Lu Kang (Three Kingdoms)
|General of Eastern Wu|
|Died||274 (aged 48)|
|Courtesy name||Youjie (traditional Chinese: 幼節; simplified Chinese: 幼节; pinyin: Yòujié; Wade–Giles: Yu-chieh)|
Lu Kang (226–274), courtesy name Youjie, was a military general of the state of Eastern Wu in the Three Kingdoms period. He was the second son of Lu Xun, who oversaw and managed civil and military affairs in Wu throughout the reign of Wu's founding emperor Sun Quan and served briefly as Chancellor for a year before his death. Lu Kang inherited the mantle of his father but was less involved in politics as he served mainly in the Wu military. He rose to prominence during the reign of the fourth and last Wu emperor, Sun Hao. In 272, he successfully suppressed a rebellion by Bu Chan and fended off invading forces from Wu's rival, the Jin dynasty. After the battle, he actively pursued a policy of détente with the Jin general Yang Hu at the Wu-Jin border. At the same time, he constantly submitted memorials to Sun Hao, urging the tyrannical emperor to change his ways and govern with benevolence, but his advice fell on deaf ears. Lu Kang died in 274. In 280, about six years after his death, Jin launched a campaign against Wu and conquered Wu within a year. Two of Lu Kang's sons were killed in action in the defence of Wu.
- 1 During Sun Quan's reign
- 2 During the reigns of Sun Liang and Sun Xiu
- 3 Early career under Sun Hao
- 4 Battle of Xiling
- 5 Making peace with Yang Hu
- 6 Later career
- 7 Descendants
- 8 Appraisal
- 9 See also
- 10 References
During Sun Quan's reign
Lu Kang was the second son of Lu Xun and a maternal grandson of Sun Ce, the elder brother and predecessor of Eastern Wu's founding emperor, Sun Quan. He was 20 years old (by East Asian age reckoning) when his father died. He was commissioned as a "Colonel Who Establishes Martial Might" (建武校尉) and put in charge of 5,000 troops who used to be under his father's command. He escorted his father's funeral procession from Wuchang to his ancestral home in Wu commandery (吳郡; in present-day Suzhou, Jiangsu) for burial, after which he travelled to the capital Jianye (建業; present-day Nanjing, Jiangsu) to pay his respects to Sun Quan. In Jianye, Sun Quan took out a list written by Yang Zhu (楊笁) which showed 20 offences allegedly committed by Lu Xun, and he questioned Lu Kang about them. Sun Quan did not allow Lu Kang to meet anyone and had a panel of his officials present when he interrogated Lu Kang. Lu Kang cooperated and responded truthfully. Sun Quan's anger towards Lu Xun gradually subsided.
In 246, Lu Kang was promoted to "General of the Household" (中郎將) and was ordered to switch posts with Zhuge Ke – he would leave Wuchang and move to Chaisang (柴桑) while Zhuge Ke would do vice versa. Before Lu Kang left, he had the city walls repaired and his residence renovated while leaving his fruit orchards intact. When Zhuge Ke arrived in Chaisang, he was surprised to see that Lu Kang had left behind a well-maintained residence for him. He also felt ashamed because his garrison at Chaisang was in poor condition when he departed.
In 251, Lu Kang fell sick so he went to Jianye to seek medical treatment. When his condition improved and he was preparing to leave, Sun Quan came to bid him farewell. With tears in his eyes, Sun Quan said to Lu Kang, "Previously, I believed slanderous rumours and failed to understand your father's well-meaning advice. I've let you down. I've burnt all the documents containing the allegations against your father so that nobody can ever see them."
During the reigns of Sun Liang and Sun Xiu
Sun Quan died in 252 and was succeeded by his son Sun Liang as the emperor of Wu. After ascending the throne, Sun Liang promoted Lu Kang to "General of Vehement Might" (奮威將軍). In 257, Zhuge Dan, a general from Wu's rival state Wei, started a rebellion in the Wei garrison at Shouchun (壽春) and requested aid from Wu. Sun Liang appointed Lu Kang as the Area Commander of Chaisang (柴桑) and ordered him to lead troops to Shouchun to support Zhuge Dan. Lu Kang defeated some enemies in the campaign but the rebellion was eventually crushed by Wei forces and Zhuge Dan was killed. Lu Kang was promoted to "General Who Attacks the North" (征北將軍) for his efforts.
In 259, during the reign of Sun Liang's successor Sun Xiu, Lu Kang was appointed as "General Who Guards the Army" (鎮軍將軍) and placed in charge of Xiling (西陵). The area under his jurisdiction covered the lands from Guan Yu's Shallows to Baidicheng. He received higher imperial authority from Sun Xiu in the following year.
Early career under Sun Hao
Sun Xiu died in 264 and was succeeded by Sun Hao as the emperor of Wu. Sun Hao promoted Lu Kang to "Senior General Who Guards the Army" and appointed him as the Governor (牧) of Yi Province (益州), even though Yi Province was not under Wu control. In 270, the Grand Marshal (大司馬) Shi Ji (施績) died, so Sun Hao put Lu Kang in charge of the military affairs of Xinling (信陵), Xiling (西陵), Yidao (夷道), Yue District (樂鄉), and Gong'an (公安), with his administrative centre at Yue District.
Proposing 17 policy changes
When Lu Kang heard that there were many flaws in the Wu government's policies, he became worried so he wrote a memorial to Sun Hao: "I heard that through promoting morality, the minority can become the majority, and through the conditioning of strengths, a dangerous situation can become a safe one. This was why Qin succeeded in unifying the other six states, and why Emperor Gao of Han managed to conquer Western Chu. We are now surrounded by enemies and we face more complex situations as compared to that during the Warring States period and the Treaty of Hong Canal. Our state has no allies outside; internally, it is not as strong as Western Chu was. Our policies are not effective and the people are not well governed. What I am suggesting is that we should not solely rely on our natural defences as these are final resorts and are not solutions that wise people would consider first. I often think of how the Seven Warring States ended and how the Han dynasty collapsed. Regardless of whether I read about such things from books or experienced danger myself, I am filled with worries and I cannot sleep well at night and have my meals in peace. In the past, when the Xiongnu had yet to be defeated, Huo Qubing refused to move house; when the Han dynasty was not stable yet, Jia Yi shed tears whenever he thought about it. The blood of the imperial clan runs in me and I have received much grace from the state. My personal fame and glory cannot be separated from those of the state's, so I should serve the state faithfully until I die. I cannot relax and I am always concerned about the state's well-being, to the point where I feel sorry for myself. To serve a ruler means to never deceive the ruler, even if I have to offend him. Being a subject of a state means to defend the state with my life. I humbly propose these 17 amendments to our policies as follows." The 17 policy changes proposed by Lu Kang were lost over the course of history.
Speaking up against corruption in the Wu government
When the official He Ding (何定) was abusing his authority and eunuchs were interfering in state affairs, Lu Kang wrote a memorial to advise Sun Hao: "I heard that in order to establish a state and inherit the work of one's predecessors, one should not employ persons of vile character. The Canon of Yao cautioned against placing faith in those whose actions do not match their words. Learned people of the past abhor such behaviour while Confucius sighed and lamented when he spoke of this. Such villains existed throughout history, from the Spring and Autumn Period to the Qin and Han dynasties, and they caused the downfalls of empires. They do not understand important principles and they have myopic views of the world. Even if they are nice to you and seem very conscientious, they should never be entrusted with important responsibilities. Besides, they cannot change their contemptible characters and they switch their allegiances very quickly. They constantly fear that they will lose what they possess, so they will often resort to unscrupulous means to defend their personal interests. If you intend to give them important appointments and much authority, and expect them to behave as role models and uphold morality, this is certainly impossible. Of all the current officials in the imperial court, not many of them are exemplary talents, but some of them come from affluent backgrounds and have been well-educated, while others of humble origins are hardworking and constantly striving for self-improvement, so their abilities should be tapped into. Incompetent officials should be dismissed, so that the government can be restructured and cleared of corruption."
Battle of Xiling
In 272, Bu Chan (步闡), the Commandant (督) of Xiling (西陵), started a rebellion against Wu and sent a messenger to the Jin dynasty to express his wish to defect to Jin. When Lu Kang received news of the revolt, he immediately gave orders to his subordinates Zuo Yi (左奕), Wu Yan (吾彥), Cai Gong (蔡貢) and others to lead separate forces and head towards Xiling via shortcuts. He instructed his men to construct defensive structures all the way from Chixi (赤谿) to Gushi (故市) so as to form an encirclement around Bu Chan's position, while at the same time defending the area from attacks by Jin forces. He ordered them to work day and night to complete the construction works as if the enemy had already arrived, and his soldiers were all tired and worn out. Lu Kang's subordinates said, "With our current strength, we can attack Bu Chan and destroy him before Jin forces arrive. Why are we exhausting ourselves by constructing defensive structures instead?" Lu Kang replied, "Xiling's fortifications are very stable and it has sufficient supplies. Besides, I was the one who oversaw the construction of Xiling's defences. If we attack it now, I don't think we can conquer it easily. If Jin forces show up and we don't have adequate defensive structures, we'll be trapped in between Bu Chan and Jin and have nothing to protect ourselves from the enemy." The officers repeatedly urged Lu Kang to attack Xiling but Lu refused. Eventually, Lei Tan (雷譚), the Administrator (太守) of Yidu (宜都), came to see Lu Kang and used kind words to persuade him to attack Xiling. In order to prove that he was right, Lu Kang relented and ordered an assault on Xiling. As he expected, they did not succeed in capturing the city, so his officers gave up their idea of attacking and complied with Lu Kang's orders to construct the defensive structures.
Destruction of the dyke near Jiangling
When Jin forces led by Yang Hu were approaching Jiangling (江陵; around present-day Jingzhou, Hubei), the Wu officers advised Lu Kang against leaving Jiangling to attack Xiling, but Lu said, "Jiangling's fortifications are strong and it has sufficient troops to defend it, so there is nothing to worry. Even if the enemy captures Jiangling, they won't be able to hold it for long and our losses will be minimal. However, if we lose Xiling, the tribes in the southern hills will be affected and this will lead to serious problems. I'd rather abandon Jiangling than give up on capturing Xiling. Besides, Jiangling is already very well-defended in the first place."
Jiangling was initially situated on flat lands and was a very accessible location. However, Lu Kang later ordered Zhang Xian (張咸) to oversee the construction of a large dyke to block the river flow and direct its waters to flood the flat lands, so as to create a large body of water around the city to serve as a barrier to invaders. When Yang Hu arrived, he planned to make use of this "barrier" by transporting supplies on boats, but he spread false news that he intended to destroy the dyke to make way for his land army to pass through. When Lu Kang heard that, he saw through Yang Hu's plot and ordered Zhang Xian to destroy the dyke. Lu Kang's officers were shocked and attempted to dissuade him from doing so because they thought he would be doing the enemy a favour, but Lu ignored them. When Yang Hu reached Dangyang (當陽), he was dismayed to hear that the dyke had been destroyed. He had no choice but to transport his supplies on land, resulting in the wasting of time and effort.
Xu Yin (徐胤), the Army Inspector (監軍) of the Jin garrison at Badong (巴東), led marine forces towards Jianping (建平), while Yang Zhao (楊肇), the Inspector (刺史) of Jing Province (also under Jin control), led troops towards Xiling. Lu Kang gave orders as such: Zhang Xian to reinforce Jiangling's defences; Sun Zun (孫遵), the Commandant of Gong'an (公安), to patrol the south river bank and resist Yang Hu; naval commander Liu Lü (留慮) and General Who Guards the West (鎮西將軍) Zhu Wan (朱琬) to defend against Xu Yin. He personally led three armies to hold off Yang Zhao with the aid of the defensive structures they constructed earlier. However, Lu Kang's subordinates Zhu Qiao (朱喬) and Yu Zan (俞贊) defected to Yang Zhao's side instead. Lu Kang said, "Yu Zan has been serving under me for a long time and he is very aware of my situation. He knows that the tribal soldiers in my army may be unwilling to follow my orders, so he'll definitely suggest to the enemy to take advantage of this weakness." Hence, that night, Lu Kang immediately replaced the tribal soldiers in his army with other veteran soldiers whom he trusted more. The following day, as Lu Kang expected, Yang Zhao concentrated his attacks on the unit in Lu Kang's army which used to be made up of tribal soldiers, without knowing that they had been replaced. Lu Kang ordered his archers to retaliate, raining arrows on the enemy and inflicting heavy casualties.
After about a month, Yang Zhao failed to overcome Lu Kang and had run out of ideas so he withdrew his army on one night. Lu Kang wanted to pursue the enemy but he was worried that Bu Chan (who was still inside Xiling) might use the opportunity to attack him from behind, and he did not have enough troops with him. He then ordered his men to beat the drums and pretend to prepare to attack Yang Zhao's retreating forces. When Yang Zhao's men saw that, they were so terrified that they abandoned their armour and equipment and fled. Lu Kang sent a small group of lightly-armed soldiers to pursue Yang Zhao and they inflicted a crushing defeat on the enemy. Yang Hu and the other Jin generals withdrew their armies after receiving news of Yang Zhao's defeat. Lu Kang then attacked and conquered Xiling. Bu Chan, along with his family and high-ranking officers, were executed for treason, while the others, numbering over 10,000, were pardoned after Lu Kang made a request to the Wu court. Lu Kang then had Xiling's fortifications repaired before returning east to Yue District (樂鄉). He remained humble after his victory in Xiling and still behaved in the same manner as he did before. His humility earned him the respect and favour of his men.
Making peace with Yang Hu
The Jin Yang Qiu (晉陽秋) by Sun Sheng mentioned that Lu Kang was on friendly terms with the Jin general Yang Hu even though they stood on opposing sides. Their friendship was likened to that of Gongsun Qiao and Ji Zha (季札) in the Spring and Autumn period. Lu Kang once sent wine to Yang Hu, who drank it without showing any signs of suspicion. Later, when Lu Kang fell sick, Yang Hu sent medicine to him, which Lu also took without suspecting anything. The people of that time remarked that the relationship between Lu Kang and Yang Hu was like that of Hua Yuan (華元) and Zifan (子反) in the Spring and Autumn period.
The Han Jin Chunqiu (漢晉春秋) by Xi Zuochi (習鑿齒) further described this uncanny friendship between Lu Kang and Yang Hu. After returning to Jin, Yang Hu started promoting morality and civility, and many Wu citizens were impressed with him. Lu Kang told the Wu forces stationed at the Wu-Jin border, "If they govern with virtue and we administer our state like tyrants, we'll lose the war without even having to fight. I hope that you can guard the border well and not stir up problems over trivial matters." The Wu-Jin border experienced peace and stability as both sides actively practised détente and got along harmoniously with each other. If cattle from one side accidentally strayed across the border, the other side would allow the owners to cross the border and retrieve their cattle. During hunting expeditions in the Mian (沔) area at the border, if the citizens of either side were injured, the other would send them home safely. When Lu Kang fell sick, he asked for medicine from Yang Hu. Yang Hu obliged and said, "This medicine is of fine quality. I prepared it myself. I haven't tried it myself when I heard that you're ill so I sent it to you." Lu Kang's subordinates cautioned him against taking Yang Hu's medicine because they were worried that Yang might harm him, but Lu ignored them. When the Wu emperor Sun Hao received news of peaceful relations between Wu and Jin, he sent a messenger to reprimand Lu Kang, but Lu replied, "Ordinary peasants in the countryside have to keep their promises, much less me, an official of the state. If I do not live the virtues, I will appear as a stark contrast to Yang Hu. This does not result in any harm to Yang Hu." However, there were some who disagreed with the behaviour of Lu Kang and Yang Hu, as they felt that Lu and Yang were not fulfilling their loyalties to their respective states.
Xi Zuochi's commentary
Xi Zuochi wrote his personal comments on this issue as such:
Those who are morally upright earn the protection of everyone, those who keep their promises win the respect of others. Even if one lives in a morally bankrupt society filled with treachery and villainy, he can still achieve something great by relying on his strength to overcome others despite having only the intelligence of a slave or a peasant. In the past: Duke Wen of Jin kept his promise and retreated, resulting in the surrender of Yuan (原); Mu Zi (穆子) refused to accept the surrender of Gu (鼓) and insisted on using military force to subdue it; Ye Fu (冶夫) proposed showing kindness to the people of Fei (費), leading to them surrendering of their own accord; Yue Yi treated refugees well and left his good name in history. Looking at these persons, did they achieve success by merely using military might and strategy to defeat their enemies?
The Empire had been divided into three for over 40 years. The people of Wu could not cross the Huai and Mian (沔) to attack the Central Plains, while those in the Central Plains were unable to venture beyond the Yangtze River to invade Wu. This was because both sides were equally matched in terms of military and intellectual power. Instead of resorting to harming each other to make personal gains, why not improve themselves and not harm each other? Instead of terrorising each other with military force, why not win over the opposing side through virtuous deeds? A single man cannot be forced into submission by brute force, much less a state. Instead of intimidating others with military might, why not use morality and civility to win them over? In this way, can they not be persuaded to submit?
Yang Hu gave careful thought and decided to treat his enemies as well as he treated his own people. He used benevolence and kindness to overcome tyranny and cruelty in Wu, change the perceptions of people in Wu, and reduce their fighting spirit. In this way, he earned himself a good reputation for being kind and accepting towards his enemies. The people of Wu had probably never encountered a foe like him.
Lu Kang was aware that his lord was a tyrant, his state's foundation was weakening, and his people were starting to admire their rival state because of its benevolent policies and might even turn against their own state. After serious consideration, he decided to apply similar policies in Wu – maintaining peace within and at the borders of Wu, helping the poor and weak, oppose tyranny and corruption – in the hope of gaining an edge over his rival. He also hoped that he could set an example for others to follow by living the virtues himself, and spreading this way of life throughout his state and beyond. In this way, he could defeat the enemy without using military force, defend his state without relying on walls and defensive structures, and subdue the enemy by virtue. As such, he would not resort to cunning means to harm others so as to boost his personal reputation.
In conclusion, a single soldier can defend his country by being conservative; a villain uses superiority in numbers to bully others; a slave resorts to trickery to protect himself; a wise person considers using military force to achieve peace. Ancient sages and men of virtue became role models for later generations to follow because they sacrificed their personal interests to achieve the greater good and they had the moral high ground.
Speaking up against cruel and harsh laws
After the Battle of Xiling, Lu Kang was promoted to "Protector of the Capital" (都護). When he heard that Xue Ying, the Left Commandant (左部督) of Wuchang, had been imprisoned, he wrote a memorial to Sun Hao: "Talented persons are like rare gems and are important assets of the state. They are essential to the functioning of a government and the attraction of other talents from afar. Minister of Finance (大司農) Lou Xuan (樓玄), Central Attendant of Scattered Cavalry (散騎中常侍) Wang Fan, and Minister Steward (少府) Li Xu (李勗) are talents in our time. They were recognised by Your Majesty and were recruited into the civil service, but yet they landed themselves in trouble so quickly. Some of them have their families implicated while others have been exiled to distant lands. However, the Rites of Zhou mentioned pardoning virtuous men for their misdoings while the Spring and Autumn Annals also emphasised the virtues of forgiveness. The Classic of History stated: 'Instead of killing innocent people by mistake, why not abandon the practice (of clan extermination)?' Besides, Wang Fan and the others have yet to be found guilty but they have already been executed. Is it not agonising to watch a loyal and righteous person being executed in a torturous manner? Those who are dead can no longer feel anything but yet their bodies are still set on fire and the ashes dumped into the rivers (instead of being properly buried). This practice was not considered orthodox by ancient rulers, and was something the Marquis of Fu (甫侯) abhorred. Both the people and the soldiers express grief and sorrow over this. Wang Fan and Li Xu are already dead, so it is too late for regrets. I sincerely hope that Your Majesty can pardon and release Lou Xuan, but I also heard that Xue Ying has been thrown into prison. Xue Ying's father Xue Zong served the Late Emperor and Xue Ying himself has inherited his father's fame and made some achievements, so he should be pardoned. I am worried that the judicial officers do not investigate the case thoroughly and end up killing innocents and disappointing the masses. I beg Your Majesty to pardon Xue Ying and relax our laws. This is beneficial to our state!"
Advising Sun Hao against waging war on Jin
When battles were constantly waged between Wu and Jin and the people were suffering in those times of war, Lu Kang wrote another memorial to Sun Hao: "I heard that the I Ching mentioned that it is remarkable if one can adapt to changes in the times and notice others' flaws. Hence, King Tang of Shang rose up against the corrupt Xia dynasty, and King Wu of Zhou overthrew the tyrannical King Zhou of Shang. If they did not (adapt to changes in the times), King Zhou of Shang would feel uneasy when he was making merry on the Jade Platform (玉臺), and the army of King Wu of Zhou would retreat at Meng Ford (孟津). Now, Your Majesty does not focus on strengthening the military, making the state more prosperous, or promoting agriculture. All the officials cannot perform their duties, the civil service system is in disorder, and the people cannot be at peace. Your Majesty should be more discerning in giving out rewards and punishments, promote moral values among the officials, rule the state with benevolence, and then follow Heaven's will and unite the Empire. Your Majesty should not allow the officials to behave lawlessly, actively wage war against Jin, and use the imperial treasury's reserves for your personal pleasures. The soldiers are weary, the enemy has not become weaker, and I am seriously ill. Your Majesty should not pursue policies suggested by villainous officials for the sake of making minor gains. In the past, the states of Qi and Lu fought three battles and Lu won two, but was conquered by Qi eventually. Why? That was because Lu was unable to accurately assess its position in the war. Now, our forces may have scored some victories but our gains are not sufficient to compensate for our losses. It is written clearly in historical texts that the people hate war. I sincerely hope that Your Majesty can follow the advice of the ancients, stop the war, focus on rest and recuperation, and look out for the enemy's weaknesses. If not, Your Majesty will regret later."
Final advice to Sun Hao
In 273, Lu Kang was appointed as Grand Marshal (大司馬) and Governor (牧) of Jing Province. He fell sick in the summer of 274. During that time, he wrote a memorial to Sun Hao: "Xiling (西陵) and Jianping (建平) are the borders of our state as they are located downstream and are facing the enemy on two sides. If the enemy sends a naval fleet to sail along the river at godspeed, they will arrive at our gates very quickly and it will be too late to call for reinforcements from other areas by then. This is critical to the survival of our state and is much more serious as compared to losing a small piece of land at the border. My late father, who was stationed at the western border, once said that Xiling was the west gateway into our state, and that it was easy to defend but could also be easily lost. If we do not strengthen our defences at Xiling, we will not only lose one commandery, but also the entire Jing Province as well. If Xiling comes under attack, Your Majesty must mobilise all available forces in the state to reinforce Xiling. During my service in Xiling these years, I came to realise what my late father meant. Earlier on, I asked for 30,000 elite troops but the officials in charge refused to answer my request. Bu Chan's rebellion has taken quite a toll on Xiling. Now, I am in charge of thousands of li of lands and I am surrounded by enemies on all sides — our powerful nemesis (Jin) outside and various tribes inside — and I only have a few ten thousands troops with me. They are weary from fighting wars over a long period of time and may not be able to adapt to sudden changes in the situation. In my humble opinion, I feel that all the princes are still very young and have yet to be involved in state affairs, so Your Majesty can appoint advisors to tutor and guide them. Some of their personal guards can be reassigned to be reserve soldiers instead. I also heard that many eunuchs are secretly recruiting personal militias, and many men have joined these militias to avoid conscription. I suggest that Your Majesty issue an order for a thorough investigation, so as to catch all these draft dodgers and send them to those areas lacking manpower. In this way, I can muster 80,000 troops, allow my current men to relax, and be more fair in terms of giving out rewards and punishments. If not, even if Han Xin and Bai Qi were to return from the dead, they cannot help in resolving this crisis. If I do not have sufficient troops under my command, I have no confidence that I can fulfil my duty well. If I die, I hope that Your Majesty can pay closer attention to the western border. I sincerely wish that Your Majesty can accept and consider my advice. In this way, I will not have died in vain."
Lu Kang died in the autumn of 274. His titles were inherited by his son Lu Yan (陸晏). Lu Yan and his younger brothers – Lu Jing (陸景), Lu Xuan (陸玄), Lu Ji (陸機) and Lu Yun (陸雲) – shared command of their father's troops and served as generals in Eastern Wu. Lu Kang also had another son, Lu Dan (陸耽), who was younger than Lu Yun.
Lu Yan was commissioned as a Major-General (裨將軍) and he served as the Inspector (監) of Yidao (夷道). In 280, the Jin dynasty launched a campaign against Eastern Wu. The Jin commander Wang Jun led a naval fleet and sailed east towards Wu along the Yangtze River, capturing all the Wu territories along the way, just as Lu Kang had foreseen when he urged Sun Hao to strengthen the defences on Wu's western border. Lu Yan was killed in a battle against Wang Jun's forces in the second lunar month of 280.
Lu Jing served as a general in Wu and was also killed in action during the Jin conquest of Wu. Lu Ji, Lu Yun and Lu Dan all came to serve the Jin dynasty after the fall of Wu. They were all executed along with their families during the War of the Eight Princes.
Chen Shou, who wrote Lu Kang's biography in the Records of the Three Kingdoms, commented on Lu Kang as such: "Lu Kang was loyal and faithful to his state, and was very capable and talented, much like his father. He had excellent moral conduct worthy of praise. He was also able to handle the overall situation well without neglecting details. He was thus able to accomplish such great tasks!"
- The Sanguozhi mentioned that Lu Kang was 20 years old (by East Asian age reckoning) when his father Lu Xun died in 245. Quote from Sanguozhi vol. 58: (遜卒時，年二十， ...) By calculation, Lu Kang's birth year should be in 226.
- The Sanguozhi stated that Lu Kang died in the autumn of the third year of the Fenghuang era during Sun Hao's reign. This corresponds to 274 CE. Quote from Sanguozhi vol. 58: (三年夏， ... 秋遂卒， ...)
- (抗字幼節，孫策外孫也。遜卒時，年二十，拜建武校尉，領遜衆五千人，送葬東還，詣都謝恩。孫權以楊笁所白遜二十事問抗，禁絕賔客，中使臨詰，抗無所顧問，事事條荅，權意漸解。) Sanguozhi vol. 58.
- (赤烏九年，遷立節中郎將，與諸葛恪換屯柴桑。抗臨去，皆更繕完城圍，葺其墻屋，居廬桑果，不得妄敗。恪入屯，儼然若新。而恪柴桑故屯，頗有毀壞，深以為慙。) Sanguozhi vol. 58.
- (太元元年，就都治病。病差當還，權涕泣與別，謂曰：「吾前聽用讒言，與汝父大義不篤，以此負汝。前後所問，一焚滅之，莫令人見也。」) Sanguozhi vol. 58.
- (建興元年，拜奮威將軍。太平二年，魏將諸葛誕舉壽春降，拜抗為柴桑督，赴壽春，破魏牙門將偏將軍，遷征北將軍。) Sanguozhi vol. 58.
- (永安二年，拜鎮軍將軍，都督西陵，自關羽至白帝。三年，假節。) Sanguozhi vol. 58.
- (孫皓即位，加鎮軍大將軍，領益州牧。建衡二年，大司馬施績卒，拜抗都督信陵、西陵、夷道、樂鄉，公安諸軍事，治樂鄉。) Sanguozhi vol. 58.
- (抗聞都下政令多闕，憂深慮遠，乃上疏曰：「臣聞德均則衆者勝寡，力侔則安者制危，蓋六國所以兼并於彊秦，西楚所以北面於漢高也。今敵跨制九服，非徒關右之地；割據九州，豈但鴻溝以西而已。國家外無連國之援，內非西楚之彊，庶政陵遲，黎民未乂，而議者所恃，徒以長川峻山，限帶封域，此乃書傳之末事，非智者之所先也。臣每遠惟戰國存亡之符，近覽劉氏傾覆之釁，考之典籍，驗之行事，中夜撫枕，臨餐忘食。昔匈奴未滅，去病辭館；漢道未純，賈生哀泣。況臣王室之出，世荷光寵，身名否泰，與國同慼，死生契闊，義無苟且，夙夜憂怛，念至情慘。夫事君之義犯而勿欺，人臣之節匪躬是殉，謹陳時宜十七條如左。」十七條失本，故不載。) Sanguozhi vol. 58.
- (時何定弄權，閹官預政；抗上疏曰：「臣聞開國承家，小人勿用，靖譖庸回，唐書攸戒，是以雅人所以怨刺，仲尼所以歎息也。春秋已來，爰及秦、漢，傾覆之釁，未有不由斯者也。小人不明理道，所見旣淺，雖使竭情盡節，猶不足任，況其姦心素篤，而憎愛移易哉？苟患失之，無所不至。今委以聦明之任，假以專制之威，而兾雍熈之聲作，肅清之化立，不可得也。方今見吏，殊才雖少，然或冠冕之冑，少漸道教，或清苦自立，資能足用，自可隨才授職，抑黜羣小，然後俗化可清，庶政無穢也。」) Sanguozhi vol. 58.
- (鳳皇元年，西陵督步闡據城以叛，遣使降晉。抗聞之，日部分諸軍，令將軍左弈、吾彥、蔡貢等徑赴西陵，勑軍營更築嚴圍，自赤谿至故市，內以圍闡，外以禦寇，晝夜催切，如敵以至，衆甚苦之。) Sanguozhi vol. 58.
- (諸將咸諫曰：「今及三軍之銳，亟以攻闡，比晉救至，闡必可拔。何事於圍，而以弊士民之力乎？」抗曰：「此城處勢旣固，糧穀又足，且所繕脩備禦之具，皆抗所宿規。今反身攻之，旣非可卒克，且北救必至，至而無備，表裏受難，何以禦之？」諸將咸欲攻闡，抗每不許。宜都太守雷譚言至懇切，抗欲服衆，聽令一攻。攻果無利，圍備始合。) Sanguozhi vol. 58.
- (晉車騎將軍羊祜率師向江陵，諸將咸以抗不宜上，抗曰：「江陵城固兵足，無所憂患。假令敵沒江陵，必不能守，所損者小。如使西陵槃結，則南山羣夷皆當擾動，則所憂慮，難可竟言也。吾寧棄江陵而赴西陵，況江陵牢固乎？」) Sanguozhi vol. 58.
- (初，江陵平衍，道路通利，抗勑江陵督張咸作大堰遏水，漸漬平中，以絕寇叛。祜欲因所遏水，浮船運糧，揚聲將破堰以通步車。抗聞，使咸亟破之。諸將皆惑，屢諫不聽。祜至當陽，聞堰敗，乃改船以車運，大費損功力。) Sanguozhi vol. 58.
- (晉巴東監軍徐胤率水軍詣建平，荊州刺史楊肇至西陵。抗令張咸固守其城；公安督孫遵巡南岸禦祜；水軍督留慮、鎮西將軍朱琬拒胤；身率三軍，憑圍對肇。將軍朱喬、營都督俞贊亡詣肇。抗曰：「贊軍中舊吏，知吾虛實者，吾常慮夷兵素不簡練，若敵攻圍，必先此處。」即夜易夷民，皆以舊將充之。明日，肇果攻故夷兵處，抗命旋軍擊之，矢石雨下，肇衆傷死者相屬。) Sanguozhi vol. 58.
- (肇至經月，計屈夜遁。抗欲追之，而慮闡畜力項領，伺視間隙，兵不足分，於是但鳴鼓戒衆，若將追者。肇衆兇懼，悉解甲挺走，抗使輕兵躡之，肇大破敗，祜等皆引軍還。抗遂陷西陵城，誅夷闡族及其大將吏，自此以下，所請赦者數萬口。脩治城圍，東還樂鄉，貌無矜色，謙沖如常，故得將士歡心。) Sanguozhi vol. 58.
- (晉陽秋曰：抗與羊祜推僑、札之好。抗嘗遺祜酒，祜飲之不疑。抗有疾，祜饋之藥，抗亦推心服之。于時以為華元、子反復見於今。) Jin Yang Qiu annotation in Sanguozhi vol. 58.
- (漢晉春秋曰：羊祜旣歸，增脩德信，以懷吳人。陸抗每告其邊戍曰：「彼專為德，我專為暴，是不戰而自服也。各保分界，無求細益而已。」於是吳、晉之間，餘糧栖畝而不犯，牛馬逸而入境，可宣告而取也。沔上獵，吳獲晉人先傷者，皆送而相還。抗嘗疾，求藥於祜，祜以成合與之，曰：「此上藥也，近始自作，未及服，以君疾急，故相致。」抗得而服之，諸將或諫，抗不荅。孫皓聞二境交和，以詰於抗，抗曰：「夫一邑一鄉，不可以無信義之人，而況大國乎？臣不如是，正足以彰其德耳，於祜無傷也。」或以祜、抗為失臣節，兩譏之。) Han Jin Chunqiu annotation in Sanguozhi vol. 58.
- (習鑿齒曰：夫理勝者天下之所保，信順者萬人之所宗，雖大猷旣喪，義聲乆淪，狙詐馳於當塗，權略周乎急務，負力從橫之人，臧獲牧豎之智，未有不憑此以創功，捨茲而獨立者也。是故晉文退舍，而原城請命；穆子圍鼓，訓之以力；冶夫獻策，而費人斯歸；樂毅緩攻，而風烈長流。觀其所以服物制勝者，豈徒威力相詐而已哉！) Xi Zuochi's annotation in Sanguozhi vol. 58.
- (自今三家鼎足四十有餘年矣，吳人不能越淮、沔而進取中國，中國不能陵長江以爭利者，力均而智侔，道不足以相傾也。夫殘彼而利我，未若利我而無殘；振武以懼物，未若德廣而民懷。匹夫猶不可以力服，而況一國乎？力服猶不如以德來，而況不制乎？) Xi Zuochi's annotation in Sanguozhi vol. 58.
- (是以羊祜恢大同之略，思五兵之則，齊其民人，均其施澤，振義網以羅彊吳，明兼愛以革暴俗，易生民之視聽，馳不戰乎江表。故能德音恱暢，而襁負雲集，殊鄰異域，義讓交弘，自吳之遇敵，未有若此者也。) Xi Zuochi's annotation in Sanguozhi vol. 58.
- (抗見國小主暴，而晉德彌昌，人積兼己之善，而己無固本之規，百姓懷嚴敵之德，闔境有棄主之慮，思所以鎮定民心，緝寧外內，奮其危弱，抗權上國者，莫若親行斯道，以侔其勝。使彼德靡加吾，而此善流聞，歸重邦國，弘明遠風，折衝於枕席之上，校勝於帷幄之內，傾敵而不以甲兵之力，保國而不浚溝池之固，信義感於寇讎，丹懷體於先日。豈設狙詐以危賢，徇己身之私名，貪外物之重我，闇服之而不備者哉！) Xi Zuochi's annotation in Sanguozhi vol. 58.
- (由是論之，苟守局而保疆，一卒之所能；協數以相危，小人之近事；積詐以防物，臧獲之餘慮；威勝以求安，明哲之所賤。賢人君子所以拯世垂範，舍此而取彼者，其道良弘故也。) Xi Zuochi's annotation in Sanguozhi vol. 58.
- (加拜都護。聞武昌左部督薛瑩徵下獄，抗上疏曰：「夫俊乂者，國家之良寶，社稷之貴資，庶政所以倫叙，四門所以穆清也。故大司農樓玄、散騎中常侍王蕃、少府李勗，皆當世秀頴，一時顯器，旣蒙初寵，從容列位，而並旋受誅殛，或圮族替祀，或投棄荒裔。蓋周禮有赦賢之辟，春秋有宥善之義，書曰：『與其殺不辜，寧失不經。』而蕃等罪名未定，大辟以加，心經忠義，身被極刑，豈不痛哉！且已死之刑，固無所識，至乃焚爍流漂，棄之水濵，懼非先王之正典，或甫侯之所戒也。是以百姓哀聳，士民同慼。蕃、勗永已，悔亦靡及，誠望陛下赦召玄出，而頃聞薛瑩卒見逮錄。瑩父綜納言先帝，傅弼文皇，及瑩承基，內厲名行，今之所坐，罪在可宥。臣懼有司未詳其事，如復誅戮，益失民望，乞垂天恩，原赦瑩罪，哀矜庶獄，清澄刑網，則天下幸甚！」) Sanguozhi vol. 58.
- (時師旅仍動，百姓疲弊，抗上疏曰：「臣聞易貴隨時，傳美觀釁，故有夏多罪而殷湯用師，紂作淫虐而周武授鉞。苟無其時，玉臺有憂傷之慮，孟津有反旆之軍。今不務富國彊兵，力農畜穀，使文武之才效展其用，百揆之署無曠厥職，明黜陟以厲庶尹，審刑賞以示勸沮，訓諸司以德，而撫百姓以仁，然後順天乘運，席卷宇內，而聽諸將徇名，窮兵黷武，動費萬計，士卒彫瘁，寇不為衰，而我已大病矣！今爭帝王之資，而昧十百之利，此人臣之姦便，非國家之良策也。昔齊魯三戰，魯人再克而亡不旋踵。何則？大小之勢異也。況今師所克獲，不補所喪哉？且阻兵無衆，古之明鑒，誠宜蹔息進取小規，以畜士民之力，觀釁伺隙，庶無悔吝。」) Sanguozhi vol. 58.
- (二年春，就拜大司馬、荊州牧。三年夏，疾病，上疏曰：「西陵、建平，國之蕃表，旣處下流，受敵二境。若敵汎舟順流，舳艫千里，星奔電邁，俄然行至，非可恃援他部以救倒縣也。此乃社稷安危之機，非徒封疆侵陵小害也。臣父遜昔在西垂陳言，以為西陵國之西門，雖云易守，亦復易失。若有不守，非但失一郡，則荊州非吳有也。如其有虞，當傾國爭之。臣往在西陵，得涉遜迹，前乞精兵三萬，而主者循常，未肯差赴。自步闡以後，益更損耗。今臣所統千里，受敵四處，外禦彊對，內懷百蠻，而上下見兵財有數萬，羸弊日乆，難以待變。臣愚以為諸王幼沖，未統國事，可且立傅相，輔導賢姿，無用兵馬，以妨要務。又黃門豎宦，開立占募，兵民怨役，逋逃入占。乞特詔簡閱，一切料出，以補疆埸受敵常處，使臣所部足滿八萬，省息衆務，信其賞罰，雖韓、白復生，無所展巧。若兵不增，此制不改，而欲克諧大事，此臣之所深慼也。若臣死之後，乞以西方為屬。願陛下思覽臣言，則臣死且不朽。」) Sanguozhi vol. 58.
- (秋遂卒，子晏嗣。晏及弟景、玄、機、雲分領抗兵。) Sanguozhi vol. 58.
- (... 并收雲及弟耽，並伏法。 ... 及機之誅，三族無遺， ... 事亦並在晉書。) Ji Yun Biezhuan annotation in Sanguozhi vol. 58.
- (晏為裨將軍、夷道監。天紀四年，晉軍伐吳，龍驤將軍王濬順流東下，所至輒克，終如抗慮。 ... 二月壬戌，晏為王濬別軍所殺。) Sanguozhi vol. 58.
- (癸亥，景亦遇害，時年三十一。) Sanguozhi vol. 58.
- (評曰： ... 抗貞亮籌幹，咸有父風，弈世載美，具體而微，可謂克構者哉！) Sanguozhi vol. 58.
- Chen, Shou. Records of the Three Kingdoms (Sanguozhi).
- Pei, Songzhi. Annotations to Records of the Three Kingdoms (Sanguozhi zhu).