原創翻譯:龍騰網 http://www.ternionm.com 翻譯:青丘國的守護者 轉載請注明出處

Put sharp and shortly, the Jinyiwei (錦衣衛) or “Brocade-Clad Guard” were the Imperial Secret Police Force of the Ming Emperors, and were given next to unlimited power to torture, punish, arrest and interrogate anyone who the Emperor deemed was a threat to him.

簡而言之,錦衣衛(Jinyiwei)是明朝皇帝的皇家秘密警察部隊,擁有無限的權力來折磨、懲罰、逮捕和審問任何被皇帝視為對他構成威脅的人。

They had and still have no historical International equivalent, but are instead usually considered to be a combination of the Political Commissars of the Soviet unx, the Stasi of the German Democratic Republic, and or the Praetorian Guard of the Roman Empire, or the Janissaries of the Ottoman Empire.

過去到現在都沒有相應的國際機構來作為參照,但通常被認為是蘇聯政治委員,德意志民主共和國(東德)的斯塔西,羅馬帝國的禁衛軍或者奧斯曼帝國的蘇丹親衛結合體

An artist’s impression of the highly secretive Brocade Clad Guard escorting the Emperor’s prized horses during an Imperial Parade:

藝術家對高度隱秘的錦衣衛在皇家閱兵式上護送皇帝的珍貴馬匹的印象:



This was a fact which allowed them to uphold the 276 year long rule of the tyrannical Ming Dynasty of China (1368–1644 AD), unprecedented before in all of Imperial China’s lengthy history, as totalitarian regimes often usually only lasted up to 4 decades at best, for failing to improve the lives of the Chinese people.

這是一個事實,使他們能夠堅持專制的中國明朝(公元1368-1644年)長達276年的統治,這在整個中華帝國的漫長歷史中都是前所未有的,而極權政權通常最多只能維持40多年,因為他們未能改善中國人民的生活。

Towards the end of the Ming Dynasty, their unlimited power blew up to such unprecedented levels, that even the famous Imperial “Mandarin” Officials had to physically bow down to them, each and every time the two parties would come to meet.

到了明朝末年,他們的權力無限膨脹到前所未有的程度,以至于每次兩黨會面時,即使是著名的皇室“內臣”也要親自向他們低頭。

Most notably also, was the fact that absolutely no one in Ming China was off limits to the Brocade Clad Guard with regards to political immunity, not even the Emperor’s own family members, nor the Nobility, nor even the Mandarins themselves. The Law most noticeably, could be ignored and even temporarily changed to accommodate the activities and needs of the Jinyiwei, as they slowly hunted down all enemies of the State across all four corners of the nation.

同樣值得注意的是,在明代中國,絕對沒有人在政治豁免權方面是錦衣衛不敢染指的,即使是皇帝自己的家人,貴族,甚至皇室內臣(太監)本身也是如此。
最明顯的是,法律可以被忽視,甚至暫時改變,以適應錦衣衛的活動和需求,因為他們在全國四個角落緩慢地追捕國家的所有敵人。

An artist’s impression of several Jinyiwei officers guarding the Emperor’s prized possessions:

藝術家對幾個守衛著皇帝珍貴財物的警衣衛軍官的印象:



They were feared both at home and abroad by Ming Chinese and non-Chinese alike, as the Guard often conducted international campaigns regarding reconnaissance directly into the heartland of enemy territories, of which the Ming considered to be a serious threat to the national stability of the Celestial Empire.

錦衣衛讓海內外的中國人聞風喪膽,如果明朝認為對神圣的帝國(天朝)的穩定構成嚴重威脅的話,錦衣衛經常就偵察直接進入敵方領土的心臟地帶開展國際運動。

They were accountable only to the Emperor himself, and came to be feared by all in Ming China alike. It was by their efforts that the Ming Empire became one of the world’s first noticeable, large scale surveillance and Police State, on a scale seldom seen before until then, regarding the amount of people and land area to which it universally applied to and throughout respectively.

他們只對皇帝本人負責,并受到所有明朝中國人的敬畏。
正是在他們的努力下,明朝成為世界上最早的引人注目的大規模監視和警察國家之一,其官員適用的人口和土地面積都是以前罕見的。

The Agents of the Jinyiwei could however be distinguished most of the times easily, as they usually wore a set of brightly coloured Golden embroidered robes, and each member of Jinyiwei meanwhile came attached with both a special distinctive blade, and a badge which allowed them to be identified as one of the members of the Secret Police.

然而,錦衣衛的特工大多數時候都很容易辨認出來,因為他們通常穿著一套色彩鮮艷的金色刺繡長袍,同時每個錦衣衛成員都佩戴著一把特別有特色的刀和一枚徽章,這樣他們就可以被識別為秘密警察中的一員。

An example of a Badge belonging to the Brocade-Clad Guard, this one had inscribed on it specifically, the words “Commander of the Jinyiwei, Ma Shun”:

警衣衛衛隊徽章的一個例子,該徽章上專門刻有“馬順-警衣衛司令官”一詞:



Warning: Slightly long answer dead ahead of 3,600 words, good luck.
Here are the contents for ease of navigation:
Part I: Origins and History of the Brocade-Clad Guard
Part II: Operations, Structure and Rivals of the Embroidered Uniform Guard
Final Summary
Source Utilized

警告:答案略長,超過3600單詞,祝您好運。
以下是簡化導讀的內容:
第一部分:錦衣衛的起源和歷史
第二部分:繡花錦衣衛的作戰,結構和對手
最終總結
來源利用

Chapter I: Origins and History of the Brocade-Clad Guard
The Jinyiwei initially were formed during the turbulent years of the Chinese Revolution against the Mongol Empire, which at the time ruled over all of China under the infamous Yuan Dynasty (1279–1368 AD).
Territories of the Yuan Dynasty at the time:

第一章:錦衣衛的起源和歷史
錦衣衛最初形成于中國反對蒙古帝國的動蕩歲月,當時蒙古帝國統治著整個中國,也就是聲名狼藉的元朝(公元1279-1368年)。
當時的元朝領土:



The Guard, initially a group of dedicated followers were formed as early as 1360 AD, in order to protect one of the many leaders of an otherwise mutually hostile and non-cooperative revolution: the former peasant and Buddhist Monk; Zhu Yuanzhang.

該衛隊最初是一群虔誠的追隨者,早在公元1360年就成立了,目的是保護一場原本相互敵對、不合作的革命的眾多領導人之一:前農民和僧侶;朱元璋。

As such, Zhu often had many potential enemies at any given time which wanted him dead, most notably his archnemesis, and rival revolutionary Chen Youliang, but otherwise they ranged from soldiers to commanders of the Mongol Regime to other Chinese rebels alike. Thus, the Jinyiwei were formed first and foremostly as bodyguards albeit informally at the time, in order to ensure Zhu’s personal safety for this very reason.

因此,朱在任何時候都有許多潛在的敵人想要殺死他,最著名的是他的死敵,而他的競爭對手是革命者陳有亮,但除此之外,錦衣衛防衛的范圍從士兵到蒙古政權的指揮官,再到其他中國叛軍。因此,為了確保朱的人身安全,錦衣衛首先成立了,盡管當時是非正式的,但主要是作為保鏢。

Even when the Revolution was over however, and all his enemies were either “six feet under”, or unlikely as it may have been in jail, instead of disbanding the Guard, Zhu (now the First Emperor of the Ming Dynasty under the title “Hongwu”) instead officially instituted and incorporated them into the Ming Empire, as an officially sanctioned government organization in 1382 AD.

然而,即使革命結束了,他的所有敵人基本都被埋葬了,不太可能有坐牢的,因此朱(作為大明帝國開國皇帝,年號“洪武”)正式成立,他沒有解散錦衣衛,并將其納入明帝國,作為1382年被官方認可的政府組織。

It was an organization which was only initially 500 members strong, but was then rapidly increased in scale merely 3 years later, to approximately 14,000 inquisitors. All members were however, granted merely limited power early on.

這個組織最初只有500名成員,但是僅僅3年后規模迅速增長,監察部隊達到了大約14,000人。然而,所有成員在早期都只被授予了有限的權力。

A portrait of Zhu Yuanzhang, Founder and Emperor Hongwu of the Ming Dynasty of China:

明代洪武皇帝朱元璋的畫像:



Of course, as an intelligent individual, he sensed that no-one would tolerate such a mysterious and unaccountable organization as that of the Brocade-Clad Guard, even if he himself (as an Emperor’s power was not insignificant) was the one to have legalized their activities.

當然,作為一個聰明的人,他意識到沒有人會容忍像錦衣衛這樣神秘莫測的組織,即使他自己(作為一個皇帝的權力很大)是使他們的活動合法化的人。

As such, the Hongwu Emperor tried to justify his actions to the Imperial Government by insisting that he had formed the Jinyiwei, directly in response to the problems that had plagued China in the past, insisting that they were essentially his solution to what he claimed was an ongoing, and recurring large scale political issue.

因此,洪武帝試圖向帝國政府證明自己的行為是正當的,他堅持認為自己成立的錦衣衛,解決了過去困擾中國的問題,堅稱這些問題基本上是他所說的持續和反復出現的大規模政治問題的解決方案。



Territories of the Ming Dynasty at its peak from 1407–28 AD at 6.5 million km^2:

明朝在公元1407年至公元1428年的鼎盛時期的領土,面積為650萬平方千米



By the time it became undeniably clear to even the common people, regarding who the Jinyiwei actually were, the Emperor authorized the Secret Police to expand their operations, and subsequently empowered them such, that they were given the mandated authority, to thus relentlessly hunt down all the enemies of the State officially, but really just all who the Emperor saw or perceived as threats to his reign.

直到平民百姓都清楚地知道錦衣衛到底是誰的時候,皇帝才授權秘密警察擴大行動范圍,并隨后賦予他們權力,使他們得到授權,從而無情地追捕官方上所有的敵人,但實際上只是皇帝所見或認為對其統治構成威脅的所有敵人。

In response to the Emperor’s commands, the Brocade-Clad Guard established their headquarters West of Tiananmen Square, and upgraded their facilities such that they all now came equipped with interrogation rooms, along with prison cells where political prisoners would be housed, in order to make it a secret of their whereabouts to anyone who would potentially come to their rescue, as they suffered under the routine physical, mental and psychological tortures of the Jinyiwei.

為了響應皇帝的命令,錦衣衛在天安門廣場以西設立了司令部,并對其設施進行了升級,現在他們都配備了審訊室,以及關押政治犯的牢房,以便讓任何可能來解救他們的人都不知道他們的下落,因為他們經常被錦衣衛進行身體、精神和心理折磨下遭受折磨。

The “Great Hall of the People” in Modern China today (this is exactly where the former Headquarters of the Jinyiwei were located: West of Tiananmen Square):

今天的中國近代“人民大會堂”(這正是錦衣衛的前總部所在地:天安門廣場西側):



Because they were given full autonomy with regards to who they would hunt down, and when and where this was to be done, it should have been expected thus that within the ranks of the Jinyiwei itself, there was always at any given time no short amount of ongoing power abuse, by the highest ranking officials especially of the Brocade-Clad Guard, who went on frequent “power trips”.

因為他們在追捕別人的時候,何時何地都有充分的自主權,所以應該預料到,在錦衣衛內部,尤其是錦衣衛高級別的官員,經常進行“權力旅行”。

Eventually, in the year 1393 AD, even the Emperor Hongwu who had first commissioned such a malevolent and omnipresent organization, became particular unnerved by them such, that he eventually had them disbanded, especially in response to the sudden execution in one particular instance, of 15–40,000 people by the Jinyiwei (depending on sources), who claimed that they had done so only to protect the Emperor, which was most likely not the entire case obxtively.

最終,在公元1393年,即使是最初委托這樣一個邪惡而無處不在的組織的洪武皇帝,也對他們感到特別不安,以至于他最終解散了他們,特別是為了應付皇帝,錦衣衛(根據來源而定)突然處決了15萬—4萬人的情況,他們聲稱這樣做只是為了保護皇帝,但實際上徇私舞弊。

But such an act did not last long however, and soon enough once more, they were eventually recommissioned and returned to their former post in Chinese society, by the Third Ming Emperor, Yongle who had come to power illegally at the time by overthrowing his nephew, who was before the second Ming Emperor.
An Imperial Portrait of Emperor Yongle, the man who recommisioned the Jinyiwei Embroidered Uniform Guard:

然而,這樣的行為并沒有持續很長時間,很快,他們最終再次被明朝第三代皇帝永樂重新恢復,并回到了他們在中國社會的舊地位。永樂當時是通過推翻明朝第二代皇,也就是他的侄子非法上臺的。

An Imperial Portrait of Emperor Yongle, the man who recommisioned the Jinyiwei Embroidered Uniform Guard:

永樂皇帝的皇家肖像,他重新啟用了錦衣衛刺繡制服的警察(錦衣衛):



With the Jinyiwei now back in operations, and once more officially endorsed by the Emperor, their numbers and base of operations continued to expand. By the time of the Zhengde Emperor of Ming in the earliest years of the 1500s, the Secret Police Force had grown so large that it now numbered at 200,000 agents, far more than enough to secretly manage and manipulate a vast population of what at the time in the early 1500s was approximately (according to rough estimates) 125 million people, creating a large scale Police State essentially.

隨著錦衣衛重新投入運營,并再次得到皇帝的正式認可,他們的數量和行動基地不斷擴大。
到16世紀初明正德皇帝的時候,秘密警察部隊已經發展得如此之大,以至于當時有20萬名特工,這遠遠超過秘密管理和操縱當時在16世紀初約為1.25億人的龐大人口的能力,實質上創造了一個大規模的警察國家。

It was because of the Jinyiwei, that the Ming Dynasty became one of the world’s first police states, where one had to be careful of one’s actions especially in public, but perhaps even at home lest one of the agents from the infamous Jinyiwei was currently tracking you down, subsequently earning you a spot at their headquarters, subjected to days long if not weeks long physical torture as a consequence, for your poor decision.

正是因為錦衣衛,明朝成為世界上最早的警察國家之一,人們必須對自己的行為保持謹慎,特別是在公共場合,但可能甚至在國內,以免臭名昭著的錦衣衛的特工正在追蹤你,隨后為你贏得在他們總部的一席之地,結果是你會因為你的糟糕決定而遭受長達數天(如果不是數周)的肉體折磨。

For roughly two and a half centuries the spectre of the Jinyiwei haunted all China, and was finally only forcefully ended at the end of the Ming Dynasty, when all Imperial agents were summoned back to the Capital of Beijing, in order to defend their Emperor to the death, against the incoming rebels forces of Li Zicheng.

在大約兩個半世紀的時間里,錦衣衛的幽靈縈繞著整個中國,直到明朝末期才最終被強行終結,當時所有的帝國特工都被召回首都北京,以對抗即將到來的李自成叛軍,誓死保衛他們的皇帝。

An artist’s impression of the Jinyiwei tending to the personal horses of the Ming Emperor:

藝術家對錦衣衛照料明朝皇帝私人馬的印象:



After all, for all intents and purposes, they were first and foremostly the personal bodyguard of the Emperor, as they were originally intended to be as such (apart from the Imperial Palace Guards), thus even after the Emperor had suicided by hanging himself, rather than flee for their lives, the Jinyiwei all fought heroically down to the last man, finally ridding China of the Ming Police State once and for all.

畢竟,無論出于何種意圖和目的,他們首先都是皇帝的貼身侍衛,因為他們最初的目的是這樣(皇宮衛士除外),因此,即使在皇帝上吊自殺后,錦衣衛也沒有逃避使命,而是都英勇地戰死最后一人,最終中國沖明朝開始的警察國家被徹底終結。

Alas, by that time however, such a former concern was no longer the largest threat to the nation, as those familiar with Chinese History will know.

唉,到那時,這種以前的擔憂已經不再是對中國最大的威脅,熟悉中國歷史的人就會知道。

Up until that point however, the powers of the Jinyiwei over time had consistently declined, as the Empire became more prosperous, and the Emperors themselves either weaker, or more reluctant to actually rule, allowing the Court Eunuchs instead to seize power for themselves, and the Jinyiwei meanwhile relegated to the lowly position of being little more than a glorified bodyguard at home, yet still noticeably feared abroad.

然而,直到那時,隨著帝國變得更加繁榮,皇帝們自己要么更虛弱,要么更不愿意實際統治,允許朝廷太監奪取權力,隨著時間的推移,錦衣衛的權力一直在下降,同時,錦衣衛也被降到了一個卑微的地位,變得在國內只不過是一個榮耀的保鏢,但在國外卻仍然明顯地令人恐懼。

Part II: Operations, Structure and Rivals of the Embroidered Uniform Guard

第二部分:錦衣衛隊的作戰,結構和對手



As is extremely clear, the Jinyiwei were not just a well funded, and extremely powerful secret force to be reckoned with, but were also very highly organized indeed.

非常清楚的是,錦衣衛不僅是一支資金雄厚、力量強大的秘密部隊,而且組織嚴密。

The Jinyiwei most noticeably did not just operate at home, but also abroad as well, indirectly protecting the nation also, as of course an invasion especially by the former Mongol Empire would hurt not only China, but the Emperor as well. They did this by serving as the State’s chief and foremost Military Intelligence Agency, and often monitored the movement of foreign armies if they trekked anywhere near the borders of the Ming Empire.

最明顯的是,錦衣衛不僅在國內運作,而且在國外也在運作,間接地保護國家,當然,特別是前蒙古帝國的入侵不僅會傷害中國,也會傷害皇帝。他們作為國家的主要和最重要的軍事情報機構來執行這項任務,并且經常監視外國軍隊在明朝邊境附近的任何地方的行動。

An artist’s impression of what a Jinyiwei Agent was supposed to look like, with both his distinctive golden robes, and sword present:

一位藝術家對一位錦衣衛經紀人的印象,他穿著獨特的金色長袍,手持寶劍:



Supposedly, certain members of the Jinyiwei were even sent in deep cover operations into the heartland of Mongolia, where the agents posed as one of the nomads themselves, in order to directly acquire and relay back home, all information which they interpreted could help the Ming Imperial Army defeat the Mongols, should they invade again, which widespread paranoia would have it at the time was virtually a given.

據說,錦衣衛的某些成員甚至被派往蒙古的心臟地帶進行深度臥底行動,在那里特工們自己假扮成游牧民族之一,方便直接獲取和傳遞信息回國,他們解釋的所有信息都可以幫助明朝皇帝的軍隊擊敗再次入侵的蒙古人,當時存在這種(蒙古入侵)疑慮是肯定的。

However, it was at home rather than abroad that they were the most feared. The mere fact that they existed for the sole purpose which they did, was a thought which scared most individuals of the Ming citizenry straight out of their minds.

然而,最令人畏懼的是國內,而不是國外。他們的存在是為了唯一的目的,這一事實本身就是一種把大多數明代公民嚇得魂不附體事情。

The issue is, that the laws of the Empire of Ming applied to everyone, and everywhere within the Ming Empire itself, except for when the Guard required so otherwise. All who committed crimes were to be put on trial first before being sentenced, unless the Guard commanded so otherwise.

問題是,明朝的法律適用于每個人,也適用于明朝本身的任何地方,除非警察另有要求。所有犯罪的人都要先受審,然后再判刑,除非警察另有命令。

The Jinyiwei were special in that they could hunt down anyone whenever, and wherever, and could even skip the entire trial process, and go straight to the punishment stage, in order to extract a confession, or simply to torture for the sake of it. Whenever they were around, one’s legal rights or “due process” was immediately revoked, if they said so.

錦衣衛的特別之處在于,他們可以隨時隨地追捕任何人,甚至可以跳過整個審判過程,直接進入懲罰階段,以求招供,或者干脆屈打成招。只要他們在場,一個人的合法權利或“正當程序”就立即被撤銷,如果他們這樣說的話。

An image below depicting the Late Ming Era Armour adorned by the Jinyiwei (Source: UNIT. Late Ming Imperial Guard 錦衣衛連鐶甲):

下圖為錦衣衛所佩戴的晚明盔甲(資料來源:晚明錦衣衛連鐶甲):



Even the Ming Imperial Army itself was not safe however, for the fact remained that each strike force at any given time always came equipped with an agent of the Jinyiwei, who did not fall under the command of the Ming General, and could instead act entirely independently of what was the norm for the Army.

然而,即使是明朝的軍隊本身也不安全,因為事實是,在任何時候,每一支打擊部隊都配備了一名錦衣衛特工,這名特工不受明朝將軍的指揮,可以完全獨立于軍隊的規范行事。

This was done to ensure absolute compliance with the Emperor’s commands, thus ensuring that whatever needed to be done, was always done (at least in theory), the agents of the Brocade-Clad Guard thus, were also political commissars in this regard, resembling the commissars of the Soviet unx, who would likewise monitor the Soviet Armed Forces for signs of disobedience to the State, or in the case of the Jinyiwei, the Emperor.

這樣做是為了確保絕對服從皇帝的命令,從而確保凡是需要做的事情都會貫徹到底(至少在理論上是這樣),因此錦衣衛的代表也是這方面的政委,類似于蘇聯的政委,同樣,他也會監督蘇聯軍隊是否有不服從國家的跡象,同理,錦衣衛的情況一樣。

Fear defined the relationship between all peoples of high and low with respects to the Jinyiwei. They were an omnipotent and seemingly omnipresent force, which could strike at any given time.

所有上下層的人民都因為恐懼而敬重錦衣衛。他們是一支無所不能,似乎無處不在的力量,可以在任何給定的時間發動攻擊。



For example, it was directly as a result of the efforts of the Brocade-Clad Guard’s Southern Division, rather than that of Chinese Scientists and Engineers, that much of the Ming Empire’s Missile Technologies were first experimented upon, before subsequently being applied to the relevant areas of the Imperial Army, when they had finished being developed, and were especially supplied thus to those stationed all along the Great Wall of China.

例如,明朝的許多導彈火器技術,直接是由于錦衣衛南鎮撫司的努力的結果,而不是來自中國的科學家和工程師的努力。大明帝國的許多導彈技術首先由他們進行了試驗,然后應用到帝國軍隊的相關領域,那時它們已經完成了發展起來的,特別是供應給長城沿線的人。

An image below of the Great Wall of China, which was already manned by 11 armies all across, were subsequently then bolstered in strength when missile technologies developed by the Jinyiwei were further given to them, greatly increasing the fortifications of the Great Wall:

下面是一幅中國長城的圖景,當時已經有11個軍隊在各地駐扎,隨后,當錦衣衛開發的導彈技術進一步提供給他們時,長城的力量得到了加強,大大增加了長城的防御工事:



The Jinyiwei did not always remain so powerful either, but more and more were forced to “share” their power at home, with other domestic agencies, most widely known of which were the Eunuch sponsored Intelligence Agencies of the infamous Western and Eastern Bureaus, which acted to counter the efforts of the Brocade-Clad Guard.

錦衣衛也并不總是那么強大,但越來越多的錦衣衛被迫在國內“分享”自己的權力,與其他國內機構,其中最廣為人知的是臭名昭著的東西局(東西廠)的宦官贊助的情報機構,這些機構的行動是為了對抗錦衣衛的努力。

This was only made possible because as time went on, the Ming Empire grew more corrupt, the Emperor grew weaker meanwhile, and as a result rose the Eunuch Faction of the Imperial Court.

這之所以成為可能,是因為隨著時間的推移,明朝越來越腐敗,皇帝也越來越虛弱,從而興起了朝廷的宦官派系。

In direct contrast to the Embroidered Uniform Guard which was owned by the Emperor, and therefore directly reported to him, the Western and Eastern Bureaus were owned and sponsored by the Court Eunuchs, who during especially the later half of the Ming Empire, became one of the most powerful political factions in the Celestial Empire.

與皇帝所擁有的直接向皇帝匯報的錦衣衛形成鮮明對比的是,東西廠都是由朝廷太監所擁有和贊助的,特別是在明朝后半期,太監成為天朝最強大的政治派別之一。

Their power and wealth became so great, and unstoppable, that it even begun to perhaps equal if not eclipse the Ming Government itself, which was run by the Mandarins. As the Eunuchs did not trust their rivals; the Imperial Government, nor the Prime Minister who lead it, they instead resorted to relying on the Bureaus which they had created, to supply to them an alternative source of information which was “untainted”.

他們的權力和財富變得如此巨大,勢不可擋,甚至可能開始與明朝政府平起平坐,明朝政府是由官員管理的。由于太監們不信任他們的競爭對手,帝國政府,也不信任領導它的首相,他們轉而依賴他們創建的局(廠),向他們提供另一種“未受污染”的信息來源。



The Jinyiwei were extremely powerful, and highly feared both at home and abroad, and whilst they had no historical equivalent, could often be partly said to be a combination of the Soviet Political Commissar, part Roman Praetorian and also part East German Stasi, acting to monitor the Army, protect the Emperor, and whilst also surveilling and watching out for any dissenters if need be.

錦衣衛勢力極其強大,在國內外都非??膳?,雖然他們在歷史上沒有同類,但也可以部分地說像是蘇聯政委、羅馬總督和東德斯塔西的結合體,他們負責監督軍隊、保護皇帝,同時,如果需要的話,還要監視和注意任何異議人士。

It was by their efforts perhaps, that the Ming Empire lasted as long as it did; for an unprecedented 276 years, which when viewed from a historical point of view for China at least, was impossible for such a totalitarian regime.

也許正是通過他們的努力,明帝國才得以長久地延續下去;這是史無前例的276年,從歷史的角度來看,至少對中國來說,這樣一個極權政權是不可能存在這么久的。