Sun Wu 孙吴

The Wu State of three kingdoms period 三国时期


Chinese Name: 孙吴

English Name: Sun Wu, The Wu State

Other Name:The Eastern Wu 东吴, Wu 吴

Duration: About 229 AD – 280 AD

King: Sun Quan 孙权, Sun Hao 孙皓

Sun Wu 孙吴
Sun Wu 孙吴

Brief Introduction

The state of Wu (May 23, 229 to May 1, 280), was one of the separatist regimes during the Three Kingdoms period 三国时期. It was the regime established by Sun Quan 孙权 in Southeast China. And its country name was “Wu 吴”, which was called Sun Wu 孙吴 in the history circle. Due to its confrontation with the Cao Wei 曹魏 and the Shu Han 蜀汉 Dynasty, and its ruling area is in the eastern part of the Three Kingdoms, it is also called the eastern Wu 东吴.

The prosperous territory of Sun Wu includes most of Yangzhou 扬州 and Jingzhou 荆州 in the late Han Dynasty and the whole territory of Jiaozhou 交州. Sun Wu vigorously developed the economy and made great contributions to the development of the Jiangnan region.

Sun Wu 孙吴
The prosperous territory of Sun Wu 孙吴疆域

On May 1, 280, Sun Wu was destroyed by the Western Jin Dynasty 西晋, marking the complete end of the separatist regime since the Three Kingdoms at the end of the Han Dynasty. Sun Wu is the country that has existed for the longest time in the Three Kingdoms. It has experienced 52 years through the four emperors ( or 59 years since it became king of Wu in 222 A.D.).

Major Historical Events

Founding process 建国历程

Sun Jian 孙坚 was a general at the end of the Han Dynasty 汉朝. Due to the accumulation of military achievements, he has been able to lead the governor of Yuzhou. After Sun Jian’s death, his elder son Sun Ce 孙策 developed into Jiangdong 江东. In the third year of Jian’an 建安 in the Han Dynasty (198), the Eastern Han Dynasty granted Sun Ce the title of “Marquis Wu 吴侯”.

Sun Wu 孙吴

After Sun Ce’s death, his younger brother Sun Quan took over the military power. In 220, Cao Wei was established. Later, Sun Quan was attached to Cao Wei on the surface, and was granted the title of “king of Wu”. In 222, he declared independence.

On May 23, 229, Sun Quan proclaimed himself Emperor and took “Wu” as the country’s name. The capital was established in Wuchang 武昌. The year was changed to “Huanglong 黄龙”. Later, the capital was moved to Jianye 建业 (now Nanjing, Jiangsu 江苏南京). Sun Quan’s remaining difficulties are dealing with the harassment of Shan Yue 山越 and resisting the pressure of Cao Wei.

Battle of Yiling 夷陵之战

Sun Wu 孙吴
Battle of Yiling 夷陵之战

The battle of Yiling 夷陵 was a large-scale battle launched by Liu Bei 刘备, the ZhaoLie emperor of Shu Han, against the Sun Wu during the Three Kingdoms period. It was a famous successful example of active defense in the history of the ancient war in China, and it was also the last of the “three major battles” of the Three Kingdoms.

In July 221, Liu Bei personally led tens of thousands of Shu Han troops to launch a large-scale war against the state of Wu. Sun Quan rose to the challenge in the face of the strategic attack of the Shu army. At the same time, he sent envoys to submit to Cao Pi 曹丕 to avoid fighting on both sides at the same time. From January to June, the two armies remained at loggerheads. The soldiers of the Shu army gradually became demoralized and lax, losing their active dominant position. Lu Xun 陆逊, the general of the Wu army, saw that the morale of the Shu army was depressed and decided to launch a counterattack.

Sun Wu 孙吴
fire attack 火攻

Lu Xun found a way to break the enemy by attacking the company battalion of the Shu army with fire. He ordered Wu soldiers to set fire in the wind. At that time, the fire was fierce and the Shu army was in chaos. Lu Xun took advantage of the situation to launch a counter-offensive, forcing the Shu army to retreat westward. In this war, Liu Bei’s army was almost wiped out, and tens of thousands of people were killed.

Sun-Liu alliance 孙刘联盟

At the end of the Eastern Han Dynasty, Cao Cao’s 曹操 troops were strong and overwhelming. Liu Bei was defeated and asked for help from Sun Wu. At that time, Sun Quan faced two choices. First, help Liu Bei and attack Cao Cao together, but helping Liu Bei is tantamount to feeding the tiger. Second, not helping Liu Bei, but facing the risk of Cao Cao’s further attack on Jiangdong.

Sun Wu 孙吴
Sun-Liu alliance 孙刘联盟

Zhuge Liang诸葛亮 was appointed to persuade Sun Quan. Later, Lu Su’s 鲁肃 insinuation and Zhou Yu’s 周瑜 contribution strengthened Sun Quan’s confidence in uniting Liu Bei to fight against Cao Cao. Finally, the formation of the Sun-Liu alliance.

So there was the famous battle of Chibi 赤壁之战. Cao Cao was defeated by the sun Liu alliance in the battle of Chibi, and his forces can no longer cross the Yangtze River. The situation of the three kingdoms’ confrontation has gradually taken shape.

Sun Wu 孙吴
Battle of Red Cliffs 赤壁之战

An Ignorant Person 吴下阿蒙

During the Three Kingdoms period, Sun Quan had a famous general named LV Meng 吕蒙. Because his family was poor when he was a child, he had no chance to go to school, so his knowledge was shallow.

Once, Sun Quan said to LV Meng that the official position you hold is very important. You should read more books to increase your knowledge. Lu Meng was very embarrassed and said that he was busy with work and afraid he didn’t have time to study. Sun Quan enlightened him that no matter how busy his work was, he would definitely find some time to study every day. Reading is a lifelong thing. Lu Meng was greatly inspired by Sun Quan’s words. From then on, he began to lose no time in reading.

Sun Wu 孙吴
An Ignorant Person 吴下阿蒙

Once, Lu Meng and knowledgeable Lu Su discussed national affairs. In the conversation, LV Meng made full use of the knowledge he had learned in his books at ordinary times. It was appreciated by Lu Su.

Important Influences

Rich mathematical achievements

The development of astronomy and the calendar during the Three Kingdoms period also promoted the development of mathematics. In Sun Wu, a group of outstanding mathematicians emerged and made landmark achievements in the history of mathematical development. Among them, Zhao Shuang’s 赵爽Zhou Bi Suanjing Zhu” 周髀算经注 is the most famous.

Sun Wu 孙吴
Zhou Bi Suanjing Zhu 周髀算经注

Development of literature and history

The development of the economy and the increase in communication with the outside world have promoted the improvement of Jiangnan 江南 culture. A large number of well-known Confucian scholars and scholars of literature and history emerged in Sun Wu.

Sun Ce and Establishment of Eastern Wu – Three Kingdoms DOCUMENTARY

Chinese Dynasties

Western Jin Dynasty 西晋

2022-7-14 11:02:38

Chinese Dynasties

Shu Han 蜀汉

2022-7-14 11:03:37

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