Ran Min, formerly known as Shi Min, (died 352 B.C.) was an ancient Chinese military leader and the only emperor of the short-lived state of Ran Wei. He is chiefly remembered for his campaign to exterminate the Wu Hu (barbarians), one of the first known genocides.
As Shi Min
During the reign of Shi Hu, Shi Min rose to the rank of general, and was tasked with defeating the Former Yan state. Although the siege of the Former Yan capital failed, with all of Shi Hu's besieging armies being destroyed except for Shi Min's, he did manage to defeat the Jin dynasty during their attempted invasion, and was made Duke of Wuxing. When Shi Hu died, his son Shi Shi succeeded him as emperor.
Angered that Shi Shi had gained power, Shi Min helped his brother Shi Zun rebel and depose and kill Shi Shi. However, he reneged on his promise to make Shi Min crown prince, instead giving this position to his general Shi Yan. Knowing that Shi Min was planning to depose him, Shi Zun attempted to have him executed, but Shi Min was informed of this by the prince Shi Jian, and surrounded the Imperial palace, dragging out Shi Zun and Shi Yan and executing them. He then made Shi Jian emperor, but he and his ally Li Nong seized control of the government.
Shi Jian, fearful of Shi Min, had his generals try to depose him, but when they failed Shi Jian accused them of treason and had them executed to prevent them from revealing his involvement. She Jian then had the Jie, a part of the Wu Hu ethnic group, rebel against Shi Min, but he defeated them, and gave the order that each civil servant or soldier who brought him the head of a Wu Hu should be promoted. He then deposed Shi Jian and placed him under house arrest, before executing him and destroying his entire clan. He then changed his name to Ran Min, and the state to Ran Wei.
As Ran Min
Soon after taking power, Ran Min killed Li Nong rather than share the throne. He also killed many of his advisors after they objected to his poor decision making, and continued his campaign against the Wu Hu, waging an outright war against them during which over 200, 000 people were killed, many of them ethnic Chinese who had been mistaken for Wu Hu due to having supposed indicators of non-Hanness. After the campaign, the Wu Hu had been almost completely destroyed.
Ran Min also waged war on enemy leader Shi Zhi. When he attacked Shi Zhi's capital, his forces rebelled and captured his son, who was handed over to Shi Zhi and executed, but Ran Min escaped. Shi Zhi sent his general Liu Xian after him, but Ran Min defeated him and forced him to assassinate Shi Zhi rather than be killed. Liu Xian later rebelled and proclaimed himself emperor, but Ran Min easily defeated and killed him.
Ran Min later continued his war against his old enemy, the Former Yan dynasty. However, Ran Min's forces were overwhelmed when he attempted to attack the Former Yan, and his horse was killed, allowing him to be captured. He was brought before the enemy leader Murong Jun, and insulted him. Infuriated, Murong Jun had Ran Min flogged, before having him taken outside and put to death on the spot.