(42.2) Zhōu Qún 周群 [Zhòngzhí 仲直]

Zhāng Yù 張裕 [Nánhé 南和]

Zhōu Qún appellation Zhòngzhí was a Bāxī Làngzhōng man.


His father Shū appellation Shūbù when young studied under Yáng Hòu of Guǎnghàn, who had reputation second only to Dǒng Fú and Rèn Ān. Several times [Yáng Hòu] was summoned [to office] but to the end did not go. At the time someone asked: “The Chūnqiū has a prophecy that says the one to replace Hàn will be to rise up the high street.” What does this mean?” Shū said: “The one to rise up the high street is Wèi [which has an ancient meaning ‘watchtower’].” A group of scholars in the village privately recorded his words.


Qún when young received schooling from Shū, and focused on continuing his work. In their estate they built a small tower. The family was wealthy and had many slaves, and often ordered the slaves to take terns going up the tower and look for omens of disasters. As soon as they saw a mist, they at once informed Qún. Qún himself went up the tower to look at it, regardless of whether it was morning or night. Therefore of all the common climates there were none he had not seen, and as a result of his predictions many were accurate. Provincial Governor Liú Zhāng recruited him as a Instructor-Friend Attending Official. (1)


  • (1) Xùhànshū states:
    • Jiàn’ān seventh year [202] Yuèxī [prefecture] had a man transform into a women. At the time Qún said in the time of Āi-dì there was also something like this, and was an omen there would be a change of dynasties. By the twenty-fifth year [220] Xiàn-dì indeed [abdicated and] received fief at Shānyáng.
    • Twelfth year [207] tenth moon, a comet was seen in Chúnwěi [constellation] in Jīngzhōu’s region. Qún believed the Governor of Jīngzhōu [Liú Biǎo] would soon die and lose his territory. Next year’s autumn, Liú Biǎo died, and Lord Cáo pacified Jīngzhōu.
    • Seventeenth year [212] twelfth moon, a comet was seen at Wǔzhūhóu. Qún believed that those in the west occupying territory would lose their land. At the time Liú Zhāng occupied Yìzhōu, Zhāng Lǔ occupied Hànzhōng, Hán Suì occupied Liángzhōu, and Sòng Jiàn occupied Fūhǎn. Next year’s winter, Lord Cáo sent his deputy General [Xiàhóu Yuān] to attack Liángzhōu. Nineteenth year [214] Sòng Jiàn was taken, and Hán Suì fled to the Qiāng and was killed. That year’s autumn [Liú] Zhāng lost Yìzhōu [to Liú Bèi]. Twentieth year [215] autumn, Excellency Cáo attacked Hànzhōng and Zhāng Lǔ surrendered.

〔一〕 續漢書曰:建安七年,越嶲有男子化為女人,時群言哀帝時亦有此,將易代之祥也。至二十五年,獻帝果封于山陽。十二年十月,有星孛于鶉尾,荊州分野,群以為荊州牧將死而失土。明年秋,劉表卒,曹公平荊州。十七年十二月,星孛于五諸侯,群以為西方專據土地者皆將失土。是時,劉璋據益州,張魯據漢中,韓遂據涼州,宋建據枹罕。明年冬,曹公遣偏將擊涼州。十九年,獲宋建,韓遂逃于羌中,被殺。其年秋,璋失益州。二十年秋,曹公攻漢中,張魯降。

Xiān-zhǔ [Liú Bèi] settled Shǔ [214] and installed him as Classicist Forest Colonel. Xiān-zhǔ wished to with Excellency Cáo fight for Hànzhōng, and asked Qún. Qún answered: “You can obtain its land, but not its people. If you send out a separate supporting army it will certainly be unsuccessful. You must be cautious!”


At the time Yìzhōu’s Rear Division Major Zhāng Yù of Shǔ-jùn was also skilled weather-based divination, and his innate talent surpassed Qún, (2) and he remonstrated Xiān-zhǔ: “You cannot fight for Hànzhōng. The army will certainly be unsuccessful.”


  • (2) Yù appellation Nánhé

〔二〕 裕字南和。

Xiān-zhǔ however did not use [Zhāng] Yù’s words, and indeed obtained the territory but not its people. Generals Wú Lán, Léi Tóng, and others entered Wǔdū [as a separate supporting force], and all died and did not return, all as Qún had said. Therefore Qún was nominated as Abundant Talent.


[Zhāng] Yù privately said to someone: “When the year is a gēngzǐ, the realm Under Heaven will have a change in dynasties. The Liú clan’s fortunes are exhausted. Our Lord has obtained Yìzhōu, and after nine years, by yínmǎo he will lose it.” The person secretly reported his words.


Previously, at the time when Xiān-zhǔ and Liú Zhāng met at Fú [211], [Zhāng] Yù was [Liú] Zhāng’s Advisor, and sat in attendance. He had a thick beard, and Xiān-zhǔ mocked him: “In the past I lived in Zhuō county, where there were especially many with the surname Máo. East west south north there were all different Máo. The Magistrate of Zhuō said of them: ‘Is this not a Máo surrounded Zhuō here?’”


[Zhāng] Yù at once replied: “In the past there was a Chief of Lù in Shàngdǎng, who was transferred to Magistrate of Zhuō, resigned his office and returned home. At the time when people wrote to him, if he wished to address by his Lù title it would miss Zhuō and if by his Zhuō title would miss Lù. Therefore it was addressed as the ‘Lù-Zhuō Gentleman.’”


Xiān-zhǔ had no beard, and so Yù replied like this.


[Translator’s note: The surname Máo 毛 can also be a word meaning ‘hair.’ In ancient times, Lù 潞 would have been pronounced the same as lòu 露 ‘exposed,’ and Zhuō 涿 would have been pronounced the same as tún 豚, a pun on tún 臀 ‘buttocks.’ Liú Bèi called Zhāng Yù ‘hair covered buttocks’ and Zhāng Yù called Liú Bèi ‘Mister Exposed-buttocks.’]

Xiān-zhǔ always resented his rudeness, and added with the anger of these divulged words, he therefore publicized [Zhāng] Yù’s remonstrants against fighting for Hànzhōng and arrested him, and was about to execute him.


Zhūgě Liàng memorialized to plead for [Zhāng Yù’s] crime. Xiān-zhǔ replied: “When weeds are at the doors, one cannot but clear them.” Yù therefore was executed in the market.


Later the Wèi Dynasty was established [in 220, a gēngzǐ year] and Xiān-zhǔ died [in 223, nine years after his conquest of Yìzhōu], all as Yù had predicted. He was also good at physiognomy, and every time he raised a mirror and inspected his own face, he knew he would die by execution, and not once did he not throw himself on the ground.


[Zhōu] Qún died, and his son Jù inherited and continued his methods.


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