Liu Kun (Jin dynasty)

Liu Kun (270–318), courtesy name Yueshi, was a Chinese military general and poet of the Jin dynasty. He was a famous writer during the Western Jin dynasty and was known for his services as the Inspector of Bingzhou where he continuously fought with the growing threat of the Xiongnu-led Han Zhao dynasty. Despite his determination and active role in fighting back Han Zhao, he lacked the sufficient skills in administration and military to match his enemies and suffered repeated losses to Liu Yao and Shi Le. He was eventually driven out from Bingzhou after suffering a decisive defeat to Shi Le in 316 and fled to Youzhou, where he allied with the Xianbei chieftain, Duan Pidi. However, after Pidi suspected him of betrayal, he was eventually executed via strangulation in 318.

Liu Kun
Inspector of Bing Province (幷州刺史)
In office
306 (306)–316 (316)
MonarchEmperor Hui of Jin/Emperor Huai of Jin/Emperor Min of Jin
Personal details
Spouse(s)Lady Cui
RelationsLiu Yu (brother)
Sima Lun's daughter-in-law (sister)
ChildrenLiu Zun
Liu Qun
  • Liu Fan (father)
  • Lady Guo (mother)
OccupationMilitary general, poet
Courtesy nameYueshi (越石)
Posthumous nameMin (愍)

Early life and careerEdit

Liu Kun was born in Weichang county, Zhongshan commandery and it was said that he was a descendant of the Han prince, Liu Sheng.[1] Both his father Liu Fan (劉蕃) and grandfather Liu Mai (劉邁) had both served as government officials. Together with his brother Liu Yu (劉輿), Liu Kun achieved celebrity status for his talent in writing whilst working in the Jin capital in Luoyang. The two brothers earned the epithet junlang (儁朗), which meant "outstanding and bright" and were part of Shi Chong’s inner circle called the "Twenty-Four Friends of Jingu (二十四友)”, a group of celebrities who were close associates with Empress Jia’s nephew, Jia Mi.[2] Unfortunately, none of Liu Kun's works during his time with the group survived.

War of the Eight PrincesEdit

Service under Sima Lun and Sima JiongEdit

A civil war broke out in 301 when Emperor Hui of Jin’s regent, Sima Lun deposed him and declared himself emperor. Liu Kun’s family sided with Sima Lun against Sima Jiong, Ying and Yong’s coalition as Kun’s sister was married to Sima Lun’s daughter.[3] Liu Kun commanded an army at the Battle of Huangqiao (黃橋, in present-day Taixing, Jiangsu) but he and his allies retreated after being decisively defeated.[4] By the middle of the year, Sima Lun was overthrown and forced to commit suicide while Sima Jiong becomes Emperor Hui’s new regent. Jiong had many of Lun’s subordinate executed but he was impressed with the talents possessed by Liu Kun’s family, so he gave them appointments in his new government. After Jiong was killed in battle against Sima Ai in 303, the Liu family went to serve the Prince of Fanyang, Sima Xiao (司馬虓).

Service under Sima Xiao and war with Liu QiaoEdit

In 305, Sima Xiao entered a coalition led by Sima Yue against Sima Ying and Yong with Liu Kun as his Marshal. The Inspector of Yuzhou, Liu Qiao (劉喬), defected from Sima Yue to Sima Yong after Xiao was chosen to replace his command in Yuzhou. In a letter to the court, he denounced Liu Kun and Liu Yu for crimes and offenses while stating his intention in attacking Sima Xiao’s base in Xuchang. Due to Xuchang’s poor defences, the city easily fell to Liu Qiao and Sima Xiao with Liu Kun and Liu Yu fled to Jizhou.

At Jizhou, Liu Kun managed to convince its inspector, Wen Xian (溫羨), who happened to be a relative of his, to give up his post to Sima Xiao. With a province at hand, Liu Kun was sent to Youzhou to request assistance from the commander of the province, Wang Jun. Wang Jun provided him with his Xianbei and Wuhuan cavalries and with them Liu Kun defeated the enemy general Wang Chen at Heshang. Liu Kun continued a string of victory over Shi Chao (石超) at Xingyang and Sima Mao (司馬楙) at Linqiu (廩丘, in present-day Heze, Shandong) before finally routing Liu Qiao in 306. Liu Qiao fled while Sima Xiao reclaimed Xuchang.[5]

Liu Qiao’s demise caused Sima Yong to panic, and he tried to sue for peace with Sima Yue. He beheaded his Grand Commander Zhang Fang and delivered the head to Yue, but the offer was rejected. Instead, the head was given to Liu Kun, who used it to convince Lü Lang (呂朗) and Sima Yong’s other generals to surrender.[6]

Inspector of BingzhouEdit

Restoring BingzhouEdit

The war neared its end, and Sima Yue, at the advice of Liu Yu, appointed Liu Kun as the Inspector of Bingzhou to guard the northern borders.[7] The province at the time was ravaged with poor harvests and constant raids by barbarians and bandits. When the previous inspector Sima Teng (司馬騰) left, the bandits took over the roads, forcing Liu Kun to fight his way to his base in Jinyang (晉陽縣; present-day Jinyuan District, Taiyuan, Shanxi). Liu Kun reached Jinyang in 307, and along the way he found the countryside and ministers plundered or burnt to the ground. The Xiongnu noble, Liu Yuan, who had established his state of Han Zhao back in 304, ordered his general Liu Jing (劉景) to intercept Liu Kun from reaching Jinyang but he was defeated.[8] Liu Kun restored order over the region, and within a year Bingzhou would recover from its poor state.[9]

The following year, Liu Yuan invaded Bingzhou again, this time sending Liu Cong, Wang Mi and Shi Le to conquer Huguan county. Liu Kun sent his subordinate Huang Su (黃肅) and Han Shu (韓述) to reinforce the county but Liu Cong killed the two of them in battle while reinforcements sent by Sima Yue were routed by Wang Mi. In the end, his Administrator of Shangdang, Pang Chun (龐淳), surrendered Huguan to Han.

Alliance with Tuoba Yilu and conflict with Wang JunEdit

Shortly after this defeat, Liu Kun campaigned against the Tiefu Xiongnu, led by Liu Hu (劉虎), and the Xianbei Bai (鮮卑皆) tribe who had sided with Liu Yuan. In 310, Liu Kun allied himself with Tuoba Yilu, chieftain of the Tuoba Xianbei, and with Yilu’s nephew, Tuoba Yulü, they routed Liu Hu and his allies. Soon after, Liu Kun developed a brotherly bond with Tuoba Yilu. As a reward for his assistance, Liu Kun sent a petition to the court, demanding that Yilu be appointed Grand Chanyu and receive Dai commandery as a fief.[10] The petition was accepted but it also angered Liu Kun’s colleague, Wang Jun, who saw Dai as a part of his territory. Wang Jun attack Yilu but his forces were repelled. Because of this, Liu Kun and Wang Jun developed a heated rivalry, one that would be exploited by their enemies in Han.

The next year, Liu Kun discovered that the mother and nephew of Han’s general, Shi Le were wandering in his territory. Liu Kun delivered Lady Wang (王氏) and Shi Hu to Shi Le, along with a letter convincing him to side with Jin. Shi Le rejected his letter but still returned him gifts for returning him his mother.[11] Later that year, Liu Kun realized that population growth in Bingzhou was stagnant, and with the recent battles, the population was beginning to decline. To fix this, Liu Kun ordered his kinsman Liu Xi (劉希) to gather people from Wang Jun’s territories while also requesting from Tuoba Yilu for additional troops. Liu Xi’s failed at his task, as Wang Jun discovered his intrusion and had his generals defeat and kill Liu Xi in battle. His deal with Tuoba Yilu also ended disastrously, as an altercation between Yilu’s candidate, Tuoba Liuxiu (拓跋六脩) and Liu Kun’s officer Xing Yan (邢延) led to Xing defecting and surrendering Xinxing commandery (新興, in present-day Xinzhou, Shanxi) to Han.[12]

Xu Run affairEdit

In 312, Liu Kun appointed a man named Xu Run (徐潤) as the Prefect of Jinyang. Xu had impressed Liu Kun through his musical talents to earn his position, but his administration showed his cruelty and corruption. The Army Protector, Linghu Sheng (令狐盛) urged Liu Kun to get rid off Xu Run but his advice fell on deaf ears. Hearing this, Xu Run slandered Linghu Sheng to the point that Liu Kun decided to execute him.[13] Sheng’s son, Linghu Ni (令狐泥) fled to Han, where he revealed to the now emperor Liu Cong of Kun’s situation. Liu Cong sent Liu Yao and Liu Can with Linghu Ni as a guide to conquer Bingzhou, and the Han forces managed to force Liu Kun out of Jinyang.[14] Linghu Ni also killed both of Liu Kun’s parents while they were fleeing with him. Liu Kun managed to recapture Jinyang with Tuoba Yilu’s assistance but by that time the city had been sacked by Liu Yao. Liu Kun regathered his scattered forces and made way to his new capital in Yangqu.

Fall of BingzhouEdit

The following year, Liu Kun and Tuoba Yilu attacked Xiping but movements by Han troops persuaded them to retreat. In 314, Shi Le was planning to finish off Wang Jun in Youzhou. Shi Le wrote a letter pretending to look weak by asking Liu Kun for permission to attack Wang while also sending hostages to him. Liu Kun believed the letter and was delighted, even going as far as to spread this news throughout his domain. However, things took a turn after Shi Le captured and executed Wang Jun, causing Liu Kun to realize that he had been trick. Furthermore, Shi Le’s recent victory prompted many of those in Tuoba Yilu’s domain to defect, forcing Yilu to purge many families in Dai.[15]

Tuoba Yilu was assassinated by Tuoba Liuxiu in 316. Dai fell into civil war between Liuxiu and Tuoba Pugen which caused Yilu’s general Ji Dan (箕澹) and Wei Xiong (衞雄) to join Liu Kun with thousands of families and livestock. Morale in Liu Kun’s territory arose as their recent fortunes meant that there was a chance to turn the tides. However, not long after, Shi Le besieged the Administrator of Leping (樂平, in present-day Shanxi), Han Ju (韓據) at Diancheng (坫城). Liu Kun accepted Han Ju’s call for help and insisted on using his newly received forces. Ji Dan and Wei Xiong remonstrated him, saying that the troops were not loyal to him yet and that they should be kept for the future. Liu Kun ignored their advices and ordered Ji Dan with the whole army to attack Shi Le.[16] Shi Le greatly routed Ji Dan, causing him and Wei Xiong to flee back to Dai. Meanwhile, Han Ju abandoned Tiancheng to Shi Le as reinforcements failed to relief him. With Liu Kun’s army on the brink of destruction, Liu Kun’s Chief Clerk, Li Hong (李弘), handed over Bingzhou to Han.[17]

Final years and deathEdit

Alliance with Duan PidiEdit

After the loss of Bing Province, Liu Kun was left with nothing and nowhere to go. Hearing this, Inspector of Youzhou and a head of the Duan tribe, Duan Pidi, sent a letter to Liu Kun inviting him to his headquarters in Jicheng. Liu Kun met him, and the two men started a mutual relationship, arranging a marriage between their relatives.[18] In 317, they swore an oath with each other and sent a joint petition to Sima Rui in Jiankang insisting he claim the imperial title. Liu Kun's envoy was Wen Jiao, whose aunt was married to Liu Kun. The same year, both men planned an attack against Shi Le with Duan Pidi's brothers, but the plan was axed as Pidi's brothers refused to take orders from him. The following year, after Sima Rui ascended the throne as Emperor Yuan of Jin, Liu Kun was appointed Palace Attendant and Defender-in-Chief and was presented a famous sword.

Accusation of betrayal and deathEdit

Despite his newfound ally and base, Liu Kun would soon meet his end at the hands of Duan Pidi. Duan Pidi's brother and chieftain of the Duan, Duan Jilujuan passed away. His cousin Duan Mopei took advantage of his death to usurp the tribe's power. After killing his uncle and cousin's successor, Duan Shefuchen, Duan Mopei attacked Duan Pidi who was travelling to attend the funeral, causing him to retreat. In the assault, Liu Kun's eldest son, Liu Qun (劉群) was captured by Duan Mopei.[19] Duan Mopei treated him with respect and even convinced him to write a letter to his father inviting him over to his side. The letter, however, was intercepted by Duan Pidi's scouts.

Duan Pidi showed the letter to Liu Kun, who at the time had not known of the events that happened. Liu Kun assured Pidi that he would not betray him, even if the letter was indeed from his son. Duan Pidi initially let him off but his younger brother, Duan Shujun (段叔軍), told him: "We are tribesmen, after all, and anyone who can retain the loyalty of the Jin people will fear our own forces. Now there is this strife within our family, splitting apart the flesh and the bones, and Liu Kun must have planned for this day all along. If you allow Liu Kun to rise, it will mean the end of all our clan." Duan Pidi heeded his advice and arrested Liu Kun.

When news of Liu Kun's arrest came out, Kun's son, Liu Zun mounted a defence in his camp but was quickly defeated by Duan Pidi. Two of Liu Kun's generals Pilü Song (辟閭嵩) and Han Ju, also planned to do the same, but their plot was leaked, so Pidi captured and executed them along with their other collaborators. Sima Rui's powerful general in the south, Wang Dun, had always despised Liu Kun. Upon hearing his arrest, Wang secretly sent a messenger to Duan Pidi asking him to kill Liu Kun. On the 22nd of June, while claiming that he had received an imperial edict, Duan Pidi had Liu Kun strangled along with four of his sons and nephews.[20]


Some of Liu Kun's followers, including Lu Chen and Cui Yue (崔悅), fled to Duan Mopei, where they acclaimed Liu Qun as their leader while others went to serve with Shi Le. Because he killed Liu Kun and broke his oath, Duan Pidi lost the trust of both the Han Chinese and tribal people. Although Sima Rui permitted no one to hold mourning for him to ensure Duan Pidi's allegiance to Jin, both Wen Jiao and Duan Mopei petitioned that Liu Kun be honored posthumously as he had been a loyal Jin subject. Some years later, Liu Kun was posthumously appointed as Grand Commandant and Palace Attendant and given the posthumous name "Min (愍)" or "the Lamented".[21]


Liu Kun had at least two sons, Liu Zun (劉遵, who was a son to his father's concubine) and Liu Qun.

Liu ZunEdit

When Liu Kun first allied himself with Tuoba Yilu, Liu Zun was sent to Dai to serve as a hostage to ensure Liu Kun's loyalty. He was returned to his father in 316 by Ji Dan and Wei Xiong when they fled to him to escape Dai. After Duan Pidi arrested Liu Kun in 318, Zun mounted a defense in his own camp against Pidi but was swiftly defeated and captured. His final fate is not recorded but it is most likely he was one of the four sons and nephews executed alongside his father.[22]

Liu QunEdit

Liu Kun's other son, Liu Qun, courtesy name Gongdu (公度), was described as cautious and good at passing judgement. Prior to his capture by Duan Mopei in 318, he followed his father and fought during his march to Jinyang in 307, helping him secure the provincial capital. After Qun was acclaimed as his father's successor, he remained with the Duan clan for roughly two decades, eventually becoming one of Duan Liao's Chief Clerks of the Left and Right. In 338, amidst the Later Zhao and Former Yan joint campaign on the Duan clan, Liu Qun together with Lu Chen and Cui Yue surrendered to the Zhao forces, and Shi Hu, now ruler of Zhao, appointed Liu Qun the Inspector of Qinzhou. In 349, Shi Hu's Han Chinese grandson, Shi Min took over the government and installed his uncle Shi Jian as a puppet emperor. Liu Qun appears to have supported Shi Min, as he was made Supervisor of the Left of the Masters of Writing by Min himself. Shi Min eventually formed the state of Ran Wei in 350, changing his name to Ran Min in the process, and Liu Qun became his Deputy Director. Liu was later killed by invading Former Yan forces in 352.[23]


Although Liu Kun only has three surviving poems, he was famous for his works as a poet, his most known being the "Song of Fufeng (扶風歌)". The poem is written during Liu Kun's trip from Luoyang to Jinyang between 306 and 307 and centres around his reluctance in leaving the capital. The poem is unique for its time as it contains elements of poems from the Jian'an and early Cao Wei period. His other two poems are from two letters he exchanged with his wife's nephew, Lu Chen between 317 and 318. They are known as "Poem for Lu Chen (贈盧諶詩)" and "Response to Lu Chen (答盧諶詩)". His poems were compiled in a Liang Dynasty catalog as the "Liu Kun Ji (劉琨集)".[24]


"Rising at Cockcrow to Practice the Sword"Edit

During his time as Registrar in Sichuan in the 290s, Liu Kun befriended a colleague named Zu Ti, who would later become one of Western Jin's most famous general. When they were sleeping in the same bed one night, they heard a rooster's crow at midnight. As this was a bad omen, Zu Ti kicked Liu Kun awake, telling him "This is no evil sound!" The two men got up and performed a sword dance. This event inspired the Chinese phrase "rising at cockcrow to practice the sword (聞雞起舞)".[25]

Lifting a siege by playing a fluteEdit

Another anecdote tells of how Liu Kun drove back a Xiongnu army by playing the nomad flute. His headquarters in Jinyang was constantly besieged by the Xiongnu. In one of these sieges, Liu Kun took advantage of the moonlight to climb a tall building, where he began to whistle cleanly. This caught the attention of the invaders, who went heart-sore and made long sighs because of Liu Kun's whistling. Liu Kun then began playing the nomad flute with his men. The songs that Liu Kun played reminded the barbarians of their homelands and how much they miss it. Towards dawn, Liu Kun played the flute again, this time convincing the invaders to leave and abandon the siege.[26]


  1. ^ (劉琨,字越石,中山魏昌人,漢中山靖王勝之後也。) Book of Jin, Volume 62
  2. ^ (石崇、歐陽建、陸機、陸雲之徒,並以文才降節事謐,琨兄弟亦在其間,號曰「二十四友」。) Book of Jin, Volume 62
  3. ^ (倫子荂,即琨姊婿也,故琨父子兄弟並爲倫所委任。及篡,荂爲皇太子,琨爲荂詹事。) Book of Jin, Volume 62
  4. ^ (許超等與成都王穎軍戰于黃橋,殺傷萬餘人... 而士猗、伏胤、孫會皆杖節各不相從。倫復授太子詹事劉琨節,督河北將軍,率步騎千人催諸軍戰。會等與義軍戰于激水,大敗,退保河上,劉琨燒斷河橋。) Book of Jin, Volume 59
  5. ^ (劉琨說冀州刺史太原溫羨,使讓位於范陽王虓。虓領冀州,遣琨詣幽州乞師於王浚;浚以突騎資之,擊王闡於河上,殺之。琨遂與虓引兵濟河,斬石超於滎陽。劉喬自考城引退。虓遣琨及督護田徽東擊東平王楙於廩丘,楙走還國。琨、徽引兵東迎越,擊劉祐於譙;祐敗死,喬衆遂潰,喬奔平氏。司空越進屯陽武,王浚遣其將祁弘帥突騎鮮卑、烏桓爲越先驅。) Zizhi Tongjian, Volume 86
  6. ^  (顒先遣將呂朗等據滎陽,范陽王虓司馬劉琨以方首示朗,於是朗降。) Book of Jin, Volume 59
  7. ^ (輿說越遣其弟琨鎭幷州,以爲北面之重;越表琨爲幷州刺史,以東燕王騰爲車騎將軍、都督鄴城諸軍事,鎭鄴。) Zizhi Tongjian, Volume 86
  8. ^ (騰懼,率并州二萬餘戶下山東,遂所在為寇... 以其前將軍劉景為使持節、征討大都督、大將軍,要擊并州刺史劉琨于版橋,為琨所敗,琨遂據晉陽。) Book of Jin, Volume 101
  9. ^ (劉琨至上黨,東燕王騰卽自井陘東下。時幷州饑饉,數爲胡寇所掠,郡縣莫能自保。州將田甄、甄弟蘭、任祉、祁濟、李惲、薄盛等及吏民萬餘人,悉隨騰就穀冀州,號爲「乞活」,所餘之戶不滿二萬;寇賊縱橫,道路斷塞。琨募兵上黨,得五百人,轉鬬而前。至晉陽,府寺焚毀,邑野蕭條,琨撫循勞徠,流民稍集。) Zizhi Tongjian, Volume 86
  10. ^ (三年,晉并州刺史劉琨遣使,以子遵為質。帝嘉其意,厚報饋之。白部大人叛入西河,鐵弗劉虎舉眾於雁門以應之,攻琨新興、雁門二郡。琨來乞師,帝使弟子平文皇帝將騎二萬,助琨擊之,大破白部;次攻劉虎,屠其營落... 晉懷帝進帝大單于,封代公。) Book of Northern Wei, Volume 1
  11. ^ (初,勒之爲人所掠賣也,與其母王氏相失。劉琨得之,幷其從子虎送於勒,因遺勒書曰︰「將軍用兵如神,所向無敵,所以周流天下而無容足之地,百戰百勝而無尺寸之功者,蓋得主則爲義兵,附逆則爲賊衆故也。成敗之數,有似呼吸,吹之則寒,噓之則溫。今相授侍中、車騎大將軍、領護匈奴中郎將、襄城郡公,將軍其受之!」勒報書曰︰「事功殊途,非腐儒所知。君當逞節本朝,吾自夷難爲效。」遺琨名馬、珍寶,厚禮其使,謝而絕之。) Zizhi Tongjian, Volume 87
  12. ^ (琨牙門將邢延以碧石獻琨,琨以與六脩,六脩復就延求之,不得,執延妻子。延怒,以所部兵襲六脩,六脩走,延遂以新興附漢,請兵以攻幷州。) Zizhi Tongjian, Volume 87
  13. ^ (劉琨移檄州郡,期以十月會平陽,擊漢。琨素奢豪,喜聲色。河南徐潤以音律得幸於琨,琨以爲晉陽令。潤驕恣,干預政事;護軍令狐盛數以爲言,且勸琨殺之,琨不從。潤譖盛於琨,琨數盛,殺之。琨母曰:「汝不能駕御豪傑以恢遠略,而專除勝己,禍必及我。」) Zizhi Tongjian, Volume 88
  14. ^ (聰遣劉粲、劉曜等攻劉琨于晉陽,琨使張喬距之,戰于武灌,喬敗績,死之,晉陽危懼。太原太守高喬、琨別駕郝聿以晉陽降粲。琨與左右數十騎,攜其妻子奔于趙郡之亭頭,遂如常山。粲、曜入于晉陽。) Book of Jin, Volume 102
  15. ^ (七年,帝復與劉琨約期,會於平陽。會石勒擒王浚,國有匈奴雜胡萬餘家,多勒種類,聞勒破幽州,乃謀為亂,欲以應勒,發覺,伏誅,討聰之計,於是中止。) Book of Northern Wei, Volume 1
  16. ^ (會石勒攻琨樂平,太守韓據請救於琨。琨以得雄、澹之眾,欲因其銳,以滅石勒。雄、澹諫曰:「亂民飢疲,未可便用,宜休息觀釁而動。」琨不從,使雄、澹率眾討勒,琨屯廣牧為之聲援。) Book of Northern Wei, Volume 23
  17. ^ (琨長史李弘以并州來降。) Annals of the Sixteen Kingdoms, Volume 2
  18. ^ (尋又炎旱,琨窮蹙不能復守。幽州刺史鮮卑段匹磾數遣信要琨,欲與同獎王室。琨由是率眾赴之,從飛狐人薊。匹磾見之,甚相崇重,與琨結婚,約爲兄弟。) Book of Jin, Volume 62
  19. ^ (就六眷死,其子幼弱,匹磾與劉琨世子羣奔喪。匹磾陰卷甲而往,欲殺其從叔羽鱗及末波而奪其國。末波等知之,遣軍逆擊,匹磾、劉羣為末波所獲。匹磾走還薊。) Book of Northern Wei, Volume 103
  20. ^ (匹磾奔其兄喪,琨遣世子群送之,而末波率眾要擊匹磾而敗走之,群爲末波所得。末波厚禮之,許以琨爲幽州刺史,共結盟而襲匹磾,密遣使齎群書請琨爲內應,而爲匹磾邏騎所得。時琨別屯故征北府小城,不之知也。因來見匹磾,匹磾以群書示琨曰:「意亦不疑公,是以白公耳。」琨曰:「與公同盟,志獎王室,仰憑威力,庶雪國家之恥。若兒書密達,亦終不以一子之故負公忘義也。」匹磾雅重琨,初無害琨志,將聽還屯。其中弟叔軍好學有智謀,爲匹磾所信,謂匹磾曰:「吾胡夷耳,所以能服晉人者,畏吾眾也。今我骨肉構禍,是其良圖之日,若有奉琨以起,吾族盡矣。」匹磾遂留琨。琨之庶長子遵懼誅,與琨左長史楊橋、并州治中如綏閉門自守。匹磾諭之不得,因縱兵攻之。琨將龍季猛迫於乏食,遂斬橋、綏而降。) Book of Jin, Volume 62
  21. ^ (悅,林之曾孫也。朝廷以匹磾尚強,冀其能平河朔,乃不爲琨舉哀。溫嶠表「琨盡忠帝室,家破身亡,宜在褒恤;」廬諶、崔悅因末柸使者,亦上表爲琨訟冤。後數歲,乃贈琨太尉、侍中,諡曰愍) Zizhi Tongjian, Volume 90
  22. ^ (琨之庶長子遵懼誅,與琨左長史楊橋、并州治中如綏閉門自守。) Book of Jin, Volume 62
  23. ^ (群字公度,少拜廣武侯世子。隨父在晉陽,遭逢寇亂,數領偏軍征討。性清慎,有裁斷,得士類歡心。及琨爲匹磾所害,琨從事中郎盧諶等率餘眾奉群依末波。溫嶠前後表稱:「姨弟劉群,內弟崔悅、盧諶等,皆在末波中,翹首南望。愚謂此等並有文思,於人之中少可湣惜。如蒙錄召,繼絕興亡,則陛下更生之恩,望古無二。」咸康二年,成帝詔徵群等,爲末波兄弟愛其才,托以道險不遣。石季龍滅遼西,群及諶、悅同沒胡中,季龍皆優禮之,以群爲中書令。至冉閔敗後,群遇害。時勒及季龍得公卿人士多殺之,其見擢用,終至大官者,唯有河東裴憲,渤海石璞,滎陽鄭系,潁川荀綽,北地傅暢及群、悅、諶等十餘人而已。) Book of Jin, Volume 62
  24. ^ R. Knechtges, David (December 2006). "Liu Kun, Lu Chen, and Their Writings in the Transition to the Eastern Jin". Chinese Literature: Essays, Articles, Reviews (CLEAR). 28: 16–17. JSTOR 25478376.
  25. ^ (與司空劉琨俱爲司州主簿,情好綢繆,共被同寢。中夜聞荒雞鳴,蹴琨覺曰:「此非惡聲也。」因起舞。逖、琨並有英氣,每語世事,或中宵起坐,相謂曰:「若四海鼎沸,豪傑並起,吾與足下當相避于中原耳。」) Book of Jin, Volume 62
  26. ^ (琨少負志氣,有縱橫之才,善交勝己,而頗浮誇。與范陽祖逖爲友,聞逖被用,與親故書曰:「吾枕戈待旦,志梟逆虜,常恐祖生先吾著鞭。」其意氣相期如此。在晉陽,常爲胡騎所圍數重,城中窘迫無計,琨乃乘月登樓清嘯,賊聞之,皆淒然長歎。中夜奏胡笳,賊又流涕歔欷,有懷土之切。向曉復吹之,賊並棄圍而走。子群嗣。) Book of Jin, Volume 62