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Wei Zhang 魏章

Nov 2, 2012 © Ulrich Theobald

Wei Zhang 魏章 was a general in the state of Qin 秦 during the late Warring States period 戰國 (5th cent.-221 BCE). He actually hailed from the state of Wei 魏, where he had already been a military commander before moving to Qin.

In Qin, he became soon an important military advisor to King Huiwen of Qin 秦惠文王 (r. 338-311) and substantially formed the "international" politics of Qin, together with the famous coalition advisor Zhang Yi 張儀.

In 321, he was appointed militia general (shuzhang 庶長) for the campaign against the state of Chu, assisted by Chuli Ji 樗里疾 and Gan Mao 甘茂. In the battle of Danyang 丹陽 (north of modern Danjiang 丹江, Henan) Chu was heavily defeated, and Wei Zhang is said to have ordered the execution of 80,000 war captives. General Qu Gai 屈匄 of Chu and vice general Prince Chou, Marquis of Peng 逢侯醜, were arrested.

Not long afterwards, Chu was again defeated in the battle of Lantian 藍田 (near modern Lantian, Shaanxi), and the way along the valley of River Han 漢 into the heartland of Chu was open. When King Wu 秦武王 (r. 311-307) acceded to the throne Wei Zhang and Zhang Yi were forced into exile. Wei Zhang returned to his native state. His further fate is unknown.

Sources:
Cang Xiuliang 倉修良, ed. (1991). Shiji cidian 史記辭典 (Jinan: Shandong jiaoyu chubanshe), 486, 795.
Huang Banghe 黄邦和, Pi Mingxiu 皮明庥, ed. (1987). Zhong-wai lishi renwu cidian 中外歷史人物詞典 (Changsha: Hunan remin chubanshe), 512.