Monday, September 8, 2008

Yuan Tan

Yuán Tán was the eldest son of the powerful warlord Yuan Shao, and served as a military commander under his father during the late Eastern Han Dynasty and Three Kingdoms era of China. After Yuan Shao's death, Yuan Tan split with his youngest brother Yuan Shang over the successorship to their father's realm. Yuan Tan sought help from the powerful warlord Cao Cao and defeated Yuan Shang. The alliance, however, eventually broke and Yuan Tan was defeated and executed by Cao Cao.


Yuan Tan was born the eldest son of the powerful warlord, Yuan Shao. He accompanied his father to the famous Battle of Guandu against rival warlord Cao Cao in 200. Yuan Shao, however, was utterly defeated in the conflict and fell sick shortly after returning to his base city of . All along, Yuan Shao had intended to pass on his legacy to his youngest son Yuan Shang , who was said to be extremely handsome, but the successorship had not been clearly established by the time Yuan Shao died in 202.

Many officials intended to make Yuan Tan the successor according to seniority of the heirs but Shen Pei and Feng Ji , two influential advisors, supported Yuan Shang and pushed for him to inherit Yuan Shao's legacy. When Yuan Tan rushed back from his duty elsewhere, he could not revert the situation so instead he proclaimed himself General of Chariots and Cavalry , his father's former title.

In autumn of the same year, Cao Cao launched an offensive against the Yuan brothers. Yuan Tan stationed his troops in against the attack but his request for more troops was turned down by his brother, who feared Yuan Tan would take over military control. Yuan Shang then left Shen Pei to defend Ye and personally led a force to Liyang to assist in the defense. For half a year the battle went on but the Yuan brothers eventually gave up the city and retreated to Ye.

Cao Cao's advisor Guo Jia then suggested that the Yuan brothers would fight between themselves in the absence of an external enemy. Cao Cao took the counsel and withdrew his troops to attack Liu Biao in . Meanwhile, Yuan Tan and Yuan Shang indeed began to battle each other. After suffering initial defeats, Yuan Tan retreated to and sent out an emissary seeking to ally with Cao Cao. Cao Cao agreed and even married a daughter to Yuan Tan to strengthen the alliance.

Yuan Shang soon led a force to attack his brother again but had to retreat when he heard news of Cao Cao's siege on Ye. His force tried to converge with that in the city but the attempt was foiled. The defeated Yuan Shang then escaped north deep into the Wuhuan territory. Meanwhile, Yuan Tan violated the alliance by taking Ganling , Anping County , Bohai Commandery and Hejian into his realm. He also took over some former troops of Yuan Shang after the latter went into exile. Cao Cao then turned his force against Yuan Tan, who retreated to . In 205, Yuan Tan was eventually defeated and executed by Cao Cao.

Yuan Tan in Romance of the Three Kingdoms

''Romance of the Three Kingdoms'', a 14th century historical novel by Luo Guanzhong, was a romanticization of the events that occurred before and during the Three Kingdoms era. In Chapter 33, Yuan Tan was said to have sent Xin Ping as an emissary to Cao Cao while besieged in Nanpi County to seek surrender but was declined. When Xin Ping returned, Yuan Tan accused him of treason since his brother Xin Pi served in Cao Cao's camp. The undue accusation angered Xin Ping so much that he soon died, much to Yuan Tan's regret.

The next morning, Yuan Tan placed the commoners, who were hastily armed during the night, in front of his troops and marched into battle with Cao Cao outside the city. Yuan Tan was subsequently killed in battle by Cao Hong .

Yuan Xi

Yuán Xī was the second son of the warlord Yuán Shào and a military general under his father during the late Eastern Han Dynasty and Three Kingdoms era in ancient China. After he was defeated in battle against Cáo Cāo, he fled to Liaodong with his younger brother Yuán Shàng and was betrayed and killed by Gongsun Kang, governor of Liaodong, who sent his head to Cáo Cāo. His wife Zhen Luo was seized by Cao Pi and became Cao Pi's wife. He could be the father of Cao Rui, the future Emperor Ming of Wei. This was due to the fact that Cao Rui was apparently born only eight months after Cao Pi married Lady Zhen, although this appeared to be rather unlikely given that Yuan Xi had been away from for quite some time before the marriage. It was because of this that Lady Zhen eventually lost Cao Pi's favor altogether.

Yuan Shao

Yuan Shao was a powerful warlord during the late Eastern Han Dynasty and Three Kingdoms era of China. He occupied the northern territories of ancient China during the massive civil war towards the end of the Eastern Han Dynasty and the beginning of the Three Kingdoms era. He was also the elder brother of Yuan Shu, a warlord who controlled the Huai River region, though the two were not in good terms with each other.

One of the most powerful warlords of his time, Yuan Shao spearheaded a coalition of warlords against the tyrannical Dong Zhuo, who held hostage in the capital Luoyang, but failed due to internal disunity. In 200, he launched a campaign against rival warlord Cao Cao but was defeated utterly at the decisive Battle of Guandu. He died of sickness two years later in . His eventual failure despite his powerful family background and geographical advantages was commonly blamed on his indecisiveness and inability to heed the advice of his advisors.


Early life and career

A local of the county of , Yuan Shao was born in the noble family, whose members had since the 1st century been prominent in the civil bureaucracy of the Han Dynasty. Descended from the Interior Minister Yuan An, who served under , Yuan Shao's exact parentage was the source of controversy and the major cause of dispute between him and Yuan Shu. Yuan Shao was an offspring of the Minister of Agriculture Yuan Feng , and an elder half-brother of Yuan Feng's son, Yuan Shu, both were great-grandson of Yuan An, as recorded by the ''Book of Wei'' by . Yuan Shao's mother was originally a maid in Yuan Feng's house, and since Yuan Feng lacked male offspring, the birth of Yuan Shao elevated his mother's status from a maid to a concubine. The '''' claimed that Yuan Shao was elder cousin to Yuan Shu. The reason for this was that Yuan Feng's older brother also lacked any male offsprings so Yuan Shao was adopted by Yuan Feng's older brother as his son. This adoption infuriated Yuan Shu, because despite also being a concubine's son, the younger Yuan Shu had a mother originally with higher status. The adoption of Yuan Shao by their elder uncle meant that Yuan Shao had become the eldest son of the clan, and would enjoy all the privileges associated with being the eldest. In their disputes in the later years, Yuan Shu would use the Yuan Shao's mother as an excuse to claim that Yuan Shao was really not a true son of the Yuan family, which inevitably would infuriate Yuan Shao. Yuan Shao was also a childhood friend of his future rival, Cao Cao.

When Yuan Shao was young, he participated in saving some of the "partisans" from death or other terrible fates during the second . After he entered into government service, Yuan Shao initially served as an aide to General-in-Chief He Jin and was heavily trusted by the latter. After the death of in 189, He Jin and Yuan Shao jointly plotted to execute the powerful eunuch faction but the empress dowager was against the move. He Jin then summoned Dong Zhuo to lead troops into the capital Luoyang to lay pressure on the empress dowager. Meanwhile, however, He Jin was assassinated by the eunuch faction, which was then involved in a bloody clash with Yuan Shao and other followers of He Jin. The resulting power vacuum provided an excellent opportunity for Dong Zhuo to seize control of the capital when he arrived.

Dong Zhuo then discussed with Yuan Shao about his plan to depose the young successor to Emperor Ling in favor of Emperor Xian, but Yuan Shao disagreed. Relationship between the two deteriorated sharply and Yuan Shao fled the capital to Ji province . Fearing the many connections the influential Yuan family had, Dong Zhuo then assigned Yuan Shao to governor of Bohai Commandery in a bid to appease the latter.

Coalition against Dong Zhuo

By early 190, however, Yuan Shao became openly hostile. A coalition of regional officials and commanders from the eastern provinces, including Cao Cao, Yuan Shu, Han Fu, Zhang Miao and Bao Xin, formed up behind him in a campaign to oust Dong Zhuo. Yuan Shao declared himself "General of Chariots and Cavalry" and camped at , near a ford on the Yellow River just north of Luoyang. Dong Zhuo then had the emperor taken to the strategically defensive Chang'an and a year later, he burned Luoyang to the ground and withdrew to the west himself.

During this time, Yuan Shao and Han Fu had intended to boost the righteousness of the coalition by making , governor of You province , the emperor. However, believing that it would be faithless to Emperor Xian for him to accept, Liu Yu declined the offer. By 191, the confrontation with Dong Zhuo had largely turned into a stalemate and the disunited leaders of the coalition soon disbanded.

Warlord state

In 191, Han Fu, governor of Ji province, gave up the governorship to Yuan Shao in the face of an imminent attack by Gongsun Zan from the north. Yuan Shao then began to build a warlord state from his base city at . He engaged in a general alliance with Liu Biao against his own cousin Yuan Shu so as to focus on the conflicts with Gongsun Zan. In the winter of that year, Yuan Shao successfully defeated the cavalry forces of Gongsun Zan at the Battle of Jieqiao with the use of massed crossbowmen. Yuan Shao then turned southwest to eradicate the Heishan bandits. With the short-term help from Lü Bu, Yuan Shao managed to defeat the bandit leader Zhang Yan and removed the threat to his western flank.

In subsequent years, Yuan Shao achieved considerable success in consolidating his domain and absorbing the smaller powers around him. In 196 his prominent position in northern China was recognized by Emperor Xian, who granted him the position of General-in-Chief and the title of Marquis of Ye, but Yuan Shao turned them down. In 198 Yuan Shao advanced against Gongsun Zan and encircled his remaining force at . By early 199 Gongsun Zan had been defeated for good at the decisive Battle of Yijing and Yuan Shao held absolute power over the four provinces north of the Yellow River. Despite warnings from his advisor Ju Shou that the move could sow seeds for future trouble, Yuan Shao insisted on sending his first-born Yuan Tan away to govern Qing province . Then, after establishing alliance with the Wuhuan tribes on the northern frontier, Yuan Shao eventually turned his attention to Cao Cao, who had been consolidating his power south of the Yellow River.

Battle of Guandu

Both sides made preparations for a decisive battle, which would come to be known as the Battle of Guandu. Towards the end of 199 skirmishes were already being fought at Liyang, a major crossing point of the Yellow River. Cao Cao prepared his defenses around Guandu , slightly south of the river. Heavily outnumbering Cao Cao and holding large cavalry force, Yuan Shao's initial attacks almost overwhelmed his enemy's positions. A strike at Yuan Shao's supply lines in late 200, however, brought the northern army to a collapse. As many of his generals defected, Yuan Shao fled north across the Yellow River with his sons.

His first major defeat was also a decisive one. Thereafter, Yuan Shao lost the initiative and never regained it. In 202, he was again defeated, this time at Cangting . He died shortly after. His first wife, so filled with jealousy, killed his other five consorts and disfigured their faces to prevent them from meeting him in the underworld. True to Ju Shou's previous warning, Yuan Shao's legacy was left to contention between his eldest and youngest sons, Yuan Tan and Yuan Shang. Cao Cao was able to manipulate this internal rivalry, and by 207 had defeated both.

It is said that Cao Cao paid respect to Yuan Shao's tomb after his total annexation of his former countries, Cao Cao was showing remorse in front of his generals and made a comment that it was unavoidable for turning his former friend into an enemy.

Cause of his defeat

Yuan Shao's defeat to Cao Cao at Guandu is cited as an excellent example of how superior tactics and strategy can be used to defeat much larger forces. By using feints, counterattacks and strategic withdrawals, Cao Cao managed to render Yuan Shao's vastly superior manpower useless. It can be said Yuan Shao was simply outsmarted by his former friend Cao Cao. According to some sources, however, his defeat can be attributed to his failure to listen to his advisor Tian Feng. It is said that he lost his chance to defeat Cao Cao early on when he refused to mobilise his army, claiming his son was ill with a toothache.

Some believe Yuan Shao's defeat was caused by senility. They argue that it would explain how a man who managed to become for a good period of time the dominant force in China could suddenly fail so completely. It is highly likely that it was a combination of senility, inability to listen to advice and his unfortunate luck in finding such a cunning foe that was Yuan Shao's downfall.

Cao Cao had once analysed Yuan Shao before the Battle of Guandu. Cao Cao said: Yuan Shao will be defeated during the war.

#He is arrogant, self-centred, and senile;
#His advisers fight against each other;
#His generals have brawn but no brain, Yan Liang and Wen Chou, valiant but stupid in terms of using tactics;
#His sons' rivalry: All 3 brothers can't seem to unite
#he did not respect his officers or troops

These reasons Cao Cao noted were indeed true, Yuan Shao was defeated not long after this analysis.

Modern citations

*Yuan Shao has appeared in Koei's ''Dynasty Warriors'' and ''Dynasty Tactics'' video game series.

*In ''Warriors Orochi'' a crossover game between Dynasty Warriors and ''Samurai Warriors'', Yuan Shao leads a resistance army with the aid of Yukimura Sanada. After his defeat at Cheng Du he and his forces are captured by Orochi, but are rescued by the resistance army led by Zhao Yun. He then joins Zhao Yun in the fight against Orochi.

*Yuan Shao has a minor role in Koei's ''Kessen II'' title. In the game, the Battle of Guandu distracts Cao Cao, allowing Liu Bei, an ally of Yuan Shao and the player's character, to advance to , setting the stage for the game's second level.

*He also is in each of the 11 versions of Koei's strategical simulation, Romance of the Three Kingdoms. He is portrayed very closely to that of his novel persona, and has stats that follow the same pattern as Cao Cao's in the game, but lower.

*He is also mentioned in Squaresoft's '''': There is a location called the Yuanshao Peninsula.

Zhang Fei

Zhang Fei was a military general of Shu Han during the Three Kingdoms era of China.

Zhang Fei was shown to have been a masterful general rather than simply a warrior. He treated his superiors with respect, but had little respect for his underlings. He was often warned by Liu Bei that his habit of over-punishing his own soldiers by lashing and killing would eventually bring himself disaster.

Zhang Fei married Xiahou Yuan's daughter, who was captured by Zhang Fei's troops as she was out gathering firewood. They had a total of two daughters, and the older daughter became the empress of Shu Han after marrying Liu Shan, with Zhuge Liang as the matchmaker. After Zhang Fei's eldest daughter had passed away due to natural causes, Zhuge Liang once again played the role of matchmaker, and Liu Shan married Zhang Fei's younger daughter, who thus succeeded her older sister to become the empress of Shu Han.

Zhang Fei is best portrayed through his description and actions depicted in ''Records of Three Kingdoms'' biography by Chen Shou. Some claim that Zhang Fei was also an excellent painter.

Zhang Fei was killed by his own men Zhang Da and Fan Jiang, while preparing his troops to attack the rival Eastern Wu to avenge the death of Guan Yu. Zhang Da and Fan Jiang went on to defect to Wu.


To the end of Eastern Han, Zhang Fei, alongside Guan Yu, joined Liu Bei's militia against the Yellow Turbans Rebellion. He then became Liu Bei's bodyguard and such a friend as close as brothers with Liu Bei and Guan Yu that they even often slept on the same bed.

When Liu Bei was chased by Cao Cao's army at the Battle of Changban, Zhang Fei, with twenty cavalries, demolished a bridge to slow Cao Cao's pursuit. Zhang Fei stood beside the broken bridge and shouted in challenge at Cao Cao's army, but no one dared make a move against him. He then destroyed the bridge, giving Liu Bei time to escape.

After the Battle of Red Cliffs, Liu Bei took over the southern part of Jing province and made Zhang Fei the Administrator of . When Liu Bei Zhang Fei was commanded to attack Jiangzhou, where he captured an enemy general, Yan Yan. Facing Zhang's insults, Yan Yan condemned him for invading Yi province. Yan Yan was originally ordered to be executed by the angry Zhang Fei, but Yan Yan's fearlessness of death impressed Zhang Fei and his life was pardoned. Yan Yan then surrendered to Liu Bei.

Zhang Fei's victory during the western expedition resulted in the capture of the whole Yizhou. After resisting the force led by Zhang He of Cao army, Zhang Fei led a force upon Hanzhong, which was under Cao's control then, but failed. After Liu Bei finally annexed the important Hanzhong, Zhang Fei was regarded by many as a proper choice for the Administrator, but Wei Yan was appointed instead, to Zhang Fei's disappointment.

After Liu Bei declared himself the Emperor of Shu-Han, he led an army to retake Jing province, which had been taken by Sun Quan. Zhang Fei was preparing to lead ten thousand men to join the campaign. However, two men in Zhang's camp, Fan Jiang and Zhang Da, assassinated him and carried his head to Eastern Wu. When Liu Bei saw Zhang Fei's assistant who was going to report Zhang's death, he sighed, "Oh! Zhang Fei is dead."

Zhang Fei had two sons, Zhang Bao and Zhang Shao . Zhang Bao died young and Zhang Shao worked as an officer of Shu Han. Zhang Bao's son, Zhang Zun , died resisting the army that eventually ended the southwestern reign of Shu Han.

In fiction

In the historical novel ''Romance of Three Kingdoms'', Zhang Fei is styled Yìdé instead of Yìdé . He was originally a butcher, then eventually became the second member of the Five Tiger Generals. According to the legend, he swore an oath of brotherhood with Liu Bei and Guan Yu, known as the Oath of the Peach Garden. In the novel, he has an obsession with wine that affected his judgement from time to time; however, that is apparently an invention of the author Luo Guanzhong for the novel as Zhang Fei was not known as an alcoholic historically.

At the Battle of Changban, Zhang Fei spotted the tired Zhao Yun and the baby Liu Shan, who Zhao was carrying, pass by. Facing an impending army of thousands, Zhang Fei rode out alone on the Changban Bridge to hold off the pursuing army of Cao Cao to insure Zhao Yun's escape. He glared and pointed his spear, shouting, "I am Zhang Fei of Yan, and anyone who wants to can come and challenge me to fight to the death," which was so effective that it was said to have frightened and held off 10,000 troops and scared Xiahou Jie to immediate death. None of the army dared to proceed and even upon the arrival of Cao Cao himself they were still wavering. Cao Cao, fearing an ambush devised by Zhuge Liang, eventually decided not to attack Zhang Fei.

Zhang Fei, however, was later rebuked by Liu Bei for ordering his soldiers to burn Changban Bridge down so as to delay the pursuit of Cao Cao's forces. Zhang Fei was unhappy about this, and Liu Bei was later proven right when Cao Cao guessed correctly that Zhang Fei had burned the bridge out of fear. Ironically, Zhang Fei had successfully pulled off a ruse against Cao Cao when he commanded his soldiers to attach logs to their horses so as to raise large dust clouds, creating the illusion that Zhang had a large ambush army with him.

Throughout ''Romance of the Three Kingdoms'', Zhang Fei is shown as exceedingly loyal and known for his strength and skill as a warrior, but also short-tempered, which often got him into problems more often than not on the battlefield. Zhang Fei's fierce sense of loyalty was demonstrated when Guan Yu had left Cao Cao to return to Liu Bei - he had taken refuge when Cao under the condition that he would leave upon discovering his elder brother's whereabouts - and Zhang Fei refused to believe that Guan Yu had not defected to Cao already. Zhang Fei fought with Guan Yu in three fierce rounds, but the latter held back throughout, trying to explain to Zhang the truth. Thankfully, it was resolved without any bloodshed from the brothers.

Zhang Fei had a son , an equally competent general who served the Shu kingdom dutifully. Zhang Bao later personally executed Zhang Da and Fan Jiang, his father's assassins, when Sun Quan, the ruler of Wu, sent them both back to Shu Han as a goodwill gift to negotiate for peace, as Liu Bei had personally led an army against Wu.

Zhang Fei also appears on the Kunqu stage as a hualian. Particularly famous is the scene "The Swaying Reeds", in which he ambushes, humiliates and sets free Zhou Yu.

Zhang Fei had two daughters whom both married Liu Shan, the son of Liu Bei and the second and last ruler of Shu.

Modern depictions

* Zhang Fei appears in multiple video game titles under Koei's umbrella historical simulation series. These include '''', ''Dynasty Warriors'' and ''Dynasty Tactics''. In ''Dynasty Warriors'', he carries a snake spear called the "Viper Blade", which recives another blade at the end in ''Dynasty Warriors 6''.

* He also appears in ''Kessen II'', the one title in the ''Kessen'' series to portray the Three Kingdoms era. In many of these titles, Zhang Fei, just as with other characters of the novel, is exaggerated in personality and appearance. Zhang Fei's drunkenness and brutish bearing are two such embellished traits.

* Zhang Fei was present in ''Warriors Orochi'', in which he and Guan Yu were forced to work for Orochi under the threat that Liu Bei would be executed. He and Guan Yu later reconciled and joined Zhao Yun's Coalition, in an attempt to rescue Liu Bei.

*Zhang Fei also appears in a number of non-Koei titles, such as ''Three Kingdoms: Fate of the Dragon'' and ''Destiny of an Emperor''.

* Zhang Fei is also present in 's , portrayed much as he appears in the novel.


*Legend has it, that on the night Zhang Fei was murdered by Zhang Da and Fan Jiang, his assassins found him sleeping with his eyes wide open and were about to abandon their plot, but his snoring revealed that he was indeed asleep. In modern China, when someone sleeps in caution or with half-opened eyes they are sometimes referred to as "Zhang Fei eyes".

*Zhang Fei enjoyed gardening. There are some trees he planted in Chengdu that exist to this day.

Zhang Lu

Zhang Lu was a warlord during the Three Kingdoms era of China. After his grandfather, and then father, he was the third leader of Tianshi Dao , a religious group. He controlled the Hanzhong region, which he had named Han'ning until 215, when he surrendered to Cao Cao, who he would serve until his death one year later.


Warlord of Hanzhong

Upon the death of his father, , Zhang Lu inherited control of the Celestial Masters religious group, and therefore became its third leader. The religion enjoyed its greatest popularity in Yizhou , but when Zhang Lu took control of the group, it was being challenged in the area by a shamanistic religion lead by Zhang Xiu .

Against this background, both Zhang Lu and Zhang Xiu were abruptly ordered by to go together to attack the forces of the official governor of Hanzhong, Su Gu and take over his territory. However, having his own designs, Zhang Lu killed Zhang Xiu and absorbed his armies and religious followers into his own group before he went off for the campaign against Hanzhong. He successfully manged to defeat Su Gu, and upon taking control of Hanzhong, renamed the region Han'ning , ruling it by the principles of his religion. It is worth noting that although he nominally followed the orders of Liu Yan, when succeeded him many years later, Zhang Lu refused to follow Liu Zhang's orders. As a result, Zhang Lu's mother, younger brothers, and many other family members were executed by Liu Zhang.

It is said that Zhang Lu's rulership over his territory was for its time very humane and civilized. Roads were built throughout the territory with rest stops and foods provided free of charge. The taxes and donations taken from the people were not to be used for amusement, but instead for the support of the common people. In addition, under his leadership was a powerful army and strong defences such that neither Cao Cao nor Li Jue could easily defeat him. His authority was recognized by the Han court, who granted him generalship and named him official Governor of Han'ning . According to the Records of Three Kingdoms, he was then presented with a jeweled seal by the common people of his realm, which was a sign from Heaven that he was to become a king. Many of his subordinates urged him to declare himself a king, but his advisor Yan Pu warned that to do so would bring disaster. Zhang Lu heeded his advice.

Surrender to Cao Cao

In the year 211, Zhong Yao, an advisor of Cao Cao, suggested an invasion of Zhang Lu's territory. However, Ma Chao and Han Sui, whose territory was between Cao Cao's and Zhang Lu's, interpreted the massing of forces as an attempt to invade their own lands. They rebelled against Cao Cao, and after much fighting, Cao Cao's forces were victorious. However, they were in no shape to continue the invasion to Hanzhong. Ma Chao retreated to Hanzhong and pledged allegiance to Zhang Lu, who considered marrying his daughter to him. However, a servant of Zhang Lu's, Yang Bo , said, "A man like that, who has no love for even his parents , cannot love another." and the marriage proposal was scrapped. Ma Chao then borrowed soldiers from Zhang Lu and attempted to regain some of his lost territory from Cao Cao, but was ultimately unsuccessful. His failures caused the relationship between the two to sour. When Liu Bei's forces had surrounded Liu Zhang, Ma Chao chose this time to take his leave of Hanzhong, and with his personal army he joined Liu Bei. Ma Chao's subordinate Pang De, however, remained in Zhang Lu's service.

In 215, Cao Cao again launched a campaign to conquer Hanzhong. Initially, Zhang Lu had no hope of standing against Cao Cao's armies, and planned to surrender. His younger brother Zhang Wei, however, insisted on fighting and lead his army against the invading forces. He was soon killed in battle, and again Zhang Lu considered surrendering. His advisor Yan Pu, told him that surrendering so easily, they would have no position to negotiate from. Instead, Zhang Lu retreated to his fortress at Bazhong . When leaving his capital, he did not destroy his wealth and treasures, nor attempt to take them with him, instead leaving them behind saying "These things belong to the country, not to me." Cao Cao was greatly impressed by this, and sent a messenger to Zhang Lu asking him to surrender. Yan Pu's plan was successful, as Zhang Lu and his forces were warmly welcomed by Cao Cao. He was given the title General who Suppresses the South and his five sons were granted the rank of marquis. He married his daughter to the son of Cao Cao, Cao Yu . As further proof of the bad blood between Zhang Lu and Ma Chao, when Cao Cao turned Ma Chao's son Ma Qiu over to Zhang Lu, he immediately executed him.

When Zhang Lu died, not long after surrendering to Cao Cao, he was created a marquis . The Five Pecks of Rice religion was continued by his sons, later to evolve into the Taoist religion known as Zhengyi Dao.

Zhang Lu in ''Romance of the Three Kingdoms''

In the historical novel ''Romance of the Three Kingdoms'', a fictionalized and dramaticised account of the Three Kingdoms era, Zhang Lu is portrayed as strongly craving the title of King of Han'ning, and attempting to aggressively expand his territory. In the novel he attempts to invade Liu Zhang's Yizhou, only to be stopped. When Ma Chao left his service, he sent a servant Yang Bo along to spy on him. However, when Ma Chao joined Liu Bei, he killed Yang Bo.


*Zhang Daoling
*Zhang Wei
*Zhang Fu
*Zhang Cheng
He had three more sons, and one daughter, whose names are not recorded.

Zhang Qian

Zhang Qian was an imperial envoy to the outside world in the 2nd century BC, during the time of the Han Dynasty. He was the first official diplomat to bring back reliable information about Central Asia to the Chinese imperial court, then under Emperor Wu of Han, and played an important pioneering role in the Chinese colonization and conquest of the region now known as Xinjiang.

Today Zhang Qian's travels are associated with the major route of transcontinental trade, the Silk Road. In essence, his missions opened up to China the many kingdoms and products of an unknown and new part of the world. Zhang Qian's accounts of his explorations of Central Asia are detailed in the Early Han historical chronicles , compiled by Sima Qian in the 1st century BC . Today Zhang Qian is considered a national hero for the key role he played in opening China to the world of commercial trade.

Zhang Qian's Missions

Zhang Qian was born just east of Hanzhong in the north central province of Shaanxi, China. in modern Tajikistan. However to get to the territory of the Yuezhi he was forced to pass through land controlled by the Xiongnu who captured him and enslaved him for ten years. During this time he married a Xiongnu wife and gained the trust of the Xiongnu leader.

Zhang and Ganfu were eventually able to escape and, passing Lop Nor and following the northern edge of the Tarim Basin, around the Kunlun Mountains and through small fortified areas in the middle of oases in what is now Xinjiang until they made their way to Dayuan and eventually to the land of the Yuezhi. The Yuezhi were agricultural people who produced strong horses and many unknown crops including alfalfa for animal fodder. However, the Yuezhi were too settled to desire war against the Xiongnu. Zhang spent a year in Yuezhi and the adjacent Bactrian territory, documenting their cultures, lifestyles and economy, before beginning his return trip to China, this time following the southern edge of the Tarim Basin.. Upon Zhang Qian's return to China he was honoured with a position of palace counselor. Although he was unable develop commercial ties between China and these far-off lands, his efforts did eventually result in trade mission to the Wu-sun people in 119 BC which led to trade between China and .

On his mission Zhang Qian had noticed products from an area now known as northern India However, the task remained to find a trade route not obstructed by the Xiongnue to India. Zhang Qian set out on a second mission to forge a route from China to India via Sichuan, but after many attempts this effort proved unsuccessful. In 115 BC Zhang Qian was sent on a third mission by the emperor, to develop ties with the Wusun people living southeast of Lake Balkhash in what is now theIli Kazakh Autonomous Prefecture.

Although Zhang Quian's journeys had promoted a great variety of economic and cultural exchanges between the Han Dynasty and the Western Regions, because silk was the dominant product traded this trade link became known as the Silk Route.

Zhao Xin

Zhao Xin , was originally a marquis of Xiongnu stock, who previously surrendered to the Han Dynasty. His name Zhao Xin was probably adopted through during his service at Han. He was one of the six generals led by Wei Qing during an expedition in 123 BC, and led a 3,000-strong vanguard forces along with fellow general Su Jian. Upon clashing with the Xiongnu forces, he defected back to Xiongnu, while Su Jian managed to escape after his forces were annihilated. A Xiongnu fortress named after him was constructed near the Khangai Mountains, soon after his submission to Yixixie Chanyu. That fortress was later completely destroyed by Wei Qing's forces during the finishing phase of the Battle of Mobei.