Han Dang

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Han Dang
General of Sun Quan
Born (Unknown)
Died 227[1]
Names
Simplified Chinese 韩当
Traditional Chinese 韓當
Pinyin Hán Dāng
Wade–Giles Han Tang
Courtesy name Yigong (simplified Chinese: 义公; traditional Chinese: 義公; pinyin: Yìgōng; Wade–Giles: I-kung)
This is a Chinese name; the family name is Han.

Han Dang (died 227),[1][2] courtesy name Yigong, was a military general serving under the warlord Sun Quan in the late Eastern Han dynasty and the early Three Kingdoms period. He previously served under Sun Quan's predecessors – Sun Jian (Sun Quan's father) and Sun Ce (Sun Quan's elder brother).

Life[edit]

Han Dang was from Lingzhi county (令支縣), Liaoxi commandery (遼西郡), which is in present-day Qian'an, Tangshan, Hebei. He possessed great physical strength and was highly skilled in archery and horse riding. His abilities were recognised by the warlord Sun Jian, who recruited him. Han Dang accompanied Sun Jian on his military exploits throughout the 180s until 191, from suppressing the Yellow Turban Rebellion to the campaign against Dong Zhuo. He was hardworking and made many contributions in battle. However, even though he was serving in an army, he was actually more of a youxia or mercernary, so he was not awarded any titles for his achievements. He remained as a "Major of Separate Command" (別部司馬) under Sun Jian.[3][4]

After Sun Jian's death in 191, Han Dang continued serving under Sun Jian's eldest son, Sun Ce. He accompanied Sun Ce on his conquests in the Jiangdong (or Wu) region. The captured territories later served as the foundation of the state of Eastern Wu. Han Dang was promoted to "First-to-Ascend Colonel" (先登校尉) and was given 2,000 troops under his command and 50 horses. In 200, Han Dang pledged allegiance to Sun Ce's younger brother, Sun Quan, after Sun Ce was assassinated in a hunting expedition. He participated in the battle against a minor warlord Liu Xun, the Battle of Jiangxia, and the campaign at Poyang (鄱陽). He was later appointed as the Chief (長) of Le'an county (樂安縣). The Shanyue – tribal peoples in the Wu territories – were afraid of him and submitted to his governorship.[5]

Han Dang participated in various battles and campaigns during his service under Sun Quan. In the winter of 208–209, he fought under the command of Zhou Yu at the Battle of Red Cliffs against Cao Cao's forces. In 219, he joined Lü Meng in the successful invasion of Jing Province, which resulted in Sun Quan seizing all territories in the province which used to be under Liu Bei's control. Han Dang was promoted to Lieutenant-General (偏將軍) and appointed as the Administrator (太守) of Yongchang commandery (永昌郡). Between 221 and 222, Liu Bei launched a campaign against Sun Quan to retake Jing Province, leading to the Battle of Xiaoting. Han Dang fought in the battle and he, together with Lu Xun, Zhu Ran and others, scored a major victory over Liu Bei. For his contributions, Han Dang was further promoted to "General of Vehement Might" (威烈將軍) and received the title of a "Marquis of a Chief Village" (都亭侯). In 223, Han Dang participated in the Battle of Jiangling and resisted the Wei forces led by Cao Zhen.[6]

In 223, Han Dang was granted the title "Marquis of Shicheng" (石城侯), promoted to "General of Illustrious Martial Might" (昭武將軍), and appointed as the Administrator of Guanjun commandery (冠軍郡). He was later given an additional appointment of "Area Commander" (都督) to oversee the military affairs in his jurisdiction. When some bandits caused trouble in Danyang commandery (丹楊郡), Han Dang led 10,000 elite troops to attack the bandits and defeated them.[7]

Han Dang died in 227,[1] about two years before Sun Quan officially declared himself 'Emperor' and established the state of Eastern Wu.

Descendants[edit]

Han Dang's title and military command were inherited by his son, Han Zong (韓綜). In 227, when Sun Quan was attacking Shiyang (石陽), he did not bring Han Zong along because he feared that Han would cause trouble. Han Zong was stationed at Wuchang (武昌; present-day Ezhou, Hubei) then, and he behaved badly and abused his authority. Sun Quan did not pursue the matter in consideration of the meritorious service of Han Zong's late father.[8]

Han Zong wanted to rebel against Sun Quan but he feared that his subordinates would not agree. He told lies and forced his sisters and female relatives to marry his subordinates and gave his servants to his close aides to gain their trust and support. He then fled to the state of Cao Wei, bringing along his deceased father's body, family members and followers, numbering more than 1,000 people in total.[9] Han Zong became a general in Wei and received the title "Marquis of Guangyang". He often led Wei soldiers to raid the Wu border, killing many civilians. Sun Quan was very angry with Han Zong.[10]

In 252, Han Zong served as the vanguard of the Wei army during the Battle of Dongxing, fought between Wei and Wu. He was defeated and killed in battle. The Wu commander Zhuge Ke had Han Zong's body decapitated and sent Han's head to Sun Quan's temple as a propitiation, because Sun Quan – who died eight months before the battle – hated Han Zong when he was still alive.[11]

Appraisal[edit]

Han Dang was known to be a good military commander who often encouraged his men to be united in spirit. He also respected his superiors and adhered to rules and regulations faithfully. Sun Quan was very pleased with him.[12]

Modern references[edit]

Han Dang is first introduced as a playable character in the eighth instalment of Koei's Dynasty Warriors video game series.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c The Zizhi Tongjian stated that Han Dang died in 227. Quote from Zizhi Tongjian vol. 70: (太和元年(丁未,西元二二七年) ... 是歲,吳昭武將軍韓當卒,其子綜淫亂不軌,懼得罪,閏月,將其家屬、部曲來奔。)
  2. ^ de Crespigny, Rafe (2007). A biographical dictionary of Later Han to the Three Kingdoms (23–220 AD). Brill. p. 295. ISBN 978-90-04-15605-0. 
  3. ^ (韓當字義公,遼西令支人也。以便弓馬,有膂力,幸於孫堅,從征伐周旋,數犯危難,陷敵擒虜,為別部司馬。) Sanguozhi vol. 55.
  4. ^ (吳書曰:當勤苦有功,以軍旅陪隷,分於英豪,故爵位不加。終於堅世,為別部司馬。) Wu Shu annotation in Sanguozhi vol. 55.
  5. ^ (及孫策東渡,從討三郡,遷先登校尉,授兵二千,騎五十匹。從征劉勳,破黃祖,還討鄱陽,領樂安長,山越畏服。) Sanguozhi vol. 55.
  6. ^ (後以中郎將與周瑜等拒破曹公,又與呂蒙襲取南郡,遷偏將軍,領永昌太守。宜都之役,與陸遜、朱然等共攻蜀軍於涿鄉,大破之,徙威烈將軍,封都亭侯。曹真攻南郡,當保東南。) Sanguozhi vol. 55.
  7. ^ (黃武二年,封石城侯,遷昭武將軍,領冠軍太守,後又加都督之號。將敢死及解煩兵萬人,討丹楊賊,破之。) Sanguozhi vol. 55.
  8. ^ (會病卒,子綜襲侯領兵。其年,權征石陽,以綜有憂,使守武昌,而綜淫亂不軌。權雖以父故不問,綜內懷懼, ...) Sanguozhi vol. 55.
  9. ^ (吳書曰:綜欲叛,恐左右不從,因諷使劫略,示欲饒之,轉相放效,為行旅大患。後因詐言被詔,以部曲為寇盜見詰讓,云「將吏以下,當並收治」,又言恐罪自及。左右因曰:「惟當去耳。」遂共圖計,以當葬父,盡呼親戚姑姊,悉以嫁將吏,所幸婢妾,皆賜與親近,殺牛飲酒歃血,與共盟誓。) Wu Shu annotation in Sanguozhi vol. 55.
  10. ^ (... 載父喪,將母家屬部曲男女數千人奔魏。魏以為將軍,封廣陽侯。數犯邊境,殺害人民,權常切齒。) Sanguozhi vol. 55.
  11. ^ (東興之役,綜為前鋒,軍敗身死,諸葛恪斬送其首,以白權廟。) Sanguozhi vol. 55.
  12. ^ (在外為帥,厲將士同心固守,又敬望督司,奉遵法令,權善之。) Sanguozhi vol. 55.