After the Battle of Fei-shui the North fell into a situation of fragmentation and random fighting that can be divided into five spheres of action according to the geographic region: the first is the wild battle in the east in the area of Yu and Chi (northern Ho-pei); the second is the wild battle in the west in Kuan-chung; the third is the comeback of the T'o-pa clan in the north; the fourth is the battle over the strategic area of Ping-chou; and the fifth is the carving out and occupation of the area in the west from Lung-yu to Ho-hsi. In these five areas of fragmentation and disorder the three states of Latter Yen, Latter Ch'in and Latter Liang stadn out as three pivots.
Following the Battle of Fei-shui all of the Mu-jung clan of the Hsien-pei tribe one by one rebelled and split away from Fu Chien and started actions to revive their state. The brothers of Mu-jung Ch'ui in Chi-chou established the state of Latter Yen while Mu-jung Ch'ung and his brothers that roamed about the Ch'ang-an, Ho-tung area established the state of Western Yen. When Mu-jung Wei was killed in Ch'ang-an by Fu Chien, the others of the Mu-jung lineage separated and attached themselves to either the Latter Yen or the Western Yen state until they were finally united by Mu-jung Ch'ui.
Mu-jung Ch'ui's original name was Pa and he was the son of Mu-jung Huang, the younger brother of Mu-jung Chün and the younger brother of Mu-jung Wei's father. In the Former Yen he had repeatedly distinguished himself in battle and had built a reputation for himself. When he was injured by the jealousy of Mu-jung P'ing he threw in his lot with Fu Chien. Fu Chien also placed a high value on his talents and appointed him the Champion General (Kuan-chün Chiang-chün) and put him in command of an army to invade Chin. After the Fei-shui battle all of the armies of the Former Ch'in scattered. There were only 30,000 men led by Mu-jung Ch'ui that remained intact to protect Fu Chien and pass through Lo-yang to return to the west Fu Chien was extremely grateful to Mu-jung Ch'ui for this and sent Ch'ui to lead troops to pacify Ho-pei. At this time Fu Chien's son Fu P'i King of Ch'ang-le was garrisoning Yeh-ch'eng and was very defensive and envious of Mu-jung Ch'ui so that there came to be discord between the two. Ch'ui and his nephews Mu-jung Nung and Mu-jung K'ai established contacts with the Ting-ling tribeman I Pin who mutinied and launched a counter-attack against Fu P'i. When the two valiant generals of Ch'in Chih Yueh and Mao Tang were killed one after the other in battle Mu-jung Ch'ui's prestige and power received a great boost. Ch'ui then dispatched his generals with Mu-jung Lin attacking and seizing all of the chün of Ch'ang-shan and Chung-shan; P'ing Kuei attacked and took Chi-ch'eng in Yu-chou. There was only the stalemate at Yeh-ch'eng with Fu P'i and for a long time the city did not fall. I Pin was secretly meeting in friendly sessions with Fu P'i and when this was discovered he was killed by Mu-jung Ch'ui. By this time the Eastern Chin army of restoration had already progresses as far as the southern bank of the Yellow Rive and Fu P'i, forced by the difficulty of his situation, sent envoys to request assistance from Chin. Hsieh An of Chin also wanted to utilize this opportunity to realize his plan of recovering Ho-pei and so sent Liu Lao-chih across the river to aid Yeh-ch'eng and he waged war with Mu-jung Ch'ui, at first victorious and then not, Lao-chih requested to return. Yen and Ch'in fought back and forth for the course of a year and the area of Yu and Chi became deserted with many of the lower ranks starving to death. Mu-jung Ch'ui called a halt to his attack and Fu P'i was likewise unable to continue wiht the result that he led 60,000 men and women from Yeh-ch'eng and they fled west to Ping-chou and in 385 the Ping-chou Prefect Wang T'eng welcomed P'i into Chin-yang. In the next year Mu-jung Ch'ui immediately fixed a capital in Chung-shan and was proclaimed emperor, arranging and setting up the hundred officers with his younger brother Mu-jung Te as the Prefect of the Masters of Writing. After Ch'ui had fixed his capital at Chung-shan the areas of Yu and Chi were still unsettled for locally there were still many powers that had carved out their own lands to rule so the struggle continued for many year on end. In 387 Mu-jung Ch'ui sent out his generals to cross the river from Chiao-an and push back the Chin Chi-pei Grand Administrator Wen Hsiang, advancing to Li-ch'eng to occupy the lands of the two chou of Ch'ing and Yen. In this year Mu-jung K'ai and Mu-jung Lin were sent out and destroyed Liu Hsien (son of Liu K'u-jen) in the northwest and in 389 Mu-jung Lin also smashed Ho No thus coming into control of the lands of Tai-chou north of Ping-chou. After the death of the Ting-ling tribesman I Pin his nephew I Liao occupied and held the Li-yang Hua-t'ai (south of Chün Hsien in Ho-nan) threatening Yeh-ch'eng and posing a great threat to Yen. After the death of I Liao his son I Chao succeeded him. In 392 (T'ai-yuan 17) Mu-jung Ch'ui personally led a great army to supress I Chao. Chao suffered a major defeat and fled to Western Yen with Mu-jung Ch'ui succesfully obtaining the lands of Li-yang and Hua-t'ai. With the the entire situation in Ho-pei was once again stabilized so he was able to concentrate his strength and in the winter of 393 (T'ai-yuan 18) he attacked Western Yen. With the coming of the 8th lunar month of the next year Ch'ang-tze fell, Mu-jung Yung was killed and so Ch'ui came into possession of the greater part of Ping-chou merging the two Yen states together. At this time the Latter Yen occupied the three modern provinces of Ho-pei, Shan-tung and Shan-hsi as well as parts of Ho-nan and Liao-ning, the boundaries being slightly smaller than those of the Former Yen. The period from 394 to 395 was the zenith of Latter Yen state. At the same time that Mu-jung was planning and operating in Ho-pei, Yao Ch'ang was establishing the state of Latter Ch'in in Kuan-chung.
Yao Ch'ang's mutiny, his break with the former Ch'in and his role in the death of Fu Chien have already been detailed in the preceeding section, In 386 Mu-jung Yung of the Western yen set out for the east and Yao Ch'ang took advantage of the vacuum to occupy Ch'ang-an, ascend the imperial throne and establish a state called "Great Ch'in" (Ta Ch'in). In Chin-yang Fu P'i followed Fu Chien as emperor and had already issued a summons to the Fu clan to join together to punish Yao Ch'ang and in a single moment many of the chou and chen of the north rose up in response. Unexpectedly at the same time this was happening Mu-jung Yung of the Western Yen was in the process of leading troops to the west and clashed with Fu P'i. In a great battle Fu P'i suffered a major defeat and crossed the river to the south where to everyone's surprise he was killed by the Chin Proclaims Majesty General (Yang-wei Chiang-chün) Feng kai. Thus Fu P'i's nephew Fu Teng King of Nan-an came to the throne in Nan-an and inflicted a major blow against Yao Ch'ang's yoouger brother Yao Shih-te in Ch'in-chou and then with a horde of 50,000 received Fu Chien's ancestral tablets and turned east to punish Yao Ch'ang, taking an oath that he would avenge Fu Chien. By the time he marched as far as Hsin-p'ing the Jung and Hsia that had come over to him amounted to over 100,000 men. Yao Ch'ang lead his forces out to meet the enemy and in the area of An-ting, Ch'ang-an and Hsin-p'ing a protracted see-saw battle developed. From T'ai-yuan 12 to 18 (385-393) for seven years they waged a bitter struggle as both sides had their victories and defeats in what became the battle of the two Ch'ins for Kuang-chung. In the winter of 393 during the 11th lunar month Yao Ch'ang fell ill and died with his heir Yao Hsing assuming the throne. In the spring of 394 (T'ai-yuan 19) Fu Teng learned of the death of Yao Ch'ang and that a young king had come to the throne and he joyfully said: "Yao Hsing is a youngster, I will break off a stick and whip him!" He then led a group in a decisive move to advance and attack Ch'ang-an but upon reaching Ma-wei he was badly beaten by the Latter Ch'in General Yin Wei and Fu Teng fled alone on horseback to Ma-mao Shan (Horse hair Mtn.) in P'ing-liang. Yao Hsing personally led a great army to pursue him and Fu Teng was captured and killed. Fu Teng's son Fu Ch'ung fled into Huang-chung and there was killed by Ch'i-fu Ch'ien-kuei. The outcome of all this was that the Latter Ch'in eliminated the Former Ch'in and united Kuan-chung. The year that the two Ch'in of Kuan-chung combined was also the same year in which the two Yen of Kuan-tung combined into one and consequently led to the formation of the Yen-Latter Ch'in confrontation. However, the balance of this confrontation could not be maintained for very long because with the rise of the T'o-pa the Latter Yen then collapsed.
Among the T'o-pa clan of the Hsien-pei tribe it was their custom to braid their hair in one thick braid like a rope, so for this reason they originally were also called "Suo-t'ou Pu" the Rope-head Tribe. During the time of T'o-pa I-lu he was enfeoffed as the Duke of Tai and for this reason the land was called the Kingdom of Tai. After T'o-pa I-lu the Kingdom of Tai went through a period of internal strife with all of the tribes breaking away and scattering until after seven rulers the time of Shih-i-chien arrived and the state recovered its strength. However, it was not long before the state of Former Ch'in reached its prime and Shih-i-chien was finally destroyed by Fu Chien and the state was divided into two parts and given to the Hsiung-nü Liu K'o-jen and Liu Wei-ch'en to rule. Shih-i-chien had a grandson by the name of T'o-pa Kuei who obeyed Liu K'o-jen and after the battle of Fei-shui the north went into upheaval and Liu K'o-jen was killed by subordinates. K'o-jen's younger brother T'ou-chuan followed him as the leader of the multitude. Later K'o-jen's son Liu Hsien killed T'ou-chuan and also wanted to kill T'o-pa Kuei but Kuei found this out and fled for his to the Ho-lan tribe and there sought the protection of his maternal uncle Ho No. T'o-pa Kuei had a brave and warlike personality and those of the T'o-pa clan of long standing all recalled the old country and put T'o-pa Kuei forward as their leader. In the spring of T'ai-yuan 11 (386) T'o-pa Kuei had a great gathering of all the tribes at Niu-ch'uan announcing that he had ascended the throne as the King of Tai and would still use the former Shang-le as his capital and not long after this changed the name of the state to Wei. After Mu-jung Ch'ui of the Latter Yen fixed his capital at Chung-shan he had already several times sent out troops to the northwest that smashed Liu Hsien, defeated Ho No and pacified the northern part of Ping-chou and the southern frontier of the original Kingdom of Tai. T'o-pa Kuei therefore named himself a vassal of Yen and also sent envoys to visit Chung-shan to spy out the strengths and weaknesses of the Yen state, and the envoys returned to say: "The Lord of Yen is weak and old while the Heir Apparent is dull and cowardly, if the Lord of Yen dies then the state must surely have civil war." Thereupon T'o-pa Kuei with determination and spirit went about the task of building the nation and husbanding his strength biding his time and then successively beat Kao Ch'ang, Ho Lan and the Jou-jan of the north also attacking and killing Liu Wei-ch'en. Everyday the borders grew wider and everyday the power grew stronger, and he put under his control the modern areas of Sui-yuan, Hu-t'ao, the northern section of Shan-hsi and the southwest of Ch'a-ha-erh to threaten the northern borders of the state of Yen. In 394 after Mu-jung Ch'ui had eliminated the Western Yen he also obtained the central and southern parts of Ping-chou and the broader the area became where he shared borders with the T'o-pa Wei, the more disputes there were. In 395 Mu-jung Ch'ui accused T'o-pa Kuei with disloyalty and sent his Heir Apparent Mu-jung Pao at the head of a force of 80,000 on a major effort to punish the Wei but they were defeated by the Wei soldiers at Ts'an-ho-p'i (in the vicinity of Yang-kao in Shan-hsi) and the dead and wounded numbered some ten thousand. Mu-jung Ch'ui did not willingly yield to defeat and in the following year he personally led troops to once again take up arms and punish Wei. He attacked and took P'ing-ch'eng and marched as far north as Ts'an-ho-p'i where upon seeing the tragic remains of last year's defeat suddenly his heart broke and he spit up blood and quickly withdrew the army to return to the south but he journeyed as far as Shang-ku and died with the Heir Apparent Mu-jung Pao succeeding him.
Mu-jung Ch'ui died in the 4th lunar month of T'ai-yuan 21 (396) and in the 8th lunar month T'o-pa Kuei led over 400,000 infantry and cavalry from Ma-i for a large-scale invasion of the south to take advantage of to funeral to campaign against Yen and inflicted a major defeat on Mu-jung Nung. The Yen army broke and fled while Mu-jung Nung escaped back to Chung-shan. T'o-pa Kuei immediately took Chin-yang and possessed all of the lands of Ping-chou. He also installed a Prefect and Grand Administrator in imitation of the civil service system of the men of Han making use of many Confucian scholars
In the winter during the 10th lunar month of this year T'o-pa Kuei followed the route of Han Hsin and issued from Ching-ching (Well Pass) to attack Chung-shan, the Wei army had a reputation for ferocity and they were like a wild wind or a sudden rainstorm, and many of the towns and villages surrendered upon hearing news of their approach and only Chung-shan and Yeh-ch'eng were resolutely defended and offered resistance. T'o-pa Kuei led troops to besiege Chung-shan but with the coming of the 3rd lunar month of Lung-an 1 (397) the Yen ruler Mu-jung Pao and the Heir Apparent Mu-jung Tze along with Mu-jung Nung, Mu-jung Sheng and other broke through the enemy encirclement and went north to Yu-chou leaving behind their nephew Mu-jung Hsiang to defend Chung-shan. The officers and men defending the city jointly acclaimed Mu-jung Hsiang as their leader and Hsiang was proclaimed emperor in Chung-shan. It was not long before the King of Chao Mu-jung Lin (the younger brother of Mu-jung Pao) surprised and killed Hsiang to proclaim himself emperor. T'o-pa Kuei then took advantage of the internal strife of the Mu-jung and was finally in the 10th lunar month of 397 successful in his assault on Chung-shan. Mu-jung Lin fled to Yeh-ch'eng and threw in with Mu-jung Te King of Fan-yang. Since Chung-shan was lost and Yeh-ch'eng was also difficult to defend Mu-jung Te fled south with Mu-jung Lin to Hua-t'ai (Huan hsien in Ho-nan). Mu-jung Te proclaimed himself to be the King of Yen established a bureaucracy and appointed Mu-jung Lin as Minister of Works (Ssu-k'ung). In 398 (Lung-an 2) Mu-jung Lin plotted a revolt and was killed by Mu-jung Te. In the next year Mu-jung Te attacked and took the city of Kuang-ku and took possession of the lands of Ch'ing-chou and Yen-chou. In Lung-an 4 (400) he established a capital at Kuang-ku and was proclaimed emperor of a state known as the Southern Yen.
When the Latter Yen ruler Mu-jung Pao broke through the siege of Chung-shan to flee north to Yu-chou at the same time his son (by a concubine) Mu-jung Hui was the Yu-chou Prefect and had troops stationed at Ch-ch'eng, so Mu-jung Pao and the others went to Chi-ch'eng to seek protection. It was not long before father and son surprisingly came to blows so Mu-jung Pao led a group northeast to flee to Lung-ch'eng. To the surprise of all Mu-jung Hui led troops to pursue and attack his father to just beneath the very walls of Lung-ch'eng where he was defeated by Pao's General Kao Yun and Hui's group broke and fled while he went south to Chung-shan and was killed there. Mu-jung Pao therefore appointed Kao Yun as his Establishes Majesty General (Chien-wei Chiang-chün) and received him as his adopted son.
When T'o-pa Kuei took Chung-shan and Yeh-ch'eng the central area of Chi (Ho-pei) experienced a great calm. He established separate "hsing-t'ai" (a kind of mobile adminstration) in both Chung-shan and Yeh-ch'eng, and then led his troops in person as they returned west while moving over 100,000 people and officials from the eastern region in order to fill the land of Tai. When Mu-jung Te heard that T'o-pa Kuei had returned to the west the mid-Chi region was once againt empty so sending envoys to Lung-ch'eng he agreed with Mu-jung Pao to send troops and jointly recover the lost territories. Mu-jung Pao was very pleased and immediately led troops to descend upon the south but unexpectedly his soldiers had no desire to fight as their morale had been sapped and they were tired of fighting so a mutiny broke out with many of the subordinate officers killed and Mu-jung Pao speeding back to Lung-ch'eng in a panic only to find that it too had revolted and was now occupied by the King of Tun-ch'iu Lan Han. Lan Han was Mu-jung Ch'ui's maternal uncle and his daughter was the wife of Mu-jung Pao's son Mu-jung Sheng. Mu-jung Pao upon seeing that Chi-ch'eng was in confusion did not dare enter and was just barely able to escape to the south seeking the protection of Mu-jung Te in Hua-t'ai, but to his surprise upon reaching Li-yang Mu-jung Te suddenly refused to accept him and he was just barely able to return once more to the north. Lan Han upon hearing the Mu-jung Pao and his son were coming back specially sent his younger brother Chia-nan in command of 500 cavalry to go out to meet them and in the middle of the journey suddenly killed Mu-jung Pao. Because Mu-jung Sheng was Lan Han's son-in-law he therefore was not killed. Having already killed Mu-jung Pao Lan Han then also killed the Heir Apparent, Ts'e, and occupied Lung-ch'eng proclaiming himself the Grand Governor-General, Grand Ch'an-yü and King of Ch'ang-li in the 5th lunar month of the summer of 398. In the 7th lunar month of this same year one day when Lan Han was drinking and became very drunk Mu-jung Sheng led those under his command to kill Lan Han and avenge his father. As a result the crowd acclaimed Mu-jung Sheng as emperor and he ascended to the throne in Lung-ch'eng. At this time the areas occupied by Mu-jung Sheng were only the Yen homeland in the vicinity of Lung-ch'eng and a small corner of land in the area of the Liao-hsi, Liao-tung region, the Latter Yen state having already become a pile of rubble. Mu-jung Sheng was fond of using stern punishments and after his third year on the throne he was killed by General Tuan Chi. Chi then set up Mu-jung Ch'ui's young son Mu-jung Hsi as the emperor and after seven years on the throne he was killed by the adopted son of Mu-jung Pao, Kao Yun. Kao Yun set himself up as the Heavenly King of Yen and was on the throne for the rest of the year when he too was killed by his subordinate officers Li Pan and T'ao Jen. General Feng Pa then beheaded Li Pan and T'ao Jen and set himself up as the Heavenly King and with this the Latter Yen came to an end. The year was 409 (I-hsi 5) eleven years after the death of Mu-kung Pao and twenty-six years after Mu-jung Ch'ui was proclaimed the King of Yen. After this the state of Yen that was founded by Feng Pa was known in history as the Northern Yen.
From 398 onwards the Latter Yen only had a corner in the north and one in the south remaining to it and the three chou of Yu, Chi and Ping were completely taken by T'o-pa Kuei. Kuei moved his capital to P'ing-ch'eng and built ancestral temples and grain alters then ascended the imperial throne. Boundaries were laid extending east to Tai Commandery, west to Shan-wu, south as far as Yin-kuan and north to Ts'an-ho a territory that was called "Within the Capital District" (Chi-nei) while the lands beyond were divided into eight sections with a Commander-in-Chief (T'ung-shuai) to supervise them and it was with this that the state of Northern Wei was founded.
During the period after Fu Chien's death when the two Ch'in states were fighting in Kuan-chung in the northwest in the area of Ch'in, Yung and Liang several of the officers and officials of the Former Ch'in along with different tribes one by one carved out areas to occupy presenting a very confusing political situation. Among these several powers that carved up and occupied the northwest were the states of Western Ch'in founded by the Ch'i-fu clan of the Hsien-pei tribe, the Latter Liang of the Ti tribe and later on the Latter Liang split apart to produce the Southern Liang, the Northern Liang and the Western Liang.
At the beginning of the Chin in the Kao-p'ing chou area of Lung-hsi there was a Hsien-pei tribe called the Ch'i-fu and they numbered several tens of thousands of households. Passing on to the time of Ch'i-fi Ssu-fan, he was appointed the King of Ch'in by Fu Chien and command of a garrison at Yung-shih ch'uan (Shu-chung hsien in Kan-su). Ssu-fan passed this on to his son Ch'i-fu Kuo-jen and then Fu Chien King of Ch'in moved against the Chin he had planned to use him as part of the vanguard but as it happened Kuo-jen's father's younger brother, Ch'i-fu Pu-t'ui led an uprising in Lung-hsi so Fu Chien left Kuo-jen behind to suppress Pu-t'ui. With the defeat of Fu Chien at the battle of Fei-shui Ch'i-fu Kuo-jen suddenly combined forces with Pu-t'ui becoming independent by breaking away from the Former Ch'in with a following that had reached over several hundred thousand. With the coming of 385 (T'ai-yuan 10) Ch'i-fu Kuo-jen then proclaimed himself the Grand Governor-General, General-in-Chief and Grand Ch'an-yü directing the Magistrates of Ch'in-chou and Ho-chou, establishing a capital at Yung-shih ch'uan, dividing the territories that he had occupied into twelve commanderies with his younger brother Ch'i-fu Ch'ien-kuei serving as the Wei-shang General. Kuo-jen ruled for three years and then died passing the crown to his younger brother Ch'ien-kuei who was proclaimed King of Ho-nan and moved the capital to Chin-ch'eng (Golden City - Nieh-lan in Kan-su) and having already eliminated Fu Ch'ung he was then in complete possession of the lands of the Former Ch'in, Huang-chung and Lung-hsi to form the dynasty known in history as the Western Ch'in. To the northwest of the Western Ch'in there lay the lands of Ho-hsi and Liang-chou.
Lu Kuang, the Resolute Cavalry General for the Former Ch'in and and Ti tribesman from Lun-yang was the son of the famous Ch'in General Lu P'o-lou and had an abundance of bravery and fuile. In 383 he received an order from Fu Chien King of Ch'in to lead a force of 100,000 with 5,000 heavy cavalry to go on an expedition to the Western Region (Hsi-yü) that smashed Yen-ch'i, Ch'iu-ts'e, Wen-su, Wei-t'ou and accepted the surrender of over thirty states while at the same time obtained the services of the Buddhist monk Kumarajiva. Seeing that the inner and outer walls of Ch'iu-ts'e resembled those of Ch'ang-an and that there were many rich houses, Lu Kuang began to think of staying behind to live in Ch'iu-ts'e. Kumarajiva advised Lu Kuang saying: "This land of misfortune and ruin is not worth staying in, the general should return to the east to the central lands (China) and have his own rich lands!" Lu Kuang then chose jewelry, valuables and oddities along with 10,000 fine horses to take with him back east. At the midpoint of his journey he obtained knowledge about Fu Chien's defeat at Fei-shui and of the chaos in China proper. The Ch'in Liang-chou Prefect Liang Hsi sent out troops to set up defenses and refused to allow Lu Kuang to pass through. Lu Kuang became incensed at this and immediately attacked and killed Liang Hsi, taking and occupying Ku-ts'ang. In a short while he learned of Fu Chien's death so Lu Kuang was proclaimed General-in-Chief, Liang-chou Magistrate and Duke of Chiu-ch'üan with a state known to history as the Latter Liang. Since he occupied the lands of the three rivers (Ching-ch'eng river, Huang river, and Ssu-chih river) he also proclaimed himself the King of the Three Rivers. In 396 Lu Kuang was also proclaimed Heavenly King and established a state called by the name of Great Liang, he set up a formal bureaucracy and installed twenty of his sons and younger brothers as dukes and marquises.
In the early stages of founding the Latter Liang state the power of the state was at its prime. Ch'i-fu Ch'ien-kuei King of Western Ch'in had already been declared a protectorate of the Latter Liang. The Latter Liang and Latter Ch'in emerged at about the same time to form two great states in the west. Later the attitude of the King of Western Ch'in changed so in 397 Lu Kuang mobilized troops to campaign against him but was defeated by the Western Ch'in. From this time on the fame and influence of the Latter Liang gradually declined. The Ho-hsi Hsien-pei Ta Tu-t'ung that Lu Kuang had established, the Marquis of Kuang-wu Hsien T'u-fa Wu-ku, also in 397 occupied Lien-ch'üan Castle (pao) setting himself up and proclaiming himself the King of Hsi-p'ing and this became the Southern Liang. There was also the Lu-shui Hu from Chang-yeh Chu-ch'ü Luo-ch'ih who along with his brother Chu-ch'ü Ch'u-chou were officers under the command of Lu Kuang. Because they followed Kuang on campaign and their troops were defeated they were killed by Lu Kuang then Chu-ch'ü's son-in-law Chu-ch'ü Meng-sun escorted the bodies of Luo-ch'ih and Ch'u-chou back for burial. He summoned all of the tribes of the clan and with tears in his eyes proclaimed that he would avenge his two fathers and the multitude shouted "wan sui". The outcome of all of this was they they banded together to form an alliance and raise troops and also in 397 they attacked and took Lin-sung (Ch'ang-yeh in Kan-su), Chien-k'ang (Kao-t'ai in Kan-su) elected the Chien-k'ang Grand Administrator Tuan Yeh as Grand Governor-General and Liang-chou Magistrate while Meng-sun proclaimed himself the Chen-nan General and this became the Northern Liang. The upshot of this was that Chin-ch'ang (An-hsi in Kan-su) Tun-huang and all the other commanderies submitted to Tuan Yeh. All of the lands west of the Latter Liang city of Ku-ts'ang were completely occupied by Tuan Yeh and Chu-ch'ü Meng-sun; to the south of Ku-ts'ang the valley of the Huang River was occupied by T'u-fa Wu-ku; east of the Huang River was occupied by Ch'i-fu Ch'ien-kuei. The Latter Liang from 397 on fell into complete disintegration.
In 399 Lu Kuang became ill and died passing his position on to his heir Lu Shao but Lu Ts'uan, Lu Kuang's elderst son by his concubine, the Duke of T'ai-yuan killed Shao and set himself up. Lu Ts'uan was fond of wine and liked to hunt and immersed himself in these without restraint so in 401 (Feng-an 5) he was killed by his younger brother Lu Ch'ao. Lu Ch'ao then set up his older cousin Lu Feng (the sone of Lu Pao the younger brother of Lu Kuang) as the Heavenly King and appointed himself the Fu-kuo General-in-Chief. With the passing of this internal convulsion the state of Latter Liang went into a continuous decline. In this year Chu-ch'ü Meng-sun of the Northern Liang was also killed and Tuan Yeh proclaimed himself the Liang-chou Magistrate and Duke of chang-yeh. The man of Han, Li Kao, who Tuan Yeh had installed as the Grand Administrator of Tun-huang now took advantage of the situation to take control of Tun-huang, Chiu-ch'7uuml;an and all of the cities to the west of the Yü-men Kuan proclaiming himself to be independent and the Duke of Liang. The outcome of all this was that from within the territories of the Northern Liang there sprung up a Western Liang. The Ho-hsi region thus produced of situation of Four Liang states and among them the Northern Liang was the largest while the Southern Liang was the strongest. T'u-fa Wu-ku King of Southern Liang died in 399 (Feng-an 3) and his younger brother T'u-fa Li-lu-ku followed him to the throne. Li-lu-ku had already defeated the Western Liang to the east and the Latter Liang and Northern Liang to the north and for a time had occupied a dominating position among the Four Liang. The borders of the Four Liang and the Western Ch'in adjoined each other along a jagged line and as time has its comings and goings the situation became completely confused (there were no clear borders).
In the year 400 (Feng-an 4) Yao Hsing King of Latter Ch'in sent out the Hsiung-nü General-in-Chief Yao Shih-te to lead troops to punish the Western Ch'in and heading straight for Chin'ch'eng defeated Ch'i-fu Ch'ien-kuei who then surrendered to the Latter Ch'in. Yao Hsing made Ch'ien-kuei the Ho-chou Prefect, Marquis of Kuei-i and in control of a garrison at Yuan-ch'üan (southwest of Ching-yuan hsien in Kan-su). Since the Latter Ch'in had brought the Western Ch'in to terms it found itself adjacent to the Latter Liang and the Southern Liang. In 401 taking advantage of internal instability in the Latter Liang Yao Shih-te once again led out 60,000 infantry and cavalry to advance and attack Ku-tsang. The Liang forces suffered a major defeat with about ten thousand killed. The city of Ku-tsang was besieged for two months and Lu Lung, his power now humbled, requested to surrender and sent over fifty of his children and ranking officials to Ch'ang-an as hostages. Yao Hsing then appointed Lu Lung as Chen-hsi General-in-Chief. When Chu-ch'ü Meng-sun of the Northern Liang, Li Kao of the Western Liang and T'u-fa Li-lu-ku of the Southern Liang heard of the surrender of Western Ch'in and Latter Liang they also sent envoys bearing tribute to submit and declare allegiance to Yao Hsing. After this the Latter Liang was encroached upon by the Northern Liang to the north and the Southern Liang to the south and was unable to continue to exist for much longer. Lu Lung himself wanted to abandon his homeland and enter Latter Ch'in so in 403 Yao Hsing sent officers in command of troops to escort Lung into Ch'ang-an appointing the Major (Ssu-ma) Wang Shang as the Liang-chou Prefect who when he entered his residence in Ku-tsang signalled the end of the Latter Liang.
Yao Hsing King of Latter Ch'in having taken Chin-ch'eng and Ku-tsang and having subdued the three Liangs, possessed all of the lands of the west. In the east he had also attacked and taken Luo-yang in Kuan-tung and P'ing-yang in Ho-tung making the years of the Yuang-hsing reign period and the early years of the I-hsi reign period (402-408 approx.) the time of Latter Ch'in ascendancy. If it were not for the sudden rise of T'o-pa Kuei King of Wei in the north who checked the expansion of Yao Hsing, it is very probable that Yao Hsing might have followed in the footsteps of Fu Chien and united the north. Yao Hsing (tzu: Tse-lu) was on the throne for twenty-two years and among the rulers of the Five Barbarians he was a comparatively capable and virtuous emperor. Besides using military power he also studied the path of good government and literature, was courteous to the sagely and was slow to censure, upheld Confucian value and was fond of Buddhism. Tu Chin and Chi Mo because they had sent up memorials discussing government were both selected for important posts; Chiang K'an, Chun Yü-ch'i, Kuo Kao and others who were respected scholars of great virtue who illuminated the Classics and practiced cultivation, taught at Ch'ang-an and the students that came from far away to seek learning numbered over ten thousand. The peasants of Kuan-tung, those that because of the ravages of war had sold themselves into servitude were without exception all dismissed to become good men; old widows and widowers, the orphaned and helpless he frequently granted gifts of grain and cloth; and of the various local officials those who were corrupt were punished without mercy. Every time that Yao Hsing had a respite from the affairs of government he would lead Chiang K'an and others to the Eastern Hall (Tung T'ang) to discuss the art of the Tao. At this time in the midst of the war and chaos with the severity of the military checkpoints at the borders it was only the students in search of the Tao or studying the arts whose comings and goings could not be stopped. When Yao Shih-te destroyed Lu Lung he brought the monk Kumarajiva with him to Ch'ang-an where he was received with ceremonies befitting a Master of the State (Kuo-shih: same as T'ai-shih, also a title of respect for Buddhist clergy). Yao Hsing would lead all his ministers and with the monk would ascend the Ch'eng-hsuan T'ang (Hall of Clear Mystery) and listen to Kumarajiva expound on the (Buddhist) scriptures. Over 800 monks including Seng Jui and Seng Chao were directed to disseminate his teachings. In addition, Kumarajiva was directed to translate over 300 volumes of scripture and essay which for China was the earliest instance of a large-scale translation of the Buddhist scriptures. Yao Hsing's promotion of Buddhist doctrines and scriptures brought it to fruition at the same time as the Confucian political arts with the result that over 5,000 monks arrived from distant places. During the late years of Yao Hsing's life the government and education in Kuan-chung was more austere and stern than that of the Southern Court. At this time there were many of the soldiers and population in the area north of the Huai and Han Rivers that forsook the Chin and submitted to the Ch'in. A Shih-p'ing native by the name of P'ang T'iao led 10,000 refugees from Hsiang-yang to flee Chin, Yao Hsing asked him what the situation in Chiang-tung was like? He said: "Although the Chin ruler has the honor of facing south (being the Emperor) it is without the reality of overall control, the ministers act to grasp the government, and the administration issues out of many gates, power goes to the families of officials and it has become customary, moreover their life-styles are extravagant and idle, after Huan Wen and Hsieh An the affairs of government become more evil with each passing day." These can be used to sum up the political situation of the Eastern Chin and now let us talk about what happened to Hsieh An after the battle of Fei-shui and the political situation of the Late-Eastern Chin.
For the Eastern Chin the battle of Fei-shui presented the perfect opportunity for recovery and at the time they did recover Liang-chou and I-chou in the west, the Central Plain, and in the east Hsieh Hsüan ordered Liu Han-chih to subjugate Mu-jung Ch'ui crossing the river to proceed north. The Eastern Chin truly did the best that they could. How was it then that they were unable to reunify the country? Regretably after the death of Hsieh An there began the maladministration of Ssu-ma Tao-tse and this was followed by a string of revolts by Huan Hsüan, Sun En and others with the task of recovery suffering a severe set back as a consequence.
Ssu-ma Tao-tse King of Lang-yeh was the younger brother by the same mother of the Chin Hsiao-wu-ti Emepror, Ssu-ma Yao. Following the death of Hsieh An Tao-tse managed Yang-chou as Prefect, served as Intendant of the Masters of Writing and was also the Superintendant of Army Affairs with overall control of political authority. Tao-tse employed a crowd of seamy characters (chün hsiao) and ignored government affairs so that everyday he and Hsiao-wu-ti could drink without inhibition and make merry, he bribed officials to act recklessly punishing and jailing so that the Chin administration thus fell into disorder. In the 9th lunar month of T'ai-yuan 21 (396) one day after Hsiao-wu-ti had drunk himself into a stupor he suddenly died a violent death which was rumored to be brought on by the ladies of the court.
With the passing of Hsiao-wu-ti his son Ssu-ma Te-tsung succeeded to the throne and became Chin An-ti. An-ti was very young so the government was still guided by Ssu-ma Tao-tse who was promoted from the post of Yang-chou Magistrate to the post of Grand Tutor, Yin Ch'ung-k'an was appointed Ching-chou Prefect, Wang Kung became the Prefect of Ch'ing-chou and Yen-chou. Wang Kuo-pao, The Prefect of the Palace Writers, and his younger brother Wang Hsü, the Lang-yeh Clerk of the Capital, connived and flattered way into office and Wang Kung and the others detested them for this but Kuo-pao secretly urged Tao-tse to reduce and restrain the military authority of Wang Kung and the others. When Wang Kung heard of this he started an attack condemning Kuo-pao and his brother. With this Ssu-ma Tao-tse was terrified so Kuo-pao and his brother were killed and envoys sent to Wang Kung to apologize and Kung ceased military operations. Although this was how things appeared Tao-tse still harbored a deep dissatisfaction with Wang Kung and so when Tao-tse's son Ssu-ma Yuan-hsien was appointed Cheng-lu General he spoke with his father saying: "Wang Kung and Yin Ch'ung-k'an sooner or later must revolt, we should do something to guard against it!" Ssu-ma Tao-tse then made plans with the King of Chiao, Ssu-ma Shang-chih, and they made Major Wang Yu the Chiang-chou Prefect with orders to watch Yin Ch'ung-k'an and the others while at the same time an area of four commanderies were detached from Yu-chou and allocated to Wang Yu as a defense area. The Yu-chou Prefect and Yu K'ai were greatly angered by this move so they too joined with Yin Ch'ung-k'an and Wang Kung to plot an revolt. Huan Wen's son, Huan Hsüan, was in Ching-chou and while he did not intend to join in found himself drawn in to the plot. In 398 Yin Ch'ung-k'an and the others selected Wang Kung as the leader of their alliance and sent up a memorial that condemned Wang Yu and Ssu-ma Shang-chih and then rallied their troops for rebellion. Wang Kung began military action and from Ching-k'ou he went quickly to the capital while Yin Ch'ung-k'an led an attack on Chiang-chou, capturing Wang Yu and then joined forces tih Yu K'ai and Huan Hsüan to move east. Ssu-ma Yuan-hsien said to his father, Tao-tse: "Before you did not punish Wang Kung and so we have today, now we are unable to again follow his wish." Ssu-ma Tao-tse handed over his power to command troops to Yuan-hsien saying he had complete authority to deal with any situation while he himself could only drink wine and get drunk. Yuan-hsien then moved his forces to meet the enemy and while the front suffered a defeat they held and defended the capital. At the time a famous "North District" General, Liu Han-chih, serving as Wang Kung's Major (Ssu-ma), in spite of his frequent and unique achievements unexpectedly found himself humiliated and placed under Wang Kung so he became despondent and ill at ease. Yuan-hsien therefore sent men to tempt Han-chih. So now when Wang Kung was leading his army and had reached the midpoint of his journey, Liu Han-chih suddenly shifted his allegiance and led the North District troops to kill Wang Kung with Liu Han-chih became the replacement for Wang Kung as the Governor-General of the military affairs of Yen-chou, Ch'ing-chou, Ping-chou and Hsü-chou. At the same time an imperial decree was handed down to pacify Yin Ch'ung-k'an and the others by ordering them to disband their troops, with the death of Wang Kung Ch'ung-k'an and the others wihdrew. Although the revolt had come to a close the affairs of state continued to worsen and Huan hsüan's revolt rose to follow it.
Huan Hsüan who inherited his father's influence and protection and was named the Duke of Nan-chün, constituted an extremely potent but latent force. Although he had already been provoked by Yin Ch'ung-k'an to rebel, he also secretly was jealous and suspicious of Yin. After Wang Kung's revolt was settled the Chin court used Huan Hsüan as the Chiang-chou Prefect with troops stationed at Hsün-yang and continued to add to Hsüan's titles with the post of Governor-General of the military affairs of Ching-chou and the four commanderies. Hsüan's older brother Huan Wei was appointed the Colonel of the Southern Man (Nan-man Hsiao-wei) always increasing the tension between Huan Hsüan and Yin Ch'ung-k'an this was one of the means by which Yuan-hsien sought to restrain the military affairs of the upper river. As expected the conflict between Huan Hsüan and Yin Ch'ung-k'an increased with each passing day until in 399 Huan Hsüan suddenly led soldiers who surprised and took Chiang-ling killing Yin Ch'ung-k'an and the Court did not investigate or punish him but immediately employed Huan Hsüan as the Prefect of Ching-chou and Chiang-chou as well as the Governor-General of the military affairs of the eight provinces (chou) of Ching, Chiang, Ssu, Yung, Liang, Ch'in, I and Ning with his older brother Huan Wei serving as the Yung-chou Prefect, and his nephew Huan Chen as the Huai-nan Grand Administrator. Because of this the Huan clan possessed half the empire and competed with the Imperial Court for authority. At the time of the intramural fighting between Huan and Yin along the upper Yangtze in the lower reaches there was an outbreak of large-scale banditry.
During the reign of Hsiao-wu-ti there was a native of Lang-yeh named Sun Tai who for his lifetime had followed the path of compromising his principles for material gains, and who made use of sorcery to delude the masses. Hsiao-wu-ti was addicted to superstition, and hearing the Sun Tai possessed the art of 'cultivating nature' (yang-hsing) he specially appointed him as the Grand Administrator of Hsin-an. Later following the revolt of Wang Kung, Sun Tai planned an uprising to take advantage of the opportunity but he was executed by Yuan Hsien who also killed his six sons. It was then that Sun Tai's nephew (brother's son) Sun En fled to the seacoast and there gathered together over one-hundred of Sun Tai's followers who had scattered and fled, all swearing an oath to the death to avenge Sun Tai's death. By 399 (Lung-an 3) Sun En had gone all over to incite revolt and his crowd of followers had become even large. He attacked and took Hui-chi, killing the Hui-chi Chief Clerk Wang Ning-chih. All at once Huan Chien the Chief Clerk of the Kingdom of Wu, Wang Chung the Grand Administrator of Lin-hai, and Wei Yin the Grand Administrator of I-hsing all abandoned their cities and fled. Thereupon the eight southeastern commanderies of Wu-chu, Wu-hsing, I-hsing, Lin-hai, Yung-chia, Tung-yang and Hsin-an all were lost to the enemy. Within the space of one (or ten) months his group of followers had reached several tens of thousands. At the same time Sun En also offered up a memorial to accuse Ssu-ma Tao-tsu and his son of evil doing before the authorities, and in the city of Chien-k'ang the people's hearts were anxious and apprehensive. By imperial decree Liu Han-chih the Prefect of Yen-chou and Hsieh Yen the Prefect of Hsü-chou were commanded to put down the bandits. Liu Han-chih and Hsieh Yen did as they were ordered and advanced fighting in one place after another victorious wherever they went. Liu Han-chih had a military consultant, a native of P'eng-ch'eng by the name of Liu Yu who went to battle with great ferocity, destroying Sun En and capturing or killing one-thousand of his men. Sun En fled east to the ocean and it was not long before he was once again pillaging in the area of Hui-chi, Lin-hai and Yu-yao. An edict made Liu Han-chih the Inspector-General of the military affairs of the five commanderies of Hui-chi and once again he beat back Sun En. In 401 (Lung-an 5) Sun En once again raided Hai-yen and again was attacked and defeated by Liu Yu. Sun En from Hu-tu turned to tanke Tang-hsi by surprise with a force of 100,000 men and 1,000 ships which caused the capital to shake in fear. Liu Yu led troops into the city and again handed Sun En a great defeat. As a result Liu Yu became the Hsia-p'ei Grand Administrator and afterwards frequently beat Sun En until in 402 (Yuan-hsing 1) Sun En set out to sea and died. During the three years of Sun En's revolt he fought several tens of battles both great and small and killed several tens of thousands of the peasants bringing the people people of the area of San Wu a full measure of misery, causing great damage to the primal force of the Chin dynasty and moreover, Liu Yu bacause he had put down Sun En achieved great fame. The revolt of Sun En had not yet completely settled when Huan Hsüan's revolt began.
In 401 (Lung-an 5) Huan Wei was transferred from Yung-chou to become the Prefect of Chiang-chou, Huan Hsüan on his own used his Major (Ssu-ma) Tiao Ch'ang to garrison Hsiang-yang and Subordinate General Feng Kai and others were stationed at P'en-k'ou (the mouth of the P'en River, a river in Chiang-hsi) so that the major garrisons of the upper Yangtze were all controlled by the Huan Clan. They also gathered together refugees, put the officials of the Imperial court into detention and everyone presented a petition saying much that was disrespectful. Yuan Hsien knew that Huan Hsüan had to rebel so he set about a massive construction of a naval force secretly planning the suppression of Hsüan. As soon as the text of the announcement had already been fixed, then in 402 (Yuan-hsing 1) the edict was handed down by the Emperor to punish the crimes of Huan Hsüan. Yuan Hsien was made the Valiant Cavalry General, Inspector-General of the Campaign of Suppression, Liu Han-chih was appointed Inspector-General of the Vanguard and Yu-chou Prefect; the King of Ch'iao, Ssu-ma Shang-chih, was appointed Inspector-General of the Rear. Huan Hsüan came into possession of the edict and likewise sent up a memorial enumerating and charging the particulars of Yuan Hsien's crimes and immediately dispatched troops to descend upon the east, attacking and taking Li-yang with ease, capturing the Yu-chou Prefect, Ssu-ma Shang-chih the King of Ch'iao. For several years Liu Han-chih had been on bad terms with Liu Hsien and with his troops stationed at Li-chou (east of Ts'ai-shih-chi) he did not consent to accepting the edict. Huan Hsüan took advantage of this opportunity to send men to cajole Han-chih and Han-chih promptly went over and cooperated with Huan Hsüan. With the capture of Ssu-ma Shang-chih and the mutiny of Liu Han-chih, Huan Hsüan then marched into Chieng-k'ang with a great army, beheading Yuan Hsien and Shang-chih and poisoning Ssu-ma Tao-tsu. Huan Hsüan made himself the Grand Commandant and Inspector-General of Inner and Outer Military Affairs, used Huan Wei as the Ching-chou Prefect, Huan Hsiu as the Prefect of Yen-chou and Hsü-chou and Huan Shih-sheng as the Prefect of Chiang-chou, moreover Liu Han-chih became the Chief Clerk of Hui-chi, depriving him of his military authority. Upon receiving the decree Liu Han-chih flew into a rage and immediately assembled his group to discuss punishing Huan Hsüan, but his subordinates and the rank and file did not wish to revolt again and scattered to the four corners in a tumult so Liu Han-chih grieved and indignant hung himself and died.
In 403 (Yuan-hsing 2) Huan Hsüan advanced to the position of Minister of State (Hsiang-kuo), was enfeoffed as the King of Ch'u with the addition of the Nine Honors and in the 11th lunar month in the winter of the year using as a pretext a fortunate omen received by Ch'u-wang (?) forced Chin An-ti to abdicate and Huan Hsüan the King of Ch'u then ascended the imperial throne and removed An-ti who became the King of P'ing-ku and sent him to Hsün-yang as the Eastern Chin was finally ended by Huan Hsüan.
After the defeat and ruin of Sun En, Lu Hsün his son-in-law (younger sister's husband) led the remnants of the gang to disturb the area of Lin-hai, Tung-yang and Yung-chia. Huan Hsüan ordered Liu Yu to attack and destroy him with Hsün forced to flee south over the sea, Huan Hsüan then found it expedient to appoint Liu Yu the Chief Clerk of P'eng-ch'eng. Liu Yu gave the outward appearance of submitting to Huan Hsüan but privately he formed an alliance with the officers and men of the Northern District to plot the revenge of Liu Han-chih. In 404 (Yuan-hsing 3) Liu Yu secretly ordered his younger borother, Liu Tao-kuei the Ch'ing-chou Military Consultant along with Liu I and others to muder Huan Hung the Chief Clerk of Ch'ing-chou and occupy Kuang-ling. Liu Yu then surprised and killed Huan Hsiu the Prefect of Yen-chou and Hsü-chou and occupied Ching-k'ou to raise troops writing a manifesto condemning Huan Hsüan. Huan Hsüan then ordered his younger brother, Huan Chien, to become the Grand Inspector-General of Subjugation and lead troops to put down Yu, but he suffered a major defeat at Fu-chou Shan and Huan Hsüan fled in ruin to Hsün-yang. Liu Yu immediately led troops into Chien-k'ang administering Hsü-chou on his own, setting up the King of Wu-ling, Ssu-ma Tsun, to act as regent while at the same time dispatching troops to pursue Huan Hsüan. Huan Hsüan abducted An-ti and returned to Ching-chou from Hsün-yang and there reassembled his former subordinates, obtaining in this was the services of 20,000 men and he once again descended into the east seeking for force a decisive battle. At Cheng-jung-chou he encountered Liu I, Liu Tao-kuei and others and on a great field of battle Hsüan's forces were completely routed. Upon returning to Chiang-ling there was great turmoil within the Chiang-ling city walls. Huan Hsüan at night along with over one-hundred of his trusted followers in tow, fled for his life and journeyed as far as Mei-hui-chou where he was killed by enemy troops. Although Hsüan was dead his relatives Huan Chien and Huan Chen were still in control of Chiang-ling in Ching-chou right up until 405 (I-hsi 1) when it finally fell to Liu I with Huan Chen killed and Huan Chien fleeing in ruin to Latter Ch'in. Liu Yu thereupon made preparations to welcome Emperor An-ti back to the capital and restore the Eastern Chin. In order to show their gratitude to Liu Yu for his merit, he was appointed a Palace Attendant, Chariots and Cavalry General and Inspector-General of Inner and Outer Military Affairs with the consequence that he monopolized the court and the government affairs of the state.
At the time of Huan Hsüan's usurpation of the throne in the year Yuan-hsing 3 (404, Mao Ch'u the I-chou Prefect was the first to circulate a manifesto condemning Huan Hsüan and at the same time dispatched officers to attack Han-chung killing Huan Hsi, the Liang-chou Prefect installed by Huan Hsüan, and Mao Ch'u himself served concurrently as the Liang-chou Prefect. Upon hearing of the death of Huan Hsüan, Huan Chen and others were still in control of Chiang-ling, therefore, he commanded his younger brothers Mao Chin, Mao Yuan and the Military Consultant Ch'iao Ts'ung to lead forces on an eastern campaign in Ching-chou. At this time the men of Shu were tired of was and when the troops had reached the mid-point of their journey a mutiny suddenly broke out among the soldiers who together killed Mao Chin, setting Ch'iao Ts'ung as the Prefect of the two provinces of Liang-chou and Ch'in-chou. Mao Yuan sent troops to put down the mutiny and they were also defeated by the mutineers. At the same time another mutiny also broke out within the wall of Ch'eng-tu that saw Mao Ch'u killed Ch'iao Ts'ung wlecomed back to Ch'eng-tu and proclaimed the King of Ch'eng-tu creating the Kingdom of Latter Shu (also called the Ch'iao-Shu). In Shu there was chaos while in Han there was desolation; they wer occupied by the King of Ti, Yang Sheng and this was in the year I-hsi 1 (405). In Chien-k'ang Liu Yu heard of Ch'iao Ts'ung's rebellion and in I-hsi 3 ordered his younger brother Liu Tao-kuei and others to lead troops to put down the rebellion but they returned after suffering a setback. Because of the revolt of Huan Hsüan led in turn to the revolt of Ch'iao Ts'ung this resulted in Chin losing the lands of Liang-chou and I-chou.
In 405, the King of Southern Yen, Mu-jung Te, passed away and he was followed on the throne by his son Mu-jung Ch'ao. Mu-jung Ch'ao was cruel, suspicious and tyrranical so the country gradually fell into turmoil. In the year 409 Mu-jung Ch'ao invaded the Eastern Chin, ravaging and plundering the area north of the Huai. Liu Yu immediately set up a memorial asking for permission to punish the Yen bandits, so he led troops in a large-scale campaign against the north, destroying the Yen army at Lin-chü and then advancing to surround Kuang-ku. In 500 he stormed Kuang-ku capturing Mu-jung Ch'ao and sending him to Chien-k'ang where he was beheaded. With this the Southern Yen came to an end after two successions and thirteen years. Ch'ing-chou which had been lost to the enemy for so many years was unexpectedly now in the hands of Liu Yu and completely recovered. Having already destroyed Southern Yen, Liu Yu returned the army to Hsia-p'ei, but at this time there was the unexpected revolts of Lu Hsün and Hsü Tao-fu.
Before this in 403 Lu Hsün had been routed by Liu Yu and took to the ocean to escape his fate going south to arrive in Nan-hai, where he unexpectedly gathered a mob to attack and take Pan-yü (a county in Kuang-tung) so Hsün proclaimed himself the P'ing-nan Chiang-chün (Pacifies the South General) and sent his brother-in-law (elder sister's husband) Hsü Tao-fu to take Shih-hsing ( in Kuang-tung). At this time because the court had just been the victim of Huan Hsüan's revolt it had no strangth for a distant campaign so it was found expedient to appoint Lu Hsün the Kuang-chou Prefect and Hsü Tao-fu as the Shih-hsing Hsiang, planning to pacify them, but on the contrary this made Lu Hsün despise the court even more and his ambition became even more intense. With the coming of Liu Yu leading troops out to subjugate Yen, the court was empty and Hsü Tao-fu realized this was an opportunity that should be taken advantage of so he counseled Lu Hsün to go north and surprise the capital. Lu Hsün listened to his arguments and then dispatched troops, separating from Hsü Tao-fu as he advanced north to attack and kill Ho Wu-chi the Prefect of Chiang-chou advancing in quick marches. This rocked the court which urgently summoned Liu Yu to come to the rescue and when he received the news he hurried back to Chien-k'ang from Hsia-p'ei. At this time Lu Hsün and Hsü Tao-fu had also defeated Liu I the Yu-chou Prefect at Sang-lo-chou (east of Chiu-chiang in Chiang-hsi) and with over 100,000 warriors and an estimated 1,000 boats (a type that was rectangular in shape) they followed the current down to threaten Chien-k'ang. Seeing the magnificent power of Lu Hsün, Liu Yu therefore built a rampart along the walls of the Shih-t'ou-ch'eng to offer a stern defense and not seek battle. Lu Hsün assaulted the wall time after time without success so he split up his forces to pillage the neighboring districts (chün and hsien) also without result. Then during the 7th lunar month of I-hsi 6 (410) the troops were led back west. Liu Yu waited until the troops had withdrawn and then immediately mounted a counter-attack, on the one hand pursuing the navel forces upstream, and on the other sending the generals Sun Ch'u and Shen T'ien-tze leading 3,000 marines straight to Pa-yu by sea to seize it and destroy Lu Hsün's lair. Sun Ch'u and Shen T'ien-tze reached Nan-hai and landed, taking advantage of the vacuum to attack and take the city of Kuang-chou, slaughtering Lu Hsün's relatives and supporters pacifying all of Ling-nan. Liu Yu himself led a great army up into the west and in the 12th lunar month in the winter of 410 splintered the army of Lu Hsün and Hsü Tao-fu at Ta-lei and also defeated them at Hsün-yang's left village (?). Lu Hsün and Hsü Tao-fu once again gathered together the remnants of their army and fled south to Kuang and Hsiang (Hu-nan and Kuang-hsi). In 411 Hsü Tao-fu was killed at Shih-hsing by Liu Yü's officer Meng Huai-yü. In addition in Pan-yü, Lu Hsün was defeated by Sun Ch'u and Shen T'ien-tze and fled to Chiao-chou where he was killed by Tu Hui-tu the Chiao-chou Prefect thus bringing the revolt of Lu Hsün to a close.
Liu Yü had eliminated the Southern Yen state in the north and pacified the revolt of Lu and Hsü in the south with the result that his fame and influence became even more magnificent. In the 3rd lunar month of I-hsi 7 he was promoted to the post of Grand Commandant and Supervisor of the Palace Secretariat and the Tung-kuan native, Liu Mu-chih was appointed a Marshall. Mu-chih had a talent for scheming that led to his becoming Yü's chief planner and came to depend on him as a trusted subordinate. Immediately after the suppression of the internal disturbances, Liu Yuü in the 12th lunar month in the winter of I-hsi 8 promoted Chu Ling-shih from Hsi-ling Grand Administrator to I-chou Prefect and again led troops to quell Ch'iao Ts'ung. With long, quick marches he attacked and took P'ing-mo as Ch'iao Ts'ung abandoned Ch'eng-tu and fled, hanging himself on the road and so I-chou was also pacified. Liu Yü was then promoted from Grand Commandand to Grand Tutor, I-chou Magistrate and was also granted the privilege of wearing a sword in the palace, and in coming to pay his respects he did not have to be announced. At his time Liu Yü's achievement was thriving and there was only one great hope of his that was not yet realized and that was the only remaining strong foe in the northwest, the state of Ch'in of the Yao clan, that had not been defeated and so it was that Liu Yü then began exhaustive preparations for a northern campaign.
In the year 409 Kao Yun of the Latter Yen in the northeast had been killed and Feng Pa followed him, called the Heavenly King he founded the state of Northern Yen. Feng Pa of the Northern Yen was an able and industrious administrator and compared to the preceeding period the state was peaceful and ordered. However, the territory of the state was secluded and small, a situation that could not last long. The region to the west of Northern Yen encompassed the states of Yu, Chi, Ping and Tai and the strongest of these was the King of Wei, T'o-pa Kuei. Late in his life T'o-pa Kuei became cruel and vicious and in 409 it also happened that he was killed by his son T'o-pa Shao. The Imperial Heir T'o-pa Ssu had Shao executed before he assumed the throne to become Ming-yuan-ti of the Latter Wei. After having passed through this internal disturbance, the Latter Wei came into a period where it did not expand. To the west of the Latter Wei was the Latter Ch'in and between them a new power sprang up, that of Ho-lien Po-po (赫連 勃勃). Ho-lien Po-po was the son of Liu Wei-ch'en who was killed by T'o-pa Kuei and Po-po was forced to flee to Kao-p'ing (Ku-yuan in Kan-su) where he submitted to the Ch'in Duke of Kao-p'ing, Mo I-kan (沒弈干). Po-po had a gigantic stature and Yao Hsing King of Ch'in thought very highly of him, making use of him as the An-pei Chiang-chün (安北將軍 Quiets the North General), Duke of Wu-yuan, and allocated 20,000 troops to garrison Shuo-fang to defend against T'o-pa Kuei. Po-po had a deep emnity toward T'o-pa Kuei and after Yao Hsing tried to foster good relations with T'o-pa Kuei Po-po was suspicious and fearful that this might be not to his advantage so he seized the opportunity to lead his troops to surprise and kill Mo I-kan absorbing his followers with the result that this revolt against Ch'in gained him his independence and he proclaimed himself the Heavenly King of Great Hsia and Grand Ch'an-yü. In addition, he destroyed the three groups of the Hsien-pei Hsüeh Kan, launched an assault to the south against various cities in the northern part of the Yao-Ch'in state in the year I-hsi 3 (470). From this time on Po-po plundered the northern portions of the Ch'in state and the region of Lung-hsi, frequently defeating Ch'in forces and posing a great threat to the north of the Ch'in state. Po-po built the city of T'ung-wan (north of Heng-shan hsien in modern Shan-hsi) and established it as his capital in 411. Po-po's original surname was Liu but with this it was changed to Ho-lien, he-lien being a Hsiung-nü word that meant "Son of Heaven." With the pressures from T'o-pa Kuei and the depradations of Ho-lien Po-po the fortunes of the Latter Ch'in state went into a gradual decline. To the west of the Latter Ch'in in 405 the King of Southern Liang, Tu-fa Li-li-ku passed away and the throne passed to Tu-fa Ju-t'an. At first Ju-t'an was very respectful toward Yao Hsing the Latter Ch'in monarch. In 406 after Yao Hsing had destroyed the Latter Liang he specially appointed Ju-t'an the Liang-chou Prefect, Inspector-General of the Military Affairs on the Right Side of the River administering a garrison at Ku-ts'ang. But rather unexpecetdly as soon as he took possession of Ku-ts'ang, Ju-t'an on the contrary became intractable, wild and egtistical ignoring the commands of Yao Hsing. Yao Hsing was extremely angered and in 408 sent his son Yao Pi at the head of troops to punish Ju-t'an, but contrary to expectations he was defeated and the power and fame of the Latter Ch'in suffered greatly. In the two years after this Ch'i-fu Ch'ien-kuei of the Western Ch'in also took control of Yuan-ch'uan in defiance of Ch'in. At Ku-ts'ang Ju-t'an was continually beset by attacks from the Northern Liang so in 410 he abandones Ku-ts'ang and returned to his capital of Yuan-ch'uan. So Ku-ts'ang too was occupied by the Northern Liang and in I-hsi 8 it was rebuilt as the capital. The tribes of Tu-fa Ju-t'an's Southern Liang and Chü-ch'ü Meng-sun's Northern Liang were different and moreover their territories abbuted one another and there was a deep emnity between the two. Once before Ju-t'an had allied with Li Hao of Western Liang in order to fight Northern Liang on two fronts, while in retaliation the Northern Liang in turn allied themselves with Ch'i-fu Ch'ien-kuei to encircle Southern Liang, and the fighting between the two was incessant. The result of all this was that the Northern Liang gradually increased its strength while the Southern Liang fell into gradual decline. In 412 Ch'i-fu Ch'ien-kuei of the Western Ch'in was killed by his nephew Ch'i-fu Kung-fu, Ch'ien-kuei's son Ch'ih-p'an then killed Kung-fu and set himself up as the King of Ho-nan and transferred the capital to Fu-han, With the coming of the year 414 Ch'i-fu Ch'ih-p'an took the town of Yueh-tu, capturing and killing Tu-fa Ju-t'an then annexing and destroying the Southern Liang, with the result that Ch'ih-p'an revived the title of King of Ch'in and set up a bureaucracy. After 414 in the area to the west of the Latter Ch'in there only remained the three states of Western Ch'in, Northern Liang and Western Liang. Ch'i-fu Ch'ien-kuei of the Western Ch'in had also allied with Ho-lien Po-po to the north in order to encircle and attack Latter Ch'in and as their situation deteriorated Yao Hsing worried and grieved finally becoming ill and dying in 416 (I-hsi 12).
With the death of Yao Hsing his son Yao Hung came to the throne, however, all of the other sons contested the succession and as soon as internal squabbling broke out then several tens of thousands of northern barbarians from the Ping-chou area took control of P'ing-yang to revolt while Ho-lien Po-po and the Yang sheng King of Ti invaded from a different direction. When Liu Yu received news of these events he recognized them as an opportunity that he could not afford to let pass so deciding on a large-scale campaign in the north in the 8th lunar month of 416 he ordered his eldest son I-fu and Liu Han-chih to remain behind to guard Chien-k'ang while he personally led troops out to guard P'eng-ch'eng. Dividing his forces he sent out the Lung-hsiang Chiang-chün (Dragon Soaring General) Wang Chen-o and the Kuan-chün Chiang-chün (Champion General) T'an Tao-ch'i to advance along the course of the Huai River through Hsü-ch'ang to attack Lo-yang as the eastern prong. The Ning-Shuo Chiang-chün (Tranqulizes the Boreal Regions General) Hu Fan and the Hsin-yeh Grand Administrator Chu Ch'ao-shih were to proceed quickly from Nan-yang to Yang-ch'eng as the central prong. The Chen-wu Chiang-chün (Martial Inspiring General) Chen T'ien-tse and the Chien-wei Chiang-chün (Establishing Majesty General) Fu Hung-chih to advance and attack the Wu Pass (Wu-kuan) as the western prong. In addition he also seng out the Chien-wu Chiang-chün (Establish Martial General) Chen Lin-tse and the P'eng-ch'eng Chief Clerk in command of a water force to set out from Shih-men and enter the Yellow River from the Pien River with each of the prongs advancing simultaneously. The Ch'in officers defending Yang-ch'eng, Ying-yang, Ch'eng-nieh and Hu-lao all surrendered without a fight. In the 10th lunar month of the 12th year (416) T'an Tao-chih and others conquered Lo-yang. In the 12th lunar month an edict elevated Liu Yu to Minister of State, enfeoffed him as Duke of Sung and prepared the rite of the Nine Gifts. (NB All this prefigures his usurpation of the Chin to set up his own dynasty.)
In the first lunar month of I-hsi 13 (417) leaving his son I-lung the Duke of P'eng-ch'eng behind as the Hsü-chou Prefect to garrison P'eng-ch'eng, Liu Yü set out in personal command of the water force. In the 3rd lunar month the vanguard with Wang Chen-o, T'an Tan-ch'i and others annihilated Yao Shao the Ch'in Duke of Tung-p'ing crushing the defences at T'ung-kuan. Wang Chen-o lef a naval force west against the current of the Wei while Liu Yü followed in command of a large army. Martial Inspiring General Shen T'ien-tse forced his way through the Wu-kuan and defeated a Ch'in army at Lan-t'ien. These two prongs advanced to threaten the Ch'in capital. Wang Chen-o first defeated a Ch'in army at P'a-shang and then defeated another at Wei-ch'iao (Wei River Bridge). In the 8th lunar month they fought their way into Ch'ang-an capturing Yao Hung. In the 9th lunar month (Liu Yü) arrived in Ch'ang-an and sent Yao Hung south to the capital where he was beheaded in the market of Chien-k'ang. With this the Latter Ch'in ended after 34 years and three rulers and the men of Chin unexpectedly recovered the lands of Kuan-chung that had been lost to the enemy for one-hundred and one years.
As soon as Liu Yü had eliminated the Latter Ch'in he suddenly heard that Liu Mu-ch'ih had sickened and died so fearing that a coup attempt might take palce in the rear areas he made his son Liu I-chen the Duke of Kuei-yang and An-hsi Chiang-chün (Pacify the West General) to stay behind and hold Ch'ang-an while he personally hurried back to Chien-k'ang. Quite unexpectedly shortly after leaving Ch'ang-an jealousy and jostling for power among the officers led to a sudden flurry of accusations. Shen T'ien-tse engineered the murder of Wang Chen-o, the I-chen's Chief Clerk, Wang Hsiu, had Shen arrested and killed. The officers and men were still recalcitrant so I-chen also had Wang hsiu killed in order to settle the mob's anger. However because of this the men's hearts were frightened and they withdrew with Kuan-chung falling into chaos. The King of Hsia, Ho-lien Po-po took advantage of the situation to descend upon the south, occupying Hsien-yang to advance and threaten Ch'ang-an as the newly liberated administrative districts of Kuan-chung all one by one surrendered to Po-po. Liu Yü was absolutely astounded when he heard news of this hurriedly summoning I-chen back east and sending the I-chou Prefect Chu Ling-shih to act as Yung-chou Prefect and take over I-chen's garrison duties in Kuan-chung. As soon as Chu Ling-shih reached Ch'ang-an the city suddenly rose in a massive insurrection with Chu unexpectedly driven off by the commoners and consequently Ho-lien Po-po led his troops into Ch'ang-an to take possession of the city. Chu fled in defeat to T'ung-kuan and there along with his younger brother Ch'ao-shih and General Wang Ching-hsien were all captured and killed by Po-po with all of this taking place in the year I-hsi 14 (418). Kuan-chung had only been recovered for one year and then it was completely lost, moreover Liu Yü's crack troops and capable officers were almost all dead.
Liu Yü Duke of Sung with the added anger and shame of having recovered and then lost Kuan-chung wanted all the more to carry out an abdication in order to secure his power and prestige, so men were dispatched to strangle An-ti setting up his younger brother Ssu-ma Te-wen as Chin Kung-ti. When Kung-ti assumed the throne the Duke of Sung was elevated to the rank of King. Kung-ti had only been on the throne for a year when Liu Yü also compelled Kung-ti to abdicate and made himself the Emperor Sung Wu-ti. After eleven rulers and one-hundred and four years the Eastern Chin had come to a close.
After Liu Yü overthrew the Chin, the kingdoms of the Five Barbarians in the north constituted an unresolved situation but it was not long before they were unified by T'o-pa Wei.
In 415 the Western Liang ruler Li Hao died and his oldest son Li Hsin came to the throne to become the Duke of Liang and guide the Liang-chou Magistracy. The year when Liu Yü overthrew the Chin is also the year Yung-ch'u 1 of Sung Wu-ti. Li Hsin surprised the city of Chang-yeh to the east where he was defeated by Chü-ch'ü Meng-sun who took advantage of the victory to occupy Chiu-ch'üan while Li Hsin's younger brother Li Hsün continued to protect Tun-huang. In the next year Chü-ch'ü Meng-sun attacked and took Tun-huang with Li Hsün committing suicide to bring an end to the Western Liang, thus the Northern Liang cam into complete control of all the lands of Ho-hsi. All that remained in Kuan-chung and to the west were the three kingdoms of Hsia, Western Ch'in and Northern Liang.
In the Northern Wei year T'ai-ch'ang 8 (Sung Ching-p'ing 1, 423 A.D.) the Wei ruler T'o-pa Ssu attacked and took the three Chin cities of Lo-yang, Hu-lao and Hua-t'ai. With this the power of Wei was extended south of the Yellow River. It was also in this year that T'o-pa Ssu died and his son T'o-pa Hsi ascended the throne to become the monarch Wei T'ai-wu-ti. After T'ai-wu-ti had come to the throne he continued to expand both to the east and the west as conflicts with the Hsia and Yen states piled up. In 425 Ho-lien Po-po died and his son Ho-lien Ch'ang followed him. In 426 Ch'i-fu Ch'ih-p'an King of Western Ch'in sent up a memorial to declare submission to the Wei state and personally requested Wei join with him in an attack on the Hsia state. T'o-pa Hsi thereupon mounted a large-scale offensive against Hsia seizing the city of Ch'ang-an and the the next year storming T'ung-wan while Ho-lien Ch'ang fled west to Shang-kuei and in the next year he was captured by the Wei general An Chieh. The Hsia masses then set up Ch'ang's younger brother Ho-lien Ting as their king and he then led a counter-attack with the unexpected result of retaking Ch'ang-an. It was in this year that Ch'i-fu Ch'ih-p'an of the Western Ch'in died and his son Mu-muo followed him to the throne. In 430 T'o-pa Hsi personally led and expedition against Hsia inflicting a major defeat on Ho-lien Ting to retake the Kuan-chung area. Ch'i-fu Mo-muo of the Western Ch'in then opened a second front against Ting from the west so that when Ting was once again defeated by the Wei when he went west to Shang0kuei he also had to fight with Mo-muo, however, Mo-muo suffered a major defeat and surrendered to Ho-lien Ting thus brining an end to the state of Western Ch'in. As soon as he had eliminated Western Ch'in Ho-lien Ting wanted to continue the advance his power into the northwest so he crossed west over the Yellow River accompanied by a crowd of over 100,000 from Ch'in but was suprised when intercepted by the King of the T'u-yun-hun Mu Kuei and unexpectedly defeated and captured. The T'u-yu-hun then sent Ho-lien Ting to the Latter Wei were he was killed by T'o-pa Hsi so in 431 the state of Hsia after 25 years and three successive rulers now ceased to exist.
At this time there were only two small kingdoms that remained in the north, the Northern Yen in the northeast corner and the Northern Liang in the northwest corner. In 430 Feng Pa of the Northern Yen state passed away and was followed by his younger brother Feng Hung. This led to a decision by the Wei ruler T'o-pa hsi to mount a major operation against Yen in 435. Obviously Feng Hung could offer not real resistance so in 436 he fled in ruin to Kao-chu-li (Korea) as the men of Wei stormed the city of Ho-lung. Later Feng Hung was killed by the Koreans and with this the state of Northern Yen came to an end. In 433 Chü-ch'ü Meng-sun of the Northern Liang died and passed the throne on to his son Mu-chien who declared his submission to the Wei so they enfeoffed him as the King of Ho-hsi. This situation continued until 439 when T'o-pa Hsi finally personally led a campaign against Liang and took Ku-ts'ang with Mu-chien surrendering and along with 30,000 of his family, officials and commoners were moved to the city of P'ing-ch'eng. During its forty years the Northern Liang state had three rulers from two clans and then passed into oblivion. With this T'o-pa Hsi, the great Martial Emperor of the Latter Wei, united the north with the situation in China transforming itself from that of a stand-off between the Ch'in and the Wei into that of the Southern and Northern Dynasties.