The Battle of Pengya

posted 29 Jan 2016, 12:46 by Jim Sheng   [ updated 29 Jan 2016, 13:03 ]

Pengya. Battle of (or P'eng-ya) battle in 624 BC in which the Chinese State Of Jin defeated Duke Mu Of Qin. Qin invaded Jin and captured several towns including Pengya. Jin leader Marquis Xiang sent military commander Xian Chuju to recover them. He defeated the Qin forces completely with a fierce chariot charge. Jin recovered most of the towns, Including Pengya. 






In the 2d year, in spring, Mengming Shi of Qin led an army against Jin, to repay his defeat at Yao. In the 2d month, the marquis of Jin went to meet him, Xian Qieju commanding the army of the centre, with Zhao Cui as his assistant. Wudi of Wangguan acted as charioteer, and Hu Juju was spearman on the right. On Jiazi they fought in Pengya, when the army of Qin received a severe defeat, the men of Jin calling it the army with which Qin acknowledged their marquis's gift [See Mengming's language at the end of the Zhuan on p. 3 of the 33d year of duke Xi]. 

At the battle of Yao, Liang Hong had been charioteer, and Lai Ju the spearman on the right. On the day after it, duke Xiang had one of the prisoners bound, and ordered Lai Ju to kill him with a spear. The prisoner gave a shout, and Ju dropt the spear, on which Lang Shen took it up, killed him, and, taking his left ear, followed the marquis's chariot, who made him the spearman on the right.

At the battle of Ji, Xian Zhen degraded Lang Shen, and appointed Xu Jianbo in his place. Lang Shen was angry, and one of his friends said to him, "Why not die here?" He replied, "I have here no proper place to die in." "Let me and you do a difficult thing," said the friend [Meaning that they should kill the general]; but Lang Shen replied, 'It is said in one of the histories of Zhou, 'The brave who kills his superior shall have no place in the hall of Light.' He who dies doing what is not righteous is not brave; he who dies in the public service is brave. By bravery I sought the place of spearman on the right; I am degraded as not being brave; —it is my present place. If I should say that my superior does not know me, and did that which would make my degradation right, I should only prove that he did know me. Wait a little, my friend."

'At Pengya, when the army was marshalled for the battle, Lang Shen, with his own followers, dashed into the army of Qin, and died. The army of Jin followed him, and gained a great victory. The superior man will say that Lang Shen in this way proved himself a superior man. It is said in the ode [Shi, II. v. ode IV. 2]:—

"Let the superior man be angry. And disorder will be stopt;" 

and again [Shi, III. i. ode VII. 5]:—

"The king rose majestic in his wrath, And marshalled his troops." 

When Lang in his anger would not be guilty of disorder, but went on to do good service in the army, he may be called a superior man.

'The earl of Qin, [notwithstanding this fresh defeat], still employed Mengming, who paid increased attention to the government of the State, and made great largesses to the people. Zhao Cheng [Cheng is the hon. title of Zhao Cui] said to the officers of Jin, "The army of Qin will be here again, and we must get out of its way. He who in his apprehension increases his virtue cannot be matched. The ode says [Shi, III. i. ode 1.6]:

"Ever think of your ancestors, Cultivating your virtue." 

It is in this way that Mengming thinks. Thinking of his virtue, without remitting his efforts, can he be resisted?" '