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Persons in Chinese History - Zhang Liao 張遼

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Zhang Liao 張遼 (169-222), courtesy name Wenyuan 文遠, was a general of the state of Wei 曹魏 (220-265) during the early Three Kingdoms period 三國 (220-280). He hailed from Mayi 馬邑 in the commandery of Yanmen 雁門 (today's Shuoxian 朔縣, Shanxi) and first served as a small official in the local administration. During the political turmoils of the late Eastern Han period he first became a follower of Dong Zhuo 董卓, then of Lü Bu 呂布, Liu Bei 劉備, and in 198 finally joined Cao Cao 曹操, who made him leader of court gentlemen (zhonglangjiang 中郎將) and bestowed him the title of Marquis of Inside the Passes (guanneihou 關內侯). In 200, after the famous battle of Guandu 官渡, he commanded a joint army with Xiahou Yuan 夏侯淵 besieging the local powerholder Chang Xi 昌豨 in Donghai 東海 (close to modern Yancheng 郯城, Shandong). Chang could not be brought down, but Zhang had the feeling that Chang was not any more willing to fight, and therefore personally pursued him to surrender. Just after that Zhang Liao defeated the Yuan Tan 袁譚 and Yuan Shang 袁尚. He was given the title of General Wiping out the Bandits (dangkou jiangjun 蕩寇將軍), also because he had crushed the rebellion of Chen Lan 陳蘭 and Mei Cheng 梅成 During the war against the steppe federation of the Wuhuan 烏桓 in 207 Zhang met the enemy in the battle of Langshan 狼山 (today in Left Harqin Banner, Inner Mongolia) and profited from the irregular lineup of the enemy to crush his forces. In 215 Zhang Liao, Yue Jin 樂進 and Li Dian 李典 commanded an army attacking the much larger forces of the southeastern powerholder Sun Quan 孫權 in Hefei 合肥. Zhang thereupon selected 800 of the best and led a surprise attack on the headquarters of Sun Quan. He was encircled, but Cao Cao sent a relief army and forced Sun Quan to withdraw. Zhang Liao himself pursued the enemy and crushed his retreating forces. He was rewarded with the title of General of the East (dong jiangjun 東將軍) and was enfeoffed as Marquis of Duxiang 都鄉侯, in 220 Marquis of Jinyang 晉陽侯. In 222 Zhang participated in another campaign against Sun Quan and defeated his general Lü Fan 呂范, but died during the campaign. His posthumous title is Marquis Gang 晉陽剛侯.

Sources: An Tian 安田 (1992), "Zhang Liao 張遼", in Zhongguo da baike quanshu 中國大百科全書, Junshi 軍事 (Beijing/Shanghai: Zhongguo da baike quanshu chubanshe), Vol. 2, p. 1261. ● Zhang Shunhui 張舜徽 (ed. 1992), Sanguozhi cidian 三國志辭典 (Jinan: Shandong jiaoyu chubanshe), p. 458. ● Ren Zhaokun 任昭坤 (1999), "Zhang Liao 張遼", in Junshi kexueyuan junshi baike yanjiu bu 軍事科學院軍事百科研究部 (ed.), Junshi renwu baike quanshu 軍事人物百科全書 (Beijing: Zhonggong zhongyang dangxiao chubanshe), p. 511.

May 30, 2016 © Ulrich Theobald · Mail
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