Sun Shao and Yu Shao

Sun Ce had two sons, one biologically his own who was born posthumously, and one who was brought into the clan but not adopted. Romanization causes their names to both be written as Sun Shao; however, the adopted son was originally named Yu Shao. Though he took on the name Sun Shao, for the sake of discerning between the two, Sun Ce’s biological son will be referred to as Sun Shao and the other Sun Shao will be referred to by his birth name of Yu Shao.

Sun Shao was conceived not long before Sun Ce’s untimely death. He was born to Lady Qiao, Sun Ce’s wife. He was born in 200 AD and does not have a death date recorded, though it is said that he died young. He held the titles Marquis of Wu and Marquis of Shangyu, but despite these ranks, there is some criticism of Sun Quan’s treatment of Sun Shao.

Conversely, Yu Shao had a slightly more complicated rise to affluence. When he was only sixteen years old, he was given a test by Sun Quan. Wu’s ruler sought to test Yu Shao’s ability by sending an attack on him during the night.

This situation can be taken two different ways. In one sense, it can be seen as a legitimate testament to Yu Shao’s preparedness and his ability to react to a situation that presented itself suddenly. However, at the same time, this was still a feigned attack. The level of brutality in which Sun Quan ordered his men to participate is debatable. Following this line of analysis, Yu Shao was essentially given the rank of colonel for a triumph over a fake battle while most of his peers needed to achieve in actual conflict in order to climb to that status. While some may see the situation as nepotism, others may nod in approval since Sun Quan was technically looking after someone his late brother wished to bring into the family.