the Land Within the Passes, or Guanzhong, was the area surrounding Changan.
In the ending years of Wang Mang’s usurpation, rebels ran the country. The Red Eyebrows rebels were one of the most active of the robber bands. They finally captured Changan, and Wang Mang was killed in the fighting. ……
Yang Biao, Minister of the Interior, said, “I pray you reflect. The Land Within the Passes* is all destruction. There is no reason to renounce the ancestral temples and abandon the imperial tombs here. I fear the people will be alarmed. It is easy to alarm them but difficult to pacify them.”
“Do you oppose the state plans？” said Dong Zhuo angrily.
Another official, Grand Commander Huang Wan, supported his colleague, “In the era of Recommencement （AD 23-25）, Fan Chong of the Red Eyebrows rebels burned Changan to the ground and reduced the place to broken tiles*. The inhabitants scattered all but a few. It is wrong to abandon these palaces here for a wasteland.”
Dong Zhuo replied, “the East of the Pass is full of sedition, and all the empire is in rebellion. The city of Changan is protected by the Yaohan Mountains and the Hangu Pass. Moreover, it is near Longyou, whence can be easily brought timber, stone, brick, and building materials. In a month or so palaces can be erected. So an end to your wild words！”
Yet Minister of Works Xun Shuang raised another protest against disturbing the people, but Dong Zhuo overbore him also.
“How can I stop to consider a few common people when my scheme affects the empire？” said Dong Zhuo.
That day the three objectors——Yang Biao, Huang Wan, and Xun Shuang——were removed from their offices and reduced to the rank of commoners.
As Dong Zhuo went out to get into his coach, he met two other officers who made obeisance. They were the Chair of the Secretariat, Zhou Bi, and the Commander of the City Gates, Wu Qiong. Dong Zhuo stopped and asked them what they wanted.
Said Zhou Bi, “We venture to try to dissuade you from moving the capital to Changan.”
Dong Zhuo replied, “You two persuaded me to give Yuan Shao office. Now he has already turned traitor, and you are of the same party！”
And without more ado he bade his
guards take both outside the city
and put them to death. The command
to remove to the new capital immediately was issued.