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

Sima Yi
魏·太傅 司馬懿.jpg
A Ming 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 (22 January) – 13 March 239 (13 March 239)
MonarchCao Fang
Succeeded byCao Shuang
Palace Attendant (侍中)
In office
22 January (22 January) – 13 March 239 (13 March 239)
MonarchCao Fang
In office
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
MonarchCao Pi
Palace Assistant Imperial Clerk (御史中丞)
In office
MonarchCao Pi
Master of Writing (尚書)
In office
MonarchCao Pi
Major to the Army of the Chancellor (丞相軍司馬)
In office
MonarchEmperor Xian of Han
ChancellorCao Cao
Master of Records to the Chancellor (丞相主簿)
In office
MonarchEmperor Xian of Han
ChancellorCao Cao
Senior Clerk for Literary Scholarship (文學掾)
In office
MonarchEmperor Xian of Han
ChancellorCao Cao
Personal details
Wen County, Henei Commandery, Han Empire
DiedSeptember 7, 251(251-09-07) (aged 71–72)
Luoyang, Wei dynasty
Resting placeMengjin County, Henan
SpouseZhang Chunhua
Domestic partner(s)Lady 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
OccupationMilitary general, politician, regent
Courtesy nameZhongda (仲達)
Temple nameGaozu (高祖)
PeerageMarquis of Wuyang
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

He formally began his political career in 208 under the Han dynasty's Imperial Chancellor Cao Cao,[b][c] and was quickly promoted to higher office. His success in handling domestic and military affairs such as governance and the promotion of agriculture, serving as an adviser, repelling incursions and invasions led by Shu and Wu forces, speedily defeating Meng Da's Xincheng Rebellion, and conquering the Gongsun-led Liaodong commandery, garnered him great prestige. He is perhaps best known for defending Wei from a series of invasions that were led by Wei's rival state Shu between 231 and 234.

In 239, along with another co-regent Cao Shuang, he was made to preside as a regent for the young Cao Fang after the death of latter's adoptive father, Cao Rui. Although amicable at first,[1] the relationship soon deteriorated[1] in light of Cao Shuang's corruption,[1] extravagance,[1] and attempts to curtail Sima Yi's political influence.[1] In 249, after carefully planning and building up support, Sima Yi ousted Cao Shuang from power in a coup d'état and had him and his associates executed.[2]

After the coup d'état, Sima Yi served as the de facto primary authority in Wei, although in 251 he faced some opposition from Wang Ling's rebellion,[2] with which he swiftly dealt.[2] Sima Yi died on 7 September 251, at the age of 71 or 72, and was succeeded by his eldest son Sima Shi.[2]

For the remainder of Wei's history, state power was increasingly vested in the Sima clan, which led to 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 and the temple name Gaozu.

Family backgroundEdit

Sima Yi's ancestral home was in Xiaojing (孝敬里), Wen County, Henei Commandery. His ancestor was Sima Ang the King of Yin (殷王), who briefly ruled 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 Sima Ang and his capital city Zhaoge. In the early Han dynasty, Sima Ang's former kingdom, which was largely situated in Henei, became a commandery of the Han Empire and his descendants had lived there since.[d]

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 General Who Conquers the West (征西將軍).[e] Sima Jūn's son Sima Liang (司馬量) held the position Grand Administrator of Yuzhang,[f] and Sima Liang's son Sima Jùn (司馬儁) served as Grand Administrator of Yingchuan.[g] Sima Jùn's son Sima Fang served as the Prefect of Luoyang (洛陽令), Intendant of Jingzhao, and later as Cavalry Commandant (騎都尉) towards the end of the Eastern Han dynasty.[h] Sima Yi (Zhongda) was Sima Fang's second son.[i]

Sima Yi had one elder brother Sima Lang (Boda) and six younger brothers.[j] The eight Sima brothers were collectively known as the "Eight Das"[k] because their courtesy names all ended with da ().[l]

Early lifeEdit

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, 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."[m]

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:[4] 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.[n] 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.[5] 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.[o]

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.[6][p][q] 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.[r]

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.[s]

Service under Cao CaoEdit

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, and is said to have instructed the official to arrest Sima Yi if he dawdled. Sima Yi became afraid and accepted the appointment.[t] Although he was initially assigned to be an attendant to the crown prince,[u] 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).[v]

Advising Cao Cao to attack Yi ProvinceEdit

In 215, Sima Yi accompanied Cao Cao on his campaign against the warlord Zhang Lu,[7] whom Cao Cao defeated at the Battle of Yangping in Hanzhong Commandery, and afterwards Sima Yi urged him to capitalise on the momentum and attack his rival Liu Bei, who was in the neighboring Yi Province. Sima Yi said because Liu Bei had only recently seized control of Yi Province from Liu Zhang, he had yet to establish a strong foothold in the province. Cao Cao rejected Sima Yi's idea and said he was already content with having Longyou (隴右; covering parts of present-day Gansu and Shaanxi).[w] He then turned his attention to his other key rival Sun Quan.[x]

Urging Cao Cao to usurp the throneEdit

Sun Quan sent an emissary to meet Cao Cao, asking 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!" 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."[y] Cao Cao did not usurp the throne from Emperor Xian and remained 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", Sima Yi became an adviser to Cao Cao's son and heir apparent, Cao Pi, who 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".[z] 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 have secretly backed Cao Pi and helped him win the position of heir apparent. He was also partly responsible for Cao Zhi's demotion and removal from politics after Cao Pi became emperor.[8]

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 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.[aa]

Battle of FanchengEdit

Sima Yi 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. Sima Yi said Hu Xiu was violent and Fu Fang was arrogant, and that neither should not be entrusted with the responsibility of guarding the border at Jing Province, but 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, Cao Cao ordered Yu Jin to lead reinforcements to lift the siege on Fancheng. The reinforcements were killed 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 a more perilous situation.[ab]

Upon learning of Yu Jin's defeat, Cao Cao felt 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 and Sun Quan later sent his general Lü Meng to attack Gong'an County and invade Jing Province in the winter of 219–220. Sun Quan's forces captured and executed Guan Yu.[ac][ad][ae]

Cao Cao wanted to relocate residents in Jing Province and Yingchuan Commandery further north as he felt 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 reverted to their original livelihoods after the battle.[af][ag]

When Cao Cao died in Luoyang in March 220,[9] there was apprehension in the imperial court. Sima Yi supervised the funerary arrangements to ensure everything would be carried out in an orderly fashion,[ah] and accompanied the funeral cortège to Ye,[4] earning the respect of officials within and outside the central government.[ai]

Service under Cao PiEdit

After Cao Pi succeeded his father as the vassal King of Wei and Imperial Chancellor of the Han Empire in early 220,[9] he enfeoffed Sima Yi as the Marquis of Hejin-ting (河津亭侯) and appointed him as his Chief Clerk (長史).[aj]

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 because Fancheng and Xiangyang lacked food supplies. Cao Ren, who was defending Xiangyang, had been reassigned from Fancheng to defend Wan. 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.[ak]

Throughout 220, Sima Yi served as one of the leading officials in court to urge Cao Pi's seizure of the throne,[4] and was by other officials.[10]

In late 220, Cao Pi usurped the throne from Emperor Xian, ending the Eastern Han dynasty, and declared himself emperor of the newly established state of Wei.[9] Cao Pi first appointed Sima Yi as a Master of Writing (尚書) but later reassigned him as an Army Inspector (督軍) and Palace Assistant Imperial Clerk (御史中丞). He promoted Sima Yi from a village marquis to a district marquis under the title "Marquis of Anguo District" (安國鄉侯).[al]

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).[am]

In 222, when Cao Pi visited Wan, either because the city was not celebratory enough or because a local market had failed to produce a type of medicine Cao Pi had requested,[11] the Governor of Nanyang Yang Jun, under whose authority the city fell, was arrested. Sima Yi, among other officials, was on good terms with Yang Jun, whom he had met during his youth[an] and considered capable and intelligent, and pleaded on his behalf; knocking his forehead on the ground until it started bleeding, but Cao Pi dismissed the appeal. Yang Jun, admitting he was at fault, committed suicide. Sima Yi was greatly saddened at such a loss.[ao]

Two years later, in September 224, Cao Pi toured the south to inspect his forces 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).[12]

In early 225, he was appointed General Who Pacifies the Army (撫軍將軍) and placed in command of 5,000 troops, and also held 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).[12] 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."[ap]

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 to Luoyang. 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.[aq]

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".[12][ar][as][at]

Service under Cao RuiEdit

Driving back Wu invadersEdit

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".[au] Around that time, Sun Quan attacked Jiangxia Commandery 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.[12] In recognition of Sima Yi's efforts, Cao Rui promoted him to General of Agile Cavalry (驃騎將軍).[av][13][12][aw]

Suppressing Meng Da's rebellionEdit

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

In July 227, Cao Rui ordered Sima Yi to garrison at Wan, and put him charge of the military affairs of Jing and Yu provinces.[ax][12]

During Cao Pi's reign, Sima Yi had warned Cao Pi Meng Da, a former Shu general who had defected to Wei, was untrustworthy, but Cao Pi had ignored him.[8] Sima Yi was proven right after Cao Pi's death when in late 227, Sima Yi received news Meng Da was planning to rebel against Wei and return to Shu; 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, persuading Meng Da to rebel.[ay][12]

According to the Book of Jin and Zizhi Tongjian, however, Sima Yi, upon hearing Meng Da wished to rebel, wrote a flattering letter to Meng Da to distract and confuse him while preparing to suppress the rebellion.[12] While Meng Da was deciding whether to commit to his rebellion, Sima Yi swiftly assembled his troops and secretly led them to attack Meng Da's base in Shangyong Commandery (上庸郡; around present-day Zhushan County, Hubei).[12] While heading towards the location, Sima Yi's subordinates suggested 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 quickened and, covering 2,200 li, Sima Yi arrived within eight days[12] 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 Anqiao (安橋) and Mulan Fort (木闌塞) in Xicheng (西城) respectively.[az][ba]

Meng Da was taken by surprise, having not expected Sima Yi to appear so quickly at Shangyong Commandery.[12] Meng Da was surrounded on three sides by a river so 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 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,[12] and his head was sent to the capital Luoyang; more than 10,000 captives were taken and Sima Yi returned to Wan in triumph.[bb]

Governing Jing and Yu provincesEdit

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.[bc]

Shen Yi, a former subordinate of Meng Da, had remained in Weixing Commandery (魏興郡; around present-day Ankang, Shaanxi) and had become deeply entrenched there. Shen Yi 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 fall, he became worried he would be the next target of Sima Yi's crackdown on traitorous officials. After Sima Yi had 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 went to confront Sima Yi, he was captured and sent to the imperial capital.[12] Sima Yi relocated to You Province with more than 7,000 households from 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.[bd] These Shu military officers, who are primarily referenced in the Book of Jin, do not appear in the Zizhi Tongjian[14] and Records of the Three Kingdoms and Chronicles of Huayang.

Among the thousands of people who migrated to Wei from Shu, many were unregistered residents whom the Wei government wanted to officially register 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[be] 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 Wan.[bf]

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 he led Wei forces into Jiangling.[15]

Campaign against ShuEdit

Sima Yi of Peking opera

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.[bg] In August 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. 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. The campaign, however, had to be aborted by October 230[bh] because the gallery roads leading into Shu were too damaged for the troops to pass through, and because of constant heavy rain that had lasted for more than 30 days.[bi][bj]

Battle of Mount QiEdit

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 to supervise military operations in Yong and Liang provinces.[16] 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 and Mei 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."[16] 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.[bk]

When Zhuge Liang heard of the Wei army's arrival, he led his troops to Shanggui County to collect the harvest. 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,[16] although accounts from the Book of Jin make no mention of a detachment being defeated,[bl]} and records of the campaign tend to vary and prove unreliable.[bm] After defeating the enemy, 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: "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 arrived within two days after travelling overnight. When Zhuge Liang and his men heard Sima Yi was marching towards their position, they swiftly retreated instead of giving battle.[bn] 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."[bo] 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 front line. Zhuge Liang's movements, however, were 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.[bp] 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 occurred; Sima Yi drew in his troops 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 inflicted some losses on the enemy. Zhuge Liang simultaneously withdrew his forces and Sima Yi thereafter closely followed Zhuge Liang from the rear. Zhang He advised against pursuit on grounds they could effectively station at Mount Qi, combine their forces, and conduct irregular expeditions; Zhuge Liang's provisions were running low and he would soon be forced to retreat[16] but Sima Yi did not heed this advice and continued his pursuit.[16] Zhuge Liang 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.[bq][br][16]

Although his subordinates repeatedly urged Sima Yi to attack the enemy, he was hesitant to do so after seeing the layout of the Shu camps in the hills. He relented when his subordinates criticised and mocked him by saying he would become a laughing stock if he refused to attack.[17][16] Sima Yi sent Zhang He to attack the southern Shu camps that were guarded by Wang Ping while he led a frontal assault on Lucheng from the central avenue.[bs][16] In response, Zhuge Liang ordered Wei Yan, Wu Ban, and Gao Xiang to lead troops to engage and resist the enemy outside Lucheng.[16] The Wei forces suffered an unexpected and large defeat: 3,000 soldiers were killed, and 5,000 suits of armour and 3,100 sets of hornbeam crossbows were seized by the Shu forces but Sima Yi retained a sizable army, which he led back to his camp.[bt][16]

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.[16] The Book of Jin said Sima Yi launched an attack on the Shu garrisons at this juncture and captured the Shu "covering camps". Zhuge Liang abandoned Lucheng and retreated in the 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[bu][bv] and is not included in the Zizhi Tongjian.[18] According to the Records of the Three Kingdoms and Zizhi Tongjian, Zhuge Liang retreated due to a lack of supplies rather than defeat,[bw][bx] 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. According to the Weilüe, Zhang He initially refused to obey Sima Yi's order and argued according to classical military doctrine, one should refrain from pursuing an enemy force retreating to its home territory. 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; in 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.[by][16] 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.[bz][ca]

Sima Yi's adviser Du Xi[19] and Xue Ti (薛悌) told Sima Yi the wheat would be ready for harvest the following year and Zhuge Liang would definitely come to seize it. Because Longyou 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, Tianshui, and Nan'an (南安) commanderies.[cb] By 233, Sima Yi's agricultural plan came to fruition and became a source of food supplies for the three commanderies.[cc]

Battle of Wuzhang PlainsEdit

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

In March or April 234, Zhuge Liang led between 60,000[20] and 100,000 Shu troops out of the Xie Valley (斜谷)[cd][16] and camped at the southern bank of the Wei River near Mei County.[16]

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 river, took up his position with his rear facing the river, and began constructing fortifications.[16][ce] He also said: "If Zhuge Liang is brave enough, he'll move out from Wugong County and head eastward in the direction of the mountains. If he moves west to the Wuzhang Plains, we'll have no worries."[cf][16] Around that time, the Wei emperor Cao Rui became worried and decided to send the general Qin Lang to lead 20,000 infantry and cavalry as reinforcements to join Sima Yi.[cg][16]

While Sima Yi and his troops were stationed at the south of the Wei River, Guo Huai urged him and the officers to move a detachment to the plains on the river's north bank because he foresaw Zhuge Liang would attempt to seize the plains.[16] When the other officers disagreed,[ch] 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."[ci][16] 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 drove them back.[cj][16]

Zhuge Liang moved his army west to the Wuzhang Plains[16] 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. Zhuge Liang, however, did not mobilise his troops for several days. Sima Yi said: "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 and Guo Huai to defend Yangsui. Several days later, Guo Huai received news Zhuge Liang was planning to launch an attack in the west and Guo Huai's subordinates wanted to strengthen their defences in the west. Guo Huai was the only one who recognised it was a ruse and that Zhuge Liang was planning to attack Yangsui. He was proven right later as the Shu forces attacked Yangsui at night. Because Guo Huai had earlier set up defences, the Shu forces failed to capture Yangsui. Zhuge Liang could not advance further so he retreated to the Wuzhang Plains.[ck][cl]

One night, Sima Yi saw a meteor falling towards the Shu camp and predicted Zhuge Liang would be defeated. He ordered a surprise attack on the Shu camp from behind; 500 Shu soldiers were killed, 600 surrendered, and Wei forces captured more than 1,000 livestock of the Shu army.[cm] This account, which comes from the Book of Jin, is not included in the Zizhi Tongjian. Rather, the accounts from the Records of the Three Kingdoms[cn] were included in the Zizhi Tongjian.[co]

The Wei government observed because 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.[16] Zhuge Liang attempted to lure Sima Yi to attack him; on one occasion, Zhuge Liang sent Sima Yi women's ornaments to taunt him.[16] Sima Yi, apparently feeling enraged, sought permission from Cao Rui to attack the enemy[16] but this was denied. The emperor sent Xin Pi, bearing the imperial sceptre—a symbol of the emperor's authority—to the battlefield to make sure Sima Yi followed orders and remained in camp.[21][16] Zhuge Liang knew Sima Yi was pretending to be angry because he wanted to show the Wei soldiers he would not put up with the enemy's taunting and to ensure the Wei soldiers were ready for battle.[cp][16]

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: "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."[cq] When Zhuge Liang's envoy visited Sima Yi's camp, the latter inquired about his sleeping and eating habits, and how busy he was.[16] When told how Zhuge Liang consumed little and did not sleep much,[16] Sima Yi said to his men: "Zhuge Kongming takes little food and does much work; how can he last long?"[16]

According to at least one source, Sima Yi continued to provoke Zhuge Liang. Sima Yi reportedly made some 2,000 people cheer by the south-east corner of the military compound. When Zhuge Liang sent a man to inquire on the situation, he stated: "Eastern Wu's envoy came and said he would surrender." Zhuge Liang responded: "Eastern Wu will not surrender. Sima Yi is an old man who will soon be 60 years old, does he really need to use such a trick?"[cr]

After a standoff lasting more than 100 days,[16][16] Sima Yi heard from civilians 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.[16] Some days later, Sima Yi surveyed the remains of the Shu camp and said; "He was a genius".[16] He also concluded Zhuge Liang was indeed dead when he saw the Shu army had hastily retreated. Xin Pi felt they could not yet be certain about Zhuge Liang's death 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 Tribulus terrestris 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 encountered the Shu forces.[16] When Sima Yi reached Chi'an (赤岸), he asked the residents there about Zhuge Liang and heard here was a saying: "A dead Zhuge (Liang) scares away a living Zhongda".[cs] 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."[ct][16]

In 235, Sima Yi was promoted to Grand Commandant 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.[cu] However, this account from the Book of Jin is not referenced in the Zizhi Tongjian.[22] When a famine broke out in North China Plain, Sima Yi had more than five million hu of grain transported from Chang'an to Luoyang to aid in disaster relief efforts.[cv]

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,[cw] and thereafter strictly supervised the conduct of all the officials and soldiers.[cx]

Liaodong campaignEdit

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, who 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?"[cy] Later, when Cao Rui asked for capable and virtuous men to be recommended to him, Sima Yi recommended Wang Chang.[23]

Gongsun Yuan, a warlord based in Liaodong Commandery who previously pledged allegiance to the Wei state, started a rebellion and declared independence, defeating the general Guanqiu Jian in an engagement.[23]

In January 238, Cao Rui summoned Sima Yi to the imperial capital Luoyang to lead a campaign against Liaodong.[23] When asked by the emperor how Gongsun Yuan would respond, Sima Yi stated he may either flee, resist, or defend his capital city;[23] the final option being the worst choice, and the most likely to be used against Sima Yi after some initial resistance.[23] When the emperor asked how long it would take, Sima Yi said he needed one year to lead the troops to Liaodong, to suppress the revolt, and to then return and repose.[cz][23] The Wei government had conscripted many men into military service or recruited them for manual labour to work on Cao Rui's palace construction and renovation projects. Sima Yi felt 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 more pressing issues.[da]

Thereafter, Sima Yi, with Niu Jin and Hu Zun (胡遵) serving as his subordinates, set out with an army of 40,000 men from Luoyang to attack Liaodong.[db] Cao Rui 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.[dc] 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][dd]

Sima Yi advanced with the army, which would later be reinforced by Guanqiu Jian's forces in You Province,[24] which included the Xianbei auxiliary led by Mohuba (莫護跋), ancestor of the Murong clan.[25] The Wei army reached Liaodong in June 238[23] 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 to await Sima Yi's arrival..[23] The Wei generals wanted to attack the enemy on the river's banks but Sima Yi reasoned attacking the encampment would only wear themselves out and deplete their valuable resources; because the bulk of the Liaodong army was at the Liao River, Gongsun Yuan's headquarters at Xiangping (襄平), the capital of the Liaodong Commandery,[26] would be comparatively empty and the Wei army could take it with ease.[23][de]

Sima Yi decided to dispatch Hu Zun with a contingent of his army south with banners and drums to indicate he was going to make a sortie there with a large force.[23] This deceived Bei Yan and his men, who pursued the decoy unit, whereby Hu Zun, having lured the enemy, crossed the river and broke through Bei Yan's line.[27] Sima Yi secretly crossed the river to the north, sank the boats, burnt down the bridges, built a long barricade along the river, and then marched for the capital.[23] Once the opposing generals realised they had fallen for a ruse, they started marching in haste towards the capital. In the night, while heading north to intercept Sima Yi as had been expected of them,[df] they caught up at Mount Shou (首山; a mountain west of Xiangping), where Bei Yan was ordered to give battle, and was subsequently defeated by Sima Yi and his army.[23][dg] Sima Yi then marched towards Xiangping unopposed, and started besieging it.[dh]

July brought the summer monsoons, which a year earlier had impeded Guanqiu Jian's campaign. Heavy ran fell for more than a month so even ships could sail the length of the flooded Liao River from its mouth at Liaodong Bay up to the walls of Xiangping.[23] 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. Sima Yi threatened to execute those who advocated for the idea, such as the officer Zhang Jing, who violated the order.[23] The rest of the officers subsequently became silent.

Because of the floods, the encirclement of Xiangping was incomplete 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,[di] and upon being questioned by one of his subordinates,[23] 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."[dj][23]

Officials in the Wei imperial court in Luoyang were also concerned about the floods and proposed recalling Sima Yi. The Wei emperor, Cao Rui, being certain of Sima Yi's abilities, turned down the proposal.[dk][23] 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.[28]

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, saying in a message to Gongsun Yuan he desired 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."[29][dl][23]

When Gongsun Yuan sent Wei Yan (衛演) for another round of talks, this time asking permission 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."[dm][23] Sima Yi's previous suggestion of further negotiations was 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.[30]

When the rain stopped and the floodwater receded, Sima Yi hastened to complete the encirclement of Xiangping. The siege continued day and night using mining, hooked ladders, battering rams, and artificial mounds for siege towers and catapults to get higher vantage points.[25][23][dn] The speed at which the siege was tightened caught the defenders off guard; because they had been obtaining supplies with such ease during the flood, there was apparently no real attempt to stockpile the goods inside Xiangping. 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.[23]

On 29 September, the famished Xiangping fell to the Wei army.[23] 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; now known as Taizi River).[do][23] 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. Eventually, all of Gongsun Yuan's former holdings were subjugated.[31]

After Sima Yi's army occupied Xiangping, he erected a pair of guideposts to separate recent and long-serving government officials, and military personnel of Gongsun Yuan's disestablished regime, and ordered a systematic purge of 2,000 officials. He also had some 7,000 men aged 15 and above from within the city executed and raised a jingguan (京觀, a victory mound) with their corpses while pardoning the remaining survivors.[23][dp] In total, Sima Yi's conquest gained Wei an additional 40,000 households and over 300,000 citizens,[dq] although Sima Yi did not encourage these frontier settlers to continue their livelihoods in the Chinese northeast; he ordered 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. Sima Yi also freed Gongsun Gong, the previous Administrator of Liaodong, who had been imprisoned by his nephew Gongsun Yuan. All of this was carried out under an order that stated: "During the ancients' attacks on states, they executed their fiercest enemies,[dr] 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."[ds][23]

Because it was winter, many soldiers were suffering from the cold and wanted extra clothing. When someone said they had a surplus of ru and suggested giving them to the soldiers,[23] 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 ordered 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.[23] As Sima Yi led the troops back to Luoyang from Liaodong, Cao Rui sent an emissary to meet them in Ji and host a victory celebration. He also added Kunyang County (昆陽縣; present-day Ye County, Henan) to Sima Yi's marquisate so Sima Yi had two counties as his marquisate.[dt]

Appointment as regentEdit

When Sima Yi arrived at Xiangping, he dreamt Cao Rui asked him to look at his face, which appeared different than usual, and Sima Yi sensed something was wrong.[du] 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.[1] Sensing the urgency of the situation, he boarded a zhuifengche[dv] and travelled overnight across the Baiwu region over a distance of more than 400 li, stopping only once for a brief rest, and reached Luoyang the following day. Upon arrival, Sima Yi was led to the bedroom of the Jiafu Hall (嘉福殿) in the imperial palace to meet Cao Rui and saw 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."[dw] 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 embrace Sima Yi's neck. Sima Yi hit his forehead on the floor and started weeping.[1] Cao Rui thereafter designated Sima Yi as a co-regent for the young Cao Fang alongside the general Cao Shuang, who had already been designated for the position.[dx][1]

Before his death, Cao Rui had 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. 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,[1] persuaded Cao Rui to exclude those two, and Qin Lang and Cao Yu,[1] thereby having Cao Shuang and Sima Yi appointed as the regents instead.[32]

Service under Cao FangEdit

In early 239, when Cao Fang became 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. Because Cao Shuang wanted the Masters of Writing (or 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). The previous Grand Marshals had all died in office so the imperial court thought 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.[dy]

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.[dz] Sima Yi also suggested the Wei imperial court put an end to the extravagant palace construction and renovation projects started in Cao Rui's reign, and divert those resources and manpower to agriculture. The imperial court approved.[ea]

Battles in Jing ProvinceEdit

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, and Zhazhong (柤中; west of present-day Nanzhang County, Hubei). When Sima Yi asked permission to lead troops to resist the enemy, officials in the imperial court argued there was no need to take swift action because Fancheng was strong enough to withstand attacks and because the enemy was weary after travelling a long distance. Sima Yi disagreed and 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."[eb][ec][1]

In late June or July 241, Sima Yi led an army from Luoyang to fight the Wu invaders. The Wei emperor Cao Fang saw him off at Luoyang's Jinyang Gate (津陽門). Upon reaching Fancheng, Sima Yi knew he should not linger for too long because of the heat of summer. He 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 personally chosen forces and enlisted volunteers were ordered to climb Fancheng's city walls to reinforce the city and curb the enemy's siege.[1]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 confluence 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.[1] Cao Fang sent a Palace Attendant as an emissary to meet Sima Yi at Wan to congratulate him and host a banquet to celebrate the victory.[ed]

In August 241, the Wei imperial court added two counties to Sima Yi's marquisate as a reward for his contributions; Sima Yi's marquisate now spanned four counties and covered 10,000 taxable households. Eleven 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 manner. For example, when he met Chang Lin (常林), who was from the same town as Sima Yi and held the position of Minister of Ceremonies in the Wei imperial court, he bowed to Chang Lin in a respectful manner. He also constantly reminded his siblings, children, and younger relatives to be mindful of their conduct.[ee] In early 242, Cao Fang bestowed the posthumous title "Marquis Cheng of Wuyang" (舞陽成侯) upon Sima Yi's deceased father Sima Fang.[ef]

Promoting agriculture in the Huai River regionEdit

According to the Book of Jin, in April or May 242, Sima Yi proposed to the Wei government the digging of a canal to connect the Yellow and Bian rivers and direct their waters towards the southeast to promote agriculture north of the Huai River.[eg]

An account from the Zizhi Tongjian places this event somewhere in 241; in this account, Deng Ai proposed the idea of building such a canal to Sima Yi, who only thereafter petitioned the state. The agricultural project was begun and eventually completed, and whenever there was a battle in the southeast between the Wei and Wu armies, Wei troops could quickly travel downstream towards the Huai River to counter the enemy. The abundance of food resources and waterways in the upper stream were advantageous for the Wei forces.[eh][ei][1]

Around that time, Zhuge Ke, a general from Wei's rival state Wu, was stationed at a military garrison at Wan (皖; around 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 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."[ej]

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; around 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 the supplies stockpiled in Wan, abandon the garrison, and retreat.[ek][1]

Sima Yi's aim was to destroy the Wu forces' sources of food in the Huai River region so once Zhuge Ke burnt 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.[el][33] In late January or February 244, Cao Fang sent an emissary to meet Sima Yi at Huainan Commandery and honour him for his achievements in promoting agriculture in the region.[em]

Power struggle with Cao ShuangEdit

Throughout the early years of Cao Shuang and Sima Yi's co-regency, the former attempted to consolidate his political influence while only briefly paying respect to Sima Yi based on his status and seniority.[1] Cao Shuang put his brothers in command of the military,[1] promoted his close aides to higher positions in the imperial court,[1] and made changes to the political structure to benefit himself and his clique. He also silenced those who stood against him, his associates, and their combined interests.[1]

During this chain of events, Cao Shuang had Sima Yi appointed to the position of Grand Tutor[1] under the guise of a promotion; while the position was an honourable one, it held almost no real 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. Through the careful appointing of some of Sima Yi's aides to certain positions, however, Sima Yi effectively retained much of his political influence and Cao Shuang's attempts at strengthening his grip on the political scene were 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) in 241,[1][34] gave Deng Ai the rank of Prefect of the Masters of Writing. allowing Sima Yi to still supervise the edicts and memorials. After the death of Man Chong in 242, one of Sima Yi's long-serving associates Jiang Ji was appointed to the position of Grand Commandant.[1][35]

Throughout the 240s, as new groups of intellectuals largely headed by He Yan, an associate of Cao Shuang, sought to oppose traditional Confucian principles and discard "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 politics and society.[36]

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.[1] Sima Yi strongly objected to this idea but Cao Shuang ignored him and proceeded with the campaign. In April 244, Cau Shuang was defeated by Shu forces at the Battle of Xingshi.[en][37][1] Sima Yi sent a letter to Xiahou Xuan reprimanding their reckless actions because they could lead to destruction, referring to a historical precedent by stating Cao Cao almost suffered a total defeat in the war against Liu Bei for Hanzhong, and also said 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 have their retreat route cut off and their forces destroyed.[1] Xiahou Xuan subsequently grew anxious and advised Cao Shuang to lead back his troops,[1] which he eventually did by June or July of the same year,[1] incurring further losses during his retreat.[1]

In September 245, Cao Shuang wanted to alter the structure of the military so 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.[eo] 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 that was traditionally reserved for emperors.[ep]

In February 246, when Eastern Wu forces attacked Zhazhong, over 10,000 households living there fled to the north across the Mian River (沔水, a historical name for the Han River). When news of the Wu invasion reached the Wei imperial court, Sima Yi argued they should let the civilians remain on the northern side of the river because the southern side was near enemy territory and hence too dangerous for them. Cao Shuang, however, 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 southern side of the Mian River. As Sima Yi foresaw, Wu forces occupied Zhazhong, captured the civilians, and relocated them to Wu territory.[eq]

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 himself and his clique.[38][39] He heeded the advice of his close aides He Yan, Deng Yang, and Ding Mi (丁謐), and relocated Empress Dowager GuoCao Rui's widow—to Yongning Palace (永寧宮) so she could not interfere in politics.[2] Sima Yi was unable to stop this, among other contrivances, putting severe stress on the relationship between him and Cao Shuang.[2] Cao Shuang became increasingly distrustful and wary of Sima Yi.[er] At the time, there was a saying in Luoyang which went; "He (Yan), Deng (Yang) and Ding (Mi) create turmoil in the imperial capital".[es]

In June or July 247, Sima Yi said he was ill and withdrew from politics.[2][et]

The Princes of Qinghe and Pingyuan had been arguing among themselves with Sun Li, the governor of Ji Province, over a land dispute for the past eight years, after consulting with Sima Yi,[2] arguing a map from the palace archives made during the time of the latter prince's enfeoffment should be used.[2] This map would favour Pingyuan's claim but Cao Shuang preferred the plaint of the Prince of Qinghe and dismissed the appeal.[2] Sun Li sent a memorial in a forceful tone and Cao Shuang, in anger, banished him from his position for five years.[2] He was eventually reinstated as the governor of Bing Province, and visited Sima Yi before taking his leave.[2] 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.[2] 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.[2] Sima Yi replied: "Stop for the time being, and bear the unbearable."[2]

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 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. They were still wary of Sima Yi, however, and did not lower their guard against him.[eu]

In late 248, Sima Yi, together with his eldest son, Sima Shi, and with possibly his second eldest son, Sima Zhao, began plotting against Cao Shuang[2][ev]

Meeting with Li ShengEdit

Li Sheng, one of Cao Shuang's supporters, had been 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.[2] Sima Yi knew the true purpose of Li Sheng's visit so he pretended to be frail and senile. Li Sheng saw Sima Yi could not move around and wear clothes without help from his servants,[2] and could not consume congee without soiling his clothes.[2] 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."[2] 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!"[2] 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."[2] Later, he said: "It's sad to see that the Grand Tutor is no longer in a good state of health to serve".[2] Cao Shuang lowered his guard against Sima Yi.[ew][40][2]

Incident at Gaoping TombsEdit

According to the Book of Jin, 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. In the early hours of the next morning, the spies reported to Sima Yi that Sima Shi went to bed as usual and slept peacefully whereas Sima Zhao, having supposedly only been informed of the plan during the prior evening, tossed and turned in his bed.[ex]

On 5 February 249, Cao Shuang and his brothers accompanied the emperor Cao Fang on a visit to Gaoping Mausoleum (高平陵) to pay their respects to the late emperor Cao Rui.[2][ey] 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.[ez] Thereafter, the city gates were closed while Sima Shi's previously-arranged 3,000 forces that had gathered at the Sima Gate (司馬門) under his command were led to occupy the palace gates. Sima Yi later 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 with the intent to shoot the passing Sima Yi. His colleague Sun Qian (孫謙) stopped him and said: "We wouldn't know what will happen". Yan Shi thrice prepared to shoot the bow but did not shoot.[fa]

Meanwhile, Sima Yi granted imperial authority to Gao Rou the Minister over the Masses and appointed him as acting General-in-Chief (大將軍), and ordered him to take command of Cao Shuang's troops, stating: "You're now like Zhou Bo". Sima Yi also appointed Wang Guan the Minister Coachman (太僕), whom Sima Yi had previously recommended during Cao Rui's reign[fb] 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).[fc][2]

Sima Yi, along with the Grand Commandant Jiang Ji and others, led troops out of Luoyang to the pontoon bridge above the Luo River,[2] where he sent a memorial to the emperor Cao Fang listing Cao Shuang's crimes—which included not fulfilling his duty as regent and corrupting the government, and conspiring against the throne—and asking the emperor to remove Cao Shuang and his brothers from their positions of power.[fd][2] Cao Shuang blocked the memorial from reaching Cao Fang[2] 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.[2] Sima Yi sent Xu Yun (許允) and Chen Tai to persuade Cao Shuang to plead guilty as early as possible. Sima Yi also sent Yin Damu (尹大目), a man whom Cao Shuang trusted, to tell him nothing more would result from this aside from his dismissal.[2] Huan Fan, the Minister of Finance (大司農), had 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."[2][fe] Huan Fan attempted to persuade 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[2] but they remained undecided.[2] Cao Shuang ultimately surrendered to Sima Yi and gave up his powers, thinking he could still lead a luxurious life in retirement.[ff][2] 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."[2]

After returning to Luoyang, Cao Shuang and his brothers were carefully guarded,[2] and on 9 February 249,[fh] Cao Shuang was accused of plotting treason after the palace eunuch Zhang Dang (張當), who had been sent to the tingyu,[2] had testified Cao Shuang and his associates were planning to seize the throne for themselves.[2] 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 with the rest of their families and relatives on the same day.[41][42][2] 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.[fi] Two of Cao Shuang's subordinates Lu Zhi (魯芝) and Yang Zong (楊綜) had been implicated in the plot and were arrested as well, although Sima Yi pardoned them under the rationale: "Each of them was serving his own master".[2]

Earlier, when Huan Fan escaped from Luoyang to join Cao Shuang, he encountered Si Fan (司蕃), who was guarding the Changping Gate. Because Si Fan used to serve under Huan Fan, Si Fan 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!" Si Fan, however, 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.[fj]

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 her ears and later her nose.[2] Her family asserted 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.[2] The contemporaneous Shu official and regent Fei Yi gave his own comment regarding the coup:

 ... 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.[fk]

On 18 February or sometime in March 249, Cao Fang appointed Sima Yi as Imperial Chancellor (丞相) and added another four counties to Sima Yi's marquisate, bringing the size of the marquisate to 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.[fl][13][2][fm] 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.[fn][2] In February or March 250, Cao Fang had an ancestral shrine for the Sima family built 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. Because 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.[fo]

Suppressing Wang Ling's rebellionEdit

Wang Ling the Grand Commandant and his nephew Linghu Yu (令狐愚) the Inspector of Yan Province became worried about 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,[2] and then to overthrow Sima Yi.[fp] Linghu Yu, however, died in December 249 or January 250.[2]

In February 251, Wang Ling either lied by stating Eastern Wu forces were approaching the Tu River (塗水) and requested the Wei government give him troops to resist the invaders or was telling the truth that they were obstructing the river,[2] but wanted to use the troops for his own malicious purposes. Sima Yi was suspicious of Wang Ling's intention so he refused to approve the request.[fq] On 7 June 251, upon receiving intelligence of Wang Ling's plot from officials Yang Hong (楊弘) and Huang Hua (黃華),[2] Sima Yi immediately mobilised troops to attack Wang Ling and travelled 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.[fr] Sima Yi issued a pardon to Wang Ling and sent a secretary to call for his surrender. Sima Yi's army reached Gancheng (甘城) within a few days and advanced to within 100 chi of Wang Ling's base to put pressure on him.[2] Wang Ling knew Sima Yi was aware of his plans to rebel and that his own 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, reassure him of his safety, and return to him his official seal and ceremonial axe.[2]

Wang Ling met with Sima Yi at Wuqiu (武丘) with a distance of more than ten zhang between both of them. Wang Ling told Sima Yi: "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 said: "You have failed me!" Sima Yi responded: "I would rather fail you than fail the state".[2] Wang Ling was then escorted as a prisoner back to Luoyang.[2] 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.[2] While en route to Luoyang, when Wang Ling passed by a shrine honouring the Wei general Jia Kui, he said; "Jia Liangdao! Only the gods know Wang Ling is truly loyal to Wei." Wang Ling committed suicide on 15 June 251 by consuming poison at Xiang County (項縣; around present-day Shenqiu County, Henan).[fs][2] Sima Yi had Wang Ling's conspirators arrested and executed along with their families.[2]

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. 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 with the title "Duke of Anping Commandery". One of Sima Yi's grandsons and one of his brothers were also enfeoffed as marquises. At the time, the Sima family had 19 marquises and 50,000 taxable households in all their combined marquisates. Sima Yi declined the appointment of Chancellor of State and refused to accept his enfeoffment as a duke.[ft]

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 relented and ordered his subordinates to bring back his wife from the imperial censors. Guo Huai 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.[fu]

The Weilüe recounts a story of a man named Yang Kang (楊康), a former personal aide of Linghu Yu who divulged the conspiracy of Linghu Yu, who wanted to engage in a rebellion in 249 or 250.[2]Sima Yi, while stationed in Shouchun, asked Shan Gu (單固), another former aide: "Did Linghu Yu plot a rebellion?" Shan Gu denied this but Sima Yi doubted him because Yang Kang had previously said Shan Gu had also been involved in the plot. Shan Gu and his family were arrested, and he was tortured and interrogated. Shan Gu remained firm in his denial so Sima Yi had Yang Kang called in to compare their testimonies.[2] 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 because his own testimony had been inconsistent, he was sentenced to death together with Shan Gu,[2] and both men were dragged out and executed.[2]

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.[2]

In July 251, Cao Biao was forced to commit suicide.[2] Sima Yi then relocated the other nobles from the Cao family to Ye, where they were effectively put under house arrest.[fv][2]

Death and posthumous honoursEdit

In July 251, when Sima Yi became critically ill, he dreamt of Jia Kui and Wang Ling being honoured, which disturbed him.[fw] Sima Yi 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 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 and elevated him to the status of a duke. Sima Yi's younger brother Sima Fu, however, declined the ducal title and a wenliangche (轀輬車)[fx] on behalf of his deceased brother, stating Sima Yi would have done that if he was still alive.[fy]

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). Before his death, however, Sima Yi had made arrangements to be buried at Mount Shouyang (首陽山; in present-day Yanshi, Luoyang, Henan) with no markers such as tombstone or trees around his tomb, to be dressed in plain clothes, and have no luxury items buried with him. He also stated his family members who died after him should not be buried with him.[fz]

After Sima Yi's death, his eldest son Sima Shi assumed his father's authority[ga] up until his own death on 23 March 255,[gb] after which Sima Yi's second eldest son Sima Zhao took up his elder brother's position.[gc] On 2 May 264, when the Wei emperor Cao Huan enfeoffed Sima Zhao as the vassal "Prince/King of Jin",[gd] Sima Zhao honoured his father with the posthumous title "Prince/King Xuan of Jin".[ge]

Sima Zhao died on 6 September 265,[gf] and his eldest son Sima Yan succeeded him in his position.[gg] 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" with the temple name "Gaozu", and named his grandfather's burial place "Gaoyuan Mausoleum" (高原陵).[gh]


In his youth, 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 release Sima Yi. When Zhou Sheng refused, Hu Zhao cried and pleaded with him. Zhou Sheng was so moved by Hu Zhao's sincerity he released Sima Yi. Hu Zhao told nobody about this incident and very few people knew Sima Yi owed him his life.[gi]

A different and likely fictional version of Sima Yi's joining of Cao Cao's administration comes from a Weilüe account that states Cao Hong, a veteran general serving under Cao Cao, had heard of Sima Yi's talent and wanted to recruit him as an adviser. Sima Yi thought little of Cao Hong, and refused to meet him, pretending to be so ill he could not walk without using crutches. Cao Hong was so unhappy he reported it to Cao Cao, who then summoned Sima Yi. When Sima Yi heard Cao Cao wanted to meet him, he immediately threw aside his crutches and rushed there.[gj]

Cao Cao heard Sima Yi was ambitious and had a lang gu (狼顧)[gk] appearance so he wanted to see if it was true. One day, Cao Cao ordered Sima Yi to walk in front of him and made him look back. Sima Yi turned his head to look back without moving his body.[gl] Cao Cao also once dreamt of three horses feeding from the same trough[gn] 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". Because Cao Pi was on good terms with Sima Yi, he often protected and shielded Sima Yi from criticism. 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.[go]

In his later years, Sima Yi started neglecting his wife Zhang Chunhua in favour of his concubine Lady Bai (柏夫人) . Once, when Sima Yi 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, she became angry and tried to starve herself to death, during which her children 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!"[gp]

Appraisal and legacyEdit

In 238, when Gongsun Yuan heard 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 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."[gq][1]

In 249, Wang Guang, the son of Wang Ling, said: "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."[2]

The Eastern Jin dynasty's Emperor Ming (r. 323–325), a descendant of Sima Yi, once asked an official named Wang Dao to tell him about the origins of the Jin dynasty. 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 said: "If what you said is true, how can the Jin (dynasty) expect to last long?"[gr]

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

After the fall of the Western Jin dynasty in 316, the belief began to slowly shift from the popular ideal Wei was the rightful successor to the Han dynasty towards the view Shu may have had greater legitimacy. 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 is exemplified by Li Shimin's (Emperor Taizong of Tang's) comment in the Book of Jin regarding Sima Yi:

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[gu]


Consorts and Issue:

  • Empress Xuanmu, of the Zhang clan (宣穆皇后 張氏; 189–247), personal name Chunhua (春華)
    • 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 司馬榦; 232–311), sixth son
  • Furen, of the Fu clan (伏夫人)
    • Sima Liang, Prince Wencheng of Runan (汝南文成王 司馬亮; exec. 291), third son
    • Sima Zhou, Prince Wu of Langya (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
  • Furen, of the Zhang clan (張夫人)
    • Sima Rong, Prince Xiao of Liang (梁孝王 司馬肜; d. 302), eighth son
  • Furen, of the Bai clan (柏夫人)
  • 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 fictionEdit

A portrait of Sima Yi from a Qing dynasty edition of the 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, Sima Yi pretends to be a loyal and dedicated subject of the Wei state while secretly planning to concentrate power in his hands and prepare for his descendants to usurp the throne one day – in the same way Cao Cao did towards the end of the Eastern Han dynasty. Sima Yi is also 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 battles.

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

Chan Mou's manhua comic-book 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 appears as a playable character in Koei's video game series Dynasty Warriors and Warriors Orochi. In the mobile video game Puzzles & Dragons, he is featured as a God type in the 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 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 alsoEdit


  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. ^ 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.
  4. ^ "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.
  5. ^ "After eight generations was born the General who Conquers the West [zhengxi jiangjun], Jun, courtesy name Shuping."
    Jin Shu vol. 1.
  6. ^ "Jun fathered the Grand Administrator [taishou] of Yuzhang, Liang, courtesy name Gongdu."
    Jin Shu vol. 1.
  7. ^ "Liang fathered the Grand Administrator of Yingchuan, Jun, courtesy name Yuanyi."
    Jin Shu vol. 1.
  8. ^ "Jun fathered the Intendant [yin] of Jingzhao, Fang, courtesy name Jiangong."
    Jin Shu vol. 1.
  9. ^ "(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.
  10. ^ in decreasing order of seniority: Sima Fu (Shuda), Sima Kui (Jida), Sima Xun (Xianda), Sima Jin (Huida), Sima Tong (Yada), and Sima Min (Youda).
  11. ^ 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.[3]
  12. ^ "(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.
  13. ^ "(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.
  14. ^ "(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.
  15. ^ "(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.
  16. ^ 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 [...]
  17. ^ 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.
  18. ^ "(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.
  19. ^ "(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.
  20. ^ While there are accounts such as this in the official historical records, they should be regarded with extreme skepticism. Sima Yi's eldest child Sima Shi was also born in 208, and it is possible that this, or other personal issues or feelings on the matter, was a reason for hesitation on Sima Yi's part.
  21. ^ This "crown prince" was not Cao Cao's son Cao Pi but an unnamed son of Emperor Xian, the figurehead Han emperor under Cao Cao's control.
  22. ^ "(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.
  23. ^ "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.
  24. ^ "(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.
  25. ^ "(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.
  26. ^ "(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.
  27. ^ "(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.
  28. ^ "(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.
  29. ^ "(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.
  30. ^ "(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.
  31. ^ "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.
  32. ^ "(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.
  33. ^ "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 returned from hiding."
    To Establish Peace, Rafe de Crespigny.
  34. ^ Zizhi Tongjian 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. Sima 1084, vol. 69
  35. ^ "(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.
  36. ^ "(魏文帝即位,封河津亭侯,轉丞相長史。)"
    Jin Shu vol. 1.
  37. ^ "(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.
  38. ^ "(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.
  39. ^ "(黃初二年,督軍官罷,遷侍中、尚書右僕射。)"
    Jin Shu vol. 1.
  40. ^ "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.
  41. ^ ""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.
  42. ^ "(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.
  43. ^ "(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.
  44. ^ "(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.
  45. ^ ""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.'"
  46. ^ 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."
  47. ^ "(明帝即位,改封舞陽侯。)"
    Jin Shu vol. 1.
  48. ^ "(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.
  49. ^ 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]
  50. ^ "(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.
  51. ^ "(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.
  52. ^ "(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.
  53. ^ Zizhi Tongjian reverses the locations of the Shu and Wu forces.Sima 1084, vol. 70
  54. ^ "(... 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.
  55. ^ "(乃勸農桑,禁浮費,南土悅附焉。)"
    Jin Shu vol. 1.
  56. ^ "(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.
  57. ^ 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.
  58. ^ "(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.
  59. ^ "(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.
  60. ^ "([太和四年]九月,大雨,伊、洛、河、漢水溢,詔真等班師。)"Sanguozhi vol. 3.
  61. ^ "(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.
  62. ^ "(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.
  63. ^ "(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.
  64. ^ "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.
  65. ^ According to Achilles 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 Liu Bei's state was the legitimate successor to the Han; he refers to Liu Bei's state as Han rather than Shu. Xi Zuochi is extremely biased in favour of the Liu faction and any information from the Chronicles of Han and Jin [and Records of Xiangyang] must be regarded with skepticism and should be considered generally unreliable.
  66. ^ "(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.
  67. ^ "(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.
  68. ^ "(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.
  69. ^ "(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.
  70. ^ "(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.
  71. ^ "(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.
  72. ^ "(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.
  73. ^ "(縱其後出,不復攻城,當求野戰,必在隴東,不在西也。)"
    Jin Shu vol. 1.
  74. ^ "(時宣王等糧亦盡) Huayangguo Zhi vol. 7.
  75. ^ "(糧盡退軍) Sanguozhi vol. 35.
  76. ^ "(六月,亮以糧盡退軍) Zizhi Tongjian vol. 72.
  77. ^ "(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.
  78. ^ "(秋七月丙子,以亮退走,封爵增位各有差。)"Sanguozhi vol. 3.
  79. ^ "(天子使使者勞軍,增封邑。)"
    Jin Shu vol. 1.
  80. ^ "(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.
  81. ^ "(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.
  82. ^ "(二年,亮又率衆十餘萬出斜谷,壘于郿之渭水南原。)"
    Jin Shu vol. 1.
  83. ^ "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.
  84. ^ "(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.
  85. ^ "(天子憂之,遣征蜀護軍秦朗督步騎二萬,受帝節度。)"
    Jin Shu vol. 1.
  86. ^ "(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.
  87. ^ "(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.
  88. ^ "(宣王善之,淮遂屯北原。塹壘未成,蜀兵大至,淮逆擊之。)"Sanguozhi vol. 26.
  89. ^ "(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.
  90. ^ "(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.
  91. ^ "(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.
  92. ^ "(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.
  93. ^ "(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.
  94. ^ "(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.
  95. ^ "(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.
  96. ^ "(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.
  97. ^ "Zhongda" was Sima Yi's courtesy name.
  98. ^ "(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.
  99. ^ "(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.
  100. ^ "(關東饑,帝運長安粟五百萬斛輸于京師。)"
    Jin Shu vol. 1.
  101. ^ "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.
  102. ^ "[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.
  103. ^ "(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.
  104. ^ "(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.
  105. ^ "(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.
  106. ^ "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.
  107. ^ "(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.
  108. ^ "(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.
  109. ^ "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.
  110. ^ "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.
  111. ^ "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.
  112. ^ "(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.
  113. ^ "(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.
  114. ^ "(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.
  115. ^ "(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.
  116. ^ "(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.
  117. ^ "(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.
  118. ^ "(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.
  119. ^ "(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.
  120. ^ "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 seven 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.
  121. ^ "(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.
  122. ^ Literally: "whales" (鯨鯢)
  123. ^ "(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.
  124. ^ "(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.
  125. ^ "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.
  126. ^ A zhuifengche (追鋒車) was a light, fast-moving horse-drawn carriage or chariot. See the dictionary definition.
  127. ^ "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.
  128. ^ "(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.
  129. ^ "(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.
  130. ^ "(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.
  131. ^ "(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.
  132. ^ "(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.
  133. ^ "(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.
  134. ^ "(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.
  135. ^ "(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.
  136. ^ "(三年春,天子追封謚皇考京兆尹為舞陽成侯。)"
    Jin Shu vol. 1.
  137. ^ "(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.
  138. ^ "(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.
  139. ^ "(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
  140. ^ "(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.
  141. ^ "(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.
  142. ^ "(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.
  143. ^ "(五年春正月,帝至自淮南,天子使持節勞軍。)"
    Jin Shu vol. 1.
  144. ^ "(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.
  145. ^ "(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.
  146. ^ "(冬十二月,天子詔帝朝會乘輿升殿。)" Jin Shu vol. 1.
  147. ^ "(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.
  148. ^ "(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.
  149. ^ "(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.
  150. ^ At the time, Sima Yi was already around 68 years old, and it is probable he was suffering from a variety of health-related issues. Sima Yi's wife Zhang Chunhua, had recently died so it is probable he was distraught at the death of his wife and went into mourning.
  151. ^ "(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.
  152. ^ Sima Shi was surely involved in the plotting with his father but it is uncertain how involved Sima Zhao was. The more traditional view, such as that espoused by Fang Xuanling, is Sima Zhao was not informed until the evening before the incident. Historians such as Sima Guang disregard this view and assert Sima Zhao was as deeply involved in the plot as his elder brother.
  153. ^ "(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.
  154. ^ "(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.
  155. ^ 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."
  156. ^ "(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.
  157. ^ "(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.
  158. ^ "Grand Commandant Sīmǎ Xuán-wáng requested Guàn be an Advisor Palace Official".
    Sanguozhi, Chen Shou.
  159. ^ "(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.
  160. ^ "(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.
  161. ^ 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.
  162. ^ "(... 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.
  163. ^ "([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.
  164. ^ Cao Fang's biography in the Sanguozhi recorded 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.[fg] This date corresponds to 9 February 249 in the Gregorian calendar.
  165. ^ "(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.
  166. ^ "(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.
  167. ^ "(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.
  168. ^ "(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.
  169. ^ "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.
  170. ^ "(冬十二月,加九錫之禮,朝會不拜。固讓九錫。)"
    Jin Shu vol. 1.
  171. ^ "(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.
  172. ^ "(兗州刺史令狐愚、太尉王淩貳於帝,謀立楚王彪。)"
    Jin Shu vol. 1.
  173. ^ "(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.
  174. ^ "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.
  175. ^ "([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.
  176. ^ "(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.
  177. ^ "(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.
  178. ^ "(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.
  179. ^ "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.
  180. ^ 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.
  181. ^ (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.
  182. ^ "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.
  183. ^ "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.
  184. ^ "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.
  185. ^ "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.
  186. ^ "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.
  187. ^ "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.
  188. ^ "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.
  189. ^ "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.
  190. ^ "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.
  191. ^ "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.
  192. ^ "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.
  193. ^ The term lang gu (狼顧) refers to a wolf turning its head to look behind. It is an archaic term used to describe people who constantly feel suspicious and insecure. See the dictionary definition of 狼顧.
  194. ^ "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.
  195. ^ "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.
  196. ^ 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 is the three horses represented Ma Teng, Ma Chao, and Ma Dai, since the family name Ma (馬) literally means "horse". Because the Ma family no longer posed a threat to Cao Cao, it was more likely the three horses represented the Simas.[gm]
  197. ^ "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.
  198. ^ "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.
  199. ^ "(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.
  200. ^ "(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.
  201. ^ "(帝內忌而外寬,猜忌多權變。)"
    Jin Shu vol. 1.
  202. ^ "(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.
  203. ^ "(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).


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac Sima (1084), vol. 74.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao ap aq ar as at au av aw ax ay az ba bb bc bd be bf bg bh bi bj bk bl Sima (1084), vol. 75.
  3. ^ Sakaguchi (2005), p. 158.
  4. ^ a b c Rafe de Crespigny, Imperial Warlord: A Biography of Cao Cao 155-220 AD, p. 457.
  5. ^ Rafe de Crespigny, A Biographical Dictionary of Later Han to the Three Kingdoms (23-220 AD), p. 1107.
  6. ^ Rafe de Crespigny, Imperial Warlord: A Biography of Cao Cao 155-220 AD, p. 246.
  7. ^ Rafe de Crespigny, A Biographical Dictionary of Later Han to the Three Kingdoms (23-220 AD), p. 749.
  8. ^ a b Sakaguchi (2005), p. 160.
  9. ^ a b c Sima (1084), vol. 69.
  10. ^ Rafe de Crespigny, A Biographical Dictionary of Later Han to the Three Kingdoms (23-220 AD), p. 12, p. 877.
  11. ^ Rafe de Crespigny, A Biographical Dictionary of Later Han to the Three Kingdoms (23-220 AD), p. 954.
  12. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Sima (1084), vol. 70.
  13. ^ a b Watanabe (2006), p. 283.
  14. ^ Zizhi Tongjian vol. 71.
  15. ^ Sima (1084), vol. 71.
  16. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai Sima (1084), vol. 72.
  17. ^ Sakaguchi (2005), p. 161.
  18. ^ Zizhi Tongjian vol. 72.
  19. ^ Rafe de Crespigny, A Biographical Dictionary of Later Han to the Three Kingdoms (23-220 AD), p. 185.
  20. ^ Ralph Sawyer (2010), p. 131
  21. ^ Watanabe (2006), p. 270.
  22. ^ Zizhi Tongjian vol. 73.
  23. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa Sima (1084), vol. 73.
  24. ^ Chen Shou, 28.5.
  25. ^ a b Gardiner (1972B), p. 169.
  26. ^ Watanabe (2006), p. 278.
  27. ^ Gardiner (1972B), p. 168.
  28. ^ Gardiner (1972B), pp. 165, 169. The names of these leaders of the Goguryeo expeditionary force were not recorded.
  29. ^ Gardiner (1972B), p. 171
  30. ^ Gardiner (1972B), pp. 172, 195 note 94.
  31. ^ Ikeuchi, pp. 87-88.
  32. ^ Sakaguchi (2005), p. 204.
  33. ^ Zizhi Tongjian vol. 74.
  34. ^ ZZTJ Zhengshi 2, 10
  35. ^ ZZTJ Zhengshi 3, 4.
  36. ^ Rafe de Crespigny, Imperial Warlord: A Biography of Cao Cao 155-220 AD, pp. 460-461.
  37. ^ Sakaguchi (2005), p. 51.
  38. ^ Watanabe (2006), p. 280.
  39. ^ Sakaguchi (2005), pp. 50, 162.
  40. ^ Watanabe (2006), p. 281.
  41. ^ Sakaguchi (2005), p. 162.
  42. ^ Watanabe (2006), p. 282.
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  • 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.
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  • 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. Tokyo: Kojinsha. (正史三國志群雄銘銘傳). .
  • Sima, Guang (1084). Zizhi Tongjian. (資治通鑑).
  • Watanabe, Seiichi, ed. (2006). Moichidomanabitai Sangokushi. Tokyo: Seitosha. (もう一度学びたい 三国志)
  • Yu Huan (3rd century). Weilüe (魏略).
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External linksEdit

  Media related to Sima Yi at Wikimedia Commons