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May 20 2018

RIP Jiang Ji


He passed away on this day, May 19th in the year 249.

Quite literally too good for this world. Rest easy you unappreciated genius.

Also Jia Chong died too.

Never heeded the first time; never disregarded the second.

May 19 2018


I just saw someone accuse Zhuge Ke of being responsible for Lu Xun’s death… 

Sometimes I just want to jump off a bridge. 

What the fuck?

They were both on Team Sun He. How would that make any sense?

When talking about Sun Quan’s campaign against Wei in 226, Fang’s translation says Cao Zhen defeated a Wu detachment at Xunyang.

In fact, it was Cao Xiu. What an odd mistake to make.

It always pays to double check.

May 18 2018

Jian'an twenty-second year [217], [Sima Lang] went with Xiahou Dun, Zang Ba, and others on the campaign against Wu. Arriving at Juchao, there was a great epidemic among the army soldiers. Lang personally toured among them distributing medicine. He fell ill and died, at the time aged forty-seven years.

SGZ 15.2 (via the-archlich)

In other words, Sima Lang got died because he was taking care of the sick soldiers. He was literally too good for this world.

Jian'an twenty-second year [217], [Sima Lang] went with Xiahou Dun, Zang Ba, and others on the campaign against Wu. Arriving at Juchao, there was a great epidemic among the army soldiers. Lang personally toured among them distributing medicine. He fell ill and died, at the time aged forty-seven years.
— SGZ 15.2

May 17 2018

John W. Killigrew's A case study of Chinese civil warfare: The Cao-Wei conquest of Shu-Han in AD 263



On May 16th, 290 Sima Yan passed away at the age of 55. His legacy was disappointing his mother. 

Two mothers, when you think about it.

May 16 2018

Annals of Emperor Wu, Part 1


[Warning. Names, decrees, not much else. Also one giant. From JS003]

Keep reading

May 15 2018

Who wants to start a group doc with a calendar of 3K events so we can all be fucking dorks?

Geography Question

In a letter to Liu Zhang, Liu Bei mentions Guan Yu fighting Yue Jin at Qīngnì 青泥.

Wen Ping’s bio mentions him and Yue Jin defeating Guan Yu at Xúnkǒu 寻口.

Yue Jin’s says that he defeated Guan Yu and Su Fei near Xiangyang.

I’m assuming that Qingni and Xunkou are in Nanyang, in the vicinity of Xiangyang, but I don’t have a map with them on it (but I only have access to very limited resources).

Anyone know where these places were? I’m trying to piece together a more accurate account of Guan Yu’s career.

May 13 2018

May 13th, 300 CE: The Death of Jia Nanfeng


On this day, May 13th, Sima Lun ordered Liu Hong to force the recently deposed Empress Jia Nanfeng to drink wine laced with gold to kill her.


Emperor Ling of the Han passed away May 13th, 189


I really hope the stairway to heaven isn’t real, because I fear you might be too afraid to walk up it…

At least he left matters in the hands of loyal and competent people who would serve as worthy ministers to his heir…whoever that may be, since he didn’t name a crown prince.

May 12 2018

Biography of Shi Bao


[Also the disappointingly short biography of his grandson Shi Chao. From JS033.]

Keep reading

Handsome without equal!

May 11 2018

A Case for Lu Meng


Nothing I say here can do him justice, but I will try my damdest.

Keep reading

“Hence to fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy’s resistance without fighting.“

“Therefore the skillful leader subdues the enemy’s troops without any fighting; he captures their cities without laying siege to them; he overthrows their kingdom without lengthy operations in the field.”

Both of these are famous quotes from Sunzi, and ones that any tactician would agree with. The greatest generals were those who could achieve victory with a minimum of violence. Of all the legendary commanders of the Three Kingdoms, no one embodies this more than Lü Meng.

Once a sickly, fatherless child, Lü Meng became an exceptional warrior and a strategic god, a man loved by the entire army. He was truly one of the greatest, an example for all generations.

May 10 2018


I have no idea why, but I cited the Jinshu to Fan Ye… I uh… I don’t think that’s right.

Fáng Qiáo 房乔.

Fàn Yè 范晔 was HHS.

Happy freedom day to Liu Shan


On this day, May 10th 264, he was eneoffed as the Duke of Anle and no longer had to be around Jiang Wei.

Truly this was the greatest moment of his life. 

Many of these works contain largely fictional anecdotes and accounts of the supernatural, and it is often difficult to judge whether an item of information should be accepted as fact, fiction, fantasy or allegory. The situation is further confused by the later development of story cycles about leading figures of the time, and by the vast popularity of the novel Sanguo yanyi, “Romance of the Three Kingdoms”, which reached it developed form more than a thousand years after the events it celebrates, and which presents a strongly favourable view of Liu Bei, Zhuge Liang and the state of Shu-Han. One purpose of the present work has been to restore the balance, and to recount the history of Wu on the basis of fact, rather than the bias of romance.

Rafe de Crespigny, excerpt from Generals of the South. (via daolunofshiji)

This is still very relevant given that we’re currently on day two of  MIAWACAWFOBTARUITKMATIFB™.

(via daolunofshiji)

Hey, did anyone ever translate Dong He’s biography?


Yep, @libraryofbojie posted it along with a few others.

Thank God, I thought I saw that somewhere. I was starting to fear it was just wishful thinking.

Hey, did anyone ever translate Dong He’s biography?

May 09 2018

Some more comments on Zhuge Xu







  • Every Zhuge with a birthplace on record was born in Langye, Xu province. It is probably safe to assume that Zhuge Xu was as well, since it was not a common surname. It is likewise safe to guess that - much like Zhuge Dan - he was only distantly related to the more famous Zhuge-s of Wu and Shu.
  • After Zhuge Dan’s insurrection, his family was executed to the third degree. There is no mention of Zhuge Xu (no memorials defending or criticizing him), and it appears that he remained in the court’s good graces. From this, it’s reasonable to suspect that his relation to Zhuge Dan was also distant; enough that he did not provoke suspicion.
  • During the decisive battle against Wen Qin at Yuejia, Guanqiu Jian’s SGZ specifies that the soldiers Deng Ai commanded were from Taishan. (大將軍遣兗州刺史鄧艾督泰山諸軍萬餘人至樂嘉). Deng Ai’s SGZ later identifies Zhuge Xu as Administrator of Taishan, so we can confirm he fought against Guanqiu Jian and participated in the key battles of the campaign.
  • Wang Jing was Inspector of Yong in 255. In Autumn of that year, he was defeated by Jiang Wei after disobeying Chen Tai’s orders, although Jiang Wei himself was forced to retreat in November. So Zhuge Xu’s appointment to Yong must have come after November of 255. During the campaign, Deng Ai (among others) was sent to reinforce Chen Tai and help suppress Jiang Wei. It is reasonable to suspect that Zhuge Xu went with him, though this is highly speculative.
  • Hu Lie was Administrator of Taishan no later than September of 257, so Zhuge Xu must have been appointed to Yong before this point. (Putting the date of his appointment somewhere between November 255-September 257.
  • Wang Yuanji’s JS describes him as being Minister of Ceremonies when Sima Yan took the throne (in February of 266), at which point he was transferred to be Minister of the Guards. Given that Deng Ai and Zhong Hui were made Excellencies after the conquest of Shu and that Zhuge Xu played a role in it, his promotion was likely a reward for services rendered. It is also possible that he wasn’t made Minister of ceremonies until after Zhong Hui’s revolt (at which point the slander against him would have been proven false), so the appointment might not have come until February of 264.

Since Zhuge Xu was one of the Nine Ministers, any promotion he received would presumably be to an Excellency’s post - which he never held. And any fall from grace would likewise be recorded. From this silence (on both ends) it seems reasonable to assume that he died in his post as Minister of the Guards. So the year of his death could probably be estimated if we can determine when that post changed hands. Pei Kai held it by 290, but I expect Zhuge Xu died before then.

All of this is highly speculative, of course (and I may be mistranslating some key bits). But the parts that can be confirmed do paint something of a picture. He was demonstrably a competent commander, well trusted by his superiors. He earned promotions and eventually became one of the Nine ministers. All in all, a respectable showing.

And, as far as I can tell, he was one of few Zhuge not to meet an unpleasant end.

One Zhuge Chong 諸葛沖 from Yangdu in Langye seems to have been Commandant of Justice by 273.

Wikipedia lists Chong as a son of Xu, as well as another boy named Xuan. Grandchildren were Zhuge Wan, a granddaughter, Quan and Mei were grandsons.

Given the extermination of Zhuge Dan’s family, I think the remaining Zhuge were likely of the same lineage as Zhuge Xu. I don’t know if we can suss out the exact relations, though. Especially with Wikipedia being what it is.

Fortunately we don’t have to *solely* rely on wikipedia.

Zhuge Chong 諸葛沖 and his sons Zhuge Quan 銓 and Zhuge Mei 玫 are mentioned in annotations in Deng Ai’s SGZ bio (where Chong is, confusingly, written as 衝). Zhuge Chong’s daughter Zhuge Wan 婉 has a brief entry in JS 31 as a ranking consort of Sima Yan 諸葛夫人 (where her father is listed as 沖, and Quan and Mei listed as brothers). Zhuge Mei also has a few other mentions in JS and ZZTJ.

Zhuge 厷 Hong(?), another son of Zhuge Xu, on the other hand seems to only be mentioned in Shishuo Xinyu. I’m guessing this is the “Zhuge Xuan” on Zhuge Xu’s wikipedia page. And there is another daughter of Zhuge Chong, whose zi 字 was 男姊, mentioned in <漢魏南北朝墓誌彙編>.

It would follow then that Zhuge Xu died respected and had reputation enough that it extended at least to Zhuge Chong’s generation. Wish we had more info on Zhuge Xu.

Zhuge Quan is listed as one of Jia Mi’s Twenty-Four Friends. He’s later listed as Commandant of Justice.

Zhuge Mei also seems to have served Sima Ai as the Attendant Officer to the General of Agile Cavalry. Hu Sanxing’s annotation changes it to Attendant Officer of the Household Gentlemen. He is described as the “brother-in-law” of Zhou Mu, the cousin of Sima Yue. 

A Zhuge Yao is killed later on, unsure if it’s of the same branch. 

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