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Videos about China's Resistance War:
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Videos about China's Resistance War: China's Dunkirk Retreat (in English); 42 Video Series (in Chinese)
The time period of the Three Kingdoms was very well covered by Luo Guanzhong's San Guo Yan Yi. The Chinese people often take for granted that Luo Guanzhong's San Guo Yan Yi was history. In the 70s, across China, radio stations had been broadcasting various yan yi (i.e., romance) stories, including Liu Lanfang's story about General Yue Fei of Northern Song Dynasty, Shan Tianfang's story about the Sui-Tang Dynasty generals, Yuan Kuocheng's story about the Three Kingdoms, among others. This section would be based on Fan Ye's Hou Han Shu, and Chen Shou's San Guo Zhi. So far, I had transcribed Chen Shou's section on the Xianbei/Wuhuans of Manchuria and Eastern Yi barbarians (like the Koreans and Japanese) in the Korean section. A lot of extra work is needed to cover the Three Kingdoms.
The Three Kingdoms time derived from the demise of Latter Han Dynasty. Han Dynasty possessed the typical chracateristics as far as the pattern of power corruption was concerned. There would appear the 'empress power' (in-law power, in fact), the 'eunuch power' and the 'warlord power'. The tripartitie functions of the imperial house gradually lost their influences, and the departments like 'shangshu sheng' (state affairs) and 'zhongshu sheng' (secretariat) would weign on the emperors. The influence from people in the palace, i.e., the 'empress power' or the 'in-law power', led to the demise of the Western Han Dynasty. Wang Mang, who usurped Western Han and founded Xin Dynasty, derived his power from Empress Wang. All three forms of power corruption led to the demise of Eastern Han. During late Eastern Han (Latter Han), five emperors were erected by empress-related ministers, and six dowager empresses had intervention in politics. To combat the overpowerment of in-law families, weak Han emperors resorted to their best friends, i.e., the eunuchs, for assistance, which led to rise of the eunuch power. When empress-related ministers (i.e., wai qie or in-law ministers) invited governor-generals (zhou mu) to the capital for cracking down on the eunuchs, the outcome would be: i) the death of both the eunuchs and the in-law ministers and ii) the emergence of various governor-generals. Governor-generals (zhou mu), however, had grown in strength due to the uprising of the Yellow Turbans Rebellion, and their power had become unrestrained during the process of recruiting the armies. Cai Dongfan gave four names as the representative of various powers weighing on the emperors, i.e., Empress Denghou, in-law minister Liang Ji, eunuch Cao Teng, and governor-general Cao Cao. The rise of the Yellow Turbans was a result of corrupt governance and over-exploitation by the government. Compounding the Yellow Turbans rebellion would be the Qiangic rebellions. While Cao Cao rose to power in the process of cracking down on the Yellow Turbans, Dong Zhuo achieved his power via cracking down on the Qiangs in the northwestern part of China. We would touch on the thread of events below.
Han Emperor Lingdi deposed his empress. Two years later, a concubine by the name of He (Heh) bore a son for the emperor and was upgraded to empress. Empress He-hou was recorded to be a beauty who had a height of 7 Chinese feet and 1 inch. Her son would be called Liu Bian who would later be the short life expectancy emperor (King Hongnong-wang, r A.D. 189-189) poisoned by Dong Zhuo in A.D. 189. Dowager Empress Hehou was of a butcher's family. After becoming empress, her brother Heh Jin was conferred the post of shi zhong, and her father Heh Zhen, the post of cheqi jiangjun (chariot general) and Marquis Wuyang-hou. Hehou poisoned a concubine for bearing a boy called Liu Xie who would later be the last Han Emperor Xiandi (r. A.D. 190-220). The in-law minister, Heh Jin (i.e., He Jin), would invite Governor-General Dong Zhuo to the capital for sake of cracking down on the eunuchs. Once Heh Jin and the eunuchs boiled down with each other, Dong Zhuo would come to dominate the Han court. Dong Zhuo, who hand-picked last Han Emperor Xiandi, might have some heritage of the nomads in the Qiangic northwest area on the maternal side.
The Yellow Turbans
Han Emperor Lingdi was notorious for his sexual indulgence, game playing and resorting to over 10 eunuchs (zhong chang shi) for governance. One story about Lingdi would be his game of making his palaces into shopping malls, with concubines acting as vendors and himself acting as a buyer; Lingdi would often personally drive a cart with four donkeys into the malls for shopping. Several righteous ministers were executed, and three remaining 'san gong' (three duke-equivalents) ministers colluded with eunuchs in controlling the court.
At Julujun Commandary, three Zhang brothers, i.e., Zhang Jiao, Zhang Bao and Zhang Liang, secretly set up a society in the name of Huang Lao, i.e., Daoism. (Lao-zi was recorded to have grown yellow beard and he was called Huang Lao or the Yellow Elderly.) When epidemic erupted over the nation, Zhang Jiao would devise some prescriptions for curing patients, with a curing success rate of 90%. Hence, Zhang Jiao proclaimed himself 'Taiping Daoren, i.e., a Daoist of Grand Peace, and dispatched desciples across the nation for expanding membership. Over a dozen years later, Zhao Jiao's influence reached eight prefectures, covering today's provinces of Jiangsu, Henan, Shandong, Hebei and Hubei. Membership swelled to over 100,000. Zhang Jiao zoned his members into 36 domains, with larger domain controlling as many as 10,000 people and small domain 6-7000 people. Each domain was controlled by a person called 'qu shuai', similar to marshal. Zhang Jiao secretly propogated a slogan stating that the grey sky was to die, that the yellow sky was to emerge, that the transition would be in the year of jia zi (i.e., the 7th year reign of Lingdi), and that the nation would be in great luck after that. Ma Yuanyi, 'qu shuai' of Hubei and Jiangsu areas, secretly entered the Han capital and bribed one eunuch (Xu Feng) and other officials for assistance in rebellion. Ma Yuanyi then notified Zhang Jiao that he was ready for rebellion in the capital on March 5th. A desciple under Zhang Jiao, Tang Zhou, betrayed the scheme to the government. Han court arrested and executed Ma Yuanyi and over 1000 accomplices in the capital. Upon hearing the disclosure of rebellion scheme, Zhang Jiao ordered that his desciples in 36 domains launch the uprising right away. Zhang Jiao called himself General Tian-gong (Heaven Duke), Brother Bao General Di-gong (Earth Duke), and Brother Liang General Reng-gong (Human Duke).
Lingdi conferred the title of Da Jiangjun (Grand General or Generalissimo) and Marquis Shenhou onto Heh Jin for sake of defending against the Yellow Turbans.
Huangfu Song, tai shou (governor) of Beidi Commandary, proposed that Emperor Lingdi absolve the previous persecutions against the 'dang ren' (ministers and generals who worked together against the eunuch and in-law clans) and that Emperor Lingdi disburse royal savings for sake of fighting the Yellow Turbans.
Emperor Lingdi further conferred the post of bei zhonglang jiang (Northside Zhonglang General) onto shang shu Lu Zhi, the post of zuo zhonglang jiang (Leftside Zhonglang General) onto Huangfu Song, the post of you zhonglang jiang (Rightside Zhonglang General) onto da fu Zhu Juan.
Two ministers, Lü Qiang and Zhang Jun, impeached ten eunuchs for the exploitations and oppression that the common people suffered in the hands of the families, relatives and friends of the ten eunuchs across the nation. Lü Qiang and Zhang Jun blamed the Yellow Turban rebellion on the ten eunuchs. The Ten Eunuchs, headed by Zhang Rang, would make Emperor Lingdi order that the two be arrested. Lü Qiang committed suicide, and Zhang Jun was beaten to death at prison. Emperor Lingdi deprived Yang Ci of the tai wei (grand captain) post and conferred it onto Deng Wei, and Emperor Lingdi replaced Zhang Ji's si kong post with Zhang Wen.
At Yingchuan, Lu Zhi, Huangfu Song and Zhu Juan were engaged in bitter fightings with a Yellow Turban rebel called Bo-cai and sufferred some setbacks. At Nanyang, Yellow Turban rebel Zhang Mancheng killed tai shou Chu Gong. At Runan, tai shou Zhao Qian was defeated by the Yellow Turbans. At Youzhou, tai shou Liu Wei and ci shi (circuit inspector) Guo Xun were both killed by the Yellow Turbans. At the city of Changshe, Huangfu Song's several thousand soldiers were surrounded by Bo-cai's Yellow Turbans. Huangfu Song used a fire attack at the Yellow Turban camp and defeated rebel Bo-cai who boasted of tens of thousands of head counts. At this time, Cao Cao, qi duwei (cavalry captain), came to the aid of Huangfu Song. (Cao Cao's son would be the later founder of Cao Wei Dynasty, while Cao Cao's father was an adopted son of Eunuch Cao Teng.) Huangfu Song, Cao Cao and Zhu Juan combined their armies and thoroughly defeated Bo-cai's Yellow Turbans. Huangfu Song was conferred the title of Marquis Duxiang-hou. Huangfu Song then led Zhu Juan and Cao Cao against Yellow Turbans at Runan and Chen'guo, and quelled the rebellion there. Hence, Zhu Juan was conferred the title of Marquis Xixiang-hou, and Cao Cao was conferred the post of jinan xiang (prime minister for Jinan). Huangfu Song was ordered to attack Yellow Turbans in Dongjun, and Zhu Juan was to attack Yellow Turbans in Nanyang.
Lu Zhi defeated Zhang Jiao and lay siege of the city of Guangzong. An eunuch claimed to Emperor Lingdi that Lu Zhi did not have the courage to sack the city; Lu Zhi was arrested and ordered to be replaced by Dong Zhuo (tai shou of Hedong). Dong Zhuo, famous for his strength and capabilities of shooting arrows with both hands, was from Lintiao of today's Shenxi Prov; Dong Zhuo earlier followed zhonglang jiang Zhang Huan in quelling Qiangic rebellions and was conferred the post of jun sima by Emperor Huandi; he was later offered the post and title of lang zhong, ci shi of Bingzhou, and tai shou of Hedong Commandary. Zhang Jiao would launch a counter-attack out of the city of Guangzong, defeated Dong Zhuo, chased Dong Zhuo to the city of Quyang, and took over Quyang from Han army. Dong Zhuo was deprived of his post by Emperor Lingdi, and Huangfu Song was ordered to replace Dong's post. At this time, Zhang Jiao got ill, and Zhang Liang was in charge of Yellow Turbans. When news came that Zhang Jiao had died, Huangfu Song counter-attacked the Yellow Turbans, killed Zhang Liang and then sacked the city of Guangzong. Yellow Turbans, numbering tens of thousands, were drowned in a river when chased by Huangfu Song. Huangfu Song went on to attack Quyang which was guarded by Zhang Bao. With the help of Julu tai shou Guo Dian, Huangfu Song defeated Zhang Bao and captured over 100,000 Yellow Turbans. The heads of three Zhang brothers were cut off and sent to the capital. Lingdi conferred the title and post of zuo cheqi jiangjun (leftside chariot general), zhou mu (governor-general) of Jizhou and Marquis Kuili-hou onto Huangfu Song. Huangfu Song declined an advice of a counsellor called Yan Zong, which was about going to the capital and purging the eunuchs. Yan Zong left for Liangzhou where he was later made into a warlord by rebells there.
At Nanyang, Zhu Juan fought Yellow Turbans headed by Zhang Mancheng. The new tai shou of Nanyang, Qin Xie, would kill Zhang Mancheng. Yellow Turbans made another rebel, Zhao Hong, into their new leader, and sacked the city of Wancheng. Zhu Juan, together with Qin Xie and Xu Qiu, defeated Zhao Hong. Yellow Turbans erected Han Zhong as the new leader. Zhu Juan deliberately withdrew the siege; when Han Zhong fled the city, Zhu Juan ordered an attack and captured Han Zhong. Remnant Yellow Turbans erected Sun Xia as their head and fled to the mountains. Zhu Juan followed the rebels into the mountains and quelled them. Zhu Juan was conferred the post of you cheqi jiangjun by Emperor Lingdi.
Fu Xie, hujun sima under Zhu Juan, impeached the eunuchs and was assigned the post of du wei of Anding. Wang Yun, ci shi of Yuzhou, was arrested for submitting to the court the letters between the Yellow Turban and the counsellors of the eunuchs. When Zhu Juan returned to the court, Emperor Lingdi changed the era of the 7th year of Guanghe to the 1st year of Zhongping Era. Amnesty was declared. Both Wang Yun and Lu Zhi were spared. Zhu Juan was conferred the post of guang lu da fu. Huangfu Song recommended Lu Zhi for the post of shang shu.
In earlier years, Lu Zhi had several students, including Gongsun Zan of Liao-xi and Liu Deran/Liu Bei of Zhuoxian County. Liu Bei would be the later founder of Shu Han Dynasty. Liu Bei's ancestor was Liu Sheng, King of Zhongshan-jing-wang and son of Former Han Emperor Jingdi. Liu Bei was recorded to have a height of 7 Chinese feet and 5 inches, and he had big dangling ears that he could see with his own eyes. At age 15, he went to Lu Zhi for tutorship. Liu Bei was joined by two blood-sworn brothers, Guan Yu of Hedong Commandary and Zhang Fei of Zhuojun Commandary. (To be blood brothers, ancient Chinese needed to dip blood together in a bowl and drink it.) Guan Yu, recorded to have red hairy face, had fled to Zhouzhou area after killing someone in a brawl in his hometown. The three had promised to be blood brothers in Dao Yuan (i.e., Peach Garden) at the backyard of Zhang Fei's house. When Yellow Turbans invaded Zhuoxian county, the three would answer county xiao wei (i.e., captain) Zou Jing in assembling soldiers and fighting the rebels. When the Yellow Turbans were driven off, Zou Jing recommended Liu Bei for officialdom. Liu Bei was assigned the post of wei (captain) for Anxi-xian county. While on the post, the three brothers beat an arrogant government postal official, surrendered the county seal, and went into exile.
During the 2nd year reign of Zhongping Era, Han royal palace experienced a fire disaster. In order to rebuild the palace, Lingdi adopted eunuchs' advice in levying extra taxes on the populace and extracting building materials from various prefectures. Lu Kang, tai shou of Le'an, was impeached by the eunuchs for objecting to levying taxes. Sima Zhi, tai shou of Julu, committed suicide for rejecting the court order. Under the oppression, populace resorted to banditry all over the country. Various bands, under such nicknames as Leigong (lightening duke or grandpa), Baiqi (white horse knight), Damu (big eye), and Feiyan (flying swallow), erupted over the nation. Han court pacified bandit Feiyan (Chu Yan) of Changshan and conferred him the post of pingnan zhonglang jiang in charge of areas north of the Yellow River. In Longxi of Gansu Prov, the Hu nomads rebelled as well.
By the end of the Han Dynasty, Qiangs were controlled by warlord governors in the northwestern part of China. They had rebellions every once a while. Under Emperor Huandi, General Zhang Huan had campaigned against the Qiangs and quelled them. When the Qiangs rebelled again, Huangfu Song, Zhang Wen and Dong Zhuo were called upon to quell the Qiangs. Later, during the Three Kingdom time period, the Qiangs and Xianbei had participated in the wars as mercenaries for Cao Wei and Shu Han dynasties, respectively.
The Hu nomads selected someone called Beigong Boyue as a general. They colluded with Xianling Qiangs and the bandits in pillaging the country. The bandits abducted Bian Zhuang / Han Sui and made them into military heads. They killed Chen Yi (tai shou of Jincheng) and Ling Zheng (hu jiang xiaowei). Zuo Chang, ci shi of Longyou, refused to come to aid of Chen Yi & Ling Zheng. Zuo Chang dispatched Gai Xun to Heyang, but the Qiangic rebels circumvented to attack Zuo Chang at Jicheng. When Gai Xun returned to the rescue of Zuo Chang, Bian Zhuang led rebels into a retreat. Zuo Chang and his successsor were both rebuked by Han court. When the new hu jiang xiaowei or 'Colonel in charge of Qiangs' (Xia Yue) was surrounded by the Qiangs, Gai Xun went to the relief; but Gai Xun was defeated by a Qiangic rebel called Dianwu. Dianwu released Gai Xun for his righteousness. Han court conferred the post of taolu xiaowei (i.e., colonel who campaigns against enemies) onto Gai Xun.
At Han court, du wei Fu Xie rebuked si tu Cui Lie for his proposal to abandon Liangzhou. Han Lingdi ordered that Huangfu Song guard the city of Chang'an. Huangfu Song beat off the invasion by Bian Zhuang / Han Sui. Eunuchs Zhang Rang & Zhao Zhong impeached Huangfu Song, and Huangfu Song was deprived of the post of zuo cheqi jiangjun. Han Lingdi conferred marquis onto 13 eunuchs. Han Lingdi then ordered that si kong Zhang Wen replace Huangfu Song and that Dong Zhuo assist Zhang Wen as puolu jiangjun (i.e., general who breaks the enemies).
Zhang Wen arrived at Shanyang. Zhang Wen and Dong Zhuo, with over 100,000 army, were defeated by Bian Zhuang at the beginning. In a severe winter, when a meteorite passed through the sky, the Qiangic rebels were freightened and planned to return to Gansu Prov. Calling on a Han official at You-fufeng to assist him, Dong Zhuo led a surprise attack at the rebels and defeated the rebels. Zhang Wen ordered that Dong Zhuo chase the Qiangs and Zhou Shen (tang kou jiangjun) chase Bian Zhuang. Bian Zhuang fled to Yuzhong. Not taking advice from zuojun sima Sun Jian (who would be the founder of later Sun Wu Dynasty), Zhou Shen was defeated by Bian Zhuang. Dong Zhuo, when chasing the Qiangs, was surrounded by a large Qiangic relief army. Dong Zhuo devised a tactic, pumping out the water of a river for retreat across the river as well as drowning the Qiangic chasers. Dong Zhuo returned to Fufeng of Shenxi. When Bian Zhuang / Han Sui pretended to surrender to Zhang Wen, Zhang Wen sent a message to Han court. Han Lingdi thought that the Qiangic rebellions were quelled and conferred onto Dong Zhuo the title of a marquis and the post of zhou mu for Bingzhou. Dong Zhuo became arrogant and challenged Zhang Wen's authority. Sun Jian proposed to Zhang Wen that Dong Zhuo be caught and executed for insulting Zhang Wen; Zhang Wen was worried that campaigns against Qiangs would not go smoothly should he execute Dong Zhuo. Zhang Wen was conferred the post of tai wei (i.e., Grand Captain). Zhang Wen recommended Sun Jian for the post of yi lang. (Sun Jian was a descendant of Sun Wu, China's military strategist from Warring States time period. Sun was made jun wei and si ma by Wujun Commandary. Sun later worked on the post of xian cheng (i.e., county magistrate) for three terms. When Yellow Turbans rebelled, Zhu Juan hired Sun Jian as an assistant.)
Emergence of Governor-Generals
Han Emperor Lingdi re-instituted two royal officials, Yang Ci and Liu Tao, for their warning against Yellow Turbans before the rebellion eruption. Yang Ci was conferred the post of si kong and Marquis Linjin; Yang CI died in a few months; Yang Ci's son, Yang Biao, inherited the marquis title. Liu Tao was assigned the post of jianyi dafu. Liu Tao impeached the eunuchs, was arrested by the eunuchs, and committed suicide at prison. Eunuch Zhao Zhong was assigned the post of cheqi jiangjun, and he tried to bribe Fu Xie. To get rid of Fu Xie, eunuchs made Lingdi order that Fu Xie be assigned the post of tai shou for Hanyang.
In A.D. 186, Han Sui killed Bian Zhuang, colluded with Beigong Boyue, and lay siege of Longxi of Gansu Prov with over 100,000 army. tai shou Li Xiangru colluded with Han Sui. At Hanyang, a bandit called Wang Guo answered Han Sui in rebellion. Geng Bi, ci shi of Liangzhou of Gansu Prov, refusing to take the advice of Fu Xie, went to fight the rebells. Geng Bi was killed at Didao. A si ma under Geng Bi, by the name of Ma Teng, would refuse to aid Geng Bi's army. Rebels sieged Hanyang, and Fu Xie refused to surrender. Rebel Wang Guo dispatched tai shou of Jiuquan (Huang Yan) to Fu Xie for sake of having Fu Xie surrender the city. Fu Xie declined the offer, had a fight with rebels outside of teh city, and died. His son, Fu Gan, was retrieved by the rebels and sent to the hometown; Fu Gan later was assigned the post of tai shou for Fufeng.
Banditry was not restricted to Qiangs. Yellow Turban remnants were still active in the east. In the northeast, Xianbei remnants pillaged Youzhou and Bingzhou though their chieftan (Tanshikui) had died of illness.
In Jiangjia area, Zhao Ci's army bandits killed tai shou Qin Xie; ci shi of Jingzhou (Wang Min) quelled Zhao Ci. At Yingyang, county magistrate of Zhongmou was killed by the bandits. He Miao, yi of Henan, was ordered to quell Yingyang bandits. In Hunan Prov, banditry erupted in Changsha and Lingling areas. Sun Jian was dispatched to Changsha for quelling rebellion there. At Yuyang, Zhang Chun and Zhang Ju killed tai shou of You-beiping (Liu Zheng), tai shou of Liaodong (Yang Zhong) and hu Wuhuan xiaowei. Zhang Chun claimed to be emperor, while Zhang Ju called himself mi tian jiangjun (general who permeates the sky). Han Emperor Lingdi ordered that qi duwei Gongsun Zan depart for Youzhou to quell the two Zhang rebellion.
Hunnic tribe of Xiutu (Xiuzhu) pillaged Xihe area, killed jun shou (Xing Ji), and then attacked Bingzhou and killed ci shi Zhang Yi. Yellow Turbans remnants at Taiyuan area also rebelled again under the head of Guo Tai. The leftside Xiuzhu tribe pressured Southern Hunnic Chanyu into rebelling in the north.
Jizhou ci shi Wang Feng intended to purge the eunuchs by taking advantage of Han Lingdi's tour outside of the capital. He consulted with Cao Cao for support, but Cao Cao did not agree with it. Wang Feng, thinking that his plot was disclosed, hastily committed suicide when being recalled by the emperor.
At Yizhou (Sichuan Prov), Yellow Turban remnants, under Ma Xiang, rebelled against corrupt ci shi Qie Jian. tai chang Liu Yan (a descendant of Former Han King Lugong-wang) was conferred the post of zhou mu for Yizhou and the title of Marquis Yangcheng. Before Liu Yan arrived in Sichuan, Red Turbans were quelled by a Yizhou official. Han Lingdi then ordered that Liu Yu (a descendant of King Donghai-wang) be the zhou mu for Youzhou. (Note that beginning from Liu Yan and Liu Yu, zhou mu replaced ci shi as the leader of various 'zhou' prefectures. The 'zhou' prefectures would be in charge of various 'jun' or commandaries.)
Han Emperor Lingdi, fearing insufficiency of palace defence, would order that an eunuch by the name of Jian Shuo to replace Zhao Zhong as shang jun xiaowei. Under Jian Shuo would be seven xiao wei, i.e., captains, including Yuan Shao (hu ben zhong-lang-jiang), Bao Hong (dun qi xiaowei), Cao Cao (yi lang), Zhao Rong, Feng Fang, Zhao Feng, Xia Mou (jianyi dafu), and Chunyu Qiong (jianyi dafu). The eight guys were collectively known as Eight Xiaowei or Eight Captains.
Gai Xun admonished Emperor Lingdi about his palace army inspection. When Gai Xun met Yuan Shao (son of late si kong Yuan Feng) and talked about eunuchs influencing the emperor, Yuan Shao would invite Gai Xun to his residence for a talk about exterminating the eunuchs. tai wei Zhang Wen returned to the capital. Eunuch Jian Shuo recommended Gai Xun for a relocation to be a jing zhao yi.
In Liangzhou prefecture, bandits under rebel Wang Guo laid siege of the Chencang city. Emperor Lingdi ordered that Huangfu Song / Dong Zhuo lead 20,000 army to the relief of Chencang. Huangfu Song had disputes with Dong Zhuo as to tactics. Huangfu Song deliberately waited for 80 days while Dong Zhuo advocated a fight with the rebels. Rebels retreated after failing to take over Chencang. Then, Huangfu Song had another dispute with Dong Zhuo. Huangfu Song ordered a chase of the retreating rebels while Dong Zhuo stated that ancient tactics forbade chasing of retreating enemies. Huangfu Song defeated Wang Guo and killed about 10,000 rebels. When Emperor Lingdi called upon Dong Zhuo to return to the capital, Dong Zhuo deliberately delayed the trip. (Historians commented that Dong Zhuo deleiberately avoided going to the capital few times for sake of retaining the control of his army: Dong Zhuo did not serve the post of shao fu at the capital; Dong Zhuo did not transfer the military to Huangfu Song; Dong Zhuo stayed on at He-dong, east of the river, for observing the developments of palace turmoil.) Huangfu Song's son advised his father that Dong Zhuo had high ambitions and should be dealt with earlier than later. Huangfu Song rebuked Dong Zhuo by writing a letter to the emperor, and the two hence became feuds.
At Youzhou prefecture, two ex-Han officials, Zhang Chuan / Zhang Ju, were in fights with Gongsun Zan. Gongsun Zan defeated Zhang Chun at Jizhong area. Zhang Chuan invited a Wuhuan chieftan (Qiuliju) for raiding Yuyang, Hejian and Bohai. After another defeat in the hands of Gongsun Zan, Zhang Chun fled out of the border. When Gongsun Zan chased the two Zhangs to Guanzi-cheng city in Liaoxi, Wuhuans, under Qiuliju, surrounded Gongsun Zan for 200 days. Gongsun Zan barely survived when heavy snows fell and Wuhuans fled to Liucheng city. Gongsun Zan was conferred Marquis Duting-hou and the post of jiang lu xiaowei. Zhang Chun / Zhang Ju fled to Xianbei camp. Liu Yu arrived in Youzhou and dispatched emissaries to the Xianbei for the heads of the two Zhangs. Xianbei chieftan Budugeng, the grandson of Tanshikui, sent the head of Zhang Chun to Liu Yu when Zhang Chun's servant killed Zhang Chun. Wuhuan chieftan Qiuliju sent emissary to Liu Yu to show submission. Liu Yu proposed to Emperor Lingdi to have peace with Wuhuan and Xianbei and ordered that Gongsun Zan guard You-beiping with 10,000 army. Gongsun Zan, eager to fight Wuhuan and Xianbei, hence became unhappy with Liu Yu and became feuds. Liu Yu was conferred the post of tai wei.
In-law Ministers Against Eunuchs
In April of the 6th year reign of Han Emperor Lindi's Zhongping Era, i.e, A.D. 189, Lingdi fell sick. Eunuch Jian Shuo, in order to get rid of Heh Jin, would ask emperor decree that Heh Jin go to the west to attack bandit Han Sui. Heh Jin delayed his trip by pretending that he had orderd Yuan Shao to go to the Xuzhou and Yanzhou areas for recruiting soldiers first. Lingdi died suddenly without a will. Eunuch Jian Shuo called upon in-law minister Heh Jin to enter the palace. Heh Jin, on the road, met a friend and was told that eunuchs plan to kill him and erect junior Prince Liu Xie. Heh Jin dared not enter the palace till his sister, Dowager Empress Hehou, called him in. Eunuchs under Jian Shuo temporarily supported Dowager Empress Hehou in erecting 14 year old Liu Bian as the new emperor. Prince Liu Xie was conferred the title of King of Bohai-wang. Dowager Empress Hehou conferred Yuan Kui the title of tai fu and made Yuan Kui / Heh Jin in charge of shang shu duties.
When Yuan Shao returned to the capital, Heh Jin secretly planned to purge the eunuchs. Heh Jin assigned He Yong the title of bei jun zhong hou, Xun You the post of huangmen shilang, and Zheng Tai the post of shang shu. Eunuchs prepared for self-defence against in-law ministers. Eunuch Jian Shuo wrote letters to other eunuchs about killing Heh Jin. One eunuch, Guo Sheng, went straight to Heh Jin's house and showed Jian Shuo's letter. Heh Jin hence took action by killing Jian Shuo first.
He Jin then purged a rival, piaoqi jiangjun Dong Zhong and his mother (dowager grand empress Dong-tai-hou). King Bohai-wang, Liu Xie, was renamed King of Chenliu-wang. Yuan Shao proposed to have all eunuchs purged; Heh Jin consulted with Empress Hehou; Dowager Empress He-hou did not approve for fearing turmoil; Heh Jin asked Yuan Shao whether it was OK to get rid of the top eunuchs; Yuan Shao insisted that all eunuchs should be purged. Eunuchs began to bribe Heh Jin's mother (Madam Wuyang-jun) and Heh Jin's brother (Heh Miao) as an expression of friendship with the Heh family. Heh Jin and Dowager Empress He-hou hence had disagreements as to dealing with eunuchs.
At the insistence of Yuan Shao, Heh Jin secretly sent orders to governor-generals for sake of having them march on the capital. A Han minister, zhu bo Chen Lin, advised against Heh Jin's invitation for governor-generals. Cao Cao, dian jun xiaowei, ridiculed Heh Jin's decision. Dong Zhuo answered Heh Jin's call from Hedong areas and stated that he would depart for the capital in a few days. Zheng Tai, shi yushi, advised Heh Jin of Dong Zhuo's arrogance and cruelty and expressed worries that should Heh Jin confer the military leadership onto Dong Zhuo, Han court might be endangered. Xun You stated that they had better retire to avoid turmoil. Zheng Tai retired for his home in Henan. Lu Zhi, shang shu, also advised against Heh Jin's using Dong Zhuo for purging eunuchs.
Heh Jin further ordered that Wang Kuang and Bao Xin recruit soldiers in their homeland and that Qiao Mao (tai shou of Dongdu) guard Chenggao. When eunuchs asked Heh Miao to talk to the brother for mercy, Heh Jin dispatched Zhong Shao to Dong Duo for sake of stopping him from marching further. Dong Zhuo already arrived at Mianchi and refused to stop. Under the pressure of Zhong Shao, Dong Zhuo retreated to Xiyangting. When Yuan Shao heard about the stop order for Dong Zhuo, he went to see Heh Jin and asked him not to forget about Dou inlaw family's mistake. Heh Jin then ordered that Yuan Shao be the so-called si li xiaowei in charge of the purging action, that Wang Yun be magistrate for Henan prefecture [henan yi], and that Dong Zhuo hasten his march on the capital.
Eunuchs began to come to see Heh Jin for mercy, and Heh Jin asked the eunuchs to retire for their hometowns. However, Yuan Shao privately ordered that various prefectures arrest the family members of the eunuchs. Eunuch Zhang Rang went to see his daughter-in-law (sister of Heh Jin) and kowtowed to her, asking her to request mercy with Madam Wuyang-jun. Heh Jin and Dowager Empress He-hou disagreed over their mother Madam Wuyang-jun's amnesty request. Eunuchs, learning of Heh Jin's determination to purge them, ambushed and killed Heh Jin. Eunuchs then decreed in the name of the emperor that Yuan Shao and Wang Yun be deprived of their posts and replaced by Fan Ling and Xu Xiang. Eunuchs closed off the gates of the imperial palace and threw Heh Jin's decapitated head outside. Lu Zhi picked up the head and brought it to Heh Jin's camp to show to two subordinate officers, Wu Kuang and Zhang Zhuang. Wu Kuang and Zhang Zhuang led army against the southern palace. Yuan Shao ordered that his brother, Yuan Shu (huben zhonglangjiang), assist Wu Kuang and Zhang Zhuang in the siege of palace. Fire was set on the southern palace, and Eunuch Zhang Rang abducted Empress He-hou, the emperor and King of Chenliu-wang to the northern palace.
At the northern palace, Yuan Shao and Heh Miao caught Eunuch Zhao Zhong. When Heh Miao showed pity for the execution of the eunuch, Wu Kuang killed Heh Miao. Altogether 3000 eunuch-related people were killed. Lu Zhi rescued Empress He-hou and chased Eunuch Zhang Rang etc who had fled with the young emperor and King of Chenliu-wang out of the north palace gate. Lu Zhi and Min Gong caught the fleeing entourage by mid-night and rescued emperor and King Chenliu-wang. Eunuch Zhang Rang and Duan Gui jumped into a river to commit suicide.
By early morning, Lu Zhi and Min Gong, together with emperor and King of Chenliu-wang, met Dong Zhuo's column in front of Mt. Beimang-shan. While receiving Dong Zhuo, the young emperor was too scared to say a word, while King Chenliu-wang substituted the emperor in explaining the circumstances of the turmoil. Dong Zhuo was impressed by the courage and wisdom of King Chenliu-wang. Upon return to the palace, the emperor declared a general amnesty and decreed that Guangxi Era be changed to Zhaoning Era.
Dong Zhuo Turmoil
Bao Xin, qi duwei (cavalry captain), returned to the capital with new recruits from Taishan. Bao Xin proposed to Yuan Shao that Dong Zhuo should be rid of so that the country could enjoy peace. Yuan Shao was hesitant about it. Bao Xin hence dismissed his new recruits and retired for his hometown (Taishan area). Dong Zhuo, with only three thousand cavalry, played a trick of deceit by ordering his soldiers leave the capital at mid-night and then march into the capital at daybreak. Dong Zhuo created a false impresssion that his soldiers from the northwest had been continuously coming to the capital. (In 1920s, Xu Shuzheng, a Duan Qirui crony of Wan-xi faction of the northern warlord lineage government, played a similar trick in re-taking Ulan Bator and Outer Mongolia.) Dong Zhuo took over control of the soliders previously serving Heh Jin. Emperor called upon Ding Yuan to return to the capital from Henei area where he was previously ordered to station troops by Heh Jin. Dong Zhuo, being fond of a strengthful person under Ding Yuan, would bribe this person with gifts, treasures and a stallion with the color of burning fire. This person would be called Lü Bu and the horse 'chi tu' (i.e., red rabbit). Dong Zhuo then instructed his hatchetman (Li Shu) to have Lü Bu assassinate Ding Yuan. Once Ding Yuan was killed, Dong Zhuo conferred Lü Bu the post of qi duwei in charge of the soldiers previously under Ding Yuan. Lü Bu took Dong Zhuo as adopted father.
Dong Zhuo deprived Liu Hong of si kong post and and assumed it himself. Dong Zhuo, hearing of the fame of an ex-Han official called Cai Yong, would forcefully call Cai Yong into the capital; within 3 days, Dong Zhuo conferred Cai Yong the posts of ji jiu, shi yushi, shi shu yushi and shang shu. Dong Zhuo further contacted the Yuan family for support. Dong Zhuo made Yuan Kui tai fu. Dong Zhuo called upon Yuan Shao for sake of having him support the idea of deposing the young emperor and erecting King of Chenliu-wang. Yuan Shao countered it by stating that the young emperor had no fault and the change of emperor should be decided by the ministers. Dong Zhuo pulled out his blade, put it on the table and threatened Yuan Shao. Yuan Shao pulled out his blade and said to Dong Zhuo, "Are you sure that there is no other ferocious fighter other than Dong Zhuo in this world?" Yuan Shao then left for his office, hanged his seal on the front door, and fled to Ji-zhou prefecture. Dong Zhuo assembled ministers and proposed to have emperor deposed. Lu Zhi, shang shu, opposed Dong Zhuo; Dong Zhuo pulled out his blade and chased Lu Zhi; Cai Yong went to Dong Zhuo for pacification; Lu Zhi left the court for his hometown by taking an alternative route; Dong Zhuo sent assasins after Lu Zhi but failed to catch Lu Zhi; Dong Zhuo forcefully asked Yuan Kui to have emperor deposed. Dong Zhuo and Yuan Kui went to Empress He-hou, explaining why they decided to depose the emperor: The reason was because the emperor did not show sorrow for the death of Emperor Lingdi. In September of this year, King Chenliu-wang (Liu Xie) was made into Emperor Xiandi. The young emperor stayed on the throne for only five months. Dong Zhuo would order Empress Doager He-hou be poisoned for her early crime in poisoning Lingdi's concubine (i.e., Xiandi's mother) and Dowager Grand Empress Dong-hou. Dong Zhuo further ordered that He-hou's mother, Madam Wuyang-jun, be killed.
Dong Zhuo declared himself tai wei (i.e., Grand Captain) and his mother Madam Chiyang-jun. Dong Zhuo further conferred da (grand) sima onto Liu Yu, si kong onto Yang Biao, and si tu onto Huang Wan.
The Xianbei vs the Chinese
The Xianbei were the northern branch of the Donghu (or Tung Hu, the Eastern Hu), a proto-Tunguz group mentioned in Chinese history. Xianbei and Wuhuan would be those people who fled to the two mountains, by the names of Xianbei and Wuhuan, when their ancestors accused Hunnic founder Modu of patricide and got defeated by Modu. By the first century, two major subdivisions of the Donghu had developed: the Xianbei in the north and the Wuhuan in the south. Apparently, the Xianbei and Wuhuan people were located much to the center of Mongolia and northern China in earlier times, before their expulsion to the mountains in central and northern Manchuria. They lived to the east of the Huns. They were later relocated to today's Manchuria by Han Emperor Wudi for segregation from the Huns, and hence they inherited the ancient name of Donghu. Xianbei could be differentiated into i) the Greater Xianbei under Budugeng, ii) the Lesser Xianbei under Kebineng, and iii) the Manchurian Xianbei. (An alternative school of thought stated that the Xianbei people were comprised of the Chinese coolie who fled from Qin Emperor Shihuangdi's order to build the Great Wall at the northern borders.)
The Huns suffered setbacks under constant Han Chinese attacks, and they split into the Southern Huns and the Northern Huns, with the Southern Huns subject to Chinese. The weakened Huns provided a vaccum for the Xianbei (or Hsien-pei in Wade-Giles) to move in in the middle of 1st century A.D. The Xianbei expanded their territories, and they took over most of the northern territories held by the Huns previously.
The Xianbei, who expanded to the Western Corridor area in the wake of the Hunnic decline, defeated last Hunnic ruler Feng-hou in 118 and took over the Hun remnants.
The Xianbei mixed up with the Huns. The Hunnic Xia Dynasty, established by Helian Bobo, was said to be of a mingle nature, called 'Tie Fu'. The Tie Fu Huns were born of Xianbei mother and Hunnic Father. The Xianbei and the Wuhuan used the mounted archers in warfare, and they had been good mercenaries for the Han Chinese and the Wei Chinese. Among General Ts'ao Ts'ao columns of army against the Shu State during the three Kingdoms Period (AD 220-280), many happened to be the Xianbei nomads wearing the stirups. Later, in General Liu Yu's armies, the Xianbei warriors using long spears called 'shuo' could be found as well.
There appeared a Xianbei chieftan called Tanshikui (reign A.D. 156-181) who established a Xianbei alliance by absorbing dozens of thousands of Huns. The Tanshikui alliance disintegrated after the death of Tanshikui. (The later Khitans were said to be descendants of the Tanshikui Xianbei.)
The demise of Han Dynasty saw Xianbei and Wuhuan taking over the old territories from the Huns in the northern borders as well as invading into the Korea Peninsula. Chen Shou commented that the Ke'bineng Xianbei had at one time covered the territoties from the Liao River of Manchuria in the east to Yunzhong/Wuyuan in the west. The Xianbei had prospered after Cao Cao conquered their kinsmen, i.e., the Wuhuan. The Wuhuan was absorbed by both Cao Cao and the Xianbei, and its name disappeared thereafter, only to re-emerge in the 10th century war with the Khitans.
By the time of the Three Kingdoms Period (AD 220-280), the Wuhuan nomads had taken control of today's Hebei Province and Peking areas. Ts'ao Wei Dynasty broke a new Xianbei alliance by sending an assassin to kill a Xianbei chieftan called Kebi'neng. Warlord Yuan Shao campaigned against the Wuhuan and controlled three prefectures of the Wuhuan nomads. After Ts'ao Ts'ao defeated Yuan Shao, Yuan's two sons, Yuan Shang and Yuan Xi fled to seek refuge with the Wuhuans. Ts'ao Ts'ao campaigned against the Wuhuan, killed a chieftan called Tadun (with the same last character as Hunnic Chanyu Modu [Mote] and hence should be pronounced as Tadu [Tate]), and took over the control of southern Manchuria. (The later Xi people were said to be descendants of the Tadun Wuhuan. Alternatively speaking, the Xi and Khitan people shared the same origin, namely, the Yuwen cclan of the Xianbei.)
Several Wuhuan chieftans enjoyed the conferral of a title called Da Ren, namely, the 'high-ranking person'. They included Qiuliju (Liaoxi Wuhuan Da Ren, with 5000 households), Nanlou (Shanggu Wuhuan Da Ren, with 9000 households), Supuyan (Liaodong Wuhuan Da Ren, with thousands of households) and Wuyan (You-beiping Wuhuan Da Ren, with 800 households), were controlled by a Han Chinese rebel governor called Zhang Chun of the Zhongshan Prefecture [namely, today's central Hebei]. Han Emperor Lingdi (r. 168-189) assigned Liu Yu as governor-general of Youzhou (Beijing) and Liu Yu hired some nomads to have Zhang Chun killed. After the death of Chieftan Louban, an adopted son called Tadun (Tadu) took over the chieftan post. Tadun assisted Yuan Shao in the wars on Gongsun Zan. At one time during the Three Kingdoms time period, Yuan Shao had pacified three prefectures of Wuhuan and heavily recruited them as mercenary cavalry. Yuan Shao privately conferred the title of 'Chanyu' on the Wuhuan chieftans in the name of the Han Dynasty court. When the son of Wuhuan Chieftan Qiuliju grew up, he would compete with Tadun for power. A Chinese by the name of Yan Rou (who enjoyed trust among the Wuhuan-Xianbei for his spending childhood years with the barbarians) would kill the Chinese 'xiaowei' (colonel) in charge of the Wuhuan and ursurped the post. Yuan Shao retained Yan Rou as the 'Wuhuan Colonel'. Cao Cao later defeated Tadu (Tadun) who offered asylum to two sons of Yuan Shao. Cao Cao won over Yan Rou when he campained against the Wuhuan in A.D. 206. The Wuhuan chieftans were all decaptitated when they fled to Liaodong (east Liaoning Province) for asylum. Over 10,000 Wuhuan households under Yan Rou would relocate to China under the order of Cao Cao. The Wuhuan people would serve Cao Cao as the mercenary cavalry.
After Wuhuan, the Xianbei rose up. Two Xianbei tribal groups came into play, and this will include the Lesser Xianbei under Ke'bineng and the Greater Xianbei under Budugeng and his brother Fuluohan. This is in addition to the Manchurian Xianbei. Ke'bineng heavily employed the Chinese defectors and utilized the Chinese weaponry and language. Ke'bineng had at one time assisted Cao Cao in cracking down on the Tian Ying Rebellion, but he also rebelled against Cao Cao and Cao Wei Dynasty several times. Cao Cao once sent Marquis Yanling to defeat Ke'bineng and cause him flee outside of the Chinese border.
Han Prime Minister Cao Cao's Campaign against the Wuhuan
Yan Zhi & Wang Xiong Pacifying the Xianbei
Cao Wei Dynasty's Campaign against the Gongsun Family in Manchuria
In A.D. 219, Ke'bineng sent an emissary, with tributes of horses, to last Han Emperor Xiandi who was under Cao Cao's protection. Cao Wei Emperor Wendi conferred Ke'bineng the title of King of Fuyi (attached loyalty). Beginning from A.D. 221, several times, Ke'bineng repatriated the Cao Wei Chinese back to the Chinese territories. Ke'bineng rebelled against the Cao Wei Chinese again because Tian Yu interferred in Ke'bineng wars with both the Eastern Xienbei under Suli and a Xianbei Chieftan under Budugeng. Ke'bineng complained about this to General Xianyu Fu, mentioning the fact that his brother was killed by Budugeng. Ke'bineng said he was recommended for the post by Yan Rou, he was grateful to Chinese and he did not want to rebel against the Chinese simply because Tian Yu was giving him troubles. Ke'bineng boasted of over 100,000 cavalry. A Wuhuan chieftan at the Dai Prefecture, by the name of Nengchendi, surrendered to Budugeng but also asked for protection from Ke'bineng. When the two Xianbei chiftans converged for controling the Wuhuan, Ke'bineng killed Fuluohan and took over the Xianbei people led by Fuluohan's son, Xie-guini. Hence, two Xianbei tribes warred with each other. Cao Wei Emperor Wendi (Cao Pi) conferred Tian Yu the post of Wuhuan Captain with extra authority over Xianbei people, and Tian Yu had his office situated at Changping (near Beijing). Ke'bineng would defeat all tribes including Wuhuan, extending their territories from Yunzhong & Wuyuan north of Shanxi border all the way to Manchuria. Ke'bineng defeated two Chinese generals, Tian Yu and Bi Gui. The other chieftan, Budugeng, relocated to Taiyuan and Yanmen with his over 10,000 households. Budugeng further sent a messenger to his niece Xie-guini and caused Xie-guini defect from Ke'bineng. By A.D. 224, Budugeng sought vassalage with Cao Wei Emepror Wendi. In A.D. 228, Tian Yu's emissary to Xianbei was killed by Ke'bineng's son-in-law. Hence, Tian Yu dispatched Pudou (Western Xianbei Chieftan ) and Xie-guini to attacking Ke'bineng in retaliation. When Ke'bineng encircled Tian Yu with 30,000 cavalry, Governor-General of Shanggu, Yan Zhi (Yan Rou's brother), went to see Ke'bineng and persuaded Ke'bineng into a ceasefire. Later, the new governor-general of Youzhou, Wang Xiong, was conferred the post of Wuhuan Colonel. Ke'bineng, several times, expressed loyalty to Wang Xiong. In A.D. 233, Ke'bineng won back Budugeng by means of an inter-marriage. Budugeng ordered Xie-guini to go back and serve under Ke'bineng, pillaging the Chinese prefecture of Bingzhou (i.e., Shanxi). General Qin Lang counter-attacked, and Xie-guini surrendered and was conferred the title of King of Guiyi (i.e., returning loyalty) and the land of Bingzhou. Later, Budugeng was killed by Ke'bineng. Ke'bineng ordered his son go to Loufan to fight the wars with General Su Shang and Dong Bi (both under Governor Bi Gui of Bingzhou) and killed the two. During the Qinglong Era, about 235 A.D., Cao Wei Emperor Mingdi (Cao Rui) took the advice of Wang Xiong and had Ke'bineng assasinated by someone called Haan Long. The brother of Ke'bineng was selected as the chieftan. In southern Manchuria, the Eastern Xianbei enjoyed more head-count than the Ke'bineng Xianbei. There would exist chieftans like Suli, Mijia and Jueji in Liaoxi (western Liaoning Prov), Youbeiping (northwest of Beijing) and Yuyang. Jueji's son was conferred the title of King Qinhan (befrieding Han), and Suli's brother, Chengluegui, succeeded the King title, too.
In A.D. 236, Sushen-shi at the Japan Sea, who had not submitted tributes to China since early Zhou Dynasty, came to Wei China on a pilgrimage. After pacifying the Wuhuan-Xianbei as well as the Sushen-shi people at the Japan Sea, Wei China, in A.D. 237 and 238, launched a third campaign against the Gongsun Family and wrestled control of southern Manchuria and northern-central Korea. Cao Wei Dynasty, to clear the threat from the north in order to concentrate on fighting against the Shu-Han and Sun-Wu dynasties to the north, made further long-distance excursions into Manchuria to defeat the Gongsun Family after routing the Wuhuan. By deporting 40,000 households of Sinitic Chinese or over 300,000 people back to North China from Manchuria in A.D. 238, Sima Yi effectually yielded the area to the Tungunsic people. Among the Xianbei who were to take the place of the Wuhuan to dominate the area would be the clans of Duan, Murong and Yuwen.
The Xianbei nomad, with major tribes of Murong, Yuwen, Duan, would establish many short-lived successive Yan statelets along the Chinese frontier and in northern China. Ultimately, the Toba (T'o-pa in Wade-Giles), a subgroup of the Xianbei, who migrated to modern China's Shanxi Province, would reunite China under Toba Wei Dynasty. In A.D. 443, the barbarians who took over Toba's old territories, i.e., the upper Heilongjiang River and northern Xing'an Ridge, came to see Toba Wei Emperor (Toba Tao) and told him that they found the Toba ancestor's stone house, called 'Ga Xian Dong'. Toba Tao sent a minister called Li Chang to the stone house which was carved out of a natural cavern. In the 1980s, this cavern was discovered as well as the inscriptions left by Li Chang.
Jinn Reuniting China
Jinn Dynasty was founded by the Sima family. Sima Yi was originally a clerk under Han Prime Minister Cao Cao. Cao Cao used to cite the saints in ancient times to show his loyalty for the Han emperors, but his son (Cao Pi) usurped Han Dynasty and established Wei Dynasty (AD 220-265), leading to the Three Kingdoms time period. Sima Yi would be responsible for fighting the wars with Shu-Han Dynasty and Wu Dynasty on behalf of Wei Dynasty for dozens of years. Other than fighting the wars to the south, Sima Yi was responsible for exterminating the Gongsun Family who ruled southern Manchuria and northern and central Koreas for almost half a century and in A.D. 238 deporting 40,000 households of Sinitic Chinese or over 300,000 people back to North China from Manchuria, yielding the area to the Tungunsic.
Sima Yi, who was empowered the same right as Cao Shuang for mentoring Wei Emperor Cao Fang, staged a coup and killed Cao Shuang, with Cao Shuang's whole family exterminated, including women who were married to non-Cao families. During the Gaopingling coup, Sima Yi exterminated the three lineages of both "da jiangjun" Cao Shuang and "da sinong" Heng Fan. Sima Yi's elder son, Sima Shi, deposed Wei Emperor Cao Fang (reign A.D. 240-254). Sima Yi's junior son, Sima Zhao, further authorized his people (Jia Chong) in having guard Cheng Ji kill Wei Emperor Cao Mao (reign A.D. 254-260). Sima Zhao then selected fifteen-year-old Cao Huan as the new Wei Emperor. After that, Sima Zhao dispatched General Zhong Hui and Deng Ai on a campaign against Shu Han Dynasty and destroyed Shu Han in A.D. 263. The last Shu-Han emperor, who surrendered to the Wei army, was made into Duke of Anle (happiness). Hence, Sima Zhao, for the war efforts, was conferred the title of Duke of Jinn and the post as 'xiangguo', i.e., chief counsellor or prime minister. Shortly after that, Sima Zhao died. Sima Zhao's son, Sima Yan, succeeded the power, and further pressured Cao Huan into abdication.
Sima Yan declared the founding of Jinn Dynasty in A.D. 265, with Luoyang as the capital city. Sima Yan would be titled Jinn Emepror Wudi posthumously. (Eighty-year-old Sima Fu, the brother of Sima Yi, retired as a loyal minister of Wei Dynasty. Later, Western Jinn Emperor Mindi, when told of the story of Duke Gaoguixiang-gong [Cao Mao, i.e., the 4th Wei Emperor], threw his face onto the bed and exclaimed as to how could Jinn Dynasty sustain with such an atrocious history.) Sima Yan, thinking that Wei was usurped by him as a result of lack of royal family kings and dukes, would confer eight kingships onto his kinsmen while all ex-kings of Wei Dynasty were downgraded into marquis. Sima Yan also conferred the title of Duke of Lugong onto Jia Chong for his contribution to the usurpation. In A.D. 267, under the influence of Empress Yang-hou and Jia Chong, Sima Yan (Emperor Jin Wudi) made his retarded son into the Crown Prince. In A.D. 271, Tufa Xianbei first rebelled against Jinn China. In A.D. 272, Jia Chong's daughter was married over to the retarded Jinn Crown Prince, i.e., Sima Zhong (Jinn Emperor Huizong, reign A.D. 290-306). In A.D. 280, the Jinn army, under the supervision of Jia Chong and Yang Ji, launched a multi-route land-navy assault on Wu Dynasty, with two Jinn generals (Wang Junn and Tang Bin) leading a column of ships down the Yangtze River. After overthrowing Wu Dynasty, China was finally reunited again.
Written by Ah Xiang
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