In the Introduction to Emperor Huan and Emperor Ling, I gave a summary account of the civil administration of Later Han. As the imperial government, however, became all but irrelevant in the years of war which began in 189, I present below a survey of the military structure of the dynasty as it entered its final years. At the end of the reign of Emperor Ling, the facade of civil government remained intact. In formal terms, immediately below the ruler, the Three Excellencies (san gong), with rank expressed by a nominal salary of Ten Thousand shi of Grain (wan shi), and the Nine Ministers (jiu qing), rank/salary of Fully Two Thousand shi (zhong erqian shi), headed the administration, while the office of the Masters of Writing (shangshu), the imperial secretariat, drew up and circulated the edicts and orders with which government was carried out. Outside the capital, provinces (zhou) were headed by Governors (mu) or Inspectors (cishi), and these were divided into subordinate commanderies (jun) under Grand Administrators (tai shou) or states (guo), nominal fiefs of kings (wang) which were in practice ruled by Chancellors (xiang). Commanderies and states were in turn divided into counties (xian), the basic level of Han government, ruled by Prefects (ling), Chiefs (zhang) and equivalent officers. All local units were responsible for police work and basic control of banditry and other minor troubles, but there was also a military establishment to guard the person of the emperor, to maintain the frontiers, and to quell disturbance within the empire.