Dong Zhuo's SGZ Biography (Rough Draft)

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Dong Zhuo's SGZ Biography (Rough Draft)

Unread postby Lu Kang » Wed Nov 07, 2007 6:00 am

I had this kind of finished for a while. Thought I'd try to polish it up for general consumption. I would appreciate any help I can get in identifying passages that sound funny or don't sound grammatical correct. If you all can just point out anything that feels weird, I'll do my best to correct them. Parts in red are merely summaries of parts.


Dong Zhuo styled Zhongying was from Lin Tao in Long Xi. (1) In his youth he was chivalrous. He traveled to the Qiang tribes where he made many friends with the commanders. Later, when he had returned home, some tribal leaders came to visit him. Dong Zhuo invited them into his home and killed his prize bull to feed them. The various leaders where moved by this. When they returned they brought with them 1000 sheep and presented them to Dong Zhuo. (2) In the latter days of Emperor Huan’s reign, Dong Zhuo became Gentleman of the Feather Forest due to his good name in the 6 regions. He was talented militarily and few could compare. He carried two quivers and could shoot them while riding a horse. He served as a military major. With Central Gentleman General, Zhang Huan, he attacked Bingzhuo [rebels] and won merit. He was then appointed Gentleman of the Palace and awarded 9,000 spools of silk. Dong Zhuo divided it among his soldiers. He became the prefect of Guangwu, then Controller Commandant of northern Shu prefecture, then Colonel of the Western Peripheral. He was also appointed Inspector of Bingzhou and Grand Administrator of Hedong. (3) He shifted to become Central Gentleman General and was sent on a punitive expedition against the Yellow Turbans. He was defeated and it was determined it was his fault [and he lost rank]. Han Sui rebelled in Liangzhou. [Dong Zhuo] was reinstated as a Central Gentleman General to resist Han Sui in the west. In the northern plains the Qiang and Hu tribes, numbering several tens of thousands, surrounded Dong Zhuo. When the provisions ran low he ordered his troops, disguised as fishermen, to dam the river where the barbarians usually traveled. The water rose up and out. He then led his men under the dam and destroyed when through. The Hu and Qiang heard that they had moved but the water was too deep and they could not cross. There were six armies dispatched to Long Xi. Five of them were utterly defeated. Dong Zhuo was the lone army to return complete. He then stationed his troops at Fufeng. Due to his accomplishments he was appointed General of the Vanguard, conferred as Marquis of Tai village, as well as Governor of Bingzhou. (4)

1. Book of Heroes: Dong Zhuo’s father Dong Jun was refined. He held a small military position in Ying Chuan. His eldest son Dong Zhuo styled Meng Gao died young. The next was Dong Zhuo. His younger brother Dong Min was styled Shu Ying.

2. Book of Wu/Wu Shu: The regional government summoned Dong Zhuo to serve as a minor official and to supervise the capture of robbers. The Hu tribe previously had gone out to pillage and captured many people. The Inspector of Liangzhuo, Cheng Jiu, appointed Dong Zhuo as Attendant Clerk and sent with cavalry on a punitive mission. He greatly routed them and beheaded a thousand men. The Inspector of Bingzhuo, Duan Jiong, recommend Dong Zhuo for Gongfu. Minister over the Masses, Yuan Wei appointed him as an official.

3. Book of Heroes: Dong Zhuo frequently went on punitive expeditions against the Qiang and Hu tribes. From beginning to end he fought over 100 battles.

4. The Records of Emperor Ling/Ling Di Ji: In the 5th year of Zhong Ping [188], Dong Zhuo was promoted to Privy Treasurer. He was ordered to give his troops to General of the Left, Huangfu Song. Dong Zhuo said, “Liangzhou is in rebellion, Jingni is not pacified, and these statesmen exert themselves to the fall. Despite my lack of merit, I have received your heavenly favor and held military command for ten years. My officers and men of every rank have long been close to me. They appreciate my generous care, and they obey my commands at any emergency. I beg to take them with me to the northern provinces, to assist in the defense of the frontier.” Dong Zhuo thus again disobeyed the Imperial decree.


When Emperor Ling died he was succeeded by a young Emperor. General-in-Chief, He Jin, and Colonel Director of Retainers, Yuan Shao, planned to punish the Eunuchs but the Grand Empress would not consent. He Jin them summoned Dong Zhuo to move his troops into the city. He then made a secret decree, “The Regular Palace Attendant Zhang Rang and his fellows have usurped favor and played for advantage. They have corrupted and disrupted all within the seas. In ancient times Zhao Yang raised the armed men of Jinyang to drive away the wicked from the side of his lord. Now and at once I sound the bells and drums and march to Luoyang. I beg permission to arrest Zhang Rang and his fellows.” {R} Thus he intend to coerce the Empress Dowager. Dong Zhuo did not arrive in time and He Jin was defeated. (5) Palace Regular Attendant, Duan Gui, kidnapped the Emperor to go to Xiao Ping Jin. Dong Zhuo forthwith sent his army to recieve the Emperor at Beimang hills and return him to the palace. (6) All of those who served under He Jin and He Miao went to Dong Zhuo. He then sent a messenger to Lu Bu to kill Ding Yuan. After he absorbed Ding Yuan’s army he was the only major power in the capital. (7)

5. Book of the Latter Han/Han Hou Shu: He Jin styled Suigao was a man from Nenyang. The Empress Dowager was his aunt. He Jin’s father He Zhen was a butcher. He Zhen died later. His younger sister became a concubine and was a favorite. In the third year of Guanghe [180] she became Empress and He Jin became a noble. In the first year of Zhong Ping [184], the yellow turbans rebelled and He Jin was promoted to General-in-Chief.

6. Zhang Fan’s Record of the Han: On gengwu [September 24th] in the 8th month the Emperor was kidnapped by the Eunuchs. They marched out the Gu Gate until they reached a river. Many of the Eunuchs threw themselves in the river and drowned. At this time the Emperor [Bian] was 14 years old and the Prince of Chen Liu [Future Emperor Xian] was 9 years old. The boys walked out in the night alone trying to return to the palace. It was very dark until the fireflies came out and light up several li until they came upon a commoner and rode in his cart. On xinwei [September 25th], all the public servants and Dong Zhuo came to welcome the Emperor at Beimang hills.

Xiandi Chunqiu: There was a children’s rhyme:
“The Ruler does not rule; the Prince is not a prince,
Yet a thousand men go out to Beimang” (i)
At this time Dong Zhuo arrived and stationed his troops in Xian Yang park. When Wendi returned he led his force to welcome the Emperor.

Dian Lue: The Emperor saw Dong Zhuo’s soldiers and began to cry. The Excellencies said to Dong Zhuo, "There is an imperial order to withdraw troops." Dong Zhuo replied, "You may be high ministers of state, but you could not keep the royal house in order, and you have made the Emperor a homeless wanderer. What is this about withdrawing troops?" He then entered the palace unabated.

The Records of Emperor Xian: Dong Zhuo and the Emperor spoke, but Dong Zhuo could not a satisfying answer from him. He then spoke to the Prince of Chen Liu and asked him about disorder. The prince then explained from beginning to end, leaving nothing out. Dong Zhuo was impressed and then started to plot to put him on the throne.

Book of Heroes: The Head of the Central Precint Henan, Min Gong, helped the Emperor and the Prince of Chen Liu get to Loushe. The Emperor rode one horse and the Prince of Chen Liu and Min Gong rode another one. From Loushe they traveled south to Beiman hills where they were welcomed by 100 officials. There the Grand Commandant, Cui Lie, took command of them. Dong Zhuo prepared several thousand cavalry to recieve him. Cui Lie sent a messenger to keep him away. Dong Zhuo scolded Lie saying, “I have traveled 300 li! Why do you tell me to stay away? Do you not trust me?” The Emperor then brought up his loss to the Yellow turbans as a case against. Dong Zhuo then when to the Prince of Chen Liu and said, “I am Dong Zhuo, embrace me.” He then embraced the prince.

Book of Heroes: He Miao and his mother were stationed by the Tower of the Vermilion Bird. Wu Kuang had been angry at He Miao for his failure to support He Jin [in his intention to attack the eunuchs], and he suspected him of sympathy for the eunuchs. He announced to his troops, therefore, that "The man who killed the General-in-Chief was the General of Chariots and Cavalry [He Miao]. Officers and men, will you not take revenge upon him?" All wept and said, "We would give our lives for it." With Dong Zhuo's younger brother Dong Min, therefore, Chief Commandant of the Imperial Equipage, Wu Kuang led his men against He Miao. They killed him and left his body in the park.

7. Jiu Zhou Chun Qiu: When Dong Zhuo first entered the capital he had only a few thousand soldiers. He suspected that he his force was too small to garner wide respect. For the first few days, therefore, he had his men go out quietly each night to camp nearby, returning at dawn in great array of flags and drums to look as if more troops had come from the west. He then would declare that, “More troops from the West have arrived at the Captial.” The people were fooled and spoke of Dong Zhuo’s “infinite” soldiers.


Earlier He Jin sent Controller Commandant of Cavalry from Taishan, Bao Xin, to raise troops. When he returned he urged Yuan Shao, “Dong Zhou has a large army, but his intentions are not righteous. If he is not killed early on, I am afraid that we would be forced to serve him. Now that he has arrived at the Capital City, his troops and horses are exhausted. If we are to strike now, we will capture him.” Yuan Shao feared Dong Zhuo and did not dare act. Bao Xin forthwith returned home.
There was a long period of time without rain so Minister of Works, Liu Hong, was removed and replaced by Dong Zhuo. Dong Zhuo was then promoted to Grand Commandant. He also took the Staff, Insignia, and Battle-Axe, (ii) and Gentlemen Rapid as Tigers. He then deposed the Emperor and mad him Prince of Hongnong. He had the Prince and the Empress Dowager He killed. He then put the young Prince of Chen Liu on the throne as Emperor Xian. (8) Dong Zhuo moved into the capital and conferred himself as the Marquis of Mei. He also gave himself the right to perform obeisance without calling his own name, to enter court without hastening step, and to stand in the hall of audience with sword and shoes. Dong Zhuo had already led his troops in but the affairs of the Palace were in disorder. He thus took command of the Imperial Armory, Treasury, and had the true power over the lands. Dong Zhuo’s nature was merciless and evil. He used severe punishments to threaten people and took out revenge. The people were defenseless. (9) Previously Dong Zhuo had sent an army to Yang Cheng. The attack coincided with February when people came out to celebrate the new year. He ordered troops to chop off men’s heads, confiscated their wagons and herds, kidnapped women and then proceeded to pillage the city. He tied the heads along side of chariots or even on wheel spokes. Dong Zhuo then triumphantly returned to Luoyang where he claimed to have defeated the bandits and the rebellions. People were asked to praise Dong Zhuo to live to ten thousand years of prosperity. After entering the palace compounds, he distributed the kidnapped women to his troops as slaves and concubines. He debauched palace ladies and princesses. His tales of indecency are endless. Dong Zhuo’s malignity had descended to such a profundity.

8. The Records of Emperor Xian: Dong Zhuo planned to dispose the Emperor and thus convened the court in the Grand Hall and said, “The Emperor is ignorant and weak. He is not capable of maintaining the imperial temples nor acting as master of the empire. I intend to follow the examples of Yi Yin and Huo Guang (iii), and set [Liu Xie] the King of Chenliu upon the imperial throne. What is your opinion?” The Master of Writing, Lu Zhi, said, “The record on Tai Jia is unclear and Yi Yin only put him in Tong Palace. The Prince of Chengyi ruled for only 28 days and his faults numbered over a thousand. Thus Huo Guang deposed him. Our present Emperor, however, is rich in years, and his actions have shown a lack of virtue. There is no parallel with the past.{R}” Dong Zhuo was angry, left his seat, and planned to kill Lu Zhi. Palace Attendant, Cai Yang, advised against it and got him to stop. On jiaxu [September 28th] of the 8th month, again assembled the court and said, “The Empress-Dowager made the Lady of the Palace of Perpetual Joy [the Empress-Dowager Dong] uneasy and miserable, and even caused her to die of grief. This is contrary to the proper behavior of a daughter-in-law to a mother {R}. The Son of Heaven is young. He is weak and cannot rule. In the past Yi Yin put away Tai Jia and Huo Guang deposed Changyi, this is known in the histories. Today the Empress Dowager is like Tai Jia and the Emperor is like Changyi. The Prince of Chen Liu is kind and filial and should be put on the throne.
Xian Di Chun Qiu Zhu: [Passage omitted]

9. Book of Wei: Dong Zhuo was originally from Wuji. He would tell his guests, “In terms of riches, I am unsurpassed!”

Book of Heroes: Dong Zhuo wished to display his power. When Attendant Imperial Clerk, Raolong Zong, visited Dong Zhuo he did not take off his sword. He was then beaten to death. Thus the capital was shaken. Dong Zhuo dug up He Miao's coffin, took out the body, broke up the joints and left it on the side of a road. He killed He Miao's mother the Lady of Wuyang and threw her corpse into some brambles in a park. There was no one to control him.


At first, Dong Zhuo had confidence in the Minister of Writing, Zhou Bi and Colonel of the Gates Wu Qiong. He used their advice to put Han Fu, Liu Dai, Kong Zhou, Zhang Zi, and Zhang Miao in charge of the various provinces. When they arrived at their posts all but Han Fu joined their soldiers to launch a punitive expedition on Dong Zhuo. When Dong Zhuo heard of this, he felt betrayed by Zhou Bi and Wu Qiong and had them beheaded. (10)

10. Book of Heroes: Zhou Bi styled Zhongyuan was from Wuwen. Wu Qiong styled Deyu was from Runan.

Xie Chang’s Book of the Later Han: Wu Fu styled Deyu. When he was young he served in a minor position in his local government. He acquired some fame. Later The General-in-Chief heard of him. He was promoted to Palace Attendant, Prefect of Henan, and finally Colonel of the Cavalry. When Dong Zhuo created disorder the court was very fearful. Wu Fu had little armor so he dressed in the garments of the Imperial Court. He hid a knife in them and planned to see and assassinate Dong Zhuo. When he saw Dong Zhuo be brought out the knife and attacked. Dong Zhuo was too strong and overpowered him. Dong Zhuo then brought Wu Fu near and said, “Who told you to rebel?” Wu Fu loudly replied, “You are not my liege, I am not your minister. Where is the rebellion? You have brought disorder to the country and usurped the throne. Your crimes and evils are great. Today is the day I die, having tried to punish a traitor! I am sorry I cannot tear you asunder with chariots to appease the wrath of the world!” Dong Zhuo forthwith killed Wu Fu.

Xie Chang noted: Wu Qiong and Wu Fu seem fairly similar, but it is odd that the assassination plot would only appear under Wu Fu. I don’t think that Wu Fu is just Wu Qiong with another name but rather Wu Fu is a different person.


The Grand Administrator of Henei, Wang Kuang, sent his troops from Mount Tai to station at Heyang crossing. He planned to oppose Dong Zhuo. Dong Zhuo sent troops to pretend to cross the river at Pingyin. He secretly sent another unit north to cross the river. They circled around and attacked from the rear. They greatly routed the [Wang Kuang’s] army and the number of dead was great. By this time at Shang Dang brave and heroic men had begun form an alliance to oppose Dong Zhuo. This frightened Dong Zhuo. In the 2nd month of the first year of Chu Ping [190], Dong Zhuo moved the capital to Chang An. He set fire to Luo Yang, dug up the tombs, and took all the treasure. (11) When Dong Zhuo arrived at the western capital he served as the Grand Clerk and called himself the Esteemed Father. His cart had azure colored covers with gold bands around the cart; his flags had images of flying dragons and dancing phoenixes. It was as if the Son of Heaven himself had traveled out among the general populace. People called his cart, Ganhui Che or the Presumptuous Cart. (12) Dong Zhuo’s younger brother Dong Min served as General of the Left and conferred as the Marquis of Hu. His nephew Dong Huang served as Colonel of the Center Army. All the members of his clan were part of the Imperial Court. (13) When the ministers would go to see Dong Zhuo they would bow down but he would not treat them with courtesy. Dong Zhuo would summon the officials of the Three Terraces, Masters of Writing and below, and all went to his offices to report or receive instructions. (14) He built the walls of Mei as tall as those of Chang An and amassed enough food for 30 years. (15) He often said that if he was to prosper greatly this palace suited his seat of power. If not, the palace could withstand siege for the rest of his life. In one incident, Dong Zhuo invited hundreds of ministers to Meiwo for a feast. A huge canopy was set up for this occasion. Dong Zhuo beckoned others to enter for drinks. Among them were hundreds of officers who covertly conspired to rebel against him in the north. Once everyone was seated, Dong Zhuo quickly ordered his men to kill his opponents.{R} Some had tongues or eyes cut out, limbs cut off, and some thrown into oil. None of them died quickly. All of them moaned in pain. Those remaining ministers were so shaken they could not pick up their food. Only Dong Zhuo could eat and drink normally. A Grand Master observed the sky and predicted that a notable minister would die for his crime. The Grand Commandant, Zhang Wen, who also served as the Commandant of the Guards, was disrespectful to Dong Zhuo. Dong Zhuo harbored resentment and wished to find fault in him. He accused him of planning to turn over the passes to Yuan Shu. He had Zhang Wen beaten to death with sticks. (16) The decrees were strict and the punishments harsh. Based on wild accusations several thousand people were wrongfully killed. The common people suffered and lined the streets for food. (17) Dong Zhuo ordered to have the Bronze Statue and bronze poles melted down and minted as 5 dollar coins. This displaced the existing 5 dollar coins in circulation. The newly minted coins had no emblem; the quality was better, but the handiwork was sloppier. It caused devaluation of coins and the inflation of prices. Ten bushels of grain fetched as high as a hundred thousand coins. Soon, the monetary system crumbled.

11. Hua Jiao’s Book of Han: Dong Zhuo wished to move to Chang An and assembled the Imperial Court to discuss it. Minister over the Masses, Yang Biao said, “In ancient times Pan'geng moved [the capital] and the people of Yin all resented it. If you now, without good reason, make plans to abandon the temples of the imperial clan and to leave the imperial tombs, then I am afraid the people will tremble in fear and there will surely be confusion like a boiling broth.” Dong Zhuo said, “The land within the passes is rich and abundant, and that is why Qin was able to conquer its rival states. Today we can move the capital to the west. As for the people, who needs to consult them? If anyone is reluctant I shall set my soldiers onto them, and I could make them go all the way to the sea!” Yang Biao replied, “It is easy to stir up the empire, but very difficult to
soothe it down. Moving to Chang An is a bad idea, please think again.” Dong Zhuo said, “When Emperor Wu resided at Duling he built several thousand pottery kilns. There is plenty of timber to make a proper temple. To accomplish this all would not be difficult!” They still opposed him so he said, “Do you wish to sabotage me? There exists historical precedence for moving the capital. If that large army arrives I will not be able to resist them. It is in our best interest to deal with the Yuan clan in the west.” Yang Biao said, “If Biao goes west, how can the land under heaven be managed?” The discussion then ended. Dong Zhuo used Imperial Orders to send Colonel Director of Retainers, Xuan Fan, to present a memorial and thus remove Yang Biao [from office]. {R}

The Book of the Latter Han: Grand Commandant, Huang Wan, Minister over the Masses, Yang Biao, and Minister of Works, Xun Shang came to see Dong Zhuo. Dong Zhuo said, “Gaozu set the capital within the passes, and eleven generations later Guangwu made his palace at Luoyang. Now another eleven generations have passed. According to the ShiBao (vi) prophecies we should shift the capital to Chang'an to follow the will of heaven and man.” All of the officials were shocked and none dared to speak. Yang Biao, “To shift the capital and to change the laws are great affairs of the empire. In ancient times Pan'geng moved to Bo and the people of Yin all resented it. In former times, Wang Mang started a rebellion and began a social upheaval in WuChang. He began the Red Eyebrows. They set fire to Chang An and harmed the people. Many died and the population is only 1 percent of what it used to be. When Guang Wu was appointed he moved the capital to Luo and that is what is proper. For many years the citizens have been at peace and contented here. If you now, without good reason, make plans to abandon the temples of the imperial clan and to leave the imperial tombs, then I am afraid the people will tremble in fear and there will surely be confusion like a boiling broth. The Shibao prophecies are superstitious, apocryphal works. How can you trust them?” Dong Zhuo blushed and said, “Are you going to sabotage national security? The Eastern passes are in Disorder and the rebels are almost here. The mountains are rugged and strong and would provide strong defense. It is near to building materials so the labor will not be hard. There are the pottery kilns of Emperor Wu at Duling that can be used for tiles. We can manage the work in a day. The completed Palace will be one to be spoken of! As for the people, who needs to consult them? If anyone is reluctant I shall set my soldiers onto them.” The court feared him and wavered. Huang Wan spoke to Dong Zhuo, “This is a question of national importance. Should you not pay some thought to Lord Yang's argument?” Dong Zhuo did not reply.{R} He then had the Colonel Director of Retainers to remove Yang Biao and Huang Wan from office. There was then a large move to the west. Dong Zhuo’s soldiers burned Luo Yang as well as one hundred li outside the city. He also sent his soldiers to burn the North and South Palaces as well as the Ancestral Temple, the storehouses, even the common people’s homes. Everything within the city was sweep away. All the various riches collected were put into his personal belongings. The amount of innocent people who died was too many to be counted.

The Records of Emperor Xian: When Dong Zhuo captured Shandong soldiers he would take lard and daub it on a dozen rolls of cloth, then bound the cloth to their bodies and set light to them, beginning at the feet and going up. When he captured and officer of Yuan Shao, the Attendent Clerk of Yuzhou Li Yan, he was boiled to death. Dong Zhuo was very fond of the Hu tribe and let them be unrestrained. When Colonel Director of the Retainers, Zhao Qian, killed some of the Hu Tribe Dong Zhuo was angry. He thereupon called on the Colonel Director of Retainers, Du Guan, to beat Zhao Qian to death.

12. The Book of Wei: It was said that he controlled the Son of Heaven.

The Records of Emperor Xian: Dong Zhuo was already Grand Clerk but he wished to be called Esteemed Father. He asked Cai Yong about it. Cai Yong said, “In the past the Prince of Wu appointed the position and it was the highest honor for a teacher. In order to be called Esteemed father you must cut down the wicked and respect all the land under heaven. Right now you have great merit but it would be proper to settle the trouble in the East. When the Emperor is returned to the east we will discuss this again.” Thus he did not grant him the title. In the capital region there was an earthquake so Dong Zhuo asked Cai Yong about it. He replied, “天祸汉室,丧乱弘多。昔祭仲废忽立突,春秋大其权The Emperor’s carriage has a green top. Far and near this is considered wrong and improper.” Dong Zhuo followed his advice and changed the canopy to the color black.

13. Book of Heroes: Dong Zhuo's sons, even those still in the arms of maidservants and concubines, were enfeoffed as marquises and played with gold seals and purple tassels. He built a fortress at Mei. The walls were 70 feet wide and 70 feet tall. He sent for 1000 men of ranks Controller Commandants, General of the Gentleman of the Household, and inspectors to watch him be awarded the seal, by his nephew Dong Huang, atop of the Mei walls.

14. Parallel Annals of the Duke of Shang Yong(iv): At first Dong Zhuo served as General of the Van and Huangfu Song served as General of the Left. They campaigned against Han Sui but could not prevail. Later Dong Zhuo attacked Bingzhuo and the troops there belonged to Huangfu Song. Dong Zhuo was very angry. Later when Dong Zhuo served as Grand Clerk, Huangfu Song served as Palace Assistant Imperial Clerk. He came to pay his respects and bowed down. Dong Zhou asked him, “Yizhen, do you fear me?” Huangfu Song replied, “Who knows what your excellency is!” Dong Zhuo said, “The swan is strong and possesses great ambition, but the swallow cannot see this.” Huangfu Song said, “In the past in the present company your excellency was a swan, I was not aware that you now have changed into a phoenix!” Dong Zhuo laughed and said, “Friend you submit now, but you do not need to salute as well.”

Zhang Fan’s Book of Han: Dong Zhuo clapped his hands and said to Huangfu Song, "Yizhen, are you afraid?" Huangfu Song said, "If Your Excellency uses virtue to maintain the court, this will be a time of great blessing, and why then should I be afraid? If you govern badly and inflict arbitrary punishments, however, I shall not be the only person who is frightened." Dong Zhuo was silent and forthwith was reconciled with Huangfu Song.

15. Book of Heroes: Mei was 260 li [80 miles] from Chang An.
16. Fu Zi: During Emperor Ling’s reign he began to sell offices. As a result, Grand Commandant Duan Gui, Minister over the Masses Cui Lie, Grand Commandant Fan Ling, and Minister of Works Zhang Wen all paid between 5 and 10 million coin to buy the Three Excellencies offices. Duan Gui gained prominence by launching several punitive expeditions. Cui Lie was very famous in the Northern provinces. Zhang Wen was a heroic talent, and Fan Ling was capable. They all at one time served as soldiers and used money to gain their seats. This is the same as Liu Xiao, Tang Zhen, and Zhang Hao!

Notes on Social Customs: Colonel Director of Retainers, Liu Xiao, 以党诸常侍,致位公辅

Book of the Latter Han: Tang Zeng was the younger brother of Palace Regular Attendant Tang Heng. Zhang Hao was the younger brother of Palace Regular Attendant Zhang Feng.

17. Book of Wei: Dong Zhuo used Colonel Director of the Retainers Liu Xiao to police the people. Anyone’s son who was not filial, any minister who was not loyal, any official who was not pure, any brother who did not obey, was sentenced to death. Their belongings became state property. There upon accusations rose and many people wrongfully died.


In the 4th month of the 3rd year [192], Minister over the Masses Wang Yun, Master of Writing-for-Archery-Gentleman Shisun Rui and Dong Zhuo’s general Lu Bu conspired to kill Dong Zhuo. At that time the Son of Heaven was ill and just began to recover and be able to return to the Imperial Court. Lu Bu met up with his county friend Cavalry Controller Commandant, Li Su, with 10 of his close soldiers. They dressed as guards and took positions by the gate. Lu Bu sent out an Imperial Order. When Dong Zhuo arrived Li Su stopped him. Dong Zhuo began to worry and called to Lu Bu. Lu Bu said, “There is an Imperial Order.” They forthwith killed Dong Zhuo to the 3rd degree (vii). Chief Secretary Tian Jing rushed to Dong Zhuo’s corpse. Lu Bu killed him as well. There was a total of three people killed. No one else dared to make a move. (18) In Chang An people celebrated his death. People associated with Dong Zhuo were imprisoned and killed. (19)

18. Book of Heroes: There was a rumor going around, “For a thousand miles the grass is green, but in 10 days time it will not longer be a live” (viii) The song sounded ominous. There was a Daoist priest who had a cloth with the word “Lu” on it. He showed it to Dong Zhuo and he did not know that it meant Lu Bu. (ix) [On the way to the palace] Dong Zhuo’s horse stumbled and it never had before. He began to think that he should stop. Lu Bu convinced him to go on and his inner feelings were soothed. After Dong Zhuo was already killed, the night sky was clear and no stars came out. Dong Min, Dong Huang, and his entire clan were in Mei. They were all killed by their men or cut down and shot. Dong Zhuo’s mother was 90 years old. When she was approached she said, “I beg you not kill me.” She was then killed. The Yuan clan had many members employed by the government and many of them died at Mei. They collected the corpses of the Dong clan and burned them. Dong Zhuo’s body was displayed in the city center. Dong Zhuo was fat and in the heat his fat flowed onto the ground. The men guarding the corpse made a great lamp and set it up on Dong Zhuo's navel and lit it, and it burned clear and bright till dawn. This went on for several days. Later when he had burned down to just ash, his remains were put in a single coffin and buried at Mei. In Dong Zhuo’s enclosure [at Mei] there were twenty or thirty thousand catties of gold, eighty or ninety thousand catties of silver, with brocade, fine silk and rare ornaments piled up like mounds and hills. They were too numerous to be counted.

19. Xie Cheng’s book of the latter Han: Cai Yang was sitting with Wang Yun when he heard of Dong Zhuo’s death. He showed signs of regret. Wang Yun then scolded Cai Yang saying, “Dong Zhuo was a huge traitor to the country. He killed his own men. The people were defenseless and suffered from illness. He ruled like a king and controlled the Han. He caused great calamity. Dong Zhuo received punishment from the Heavens. How can you feel sorrow for him?” He was then turned over to the Commandant of Justice. Cai Yong begged Wang Yun, “Unworthy though I am, there are great principles constant from ancient times to the present, and I have heard and recited them too often to forget them. How, then, could I work for Dong Zhuo and neglect my duty to the state? Let me have my face branded and my feet cut off, anything but interrupt my work on the history of Han.” {R} The ministers pitied him and admonished Wang Yun. Wang Yun said, “Centuries ago, Emperor Wu spared Sima Qian and employed him on the annals, with the result that many slanderous stories have been handed down to us. This is a trying period of great perplexity, and we dare not let a specious fellow like this wield his pen in criticism of those about the court of a youthful prince and abuse us as he will.” Cai Yong was forthwith executed.

Your servant Pei Song Zhi believes that Cai Ying, while he did serve Dong Zhuo, was loyal to his office. He must have known of Dong Zhuo’s evil and it would make sense for him not to show a sign of regret. If this record is correct why would he respond as such to Wang Yun? This passage is only found in Xie Cheng’s records.

Zhang Fan’s Book of Han: Cai Yong was originally a scholar. He went out into the world and became a soldier. When he returned those who where there did not like him. Cai Yong began to fear them and fled to the coast. He stayed there for 10 years. When Dong Zhuo became Grand Clerk he had him serve as an official and later an Attendant Imperial Clerk. Eventually became the Imperial Secretarist. Later he became the Grand Administrator of Badong. Later when Dong Zhuo became a Palace Attendant, he went to Chang An to become a Central Gentleman General of the Left. Dong Zhuo saw his talent and treated him generously. Whenever there was an Imperial Decree he had Cai Yong write it. When Wang Yun was going to kill Cai Yong, there were many good things to be said about him. Later he regretted his decision but Cai Yong was already dead


Initially Dong Zhuo, son-in-law, Central Gentleman General, Niu Fu stationed troops at Shan. He dispatched Colonels Li Jue, Guo Si, and Zhang Ji to Chenliu and Yingchuan. When Dong Zhuo died, Lu Bu sent Li Su as a messenger to Shan with an Imperial Order to punish Niu Fu. Niu Fu opposed Li Su in battle and defeated him at Hong Nong. Lu Bu then executed Li Su. (20) That night there was a revolt and there was fear in the army. Niu Fu believed that everyone was betraying, so he gathered his valuables and snuck off with Hu Che’er and 11 other men. They went over the north wall and came to a river crossing. Hu Che’er wanted his valuables so he beheaded him and sent his head to Chang An.

20. Book of Wei: Niu Fu was afraid he’d lost his guard and could not find peace. He carried an axe by his side and strived to be stronger. When guests came to see him, he would first send a messenger see them. Once the “Shi” knew they were lucky he would see them. Central Gentleman General Dong Yue came to see Niu Fu. Niu Fu sent a “shi” to him. The “shi” person said, “火胜金,外谋内之卦也” Niu Fu immediately killed Dong Yue..

When Li Jue returned, Niu Fu was already defeated. The army there was gone and he wished to return. He did not receive a pardon letter and he heard that the army at Chang An wanted to punish the people of Liang Zhou. He was worried and did not know who to serve. Jia Xu came up with a plan. He collected his troops and marched west to Chang An. His army numbered over 100,000. (21) He met up with Dong Zhuo’s former officers Fan Chou, Li Meng, and Wang Fang to besiege Chang An. In 10 days the walls fell and they fought with Lu Bu inside them. Lu Bu was defeated and retreated. Li Jue released his soldiers on Chang An and there was much killing and pillaging. They killed Dong Zhuo’s murder, Wang Yun, and put his body out in the market. (22) Dong Zhuo was buried at Mei. There was a large rain storm and his tomb was disturbed. His coffin was carried off in the floods. Li Jue served as General of Chariots and Cavalry, received the Colonel Director of Retainers, received the Staff of Authority (x) and was conferred as Marquis of Chiyang. Guo Si was appointed General of the Rear and conferred as Marquis of Meiyang. Fan Chou was appointed General of the Left and conferred as Marquis of Wannian. Li Jue, Guo Si, and Fan Chou controlled all politics. (23) Zhang Ji was appointed General of Agile Cavalry and conferred as Marquis of Pingyang. He was stationed at Hongnong.

21. Jiu Zhou Chun Qiu: Li Jue was at Shan. He was scared and worried that he would not have enough soldiers to defend himself. Hu Wencai and Yang Zhengxiu were two famous people from Liangzhou. Minister over the Masses, Wang Yun wished to send them to resolve the situation when Li Jue rebelled. They did not wish to be sent. They gathered their soldiers and went home.

22. Zhang Fan’s book of Han: Lu Bu’s soldiers were defeated and he halted at the Gate engraved in blue. He said to Wang Yun, “Minister, it is still possible to leave.” Wang Yun replied, “If I have received blessing from the national altars, then my only wish would be to give peace to our country. If this cannot be achieved, then I offer myself to die for it. The Emperor is young and weak, and I am the only person he can depend upon. Even when danger comes, I cannot run away. Try to get help from the leaders east of the passes. Urge them to think of the nation.” Li Jue and Guo Si entered Chang An and stationed by the Lateral Gate of the Southern Palace. They killed the Grand Coachman Lu Kui, the Grand Herald Zhou Huan, the Colonel of the Gates Cui Lie, and the Colonel of the Elite Cavalry Wang Qi. A countless number of minor officials were killed. The Minister over the Masses, Wang Yun helped the Emperor to climb the tower of the Xuanping Gate to escape the enemy. Li Jue and his men came to the gate and kowtowed. The Emperor spoke to Li Jue, “Gentlemen, you have set soldiers loose everywhere, what do you want?” Li Jue replied, “Dong Zhuo was loyal to Your Majesty but Lü Bu killed him without good cause. We are avenging Dong Zhuo; we would
not dare make rebellion. We beg to finish this business then go to the Commandant of Justice for punishment.” {R} Wang Yun, exhausted, came out to see Li Jue. Li Jue killed Wang Yun, his wife, and his clan totaling 10 people. Inside the city there was no one who didn’t shed a tear. Wang Yun styled Zishi was from Qi in Taiyuan. There was a scholar, Guo Tai, who saw Wang Yun and said, “A Wang born a thousand miles away, talents fit for a prime minister.” Guo Tai then became friends with him. The Three Excellencies were looking to promote men. From Yuzhou they promoted Xun Sheng and Kong Rong to become Palace Attendants. Wang Yun was promoted to Intendant of Henan and Prefect Imperial Secretariat. Eventually he became Minister over the Masses and assisted the Royal household. He was the highest minister and all affairs of the court were dependent on him. When Dong Zhuo came to power he assumed this role.

23. Book of Heroes: Li Jue was from Beide. Guo Si was from Zhengye.


That year [192], Han Sui and Ma Teng surrendered and led their armies to Chang An. Han Sui was appointed General who Guards the West and dispatched to Liangzhou. Ma Teng was appointed General Who Conquers the West and stationed at Mei. Palace Attendant, Ma Yu, Grandee Remonstrant and Consultant, Zhong Shao, and Central Gentleman General of the Left, Liu Fan, conspired to send a messenger to Ma Teng to have him attack Chang An with the intention of executing Li Jue. Ma Teng brought his soldiers as far as Chang Ping Pass when Ma Yu’s plot was discovered. They fled to Huaili. Fan Chou attacked Ma Teng. Ma Teng was defeated and withdrew back to Liangzhou. He then attacked Huaili and Ma Yu and all others were executed. At this time the Capital District people numbered several hundred thousand households. Li Jue had let him men plunder the city. The people ran out of food. Within two years they were forced to cannibalism. (24)

24. Records of Emperor Xian: [Passage omitted]


The Various generals fought for power and thus Fan Chou was killed and his troops absorbed. (25) Gou Si and Li Jue began to distrust each other and fought a battle in Chang An. (26) Li Jue took the Son of Heaven hostage. He burned the city gates and plundered the temples. He had all the gold and silk of the imperial treasury transferred to his own camp. (27) Li Jue would sent ministers to Guo Si to offer peace. Guo Si captured all of these men. (28) They fought for a month. The dead numbered several tens of thousands. (29)

25. Jiu Zhou Chun Qiu: When Ma Teng and Han Sui were defeated; Fan Chou chased them as far as Chen Cang. Han Sui wrote to Fan Chou, “We may be at war, but we have no personal quarrel and both come from the same district. I would like to talk with you in private to say farewell.” {R} Each rode forward, set their horses together, linked arms and talked for a time apart. Li Jue had a nephew Li Li who reported to him that Han Sui and Fan Chou brought their horses together and spoke about something in secret. Li Jue began to suspect that Fan Chou and Han Sui had a secret bond. Then Fan Chou planned to take an army east out of the passes, and he asked Li Jue for additional troops. In the second month Li Jue called him to a meeting, and then killed him where he sat.

26. Dian Lue: Li Jue often invited Guo Si to drink, and sometimes kept him to stay overnight. Guo Si's wife was afraid her husband might have an affair with one of Li Jue's serving women, and she determined to break it up. The time came that Li Jue sent a gift of some food. Guo Si's wife made salted beans into a poisonous drug, then picked them out as if they had come with the present. Showing them to her husband, she said, "Two cocks cannot roost on the same branch. I do not believe you should be so trusting of Lord Li." Soon afterwards, Li Jue invited Guo Si again, and Guo Si became very drunk. He suddenly suspected that he had been poisoned, so he made an emetic of liquid excrement and drank it. Each side now gathered troops to fight the other.{R}

27. Xian Di Qi Ju Zhu: Guo Si was going to take the Emperor to his camp, but one of his soldiers deserted in the night and told Li Jue. Li Jue sent his nephew Li Xian to lead several thousand men to surround the palace and to take three chariots to collect the Emperor. Grand Commandant Yang Biao said, "There has been a rule since ancient times that an emperor or a king should never take up residence in another man's house. You gentlemen are engaged in a great cause. How can you act like this?" "The general has made his decision," replied Li Xian. {R} The Emperor then rode in a single carriage. His close family rode in another carriage. Jia Xu and Zuo Ling rode in another carriage. All the other ministers walked behind the carriage on foot. The Emperor was now cut off from all contact with the outside. The faces of his personal attendants were drawn with hunger, but when he asked for just five dou of grain and five sets of cattle-bones to feed them, Li Jue replied, "Morning and evening we send food. What do you want grain for?" And he gave nothing but old rotten bones. The Emperor was furious and wanted to shout at him, but the Palace Attendant Yang Qi advised against it, "Li Jue knows he is acting like a rebel. He wants to shift Your Majesty to Huang Baicheng in Chiyang. I beg that Your Majesty tolerate his insolence." So the Emperor restrained his anger. {R} Originally Li Jue stationed at Huang Baicheng but he wished to move his location. Li Jue and the Minister over the Masses, Zhao Wen did not get along. When Zhao Wen heard that Li Jue wished to move the Emperor he wrote a letter, “Wen sent a letter to Li Jue saying, “You began with massacre and looting in the imperial city, and you slaughtered the great ministers. Then you quarreled over some trivial insult and have made it a battle of life and death. The court has tried to get you to make peace, but the imperial orders have no effect. Now you want to shift the Emperor to Huang Baicheng, and I, an aging man, simply do not understand it. In the Book of Changes, once is a mistake, twice is going further in, and if a third time there is still no change then overwhelming misfortune will come. The only policy which remains to you is to renew the alliance as quickly as possible.” {R} Li Jue was very angry and wished to send men to harm Zhao Wen. His younger brother Li Ying admonished Li Jue for several days until he dropped the idea. When the Emperor heard of Zhao Wen’s letter to Li Jue he asked Palace Attendant, Chang Qia, “[Li] Jue is not aware that he is evil, [Zhao] Wen’s words will cut and hurt him.” [Chang Qia] replied, “Li Ying already stopped him.” The emperor was pleased.

28. Hua Jiao’s Book of Han: Guo Si gave a feast for the high ministers, and discussed an attack on Li Jue. Yang Biao said, “The imperial subjects are fighting one another, one man has kidnapped the Son of Heaven while another holds the highest officials hostage. What sort of situation is this?” Guo Si, furious, snatched up a sword to attack him. Yang Mi, however, General of the Gentlemen of the Household, protested fiercely, and Guo Si stopped. {R}

29. Xian Di Qi Ju Zhu: Li Jue believed in the arts of witches and wizards and in the use of black magic to ward off ill fortune. He regularly offered triple sacrifice to Dong Zhuo outside the gate of the palace. Li Jue would carry three swords (xi) on his belt. He would frequently grasp the hilt of one of them. All of the Palace Attendants and Palace Gentleman were afraid of him. He would also have a double edge sword when he was at the Emperor’s side. Whenever he spoke to the Emperor, he would always address him as "Wise Majesty" or "Wise Emperor," and described Guo Si as wicked and recalcitrant. The Emperor replied suitably and Li Jue was pleased and said, “Your wise majesty is a worthy lord.” He then thought that he had his favor. Li Jue would wear his sword in the presence of the Emperor.
He continued to do this until confronted by Li Zhen. The Emperor sent the Supervisor of the Internuncios Huangfu Li to make peace between Li Jue and Guo Si. Huangfu Li went first to Guo Si, and Guo Si accepted the message. Then he went to Li Jue but Li Jue refused, saying, “I defeat Lu Bu. For 4 years I have assisted the government and brought tranquility to the capital district. My accomplishments are known throughout the land. Guo Duo is nothing but a brigand and horse-thief. How dare he seek to rank with me? I shall certainly punish him. You see my plans and my forces. Are they not sufficient to deal with Guo Duo? Besides, Guo Duo has kidnapped the senior ministers and holds them hostage. He acts like this and you still want to help him?” {R} Huangfu Li responded, “In ancient days in Youqiong, Hou Yi, proud of and confident in his archer's skill, gave no thought to others and governed alone, and he so perished. Lately you yourself have seen the powerful Dong Zhuo betrayed by Lu Bu, who had received many benefits at his hands. In no time Dong Zhuo's head was hanging over the gate. So you see mere force is not enough to ensure safety. Now you are a general, with the axes and whips and all the symbols of rank and high office; your descendants and all your clan occupy distinguished positions. You must confess that the state has rewarded you liberally. True, Guo Si has seized the officers of state, but you have done the same to the 'Most Revered.' Who is worse than the other?” Huangfu Li left. When he got to the gate he shouted out that Li Jue would not obey an Imperial Order. Palace Attendant, Hu Miao, heard his utterance and said to him, “General Li is not weak. Even if Huangfu was Grand Commandant, General Li would still be stronger.” Huangfu Li replied, “You also are an officer of state, and yet you even back up the rebel.” Hu Miao said, “The court fears they cannot change Li Jue. What can the ministers and I do in this situation?” Huangfu Li replied, “When the prince is put to shame, the minister dies. That is our code. If it be my lot to suffer death at the hands of Li Jue, it is the will of the heavens!” When the Emperor heard of this he feared what Li Jue would do. He then dispatched Huangfu Li away. When Huangfu Li was at the gate, Li Jue sent a Guard of the Rapid Tigers, Wang Chang, to recall him. Wang Chang knew that Huangfu Li was loyal so he returned to Li Jue and said that they were too late. The Son of Heaven had Central Gentleman General of the Left, Li Gu, award Li Jue the staff of authority and appoint him Commander-in-Chief with rank above the Three Excellencies. Li Jue believed this to happen due to other power and rewarded the witches.

Li Jue’s general Yang Feng planned to kill him. The plot leaked out and [Yang Feng’s] troops rebelled. With some of his troops betraying, Li Jue’s force was weakened a little. Zhang Ji came from Shan to make peace between the two sides. (29) Guo Si again expressed his desire for the Emperor to go to Mei. The Son of Heaven went with Yang Feng’s army. This army attack Guo Si and routed him. Guo Si withdrew to Nanshan. Yang Feng and General Dong Cheng brought the Emperor to Louyang. Guo Si and Li Jue regretted letting the Emperor get away so they rejoined forces. They pursued him to Caoyang in Hongnong. Yang Feng went to the east to talk to the leaders of the Bobo bandits, Han Xian, Hu Cai, and Li Le to join forces and fight Li Jue and Guo Si. Yang Feng’s soldiers were defeated. Li Jue’s soldiers killed over 100 ministers. (30) The Emperor went to Shan. They ferried across the river and go on foot from there. Only the Empress’s retinue could follow. (31) Yang Feng and Han Xian guarded the Emperor’s carriage on the way to Anyi. The Grand Commandant, Yang Biao, and the Grand Coachman, Han Rong, followed with 10 guards. Han Xian was appointed General Who Conquers the East, Hu Cai was appointed General Who Conquers the West, and Li Le was appointed General Who Conquers the North. Together with Yang Biao they controlled the government. Han Rong was sent to Hongnong to create peace with Li Jue and Guo Si. He returned with the high officials that were held prisoner, and some of the palace women, together with the carriages, robes, insignia and other goods that had been seized from the court. The supplies of grain were soon exhausted, and all the attendants ate vegetables and fruit. (32) The various generals did work together well and there was disorder. When the food supplies were used up, Yang Biao, Han Xian, and Dong Cheng urged the Emperor to go to Louyang. When they were going through the pass they met up with Zhang Yang. This account is recorded in Zhang Yang’s biography. When the Emperor entered Louyang the palace was burned down, the streets were a mess, the officials had scattered and there were holes in the walls.

30. Xian Di Qi Ju Zhu: the Emperor came out by the Xuanping Gate. As he was about to cross the bridge, several hundred of Guo Si's men blocked the way and said, "Isn't this the Son of Heaven?" Several hundred of Li Jue's men, armed with great halberds, were marching in front of the imperial carriage, and the two groups were about to fight when the Palace Attendant Liu Ai called out in a loud voice, “This is the Son of Heaven!” He had the Palace Attendant Yang Qi raise up the curtains of the carriage, and the Emperor said, "You soldiers, how dare you crowd our honorable person?" Guo Si's men drew back, and as the cortege crossed the bridge they all cried out, “Ten thousand years!” {R}

31. Records of Emperor Xian: At this time Prefect Imperial Secretariat, Shisun Rui, used the disorder to cause harm with his troops.

San Fu Jue Lu Zhu: Shisun Rui styled Junrong was from Fufen. When he was young he was a very talented writer. After Dong Zhuo was executed he became the Grand Minister of Agriculture and served as one of the three lao. Whenever there was an opening in the Three Excellences, Shisun Rui was frequently brought. Grand Commandants, Zhou Zhong and Huangfu Song, Ministers over the Masses, Chunyu Jia and Zhao Wen, Ministers of Works, Yang Biao and Zhang Xi, all served as Excellencies and they all recommended Shisun Rui. The Emperor looked over his deeds and conferred his son, Shisun Meng, as Marquis of Danjin Pavilion. Shisun Meng styled Wenshi was a talented scholar. He was a student of Wang Can.

32. Records of Emperor Xian: At first there was an idea to float down the river. Grand Commandant, Yang Biao, said, “I am from Hong Nong. Going east from here there are 36 shoals. It would not be a suitable plan.” Liu Ai said, “I originally served as Prefect of Shan. I know of these dangers. If we had a specialist we could still capsize. Moreover we don’t have a specialist. The Grand Commandant is right.” Thus the idea was dropped. They sent Li Le to cross the river and ready a boat. Since the Emperor had to walk to the shore on foot Dong Cheng wished to make an impromptu carriage using two horses and silk tied between them. Colonel who Marches the Army, Shang Hong was a very strong man. There was an order for him to guard the Emperor lower him down into the boat. Those who could not fit in the boat were left behind. The boat would be sent back again once the Emperor was across. Many grabbed the sides of the boat. Those aboard were forced to cut off their fingers.

33. Book of Wei: When the Emperor made it to the city there was much rejoicing. The Colonel Directors of Retainers were unorganized and militias rose up.


The Grand Ancestor [Cao Cao] welcomed the Son of Heaven at Xu. Yang Feng and Han Xian did not approve and became bandits in Xu. They were later killed by Liu Bei. (33) Dong Cheng went to Cao Cao and he was executed. In the 2nd year of Jian An [197], Pei Mao was sent west to punish Li Jue and execute him to the third degree. (34) Guo Si was attacked and killed by his general Wu Xi at Mei. Zhang Ji ran out of supplies and became a bandit in Nanyang. He was killed attacking Rang. His younger brother Zhang Xiu assumed control of his force. Hu Cai and Li Le stayed in He Dong. Hu Cai was killed in a feud. Li Le died of illness. Han Sui and Ma Teng returned to Liangzhou and became bandits again. Later Ma Teng would become Commandant of the Guards. His son Ma Chao received his post. In the 16th year [211], Ma Chao and Han Sui would start a rebellion in Guanzhong. Cao Cao attacked and defeated them. That description is contained in the Military Records [Wu Ji]. Han Sui went to Jincheng and was killed by a subordinate. Ma Chao seized Han Yang and Ma Teng was executed to the third degree. Zhao Qu raised soldiers to punish Ma Chao. Ma Chao fled to Zhang Lu in Han Zhong and later Liu Bei. He died in Shu.

34. Book of Heroes: Liu Bei enticed Yang Feng to meet with him. As soon as he sat down he was executed. Han Xian was then all alone. He wished to go to Bingzhou. He was killed by Zhang Xuan.

35. Dian Lue: When Li Jue’s head arrived it was hung up.


Appraisal: Dong Zhuo was mean, calculated, violent and a terror. He suppressed the Virtuous and Righteous. Since mankind developed the writing system, there was no other like him.
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Unread postby Lu Kang » Wed Nov 07, 2007 6:02 am

Dong Zhuo Biography Translator Notes

i. The rhyme is lost in the literal translation, however Moss Roberts translates this passage in poetic interpretation as:
“Though the emperor doesn't rule, though the prince no office fills,
Yet a brilliant cavalcade comes along from Beimang Hills.”

ii. [Need to fix this]
iii. Yi Yin was a Prime Minister during the Shang Dynasty. He served Tai Jia. Tai Jia was bad to his people and broke his own laws. Prime Minister Yi Yin advised him to change his ways but the headstrong king ignored the advice of the elder statesman. Eventually Yi Yin had no other choice but to exile the king to the Tong Palace near the tomb of the first Shang King, Tang, to repent. Sima Qian says that following the exile Yi Yan ruled the country as regent for three years until he felt that the king had sufficiently changed and invited him back to the capital to reclaim his throne. From that point on the king took care of his people and managed the government well. -Wikipedia

Huo Guang was a western Han statesman. In 74 BC, Emperor Zhao died at age 21 without issue -- and therefore without an heir. Even though Emperor Zhao had living older brothers, Huo Guang considered them incompetent and unfit for the throne. After some investigation, he settled on making Liu He, Emperor Zhao's nephew and the Prince of Changyi the new emperor. Once the Prince of Changyi was installed as the emperor, however, he began to spend incessantly and otherwise act inappropriately during the period of mourning for Emperor Zhao. In response, Huo Guang decided to depose the new emperor -- then an unprecedented action in Chinese history. Under an edict issued by Empress Dowager Shangguan -- Huo's granddaughter -- Prince He was deposed after just 28 days as emperor and exiled to his old principality of Changyi, but without a princely title. -Wikipedia

iv. The “Duke of Shang Yong” is the title for Emperor Xian after he abdicated.
v. [Need to fix this]
vi. ZZTJ commentary identifies the Shibao shi chan as a work of fortune-telling popular at the end of Han. Though evidently composed in the same style, it was not one of the recognised apocryphal texts (wei) of the New Text School of Han Confucianism, it does not appear in any of the bibliographies of the standard histories, and it is no longer extant. - Rafe
vii – Execution to the third degree included the person, their children, and their grandchildren.
vi. viii – The rhyme is lost in the literal translation, however Moss Roberts translates this passage in poetic interpretation as:
"The grass in the meadow looks fresh now and green,
Yet wait but ten days, not a blade will be seen."
ix – Bu as in Lu Bu means cloth.
X – http://www.kongming.net/novel/symbols_o ... /#jiestaff
Xi – The dao sword http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dao_(sword)
The Jian sword - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jian

{R} – This passage is based off the works of Rafe de Crespigny, namely his translation of Zi Zi Tong Jian.


Books quoted by Pei Song Zhi

Book of the Latter Han- Written by Fan Ye [398-445] during the 5th century. It is officially one of the 24 histories of China.

Han Jin Chun Qiu- Written by Xi Zuochi [4th century] during the end of the 3rd century. One of the first histories to choose Liu Bei as a continuation of the Han.

Book of Heroes/Ying Xiang Ji: Written by Wang Can [177-217]

Dian Lue- Written by Yu Huan [???]

Book of Han/Han Shu- Written by Han Jiao [???]

Book of Wei/Wei Shu- Written by Wang Shen [3rd century]

Records of Emperor Xian/Xian Di Ji- By Liu Ai [fl. 200]

San Fu Jue Lu Zhu- Written by Zhao Qi [2nd century]

Xian Di Qi Ju Zhu- Written by ???

Jiu Zhou Chun Qiu- Written by Sima Biao [3rd century]

Book of Han- Written by Zhang Han [???]

Fu Zi- Written by Fu Xuan [217-278]. Fu Xuan held uncompromising Confucius beliefs. He compiled 140 essays and several thousand works as Fu Zu. They disappeared before the Song dynasty.

Shang Yang Gong Zai Ji/Parallel Annals of the Duke of Shang Yong- Written by Yue Zi [3rd century].

Book of the Latter Han/Hou Han Shu- Written by Xie Cheng [3rd century].

The Records of Emperor Ling/Ling Di Ji- Written by ???

Fengsu Tong/Note on Social Customs- Written by ???
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Unread postby Kong Wen » Wed Nov 07, 2007 6:04 am

Wow, that looks like a lot of work! Dong Zhuo certainly is an interesting character, worthy of a lot more consideration than the Dynasty Warriors version would have us believe. :)

I'll give your translation a closer reading and post some comments for you after I've had a good sleep.
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Re: Dong Zhuo's SGZ Biography (Rough Draft)

Unread postby Mikhail » Thu Jun 19, 2008 1:19 am

Wow, first time I have seen this. Excellent work Lu Kang. I've only read the blackened notes and it was very well written. Dong Zhuo is a very interesting character. I'm even inclined to say that he is "praise-worthy" and that this biography has opened my eyes a bit.

I would like to inquire, is there any reason why the biography includes events after Dong Zhuo's death?
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Re: Dong Zhuo's SGZ Biography (Rough Draft)

Unread postby Guan Yan » Thu Jun 19, 2008 3:32 am

Is the book of the later Han actually have information on people from the three kingdoms era?
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Re: Dong Zhuo's SGZ Biography (Rough Draft)

Unread postby Little_Phoenix » Thu Jun 19, 2008 9:28 am

Nice work Lu Kang!! :D :D

now i know the answer why people like Guo Si, Zhang Ji and others was loyal to Dong Zhou...although his act was not good to the court (absolutly bad).
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Re: Dong Zhuo's SGZ Biography (Rough Draft)

Unread postby Sun Fin » Thu Jun 19, 2008 9:51 am

Little_Phoenix wrote:Nice work Lu Kang!! :D :D

now i know the answer why people like Guo Si, Zhang Ji and others was loyal to Dong Zhou...although his act was not good to the court (absolutly bad).


Yeah he ws loyal to his own troops but not to anyone else (well unless he needed them). As has been said Lu Kuang nicely done.
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Re: Dong Zhuo's SGZ Biography (Rough Draft)

Unread postby Little_Phoenix » Fri Jun 20, 2008 3:05 am

Sun Fin wrote:Yeah he ws loyal to his own troops but not to anyone else (well unless he needed them). As has been said Lu Kuang nicely done.


that's why his own companion's loyality (except Lu Bu) are high. we can see it on Cai Yong, Li Ru, Niu Fu, and Li Jue.
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Re: Dong Zhuo's SGZ Biography (Rough Draft)

Unread postby Lu Kang » Thu Jun 26, 2008 12:31 am

Mikhail wrote:I would like to inquire, is there any reason why the biography includes events after Dong Zhuo's death?


This is one of the bigger type biographies typical of rulers and major warlords. The bit after goes on in detail about Li Jue, Guo Si, etc and a bunch of other generals who do not have biographies, so it's kind of like when some bios go on to talk about someone's kids.

Guan Yan wrote:Is the book of the later Han actually have information on people from the three kingdoms era?


The Hou Han Shu [Book of the Latter Han] goes all the way up to 220 when Emperor XIan was removed by Cao Pi. It has biographies for some Three Kingdoms people such as Lu Bu, Tao Qian, Yuan Shao, I believe even Dong Zhuo. Much of the information though is the same as SGZ though.
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Re: Dong Zhuo's SGZ Biography (Rough Draft)

Unread postby Guan Yan » Fri Jul 04, 2008 6:24 am

Styled Zhongying?? What does it mean?
Yuan shu you dare declare yourself emporor I shall bring the justice of the Han upon your head.
Guan Yan
Scholar of Shen Zhou
 
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