Jiang Wan

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Jiang Wan
蔣琬
JiangWan.jpg
A Qing dynasty illustration of Jiang Wan
Grand Marshal (大司馬)
In office
239 (239) – 246 (246)
Monarch Liu Shan
Manager of the Affairs of the Masters of Writing (錄尚書事)
In office
? (?) – 246 (246)
Monarch Liu Shan
General-in-Chief (大將軍)
In office
? (?) – 246 (246)
Monarch Liu Shan
Inspector of Yi Province (益州刺史)
In office
? (?) – ? (?)
Monarch Liu Shan
Protector of the Capital (都護)
(acting)
In office
? (?) – ? (?)
Monarch Liu Shan
Prefect of the Masters of Writing (尚書令)
In office
234 (234) – ? (?)
Monarch Liu Shan
Personal details
Born Unknown
Shuangfeng County, Hunan
Died 246
Chengdu, Sichuan
Relations
Children
  • Jiang Bin
  • Jiang Xian
Occupation Official, regent
Courtesy name Gongyan (公琰)
Posthumous name Gong (恭)
Peerage Marquis of Anyang Village
(安陽亭侯)

Jiang Wan (died 246), courtesy name Gongyan, was an official of the state of Shu Han during the Three Kingdoms period of China. In 234, he succeeded Zhuge Liang as the head of government under the Shu emperor Liu Shan and for over the next decade continued domestic policies that allowed Shu to prosper. In late 243, Jiang Wan contracted a severe illness, so over the next three years he began to slowly delegate his responsibilities to his deputies and eventual successors, Fei Yi and Dong Yun.

Early career[edit]

Jiang Wan was from Xiang District (湘鄉), Lingling Commandery (零陵郡), which in present-day Shuangfeng County, Hunan. He and his maternal cousin Liu Min (劉敏) were known for their intelligence when they were young. It is not known how he became a subordinate under Liu Bei, but what is known is that when Liu Bei entered and conquered Yi Province (益州; covering present-day Sichuan and Chongqing), Jiang Wan was part of his army, and after Liu Bei's success, Jiang Wan was appointed as a county magistrate. Once, when Liu Bei visited the county, he was surprised and angered that Jiang Wan was not personally handling the county affairs and was, on that occasion, drunk. He wanted to execute Jiang Wan, but Zhuge Liang persuaded him not to, reasoning that, based on what he knew, Jiang Wan was a capable supervisor and had delegated the matters to proper personnel, and therefore on that occasion could rest. Jiang Wan, however, was still removed from his post. When Zhuge Liang became regent for Liu Bei's son Liu Shan in 223 after Liu Bei's death, he made Jiang Wan an assistant officer.

During Zhuge Liang's regency[edit]

During Zhuge Liang's regency, he appreciated Jiang Wan's talents, and Jiang Wan's role in government gradually grew more and more important. When Zhuge Liang started his Northern Expeditions against Shu's rival state Wei in 227, Jiang Wan was one of the key officials remaining in the Shu capital Chengdu to handle domestic matters. In 230, he became a chief assistant to Zhuge Liang, and was in charge of logistics. He made sure that the food and manpower supplies were sufficient, and Zhuge Liang praised him in this way: "Gongyan is both faithful and open-minded, and he and I will together serve the emperor in great things".

In 231, when Zhuge Liang's co-regent Li Yan was discovered to have repeatedly lied to him and Liu Shan, Li Yan was removed from his post. Jiang Wan, while not given the same post, became even more important. When Zhuge Liang became critically ill on his final campaign against Wei in 234, Liu Shan sent messengers to inquire of him as to who should succeed him. Zhuge Liang recommended Jiang Wan as his successor, and Fei Yi as Jiang Wan's successor. After Zhuge Liang's death later that year, Jiang Wan became the new head of government in Shu.

As regent[edit]

As regent, Jiang Wan was a capable administrator, and he continued Zhuge Liang's domestic policies, leaving the government largely efficient. He was also known for his tolerance of dissension and his humility. When Yang Min (楊敏) criticised him for being ineffective and not being as good at his job as his predecessor, Jiang Wan's response was, "Indeed, I am not as good as my predecessor," and he did not punish Yang Min.

Jiang Wan, not having military aptitude, soon abandoned Zhuge Liang's policy of waging war against Wei, and indeed in 241 withdrew most of the troops from the strategic Hanzhong Commandery to Fu County (涪縣; in present-day Mianyang, Sichuan). From that point on, Shu was generally in a defensive posture and no longer posed a threat to Wei. This was misinterpreted by many officials from Shu's ally state Wu as a sign that Shu was abandoning their alliance and entering into a treaty with Wei, but was correctly read by the Wu emperor Sun Quan as merely a sign of weakness, not an abandonment of the alliance. At one point, Jiang Wan considered sending an army heading east on the Han River to attack the Wei-controlled Weixing (魏興; in present-day Ankang, Shaanxi) and Shangyong (上庸; in present-day Shiyan, Hubei) commanderies, but did not actually carry out those plans.

In 243, Jiang Wan became seriously ill and transferred most of his authority to Fei Yi and Dong Yun. In 244, when the Wei regent Cao Shuang attacked Hanzhong Commandery, it was Fei Yi who led the troops against Cao Shuang and dealt the Wei forces a major defeat. Jiang Wan, however, remained influential until his death in 246. He was given the posthumous name "Gong" (恭; literally "respectful").

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References[edit]