Battle of Xiaoting
|Battle of Xiaoting|
|Part of the wars of the Three Kingdoms period|
Battle of Xiaoting/Yiling
tribal forces from Wuling
|Commanders and leaders|
Feng Xi †
Zhang Nan †
Ma Liang †
Fu Rong †
Cheng Ji †
Wang Fu †
|Casualties and losses|
|Battle of Xiaoting|
|Battle of Yiling|
The Battle of Xiaoting, also known as the Battle of Yiling and the Battle of Yiling and Xiaoting, was fought between the state of Shu and the vassal kingdom of Wu between the years 221 and 222 in the early Three Kingdoms period of China. The battle is significant because Wu was able to turn the situation from a series of initial losses into a defensive stalemate, before proceeding to win a decisive victory over Shu. The Wu victory halted the Shu invasion and preceded the death of Liu Bei, Shu's founding emperor.
- 1 Background
- 2 Prelude
- 3 The battle
- 4 Incidents during the battle
- 5 Aftermath
- 6 Order of battle
- 7 In Romance of the Three Kingdoms
- 8 In popular culture
- 9 Notes
- 10 Citations
- 11 References
In late 219, Lü Meng, a general serving under Sun Quan, led an army to invade Liu Bei's territories in southern Jing Province (covering parts of present-day Hubei and Hunan). Guan Yu, Liu Bei's general in charge of guarding Jing Province, was away at the Battle of Fancheng and did not know about the invasion until after he returned from his Pyrrhic victory at Fancheng. He was surrounded by Sun Quan's forces in Maicheng (麥城; present-day Maicheng Village, Lianghe Town, Dangyang, Hubei), captured in an ambush while trying to break out of the siege, and eventually executed by Sun Quan's forces in Linju (臨沮; present-day Nanzhang County, Hubei).
On 25 November 220, Emperor Xian, the figurehead monarch of the Eastern Han dynasty, abdicated in favour of Cao Pi and ended the Eastern Han dynasty. On 11 December, Cao Pi established the state of Wei to replace the Eastern Han dynasty and became its first emperor. On 10 May 221, Liu Bei declared himself emperor at Wudan (武擔; a hill in the northwest of present-day Chengdu, Sichuan) and established a new state, historically known as Shu, to contest Cao Pi's claim to the Han throne. Around the same time, Sun Quan shifted the capital of his territories from Gong'an County to E County (鄂縣; present-day Ezhou, Hubei), which he renamed "Wuchang" (武昌). On 23 September 221, Sun Quan pledged allegiance to Cao Pi and became a vassal of the Wei state; in return, Cao Pi awarded Sun Quan the title "King of Wu" (吳王).
Liu Bei desired to avenge Guan Yu and take back Jing Province, so he made preparations for war against Sun Quan. When Zhao Yun, a veteran general under Liu Bei, tried to dissuade his lord from going to war with Sun Quan, Liu Bei ignored him. Later, when Liu Bei launched the campaign against Sun Quan, he did not bring Zhao Yun along and instead left him behind to guard Jiangzhou (江州; around present-day Yuzhong District, Chongqing). Qin Mi, an official under Liu Bei, also advised his lord against going to war with Sun Quan but ended up being thrown into prison.
Liu Bei ordered Zhang Fei to lead 10,000 troops from Langzhong to join him at Jiangzhou. During the mobilisation, Zhang Fei was assassinated by his subordinates Fan Qiang (范彊) and Zhang Da (張達), who cut off his head and brought it along with them as they defected to Sun Quan's side. Zhang Fei's adjutant wrote a report to Liu Bei. When Liu Bei heard that Zhang Fei's adjutant sent him a report, he exclaimed: "Oh! (Zhang) Fei is dead."
"I heard that your army has come from Baidicheng, and that your subjects have advised you to reject peace talks due to the hostilities between us which arose from the King of Wu's occupation of Jing Province and Guan Yu's death. I am deeply worried because such thinking shows narrow-mindedness on their part, as well as their failure to take the bigger picture into consideration. I shall attempt to explain the gravity of the situation to Your Majesty. If Your Majesty can temporarily lower your pride, put aside your anger, and carefully think through what I am about to say, I am sure that Your Majesty will be able to finalise your decision. There will also be no need to seek further counsel from your subjects. Is Your Majesty's relationship with Guan Yu comparable to that with the emperors (of the Han dynasty)? Is one Jing Province comparable to the entire Empire? Between your two enemies, whom do you hate more? If you can answer these questions, then I am sure it won't be difficult for you to finalise your decision."
Liu Bei refused to listen to him.
In August 221, Liu Bei sent his generals Wu Ban and Feng Xi to attack the Wu positions at the Wu Gorge, which were guarded by Li Yi (李異) and Liu E (劉阿). After Wu Ban and Feng Xi achieved success, the Shu army, comprising over 50,000 troops, advanced further to Zigui County. Liu Bei also sent messengers to request for reinforcements from the local tribes in Wuling Commandery (武陵郡; around present-day Changde, Hunan). At Zigui, Liu Bei was pleased when he encountered Liao Hua, a former subordinate of Guan Yu. Liao Hua became a prisoner-of-war in Wu after Guan Yu's death but managed to escape and make his way back to Shu. Liu Bei appointed him as the Administrator of Yidu.
In response to the Shu invasion, Sun Quan appointed Lu Xun as his Grand Chief Controller (大都督) and ordered him to lead 50,000 troops to resist the enemy. Lu Xun had under his command several Wu officers such as Zhu Ran, Pan Zhang, Song Qian, Han Dang, Xu Sheng, Xianyu Dan (鮮于丹) and Sun Huan.
The Shu army's approach
In February 222, Liu Bei planned to lead his army from Zigui further into Jing Province to reclaim the province. However, the Shu general Huang Quan noted that the Wu forces were powerful and had the Yangtze to their advantage, so he volunteered to lead the attack and suggested that Liu Bei remain behind as backup. Liu Bei refused to listen to him, appointed him as General Who Guards the North (鎮北將軍), and put him in a charge of a separate Shu army to defend the northern flank (the northern bank of the Yangtze) from any possible attack by Wei forces. He then personally led the main Shu army, which travelled along the southern bank of the Yangtze.
Liu Bei also ordered Wu Ban and Chen Shi to lead the Shu navy to station at Yiling (夷陵; southeast of present-day Yichang, Hubei) in between the east and west banks of the Yangtze. In the meantime, he also sent Ma Liang as an envoy to meet the tribes in Wuling Commandery and bribe their chiefs with wealth and official titles to win their support. As the tribes in Wuling grew restless upon the Shu army's approach, Sun Quan sent Bu Zhi to guard Yiyang and deal with any unrest.
When Wu generals wanted to attack the Shu army as it approached, Lu Xun objected and said:
"Liu Bei is leading an army east to attack us and his army's morale is very high. Besides, his forces are based in high and mountainous terrain, so it's difficult for us to attack them. Even if we manage to win, we cannot completely defeat them. If we suffer any setback, our morale will be greatly affected and this isn't a small issue. Now, we should raise our troops' morale and make plans while waiting for changes in the situation. If we're on plains and flat ground, we should be worrying about sustaining heavy losses in skirmishes and charges. However, since the enemy is on mountainous terrain, they cannot conduct an all-out assault because they are sandwiched between wood and rocks. We should take advantage of this weakness of theirs."
The Wu generals did not understand Lu Xun's reasoning and thought that he feared the enemy so they were very unhappy with him.
The Shu army passed through the Wu Gorge, Jianping (建平), Lianping (連平) and Lianwei (連圍), and arrived at the border of Yiling (夷陵; southeast of present-day Yichang, Hubei), where they constructed about 10 fortified garrisons. Liu Bei appointed Feng Xi as the Grand Controller (大督), Zhang Nan as the vanguard commander (前部督), and Fu Kuang, Zhao Rong (趙融), Liao Hua and Fu Rong as detachment commanders (別督). The Shu and Wu forces were locked in a stalemate for about six months from February to July 222.
Liu Bei ordered Wu Ban to lead a few thousand soldiers out of the mountainous regions to set up camps on flat terrain and provoke the Wu forces to attack them. When the Wu officers wanted to respond to the taunts and attack the enemy, Lu Xun said: "This must be a trick. We should observe first."
As Lu Xun suspected, there were actually 8,000 Shu troops waiting in ambush in the nearby valleys. Since the Wu forces did not respond to the taunts, Liu Bei abandoned his plan to lure the enemy into the ambush and ordered the 8,000 soldiers to come out of the valleys. When Lu Xun heard about it, he told the Wu officers: "The reason why I did not follow your suggestions to attack the enemy is because I suspected there was something fishy about it." He then wrote a memorial to Sun Quan to emphasise the strategic importance of Yiling, point out some of Liu Bei's weaknesses, and reassure Sun Quan that he would defeat the enemy.
The Wu counter-attack and the burning of the Shu camps
Several days later, the Wu officers told Lu Xun:
"We should have attacked Liu Bei in the initial stages. Now, he has advanced further in by 500 to 600 li and we have been locked in a stalemate for seven to eight months. He has reinforced all his crucial positions, so even if we attack them it will yield nothing."
Lu Xun replied:
"Liu Bei is cunning and experienced. In the initial stage, his army was very focused and its morale was very high, so we could not defeat them then. Now, however, since it has been quite some time, they are already weary, low on morale, and out of ideas. Now is the time for us to launch a multi-pronged assault on them."
Lu Xun then targeted one enemy camp and attacked it but failed to capture it. The Wu officers complained: "We are sacrificing our soldiers' lives for nothing." Lu Xun replied: "I have devised a strategy for defeating the enemy." He then ordered his men to carry a pile of straw each and launch a fire attack on the enemy. Upon the commencement of the fire attack, Lu Xun led all the Wu units on an all-out assault on the Shu forces. Zhu Ran defeated the Shu vanguard force, cut off its retreat route and forced Liu Bei to retreat. Pan Zhang's subordinates killed Feng Xi and inflicted heavy casualties on Feng's unit. Song Qian also destroyed five Shu garrisons and killed its defending officers. Zhang Nan, Shamoke (a tribal king allied with Shu), Ma Liang and Wang Fu were killed in action, while Du Lu (杜路) and Liu Ning (劉寧) were forced to surrender to Wu. Over 40 Shu camps were destroyed by the Wu forces. Throughout the Shu army, only Xiang Chong's unit managed to retreat without sustaining any losses.
Liu Bei's retreat to Baidicheng
Liu Bei and his remaining troops retreated to the Ma'an Hills (馬鞍山; east of present-day Changyang County, Hubei), where they continued to be fiercely assaulted by the Wu forces from all directions. At the same time, landslides occurred at the Ma'an Hills and caused the Shu forces to sustain thousands of casualties. The Wu general Sun Huan fought with his life and managed to break through enemy lines and capture the key positions in the hills. Liu Bei was forced to retreat through the hazardous mountainous terrain and barely escaped alive at night. During the retreat, he ordered his men to pile up their armour and set them on fire to create barriers for the pursuing Wu forces.
Liu Bei regrouped his scattered forces and ordered them to abandon their boats and travel on foot towards Yufu County (魚復縣; present-day Fengjie County, Chongqing), which he renamed "Yong'an" (永安; literally "everlasting peace"). The Wu officers Li Yi (李異) and Liu E (劉阿) led their troops in pursuit of Liu Bei and garrisoned at Nanshan (南山). In late September or early October 222, Liu Bei and his forces retreated further to the Wu Gorge.
By the time Liu Bei reached the safety of Baidicheng (in present-day Fengjie County, Chongqing), all his boats, military equipment and supplies had been captured by Wu forces. The dead bodies of Shu soldiers floated in the river and obstructed its flow. Liu Bei was extremely upset and furious with his defeat. He exclaimed: "Is it not the will of Heaven that I must be humiliated by Lu Xun?" When Zhao Yun showed up at Yong'an with reinforcements from Jiangzhou (江州; around present-day Yuzhong District, Chongqing), the pursuing Wu forces had already retreated on their own.
Incidents during the battle
Lu Xun refusing to help Sun Huan
In the earlier stages of the battle, Sun Huan led a separate force to attack the Shu vanguard force at Yidao (夷道; in present-day Yidu, Hubei) but ended up being besieged by the enemy. He requested for reinforcements from Lu Xun but was denied. The other Wu officers told Lu Xun: "General Sun is a relative of our lord. He is currently under siege, so shouldn't we help him?" Lu Xun replied: "He has the support of his men, his base is well defended, and he has sufficient supplies. There is nothing to worry about. When my plans are in motion, even if we don't help him, the siege on him will automatically be lifted." After the Wu victory at Xiaoting, Sun Huan came to see Lu Xun and said: "Earlier on, I was indeed very resentful when you refused to help me. But now, after the victory, I see that you have your own way of doing things."
Wu officers' reluctance to follow Lu Xun's orders
Many of the Wu officers who participated in the battle had either served in Wu since Sun Ce's time or were relatives of Sun Quan's family, so they viewed themselves highly and were unwilling to follow Lu Xun's orders. Lu Xun placed his sword on the desk and said:
"Liu Bei is well known throughout the Empire, and even Cao Cao feared him. Now, he is at our borders and we have a tough fight ahead. All of you gentlemen have received grace from the State, so you should cooperate harmoniously and work together to defeat the enemy in order to repay the State's kindness. You should not be behaving as you are now. I may be a mere scholar, but I have received orders from our Lord. The reason why the State asks you to lower yourselves and submit to my command is because I have a modicum of value and I can endure humiliation for the sake of fulfilling a greater task. Each of you has your own duties so you cannot excuse yourselves from them! Military rules are long established. You shouldn't break them."
The Wu officers began to show greater respect for Lu Xun after the Wu victory, which was largely due to his strategies. Lu Xun did not report this incident to Sun Quan, who found out about it himself after the battle. When Sun Quan asked Lu Xun about it, Lu replied that he valued those officers even though they were insubordinate towards him, and decided to put up with them because he felt it was important to maintain good working relationships with them to fulfil their common goal of resisting the Shu invasion. Sun Quan praised him and rewarded him handsomely.
Heroics of Fu Rong and Cheng Ji
Fu Rong volunteered to cover the rear while the Shu forces were retreating from Yiling and Xiaoting. He continued to hold his ground firmly and vent his fury on the enemy even though all his comrades had already been killed. When the Wu soldiers called for him to surrender, he replied: "Dogs of Wu! Do you think a Han officer will ever surrender?" He was eventually killed in action.
Cheng Ji also covered the rear during the Shu retreat. As the enemy approached, someone urged him to abandon his boat and escape, but he replied: "I have never fled from battle throughout my military career. Besides, the Emperor is currently in a dangerous situation." When the Wu forces showed up, Cheng Ji wielded a ji, fought fiercely and managed to sink some enemy boats before he was eventually overwhelmed by the enemy and killed.
Cao Pi foreseeing Liu Bei's defeat
"(Liu) Bei does not know military strategy. How can anyone fight a war with camps laid out over a distance of 700 li? 'A person who deploys troops in forested and damp areas with obstacles is bound to be captured by the enemy.' This is something to be avoided in war. I will hear from Sun Quan very soon."
He received a report about the Wu victory seven days later.
Huang Quan and the separate Shu army on the northern bank of the Yangtze were cut off from the main Shu army during the Wu counterattack and could not return to Shu. In desperation, Huang Quan and his subordinate Pang Lin led their troops to defect to Wei.
Small rebellions broke out in Lingling (零陵; around present-day Yongzhou, Hunan) and Guiyang (桂陽; around present-day Hengyang, Hunan) commanderies after the Shu forces retreated. Bu Zhi, who was stationed at Yiyang before the battle, led Wu forces to suppress them.
After the battle, Xu Sheng, Pan Zhang, Song Qian and other Wu officers suggested attacking Baidicheng to capture Liu Bei. When Sun Quan asked Lu Xun for his opinion, Lu Xun, Zhu Ran and Luo Tong said that when Cao Pi amassed his forces and seemed like he was going to help Wu attack Shu, he actually had sinister intentions. They cautioned Sun Quan about this and suggested to abandon their pursuit of Liu Bei and return to Wu. Sun Quan heeded their advice. Not long later, Cao Pi led the Wei armies to invade Wu from three directions.
When Liu Bei heard of the Wei invasion of Wu, he wrote to Lu Xun:
"The enemy (Wei) is at Jiangling now. If I launch another attack again, in your opinion, do you think I will succeed?"
Lu Xun replied:
"I am afraid your army has recently suffered defeats and has yet to recover. Now is the time for you to make reconciliations, rest and recuperate. This is not the time for you to launch another assault on us again. However, if you do not consider carefully and plan to dispatch all your remaining forces on another attack, I assure you none of those you send here will return alive."
Liu Bei became critically ill in April 223. Before he died on 10 June, he named his son Liu Shan as his successor and appointed Zhuge Liang and Li Yan as regents to assist Liu Shan. After taking over the reins of power, Zhuge Liang made peace with Wu and re-established the Wu–Shu alliance against Wei.
Order of battle
In Romance of the Three Kingdoms
The events before, during, and after the Battle of Xiaoting are mentioned in chapters 81–84 of the 14th-century historical novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms (Sanguo Yanyi) by Luo Guanzhong. Some fictitious stories were included and actual events were exaggerated for dramatic effect. The following are some notable events related to the battle, as described in the novel:
Opposition to Liu Bei's decision to go to war
Liu Bei plans to go to war with Sun Quan to avenge Guan Yu and retake Jing Province, but his decision is opposed by many of his subjects. The first person who attempts to dissuade him from going to war is Zhao Yun, who is ignored. After that, other Shu officials such as Ma Liang and Chen Zhen urge Zhuge Liang to stop Liu Bei, so Zhuge Liang brings them along to meet Liu Bei and advise him against his decision, but Liu Bei refuses to accept their advice. Just when Liu Bei is preparing for war, Qin Mi opposes his decision. Liu Bei is so angry that he wants to execute Qin Mi. However, Qin Mi is spared after Zhuge Liang and the rest of the Shu imperial court plead with Liu Bei. Zhuge Liang then writes a memorial to Liu Bei to explain why he should not go to war with Sun Quan, but Liu Bei throws the memorial to the ground after reading it and exclaims, "My decision is final. There is no need to advise me against my decision anymore!"
The historical text Sanguozhi did not mention anything about Zhuge Liang opposing Liu Bei's decision to go to war with Sun Quan. However, it did mention that Zhao Yun and Qin Mi attempted to dissuade Liu Bei: Zhao Yun advised Liu Bei against attacking Sun Quan, but was ignored. Qin Mi was imprisoned by Liu Bei when he advised him against the campaign, but was released later.
Huang Zhong's death
The Shu general Huang Zhong participates in the campaign even though he is already over 70 years old at the time. He slays Pan Zhang's subordinate, Shi Ji (史蹟), and defeats Pan Zhang in an engagement on the first day. On the second day, while pursuing the retreating Pan Zhang, he falls into an ambush and is surrounded by Zhou Tai, Han Dang, Ling Tong and Pan Zhang. He is hit by an arrow fired by Ma Zhong (馬忠). Guan Xing and Zhang Bao save him, but he dies from his wound that night. Liu Bei mourns his death. Since the Battle of Xiaoting historically took place between 221–222, going by the novel's account, Huang Zhong's year of death should be around 221–222.
Guan Xing killing Pan Zhang
In one of the early engagements, Guan Xing encounters Pan Zhang, who captured his father Guan Yu in an ambush during the Battle of Maicheng. In his eagerness to avenge his father, Guan Xing pursues Pan Zhang into a valley but loses his way inside. After nightfall, Guan Xing wanders around until he finds a house inhabited by an old man and stays there for the night. He sees his father's portrait on the wall in the house. Later that night, Pan Zhang also finds his way to the house and asks to stay there. Guan Xing sees Pan Zhang and shouts at him. Just as Pan Zhang is about to leave, he encounters Guan Yu's ghost and is petrified. Guan Xing catches up with Pan Zhang, kills him, digs out his heart and places it on the altar as an offering to his father's spirit.
Pan Zhang's biography in the Sanguozhi stated that he died in 234 – more than 10 years after the Battle of Xiaoting. His cause of death is unknown. Guan Yu's biography mentioned that Guan Xing served as a civil official in Shu after reaching adulthood (around the age of 19) and died a few years later while in office, so Guan Xing was most probably not involved in the battle.
Gan Ning's death
Gan Ning is down with dysentery around the time of the Battle of Xiaoting, but he still participates in the battle regardless of his illness. He is resting when he hears enemy forces approaching, so he quickly mounts his horse and prepares for battle. He encounters a group of tribal warriors led by Shamoke. He sees that the enemy force is too large and decides to withdraw. While retreating on horseback, Gan Ning is hit in the head by an arrow fired by Shamoke. He flees, with the arrow still embedded in his head, reaches Fuchi (富池; in present-day Yangxin County, Hubei), sits down under a tree and dies. Dozens of crows on the tree fly around his body. When Sun Quan learns of Gan Ning's death, he is deeply saddened and gives orders for Gan to be buried with full honours.
No details were provided on Gan Ning's cause and time of death in his biography in the Sanguozhi. Gan Ning's death was briefly stated as follows: When Gan Ning died, Sun Quan deeply lamented his death.
Zhao Yun killing Zhu Ran
Liu Bei retreats under the protection of Guan Xing and Zhang Bao after his camps are set on fire by the Wu forces, who continue to pursue him. At a critical moment, Zhao Yun shows up and blocks the attacks from the enemy. Zhao Yun encounters Zhu Ran during the battle and kills him. He protects Liu Bei while the latter heads towards Baidicheng.
The Zhao Yun Biezhuan stated that Zhao Yun did not participate in the Battle of Xiaoting. Before the battle, Zhao Yun advised Liu Bei against going to war with Sun Quan but was ignored. Liu Bei ordered him to remain behind and guard Jiangzhou. When Zhao Yun learnt that Liu Bei had been defeated at Zigui, he led troops from Jiangzhou to Yong'an to help his lord.
Zhu Ran's biography in the Sanguozhi stated that he died in 249 at the age of 68 (by East Asian age reckoning) – about 27 years after the Battle of Xiaoting. Besides, he outlived Zhao Yun, who historically died in 229.
Lady Sun's death
News of Liu Bei's defeat in the battle reach his ex-wife Lady Sun, who had returned to Wu. After hearing rumours that Liu Bei had been killed in battle, Lady Sun ventures out to the bank of the Yangtze, where she faces the west and cries before drowning herself.
Nothing was recorded in history about what happened to Lady Sun after she left Liu Bei and returned to Wu territory.
Lu Xun's encounter with Zhuge Liang's Stone Sentinel Maze
In popular culture
The battle is featured as a playable stage in Koei's video game series Dynasty Warriors, in which it is known as the "Battle of Yi Ling" or "Battle of Yiling". It has a follow-up, the "Battle of Baidi Castle", which is based on a hypothetical scenario of the Wu forces pressing on to attack Baidicheng, where the Shu forces retreated to after their defeat.
- The campaign started in the 7th month of the 2nd year of the Huangchu era of Cao Pi's reign. This month corresponds to 6 August to 4 September 221 in the Gregorian calendar.
- The battle ended in the 8th month of the 3rd year of the Huangchu era of Cao Pi's reign. This month corresponds to 24 September to 22 October 222 in the Gregorian calendar.
- Yang, Hua (January 2007). "Geographical Investigation of Ma'an Mountain in the Three Kingdoms Yiling Battle". Journal of Sichuan Normal University (Social Sciences Edition) (in Chinese). China Academic Journal Electronic Publishing House. 34 (1): 120–126. Archived from the original on 2014-12-29. Retrieved 29 December 2014.
- ([秋，七月， ...] 權以鎮西將軍陸遜為大都督、假節，督將軍朱然、潘璋、宋謙、韓當、徐盛、鮮于丹、孫桓等五萬人拒之。) Zizhi Tongjian vol. 69.
- (黃武元年，劉備率大衆來向西界，權命遜為大都督、假節，督朱然、潘璋、宋謙、韓當、徐盛、鮮于丹、孫桓等五萬人拒之。) Sanguozhi vol. 58.
- de Crespigny, Rafe (2004). "Chapter Seven: Claim to the Mandate 222-229". Generals of the South: The foundation and early history of the Three Kingdoms state of Wu (PDF). Faculty of Asian Studies, Australian National University. p. 6. Retrieved 30 December 2014.
- ([秋，七月， ...] 漢主遣將軍吳班、馮習攻破權將李異、劉阿等於巫，進兵秭歸，兵四萬餘人。武陵蠻夷皆遣使往請兵。) Zizhi Tongjian vol. 69.
- Sawyer, p. 20
- (權已據江陵，盡虜羽士衆妻子，羽軍遂散。權遣將逆擊羽，斬羽及子平于臨沮。) Sanguozhi vol. 36.
- (冬，十月，乙卯，漢帝告祠高廟，使行御史大夫張音持節奉璽綬詔冊，禪位于魏。王三上書辭讓，乃為壇於繁陽，辛未，升壇受璽綬，卽皇帝位，燎祭天地、嶽瀆，改元，大赦。) Zizhi Tongjian vol. 69.
- (夏，四月，丙午，漢中王卽皇帝位於武擔之南，大赦，改元章武。以諸葛亮為丞相，許靖為司徒。) Zizhi Tongjian vol. 69.
- ([建安二十五年]冬，魏嗣王稱尊號，改元為黃初。二年四月，劉備稱帝於蜀。) Sanguozhi vol. 47.
- (孫權自公安徙都鄂，更名鄂曰武昌。) Zizhi Tongjian vol. 69.
- (八月，孫權遣使稱臣，卑辭奉章，幷送于禁等還。 ... 丁巳，遣太常邢貞奉策卽拜孫權為吳王，加九錫。) Zizhi Tongjian vol. 69.
- (漢主恥關羽之沒，將擊孫權。) Zizhi Tongjian vol. 69.
- (孫權襲荊州，先主大怒，欲討權。雲諫曰：「國賊是曹操，非孫權也，且先滅魏，則吳自服。操身雖斃，子丕篡盜，當因衆心，早圖關中，居河、渭上流以討凶逆，關東義士必裹糧策馬以迎王師。不應置魏，先與吳戰；兵勢一交，不得卒解也。」 ... 先主不聽，遂東征，留雲督江州。先主失利於秭歸，雲進兵至永安，吳軍已退。) Zhao Yun Biezhuan annotation in Sanguozhi vol. 36.
- (益州辟宓為從事祭酒。先主旣稱尊號，將東征吳，宓陳天時必無其利，坐下獄幽閉，然後貸出。) Sanguozhi vol. 38.
- (先主伐吳，飛當率兵萬人，自閬中會江州。臨發，其帳下將張達、范彊殺飛，持其首，順流而奔孫權。飛營都督表報先主，先主聞飛都督之有表也，曰：「噫！飛死矣。」) Sanguozhi vol. 36.
- (秋，七月，漢主自率諸軍擊孫權，權遣使求和於漢。) Zizhi Tongjian vol. 69.
- (瑾與備牋曰：「奄聞旗鼓來至白帝，或恐議臣以吳王侵取此州，危害關羽，怨深禍大，不宜荅和，此用心於小，未留意於大者也。試為陛下論其輕重，及其大小。陛下若抑威損忿，蹔省瑾言者，計可立決，不復咨之於羣后也。陛下以關羽之親何如先帝？荊州大小孰與海內？俱應仇疾，誰當先後？若審此數，易於反掌。」) Sanguozhi vol. 52.
- (漢主不聽。) Zizhi Tongjian vol. 69.
- (初，先主忿孫權之襲關羽，將東征，秋七月，遂帥諸軍伐吳。孫權遣書請和，先主盛怒不許，吳將陸議、李異、劉阿等屯巫、秭歸；將軍吳班、馮習自巫攻破異等，軍次秭歸，武陵五谿蠻夷遣使請兵。) Sanguozhi vol. 32.
- (為前將軍關羽主簿，羽敗，屬吳。思歸先主，乃詐死，時人謂為信然，因携持老母晝夜西行。會先主東征，遇於秭歸。先主大恱，以化為宜都太守。) Sanguozhi vol. 45.
- (... 遷昭武將軍，封西安鄉侯。 ... 黃武元年，劉備舉兵攻宜都，然督五千人與陸遜并力拒備。然別攻破備前鋒，斷其後道，備遂破走。) Sanguozhi vol. 56.
- (... 拜璋為太守、振威將軍，封溧陽侯。 ... 劉備出夷陵，璋與陸遜并力拒之，璋部下斬備護軍馮習等，所殺傷甚衆，拜平北將軍、襄陽太守。) Sanguozhi vol. 55.
- (黃武元年春正月，陸遜部將軍宋謙等攻蜀五屯，皆破之，斬其將。) Sanguozhi vol. 47.
- (... 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。) Sanguozhi vol. 55.
- (後遷建武將軍，封都亭侯，領廬江太守，賜臨城縣為奉邑。劉備次西陵，盛攻取諸屯，所向有功。) Sanguozhi vol. 55.
- (年二十五，拜安東中郎將，與陸遜共拒劉備。備軍衆甚盛，彌山盈谷，桓投刀奮命，與遜勠力，備遂敗走。桓斬上兜道，截其徑要。備踰山越險，僅乃得免，忿恚歎曰：「吾昔初至京城，桓尚小兒，而今迫孤乃至此也！」) Sanguozhi vol. 51.
- (及稱尊號，將東伐吳，權諫曰：「吳人悍戰，又水軍順流，進易退難，臣請為先驅以甞寇，陛下宜為後鎮。」先主不從，以權為鎮北將軍，督江北軍以防魏師；先主自在江南。) Sanguozhi vol. 43.
- (先主稱尊號，以良為侍中。及東征吳，遣良入武陵招納五溪蠻夷，蠻夷渠帥皆受印號，咸如意指。會先主敗績於夷陵，良亦遇害。) Sanguozhi vol. 39.
- (二年春正月，先主軍還秭歸，將軍吳班、陳式水軍屯夷陵，夾江東西岸。二月，先主自秭歸率諸將進軍，緣山截嶺，於夷道猇亭駐營，自佷山通武陵，遣侍中馬良安慰五谿蠻夷，咸相率響應。) Sanguozhi vol. 32.
- (隲因承制遣使宣恩撫納，是加拜平戎將軍，封廣信侯。 ... 會劉備東下，武陵蠻夷蠢動，權遂命隲上益陽。備旣敗績，而零、桂諸郡猶相驚擾，處處阻兵；隲周旋征討，皆平之。) Sanguozhi vol. 52.
- (吳書曰：諸將並欲迎擊備， ...) Wu Shu annotation in Sanguozhi vol. 58.
- (... 遜以為不可，曰：「備舉軍東下，銳氣始盛，且乘高守險，難可卒攻，攻之縱下，猶難盡克，若有不利，損我大勢，非小故也。今但且獎厲將士，廣施方略，以觀其變。若此間是平原曠野，當恐有顛沛交馳之憂，今緣山行軍，勢不得展，自當罷於木石之間，徐制其弊耳。」) Wu Shu annotation in Sanguozhi vol. 58.
- (諸將不解，以為遜畏之，各懷憤恨。) Wu Shu annotation in Sanguozhi vol. 58.
- (漢人自巫峽建平連營至夷陵界，立數十屯，以馮習為大督，張南為前部督，自正月與吳相拒，至六月不決。) Zizhi Tongjian vol. 69.
- (備從巫峽、建平、連平、連圍至夷陵界，立數十屯，以金錦爵賞誘動諸夷，使將軍馮習為大督，張南為前部，輔匡、趙融、廖淳、傅肜等各為別督，先遣吳班將數千人於平地立營，欲以挑戰。) Sanguozhi vol. 58.
- (諸將皆欲擊之，遜曰：「此必有譎，且觀之。」) Sanguozhi vol. 58.
- (備知其計不可，乃引伏兵八千，從谷中出。遜曰：「所以不聽諸君擊班者，揣之必有巧故也。」遜上疏曰：「夷陵要害，國之關限，雖為易得，亦復易失。失之非徒損一郡之地，荊州可憂。今日爭之，當令必諧。備干天常，不守窟穴，而敢自送。臣雖不材，憑奉威靈，以順討逆，破壞在近。尋備前後行軍，多敗少成，推此論之，不足為戚。臣初嫌之，水陸俱進，今反舍船就步，處處結營，察其布置，必無他變。伏願至尊高枕，不以為念也。」) Sanguozhi vol. 58.
- (諸將並曰：「攻備當在初，今乃令入五六百里，相銜持經七八月，其諸要害皆以固守，擊之必無利矣。」) Sanguozhi vol. 58.
- (遜曰：「備是猾虜，更甞事多，其軍始集，思慮精專，未可干也。今住已乆，不得我便，兵疲意沮，計不復生，犄角此寇，正在今日。」) Sanguozhi vol. 58.
- (乃先攻一營，不利。諸將皆曰：「空殺兵耳。」遜曰：「吾已曉破之之術。」乃勑各持一把茅，以火攻拔之。一爾勢成，通率諸軍同時俱攻， ...) Sanguozhi vol. 58.
- (國山名甫，廣漢郪人也。 ... 隨先主征吳，軍敗於秭歸，遇害。) Pei Songzhi's annotation in Sanguozhi vol. 45.
- (... 斬張南、馮習及胡王沙摩柯等首，破其四十餘營。備將杜路、劉寧等窮逼請降。) Sanguozhi vol. 58.
- (後十餘日，陸議大破先主軍於猇亭，將軍馮習、張南等皆沒。) Sanguozhi vol. 32.
- (朗兄子寵，先主時為牙門將。秭歸之敗，寵營特完。) Sanguozhi vol. 41.
- (備升馬鞍山，陳兵自繞。遜督促諸軍四面蹙之，土崩瓦解，死者萬數。備因夜遁，驛人自擔，燒鐃鎧斷後， ...) Sanguozhi vol. 58.
- (先主自猇亭還秭歸，收合離散兵，遂棄船舫，由步道還魚復，改魚復縣曰永安。吳遣將軍李異、劉阿等踵躡先主軍，屯駐南山。秋八月，收兵還巫。) Sanguozhi vol. 32.
- (... 僅得入白帝城。其舟船器械，水步軍資，一時略盡，尸骸漂流，塞江而下。備大慙恚，曰：「吾乃為遜所折辱，豈非天邪！」) Sanguozhi vol. 58.
- (初，孫桓別討備前鋒於夷道，為備所圍，求救於遜。遜曰：「未可。」諸將曰：「孫安東公族，見圍已困，柰何不救？」遜曰：「安東得士衆心，城牢糧足，無可憂也。待吾計展，欲不救安東，安東自解。」及方略大施，備果奔潰。桓後見遜曰：「前實怨不見救，定至今日，乃知調度自有方耳。」) Sanguozhi vol. 58.
- (當禦備時，諸將軍或是孫策時舊將，或公室貴戚，各自矜恃，不相聽從。) Sanguozhi vol. 58.
- (遜案劒曰：「劉備天下知名，曹操所憚，今在境界，此彊對也。諸君並荷國恩，當相輯睦，共翦此虜，上報所受，而不相順，非所謂也。僕雖書生，受命主上。國家所以屈諸君使相承望者，以僕有尺寸可稱，能忍辱負重故也。各在其事，豈復得辭！軍令有常，不可犯矣。」) Sanguozhi vol. 58.
- (及至破備，計多出遜，諸將乃服。 ... 權聞之，曰：「君何以初不啟諸將違節度者邪？」遜對曰：「受恩深重，任過其才。又此諸將或任腹心，或堪爪牙，或是功臣，皆國家所當與共克定大事者。臣雖駑懦，竊慕相如、寇恂相下之義，以濟國事。」權大笑稱善，加拜遜輔國將軍，領荊州牧，即改封江陵侯。) Sanguozhi vol. 58.
- (休元名習，南郡人。隨先主入蜀。先主東征吳，習為領軍，統諸軍，大敗於猇亭。 ... 文進名南，亦自荊州隨先主入蜀，領兵從先主征吳，與習俱死。時又有義陽傅肜，先主退軍，斷後拒戰，兵人死盡，吳將語肜令降，肜罵曰：「吳狗！何有漢將軍降者！」遂戰死。) Pei Songzhi's annotation in Sanguozhi vol. 45.
- (季然名畿，巴西閬中人也。 ... 先主領益州牧，辟為從事祭酒。後隨先主征吳，遇大軍敗績，泝江而還，或告之曰：「後追已至，解船輕去，乃可以免。」畿曰：「吾在軍，未曾為敵走，況從天子而見危哉！」追人遂及畿船，畿身執戟戰，敵船有覆者。衆大至，共擊之，乃死。) Pei Songzhi's annotation in Sanguozhi vol. 45.
- (初，帝聞漢兵樹柵連營七百餘里， ...) Zizhi Tongjian vol. 69.
- (... 謂羣臣曰：「備不曉兵，豈有七百里營可以拒敵者乎！『苞原隰險阻而為軍者為敵所禽』，此兵忌也。孫權上事今至矣。」) Zizhi Tongjian vol. 69.
- (後七日，吳破漢書到。) Zizhi Tongjian vol. 69.
- (及吳將軍陸議乘流斷圍，南軍敗績，先主引退。而道隔絕，權不得還，故率將所領降于魏。) Sanguozhi vol. 43.
- (統弟林，以荊州治中從事參鎮北將軍黃權征吳，值軍敗，隨權入魏， ...) Sanguozhi vol. 37.
- (又備旣住白帝，徐盛、潘璋、宋謙等各競表言備必可禽，乞復攻之。權以問遜，遜與朱然、駱統以為曹丕大合士衆，外託助國討備，內實有姦心，謹決計輒還。無幾，魏軍果出，三方受敵也。) Sanguozhi vol. 58.
- (吳錄曰：劉備聞魏軍大出，書與遜云：「賊今已在江陵，吾將復東，將軍謂其能然不？」) Wu Lu annotation in Sanguozhi vol. 58.
- (遜荅曰：「但恐軍新破，創痍未復，始求通親，且當自補，未暇窮兵耳。若不惟筭，欲復以傾覆之餘，遠送以來者，無所逃命。」) Wu Lu annotation in Sanguozhi vol. 58.
- (先主病篤，託孤於丞相亮，尚書令李嚴為副。夏四月癸巳，先主殂于永安宮，時年六十三。) Sanguozhi vol. 32.
- (備尋病亡，子禪襲位，諸葛亮秉政，與權連和。) Sanguozhi vol. 58.
- (出為建忠中郎將，領武射吏三千人。 ... 以隨陸遜破蜀軍於宜都，遷偏將軍。) Sanguozhi vol. 57.
- (子壹封宣城侯，領兵拒劉備有功， ...) Sanguozhi vol. 55.
- (是歲，劉備帥軍來伐， ... 權以陸遜為督，督朱然、潘璋等以拒之。 ... 黃武元年春正月， ... 劉備奔走，僅以身免。) Sanguozhi vol. 47.
- (偉南名朝，永南兄。郡功曹，舉孝廉，臨邛令，入為別駕從事。隨先主東征吳，章武二年卒於永安。) Pei Songzhi's annotation in Sanguozhi vol. 45.
- (說先主起兵東征。趙雲諫曰： ... 遂不聽趙雲之諫，下令起兵伐吳；) Sanguo Yanyi ch. 81.
- (當下孔明引百官來奏先主曰： ... 次日，先生整兵要行。學士秦宓奏曰： ... 孔明聞知，即上表救秦宓。其略曰： ... 先主看畢，擲表於地曰：「朕意已決，無得再諫！」) Sanguo Yanyi ch. 81.
- (卻說章武二年春正月， ... 言訖，不省人事，是夜殞於御營。 ... 先主見黃忠氣絕，哀傷不已，敕具棺槨，葬於成都。) Sanguo Yanyi ch. 83.
- (建安二十四年， ... 明年卒，...) Sanguozhi vol. 36.
- (原來關興殺入吳陣，正遇讎人潘璋，驟馬追之。 ... 早被關興手起劍落，斬於地上，取心瀝血，就關公神像前祭祀。) Sanguo Yanyi ch. 83.
- (嘉禾三年卒。) Sanguozhi vol. 55.
- (子興嗣。興字安國，少有令問，丞相諸葛亮深器異之。弱冠為侍中、中監軍，數歲卒。) Sanguozhi vol. 36.
- (卻說甘寧正在船中養病，聽知蜀兵大至，火急上馬，正遇一彪蠻兵，人皆披髮跣足，皆使弓弩長鎗，搪牌刀斧；為首乃是番王沙摩柯，生得面如噀血，碧眼突出，使兩個鐵蒺藜骨朵，腰帶兩張弓，威風抖擻。甘寧見其勢大，不敢交鋒，撥馬而走；被沙摩柯一箭射中頭顱。寧帶箭而走，到得富池口，坐於大樹之下而死。樹上群鴉數百，圍繞其屍。吳王聞之，哀痛不已，具禮厚葬，立廟祭祀。) Sanguo Yanyi ch. 83.
- (寧卒，權痛惜之。) Sanguozhi vol. 55.
- (雲正殺之間，忽遇朱然，便與交鋒；不一合，一鎗刺朱然於馬下，殺散吳兵，救出先主，望白帝城而走。) Sanguo Yanyi ch. 84.
- (年六十八，赤烏十二年卒，...) Sanguozhi vol. 56.
- ([建興]七年卒，追謚順平侯。) Sanguozhi vol. 36.
- (時孫夫人在吳，聞猇亭兵敗，訛傳先主死於軍中，遂驅車至江邊，望西遙哭，投江而死。) Sanguo Yanyi ch. 84.
- Chen, Shou. Records of the Three Kingdoms (Sanguozhi).
- Luo, Guanzhong. Romance of the Three Kingdoms (Sanguo Yanyi).
- Pei, Songzhi. Annotations to Records of the Three Kingdoms (Sanguozhi zhu).
- Sima, Guang. Zizhi Tongjian.
- Sawyer, Ralph (2014), Zhuge Liang: Strategy, Achievements, and Writings, North Charleston, ISBN 9781492860020