Han suppression of the Trung sisters' rebellion

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Han suppression of the Trung sisters' rebellion
伏波山.JPG
Statue of Ma Yuan at Fuboshan, Guilin
Date 42–43 AD
Location Northern Vietnam
Result Decisive Han victory
Belligerents
Han China Yue
Commanders and leaders
Ma Yuan Trung Trac
Trung Nhi
Strength
10,000 troops

Han China dispatched General Ma Yuan to lead an army to strike down the Yue rebellion of the Trung sisters. In 43 AD, the Han army fully suppressed the uprising and regained complete control. The Trung sisters were captured and beheaded.

Background[edit]

In March[1] of 40 AD, the Trung sisters, Trung Trac (Zheng Ce) and Trung Nhi (Zheng Er), led the Yue people to rise up in rebellion against the Han.[1][2] It began at the Red River Delta, but soon spread to other Yue tribes along the coast to the north and south.[1] The uprising gained the support of about sixty-five towns and settlements.[2] Trung Trac was proclaimed as the queen.[1] Even though she gained control over the countryside, she was not able to capture the fortified towns.[1]

Course[edit]

The Han government (situated in Luoyang) responded rather slowly to the emerging situation.[1] In May or June of 42 AD, Emperor Guangwu gave the orders to initiate a military campaign.[1] General Ma Yuan was placed in command of the campaign to suppress the rebellion.[1] He was given the title Fubo Jiangjun (伏波將軍; General who Calms the Waves).[1]

Ma Yuan and his staff began mobilizing a Han army in southern China.[1] It comprised about 10,000 troops.[2] From Guangdong, Ma Yuan dispatched a fleet of supply ships along the coast.[1]

He led the Han army through difficult terrain towards the Red River Delta, where they arrived in early 43 AD.[1] The rebellion was stricken down in April or May.[1] The Trung sisters were captured and decapitated.[1][2] By the end of 43 AD, the Han army had taken full control over the region by defeating the last pockets of resistance.[1]

Aftermath[edit]

General Ma Yuan aggressively siniziced the culture and customs of the local people, removing their tribal ways, so they could be more easily governed by Han China.[1] He melted down the Yue bronze drums, their chieftains' symbol of authority, to cast a statue of a horse, which he presented to Emperor Guangwu when he returned to Luoyang in the autumn of 44 AD.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q Bielestein 1987, 271.
  2. ^ a b c d Yü 1987, 454.

Bibliography[edit]

  • Bielestein, Hans (1987). "Wang Mang, the restoration of the Han dynasty, and Later Han". The Cambridge History of China, Volume 1: The Ch'in and Han Empires, 221 B.C.–A.D. 220. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9780521243278. 
  • Yü, Ying-shih (1987). "Han Foreign Relations". The Cambridge History of China, Volume 1: The Ch'in and Han Empires, 221 B.C.–A.D. 220. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9780521243278.