Biography (COB): Sun Quan (Zhongmou)

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Sun Quan (Zhongmou)Sun Quan (Zhongmou)
孫權 (仲謀)

Comprehensive Officer Biography
Translated & Authored by

Place of Birth: Fuchun County, Wu Prefecture (Presently Fuyang, Zhejiang Province)
Lifespan: AD 182 – 252 (70 years)
Titles: Lord of Nanchang, Duke of Wu, Emperor of Wu, Great Emperor
Family: Sun Jian (father), Lady Wu (mother), Sun Ce, Sun Yi, Sun Kuang (brothers), Sun Lang (half brother), Sun Shang Xiang (sister), Liu Bei (brother-in-law),Sun Deng, Sun Lü, Sun He, Sun Ba, Sun Fen, Sun Xiu, Sun Liang (sons), Sun Hao (grandson) Sun Ben, Sun Fu, Sun Hao, Sun Yu, Sun Jiao, Sun Huan, Sun Qian (cousins), Lu Xun (uncle-in-law)

Sun Quan was the second son of Sun Jian and younger brother of Sun Ce. In the fifth year of Rebuilt Tranquility (AD 200), Sun Ce died and passed over the seal of rule to his younger brother Quan. Cao Cao gave him the rank of General who Annihilates Barbarians and Governor of Kuai Ji.

Together with talented men such as Zhou Yu, Lu Su and Zhang Zhao, Sun Quan effectively ruled the land of Jiang Dong and turned it into a wealthy and safe area. Sun Quan received much praised from others and attracted many scholars and warriors to his land.

In the seventh year of Rebuilt Tranquility (AD 202), after Cao Cao defeated Yuan Shao and controlled the north, he sent a letter to Sun Quan, demanding him to send a son to serve the Emperor. After thinking about it for a long time, Sun Quan refused the demand as it was seen as an attempt to control Wu from Xu Chang.

During a period of five years (AD 203 – 208), Sun Quan launched three campaigns against Huang Zu, and eventually killed him for participating in the murder of Sun Jian.

In the thirteenth year of Rebuilt Tranquility (AD 208), Sun Quan allied with Liu Bei in an attempt to deter Cao Cao from the Southlands. Though Cao Mengde commanded an army of eight hundred thirty thousand troops, he suffered heavy casualties at the hand of Zhou Yu and Sun Quan’s armies.

In AD 214, Sun Quan fought over Jing Zhou with Liu Bei, but with the threat of Cao Cao’s armies in Northern Jing Zhou, Sun Quan realized the importance of allying with Shu temporarily.

In the twenty-fourth year of Rebuilt Tranquility (AD 219), Sun Quan approved of Lu Meng’s plan to capture Jing Zhou and in the process had Guan Yu and his son, Guan Ping, killed (1). For this Cao Mengde bestowed the title of Lord of Nanchang.

A year later, Cao Pi succeeded Cao Cao as ruler of Wei and declared himself Emperor. In an act of revenge, Liu Bei led his army against Wu in that same year, threatening Wu’s position. Sun Quan accepted the Nine Dignities of Cao Pi’s rule and officially approved with the removal of the Han and the Wei Empire (2). When Shu’s invasion came with some seven hundred thousand troops, Wu’s Lu Xun successfully repelled them and sent Liu Bei back to Yi Zhou.

In AD 229, Sun Quan proclaimed himself Emperor at Wuchang and made an alliance with the Shu Empire. He also honored the accomplishments of his family by bestowing Sun Ce with the posthumous title of King of Chang Sha, and Sun Jian was revered as Martially Glorious Emperor. Zhongmou died in the year AD 252 at the age of seventy. He was buried at Jiang Ling. He received the title of Great Emperor, posthumously.

(1) Sun Quan was historically not responsible for the execution of Guan Yu and Guan Ping. Lü Meng made that decision while Sun Quan had not even been informed of his victory. <return>

(2) Sun Quan accepted Cao Pi as the legitimate authority after Emperor Xian first handed the seal of rule to Cao Cao, and later abdicating in favor of Cao Pi. Before declaring himself Emperor, Cao Pi installed Sun Quan as the legitimate Duke of Wu, similar to how Emperor Xian made Cao Cao Duke of Wei. <return>

Copyright © 2002 – 2003
A Kongming’s Archives Exclusive Production
Major Sources: Zhongguo Lishizhu – Professor T.Chen (1965 Peking)
annotations from Wu Jianxiang dachen nianbiao and Wu Li
Generals of the South – Rafe de Crespigny