UPDATE: I just wanted to add a notice here at the top of the thread that the bio is completed and the entire text is within this thread, so disregard my original comments about this only being the first 40% in the post below.
I was going to hold off on this until the whole thing is done but since the anniversary of his death is coming in two days I decided this would be a good time to go ahead and start revealing this to the light of day. What follows is the first 40% of Cao Cao's SGZ biography. Pei's notes are numbered and in a smaller font than the main text. In deciding where to make the paragraph breaks (i.e. how much main text before pausing for notes) I've followed the outline of the online text I used for this translation. No translator's notes at this time, unfortunately, since the text kind of needs them. I will provide a couple of items on two particular points however.
Firstly, both texts I consulted give Chunyu Qiong (one of Yuan Shao's generals) the style name of 仲 簡 zhong4 jian3, whereas the archive at KMA gives it as Zhongde (of course, the archive also spells his name Chun Yuqiong...). I couldn't find any alternate words 'de' for 簡 in any online or paper dictionary so I'm sticking with Zhongjian for his style.
The second bit is that there is, at one point, a time when Cao Cao is leading his men out to attack a bandit headquarters and the bandits attack Cao Cao's capital city (of Dong commandery, which Cao was head of at this time) of Dongwuyang and Cao opts to continue forward instead of turning back. He uses the expression "to rescue Zhao by attacking Wei" and my subsequent translation of his explanation is not as clear as I would like. Basically, it means to attack the enemy at their base/root, i.e. don't come to Zhao's aid by going into Zhao to fight off Wei, just invade Wei instead.
A big thank you to anyone who has given me assistance with my Classical Chinese thus far, and to anyone who can help me with the one bit of chinese text I have parenthetically added below, and here we go:
Wei: Book One
Book One: Biography of the Martial Emperor
The Great Ancestor and Martial Emperor was a native of Qiao in Pei state. His family name was Cao, his tabooed name was Cao, he was styled Mengde, and he descended from the former Han Prime Minister Cao Can.1 In the time of Emperor Huan, Cao Teng was appointed Chief of the Regular Palace Attendants and conferred the title Marquis of Feiting.2 Teng’s adopted son Song succeeded him, achieving the high office of Grand Commandant, but there were none able to discover the circumstances of his birth.3 Cao Song begot the Great Ancestor.
1 The Record of Cao Man/Cao Man Zhuan states: The Great Ancestor was also called Ji Li, and his childhood name was A Man. Wang Chen’s Book of Wei states: His family originally came from Huangdi. In the time of Gao Yang, Lu Zhong’s son was called An, and assumed the surname of Cao. When King Wu of Zhou subdued Yin, beginning the dynasty that afterwards carried his name, he gave to Cao Xia the state of Zhu. During the Spring & Autumn Period they participated in coalition meetings, continuing up until the Warring States period when the state was subdued by Chu. Thenceforth the family’s descendants dispersed, and some of the family settled in Pei. At the time of the High Ancestor of Han’s ascension, Cao Can, because of his accomplishments, was given the title Marquis of Pingyang and his descendants continued to hold the fiefdom. The line was extinguished but was again renewed, until the present day with each successor to the state residing at Rongcheng.
2 Sima Biao’s Book of Han Continued/Sima Biao Xu Han Shu states: Cao Teng was the father of Cao Jie, who was styled Yuanwei, and who because of his evident virtue was very favorably spoken of. Once, his neighbor lost his own pig, and Jie’s pig looked just like it. The neighbor took it for himself but Jie did not get angry. Later, when the lost pig returned home of its own accord, the pig’s owner was greatly ashamed; when he returned the pig and thanked Jie, Jie smilingly accepted it. As a result the townspeople praised him for his nobility. His eldest son was styled Boxin, the next oldest son was styled Zhongxing and the youngest son was styled Shuxing. Cao Teng, styled Jixing, in his youth entered officialdom as a Yellow Gate Attendant. In the first year of Yongning, the Empress Dowager Deng issued an imperial order for the head of the Yellow Gate Attendants to select, from those holding the position of Attendant Within the Yellow Gates, individuals of an age and temperament fit to accompany the Crown Prince in his studies. In this way, Cao Teng was selected. The Crown Prince was especially fond of Teng and he bestowed gifts of food and drink upon him much more than he did others. When the Prince took the throne as Emperor Shun, Teng was appointed Junior Attendant at the Yellow Gates and later promoted to Chief Regular Palace Attendant. Teng held that position for more than thirty years, successively serving four emperors, which was unprecedented. He enjoyed recommending people of worthy ability and he never made it his place to speak injuriously of others. Amongst those so recommended were, from Chenliu, Yu Fang and Bian Shao; from Nanyang, Yan Gu and Zhang Wen; from Hongnong, Zhang Huan and from Yingzhuan, Tang Xi Qian, all of whom achieved high offices; moreover, he never boasted of his kindness. When the Grand Administrator of Shu commandery wrote a letter to Teng out of respect for him, the Inspector of Yi province Zhong Gao intercepted the message and obtained the letter. The Inspector memorialized the throne asking that Teng, because of association with outside officials, be regarded as unfit for office and therefore dismissed from his position as punishment for his crime. The Emperor responded, “Since the letter came from outside, and Teng did not compose a letter, he is not guilty of any crime.” Therefore, Gao's memorial was put to rest. Teng did not take the matter to heart, and often spoke well of Gao, as he felt that he performed his duties with great integrity. Later, when Gao became Minister Over the Masses he told others: “Today I hold this office because of Palace Attendant Cao’s kindness.” In all other things Teng conducted himself just as he did in this matter. When Emperor Huan ascended the throne, because Teng was an old official under the deceased Emperor, his loyalty and filial piety were openly praised and he was conferred the title Marquis of Feiting, adding further to his position of great honor. In the third year of Taihe Teng was posthumously given the title of High Emperor.
3 The Book of Han Continued states: Cao Song was styled Jugao. He was by nature calm and kind, and everywhere was known for his loyalty and filial piety. He was first given the title Colonel Director of Retainers; then Emperor Ling promoted him to Grand Minister of Agriculture and Grand Herald and he replaced Cui Lie as Grand Commandant. In the first year of Huangchu, Song was posthumously titled as Great Emperor. The Record of Cao Man, composed by a man of Wu, and Guo Ban's Shi Yu both present the following: Song was a son of the Xiahou clan and was the younger brother of Xiahou Dun’s father. Therefore the Great Ancestor was of the same clan as Dun, as their fathers were brothers.
The Great Ancestor in his youth was very sharp-witted and disposed himself to frivolous debauchery rather than applying himself to a vocation. As a result, people thought nothing special of him.4 Only Liang state’s Qiao Xuan and Yang He of Nan viewed him differently. Xuan told the Great Ancestor, “The whole world will be disordered, and only one with the ability to direct the world will be able to aid it; and the person possessing this ability is you!”5 When he was twenty, he was nominated as Filially Pious and Incorrupt and became an official, being appointed magistrate of the Northern District of Luoyang. Later, he was reassigned as Prefect of Dunqiu.6 Later, he was promoted to Yilang.7
4 The Record of Cao Man states: The Great Ancestor in his youth enjoyed flying hawks and racing dogs, endlessly knocking about, such that his uncle spoke to his father Song about his behavior. The Great Ancestor suffered for it, and later when he came upon his uncle along the road, he pretended to be having a seizure; his uncle was bewildered and asked him what was wrong and the Great Ancestor replied, “I am having a stroke.” His uncle therefore went to tell his father Song, who was very startled, and called the Great Ancestor to him, the Great Ancestor then resuming his normal appearance. His father spoke, asking, “Your uncle said that you were having a stroke; are you now recovered?” The Great Ancestor replied, “I never had a stroke in the first place. My uncle has always been lacking in affection for me, thus he has only ever been unpleasant to me.” Song therefore became suspicious. From that moment onward, Song didn’t believe anything that his brother told him regarding the Great Ancestor and the Great Ancestor behaved even more recklessly.
5 The Book of Wei/Wei Shu states: The Grand Commandant Qiao Xuan, who in his time was famous for his assessment of people, viewed the Great Ancestor as someone of special distinction, and said, “I know most of the people of ability in the world, yet I have never seen one such as you! A ruler also must be benevolent and able to restrain himself. I am old, and because of this my wife and children shall reside with you.” As a result of these words the Great Ancestor’s reputation increased greatly. The Book of Han Continued states: Qiao Xuan, styled Gongzu, was strict and impartial, was very skilled in strategy, and was also skilled in reading characters. Zhang Fan’s Record of Han states: While in office Xuan was everywhere known for his upright behavior and his kindness toward his subordinates. He never showed favoritism for the nobles or his close friends. During the Guanghe years he became Grand Commandant, but after serving for a lengthy period of time he resigned due to illness and took office as High Grand Tutor. When he died, his family was poor and lacked an estate, and his coffin contained no funeral goods. As a result, the people considered him to be a reputable official. The Shi Yu states: Xuan once said to the Great Ancestor, “You are not yet well-known, you should become friends with Xu Zijiang.” The Great Ancestor therefore went to see Zijiang, and, Zijiang receiving him, he became well known. Sun Sheng’s Miscellaneous Alternate Records/Sun Sheng Yitong Za Yu states: The Great Ancestor once went secretly into the Regular Palace Attendant Zhang Rang’s room. Rang, feeling his presence, wielded his hand halberd in the courtyard, jumped over the wall and left. The Great Ancestor’s military ability was superhuman, and no one was capable of harming him. He read extensively in all kinds of books, and he particularly enjoyed the art of war. He gathered together the various schools of thought regarding military strategy, which he named the Jie Yao, and annotated the thirteen books of Sun Wu, all of which has been passed down through the ages. Once, he asked Xu Zijiang, “What man do I resemble?” But Zijiang did not answer him. After repeatedly asking him, Zijiang finally said, “In times of peace, you would be an able official; in times of disorder, you would be a scheming hero.” The Great Ancestor laughed.
6 The Record of Cao Man states: When the Great Ancestor first attained that position, he put the whole of the administration into good order. He created five colored rods and placed them to the left and right of the county gate, ten of them in total, and if anyone were to violate curfew, regardless of wealth or power they would be beaten to death with these rods. After many months, the uncle of Emperor Ling’s favorite eunuch Jian Shuo broke curfew and went about at night, and accordingly was put to death. In this way the capital was restrained, and there were none that dared violate curfew. And though it was common for the officials to dislike him, they were unable to do him any harm. Therefore, they came together to recommend him, deliberately causing for him to be moved to Dunqiu command.
7 The Book of Wei states: The Great Ancestor’s cousin’s husband, the Marquis of Qiang, Song Qi, was put to death, and all related to him were removed from office. Later on, because of his ability to understand the teachings of the ancients, the Great Ancestor was given the office of Yilang. Initially the General-In-Chief Dou Wu and Grand Tutor Chen Fan sought to cause harm to the eunuchs but instead they themselves came to harm. The Great Ancestor memorialized to the Emperor regarding how Chen, Wu and others of an honest and upright nature were coming to harm, the treachery and iniquity filling the court and how good men were being kept silent. His words were very harsh, and Emperor Ling would not make use of it. Thereafter an imperial order was issued to the Three Ministries, stating: “All of those presenting memorials regarding the local and regional government’s ineffectiveness in political affairs will be considered a spreader of rumors and be removed from office.” The Three Ministries inclined toward wickedness and it was in no way uncommon at the time to see imperial office misused, and bribery also occurred. The powerful were complained of, yet nowhere could one see their abuses being reported, even as the vulnerable ones that stood by their principles were for the most part made to suffer and be ruined. The Great Ancestor was disgusted by it. Because there were in that year numerous misfortunes, he inquired into the troubles and, accordingly, again memorialized the emperor to disapprove, saying that the Three Ministries in their edicts and memorials shied away from conflict with the nobility. Upon presentation of the memorial the Son of Heaven was affected and understood the truth. He relieved the Three Ministries of their duties, and of those who had spread rumors, all of them were created Yilang. Yet afterwards the political situation daily grew more disordered, the strong through devious behavior grew increasingly more powerful and many were thereby ruined. The Great Ancestor realized it was impossible to correct the situation, and therefore did not speak out again.
At the end of the Guanghe years the Yellow Turbans rebelled. The Great Ancestor was appointed Chief Commandant of Cavalry and fought against the Yin River bandits. Thereafter he was appointed Chancellor of Jinan, whose territory comprised ten counties. The superior officials greatly relied on the power of the nobility and due to bribery and corruption the administration was completely disordered. Because of this a memorial was issued to dismiss eight of them. A prohibition was made ending the evil practices, the wicked officials fled so as to escape and the whole of the region was set in good order.8 Some time later he was summoned back to be appointed Grand Administrator of Dong commandery but he did not accept, and instead stated that he was ill and returned to his home village.9
8 The Book of Wei states: The head officials were greedy and receiving bribes, they depended on the influence of the nobility and previously their deeds had gone unexposed. On learning of the Great Ancestor’s arrival, some of them were dismissed from office, while others were greatly shaken with fear. Consequently the wicked officials made so as to escape and fled to other commanderies. The political situation being greatly improved, the whole of the commandery was thereby made peaceful. Earlier, Liu Zhang, Prince Jing of Chengyang, had worked honorably on behalf of Han. Therefore, in this state ancestral temples were established in his name, and in Jing province all of the commanderies adopted a similar course and imitated them. Jinan City was especially productive, completing more than six hundred of these ancestral temples. There was a merchant who stole a carriage valued at two thousand shi, and allowed himself to be carried about while making much disorderly merriment(贾人或假二千石舆服导从作倡乐). The rich grew wealthier by the day, while the common people sank into total poverty, and during all of it the head officials were not bold enough to condemn this behavior. When the Great Ancestor arrived, all of these ancestral temples were demolished, he put a complete end to the misdeeds of the government officials and forbade the people from sacrificing at the temples. Upon gaining control of the government, he then disposed of the wicked and irregular customs concerning ghosts and spirits. As a result the impious sacrifices of before were from then on nonexistent.
9 The Book of Wei states: Then the power of the ministers concentrated in the imperial court, and the relatives of the nobility were able to do as they pleased. The Great Ancestor could not change his ways and please them. Frequently he was disobedient, and, fearful that his home would come to harm, he sought to go and stay there so as to guard it. He was appointed Yilang, but frequently would stay inside due to illness; as a result he gave notice that he was returning to his native town. He constructed a chamber outside the city wall, and in the spring and summer it was his habit to study the classics, while in the autumn and winter he would hunt with a bow and arrow, in order to provide himself with entertainment.
Soon after, Wang Fen, the Inspector of Jizhou, Xu You of Nanyang, Zhou Jing of Peiguo and others of similar grade, came together with other talented individuals to plan the deposition of Emperor Ling, and to establish the Marquis of Hefei in his place. For this purpose they went to inform the Great Ancestor, but the Great Ancestor rejected their proposition. In the end, Fen and the others thoroughly failed.10
10 Sima Biao in the Annal of Jiuzhou/Jiuzhou Chunqiu states: When Chen Fan left with the Shu Shi of Pingyuan Xiang Kai so as to meet with Wang Fen, Kai said, “The Heavens are not advantageous for the eunuchs, and both the Yellow Gate Attendants and the Regular Palace Attendants will be wholly exterminated.” Fan was quite pleased, and Fen replied, “If these things are true, then I will be the one to drive them out.” Therefore, in concert with You and others of the same stature he plotted rebellion. At this time Emperor Ling desired to go north so as to visit the former palace at Hejian. Fen and his cohorts subsequently staged a rebellion, petitioning the Black Mountain bandits to loot and pillage province and county alike, beseeching them to take up arms. To the north there was visible a reddish haze that covered the whole of the sky, such that the Taishi came forward and said, “This omens some sort of pitfall, wherefore it is inadvisable to travel north,” and the Emperor therefore stayed put. Fen was commanded by imperial order to put down his arms, or very soon forces would be levied against him. Fen became afraid and committed suicide. The Book of Wei records that the Great Ancestor would not go along with Fen’s call to rebellion, saying, “For a man to depose the emperor is the most fateful matter in the whole world. Among the ancients, only those with great power, and who comprehend the gravity of such an act, are men capable of this, such as were Yi Yin and Hou Guang. Yi Yin, who possessed a most honest and steadfast heart, and occupied the office of Prime Minister, a position of authority over the other officials, because of these things knew when it was proper to put someone aside and so could undertake the deposition of the Emperor. As for Hou Guang, he was entrusted with directing the entire state, the late emperor having given him that position. Within, due to the favor of the Empress Dowager he controlled every aspect of government, while on the outside he had the multitude of officials’ unanimous favor behind him. Chang Yi had occupied the throne for but a short period of time and did not have the favor of the nobles, and the court was lacking also in straightforward officials with whom he could discuss matters in private. For these reasons could Guang comprehend something such as a change in Heaven’s will, and so engage successfully in removing a decrepit ruler. Now you gentlemen would follow their example, seeing only the clear-cut nature of these past deeds and you do not see the difficulty of your current undertaking. Are you gentlemen, with those of your own stature, so numerous a crowd as to be as the Seven States? And is the Marquis of Hefei’s honor such as that of Wu and Chu? You aspire to extraordinary deeds, but your will and reputation surely fall short, how are you not in danger?”
Han Sui, a man from Jincheng, killed the Inspector posted in that commandery and rebelled. A multitude numbering more than one hundred thousand people rose up and the whole of the land was in tumult. The Great Ancestor was summoned to the position of Colonel Who Arranges the Army. When Emperor Ling died the crown prince ascended to the throne and the Empress Dowager assumed control of the court. The General-In-Chief He Jin together with Yuan Shao plotted to kill the eunuchs but the Empress Dowager would not listen. Jin therefore summoned Dong Zhuo to the capital, with the intention of coercing the Empress Dowager, but Zhuo had not yet arrived when Jin met his demise.11 When Zhuo reached the capital he deposed the Emperor and made him Prince of Hongnong, enthroning in his place Emperor Xian, and the entire capital fell into total chaos. Zhuo appointed the Great Ancestor to the post of Colonel of Resolute Cavalry and desired to plot strategy with him, but the Great Ancestor assumed a false name and went away, returning to the east.12
After he left he was stopped, while passing Zhongmou, and coming before the sentry box the official there became suspicious. He was seized and taken to the local authorities, but once inside the city someone recognized him and requested on his behalf that he be released.13 Zhuo then executed the Empress Dowager and the Prince of Hongnong. The Great Ancestor, on arriving at his home of old sold off all of his family’s wealth and territory, pooling it together for the purpose of raising a righteous army with which to punish Zhou. That winter, in the twelfth month, he began to raise troops in Jiwu, 14 this occurring in the sixth year of Zhongping.
11 The Book of Wei states: When the Great Ancestor got wind of this he laughed to himself, saying, “The use of eunuchs as officials has always been practiced, but if the Emperor did not allow such authority and favor to be bestowed on them, they would not cause situations such as this. Since they are controlling affairs with their wicked behavior the ringleaders should be put to death, and a single prison guard would be sufficient to do so; why is it necessary to repeatedly have others called in from outside? To seek the wrongdoers’ total extermination will result in the plot being found out, and in my opinion those doing the plotting will come to harm.”
12 Wei states: Because Zhuo eventually would surely be defeated, The Great Ancestor did not go to accept the post, instead escaping back to his home village. After some time he happened across the home of his old friend Lu Boshe from Chenggao. Boshe was not there, and his son with several guests together tried to rob the Great Ancestor. They took his horse and provisions but the Great Ancestor with his dagger struck and killed every man. The Shiyu states: The Great Ancestor had come upon Boshe’s residence, but Boshe had left on a long journey. His five sons, however, were all present, and they prepared a courteous reception for their guest. Because of Zhuo’s order the Great Ancestor suspected his hosts were plotting against him. He wielded his sword and in the darkness killed eight men and then fled. Sun Sheng’s Za Ji states: The Great Ancestor overheard the orders given for preparation of his meal and erroneously believed they were plotting against him. Therefore in the darkness he killed them. Rather than being sad and sorrowful, he said, “I would rather betray a man than allow a man to betray me!” and then left.
13 The Shiyu states: The officials at Zhongmou were suspicious of the identity of the fugitive and decided to have him arrested and taken to the local authorities. At this time the magistrates had already received Zhuo’s orders; one of them was intimately aware of Cao’s heroism and recognized the Great Ancestor. In times when in every direction there is disorder it is improper to restrain the most eminently talented among men, and understanding this he went about securing his release.
14 The Shiyu states: Wei Zi of Chenliu, who had been nominated Filially Pious and Incorrupt, thereafter used his personal assets to finance The Great Ancestor, thereby raising troops numbering five thousand men.
In the spring of the first month of the first year of Chuping, the General of the Rear Yuan Shu, the Governor of Jizhou Han Fu, 15 the Prefect of Yuzhou Kong Zhou, 16 the Prefect of Yanzhou Liu Dai, 17 the Grand Administrator of Henei Wang Kuang, 18 the Grand Administrator of Bohai Yuan Shao, the Grand Administrator of Chenliu Zhang Miao, the Grand Administrator of Dongjun Qiao Mao, 19 the Grand Administrator of Shanyang Yuan Yi 20 and the Chancellor of Jibei Bao Xin 21 all simultaneously came together to raise troops, each (of their contributions) numbering in the tens of thousands, and they pushed for Shao to become leader of the alliance. The Great Ancestor was General of Marshal Vigor.
15 The Record of Heroes/Yingxiong Ji states: Fu was styled Wenjie and was from Yingzhuan, and he held the position of Censor. Dong Zhuo then appointed him Governor of Jizhou. At the time the whole of Jizhou’s populace flourished and prospered, with weapons and provisions both in ample supply. Yuan Shao was then at Bohai and Fu was fearful that he would invade and so dispatched numerous forces with the task of watching him, and would not waver from his decision. The Grand Administrator of Dong commandery Qiao Mao created a fraudulent document, passing it off as being from the Three Offices at the capital and sending it to every county and prefecture, in which he laid out Zhuo’s wickedness and evil, saying, “Seeing that we are forcibly oppressed and cannot save ourselves, we look to the future and pray for a righteous army to free the country from its suffering and troubles.” When Fu obtained the document he beseeched everyone to choose a course of action, asking, “Do we now help against the villainous Yuan clan, or do we help against the evil Dong Zhuo?” An Attendant Clerk serving in his administration, Liu Zihui, replied, “You now wage war for the benefit of the state, why speak of Yuan or Dong!” Fu was then aware of his deficiency of speech and grew red with shame. Zihui continued, saying, “Military action is an evil business and we must not be the first to act. Now, the proper course is to look toward the other provinces and if someone starts to take action, then we may join together with them. Ji province will not be inferior in comparison to the other provinces, and if the others achieve merit it will not be without having Ji province’s assistance.” Fu saw the correctness of this advice. Fu thereupon composed a letter to Shao stating the wickedness of Zhuo and that he would follow him in mobilizing troops.
16 The Record of Heroes states: Zhou was styled Gongxu and he was from Chenliu. Zhang Fan in the Han Ji records that Zheng Tai spoke to Zhuo, saying: “Kong Gongxu has ability and he speaks clearly of great thoughts, his breath fills withered minds with life.”
17 Dai was Liu Zhou’s elder brother and his deeds can be viewed in Wu records.
18 The Record of Heroes states: Kuang was styled Gongjie and was from Taishan. He valued wealth lightly and was a skilled administrator, for which reason he was appointed Xiaowen. When he was an official under the authority of the General-In-Chief He Jin, Jin sent a messenger for Kuang to set out westward from Xuzhou towards the capital city with a force of five hundred crossbow-men. When he saw Jin defeated Kuang returned to his home province. He was promoted and made Taishou of Henei. Xie Cheng in the Hou Han Shu states: In his youth Kuang was friends with Cai Yong. The year in which he came to be defeated by Zhou’s army he went back to Taishan, gathering together the brave and strong, and all told he obtained thousands of men, hoping to join together with Zhang Miao as allies. Kuang had earlier killed the Bearer of the Gilded Mace Hu Mu Ban. Ban’s relatives were unbearably angry and joined forces with the Great Ancestor to kill Kuang.
19 The Record of Heroes states: Miao was styled Yuanwei and was a son of the Xuan clan. Previously he had been the Provincial Governor of Yan province and was possessed of much dignity and kindheartedness.
20 Yi was styled Boye and was an elder clansman of Yuan Shao. Zhang Chao of Hejian had earlier recommended Yi to the Grand Commandant Zhu Jun and praised him, saying, “Through his virtue he is a leader of the age, and he has the talent to seize upon opportunity. His loyalty leads him to aid in fighting injustice and to support the Son of Heaven where there is disorder; for this reason he has collected the local records, sorted according to all of the family names, to be presented to the emperor so that they may be taxed. By this one can see the reason for his good reputation and why his services should now be requested, for in a far-off location his talents are wasted in comparison (to what he can do for us here).” His work led to an increase in tax collections. The Record of Heroes states: Shao later employed Yi in the position of Inspector of Yangzhou but he lost the place to Yuan Shu. The Great Ancestor commented, “Of those who have matured and are still able to be industrious learners there are only myself and Yuan Boye.” This statement was discovered in Dian Lun by Emperor Wen.
21 Xin’s deeds can be viewed in the records of his son Xun.
In the second month, Zhuo learned of the army being raised and therefore shifted both the residence of the Son of Heaven and the capital to Changan. Zhuo remained garrisoned at Luoyang and forthwith he set fire to the palaces. At this time Shao had troops stationed at Henei, Miao, Dai, Mao and Yi were stationing troops at Suanzao, Shu had his troops stationed at Nanyang, Zhou was stationing his soldiers at Yingzhuan and Fu was in Ye. Zhuo’s force was superior in size and amongst Shao and his compatriots there were none who dared be the first to advance. The Great Ancestor said, “A righteous army has been raised to put an end to the rebellion and all of us have now gathered, how can you gentlemen be indecisive? If previously Dong Zhuo has learned that an army has been raised at Shandong he will rely on the power of the royal household and occupy the fortifications of the two Zhou, and then move eastward so as to control the empire; although he will accomplish this through injustice it will still be more than enough to imperil us. Now he has set fire to the palaces and absconded with the Son of Heaven. Within the country there is disorder and the people do not know whom to follow, this is Heaven’s sign that it is time for him to perish. One battle and the empire will be settled, we cannot miss this oppurtunity.” Straightaway he led his soldiers to the west, and was going to seize Chenggao. Miao sent his general Wei Zi with a contingent of soldiers to accompany the Great Ancestor. Arriving at the river Bian in Xingyang he encountered Zhuo’s general Xu Rong but in the ensuing battle he was unsuccessful and a great many of his soldiers were killed or injured. The Great Ancestor was struck by a stray arrow. The horse he was riding was also injured so his cousin Hong took his horse and gave it to the Great Ancestor, who fled far off into the night. Rong had seen that the Great Ancestor had had only a small force but that they had fought at full strength for the whole day, and realized that Suanzao would not be easy to take. Therefore he led his troops away.
When the Great Ancestor arrived at Suanzao he saw that the lords’ forces were more than one hundred thousand strong yet daily they congregated and gave themselves over to drink instead of planning how to advance their cause. The Great Ancestor demanded they cease this behavior and proposed a stratagem, saying, “Gentlemen, listen now to my plan: We can use the Lord of Bohai to lead the troops massed at Henei into Mengjin while the rest of the lords at Suanzao will guard Chenggao, seize Aocang, and occupy Yuanhuan and Taigu; in this way we will control all of the strategic places. We can employ Yuan Shu to lead his forces at Nanyang into Dan and Xin before entering Wu pass, so as to shake up the three territories surrounding the capital. In every case we must build tall ramparts and deep encircling walls, not engaging in battle but rather seeming greater by utilizing deceptive forces. By showing the whole of the Empire the nature of our strength, and by using righteousness to destroy the rebels, we can put an end to the disorder. Now troops have righteously been assembled yet you hold onto doubtfulness and so do not advance. You are disappointing the empire and I feel ashamed for all of you!” Miao and the others would not make use of his plan.
The Great Ancestor had but few soldiers and so joined with Xiahou Dun and his men and traveled to Yang province to raise more troops. The Prefect, Chen Wen, and the Grand Administrator of Danyang gave their force of more than four thousand troops to them. On traveling on to Longkang most of the soldiers rebelled.22 On reaching Jiangping in Zhi county he again collected troops, obtaining more than a thousand men, before encamping at Henei.
22 The Book of Wei states: The soldiers planned to rebel and one night they set fire to the Great Ancestor’s tent. The Great Ancestor then with his short sword slew ten of them, and the rest fled. He was then able to leave his encampment and there were only five hundred men left who had not rebelled.
Last edited by Liu Yuante
on Mon Mar 13, 2006 1:09 am, edited 10 times in total.