(17.5) Xú Huǎng 徐晃 [Gōngmíng 公明]

Zhū Líng 朱靈 [Wénbó 文博]


Xú Huǎng appellation Gōngmíng was a man of Yáng in Hédōng. He became a prefecture official, followed General of Chariots and Cavalry Yáng Fèng in suppressing bandits, had achievements, and was appointed Cavalry Commandant. Lǐ Jué and Guō Sì were causing chaos in Cháng’ān. Huǎng advised [Yáng] Fèng, urging him to with Heaven’s Son return Luòyáng, and [Yáng] Fèng followed this plan. Heaven’s Son crossed the [Yellow] River and reached Ānyì, and gave fief to Huǎng as a capital precinct marquis. When they arrived at Luòyáng, Hán Xiān and Dǒng Chéng daily fought, and Huǎng advised [Yáng] Fèng to join Tàizǔ [Cáo Cāo]. [Yáng] Fèng wished to follow this, but regretted it. Tàizǔ suppressed [Yáng] Fèng at Liáng, and Huǎng therefore joined Tàizǔ.

徐晃字公明,河東楊人也。為郡吏,從車騎將軍楊奉討賊有功,拜騎都尉。李傕、郭汜之亂長安也,晃說奉,令與天子還洛陽,奉從其計。天子渡河至安邑,封晃都亭侯。及到洛陽,韓暹、董承日爭鬥,晃說奉令歸太祖;奉欲從之,後悔。太祖討奉於梁,晃遂歸太祖。


Tàizǔ gave Huǎng troops, sending him to attack Quán and Yuánwǔ bandits, he defeated them, and was appointed Supporting-General. He followed the campaign against Lǚ Bù [198], and separately received surrenders of [Lǚ] Bù’s Generals Zhào Shù, Lǐ Zōu, and others. With Shǐ Huàn they beheaded Suī Gù at Hénèi. He followed in defeating Liú Bèi, and also followed in defeating Yán Liáng, capturing Báimǎ, and advancing to Yánjīn, defeating Wén Chǒu, and was appointed Deputy-General. With Cáo Hóng they attacked Yǐnjiàng bandit Zhù Bì, defeated him, and with Shǐ Huàn attacked Yuán Shào’s transport chariots at Gùshì. His achievements were the most numerous, and he was given fief as a capital precinct Marquis.

太祖授晃兵,使擊卷、卷音墟權反。原武賊,破之,拜裨將軍。從征呂布,別降布將趙庶、李鄒等。與史渙斬眭固於河內。從破劉備,又從破顏良,拔白馬,進至延津,破文醜,拜偏將軍。與曹洪擊濦彊賊祝臂,破之,又與史渙擊袁紹運車於故市,功最多,封都亭侯。

When Tàizǔ besieged Yè [204], defeating Hándān, Magistrate of Yìyáng Hán Fàn falsely surrendered his city but resisted and defended, and Tàizǔ sent Huǎng to attack them. Huǎng arrived, shot arrows into the city, to explain the possible successes or failures. [Hán] Fàn was regretful, and Huǎng at once received his surrender. Soon after he advised Tàizǔ: “The two Yuán [Tán and Shàng] are not yet defeated, and all the cities not yet taken ready their ears and listen. Today we have wiped out Yìyáng, but tomorrow all to the death defend, and I fear the [Yellow] River’s north will not be settled for long. May your Excellency recruit Yìyáng to show to all the cities, and then there will be none who do not follow the situation.” Tàizǔ agreed to this.

太祖既圍鄴,破邯鄲,易陽令韓範偽以城降而拒守,太祖遣晃攻之。晃至,飛矢城中,為陳成敗。範悔,晃輒降之。既而言於太祖曰:「二袁未破,諸城未下者傾耳而聽,今日滅易陽,明日皆以死守,恐河北無定時也。願公降易陽以示諸城,則莫不望風。」太祖善之。

He separately suppressed Máochéng, set up hidden troops for surprise attacks, and destroyed three camps. He followed in defeating Yuán Tán at Nánpí, suppressed rebels and bandits, and overcame them.

別討毛城,設伏兵掩擊,破三屯。從破袁譚於南皮,討平原叛賊,克之。

He followed in the campaign against Tàdùn [207], and was appointed General Crossing Wilderness.

從征蹋頓,拜橫野將軍。

He followed the campaign against Jīngzhōu [208], separately camped at Fán, suppressed Zhōnglú, Línjǔ, and Yíchéng bandits. He also with Mǎn Chǒng suppressed Guān Yǔ at Hànjīn, and with Cáo Rén attacked Zhōu Yú at Jiānglíng.

從征荊州,別屯樊,討中廬、臨沮、宜城賊。又與滿寵討關羽於漢津,與曹仁擊周瑜於江陵。

[Jiàn’ān] Fifteenth year [210], he suppressed Tàiyuán rebels, besieged Dàlíng, captured it, beheading the rebel commander Shāng Yào. Hán Suì, Mǎ Chāo, and others rebelled right [west] of the Passes, and he sent Huǎng to camp Fényīn to support Hédōng, bestow oxen and wine, to send up to ancestral tombs.

十五年,討太原反者,圍大陵,拔之,斬賊帥商曜。韓遂、馬超等反關右,遣晃屯汾陰以撫河東,賜牛酒,令上先人墓。

Tàizǔ reached Tóngguān [211], was afraid they would not be able to cross, and summoned and asked Huǎng. Huǎng said: “Your Excellency’s flourishing troops are here, but the rebels do not again separately defend Púbǎn, so we know they have no plans. Now if I your Servant with elite troops (1) cross Púbǎn’s ford, serving as the army’s front position, and cut off their  position, and the rebels can be taken.”

太祖至潼關,恐不得渡,召問晃。晃曰:「公盛兵於此,而賊不復別守蒲阪,知其無謀也。今假臣精兵〔一〕渡蒲阪津,為軍先置,以截其裏,賊可擒也。」

  • (1) Your Servant Sōngzhī says: Huǎng at this time would not have answered by calling himself ‘I your Servant.’ This is the biography writer’s error.

〔一〕 臣松之云:案晃于時未應稱臣,傳寫者誤也。

Tàizǔ said: “Excellent,” and sent Huǎng with infantry and cavalry 4000 men to cross the ford. He built fortifications but before they were complete, the rebel Liáng Xīng in the night commanded infantry and cavalry of over 5000 men to attack Huǎng, but Huǎng attacked and drove them away, and Tàizǔ‘s army was able to cross.

太祖曰:「善。」使晃以步騎四千人渡津。作塹柵未成,賊梁興夜將步騎五千餘人攻晃,晃擊走之,太祖軍得渡。

Then they defeated [Mǎ] Chāo and the rest, and Huǎng was sent with Xiàhóu Yuān to pacify Yúmí’s and Qiān’s various Dī peoples, and with Tàizǔ rejoined at Āndìng. Tàizǔ returned to Yè, and sent Huǎng with Xiàhóu Yuān to pacify Fū’s and Xiàyáng’s remaining bandits, beheading Liáng Xīng, and receiving the surrender of over 3000 households.

遂破超等,使晃與夏侯淵平隃麋、汧諸氐,與太祖會安定。太祖還鄴,使晃與夏侯淵平鄜、夏陽餘賊,斬梁興,降三千餘戶。

He followed the campaign against Zhāng Lǔ. Huǎng was separately sent to suppress and attack Dú’s and Qiúyí’s various mountain Dī peoples, and received surrenders from all of them. He was promoted General Pacifying Bandits. He relieved General Zhāng Shùn’s siege, and attacked the rebel Chén Fú and others in over 30 camps, and destroyed them all.

從征張魯。別遣晃討攻櫝、仇夷諸山氐,皆降之。遷平寇將軍。解將軍張順圍。擊賊陳福等三十餘屯,皆破之。


Tàizǔ returned to Yè, leaving Huǎng with Xiàhóu Yuān to resist Liú Bèi at Yángpíng. [Liú] Bèi sent Chén Shì and others with over 10 battalions to cut off Mǎmínggé road, but Huǎng separately campaigned and defeated them, and the rebels threw themselves into the mountain valley, and many died. Tàizǔ heard of this and was deeply pleased, gave Huǎng Acting Staff of Authority, and the Order said: “This road is Hànzhōng’s vital throat. Liú Bèi wished to cut off the outside and inside, in order to capture Hànzhōng. You General in one move overcame and defeated the rebel plans, and are the greatest of the great.”

太祖還鄴,留晃與夏侯淵拒劉備於陽平。備遣陳式等十餘營絕馬鳴閣道,晃別征破之,賊自投山谷,多死者。太祖聞,甚喜,假晃節,令曰:「此閣道,漢中之險要咽喉也。劉備欲斷絕外內,以取漢中。將軍一舉,克奪賊計,善之善者也。」

Tàizǔ then Himself reached Yángpíng [219], and led back Hànzhōng’s various armies. Huǎng was again sent to assist Cáo Rén to suppress Guān Yǔ, and camped at Wǎn. It happened that the Hàn river violently rose, and Yú Jīn and the rest were flooded. [Guān] Yǔ besieged [Cáo] Rén at Fán, and also besieged General Lǚ Cháng at Xiāngyáng.

太祖遂自至陽平,引出漢中諸軍。復遣晃助曹仁討關羽,屯宛。會漢水暴隘,于禁等沒。羽圍仁於樊,又圍將軍呂常於襄陽。

Huǎng’s command were mostly new troops, and as [Guān] Yǔ was difficult to fight, therefore he advanced to Yánglíng slope and camped. Tàizǔ again returned, and sent Generals Xú Shāng, Lǚ Jiàn, and others to join Huǎng. The Order said: “Wait for troops and horses to gather and arrive, and then all together advance.”

晃所將多新卒,以羽難與爭鋒,遂前至陽陵陂屯。太祖復還,遣將軍徐商、呂建等詣晃,令曰:「須兵馬集至,乃俱前。」

The rebels camped at Yǎnchéng. Huǎng arrived, and feigned on the road building a moat, acting as if he wished to cut off their rear, so the rebels burned their camps and fled. Huǎng captured Yǎnchéng, the two sides linked camps, he slowly advanced, and from the rebel barricades was three zhàng away. Before attacking, Tàizǔ from beginning to end sent Yīn Shǔ, Zhū Gě, and others with altogether twelve battalions to join Huǎng. The rebels at the head of the barricades had a camp, and also separate camp at Sìzhǒng. Huǎng raised news that he was about to attack the barricades’ head camp, but secretly attacked Sìzhǒng. [Guān] Yǔ saw Sìzhǒng was about to be destroyed, and personally led infantry and cavalry 5000 out to battle. Huǎng attacked them and they retreated and fled, and he pursued and charged into and entered the barricades, defeated them, and some threw themselves into the Miǎn river and died.

賊屯偃城。晃到,詭道作都塹,示欲截其後,賊燒屯走。晃得偃城,兩面連營,稍前,去賊圍三丈所。未攻,太祖前後遣殷署、朱蓋等凡十二營詣晃。賊圍頭有屯,又別屯四冢。晃揚聲當攻圍頭屯,而密攻四冢。羽見四冢欲壞,自將步騎五千出戰,晃擊之,退走,遂追陷與俱入圍,破之,或自投沔水死。

Tàizǔ’s order said: “The rebel’s barricades and moats and deer-horn walls were ten times thick, but you General led battle to total victory, and then charged the rebel camp, and beheaded many bandits. I have led troops for over 30 years, and those I have heard of the ancient excellent leaders of troops, there has never been one who charged straight into the enemy barricades. Moreover the siege of Fán and Xiāngyáng surpassed those of Jǔ and Jímò. Your achievement General surpasses Sūn Wǔ and Rángjū.”

太祖令曰:「賊圍塹鹿角十重,將軍致戰全勝,遂陷賊圍,多斬首虜。吾用兵三十餘年,及所聞古之善用兵者,未有長驅徑入敵圍者也。且樊、襄陽之在圍,過於莒、即墨,將軍之功,踰孫武、穰苴。」

Huǎng roused the army and returned to Móbēi. Tàizǔ welcomed Huǎng seven lǐ away, and set up wine and a great banquet. Tàizǔ raised the goblet of wine to praise Huǎng, and also commemorate him, saying: “The preservation of Fán and Xiāngyáng is your achievement, General.”

晃振旅還摩陂,太祖迎晃七里,置酒大會。太祖舉卮酒勸晃,且勞之曰:「全樊、襄陽,將軍之功也。」

At the time the various armies had all gathered, Tàizǔ inspected and toured the various camps, and the soldiers all left their lines to see him, but Huǎng’s army camps were ordered and neat and officers and soldiers remained in line without moving. Tàizǔ sighed and said: “General Xú can be said to have Zhōu Yàfū’s manner.”

時諸軍皆集,太祖案行諸營,士卒咸離陳觀,而晃軍營整齊,將士駐陳不動。太祖歎曰:「徐將軍可謂有周亞夫之風矣。」


When Wén-dì [Cáo Pī] ascended as King [220], he appointed Huǎng as General of the Right, and advanced his fief to Marquis of Lù village. At the ascension to the Throne, he was advanced to Marquis of Yáng. With Xiàhóu Shàng he suppressed Liú Bèi at Shàngyōng, and defeated him. Huǎng defended Yángpíng, and was moved in fief to Marquis of Yángpíng.

文帝即王位,以晃為右將軍,進封逯鄉侯。及踐阼,進封楊侯。與夏侯尚討劉備於上庸,破之。以晃鎮陽平,徙封陽平侯。

When Míng-dì [Cáo Ruì] ascended [226], he resisted Wú General Zhūgě Jǐn at Xiāngyáng. His fief was increased by 200, added to the previous to 3100 households.

明帝即位,拒吳將諸葛瑾於襄陽。增邑二百,并前三千一百戶。

He was critically ill, and his final will ordered reduced time of mourning.

病篤,遺令斂以時服。


By nature he was sparing and cautious, as a General he always sent distant scouts, first considering [all possible reasons he might] not be victorious, and then afterward doing battle, pursing the fleeing and striving for success, and his troops were too busy to eat. He often sighed and said: “The ancient peoples feared to not find an enlightened lord. Now by good fortune I have encountered him, and must always with achievements give as my repayment, so how is it for my own reputation?” So to the end he did not curry favor or seek assistance.

性儉約畏慎,將軍常遠斥候,先為不可勝,然後戰,追奔爭利,士不暇食。常歎曰:「古人患不遭明君,今幸遇之,常以功自效,何用私譽為!」終不廣交援。

Tàihé Inaugural Year [227] he died. Posthumous name Zhuàng-hóu “Robust Marquis.” His son Gě succeeded. Gě died, and his son Bà succeeded.

太和元年薨,諡曰壯侯。子蓋嗣。蓋薨,子霸嗣。

Míng-dì divided Huǎng’s fief to make a son and a grandson two men Ranked Marquis.

明帝分晃戶,封晃子孫二人列侯。


Previously, Qīnghé’s Zhū Líng was Yuán Shào’s General. In Tàizǔ’s campaign against Táo Qiān, [Yuán] Shào sent Líng to command 3 battalions to assist Tàizǔ and in battle had achievements. The various Generals that Shào had sent each went back to join him, but Líng said: “I have observed many people, but none like Excellency Cáo [Cāo]. This is a true enlightened ruler. Now that I have already encountered him, how can I go back?” Therefore he remained and would not go. The officers and soldiers admired him, and all joined Líng in remaining.

初,清河朱靈為袁紹將。太祖之征陶謙,紹使靈督三營助太祖,戰有功。紹所遣諸將各罷歸,靈曰:「靈觀人多矣,無若曹公者,此乃真明主也。今已遇,復何之?」遂留不去。所將士卒慕之,皆隨靈留。

Líng afterward then became a great General, his reputation second only to Huǎng and the others, and he reached General of the Rear with fief as Marquis of Gāotáng precinct. (1)

靈後遂為好將,名亞晃等,至後將軍,封高唐亭侯。〔一〕

  • (1) Jiǔzhōu Chūnqiū states: Previously, Qīnghé’s Jì Yōng led Shū in rebelling against Yuán Shào and surrendering to Gōngsūn Zàn, and [Gōngsūn] Zàn sent troops to defend him. [Yuán] Shào sent Líng to attack him. Líng’s family was inside the city, and [Gōngsūn] Zàn ordered Líng’s younger brother of the same mother to be placed atop the city walls, to entice and call to Líng. Líng looked to the city and wept and said: “I have already given myself to others, so how can I again look back to my family?” Therefore he with strength battled and overcame them, capturing alive [Jì] Yōng, but Líng’s family all died.
  • Wèishū states: Líng appellation Wénbó. When Tàizǔ pacified Jìzhōu, he sent Líng to lead new troops 5000 men and cavalry 1000 to defend Xǔ’s south. Tàizǔ warned him: “These Jìzhōu new troops have repeatedly required lenient treatment, have temporarily been organized, but their intentions tend toward discontentment. Your reputation is foremost that of strict authority, but be good at using principle to be lenient with them, otherwise there will be a change.” When Líng reached Yángdí, Internal Gentleman-General Chéng Áng and others indeed rebelled, and he beheaded Áng and reported the news. Tàizǔ hand wrote a letter: “Among troops what is the most dangerous is while outside facing the enemy state, inside there are treacherous plots and unexpected changes. In the past Dèng Yǔ divided Guāng-Wǔ’s army to go west, but there was the disaster of Zōng Xīn and Féng Yīn, and afterward he led only twenty-four riders back to Luòyáng, but was this enough to degrade him? Your arriving letter was earnest and sorrowful, and greatly claimed blame for mistakes, but you did not need to speak like that.” When Wén-dì [Cáo Pī] ascended, he gave fief to Líng as Marquis of Shū, and increased his households revenue. Imperial Order said: “You General assisted the commands of the Former Emperor, managed troops for successive years, authority surpassing Fāng[shū] and Shào[hǔ], achievements exceeding [Marquis of] Jiàng [Zhōu Bó] and Guàn Yīng. Preserving the greatness of your portrait, would that even be enough? We have received Heaven’s Mandate, becoming Emperor Within the Seas, and all Generals of founding achievements and Ministers of the State Altars all with Us share good fortune and together celebrate, and will be passed down in remembrance without end. Now you are given fief as Marquis of Shū. Gaining riches and honor but not returning to one’s home town is like in the night traveling in embroidered clothes. If you have always had a wish, may you not hesitate to speak.” Líng thanked and said: “Gāotáng is what I desire.” Therefore his fief was changed to Marquis of Gāotáng. He died, posthumous name Wēi-hóu “Authoritative Marquis.”

〔一〕 九州春秋曰:初,清河季雍以鄃叛袁紹而降公孫瓚,瓚遣兵衛之。紹遣靈攻之。靈家在城中,瓚將靈母弟置城上,誘呼靈。靈望城涕泣曰:「丈夫一出身與人,豈復顧家耶!」遂力戰拔之,生擒雍而靈家皆死。魏書曰:靈字文博。太祖既平冀州,遣靈將新兵五千人騎千匹守許南。太祖戒之曰:「冀州新兵,數承寬緩,暫見齊整,意尚怏怏。卿名先有威嚴,善以道寬之,不然即有變。」靈至陽翟,中郎將程昂等果反,即斬昂,以狀聞。太祖手書曰:「兵中所以為危險者,外對敵國,內有姦謀不測之變。昔鄧禹中分光武軍西行,而有宗歆、馮愔之難,後將二十四騎還洛陽,禹豈以是減損哉?來書懇惻,多引咎過,未必如所云也。」文帝即位,封靈鄃侯,增其戶邑。詔曰:「將軍佐命先帝,典兵歷年,威過方、邵,功踰絳、灌。圖籍所美,何以加焉?朕受天命,帝有海內,元功之將,社稷之臣,皆朕所與同福共慶,傳之無窮者也。今封隃侯。富貴不歸故鄉,如夜行衣繡。若平常所志,願勿難言。」靈謝曰:「高唐,宿所願。」於是更封高唐侯,薨,諡曰威侯。

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