Biography (SGYY): Jiang Bin

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Jiang Bin
Lifespan: Unknown

Sanguo yanyi Officer Biography
Author Notes in Blue
Authored by Sam Wrest

Jiang Bin

Jiang Bin was a general serving the kingdom of Shu during the reign of the Second Emperor, Liu Shan.

In the first year of the reign period Jiang Yao, AD 258-59, Shu’s General-in-Chief Jiang Wei petitioned the Second Emperor for an invasion of Wei, which was granted. Jiang Bin was made left commander of the expedition. Jiang Wei led the Riverlands force to the Qishan hills, where three camps were established in preparation for battle with Wei’s commander Deng Ai. Jiang Bin was in joint command of the left camp along with commander Wang Han. Jiang Bin and Wang Han took to preparing the position’s fortifications immediately, but come nightfall, they were still incomplete. Because of this, both slept in full armour for fear of a night raid made by the northerners.

In the middle of the night, Jiang Bin was awoken by a great commotion in the centre of the camp. Both Jiang Bin and Wang Han got their weapons at the ready and mounted their horses swiftly. From beyond the perimeter, the northern general Deng Zhong was leading an attack on the camp. Caught between the enemy without and within (1), Jiang Bin fought desperately but was unable to hold his ground against the northern force and later fled the camp. The left camp was thereupon lost but the northern force, unable to take the central camp because of Jiang Wei’s strict defence, were forced to retreat soon after. The next day, Jiang Bin and Wang Han gathered their defeated troops and presented themselves in front of the main camp, heads to the ground, pleading for forgiveness. Jiang Wei said to both, “Not knowing this terrain was my fault, not yours.” He then assigned a new force to Jiang Bin and Bin, with Wang Han, successfully resecured the left camp.

1: Deng Ai had anticipated Jiang Wei’s rout of advance and in preparation had had a tunnel dug from his own camp to the entrance of the gorge. The tunnel reached to Jiang Bin and Wang Han’s camp, which is how Deng Zhong was able to attack their camp from without and within.

Soon afterwards, Jiang Wei was able to take over Deng Ai’s nine camps in the Qishan hills, and Deng Ai was forced to camp south of the River Wei. Jiang Wei again defeated Deng Ai when he attempted to recover his lost camps and Ai, seeing he would be unable to drive back the Riverlands army, sent an envoy to Chengdu to spread false rumours of Jiang Wei’s intention to defect to Wei, causing Liu Shan to call back the Riverlands army. Deng Ai dared not pursue them.

When Sima Zhao began his expedition against the Riverlands in AD 263, Zhong Hui was put in charge of the capture of Hanzhong. Jiang Bin was assigned to defend Hanzheng pass from the northerners. Zhong Hui successfully defeated Lu Xun at Nanzheng Pass and Fu Qian at Yang’an Pass, and so Jiang Bin, unable to offer any resistance with the fall of Hanzhong imminent, submitted to Wei, where he lived out the rest of his days.

Copyright © 2005 Sam Wrest
Based on the novel, Romance of the Three Kingdoms, attributed to Luo Guanzhong