Sun Jiao

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Sun Jiao
General of Sun Quan
Born (Unknown)
Died 219[1]
Traditional Chinese 孫皎
Simplified Chinese 孙皎
Pinyin Sūn Jiǎo
Wade–Giles Sun Chiao
Courtesy name Shulang (Chinese: 叔朗; pinyin: Shūlǎng; Wade–Giles: Shu-lang)

Sun Jiao (died 219),[1] courtesy name Shulang, 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.


Sun Jiao was the third son of Sun Jing, a younger brother of Sun Quan's father Sun Jian. Along with the rest of his family, Sun Jiao first served as a military general under Sun Ce (Sun Jian's eldest son and successor) and then under Sun Quan (Sun Ce's younger brother and successor). After the Battle of Ruxu in 213, his leadership skills were highly praised by all with whom he served.

In reward for his deeds at Ruxu, he was chosen to succeed Cheng Pu as commander of Xiakou when Cheng was promoted to a higher position. In addition, he was given commands of two prominent Wu generals who had died: his elder brother Sun Yu and Huang Gai.

Once, while drinking with fellow commander Gan Ning, Sun Jiao made a comment under the influence of alcohol that deeply offended Gan, who sent a letter to Sun Quan requesting a transfer from Sun Jiao's command to Lü Meng's. As his advisor Zhuge Jin was Sun Jiao's closest friend, Sun Quan sent him to admonish Sun Jiao for offending Gan. Thus reprimanded, Sun Jiao personally apologized to Gan Ning, and the two became close friends.

Sun Jiao earned merits in the 215 campaign on Jing Province, in which Eastern Wu forces overran several of Liu Bei's commanderies in the province. In 219, Sun participated in a second invasion of Liu Bei's holdings in Jing Province. When preparing for the battle, Sun Quan intended for Sun Jiao and Lü Meng to hold joint command over the military, much as his generals Zhou Yu and Cheng Pu had during the Battle of Red Cliffs. Lü Meng, however, advised Sun Quan against this arrangement, as it could lead to dissension in the ranks, and asked him to choose whomever he saw fit for the position. In the end, Lü was chosen, and Sun Jiao participated under his command. There is no record of Sun Jiao feeling slighted by this arrangement.

The campaign was a resounding success, with Liu Bei's trusted associate and prized general, Guan Yu, being captured and executed. Sun Jiao himself earned numerous merits in the campaign, but not long after Guan Yu's execution, he himself died of sudden illness.


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  1. ^ a b The Sanguozhi mentioned that Sun Jiao died in the 24th year of the Jian'an era (196–220) in the reign of Emperor Xian of Han. Quote from Sanguozhi vol. 51: (建安二十四年卒。)