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Cheng Bao 程包

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Cheng Bao 程包 was the Reporting Officer of Yi province. He advised Emperor Ling on the Bansun Barbarians. His advice was taken and the Banshun were peaceful once more.

BiographyEdit

Cheng Bao was a man from Hanzhong and the Reporting Officer of Yi province.

In the year 182 A.D. the Banshun barbarians were raiding and plundering Ba commandery. Campaigns had been sent against them year after year, but they had not been subdued. The Emperor had it in mind to make a great levy of troops, and he asked the opinion of Cheng Bao, who replied:

"The seven clans of Banshun have been good allies of the empire since the time of the Qin dynasty, and for this reason they have always been exempt from tribute and taxes. Their men are brave and excellent fighters. During the Yongchu period [107-113 A.D.], when the Qiang barbarians invaded the Han valley and all the commanderies and counties were destroyed, the Banshun people came to help us. The Qiang were killed or driven away, and they spoke of the Banshun soldiers as 'devil troops'. They told the story to their fellow-tribesmen, and warned them never to go south again. Later, in the second year of Jianhe [148 A.D.], when the Qiang made another great invasion, it was the Banshun people who helped us break up their attacks and defeat them. When the General of the Van Feng Gun made his southern campaign into Wuling [in 162 A.D.], it was once again the Banshun people that helped him to success. Quite recently [in 176 A.D.], when there was trouble in Yizhou, the Grand Administrator Li Rong had the Banshun people to help him put it down. When a people have shown themselves so loyal to us and so valuable as this, they would not rebel without good cause. Now the local and district officials are taking heavy taxes from them and they are sent to labour service and are flogged worse than slaves or criminals. They are forced to give their wives to others and to sell their children, and some even cut their own throat. Though they have complained of the suffering and injustice to their commandery or provincial offices, the administrators neither forward their petitions nor do anything to help them. They are far from the court and their voice is unheard. They sigh and groan but find no one to grant them redress. That is why they have gathered in rebellion, not because they have some great leader who wishes to usurp the government and defy the law. All that needs to be done is to choose wise and competent men for the administration. Then everything will be settled quite simply. There is no cause for a military campaign."

The Emperor took Cheng Bao's advice. Cao Qian was appointed Grand Administrator and an edict was proclaimed to grant an amnesty. All the people came at once to submit.[1]

See alsoEdit

NotesEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. Rafe de Crespigny, Emperor Huan and Emperor Ling;HHS 86/76, 2843 (11a-b), the Account of the Banshun people in the Chapter on the Southern and Southwestern Barbarians.

SourcesEdit

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