Created: 2021-12-21. Last edit: 2021-12-23. Index.


Translation given: Yin Ziqi had besieged the city for a long time. The food in the city had run out. The dwellers traded their children to eat and cooked bodies of the dead. Fears were spread and worse situations were expected. At this time, Zhang Xun took his concubine out and killed her in front of his soldiers in order to feed them. He said, "You have been working hard at protecting this city for the country wholeheartedly. Your loyalty is uncompromised despite the long-lasting hunger. Since I can't cut out my own flesh to feed you, how can I keep this woman and just ignore the dangerous situation?" All the soldiers cried, and they did not want to eat. Zhang Xun ordered them to eat the flesh. Afterwards, they caught the women in the city. After the women were run out, they turned to old and young males. 20,000 to 30,000 people were eaten. People always remained loyal.

Character-by-character mapping: (govern, yin) (child, zi) (strange, qi) (attack, gong) (surround, wei) (already, ji) (long-time, jiu) , (castle, cheng) (middle, zhong) (food, liang) (exhaust, jin) , (change, yi) (child, zi) (and/for/to, er) (eat, shi) , (divide, xi) (skeleton/corpse/body, hai) (and/for/to, er) (oven/cook, cuan) , (man, ren) (heart, xin) (dangerous, wei) (fear, kong) , (concerned, lv) (going-to/future/general, jiang) (have/exist, you) (change/rebel, bian) . (patrol, xun) (then/indeed, nai) (go-out, chu) (their, qi) (concubine, qie) , (correct/facing, dui) (three, san) (army/soldiers, jun) (kill/reduce, sha) (of/modifier/go-to, zhi) , (by-means-of/thereby/in-order-to, yi) (banquet, xiang) (army/soldiers, jun) (scholar/soldier, shi) . (say, yue) : “ (several, zhu) (fair/public/duke, gong) (do/govern/be, wei) (nation, guo) (house/family, jia) (kill/oppress, lu) (power, li) (defend, shou) (castle/city, cheng) , (one, yi) (heart/mind/soul, xin) (not, wu) (two, er) , (classics/pass-thru, jing) (year, nian) (lack/poor, fa) (eat, shi) , (loyalty, zhong) (righteousness, yi) (not, bu) (decline/weaken, shuai) . (patrol, xun) (not, bu) (able-to, neng) (self/private/from, zi) (cut/partition, ge) (muscle-tissue, ji) (skin/superficial, fu) , (by-means-of/thereby/in-order-to, yi) (eat/chew/entice, dan) (going-to/future/general, jiang) (scholar/soldier, shi) , (how/what, qi) (may/possibly, ke) (pity, xi) (this/these/then, ci) (wife/lady, fu) , (sit/seat/ride, zuo) (look-at, shi) (dangerous/high, wei) (coerce/urgent, po) . ” (going-to/future/general, jiang) (scholar/soldier, shi) (all/everybody, jie) (cry, qi) (under/down/inferior, xia) , (not, bu) (endure/suffer, ren) (eat, shi) , (patrol, xun) (strong/energetic, qiang) (command/magistrate/allow/cause, ling) (eat, shi) (of/modifier/go-to, zhi) . (then/indeed, nai) (include/enclose, kuo) (castle/city, cheng) (middle, zhong) (wife/lady, fu) (man, ren) ; (already/since, ji) (exhaust/deplete, jin) , (by-means-of/thereby/in-order-to, yi) (male/son/baron, nan) (man/husband/those, fu) (old/experienced, lao) (small/insignificant, xiao) (continue, ji) (of/modifier/go-to, zhi) , (place, suo) (eat, shi) (man, ren) (mouth/entrance, kou) (two, er) (three, san) (ten-thousand, wan) , (man, ren) (heart, xin) (end/finally, zhong) (not, bu) (leave/go-away/separate, li) (change/rebel, bian) .

Picking meanings or sounds: YIN ZI QI attack surround already long-time, castle middle food exhaust, change child and/for/to eat, divide skeleton/corpse/body and/for/to oven/cook, man heart dangerous fear, concerned going-to/future/general have/exist change/rebel. XUN then/indeed go-out their concubine, correct/facing three army/soldiers kill/reduce of/modifier/go-to, by-means-of/thereby/in-order-to banquet army/soldiers scholar/soldier. say: "several fair/public/duke do/govern/be nation house/family kill/oppress power defend castle/city, one heart/mind/soul not two, classics/pass-thru year lack/poor eat, loyalty righteousness not decline/weaken. XUN not able-to self/private/from cut/partition muscle-tissue skin/superficial, by-means-of/thereby/in-order-to eat/chew/entice going-to/future/general scholar/soldier, how/what may/possibly pity this/these/then wife/lady, sit/seat/ride look-at dangerous/high coerce/urgent." going-to/future/general scholar/soldier all/everybody cry under/down/inferior, not endure/suffer eat, XUN strong/energetic command/magistrate/allow/cause eat of/modifier/go-to. then/indeed include/enclose castle/city middle wife/lady man ; already/since exhaust/deplete, by-means-of/thereby/in-order-to male/son/baron man/husband/those old/experienced small/insignificant continue of/modifier/go-to, place eat man mouth/entrance two three ten-thousand, man heart end/finally not leave/go-away/separate change/rebel.

Picking meanins from near-synonyms: Yin Zi Qi attack surround already long-time, city within food exhaust, trade child for eat, divide corpse to cook, man heart dangerous fear, concerned future exist change. Xun then go-out their concubine, facing three soldiers kill of, in-order-to banquet army soldier. Say: "Several public do nation house kill power defend city, one heart not two, pass-thru year lack eat, loyalty righteousness not weaken. Xun not able-to self cut muscle-tissue skin, in-order-to eat going-to soldier, how possibly pity this wife, sit look-at dangerous urgent." Future soldier everybody cry under, not endure eat, Xun strong command eat of. Then enclose city within wife man; already exhaust, by-means-of male man old small continue of, place eat man mouth two three ten-thousand, man heart finally not go-away rebel.

Source: from the Wikipedia article on the Battle of Suiyang, ultimately from The Old Book of Tang.