Yáng Jùn appellation Jìcái was a Hénèi Huòjiā man. He received study under Chénliú’s Biān Ràng, and Ràng was very impressed with him. Jùn, because warfare and chaos had risen, and because Hénèi on all four sides was open and would certainly become a battle ground, thereupon led his elders and young to go to the region about the Jīng and Mì mountains, and those who went with him numbered over a hundred families. Jùn roused up and helped the impoverished, and there was nothing he did not share. Among his clansmen were people seized and taken as servants, altogether six families, and Jùn for each gave out wealth to free them.
When Sīmǎ [Yì] Xuān-wáng was aged sixteen to seventeen years, he and Jùn met one another. Jùn said: “This is no ordinary man.” Additionally Sīmǎ Lǎng [Yì’s elder brother] had early gained reputation and fame while his elder third cousin [Sīmǎ] Zhī was not widely known, and only Jùn said: “Though Zhī’s fame does not reach that of Lǎng, in truth his reason and ability is actually superior and that is all.”
Jùn moved and fled to Bìngzhōu. The local prefecture’s Wáng Xiàng was orphaned young, worked as a servant for others. Aged seventeen to eighteen years, he was sent to herd sheep but he privately studied books, and because of this he was beaten. Jùn praised his character, ransomed Xiàng and brought him home, arranged a marriage and established a household [for him], and afterward they separated.
Tàizǔ [Cáo Cāo] appointed Jùn as Chief of Qūliáng. He entered court in the staff of the Chancellor, was nominated as Abundant Talent, became Magistrate of Ānlíng, and was promoted to Administrator of Nányáng. He spread virtuous teachings, established schools, and the officials and people praised him. He was transferred to Master of the Army Attacking the South.
When Wèi state was founded , he was transferred to Subaltern. While Tàizǔ campaigned in Hànzhōng , Wèi Fěng rebelled at Yè. Jùn impeached himself for his inability. Jùn himself drew up a system of penalties and pardons, and sent a letter to resign to the Heir-Apparent [Cáo Pī]. The Heir-Apparent was not pleased and said: “Subaltern Yáng so easily leaves, how does he have such great loftiness?” Therefore a letter was sent to transfer him to Administrator of Píngyuán.
When Wén-dì [Cáo Pī] ascended , he was again at Nányáng. At the time Wáng Xiàng was Cavalier Regular Attendant, and recommended Jùn: “I have met Administrator of Nányáng Yáng Jùn. He maintains pure and great character, is loyal and solemn in his liberal judgment, his benevolence is sufficient to care for all things, his sincerity sufficient to move the masses, able guide and lead the lagging, kindness and teaching untiring, outside lenient and inside upright, benevolent and yet decisive. Since he first took cap [to hold office] wherever he was there was development, and since he again administered Nányáng, his grace and virtue flowed and spread, so that differing neighbors of other factions carry their children on their back and come [to surrender]. Now the borders he defends are peaceful and quiet, and is not the place for his great wisdom and ability, so it is suitable to have him return to our Court, in order to spread the strength of the Imperial Chariot’s wheel and bring benefit for the Emperor.”
Jùn from childhood to adulthood used ordered relationships to make appointments. Shěn Gù of the same prefecture and Wèi Xún of Chénliú were originally both common soldiers, Jùn chose them out for rewards, and both became exceptional scholars. Later [Shěn] Gù had position as a prefectural Administrator, and Xún served in the Censorate and county magistrate. His wisdom in appraising righteousness was often of this sort.
Previously, the Marquis of Línzī [Cáo Zhí] and Jùn were friendly. When Tàizǔ had not settled on the succession, he secretly asked all the officials. Though Jùn commented Wén-dì [Cáo Pī] and Línzī [Cáo Zhí] both had ability and each had their own advantages and was not disposed toward one or the other, because he had praised Línzī so well, Wén-dì always because of this resented him.
Huángchū third year , the Imperial Chariot visited Wǎn, and because the city was not sufficiently celebratory [in its welcome], [Wén-dì] became angry and arrested Jùn. Secretariat Archer Sīmǎ Xuān-wáng and Regular Attendants Wáng Xiàng and Xún Wěi pleaded for Jùn, and knocked their heads on the ground until they bled, but the Emperor did not listen. Jùn said: “I already know my crime.” Then he killed himself. All considered this unjust and were sorrowful for him. (1)
- Shìyǔ states: Jùn had two grandsons: Lǎn styled Gōngzhì, Administrator of Rǔyīn; Yī styled Gōngyàn, Secretariat scribe, and Jìn’s King of Dōnghǎi [Sīmǎ] Yuè’s maternal uncle. Lǎn’s son Shěn, styled Xuānhóng, Scattered-Cavalry Regular Attendant.
- Wèilüè states: Wáng Xiàng appellation Xībó. When he was known and chosen out by Jùn, he indeed had ability and ambition. During Jiàn’ān [196-219], he with Xún Wěi of the same prefecture and others each became the Wèi Heir-Apparent’s Attendants for ceremonies. After Wáng Càn, Chén Lín, Ruǎn Yǔ, Lù Cuì, and the rest died [in the 217 plague], of the new generation of the Palace, Xiàng’s talent was the highest. When Wèi took over the realm Under Heaven , Xiàng was appointed Scattered-Cavalry Attendant-Gentleman, promoted to Regular Attendant, given fief as a full Marquis. There was Imperial Order to compile the Huánglǎn “Imperial Readings,” employing Xiàng as Confidential Documents Supervisor. Xiàng from Yánkāng first year  first began compiling, and after several years completed it, and stored it in the confidential department. It gathered over forty boxes, each box had several tens of scrolls, and altogether had over eight million characters. Xiàng was both by nature skilled and generous, and also literally talented and refined, and was employed in restoring the capital region, and was called a Classicist Exemplar. The Imperial Chariot toured south , and before it arrived at Wǎn there was an Imperial Order that the officials were not to disturb the prefectures and counties. When the Imperial Chariot arrived, the Magistrate of Wǎn did not understand the Imperial Order’s meaning, and so kept the city gates closed. The Emperor heard of this, and was furious and said: “Am I a bandit here?” Therefore he arrested the Magistrate of Wǎn and the Administrator Yáng Jùn. An Imperial Order asked the Secretariat: “Hàn Míng-dì [Liú Zhuāng 58-75] killed how many 2000-dàn [salary rank officials]?” At the time when Xiàng saw the Imperial Order’s writings, he knew that Jùn would certainly not escape. Therefore he went before the Emperor and bowed his head to the ground until blood flowed down his face, pleading that Jùn’s death sentence be reduced one rank [to not death]. The Emperor did not answer, and wished to leave to enter the restricted area [to cast judgment]. Xiàng tugged the Emperor’s robes, and the Emperor turned back and said to Xiàng: “I know the situation between Yáng Jùn and you and that is all. Now if I listen to you, then there will be no me. Would you rather have no [Yáng] Jùn or no me?” Xiàng because the Emperor’s words were decisive then let go his hand. The Emperor thereupon entered, determined that Jùn [would be executed] by law, and afterward went out. Xiàng hated himself for being unable to rescue Jùn, and so fell ill and died.