Biography (SGYY): Min Gong

Home | Forum | SimRTK | History | Games | Graphics | Writing | Products | Links | Site Map

Min Gong
閔貢
Lifespan: Unknown

Sanguo yanyi Officer Biography
Author Notes in Blue
Authored by James Peirce

Min Gong

Min Gong was a Han commander serving in the Henan district. In AD 189, shortly after the death of He Jin, the Ten Regular Attendants lost authority over Luoyang. Yuan Shao, Cao Cao, and others entered the place to exterminate the eunuchs, but three of them, Duan Gui, Cao Jie, and Hou Lan, led by Zhang Rang, abducted Empress He, Emperor Bian, and Prince of Chenliu, Liu Xie (who would later become Emperor Xian).

Zhang Rang and Duan Gui with a small detachment of troops escaped the smoke, fire, and chaos of Luoyang with Emperor Bian, and Prince Xie, but in the process Empress He was saved by Lu Zhi, Liu Bei’s former teacher. They traveled without stopping until they reached the Beimang Hills (1) where they finally set camp and rested. During the second watch they heard the clamor of soldiers in the distance, led by commander Min Gong, an aide in the Henan district.

1: Beimang Hills was an ancient royal graveyard dating back to the Zhou dynasty, and was located near Luoyang.

“Traitors! Do not move!” shouted Min Gong, coming upon them quickly.

Zhang Rang, realizing he had no hope of escape, drown himself in a nearby river. Moments later, the young Emperor Bian and Prince Xie were caught in the middle of a conflict. Unable to discern between friend and foe, they both hid in tangled weeds at the river’s edge. Though Min Gong and his men searched for them when the conflict had subsided, they could not be located.

As the night approached the fourth watch a cold chill drew through the air. Huddled together, they began to sob, but held it back fearful of discovery. “We can’t stay here forever,” suggested a concerned Prince Xie, “we have to make our way out.”

They tied their clothes together and climbed bank, though it was thick with thorny brambles. It was too dark for them to see the path, and they began to despair, but suddenly thousands of fireflies gathered around them, emitting a radiant while before the Emperor.

“Heaven is helping us,” observed Prince Xie, and with aid from the fireflies searched and found a path. By the fifth, their feet aching from their rough experience, they discovered some hay at the side of the road, and rested, where they were discovered by Cui Yi, brother of the late Emperor’s Minister of the Interior, Cui Lie, who had retired when he saw what the Ten Eunuchs were doing to the government. Astonished, he took them into his home, and provided them with shelter and food.

Meanwhile, Min Gong had apprehended Duan Gui.

“Where is the Emperor?” he demanded.

“He disappeared! I do not know where he is!” pleaded the frantic eunuch.

Min Gong, furious, cut him down, and hung his head from his horse’s neck. He sent his troops in all directions to find the Emperor, then rode out to help himself. After a short while, he came across the farm, where he was intercepted by Cui Yi, who, after questioning him and seeing Duan Gui’s head, led him into the house to meet Emperor Bian and Prince Xie. When they met, they all wept bitterly.

“This realm,” suggested a concerned Min Gong, “cannot lack its lord; not even for a day. I pray, Your Majesty, please return to the capital?” They accepted, and Cui Yi, who had but one feeble mount, donated it to Emperor Bian. Min Gong rode with Prince Xie on his horse.

After traveling only a distance of around three li, hundreds of soldiers drew near led by Minister of the Interior Wang Yun, Grand Commandant Yang Biao, Commandant of the Left Army Chunyu Qiong, Commandant of the Right Army Zhao Meng, Commandant of the Rear Army Bao Xin, and Commandant of the Central Army, Yuan Shao. The Emperor and his subjects wept together when they met, finally realizing they had been saved. Duan Gui’s severed head was delivered to the capital and displayed as a warning. Fine horses were provided to the Emperor and prince, and they were escorted safely back to Luoyang.

Prior to these events, a child’s ditty sung in Luoyang foretold (2):

Though the emperor doesn't rule, though the prince no office fills,
Yet a brilliant cavalcade comes along from Beimang Hills.
2: Source: Romance of the Three Kingdoms, Brewitt-Taylor translation.

Copyright © 2005–2006 James Peirce
Based on the novel, Romance of the Three Kingdoms, attributed to Luo Guanzhong
Sources: Romance of the Three Kingdoms Brewitt-Taylor and Moss Roberts