Sun Ba (died 250), courtesy name Ziwei, was an imperial prince of the state of Eastern Wu during the Three Kingdoms period of China. He was the fourth son of Sun Quan, the founding emperor of Eastern Wu.

Sun Ba
Prince of Lu (魯王)
TenureSeptember 242 – 250
SpouseLiu Ji's daughter
  • Sun Ji
  • Sun Yi
Family name: Sun (孫)
Given name: Ba (霸)
Courtesy name: Ziwei (子威)
HouseHouse of Sun
FatherSun Quan
MotherConsort Xie


Sun Ba was the fourth son of Sun Quan,[1] a warlord who lived in the late Eastern Han dynasty and became the founding emperor of the Eastern Wu state in the Three Kingdoms period. His mother was Consort Xie (謝姬), a concubine of Sun Quan.[2] He was enfeoffed as the Prince of Lu (魯王) in September 242.[3]

Sometime in the 240s, Sun Ba became embroiled in a power struggle against his third brother, Sun He, the Crown Prince,[a] because he wanted to seize the succession from him. In fact, it was Sun Quan himself who sowed the seeds of the conflict between his third and fourth sons. Although Sun Quan had already made Sun He the Crown Prince in 242, he also treated Sun Ba exceptionally well. After discussing among themselves, some officials strongly urged Sun Quan to ensure that Confucian rules of propriety were followed and upheld. For example, Sun He should be accorded greater honours and privileges as compared to Sun Ba because he, as the Crown Prince, was in a higher position compared to the other princes. However, Sun Quan failed to make a clear distinction between his sons, so the power struggle intensified over time as Sun He and Sun Ba started vying for their father's favour and attention.[4]

When Sun Quan noticed that the rivalry between his sons had a polarising effect on his subjects, he forbade his sons from interacting with the outside world, and ordered them to focus on academic studies.[5] The official Yang Dao (羊衜) wrote a memorial to Sun Quan, urging the emperor to lift the ban on his sons interacting with the outside world. He pointed out that both Sun He and Sun Ba held considerable prestige among the literati and scholar-officials, who were eager to meet the two princes, so they should be allowed to interact with the outside world. Yang Dao also explained to Sun Quan that isolating the two princes from the outside world might make people think that Eastern Wu was experiencing internal instability and allow rumours to breed and spread.[6] Sun Quan probably heeded Yang Dao's advice.

Two opposing factions also emerged from among Sun Quan's subjects: On one side, Lu Xun, Zhuge Ke, Gu Tan, Zhu Ju, Teng Yin, Shi Ji, Ding Mi (丁密) and Wu Can believed that Sun He was the rightful heir apparent so they supported him. On the other side, Bu Zhi, Lü Dai, Quan Cong, Lü Ju, Sun Hong (孫弘), Quan Ji (全寄), Yang Zhu (楊笁), Wu An (吳安) and Sun Qi (孫奇) supported Sun Ba. Quan Ji and Yang Zhu, in particular, frequently spoke ill of Sun He in front of Sun Quan. As the power struggle intensified, Sun Quan grew tired of it and told Sun Jun that he was worried that the power struggle would end up in a civil war like the one between Yuan Shao's sons.[7] He wanted to end the power struggle and designate a new heir apparent, so he started taking action against some of the officials involved: Wu Can was imprisoned and executed later; Gu Tan was exiled to Jiao Province; Yang Zhu was executed and his body dumped into the river; Quan Ji, Wu An and Sun Qi were executed.[8][9]

Sometime between September and November 250, Sun Quan deposed Sun He from his position as Crown Prince and relocated him to Guzhang County (故鄣縣; northwest of present-day Anji County, Zhejiang). He also forced Sun Ba to commit suicide. In December 250, Sun Quan designated his youngest son, Sun Liang, as the new Crown Prince to replace Sun He.[10]


Sun Ba married the daughter of Liu Ji.[11] He had two sons: Sun Ji (孫基) and Sun Yi (孫壹). Sometime between 254 and 256, Sun Liang, who became the second emperor of Eastern Wu in 252, enfeoffed Sun Ji and Sun Yi as the Marquis of Wu (吳侯) and Marquis of Wanling (宛陵侯) respectively. He also allowed Sun Ji to serve as his personal attendant. In 257, Sun Ji was thrown into prison after he was caught stealing the emperor's horse. When Sun Liang asked Diao Xuan (刁玄) what punishment would be appropriate for Sun Ji, Diao Xuan told him that Sun Ji had committed a capital offence. However, Diao Xuan also advised Sun Liang to show leniency towards Sun Ji, and pointed out that Sun Liang could pardon Sun Ji or exile him. Sun Liang eventually chose to pardon Sun Ji.[12]

In 264, Sun He's son, Sun Hao, became the fourth emperor of Eastern Wu. After his coronation, Sun Hao honoured his father with the posthumous title of an emperor, and recalled the succession struggle between his father and Sun Ba. He took revenge against Sun Ji and Sun Yi by stripping them of their noble titles and exiling them and their grandmother (Sun Ba's mother) to Wushang County (烏傷縣; present-day Yiwu, Zhejiang).[13]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Sun He became Crown Prince in 242 following the death of Sun Quan's eldest son and first heir apparent, Sun Deng, in 241. Sun Quan's second son, Sun Lü, died early so Sun He, as Sun Quan's eldest surviving son, became the new Crown Prince.


  1. ^ (孫霸字子威,和弟也。) Sanguozhi vol. 59.
  2. ^ (霸二子,基、壹。 ... 孫皓即位,追和、霸舊隙,削基、壹爵土,與祖母謝姬俱徙會稽烏傷縣。) Sanguozhi vol. 59.
  3. ^ ([赤烏五年]八月,立子霸為魯王。) Sanguozhi vol. 47.
  4. ^ (殷基通語曰:初權旣立和為太子,而封霸為魯王,初拜猶同宮室,禮秩未分。羣公之議,以為太子、國王上下有序,禮秩宜異,於是分宮別僚,而隙端開矣。) Tongyu annotation in Sanguozhi vol. 59.
  5. ^ ([孫]和為太子。霸為魯王,寵愛崇特,與和無殊。頃之,和、霸不穆之聲聞於權耳,權禁斷往來,假以精學。) Sanguozhi vol. 59.
  6. ^ (督軍使者羊衜上疏曰:「臣聞古之有天下者, ... 萬國幸甚矣。」) Sanguozhi vol. 59.
  7. ^ (自侍御賔客造為二端,仇黨疑貳,滋延大臣。丞相陸遜、大將軍諸葛恪、太常顧譚、驃騎將軍朱據、會稽太守滕胤、大都督施績、尚書丁密等奉禮而行,宗事太子,驃騎將軍步隲、鎮南將軍呂岱、大司馬全琮、左將軍呂據、中書令孫弘等附魯王,中外官僚將軍大臣舉國中分。權患之,謂侍中孫峻曰:「子弟不睦,臣下分部,將有袁氏之敗,為天下笑。一人立者,安得不亂?」於是有改嗣之規矣。) Tongyu annotation in Sanguozhi vol. 59.
  8. ^ (魯王霸覬覦滋甚,陸遜、吾粲、顧譚等數陳適庶之義,理不可奪,全寄、楊笁為魯王霸支黨,譖愬日興。粲遂下獄誅,譚徙交州。) Sanguozhi vol. 59.
  9. ^ (時全寄、吳安、孫奇、楊笁等陰共附霸,圖危太子。譖毀旣行,太子以敗,霸亦賜死。流笁屍于江,兄穆以數諫戒笁,得免大辟,猶徙南州。霸賜死後,又誅寄、安、奇等,咸以黨霸搆和故也。) Sanguozhi vol. 59.
  10. ^ ([赤烏]十三年 ... 八月, ... 廢太子和,處故鄣。魯王霸賜死。冬十月, ... 十一月,立子亮為太子。) Sanguozhi vol. 47.
  11. ^ (繇長子基,字敬輿, ... 後權為子霸納基女,) Sanguozhi vol. 49.
  12. ^ (霸二子,基、壹。五鳳中,封基為吳侯,壹宛陵侯。基侍孫亮在內,太平二年,盜乘御馬,收付獄。亮問侍中刁玄曰:「盜乘御馬罪云何?」玄對曰:「科應死。然魯王早終,惟陛下哀原之。」亮曰:「法者,天下所共,何得阿以親親故邪?當思惟可以釋此者,柰何以情相迫乎?」玄曰:「舊赦有大小,或天下,亦有千里、五百里赦,隨意所及。」亮曰:「解人不當爾邪!」乃赦宮中,基以得免。) Sanguozhi vol. 59.
  13. ^ (孫皓即位,追和、霸舊隙,削基、壹爵土,與祖母謝姬俱徙會稽烏傷縣。) Sanguozhi vol. 59.