(8.2) Táo Qiān 陶謙 [Gōngzǔ 恭祖]

Zhào Yù 趙昱 [Yuándá 元達]

Táo Qiān appellation Gōngzǔ was a Dānyáng man. (1)


  • (1) Wúshū states: Qiān’s father was a former Yúyáo Chief. Qiān when young was orphaned, and at first for his lack of restraint was heard of in his county. At fourteen years, he sewed together silk into a banner, rode a bamboo horse and played, and the village children all followed him. Former Administrator of Cāngwú Gān Gōng of the same county went out and encountered him on the road, saw his appearance, was impressed and called to him, stopped his chariot to converse, was deeply pleased, and therefore agreed to give a daughter in marriage. Gān Gōng’s wife heard of this, and angrily said: “I hear that Táo family’s boy plays around without restraint. How could you give a daughter to him?” Gān Gōng said: “He has special appearance, and when grown will certainly have great achievement.” Therefore he arranged the marriage.

〔一〕 吳書曰:謙父,故餘姚長。謙少孤,始以不羈聞於縣中。年十四,猶綴帛為幡,乘竹馬而戲,邑中兒童皆隨之。故蒼梧太守同縣甘公出遇之塗,見其容貌,異而呼之,住車與語,甚悅,因許妻以女。甘公夫人聞之,怒曰:「妾聞陶家兒敖戲無度,如何以女許之?」公曰:「彼有奇表,長必大成。」遂妻之。

From youth he was good at his studies, became a scholar, served in province and prefecture, was nominated as an Abundant Talent candidate, and sent out as Magistrate of Lú. (2)


  • (2) Wúshū states: Qiān by nature was rigid and upright, had great moral character, when young was examined as a Filial and Incorrupt candidate, appointed Secretariat Cadet, sent out as Magistrate of Shū. The prefecture Administrator Zhāng Pán was of same prefecture of a senior generation, and with Qiān’s father was friends, and thought he was very close with him, but Qiān was ashamed to be his subordinate. With his crowds he returned to the city, because of public affairs came forward to meet, and after the meeting, [Zhāng] Pán always privately went back to with Qiān drink and feast, but sometimes [Táo Qiān] would refuse and not stay. [Zhāng Pán] always encouraged Qiān to dance, but Qiān would not rise, and therefore he forced him. At the dance, he also would not spin. [Zhāng] Pán said: “Why do you not spin?” [Táo Qiān] said: “I cannot spin. To spin is to then surpass others.” Because of this he was not happy, and in the end, they became estranged. Qiān as an official was honest and pure, had no entangled dealings in nominations. In sacrifices for spirits and stars, there was surplus money, and [Zhāng Pán] wished to hide it. Qiān resigned his office and left.

〔二〕 吳書曰:謙性剛直,有大節,少察孝廉,拜尚書郎,除舒令。郡守張磐,同郡先輩,與謙父友,意殊親之,而謙恥為之屈。與眾還城,因以公事進見,坐罷,磐常私還入,與謙飲宴,或拒不為留。常以舞屬謙,謙不為起,固彊之;及舞,又不轉。磐曰:「不當轉邪?」曰:「不可轉,轉則勝人。」由是不樂,卒以搆隙。謙在官清白,無以糾舉,祠靈星,有贏錢五百,欲以臧之。謙委官而去。

He was promoted to Inspector of Yōu Province, summoned and appointed Consultant Cadet and Advisor to General of Chariots and Cavalry Zhāng Wēn’s military affairs, in the west suppressing Hán Suì. (3)


  • (3) Wúshū states: At the time the western Qiáng plundered the borders, Huángfǔ Sōng became General Campaigning West, and memorialized to invite him as a military General. Qiān was summoned and appointed Commandant Raising Martiality, and with [Huángfǔ] Sōng campaigned against the Qiāng, and greatly defeated them. Later Biān Zhāng and Hán Suì rebelled, Excellency of Works Zhāng Wēn accepted orders to campaign to suppress, and also invited Qiān as Military Advisor, who received and encountered deep favor, but Qiān thought little of his conduct in affairs, and in his heart did not accept him. When the army stopped and returned, the officials held a great gathering, [Zhāng] Wēn assigned Qiān to pass out wine, and Qiān with the army insulted [Zhāng] Wēn. [Zhāng] Wēn was furious, and Qiān to the frontier. Someone advised [Zhāng] Wēn: “Táo Gōngzǔ originally by his ability and planning met with heavy appreciation by you, but in one morning because of intoxication had a mistake, did not receive your tolerance and forgiveness, and was discarded far away to [barren lands]. Your generosity and virtue is not exhaustive, so how can the great men of the world follow and look to you? It is not as good as resolving resentment and discarding hatred, and be able to return to the original treatment, and so the distant will hear of your virtue and goodness.” [Zhāng] Wēn agreed with these words, and therefore recalled Qiān. Qiān arrived, and someone said to Qiān: “You disparaged and insulted [one of] the Three Excellencies, and the crime was of your own doing. Now you receive forgiveness, and his virtue cannot be more generous. You should abandon your ambitions and humbly resign to thank him.” Qiān said: “Alright.” [The someone] also said to [Zhāng] Wēn: “Táo Gōngzǔ now deeply himself acknowledges responsibility for his crime, and his thoughts are set on a change. Once his apology to Heaven’s Son is complete, he will certainly come to your gates. You should meet him, to reassure his intentions.” At the time [Zhāng] Wēn was at the Palace Gates to meet Qiān, Qiān looked up and said: “I myself came to apologize to the Court, how was it for you?” [Zhāng] Wēn said: “Gōngzǔ, has your illness not yet resolved?” Then he prepared wine for him, and treated him as before.

〔三〕 吳書曰:會西羌寇邊,皇甫嵩為征西將軍,表請武將。召拜謙揚武都尉,與嵩征羌,大破之。後邊章、韓遂為亂,司空張溫銜命征討;又請謙為參軍事,接遇甚厚,而謙輕其行事,心懷不服。及軍罷還,百寮高會,溫屬謙行酒,謙眾辱溫。溫怒,徙謙於邊。或說溫曰:「陶恭祖本以材略見重於公,一朝以醉飲過失,不蒙容貸,遠棄不毛,厚德不終,四方人士安所歸望!不如釋憾除恨,克復初分,於以遠聞德美。」溫然其言,乃追還謙。謙至,或又謂謙曰:「足下輕辱三公,罪自己作,今蒙釋宥,德莫厚矣;宜降志卑辭以謝之。」謙曰:「諾。」又謂溫曰:「陶恭祖今深自罪責,思在變革。謝天子禮畢,必詣公門。公宜見之,以慰其意。」時溫于宮門見謙,謙仰曰:「謙自謝朝廷,豈為公邪?」溫曰:「恭祖癡病尚未除邪?」遂為之置酒,待之如初。

It happened that Xú Province Yellow Headscarves rose up, so Qiān was appointed Inspector of Xú Province, attacked the Yellow Headscarves, and defeated and drove them away. In Dǒng Zhuō’s chaos, the provinces and prefectures raised troops, Heaven’s Son moved the capital to Cháng’ān, and all four sides were cut off. Qiān sent envoy that arrived and presented tribute, so he was promoted to General Securing East, Governor of Xú Province, with fief as Marquis of Lìyáng.


At that time, Xú Province’s common people prospered, grain and rice filled the reserves, and of the refugees many joined him, but Qiān turned his back on principle and recklessly did as he pleased. Administrator of Guǎnglíng, Zhào Yù of Lángyé, was the Xú [province] region’s famed scholar, and for his loyalty and uprightness met with estrangement. (4) Cáo Hóng and others were slanderous and evil petty men, and Qiān closely appointed them. Punishment and government became abused, of the good many came to harm, and because of this gradually there was chaos.


  • (4) Xiè Chéng’s Hòuhànshū states: When [Zhào] Yù was aged thirteen, his mother was once ill, for three months. Yù was miserable and sad, so that he could not close his eyes [to sleep], took millet out for divination, prayed to the point of sobbing blood [silently], and the village people praised his filial nature. Later he became a private scholar, and from Dōngguǎn’s Qí Guànjūn received study of the Gōngyáng Zhuàn, while also studying other industries. For several years he immersed himself in his work, did not peer into other fields, and his relatives rarely saw his face. At the time he would go see his father and mother, and then immediately go back [to studying]. He was incorruptible and upright, held himself to courtesy, was pure and dignified, and nothing could change his intentions, made manifest goodness to influence and cultivate, and prohibited evil to correct custom. The province and prefecture summoned him [for office], but he always plead illness and would not accept. The state’s Chancellor Tán Mó and Chén Zūn were summoned at the same time, and they did not accept. Some were in raging temper, but to the end he did not respond. He was nominated Filial and Incorrupt candidate and appointed Chief of Jǔ, made widely known the Five Teachings, and his government was a state model. When the Yellow Scarves rebelled, disrupting all prefectures, the prefectures and counties sent troops, he served at the front. Inspector of Xú Province Bā Qí was memorialized as having the first rank achievements, receiving promotion and rewards, and Yù was deeply shamed by this, resigning his office and returning home. Governor of Xú Province Táo Qiān first recruited him as Aide-de-Camp Advisor, but he declined citing illness and modestly refused. [Táo] Qiān again ordered Yáng Province Advisor, Wú Fàn of Kuàijī, to announce summons, but [Zhào] Yù held firm and would not accept, so [Táo Qiān] wished to overpower him with punishments, and therefore [Zhào Yù] accepted. He was nominated as Abundant Talent candidate and promoted to Administrator of Guǎnglíng. The bandit Zé Róng at Línhuái was defeated, and fled into the prefecture borders. Yù led troops to resist and battle, but was utterly defeated and killed.

〔四〕 謝承後漢書曰:昱年十三,母嘗病,經涉三月。昱慘戚消瘠,至目不交睫,握粟出卜,祈禱泣血,鄉黨稱其孝。就處士東莞綦毌君受公羊傳,兼該群業。至歷年潛志,不闚園圃,親疏希見其面。時入定省父母,須臾即還。高絜廉正,抱禮而立,清英儼恪,莫干其志;旌善以興化,殫邪以矯俗。州郡請召,常稱病不應。國相檀謨、陳遵共召,不起;或興盛怒,終不迴意。舉孝廉,除莒長,宣揚五教,政為國表。會黃巾作亂,陸梁五郡,郡縣發兵,以為先辦。徐州刺史巴祇表功第一,當受遷賞,昱深以為恥,委官還家。徐州牧陶謙初辟別駕從事,辭疾遜遁。謙重令揚州從事會稽吳範宣旨,昱守意不移;欲威以刑罰,然後乃起。舉茂才,遷廣陵太守。賊笮融從臨淮見討,迸入郡界,昱將兵拒戰,敗績見害。

Xiàpī’s Què Xuān declared himself Heaven’s Son. Qiān at first with him allied and followed in plundering, but later killed Què Xuān, and took over his armies.


Chūpíng fourth year [193], Tàizǔ [Cáo Cāo] campaigned against Qiān, attacking and capturing over ten cities, reaching Péngchéng in a great battle. Qiān’s troops were defeated and fled, the dead were several tens of thousands, and the Sì river because of this could not flow. Qiān retreated to defend Tán. Tàizǔ because his provisions were few led the army back. (1)


  • (1) Wúshū states: Excellency Cáo’s father at Tàishān was killed, and he placed the blame on Qiān, wished to attack Qiān but feared his strength, and therefore memorialized to order the provinces and prefectures to for a time dismiss troops. Imperial Order said: “Now Within the Seas is in disorder, the provinces and prefectures raise troops, campaigning soldiers are toiled and worn, the troubles of bandits are not yet stopped, but some officers and officials are harmful, taking opportunity to rob and seize, invading and hurting the common people, leaving behind crowds of victims. As soon as rumors are heard, it shakes cities and towns, behind walls they are afraid of brutal violence, the chaste and good transform into crowds of evil; how is this different from carrying firewood to put out fire, or fanning the flame to stop boiling? Now the four peoples drift and move, entrusting their bodies to other regions, carrying white heads [elders] into mountains and fields, abandoning young children in ravines, looking back at their former homelands and sadly sighing, facing road and shedding tears, hungry and distressed in destitution, already it is so extreme. Although there are those that regret past wrongs, thinking of presenting teachings to present day, however troops link and armies join, spears and arrows cover fields, and they fear if in one morning they are dissolved, in the evenings they will be bound prisoners, and therefre they block and garrison troops, wishing to stop but not daring to scatter. Written Imperial Order arrives, for each to dismiss and send away armored soldiers, to return to their parents and to farming and silk cultivation, only leaving regular officials to provide for government bureaus, to comfort the far and near, to have all hear and know.”
  • Qiān received the Order, and therefore sent up letter: “I your servant have heard in embracing the distant to yield and submit, if there is no virtue there is no gathering; in overcoming trouble and pacifying chaos, if there are no troops there is no relief. Therefore Zhuōlù’s, Bǎnquán’s, and Sānmiáo’s fields had the Five Emperor’s armies, and there were Hù, Guǐfāng, Shāng, Yǎn, four states, that had rulers’s campaigns, from the ancients in the past, there has never been no raising of authority to repress chaos, rousing warfare to stop the cruel. I your servant previously began by dealing with the Yellow Headscarves chaos, receiving order to drive on, and not leisurely reside. Although there is statute regulation ordering to stop, serving announcement of authoritative spirit, respectfully enacting Heavenly punishment, every campaign then is successful, however the monstrous bandits gather and accumulate, and very much do not fear death, when fathers and elder brothers are destroyed, then sons and younger brothers all rise, building camps and linking troops, reaching the present to become trouble. If one carries out order to remove armor, it will weaken the state and hollow it, releasing warfare preparations will serve chaos, decreasing official authority will benefit bandits, if today troops are dismissed, tomorrow disaster will certainly arrive, above shaming the roots of the Court’s favor and teaching, below allowing the numerous villains to daily and monthly grow and spread, and this is not the business of strong truck weak branches restraining evil and stopping chaos. Although I your servant am foolish and ignorant, my loyalty and mercy not shining, I cherish kindness and ponder repayment, and so cannot bear to enact it. So then I lead retainers, command garrison preparations, going out to cut down strong bandits, only strength in consideration, to enter and announce virtuous beneficence, personally devoting to duty and affairs, hoping to enact small achievement, to atone for this crime.”
  • He also said: “The central plains are in turmoil and disturbed, and to now it is not yet ended, bundled reeds [of tribute] do not enter [Court], taxes and tribute are greatly deficient, and awake or asleep we are sorrowful and sigh, and there is no day we dare be at peace. Sincerely I think that tribute must arrive, straw delicacy [sacrifices] must connect,  and only afterward can one fasten spear and remove armor; this is I your servant’s hope. I your servant previously prepared grain of one million hú, it is already on river transport, and so I order troops to guard and escort.”
  • Excellency Cáo obtained Qiān’s sent up matter, and knew he would not dismiss troops. Therefore he advanced and attacked Péngchéng, excessively killing the people. Qiān led troops to attack him, and Inspector of Qīng Province Tián Kǎi also led troops to reinforce Qiān. The Excellency led his troops back.
  • Your Servant Sōngzhī comments: At this time Heaven’s Son was at Cháng’ān, and Excellency Cáo did not yet manage the government. This Imperial Order dismissing troops could not have been sent out because of Cáo.

〔一〕 吳書曰:曹公父於泰山被殺,歸咎於謙。欲伐謙而畏其彊,乃表令州郡一時罷兵。詔曰:「今海內擾攘,州郡起兵,征夫勞瘁,寇難未弭,或將吏不良,因緣討捕,侵侮黎民,離害者眾;風聲流聞,震蕩城邑,丘牆懼于橫暴,貞良化為群惡,此何異乎抱薪救焚,扇火止沸哉!今四民流移,託身他方,攜白首於山野,棄稚子於溝壑,顧故鄉而哀歎,向阡陌而流涕,饑厄困苦,亦已甚矣。雖悔往者之迷謬,思奉教於今日,然兵連眾結,鋒鏑布野,恐一朝解散,夕見係虜,是以阻兵屯據,欲止而不敢散也。詔書到,其各罷遣甲士,還親農桑,惟留常員吏以供官署,慰示遠近,咸使聞知。」謙被詔,乃上書曰:「臣聞懷遠柔服,非德不集;克難平亂,非兵不濟。是以涿鹿、阪泉、三苗之野有五帝之師,有扈、鬼方、商、奄四國有王者之伐,自古在昔,未有不揚威以弭亂,震武以止暴者也。臣前初以黃巾亂治,受策長驅,匪遑啟處。雖憲章敕戒,奉宣威靈,敬行天誅,每伐輒克,然妖寇類眾,殊不畏死,父兄殲殪,子弟群起,治屯連兵,至今為患。若承命解甲,弱國自虛,釋武備以資亂,損官威以益寇,今日兵罷,明日難必至,上忝朝廷寵授之本,下令群凶日月滋蔓,非所以彊幹弱枝遏惡止亂之務也。臣雖愚蔽,忠恕不昭,抱恩念報,所不忍行。輒勒部曲,申令警備。出芟彊寇,惟力是視,入宣德澤,躬奉職事,冀效微勞,以贖罪負。」又曰:「華夏沸擾,于今未弭,包茅不入,職貢多闕,寤寐憂歎,無日敢寧。誠思貢獻必至,薦羞獲通,然後銷鋒解甲,臣之願也。臣前調穀百萬斛,已在水次,輒敕兵衛送。」曹公得謙上事,知不罷兵。乃進攻彭城,多殺人民。謙引兵擊之,青州刺史田楷亦以兵救謙。公引兵還。臣松之案:此時天子在長安,曹公尚未秉政。罷兵之詔,不得由曹氏出。

Xìngpíng first year [193], there was another eastern campaign, plundering and settling Lángyé’s and Dōnghǎi’s various counties. Qiān was terrified, and wished to flee back to Dānyáng. It happened that Zhāng Miǎo rebelled and invited Lǚ Bù, so Tàizǔ returned to strike [Lǚ] Bù. That year, Qiān of illness died. (2)


  • (2) Wúshū states: At the time of Qiān’s death he was sixty three years. Zhāng Zhāo and others made a mourning dirge for him: “Oh you sir, you Marquis and General, harboring and maintaining virtue, both martial and civil, form and bearing firm and upright, holding to warm benevolence. As Magistrate to Shū and Lú, leaving behind love to the people; as Governor to Yōu and Xú, equal to Gāntáng. The distant Yí and Mò, depended on you for purity, the restless monstrous bandits, if not for you there would be no peace. The Emperor ponders achievement, gave noble rank order with regulation, both Governor and moreover Marquis, to enlighten the lands of Lìyáng. Therefore you ascended to high General, receiving title of Securing East, commanding pacification of the world’s troubles, and the State Altars were esteemed. But provided years are not eternal, suddenly you died, mourning downfall and losing what one relied on, the people knew difficulty and destitution. In not even ten days, five prefectures fester and collapse, how sorrowful we are like this, whom can we look up to and rely on? Memorials do not reach, looking up to call to August Sky. Oh Alas!”
  • Qiān’s two sons Shāng and Yìng both were not appointed officials.

〔二〕 吳書曰:謙死時,年六十三,張昭等為之哀辭曰:「猗歟使君,君侯將軍,膺秉懿德,允武允文,體足剛直,守以溫仁。令舒及盧,遺愛于民;牧幽暨徐,甘棠是均。憬憬夷、貊,賴侯以清;蠢蠢妖寇,匪侯不寧。唯帝念績,爵命以章,既牧且侯,啟土溧陽。遂升上將,受號安東,將平世難,社稷是崇。降年不永,奄忽殂薨,喪覆失恃,民知困窮。曾不旬日,五郡潰崩,哀我人斯,將誰仰憑?追思靡及,仰叫皇穹。嗚呼哀哉!」謙二子:商、應,皆不仕。



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