He Jin was born in Nanyang commandery in Jing province. His parents were the butcher He Zhen 何真 and his first wed wife (name unknown). Later, when He Jin’s father wed the Lady Xing 興氏, he became a step brother of Zhu Miao (who later changed his name to He Miao 何苗). Later, probably in the late 150’s, Lady Xing gave birth to He Jin’s half-sister the Lady He 何氏.[1][2]

Rise of the He-clanEdit

During an annual selection of concubines in the 170’s, which took place in the eight month of each year, Lady He was selected to be in Emperor Ling’s harem.[2] Even though she was of questionable background, she was described as a woman of respectable family. She eventually gained the Emperor’s favour and bore him his heir, Liu Bian 劉辯 (Emperor Shao of Han).[2]

When the Lady He was gaining the Emperor’s favour in the 170’s, both her brothers were able to benefit from it. He Jin was made a gentleman cadet and later became General of the Gentlemen of the Household Rapid as Tigers (hǔbēn zhōng láng jiāng 虎賁中郎將) and then Grand Administrator of Yingchuan commandery in Yu Province.[1]

On 1 January 181 the Lady He was made empress and He Jin, as her senior male relative, was made a Palace Attendant and Court Architect. Later he became the Intendant of Henan commandery in Sili Province. Henan was the commandery of the capital city Luoyang.[1][2]

Outbreak of the Yellow Turban rebelsEdit

In the 170’s and early 180’s three brothers named Zhang Jue, Zhang Bao 張寶 and Zhang Liang 張梁 were planning a rebellion. One of their Large Division Leaders and leader in planning for rebellion, a certain Ma Yuanyi 馬元義 was sent to Luoyang to claim adherents, which he successfully did by claiming adherents even among the palace eunuchs. The idea behind claiming adherents in the capital city was for the Yellow Turbans to strike simultaneously from within and without the capital city.[3]

However, in the spring of 184 A.D. a disciple of the Zhang brothers, a man named Tang Zhou 唐周, betrayed the plans of his masters to the Han by explaining the plot in a memorial and sending it to court.[4] According to Hou Han shu chapter 69 biography 59 it was He Jin who exposed the plot of Zhang Jue. Possible the memorial sent by Tang Zhou had fallen into the hands of He Jin, who had a position at court at that time (Intendant of Henan commandery) or one of his men. In any case, the plot was leaked and He Jin was enfeoffed as Marquis of Shen for discovering the conspiracy.[1] The enfeoffment took place on the day wushen, which corresponds to 2 April. He Jin was also made General-in-Chief. He took command of the divisions of the Left and of the Right, as well as the Feathered Forest Troops, together with five regiments of the Northern Army. He led them to camp at the Capital Hostel, where they prepared weapons and equipment to keep order in the capital[5][4]

Though He Jin did take command of several divisions and troops it should be noted that his title of General-in-Chief was essentially one that gave him political power. Especially in times of emergencies. It did not, however, grant him his own army.[6]

Defense of LuoyangEdit

When the Han went on the offensive against the Yellow Turban forces it were the generals Lu Zhi 盧植, Huangfu Song 皇甫嵩 and Zhu Jun 朱儁 who went to the field. He Jin stayed in Henan commandery, commanding the Northern Army for the defense of Luoyang. Under his command was the Major Fan Zeng 范曾. It remains unclear what He Jin did while his generals were on the field.

About his Major Fan Zeng we know he defeated a group of Yellow Turbans in Nanyang commandery in Jing province, which was He Jin’s birth commandery.[7]

While the Yellow Turban Rebellion was nearing its end the palace eunuchs had found a way to get Wang Yun 王允 into trouble after the latter had obtained proof of the eunuchs having been in contact with the Yellow Turbans. When Wang Yun arrived at the capital to receive his punishment He Jin, together with Yang Ci 禓賜 and Yuan Wei 袁隗 sent in a joint memorial to plead for his life. They succeeded and received a remission of his charges.[5]

After the Yellow Turban RebellionEdit

In the third month of 187 He Jin’s half-brother He Miao defeated a group of rebels in Rongyang. For achieving this he was awarded the title of General of Chariots and Cavalry (jūjì jiāngjūn 車騎將軍). He Miao was now ranked directly below his half-brother the General-in-Chief. He Miao, however, did have his own troops.[6] A rank of such prestige given merely for defeating a group of bandits. The He clan was in its prime. He Jin, with He Miao directly below him, basically did have troops from now on.

During the rebellion of the Yellow Turbans the court had hastily created new titles for the military men it sent into the field. After the rebellion was crushed, some of these titles had been rescinded and throughout the years it appeared some men no longer fit within the regular military system.[8] One of these men was He Jin. Though bestowing him with the rank of General-in-Chief was an easy procedure, taking it away from him was not.[8]

General-in-Chief was the highest title available to commoners, and He Jin could use it to his authority to overpower the court and the eunuchs in the event of an emergency. It was probably as much for this reason as for any other that in September 188 Emperor Ling took the unprecedented step of appointing a eunuch as Colonel of the First Army of a wholly new army. This Colonel of the First Army, Jian Shi 蹇碩, was a protégé of the emperor.[9] The paragraphs below will tell of the rise of this eunuch and others and He Jin’s struggle against them.

Tension between He Jin and the EunuchsEdit

In 185, following the Yellow Turban Rebellion, Zhang Rang 張讓 and eleven other Regular Attendants were enfeoffed for their efforts during the campaign, despite proof of them having had contact with the Yellow Turbans.[5] The eunuchs enjoyed great favour with the Emperor, who was in fact completely subject to them. Throughout the years many officials had developed a feeling of disgust or hatred towards the eunuchs, but many did not dare to act against them. He Jin, however, did make plans and was the first to take somewhat decisive action against the eunuchs.

Rise of the Eunuch Jian ShiEdit

As explained above the He clan was on a rise, with He Jin and He Miao having taken the top two titles and Lady He having become Empress. He Jin, however, was awarded his title of General-in-Chief during a time when the Han was giving away titles to anyone who opposed the Zhang brothers and their Yellow Turbaned followers. A good example of this would be Cao Cao, but of course also He Jin himself.

Mainly because of the rebellion the military system had undergone some changes, but with the rebellion crushed there were some who no longer fit within the system. Such as He Jin, but also his half brother who was appointed to his rank of General of Chariots and Cavalry while his clan was in its prime.

Taking these titles away was not as easy as giving them, thus Emperor Ling decided to demote He Jin by promoting someone else.

Suppressing the He-clanEdit

In the eighth month of the year 188 a new army was established. It was called Colonels of the Western Gardens and consisted of a total of eight men:[10]

  1. Yuan Shao
  2. Bao Hong
  3. Cao Cao
  4. Zhao Rong
  5. Feng Fang
  6. Xia Mou
  7. Chunyu Qiong
  8. Jian Shi

The highest promotion went to the eunuch Jian Shi. At that time he was a Junior Attendant at the Yellow Gates, but at this event he got promoted to as high as Colonel of the First Army,[n 1] by none other than the Emperor himself. Jian Shi was now ranked higher than anyone else. Higher even than He Jin (and thus also He Miao).[12][10] By enlarging the number of colonels in the bodyguard, and placing in overall command a eunuch loyal to himself personally, while at the same time excluding distaff relatives from this new power, the Emperor may have hoped to counter increasing pressure from his Empress' family. He Jin and He Miao in particular.[13]

Jian Shi's Political Game BeginsEdit

Late in 188 the Emperor made a great levy of soldiers from all directions and held manoeuvres below the Lodge of Tranquil Joy. This was done because of those who studied the ethers considered that the capital district would have great military affairs, and that the two palaces would flow in blood.[10]

A great platform was set up, twelve ceremonial umbrellas were put on top of it, with each umbrella a hundred feet high. Northeast of that was a smaller platform, again with nine ceremonial umbrellas, each ninety feet high. Several tens of thousands of infantry and cavalry were drawn up, they made defended camps and formed line of battle. On the day jiazi (22 November) the Emperor himself came out to the army and halted below the great umbrellas, while the General-in-Chief He Jin took his stand below the smaller umbrellas. The Emperor wore armour and rode a mailed horse, and he was hailed as "General Supreme." He went about the army three times, then came back and handed the soldiers over to He Jin.[10]

The Emperor asked the Colonel Who Exterminates the Caitiffs He Xun:

"If I practice for war like this, what do you think of it?"

He Xun replied,

"Your subject has heard that the former kings were brilliant in their virtue and took no thought of weapons, but now there are bandits far away and an army is raised close at hand. That is no way to show bravery, it is nothing but a waste of effort."

The Emperor said,

"Excellent. I am sorry you did not come earlier, for not one of my ministers has said this before."

He Xun said to Yuan Shao:

"His majesty has a clear understanding, but he is deceived by those about him."

He made plans with Yuan Shao to kill the favourites. Jian Shi started to play the political game, thus using his position wrongly, as he sent He Xun away to become Intendant of Jingzhao.[10]

Struggle against Jian ShiEdit

Jian Shi hated He Jin. It is not known when he started developing feelings of hatred towards the General-in-Chief, but in the summer, during the fourth month of 189 he, together with all the Regular Palace Attendants, urged Emperor Ling to send He Jin westwards to attack Han Sui 韓遂 and Bian Zhang 邊章. Two leaders of the Liang rebels in the west who were waging rebellion at that time. The Emperor agreed with the proposal and granted He Jin a hundred war chariots, Rapid as a Tiger bodyguard and the Axe of Execution.[n 2][11][14]

He Jin, however, learnt privately of the plot and he sent in a memorial that Yuan Shao should be sent to gather troops of the Xu and Yan provinces before taking further action. The idea was approved and He Jin delayed his date of march in the campaign against the Liang rebels.[11][14]

Emperor Ling DiesEdit

The actual participation of He Jin in campaign against the Liang rebels would never happen, because on 13 May 189 Emperor Ling passed away. He left behind two sons. His oldest son was Liu Bian 劉辯 of the Empress He, called Lord Shi. His other son was Liu Xie 劉協 of the Beauty Wang, raised by the Empress-Dowager Dong 董 (and therefore called Lord Dong). Liu Bian, being the eldest son, would naturally become heir. However, Emperor Ling considered him frivolous and lacked the appearance of majesty, not fit to be a ruler of men. Thus, he had it in mind to award the succession to Liu Xie. But Emperor Ling loved his Empress He and her brother He Jin moreover held weighty authority so he made no determination. About this time he became very ill, and he entrusted Liu Xie to the care of Jian Shi[11][14]

When the Emperor passed away Jian Shi happened to be in the palace and received the Emperor's will through a post-humous edict. Since Jian Shi had always looked down upon and feared He Jin and He Miao he hoped to first execute He Jin and then fulfill his late Emperor's wish by setting Liu Xie upon the throne.[15]

He invited He Jin to come and consult with him, and He Jin immediately mounted his chariot to go to the palace. Pan Yin, a major in Jian Shi's command, was an old friend of He Jin. When He Jin entered the inner palace he went out to meet him and signalled a warning with his eyes. He Jin took fright and galloped, via a short-cut straight back to his quarters. He called out his troops and garrisoned the Hostel of all the Commanderies, and from there he announced that he was ill and could not come to the palace. Jian Shi's plan could not be carried out and on the day wuwu (15 May) Prince Bian was established as Emperor. The Empress He was honoured as Empress-Dowager and held court. An amnesty was proclaimed for the empire and the reigntitle was changed to Guangxi. The General of the Rear Yuan Wei was made Grand Tutor, sharing control of the Imperial Secretariat with General-in-Chief He Jin. It seemed the Emperor's hope of forestalling a power seizure by his Empress' family had failed, temporarily.[16][17]

He Jin Begins Plotting Against Jian ShiEdit

He Jin now held the government of the court. He was furious at Jian Shi for plotting to kill him and secretly planned to avenge himself. Not only on Jian Shi, but with the urging of Yuan Shao (through He Jin’s trusted client Zhang Jin) on all eunuch officials. He Jin knew the eunuchs were resented by many officials aside from his own clan. Since the Yuan clan had been honoured for generations, while Yuan Shao and his younger cousin Yuan Shu 袁術, who was General of the Gentlemen of the Household Rapid as Tigers, were respected by the great families, He Jin trusted them and gave them appointment.[18][17]

He Jin also sought widely for men who were wise and able in planning, and he recruited more than twenty, such as He Yong, Xun You, Zheng Tai of Henan and others. He Yong was appointed Captain of the Centre of the Northern Army, Xun You was Gentleman in Attendance of the Yellow Gates, and Zheng Tai became a Master of Writing. He Jin trusted these men completely.[17]

Jian Shi, however, was aware of the plotting by the General-in-Chief and thus tried to enlist the support of his fellow eunuchs in another coup attempt. He circulated the following letter among Zhao Zhong, Song Dian and other eunuchs:[18]

"The General-in-Chief and his brother have state and court in their sole grasp, and now they join with the once banned faction in planning to execute us, the former Emperor's retainers, to liquidate and sweep us away. Only because I have charge of the palace militia do they vacillate; now is the moment to act in common to seal the palace offices and pavillions, and swiftly arrest and execute them."[18]

The Regular Palace Attendant Guo Sheng came from the same commandery as He Jin. He had been involved in the fortune and favour of the Empress-Dowager and He Jin, and was a close and loyal friend of the He clan. He joined the discussions with Zhao Zhong and the others, they decided not to join Jian Shi's plot, and Guo Sheng showed the letter to He Jin.[17]

On the day gengwu (27 May) He Jin sent the Prefect of the Yellow Gates to arrest Jian Shi and execute him, and he took over his troops in camp.[17]

Struggle against Zhang Rang's FactionEdit

Dong Zhong 董重, the General of Agile Cavalry, disputed He Jin’s authority, and the eunuchs enlisted his aid in support of their party. He was a nephew of the Empress-Dowager Dong and together with her they formed a rival faction at court, against the He-clan.

Whenever Empress-Dowager Dong sought to interfere in matters of government the Empress-Dowager He always stopped her. The Lady Dong was furious and shouted:

"You are powerful now because you rely on your brother! But I can order the General of Agile Cavalry to cut off He Jin's head, and that would be easy as turning my hand!"

The Empress-Dowager He heard this and told He Jin. In the fifth month of 189 He Jin presented a memorial jointly with the Three Excellencies:

"The Xiao-Ren Empress [the Empress-Dowager Dong] instructed the former Regular Palace Attendant Xia Yun and others to communicate with provincial and commandery governments that they should send the proceeds of all taxes to the Western Apartments. By precedent, a supernumerary empress should not remain in the capital district. We ask she be required to transfer residence to her own state."

The memorial was approved. On the day xinsi (7 June) He Jin brought troops to surround the offices of the General of Agile Cavalry. He arrested Dong Zhong and stripped him of his appointment. Dong Zhong killed himself.[19]

On the day xinyou (17 July), the Xiao-Ling Emperor was buried at Wenling. He Jin had taken warning from Jian Shi's plot: claiming to be ill, he neither attended the mourning nor accompanied the funeral.[17]

During autumn Yuan Shao again urged He Jin to take action against the eunuchs:[17]

"In the past, when Dou Wu planned to kill the palace favourites, the only reason he came to grief was because he allowed the news to leak out."
"The men of the five regiments of the Northern Army feared the eunuchs and were prepared to obey them, but Dou Wu had counted on those troops, so he brought misfortune upon himself."
"At the moment, you and your brother He Miao both control strong forces. Your subordinate and divisional commanders are all brave men of fine reputation, fully prepared to carry out your orders. Everything is in your hands, and this is an occasion sent by heaven. You, my general, must act at once to remove evil from the empire, and leave a name for later generations. You cannot let this opportunity slip."

So He Jin went to see Empress-Dowager He, but he merely asked her to dismiss all eunuchs and those of lower rank and to appoint Gentlemen of the Household to fill their places. The Empress-Dowager replied:

"Since ancient times it has been a custom of the house of Han that eunuchs control the forbidden apartments. You cannot do away with that. Moreover, when the late Emperor has only just left the world, how can I act so brazenly as to deal with men face to face?"[17][20]

He Jin found it difficult to disregard the Empress-Dowager’s feelings, yet he still desired to punish the eunuchs. Yuan Shao argued further that eunuchs have grown close to the Emperor and that this system had to be dealt with completely and immediately, else it would most certainly cause trouble later. It seemed He Jin had a passionate ally in Yuan Shao, however he soon found himself opposed from a surprising direction. His half-brother He Miao and the Lady of Wuyang (Empress-Dowager He’s mother) had been receiving bribes and gifts from the eunuchs and become opposed to their relative He Jin. Realizing He Jin wanted to kill the Regular Attendants, they spoke several times with the Empress-Dowager so she would give them protection. They also said:[17][21]

"If the General-in-Chief kills eunuchs on his own authority, he will be abusing his power and will weaken the national altar and the imperial state."

The Empress-Dowager suspected this might be true. He Jin had only lately come to high position, and he had always been in awe of the eunuchs. Though outwardly he seemed to be in pursuit of a great name, inwardly he lacked decision, and so the matter long remained unsettled.[17]

A New PlanEdit

Yuan Shao and his group formulated a new plan; they would call on local military forces to converge on the capital and by a show of force coerce the Empress-Dowager He to their will. He Jin approved of this. When the decision was made He Jin's Master of Records, Chen Lin 陳琳 of Guangling commandery, remonstrated with He Jin, saying:[22]

"There is a proverb about closing the eyes to catch a bird. Such deceit is sure to fail in small matters, and the rule must apply yet more strongly in great affairs of state. How can policy be maintained by trickery? You hold the imperial authority, and all essential military strength. With the leap of a dragon and the pace of a tiger, you may act as you will."
"The present plan, however, is like pumping up fire in a stove when all that is required is the singeing of a hair. You need only act quickly, and display the thunder of your power. Use your own judgment to make a decision, and both heaven and man will approve."
"If, on the other hand, you fail to use the strength you have, but call in help from outside, then great armies will gather and the strongest will win. That is like turning a spear against yourself and passing the handle to

someone else. The project will surely fail, and you will have embarked upon a road to ruin."[17]

He Jin would not listen. Dong Zhuo 董卓, at that time stationed in Hedong commandery in Sili Province, was one of the generals summoned by He Jin. The Attendant Imperial Clerk Zheng Tai protested against the coming of Dong Zhuo, saying:

"Dong Zhuo is extremely brutal and has small sense of honour, while his ambitions have no limit. If you involve him in the imperial government and entrust him with great affairs you will lose control over his evil intentions and you will certainly endanger the court."
"Through your own personal qualities, and by your close relationship to the throne, you hold the authority of Aheng, with power to make your own decisions and to take your own action against criminals. It is quite inappropriate for you to favour Dong Zhuo by asking for his assistance. Furthermore, if you delay matters, there will be changes. The example of Yin is not far off. You must make your mind up soon."[17]

The Master of Writing Lu Zhi also tried to dissuade He Jin, but both men failed and Zheng Tai even resigned his position because of that. "It's not easy to assist Lord He!" he said to Xun You 荀攸 as he left.[17][23]

The Senior Clerk in He Jin's offices Wang Kuang 王匡 and Chief Commandant of Cavalry Bao Xin 鮑信 were both from Taishan commandery in Yan Province and He Jin sent them back to their home areas to muster strong bows and march on the capital. He Jin also called the Grand Administrator of Dong commandery, Qiao Mao 喬瑁 to garrison Chenggao. Ding Yuan 丁原, Chief Commandant who is Martial and Brave, was sent to lead several thousand men to ravage Henei and burn Mengjin pass, just east of the capital. The flames could be seen from Luoyang. All these forces proclaimed their intention to execute the eunuchs and seemed to threaten an attack on the capital itself to accomplish this.[24]. When Dong Zhuo received his orders, he sent a memorial to Empress-Dowager He to request permission to arrest Zhang Rang and the other eunuchs. The Empress refused. Upon hearing this, He Miao spoke to He Jin and said:

"When we first came from Nanyang we were all of us poor, and it was through the eunuchs of the inner palace that we came to wealth and honour. In affairs of state, how can you act so hastily? Once water is tipped out, it cannot be gathered up again. Think hard about it, then make peace with the eunuchs."[17]
Dong Zhuo came to Mianchi and He Jin now became worried and sent the Grandee Remonstrant and Consultant Chong Shao with an imperial order for him to halt. At first, Dong Zhuo would not listen and even threaten Chong Shao, but eventually retreated to Xiyang village.[17]
He Jin plots to kill the eunuchs

He Jin plots to kill the eunuchs

Yuan Shao was concerned He Jin might change his plan and he pressed him to take action, saying:

"The battle-lines are drawn and our plans are in the open. How can you continue to wait and not make any decision? If the affair is delayed too long, things will change and you will be a second Dou Wu."[17]

He Jin then made Yuan Shao Colonel Director of Retainers and gave him the staff of power so he could decide on things himself. Wang Yun, Gentleman of the Household in Attendance, became Intendant of the capital commandery Henan. Yuan Shao immediatly made use of his new authority, ordering his tactical clerks to keep the eunuchs under serveillance, while urging Dong Zhuo and other regional commanders to send in memorials post-haste, asking permission to bring their troops forward to the Lodge of Tranquil Joy.[17]

Under this new threat the Empress-Dowager He finally capitulated and she ordered all of the eunuchs, both the Regular Attendants and the Junior Officials, to return to their homes, only a few remained in the Imperial residence. All the eunuchs, the regular and junior attendants, went to He Jin and apologised and assured him they were at his service. He Jin said to them:[17]

"The empire is in disorder, and it is all your doing. Now Dong Zhuo is coming. Why do you not go quickly back to your homelands?"

Yuan Shao urged He Jin to take this opportunity to settle with them. He repeated three times, but He Jin would not agree. Yuan Shao therefor wrote letters to all provincial and commandery governments, misrepresenting He Jin's wish to cause local officials to arrest all the relatives of the eunuchs. Meanwhile He Jin had been considering his plans for several days, then some information leaked out. The Eunuchs became frightened and thought of rebellion. Zhang Rang and other eunuchs were, in the meantime, using their connections with the He family to preserve their positions. By the eighth month everything had gone full circle, with the eunuchs back in their office and He Jin persuading their execution.[25]


On the day wuchen -22 September, 189 A.D.- He Jin had an audience with his sister at the Palace of Prolonged Joy. His request: all eunuchs to be executed. Since He Jin had been pretending illness (to avoid exposing himself to the possibility of a eunuch coup), his presence in the Empress-Dowager's palace aroused suspicion among the eunuchs. Zhang Rang and Duan Gui 段圭 wondered "Is the Dou Wu business coming again?" and they sent someone to hide near the Palace of Prolonged Joy to eavesdrop and he heard everything that was said and reported this to Zhang Rang and the rest. Then the eunuchs led several dozen men of their party to take up weapons,[n 3] go in quietly by a side entrance, and conceal themselves behind the doors of the palace.[27]

He Jin came out and the eunuchs pretended to have orders from the Empress-Dowager to call him back.[n 4] He Jin turned around, went back and waited by the doors. Then Zhang Rang and the others said to him:

"The empire is disordered, but that is not our fault alone. The late Emperor was once displeased with the Empress-Dowager and she almost came to being undone. We tearfully begged her release, each of us dispensing our family wealth by the tens of thousands in ceremonies to ameliorate the Exalted One's intentions, and only wishing to do this on behalf of your family. Now you wish to exterminate us, kind and clan; is it not excessive! Now say you: Who is the filth within the offices and who the loyal and pure under the Dukes and Ministers?"[29]

Then, Qu Mu 渠穆, the Supervisor of the Palace Workshop, drew his sword and beheaded the General-in-Chief at the front of the Hall of Excellent Virtue.[29]

When He Jin's forces found out about the death of their general, they stormed the palace and massacred the eunuchs. During the massacre, He Miao was killed for siding with the eunuchs. Empress He and Emperor Shao were later killed by Dong Zhuo.


See alsoEdit

Art galleryEdit


  1. According to Carl Leban's translation of He Jin's HHS biography Jian Shi was appointed "Chief Leader in charge of all officers below Colonel Director of Retainers".[11]
  2. The Axe of Execution symbolizes the authority to kill captives.[11]
  3. Paul Michaud says there were exactly ten men sent to kill He Jin[26]
  4. Hans Bielenstein observes that He Jin must have been brought by force to the Hall of Excellent Virtue from the site of his arrest near the Empress-Dowager's apartments.[28]

Fact vs FictionEdit


  • …He Jin wasn't as foolish and as easily influenced as the novel makes him out to be.
  • …He Jin wasn't lured into the palace and killed by fifty armed assassin's who worked for Zhang Rang and Duan Gui. Instead he was killed by the eunuch Qu Mu 渠穆, after He Jin had visited the Empress of his own accord.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 de Crespigny, A Biographical Dictionary, biography of He Jin pages 311-2
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 de Crespigny, A Biographical Dictionary, biography of He, the Lady page 309
  3. de Crespigny, A Biographical Dictionary, biography of Ma Yuanyi page 661
  4. 4.0 4.1 Leban, Ts'ao Ts'ao and the Rise of Wei, page 82
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 de Crespigny, Emperor Huan and Emperor Ling, Zhongping 1
  6. 6.0 6.1 Beck, The fall of Han, page 324
  7. de Crespigny, A Biographical Dictionary, biography of Fan Zeng page 207
  8. 8.0 8.1 Beck, The fall of Han, page 325
  9. Beck, The fall of Han, page 326
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 de Crespigny, Emperor Huan and Emperor Ling, Zhongping 5
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 Leban, Ts'ao Ts'ao and the Rise of Wei, page 127
  12. Leban, Ts'ao Ts'ao and the Rise of Wei, page 126
  13. Leban, Ts'ao Ts'ao and the Rise of Wei, pages 126-127
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 de Crespigny, Emperor Huan and Emperor Ling, Zhongping 6
  15. Leban, Ts'ao Ts'ao and the Rise of Wei, page 127-128
  16. Leban, Ts'ao Ts'ao and the Rise of Wei, page 128
  17. 17.00 17.01 17.02 17.03 17.04 17.05 17.06 17.07 17.08 17.09 17.10 17.11 17.12 17.13 17.14 17.15 17.16 17.17 de Crespigny, To Establish Peace, Zhongping 6
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 Leban, Ts'ao Ts'ao and the Rise of Wei, page 129
  19. de Crespigny, A Biographical Dictionary, biography of Dong Zhong, page 273
  20. Leban, Ts'ao Ts'ao and the Rise of Wei, page 130
  21. Leban, Ts'ao Ts'ao and the Rise of Wei, page 130-131
  22. Leban, Ts'ao Ts'ao and the Rise of Wei, page 131
  23. Leban, Ts'ao Ts'ao and the Rise of Wei, page 132
  24. Leban, Ts'ao Ts'ao and the Rise of Wei, page 133-134
  25. Leban, Ts'ao Ts'ao and the Rise of Wei, page 136
  26. Michaud, The Yellow Turbans in Monumenta Serica XVII, page 108.
  27. Leban, Ts'ao Ts'ao and the Rise of Wei, page 136-137
  28. Bielenstein, Lo-yang, page 99
  29. 29.0 29.1 Leban, Ts'ao Ts'ao and the Rise of Wei, page 137
  30. Fan Ye, Hou Han shu, 卷10