fourth month, Liu Ai was demoted to Prince of the Northern Division, and Liu Can soon ordered Jin Zhun to secretly kill him. Liu Ai had been an openhearted and exceptional person through and through, and he was greatly magnanimous and benevolent; this was why most of the people were inclined towards him. When Liu Cong heard that Liu Ai was dead, he was moved to tears, and he said, "We were the only two left of our father's sons, and yet we brothers could not abide one another. How can I make the realm understand how I truly feel?"

A great many of the Di and Qiang rebelled; Jin Zhun was appointed as acting Grand General of Chariots and Cavalry, and he campaigned against these tribes and pacified them.

〈粲固忌刻,而义亦愚甚矣。甲在衣中爲衷甲。〉〈义爲大單于,氐、羌酋長屬焉,故皆服事東宮。〉〈格,以木爲之。《周禮‧牛人》:祭祀,共其牛牲之互。鄭玄曰:互,若今屠家之懸肉格。左思《吳都賦》曰:峭格周施。呂向曰:格,懸網木也。〉〈所阬者,東宮四衞之兵也。〉〈北部,卽匈奴後部,居新興。〉〈漢主淵諸子,此時惟聰、义二人在耳。〉

(Liu Can had long been jealous and crafty, while Liu Ai was quite naive.

Armor worn under the clothing is called 衷.

Liu Ai was also Grand Chanyu, so these leaders of the Di and Qiang tribes were his subordinates, and they heeded the orders of the Eastern Palace.

格 were made of wood. The Ox-Man chapter of the Rites of Zhou states, "When conducting the sacrifices, their oxen and bulls are on the 互." Zheng Xuan commented, "This 互 is like the 格 that modern butchers hang their meat on." Zuo Si's Rhapsody on the Wu Capital states, "峭格周施". Lü Xiang commented, "This 格 is a hanging wooden net."

The soldiers who were buried alive were soldiers of the Eastern Palace's four guard divisions.

The Northern Division was the Xiongnu's Rear Division, based at Xinxing.

Of all of Liu Yuan's sons, by this time only Liu Cong and Liu Ai were still alive.)


聰東宮四門無故自壞,後內史女人化為丈夫... 時東宮鬼哭;赤虹經天,南有一歧;三日並照,各有兩珥,五色甚鮮;客星曆紫宮入於天獄而滅。太史令康相言於聰曰:「蛇虹見彌天,一歧南徹;三日並照;客星入紫宮。此皆大異,其征不遠也。今虹達東西者,許洛以南不可圖也。一歧南徹者,李氏當仍跨巴蜀,司馬睿終據全吳之象,天下其三分乎!月為胡王,皇漢雖苞括二京,龍騰九五,然世雄燕代,肇基北朔,太陰之變其在漢域乎!漢既據中原,曆命所屬,紫宮之異,亦不在他,此之深重,胡可盡言。石勒鴟視趙魏,曹嶷狼顧東齊,鮮卑之眾星布燕代,齊、代、燕、趙皆有將大之氣。願陛下以東夏為慮,勿顧西南。吳蜀之不能北侵,猶大漢之不能南向也。今京師寡弱,勒眾精盛,若盡趙魏之銳,燕之突騎自上黨而來,曹嶷率三齊之眾以繼之,陛下將何以抗之?紫宮之變何必不在此乎!願陛下早為之所,無使兆人生心。陛下誠能發詔,外以遠追秦皇、漢武循海之事,內為高帝圖楚之計,無不克矣。」聰覽之不悅。劉粲使王平謂劉乂曰:「適奉中詔,云京師將有變,敕裹甲以備之。」乂以為信然,令命宮臣裹甲以居。粲馳遣告靳准、王沈等曰:「向也王平告云東宮陰備非常,將若之何?」准白之,聰大驚曰:「豈有此乎!」王沈等同聲曰:「臣等久聞,但恐言之陛下弗信。」於是使粲圍東宮。粲遣沈、准收氐羌酋長十餘人,窮問之,皆懸首高格,燒鐵灼目,乃自誣與乂同造逆謀。聰謂沈等言曰:「而今而後,吾知卿等忠於朕也。當念為知無不言,勿恨往日言不用也。」於是誅乂素所親厚大臣及東宮官屬數十人,皆靳准及閹豎所怨也。廢乂為北部王,粲使准賊殺之。坑士眾萬五千餘人,平陽街巷為之空。氏羌叛者十餘萬落,以靳准行車騎大將軍以討之。(Book of Jin 102, Biography of Liu Cong)

The four gates of Liu Cong's Eastern Palace all inexplicably collapsed, and the female servants in his rear court turned into men.

At this time, there was ghastly wailing in the Eastern Palace. A red rainbow streaked across the sky, and part of it forked off towards the south. The three celestial bodies shone in the sky, along with the coronas of the Two Pearls (the sun and moon), and the five colors (red, yellow, blue, black, and white) were very evident. And a coment sailed through the Purple Palace Enclosure of the night sky and passed into the Heavenly Prison before vanishing.

The Prefect of the Astrology Bureau, Kang Xiang, sent a message to Liu Cong stating, "A winding rainbow was seen in the heavens, with one fork branching off towards the south. The three celestial bodies all shone bright. And a comet passed into the Purple Palace. These are all important omens, and they shall soon be fulfilled.

"Now the importance of the rainbow passing from east to west is to signify that the lands south of Xuchang and Luoyang cannot be campaigned against. And the fork veering off to the south indicates that the Li clan will stand astride the regions of Ba and Shu, while Sima Rui will occupy all the region of Wu. The realm is thus divided into three parts!

"As for the moon, it is the symbol of barbarian kings. Though our imperial Han dynasty does now occupy the two capitals (Luoyang and Chang'an) and has ascended like a dragon over the ninety-five, your ancestors lived for generations in the regions of Yan and Dai, and they established the foundation of the state in the far north. Thus, the Great Yin (the moon) in this case is a symbol for Han's domain! And since Han occupies the Central Plains and holds sway over the region where the Mandate has long been focused, an omen having to do with the Purple Palace Enclosure cannot refer to any other state. So this is a serious matter, and I must fully explain it.

"Shi Le is perched like an owl, with his eyes on the regions of Zhao and Wei; Cao Yi is prowling like a wolf, hungry for the Eastern Qi region; the Xianbei host is spread out across the regions of Yan and Dai. And all these regions, Qi, Dai, Yan, and Zhao, now have auras of great generals over them. I implore Your Majesty to focus your concerns on the east and north, and give no thought to the south or west. The regions of Wu and Shu are unable to move north to trouble us, nor is our Great Han able to move south towards them. Furthermore, the forces within the capital region are currently few and weak, while Shi Le commands a mighty and trained host. Suppose he were to lead forth all the warriors of Zhao and Wei, while the Xianbei in Yan brought their charging cavalry down from Shangdang and Cao Yi mustered the forces of the Three Qis to assist him? How then would Your Majesty be able to resist them? Surely this is exactly the threat which the omen of the Purple Palace foretells!

"Again, I implore Your Majesty to take measures against this outcome at once, and not allow these omens to trouble the hearts of the people. Your Majesty could send out an edict announcing your intention to imitate the examples of Qin Shihuang and Emperor Wu of Han by going on a patrol along the sea coast, but really in order to provide you with an opportunity to remove these threats, thus following the example of Gaozu (Liu Bang) when he campaigned against Chu. Then you could not help but succeed."

When Liu Cong read this message, he was not pleased.

Liu Can sent Wang Ping to advise Liu Ai, "I have brought you an edict from the palace. It states that there is going to be some development in the capital soon, so you are instructed to put armor on under your clothes in case anything unusual happens." Liu Ai believed him, and he ordered his palace servants to keep their armor on under their clothing.

Liu Can then quickly sent word to Jin Zhun, Wang Shen, and the others, telling them, "Wang Ping has just informed me that the Eastern Palace is secretly preparing for something unusual. What could this mean?"

Jin Zhun then reported to Liu Cong, who was greatly alarmed, and he said, "How can this be?"

Wang Shen and the others all replied, "We have heard about this for a long time, but we feared that Your Majesty would not believe us if we told you."

So Liu Cong ordered Liu Can to surrounded the Eastern Palace with soldiers. Liu Can sent Jin Zhun and Wang Shen to arrest more than ten of the leaders of the Di and Qiang troops, and they closely questioned these leaders, hanging their heads on wooden poles and burning their eyes with heated irons, until the leaders all made up stories of how they had been plotting rebellion together with Liu Ai.

Liu Cong said to Wang Shen and the others, "Now I know just how loyal all of you are! Tell me everything that you know, and hold nothing back; do not resent that I did not listen to you before." And Liu Cong executed the ministers and officials of the Eastern Palace, as well as all of Liu Ai's close associates and dozens of great ministers whom Jin Zhun and the eunuchs had long hated.

Liu Ai was demoted to Prince of the Northern Division, and Liu Can sent Jin Zhun to secretly kill him. More than fifteen hundred guards of the Eastern Palace were buried alive, and the streets and alleys of Pingyang were thus left empty.

More than a hundred thousand tribes of the Di and Qiang rebelled; Jin Zhun was appointed as acting Grand General of Chariots and Cavalry, and he campaigned against these tribes.


五月,壬午,日有食之。

13. In the fifth month, on the day Renwu (May 27th), there was an eclipse.

〈《考異》曰:《帝紀》、《天文志》皆云「五月丙子,日食。」按:《長曆》是月壬午朔,無丙子,今以《曆》爲據。〉

Sima Guang's commentary in the Textual Analysis states, "The Annals of Emperor Yuan and the Astrological Records, both in the Book of Jin, both state, 'In the fifth month, on the day Bingzi, there was an eclipse.' But according to the Calendar Records, this month began on the day Renwu, so there could not have been a Bingzi day during this month. So I follow the reckoning of the Calendar Records.")


六月,丙寅,溫嶠等至建康,王導、周顗、庾亮等皆愛嶠才,爭與之交。是時,太尉豫州牧荀組、冀州刺史邵續、青州刺史曹嶷、寧州刺史王遜、東夷校尉崔毖等皆上表勸進,王不許。

14. In the sixth month, on the day Bingyin (July 10th), Wen Jiao and the other envoys from Liu Kun and Duan Pidi arrived in Jiankang. Wang Dao, Zhou Yi, Yu Liang, and others all appreciated Wen Jiao's talents, and they all competed with each other for the chance to meet him.

At this time, many more chief officials sent in petitions asking Sima Rui to claim the throne, including the Grand Commandant and Governor of Yuzhou, Xun Zu, the Inspector of Jizhou, Shao Xu, the Inspector of Qingzhou, Cao Yi, the Inspector of Ningzhou, Wang Xun, and the Colonel of Eastern Yi Tribes, Cui Bi. But Sima Rui would not agree.

〈毖,音祕。〉

(Cui Bi's given name 毖 is pronounced "mi".)


初,流民張平、樊雅各聚衆數千人在譙,爲塢主。王之爲丞相也,遣行參軍譙國桓宣往說平、雅,平、雅皆請降。及豫州刺史祖逖出屯蘆洲,遣參軍殷乂詣平、雅。乂意輕平,視其屋,曰:「可作馬廏;」見大鑊,曰:「可鑄鐵器。」平曰:「此乃帝王鑊,天下清平方用之,柰何毀之!」乂曰:「卿未能保其頭,而愛鑊邪!」平大怒,於坐斬乂,勒兵固守。逖攻之,歲餘不下,乃誘其部將謝浮,使殺之;逖進據太丘。樊雅猶據譙城,與逖相拒。逖攻之不克,請兵於南中郎將王含。桓宣時爲含參軍,含遣宣將兵五百助逖。逖謂宣曰:「卿信義已著於彼,今復爲我說雅。」宣乃單馬從兩人詣雅曰:「祖豫州方欲平蕩劉、石,倚卿爲援;前殷乂輕薄,非豫州意也。」雅卽詣逖降。逖旣入譙城,石勒遣石虎圍譙,王含復遣桓宣救之,虎解去。逖表宣爲譙國內史。

15. Earlier, the refugees Zhang Ping and Fan Ya had each gathered up several thousand people in Qiao and made themselves masters of their own fortresses. After Sima Rui became Prime Minister, he sent his Army Advisor, Huan Xuan of the Qiao princely fief, to talk to Zhang Ping and Fan Ya, and they both offered to submit to his authority. So when the Inspector of Yuzhou, Zu Ti, came out and camped at Luzhou, he sent his own Army Advisor, Yin Ai, to visit Zhang Ping and Fan Yan.

Yin Ai intended to belittle Zhang Ping. When he saw Zhang Ping's residence, he said, "This place is fit to be a stable." And when he saw Zhang Ping's great cauldron, he said, "I suppose you could cast iron stuff in this."

Zhang Ping demanded, "This is the cauldron of an emperor, and I intend to use it once the realm is at peace. How can you disparage it?"

Yin Ai replied, "You cannot even protect your own head, so why treasure some cauldron so much?"

Zhang Ping was furious, and he ordered Yin Ai to be beheaded, then arranged his troops to defend himself. Zu Ti attacked him, but for more than a year he could not subdue him. So he enticed Zhang Ping's subordinate general Xie Fu, and had Xie Fu kill Zhang Ping.

Zu Ti then advanced and occupied Taiqiu. Fan Ya was still occupying the city of Qiao, and he maintained a stalemate with Zu Ti. Zu Ti attacked him, but was not successful, so he asked for more troops from the General of the Household Gentlemen of the South, Wang Han.

At this time, Huan Xuan was serving as Wang Han's Army Advisor, and so Wang Han sent him with five hundred soldiers to help Zu Ti. Zu Ti said to Huan Xuan, "The enemy has long respected and trusted you for your righteousness. Now go and speak to them for me."

So riding on a lone horse and with only two attendants, Huan Xuan went to visit Fan Ya. He said, "It is Inspector Zu's wish to conquer and sweep away the Liu clan and Shi Le, and he wants to have your help to assist him. When Yin Ai acted haughty before, that was not Inspector Zu's intention." So Fan Ya came to Zu Ti and surrendered.

Zu Ti then entered the city of Qiao. Shi Le sent Shi Hu to besiege Qiao, but Wang Han sent Huan Xuan out again to rescue the city, and so Shi Hu broke off the siege and retreated.

Zu Ti petitioned to have Huan Xuan appointed as Interior Minister of the Qiao fief.

〈鼎而無足曰鑊。《說文》云:鑊,江、淮人謂之鍋,浙人謂之鑊。〉〈太丘縣,後漢屬沛郡,晉省。賢曰:太丘故城,在今亳州永城縣西北。〉

(A tripod without legs is called a cauldron. The Shuowen dictionary states, "Regarding cauldrons, the people living around the Yangzi and the Huai River call them 鍋s, while the people living around the Zhe River call them 鑊s.

During Later Han, Taiqiu County was part of Pei commandary. Jin abolished it. Li Xian remarked, "The capital city of Taiqiu County was in the northwest of Yongcheng County in modern Bozhou.)


己巳,晉王傳檄天下,稱「石虎敢帥犬羊,渡河縱毒,今遣琅邪王裒等九軍,銳卒三萬,水陸四道,徑造賊場,受祖逖節度。」尋復召裒還建康。

16. On the day Jisi (July 13th), Sima Rui spread a proclamation throughout the realm, announcing, "Shi Hu has dared to lead a pack of goats and dogs to cross the Yellow River and spread his poison. I now order the Prince of Langye, Sima Pou, and others to lead forth the nine armies. With their thirty thousand keen soldiers, they shall advance on every side by land and by sea. They shall make straight for the enemy's border, and come under the command of Zu Ti."

However, Sima Rui soon recalled Sima Pou back to Jiankang.

秋,七月,大旱;司、冀、幷、青、雍州大蝗;河、汾溢,漂千餘家。

17. In autumn, the seventh month, there was a great famine. There were great swarms of locusts in Sizhou, Jizhou, Bingzhou, Qingzhou, and Yongzhou. The Yellow and Fen Rivers flooded, washing away more than a thousand families.

〈皆漢境也。〉

(These places were all within Han-Zhao territory.)


時聰境內大蝗,平陽、冀、雍尤甚。靳准討之,震其二子而死。河汾大溢,漂沒千餘家。(Book of Jin 102, Biography of Liu Cong)

At this time, there were great swarms of locusts within Liu Cong's domain, and they were especially severe in Pingyang, Jizhou, and Yongzhou. Jin Zhun went to deal with them, but was shocked when his two sons died. The Yellow and Fen Rivers flooded, washing away more than a thousand families.


漢主聰立晉王粲爲皇太子,領相國、大單于,總攝朝政如故。大赦。

18. Liu Cong appointed Liu Can as Crown Prince, with Liu Can still maintaining his authority as acting Chancellor of State and Grand Chanyu and presiding over court affairs as before.

Liu Cong declared a general amnesty.

東宮災異,門閣宮殿蕩然。立粲為皇太子,大赦殊死已下。以粲領相國、大單于,總攝朝政如前。(Book of Jin 102, Biography of Liu Cong)

There was a terrible disaster at the Eastern Palace; everything was destroyed, including the gates, pavilions, palaces, and halls.

Liu Cong appointed Liu Can as Crown Prince, and he declared a general amnesty up until those sentenced to death. Liu Can still maintained his authority as acting Chancellor of State and Grand Chanyu and presided over court affairs as before.


段匹磾推劉琨爲大都督,檄其兄遼西公疾陸眷及叔父涉復辰、弟末柸等會于固安,共討石勒。末柸說疾陸眷、涉復辰曰:「以父兄而從子弟,恥也;且幸而有功,匹磾獨收之,吾屬何有哉!」各引兵還。琨、匹磾不能獨留,亦還薊。

19. Duan Pidi acclaimed Liu Kun as Grand Commander.

Duan Pidi sent word to the Duke of Liaoxi, his elder brother Duan Jilujuan, as well as to his uncle Duan Shefuchen, his younger brother Duan Mopei, and others, asking them to join forces with him at Gu'an for a joint campaign against Shi Le. But Duan Mopei advised Duan Jilujuan and Duan Shefuchen, "It would be shameful for a father or an elder brother to have to follow the orders of a son or a younger brother. Besides, even if the thing is successful, Duan Pidi alone will claim the credit for it. Why should we serve under him?" So they all led their forces away. Liu Kun and Duan Pidi could not hold their positions alone, so they also returned to Ji.

〈固安縣,漢屬涿郡;魏、晉改涿郡曰范陽,固安曰故安。劉昫曰:唐易州易縣,古故安縣地。〉

(During Han, Gu'an County was part of Zhuo commandary. During Cao-Wei and Jin, Zhuo had been renamed to Fanyang, and 固安 Gu'an was renamed to 故安 Gu'an. Liu Xu remarked, "The old territory of Gu'an County is in Yi County in Tang's Yizhou.")


以荀組爲司徒。

20. Sima Rui appointed Xun Xu as Minister Over The Masses.

八月,漢趙固襲衞將軍華薈於臨潁,殺之。

21. In the eighth month, the Han general Zhao Gu attacked Jin's Guard General, Hua Hui, at Linying and killed him.

〈臨潁縣,屬潁州郡。〉

(Linying County was part of Yingzhou commandary.)


初,趙固與長史周振有隙,振密譖固於漢主聰。李矩之破劉暢也,於帳中得聰詔,令暢旣克矩,還過洛陽,收固斬之,以振代固。矩送以示固,固斬振父子,帥騎一千來降;矩復令固守洛陽。

22. Earlier, Zhao Gu had had a falling out with his Chief Clerk, Zhou Zhen. So Zhou Zhen secretly slandered Zhou Gu to Liu Cong.

It was earlier mentioned that the Jin general Li Ju had routed the Han general Liu Chang. When he had captured Liu Chang's tent, he had obtained Liu Chang's correspondance, which contained an edict from Liu Cong. This edict stated that after Liu Chang had defeated Li Ju, he was to return to Luoyang and arrest Zhao Gu and execute him, then have Zhou Zhen replace Zhao Gu. Li Ju forwarded this edict to Zhao Gu to let him see it, and Zhao Gu then executed Zhou Zhen and his children, then led a thousand cavalry to come surrender to Jin. Li Ju ordered Zhao Gu to return to guard Luoyang.

先是,聰使其將趙固鎮洛陽,長史周振與固不協,密陳固罪。矩之破暢也,帳中得聰書,敕暢平矩訖,過洛陽,收固斬之,便以振代固。矩送以示固,固即斬振父子,遂率騎一千來降,矩還令守洛。(Book of Jin 63, Biography of Li Ju)

Earlier, Liu Cong had sent his general Zhao Gu to guard Luoyang. Zhao Gu's Chief Clerk, Zhou Zhen, did not get along with him, and he secretly sent messages to Liu Cong accusing Zhao Gu of crimes.

When Li Ju had routed Liu Chang, he had obtained Liu Chang's correspondance in his tent, which contained an edict from Liu Cong. This edict stated that after Liu Chang had defeated Li Ju, he was to return to Luoyang and arrest Zhao Gu and execute him, then have Zhou Zhen replace Zhao Gu. Li Ju forwarded this edict to Zhao Gu to let him see it, and Zhao Gu then executed Zhou Zhen and his children, then led a thousand cavalry to come surrender to Jin. Li Ju ordered Zhao Gu to return to guard Luoyang.


鄭攀等相與拒王廙,衆心不壹,散還橫桑口,欲入杜曾。王敦遣武昌太守趙誘、襄陽太守朱軌擊之,攀等懼,請降。杜曾亦請擊第五猗於襄陽以自贖。

23. It was earlier mentioned that Zheng Pan and other Jin generals in Jingzhou had rebelled against Wang Dun after he had demoted their commander Tao Kan. Zheng Pan and the others had all been resisting Wang Dun's subordinate Wang Yi, but their soldiers were not of one accord, and they slipped away back to Hengsangkou, wanting to join the rebel leader Du Zeng. Wang Dun sent the Administrator of Wuchang, Zhao You, and the Administrator of Xiangyang, Zhu Gui, to attack them. Zheng Pan and the others were afraid, and they asked to surrender. Du Zeng also sent word asking that he be allowed to redeem himself by attacking the rebel leader Diwu Yi at Xiangyang.

〈《水經》:沔水東南逕江夏雲杜縣,又東逕左桑,周昭王溺死處也。村老云:百姓佐昭王喪事於此,故曰佐桑;左桑,字失體耳。又東,謂之橫桑,言得昭王喪處也。〉

(The Commentary on the Water Classic states, "The Mian River flows southeast through Yundu County in Jiangxia commandary, and then on east through Zuosang; this was the place where King Zhao of Zhou drowned. The village elders say, 'This place was where the common people followed King Zhao and came to grief, so it is called 佐桑 Zuosang ("among the mulberries").' The characters were later simplified to 左桑. Further east along the river, the place is called Hengsang, as the place where King Zhao came to grief.")


王敦以從弟暠為荊州刺史,令督護征虜將軍趙誘、襄陽太守硃軌、陵江將軍黃峻等討曾。(Book of Jin 58, Biography of Zhou Fang)

Wang Dun appointed his cousin Wang Gao as Inspector of Jingzhou, and he ordered the Protector-General Who Conquers The Caitiffs, Zhao You, the Administrator of Xiangyang, Zhu Gui, the General of Lingling, Huang Jun, and others to campaign against Du Zeng.

遣部將硃軌、趙誘伐杜曾。(Book of Jin 98, Biography of Wang Dun)

Wang Dun sent his subordinate generals Zhu Gui and Zhao You to campaign against Du Zeng.


廙將赴荊州,留長史劉浚鎭揚口壘。竟陵內史朱伺謂廙曰:「曾,猾賊也,外示屈服,欲誘官軍使西,然後兼道襲揚口耳。宜大部分,未可便西。」廙性矜厲自用,以伺爲老怯,遂西行。曾等果還趨揚口;廙乃遣伺歸,裁至壘,卽爲曾所圍。劉浚自守北門,使伺守南門。馬雋從曾來攻壘,雋妻子先在壘中,或欲皮其面以示之。伺曰:「殺其妻子,未能解圍,但益其怒耳。」乃止。曾攻陷北門,伺被傷,退入船,開船底以出,沈行五十步,乃得免。曾遣人說伺曰:「馬雋德卿全其妻子,今盡以卿家內外百口付雋,雋已盡心收視,卿可來也。」伺報曰:「吾年六十餘,不能復與卿作賊,吾死亦當南歸,妻子付汝裁之。」乃就王廙於甑山,病創而卒。

24. Wang Yi was about to enter Jingzhou, leaving his Chief Clerk Liu Jun to guard the ramparts at Yangkou. The Interior Minister of Jingling, Zhu Ci, said to Wang Yi, "Du Zeng is a bandit in his very bones. He may claim to bow to you and be obedient now, but that is only to entice the government army to go away to the west. As soon as you leave, he will rush back here to attack Yangkou. You should split off part of your main body; you cannot go west yet."

But Wang Yi was conceited and thought he knew best, and he felt that Zhu Ci was just an old coward, so he went off to the west anyway.

As Zhu Ci had predicted, Du Zeng and the others returned to Yangkou again. Wang Yi then sent Zhu Ci back as well, and he had barely gotten inside the ramparts before Du Zeng besieged them. Liu Jun guarded the northern gate himself, while he had Zhu Ci guard the southern gate.

Now one of the rebel generals, Ma Juan, was helping Du Zeng to attack the ramparts, and Ma Juan's wife and children had already entered the ramparts earlier. Some people wanted to flay their faces and expose them to Ma Juan. But Zhu Ci said, "If we kill his wife and children, that will not lift the siege; it will only increase his fury." So that plan was halted.

Du Zeng attacked the north gate and broke through it. Zhu Ci was injured, but he got into a boat, opened the bottom of the boat and went through it into the river, and swam away fifty or sixty paces and so made his escape.

Du Zeng sent someone to tell Zhu Ci, "Ma Juan is very grateful to you for sparing his wife and children. Now your whole family, a hundred people, have been handed over to Ma Juan, and he has done his utmost to look after them. You may come and see them."

Zhu Ci responded, "I am already more than sixty years old, and I cannot play the part of a bandit with you. I shall die in the south; I leave my wife and children in your care."

He went to rejoin Wang Ji at Mount Zeng, where he passed away from his illness and wounds.

〈《水經註》:龍陂水逕郢城,東北流,謂之揚水;水北逕竟陵縣西,又北注于沔,曰揚口,中夏口也。〉〈伺,相吏翻。〉〈言當大爲部分,以備曾掩襲。〉〈馬雋本與鄭攀同距王廙。〉〈皮面者,剝其面皮。〉〈潛行水底曰沈行。〉〈甑山,在竟陵界。隋置甑山縣,屬沔陽郡。〉

(The Commentary on the Water Classic states, "The Longbei River flows through Yingcheng, then flows northeast from there. This part of the river is called the Yang River. It flows north through the west of Yingling County, and further north until it joins the Mian. That point is called Yangkou ('mouth of the Yang'), midway to Xiakou."

Zhu Ci's given name 伺 is pronounced "xi (x-i)".

Zhu Ci was advising that Wang Yi split off part of his main army to protect against any sudden attack by Du Zeng.

Ma Juan was another of the local Jingzhou commanders who had risen up with Zheng Pan against Wang Yi.

To flay the face is to peel it off.

To 沈行 means to secretly swim under the water.

Mount Zeng was within Jingling County. Sui later created Zengshan County, as part of Mianyang commandary.)


戊寅,趙誘、朱軌及陵江將軍黃峻與曾戰於女觀湖,誘等皆敗死。曾乘勝徑造沔口,威震江、沔。

25. On the day Wuyin (?), Zhao You, Zhu Gui, and the General of Lingjiang, Huang Jun, fought Du Zeng at Lake Nüguan, where Zhao You and the other Jin commanders were all defeated and killed. Du Zeng pressed his victory by advancing to Miankou, and his power shook the regions along the Yangzi and the Mian River.

〈《水經註》︰柞溪水出江陵縣北,東注船官湖,湖水又東北入女觀湖,湖水又東入于揚水。〉

(The Commentary on the Water Classic states, "The Zhaxi River emerges in the north of Jiangling county. It flows east until it enters Lake Chuanguan. The waters of that lake then flow northeast into Lake Nüguan, and the waters of that lake flow further east into the Yang River.")


而大敗於女觀湖,誘、軌並遇害。曾遂逐暠,徑造沔口,大為寇害,威震江、沔。(Book of Jin 58, Biography of Zhou Fang)

Zhao You and the others were greatly defeated at Lake Nüguan; Zhao You and Zhu Gui died in battle. Du Zeng then drove out Wang Gao and advanced to Miankou; he caused a great deal of harm, and his power shook the regions along the Yangzi and the Mian River.

為曾所殺,敦自貶,免侍中,並辭牧不拜。(Book of Jin 98, Biography of Wang Dun)

Because his subordinate generals Zhu Gui and Zhao You were killed by Du Zeng, Wang Dun demoted himself, removing his title as a Palace Attendant and declining the offered post as Governor of Jiangzhou.

及王暠為荊州刺史,曾距之,暠使將硃軌、趙誘擊曾,皆為曾所殺。(Book of Jin 100, Biography of Du Zeng)

When Wang Gao was appointed as Inspector of Jingzhou, Du Zeng opposed him. Wang Gao sent the generals Zhu Gui and Zhao You to attack Du Zeng, but they were both killed by Du Zeng.


王使豫章太守周訪擊之。訪有衆八千,進至沌陽。曾銳氣甚盛,訪使將軍李恆督左甄,許朝督右甄,訪自領中軍。曾先攻左、右甄,訪於陳後射雉以安衆心。令其衆曰:「一甄敗,鳴三鼓;兩甄敗,鳴六鼓。」趙誘子胤,將父餘兵屬左甄,力戰,敗而復合,馳馬告訪。訪怒,叱令更進;胤號哭還戰。自旦至申,兩甄皆敗。訪選精銳八百人,自行酒飲之,敕不得妄動,聞鼓音乃進。曾兵未至三十步,訪親鳴鼓,將士皆騰躍奔赴,曾遂大潰,殺千餘人。訪夜追之,諸將請待明日,訪曰:「曾驍勇能戰,向者彼勞我逸,故克之;宜及其衰乘之,可滅也。」乃鼓行而進,遂定漢、沔。曾走保武當。王廙始得至荊州。訪以功遷梁州刺史,屯襄陽。

26. Sima Rui sent the Administrator of Yuzhang, Zhou Fang, to attack Du Zeng. Zhou Fang had an army of eight thousand soldiers, and he advanced to Dunyang (or, north of the Dun River). Du Zeng's army was full of exceptionally keen zeal.

Zhou Fang ordered General Li Heng to command the left wing of his army, while Xu Chao commanded the right wing, and Zhou Fang himself led the center. Du Zeng first attacked Zhou Fang's left and right wings. Behind his formation, Zhou Fang shot a pheasant in order to calm the hearts of his soldiers. He told them, "If one of the wings is defeated, then beat the drums three times; if both wings are defeated, six times."

Zhao You's son Zhao Yin was commanding his father's remaining soldiers as part of the left wing. He fought with all his strength, and although his soldiers were defeated, he assembled them again. He galloped over to Zhou Fang to report to him, but Zhou Fang angrily ordered him to return to battle. With a wail, Zhao Yin went back into the fray.

The battle had begun at dawn; by midday, both wings of Zhou Fang's formation had been defeated. But Zhou Fang had selected eight hundred elite soldiers, and personally passed wine among them to drink. He ordered them not to make any rash movements, but to wait to advance until they heard the roll of the drums. When Du Zeng's soldiers were less than thirty paces away from them, Zhou Fang personally beat the drums, and the soldiers jumped up and rushed into the fight. Du Zeng's soldiers greatly scattered, and more than a thousand of them were killed.

Zhou Fang pursued Du Zeng through the night. His generals asked that he wait until the next day, but Zhou Fang told them, "Du Zeng is a valiant and bold leader, very capable in combat. The reason that he has won against us so many times before now is that he has pushed himself while we have been lax. Now that we finally have the upper hand on him, we can vanquish him." So he ordered an advance and pressed on, and so the regions around the Han and Mian Rivers were pacified. Du Zeng fled to hold out at Wudang. Only now was Wang Yi able to enter Jingzhou.

For his achievements, Zhou Fang was reassigned as Inspector of Lianzhou, and stationed at Xiangyang.

〈沈約曰:沌陽縣,江左立,屬江夏郡。《水經》︰沔水逕沌陽縣北,又東逕林障故城北。沌陽者,沌水之陽也。〉〈戰陳有左拒、右拒;拒,方陳也。有左甄、右甄;甄,左、右翼也。左、右拒見於周、鄭繻葛之戰;左、右甄之義見於楚穆王孟諸之田。孟諸之田,宋公爲右盂,鄭伯爲左盂。杜預《註》曰:將獵,張兩甄。蓋晉人以左、右翼爲左、右甄,杜預取當時之言以釋左、右盂也。〉〈武當縣,漢屬南陽郡,晉屬順陽郡,縣以武當山得名;唐爲均州武當郡。杜佑曰:郡城,延岑所築。〉〈胡子序之敗,梁州陷沒,故令訪領梁州而屯襄陽。〉

(Shen Yue remarked, "Dunyang County was established south of the Yangzi, as part of Jiangxia commandary." The Water Classic states, "The Dun River flows through the north of Dunyang County, and on east to the north of the capital city of Linzhang County." In this instance, Dunyang meant "north of the Dun River".

A battle formation had a left side and a right side, forming a square formation. It had a left flank and a right flank, or a left wing and a right wing. We see mentions of the "left side and right side" in the Battle of Xuge between the ancient states of Zhou and Zheng, and we see the virtues of the left and right flanks in King Mu of Chu's field of Mengzhu. This field served as the site of a hunt, where the Duke of Song led the "right party" and the Earl of Zheng led the "left party" (Zuo Commentary, Wen 10.6) . Du Yu's Annotations states, "They were about to hunt, so they prepared two parties." The people of the Jin dynasty called the left and right wings the left and right flanks, but Du Yu was using the syntax of the Spring and Autumn era in describing them as left and right "parties".

During Han, Wudang County was part of Nanyang commandary. During Jin, it was part of Shunyang commandary. The county took its name from Mount Wudang. During Tang, it became Wudang commandary in Junzhou. Du You remarked, "The capital city of the commandary was built by Yan Cen."

Following Hu Zixu's defeat, Lianzhou had been lost to Jin; this was why although Zhou Fang was now the nominal Inspector of Lianzhou, he was stationed at Xiangyang.)


元帝命訪擊之。訪有眾八千,進至沌陽。曾等銳氣甚盛,訪曰:「先人有奪人之心,軍之善謀也。」使將軍李恆督左甄,許朝督右甄,訪自領中軍,高張旗幟。曾果畏訪,先攻左右甄。曾勇冠三軍,訪甚惡之,自於陣後射雉以安眾心。令其眾曰:「一甄敗,鳴三鼓;兩甄敗,鳴六鼓。」趙胤領其父余兵屬左甄,力戰,敗而復合。胤馳馬告訪,訪怒,叱令更進。胤號哭還戰,自旦至申,兩甄皆敗。訪聞鼓音,選精銳八百人,自行酒飲之,敕不得妄動,聞鼓音乃進。賊未至三十步,訪親鳴鼓,將士皆騰躍奔赴,曾遂大潰,殺千餘人。訪夜追之,諸將請待明日,訪曰:「曾驍勇能戰,向之敗也,彼勞我逸,是以克之。宜及其衰乘之,可滅。」鼓行而進,遂定漢、沔。曾等走固武當。訪以功遷南中郎將、督梁州諸軍、梁州刺史,屯襄陽。(Book of Jin 58, Biography of Zhou Fang)

Sima Rui ordered Zhou Fang to attack Du Zeng. Zhou Fang had an army of eight thousand soldiers, and he advanced to Dunyang. Du Zeng's and the others' army was full of exceptionally keen zeal.

Zhou Fang said, "Their vanguard troops have the keenest spirit; our best plan will be to deal with them." So ordered the general Li Heng to command the left wing of his army and Xu Chao to command the right wing, while Zhou Fang himself led the center, where he posted tall flags and banners. As expected, Du Zeng feared Zhou Fang, so he first attacked Zhou Fang's left and right wings. Du Zeng himself was a bold fellow, and Zhou Fang was very wary of him. Behind his formation, Zhou Fang shot a pheasant in order to calm the hearts of his soldiers. He told them, "If one of the wings is defeated, then beat the drums three times; if both wings are defeated, six times."

Zhao You's son Zhao Yin was commanding his father's remaining soldiers as part of the left wing. He fought with all his strength, and although his soldiers were defeated, he assembled them again. He galloped over to Zhou Fang to report to him, but Zhou Fang angrily ordered him to return to battle. With a wail, Zhao Yin went back into the fray.

The battle had begun at dawn; by midday, both wings of Zhou Fang's formation had been defeated. But when Zhou Fang had heard the sound of the drums, he had selected eight hundred elite soldiers, and personally passed wine among them to drink. He ordered them not to make any rash movements, but to wait to advance until they heard the roll of the drums. When Du Zeng's soldiers were less than thirty paces away from them, Zhou Fang personally beat the drums, and the soldiers jumped up and rushed into the fight. Du Zeng's soldiers greatly scattered, and more than a thousand of them were killed.

Zhou Fang pursued Du Zeng through the night. His generals asked that he wait until the next day, but Zhou Fang told them, "Du Zeng is a valiant and bold leader, very capable in combat. The reason that he has won against us so many times before now is that he has pushed himself while we have been lax. Now that we finally have the upper hand on him, we can vanquish him." So he ordered an advance and pressed on, and so the regions around the Han and Mian Rivers were pacified. Du Zeng and the others fled to hold out at Wudang. Only now was Wang Yi able to enter Jingzhou.

For his achievements, Zhou Fang was reassigned as General of the Household Gentlemen of the South, Commander of military affairs in Lianzhou, and Inspector of Lianzhou, and he was stationed at Xiangyang.


冬,十月,丁未,琅邪王裒薨。

27. In winter, the tenth month, on the day Dingwei (December 18th), Sima Pou passed away.

十一月,己酉朔,日有食之。

28. In the eleventh month, on the new moon of the day Jiyou (December 20th), there was an eclipse.

〈《考異》曰:《帝紀》、《天文志》皆云「十一月丙子日食。」按《長曆》,十月、十二月皆己卯朔,是月己酉朔,二十八日丙子。《晉書‧元帝紀》,十一月有甲子、丁卯。若丙子朔,則甲子、丁卯乃在十月。又《劉琨集》,是年三月癸未朔,八月庚辰朔,皆與《長曆》合,今以爲據。〉

(Sima Guang's commentary in the Textual Analysis states, "The Annals of Emperor Yuan and the Astrological Records, both in the Book of Jin, both state, 'In the eleventh month, on the day Bingzi, there was an eclipse.' But according to the Calendar Records, the tenth month and the twelfth month of this year (317) both started on a Jimao day. So this eleventh month had to have started on a Jiyou day, and the Bingzi day would not have been until the twenty-eighth day. Furthermore, the Annals of Emperor Yuan mention Shenzi and Dingmao days in the eleventh month. If the eleventh month had begun on a Bingzi day, then the Shenzi and Dingmao days would have been in the tenth month. Finally, according to the Collected Writings of Liu Kun, the third month of this year began on a Guiwei day, and the eighth month began on a Gengchen day, both of which agree with the Calendar Records. So I follow that reckoning of dates.")


丁卯,以劉琨爲侍中、太尉。

29. On the day Dingmao (January 7th of 318), Sima Rui appointed Liu Kun as Palace Attendant and Grand Commandant.

征南軍司戴邈上疏,以爲:「喪亂以來,庠序隳廢。議者或謂平世尚文,遭亂尚武,此言似之,而實不然。夫儒道深奧,不可倉猝而成;比天下平泰,然後脩之,則廢墜已久矣。又,貴遊之子,未必有斬將搴旗之才,從軍征戍之役,不及盛年使之講肄道義,良可惜也。世道久喪,禮俗日弊,猶火之消膏,莫之覺也。今王業肇建,萬物權輿,謂宜篤道崇儒,以勵風化。」王從之,始立太學。

30. The Army Director to the General Who Conquers The South, Dai Miao, sent up a petition, stating, "Ever since the turmoil broke out, the school system has been in disarray. There are those who will say that culture is a thing to be esteemed during times of peace, while war is the main thing to be valued during times of turmoil. Such things seem to make sense, but they are really not true. The study of Confucian principles is an involved and difficult process, and such learning cannot be crammed in all at once. If we wait until after the realm is already settled and only then provide such education, we shall have sunk very low indeed.

"Besides, it is not necessarily certain that the children of those lacking office will possess the martial talents of swinging a sword and hoisting a war banner. It would be a true pity indeed to the talents of such people to send them out to do army work rather than let them spend the whole year in study and discussion of principle and virtue. The traditions have sunk into a sorry state, and the rites are growing more and more crude by the day, but there is still a spark of flame which no one has realized.

"Now since you are beginning the royal endeavor and setting out on innumerable affairs, let me suggest that you show your appreciation for principle and your honor for Confucian learning, in order to encourage proper conduct."

Sima Rui agreed, and it was at this time that he established the Imperial Academy.

〈搴,拔取也。〉〈肄,習也。〉〈《爾雅》曰:權輿,始也。〉

(To hoist means to hold or lift.

To study means to practice.

The Erya dictionary states, "權輿 means 'to begin'.")


漢主聰出畋,以愍帝行車騎將軍,戎服執戟前導。見者指之曰:「此故長安天子也。」聚而觀之,故老有泣者。太子粲言於聰曰:「昔周武王豈樂殺紂乎?正恐同惡相求,爲患故也。今興兵聚衆者,皆以子業爲名,不如早除之!」聰曰:「吾前殺庾珉輩,而民心猶如是,吾未忍復殺也,且小觀之。」十二月,聰饗羣臣于光極殿,使愍帝行酒洗爵;已而更衣,又使之執蓋。晉臣多涕泣,有失聲者。尚書郎隴西辛賓起,抱帝大哭,聰命引出,斬之。

31. Liu Cong went out on a hunt. He appointed Emperor Min as acting General of Chariots and Cavalry, and he dressed Emperor Min in military clothing and made him hold a halberd while acting as a guide for the hunting procession. People who saw Emperor Min pointed at him and said, "This was the Son of Heaven who was in Chang'an." Many people thus saw him, and there were many older people who wept at the sight of him now.

Liu Can said to Liu Cong, "Do you suppose that when King Wu of Zhou killed King Zhou of Shang all those years ago, he was happy at having to perform the deed? But I am truly concerned that many evildoers are plotting to help each other now, and they will become a threat sooner or later. Every rebel who rises up with soldiers these days proclaims they are acting on behalf of this boy Sima Ye. It would be best if you did away with him at once!"

Liu Cong replied, "But I already killed Yu Min and the other old ministers of that generation before, yet the people's hearts remained just as they are now. I cannot bear to kill him too. Let us wait a little longer and see what happens."

In the twelfth month, Liu Cong held a feast for his ministers in the Guangji Palace. He made Emperor Min pass the wine around and wash the drinking vessels. Then after Emperor Min had changed his clothing, Liu Cong made him hold a canopy for him. Many of the former Jin ministers wept at the sight of this, and some of them could not hold back their wails. One of the Gentlemen of the Masters of Writing, Xin Bin of Longxi commandary, got up and embraced Emperor Min as he wept greatly. Liu Cong ordered Xin Bin to be taken out and beheaded.

〈殺庾珉事見八十八卷建興元年。〉〈使之執戟前導,使之行酒洗爵,使之執蓋,所以屈辱之,至此極矣!戎狄狡計,正以此觀晉舊臣及遺黎之心也。〉

(Liu Cong's killing of Yu Min and the other Jin ministers under Emperor Huai is mentioned in Book 88, in the first year of Jianxing (313.1).

By making Emperor Min hold up a halberd and lead the hunting procession, by making him pass the wine around and wash out the drinking vessels, and by making him hold up a canopy, Liu Cong meant to humiliate and shame him, and this he did to the extreme! The barbarians were crafty and calculating people, and by doing such things, they meant to measure the intentions of the former Jin ministers and the other dispossessed people.)


辛勉,字伯力,隴西狄道人也。父洪,左衛將軍。勉博學,有貞固之操。懷帝世,累遷為侍中。及洛陽陷,隨帝至平陽。劉聰將署為光祿大夫,勉固辭不受。聰遣其黃門侍郎喬度齎藥酒逼之,勉曰:「大丈夫豈以數年之命而虧高節,事二姓,下見武皇帝哉!」引藥將飲,度遽止之曰:「主上相試耳,君真高士也!」歎息而去。聰嘉其貞節,深敬異之,為築室於平陽西山,月致酒米,勉亦辭而不受。年八十,卒。勉族弟賓,湣帝時為尚書郎。及帝蒙塵于平陽,劉聰使帝行酒洗爵,欲觀晉臣在朝者意。賓起而抱帝大哭,聰曰:「前殺庾瑉輩,故不足為戒邪!」引出,遂加害焉。(Book of Jin 89, Biography of Xin Mian & Xin Bin)

Xin Mian, styled Boli, was a native of Didao county in Longxi commandary. His father Xin Hong served as Guard General of the Left. Xin Mian was learned and educated, and he was a faithful and resolute fellow. During Emperor Huai's reign, he rose in office to become a Palace Attendant.

After Luoyang fell, Xin Mian accompanied Emperor Huai to Pingyang. Liu Cong was going to appoint Xin Mian as a Household Counselor, but Xin Mian refused the offer and would not accept. So Liu Cong sent his Gentleman-Attendant of the Yellow Gate, Qiao Du, to threaten Xin Mian with poisoned wine. But Xin Mian merely said, "What sort of man abandons his duty of many years to serve another family? I shall go on ahead to see Emperor Wu!" And he grabbed the poison as though he were about to drink it.

Alarmed, Qiao Du stopped him and said, "My lord was merely testing you! Sir, what a good man you are!" And he sighed as he left.

Liu Cong commended Xin Mian for his faithfulness and devotion, feeling deep respect and awe for him. He built a house in the western hills of Pingyang for Xin Mian to live in and sent him a monthly provision of wine and rice. But Xin Mian also refused these things and would not accept them. He passed away when he was seventy-nine years old.

Xin Mian's kinsman of the same generation was Xin Bin. During Emperor Min's reign, he became a Gentleman of the Masters of Writing.

After Emperor Min was taken to Pingyang, Liu Cong made Emperor Min pass wine around and wash the cups, wanting to observe the reactions of the former Jin ministers in his court. Xin Bin got up and embraced Emperor Min while weeping greatly. Liu Cong said, "Clearly when I killed Yu Min and the others before, that did not provide enough of a warning!" And he had Xin Bin taken out and killed.

二年正月,東平王約卒。十一月,聰校獵上林,以晉帝行車騎大將軍,戎服執戟前導,行三驅之禮。觀者皆指帝曰:「此故長安天子。」聚而觀之,故老亦有悲泣者。十二月,大饗於光極前殿,聰欲觀晉臣之意,使帝行酒,洗爵更衣,使帝執蓋,多有涕泣,或有失聲者。尚書郎辛賓起而抱帝大哭,引出斬之。(Annals of the Sixteen Kingdoms 1, Biography of Liu Cong)

In the second year of Linjia (317), the first month, the Prince of Dongping, Liu Yue, passed away.

In the eleventh month, Liu Cong went hunting in Shanglin Park. He appointed Emperor Min as acting General of Chariots and Cavalry, and he dressed Emperor Min in military clothing and made him hold a halberd while acting as a guide for the hunting procession, carrying out the hunting procedures of the Three Directions. People who saw Emperor Min all pointed at him and said, "This was the Son of Heaven who was in Chang'an." Many people thus saw him, and there were many older people who wept at the sight of him now.

In the twelfth month, Liu Cong held a feast for his ministers in the Front Chamber of the Guangji Hall. He wanted to see the reactions of the old Jin ministers, so he made Emperor Min pass the wine around and wash the drinking vessels. Then after Emperor Min had changed his clothing, Liu Cong made him hold a canopy for him. Many of the former Jin ministers weeped at the sight of this, and some of them could not hold back their wails. The Gentleman of the Masters of Writing, Xin Bin, got up and embraced Emperor Min as he wept greatly. Liu Cong ordered Xin Bin to be taken out and beheaded.

聰校獵上林,以帝行車騎將軍,戎服執戟前導,行三驅之禮。(Book of Jin 102, Biography of Liu Cong)

When Liu Cong went hunting in Shanglin Park, he appointed Emperor Min as acting General of Chariots and Cavalry, and he dressed Emperor Min in military clothing and made him hold a halberd while acting as a guide for the hunting procession, carrying out the hunting procedures of the Three Directions.


趙固與河內太守郭默侵漢河東,至絳,右司隸部民奔之者三萬餘人。騎兵將軍劉勳追擊之,殺萬餘人,固、默引歸。太子粲帥將軍劉雅生等步騎十萬屯小平津,固揚言曰:「要當生縛劉粲以贖天子。」粲表於聰曰:「子業若死,民無所望,則不爲李矩、趙固之用,不攻而自滅矣。」戊戌,愍帝遇害於平陽。粲遣雅生攻洛陽,固奔陽城山。

32. Zhao Gu and Jin's Administrator of Henei, Guo Mo, raided Han's Hedong commandary as far as Jiang. More than thirty thousand families from Right Sili province fled to them. Han's General of Mounted Infantry, Liu Xun, pursued and attacked these people and killed more than ten thousand of them, and Zhao Gu and Guo Mo led the rest back with them.

Liu Can led a hundred thousand horse and foot under Liu Yasheng and other generals to camp at Xiaoping Crossing. Zhao Gu announced, "I shall capture Liu Can alive and ransom him for the Son of Heaven."

So Liu Can sent a petition to Liu Cong stating, "If this boy Sima Ye dies, then the people will lose hope, and Li Ju and Zhao Gu will not be able to use them any longer. They will fall apart without us even needing to attack them."

On the day Wuxu (February 7th of 318), Emperor Min met his end at Pingyang.

Liu Can sent Liu Yasheng to attack Luoyang, and Zhao Gu fled to Mount Yangcheng.

〈絳縣,故晉都也,漢屬河東郡,晉屬平陽郡。劉昫曰:唐絳州曲沃縣,漢絳縣地。〉〈聰分司隸爲左右。〉〈年十八。〉〈河南陽城縣,有陽城山。〉

(Jiang county had once been the capital of the ancient state of Jin. During Han, it was part of Hedong commandary. During the Jin dynasty, it was part of Pingyang commandary. Liu Xu remarked, "Quwo county in Tang's Jiangzhou was the territory of Han's Jiang county."

Liu Cong had divided the province of Sili into Left Sili and Right Sili.

Emperor Min was seventeen years old when he died.

There is a Mount Yangcheng in Yangcheng County in Henan commandary.)


後數月,聰遣其太子粲率劉雅生等步騎十萬屯孟津北岸,分遣雅生攻趙固於洛。固奔陽城山。(Book of Jin 63, Biography of Li Ju)

Several months later, Liu Cong sent his Crown Prince, Liu Can, to lead a hundred thousand horse and foot under Liu Yasheng and others to camp at the north bank of Meng Crossing. Liu Yasheng was sent to attack Zhao Gu at Luoyang. Zhao Gu fled to Mount Yangcheng.

戊戌,愍帝崩于平陽。(Annals of the Sixteen Kingdoms 1, Biography of Liu Cong)

On the day Wuxu (February 7th of 318), Emperor Min passed away at Pingyang.

粲言於聰曰:「今司馬氏跨據江東,趙固、李矩同逆相濟,興兵聚眾者皆以子鄴為名,不如除之,以絕其望。」聰然之。趙固郭默攻其河東,至於絳邑,右司隸部人盜牧馬負妻子奔之者三萬餘騎。騎兵將軍劉勳追討之,殺萬餘人,固、默引歸。劉頡遮邀擊之,為固所敗。使粲及劉雅等伐趙固,次於小平津,固揚言曰:「要當生縛劉粲以贖天子。」聰聞而惡之。(Book of Jin 102, Biography of Liu Cong)

Liu Can said to Liu Cong, "The Sima clan is now occupying and standing astride the Southland, and Zhao Gu and Li Ju are in league with traitors to move against us, using this boy Sima Ye as their pretext for raising troops. You should get rid of him, to cut off their hopes." Liu Cong agreed with him.

Zhao Gu and Guo Mo attacked Hedong commandary as far as Jiangyi. More than thirty thousand riders from Right Sili province, bandits and horse tenders, abandoned their wives and children and fled to Zhao Gu and Guo Mo. Liu Cong's General of Mounted Infantry, Liu Xun, pursued and attacked these people and killed more than ten thousand of them, and Zhao Gu and Guo Mo led the rest back with them. Liu Xie attempted to intercept and attack them, but he was defeated by Zhao Gu.

Liu Cong sent Liu Can, Liu Ya, and others to campaign against Zhao Gu, and they camped at Xiaoping Crossing. Zhao Gu announced, "I shall capture Liu Can alive and ransom him for the Son of Heaven." Liu Cong was disturbed when he heard this.


是歲,王命課督農功,二千石、長吏以入穀多少爲殿最,諸軍各自佃作,卽以爲稟。

33. During this year, Sima Rui ordered taxes to be levied on farming work, with the Two Thousand 石 salary officials and the Chief Clerks to send in the most grain for government uses. The various armies were all to till their own lands, in order to provide for themselves.

〈稟,給也。〉

(To provide meant to supply.)


氐王楊茂搜卒,長子難敵立,與少子堅頭分領部曲;難敵號左賢王,屯下辨,堅頭號右賢王,屯河池。

34. The King of the Di people of the state of Chouchi, Yang Maosou, passed away.

His eldest son Yang Nandi succeeded him. Yang Nandi split the command with his younger brother Yang Jiantou: Yang Nandi named himself Worthy King of the Left and camped at Xiabian, while Yang Jiantou was named Worthy King of the Right and camped at Hechi.

〈下辨、河池二縣,皆屬武都郡。師古曰:辨,皮莧翻。劉昫曰:辨,步莧翻。下辨,唐爲成州同谷縣。河池,唐爲武州盤隄縣。〉

(The two counties of Xiabian and Hechi were both part of Wudu commandary. Yan Shigu remarked, "The 辨 in Xiabian is pronounced 'pian (p-ian)'." Liu Xu remarked, "It is pronounced 'bian (b-ian)'." Xiabian became Tonggu County in Tang's Chengzhou. Hechi became Pandi County in Tang's Wuzhou.)


愍帝以為驃騎將軍、左賢王。時南陽王保在上邽,又以戊搜子難敵為征南將軍。建興五年,戊搜卒,難敵襲位。與堅頭分部曲,難敵號左賢王,屯下辯,堅頭號右賢王,屯河池。(Book of Liu-Song 99, Account of Chouchi)

Emperor Min of Jin appointed Yang Wusou as General of Agile Cavalry and Worthy Prince of the Left. At that time, the Prince of Nanyang, Sima Bao, was at Shanggui, and he appointed Yang Wusou's son Yang Nandi as General Who Conquers The South.

In the fifth year of Jianxing (317), Yang Wusou passed away. Yang Nandi succeeded him. Yang Nandi split the command with Yang Jiantou: Yang Nandi named himself Worthy King of the Left and camped at Xiabian, while Yang Jiantou was named Worthy King of the Right and camped at Hechi.

愍帝以為驃騎將軍、左賢王。茂搜死,子難敵統位,與弟堅頭分部曲。難敵自號左賢王,屯下辨;堅頭號右賢王,屯河池。(Book of Northern Wei 101, Account of Chouchi)

Emperor Min of Jin appointed Yang Maosou as General of Agile Cavalry and Worthy Prince of the Left.

When Yang Maosou passed away, his son Yang Nandi succeeded him. Yang Nandi split the command with his younger brother Yang Jiantou: Yang Nandi named himself Worthy King of the Left and camped at Xiabian, while Yang Jiantou was named Worthy King of the Right and camped at Hechi.


河南王吐谷渾卒。吐谷渾者,慕容廆之庶兄也,父涉歸,分戶一千七百以隸之。及廆嗣位,二部馬鬬,廆遣使讓吐谷渾曰:「先公分建有別,柰何不相遠異,而令馬有鬬傷!」吐谷渾怒曰:「馬是六畜,鬬乃其常,何至怒及於人!欲遠別甚易,恐後會爲難耳!今當去汝萬里之外。」遂帥其衆西徙。廆悔之,遣其長史乙郍婁馮追謝之。吐谷渾曰:「先公嘗稱卜筮之言云,『吾二子皆當強盛,祚流後世。』我,孽子也;理無並大。今因馬而別,殆天意乎!」遂不復還,西傅陰山而居。屬永嘉之亂,因度隴而西,據洮水之西,極于白蘭,地方數千里。鮮卑謂兄爲阿干,廆追思之,爲之作《阿干之歌》。吐谷渾有子六十人,長子吐延嗣。吐延長大有勇力,羌、胡皆畏之。

35. The King of Henan, Murong Tuyuhun, passed away.

This Murong Tuyuhun was the elder brother of Murong Hui; Murong Shegui was the father of both, but Murong Tuyuhun's mother had been a concubine. Murong Shegui had assigned seventeen hundred households to serve Murong Tuyuhun.

After Murong Hui inherited Murong Shegui's positions, his people and Murong Tuyuhun's had had a quarrel over horses. Murong Hui had sent someone to scold Murong Tuyuhun and tell him, "The late Duke split off and made you your own place. Why then do you not remain at a distance, and even cause this harm over horses?"

Murong Tuyuhun had angrily replied, "Horses are just one of the Six Livestock, and disputes over them are a common occurance. Why should you get so angry as though people were involved? If you want for me to go far away, that will be very easy. But if you regret it later, I fear it will be too late! For now I shall put ten thousand li between us."

And Murong Tuyuhun had led his people away to the west. Murong Hui had regretted what had happened, and he sent his Chief Clerk Yinuolou Feng to chase after Murong Tuyuhun and apologize to him. Murong Tuyuhun had replied, "Our late father had once claimed to have taken a divination that predicted, 'My two sons shall both become powerful and flourishing, and their lines shall continue for generations.' Now I am just a concubine's son, and it makes no sense that both of us could become powerful. But now, because of this horse incident, I am setting out on my own; it almost seems like the will of Heaven!" And he had not gone back, but had pressed on west to dwell among hidden mountains.

Later on, during the Disaster of Yongjia, Murong Tuyuhun and his people had crossed the Long Mountains and gone further west, and they occupied the lands west of the Tao River, all the way to Bailan, an area of several thousand square li.

The Xianbei word for elder brother was "agan", and since Murong Hui regretted what had happened between him and Murong Tuyuhun, he wrote the "Song of Agan".

Murong Tuyuhun had sixty sons; his eldest son Murong Tuyan succeeded him. When Murong Tuyan grew up, he had great courage and strength, and the Qiang and other tribes all feared him.

〈吐谷渾,史家傳讀,吐,從暾入聲;谷,音欲。〉〈遠異者,言遠去以相別異。〉〈六畜:馬、牛、羊、犬、豕、雞。〉〈郍,與那同。乙郍婁,虜三字姓。〉〈庶出爲孽。〉〈屬,會也。〉〈《沙州記》曰:洮水出嵹臺山,東北流,逕吐谷渾中,又東北流入塞。此洮西,塞外洮水之西也,卽沙漒沓中之地。白蘭,山名,羌所居也;至唐時,丁零羌居之,左屬党項,右與多彌接。杜佑曰:白蘭,羌之別種,東北接吐谷渾,西至叱利模徒,南界郡鄂,風俗物產與宕昌同。〉〈吐谷渾事始此。〉

(According to historical convention, in the name Tuyuhun, the character 吐 is pronounced "tu (t-u)", and the character 谷 is pronounced "yu".

By "keep at a distance", Murong Hui meant that Murong Tuyuhun should stay far away and keep distance between them.

The Six Livestock were horses, oxen, sheep, dogs, pigs, and chickens.

The surname 乙郍婁 Yinuolou is a tribal compound surname. The character 郍 is pronounced "na".

A 孽 is the son of a concubine.

屬 in this passage means "soon, later on".

The Records of Shazhou states, "The Tao River has its source at Mount Jiangtai. It flows northeast, passing through the territory of Tuyuhun, and further northeast into the borders of the realm." "West of the Tao River" in this passage means those places west of that river which were beyond the borders of the realm, so it was the region around Shaqiangda. Bailan was the name of a mountain where the Qiang resided; by the time of Tang, the Dingling Qiang resided there, with the left half under the Tanguts and the right half in contact with many other peoples. Du You remarked, "The Bailan were a branch of the Qiang. They were adjacent to the Tuyuhun to their northeast and the Chili and Motu tribes to their west, with Jun'e to their south. Their customs and products were the same as the Tanchang people."

This began the rise of the affairs of the Tuyuhun state.)
Last edited by Taishi Ci 2.0 on Tue Jun 11, 2019 10:48 pm, edited 23 times in total.
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BOOK 90

Unread postby Taishi Ci 2.0 » Tue Feb 06, 2018 1:48 am

中宗元皇帝上

Beginning of the Reign of Emperor Yuan, Sima Rui, Zhongzeng


〈諱睿,字景文,宣帝曾孫,琅邪武王伷之孫,恭王覲之子。《諡法》:始建國都曰元。〉

(Emperor Yuan's name was Sima Rui. His style name was Jingwen. He was the great-grandson of Emperor Xuan (Sima Yi), the grandson of Prince Wu of Langye (Sima Zhou), and the son of Prince Gong (Sima Jin). The Laws of Posthumous Surnames states, "One who founds or establishes a state or capital may be called Yuan ('the Foremost').")


太興元年(戊寅、三一八)

The First Year of Taixing (The Wuyin Year, 318 AD)


〈是年三月,方改元。〉

(The reign era title changed in the third month of this year.)


春,正月,遼西公疾陸眷卒,其子幼,叔父涉復辰自立。段匹磾自薊往奔喪;段末柸宣言:「匹磾之來,欲爲篡也。」匹磾至右北平,涉復辰發兵拒之。末柸乘虛襲涉復辰,殺之,幷其子弟黨與,自稱單于。迎擊匹磾,敗之;匹磾走還薊。

1. In spring, the first month, Duan Jilujuan passed away.

Because Duan Jilujuan's son was still young, his uncle Duan Shefuchen assumed power himself. Duan Pidi came from Ji to attend the mourning. Duan Mopei said to Duan Shefuchen, "Duan Pidi is really coming here because he wants to usurp power."

When Duan Pidi reached Zuobeiping, Duan Shefuchen sent out soldiers to oppose him. Duan Mopei then took advantage of Duan Shefuchen's weakened defenses to attack him, and he killed Duan Shefuchen, took control of his sons, younger brothers, and partisans, and declared himself Chanyu.

Then he marched out to face Duan Pidi and attacked him, and he defeated Duan Pidi too. Duan Pidi fled back to Ji.

〈劉昫曰:唐薊州漁陽縣,古右北平郡治所。〉

(Liu Xu remarked, "Yuyang County in Tang's Jizhou was formerly the administrative center of Zuobeiping commandary.")


就六眷死,其子幼弱,匹磾與劉琨世子羣奔喪。匹磾陰卷甲而往,欲殺其從叔羽鱗及末波而奪其國。末波等知之,遣軍逆擊,匹磾、劉羣為末波所獲。匹磾走還薊。(Book of Northern Wei 103, Biography of Duan Jiuliujuan)

When Duan Jiuliujuan passed away, his son was still young and frail. Duan Pidi and Liu Kun's eldest son Liu Qun came to attend the mourning for Duan Jiuliujuan. Duan Pidi secretly put on armor before he went out, wishing to kill his uncle Duan Yulin and Duan Mobo and usurp control of the Duan domain. But Duan Mobo and the others knew about his intent, and they sent an army to counter-attack him. Duan Pidi and Liu Qun were captured by Duan Mobo. Duan Pidi fled back to Ji.


三月,癸丑,愍帝凶問至建康,王斬縗居廬。百官請上尊號,王不許。紀瞻曰:「晉氏統絕,於今二年,陛下當承大業;顧望宗室,誰復與讓!若光踐大位,則神、民有所憑依;苟爲逆天時,違人事,大勢一去,不可復還。今兩都燔蕩,宗廟無主,劉聰竊號於西北,而陛下方高讓於東南,此所揖讓而救火也。」王猶不許,使殿中將軍韓績徹去御坐。瞻叱績曰:「帝坐上應列星,敢動者斬!」王爲之改容。

2. In the third month, on the day Guichou (April 23rd), news of Emperor Min's demise reached Jiankang. Sima Rui went into mourning for him, and dwelled in the mourning shed. His officials all asked that he now assume the imperial title, but Sima Rui refused.

Ji Zhan said to him, "The rulership of the Jin royal family has been broken off for these past two years. This is why Your Majesty should continue the great endeavor. Look at who else remains of the royal clan; whom else can you decline the throne in favor of? If you should take the glorious step of assuming the throne, then the spirits and the people will have someone whom they can rely upon. But if you should violate the dictates of Heaven and the wishes of the people, then all shall be lost, and nothing can restore things again.

“Now the two capitals (Luoyang and Chang'an) lie in ruin and ash, and the Ancestral Temple has no leader. Liu Cong has already presumed to name himself Emperor over the North and West of the realm. Your Majesty, if you should insist upon declining the throne and refusing dominion over the South and East of the realm, by doing so you shall only be further stoking the fire."

But Sima Rui still would not agree, and he ordered the General of the Central Hall, Han Ji, to go out and prepare his carriage. Ji Zhan scolded Han Ji by saying, "The Emperor sits on high, and the other stars follow his example. Whoever dares to move him shall be beheaded!" This caused Sima Rui's expression to change.

〈《儀禮》:斬衰、倚廬。孟康曰:倚廬,倚牆至地爲之,無楣柱。《喪服大記》:父母之喪,居倚廬,不塗。君爲廬,宮之;大夫、士,襢之。旣葬,柱楣,塗廬,不於顯者,君、大夫、士皆宮之。《正義》曰:居倚廬者,謂於中門之外東牆下倚木爲廬。不塗者,但以草夾障,不塗之也。宮之者,謂廬外以帷障之如宮牆。襢之言袒也,其廬袒露,不帷障也。旣葬柱楣者,旣葬情殺,故柱楣稍舉以納日光;又以泥塗,辟風寒。不於顯者,塗廬不塗廬外顯處。君、大夫、士皆宮之者,旣葬,故得皆宮之。〉〈殿中將軍,屬二衞,晉初置,朝會宴饗,則戎服直侍左右,夜開諸城門,則執白虎幡監之。〉〈《天文志》,帝坐在紫宮中。〉

(The Book of Rites states, "During the mourning period, one resides in the mourning shed." Meng Kang commented, "The mourning shed was built at ground level against the wall, and it had no support pillar." The Grand Records of Mourning Garb states, "When mourning for one's father or mother, one dwells in the mourning shed, which is unplastered. When the sovereign performs mourning, the shed is enclosed, but when a great minister or a member of the gentry mourns, the shed is not enclosed. Following the burial of the deceased, the support pillar is placed in the mourning shed, and it is plastered, but not conspicuously. Then the shed is made to be enclosed, whether the mourner is the sovereign or a minister or gentry. (Liji 22.47)" The Zhengyi states, "By 'dwelling in the mourning shed', it means a wooden shed along the eastern wall, outside of the palace gates. By 'unplastered', it means lined together with grass, but not plastered. By 'enclosed', it means that the exterior of the mourning shed is covered and enclosed like the walls of a palace. 'Unenclosed' thus means to leave the shed exposed, and not to grant it any enclosure. To 'add the support beam following the burial' means that after the feelings of grief have died down following the burial, the lintel of the shed is raised somewhat in order to admit the light of the sun; the shed is also then plastered, to resist the effects of the wind and cold. 'Inconspicuously' means that although the shed is plastered t this time, it is not plastered to where it would be conspicuous from the exterior. And after the burial has taken place, the mourning shed is enclosed in this fashion for all, whether the mourner is the sovereign, a minister, or gentry."

The office of General of the Central Hall, subordinate to the two Guard Commanders, was first created by Jin. When the court held a meeting, a feast, or a dinner, this General would wear military clothing and direct the guests to either side. When the city gates were all closed at night, this General would direct affairs while wielding the White Tiger Banner.

According to the Astrological Records, the Emperor sat in the middle of the Purple Palace Enclosure.)


奉朝請周嵩上疏曰:「古之王者,義全而後取,讓成而後得,是以享世長久,重光萬載也。今梓宮未返,舊京未清,義夫泣血,士女遑遑。宜開延嘉謀,訓卒厲兵,先雪社稷大恥,副四海之心,則神器將安適哉!」由是忤旨,出爲新安太守,又坐怨望抵罪。嵩,顗之弟也。

4. The 奉朝請, Zhou Song, sent up a petition stating, "The kings of old waited until their virtue was complete before they accepted the rulership, and they declined such honors until everything was in order. Thus did they ensure good and long lives for themselves and glory in posterity.

“Now the imperial coffins have not yet been returned, and the old capital has not yet been purged of the enemy. The righteous weep tears of blood, and men and women are most anxious. What you ought to do is prepare plans for the long-term, and instruct the soldiers and drill the troops. First wipe away the great shame to the altars of state and so win over the hearts of all within the Four Seas to you. Then you may suitably claim the throne at your leisure!"

For thus going against the decree, Zhou Song was sent away to serve as Administrator of Xin'an, and charged with a crime for holding a grudge. This Zhou Song was the younger brother of Zhou Yi.

〈王爲丞相,以嵩爲參軍,及爲晉王,拜奉朝請。《晉志》曰:奉朝請者,奉朝會請召而已。〉〈孫權分丹陽立新都郡,武帝太康元年改名新安郡。劉昫曰:新安郡,唐之歙州。〉

(When Sima Rui became Prime Minister, he appointed this Zhou Song as an Army Advisor, and when Sima Rui became Prince of Jin, Zhou Song became the 奉朝請. The Records of Jin states, "The 奉朝請 called the court to order, but did no more."

Sun Quan of Eastern Wu had split off part of Danyang commandary to form Xindu commandary. After Jin conquered Eastern Wu, in Emperor Wu's (Sima Yan's) first year of Taikang (280) he renamed Xindu to Xin'an. Liu Xu remarked, "Xin'an commandary became Tang's Shezhou.")


丙辰,王卽皇帝位,百官皆陪列。帝命王導升御床共坐,導固辭曰:「若太陽下同萬物,蒼生何由仰照!」帝乃止。大赦,改元,文武增位二等。帝欲賜諸吏投刺勸進者加位一等,民投刺者皆除吏,凡二十餘萬人。散騎常侍熊遠曰:「陛下應天繼統,率土歸戴,豈獨近者情重,遠者情輕!不若依漢法徧賜天下爵,於恩爲普,且可以息檢覈之煩,塞巧僞之端也。」帝不從。

5. On the day Bingchen (April 26th), Sima Rui rose to the imperial throne, with the government officials all in attendance. Sima Rui ordered Wang Dao to ascend to the imperial couch and sit together with him, but Wang Dao declined, saying, "If the sun itself came down among all the other things, how could the people ever look upon it?" So Sima Rui stopped.

Sima Rui declared a general amnesty, and changed the reign era title to the first year of Taixing. All civil and military officials were promoted by two ranks.

Sima Rui wished to further reward every official who had sent in their credentials and urged him to claim the throne by promoting them all by one rank, and that the common people who had done the same thing should be granted office. But there would be more than two hundred thousand people who would have received such treatment.

The Cavalier In Regular Attendance, Xiong Yuan, said to him, "Your Majesty, now that you have followed the dictates of Heaven and risen to the throne, you must set a good example for all. How then can you only place great importance on immediate affairs and think so little of the future? It would be better for you to follow the practice of the Han dynasty by granting a rank to all the realm and thus make your grace apply to all. Furthermore, by doing that, you will remove the burden of having to make specific investigations into those who sent word to you, and you will put a halt to crafty behavior."

But Sima Rui did not heed his advice.

〈毛晃曰:書姓名於奏白曰刺。〉〈漢自惠帝嗣位,賜民爵一級,有官秩者以歲數爲差;其後諸帝初卽位,率賜民爵一級。〉

(Mao Huang remarked, "A letter bearing one's name and submitting a report was called credentials."

When Emperor Hui of Han came to the throne, the people all had their ranks increased by one position, and those who received government salaries had their annual income increased a little. After that, whenever an Emperor first came to the throne, the people would thus have their ranks increased one position.)


是年,司馬叡僭稱大位於江南。(Book of Northern Wei 1)

During this year (318), Sima Rui declared himself the new Jin emperor in the Southland.

元帝正會,引王丞相登御床,王公固辭,中宗引之彌苦。王公曰:「使太陽與萬物同暉,臣下何以瞻仰?」(New Tales 22.1)

At the New Year's Assembly (in 317), Emperor Yuan (Sima Rui) drew Prime Minister Wang Dao by the hand to mount the imperial dais. Wang Dao steadfastly declined, but Emperor Yuan drew him the more insistently. Finally Wang Dao said, "If the sun were to shine with exactly the same brilliance as all other things, what would the ministers below have to look up to?" (tr. Richard Mather)


庚午,立王太子紹爲皇太子。太子仁孝,喜文辭,善武藝,好賢禮士,容受規諫,與庾亮、溫嶠等爲布衣之交。亮風格峻整,善談老、莊,帝器重之,聘亮妹爲太子妃。帝以賀循行太子太傅,周顗爲少傅,庾亮以中書郎侍講東宮。帝好刑名家,以《韓非》書賜太子。庾亮諫曰:「申、韓刻薄傷化,不足留聖心。」太子納之。

6. On the day Gengwu (May 10th), Sima Rui appointed his son Sima Shao as the imperial Crown Prince.

Sima Shao was benevolent and filial; he took pleasure in literature, but he was also skilled at martial pursuits. He respected worthy people and treated scholars with proper dignity, and he himself also accepted admonishment and criticism. He engaged with Yu Liang, Wen Jiao, and other court ministers on an equal footing.

Yu Liang had a severe and strict nature, and he was skilled in discussing the aspects of Laozi and Zhuangzi. Sima Rui deeply respected Yu Liang, and he brokered an engagement between Yu Liang's younger sister and Sima Shao as the Crown Prince's Concubine.

Sima Rui appointed He Xun as acting Grand Tutor to the Crown Prince, he appointed Zhou Yi as Lesser Tutor, and he appointed Yu Liang as Attendant-Gentleman of the Palace Secretariat, so that these three men could provide instructions in the Eastern Palace. Sima Rui was fond of Legalist philosophy, and so he gave a copy of the book Han Feizi to Sima Shao. Yu Liang criticized this, saying, "Shen Buhai and Han Fei caused great harm through their harsh ideas; such things are not enough to maintain a saintly heart." Sima Shao accepted his judgment.

帝復遣使授慕容廆龍驤將軍、大單于、昌黎公,廆辭公爵不受。廆以游邃爲龍驤長史,劉翔爲主薄,命邃創定府朝儀法。裴嶷言於廆曰:「晉室衰微,介居江表,威德不能及遠,中原之亂,非明公不能拯也。今諸部雖各擁兵,然皆頑愚相聚,宜以漸幷取,以爲西討之資。」廆曰:「君言大,非孤所及也。然君中朝名德,不以孤僻陋而敎誨之,是天以君賜孤而祐其國也。」乃以嶷爲長史,委以軍國之謀,諸部弱小者,稍稍擊取之。

7. Sima Rui once again sent envoys to Murong Hui to appoint him as Dragon-Soaring General, Grand Chanyu, and Duke of Changli. Murong Hui declined the appointment as Duke and would not accept it. He appointed You Sui as his Chief Clerk in his capacity as Dragon-Soaring General, and he appointed Liu Xiang as his Registrar. He ordered You Sui to establish and organize ceremonies and laws for his staff and his court.

Pei Yi said to Murong Hui, "The royal family of Jin has declined, and they only occupy the Southland now; their power and virtue cannot extend very far. The Central Plains are in chaos, and no one but Your Grace is able to save them. Now there are various other people around us who each command soldiers themselves, but they are all just the blind leading the blind. You should gradually take over these people, and then you will have the materials you need to march west and conquer."

Murong Hui replied, "Sir, you speak highly of me, but I do not measure up to your praise. But when I think of how someone such as yourself, Sir, who was so renowned for virtue in the old court, and how you came to instruct and teach me even though I was in such a remote and desolate place, I consider that it must have been Heaven that brought you to me and blessed my state." And he also appointed Pei Yi as his Chief Clerk, and trusted him with strategies for military and state affairs.

Murong Hui gradually attacked the various smaller bodies of men around him and took them over.

〈廆辭公爵不受,外爲謙讓,其志不肯鬱鬱於昌黎也。〉〈介,獨也。〉〈拯,救也。〉〈西討,謂自遼東進兵,西入中州也。〉

(When Murong Hui declined this ducal title, ostensibly it was a show of declining such an honor, but really it was because his ambition could not be satisfied with merely Changli commandary.

The term 介 here means "solely".

The term 拯 here means "rescue".

By "march west and conquer", Pei Yi means that Murong Hui would have his troops advance west out of Liaodong and into the Central Provinces.)


李矩使郭默、郭誦救趙固,屯于洛汭。誦潛遣其將耿稚等夜濟河襲漢營,漢具丘王翼光覘知之,以告太子粲,請爲之備。粲曰:「彼聞趙固之敗,自保不暇,安敢來此邪!毋爲驚動將士!」俄而稚等奄至,十道進攻,粲衆驚潰,死傷太半,粲走保陽鄕。稚等據其營,獲器械、軍資,不可勝數。及旦,粲見稚等兵少,更與劉雅生收餘衆攻之,漢主聰使太尉范隆帥騎助之,與稚等相持,苦戰二十餘日,不能下。李矩進兵救之,漢兵臨河拒守,矩兵不得濟。稚等殺其所獲牛馬,焚其軍資,突圍奔虎牢。詔以矩都督河南三郡諸軍事。

8. Li Ju sent Guo Mo and Guo Song to reinforce Zhao Gu, and they camped at Luorui. Guo Song secretly sent his generals, Geng Zhi and others, to cross the Yellow River during the night and raid the Han camp.

Han's Prince of Juqiu, Liu Yi, had predicted that something like this might happen, and he had warned Liu Can, asking him to prepare defenses against the potential threat. But Liu Can replied, "When the enemy hears that Zhao Gu has been defeated, they will be busy seeing to their own defenses. How could they dare come attack us here? Don't alarm the officers and the soldiers!"

Soon, Geng Zhi and the others suddenly arrived, and they attacked the camp from every direction. Liu Can's soldiers, thrown into a panic, scattered, and more than half of them were killed or wounded. Liu Can retreated to guard Yangxiang. Geng Zhi and the others occupied his camp and captured countless numbers of Liu Can's military equipment and supplies.

When dawn came and Liu Can realized how few soldiers that Geng Zhi and the others actually had, he and Liu Yasheng gathered up their remaining soldiers and attacked them. Liu Cong also sent the Grand Commandant, Fan Long, to lead cavalry to reinforce them. The Han forces were locked in stalemate with Geng Zhi and the others, fighting a bitter battle for more than twenty days, but they could not subdue Geng Zhi's men.

Then Li Ju marched his own soldiers forward to reinforce Geng Zhi and the others. The Han soldiers guarded the line of the Yellow River, and Li Ju's soldiers could not force a crossing. So Geng Zhi and the others killed the cattle and horses they had captured, burned the military supplies, and broke out of the Han encirclement and fled to Hulao.

Sima Rui issued an edict appointing Li Ju as Commander of military affairs in the three commandaries south of the Yellow River (Henan, Xingyang, and Hongnong).

〈《水經》︰洛水東北過鞏縣東,又北入于河。夏五子傒太康于洛汭,卽其地。〉〈據《李矩傳》,時粲營于孟津北岸。〉〈陽鄕,蓋春秋陽樊之地,在汲郡脩武縣界。〉〈河南成皋縣,鄭之虎牢也。《穆天子傳》曰:七萃之士,生捕虎,卽獻天子,天子畜之東虢,號曰虎牢。其後劉裕復中原,置河南四鎭,虎牢其一也。〉〈三郡,河南、滎陽、弘農也。〉

(The Water Classic states, "The Luo River flows northeast through the east of Gong County, and further north until it enters the Yellow River. When Xia's fifth son Xi Tai Kang was at 'Luorui', this was the place."

According to the Biography of Li Ju in the Book of Jin, at this time, Liu Can was camped at the north bank of the Meng Crossing near Luoyang.

Yangxiang was the site of Yangfan from the Spring and Autumn era. It was within the territory of Xiuwu county in Ji commandary.

Hulao of the ancient state of Zheng was in Chenggao county in Henan commandary. The Biography of the Son of Heaven, Mu, states, "Seven gentlemen captured a live tiger and presented it to the Son of Heaven, who kept it in Eastern Guo, at the place called Hulao ('Tiger Trap')." Later on, when Liu Yu recaptured the Central Plains, he created the Four Garrisons of Henan, and Hulao was one of these.

The "three commandaries" mentioned in Li Ju's appointment were Henan, Xingyang, and Hongnong.)


後數月,聰遣其太子粲率劉雅生等步騎十萬屯孟津北岸,分遣雅生攻趙固於洛。固奔陽城山,遣弟告急,矩遣郭誦屯洛口以救之。誦使將張皮簡精卒千人夜渡河。粲候者告有兵至,粲恃其眾,不以為虞。既而誦等奄至,十道俱攻,粲眾驚擾,一時奔潰,殺傷太半,因據其營,獲其器械軍資不可勝數。及旦,粲見皮等人少,更與雅生悉餘眾攻之,苦戰二十餘日不能下。矩進救之,使壯士三千泛舟迎皮。賊臨河列陣,作長鉤以鉤船,連戰數日不得渡。矩夜遣部將格增潛濟入皮壘,與皮選精騎千餘,而殺所獲牛馬,焚燒器械,夜穴圍而出,奔武牢。聰追之,不及而退... 帝嘉其功,除矩都督河南三郡軍事、安西將軍、滎陽太守,封修武縣侯。(Book of Jin 63, Biography of Li Ju)

Several months later, Liu Cong sent his Crown Prince, Liu Can, to lead a hundred thousand horse and foot under Liu Yasheng and others to camp at the north bank of Meng Crossing. Liu Yasheng was sent to attack Zhao Gu at Luoyang. Zhao Gu fled to Mount Yangcheng, and sent his younger brother to Li Ju to report the emergency.

Li Ju sent Guo Song to camp at Luokou to rescue Zhao Gu. Guo Song sent his general Zhang Pi to lead a thousand elite soldiers to cross the Yellow River during the night. When Liu Can's scouts reported that soldiers were approaching, Liu Can was not worried, since his own army was so large. But then Guo Song and the others suddenly arrived and attacked Liu Can's army from all sides. Liu Can's soldiers were thrown into panic, and they all scattered and fled. More than half of them were killed or wounded. Guo Song occupied Liu Can's camp and captured countless numbers of his military equipment and supplies.

When dawn came and Liu Can realized how few soldiers Zhang Pi and the others really had, he and Liu Yasheng led all their remaining soldiers to attack him. They bitterly fought him for more than twenty days, but could not subdue him. Then Li Ju advanced, planning to reinforce Zhang Pi by sending three thousand strong fellows across the river on boats to welcome him. But Liu Can's army set their formation at the riverbank and built long hooks to hook the boats with, and even after several days of fighting Li Ju's forces could not cross the river. So Li Ju sent his general Ge Zeng to secretly cross the river during the night and enter Zhang Pi's ramparts. Ge Zeng's troops joined with more than a thousand of Zhang Pi's picked elite cavalry, and they slaughtered all the captured cattle and horses and burned the military equipment before breaking out of the siege lines during the night and fleeing to Hulao. Liu Cong pursued them, but he could not catch up with them, so he turned back.

Emperor Yuan (Sima Rui) commended Li Ju for his achievement, and he appointed Li Ju as Commander of military affairs in the three commandaries south of the Yellow River (Henan, Xingyang, and Hongnong), General Who Maintains The West, Administrator of Xingyang, and Marquis of Xiuwu county.

李矩使郭默、郭誦救趙固,屯於洛汭,遣耿稚、張皮潛濟,襲粲。貝丘王翼光自厘城覘之,以告粲。粲曰:「征北南渡,趙固望聲逃竄,彼方憂自固,何暇來邪!且聞上身在此,自當不敢北視,況敢濟乎!不須驚動將士也。」是夜,稚等襲敗粲軍,粲奔據陽鄉,稚館穀粲壘。雅聞而馳還,柵於壘外,與稚相持。聰聞粲敗,使太尉范隆率騎赴之,稚等懼,率眾五千,突圍趨北山而南。劉勳追之,戰于河陽,稚師大敗,死者三千五百人,投河死者千餘人。(Book of Jin 102, Biography of Liu Cong)

Li Ju sent Guo Mo and Guo Song to reinforce Zhao Gu, and they camped at Luorui. They sent Geng Zhi and Zhang Pi to secretly cross the Yellow River and raid Liu Can's camp.

Liu Cong's Prince of Juqiu, Liu Yi, had predicted that something like this might happen, and he had warned Liu Can. But Liu Can replied, "When I marched north and crossed south, Zhao Gu heard of my coming and scurried away. The enemy will be busy seeing to their own defenses. Besides, when they learn that I am here in person, they'll be too scared even to look north, much less dare to cross the river! How could they have time to come attack us here? Don't alarm the officers and the soldiers."

That night, Geng Zhi and the others raided and defeated Liu Can's army. Liu Can fled to hold Yangxiang. Geng Zhi occupied his defenses and captured his supplies.

When Liu Ya heard what had happened, he rushed back and set up barricades outside the captured defenses, and established a stalemate with Geng Zhi. And when Liu Cong heard that Liu Can had been defeated, he also sent the Grand Commandant, Fan Long, to lead cavalry to reinforce him. Geng Zhi and the other Jin generals were afraid, and they led five thousand soldiers to break out of the encirclement into the northern hills, then turned south. But Liu Xun pursued them and fought them at Heyang, where Geng Zhi's army was greatly defeated; 3,500 of them were killed, and more than a thousand lept into the Yellow River and drowned.


漢螽斯則百堂災,燒殺漢主聰之子會稽王康等二十一人。

9. Han's Zhongsi Zebai Hall burned down. The blaze killed twenty-one people, including the Prince of Kuaiji, Liu Cong's son Liu Kang.

〈螽斯則百堂,取《螽斯》子孫衆多,《思齊》則百斯男之義。〉

(Regarding the name of this Hall, Zhongsi ("katydid") came from the Katydid poems in the Book of Poetry, which boast of many sons and grandsons, and Zebai came from the Thinking of Qi poem, which boasted of the virtues of "a hundred sons".)


三年,聰所居螽斯則百堂災,焚其子會稽王衷已下二十有一人。聰聞哀塞氣絕。自此鬼哭宮中,至於九月,夜聲不絕。(Annals of the Sixteen Kingdoms 1, Biography of Liu Cong)

In the third year of Linjia (318), the Zhongsi Sibai Hall burned down. The blaze killed twenty-one people, including the Prince of Kuaiji, Liu Cong's son Liu Zhong. When Liu Cong heard, he was so stricken by grief that his breath stopped. From then until the ninth month, there was ghostly wailing in the palace, not stopping even at night.

聰所居螽斯則百堂災,焚其子會稽王衷已下二十有一人。聰聞之,自投於床,哀塞氣絕,良久乃蘇。平陽西明門牡自亡,霍山崩。(Book of Jin 102, Biography of Liu Cong)

Liu Cong's residence, the Zhongsi Zebai Hall burned down. The blaze killed twenty-one people, including the Prince of Kuaiji, Liu Cong's son Liu Kang. When Liu Cong heard, he threw himself onto his bed, and he was so stricken by grief that his breath stopped; it was a long time before he revived.

Pingyang's Ximing Gate suddenly fell down, and Mount Huo collapsed.


聰以其子濟南王驥爲大將軍、都督中外諸軍事、錄尚書,齊王勱爲大司徒。

10. Liu Cong appointed the Prince of Jinan, his son Liu Ji, as Grand General, Commander of all military affairs, and chief of affairs of the Masters of Writing. He appointed the Prince of Qi, Liu Mai, as Grand Minister Over The Masses.

署其驃騎大將軍、濟南王劉驥為大將軍、都督中外諸軍事、錄尚書,衛大將軍、齊王劉勱為大司徒。(Book of Jin 102, Biography of Liu Cong)

Liu Cong appointed the Grand General of Agile Cavalry and Prince of Jinan, Liu Ji, as Grand General, Commander of all military affairs, and chief of affairs of the Masters of Writing. He appointed the Grand Guard General and Prince of Qi, Liu Mai, as Grand Minister Over The Masses.


焦嵩、陳安舉兵逼上邽,相國保遣使告急於張寔,寔遣金城太守竇濤督步騎二萬赴之。軍至新陽,聞愍帝崩,保謀稱尊號。破羌都尉張詵言於寔曰:「南陽王,國之疏屬,忘其大恥而亟欲自尊,必不能成功。晉王近親,且有名德,當帥天下奉之。」寔從之,遣牙門蔡忠奉表詣建康;比至,帝已卽位。寔不用江東年號,猶稱建興。

11. In Guanzhong, the remaining Jin generals Jiao Song and Chen An raised their troops and threatened Shanggui. Sima Bao sent messengers to ask for help from Zhang Shi in Liangzhou. Zhang Shi sent the Administrator of Jincheng, Dou Tao, to lead twenty thousand horse and foot to reinforce Sima Bao.

But when this army arrived at Xinyang, they heard that Emperor Min had perished, and that Sima Bao was plotting to claim imperial title for himself. The Commandant Who Routs The Qiang, Zhang Xian, said to Zhang Shi, "The Prince of Nanyang (Sima Bao) is a distant kinsman of the state, yet he has forgotten the great shame to his state and his family and now wishes to exalt himself. He certainly cannot succeed. Meanwhile, the Prince of Jin (Sima Rui) is not only a close relative of the royal line, but he is also renowned for his virtue. We should lead the realm to exalt him."

Zhang Shi heeded his advice, and he sent his General of the Standard, Cai Zhong, to visit Jiankang and present a petition to that effect. By the time Cai Zhong had arrived at Jiankang, Sima Rui had already assumed the throne.

However, Zhang Shi did not begin using the Southland's declared reign era title of Taixing, but kept using Emperor Min's reign era title of Jianxing.

〈《晉志》,新陽縣屬天水郡。何承天曰:魏立。《水經註》:渭水過冀縣,又東出岑峽,入新陽川。新陽縣蓋置于此。〉〈君父皆死於賊手,保之大恥也。〉〈保,宣帝之從曾孫,故曰疏屬;帝,宣帝之曾孫,故曰近親。〉〈河西張氏用建興年號,歷九世四十九年,至孝宗升平五年,張天錫乃奉升平年號。〉

(According to the Records of Jin, Xinyang County was part of Tianshui commandary. He Chengtian remarked, "It was established by Wei." The Commentary on the Water Classic states, "The Wei River passes through Ji County, and on east out of the gorges, where it enters the rivers at Xinyang." This must have been where Xinyang County was.

Sima Bao's father Sima Mo and his sovereigns Emperor Huai and Emperor Min had all died at the hands of the invaders; these were his "great shame".

Sima Bao was the great-grandson of Emperor Xuan's (Sima Yi's) brother, and so he was a "distant kinsman"; Sima Rui was Emperor Xuan's own great-grandson, and so he was a "close relative".

The Zhang clan of Former Liang kept on using the Jianxing reign era title for nine generations of rulers and for forty-nine years, until Emperor Mu's fifth year of Shengping (361), when Zhang Tianxi adopted that reign era title.)


焦崧、陳安逼上邽,南陽王保遣使告急。以金城太守竇濤為輕車將軍。率威遠將軍宋毅及和苞、張閬、宋輯、辛韜、張選、董廣步騎二萬赴之。軍次新陽,會湣帝崩問至,素服舉哀,大臨三日。時南陽王保謀稱尊號,破羌都尉張詵言於寔曰:「南陽王忘莫大之恥,而欲自尊,天不受其圖籙,德不足以應運,終非濟時救難者也。晉王明德昵籓,先帝憑屬,宜表稱聖德,勸即尊號,傳檄諸籓,副言相府,則欲競之心息,未合之徒散矣。」從之。於是馳檄天下,推崇晉王為天子,遣牙門蔡忠奉表江南,勸即尊位。是歲,元帝即位於建鄴,改年太興,寔猶稱建興六年,不從中興之所改也。(Book of Jin 86, Biography of Zhang Shi)

Jiao Song and Chen An threatened Shanggui. Sima Bao sent messengers to ask for help from Zhang Shi in Liangzhou. Zhang Shi appointed the Administrator of Jincheng, Dou Tao, as General of the Light Carts. He sent the General of Distant Might, Song Yi, and He Bao, Zhang Lang, Song Ji, Xin Tao, Zhang Xuan, and Dong Guang to lead twenty thousand horse and foot to reinforce Sima Bao. But when this army arrived at Xinyang, they heard that Emperor Min had perished, they put on mourning garb and held a great mourning for him for three days.

Sima Bao was plotting to claim imperial title for himself. The Commandant Who Routs The Qiang, Zhang Xian, said to Zhang Shi, "The Prince of Nanyang has forgotten the great shame to his state and his family and now wishes to exalt himself. But Heaven shall not smile upon him, and his virtues are not sufficient to meet the moment, so he shall not be the one to save the state from its troubles. The Prince of Jin (Sima Rui) has wisdom and virtues and maintains his own border post, and His Late Majesty put his trust in him. You should send him a petition attesting to his saintly virtues and urging him to claim the imperial title, while sending out proclamations to the other border posts persuading them all to support him as well. Then these contending desires will cease, and those who have not yet banded together shall scatter."

Zhang Shi heeded his advice: he sent out such proclamations across the realm, acclaiming and honoring Sima Rui as the Son of Heaven, and he sent his General of the Standard, Cai Zhong, to visit Jiankang and present a petition urging Sima Rui to assume the imperial title.

During this year, Sima Rui claimed the throne in Jianye as Emperor Yuan, and he changed the reign era title to the first year of Taixing. However, Zhang Shi still reckoned the year as the sixth year of Emperor Min's reign era title Jianxing, and he did not adopt the reign era titles of the restored dynasty in the Southland.


夏,四月,丁丑朔,日有食之。

12. In summer, the fourth month, on the new moon of the day Dingchou (May 17th), there was an eclipse.

加王敦江州牧,王導驃騎大將軍、開府儀同三司。

13. Sima Rui promoted Wang Dun as Governor of Jiangzhou, and he promoted Wang Dao as Grand General of Agile Cavalry, with a Separate Office and equal ceremony to the Three Ministers.

導遣八部從事行揚州郡國,還,同時俱見。諸從事各言二千石官長得失,獨顧和無言。導問之,和曰:「明公作輔,寧使網漏吞舟,何緣採聽風聞,以察察爲政邪!」導咨嗟稱善。和,榮之族子也。

14. Wang Dao dispatched eight Attendant Officers to oversee the affairs of the commandaries and fiefs of Yangzhou. When these men returned, they all came to see him together. The Attendant Officers each reported on the successes and faults of the Two Thousand 石 salary officials and the chief ministers of the commandaries or fiefs that they had inspected.

But one of them, Gu He, did not say anything. Wang Dao asked him about it, and Gu He replied, "Your Grace, in orderto uphold the state, you should allow the meshes of the law to be so loose that 'even a whale could slip through'. Why then do you pick out and listen to such hearsay, and govern by such trivialities?"

Wang Dao sighed in admiration of this statement and commended him. This Gu He was a junior kinsman of Gu Rong.

〈揚州時統丹陽、會稽、吳、吳興、宣城、東陽、臨海、新安八郡,故分遣部從事八人。〉〈《漢書‧刑法志》曰:漢興之初,雖有約法三章,網漏吞舟之魚。師古曰:言疏闊;吞舟,謂大魚也。〉

(At this time, Yangzhou administered the eight commandaries of Danyang, Kuaiji, Wu, Wuxing, Xuancheng, Dongyang, Linhai, and Xin'an. This was why eight such people were sent out to investigate.

The Records of Laws and Punishments chapter of the Book of Han states, "At the beginning of the Han dynasty, although there was the Covenant of the Three Laws, the meshes of the law were so loose that even a whale could slip through." Yan Shigu remarked, "This sentence implied too much looseness in the laws. The term 吞舟 means a great fish.")


王丞相為揚州,遣八部從事之職。顧和時為下傳還,同時俱見。諸從事各奏二千石官長得失,至和獨無言。王問顧曰:「卿何所聞?」答曰:「明公作輔,寧使網漏吞舟,何緣采聽風聞,以為察察之政?」丞相咨嗟稱佳,諸從事自視缺然也。(New Tales of the World 10.15)

When Prime Minister Wang Dao was serving as Inspector of Yangzhou, he sent the divisional administrators for the eight commandaries to their posts. Gu He was at the time a humble messenger. When they returned, they all had audience at the same time with Wang Dao. Each administrator reported on the merits and failures of the officials who received salaries of Two Thousand Piculs.

When it was Gu He's turn to report, he alone had nothing to say.

Wang Dao asked him, "And what did you hear?"

Gu He replied, "In Your Excellency's governance, it would be better to have the 'net of laws allow to escape fish big enough to swallow a boat'. Why should you choose to listen to rumors and institute a spotlessly white regime?"

Wang Dao heaved a sigh and praised the excellence of his remark, while all the other administrators "looked upon themselves as deficient." (tr. Richard Mather)


成丞相范長生卒;成主雄以長生子侍中賁爲丞相。長生博學,多藝能,年近百歲,蜀人奉之如神。

15. Cheng's Prime Minister, Fan Changsheng, passed away. The Emperor of Cheng, Li Xiong, appointed the Palace Attendant, Fan Changsheng's son Fan Bi, as the new Prime Minister.

Fan Changsheng had been a very learned man, with numerous skills and abilities. He lived to be nearly a hundred, and the people of the Shu region revered him like a god.

八年四月,范長生卒,以其子侍中賁為丞相。長生善天文,有術數,民奉之如神。(Annals of the Sixteen Kingdoms 6, Biography of Li Xiong)

In the eighth year of Yuheng, the fourth month, Fan Changsheng passed away. Li Xiong appointed the Palace Attendant, Fan Changsheng's son Fan Bi, as the new Prime Minister.

Fan Changsheng was adept at reading the heavens, and he had many unusual skills, so the common people revered him like a god.


漢中常侍王沈養女有美色,漢主聰立以爲左皇后。尚書令王鑒、中書監崔懿之、中書令曹恂諫曰:「臣聞王者立后,比德乾坤,生承宗廟,沒配后土,必擇世德名宗,幽閑令淑,乃副四海之望,稱神祇之心。孝成帝以趙飛燕爲后,使繼嗣絕滅,社稷爲墟,此前鑑也。自麟嘉以來,中宮之位,不以德舉。借使沈之弟女,刑餘小醜,猶不可塵汙椒房,況其家婢邪!六宮妃嬪,皆公子公孫,柰何一旦以婢主之!臣恐非國家之福也。」聰大怒,使中常侍宣懷謂太子粲曰:「鑒等小子,狂言侮慢,無復君臣上下之禮,其速考實!」於是收鑒等送市,皆斬之。金紫光祿大夫王延馳,將入諫,門者弗通。

16. Han's Regular Palace Attendant, Wang Shen, had a beautiful adopted daughter. Liu Cong honored her as his Empress of the Left.

The Prefect of the Masters of Writing, Wang Jian, the Chief of the Palace Secretariat, Cui Yizhi, and the Prefect of the Palace Secretariat, Cao Xun, remonstrated with Liu Cong. They said, "We have heard that when a sovereign selects an Empress, it is a matter of virtue like Heaven and Earth. She must continue the lineage of the royal clan, and after his death, she must uphold the offerings to the spirits of earth. You must be certain to select a woman who is famous for her virtue and renowned for her pedigree, one who is 'modest and retiring, excellent and outstanding'. Thus will you confirm the hopes of all within the Four Seas and win the hearts of the gods and spirits. When Emperor Xiao-Cheng (of the Han dynasty) chose Zhao Feiyan to be his Empress, he cut off his family line and put an end to his progeny, and the altars of state were left in ruin; this is an example from a past age to reflect upon.

"Ever since the Linjia era began (in 316), you have not chosen the women of the Central Palace for their virtues. Now you have even taken the niece of Wang Shen, this castrated fellow and contemptible wretch. It is bad enough that he himself sullies the private apartments of the Empresses; how can this wench of his family be joined to your own? And the consorts and concubines of the Six Palaces are all the daughters and granddaughters of nobles; how can you place this wench above them all overnight? We fear such a thing shall not be a blessing for the state."

Liu Cong was furious, and he sent the Palace Regular Attendant, Xuan Huai, to tell Liu Can, "Wang Jian and those other miscreants dare to utter such disrespect; they no longer recognize the distinction between sovereign and minister. You shall question them at once!" And Wang Jian and the others were arrested and taken to the marketplace, where they were all beheaded.

The Household Counselor With Golden And Purple Tassel, Wang Yan, rushed to the palace, planning to remonstrate with the execution order, but the gate guards would not allow him through.

〈乾,父道也,君比德焉;坤,母道也,后比德焉。〉〈《詩‧關雎》:窈窕淑女。毛《註》云:窈窕,幽閑也,淑,善也。令,亦善也。〉〈事見三十二卷漢哀帝建平元年。〉〈愍帝建興之四年,漢麟嘉之元年。〉

(乾 Gan was the fatherly principle, suited for a sovereign's virtues; 坤 Kun was the motherly principle, suited for an empress's virtues.

The Guan Ju poems of the Book of Poetry have the verse, 窈窕淑女 "The modest, retiring, virtuous, young lady". Mao's Annotations on this verse states, "窈窕 Modest and retiring means a gentle and serene woman; 淑 excellent means good." 令 "outstanding" also means good.

The events of Emperor Cheng of Han and Zhao Feiyan are mentioned in Book 32, in Emperor Ai of Han's first year of Jianping (6 BC).

Han-Zhao's first year of Linjia was the same as Emperor Min's fourth year of Jianxing (316).)


四月,尚書令王鑒、崔懿之等極諫,聰大怒,收鑒等殺之。(Annals of the Sixteen Kingdoms 1, Biography of Liu Cong)

In the fourth month, the Prefect of the Masters of Writing, Wang Jian, Cui Yizhi, and others earnestly remonstrated with Liu Cong. But this greatly angered Liu Cong, and he arrested Wang Jian and the others and killed them.

中常侍王沈養女年十四,有妙色,聰立為左皇后。尚書令王鑒、中書監崔懿之、中書令曹恂等諫曰:「臣聞王者之立後也,將以上配乾坤之性,象二儀敷育之義,生承宗廟,母臨天下,亡配后土,執饋皇姑,必擇世德名宗,幽閒淑令,副四海之望,稱神祇之心。是故周文造舟,姒氏以興,《關雎》之化饗,則百世之祚永。孝成任心縱欲,以婢為後,使皇統亡絕,社稷淪傾。有周之隆既如彼矣,大漢之禍又如此矣。從麟嘉以來,亂淫於色,縱沈之弟女,刑余小丑猶不可塵瓊寢,汙清廟,況其家婢邪!六宮妃嬪皆公子公孫,奈何一旦以婢主之,何異象榱玉簀而對腐木朽楹哉!臣恐無福於國家也。」聰覽之大怒,使宣懷謂粲曰:「鑒等小子,慢侮國家,狂言自口,無復君臣上下之禮,其速考竟。」於是收鑒等送市。金紫光祿大夫王延馳將入諫,門者弗通。(Book of Jin 102, Biography of Liu Cong)

By this time, the adopted daughter of the Regular Palace Attendant, Wang Shen, was thirteen years old, and she had exquisite beauty. Liu Cong honored her as his Empress of the Left.

The Prefect of the Masters of Writing, Wang Jian, the Chief of the Palace Secretariat, Cui Yizhi, and the Prefect of the Palace Secretariat, Cao Xun, remonstrated with Liu Cong. They said, "We have heard that when a sovereign selects an Empress, it is a matter of joining together Heaven and Earth. She must display the two virtues of rearing and teaching with propriety, continue the lineage of the royal clan, and preside as mother over the realm. And after his death, she must uphold the offerings to the spirits of earth and sustain the family as dowager. You must be certain to select a woman who is famous for her virtue and renowned for her pedigree, one who is 'modest and retiring, excellent and outstanding'. Such is the way to fulfill the hopes of all within the Four Seas and receive the acclaim of the spirits.

"Such was recorded of Lady Si, whom King Wen of Zhou saw when he was sailing; the Wooing and Wedding poem describes her refinement, and through her the Zhou dynasty enjoyed a hundred generations of longevity. On the other hand, when Emperor Xiao-Cheng of Han indulged his heart's desires and chose a slave girl to be his Empress, he cut off his family line and put an end to his progeny, and the altars of state were left in ruin. The precedent of Zhou serves as a reason why you should avoid your current course; the example of Han, as a warning.

"Ever since the Linjia era began (in 316), you have indulged yourself wantonly in your desires. Now you have even taken the niece of Wang Shen, this castrated fellow and contemptible wretch. It is bad enough that he himself sullies the private apartments and fouls the bathrooms of the Empresses with his presence; how can this wench of his family be joined to your own? And the consorts and concubines of the Six Palaces are all the daughters and granddaughters of nobles; how can you place this wench master of them all overnight? Is this not to have rafters of fine jade held up by rotten wood and crumbling pillars? We fear such a thing shall not be a blessing for the state."

Liu Cong was furious when he read the petition, and he sent Xuan Huai to tell Liu Can, "Wang Jian and those other miscreants seek to harm the state and dare to utter such disrespect; they no longer recognize the distinction between sovereign and minister. You shall question them at once." And Wang Jian and the others were arrested and taken to the marketplace.

The Household Counselor With Golden And Purple Tassel, Wang Yan, rushed to the palace, planning to remonstrate with Liu Cong, but the gate guards would not allow him through.


鑒等臨刑,王沈以杖叩之曰:「庸奴,復能爲惡乎?乃公何與汝事!」鑒瞋目叱之曰:「豎子!滅大漢者,正坐汝鼠輩與靳準耳!要當訴汝於先帝,取汝於地下治之。」準謂鑒曰:「吾受詔收君,有何不善,君言漢滅由吾也?」鑒曰:「汝殺皇太弟,使主上獲不友之名。國家畜養汝輩,何得不滅!」懿之謂準曰:「汝心如梟鏡,必爲國患,汝旣食人,人亦當食汝。」

17. When Wang Jian and the others were about to suffer their fates, Wang Shen beat them with a cane and scolded them, saying, "You common slaves, what mischief can you work now? What have I to do with you?"

Wang Jian glared at him and said, "You scoundrel! The ones who will destroy Great Han will be you and the rest of your rats, and Jin Zhun too! I shall go on ahead and tell His Late Majesty (Liu Yuan) all about you, and let him deal with you in the world below."

Jin Zhun said to Wang Jian, "Sir, I received an imperial edict to arrest you. What evil have I done, that you say that Han will fall because of me?"

Wang Jian replied, "You killed the Crown Younger Brother (Liu Yi), and thus smeared our sovereign with an unfriendly reputation. When the state sustains someone like you, how can it not fall?"

And Cui Yizhi said to Jin Zhun, "Your heart is like an owl or a pojing, and you will certainly cause trouble for the state. But since you have consumed men, men shall also consume you."

〈梟,食母;破鏡,食父。破鏡,如貙而虎身。「身」,一作「眼」。〉

(An owl eats its mother; a pojing eats its father. The pojing is a beast that is like a leopard, but with the body of a tiger, or some say the eyes of a tiger.)


鑒等臨刑,王沈以杖叩之曰:「庸奴,復能為惡乎?乃公何與汝事!」鑒瞋目叱之曰:「豎子!使皇漢滅者,坐汝鼠輩與靳准耳,要當訴汝於先帝,取汝等於地下。」懿之曰:「靳准梟聲鏡形,必為國患。汝既食人,人亦當食汝。」皆斬之。(Book of Jin 102, Biography of Liu Cong)

When Wang Jian and the others were about to suffer their fates, Wang Shen beat them with a cane and scolded them, saying, "You common slaves, what mischief can you work now? What have I to do with you?"

Wang Jian glared at him and said, "You scoundrel! The ones who will destroy Great Han will be you and the rest of your rats, and Jin Zhun too! I shall go on ahead and tell His Late Majesty (Liu Yuan) all about you, and let him deal with you in the world below."

And Cui Yizhi said to Jin Zhun, "You have a sound like an owl and a shape like a pojing, and you will certainly cause trouble for the state. But since you have consumed men, men shall also consume you."

All of them were beheaded.


聰又立宣懷養女爲中皇后。

18. Liu Cong also honored the adopted daughter of Xuan Huai as his Central Empress.

聰又立其中常侍宣懷養女為中皇后。(Book of Jin 102, Biography of Liu Cong)

Liu Cong also honored the adopted daughter of his Palace Regular Attendant, Xuan Huai, as his Central Empress.


司徒荀組在許昌,逼於石勒,帥其屬百人渡江;詔組與太保西陽王羕並錄尚書事。

19. Jin's Minister Over The Masses, Xun Zu, had been at Xuchang. But when he was threatened by Shi Le, he led a hundred of his remaining officials south to cross the Yangzi. Sima Rui issued an edict appointing him and the Grand Guardian and Prince of Xiyang, Sima Yang, as joint chiefs of the affairs of the Masters of Writing.

段匹磾之奔疾陸眷喪也,劉琨使其世子羣送之。匹磾敗,羣爲段末柸所得。末柸厚禮之,許以琨爲幽州刺史,欲與之襲匹磾,密遣使齎羣書,請琨爲內應,爲匹磾邏騎所得。時琨別屯征北小城,不知也,來見匹磾。匹磾以羣書示琨曰:「意亦不疑公,是以白公耳。」琨曰:「與公同盟,庶雪國家之恥,若兒書密達,亦終不以一子之故負公而忘義也。」匹磾雅重琨,初無害琨意,將聽還屯。其弟叔軍謂匹磾曰:「我,胡夷耳;所以能服晉人者,畏吾衆也。今我骨肉乖離,是其良圖之日;若有奉琨以起,吾族盡矣。」匹磾遂留琨。琨之庶長子遵懼誅,與琨左長史楊橋等閉門自守,匹磾攻拔之。代郡太守辟閭嵩、後將軍韓據復潛謀襲匹磾,事泄,匹磾執嵩、據及其徒黨,悉誅之。五月,癸丑,匹磾稱詔收琨,縊殺之,幷殺其子姪四人。琨從事中郎廬諶、崔悅等帥琨餘衆奔遼西,依段末柸,奉劉羣爲主;將佐多奔石勒。悅,林之曾孫也。朝廷以匹磾尚強,冀其能平河朔,乃不爲琨舉哀。溫嶠表「琨盡忠帝室,家破身亡,宜在褒恤;」廬諶、崔悅因末柸使者,亦上表爲琨訟冤。後數歲,乃贈琨太尉、侍中,諡曰愍。於是夷、晉以琨死,皆不附匹磾。

20. When Duan Pidi had gone to attend the mourning for Duan Jilujuan earlier, Liu Kun had sent his eldest trueborn son Liu Qun to escort him. When Duan Pidi was defeated by Duan Mopei, Liu Qun was captured. Duan Mopei treated Liu Qun with great respect, and he offered to appoint Liu Kun as Inspector of Youzhou, hoping to join together with him to attack Duan Pidi. He even secretly sent a messenger with a letter from Liu Qun, asking that Liu Kun act as his agent from within. But the messenger was intercepted by Duan Pidi's scouts.

At this time, Liu Kun was camped at the Lesser City of the General Who Conquers The North, some distance from Duan Pidi. Knowing nothing of these events, he went to go see Duan Pidi, who showed him the letter from Liu Qun. Duan Pidi said, "Sir, I do not do this because I suspect you, but purely to inform you of what has happened."

Liu Kun replied, "Sir, we are allies together, bound to avenge the disgrace to the state. Perhaps my son has truly sent this secret letter, but I would never betray you and forget what is right just on his account.”

Now Duan Pidi had long trusted Liu Kun, and so his initial reaction was to do him no harm; he was about to let Liu Kun leave to go back to his post. But Duan Pidi's younger brother Duan Shujun told him, "We are tribesmen, after all, and anyone who can retain the loyalty of the Jin people (ethnic Han) will fear our own forces. Now there is this strife within our family, splitting apart the flesh and the bones, and Liu Kun must have planned for this day all along. If you allow Liu Kun to rise, it will mean the end of all our clan."

So Duan Pidi detained Liu Kun instead.

Liu Kun's eldest son by a concubine, Liu Zun, feared that he would be executed, so he joined with Liu Kun's Chief Clerk of the Left, Yang Qiao, and others to close the gates of their camp and maintain their defenses. But Duan Pidi attacked their camp and took it. The Administrator of Dai commandary, Pilü Song, and the General of the Rear, Han Ju, also secretly plotted to attack Duan Pidi. But their plot leaked, and Duan Pidi captured Pilü Song, Han Ju, and all their partisans and followers and executed them all.

In the fifth month, on the day Guichou (June 22nd), Duan Pidi claimed that he had an imperial edict to arrest Liu Kun, and he strangled him, along with four of his sons and nephews.

Liu Kun's Attendant Officers of the Household Gentlemen, Lu Shen and Cui Yue, and others led Liu Kun's remaining forces to flee to Liaoxi, where they joined Duan Mopei and acclaimed Liu Qun as their leader. Many of Liu Kun's generals and subordinates fled to Shi Le. This Cui Yue was the great-grandson of Cui Lin.

Because Sima Rui's court felt that Duan Pidi was still strong, they were relying upon him to be able to pacify the regions north of the Yellow River, and so they did not hold mourning for Liu Kun. But Wen Jiao submitted a petition stating, "Liu Kun was fully loyal to the imperial household. Now his family has been smashed and he himself has perished. His memory ought to be commended." And Duan Mopei also had Lu Shen and Cui Yue submit a petition to Sima Rui attesting to Liu Kun's innocence. So some years afterwards, Liu Kun was posthumously appointed as Grand Commandant and Palace Attendant, and he was granted the posthumous name Min ("the Pitied").

Because of Liu Kun's death, none of the Jin people or the tribes would side with Duan Pidi.

〈征北小城,蓋征北將軍所治。〉〈雅,素也。〉〈謂與末柸相攻也。〉〈《姓譜》:衞文公支孫居楚丘,營辟閭里,因爲辟閭氏。〉〈諶,氏壬翻。〉〈崔林仕魏,位至司空。〉

(What this passage calls the Lesser City that Conquers The North would have been the administrative base for the General That Conquers The North.

The term 雅 here means "for a long time".

When Duan Shujun mentions "strife within our family", he means the conflict between Duan Pidi and Duan Mopei.

The Registry of Surnames states, "Regarding the surname 辟閭 Pilü, Duke Wen of the state of Wey of the Spring and Autumn era established his grandson at Chuqiu, where his grandson camped at Pilü, and so his descendants took that as their clan name."

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

Cui Lin had served Cao-Wei, rising in office as high as Minister of Works.)


懼琨禽己,請琨宴會,因執而害之。(Book of Northern Wei 103, Biography of Duan Jiuliujuan)

Duan Pidi feared that Liu Kun would take him prisoner. So he invited Liu Kun to a feast, then arrested him and killed him.


末柸遣其弟攻匹磾,匹磾帥其衆數千將奔邵續,勒將石越邀之於鹽山,大敗之,匹磾復還保薊。末柸自稱幽州刺史。

21. Duan Mopei sent his younger brother to attack Duan Pidi, and Duan Pidi led several thousand of his soldiers away, planning to flee to Shao Xu. But Shi Le's general Shi Yue intercepted Duan Pidi at Mount Yan and greatly defeated him, so Duan Pidi went back to guard Ji instead. Duan Mopei declared himself Inspector of Youzhou.

〈鹽山,在勃海高城縣;隋改高城曰鹽山縣,宋白曰:鹽山在縣東南八十里。匹磾與琨結盟,同獎晉室;旣殺琨,而匹磾之勢亦衰,終爲石勒禽矣。〉

(Mount Yan was in Gaochang County in Bohai commandary. Sui changed the name of the county to Yanshan. Song Bai remarked, "Mount Yan is eighty li southeast of the county.”

Duan Pidi had sworn an alliance with Liu Kun to support the restoration of the Jin household together. But having killed Liu Kun, Duan Pidi's influence also faded away, and in the end he was captured by Shi Le.)


末波自稱幽州刺史,屯遼西。(Book of Northern Wei 103, Biography of Duan Jiuliujuan)

Duan Mobo declared himself Inspector of Youzhou, and he camped at Liaoxi.


初,溫嶠爲劉琨奉表詣建康,其母崔氏固止之,嶠絕裾而去。旣至,屢求返命,朝廷不許。會琨死,除散騎侍郎。嶠聞母亡,阻亂不得奔喪、臨葬,固讓不拜,苦請北歸。詔曰:「凡行禮者,當使理可經通。今桀逆未梟,諸軍奉迎梓宮猶未得進,嶠以一身,於何濟其私難而不從王命邪!」嶠不得已受拜。

22. Before, when Liu Kun had ordered Wen Jiao to go to Jiankang to present his petition, Wen Jiao's mother Lady Cui had tried to stop him from leaving. But Wen Jiao had shook out his sleeves and left. After he had arrived in Jiankang, Wen Jiao asked several times that he be allowed to return north, but Sima Rui's court never granted him permission.

Later, after Liu Kun had died, Sima Rui appointed Wen Jiao as a Cavalier Gentleman-Attendant. Wen Jiao had heard that his mother had passed away as well, yet because of the turmoil in the land, he was not able to attend her mourning or her funeral. He insisted on declining the post, and begged to return to the north. But Sima Rui issued an edict stating, "In one's behavior, one must follow reason in order to be correct. Now the heads of the traitors have not yet been hung up, and the armies wishing to welcome the return of the imperial coffins to their rightful place are not yet able to advance. Wen Jiao, how can you alone focus on your personal hardships rather than heed the royal mandate?"

So Wen Jiao had no choice but to accept the post.

〈經,常也。〉

(The term 經 here means "often, usual".)


初,曹嶷旣據青州,乃叛漢來降。又以建康懸遠,勢援不接,復與石勒相結,勒授嶷東州大將軍、青州牧,封琅邪公。

23. All this time, the Qingzhou warlord Cao Yi had been consolidating his control of that region. Originally loyal to Han, he had defected from them and offered his allegiance to Jin. But because Jiankang was so far away, and it would be difficult for them to provide him with any assistance, he switched sides again and formed an accord with Shi Le. Shi Le appointed Cao Yi as Grand General of the Eastern Provinces, Governor of Qingzhou, and Duke of Langye.

〈謂遣使詣建康奉表勸進也。〉〈曹嶷反側二國之間,終爲人禽而已矣。〉

(This passage means that Cao Yi had sent envoys to Jiankang presenting a petition urging Sima Rui to claim the imperial throne.

Cao Yi played both sides in his position between two states, but in the end, he became no more than another man's captive.)


六月,甲申,以刁協爲尚書令,荀崧爲左僕射。協性剛悍,與物多忤,與侍中劉隗俱爲帝所寵任;欲矯時弊,每崇上抑下,排沮豪強,故爲王氏所疾,諸刻碎之政,皆云隗、協所建。協又使酒放肆,侵毀公卿,見者皆側目憚之。

25. In the sixth month, on the day Jiashen (July 23rd), Sima Rui appointed Diao Xie as Prefect of the Masters of Writing, and he appointed Xun Song as Supervisor of the Left of the Masters of Writing.

Diao Xie had an obstinate and fierce nature, and held grudges against many things. Both he and the Palace Attendant, Liu Wei, received favored positions from Sima Rui. Since Diao Xie wanted to rectify the failings of this era, he always honored his superiors while restraining his inferiors, and always wielded his authority over the high and mighty. This was why the Wang clan hated him, and whenever there was some fault with the government, they always said it was because of Liu Wei and Diao Xie. Diao Xie would also indulge himself in wine and denounce the nobles and ministers, and anyone who saw him would avert their eyes in fear.

〈爲刁協見殺張本。〉

(This was why Diao Xie later saw death.)


戊戌,封皇子晞爲武陵王。

26. On the day Wuxu (August 6th), Sima Rui appointed his son Sima Xi as Prince of Wuling.

劉虎自朔方侵拓跋鬱律西部,秋,七月,鬱律擊虎,大破之。虎走出塞,從弟路孤帥其部落降于鬱律。於是鬱律西取烏孫故地,東兼勿吉以西,士馬精強,雄於北方。

27. It was earlier mentioned that the warlord Liu Hu commanded his own Xiongnu forces in the far north at Shuofang, and also that Tuoba Yulü had taken command of the remaining Dai territory that Tuoba Yilu had once ruled. At this time, Liu Hu marched from Shuofang to attack Tuoba Yulü's western territory. In autumn, the seventh month, Tuoba Yulü attacked Liu Hu and greatly routed him. Liu Hu fled beyond the borders of the realm, while his nephew Liu Lugu led his own soldiers and tribes to surrender to Tuoba Yulü.

Tuoba Yulü further expanded his power: to the west he took over the former land of the Wusun people, and to the east he annexed the regions west of the Wuji people. His soldiers and his horses were elite and strong, and his power dominated the north.

〈虎徙朔方,見八十七卷懷帝永嘉四年。〉〈《唐書‧北狄列傳》曰︰黑水靺鞨,居肅慎地,亦曰挹婁,元魏謂之勿吉。《通鑑》蓋因魏收《魏書》書之。鬱律所取者,勿吉以西之地,未能兼勿吉也;徒河慕容、令支段氏及宇文部、高句麗,亦非鬱律所能制伏。〉

(Liu Hu's relocation to Shuofang is mentioned in Book 87, in Emperor Huai's fourth year of Yongjia (310.22).

The Account of the Northern Di Tribes of the Book of Tang states, "The Heishui Mohe people dwell in the Sushen region. They are also called the Yilou people. These were the people that Northern Wei called the Wuji people." The Zizhi Tongjian, having used Wei Shou's Book of Northern Wei as a source, follows their naming convention here.

This passage states that Tuoba Yulü conquered "the regions west of the Wuji people", but he was not able to annex the territory of the Wuji themselves. Neither could he subdue the Murong clan of Tuhe (Murong Hui), the Duan clan of Lingzhi, the Yuwen tribes, or Goguryeo.)


二年,劉虎據朔方,來侵西部,帝逆擊,大破之,虎單騎迸走。其從弟路孤率部落內附,帝以女妻之。西兼烏孫故地,東吞勿吉以西,控弦上馬將有百萬。(Book of Northern Wei 1, Annals of the Tuoba Ancestors)

In the second year (318), the Tiefu Xiongnu leader Liu Hu occupied Shuofang. He came and invaded the western part of Dai. Tuoba Yulü counter-attacked him and greatly routed him, and Liu Hu fled on a lone horse. His cousin Liu Lugu led his tribes into Dai in submission, and Tuoba Yulü married his daughter to him.

Tuoba Yulü annexed the former lands of the Wusun people to the west, and to the east he swallowed up the lands to the west of the Wuji people. He commanded nearly a million mounted archers.

虎復渡河侵西部,平文逆擊,大破之,虎退走出塞。(Book of Northern Wei 95, Biography of Liu Hu)

Liu Hu crossed the Yellow River again and invaded the western borders of Tuoba Yulü's domain. Tuoba Yulü fought against him and greatly routed him, and Liu Hu fled back out of the borders of the realm.

為代王猗盧所敗,遂出塞表。(Book of Jin 130, Biography of Helian Bobo)

Liu Hu was later defeated by the Prince of Dai, Tuoba Yilu, and he moved out beyond the borders of the realm.


漢主聰寢疾,徵大司馬曜爲丞相,石勒爲大將軍,皆錄尚書事,受遺詔輔政。曜、勒固辭。乃以曜爲丞相、領雍州牧,勒爲大將軍、領幽‧冀二州牧,勒辭不受。以上洛王景爲太景爲太宰,濟南王驥爲大司馬,昌國公顗爲太師,朱紀爲太傅,呼延晏爲太保,並錄尚書事;范隆守尚書令、儀同三司,靳準爲大司空、領司隸校尉,皆迭決尚書奏事。癸亥,聰卒。甲子,太子粲卽位。尊皇后靳氏爲皇太后,樊氏號弘道皇后,武氏號弘德皇后,王氏號弘孝皇后;立其妻靳氏爲皇后,子元公爲太子。大赦,改元漢昌。葬聰於宣光陵,諡曰昭武皇帝,廟號烈宗。靳太后等皆年未盈二十,粲多行無禮,無復哀戚。

28. Liu Cong was bedridden by illness.

He tried to appoint the Grand Marshal, Liu Yao, as Prime Minister, and to appoint Shi Le as Grand General. Both of them would be granted authority over the affairs of the Masters of Writing, and accept an imperial edict to act as regents over the government. But Liu Yao and Shi Le declined these appointments. So Liu Cong appointed Liu Yao as Prime Minister and acting Governor of Yongzhou, and he appointed Shi Le as Grand General and acting Governor of Youzhou and Jizhou. But Shi Le still would not accept the appointments.

Liu Cong appointed the Prince of Shangluo, Liu Jing, as Grand Governor. He appointed the Prince of Jinan, Liu Ji, as Grand Marshal. He appointed the Duke of Changguo, Liu Yiy, as Grand Instructor. He appointed Zhu Ji as Grand Tutor and Huyan Yan as Grand Guardian, with both of them granted authority over the affairs of the Masters of Writing. He appointed Fan Long as acting Prefect of the Masters of Writing, with equal ceremonial to the Three Excellencies, and he appointed Jin Zhun as Grand Minister of Works and acting Colonel-Director of Retainers, with both of them granted decisive authority over the edicts of the Masters of Writing.

On the day Guihai (August 31st), Liu Cong passed away.

On the day Jiazi (September 1st), Liu Can rose to the throne.

He honored the Empresses that Liu Cong had appointed: Jin Yuehua became Empress Dowager, Lady Fan became Empress Hongdao, Lady Wu [Xuan?] became Empress Hongde, and Lady Wang became Empress Hongxiao. He also honored his own wife, Lady Jin, as the new Empress, and he appointed his son Liu Yuangong as Crown Prince.

Liu Can declared a general amnesty, and changed Han's reign era title to the first year of Hanchang. He buried Liu Cong at Xuanguang Tomb, and granted him the posthumous title of Emperor Zhaowu (“the Bright and Martial”), with the temple name Liezong.

At this time, Empress Dowager Jin Yuehua and the other Empresses were no more than twenty years old. Liu Can engaged in much immoral behavior, and he no longer maintained a mournful expression.

〈粲,字士光。〉

(Liu Can's style name was Shiguang.)


劉聰死,子粲僭立。(Book of Northern Wei 1, Annals of the Tuoba Ancestors)

Liu Cong passed away, and his son Liu Can succeeded him.

聰因憤恚,發病而死。(Book of Jin 63, Biography of Li Ju)

Liu Cong was so angry and agitated at Liu Can's defeat at Meng Crossing that he developed an illness and passed away.

秋七月,鬼哭於光極殿,聰晝見東平王約,甚惡之。徵秦王曜為丞相,錄尚書事,固辭,仍以丞相領雍州牧。靳准為大司空,領司隸校尉。癸亥,薨於建始殿。甲子,粲即位,大赦,改元漢昌。葬宣光陵,諡曰武皇,廟號烈宗... 永嘉元年十二月,大將軍東平王約卒,一指猶暖,遂不殯殮,至甲戌,乃蘇。言見淵於不周山,經五日,遂復從昆侖山三日,而復反於不周,見諸王公卿將相死者悉在,大有人民,宮室壯麗,號曰蒙珠離國。淵謂約曰:「東北遮須夷國,無主,久待汝父為之。汝父後三年當來,來後國中大亂相殺害,吾家死亡略盡,但可永明輩十數人在耳,汝但還,後年當來,見汝不遲!」不久,約拜辭而歸,道過一國,曰猗尼渠余國,引約入宮,與皮囊一枚,曰:「為吾遺漢皇帝。」約辭而歸,謂約曰:「劉郎後年來,必見過,當以女相妻。」約歸置皮囊於機下,俄而蘇,謂左右曰:「機上取囊來。」左右取得,開,有一方白玉,題文曰:「猗尼渠余國天王敬信遮須夷國天王,歲在攝提,當相見。」”馳使奏呈,聰曰:「若當如此,吾不懼死也。」及聰以戊寅歲薨,與此玉並葬焉。(Annals of the Sixteen Kingdoms 1, Biography of Liu Cong)

In august, the seventh month, there was ghostly wailing at Guangji Palace. Liu Cong kept seeing the ghost of the Prince of Dongping, Liu Yue, and was greatly disturbed.

Liu Cong summoned the Prince of Qin, Liu Yao, to appoint him as Prime Minister and chief of affairs of the Masters of Writing. But Liu Yao firmly declined these appointments, so Liu Cong appointed him as Prime Minister and acting Governor of Yongzhou. He appointed Jin Zhun as Grand Minister of Works and acting Colonel-Director of Retainers.

On the day Guihai (August 31st), Liu Cong passed away at the Jianshi Palace.

On the day Jiazi (September 1st), Liu Can rose to the throne. He declared a general amnesty, and he changed the reign era title to the first year of Hanchang. He buried Liu Cong at Xuanguang Tomb, and granted him the posthumous title of Emperor Zhaowu, with the temple name Liezong.

Earlier, in the first year of Yongjia (307) [probably Linjia, 316], the twelfth month, the Grand General and Prince of Donghai, Liu Yue, had passed away. But his body was still warm, so he was not placed in a coffin or buried. On the day Jiaxu, he revived.

Liu Yue said that he had seen Liu Yuan at Mount Buzhou. After five days, he then followed Liu Yuan to Mount Kunlun for three days, then returned to Buzhou again. He saw all the princes, nobles, chief ministers, and generals who had died before, along with a great host of people. There was a fine and exquisite palace there, and the place was called the country of Mengzhuli. Liu Yuan said to Liu Yue, "To the northeast, there is a state without a master, called Zhexuyi; it is waiting for your father (Liu Cong). Your father will come three years from now, and after he comes, there will be great chaos in the state and mutual slaughter. My family will be entirely wiped out; only a dozen or so people from Yongming's (Liu Yao's) generation will survive. You must go back, but you will return here next year; it will not be long before we meet again!"

Not long after that, Liu Yue said his farewells and left. He passed through another state; this one was called Yiniquyu. The people there led Liu Yue into the palace and gave him a leather bag, telling him, "Give this to the Emperor of Han for us." When Liu Yue again said his goodbyes and left, they told him, "Young Master Liu, when you return next year, you must come and see us, so we can have you get married." Then Liu Yue left, and he placed the leather bag in a certain place. That was when he revived.

Now awake, he told those with him, "Get the bag from that place." The people found the bag and opened it, and inside was a piece of white jade. There was an inscription on it that said, "Respectfully presented by the Heavenly King of Yiniquyu to the Heavenly King of Zhexuyi. We shall meet when the year is right." They sent a courier to report the matter to Liu Cong, who said, "If this is the case, I need not fear death."

When Liu Cong passed away in the Wuyin year (318), the jade was buried with him.

平文二年,聰死。子粲,襲位,號年漢昌。(Book of Northern Wei 95, Biography of Liu Cong)

In the second year of Tuoba Yulü's reign (318), Liu Cong passed away.

Liu Cong's son Liu Can succeeded him. He changed the reign era title to the first year of Hanchang.

時聰子約死,一指猶暖,遂不殯殮。及蘇,言見元海於不周山,經五日,遂復從至昆侖山,三日而復返於不周,見諸王公卿將相死者悉在,宮室甚壯麗,號曰蒙珠離國。元海謂約曰:「東北有遮須夷國,無主久,待汝父為之。汝父後三年當來,來後國中大亂相殺害,吾家死亡略盡,但可永明輩十數人在耳。汝且還,後年當來,見汝不久。」約拜辭而歸,道遇一國曰猗尼渠余國,引約入宮,與約皮囊一枚,曰:「為吾遺漢皇帝。」約辭而歸,謂約曰:「劉郎後年來必見過,當以小女相妻。」約歸,置皮囊於機上。俄而蘇,使左右機上取皮囊開之,有一方白玉,題文曰:「猗尼渠余國天王敬信遮須夷國天王,歲在攝提,當相見也。」馳使呈聰,聰曰:「若審如此,吾不懼死也。」及聰死,與此玉並葬焉... 鬼哭於光極殿,又哭於建始殿。雨血平陽,廣袤十里。時聰子約已死,至是晝見。聰甚惡之,謂粲曰:「吾寢疾惙頓,怪異特甚。往以約之言為妖,比累日見之,此兒必來迎吾也。何圖人死定有神靈,如是,吾不悲死也。今世難未夷,非諒暗之日,朝終夕殮,旬日而葬。」征劉曜為丞相、錄尚書,輔政,固辭乃止。仍以劉景為太宰,劉驥為大司馬,劉顗為太師,硃紀為太傅,呼延晏為太保,並錄尚書事;范隆守尚書令、儀同三司,靳准為大司空、領司隸校尉,皆迭決尚書奏事。太興元年,聰死,在位九年,偽諡曰昭武皇帝,廟號烈宗。(Book of Jin 102, Biography of Liu Cong)

Sometime earlier (~316), Liu Cong's son Liu Yue had passed away. But his finger had still been warm, so he had not been placed in a coffin or buried. Soon afterwards, he revived.

Liu Yue said that he had seen Liu Yuan at Mount Buzhou. After five days, he then followed Liu Yuan to Mount Kunlun for three days, then returned to Buzhou again. He saw all the princes, nobles, chief ministers, and generals who had died before; they were all there together. There was a fine and exquisite palace there, and the place was called the country of Mengzhuli. Liu Yuan said to Liu Yue, "To the northeast, there is a state without a master, called Zhexuyi; it is waiting for your father (Liu Cong). Your father will come three years from now, and after he comes, there will be great chaos in the state and mutual slaughter. My family will be entirely wiped out; only a dozen or so people from Yongming's (Liu Yao's) generation will survive. You must go back, but you will return here next year; it will not be long before we meet again!"

Not long after that, Liu Yue said his farewells and left. He passed through another state; this one was called Yiniquyu. The people there led Liu Yue into the palace and gave him a leather bag, telling him, "Give this to the Emperor of Han for us." When Liu Yue again said his goodbyes and left, they told him, "Young Master Liu, when you return next year, you must come and see us, so we can have you get married." Then Liu Yue left, and he placed the leather bag in a certain place. That was when he revived.

Now awake, he sent his attendants to the same place to find the bag and open it, and inside was a piece of white jade. There was an inscription on it that said, "Respectfully presented by the Heavenly King of Yiniquyu to the Heavenly King of Zhexuyi. We shall meet when the year is right." They sent a courier to report the matter to Liu Cong, who said, "If this is the case, I need not fear death."

When Liu Cong passed away, the jade was buried with him.

[In this year,] there was ghastly weeping in the Guangji Hall, as well as in the Jianshi Hall. It rained blood at Pingyang, ten square li around.

By now, Liu Cong's son Liu Yue had already passed away, as mentioned above. Liu Cong was greatly disturbed by this. He told Liu Can, "I have been bedridden by illness and troubled by fatigue lately, and these strange happenings have been occurring. You will recall the things that Liu Yue predicted before. The past few days, I have been seeing him; the boy must be waiting to welcome me to the other side. Now it is not that I fear death, for though I die in this life, my spirit will yet live. But the troubles of this age have not yet been quelled, and there is no time for you to spend isolated in the mourning shed. Spend only a day on my wake, and bury me within the week."

Liu Cong summoned Liu Yao to the capital to serve as Prime Minister, chief of affairs of the Masters of Writing, and regent for the government, but Liu Yao firmly declined, so Liu Cong stopped.

Liu Cong appointed Liu Jing as Grand Governor. He appointed Liu Ji as Grand Marshal. He appointed Liu Yiy as Grand Instructor. He appointed Zhu Ji as Grand Tutor and Huyan Yan as Grand Guardian, with both of them granted authority over the affairs of the Masters of Writing. He appointed Fan Long as acting Prefect of the Masters of Writing, with equal ceremonial to the Three Excellencies, and he appointed Jin Zhun as Grand Minister of Works and acting Colonel-Director of Retainers, with both of them granted decisive authority over the edicts of the Masters of Writing.

In the first year of Taixing (318), Liu Cong passed away. He had been in power for nine years. His posthumous name was Emperor Zhaowu, with the temple name Liezong.

既嗣偽位,尊聰後靳氏為皇太后,樊氏號弘道皇后,宣氏號弘德皇后,王氏號弘孝皇后。靳等年皆未滿二十,並國色也,粲晨夜蒸淫於內,志不在哀。立其妻靳氏為皇后,子元公為太子,大赦境內,改元漢昌。雨血於平陽。(Book of Jin 102, Biography of Liu Can)

When Liu Can rose to the throne, he honored the Empresses that Liu Cong had appointed: Jin Yuehua became Empress Dowager, Lady Fan became Empress Hongdao, Lady Xuan became Empress Hongde, and Lady Wang became Empress Hongxiao. At this time, Empress Dowager Jin Yuehua and the other Empresses were no more than twenty years old, and they were all national beauties. Liu Can engaged in much immoral behavior day and night, having no thoughts of conducting mourning. He also honored his own wife, Lady Jin, as the new Empress, and he appointed his son Liu Yuangong as Crown Prince.

Liu Can declared a general amnesty, and changed Han's reign era title to the first year of Hanchang.

It rained blood at Pingyang.


靳準陰有異志,私謂粲曰:「如聞諸公欲行伊、霍之事,先誅太保及臣,以大司馬統萬機,陛下宜早圖之!」粲不從。準懼,復使二靳氏言之,粲乃從之。收其太宰景、大司馬驥、驥母弟車騎大將軍吳王逞、太師顗、大司徒齊王勱,皆殺之。朱紀、范隆奔長安。八月,粲治兵於上林,謀討石勒。以丞相曜爲相國、都督中外諸軍事,仍鎭長安。靳準爲大將軍、錄尚書事。粲常遊宴後宮,軍國之事,一決於準。準矯詔以從弟明爲車騎將軍,康爲衞將軍。

29. Jin Zhun secretly had sinister intentions. So he privately told Liu Can, "I have heard that the various Dukes plan to imitate the examples of Yi Yin and Huo Guang of old. First they are going to execute the Grand Guardian (Liu Jing) and myself, and then they will place the Grand Marshal (Liu Ji) in charge of everything. Your Majesty had better do away with them at once!"

But Liu Can did not listen to him. Worried by this response, Jin Zhun had his two daughters speak to Liu Can as well, and they finally convinced him.

Liu Can arrested Liu Ji, the Grand Governor, Liu Jing, the Grand General of Chariots and Cavalry and Prince of Wu, Liu Jing's brother by the same mother Liu Cheng, the Grand Instructor, Liu Yi, and the Grand Minister Over The Masses and Prince of Qi, Liu Mai. He executed them all. Zhu Ji and Fan Long fled to Chang'an.

In the eighth month, Liu Can supervised soldiers at Shanglin, planning to campaign against Shi Le. He appointed Liu Yao as Chancellor of State and Commander of all military affairs, though Liu Yao would remained stationed at Chang'an. Jin Zhun was appointed as Grand General and chief of the affairs of the Masters of Writing.

Liu Can often indulged himself in the Rear Palace, and all military or state affairs were decided by Jin Zhun. Jin Zhun forged an edict appointing his cousins Jin Ming and Jin Kang as General of Chariots and Cavalry and as Guard General.

〈二靳氏,聰后與粲后。〉〈奔劉曜也。〉〈蓋起上林苑於平陽。〉

(Jin Zhun's two daughters were Empress Dowager Jin Yuehua and Empress Jin.

Zhu Ji and Fan Long were fleeing to Liu Yao, who was at Chang'an.

A Shanglin Garden had been established at Pingyang; this was the one in question.)


八月,粲以丞相曜為相國、大都督。司空靳准為大將軍,領尚書。粲荒耽酒色,遊宴後庭,軍國之事,一決於准。(Annals of the Sixteen Kingdoms 1, Biography of Liu Cong)

In the eighth month, Liu Can appointed the Prime Minister, Liu Yao, as Chancellor of State and Grand Commander. He appointed the Minister of Works, Jin Zhun, as Grand General and acting Master of Writing.

Liu Can was wasteful and indulgent, losing himself in wine and sensual pleasures, and all military or state affairs were decided by Jin Zhun.

粲荒耽酒色,遊蕩後庭,軍國之事,決於大將軍靳準。(Book of Northern Wei 95, Biography of Liu Cong)

Liu Can was wasteful and indulgent, losing himself in wine and sensual pleasures, and all military or state affairs were decided by the Grand General, Jin Zhun.

靳準將有異謀,私於粲曰:「如聞諸公將欲行伊尹、霍光之事,謀先誅太保及臣,以大司馬統萬機。陛下若不先之,臣恐禍之來也不晨則夕。」粲弗納。准懼其言之不從,謂聰二靳氏曰:「今諸公侯欲廢帝,立濟南王,恐吾家無復種矣。盍言之於帝。」二靳承間言之。粲誅其太宰、上洛王劉景,太師、昌國公劉顗,大司馬、濟南王劉驥,大司徒、齊王劉勱等。太傅硃紀、太尉范隆出奔長安。又誅其車騎大將軍、吳王劉逞,驥母弟也。粲大閱上林,謀討石勒。以靳准為大將軍、錄尚書事。粲荒耽酒色,遊宴後庭,軍國之事一決於准。准矯粲命,以從弟明為車騎將軍,康為衛將軍。(Book of Jin 102, Biography of Liu Can)

Jin Zhun was about to carry out his sinister intentions. So he privately told Liu Can, "I have heard that the various Dukes plan to imitate the examples of Yi Yin and Huo Guang of old. First they are going to execute the Grand Guardian (Liu Jing) and myself, and then they will place the Grand Marshal (Liu Ji) in charge of everything. Unless Your Majesty does away with them at once, I fear they will act soon; if not one morning, then by that night."

But Liu Can did not listen to him. Worried that Liu Can would not heed his words, Jin Zhun told his two daughters, "The Dukes and Marquises are planning to depose the Emperor and set up the Prince of Jinan instead, and I fear that will be the end of our family. You must speak to the Emperor about this." They conveyed his words to Liu Can.

Liu Can executed his Grand Governor and Prince of Shangluo, Liu Jing, his Grand Instructor and Duke of Changguo, Liu Yiy, his Grand Marshal and Prince of Jinan, Liu Ji, his Grand Minister Over The Masses and Prince of Qi, Liu Mai, and others. The Grand Tutor, Zhu Ji, and the Grand Commandant, Fan Long, fled to Chang'an. Liu Can also executed his Grand General of Chariots and Cavalry and Prince of Wu, Liu Jing's younger brother by the same mother Liu Cheng.

Liu Can held a grand review of soldiers at Shanglin, planning to campaign against Shi Le. Jin Zhun was appointed as Grand General and chief of the affairs of the Masters of Writing.

Liu Can often indulged himself in wine and sensual pleasures, wandering and feasting in the Rear Court, and all military or state affairs were decided by Jin Zhun. Jin Zhun forged Liu Can's edict appointing his cousins Jin Ming and Jin Kang as General of Chariots and Cavalry and as Guard General.

聰之末年,曜位至相國,鎮長安。(Book of Northern Wei 95, Biography of Liu Yao)

Near the end of Liu Cong's reign, Liu Yao was appointed as Chancellor of State, and he was stationed at Chang'an.


準將作亂,謀於王延。延弗從,馳,將告之;遇靳康,劫延以歸。準遂勒兵升光極殿,使甲士執粲,數而殺之,諡曰隱帝。劉氏男女,無少長皆斬東市。發永光、宣光二陵,斬聰屍,焚其宗廟。準自號大將軍、漢天王,稱制,置百官。謂安定胡嵩曰:「自古無胡人爲天子者,今以傳國璽付汝,還如晉家。」嵩不敢受,準怒,殺之。遣使告司州刺史李矩曰:「劉淵,屠各小醜,因晉之亂,矯稱天命,使二帝幽沒。輒率衆扶侍梓宮,請以上聞。」矩馳表于帝,帝遣太常韓胤等奉迎梓宮。漢尚書北宮純等招集晉人,堡於東宮,靳康攻滅之。準欲以王延爲左光祿大夫,延罵曰:「屠各逆奴,何不速殺我,以吾左目置西陽門,觀相國之入也;右目置建春門,觀大將軍之入也!」準殺之。

30. Jin Zhun was about to launch his coup. He mentioned the plot to Wang Yan. But Wang Yan refused to go along with it. He hurried away, about to inform Liu Can of the plot, but he ran into Jin Kang, who compelled him to go back.

Jin Zhun then ordered his troops to march up into the Guangji Hall, where he sent armored soldiers to arrest Liu Can, list out his crimes, and then kill him. Liu Can's posthumous title was Emperor Yin ("the Hidden").

All members of the Liu clan, whether man or woman, young or old, were beheaded in the Eastern Market. The two tombs of Yongguang and Xuanguang were dug up, Liu Cong's corpse was beheaded, and his ancestral temple was burned down.

Jin Zhun declared himself Grand General and Heavenly King of Han, and he assumed control and appointed officials. He said to Hu Song of Anding commandary, "Ever since ancient times, there has never been a barbarian who has been the Son of Heaven. Now I shall hand the Imperial Seal over to you, so that it may be returned to the Jin royal family." But Hu Song did not dare to accept it, angering Jin Zhun, who killed him.

Jin Zhun sent messengers to inform Jin's Inspector of Sizhou, Li Ju, "Liu Yuan was just some whelp of the Chuge clan, and it was only because of the turmoil in Jin that he could presume to claim the mandate of Heaven and cause Emperors Huai and Min to die in obscurity. Now I am in possession of the imperial coffins, and I ask for orders from my superiors." Li Ju forwarded this message to Sima Rui, who sent the Minister of Ceremonies, Han Yin, and others to welcome the arrival of the imperial coffins.

Han's Master of Writing, Beigong Chun, and others assembled the Jin people (ethnic Han) and defended themselves inside the Eastern Palace. But Jin Kang attacked them and wiped them out.

Jin Zhun wished to appoint Wang Yan as his Household Counselor of the Left. But Wang Yan scolded him, saying, "You traitorous Chuge slave! Why don't you go ahead and kill me? Put my left eye on the Xiyang Gate, so I can watch the Chancellor of State (Liu Yao) come and get you, and put my right eye on the Jianchun Gate, so I can see the Grand General (Shi Le) come for you too!" Jin Zhun killed him.

〈將以準謀告粲。〉〈淵墓號永光陵。〉〈洛陽之陷,傳國璽遷于平陽。〉〈北宮純降漢,見八十七卷懷帝永嘉五年。〉〈以劉曜將自西進兵也。〉〈以石勒將自東進兵也。〉

(Wang Yan was about to inform Liu Can of Jin Zhun's coup.

Liu Yuan's tomb was named Yongguang Tomb.

When Luoyang had fallen, the Han-Zhao army had taken the Imperial Seal to Pingyang.

Beigong Chun's surrender to Han-Zhao is mentioned in Book 87, in Emperor Huai's fifth year of Yongjia (311.31).

Liu Yao later led his troops to attack Pingyang from the west, while Shi Le led his troops to attack from the east.)


為其將靳準所殺,淵族子曜僭立。帝聞晉愍帝為曜所害,顧謂大臣曰:「今中原無主,天其資我乎?」劉曜遣使請和,帝不納。(Book of Northern Wei 1, Annals of the Tuoba Ancestors)

Liu Can was killed by his general Jin Zhun, and Liu Yuan's junior kinsman Liu Yao succeeded him.

When Tuoba Yulü heard that Emperor Min had been killed by Liu Yao, he turned to his chief ministers and said, "The Central Plains now have no sovereign. Does Heaven thus support me?"

Liu Yao sent envoys hoping to arrange peaceful relations, but Tuoba Yulü refused to accept them.

及劉粲嗣位,昏虐日甚,其將靳准乃起兵殺粲,並其宗族,發聰塚,斬其屍,遣使歸矩,稱「劉元海屠各小丑,因大晉事故之際,作亂幽并,矯稱天命,至令二帝幽沒虜庭。輒率眾扶侍梓宮,因請上聞」。矩馳表於帝,帝遣太常韓胤等奉迎梓宮。(Book of Jin 63, Biography of Li Ju)

After Liu Can succeeded Liu Cong as Emperor of Han-Zhao, his foolishness and cruelty increased by the day. So Liu Can's general Jin Zhun rose up with soldiers and killed Liu Can, along with all his clan. Jin Zhun dug up Liu Cong's grave and beheaded his body.

Jin Zhun sent envoys to visit Li Ju, claiming, "Liu Yuan was just some whelp of the Chuge clan, and it was only because of the turmoil in Jin that he could presume to launch a rebellion in Youzhou and Bingzhou, claim the mandate of Heaven, and cause Emperors Huai and Min to die in obscurity. Now I am leading their forces and am in possession of the imperial coffins, and I ask for orders from my superiors."

Li Ju forwarded this message to Sima Rui, who sent the Minister of Ceremonies, Han Yin, and others to welcome the arrival of the imperial coffins.

准遂勒兵入宮,執粲,數而殺之,追諡靈帝,劉氏無所存,男子盡刑於市,發掘二陵,焚燒宗廟,鬼大哭,聲聞百里。准自號漢大王,置百官,遣使稱藩于晉。(Annals of the Sixteen Kingdoms 1, Biography of Liu Cong)

Jin Zhun then led troops into the palace, arrested Liu Can, listed out his crimes, and then killed him. His posthumous title was Emperor Ling. No member of the Liu clan was spared; regardless of age, all were put to death in the marketplace. Jin Zhun's soldiers dug up the two tombs of Liu Yuan and Liu Cong, and they burned down the Ancestral Temple; there was great ghostly wailing, which could be heard for a hundred li.

Jin Zhun declared himself Great King of Han, and he created the imperial offices. He sent envoys to declare himself a Jin vassal.

準勒兵誅粲,劉氏男女無少長皆殺之。準自號漢王,置百官。(Book of Northern Wei 95, Biography of Liu Cong)

Jin Zhun led troops to execute Liu Can. All members of the Liu clan, man or woman, young or old, were all killed. Jin Zhun declared himself the King of Han, and he established the imperial offices.

準將作亂,以金紫光祿大夫王延耆德時望,謀之於延。延弗從,馳將告之,遇靳康,劫延以歸。准勒兵入宮,升其光極前殿,下使甲士執粲,數而殺之。劉氏男女無少長皆斬於東市。發掘元海、聰墓,焚燒其宗廟。鬼大哭,聲聞百里。准自號大將軍、漢天王,置百官,遣使稱籓于晉。左光祿劉雅出奔西平。尚書北宮純、胡崧等招集晉人,保于東宮,靳康攻滅之。準將以王延為左光祿,延罵曰:「屠各逆奴,何不速殺我,以吾左目置西陽門,觀相國之入也,右目置建春門,觀大將軍之入也。」准怒,殺之。(Book of Jin 102, Biography of Liu Can)

Jin Zhun was about to launch his coup. At this time, the Household Counselor With Golden Tassel, Wang Yan, was an elder and virtuous minister with great influence, so Jin Zhun mentioned the plot to him. But Wang Yan refused to go along with it. He hurried away, about to inform Liu Can of the plot, but he ran into Jin Kang, who compelled him to go back.

Jin Zhun then ordered his troops to enter the palace and march up into the Front Chamber of the Guangji Hall, where he sent armored soldiers to arrest Liu Can, list out his crimes, and then kill him.

All members of the Liu clan, whether man or woman, young or old, were beheaded in the Eastern Market. The two tombs of Liu Yuan and Liu Cong were dug up, and their ancestral temple was burned down. Great ghastly wailing could be heard for a hundred li.

Jin Zhun declared himself Grand General and Heavenly King of Han, and he created the imperial offices. He sent envoys to Jin declaring himself a Jin vassal.

The Household Counselor of the Left, Liu Ya, fled to Xiping commandary.

The Masters of Writing, Beigong Chun and Hu Song, and others assembled the Jin people (ethnic Han) and defended themselves inside the Eastern Palace. But Jin Kang attacked them and wiped them out.

Jin Zhun wished to appoint Wang Yan as his Household Counselor of the Left. But Wang Yan scolded him, saying, "You traitorous Chuge slave! Why don't you go ahead and kill me? Put my left eye on the Xiyang Gate, so I can watch the Chancellor of State (Liu Yao) come and get you, and put my right eye on the Jianchun Gate, so I can see the Grand General (Shi Le) come for you too."

Angered, Jin Zhun killed him.


相國曜聞亂,自長安赴之。石勒帥精銳五萬以討準,據襄陵北原。準數挑戰,勒堅壁以挫之。

31. When Liu Yao heard about the coup, he marched from Chang'an. Shi Le also led fifty thousand elite soldiers to campaign against Jin Zhun, and he occupied the northern plains of Xiangling. Jin Zhun attempted several times to goad him into battle, but Shi Le kept to his defenses to frustrate Jin Zhun.

〈襄陵縣,漢屬河東郡,晉屬平陽郡。師古曰:晉襄公之陵,因以名縣。據《水經註》,襄陵在平陽東南。〉

(During Han, Xiangling county was part of Hedong commandary. During Jin, it was part of Pingyang commandary. Yan Shigu remarked, "The county was named Xiangling ('Xiang's Tomb') because it was the site of the tomb of Duke Xiang of the ancient state of Jin." According to the Commentary on the Water Classic, Xiangling was southeast of Pingyang.)


相國曜自長安赴難。(Annals of the Sixteen Kingdoms 1, Biography of Liu Cong)

The Chancellor of State, Liu Yao, marched from Chang'an to deal with Jin Zhun's rebellion.

靳準之誅粲也,曜來赴之。(Book of Northern Wei 95, Biography of Liu Yao)

When Jin Zhun executed Liu Can, Liu Yao came to deal with him.


冬,十月,曜至赤壁。太保呼延晏等自平陽歸之,與太傅朱紀等共上尊號。曜卽皇帝位,大赦,惟靳準一門不在赦例。改元光初。以朱紀領司徒,呼延晏領司空,太尉范隆以下悉復本位。以石勒爲大司馬、大將軍,加九錫,增封十郡,進爵爲趙公。

32. In winter, the tenth month, Liu Yao arrived at Chibi. Huyan Yan and others came from Pingyang to meet him, and along with Zhu Ji and others, they all urged him to claim the imperial title. So Liu Yao declared himself Emperor, and he declared a general amnesty, with only Jin Zhun and his family being excluded from the amnesty. He changed Han's reign era title to the first year of Guangchu.

Liu Yao appointed Zhu Ji as acting Minister Over The Masses, he appointed Huyan Yan as acting Minister of Works, and he reappointed Fan Long and all the subordinate ministers to their original positions.

He appointed Shi Le as Grand Marshal and Grand General, granted him the Nine Bestowments, increased his fief by ten commandaries, and advanced his noble title to Duke of Zhao.

〈《水經註》:河東皮氏縣西北,有赤石川。〉〈曜,字永明,淵之族子。〉

(The Commentary on the Water Classic states, "The Yellow River flows east through the northwest of Pishi County, where there is the Chishi River."

Liu Yao, styled Yongming, was Liu Yuan's junior kinsman.)


光初元年十月,太保呼延宴等自平陽來奔,上尊號於曜,僭即皇帝位。(Annals of the Sixteen Kingdoms 1, Biography of Liu Yao)

In the first year of Yongguang (318), the tenth month, the Grand Guardian, Huyan Yan, and others fled to Liu Yao from Pingyang. They urged him to claim imperial title, so he declared himself Emperor.

曜次於赤壁。遂僭尊號,改年光初。(Book of Northern Wei 95, Biography of Liu Yao)

Liu Yao marched to Chibi. He declared himself Emperor, and he changed the reign era title to the first year of Guangchu.

曜稱尊號,授勒大司馬、大將軍,加九錫,增封十郡,并前十三郡,進為趙公。(Book of Northern Wei 95, Biography of Shi Le)

After Liu Yao declared himself Emperor of Han-Zhao, he appointed Shi Le as Grand Marshal and Grand General, granted him the Nine Bestowments, increased his fief by ten commandaries (combined with his original thirteen commandaries), and promote his noble title to Duke of Zhao.


勒進攻準於平陽,巴及羌、羯降者十餘萬落,勒皆徙之於所部郡縣。

33. Shi Le advanced and attacked Jin Zhun at Pingyang. More than a hundred thousand tribes of the Ba, Qiang, and Jie peoples surrendered to him, and Shi Le relocated them all to the commandaries and counties under his control.

〈巴,巴氐也。魏武平漢中,遷巴氐于關中,其後種類滋蔓,河東、平陽皆有之。〉

(The mention of Ba here means the Ba-Di. When Wu of Wei (Cao Cao) conquered Hanzhong commandary (in 215), he had relocated the Ba-Di people into the Guanzhong region. Their descendants were fruitful and multiplied, and some of them ended up in Hedong and Pingyang commandaries.)


及劉粲為靳準所殺,勒率眾赴平陽。(Book of Northern Wei 95, Biography of Shi Le)

After Liu Can was killed by Jin Zhun, Shi Le led his forces to Pingyang.


漢主曜使征北將軍劉雅、鎭北將軍劉策屯汾陰,與勒共討準。

34. Liu Yao sent the General Who Conquers The North, Liu Ya, and the General Who Guards The North, Liu Ce, to camp at Fenyin, in order to campaign against Jin Zhun together with Shi Le.

〈汾陰縣,漢屬河東郡,晉省。〉

(During Han, Fenyin County was part of Hedong commandary. Jin abolished it.)


十一月,乙卯,日夜出,高三丈。

35. In the eleventh month, on the day Yimao (December 21st), the sun came out during the night, three zhang in height.

詔以王敦爲荊州牧,加陶侃都督交州諸軍事;敦固辭州牧,乃聽爲刺史。

36. Sima Rui issued an edict appointing Wang Dun as Governor of Jingzhou and promoting Tao Kan to Commander of military affairs in Jiaozhou. Wang Dun declined the title of Governor, but was convinced to accept appointment as Inspector instead.

尋加荊州牧,敦上疏曰:昔漢祖以神武革命,開建帝業,繼以文帝之賢,纂承洪緒,清虛玄默,擬跡成康。賈誼歎息,以為天下倒懸,雖言有抑揚,不失事體。今聖朝肇建,漸振宏綱,往段匹磾遣使求效忠節,尚未有勞,便以方州與之。今靳明等為國雪恥,欲除大逆,此之志望,皆欲附翼天飛。雖功大宜報,亦宜有以裁之,當杜漸防萌,慎之在始。中間不逞,互生事變,皆非忠義,率以一朝之榮。天下漸弊,實由於此。春秋之時,天子微弱,諸侯奢侈,晉文思崇周室,至有求隧之請,襄王讓之以禮,聞義而服,自爾諸侯莫敢越度。臣謂前者賊寇未殄,苟以濟事,朝廷諸所加授,頗多爵位兼重。今自臣以下,宜皆除之,且以塞群小矜功之望,夷狄無懨之求。若復遷延,顧望流俗,使奸狡生心,遂相怨謗,指摘朝廷,讒諛蜂起,臣有以知陛下無以正之。此安危之機,天下之望。臣門戶特受榮任,備兼權重,渥恩偏隆,寵過公族。行路廝賤猶謂不可,臣獨何心可以安之。臣一宗誤陛下,傾覆亦將尋至;雖復灰身剖心,陛下追悔將何所及!伏願諒臣至款,及今際會,小解散之,並授賢俊,少慰有識,各得盡其所懷,則人思競勸矣。州牧之號,所不敢當,輒送所假侍中貂蟬。又宜並官省職,以塞群小覬覦之望。帝優詔不許。又固辭州牧,聽為刺史。(Book of Jin 98, Biography of Wang Dun)

Wang Dun was soon promoted to be Governor of Jingzhou. In response to this appointment, he sent up a petition stating,

"In former times, Gaozu of Han (Liu Bang) reshaped the world through his divine martial prowess and established the foundation of his imperial dynasty, and then his worthy descendant Emperor Wen succeeded the imperial endeavor and traced a happy path for the realm through his restraint and his cultivation. Yet even at that time, Jia Yi lamented, for he felt that the realm was close to ruin, and though he acted with restraint, he could not avoid committing offense.

"Likewise, in our time, our court has only just begun to establish itself and restore order to the realm. It was not too long ago (~317) when Duan Pidi sent envoys to the court, professing that he was loyally upholding his duty to the state, and though he had not actually accomplished anything of note, he was still appointed as an Inspector of a border province. And now (~319), Jin Ming and the others (who had rebelled against Han-Zhao) wish to wipe away the state's shame by destroying the great traitors against us. But offering only this ambition and hope, they all hope to be affirmed by the state and to soar to the heavens.

"Those who perform great deeds should indeed be rewarded, but they should also be guarded against; to adopt provisions to guard against growing threats is the basis of caution. Where some of these people may fail in their aims, others will take advantage of changed circumstances to rise in their place. But all such people are merely grasping at a moment's glory, and they are not acting out of loyalty or duty to the state. Truly, they are contributing to the ruin of the realm.

"During the Spring and Autumn era, the Son of Heaven was helpless and weak while the feudal lords grew more numerous and powerful. At that time, Duke Wen of Jin sought to support the Zhou royal family, even to the extent of responding to their request for aid (in being restored to their territory). Yet when King Xiang reprimanded Duke Wen for his lack of courtesy, Duke Wen heeded the rightness of King Xiang's criticism and obeyed him. After that happened, none of the other, lesser feudal lords dared to transgress against their proper authority either.

"Now I note that the villains of our day have not yet been defeated for good, yet whenever there is some trifling victory against them, the court is always distributing ranks and titles in consequence, bolstering many people in power and privilege. So I advise that such titles that have been granted, from myself on down, should all be done away with. This will both put an end to the hopes of miscreants who believe they will be richly rewarded for some minor deed, and halt the incessant requests of the barbarians for their own titles. But if you delay such a policy, the hopes and desires for such people will only continue to grow; you will indulge and foster their wicked hearts, which will lead to resentment and slander, and the blame will find its way back to the court. I know that it is not Your Majesty's intention to allow swarms of slanderers and flatters to arise. This is the opportunity to determine between safety and danger, and decide the hopes of the realm.

"My own family and clan in particular have received conspicuous offices and wield extensive power and authority; we have been shown such deep grace and partiality that we have been favored even above the ducal clans of the royal household. Even mere travelers on the road or lowly servants say that this state of affairs cannot continue; how then can I rest secure when I am in such a situation? My clan has led Your Majesty astray, and so our downfall too shall not be long in coming; no matter how much we exhaust our bodies or pour out our hearts on your behalf, shall we be able to outpace your later regrets?

"I therefore implore Your Majesty, both in order to demonstrate my sincerity and to take advantage of this opportunity to act, that you remove some of our titles and distribute them to worthy and talented people. Grant some peace of mind to those who hold office, and allow these people to obtain the things which they all cherish. Then people shall be strongly encouraged.

"As for the rank of Governor of a province, I dare not accept such a appointment. Furthermore, I am sending back my sable tail and other insignia as Palace Attendant. In fact, I urge you to abolish such titles, in order to block the hopes of such miscreants as desire to attain them."

But Emperor Yuan (Sima Rui) issued an edict praising Wang Dun and would not permit him to decline the titles. Wang Dun insisted against being named as Governor, but he eventually agreed to be appointed as Inspector.


庚申,詔羣公卿士各陳得失。御史中丞熊遠上疏,以爲:「胡賊猾夏,梓宮未返,而不能遣軍進討,一失也。羣官不以讎賊未報爲恥,務在調戲、酒食而已,二失也。選官用人,不料實德,惟在白望,不求才幹,惟事請託;當官者以治事爲俗吏,奉法爲苛刻,盡禮爲諂諛,從容爲高妙,放蕩爲達士,驕蹇爲簡雅,三失也。世之所惡者,陸沈泥滓;時之所善者,翺翔雲霄;是以萬機未整,風俗僞薄。朝廷羣司,以從順爲善,相違見貶,安得朝有辨爭之臣,士無祿仕之志乎!古之取士,敷奏以言;今光祿不試,甚違古義。又舉賢不出世族,用法不及權貴,是以才不濟務,姦無所懲。若此道不改,求以救亂,難矣!」

37. On the day Gengshen (December 26th), Sima Rui ordered the nobles and court ministers to each explain his merits and faults.

The Assistant of the Middle to the Imperial Secretary, Xiong Yuan, sent up a petition stating, "The barbarians and bandits have ravaged the Xia people (ethnic Han) and the imperial coffins have not yet been returned, yet you have not been able to send forth the armies to campaign against the foe; this is your first fault. The ministers do not avenge their shame against our hated enemies, but can only eat, drink, and be merry; this is your second fault. When you select men for office, you do not ascertain their virtues, but only accept what is said about them, and you do not choose men for their talents, but only based on how much you can trust them. Furthermore, those who are in office leave their actual duties to common officials, they are overly strict in enforcing the laws, and they perform every kind of ceremony in order to flatter people. They consider the most important thing to be nonchalant, they esteem a lack of restraint, and they take pride in their unrefinement; this is your third fault.

"All that is evil in this age wallows in the mud, while all that is good soars among the clouds. Thus are affairs not set in order, and frivolity serves as the common tradition. When the court ministers all follow this trend and see it as good, when they are at each other's throats and hoping to demote one another, how can such contending ministers be controlled, and what ambitions will the gentry have to serve in office either? When the ancients selected a man for office, such men 'gave a report of their management in words'. But now, we do not even test men who hold the highest offices, and that greatly violates the old virtues.

"Worthy men cannot compete with established clans, and the enforcers of the law do not have as much influence as the esteemed and honored. With things like this, even the talented cannot fulfil their duties, and the perverse face no punishment. Unless this state of affairs changes, it will be difficult indeed to overcome the chaos!"

〈孔安國曰:猾,亂也。夏,華夏。〉〈諧謔以相調戲。〉〈司馬彪曰:陸沈,謂無水而沈之。〉〈《舜典》曰:敷奏以言。孔安國《註》曰:敷,陳;奏,進也;各使陳進治體之言。〉〈此卽謂秀、孝不試而署吏。〉

(Regarding the phrase 胡賊猾夏 "the barbarians and bandits have ravaged the Xia", Kong Anguo remarked, "猾 means 'turmoil', and 夏 means Huaxia (ethnic Han people)."

To be merry was to indulge in chatting with one another.

Sima Biao remarked, "The term 陸沈 means to drown even when there is no water."

The Canons of Shun in the Book of Documents has the phrase, 敷奏以言 "They gave a report of their management in words." Kong Anguo's Annotations states, "敷 means to explain, and 奏 means to put forth; that is to say, each of them explained and put forth words for how they had managed affairs."

When Xiong Yuan says "we do not even test men", he refers to how Abundant Talent and Filial and Incorrupt candidates were not examined, but simply assigned directly to office.)


先是,帝以離亂之際,欲慰悅人心,州郡秀、孝,至者不試,普皆署吏。尚書陳頵亦上言:「宜漸循舊制,試以經策。」帝從之,仍詔:「不中科者,刺史、太守免官。」於是秀、孝皆不敢行,其有到者,亦皆託疾,比二年無就試者。帝欲特除孝廉已到者官,尚書郎孔坦奏議,以爲:「近郡懼累君父,皆不敢行;遠郡冀於不試,冒昧來赴。今若徧加除署,是爲謹身奉法者失分,僥倖投射者得官,頹風傷敎,恐從此始。不若一切罷歸,而爲之延期,使得就學,則法均而令信矣。」帝從之,聽孝廉申至七年乃試。坦,愉之從子也。

38. Before, because of the general turmoil in the realm, Sima Rui wanted to win over the hearts of the people by waiving examinations. When provinces and commandaries sent their Abundant Talent and Filial and Incorrupt candidates to Jiankang, Sima Rui did not examine them; instead, all of them were directly appointed to offices. So the Master of Writing, Chen Yun, also sent up a petition stating, "You should gradually reintroduce the former examination system, and test the candidates on the classics and on policies."

Sima Rui followed his advice, and he issued an edict stating, "If a candidate does not pass the examination, the Inspector or Administrator who nominated them shall be stripped of office."

But after this, the candidates no longer dared to come to Jiankang, and those who did come all claimed illness to avoid the examination. So for nearly two years, no examinations were conducted. Sima Rui considered granting a special exemption for Filial and Incorrupt candidates who had already arrived at Jiankang and appointing them to office.

But the Gentleman of the Masters of Writing, Kong Tan, submitted a memorial offering his thoughts, stating, "Those in the closer commandaries feared their superiors, and so they did not dare to travel here, while those in the distant commandaries had taken advantage of not having to be examined to presume to come here. If you were to now appoint just the candidates who are already here to office, then the careful ones who upheld the law will lose out, while those who were merely testing their luck and hoping for a fluke will be the ones who gain office. I fear that would begin to corrupt morals and harm education. It would be better if they were all ordered to return home and given a fixed timeline to work on their education. Then the law would be fair and your orders would be trusted."

Sima Rui heeded his advice, and so the Filial and Incorrupt candidates were given until the seventh year before they would be examined. This Kong Tan was the nephew of Kong Yu.

〈秀、孝,謂州郡所舉秀才及孝廉。〉〈晉初秀、孝以經策中第者,若華譚之類是也。頵,於倫翻,又居筠翻。〉〈欲罪舉主也。〉〈君父,謂刺史、太守。〉〈投射,謂投機而射利也。〉〈延,遠也。〉

(The term 秀、孝 refers to the Abundant Talent and the Filial and Incorrupt candidates which the provinces and commandaries had nominated.

At the beginning of the Jin dynasty, these candidates were first tested on the Classics and on policies, as Hua Tan had suggested.

Chen Yun's given name 頵 is pronounced "yun (y-un)" or as "jun (j-un)".

Sima Rui hoped to shift the blame for unqualified candidates to the Inspectors or Administrators who had nominated them.

The term 君父, more literally "lord fathers", means the Inspectors and Administrators.

To try one's luck is to hope for good fortune in order to profit.

The term 延 here means "distant".)


靳準使侍中卜泰送乘輿、服御請和於石勒;勒囚泰,送於漢主曜。曜謂泰曰:「先帝末年,實亂大倫。司空行伊、霍之權,使朕及此,其功大矣。若早迎大駕者,當悉以政事相委,況免死乎!卿爲朕入城,具宣此意。」泰還平陽,準自以殺曜母兄,沈吟未從。十二月,左、右車騎將軍喬泰、王騰、衞將軍靳康等,相與殺準,推尚書令靳明爲主,遣卜泰奉傳國六璽降漢。石勒大怒,進軍攻明,明出戰,大敗,乃嬰城固守。

39. Jin Zhun sent the Palace Attendant, Bo Tai, to present the imperial carriages and clothing to Shi Le and ask him for peace terms. But Shi Le imprisoned Bo Tai and then sent him to Liu Yao.

Liu Yao said to Bo Tai, "Truthfully, during the time His Late Majesty (Liu Can) was in power, he greatly violated proper relations. The Minister of Works (Jin Zhun) was just acting as Yi Yin or Huo Guang would have done, and in bringing me to this point, he has carried out a great achievement. If he comes out at once to welcome my arrival, and offers to share all affairs of state together, how can he not avoid death? Now you go back into the city, and convey my thoughts."

Bo Tai returned to Pingyang. But because Jin Zhun had killed Liu Yao's mother and elder brother, he hesitated at this offer and would not yet agree to it.

In the twelfth month, the Generals of Chariots and Cavalry of the Left and Right, Qiao Tai and Wang Teng, the Guard General, Jin Kang, and others all killed Jin Zhun and acclaimed the Prefect of the Masters of Writing, Jin Ming, as their leader. They sent the six seals of state to Liu Yao as a token of surrender.

Shi Le was furious, and he advanced his army to attack Jin Ming. Jin Ming came out to fight him, but he was greatly defeated, and so he withdrew back into the city to hold out.

〈先帝,謂粲也;亂倫,謂烝其諸母。〉〈曜母胡氏,爲準所殺,兄則史失其名。沈吟,冘豫不決之意。〉

("His Late Majesty" here refers to Liu Can, and the violation of "proper relations" refers to his behavior towards the Empresses.

Liu Yao's mother was Lady Hu; she had been killed by Jin Zhun. The history does not list the name of his elder brother.

The term 沈吟 means to be indecisive.)


十二月,靳准左右軍騎喬太、王騰等殺准,奉六璽來降。(Annals of the Sixteen Kingdoms 1, Biography of Liu Yao)

In the twelfth month, Jin Zhun was killed by his Generals of Cavalry of the the Left and Right, Qiao Tai and Wang Teng, and others. They sent the six seals of state to Liu Yao as a token of surrender.

準尋為靳明所殺。(Book of Northern Wei 95, Biography of Liu Cong)

Jin Zhun was later killed by Jin Ming.

勒至平陽,靳明出與勒戰,勒大破之。(Book of Northern Wei 95, Biography of Shi Le)

When Shi Le arrived at Pingyang, Jin Ming came out and fought him, but Shi Le greatly routed him.


丁丑,封皇子煥爲琅邪王。煥,鄭夫人之子,生二年矣,帝愛之,以其疾篤,故王之。己卯,薨。帝以成人之禮葬之,備吉凶儀服,營起園陵,功費甚廣。琅邪國右常侍會稽孫霄上疏諫曰:「古者凶荒殺禮;況今海內喪亂,憲章舊制,猶宜節省,而禮典所無,顧崇飾如是乎!竭已罷之民,營無益之事,殫已困之財,脩無用之費,此臣之所不安也。」帝不從。

40. On the day Dingchou (January 12th of 319), Sima Rui appointed his son Sima Huan as Prince of Langye. This Sima Huan was the son of Concubine Zheng. He was only a year old, and Sima Rui loved him, but he had a grave illness, and so Sima Rui named him Prince in expectation of his death. On the day Jimao (January 14th of 319), Sima Huan passed away.

Sima Rui conducted a funeral for him with the rites appropriate for an adult, by dressing him in ceremonial robes for fortunate or unfortunate occasions and establishing a park and a tomb for him, which required significant expenses for the work. The Regular Attendant of the Right of the Langye princely fief, Sun Xiao of Kuaiji, sent up a petition remonstrating with Sima Rui. He stated, "Even the ancients cut back on ceremony in the midst of misfortune and want. How can we not do the same when all within the Four Seas is in mourning and disorder? And expenditures should be simplified as well. Yet contrary to all the rites and canons, you adorn this occasion with such ornamentation! You burden your people to build something which is of no worth, and you waste your funds on something which has no purpose. I cannot help but be disturbed."

But Sima Rui did not listen to him.

〈《晉志》:王國置左右常侍各一人。〉〈殺,降也,減也。〉〈葬無服之殤以成人之禮,古典所無也。〉

(The Records of Jin states, "The princely fiefs each had one Regular Attendant of the Left and of the Right."

The term 殺 here means to cut back on or to detract from.

To conduct the funeral according to the rites appropriate for an adult rather than the rites appropriate for a youth went against the ancient canons.)


彭城內史周撫殺沛國內史周默,以其衆降石勒。詔下邳內史劉遐領彭城內史,與徐州刺史蔡豹、泰山太守徐龕共討之。豹,質之玄孫也。

41. The Interior Minister of Pengcheng, Zhou Fu, killed the Interior Minister of the Pei princely fief, Zhou Mo, and led his forces to surrender to Shi Le.

Sima Rui issued an edict appointing the Interior Minister of Xiapi, Liu Xia, as acting Interior Minister of Pengcheng, and he ordered Liu Xia, the Inspector of Xuzhou, Cai Bao, and the Administrator of Taishan, Xu Kan, to campaign against Zhou Fu together. This Cai Bao was the great-grandson of Cai Zhi.

〈蔡質,漢人,蔡邕之叔父。〉

(Cai Zhi lived during the Han dynasty; he was the uncle of the scholar Cai Yong.)


石虎帥幽、冀之兵會石勒攻平陽,靳明屢敗,遣使求救於漢。漢主曜使劉雅、劉策迎之,明帥平陽士女萬五千人奔漢。曜西屯粟邑,收靳氏男女,無少長皆斬之。曜迎其母胡氏之喪於平陽,葬于粟邑,號曰陽陵,諡曰宣明皇太后。石勒焚平陽宮室,使裴憲、石會脩永光、宣光二陵,收漢主粲已下百餘口葬之,置戍而歸。

42. Shi Hu led the soldiers of Youzhou and Jizhou to join with Shi Le for an attack on Pingyang.

Jin Ming, having been defeated several times, sent messengers to Liu Yao asking for assistance. Liu Yao ordered Liu Ya and Liu Ce to escort them, and so Jin Ming led fifteen thousand men and women from Pingyang to flee to Liu Yao. Liu Yao moved west to camp at Suyi. He arrested all the men and women of the Jin clan, and all of them, young or old, were beheaded.

Liu Yao welcomed the arrival of the body of his mother Lady Hu from Pingyang, and he buried her at Suyi; her tomb was called Yang Tomb, and her posthumous title was Empress Dowager Xuanming.

Shi Le burned down the palaces at Pingyang, and he ordered Pei Xian and Shi Hui to restore the two tombs (of Liu Yuan and Liu Cong) at Yongguang and Xuanguang. He collected the bodies of Liu Can and more than a hundred of his subordinates and buried them, and left a garrison at Pingyang before returning to his own territory.

〈粟邑縣,屬馮翊郡。〉

(Suyi County was part of Pingyi commandary.)


未至而准已為石勒、劉曜所沒。(Book of Jin 63, Biography of Li Ju)

The Jin envoys had not yet reached the Huai River before Jin Zhun was defeated by Shi Le and Liu Yao.

靳康女者,不知何許人也。美姿容,有志操。劉曜之誅靳氏,將納靳女為妾,靳曰:「陛下既滅其父母兄弟,復何用妾為!妾聞逆人之誅也,尚汙宮伐樹,而況其子女乎!」因號泣請死,曜哀之,免康一子。(Book of Jin 96, Biography of Lady Jin)

The daughter of Jin Kang was of unknown place of origin. She had a beautiful appearance and was ambitious.

When Liu Yao slaughtered the Jin clan, he was about to claim Lady Jin as his concubine. But she lamented, "Since Your Majesty is going to kill my parents and my siblings, what use would you have for me? I have heard that when a traitor is executed, even his house and his trees are destroyed, much less his sons and daughters!" And she wept as she begged to be killed. Liu Yao took pity on her, and he spared one of Jin Kang's sons.

明眾降淵族子曜。(Book of Northern Wei 95, Biography of Liu Cong)

Jin Ming's forces surrendered to Liu Yuan's junior kinsman Liu Yao.

靳明既降於曜。(Book of Northern Wei 95, Biography of Liu Yao)

Jin Ming surrendered to Liu Yao.

明率平陽之眾奔曜,曜西如粟邑。勒焚平陽宮室,置戍而歸,徙渾儀樂器於襄國。(Book of Northern Wei 95, Biography of Shi Le)

Jin Ming led his forces in Pingyang to flee to Liu Yao. Liu Yao went west to Suyi. Shi Le burned down the palaces at Pingyang, and left a garrison there before returning, moving all of the ceremonial and musical instruments to Xiangguo.


成梁州刺史李鳳數有功,成主雄兄子稚在晉壽,疾之。鳳以巴西叛。雄自至涪,使太傅驤討鳳,斬之;以李壽爲前將軍,督巴西軍事。

43. Cheng's Inspector of Lianzhou, Li Feng, had achieved many things. Li Xiong's nephew Li Zhi, who was at Jinshou, resented Li Feng for that.

Then Li Feng rebelled at Baxi commandary. Li Xiong himself came to Fu, while he sent his Grand Tutor, Li Xiang, to campaign against Li Feng, and Li Xiang killed Li Feng. Li Shou was appointed as General of the Front and given command over military affairs in Baxi.

〈晉壽縣屬梓潼郡。何承天曰:晉惠帝立晉壽縣。沈約曰:按《晉起居注》,武帝太康元年,改梓潼之漢壽曰晉壽。漢壽之名,疑是蜀立;云惠帝立,非也。〉

(Jinshou County was part of Zitong commandary. He Chengtian remarked, "Emperor Hui of Jin established Jinshou County." Shen Yue remarked, "According to the Annotations of the Daily Life of Jin, in Emperor Wu's (Sima Yan's) first year of Taikang (280), he changed the name of Hanshou County in Zitong to Jinshou." I (Hu Sanxing) suspect from the former name Hanshou that the county was established by Shu-Han, so He Chengtian must be in error when he says that Emperor Hui established it.)


李壽字武考,特季弟驤之少子。少尚禮容,敏而好學。雄奇其才器,以為足荷重任。(Annals of the Sixteen Kingdoms 6, Biography of Li Shou)

Li Shou, styled Wukao, was the youngest son of Li Te's youngest brother Li Xiang. He was magnanimous and open, and he was naturally smart, but he also enjoyed studying. Li Xiong appreciated his talents, and felt he was suited for important and heavy responsibilities.

壽字武考,驤之子也。敏而好學,雅量豁然,少尚禮容,異于李氏諸子。雄奇其才,以為足荷重任,拜前將軍、督巴西軍事,遷征東將軍。時年十九,聘處士譙秀以為賓客,盡其讜言,在巴西威惠甚著。(Book of Jin 121, Biography of Li Shou)

Li Shou, styled Wukao, was the son of Li Xiang. He was naturally smart, but he also enjoyed studying. He was magnanimous and open, and even as a youth he respected proper conduct and appearance, making him unique among the sons of the Li clan. Li Xiong appreciated his talents, and felt he was suited for important and heavy responsibilities. He appointed Li Shou as General of the Front and Commander of military affairs in Baxi, and later appointed him as General Who Conquers The East. When Li Shou was eighteen, he engaged the hermit Qiao Xiu as his tutor, and accepted all his frank remarks. Within Baxi, he was both much loved and much feared.

李鳳在北,數有戰、降之功。時蕩子稚屯晉壽,害其功。大興元年,鳳以巴西叛。驤討之,久駐梓潼不「敢」進。雄自至涪,驤遂斬鳳。以壽代鳳「以」知州、征事... 壽字武考,有幹局,愛尚學義,志度少殊於諸子。雄奇之。(Huayang Guozhi 9.2, 9.4)

During the time when Li Feng was in command of the north, he won many achievements through victories in battle and accepting the surrenders of his foes. Li Dang's son Li Zhi, who was camped at Jinshou, resented Li Feng's achievements.

In the first year of Taixing (318), Li Feng rebelled at Baxi. Li Xiang went to campaign against him, but he tarried at Zitong and did not (dare to) advance any further. But then Li Xiong himself came to Fu, so Li Xiang then executed Li Feng. Li Xiong appointed Li Shou to take over Li Feng's former duties as Inspector and General Who Conquers The North.

...

Li Shou, styled Wukao, was a competent and capable man. He respected and honored studying and righteousness, and his ambitions and capacity surpassed the other sons of the Li clan. Li Xiong appreciated him.

[子稚]: 元豐本作推。劉、錢、《函》、廖本作稚。張、吳、何、王、浙、石本作雉。[大興]: 〈何本作太興。〉[知州、征事]: 廖本注云「以知州征事,當作梁州知北事。」今按:此承上「以鳳為征北梁州」文,省作「知州、征」字。但上衍以字耳。(Huayang Guozhi commentary)

(Regarding 李稚 Li Zhi, the Yuanfeng edition writes his given name as 推 Tui. The Liu, Qian, 函, and Liao editions write it as Zhi. And the Zhang, Wu, He, Wang, Zhe, and Shi editions write it as 雉 Zhi.

The original passage lists the reign era as 大興 Daxing, but it should be 太興 Taixing.

Regarding Li Shou's assigned duties, the Liao edition notes that "instead of the phrase 知州征事, it ought to say that he 'took over northern affairs for Lianzhou'". But consider that earlier, it said that Li Feng was "appointed as General Who Conquers The North and Inspector of Lianzhou", and 知州征事 is reiterating both of those things; it has merely omitted one of the earlier characters.)
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BOOK 91

Unread postby Taishi Ci 2.0 » Wed Feb 14, 2018 7:21 am

太興二年(己卯、三一九)

The Second Year of Taixing (The Jimao Year, 319 AD)


春,二月,劉遐、徐龕擊周撫於寒山,破斬之。初,掖人蘇峻帥鄕里數千家結壘以自保,遠近多附之。曹嶷惡其強,將攻之,峻率衆浮海來奔。帝以峻爲鷹揚將軍,助劉遐討周撫有功;詔以遐爲臨淮太守,峻爲淮陵內史。

1. It was earlier mentioned that the Jin commanders Liu Xia and Xu Kan had been sent to fight the rebel Zhou Fu. In spring, the second month, they attacked him at Mount Han. They routed Zhou Fu’s forces and beheaded him.

There lived a certain Su Jun, a native of Ye County, who had organized several thousand families of his native region behind ramparts to defend themselves against the chaos of the time. Many people near and far had joined him. The Qingzhou warlord Cao Yi had been wary of Su Jun's strength, and so he had been about to attack him. So Su Jun had led his people to cross the sea and so get away. Sima Rui had appointed Su Jun as General of Hawkish Display.

Su Jun now assisted Liu Xia in the campaign against Zhou Fu, and for their achievements in that regard, Sima Rui issued an edict appointing Liu Xia as Administrator of Linhuai and Su Jun as Interior Minister of Huailing.

〈魏收《地形志》,彭城郡彭城縣有寒山。〉〈掖縣,屬東萊郡。《蘇峻傳》云,長廣掖人。據《志》,長廣郡有挺縣,無掖縣。〉〈沈約《志》:鷹揚將軍,建安中,曹公以命曹洪。〉〈惠帝元康七年,分臨淮置淮陵郡,其地當在唐沂州臨沂縣界。宋白曰:泗洲招信縣,本漢淮陵縣。〉

(According to the Geographical Records of the Book of Northern Wei, there was a Mount Han in Pengcheng County in Pengcheng commandary.

掖 Ye County was part of Donglai commandary. The Biography of Su Jun in the Book of Jin does state that he was a native of Ye "in Zhangguang commandary". But according to the Geographical Records of the Book of Northern Wei, although Zhangguang commandary did have a 挺 Ting County, it did not have a 掖 Ye County.

According to Shen Yue's Annotations, General of Hawkish Display was a rank established during the Jian'an reign era of Han (196-219). Cao Cao had appointed Cao Hong to that rank.

In Emperor Hui's seventh year of Yuankang (297), part of Linhuai commandary was split off as Huailing commandary. Its territory was within the borders of Linzhe County in Tang's Zhezhou. Song Bai remarked, "Zhaoxin County in Sizhou was originally Han's Huailing County.")


蘇峻,字子高,長廣掖人也。父模,安樂相。峻少為書生,有才學,仕郡主簿。年十八,舉孝廉。永嘉之亂,百姓流亡,所在屯聚,峻糾合得數千家,結壘於本縣。于時豪傑所在屯聚,而峻最強。遣長史徐瑋宣檄諸屯,示以王化,又收枯骨而葬之,遠近感其恩義,推峻為主。遂射獵于海邊青山中。元帝聞之,假峻安集將軍。時曹嶷領青州刺史,表峻為掖令,峻辭疾不受。嶷惡其得眾,恐必為患,將討之。峻懼,率其所部數百家泛海南渡。既到廣陵,朝廷嘉其遠至,轉鷹揚將軍。會周堅反于彭城,峻助討之,有功,除淮陵內史,遷蘭陵相。(Book of Jin 100, Biography of Su Jun)

Su Jun, styled Zigao, was a native of Ye county in Zhangguang commandary. His father, Su Mo, was Chancellor of Anle. As a youth, Su Jun was a student, and he possessed talent and learning. He was employed as a Registrar in his commandary. When he was seventeen years old, he was nominated as Filial and Incorrupt.

During the Chaos of Yongjia, when the common people became refugees, many of them gathered together into camps. Su Jun gathered together several thousand families and organized them into fortresses in his native county. There were many such gentry leaders who organized camps of this sort, but Su Jun was the strongest of them. He sent his Chief Clerk, Xu Wei, to spread proclamations through the various camps, expressing the royal culture and gathering up exposed skeletons to give them proper burials. People near and far were moved by his grace and sense of righteousness, and they acclaimed Su Jun as their reader. He would go hunting in the green hills along the sea. When Emperor Yuan (Sima Rui) heard about Su Jun, he appointed him as General Who Maintains And Gathers.

Around this time, the local warlord Cao Yi had been appointed as Jin's acting Inspector of Qingzhou, Cao Yi petitioned to have Su Jun appointed as Prefect of Ye county, but Su Jun pleaded illness to avoid accepting the post. Cao Yi was suspicious of Su Jun because of the forces under his command, and he was worried that Su Jun would pose a threat to him, so he was about to launch a preemptive campaign against him. Afraid of this prospect, Su Jun led several hundred families south to cross over the sea. When he arrived at Guangling commandary, the Jin court commended him for having traveled so far to reach imperial territory, and they appointed him as General of Hawkish Display.

Afterwards, when Zhou Jian rebelled at Pengcheng, Su Jun helped to campaign against him. For this achievement, he was appointed first as Interior Minister of Huailing, and then as Chancellor of Lanling.


石勒遣左長史王脩獻捷於漢,漢主曜遣兼司徒郭汜授勒太宰、領大將軍,進爵趙王,加殊禮,出警入蹕,如曹公輔漢故事;拜王脩及其副劉茂皆為將軍,封列侯。脩舍人曹平樂從脩至粟邑,因留仕漢,言於曜曰:「大司馬遣脩等來,外表至誠,內覘大駕強弱,俟其復命,將襲乘輿。」時漢兵實疲弊,曜信之。乃追汜還,斬脩於市。三月,勒還至襄國。劉茂逃歸,言脩死狀。勒大怒曰:「孤事劉氏,於人臣之職有加矣。彼之基業,皆孤所爲,今旣得志,還欲相圖。趙王、趙帝,孤自爲之,何待於彼邪!」乃誅曹平樂三族。

2. Shi Le sent his Chief Clerk of the Left, Wang Xiu, to present tribute and a report of his victory at Pingyang to Han. The Emperor of Han, Liu Yao, sent his acting Minister Over The Masses, Guo Si, to grant Shi Le the titles of Grand Governor and acting Grand General, advance his noble title to Prince of Zhao, and grant him special honors: roads would be cleared ahead of his approach, as had been done for Cao Cao when he had upheld the Han dynasty many years before. Wang Xiu and his adjutant Liu Mao were also appointed as Generals and minor Marquises.

Now Wang Xiu's retainer Cao Pingle had followed him to visit Liu Yao at Suyi, but he wanted to stay there and serve under Han. So he said to Liu Yao, "When the Grand Marshal (Shi Le) sent Wang Xiu and the others here, ostensibly it was to show you his sincerity. But the real reason was that he wanted to see how strong or weak you really were. He is going to wait until his envoys return and give him their report, and then he will attack you."

At this time, the Han soldiers really were weak and exhausted, and Liu Yao was inclined to believe this claim. So he summoned Guo Si back again, and he executed Wang Xiu in the marketplace.

In the third month, Shi Le returned to Xiangguo from Pingyang. Liu Mao escaped from Han and returned as well, and he told Shi Le the circumstances of Wang Xiu's death. Shi Le, absolutely furious, declared, "I have labored on behalf of the Liu clan above and beyond what would be expected of any man or minister. It was all thanks to me that their state was established in the first place. Now that they have achieved their ambitions, they want to start a war between us. I shall be the one who decides when I become Prince of Zhao, or even Emperor of Zhao. Why should I deal with them any longer?" And he executed Cao Pingle's clan to the third degree.

〈曜初卽位,以勒爲大司馬,故稱之。〉〈爲劉、石相攻張本。〉

(When Liu Yao had first claimed the imperial title, he had appointed Shi Le as Grand Marshal, and so Cao Pingle calls him by that title here.

This was the reason for the war between Han-Zhao and Later Zhao.)


劉曜稱尊號,將授勒太宰、大將軍,加九錫,增封十郡,並前二十郡,出人警蹕,如曹公輔漢故事。曜聞平樂之言,停太宰之授。勒大怒,曰:「趙王、趙帝,孤自取之,名號大小,豈爾所呼耶。」(Annals of the Sixteen Kingdoms 2, Biography of Shi Le)

After Liu Yao declared himself Emperor of Han-Zhao, he was planning to appoint Shi Le as Grand Governor and Grand General, grant him the Nine Bestowments, increase his fief by ten commandaries (combined with his original twenty commandaries), and assign him people to clear the way for him whenever he traveled; these were all the same honors that Cao Cao had enjoyed when he assisted the Han dynasty's government. But after hearing Cao Pingle's claims, Liu Yao did not appoint Shi Le as Grand Governor. Shi Le was furious, and he said, "I shall be the one who decides when I become Prince of Zhao, or even Emperor of Zhao. Why should I listen to your decision on what my rank or title shall be?"

勒遣兼左長史王脩、主簿劉茂獻捷於曜... 曜遣使授勒太宰,領大將軍,進爵趙王,增封七郡,并前二十郡。出入警蹕,冕十有二旒,乘金根車,駕六馬,如魏武輔漢故事。王脩舍人曹平樂留仕曜朝,言於曜曰:「大司馬遣脩等來,外表至虔,內覘強弱。」曜實殘弊,懼脩宣之,大怒,追還策命而斬王脩。劉茂逃歸,言脩死狀。勒大怒,誅曹平樂父兄,夷其三族。又知追停太宰、趙王之授,怒曰:「帝王之起,復何常也?趙王、趙帝,孤自取之,名號大小,豈爾所節乎!」(Book of Northern Wei 95, Biography of Shi Le)

Shi Le sent his combined Chief Clerk of the Left, Wang Xiu, and his Registrar, Liu Mao, to present tribute and a report of his victory at Pingyang to Liu Yao. Liu Yao sent envoys to appoint Shi Le as Grand Guardian and acting Grand General and to advance his noble title to Prince of Zhao, as well as increase his fief by seven commandaries (together with his original twenty commandaries). He also granted him special honors: roads would be cleared ahead of his approach, and he was entitled to wear a cap with twelve bead chains and ride in a Root of Gold carriage pulled by six horses, just as had been done for Cao Cao when he had upheld the Han dynasty many years before.

Wang Xiu's retainer Cao Pingle stayed and took office in Liu Yao's court. He told Liu Yao, "When the Grand Marshal (Shi Le) sent Wang Xiu and the others here, ostensibly it was to show you his sincerity. But the real reason was that he wanted to see how strong or weak you really were." At this time, the Han-Zhao soldiers really were weak and exhausted, and Liu Yao was afraid that Wang Xiu would reveal this fact. Furious, he recalled the appointments that he had just sent to Shi Le, and he beheaded Wang Xiu.

Liu Mao fled back to Shi Le, and told him the circumstances of Wang Xiu's death. Shi Le was enraged, and he executed Cao Pingle's father, elder brother, and all his clan to the third degree. And when he learned that the appointments as Grand Guardian and Prince of Zhao had been halted, he angrily said, "What king or emperor has ever had an expected rise? I shall be the one who decides when I become Prince of Zhao, or even Emperor of Zhao. Why should I listen to your decision on what my rank or title shall be?"


帝令羣臣議郊祀,尚書令刁協等以爲宜須還洛乃脩之。司徒荀組等曰:「漢獻帝都許,卽行郊祀,何必洛邑!」帝從之,立郊丘於建康城之巳地。辛卯,帝親祀南郊。以未有北郊,幷地祇合祭之。詔:「琅邪恭王宜稱皇考,」賀循曰:「《禮》,子不敢以己爵加於父,」

3. Sima Rui ordered his ministers to discuss the feasibility of establishing a new Southern Suburbs sacrificial site at Jiankang, as was proper for a capital. The Prefect of the Masters of Writing, Diao Xie, and others all believed that the court should return to Luoyang and restore the original Southern Suburbs site there. But the Minister Over The Masses, Xun Zu, and others argued, "When Emperor Xian of Han had his capital at Xu, he established a Southern Suburbs site there. What need is there to return to Luoyang?" Sima Rui agreed with them, and he established a sacrificial mound to the south of the walls of Jiankang. On the day Xinmao (?), Sima Rui personally conducted the Southern Sacrifices. There was not yet a site for the Northern Sacrifices, and so all the spirits of earth were sacrificed to at this location.

Sima Rui issued an edict stating, "Prince Gong of Langye (Sima Rui's father Sima Jin) should be granted imperial title as a mark of filial piety." But He Xun said, "According to the Book of Rites, a son does not dare to altar his father's already established posthumous title." So Sima Rui gave up on that idea.

〈范《書》,漢獻帝建安元年,郊祀上帝於安邑;是年七月,至洛陽,復郊祀上帝;八月,遷許,無郊祀之事,或別見他書也。《晉書‧禮志》載組議云:獻帝遷許,卽便立郊。蓋郊祀不在遷許之年也。〉〈按:成帝咸和八年,始於覆舟山南立北郊。〉〈此前漢師丹引《禮》以爲言,事見三十三卷漢哀帝建平元年。〉乃止。

(According to Fan Ye's Book of Later Han, in Emperor Xian of Han's first year of Jian'an (196), he did establish a suburban sacrificial site to Shangdi at Anyi, and in the seventh month of that year, when he arrived at Luoyang, he set up another such sacrificial site to Shangdi. But in the eighth month, when he moved to Xu, there is no mention of him establishing a suburban sacrificial site there. Perhaps this matter is mentioned in other texts? The Records of Rites in the Book of Han does mention that "Emperor Xian moved to Xu, and later he established the sacrifices." So it must be that he did not do so in the same year that he moved to Xu.

In Emperor Cheng of Jin's eighth year of Xianhe (332), the Northern Suburbs sacrificial site was first established to the south of Mount Fuzhou.

He Xun refers to the precedent of the "Rites" memorial of Shi Dan of Former Han, as mentioned in Book 33, in Emperor Ai of Han's first year of Jianping (8 BC).)


初,蓬陂塢主陳川自稱陳留太守。祖逖之攻樊雅也,川遣其將李頭助之。頭力戰有功,逖厚遇之。頭每嘆曰:「得此人爲主,吾死無恨。」川聞而殺之。頭黨馮寵帥其衆降逖,川益怒,大掠豫州諸郡,逖遣兵擊破之。夏,四月,川以浚儀叛,降石勒。

4. It was earlier mentioned that the Jin general Zu Ti had campaigned against the local warlord Fan Ya. Sometime before then, the rampart commander Chen Chuan had declared himself Administrator of Chenliu at Peng Slope. Chen Chuan had sent his general Li Tou to assist Zu Ti against Fan Ya.

Li Tou fought hard and so won merits, and Zu Ti treated him well. Li Tou was always sighing, "If only I had this man as my lord, I could die without regrets." When Chen Chuan heard of this, he killed Li Tou. Li Tou's partisan Feng Chong led his followers to surrender to Zu Ti. Chen Chuan, even more furious, greatly pillaged the commandaries of Yuzhou. Zu Ti sent soldiers to attack Chen Chuan, and they routed him.

In summer, the fourth month, Chen Chuan rebelled against Jin at Junyi County, and submitted to Shi Le.

〈蓬陂,卽《左傳》之蓬澤,在浚儀縣。〉〈浚儀縣,屬陳留郡,故大梁也。〉

(This Peng Slope was the same Peng Marsh mentioned in the Zuo Commentary to the Spring and Autumn Annals. It was in Junyi County. Junyi County was part of Chenliu commandary, the former site of the ancient state of Liang.)


周撫之敗走也,徐龕部將于藥追斬之;及朝廷論功,而劉遐先之。龕怒,以泰山叛,降石勒,自稱兗州刺史。

5. When Zhou Fu had fled after his defeat, Xu Kan's forces had pursued him to Yao and beheaded him. But when the court discussed who had achieved merits during the campaign, they honored Liu Xia ahead of Xu Kan. Xu Kan was furious, and he rebelled against Jin at Taishan commandary. He submitted to Shi Le, while declaring himself Inspector of Yanzhou.

漢主曜還,都長安,立妃羊氏爲皇后,子熙爲皇太子;封子襲爲長樂王,闡爲太原王,沖爲淮南王,敞爲齊王,高爲魯王,徽爲楚王;諸宗室皆進封郡王。羊氏,卽故惠帝后也。曜嘗問之曰:「吾何如司馬家兒?」羊氏曰:「陛下,開基之聖主;彼,亡國之暗夫;何可並言!彼貴爲帝王,有一婦、一子及身三耳,曾不能庇。妾於爾時,實不欲生,意謂世間男子皆然。自奉巾櫛已來,始知天下自有丈夫耳。」曜甚寵之,頗干預國事。

6. When Liu Yao returned to Chang'an, he made it his capital. He honored his concubine Yang Xianrong as his Empress, and he appointed his son Liu Xi as Crown Prince. Among his other sons, he appointed Liu Xí as Prince of Changle, Liu Chan as Prince of Taiyuan, Liu Chong as Prince of Huainan, Liu Chang as Prince of Qi, Liu Gao as Prince of Lu, and Liu Hui as Prince of Chu. The other members of his family had their titles advanced to Princes of commandaries.

Yang Xianrong had originally been the empress of Jin's Emperor Hui. Liu Yao once asked her, "How do I compare with the Sima family's man?"

Yang Xianrong told him, "Your Majesty, you are a sage sovereign who established a dynasty. That man was a blind fool who lost his state. How can he compare with you? He was honored as an Emperor, but all he really had were his wife, his son, and himself, and he could not even protect those. At that time, I did not wish to live on, because I thought that all men in the world were like that. It was only when I began sharing the same towel and comb as you that I realized that there were real men in the world."

Liu Yao greatly favored her, and he often followed her judgments on state affairs.

〈自粟邑還長安,遂定都也。〉〈卽惠帝羊皇后。曜納羊后,見八十七卷懷帝永嘉五年。〉

(After Liu Yao returned from Suyi to Chang'an, he established his capital there.

Yang Xianrong had been Emperor Hui's Empress. Liu Yao had claimed her for himself following the fall of Luoyang to Han-Zhao, as mentioned in Book 87, in Emperor Huai's fifth year of Yongjia (311.21).)


二年,夏四月,曜徒都長安。立子熙為皇太子。(Annals of the Sixteen Kingdoms 1, Biography of Liu Yao)

In the second year of Yongguang (319), in summer, the fourth month, Liu Yao moved his capital to Chang'an. He appointed his son Liu Xi as Crown Prince.

曜還都長安。(Book of Northern Wei 95, Biography of Liu Yao)

Liu Yao returned to his capital at Chang'an.


南陽王保自稱晉王,改元建康,置百官,以張寔爲征西大將軍、開府儀同三司。陳安自稱秦州刺史,降于漢,又降于成。上邽大饑,士衆困迫,張春奉保之南安祁山。寔遣韓璞帥步騎五千救之;陳安退保緜諸,保歸上邽。未幾,保復爲安所逼,寔遣其將宋毅救之,安乃退。

7. Jin's Prince of Nanyang, Sima Bao, declared himself the Prince of Jin. He changed the reign era title to the first year of Jiankang, and he created the imperial offices. He appointed the Inspector of Liangzhou, Zhang Shi, as Grand General Who Conquers The West and granted him a Separate Office with equal ceremony to the Three Excellencies.

Sima Bao's former general Chen An declared himself Inspector of Qinzhou, and he submitted to Han as well as Cheng.

There was a great famine at Sima Bao's base in Shanggui, and the soldiers there suffered greatly. Sima Bao's general Zhang Chun urged him to move to Qishan in Nan'an commandary instead. Zhang Shi sent Han Pu to lead five thousand horse and foot to reinforce Sima Bao. Chen An fell back to guard Mianzhu, and so Sima Bao returned to Shanggui.

Before long, Sima Bao was once again threatened by Chen An. Zhang Shi now sent his general Song Yi to reinforce him, and Chen An withdrew again.

〈之,往也。〉〈緜諸道,前漢屬天水郡,後漢、晉省。《水經註》:緜諸水,歷緜諸故道北,東南入清水,清水東南注渭。〉

(The term 之 here means "to move".

During Former Han, Mianzhu Road was part of Tianshui commandary. Later Han and Jin abolished it. The Commentary on the Water Classic states, "The Mianzhu River flows north of the Mianzhu Road, and on southeast until it enters the Qing River; that river then flows southeast until it joins the Wei River.")


湣帝之蒙塵也,保自稱晉王。時上邽大饑,士眾窘困,張春奉保之南安。陳安自號秦州刺史,稱籓于劉曜。(Book of Jin 37, Biography of Sima Mo)

After Emperor Min was captured, Sima Bao declared himself Prince of Jin.

At this time, there was a great famine at Sima Bao's base in Shanggui, and the soldiers there suffered greatly. Sima Bao's general Zhang Chun urged him to move to Nan'an commandary instead.

Chen An declared himself Inspector of Qinzhou, and he declared himself a vassal of Liu Cong.

五年,南陽王寶聞湣帝崩,自稱晉王,年號建康,置百官,遣使拜寔征西大將軍、開府儀同三司,增邑三千戶。(Annals of the Sixteen Kingdoms 7, Biography of Zhang Shi)

In the fifth year (317), when the Prince of Nanyang, Sima Bao, heard that Emperor Min had passed away, he declared himself the Prince of Jin. He declared the first year of a new reign era, Jiankang, and he created the imperial offices, sending envoys to appoint Zhang Shi as Grand General Who Conquers The West, grant him the honor of a Separate Office with equal ceremonial to the Three Excellencies, and expand his noble fief by three thousand households.

保聞湣帝崩,自稱晉王,建元,署置百官,遣使拜寔征西大將軍、儀同三司,增邑三千戶。俄而保為陳安所叛,氐羌皆應之。保窘迫,遂去上邽,遷祁山,寔遣將韓璞步騎五千赴難。陳安退保綿諸,保歸上邽。未幾,保復為安所敗,使詣寔乞師。寔遣宋毅赴之,而安退。(Book of Jin 86, Biography of Zhang Shi)

When Sima Bao heard that Emperor Min had passed away, he declared himself the Prince of Jin. He established his own reign era title and created the imperial offices, and he sent an envoy to Liangzhou to appoint Zhang Shi as Grand General Who Conquers The West with equal ceremonial to the Three Excellencies and expand his noble fief by three thousand households.

However, Sima Bao was soon attacked by Chen An, who gained the support of the Di and Qiang tribes. Faced with this predicament, Sima Bao left Shanggui and moved to Qishan. Zhang Shi sent Han Pu to lead five thousand horse and foot to assist Sima Bao. Chen An fell back to guard Mianzhu, and so Sima Bao returned to Shanggui.

Not long after, Sima Bao was again defeated by Chen An, and he sent envoys to visit Zhang Shi again and beg for military assistance. Zhang Shi sent Song Yi to help him, and Chen An retreated again.

隴西賊帥陳安又附之。(Book of Jin 121, Biography of Li Xiong)

The rebel leader of Longxi, Chen An, also aligned himself with Li Xiong.

天水陳安舉隴右來降。(Huayang Guozhi 9.1)

Chen An of Tianshui offered up Longyou in submission to Li Xiong.


江東大饑,詔百官各上封事。益州刺史應詹上疏曰:「元康以來,賤經尚道,以玄虛弘放爲夷達,以儒術清儉爲鄙俗,宜崇獎儒官,以新俗化。」

8. There was a great famine in the Southland. Sima Rui issued an edict ordering the ministers to each submit petitions suggesting what should be done. The Inspector of Yizhou, Ying Zhan, sent up a petition stating, "Ever since the Yuankang era (291), what is cheap and frivolous has been honored as principled, and great licentiousness has been presented as broad-mindedness. Meanwhile, Confucian honesty and thrift have been seen as vulgar things. You should honor and reward Confucian officials, in order to instill new traditions."

〈詹自益州刺史還建康。〉〈夷,曠也。〉

(Ying Zhan had returned to Jiankang from his post as Inspector of Yizhou.

The term 夷 here means "broad".)


祖逖攻陳川于蓬關,石勒遣石虎將兵五萬救之,戰于浚儀,逖兵敗,退屯梁國。勒又遣桃豹將兵至蓬關,逖退屯淮南。虎徙川部衆五千戶于襄國,留豹守川故城。

9. Zu Ti attacked Chen Chuan at Pengguan. Shi Le sent Shi Hu to lead fifty thousand soldiers to reinforce Chen Chuan. They fought at Junyi, where Zu Ti's army was defeated, and he retreated to camp at Liangguo. Shi Le then sent Tao Bao to lead more soldiers to Pengguan, and Zu Ti fell back further to camp at Huainan. Shi Hu relocated five thousand households from Chen Chuan's forces to Xiangguo, and left Tao Bao to guard Chen Chuan's former city.

〈此淮南郡,治壽春。〉

(This Huainan commandary was administered from Shouchun.)


石勒遣石虎擊鮮卑日六延於朔方,大破之,斬首二萬級,俘虜三萬餘人。孔萇攻幽州諸郡,悉取之。段匹磾士衆飢散,欲移保上谷,代王鬱律勒兵將擊之,匹磾棄妻子奔樂陵,依邵續。

10. Shi Le sent Shi Hu to attack the Xianbei leader Riliuyan at Shuofang. Shi Hu greatly routed him; he took twenty thousand heads and captured more than thirty thousand people.

Shi Le's general Kong Chang attacked the commandaries of Youzhou which were loyal to Jin, and he captured all of them. The forces of the local Jin commander, Duan Pidi, were famished, and they all scattered. Duan Pidi wanted to move to guard Shanggu, but the Prince of Dai, Tuoba Yulü, drilled his soldiers and prepared to attack Duan Pidi. So Duan Pidi abandoned his wife and children and fled to Leling, where he joined another Jin loyalist, Shao Xu.

〈《晉志》:上谷郡,治沮陽縣;秦置郡,在谷之上頭,故名焉。〉〈樂陵郡,治厭次,續保之以奉晉。〉

(The Records of Jin states, "Shanggu commandary was administered from Juyang County. The Qin dynasty created the commandary; it was located at the head of a valley, thus it was called Shanggu ('above the valley')."

Leling commandary was administered from Yanci. Shao Xu held it on behalf of Jin.)


匹磾既殺劉琨,與羽鱗、末波自相攻擊,部眾乖離。欲擁其眾徙保上谷,阻軍都之險,以拒末波等。平文帝聞之,陰嚴精騎將擊之。匹磾恐懼,南奔樂陵。(Book of Northern Wei 103, Biography of Duan Jiuliujuan)

Having killed Liu Kun, Duan Pidi began clashing with Duan Yulin and Duan Mobo again, but his forces all scattered. Duan Pidi wished to take his remaining forces and seek refuge in Shanggu, where he hoped to take advantage of the terrain to allow him to continue resisting Duan Mobo and the others. But when Tuoba Yulü heard of this, he secretly prepared elite cavalry, planning to attack Duan Pidi. Afraid of this possibility, Duan Pidi fled south to Leling.


曹嶷遣使賂石勒,請以河爲境,勒許之。

11. Cao Yi sent funds to Shi Le, asking that the Yellow River serve as the border between their respective territories. Shi Le agreed.

〈嶷已緣河置戍矣,今賂勒請以河爲境者,懼勒之侵軼也。〉

(Cao Yi had already established garrisons along the Yellow River. He now sent funds to Shi Le and asked for this border deal because he feared that Shi Le would invade his territory.)


梁州刺史周訪擊杜曾,大破之。馬雋等執曾以降,訪斬之;幷獲荊州刺史第五猗,送於武昌。訪以猗本中朝所署,加有時望,白王敦不宜殺,敦不聽而斬之。初,敦患杜曾難制,謂訪曰:「若擒曾,當相論爲荊州。」及曾死而敦不用。王廙在荊州,多殺陶侃將佐;以皇甫方回爲侃所敬,責其不詣己,收斬之。士民怨怒,上下不安。帝聞之,徵廙爲散騎常侍,以周訪代廙爲荊州刺史。王敦忌訪威名,意難之。從事中郎郭舒說敦曰:「鄙州雖荒弊,乃用武之國,不可以假人,宜自領之,訪爲梁州足矣。」敦從之。六月,丙子,詔加訪安南將軍,餘如故。訪大怒,敦手書譬解,幷遺玉環、玉椀以申厚意。訪抵之於地,曰:「吾豈賈豎,可以寶悅邪!」訪在襄陽,務農訓兵,陰有圖敦之志,守宰有缺輒補,然後言上;敦患之而不能制。

12. Jin's Inspector of Lianzhou, Zhou Fang, attacked the rebel leader Du Zeng and greatly routed him. Ma Jun and other generals serving under Du Zeng arrested him and surrendered to Zhou Fang, and Zhou Fang beheaded Du Zeng. He also captured the renegade Inspector of Jingzhou, Diwu Yi, and sent him to the regional commander Wang Dun's base at Wuchang. Since Diwu Yi had originally been appointed by Emperor Min's court, and he had a certain prestige at this time as well, Zhou Fang reported to Wang Dun that he should not kill Diwu Yi. But Wang Dun did not listen, and he beheaded Diwu Yi anyway.

Up until this time, Wang Dun had been troubled by Du Zeng because he posed such a problem. He had told Zhou Fang, "If you can capture Du Zeng, then we can discuss the matter of Jingzhou." But after Du Zeng's death, Wang Dun did not appoint Zhou Fang.

During the time that Wang Yi had been in Jingzhou, he had killed many of Tao Kan's former subordinates from Tao Kan’s time in power there. There was a certain Huangfu Fanghui whom Tao Kan had respected; Wang Yi blamed Huangfu Fanghui for not coming to present himself, and he arrested and executed him. The gentry and the people were angry and indignant at this act, and there was tension between both sides. When Sima Rui heard of the situation, he summoned Wang Yi to Jiankang to serve as a Cavalier In Regular Attendance, and he appointed Zhou Fang as the new Inspector of Jingzhou to replace Wang Yi.

But Wang Dun was wary of Zhou Fang's power and reputation, and he wanted to make things difficult for him. Wang Dun's Attendant Officer of the Household Gentlemen, Guo Shu, advised him, "Although my province (Jingzhou) is barren and bleak now, it is a region well-suited to military endeavors. It cannot be left to an inferior man. You should assume command of it yourself; it is fine for Zhou Fang to remain Inspector of Lianzhou." Wang Dun agreed with him.

In the sixth month, on the day Bingzi (July 10th), Sima Rui issued an edict promoting Zhou Fang to General Who Maintains The South, but everything else remained unchanged. Zhou Fang was greatly angry. Wang Dun handwrote a letter attempting to assuage him, and he also sent him jade discs and jade bowls as a sign of his favor. But Zhou Fang smashed them on the ground, saying, "Am I some merchant wretch, that I could be appeased with treasures?"

During the time that Zhou Fang was at Xiangyang, he oversaw agricultural affairs and kept his soldiers drilled. He secretly intended to make a move against Wang Dun. Whenever there was a vacancy in a local office, he filled it with his own appointments and only afterwards reported on it. Wang Dun remained wary of him, but he could not control him.

〈猗從杜曾事,始八十九卷愍帝建興四年。〉〈郭舒,先在荊州,歷事劉弘、王澄。〉

(Diwu Yi's appointment by Emperor Min's court and his pact with Du Zeng are mentioned in Book 89, in Emperor Min's third year of Jianxing (315.19).

Guo Shu had originally served in Jingzhou, under Liu Hong and Wang Cheng.)


訪謂其僚佐曰:「昔城濮之役,晉文以得臣不死而有憂色,今不斬曾,禍難未已。」於是出其不意,又擊破之,曾遁走。訪部將蘇溫收曾詣軍,並獲第五猗、胡混、摯瞻等,送于王敦。又白敦,說猗逼于曾,不宜殺。敦不從而斬之。進位安南將軍、持節,都督、刺史如故。初,王敦懼杜曾之難,謂訪曰:「擒曾,當相論為荊州刺史。」及是而敦不用。至王廙去職,詔以訪為荊州。敦以訪名將,勳業隆重,有疑色。其從事中郎郭舒說敦曰:「鄙州雖遇寇難荒弊,實為用武之國,若以假人,將有尾大之患,公宜自領,訪為梁州足矣。」敦從之,訪大怒。敦手書譬釋,並遺玉環玉碗以申厚意。訪投碗於地曰:「吾豈賈豎,可以寶悅乎!」陰欲圖之。即在襄陽,務農訓卒,勤於採納,守宰有缺輒補,然後言上。敦患之,而憚其強,不敢有異。(Book of Jin 58, Biography of Zhou Fang)

Zhou Fang said to his subordinates, "In ancient times, even after his victory at the battle of Chengpu, Duke Wen of Jin still had a worried expression when he knew that Xu Chen was still alive. As for me, until I behead Du Zeng, my troubles will not be over." So he marched when Du Zeng did not expect it, and again attacked and routed him, causing Du Zeng to run and hide. Zhou Fang's subordinate general Su Wen captured Du Zeng and came to visit the camp. Diwu Yi, Hu Hun, Zhi Zhan, and others were also captured. They were sent to Wang Dun. Zhou Fang sent a report to Wang Dun advising him that Diwu Yi had been forced to go along with Du Zeng and that he should not be killed. But Wang Dun did not listen, and he killed Diwu Yi anyway.

Zhou Fang was promoted to be General Who Maintains The South and Credential Bearer, while maintaining his original authority as Commander and Inspector.

Up until this time, Wang Dun had been troubled by Du Zeng because he posed such a problem. He had told Zhou Fang, "If you can capture Du Zeng, then we can discuss the matter of Jingzhou." But after Du Zeng's death, Wang Dun did not appoint Zhou Fang.

When Wang Yi was recalled from office, an edict was issued appointing Zhou Fang as the new Inspector of Jingzhou to replace Wang Yi.

But Wang Dun was suspicious of Zhou Fang because he was a famous general who had achieved many great deeds. Wang Dun's Attendant Officer of the Household Gentlemen, Guo Shu, advised him, "Although my province (Jingzhou) has suffered from invasions and hardships and is barren and bleak now, it is a region well-suited to military endeavors. If it were left to an inferior man, then an even greater threat would arise. You should assume command of it yourself; it is fine for Zhou Fang to remain Inspector of Lianzhou." Wang Dun agreed with him.

Zhou Fang was greatly angry. Wang Dun handwrote a letter attempting to assuage him, and he also sent him jade discs and jade bowls as a sign of his generosity. But Zhou Fang smashed them on the ground, saying, "Am I some merchant wretch, that I could be appeased with treasures?" He secretly wished to get rid of him.

During the time that Zhou Fang was at Xiangyang, he oversaw agricultural affairs and kept his soldiers drilled. He was diligent in discovering and receiving talented people. Whenever there was a vacancy in a local office, he filled it with his own appointments and only afterwards reported on it. Wang Dun remained wary of him, but he feared Zhou Fang's strength and so never dared do anything sinister.

王敦遣周訪討之,屢戰不能克,訪潛遣人緣山開道,出曾不意以襲之,曾眾潰,其將馬俊、蘇溫等執曾詣訪降。訪欲生致武昌,而硃軌息昌、趙誘息胤皆乞曾以復冤,於是斬曾,而昌、胤臠其肉而啖之。(Book of Jin 100, Biography of Du Zeng)

Wang Dun sent Zhou Fang to campaign against Du Zeng. They fought several battles, but Zhou Fang could not overcome him. So he secretly sent soldiers to pass through the mountains and find roads, and they emerged to launch a surprise attack against Du Zeng when he did not suspect it. Du Zeng's army scatted, and his generals Ma Jun, Su Wen, and others arrested Du Zeng and came to Zhou Fang to surrender.

Zhou Fang was planning to keep Du Zeng alive and send him back to Wuchang as a prisoner, but Zhu Gui's child Zhu Chang and Zhao You's child Zhao Yin both begged to avenge themselves against Du Zeng. So Zhou Fang beheaded Du Zeng, and Zhu Chang and Zhao You chopped him to mincemeat and ate his flesh.


魏該爲胡寇所逼,自宜陽率衆南遷新野,助周訪討杜曾有功,拜順陽太守。

13. It was earlier mentioned that the Jin loyalist Wei Gai was at the Yicheng Fortress in Yiyang. Later, when he was threatened by the tribal invasions, he led his forces from Yiyang to move south to Xinye. He gained merits by assisting Zhou Fang in the campaign against Du Zeng, and so he was appointed as Administrator of Shunyang.

〈魏該自懷帝末屯宜陽界一泉塢。宜陽縣,屬弘農郡。新野縣,漢屬南陽郡,晉屬義陽郡。〉

(When Luoyang fell, Wei Gai camped at the Yicheng Fortress in Yiyang. Yiyang County was part of Hongnong commandary.

During Han, Xinye County was part of Nanyang commandary. During Jin, it was part of Yiyang commandary.)


趙固死,郭誦留屯陽翟,石生屢攻之,不能克。

14. It was earlier mentioned that the Jin loyalist Li Ju had sent his subordinate generals Zhao Gu and Guo Song to camp at Luorui. By now, Zhao Gu was dead. Guo Song remained camped at Yangdi. Shi Le's general Shi Sheng attacked him several times, but he could not overcome him.

〈陽翟縣,漢屬潁川郡,晉屬河南郡。〉

(During Han, Yangdi county was part of Yingchuan commandary. During Jin, it was part of Henan commandary.)


矩乃表郭誦為揚武將軍、陽翟令,阻水築壘,且耕且守,為滅賊之計。屬趙固死,石生遣騎襲誦,誦多計略,賊至,輒設伏破之,虜掠無所得。(Book of Jin 63, Biography of Li Ju)

Li Ju petitioned to have Guo Song appointed as General Who Spreads Valor and Prefect of Yangdi. Guo Song diverted rivers, built fortifications, and tended to his plows and defenses, all for the sake of defeating the enemy. When his subordinate Zhao Gu passed away, Shi Sheng sent cavalry to launch a surprise attack against Guo Song. But Guo Song was a very cunning and calculating man. Whenever the enemy arrived, he would always have ambushes in place to rout them, so the enemy could not capture or take anything.


漢主曜立宗廟、社稷、南北郊於長安,詔曰:「吾之先,興於北方。光文立漢宗廟以從民望。今宜改國號,以單于爲祖。亟議以聞!」羣臣奏:「光文始封盧奴伯,陛下又王中山;中山,趙分也,請改國號爲趙。」從之。以冒頓配天,光文配上帝。

15. Liu Yao established an ancestral temple, altars to soil and grain, and a Southern Suburbs sacrifices site at Chang'an.

He issued an edict stating, "My forebears arose in the north. When Emperor Guangwen (Liu Yuan) established a temple to the royal ancestors of the Han dynasty, that was to fulfill the hopes of the people. But now the name of the state ought to be changed, so that the Xiongnu Chanyus of old may be revered. Let the ministers discuss this matter!"

The ministers respond in a memorial, stating, "Emperor Guangwen was originally appointed as the Earl of Lunu. Your Majesty was likewise originally the Prince of Zhongshan. Zhongshan is in the Zhao region. Therefore, we ask that you change the name of the state to Zhao."

Liu Yao agreed. He honored the old Xiongnu leader Modu Chanyu as the Heavenly Ancestor, and Emperor Guangwen as the Supreme Emperor.

〈見八十五卷惠帝永興元年。〉〈晉成都王穎封劉淵爲盧奴伯。〉

(Liu Yuan's establishment of Han-Zhao under its original name of Han, with the justification of his matrilineal ties to the Han royal family, is mentioned in Book 85, in Emperor Hui's first year of Yongxing (304.28).

Jin's Prince of Chengdu, Sima Ying, had appointed Liu Yuan as Earl of Lunu.)


六月,曜繕宗廟、社稷、南北郊于長安。令曰:「蓋王者之興,必帝始祖。我皇家之先,出自夏後,居於北夷,世跨燕朔,光文以漢有天下、歲久,恩德結于庶民,故立漢祖宗之廟,以懷民望。昭武因循,遂未悛革。今欲除宗廟,改國號,復以大單于為太祖,其議以聞。」於是,太保呼延宴等議曰:「今宜承晉母子傳號,以光文本封盧奴,中山之屬城。陛下勳功茂于平洛,終於中山,中山分野屬大樑,趙也。宜革稱大趙,遵以水行。」曜從之,於是以冒頓配天,淵配上帝。(Annals of the Sixteen Kingdoms 1, Biography of Liu Yao)

In the sixth month, Liu Yao established an ancestral temple, altars to soil and grain, and a Southern Suburbs sacrifices site at Chang'an.

Liu Yao issued an edict stating, "It is through the actions of the kings before them that an emperor establishes their rule. My forebears were the descendants of the Xia dynasty, and they lived among the Northern Di, standing astride the regions of Yan and Shuo. Emperor Guangwen (Liu Yuan) saw that the Han dynasty had long held control of the realm, and its grace and virtue had spread among the common people. That was why he established a temple to the royal ancestors of the Han dynasty, to fulfill the hopes of the people. But now that our martial glory has been made manifest, there is no longer any need to hide our origins. So I wish to change the ancestral temple and alter the name of the state, so that the Xiongnu Chanyus of old may be revered. Let the ministers discuss this matter."

Then the Grand Guardian, Huyan Yan, and others proposed, "We should follow the Jin tradition of names being passed down from mother to son. Emperor Guangwen was originally granted Lunu as his fief, which is a subordinate county of Zhongshan commandary. Your Majesty was likewise originally the Prince of Zhongshan. Zhongshan was part of the ancient state of Liang, that is, the Zhao region. Therefore, we ask that you change the name of the state to Zhao, in order to honor that custom."

Liu Yao agreed. He honored the old Xiongnu leader Modu Chanyu as the Heavenly Ancestor, and Liu Yuan as the Supreme Emperor.

曜自稱大趙。(Book of Northern Wei 95, Biography of Liu Yao)

Liu Yao declared the name of his state to be Great Zhao.


徐龕寇掠濟、岱,破東莞。帝問將帥可以討龕者於王導,導以爲太子左衞率泰山羊鑒,龕之州里冠族,必能制之。鑒深辭,才非將帥;郗鑒亦表鑒非才,不可使;導不從。秋,八月,以羊鑒爲征虜將軍、征討都督,督徐州刺史蔡豹、臨淮太守劉遐、鮮卑段文鴦等討之。

16. Xu Kan raided and pillaged the regions of Ji and Dai, and he broke into Dongguan commandary.

Sima Rui asked Wang Dao whom he could send to lead a campaign against Xu Kan. Wang Dao recommended the Guard Commander of the Left of the Crown Prince, Yang Jian of Taishan commandary. Since this Yang Xian was from a prominent family from Xu Kan's province, Wang Dao reckoned that he would certainly be able to deal with Xu Kan. Yang Xian tried to decline the post, since his talents were not suited for a military command, and Chi Jian also sent up a petition stating that Yang Xian did not have the proper talents and could not be sent out to lead an army. But Wang Dao did not listen to them.

In autumn, the eighth month, Sima Rui appointed Yang Xian as General Who Conquers The Caitiffs and Commander of the expeditionary force. The Commander of military affairs in Xuzhou, Cai Bao, the Xianbei leader Duan Wenyang, Liu Xia, and others took part in the campaign as well.

〈岱,泰山也。龕寇掠濟、岱之間。〉〈沈約《志》:武帝太康元年,分琅邪立東莞郡。《晉志》:東莞,故魯鄆邑。劉昫曰:唐沂州沂水縣,漢東莞縣地。宋白曰:春秋莒、魯爭鄆。杜預《註》云:城陽姑幕縣南,有員亭,卽鄆也,俗變其字耳。《十三州志》云:有東、西二鄆,魯昭公所居者爲西鄆,兗州東平郡是也;莒、魯所爭者爲東鄆,漢東莞縣是也。〉〈段文鴦時從其兄匹磾在厭次。〉

("Dai" here means Mount Tai. So Xu Kan was raiding and plundering between those two regions.

Shen Yue's Records states, "In Emperor Wu's (Sima Yan's) first year of Taikang (280), he split off part of Langye commandary to form Dongguan commandary." The Records of Jin states, "Dongguan was the site of Yunyi of the ancient state of Lu." Liu Xu remarked, "Zheshui County in Tang's Zhezhou was the site of Han's Dongguan County." Song Bai remarked, "During the Spring and Autumn era, the states of Jun and Lu fought over Yun." Du Yu's Annotations states, "In the south of Gumu County in Chengyang commandary, there is a Yuan Point; this was Yun, and the character in its name was simply corrupted over time." The Records of the Thirteen Provinces states, "There were Eastern Yun and Western Yun. The one that Duke Zhao of Lu resided in was Western Yun, the same place as Dongping commandary in Yangzhou. The one that Jun and Lu fought over was Eastern Yun, the same place as Han's Dongguan County."

At this time, Duan Wenyang had followed his elder brother Duan Pidi to seek refuge with Shao Xu at Yanci.)


冬,石勒左、右長史張敬、張賓,左、右司馬張屈六、程遐等勸勒稱尊號,勒不許。十一月,將佐等復請勒稱大將軍、大單于、領冀州牧、趙王,依漢昭烈在蜀、魏武在鄴故事,以河內等二十四郡爲趙國,太守皆爲內史,準《禹貢》,復冀州之境,以大單于鎭撫百蠻,罷幷、朔、司三州,通置部司以監之;勒許之。戊寅,卽趙王位,大赦;依春秋時列國稱元年。

17. In winter, Shi Le's Chief Clerks of the Left and Right, Zhang Jing and Zhang Bin, his Marshals of the Left and Right, Zhang Quliu and Cheng Xia, and others urged him to claim imperial title for himself. But Shi Le refused.

In the eleventh month, Shi Le's generals and subordinates made another such request, asking him to proclaim himself as Grand General, Grand Chanyu, acting Governor of Jizhou, and King of Zhao. He would thus be following in the precedents set by Zhaolie of Han (Liu Bei), who declared himself Prince of Hanzhong in Shu, and Wu of Wei (Cao Cao), who became Prince of Wei at Ye. They also asked that he organize the twenty-four commandaries under his control, Henei and the rest, into the state of Zhao, and that all the Administrators of these commandaries be reclassified as Interior Ministers. They asked that he restore the original borders of Jizhou to how they were described in the Tribute of Yu in the Book of Documents. They asked that in his role as Grand Chanyu, to safeguard and nurture all the various peoples, he should accordingly do away with the provinces of Bingzhou, Shuozhou, and Sizhou and instead establish Divisions of these people to oversee them.

Shi Le agreed with their proposals. On the day Wuyin (?), Shi Le proclaimed himself King of Zhao, and declared a general amnesty. Following the precedent of the ancient states of the Spring and Autumn era, he declared that he was now in the first year of his reign.

〈時以河內、魏、汲、頓丘、平原、清河、鉅鹿、常山、中山、長樂、樂平、趙國、廣平、陽平、章武、勃海、河間、上黨、定襄、范陽、漁陽、武邑、燕國、樂陵二十四郡爲趙國。準《禹貢》,魏武復冀州之境,南至孟津,西達龍門,東至于河,北至塞垣。〉〈晉未嘗置朔州;此罷朔州,未知誰所置也。〉〈石勒,字世龍。〉

(The state of Later Zhao which Shi Le formed at this time consisted of twenty-four commandaries: Henei, Wei, Ji, Dunqiu, Pingyuan, Qinghe, Julu, Changshan, Zhongshan, Changle, Leping, Zhaoguo, Guangping, Yangping, Zhangwu, Bohai, Hejian, Shangdang, Dingxiang, Fanyang, Yuyang, Wuyi, Yanguo, and Leling.

When Wu of Wei (Cao Cao) restored the borders of Jizhou according to the Tribute of Yu, he marked the southern border at Meng Crossing, the western border at Dragon Pass, the eastern border at the Yellow River, and the northern border at the border passes of the realm.

This passage mentions a "Shuozhou". Jin had never created such a province; I (Hu Sanxing) do not know who might have done so, that there would be cause to call for its abolition here.

Shi Le was styled Shilong.)


三年,石勒自稱趙王,遣使乞和,請為兄弟。帝斬其使以絕之。(Book of Northern Wei 1, Annals of the Tuoba Ancestors)

In the third year (319), Shi Le declared himself the King of Zhao. He also sent envoys begging for peaceful relations with Dai, asking to serve as brothers. But Tuoba Yulü beheaded the envoys and broke off relations.

征虜虎與左右長史張敬、張賓等上號曰:「大司馬雖位冠九台,非伯者之號,請改稱大將軍、大單于、領冀州牧、趙王。依魏王在鄴故事,以二十四郡戶二十九萬為趙國。」十一月,勒即位,改元,稱為趙王元年,始建社稷,立宗廟。(Annals of the Sixteen Kingdoms 2, Biography of Shi Le)

The General Who Conquers The Caitiffs, Shi Hu, the Chief Clerks of the Left and Right, Zhang Jing and Zhang Bin, and others sent up a petition to Shi Le stating, "Although the Grand Marshal (Liu Yao) now claims the supreme title and occupies the government ministries, he has no legitimacy. We ask that you declare yourself Grand General, Grand Chanyu, acting Governor of Jizhou, and King of Zhao. And in imitation of the example of how the Prince of Wei (Cao Cao) organized his state at Ye, we ask that you organize the twenty-four commandaries and two hundred ninety thousand households of your fief as the kingdom of Zhao."

In the eleventh month, Shi Le claimed the title King of Zhao. He changed the reign era title, stating that he was now in the first year of his reign. He established altars to the spirits of soil and grain, and he raised an ancestral temple.

勒乃自稱大都督、大將軍、大單于、趙王,以二十四郡為趙國,號為趙王元年,平文三年也。勒遣使求和,請為兄弟,斬其使以絕之。自是朝會,常僭天子禮樂,以饗羣臣。(Book of Northern Wei 95, Biography of Shi Le)

Shi Le declared himself Grand Commander, Grand General, Grand Chanyu, and King of Zhao. He organized the twenty-four commandaries under his command as the state of Zhao, and he changed the reign era title to the first year of his reign. This was in the third year of Tuoba Yulü's reign (319).

Shi Le sent envoys to the Dai court to try to establish peaceful relations, asking to form a tie as brothers. But Tuoba Yulü beheaded the envoys and broke off relations.

From now on, whenever Shi Le held court, he often used the ceremonies and music suitable for a Son of Heaven, and his subordinates considered themselves his subjects.


初,勒以世亂,律令煩多,命法曹令史貫志,采集其要,作《辛亥制》五千文;施行十餘年,乃用律令。以理曹參軍上黨續咸爲律學祭酒;咸用法詳平,國人稱之。以中壘將軍支雄、游擊將軍王陽領門臣祭酒,專主胡人辭訟,重禁胡人,不得陵侮衣冠華族,號胡爲國人。遣使循行州郡,勸課農桑。朝會始用天子禮樂,衣冠、儀物,從容可觀矣。加張賓大執法,專總朝政;以石虎爲單于、元輔、都督禁衞諸軍事,尋加驃騎將軍、侍中、開府,賜爵中山公;自餘羣臣,授位進爵各有差。

18. Before, because of the great turmoil of the age and the difficulty of keeping all the numerous laws, Shi Le had ordered the Prefect of the Law Managers, Guan Zhi, to select the most important of the laws. Guan Zhi published his compilations in five thousand articles in the "Xinhai Regulations", and for more than ten years, these were the laws that were enforced. Shi Le appointed the Army Advisor of General Affairs, Xu Xian of Shangdang, as Libationer of Education in Laws. Xu Xian was always meticulous and fair in his enforcement of the laws, and so the people of Shi Le's state commended him.

Shi Le appointed the General of the Central Ramparts, Zhi Xiong, and the General Who Breaks And Charges, Wang Yang, as acting Libationers of the Gates. Their duties were to settle disputes among the tribal peoples, as well as restrain them and prevent them from oppressing the scholar-officials and other Hua people (ethnic Han). The tribal peoples were called guoren, or Compatriots.

Shi Le sent agents to travel through all the provinces and commandaries, encouraging and instructing the people in farming and silkworm cultivation.

Whenever Shi Le held court meetings, they were now conducted with the rites and music appropriate for a Son of Heaven, and the outfits and ceremonial were unhurried and impressive.

Zhang Bin was given full control of the laws of the state, and he determined all governmental affairs.

Shi Le appointed Shi Hu as Chanyu, First Viceroy of State, and Commander of the Guards. Shi Hu was soon further appointed as General of Agile Cavalry, Palace Attendant, and Duke of Zhongshan, and he was granted the privilege of a Seperate Office.

All the other ministers were appointed or promoted as proper.

〈貫,姓也;志,其名。〉〈《姓譜》:帝舜七友有續牙。曰晉大夫狐鞫居食采於續,號續簡伯,後以爲氏。〉〈中壘將軍,後趙創置。〉〈勒置經學祭酒、律學祭酒、史學祭酒、門臣祭酒。〉〈華族,中華之族也。勒,胡人也,能禁其醜類,不使陵暴華人及衣冠之士,晉文公初欲俘陽樊之民,殆有愧焉。〉

(貫 Guan was this man's surname, and 志 Zhi his given name.

The Registry of Surnames states, "There was a Xu Ya among the Seven Friends of Emperor Shun. And it is said that the great minister Hu Ju of the ancient state of Jin resided at Xu and was granted his fief there. He was called Baron Jian ('the Plain') of Xu, and his descendants took the name of his fief as their clan name."

The rank of General of the Central Ramparts, as well as the offices of Libationer of Education in the Classics, Libationer of Education in Laws, Libationer of Education in the Histories, and Libationer of the Gates, were all created by Shi Le and Later Zhao.

The term Hua people meant the people of Zhonghua (that is, ethnic Han). Shi Le, as a tribesman himself, was able to control his own kind and prevent them from oppressing the Hua people and the scholar-officials of the gentry. Duke Wen of the ancient state of Jin had once nearly come to grief when he first tried to control the people of the city of Yangfan (Zuo Commentary to the Spring and Autumn Annals, Xi 25.4).)


主書司典胡人出內,重其禁法,不得侮易衣冠華族。號胡為國人。二年令曰國人不聽報嫂,及在喪婚娶、至於燒葬,令如本俗。八月,始置軒懸之樂,八佾之舞,作金銀大輅,黃屋左纛。天子禮樂,於斯備矣。(Annals of the Sixteen Kingdoms 2, Biography of Shi Le)

Shi Le sent his Registrars and Directors of Canons to go out among the various tribal people to enforce his laws and regulations and to forbid them from harming the native Hua people or making them change their clothing. He ordered the tribal people to be called Compatriots.

In the second year of Shi Le's reign (320), Shi Le ordered the Compatriots not to marry their widowed elder sisters-in-law, but he continued to allow them to follow their former customs of marrying during the mourning period and cremating the bodies of the dead.

In the eighth month, he first instituted the hanging instruments and the eight lines of dancers, and he created the gold and silver carriages with yellow canopies and a war banner on the left side; he also prepared the rites and music suited for a Son of Heaven.

勒為趙王,以虎為車騎將軍,加侍中、開府,進封中山公。(Book of Northern Wei 95, Biography of Shi Hu)

When Shi Le declared himself King of Zhao, he appointed Shi Hu as General of Chariots and Cavalry and as Palace Attendant. He also advanced his noble title to Duke of Zhongshan, and granted him the privilege of a Separate Office.


張賓任遇優顯,羣臣莫及;而謙虛敬愼,開懷下士,屛絕阿私,以身帥物,入則盡規,出則歸美。勒甚重之,每朝,常爲之正容貌,簡辭令,呼曰右侯而不敢名。

19. Zhang Bin was conspicuous and outstanding in whatever office he held, and none of Shi Le's other ministers could match him. Even so, he remained modest, respectful, and cautious. He indulged those who were below him, while dismissing his own private interests. He conducted himself so that whenever he went in, he acted with full propriety, and when he went out, he was always praised and commended. Shi Le deeply appreciated him, and whenever Shi Le held court, Zhang Bin often caused Shi Le to maintain a serious expression and choose his words carefully. Shi Le always addressed Zhang Bin as "Marquis of the Right", never daring to say his actual name.

〈史言張賓有大臣之節,所以膺石勒之體貌。〉

(This passage demonstrates how Zhang Bin had the rectitude of a great minister, in that he could even affect Shi Le's bearing.)


十二月,乙亥,大赦。

20. In the twelfth month, on the day Yihai (January 5th of 320), Sima Rui declared a general amnesty.

平州刺史崔毖,自以中州人望,鎭遼東,而士民多歸慕容廆,心不平。數遣使招之,皆不至,意廆拘留之,乃陰說高句麗、段氏、宇文氏,使共攻之,約滅廆,分其地。毖所親勃海高瞻力諫,毖不從。

21. Jin's Inspector of Pingzhou, Cui Bi, was guarding Liaodong, hoping to win the loyalty of the people who had come to that region from the Central Provinces. However, many of the gentry and common people were going over to the Xianbei leader Murong Hui instead, and this unsettled Cui Bi. He often sent agents to sway these people to his side instead, but the agents never returned, and Cui Bi assumed that Murong Hui had arrested and detained them.

So during this year, Cui Bi secretly contacted the foreign state of Goguryeo and the rival Xianbei clans, the Duan and the Yuwen, arranging for them to attack Murong Hui together. These three forces made a pact that they would destroy Murong Hui and divide up his territory between themselves.

Cui Bi's associate, Gao Zhan of Bohai, forcefully remonstrated with him against this plan, but Cui Bi did not listen to him.

〈毖,崔琰之曾孫。琰在魏時,爲冀州人士之首,子孫遂爲冀州冠族。〉

(This Cui Bi was the great-grandson of Cui Yan. Cui Yan had served in office under Cao Cao; he was one of the heads of the gentry of Jizhou, and his descendants remained a powerful clan there.)


三國合兵伐廆,諸將請擊之,廆曰:「彼爲崔毖所誘,欲邀一切之利。軍勢初合,其鋒甚銳,不可與戰,當固守以挫之。彼烏合而來,旣無統壹,莫相歸服,久必攜貳,一則疑吾與毖詐而覆之,二則三國自相猜忌。待其人情離貳,然後擊之,破之必矣。」

22. The three allied states combined their forces to attack Murong Hui.

Murong Hui's generals asked that he march out to attack these enemies. But Murong Hui said, "These people have all been enticed into attacking me by Cui Bi, and each of them wants to gain the whole profit for themselves. Having just arrived here and joined one another, their spirit will be fierce indeed, and we will not be able to overcome them in battle. We should stick to our defenses and wear them down.

"They are all just a flock of crows that has happened to come together, so they have no overall leader, and none of them wants to submit to the others. Before long, they will quarrel with one another. Eventually, they will either suspect that I had some secret arrangement with Cui Bi, and so they will turn on him, or else they will just naturally become too suspicious of one another. We shall wait until their suspicions drive them apart, and then attack them from behind. Then we will surely rout them."

〈飛烏見食,羣集而聚啄之,人或驚之,則四散飛去;故兵以利合無所統一者,謂之烏合。〉

(When crows in flight happen to see food, each one will swoop down to eat, and that will happen to form a flock of them. But if some person startles them, they will all fly off in their own directions. This is why, when soldiers come together to grasp at some advantage, but have no overall leader, one can compare them to a flock of crows.)


三國進攻棘城,廆閉門自守,遣使獨以牛酒犒宇文氏;二國疑宇文氏與廆有謀,各引兵歸。宇文大人悉獨官曰:「二國雖歸,吾當獨取之。」

23. The three allies advanced to attack Murong Hui's base at Jicheng. Murong Hui closed the gates of the city and maintained his defenses. He sent envoys to the forces under the Yuwen clan, presenting them with oxen and wine. This caused the forces of Goguryeo and the Duan clan to suspect that the Yuwen clan was in collusion with Murong Hui, and so the two of them led their armies back to their own territory again.

The leader of the Yuwen army, Xiduguan, declared, "So what if our allies have left? We shall capture Murong Hui's land on our own."

〈《兵法》所謂合則能離之,慕容廆有焉。〉

(The Art of War speaks of dividing those who are joined together. This was the policy that Murong Hui followed.)


宇文氏士卒數十萬,連營四十里。廆使召其子翰於徒河。翰遣使白廆曰:「悉獨官舉國爲寇,彼衆我寡,易以計破,難以力勝。今城中之衆,足以禦寇,翰請爲奇兵於外,伺其間而擊之,內外俱奮,使彼震駭不知所備,破之必矣。今幷兵爲一,彼得專意攻城,無復他虞,非策之得者也;且示衆以怯,恐士氣不戰先沮矣。」廆猶疑之。遼東韓壽言於廆曰:「悉獨官有憑陵之志,將驕卒惰,軍不堅密,若奇兵卒起,掎其無備,必破之策也。」廆乃聽翰留徒河。

24. The Yuwen army alone had more than a hundred thousand soldiers and officers, and their camps stretched for forty li.

Murong Hui sent a messenger to summon the soldiers of his son Murong Han from his post at Tuhe. Murong Han sent the messenger back with this report for his father: "Xiduguan has raised the full force of his state in order to invade us. He is numerous while we are few. It would be difficult to overcome him by strength, but simple enough to rout him if we use strategy. The army which you now have inside the city is sufficient to withstand his invasion. Allow me to keep my men at some distance here. I shall await an opening and then attack him. When we strike the enemy from inside and out, that will cause them to panic, for they would not be prepared for it, and their defeat would be certain.

"But if I were to simply combine my forces with your own, then the enemy would focus entirely on assaulting the city, and we would have no further means of defense. That is no plan to overcome them. Furthermore, it would show how cowardly our army is, and I fear the morale of our men would make them retreat rather than fight."

Murong Hui was still uncertain. Then Han Shou of Liaodong said to him, "Xiduguan believes that he already has us well in hand, so he is conceited and his soldiers are complacent. His army is not as sturdy or secure as it ought to be. If some of our own soldiers appeared unexpectedly, they could catch him unawares when he is not prepared to defend himself. This is a plan to ensure his defeat."

So Murong Hui at last agreed to the plan, and left Murong Han's detachment where it was at Tuhe.

〈翰自愍帝建興元年鎭徒河。〉〈虞,防也,備也。〉〈偏引曰掎,又從後牽曰掎。〉

(Murong Han had been stationed at Tuhe ever since Emperor Min's first year of Jianxing (313).

The term 虞 here means "defense, preparation".

The term 掎 means to grab from the side or from behind.)


悉獨官聞之曰:「翰素名驍果,今不入城,或能爲患,當先取之,城不足憂。」乃分遣數千騎襲翰。翰知之,詐爲段氏使者,逆於道曰:「慕容翰久爲吾患,聞當擊之,吾已嚴兵相待,宜速進也。」使者旣去,翰卽出城,設伏以待之。宇文氏之騎見使者,大喜馳行,不復設備,進入伏中。翰奮擊,盡獲之,乘勝徑進,遣間使語廆出兵大戰。廆使其子皝與長史裴嶷將精銳爲前鋒,自將大兵繼之。悉獨官初不設備,聞廆至,驚,悉衆出戰。前鋒始交,翰將千騎從旁直入其營,縱火焚之,衆皆惶擾,不知所爲,遂大敗,悉獨官僅以身免。廆盡俘其衆,獲皇帝玉璽三紐。

25. When Xiduguan heard of these activities, he said, "Murong Han has long been famous for his boldness and cunning. I shall not enter the city yet, lest I fall prey to him. First I will get rid of him. The enemies inside the city are not worth worrying about." So he split off a force of several thousand cavalry to go attack Murong Han.

But Murong Han knew that they were coming, so he sent several messengers to meet them along the way, pretending to be messengers from the Duan clan. The false messengers told the Yuwen cavalry, "Murong Han has been a pest to us for a long time. Now we hear you are going to attack him. We have already got him locked into a stalemate, so hurry along and finish him."

After Murong Han had dispatched these messengers, he had led his troops outside of his city and set up ambushes, waiting for the Yuwen cavalry to arrive. Having met the false messengers, the Yuwen cavalry were very pleased and so charged ahead, throwing caution to the wind, and so they fell into the waiting ambushes. Murong Han suddenly attacked them and captured them all.

Then Murong Han pressed his victory by having his own troops advance towards the main Yuwen army, and he sent word ahead to tell Murong Hui to lead his own soldiers out of the city to start a great battle. Murong Hui had his son Murong Huang and his Chief Clerk, Pei Yi, lead his elite soldiers as the vanguard, while he himself commanded the main body as their reserves. Xiduguan had made no defensive preparations, and so when he heard that Murong Hui was coming to fight him, he was caught off guard. He ordered his entire army to march forward and meet the approaching enemy in battle. The vanguards of the two sides had barely clashed when Murong Han arrived with a thousand cavalry and charged right into Xiduguan's camp from behind, setting the whole place on fire. The Yuwen soldiers, shocked and afraid, had no idea what was happening, and so they were greatly defeated. Xiduguan barely escaped with his life. Murong Hui captured the entire Yuwen army, and he also captured the Yuwen clan's three imperial seals.

〈投間隙而行,故謂之間使。〉〈皇帝璽,卽宇文大人普回出獵所得者。〉

(The term 間使 means to pass through gaps and so advance.

These imperial seals were the ones that the founder of the Yuwen clan, Yuwen Puhui, had once found while out hunting.)


崔毖聞之,懼,使其兄子燾詣棘城僞賀。會三國使者亦至,請和,曰:「非我本意,崔平州敎我耳。」廆以示燾,臨之以兵,燾懼,首服。廆乃遣燾歸謂毖曰:「降者上策,走者下策也。」引兵隨之。毖與數十騎棄家奔高句麗,其衆悉降於廆。廆以其子仁爲征虜將軍,鎭遼東,官府、市里,按堵如故。

26. When Cui Bi heard that Murong Hui had emerged victorious, he was afraid. He sent his nephew Cui Dao to visit Jicheng and pretend to offer congratulations. But soon, envoys from the three former allies also arrived, asking for peace. They all said, "We did not really have a quarrel with you. It was just that Cui of Pingzhou put us up to it."

Murong Hui displayed his army for Cui Dao in order to dazzle him. Cui Dao was afraid, and he submitted. Then Murong Hui sent him back to tell Cui Bi, "It will be better if you give in, worse if you run away." And Murong Hui followed after Cui Dao with his army. Cui Bi and several dozen riders abandoned their families and fled to Goguryeo, while all the rest of his army surrendered to Murong Hui.

Murong Hui appointed his son Murong Ren as General Who Conquers The Caitiffs and stationed him at Liaodong. All other officials and local ministers remained as before.

〈爲仁以遼東與皝爭國張本。〉

(This was why Murong Ren was later able to raise Liaodong in rebellion against Murong Huang to contend for control of the state with him.)


高句麗將如奴子據于河城,廆遣將軍張統掩擊,擒之,俘其衆千餘家;以崔燾、高瞻、韓恆、石琮歸于棘城,待以客禮。恆,安平人;琮,鑒之孫也。廆以高瞻爲將軍,瞻稱疾不就,廆數臨候之,撫其心曰:「君之疾在此,不在他也。今晉室喪亂,孤欲與諸君共清世難,翼戴帝室。君中州望族,宜同斯願,柰何以華、夷之異,介然疏之哉!夫立功立事,惟問志略何如耳,華、夷何足問乎!」瞻猶不起,廆頗不平。龍驤主簿宋該,與瞻有隙,勸廆除之,廆不從。瞻以憂卒。

27. The Goguryeo general Yeonoja occupied the city of Yuhe. Murong Hui sent his general Zhang Tong to suddenly attack him, and Zhang Tong captured him, along with more than a thousand families of his forces. Zhang Tong sent the captives Cui Dao, Gao Zhan, Han Heng, and Shi Cong back to Jicheng, where Murong Hui treated them properly as guests. This Han Heng was a native of Anping commandary; this Shi Cong was the grandson of Shi Jian.

Murong Hui appointed Gao Zhan as a general, but Gao Zhan claimed illness and would not accept the appointment. Murong Hui came to his bedside several times trying to persuade him. He tapped Gao Zhan's heart and said, "This is where your illness is, Sir, nowhere else. The Jin royal family is in ruin and turmoil, and I wish to join together with you all to purge the chaos and quell the turmoil of this age, acting as wings of the imperial family. Sir, you come from a clan of the Central Provinces, and you should help me in this endeavor. Why should you be so adamantly against it just because I am a tribesman and you are not? When one wins achievements and accomplishes things, all that matters are his means and his ends. Why should whether one is a tribesman or not matter at all?"

But Gao Zhan still would not rise, and Murong Hui could not win him over.

Murong Hui's Registrar as Dragon-Soaring General, Song Gai, had a grudge against Gao Zhan, and so he urged Murong Hui to do away with him. Murong Hui refused to do so, but Gao Zhan was so worried that he passed away.

〈石鑒事武帝、惠帝,位通顯。〉〈介然,堅正不移之貌。〉〈以瞻薄廆起於東夷,不肯委身事之,故有是言。〉〈廆進號龍驤將軍,以該爲府主簿。〉

(Shi Jian had held high office during the reigns of Emperors Wu (Sima Yan) and Hui.

The term 介然 means to keep a stern and unmoveable expression.

Gao Zhan thought little of Murong Hui, since he was from the eastern barbarians, and was not willing to serve under such a man; this was why Murong Hui said such words.

When Murong Hui had been promoted as Dragon-Soaring General, he had appointed Song Gai as his Registrar in that capacity.)


初,鞠羨旣死,苟晞復以羨子彭爲東萊太守。會曹嶷徇青州,與彭相攻;嶷兵雖強,郡人皆爲彭死戰,嶷不能克。久之,彭歎曰:「今天下大亂,強者爲雄。曹亦鄕里,〈彭與嶷皆齊人。〉爲天所相,苟可依憑,卽爲民主,何必與之力爭,使百姓肝腦塗地!吾去此,則禍自息矣。」郡人以爲不可,爭獻拒嶷之策,彭一無所用,與鄕里千餘家浮海歸崔毖。北海鄭林客於東萊,彭、嶷之相攻,林情無彼此。嶷賢之,不敢侵掠,彭與之俱去。比至遼東,毖已敗,乃歸慕容廆。廆以彭參龍驤軍事。遺鄭林車牛粟帛;皆不受,躬耕於野。

28. It was earlier mentioned that Jin's Administer of Donglai, Ju Xian, had been killed. Gou Xi had appointed Ju Xian's son Ju Peng as his replacement. Then the warlord Cao Yi had taken control of Qingzhou, and he and Ju Peng had fought one another. But although Cao Yi's soldiers were stronger, the people of Donglai all fought to the death on Ju Peng's behalf, and so Cao Yi could not overcome him.

After this struggle had been going on for some time, Ju Peng lamented, "The whole realm is now in chaos, and might makes right. Cao Yi and I are natives of the same region, and yet Heaven has set us at odds. Have we lost sight of how important the people are? How can I wage this war against him when that means making the common people stain the ground with their blood? I shall leave this place, and then this misfortune will pass from them."

The people of the commandary did not want him to go, and they all rushed to offer plans to resist Cao Yi. But Ju Peng refused to use any of them, and he left with more than a thousand families of the region, floating across the sea to join Cui Bi.

There lived a certain Zheng Lin of Beihai who was staying in Donglai as a guest. During the fighting between Ju Peng and Cao Yi, Zheng Lin took no part. Cao Yi respected him, and he did not dare to plunder his region; both he and Ju Peng left him alone.

By the time Ju Peng and his refugees arrived at Liaodong, Cui Bi had already been defeated, so they joined Murong Hui instead. Murong Hui appointed Ju Peng as an Army Advisor in his staff as Dragon-Soaring General.

Murong Hui sent gifts to Zheng Lin: carriages and oxen, grain and silk. But Zheng Lin would not accept any of them, and he still bent over his plow out in the field.

〈鞠羨死見八十六卷懷帝永嘉元年。〉〈事見八十七卷永嘉三年。〉

(Ju Xian's death is mentioned in Book 86, in Emperor Huai's first year of Yongjia (307.3).

Cao Yi's invasion of Qingzhou is mentioned in Book 87, in the third year of Yongjia (309.26).

Cao Yi and Ju Peng were both natives of the Qi region.)


宋該勸廆獻捷江東,廆使該爲表,裴嶷奉之,幷所得三璽詣建康獻之。

29. Song Gai urged Murong Hui to send tribute and a report of his triumph to the Southland. So Murong Hui had Song Gai write a petition and sent Pei Yi to present it to Jiankang, along with the three seals he had captured.

高句麗數寇遼東,廆遣慕容翰、慕容仁伐之;高句麗王乙弗利逆來求盟,翰、仁乃還。

30. Goguryeo invaded Liaodong several times. Murong Hui sent Murong Han and Murong Ren to campaign against them. Then the King of Goguryeo, Go Eulbul, asked for peace and an alliance. So Murong Han and Murong Ren returned.

是歲,蒲洪降趙,趙主曜以洪爲率義侯。

31. During this year, the Di leader Pu Hong submitted to Liu Yao's state of Zhao. Liu Yao appointed him as Marquis of Lüyi.

〈《考異》曰:《三十國》、《晉春秋》,洪降劉曜在太興元年。按元年曜未都長安。《晉書‧洪載記》無年,但云「曜僭號長安,洪歸曜」,故置是年。〉

(Sima Guang's commentary in the Textual Analysis states, "According to the Annals of the Thirty Kingdoms and the Annals of Jin, Pu Hong submitted to Liu Yao in the first year of Taixing (318). But Liu Yao had not yet made Chang'an his capital by that year. When the Biography of Pu/Fu Hong in the Chronicles of the Book of Jin mentions this event, it does not specify a year, but it does state, 'When Liu Yao declared himself Emperor at Chang'an, Pu Hong joined him.' So it must have been during this year (319).")


羣氐推為首,劉曜以洪為氐王。(Annals of the Sixteen Kingdoms 4, Biography of Fu Hong)

The various Di tribes acclaimed Fu Hong as their leader, and Liu Yao appointed him King of the Di.

劉曜僭號長安,光等逼洪歸曜,拜率義侯。(Book of Jin 112, Biography of Pu/Fu Hong)

When Liu Yao declared himself Emperor at Chang'an, Pu Guang and the others urged Pu Hong to serve Liu Yao, who made Pu Hong the Marquis of Lüyi.

羣氐推以為盟主。劉曜拜洪為寧西將軍、率義侯,徙之高陸,進為氐王。(Book of Northern Wei 95, Biography of Fu Jiàn)

The various Di tribes acclaimed Fu Hong as their leader, and Liu Yao appointed him as General Who Calms The West and Marquis of Lüyi. He relocated Fu Hong to Gaolu, and promoted him to King of the Di.


屠各路松多起兵於新平、扶風以附晉王保,保使其將楊曼、王連據陳倉,張顗、周庸據陰密,松多據草壁,秦、隴氐、羌多應之。趙主曜遣諸將攻之,不克;曜自將擊之。

32. The Chuge Xiongnu leader Lu Songduo raised soldiers in Xinping and Fufeng and aligned himself with Sima Bao.

Sima Bao sent his generals to occupy several places: Yang Man and Wang Lian occupied Chencang, Zhang Yi and Zhou Yong occupied Yinmi, and Lu Songduo occupied Caobi. Many of the Di and Qiang people of the Qin and Long regions joined them. Liu Yao sent his generals to attack them, but they were unsuccessful. So Liu Yao came himself to attack them.

〈《水經註》:隴山西南,降隴城北,有松多州,蓋松多據此,因以爲地名。草壁,在陰密之東。〉

(The Commentary on the Water Classic states, "Southwest of the Long Mountains and north of the city of Jianglong is the 'province of Songduo'. It gained its name when Lu Songduo occupied the place." Canbi was east of Yinmi.)
Last edited by Taishi Ci 2.0 on Fri Jan 18, 2019 3:58 am, edited 22 times in total.
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BOOK 91

Unread postby Taishi Ci 2.0 » Wed Feb 14, 2018 7:27 am

三年(庚辰、三二○)

The Third Year of Taixing (The Gengchen Year, 320 AD)


春,正月,曜攻陳倉,王連戰死,楊曼奔南氐。曜進拔草壁,路松多奔隴城;又拔陰密。晉王保懼,遷于桑城。曜還長安,以劉雅爲大司徒。

1. In spring, the first month, Liu Yao attacked Chencang. Wang Lian died in battle, and Yang Man fled south to Chouchi. Liu Yao advanced and capured Canbi, and Lu Songduo fled to Longcheng. Liu Yao then captured Yinmi as well. Sima Bao was afraid, and he moved to Sangcheng.

Liu Yao returned to Chang'an, and he appointed Liu Ya as Grand Minister Over The Masses.

〈氐種之居陳倉南者,卽仇池楊氏也。〉〈《水經註》︰洮水自臨洮縣東北流,過索西城,又北出門峽,又東北逕桑城東,又北逕安故縣。保欲自桑城奔河西也。〉

(This passage states that "Yang Man fled to the southern Di people". The Di who were living south of Chencang must have been the state of Chouchi.

The Commentary on the Water Classic states, "The Tao River flows northeast from Lintao County, passing through the city of Suoxi, and then north through the Gate Ridges, then northeast to the east of Sangcheng, and then north through An'gu County." Sima Bao was planning to flee from Sangcheng into the Hexi region (that is, Liangzhou).)


張春謀奉晉王保奔涼州,張寔遣其將陰監將兵迎之,聲言翼衞,其實拒之。

2. Sima Bao's general Zhang Chun plotted to take Sima Bao and flee to Liangzhou. Zhang Shi sent his general Yin Jian to lead soldiers to anticipate their arrival. Ostensibly this was to escort them, but really it was to keep them out.

春復奉保奔桑城,將投于張寔。寔使兵迎保,實禦之也。(Book of Jin 37, Biography of Sima Mo)

Zhang Chun now brought Sima Bao to flee to Sangcheng, planning to take refuge with Zhang Shi. Zhang Shi sent troops to welcome Sima Bao, but really they were meant to keep him out.

會保為劉曜所逼,遷于桑城,將謀奔寔。寔以其宗室之望,若至河右,必動物情,遣其將陰監逆保,聲言翼衛,實禦之也。(Book of Jin 86, Biography of Zhang Shi)

Soon, Sima Bao was threatened by Liu Yao, and he moved to Sangcheng, planning to flee to Zhang Shi. But Zhang Shi felt that because of the influence of Sima Bao's family, if he came to Liangzhou, he would certain cause incidents. So he sent his general Yin Jian to intercept Sima Bao. Ostensibly he was coming to protect and escort him, but really to keep Sima Bao out.


段末柸攻段匹磾,破之。匹磾謂邵續曰:「吾本夷狄,以慕義破家。君不忘久要,請相與共擊末柸。」續許之,遂相與追擊末柸,大破之。匹磾與弟文鴦攻薊。後趙王勒知續勢孤,遣中山公虎將兵圍厭次,孔萇攻續別營十一,皆下之。二月,續自出擊虎,虎伏騎斷其後,遂執續,使降其城。續呼兄子竺等謂曰:「吾志欲報國,不幸至此。汝等努力奉匹磾爲主,勿有貳心。」匹磾自薊還,未至厭次,聞續已沒,衆懼而散,復爲虎所遮;文鴦以親兵數百力戰,始得入城,與續子緝、兄子存、竺等嬰城固守。虎送續於襄國,勒以爲忠,釋而禮之,以爲從事中郎。因下令:「自今克敵,獲士人,毋得擅殺,必生致之。」

3. It was earlier mentioned that the Xianbei leaders Duan Mopei and Duan Pidi were now at odds with one another, and that Duan Pidi had taken refuge with another Jin loyalist, Shao Xu. Duan Mopei attacked Duan Pidi and routed him. Duan Pidi said to Shao Xu, "I am a tribesmen, but I have worked on behalf of your noble cause to the detriment of my family. Sir, I hope you will not forget our prior agreement. Please assist me in fighting Duan Mopei." Shao Xu agreed, and he joined with Duan Pidi to pursue and attack Duan Mopei, greatly defeating him.

Duan Pidi and Duan Wenyang then attacked Ji. Shi Le knew that, because of this attack, Shao Xu was now left exposed and isolated. So he sent Shi Hu to lead troops to besiege Shao Xu's base at Yanci, while he sent Kong Chang to attack eleven of Shao Xu's other camps, and Kong Chang took them all. In the second month, Shao Xu himself marched out to attack Shi Hu, but Shi Hu had left cavalry in hiding, and they now emerged to cut off Shao Xu's rear and capture him.

Shi Hu sent Shao Xu to the city to order it to surrender. But Shao Xu yelled to his nephew Shao Mi and others, "My ambition was to avenge the state, yet I have come to misfortune. But you all must exert yourselves all the more. Take Duan Pidi as your leader, and do not be of two hearts."

Duan Pidi marched back from Ji, but before he had reached Yanci, he heard that Shao Xu had already been captured. This caused his army to be so afraid that they all scattered, and Shi Hu also blocked him from advancing any further. But Duan Wenyang led several hundred of his personal soldiers to charge the enemy lines, and so they were able to enter the city. They manned the defenses, together with Shao Xu's son Shao Ji, his nephews Shao Cun and Shao Mi, and others.

Shi Hu sent Shao Xu back to Shi Le's capital at Xiangguo. Shi Le respected Shao Xu for his loyalty, so he released him from captivity and treated him with respect, appointing him as an Attendant Officer of the Household Gentlemen. For the same reason, Shi Le sent out a directive to his generals stating, "From now on, whenever you defeat an enemy and capture a gentleman of worth, do not presume to kill him. You must send him to me alive."

〈久要,舊約也。〉〈匹磾奔邵續,薊爲石氏所取。〉〈是時劉、石國號皆曰趙,史以石趙爲後趙以別之。〉〈欲使續降厭次城也。〉〈勒禮續而終於殺續,所以令生致士人者,不過欲使之從己耳。〉

(The term 久要 here means "an old agreement".

When Duan Pidi had fled his former base at Ji to take refuge with Shao Xu, Shi Le had taken over Ji.

Since by now, both Liu Yao's state and Shi Le's state went by the name Zhao, ZZTJ refers to Liu Yao's state as merely "Zhao" and Shi Le's state as "Later Zhao", in order to distinguish between them.

Shi Hu wanted to force Shao Xu to have Yanci surrender.

Shi Le treated Shao Xu with respect now, but he killed him in the end. So this order to take worthy gentlemen alive and send them to him was no more than Shi Le's desire to make such people serve him.)


吏部郎劉胤聞續被攻,言於帝曰:「北方藩鎭盡矣,惟餘邵續而已;如使復爲石虎所滅,孤義士之心,阻歸本之路,愚謂宜發兵救之。」帝不能從。續已沒,乃下詔以續位任授其子緝。

4. When Jin's Gentleman of the Imperial Secretariat, Liu Yin, heard that Shao Xu was under attack, he said to Sima Rui, "All of the other border commanders in the north have fallen, and Shao Xu is the only one still left. If we allow Shi Hu to snuff him out too, that will isolate the hearts of loyalists everywhere and hinder our path back to the north again. I humbly suggest that you send troops to rescue him."

But Sima Rui could not follow his advice. Since Shao Xu had already been captured, Sima Rui issued an edict passing Shao Xu's offices onto his son Shao Ji.

〈胤,續所遣也,事見八十九卷愍帝建興二年。〉

(Liu Yin had been sent to the Southland by Shao Xu, as mentioned in Book 89, in Emperor Min's second year of Jianxing (314.17).)


趙將尹安、宋始、宋恕、趙愼四軍屯洛陽,叛,降後趙。後趙將石生引兵赴之;安等復叛,降司州刺史李矩。矩使潁州太守郭默將兵入洛。石生虜宋始一軍,北渡河。於是河南之民皆相帥歸矩,洛陽遂空。

5. The four armies of the Zhao generals Yin An, Song Shi, Song Shu, and Zhao Shen were camped at Luoyang. They rebelled and surrendered to Later Zhao. Shi Sheng led his troops to link up with them. But then Yin An and the others rebelled once again, this time surrendering to Jin's Inspector of Sizhou, Li Ju. Li Ju sent the Administrator of Yingzhou (Yingchuan?), Guo Mo, to lead soldiers into Luoyang. Shi Sheng captured Song Shi's army and then went north across the Yellow River. All the people of Henan led each other to go to Li Ju's domain, and so Luoyang was left empty.

〈漢主曜改國號曰趙,石勒稱趙王,同在上年,而勒併曜始得中原,故以後趙別之。〉

(Liu Yao had declared his state Zhao, and Shi Le had also assumed the title King of Zhao. These events took place in the same year. But Shi Le later annexed Liu Yao and captured the Central Plains, and so the Zizhi Tongjian calls his state Later Zhao to distinguish between the two.)


矩以眾少不足立功,每慷慨憤歎。及帝踐阼,以為都督司州諸軍事、司州刺史,改封平陽縣侯,將軍如故。時弘農太守尹安、振威將軍宋始等四軍並屯洛陽,各相疑阻,莫有固志。矩、默各遣千騎至洛以鎮之。安等乃同謀告石勒,勒遣石生率騎五千至洛陽,矩、默軍皆退還。俄而四將復背勒,遣使乞迎,默又遣步卒五百人入洛。石生以四將相謀,不能自安,乃虜宋始一軍,渡河而南。百姓相率歸矩,於是洛中遂空。(Book of Jin 63, Biography of Li Ju)

Li Ju was always frustrated and sad when he felt that he did not have enough soldiers to achieve anything. After Sima Rui claimed the throne, he appointed Li Ju as Commander of military affairs in Sizhou, Inspector of Sizhou, and Marquis of Pingyang county, while keeping his original titles as a general.

At that time, Luoyang was guarded by four camps of Jin commanders: the Administrator of Hongnong, Yin An, the General Who Spreads Might, Song Shi, and others. But they were each worried about the difficulties of their positions, and none of them had any real determination to maintain it. Li Ju and Guo Mo both sent a thousand cavalry to Luoyang to help guard it. But Yin An and the others plotted together to inform Shi Le about this, and Shi Le sent Shi Sheng to lead five thousand cavalry to Luoyang as well, causing Li Ju's and Guo Mo's armies to withdraw.

Not long afterwards, the four commanders turned against Shi Le and sent messengers asking for aid from the Jin loyalists again, so Guo Mo sent another five hundred infantry to enter Luoyang. Shi Sheng felt that he could no longer maintain his position at Luoyang if the four commanders were plotting against him, so he captured Song Shi's army and then crossed south of the Yellow River. The common people led one another to come join Li Ju, and so the Luoyang region was left empty.


三月,裴嶷至建康,盛稱慕容廆之威德,賢雋皆爲之用;朝廷始重之。帝謂嶷曰:「卿中朝名臣,當留江東,朕別詔龍驤送卿家屬。」嶷曰:「臣少蒙國恩,出入省闥,若得復奉輦轂,臣之至榮。但以舊京淪沒,山陵穿毀,雖名臣宿將,莫能雪恥,獨慕容龍驤竭忠王室,志除凶逆,故使臣萬里歸誠。今臣來而不返,必謂朝廷以其僻陋而棄之,孤其嚮義之心,使懈體於討賊,此臣之所甚惜,是以不敢徇私而忘公也。」帝曰:「卿言是也。」乃遣使隨嶷拜廆安北將軍、平州刺史。

6. In the third month, Murong Hui's envoy Pei Yi arrived at Jiankang. He extolled the strength and virtue of Murong Hui, and how he employed many worthy and talented people. It was because of this visit that the Jin court began to hold Murong Hui in high esteem.

Sima Rui said to Pei Yi, "Sir, you were a famous minister in the former court. You ought to remain here in the Southland. I shall send the Dragon-Soaring General an edict ordering him to send your family here as well to join you."

But Pei Yi replied, "I did receive some slight favor from the state before, but I did no more than go in and out of the doors of the ministries. If I were now employed as a mere carriage-puller, I would consider even that to be an honor. But when the former capital fell and the imperial tombs were ruined, no one was able to wipe away the shame of the state, whether they were a famous minister or a veteran general. Only General Murong has remained loyal to the imperial family. His ambition is to purge the land of the wicked traitors, and so he has sent me on this journey of ten thousand li to demonstrate his sincerity to you.

“For me to come here while serving on his behalf and then not return again would be a sign of your court abandoning him because he is in too remote of a place. You would be showing contempt for his righteous heart and dampening his ardor to fight the enemy. I would consider such an outcome to be extremely regrettable, and I dare not think of my own private interests while forgetting the public good."

Sima Rui said, "It is as you say." So he sent his own envoys to accompany Pei Yi back north, and they appointed Murong Hui as General Who Maintains The North and Inspector of Pingzhou.

〈朝廷始以裔夷待慕容,今以嶷言始重之。〉〈嶷仕西朝,歷中書侍郎、給事黃門郎,故云然。〉〈體,當依《載記》作「怠」。〉〈謂留江東乃是徇一身之私計,歸棘城則可輔廆以討賊,乃下之公義也。嶷之心,蓋以廆可與共功名,鄙晉之君臣宴安江沱,爲不足與共事而已。〉

(Sima Rui's court had originally considered the Murong clan as just another group of distant barbarians, and it was only now, thanks to Pei Yi's visit, that they began to esteem Murong Hui.

When Pei Yi had held office during Western Jin, he was only a Gentleman-Attendant of the Palace Secretariat and then an Attendant Officer of the Yellow Gates Gentlemen. This was why he downplayed his involvement there.

This passage has the term 懈體. The same episode as listed in the Biography of Pei Yi in the Chronicles of the Book of Jin writes the second character as 怠, and it ought to be that here as well.

For Pei Yi to remain in the Southland would have been a plan to look after his own personal interests, while if he returned to Jicheng, he could assist Murong Hui in fighting against the enemies of Jin, which would serve the public good. In Pei Yi's view, if he stood by Murong Hui, he would be able to achieve great things together with him, while if he joined the indolent Jin ministers in the Southlands, who were complacent and decadent behind their rivers and bays, he would not be able to accomplish anything with them.)


閏月,以周顗爲尚書左僕射。

7. In the intercalary month, Sima Rui appointed Zhou Yi as Supervisor of the Left of the Masters of Writing.

晉王保將張春、楊次與別將楊韜不協,勸保誅之,且請擊陳安;保皆不從。夏,五月,春、次幽保,殺之。保體肥大,重八百斤;喜睡,好讀書,而暗弱無斷,故及於難。保無子,張春立宗室子瞻爲世子,稱大將軍。保衆散,奔涼州者萬餘人。陳安表於趙主曜,請討瞻等。曜以安爲大將軍,擊瞻,殺之;張春奔枹罕。安執楊次,於保柩前斬之,因以祭保。安以天子禮葬保於上邽,諡曰元王。

8. Sima Bao's generals Zhang Chun and Yang Ci had a dispute with another of his generals, Yang Tao. They urged Sima Bao to execute Yang Tao, and they asked to attack Chen An as well, but Sima Bao refused to allow it.

In summer, the fifth month, Zhang Chun and Yang Ci put Sima Bao under house arrest and then killed him. Sima Bao had an extremely fat body, and he weighed eight hundred 斤. He found joy in sleeping and loved to read books, but he was a blind and weak man and indecisive, and so he ran into such trouble.

Sima Bao had no sons, so Zhang Chun set up Sima Bao's junior kinsman Sima Zhan as his heir, proclaiming him Grand General. Sima Bao's forces scattered, with more than ten thousand people fleeing to Liangzhou.

Chen An sent a petition to Liu Yao, asking for permission to attack Sima Zhan and the others. Liu Yao appointed Chen An as Grand General, and Chen An attacked Sima Zhan and killed him. Zhang Chun fled to Fuhan. Chen An captured Yang Ci and beheaded him in front of Sima Bao's coffin as a sacrifice to his former lord. Chen An then buried Sima Bao at Shanggui with the rites appropriate for a Son of Heaven, and he gave Sima Bao the posthumous title Prince Yuan ("the Foremost").

〈枹罕縣,前漢屬金城,後漢屬隴西郡,張軌分屬晉興郡,唐爲河州。枹,音膚。〉

(During Former Han, Fuhan county was part of Jincheng commandary. During Later Han, it was part of Longxi commandary. Zhang Gui had split it off as part of Jinxing commandary. During Tang, it was Hezhou. 枹 is pronounced "fu".)


是歲,保病薨,時年二十七。保體質豐偉,嘗自稱重八百斤。喜睡,痿疾,不能禦婦人。無子,張春立宗室司馬瞻奉保後。陳安舉兵攻春,春走,瞻降于安,安送詣劉曜,曜殺之。安迎保喪,以天子禮葬于上邽,諡曰元。(Book of Jin 37, Biography of Sima Mo)

During this year, Sima Bao passed away from illness; he was twenty-six years old. Sima Bao had an extremely fat body, and at one point he claimed he weighed eight hundred 斤. He enjoyed sleep, but he was sexually impotent and could not have intercourse with women.

Sima Bao had no sons, so Zhang Chun set up Sima Bao's kinsman Sima Zhan as his heir. Chen An raised troops and attacked Zhang Chun, who fled. Sima Zhan surrendered to Chen An, and Chen An sent him to visit Liu Yao, who killed him. Chen An held mourning for Sima Bao then buried him at Shanggui with the rites appropriate for a Son of Heaven, and he gave Sima Bao the posthumous title Prince Yuan ("the Foremost").

會保薨,其眾散奔涼州者萬餘人。(Book of Jin 86, Biography of Zhang Shi)

Sima Bao soon passed away, and more than ten thousand of his soldiers fled to Liangzhou.


羊鑒討徐龕,頓兵下邳,不敢前。蔡豹敗龕於檀丘,龕求救於後趙。後趙王勒遣其將王伏都救之,又使張敬將兵爲之後繼。勒多所邀求,而伏都淫暴,龕患之。張敬至東平,龕疑其襲己,乃斬伏都等三百餘人,復來請降。勒大怒,命張敬據險以守之。帝亦惡龕反覆,不受其降,敕鑒、豹以時進討。鑒猶疑憚不進,尚書令刁協奏鑒,免死除名,以蔡豹代領其兵。王導以所舉失人,乞自貶,帝不許。

9. The Jin general Yang Jian began his campaign against the rebel Xu Kan. Yang Jian camped his troops at Xiapi, not daring to advance any further. His subordinate Cai Bao defeated Xu Kan at Tanqiu, and Xu Kan sought help from Later Zhao. Shi Le sent his general Wang Fudu to assist him, and he also sent Zhang Jing to lead more troops to act as their reserves.

Shi Le said many times that he was sending these men to help Xu Kan, but Wang Fudu was a licentious and violent man, and Xu Kan was wary of him. And when Zhang Jing arrived at Dongping, Xu Kan suspected that he was going to attack him. So Xu Kan beheaded more than three hundred of Wang Fudu's soldiers and then asked to surrender to Jin. Shi Le was absolutely furious, and he ordered Zhang Jing to occupy strategic places to guard against Xu Kan.

Sima Rui was also dubious about Xu Kan's offer of surrender, believing that he would soon turn to rebellion again, so he refused to accept his surrender. Instead, he ordered Yang Jian and Cai Bao to advance and continue their campaign. But Yang Jian was still suspicious and afraid and so he would not advance. Diao Xie sent notice to Yang Jian, stripping him from his command on account of his cowardice, and appointing Cai Bao as the commander of the army in his place. Wang Dao begged to be demoted since he had recommended an unsuitable person, but Sima Rui would not hear of it.

〈檀丘,在魯國卞縣東南。〉〈據險守龕,欲持久以弊之也。〉

(Tanqiu was in the southeast of Bian County in the Lu princely fief.

Zhang Jing would hold the strategic places and guard against Xu Kan in order to keep him at bay and wear him down over time.)


六月,後趙孔萇攻段匹磾,恃勝而不設備,段文鴦襲擊,大破之。

10. In the sixth month, Kong Chang attacked Duan Pidi. He was complacent because of his earlier victories, so he did not prepare his defenses. Duan Wenyang suddenly attacked him and greatly routed him.

京兆人劉弘客居涼州天梯山,以妖術惑衆,從受道者千餘人,西平元公張寔左右皆事之。帳下閻涉,牙門趙卬,皆弘鄕人,弘謂之曰:「天與我神璽,應王涼州。」涉、卬信之,密與寔左右十餘人謀殺寔,奉弘爲主。寔弟茂知其謀,請誅弘。寔令牙門將史初收之,未至,涉等懷刃而入,殺寔於外寢。弘見史初至,謂曰:「使君已死,殺我何爲!」初怒,截其舌而囚之,轘於姑臧市,誅其黨與數百人。左司馬陰元等以寔子駿尚幼,推張茂爲涼州刺史、西平公,赦其境內,以駿爲撫軍將軍。

11. There lived a certain native of Jingzhao, Liu Hong, who was living as a guest in Liangzhou at Mount Tianti. He used sorcery and witchcraft to mislead the people, and more than a thousand people became his disciples. Even Zhang Shi's own attendants trusted him.

Zhang Shi's personal tent commander, Yan She, and his General of the Standard, Zhao Ang, were both from the same region as Liu Hong. He said to them, "Heaven has granted me a divine seal, and wishes for me to become the King of Liangzhou." Yan She and Zhao Ang believed him, and they secretly plotted with more than ten of Zhang Shi's attendants to kill Zhang Shi and honor Liu Hong as their sovereign.

Zhang Shi's younger brother Zhang Mao knew of their plot, and he asked Zhang Shi to execute Liu Hong. Zhang Shi ordered his General of the Serrated Gates, Shi Chu, to go arrest Liu Hong. But before Shi Chu had reached Liu Hong, Yan She and the others drew their hidden blades and killed Zhang Shi outside his bedchamber. Zhang Shi was posthumously known as Duke Yuan ("the Foremost") of Xiping.

When Liu Hong saw that Shi Chu had arrived, he said, "Commissioner Zhang is already dead. What use is there in killing me?" This angered Shi Chu, and he cut out Liu Hong's tongue before throwing him in prison. Liu Hong was ripped apart by chariots in the Guzang marketplace, and several hundred of his partisans and associates were beheaded.

Because Zhang Shi's son Zhang Jun was still young, Zhang Shi's Marshal of the Left, Yin Yuan, and his other ministers all acclaimed Zhang Mao as the new Inspector of Liangzhou and Duke of Xiping. Zhang Mao declared an amnesty within his domain, and he appointed Zhang Jun as General Who Nurtures The Army.

〈武威姑臧城南,有天梯山。〉〈《考異》曰:《晉書》作「閻沙、趙仰」;又云:「寔知其謀,收劉弘殺之。」。據《晉春秋》,作「閻涉、趙卬」;又弘死在寔被殺後。今從之。〉〈轘,車裂也。涼州及武威郡皆治姑臧縣。〉

(There was a Mount Tianti south of the city of Guzang in Wuwei commandary.

Sima Guang's commentary in the Textual Analysis states, "Regarding the two plotters 閻涉 Yan She and 趙卬 Zhao Ang, the Biography of Zhang Shi in the Book of Jin records their names as Yan 沙 Sha and Zhao 仰 Yang. It also states, 'Zhang Shi knew of their plot, and he arrested Liu Hong and killed him.' But according to the Annals of Jin, the plotters' names were Yan She and Zhao Ang, and Liu Hong died after Zhang Shi had been killed. I follow that account."

The term 轘 here means chelie, or execution by being torn apart by five chariots.

Liangzhou and Wuwei commandary were both administered from Guzang County.)


六年六月,京兆人劉弘挾左道以眩惑百姓,密與寔左右十餘人謀殺寔,懷刀入內,斬寔于外寢,時年五十。葬寧陵,晉王寶册贈寔大司馬,涼州牧,諡曰元公。張祚僭號,追尊曰明王,廟號高祖。母弟茂嗣、以寔子幼嗣。(16 Kingdoms, Former Liang)

In the six month of the sixth year (318), a native of Jingzhao commandary, Liu Hong, who practiced dark arts to dazzle and beguile the common people, secretly plotted with more than ten of Zhang Shi's attendants to kill him. The attendants hid blades within their breasts and beheaded Zhang Shi outside his bedchamber.

Zhang Shi was forty-nine when he died. He was buried at Ning Tomb. Sima Bao posthumously appointed Zhang Shi as Grand Marshal and Governor of Liangzhou and gave him the posthumous name Duke Yuan ("the Foremost"). When Zhang Zuo later usurped control of Former Liang, he posthumous named Zhang Shi as Prince Ming ("the Wise") and gave him the temple name Gaozu.

Zhang Shi's younger brother by the same mother, Zhang Mao, inherited his positions, because Zhang Shi's son was too young to do so.

寔自恃險遠,頗自驕恣。初,寔寢室梁間有人像,無頭,久而乃滅,寔甚惡之。京兆人劉弘者,挾左道,客居天梯第五山,然燈懸鏡於山穴中為光明,以惑百姓,受道者千餘人,寔左右皆事之。帳下閻沙、牙門趙仰皆弘鄉人,弘謂之曰:「天與我神璽,應王涼州。」沙、仰信之,密與寔左右十餘人謀殺寔,奉弘為主。寔潛知其謀,收弘殺之。沙等不之知,以其夜害寔。在位六年。私諡曰昭公,元帝賜諡曰元。子駿,年幼,弟茂攝事。(Book of Jin 86, Biography of Zhang Shi)

Because he occupied a distant and defensible region, Zhang Shi began to grow arrogant and unrestrained.

For some time, Zhang Shi had a statue of a man inside his bedchamber. The statue had no head. It suddenly collapsed at one point, and Zhang Shi was greatly disturbed by the portent.

There lived a certain native of Jingzhao commandary named Liu Hong who practiced dark arts. He lived as a guest in Liangzhou at the fifth of the Tianti Mountains, where he beguiled the common people by means of producing brilliant lights inside the caves of the mountain through hanging candles and mirrors. More than a thousand people became his followers, and even Zhang Shi's attendants believed in him. Zhang Shi's personal tent commander, Yan Sha, and his General of the Standard, Zhao Yang, were both from the same region as Liu Hong. He said to them, "Heaven has granted me a divine seal, and wishes for me to become the King of Liangzhou." Yan Sha and Zhao Yang believed him, and they secretly plotted with more than ten of Zhang Shi's attendants to kill Zhang Shi and honor Liu Hong as their sovereign. Zhang Shi secretly knew of the plot, and he arrested Liu Hong and killed him. But Yan Sha and the other plotters, unaware of this development, killed Zhang Shi during the night.

Zhang Shi had been in power for six years. Within Liangzhou, he was given the private posthumous name Duke Zhao ("the Brilliant"), while Sima Rui granted him the posthumous name Duke Yuan ("the Foremost"). Because his son Zhang Jun was still young, his younger brother Zhang Mao took over for him.


丙辰,趙將解虎及長水校尉尹車謀反,與巴酋句徐、厙彭等相結;事覺,虎、車皆伏誅。趙主曜囚徐、彭等五十餘人于阿房,將殺之;光祿大夫游子遠諫曰:「聖王用刑,惟誅元惡而已,不宜多殺。」爭之,叩頭流血。曜怒,以爲助逆而囚之;盡殺徐、彭等,尸諸市十日,乃投於水。於是巴衆盡反,推巴酋句渠知爲主,自稱大秦,改元曰平趙。四山氐、羌、巴、羯應之者三十餘萬,關中大亂,城門晝閉。子遠又從獄中上表諫爭,曜手毀其表曰:「大荔奴,不憂命在須臾,猶敢如此,嫌死晚邪!」叱左右速殺之。中山王雅、郭汜、朱紀、呼延晏等諫曰:「子遠幽囚,禍在不測,猶不忘諫爭,忠之至也。陛下縱不能用,柰何殺之!若子遠朝誅,臣等亦當夕死,以彰陛下之過。天下將皆捨陛下而去,陛下誰與居乎!」曜意解,乃赦之。

12. On the day Bingchen (August 13th), the Zhao general Jie Hu and the Commandant of the Chang River Regiment, Yin Che, plotted rebellion. They made an agreement with leaders of the Ba people, Gou Xu, She Peng, and others. But the plot was discovered, and Jie Hu and Yin Che were both executed.

Liu Yao imprisoned Gou Xu, She Peng, and the other leaders in Epang Palace, more than fifty of them. He was about to kill them all. But the Household Counselor With Golden Tassel, You Ziyuan, remonstrated with him, saying, "The sage ruler is judicious with the application of justice. You should only execute the actual leaders of the plot. Do not indulge in further killings." They argued over the matter, and You Ziyuan kowtowed until blood flowed from his head. Liu Yao, angry, believed that You Ziyuan was helping traitors, and he imprisoned him as well.

Then Liu Yao killed Gou Xu, She Peng, and all the rest. Their bodies were displayed in the marketplace for ten days, and then cast into the river. This caused all the forces of the Ba people to rebel, and they acclaimed their leader Gou Quzhi as their sovereign. Gou Quzhi declared himself King of Great Qin, and he changed the reign era title and declared he would conquer Zhao. More than three hundred thousand people from the Di, Qiang, Ba, and Jie peoples of the four mountains came to join him, and Guanzhong was thrown into great turmoil. Every city shut their gates.

You Ziyuan sent up a petition from his prison cell offering more forceful remonstrations. Liu Yao ripped up the petition with his own hands and said, "That Dali slave! I could kill him in an instant, and yet he is so unafraid that he still dares to criticize me like this! I regret I did not kill him sooner!" And he yelled at his attendants to put You Ziyuan to death at once.

But Liu Ya, Guo Si, Zhu Ji, Huyan Yan, and others all remonstrated with him, saying, "You Ziyuan is languishing in prison and could suffer death at any moment, yet he still remembers his duty to remonstrate with you. Such is his loyalty! Even if Your Majesty cannot use him, why should you kill him? The morning that you execute You Ziyuan, we shall all die that same evening, in order to make evident Your Majesty's transgressions. When all the generals of the realm abandon Your Majesty, whom shall you have left beside you?"

So Liu Yao let go of his anger, and he pardoned You Ziyuan.

〈解,戶買翻。句,古侯翻;姓也。〉〈阿房,卽秦阿房宮舊基,亦謂之阿城。〉〈大荔,戎種落之名;子遠蓋戎出也。〉

Jie Hu's surname 解 is pronounced "hai (h-ai)". Gou Xu's surname 句 is pronounced "gou (g-ou)".

Epang/Afang was the old foundation of the Qin dynasty's Epang Palace; it was also called Echeng/Acheng.

大荔 Dali was the name of one of the Rong tribes. Since Liu Yao called You Ziyuan this, You Ziyuan must have been from this tribe.)


曜敕內外戒嚴,將自討渠知。子遠又諫曰:「陛下誠能用臣策,一月可定,大駕不必親征也。」曜曰:「卿試言之。」子遠曰:「彼非有大志,欲圖非望也,直畏陛下威刑,欲逃死耳。陛下莫若廓然大赦,與之更始;應前日坐虎、車等事,其家老弱沒入奚官者,皆縱遣之,使之自相招引,聽其復業。彼旣得生路,何爲不降!若其中自知罪重,屯結不散者,願假臣弱兵五千,必爲陛下梟之。不然,今反者彌山被谷,雖以天威臨之,恐非歲月可除也。」曜大悅,卽日大赦,以子遠爲車騎大將軍、開府儀同三司、都督雍‧秦征討諸軍事。子遠屯于雍城,降者十餘萬;移軍安定,反者皆降。惟句氏宗黨五千餘家保于陰密,進攻,滅之,遂引兵巡隴右。先是氐、羌十餘萬落,據險不服,其酋虛除權渠自號秦王。子遠進造其壁,權渠出兵拒之,五戰皆敗。權渠欲降,其子伊餘大言於衆曰:「往者劉曜自來,猶無若我何,況此偏師,何謂降也!」帥勁卒五萬,晨壓子遠壘門。諸將欲擊之,子遠曰:「伊餘勇悍,當今無敵,所將之兵,復精於我,又其父新敗,怒氣方盛,其鋒不可當也,不如緩之,使氣竭而後擊之。」乃堅壁不戰。伊餘有驕色,子遠伺其無備,夜,勒兵蓐食,旦,值大風塵昏,子遠悉衆出掩之,生擒伊餘,盡俘其衆。權渠大懼,被髮、剺面請降。子遠啓曜,以權渠爲征西將軍、西戎公,分徙伊餘兄弟及其部落二十餘萬口于長安。曜以子遠爲大司徒、錄尚書事。

13. Liu Yao ordered all of his forces to prepare for battle, and he was about to lead the campaign against Gou Quzhi in person. You Ziyuan again remonstrated with him, saying, "Your Majesty, I swear to you that if you will place full faith in my plan, the whole rebellion will be settled in a single month, and you will not need to stir yourself to personally conduct a campaign."

Liu Yao said, "Explain yourself."

You Ziyuan replied, "The enemy does not really have any grant ambitions, and their sentiments go against what most of the people really want. The rebels are afraid of Your Majesty's power and justice, and they only want to escape death. Your Majesty ought to issue a blanket amnesty to allow them all to have a fresh start. As for those who were charged in connection with Jie Hu's and Yin Che's plot before, send out all the members of their families who are old, infirm, or have not held office and have them bring back the others. Once they hear of the situation, they will return to their old livelihoods. When you have provided them a way to save their lives, how could they not surrender? And as for those among the plotters who know that their crimes are too serious for that, if they join together rather than scatter, you need only give me five thousand weak soldiers and I shall take all their heads for Your Majesty. But if you do not as I suggest, since there are currently so many rebels that they fill the hills and cover the valleys, I fear that even when your heavenly might drew near, you would not be able to overcome all of them in a month."

Liu Yao was greatly pleased, and that day he declared a general amnesty. He further appointed You Ziyuan as Grand General of Chariots and Cavalry and as Commander of expeditionary forces in Yongzhou and Qinzhou, and granted him the privilege of a Separate Office with equal ceremonial to the Three Excellencies.

You Ziyuan camped his army at Yongcheng, where more than a hundred thousand rebels surrendered to him. Then he moved his army to Anding, and all the rebels there surrendered. Only some five thousand families of the Gou clan and their partisans remained defiant, holding out at Yinmi. You Ziyuan marched forward and attacked, and he vanquished them.

Then You Ziyuan led his forces on a patrol through Longyou. Before now, there had been more than a hundred thousand tribes of the Di and Qiang who held strategic places and would not submit to Zhao, and their leader Xuchu Quanchu had declared himself King of Qin. You Ziyuan advanced and assaulted his fortresses. Xuchu Quanchu sent out his soldiers to fight back, but they were defeated five times.

Xuchu Quanchu now wished to surrender. But his son Xuchu Yiyu shouted in front of their army, "Even if Liu Yao himself came here, he would still be no match for us, much less this mere vice-commander of his! How can you speak of surrender?" And Xuchu Yiyu led fifty thousand strong soldiers to march out at morning and block the gates of You Ziyuan's ramparts.

You Ziyuan's generals wanted to attack him, but You Ziyuan said, "Xuchu Yiyu is stalwart and bold, and no one is a match for him right now. Furthermore, his soldiers are superior to ours, and his father, so recently defeated, burns with rage to overcome us. We would not stand a chance against their zeal. Better for us to wait them out and let their spirits run cold. Then we can attack them." So he kept to his defenses and would not offer battle.

Xuchu Yiyu had a proud demeanor, so You Ziyuan watched to see when he would not be prepared for an attack. During the night, he ordered his soldiers to eat their meals while they were still on their straw mats. When dawn came, a great wind came up and kicked up clouds of dust. You Ziyuan then sent his whole army out to launch a surprise attack, and he captured Xuchu Yiyu alive, along with his entire army.

Xuchu Quanchu was greatly afraid, and he cut his hair and marked his face with a blade as signs of his wish to surrender. You Ziyuan sent a report to Liu Yao, and he appointed Xuchu Quanchu as General Who Conquers The West and Duke of the Western Rong. He also sent Xuchu Yiyu and his brothers to Chang'an, along with more than two hundred thousand people from their tribes. Liu Yao appointed You Ziyuan as Grand Minister Over The Masses and chief of the affairs of the Masters of Writing.

〈謂帝王之事,非常人所望。〉〈梟,不孝鳥。《說文》,日至捕梟,磔之,以頭掛木上。故今謂掛首爲梟首。〉〈彌,滿也。〉〈剺,以刀劃面也。〉〈啓,開也;開陳其事以白於上謂之啓。〉

(You Ziyuan was saying that the matters of kings or emperors were not what concerned the common people among the rebels.

The owl is an unfilial bird. According to the Shuowen dictionary, when the sun catches an owl, it dismembers it and hangs its head up on a tree. This is why the term "to owl a head" has come to mean to hang up a severed head.

The term 彌 here means "to fill, filled".

The term 剺 means to mark the face with a blade.

The term 啓 means "to report"; You Ziyuan made a report of the circumstances and sent it up to Liu Yao.)


曜立太學,選民之神志可敎者千五百人,擇儒臣以敎之。作酆明觀及西宮,起陵霄臺於滈池,又於霸陵西南營壽陵。侍中喬豫、和苞上疏諫,以爲:「衞文公承亂亡之後,節用愛民,營建宮室,得其時制,故能興康叔之業,延九百之祚。前奉詔書營酆明觀,市道細民咸譏其奢曰:『以一觀之功,足以平涼州矣!』今又欲擬阿房而建西宮,法瓊臺而起陵霄,其爲勞費,億萬酆明;若以資軍旅,乃可兼吳、蜀而壹齊、魏矣!又聞營建壽陵,周圍四里,深三十五丈,以銅爲椁,飾以黃金;功費若此,殆非國內所能辦也。秦始皇下錮三泉,土未乾而發毀。自古無不亡之國,不掘之墓,故聖王之儉葬,乃深遠之慮也。陛下柰何於中興之日,而踵亡國之事乎!」曜下詔曰:「二侍中懇懇有古人之風,可謂社稷之臣矣;其悉罷宮室諸役;壽陵制度,一遵霸陵之法。封豫安昌子,苞平輿子,並領諫議大夫;仍布告天下,使知區區之朝,欲聞其過也。」又省酆水囿以與貧民。

14. Liu Yao established the Imperial Academy, selecting fifteen hundred people among the commoners that had exceptional potential and choosing Confucian scholars to teach them.

Liu Yao engaged in several building projects. He built the Fengming Temple and the Western Palace, he raised the Lingxiao Pavilion at Hao Pond, and to the southwest of Ba Tomb (the burial place of Emperor Wen of Han) he constructed Shou Tomb. The Palace Attendants Qiao Yu and He Bao sent up a petition remonstrating with him, stating, "When the ancient state of Wey suffered from turmoil and ruin, Duke Wen of Wey was measured in his administration and respectful of the people, and in the construction and raising of palaces and buildings he acted in accordance with the times. This was why he was able to restore the old endeavor of his ancestor Kang Shu, and the state of Wey was able to endure for nine hundred years.

"But when you sent out your earlier edict announcing the construction of Fengming Temple, the common people in the roads of the marketplace mocked it, saying, 'With all the effort it will take just to build this one temple, we would be able to pacify Liangzhou!' Now you even wish to emulate the Epang Palace by building your own Western Palace, and you want to copy the Qiong Pavilion by raising your own Lingxiao Pavilion. The funds and labor it would take to build these things would be enough for ten thousand Fengming Temples. If you would use such resources for military matters instead, you would be able to annex Wu and Shu (Cheng and Jin) and conquer Qi and Wei (Cao Yi and Later Zhao)!

"And we have also heard that you are planning to build this Shou Tomb, which is to be four square li in size and thirty-five zhang in depth, with copper for the coffin and gold for the gilt. The resources and labor required to build such a thing are nearly more than the whole state can provide. Emperor Qin Shihuang built a tomb with three sunken springs filled with mercury, and yet the earth of his tomb had not yet dried before it was unearthed and ruined.

"Ever since ancient times, there has never been a state that came to ruin that did not first tear out its own foundations. This is why kings of great wisdom conduct frugal burials, and focus their cares and concerns on the distant future. Your Majesty, you were the one who revived the state; why should you also be the source of its ruin?"

Liu Yao issued an edict stating, "The two Palace Attendants are earnest indeed and follow the traditions of the ancients. They could truly be said to be ministers of the very state itself. I now order construction work on all the palaces and such buildings to be halted, and Shou Tomb shall honor the example of Ba Tomb by being built only to that same extent. I hereby grant Qiao Yu noble title as Earl of Anchang and He Bao as Earl of Pingyu, and both of them are appointed as acting Grandees Remonstrant. And I further send word to all corners of the realm, that I wish to hear of my transgressions from anyone who knows where my court has done wrong."

Liu Yao also built a park on the Feng River and shared it with the poor.

〈司馬彪曰:鎬在上林苑中。孟康曰:長安西南有鎬池。《古史考》曰:武王遷鎬,長安豐亭鎬池也。〉〈衞爲狄人所滅,文公徙居楚丘,大布之衣,大帛之冠,務材訓農,通商惠工,始建城市而營宮室,得其時制,百姓悅之,國家殷富,衞以復興。自康叔始封於衞,至秦始滅,延祚九百餘年。〉〈言以起一觀之功力,足以平河西張氏。〉〈吳,謂晉;蜀,謂李特;齊,謂曹嶷;魏,謂石勒。〉〈詳見三十一卷漢成帝永始元年劉向封事。〉〈曜平靳氏之難而自立,故其臣謂之中興。〉〈豐水出京兆南山,東北流注于渭。曜立囿於豐水左右。〉

(Regarding Hao Pond, Sima Biao remarked, "Hao was in the Shanglin Garden." Meng Kang remarked, "There was a Hao Pond southwest of Chang'an." Qiao Zhou's Analysis of Ancient Histories states, "King Wu of Zhou moved to Hao; this was the same place as Hao Podg at Feng Point at Chang'an."

When the ancient state of Wey was overrun by the Rong tribes, Duke Wen moved his residence to Chuqiu. He dressed himself only in large cloth and wore only a large white cap, he tended to the villages and supervised the farmers, he oversaw the merchants and was kind to the artisans, and he established marketplaces and walls first before building palaces. Thus were his building projects 'in accordance with the times', and the common people were pleased with him. The state grew prosperous again, and Wey was revived. From Wey's beginning at the time it was granted to Kang Shu as his fief, until its ultimate destruction by the Qin dynasty, was a period of more than nine hundred years.

The people in the marketplace were saying that with the effort it would take to build Fengming Temple alone, they would be able to conquer the Zhang clan of Hexi (Former Liang).

When Qiao Yu and He Bao mention "Wu and Shu" and "Qi and Wei", they mean the geographical regions. "Shu" meant the Li clan of Cheng-Han; "Wu" meant the remnant Jin dynasty; "Qi" meant the warlord Cao Yi; "Wei" meant the Shi clan of Later Zhao.

More remonstrations regarding such tomb projects can be seen in the account of Liu Xiangfeng, in Book 31, in Emperor Cheng of Han's first year of Yongshi (16 BC).

Liu Yao had conquered the Jin clan and set himself up as the new Emperor of Han-Zhao, which is why they say that he "restored the state".

The Feng River emerged from the southern hills of Jingzhao commandary, and flowed northeast until it joined the Wei River. Liu Yao built this park along either side of the river.)


三年五月,西明門內大樹風吹折,經一宿,樹拔變為人形,頭髮一尺,鬚眉三寸,皆黃白色,有斂手之狀,亦有兩腳著履之形。唯無目鼻,每夜有聲,十日而生柯條,遂為大樹,枝葉甚茂。四年,將於霸陵西南營壽陵,侍中喬豫、和苞上疏諫曰:「臣等伏聞敕旨將營建壽陵,周圍四里,下深二十五丈,以銅為棺槨,黃金飾之。臣聞堯葬穀林,市不改肆。顓頊葬高陽,下不及泉。聖王之於終事如是。秦始皇下錮三泉,周輪七里,身亡之後,毀不旋踵,暗王之於終也如此。從喪亂以來,漢帝諸陵,咸見踐辱,唯霸陵獨全。此雖太宗之達至然,抑亦釋之之功。興亡奢儉,炯然於前,唯陛下覽之。」曜大悅。終南山崩,所得白玉方尺,有字曰:「皇亡皇亡,敗趙昌。」以為己瑞,羣臣咸賀。中書監劉均曰:「山崩石壞,國傾民亂。『皇亡皇亡敗趙昌』者,此言皇室將為趙所敗,趙因之而昌。大趙都于秦雍,而勒跨全趙。趙昌之應,當在石勒,不在我也。」曜憮然改容。(Annals of the Sixteen Kingdoms 1, Biography of Liu Yao)

In the third year of Yongguang (320), the fifth month, a great tree inside the Ximing Gate was snapped off by the wind. The tree passed into a house, where it changed into the form of a man, with hair one chi long and a beard and eyebrows three cun long, all colored yellow-white. It had the appearance of shrunken hands and of two legs wearing clogs. It was only missing eyes and a nose. Every night, it made a sound. After ten days, it sprouted branches and twigs, and it became a great tree again, with exceptionally rich branches and leaves.

In the fourth year of Yongguang (321), Liu Yao was planning to build Shou Tomb southwest of Ba Tomb. The Palace Attendants, Qiao Yu and He Bao, sent up a petition remonstrating with him, stating, "We have heard that you have issued a decree and are planning to build this Shou Tomb, which is to be four square li in size and twenty-five zhang in depth, with copper for the coffin and gold for the gilt. We have heard that when the ancient Emperor Yao was buried at Gulin, the operations of the market were not interfered with; when Emperor Zhuanxu was buried at Gaoyang, his tomb was no lower than the water level. This is the way that sage kings depart from the world. On the other hand, Emperor Qin Shihuang built a tomb with three sunken springs filled with mercury, and the complex was seven square li across. Yet no sooner had he died than his tomb was ruined. This is the way that foolish kings depart from the world. All during the recent turmoil up until now, we have seen that all the tombs of the Han emperors have been ransacked and besmirched; only Ba Tomb has remained completely intact. That is because although Taizong (Emperor Wen of Han) was an accomplished man, he also knew to curb and restrain himself in the building of his tomb, and that has been his achievement. We have clear examples of such rises and falls, such frugality and waste. Your Majesty need only reflect upon them."

Liu Yao was delighted.

During the winter, the southern hills near Chang'an collapsed, revealing a white jade one chi square. The jade had writing on it that said, "Fallen Emperor, Fallen Emperor, defeat is a blessing for Zhao". Liu Yao believed that this meant good luck for himself, and his ministers all congratulated him.

But the Chief of the Palace Secretariat, Liu Jun, said, "For the hills to collapse and the stones to break apart is an omen that the state will be overthrown and the people will be thrown into chaos. As for this 'Fallen Emperor' and 'defeat is a blessing for Zhao', these words indicate that the royal family will soon be defeated by Zhao (that is, Shi Le's state of Later Zhao), and it is for that reason that it will be 'a blessing for Zhao'. Our own state of Great Zhao has its capital in the regions of Qinzhou and Yongzhou, but it is Shi Le who stands astride the actual region of Zhao. So the blessing for Zhao will be for Shi Le's sake, not for us."

Liu Yao looked disappointed, and his expression changed.


祖逖將韓潛與後趙將桃豹分據陳川故城,豹居西臺,潛居東臺,豹由南門,潛由東門,出入相守四旬。逖以布囊盛土如米狀,使千餘人運上臺,又使數人擔米,息於道。豹兵逐之,棄擔而走。豹兵久飢,得米,以爲逖士衆豐飽,益懼。後趙將劉夜堂以驢千頭運糧饋豹,逖使韓潛及別將馮鐵邀擊於汴水,盡獲之。豹宵遁,屯東燕城,逖使潛進屯封丘以逼之。馮鐵據二臺,逖鎭雍丘,數遣兵邀擊後趙兵,後趙鎭戍歸逖者甚多,境土漸蹙。

15. Zu Ti's general Han Qian and the Later Zhao general Tao Bao jointly occupied the rebel Chen Chuan’s former city, with Tao Bao residing at the Western Terrace and Han Qian residing at the Eastern Terrace. Tao Bao would enter the city from the southern gate, while Han Qian would enter it from the eastern gate. With each of them going in and out, they held the city together for forty days.

Then Zu Ti packed great mounds of earth into bags of cloth, so that they resembled bags filled with rice, and he sent more than a thousand men to transport these bags up to the Terrace, along with several men to carry some actual rice in the open. When this party stopped along the road to rest, Tao Bao sent troops to come after them, and they abandoned the rice and fled. Tao Bao's soldiers had been hungry for quite some time, so they took this rice, and they believed that Zu Ti's troops were even more well-fed, so they became more afraid.

The Later Zhao general Liu Yetang sent a thousand donkeys to transport grain to feed Tao Bao's soldiers. Zu Ti sent Han Qian and another general, Feng Tie, to intercept this convoy at the Bian River and attack it, and they captured all the grain.

Tao Bao fled his position during the night and shifted his camp to the city of Dongye, and Zu Ti ordered Han Qian to advance to camp at Fengqiu to keep up the pressure on Tao Bao. Feng Tie occupied the two terraces, while Zu Ti made his base at Yongqiu. Several times he sent his soldiers out to intercept and attack the Later Zhao soldiers, and a great many of the Later Zhao camps went over to his side. The Later Zhao border region was put under more and more strain.

〈先以囊盛土運之,潛所以疑之也;又使人擔米以餌豹兵,示之以實也。〉〈《水經註》:蒗X渠水,自中牟東流,至浚儀縣,分爲二水,南流者曰沙水,東注者曰汴水;汴水東流入梁郡。〉〈卽漢東郡燕縣也,後魏置東燕縣,屬陳留郡,隋改爲胙城縣,屬東郡,唐屬滑州。豹兵已有懼心,糧又爲逖所獲,故宵遁也。〉〈封丘、雍丘二縣,皆屬陳留郡。《春秋傳》,敗狄于長丘,在封丘界。雍丘,故杞國也。〉

(Zu Ti first transported the sacks of earth to arouse Han Qian's suspicions. Then he sent the men carrying the actual rice to bait Tao Bao's soldiers into attacking that party, to display Tao Bao's true intentions.

The Commentary on the Water Classic states, "The Langdangqu River flows east from Zhongmou. When it reaches Junyi County, it splits into two rivers. The southern one of these is called the Sha River, while the eastern one is called the Bian River. The Bian River flows east into Liang commandary."

During Han, there was a Yan County in Dong commandary. Northern Wei made it into Dongyan County, as part of Chenliu commandary. Sui changed its name to Zuocheng County, as part of Dong commandary. During Tang, it was part of Huazhou.

Tao Bao's soldiers were already afraid, and then Zu Ti captured their grain as well. This was why they fled their position during the night.

The two counties of Fengqiu and Yongqiu were both part of Chenliu commandary. In the Spring and Autumn Annals, the Di tribes are defeated at Zhangqiu; this was within the territory of Fengqiu County. Yongqiu was originally the site of the ancient state of Guo.)


先是,趙固、上官巳、李矩、郭默,互相攻擊,逖馳使和解之,示以禍福,遂皆受逖節度。秋,七月,詔加逖鎭西將軍。逖在軍,與將士同甘苦,約己務施,勸課農桑,撫納新附,雖疏賤者皆結以恩禮。河上諸塢,先有任子在後趙者,皆聽兩屬,時遣游軍僞抄之,明其未附。塢主皆感恩,後趙有異謀,輒密以告,由是多所克獲,自河以南,多叛後趙歸于晉。

16. Before now, the Jin generals Zhao Gu, Shangguan Si, Li Ju, and Guo Mo had all quarreled with and attacked one another. Zu Ti had sent messengers around to them to arrange peace and halt the infighting, explaining the advantages and disadvantages of their situations. So they all accepted Zu Ti's authority over them.

In autumn, the seventh month, Sima Rui issued an edict promoting Zu Ti as General Who Guards The West. During the time that Zu Ti was with his army, he shared weal and woe together with his officers and soldiers. He personally oversaw affairs, encouraging and instructing the people in farming and silkworm cultivation. He nurtured and reassured those who had only recently come over to his side, and he even treated the poor with grace and respect.

There were many independent fortresses along the Yellow River which had previously sent relatives to serve in Later Zhao, and they all paid heed to both sides. So Zu Ti sent mobile armies to pretend to raid the areas, in order to force them to choose sides. The leaders of these fortresses were all grateful to Zu Ti, and those among the Later Zhao army who plotted against them informed Zu Ti. So Zu Ti was able to achieve many success and take many captives, and much of the region south of the Yellow River rebelled against Later Zhao and sided with Jin.

〈居兩界之上者,聽其兩屬,因以爲間。〉

(The fortresses were located on the border between the two forces and paid heed to both sides because of their positions.)


逖練兵積穀,爲取河北之計。後趙王勒患之,乃下幽州爲逖脩祖、父墓,置守冢二家,因與逖書,求通使及互市。逖不報書,而聽其互市,收利十倍。逖牙門童建殺新蔡內史周密,降于後趙,勒斬之,送首於逖曰:「叛臣逃吏,吾之深仇,將軍之惡,猶吾惡也。」逖深德之,自是後趙人叛歸逖者,逖皆不納,禁諸將不使侵暴後趙之民,邊境之間,稍得休息。

17. Zu Ti drilled his soldiers and gathered more grain supplies, planning to extend his campaign north of the Yellow River as well. Shi Le was wary of him, and so he sent orders to Youzhou to have the tombs of Zu Ti's grandfather and father restored on his behalf, as well as appointing two families to watch over the tombs. He sent Zu Ti a letter, asking to exchange messengers and establish trade relations. Zu Ti did not reply to the letter, but he did agree to trade, which reaped a ten-fold benefit.

Zu Ti's General of the Standard, Tong Jian, killed the Interior Minister of Xincha, Zhou Mi, and then surrendered to Later Zhao. But Shi Le beheaded Tong Jian and sent his head back to Zu Ti, along with this message: "I deeply despise rebel ministers and traitorous officials. General, what is evil to you is also evil to me." Zu Ti deeply respected Shi Le for this act. From then on, whenever someone from Later Zhao tried to defect to Zu Ti, he refused to accept them. He also forbade his generals from plundering the people of Later Zhao. So things on the border between Zu Ti and Shi Le gradually settled down.

〈逖,范陽人,其祖、父墓在焉。〉〈《姓譜》:顓頊子老童之後,以爲氏。〉〈逖聽河上諸塢兩屬,此用間之智也。然石勒爲逖脩祖、父墓,斬童建而送其首,亦所以懈逖推鋒越河之心。〉

(Zu Ti was a native of Fanyang. This was why his grandfather and father were buried there.

The Registry of Surnames states, "Those with the surname 童 Tong are the descendants of Emperor Zhuanxu's son Laotong, who took his name as their clan name."

When Zu Ti won over the various fortresses along the Yellow River that were split between both sides, he was cleverly using the policy of sowing discord. However, when Shi Le restored the tombs of Zu Ti's father and grandfather and beheaded Tong Jian and sent the head back to Zu Ti, he also eased tensions with Zu Ti and sapped his former zeal to cross the Yellow River.)


八月,辛未,梁州刺史周訪卒。訪善於撫士,衆皆爲致死。知王敦有不臣之心,私常切齒,敦由是終訪之世,未敢爲逆。敦遣從事中郎郭舒監襄陽軍,帝以湘州刺史甘卓爲梁州刺史,督沔北諸軍事,鎭襄陽。舒旣還,帝徵爲右丞;敦留不遣。

18. In the eighth month, on the day Xinwei (?), Zhou Fang passed away.

Zhou Fang was skilled at nurturing (or, receiving) soldiers, and they would all fight to the death for him. Zhou Fang knew that Wang Dun had a disloyal heart, and he was always gnashing his teeth at him. Wang Dun never dared to turn traitor while Zhou Fang was still alive.

After Zhou Fang's death, Wang Dun sent the Attendant Officer of the Household Gentlemen, Guo Shu, to temporarily take charge of his army at Xiangyang. Sima Rui appointed the Inspector of Xiangzhou, Gan Zhuo, as the new Inspector of Lianzhou and Commander of military affairs north of the Mian River, and Gan Zhuo was stationed at Xiangyang to replace Zhou Fang. When Guo Shu returned from his assignment, Sima Rui summoned him to come serve as Assistant of the Right in Jiankang. But Wang Dun kept Guo Shu with him and would not send him away.

〈【章:甲十一行本「撫」下有「納」字;乙十一行本同;孔本同;張校同。】〉〈切齒,上下齒相磨切也。〉〈王敦憚周訪而不敢爲逆,至其舉兵也,不以甘卓爲虞,亦可謂姦雄矣!〉

(Some versions state that Zhou Fang was skilled at "receiving" soldiers.

Gnashing the teeth means having the upper and lower teeth grind against each other.

Wang Dun feared Zhou Fang and did not dare rebel while he was alive. But he now raised troops because he was not worried about Gan Zhuo. Truly we could call him a cunning villain!)


訪威風既著,遠近悅服,智勇過人,為中興名將。性謙虛,未嘗論功伐。或問訪曰:「人有小善,鮮不自稱。卿功勳如此,初無一言何也?」訪曰:「朝廷威靈,將士用命,訪何功之有!」士以此重之。訪練兵簡卒,欲宣力中原,與李矩、郭默相結,慨然有平河、洛之志。善於撫納,士眾皆為致死。聞敦有不臣之心,訪恆切齒。敦雖懷逆謀,故終訪之世未敢為非。初,訪少時遇善相者廬江陳訓,謂訪與陶侃曰:「二君皆位至方嶽,功名略同,但陶得上壽,周當下壽,優劣更由年耳。」訪小侃一歲,太興三年卒,時年六十一。帝哭之甚慟,詔贈征西將軍,諡曰壯,立碑於本郡。二子:撫、光。(Book of Jin 58, Biography of Zhou Fang)

Zhou Fang's power and might were so established that people near and far admired him; his cunning and boldness surpassed others, and he was a renowned general of the restoration of the dynasty. Yet he remained modest and unassuming, and he never bragged of his achievements. Someone once asked him, "Even a common fellow would boast of a minor accomplishment. When then, when your own deeds are so great, do you never speak a word of them?"

Zhou Fang replied, "It is the power and aura of the court which makes such things possible, and we generals and officers are merely carrying out their orders. What accomplishments do I have to speak of?" Such things won him the appreciation of the officers.

Zhou Fang kept his weapons in order and drilled his soldiers, planning to extend his reach across the Central Plains. He hoped to join forces with Li Ju and Guo Mo (who were still maintaining positions in the north), and he had a passionate ambition to restore peace to the regions around the Yellow and Luo Rivers. He was skilled at nurturing and receiving, and his soldiers would all give their very lives for him.

Zhou Fang knew that Wang Dun had a disloyal heart, and he was always gnashing his teeth at him. Though Wang Dun harbored treasonous plans, he never dared to act on them while Zhou Fang was still alive.

Long ago, when Zhou Fang was still young, he had met a certain fellow who was good at appraising people, Chen Xun of Lujiang commandary. Chen Xun had told Zhou Fang and Tao Kan, "You two gentlemen will rise in office as high as being great border commanders, and you shall be equally renowned and accomplished for your strategies. But Master Tao shall have the longer life and Master Zhou the shorter. The difference between you shall only be because of your years." Zhou Fang was one year younger than Tao Kan.

In the third year of Taixing (320), Zhou Fang passed away; he was sixty years old. Emperor Yuan (Sima Rui) greatly wept and mourned for him. Zhou Fang was posthumously appointed as General Who Conquers The West and granted the posthumous name Zhuang, and a stele was raised for him in his home commandary. He had two sons: Zhou Fu and Zhou Guang.


後趙王勒遣中山公虎帥步騎四萬擊徐龕,龕送妻子爲質,乞降,勒許之。蔡豹屯卞城,石虎將擊之,豹退守下邳,爲徐龕所敗。虎引兵城封丘而旋,徙士族三百家置襄國崇仁里,置公族大夫以領之。

19. Shi Le sent Shi Hu to lead forty thousand horse and foot to attack Xu Kan. Xu Kan sent his wife and children as hostages and begged to surrender, and Shi Le permitted it.

The Jin general Cai Bao was camped at Biancheng. Shi Hu advanced and attacked him, and Cai Bao retreated to guard Xiapi, but he was defeated by Xu Kan.

Shi Hu led his troops as far as Fengqiu before circling back. He relocated three hundred gentry families to the newly-created Chongren Region at Xiangguo, and he created Grandees of Nobles Clans to supervise these people.

〈勒許龕降,力未能取龕耳;觀其後殺龕,足以知其心。〉〈卞縣,屬魯國。劉昫曰:隋於卞縣古城置泗水縣,唐屬兗州。〉〈崇仁里,勒所命名,以處衣冠之族。〉

(Shi Le only accepted Xu Kan's surrender because he did not yet have the strength to capture him. When we see how he later killed Xu Kan, we can know his intentions here.

Bian County was part of the Lu princely fief. Liu Xu remarked, "Sui created Sishui County at Gucheng in Bian County. During Tang, it was part of Yanzhou."

The Chongren ("Sublime Benevolence") Region was so named by Shi Le; he created it as a place to control the clans of the scholar-officials.)


後趙王勒用法甚嚴,諱「胡」尤峻,宮殿旣成,初有門戶之禁。有醉胡乘馬,突入止車門。勒大怒,責宮門小執法馮翥。翥惶懼忘諱,對曰:「向有醉胡,乘馬馳入,甚呵禦之,而不可與語。」勒笑曰:「胡人正自難與言。」恕而不罪。

20. Shi Le was very strict in enforcing his laws. One such law was a strict taboo on saying the word "hu", or "barbarian".

Since Shi Le's palace had been completed, he began enforcing restrictions on passage through its gates. There was an incident where a drunken tribesmen, riding on a rushing horse, burst through the gate designated for carriages. Shi Le was absolutely furious, and he blamed the Junior Enforcer of the Palace Gates, Feng Zhu. Feng Zhu was so afraid that, when he responded to Shi Le, he forgot about the taboo. He said, "When that drunken barbarian was rushing in on his horse, I yelled intensely ordering him to halt, but I could not communicate with him."

Shi Le laughed and said, "Even I am having difficulties now communicating with barbarians." And he forgave Feng Zhu rather than punish him.

〈勒本胡人,故以爲諱。〉〈執法,御史之官也。紫宮南蕃中二星曰左、右執法。晉之故臣爲勒定官制,取此置宮門執法,卽以張賓爲大執法,總朝政,故宮門置小執法。〉

(Shi Le was himself a tribesman, and so he imposed this taboo on the word "hu" because that was a derogatory term for such peoples.

Enforcers were officials of the Imperial Secretariat. The Purple Palace Enclosure of the night sky had two stars on its southern border called the Enforcers of the Left and Right. Shi Le had adopted the same bureaucratic system that Jin had established, and so he had such Enforcers of the Palace Gates. Zhang Bin was appointed as Grand Enforcer, and he controlled the affairs of the court and the state, so there were Junior Enforcers at the Palace Gates.)


勒使張賓領選,初定五品,後更定九品。命公卿及州郡歲舉秀才、至孝、廉清、賢良、直言、武勇之士各一人。

21. Shi Le had Zhang Bin organize a ranks system. Zhang Bin originally established a system of Five Ranks, but he later shifted to one of Nine Ranks. Shi Le also ordered the various provinces and commandaries to each annually nominate Abundant Talent, Outstanding Filial Piety, Honest and Pure, Worthy and Excellent, Forthright Candor, and Martial Valor candidates, one for each title.

〈石勒立國,粗有綱紀,石虎繼之,無復有是。〉

(With Shi Le having established his own state, he organized a rough semblance of laws and social order. But when Shi Hu succeeded him, he did not maintain such things.)


西平公張茂立兄子駿爲世子。

22. In Liangzhou, Zhang Mao appointed his nephew Zhang Jun as his heir.

蔡豹旣敗,將詣建康歸罪,北中郎將王舒止之。帝聞豹退,遣使收之。舒夜以兵圍豹,豹以爲他寇,帥麾下擊之,聞有詔,乃止。舒執豹送建康,冬,十月,丙辰,斬之。

23. Since Cai Bao had been defeated, he was about to return to Jiankang to admit his crime. But the General of the Household Gentlemen of the North, Wang Shu, stopped him. When Sima Rui heard that Cai Bao had retreated, he sent orders to arrest him. Wang Shu led his soldiers to surround Cai Bao's camp during the night. Cai Bao thought that someone was attacking him, and he led his subordinates to fight back. But when he heard that Wang Shu was bearing an imperial edict, he stopped. Wang Shu arrested Cai Bao and sent him on to Jiankang. In winter, the tenth month, on the day Bingchen (?), Cai Bao was beheaded.

王敦殺武陵內史向碩。

24. Wang Dun killed the Interior Minister of Wuling, Xiang Shuo.

〈史書王敦專殺,以著其無君之罪。〉

(This passage shows that Wang Dun was already presuming the power to kill people, and blaming him for not heeding his sovereign.)


帝之始鎭江東也,敦與從弟導同心翼戴,帝亦推心任之,敦總征討,導專機政,羣從子弟布列顯要,時人爲之語曰:「王與馬,共天下。」後敦自恃有功,且宗族強盛,稍益驕恣,帝畏而惡之,乃引劉隗、刁協等以爲腹心,稍抑損王氏之權,導亦漸見疏外。中書郎孔愉陳導忠賢,有佐命之勳,宜加委任;帝出愉爲司徒左長史。導能任眞推分,澹如也,有識皆稱其善處興廢。而敦益懷不平,遂構嫌隙。

25. When Sima Rui had first taken up his post in the Southland, Wang Dun and Wang Dao had both supported him as his wings, and Sima Rui had also trusted in them and relied upon them. Wang Dun took charge of military affairs and campaigns, while Wang Dao took charge of the governance of the region. Even their younger relatives all held important posts. The people of that time had a saying: "The king (Wang) and the horse ([Si]ma) rule the realm together."

But later, Wang Dun became arrogant because of his achievements, and his clan became even more powerful and abundant. With every gain, Wang Dun's arrogance grew still more. Sima Rui feared Wang Dun and was wary of him, so he brought in Liu Wei, Diao Xie, and other such people to serve as his trusted assistants, and he gradually clamped down on the influence of the Wang clan.

Even Wang Dao was gradually held more and more at arm's length. The Gentleman of the Palace Secretariat, Kong Yu, explained how Wang Dao was still a loyal and worthy man who had done much in obedience to Sima Rui's orders, and he ought to still keep a chief post. But Sima Rui sent Kong Yu away to serve as Chief Clerk of the Left to the Minister Over The Masses.

Wang Dao was able to accept his marginalization without fuss, remaining as peaceful as before, and those who were aware of it commended him for his graceful handling of his rise and his fall. But Wang Dun became even more uneasy than before, and so mutual suspicion increased still further.

〈懷帝永嘉五年,帝以敦刺揚州,加都督征討諸軍事,其討華軼、杜弢、王機、杜曾,皆其功也。〉〈尚書,萬機之本,導錄尚書事,是專機政也。〉〈史言導所以福祚流子孫,敦所隕身喪元,禍及王含父子。〉

(In Emperor Huai's fifth year of Yongjia (311), Sima Rui had appointed Wang Dun as Inspector of Yangzhou and promoted him as Commander of the expeditionary armies. Wang Dun had then campaigned against the rebels Hua Yi, Du Tao, Wang Ji, and Du Zeng, and won merits in his conquest of each of them.

The Masters of Writing served as the basis of all government affairs. Since Wang Dao had overseen the Masters of Writing, he "took charge of governance".

This passage shows how Wang Dao was able to extend good fortune to his descendants, while Wang Dun's fall not only cost him his own life, but his misfortune even claimed the lives of Wang Han and his sons.)


帝初鎮江東,威名未著,敦與從弟導等同心翼戴,以隆中興,時人為之語曰:「王與馬,共天下。」...初,敦務自矯厲,雅尚清談,口不言財色。既素有重名,又立大功于江左,專任閫外,手控強兵,群從貴顯,威權莫貳,遂欲專制朝廷,有問鼎之心。帝畏而惡之,遂引劉隗、刁協等以為心膂。敦益不能平,於是嫌隙始構矣。每酒後輒詠魏武帝樂府歌曰:「老驥伏櫪,志在千里。烈士暮年,壯心不已。」以如意打唾壺為節,壺邊盡缺。及湘州刺史甘卓遷梁州,敦欲以從事中郎陳頒代卓,帝不從,更以譙王承鎮湘州。敦復上表陳古今忠臣見疑于君,而蒼蠅之人交構其間,欲以感動天子。帝愈忌憚之。俄加敦羽葆鼓吹,增從事中郎、掾屬、舍人各二人。帝以劉隗為鎮北將軍,戴若思為征西將軍,悉發揚州奴為兵,外以討胡,實禦敦也。(Book of Jin 98, Biography of Wang Dun)

When Sima Rui had only just arrived at his post in the Southland, his power and influence were not yet established there. Wang Dun, his cousin Wang Dao, and others all supported Sima Rui and served as his wings, thus allowing the restoration of the dynasty to become a reality. The people of that time had a saying: "The king (Wang) and the horse ([Si]ma) rule the realm together." And originally, although Wang Dun had been arrogant and stern in his duties, he had been practiced in using refined speech and never once spoke of wealth or sensual pleasures.

But by now, after having made a great name for himself and performing great deeds in the Southland, Wang Dun held command over a border post and had strong soldiers at his disposal, his followers all honored and exalted him, and his power and authority knew no peer. So he wished to wield control over the court itself, and he had a heart that "inquired after the tripods" of imperial rule. Emperor Yuan (Sima Rui) feared Wang Dun and was wary of him, so he brought in Liu Wei, Diao Xie, and others to serve as his confidantes. But this only made Wang Dun more uneasy of his own position. All this brought about mutual suspicion and distrust between both sides.

Whenever Wang Dun drank, he would sing the lines of Wu of Wei's (Cao Cao's) yuefu poem (Though The Tortoise Lives Long): "An old war-horse may be stabled, yet still it longs to gallop a thousand li. And a noble-hearted man though advanced in years, never abandons his proud aspirations." And he would drum a spittoon with his ruyi scepter, until the sides of the spittoon were all dented.


初,敦辟吳興沈充爲參軍,充薦同郡錢鳳於敦,敦以爲鎧曹參軍。二人皆巧諂凶狡,知敦有異志,陰贊成之,爲之畫策;敦寵信之,勢傾內外。敦上疏爲導訟屈,辭語怨望。導封以還敦,敦復遣奏之。左將軍譙王氶,忠厚有志行,帝親信之。夜,召氶,以敦疏示之,曰:「王敦以頃年之功,位任足矣;而所求不已,言至於此,將若之何?」氶曰:「陛下不早裁之,以至今日,敦必爲患。」

26. Before this time, Wang Dun had recruited Shen Chong of Wuxing commandary to serve as his Army Advisor. Shen Chong had recommended that Wang Dun also employ his fellow commandary native, Qian Feng, and so Wang Dun had appointed Qian Feng as Army Advisor of Armor Management. These two men were crafty and cunning, wicked and flattering. They knew that Wang Dun had sinister intentions, and they secretly egged him on to carry out his desires and made plans on his behalf. Wang Dun favored and trusted them, and so their influence was felt near and far.

Wang Dun sent up a petition disputing the injustice that Wang Dao had suffered, expressing both his resentment and his hopes. Wang Dao sealed up the petition and sent it back to Wang Dun, but Wang Dun simply submitted it again.

The General of the Left and Prince of Qiao, Sima Zheng, was honest, sincere, and ambitious. Sima Rui was close to him and trusted him. One night, he summoned Sima Zheng and showed him Wang Dun's petition. He said, "For all the achievements Wang Dun has made over the past few years, he deserves his current position. But he keeps demanding more all the time, and now he has even written such words as this. What should I do about him?"

Sima Zheng replied, "It was because Your Majesty did not restrain him before that things have come to this. He shall certainly become a threat to you."

〈導錄尚書,先見敦疏,故封還之。〉〈以此觀之,則前作「承」,誤也。〉

(Wang Dao oversaw the affairs of the Masters of Writing. This was why he was able to see Wang Dun's petition before others, and thus seal it up and send it back to him.

We can see from this passage calling the Prince of Qiao "Sima 氶 Zheng" that the earlier instance of the Prince of Qiao being called "Sima 承 Cheng" was a mistake (317.9).)


太興初,拜屯騎校尉,加輔國將軍,領左軍將軍。承居官儉約,家無別室。尋加散騎常侍,輔國、左軍如故。王敦有無君之心,表疏輕慢。帝夜召承,以敦表示之,曰:「王敦頃年位任足矣,而所求不已,言至於此,將若之何?」承曰:「陛下不早裁之,難將作矣。」(Book of Jin 37, Biography of Sima Cheng)

At the beginning of the Taixing reign era (~318), Sima Cheng was appointed as Colonel of Massed Cavalry. He was then promoted to be General Who Upholds The State and acting General of the Left Army.

Sima Cheng was frugal and thrifty in office, and he did not house his family in a separate residence. He was soon promoted to Cavalier In Regular Attendance, while keeping his original authority as General Who Upholds The State and General of the Left Army.

Wang Dun had a heart that knew no sovereign, and he slighted the court whenever he sent in petitions and memorials. Emperor Yuan summoned Sima Cheng during the night and showed him one of Wang Dun's petitions, saying to him, "For all the achievements Wang Dun has made over the past few years, he deserves his current position. But he keeps demanding more all the time, and now he has even written such words as this. What should I do about him?"

Sima Cheng replied, "Your Majesty did not restrain him before, so it has become difficult to act now."

時劉隗用事,頗疏間王氏,導等甚不平之。敦上疏曰:導昔蒙殊寵,委以事機,虛己求賢,竭誠奉國,遂藉恩私,居輔政之重。帝王體遠,事義不同,雖皇極初建,道教方闡,惟新之美,猶有所闕。臣每慷慨於遐遠,愧憤于門宗,是以前後表疏,何嘗不寄言及此。陛下未能少垂顧眄,暢臣微懷,雲導頃見疏外,所陳如昨,而其萌已著,其為咎責,豈惟導身而已。群從所蒙,並過才分。導誠不能自量,陛下亦愛忘其短。常人近情,恃恩昧進,獨犯龍鱗,迷不自了。臣竊所自憂慮,未詳所由,惶愧踧躇,情如灰土。天下事大,盡理實難,導雖凡近,未有穢濁之累;既往之勳,疇昔之顧,情好綢繆,足以曆薄俗,明君臣,合德義,同古賢。昔臣親受嘉命,云:「吾與卿及茂弘當管鮑之交。」臣忝外任,漸冉十載,訓誘之誨,日有所忘;至於斯命,銘之於心,竊猶眷眷,謂前恩不得一朝而盡。伏惟陛下聖哲日新,廣延俊乂,臨之以政,齊之以禮。頃者令導內綜機密,出錄尚書,杖節京都,並統六軍,既為刺史,兼居重號,殊非人臣之體。流俗好評,必有譏謗,宜省錄尚書、杖節及都督。且王佐之器,當得宏達遠識、高正明斷、道德優備者,以臣暗識,未見其才。然於見人,未逾於導;加輔翼積年,實盡心力。霸王之主,何嘗不任賢使能,共相終始!管仲有三歸反坫之識,子犯有臨河要君之責,蕭何、周勃得罪囹圄,然終為良佐。以導之才,何能無失!當令任不過分,役其所長,以功補過,要之將來。導性慎密,尤能忍事,善於斟酌,有文章才義,動靜顧問,起予聖懷,外無過寵,公私得所。今皇祚肇建,八表承風;聖恩不終,則遐邇失望。天下荒弊,人心易動;物聽一移,將致疑惑。臣非敢苟私親親,惟欲忠於社稷。表至,導封以還敦,敦復遣奏之。(Book of Jin 98, Biography of Wang Dun)

At this time, Liu Wei wielded influence at court, and he was determined to defame and alienate the Wang clan. Wang Dao and the other members of the Wang clan felt very insecure because of this. So Wang Dun sent up a petition stating,

"For a long time now, Wang Dao has received exceptional favor and been entrusted with numerous affairs. Yet thinking little of himself, he has sought out worthy people and earnestly granted the state his full devotion, and rather than rely on the grace which he has been shown, he has taken up the burden of helping to uphold the state. When a king or emperor tries to embody the views of those who are far away, that does not necessarily align with what is right; when a dynasty has only just been established and proper education and virtue have only begun to spread, even a beautiful beginning can still be marred by fault. I myself have felt passionate about even such distant examples of this principle, so how can I not feel agitated and ashamed when the same thing now applies to my own household and clan? This is why none of the petitions and memorials which I have sent before have expressed my feelings as much as this one does.

"Yet Your Majesty is unwilling to lower your head and consider my cherished feelings, and so you declare that Wang Dao is to be put aside. If we consider the past, then Wang Dao has already covered his faults, and if he is indeed to be held responsible for them now, how can Wang Dao be the only one so blamed? Wang Dao surpasses all the meager talents of those followers whom you now favor, and if he truly has not restrained himself, Your Majesty ought to show him tolerance and forget his shortcomings.

"One hesitates to go against the grace one has been shown by opposing close feelings, even when the person in question is no more than a common fellow; how much more is this the case when one risks offending a dragon or leviathan, and is quite at a loss of what to do? I myself have failed to fully examine all the sources of my cares and concerns, and I tremble in fear and shame, my feelings like dust of the ground. Yet the affairs of the realm are so great that I must fully address the true difficulties. Though Wang Dao is a man of no great learning, he has never associated himself with filth. And considering all his good works up until now, you should consider your past relationship with him and the feelings of good sentiment you have shared. That would be sufficient to rectify poor customs, clarify the relationship between lord and sovereign, harmonize virtue and righteousness, and follow the examples of the worthies of old.

"When I received the honor of personally accepting your commission earlier, you told me then that 'When it comes to you and Maohong (Wang Dun), we three share the same good relationship as Guan Zhong and Bao Shuya". And unworthy though I was, you granted me a border post. Ten years have crept by since then. Yet though day by day I have forgotten other teachings and instructions since then, the words that you expressed at that time have been etched upon my heart. Even now, I feel that same yearning between us. It is for that reason that I ask that you not allow such past grace as you have shown to be totally undone in the space of a single morning.

"I implore Your Majesty to show a new course as a wise sovereign by showing magnanimity to a talented subject, keeping him in the government, and treating him with respect. It was not so long ago that you had Wang Dao take charge of your personal affairs within and oversee the Masters of Writing without, granted him authority over the capital and leadership over the six armies, appointed him as Inspector as well as the current high offices he now enjoys, and treated him with the utmost courtesy. Yet it is the nature of rumors and gossip that they love to criticize, and this always leads to slander, such as the one that has caused you to relieve Wang Dao of his positions as chief of the Masters of Writing, as a Credential Bearer, and as Commander.

"One who assists a sovereign should possess many qualities: broad knowledge and distant learning, lofty principles and perceptive decisiveness, proper virtue and exceptional preparedness. Now I myself admit to being blind and foolish, and I do not rise to such a level as that. But no one that I have ever met has matched Wang Dao in the respects that I have just mentioned, and beyond that, he has served the state for many years and given his whole heart to the cause. Furthermore, which hegemons or kings have not employed the worthy and used the talented, sticking by them from first to last? And which of such servants has avoided error? After all, Guan Zhong had his three wives and his cup stands in violation of propriety; Hu Yan made off with his own lord beside the Yellow River in violation of his will; Xiao He and Zhou Bo were outright charged with crimes and imprisoned. Yet in the end, all of these people proved to be excellent subordinates. So what people of Wang Dao's talents can avoid causing any offense?

"You should therefore order those in office not to go beyond their station, and taking notice of Wang Dao's seniority, you should allow his merits to make up for his faults, so that you may use him in the future. Wang Dao himself has a cautious and personal nature, and is especially suited to bearing with circumstances; he is excellent at deliberation, he has talent and propriety at literary compositions, he is a diligent and respectful advisor, he lifts up and presents wisdom and kindness, he displays no sign of being excessively favored, and he has the measure of both public and private affairs.

"Consider that the fortunes of the dynasty have only just been established, and the Eight Directions are still watching to see what will happen. If wisdom and grace do not last, then people both near and far will lose hope. The realm lies in ruins, and the hearts of the people are easily stirred; even a single action can cause them doubt and confusion.

"In all that I have said, I do not dare to act on behalf of the interests of my family; I only wish to show my loyalty to the fortunes of state."

When this petition arrived at court, Wang Dao sealed it up and sent it back to Wang Dun, but Wang Dun simply submitted it again.

沈充,字士居。少好兵書,頗以雄豪聞於鄉里。敦引為參軍,充因薦同郡錢鳳。鳳字世儀,敦以為鎧曹參軍,數得進見。知敦有不臣之心,因進邪說,遂相朋構,專弄威權,言成禍福。遭父喪,外托還葬,而密為敦使,與充交構。初,敦參軍熊甫見敦委任鳳,將有異圖,因酒酣謂敦曰:「開國承家,小人勿用,佞幸在位,鮮不敗業。」敦作色曰:「小人阿誰?」甫無懼容,因此告歸。臨與敦別,因歌曰:「徂風飆起蓋山陵,氛霧蔽日玉石焚。往事既去可長歎,念別惆悵復會難。」敦知其諷己而不納。(Book of Jin 98, Biography of Shen Chong)

Shen Chong was styled Shiju. Even as a youth, he enjoyed reading military manuals, and he was inclined towards listening to the bold heroes in his hometown.

Wang Dun recruited Shen Chong as an Army Advisor, and Shen Chong took the occasion to recommend Qian Feng, who was from the same commandary. Qian Feng was styled Shiyi. Wang Dun had appointed Qian Feng as Army Advisor of Armor Management, and he was often able to gain meetings with Wang Dun and advance his views. Shen Chong and Qian Feng knew that Wang Dun had a heart that knew no sovereign, so they gave him flattering advice, thus becoming his close companions; they held power and authority in their own hands, and their word determined good fortune or ill.

When Shen Chong's father passed away, he went back home, ostensibly to attend the mourning. But secretly he had been sent back by Wang Dun so that he could coordinate on Wang Dun's behalf.

Earlier, another of Wang Dun's Army Advisors, Xiong Fu, saw how Wang Dun was trusting and employing Qian Feng and would soon be indulging sinister intentions. So while they were drinking together, Xiong Fu said to Wang Dun, "One who is establishing the state and supporting the family can't employ miscreants. How can one help but fail if one is surrounded by sycophants?"

Wang Dun became angry and said, "What miscreant do you mean?"

But Xiong Fu showed no fear, and they went their own ways. As they were parting, Xiong Fu sang a song: "The violent gale rises and covers the imperial tombs; the fine mist blots out the sun, treasures and stones alike are smashed. One can't help but sigh when thinking back; one has to grieve at the hardships still to come." Wang Dun knew that Xiong Fu was criticizing him, but he did not follow his advice.


劉隗爲帝謀,出心腹以鎭方面。會敦表以宣城內史沈充代甘卓爲湘州刺史,帝謂氶曰:「王敦姦逆已著,朕爲惠皇,其勢不遠。湘州據上流之勢,控三州之會,欲以叔父居之,何如?」氶曰:「臣奉承詔命,惟力是視,何敢有辭!然湘州經蜀寇之餘,民物凋弊,若得之部,比及三年,乃可卽戎;苟未及此,雖復灰身,亦無益也。」十二月,詔曰:「晉室開基,方鎭之任,親賢並用,其以譙王氶爲湘州刺史。」長沙鄧騫聞之,歎曰:「湘州之禍,其在斯乎!」氶行至武昌,敦與之宴,謂氶曰:「大王雅素佳士,恐非將帥才也。」氶曰︰「公未見知耳,鉛刀豈無一割之用!」敦謂錢鳳曰:「彼不知懼而學壯語,足知其不武,無能爲也。」乃聽之鎭。時湘土荒殘,公私困弊,氶躬自儉約,傾心綏撫,甚有能名。

27. Liu Wei plotted with Sima Rui, planning to send out trusted agents to take command on the border. Soon, Wang Dun sent up a petition asking that the Interior Minister of Xuancheng, Shen Chong, be appointed as the new Inspector of Xiangzhou following Gan Zhuo's reassignment.

Sima Rui said to Sima Zheng, "With Wang Dun being as cunning and presumptuous as this, I am not far off from being just another Emperor Hui. Xiangzhou controls the upper reaches of the rivers, and it occupies the middle ground between three provinces. Uncle, I want to have you take up this role. What do you think?"

Sima Zheng replied, "Your Majesty, if you were to give the order, I would regard nothing but how I might be able to do it; how dare I gainsay it? But I do observe that Xiangzhou has only recently suffered the ravages of the Shu bandit (Du Tao), and its people and resources have withered and suffered. If you were to grant it to me, then in three years' time, I would have the army there in order. But if something should happen before then, no matter how much I pushed myself, it would be of no use."

In the twelfth month, Sima Rui issued an edict stating, "Ever since the establishment of the Jin royal family, the roles of border commanders have been entrusted to those who are both worthy themselves and close to the royal family. Thus do I appoint the Prince of Qiao, Sima Zheng, as Inspector of Xiangzhou."

When Deng Qian of Changsha commandary heard this, he lamented, "Thus will disaster befall Xiangzhou!"

As Sima Zheng was traveling out to his new post, he came to Wang Dun's base at Wuchang along the way. Wang Dun held a banquet for Sima Zheng, and he said to him, "Great Prince, you have long been an excellent official. But I fear that you lack the talents of a commander."

Sima Zheng replied, "You have simply not yet seen me in action. Isn't even a leaden knife able to cut when needed?"

Wang Dun later said to Qian Feng, "Rather than show fear, Sima Zheng is spouting such brash and learned words as this. Now I can be sure he is no military man. How could he do anything?" And he let Sima Zheng continue on to his post in Xiangzhou.

At this time, the soil of Xiangzhou was barren and damaged, and both the government and the people were in suffering and want. But Sima Zheng remained personally frugal while exerting his full efforts to care for and nurture the people, and so he gained a great reputation for his abilities.

〈言當如惠帝受制於強臣也。〉〈三州,謂荊、交、廣。〉〈古者同姓諸侯,天子謂之伯父、叔父。氶,宣帝之從孫;而帝,宣帝之曾孫,於屬亦叔父也。〉〈蜀寇,謂杜弢之亂也。〉〈用《論語》冉有對孔子之言。朱熹曰:卽,就也。戎,兵也。〉〈雅素,猶言平常也。〉〈後漢班超之言。〉〈氶雖忠有餘而才不足,敦窺見而知其無能爲。〉

(Sima Rui was saying that he would soon be like Emperor Hui was, under the control of overly-powerful ministers.

The three provinces that Xiangzhou served as middle ground for were Jingzhou, Jiaozhou, and Guangzhou.

In ancient times, when the feudal lords had the same surnames, the Son of Heaven would address them as Uncle. Sima Zheng was the grandson of one of Sima Yi's brothers, while Sima Rui was the great-grandson of Sima Yi himself. So as a member of the younger generation, he addressed Sima Zheng as Uncle.

The "Shu bandit" was the rebel leader Du Tao, who was from that region.

Sima Zheng's phrase "in three years' time..." is an adaptation of a quote from Ran You in the Analects, responding to a question from Confucius: "Suppose a state of sixty or seventy li square, or one of fifty or sixty, and let me have the government of it - in three years' time, I could make plenty to abound among the people (Xian Jin 26)." Zhu Xi remarked, "The term 卽 here means to put in order, and the term 戎 means weapons or soldiers."

The term 雅素 here means "often" or "for a long time".

"Isn't even a leaden knife able to cut when needed?" is a quote from Ban Chao of Later Han.

Although Sima Zheng was more than loyal, his military talents were not sufficient, and so Wang Dun could perceive this and know that Sima Zheng could not stop him.)


帝欲樹籓屏,會敦表以宣城內史沈充為湘州,帝謂承曰:「湘州南楚險固,在上流之要,控三州之會,是用武之國也。今以叔父居之,何如?」承曰:「臣幸托末屬,身當宿衛,未有驅馳之勞,頻受過厚之遇,夙夜自厲,思報天德。君之所命,惟力是視,敢有辭焉!然湘州蜀寇之餘,人物凋盡,若上憑天威,得之所蒞,比及三年,請從戎役。若未及此,雖復灰身,亦無益也。」於是詔曰:「夫王者體天理物,非群才不足濟其務。外建賢哲,以樹風聲,內睦親親,以廣籓屏。是以太公封齊,伯禽居魯,此先王之令典,古今之通義也。我晉開基,列國相望,乃授琅邪武王,鎮統東夏;汝南文成,總一淮許;扶風、梁王,迭據關右;爰暨東嬴,作司并州。今公族雖寡,不逮曩時,豈得替舊章乎!散騎常侍、左將軍、譙王承貞素款亮,志存忠恪,便蕃左右,恭肅彌著。今以承監湘州諸軍事、南中郎將、湘州刺史。」初,劉隗以王敦威權太盛,終不可制,勸帝出諸心腹,以鎮方隅。故先以承為湘州,續用隗及戴若思等,並為州牧。承行達武昌,釋戎備見王敦。敦與之宴,欲觀其意,謂承曰:「大王雅素佳士,恐非將帥才也。」承曰:「公未見知耳,鉛刀豈不能一割乎!」承以敦欲測其情,故發此言。敦果謂錢鳳曰:「彼不知懼而學壯語,此之不武,何能為也。」聽承之鎮。時湘土荒殘,公私困弊,承躬自儉約,乘葦茭車,而傾心綏撫,甚有能名。敦恐其為己患,詐稱北伐,悉召承境內船乘。承知其奸計,分半與之。(Book of Jin 37, Biography of Sima Cheng)

Emperor Yuan wanted to establish trusted subordinates in various places to act as shields for him. At that time, Wang Dun submitted a petition to have the Interior Minister of Xuancheng, Shen Chong, be appointed as the Inspector of Xiangzhou.

Sima Rui said to Sima Cheng, "Xiangzhou has the stout natural defenses of the southern Chu region, it controls the upper reaches of the rivers, and it occupies the middle ground between three provinces. It is a region well-suited to military operations. Uncle, I want to have you take up this role. What do you think?"

Sima Cheng replied, "Your Majesty, I have been blessed to serve under you and personally serve as a member of your household guards. Though I have performed no great daring deed, I have frequently received your grace. Day and night, I have been encouraging myself to find some way to repay your heavenly virtue. So if you were to give the order, I would regard nothing but how I might be able to do it; how dare I gainsay it? But I do observe that Xiangzhou has only recently suffered the ravages of the Shu bandit (Du Tao), and its people and resources have withered and suffered. If you were to grant it to me and let me borrow your divine might, then in three years' time, I would have the army there in order for campaigns. But if something should happen before then, no matter how much I pushed myself, it would be of no use."

So Emperor Yuan issued an edict stating, "A king may have a perfect body and a brilliant mind, but unless he has the support of talented people, he cannot succeed in his duties. Without, one must establish worthy fellows to spread one's influence and will; within, one must have harmony with ones kin in order to provide protection. It was for this reason that the Grand Duke (Jiang Ziya) was granted Qi as his fief and Boqin was granted Lu as his residence. This is an example of canons and laws provided by the kings of old, and the righteousness of this precedent has remained from those times until now.

"When the foundation of our own Jin dynasty was being established, various princely fiefs were created one next to the other. It was for that reason that Prince Wu of Langye (Sima Zhou) was stationed in and oversaw the affairs of the east, Prince Wencheng of Runan (Sima Liang) supervised the regions of Huainan and Xuchang, the Princes of Fufeng (Sima Jun) and Liang (Sima Rong) were posted in Guanyou, and the Duke of Dongying (Sima Teng) directed the affairs of Bingzhou. As for our time, although the imperial clan has been diminished, it is not so dire as in former times. How then can we ignore these precedents?

"The Cavalier In Regular Attendance, General of the Left, and Prince of Qiao, Sima Cheng, is faithful, pure, earnest, and bright, and his ambition has been to remain loyal and respectful. Furthermore, during his time as part of my personal companions, he has been even more respectful and reverent. I hereby appointed Sima Cheng as Chief of military affairs in Xiangzhou, General of the Household Gentlemen of the South, and Inspector of Xiangzhou."

Liu Wei had earlier urged Emperor Yuan to send out his closest confidantes to serve as border commanders, because Liu Wei felt that Wang Dun's power and authority had grown too great and that in the end no one would be able to control him. This was why Emperor Yuan sent Sima Cheng to become Inspector of Xiangzhou, and why he later appointed Liu Wei, Dai Yuan, and others as Governors of provinces.

As Sima Cheng was traveling past Wuchang, he halted his military preparations and went to visit Wang Dun, who treated him to a feast. Wishing to measure Sima Cheng's intentions, Wang Dun said to him, "Great Prince, you have long been renowned as an excellent gentleman. But I fear that you lack the talents of a commander."

Sima Cheng replied, "You have simply not yet seen me in action. Isn't even a leaden knife able to cut when needed?"

Sima Cheng knew that Wang Dun was trying to get the measure of him, so he said such a thing. And indeed, Wang Dun said to Qian Feng, "He offers up this bravado rather than show fear; he is no military man. How could he do anything?" So he let Sima Cheng continue on to Xiangzhou.

At this time, the soil of Xiangzhou was barren and damaged, and both the government and the people were in suffering and want. But Sima Zheng remained personally frugal, riding in a carriage of reeds and hay, while exerting his full efforts to care for and nurture the people, and so he gained a great reputation for his abilities.

Wang Dun became concerned that Sima Cheng would pose a threat to him. So, claiming to be preparing for a northern expedition, he summoned all of the boats from Sima Cheng's domain. But Sima Cheng knew that this was a false plot, and he only sent half of the boats.

及湘州刺史甘卓遷梁州,敦欲以從事中郎陳頒代卓,帝不從,更以譙王承鎮湘州。(Book of Jin 98, Biography of Wang Dun)

When the Inspector of Xiangzhou, Gan Zhuo, was transferred to be Inspector of Lianzhou, Wang Dun wished to have the Attendant Officer of the Household Gentlemen, Chen Ban, succeed Gan Zhuo as Inspector of Xiangzhou. But Emperor Yuan (Sima Rui) did not listen, and he appointed the Prince of Qiao, Sima Cheng, to Xiangzhou instead.


高句麗寇遼東,慕容仁與戰,大破之,自是不犯仁境。

28. Goguryeo once again invaded Liaodong. Murong Ren fought them in battle and greatly routed them. From then on, they did not encroach on his domain anymore.
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BOOK 91

Unread postby Taishi Ci 2.0 » Wed Feb 14, 2018 7:32 am

四年(辛巳、三二一)

The Fourth Year of Taixing (The Xinsi Year, 321 AD)


春,正月,徐龕復請降。

1. In spring, the first month, Xu Kan once again asked to surrender to Jin.

張茂築靈鈞臺,基高九仞。武陵閻曾夜叩府門呼曰:「武公遣我來,言『何故勞民築臺!』」有司以爲妖,請殺之。茂曰:「吾信勞民。曾稱先君之命以規我,何謂妖乎!」乃爲之罷役。

2. In Liangzhou, Zhang Mao was building the Lingjun Terrace. It stretched nine 仞 tall from its foundation. Yan Zeng of Wuling (or Wuwei) banged on the door of the Staff Office during the night, shouting, "Duke Wu (Zhang Gui) sent me to tell you, 'Why should you trouble the people in order to build terraces?'"

The officials felt that this was witchcraft, and they asked to kill Yan Zeng. But Zhang Mao said, "I have indeed been burdening the people. Yan Zeng was claiming it was my later father's command in order to rectify me. How can you call that witchcraft?" And he halted the construction of the terrace.

〈「武陵」,疑當作「武威」。〉〈張軌,諡武公。〉

(Where this passage says Wuling, I (Hu Sanxing) suspect it should say Wuwei.

Zhang Gui's posthumous name was Duke Wu.)


三月,癸亥,日中有黑子。著作佐郎河東郭璞以帝用刑過差,上疏,以爲:「陰陽錯繆,皆繁刑所致。赦不欲數,然子產知鑄刑書非政之善,不得不作者,須以救弊故也。今之宜赦,理亦如之。」

3. In the third month, on the day Guihai (April 17th), there were black spots on the sun.

Jin's 著作佐郎, Guo Pu of Hedong commandary, believed that Sima Rui had gone too far in his enforcement of the law, and he sent up a petition stating, "The irregularities in the natural order have come about because of the issues with justice. It is true that amnesties should not be numerous. But when the ancient minister Zichan codified the laws of the state of Zheng, he knew that doing such a thing was not to the benefit of the state, but he had no choice but to do so anyway, so that he could save the state from its current predicament. For the same reason, you should now issue an amnesty."

〈日中有黑子,陰侵陽而磨蕩之也。時王敦驕悖浸甚,故象見于天。〉〈《左傳》,鄭鑄刑書,叔向詒子產書曰:「國將亡,必多制。」復書曰:「吾以救世也。」須,待也。〉

(When there are black spots on the sun, that is an indication of the Yin principle violating the Yang principle and wearing away at it. At this time, Wang Dun had grown more and more arrogant and presumptuous, and signs of that could be witnessed in the heavens.

In the Zuo Commentary to the Spring and Autumn Annals, when Zichan codifies the laws of the state of Zheng, Shuxiang writes him a letter reproaching him, stating, "When a state is about to perish, there will be many new enactments in it." Zichan's letter in response states, "As to what you say, I have not the talents nor the ability to act for posterity; my object is to save the present age (Zhao 6.2)".

The term 須 here means "to treat".)


後趙中山公虎攻幽州刺史段匹磾於厭次,孔萇攻其統內諸城,悉拔之。段文鴦言於匹磾曰:「我以勇聞,故爲民所倚望;今視民被掠而不救,是怯也。民失所望,誰復爲我致死!」遂帥壯士數十騎出戰,殺後趙兵甚衆。馬乏,伏不能起。虎呼之曰:「兄與我俱夷狄,久欲與兄同爲一家。今天不違願,於此得相見,何爲復戰!請釋仗。」文鴦罵曰:「汝爲寇賊,當死日久,吾兄不用吾策,故令汝得至此。我寧鬬死,不爲汝屈!」遂下馬苦戰,槊折,執刀戰不已,自辰至申。後趙兵四面解馬羅披自鄣,前執文鴦;文鴦力竭被執,城內奪氣。

4. Shi Hu attacked Jin's Inspector of Youzhou, Duan Pidi, at Yanci, while Kong Chang attacked his various inner cities and took them all.

Duan Wenyang said to his brother, "The people believe in us because we are known for our bravery. For us to stand by and watch them be plundered now without coming to their aid is cowardice. If the people lose faith in us, who will still stand beside us and fight to the death?" So he lead several dozen stalwart riders out to fight the Later Zhao army, and they killed a great many of the enemy soldiers. But then Duan Wenyang's horse's strength gave out, and it collapsed and could not get up again.

Shi Hu called to him, "Brother, you and I are both tribesmen, and I have long wished for both of us to be part of the same family. Heaven has not looked unkindly on that wish, and so it has brought us face to face today. Why continue to fight? Please, throw down your weapon."

But Duan Wenyang scolded him, saying, "You are an invader and a bandit, and you should have died long ago. It was only because my elder brother (Duan Jilujuan) did not listen to my plan before that you were able to survive this long at all. I shall fight you to the death; I will never bow to you!"

And he got off his horse and kept up his bitter struggle. When his spear snapped, he grabbed a blade and kept on fighting. He fought on from morning until midday. Then the Later Zhao soldiers, surrounding him on all sides, gathered the mud flaps from their horses into a great bag, and they moved in and caught Duan Wenyang in it. Duan Wenyang's strength was spent, and so he was captured. The remaining Jin soldiers within the city lost heart.

〈事見八十八卷懷帝永嘉六年。〉〈矛長丈八者曰槊。〉〈馬羅披,意卽障泥也。〉

(Duan Wenyang refers to when Duan Jilujuan had Shi Le under siege at the under-defended Xiangguo, mentioned in Book 88, in Emperor Huai's sixth year of Yongjia (312.36-38).

A spear that is a zhang and eight x (尺?) in length is called a 槊.

The term 馬羅披 "mud flaps" refers to a piece of horse equipment used for warding off mud.)


後石勒遣石虎擊段文鴦于樂陵,破之,生擒文鴦。(Book of Northern Wei 103, Biography of Duan Jiuliujuan)

Later on, Shi Le sent Shi Hu to attack Duan Wenyang at Leling, where Shi Hu routed Duan Wenyang and captured him alive.


匹磾欲單騎歸朝,邵續之弟樂安內史洎勒兵不聽;洎復欲執臺使王英送於虎。匹磾正色責之曰:「卿不能遵兄之志,逼吾不得歸朝,亦已甚矣,復欲執天子使者;我雖夷狄,所未聞也!」洎與兄子緝、竺等輿櫬出降。匹磾見虎曰:「我受晉恩,志在滅汝,不幸至此,不能爲汝敬也。」後趙王勒及虎素與匹磾結爲兄弟,虎卽起拜之。勒以匹磾爲冠軍將軍,文鴦爲左中郎將,散諸流民三萬餘戶,復其本業,置守宰以撫之。於是幽、冀、幷三州皆入於後趙。匹磾不爲勒禮,常著朝服,持晉節。久之,與文鴦、邵續皆爲後趙所殺。

5. Duan Pidi wanted to flee on a lone horse to join the Jin court, but the Interior Minister of Le'an, Shao Xu's younger brother Shao Ji, ordered the soldiers not to let Duan Pidi go. Shao Ji further wanted to arrest the envoy Jin had sent, Wang Ying, and send him to Shi Hu. Duan Pidi sternly castigated Shao Ji, saying, "It is bad enough that you are unable to honor your brother's legacy and that you stop me from going to join the court. But now you want to arrest the envoy of the Son of Heaven too. Even I, a tribesman, have never heard of such a thing before!" But Shao Ji, his nephews Shao Jī and Shao Zhu, and the others bound themselves to coffins and went out to surrender.

When Duan Pidi saw Shi Hu, he said, "I have received the favor of Jin, and my ambition was to destroy you. It is my misfortune that things have come to this, but I cannot respect you."

Shi Le and Shi Hu had long esteemed Duan Pidi like a brother, and Shi Hu lifted him up and saluted him. Shi Le appointed Duan Pidi as Champion General and Duan Wenyang as General of the Household Gentlemen of the Left. More than thirty thousand households of refugees were now returned to their former livelihoods, and Shi Le appointed local officials to care for them. All of Youzhou, Jizhou, and Bingzhou had now fallen under the control of Later Zhao.

Duan Pidi refused to treat Shi Le with respect, and he often dressed in the clothing of the Jin court and held the staff of authority that they had given him. Sometime later, Duan Pidi, Duan Wenyang, and Shao Xu were all put to death by Later Zhao.

〈臺使,晉朝所遣者也。〉〈厭次旣破,無復後患,匹磾兄弟與邵續皆被害,石勒志趣,從可知矣。〉

(The term 臺使 Terrace Envoy means an envoy sent by the Jin court.

With Yanci having fallen, in order to guard against any potential future threats they posed, the Duan brothers and Shao Xu were all put to death. From that, we can see Shi Le's inclination.)


匹磾遂率其屬及諸塢壁降于石勒。(Book of Northern Wei 103, Biography of Duan Jiuliujuan)

Duan Pidi then led his subordinates and the various independent fortresses in the area to surrender to Shi Le.


五月,庚申,詔免中州良民遭難爲揚州諸郡僮客者,以備征役。尚書令刁協之謀也,由是衆益怨之。

6. There were many people in the commandaries of Yangzhou who, having formerly been law-abiding subjects who had fled from the Central Provinces to avoid the turmoil there, were now living as servants for local households. In the fifth month, on the day Gengshen (June 13th), Sima Rui issued an edict stripping the local households of these servants, in order to prepare them for military service. This policy had come from Diao Xie, and this won him the ire of many.

終南山崩。

7. Mount Zhongnan collapsed.

〈終南,長安南山也。時劉曜據關中,亡國之徵。《晉書》書於《曜載記》。〉

(Zhongnan was part of the southern hills of Chang'an. At this time, Liu Yao possessed Guanzhong, so this was a portent of the downfall of his state. The Book of Jin records this event in the Biography of Liu Yao in the Chronicles.)


秋,七月,甲戌,以尚書僕射戴淵爲征西將軍、都督司‧兗‧豫‧幷‧雍‧冀六州諸軍事、司州刺史,鎭合肥;丹楊尹劉隗爲鎭北將軍、都督青‧徐‧幽‧平四州諸軍事、青州刺史,鎭淮陰;皆假節領兵,名爲討胡,實備王敦也。

8. In autumn, the seventh month, on the day Jiaxu (August 26th), Sima Rui appointed the Supervisor of the Masters of Writing, Dai Yuan, as General Who Conquers The West, Commander of military affairs in Sizhou, Yanzhou, Yuzhou, Bingzhou, Yongzhou, and Yizhou, and Inspector of Sizhou, with his base at Hefei. He appointed the Intendant of Danyang, Liu Wei, as General Who Guards The North, Commander of military affairs in Qingzhou, Xuzhou, Youzhou, and Pingzhou, and Inspector of Qingzhou, with his base at Huaiyin. Both of them were appointed as Credential Holders and given command of soldiers. Ostensibly this was for campaigns against the tribesmen, but really it was to prepare against Wang Dun.

〈合肥縣,屬淮南郡。〉〈淮陰縣,前漢屬臨淮郡,後漢屬下邳郡,晉屬廣陵郡。〉

(Hefei County was part of Huainan commandary.

During Former Han, Huaiyin County was part of Linhuai commandary. During Later Zhan, it was part of Xiapi commandary. During Jin, it was part of Guangping commandary.)


敦復上表陳古今忠臣見疑于君,而蒼蠅之人交構其間,欲以感動天子。帝愈忌憚之。俄加敦羽葆鼓吹,增從事中郎、掾屬、舍人各二人。帝以劉隗為鎮北將軍,戴若思為征西將軍,悉發揚州奴為兵,外以討胡,實禦敦也。(Book of Jin 98, Biography of Wang Dun)

Wang Dun once again sent up a petition, listing all the loyal ministers of ancient and recent times who had been suspected by their sovereigns, and suggesting that odious people were now attempting to drive a wedge between him and Emperor Yuan (Sima Rui), hoping to confuse and mislead the Son of Heaven. This made Emperor Yuan even more paranoid and afraid about Wang Dun. So he soon granted Wang Dun feather canopies, drums, and horns, and he increased Wang Dun's enterouge of Attendant Officers of the Household Gentlemen, Assistants, and Retainers by two each.

Emperor Yuan appointed Liu Wei as General Who Guards The North and Dai Yuan as General Who Conquers The West, and he drafted all the household slaves of Yangzhou as soldiers under their command. Ostensibly this was for a campaign against the tribal states, but really it was to guard against Wang Dun.


隗雖在外,而朝廷機事,進退士大夫,帝皆與之密謀。敦遺隗書曰:「頃承聖上顧眄足下,今大賊未滅,中原鼎沸,欲與足下及周生之徒戮力王室,共靜海內。若其泰也,則帝祚於是乎隆;若其否也,則天下永無望矣。」隗答曰:「『魚相忘於江湖,人相忘於道術。』『竭股肱之力,效之以忠貞,』吾之志也。」敦得書,甚怒。

9. Although Liu Wei was now away from the capital, he still oversaw all court affairs. He determined the advancement or removal of scholar-officials, and Sima Rui also conspired together with him.

Wang Dun sent Liu Wei a letter stating, "I have received our sage lord's trust, and I turn my head towards you, Sir. Our great foe has not yet been vanquished, and the Central Plains roil like a seething cauldron. Sir, I wish to undertake a campaign together with you and Zhou Sheng (Zhou Yi), to exert our strength on behalf of the royal house and together bring peace to all within the Four Seas. If this can be achieved, then the imperial line may long endure; if not, then the realm shall lose all hope."

Liu Wei's response stated, "I say to you, 'It is better for fish to forget each other in the rivers and streams, and better for men to forget each other in the roads and lanes.' And, 'I will put forth all my strength and resources on my lord's behalf, doing so with loyalty and sincere devotion.' These things are my ambitions."

When Wang Dun received this letter, he was extremely angry.

〈周生,謂周顗。敦素憚顗,見輒扇面不休,故舉以爲言。〉〈引《莊子‧大宗師》之言。〉〈晉大夫荀息之言。〉

(Zhou Sheng meant Zhou Yi. Wang Dun had long feared Zhou Yi, and whenever he saw him, he always fanned his face and could not rest. This was why he proposed such a thing.

Liu Wei's first quote comes from the Zhuangzi (Great Honored Master 2). His second quote comes from the great Jin minister Xun Xi in the Zuo Commentary to the Spring and Autumn Annals (Xi 9.3).)


壬午,以驃騎將軍王導爲侍中、司空、假節、錄尚書、領中書監。帝以敦故,幷疏忌導。御史中丞周嵩上疏,以爲:「導忠素竭誠,輔成大業,不宜聽孤臣之言,惑疑似之說,放逐舊德,以佞伍賢,虧旣往之恩,招將來之患。」帝頗感寤,導由是得全。

10. On the day Renwu (September 3rd), Sima Rui appointed the General of Agile Cavalry, Wang Dao, as Palace Attendant, Minister of Works, Credential Holder, chief of the Masters of Writing, and acting director of the Palace Secretariat.

Because Sima Rui was wary of Wang Dun, he also became suspicious of Wang Dao and kept him at a distance. But the Assistant of the Middle to the Imperial Secretary, Zhou Song, sent up a petition stating, "Wang Dao has long been a loyal and earnest man, doing his utmost to support and realize the grand design. You cannot listen to the words of isolated ministers or be misled by hearsay. You would be banishing the old virtues and so mixing together worthy men with mere sycophants. By breaking the old ties of gratitude, you would be summoning future dangers."

So Sima Rui set aside his suspicions, and Wang Dao was thus secure.

〈用兵列陳,五人爲伍。以佞伍賢,言賢佞同列也。〉〈向者親倚導而今疏忌之,是虧旣往之恩也;導或自疑,外而與敦同,是招將來之患也。〉〈史言周顗兄弟保護王導。〉

(When organizing soldiers, a group of 五人 five men is called a 伍. The expression 'to form a battalion of worthies and sycophants' means to mix together such people into one group without discriminating the good from the bad.

Up until now, Sima Rui had been close to Wang Dao and trusted him greatly. But now he suspected Wang Dao and distanced himself. This was what Zhou Song meant by "breaking the old ties of gratitude". Wang Dao might himself grow suspicious and so join together with Wang Dun on the outside, and that would be "summoning future dangers".

This passage shows how Zhou Yi and his brother protected Wang Dao.)


八月,常山崩。

11. In the eighth month, Mount Chang collapsed.

〈常山,在常山郡上曲陽縣西北,其地時屬石勒。〉

(Mount Chang was in the northwest of Shangquyang County in Changshan commandary. At this time, that area was part of Shi Le's territory.)


豫州刺史祖逖,以戴淵吳士,雖有才望,無弘致遠識;且已翦荊棘、收河南地,而淵雍容,一旦來統之,意甚怏怏;又聞王敦與劉、刁構隙,將有內難,知大功不遂,感激發病;九月,壬寅,卒於雍丘。豫州士女若喪父母,譙、梁間皆爲立祠。王敦久懷異志,聞逖卒,益無所憚。

12. Jin's Inspector of Yuzhou, Zu Ti, was driven to concern by the situation he saw. Dai Yuan was a member of the Wu gentry, and although he did have talent and influence, Zu Ti felt that he was not suited for achieving long-term plans. Yet after all that Zu Ti had done to cut away at the brambles and thorns and so reclaim the territory south of the Yellow River for Jin, he saw that Dai Yuan had been so casually placed in command over his head in the space of a single day, and so Zu Ti was greatly disgruntled by it. He also heard about the divisions springing up within Jin between Wang Dun on the one side and Liu Wei and Diao Xie on the other, and that there would soon be civil war. Zu Ti realized that he would never achieve his great ambition, and his distress gradually made him ill.

In the ninth month, on the day Renyin (?), Zu Ti passed away at Yongqiu. The men and women of Yuzhou mourned for him like he was their own father or mother, and shrines to him were set up all through Qiao and Liang.

Wang Dun had long cherished sinister intentions, and when he heard that Zu Ti was dead, he no longer feared anyone else.

〈淵,廣陵人;廣陵,故吳王濞都也。〉〈王敦之所忌,周訪、祖逖,訪卒而逖繼之,宜其益無所憚也。然溫嶠、郗鑒諸人已在晉朝,卒藉之以清大憝。以此知上天生材以應世,世變無窮而人才亦與之無窮,固非姦雄所能逆睹也。〉

(Dai Yuan was a native of Guangling, which had been the capital of King Bi of the ancient state of Wu.

Wang Dun had feared Zhou Fang and Zu Ti. When Zhou Fang passed away and Zu Ti followed him, Wang Dun did not fear anyone else. Yet Wen Jiao, Chi Jian, and other such men were already present in the Jin court, and there were troops at hand to vanquish this great foe. By such means may we know that Heaven above provides materials suited to the age. The circumstances of the world are ever-changing, but there are always people of talents ready to meet them. This is what cunning villains can never realize.)


冬,十月,壬午,以逖弟約爲平西將軍、豫州刺史,領逖之衆。約無綏御之才,不爲士卒所附。

13. In winter, the tenth month, on the day Renwu (?), Zu Ti's younger brother Zu Yue was appointed as General Who Pacifies The West and Inspector of Yuzhou, and given command of Zu Ti's forces. But Zu Yue had no talent for discipline or control, and the officers and soldiers were not close to him.

祖約,字士少,豫州刺史逖之弟也。初以孝廉為成皋令,與逖甚相友愛。永嘉末,隨逖過江。元帝稱制,引為掾屬,與陳留阮孚齊名。後轉從事中郎,典選舉。約妻無男而性妒,約亦不敢違忤。嘗夜寢於外,忽為人所傷,疑其妻所為,約求去職,帝不聽,約便從右司馬營東門私出。司直劉隗劾之曰:「約幸荷殊寵,顯位選曹,銓衡人物,眾所具瞻。當敬以直內,義以方外,杜漸防萌,式遏寇害。而乃變起蕭牆,患生婢妾,身被刑傷,虧其膚髮。群小噂嚃,囂聲遠被,塵穢清化,垢累明時。天恩含垢,猶復慰喻,而約違命輕出,既無明智以保其身,又孤恩廢命,宜加貶黜,以塞眾謗。」帝不之罪。隗重加執據,終不許。及逖有功於譙沛,約漸見任遇。逖卒,自侍中代逖為平西將軍、豫州刺史,領逖之眾。約異母兄光祿大夫納密言於帝曰:「約內懷陵上之心,抑而使之可也。今顯侍左右,假其權勢,將為亂階矣。」帝不納。時人亦謂納與約異生,忌其寵貴,故有此言。而約竟無綏馭之才,不為士卒所附。(Book of Jin 100, Biography of Zu Yue)

Zu Yue, styled Shishao, was the younger brother of the Inspector of Yuzhou, Zu Ti. He was originally nominated as a Filial and Incorrupt candidate and appointed as Prefect of Chenggao county. He was close friends with Zu Ti. Near the end of the Yongjia reign era (~312), he followed Zu Ti south across the Yangzi. When Emperor Yuan (Sima Rui) assumed control, he recruited Zu Yue as an official. Zu Yue enjoyed the same reputation as Ruan Fu of Chenliu commandary. He was later transferred to be Attendant Officer of the Household Gentlemen, where he selected and proposed the canons.

Zu Yue's wife was naturally jealous even when there were no men to be the target of her suspicion, and Zu Yue never dared to go against her. One night outside his bedchamber, Zu Yue was suddenly injured by someone, and he suspected his wife had done it. He asked to resign from his office, but Emperor Yuan would not allow it. Even so, Zu Yue secretly left through the east gate of the barracks of the Marshal of the Right.

The Director of Justice, Liu Wei, denounced Zu Yue, saying, "Zu Yue has been shown special favor and good fortune, and he occupies a conspicious position and determines policies. When one considers people of good standing, everyone looks up to him. He ought to act with respect within and justice without, in order to nip any growing internal problems in the bud and be prepared to check any harm from invasion. Now Zu Yue has had some little problem at home, borne out of suspicion against his wife; the injury he has taken is no more than a few shorn hairs. When gossips talk, word gets out near and far, filth spreads pollution, and the disgrace besmirchs a wise age. Although Heaven will be able to cover up the disgrace, it still out to be addressed and explained. But Zu Yue has violated your order and lightly left his post, acting without intelligence or wisdom just to protect himself. He has turned his back on your grace and violated your order. He ought to be demoted or dismissed, to stop the slander of the people."

But Emperor Yuan did not charge Zu Yue with a crime. Even when Liu Wei continued to advocate arresting Zu Yue, in the end, Emperor Yuan did not grant his permission.

When Zu Ti won merits in his campaigns at Qiao and Pei, Zu Yue too gradually rose in office. After Zu Ti's death, Zu Yue was serving as a Palace Attendant; he was sent to replace Zu Ti as General Who Pacifies The West and Inspector of Yuzhou, and he took command of Zu Ti's forces.

The Household Councilor, Zu Na, was Zu Yue's elder brother from a different mother. He secretly said to Emperor Yuan, "Zu Yue has always thought very highly of himself; it is only when you keep him restrained that you can use him. Yet you have exalted him as one of your own attendants, and now you are granting him power and authority. He will cause trouble someday." But Emperor Yuan did not heed his advice. The people of that time said that Zu Na was jealous of the favor and honor that Zu Yue had been shown, because he was born of a different mother, and that was why he had claimed such things about Zu Yue.

Zu Yue had no talent for discipline or control, and the officers and soldiers were not close to him.


初,范陽李產避亂依逖,見約志趣異常,謂所親曰:「吾以北方鼎沸,故遠來就此,冀全宗族。今觀約所爲,有不可測之志。吾託名姻親,當早自爲計,無事復陷身於不義也,爾曹不可以目前之利而忘長久之策。」乃帥子弟十餘人間行歸鄕里。

14. Sometime earlier, Li Chan of Fanyang commandary had come to join Zu Ti to escape from the turmoil. When he saw that Zu Yue had remarkable ambitions, he said to his associates, "I came all this way because the north was roiling like a cauldron, and I wanted to ensure the safety of my whole clan. But now, having seen this Zu Yue, I can tell that he has unfathomable ambitions. If I lend him my good name and become bound to him by marriage ties, sooner or later I shall get mixed up in his plot, and then I will stumble into unjust behavior. I cannot only think of what is right in front of me and thus forget to plan for the long term." So he led his sons and younger brothers, more than ten people, along back roads to return to his homeland.

〈李產父子後事慕容儁。〉

(Li Chan and his sons later served under the Former Yan emperor Murong Jun.)


十一月,皇孫衍生。

15. In the eleventh month, Sima Rui's grandson and Sima Shao's son Sima Yan was born.

後趙王勒悉召武鄕耆舊詣襄國,與之共坐歡飲。初,勒微時,與李陽鄰居,數爭漚麻池相毆,陽由是獨不敢來。勒曰:「陽,壯士也;漚麻,布衣之恨;孤方兼容天下,豈讎匹夫乎!」遽召與飲,引陽臂曰:「孤往日厭老拳,卿亦飽孤毒手。」因拜參軍都尉。以武鄕比豐、沛,復之三世。

16. Shi Le summoned all the elders of his old hometown at Wuxiang to come visit Xiangguo, where he sat and drank together with them.

Before, when Shi Le was still a nobody, he had lived next to a certain Li Yang, and the two of them had often argued with and struck each other in a dispute about a pond for soaking hemp. So Li Yang was the only one from that region who did not dare to come to Xiangguo now. Shi Le said, "Li Yang is a stalwart fellow. Soaking hemp is just something that commoners would hold a grudge over. But now all the realm is mine, so how could a mere peasant be my enemy any longer?" So he quickly summoned Li Yang to drink with him, and he gripped Li Yang's arm and said, "I got sick of all those times you hit me, and you must've been fed up with my fists too." And he appointed Li Yang as Army Advisor to the Capital Commandant.

Shi Le followed the example of how Emperor Gao (Liu Bang) had favored his hometown of Fengpei, and he exempted Wuxiang from taxes for three generations.

〈漚,久漬也。《詩》云:東門之池,可以漚麻。毛氏曰:漚,柔也。《考工記》,㡛氏以涗水漚其絲。《註》云:漚,漸也。楚人曰漚,齊人曰涹。涹,烏禾翻。然則漚是漸漬之名,云漚柔者,謂漸漬使之柔X也。魏收《地形志》,武鄕郡三臺嶺上有李陽墓,有麻池,石勒與李陽爭漚麻處也。毆,擊也。〉〈勒欲並驅漢光武,光武復南頓不敢遠期十歲,而勒復武鄕三世,多見其不知量也。〉

(To soak means to wash for a long time. The Book of Poetry has the verse, "The pond at the east gate, is fit to soak hemp in (Pond At The East Gate)". Master Mao's commentary states, "To soak is make soft and pliant." In the Record of Trades, Master Mang soaks his silk in the Shui River. The Annotations states, "To soak is to seep through. The people of Chu call this process 漚, and the people of Qi call it 涹." So it must be that to soak is the term for gradually seeping through with water, and by doing so make something soft and supple.

Wei Shou's Geographical Records mentions that there was a Grave of Li Yang in the mountain ridges of the Three Terraces in Wuxiang commandary, where there was also a hemp pond. This must have been where Shi Le and Li Yang argued over soaking hemp.

The term 毆 means "to beat or hit".

Shi Le wished to surpass the example of Emperor Guangwu of Han. Even Guangwu dared not exempt Nandun from taxes for more than ten years, yet Shi Le exempted Wuxiang for three generations. This greatly shows us that he did not know the proper limits.)


三年,黎陽民陳武妻產三男一女,上書自陳。令曰:「昔周之興也,四乳八子,今武妻一乳四子,可謂度過姬祥,美如曩日。其賜乳婦一人穀百石,雜繒四疋,庶以肅迎嘉祥。」冬十月,勒親與鄉老齒坐,歡飲,語及平生。勒曰:「李陽,壯士也。孤方取之,何以不來父老歸語,令速來,漚麻池之忿,是布衣之恨,孤方崇信于天下,寧讐匹夫乎?」令曰:「武鄉,吾之豐沛也,其復之三世。」十一月,李陽至,勒與酣謔,引陽臂笑謂之曰:「卿雖老,臂中猶有力,頗復與人鬬。孤往日厭卿老拳,卿亦飽孤毒手。」因賜里第一區,拜為都尉。陽與勒鄰居歲,常爭漚麻池,迭相毆擊。(Annals of the Sixteen Kingdoms 2, Biography of Shi Le)

In the third year of Shi Le's reign (321), a native of Liyang, Chen Wu, had a wife who gave birth to three sons and a daughter. Chen Wu wrote a letter to Shi Le reporting it. Shi Le issued an ordinance stating, "In ancient times, during the rise of the Zhou dynasty, there was a woman who gave birth to eight children across four births. Now Chen Wu's wife has given birth to four children in one birth. We might say that she has exceeded the good fortune of that lady of old, and the beauty of her act outshines past ages. I hereby grant her a wet nurse, a hundred 石 of grain, and forty rolls of silk, to respect and welcome her commendable fortune."

In winter, the tenth month, Shi Le personally met with the elders of his home district; he drank with them, and talked about old times. He said, "Li Yang is a stalwart fellow. Now that I have achieved what I have, how could I not come back and talk with the elders of my father's home? Bring Li Yang here quickly. That business about soaking hemp is just something that commoners would hold a grudge over. But now I am honored and trusted throughout the realm, so how could a mere peasant be my enemy any longer?"

Shi Le issued an ordinance stating, "Just as Emperor Gao of Han (Liu Bang) had his homeland of Fengpei, so too do I have my homeland of Wuxiang. I hereby exempt it from taxation for three generations."

In the eleventh month, Li Yang arrived, and Shi Le got drunk with him and teased him. He gripped Li Yang's arm and laughed, saying, "You may have gotten old, but you've still got some strength in those arms; you could fight it out with somebody. I got sick of all those times you hit me, and you must've been fed up with my fists too." And he appointed Li Yang as a Capital Commandant and gave him a district as his estate.

Li Yang had once been Shi Le's neighbor for many years, and they had often fought over a pond used for soaking hemp, which often came to blows.


勒以民始復業,資儲未豐,於是重制禁釀,郊祀宗廟,皆用醴酒,行之數年,無復釀者。

17. Since the common people had only just returned to their livelihoods, and goods were still in short supply, Shi Le strictly forbade the brewing of wine. Whenever sacrifices were made in the suburbs or at the Ancestral Temple, sweet wine was used instead. No one brewed wine for several years after this.

〈酒一宿而熟者曰醴。〉

(Wine that was processed for only one night was called sweet wine.)


十二月,以慕容廆爲都督幽‧平二州‧東夷諸軍事、車騎將軍、平州牧,封遼東公,單于如故,遣謁者卽授印綬,聽承制置官司守宰。廆於是備置僚屬,以裴嶷、游邃爲長史,裴開司馬,韓壽爲別駕,陽耽爲軍諮祭酒,崔燾爲主簿,黃泓、鄭林參軍事。廆立子皝爲世子。作東橫,以平原劉讚爲祭酒,使皝與諸生同受業,廆得暇,亦親臨聽之。皝雄毅多權略,喜經術,國人稱之。廆徙慕容翰鎭遼東,慕容仁鎭平郭。翰撫安民夷,甚有威惠;仁亦次之。

18. In the twelfth month, Sima Rui appointed Murong Hui as Commander of military affairs in Youzhou and Pingzhou and for the eastern Yi tribes, General of Chariots and Cavalry, and Governor of Pingzhou. He was also granted the noble title Duke of Liaodong, with the same power as Chanyu that he had enjoyed before. Sima Rui sent envoys to grant Murong Hui the seals and ribbons of his offices, and permitted him authority to appoint subordinate officials as he saw fit.

So Murong Hui created the various relevant subordinate positions. He appointed Pei Yi and You Sui as Chief Clerks, he appointed Pei Kai as Marshal, he appointed Han Shou as Attendant Officer With Separate Carriage, he appointed Yang Dan as Army Libationer-Consultant, he appointed Cui Dao as Registrar, and he appointed Huang Hong and Zheng Lin as Army Advisors.

Murong Hui appointed his son Murong Huang as his heir. He built the Eastern School, and appointed Liu Zan of Pingyuan commandary as Libationer for it. He had Murong Huang attend the school along with the other students, and whenever Murong Hui had free time, he would also come to the school and attend the lectures.

Murong Huang was stalwart and bold, while also being crafty and cunning. He delighted in scholarship and the Classics, and the people of the state commended him.

Murong Hui transferred Murong Han to guard Liaodong, and shifted Murong Ren to Pingguo. Murong Han nurtured and settled the common people and the tribes, and he displayed great power and kindness. Even Murong Ren was second next to him.

〈《考異》曰:《燕書》云「車騎大將軍、平州刺史。」按《晉書‧載記》,先拜平州刺史,尋加車騎、州牧。今從之。〉〈鄭林不受廆車牛粟帛而躬耕於野,廆蓋以是取之。〉〈橫,學舍也,《載記》作「東庠」。〉〈得暇者,言廆惟於國事無暇,財得一息之暇,亦親臨東橫,聽其講說。史言廆之能崇儒。〉〈平郭縣,漢屬遼東郡,晉省。《唐新書》曰:高麗建安城,古平郭縣也。〉

(Sima Guang's commentary in the Textual Analysis states, "The Book of Yan states that Murong Hui was now appointed as 'Grand General of Chariots and Cavalry and Inspector of Pingzhou'. But according to the Biography of Murong Hui in the Chronicles of the Book of Jin, he had already been appointed as Inspector of Pingzhou earlier, and he was now being further appointed as General of Chariots of Cavalry and as Governor. I follow that account."

Zheng Lin had earlier declined Murong Hui's offers of carriages and oxen, grains and silks, and had continued to bend over his plow in the field. Murong Hui must have since obtained him.

The term 橫 means an instructional lodge or a school. The Biography of Murong Hui in the Chronicles of the Book of Jin refers to this building as the Eastern 庠 "School".

By "free time", this passage means when Murong Hui was not occupied by affairs of state. When he had a moment's rest, he would also attend the school and listen to the lectures. This passage demonstrates Murong Hui's ability to honor Confucian learning.

During Han, Pingguo County was part of Liaodong commandary. Jin abolished it. The New Book of Tang states, "The city of Jian'an in Goryeo is where the old Pingguo County was.")


平原劉讚,儒學該通,引為東庠祭酒,其世子皝率國胄受業焉。大興四年,晉遣謁者拜廆使持節,督幽、平、東夷諸軍事,車騎將軍,平州牧,封遼東郡公。丹書鐵券,承制海東。(Annals of the Sixteen Kingdoms 3, Biography of Murong Hui)

Liu Zan of Pingyuan was a learned scholar and skilled at communication; Murong Hui recruited him as a Libationer for his Dongxiang school, and Murong Hui's heir Murong Huang led the younger generation to accept his instructions.

In the fourth year of Daxing (321), Jin sent envoys to appoint Murong Hui as Commissioner Bearing Credentials, Commander of military affairs in Youzhou and Pingzhou and for the eastern Yi tribes, General of Chariots and Cavalry, and Governor of Pingzhou. He was also granted the noble title Duke of Liaodong commandary. He was granted a red book and an iron deed as tokens of his authority over the Eastern Sea.

穆帝之世,頗為東部之患,左賢王普根擊走之,乃修和親。晉愍帝拜廆鎮軍將軍,昌黎、遼東二國公。平文之末,廆復侵東部,擊破之。(Book of Northern Wei 95, Biography of Murong Hui)

During the reign of Tuoba Yilu (308-316), Murong Hui was inclined to threaten the eastern borders of the Tuoba domain. But Dai's Worthy Prince of the Left, Tuoba Pugen, attacked Murong Hui and drove him off. Then good relations between Murong Hui and Tuoba Yilu were restored.

Emperor Min appointed Murong Hui as General Who Guards The Army and Duke of Changli and Liaodong.

Near the end of Tuoba Yulü's reign (~321), Murong Hui again raided the eastern borders of the Tuoba domain, but he was attacked and routed.

慕容皝字元真,廆第二子,小字萬年。長七尺八寸,雄毅善權略,博學多材藝。晉建武元年,振武將軍。(Annals of the Sixteen Kingdoms 3, Biography of Murong Huang)

Murong Huang, styled Yuanzhen, was the second son of Murong Hui. His childhood name was Wannian. He was seven 尺 eight 寸 tall. He was bold and stalwart, skilled at making plans and strategies, learned and educated, and possessed many skills.

In Jin's first year of Jianwu (317), he was appointed as Jin's General Who Spreads Valor.

慕容皝,字元真,廆第三子也。龍顏版齒,身長七尺八寸。雄毅多權略,尚經學,善天文。廆為遼東公,立為世子。建武初,拜為冠軍將軍、左賢王,封望平侯,率眾征討,累有功。(Book of Jin 109, Biography of Murong Huang)

Murong Huang, styled Yuanzhen, was the third son of Murong Hui. He had a regal countenance with broad and even teeth, and he was seven chi eight cun tall. He was bold and resolute, as well as very crafty and cunning. He esteemed learning and the Classics, and he was skilled at reading the heavens. When Murong Hui became Duke of Liaodong, he selected Murong Huang as his heir.

At the beginning of the Jianwu reign era (~317), the Jin court appointed Murong Huang as Champion General, Worthy Prince of the Left, and Marquis of Wangping. He often led troops on campaign, and was invariably successful.

元真,小字萬年,名犯恭宗廟諱。(Book of Northern Wei 95, Biography of Murong Huang)

Murong Huang's style name was Yuanzhen. His childhood name was Wannian. Because his given name Huang violates the naming taboo on Emperor Gong of Northern Wei, he is referred to in the Book of Northern Wei by his style name.

翰作鎮遼東,高句麗不敢為寇。(Book of Jin 109, Biography of Murong Han)

During the time that Murong Han was stationed at Liaodong, Goguryeo never dared to invade.


拓跋猗㐌妻惟氏,忌代王鬱律之強,恐不利於其子,乃殺鬱律而立其子賀傉,大人死者數十人。鬱律之子什翼犍,幼在襁褓,其母王氏匿於袴中,祝之曰:「天苟存汝,則勿啼。」久之,不啼,乃得免。惟氏專制國政,遣使聘後趙,後趙人謂之「女國使」。

19. The widow of Tuoba Yituo, Lady Wei, was jealous of Tuoba Yulü's power, and she feared for her own sons. So she killed Tuoba Yulü and set up her own son Tuoba Henu in his place, and she killed dozens of the Dai chiefs.

Tuoba Yulü's own son, Tuoba Shiyijian, was still so young that he was wrapped in swaddling clothes. His mother Lady Wang hid him in her clothing, and she begged him, "If Heaven wishes to preserve you, then do not cry." Even after some time, Tuoba Shiyijian had not cried, and so the pair were able to escape the slaughter.

Lady Wei wielded power over the state of Dai, and she sent envoys to visit Later Zhao, who called them "Envoys of the Queendom".

〈鬱律立見八十九卷愍帝建興四年。〉〈以惟氏專政,故謂之女國。史言拓跋所以中衰。〉

(Tuoba Yulü had been chosen as the new Prince of Dai, as mentioned in Book 89, in Emperor Min's fourth year of Jianxing (316.37).

Since Lady Wei was in control of Dai, Later Zhao called it a "queendom".

This passage shows the decline the Tuoba clan was experiencing.)


五年,僭晉司馬叡,遣使韓暢加崇爵服,帝絕之。治兵講武,有平南夏之意。桓帝后以帝得眾心,恐不利於己子,害帝,遂崩,大人死者數十人。天興初,尊曰太祖。惠皇帝諱賀傉立,桓帝之中子也。以五年為元年。未親政事,太后臨朝,遣使與石勒通和,時人謂之女國使。(Book of Northern Wei 1)

In the fifth year (321), Sima Rui sent his envoy Han Chang to Dai, honoring Tuoba Yulü with new ranks and offices. But Tuoba Yulü cut off relations with Sima Rui. He drilled his soldiers and prepared for war, intending to pacify the lands of the southern Xia (ethnic Han).

Tuoba Yituo's wife could see that Tuoba Yulü had won the hearts of many, and she feared that things would not go well for her own son. So she wounded Tuoba Yulü, and he soon passed away. Several dozen chiefs were also killed.

At the beginning of Northern Wei's Tianxing reign era (~398), Tuoba Yulü was honored with the temple name Taizu.

The new Prince of Dai was Emperor Hui, Tuoba Henu, the middle son of Tuoba Yituo. He declared the beginning of the reckoning of his own reign years while it was still the fifth year of Tuoba Yulü's reign (321). He did not yet personally attend to the affairs of government, for his mother controlled the court. She sent envoys to arrange peace and open relations with Shi Le, and the people of that time called them "envoys of the Queendom".
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BOOK 92

Unread postby Taishi Ci 2.0 » Sun Feb 25, 2018 5:19 pm

永昌元年(壬午、三二二)

The First Year of Yongchang (The Renwu Year, 322 AD)


春,正月,郭璞復上疏,請因皇孫生,下赦令,帝從之。乙卯,大赦,改元。

1. In spring, the first month, Guo Pu once again sent up a petition to Sima Rui. He asked that, since Sima Rui's grandson (Crown Prince Sima Shao’s son) had just been born, he should issue an order of amnesty for the occasion. Sima Rui agreed. On the day Yimao (February 3rd), a general amnesty was declared in Jin, and the reign era title was changed to the first year of Yongchang.

〈璞去年已疏請肆赦,皇孫去年十一月生。〉

(Guo Pu had sent up a similar petition asking for an amnesty order in the previous year (Book 91, 321.3). Sima Rui's grandson had been born in the eleventh month of that year (321.15).)


王敦以璞爲記室參軍。璞善卜筮,知敦必爲亂,己預其禍,甚憂之。大將軍掾潁川陳述卒,璞哭之極哀,曰:「嗣祖,焉知非福也!」

2. Wang Dun appointed Guo Pu as his Recordskeeping Army Advisor. Guo Pu was skilled at divination. Knowing that Wang Dun was certain to rebel, he had already foreseen Wang Dun’s downfall, and so he was greatly anxious at this appointment.

The Official to the Grand General, Chen Shu of Yingchuan commandary, passed away. Guo Pu wept bitterly for him, saying, "Sizu, who knows whether or not you were fortunate to have died now?"

〈陳述,字嗣祖,亦敦府僚也。〉

(Chen Shu's style name was Sizu; he was also a member of Wang Dun's staff.)


陳述為大將軍掾,甚見愛重。及亡,郭璞往哭之,甚哀,乃呼曰:「嗣祖,焉知非福!」俄而大將軍作亂,如其所言。(New Tales 20.5)

While Chen Shu was serving as a civil officier under the Grand General Wang Dun, he was the recipient of much favor and honor. When he died (in 322), Guo Pu went to weep for him. With poignant grief he cried out, "Sizu! Who knows if it wasn't a blessing?" Shortly afterwards, Wang Dun started his rebellion, just as Guo Pu had said. (tr. Richard Mather)


敦旣與朝廷乖離,乃羈錄朝士有時望者置己幕府。以羊曼及陳國謝鯤爲長史。曼,祜之兄孫也。曼、鯤終日酣醉,故敦不委以事。敦將作亂,謂鯤曰:「劉隗姦邪,將危社稷,吾欲除君側之惡,何如?」鯤曰:「隗誠始禍,然城狐社鼠。」敦怒曰:「君庸才,豈達大體!」出爲豫章太守,又留不遣。

3. Since Wang Dun was at odds with the Jin court, he recruited several people who had some reputation among the court to serve on his own staff. He appointed Yang Man and Xie Kun of the Chen princely fief as his Chief Clerks. This Yang Man was the grandson of Yang Hu's elder brother. But Yang Man and Xie Kun spent all their days indulging in alcohol, and so Wang Dun did not trust any affairs to them.

Wang Dun was about to rebel, so he asked Xie Kun, "Liu Wei is a crafty villain, and he will threaten the fortunes of state before long. I want to do away with this evil perched beside our sovereign. What do you think?"

Xie Kun replied, "Liu Wei truly will be a source of misfortune. However, he is what they call 'a fox living in a wall, a mouse living in a house'."

Wang Dun angrily said, "You half-wit, how can anything be achieved with you?" He was going to send him away as Administrator of Yuzhang, but he kept him close and did not send him away.

〈敦收時望,不過用西都諸王之故智耳。〉〈後漢虞延曰:城狐社鼠,不畏熏燒。謂有所憑託也。又,中山王勝曰:社鼷不灌,屋鼠不熏,所託者然也。《爾雅翼》曰:管仲稱社束木而塗之,鼠因往託焉,燻之則恐燒其木,灌之則恐敗其塗,此鼠之所以不可得而殺者,以社故也。以喻君之左右。〉

(Wang Dun was doing no more than recruiting people who had been known to the various Princes at the western capital (Luoyang).

Yu Yan of Later Han remarked, "The fox living in a wall and the mouse living in a building do not fear being burned." It means someone who has something to rely on for support. As well, Later Han's Prince of Zhongshan, Liu Sheng, remarked, "A mouse in a building does not drown; a rat in a house does not burn. These are people who enjoy support." The Addendum to the Erya Dictionary states, "Guan Zhong considered Sheshu to be a fool, but he tolerated him, because he was a mouse that had found support. In trying to burn out such a mouse, one fears that the fire will damage the wood of the building; in trying to drown it, one fears that the water will spread its filth. This is a mouse that one is unable to kill, because of the structure." It refers to those who are close to a sovereign and can count on their support.)


戊辰,敦舉兵於武昌,上疏罪狀劉隗,稱:「隗佞邪讒賊,威福自由,妄興事役,勞擾士民,賦役煩重,怨聲盈路。臣備位宰輔,不可坐視成敗,輒進軍致討,隗首朝懸,諸軍夕退。昔太甲顚覆厥度,幸納伊尹之忠,殷道復昌。願陛下深垂三思,則四海乂安,社稷永固矣。」沈充亦起兵於吳興以應敦,敦以充爲大都督、督護東吳諸軍事。敦至蕪湖,又上表罪狀刁協。帝大怒,乙亥,詔曰:「王敦憑恃寵靈,敢肆狂逆,方朕太甲,欲見幽囚。是可忍也,孰不可忍!今親帥六軍以誅大逆,有殺敦者,封五千戶侯。」敦兄光祿勳含乘輕舟逃歸于敦。

4. On the day Wuchen (February 16th), Wang Dun raised troops at Wuchang. He sent up a petition outlining Liu Wei's crimes, stating, "Liu Wei is a sycophantic pest and a slanderous villain. Relying on his power and good fortune, he acts presumptuously to do as he likes. He burdens the gentry and oppresses the people, and his taxes and corvee labor demands are so bothersome and heavy that lamentations fill the road.

"Considering my position, it is my duty to protect and support the state. I cannot sit idly by and watch as Liu Wei completes his machinations. My armies are all now in motion to punish him. The morning that Liu Wei's head is hung up, my armies shall withdraw the same evening.

"In ancient times, the ruler Taijia acted without restraint. It was fortunate that he accepted the loyalty of his minister Yi Yin, and the Yin (Shang) dynasty was once again able to prosper. I pray that Your Majesty will give this matter full consideration. Then all within the Four Seas will know peace and security, and the fortunes of state shall long endure."

Wang Dun’s ally Shen Chong also raised troops in Wuxing commandary to support him. Wang Dun appointed him as Grand Commander and as Commander of military affairs in the eastern Wu region.

When Wang Dun reached Wuhu, he sent up another petition, likewise outlining the crimes of Diao Xie.

Sima Rui was absolutely furious. On the day Yihai (February 23rd), he issued an edict stating, "Wang Dun, trusting in the special favor he has been shown up until now, dares to act like a despicable traitor. He would make me out to be Taijia, for he wishes to see me thrown into some prison. If such things are to be tolerated, what acts would not be tolerated? Now I shall personally lead the six armies to punish this great traitor. Whoever kills Wang Dun will be appointed as a marquis of five thousand households."

The Superintendent of the Imperial Household, Wang Dun's elder brother Wang Han, fled Jiankang on a light boat to join his brother.

〈湯崩,太甲顚覆湯之典刑,伊尹放之於桐。三年,太甲悔過,自怨自艾於桐,伊尹以冕服奉太甲復歸于亳。賴伊尹之訓,以圖厥終。古固有是事,然非人臣所當爲也。〉

(After the death of the founder of the Shang dynasty, Tang of Shang, his son Taijia acted contrary to the canons and laws that Tang had established. The minister Yi Yin exiled Taijia to Tong Palace. After three years, Taijia repented of his transgressions, and he was resentful at himself and sorry at himself at Tong Palace. Then Yi Yin restored the clothing of a monarch to Taijia and led him back to the capital at Bo. So Wang Dun was citing this precedent of Yi Yin's actions in order to further his own ends. But though such a precedent from ancient times did exist, they are not actions that any man or servant should emulate.)


永昌元年,敦率眾內向,以誅隗為名,上疏曰:劉隗前在門下,邪佞諂媚,譖毀忠良,疑惑聖聽,遂居權寵,撓亂天機,威福自由,有識杜口。大起事役,勞擾士庶,外托舉義,內自封植;奢僭過制,乃以黃散為參軍,晉魏已來,未有此比。傾盡帑藏,以自資奉;賦役不均,百姓嗟怨;免良人奴,自為惠澤。自可使其大田以充倉廩,今便割配,皆充隗軍。臣前求迎諸將妻息,聖恩聽許,而隗絕之,使三軍之士莫不怨憤。又徐州流人辛苦經載,家計始立,隗悉驅逼,以實己府。當陛下踐阼之始,投刺王官,本以非常之慶使豫蒙榮分。而更充征役,復依舊名,普取出客,從來久遠,經涉年載,或死亡滅絕,或自贖得免,或見放遣,或父兄時事身所不及,有所不得,輒罪本主,百姓哀憤,怨聲盈路。身欲北渡,以遠朝廷為名,而密知機要,潛行險慝,進人退士,高下任心,奸狡饕餮,未有隗比,雖無忌、宰嚭、弘恭、石顯未足為喻。是以遐邇憤慨,群後失望。臣備位宰輔,與國存亡,誠乏平勃濟時之略,然自忘駑駘,志存社稷,豈忍坐視成敗,以虧聖美。事不獲已,今輒進軍,同討奸孽,願陛下深垂省察,速斬隗首,則眾望厭服,皇祚復隆。隗首朝懸,諸軍夕退。昔太甲不能遵明湯典,顛覆厥度,幸納伊尹之勳,殷道復昌。漢武雄略,亦惑江充讒佞邪說,至乃父子相屠,流血丹地,終能克悟,不失大綱。今日之事,有逾於此,願陛下深垂三思,諮詢善道,則四海乂安,社稷永固矣。又曰:陛下昔鎮揚州,虛心下士,優賢任能,寬以得眾,故君子盡心,小人畢力。臣以暗蔽,豫奉徽猷,是以遐邇望風,有識自竭,王業遂隆,惟新克建,四海延頸,咸望太平。自從信隗已來,刑罰不中,街談巷議,皆云如吳之將亡。聞之惶惑,精魂飛散,不覺胸臆摧破,泣血橫流。陛下當全祖宗之業,存神器之重,察臣前後所啟,奈何棄忽忠言,遂信奸佞,誰不痛心!願出臣表,諮之朝臣,介石之幾,不俟終日,令諸軍早還,不至虛擾。敦党吳興人沈充起兵應敦。敦至蕪湖,又上表罪狀刁協。帝大怒,下詔曰:「王敦憑恃寵靈,敢肆狂逆,方朕太甲,欲見幽囚。是可忍也,孰不可忍也!今親率六軍,以誅大逆,有殺敦者,封五千戶侯。」...敦兄含時為光祿勳,叛奔於敦。(Book of Jin 98, Biography of Wang Dun)

In the first year of Yongchang (322), Wang Dun led his troops towards the capital, under the pretext of demanding Liu Wei's execution. He sent up a memorial stating,

"Liu Wei was once nothing more than a mere minor official. Yet through his wicked flattery and sycophancy on the one hand and his slander and defamation of loyal and good people on the other hand, he has misled and confused our sovereign. Now he occupies a favored position and wields authority, bringing disorder to the natural way. Relying on his power and good fortune, he acts presumptuously to do as he likes, while those who know better say nothing. He has imposed great demands of corvee labor and other incidents, burdening the gentry and oppressing the people. He claims that these things have noble purposes, but really they are for his own enrichment and power. He has overstepped his authority and gone beyond what is permitted, even employing Attendants of the Yellow Gate or Cavaliers In Regular Attendance as his own Army Advisors. In all the time since the founding of the Wei and Jin dynasties, no one has acted like this.

"Liu Wei has exhausted the treasury simply to enrich himself; he has imposed unfair taxes and labor, incurring the resentment of the common people; he has taken the slaves of good people, as though this were an act of kindness. But this has been done in order to enlarge his fields and fill his stores, and now all that are divided up and assigned go to fill his armies. Previously, I sent in a request to welcome the wives of my generals to come to my command post. Our sovereign granted the request, but Liu Wei blocked it; not one gentleman in my three armies was not moved to anger and indignation because of that. As well, the refugees in Xuzhou endured bitter suffering for many years so that they could establish new homes for themselves, but Liu Wei forced them all to fatten his own stores instead.

"Now since Your Majesty has only just begun your reign, the time of your distribution of ranks and titles should have been a happy occasion to divvy out shares of glory to all. Yet there have been only further campaigns and corvee labor demands, all of which revert back to those who are already established. None of the common people who have come to us as guests have been able to attain what they wished, even though some have come from a very long ways and some have been with us for many years. Some of them have died or seen their families extinguished; some have sold themselves into bondage to escape their circumstances; some have seen themselves sent away; some have been unable to reach the status that their fathers and elder brothers enjoyed. All of them blame their sovereign, and the roads are filled with the resentful moans and sighs of the common people.

"One might cross north of the river and make a name for themselves in distant courts. But when it comes to gathering secret knowledge, worming one's way into the confidence of the court, arriving as a mere commoner and returning as a gentleman, securing a strange rank for themselves, and craving perversion and gluttony, there has never been anyone who can compare with Liu Wei. Even the ancients Wu Ji, Zai Pi, Hong Gong, and Shi Xian would have been no match for him. And these are the things which cause those both near and far to become indignant, and all the ministers to lose hope.

"I hold a high office supporting the state, and so I must live or die with it. Though I truly cannot claim to have a strategy that will allow us to pacify the land and get through such troubled times, still I must forget for the moment my mediocrity and endeavor to secure the state. How could I stand aside and watch, and thus allow the state's downfall to become complete and let harm come to what is wise and good? So rather than let events overtake me, I am now advancing my armies so that together we may campaign against the villainous traitor. I implore Your Majesty to deeply consider and look into this matter, and then behead Liu Wei at once. Then the people will regain hope and bow to you, and the imperial grandeur will be restored. The morning that Liu Wei's head is hung up, my armies shall withdraw the same evening.

"In ancient times, the ruler Taijia could not honor and respect the laws that his ancestor Tang of Shang had established for the dynasty, and he overturned the regulations and did as he pleased. It was fortunate that he accepted the diligence of his minister Yi Yin, and the Yin (Shang) dynasty was once again able to prosper. And though Emperor Wu of Han was a bold fellow and full of cunning, even he was initially misled by the slander and wild words of Jiang Chong, to the extent that father and son were set against one another and the ground was stained with blood. Yet in the end, Emperor Wu was able to realize the true situation, and the grand design was not lost.

"Now today's events surpass even those examples. So I pray that Your Majesty will give this matter full consideration, and seek to return to the proper path. Then all within the Four Seas will know peace and security, and the fortunes of state shall long endure."

He also wrote,

"Before, when Your Majesty was first stationed at Yangzhou, you acted modesty in order to win the affections of the local gentlemen, you prized the worthy and employed the able, and you demonstrated magnanimity in order to win over the people to your side. This was why superior fellows offered you their full devotion, and even miscreants gave their best efforts. Though I was blind and dull, still you showed me your good grace. Thus people near and far looked to you, and those who knew of you did all they could. The imperial endeavor thus flourished, for you had rejuvenated it, and all within the Four Seas craned their necks, looking forward to an age of peace.

"But ever since Liu Wei gained your trust, law and order has broken down. The people in the streets even compare the current situation to the last days of Wu. Hear their fear and trembling, how their souls take flight and scatter; do you not realize how their hearts are broken, or how they weep rivers of blood? Your Majesty must act to secure the endeavor begun by your ancestors and preserve the majesty of your position. Reflect well upon all that I have mentioned to you. Why cast aside loyal words and put your faith in wicked flattery? Whose heart would not be in pain at that?

"I ask you to display my petition and take counsel from your court ministers. This is a critical moment; do not wait until it is too late. Give my armies cause to return quickly, rather than allow a pointless disturbance."

Wang Dun’s partisan, Shen Chong of Wuxing commandary, raised troops there to support him.

When Wang Dun reached Wuhu, he sent up another petition, likewise outlining the crimes of Diao Xie.

Emperor Yuan (Sima Rui) was absolutely furious. He issued an edict stating, "Wang Dun, trusting in the special favor he has been shown up until now, dares to act like a despicable traitor. He would make me out to be Taijia, for he wishes to see me thrown into some prison. If such things are to be tolerated, what acts would not be tolerated? Now I shall personally lead the six armies to punish this great traitor. Whoever kills Wang Dun will be appointed as a marquis of five thousand households."

At this time, Wang Dun's elder brother Wang Han was serving in Jiankang as the Superintendent of the Imperial Household. He fled to join his brother.


太子中庶子溫嶠謂僕射周顗曰:「大將軍此舉似有所在,當無濫邪?」顗曰:「不然,人主自非堯、舜,何能無失,人臣安可舉兵以脅之!舉動如此,豈得云非亂乎!處仲狼抗無上,其意寧有限邪!」

5. The 中庶子 to the Crown Prince, Wen Jiao, said to the Supervisor, Zhou Yi, "Does the Grand General (Wang Dun) not have some valid reasons for rising up with his soldiers like this?"

Zhou Yi replied, "Certainly not. Our sovereign may not be an Emperor Yao or Shun, and how can it be that he would not have made some mistakes? But even so, what reason does that give for one of his servants to raise troops to force their own will upon him? When someone acts in such a way, how can it not be called rebellion? Chuzhong (Wang Dun) is a wolf that yields to no one; how can there be any limits on what he will do?"

〈王敦,字處仲。狼似犬,銳頭白頰,高前廣後,貪而敢抗人,故以爲喻。〉

(Wang Dun's style name was Chuzhong.

A wolf is like a dog, with a sharp head and white cheeks, tall in the front and broad in the back. When it wants something, it will even dare to fight a person for it. This was why Zhou Yi described Wang Dun this way.)


王大將軍當下,時咸謂無緣爾。伯仁曰:「今主非堯、舜,何能無過?且人臣安得稱兵以向朝廷?處仲狼抗剛愎,王平子何在?」(New Tales 5.31)

When Wang Dun was about to descend on the capital (in 322), at the time everyone said there was no significance in this.
But Zhou Yi said, "Unless our present ruler (Sima Rui) were a Yao or a Shun, how could he be free of faults? Moreover,
what right has any minister of his to ley an army and march on the court? Whenever his greed is roused, Wang Dun is hard and stubborn. Where is Wang Cheng now?" (tr. Richard Mather)


敦初起兵,遣使告梁州刺史甘卓,約與之俱下,卓許之。及敦升舟,而卓不赴,使參軍孫雙詣武昌諫止敦。敦驚曰︰「甘侯前與吾語云何,而更有異,正當慮吾危朝廷耳!吾今但除姦凶,若事濟,當以甘侯作公。」雙還報,卓意狐疑。或說卓:「且僞許敦,待敦至都而討之。」卓曰:「昔陳敏之亂,吾先從而後圖之,論者謂吾懼逼而思變,心常愧之;今若復爾,何以自明!」

6. When Wang Dun had only just begun raising his soldiers, he had sent word to inform the Inspector of Lianzhou, Gan Zhuo, of what was going on, hoping to make an arrangement with him so that they could act together. Gan Zhuo had accepted at the time. But later, when Wang Dun was about to launch his ships, Gan Zhuo did not come to join him. Instead, he sent his Army Advisor, Sun Shuang, to visit Wang Dun's base at Wuchang and remonstrate with him in order to stop him.

Wang Dun, alarmed, replied, "How is it that Marquis Gan agreed with me before, yet now he says otherwise? Is it just that he is worried I shall endanger the court? All I mean to do is purge the court of its vile and wicked advisors. If the affair succeeds, Marquis Gan could become Duke Gan."

Sun Shuang returned to Lianzhou and made his report to Gan Zhuo, who now hesitated. Someone advised him, "You should pretend to agree with Wang Dun for now. Then, once he reaches the capital, you can attack him."

Gan Zhuo replied, "When Chen Min carried out his rebellion before, I was with him at first, but later turned against him. Everyone who talks about it says that I only changed my mind because I was afraid and under duress, and the thought often shames me. If I were to do the same thing again, how could I explain myself?"

〈許卓作公,啗之以利,欲使同逆。〉〈事見八十六卷惠帝永興二年、懷帝永嘉元年。〉

(By implying that Gan Zhuo would become Duke if he helped him, Wang Dun was enticing him with promises of gain, so that Gan Zhuo would assist him in his treason.

Chen Min's rebellion in the Southland is mentioned in Book 86, in Emperor Hui's second year of Yongning (306) and Emperor Huai's first year of Yongjia (307).)


卓使人以敦旨告順陽太守魏該,該曰:「我所以起兵拒胡賊者,正欲忠於王室耳。今王公舉兵向天子,非吾所宜與也。」遂絕之。

7. Gan Zhuo sent someone to inform the Administrator of Shunyang, Wei Gai, of Wang Dun's decree. But Wei Gai said, "I rose up with troops to fight against the barbarian invaders in the first place for no other reason than because of my earnest wish to remain loyal to the royal family. But now, Duke Wang raises his soldiers to turn them against the Son of Heaven. I will have no part of it." And he broke off relations.

〈史言甘卓不如魏該之忠果。〉

(This passage demonstrates how Gan Zhuo could not compare to Wei Gai's loyalty and resolve.)


敦遣參軍桓羆說譙王氶,請氶爲軍司。氶歎曰:「吾其死矣!地荒民寡,勢孤援絕,將何以濟!然得死忠義,夫復何求!」氶檄長沙虞悝爲長史,會悝遭母喪,氶往弔之,曰:「吾欲討王敦,而兵少糧乏;且新到,恩信未洽。卿兄弟,湘中之豪俊,王室方危,金革之事,古人所不辭,將何以敎之?」悝曰:「大王不以悝兄弟猥劣,親屈臨之,敢不致死!然鄙州荒弊,難以進討;宜且收衆固守,傳檄四方,敦勢必分,分而圖之,庶幾可捷也。」氶乃囚桓羆,以悝爲長史,以其弟望爲司馬,督護諸軍,與零陵太守尹奉、建昌太守長沙王循、衡陽太守淮陵劉翼、舂陵令長沙易雄,同舉兵討敦。雄移檄遠近,列敦罪惡,於是一州之內皆應氶。惟湘東太守鄭澹不從,氶使虞望討斬之,以徇四境。澹,敦姊夫也。

8. Wang Dun sent his Army Advisor, Huan Pi, to advise the Inspector of Xiangzhou and Prince of Qiao, Sima Zheng, asking that Sima Zheng serve as his Army Instructor. Sima Zheng lamented, "This is the death of me! My land is barren and my people are few, and my power is weak and I am cut off from any reinforcement. How then can I succeed? Yet as long as I remain loyal and righteous, what else can I ask for?"

Sima Zheng summoned Yu Kui of Changsha to be his Chief Clerk. But Yu Kui was then in the midst of mourning for his mother. So Sima Zheng came to console him, and he said, "I want to campaign against Wang Dun, but my troops are few and my grain is exhausted. Furthermore, I have only just arrived in Xiangzhou, and I have not yet built up enough trust or favor among the people here. But Sir, you and your brothers are great heroes and talents of the Xiang region. The royal clan is in danger, and military service calls. The ancients would not speak against such a thing. Will you not instruct me on what to do?"

Yu Kui replied, "O Prince, you did not consider my brothers and me too unworthy, but came yourself to bow before us. How could I dare not do my utmost for you? But my province is barren and exhausted, and it would be difficult for you to support an offensive campaign. You should gather your forces behind your defenses for now, while spreading proclamations to every corner. Wang Dun shall have to divide his power, and once he is so divided, you may conquer him, and the endeavor may succeed."

So Sima Zheng imprisoned Huan Lu, and he appointed Yu Kui as his Chief Clerk. He appointed Yu Hui's younger brother Yu Wang as his Marshal and as Commander of all the armies.

Several other people joined with Sima Zheng to raise troops against Wang Dun: the Administrator of Lingling, Yin Feng; the Administrator of Jianchang, Wang Xun of Changsha commandary; the Administrator of Hengyang, Liu Yi of Huailing commandary; and the Prefect of Chongling, Yi Xiong of Changsha commandary. Yi Xiong sent out proclamations near and far, detailing Wang Dun's crimes and offenses, and so the whole province of Xiangzhou supported Sima Zheng.

Only the Administrator of Xiangdong, Zheng Dan, did not support him. Sima Zheng sent Yu Wang to campaign against Zheng Dan, and Yu Wang beheaded him. The whole region thus submitted. This Zheng Dan was the husband of Wang Dun's younger sister.

〈《禮記》:子夏問曰:「三年之喪,卒哭,金革之事無避也者,禮歟?初有司歟?」孔子曰:「吾聞諸老耼,昔者魯公伯禽有爲爲之也。今以三年之喪,從其利者,吾弗知也。」《春秋公羊傳》曰:古者臣有大喪,則君三年不呼其門;已練,可以弁冕,服金革之事,君使之,非也;臣行之,禮也。閔子要絰而服事,孔子蓋善之也。〉〈沈約曰:晉惠帝元康九年,分長沙東北下雋諸縣立建昌郡,至宋,爲巴陵郡。吳孫亮太平二年,分長沙西部都尉立衡陽郡。淮陵縣,屬臨淮郡,時亦分爲郡。〉〈舂陵縣,本前漢之舂陵侯國,後徙國南陽,省;吳復立舂陵縣,屬零陵郡。《姓譜》:易姓,齊有大夫易牙。〉〈吳孫亮太平二年,分長沙東部都尉立湘東郡。〉

(The Book of Rites relates a dialogue between Confucius and Zixia concerning military service during the mourning period: "Zixia asked, 'There is such a thing as no longer declining military service, after the wailing in the three years of mourning has come to an end. Is this the rule, or was it at first required by the officers (of the state)?' Confucius said, 'I heard from Lao Dan that the Dukes and Earls of Lu once engaged in such service, when there was occasion for it; but I do not know if I should allow it in those who seek (by it) their own advantage during the period of the three years' mourning.'" And the Gongyang Commentary to the Spring and Autumn Annals states, "Among the ancients, when one of the ministers experienced a great mourning, then their sovereign would not come calling at their gates for three years. If they were already dressed in their mourning clothes, they could once again wear the clothing of a minister and undertake military service, but only of their own volition; if their sovereign demanded such service of them, that was improper. Yanzi (Min Sun) wore his mourning belt and yet undertook civil service, and Confucius praised him for that.”

Shen Yue remarked, "In Emperor Hui of Jin's ninth year of Yuankang (299), the northeastern counties of Changsha commandary, Xiajuan and others, were split off to form Jianchang commandary. During Liu-Song, it became Baling commandary.”

In Sun Liang of Eastern Wu's second year of Taiping (257), the western Command Post of Changsha commandary was split off to form Hengyang commandary.

Huailing County had been part of Linhuai commandary. At this time, it was also split off as its own commandary.

Chongling County had originally been the Marquisate of Chongling during Former Han. The marquisate was later shifted into Nanyang, and then abolished. Eastern Jin revived it as Chongling County, as part of Lingling commandary.

The Registry of Surnames states, "Regarding the surname 易 Yi, there was a great minister of the ancient state of Qi named Yi Ya."

In Sun Liang of Eastern Wu's second year of Taiping (257), the eastern Command Post of Changsha commandary was split off to form Xiangdong commandary.)


敦尋構難,遣參軍桓羆說承,以劉隗專寵,今便討擊,請承以為軍司,以軍期上道。承歎曰:「吾其死矣!地荒人鮮,勢孤援絕。赴君難,忠也;死王事,義也。惟忠與義,夫復何求!」便欲唱義,而眾心疑惑。承曰:「吾受國恩,義無有貳。」府長史虞悝慷慨有志節,謂承曰:「王敦居分陝之任,而一旦作逆,天地所不容,人神所痛疾。大王宗室籓屏,寧可從其偽邪!便宜電奮,存亡以之。」於是與悝及弟前丞相掾望、建昌太守長沙王循、衡陽太守淮陵劉翼等共盟誓,囚桓羆,馳檄湘州,指期至巴陵。零陵太守尹奉首同義謀,出軍營陽,於是一州之內,皆同義舉。乃使虞望討諸不服,斬湘東太守鄭澹。澹,敦姊夫也。(Book of Jin 37, Biography of Sima Cheng)

Wang Dun soon began his rebellion. He sent his Army Advisor, Huan Pi, to persuade Sima Cheng to support him, claiming that Liu Wei had usurped proper authority and Wang Dun was now marching against him. He asked that Sima Cheng serve as Wang Dun's Army Instructor, and to set a date for his army to set out. Sima Cheng lamented, "This is the death of me! My land is barren and my people are few; my power is weak and I am cut off from any reinforcement. But a loyal man comes to the aid of his sovereign when his sovereign is in trouble, and a righteous man serves his lord even when it means death. So long as I remain loyal and righteous, what else can I ask for?"

Sima Cheng wished to announce his righteous intention, but the hearts of his soldiers were still confused. He told them, "I have received the grace of the state, and I have no other motive but to uphold justice."

The Chief Clerk of Sima Cheng's staff, Yu Kui, had a passionate devotion to his duty. He said to Sima Cheng, "Wang Dun occupies a critical region for the state, yet in a single mourning he rose up as a traitor and plotted against the fortunes of state. Heaven and Earth will not abide him, and the people and spirits are bitter with anger against him. Great Prince, you are a shield of the royal family; how could you go along with Wang Dun in his duplicity? You should strike like lightning; survival or doom would depend on it."

So Sima Cheng swore an oath together with Yu Kui, the former Official to the Prime Minister, Yu Kui's younger brother Yu Wang, the Administrator of Jianchang, Wang Xun of Changsha commandary, the Administrator of Hengyang, Liu Yi of Huailing commandary, and others. He imprisoned Huan Pi, and he sent out couriers to spread proclamations throughout Xiangzhou, setting a date to gather at Baling. The Administrator of Lingling, Yin Feng, was the chief supporter of the righteous cause, and he led his army to Yingyang commandary. Thus, the whole province all raised their forces to support the cause. Sima Cheng sent Yu Wang to campaign against those who would not join the cause, and Yu Wang beheaded the Administrator of Xiangdong, Zheng Dan. This Zheng Dan was Wang Dun's brother-in-law.

易雄,字興長,長沙瀏陽人也。少為縣吏,自念卑賤,無由自達,乃脫幘掛縣門而去。因習律令及施行故事,交結豪右,州里稍稱之。仕郡,為主簿。張昌之亂也,執太守萬嗣,將斬之,雄與賊爭論曲直。賊怒,叱使牽雄斬之,雄趨出自若。賊又呼問之,雄對如初。如此者三,賊乃舍之。嗣由是獲免,雄遂知名。舉孝廉,為州主簿,遷別駕。自以門寒,不宜久處上綱,謝職還家。後為舂陵令。刺史、譙王承既距王敦,將謀起兵以赴朝廷。雄承符馳檄遠近,列敦罪惡,宣募縣境,數日之中,有眾千人,負糧荷戈而從之。(Book of Jin 89, Biography of Yi Xiong)

Yi Xiong, styled Xingzhang, was a native of Liuyang county in Changsha commandary. As a young man, he served as an official in his county. However, he considered that he was meeting with no success because of his poor background, so he took off his headdress and hung it on the gate of the county office before leaving. Yet after studying laws and past precedents and forming bonds with the local leading families, Yi Xiong's reputation in the province gradually rose. He was employed by the commandary as a Registrar.

During Zhang Chang's rebellion (~303), the rebels captured the Administrator of Changsha, Wan Ci. They were about to behead him, when Yi Xiong revilved the bandits for their evil ways and argued with them. This angered the rebels, who shouted that they would get Yi Xiong and behead him, but he only left without being disturbed. The rebels kept calling after him, but Yi Xiong answered the same as before. After three incidents of this, the rebels let him go. Because of this, Wan Ci was able to make his escape, and Yi Xiong's good reputation was bolstered.

Yi Xiong was nominated as a Filial and Incorrupt candidate, and he became a provincial Registrar, then an Attendant Officer With Separate Carriage. But since Yi Xiong came from an obscure family, he felt that he should not remain in a high position for long. So he resigned his office and returned home. He later became Prefect of Chongling.

When the Inspector of Xiangzhou and Prince of Qiao, Sima Cheng, opposed Wang Dun, he was plotting to rise up with soldiers and march to the aid of the court. Yi Xiong took Sima Cheng's proclamations and spread them near and far, listing Wang Dun's crimes and villainy and summoning recruits from every county. Within a few days, an army of a thousand people had gathered to join him, carrying grain supplies and holding their weapons.

虞悝,長沙人也。弟望,字子都。並有士操,孝悌廉信為鄉黨所稱,而俱好臧否,以人倫為己任。少仕州郡,兄弟更為治中、別駕。元帝為丞相,招延四方之士,多辟府掾,時人謂之「百六掾」。望亦被召,恥而不應。譙王承臨州,知其名,檄悝為長史。未到,遭母喪。會王敦作逆,承往吊悝,因留與語曰:「吾前被詔,遣鎮此州,正以王敦專擅,防其為禍。今敦果為逆謀,吾受任一方,欲率所領馳赴朝廷,而眾少糧乏,且始到貴州,恩信未著。卿兄弟南夏之翹俊,而智勇遠聞,古人墨絰即戎,況今鯨鯢塞路,王室危急,安得遂罔極之情,忘忠義之節乎!如今起事,將士器械可以濟不?」悝、望對曰:「王敦居分陝之任,一旦構逆,圖危社稷,此天地所不容,人神所忿疾。大王不以猥劣,枉駕訪及,悝兄弟並受國恩,敢不自奮!今天朝中興,人思晉德,大王以宗子之親,奉信順而誅有罪,孰不荷戈致命!但鄙州荒弊,糧器空竭,舟艦寡少,難以進討。宜且收眾固守,傳檄四方,其勢必分,然後圖之,事可捷也。」承以為然,乃命悝為長史,望為司馬,督護諸軍。湘東太守鄭澹,敦之姊夫也,不順承旨,遣望討之。望率眾一旅,直人郡斬澹,以徇四境。(Book of Jin 89, Biography of Yu Kui)

Yu Kui was a native of Changsha commandary. His younger brother was Yu Wang, styled Zidou. They were both proper fellows, and their neighbors commended them for their filial behavior, their incorruptibility, and their trustworthiness. They both also enjoyed appraising people, discussing what offices people were suited for. When they were young, they served in offices in their commandary and province, and the brothers eventually became Directors of Affairs and Attendant Officers With Separate Carriage. When Emperor Yuan (Sima Rui) sent out his summons to recruit his "106 Officials", Yu Wang too received such a summons, but he was too ashamed to respond to it.

When the Prince of Qiao, Sima Cheng, was appointed as Inspector of Xiangzhou, he learned of Yu Kui's reputation and sent a order to him to serve as his Chief Clerk. But before Yu Kui could take up that post, his mother passed away, so he remained at home to mourn for her instead.

Soon afterwards, Wang Dun launched his rebellion. Sima Cheng came to console Yu Kui, and he asked him, "The reason that I received an imperial order and was sent to govern this province was precisely in order to guard against the possibility of Wang Dun seizing power for himself. Now Wang Dun has indeed begun his treasonous plot. Since I have been entrusted with this corner of the realm, I want to lead the forces under my command to march to the defense of the court, but my troops are few and my grain is exhausted. Furthermore, I have only just arrived in Xiangzhou, and I have not yet built up enough trust or favor among the people here.

"But Sir, you and your brothers are great heroes and talents of the Southland, and your boldness and cunning are known near and far. Even the ancients would interrupt their mourning and put on black clothes in order to deal with the barbarians. How much more does this apply when foul creatures fill the roads of the state itself, and the royal clan is in danger? How can you insist upon expressing the full extent of your grief for your family if that means forgetting to uphold your loyalty and your duty to your state? With the way things are now, will you gentlemen not instruct me on what to do?"

Yu Kui and Yu Wang replied, "Wang Dun was entrusted with a critical region for the state, yet in a single mourning he rose up as a traitor and plotted against the fortunes of state. Heaven and Earth will not abide him, and the people and spirits are bitter with anger against him. O Prince, you did not consider us too unworthy, but brought your carriage to come visit us. We too have received the favor of the state, so how could we dare not do our utmost for you? And since the dynasty is being restored, the people's hearts are still inclined towards Jin's virtue. Great Prince, you yourself are a member of the imperial clan, and if you support the loyal while punishing the traitorous, who will not wield their dagger-axe and heed your orders?

"But our province is barren and exhausted: its grain and equipment are empty and used up, its boats and ships are scanty and few, and it would be difficult for you to support an offensive campaign. You should gather your forces behind your defenses for now, while spreading proclamations to every corner. Wang Dun shall have to divide his power, and once he is so divided, you may conquer him, and the endeavor may succeed."

Sima Cheng agreed, so he appointed Yu Kui as his Chief Clerk. He appointed Yu Wang as his Marshal and as Commander of all the armies.

The Administrator of Xiangdong, Zheng Dan, was the husband of Wang Dun's younger sister. He refused to obey Sima Cheng's decree, so Sima Cheng sent Yu Wang to campaign against him. Yu Wang led an army straight to Xiangdong, whereupon the people of the commandary beheaded Zheng Dan and submitted all the territory to Yu Wang.


氶遣主簿鄧騫至襄陽,說甘卓曰:「劉大連雖驕蹇失衆心,非有害於天下。大將軍以其私憾,稱兵向闕,此忠臣義士竭節之時也。公受任方伯,奉辭伐罪,乃桓、文之功也。」卓曰:「桓、文則非吾所能;然志在徇國,當共詳思之。」參軍李梁說卓曰:「昔隗囂跋扈,竇融保河西以奉光武,卒受其福。今將軍有重望於天下,但當按兵坐以待之,使大將軍事捷,當委將軍以方面,不捷,朝廷必以將軍代之,何憂不富貴;而釋此廟勝,決存亡於一戰邪?」騫謂梁曰:「光武當創業之初,故隗、竇可以文服從容顧望。今將軍之於本朝,非竇融之比也;襄陽之於太府,非河西之固也。使大將軍克劉隗,還武昌,增石城之戍,絕荊、湘之粟,將軍將安歸乎!勢在人手,而曰我處廟勝,未之聞也。且爲人臣,國家有難,坐視不救,於義安乎!」卓尚疑之。騫曰:「今旣不爲義舉,又不承大將軍檄,此必至之禍,愚智所見也。且議者之所難,以彼強而我弱也。今大將軍兵不過萬餘,其留者不能五千;而將軍見衆旣倍之矣。以將軍之威名,帥此府之精銳,杖節鳴鼓,以順討逆,豈王含所能禦哉!遡流之衆,勢不自救,將軍之舉武昌,若摧枯拉朽,尚何顧慮邪!武昌旣定,據其軍實,鎭撫二州,以恩意招懷士卒,使還者如歸,此呂蒙所以克關羽也。今釋必勝之策,安坐以待危亡,不可以言智矣。」

9. Sima Zheng sent his Registrar Deng Qian to Gan Zhuo's base at Xiangyang. Deng Qian advised Gan Zhuo, "Although Liu Dalian (Liu Wei) has lost the hearts of many through his arrogance, he does not pose a danger to the realm. The Grand General (Wang Dun) is acting purely out of his personal resentments, and he has turned his soldiers towards error. Now is the time for loyal ministers and righteous men to do all that they can. You command a border post as well. If you can honor these words by campaigning against a criminal, you will match the achievements of the ancients Duke Huan of Qi and Duke Wen of Jin."

Gan Zhuo replied, "I am not so able as Duke Huan or Duke Wen, but it is my intention to restore peace to the state. I shall make plans together with you."

But then Gan Zhuo's Army Advisor, Li Liang, advised him, "In former times, when Kui Xiao dominated the court of the Han dynasty, the general Dou Rong guarded the Hexi region in support of Emperor Guangwu, and so he was able to secure his fortune in the end. General, you now hold great esteem across the realm. You need only keep your soldiers in hand here and await events. Allow the Grand General to succeed in his endeavor, and then he will accord you with respect. Even if he does not succeed, the court will certainly have you take his former place. Either way, what need would you have to worry about maintaining your fame and fortune? Why then do you plan to cast aside this 'calculation of the temple' and risk life or death all on a single battle?"

Deng Qian said to Li Liang, "Emperor Guangwu had only just established the state, and that was why Kui Xiao and Dou Rong could guard their intentions and calmly watch to see how things developed. But General Gan received his commission from the original court, and you cannot compare his situation with that of Dou Rong. Besides, Xiangyang is under the command authority of the Grand General, and it is not so sturdy a holdout as Hexi was. If you allow the Grand General to triumph over Liu Wei, then when he returns to Wuchang, he will increase his camps at Shicheng and cut off the grain supplies from Jingzhou and Xiangzhou. Then what path will General Gan have left? All power will be in the hands of your enemy, and yet you call this the 'calculation of the temple'. Such nonsense has never been heard before. Most of all, General Gan is a servant of the state. When the state is in danger, how can he sit by and not save it? How can that be righteous?"

But Gan Zhuo was even more hesitant.

Deng Qian said to him, "If you do not raise you troops against the Grand General to serve righteousness, and at the same time you do not heed his call and join him, disaster will certainly overtake you in the end. Anyone, whether foolish or wise, can see that.

"The difficulties which have just been mentioned all stem from the assumption that the Grand General is strong while we are weak. But he cannot have more than ten thousand soldiers at the moment, and so he cannot leave even five thousand soldiers behind. General, you can see that your own forces greatly exceed that. If you harness your power and reputation, lead the elite and keen soldiers under your command, bear your staff of authority and beat the army drums, and assist the loyal by campaigning against the traitors, how could Wang Han ever resist you? As for the Grand General's forces downstream, they would not be strong enough to save Wang Han. General, it would be as easy for you to take Wuchang as it would be to crush dry weeds or smash rotten wood, so what reason is there to worry so?

"Once Wuchang is dealt with, you will have taken the Grand General's army stores, and you can protect and nurture two provinces (Jingzhou and Jiangzhou). You can win over the officers and soldiers through your grace, and have things for those who return be just like before. This was how Lü Meng of Eastern Wu overcame Guan Yu of Shu-Han.

"But for you to throw away this plan for certain victory, and instead sit peacefully waiting for disaster to come to you, is not something that I can call wise."

〈晉梁州刺史鎭襄陽,自周訪始。宋白曰:襄陽,漢中廬縣地。〉〈劉隗,字大連。〉〈事見四十一卷漢光武建武五年至四十三卷十二年。〉〈孫子曰:未戰而廟勝,得算多也;未戰而廟不勝,得算少也。〉〈文服,謂非心服,特以虛文示相臣服而已。〉〈襄陽以王敦府爲太府。〉〈賢曰:石城故城,在復州沔陽縣東南。〉〈謂敦兵以東下,若欲遡流西上以自救,勢不相及也。〉〈二州,謂荊、江也。〉〈事見六十八卷漢獻帝建安二十四年。〉

(At this time, Jin's Inspector of Lianzhou ruled that nominal region from Xiangyang, a policy which had begun under Gan Zhuo's predecessor Zhou Fang. Song Bai remarked, "Xiangyang was the territory of Han's Zhonglu County."

Liu Wei's style name was Dalian.

The account of Dou Rong is mentioned from Book 41, in Emperor Guangwu of Han's fifth year of Jianwu (29 AD), to Book 43, in the twelfth year of Jianwu (36).

Sun Tzu's Art of War states, "The general who wins a battle makes many calculations in his temple ere the battle is fought. The general who loses a battle makes but few calculations beforehand (1.7)."

The term 文服 here means to guard one's intentions, especially when one makes empty shows of obedience without substance.

Xiangyang was under Wang Dun's authority as Commander.

Li Xian remarked, "The old city of Shicheng was in the southeast of Mianyang County in Fuzhou."

Deng Qian was saying that Wang Dun's forces east of Wuchang downriver from it would not be strong enough to match Gan Zhuo's army even if they wanted to return upstream to save the city.

The "two provinces" were Jingzhou and Jiangzhou.

Lü Meng's conquest of Jingzhou and defeat of Guan Yu are mentioned in Book 68, in Emperor Xian of Han's twenty-fourth year of Jian'an (219.FF in de Crespigny's To Establish Peace.)


敦恐卓於後爲變,又遣參軍丹楊樂道融往邀之,必欲與之俱東。道融雖事敦,而忿其悖逆,乃說卓曰:「主上親臨萬機,自用譙王爲湘州,非專任劉隗也。而王氏擅權日久,卒見分政,便謂失職,背恩肆逆,舉兵向闕。國家遇君至厚,今與之同,豈不違負大義,生爲逆臣,死爲愚鬼,永爲宗黨之恥,不亦惜乎!爲君之計,莫若僞許應命,而馳襲武昌,大將軍士衆聞之,必不戰自潰,大勳可就矣。」卓雅不欲從敦,聞道融之言,遂決曰:「吾本意也。」乃與巴東監軍柳純、南平太守夏侯承、宜都太守譚該等露檄數敦逆狀,帥所統致討;遣參軍司馬讚、孫雙奉表詣臺;羅英至廣州,約陶侃同進。戴淵在江西,先得卓書,表上之,臺內皆稱萬歲。陶侃得卓信,卽遣參軍高寶帥兵北下。武昌城中傳卓軍至,人皆奔散。

10. Wang Dun was worried that Gan Zhuo would pose a threat to his rear, so he also sent his Army Advisor, Yue Daorong of Danyang, to try and win him over to his side, so that they would be able to advance east together. But although this Yue Daorong worked under Wang Dun, he actually hated Wang Dun for his treason. So instead, he advised Gan Zhuo, "Our sovereign personally manages all affairs, and it was his own idea to send the Prince of Qiao to Xiangzhou, not Liu Wei's machinations. In fact, it is the Wang clan who have been presumptuous for so long. And now that power over the state is being spread out among others, the Wang clan even claims that they are losing their rightful offices. Wang Dun has scorned the grace that has been shown him and proven himself to be a traitor, and now he is raising soldiers and turning them towards the royal palace.

"Sir, the state has shown you exceptional favor, and if you were to stand with the Grand General now, how could that be anything else but betraying what is truly just? In life, you would be a traitorous minister; in death, you would be a foolish ghost. Your clan and your partisans would be stained by the shame of it forever. Would that not be regrettable?

"Sir, you could follow no better plan than to pretend to heed the Grand General's orders and then launch a sudden attack on Wuchang. When his soldiers hear that you are coming, they will certainly scatter without fighting. You would truly achieve great things."

Gan Zhuo had never wished to assist Wang Dun, and when he heard Yue Daorong's advice, he said with determination, "That has been my intention all along."

So he and several other people sent out proclamations announcing Wang Dun's treason and led their forces to join together in a campaign against him: the Army-Chief of Badong, Liu Chun, the Administrator of Nanping, Xiahou Cheng, the Administrator of Yidu, Tan Gai, and others. Gan Zhuo sent his Army Advisors, Sima Zan and Sun Shuang, to visit the government Terrace offices and present a petition. Luo Ying went to Guangzhou, to have Tao Kan advance against Wang Dun as well.

Dai Yuan was on the north side of the Yangzi, and so he obtained Gan Zhuo's letter first. He forwarded it on, and everyone inside the government praised Gan Zhuo and wished for his longevity.

When Tao Kan received Gan Zhuo's letter, he sent his Army Advisor, Gao Bao, to lead troops north.

When those inside Wuchang heard that Gan Zhuo's army was nearby, they all ran away and scattered.

〈謂分任譙王氶等,政不專歸於王氏也。〉〈《姓譜》:齊滅譚,子孫以國爲氏;漢有河南尹譚閎。又巴南大姓有譚氏,盤瓠之後。〉〈戴淵出鎭合肥,於建康爲江西。〉

("Power being spread out" meant the appointment of people like Sima Zheng, in order to prevent the Wang clan from monopolizing power.

The Registry of Surnames states, "When the ancient state of Qi conquered its neighboring state 譚 Tan, the descendants of that state took the name of their fallen state to be their clan name. During Han, there was a Tan Hong who served as Intendant of Henan. There was also a great clan in the south of the Ba region surnamed Tan, who were the descendants of Panhu."

Dai Yuan had gone out to guard Hefei, so he was across the Yangzi from Jiankang at this time.)


樂道融,丹陽人也。少有大志,好學不倦,與朋友信,每約己而務周給,有國士之風。為王敦參軍。敦將圖逆,謀害朝賢,以告甘卓。卓以為不可,遲留不赴。敦遣道融召之。道融雖為敦佐,忿其逆節,因說卓曰:「主上躬統萬機,非專任劉隗。今慮七國之禍,故割湘州以削諸侯,而王氏擅權日久,卒見分政,便謂被奪耳。王敦背恩肆逆,舉兵伐主,國家待君至厚,今若同之,豈不負義!生為逆臣,死為愚鬼,永成宗黨之恥邪!君當偽許應命,而馳襲武昌,敦眾聞之,必不戰自散,大勳可就矣。」卓大然之,乃與巴東監軍柳純等露檄陳敦過逆,率所統致討,又遣齎表詣台。(Book of Jin 89, Biography of Yue Daorong)

Yue Daorong was a native of Danyang commandary. Even as a youth, he had grand ambitions. He enjoyed studying tirelessly, and whenever he was with his friends and associates, he always restrained himself and handled affairs for others. He enjoyed a good reputation among the gentlemen of the state.

Yue Daorong became an Army Advisor for Wang Dun. When Wang Dun was planning treason, plotting to harm the worthy people of the court, and he mentioned the matter to Gan Zhuo. Gan Zhuo felt that the plan was impossible, so he lingered rather than come to Wang Dun.

Wang Dun sent Yue Daorong to summon Gan Zhuo. But although Yue Daorong worked under Wang Dun, he actually hated Wang Dun for his betrayal of his duty. So instead, he advised Gan Zhuo, "Our sovereign personally manages all affairs; he has not surrendered his duties to Liu Wei. It was our sovereign's concern that the Rebellion of the Seven States might be repeated in his own time that he carved out Xiangzhou in order to 'diminish the power of the feudal lords'. In fact, it is the Wang clan who have been usurping more power by the day. And now that power over the state is being spread out among others, the Wang clan even claims that their power is being wrested away. Wang Dun has scorned the grace that has been shown him and proven himself to be a traitor, and now he is raising soldiers and campaigning against his sovereign.

"Sir, the state has shown you exceptional favor, and if you were to stand with Wang Dun now, how could that be anything else but betraying what is truly just? In life, you would be a traitorous minister; in death, you would be a foolish ghost. Your clan and your partisans would be stained by the shame of it forever!

"Sir, you should pretend to heed Wang Dun's orders and then launch a sudden attack on Wuchang. When his soldiers hear that you are coming, they will certainly scatter without fighting. You would truly achieve great things."

Gan Zhuo greatly agreed with him, so he joined with the Army-Chief of Badong, Liu Chun, and others to send out proclamations announcing Wang Dun's trespasses and treason and lead their forces to join together in a campaign against him. He also sent agents to present a petition to the governmental bureau.


敦遣從母弟南蠻校尉魏乂、將軍李恆帥甲卒二萬攻長沙。長沙城池不完,資儲又闕,人情震恐。或說譙王氶,南投陶侃或退據零、桂。氶曰:「吾之起兵,志欲死於忠義,豈可貪生苟免,爲奔敗之將乎!事之不濟,令百姓知吾心耳。」乃嬰城固守。未幾,虞望戰死,甘卓欲留鄧騫爲參軍,騫不可,乃遣參軍虞沖與騫偕至長沙,遺譙王氶書,勸之固守,當以兵出沔口,斷敦歸路,則湘圍自解。氶復書稱:「江左中興,草創始爾,豈圖惡逆萌自寵臣。吾以宗室受任,志在隕命;而至止尚淺,凡百茫然。足下能卷甲電赴,猶有所及;若其狐疑,則求我於枯魚之肆矣。」卓不能從。

11. Wang Dun sent the Colonel of Southern Man Tribes, his maternal uncle Wei Ai, and his general Li Heng to lead twenty thousand armored soldiers to attack Sima Zheng’s base at Changsha. The walls and moats of Changsha were not complete, and the city's supplies and funds were also lacking, so people were startled and afraid.

Some advised Sima Zheng to flee south to Tao Kan or fall back to guard Lingling and Guiyang instead. But Sima Zheng said, "The reason I raised my troops in the first place was to fight and die for the sake of loyalty and righteousness. How can I run away just to save my life, and be a general who turned and ran in the face of defeat? If I am not successful, at least the people will know my heart." So he held the city and maintained his defenses.

Not long afterwards, Yu Wang died in battle. Gan Zhuo wanted to keep Deng Qian with him to serve as an Army Advisor, but Deng Qian would not do so, so Gan Zhuo sent his Army Advisor, Yu Chong, to accompany Deng Qian back to Changsha.

Gan Zhuo wrote a letter to Sima Zheng, urging him to stick to his defenses, saying that Gan Zhuo himself would send his troops out to Miankou to cut off Wang Dun's line of retreat. Then the siege on Changsha would lift on its own.

Sima Zheng wrote back saying, "The restoration of the dynasty in the Southland all depends upon your actions. How can you treat a vile traitor as though he were a favored minister? I am a member of the royal clan, and I have accepted an important position here. My will is to fulfill my orders to the fullest. But I have been in this place such a short time, and so much is still at a loss here. Sir, if you can bring your troops here quick as the lightning, success can still be had. But if you leave this place to fend for itself and abandon it to its fears, then 'you shall have to look for me in a stall of dried fish'."

But Gan Zhuo could not follow his advice.

〈敦從母魏氏,乂其弟也。〉〈莊子見車轍鮒,鮒曰:「豈無斗升之水以活我乎?」莊子曰:「待我決西江之水而迎汝。」鮒曰:「如君言,不如早索我於枯魚之肆。」〉

(Wang Dun's maternal aunt was Lady Wei; this Wei Ai was her younger brother.

"You shall have to look for me in a stall of dried fish" refers to a passage from the Zhuangzi: "Zhuangzi saw a goby fish in a carriage rut. The goby said, 'Have you, Sir, a gallon or a pint of water to keep me alive?' Zhuangzi replied, 'Wait for me to get some water from the Yangzi, and then I shall bring it to you.' The goby said, 'Rather than do what you propose, you shall have to look for me in a stall of dried fish.' (What Comes From Without 2)".)


敦遣南蠻校尉魏乂、將軍李恆、田嵩等甲卒二萬以攻承。承且戰且守,待救于尹奉、虞望,而城池不固,人情震恐。或勸承南投陶侃,又云可退據零桂。承曰:「吾舉義眾,志在死節,甯偷生苟免,為奔敗之將乎!事之不濟,其令百姓知吾心耳。」初,安南將軍甘卓與承書,勸使固守,當以兵出沔口,斷敦歸路,則湘圍自解。承答書曰:「季思足下:勞于王事。天綱暫圮,中原丘墟。四海義士,方謀克復,中興江左,草創始爾,豈圖惡逆萌自寵臣。吾以暗短,托宗皇屬。仰豫密命,作鎮南夏,親奉中詔,成規在心。伯仁諸賢,扼腕歧路,至止尚淺,凡百茫然。豺狼易驚,遂肆醜毒,聞知駭踴,神氣沖越。子來之義,人思自百,不命而至,眾過數千。誠足以決一旦之機。攄山海之憤矣。然迫於倉卒,舟楫未備,魏乂、李恆,尋見圍逼,是故事與意違,志力未展。猥辱來使,深同大趣;嘉謀英算,發自深衷。執讀周復,欣無以量。足下若能卷甲電赴,猶或有濟,若其狐疑,求我枯魚之肆矣。兵聞拙速,未睹工遲。季思足下,勉之勉之!書不盡意,絕筆而已。」(Book of Jin 37, Biography of Sima Cheng)

Wang Dun sent the Colonel of Southern Man Tribes, Wei Ai, and his generals Li Heng, Tian Song, and others to lead twenty thousand armored soldiers to attack Sima Cheng. Sima Cheng would sometimes fight and sometimes keep to his walls, and he was awaiting reinforcements from Yin Feng and Yu Wang. But the walls and moats of the city were not very stout, so people were startled and afraid.

Some advised Sima Cheng to flee south to seek refuge with Tao Kan, while others said to fall back to guard Lingling and Guiyang instead. But Sima Cheng said, "I raised an army for a righteous cause, and I am determined to maintain my duty even to the death. How can I run away just to save my life, and be a general who turned and ran in the face of defeat? If I am not successful, at least the people will know my heart."

Earlier, the General Who Maintains The South, Gan Zhuo, had written a letter to Sima Cheng, urging him to stick to his defenses, saying that Gan Zhuo himself would send his troops out to Miankou to cut off Wang Dun's line of retreat. Then the siege on Xiangzhou would lift on its own.

Sima Cheng wrote back a response stating, "I implore you, my friend, to observe this maxim: work towards the royal endeavor. It is true that the divine design has faltered for now, and the Central Plains lie in ruins. Yet even now, ardent gentlemen within the Four Seas are working towards the restoration of the dynasty. Its new foundation in the Southland has only just been established. How then can you treat a vile traitor as though he were a favored minister?

"Despite my own blindness and shortcomings, I have been entrusted by the imperial clan. I am heeding a personal charge to protect the southern Xia, uphold the imperial will, and maintain the rules of the state. Benevolent and worthy gentlemen are gripping their wrists in agitation at what the future might bring; I have been in this place such a short time, yet the common people are already so stirred up. Their expressions and figures are easily alarmed as though they had taken poison, any new information or rumor agitates them, and their appearances are even more excited. Whenever someone comes to serve the righteous cause, people consider them to be worth a hundred; a host of many thousands has gathered, even without having been ordered to do so. It is truly an opportunity to decide this event in a single day. This feeling permeates the very mountains and seas.

"However, we are pressed by circumstances. Our granaries are exhausted, and our boats and oars are not prepared. Wei Ai and Li Heng shall soon put us under siege. This was the business which I sought to face, yet my determination and strength have not yet developed. A host of shames are now descending upon us; good plans and heroic efforts are now emerging from the heart. Reading back over these things, I feel boundless joy.

"Sir, if you can bring your troops here quick as the lightning, success can still be had. But if you leave this place to fend for itself and abandon it to its fears, then 'you shall have to look for me in a stall of dried fish'. It is true that one sometimes errs through rash movement of soldiers, but no success can come through delay. I implore you, my friend, exert yourself, exert yourself! I have not yet written all that I wish to express to you, but I end this letter here."

承既固守,而湘中殘荒之後,城池不完,兵資又闕。敦遣魏乂、李恆攻之,雄勉厲所統,捍禦累旬,士卒死傷者相枕。(Book of Jin 89, Biography of Yi Xiong)

Sima Cheng decided to defend his territory. But Xiangzhou was a poor and barren region, and the walls and moats of the city were not complete, and the city's soldiers and funds were also lacking. Wang Dun sent Wei Ai and Li Heng to attack the city. Yi Xiong was fierce and spirited in his leadership of troops; they resisted the enemy for several weeks, as soldiers fell dead or wounded one after the other.

及魏乂來攻,望每先登,力戰而死。(Book of Jin 89, Biography of Yu Kui)

When Wei Ai came to attack Sima Cheng, Yu Wang was always the first to ascend the walls. He fought hard, but died in battle.


二月,甲午,封皇子昱爲琅邪王。

12. In the second month, on the day Jiawu (March 14th), Sima Rui appointed his son Sima Yu as Prince of Langye.

簡文皇帝諱昱,字道萬,元帝之少子也。幼而岐嶷,爲元帝所愛。郭璞見而謂人曰:「興晉祚者,必此人也。」及長,清虛寡欲,尤善玄言。永昌元年,元帝詔曰:「先公武王、先考恭王君臨琅邪。繼世相承,國嗣未立,蒸嘗靡主,朕常悼心。子昱仁明有智度,可以虔奉宗廟,以慰罔極之恩。其封昱爲琅邪王,食會稽、宣城如舊。」(Book of Jin 9, Annals of Emperor Jianwen)

Emperor Jianwen was named Sima Yu. His style name was Daowan. He was the youngest son of Emperor Yuan (Sima Rui). He was a precocious child, and Emperor Yuan treasured him. When Guo Pu saw him, he told people, "It will definitely be this fellow who restores Jin's fortunes." By the time Sima Yu grew up, he was pure of heart and had few desires, and he was especially skilled at the philosophy of Dark Learning.

In the first year of Yongchang (322), Emperor Yuan (Sima Rui) issued an edict stating, "My grandfather Prince Wu (Sima Zhou) and my father Prince Xiaogong (Sima Jin) were both Princes of Langye. Now that I have inherited the imperial line, the title Prince of Langye has been left without an heir, and the thought that there might be no one to oversee the sacrifices to the ancestors of that line has often filled my heart with grief. My son Sima Yu is benevolent, wise, and possesses great intelligence. He may piously revere my ancestors and repay their boundless grace towards me. I now appoint Sima Yu as Prince of Langye, and he shall be provided from the fiefs of Kuaiji and Yicheng as before."


後趙王勒立子弘爲世子。遣中山公虎將精卒四萬擊徐龕;龕堅守不戰,虎築長圍守之。

13. The ruler of Later Zhao, Shi Le, appointed his son Shi Hong as his heir.

Shi Le sent Shi Hu to lead forty thousand elite soldiers to attack the warlord Xu Kan. Xu Kan kept to his defenses and would not offer battle, so Shi Hu built long siege lines to besiege him.

四年二月,拜子弘為世子。(Annals of the Sixteen Kingdoms 2, Biography of Shi Le)

In the fourth year of Shi Le's reign (322), the second month, he appointed his son Shi Hong as his heir.


趙主曜自將擊楊難敵,難敵逆戰不勝,退保仇池。仇池諸氐、羌及故晉王保將楊韜、隴西太守梁勛皆降於曜。遷隴西萬餘戶於長安,進攻仇池。會軍中大疫,曜亦得疾,將引兵還;恐難敵躡其後,乃遣光國中郎將王獷說難敵,諭以禍福,難敵遣使稱藩。曜以難敵爲假黃鉞、都督益‧寧‧南秦‧涼‧梁‧巴六州‧隴上‧西域諸軍事、上大將軍、益‧寧‧南秦三州牧、武都王。

14. It was earlier mentioned that the Zhao generals had been unable to defeat the Chouchi ruler Yang Nandi in the west, and that the Emperor of Zhao, Liu Yao, had now come in person to lead the campaign. Yang Nandi fought back against Liu Yao, but he could not succeed, and so he retreated to guard his territory of Chouchi.

The Di and Qiang tribes at Chouchi surrendered to Liu Yao, as did Sima Bao's former general Yang Tao and Jin's Administrator of Longxi, Liang Xun. Liu Yao relocated more than ten thousand households from Longxi to Chang'an.

Liu Yao then advanced to attack Chouchi. At that time, a great plague swept through the army. Liu Yao also fell ill, so he was about to bring his army away again. But he was afraid that Yang Nandi might suddenly attack his rear if he did so. So he sent the General of the Household Gentlemen of the Glorious State, Wang Guang, to speak to Yang Nandi. Wang Guang advised Yang Nandi of the advantages and disadvantages of his position, and so Yang Nandi was persuaded to send envoys to Liu Yao and agree to vassalage to Zhao. Liu Yao appointed him as Bearer of the Golden Battle-axe, Commander of military affairs in Yizhou, Ningzhou, Southern Qinzhou, Liangzhou, Lianzhou, Bazhou, Longshang, and the Western Reaches, Supreme Grand General, Governor of Yizhou, Ningzhou, and Southern Qingzhou, and Prince of Wudu.

〈光國中郎將,趙所置也。獷,古猛翻。〉〈吳孫氏始置上大將軍。南秦州及巴州,曜創其名。其後北國率授楊氏南秦州刺史,據有陰平、武都二郡之地。〉

(General of the Household Gentlemen of the Glorious State was a rank created by Zhao.

Wang Guang's given name 獷 is pronounced "geng (g-eng)".

The Sun clan of Eastern Wu had been the first to create the rank of Supreme Grand General.

Liu Yao had specially created these supposed provinces of Southern Qinzhou and Bazhou for this occasion. For many years afterwards, the northern states would often appoint the Yang clan of Chouchi as Inspectors of Southern Qinzhou, because they occupied the two commandaries of Yinping and Wudu, which were in the south of the usual territory of Qinzhou.)


曜南服仇池。(Book of Northern Wei 95, Biography of Liu Yao)

Liu Yao compelled the submission of Chouchi in the south.


秦州刺史陳安求朝於曜,曜辭以疾。安怒,以爲曜已卒,大掠而歸。曜疾甚,乘馬輿而還。使其將呼延寔監輜重於後,安邀擊,獲之,謂寔曰:「劉曜已死,子尚誰佐!吾當與子共定大業。」寔叱之曰:「汝受人寵祿而叛之,自視智能何如主上?吾見汝不日梟首於上邽市,何謂大業!宜速殺我!」安怒,殺之,以寔長史魯憑爲參軍。安遣其弟集帥騎三萬追曜,衞將軍呼延瑜逆擊,斬之。安乃還上邽,遣將襲汧城,拔之。隴上氐、羌皆附於安,有衆十餘萬,自稱大都督、假黃鉞、大將軍、雍‧涼‧秦‧梁四州牧、涼王,以趙募爲相國。魯憑對安大哭曰:「吾不忍見陳安之死也!」安怒,命斬之。憑曰:「死自吾分,懸吾頭於上邽市,觀趙之斬陳安也!」遂殺之。曜聞之,慟哭曰:「賢人,民之望也。陳安於求賢之秋而多殺賢者,吾知其無所爲也。」

15. Zhao's Inspector of Qinzhou, Chen An, asked to meet with Liu Yao. But because Liu Yao was still ill, he declined a meeting. Chen An, angry, believed that Liu Yao had in fact died, and he greatly plundered the area before returning.

Liu Yao was so sick that he had to return riding in a horse-drawn carriage. He had his general Huyan Shi guard the baggage train and the rear of the army. Chen An intercepted Huyan Shi, and he attacked and captured him. He said to Huyan Shi, "Liu Yao is already dead, Sir, so whom are you serving? I want to work together with you in order to achieve my grand design."

But Huyan Shi scolded him, saying, "You accepted men's favor and salary, yet you turned against them. Seeing that, how could someone of your talents and intellect ever compare with our sovereign? I shall see your head hanging in the marketplace of Shanggui before long. Why speak to me of your grand design? Just hurry up and kill me!"

Chen An was enraged, and he killed Huyan Shi. He appointed Huyan Shi's Chief Clerk, Lu Ping, as an Army Advisor.

Chen An sent his younger brother Chen Ji to lead thirty thousand cavalry to pursue Liu Yao. But Zhao's Guard General, Huyan Yu, counter-attacked Chen Ji and killed him. So Chen An returned to Shanggui.

Chen An sent his generals to attack Qiancheng, and they took it. The Di and Qiang tribes of Longshang all went over to Chen An's side, and so he had an army of over a hundred thousand. Chen An declared himself Grand Commander, Bearer of the Golden Battle-axe, Grand General, Governor of Yongzhou, Liangzhou, Qinzhou, and Lianzhou, and King of Liang. He appointed Zhao Mu as his Chancellor of State.

Lu Ping wept as he said to Chen An, "I cannot bear to see your death!" Chen An, once again enraged, ordered Lu Ping to be beheaded. Lu Ping said, "After you've cut off my head, hang it up in the marketplace at Shanggui, so I can watch Zhao behead Chen An in turn!" So Chen An killed him.

When Liu Yao heard of this, he was moved to tears as he mused, "Worthy men are the hopes of the people. This is the season when Chen An needs such men the most, yet he is killing so many of them. That is how I know he shall fall."

〈汧縣,屬扶風郡。汧,苦堅翻。〉

(Qian County was part of Fufeng commandary. 汧 is pronounced "kian (k-ian)".)


休屠王石武以桑城降趙,趙以武爲秦州刺史,封酒泉王。

16. The King of the Xiutu people, Shi Wu, surrendered Sangcheng to Zhao. Liu Yao appointed him as Inspector of Qinzhou and Prince of Jiuquan.

〈石武,蓋亦匈奴種。屠,直於翻。〉

(This Shi Wu must have been from one of the Xiongnu tribes. The second character of Xiutu, 屠, is pronounced "zhu (zh-u)".)


帝徵戴淵、劉隗入衞建康。隗至,百官迎于道,隗岸幘大言,意氣自若。及入見,與刁協勸帝盡誅王氏;帝不許,隗始有懼色。

17. Sima Rui summoned Dai Yuan and Liu Wei to return to Jiankang and defend it. When Liu Wei arrived, all the officials welcomed him along the road. Liu Wei was bareheaded and proud, and spoke boastfully as though he felt no different from normal. But when he went in to see Sima Rui, he and Diao Xie both urged Sima Rui to execute all the members of the Wang clan. When Sima Rui refused to do so, only then did Liu Wei begin to show signs of fear.

〈岸幘者,幘微脫額也。〉

(To be 岸幘 "bareheaded and proud" means to neglect to cover one's forehead out of pride.)


召戴若思、劉隗並會京師。(Book of Jin 98, Biography of Wang Dun)

Emperor Yuan (Sima Rui) summoned Dai Yuan and Liu Wei to lead their forces back to the capital.


司空導帥其弟中領軍邃、左衞將軍廙、侍中侃、彬及諸宗族二十餘人,每旦詣臺待罪。周顗將入,導呼之曰:「伯仁,以百口累卿!」顗直入不顧。旣見帝,言導忠誠,申救甚至;帝納其言。顗喜飲酒,至醉而出,導猶在門,又呼之。顗不與言,顧左右曰:「今年殺諸賊奴,取金印如斗大,繫肘後。」旣出,又上表明導無罪,言甚切至。導不之知,甚恨之。

18. Jin's Minister of Works, Wang Dao, led four of his younger brothers and more than twenty of his fellow family members of the Wang clan to visit the government offices every morning and await the expected judgment for their crimes of association with Wang Dun. His younger brothers were the General Who Leads The Army of the Center, Wang Sui, the Guard General of the Left, Wang Yi, and the Palace Attendants, Wang Kan and Wang Bin.

When the minister Zhou Yi was about to enter the government offices, Wang Dao called to him: "Boren, the lives of a hundred people depend upon you!" But Zhou Yi went straight inside without turning his head to acknowledge Wang Dao. However, when Zhou Yi met with Sima Rui, he told him of how earnest and loyal Wang Dao was, and pleaded on Wang Dao's behalf to the most extreme extent. Sima Rui accepted his advice.

Zhou Yi, pleased, then drank greatly, and he did not leave the government offices until he was drunk. Wang Dao was still waiting at the gate, and he called out to Zhou Yi again. Zhou Yi did not respond directly to him, but just looked left and right before saying, "When we kill those rebels this year, I'll take that golden seal as big as a 斗 and tie it behind my elbow." Then he left.

Zhou Yi also sent up a petition clearing Wang Dao of any crimes, again using very forceful language. But Wang Dao did not know about any of Zhou Yi's words on his behalf, and so he deeply resented him.

〈周顗,字伯仁,欲使顗保護導,以全其家也。〉

(Zhou Yi's style name was Boren. Wang Dao wanted Zhou Yi to help him, in order to protect his whole family.)


王大將軍起事,丞相兄弟詣闕謝。周侯深憂諸王,始入,甚有憂色。丞相呼周侯曰:「百口委卿!」周直過不應。既入,苦相存救。既釋,周大說,飲酒。及出,諸王故在門。周曰:「今年殺諸賊奴,當取金印如斗大繫肘後。」(New Tales 33.6 (1st Part))

When Grand General Wang Dun started his revolt (in the first month of 322), his cousin, Prime Minister Wang Dao, and Wang Dao's various relations of the same generation went to court to apologize for their deficiencies. Zhou Yi was deeply worried over the Wangs, and when he first entered the court he wore a very worried expression. Wang Dao called to Zhou Yi and said, "The lives of all of us are in your hands!"

Zhou Yi went directly past without answering. After he went inside, he argued vehemently to save their lives, and when they were pardoned, Zhou Yi was so pleased that he drank to celebrate. When it came time for him to emerge from the audience the Wangs remained by the door. Zhou Yi said, "This year, if we kill off all the rebel rascals, I ought to take that gold seal the size of a dou-measure and tie it behind my elbow." (tr. Richard Mather)


帝命還導朝服,召見之。導稽首曰:「逆臣賊子,何代無之,不意今者近出臣族!」帝跣而執其手曰:「茂弘,方寄卿以百里之命,是何言邪!」

19. Sima Rui ordered Wang Dao to put on his court clothing and come see him. Wang Dao kowtowed before Sima Rui and said, "What age has ever lacked for traitors and villains? But I hardly expected this latest one to have come from my own clan!"

Sima Rui knelt and took Wang Dao by the hand, telling him, "Maohong, you are my special minister with whom I can trust 'authority over a state of a hundred li'. Why speak such words?"

〈王導,字茂弘。孔氏曰:寄百里之命,謂攝君之政令。〉

(Wang Dao's style name was Maohong. Master Kong remarked, "The term 'commissioned with authority over a state of a hundred li' means to assist a sovereign in executing his policies." It comes from the Analects (8.6).)


三月,以導爲前鋒大都督,加戴淵驃騎將軍。詔曰:「導以大義滅親,可以吾爲安東時節假之。」以周顗爲尚書左僕射,王邃爲右僕射。帝遣王廙往諭止敦;敦不從而留之,廙更爲敦用。征虜將軍周札,素矜險好利,帝以爲右將軍、都督石頭諸軍事。敦將至,帝使劉隗軍金城,札守石頭,帝親被甲徇師於郊外。以甘卓爲鎭南大將軍、侍中、都督荊‧梁二州諸軍事,陶侃領江州刺史;使各帥所統以躡敦後。

20. In the third month, Sima Rui appointed Wang Dao as Grand Commander of the Vanguard, and promoted Dai Yuan as General of Agile Cavalry. He issued an edict stating, "Wang Dao has sundered his family ties in the pursuit of righteousness. Wisely did I grant him power and authority when I was still just the General Who Maintains The East." He also appointed Zhou Yi as Supervisor of the Left of the Masters of Writing, and Wang Sui as Supervisor of the Right.

Sima Rui sent Wang Yi to Wang Dun in order to order him to halt his advance. But Wang Dun did not listen, and he kept Wang Yi with him, whom he wound up using.

The General Who Campaigns Against The Caitiffs, Zhou Zha, had long been conceited, obstinate, and greedy. Sima Rui appointed him as General of the Right and Commander of military affairs at the Shitou fortress. When Wang Dun was about to arrive, Sima Rui sent Liu Wei to lead an army to Jincheng, while Zhou Zha guarded Shitou. Sima Rui himself put on armor and led an army to beyond the suburbs of Jiankang.

Sima Rui appointed Gan Zhuo as Grand General Who Guards The South, Palace Attendant, and Commander of military affairs in Jingzhou and Lianzhou, and he appointed Tao Kan as acting Inspector of Jiangzhou. He ordered both of them to lead their armies to attack Wang Dun's rear.

〈衞石碏之子厚,與公子州吁弒衞桓公,又與州吁如陳,碏使告于陳而殺之。君子曰:石碏,純臣也,惡州吁而厚與焉。大義滅親,其是之謂乎!〉〈帝之初鎭揚州也,領安東將車。〉〈金城,在丹楊江乘蒲洲上。〉

(According to the Zuo Commentary to the Spring and Autumn Annals, the Wey minister Shi Que had a son named Shi Hou. When Shi Hou joined with the Duke's son Zhouyu to murder Duke Huan of Wey and then went to the state of Chen with him, Shi Que sent word to Chen so that both of them would be killed. "A superior man may say, 'Shi Que was a minister without blemish. He hated Zhouyu, with whom his own son Shi Hou was art and part; and did he not thus afford an illustration of the saying that "great righteousness is supreme over the affections"? (Yin 4.6)'"

Sima Rui had been acting General Who Maintains The East when he first came to his post in Yangzhou.

Jincheng was on Pu Islet in Jiangcheng County in Danyang commandary.)


敦至石頭,欲攻劉隗。杜弘言於敦曰:「劉隗死士衆多,未易可克;不如攻石頭,周札少恩,兵不爲用,攻之必敗,札敗則隗自走矣。」敦從之,以弘爲前鋒,攻石頭,札果開門納弘。敦據石頭,歎曰:「吾不復得爲盛德事矣!」謝鯤曰:「何爲其然也!但使自今以往,日忘日去耳。」

21. When Wang Dun arrived at Shitou, he wanted to attack Liu Wei's army. But his general Du Hong advised him, "Liu Wei's army has many soldiers in it who would fight to the death. We could not easily overcome them yet. Better for you to attack Shitou. Zhou Zha has won himself few favors among his men, and they will not serve him. If you attack him, you will certainly defeat him. And once Zhou Zha is defeated, Liu Wei will have to fall back as well."

Wang Dun followed his advice, and appointed Du Hong as the Vanguard Leader. He attacked Shitou, and as expected, Zhou Zha opened the gates and admitted Du Hong.

As Wang Dun occupied Shitou, he sighed, saying, "Never again shall I achieve such a 'glorious and virtuous thing'!"

Xie Kun said to him, "How can that be so? Just let the days pass on, and people will soon forget."

〈敦無君之心,形於言也。〉〈言日復一日,浸忘前事,則君臣猜嫌之迹亦日去耳。〉

(Wang Dun had a heart that knew no sovereign, as seen by his words here.

Xie Kun meant that as the days went by, old affairs would be forgotten, and the lingering suspicions between ruler and minister would pass as well.)


敦至石頭,欲攻劉隗,其將杜弘曰:「劉隗死士眾多,未易可克,不如攻石頭。周劄少恩,兵不為用,攻之必敗。劄敗,則隗自走。」敦從之。劄果開城門納弘。(Book of Jin 98, Biography of Wang Dun)

When Wang Dun arrived at Shitou, he wanted to attack Liu Wei's army. But his general Du Hong advised him, "Liu Wei's army has many soldiers in it who would fight to the death. We could not easily overcome them yet. Better for you to attack Shitou. Zhou Zha has won himself few favors among his men, and they will not serve him. If you attack him, you will certainly defeat him. And once Zhou Zha is defeated, Liu Wei will have to fall back as well."

Wang Dun followed his advice. As expected, Zhou Zha opened the gates and admitted Du Hong.

謝鯤為豫章太守,從大將軍下至石頭。敦謂鯤曰:「余不得復為盛德之事矣。」鯤曰:「何為其然?但使自今已後,日亡日去耳!」(New Tales of the World 10.12 (1st Half))

While Xie Kun was serving as Administrator of Yuzhang, he accompanied Grand General Wang Dun down the Yangzi as far as Shitou (in Wang Dun's assault on Jiankang). Wang Dun said to Xie Kun, "Never again will I be able to do such a glorious and virtuous thing!"

Xie Kun answered, "Why so? Only let it be that from this day forward the 'glorious and virtuous thing' might daily perish and daily depart, that's all!" (tr. Richard Mather)


帝命刁協、劉隗、戴淵帥衆攻石頭,王導、周顗、郭逸、虞潭等三道出戰,協等兵皆大敗。太子紹聞之,欲自帥將士決戰;升車將出,中庶子溫嶠執鞚諫曰:「殿下國之儲副,柰何以身輕天下!」抽劍斬鞅,乃止。

22. Sima Rui ordered Diao Xie, Liu Wei, and Dai Yuan to lead their forces to attack Shitou. Wang Dao, Zhou Yi, Guo Yi, Yu Tan, and others advanced along three roads into battle. But the soldiers of Diao Xie and the others were all greatly defeated.

When the Crown Prince, Sima Shao, heard of the defeat, he wanted to lead soldiers himself to fight a final battle. He got into his carriage and was about to set out, when the 中庶子 Wen Jiao grabbed the reins of his horse and rebuked him, saying, "Your Highness, you are the future of the state. How can you think so little of the realm by risking your own safety?" And he drew his sword and cut away the leather straps of the horse's bridle. So Sima Shao did not go.

諸將與敦戰,王師敗績。(Book of Jin 98, Biography of Wang Dun)

The court generals fought Wang Dun, but they were defeated.


敦擁兵不朝,放士卒劫掠,宮省奔散,惟安東將軍劉超按兵直衞,及侍中二人侍帝側。帝脫戎衣,著朝服,顧而言曰:「欲得我處,當早言!何至害民如此!」又遣使謂敦曰:「公若不忘本朝,於此息兵,則天下尚可共安;如其不然,朕當歸琅邪以避賢路。」

23. Wang Dun remained with his soldiers and did not go to court. He set his soldiers loose to sack Jiankang. Everyone fled from the palaces and ministries. Only the General Who Maintains The East, Liu Chao, kept his soldiers with him and maintained a defense, and only two of the Palace Attendants remained by Sima Rui's side.

Sima Rui took off his military attire and put on court clothing. He looked all around and said, "Wang Dun! If you wanted to take my place, you should have said so sooner! Why did you have to inflict such harm upon the people?" And he sent messengers to tell Wang Dun, "If you have not forgotten the original court, and you will have your soldiers stand down, then I am prepared to share the realm with you. Otherwise, I shall retire to my fief at Langye to clear the way for you."

入爲中書通事郎。以父憂去官。既葬,屬王敦稱兵,詔超復職,又領安東上將軍。尋六軍敗散,唯超案兵直衛,帝感之,遣歸終喪禮。(Book of Jin 70, Biography of Liu Chao)

Liu Chao was later summoned back to the capital to serve as Gentleman of Communications of the Palace of the Secretariat. When his father fell ill, Liu Chao resigned his office and went home. But no sooner had he buried his father than Wang Dun raised his soldiers in rebellion. Emperor Yuan ordered Liu Chao to return to his office, and also appointed him as acting Upper General Who Maintains The East. Not long afterwards, the royal army was defeated and scattered. Only Liu Chao kept his soldiers together and marched straight back to defend the capital. Emperor Yuan appreciated him for this, and he sent Liu Chao back home to complete the mourning period for his father.

入石頭,擁兵不朝,放肆兵士劫掠內外。官省奔散,惟有侍中二人侍帝。帝脫戎衣,著朝服,顧而言曰:「欲得我處,但當早道,我自還琅邪,何至困百姓如此!」(Book of Jin 98, Biography of Wang Dun)

After entering Shitou, Wang Dun remained with his soldiers and did not go to court. He set his soldiers loose to sack the capital, inside and out. Everyone fled from the palaces and ministries; only two of the Palace Attendants remained by Emperor Yuan's (Sima Rui's) side.

Sima Rui took off his military attire and put on court clothing. He looked all around and said, "Wang Dun! If you wanted to take my place, you should have done this sooner and let me go back to Langye! Why did you have to inflict such harm upon the people?"


刁協、劉隗旣敗,俱入宮,見帝於太極東除。帝執協、隗手,流涕嗚咽,勸令避禍。協曰:「臣當守死,不敢有貳。」帝曰:「今事逼矣,安可不行!」乃令給協、隗人馬,使自爲計。協老,不堪騎乘,素無恩紀,募從者,皆委之,行至江乘,爲人所殺,送首於敦。隗奔後趙,官至太子太傅而卒。

24. Following Diao Xie's and Liu Wei's defeat, they both returned to the palace, where they saw Sima Rui on the Eastern Steps of the Taiji Hall. Sima Rui took them by the hands, weeping and wailing, and urging them to escape from disaster.

Diao Xie said, "I shall defend you to the death; I would not dare to waver."

But Sima Rui said, "Danger is already so close at hand. How could you not flee?" And he ordered both of them to be supplied with escorts and horses and sent them away to fend for themselves.

Now Diao Xie was an old man, and he could not ride a horse. Furthermore, he had won no friends with his past behavior. So the escorts assigned to him all abandoned him. He fled as far as Jiangcheng county, where someone killed him and sent his head to Wang Dun.

Liu Wei fled to Later Zhao, where he rose in office as high as Grand Tutor to the Crown Prince before he passed away.

〈除,殿陛也。〉〈成帝咸和八年,劉隗從石虎戰死於潼關,豈卽此劉隗邪!〉

(The term 除 here means the palace steps.

In Emperor Cheng's eighth year of Xianhe (Book 95, 333.14), during Shi Sheng's rebellion, there is a Liu Wei mentioned who died in battle at Tong Gate. Surely this was the same Liu Wei?)


帝令公卿百官詣石頭見敦,敦謂戴淵曰:「前日之戰,有餘力乎?」淵曰:「豈敢有餘,但力不足耳!」敦曰:「吾今此舉,天下以爲何如?」淵曰:「見形者謂之逆,體誠者謂之忠。」敦笑曰:「卿可謂能言。」又謂周顗曰︰「伯仁,卿負我!」顗曰:「公戎車犯順,下官親帥六軍,不能其事,使王旅奔敗,以此負公!」

25. Sima Rui ordered all the nobles, ministers, and officials to visit Wang Dun at Shitou.

Wang Dun said to Dai Yuan, "Did I overdo things in our battle before?"

Dai Yuan replied, "How could I dare claim that? If anything, you did not do enough!"

Wang Dun then said, "What does the realm say about my having raised troops as I did?"

Dai Yuan replied, "Those who only see the form call it treason, but those who understand the substance call it loyalty."

Wang Dun laughed and said, "Such an able speaker you are."

Then he said to Zhou Yi, "Boren, you betrayed me!"

Zhou Yi replied, "You acted against authority with your battle-carts. This humble official personally led the six armies, but I was unequal to the task, and so brought the royal army to defeat. That is how I betrayed you!"

〈愍帝建興元年,顗爲杜弢所困,投敦於豫章,故敦以爲德。〉

(In Emperor Min's first year of Jianxing (Book 88, 313.30), Zhou Yi had been besieged by the rebel Du Tao, and he had fled to Wang Dun at Yuzhang. This is why Wang Dun characterized Zhou Yi’s opposition to him now as betrayal.)


王大將軍既反,至石頭,周伯仁往見之。謂周曰:「卿何以相負?」對曰:「公戎車犯正,下官忝率六軍,而王師不振,以此負公。」(New Tales of the World 5.33)

After Wang Dun had rebelled and arrived at Shitou, Zhou Yi went to see him. Wang Dun said to Zhou Yi, "Why did you betray me?"

Zhou Yi replied, "Your Excellency's soldiers and chariots were violating the right. This petty official was filling in as a commander of the six armies (the loyalist forces), but the royal army did not succeed. In this I 'betrayed' Your Excellency."
(tr. Richard Mather)


辛未,大赦;以敦爲丞相、都督中外諸軍、錄尚書事、江州牧,封武昌郡公,並讓不受。

26. On the day Xinwei (April 20th), Sima Rui declared a general amnesty. He appointed Wang Dun as Prime Minister, Commander of all military affairs, chief of the affairs of the Masters of Writing, Governor of Jiangzhou, and Duke of Wuchang commandary. But Wang Dun declined all of these titles and would not accept them.

以敦為丞相、江州牧,進爵武昌郡公,邑萬戶,使太常荀崧就拜,又加羽葆鼓吹,並偽讓不受。(Book of Jin 98, Biography of Wang Dun)

Emperor Yuan (Sima Rui) appointed Wang Dun as Prime Minister, Governor of Jiangzhou, and Duke of Wuchang commandary with a fief of ten thousand households, and he sent the Minister of Ceremonies, Xun Song, to call upon Wang Dun. He also granted Wang Dun feathered canopies, as well as drums and horns. But Wang Dun falsely declined all of these things and would not accept them.


初,西都覆沒,四方皆勸進於帝。敦欲專國政,忌帝年長難制,欲更議所立,王導不從。及敦克建康,謂導曰:「不用吾言,幾至覆族。」

27. Before, when the western capitals (Luoyang and Chang'an) had fallen, everyone had urged Sima Rui to claim imperial title. However, Wang Dun had wanted to monopolize power over the government, and he was concerned that it would be hard to do so with an adult emperor on the throne. So he had wanted to press for further discussion of the issue. But Wang Dao had not listened to him.

Now, having taken Jiankang, Wang Dun said to Wang Dao, "You didn't listen to my words before, and our clan was nearly brought to ruin."

〈見九十卷建武元年。〉

(Sima Rui was encouraged to claim imperial title in Book 90, in the first year of Jianwu (218).)


敦以太子有勇略,爲朝野所嚮,欲誣以不孝而廢之,大會百官,問溫嶠曰:「皇太子以何德稱?」聲色俱厲。嶠曰:「鉤深致遠,蓋非淺局所量;以禮觀[親?]之,可謂孝矣。」衆皆以爲信然,敦謀遂沮。

28. Wang Dun felt that the Crown Prince, Sima Shao, was a bold and cunning man, one who had the support of those both inside the court and outside it. So he wanted to slander Sima Shao as having been unfilial, and then depose him from his position as Crown Prince. He summoned a great meeting of the ministers, where he asked Wen Jiao, "What virtues does the Crown Prince have that can be praised?" Both his voice and his expression were harsh.

But Wen Jiao replied, "When it comes to the Crown Prince's talents, 'the hook sinks very deep', and I could not list them all in a shallow summary. But since he treats his relatives with propriety, I could mention his filial piety."

The others all believed him, and so Wang Dun's plan fell through.

〈言太子旣有鉤深致遠之才,而又盡事親之禮,所以解敦不孝之誣也。〉

(Wen Jiao uses the idiom "the hook sinks very deep" to describe Sima Shao's talents, and he also mentioned all the things he had personally seen Sima Shao do. So that nullified Wang Dun's planned slander against Sima Shao's filial piety.)


王敦既下,住船石頭,欲有廢明帝意。賓客盈坐,敦知帝聰明,欲以不孝廢之。每言帝不孝之狀,而皆云溫太真所說。溫嘗為東宮率,後為吾司馬,甚悉之。須臾,溫來,敦便奮其威容,問溫曰:「皇太子作人何似?」溫曰:「小人無以測君子。」敦聲色並厲,欲以威力使從己,乃重問溫:「太子何以稱佳?」溫曰:「鉤深致遠,蓋非淺識所測。然以禮侍親,可稱為孝。」(New Tales of the World 5.32)

After Wang Dun had made his descent on the capital, he halted his ships at Shitou. Among his desires was the intention of deposing the Crown Prince (Sima Shao). So Wang Dun called a large gathering and guests filled the seats. Since Wang Dun realized that the Crown Prince was intelligent, he wanted to use "unfilial behavior" as the excuse for deposing him. Every time he mentioned the circumstances of the Crown Prince's unfilial behavior, he would always say, "This is what Wen Jiao says. Wen Jiao was once a commander of the Eastern Palace guard, and later served as my Marshal, so he knows the Crown Prince very well."

After a while, Wen Jiao himself arrived. Wang Dun, assuming his most majestic manner, asked him, "What is the Crown Prince like as a person?"

Wen Jiao replied, "A petty man like me has no means of fathoming a gentleman."

Wang Dun's voice and expression both grew more severe. He wanted, through the force of his majesty, to make Wen Jiao agree with him. Finally he asked Wen Jiao gravely, "For what reason is the Crown Prince praised as good?"

Wen Jiao replied, "One who 'plumbs the depths and reaches afar' certainly can't be fathomed by persons of superficial understanding. But, since he serves his parents according to the prescribed rites, he may be praised as filial." (tr. Richard Mather)


帝召周顗於廣室,謂之曰:「近日大事,二宮無恙,諸人平安,大將軍固副所望邪?」顗曰:「二宮自如明詔,臣等尚未可知。」護軍長史郝嘏等勸顗避敦,顗曰:「吾備位大臣,朝廷喪敗,寧可復草間求活,外投胡、越邪!」敦參軍呂猗,嘗爲臺郎,性姦諂,戴淵爲尚書,惡之。猗說敦曰:「周顗、戴淵,皆有高名,足以惑衆,近者之言,曾無怍色,公不除之,恐必有再舉之憂。」敦素忌二人之才,心頗然之,從容問王導曰:「周、戴,南北之望,當登三司無疑也。」導不答。又曰:「若不三司,止應令僕邪?」又不答。敦曰:「若不爾,正當誅爾!」又不答。丙子,敦遣部將陳郡鄧岳收顗及淵。先是,敦謂謝鯤曰:「吾當以周伯仁爲尚書令,戴若思爲僕射。」是日,又問鯤:「近來人情何如?」鯤曰:「明公之舉,雖欲大存社稷,然悠悠之言實未達高義。若果能舉用周、戴,則羣情帖然矣!」敦怒曰:「君粗疏邪!二子不相當,吾已收之矣!」鯤愕然自失。參軍王嶠曰:「『濟濟多士,文王以寧。』柰何戮諸名士!」敦大怒,欲斬嶠,衆莫敢言。鯤曰:「明公舉大事,不戮一人。嶠以獻替忤旨,便以釁鼓,不亦過乎!」敦乃釋之,黜爲領軍長史。嶠,渾之族孫也。

29. Sima Rui summoned Zhou Yi to the Guangshi Hall, where he said to him, "Even after all that has happened the past few days, the residents of the two palaces have remained unharmed, and the others remain secure. Perhaps the Grand General has bowed to our wishes?"

Zhou Yi replied, "Whether or not it will be as you say, we cannot be sure yet."

Zhou Yi's Chief Clerk as General Who Protects The Army, Hao Gu, and others urged him to escape from the coming disaster. But Zhou Yi replied, "I hold a high office of state. When the court has suffered such a defeat, how could I try to save my own life by hiding among the grass or throwing myself on the mercies of the Xiongnu or the Yue barbarians?"

Wang Dun had an Army Advisor, Lü Yi, who had once served as a Terrace Attendant in Jiankang. He had a perverse and fawning nature, and when Dai Yuan had been serving as a Master of Writing, he had despised this Lü Yi. So Lü Yi now advised Wang Dun, "Zhou Yi and Dai Yuan are both men of great renown, and they could stir up people against you. Furthermore, they showed no signs of shame in their recent remarks to you. If you do not do away with them, I fear you will certainly have to worry about them organizing another uprising against you."

Wang Dun had long been jealous of both of them for their talents, and so he was inclined to follow this advice. He casually said to Wang Dao, "Zhou Yi and Dai Yuan are famous fellows from the north and the south. I could appoint both of them as one of the Three Excellencies without any worries."

Wang Dao made no response to that.

Wang Dun said, "Well, if not one of the Three Excellencies, could they not serve as Supervisors or Prefects?"

Wang Dao again said nothing.

Wang Dun said, "If not even that, then you must want me to execute them!"

Wang Dao still did not respond.

On the day Bingzi (April 25th), Wang Dun sent his subordinate officer, Deng Yue of Chen commandary, to arrest Zhou Yi and Dai Yuan.

Sometime earlier, Wang Dun had said to Xie Kun, "I shall appoint Zhou Boren as Prefect of the Masters of Writing, and Dai Ruosi as Supervisor."

On this day, he now asked Xie Kun, "How have people been feeling lately?"

Xie Kun replied, "When Your Grace rose up with your troops, although you did it out of a desire to generally preserve the fortunes of state, people say that your claims are empty and you have not yet backed them up with any lofty or righteous behavior. If you indeed lifted up and employed Zhou Yi and Dai Yuan, people would certainly take notice!"

Wang Dun angrily replied, "Don't you know anything? Far from appointing those two, I have already had them arrested!"

Xie Kun, taken aback, was at a loss.

Then Wang Dun's Army Advisor, Wang Jiao, said, "The poet tells us, 'numerous is the array of officers, and by them King Wen enjoys his repose'. Why kill such esteemed gentlemen?"

Wang Dun was greatly enraged, and he wanted to behead Wang Jiao. No one dared to say a word, until Xie Kun objected, "Your Grace, you must attend to great affairs, not execute individual men. Wang Jiao was only offering his objections against your decree. If you smear his blood across your drum, would that not also be a transgression?"

So Wang Dun spared Wang Jiao, but he demoted him as Chief Clerk to the General Who Leads The Army. This Wang Jiao was a kinsman of the Jin general Wang Hun, two generations junior.

〈廣室,殿名。〉〈顗代戴淵爲護軍將軍,以郝嘏爲長史。〉〈晉謂尚書郎爲臺郎。〉〈謂二人答敦之言。〉〈周顗,汝南人;戴淵,廣陵人。晉氏南渡,二人名冠當時。〉〈三司,太尉、司徒、司空也;令僕,尚書令及左右僕射也。〉〈戴淵,字若思。〉〈言衆人議敦舉兵向闕,非義舉也。〉〈《詩‧大雅‧文王》之詩。〉〈君所謂可而有否焉,臣獻其否以成其可;君所謂否而有可焉,臣獻其可以替其否。釁鼓,殺人以血塗鼓也。〉〈大將軍府參軍黜爲領軍長史,足知敦府重於諸府矣。〉

(Guangshi was the name of a Hall.

Zhou Yi had replaced Dai Yuan as General Who Protects The Army, so Hao Gu was his Chief Clerk in that capacity.

During Jin, a term for Gentlemen of the Masters of Writing was Terrace Gentlemen.

Lü Yi was referring to Dai Yuan's and Zhou Yi's responses to Wang Dun earlier.

Zhou Yi was a native of Runan, while Dai Yuan was a native of Guangling. When the Jin royal family went south across the Yangzi, both of them had reputations that eclipsed others.

The Three Excellencies were the Grand Commandant, the Minister Over The Masses, and the Minister of Works. "Supervisors or Prefects" meant the Supervisors of the Left and Right or the Prefect of the Masters of Writing.

Dai Yuan's style name was Ruosi.

Xie Kun was saying that people who had discussed Wang Dun's raising of troops claimed that he had done wrong, and had not acted justly.

Wang Jiao quotes from the third King Wen poem in the Greater Odes section of the Book of Poetry.

When a superior states that something can be done, but in fact it cannot be done, a subordinate offers their reasoning for why not. When a superior states that something cannot be done, yet it can be, a subordinate objects as to why it can be.

The term 釁鼓 means to kill someone and smear one's drum with their blood.

We can see from the fact that going from an Army Advisor in the staff of the Grand General to being the Chief Clerk of the General Who Leads The Army was considered a demotion that being on Wang Dun's staff at all was superior to any assignment on any other staff.)


大將軍至石頭,問丞相曰:「周侯可為三公不?」丞相不答。又問:「可為尚書令不?」又不應。因云:「如此,唯當殺之耳!」復默然。(New Tales of the World 33.6 (2nd Part))

When Wang Dun reached Shitou, he asked Wang Dao, "Should Lord Zhou be appointed one of the Three Excellencies, or not?"

Wang Dao did not reply.

Wang Dun asked again, "Should he be Prefect of the Master of Writing, or not?"

Again there was no answer.

Thereupon Wang Dun said, "In that case, we should just kill him and be done with it."

Wang Dao still remained silent. (tr. Richard Mather)


顗被收,路經太廟,大言曰:「賊臣王敦,傾覆社稷,枉殺忠臣;神祇有靈,當速殺之!」收人以戟傷其口,血流至踵,容止自若,觀者皆爲流涕。幷戴淵殺之於石頭南門之外。

30. After Zhou Yi had been arrested and was being brought back, his group passed by the Ancestral Temple. Zhou Yi shouted, "The traitor Wang Dun has overturned the altars of state and killed loyal and innocent ministers! O spirits, incarnate and kill him at once!" Zhou Yi's guards struck his mouth with a halberd, and the blood flowed all the way to his heels, but Zhou Yi kept the same expression as before. Everyone who saw him wept for him. Both he and Dai Yuan were put to death outside the southern gate of Shitou.

敦收周顗、戴若思害之。(Book of Jin 98, Biography of Wang Dun)

Wang Dun arrested Zhou Yi and Dai Yuan and executed them.


帝使侍中王彬勞敦,彬素與顗善,先往哭顗,然後見敦。敦怪其容慘,問之。彬曰:「向哭伯仁,情不能已。」敦怒曰:「伯仁自致刑戮;且凡人遇汝,汝何哀而哭之?」彬曰:「伯仁長者,兄之親友;在朝雖無謇愕,亦非阿黨,而赦後加之極刑,所以傷惋也。」因勃然數敦曰:「兄抗旌犯順,殺戮忠良,圖爲不軌,禍及門戶矣!」辭氣慷慨,聲淚俱下。敦大怒,厲聲曰:「爾狂悖乃至此,以吾爲不能殺汝邪!」時王導在坐,爲之懼,勸彬起謝。彬曰:「腳痛不能拜;且此復何謝!」敦曰:「腳痛孰若頸痛?」彬殊無懼容,竟不肯拜。

31. Sima Rui sent the Palace Attendant, Wang Bin, to speak to Wang Dun. Wang Bin had long been friends with Zhou Yi, and so he went to mourn for Zhou Yi first before going to see Wang Dun. Wang Dun marveled at his melancholy expression, and asked him about it.

Wang Bin replied, "I have just come from weeping for Boren, and I cannot help showing my feelings."

Wang Dun angrily said, "Boren was responsible for his execution. Besides, who was he to you, that you should mourn and weep so much for him?"

Wang Bin replied, "Elder Brother, Zhou Yi was older than you, and he was your close friend. Even if he may not have spoken honestly at court, he was not part of the faction against you. Yet even after an amnesty had been declared, you still inflicted the harshest sentence against him. That is what pains me and makes me sigh."

Then he became agitated, railing at Wang Dun and saying, "Elder Brother, you exceeded your authority and violated propriety, and you killed and executed good and loyal people. Your actions have been dishonorable, and the disaster that falls on you will extend to your whole household!" He spoke fervently, shouting even as he wept.

Wang Dun was now greatly enraged, and in a stern voice he declared, "You only dare to say such things to me because you think that I won't kill you!"

Wang Dao was sitting with them at this time, and he was afraid for Wang Bin, so he urged Wang Bin to get up and apologize. But Wang Bin said, "My feet are in pain, so I cannot make obeisance. Besides, what do I have to apologize for?"

Wang Dun said, "What does pain in your feet matter, when I can make you feel pain in your neck?"

But Wang Bin's expression was absolutely fearless, and he would not perform obeisance before Wang Dun.

〈以王彬之爲人,顗以凡人遇之,亦可以見其風裁矣。〉〈「愕」,當作「諤」。〉〈據《元帝紀》,四月,敦入石頭,辛未,大赦。〉

(Wang Dun was asking what the standing was between Wang Bin and Zhou Yi, and how often they could have met, for Wang Bin to be acting like this in mourning for him.

This passage uses the term 愕; it should be written 諤.

According to the Annals of Sima Rui in the Book of Jin, Wang Dun entered Shitou in the fourth month, and the general amnesty was declared on the day Xinwei (?).)


王導後料檢中書故事,乃見顗救己之表,執之流涕曰:「吾雖不殺伯仁,伯仁由我而死,幽冥之中,負此良友!」

32. Wang Dao was later looking through the archives of the Palace Secretariat, when he discovered the petition that Zhou Yi had written pleading on Wang Dao's behalf. Wang Dao wept as he held the petition, saying, "I may not have killed Boren, but he died because of me! Now he is in the netherworld because I abandoned a good friend!"

〈自愧於敦三問不答之時也。〉

(Wang Dao blamed himself for the three times he did not respond to Wang Dun's questions about what Zhou Yi's fate should be.)


逮周侯被害,丞相後知周侯救己,嘆曰:「我不殺周侯,周侯由我而死。幽冥中負此人!」(New Tales of the World 33.6 (3rd Part))

It was only after Zhou Yi had been killed (one or two months later) that Wang Dao finally realized it was Zhou Yi who had saved his own life. With a sigh he said, "Even though I didn't kill Lord Zhou myself, it was because of me that he died. Wherever he is in the nether world, I have betrayed this man!" (tr. Richard Mather)


沈充拔吳國,殺內史張茂。

33. Wang Dun's ally Shen Chong captured the Wu princely fief and killed its Interior Minister, Zhang Mao.

初,王敦聞甘卓起兵,大懼。卓兄子卬爲敦參軍,敦使卬歸說卓曰:「君此自是臣節,不相責也。吾家計急,不得不爾。想便旋軍襄陽,當更結好。」卓雖慕忠義,性多疑少決,軍于豬口,欲待諸方同出軍,稽留累旬不前。敦旣得建康,乃遣臺使以騶虞幡駐卓軍。卓聞周顗、戴淵死,流涕謂卬曰:「吾之所憂,正爲今日。且使聖上元吉,太子無恙,吾臨敦上流,亦未敢遽危社稷。適吾徑據武昌,敦勢逼,必劫天子以絕四海之望,不如還襄陽,更思後圖。」卽命旋軍。都尉秦康與樂道融說卓曰:「今分兵斷彭澤,使敦上下不得相赴,其衆自然離散,可一戰擒也。將軍起義兵而中止,竊爲將軍不取。且將軍之下,士卒各求其利,欲西還,亦恐不可得也。」卓不從。道融晝夜泣諫,卓不聽;道融憂憤而卒。卓性本寬和,忽更強塞,徑還襄陽,意氣騷擾,舉動失常,識者知其將死矣。

34. Earlier, when Wang Dun had heard that Gan Zhuo had risen up against him, he had been greatly afraid. Gan Zhuo's nephew Gan Ang was serving under Wang Dun as an Army Advisor, so Wang Dun had sent Gan Ang to advise his uncle, "Sir, up until now, you have been acting under your proper authority, and there is nothing to blame against you. But you are placing the livelihoods of our family in danger. I believe that you should turn your army around and return to Xiangyang, and then patch up relations with the Grand General again."

Although Gan Zhuo had recruited soldiers on behalf of a loyal and righteous cause, he was irresolute and indecisive by nature. So he had kept his army at Zhukou, wanting to wait for the other loyalist armies under the other border commanders to join him there so they could all advance together. For more than ten days, Gan Zhuo had stayed in place without advancing further.

Then Wang Dun captured Jiankang, and he sent back messengers from the government to display the Zouyu Banners before Gan Zhuo's army to compel them to stand down. When Gan Zhuo heard that Zhou Yi and Dai Yuan were dead, he wept and said to Gan Ang, "This is the day I was most afraid of. Now I must consider the fact that our sovereign is still alive and the Crown Prince has not been harmed. I am close upriver from Wang Dun, but I dare not advance when by doing so I would recklessly endanger the fortunes of state. Were I to take and occupy Wuchang and so threaten Wang Dun's power, he would surely slay the Son of Heaven to cut off the hopes of everyone within the Four Seas. Better for me to return to Xiangyang, and think of a plan for what to do next." So he ordered his army to turn back.

Gan Zhuo's Commandant, Qin Kang, and Yue Daorong both pleaded with him, "If you were to split up your soldiers to cut off Pengze, you could keep Wang Dun's forces upriver and downriver from being able to join together. Then his army would scatter all by themselves, and you could capture him in a single battle. General, your army rose up on behalf of righteousness. We humbly propose that you cannot leave such a campaign half-finished. As for your subordinates, General, your officers and soldiers will all look towards their own interests. If you try to return to the west, we fear you will not be able to keep them."

But Gan Zhuo did not listen to them. Yue Daorong spent the whole night tearfully remonstrating with Gan Zhuo, but to no avail. Yue Daorong became so anxious and agitated that he passed away.

Gan Zhuo was normally a magnanimous and agreeable man, but at this time he suddenly became caustic and uncommunicative. And when he returned to Xiangyang, he had a nasty temper and his bodily movements became rather unusual. Those who knew him realized that he was near death.

〈《水經》:沔水東南逕江夏雲杜縣東,夏水從西來注之。《註》云:卽䐗口也。〉〈諸方,謂待諸方鎭同出軍也。騶虞,仁獸;故以騶虞幡駐軍。〉〈彭澤縣,屬豫章郡,彭蠡湖自此入于大江。分兵斷彭澤湖口,可使敦上下不得相通。〉〈此強,謂強暴也。塞,謂窒塞而不疏通。〉

(The Water Classic states, "The Mian River flows southeast through the east of Yundu County in Jiangxia commandary, where the Xia River comes from the west to join it." The Commentary to the Water Classic adds, "That place is called Zhukou."

The border commanders were those loyalist generals on the borders who were also advancing against Wang Dun.

The Zouyu is a benevolent beast; this is why the Zouyu Banner is a symbol that an army must stand down.

Pengze County was part of Yuzhang commandary. It was the site of Lake Pengli [Pengze?], which flowed into the Yangzi. If Gan Zhuo had sent troops to cut off the mouth of Lake Pengze, he could isolate Wang Dun's forces from each other.

This passage describes Gan Zhuo’s personality at this time as 強塞. 強 in this case means violent or harsh, and 塞 means silent and uncommunicative.)


卓軍次者口,聞王師敗績,停師不進。(Book of Jin 37, Biography of Sima Cheng)

Gan Zhuo's army advanced to Zhekou, where he heard that the royal army had been defeated. He halted his army and did not advance further.

卓怍不果決,且年老多疑,遂待諸方同進,出軍稽遲。至豬口,敦聞卓已下兵,卓兄子仰時為敦參軍,使仰求和于卓,令其旋軍。卓信之,將旋,主簿鄧騫與道融勸卓曰:「將軍起義兵而中廢,為敗軍之將,竊為將軍不取。今將軍之下,士卒各求其利,一旦而還,恐不可得也。」卓不從。道融晝夜涕泣諫卓,憂憤而死。(Book of Jin 89, Biography of Yue Daorong)

Gan Zhuo was irresolute and indecisive by nature, and he was an old man and given to many doubts. So he waited for the other loyalist armies under the other border commanders to join him there so they could all advance together, and he was slow in having his army advance. By the time he reached Zhukou, Wang Dun had learned that Gan Zhuo was marching against him. Gan Zhuo's nephew Gan Ang was then serving as an Army Advisor under Wang Dun, so Wang Dun sent Gan Ang to ask Gan Zhuo for peace and order him to send his army back. Gan Zhuo trusted Wang Dun and was about to turn back.

Gan Zhuo's Registrar, Deng Qian, and Yue Daorong both pleaded with him, "General, your army rose up on behalf of righteousness; if you leave such a campaign half-finished, you will be the general of a defeated army. We humbly propose that you not do so. As for your subordinates, General, your officers and soldiers will all look towards their own interests. If you turn back so suddenly, we fear you will not be able to keep them."

But Gan Zhuo did not listen to them. Yue Daorong spent the whole night tearfully remonstrating with Gan Zhuo, and he became so anxious and agitated that he passed away.


王敦以西陽王羕爲太宰,加王導尚書令,王廙爲荊州刺史;改易百官及諸軍鎭,轉徙黜免者以百數;或朝行暮改,惟意所欲。敦將還武昌,謝鯤言於敦曰:「公至都以來,稱疾不朝,是以雖建勳而人心實有未達。今若朝天子,使君臣釋然,則物情皆悅服矣。」敦曰:「君能保無變乎?」對曰:「鯤近日入覲,主上側席,遲得見公,宮省穆然,必無虞也。公若入朝,鯤請侍從。」敦勃然曰:「正復殺君等數百人,亦復何損於時!」竟不朝而去。夏,四月,敦還武昌。

35. Wang Dun appointed the Prince of Xiyang, Sima Yang, as Grand Governor. He promoted Wang Dao to Prefect of the Masters of Writing. And he appointed Wang Yi as Inspector of Jingzhou. He also reshuffled the ministers and the various border commanders, with more than a hundred of them being reassigned, relocated, demoted, or stripped of office. There were even some people who, having received one assignment in the morning, were changed to a different one by the same evening, based purely on Wang Dun's whims.

Wang Dun was about to return to Wuchang. Xie Kun said to him, "Ever since you arrived in the capital, you have avoided attending court by claiming illness. Although you have indeed consolidated your power, you have not really won people over to you just yet. If you were to attend court with the Son of Heaven now, that would put the relationship between the two of you at ease, and then everyone will be pleased to obey your wishes."

Wang Dun asked him, "Sir, can you ensure there will be no further developments?"

Xie Kun replied, "From what I have seen the past few days, our sovereign has 'spread out his mat' and is waiting to have a chance to see you, and the palace and ministries are solemn and peaceful. There is surely no need to worry. If you will attend court, allow me to accompany you."

Wang Dun became agitated and said, "I ought to just kill you and the hundreds like you, then you wouldn't be able to cause any trouble!" And so he left without attending court. In summer, the fourth month, he returned to Wuchang.

〈王者側席待賢,鯤用此語也。遲,待也。〉〈穆然,和敬之意。〉

("Kings spread out their mats and wait for worthy people"; this was the saying that Xie Kun was referencing. The term 遲 means "to wait for".

The term 穆然 means "peaceful and respectful".)


敦又稱疾不朝,鯤諭敦曰:「近者,明公之舉,雖欲大存社稷,然四海之內,實懷未達。若能朝天子,使群臣釋然,萬物之心,於是乃服。仗民望以從眾懷,盡沖退以奉主上,如斯,則勳侔一匡,名垂千載。」時人以為名言。(New Tales of the World 10.12 (2nd Half))

On another occasion, Wang Dun claimed illness and failed to attend the dawn audience. Xie Kun remonstrated with him,
saying, "Recently in the matter of Your Excellency's coup d'etat, though you meant it for the greater preservation of the gods of soil and grain, within the Four Seas in reality men's hearts don't yet fully understand your intentions. If you could only have an audience with the Son of Heaven, you'd enable the various ministers to rest more easily, and the hearts of all beings would then be reconciled. You'd then be catering to the people at the same time you'd be fulfilling the rites of humble deference in service to the Lord Above. If you should do this, your merit would equal the 'one rule' (secured by Guan Zhong for Duke Huan of Qi), and your reputation would be handed down for a thousand years."

Contemporaries considered this to be a famous remark. (tr. Richard Mather)


初,宜都內史天門周級聞譙王氶起兵,使其兄子該潛詣長沙,申款於氶。魏乂等攻湘州急,氶遣該及從事邵陵周崎間出求救,皆爲邏者所得。乂使崎語城中,稱大將軍已克建康,甘卓還襄陽,外援理絕。崎僞許之,旣至城下,大呼曰:「援兵尋至,努力堅守!」乂殺之。乂考該至死,竟不言其故,周級由是獲免。

36. Earlier, when the Interior Minister of Yidu, Zhou Ji of Tianmen commandary, had heard that Sima Zheng had risen up against Wang Dun, Zhou Ji had sent his nephew Zhou Gai to secretly visit Sima Zheng's base at Changsha and convey his earnest intentions to him.

When Wang Dun's subordinates, Wei Ai and others, later fiercely attacked Xiangzhou, Sima Zheng sent Zhou Gai and his own Attendant Officer, Zhou Qi of Shaoling commandary, to slip out of the city in order to seek reinforcements. But both of them were captured by enemy patrols.

Wei Ai ordered Zhou Qi to go back to speak to those inside Changsha, claiming that the Grand General had already taken Jiankang and that Gan Zhuo had returned to Xiangyang, so there would be no hope of outside reinforcements. Zhou Qi pretended that he would do as Wei Ai ordered, but when he came to the walls of the city, he shouted, "The reinforcements are almost here! Exert yourselves and hold the city!" Wei Ai killed him.

Then Wei Ai tortured Zhou Gai to try and find out who had sent him, but Zhou Gai kept the secret until he died. So Zhou Ji was able to escape being associated with the loyalists.

〈吳孫晧[休]永安六年,分武陵立天門郡。充縣有松梁山,山有石,石開處數十丈,其高,以弩仰射,不至其上,名天門,因此名郡。宋白曰:澧州石門縣,吳立天門郡,隋罷郡爲石門縣。〉〈申,明也;款,誠也。〉〈此非潁川之邵陵。吳孫晧寶鼎元年,分零陵北部都尉立邵陵郡。〉〈言以事理觀之,外援巳絕也。〉

(In Sun Xiu of Eastern Wu's sixth year of Yong'an (263), he had split off part of Wuling commandary to form Tianmen commandary. There was a Mount Songliang in Chong County in the territory which later became that commandary. On this mountain there was a stone which was several dozen zhang tall. It was so tall that, if one were to shoot a crossbow bolt up, the bolt would not even reach the top of the stone. It was called Tianmen, or the Gate of Heaven, and the commandary took its name from that. Song Bai remarked, "Shimen County in Lizhou was the Tianmen commandary established by Eastern Wu. Sui removed its commandary status and renamed it to Shimen County."

The term 申 means "explain" or "convey"; 款 means "earnest" or "honest".

The "Shaoling" which Zhou Qi is mentioned as a native of was not the same Shaoling as the one in Yingchuan commandary. In Sun Hao of Eastern Wu's first year of Baoding (266), he split off the Northern Command Post of Lingling commandary to form a Shaoling commandary.

Wei Ai wanted Zhou Qi to explain to the people inside Changsha the reasons why outside reinforcements would no longer be coming to help them.)


周該,天門人也。性果烈,以義勇稱。雖不好學,而率由名教。叔父級為宜都內史,亦忠節士也。聞譙王承立義湘州,甘卓又不同王敦之舉,而書檄不至,級謂該曰:「吾嘗疾王敦挾陵上之心,今稱兵構逆,有危社稷之勢。譙王宗室之望,據方州之重,建旗誓眾,圖襲武昌。甘安南少著勇名,士馬器械當今為盛,聞與譙王剋期舉義,此乃烈士急病之秋,吾致死之時也,汝其成吾之志,申款于譙王乎?」該欣然奉命,潛至湘州,與承相見,口陳至誠。承大悅。會王敦遣其將魏乂圍承甚急,該乃與湘州從事周崎間出反命,俱為乂所見,考之至死,竟不言其故,級由是獲免王敦之難。(Book of Jin 89, Biography of Zhou Gai)

Zhou Gai was a native of Tianmen commandary. He had a stalwart and zealous nature, and he was commended for his boldness and righteousness. Though he did not enjoy studying, he conducted himself according to proper virtues. His uncle Zhou Yi, who served as Interior Minister of Yidu, was also a loyal and dutiful gentleman.

Zhou Yi heard that the Prince of Qiao, Sima Cheng, had raised Xiangzhou in opposition to Wang Dun and that Gan Zhuo too had refused to support Wang Dun's campaign. So even before the call to arms arrived from those leaders, Zhou Yi said to Zhou Gai, "I had been worried that Wang Dun intended to act against his sovereign. Now he has indeed raised troops in rebellion, posing a danger to the fortunes of state. The Prince of Qiao is the hope of the royal family; he occupies a cricital province, and he has raised his banners and called for an army, so that he may fall upon Wuchang. And though General Gan is little known for his boldness, see how many soldiers, horses, and equipment he has gathered together. I have heard that he and the Prince have set a date for a rising together against Wang Dun. This is the season for loyalists to do their utmost. Alas, I myself am already too old for such things. Will you fulfill my ambitions in my stead and express my sincerity to the Prince?"

Zhou Gai eagerly accepted this charge, and he secretly traveled to Xiangzhou. He met with Sima Cheng and personally recounted his sincerity. Sima Cheng was overjoyed.

Soon, Wang Dun sent his general Wei Ai to besiege Sima Cheng, who was thus put in dire straits. So Zhou Gai and the Attendant Officer of Xiangzhou, Zhou Qi, secretly broke out to seek reinforcements. However, they were both captured by Wei Ai. Wei Ai interrogated Zhou Gai until he died, but Zhou Gai never revealed his purpose. Zhou Ji was thus able to avoid Wang Dun's wrath.

周崎,邵陵人也。為湘州從事。王敦之難,譙王承使崎求救於外,與周該俱為魏乂偵人所執,乂責崎辭情,臨以白刃。崎曰:「州將使求援於外,本無定指,隨時制宜耳。」又謂崎曰:「汝為我語城中,稱大將軍已破劉隗、戴若思,甘卓住襄陽,無復異議,三江州郡,萬里肅清,外援理絕。如是者,我當活汝。」崎偽許之。既到城下,大呼曰:「王敦軍敗于于湖,甘安南已克武昌,即日分遣大眾來赴此急,努力堅守,賊今散矣!」乂於是數而殺之。(Book of Jin 89, Biography of Zhou Qi)

Zhou Qi was a native of Shanling commandary. He was employed as an Attendant Officer of Xiangzhou. During Wang Dun's rebellion, the Prince of Qiao, Sima Cheng, sent Zhou Qi to request outside reinforcements. However, both he and Zhou Gai were captured by Wei Ai's scouts. Wei Ai denounced Zhou Qi with harsh words and threatened him with a sword.

Zhou Qi said, "The Inspector sent me to go ask for reinforcements, but I did not seek out this mission; I was just caught up in the circumstances."

So Wei Ai said, "Then you will speak to those inside the city on our behalf. Tell them that the Grand General (Wang Dun) has already routed Liu Wei and Dai Yuan, and that Gan Zhuo has returned to Xiangyang. There is no longer anyone else who opposes the Grand General; all the provinces and commandaries along the Yangzi now respect his will, and there is no prospect of reinforcements. If you do this, I will spare your life."

Zhou Qi pretended to agree. But once he was below the city walls, he shouted to the defenders, "Wang Dun's army has been defeated at Wuhu, and Gan Zhuo has already marched south and taken Wuchang! This very day, both of them have sent large armies to come reinforce you! Exert yourselves and maintain your defenses, for the enemy is on the run!"

Wei Ai denounced Zhou Qi and killed him.


乂等攻戰日逼,敦又送所得臺中人書疏,令乂射以示氶。城中知朝廷不守,莫不悵惋。相持且百日,劉翼戰死,士卒死傷相枕。癸巳,乂拔長沙,氶等皆被執。乂將殺虞悝,子弟對之號泣。悝曰:「人生會當有死,今闔門爲忠義之鬼,亦復何恨!」

37. Wei Ai and the others kept up their assaults against Changsha. Wang Dun also sent Wei Ai a letter from the Palace Secretariat, ordering him to tie the letter onto an arrow and then shoot it over the walls of the city so that Sima Zheng would see it. Thus the people inside the city learned that the court had fallen to Wang Dun, and there was no one who did not sigh in regret.

The two sides were locked in stalemate for a hundred days; Liu Yi died in battle, and a great many officers and soldiers were killed or wounded. Then, on the day Guisi (May 12th), Wei Ai captured Changsha, and Sima Zheng and the others were all taken prisoner.

When Wei Ai was about to kill Yu Kui, Yu Kui's younger relatives all wept and pleaded for him. But Yu Kui said, "Everyone who is born is destined to die. Now I shall meet my end as a ghost for loyalty and righteousness. What is there to regret?"

乂等攻戰日逼,敦又送所得台中人書疏,令乂射以示承。城內知朝廷不守,莫不悵惋。劉翼戰死,相持百餘日,城遂沒。(Book of Jin 37, Biography of Sima Cheng)

Wei Ai and Wang Dun's other generals kept attacking and threatening Xiangzhou by the day. Wang Dun also sent a letter he had obtained from the government ministry in the capital, ordering Wei Ai to shoot the message into the city so that Sima Cheng would see it. Thus the people inside the city learned that the capital had fallen, and there was no one who did not sigh in regret. Liu Yi died in battle, and the two sides remained in stalemate for more than a hundred days. In the end, the city fell.

城破,悝復為乂所執,將害之,子弟對之號泣,悝謂曰:「人生有死,闔門為忠義鬼,亦何恨哉!」及王敦平,贈悝襄陽太守,望滎陽太守,遣謁者至墓,祭以少牢。(Book of Jin 89, Biography of Yu Kui)

When the city fell, Yu Kui was also captured by Wei Ai. When Wei Ai was about to kill Yu Kui, his younger brothers all pleaded and wept on his behalf. But Yu Kui said, "Everyone who is born is destined to die. Now I shall meet my end as a ghost for loyalty and righteousness. What is there to regret?"

After Wang Dun was defeated, Yu Kui was posthumously appointed as Administrator of Xiangyang and Yu Wang was posthumously appointed as Administrator of Xingyang. Agents were sent to visit their graves and sacrifice a ram and a boar to them.


乂以檻車載氶及易雄送武昌,佐吏皆奔散,惟主簿桓雄、西曹書佐韓階、從事武延,毀服爲僮從氶,不離左右。乂見桓雄姿貌舉止非凡人,憚而殺之。韓階、武延執志愈固。荊州刺史王廙承敦旨,殺氶於道中,階、延送氶喪至都,葬之而去。易雄至武昌,意氣忼慨,曾無懼容。敦遣人以檄示雄而數之,雄曰:「此實有之,惜雄位微力弱,不能救國難耳。今日之死,固所願也。」敦憚其辭正,釋之,遣就舍。衆人皆賀之,雄笑曰:「吾安得生!」旣而敦遣人潛殺之。

38. Wei Ai escorted Sima Zheng and Yi Xiong back towards Wuchang, making them ride in a cage cart. Their assistants and officials all fled and scattered. Only Sima Zheng's Registrar, Huan Xiong, the Writing Assistant of the Western Manager, Han Jie, and the Attendant Officer, Wu Yan, tore their clothes and followed Sima Zheng's cart posing as slaves, not looking in either direction. When Wei Ai saw that Huan Xiong had an uncommon bearing and appearance, he feared Huan Xiong and so killed him. But even so, Han Jie and Wu Yan only became more hardened in their resolve. Then Wang Yi, bearing Wang Dun's decree, killed Sima Zheng on the road. Han Jie and Wu Yan brought his body back to Jiankang and buried it before leaving.

When Yi Xiong arrived at Wuchang, he too was still unbowed, and he showed not the slightest trace of fear. Wang Dun sent someone to show Yi Xiong the proclamations he had spread and denounce him. But Yi Xiong said, "I spoke the truth. My only regret is that my strength was too weak to save the state from its troubles. If today is the day of my death, then I will go willingly." Wang Dun was unnerved by such a declaration, and he released Yi Xiong, only sending him back to his residence. People congratulated Yi Xiong for escaping death. But he only laughed and said, "Have I really saved my life?" Wang Dun soon sent someone to secretly kill him.

〈府諸曹各有書佐。〉〈毀服者,毀其常服,爲僮奴之服。〉

(The staffs of the various Managers all included Writing Assistants.

By "ripping their clothes", they destroyed their usual clothing and put on the attire of a servant or slave.)


乂檻送承荊州,刺史王暠承敦旨於道中害之,時年五十九。敦平,詔贈車騎將軍。子無忌立。(Book of Jin 37, Biography of Sima Cheng)

Wei Ai sent Sima Cheng to Jingzhou riding in a cage cart. The Inspector of Jingzhou, Wang Gao, heeded Wang Dun's orders by having Sima Cheng killed on the road there. He was fifty-eight years old.

桓雄,長沙人也。少仕州郡。譙王承為湘州刺史,命為主簿。王敦之逆,承為敦將魏乂所執,佐吏奔散,雄與西曹韓階,從事武延並毀服為僮豎,隨承向武昌。乂見雄姿貌長者,進退有禮,知非凡人,有畏憚之色,因害之。(Book of Jin 89, Biography of Huan Xiong)

Huan Xiong was a native of Changsha commandary. As a young man, he was employed by his commandary and province. When the Prince of Qiao, Sima Cheng, was appointed as Inspector of Xiangzhou, he ordered Huan Xiong to become his Registrar.

During Wang Dun's rebellion, Sima Cheng was captured by Wang Dun's general Wei Ai. Most of his assistants and officials scattered and fled. Only Huan Xiong, the Writing Assistant of the Western Manager, Han Jie, and the Attendant Officer, Wu Yan, tore their clothes and followed Sima Zheng's cart posing as slaves, accompanying Sima Cheng towards Wuchang. When Wei Ai saw that Huan Xiong had an uncommon bearing and appearance and moved with purpose and propriety, he knew that Huan Xiong was no ordinary fellow and he looked afraid of him, so he killed Huan Xiong.

韓階,長沙人也。性廉謹篤慎,為閭里所敬愛。刺史、譙王承辟為議曹祭酒,轉西曹書佐。及承為魏乂所執,送武昌,階與武延等同心隨從,在承左右。桓雄被害之後,二人執志愈固。及承遇禍,階、延親營殯斂,送柩還都,朝夕哭奠,俱葬畢乃還。(Book of Jin 89, Biography of Han Jie)

Han Jie was a native of Changsha commandary. He was naturally incorrupt, cautious, sincere, and careful, and for this he was respected and loved in his home village. The Inspector of Xiangzhou and Prince of Qiao, Sima Cheng, recruited Han Jie as a Libationer-Consultant, and he later became a Writing Assistant of the Western Manager.

When Sima Cheng was captured by Wei Ai, he was being taken to Wuchang. Han Jie, Wu Yan, and others shared the same devotion by accompanying Sima Cheng and serving as his attendants. Even after Huan Xiong was killed, Han Jie and Wu Yan only became more hardened in their resolve. After Sima Cheng himself was killed, Han Jie and Wu Yan personally arranged for his burial, and they brought his coffin back to the capital, weeping and grieving for him day and night. They returned after the end of the funeral.

力屈城陷,為乂所虜,意氣慷慨,神無懼色。送到武昌,敦遣人以檄示雄而數之。雄曰:「此實有之,惜雄位微力弱不能救國之難。王室如毀。雄安用生為!今日即戮,得作忠鬼,乃所願也。」敦憚其辭正,釋之。眾人皆賀,雄笑曰:「昨夜夢乘車,掛肉其傍。夫肉必有筋,筋者斤也,車傍有斤,吾其戮乎!」尋而敦遣殺之。當時見者,莫不傷惋。(Book of Jin 89, Biography of Yi Xiong)

When the army's strength was exhausted, the city fell, and Yi Xiong was captured by Wei Ai. But his spirit was unbroken, and he showed no signs of fear.

Wang Dun sent someone to show Yi Xiong the proclamations he had spread and denounce him. But Yi Xiong said, "I spoke the truth. My only regret is that my strength was too weak to save the state from its troubles. Your clan is on the brink of destruction. What is the use in my living? If today is the day of my execution, then I shall serve as a loyal ghost, so I am fully willing."

Wang Dun was unnerved by such a righteous declaration, and he released Yi Xiong. People congratulated Yi Xiong for escaping death. But he only laughed and said, "Last night, I dreamed I was riding in a cart with flesh hanging on its side. A man's flesh must have tendons, and tendons can be severed. The cart had an axe on its side. I am going to be executed!"

Wang Dun soon sent someone to kill Yi Xiong. Everyone of that time who witnessed it felt painful grief.


魏乂求鄧騫甚急,鄕人皆爲之懼,騫笑曰:「此欲用我耳,彼新得州,多殺忠良,故求我以厭人望也。」乃往詣乂,乂喜曰:「君,古之解揚也。」以爲別駕。

39. Wei Ai forcefully demanded Deng Qian to report to him. Deng Qian's neighbors all feared for his life. But Deng Qian laughed and said, "He just wants to use me. He has only just obtained the province, and on top of that he's killed many loyal and excellent people. So he wants me to help win the people over to him now."

When Deng Qian came to see Wei Ai, Wei Ai was pleased and said, "Sir, you shall be my own Xie Yang." And he appointed Deng Qian as an Attendant Officer With Separate Carriage.

〈《左傳》:楚子圍宋;晉使解揚如宋,使無降楚;鄭人囚而獻諸楚。楚子厚賂之,使反其言,不許;三,而許之。登諸樓車,使呼宋而告之;遂致其君命。楚子將殺之,使與之言曰:「爾旣許不穀而反之,何故?速卽爾刑!」對曰:「受命而出,有死無霣,又可賂乎!臣之許君,以成命也;死而成命,臣之祿也。」楚子舍之以歸。〉

(According to the Zuo Commentary on the Spring and Autumn Annals, when the Viscount of Chu was besieging the state of Song, the state of Jin sent the minister Xie Yang to visit Song and convince them not to surrender to Chu. But the people of Zheng imprisoned Xie Yang and turned him over to Chu. The Viscount of Chu bribed him heavily, so that he would in fact convince Song to surrender, but Xie Yang would not agree. But after the third time, he agreed to do so. So Xie Yang ascended a mounted carriage, and they ordered him to address the people of Song and tell them to surrender. However, Xie Yang carried out his original mission and conveyed the message that Jin had sent him to deliver The Viscount of Chu was about to kill Xie Yang for having done this, saying to him, "Having just agreed to do so, why did you not do as you promised? I should pass my sentence against you at once!" Xie Yang replied, "I received a commission and set out to fulfill it. Even if you kill me now, I shall not have failed. What do your bribes matter? I made that agreement with you in order to complete my mission. To die in the service of completing my mission shall be my just reward." The Viscount of Chu then let him go. (Xuan 15.2))


詔以陶侃領湘州刺史;王敦上侃復還廣州,加散騎常侍。

40. Sima Rui issued an edict appointing Tao Kan as acting Inspector of Xiangzhou. But Wang Dun sent Tao Kan back to Guangzhou instead, although he promoted him as Cavalier In Regular Attendance.

甲午,前趙羊后卒,諡曰獻文。

41. On the day Jiawu (May 13th), Empress Yang of Zhao passed away. She was posthumously known as Empress Xianwen ("the Presented and Cultured").

In this and a few other places, Sima Guang here identifies Liu Yao’s state as Former Zhao instead of simply Zhao, per one of the later historical terms to differentiate it from Later Zhao. I (the translator) will continue to use Zhao to refer to this state in the main text.

五年,曜后羊氏卒。故晉惠后也,洛陽之陷納之。(Annals of the Sixteen Kingdoms 1, Biography of Liu Yao)

In the fifth year of Yongguang (322), Liu Yao's Empress, Lady Yang, passed away. She had originally been the Empress of Jin's Emperor Hui. When Luoyang fell, Liu Yao took her.


甘卓家人皆勸卓備王敦,卓不從,悉散兵佃作,聞諫,輒怒。襄陽太守周慮密承敦意,詐湖中多魚,勸卓遣左右悉出捕魚。五月,乙亥,慮引兵襲卓於寢室,殺之,傳首於敦,幷殺其諸子。敦以從事中郎周撫督沔北諸軍事,代卓鎭沔中。撫,訪之子也。

42. Gan Zhuo's family all urged him to make defensive preparations against Wang Dun. But Gan Zhuo would not listen to them, and instead he sent his soldiers away to farm or work. Whenever someone remonstrated with him, he always became angry.

The Administrator of Xiangyang, Zhou Lü, received a secret order from Wang Dun. He falsely claimed that there were many fish in the lake, and urged Gan Zhuo to send all his attendants away to go and catch them. In the fifth month, on the day Yihai (June 23rd), Zhou Lü led soldiers to attack Gan Zhuo in his bedchamber. They killed him and sent his head to Wang Dun, and they killed all his sons as well.

Wang Dun appointed the Attendant Officer of the Household Gentlemen, Zhou Fu, as Commander of military affairs in the region north of the Mian River, and had him take over for Gan Zhuo in the defense of the Mianzhong region. This Zhou Fu was the son of Zhou Fang.

〈自南鄭至襄陽,沔水所由也,故謂之沔中。〉

(The Mian River flowed through the region between Nanzheng and Xiangyang, and so that area was called the Mianzhong ("along the Mian") region.)


撫字道和。強毅有父風,而將禦不及。元帝辟為丞相掾,父喪去官。服闋,襲爵,除鷹揚將軍、武昌太守。王敦命為從事中郎,與鄧嶽俱為敦爪牙。甘卓遇害。敦以撫為沔北諸軍事、南中郎將,鎮沔中。(Book of Jin 58, Biography of Zhou Fu)

Zhou Fu was styled Daohe. He had a strong resolve, just like his father Zhou Fang, but he was not as skilled of a general. Emperor Yuan (Sima Rui) appointed him as an Assistant to the Prime Minister. When his father passed away (in 320), Zhou Fu left office to mourn for him. After the mourning period was concluded, Zhou Fu inherited his father's title, and he was appointed as General of Hawkish Display and Administrator of Wuchang.

Wang Dun appointed Zhou Fu as Attendant Officer of the Household Gentlemen, and he and Deng Yue served as Wang Dun's fangs and claws. After Gan Zhuo's death, Wang Dun appointed Zhou Fu as Commander of military affairs in the region north of the Mian River and as General of the Household Gentlemen of the South, and he was stationed in the Mianzhong region.


敦旣得志,暴慢滋甚,四方貢獻多入其府,將相岳牧皆出其門。以沈充、錢鳳爲謀主,唯二人之言是從,所譖無不死者。以諸葛瑤、鄧岳、周撫、李恆、謝雍爲爪牙。充等並凶險驕恣,大起營府,侵人田宅,剽掠市道,識者咸知其將敗焉。

43. Now that Wang Dun had achieved his ambitions, he became even more violent and boorish. A great number of gifts and tributes from every side poured into his office, while all kinds of generals and ministers were appointed from members of his clan.

Wang Dun kept Shen Chong and Qian Feng as his chief advisors, and he only ever did as they advised. Anyone they slandered was invariably killed. He also had Zhuge Yao, Deng Yue, Zhou Fu, Li Heng, and Xie Yong to serve as his fangs and claws.

Shen Chong and all the rest were ruthless, arrogant, and unrestrained. They greatly expanded their barracks and offices, claimed people's fields and houses for themselves, and plundered people in the roads and markets. Those who knew about it all knew that they would soon suffer defeat.

〈舜有四岳、十二牧,故後之居方面者,謂之岳牧。〉

(This passage states that 將相岳牧 all came from Wang Dun's clan. The ancient Emperor Shun had his Four 岳 Mountains and Twelve 牧 Shepherds. These later became the names of those stationed on the borders, and so that was why they are listed in this phrase.)


敦既得志,暴慢愈甚,四方貢獻多入己府,將相嶽牧悉出其門。徙含為征東將軍、都督揚州江西諸軍事,從弟舒為荊州,彬為江州,邃為徐州。含字處弘,凶頑剛暴,時所不齒,以敦貴重,故曆顯位。敦以沈充、錢鳳為謀主,諸葛瑤、鄧岳、周撫、李恆、謝雍為爪牙。充等並凶險驕恣,共相驅扇,殺戮自己;又大起營府,侵人田宅,發掘古墓,剽掠市道,士庶解體,咸知其禍敗焉。(Book of Jin 98, Biography of Wang Dun)

Now that Wang Dun had achieved his ambitions, he became even more violent and boorish. A great number of gifts and tributes from every side poured into his office, while all kinds of generals and ministers were appointed from members of his clan. His elder brother Wang Han was appointed as General Who Conquers The East and Commander of military affairs in Yangzhou west of the Yangzi. His cousins Wang Shu, Wang Bin, and Wang Sui were respectively appointed as Inspectors of Jingzhou, Jiangzhou, and Xuzhou. This Wang Bin, styled Chuhong, was so wild, stubborn, severe, and violent that no one could stand him. But Wang Dun held him in high esteem, so he passed through high offices.

Wang Dun kept Shen Chong and Qian Feng as his chief advisors. He also had Zhuge Yao, Deng Yue, Zhou Fu, Li Heng, and Xie Yong to serve as his fangs and claws.

Shen Chong and all the rest were ruthless and arrogant; they did as they pleased, killing whomever they wished. They also greatly expanded their barracks and offices, claimed people's fields and houses for themselves, dug up and plundered old graves, and took from people in the roads and markets. Discipline among their troops collapsed, and all knew that they would suffer defeat.


秋,七月,後趙中山公虎拔泰山,執徐龕送襄國;後趙王勒盛之以囊,於百尺樓上撲殺之,命王伏都等妻子刳而食之,阬其降卒三千人。

44. In autumn, the seventh month, Shi Hu took Taishan. He captured Xu Kan and sent him back to Xiangguo. Shi Le stuffed Xu Kan into a bag and then killed him by throwing him off the top of a tower a hundred 尺 high. Then he ordered the wives and children of Wang Fudu and the other Later Zhao soldiers that Xu Kan had killed to carve up his corpse and eat it. He also buried alive three thousand of Xu Kan's soldiers who had surrendered.

〈龕殺王伏都,見上卷大[太]興三年。〉

(Xu Kan's execution of the Later Zhao general Wang Fudu and the soldiers whom Shi Le had sent to support Xu Kan is mentioned in Book 91, in the third year of Taixing (320.9).)


兗州刺史郗鑒在鄒山三年,有衆數萬。戰爭不息,百姓饑饉,掘野鼠、蟄燕而食之,爲後趙所逼,退屯合肥。尚書右僕射紀瞻,以鑒雅望清德,宜從容臺閣,上疏請徵之;乃徵拜尚書。徐、兗間諸塢多降於後趙,後趙置守宰以撫之。

45. It was earlier mentioned that the Inspector of Yanzhou whom Sima Rui had appointed, Chi Jian, had gathered many refugees at Mount Zou in that region. After three years, he had a host of several tens of thousands. But because there had been no rest from the constant fighting, the common people there suffered from hunger and want. They even caught field mice and hibernating swallows and ate them.

Under threat from Later Zhao, Chi Jian led his forces to fall back to camp at Hefei. The Supervisor of the Right of the Masters of Writing, Ji Zhan, felt that because Chi Jian had long been known for his honesty and virtue, he deserved a position within the government. So he sent up a petition asking that Chi Jian be summoned to the capital, and Chi Jian was summoned and appointed as a Master of Writing.

Most of the remaining independent forts in the Yanzhou and Xuzhou regions surrendered to Later Zhao, and Shi Le appointed local officials to look after them.

〈愍帝建興元年,帝以鑒鎭鄒山,今旣數年矣,所謂三年有衆數萬者,言鑒旣鎭鄒山之後,三年之間,民歸之者有此數也。郗,丑之翻。〉〈燕,經秋而蟄。〉

(Sima Rui had sent Chi Jian to guard Mount Zou in Emperor Min's first year of Jianxing (313). It had been many years indeed since then. So when this passage says that Chi Jian had a host of tens of thousands "after three years", it was just saying that that many people had come to him within three years of arriving at Mount Zou.

Chi Jian's surname 郗 is pronounced "chi (ch-i)".

The swallow hibernates during the autumn.)


Swallows do not actually hibernate. The bird in question may have been the swift.

王敦自領寧、益二州都督。

46. Wang Dun appointed himself as acting Commander of Ningzhou and Yizhou.

〈非君命,故史以自領書之。〉

(Wang Dun had no official commission for these titles, and so this passage lists him as "acting" Commander.)


敦又自督寧、益二州。(Book of Jin 98, Biography of Wang Dun)

Wang Dun appointed himself as acting Commander of Ningzhou and Yizhou.


冬,十月,己丑,荊州刺史武陵康侯王廙卒。

47. In winter, the tenth month, on the day Jichou (November 4th), Wang Yi passed away. He was posthumously known as Marquis Kang ("the Peaceful") of Wuling.

王敦以下邳內史王邃都督青、徐、幽、平四州諸軍事,鎭淮陰;衞將軍王含都督沔南諸軍事,領荊州刺史;武昌太守丹楊王諒爲交州刺史。使諒收交州刺史脩湛、新昌太守梁碩殺之。諒誘湛,斬之。碩舉兵圍諒於龍編。

48. Wang Dun appointed the Interior Minister of Xiapi, Wang Sui, as Commander of military affairs in Qingzhou, Xuzhou, Youzhou, and Pingzhou, with his base at Huaiyin. He appointed the Guard General, Wang Han, as Commander of military affairs south of the Mian River and as acting Inspector of Jingzhou, to replace Wang Yi.

Wang Dun also appointed the Administrator of Wuchang, Wang Liang of Danyang commandary, as Inspector of Jiaozhou. He sent Wang Liang to arrest the self-appointed Administrator of Xinchang, Liang Shuo, and his puppet Inspector of Jiaozhou, Xiu Zhan, and kill them both. Wang Liang misled Xiu Zhan and then beheaded him. Liang Shuo raised troops and besieged Wang Liang at Longbian.

〈《考異》曰:《諒傳》:「永興三年,敦以諒爲交州。」按:永興三年,卽惠帝光熙元年也,《諒傳》誤。〉〈吳孫晧建衡三年,分交趾立新興郡,武帝太康三年,更名新昌郡。〉〈龍編縣,屬交趾郡,州、郡皆治焉。〉

(Sima Guang's commentary in the Textual Analysis states, "The Biography of Wang Liang in the Book of Jin states, 'In the third year of Yongxing, Wang Dun appointed Wang Liang as Inspector of Jiaozhou.' But this 'third year of Yongxing' could only have been Emperor Hui's first year of the subsequent Guangxi reign era (306). So the Biography of Wang Liang is mistaken."

In Sun Hao of Eastern Wu's third year of Jianheng (271), he split off part of Jiaozhi commandary to form Xinxing commandary. In Emperor Wu's (Sima Yan's) third year of Taikang (282), he renamed Xinxing to Xinchang.

Longbian County was part of Jiaozhi commandary. It was the administrative center of both that commandary and of Jiaozhou.)


王諒,字幼成,丹陽人也。少有幹略,為王敦所擢,參其府事,稍遷武昌太守... 永興三年,敦以諒為交州刺史。諒將之任,敦謂曰:「修湛、梁碩皆國賊也,卿至,便收斬之。」諒既到境,湛退還九真。廣州刺史陶侃遣人誘湛來詣諒所,諒敕從人不得入閣,既前,執之。碩時在坐,曰:「湛故州將之子,有罪可遣,不足殺也。」諒曰:「是君義故,無豫我事。」即斬之。碩怒而出。諒陰謀誅碩,使客刺之,弗克,遂率眾圍諒于龍編。(Book of Jin 89, Biography of Wang Liang)

Wang Liang, styled Youcheng, was a native of Danyang commandary. Even as a youth, he had talent and cunning. He was recruited by Wang Dun and advised him on staff affairs, and was eventually transferred to be Administrator of Wuchang.

In the third year of Yongxing, Wang Dun appointed Wang Liang as Inspector of Jiaozhou. As Wang Liang was about to leave for this new post, Wang Dun told him, "Xiu Zhan and Liang Shuo are enemies of the state. When you arrive, be sure to behead them."

When Wang Liang arrived at Jiaozhou, Xiu Zhan fled back to Jiuzhen commandary. The Inspector of Guangzhou, Tao Kan, sent someone to trick Xiu Zhan into coming to visit Wang Liang. But Wang Liang ordered his followers not to let him in, so when Xiu Zhan arrived, they arrested him. At that time, Liang Shuo was also present, and he said to Wang Liang, "Xiu Zhan is the son of the former Inspector. If he has committed a crime, you may exile him. But he has not done anything serious enough to merit execution."

But Wang Liang replied, "That may reassure you, but it has nothing to do with my business." And he beheaded Xiu Zhan.

This angered Liang Shuo, who left. Wang Liang secretly plotted to execute Liang Shuo as well, so he sent an assassin to kill him. But the assassin failed, and Liang Shuo then led his forces to besiege Wang Liang at Longbian.

還屯武昌,多害忠良,寵樹親戚,以兄含為衛將軍、都督沔南軍事、領南蠻校尉、荊州刺史,以義陽太守任愔督河北諸軍事、南中郎將。(Book of Jin 98, Biography of Wang Dun)

After returning to camp at Wuchang, Wang Dun harmed many loyal and good people, while augmenting the power and authority of his own favorites and relatives. He appointed his elder brother Wang Han as Guard General, Commandar of military affairs south of the Mian River, acting Colonel of Southern Man Tribes, and Inspector of Jingzhou. He appointed the Administrator of Yiyang, Ren Yin, as Commander of military affairs north of the Yellow River and as General of the Household Gentlemen of the South.


祖逖旣卒,後趙屢寇河南,拔襄城、城父,圍譙。豫州刺史祖約不能禦,退屯壽春。後趙遂取陳留,梁、鄭之間復騷然矣。

49. Now that Zu Ti was dead, Later Zhao resumed its invasions south across the Yellow River. They captured Xiangcheng and Chengfu, and besieged Qiao. Jin's Inspector of Yuzhou, Zu Yue, could not hold out against them, so he fell back to camp at Shouchun. Later Zhao then captured Chenliu as well, and the Liang and Zheng regions were once again thrown into turmoil.

〈城父縣,前漢屬沛郡,後漢屬汝南郡,魏、晉屬譙國。此河南,槪言黃河之南,非專指河南郡也。〉

(During Former Han, Chengfu County was part of Pei commandary. During Later Han, it was part of Runan commandary. During Cao-Wei and Jin, it was part of the Qiao princely fief.

When this passage says Henan, it means in the general sense of "south of the Yellow River", and not to Henan commandary in particular.)


十一月,以臨潁元公荀組爲太尉;辛酉,薨。

50. In the eleventh month, Xun Zu was appointed as Jin's Grand Commandant. On the day Xinyou (December 6th), he passed away. He was posthumously known as Duke Yuan ("the Foremost") of Linying.

罷司徒,幷丞相府。王敦以司徒官屬爲留府。

51. Jin abolished the position of Minister Over The Masses, combining it into the staff of the Prime Minister. Wang Dun appointed the former officials and subordinates who had served under the Minister Over The Masses as the Detached Staff.
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