(53.5) Xuē Zōng 薛綜 [Jìngwén 敬文]

son Yíng 瑩 [Dàoyán 道言]

Xuē Zōng appellation Jìngwén was a Pèi prefecture Zhúyì man. (1) When young he joined his clansmen in fleeing to Jiāo province, following Liú Xī in study. When Shì Xiè attached to Sūn Quán, Zōng was summoned to be Five Office Internal Cadet General, sent out as Hépǔ and Jiāozhǐ Administrator. At the time Jiāo’s lands were newly opened, Inspector Lǚ Dài led forces to suppress, Zōng with him together went, cross the sea on southern campaign, reaching to arrive at Jiǔzhēn. When the matter finished he returned to the capital, acting as Visitors Deputy Director. Western envoy Zhāng Fèng in front of [Sūn] Quán itemized Secretariat Documenter Kàn Zé’s surname and personal name to mock [Kàn] Zé, [Kàn] Zé was unable to reply. Zōng passed down liquor, and took advantage of urging drinking to say: “What is Shǔ? With a dog 犬 it is independent 獨, without a dog it is Shǔ 蜀, horizontal eye 目 on relaxed body, a worm 虫 entering its belly. (2) [Zhāng] Fèng said: “Can you not also itemize Wú?” Zōng answered saying: “Without a mouth 口 it is Heaven 天, with a mouth it is Wú 吳, its lord overlooking all nations, Heaven’s Son’s capital.” Therefore the crowd of seated laughed, and [Zhāng] Fèng was without an answer. His opportune quickness was all of this sort. (3)


(1) Wúlù states: His ancestor Mèngchángjūn was enfeoffed with Xuē. Qín destroyed the Six States, and they lost their sacrifices, the descendants scattering. Hàn Founder settled Heaven’s Under, passed Qí, and sought Mèngcháng’s posterity, found his descendants Líng and Guó two people, wishing to restore their fief. The brothers Líng and Guó deferred to one another, neither accepting, and so they left to Zhúyì, and therefore resided there, and therefore made their clan name Xuē. From Guó to Zōng, for generations they managed provinces and prefectures, becoming a great clan. Zōng when young understood classics, was good at writing prose, and had exceptional talent.

〔一〕 吳錄曰:其先齊孟嘗君封於薛。秦滅六國,而失其祀,子孫分散。漢祖定天下,過齊,求孟嘗後,得其孫陵、國二人,欲復其封。陵、國兄弟相推,莫適受,乃去之竹邑,因家焉,故遂氏薛。自國至綜,世典州郡,為著姓。綜少明經,善屬文,有秀才。

  • Your Servant Sōngzhī has seen in various books “relaxed body” is sometimes “bent body,” and believes that as it says “horizontal eye,” then it should be “bent body.”

  〔二〕 臣松之見諸書本「苟身」或作「句身」,以為既云「橫目」,則宜曰:「句身」。

  • Jiāngbiǎo zhuàn states: Fèi Yī visited Wú, at the steps met, the excellencies and ministers and attendant subjects were all seated. When intoxicated, [Fèi] Yī with Zhūgě Kè faced one another in ridicule and debate, the talk reached to Wú and Shǔ. [Fèi] Yī asked: “What is the word Shǔ?” [Zhūgě] Kè said: “With water it is muddy, without water it is Shǔ. Horizontal eye on relaxed body, worm entering its belly.” [Fèi] Yī again asked: “What is the word Wú?” [Zhūgě] Kè said: “Without a mouth it is Heaven, with a mouth it is Wú, below overlooking the azure sea, Heaven’s Son’s Imperial capital.”
  • It is with the base biography not the same.

  〔三〕 江表傳曰:費禕聘于吳,陛見,公卿待臣皆在坐。酒酣,禕與諸葛恪相對嘲難,言及吳、蜀。禕問曰:「蜀字云何?」恪曰:「有水者濁,無水者蜀。橫目苟身,虫入其腹。」禕復問:「吳字云何?」恪曰:「無口者天,有口者吳,下臨滄海,天子帝都。」與本傳不同。

Lǚ Dài from Jiāo province was summoned out, Zōng feared there was no such person to succeed [Lǚ] Dài, and sent up memorial stating:

In the past the Emperor Shùn toured the south, dying at Cāngwú; Qín installed Guìlín, Nánhǎi, Xiàng prefecture. That being the case, these four states being part of the interior, has been since then. Zhào Tuó rose in Pānyú, embracing the hundred Yuè as their ruler, this was at Zhūguān’s south. Hàn Emperor Wǔ executed Lǚ Jiā, opened nine prefectures, establishing Jiāozhǐ Inspector to defend and supervise it. The mountains and streams are far away, the customs are not the same, the languages similarly are different, with repeated translators then there is communication, the people are like birds and beasts, old and young are not distinguished, [hair] bound like a hammer and walking barefooted, pierced head [clothes] and left lapels, and though chief clerks were established it was as if there were none. From this onward, gradually the central state’s convicts were relocated and mixed among them, somewhat having them learn writing, roughly learn language, and enable relayed back and forth, observing and seeing ritual cultivation. Then afterward Xī Guāng became Jiāozhǐ and Rén Yán became Jiǔzhēn Administrator, and then taught them to plow, having them use hat and shoes; for them established matchmaking offices, so they first knew of betrothal and marriage; established schools, to teach them classical meanings. From this on down, it has been over four hundred years, generally resembling this sort. From the time of when I your servant in the past as a guest just arrived, Zhūyá’s Chúzhōu county marriages, all waited to the eighth moon to enter the doors, at the time when the people gathered, males and females could match with one another, and then become husband and wife, and fathers and mothers could not stop it. Jiāozhǐ’s Mílíng and Jiǔzhēn’s Dūpáng two counties, all had when the older brother died the younger brother taking as wife the sister-in-law, for generations it was custom, the chief clerks only listened, and could not prohibit it. Rìnán prefecture’s males and females bared their bodies, not thinking it shameful. From this speaking of them, they can be called insect creatures, only having modest appearances. However the lands are wide and the people are many, the rugged terrain is harmful, and it is easy to be rebellious, difficult to make them obey governance. The county officials to restrain and bind then, showed orders to awe them to submission, the field and household taxes, reduced requests and supply management, importantly delivering distant treasures of famed pearls, fragrant drugs, elephant tusks, rhinoceros horns, tortoise shells, coral, colored glass, parrots, kingfishers, peacocks, strange things to fill and prepare treasured trifles, it is not necessary to raise their taxation income to benefit the central states. However outside the nine regions, in the selection of chief clerks, they were not thoroughly investigated. In Hàn’s time the law was lenient, many indulged themselves without restraint, and therefore repeatedly there was rebellion and violation of law. Zhūyá was abolished, arising from the chief clerk observing that they had good hair, and shaved them to make wigs. What your servant has seen, Nánhǎi’s Huáng Gài became Rìnán Administrator, dismounting carriage, because the provided arrangements were not wealthy, he beat to death the Registrar, and so met with being driven out. Jiǔzhēn Administrator Dān Méng for his wife’s father Zhōu Jīng was a host, completely invited the chief clerks, drinking liquor and making merry, Merit Officer Pān Xīn rose and dancing invited [Zhōu] Jīng, [Zhōu] Jīng would not agree to rise, [Pān] Xīn still forced him, [Dān] Méng was furious and beat [Pān] Xīn, who died within the prefecture. [Pān] Xīn’s younger brother Miáo led forces to attack the office, with poison arrow shot [Dān] Méng, and [Dān] Méng reached death. Jiāozhǐ Administrator Shì Xiè sent troops to arrive to suppress, in the end not able to overcome them. Also former Inspector Kuàijī’s Zhū Fú, often used his townsmen Yú Bāo and Liú Yàn’s sort to be chief clerks, encroaching and oppressing the common people, seizing taxes from the people, yellow fish of one collected for rice of one hú, the common people complained and rebelled, mountain bandits together went out, attacking provinces and breaking through prefectures. [Zhū] Fú fled into the sea, and in exile died. Next obtaining Nányáng’s Zhāng Jīn, he with Jīng province Governor Liú Biǎo had discord, his troops were weak and the enemy strong, year after year he raised army, the various officers were resentful, leaving and going as they wished. [Zhāng] Jīn had little examination and control [of subordinates], his military authority was insufficient, was by his subordinates ridiculed, and therefore was killed. Later obtaining Línglíng’s Lài Gōng, he was an of elder generation, benevolent and solemn, not understanding the time’s situation. [Liú] Biǎo also sent Chángshā’s Wú Jù to be Cāngwǔ Administrator. [Wú] Jù was a warrior reckless and fierce, [Lài] Gōng would not submit to him, at once they resented one another, and therefore he expelled [Lài] Gōng and requested Bù Zhì. At the time [Zhāng] Jīn’s former officers Yí Liào and Qián Bó’s sort were still many, [Bù] Zhì in succession subdued them, law and order was just settled, when it happened he was yet summoned away. Lǚ Dài then arrived, and there was the Shì clan’s rebellion. Sending out the army on southern campaign, on the day of pacifying and suppression, he changed and installed chief clerks, ordering and enlightening the ruling law, authority applied ten thousand lǐ, large and small following the winds. From this speaking of it, pacifying the borders and comforting the frontiers, truly is in having the person. The appointment of governor seniors, then should be in purity and ability; beyond in the wild flows, disaster and fortune are incredibly extreme. Today although Jiāo province is said to be roughly settled, still there are Gāoliáng’s remaining bandits; their borders with Nánhǎi, Cāngwú, Yùlín, Zhūguān four prefectures are not yet pacified, in accord they become bandits and thieves, and it specially is a marsh for rebels and deserters. If [Lǚ] Dài is no longer in the south, the new Inspector should be extremely refined, to examine and control the eight prefectures, with strategic and wise calculations, one able to somewhat gradually govern Gāoliáng, if their authority and favor accords to the circumstances, accords to effect, perhaps they can fill the vacancy. If it is only a middling person, holding to ordinary law, one without unusual calculation and unique methods, then the crowd of evils will daily grow, and long after from afar achieve harm. Therefore the safety or danger of the state, is in appointments, and it cannot be not investigated. I humbly fear the Court is negligent in its selection, and therefore dare to exhaustively give my foolish opinions, to expand your sagely thinking.”


Huánglóng Third Year [231], Jiànchāng Marquis [Sūn] Lǚ became Defending the Army General-in-Chief, garrisoning Bànzhōu, with Zōng as his Chief Clerk, outside handling the mass of affairs, inside managing documents and registers. When [Sūn] Lǜ died, entered as observing Bandit Department Secretariat Documenter, promoted to Secretariat Documents Deputy Director. At the time Gōngsūn Yuān surrendered and again rebelled, [Sūn] Quán was overwhelmingly furious, wishing to himself personally campaign. Zōng sent up memorial remonstrating stating:

“Emperors and Kings are the foremost head of all states, how Heaven’s Under connects to fate. Therefore in residing then there are heavy doors and striking of alarms to guard against the unexpected, in walking then there is clearing of streets and holding of staff to cultivate authoritative appearance, overall how to preserve the fortunes of total security and defend the hearts of the Four Seas. In the past Kǒng-zǐ hated the times and spoke of taking a boat to sea, Jì Yóu for this was pleased, but was refused as there was no way to get timber. Hàn Emperor Yuán wished to ride tower ship, Xuē Guángdé requested to cut his throat to with his blood paint the chariot. Why was this? Water and fire are the most dangerous terrain, not what Emperors and Kings should cross. Proverb states: ‘A man with a thousand gold does not sit in hanging halls.’ All the more for the honor of the thousand chariots. Now Liáodōng is a Róngmò small state, without the firmness of city walls and moats or techniques of preparing defenses, tools and weapons blunt, dogs and sheep without government, in going we are certain to capture and overcome, truly as in the enlightened Imperial Order. However their regional land is cold and barren, grain does not grow, the people are trained in riding horses, moving residences without constancy. On suddenly hearing of the main army arriving, they will judge themselves as no match, as birds alarmed and beasts startled, quickly flee away, one man per horse, and cannot be found, and though empty ground is captured, holding it is of no benefit, this is the first reason it cannot be. Moreover also there are powerful currents and vast ripples, becoming like the troubles of a mountain, sea journeys are without constancy, wind and waves difficult to avoid, in an instant, men and boat are separated. Even with the virtues of Yáo and Shùn, wisdom has no way to be used, with the valors of Bēn and Yù, strength cannot be deployed, this is the second reason it cannot be. Moreover with dense fog darkening the above, salt water steaming the below, it is good for producing swelling, turning into stagnant disease, generally those crossing the sea, rarely are without these misfortunes, this is the third reason it cannot be. Natural divine sages are made known by corresponding signs, and follows in pacifying tragic chaos, prospering the people and things; auspicious signs daily gather, within the seas is almost settled, and the rebellious caitiffs and vicious oppressors, their destruction is near. When the central states are all pacified, Liáodōng will on its own fall, only holding hands to wait for it. Now to go against the certain plan, to seek the utmost dangerous obstructions, neglect the firmness of the Nine Provinces, to indulge one morning’s anger, is not the State Altar’s serious plan, and also opens they way for the never had, this truly is why the various officials turn body and sigh, eating without tasting, lying down without rest. May Your Majesty restrain your thundering authority, endure this awe-inspiring fury, honor the security of crossing bridges, and avoid the danger of treading ice, then your servants will have one to depend on, and Under Heaven will be extremely fortunate.”

At the time of the various ministers many remonstrated, [Sūn] Quán therefore did not go.


Standard Moon Yǐwèi [231 March 14], [Sūn] Quán ordered Zōng in writing the prayers to the ancestors should not use ordinary writing, Zōng followed the Imperial Order, quickly composed the written meaning, the words splendid and flowery. [Sūn] Quán  said: “Again make two stanzas, to make it three.” Zōng again twice wrote prayers, the words were all new, and of the masses all declared it excellent.

Chìwū Third Year [240] transferred to Selections Department Secretariat Documenter. Fifth Year [242] became Heir-Apparent’s Junior Tutor, managing selection duties as before. (1) Sixth Year [243] Spring, died. Altogether his written poems and rhapsodies and criticisms and discussions were several tens of thousands of words, named as Sīzài “Private Recordings,” and also he determined the Wǔ Zōng Tú Shù “Five Clans Chart Narration” and Èr Jīng Jiě “Explanation of the Two Capitals,” both transmitted through the ages.


  • (1) Wú shū states: Later [Sūn] Quán bestowed on Zōng purple ribbon purse, Zōng explained and declined as purple was not an appropriate color [translator’s note: the color is reserved for higher ranks than what Zōng’s], [Sūn] Quán said: “The Heir-Apparent’s years are few, his days of experiencing the way light, you enrich him with culture, train him with ritual, the enfeoffment of reeds and soil, if not for you then for whom?” At the time Zōng for being a famed classicist occupied the seat of teacher and tutor, and yet simultaneously selected promotions, was extremely and exceptionally valued.

〔一〕 吳書曰:後權賜綜紫綬囊,綜陳讓紫色非所宜服,權曰:「太子年少,涉道日淺,君當博之以文,約之以禮,茅土之封,非君而誰?」是時綜以名儒居師傅之位,仍兼選舉,甚為優重。

His son Xǔ, rank reached Awing the South General, campaigned against Jiāozhǐ and returned, on the road fell ill and died. (1) Xǔ’s younger brother Yíng, appellation Dàoyán, began as Confidential Office Internal Cadet General, when Sūn Xiū succeeded the throne, became Cavalier Regular Attendant. After several years, due to illness left office. At Sūn Hào’s beginning, became Left Law Enforcer, promoted to Selections Department Secretariat Documenter, reaching to the enthronement of the Heir-Apparent, also designated [Heir-Apparent’s] Junior Tutor. Jiànhéng Third Year [272], Hào in memorial sighed of Yíng’s father Zōng’s legacy writings, and further ordered Yíng to continue writing. Yíng proffered poem that said:

“Thinking of your servant’s ancestors, in the past served in Hàn, abundant ages continuously, often wading the terrace towers. Reaching to your servant’s father Zōng, encountering the time’s troubles, early metal losing governance, country and family destroyed and disordered. Arriving in this happy land, numerous preserved survivors, Heaven awakens their hearts, the southeast is home. Earliest beginning as a refugee scribe, destitute among the Mán borders. Dà Huáng [Sūn Quán] opened the foundations, grace and virtue distantly bestowed. Specially immersed in recruitment mandate, raised and selected out of mud and dirt, taking off headscarf and hemp, receiving office and divided talisman. Administering Hépǔ, in the sea’s corner, moving to enter the capital, then ascending to the pivots. The worn out again thriving, the cut off strands again ordered, from the minute becoming prominent, it was not the original wish. Also by favorable treatment, heart preserved in sufficient stop. Again reaching Wén Huáng [Sūn Hé], established title in the East Palace, then becoming Junior Tutor, radiant magnificence increasing in splendor. Brilliant enlightened sagely successor, utmost virtue modest and lofty, courtesy and treatment together applied, pondering enrichment and pondering abundance. Tragic sorrow the former minister, attending to exhausting his loyalty, vast grace not yet repaid, leaving the world in the end. Sighing your servant lowly and small, thinking of elder brother and younger brother, intimately born and intimately raised, entrusted with Zōng’s remaining form. Passing the hall and then teaching, obstinate screens are difficult to open. The clan compositions are not completed, ambition preserved as a pair plowing. How can one comprehend the Sagely Court, benevolent favor flowing full. Posthumously recording the former minister, pitying his incomplete, in relieving and in selecting out, given special glory. Xǔ passed a thousand lǐ, received mandate to campaign south, banners and flags and prepared materials, metal and leather raised sound. Reaching to your servant this lowly one, truly muddled and truly small, already prominent former course, pivot of men and things; again Tutor to the East Palace, continuing the age’s burden of splendor, talent not reaching the former, thus shamed thus disobedient. Ruling virtue extensive favor, cultured elegance thus noble, mourning for the deceased minister, hopes preserved in remaining sorts. What foolish posterity, there has never been such! Gazing to that old favor, looking after this obstinate hollowness, who can endure the same, your servant truly resides in it. Morning to evening tossing and turning, devoting heart to self discussing, father and sons and elder brothers and younger brothers, successive generations immersed in favor, in death only joining grass, living swearing to serve to the death, even though dejected and fallen, it is nothing to repay even a ten thousandth part.”


  • (1) Hàn Jìn Chūnqiū states: In Sūn Xiū’s time, Xǔ became Five Office Internal Cadet General, sent to reach Shǔ to request horses. When he returned, Xiū asked of the good and bad of Shǔ’s government. Replied stating: “The ruler is muddled and does not know his faults, the minister subordinates keep to themselves to seek to escape punishment, entering their Court one does not hear upright speech, crossing their fields their people all have lean appearances. Your servant has heard of sparrows residing on a hall, the children and mothers both happy, believing themselves secure; suddenly the support beams are burning, but the sparrows are happy and unaware disaster is about to arrive. This is what it it speaks of!”

〔一〕 漢晉春秋曰:孫休時,珝為五宮中郎將,遣至蜀求馬。及還,休問蜀政得失,對曰:「主闇而不知其過,臣下容身以求免罪,入其朝不聞正言,經其野民皆菜色。臣聞燕雀處堂,子母相樂,自以為安也,突決棟焚,而燕雀怡然不知禍之將及,其是之謂乎!」

That year, Hé Dìng proposed digging Shèngxī [canal] to connect the Jiāng and Huái, Hào ordered Yíng to command ten thousand people to go, then as there were many rocks was difficult to achieve, it was stopped and he returned, sent out as Wǔchāng Left Division Commander. Later [Hé] Dìng was executed, Hào in recollection of the Shèngxī matter, sent down Yíng to prison, exiled to Guǎng province. Right State Historian Huà Hé sent up memorial stating:

“Your Servant has heard that the Five Emperors and Three Kings all established historian officials, to narrate and record achievements and beauty, to pass down without limit. In Hàn’s time Sīmǎ Qiān and Bān Gù both were great talents of their lifetimes, what they compiled exquisite and fine, with the Six Classics together passed down. Great Wú receives the Mandate, establishing state in southern lands. In Dà Huángdì’s [Sūn Quán] final years, he ordered Grand Scribe Director Dīng Fú and Cadet Internal Xiàng Jùn to first compile a Wú shū. [Dīng] Fú and [Xiàng] Jùn both were not history talents, what they compiled and made, was not sufficient for records. Reaching to the Young Emperor’s [Sūn Liàng] time, then there was Wéi Yào, Zhōu Zhāo, Xuē Yíng, Liáng Guǎng and your servant of five people, seeking past situations, and what we together compiled and established, provided the beginnings to end. [Zhōu] Zhāo and [Liáng] Guǎng first died, [Wéi] Yào turned back on kindness and committed crime, Yíng was sent out as an officer, and again due to fault was exiled, and the writing therefore is slowed, and until now it is not yet compiled and presented. Your servant is foolish and shallow with inferior talents, and can only be suitable for Yíng and the rest to record notes and nothing more, and if I am sent to compile it together, it certainly will continue after the legacies of [Dīng] Fú and [Xiàng] Jùn, and I fear it will let down Dà Huángdì’s inaugural achievement, and harm the present age’s flourishing beauty. Yíng’s scholarship is broad, his writing exceptionally ingenious, and within the same offices, Yíng is the crowned head. Now observing the clerks, though many have studied, in talent of recording narratives, those like Yíng are few, and therefore I anxiously for the state cherish him. Truly I wish to finish the achievement of the passed down accomplishments, and continue on the end of previous histories. After sending up the memorial, to withdraw to fill a ravine, is no regret.”

Hào therefore summoned Yíng back, to be left Left State Historian. Shortly after this, Selections Department Secretariat Documenter Miào Yī of the same prefecture due to being steadfast in holding to intentions was by the crowd of the petty resented, demoted to Héngyáng Administrator. At the appointment, also in recollection of his office duties he met with investigation and reproach, and presented memorial to explain his apologies. Because of the visit to Yíng, he was again by someone reported, saying [Miào] Yī did not fear punishment, many officers and retainers gathered together to plead for Yíng. Therefore arrested Yī and sent down to prison, exiled to Guìyáng, Yíng returned to Guǎng province. He had not yet arrived, when Yíng was summoned back and restored to office. At the time law and government had many errors, actions were complex and exacting, Yíng every time sent up explanations to reduce punishment and simplify conscription, to relieve and care for the common people, of the matters some were enacted. Promoted to Minister of Merits.

Tiānjì Fourth Year [280], the Jìn army campaigned against Hào, Hào presented letter to Sīmǎ Zhòu, Wáng Hún, Wáng Jùn to request to surrender; its writing was by Yíng composed. Yíng then reached Luòyáng, and specially first met with ranking, becoming Cavalier Regular Attendant, his answering of questions and occupying positions, all were with orderly arrangement. (1) Tàikāng Third Year [282] died. His written works of eight piān were named as Xīnyì “New Comments.”


  • (1) Gān Bǎo’s Jìn jì states: Emperor Wǔ [Sīmǎ Yán] casually asked Yíng: “What were the reasons that Sūn Hào lost?” Yíng replied stating: “When the Marquis of Guīmìng your servant Hào was ruler of Wú, he was close with petty men, punishments were rashly applied, of the great ministers and great officers none were closely trusted, person after person was anxious and afraid, each unable to protect themselves, the dangerous rifts, truly were because of this.” The Emperor therefore asked of the worthy and foolish of Wú’s scholars that survived or perished, and Yíng replied with with their situations.

〔一〕 干寶晉紀曰:武帝從容問瑩曰:「孫皓之所以亡者何也?」瑩對曰:「歸命侯臣皓之君吳也,昵近小人,刑罰妄加,大臣大將,無所親信,人人憂恐,各不自保,危亡之釁,實由於此。」帝遂問吳士存亡者之賢愚,瑩各以狀對。

  • (2) Wáng Yǐn’s Jìn shū states: Yíng’s son Jiān appellation Lìngcháng, was pure and unadorned and had magnanimity, his seniority and prestige was like of the upper state, not resembling Wú people. Successively held rank in the Two Palaces as Chancellor’s Chief Clerk. When Emperor Yuán [Sīmǎ Ruì] ascended, continuously promoted to Dānyáng Intendant, Secretariat Documenter, also became Heir-Apparent’s Junior Tutor. From Zōng reaching to Jiān, three generations were Tutor to the East Palace.

〔二〕 王隱晉書曰:瑩子兼,字令長,清素有器宇,資望故如上國,不似吳人。歷位二宮丞相長史。元帝踐阼,累遷丹楊尹、尚書,又為太子少傅。自綜至兼,三世傅東宮。

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