Biography (SGZ): Wang Ping (Zijun)

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Wang Ping (Zijun)
王平 (子均)

Sanguozhi Officer Biography
translated by Battleroyale

Wang Ping styled Zijun, hailed from Dang Qu in Ba Xi. Wang Ping was raised by a He family (his external relatives) but later he reused the surname Wang. Wang Ping followed Du Huo and Du Hu to Luo Yang and was appointed as deputy Colonel. He served Cao Cao and joined the Han Zhong expedition where he subsequently surrendered to Liu Bei. Then, Wang Ping was conferred the appointment of Ya Men Jiang (General in charge of the Camp’s Gate, Ya Men referred to the gate of the army’s camp where the flag of the army was positioned) and given the rank of Pi Jiang Jun (or Assistant General). In Jian Xing 6th year, Wang Ping was part of the vanguard led by Ma Su. Ma Su abandoned the water sources and encamped up on the mountains. In addition, Ma Su’s actions seemed to be disturbed as well as agitated. Wang Ping repeatedly advised Ma Su against such a move but his advice was not heeded. Ma Su was badly defeated at Jie Ting. The army dispersed and only the thousand soldiers led by Wang Ping stayed on and struck the drums. The Wei General, Zhang He, thought that there might be some ambushes and hence he did not urge his troops to advance further. Seeing that, Wang Ping carefully packed up some of the remaining equipments from the various camps and led his troops back. Zhuge Liang executed Ma Su as well as General Zhang Xiu and Li Sheng. Zhuge Liang also seized the troops that were under the command of Wang Xi. On the other hand, Wang Ping was given the appointment of Can Jun (or the General who played an advisory role in military matters) and made to head the five departments as well as the affairs of the army camp. Wang Ping was also promoted to the rank of Tao Kou Jiang Jun (General who attack the Bandits) and given the title of a Marqius (Ting Hou).

In Jian Xing 9th year, Zhuge Liang surrounded Qi Mountains (or Qi Shan) and Wang Ping was in charge of the southern encirclement. The General-in-Chief of Wei, Sima Yi, attacked Zhuge Liang and Zhang He was sent to attack Wang Ping. However, Zhang He was unable to overcome Wang Ping due to the latter’s resilient defense. In Jian Xing 12th year, Zhuge Liang passed away in the middle of the battle and the Shu army retreated. Wei Yan created chaos but he was defeated in a single battle. The credit for that went to Wang Ping. Soon after, Wang Ping was given the appointment of Hou Dian Jun (one of the General in the Rear Army) and was promoted to An Han Jiang Jun (General who pacifies the Han). Together with the Deputy Ju Qi Jiang Jun (General of Chariots and Cavalry), Wu Yi, Wang Ping was stationed at Han Zhong and he was given the responsibility of Grand Administrator of Han Zhong. In Jian Xing 15th year, Wang Ping’s title was advanced to An Han Hou (Marquis who pacifies the Han) and he was in charge of all Han Zhong’s affairs in replacement of Wu Yi. In Yan Xi 1st year, the Shu General-in-Chief, Jiang Wan, stationed himself at Mian Yang and Wang Ping was repositioned to the Front Army as Qian Hu Jun. Wang Ping was also to administer the affairs pertaining to the General-in-Chief’s office. In Yan Xi 6th year, Jiang Wan returned to Fu and Wang Ping was appointed as Qian Jian Jun (General who played a supervisory role in the Front Army) and promoted to the rank of Zhen Bei Da Jiang Jun (General who conquered the North). By then, Wang Ping was the overall-in-charge in Han Zhong.

In the spring of Yan Xi 7th year, the Wei General-in-Chief, Cao Shuang led 100,000+ soldiers to the Han Chuan region and the Wei’s vanguard was already at Luo valley (or Luo Gu). During that time, the soldiers stationed at Han Zhong numbered less than 30,000 and the officers in Han Zhong were greatly alarmed. Some of them suggested, “Our strength is unable to resist the enemies, why don’t we defend the cities of Han and Yue, luring the enemies in, and in due course, the reinforcements from Fu should be able to save the passes.” Wang Ping replied, “No. The distance between Han Zhong and Fu was about 1000 li. It would be detrimental if the enemies captured the passes. Right now, we should dispatched General Liu (Lin Min was holding the appointment of Hu Jun) and General Du (who was the Can Jun) to stationed at Xing Shi while I, myself, will defend the rear; If the enemies split their forces and head towards Huang Jin, I will lead 1000 soldiers to resist them. In due course, the reinforcements from Fu will arrive and this is a better strategy.” Liu Min agreed with Wang Ping and they proceeded as planned. The reinforcement from Fu was led personally by the General-in-Chief, Fei Yi, who came from Cheng Du and the army of Wei retreated according to Wang Ping’s plan. In those days, Deng Zhi was situated in the East, Ma Zhong in the south and Wang Ping in the north, and all of them accomplished some famous deeds.

Wang Ping grew up in a military environment and he was illiterate. He could recognize not more than 10 characters but he gained his knowledge by others reciting the books to him. As such, Wang Ping would tell others to read the historical records to him while he listened. From there, Wang Ping was able to grasp the big picture and he could carry out discussions competently. Wang Ping always respected and followed the Laws of the States and he was always serious about what he said. Wang Ping often meditated from dawn till dusk, and he was unlike that of a typical military person. However, Wang Ping was known to be narrow-minded and tends to look down upon himself when dealing with others. These would be his main fallacies. Wang Ping passed away in Jian Xing 11th year and his son, Wang Xun was his heir.

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