The strength and greatness of the Mu-jung Clan of the Hsien-pei began during the year of Mo-hu-pa for it was he who during the period of Wei Ming-ti accompanied Ssu-ma I to campaign against the Kung-sun Clan of Liao-tung, the merit he obtained in this got him appointed the King of Shuai-i receiving an official Chinese rank and title. Mo-hu-pa passed it on to Mu-jung Mu-yen, Mu-jung Mu-yen passed it on to Mu-jung She-kuei and it was Mu-jung She-kuei that was proclaimed the Grand Ch'an-yü of the Hsien-pei and he in turn passed it on to his son, Mu-jung Hui. Chin Wu-ti appointed Hui as the Governor General of the Hsien-pei and with this first formally established a capital at Chi-ch'eng (Thorny-bramble City: south of I-hsien in Liao-ning province, the northern territory of Chin Hsien). The power of the state gradually became greater while its territories expanded little by little. After the Yung-chia Disaster among the personages of the Central Plain there were those who fled to Liao-tung, and Mu-jung Hui made this greater by accepting and employing them. Immediately upon ascending the throne in Chiang-tung, Chin Yuan-ti conferred upon Hui the post of Governor General of the two chou of Yu and Ping, made him the An-pei General and enfeoffed him as the Duke of Liao-tung. Hui employed the men of Han, P'ei I and Yu Sui as Chief Clerks (Chang-shih) and from the beginning to the end of his forty-nine years in power he submitted to and pledged loyalty to the Chin Dynasty. Both Mu-jung Hui and the Latter Chao ruler, Shih Le, died in 333 (Hsien-ho 8) and Hui was followed by his son, Mu-jung Huang, who in 337 (Hsien-k'ang 3) proclaimed himself the King of Yen and also named himself a vassal of Latter Chao and agreed with the Chao ruler, Shih Hu, to jointly attack the Tuan Clan in Liao-hsi. In Liao-hsi emong the Tuan Clan after the death of Tuan Wu-wu-ch'en the leadership was passed on to his son, Tuan Chiu-lu-chüan and when he died it passed on to Wu-wu-ch'en's younger brother, She-fu-ch'en. She-fu-ch'en was murdered by Chiu-lu-chüan's younger male cousin Mo-p'i and when he died it was passed on to his younger brother Tuan Ya and then Chiu-lu-chüan's son Tuan Liao killed Tuan Ya and set himself up as ruler. In 338 (Hsien-k'ang 4) Heavenly King Shih Hu of the Latter Chao dispatched a great force and together with Mu-jung Huang attacked Tuan Liao from both sides with Tuan Liao suffering a major defeat and fled in ruin with Shih Hu fighting his way into their city of Ling-chih. Having already won, Shih Hu became haughty and reprimanded the Yen troops for being unable to rendevous with his army according to the schedule and then led his troops to take advantage of the victory by marching eastward to attack Mu-jung Huang. Huang strengthened his defenses to receive the attack and inflicted a stunning defeat on the Chao forces, taking over 30,000 heads and all of the cities of Liao-hsi that had been conquered by Shih Hu one by one and in no apparent order threw off the Chao yoke and returned to Yen and after this Tuan Liao also submitted to Yen and the men of Yen completely merged with the masses of the Tuan clan. Since Mu-jung Huang had defeated Shih Hu and eliminated the Tuan Liao, his fame and influence shook the empire and he sent envoys with prisoners of war to Chien-k'ang as a gesture of his friendship. Emperor Chin Ch'eng-ti instructed that Mu-jung Huang be appointed as the General-in-Chief, Governor General of all the military affairs of Ho-pei, Yu-chou Magistrate, Great Ch'an-yü and King of Yen. In 342 King Huang of Yen transferred the capital to Lung-ch'eng (Ch'ao-yang in Ju-ho) and after this destroyed Kao-chu-li in the east, defeated the Yü-wen Clan in the north and within the space of several years expanded his territory by 3,000 li, increased the population by 100,000 households and although in name a vassal to the Chin Court, in reality he was already an independent major state in the northeast.
with the passing of Mu-jung Huang King of Yen in the year Yung-ho 4 of the Chin Emperoro Mu-ti (348 A.D.) his son Mu-jung Chün became the new King of Yen. In 349 the Chao ruler, Shih Hu, also died and the state of Chao fell into confusion. So it was that in 350 Mu-jung Chün chose 200,000 crack troops for a decisive campaign to the south using Mu-jung Pa as the Commander of the Vanguard (Ch'ien-feng Tu-tu) and Mu-jung K'o, Mu-jung P'ing and others as generals and with bamboo-breaking force (great ease) they went directly to the city of Pa-chi, attacked and took the two chou of Yu and Ying to completely occupy the northern part of the modern province of Ho-pei. Having been sugject to the cruel spite of Shih Hu the local troops and populace submitted in droves to give their allegiance to Yen. In 351 (Yung-ho 7) the Latter Chao ruler Chih Chien was killed by Jan Min and Shih Chih was killed by Liu Hsien who was in turn attacked and killed by Jan Min. The Yen troops took advantage of the chaos to continue their descent upon the south to occupy Chao-chün, Chung-shan and other areas. In 352 (Yung-ho 8) the Yen General Mu-jung K'o and Jan Min met each other and a fierce battle ensued during which Jan Min suffered a crushing defeat and was captured and sent to Lung-ch'eng in a wooden cage to be beheaded while the other general, Mu-jung P'ing immediately attacked and took Yeh-ch'eng. Mu-jung Chün received the support of all the court ministers, having previously ascended the imperial throne in Chi-ch'eng and after a short while moved the capital to Yeh-ch'eng and this became the kingdom of Former Yen.
During the collapse of the Latter Chao the area of the Central Plain formed a great scene of chaos and confusion, so while several men submitted to the Former Yen several also submitted to the Eastern Chin which had taken advantage of the situation to recover Yen, Yu, Ch'ing, Hsü and several other lost territories and there were also some who occupied lands and set themselves up as rulers, some of them adopting a wait and see attitude. Among these were Tuan K'an who controlled Ch'ing-chou, Chang P'ing who controlled Ping-chou, Chang Yu who controlled Lo-yang and Hsü-ch'ang, and Fu Chien who achieved success and founded the state of Former Ch'in.
During the beginning of the Chin Dynasty in the area of Lin-wei in Lueh-yang (Ch'in-an in Kan-su) there was a clan of Ti tribesmen by the name of P'u and their chieftain P'u Huai-kuei fathered a son by the name of P'u Hung who was both valiant and possessed many schemes for meeting exigencies. After the disaster of the Yung-chia years Liu Yao was proclaimed emperor in Ch'ang-an and P'u Hung surrendered to him and was appointed the Marquis of Shuai-i. During the reign of Shih Hu, P'u Hung was named the Lung-hsiang General (Prancing Dragon General) and Refugee Director (Liu-min Tu-tu) with troops stationed at Fang-t'ou (southwest of Chün Hsien in Ho-nan) and later had merit following Shih Hu on his Liao-hsi campaign and so was also enfeoffed as the Royal Duke of Hsi-p'ing and charged with the task of maintaining control of the Governor Generals of the military affairs for the Six Barbarians. P'u Hung possessed a troop of Ti tribesmen that were strong and skilled in warfare and extremely loyal to Shih Hu. With the coming of Shih Hu's death, Shih Tsun ascended the throne and made use of what Jan Min had said to remove Hung from his post as Governor General. Following this Jan Min revolted and there was a general slaughter of the Shih clan. P'u Hung then occupied Fang-t'ou and became independent, proclaiming himself the Governor General-in-Chief and General-in-Chief, Great Ch'an-yü and King of the Three Ch'in, changing his surname to Fu in order to respond to a prophetic article. Fu Hung, seeing that the Central Plain was seething in turmoil but that Kuan-ching was empty, intended to surprise and take Ch'ang-an but he was unexpectedly poisoned by his subordinate officer Ma Ch'iu and with the arrival of the moment of his death he said to his son (by his legal wife) Fu Chien: "Now I have unfortunately been distressed by a good-for-nothing, the area of the Central Chou (the Central Plain) cannot be administered by you and your brothers, after I die you ought to go quickly into the Pass (into Kuan-chung)." With the passing of Hung Fu Chien immediately killed Ma Ch'iu and assembling his mass of followers he divided them into two columns to cut their way into Kuan-chung. Ch'ang-an at this time was occupied by Tu Hung an officer of the Latter Chao and after inflicting a great defeat on Tu Hung, he fought his way into the city and all of the cities and towns of Kuan-chung one by one surrendered to Fu Chien so that in 351 (Yung-ho 7) he was proclaimed the Heavenly King of the state called Ch'in. In 352 he was formally proclaimed emperor and at the same time he accepted the surrender of Chang Yu and occupied Lo-yang and this is what became known as the state of Former Ch'in. The Former Ch'in held control over the lands of Kuan-chung and a section of Ho-nan and in the distance it faced Yeh-ch'eng of the Former Yen.
In the beginning among those who surrendered together with P'u Hung to the Shih-Chao state, there was a leader of the Ch'iang by the name of Yao I-ch'ung. Shih Le had initially used I-ch'ung as the Left Governor General of the Six Barbarians and later on Shih Hu made him the Fen-wu General (Arousing Martial General) and Governor General of the Western Ch'iang and the Ch'iang troops that he commanded inhabited Ch'ing-ho and Nieh-t'ou (Ch'ing-ho in Ho-pei). After Shih Hu died and Jan Min revolted, when Shih Chih ascended to the throne in Hsiang-kuo he used Yao I-ch'ung as his Right Chancellor and I-ch'ung's son, Yao Hsiang, as the Nimble Cavalry General and the Yu-chou Prefect. Afterwards with the destruction of the Shih-Chao state, I-ch'ung sent envoys to request surrender to the Eastern Chin. The Chin made him the Chariots and Cavalry General, Grand Governor General and Superintendant of Army Affairs in Chiang-pei and his son, Yao Hsiang, was also made the Ping-chou Prefect. It was not long before Yao I-ch'ung died in Nieh-t'ou and his son then assumed command over his horde and led them south back towards the Eastern Chin. At first the Chin ordered Yao Hsiang to garrison his troops at Chiao-ch'eng (Pu Hsien in An-hui) but later moved the garrison to Huai-nan to make it into an extraordinary force among the three states of Yen, Ch'in and Chin.
Huan Wen (courtesy name: Yuan-tzu) was the son of Chin Hsüan-ch'eng Grand Administrator Huan I. Not yet a full year after his birth he was seen by Wen Chiao who said: "This son of yours has remarkable bones, can I try to make him cry?" and upon hearing the sound of his cry he said in amazement: "This is truly an outstanding thing!" Because it was Wen Chiao that recognized his worth he was then given the name of "Wen." Wen later on was esteemed by the Nan-k'ang Princess and appointed as the Chief Commandant of the Attendant Cavalry (Fu-ma Tu-wei) and was equal in fame to both Tu ??? and Yin Hao. When Yu I was serving as the Ching-chou Prefect he used to want to destroy the Hu (barbarians) in the north and grasp Shu in the west, the great ministers at court all considered it to be too difficult and only Huan Wen supported his ideas so as a result Yu I deeply valued Huan Wen. He used to extol Huan Wen in front of the Emperor Ch'eng-ti saying: "Huan Wen has the ability of a hero, your Majesty should not match him with ordinary men, or raise him with the juveniles, it is fitting that you should charge him with a post in a local commandery and will certainly become a great benefit in times of adversity." With the coming of the death of Yu I, Mu-ti ascended the throne and Empress Dowager Wen governed and Ho Ch'ung assumed the administration so it was expedient to use Huan Wen to replace Yu I as the Ching-chou Prefect, the An-hsi General and the Governor General of the military affairs of six chou with a garrison at Chiang-ling. Huan Wen already garrisoned Ching-chou he found it easy to begin the task of putting military affairs in order and begin the work of training and euipping his forces to realize his plan to seize Shu in the west and campaign in the north in the Central Plain.
Standing in possession of Shy was the Li family of the Ti tribe and from the time Li Hsiung was proclaimed emperor they controlled the entire area of I-chou and parts of Liang-chou, Ch'i-chou and Ning-chou. Li Hsiung was particularly adept at scheming and was able to make use of the talents of other men, and his adiminstration was still tolerant but simple, he restored the schools, designated historiographers, avoided punishment and reduced taxes so that the peasants were happy and content. At this time the Central Plain was seething in turmoil and only in Shu alone was there peace, however, this peaceful situation was not to last for long. When Li Hsiung died the throne passed to his nephew Li Pan, but Li Pan was murdered and it then passed on to Hsiung's son, Li Ch'i, but once on power Li Ch'i became arrogant, cruel and bloodthirsty (he enjoyed killing) and the government became completely evil so he was deposed by the nephew of Li T'e (the son of Li Hsiang) Li Shou. Shou set himself up as the emperor and changed the name of the state to Han in the year 338 (Hsien-k'ang 4) and from this point on Shu fell into decline and confusion. Li Shou ruled for six years and then he died passing the throne on to his son, Li Shih. He was excessive in his use of punishments and killing and cruelly oppressed the faithful and honest. As a result the hearts and minds of the people changed and the state experienced great upheaval. Prior to this there had been the revolt of the Grand Guardian, Li I, and following this there was large-scale revolt among the Liao tribes, and in the region of Pa-hsi to Chien-wei there were several hundred thousand Liao tribesmen in revolt, and in addition to this there was famine to inflame things still further. When news of this reached Ching-chou Huan Wen saw that the situation was ripe and then decided on a western campaign. In the 11th moon in the winter of 346 (Yung-ho 2) a large force set out upstream to scend into the west, advanced to attack Pa-shu and with bamboo-splitting force they fought their way into Ch'eng-tu so Li Shih surrendered and the state of Ch'eng-Han after 47 years and seven rulers fell and was no more.
When Huan Wen had destroyed Shu he returned in triumph to the east to Chiang-ling and his prestige shook the heavens, by imperial edict he was enfeoffed as Wen, the Royal Duke of Lin-ho and made the Cheng-hsi General-in- chief. At the time Ho Ch'ung had already died so King Yu of Hui-ch'i and Left Imperial Household Grandee Ts'ai Mo guided the government. Both King Yu of Hui-ch'i and Ch'u Kun the father of the Empress Dowager recommended that Yin Hao be made the Yang-chou Prefect. Yin Hao, whose courtesy name was Shen-yuan, as a 20 year old mand had a good reputation and the poets compared him to Kuan and Ko. At the time that the Court employed Yin Hao, on the one hand if they could increase and strengthen their troop deployment in the center then if they feared that Huan Wen was becoming too strong on the upper Yangtze they could make use of this as a way to oppose him and this explains the adminsitration of the Eastern Chin, from start to finish unable to eliminate the tension between the upper and lower Yangtze and thereby obtain the cooperation between the center and the periphery.
Shu-Han was recovered in 347 (Yung-ho 3). The death of Shih Hu of the Latter Chao come in 349 (Yung-ho 5) and after 350 the north was fragmented to several of the hihg-ranking military officers of the Chao state in the Central Plain one by one negotiated surrender to the Eastern Chin. This series of opportune chances brought to the Eastern Chin the hope of the recovery of the north. In 349 Huan Wen advanced and occupied An-lu (north of Chung-hsiang Hsien in Ho-pei) where he devoted himself to planning of a restoration. At this time Ch'u Kun had become the Cheng-pei General and the Prefect of the two chou of Hsü and Yen, and Governor General of the military affairs of five chou and he also sent up a memorial himself requesting to subdue the north, and at the head of an army of 30,000 to advance and station troops in P'eng-ch'eng. And for a time those of the officials and peasants that came back (to the Chin) every day could be estimated to be in the thousands and both the court and people thought that the Central Plain could be recovered in a matter of days. Unexpectedly they were defeated by the Chao General Li Nung with Ch'u Kun returning in defeat to Kuang-ling while over 20,000 of the refugees that had come from Ho-pei died in the midst of the rampaging troops. Having encountered this quite unexpected setback Ch'u Kun shamed and indignant became ill and died. In 350 the Imperial Court then made the Yang-shou Prefect, Yin Hao, the General of the Central Army and Governor General of the military affairs of the five chou of Yang, Yu, Hsü, Yan and Ch'ing. Yin Hao again sent up a memorial to request permission for a northern campaign but prior to this had ordered Hsieh Shang the An-hsi General and Yao hsiang to lead troops to recover Hsü-ch'ang and Lo-yang and also to march and chastize Chang Yu. Fu Chien the King of Former Ch'in commanded Fu Hsiung the King of Tung-hai and the General-in-Chief Fu Ching to lead troops to aid Chang Yu and they inflicted a major defeat on Hsieh Shang at the Chieh Bridge in Ying-yung with 15,000 Chin soldiers dying in battle while Hsieh Shang helplessly fled back to Shou-chün and defend Li-yang. Having come through this battle, Yao Hsiang came to look down upon the house of Chin and in Huai-nan he stationed his troops in the countryside where they were engaged in farming, military drills and he increased the size of his force while planning for his own expansion.
In 353 Chang Yu had a falling out with Fu Chien the King of Ch'in and sent envoys to Chin to arrange for his surrender, wishing to become an inside agent. When Yin Hao heard of an internal revolt in the Chin state he considered this to be an opportunity he could not afford to miss. He therefore dispatched and army of 700,000 for a large-scale campaign in the north proceeding north from Shou-chün with Yao Hsiang as the vanguard. Unexpectedly when they had reached the midpoint of their travels Yao Hsiang suddenly mutinied and attacked Yin Hao with the latter suffering a major defeat and completely abandoning his supplied he withdrew to defend Chiao-ch'eng. Yao Hsiang led his troops to return again to occupy Hu-i. The Chin Court made Hsieh Shang the Yu-chou Prefect in command of troops stationed in Li-yang to defend against Yao Hsiang.
Huan Wen and Yin Hao had been jealous of one another and with Yin Hao's failure THE Court and the people were in an uproar. Huan Wen took the opportunity to submit a memorial to the Emperor to enumerate in sequence Yin Hao's loss of an army and the disgrace that this brought upon the state so that the Court had no other course but to demote Hao to the status of a commoner. With Yin Hao removed from office Huan Wen was then in complete control of government and in 354 Wen once again mounted a large-scale operation against Ch'in. In personal command of a mixed force of 40,000 cavalry and infantry he set out from Chiang-ling and passing through Hsi-ch'uan he entered Wu-kuan Pass. In addition he ordered the Liang-chou Prefect Ssu-ma Hsün to proceed from Han-chung to the Tse-wu Ravine to join the army in Kuan-chung. Huan Wen's army was honed to a fine edge and quickly proceeded all the way through the Wu Pass without any opposition and annihilated the Ch'in force at Lan-t'ien and then marched as far as Pa-shang while all of the chün and hsien of the San-fu region (the Ch'ang-an area) one by one sent envoys to surrender. The officials and people of Kuan-chung lined the roads in welcome and several of the elders shed tears and said: "Who could conceive that today we would once again see government troops!" Seeing the grandeur of Huan Wen's troops, Fu Chien then strengthened his defences and left behind what could be of use (?) to the invaders and stoutly defended Ch'ang-an. A stalemate developed that lasted from the 4th moon of Yung-ho 10 (354) until the 8th moon when with his provisions exhausted and having suffered a setback in battle Huan Wen moved 3,000 households of peasants from Kuan-chung and withdrew his troops to return south, but they were pursued by the Ch'in and the Chin troop losses were extremely heavy.
With his troops garrisoned in Huai-nan Yao Hsiang was kept under surveillance by Chin and found it difficult to expand. The troops under his command were for the most part Hu and Ch'iang from the north so Yao hsiang led them northwest to surprise and occupy Hsü-ch'ang and then proceeded with plans to take Lo-yang. At this time Lo-yang was occupied by Chou Ch'eng and the area of the Central Province (Ho-nan) was in confusion. Coming back from his setback in Kuan-chung, huan Wen was extremely despondent and wanted to make plans for another expedition in order to wipe out his previous shame and thus sent up a memorial requesting permission to attempt to recover Lo-yang.
In 365 it was directed that Huan Wen be made the Grand Governor General of Subjugation (Cheng-tao Ta Tu-tu) as well as Governor General of the military affairs of the two chou of Ssu and Chi to lead troops north to subjugate the rebels. Passing through the northern lands Huan Wen saw the terrain of the Central Plain and his excitement knew no bounds so he could not help but sigh and say: "The land of the Divine Province has been submerged in chaos, for a hundred years the hills have been desolate, Wang Yi Fu all men are unable to shirk their responsibility!" In the 8th moon of the year Huan Wen destroyed Yao Hsiang at I-shui. Hsiang fled for his life and crossed the Yellow River going north while Chou Ch'eng led his forces to surrender. Having restored Lo-yang and Hsü-ch'ang to their former status (as part of Chin) Huan Wen was made the Grand Administrator of Ho-nan and Tai-shih in control of the Lo-yang garrison with the result that once again the Central Plain was made the ruler's land. After crossing the river and going north Yao hsiang was defeated by Chang P'ing of Ping-chou so he crossed the river to flee into Kuan-chung where he was once again defeated by the Ch'in General Teng Ch'iang and Yao was killed in the course of the battle. His younger brother, Yao Ch'ang led his followers to surrender to the Former Ch'in.
In the fifth year after Huan Wen recovered Lo-yang in 361 (Sheng-p'ing 5) the Chin Emperor Mu-ti succumbed to an illness and died with his son, P'i the King of Lang-yeh ascending the throne as the Emperor Chin Ai-ti. After he had ascended to the throne, Huan Wen was given the additional titles of Palace Attendant, Commander-in-Chief (Ta Ssu-ma) and Superintendant of Army Affairs (Tu-tu Chung-wai chu-chün Shih) and also promoted to Yang-chou Magistrate with permission to station troops in Chiang-pei at Che-ch'ih (Red Bank, west of Fan-ch'ang hsien in An-hui). Ai-ti died after only four years on the throne and his younger brother I King of Lang-yeh followed him to become the Emepror Chin Fei-ti (The Dethroned Emperor). It was in this year that Huan Wen moved his garrison from Che-ch'ih to Ku-shu and used his younger brother Huan Hua to manage the two chou of Ching and Chiang as Prefect, and his younger brother Huan Ch'ung to supervise the military affairs of eight chou including Ching and Yu, and all power in and out of court was concentrated in the one family of Huan. It had been nine years since the recovery of Lo-yang and during these nine years the two states of Yen and Ch'in both rose up in strength and suddenly Lo-yang was once again occupied by the men of Yen.
The Yen ruler, Mu-jung Chün, established his capital at Yeh-ch'eng in 367 (Sheng-p'ing 1) and used his younger brother Mu-jung K'o as Court Attendant and Commander-in-Chief, his younger brother Mu-jung P'ing served as the Minister Over the Masses and Agile Cavalry General, while his younger brother Mu-jung Ch'ui (originally named Pa) as the An-tung General and enfeoffed as the Duke of Wu. Mu-jung K'o and Mu-jung Ch'ui were both men of great plans and were adulated by the masses. Mu-jung Chün at this time had the two chou of Yo and Chi when he again sent Mu-jung K'o east to conquer Kuang-ku and then seize Ch'ing-chou the moving west to defeat Chang P'ing and take Ping-chou. In 359 Mu-jung P'ing was also sent out and he defeated the Chin generals Hsieh Wan and Ch'ih T'an assaulting and taking the cities of Hsü-ch'ang, Ying-chüan, Chiao and P'ei so suddenly Lo-yang was isolated and without support. In 360 Mu-jung Chün took ill and died but since the heir apparent, Mu-jung Wei, was only eleven years old when he became the ruler he was guided in the government by Grand Minister (Tai-hsiang) Mu-jung K'o and the Grand Tutor Mu-jung P'ing. Mu-jung K'o managed affairs very cautiously and knew how to employ men. Huan Wen heard of this and sighed saying: "Although Mu-jung Chün is dead, Mu-jung K'o is still alive and our state's apprehension is just this deep!" Mu-jung K'o had just made Mu-jung Ch'ui the King of Wu, the Cheng-nan General and the Governor General of the military affairs of Ho-nan and his troops that were stationed in Li-t'ai in Liang-kuo had often defeated Chin troops. Upon reaching the year 365 (Hisng-ning 3) Mu-jung K'o and Mu-jung Ch'ui attacked and took Lo-yang and Yen made Ch'ui the Governor General of the military affairs of ten chou with an army garrisoned at Lu-yang and the Eastern Chin felt very threatened by this. At the time Yen possessed the lands of the seven chou of Yu, Chi, Ping, Yü, P'ing, Ssu and Ching with 85 chün to make the year 365 the high point of the Former Yen.
At the time that Yen troops were attacking south toward Lo-yang, Huan Wen was awe-struck by Mu-jung K'o and found it difficult to contest with him. With the coming of 368 Mu-jung K'o passed away and then Huan Wen could be firm in resolve to recover the lost lands. So it was that in 369 at the head of a force of some 50,000 infantry and cavalry he set out from Ku-shu on a northern expedition and from Yen-chou he followed the courses of the Huai and Pian rivers to march north. In addition, Yuan Chen the Yü-chou Prefect attacked Chiao, Liang and opened the Shih-men (Stone Gate northeast of Cheng-hsien) in order to take advantage of water transport. Huan Wen crushed the Yen troops and moving across the Yellow River he proceeded straight to Fang-t'ou (southwest of Chün-hsien in Ho-nan) and the Yen state was greatly shaken by this. The Yen ruler made preparations to transfer the capital in order to avoid disaster and there was only Mu-jung Ch'ui the "Grand Governor General to Supress the South" (Nan-t'ao Ta Tu-tu) and together with the Chang-nan General Mu-jung Te, he led out forces to resist the attack and give battle. The Yen ruler also sent envoys to request assistance from Ch'in and they dispatched troops to aid Yen that issued out of Han-ku (Sheath Valley) that passed through Lo-yang and hurried directly to Hsü-ch'ang in order to cut off Huan Wen's retreat. Huan Wen fought several inconclusive battles at Fang-t'ou while Yuan Chen was also blocked by Mu-jung Te so that provisions could no longer be transported to Huan Wen and when he recognized the threat to his rear he had no other choice but to quickly withdraw his troops from Fang-t'ou. Mu-jung Ch'ui pursued them and harried the column with Wen's troops suffering a major defeat with heavy casualties as a result. Huan Wen considerd defeat in battle to be a deep insult and so he placed the blame on Yuan Chen and secured Chen's demotion to the rank of commoner. At this Yuan Chen went into a rage and suddenly occupied Shou-chün in revolt, surrendering to the Former Yen. Yen appointed Yuan Chen the Cheng-nan General and Yang-chou Prefect. This time Huan Wen not only failed to recover the lost territories but also lost the area of Huai-nan no naturally he was naturally angry at the turn of events and dispatched troops to fight Yuan Chen and they besieged Shou-chün. In 370 Yuan Chen became ill and died and command of the army fell to his son, Yuan Chin, Huan Wen finally stormed Shou-chün in the next year and captured and beheaded Yuan Chin to recover Huai-nan and with this Huan Wen's operations in the north came to a halt
Huan Wen had grasped complete authority over the military and served during the reigns of three Emperoros, for a long time he had political ambitions and had mounted a few major operations against the north originally wanting to make great contributions and accomplish great tasks but in the end he suffered a defeat and in his heart he was very disappointed. When he was in garrison at Ku-shu he said to his family: "I have your silence (at my failure) but in the future I will be laughed at by Wen and Ching!" He also said: "I am not able to be honored by all generations, it is also not enough to leave behind the stink of ten-thousand records!" Upon taking Shou-chün Wen said to Ch'ih Ch'ao his military officer: "What is sufficient to wipe clean the shame of Fang-t'ou?" Ch'ao replied and said: "You have not yet." To convince him Ch'ao said: "The bright lord had an important post in the empire, now with sixty years of defeat in a great undertaking does not build honor not found in every age, it is not enough to satisfy the people's expectations." Wen questioned his words and Ch'ao said: "The bright lord does not become that which raises up I and Huo, it is not that which establishes awe." Huan Wen comprehended the meaning and then claimed that the emperor had a paralyzing illnedd and was unable to be the ruler of all under heaven and so convened a meeting of the various officals using the Empress Dowager Chü's decree to dethrone the emperor and make him the King of Tung-hai, setting up the Chancellor Ssu-ma I the King of Hui-ch'i as the Emperor Chin Chien-wen-ti. This drama really is but an imitation of the account of Huo Kuang's deposing of the King of Ch'ang-i during the Han Dynasty. Huan Wen took advantage of the situation to carry out a coup d'etat and punished all who protested, intimidating the bureaucracy so that all in and out of court looked askance at him. Chien-wen-ti restrained his temper and said nothing but died after two years of rule. Crown Prince Ssu-ma Yao became the Emperor Chin Hsiao-wu-ti. Hsiao-wu-ti had just taken the throne when Huan Wen took ill and died at Ku-shu. Wen's younger brother, Huan Ch'ung replaced him as the Prefect of the two chou of Yang and Yü and continued to garrison Ku-shu, Huan Hua, was still the Ching-chou Prefect while in the central adminsitraiton the Prefect of the Masters of Writing, Wang Piao-chih, cooperated with the Supervisor, Hsieh An, to guide the government. Huan Ch'ung had a very modest personality and was a complete reversal of his older brother's defiant and high-handed way of doing things; Hsieh An was very conscious of justice and propriety and was loyal to his country and because of these two the politics of the Eastern Chin took on a fresh look. After this the Former Ch'in suddenly became great and strong and rolled up the Central Plain like a mat as the political situation in the north underwent a significant transformation.
In 355 the Ch'in ruler, Fu Chien, died and his son Fu Sheng ascended the throne. Fu Sheng was cruel and vicious and completely devoid of any morality. In 357 Fu Sheng's younger cousin Fu Chien deposed and killed him, setting himself up as the Heavenly King of Great Ch'in (Ta Ch'in T'ien-wang). Fu Chien pursued the task of national build-up with great determination and dedication and used Wang Meng as his aide. Meng (courtesy name: Ching-lueh) was a native of Chü-hsien in Pei-hai, was well versed in a broad array of subjects and was knowledgable in the art of war. At first he lived in seclusion on Hua-yin Mountain but when Huan Wen entered into the Passes on his northern campaign Meng, wearing coarse cloth, paid him a call and talked to his heart's content with Huan Wen about the great affairs of the Empire as if there was no one else around. Huan Wen deeply valued Wang Meng and established him as Military Planner and Libationer. However, Meng sensed that Huan Wen would be unable to bring affairs to completion and so when Wen withdrew his troops Meng did not follow. Later when Fu Chien heard of his reputation he sent special envoys to request a meeting and as soon as the two had met it was as if they had known each other for a lifetime. Fu Chien himself said: "It was like Liu Hsüan-te encountering Chu-ke K'ung-ming." Chien at first made use of Meng as a Master of Writing (Shang-shu) then he rose continuously in rank to Palace Attendant, Prefect of the Palace Writers, and then Fu-kuo General and Colonel Director of the Reatainers (Ssu-li Hsiao-wei). At the time Meng was still in his thirties and in the three years since he had met Fu Chien had been promoted five times. After Fu Chien had employed Wang Meng, Kuan-chung experienced a great peace and order and the state's power grew with each new day. In 367 Fu Chien sent Wang Meng into the west to pacify Li Yen, and he attacked and defeated Chang T'ien-hsi of Liang and conquered the city of Lueh-yang to possess completely the lands of Lung-hsi. In 369 (T'ai-ho 4) Chien the King of Ch'in dispatched troops to aid Yen and along with the Yen King of Wu, Mu-jung Ch'ui, he defeated Huan Wen. When Mu-jung Ch'ui returned to the north after his battle victory the Yen Grand Tutor Mu-jung P'ing was jealous of him and wanted to undermine his position using trumped up charges so angry and fearful Ch'ui fled to Former Ch'in. Fu Chien was overjoyed and appointed Ch'ui as the Kuan-chün General. The contradictions of the state of Yen gave the Former Ch'in an opportunity to move eastward. Before when Ch'in aided Yen, Yen had originally allow Ch'in to occupy the territory west of Hu-lao but with the defeat of Huan Wen's army they suddenly regretted the agreement. King Chien of Ch'in was in a rage and took advantage of this to mobilize troops and in the winter of 369 during the 12th moon he ordered Wang Meng, Teng Ch'iang and other generals to lead 30,000 cavalry against the Former Yen and they attacked and took Lo-yang. In the next year Wang Meng and the Chen-nan Generl, Yang An, led 60,000 cavalry and infantry to take advantage of the victory to march north and broke through the Hu-kuan to pacify the Shang-tung region and they quickly attacked and stormed the Yen capital at Yeh-ch'eng with the Yen ruler Mu-jung Wei being taken captive and then all of the chou and chen of the Yen state one by one stopped fighting and surrendered. In all 157 prefectural towns were taken along with 1,200,000 households, for the King of Ch'in it was like destroying something that was already in a state of decay, destroying the Former Yen and uniting the north in the space of two years.
in 371 the second year after the fall of Yen, the King of Ch'in ordered Yang An to dispatch 70,000 soldiers to proceed west to destroy Ch'ou-ch'ih and conquered and captured Yang Ts'uan. Having won the lands of Ch'ou-ch'ih Ch'in could then threaten Han-chung. At the time the one garrisoning Han-chung was the Chin Liang-chou Prefect Yang Liang and in 373 (Nien-k'ang 1) Liang sent his son Yang Kuang to counter-attack at Ch'ou-ch'ih and was defeated by the Ch'in general Yang An. Fu Chien then ordered Yang An and others to take advantage of the vistory to advance aggressively and they routed Yang Liang to attack and then seize Han-chung. Yang An and Mao Tang descended on the south in long marches, and suddenly burst through the plank road called Chien-ko, fell on Kuang-han and conquered Ch'eng-tu to completely occupy the lands of the three chou of Shu, Liang and I. The King of Ch'in made Yang An the I-chou Magistrate with a garrison at Han-chung and all of this took place in the first year of the Ning-k'ang reign period of Hsiao-wu-ti (373). In the space of a few years the men of Ch'in were like a wild wind that sweeps away the autumn leaves, and they rolled up two-thirds of the empire like a mat. In 372 King Chien of Ch'in made Wang Meng his Chancellor and put him in full control of the government and the army both in and out of the court. When Wang Meng administered the country he was tough, bright, solemn and serious, dispensing rewards and punishments impartially, he banished corrupt officials, recognized and chose the talented and capable, exhorted and evaluated agriculture and sericulture, as well as trained the armies. He advised Fu Chien externally to repair his weapons while internally to establish Confucian methods, establish and run an Academy (T'ai-hsueh) and test and examine the successful candidates in the local examinations. As a result of this the bandits of Kuan-chung were halted, at the post stations travel and rely on the road for supply, the laborers and merchants bartered and peddled on the roads, and the peasants composed a song to praise him saying:
The great thoroughfares of Ch'ang-an
are lined on both sides with poplar and acacia trees
coming down is a vermillion carriage
above there is perched the luan.
The outstanding and accomplished gather like clouds
to instruct us of the masses!
The third year after he had captured Ch'ou-ch'ih and seized Liang and I, King Chien of Ch'in also dispatched troops to the west to destroy the Former Liang, and his power stretched out to reach Hsi-yu (The Western Region) and now we will describe the rise and fall of the Former Liang.
Chang Kuei (courtesy name: Shih-yuan) was a native of Wu-ti in An-ting and in 301 during the reign of Chin Hui-ti he was sent out to the post of Liang-chou Prefect and concurrently the Colonel Protecting the Ch'iang (Hu Ch'iang Hsiao-wei) who upon reaching his assignment found bandits everywhere and the threat of the Hsien-pei, so to wipe out the bandits, confront the menace and pacify the countryside built the city of Ku-tsang (now Wu-wei in Kan-su). During the disorders of the Yung-chia Period while all under heaven was falling apart only Chang Kuei continued to send tribute to the court and also sent General Pei Kung-chün to the rescue of the throne during this difficult time. When Min-ti ascended the throne in Ch'ang-an, Chang Kuei also sent General Sung P'ei to help guard the capital. Chang Kuei ruled for twelve years and then died, with his son Chang Shih following him as the Liang-chou Prfect and after seven years of rule he was murdered by subordinates, and with the support of the masses his younger brother Chang Mao became the Governor-General and Liang-chou Magistrate. At the time Liu Yao of the Former Chao occupied Kuan-chung and dispatched a force of 280,000 troops to approach Liang-chou from upstream; Chang Mao was frightened and sent envoys to request a surrender that saw Liu Yao appoint him as a Palace Attendant in what was the first year of the Yung-ch'ang reigh period of Chin Yuan-ti (322). Chang Mao died after four years of rule and was followed by his son Chang Chün. Although Chang Mao had received both office and salary from Liu Yao his heart still leaned toward the Royal House of Chin and at the moment of his death he laid a charge on his son Chang Chün saying: "For generations our family has made a name for itself by its filial piety, brotherly love and by its obedience and although the House of Chin is weak if you respectfully receive them then you cannot err!" After Chang Chün ascended the throne it was not long before the Former Chao was destroyed by the Latter Chao and Chün took advantage of the opportunity to recover lands south of the river as far as Ti-tao. In his heart Chang Chün still remembered the old country (motherland) and sent Chang Ch'un as an envoy who travelled by way of Shu through many twists and turns to arrive in Chien-k'ang and offer up a report to the Emperor in the year Hsien-ho 8 (333) of Chin Ch'eng-ti. Ch'eng-ti praised Chün's loyalty and virtue sending his own envoy using an out of the way path to proceed to Liang.chou and bestow on Chang Chün a seal of office bearing a sash and confer on him the titles of General-in-Chief and Governor-General of the military affairs of the three chou of Yung, Ch'in and Liang. During the rule of Chang Chün within the country was rich and strong, sending General Yang Hsüan west to conquer Ch'iu-tze and Shan-shan as the states of Hsi-yu such as Yan-ch'i and Yu-t'ien sent envoys to Ku-tsnag to offer their submission and tribute. The state of Former Liang during the reign of Chang Chün experienced a golden age. However, when the Latter Chao became great and strong and Li-Ch'eng ruled in Shu, Chang Chün submitted to both Shu and Chao at the same time, moving back and forth between the two powers to plan his protection and expending great amounts of sorrow in the effort. Chang Chün ruled for 22 years and then in 346 he died and all those near and far eulogized Chang Chün's virtue saying that he had become "the Lord who accumulates virtue." After his death his son Chang Chung-hua came to the throne and proclaimed himself the Grand Governor-General, Liang-chou Magistrate and King of Chia-Liang. Shih Hu, the King of Latter Chao sent generals in command of troops to take advantage of the death to subdue Liang but Chang Chung-hua used Hsieh Ai to lead the resistance against the armies of Chao. Hsieh Ai had a good grasp of strategy and was well versed in the deployment of troops and attacked the Chao troops. Shih Hu did not concede defeat and in 347 he once again sent General Ma Ch'iu on a large-scale invasion to advance and attack Fu-han in Liang (modern Lin-hsia in Kan-su) and he was also defeated by Hsieh Ai and the losses of the Chao army were tragically heavy. This was just when the Latter Chao was in its period of ascendancy so it came as something quite unexpected when they were defeated by the very small state of Former Liang. Shih Hu sighed and said: "I relied on armed might to settle the Nine Provinces, but now using the power of the Nine Provinces I am in difficult straits in Fu-han, how could I have foreseen that there could be men such as this (Hsieh Ai)!" Because of this the Former Liang were able to preserve thei existence and they were not annexed by the Latter Chao. In this year the Eastern Chin specially sent the Secretary (Yü-shih) Yu Kuei to Liang-chou and appointed Chang Chung-hua as a Palace Attendant, Grand Governor-General, Liang-chou Prefect and Duke of Hsi-p'ing (Hsi-p'ing Kung).
in 353 Chang Chung-hua, Duke of Hsi-p'ing, died and his son Yao-ling came to the throne but he was just ten years old so the government was guided by Hsieh Ai. Chung-hua had an older brother born to one of his father's concubines by the name of Chang Tsuo who now plotted together with Chung-hua's favorite minister, Chao Chang, and together they deposed Yao-ling and killed Hsieh Ai. Chang Tsuo then proclaimed himself the King of Liang and in 354 proclaimed himself emperor and all of the ministers that opposed him or disagredd were put to death so that as a result both superior and inferior were angry and indignant with Liang falling into great political and social upheaval. There was the Ho-chou Prefect Chang Kuan and the Resolute Cavalry General (Hsiao-chi Chaign-chün) Sung Hun who mobilized troops to fight and enter Ku-tsang killing Chang Tsuo and set up Yao-ling's younger brother Chang Hsüan-ching as the King of Liang. Hsüan-ching was only seven years of age so Chang Kuan set himself up as the Prefect of the Masters of Writing and Liang-chou Magistrate to guide the administration, with all of this happening in 355. In 356 the Ch'in sent an envoy to Ku-tsang to cajole and coerce Chang Kuan so he had no other choice but to declare his vassalage to the Former Ch'in. In 359 during a struggle for power with Sung Hun Chang Kuan was killed and Sung Hun continued his guidance of the administration. After two years Sung Hun died and his younger brother Sung Ch'eng assumed power. The Major of the Right (Yu Ssu-ma) Chang Yung hated Sung Ch'eng's dictatorship and raised troops to attack and kill Sung Ch'eng, Chang Yung then jointly guided the government with Hsüan-ching's father's brother, Chang T'ien-hsi. It was not long before Chang T'ien-hsi attacked and killed Chang Yung and made himself the Grand Governor-General in sole control of the government. With the coming of 362 (Lung-ho 1) Chang T'ien-hsi was suddenly killed and his nephew Chang Hsüan-ching to set himself up as the Liang-chou Magistrate and Duke of Hsi-p'ing. Chang T'ien-hsi abandoned himself to women and wine and ignored the affairs of government so that after passing through a succession of revolts the power of the state was in serious decline. With the arrival of 376 (T'ai-yuan 1) Fu Chien the King of Ch'in sent his Generals Kou Ch'ang, Mao Sheng, Liang Hsi and Yao Ch'ang to lead 300,000 troops in a major operation to subdue the Former Liang and they smashed the Liang forces at Hung-ch'ih taking over 30,000 heads and fought their way up to Ku-tsang when T'ien-hsi surrendered leading a white cart pulled by a white horse loaded with a coffin. King Chien of Ch'in appointed Liang Hsi the Liang-chou Prefect, enfeoffing Chang T'ien-hsi as the Marquis of Kuei-i, the outcome of King Chien of Ch'in annexing the kingdom of Former Liang that had carved out and occupied for 76 years a place on the western borders was the complete control of the territory of Ho-hsi.
In the same year that the Former Liang state was eliminated the King of Ch'in ordered Fu Luo the Yu-chou Prefect and Duke of Hsin-t'ang be made the Subdue the North Grand Governor-General (Pei-tao Ta Tu-tu) and dispatched 100,000 troops on a large-scale punitive expedition against the Kingdom of Tai, smashing Shih-i-chien King of Tai and then marched the troops to Yun-chung to destroy the Kingdom of Tai. The lands of Tai were divided into two parts, the area to the east of the Yellow River became the Eastern Section and was given to the Hsiung-nu leader Liu K'u-jen to govern. The areas to the west of the Yellow River became the Western Section and were given to the Hsiung-nu leader Liu Wei-ch'en to govern as Chien put the lands to the south of the desert under his control (Inner Mongolia: south of the Gobi desert). Within the space of a single year in 376 Fu Chien ahd eliminated two northern kingdoms and was completely satisfied, handing down a proclamation that said: Military service has not delayed the harvests, I have eliminated two evils, capturing and subduing a million, opening 9,000 li of land for cultivation, those who did not obey the Five Emperors, places that the Chou and Han did not reach, there is not a one that will not cease to talk about my coming as a king, to embrace the soothing wind and uphold the position and its responsibilities. With the passing of a year in 378 he sent Fu P'i the Duke of Ch'ang-le with Mu-jung Wei, Mu-jung Ch'iu and Yao Ch'ang to lead three columns of troops that were to converge on and attack Hsiang-yang. The Chin Liang-chou Prefect Chu Hsü defended Hsiang-yang for the course of a year but with the arrival of 379 the city was finally taken and he was made a prisoner and surrendered to the Former Ch'in. At the same time the Chin Yen-chou Prefect P'eng Ch'ao was also attacked and the Chin city of P'eng-ch'eng was taken. P'eng-ch'eng and Hsiang-yang were two bases, one in the east the other in the west, from which the north and south could wage war against each other and now that both of these bases had been won over by the Former Ch'in they reperesented a serious threat to the Eastern Chin. It was at this time that the fame and influence of the Ch'in reach its highpoint. The Ch'in Liang-chou Prefect Liang Hsi sent envoys to the Western Region to publicize and extol the majesty and virtue of Fu Chien with the result that the eastern barbarians (Tung I) and over sixty of the kingdoms of the Western Region sent envoys bearing tribute to the Ch'in court, the state of Ta-wan (Ferghana) sent as tribute some of their "blood sweating" horses. Fu Chien said: "I have heard that Han Wu-ti sent back the "thousand-li" horses, this is an instructive anectdote of long standing." So he ordered that the tribute horses be sent back commanding all the court officials to compose a poem on the subject of refusing the horses and in a single moment over 400 men submitted their poems. Fu Chien was still not satisfied and in 382 he once again sent Lu Kuang the Resolute Cavalry General at the head of 100,000 soldiers to leave for a distant campaing in the Western Region. Fu Chien was genuinely quite confident and had only one regret and which was that in the year before the elimination of Former Liang his Chancellor Wang Meng had died to deprive him of his most capable aide. Shortly before his death Wang Meng offered up a memorial to Fu Chien hoping to admonish him to be cautious and fearful, in order that he might bring to completion the Great Enterprise, he said: "That which is good at making is not necessarily good at completing; that which begins well does not necessarily end well. Therfore the Sages and wise men of old knew the difficulty of achievement, trembling with fear as if on the edge of a deep abyss. If only your majesty would follow in the footsteps of the early sages then the empire would be extremely fortunate." He would also convince Fu Chien by saying, "Although the Chin are secluded in distant Chiang-nan nevertheless the official court calendar is still handed down, superior and inferior are at peace and in harmony, after I pass on I desire that you should not have Chin as an objective. The Hsien-pei and the Western Ch'iang are our archenemies, they will finally become a human adversity and it is appropriate that we gradually eliminate them for the convenience of society and the state." But the last several years had been ones where battles could not but be won, an imposing force that was unopposed and this made Fu Chien think of the possibility of the unification of all under heaven thinking the annexation and elimination of the Eastern Chin would be absolutely no problem. Thus in 382 there was a great meeting of all the officials to make plans for a large-scale southern campaign and the outcome of this was the Battle of Fei-shui.
In 375 (Ning-k'ang 3) Hsieh An received the post of Yang-chou Prefect augmented with that of Palace Attendant and in 376 when the Empress Dowager handed power to Hsiao-wu-ti who then sat on the throne and governed the nation, Hsieh An was promoted to Supervisor of the Palace Writers and Intendant of the Masters of Writing. Then in 377 he was given the post of Governor-General of the five chou of Yang, Yu, Hsü, Yen and Ch'ing. Hsieh An assumed control of the government under the peace of Imperial rule and even in everyday affairs hw always maintained his principles, so that he had a deep hold on the people's hearts and in court his name and reputation daily grew more lofty. It was in this year that the Ching-chou Prefect Huan Ho died and Huan Ch'ung replaced him as the Ching-chou Prefect and Governor-General of the seven chou of the upper Yangtze River. Thus Hsieh An and Huan Ch'ung split among themselves the major military commands of the upper and lower Yangtze. Ever since the founding of the Eastern Chin there had never been a full cooperation between the upper and lower reaches of the river and it was only during the time of Hsieh An and Huan Ch'ung that the two men were able to join forces and cooperate to eliminate the tension between the center and periphery. Hsieh An also recommended that his nephew Hsieh Hsüan be appointed the Yen-chou Prefect to supervise the armies of Chiang-pei with a garrison at Kuang-ling. In Chiang-pei he trained a fresh army, using the P'eng-ch'eng native Liu Lao-chih as a military staff officer, they had a very high fighting capability and at the time the people called them the Northern District Troops (Pei-fu ?). At this time although the Eastern Chin had lost the Central Plain, Hsiang-yang and P'eng-ch'eng in the north, and the lands of Shu in the west to put it in a very precarious situation, both militarily and politcally there was a turning point of a new kind. In 378 after the Ch'in Yang-chou Prefect P'eng Ch'ao had stormed P'eng-ch'eng, he gathered together the Ch'in generals Mao Tang, Ju Nan and others to take advantage of the victory to launch an attack on Hsü-i and San-o (T'ien-ch'ang in An0hui) in Huai-nan. Hsieh An recommended that his younger brother Hsieh Shih and Hsieh Hsüan lead the Northern District troops and they smashed the Ch'in soldiers to stabilize the situation in Huai-nan. The King of Ch'in instructed that P'eng Ch'ao be summoned and thrown into prison to commit suicide while Ju Nan was demoted to the rank of commoner. Fu Chien considered the Huai River defeat to be an insult while the Northern District troops as a result of this one battle made a name for themselves.
King Chien of Ch'in decided in 382 on a major operation to punish Chin, done on the one hand because of the strength and greatness of the state, but on the other it was also done to avenge the humiliation in Huai-nan. At this time althought the prestige and power of the Ch'in state was like the noon-day sun it did however have two internal weak points, the one being that the men of Ch'in had been going to battle for years on end and were too busy to rest so their military strength had been exhausted; the other was there were too many states that had been annexed and too many prisoners that had submitted that the fruits of victory had not yet been absorbed, the internal components were too complex and the contradictions too many. An example of this is the Mu-jung clan of the Hsien-pei, the Yao clan of the Ch'iang, the Liu clan of the Hsiung-nu and the men of Han, Chu Hsü and Chang T'ien-hsi, were all serving in the Ch'in army as generals and in an unusual situation this many different men could create problems. Moreover, King Chien of Ch'in was filled with pride and consumed with his ideas so that he completely ignored these potential threats. At the time the southern campaign was discussed there were already quite a few who raised differing counsels in objection, some saying that the Yangtze River was an impregnable natural obstacle that could not be crossed, but Chien was of the opinion that the Ch'in armies were numerically superior and they would only "throw their riding crops into the river it would be enough to dam up the flow" how is that something to dread?
This time when the King of Ch'in raised troops it was on a massive scale, announcing a mass levy with every ten adult males send one to be a soldier, the sons of good families (the aristocracy) below the age of twenty who were brave and possessed of fighting skills were to be appointed Gentlemen of the Forest of Plumes (Yü-lin Lang) and over 30,000 answered the summons. In 383 (T'ai-yuan 3) he appointed his younger brother Fu Jung the Duke of Yen-p'ing at the head of 250,000 troops to act as the vanguard, Yao Ch'ang the Prancing Dragon General (Lung-hsiang Chiang-chün) guarded Kuan-chung as the Rear Defender while Fu Chien supervised the dispatch of 600,000 plus garrison troops from Kuan-chung with 270,000 cavalry following in a column that extended from front to back for 1,000 li in a continuous procession of pennants and drums. By the time that the leading elements in Fu Jung's column arrived at Ying-k'ou, Fu Jung had just reached Hsiang-ch'eng while in the rear troops from Liang-chou had just arrived at Hsiang-yang while troops from Yu and Chi had only just arrived at P'eng-ch'eng to form a broad front extending some 10,000 li from east to west, advancing simultaneously by water and over land.
When the news of this reached the south it rocked the Chin court. However, Hsieh An remained calm and collected, moving troops and dispatching generals in preparation for war placing them to meet the enemy attack without the least bit of confusion. He ordered that Hsieh Shih be appointed the Subjugation General (Cheng-t'ao Chiang-chün) and the Fu-kuo General Hsieh Yen (the eldest son of Hsieh An) the Western Gentleman of the Household Officer (Hsi Chung-lang Chiang) Huan I, Prancing Dragon General Hu Pin, and Liu Lao-chih lead 80,000 troops to meet the assault. By this time Fu Hung Duke of Yang-p'ing had already stormed Shou-yang (another name for Shou-chün) and sent generals Liang Ch'eng, Wang Yung and others to advance, garrison Luo-chien and build a palisade along the Huai as their mission. The units of Hsieh Shih and Hsieh Hsüan advanced up to 25 li to the east of Luo-chien and then made camp. Hu Pin led the vanguard and it was harassed at hsia-shih to the north of Chou-yang and had reached the pointed where they had lost contact with Hsieh Hsüan and the others and had sent messengers to request their aid. The messenger was captured by the Ch'in and sent to Fu Jung Duke of Yang-p'ing. In this was Fu Jung was able to obtain information about the deployment of the Chin army and quickly sent men to tell Fu Chien King of Ch'in saying: "The bandits are few and easily taken captive, we should quickly advance to attack." Fu Chien was excited by this news and left a great army behind at Hsiang-ch'eng and at the head of 8,000 light cavalry galloped off to Shou-yang to meet with Fu Jung and then attack the Chin forces. At this time the Chin Prancing Dragon General Liu Lao-chih led a crack force of 5,000 to cross the river at Luo-chien and attack the Ch'in defense line killing King Yung of Liang-ch'eng. Hsieh Hsüan and the entire army took advantage of the victory to push their attack and subsequently confronted Fu Jung's great array separated by the Fei River (Fei-shui). King Chien of Ch'in and Fu Jung climbed the walls of Shou-yang to see the deployment of the Chin forces, the elite armored forces and also looked at the grass and trees on Eight-Duke Mountain (Ba-kung Shan) to the northeast suspecting that Chin troops were also there looking at Fu Jung he said: "This is a strong foe also!" and in his disappointment the fear bagan to show on his face. The Chin army had deployed along the west bank of the Fei River, Hsieh Hsüan sent a messenger to tell the Ch'in forces that he wished to cross the river to decide the battle. Fu Chien wanted to lure the Chin troops into crossing the river and then when they were halfway across he would fall on them and destroy them, therefore, he began to gradually withdraw the force under his command. The size of the Ch'in army made it impossible to command it uniformly so once the army started to retreat they suddenly could not be stopped. The Chin army crossed the river and bravely fought a fierce battle but when Fu Jung fell from his horse and was killed by Chin troops the Ch'in army fell into confusion. Chu Hsün was behind the frontlines and gave a great shout saying: "The Ch'in army is defeated!" The Chin troops used the occasion to leap to the attack and with this the Ch'in army lemted away as they broke ranks and fled the battlefield abandoning Shou-yang. Hsieh Hsüan and the rest chased and attacked the fleeing forces from Shou-yang as far as Ch'ing-kang (Blue Ridge) and the dead along the road covered the fields and blocked the streams. Of those that did manage to escape they only had to hear the wind or the sound of a crane's call and thought that the Chin troops were near, travelling both day and night they did not dare to stop and rest so the casualties in the entire army amounted to some 70% to 80%. The men of Han, Chang T'ien-hsi and Chu Hsü both changed their loyalty to the side of righteousness and fled back to the Chin court. In the midst of all the carnage Fu Chien fled alone on horseback to Chiang-pei and there he later gathered together the scattered remnants of this army and then passing through Lo-yang he returned to Ch'ang-an seething with resentment for the entire course of the journey.
After passing through this one battle the state of Ch'in then disintegrated while the Eastern Chin took advantage of the situation to recover some of the lost lands. In 384 (T'ai-yuan 9) in the eastern region men of Chin recovered P'eng-ch'eng, Chuan-ch'eng and Lang-yeh in Ch'ing-chou and one by one the forts of Ho-nan returned to the south and the vanguard of the men of Chin once again crossed the Yellow River. In the west they regained Hsiang-yang, Lu-yang and the three chün of Wei-hsing, Shang-yung and Hsin-ch'eng which is the greater part of Liang-chou. In 385 the Chin Shu-chun Grand Adminstrator Jen Chüan attacked and took Ch'eng-tu, also conquered I-chou and because of this the political situation of the north and south was completely turned around. This single battle of Fei-shui unexpectedly brought about the decline of the north and the rise of the south in an epoch-making struggle. Hsieh An had the great achievement of stabilizing society and was appoint the Grand Guardian and Governor-General of the military affairs of fiftenn chou. Having achieved success Hsieh An now thought of retiring to Shan-tung and requested that he be sent to command the garrison in Kuang-ling but shortly after arriving he became seriously and was then summoned back to the capital where he died being posthumously honored with the titles of Grand Tutor and Duke of Wen-ching. It was the year 385 (T'ai-yuan 10) and only two years after the battle of Fei-shui.
When Fu Chien returned to Ch'ang-an in defeat then all of the latent problems suddenly burst out together and the state was in the midst of great turmoil. A Ding-ling barbarian by the name of Di Pin revolted and marched to attack Lo-yang, but Fu Chien ordered Mu-jung Ch'ui to command troops to put him down. When discord broke out between Mu-jung Ch'iu and Fu P'i Duke of Ch'ang-le who was in garrison at Yeh-ch'eng to the surprise of everyone Mu-jung Ch'ui established contact with Di Pin and then himself revolted and attacked Yeh-ch'eng. Fu P'i stood his ground and after a year of bitter fighting the attack on Yeh-ch'eng failed. Mu-jung Ch'ui then galloped north to Chung-shan where he established a capital and was proclaimed the emperor of a dynasty known in history as the Latter Yen. Because the provisions in Yeh-ch'eng were exhausted Fu P'i King of Ch'ang-le also went west to Chin-yang. At the time that Mu-jugn Ch'ui and Fu P'i were fighting each other one of Mu-jung Wei's younger brothers Mu-jung Hung who was the Chief Clerk of the land of Ch'in-pei gathered together several thousand Hsien-pei and garrisoned Hua-yin rose in support of Mu-jung Ch'ui and proclaimed himself the General-in-Chief and Yung-chou Magistrate. Another one of Mu-jung Wei's younger brothers, Mu-jung Ch'ung, who served as the Grand Administrator of P'ing-yang also called up troops in P'ing-yang to revolt, leading a force south to attack P'u-pan. When Fu Chien received this information he ordered Fu Jui Duke of Chü-lu to lead the Prancing Dragon General Yao Ch'ang to proceed against them. Fu Jui had marched as far as Hua-yin when he was unexpectedly defeated by Mu-jung Hung. With the death of Fu Jui, Yao Ch'eng feared that the blame for this would fall on him fled to Wei-pei where he was elected by the Ch'iang of the area as the leader of their alliance and proclaimed General-in-Chief, Grand Ch'an-yü, Ten-thousand-year King of Ch'in, marched to garrison Pei-ti those of the Ch'iang-hu that came over to him totlled over 100,000 and at the same time attacked and occupied Hsin-p'ing and the revolt against Chien succeeded in establishing its independence. In Ho-tung Mu-jung Ch'ung was defeated by the Ch'in General Tou Ch'ung, so leading 8,000 Hsien-pei he went south and combined with Mu-jung Hung and together they led their troops quickly into Ch'ang-an. At the midpoint of their journey because Mu-jung Hung maintained harsh discipline he was killed by his subordinates and then Mu-jung Ch'ung was popularly acclaimed as the leader with the title "Huang T'ai-ti" (Imperial Younger Brother). Fu Chien sent Fu Hui Duke of P'ing-yuan at the head of troops to defend against Ch'ung but was defeated with Ch'ung occupying O-fang-ch'eng and advancing to threaten Ch'ang-an. Beneath the walls of Ch'ang-an, Fu Chien and Mu-jung Ch'ung both maintained a bitter battle with the killed and wounded on both sides assuming bitter proportions. Later the provisions within the city of Ch'ang-an were exhausted so Fu Chien abandoned the city and fled northwest to Wu-chiang Shan (Five Generals Mountain - in the vicinity of Ch'i-shan Hsien) and his entourage all scattered and fled so that he was unexpectedly taken captive by Yao Ch'ang. Yao Ch'ang tried to coerce Fu Chien into an abdication ceremony but Fu Chien started cursing and would not bend so Yao Ch'ang sent men to kill him by hanging. It was the 8th lunar month of T'ai-yuan 10 (385) and in reality with the death of Fu Chien the state of Former Ch'in was already finished. However, according to tradition the throne of Former Ch'in still continued for a period of time after the passing of Fu Chien.
While Fu Chien was fleeing north toward Wu-chiang Shan, Mu-jugn Ch'ung was entering Ch'ang-an to be proclaimed the Emperor of a state that became known as the Western Yen. For the most part the hsien-pai had come from Yu and Chi and they all thought of returning east but Mu-jung Ch'ung persistently defended Ch'ang-an and did not look forward to battling with Mu-jung Ch'ui in the east for the Imperial throne. All of the officers were resentful of this and so they killed Mu-jung Ch'ung, setting up one of Ch'ung's officers, Tuan Sui as the King of Yen. Mu-jung Heng and Mu-jung Yung of the Yen Royal Family killed Tuan Sui and set up Mu-jung I of the Royal House as the King of Yen and then led over 300,000 Hsien-pei men and women to the east.
The Hsien-pei journeyed eastward and Ch'ang-an became an empty city so Yao Ch'ang took advantage of the vacuum to enter and occupy it and in the 5th lunar month of T'ai-yuan 11 (386) he was formally proclaimed emperor and ascended the throne, set up the Hundred Officials and named the state Great Ch'in but in history in order to differentiate it from the Former Ch'in of the Fu family it is known as the Latter Ch'in. When the news of Fu Chien's death reached Ping-chou his son Fu P'i Duke of Ch'ang-le then claimed the throne in Chin-yang to continue the state sacrifices of Ch'in. The people of western Yan that had given up Ch'ang-an to travel east had reached the area of Lin-chin when Mu-jung Heng's younger brother Mu-jung T'ao killed Mu-jung I so Mu-jung Heng and the Martial Guard General (Wu-wei Chiang-chün) Tiao Yün led a group in pursuit of Mu-jung T'ao placing Mu-jung Ch'ung's son, Mu-jung Yao, on the throne. They once again resumed their march eastward and had reached the land of Wen-hsi when Tiao Yün then killed Mu-jung Chung and recommended that Mu-jung Yung be made the Grand Governor-General, Gennral-in-Chief, Grand Ch'an-yü and King of Ho-tung. Envoys were sent to Mu-jung Ch'ui to declare allegiance while at the same time they requested permission from Fu P'i to travel through his lands to reach Chi-chou but Fu P'i would not allow it and the two sides came to blows fighting a great battle at Hsiang-ling. The outcome was that the Ch'in army was defeated, broken and scattered, Fu P'i fled across the river hoping to reach Lo-yang but was killed by the Chin Proclaims Majesty General (Yang-wei Chiang-chün) Feng Kai and so Fu P'i died only one year after he had been proclaimed emperor. Having already defeated the Ch'in army and because ther was no response from Mu-jung Ch'ui, Mu-jung Yung took possession of Ch'ang-tze and proclaimed himself emperor to create an east-west stalemate with the Latter Yen at Chung-shan.
After the death of Fu Chien one of his grandsons, Fu Teng King of Nan-an, sat on the throne in Nan-an and with a group that still numbered over 100,000 men, marched east to punish Yan Ch'ang and avenge Fu Chien. They maintained their struggle with the Latter Ch'in for a long time in the northwest and both sides had their victories and defeats. The conflict lasted until T'ai-yuan 19 (394) when Fu Teng was defeated by Yao Ch'eng's son, Yao Hsing, and killed. Teng's son, Fu Ch'ung, fled into Huang-chou and was proclaimed emperor but was then pursued by Ch'i-fu Ch'ien-kuei. Fu Ch'ung then contacted Yang Ting of Lung-hsi to counter-attack Ch'ien-kuei but his soldiers were defeated and he died to bring a final close to the Former Ch'in. All of this was some nine years after the death of Fu Chien and eleven years after the Battle of Fei-shui and during these eleven years the Latter Yen, Western Yen, Western Ch'in and Latter Wei of the Hsien-pei, the Latter Ch'in of the Ch'iang and the Latter Yen of the Ti one by one appeared as states as the north was transformed into a situation of extreme fragmentation.