Sun Quan

From Academic Kids

Sun Quan (孫權 pinyin: Sūn Qun) (182 - 252), son of Sun Jian, was the third ruler of "the State of Wu" and the founder of Kingdom of Wu, during the Three Kingdoms period, in China. He ruled from 200 to 222 as Wu Wang (King of Wu) and from 222 to 252 as Emperor of the Wu Dynasty.

The Sanguo Zhi records that Sun Quan's father Sun Jian was a descendant of Sun Tzu, the great military strategist of the Warring States period. According to later tradition, Sun Quan was born on Sunzhou ("Sun Island", later Wangzhou - "King's Island"), an islet at the intersection of the Fuchun River and one of its tributaries. Local folklore relates a story about how Sun Quan's grandfather Sun Zhong was originally a melon farmer on the islet.

In his youth Sun Quan spent time in his home county of Fuchun, and after his father's death in the early 190s, at various cities on the Lower Yangtze River. His elder brother Sun Ce carved out a warlord state in the region, based on his own followers and a number of local clan allegiances. When Sun Ce was assassinated by the retainers of Xu Gong, a clan leader, in 200, the eighteen-year-old Sun Quan inherited the lands of Yangzhou province from his brother. It is an achievement that his administration proved to be relatively stable in those early years. Sun Jian and Sun Ce's most senior officers, such as Zhou Yu, Zhang Zhao and Cheng Pu remained loyal. Throughout the 200s Sun Quan continued to build up his strength along the Yangtze River. In early 207, his forces finally won complete victory over Huang Zu, a military leader under Liu Biao, who dominated the Middle Yangtze.

In winter of that year, the northern warlord Cao Cao led an army of some 200,000 to conquer south to complete the reunification of China. Two distinct factions emerged at his court on how to handle the situation. One, led by Zhang Zhao, urged surrender whilst the other, led by Zhou Yu and the young diplomat Lu Su, opposed capitulation. In the finality, Sun Quan decided to oppose Cao Cao in the Middle Yangtze with his superior riverine forces. Allied with the refugee warlord Liu Bei, they defeated Cao Cao decisively at the Battle of Red Cliffs.

In 220, Cao Pi, son of Cao Cao, seized the throne and proclaimed himself to be the Emperor of China, ending the nominal rule of the Han dynasty. At first Sun Quan wanted to be a king serving the Wei dynasty under Cao Pi, but he failed to make a deal, and so in 222, he declared himself to be the founder of the Kingdom of Wu. It was not until the year 229 that he formally declared himself to be emperor.

Because of his skill in gathering important, honorable men to his cause, Sun Quan was able to delegate authority to capable figures. This primary strength served him well in gaining the support of the common people and surrounding himself with capable generals.

Sun Quan died in 252 at the age of 71. He enjoyed the longest reign among all the founders of the Three Kingdoms. He was succeeded as Emperor of Wu by his son Sun Liang.

See also: Chinese history -- Chinese sovereign -- Sanguoyanyi -- Zhou Tai

zh-cn:孙权ja:孫権 fr:Sun Quan


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