Sun Jian also known as Sun Chien
or Ordinary name
A character in the early parts of Luo Guan Zhong's epic Romance of the Three Kingdoms novel based on the Three Kingdoms period of China, circa 2nd century A.D.. The character of Sun Jian is based on a historical figure as almost all of the novel's characters are.
Sun Jian was a young but distinguished man during the time of the Yellow Turbans. He had been memorialized to the throne for beating a band of pirates with his father and also in defeating the rebellion of Hsu Ch'ang, who styled himself the Yangming Emperor. All this he had accomplished at a very young age, earning himself the respect and fear of many on the battlefield. He like his son, Sun Ce, after him was brash and headstrong man, but he was a brilliant leader and one of the most feared officers of the early part of the Three Kingdoms Era.
When the fighting versus the Yellow Turbans started, Sun Jian gathered together a company and a half of veteran soldiers and joined the war. He first shows up at the siege Wancheng. He offered his services to Chu Chien, alongside Liu Bei (Liu Pei) (Bei had already been at the siege, but was likewise only a minor official).
Sun Jian was given the task of assualting the south gate. He was first to mount the wall, slaying a score of men. He then personally killed the rebel leader Chao Hung and, mounting the defeated rebel's horse, slaugtered multitudes of the rebel forces.
Sun Jian, after his actions in the siege of Wancheng and with the many influential friends he had gathered already was quickly given the position of prefect of Changsha as reward for his valor.
When Cao Cao (Tsao Tsao) formed his coalition against Dong Zhou (Tung Cho), Sun Jian was specifically asked to join. During the councils, Sun Jian offered to go to Ssushui pass and there to provoke Dong Zhou's forces to battle. Sun Jian met Zhou's commander Hua Hsiang in battle at the pass. The defenders in the pass presented too strong a position and Sun Jian was forced to wait them out at Liangtung. His request to the commissary Yuan Shu for supplies was ignored though as Shu feared Sun Jian even more than Dong Zhou. Sun Jian's starving men where then easy prey for the forces of Hua Hsiang and his army was routed.
Later in the war Sun Jian would occupy the pass when it was abandoned by Dong Zhou's men as the fled Luoyang (Loyang) to Changan.
Actually Dong Zhou had fled when his proposal of a marriage alliance to Sun Jian was disregarded. At Sun Jian's insistance that he would destroy all nine generations of Zhou's family, Zhou fled the only man he truly feared, Sun Jian.
He joined in the battle to take the razed city of Loyang (Luoyang). Near where he set up his command tent in the city of Loyang, he found a well containing the corpse of a woman. This woman was holding a engraved box. Inside the box Sun Jian found the hereditary seal of the emperor. This emblem was used to mark official documents and commands of the emperor. When he was confronted by Yuan Shao over his possession of the seal, Sun Jian left the assmebly, but Yuan Shao was not satisfied and sent word to the Prefect of Chingchou a man by the name of Liu Biao (Liu Piao) to detain Sun Jian.
As Sun Jian was passing through the lands of Liu Biao, he was surrounded in an ambush. Sun Jian lost half his men, as well as three of his best officers, escaping the ambush.
As it happened, shortly after Yuan Shu made two requests, one to Yuan Shao for horses and one to Liu Biao for grain. Both requests were denied. Shu become greatly angry at these two, and tried to get Sun Jian to join him in a plot. When Yuan Shao and Liu Biao attacked Sun Jian's land Yuan Shu would fall upon his brother, Yuan Shao, and Sun Jian would destroy Liu Biao. Sun Jian greatly angry at both agreed with the sentiment, but trusted Yuan Shu not at all. So alone he and his son, Sun Ce (Sun Ts'e) attacked Liu Biao.
Defeating the forces of Huang Tsu, Sun Jian moved steadily forward. Outside of Hsiangyang, Cai Mao's (Ts'ai Mao) forces where soundly defeated by Sun Jian. One of Liu Biao's officers, Lu Kung, was given the command to break through Sun Jian's lines with 500 men. They would make for a nearby hill, and when Sun Jian threatened, would them roll boulders down on the forces of Jian. As Sun Jian charged the hill he was met by arrows and stones. His life was ended at the age of 37, when he was hit by three arrows and finally a large stone, which crushed his head. The corpse of Sun Jian was captured.
After his death, Sun Jian's son, Sun Ce was the new lord. In exchange for the body of Sun Jian, he agreed to give up the prisoner Huang Tsu and to retreat from Liu Biao's lands. Though he did so, the emnimity started over a jade ring never ended.
Note :: All names in parentheses () are alternate spellings, or in some cases familiar names that are used very often in the novel.