Biography (SGZ): Jian Yong (Xianhe)

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Jian Yong (Xianhe)
簡雍 (憲和)

Sanguozhi Officer Biography
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Jiang Yong, styled Xianhe, was a man from Zhuojun. He was acquainted with the First Ruler [Liu Bei] in his youth, and accompanied him on all his journeys. When the First Ruler arrived at Jingzhou, he made Yong a Gentleman of the General Staff along with Mi Zhu and Sun Qian, and often conversed with them as well as sending them on emissary missions. Then, when the First Ruler entered Yizhou, Liu Zhang was introduced to Jian Yong and was quite fond of him. And so, later, when the First Ruler besieged Chengdu, he sent Jian Yong to persuade Liu Zhang [to surrender]. Then Liu Zhang came out of the city, sharing a carriage with Jian Yong in acquaintance. The First Ruler bestowed on Jian Yong the title of “General of Shining Virtues”.

Jian Yong lived a leisurely life, engaging in the discussions of the times. He was so brazen and impertinent, that even when he was in the presence of the First Ruler, he would sit slouching with his legs stretched out, irreverent at the sight of awe-inspiring ceremonies. When he met with those whose rank were below Zhuge Liang, he would set up a couch for himself, and speak lounging and leaning against a pillow. None could make him change his ways.

Once, there was a drought, and all liquor was banned. Those who brewed were to be penalized by the law. The law-enforcing officers had discovered brewing equipment in a man’s house, and he was about to be punished as one who brewed. Jian Yong went on a tour of the city with the First Ruler, and saw a man and a woman walking together on the streets. Jian Yong said to the First Ruler, “That man is about to commit rape! You should have him arrested at once!” The First Ruler asked, “How do you know that?” Yong answered, “He has the equipment of doing so, just like the man who wanted to make liquor.” The First Ruler burst into guffaws and granted pardon to the man who was going to brew. Jian Yong was full of this kind of humor (1).

(1) Some have said that Jian Yong’s family name was originally “Geng”, but since in the Youzhou dialect “Geng” is pronounced “Jian”, he changed his name accordingly. <return>

Copyright © 2002 - 2003
Translated from Chen Shou’s Sanguozhi