(6.2) Yuán Shào 袁紹 [Běnchū 本初]

Yuán Tán 袁譚, Yuán Shàng 袁尚

Yuán Shào appellation Běnchū was a Rǔnán Rǔyáng man. His great-great-grandfather [Yuán] Ān was a Hàn Excellency over the Masses. From [Yuán] Ān down for four generations they occupied the Three Excellencies ranks, and from this their influence overflowed the realm Under Heaven. (1) Shào had beautiful appearance and authoritative look, was able to respectfully defer to elites, and many elites attached to him, and Tàizǔ when young was friendly with him. From a General-in-Chief Official he became Attendant Censor, (2) and soon was promoted to Central Army Colonel, reaching Director of Retainers.


  • (1) Huà Jiào’s Hànshū states: [Yuán] Ān appellation Shàogōng, was studious and had authoritative bearing. In Míng-dì‘s [Liú Zhuāng] time he became Chǔ prefecture Administrator, governing the King of Chǔ’s prison, those seeking justice were over four hundred families, and all were spared and saved, and [Yuán] Ān therefore became a famed minister. In Zhāng-dì‘s [Liú Dá] time he reached Excellency over the Masses. He begat Shǔ prefecture Administrator [Yuán] Jīng. [Yuán] Jīng’s younger brother [Yuán] Chǎng became Excellency of Works. [Yuán] Jīng’s son [Yuán] Tāng was an Excellency Commandant. [Yuán] Tāng had four sons: the eldest son [Yuán] Píng, and [Yuán] Píng’s younger brother [Yuán] Chéng, a Left Internal Cadet General, both died young; [Yuán] Chéng’s younger brother [Yuán] Féng, and [Yuán] Féng’s younger brother [Yuán] Wěi both were Excellencies.
  • Wèishū states: From [Yuán] Ān down, all had widespread love for everyone, without selection or differentiation; guests entered their gates, whether worthy or foolish all obtained what they wished, and so the realm Under Heaven turned to them. Shào was [Yuán] Féng’s [concubine-born] lesser son, [Yuán] Shù’s elder brother of a different mother, later sent out to be [Yuán] Chéng’s son.
  • Yīngxióngjì states: [Yuán] Chéng appellation Wénkāi was robust and had distinguishment, the noble Imperial In-laws and powerful from General-in-Chief Liáng Jì down all were friendly with him, and of his words none were not listened to. Therefore in the capital they made a saying: “If things are bad, ask Wénkāi.” [translator’s note: in the original this is a rhyming couplet]

〔一〕 華嶠漢書曰:安字邵公,好學有威重。明帝時為楚郡太守,治楚王獄,所申理者四百餘家,皆蒙全濟,安遂為名臣。章帝時至司徒,生蜀郡太守京。京弟敞為司空。京子湯,太尉。湯四子:長子平,平弟成,左中郎將,並早卒;成弟逢,逢弟隗,皆為公。魏書曰:自安以下,皆博愛容眾,無所揀擇;賓客入其門,無賢愚皆得所欲,為天下所歸。紹即逢之庶子,術異母兄也,出後成為子。英雄記曰:成字文開,壯健有部分,貴戚權豪自大將軍梁冀以下皆與結好,言無不從。故京師為作諺曰:「事不諧,問文開。」

  • (2) Yīngxióngjì states: Shào was born and his father died, and the two Excellencies [Yuán Féng and Yuán Wěi] favored him. When young he was employed as a Cadet, when capped sent out as Púyáng Chief, and had pure reputation. He encountered his mother’s funeral, his mourning was completed, and also in recollection of his father had mourning, altogether at the mound hut for six years. The ritual was completed, and he lived in seclusion in Luòyáng, did not rashly communicate with guest retainers, and if it was not someone well known within the Seas, he did not meet him. He also enjoyed traveling as an adventurer, and with Zhāng [Miǎo] Mèngzhuó, Hé [Yóng] Bóqiú, Wú [Xiū?] Zǐqīng, Xǔ [Yōu] Zǐyuǎn, Wǔ [Qióng] Déyú and others all were his active friends, not answering recruitment summons. Internal Regular Attendant Zhào Zhōng said to the various Yellow Gate [eunuchs]: “Yuán Běnchū sits in his reputation, not answering summons and caring for To-the-Death Troops, who knows what this boy wishes to do?” Shào’s father’s younger brother [Yuán] Wěi heard this, and repeatedly reproached Shào: “You will destroy our family!” Shào therefore rose and answered the General-in-Chief’s appointment.
  • Your Servant Sōngzhī comments: Wèishū says: “Shào was [Yuán] Féng’s [concubine-born] lesser son, sent out as descendant to his father’s elder brother [Yuán] Chéng.” If it is like this record [Yīngxióngjì] says, then it seems he truly was by [Yuán] Chéng begat. Recollection and mourning for parents still alive, the has no such writing, so all the more how could one be a descendant and yet act like this! The two books are unclear in which is correct.

〔二〕 英雄記曰:紹生而父死,二公愛之。幼使為郎,弱冠除濮陽長,有清名。遭母喪,服竟,又追行父服,凡在冢廬六年。禮畢,隱居洛陽,不妄通賓客,非海內知名,不得相見。又好游俠,與張孟卓、何伯求、吳子卿、許子遠、伍德瑜等皆為奔走之友。不應辟命。中常侍趙忠謂諸黃門曰:「袁本初坐作聲價,不應呼召而養死士,不知此兒欲何所為乎?」紹叔父隗聞之,責數紹曰:「汝且破我家!」紹於是乃起應大將軍之命。臣松之案:魏書云「紹,逢之庶子,出後伯父成」。如此記所言,則似實成所生。夫人追服所生,禮無其文,況於所後而可以行之!二書未詳孰是。

Líng-dì perished, and the Dowager-Empress’s elder brother General-in-Chief Hé Jìn with Shào plotted to execute the various eunuchs, (1) but the Dowager-Empress would not listen. Therefore they summoned Dǒng Zhuó, wishing to coerce the Dowager-Empress. The Regular Attendants and Yellow Gates heard this, and all went to visit [Hé] Jìn to apologize for their wrongs. At the time Shào urged [Hé] Jìn that they then could use this to kill them, and did so again and again, but [Hé] Jìn would not agree. He ordered Shào to send Luòyáng’s specialty planning and military officials to examine and manage the various eunuchs. He also ordered Shào’s younger brother Tiger Elite Internal Cadet General [Yuán] Shù to select warm and generous Tiger Elites of two hundred men, to then enter the Restricted Center, and replace the carrying weapons Yellow Gates in guarding the gates and doors. Internal Regular Attendant Duàn Guī and others feigned a Dowager-Empress’s Order, to summon [Hé] Jìn to enter and discuss, and therefore killed him, and inside the Palace was in chaos. (2) [Yuán] Shù commanded the Tiger Elites to burn the South Palace’s Jiādé Hall’s Qīngsuǒ Gate, wishing to by this force out [Duàn] Guī and the rest. [Duàn] Guī and the rest would not go out, and seized the Emperor and the Emperor’s younger brother the King of Chénliú to flee to Xiǎopíngjīn. Shào then beheaded the eunuch’s installed Colonel Director of Retainers Xǔ Xiāng, and then led troops to seize the various eunuchs, and without regard to youth or age killed them all. Some without beards were mistakenly killed, so that some themselves exposed their own bodies [to prove they were not eunuchs] in order to be spared. Of the eunuchs some had good conduct or kept to themselves and yet met with extermination. His excessiveness was like this. The dead were over two thousand men. He urgently pursued [Duàn] Guī and the rest, [Duàn] Guī and the rest jumped in the Hé and died. The Emperor was able to return to the Palace.


  • (1) Xúhànshū states: Shào sent his guest-retainer Zhāng Jīn to persuade [Hé] Jìn: “The Yellow Gates and Regular Attendants have held power for a long time, and also the Yǒnglè Dowager-Empress with the various Regular Attendants have dealt in wealth and profits, you General should rectify the realm Under Heaven, to for Within the Seas remove suffering.” [Hé] Jìn believed this was correct, and therefore with Shào joined and plotted.

〔一〕 續漢書曰:紹使客張津說進曰:「黃門、常侍秉權日久,又永樂太后與諸常侍專通財利,將軍宜整頓天下,為海內除患。」進以為然,遂與紹結謀。

  • (2) Jiǔzhōu Chūnqiū states: Previously Shào advised [Hé] Jìn: “The Yellow Gates and Regular Attendants for accumulated generations were too powerful, their authority had Within the Seas submit, formerly Dòu Wǔ wished to execute them but instead was by them harmed, only because the speech leaked out, and because they used the Five Regiments’ soldiers as troops and that is all. The Five Regiments’ soldiers grew up in the capital, and submit to and fear the Internal [Court] men, but the Dòu clan instead used them as their van, and therefore indeed they rebelled and fled to join the Yellow Gates, and so this was bringing upon themselves destruction. Now you General with the honor of the Foremost Maternal Uncle, the Two Offices [of the General-in-Chief Hé Jìn and of the General of Chariots and Cavalry Hé Miǎo] together command stalwart troops, your personal retainers and officers and officials, all are heroes and famed scholars, and happily give their utmost to-the-death strength. The matter is in your grasp, and this is Heaven supporting you at this time. Now for the realm Under Heaven wiping out the corrupt and filthy, your achievements and merits will be outstanding, passing down name to later generations, so even Zhōu’s Shénbó, would he be enough to be praised? Now the Greatly Departed [Líng-dì‘s body] is in the Front Hall, you General by written Imperial Order command troops as guard, but you cannot enter the Palace.” [Hé] Jìn accepted his words, but later had doubts. Shào feared [Hé] Jìn had changed, and coerced [Hé] Jìn: “Now the meeting of situations is already complete, the circumstances are already revealed, why General do you not early decide it? If the matter is detained then changes will occur, and later opportunity for disaster will arrive.” [Hé] Jìn would not listen, and therefore was defeated.

〔二〕 九州春秋曰:初紹說進曰:「黃門、常侍累世太盛,威服海內,前竇武欲誅之而反為所害,但坐言語漏泄,以五營士為兵故耳。五營士生長京師,服畏中人,而竇氏反用其鋒,遂果叛走歸黃門,是以自取破滅。今將軍以元舅之尊,二府並領勁兵,其部曲將吏,皆英雄名士,樂盡死力,事在掌握,天贊其時也。今為天下誅除貪穢,功勳顯著,垂名後世,雖周之申伯,何足道哉?今大行在前殿,將軍以詔書領兵衛守,可勿入宮。」進納其言,後更狐疑。紹懼進之改變,脅進曰:「今交搆已成,形勢已露,將軍何為不早決之?事留變生,後機禍至。」進不從,遂敗。

Dǒng Zhuó called Shào, and discussed wishing to depose the Emperor, and enthrone the King of Chénliú. At the time Shào’s father’s younger brother [Yuán] Wěi was Grand Tutor, and Shào falsely agreed to it, saying: “This is a Great Affair, and I will go out to with the Grand Tutor discuss it.” [Dǒng] Zhuó said: “The Liú clan’s seed is not sufficient to again be passed down.” Shào did not answer, drawing saber to raise salute and leaving. (1) When Shào went out, he then fled to Jì Province.


Attendant Internal Zhōu Bì, City Gate Colonel Wǔ Qióng, Consultant Cadet Hé Yóng and others all were famed scholars, [Dǒng] Zhúo trusted them, but they secretly supported Shào, and thus advised [Dǒng] Zhuó: “This deposing and enthroning Great Affair, is not what an ordinary man can do. Shào does not understand the big picture, and out of fear therefore fled, not having any other ambition. Now if you pursue him urgently, then there will certainly be changes. The Yuán clan cultivated grace for four generations, their gates for generations had former officials spread across the realm Under Heaven, and if they collect towering figures to gather followers and armies, heroes because of this will rise, and the east of the mountains will not be your Excellency’s. It is not as good as pardoning him, and appointing him a prefecture Administrator, then Shào will be pleased to escape punishment, and will certainly not be a worry.” Zhuó believed this was correct, and therefore appointed Shào as Bóhǎi Administrator, with fief as Kàng village Marquis.


  • (1) Xiàn-dì Chūnqiū states: [Dǒng] Zhúo wished to depose the Emperor, and said to Shào: “The Emperor is infantile and muddled, not the Ruler of Ten Thousand Chariots. The King of Chénliú is yet superior, and now I wish to enthrone him. Men when young may be wise, but when grown some are foolish, and also knowing how it again will be, it can only be like this; did you not see Líng-dì? Remembering this makes one indignant!” Shào said: “The Hàn family has ruled the realm Under Heaven for four hundred some years, its grace and favor deeply penetrates, and the countless people have supported it for a long time. Now the Emperor though is young and infantile, yet he has not yet announced evil reputation through the realm Under Heaven. Your Excellency wishes to depose the proper [born of the wife] and enthrone the lesser [born of a concubine], and one fears the masses will not agree with your Excellency’s discussion.” [Dǒng] Zhúo said: “Brat! How can the realm Under Heaven’s affairs not be decided by me? I now will do it, who dares not follow? Do you say that I Dǒng Zhuó’s saber is not sharp?” Shào said: “The realm Under Heaven’s powerful, is there only your Excellency Dǒng?” He drew his belt’s saber to salute and went out.
  • Your Servant Sōngzhī believes: Shào at the time with [Dǒng] Zhuó were not yet in hostility, and therefore [Dǒng] Zhuó with him consulted and plotted. If only their words and discussion were not the same, yet he then abused him as brat, and had the heart to use blade, and Shào also answered, extremely opposing, would [Dǒng] Zhuó also be able to tolerate it and not add harm? Moreover if Shào had these words, advancing not showing uprightness, withdrawing opposing crafty yielding, and making known his intention to contend openly, to oppose roaring point, one with ambition to achieve enterprise, by reason how can it be thus? This story is of extreme absurdity.

〔一〕 獻帝春秋曰:卓欲廢帝,謂紹曰:「皇帝沖闇,非萬乘之主。陳留王猶勝,今欲立之。人有少智,大或癡,亦知復何如,為當且爾;卿不見靈帝乎?念此令人憤毒!」紹曰;「漢家君天下四百許年,恩澤深渥,兆民戴之來久。今帝雖幼沖,未有不善宣聞天下,公欲廢適立庶,恐眾不從公議也。」卓謂紹曰:「豎子!天下事豈不決我?我今為之,誰敢不從?爾謂董卓刀為不利乎!」紹曰:「天下健者,豈唯董公?」引佩刀橫揖而出。臣松之以為紹於時與卓未搆嫌隙,故卓與之諮謀。若但以言議不同,便罵為豎子,而有推刃之心,及紹復答,屈疆為甚,卓又安能容忍而不加害乎?且如紹此言,進非亮正,退違詭遜,而顯其競爽之旨,以觸哮闞之鋒,有志功業者,理豈然哉!此語,妄之甚矣。

Shào therefore at Bóhǎi raised troops, intending to use them to punish [Dǒng] Zhúo. The story is in Wǔ-jì [SGZ 1]. Shào declared himself Chariots and Cavalry General, Leader of the Alliance, and with Jì Province Governor Hán Fù enthroned Yōu Province Governor Liú Yú as Emperor, sending envoy to present seal and visit [Liú] Yú, but [Liú] Yú did not dare accept. Later [Hán] Fù’s army was at Ānpíng, and was by Gōngsūn Zàn defeated. [Gōngsūn] Zàn therefore led troops to enter Jì Province, using suppressing [Dǒng] Zhuó as his excuse, but inside wishing to attack [Hán] Fù. [Hán] Fù inside could not be at ease. (1)


  • (1) Yīngxióng Jì states: Páng Jì persuaded Shào: “You General began a Great Affair but rely on another to give supplies. If you do not occupy a province, you will have nothing to secure yourself.” Shào answered: “Jì Province’s troops are strong, my soldiers are hungry and tired. If it cannot be settled, there will be nothing to stand on.” [Páng] Jì said: “You can with Gōngsūn Zàn exchange news, to have him come south, and strike and seize Jì Province. Gōngsūn will certainly arrive and [Hán] Fù will be afraid, and therefore send envoy to persuade on advantages and losses, and for him explain disaster and fortune, and [Hán] Fù will certainly yield to you. At this time, you can occupy his position.” Shào followed his words and [Gōngsūn] Zàn indeed came.

〔一〕 英雄記曰:逢紀說紹曰:「將軍舉大事而仰人資給,不據一州,無以自全。」紹答云:「冀州兵彊,吾士飢乏,設不能辦,無所容立。」紀曰:「可與公孫瓚相聞,導使來南,擊取冀州。公孫必至而馥懼矣,因使說利害,為陳禍福,馥必遜讓。於此之際,可據其位。」紹從其言而瓚果來。

It happened that [Dǒng] Zhuó went west and entered the Passes, Shào returned his army to Yánjīn, and because [Hán] Fù was frightened, sent Chénliú’s Gāo Gān, Yǐngchuān’s Xún Chén and others to persaude [Hán] Fù: “Gōngsūn Zàn following up on victory comes southward, and the various prefectures answer him, Chariots and Cavalry [General] Yuán [Shào] leads his army eastward, and his intentions in this cannot be known, and we humbly are for you General worried about this.”


[Hán] Fù said: “What can be done?”


[Xún] Chén said: “Gōngsūn [Zàn] leads Yān’s and Dài’s soldiers, and his vanguard cannot be resisted. Yuán is a hero of the time, and certainly will not be your subordinate. Jì Province is the realm Under Heaven’s important resource. If the two powers combine strength, their troops joining below the city walls, the danger will be immediately arrive. This Yuán is your old friend General, and also of the same alliance, and now planning for you General, nothing is as good as taking Jì Province and yielding it to Yuán. If Yuán obtains Jì Province, then [Gōngsūn] Zàn will not be able to with him contest it, and he will certainly generously and virtuously treat you General. Giving Jì Province to a close friend, is to give you General reputation for yielding to the worthy, and you will be as secure as Tài mountain. May you General have no doubts!”


[Hán] Fù by nature was apprehensive and timid, and therefore approved this plan. [Hán] Fù’s Chief Clerk Gěng Wǔ, Aide-de-Camp Mǐn Chún, and Internal Manager Lǐ Lì remonstrated [Hán] Fù: “Although Jì Province is rustic, it bears armor of millions, and grain to last for ten years. Yuán Shào is alone with destitute army, looks up to our breath, like an infant atop one’s hands, if cutting off its suckling milk, it can be starved to death. How can you then wish to give the province to him?”


[Hán] Fù: “I am Yuán’s former official, and moreover my talent does not match [Yuán] Běnchū. Judging virtue and yielding is what the ancients esteemed, why do you sirs alone complain?”


Attending Officials Zhào Fú and Chéng Huàn asked to with troops resist them, but [Hán] Fù again did not listen. Therefore he yielded to Shào, (2) and Shào therefore took office as Jì Province Governor.


  • (2) Jiǔzhōu Chūnqiū states: [Hán] Fù sent his Commander Attending Official Zhào Fú and Chéng Huàn to command strong crossbowmen of ten thousand to garrison Héyáng. [Zhào] Fú and the rest heard [Hán] Fù wished to give Jì Province to Shào, and from Mèngjīn hurried east downstream. At the time Shào was still at Cháogē Qīngshuǐkǒu, [Zhào] Fù and the rest from behind came, their boats of several hundred, army of over ten thousand men, and orderly the troops drummed and in the night passed Shào’s camp. Shào deeply hated this. [Zhào] Fú and the rest arrived, and said to [Hán] Fù: “Yuán Běnchū’s army has no dǒu of provisions, each and everyone is scattered, and though he has Zhāng Yáng and Yūfúluó newly joined, they cannot yet be employed, and are not sufficient to oppose us. We lesser attending officials and others request that we meet troops to resist them, and within ten days, they will certainly collapse apart; you wise Governor only need to open side door and pillow high; what is there to worry or fear?” [Hán] Fù did not listen, and therefore gave up his position, and went out to reside in Zhào Zhōng’s former residence. He sent his son [Hán] Jī with Jì Province’s Seal and Ribbon to Líyáng to give to Shào.

〔二〕 九州春秋曰:馥遣都督從事趙浮、程奐將彊弩萬張屯河陽。浮等聞馥欲以冀州與紹,自孟津馳東下。時紹尚在朝歌清水口,浮等從後來,船數百艘,眾萬餘人,整兵鼓夜過紹營,紹甚惡之。浮等到,謂馥曰:「袁本初軍無斗糧,各己離散,雖有張楊、於扶羅新附,未肯為用,不足敵也。小從事等請自以見兵拒之,旬日之間,必土崩瓦解;明將軍但當開閤高枕,何憂何懼!」馥不從,乃避位,出居趙忠故舍。遣子齎冀州印綬於黎陽與紹。

Attending Official Jǔ Shòu advised Shào: “You General when capped ascended to Court,then you spread your name Within the Seas; right at the time of the deposing and enthroning, then your loyalty and righteousness was roused; alone you rode our in exile, then Dǒng Zhuó harbored fear; crossing the Hé and going north, then Bóhǎi bowed head. You shook the whole prefecture’s soldiers, gathered Jì Province’s army, your authority shakes the Hé’s north, your name heavy Under Heaven. Though the Yellow Headscarves are crafty and chaotic, the Black Mountains domineering, if you raise the army and eastward go, then Qīng Province can be settled; return to suppress the Black Mountains, then Zhāng Yān can be exterminated; return the army to north head, then Gōngsūn [Zàn] will certainly be a corpse; shake and coerce the Róng and Dí, then the Xiōngnú will certainly obey. Stretch across the Great Hé’s north, unite Four Province’s lands, collect heroes’ talents, embrace a million army, welcome the Imperial Chariot from the western capital, restore the Ancestral Temples at Luò city, announce order Under Heaven, to suppress the not yet submitted, and by this contend and strive, who is able to oppose you? Within a few years, this achievement will not be difficult.”


Shào was pleased and said: “This is my intention.” Then he memorialized [Jǔ] Shòu as Supervisor of the Army and Exerting Authority General. (1)


  • (1) Xiàn-dì Jì states: Jǔ Shòu was a Guǎngpíng man, when young had great ambitions, and much authority and planning. He served the province as Aide-de-Camp, was nominated as Abundant Talent candidate, successively served as Magistrate of two counties, and also was Hán Fù’s Aide-de-Camp, memorialized as Cavalry Commandant. Yuán Shào obtained Jì Province, and also recruited him.
  • Yīngxióngjì states: At the time the Year Name was Chūpíng, Shào appellation Běnchū, himself believed that as the year with his appellation were joined, he would certainly be able to overcome and pacify the calamity and chaos.

〔一〕 獻帝紀曰:沮授,廣平人,少有大志,多權略。仕州別駕,舉茂才,歷二縣令,又為韓馥別駕,表拜騎都尉。袁紹得冀州,又辟焉。英雄記曰:是時年號初平,紹字本初,自以為年與字合,必能克平禍亂。

[Dǒng] Zhuó sent Metal Mace Bearer Húmǔ Bān and General Craftsmen Wú Xiū to present written Imperial Order to call on Shào, and Shào sent Hénèi Administrator Wáng Kuāng to kill them. (2) [Dǒng] Zhuó heard Shào had obtained the Passes’s east, and therefore in all cases executed Shào’s clansmen Grand Tutor [Yuán] Wěi and others. At that time, of the brave and adventurous many attached to Shào, all pondering how to for him take revenge, the provinces and prefectures swarmed and rose, and none did not claim authority in his name. [Hán] Fù harbored fear, from Shào asked to leave, and went to depend on Zhāng Miǎo. (3) Later Shào sent envoy to visit [Zhāng] Miǎo, had some deliberation, and in [Zhāng] Miǎo’s ear whispered. [Hán] Fù was seated in attendance, believed he was being plotted against, and soon rose to the privy and killed himself. (4)


  • (2) Hànmò Míngshì Lù states: [Húmǔ] Bān appellation Jìpí was a Tàishān man, when young with Shānyáng’s Dù Shàng, Dōngpíng’s Zhāng Miǎo and others of eight men all thought little of wealth and attended to righteousness, rousing and relieving public figures, and the world called them the Eight Cupboards.
  • Xiè Chéng’s Hòuhànshū states: [Húmǔ] Bān was Wáng Kuāng’s younger sister’s husband, Dǒng Zhuó sent [Húmǔ] Bān to present Imperial Order to Hénèi, to dismiss the Righteous Troops. [Wáng] Kuāng received Yuán Shào’s order, to arrest [Húmǔ] Bān and bind him in prison, wishing to kill him to show the army. [Húmǔ] Bān with [Wáng] Kuāng wrote letter: “Since ancient times onward, there has never been subordinate lands’ various lords raising troops to head toward the capital. Liú Xiàng Zhuàn states: “Thrown rats fear weapons.” Weapons yet are fearful, and moreover [Dǒng] Zhuó now occupies within the Palace doors, and for Heaven’s Son serves as screen, a young ruler in the Palace, how can he be attacked? I with Grand Tutor Excellency Mǎ [Mìdī], Minister Charioteer Zhào Qí, Minister Treasurer Yīn Xiū together received Imperial Order. The Passes’s east’s various prefectures, though they truly envy [Dǒng] Zhuó, yet because he carries the Ruler’s Order, they do not dare dishonor. But you alone bind me in prison, wishing to sacrifice my blood for rousing, this is the extreme of perverse cruelty without principle. I with Dǒng Zhuó have what relation, and by righteousness how can I be of the same evil? But you open tiger’s and wolf’s mouth, spitting long snake’s venom, raging at [Dǒng] Zhuó but shifting anger [toward me], such extreme ruthlessness! Death is every man’s difficulty, but it is disgraceful to be by a madman harmed. If the dead have spirit, then I will complain of you to the August Heaven. Marriage relation is to join in disaster and fortune, and today it is made known. In the past [we] were one body, now we are blood enemies. I this dead man have sons of two men, and then they are your sister’s sons; after I am no more, be careful to not have them overlook my corpse.” [Wáng] Kuāng obtained the letter, and embraced [Húmǔ] Bān’s two sons and sobbed. [Húmǔ] Bān then died in prison. [Húmǔ] Bān once met Tàishān’s governorship and Hé Spirit; the matter is in Sōushénjì, the words many and not recorded [here].

〔二〕 漢末名士錄曰:班字季皮,太山人,少與山陽度尚、東平張邈等八人並輕財赴義,振濟人士,世謂之八廚。謝承後漢書曰:班,王匡之妹夫,董卓使班奉詔到河內,解釋義兵。匡受袁紹旨。收班繫獄,欲殺之以徇軍。班與匡書云:「自古以來,未有下土諸侯舉兵向京師者。劉向傳曰『擲鼠忌器』,器猶忌之,況卓今處宮闕之內,以天子為藩屏,幼主在宮,如何可討?僕與太傅馬公、太僕趙岐、少府陰脩俱受詔命。關東諸郡,雖實嫉卓,猶以銜奉王命,不敢玷辱。而足下獨囚僕于獄,欲以釁鼓,此悖暴無道之甚者也。僕與董卓有何親戚,義豈同惡?而足下張虎狼之口,吐長蛇之毒,恚卓遷怒,何甚酷哉!死,人之所難,然恥為狂夫所害。若亡者有靈,當訴足下於皇天。夫婚姻者禍福之機,今日著矣。曩為一體,今為血讎。亡人子二人,則君之甥,身沒之後,慎勿令臨僕尸骸也。」匡得書,抱班二子而泣。班遂死於獄。班嘗見太山府君及河伯,事在搜神記,語多不載。

  • (3) Yīngxióngjì states: Shào appointed Hénèi’s Zhū Hàn as Commander Office Attending Official. [Zhū] Hàn in previous times was by [Hán] Fù not respected, inside harbored resentment, and moreover wished to seek to welcome Shào’s intentions, and without authority sent city wall troops to encircle and watch [Hán] Fù’s mansion, drawing blade and ascending the house. [Hán] Fù fled up the tower, but he obtained [Hán] Fù’s elder son, and beat and broke his two legs. Shào also at once arrested [Zhū] Hàn, and killed him. [Hán] Fù yet was anxious and afraid, and therefore reported to Shào asking to leave.

〔三〕 英雄記曰:紹以河內朱漢為都官從事。漢先時為馥所不禮,內懷怨恨,且欲邀迎紹意,擅發城郭兵圍守馥第,拔刃登屋。馥走上樓,收得馥大兒,槌折兩腳。紹亦立收漢,殺之。馥猶憂怖,故報紹索去。

  • (4) Yīngxióngjì states: Gōngsūn Zàn struck the Qīng Province Yellow Headscarves bandits, greatly defeated them, returned to garrison Guǎngzōng, and changed all the Administrators and Magistrates, and of Jì Province’s chief officials none did not observe the situation and answer him, opening gates to receive them. Shào personally went to campaign against [Gōngsūn] Zàn, meeting in battle at Jièqiáo’s south by twenty lǐ [~8.3 km]. [Gōngsūn] Zàn’s infantry of over 30,000 men were lined up, cavalry formed the two wings, left and right each of over 5,000, and White Horse Righteous Followers as the center strength, also divided into two regiments, the left shooting right, the right shooting left, and banners and armor shining Heaven and Earth.
  • Shào ordered Qū Yì with 800 troops to be the front ascent, strong crossbows of 1,000 on each side to support them, and Shào personally with infantry of several tens of thousands joined the battle lines at the rear. [Qū] Yì for a long time was in Liáng Province, experienced and practiced in Qiāng warfare, and his troops were all strong and elite.
  • [Gōngsūn] Zàn saw their troops were few, and then sent cavalry wishing to overcome and trample them. [Qū] Yì’s troops all laid below shields and did not move, [the cavalry] were not yet arrived by several tens of bù, and then they at the same time all rose, shaking up dust and greatly shouting, and directly advancing in charge, the strong crossbows like thunder shot, and the hit certainly fell, and on the battlefield they beheaded [Gōngsūn] Zàn’s appointed Jì Province Inspector Yán Gāng’s armored troops’ heads of over a thousand. [Gōngsūn] Zàn’s army was defeated utterly, infantry and cavalry fled, and did not return to camp. [Qū] Yì pursued to Jièqiáo; [Gōngsūn] Zàn’s hall troops returned to battle above the bridge, and [Qū] Yì again defeated them, and therefore reached [Gōngsūn] Zàn’s camp, capturing his Ivory Gate [standard], and inside the camp the remaining army all again scattered and fled.
  • Shào was at the rear, had not yet arrived from the bridge by ten and some lǐ, dismounted horse and released saddle, saw [Gōngsūn] Zàn was already defeated, and did not make preparations, only taking banner men of strong crossbows of several tens and large halberd soldiers of over a hundred to accompany him. [Gōngsūn] Zàn’s division of cavalry of over 2,000 suddenly arrived, and then encircled [Shào] in several layers, arrows like rain falling. Aide-de-Camp Attending Official Tián Fēng supported Shào wishing to retreat to hide within empty walls, but Shào threw his helmet on the ground and said: “A man should ahead fight to the death, but to hide between walls, how can he live?” The strong crossbows then wildly fired, and many were by them killed and wounded. [Gōngsūn] Zàn’s cavalry did not know it was Shào, and also gradually withdrew and left; it happened that Qū Yì came to welcome, so then they scattered and left.
  • [Gōngsūn] Zàn whenever with caitiffs battled, always rode a white horse, when pursuing he did not miss, repeatedly captured weapons and victory, and the caitiffs told each other: “You must avoid the White Horse.” Therefore they were by caitiffs feared, and [Gōngsūn Zàn] chose out white horses of several thousand, selected riding and shooting soldiers, and called them the White Horse Righteous Followers. Others say: Of the Hú and Yí the strong always rode white horses, [Gōngsūn] Zàn had strong riders of several thousand, most rode white horses, and therefore they were called that.
  • When Shào defeated [Gōngsūn] Zàn, he led the army south to Bóluòjīn, was about to with his guest retainers and various officers together meet [to celebrate], but heard Wèi prefecture’s troops had rebelled, and with the Black Mountain bandit Yú Dú together overturned Yè city, and then killed the Administrator Lì Chéng. The bandits had over ten divisions, armies of several tens of thousand men, gathered inside Yè. Of the guests seated in attendance those with families in Yè, all were anxious and afraid and lost color, some rising to cry and sob, but Shào’s appearance did not change, and he was at ease. The bandit Táo Shēng, was a former Nèihuáng lesser official, had good heart, and alone commanded his division army to go over the west city wall to enter, closing and defending the Provincial [capita] gates, not letting in other bandits, and with carriages carried Shào’s family and the various clothed and capped [scholars] inside the province, personally guarding them, and sending them to Chìqiū and returning. Shào arrived, and therefore garrisoned Chìqiū, and appointed Táo Shēng as Establishing Righteousness Internal Cadet General. Therefore he led the army to enter Zhāogē’s Lùcháng’s mountain and Cāngyán valley to suppress Yú Dú, besieging and attacking for five days, defeated them, beheading [Yú] Dú and Cháng’ān’s appointed Jì Province Governor Hú Shòu. Therefore he followed the mountains to go north, approaching and striking the various bandits Zuǒ Zīzhàngbā and others, beheading them all. He also struck Liú Shí, Qīng Niújiǎo, Huánglóng, Zuǒ Jiào, Guō Dàxiàn, Lǐ Dàmù, Yú Dīgēn and others, massacring all their camps and ramparts, only those that fled surviving, beheading several tens of thousands. Shào again returned to garrison Yè.
  • Chūpíng Fourth Year [194], Heaven’s Son sent Grand Tutor Mǎ Mìdī and Minister Charioteer Zhào Qí to make peace with the Passes’s east. [Zhào] Qí separately visited the Hé’s north, and Shào went out to welcome him at Bǎilǐshàng, bowing and accepting the Emperor’s orders. [Zhào] Qí lived in in Shào’s camp, and sent letter to inform [Gōngsūn] Zàn. [Gōngsūn] Zàn sent envoy together with letter to Shào that said: “Minister Charioteer Zhào [Qí] has Zhōu’s and Shào’s virtue, carrying order and coming, announcing the Court’s grace, showing it for peaceful relations, and it is like opening the clouds to see the sun, what is as happy as this? In the past Jiǎ Fù and Kòu Xún also fought with soldiers, wishing to harm each other, but encountered Guāng-Wǔ [Liú Xiù]’s generosity, and close and together at the Imperial steps meeting [the Emperor], in the same carriage together going out, and at the time people believed it honorable. Examining oneself at the borders, being able to with you General together share this benefit, this truly is you General’s consideration, and I Zàn’s good fortune.”
  • Qū Yì later relied on his achievements and became arrogant and unrestrained, and Shào therefore killed him.

〔四〕 英雄記曰:公孫瓚擊青州黃巾賊,大破之,還屯廣宗,改易守令,冀州長吏無不望風響應,開門受之。紹自往征瓚,合戰于界橋南二十里。瓚步兵三萬餘人為方陳,騎為兩翼,左右各五千餘匹,白馬義從為中堅,亦分作兩校,左射右,右射左,旌旗鎧甲,光照天地。紹令麴義以八百兵為先登,彊弩千張夾承之,紹自以步兵數萬結陳于後。義久在涼州,曉習羌鬥,兵皆驍銳。瓚見其兵少,便放騎欲陵蹈之。義兵皆伏楯下不動,未至數十步,乃同時俱起,揚塵大叫,直前衝突,彊弩雷發,所中必倒,臨陳斬瓚所署冀州刺史嚴綱甲首千餘級。瓚軍敗績,步騎奔走,不復還營。義追至界橋;瓚殿兵還戰橋上,義復破之,遂到瓚營,拔其牙門,營中餘眾皆復散走。紹在後,未到橋十數里,下馬發鞍,見瓚已破,不為設備,惟帳下彊弩數十張,大戟士百餘人自隨。瓚部迸騎二千餘匹卒至,便圍紹數重,弓矢雨下。別駕從事田豐扶紹欲卻入空垣,紹以兜鍪撲地曰:「大丈夫當前鬥死,而入牆閒,豈可得活乎?」彊弩乃亂發,多所殺傷。瓚騎不知是紹,亦稍引卻;會麴義來迎,乃散去。瓚每與虜戰,常乘白馬,追不虛發,數獲戎捷,虜相告云「當避白馬」。因虜所忌,簡其白馬數千匹,選騎射之士,號為白馬義從;一曰胡夷健者常乘白馬,瓚有健騎數千,多乘白馬,故以號焉,紹既破瓚,引軍南到薄落津,方與賓客諸將共會,聞魏郡兵反,與黑山賊于毒共覆鄴城,遂殺太守栗成。賊十餘部,眾數萬人,聚會鄴中。坐上諸客有家在鄴者,皆憂怖失色,或起啼泣,紹容貌不變,自若也。賊陶升者,故內黃小吏也,有善心,獨將部眾踰西城入,閉守州門,不內他賊,以車載紹家及諸衣冠在州內者,身自扞衛,送到斥丘乃還。紹到,遂屯斥丘,以陶升為建義中郎將。乃引軍入朝歌鹿場山蒼巖谷討于毒,圍攻五日,破之,斬毒及長安所署冀州牧壺壽。遂尋山北行,薄擊諸賊(左髮丈八)〔左髭丈八〕等,皆斬之。又擊劉石、青牛角、黃龍、左校、郭大賢、李大目、于氐根等,皆屠其屯壁,奔走得脫,斬首數萬級。紹復還屯鄴。初平四年,天子使太傅馬日磾、太僕趙岐和解關東。岐別詣河北,紹出迎於百里上,拜奉帝命。岐住紹營,移書告瓚。瓚遣使具與紹書曰:「趙太僕以周召之德,銜命來征,宣揚朝恩,示以和睦,曠若開雲見日,何喜如之?昔賈復、寇恂亦爭士卒,欲相危害,遇光武之寬,親俱陛見,同輿共出,時人以為榮。自省邊鄙,得與將軍共同此福,此誠將軍之眷,而瓚之幸也。」麴義後恃功而驕恣,紹乃殺之。

Previously, Heaven’s Son’s enthronement was not Shào’s intention, and when at Hédōng, Shào sent Yǐngchuān’s Guō Tú as envoy. [Guō] Tú returned and advised Shào to welcome Heaven’s Son to set capital at Yè, but Shào did not listen. (1) It happened that Tàizǔ [Cáo Cāo] welcomed Heaven’s Son to set capital at Xǔ, collected the Hé’s south’s lands, and Guānzhōng all attached to him. Shào was regretful, and wished to order Tàizǔ to move Heaven’s Son’s capital to Juànchéng to be closer to him, but Tàizǔ resisted this. Heaven’s Son appointed Shào as Excellency Commandant, transferred to General-in-Chief, with fief as Yè Marquis. (2) Shào declined the Marquisate and would not accept.


  • (1) Xiàn-dì Zhuàn states: Jǔ Shòu advised Shào: “You General successively served rulers, for generations relieving loyalty and righteousness. Now the Court is scattered, the Ancestral Temples damaged and broken, observing the various provinces and prefectures outside claim righteous troops, but inside plot to destroy each other, with none yet caring for the ruler and sympathizing with the people. Moreover now the province and cities are roughly settled, and it is appropriate to welcome the Imperial Chariot, and secure Palace in Yè as capital, hold Heaven’s Son to command the various lords, raise soldiers and horses to suppress those that do not submit; who could resist this?” Shào was pleased, and was about to follow this.
  • Guō Tú and Chūnyú Qióng said: “The Hàn House has declined, and has for a long time. Now wishing to raise it, is it not also difficult! Moreover now heroes occupy and hold provinces and prefectures, armies move in the tens of thousands, this is what is called Qín losing its deer, the first to obtain it is King. If you invite Heaven’s Son to be near you, every move must be memorialized and reported, if following him then your power is little, if disobeying him then you oppose command, this is not the best plan.”
  • [Jǔ] Shòu said: “Now welcoming the Court, is utmost righteousness, and also is the timely great plan. If you do not early plan, certainly there will be someone else first. Power is to not lose opportunity, achievement is in quickness, you General must consider this!” Shào was not able to employ this.
  • According to this document it says it was Jǔ Shòu’s plan, then it with the base biography are contrary.

〔一〕 獻帝傳曰:沮授說紹云:「將軍累葉輔弼,世濟忠義。今朝廷播越,宗廟毀壞,觀諸州郡外託義兵,內圖相滅,未有存主恤民者。且今州城粗定,宜迎大駕,安宮鄴都,挾天子而令諸侯,畜士馬以討不庭,誰能禦之!」紹悅,將從之。郭圖、淳于瓊曰:「漢室陵遲,為日久矣,今欲興之,不亦難乎!且今英雄據有州郡,眾動萬計,所謂秦失其鹿,先得者王。若迎天子以自近,動輒表聞,從之則權輕,違之則拒命,非計之善者也。」授曰:「今迎朝廷,至義也,又於時宜大計也,若不早圖,必有先人者也。夫權不失機,功在速捷,將軍其圖之!」紹弗能用。案此書稱(郭圖)〔沮授〕之計,則與本傳違也。

  • (2) Xiàn-dì Chūnqiū states: Shào was ashamed to be ranked below Tàizǔ, and angrily said: “Cáo Cāo was about to die several times, I at once saved him, now he turns back on kindness, seizing Heaven’s Son to command me!” Tàizǔ heard this, and yielded the General-in-Chief position to Shào.

〔二〕 獻帝春秋曰:紹恥班在太祖下,怒曰;「曹操當死數矣,我輒救存之,今乃背恩,挾天子以令我乎!」太祖聞,而以大將軍讓于紹。

Shortly afterward, he struck and defeated [Gōngsūn] Zàn at Yìjīng, absorbing his armies. (3) He sent out his eldest son [Yuán] Tán to Qīng Province. Jǔ Shòu remonstrated Shào: “This will certainly be disaster’s beginning.” Shào did not listen, and said: “I wish to order my various sons to each occupy a province.” (4) He also appointed his middle son [Yuán] Xī to Yōu Province, and his sister’s son Gāo Gàn to Bìng Province. His army numbered in the hundreds of thousands, and had Shěn Pèi and Páng Jì governing military affairs, Tián Fēng and Xún Chén and Xǔ Yōu as planning directors, Yán Liáng and Wén Chǒu as officers, chose out elite soldiers of a hundred thousand, cavalry of ten thousand, and was about to attack Xǔ. (5)


  • (3) Diǎnlüè states: From this Shào’s tribute became infrequent and slow, and in private Registrar Gěng Bāo secretly reported: “The Red Virtue’s decline is finished, Yuán is the Yellow successor, and should obey Heaven’s Intentions.” Shào had [Gěng] Bāo’s secret report shown to the army office’s officers and officials. The commentators all believed [Gěng] Bāo for heresy and absurdity should be executed, and Shào therefore killed [Gěng] Bāo to disassociate himself.
  • Jiǔzhōu Chūnqiū states: Shào delayed summoning Běihǎi’s Zhèng Xuán and was not respectful, Zhào Róng heard this and said: “Worthy men are a gentleman’s hope.To not respect worthies, is to lose gentlemen’s hope. A ruler with will, does not dare lose the people’s pleased hearts, so all the more the gentlemen! Losing the gentlemen’s hope, it is difficult to achieve will.”
  • Yīngxióngjì records Tàizǔ‘s composed about Dǒng Zhuó song, a verse saying: “Virtue and conduct not deficient, changes from hard times, Zhèng Kāngchéng drank wine, fell to earth his breath ended, Guō Jǐngtú’s life finished in the mulberry garden.” By this writing, then [Zhèng] Xuán without illness died. In other documents this is not seen, and therefore this is recorded here.

〔三〕 典略曰:自此紹貢御希慢,私使主薄耿苞密白曰:「赤德衰盡,袁為黃胤,宜順天意。」紹以苞密白事示軍府將吏。議者咸以苞為妖妄宜誅,紹乃殺苞以自解。九州春秋曰:紹延徵北海鄭玄而不禮,趙融聞之曰:「賢人者,君子之望也。不禮賢,是失君子之望也。夫有為之君,不敢失萬民之歡心,況於君子乎?失君子之望,難乎以有為矣。」英雄記載太祖作董卓歌,辭云:「德行不虧缺,變故自難常。鄭康成行酒,伏地氣絕,郭景圖命盡于園桑。」如此之文,則玄無病而卒。餘書不見,故載錄之。

  • (4) Jiǔzhōu Chūnqiū records [Jǔ] Shòu’s remonstrance: “The world says when one rabbit flees through, ten thousand men pursue it, one men catches it, the greedy all stop, because it is already settled. Moreover when years are equal then it is by worthiness, if virtue is equal then it is by divination, and this is the ancient’s system. May you above consider the warnings of previous ages’ successes and failures, and below ponder the meaning of pursuing a rabbit being settled.” Shào said: “I wish to have my four sons each occupy a province, to observe their ability.” [Jǔ] Shòu went out and said: “Disaster will come from this!”
  • When [Yuán] Tán first reached Qīng Province, he was Regional Commander, and not yet Inspector; later Tàizǔ appointed him as Inspector. His land from the Hé on west, overall did not surpass Píngyuán and nothing more. Therefore he to the north supplanted Tián Kǎi, to the east attacked Kǒng Róng, dazzling troops along the sea, at the time the common people had no master, and happily joined him.
  • However he trusted and employed various petty men, enjoyed receiving flattering words, was unrestrained in will and extravagant and excessive, not knowing the hardships of sowing and reaping. Huà Yàn and Kǒng Shùn all were treacherous flatterers and petty men, but he trusted in them as belly and heart; Wáng Xiū and others were only given office and nothing more. However he was able to care for guest retainers, admired reputation and respected scholars, sending his wife’s younger brother to command troops inside, sending him to plunder from Fújǐng outside, robbing fields; he separately sent two officers to recruit soldiers from subordinate counties, those with bribes were allowed to go, those without were seized. The poor and weak were many, so that they fled and hid in the hills and wilderness, and troops were sent to capture and search, as if hunting for birds and beasts. Cities with ten thousand households, the registers did not pass several hundred, and collecting taxes, out of three not even one entered. He sought worthy scholars, but did not obtain them; he did not deploy armies by season, and the resident clan factions, he also could not punish.

〔四〕 九州春秋載授諫辭曰:「世稱一兔走衢,萬人逐之,一人獲之,貪者悉止,分定故也。且年均以賢,德均則卜,古之制也。願上惟先代成敗之戒,下思逐兔分定之義。」紹曰:「孤欲令四兒各據一州,以觀其能。」授出曰:「禍其始此乎!」譚始至青州,為都督,未為刺史,後太祖拜為刺史。其土自河而西,蓋不過平原而已。遂北排田楷,東攻孔融,曜兵海隅,是時百姓無主,欣戴之矣。然信用群小,好受近言,肆志奢淫,不知稼穡之艱難。華彥、孔順皆姦佞小人也,信以為腹心;王脩等備官而已。然能接待賓客,慕名敬士。使婦弟領兵在內,至令草竊,巿井而外,虜掠田野;別使兩將募兵下縣,有賂者見免,無者見取,貧弱者多,乃至於竄伏丘野之中,放兵捕索,如獵鳥獸。邑有萬戶者,著籍不盈數百,收賦納稅,參分不入一。招命賢士,不就;不趨赴軍期,安居族黨,亦不能罪也。

  • (5) Shìyǔ states: Shào’s infantry was 50,000, cavalry 8,000.
  • Sūn Shèng’s Píng states: According to Wèi [Cáo Cāo]’s remark to Cuī Yǎn: “Yesterday I checked the provincial registers, and can obtain an army of 300,000.” By this remark, just Jì Province’s flourishing troops were already like this, so all the more when adding Yōu, Bìng, and Qīng Province. Shào’s great raising, certainly used all armies and rose, so 100,000 is closer to it.
  • Xiàn-dì Zhuàn states: Shào was about to go south on campaign, Jǔ Shòu and Tián Fēng remonstrated: “The armies have gone out for successive years, the common people are weary and exhausted, the granaries without stores, taxation and conscription abundant, and these are the state’s extreme worries. It is appropriate to first send envoy to offer spoils to Heaven’s Son, attend to farming and release the people; if this cannot be communicated, then memorialize that Cáo is blocking our road to the Ruler, and afterward advanced to garrison Líyáng, gradually encamp the Hé’s south, increase building of boats, mend and repair weapons, separately send elite cavalry, to plunder their borders, to cause the other to be unable to be at ease, and we will obtain leisure. Within three years, the matter can be settled.”
  • Shěn Pèi and Guō Tú said: “By the principles of military books, ten besiege five attack, the enemy then can be battled. Now with your enlightened excellency’s divine martial ability, spanning the Hé’s north’s strong armies, to campaign against Cáo, it is like turning a hand; if now you do not use this time to take him, later it will be difficult to plan.”
  • [Jǔ] Shòu said: “Rescuing from chaos and executing the violent, is called righteous troops; depending on numbers and relying on strength, is called arrogant troops. Troops with righteousness have no match, the arrogant are first destroyed. Cáo welcomed Heaven’s Son to secure Palace in Xǔ capital, now raising troops to head south, is righteousness then violated. Moreover the Temple’s victorious plans, is not in strength or weakness. Cáo’s orders are put in effect, his soldiers are elite and trained, and he will not like Gōngsūn Zàn sit and allow himself to be besieged. Now to abandon the completely secure path, and raise nameless troops, I humbly for your Excellency am fearful!”
  • [Guō] Tú and the rest said: “Wǔ-wáng overthrowing Zhòu, was not called not righteous, all the more for having troops greater than Cáo yet calling them nameless! Moreover your Excellency’s armies and martial officials are strong, your officers and soldiers indignant, everyone thinking of hurrying themselves, but if you do not in time early settle the Great Enterprise, one worries it will be missed. When what Heaven gives is not accepted, it is instead to accept disaster, this is how Yuè became the hegemon, and how Wú was destroyed. The Supervisor of the Army’s plan, is a plan to maintain position, and not to observe the times and know opportunity’s changes.”
  • Shào followed this. [Guō] Tú and the rest therefore slandered [Jǔ] Shòu: “The Supervisor manages both inside and outside, his authority shakes the Three Armies, if he becomes too powerful, how can you control him? When servant and master are distinguished there is flourishing, when master and servant are the same there is destruction; this is what the Huángshí warns of. Moreover one who manages the armies outside, should not know the inside.”
  • Shào was suspicious, and therefore divided the Supervisor of the Army position into three Regional Commanders, having [Jǔ] Shòu and Guō Tú and Chúnyú Qióng each manage one army, and therefore together went south.

〔五〕 世語曰:紹步卒五萬,騎八千。孫盛評曰:案魏武謂崔琰曰「昨案貴州戶籍,可得三十萬眾」。由此推之,但冀州勝兵已如此,況兼幽、并及青州乎?紹之大舉,必悉師而起,十萬近之矣。獻帝傳曰:紹將南師,沮授、田豐諫曰:「師出歷年,百姓疲弊,倉庾無積,賦役方殷,此國之深憂也。宜先遣使獻捷天子,務農逸民;若不得通,乃表曹氏隔我王路,然後進屯黎陽,漸營河南,益作舟船,繕治器械,分遣精騎,鈔其邊鄙,令彼不得安,我取其逸。三年之中,事可坐定也。」審配、郭圖曰:「兵書之法,十圍五攻,敵則能戰。今以明公之神武,跨河朔之彊眾,以伐曹氏。譬若覆手,今不時取,後難圖也。」授曰:「蓋救亂誅暴,謂之義兵;恃眾憑彊,謂之驕兵。兵義無敵,驕者先滅。曹氏迎天子安宮許都,今舉兵南向,於義則違。且廟勝之策,不在彊弱。曹氏法令既行,士卒精練,非公孫瓚坐受圍者也。今棄萬安之術,而興無名之兵,竊為公懼之!」圖等曰:「武王伐紂,不曰不義,況兵加曹氏而云無名!且公師武臣(竭)力,將士憤怒,人思自騁,而不及時早定大業,慮之失也。夫天與弗取,反受其咎,此越之所以霸,吳之所以亡也。監軍之計,計在持牢,而非見時知機之變也。」紹從之。圖等因是譖授「監統內外,威震三軍,若其浸盛,何以制之?夫臣與主不同者昌,主與臣同者亡,此黃石之所忌也。且御眾于外,不宜知內。」紹疑焉。乃分監軍為三都督,使授及郭圖、淳于瓊各典一軍,遂合而南。

Before this, Tàizǔ sent Liú Bèi to visit Xú Province to resist Yuán Shù. [Yuán] Shù died, and [Liú] Bèi therefore killed the Inspector Chē Zhòu, leading the army to garrison Pèi. Shào sent cavalry to assist him. Tàizǔ sent Liú Dài and Wáng Zhōng to strike him, but was unsuccessful. Jiàn’ān Fifth Year [200], Tǎizǔ personally campaigned east against [Liú] Bèi. Tián Fēng advised Shào to attack Tàizǔ‘s rear, but Shào declined as his son was ill, and would not agree. [Tián] Fēng raised his cane and struck the ground saying: “This is encountering a difficult to obtain opoortunity, but due to an infant’s illness to lose this chance, a pity!” Tàizǔ arrived, struck and defeated [Liú] Bèi, and [Liú] Bèi fled to Shào. (1)


  • (1) Wèishì Chūnqiū records Shào’s dispatch to the provinces and prefectures writing:
  • “One hears the Enlightened Ruler plans for dangers to control changes, the Loyal Servant ponders difficulties to establish authority. In former times powerful Qín had a weak ruler, Zhào Gāo seized handle, concentrating control over Court and command, authority and fortune decided by himself, in the end had the disaster of Wàngyí, the disgrace reaching the present. Then reaching Empress Lǚ, [Lǚ] Lù and [Lǚ] Chǎn concentrated governance, seizing control over all affairs, deciding matters in the restricted residences, below commanding [the ministers] and above changing [the ruler], and Within the Seas were cold in heart. Therefore the Marquis of Jiàng [Zhōu Bó] and of Zhūxū [Liú Zhāng] rose authority and exerted fury, executing and exterminating the rebellious and chaotic, honoring and enthroning Tàizōng [Liú Héng], and therefore were able to with principle cultivate prosperity, enlighten and spread harmony, and this then is the clear example of great ministers establishing authority.
  • Excellency of Works Cáo Cāo, his grandfather [Cáo] Téng, was a former Internal Regular Attendant, with Zuǒ Guàn and Xú Huáng together did evil, ferocious gluttony set out across, injuring cultivation and oppressing the people. His father [Cáo] Sōng, begged to be brought along and adopted, used spoils to take rank, carriages of gold and wagons of  jade, giving wealth to powerful families, to steal position in the Three Excellencies, overturning the vital vessels. [Cáo] Cāo carries on the castrate’s legacy of disgrace, by nature has no virtue, a frivolous and crafty bully, enjoys chaos and pleasures in calamity.
  • I the commander in the past united falcons up, to sweep away and exterminate the vicious and rebellious. With encountering Dǒng Zhuó’s seizure of office and harming the state, therefore I raised sword and brandished drums, sending order to the eastern realm, gathering net of heroes, discounting blemishes to employ, and therefore then with [Cáo] Cāo consulted in strategies, saying he had a hawk’s and hound’s abilities, and as claws and teeth could be used.
  • Reaching then he was foolish and unsteady and short in consideration, recklessly advanced and easy to withdraw, was wounded and broken in defeat, with many dead leaders and followers. I the commander then again divided troops for his command, completing repair and filling his losses, and memorialized him as Acting Dōng prefecture Administrator, Yǎn Province Inspector, covering him in tiger’s stripes, giving him military support, awarding him authority and handle, hoping to obtain the Qín army’s one victory report. But [Cáo] Cāo then took advantage of resources to be domineering, wanton in conduct and brutal, cutting and tearing the people, destroying worthies and harming the good. Former Jiǔjiāng Administrator Biān Ràng, had exceptional talent and eminent nature, was the realm Under Heaven’s known name, for direct speech and stern resolution, in discussion did not flatter, his body and head were exposed at his killing, and his wife and children received the misfortune of extermination. Because of this the scholars were angry and sorrowful, the people’s resentment became more heavy, and if one man exerted his arm, the whole province would together sound, and therefore as he was personally defeated in Xú region, his land was seized by Lǚ Bù, and he hesitated back and forth on the eastern frontier, with nowhere to tread or reside.
  • I the commander considered the meaning of strong trunk and weak branches, and moreover to not support a rebel’s association, therefore again raised banners and put on armor, mats rolling to go on campaign, bongs and drums echoed and shook, and [Lǚ] Bù’s army was broken and destroyed, rescuing him from misfortune of death and ruin, and again appointed him that region’s commander, this then was I the commander having no virtue for the people of Yǎn’s lands, but great service to [Cáo] Cāo.
  • Later it happened that the Imperial Chariot to the east returned, various caitiffs disturbed governance. At the time Jì Province region had northern emergency, I could not leisurely leave my post, and therefore sent Attending Official Internal Cadet Xú Xūn to send dispatch to [Cáo] Cāo, to have him repair and rebuild the suburbs and temples, and support and guard the young ruler. But instead he enacted his ambition in conduct, threatening and moving the restricted residences, humiliating and disgracing the ruling office, breaking law and violating precedence, he seized control of the Three Terraces, concentrating power over Court governance, rank and reward were by his heart, punishment and execution at his mouth, those he favored were glorified for five generations, those he hated exterminated to the third degree of kinship, the various commentators were all prominently executed, and close consultants were all secretly killed, on the road were only looks, and the hundred officials closed mouth, the Secretariat recorded Court meetings, the Excellencies and Ministers filled position and nothing more.
  • Former Excellency Commandant Yáng Biāo, successively managed in the Three Excellencies, enjoyed the state’s utmost position, and [Cáo] Cāo therefore glared from corner of the eye, he was seized without crime, beating and whipping together applied, the five tortures all given, stirring emotions to enact his evil thoughts, without regard to statute and law.
  • Also Consultant Cadet Zhào Yàn, loyal in remonstrance and forthright in speech, his suggestions could be accepted, and therefore the Sagely Court listened, changing countenance and adding rewards. [Cáo] Cāo wished to seize the time’s power, cut off speech communication, and without authority arrested and at once killed him, without waiting to report.
  • Also Liáng Xiào-wáng [“Filial King” Liú Wǔ], was a former Emperor’s younger brother of the same mother, his tomb mound was honored and prominent, with pines and cypresses trees planted, and yet should have been respectfully treated, but [Cáo] Cāo led officers and officials and soldiers to personally oversee excavation, destroying coffin and exposing corpse, plundering and stealing gold and treasures, so that the Sagely Court wept tears, and scholars and people grieved.
  • Also he appointed an Excavating Tomb Internal Cadet General, a Seizing Gold Colonel, and wherever they passed they dug up, with no bones not exposed. He occupies a Three Excellencies’ office, but his conduct is a cruel caitiff’s form, terrorizing the state and oppressing the people, his evil flowing even to men’s ghosts.
  • Moreover his trifling government is severe and wretched, its divisions guarding against each other, silks seized to fill paths, digging traps to block off roads, raising hand to hang nets, moving foot to tread into trap, and therefore Yǎn and Yù have no dependable people, the Emperor’s capital has sighs of complaint. In successively observing from ancient to present’s documents and registers, of the recorded greedy and tyrannical and without principle ministers, [Cáo] Cāo is the most extreme.
  • I the commander was restraining outside treachery, and could not yet prepare and train, adding consideration to containing disaster, hoping to be able to fix mistakes. But [Cáo] Cāo with jackal’s and wolf’s vicious heart, secretly harbored disastrous plans, and then wished to thwart and break supporting pillar, alone weaken the Hàn House, wipe out and exterminate the true and upright, concentrating his ruthless power. In former years I set out drums on northern campaign, suppressing Gōngsūn Zàn, strongly resisting cruel rebellion, resisting and besieging for one year. [Cáo] Cāo therefore before his defeat, secretly with him wrote letter and order, wishing to take the ruler’s armies, to surprise attack me, and therefore led troops about the Hé, preparing boats to cross north. It happened that his moving of people was exposed, and [Gōngsūn] Zàn also was beheaded and exterminated, and therefore he had his vanguard withdraw, and his plans cold not be obtained. He garrisoned and occupied Áocāng, using the Hé as defense, and then wished to like a mantis’s claw, resist a mighty chariot’s passage.
  • I the commander carry on Hàn’s authority, breaking and charging for the world, with long halberds of a million, Hú cavalry of a thousand, exerting Zhōnghuáng, Yù, and Huò’s ability, hastening with the power of good bows and stalwart crossbows, Bìng Province crosses the Tàiháng [mountains], Qīng Province fords the Jǐ and Tà [rivers], the main army cross the Huáng Hé to strike his front, Jīng Province captures Wǎn and Yè to grasp his rear, thunder shaking and tiger striding, all gathering at the caitiff’s hall, like rising flame and fire on floating weed, like crashing blue-green sea washing over smoldering ember; how can he not but be annihilated?
  • Presently Hàn’s principle is weakened, its nets loosened and order cut off. [Cáo] Cāo with elite troops of 700, surround and guard the Palace, outside claiming to guard, but inside acting to imprison. Fearing of rebellion’s disaster, and therefore acting thus. Therefore it is the season for loyal ministers to spill liver and brain to ground, the meeting for ardent heroes to establish achievement. How can one not be exhorted!”
  • This was Chén Lín’s writing.

〔一〕 魏氏春秋載紹檄州郡文曰:「蓋聞明主圖危以制變,忠臣慮難以立權。曩者彊秦弱主,趙高執柄,專制朝命,威福由己,終有望夷之禍,汙辱至今。及臻呂后,祿、產專政,擅斷萬機,決事省禁,下陵上替,海內寒心。於是絳侯、朱虛興威奮怒,誅夷逆亂,尊立太宗,故能道化興隆,光明顯融,此則大臣立權之明表也。司空曹操,祖父騰,故中常侍,與左悺、徐璜並作妖孽,饕餮放橫,傷化虐民。父嵩,乞匄攜養,因贓假位,輿金輦璧,輸貨權門,竊盜鼎司,傾覆重器。操贅閹遺醜,本無令德,僄狡鋒俠,好亂樂禍。幕府昔統鷹揚,掃夷凶逆。續遇董卓侵官暴國,於是提劍揮鼓,發命東夏,方收羅英雄,棄瑕錄用,故遂與操參咨策略,謂其鷹犬之才,爪牙可任。至乃愚佻短慮,輕進易退,傷夷折衄,數喪師徒。幕府輒復分兵命銳,修完補輯,表行東郡太守、兗州刺史,被以虎文,授以偏師,獎蹙威柄,冀獲秦師一克之報。而操遂乘資跋扈,肆行酷烈,割剝元元,殘賢害善。故九江太守邊讓,英才俊逸,天下知名,以直言正色,論不阿諂,身〔首〕被梟縣之戮,妻孥受灰滅之咎。自是士林憤痛,民怨彌重,一夫奮臂,舉州同聲,故躬破於徐方,地奪於呂布,彷徨東裔,蹈據無所。幕府唯彊幹弱枝之義,且不登叛人之黨,故復援旌擐甲,席卷赴征,金鼓響震,布眾破沮,拯其死亡之患,復其方伯之任,是則幕府無德於兗土之民,而有大造於操也。後會鑾駕東反,群虜亂政。時冀州方有北鄙之警,匪遑離局,故使從事中郎徐勛就發遣操,使繕修郊廟,翼衛幼主。而便放志專行,脅遷省禁,卑侮王官,敗法亂紀,坐召三臺,專制朝政,爵賞由心,刑戮在口,所愛光五宗,所惡滅三族,群談者蒙顯誅,腹議者蒙隱戮,道路以目,百寮鉗口,尚書記朝會,公卿充員品而已。故太尉楊彪,歷典三司,享國極位,操因睚眥,被以非罪,榜楚并兼,五毒俱至,觸情放慝,不顧憲章。又議郎趙彥,忠諫直言,議有可納,故聖朝含聽,改容加錫,操欲迷奪時權,杜絕言路,擅收立殺,不俟報聞。又梁孝王,先帝母弟,墳陵尊顯,松柏桑梓,猶宜恭肅,而操率將校吏士親臨發掘,破棺裸尸,略取金寶,至令聖朝流涕,士民傷懷。又署發丘中郎將、摸金校尉,所過墮突,無骸不露。身處三公之官,而行桀虜之態,殄國虐民,毒流人鬼。加其細政苛慘,科防互設,繒繳充蹊,坑阱塞路,舉手挂網羅,動足蹈機陷,是以兗、豫有無聊之民,帝都有吁嗟之怨。歷觀古今書籍,所載貪殘虐烈無道之臣,於操為甚。幕府方詰外姦,未及整訓,加意含覆,冀可彌縫。而操豺狼野心,潛苞禍謀,乃欲撓折棟梁,孤弱漢室,除滅中正,專為梟雄。往歲伐鼓北征,討公孫瓚,彊禦桀逆,拒圍一年。操因其未破,陰交書命,欲託助王師,以相掩襲,故引兵造河,方舟北濟。會其行人發露,瓚亦梟夷,故使鋒芒挫縮,厥圖不果。屯據敖倉,阻河為固,乃欲以螳螂之斧,禦隆車之隧。幕府奉漢威靈,折衝宇宙,長戟百萬,胡騎千群,奮中黃、育、獲之材,騁良弓勁弩之勢,并州越太行,青州涉濟、漯,大軍汎黃河以角其前,荊州下宛、葉而掎其後,雷震虎步,並集虜庭,若舉炎火以概飛蓬,覆滄海而沃熛炭,有何不消滅者哉?當今漢道陵遲,綱弛紀絕。操以精兵七百,圍守宮闕,外稱陪衛,內以拘執,懼其篡逆之禍,因斯而作。乃忠臣肝腦塗地之秋,烈士立功之會也,可不勖哉!」此陳琳之辭。

Shào advanced army to Líyáng, sending Yán Liáng to attack Liú Yán at Báimǎ. Jǔ Shòu again remonstrated Shào: “[Yán] Liáng by nature is reckless and narrow-minded, although he is valorous he cannot be appointed alone.” Shào did not listen. Tàizǔ rescued [Liú] Yán, with [Yán] Liáng battled, and defeated and beheaded [Yán] Liáng. (1) Shào crossed the Hé, fortified Yánjīn’s south, sending Liú Bèi and Wén Chǒu to challenge battle. Tàizǔ struck and defeated them, beheading [Wén] Chǒu. In two battles, he took Shào’s chief officers, and Shào’s army was greatly shaken. (2) Tàizǔ returned to Guāndù.


Jǔ Shòu again said: “The north’s troops are many but indeed in energy does not match the south, the south’s grain is little and its goods and wealth do not match the north; the south’s advantage is in swift battle, the north’s advantage is in protracted struggle. It is appropriate to slowly lock together, holding for days and moons.” Shào did not listen. He connected regiments and gradually advanced, pressuring Guāndù, meeting in battle, and Tàizǔ‘s army was not successful, and again fortified. Shào made high towers, raised earth mounds, to shoot into the camps, and in the camps all hid under shields, and the army was greatly afraid. Tàizǔ therefore made shooting rock carts, striking Shào’s towers, destroying them all, and Shào’s army called them Thunderbolt Carts. (3) Shào made earth tunnels, wishing to attack Tàizǔ‘s camp. Tàizǔ then inside made a long moat to resist them, and also sent hidden troops to attack and strike Shào’s transport carts, greatly destroying them, completely burning their grain. Tàizǔ with Shào were locked together for many days, the common people were exhausted, and many rebelled in answer to Shào, and the army’s provisions were exhausted. It happened that Shào sent Chúnyú Qióng and others to command troops of over ten thousand men to go north and welcome supply carts, and Jǔ Shòu advised Shào: “You can send officer Jiǎng Qí to separately be branch army outside, to cut off Excellency Cáo’s raids.” Shào again did not listen.


[Chúnyú] Qióng lodged at Wūcháo, from Shào’s army by forty lǐ [~16.6 km]. Tàizǔ therefore left Cáo Hóng to defend, and personally commanded infantry and cavalry of five thousand to at night go attack [Chúnyú] Qióng. Shào sent cavalry to rescue them, but they were defeated and fled. They defeated [Chúnyú] Qióng and the rest, and beheaded them all. Tàizǔ returned, and had not yet reached camp, when Shào’s officers Gāo Lǎn and Zhāng Hé and others led their armies to surrender. Shào’s army was greatly scattered, and Shào with Tán alone rode to retreat across the Hé. The remaining army that falsely surrendered, was completely buried. (4) Jǔ Shòu could not with Shào cross, was by someone seized, and sent to Tàizǔ. (5) Tàizǔ generously treated him. Later he plotted to return to the Yuán, and was killed.


  • (1) Xiàn-dì Zhuàn states: Shào was about to set out, Jǔ Shòu met with his clansmen, and gave out his wealth to them saying: “When power is present then authority needs nothing added, when power is lost then one cannot protect oneself. A pity!” His younger clansmen said: “Excellency Cáo’s troops and horses are no match, what are you afraid of?” [Jǔ] Shòu said: “With Cáo of Yǎn Province’s wise planning, and also wielding Heaven’s Son as his resource, though we overcame Gōngsūn [Zàn], our army truly is weary and worn, and our officers arrogant and master calm; the army’s defeat, will from this come. Yáng Xióng had a saying: ‘The Six States were ignorant, so that the Yíng [family of Qín] weakened the Jī [family of Zhōu].’ This speaks of now.”

〔一〕 獻帝傳曰:紹臨發,沮授會其宗族,散資財以與之曰:「夫勢在則威無不加,勢亡則不保一身,哀哉!」其弟宗曰:「曹公士馬不敵,君何懼焉!」授曰:「以曹兗州之明略,又挾天子以為資,我雖克公孫,眾實疲弊,而將驕主泰,軍之破敗,在此舉也。揚雄有言,『六國蚩蚩,為嬴弱姬』,今之謂也。」

  • (2) Xiàn-dì Zhuàn states: Shào was about to cross the Hé, Jǔ Shòu remonstrated: “Victory or defeat’s changes, cannot be not detailed. Not it is appropriate to leave garrison at Yánjīn, divide troops to Guāndù, if they can overcome and capture, rejoining with them is not too late, but if going there is difficulty, the army will not be able to return.” Shào did not listen. [Jǔ] Shòu overlooked the crossing sighed and said: “Above overflowing in ambition, below obsessing in achievements, oh eternal Huáng Hé, I will not return!” Therefore he swiftly resigned. Shào resented this, and reassigned his command of troops to belong to Guō Tú.

〔二〕 獻帝傳曰:紹將濟河,沮授諫曰:「勝負變化,不可不詳。今宜留屯延津,分兵官渡,若其克獲,還迎不晚,設其有難,眾弗可還。」紹弗從。授臨濟歎曰:「上盈其志,下務其功,悠悠黃河,吾其不反乎!」遂以疾辭。紹恨之,乃省其所部兵屬郭圖。

  • (3) Wèishì Chūnqiū states: The ancients had shooting of rocks, and also the Zhuàn say: “Unleashing movement and drum.” The Shuōwén states: “Unleashing means shooting rock.” Therefore they made shooting rock carts.

〔三〕 魏氏春秋曰:以古有矢石,又傳言「旝動而鼓」,說〔文〕曰「旝,發石也」,於是造發石車。

  • (4) Zhāng Fán’s Hànjì says: They killed Shào’s soldiers altogether 80,000 men.

〔四〕 張璠漢紀云:殺紹卒凡八萬人。

  • (5) Xiàn-dì Zhuàn says: [Jǔ] Shòu greatly shouted: “I Shòu do not surrender, I am by the army captured and that is all!”
  • Tàizǔ with him had old relations, and facing him said to [Jǔ] Shòu: “We were under different sky regions, and therefore were cut off, and I did not imagine today then we would meet each other again!”
  • [Jǔ] Shòu replied: “[Yuán Shào of] Jì Province miscalculated, and so fled north. I Shòu’s wisdom and strength were both insufficient, and it is appropriate I should meet with capture and that is all.”
  • Tàizǔ said: “Běnchū was without strategy, did not use your plans, now the tragic chaos has been long, the country is not yet settled, and we should together plan for it.”
  • [Jǔ] Shòu said: “My father’s younger brother’s, mother’s, and younger brother’s lives are with the Yuán; if immersing in your Excellency’s favor, quickly dying is good fortune.”
  • Tàizǔ sighed and said: “If I had earlier obtained you, the realm Under Heaven would not be enough to worry about.”

〔五〕 獻帝傳云:授大呼曰:「授不降也,為軍所執耳!」太祖與之有舊,逆謂授曰:「分野殊異,遂用圮絕,不圖今日乃相禽也!」授對曰:「冀州失策,以取奔北。授智力俱困,宜其見禽耳。」太祖曰:「本初無謀,不用君計,今喪亂過紀,國家未定,當相與圖之。」授曰:「叔父、母、弟,縣命袁氏,若蒙公靈,速死為福。」太祖歎曰:「孤早相得,天下不足慮。」

Previously, at Shào’s going south, Tián Fēng advised Shào: “Excellency Cáo is good at using troops, changes are without certainty, and though his army is few, he cannot be taken lightly, and it is better to long grasp him. You General occupy the mountains’ and rivers’ defenses, wield Four Provinces’s armies, outside connecting with heroes, inside cultivating agriculture and battle, and afterward select the elite, divide hidden troops, take advantage of weakness to repeatedly set out, to disturb the Hé’s south, when they rescue right then strike their left, when they rescue left then strike their right, causing the enemy to be exhausted in fleeing forth, their people cannot securely work, and we without laboring will have them already exhausted, and without reaching two years, they can be taken. Now to give up the Temple’s victorious plan, to decide success or failure in one battle, if it is not as you wish, regret will be too late.” Shào did not listen.


[Tián] Fēng earnestly remonstrated, Shào’s anger was extreme, believing it hindered the army, and arrested and bound him. When Shào’s army was defeated, someone said to [Tián] Fēng: “You will certainly meet with importance.” [Tián] Fēng said: “If the army had been successful, I would certainly be safe. Now the army is defeated, and I am dead.” Shào returned, and said to those around him: “I did not use Tián Fēng’s advice, and indeed was by him laughed at,” and therefore killed him. (1) Shào outside was lenient and elegant, had tolerance, and worry and pleasure did not show on his face, but inside he had much jealousy and malice, all of this sort.


  • (1) Xiānxián Xíngzhuàn states: [Tián] Fēng appellation Yuánhào was a Jùlù man, some say Bóhǎi man. [Tián] Fēng had heavenly looks and was extraordinarily distinguished, strong in planning with many unique [strategies], when young he lost his parents, resided in mourning with complete sorrow, and though days and moons passed, laughter did not reach his self. He read extensively and remembered much, and his reputation was heavy in the provincial groups. He was first recruited to the Excellency Commandant’s Office, nominated Abundant Talent candidate, promoted to Attendant Censor. The eunuchs monopolized the Court, outstanding worthies were harmed, and [Tián] Fēng therefore resigned office and returned home. When Yuán Shào raised righteous [troops], he with humble words and generous gifts recruited [Tián] Fēng. [Tián] Fēng because the Ruling House had many troubles, had ambition to rectify and rescue, and therefore answered Shào’s command, becoming Aide-de-Camp. He urged Shào to welcome Heaven’s Son, but Shào did not accept. Shào later employed [Tián] Fēng’s plan, and pacified Gōngsūn Zàn. Páng Jì feared [Tián] Fēng’s clear uprightness, and repeatedly slandered him to Shào, and Shào therefore doubted [Tián] Fēng. When Shào’s army was defeated, his soldiers collapsed and fled north, commanders and followers completely wiped out, the army all beat their chest and sobbed saying: “If Tián Fēng were here, it would not have come to this.” Shào said to Páng Jì: “Jì Province’s people hear my army is defeated, and all will pity me, only Aide-de-Camp Tián previously remonstrated to stop me, with the masses was not the same, and I also am ashamed to meet him.” [Páng] Jì again said: “[Tián] Fēng heard you General retreated, clapped his hands and greatly laughed, pleased his words were true.” Shào therefore had intention to harm [Tián] Fēng. Previously, Tàizǔ heard [Tián] Fēng did not accompany the army, and was pleased and said: “Shào is certain to be defeated.” When Shào fled, he [Tàizǔ] again said: “If Shào had used Aide-de-Camp Tián’s plans, things could not yet have been known.”
  • Sūn Shèng said: Observing Tián Fēng and Jǔ Shòu’s plans, could even [Zhāng] Liáng and [Chén] Píng surpass them? Therefore rulers honor and examine talents, servants esteem and judge masters. If rulers use the loyal and good, then the Overlord King’s enterprise grows; if servants serve a foolish leader, then the disaster of downfall arrives. Survival or destruction or honor or disgrace, always is certain to be due to this. [Tián] Fēng knew Shào was about to be defeated, and when defeated he himself was certain to die, and was willing to face tiger’s den for the sake of utmost loyalty, as an ardent martyr served, his consideration not on saving himself. Of the servants of various lords, by righteousness they left or stayed, so all the more when [Tián] Fēng with Shào was not a true servant! The Shī says “Going to leave you, joining another’s happy land,” speaking of leaving a chaotic country, so by principle it can be done.


Of Jì Province’s cities many rebelled and Shào again struck and settled them. From when the army was defeated afterward he fell ill. Seventh Year [202], in sorrow he died.


Shào’s favored his young son Shàng, who had beautiful looks, and wished to have him be successor but did not yet reveal it. (1) Shěn Pèi and Páng Jì with Xīn Píng and Guō Tú fought for power. [Shěn] Pèi and [Páng] Jì with Shàng joined, [Xīn] Píng and [Guō] Tú with Tán joined. Everyone because Tán was the eldest, wished to establish him. [Shěn] Pèi and the rest feared that if Tán was established [Xīn] Píng and the rest would harm them, and went along with Shào’s original intentions, and so had Shàng succeed Shào’s position. Tán arrived, could not be established, and declared himself Chariots and Cavalry General. Because of this Tán and Shàng had discord.


  • (1) Diǎnlùn states: Tán was elder and had benevolence, Shàng was younger and had beauty. Shào’s wife lady Liú favored Shàng, and repeatedly praised his ability, and Shào also was impressed with his appearance, and wished to have him be successor, but before revealing this Shào died. Lady Liú by nature was ruthless and jealous, when Shào died, the body was not yet coffined, his favored concubines of five women, Liú completely killed them. Believing the dead had awareness, and would again meet Shào below the ground, she therefore shaved their heads and blackened their faces to destroy their appearance. Shàng also completely killed the dead womens’ families.

〔一〕 典論曰:譚長而惠,尚少而美。紹妻劉氏愛尚,數稱其才,紹亦奇其貌,欲以為後,未顯而紹死。劉氏性酷妒,紹死,僵尸未殯,寵妾五人,劉盡殺之。以為死者有知,當復見紹於地下,乃髡頭墨面以毀其形。尚又為盡殺死者之家。

Tàizǔ campaigned north against Tán and Shàng. Tán’s army was at Líyáng, Shàng gave Tán few troops, and sent Páng Jì to accompany Tán. Tán asked for more troops, [Shěn] Pèi and the rest advised not giving them. Tán was angry, and killed [Páng] Jì. (2) Tàizǔ crossed the Hé to attack Tán, and Tán reported emergency to Shàng. Shàng wished to divide troops to strengthen Tán, but feared Tán would then seize these armies, and therefore sent Shěn Pèi to defend Yè, and Shàng personally commanded troops to assist Tán, and with Tàizǔ together resisted at Líyáng. From the Ninth Moon to [the next year’s] Second Moon, they greatly battled below the city, Tán and Shàng were defeated and retreated, and entered the city to defend. Tàizǔ was about to besiege them, and in the night they escaped. He pursued to Yè, collected their grain, captured Yīn’ān, and led army back to Xǔ.


  • (2) Yīngxióngjì states: [Páng] Jì appellation Yuántú. Previously, Shào left Dǒng Zhuó and went out and fled, and with Xǔ Yōu and [Páng] Jì togther visited Jì Province, Shào because [Páng] Jì was intelligent and had strategy, deeply was close with and trusted him, and with him together began matters. Later Shěn Pèi was appointed, and with [Páng] Jì were not harmonious. Someone slandered [Shěn] Pèi to Shào, Shào asked [Páng] Jì, and [Páng] Jì said: “[Shěn] Pèi’s natural disposition is ardent and upright, has the inetgrity of the ancients, and should not be doubted.” Shào said: “Do you not hate him?” [Páng] Jì said: “In former days what we fought over were private matters, now what we are discussing is state affairs.” Shào praised him, and in the end did not dismiss [Shěn] Pèi. [Shěn] Pèi because of this with [Páng] Jì became close and friendly.

〔二〕 英雄記曰:紀字元圖。初,紹去董卓出奔,與許攸及紀俱詣冀州,紹以紀聰達有計策,甚親信之,與共舉事。後審配任用,與紀不睦。或有讒配于紹,紹問紀,紀稱「配天性烈直,古人之節,不宜疑之」。紹曰:「君不惡之邪?」紀答曰:「先日所爭者私情,今所陳者國事。」紹善之,卒不廢配。配由是更與紀為親善。

Tàizǔ campaigned south against Jīng Province, and the army reached Xīpíng. Tán and Shàng therefore raised troops and attacked each other, and Tán was defeated and fled to Píngyuán. Shàng attacked him harshly, and Tán sent Xīn Pí to visit Tàizǔ to ask for rescue. Tàizǔ therefore returned to rescue Tán, and in the Tenth Moon reached Líyáng. (3) Shàng heard Tàizǔ had gone north, disengaged from Píngyuán and returned to Yè. His officers Lǚ Kuàng and Lǚ Xiáng rebelled against Shàng and joined Tàizǔ, Tán again secretly carved General’s seals to give to [Lǚ] Kuàng and [Lǚ] Xiáng. Tàizǔ knew Tán was deceitful, with him made marriage alliance to calm him, and then led the army back.


  • (3) Wèishì Chūnqiū records Liú Biǎo’s sent letter to Tán: “Heaven truly sent down harm, disaster and trouble flourishes and flows, your honorable father perished, and the Four Seas mourned in heart. A worthy successor he carried on governance, near and far joined hope, all wishing to distribute and serve strength, to entrust in the alliance leader, and though on the day he died, yet they kept their hopes. Who can understand blue-green fly flying on bare branch, without end roaming between your two ramparts, causing legs and arms to be divided into two bodies, backbone broken into different selves! In the past the Three Kings and Five Overlords, down to the Warring States, fathers and sons killing each other, indeed there was such things; some wishing to achieve the Ruler’s Enterprise, some wishing to settle the Overlord’s Achievement, some wishing to make honor ancestors, some wishing to defend tombs and succession, but there was never one who abandoned kin to join enemies, shaking their roots, and yet was able to accomplish enterprise and achievement, to pass down blessings to later generations. Like Qí [Duke] Xiāng restored a ninth generation vengeance, Shì Gài completed Xún Yǎn’s work, and therefore the Chūnqiū praised their righteousness, and gentlemen praised their faith. [Xún Yǎn] Bóyóu’s hatred of Qí, was not like your father’s hatred of Cáo [Cāo]; Xuān-zǐ [Shì Gài]’s continuation of enterprise, was not like a benevolent ruler’s succession to governance. Moreover gentlemen in avoiding trouble did not take refuge in enemy states, how can you forget your late father’s resentments, abandon closest kin’s intimacy, to be a warning to ten thousand ages, and leave behind the alliance’s disgrace! [Yuán Shàng of] Jì Province’s arrogance of not being fraternal, it is already there; a benevolent ruler should lower will and accept disgrace, to rectify the state’s matters; although you met with hatred from the lady [Liú], yet it was not yet like Zhèng [Duke] Zhuāng with lady Jiāng, and your enmity between brothers, is not yet like Chónghuá with Xiàng’s arrogance. However Duke Zhuāng had the happiness of large tunnel, and Xiàng received fief of Bì. May you abandon your former anger, and distantly ponder former righteousess, and again be a mother’s son and elder brother to younger brother as before.”
  • He also sent letter to Shàng: “Knowing the changes arose from Xīn [Píng] and Guō [Tú], disaster links those of the same womb, recalling the legacies of Yānbó and Shíshěng, forgetting the Chángdì‘s meaning of death and mourning, close kin seeking shield and spear, corpses flowing blood, hearing of it one chokes in sobs, though surviving it appears destroyed. In the past Xuānyuán had the battle of Zhuōlù, Zhōu [King] had the Shāng and Yǎn campaigns, both because they eliminated filth and harm did they settle the Ruler’s Enterprise, not because of fighting strong or weak, or taking pleasure in anger and hate. Therefore though they exterminated kin it was not a fault, though they executed elder brothers it did not harm righteousness. Now you two sirs first carry on a vast enterprise, continuing previous course, advancing there is consideration for the state in danger of ruin, withdrawing there is the burden of your late father’s remaining regrets, and you should think only of righteousness in affairs, and think only of the state’s health. Why is this? Metal and wood and water and fire by hardness and softness relieve each other, afterward overcoming them and obtaining their harmony, can they be by the people used. Now [Yuán Tán of] Qīng Province by nature is severe and anxious, confused on wrong and right. A benevolent ruler judges magnanimity, has generosity in abundance, and should use the great to cover the small, the superior to contain the inferior, and first eliminate Cáo Cāo to complete your late father’s regrets, and after that matter is settled, then discussing plans of wrong and right, is it not also good? If taking care for distant considerations, restraining oneself and returning to propriety, then you should shake banners and long stride, together serving the Ruling House, but if continuing in foolishness and not turning back, in violation and not changing, then the Hú and Yí will have words of ridicule, and moreover our alliance, will it again be able to exert strength for your service? This is Hánlú and Dōngguō trapping themselves first so that Tiánfù captured them. Hurriedly leaping and craning to look, one hopes to hear sound of harmonious relations. If you can be at peace, then the Yuán clan will with Hàn rise and fall! If it is not, then the alliance will forever be without hope.”
  • Tán and Shàng completely did not listen.
  • Hàn Jìn Chūnqiū records Shěn Pèi’s presented letter to Tán: “By the principles of the Chūnqiū, a state’s ruler dies for the State Altars, a loyal servant dies for the king’s command. If there is danger to the Ancestral Temples, defeat and chaos to the state, the king must follow standards and law, treating both close and distant as one. Therefore Zhōu-gōng shed tears and placed Guǎn and Cài in prison, and Jìyǒu sobbed and gave Zhēnshū poison. Why was this? Righteousness is heavy and people are light, and matters cannot be by one’s will. In the past Wèi Líng-gōng deposed Kuǎi Kuì and established [Kuì’s son Kuǎi] Zhé, Kuǎi Kuì was not principled, and entered Qī to usurp, and Wèi’s armies campaigned against him. The Chūnqiū Zhuàn states: ‘Using Shí Màngù’s righteousness, anything can be resisted.’ Therefore Kuǎi Kuì in the end was captured and punished as a rebel, and [Shí] Màngù forever enjoyed loyal minister’s reputation. Fathers and sons were like this, how all the more for brothers! In the past your late father deposed you General in order to make you successor to his worthy elder brother, and established our General to be his own successor, above announcing it to the ancestral spirits, below writing it in the geneological registers, your late father called you General as his elder brother’s son, and you General called your late father as father’s younger brother, and within the seas far and near, who did not hear of this? Moreover your late father’s day of passing, our General bowed in mourning and resided in hut [as mourning for a father], but you General held vigil in the plastered room [as mourning for an uncle], the distinction between outer and inner, by this was all the more clear. At the time vicious minister Páng Jì, foolishing drawing snake’s legs, bent words to flatter, confusing degree of kinship, so you General exerted incredible anger, attacking without end, and our General also carried out mandate and followed purpose, increasing vicious punishment. From this afteward, wounds broke and festered, bone and flesh [kin] had no thread of enmity, and the doubtful ministers, all protected themselves to preserve their fortune. Therefore all sent strong Hú, selected famed officers, ordered weapons, chose out fighting soldiers, exhausted the treasury’s wealth, using up the land’s provisions, those together serving you General, what did you ask that was not given? Ruler and servant together leading, together guarding banner and flag, battling like a goose flies, taxing to give money to the ruler, though pouring out granary and overturning treasury, cutting away the people’s things, high and low were pleased to serve, and none dared report suffering. Why was this? To put forth loyal and true feeling, exhuast family after family’s liver and brain’s plans, as lips to teeth and supports to carts, without asking they gave. That is to say they with you General were of same heart and same thought, mingling as one form, certain to join authority and unite power, to resist bandits and pacify home. How could one have thought people with vicious slander, creating deception without reason, encouraging treachery for profit, would cause you General to suddenly and completely change plans, forget the benevolence of the filial and friendship, listen to the plans of jackals and wolves, falsify your late father’s words of deposing and establishing, oppose the position of the one close to the body, turn back on order and reason, not consider the integrity of opposition or obedience, recklessly changing Jì Province’s master, wishing to be your late father’s successor. Therefore you released troops to plunder and rob, massacring cities and killing officials, having corpses fill the fields, exposed bodies filling the wilderness, some scaled and flayed, cut off limbs, so the departed spirits are sorrowful in the netherworld, wounded and crying in the grasses and thorns. Also then you planned to capture Yè city, agreeing to bestow on the Qín and Hú wealth and women, happily with them deciding border. Someone heard you announce and order officials and soldiers: ‘Though I have an aged mother, have her body completely removed and nothing more.’ Of those hearing these words, none were not alarmed and lost color, mourned in heart and spread tears, causing the dowager to worry and grieve in the halls, and our province’s ruler and ministers and scholars and friends wailed in sleep, not knowing what to do; recalling wish to calmly and respectfully quietly perform duty plan, then violating Chūnqiū‘s to the death integrity, presenting the dowager’s unexpected worry, failing your late father’s high enterprise. Moreover the Three Armies is resentful, people harbor private anger, our General declines not obtaining end, even to the Guǎntáo campaign. At the time outside was resisting troubles, inside truly begging guilt, and not meeting pardon, and exterminating each second and third hearts, overlooking battle line and rebelling. Our General advanced and withdrew without achievement, head to tail suffering enemies, led the army to flee back, not daring to say goodbye. Also saying you General had a little remaining benevolence to close kin, and gave the kindness of sluggish pursuit, and then searching for tracks, without fleeing for life. A trapped beast is certain to fight, so use ability to stermy control, and you General’s armies utterly collapsed, and this was not Men’s strength, it was then Heaven’s will. Afterward again hoping you General would change direction and cultivate yourself and come, overcome yourself to return to courtesy, and recover harboring love for kin as before; but you followed your wanton anger, seeking to destroy your family, craning to establish, joining with outside enemy, scattering vanguard in fire, spreading and increasing suffering and harm, firing becon to look at each other, wading across blood for a thousand lǐ, leaving cities of distressed people, leading sorrow and complaint, although wishing to not rescue, evil was obtained already! Therefore leading army east, protecting border, though near outskirt ramparts, yet unable to invade the borders, however looking to banners and flags, can one not always sigh? We [Shěn] Pèi and others served as your late father’s family servants, carrying out his order of deposing and establishing. But [Guō] Tú and others harms state and confuses family, and by the rites should be punished. Therefore exerting our province’s taxes, to remove the evil of you General, if then Heaven awakens your heart, you will early enact his punishment, and then our General will crawl prostrate and sorrowfully cry above your palms General, and we [Shěn] Pèi and others all bare body to await hatchet and axe punishment. If you certainly do not reform, it will be the state’s downfall, if [Guō] Tú’s head is not hung, our army will not turn back. May you General thoroughly judge the matter, and bestow ring of jade.”
  • Diǎnlüè states: Tán obtained the letter and was disappointed and upset, ascended the city wall and sobbed. He then seized Guō Tú, and also because the soldiers repeatedly fought, therefore battled without resolution.

〔三〕 魏氏春秋載劉表遺譚書曰:「天篤降害,禍難殷流,尊公殂殞,四海悼心。賢胤承統,遐邇屬望,咸欲展布旅力,以投盟主,雖亡之日,猶存之願也。何寤青蠅飛於干旍,無極游於二壘,使股肱分為二體,背膂絕為異身!昔三王五伯,下及戰國,父子相殘,蓋有之矣;然或欲以成王業,或欲以定霸功,或欲以顯宗主,或欲以固冢嗣,未有棄親即異,扤其本根,而能崇業濟功,垂祚後世者也。若齊襄復九世之讎,士匄卒荀偃之事,是故春秋美其義,君子稱其信。夫伯游之恨于齊,未若(文公)〔太公〕之忿曹;宣子之承業,未若仁君之繼統也。且君子之違難不適讎國,豈可忘先君之怨,棄至親之好,為萬世之戒,遺同盟之恥哉!冀州不弟之傲,既已然矣;仁君當降志辱身,以匡國為務;雖見憎於夫人,未若鄭莊之於姜氏,兄弟之嫌,未若重華之於象傲也。然莊公有大隧之樂,象受有鼻之封。願棄捐前忿,遠思舊義,復為母子昆弟如初。」又遺尚書曰:「知變起辛、郭,禍結同生,追閼伯、實沈之蹤,忘常棣死喪之義,親尋干戈,僵尸流血,聞之哽咽,雖存若亡。昔軒轅有涿鹿之戰,周武有商、奄之師,皆所以翦除穢害而定王業,非彊弱之(事)爭,喜怒之忿也。故雖滅親不為尤,誅兄不傷義。今二君初承洪業,纂繼前軌,進有國家傾危之慮,退有先公遺恨之負,當唯義是務,唯國是康。何者?金木水火以剛柔相濟,然後克得其和,能為民用。今青州天性峭急,迷于曲直。仁君度數弘廣,綽然有餘,當以大包小,以優容劣,先除曹操以卒先公之恨,事定之後,乃議曲直之計,不亦善乎!若留神遠圖,克己復禮,當振旆長驅,共獎王室,若迷而不反,違而無改,則胡夷將有誚讓之言,況我同盟,復能戮力為君之役哉?此韓盧、東郭自困於前而遺田父之獲者也。憤踴鶴望,冀聞和同之聲。若其泰也,則袁族其與漢升降乎!如其否也,則同盟永無望矣。」譚、尚盡不從。漢晉春秋載審配獻書於譚曰:「春秋之義,國君死社稷,忠臣死王命。苟有圖危宗廟,敗亂國家,王綱典律,親疏一也。是以周公垂泣而蔽管、蔡之獄,季友歔欷而行鍼叔之鴆。何則?義重人輕,事不得已也。昔衛靈公廢蒯聵而立輒,蒯聵為不道,入戚以篡,衛師伐之。春秋傳曰:『以石曼姑之義,為可以拒之。』是以蒯聵終獲叛逆之罪,而曼姑永享忠臣之名。父子猶然,豈況兄弟乎!昔先公廢絀將軍以續賢兄,立我將軍以為適嗣,上告祖靈,下書譜牒,先公謂將軍為兄子,將軍謂先公為叔父,海內遠近,誰不備聞?且先公即世之日,我將軍斬衰居廬,而將軍齋于堊室,出入之分,於斯益明。是時凶臣逢紀,妄畫蛇足,曲辭諂媚,交亂懿親,將軍奮赫然之怒,誅不旋時,〔我〕將軍亦奉命承旨,加以淫刑。自是之後,癰疽破潰,骨肉無絲髮之嫌,自疑之臣,皆保生全之福。故悉遣彊胡,簡命名將,料整器械,選擇戰士,殫府庫之財,竭食土之實,其所以供奉將軍,何求而不備?君臣相率,共衛旌麾,戰為雁行,賦為幣主,雖傾倉覆庫,翦剝民物,上下欣戴,莫敢告勞。何則?推戀戀忠赤之情,盡家家肝腦之計,脣齒輔車,不相為賜。謂為將軍心合意同,混齊一體,必當并威偶勢,禦寇寧家。何圖凶險讒慝之人,造飾無端,誘導姦利,至令將軍翻然改圖,忘孝友之仁,聽豺狼之謀,誣先公廢立之言,違近者在喪之位,悖紀綱之理,不顧逆順之節,橫易冀州之主,欲當先公之繼。遂放兵鈔撥,屠城殺吏,交尸盈原,裸民滿野,或有髡{髟剔}髮膚,割截支體,冤魂痛於幽冥,創痍號於草棘。又乃圖獲鄴城,許賜秦、胡,財物婦女,豫有分界。或聞告令吏士云:『孤雖有老母,輒使身體完具而已。』聞此言者,莫不驚愕失氣,悼心揮涕,使太夫人憂哀憤懣于堂室,我州君臣士友假寐悲歎,無所措其手足;念欲靜師拱默以聽執事之圖,則懼違春秋死命之節,貽太夫人不測之患,隕先公高世之業。且三軍憤慨,人懷私怒,我將軍辭不獲已,以及館陶之役。是時外為禦難,內實乞罪,既不見赦,而(屠辱谷)〔屠各〕二三其心,臨陳叛戾。我將軍進退無功,首尾受敵,引軍奔避,不敢告辭。亦謂將軍當少垂親親之仁,貺以緩追之惠,而乃尋蹤躡軌,無所逃命。困獸必鬥,以干嚴行,而將軍師旅土崩瓦解,此非人力,乃天意也。是後又望將軍改往修來,克己復禮,追還孔懷如初之愛;而縱情肆怒,趣破家門,企踵鶴立,連結外讎,散鋒於火,播增毒螫,烽煙相望,涉血千里,遺城厄民,引領悲怨,雖欲勿救,惡得已哉!故遂引軍東轅,保正疆埸,雖近郊壘,未侵境域,然望旌麾,能不永歎?配等備先公家臣,奉廢立之命。而圖等干國亂家,禮有常刑。故奮敝州之賦,以除將軍之疾,若乃天啟于心,早行其誅,則我將軍匍匐悲號于將軍股掌之上,配等亦袒躬布體以待斧鉞之刑。若必不悛,有以國斃,圖頭不縣,軍不旋踵。願將軍詳度事宜,錫以環玦。」典略曰:譚得書悵然,登城而泣。既劫于郭圖,亦以兵鋒累交,遂戰不解。

Shàng sent Shěn Pèi and Sū Yóu to defend Yé, and again attacked Tán at Píngyuán. Tàizǔ advanced army and was about to attack Yè, reached Huán river, from Yè fifty lǐ [~20.8 km], [Sū] Yóu wished to be his inside answer, the plot leaked, and he with [Shěn] Pèi battled in the city, was defeated, and went out and fled to join Tàizǔ. Tàizǔ therefore advanced and attacked them, made tunnels, and [Shěn] Pèi also inside made moats to block them. [Shěn] Pèi’s officer Féng Lǐ opened the barbican gate, inside went Tàizǔ‘s troops of over 300 men, [Shěn] Pèi became aware of them, and from atop the city walls with large stones shot inside the barbican, closed the gates, and those that entered all died. Tàizǔ therefore besieged them, made a moat, all around forty lǐ [~16.6 km]. First he ordered to make it shallow, to appear that it could be crossed. [Shěn] Pèi saw and laughed at it, and did not go out to contest it. Tàizǔ in one night dug it, wide and deep by two zhàng [~4.6 m], and diverted the Zhāng river to fill it. From the Fifth Moon to the Eighth Moon, inside the city the starved to death were over half. Shàng heard Yè was in emergency, and commanded troops of over 10,000 men back to rescue it, following the western mountains to come, going east to reach Yángpíng precinct, from Yè seventeen lǐ [~7 km], overlooking Fǔ river, and lit fire to signal those inside the city, and those inside the city also lit fire to answer. [Shěn] Pèi sent out troops to the city’s north, wishing to with with Shàng on opposite sides break the encirclement. Tàizǔ opposed and struck them, and defeated they returned, and Shàng also was beaten and fled, depending on the Zhāng’s bend to camp, and Tàizǔ therefore besieged them. Before it was completed, Shàng was afraid, and sent Yīn Kuí and Chén Lín to beg to surrender, but was not accepted. Shàng returned fleeing to Lànkǒu, [Tàizǔ] advanced again to encircle them harshly, his [Shàng’s] officer Mǎ Yán and others facing the battle lines surrendered, the army greatly collapsed, and Shàng fled to Zhōngshān. [Tàizǔ] completely captured his supply wagons, obtained Shàng’s seal and ribbon, staff and battle-ax and robes, and showed these, and inside the city morale collapsed. [Shěn] Pèi’s elder brother’s son [Shěn] Róng defended the east gate, and in the night opened the gate to let in Tàizǔ‘s troops, they with [Shěn] Pèi battled inside the city, and captured alive [Shěn] Pèi. [Shěn] Pèi’s aura was valorous, and to the end he made no plea to be spared, and of those that saw him none did not sigh. Therefore they beheaded him. (4) Gāo Gàn with Bìng Province surrendered, and [Gāo] Gàn was restored as Inspector.


  • (4) Xiānxián Xíngzhuàng states: [Shěn] Pèi appellation Zhèngnán was a Wèi prefecture man, when young was loyal and ardent, and had integrity that could not be violated. Yuán Shào took office over Jì Province, and entrusted him close appointment, appointing him Internal Manager Aide-de-Camp, also managing the military headquarters. Previously, when Tán left, all of Xīn Pí’s and Guō Tú’s families were able to get out, and Xīn Píng’s family alone was arrested. When [Shěn] Pèi’s elder brother’s son opened the city gates to allow in troops, at the time [Shěn] Pèi was at the city wall’s southeast corner’s tower top, saw Tàizǔ’s troops enter, was furious that Xīn [Pí] and Guō [Tú] had ruined and destroyed Jì Province, and therefore sent someone to hurry go to Yè’s prison and completely killed [Xīn Píng] Zhòngzhì’s family. At the time, Xīn Pí was in the army, heard that the gates had opened, and hurried to go to the prison, wishing to release his elder brother’s family, but his elder brother’s family was already dead. That day they alive bound [Shěn] Pèi, about to bring him below the tents, Xīn Pí and others opposed and with horsewhip struck his head, cursing him: “Slave, you today will truly die!” [Shěn] Pèi looked back and said: “Dogs, truly because of you Cáo destroyed our Jì Province, I only regret not being able to kill you! Yet you today are able to kill me?” Shortly afterward the Excellency summoned him to meet, and said to [Shěn] Pèi: “Do you know who opened the city gate?” [Shěn] Pèi said: “I do not know.” [Cáo Cāo] said: “It was your nephew [Shěn] Róng.” [Shěn] Pèi said: “That little boy was insufficient to be employed, so it came to this!” The Excellency again said: “On a previous day I toured the siege, why did you use so many crossbows?” [Shěn] Pèi said: “I regret only that they were too few!” The Excellency said: “You are loyal to the Yuán father and sons, and also could not but be like this,” and had intention wishing to spare him. [Shěn] Pèi had no plea to be spared, and Xīn Pí and the rest shouted and wept without end, and therefore they killed him. Previously, Jì Province man Zhāng Zǐqiān earlier surrendered, previously with [Shěn] Pèi was not friendly, and laughed and said to [Shěn] Pèi: “Zhèngnán, how do you compare to me?” [Shěn] Pèi sternly said: “You are a surrendered caitiff, I Shěn Pèi am a loyal minister, though I die, how can it compare to you living?” Facing execution, he shouted at the weapon wielder to let him face north, saying: “My master is to the north.”
  • Yuè Zī’s Shānyánggōng Zǎijì and Yuán Wěi’s Xiàn-dì Chūnqiū both say: Tàizǔ‘s troops entered the city, Shěn Pèi battled in the gates, when defeated, fled into a well, and in the well was captured.
  • Your Servant Sōngzhī believes: [Shěn] Pèi was the generation’s ardent martyr, the Yuán clan’s to the death servant, how on the day of utter destitution, could he flee into a well? This is difficult to believe, and truly is doubtful. One does not know how [Yuè] Zī and [Yuán] Wěi’s sort indeed were what sort of men, unable to distinguish between correct and wrong, and recklessly playing with writing brush and ink, absurdly producing heresy, to make their books. Those of these sort, truly are sufficient to slander and deceive inspection, and doubt and mislead later people. They truly are criminals to historical records, what those attaining scholarship should not seek.

〔四〕 先賢行狀曰:配字正南,魏郡人,少忠烈慷慨,有不可犯之節。袁紹領冀州,委以腹心之任,以為治中別駕,并總幕府。初,譚之去,皆呼辛毗、郭圖家得出,而辛評家獨被收。及配兄子開城門內兵,時配在城東南角樓上,望見太祖兵入,忿辛、郭壞敗冀州,乃遣人馳詣鄴獄,指殺仲治家。是時,辛毗在軍,聞門開,馳走詣獄,欲解其兄家,兄家已死。是日生縛配,將詣帳下,辛毗等逆以馬鞭擊其頭,罵之曰:「奴,汝今日真死矣!」配顧曰:「狗輩,正由汝曹破我冀州,恨不得殺汝也!且汝今日能殺生我邪?」有頃,公引見,謂配:「知誰開卿城門?」配曰:「不知也。」曰:「自卿(文)〔子〕榮耳。」配曰:「小兒不足用乃至此!」公復謂曰:「曩日孤之行圍,何弩之多也?」配曰:「恨其少耳!」公曰:「卿忠于袁氏父子,亦自不得不爾也。」有意欲活之。配既無撓辭,而辛毗等號哭不已,乃殺之。初,冀州人張子謙先降,素與配不善,笑謂配曰:「正南,卿竟何如我?」配厲聲曰:「汝為降虜,審配為忠臣,雖死,豈若汝生邪!」臨行刑,叱持兵者令北向,曰:「我君在北。」樂資山陽公載記及袁暐獻帝春秋並云太祖兵入城,審配戰于門中,既敗,逃于井中,於井獲之。臣松之以為配一代之烈士,袁氏之死臣,豈當數窮之日,方逃身于井,此之難信,誠為易了。不知資、暐之徒竟為何人,未能識別然否,而輕弄翰墨,妄生異端,以行其書。如此之類,正足以誣罔視聽,疑誤後生矣。寔史籍之罪人,達學之所不取者也。

When Tàizǔ besieged Yè, Tán plundered and captured Gānlíng, Ānpíng, Bóhǎi, Héjiān, and attacked Shàng at Zhōngshān. Shàng fled to Gù’ān and joined [Yuán] Xī, and Tán completely collected his armies. Tàizǔ was about to suppress him, and Tán then captured Píngyuán, absorbed Nánpí, and personally garrisoned Lóngcòu. Twelfth Moon, Tàizǔ‘s army was at his gates, Tán did not go out, and in the night escaped and fled to Nánpí, overlooking Qīnghé and garrisoning. Tenth Year [205] Standard Moon, they attacked and captured it, beheading Tán and [Guō] Tú and others.


Xī and Shàng were by their officers Jiāo Chù and Zhāng Nán attacked, and fled to Liáoxī’s Wūhuán. [Jiāo] Chù declared himself Yōu Province Inspector, and quickly led the various prefecture Administrators and the Magistrates and Chiefs, to turn on the Yuán and join the Cáo, laying out troops of several tens of thousands, killing a white horse as pledge, with Order: “Those that violate command are beheaded!” In the army none dared speak, and each in order drank the blood. Reaching Aide-de-Camp Hán Héng, he said: “I received Excellency Yuán father and sons’ generous grace, now they are broken and destroyed, my wisdom cannot save them, my valor cannot die for them, and my righteousness is already deficient. If then you turn to face north to the Cáo, that I cannot do.” Everyone present for [Hán] Héng lost color. [Jiāo] Chù said: “The raising of great affairs, should establish great righteousness. A matter’s relief or failure, is not by one man. We can accept [Hán] Héng’s will, to encourage serving rulers.”


Gāo Gàn rebelled, seizing the Shàngdǎng Administrator, raising troops to defend Húkǒu Pass. Yuè Jìn and Lǐ Diǎn were sent to strike them, but did not yet take them. Eleventh Year [206], Tàizǔ campaigned against [Gāo] Gàn. [Gāo] Gàn then left his officers Xià Zhāo and Dèng Shēng to defend the city, and personally visited the Xiōngnú Shànyú to beg help, did not obtain it, and alone with several riders fled, wishing to go south to flee to Jīng Province, and the Shàngluò Commandant seized and beheaded them. (1)


  • (1) Diǎnlüè states: Shàngluò Commandant Wáng Yǎn captured Gāo Gàn, for his achievement was given fief as Marquis; his wife wept at home, believing [Wáng] Yǎn because of his nobility and riches would again wed concubines and take away her own favor.

〔一〕 典略曰:上洛都尉王琰獲高幹,以功封侯;其妻哭于室,以為琰富貴將更娶妾媵而奪己愛故也。

Twelfth Year [207], Tàizǔ reached Liáoxī and struck the Wūhuán. Shàng and Xī with the Wūhuán opposed the army in battle, was defeated and fled to Liáodōng, and Gōngsūn Kāng enticed and beheaded them, sending their heads. (2)


  • (2) Diǎnlüè states: Shàng as a man had valor and strength, wished to seize [Gōngsūn] Kāng’s army, and with Xī plotted: “Now we arrive, [Gōngsūn] Kāng certainly will meet us. I wish to with you elder brother hand strike him, and with Liáodōng yet we can ourselves expand.” [Gōngsūn] Kāng also in his heart planned: “Now if I do not take Xī and Shàng, nothing will be able to serve the state.” Therefore he first installed his elite and valorous inside the stable, and afterward invited Xī and Shàng. Xī and Shàng entered, [Gōngsūn] Kāng’s hidden troops went out, and bound them all, seating them on frozen land. Shàng was cold, and begged for a mat, and Xī said: “Our heads are about to go ten thousand lǐ, what use is a mat?” Therefore they were beheaded.
  • Tán appellation Xiǎnsī. Xī appellation Xiǎnyì. Shàng appellation Xiǎnfǔ.
  • Wúshū states: Shàng had a younger brother named Mǎi, who with Shàng together fled to Liáodōng.
  • Cáománzhuàn says: [Yuán] Mǎi was Shàng’s elder brother’s son.
  • The matter is unclear.

〔二〕 典略曰:尚為人有勇力,欲奪取康眾,與熙謀曰:「今到,康必相見,欲與兄手擊之,有遼東猶可以自廣也。」康亦心計曰:「今不取熙、尚,無以為說於國家。」乃先置其精勇于廄中,然後請熙、尚。熙、尚入,康伏兵出,皆縛之,坐于凍地。尚寒,求席,熙曰:「頭顱方行萬里,何席之為!」遂斬首。譚,字顯思。熙,字顯奕。尚,字顯甫。吳書曰:尚有弟名買,與尚俱走遼東。曹瞞傳云:買,尚兄子。未詳。

Tàizǔ honored Hán Héng’s integrity, repeatedly recruited him but he did not come, and he died at home. (3)


  • (3) Xiānxián Xíngzhuàng states: [Hán] Héng appellation Zǐpèi was a Dài prefecture man, and was pure and magnanimous. When young he lost his father and mother, served his elder brothers and sisters, and his clansmen praised his filial and fraternal peity.

〔三〕 先賢行狀曰:珩字子佩,代郡人,清粹有雅量。少喪父母,奉養兄姊,宗族稱孝悌焉。

2 thoughts on “(6.2) Yuán Shào 袁紹 [Běnchū 本初]

  1. Pingback: (12.6) Bào Xūn 鮑勛 [Shūyè 叔業] – Three States Records

  2. Pingback: (17.4) Zhāng Hé 張郃 [Juànyì 雋乂] | Three States Records

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