Qi Wannian (died 299), or Qiwannian, was an ethnic Di chieftain and rebel leader during the Western Jin dynasty of China. In 296, he became leader of a tribal uprising against Jin in Qinzhou and Yongzhou that lasted until 299. Although it was put down in the end, the uprising raised some concerns among ministers regarding the tension between the Han and tribal people while also triggering a mass migration of northerners to the south that continued into the 4th century as northern China fell into civil war and rebellions.
During the late Han dynasty and Cao Wei period, many tribal ethnic groups migrated and settled in the Guanzhong region. However, various factors have led these groups to revolt during the Western Jin dynasty. Between 270 and 279, the Xianbei chieftain, Tufa Shujineng, led a rebellion in Liangzhou, Yongzhou and Qinzhou involving numerous different tribes against Jin. After Jin defeated Shujineng in 279, no similar rebellion occurred for the next 14 years.
In 294, a Xiongnu leader named He San (郝散) rebelled. His reason was due to poor governance under Sima Lun, who was the Chief Controller of Qinzhou and Yongzhou at the time, along with a nation-wide famine that was taking place. He took Shangdang and killed the Chief Clerk of the commandery, but in autumn of the same year, he decided to surrender back to Jin. However, after giving himself up, an unnamed Commandant of Pingyi had him executed.
He San had a younger brother named He Duyuan (郝度元). In the summer of 296, Duyuan allied himself with the Qiang people of Mount Malan (馬蘭山) in Beidi Commandery (北地, roughly modern Tongchuan, Shaanxi) together with the Lushui tribes (盧水胡). They killed the Administrator of Beidi, Zhang Sun (張損), and routed the Administrator of Pingyi, Ouyang Jian. The He brother's revolts led to Sima Lun being recalled to Luoyang while Sima Rong (司馬肜) was appointed to replace him.
Qi Wannian's UprisingEdit
In autumn of 296, the rebellion intensified after He Duyuan defeated the Inspector of Yongzhou, Hai Xi (解系). His victory inspired many of the Qiang and Di tribe in Qinzhou and Yongzhou to take up arms as well. Soon, the rebels elected a Di leader named Qi Wannian to be their Emperor before besieging Jingyang. In response, Jin ordered Xiahou Jun (夏侯駿) with Zhou Chu and Lu Bo (盧播) under his wing to quell the revolt. Qi Wannian was specifically worried about facing Zhou Chu, due to his esteemed reputation as a capable administrator and general, but he was confident that the rebels can beat him if he was restrained by someone's control. Coincidentally, another famine had struck the Guanzhong region, followed by a plague. The famine and plague were localized, and faced with the tribal rebellions, the people of Qinzhou and Yongzhou were growing restless day by day.
At the beginning of 297, Qi Wannian camped his forces at Mount Liang (梁山, in modern-day Qian County, Shaanxi) and amassed a huge force of 70,000 men. Zhou Chu was only given 5,000 men to attack the rebels, so he advised against this decision. Sima Rong and Xiahou Jun ignored his warning and forced him to go. Together with Lu Bo and Hai Xi, Zhou Chu attacked the rebels at Liumo (六陌, in modern-day Qian County, Shaanxi), where he made a famous last stand. Zhou was killed, and his forces were crushed, so the rebellion carried on. Another famine occurred in Qinzhou and Yongzhou that year, once more followed by plague. Food had become so scarce that the price for ten pecks of rice rose to ten thousand in cash. The famine persisted into the following year, and it was around this time when many in the two provinces decided to migrate south to escape the turmoil.
The court eventually grew frustrated with Sima Rong's ineffectiveness. In 298, Zhang Hua and Chen Zhun (陳準) charged Sima Rong and Sima Lun with negligence of military affairs in Guanzhong. A general named Meng Guan was sent in instead to replace them and put an end to the rebellion once and for all. Meng Guan was more dedicated in his work, personally leading the campaigns against the rebels and consistently routing them. At the beginning of 299, Meng Guan fought Qi Wannian at Zhongting (中亭, west of present-day Wugong, Shaanxi). Meng defeated the Di army and killed Qi Wannian, ending the four-year-long rebellion.
The rebellion, along with the coinciding famine and plague, devastated Qinzhou and Yongzhou. The southward migration continued on into the 4th century and spread to the other northern provinces as Jin entered a state of civil war. The rebellion also raised some concerns regarding the coexistence between the Han Chinese and tribal people. One minister, Jiang Tong, because of the rebellion, wrote an essay titled "Discussion on Relocating the Rong Tribes (徙戎論)" which he submitted to the Jin court, warning them about the threat possessed by the tribes to the dynasty.
Apart from that, the rebellion paved way to the creation of two independent states in China. The first being Chouchi in 296, when the Di leader, Yang Maosou took advantage of the rebellion to lead his followers to the Chouchi region and declare independence. Another was the Ba-Di Cheng Han, as among the many who fled during the rebellion were Li Te and his family. Li Te gathered a huge following of refugees in Yizhou and led them to war against Jin in 301. Li Te's son, Li Xiong drove out the Jin forces from the Ba and Shu regions in 304 and declared himself the King of Chengdu, formally declaring independence from the Jin.
- (壽闐卒，孫樹機能立，壯果多謀略。泰始中，殺秦州刺史胡烈于萬斛堆。) Book of Jin, Volume 126
- (是歲，大饑。) Zizhi Tongjian, Volume 82
- (夏，五月，匈奴郝散反，攻上黨，殺長吏。秋，八月，郝散帥衆降，馮翊都尉殺之。) Zizhi Tongjian, Volume 82
- (五月，荊、揚二州大水。匈奴郝散弟度元帥馮翊、北地馬蘭羌、盧水胡反，攻北地，太守張損死之。) Book of Jin, Volume 4
- (關中饑、疫。) Zizhi Tongjian, Volume 82
- (時賊屯梁山，有眾七萬，而駿逼處以五千兵擊之。處曰：「軍無後繼，必至覆敗，雖在亡身，爲國取恥。」肜復命處進討，乃與振威將軍盧播、雍州刺史解系攻萬年於六陌。將戰，處軍人未食，肜促令速進，而絶其後繼。處知必敗，賦詩曰：「去去世事已，策馬觀西戎。藜藿甘粱黍，期之克令終。」言畢而戰，自旦及暮，斬首萬計。弦絶矢盡，播、系不救。左右勸退，處按劍曰：「此是吾效節授命之日，何退之爲！且古者良將受命，鑿凶門以出，蓋有進無退也。今諸軍負信，勢必不振。我爲大臣，以身徇國，不亦可乎！」遂力戰而沒。) Book of Jin, Volume 58
- (秋，七月，雍、秦二州大旱，疾疫，米斛萬錢。) Zizhi Tongjian, Volume 82
- (元康中，氐齊萬年反，關西擾亂，天水、略陽、扶風、始平諸郡皆被兵，頻歲大饑，流移就穀，相與入漢川者數萬家。) Annals of the Sixteen Kingdoms, 6
- (孟觀，字叔時，渤海東光人也。少好讀書，解天文。惠帝即位，稍遷殿中中郎。賈后悖婦姑之禮，陰欲誅楊駿而廢太后，因駿專權，數言之於帝，又使人諷觀。會楚王瑋將討駿，觀受賈后旨宣詔，頗加誣其事。及駿誅，以觀為黃門侍郎，特給親信四十人。遷積弩將軍，封上穀郡公。氐帥齊萬年反於關中，眾數十萬，諸將覆敗相繼。中書令陳准、監張華，以趙、梁諸王在關中，雍容貴戚，進不貪功，退不懼罪，士卒雖眾，不為之用，周處喪敗，職此之由，上下離心，難以勝敵。以觀沈毅，有文武材用，乃啟觀討之。觀所領宿衛兵，皆趫捷勇悍，並統關中士卒，身當矢石，大戰十數，皆破之，生擒萬年，威懾氐羌。轉東羌校尉，徵拜右將軍。) Book of Jin, Volume 60
- (晉惠帝元康六年，避齊萬年之亂，率部落四千家，還保百頃，自號輔國將軍、右賢王。關中人士奔流者多依之，戊搜延納撫接，欲去者則衞護資遣之。) Book of Liu Song, Volume 98
- (元康中，氐齊萬年反，關西擾亂，頻歲大饑，百姓乃流移就穀，相與入漢川者數萬家。特隨流人將入於蜀，至劍閣，箕踞太息，顧眄險阻曰：「劉禪有如此之地而面縛於人，豈非庸才邪！」同移者閻式、趙肅、李遠、任回等咸歎異之。) Book of Jin, Volume 120