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Sima Yi

Sima Yi
司馬懿
SimaYi.jpg
A Qing dynasty illustration of Sima Yi
Grand Tutor (太傅)
In office
13 March 239 (13 March 239) – 7 September 251 (7 September 251)
MonarchCao Fang
Preceded byZhong Yao
Succeeded bySima Fu
Manager of the Affairs of the Masters of Writing (錄尚書事)
In office
22 January 239 (22 January 239) – 13 March 239 (13 March 239)
MonarchCao Fang
Succeeded byCao Shuang
Palace Attendant (侍中)
In office
22 January 239 (22 January 239) – 13 March 239 (13 March 239)
MonarchCao Fang
In office
221 (221) – 226 (226)
MonarchCao Pi
Grand Commandant (太尉)
In office
13 February 235 (13 February 235) – 13 March 239 (13 March 239)
MonarchCao Rui / Cao Fang
Preceded byHua Xin
Succeeded byMan Chong
General-in-Chief (大將軍)
In office
16 March 230 (16 March 230) – 13 February 235 (13 February 235)
MonarchCao Rui
Preceded byCao Zhen
Succeeded byCao Yu
Chief Controller of Jing and Yu Provinces (荊、豫州牧)
In office
July 227 (July 227) – 16 March 230 (16 March 230)
MonarchCao Rui
General of Agile Cavalry (驃騎將軍)
In office
January or February 227 (January or February 227) – 16 March 230 (16 March 230)
MonarchCao Rui
General Who Pacifies the Army (撫軍將軍)
In office
224 (224) – January or February 227 (January or February 227)
MonarchCao Pi / Cao Rui
Right Supervisor of the Masters of Writing (尚書右僕射)
In office
221 (221) – 226 (226)
MonarchCao Pi
Palace Assistant Imperial Clerk (御史中丞)
In office
220 (220) – 221 (221)
MonarchCao Pi
Master of Writing (尚書)
In office
220 (220) – 220 (220)
MonarchCao Pi
Major to the Army of the Chancellor (丞相軍司馬)
In office
219 (219) – 220 (220)
MonarchEmperor Xian of Han
ChancellorCao Cao
Master of Records to the Chancellor (丞相主簿)
In office
215 – ?
MonarchEmperor Xian of Han
ChancellorCao Cao
Senior Clerk for Literary Scholarship (文學掾)
In office
208 – ?
MonarchEmperor Xian of Han
ChancellorCao Cao
Personal details
Born179
Wen County, Henei Commandery, Han Empire (present-day Wen County, Henan)
DiedSeptember 7, 251(251-09-07) (aged 71–72)
Luoyang, Wei dynasty (present-day Luoyang, Henan)
Resting placeMengjin County, Henan
Spouse(s)Zhang Chunhua
Domestic partnerLady Fu
Lady Zhang
Lady Bai
ChildrenSima Shi
Sima Zhao
Sima Liang
Sima Zhou
Sima Jing
Sima Gan
Sima Jun
Sima Rong
Sima Lun
Princess Nanyang
Princess Gaolu
FatherSima Fang
Relatives
OccupationMilitary general, politician, regent
Courtesy nameZhongda (仲達)
Temple nameGaozu (高祖)
PeerageMarquis of Wuyang
(舞陽侯)
Posthumous name
Emperor Xuan (宣皇帝)
Sima Yi
Traditional Chinese司馬懿
Simplified Chinese司马懿
Courtesy name
Traditional Chinese仲達
Simplified Chinese仲达

Sima Yi (About this soundpronunciation  Chinese: 司馬懿; 179 – 7 September[1] 251), courtesy name Zhongda, was a Chinese military general, politician, and regent of the state of Wei during the Three Kingdoms period of China.

He formally began his political career in 208 under the Han dynasty's Imperial Chancellor Cao Cao;[2][a] quickly rising through the ranks. His success in both handling domestic and military affairs, such as in governance and the promotion of agriculture, serving as a capable adviser, repelling incursions and invasions led by Shu and Wu forces, speedily crushing Meng Da's rebellion, and conquering the Gongsun-led Liaodong commandery, all managed to garner him great prestige over the decades. He is perhaps best known for defending Wei from a series of invasions between 231 and 234 led by Wei's rival state Shu.

In 239, he was made to preside as a regent for the young Cao Fang—after the latter's adoptive father, Cao Rui, had died—along with another co-regent, Cao Shuang.[3] Although amicable at first,[4] the relationship soon deteriorated[5] in light of Cao Shuang's corruption,[6] extravagance,[7] and attempts to curtail Sima Yi's political influence.[8] In 249, after carefully planning and building up support, he ousted Cao Shuang from power in a coup d'état and had him and his associates executed.[9]

Sima Yi would go on to serve as the de facto primary authority in Wei after this event, although in 251 he faced some opposition in the form of Wang Ling's rebellion,[10] which he swiftly dealt with.[11] He died later that year, on 7 September 251, at the age of 71 or (more likely) 72, with his eldest son, Sima Shi, succeeding his position.[12]

For the remainder of Wei's history, state power would increasingly rest in the hands of the Sima clan, which paved the way for the establishment of the Jin dynasty, which was founded by Sima Yi's grandson, Sima Yan, in 266. After Sima Yan became emperor, he honoured his grandfather with the posthumous title Emperor Xuan of Jin (宣皇帝) and the temple name Gaozu (高祖).

Family background

Sima Yi's ancestral home was in Xiaojing Village (孝敬里), Wen County (溫縣), Henei Commandery (河內郡), which is in present-day Zhaoxian Town, Wen County, Henan. His ancestor was Sima Ang, the King of Yin (殷王), who was briefly a ruler of one of the Eighteen Kingdoms during the transition period from the Qin dynasty to the Western Han dynasty, before Liu Bang's general, Han Xin, conquered his territory, capturing him and his capital city based in Zhaoge (朝歌; present-day Qi County, Hebi, Henan) in the process. In the early Han dynasty, Sima Ang's former kingdom, which had been largely situated in Henei (河內; in present-day northern Henan), became a commandery of the Han Empire, and his descendants had lived there since.[13]

Sima Jūn (司馬鈞), an eighth-generation descendant of Sima Ang, and the great-great-grandfather of Sima Yi, served as a general of the Han Empire; holding the position of General Who Conquers the West (征西將軍).[14] Sima Jūn's son, Sima Liang (司馬量), held the position of Grand Administrator of Yuzhang (豫章太守),[15] and Sima Liang's son, Sima Jùn (司馬儁), served as Grand Administrator of Yingchuan (潁川太守).[16] Sima Jùn's son, Sima Fang, served as the Prefect of Luoyang (洛陽令), Intendant of Jingzhao (京兆尹), and later in his life as Cavalry Commandant (騎都尉) towards the end of the Eastern Han dynasty.[17] Sima Yi (Zhongda) was Sima Fang's second son.[18]

Sima Yi had one elder brother, Sima Lang (Boda), and six younger brothers (in decreasing order of seniority): Sima Fu (Shuda), Sima Kui (Jida), Sima Xun (Xianda), Sima Jin (Huida), Sima Tong (Yada), and Sima Min (Youda). The eight Sima brothers were collectively known as the "Eight Das"[b] because their courtesy names all ended with da (達).[20]

Early life

Sima Yi displayed intelligence and great ambitions at a young age. He was knowledgeable and well-versed in Confucian classics. When chaos broke out in China towards the end of the Eastern Han dynasty, Sima Yi often expressed sympathy and concern for the people. Before he reached adulthood around the age of 19, Sima Yi once met Yang Jun (楊俊), a commandery administrator who was known for spotting talents. Yang Jun described him as an "extraordinary talent". Cui Yan, a friend of Sima Yi's elder brother, Sima Lang, once said: "(Sima Yi) is intelligent, decisive, and unique. (Sima Lang) can't be compared to him."[21]

Sima Yi and his family used to live in the imperial capital, Luoyang, where his father, Sima Fang, served as a government official. Sima Yi was raised in a strict Confucian manner:[22] He was not allowed to visit his father unless summoned, to speak to his father without being explicitly addressed, and neither was he allowed to be seated in the same room as his father.[23] In 190, when the warlord Dong Zhuo dominated the Han central government and wanted to relocate the imperial capital to Chang'an, Sima Fang ordered Sima Lang to bring the Sima family out of Luoyang and return to their ancestral home in Wen County, Henei Commandery. Some months later, as Sima Lang foresaw that chaos would break out in Henei Commandery, he relocated his family to Liyang Commandery (黎陽郡; around present-day Xun County, Henan), where they stayed with Sima Lang's kinsman, Zhao Weisun.[24] In 194, when war broke out between the warlords Cao Cao and Lü Bu, Sima Lang brought his family out of Liyang Commandery and again returned to their now-ravaged ancestral home in Wen County, Henei Commandery, where Sima Yi and his brothers largely sustained themselves by living as farmers; fending off local groups of bandits while studying diligently during their free time.[25]

Around 201, the administrative office of Henei Commandery nominated Sima Yi to serve in the government by holding local office, possibly as a clerk in charge of the records, and in 202 he was sent as a Reporting Officer (上計掾) to the capital.[26][c][27] Around the same year, he married a woman named Zhang Chunhua, possibly at the instigation of his father. At the same time, the warlord Cao Cao, who then held the position of Minister of Works in the Han imperial court, heard of Sima Yi's talent and wanted to recruit him to serve in the administration. Sima Yi declined, presumably on grounds of illness, with the Book of Jin more specifically mentioning that he, seeing that the Han Empire's future was bleak, declined and lied by supposedly saying that he suffered from paralysis; staying at home, with Cao Cao's spies reporting that they saw Sima Yi lying motionless in bed.[28]

One day—in a story that may be apocryphal—while Sima Yi was drying his books under the sun, there was a sudden downpour, so he rushed out to grab his books and was seen by a maid. Sima Yi's wife, Zhang Chunhua, feared that the maid would leak out news that Sima Yi was well and get their family into trouble, so she killed the maid to silence her.[29]

Service under Cao Cao

When Cao Cao became the Imperial Chancellor in 208, he sent an official to recruit Sima Yi to serve as an assistant clerk in his administration. He also allegedly instructed the official to arrest Sima Yi if he dawdled. Sima Yi apparently became afraid, so he accepted the appointment.[d] Although he was initially assigned to be an attendant to the crown prince,[e] he was later reassigned to other positions, including Gentleman of the Yellow Gate (黃門侍郎), Consultant (議郎), Officer in the East Bureau of the Imperial Chancellor's Office (丞相東曹屬), and Registrar in the Imperial Chancellor's Office (丞相主簿).[30]

Advising Cao Cao to attack Yi Province

In 215, Sima Yi accompanied Cao Cao on his campaign against the warlord Zhang Lu,[31] whom Cao Cao defeated in Hanzhong Commandery at the Battle of Yangping, and afterwards Sima Yi urged him to capitalise on the momentum to press on and attack his rival, Liu Bei, who was in the neighbouring Yi Province (covering present-day Sichuan and Chongqing). Sima Yi pointed out that since Liu Bei had only recently seized control of Yi Province from Liu Zhang, he had yet to establish a strong foothold in the province. However, Cao Cao rejected Sima Yi's idea and said that he was already content with having Longyou (隴右; covering parts of present-day Gansu and Shaanxi).[32] He then turned his attention towards his other key rival, Sun Quan.[33]

Urging Cao Cao to usurp the throne

Sun Quan sent an emissary to meet Cao Cao, requesting to make peace and expressing his willingness to pledge allegiance to Cao Cao. He also urged Cao Cao to seize the throne from Emperor Xian and declare himself emperor. In response to Sun Quan's suggestion, Cao Cao remarked: "This rascal wants me to put myself on top of a fire!" However, Sima Yi told him: "The Han dynasty is in decline. Your Lordship controls nine-tenths of the Han Empire. You are in a position to take the throne. Sun Quan's submission is the will of Heaven. Previously, during Yu's time and throughout the Xia, Shang, and Zhou dynasties, the rulers who did not hesitate when they should take the throne were the ones who truly understood Heaven's will."[34] Cao Cao ultimately never usurped the throne from Emperor Xian and remained nominally a subject of the Han Empire until his death.

In 216, after Emperor Xian promoted Cao Cao from a duke to a vassal king under the title "King of Wei" (魏王), Sima Yi became an adviser to Cao Cao's son and heir apparent, Cao Pi. Cao Pi highly regarded and respected Sima Yi for his brilliance. Along with Chen Qun, Wu Zhi, and Zhu Shuo (朱鑠), Sima Yi was one of Cao Pi's close aides and one of his "Four Friends".[35] Before Cao Pi became his father's heir apparent in 216, he engaged in a power struggle against his younger brother Cao Zhi over the succession. During this time, Sima Yi was believed to be among those who secretly backed Cao Pi and helped him win the position of heir apparent. He also allegedly had a hand in Cao Zhi's demotion and removal from politics after Cao Pi became the emperor.[36]

When Sima Yi was appointed as an Army Major (軍司馬), he suggested to Cao Cao to stockpile food supplies and maintain their defences at the same time because there were more than 200,000 people who were unable to sustain themselves through farming. Cao Cao accepted his idea and implemented a policy for the people to farm and stockpile grain.[37]

Battle of Fancheng

Sima Yi also warned Cao Cao about Hu Xiu (胡修) and Fu Fang (傅方), who respectively served as the Inspector of Jing Province and the Administrator of Nanxiang Commandery (南鄉郡; in Jing Province) at the time. He said that Hu Xiu was violent while Fu Fang was arrogant, so they should not be entrusted with the important responsibility of guarding the border at Jing Province. Cao Cao ignored him. In 219, during the Battle of Fancheng, while Cao Cao's general Cao Ren was besieged by Liu Bei's general Guan Yu in Fancheng (樊城; present-day Fancheng District, Xiangyang, Hubei), Cao Cao ordered Yu Jin to lead reinforcements to lift the siege on Fancheng. However, the reinforcements were destroyed in a flood and Yu Jin surrendered to Guan Yu. As Sima Yi foresaw, Hu Xiu and Fu Fang defected to Guan Yu, placing Cao Ren in an even more perilous situation.[38]

Upon learning of Yu Jin's defeat, Cao Cao felt that the Han imperial capital, Xuchang, was too near enemy territory, so he considered moving the capital further north into Hebei. Sima Yi and Jiang Ji said: "Yu Jin's defeat was not due to flaws in our defences, nor would it significantly affect us. Moving the imperial capital is showing our weakness to the enemy. It will cause panic in the regions around the Huai and Mian rivers. Sun Quan and Liu Bei seem close to each other, but they actually don't trust each other. Sun Quan will feel very uneasy upon seeing Guan Yu's victory, so we should incite him to attack Guan Yu's base in Jing Province. This will lift the siege on Fancheng." Cao Cao heeded their advice. Sun Quan later sent his general Lü Meng to attack Gong'an County and invade Jing Province in the winter of 219–220. Guan Yu was captured and executed by Sun Quan's forces.[39][40][41]

Cao Cao wanted to relocate residents in Jing Province and Yingchuan Commandery (潁川郡) further north as he felt that they were too close to enemy territory in the south. Sima Yi, however, advised him against doing so and said: "The Jing and Chu regions are unstable. The people are easy to move but hard to pacify. As Guan Yu has been recently defeated, bad people will go into hiding. If we move the good people, we might cause them to feel distressed and unwilling to return to our side." Cao Cao heeded Sima Yi's advice. The people affected by the Battle of Fancheng later managed to revert to their original livelihoods before the battle.[42][43]

When Cao Cao died in Luoyang in March 220,[44] there was much apprehension in the imperial court. Sima Yi supervised the funerary arrangements to ensure that everything was going to be carried out in an orderly fashion,[45] and thereafter accompanied the funeral cortège to Ye[22] (present-day Handan, Hebei), whereby in doing so he earned the respect of officials both within and outside the central government.[46]

Service under Cao Pi

After Cao Pi succeeded his father as the (vassal) King of Wei (魏王) and Imperial Chancellor of the Han Empire in early 220,[47] he enfeoffed Sima Yi as the Marquis of Hejin Village (河津亭侯) and appointed him as his Chief Clerk (長史).[48]

Later, when Sun Quan led his forces to attack Cao Pi's territories in Jing Province, some officials rejected the idea of resisting Sun Quan since Fancheng (樊城; present-day Fancheng District, Xiangyang, Hubei) and Xiangyang lacked food supplies. At the time, Cao Ren, who was defending Xiangyang, had been reassigned from Fancheng to defend Wancheng (宛城; present-day Wancheng District, Nanyang, Henan). Sima Yi said: "Sun Quan has recently defeated Guan Yu. At this time, he will be thinking of defending his newly acquired territories (rather than attacking us), so he will definitely not pose a threat to us. Xiangyang's land and water routes are crucial to its defences against enemy attacks, so we cannot abandon the city." Cao Pi ignored Sima Yi's advice. As Sima Yi predicted, Sun Quan did not attack them after Cao Ren gave up on Xiangyang and Fancheng. Cao Pi regretted not listening to him.[49]

Throughout the course of 220, Sima Yi would go on to serve as one of the leading officials in court to support and urge for Cao Pi's seizure of the throne,[22] joined as he were by a number of other officials.[50]

In late 220, Cao Pi usurped the throne from Emperor Xian, ended the Eastern Han dynasty, and declared himself emperor of the newly established state of Wei.[47] Cao Pi first appointed Sima Yi as a Master of Writing (尚書) but later reassigned him to be an Army Inspector (督軍) and Palace Assistant Imperial Clerk (御史中丞). He also promoted Sima Yi from a village marquis to a district marquis under the title "Marquis of Anguo District" (安國鄉侯).[51]

In 221, Sima Yi was removed from his post as an Army Inspector and was appointed as a Palace Attendant (侍中) and Right Supervisor of the Masters of Writing (尚書右僕射).[52]

In 222, when Cao Pi visited Wancheng (宛城; present-day Wancheng District, Nanyang, Henan), either because the city wasn't celebratory enough, or because a local market had failed to produce a type of medicine Cao Pi had requested,[53] the Governor of Nanyang (南陽太守), Yang Jun (楊俊), under whose authority the city fell, was arrested. Sima Yi, among other officials, was on good terms with Yang Jun, whom he had previously met during his youth[54] and considered capable and intelligent, and therefore pleaded on his behalf; knocking his forehead on the ground until it started bleeding, but Cao Pi dismissed the appeal. Yang Jun, admitting that he was at fault, committed suicide. Sima Yi was greatly saddened at such a loss.[55]

Two years later, in September 224, Cao Pi went on a tour of the south to inspect his forces in the areas near the Wei–Wu border. Sima Yi remained behind to defend Xuchang and his marquis title was changed to "Marquis of Xiang District" (向鄉侯).[56]

In the spring of 225, he was appointed General Who Pacifies the Army (撫軍將軍) and placed in command of 5,000 troops, in addition to holding the positions of Official Who Concurrently Serves in the Palace (給事中) and Manager of the Affairs of the Masters of Writing (錄尚書事).[57] When Sima Yi declined to accept these appointments, Cao Pi told him: "I am so busy with state affairs that I have been working through both day and night and have hardly a moment for rest. (When I entrust you with these responsibilities,) I am not commending you, but rather, I need you to help me share my burden."[58]

In 226, Cao Pi led his armies to attack Sun Quan and left Sima Yi behind to defend and govern the imperial capital in his absence, as well as providing reinforcements and supplies for his armies at the frontline. Before departing, Cao Pi issued a decree: "I am deeply concerned about what happens after I die. This is why I entrust you with this responsibility. Even though Cao Shen made many contributions on the battlefield, Xiao He played a more important role than him. Can I be free of worries I have about the west (referring to the rival state Shu in the west)?" Cao Pi later returned from Guangling Commandery (廣陵郡) to Luoyang and he told Sima Yi: "When I am in the east, you will be in charge of the west; when I am in the west, you will be in charge of the east." Sima Yi remained behind to guard Xuchang.[59]

In mid 226, when Cao Pi became critically ill, he summoned Sima Yi, Cao Zhen, Chen Qun, and possibly Cao Xiu to meet him in the south hall of Chonghua Palace (崇華殿), where he ordered them to assist his son Cao Rui after his death. Cao Pi also told Cao Rui: "There may be those who would alienate these Three Ducal Ministers from you, but be careful and do not doubt them."[60][61][62][f]

Service under Cao Rui

Driving back Wu invaders

After Cao Rui became the Wei emperor, he elevated Sima Yi from the status of a district marquis to a county marquis under the title "Marquis of Wuyang (County)" (舞陽侯).[63] Around that time, Sun Quan attacked Jiangxia Commandery (江夏郡; around present-day Xinzhou District, Wuhan, Hubei) and sent his generals Zhuge Jin and Zhang Ba (張霸) to attack Xiangyang. Sima Yi led Wei forces to resist the Wu invaders, defeated Zhuge Jin, and killed Zhang Ba and more than 1,000 Wu soldiers.[64] In recognition of Sima Yi's efforts, Cao Rui promoted Sima Yi to General of Agile Cavalry (驃騎將軍).[65][66][67][g]

Suppressing Meng Da's rebellion

A Qing dynasty illustration of Meng Da's death at Xincheng.

In July 227, Cao Rui ordered Sima Yi to garrison at Wancheng (宛城; present-day Wancheng District, Nanyang, Henan) and put him charge of the military affairs of Jing and Yu provinces.[68][69]

Earlier, during Cao Pi's reign, Sima Yi had warned Cao Pi that Meng Da, a former Shu general who had defected to Wei, was untrustworthy, but Cao Pi ignored him.[36] He was proven right after Cao Pi's death, as towards the end of 227, Sima Yi received news that Meng Da was planning to rebel against Wei and return to Shu, and so, according to the Weilüe, he had sent his adviser Liang Ji (梁幾) to investigate Meng Da's case while urging Meng Da to visit the Wei capital Luoyang to attend to court, which alarmed the latter and finally convinced him to rebel.[70][71]

The Book of Jin and Zizhi Tongjian, however, are in agreement that Sima Yi, upon hearing that Meng Da wished to rebel, instead wrote a flattering letter to Meng Da to distract and confuse him while preparing to suppress the rebellion.[72] While Meng Da was stuck in a dilemma on whether to commit to his rebellion or not, Sima Yi swiftly assembled his troops and in secret led them to attack Meng Da's base in Shangyong Commandery (上庸郡; around present-day Zhushan County, Hubei).[73] While heading towards the location, Sima Yi's subordinates suggested that they observe Meng Da's actions first before advancing, but Sima Yi replied: "(Meng) Da is not a trustworthy person. Now that he is hesitating due to suspicions, we should seize this opportunity to get rid of him." The marching speed was subsequently hastened and, covering 2,200 li, Sima Yi reached there within eight days[74] and ordered his subordinates to lead separate detachments to intercept and block Meng Da's reinforcements in the form of Shu and Wu forces that had just arrived at An Bridge (安橋) and Mulan Fort (木闌塞) in Xicheng (西城) respectively.[75][76]

Meng Da was taken by utter surprise as he did not expect Sima Yi to show up at Shangyong Commandery so quickly.[77] As Meng Da was surrounded on three sides by a river, he set up wooden barriers to defend himself. Sima Yi's forces crossed the rivers, destroyed the barriers, and arrived just outside Shangyong. Sima Yi split up his forces and attacked the city from eight different directions for over two weeks. On the sixteenth day, Meng Da's nephew Deng Xian (鄧賢) and subordinate Li Fu (李輔) opened the city gates and surrendered to Sima Yi. Meng Da was captured and executed[78] and his head sent to the capital Luoyang; more than 10,000 captives were taken and Sima Yi returned to Wancheng in triumph.[79]

Governing Jing and Yu provinces

While he was in charge of Jing and Yu provinces, Sima Yi encouraged and promoted agriculture and reduced wastage of public funds. The people of the southern lands were happy and showed their support for him.[80]

Shen Yi, a former subordinate of Meng Da, had remained in Weixing Commandery (魏興郡; around present-day Ankang, Shaanxi) for a long time and had become deeply entrenched there. All these years, he had been illegally using the Wei emperor's name to carve official stamps and seals, and giving them to others. After hearing of Meng Da's downfall, he became worried that he would be the next target of Sima Yi's crackdown on traitorous officials. Around that time, as Sima Yi had just suppressed Meng Da's rebellion, many regional officials came to present gifts and congratulate him. Sima Yi sent a messenger to provoke Shen Yi and lure him into a trap. When Shen Yi came to confront him, he fell into the trap and was captured and sent to the imperial capital.[81] Sima Yi also relocated to You Province more than 7,000 households who used to live in Shangyong Commandery. The Shu military officers Yao Jing (姚靜), Zheng Ta (鄭他), and others later brought more than 7,000 men with them to surrender to Sima Yi.[82] However, These Shu military officers who only appear in the Book of Jin is not appeared in the 11th-century outstanding chronological historical text Zizhi Tongjian.[83]

At the time, among the thousands of people who migrated to Wei from Shu, many were unregistered residents, so the Wei government wanted to have them officially registered as citizens of Wei. The Wei emperor, Cao Rui, summoned Sima Yi back to Luoyang and sought his opinion on this issue. Sima Yi said: "The enemy seized these people through deception and now abandon them. It's advisable to have them registered. This way, they will feel happy and at ease." Cao Rui then asked him which of Wei's two rival states (Wu and Shu) they should attack first. Sima Yi replied: "The people of Wu know that we are not adept in naval warfare, hence they dare to live in Dongguan. When we attack an enemy, we should always block its throat and strike its heart. Xiakou and Dongguan are the enemy's heart and throat. If we can move our land forces to Wan[h] to lure Sun Quan to advance east, and take advantage of Xiakou's low defences by sending our navy to attack it, it will be like an army from Heaven descending (upon the enemy) and they will definitely be defeated." Cao Rui agreed with Sima Yi's view and ordered him to return to his post at Wancheng (宛城; present-day Wancheng District, Nanyang, Henan).[84]

Around August 228, during the time of the Battle of Shiting, records make brief mention of Sima Yi's involvement in the events by stating that he led Wei forces into Jiangling (江陵; present-day Jiangling County, Jingzhou, Hubei).[85][86]

Aborted campaign against Shu

In March 230, Sima Yi was promoted to General-in-Chief (大將軍), appointed Grand Chief Controller (大都督), and given a ceremonial yellow axe. The Wei emperor, Cao Rui, put him and Cao Zhen in charge of defending Wei's western borders from attacks by its rival state Shu, which had been launching invasions since 228. At Cao Zhen's instigation, a campaign against Shu was proposed and eventually implemented after Cao Rui approved his proposal.[87] In September 230, Cao Zhen led an army from Chang'an to attack Shu via the Ziwu Valley (子午谷). At the same time, another Wei army led by Sima Yi, acting on Cao Rui's order, advanced towards Shu from Jing Province by sailing along the Han River. The rendezvous point for Cao Zhen and Sima Yi's armies was at Nanzheng County (南鄭縣; in present-day Hanzhong, Shaanxi). The army led by Sima Yi passed through Zhuoshan (斫山) and Xicheng County (西城縣; present-day Ankang, Shaanxi), sailed along the Mian River to Quren County (朐忍縣; west of present-day Yunyang County, Chongqing), and arrived at Xinfeng County (新豐縣; south of present-day Weinan, Shaanxi). He made camp at Dankou (丹口). Other Wei armies also prepared to attack Shu from the Xie Valley (斜谷) or Wuwei Commandery. However, the campaign eventually had to be aborted by October 230,[88] because the gallery roads leading into Shu were too damaged for the troops to pass through, and also because of constant heavy downpour, which had lasted for more than 30 days.[89][90]

Battle of Mount Qi

The following year, in 231, Shu forces led by Zhuge Liang attacked Tianshui Commandery and besieged Wei forces led by Jia Si (賈嗣) and Wei Ping (魏平) at Mount Qi (祁山; the mountainous regions around present-day Li County, Gansu). Cao Rui ordered Sima Yi to move to Chang'an (present-day Xi'an, Shaanxi) to supervise military operations in Yong and Liang provinces.[91] Sima Yi then ordered Fei Yao and Dai Ling to protect Shanggui County (上邽縣; in present-day Tianshui, Gansu) with 4,000 elite troops and set out with the rest of his men westward to relieve the mountainous battlefield. Zhang He wanted to take a detachment and station it at Yong (雍) and Mei (郿) counties, but Sima Yi reasoned: "If the vanguard is able to face the enemy alone, your words are right; but should they not be able to do so, the dividing of the forces into vanguard and rear would be unwise; in this manner the Three Armies of Chu were captured by Qing Bu."[92] After making preparations for battle, Sima Yi, with Zhang He, Fei Yao, Dai Ling (戴陵), and Guo Huai serving as his subordinates, led the Wei forces to Yumi County (隃麋縣; east of present-day Qianyang County, Shaanxi) and stationed there.[93]

When Zhuge Liang heard of the Wei army's arrival, he led his troops to Shanggui County to collect the harvest. Supposedly, without good coordination, Sima Yi's subordinates defied his order to defend their positions; a detachment of the Wei army went to attack the Shu forces, but were defeated,[94] although accounts from the Book of Jin make no mention of a detachment being defeated,[95] and records of the campaign in general tend to vary and prove unreliable.[i] After getting the enemy out of the way, Zhuge Liang foraged for the early spring wheat that was available in the vicinity. Sima Yi's subordinates feared losing the wheat, but Sima Yi stated that "Zhuge Liang thinks too much and makes too little decisions. He'll definitely fortify his camp and defences first before coming to harvest the wheat. Two days is sufficient for me (to reach Shanggui County)." He indeed reached there within two days after travelling overnight. When Zhuge Liang and his men heard that Sima Yi was marching towards their position, they swiftly retreated instead of giving battle.[96] Sima Yi commented: "I'm weary from travelling day and night. This is because I know what militarists covet. Zhuge Liang does not dare to remain near the Wei River. This is easy for me."[97] Initially, the Wei emperor, Cao Rui, wanted to supply Sima Yi's army with the wheat in Shanggui County and had rejected a proposal to transport grain from Guanzhong to the frontline. However, Zhuge Liang's movements turned out to be quicker than Cao Rui anticipated; only a portion of the wheat produce in Shanggui County was left after the Shu army's harvesting. The Wei general Guo Huai then asserted his influence over local nomadic tribes and forced them to produce food supplies for the Wei army.[98] The Wei army was thus able to gain access to food supplies without assistance from the central government in Luoyang.

Sima Yi again encountered Zhuge Liang, this time east of Shanggui County, at Hanyang (漢陽), but no direct engagement came of it; Sima Yi drew his troops in and put them into formation while waiting, finding protection in the nearby defiles; concurrently he sent Niu Jin to lead a lightly-armed cavalry detachment to lure the enemy to Mount Qi, who in the process briefly engaged in battle with Shu vanguard commander Ma Dai and managed to inflict some losses on the enemy. Zhuge Liang simultaneously withdrew his forces, and Sima Yi thereafter closely followed Zhuge Liang from the rear. Zhang He reportedly advised against pursuit on grounds that they could effectively station at Mount Qi, combine their forces, and indulge in conducting irregular expeditions, as well as that Zhuge Liang's provisions were running low, effectively having the strategic problem take care of itself, as Zhuge Liang would soon be forced to retreat,[99] but Sima Yi did not heed this advice, and continued his pursuit.[100] Zhuge Liang meanwhile ordered a retreat towards the eastern side of the Mount Qi ridges, where the Shu army fortified at Lucheng (鹵城), seizing control of the hills in the north and south, and using the river as a natural barrier while pitching "covering camps" near the riverbank to take complete control of the water passage.[101][102][103]

Although his subordinates repeatedly urged him to attack the enemy, Sima Yi was hesitant to do so after seeing the layout of the Shu camps in the hills. However, he eventually relented when his subordinates criticised and mocked him by saying he would become a laughing stock if he refused to attack.[104][105] Sima Yi sent Zhang He to attack the southern Shu camps, guarded by Wang Ping, while he personally led a frontal assault on Lucheng from the central avenue.[106][107] In response, Zhuge Liang ordered Wei Yan, Wu Ban, and Gao Xiang to lead troops to engage and resist the enemy outside Lucheng.[108] the Wei forces suffered an unexpected and tremendous defeat: 3,000 soldiers were killed, and 5,000 suits of armour and 3,100 sets of hornbeam crossbows were seized by Shu forces; however, Sima Yi still retained a sizable army, which he led back to his camp.[109][110]

Despite his victory, Zhuge Liang could not make use of the momentum to launch a major offensive on the enemy because his army was running low on supplies.[111] The Book of Jin claimed that Sima Yi launched an attack on Shu garrisons at this juncture and succeeded in capturing the Shu "covering camps". Zhuge Liang abandoned Lucheng and retreated under the cover of night, but Sima Yi pursued him and inflicted roughly 10,000 casualties on the Shu army. This account from the Book of Jin is disputed by historians[112][113] and is not included in the 11th-century outstanding chronological historical text Zizhi Tongjian.[114] In any case, according to Records of the Three Kingdoms and Zizhi Tongjian, Zhuge Liang retreated to the Shu, because of lack of supply, not defeat.[115][116] and the Wei forces pursued him. the pursuit did not go completely smoothly for Wei. Sima Yi had ordered Zhang He to further pursue the enemy in an attempt to capitalise on their momentum. The Weilüe mentioned that Zhang He apparently refused to initially obey Sima Yi's order and argued that, according to classical military doctrine, one should refrain from pursuing an enemy force retreating to its home territory. However, Sima Yi refused to listen and forced Zhang He to carry out this order. Zhang He fell into an ambush at Mumen Trail (木門道; near present-day Mumen Village, Mudan Town, Qinzhou District, Tianshui, Gansu), where Zhuge Liang had ordered crossbowmen to hide on high ground and fire at approaching enemy forces when they entered a narrow defile; Zhang He died after a stray arrow hit him in the right knee. Unlike book of Jin records, Wei's army suffered a great deal of damage from Shu's army, which was retreating while chasing after them.[117][118] Regardless of this setback, Cao Rui sent an emissary to congratulate Sima Yi on his victory and rewarded him by adding more taxable households to his marquisate.[119][120]

Du Xi, who was his adviser,[121] and Xue Ti (薛悌) told Sima Yi that the wheat will be ready for harvest the following year and Zhuge Liang would definitely come to seize the wheat. Since Longyou (隴右) lacked food supplies, they should transport the wheat there that winter. Sima Yi said: "Zhuge Liang advanced towards Mount Qi again and attacked Chencang (陳倉; east of present-day Baoji, Shaanxi) but lost and withdrew. If he advances again, instead of attacking cities, he will call for a battle in the east of Long(you) and not the west. Zhuge Liang feels frustrated by the shortage of grain so he will definitely stockpile supplies when he returns (to Shu). Based on my prediction, he won't attack again if he doesn't have at least three harvests' worth of food supplies." Sima Yi then proposed to the Wei imperial court to mobilise farmers from Ji Province to Shanggui County and put them under the jurisdiction of Jingzhao (京兆), Tianshui, and Nan'an (南安) commanderies.[122] By 233, Sima Yi's agricultural plan came to fruition and became a source of food supplies for the three commanderies.[123]

Battle of Wuzhang Plains

A Qing dynasty illustration of "a dead Zhuge drives away a living Zhongda".

In March or April 234, Zhuge Liang reportedly led around 100,000 Shu troops (although it was likely closer to 60,000)[124] out of the Xie Valley (斜谷)[125][126] and camped at the southern bank of the Wei River near Mei County (郿縣; southeast of present-day Fufeng County, Shaanxi).[127] When Zhuge Liang Arrived at Wei River. At Zhuge Liang's command, the advance team across the river camped at the eastern foot of the Wugong river. Sima Yi led 10,000 cavalry to attack the advance team. Zhuge Liang made a bridge out of bamboo and fired an arrow at the cavalry. Sima Yi saw the bridge completed and immediately ran away.[128][129][130] Zhuge Liang was worried that he could not express his will due to the lack of supply, so he divided the army and laid the foundation for a long-term presence. Farming armies were mixed with the people along the Wei River, but the people were comfortable and the army had no private interest.[131]

Sima Yi's subordinates wanted to station their camp north of the Wei River, but Sima Yi said: "Many civilians have gathered at the south of the Wei River. That will definitely become a hotly contested location." Sima Yi then led his troops across the Wei River and took up his position with his rear facing the river, and began constructing fortifications.[132][133] He additionally said: "If Zhuge Liang is brave enough, he'll move out from Wugong County (武功縣; east of present-day Mei County, Shaanxi) and head eastward in the direction of the mountains. If he moves west to the Wuzhang Plains, we'll have no worries."[134][135] Around that time, the Wei emperor, Cao Rui, became worried, and so decided to send the general Qin Lang to lead 20,000 infantry and cavalry as reinforcements to join Sima Yi.[136][137]

While Sima Yi and his troops were stationed at the south of the Wei River, Guo Huai urged him and the various officers to move a detachment to the plains on the north bank of the river as he foresaw that Zhuge Liang would attempt to seize the plains.[138] When the other officers disagreed,[139] Guo Huai stated: "If Zhuge Liang crosses the Wei River and occupies those plains, his troops will have access to the mountains in the north. If they block the road through the mountains, it will cause fear and panic among the people living in the region. This isn't helpful to our state."[140][141] Sima Yi finally agreed with Guo Huai and sent him to occupy the plains. While Guo Huai and his men were building a camp on the plains, they came under attack by Shu forces, but managed to drive them back.[142][143]

During that time, Zhuge Liang moved his army west to the Wuzhang Plains[144] and prepared to cross to the northern bank of the Wei River. Sima Yi sent Zhou Dang (周當) to station at Yangsui (陽遂; the area north of the Wei River in present-day Mei and Fufeng counties, Shaanxi) and lure Zhuge Liang to attack him. However, Zhuge Liang did not mobilise his troops for several days, and Sima Yi reportedly exclaimed: "Zhuge Liang wants to take control of the Wuzhang Plains and won't advance towards Yangsui. His intention is obvious." He then sent Hu Zun (胡遵) and Guo Huai to defend Yangsui. Several days later, Guo Huai received news that Zhuge Liang was planning to launch an attack in the west, and his subordinates therefore wanted to strengthen their defences in the west. Guo Huai was the only one who recognised that it was a ruse, and that Zhuge Liang was actually planning to attack Yangsui. He was proven right later as the Shu forces attacked Yangsui at night. However, as Guo Huai had set up defences earlier, the Shu forces failed to capture Yangsui. Zhuge Liang could not advance further, so he retreated back to the Wuzhang Plains.[145][146]

One night, Sima Yi saw a star falling towards the Shu camp and predicted that Zhuge Liang would be defeated. He ordered a surprise attack on the Shu camp from behind: 500 Shu soldiers were killed, 600 surrendered, and more than 1,000 livestock of the Shu army were captured by Wei forces.[147] But it's also a count account from the Book of Jin is disputed by historians, and is not included in the 11th-century outstanding chronological historical text Zizhi Tongjian. Instead, the record for Records of the Three Kingdoms[148], which is different from the record for Book of Jin, was included in Zizhi Tongjian.[149]

Around that time, the Wei government observed that since the Shu army was far away from its base at Hanzhong Commandery, it would not be in its interest to fight a prolonged war in enemy territory, so it would be better for the Wei army to adopt a defensive posture against the Shu invaders. The Wei emperor, Cao Rui, thus ordered Sima Yi to hold his position and refrain from engaging the Shu forces in battle.[150] Zhuge Liang attempted to lure Sima Yi to attack him; on one occasion, Zhuge Liang supposedly sent Sima Yi women's ornaments to taunt him.[151] Sima Yi, apparently feeling enraged, sought permission from Cao Rui to attack the enemy,[152] but was denied. The emperor even sent Xin Pi, bearing the imperial sceptre (a symbol of the emperor's authority), to the battlefield to make sure that Sima Yi followed orders and remained in camp.[153][154] Zhuge Liang knew that Sima Yi was pretending to be angry because he wanted to show the Wei soldiers that he would not put up with the enemy's taunting, and to ensure that the Wei soldiers were ready for battle.[155][156]

According to the Book of Jin, when Sima Fu wrote to Sima Yi to ask him about the situation at the Wuzhang Plains, Sima Yi replied by saying: "Zhuge Liang has big ambitions but he fails to recognise opportunities. He is full of wits but not decisive. He likes leading troops into battle even though he does not have much authority over them. Even though he has 100,000 troops under his command, he has already fallen into my trap and I'll certainly defeat him."[157] When Zhuge Liang's envoy visited Sima Yi's camp, the latter allegedly inquired about his sleeping and eating habits, along with how busy he was.[158] When told how Zhuge Liang consumed little and didn't sleep much,[159] Sima Yi said to his men: "Zhuge Kongming takes little food and does much work; how can he last long?"[160]

Meanwhile, Sima Yi also provokes Zhuge Liang. Sima Yi made some 2,000 people cheer on the southeast corner of the compound. When Zhuge Liang sent a man to find out, he said, "Eastern Wu's envoy came and said he would surrender." Zhuge Liang knew this and said, "Eastern Wu will not surrender. Sima Yi is an old man who will soon be 60 years old, does he need to use this trick?"[161]

After a standoff lasting more than 100 days,[162] Sima Yi heard from civilians that Zhuge Liang had died from illness and the Shu army had burnt down their camp and retreated. He then led his troops to pursue the enemy and caught up with them, but withdrew when the Shu forces got into battle formation.[163] Some days later, Sima Yi surveyed the remains of the Shu camp and thereafter reportedly exclaimed: "He was a genius."[164] He also concluded that Zhuge Liang was indeed dead when he saw that the Shu army had hastily retreated. Xin Pi felt that they could not be certain about Zhuge Liang's death yet, but Sima Yi said: "The most important things in an army are its documents, troops, horses, and supplies. (Zhuge Liang) has abandoned all of them. How can a person lose his five most important organs and still be alive? We should quickly pursue (the enemy)." The ground in the Guanzhong region was full of devil's weed so Sima Yi sent 2,000 men wearing wooden clogs with flat soles to clear the path before his main army advanced and continued pursuing the enemy, although he retreated when he eventually encountered the Shu forces.[165] When Sima Yi reached Chi'an (赤岸), he asked the civilians living there about Zhuge Liang and heard that there was a saying: "A dead Zhuge (Liang) scares away a living Zhongda."[j] When Sima Yi heard that, he laughed and said: "I can predict the thoughts of the living but I can't predict the dead's."[166][167]

In 235, Sima Yi was promoted to Grand Commandant (太尉) and had the number of taxable households in his marquisate increased. In the same year, when the Shu general Ma Dai led troops to invade Wei, Sima Yi sent Niu Jin to lead Wei forces to resist the invaders. Niu Jin defeated Ma Dai and killed more than 1,000 enemy soldiers.[168] However, This account from the Book of Jin is not included in Zizhi Tongjian text.[169] When a famine broke out in Guandong (關東; referring to the area east of Hangu Pass), Sima Yi had more than five million hu of grain transported from Chang'an to Luoyang to aid in disaster relief efforts.[170]

Around this time, Sima Yi established a military market at Chang'an. When an official named Yan Fei (顏斐) reported that the soldiers were insulting the people living there, he summoned the market captain and personally flogged him 100 times in front of Yan Fei,[171] and thereafter strictly supervised the conduct of all the officials and soldiers.[172]

Liaodong campaign

Gongsun-controlled territory (light green, approximate).

In 236, Sima Yi caught a white deer, which was regarded as an auspicious animal, and presented it to the Wei emperor, Cao Rui. Cao Rui said: "When the Duke of Zhou assisted King Cheng in governance, he presented white pheasants to the king. Now you are in charge of Shaanxi and you present a white deer. Isn't this a sign of loyalty, cooperation, long-lasting stability, and peace?"[173] Later, when Cao Rui asked for capable and virtuous men to be recommended to him, Sima Yi chose to recommend Wang Chang.[174]

Around that time, Gongsun Yuan, a warlord based in Liaodong Commandery (in present-day Liaoning) who previously pledged allegiance to the Wei state, started a rebellion and declared independence, defeating the general Guanqiu Jian in an engagement.[175]

In January 238, Cao Rui summoned Sima Yi back to the imperial capital Luoyang to lead a campaign against Liaodong.[176] When asked by the emperor as to how Gongsun Yuan will respond, Sima Yi stated that there were three choices available: to flee, to resist, and to defend his capital city,[177] with the last being the worst choice, and the one he was most likely going to employ against Sima Yi after putting up some initial resistance.[178] When further asked by the emperor on how long it will take, Sima Yi said that he needed only one year in total to lead the troops to Liaodong, to suppress the revolt, and to then return and repose.[179][180] At the time, the Wei government had forced many men into military service or recruited them for manual labour to work on Cao Rui's palace construction/renovation projects. Sima Yi felt that doing so would increase the burden on the common people and make them resent the Wei government, so he advised Cao Rui to halt the projects and focus on dealing with the more pressing issues.[181]

Thereafter, Sima Yi set out with an army of 40,000 men from Luoyang to attack Liaodong, with Niu Jin and Hu Zun (胡遵) serving as his subordinates.[182] Cao Rui personally saw him off at Luoyang's Ximing Gate (西明門), where he ordered Sima Yi's brother Sima Fu and son Sima Shi, as well as other officials to attend the ceremony.[183] During the extensive and lively festivities, in which Sima Yi met with elders and old friends, he began sighing and, feeling emotional and dissatisfied, sang a song:

Heaven and Earth unfold and open up, (the) Sun and Moon are very bright.

Coming to a border meeting, a final effort in distant lands.

(I am) about to seep away the dirty pack, returning to pass by the old hometown.

Respectful and pure for ten thousand li, all equally in every direction.

Announcing success and returning in old age, awaits not in Wuyang. [Wuyang was his fief][184]

Thereupon he finally advanced with the army, which would later be reinforced by Guanqiu Jian's own forces in You Province,[185] which included the Xianbei auxiliary led by Mohuba (莫護跋), ancestor of the Murong clan.[186] The Wei army reached Liaodong in June 238,[187] and as Sima Yi had anticipated, Gongsun Yuan had sent his Grand General Bei Yan (卑衍) and Yang Zuo (楊祚) to face him. They built their camps along the Liao River in anticipation of him.[188] The Wei generals wanted to directly attack the enemy on the banks of the river, but Sima Yi reasoned that attacking the encampment would only wear themselves out and deplete their valuable resources; on the other hand, since the bulk of the Liaodong army was at the Liao River, Gongsun Yuan's headquarters at Xiangping (襄平; present-day Liaoyang), the capital of the Liaodong Commandery,[189] would be comparatively empty and the Wei army could take it with ease.[190][191] Sima Yi therefore decided to dispatch Hu Zun with a contingent of his army south with numerous banners and drums, so as to indicate that he was going to make a sortie there with a large force.[192] This deceived Bei Yan and his men, who pursued the decoy unit, whereby Hu Zun, having lured the enemy out, crossed the river and broke through Bei Yan's line,[193] while Sima Yi managed to secretly cross the river to the north, sink the boats, burn down the bridges, build up a long barricade along the river, and then march for the capital itself.[194][195] Once the opposing generals realised they had fallen for a feint, they started marching back in haste towards the capital, and in the night while heading north to intercept Sima Yi, as had been expected of them,[196] they caught up at Mount Shou (首山; a mountain west of Xiangping), where Bei Yan was ordered to give battle, and was subsequently routed and crushed by Sima Yi and his army.[197][198] Sima Yi then marched towards Xiangping unopposed, and started besieging it.[199]

Along with the month of July came the summer monsoons, which had impeded Guanqiu Jian's campaign a year ago. There was a constant heavy downpour for more than a month, so that even ships could sail the length of the flooded Liao River from its mouth at the Liaodong Bay up to the walls of Xiangping.[200] Despite the water being several feet high on level ground, Sima Yi was determined to maintain the siege regardless of the clamours of his officers who proposed changing camps; threatening to execute those who advocated for the idea, such as one of the officers, Zhang Jing, who violated the order.[201] The rest of the officers subsequently became silent.

Because of the floods, the encirclement of Xiangping was by no means complete, and the defenders used the flood to their advantage to sail out to forage and pasture their animals. Sima Yi forbade his generals from pursuing the foragers and herders from Xiangping,[202] and upon being questioned by one of his subordinates,[203] stated: "Meng Da's multitudes were small, but he had food and supplies for a year. My generals and soldiers were four times those of Da, but with provisions not even for a full month. Using one month to plot against one year, how could I not be quick? To use four to strike against one, if it merely makes half be eliminated, I would still do it. In this case, I consider not calculations on death and injuries, I compete against provisions. Now, the rebels are numerous and we are few; the rebels are hungry and we are full. With flood and rain like this, we cannot employ our effort. Even if we take them, what is the use? Since I left the capital, I have not worried about the rebels attacking us, but have been afraid they might flee. Now, the rebels are almost at their extremity as regards supplies, and our encirclement of them is not yet complete. By plundering their cattle and horses or capturing their fuel-gatherers, we will be only compelling them to flee. War is an art of deception; we must be good at adapting ourselves to changing situations. Relying on their numerical superiority and helped by the rain, the rebels, hungry and distressed as they are, are not willing to give up. We must make a show of inability to put them at ease; to alarm them by taking petty advantages is not the plan at all."[204][205]

The officials back in the Wei imperial court in Luoyang were also concerned about the floods and proposed recalling Sima Yi. The Wei emperor, Cao Rui, being completely certain in Sima Yi's abilities, turned the proposal down.[206][207] Around this time, the Goguryeo king sent a noble (大加; taeka) and the Keeper of Records (主簿; jubu) of the Goguryeo court with several thousand men to aid Sima Yi.[208]

On 3 September, a comet was seen in the skies of Xiangping and was interpreted as an omen of destruction by those in the Liaodong camp. A frightened Gongsun Yuan sent his Chancellor of State Wang Jian (王建) and Imperial Counsellor Liu Fu (柳甫) to negotiate the terms of surrender, where he promised to present himself bound to Sima Yi once the siege was lifted. Sima Yi, wary of Gongsun Yuan's double-crossing past, executed the two, explaining his actions in a message to Gongsun Yuan that he desired nothing less than an unconditional surrender: "In ancient times, Chu and Zheng were classed as states of equal footing, yet the Earl of Zheng nevertheless met the Prince of Chu with his flesh bare and leading a sheep. I am a superior Ducal Minister of the Son of Heaven, yet Wang Jian and his following wanted me to raise the siege and withdraw my men. Is this proper? These two men were dotards who must have failed to convey your intentions; I have already put them to death (on your behalf). If you still have anything to say, then send a younger man of intelligence and precision."[209][210][211]

When Gongsun Yuan sent Wei Yan (衛演) for another round of talks, this time requesting he be allowed to send a hostage to the Wei court, Sima Yi dismissed the final messenger as a waste of time: "In military affairs there are five essential points. If able to fight, you must fight. If not able to fight, you must defend. If not able to defend, you must flee. The remaining two points entail only surrender or death. Now that you are not willing to come bound, you are determined to have death; there is no need of sending any hostage."[212][213] Apparently, Sima Yi's previous suggestion of further negotiations was nothing more than an act of malice that gave false hope to Gongsun Yuan while prolonging the siege and placing further strain on the supplies within the city.[214]

When the rain stopped and the floodwater got drained away, Sima Yi hastened to complete the encirclement of Xiangping. The siege carried on day and night, which utilised mining, hooked ladders, battering rams, and artificial mounds for siege towers and catapults to get higher vantage points.[186][215][216] The speed at which the siege was tightened caught the defenders off guard: since they had been obtaining supplies with such ease during the flood, there apparently was not any real attempt made to stockpile the goods inside Xiangping, and as a result, famine and cannibalism broke out in the city. Many Liaodong generals, such as Yang Zuo, surrendered to Sima Yi during the siege.[217]

On 29 September, the famished Xiangping fell to the Wei army.[218] Gongsun Yuan and his son Gongsun Xiu (公孫脩), leading a few hundred horsemen, broke out of the encirclement and fled to the southeast. The main Wei army gave pursuit and killed both father and son on the Liang River (梁水; present-day Taizi River).[219][220] Gongsun Yuan's head was cut off and sent to Luoyang for public display. A separate fleet led by future Grand Administrators Liu Xin (劉昕) and Xianyu Si (鮮于嗣) had been sent to attack the Korean commanderies of Lelang and Daifang by sea, and in time, all of Gongsun Yuan's former holdings were subjugated.[221]

After his army occupied Xiangping, Sima Yi erected a pair of guideposts to separate recent and long-time serving government officials and military personnel of Gongsun Yuan's disestablished regime, and thereafter ordered a systematic purge of some 2,000 officials. He also had some 7,000 men aged 15 and above from within the city executed and raised a victory mound (京觀) with their corpses, while pardoning all the remaining survivors.[222][223] In total, Sima Yi's conquest gained Wei an additional 40,000 households and over 300,000 citizens,[224] although Sima Yi did not encourage these frontier settlers to continue their livelihoods in the Chinese northeast and instead ordered that those families who wished to return to central China be allowed to do so. Sima Yi also posthumously rehabilitated and erected mounds over the graves of Lun Zhi (倫直) and Jia Fan (賈範), two officials who had attempted to stop Gongsun Yuan from rebelling but were executed by him, and also freed Gongsun Gong, the previous Administrator of Liaodong, who had been imprisoned by his nephew Gongsun Yuan, with all of this being carried out under an order which stated: "During the ancients' attacks on states, they executed their fiercest enemies [literally: "whales" (鯨鯢)], and that was all. Those who were deceived and misled by Wenyi, all are forgiven. People of the Central States who desire to return to their old hometowns are free to do so."[225][226]

At the time, as it was winter, many soldiers were suffering from the cold and wanted extra clothing to keep themselves warm. When someone pointed out that they had a surplus of ru (襦; a type of short coat) and suggested giving them out to the soldiers,[227] Sima Yi said: "The padded coats are the property of the government. No one is allowed to give them to others without permission." Sima Yi did, however, memorialise that all soldiers aged 60 and above, numbering over 1,000 men, to retire from their service, and for the dead and wounded to be sent home.[228] As Sima Yi led the troops back to Luoyang from Liaodong, Cao Rui sent an emissary to meet them in Ji County (薊縣; in present-day Beijing) and host a party to celebrate the victory. He also added Kunyang County (昆陽縣; present-day Ye County, Henan) to Sima Yi's marquisate, so Sima Yi had a total of two counties as his marquisate.[229]

Appointment as regent

When Sima Yi arrived at Xiangping, he allegedly dreamt that Cao Rui requested him to look at his face, and upon witnessing it, saw that it appeared different than usual, and Sima Yi sensed that something was wrong.[230] Later, when Sima Yi was in Ji County (汲縣; in present-day Xinxiang, Henan), Cao Rui issued an imperial order instructing him to return to Luoyang via a faster route through the Guanzhong region. When Sima Yi reached Baiwu (白屋), he received another five orders within three days.[231] Sensing the urgency of the situation, he boarded a zhuifengche (追鋒車)[k] and travelled overnight across the Baiwu region over a distance of more than 400 li, while stopping only once for a brief moment of rest, and reached Luoyang by the following day. Upon arrival, he was led to the bedroom of the Jiafu Hall (嘉福殿) in the imperial palace to meet Cao Rui and saw that the emperor was critically ill. With tears in his eyes, Sima Yi asked Cao Rui about his condition. Cao Rui held Sima Yi's hand and told him: "I have matters to entrust you. Now that I meet you one last time before I die, I have no more regrets."[232] Cao Rui called into his chambers the Prince of Qin, Cao Xun, and the Prince of Qi, Cao Fang, and while pointing towards Cao Fang stated: "This is he. Look at him carefully and do not make any mistake." Cao Rui had Cao Fang subsequently embrace Sima Yi's neck. Sima Yi hit his forehead on the floor and started weeping.[233] Cao Rui thereafter designated Sima Yi as a regent for the young Cao Fang, along with another co-regent, the general Cao Shuang, who himself had already been designated for the position at a prior date.[234][235]

Before his death, Cao Rui had initially planned to exclude Sima Yi from the regency and instead appoint Cao Yu, Xiahou Xian (夏侯獻), Cao Shuang, Cao Zhao, and Qin Lang as the regents. However, two of his close aides, Liu Fang (劉放) and Sun Zi (孫資), who were not on good terms with Xiahou Xian and Cao Zhao,[236] managed to persuade him to not just exclude those two, but Qin Lang and Cao Yu as well,[237] thereby simply having Cao Shuang and Sima Yi appointed as the regents instead.[238]

Service under Cao Fang

In early 239, when Cao Fang started ruling as the new Wei emperor, the Wei government appointed Sima Yi as a Palace Attendant (侍中) and Manager of the Affairs of the Masters of Writing (錄尚書事), granted him imperial authority, and ordered him to oversee military affairs within and outside the imperial capital Luoyang. Sima Yi and Cao Shuang each held command over 3,000 troops and served as regents for the underage emperor. As Cao Shuang wanted the Masters of Writing (i.e. the Imperial Secretariat) to report to him first, he proposed to the imperial court to reassign Sima Yi to be the Grand Marshal (大司馬). As the persons who previously held the position of Grand Marshal all died in office, the imperial court thought that it would be more appropriate to appoint Sima Yi as Grand Tutor (太傅) instead. Sima Yi was also awarded additional privileges similar to those granted to Xiao He in the early Western Han dynasty and Cao Cao in the late Eastern Han dynasty: He did not have to walk briskly when he entered the imperial court, did not have to have his name announced when he entered, and was allowed to wear shoes and carry a sword into the imperial court. His eldest son, Sima Shi, was appointed as a Regular Mounted Attendant (散騎常侍), while three of his relatives were enfeoffed as marquises and four others were appointed as Cavalry Commandants (騎都尉). Sima Yi ordered his relatives to decline the honours and appointments.[239]

In the spring of 239, the Wa, Karasahr, Weixu (危須) states and the Xianbei tribes living south of the Ruo River came to pay tribute to the Cao Wei state. Cao Fang attributed this to the efforts of his subjects and he rewarded Sima Yi by increasing the number of taxable households in his marquisate.[240] Sima Yi also suggested that the Wei imperial court put an end to the extravagant palace construction/renovation projects started in Cao Rui's reign, and divert those resources and manpower towards agriculture instead. The imperial court approved.[241]

Battles in Jing Province

Around late May or June 241, Wei's rival state Eastern Wu launched an invasion of Wei on three fronts: Quebei (芍陂; south of present-day Shou County, Anhui), Fancheng (樊城; present-day Fancheng District, Xiangyang, Hubei), and Zhazhong (柤中; west of present-day Nanzhang County, Hubei). When Sima Yi requested to lead troops to resist the enemy, there were other officials in the imperial court who argued that there was no need to take swift action since Fancheng was strong enough to withstand attacks and that the enemy was weary after travelling a long distance. Sima Yi disagreed and pointed out: "In Zizhong the Chinese people and the barbarians number a hundred thousand; south of the water they wander and roam without a master over them. Fancheng has been under attack more than a month without relief. This is a precarious situation. I ask to lead a campaign myself."[242][243][244][245]

In late June or July 241, Sima Yi led an army from Luoyang to fight the Wu invaders. The Wei emperor, Cao Fang, personally saw him off at Luoyang's Jinyang Gate (津陽門). Upon reaching Fancheng, Sima Yi knew that he should not linger for too long because of the heat of summer. He first sent a lightly-armed cavalry detachment to harass the Wu forces while his main army remained in position. Later, he ordered his tired troops to rest and bathe, while a remaining group of hand-picked forces and enlisted volunteers were ordered to climb up Fancheng's city walls in order to reinforce the city and curb the enemy's siege.[246] The Wu forces, led by Zhu Ran, retreated overnight upon hearing of this. Sima Yi and the Wei forces pursued the retreating Wu forces to the intersection of the Han, Bai, and Tang rivers, where they defeated and killed over 10,000 enemy soldiers and captured their boats, equipment, and other resources.[247][248] Cao Fang sent a Palace Attendant as an emissary to meet Sima Yi at Wancheng (宛城; present-day Wancheng District, Nanyang, Henan) to congratulate him and host a banquet to celebrate the victory.[249]

In August 241, the Wei imperial court added Yan (郾) and Linying (臨潁) counties to Sima Yi's marquisate as a reward for his contributions; at the time, Sima Yi's marquisate spanned four counties and covered 10,000 taxable households. 11 of Sima Yi's relatives were also enfeoffed as marquises. As Sima Yi gained greater glory for his achievements, he behaved in a more humble and modest manner. For example, whenever he met Chang Lin (常林), who was from the same hometown as him and held the position of Minister of Ceremonies in the Wei imperial court, he bowed to him in a respectful manner. He also constantly reminded his siblings, children, and younger relatives to be mindful of their conduct.[250] In the spring of 242, Cao Fang bestowed the posthumous title "Marquis Cheng of Wuyang" (舞陽成侯) upon Sima Yi's deceased father, Sima Fang.[251]

Promoting agriculture in the Huai River region

Sima Yi was proposed to Deng Ai 241 years ago to build a canal. the agricultural project was completed. Whenever there was a battle in the southeast between the Wei and Wu armies, the Wei troops could go down the river toward the Huai River area to counter the enemy. It was because it was advantageous due to its abundance of food resources and waterways in the upper stream.[252][253][254]

(the book of jin instead places this event somewhere In April or May 242), Sima Yi proposed to the Wei government to dig a canal to connect the Yellow and Bian rivers and direct their waters towards the southeast to promote agriculture in the areas north of the Huai River.[255]

Around that time, Zhuge Ke, a general from Wei's rival state Wu, was stationed at a military garrison at Wan (皖; present-day Qianshan County, Anhui) and posed a threat to the Wei forces in the region. When Sima Yi wanted to lead troops to attack Zhuge Ke, many officials advised him against it. They said that Wan was heavily fortified and abundant in supplies and that Wu reinforcements would come to Zhuge Ke's aid if he came under attack, thus putting the invaders in a perilous position. Sima Yi disagreed and said: "The enemy is adept at naval warfare. Why don't we try attacking their land garrison and see what happens. If they know their strengths, they will abandon the garrison and retreat; this is our objective. If they hold up inside the garrison and defend their position, their reinforcements will have to reach them via land because the waters are too shallow in winter for boats to sail through. In doing so, they will be putting themselves at a disadvantage because they aren't as good in land-based warfare as us."[256]

In October 243, Sima Yi led an army from Luoyang to attack Zhuge Ke at Wan. When Sima Yi and his army reached Shu County (舒縣; present-day Shucheng County, Anhui), Zhuge Ke, upon being instructed by Sun Quan to not give battle and instead station at Chaisang (柴桑), gave orders to burn down all the supplies stockpiled in Wan, abandon the garrison, and retreat.[257][258]

Sima Yi's aim was to destroy the Wu forces' sources of food supply in the Huai River region, so once Zhuge Ke burnt down all the supplies in Wan, Sima Yi felt more at ease. He then implemented the tuntian policy and large-scale agricultural and irrigation works in the region.[259] just, 242 and 243 irrigation works from the Book of Jin is not included in Zizhi Tongjian text. However, while the 241 Deng Ai's canal construction, which appeared in Records of the Three Kingdoms is included in Zizhi Tongjian text. Zizhi Tongjian seems to regard both different records as the same as the 241 record.[260] In late January or February 244, Cao Fang sent an emissary to meet Sima Yi at Huainan Commandery (淮南郡; around present-day Shou County, Anhui) and honour him for his achievements in promoting agriculture in the region.[261]

Power struggle with Cao Shuang

Already throughout the early years of Cao Shuang and Sima Yi's co-regency, the former attempted to consolidate his influence on the political scene, while only initially for a brief amount of time paying some respect to Sima Yi based on his status and seniority.[262] He put his brothers in command of the military,[263] promoted his close aides to higher positions in the imperial court,[264] and made changes to the political structure to benefit himself and his clique. He further silenced those who stood against him, his associates, and their combined interests.[265]

During the same chain of events, Cao Shuang had Sima Yi appointed to the position of Grand Tutor[266] under the guise of a promotion, and while the position was indeed an honourable one, it practically held no actual authority, and removed Sima Yi from the position of Intendant of the Affairs of the Masters of Writing, instead giving authority over the Masters of Writing to Cao Shuang. However, through the careful appointing of some of Sima Yi's aides to certain positions, he managed to effectively retain much of his political influence, and Cao Shuang's attempts at strengthening his grip on the political scene were soon to be at least somewhat mitigated. For instance, Deng Ai, a man with whom Sima Yi had previously grown acquainted and, realising his talent, transferred him into his service, was eventually appointed to the position of Prefect of the Masters of Writing (尚書郎) sometime in 241,[267][268] allowing Sima Yi to still be able to supervise the edicts and memorials, and after the death of Man Chong in 242, one of Sima Yi's old associates, Jiang Ji, was appointed to the position of Grand Commandant (太尉).[269][270]

Meanwhile, throughout the course of the 240s, as new groups of intellectuals, largely headed by He Yan, an associate of Cao Shuang, were seeking to oppose traditional Confucian principles and do away with "pointless" formalities in society, Sima Yi became a leading representative of men from good families who sought to promote the traditional type of Confucian morality and restraint in both politics and society as a whole.[271]

In 244, the officials Deng Yang and Li Sheng advised Cao Shuang to launch a military campaign against Wei's rival state Shu to boost his fame and authority in Wei.[272] Sima Yi strongly objected to this idea, but Cao Shuang ignored him and proceeded with the campaign. He suffered a defeat at the Battle of Xingshi in April 244 against Shu forces.[273][274][275] Sima Yi sent a letter to Xiahou Xuan reprimanding their reckless actions as they could lead to utter destruction, referring to historical precedent by stating how Cao Cao previously almost suffered a total defeat in the struggle against Liu Bei for Hanzhong, and also mentioning the fact that the Shu forces were already occupying Mount Xingshi (興勢山; situated north of present-day Yang County, Shaanxi), and, if they personally fail to seize control of the area, could end up having their retreat route cut off and their forces destroyed.[276] Xiahou Xuan subsequently grew anxious and advised Cao Shuang to lead his troops back,[277] which he eventually resorted to by June or July of the same year,[278] further incurring losses during his retreat.[279]

In September 245, Cao Shuang wanted to make changes to the structure of the military so that he could put his brothers Cao Xi (曹羲) and Cao Xun (曹訓) in command of troops. Sima Yi opposed these changes, but Cao Shuang ignored him and went ahead.[280] In January 246, the Wei emperor, Cao Fang, granted Sima Yi the privilege of riding to the imperial court in a type of horse-drawn carriage traditionally reserved for emperors.[281]

In February 246, when Eastern Wu forces attacked Zhazhong (柤中; west of present-day Nanzhang County, Hubei), over 10,000 households living in the area fled to the north across the Mian River (沔水). When news of the Wu invasion reached the Wei imperial court, Sima Yi argued that they should let the civilians remain on the north side of the Mian River since the south side was near enemy territory and hence too dangerous for them. However, Cao Shuang said: "It isn't in our long-term interests to allow the civilians to remain here and give up trying to secure the south of the Mian River." Sima Yi disagreed: "If the enemy sends 20,000 troops to cut off passage across the Mian River, sends another 30,000 troops to fight our forces at the south of the Mian River, and sends another 10,000 troops to occupy Zhazhong, what can we do to save those civilians?" Cao Shuang refused and ordered the refugees to return to the south of the Mian River. As Sima Yi foresaw, the Wu forces occupied Zhazhong, captured the civilians, and relocated them to Wu territory.[282]

Around late May or early June 247, Cao Shuang wanted to further dominate the Wei government, so he used a series of political manoeuvres to consolidate and concentrate power in the hands of himself and his clique.[283][284] He heeded the advice of his close aides He Yan, Deng Yang, and Ding Mi (丁謐), and relocated Empress Dowager Guo (Cao Rui's widow) to Yongning Palace (永寧宮) so that she could not interfere in politics.[285] Sima Yi was unable to stop this, among other contrivances, pushing the relationship between him and Cao Shuang to a breaking point.[286] Cao Shuang himself became increasingly distrustful and wary of Sima Yi.[287] At the time, there was a saying in Luoyang which went: "He (Yan), Deng (Yang) and Ding (Mi) create turmoil in the imperial capital."[288]

In June or July 247, Sima Yi claimed that he was ill and withdrew from the political scene.[289][l]

The Princes of Qinghe and Pingyuan had been arguing over a land dispute for the past eight years, with Sun Li, the governor of Ji Province, after consulting with Sima Yi,[290] arguing that a map from the Palace Archives made during the time of the latter prince's enfeoffment should be used,[291] which would favour Pingyuan's claim, but Cao Shuang preferred the plaint of the Prince of Qinghe, and so dismissed the appeal.[292] Sun Li sent a memorial in a forceful tone, and Cao Shuang, in anger, banished him from his position for five years.[293] However, he was eventually reinstated as the governor of Bing Province, and visited Sima Yi before taking his leave.[294] Sima Yi saw that something was amiss, and he asked him if he thought it a small thing to be made the governor of Bing Province, or if he instead felt regret for having got himself involved in this whole affair.[295] Sun Li, in tears, said that he didn't take official ranks or past affairs to heart, but that he was worried about the dynasty's future.[296] Sima Yi replied: "Stop for the time being, and bear the unbearable."[297]

In April or May 248, Zhang Dang (張當), a palace eunuch, illegally transferred 11 women out of the imperial harem and presented them to Cao Shuang to be his concubines. Cao Shuang and his close aides thought that Sima Yi was seriously ill and could no longer do anything, so they plotted with Zhang Dang to overthrow the emperor, Cao Fang, and put Cao Shuang on the throne. However, they were still wary of Sima Yi and did not lower their guard against him.[298]

Towards the end of 248, Sima Yi began plotting against Cao Shuang, together with his eldest son, Sima Shi, and with possibly his second eldest son, Sima Zhao, being involved.[299][m]

Meeting with Li Sheng

At the time, Li Sheng, one of Cao Shuang's supporters, had been recently reassigned to be the Inspector of Jing Province. Cao Shuang secretly instructed him to check if Sima Yi was as ill as he claimed, so Li Sheng visited Sima Yi before leaving for Jing Province.[300] Sima Yi knew the true purpose of Li Sheng's visit, so he pretended to be frail and senile. Li Sheng saw that Sima Yi could not move around and wear clothes without help from his servants,[301] and could not even consume congee without soiling his clothes.[302] He then told Sima Yi: "Everyone thought that your illness was a minor one; alas, who expected you to be in such poor health?" Sima Yi pretended to cough and pant as he replied: "I am old and sick and I am going to die soon. When you go to Bing Province, you should be careful because it is near barbarian territory. We might not see each other again, so I entrust my sons Shi and Zhao to your care."[303] Li Sheng corrected him: "I am returning to my home province, not Bing Province." Sima Yi pretended to mishear and continued saying: "You are going to Bing Province, aren't you?" Li Sheng corrected him again: "My home province is Jing Province." Sima Yi replied: "I am so old and weak that I can't even hear you properly. So now you are going back to your home province. It's time for you to make some glorious achievements!"[304] Li Sheng returned to Cao Shuang and told him: "Sima Yi is dying soon and no longer of sound mind. There's nothing for you to worry about."[305] Later, he said: "It's sad to see that the Grand Tutor is no longer in a good state of health to serve."[306] Cao Shuang lowered his guard against Sima Yi.[307][308][309]

Incident at Gaoping Tombs

The Book of Jin asserts that on the night of 4 February, the day before the planned coup, Sima Yi sent spies to monitor the behaviour of his two eldest children. Some hours later, in the early morning, the spies reported to Sima Yi that Sima Shi went to bed as usual and slept peacefully, whereas Sima Zhao, having allegedly only been informed of the plan during the prior evening, tossed and turned in his bed.[310]

On 5 February 249, Cao Shuang and his brothers accompanied the emperor, Cao Fang, on a visit to the Gaoping Tombs (高平陵) to pay their respects to the late emperor, Cao Rui.[311][n] On that day, Sima Yi seized the opportunity to stage a coup d'état against his co-regent. He went to Yongning Palace to meet Empress Dowager Guo to request the memorialisation of a decree ordering the removal of Cao Shuang and his brothers from power.[312] Thereafter, all the city gates were closed while Sima Shi's previously-arranged 3,000 forces which had gathered at the Sima Gate (司馬門) under his command were led to occupy the palace gates. Sima Yi later even commented: "This son really worked well." Soon, the troops were lined up along the palace grounds, passing through Cao Shuang's camp. Cao Shuang's Controller of Camp, Yan Shi (嚴世), was on the upper floor, drawing his crossbow, intending to shoot the passing Sima Yi. His colleague Sun Qian (孫謙) stopped him and said: "We wouldn't know what will happen." Three times he focused, three times he stopped, every time pulling back his elbow, but not getting to shoot.[313]

Meanwhile, Sima Yi granted imperial authority to Gao Rou, the Minister over the Masses, and further appointed him as acting General-in-Chief (大將軍) and ordered him to take command of Cao Shuang's troops while stating: "You're now like Zhou Bo." He also appointed Wang Guan, the Minister Coachman (太僕), and a man whom Sima Yi had previously recommended during Cao Rui's reign,[314] as acting Commandant of the Central Army (中領軍) and ordered him to seize command of the troops under Cao Shuang's brother Cao Xi (曹羲).[315][316]

Sima Yi, along with the Grand Commandant (太尉) Jiang Ji and others, led troops out of Luoyang to the floating bridge above the Luo River,[317] where he sent a memorial to the emperor, Cao Fang, listing out Cao Shuang's crimes (e.g. not fulfilling his duty as regent, corrupting the government, conspiring against the throne) and requesting the emperor to remove Cao Shuang and his brothers from their positions of power.[318][319] Cao Shuang blocked the memorial from reaching Cao Fang[320] and left the emperor at the south of the Yi River while ordering his men to cut down trees to build anti-cavalry blockades and station about 1,000 troops nearby to guard against Sima Yi's advances.[321] Sima Yi sent Xu Yun (許允) and Chen Tai to persuade Cao Shuang to plead guilty as early as possible. He additionally sent Yin Damu (尹大目), a man whom Cao Shuang trusted, to tell him that nothing more would result from this aside from his dismissal.[322] Huan Fan, the Minister of Finance (大司農), had previously left the city to visit Cao Shuang's camp, with Sima Yi commenting: "The 'bag of wisdom' is gone." Jiang Ji responded: "Huan Fan is indeed wise, but stupid horses are too much attached to the beans in their manger. Cao Shuang is certain not to employ his counsel."[323][324] Huan Fan attempted to convince Cao Shuang and his brothers to flee to Xuchang with the emperor, and to issue an edict denouncing Sima Yi as a traitor and drafting troops to fight back,[325] but they remained undecided.[326] Cao Shuang ultimately surrendered to Sima Yi and gave up his powers, thinking that he could still lead a luxurious life in retirement.[327][328] Huan Fan scolded them, saying: "Cao Zhen was a good man, yet sired you and your brothers, little pigs and calves that you are! I never expected to be involved with you and have my family annihilated."[329]

After returning to Luoyang, Cao Shuang and his brothers were carefully guarded,[330] and on 9 February 249,[o] Cao Shuang was accused of plotting treason, after the palace eunuch, Zhang Dang (張當), who had himself been sent to the tingyu,[332] had testified that Cao Shuang and his associates were planning to seize the throne for themselves.[333] Cao Shuang was arrested along with his brothers and his supporters, including He Yan, Ding Mi, Deng Yang, Bi Gui, Li Sheng, and Huan Fan. They were subsequently executed along with the rest of their families and relatives on the same day.[334][335][336] Jiang Ji had attempted to persuade Sima Yi to spare Cao Shuang and his brothers in consideration of the meritorious service rendered by their father, Cao Zhen, but Sima Yi refused.[337] Two of Cao Shuang's subordinates, Lu Zhi (魯芝) and Yang Zong (楊綜), had been implicated in the plot and arrested as well, although Sima Yi pardoned them under the rationale that: "Each of them was serving his own master."[338]

Earlier on, when Huan Fan escaped from Luoyang to join Cao Shuang, he encountered Si Fan (司蕃), who was guarding the Changping Gate. As Si Fan used to serve under Huan Fan, he trusted Huan Fan and allowed him to pass through. Once he was out of Luoyang, Huan Fan turned back and told Si Fan: "The Imperial Tutor (Sima Yi) is planning to commit treason. You should come with me!" However, Si Fan stayed behind and hid himself. After the coup d'état, Si Fan surrendered himself to Sima Yi and told him what happened earlier. Sima Yi asked: "What's the punishment for falsely accusing someone of treason?" The reply was: "According to the law, the one who makes the false accusation shall be punished for treason." Huan Fan was then executed along with the rest of his family.[339]

Cao Shuang's younger cousin, Cao Wenshu, had perished, and the family of his widowed wife, Xiahou Lingnu, wanted to remarry her to someone else, in response to which she cut off both her ears, and later her nose.[340] Her family asserted that the Cao clan was exterminated, but she retorted by saying: "I have heard that a person of worth does not renounce his principles because of changes in fortune, nor a righteous person change his mind with a view to preservation or destruction. While the Cao flourished, I was bent on keeping my chastity. Now that they have declined and perished, can I bear to renounce them? Even animals do not act this way; how can I?" When Sima Yi heard of this, he allowed her to adopt a son as an heir to the Cao clan.[341]

The contemporary Shu official and regent, Fei Yi, gave his own comment regarding the coup as follows:

[...] If Sima Yi really considered Cao Shuang to be guilty of extravagance and arrogance, it would suffice for him to execute him according to the law. However, he exterminated even his infant children, branding them with the name of disloyalty, effectively wiping out Zidan's line. Also, He Yan's son was a nephew of the Wei ruler, and even he was killed. Sima Yi was assuming too much power and behaving improperly.

Fei Yi on Sima Yi's coup d'état[342]

On 18 February (or sometime in March) 249, Cao Fang appointed Sima Yi as Imperial Chancellor (丞相) and added another four counties – Fanchang (繁昌), Yanling (鄢陵), Xinji (新汲), and Fucheng (父城) – to Sima Yi's marquisate, bringing the size of the marquisate to a total of eight counties and 20,000 taxable households. Cao Fang also awarded Sima Yi the privilege of not having to announce his name when he spoke to the emperor. Sima Yi declined the appointment of Imperial Chancellor.[343][66][344][345] In January or February 250, Cao Fang awarded Sima Yi the nine bestowments and an additional privilege of not having to kowtow during imperial court sessions. Sima Yi declined the nine bestowments.[346][347] In February or March 250, Cao Fang had an ancestral shrine built for the Sima family in Luoyang, increased the size of Sima Yi's personal staff, promoted some of Sima Yi's personal staff, and enfeoffed Sima Yi's sons Sima Rong (司馬肜) and Sima Lun as village marquises. At the time, as Sima Yi was chronically ill, he could not regularly attend imperial court sessions, so Cao Fang often visited him at his residence to consult him on policy matters.[348]

Suppressing Wang Ling's rebellion

Wang Ling, the Grand Commandant (太尉), and his nephew Linghu Yu (令狐愚), the Inspector of Yan Province, became worried of Sima Yi's growing influence over the emperor, Cao Fang, so they plotted to replace Cao Fang with Cao Biao, the Prince of Chu, while instating his capital city as Xuchang,[349] and then to overthrow Sima Yi.[350] Linghu Yu, however, died in December 249 or January 250.[351]

In February 251, Wang Ling either lied by stating that Eastern Wu forces were approaching the Tu River (塗水) and requested that the Wei government give him troops to resist the invaders, or was telling the truth in that they were actually obstructing the river,[352] but wanted to use the troops for his own malicious purposes. Either way, Sima Yi was suspicious of Wang Ling's intention, and so he refused to approve the request.[353] On 7 June 251, upon receiving intelligence of Wang Ling's plot from two officials named Yang Hong (楊弘) and Huang Hua (黃華),[354] Sima Yi immediately mobilised troops to attack Wang Ling and moved by travelling down the river while bestowing additional authority upon Zhuge Dan and ordering him to lead his own forces to encroach upon Wang Ling's position.[355] He first issued a pardon to Wang Ling and sent a secretary to call for his surrender, while Sima Yi's army ultimately reached Gancheng (甘城) within a few days and advanced to within 100 chi of Wang Ling's base to put pressure on him.[356] Wang Ling knew that Sima Yi already knew about his plans to rebel, and he also knew that his forces were too weak, so he gave up, sent his subordinate Wang Yu (王彧) to apologise on his behalf, and handed over his official seal and ceremonial axe to Sima Yi. When Sima Yi's army reached Qiutou (丘頭), Wang Ling tied himself up, but Sima Yi, acting on imperial order, sent a Registrar (主簿) to unbind Wang Ling and reassure him of his safety and return to him his official seal and ceremonial axe.[357]

He thereafter met with Sima Yi at Wuqiu (武丘), with a distance of more than ten zhang between both of them, and Wang Ling told him: "If I am guilty, you can summon me to meet you. Why do you need to come here?" Sima Yi replied: "That's because you don't respond to summons." Wang Ling exclaimed: "You have failed me!" Sima Yi responded by claiming: "I would rather fail you than fail the state."[358] Wang Ling was then escorted as a prisoner back to Luoyang.[359] To discern Sima Yi's true intentions, Wang Ling asked him if he could receive nails for his coffin. Sima Yi had them given to him.[360] Along the way, when Wang Ling passed by a shrine honouring the Wei general Jia Kui, he exclaimed: "Jia Liangdao! Only the gods know Wang Ling is truly loyal to Wei." Wang Ling later committed suicide on 15 June 251 by consuming poison at Xiang County (項縣; present-day Shenqiu County, Henan).[361][362] Sima Yi had Wang Ling's conspirators arrested and executed along with their families.[363]

Cao Fang sent Wei Dan (韋誕) as an emissary to meet Sima Yi at Wuchi (五池) and congratulate him on his success in suppressing Wang Ling's rebellion. Later, when Sima Yi reached Gancheng, Cao Fang sent Yu Ni (庾嶷) as an emissary to appoint Sima Yi as Chancellor of State (相國) and promote him from a marquis to a duke under the title "Duke of Anping Commandery" (安平郡公). One of Sima Yi's grandsons and one of his brothers were also enfeoffed as marquises. At the time, the Sima family had a total of 19 marquises and 50,000 taxable households in all their marquisates combined. Sima Yi declined the appointment of Chancellor of State and refused to accept his enfeoffment as a duke.[364]

Reportedly, Guo Huai's wife, the younger sister of Wang Ling, was taken into custody by imperial censors. Guo Huai apprehensively relented and let her be taken, not wanting to push things further, but when his five sons kowtowed before him until their foreheads started bleeding, he finally relented and ordered his subordinates to bring back his wife from the imperial censors. He thereafter wrote a letter to Sima Yi: "My five sons are willing to sacrifice their lives for their mother. If they lose their mother, I lose them too. Without my five sons, I will no longer exist. If I have violated the law by seizing back my wife from the imperial censors, I am willing to see the Emperor and take full responsibility for my actions." After reading Guo Huai's letter, Sima Yi made an exception for Guo Huai's wife and pardoned her.[365]

During that time, the Weilüe recounts a story of how a man named Yang Kang (楊康), who had been a personal aide of Linghu Yu, divulged the conspiracy of Linghu Yu having wanted to engage in a rebellion when he was still alive in 249 or 250.[366] Sima Yi, while stationed in Shouchun, personally asked Shan Gu (單固), another former aide: "Did Linghu Yu plot a rebellion?" He denied this, but Sima Yi doubted him as Yang Kang had previously asserted that Shan Gu had also been involved in the plot, so Shan Gu and his family were arrested, and he was tortured and interrogated. Shan Gu remained firm in his denial, and so Sima Yi had Yang Kang called in to compare their testimonies.[367] Yang Kang was unable to defend his own rhetoric, so Shan Gu began cursing at Yang Kang. Yang Kang had thought he would be enfeoffed as a reward, but as his own testimony had been inconsistent, he was instead sentenced to death together with Shan Gu,[368] with both of them being dragged out and executed.[369]

Around that time, the corpses of Wang Ling and Linghu Yu had been dragged out of their tombs and their bodies had been exposed for three days in the nearest market place.[370]

In July 251, Cao Biao was forced to commit suicide.[371] Sima Yi then relocated the other nobles from the Cao family to Ye, where they were effectively put under house arrest there.[372][373]

Death and posthumous honours

In July 251, when Sima Yi became critically ill, he dreamt of Jia Kui and Wang Ling being honoured, and he felt disturbed after that.[374] He died on 7 September 251 in Luoyang at the age of 73 (by East Asian age reckoning). The emperor, Cao Fang, donned mourning garments, attended Sima Yi's funeral in person, and even ordered Sima Yi to be buried with the same honours as those accorded to Huo Guang in the Western Han dynasty. He also posthumously appointed Sima Yi as Chancellor of State (相國) and posthumously elevated him to the status of a duke. However, Sima Yi's younger brother, Sima Fu, declined the ducal title and a wenliangche (轀輬車)[p] on behalf of his deceased brother, stating that Sima Yi would have done that if he were still alive.[375]

Sima Yi was buried on 19 October 251 at Heyin County (河陰縣; north of present-day Mengjin County, Henan). Cao Fang granted him the posthumous title "Wenzhen" (文貞), which was later changed to "Wenxuan" (文宣). However, before his death, Sima Yi had made arrangements to be buried at Mount Shouyang (首陽山; in present-day Yanshi, Luoyang, Henan) with no markers (e.g. tombstone, trees) around his tomb, to be dressed in plain clothes, and have no luxury items buried with him. He also made a rule stating that his family members who died after him should not be buried with him.[376]

After Sima Yi's death, his eldest son, Sima Shi, assumed his father's authority[377] up until his own death on 23 March 255,[378] after which Sima Yi's second eldest son, Sima Zhao, took up his elder brother's position.[379] On 2 May 264, when the Wei emperor, Cao Huan, enfeoffed Sima Zhao as the vassal "Prince/King of Jin" (晉王),[380] Sima Zhao went on to honour his father with the posthumous title "Prince/King Xuan of Jin" (宣王).[381] Sima Zhao died on 6 September 265,[382] and his eldest son, Sima Yan, succeeded him in his position.[383] By the next year, in 266, after Sima Yi's grandson, Sima Yan, usurped the throne from Cao Huan and established the Jin dynasty with himself as the emperor, he honoured his grandfather with the posthumous title "Emperor Xuan of Jin" (宣皇帝), with the temple name "Gaozu" (高祖), and named his grandfather's burial place "Gaoyuan Mausoleum" (高原陵).[384]

Anecdotes

In his younger days, Sima Yi was a close friend of Hu Zhao (胡昭). In one incident, Zhou Sheng (周生) kidnapped Sima Yi and wanted to kill him. Hu Zhao braved danger to meet Zhou Sheng in the Xiao Mountains and tried to persuade him to let Sima Yi go. When Zhou Sheng refused, Hu Zhao cried and pleaded with him. Zhou Sheng was so moved by Hu Zhao's sincerity that he released Sima Yi. As Hu Zhao never told anyone about this incident, very few people knew that Sima Yi owed him his life.[385]

A different and likely fictional version of how Sima Yi came to join Cao Cao's administration originally comes from a Weilüe account where it is stated that Cao Hong, a veteran general serving under Cao Cao, had heard of Sima Yi's talent and wanted to recruit him as an adviser. However, as Sima Yi thought little of Cao Hong, he refused to meet him and pretended to be so ill that he could not move around without using crutches. Cao Hong was so unhappy that he reported it to Cao Cao, who then summoned Sima Yi. When Sima Yi heard that Cao Cao wanted to meet him, he immediately threw aside his crutches and rushed there.[386]

Cao Cao heard that Sima Yi was not only ambitious, but also had a lang gu (狼顧)[q] appearance, so he wanted to test and see if it was true. One day, he ordered Sima Yi to walk in front of him and then made him look back. Sima Yi purportedly turned his head 180 degrees to look back.[387] Cao Cao also once dreamt of three horses feeding from the same trough[r] and he felt disturbed, so he warned Cao Pi: "Sima Yi won't be content with being a subject; he will interfere in your family matters." As Cao Pi was on good terms with Sima Yi, he often protected and shielded Sima Yi from criticisms. Sima Yi also took great care to create an image of himself as a diligent and faithful subject in front of Cao Cao to reduce the latter's suspicions of him.[389]

In his later years, Sima Yi supposedly started neglecting his wife, Zhang Chunhua, in favour of his concubine Lady Bai (柏夫人) . Once, when he was ill, Zhang Chunhua paid him a visit, and he said: "Old creature, your looks are disgusting! Why do you even bother to visit me?" In response to which she, in anger, attempted to starve herself to death, during which her children soon joined her. Sima Yi immediately began apologising and reconciling with her. Sima Yi later secretly told someone: "It doesn't matter if that old creature died. I was actually worried about my boys!"[390]

Appraisal and legacy

In 238, when Gongsun Yuan heard that Sima Yi was leading a Wei army to Liaodong to attack him, he sent a messenger to request reinforcements from Wei's rival state Eastern Wu. The Wu emperor, Sun Quan, eventually complied, and he wrote to Gongsun Yuan: "Sima Yi is well-versed in military arts. He uses military strategy like a god. He defeats all who stand in his way. I am deeply worried for you, my brother."[391][392]

In 249, Wang Guang, the son of Wang Ling, allegedly commented: "Now Sima Yi cannot be fathomed, but what he does never runs contrary to the situation. He gives his assignments to the worthy and capable, and liberally credits those who are better than he; he practices the laws of the former rulers and satisfies the people's desire. Of whatever Cao Shuang did wrong, he has left nothing uncorrected. He does not relax his efforts day and night, his primary aim being to soothe the people."[393]

The Eastern Jin dynasty's Emperor Ming (r323–325), a descendant of Sima Yi, once asked an official named Wang Dao to tell him about the origins of the Jin dynasty, so Wang Dao told him everything from Sima Yi's career to Cao Mao's attempted coup against Sima Zhao. After hearing from Wang Dao, Emperor Ming remarked: "If what you said is true, how can the Jin (dynasty) expect to last long?"[394]

The Tang dynasty historian Fang Xuanling, who was the lead editor of Sima Yi's biography in the Book of Jin, noted that Sima Yi was known for appearing to be generous and magnanimous on the outside while being distrustful and jealous on the inside. He wrote that Sima Yi was suspicious, calculative, manipulative, and a skilled practitioner of power politics.[395] He also pointed out Sima Yi's cruelty in massacring Liaodong's population and exterminating Cao Shuang and his entire clan.[396]

After the fall of the Western Jin dynasty in 316, the belief began to slowly shift from the popular ideal that Wei was the rightful successor to the Han dynasty towards the alternative view that Shu may have had greater legitimacy. Likewise, before 316, Sima Yi was seen as a righteous figure and was practically deified; after 316, however, he started to be viewed in a more critical manner, which has lasted into the modern age, and which is exemplified by Li Shimin's (Emperor Taizong of Tang's) comment regarding Sima Yi from the Book of Jin:

When the Son of Heaven [Cao Fang] was outside, he [Sima Yi] raised armoured troops from the inside. The burial soil was not quite settled, and yet he hurriedly executed and massacred [them]; how can this be a virtuous minister's conduct? An utmost good form was confused by this. In plans for campaign, how can there be eastern wisdom and western stupidity? How can the heart of a ruler's assistant be formerly loyal and later rebellious? Therefore Jin Ming [Sima Shao] covered his face, ashamed that he through deception and falseness had accomplished achievement. Shi Le possessed unrestrained words, laughing that treachery returned to settle the enterprise. The ancients had a saying: 'One can do good deeds for three full years, and yet few will know of it, but a single day's evil will be known by all under Heaven.' Isn't that just so? You might keep it hidden for a few years, but posterity will still sneer at you in the end. You might as well be the man who covers his ears when he steals the bell, thinking that no one else can hear it either; you might as well be the thief who steals gold when the marketplace is at its busiest, claiming that you could not even see the people. The greed that you indulge today will echo in eternity; the profit that you pursue today will destroy your reputation.

Li Shimin on Sima Yi[397]

Family

Parents

  • Sima Fang, Marquis Cheng of Wuyang (posthumous) (舞陽成侯 司馬芳; 149–219)

Consorts and Issue

  • Zhang Chunhua, Empress Xuanmu (posthumous) (宣穆皇后 張春華; 189–247)
    • Sima Shi, Emperor Jing (posthumous) (景皇帝 司馬師; 208–255), first son
    • Sima Zhao, Emperor Wen (posthumous) (文皇帝 司馬昭; 211–265), second son
    • Princess Nanyang (南陽公主), first daughter
      • Married Xun Yi (荀霬), and had issue (two sons)
    • Sima Gan, Prince of Pingyuan (平原王 司馬幹; 232–311), sixth son
  • Lady Fu (伏夫人)
    • Sima Liang, Prince (Wencheng) of Ru'nan (汝南文成王 司馬亮; exec. 291), third son
    • Sima Zhou, Prince (Wu) of Langxie (琅邪武王 司馬伷; 227–283), fourth son
    • Sima Jing, Marquis of Qinghui (清惠侯 司馬京; 230–253), fifth son
    • Sima Jun, Prince (Wu) of Fufeng (扶風武王 司馬駿; 232–286), seventh son
  • Lady Zhang (張夫人)
    • Sima Rong, Prince (Xiao) of Liang (梁孝王 司馬肜; d. 302), eighth son
  • Lady Bai (柏夫人)
    • Sima Lun, Prince of Zhao (趙王 司馬倫; p. 301), ninth son
  • Unknown
    • Princess Gaolu (高陸公主), second daughter
      • Married Du Yu, Marquis (Cheng) of Dangyang (當陽成侯 杜預; 222–285)

In Romance of the Three Kingdoms

Sima Yi is a major character in the 14th-century historical novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms, which romanticises the historical figures and events before and during the Three Kingdoms period of China. In the novel, he is cast as a villainous figure who pretends to be a loyal and dedicated subject of the Wei state, while secretly planning to concentrate power in his hands and pave the way for his descendants to usurp the throne one day – in the same way Cao Cao did towards the end of the Eastern Han dynasty. He also serves as a nemesis to Zhuge Liang during the Shu invasions of Wei between 228 and 234, with both of them trying to outwit each other in the various battles.

In popular culture

Sima Yi is sometimes venerated as a door god at Chinese and Taoist temples, usually in partnership with Zhuge Liang.

Chan Mou's manhua series The Ravages of Time is a fictionalised retelling of the history of the late Eastern Han dynasty and the Three Kingdoms, with Sima Yi as the central character.

Sima Yi also appears as a playable character in Koei's Dynasty Warriors and Warriors Orochi video game series. In the mobile game Puzzles & Dragons, he is featured as a God type in their Three Kingdoms 2 Pantheon alongside Ma Chao and Diaochan. In the collectible card game Magic: The Gathering there is a card named "Sima Yi, Wei Field Marshal" in the Portal Three Kingdoms set.

Notable actors who have portrayed Sima Yi on screen include: Wei Zongwan, in Romance of the Three Kingdoms (1994); Ni Dahong, in Three Kingdoms (2010); Eric Li, in Three Kingdoms RPG (2012); Wu Xiubo, in The Advisors Alliance (2017); and Elvis Han, in Secret of the Three Kingdoms (2018).

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Rafe de Crespigny's note: Sima Yi, known by his honorary posthumous title as Emperor Xuan of Jin, was the founder of the imperial fortunes of his family, and destroyer of the Cao dynasty of Wei. There is thus a certain irony in the story that he had to be dragooned by Cao Cao into service; and it may be too good to be true.
  2. ^ This was also a term of respect, as other groups of eight talented administrators in the Three Sovereigns and Five Emperors eras were also referred to in this way.[19]
  3. ^ Rafe de Crespigny's note: Under the system of Han, heads of commandery units and provinces were required to present accounts to the court each New Year. The local officer sent to do so was known for that purpose as the Reporting Officer [...]
  4. ^ While there are accounts such as this in the official historical records, they should be regarded with extreme skepticism. It is worth noting that Sima Yi's eldest child, Sima Shi, was also born in 208, and it is entirely possible that this, or any number of personal issues or feelings on the matter, was a reason for any hesitation on Sima Yi's part.
  5. ^ This "crown prince" was not Cao Cao's son, Cao Pi. It refers to an unnamed son of Emperor Xian, the figurehead Han emperor under Cao Cao's control.
  6. ^ Achilles Fang's note: One gets the impression that Sima Guang on the whole prefers to follow the Jin Shu in regard to matters concerned with Sima Yi; here he certainly neglects the SGZ account, which mentions four persons as guardians. Note that the word translated as 'et al.' in the above is always ambiguous, for it can mean “and others,” “and so forth,” “and the like,” or “such as.”
  7. ^ During the time of Emperor Ling, the position of General of the Agile Cavalry was an honorific one that did not come with an actual field command. It was a very high honor, just below that of Grand General [who ranked above the Three Excellencies and was thus second only to the emperor]. It is unknown whether this title inherently included field command under Cao Rui, but it is clear from context that it was still, if nothing else, a very great honor. [de Crespigny, Later Han Military Organisation]
  8. ^ This Wan (皖) was not the same place as Wan (宛; in present-day Nanyang, Henan), where Sima Yi was stationed at. This Wan (皖) referred to a location at present-day Qianshan County, Anhui.
  9. ^ According to Fang's notes [Taihe 5 and 8], the information in ZZTJ regarding this campaign is from the Chronicles of Han and Jin [Han Jin Chunqiu] by Xi Zuochi [who also wrote the Records of Xiangyang [Xiangyang Ji]. Xi was an unapologetic supporter of the state of Shu and was among the first to argue that Liu Bei's state was the legitimate successor to the Han; as is evidenced by the fact that he refers to Liu Bei's state as Han rather than Shu. Xi Zuochi is well known for being extremely biased in favor of the Liu faction. As such, any information from the Chronicles of Han and Jin [and Records of Xiangyang] must be regarded with severe skepticism and should be considered generally unreliable.
  10. ^ "Zhongda" was Sima Yi's courtesy name.
  11. ^ A zhuifengche (追鋒車) was a light, fast-moving horse-drawn carriage or chariot. See the dictionary definition.
  12. ^ It is worth noting that, at the time, Sima Yi was already around 68 years old, and there are little reasons to doubt that he wouldn't have been suffering from a variety of legitimate health-related issues. Furthermore, it is worth noting that, at the time, Sima Yi's wife, Zhang Chunhua, had recently passed away, so it would appear reasonable to assume that he was distraught at the death of his wife and went into mourning.
  13. ^ Sima Shi was surely involved in the plotting with his father, but it is uncertain as to how involved Sima Zhao was. The more traditional view, such as that espoused by Fang Xuanling, is that Sima Zhao wasn't informed until the evening prior to the incident. However, historians such as Sima Guang disregard this view and assert that Sima Zhao was deeply involved in the plot just like his elder brother.
  14. ^ The mausoleum was that of the late Mingdi. The Wei shi ji of Sun Sheng reads: “Gaoping ling is on Dashishan, south of the Luoshui and ninety li from the city of Luoyang.”
  15. ^ Cao Fang's biography in the Sanguozhi recorded that Cao Shuang and his associates – Ding Mi (丁謐), Deng Yang, He Yan, Bi Gui, Li Sheng, and Huan Fan – were executed along with their extended families on the wuxu day of the 1st month of the 1st year of the Jiaping era of Cao Fang's reign.[331] This date corresponds to 9 February 249 in the Gregorian calendar.
  16. ^ A wenliangche (轀輬車) was a large horse-drawn carriage with enough space inside for a person to lie down. It was also used for carrying the coffin of a deceased person. See the dictionary definition.
  17. ^ The term lang gu (狼顧) refers to a wolf turning its head 180 degrees to look behind. It is an archaic term used to describe people who constantly feel suspicious and insecure, i.e., looking over their shoulder all the time. See the dictionary definition of 狼顧.
  18. ^ In the 14th-century historical novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms, this dream foreshadows the Sima family's Jin dynasty replacing the Cao family's Cao Wei state in 266. The Chinese term for "trough", cao (槽), is a homonym of the family name Cao (曹), while the three horses represented Sima Yi and his sons Sima Shi and Sima Zhao, so the dream could be interpreted as the three Simas seizing power from the Cao family. Another interpretation was that the three horses represented Ma Teng, Ma Chao, and Ma Dai, since the family name Ma (馬) literally means "horse". However, since the Ma family no longer posed a threat to Cao Cao at the time, it was more likely that the three horses represented the Simas.[388]

References

  1. ^

    Eighth month. On the day wu-yin (Sept. 7), Sima Yi, the Lord Xuan-Wen of Wu-Yang, died.

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  2. ^

    When Sima Yi was young he was already intelligent, and he had ambitious plans. Cui Yan said to his elder brother Sima Lang, "Your young brother has a clear intelligence and a keen sense of justice, firm decision and exceptional bravery. You are not so good as that!" Cao Cao heard about this and appointed Sima Yi to office, but Sima Yi sought to excuse himself on the grounds that he had rheumatism. Cao Cao was angry and was going to have him arrested. Sima Yi was frightened and took the post.

    To Establish Peace, Rafe de Crespigny.

  3. ^

    Spring, first month (January 22-February 20). Sima Yi came and was received in audience. The Emperor grasped his hand and said, “I entrust you with the care of affairs after my death. You and Cao Shuang will act as guardians over my young son; now I can bear to die. I have been delaying the approach of death waiting for you. Now that I am able to see you, there is nothing more for me to regret.”

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  4. ^

    Because Sima Yi was high both in age and in rank, Cao Shuang used to serve him as if he were his own father; he consulted him on every matter and did not dare to act on his own authority.

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  5. ^

    The da jiangjun Cao Shuang, following the counsel of He Yan, Deng Yang, and Ding Mi, moved the Empress Dowager to the Yongning Palace. He monopolized the government, he and his younger brothers commanding the palace guards, and enlarged his own faction. He repeatedly altered laws and institutions; the taifu Sima Yi being unable to stop this, he and Cao Shuang were on bad terms.

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  6. ^

    Cao Shuang and his younger brothers frequently went out of the capital, all of them together, on pleasure trips. The sinong Huan Fan, of the Dependency of Pei, said, “One who is in charge of state affairs and those in command of the palace guards should not go out all together. If it should happen that the city gates be closed, who is there to let you in?” Cao Shuang said, “Who would dare, indeed?”

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  7. ^

    The da jiangjun Cao Shuang was arrogant and extravagant without limit, emulating the Emperor in food and drink, clothing, and carriages. Curious and rare objects made in the Palace Workshop filled his house. The rear court of his house was thronged with women – his wife and concubines. Furthermore he took seven or eight of the Accomplished Ladies of the late Emperor, together with palace composers and musicians and thirty-three girls from good families, and made them all his entertainers. He forged an imperial edict to recruit fifty-seven girls as Accomplished Ladies whom he sent to the palace at Ye, and had a Talented Lady instruct them in accomplishments. He took out musical instruments from the Palace Music Bureau and imperial arms and weapons from the Arsenal. He built an underground room with decorated walls, where he frequently held drinking parties with his partisans such as He Yan.

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  8. ^

    Hu Yan and others all stood for Cao Shuang's interests and maintained that heavy power should not be entrusted to anyone else. Ding Mi schemed in the interest of Cao Shuang; he had Cao Shuang speak to the Emperor in favor of an edict transferring Sima Yi to be taifu (Grand Preceptor). Externally he would thus honor him by conferring on him a higher title; internally, however, he intended to make all the memorials sent in from the shangshu, pass through his hands first so that he might exercise his influence over them. Cao Shuang followed this suggestion.

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  9. ^

    On the day wu-xu (Feb. 9), the officials in charge memorialized the throne that the huang-men Zhang Dang, on his own authority, had given Cao Shuang the cairen (Accomplished Ladies) he had selected for the palace; and that there was a suspicion of illicit relations; Zhang Dang was arrested and sent to the tingyu for examination. He told it that Cao Shuang, together with the shang-shu He Yan, Deng Yang, and Ding Mi, the sili jiaoyu Bi Gui, and the cishi of Jingzhou Li Sheng et al., had formed a conspiracy against the throne and were going to execute their plan in the third month (Mar. 31 – Apr. 29). Thereupon, Cao Shuang, Cao Xi, Cao Xun, He Yan, Deng Yang, Ding Mi, Bi Gui, Li Sheng and Huan Fan as well, were all imprisoned and charged with high treason. Together with Zhang Dang they were all put to death, and also the members of their families to the third degree.

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  10. ^

    The taiyu Wang Ling, learning that the Wu were obstructing the water of the Tu, wanted to take this opportunity to put troops into action (for his own purposes). He effected a large-scale mobilization of the various forces and memorialized requesting a campaign against the rebels. But the Emperor made no response. Wang Ling, growing bolder in his conspiracy, sent his general Yang Hong (陽弘) to acquaint the cishi of Yanzhou Huang Hua with this plan for deposing the Emperor and enthroning the Prince of Chu. Huang Hua and Yang Hong signed their names together and reported the matter to Sima Yi. Sima Yi took the Central Army down the river for punitive action against Wang Ling.

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  11. ^

    When Sima Yi’s army reached Qiutou, Wang Ling came to the bank of the Ying-shui and there had himself bound.

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  12. ^

    Eighth month. On the day wu-yin (Sept. 7), Sima Yi, the Lord Xuan-Wen of Wu-Yang, died. The Emperor appointed his son, the wei jiangjun Sima Shi to be fujun da jiangjun and lu shang-shu shi.

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  13. ^

    During the Chu-Han transition [206 – 202 BC], Sima Ang served Zhao as a general and participated with the various lords to attack Qin. When Qin had been destroyed, he was established as King of Yin with Henei as capital [in 206 BC]. Han made the land into a commandery. [Sima Ang’s] descendants made their homes there.

    Jin Shu vol. 1.

  14. ^

    After eight generations was born the General who Conquers the West [zhengxi jiangjun], Jun, courtesy name Shuping.

    Jin Shu vol. 1.

  15. ^

    Jun fathered the Grand Administrator [taishou] of Yuzhang, Liang, courtesy name Gongdu.

    Jin Shu vol. 1.

  16. ^

    Liang fathered the Grand Administrator of Yingchuan, Jun, courtesy name Yuanyi.

    Jin Shu vol. 1.

  17. ^

    Jun fathered the Intendant [yin] of Jingzhao, Fang, courtesy name Jiangong.

    Jin Shu vol. 1.

  18. ^ (楚漢間,司馬卬為趙將,與諸侯伐秦。秦亡,立為殷王,都河內。漢以其地為郡,子孫遂家焉。自卬八世,生征西將軍鈞,字叔平。鈞生豫章太守量,字公度。量生潁川太守儁,字元異。儁生京兆尹防,字建公。帝即防之第二子也。) Jin Shu vol. 1.
  19. ^ Sakaguchi (2005), p. 158.
  20. ^ (安平獻王孚字叔達,宣帝次弟也。初,孚長兄朗字伯達,宣帝字仲達,孚弟馗字季達,恂字顯達,進字惠達,通字雅達,敏字幼達,俱知名,故時號為「八達」焉。) Jin Shu vol. 37.
  21. ^ (少有奇節,聰朗多大略,博學洽聞,伏膺儒教。漢末大亂,常慨然有憂天下心。南陽太守同郡楊俊名知人,見帝,未弱冠,以為非常之器。尚書清河崔琰與帝兄朗善,亦謂朗曰:「君弟聰亮明允,剛斷英特,非子所及也。」) Jin Shu vol. 1.
  22. ^ a b c Rafe de Crespigny, Imperial Warlord: A Biography of Cao Cao 155-220 AD, p. 457.
  23. ^

    All of his sons, though they were capped and adults, if they were not ordered "go forward" they did not dare go forward, if they were not ordered "sit" they did not dare sit, and if they were not directed to be heard they did not dare speak. The solemness between father and son was like this.

    Xuzhuan, Sima Biao.

  24. ^ Rafe de Crespigny, A Biographical Dictionary of Later Han to the Three Kingdoms (23-220 AD), p. 1107.
  25. ^ (是時董卓遷天子都長安,卓因留洛陽。朗父防為治書御史,當徙西,以四方雲擾,乃遣朗將家屬還本縣。 ... 後數月,關東諸州郡起兵,衆數十萬,皆集熒陽及河內。諸將不能相一,縱兵鈔略,民人死者且半。乆之,關東兵散,太祖與呂布相持於濮陽,朗乃將家還溫。) Sanguozhi vol. 15.
  26. ^ Rafe de Crespigny, Imperial Warlord: A Biography of Cao Cao 155-220 AD, p. 246.
  27. ^ Jin Shu, Chronicle of Xuandi, places this event one year earlier:

    In the 6th Year of Han’s Jian’an era [“Peacefulness Established”, 201 AD], the commandery made him Reporting Officer [shangji yuan].

    Jin Shu vol. 1.

  28. ^ (漢建安六年,郡舉上計掾。魏武帝為司空,聞而辟之。帝知漢運方微,不欲屈節曹氏,辭以風痺,不能起居。魏武使人夜往密刺之,帝堅卧不動。) Jin Shu vol. 1.
  29. ^ (宣帝初辭魏武之命,託以風痹,嘗暴書,遇暴雨,不覺自起收之。家惟有一婢見之,后乃恐事泄致禍,遂手殺之以滅口, ...) Jin Shu vol. 31.
  30. ^ (及魏武為丞相,又辟為文學掾,勑行者曰:「若復盤桓,便收之。」帝懼而就職。於是使與太子游處,遷黃門侍郎,轉議郎、丞相東曹屬,尋轉主簿。) Jin Shu vol. 1.
  31. ^ Rafe de Crespigny, A Biographical Dictionary of Later Han to the Three Kingdoms (23-220 AD), p. 749.
  32. ^

    Sima Yi, Master of Records to the Chancellor, said to Cao Cao, "Liu Bei has captured Liu Zhang by deceit and force, and the people of Shu are not yet attached to him. Now that he is fighting far away in Jiangling, this is too good a chance to miss. You have conquered Hanzhong, and Yi province is trembling. Send your soldiers against them, and their position will disintegrate. The sage does not oppose the time, and he cannot let such opportunity slip." "A man who cannot be satisfied," remarked Cao Cao, "will get Long and look to Shu."

    To Establish Peace, Rafe de Crespigny.

  33. ^ (從討張魯,言於魏武曰:「劉備以詐力虜劉璋,蜀人未附而遠爭江陵,此機不可失也。今若曜威漢中,益州震動,進兵臨之,勢必瓦解。因此之勢,易為功力。聖人不能違時,亦不失時矣。」魏武曰:「人苦無足,既得隴右,復欲得蜀!」言竟不從。既而從討孫權,破之。) Jin Shu vol. 1.
  34. ^ (軍還,權遣使乞降,上表稱臣,陳說天命。魏武帝曰:「此兒欲踞吾著爐炭上邪!」荅曰:「漢運垂終,殿下十分天下而有其九,以服事之。權之稱臣,天人之意也。虞、夏、殷、周不以謙讓者,畏天知命也。」) Jin Shu vol. 1.
  35. ^ (魏國既建,遷太子中庶子。每與大謀,輒有奇策,為太子所信重,與陳羣、吳質、朱鑠號曰四友。) Jin Shu vol. 1.
  36. ^ a b Sakaguchi (2005), p. 160.
  37. ^ (遷為軍司馬,言於魏武曰:「昔箕子陳謀,以食為首。今天下不耕者蓋二十餘萬,非經國遠籌也。雖戎甲未卷,自宜且耕且守。」魏武納之,於是務農積穀,國用豐贍。) Jin Shu vol. 1.
  38. ^ (帝又言荊州刺史胡脩麤暴,南鄉太守傅方驕奢,並不可居邊。魏武不之察。及蜀將關羽圍曹仁於樊,于禁等七軍皆沒,脩、方果降羽,而仁圍甚急焉。) Jin Shu vol. 1.
  39. ^ (是時漢帝都許昌,魏武以為近賊,欲徙河北。帝諫曰:「禁等為水所沒,非戰守之所失,於國家大計未有所損,而便遷都,既示敵以弱,又淮沔之人大不安矣。孫權、劉備,外親內踈,羽之得意,權所不願也。可喻權所,令掎其後,則樊圍自解。」魏武從之。權果遣將呂蒙西襲公安,拔之,羽遂為蒙所獲。) Jin Shu vol. 1.
  40. ^ (司馬宣王及濟說太祖曰:「于禁等為水所沒,非戰攻之失,於國家大計未足有損。劉備、孫權,外親內踈,關羽得志,權必不願也。可遣人勸躡其後,許割江南以封權,則樊圍自解。」) Sanguozhi vol. 14.
  41. ^

    Sima Yi, however, Major to the Army of the Chancellor, and the Junior Clerk in the Department of the West Jiang Ji both said to him, "Yu Jin and his comrades were destroyed by the floods, they were not lost in war, and there is yet no real harm to the great plans of our state. Liu Bei and Sun Quan may appear to be close allies, but they have private disagreements. Guan Yu has ambitions, and Sun Quan will never allow him to achieve them. "Send a man to encourage Sun Quan to close on his rear, and promise in return to enfeoff him with all land south of the Yangzi. Then the siege of Fan will certainly be broken." Cao Cao accepted this plan.

    To Establish Peace, Rafe de Crespigny.

  42. ^ (魏武以荊州遺黎及屯田在潁川者逼近南寇,皆欲徙之。帝曰:「荊楚輕脫,易動難安。關羽新破,諸為惡者藏竄觀望。今徙其善者,既傷其意,將令去者不敢復還。」從之。其後諸亡者悉復業。) Jin Shu vol. 1.
  43. ^

    Cao Cao was suspicious of the people still remaining in Jing province under his control, and of those in military colonies along the Han. He planned to shift all of them. "The people of Jing and Chu," argued Sima Yi, "are fickle and easily swayed. Now that Guan Yu has been defeated, the trouble-makers will have gone into hiding and be reluctant to show themselves. So it is only the people loyal to you that you will be shifting. They will become resentful, while the ones who have already left will never be willing to return." "True," agreed Cao Cao. Later, all those who had run away came back from hiding.

    To Establish Peace, Rafe de Crespigny.

  44. ^

    Spring, first month (Feb. 22 - Mar. 21). King Wu (i.e. Cao Cao) arrived in Luo Yang, where he died on the day Mar. 15.

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  45. ^ Zizhi Tongjian instead places this responsibility on Sima Fu, his younger brother:

    Sima Fu reprimanded them: "Now the King is dead, we ought to pay our respects to his successor as early as possible, for the stabilization of the myriad states. Must we indulge in weeping only?" He then dismissed all of the officials from court, appointed palace guards, and attended to the business of the funeral.

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  46. ^ (及魏武薨于洛陽,朝野危懼。帝綱紀喪事,內外肅然。乃奉梓宮還鄴。) Jin Shu vol. 1.
  47. ^ a b Sima (1084), vol. 69.
  48. ^ (魏文帝即位,封河津亭侯,轉丞相長史。) Jin Shu vol. 1.)
  49. ^ (會孫權帥兵西過,朝議以樊、襄陽無穀,不可以禦寇。時曹仁鎮襄陽,請召仁還宛。帝曰:「孫權新破關羽,此其欲自結之時也,必不敢為患。襄陽水陸之衝,禦寇要害,不可棄也。」言竟不從。仁遂焚棄二城,權果不為寇,魏文悔之。) Jin Shu vol. 1.
  50. ^ Rafe de Crespigny, A Biographical Dictionary of Later Han to the Three Kingdoms (23-220 AD), p. 12, p. 877.
  51. ^ (及魏受漢禪,以帝為尚書。頃之,轉督軍、御史中丞,封安國鄉侯。) Jin Shu vol. 1.
  52. ^ (黃初二年,督軍官罷,遷侍中、尚書右僕射。) Jin Shu vol. 1.
  53. ^ Rafe de Crespigny, A Biographical Dictionary of Later Han to the Three Kingdoms (23-220 AD), p. 954.
  54. ^

    When Sīmǎ [Yì] Xuān-wáng was aged sixteen to seventeen years, he and Jùn met one another. Jùn said: “This is no ordinary man.”

    Sanguozhi, Chen Shou.

  55. ^

    Huángchū third year [222], the Imperial Chariot visited Wǎn, and because the city was not sufficiently celebratory [in its welcome], [Wén-dì] became angry and arrested Jùn. Secretariat Archer Sīmǎ Xuān-wáng and Regular Attendants Wáng Xiàng and Xún Wěi pleaded for Jùn, and knocked their heads on the ground until they bled, but the Emperor did not listen. Jùn said: “I already know my crime.” Then he killed himself. All considered this unjust and were sorrowful for him.

    Sanguozhi, Chen Shou.

  56. ^

    The Emperor stationed the shangshu puyi Sima Yi at Xu-chang. In the eighth month (Sept. 1-30) he headed a marine force, and taking his boat, navigated the Cai and Ying rivers to the Huai and reached Shou-chun.

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  57. ^

    Sima Yi was appointed General-in-Chief who Comforts the Army (fu-jun da jiang-jun), to stay behind at Xu-chang and superintend state papers of the [shang-shu-]tai left behind there.

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  58. ^ (五年,天子南巡,觀兵吳疆。帝留鎮許昌,改封向鄉侯,轉撫軍、假節,領兵五千,加給事中、錄尚書事。帝固辭。天子曰:「吾於庶事,以夜繼晝,無須臾寧息。此非以為榮,乃分憂耳。」) Jin Shu vol. 1.
  59. ^ (六年,天子復大興舟師征吳,復命帝居守,內鎮百姓,外供軍資。臨行,詔曰:「吾深以後事為念,故以委卿。曹參雖有戰功,而蕭何為重。使吾無西顧之憂,不亦可乎!」天子自廣陵還洛陽,詔帝曰:「吾東,撫軍當總西事;吾西,撫軍當總東事。」於是帝留鎮許昌。) Jin Shu vol. 1.
  60. ^

    On the day June 28 the Emperor summoned to his presence the General-in-Chief of the Central Army (zhongjun da jiangjun) Cao Zhen, the General-in-Chief who Guards the Army (zhenjun da jiangjun) Chen Qun, the General-in-Chief who Conquers the East (zhengdong da jiangjun) Cao Xiu, and the General-in-Chief who Comforts the Army (fujun da jiangjun) Sima Yi. All these received an imperial testament appointing them to serve as guardian-regents.

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  61. ^ (及天子疾篤,帝與曹真、陳羣等見於崇華殿之南堂,並受顧命輔政。詔太子曰:「有間此三公者,慎勿疑之。」) Jin Shu vol. 1.
  62. ^

    Jin Shu, Chronicle of Xuandi, has: “When he was severely ill, the son of Heaven received in audience Xuandi (i.e. Sima Yi) as well as Cao Zhen and Chen Qun, et al., in the southern hall of the palace of Zhonghuatian; they all received the Imperial testament appointing them to serve as guardian regents. The Son of Heaven said to the Crown Prince, 'There may be those who would alienate these Three Ducal Ministers from you, but be careful and do not doubt them.'”

  63. ^ (明帝即位,改封舞陽侯。) Jin Shu vol. 1.
  64. ^

    The Wu General of the Left (zuo jiangjun) Zhuge Jin and others invaded Xiang-yang. Sima Yi attacked and repulsed them, killing Zhang Ba, a subordinate general.

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  65. ^ (及孫權圍江夏,遣其將諸葛瑾、張霸并攻襄陽,帝督諸軍討權,走之。進擊,敗瑾,斬霸,并首級千餘。遷驃騎將軍。) Jin Shu vol. 1.
  66. ^ a b Watanabe (2006), p. 283.
  67. ^

    [...] and the General Who Soothes the Army (fujun da jiangjun) Sima Yi to be General-in-Chief of the Agile Cavalry (biao ji da jiangjun)

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  68. ^ (太和元年六月,天子詔帝屯于宛,加督荊、豫二州諸軍事。) Jin Shu vol. 1.
  69. ^

    Sixth month (July 2-30). Sima Yi was appointed Chief Controller (dudu) in charge of the various military affairs of Jing-zhou and Yu-zhou, and stationed at Wan with his own troops.

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  70. ^ (諸葛亮聞之,陰欲誘達,數書招之,達與相報答。魏興太守申儀與達有隙,密表達與蜀潛通,帝未之信也。司馬宣王遣參軍梁幾察之,又勸其入朝。達驚懼,遂反。) Weilüe annotation in Sanguozhi vol. 3.
  71. ^

    Wei lue has, “Shen Yi, the taishou of Weixing, who was on bad terms with Meng Da, sent up a secret memorial reporting that Meng Da had been in clandestine communication with Shu, but the Emperor did not believe it.” Then it goes on to say, “Sima Xuanwang sent his cangjun Liang Ji to investigate, and also advised Meng Da to come to the Court. Surprised and alarmed, Meng Da finally revolted.”

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  72. ^

    Hearing of this, Meng Da was alarmed and decided to rise in armed rebellion. Sima Yi sent a letter to put his mind at ease: "Formerly you, General, left Liu Bei and entrusted yourself to our state. And our state has given you a frontier post, thereby entrusting to you the measures of our plans against Shu. The purport of our state is as bright and pure as can penetrate the sun. The Shu, regardless of wise and stupid, all have been gnashing their teeth at you. Zhuge Liang wishes to destroy the plan, but lacks the wherewithal. Guo Mu's mission is not a trifling matter; how can he make a light issue of it and divulge it? This is, I think, easily understandable."

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  73. ^

    Meng Da vacillated and remained undecided. Sima Yi then secretly led his troops to attack him.

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  74. ^

    Thereupon he doubled the march and moved rapidly. On the eighth day he reached the foot of the city-wall of Xin-cheng.

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  75. ^ (達與魏興太守申儀有隙,亮欲促其事,乃遣郭模詐降,過儀,因漏泄其謀。達聞其謀漏泄,將舉兵。帝恐達速發,以書喻之曰:「將軍昔棄劉備,託身國家,國家委將軍以疆埸之任,任將軍以圖蜀之事,可謂心貫白日。蜀人愚智,莫不切齒於將軍。諸葛亮欲相破,惟苦無路耳。模之所言,非小事也,亮豈輕之而令宣露,此殆易知耳。」達得書大喜,猶與不決。帝乃潛軍進討。諸將言達與二賊交構,宜觀望而後動。帝曰:「達無信義,此其相疑之時也,當及其未定促決之。」乃倍道兼行,八日到其城下。吳蜀各遣其將向西城安橋、木闌塞以救達,帝分諸將以距之。) Jin Shu vol. 1.
  76. ^ Zizhi Tongjian reverses the locations of the Shu and Wu forces:

    Wu and Han each sent generals commanding detachments, which marched respectively to Anqiao and Mu-lan-sai in Xin-cheng, to aid Meng Da. Sima Yi dispatched his various generals to different posts to resist them.

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  77. ^

    When the army arrived, Meng Da again reported to Zhuge Liang, "I opened rebellion only eight days ago, yet the army has reached the foot of the city-wall. That's devilishly fast!"

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  78. ^

    Spring, first month (Feb. 23 - Mar. 23). Sima Yi attacked Xin-cheng; he captured it in sixteen days and put Meng Da to death.

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  79. ^ (... 及兵到,達又告亮曰:「吾舉事八日,而兵至城下,何其神速也!」上庸城三面阻水,達於城外為木柵以自固。帝渡水,破其柵,直造城下。八道攻之,旬有六日,達甥鄧賢、將李輔等開門出降。斬達,傳首京師。俘獲萬餘人,振旅還于宛。) Jin Shu vol. 1.
  80. ^ (乃勸農桑,禁浮費,南土悅附焉。) Jin Shu vol. 1.
  81. ^

    Shen Yi, who had been in Weixing for a long time, usurped authority and had the imperial seal carved, with which he conferred a large number of official titles. Sima Yi summoned him to his presence, arrested him and sent him to Luo-yang.

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  82. ^ (初,申儀久在魏興,專威疆埸,輒承制刻印,多所假授。達既誅,有自疑心。時諸郡守以帝新克捷,奉禮求賀,皆聽之。帝使人諷儀,儀至,問承制狀,執之,歸于京師。又徙孟達餘衆七千餘家于幽州。蜀將姚靜、鄭他等帥其屬七千餘人來降。) Jin Shu vol. 1.
  83. ^ Zizhi Tongjian vol. 71.
  84. ^ (時邊郡新附,多無戶名,魏朝欲加隱實。屬帝朝于京師,天子訪之於帝。帝對曰:「賊以密網束下,故下棄之。宜弘以大綱,則自然安樂。」又問二虜宜討,何者為先?對曰:「吳以中國不習水戰,故敢散居東關。凡攻敵,必扼其喉而摏其心。夏口、東關,賊之心喉。若為陸軍以向皖城,引權東下,為水戰軍向夏口,乘其虛而擊之,此神兵從天而墮,破之必矣。」天子並然之,復命帝屯于宛。) Jin Shu vol. 1.
  85. ^

    When he heard this, Cao Xiu advanced with ten thousand infantry and cavalry towards Huan to cooperate with Zhou Fang. The Emperor further had Sima Yi advance to Jiang-ling and Jia Kui to Dongguan. Thus they advanced simultaneously along three routes.

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  86. ^

    Rewritten from SGZ, Biography of Jia Kui, which reads, “In the second year of Taihe, the Emperor had Jia Kui command the troops of qian jiangjun Man Chong, of the taishou of Gongguan, Hu Ji, etc., four armies in all, and advance directly to Gongguan from Xiyang. He had Cao Xiu advance to Huan, and Sima Xuanwang to Jiangling.”

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  87. ^ (真以「蜀連出侵邊境,宜遂伐之。數道並入,可大克也」。帝從其計。) Sanguozhi vol. 9.
  88. ^ ([太和四年]九月,大雨,伊、洛、河、漢水溢,詔真等班師。) Sanguozhi vol. 3.
  89. ^ (真當發西討,帝親臨送。真以八月發長安,從子午道南入。司馬宣王泝漢水,當會南鄭。諸軍或從斜谷道,或從武威入。會大霖雨三十餘日,或棧道斷絕,詔真還軍。) Sanguozhi vol. 9.
  90. ^ (四年,遷大將軍,加大都督、假黃鉞,與曹真伐蜀。帝自西城斫山開道,水陸並進,泝沔而上,至于朐[]。拔其新豐縣。軍次丹口,遇雨,班師。) Jin Shu vol. 1.
  91. ^

    Zhuge Liang led his troops in an incursion and surrounded Qi-shan, transporting provisions by means of "wooden oxen". At this time, the da sima Cao Zhen was ill. The Emperor ordered Sima Yi to go west and quarter himself at Chang-an and to direct Zhang He, Fei Yao, Dai Ling, Guo Huai, etc., in warding him off.

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  92. ^

    Sima Yi and Fei Yao and Dai Ling, with four thousand picked troops, stayed behind to guard Shanggui. With all the rest of the forces he moved west to reinforce Qi-shan. Zhang He wished to take a detachment and station it at Yongxian and Meixian. Sima Yi said, "If the vanguard is able to face the enemy alone, your words are right; but should they not be able to do so, the dividing of the forces into vanguard and rear would be unwise; in this manner the Three Armies of Qu were captured by Qing Bu." So he proceeded.

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  93. ^ (明年,諸葛亮寇天水,圍將軍賈嗣、魏平於祁山。 ... 乃使帝西屯長安,都督雍、梁二州諸軍事,統車騎將軍張郃、後將軍費曜、征蜀護軍戴淩、雍州刺史郭淮等討亮。 ... 遂進軍隃麋。) Jin Shu vol. 1.
  94. ^

    Zhuge Liang sent a detachment to attack Qi-shan; he himself encountered Sima Yi at Shanggui. Guo Huai, Fei Yao, and others joined battle with Zhuge Liang. Zhuge Liang defeated them, and he took the opportunity to mow their wheat extensively.

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  95. ^

    Thereupon the army advanced to Yumi. When Liang heard a great army was coming, he then himself led the multitudes to take away the grain of Shanggui. The many generals were all afraid. The Emperor said: “Liang plans much, but decides little. One must first secure the encampment with ramparts, and then afterwards cut the grain. We must for the two next days move sufficiently.”

    Jin Shu vol. 1.

  96. ^ (亮聞大軍且至,乃自帥衆將芟上邽之麥。 ... 於是卷甲晨夜赴之,亮望塵而遁。) Jin Shu vol. 1.
  97. ^ (諸將皆懼,帝曰:「亮慮多決少,必安營自固,然後芟麥,吾得二日兼行足矣。」於是卷甲晨夜赴之,亮望塵而遁。帝曰:「吾倍道疲勞,此曉兵者之所貪也。亮不敢據渭水,此易與耳。」) Jin Shu vol. 1.
  98. ^ (是時,隴右無谷,議欲關中大運,淮以威恩撫循羌、胡,家使出谷,平其輸調,軍食用足,轉揚武將軍。) Sanguozhi vol. 26.
  99. ^

    Zhang He said, "They have come far to meet us, and have sought battle in vain. They believe it is to our advantage not to fight with them, and intend to take recourse to some sly scheme to bring us under their control. Besides, those in Qi-shan, knowing that our large forces are near at hand, are heartened; we could quarter our troops there and send out irregular expeditions to show that we are at the enemy's heels. We should not advance unless we dare to press hard, else we will make the people lose hope in us. At present Zhuge Liang's solitary army lacks provisions, and so will go away."

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  100. ^

    Sima Yi did not follow his advice, but pursued Zhuge Liang as before. But when he came near to Zhuge Liang, he went up a mountain and dug out camps, being unwilling to fight.

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  101. ^ (漢晉春秋曰:"亮屯鹵城,據南北二山,斷水為重圍。) Han Jin Chunqiu annotation in Sanguozhi vol. 35.
  102. ^ (進次漢陽,與亮相遇,帝列陣以待之。使將牛金輕騎餌之,兵才接而亮退,追至祁山。亮屯鹵城,據南北二山,斷水為重圍。) Jin Shu vol. 1.
  103. ^

    He encountered Sima Yi east of Shanggui, but Sima Yi drew back his troops and found protection in defiles, so that no battle could be joined. When Zhuge Liang withdrew, Sima Yi and his men pursued Zhuge Liang from the rear until they reached Lu-cheng.

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  104. ^ Sakaguchi (2005), p. 161.
  105. ^

    Jia Xu (賈栩) {Note: This is not the same Jia Xu as the famous one. That one died several years prior by this point in time} and Wei Ping (魏平) repeatedly requested him to fight; they said, "Your Excellency fears the Shu as if they were tigers, and the whole world laughs at you." Sima Yi was vexed at this. The various generals all asked to fight.

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  106. ^ (漢晉春秋曰:"使張郃攻無當監何平於南圍,自案中道向亮。) Han Jin Chunqiu annotation in Sanguozhi vol. 35.
  107. ^

    Summer, fifth month. On the day June 27, Sima Yi let Zhang He attack Heping captain of the Wudang brigade of the Shu at Nan-wei. He himself took a middle route toward Zhuge Liang.

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  108. ^

    Zhuge Liang let Wei Yan, Gao Xiang, Wu Ban meet and engage him.

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  109. ^ (漢晉春秋曰:亮使魏延、高翔、吳班赴拒,大破之,獲甲首三千級,玄鎧五千領,角弩三千一百張,宣王還保營。) Han Jin Chunqiu annotation in Sanguozhi vol. 35.
  110. ^

    The Wei troops were heavily defeated; the Han troops killed three thousand men in armor. Sima Yi retreated and guarded his camps.

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  111. ^

    Sixth month (July 17 - Aug. 15). Zhuge Liang withdrew his troops because supplies were exhausted.

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  112. ^ (縱其後出,不復攻城,當求野戰,必在隴東,不在西也。) Jin Shu vol. 1.
  113. ^ (時宣王等糧亦盡) Huayangguo Zhi vol. 7.
  114. ^ Zizhi Tongjian vol. 72.
  115. ^ (糧盡退軍) Sanguozhi vol. 35.
  116. ^ (六月,亮以糧盡退軍) Zizhi Tongjian vol. 72.
  117. ^ (魏略曰:亮軍退,司馬宣王使郃追之,郃曰:「軍法,圍城必開出路,歸軍勿追。」宣王不聽。郃不得已,遂進。蜀軍乘高布伏,弓弩亂發,矢中郃髀。) Weilüe annotation in Sanguozhi vol. 17.
  118. ^

    Sima Yi sent Zhang He to pursue him. Zhang He advanced to Mu-men, where he fought with Zhuge Liang. The Shu occupied a height, from which they laid an ambush, shooting volleys of arrows from bows and cross-bows. An arrow hit Zhang He's right leg, and he died.

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  119. ^ (秋七月丙子,以亮退走,封爵增位各有差。)Sanguozhi vol. 3.
  120. ^ (天子使使者勞軍,增封邑。) Jin Shu vol. 1.
  121. ^ Rafe de Crespigny, A Biographical Dictionary of Later Han to the Three Kingdoms (23-220 AD), p. 185.
  122. ^ (時軍師杜襲、督軍薛悌皆言明年麥熟,亮必為寇,隴右無穀,宜及冬豫運。帝曰:「亮再出祁山,一攻陳倉,挫衄而反。縱其後出,不復攻城,當求野戰,必在隴東,不在西也。亮每以粮少為恨,歸必積穀,以吾料之,非三稔不能動矣。」於是表徙冀州農夫佃上邽,興京兆、天水、南安監冶。) Jin Shu vol. 1.
  123. ^ (青龍元年,穿成國渠,築臨晉陂,溉田數千頃,國以充實焉。) Jin Shu vol. 1.
  124. ^ Ralph Sawyer (2010), p. 131
  125. ^ (二年,亮又率衆十餘萬出斜谷,壘于郿之渭水南原。) Jin Shu vol. 1.
  126. ^

    Spring, second month (Mar. 18 - Apr. 15). Zhuge Liang leading all his hundred thousand troops, invaded from Ye-gu. He sent an envoy to Wu to arrange simultaneous action on a large scale.

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  127. ^

    Zhuge Liang reached Mei and stationed his troops south of the Wei river.

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  128. ^ (是以諸葛亮《表》云:臣遣虎步監孟琰,據武功水東,司馬懿因水長攻琰營,臣作竹橋,越水射之,橋成馳去。) Commentary on the Water Classic vol. 18.
  129. ^ (《諸葛亮集》曰:亮上事曰,臣先進孟琰據武功水東,司馬懿因水以二十日出騎萬人來攻琰營,臣作車橋,賊見橋垂成,便引兵退。)Taiping Yulan vol. 73.
  130. ^ Both records were written by Zhuge Liang himself
  131. ^ (亮以前者數出,皆以運糧不繼,使己志不伸,乃分兵屯田為久駐之基,耕者雜於渭濱居民之間,而百姓安堵,軍無私焉。) Zizhi Tongjian vol. 72.
  132. ^

    Zhuge Liang reached Mei and stationed his troops south of the Wei river. Sima Yi led his troops across the Wei and took up his position with the river at his rear and constructed fortifications for resistance.

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  133. ^

    Jin Shu has: “He encamped in the plain south of the Wei river, in Mei.” Then it continues: “The Son of Heaven (i.e. Mingdi) was anxious at this and sent the zhengshu hujun Qin Lang to lead twenty thousand infantry and cavalry and put himself under Xuandi's direction. The generals wished to go to the north side of the Wei and wait for him (i.e. Zhuge Liang). Xuandi said, 'The people's provisions are all stored south of the Wei; it is a place that we must contend for.'”

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  134. ^ (諸將欲住渭北以待之,帝曰:「百姓積聚皆在渭南,此必爭之地也。」遂引軍而濟,背水為壘。因謂諸將曰:「亮若勇者,當出武功,依山而東。若西上五丈原,則諸軍無事矣。」) Jin Shu vol. 1.
  135. ^

    He said to his various generals, "If Zhuge Liang comes forth to Wu-gong and moves east along the mountain, it will be a matter for concern to us; if he moves west to Wu-zhang-yuan, you generals will be left in peace."

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  136. ^ (天子憂之,遣征蜀護軍秦朗督步騎二萬,受帝節度。) Jin Shu vol. 1.
  137. ^

    Thereupon he had the zhengshu hu jun Qin Lang lead twenty thousand infantry and cavalry to help Sima Yi ward off Zhuge Liang.

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  138. ^

    Guo Huai, Governor of Yong-zhou, advised Sima Yi: "Zhuge Liang is sure to try for Bo-yuan. We must occupy it first."

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  139. ^ (青龍二年,諸葛亮出斜谷,並田于蘭坑。是時司馬宣王屯渭南;淮策亮必爭北原,宜先據之,議者多謂不然。) Sanguozhi vol. 26.
  140. ^ (淮曰:「若亮跨渭登原,連兵北山,隔絕隴道,搖盪民、夷,此非國之利也。」) Sanguozhi vol. 26.
  141. ^

    Most of those discussing the matter dissented, but Guo Huai said, "If Zhuge Liang straddles the Wei and climbs Bei-yuan, connecting his forces with Bo-shan, the route in the region of Long will be cut off, the aborigines and Chinese people will be shaken. This would not be to the advantage of our state."

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  142. ^ (宣王善之,淮遂屯北原。塹壘未成,蜀兵大至,淮逆擊之。) Sanguozhi vol. 26.
  143. ^

    Sima Yi thereupon had Guo Huai encamp in Bo-yuan. Before the fortifications were completed, the Han troops came in force; Guo Huai met and struck at them.

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  144. ^

    Zhuge Liang did indeed quarter his troops at Wu-zhang-yuan.

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  145. ^ (亮果上原,將北渡渭,帝遣將軍周當屯陽遂以餌之。數日,亮不動。帝曰:「亮欲爭原而不向陽遂,此意可知也。」遣將軍胡遵、雍州剌史郭淮共備陽遂,與亮會于積石。臨原而戰,亮不得進,還于五丈原。) Jin Shu vol. 1.
  146. ^ (後數日,亮盛兵西行,諸將皆謂欲攻西圍,淮獨以為此見形於西,欲使官兵重應之,必攻陽遂耳。其夜果攻陽遂,有備不得上。) Sanguozhi vol. 26.
  147. ^ (會有長星墜亮之壘,帝知其必敗,遣奇兵掎亮之後,斬五百餘級,獲生口千餘,降者六百餘人。) Jin Shu vol. 1.
  148. ^ (淮曰:「若亮跨渭登原,連兵北山,隔絕隴道,搖盪民、夷,此非國之利也。」宣王善之,淮遂屯北原。塹壘未成,蜀兵大至,淮逆擊之。)」Sanguozhi vol. 26.
  149. ^ (雍州刺史郭淮言於懿曰:「亮必爭北原,宜先據之。」議者多謂不然,淮曰:「若亮跨渭登原,連兵北山,隔絕隴道,搖盪民夷,此非國之利也。」懿乃使淮屯北原。塹壘未成,漢兵大至,淮逆擊卻之。)Zizhi Tongjian vol. 72.
  150. ^

    He ordered Sima Yi, "You only need to make your defense within fortified walls, to blunt his edge. Advancing, he cannot accomplish his aims; retreating, he shall not be given battle. If he stays long, his provisions will be exhausted, nor will he obtain anything by foraging. This being so he will have to flee. When he flees, you shall pursue him. 'We await at our ease the tired army.' This is the way to complete victory."

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  151. ^

    Zhuge Liang then sent Sima Yi a bonnet and woman's dress.

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  152. ^

    Sima Yi was angered and sent up a memorial to the throne to be permitted to fight.

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  153. ^ Watanabe (2006), p. 270.
  154. ^

    The Emperor sent the wei-yu Xin Pi to carry the Plenipotentiary Tally and serve as Military Advisor, thus to restrain him.

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  155. ^ (時朝廷以亮僑軍遠寇,利在急戰,每命帝持重,以候其變。亮數挑戰,帝不出,因遺帝巾幗婦人之飾。帝怒,表請決戰,天子不許,乃遣骨鯁臣衞尉辛毗杖節為軍師以制之。後亮復來挑戰,帝將出兵以應之,毗杖節立軍門,帝乃止。初,蜀將姜維聞毗來,謂亮曰:「辛毗杖節而至,賊不復出矣。」亮曰:「彼本無戰心,所以固請者,以示武於其衆耳。將在軍,君命有所不受,苟能制吾,豈千里而請戰邪!」) Jin Shu vol. 1.
  156. ^

    The hujun Jiang Wei said to Zhuge Liang, "Since Xin Pi has come carrying the Plenipotentiary Tally, the rebels will not come out at all." Zhuge Liang said, "He has been indisposed to fight from the beginning. The reason why he persistently asked to fight was to make a martial showing to his own men. While with his army the general sometimes does not accept his Sovereign's commands. If he were sure that he could get the better of us, would he have to ask for a permission to fight, from a thousand li away?"

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  157. ^ (帝弟孚書問軍事,帝復書曰:「亮志大而不見機,多謀而少決,好兵而無權,雖提卒十萬,已墮吾畫中,破之必矣。」) Jin Shu vol. 1.
  158. ^

    When Zhuge Liang's envoy came to Sima Yi's camp, Sima Yi asked him about his sleep and food, and how busy he was; he did not make any inquiry on military matters.

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  159. ^

    The envoy answered, "His Excellency Zhuge rises early and goes to sleep late. Punishments of twenty blows or more he always supervises personally. As for what he eats, it does not amount to a few sheng.

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  160. ^

    Sima Yi said to his men, "Zhuge Kongming takes little food and does much work; how can he last long?"

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  161. ^ (宣王使二千餘人,就軍營東南角,大聲稱萬歲。亮使問之,答曰:「吳朝有使至,請降。」亮謂曰:「計吳朝必無降法。卿是六十老翁,何煩詭誑如此。」)Tongdian vol. 150.
  162. ^

    Sima Yi and Zhuge Liang had been holding their positions against one another for more than a hundred days. Zhuge Liang challenged for battle many a time, but Sima Yi would not come out.

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  163. ^

    The chang-shi Yang Yi put the army in order and marched off; the population rushed to Sima Yi and informed him, and Sima Yi pursued them. Jiang Wei ordered Yang Yi to turn the banners and beat the drums, as if intending to meet Sima Yi. Sima Yi held back his troops and withdrew, not daring to press hard. Yang Yi thereupon departed, with his troops in battle formation. Entering Ye-gu he announced the death of Zhuge Liang.

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  164. ^

    Sima Yi inspected Zhuge Liang's camps one after another and exclaimed, "He was a genius."

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  165. ^

    He pursued them to Chi-an; but not overtaking them, he turned back.

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  166. ^ (與之對壘百餘日,會亮病卒,諸將燒營遁走,百姓奔告,帝出兵追之。亮長史楊儀反旗鳴皷,若將距帝者。帝以窮寇不之逼,於是楊儀結陣而去。經日,乃行其營壘,觀其遺事,獲其圖書、糧穀甚衆。帝審其必死, ... 追到赤岸,乃知亮死審問。時百姓為之諺曰:「死諸葛走生仲達。」帝聞而笑曰:「吾便料生,不便料死故也。」) Jin Shu vol. 1.
  167. ^

    The people made it a saying, "Dead Zhuge has put live Zhongda to flight!" When he heard this Sima Yi laughed and said, "It is because I can take the measure of the living, but not of the dead."

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  168. ^ (三年,遷太尉,累增封邑。蜀將馬岱入寇,帝遣將軍牛金擊走之,斬千餘級。) Jin Shu vol. 1.
  169. ^ Zizhi Tongjian vol. 73.
  170. ^ (關東饑,帝運長安粟五百萬斛輸于京師。) Jin Shu vol. 1.
  171. ^

    Sīmǎ [Yì] Xuān-wáng at Cháng’ān established a military market, and in the army many of the soldiers encroached on and insulted the county’s people, and [Yán] Fěi reported this to [Sīmǎ Yì] Xuān-wáng. [Sīmǎ Yì] Xuān-wáng therefore angrily summoned the military market captain, and in front of [Yán] Fěi flogged him with one hundred strokes.

    Sanguozhi, Chen Shou.

  172. ^

    [Sīmǎ Yì] Xuān-wáng therefore strictly controlled his officials and soldiers. From then afterward, the military camps and the prefectures and counties each obtained their share.

    Sanguozhi, Chen Shou.

  173. ^ (四年,獲白鹿,獻之。天子曰:「昔周公旦輔成王,有素雉之貢。今君受陝西之任,有白鹿之獻,豈非忠誠協符,千載同契,俾乂邦家,以永厥休邪!」) Jin Shu vol. 1.
  174. ^

    The Emperor had commanded each high minister of state to recommend a man with talent combined with virtue. Sima Yi recommended Wang Chang of Taiyuan, cishi of Yanzhou.

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  175. ^

    The Emperor sent a sealed edict to summon Gongsun Yuan. In the end, Gongsun Yuan arose in an armed rebellion, meeting Guanqiu Jian at Liaoshui. It so happened that it rained for more than ten days and the water of Liaoshui rose greatly. Guanqiu Jian fought him, but was unsuccessful and withdrew his troops to Youbeiping.

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  176. ^

    Spring, first month. (January 3-February 1). The Emperor summoned Sima Yi from Chang'an and had him lead an army of forty thousand men in a campaign against Liaodong.

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  177. ^

    He answered, “To leave his walls behind and take to flight would be the best plan for Gongsun Yuan. To take his position in Liaodong and resist our large forces would be the next best. But if he stays in Xiangping and defends it, he will be captured.”

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  178. ^

    He replied, “Only a man of insight and wisdom is able to weigh his own and the enemy's relative strength, and so give up something beforehand. But this is not something Gongsun Yuan can do. On the contrary, he will think that our army, alone and on a long-distance expedition, cannot long keep it up. He is certain to offer resistance on the Liao-shui {Liao River} first and defend Xiangping afterwards.”

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  179. ^ (及遼東太守公孫文懿反,徵帝詣京師。 ... 天子曰:「往還幾時?」對曰:「往百日,還百日,攻百日,以六十日為休息,一年足矣。」) Jin Shu vol. 1.
  180. ^

    He replied, “A hundred days for going, another hundred days for the attack, still another hundred days for coming back, and sixty days for rest. Thus, one year is sufficient.”

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  181. ^ (是時大修宮室,加之以軍旅,百姓饑弊。帝將即戎,乃諫曰:「昔周公營洛邑,蕭何造未央,今宮室未備,臣之責也。然自河以北,百姓困窮,外內有役,勢不並興,宜假絕內務,以救時急。」) Jin Shu vol. 1.
  182. ^

    In the 2nd Year of Jingchu [“Viewing the beginning”, 238 AD], he, commanding Niu Jin, Hu Zun, and others, with forty thousand foot and horse, set out from the capital.

    Jin Shu vol. 1.

  183. ^ (景初二年,帥牛金、胡遵等步騎四萬,發自京都。車駕送出西明門, ... ) Jin Shu vol. 1.
  184. ^ (帝歎息,悵然有感,為歌曰:「天地開闢,日月重光。遭遇際會,畢力遐方。將掃羣穢,還過故鄉。肅清萬里,總齊八荒。告成歸老,待罪舞陽。」) Jin Shu vol. 1.
  185. ^ Chen Shou, 28.5.
  186. ^ a b Gardiner (1972B), p. 169.
  187. ^

    Sixth month (May 31-June 28). Sima Yi and his army reached Liaodong.

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  188. ^

    Gongsun Yuan had his dajiangjun Bei Yan and Yang Zuo lead several ten-thousands of infantry and cavalry on to Liaoshui, where they put up an encampment stretching more than twenty li.

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  189. ^ Watanabe (2006), p. 278.
  190. ^

    The various generals wanted to attack them. Sima Yi said, “In fortifying their walls, the rebels wish to make our troops wear themselves out; if we attack them now, we will only be falling into their trap. Besides, with the bulk of the rebels here and consequently their lair empty, we are sure to destroy them if we proceed directly to Xiangping.”

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  191. ^

    The traitors have strong encampments and tall ramparts, desiring accordingly to wear out my troops. To attack them, that is to follow their plan. This is like Wang Yi going beyond Kunyang due to shame. The ancients said: the enemy though he has lofty walls, will not manage to not fight with us. Attack his places [and he will] surely [come] to help. If the traitors’ great multitude is here, then the den is empty. If we head straight for Xiangping, then people will fear in their breasts. Fearful yet seeking battle, breaking them is certain.

    Jin Shu vol. 1.

  192. ^

    He thereupon had large numbers of banners and flags put up and indicated that he was going to make a sortie south of them, to which position Bei Yan and his men hastened with all their best troops.

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  193. ^ Gardiner (1972B), p. 168.
  194. ^

    Sima Yi, however, secretly crossed the Liaoshui and came to their north, from which he hastened directly toward Xiangping.

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  195. ^

    Jin Shu has, “He then took boats, secretly crossed the river and came to their North. He sank the boats and burnt down the bridges. Along the Liaoshui he constructed a long encampment. Then he left the rebels along and proceeded towards Xiangping.”

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  196. ^

    He thereupon ordered the columns and went beyond. The traitors saw the troops setting out to their rear, and as a result intercepted them. The Emperor spoke to the various generals, saying: By not attacking their encampments, my principal desire was to cause this. We cannot lose.

    Jin Shu vol. 1.

  197. ^

    In fear, Bei Yan and his men withdrew with their troops during the night, and the various troops of Wei advanced to Shoushan. Gongsun Yuan again ordered Bei Yan and his men to give battle. Sima Yi put them to route, and then advancing to Xiangping laid siege to it.

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  198. ^

    He then let loose the soldiers to confront and strike, greatly routing them, there were three battles and all were won. The traitors guarded Xiangping. He advanced the army to besiege them.

    Jin Shu vol. 1.

  199. ^ (帝盛兵多張旗幟出其南,賊盡銳赴之。乃泛舟潛濟以出其北,與賊營相逼,沉舟焚梁,傍遼水作長圍,棄賊而向襄平。諸將言曰:「不攻賊而作圍,非所以示衆也。」帝曰:「賊堅營高壘,欲以老吾兵也。攻之,正入其計, ... 古人曰,敵雖高壘,不得不與我戰者,攻其所必救也。賊大衆在此,則巢窟虛矣。我直指襄平,必人懷內懼,懼而求戰,破之必矣。」遂整陣而過。賊見兵出其後,果邀之。帝謂諸將曰:「所以不攻其營,正欲致此,不可失也。」乃縱兵逆擊,大破之,三戰皆捷。賊保襄平,進軍圍之。) Jin Shu vol. 1.
  200. ^

    Autumn, seventh month (June 29-July 26). Heavy and continuous rainfall. The Liaoshui rose violently, so that convoy ships could sail from the mouth of the Liaoshui directly to outside the walls of Xiangping. The rain did not stop for more than a month. On level ground water was several feet deep.

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  201. ^

    The Three Armies were alarmed and wanted to move their barracks. Sima Yi proclaimed that any one in the army who dared to speak of moving would be put to death. The Lingshi to the Dudu, Zhang Jing violated the order; he was put to death and the troops were stabilized.

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  202. ^ (會霖潦,大水平地數尺,三軍恐,欲移營。帝令軍中敢有言徙者斬。都督令史張靜犯令,斬之,軍中乃定。賊恃水,樵牧自若。諸將欲取之,皆不聽。) Jin Shu vol. 1.
  203. ^

    The Si-ma Chen Gui said, “formerly, when you attacked Shangyong, you had eight detachments advance simultaneously, without resting day or night, and so you were able to take the well-fortified walls and kill Meng Da in half a month. Now we have come a long way and you are satisfied to procrastinate. Stupid as I am, I do not understand.”

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  204. ^ (帝曰:「孟達眾少而食支一年,吾將士四倍于達而糧不淹月,以一月圖一年,安可不速?以四擊一,正令半解,猶當為之。是以不計死傷,與糧競也。今賊眾我寡,賊飢我飽,水雨乃爾,功力不設,雖當促之,亦何所為。自發京師,不憂賊攻,但恐賊走。 今賊衆我寡,賊飢我飽,水雨乃爾,功力不設,雖當促之,亦何所為。自發京師,不憂賊攻,但恐賊走。今賊糧垂盡,而圍落未合,掠其牛馬,抄其樵采,此故驅之走也。夫兵者詭道,善因事變。賊憑衆恃雨,故雖飢困,未肯束手,當示無能以安之。取小利以驚之。非計也。」) Jin Shu vol. 1.
  205. ^

    Sima Yi said, “Meng Da had not many men under him, but his supplies were sufficient for a year; our generals and troops were four times those of Meng Da, but our supplies were not enough for a month. Since I had to plan a month against a year, how could I not be quick? Since I was striking with four against one, it was worth while even if I had won victory at the cost of losing half. This is why I did not take into account the number of dead and wounded; I was contending against provisions. Now, the rebels are numerous and we are few; the rebels are hungry and we are full. With flood and rain like this, we cannot employ our effort. Even if we take them, what is the use? Since I left the capital, I have not worried about the rebels attacking us, but have been afraid they might flee. Now, the rebels are almost at their extremity as regards supplies, and our encirclement of them is not yet complete. By plundering their cattle and horses or capturing their fuel-gatherers, we will be only compelling them to flee. War is an art of deception; we must be good at adapting ourselves to changing situations. Relying on their numerical superiority and helped by the rain, the rebels, hungry and distressed as they are, are not willing to give up. We must make a show of inability to put them at ease; to alarm them by taking petty advantage is not the plan at all.

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  206. ^ (朝廷聞師遇雨,咸請召還。天子曰:「司馬公臨危制變,計日擒之矣。」) Jin Shu vol. 1.
  207. ^

    When those at court heard the army had run into rain, everybody wanted to stop the campaign. The Emperor said, “Sima Yi takes proper measures when he confronts dangers. We may hear of Gongsun Yuan's capture in a few days.

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  208. ^ Gardiner (1972B), pp. 165, 169. The names of these leaders of the Goguryeo expeditionary force were not recorded.
  209. ^ Gardiner (1972B), p. 171
  210. ^ (時有長星,色白,有芒鬣,自襄平城西南流于東北,墜于梁水,城中震慴。文懿大懼,乃使其所署相國王建、御史大夫柳甫乞降,請解圍面縛。不許,執建等,皆斬之。檄告文懿曰:「昔楚鄭列國,而鄭伯猶肉袒牽羊而迎之。孤為主人,位則上公,而建等欲孤解圍退舍,豈楚鄭之謂邪!二人老耄,必傳言失旨,已相為斬之。若意有未已,可更遣年少有明決者來。」文懿復遣侍中衞演乞剋日送任。) Jin Shu vol. 1.
  211. ^

    Eighth month (July 29-August 27). Gongsun Yuan sent the xiangguo Wang Jian and the Yushi dafu Liu Fu to beg that the siege be raised and the army withdrawn, whereupon the ruler and his ministers would present themselves bound. Sima Yi ordered them put to death, and communicated to Gongsun Yuan, “Of old, Chu and Zheng were states of equal footing, but the Earl of Zheng nevertheless met the Prince of Chu, with his flesh bare and leading a sheep. I am a superior Ducal Minister of the Son of Heaven, yet Wang Jian and his following wanted me to raise the siege and withdraw my men. Is this proper? These two men were dotards and failed to convey your mind; I have put them to death. If you still have anything in mind, send a younger man of intelligence and resoluteness.

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  212. ^ (帝謂演曰:「軍事大要有五,能戰當戰,不能戰當守,不能守當走,餘二事惟有降與死耳。汝不肯面縛,此為決就死也,不須送任。」) Jin Shu vol. 1.
  213. ^

    Gongsun Yuan sent another envoy, the shizhong Wei Yan, begging that they might send a hostage. Sima Yi said to Wei Yan, “The essential points in war are five. If you can fight, then fight; if you cannot fight, then defend yourself; if you cannot defend yourself, then flee. The remaining two points are nothing else than surrender and death. Now that you are not willing to come bound, you are determined to have death; there is no need of sending any hostage.”

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  214. ^ Gardiner (1972B), pp. 172, 195 note 94.
  215. ^

    When the rain cleared up, Sima Yi completed the encirclement. He constructed artificial hills and tunnels, and by means of shields, wooden towers, hooked ladders, and battering-rams, he attacked day and night, arrows and stones falling like raindrops

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  216. ^ (既而雨止,遂合圍。起土山地道,楯櫓鈎橦,發矢石雨下,晝夜攻之。) Jin Shu vol. 1.
  217. ^

    Gongsun Yuan was hard pressed. His provisions were exhausted, and there were many deaths from cannibalism. His generals Yang Zuo and others, surrendered.

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  218. ^

    On the day ren-wu (September 29), Xiangping fell.

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  219. ^ (文懿攻南圍突出,帝縱兵擊敗之,斬于梁水之上星墜之所。) Jin Shu vol. 1.
  220. ^

    Gongsun Yuan and his son Gongsun Xiu, leading several hundred mounted men, got through the encirclement and fled towards the southeast. The large Wei forces instantly struck at them and killed Gongsun Yuan and his son on the Liangshui.

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  221. ^ Ikeuchi, pp. 87-88.
  222. ^

    Entering the city, Sima Yi put to death their Ducal and other Ministers, down to soldiers and civilians, to the number of more than seven thousand. He buried their bodies together in a huge mound (jingguan). The four prefectures of Liaodong, Daifang, Lelang and Xuandu were all pacified.

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  223. ^

    Rewritten from Jin Shu, Chronicle of Xuandi: “Having entered the city, he set up two standards to distinguish recent and long-time rebels. Males above fifteen years old, more than even thousand men, were all put to death and used to form the Jingguan. The ducal and other ministers and the lower officials of the rebels were all put to death. Also put to death were the generals Bi Sheng and others—more than two thousand men. Forty thousand households, consisting of three hundred and several ten thousands of persons, were gained.”

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  224. ^ (文懿攻南圍突出,帝縱兵擊敗之,斬于梁水之上星墜之所。既入城,立兩標以別新舊焉。男子年十五已上七千餘人皆殺之,以為京觀。偽公卿已下皆伏誅,戮其將軍畢盛等二千餘人。收戶四萬,口三十餘萬。) Jin Shu vol. 1.
  225. ^ (初,文懿篡其叔父恭位而囚之。及將反,將軍綸直、賈範等苦諫,文懿皆殺之。帝乃釋恭之囚,封直等之墓,顯其遺嗣。) Jin Shu vol. 1.
  226. ^

    When Gongsun Yuan was about to revolt, his generals Lun Zhi, Jia Fan and others had bitterly remonstrated with him, and Gongsun Yuan had killed them all. Sima Yi raised mounds on the graves of Lun Zhi and the others, and honored their heirs; he also released Gongsun Yuan's paternal uncle, Gongsun Gong, from imprisonment. The Chinese who wanted to return to their own places of birth were allowed to do so. In the end, he marched back with the army.

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  227. ^

    At the time, the troops were suffering from cold and hunger; they begged for padded coats, but Xuandi did not supply them. Someone said, 'Fortunately there is a large quantity of old padded coats which you could give to them.'

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  228. ^

    Xuandi said, 'Padded coats belong to the Emperor; a minister does not make gifts of them on his own authority.' Then he memorialized the throne that he would dismiss the soldiers over sixty years old—more than a thousand men—and that he would carry back the remains of officers who had been killed in the army. Finally he marched back with the army.”

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  229. ^ (時有兵士寒凍,乞襦,帝弗之與。或曰:「幸多故襦,可以賜之。」帝曰:「襦者官物,人臣無私施也。」乃奏軍人年六十已上者罷遣千餘人,將吏從軍死亡者致喪還家。遂班師。天子遣使者勞軍于薊,增封食昆陽,并前二縣。) Jin Shu vol. 1.
  230. ^

    Earlier, when the Emperor arrived at Xiangping, he dreamt that the Son of Heaven was on a pillow on his knees, and said: “Look at my face”. He looked down and saw he was different than usual. His heart was sick.

    Jin Shu vol. 1.

  231. ^

    At this time, Sima Yi happened to be in Ji; The Emperor dispatched his courier, the bixie, with a rescript written in his own hand, to summon him. Before this, the Prince of Yan had counselled the Emperor that due to important matters in Guanzhong, it would be well to have Sima Yi take the short route by way of Zhiguan and return west to Chang'an. This counsel had been already adopted and executed. Having received in close succession two rescripts entirely different in contents, Sima Yi surmised some change in the capital and hastened to the court.

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  232. ^

    He traveled by way stations for more than 400 li [about 160 km], and had just one stop before arriving. He was led into the bedroom in the Hall of Excellent Fortune [jia fu dian], and advanced to the imperial bed. The Emperor with flowing tears asked of he sickness. The Son of Heaven grasped the Emperor’s hand, and looked at the King of Qi and said: “For future affairs mutual support. Death therefore now may be endured. I have endured death awaiting your Lordship. Gaining each other’s views, without resentment.”

    Jin Shu vol. 1.

  233. ^

    He then summoned the two Princes of Qi and Qin, whom he showed to Sima Yi. Pointing his finger at the Prince of Qi, Cao Fang, he said to Sima Yi, “This is he. Look at him carefully and do not make any mistake.” He also made the Prince of Qi step forward and embrace Sima Yi's neck. Sima Yi knocked his forehead on the floor and wept.

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  234. ^ (初,帝至襄平,夢天子枕其膝,曰:「視吾面。」俛視有異於常,心惡之。先是,詔帝便道鎮關中;及次白屋,有詔召帝,三日之間,詔書五至。手詔曰:「間側息望到,到便直排閤入,視吾面。」帝大遽,乃乘追鋒車晝夜兼行,自白屋四百餘里,一宿而至。引入嘉福殿臥內,升御牀。帝流涕問疾,天子執帝手,目齊王曰:「以後事相託。死乃復可忍,吾忍死待君,得相見,無所復恨矣。」命與大將軍曹爽並受遺詔輔少主。) Jin Shu vol. 1.
  235. ^

    The Emperor asked, “Who then is competent for the task?” At that time, only Cao Shuang happened to be at the Emperor's side. Hence Liu Fang and Sun Zi recommended Cao Shuang. They further said Sima Yi ought to be summoned and appointed to be his partner.

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  236. ^

    Liu Fang and Sun Zi had long been in charge of confidential posts. Xiahou Xian and Cao Zhao were disquiet at heart. In front of the palace there was a tree on which chickens roosted. The two men said to each other, “What a long time this has been here. How much longer can it last?” By this they meant Liu Fang and Sun Zi. Liu Fang and Sun Zi, afraid lest eventually they might suffer harm from them, secretly plotted to estrange them from the Emperor.

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  237. ^

    Liu Fang then went up to the Imperial couch, and holding the Emperor's hand, made him write it down. Then he brought out the rescript and said loudly, “By this rescript the Prince of Yan and the others are relieved of their appointment; they are not permitted to remain in the office.” In tears, they all went out.

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  238. ^ Sakaguchi (2005), p. 204.
  239. ^ (及齊王即帝位,遷侍中、持節、都督中外諸軍、錄尚書事,與爽各統兵三千人,共執朝政,更直殿中,乘輿入殿。爽欲使尚書奏事先由己,乃言於天子,徙帝為大司馬。朝議以為前後大司馬累薨於位,乃以帝為太傅,入殿不趨,贊拜不名,劔履上殿,如漢蕭何故事。嫁娶喪葬取給於官,以世子師為散騎常侍,子弟三人為列侯,四人為騎都尉。帝固讓子弟官不受。) Jin Shu vol. 1.
  240. ^ (魏正始元年春正月,東倭重譯納貢,焉耆、危須諸國,弱水以南,鮮卑名王,皆遣使來獻。天子歸美宰輔,又增帝封邑。) Jin Shu vol. 1.
  241. ^ (初,魏明帝好脩宮室,制度靡麗,百姓苦之。帝自遼東還,役者猶萬餘人,雕玩之物動以千計。至是皆奏罷之,節用務農,天下欣賴焉。) Jin Shu vol. 1.
  242. ^ (二年夏五月,吳將全琮寇芍陂,朱然、孫倫圍樊城,諸葛瑾、步騭掠柤中,帝請自討之。議者咸言,賊遠來圍樊,不可卒拔。挫於堅城之下,有自破之勢,宜長策以御之。帝曰:「邊城受敵而安坐廟堂,疆埸騷動,衆心疑惑,是社稷之大憂也。」) Jin Shu vol. 1.
  243. ^ (吳兵猶在荊州,太傅懿曰:「柤中民夷十萬,隔在水南,流離無主,樊城被攻,歷月不解,此危事也,請自討之。」) Zizhi Tongjian vol. 74.
  244. ^

    The taifu Sima Yi said, “In Zizhong the Chinese people and the barbarians number a hundred thousand; south of the water they wander and roam without a master over them. Fancheng has been under attack more than a month without relief. This is a precarious situation. I ask to lead a campaign myself.”

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  245. ^

    Jin ji continues, [...] Sima Xuanwang said, 'It is written in the Jun zhi that to curb a general when he is competent, is to waste the army; to let a general command when he is not competent, is to annihilate the army.' Now there is uproar within the state and the people are doubtful in their hearts. This is a great worry for the foundation of the state.'”

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  246. ^

    The Jin ji writes: “In the sixth month, Sima Xuanwang directed the various troops in a southern expedition. The Emperor bade him farewell outside the city gate of Jinyang. Because the southern climate was hot and damp and hence unsuitable for a long drawn-out campaign, Sima Xuanwang had his light cavalry challenge the enemy. Zhu Ran dared not take action. Thereupon Sima Xuanwang ordered all his troops to rest and bathe; he selected a picked force and enlisted volunteers who would climb the city walls before others and issued commands and instructions, showing that he was persisting in launching an attack.”

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  247. ^

    Sixth month (June 26-July 25). The taifu Sima Yi directed the various troops and saved Fan. Hearing of this, the Wu troops fled by night. Sima Yi pursued them to Sanzhoukou. Having taken many captives, he returned.

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  248. ^

    Jin Shu, Chronicle of Xuandi states, “He returned after having killed and captured more than ten thousand men, and seized their boats and provisions.”

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  249. ^ (六月,乃督諸軍南征,車駕送出津陽門。帝以南方暑溼,不宜持久,使輕騎挑之,然不敢動。於是休戰士,簡精銳,募先登,申號令,示必攻之勢。吳軍夜遁走,追至三州口,斬獲萬餘人,收其舟船軍資而還。天子遣侍中常侍勞軍于宛。) Jin Shu vol. 1.
  250. ^ (秋七月,增封食郾、臨潁,并前四縣,邑萬戶,子弟十一人皆為列侯。帝勳德日盛,而謙恭愈甚。以太常常林鄉邑舊齒,見之每拜。恒戒子弟曰:「盛滿者道家之所忌,四時猶有推移,吾何德以堪之。損之又損之,庶可以免乎!」) Jin Shu vol. 1.
  251. ^ (三年春,天子追封謚皇考京兆尹為舞陽成侯。) Jin Shu vol. 1.
  252. ^ (正始二年,乃開廣漕渠,每東南有事,大軍興衆,汎舟而下,達于江、淮,資食有儲而無水害,艾所建也。) Sanguozhi vol. 28.
  253. ^ (朝廷欲廣田畜穀於揚、豫之間,使尚書郎汝南鄧艾行陳、項已東至壽春。艾以為:「昔太祖破黃巾,因為屯田,積穀許都以制四方。今三隅已定,事在淮南,每大軍出征,運兵過半,功費巨億。陳、蔡之間,土下田良,可省許昌左右諸稻田,并水東下,令淮北屯二萬人,淮南三萬人,什二分休,常有四萬人且田且守;益開河渠以增溉灌,通漕運。計除眾費,歲完五百萬斛以為軍資,六、七年間,可積三千萬斛於淮上,此則十萬之眾五年食也。以此乘吳,無不克矣。」太傅懿善之。是歲,始開廣漕渠,每東南有事,大興軍眾,汎舟而下,達于江、淮,資食有儲而無水害。) Zizhi Tongjian vol. 74
  254. ^

    The taifu Sima Yi commended and put into practice all of his proposals. In this year, transport canals were first dug extensively. Whenever there was any campaign in the southeast, a large force was levied and sent down by boats to the Jiang and the Huai. Provisions were more than ample, and there were no floods. This was all Deng Ai's work.

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  255. ^ (三月,奏穿廣漕渠,引河入汴,溉東南諸陂,始大佃於淮北。) Jin Shu vol. 1.
  256. ^ (先是,吳遣將諸葛恪屯皖,邊鄙苦之,帝欲自擊恪。議者多以賊據堅城,積穀,欲引致官兵。今懸軍遠攻,其救必至,進退不易,未見其便。帝曰:「賊之所長者水也,今攻其城,以觀其變。若用其所長,棄城奔走,此為廟勝也。若敢固守,湖水冬淺,船不得行,勢必棄水相救,由其所短,亦吾利也。」) Jin Shu vol. 1.
  257. ^ (四年秋九月,帝督諸軍擊諸葛恪, ... 軍次于舒,恪焚燒積聚,棄城而遁。) Jin Shu vol. 1.
  258. ^

    Zhuge Ke of Wu had sent his spies afar to reconnoiter strategic points, intending to take Shouchun. The taifu (Sima Yi) led his troops into Shu, from which he intended to attack Zhuge Ke. The Sovereign of Wu was about to dispatch reinforcements when a geomantist held it to be unprofitable, so he transferred Zhuge Ke to Chaisang and stationed him there.

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  259. ^ (帝以滅賊之要,在於積穀,乃大興屯守,廣開淮陽、百尺二渠,又脩諸陂於潁之南北,萬餘頃。自是淮北倉庾相望,壽陽至于京師,農官屯兵連屬焉。) Jin Shu vol. 1.
  260. ^ Zizhi Tongjian vol. 74.
  261. ^ (五年春正月,帝至自淮南,天子使持節勞軍。) Jin Shu vol. 1.
  262. ^

    Cao Shuang indeed served the taifu with due respect, but he seldom consulted him on the measures he introduced.

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  263. ^

    Of Cao Shaung's younger brothers, Cao Xi was appointed zhong lingjun, Cao Xun wuwei jiangjun and Cao Yan san qi changshi shiqiang. His other younger brothers all became imperial attendants in the capacity of feudal lords. They went in and out of the palace; their honors and favors were unequalled.

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  264. ^

    Cao Shuang demoted Lu Yu, the libu shangshu, to be Puyi, replacing him with Hu Yan. He appointed Deng Yang and Ding Mi to be shangshu, and Bi Gui to be sili xiaoyu.

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  265. ^

    Hu Yan and others abused their power in their official functions; those who adhered to them were promoted. Those who disagreed with them were dismissed. Inside and outside, all came under their sway and there was none who dared to go counter to their wishes.

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  266. ^

    On the day dingchou, Sima Yi was appointed taifu.

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  267. ^

    From SGZ, Biography of Deng Ai, which begins: “Deng Ai was promoted to be shangshulang. At this time, they wished to open up more lands.”

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  268. ^ ZZTJ Zhengshi 2, 10 gives Deng Ai's rank as such, the Prefect of the Masters of Writing.
  269. ^

    Autumn, seventh month. On the day of yiyu (September 1), the lingjun jiangjun Jiang Ji was appointed taiyu.

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  270. ^ ZZTJ Zhengshi 3, 4.
  271. ^ Rafe de Crespigny, Imperial Warlord: A Biography of Cao Cao 155-220 AD, pp. 460-461.
  272. ^

    Li Sheng and the shangshu Deng Yang, wishing to have Cao Shuang establish a military renown in the Empire, advised him to lead a campaign against Shu. Cao Shuang followed their advice. The taifu Sima Yi attempted to stop him, but did not succeed.

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  273. ^ (尚書鄧颺、李勝等欲令曹爽建立功名,勸使伐蜀。帝止之,不可,爽果無功而還。) Jin Shu vol. 1.
  274. ^ Sakaguchi (2005), p. 51.
  275. ^

    The troops of the da jiangjun (Cao Shuang) were near Xingshi but were unable to advance. The people within the pass, the Di and the Qiang, were supplying and transporting provisions but could not amply meet the demand; their cattle, horses, mules and asses died in large numbers, so that both the Chinese populace and barbarians moaned and wept on the roads. The forces from Fou and the troops of Fei Wei arrived in succession.

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  276. ^

    The taifu Sima Yi sent a letter to Xiahou Xuan saying, “In the Chunqiu the severest reproofs are given those of greatest virtue. Formerly Emperor Wu (Cao Cao) twice entered Hanzhong and came close to being badly defeated, as you know. Now the mountain Xingshi is very steep, and the Shu troops have already occupied it. If we advance and fail to take it, our retreat will be cut off, and the army will certainly be annihilated. How are you going to take such a responsibility?”

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  277. ^

    Xiahou Xuan grew afraid and told Cao Shuang to lead his troops back.

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  278. ^

    Fifth month (June 23-July 21). Cao Shuang led his troops back.

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  279. ^

    Fei Wei moved forward and occupied three ridges to intercept Cao Shuang. Cao Shuang struggled up the steep terrain, fighting bitterly. In the end he barely got away after suffering heavy losses in dead and missing, and as a result Guanzhong was exhausted.

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  280. ^ (六年秋八月,曹爽毀中壘中堅營,以兵屬其弟中領軍羲。帝以先帝舊制禁之,不可。) Jin Shu vol. 1.
  281. ^ (冬十二月,天子詔帝朝會乘輿升殿。) Jin Shu vol. 1.
  282. ^ (七年春正月,吳寇柤中,夷夏萬餘家避寇北渡沔。帝以沔南近賊,若百姓奔還,必復致寇,宜權留之。曹爽曰:「今不能脩守沔南而留百姓,非長策也。」帝曰:「不然。凡物致之安地則安,危地則危。故兵書曰『成敗,形也;安危,勢也』。形勢,御衆之要,不可以不審。設令賊以二萬人斷沔水,三萬人與沔南諸軍相持,萬人陸梁柤中,將何以救之?」爽不從,卒令還南。賊果襲破柤中,所失萬計。) Jin Shu vol. 1.
  283. ^ Watanabe (2006), p. 280.
  284. ^ Sakaguchi (2005), pp. 50, 162.
  285. ^

    The da jiangjun Cao Shuang, following the counsel of He Yan, Deng Yang, and Ding Mi, moved the Empress Dowager to the Yongning Palace.

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  286. ^

    He monopolized the government, he and his younger brothers commanding the palace guards, and enlarged his own faction. He repeatedly altered laws and institutions; the taifu Sima Yi being unable to stop this, he and Cao Shuang were on bad terms.

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  287. ^ (曹爽用何晏、鄧颺、丁謐之謀,遷太后於永寧宮,專擅朝政,兄弟並典禁兵,多樹親黨,屢改制度。帝不能禁,於是與爽有隙。) Jin Shu vol. 1.
  288. ^ (五月,帝稱疾不與政事。時人為之謠曰:「何、鄧、丁,亂京城。」) Jin Shu vol. 1.
  289. ^

    Fifth month (June 20 – July 19). Sima Yi for the first time pretended illness and did not participate in the government.

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  290. ^

    SGZ has: “Sun Li was promoted to mu of Jizhou. The taifu Sima Xuanwang said to Sun Li, 'Now the Princes of Qinghe and Pingyuan have been contesting their domains for eight years, during which two cishi have been replaced in Jizhou, without being able to reach a decision. The strife between Yu and Hui was settled only by King Wen. You ought to settle the affair and make a distinct demarcation.'

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  291. ^

    Sun Li said, '...We should decide the case by referring to the map made when Liezi first enfeoffed the Prince of Pingyuan... Now, the map is preserved in the Palace Archives (tianfu); we can decide the case on the spot. Is there any need of waiting till I reach Jizhou?' Sima Xuanwang said, 'You are right. We should consult the map.'”

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  292. ^

    The Princes of Qinghe and Ping Yuan had peen wrangling over their domains for eight years without being able to reach a settlement. Sun Li, governor of Jizhou, asked that the case be decided by reference to the map made at the time Liezi (Ming-Ti) enfeoffed the Prince of Ping Yuan, which had been preserved in the Palace Archives. Cao Shuang favored the plaint of the Prince of Qinghe and said that the map was not to be used.

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  293. ^

    Sun Li sent in a memorial to defend his opinion; its language was forceful and to the point. Cao Shuang was very angry and impeached Sun Li on a charge of resentment at an official decision; he was given a suspended sentence of five years’ banishment.

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  294. ^

    After some time he was reinstated as governor of Bingzhou. He went to see the taifu Sima Yi wearing an expression of anger and did not speak.

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  295. ^

    Sima Yi said, “Do you regard it as a small thing to be appointed to Bing-chou? Or are you regretting having ventured to regulate that matter of demarcation? Now you are taking leave of me to go to a distant post; what are you displeased about?”

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  296. ^

    Sun Li said, “how unjust and trifling are Your Excellency’s words! Lacking in virtue though I be, would I take official rank or past affairs to heart? I have believed Your Excellency would emulate Yi Yin and Lu Shang and lend support to the House of Wei. Thereby, looking into the past and upward, you would requite Mingdi’s entrusting you with the guardianship; and looking into the future and downward, you would achieve merit for ten thousand generations. At present the foundation of the dynasty is precarious and the empire in turmoil. This is what makes me unhappy.” And he wept a flood of tears.

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  297. ^

    Sima Yi said, “Stop for the time being, and bear the unbearable.”

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  298. ^ (九年春三月,黃門張當私出掖庭才人石英等十一人,與曹爽為伎人。爽、晏謂帝疾篤,遂有無君之心,與當密謀,圖危社稷,期有日矣。帝亦潛為之備,爽之徒屬亦頗疑帝。) Jin Shu vol. 1.
  299. ^

    The taifu Sima Yi was secretly plotting with his sons, the zhonghujun Sima Shi and the sanji changshi Sima Zhao, to put Cao Shuang to death.

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  300. ^

    Winter. Li Sheng, the Regional Governor of Henan, visited the taifu Sima Yi to take leave of him.

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  301. ^

    Sima Yi had ordered two maidservants to attend himself. As he was holding up the skirt of his robe, it fell.

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  302. ^

    He pointed to his mouth to indicate thirst and when the maids offered him congee Sima Yi drank it without holding the cup. The congee all spilled out and soiled his chest.

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  303. ^

    Li Sheng said, “The crowd says Your Excellency is suffering from a recurrence of apoplexy, but I never expected your state of health to be like this.” Sima Yi then managed to get his breath and said, “I am old and bedridden with sickness, and may die at any moment. So you are about to honor Bingzhou as governor. Bingzhou is near barbarian lands; you had better prepare against them. I fear we shall not meet again.” He then entrusted Li Sheng with the care of his sons, Sima Shi and his younger brother Sima Zhao.

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  304. ^

    Li Sheng said, “I am returning to disgrace my own native zhou, not Bingzhou.” Sima Yi then muddled his language, saying, “You are now going to Bingzhou.” Li Sheng repeated his words, “I am about to disgrace Jingzhou.” Sima Yi said, “I am old and my mind is confused, I did not grasp your words. Now that you are returning to govern your native zhou, your brilliant virtue and fine qualities will be good for great achievements.”

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  305. ^

    Li Sheng retired from this interview, told Cao Shuang, “His Excellency Sima Yi is no more than the surviving emanations of a corpse; his mind is deserting his body. He is incapable of causing you anxiety.”

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  306. ^

    Another day, weeping, he again said to Cao Shuang and the others, “The taifu is sick beyond recovery. It makes one sad.”

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  307. ^ (會河南尹李勝將莅荊州,來候帝。帝詐疾篤,使兩婢侍,持衣衣落,指口言渴,婢進粥,帝不持杯飲,粥皆流出霑胷。勝曰:「衆情謂明公舊風發動,何意尊體乃爾!」帝使聲氣纔屬,說「年老枕疾,死在旦夕。君當屈并州,并州近胡,善為之備。恐不復相見,以子師、昭兄弟為託」。勝曰:「當還忝本州,非并州。」帝乃錯亂其辭曰:「君方到并州。」勝復曰:「當忝荊州。」帝曰:「年老意荒,不解君言。今還為本州,盛德壯烈,好建功勳!」勝退告爽曰:「司馬公尸居餘氣,形神已離,不足慮矣。」他日,又言曰:「太傅不可復濟,令人愴然。」故爽等不復設備。) Jin Shu vol. 1.
  308. ^ Watanabe (2006), p. 281.
  309. ^

    As a result, Cao Shuang and his men no longer took precautions against Sima Yi.

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  310. ^ (將發夕乃告之,既而使人覘之,帝寢如常,而文帝不能安席。) Jin Shu vol. 2.
  311. ^

    Spring, first month. On the day chia-wu (Feb. 5) the Emperor went to visit the mausoleum of Gaopingling, attended by the da jiangjun Cao Shuang and his younger brothers, the zhongling jun Cao Xi, the wuwei jiangjun Cao Xun, and the sanji changshi Cao Yan (曹彥).

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  312. ^ (嘉平元年春正月甲午,天子謁高平陵,爽兄弟皆從。是日,太白襲月。帝於是奏永寧太后廢爽兄弟。) Jin Shu vol. 1.
  313. ^ (嘉平元年春正月甲午,天子謁高平陵,爽兄弟皆從。是日,太白襲月。帝於是奏永寧太后廢爽兄弟。時景帝為中護軍,將兵屯司馬門。帝列陣闕下,經爽門。 爽帳下督嚴世上樓,引弩將射帝,孫謙止之曰:「事未可知。」三注三止,皆引其肘不得發。) Jin Shu vol. 1.
  314. ^

    Grand Commandant Sīmǎ Xuán-wáng requested Guàn be an Advisor Palace Official.

    Sanguozhi, Chen Shou.

  315. ^ (於是假司徒高柔節,行大將軍事,領爽營, ... 命太僕王觀行中領軍,攝羲營。) Jin Shu vol. 1.
  316. ^

    He had the situ Gao Rou receive the Tally and act as da jiangjun to occupy Cao Shuang’s headquarters, and made the taipu Wang Guan acting as zhongling jun to occupy Cao Xi’s headquarters.

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  317. ^

    The taifu Sima Yi, in the name of the Empress Dowager, closed the various city gates, dispatched troops to occupy the Arsenal, and led out the army to take up his position on the pontoon bridge over the Luoshui

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  318. ^ (帝親帥太尉蔣濟等勒兵出迎天子,屯于洛水浮橋,上奏曰:「先帝詔陛下、 ... 伺察非常。」) Jin Shu vol. 1.
  319. ^

    “[...] Now, the da jiangjun Cao Shuang has disobeyed the testamentary charge and trampled down the laws of the land. Within his home he emulates the imperial dignity, without he abuses power. He has destroyed the barracks and taken possession of the entire palace bodyguard, appointed his intimates to various important offices and replaced the palace guards with his own men. He has fostered corruption, daily indulging in his wantonness. Thus is his conduct outside the palace. Then, he has appointed as dujiang the huang-men Zhang Dang (張當), who monopolizes important connections. He spies on Your Majesty's August Person, on the lookout to usurp the throne. He brings estrangement between the two palaces (i.e., the Emperor and the Empress Dowager), wounding the relationships of the blood. The empire is disturbed and the people sense danger. Your Majesty sits on the throne as a mere tolerated guest; how long can you remain in peace? This is not what the late Emperor intended when he ordered Your Majesty and me to mount the imperial couch.”

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  320. ^

    Receiving this memorial of Sima Yi’s, Cao Shuang intercepted it and did not pass it on to the Emperor. He was greatly distressed and at a loss what to do.

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  321. ^

    He detained the imperial carriage and made the Emperor pass the night on the south bank of the Yishui. He had trees hewed down to put up spiked barricades, and drafted several thousand troops of the agricultural colony as guards.

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  322. ^

    Sima Yi sent the shizhong Xu Yun (許允) of Gaoyang and the shang-shu Chen Tai to persuade Cao Shuang to plead guilty as early as possible. He further sent the dianzhong jiaoyu Yin Damu, a man trusted by Cao Shuang to assure Cao Shuang that there would result nothing more than his dismissal; by the Luoshui he took an oath of his good faith. Chen Tai was Chen Qun’s son.

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  323. ^

    Sima Yi observed to Jiang Ji, “The ‘bag of wisdom’ is gone.” “Huan Fan is indeed wise,” said Jiang Ji, “but stupid horses are too much attached to the beans in their manger. Cao Shuang is certain not to employ his counsel.”

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  324. ^ Jin Shu, Chronicle of Xuandi, reverses who says what:

    (大司農桓範出赴爽,蔣濟言於帝曰:「智囊往矣。」帝曰:「爽與範內踈而智不及,駑馬戀短豆,必不能用也。」) Jin Shu vol. 1.

  325. ^

    When he arrived, Huan Fan advised Cao Shuang and his younger brothers to escort the Emperor to Xuchang and draft troops from the four quarters to strengthen his position. Cao Shuang was dubious and remained undecided. Huan Fan said to Cao Xi, “The thing is clear as day. What is the use of your having studied books? Your House being today what it is, could you become poor and lowly even if you wanted to? Besides a commoner can still hope, by providing a hostage, to keep on living. You are now in the company of the emperor; if you command the empire, who will dare not to rally to you?”

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  326. ^

    They all said not a word. Huan Fan again spoke to Cao Xi, “You have another headquarters near at hand, south of the capital, and the Luo Yang Superintendent of Agriculture has his seat of office outside the city. Both are at your beck and call. If you go with the Emperor to Xu Chang, there is no need of staying more than two nights. The subsidiary arsenal to Xu Chang is adequate to arm the troops. Our only worry is provisions, but I happen to have the seal of da sinong with me.”

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  327. ^ (... 而夜遣侍中許允、尚書陳泰詣帝,觀望風旨。帝數其過失,事止免官。泰還以報爽,勸之通奏。帝又遣爽所信殿中校尉尹大目諭爽,指洛水為誓,爽意信之。 ... 終不能從,乃曰:「司馬公正當欲奪吾權耳。吾得以侯還第,不失為富家翁。」) Jin Shu vol. 1.
  328. ^

    Cao Xi and his brothers remained silent and did not consent. This lasted from early evening until dawn, when Cao Shuang threw his sword to the ground and said, “At any rate I shall not fail to remain a rich man.”

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  329. ^

    ”Huan Fan wailed and said, “Cao Zhen was a good man, yet sired you and your brothers, little pigs and calves that you are! I never expected to be involved with you and have my family annihilated.” Cao Shuang then passed Sima Yi’s memorial to the Emperor, requested a rescript of dismissal from office, and escorted the Emperor back to his palace.

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  330. ^

    After Cao Shuang and his brothers had returned to their residences, Sima Yi drafted some officials and soldiers of Luo Yang to surround and guard them. At the four corners he had high towers built and stationed men in them to watch Cao Shuang’s and his brothers’ movements. When Cao Shuang went to his rear garden, carrying a bow, the men in the towers would yell, ‘The former da jiangjun is going to the southeast. Cao Shuang was in despair and did not know what to do.

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  331. ^ ([嘉平元年春正月]戊戌,有司奏収黃門張當付廷尉,考實其辭,爽與謀不軌。又尚書丁謐、鄧颺、何晏、司隷校尉畢軌、荊州刺史李勝、大司農桓範皆與爽通姦謀,夷三族。) Sanguozhi vol. 4.
  332. ^

    On the day wu-xu (Feb. 9), the officials in charge memorialized the throne that the huang-men Zhang Dang, on his own authority, had given Cao Shuang the cairen (Accomplished Ladies) he had selected for the palace; and that there was a suspicion of illicit relations; Zhang Dang was arrested and sent to the tingyu for examination.

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  333. ^

    He told it that Cao Shuang, together with the shang-shu He Yan, Deng Yang, and Ding Mi, the sili jiaoyu Bi Gui, and the cishi of Jingzhou Li Sheng et al., had formed a conspiracy against the throne and were going to execute their plan in the third month (Mar. 31 – Apr. 29)

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  334. ^ Sakaguchi (2005), p. 162.
  335. ^ Watanabe (2006), p. 282.
  336. ^

    Thereupon, Cao Shuang, Cao Xi, Cao Xun, He Yan, Deng Yang, Ding Mi, Bi Gui, Li Sheng, and Huan Fan as well, were all imprisoned and charged with high treason. Together with Zhang Dang they were all put to death, and also the members of their families to the third degree.

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  337. ^ (既而有司劾黃門張當,并發爽與何晏等反事,乃收爽兄弟及其黨與何晏、丁謐、鄧颺、畢軌、李勝、桓範等誅之。蔣濟曰:「曹真之勳,不可以不祀。」帝不聽。) Jin Shu vol. 1.
  338. ^

    The officials in charge memorialized that Lu Zhi and Yang Zong be arrested and punished. The taifu Sima Yi said, “Each of them was serving his own master.” And pardoned them. Soon afterwards he appointed Lu Zhi yu-shi zhongcheng, and Yang Zong shangshulang.

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  339. ^ (範不從,乃突出至平昌城門,城門已閉。門候司蕃,故範舉吏也,範呼之,舉手中版以示之,矯曰:「有詔召我,卿促開門!」蕃欲求見詔書,範呵之,言「卿非我故吏邪,何以敢爾?」乃開之。範出城,顧謂蕃曰:「太傅圖逆,卿從我去!」蕃徒行不能及,遂避側。 ... 會司蕃詣鴻臚自首,具說範前臨出所道。宣王乃忿然曰:「誣人以反,於法何應?」主者曰:「科律,反受其罪。」乃收範於闕下。時人持範甚急,範謂部官曰:「徐之,我亦義士耳。」遂送廷尉。) Weilue annotation in Sanguozhi vol. 9.
  340. ^

    Xiahou Lingnu, the wife of Cao Shuang’s younger cousin Cao Wenshu had early become a widow and had no son. Her father Xiahou Wenning (夏侯文寧) wanted to re-marry her; Xiahou Lingnu cut off both her ears to show her determination not to marry again. She was a supporter of Cao Shuang. After Cao Shaung was put to death, her family sent up a letter to the throne repudiating any matrimonial relationship with the Cao, and compelled her to return intending to re-marry her. Xiahou Llingnu retired secretly to her bedroom, drew out a knife and cut off her nose. Her family was astonished and regretful.

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  341. ^

    “Our life in this world is like a particle of light dust on a blade of weak grass.” They said to her. “Why torment yourself to this extent? Besides, your husband’s family is completely exterminated. What purpose does it serve for you to persevere in your chastity?” Xiahou Lingnu said, “I have heard that a person of worth does not renounce his principles because of changes in fortune, nor a righteous person change his mind with a view to preservation or destruction. While the Cao flourished, I was bent on keeping my chastity. Now that they have declined and perished, can I bear to renounce them? Even animals do not act this way; how can I?” Hearing of this, Sima Yi commended her and gave her permission to adopt a son as heir to the Cao.

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  342. ^

    (懿感曹仲付己不一,豈爽與相干?事勢不專,以此陰成疵瑕。初無忠告侃爾之訓,一朝屠戮,讒其不意,豈大人經國篤本之事乎!若爽信有謀主之心,大逆已搆,而發兵之日,更以芳委爽兄弟。懿父子從後閉門舉兵,蹙而向芳,必無悉寧,忠臣為君深慮之謂乎?以此推之,爽無大惡明矣。若懿以爽奢僭,廢之刑之可也,滅其尺口,被以不義,絕子丹血食,及何晏子魏之親甥,亦與同戮,為僭濫不當矣。)

    Appendment to Fei Yi's Sanguozhi.

  343. ^ (二月,天子以帝為丞相,增封潁川之繁昌、鄢陵、新汲、父城,并前八縣,邑二萬戶,奏事不名。固讓丞相。) Jin Shu vol. 1.
  344. ^

    “On the day dingwei (Feb. 18), the Emperor appointed the taifu Sima Yi chengxiang (Prime Minister) and conferred on him the Nine Gifts; Sima Yi earnestly declined and did not accept.

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  345. ^

    Jin Shu, Chronicle of Xuandi differs in matters of dates and gives more details: “Second Month (March 1-30, 249). The Son of Heaven appointed Xuandi chengxiang, increased his fief with Fanchang, Yanling, Xinji and Fucheng, all in Yingchuan, which including his former fiefs made in all eight xian consisting of twenty-thousand households, and commanded that his ming should not be mentioned in memorials to the throne. He earnestly declined the appointment to chengxiang.

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  346. ^ (冬十二月,加九錫之禮,朝會不拜。固讓九錫。) Jin Shu vol. 1.
  347. ^

    Winter, twelfth month (January 20-February 18, 250). The Emperor conferred on him the Nine Gifts and gave him the privilege of not bowing at court; he earnestly declined to accept the Nine Gifts.”

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  348. ^ (二年春正月,天子命帝立廟于洛陽,置左右長史,增掾屬、舍人滿十人,歲舉掾屬任御史、秀才各一人,增官騎百人,鼓吹十四人,封子肜平樂亭侯,倫安樂亭侯。帝以久疾不任朝請,每有大事,天子親幸第以諮訪焉。) Jin Shu vol. 1.
  349. ^

    Wang Ling and Linghu Yu, regarding the emperor as unintelligent, weak, and controlled by a powerful minister (Sima Yi), and hearing that Cao Biao, Prince of Chu, was intelligent and courageous, plotted to enthrone the latter, with Xu Chang as capital.

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  350. ^ (兗州刺史令狐愚、太尉王淩貳於帝,謀立楚王彪。) Jin Shu vol. 1.
  351. ^

    Winter, eleventh month (Dec. 22, 249 – Jan. 19, 250). Linghu Yu again sent Zhang Shi to the Prince of Chu; before he had returned, it happened that Linghu Yu died of illness.

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  352. ^

    The taiyu Wang Ling, learning that the Wu were obstructing the water of the Tu, wanted to take this opportunity to put troops into action (for his own purposes).

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  353. ^ (三年春正月,王淩詐言吳人塞涂水,請發兵以討之。帝潛知其計,不聽。) Jin Shu vol. 1.
  354. ^

    Wang Ling, growing bolder in his conspiracy, sent his general Yang Hong (陽弘) to acquaint the cishi of Yanzhou Huang Hua with this plan for deposing the Emperor and enthroning the Prince of Chu. Huang Hua and Yang Hong signed their names together and reported the matter to Sima Yi.

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  355. ^

    Grand Tutor Sīmǎ [Yì] Xuān-wáng secretly led the army on an eastern expedition, appointing Dàn as General Defending the East, with Acting Staff of Authority as Commander of Yángzhōu’s various military affairs, and fief as Marquis of Shānyáng precinct.

    Sanguozhi, Chen Shou.

  356. ^

    Sima Yi took the Central Army down the river for punitive action against Wang Ling. First he proclaimed a pardon absolving Wang Ling of his crime, and then sent a letter remonstrating with him; then suddenly the main forces arrived at Baichi.

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  357. ^

    Knowing he was at the end of his resources, Wang Ling took a boat and came out alone to welcome Sima Yi. He sent ahead his yuan Wang Yu (王彧) to plead guilty for him, and returned his seal as well as his Tally and Ax. When Sima Yi's army reached Qiutou, Wang Ling came to the bank of the Ying-shui and there had himself bound. Sima Yi, in accordance with an imperial command, sent his jubu to free him from his bonds.

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  358. ^

    He halted his boat on the Huai a hundred odd feet away from Sima Yi. Perceiving that the latter was not friendly toward him, Wang Ling addressed Sima Yi from this distance, “If you had summoned me by a wooden slip, could I have dared not to come? Why do you have to come with the army?” Sima Yi said, “Because you are not one to obey the call of a wooden slip.” Wang Ling said, “You have failed me!” Sima Yi said, “I would rather fail you than fail the State.”

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  359. ^

    In the end, he sent six hundred foot and horse to escort him west to the capital.

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  360. ^

    As a feeler, Wang Ling asked for nails for his coffin, in order to see what Sima Yi’s intentions were; Sima Yi had them given to him.

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  361. ^ ([嘉平三年]四月甲申, ... 丙午,聞太尉王淩謀廢帝,立楚王彪,太傅司馬宣王東征淩。五月甲寅,淩自殺。) Sanguozhi vol. 4.
  362. ^

    Fifth month. On the day jiayin (June 15), Wang Ling, having reached Xiang on the way, drank poison and died.

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  363. ^

    Sima Yi moved on to Shou Chun. Zhang Shi (張式) and other all confessed their crime. Sima Yi investigated the case to the bottom. All incriminated in the case, and their relatives to the third degree, were exterminated.

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  364. ^ (天子遣侍中韋誕持節勞軍于五池。帝至自甘城,天子又使兼大鴻臚、太僕庾嶷持節,策命帝為相國,封安平郡公,孫及兄子各一人為列侯,前後食邑五萬戶,侯者十九人。固讓相國、郡公不受。) Jin Shu vol. 1.
  365. ^ (世語曰:淮妻,王淩之妹。淩誅,妹當從坐,御史往收。督將及羌、胡渠帥數千人叩頭請淮表留妻,淮不從。妻上道,莫不流涕,人人扼腕,欲劫留之。淮五子叩頭流血請淮,淮不忍視,乃命左右追妻。於是追者數千騎,數日而還。淮以書白司馬宣王曰:「五子哀母,不惜其身;若無其母,是無五子;無五子,亦無淮也。今輒追還,若於法未通,當受罪於主者,覲展在近。」書至,宣王亦宥之。) Shiyu annotation in Sanguozhi vol. 26.
  366. ^

    After Linghu Yu’s death, Yang Kang (楊康) was given an appointment by the situ and came to Luo Yang, where he divulged the conspiracy of Linghu Yu.

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  367. ^

    When he came to Shou Chun Sima Yi saw Shan Gu and asked him, “Did Linghu Yu plot a rebellion?” Shan Gu said he did not. However, Yang Kang had reported that Shan Gu was involved in the conspiracy, so Shan Gu and his family were all arrested and given in charge of the ting-yu. Tortured and questioned dozens of times, Shan Gu remained firm in his denial. Sima Yi called in Yang Kang and checked Shan Gu’s statement with his.

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  368. ^

    No longer able to parry, Shan Gu abused Yang Kang, “You old slave, you have first betrayed the Prefect and then would exterminate my family. Do you think you will be kept alive?” At first Yang Kang hoped to be enfeoffed. As it turned out, because of his inconsistent statements he also was sentenced to death.

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  369. ^

    Going to be executed, they both came out of the prison together. Shan Gu again abused Yang Kang, “You old slave, your death is only just. If the dead are conscious, how will you have the face to go to the underworld?”

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  370. ^

    The tombs of Wang Ling and Linghu Yu were opened, their coffins chopped apart, and their corpses exposed in the nearest market place for three days. Their seals and Court garments were burned and their corpses buried in bare ground.

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  371. ^

    Sixth month (July 6 – Aug 3). The Prince of Chu, Cao Biao was commanded to commit suicide.

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  372. ^ (夏四月,帝自帥中軍,汎舟沿流,九日而到甘城。淩計無所出,乃迎于武丘,面縛水次,曰:「淩若有罪,公當折簡召淩,何苦自來邪!」帝曰:「以君非折簡之客故耳。」即以淩歸于京師。道經賈逵廟,淩呼曰:「賈梁道!王淩是大魏之忠臣,惟爾有神知之。」至項,仰鴆而死。收其餘黨,皆夷三族,并殺彪。悉錄魏諸王公置于鄴,命有司監察,不得交關。) Jin Shu vol. 1.
  373. ^

    All the imperial Princes and Dukes were brought to Ye, and officials were made to watch over them and see that they did not have relations with the world.

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  374. ^

    In the 6th Month, the Emperor was bedridden by illness. He dreamt of Jia Kui and Wang Ling as ghosts that greatly hated him.

    Jin Shu vol. 1.

  375. ^ (六月,帝寢疾,夢賈逵、王淩為祟,甚惡之。秋八月戊寅,崩于京師,時年七十三。天子素服臨弔,喪葬威儀依漢霍光故事,追贈相國、郡公。弟孚表陳先志,辭郡公及轀輬車。) Jin Shu vol. 1.
  376. ^ (九月庚申,葬于河陰,謚曰文貞,後改謚文宣。先是,預作終制,於首陽山為土藏,不墳不樹;作顧命三篇,斂以時服,不設明器,後終者不得合葬。一如遺命。) Jin Shu vol. 1.
  377. ^

    The Emperor appointed his son, the wei jiangjun Sima Shi to be fujun da jiangjun and lu shang-shu shi.

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  378. ^

    The wei jiangjun Sima Zhao went from Luoyang to inquire after Sima Shi's health. Sima Shi ordered him to take command of all the forces. On the day xinhai (March 23), Sima Shi died at Xuchang.

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  379. ^

    Second month. On the day tingsi (march 29), the Emperor appointed Sima Zhao to be da jiangjun and lu shangshu shi.

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  380. ^

    On the day jimao (May 2), the rank of the Duke of Jin was advanced to that of Prince of Jin, with an additional ten prefectures as his fief.

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  381. ^

    On the day guiwei (July 5), the Lord of Wenxuan of Wuyang, Sima Yi, was posthumously enfeoffed as Prince Xuan of Jin, and the Lord of Zhongwu (of Wuyang), Sima Shi as Prince Jing of Jin.

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  382. ^

    SGZ has: “In autumn, in the eighth month, on the day xinmao, the xiangguo, Prince of Jin, died.” Jin Shu, Chronicle of Wendi states: “In autumn, in the eighth month, on the day xinmao, Wendi died in his main hall at the age of fifty-five.” Sima Zhao lived 211-265 AD.

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  383. ^

    SGZ has: “On the day renchen (September 7), the Crown Prince of Jin, Sima Yan, succeeded to his enfeoffment and inherited his rank; he assumed the Presidency of the myriad officials and had gifts and documents of appointments conferred upon him, all in conformity with ancient institutions.”

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  384. ^ (晉國初建,追尊曰宣王。武帝受禪,上尊號曰宣皇帝,陵曰高原,廟稱高祖。) Jin Shu vol. 1.
  385. ^ (高士傳曰:初,晉宣帝為布衣時,與昭有舊。同郡周生等謀害帝,昭聞而步陟險,邀生於崤、澠之間,止生,生不肯。昭泣與結誠,生感其義,乃止。昭因與斫棗樹共盟而別。昭雖有陰德於帝,口終不言,人莫知之。) Gaoshi Zhuan annotation in Sanguozhi vol. 11.
  386. ^ (魏略雲:晉宣帝好學,曹洪自以麄踈,屈身輔帝。帝恥往訪,乃託病拄杖。洪恨之,以語太祖。太祖召帝,乃投杖以應命。) Beitang Shuchao vol. 133.
  387. ^ (魏武察帝有雄豪志,聞有狼顧相,欲驗之。乃召使前行,令反顧,面正向後而身不動。) Jin Shu vol. 1.
  388. ^ (操病勢轉加。忽一夜夢三馬同槽而食,及曉,問賈詡曰:「孤向日曾夢三馬同槽,疑是馬騰父子為禍;今騰已死,昨宵復夢三馬同槽,主何吉凶?」詡曰:「祿馬吉兆也。祿馬歸於曹,王上何必疑乎?」操因此不疑。後人有詩曰:三馬同槽事可疑,不知已植晉根基。曹瞞空有奸雄略,豈識朝中司馬師?) Sanguo Yanyi ch. 78.
  389. ^ (又嘗夢三馬同食一槽,甚惡焉。因謂太子丕曰:「司馬懿非人臣也,必預汝家事。」太子素與帝善,每相全佑,故免。帝於是勤於吏職,夜以忘寢,至於芻牧之間,悉皆臨履,由是魏武意遂安。) Jin Shu vol. 1.
  390. ^ (其後柏夫人有寵,后罕得進見。帝嘗臥疾,后往省病。帝曰:「老物可憎,何煩出也!」后慚恚不食,將自殺,諸子亦不食。帝驚而致謝,后乃止。帝退而謂人曰:「老物不足惜,慮困我好兒耳!」) Jin Shu vol. 31.
  391. ^ (初,文懿聞魏師之出也,請救於孫權。權亦出兵遙為之聲援,遺文懿書曰:「司馬公善用兵,變化若神,所向無前,深為弟憂之。」) Jin Shu vol. 1.
  392. ^

    “Please wait for further communication. I comply with the message. I will share fortune with my younger brother (i.e. Gongsun Yuan) and live or die in his company; even if I perish in the Central Plain (i.e. Wei territory), I shall be happy.” He further said, “Sima Yi is invincible wherever he goes. I am seriously worried on behalf of my younger brother.”

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  393. ^

    “Now Sima Yi cannot be fathomed, but what he does never runs contrary to the situation. He gives his assignments to the worthy and capable, and liberally credits those who are better than he; he practices the laws of the former rulers and satisfies the people’s desire. Of whatever Cao Shuang did wrong, he has left nothing uncorrected. He does not relax his efforts day and night, his primary aim being to soothe the people. [...]

    Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Achilles Fang.

  394. ^ (明帝時,王導侍坐。帝問前世所以得天下,導乃陳帝創業之始,及文帝末高貴鄉公事。明帝以面覆牀曰:「若如公言,晉祚復安得長遠!」) Jin Shu vol. 1.
  395. ^ (帝內忌而外寬,猜忌多權變。) Jin Shu vol. 1.
  396. ^ (及平公孫文懿,大行殺戮。誅曹爽之際,支黨皆夷及三族,男女無少長,姑姊妹女子之適人者皆殺之,既而竟遷魏鼎云。 ... 迹其猜忍,蓋有符於狼顧也。) Jin Shu vol. 1.
  397. ^

    (天子在外,內起甲兵,陵土未乾,遽相誅戮,貞臣之體,寧若此乎!盡善之方,以斯為惑。夫征討之策,豈東智而西愚?輔佐之心,何前忠而後亂?故晉明掩面,恥欺偽以成功;石勒肆言,笑姦回以定業。古人有云,「積善三年,知之者少;為惡一日,聞于天下」,可不謂然乎!雖自隱過當年,而終見嗤後代。亦猶竊鍾掩耳,以眾人為不聞;銳意盜金,謂市中為莫覩。故知貪于近者則遺遠,溺于利者則傷名;若不損己以益人,則當禍人而福己。) Jin Shu vol. 1, Appraisal (評).

  • Chen Shou (3rd century). Records of the Three Kingdoms (Sanguozhi, 三國志).
  • de Crespigny, Rafe (1996). To Establish Peace: Being the Chronicle of Later Han for the years 189 to 220 AD as recorded in Chapters 59 to 69 of the Zizhi tongjian of Sima Guang. Canberra: Faculty of Asian Studies, Australian National University. ISBN 0-7315-2526-4.
  • de Crespigny, Rafe (2007). A Biographical Dictionary of Later Han to the Three Kingdoms (23-220 AD). Leiden: Brill. ISBN 978-90-04-15605-0.
  • de Crespigny, Rafe (2010). Imperial Warlord: A Biography of Cao Cao 155-220 AD. Leiden: Brill. ISBN 978-90-04-18522-7.
  • Fang, Achilles (1952). Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms (Translation of and Annotation to Chapters 69 to 78 of the Zizhi Tongjian from Sima Guang).
  • Fang Xuanling (ed.) (648). Book of Jin (Jin Shu, 晉書).
  • Gardiner, K.H.J. "The Kung-sun Warlords of Liao-tung (189-238)". Papers on Far Eastern History 5 (Canberra, March 1972). 59-107.
  • Gardiner, K.H.J. "The Kung-sun Warlords of Liao-tung (189-238) - Continued". Papers on Far Eastern History 6 (Canberra, September 1972). 141-201.
  • Pei Songzhi (5th century). Annotations to Records of the Three Kingdoms (Sanguozhi zhu, 三國志注).
  • Sakaguchi, Wazumi (ed.) (2005). Seishi Sangokushi Gunyu Meimeiden (正史三國志群雄銘銘傳). Tokyo: Kojinsha.
  • Sima Guang (1084). Zizhi Tongjian (資治通鑑).
  • Watanabe, Seiichi (ed.) (2006). Moichidomanabitai Sangokushi (もう一度学びたい 三国志). Tokyo: Seitosha.
  • Yu Huan (3rd century). Weilüe (魏略).
  • Yu Shinan (7th century). Beitang Shuchao (北堂書鈔).

External links

Media related to Sima Yi at Wikimedia Commons