(17.3) Yú Jīn 于禁 [Wénzé 文則]

Yú Jīn appellation Wénzé was a Tàishān Jùpíng man. When the Huángjīn rose, Bào Xìn recruited and gathered follower forces, Jīn attached and followed him. When Tàizǔ was designated Yǎn province, Jīn led his all his group to go join him, becoming a regional captain, subordinate to General Wáng Lǎng. [Wáng] Lǎng was impressed with him, recommending Jīn as a talent to become a chief General. Tàizǔ summoned and met with him and spoke, appointed him Army Major, sending him to command troops to go to Xú province, attacked Guǎngwēi, captured it, appointed as Piercing Lines Commandant. Accompanied in suppressing Lǚ Bù at Púyáng, separately destroying Bù’s two camps to the city’s south, also separately commanding and defeating Gāo Yǎ at Xūchāng. Followed in attacking Shòuzhāng, Díngtáo, Líhú, besieged Zhāng Chāo at Yōngqiū, capturing them all. Followed the campaign against Huángjīn Liú Bì, Huáng Shào, and others, garrisoned Bǎnliáng, [Huáng] Shào and the rest in the night attacked Tàizǔ’s camp, Jīn commanded the bannermen to strike and defeated them, beheading [Huáng] Shào and the rest, completely subduing their forces. Promoted Pacifying Caitiffs Colonel. Accompanied besieging Qiáo Ruí at Kǔ, beheading Ruí and others of four officers. Followed in reaching Wǎn, subduing Zhāng Xiù. [Zhāng] Xiù again rebelled, Tàizǔ with him battled and was not successful, the army was defeated, and returned to Wǔyīn. At the time the army was in chaos, each going to seek Tàizǔ, Jīn alone reigned in those he commanded of several hundred people, both battling and withdrawing, and though there were dead and wounded they did not abandon each other. The caitiff’s pursuit gradually lessened, Jīn slowly organized and marched his squadron, trumpeting and drumming and returning. They had not yet reached where Tàizǔ was, when on the road they met over ten people who had been wounded and running unclothed, Jīn asked the reason, they said: “We were by Qīng Province Troops robbed.” Previously, surrendered Huángjīn were called the Qīng Province Troops, Tàizǔ was lenient with them, and therefore they dared take advantage to plunder. Jīn was furious, and ordered his forces saying: “the Qīng Province Troops together joined Excellency Cáo, and yet returned to becoming bandits!” Then he suppressed them, enumerating them with their crimes. The Qīng Province troops hurriedly fled to Tàizǔ to plead their case. When Jīn arrived, he first established his camp, not timely visiting Tàizǔ. Someone said to Jīn: “The Qīng Province troops have already complained to the master, it is appropriate to urgently go to his excellency to contest it.” Jīn said: “Now the rebels are to the rear, their pursuit will arrive in no time, to not first make preparations, how is that to deal with the enemy? Moreover his excellency is intelligent, what problem is slanderous complaint?” He slowly dug moats and pitched camp and finished, and then entered to visit, providing explanation of the situation. Tàizǔ was pleased, saying to Jīn: “At the troubles at the Yù river, I was thus in distress, you General in chaos were able to maintain order, suppress the violent and build ramparts, having integrity that cannot be shaken, even the famed officers of the past, what could they add to it!” Therefore in note of Jīn’s beginning to end achievements, enfeoffed as Yìshòu precinct marquis. Again followed in attacking Zhāng Xiù at Ráng, capturing Lǚ Bù at Xiàpī, separately with Shǐ Huàn and Cáo Rén attacked Suī Gù at Shèquán, defeating and beheading him.


Tàizǔ first campaigned against Yuán Shào, [Yuán] Shào’s troops were flourishing, Jīn requested to be the first to ascend. Tàizǔ praised him, and so sent infantry soldiers of two thousand men, with Jīn as commander, defending Yánjīn to resist [Yuán] Shào. Tàizǔ led the army back to Guāndù. Liú Bèi in Xú province rebelled, Tàizǔ to the east campaigned against him. [Yuán] Shào attacked Jīn, Jīn firmly defended, [Yuán] Shào could not capture him. Again he with Yuè Jìn and others commanded infantry and cavalry of five thousand, striking [Yuán] Shào’s separate camps, from Yánjīn going southwest along the Hé to reach the Jí, Huòjiā two counties, burning the amassed defenses of over thirty garrisons, beheading and capturing alive several thousand each, subduing [Yuán] Shào’s officers Hé Mào, Wáng Mó and others of over twenty men. Tàizǔ again sent Jīn to separately command the garrison at Yuánwǔ, striking [Yuán] Shào’s separate camp at Dùshìjīn, destroyed it. Promoted to Secondary General, later followed back to Guāndù. Tàizǔ and [Yuán] Shào linked camps, raising earthen mountains to match one another. [Yuán] Shào shot into the camps, of the soldiers many were killed and injured, and those in the army were afraid. Jīn commanded the defense of the earthen mountains, fiercely battled, his vitality all the more exerted. When [Yuán] Shào was defeated, promoted to Side General. When Jì province was pacified, Chāng Xī again rebelled, sent Jīn to campaign against him. Jīn urgently advanced and attacked [Chāng] Xī; [Chāng] Xī with Jīn had old relationships, and he visited Jīn to surrender. The various officers all believed [Chāng] Xī had already surrendered, and they should send him to Tàizǔ. Jīn said: “You sirs do not remember his excellency’s standing orders! Those who are encircled and only afterward surrender are not pardoned. To uphold law and enact orders is the integrity of serving superiors. Though [Chāng] Xī is an old friend, can I Jīn lose integrity?” He personally faced [Chāng] Xī in decision, shedding tears and beheaded him. At the time Tàizǔ’s army was at Chúnyú, he heard and sighed saying: “[Chāng] Xī in surrendering did not go to me but went to Jīn, how was it not fate?” He increased his value of Jīn. (1) When Dōnghǎi was pacified, appointed Jīn as Tiger Authority General, later with Zāng Bà and the rest attacked Méi Chéng, Zhāng Liáo and Zhāng Hé and others suppressed Chén Lán. Jīn arrived, [Méi] Chéng led forces of over three thousand men to surrender. After surrendering they again rebelled, their forces fleeing to [Chén] Lán. [Zhāng] Liáo and the rest with [Chén] Lán were locked together, the army provisions were few, Jīn transported provisions from beginning to end to provide for, [Zhāng] Liáo therefore beheaded [Chén] Lán and [Méi] Chéng. Increased fief by two hundred households, adding to the previous to reach one thousand two hundred households. At that time, Jīn with Zhāng Liáo, Yuè Jìn, Zhāng Hé, Xú Huǎng all were famed officers, every time Tàizǔ went on campaign, he always entrusted them in marching as the army vanguard, in returning they were the rearguard; and Jīn maintained the army in orderly formation, in obtaining rebel possessions, none entered his personal keeping, and because of this his bestowals were especially heavy. However as he used law to restrict subordinates, he did not extremely obtain the hearts of the troops. Tàizǔ always resented Zhū Líng and wished to take away his camp. As Jīn had heavy authority, he sent Jīn to lead several tens of cavalry, to present order letter, to directly go to [Zhū] Líng’s camp to take away his army, of [Zhū] Líng and his division forces none dared move; thus [Zhū] Líng became Jīn’s division subordinate commander, of the masses all were shaken and submitted, he met with fear like this. Promoted to Left General, Lent Staff and Battle-Ax, divided fief of five hundred housesholds to enfeoff one son as a ranked marquis.


  • (1) Your Servant Sōngzhī believes that to be encircled and only afterward surrender, though the law is not to pardon, to imprison and send him would not yet be to violate orders. Jīn did not for an old friend hope for a ten thousand to one chance, but indulged a heart that enjoyed killing, to go against everyone’s comments, and so to in the end become a surrendered caitiff, and on death be applied a bad posthumous name, was appropriate.

  〔一〕 臣松之以為圍而後降,法雖不赦;囚而送之,未為違命。禁曾不為舊交希冀萬一,而肆其好殺之心,以戾眾人之議,所以卒為降虜,死加惡諡,宜哉。

Jiàn’ān Twenty-fourth Year [219], Tàizǔ was at Cháng’ān, sent Cáo Rén to suppress Guān Yǔ at Fán, also sending Jīn to assist [Cáo] Rén. Autumn, heavy continuous rain, the Hàn river flooded, on flat ground the water was several zhàng, Jīn and the rest’s seven armies were all drowned. Jīn with the various officers climbed high and looked out to the water, had nowhere to escape, [Guān] Yǔ rode large ships to at once attack Jīn and the rest, Jīn therefore surrendered, only Páng Dé would not yield integrity and died. Tàizǔ heard this, grieved and sighed for a long time, saying: “I have known Jīn for thirty years, how could I know that on facing danger and standing in disaster, he would instead not compare to Páng Dé?” It happened Sūn Quán captured [Guān] Yǔ, obtaining his forces, Jīn then was in Wú. When Emperor Wén [Cáo Pī] ascended, [Sūn] Quán declared himself vassal, sending Jīn back. The Emperor invited and met Jīn, his whiskers and hair were all white, his appearance thin and haggard, sobbing tears he knocked head. The Emperor consoled him with the example of Xún Línfù and Mèng Míngshì, (1) appointing him as Securing the Distant General, wishing to send him as envoy to Wú, and first ordered him to go north to visit Yè to visit Gāolíng [‘High Tomb,’ Cáo Cāo’s tomb]. The Emperor in advance had the tomb building paint images of Guān Yǔ’s battle victory, Páng Dé’s indignation, and Jīn’s surrender. Jīn saw it, was shamed and angry and fell ill and died. His son Guī succeeded fief as Yìshòu precinct marquis. Posthumous name on Jīn as Lì-hóu “Vicious Marquis.”


  • (1) Wèi shū records the Regulation stating: “In the past Xún Línfù was defeated utterly at Bì, Mèng Míng lost his forces at Xiáo, Qín and Jìn did not replace them, having them again take their positions. Afterward Jìn captured the Dí lands, Qín overwhelmed the Xīróng, triffling small states yet valued them like this, so all the more for ten thousand chariots? The defeat at Fánchéng, was a flood disaster suddenly arriving, not a battle fault, thus restore Jīn and the rest to their offices.”

  〔一〕 魏書載制曰:「昔荀林父敗績于邲,孟明喪師於殽,秦、晉不替,使復其位。其後晉獲狄土,秦霸西戎,區區小國,猶尚若斯,而況萬乘乎?樊城之敗,水災暴至,非戰之咎,其復禁等官。」

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