Biography (SGZ): Zhuge Zhan (Siyuan)

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Zhuge Zhan (Siyuan)
諸葛瞻 (思遠)
(AD 226-263)

San Guo Zhi Officer Biography
Translator Notes in Green
Translated by Jack Yuan

Sanguozhi Scroll 35 Shu 5
<— Zhuge Qiao | Zhuge Zhan

Zhuge Zhan was styled Siyuan. In the twelfth year of Jianxing [234], Zhuge Liang campaigned from Wugong and wrote to his elder brother Zhuge Jin: “Zhuge Zhan is already eight and is clever and adorable. I dislike that he has matured early and fear that he may not grow up to be a great mind.” At the age of seventeen, Zhuge Zhan married a princess and was assigned Chief Commandant of Cavalry. The next year he was assigned General of the Gentlemen of the Household of Yulin and consecutively promoted to Colonel of Shesheng, Palace Attendant, Supervisor of the Masters of Writing with conferment of Army Advisor General. Zhuge Zhan was skilled at calligraphy and painting, and also had a fine memory. Because the people of Shu memorialised Zhuge Liang, they esteemed his son’s facile imagination. Every time the Imperial Court pursued beneficial policies, even though it wasn’t the creation of Zhuge Zhan, the commoners declared to one another: “This is the work of Marquis Ge [Zhuge Zhan].” Thus the glorious renown and exaggerated praise often exceeded the truth. In the fourth year of Jingyao [261], Zhuge Zhan was made acting Protector of the Army, General of the Guards and undertook the position of Referee of the Affairs of the Masters of Writing with Dong Jue, the General-in-chief who Supports the Nation and Marquis of Nanxiang. In the winter of the sixth year [263], the General who Campaigns in the West of Wei, Deng Ai, came on expedition against Shu and penetrated through a gorge path near Yinping. Zhuge Zhan oversaw the armies to garrison Fu. The vanguard was defeated and the army retreated to garrison Mianzhu. Deng Ai wrote a letter to incite Zhuge Zhan: “If you surrender, you will certainly be made King of Langya.” Zhuge Zhan was furious and killed Deng Ai’s emissary. Then he battled, was greatly defeated and died on the battefield at the age of thirty-seven. The host all disbanded and fled whilst Deng Ai made a long drive to Chengdu. Zhuge Zhan’s eldest son Zhuge Shang died with his father on the battlefield. His second son Zhuge Jing, along with Zhuge Pan’s son Zhuge Xian, were moved inland to Hedong in the year of Xianxi [264].

Dong Jue was made Foreman Clerk in the time of Zhuge Liang and the latter praised him saying: “Foreman Clerk Dong is an excellent man. On every occasion I have conversed with him, I have found his thinking to be prudent and proper.” He was transferred to become Master of Records. After Zhuge Liang’s death, he was successively promoted to Supervisor of the Masters of Writing, Prefect of the Masters of Writing in replacement of Chen Zhi with advancement to General-in-chief as Referee of the Affairs of the Masters of Writing. Later Fan Jian of Yiyang succeeded to his office. In the fourteenth year of Yanxi [251], he was emissary to Wu as a colonel. At that time Sun Quan was seriously ill and hence couldn’t receive him. Sun Quan asked Zhuge Ke: “How is Fan Jian compared to Zong Yu?” Zhuge Ke replied: “He is not equal to Zong Yu in ability and insight but the refinement of the former’s moral character far exceeds the latter.” Later Fan Jian was made Palace Attendant and undertook the position of Prefect of the Masters of Writing. When Zhuge Zhan, Dong Jue and Fan Jian governed affairs, Jiang Wei frequently campaigned away from the capital. The eunuch Huang Hao usurped power and dallied with authority; yet everyone accommodated themselves to shield him and did nothing to rectify the corruptions. Only Fan Jian never had dealings with Huang Hao. In the spring of the year after the fall of Shu, Dong Jue and Fan Jian came to the capital [Luoyang] and were concurrently made Chancellor of the State. In the autumn of that year, they undertook together the position of Regular Cavalier Attendant and were sent to the land of Shu to tend the officials and commoners.

Copyright © 2002 Jack Yuan
Translated from Chen Shou’s Sanguozhi
All Rights Reserved