Sun Jian (ca. 155 – 191) was a military general and minor warlord during the late Eastern Han Dynasty and Three Kingdoms era in ancient China. He allied himself with Yuan Shu in 190 when warlords from eastern China formed a coalition to oust Dong Zhuo, a tyrannical warlord who held the puppet Emperor Xian in his power. Although he controlled neither many troops nor much land, Sun Jian's personal bravery and resourcefulness were feared by Dong Zhuo, who placed him among Yuan Shao, Yuan Shu and Liu Biao as the most influential men at that time. After the coalition disbanded in the next year, China fell into massive civil war. In 191, Sun Jian was killed in battle during an offensive campaign against Liu Biao.
Sun Jian was also the father of Sun Quan, one of the central figures of the Three Kingdoms era who eventually established the Eastern Wu state and declared himself its first emperor in 229, whereupon Sun Jian was given the posthumous title of Emperor Wulie (武烈皇帝).
Born in the Fuchun Prefecture of the Wu Commandery (吳郡富春, present day Fuyang, Zhejiang), Sun Jian was said to be a descendant of the renowned military strategist Sun Tzu, author of The Art of War. He was a civil officer in his prefecture during his youth. When he was sixteen, Sun Jian travelled with his father to Qiantang (錢唐, present day Hangzhou, Zhejiang), where they came upon a band of pirates dividing up their spoils on land. Sūn Jiān jumped on shore with a sabre in hand and pointed in different directions as if commanding a detachment of soldiers to surround the pirates. Seeing this, the pirates were deceived and fled. Sun Jian pursued, and only after taking the head of every pirate did he return (or just the leader's according to some accounts). His name henceforth spread.
In 184, the Yellow Turban Rebellion led by Zhang Jiao broke out across the country. Sun Jian joined the general Zhu Jun to quell the rebellion in Yuzhou (豫州, present day southern Henan and northern Anhui) area. The soldiers fought hard, forcing the rebels to retreat to Wancheng (宛城, present day Nanyang, Henan). Sun Jian placed himself in the forefront and climbed onto the city walls alone. The rest then swarmed in and defeated the rebels.
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