Sun Ben

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Sun Ben
General of Sun Quan
Born (Unknown)
Died (Unknown)
Traditional Chinese 孫賁
Simplified Chinese 孙贲
Pinyin Sūn Bēn
Wade–Giles Sun Pen
Courtesy name Boyang (traditional Chinese: 伯陽; simplified Chinese: 伯阳; pinyin: Bóyáng; Wade–Giles: Po-yang)
This is a Chinese name; the family name is Sun.

Sun Ben (birth and death dates unknown), courtesy name Boyang, was a cousin of Sun Quan, a warlord who lived in the late Eastern Han Dynasty and later became the founding emperor of the state of Eastern Wu in the Three Kingdoms period. He was the eldest son of Sun Qiang, the twin brother of Sun Quan's father Sun Jian. He first served Sun Jian in the campaign against Dong Zhuo. After Sun Jian's death, he took control of the army and went to serve Yuan Shu. He would soon rejoin Sun Ce (Sun Jian's eldest son and successor). He died of illness after the Battle of Red Cliffs. He was succeeded by his son Sun Lin (孫鄰).


Sun Ben was born in Fuchun, Wu (present-day Fuyang, Zhejiang) to Sun Qiang, the twin brother of Sun Jian, as the older one of Sun Qiang's two sons. Sun Qiang died early, and so his sons were taken in by their uncle, Sun Jian. Sun Ben followed his uncle in battle after Sun Jian's return from Luoyang, and led a unit during Sun Jian's attack on Liu Biao. When Sun Jian died, Sun Ben, being older than Sun Ce, gathered many of the soldiers and generals and went to Yuan Shu, who had been Sun Jian’s liege.

Sun Ben served under Yuan Shu for a time, along with Sun Jian's brother-in-law, Wu Jing (the brother of Sun Jian's wife Lady Wu). He served as Inspector of Yu province, but the position was mostly honorary, for he was still young. He met Zhou Yu, and joined him to aid Wu Jing, who was under attack from Liu Yao. Sun Ce soon arrived as well, and both Zhou Yu and Sun Ben joined his army. Wu Jing was saved, and Sun Ben was reunited with his family under Yuan Shu.

As a reward for his duties, Sun Ben was made Grand Administrator of Yuzhang, while Sun Fu was sent to Luling. When Yuan Shu went out to battle Liu Bei, Sun Ben was assigned to defend Shouchun. When Yuan Shu declared himself emperor, Sun Ben, Wu Jing, Zhou Yu, and Lu Su all abandoned him and joined Sun Ce. Sun Ben's wife and children, however, were detained in the city and were unable to join him until later.

In 197, Sun Ce and Lü Bu allied with each other to defeat Yuan Shu. Sun Ben and Sun Fu led the attack against Liu Xun, easily scoring a victory.

In 200, Sun Ce died, and both Sun Ben and Sun Fu were uneasy about the young Sun Quan being his heir, both being his elder. The two were stationed in Yuzhang when Cao Cao began his advance southward. Sun Fu wrote a letter intending to surrender to Cao Cao, but he was stripped of all rank, and his advisors were executed. Sun Ben also was contemplating surrender, but it is said that Zhu Zhi dissuaded him, and he served at the Battle of Red Cliffs. A few months after, however, Sun Ben died of illness. His son, Sun Lin, would succeed him.

At the time of his death, it is said that an edict was in Sun Ben's possession—an edict delivered from the capital offering him a high rank under Cao Cao. It is possible that Sun Ben died of distress.


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