Ten Ancient Chinese Women Warriors

January 12, 2011
Editor: Zhao Chenxi


Xun Guan


Ten Ancient Chinese Women Warriors
13-year old Xun Guan leads the battle charge. [997788.com]

Xun Guan lived in the Western Jin Dynasty (265-316). Her father Xun Song, was the governor of Xiangyang. Du Zeng, one of his officials, staged a revolt and surrounded Xiangyang city, threatening to kill Xun Song and those loyal to him. Citizens of Xiangyang helped Xun Song's army to defend the city, but as the battle raged, army provisions dwindled. The only solution was to break through the surrounding enemy forces and ride to neighboring Pingnan to ask Xun's ally General Shi Lan for reinforcements. But seemingly impenetrable forces encased the city.

After two days no one had volunteered, and Xun Song himself prepared to carry out this mission. His 13-year-old daughter Xun Guan, however, insisted that his people needed him and that he should let her try. Xun Song knew his daughter was adept at martial arts but nevertheless feared she would perish in this valiant attempt to save Xiangyang and its people. Xun Guan's brilliant strategy, however, convinced him.

Xun Guan had noticed that the enemy's defenses slackened at night after a day's hard battle. She proposed leading a crack team of soldiers to break through their lines when they least expected it.

That night, Xun Guan and over a dozen warriors rode out of the city and successfully broke through the enemy ranks as they slept. Upon arriving at Pingnan she informed General Shi Lan of the desperate situation in Xianyang and asked for his help. But Shi Lan doubted his troops were sufficient to help Xun Song defeat his enemies, and suggested asking General Zhou Fang for more reinforcements. Xun Guan addressed a letter to General Zhou on behalf of her father.

Xun Guan wrote: "If Xiangyang loses ground, the treacherous army will also threaten the safety of our neighbors. Your city will be the first to be attacked. I ask on behalf of my father Xun Song, that the General send his troops along with those of General Shi Lan to help Xiangyang defeat Du Zeng's army and so safeguard your city."

The letter convinced Zhou Fang to send his son as head of a force of three thousand soldiers to advance, in tandem with Shi Lan's troops, on the armies surrounding Xiangyang.

When the two armies arrived, Xun Song led his troops out of the city and Du Zeng's army was attacked from both directions, forcing Du to retreat.

The troops and people of Xiangyang were thus saved. Xun Song expressed gratitude to Generals Shi Lan and Zhou Fang. Holding Xun Guan's hand, Shi Lan told Xun Song: "You daughter is clever and brave. I am envious of you!" Zhou Fang added:  "Xiangyang is no longer under siege and the people are saved. Respect and thanks to young Xun Guan!"


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