Deng Zhi (178 - 251),[a][2][1] courtesy name Bomiao, was a government official, diplomat and military general of the state of Shu Han during the Three Kingdoms period of China. A descendant of Deng Yu, Deng Zhi started his career in the late Eastern Han dynasty under the warlord Liu Bei as a low-level officer in Pi County. After Liu Bei discovered his talent, Deng Zhi steadily rose through the ranks to become a county prefect and later a commandery administrator and imperial secretary. In 223, the Shu regent Zhuge Liang sent him as Shu's envoy to meet Sun Quan, the ruler of Shu's ally state Wu, and reestablish the Wu–Shu alliance against their common rival state Wei. Deng Zhi succeeded in his mission and earned praise from Sun Quan for strengthening Wu–Shu ties. In 227, Deng Zhi became a military general and he participated in the first Shu invasion of Wei by leading a decoy force with Zhao Yun to distract the Wei general Cao Zhen. Although they lost the battle, Deng Zhi and Zhao Yun managed to rally their troops to put up a firm defence during their retreat and minimise their losses. Following Zhuge Liang's death in 234, Deng Zhi rose to higher general ranks and was stationed in present-day Chongqing for about 10 years before he was recalled back to the Shu capital Chengdu in his 70s to serve as General of Chariots and Cavalry. In 248, he suppressed a rebellion in Fuling (around present-day Pengshui County, Chongqing). He died in 251.

Deng Zhi
Deng Zhi 2016 Han Zhao Lie Miao.jpg
Statue of Deng Zhi in a temple in Chengdu, Sichuan
General of Chariots and Cavalry (車騎將軍)
In office
243 (243)–251 (251)
MonarchLiu Shan
Inspector of Yan Province (兗州刺史)
In office
234 (234)–243 (243)
MonarchLiu Shan
General of the Vanguard (前將軍)
In office
234 (234)–243 (243)
MonarchLiu Shan
Vanguard Military Adviser (前軍師)
In office
234 (234)–243 (243)
MonarchLiu Shan
General Who Spreads Martial Might
In office
227 (227)–234 (234)
MonarchLiu Shan
ChancellorZhuge Liang
Central Supervisor of the Army (中監軍)
In office
227 (227)–234 (234)
MonarchLiu Shan
ChancellorZhuge Liang
Master of Writing (尚書)
In office
c. 221 (c. 221)–227 (227)
MonarchLiu Bei / Liu Shan
ChancellorZhuge Liang
Administrator of Guanghan (廣漢太守)
In office
? (?) – c. 221 (c. 221)
Prefect of Pi (County) (郫令)
In office
c. 214 (c. 214)–? (?)
Personal details
Xinye County, Henan
Died251 (aged 73)[2]
Resting placeZitong County, Sichuan
RelationsDeng Yu (ancestor)
ChildrenDeng Liang
  • Zheng Tiansheng (mother)
OccupationOfficial, diplomat, general
Courtesy nameBomiao (伯苗)
PeerageMarquis of Yangwu Village

Early lifeEdit

Deng Zhi was born in the late Eastern Han dynasty in Xinye County (新野縣), Yiyang Commandery (義陽郡), which is present-day Xinye County, Henan. He was a descendant of Deng Yu, a general who served under Emperor Guangwu in the early Eastern Han dynasty.[4]

Towards the end of the Eastern Han dynasty, Deng Zhi migrated to Yi Province (covering present-day Sichuan and Chongqing), where he did not receive as much recognition from the locals as he expected. He then decided to consult Zhang Yu, a low-ranking official in Yi Province who was also a famous fortune teller. Zhang Yu told him: "Sir, once you are above the age of 70, you will rise to the position of General-in-Chief and will receive a peerage as a marquis."[5]

Deng Zhi later heard that Pang Xi, the Administrator of Baxi Commandery (巴西郡; around present-day Langzhong, Sichuan), had a reputation for hosting retainers, so he travelled there and became one of Pang Xi's retainers.[6][3]

Service under Liu BeiEdit

In 214,[7] after the warlord Liu Bei seized control of Yi Province from the provincial governor Liu Zhang, Deng Zhi was appointed as a low-level officer in charge of the granary in Pi County. One day, when Liu Bei visited Pi County, he spoke to Deng Zhi and discovered his talent. He was so impressed with Deng Zhi that he appointed Deng Zhi as the Prefect of Pi County, and later promoted him to the position of Administrator of Guanghan Commandery (廣漢郡; around present-day Guanghan, Sichuan).[8][3]

After the fall of the Eastern Han dynasty in 220, Liu Bei declared himself emperor in May 221 and established the state of Shu to challenge the legitimacy of the state of Wei, which replaced the Eastern Han dynasty.[9] Around this time, due to his good performance in office, Deng Zhi was reassigned from Guanghan Commandery to the Shu capital, Chengdu, to serve as a Master of Writing (尚書) in the imperial secretariat.[10][3]

As Shu's envoy to WuEdit

Between August 221 and October 222, Liu Bei went to war with his former ally Sun Quan, who broke their alliance in 219 by seizing Liu Bei's territories in southern Jing Province and executing Guan Yu, one of Liu Bei's top generals. However, he ended up suffering a disastrous defeat at the Battle of Xiaoting against Sun Quan's forces.[11]

Before Liu Bei died in June 223,[12] Sun Quan sought to make peace with him after the Battle of Xiaoting. In response, Liu Bei had sent Song Wei (宋瑋) and Fei Yi as his representatives to meet Sun Quan and agree on a truce.[13] Following Liu Bei's death, Zhuge Liang, the Imperial Chancellor of Shu, became regent to Liu Bei's son and successor Liu Shan as Liu Shan was still underage at the time.[12]

Just when Zhuge Liang feared that Sun Quan would break the truce and was unsure of what to do,[14] Deng Zhi came to see him and told him: "His Majesty is still young and vulnerable. He has only recently ascended the throne. We should send an emissary to Wu to reestablish friendly ties with them." Zhuge Liang replied: "I have thought about this for a long time but I haven't found a suitable person to do this. Now I have found the right person." When Deng Zhi asked him who he had in mind, Zhuge Liang replied: "You, Sir." He then sent Deng Zhi as Shu's envoy to Wu to meet Sun Quan.[15]

First trip to WuEdit

When Deng Zhi showed up in Wu, Sun Quan refused to meet him so he wrote a memorial to Sun Quan as follows: "I came here today not just for the sake of Shu, but also for the sake of Wu."[16] Sun Quan then granted Deng Zhi an audience and told him: "I genuinely wish to form an alliance with Shu. However, I am worried that the ruler of Shu is still young and vulnerable, and that Shu is so small and weak that it can't save itself from being conquered by Wei. That's why I am having second thoughts."[17]

Deng Zhi replied:

"The two states of Wu and Shu span four provinces. While Your Majesty is a dynastic hero, Zhuge Liang is also a hero of his time. Shu has high mountains as its natural defences while Wu has the rivers as natural barriers. If we combine our geographical advantages and form an alliance, we can conquer the Empire if we advance, and we can still maintain our positions if we recede. This is the natural course of things. If Your Majesty agrees to send your son as a hostage to Wei, they will eventually summon you to their imperial court or make your crown prince serve them. If you refuse, they will take it as treason and attack you. When that happens, Shu will follow the flow and take whatever it can from you. The lands in Jiangnan will then no longer belong to Your Majesty."[18]

Sun Quan thought for a long time before replying: "Sir, you are right." He then decided to break ties with Wei, form an alliance with Shu, and then appointed Zhang Wen as his envoy to follow Deng Zhi back to Shu.[19]

Second trip to WuEdit

In Shu, after Zhang Wen reaffirmed the Wu–Shu alliance against Wei, Deng Zhi accompanied him on his journey home and paid another diplomatic visit to Wu. During this time, Sun Quan told Deng Zhi: "How wonderful it would be if two rulers can rule the Empire together in peacetime!"[20] Deng Zhi replied:

"The sky cannot have two suns, and the land cannot have two kings. If, after Wu and Shu vanquish Wei, Your Majesty fails to understand who has the Mandate of Heaven, each ruler will extol his own virtues, their subjects will fulfil their loyalties to their respective rulers, and their warriors will ready themselves for battle. That will only be the beginning of war."[21]

Sun Quan laughed and told Deng Zhi: "You are truly an honest person!"[22]

Sun Quan later wrote a letter to Zhuge Liang as follows: "Ding Gong does it superficially while Yin Hua does it incompletely. Only Deng Zhi does well in bridging ties between our two states."[23]

First Shu invasion of WeiEdit

In 227, Zhuge Liang ordered troops from throughout Shu to mobilise and assemble in Hanzhong Commandery in preparation for a large-scale military campaign against Shu's rival state, Wei.[12] During this time, he commissioned Deng Zhi as General Who Spreads Martial Might (揚武將軍) and appointed him as Central Supervisor of the Army (中監軍).[24]

In the spring of 228, Zhuge Liang ordered Zhao Yun and Deng Zhi to lead a detachment of troops to Ji Valley (箕谷) and pretend to attack Mei County (郿縣; southeast of present-day Fufeng County, Shaanxi) via Xie Valley (斜谷). Their mission was to distract and hold the Wei forces' attention, while Zhuge Liang led the Shu main army to attack Mount Qi (祁山; the mountainous regions around present-day Li County, Gansu).[25] In response to the Shu invasion, the Wei emperor Cao Rui sent Zhang He to attack Zhuge Liang at Mount Qi,[26] and Cao Zhen to attack Zhao Yun and Deng Zhi at Ji Valley.[27]

Zhao Yun and Deng Zhi lost to Cao Zhen at the battle in Ji Valley because Zhuge Liang had given them command of the weaker soldiers while he led the better troops to attack Mount Qi. Nevertheless, Zhao Yun and Deng Zhi managed to rally their men into putting up a firm defence as they retreated, thus minimising their losses.[27]

In the meantime, the Shu vanguard led by Ma Su suffered a disastrous defeat at Jieting (街亭; or Jie Village, located east of present-day Qin'an County, Gansu) against Wei forces under Zhang He's command. Zhang He then seized the opportunity to attack and recapture three Wei commanderies which defected to the Shu side.[28][29] Upon learning of the Shu defeats at Ji Valley and Jieting, Zhuge Liang pulled back the Shu forces and retreated to Hanzhong Commandery by the late spring of 228.[30]

Guarding Jiangzhou and pacifying FulingEdit

After Zhuge Liang's death in 234,[31] Deng Zhi rose to the positions of Vanguard Military Adviser (前軍師) and General of the Vanguard (前將軍). He was also appointed as the nominal Inspector of Yan Province as Yan Province was not Shu territory. In addition, he was enfeoffed as a village marquis under the title "Marquis of Yangwu Village" (陽武亭侯). Shortly after, he was put in charge of guarding Jiangzhou (江州; present-day Chongqing) near the eastern border of Shu.[32]

When he was at Jiangzhou, Deng Zhi had several exchanges with the Wu emperor Sun Quan, who also sent him expensive gifts on numerous occasions.[33]

In 243, Deng Zhi was promoted to General of Chariots and Cavalry (車騎將軍) and granted acting imperial authority.[34]

In 248, the people in Fuling (涪陵; around present-day Pengshui County, Chongqing), a small vassal state under Shu, killed their Commandant and started a rebellion. In response, Deng Zhi led troops to attack the rebels, defeated them and executed their leaders. Peace was restored in Fuling.[35]


Deng Zhi died in 251.[2] at the age of 74 (by East Asian age reckoning).[1] He was buried in a location about five li southwest of present-day Zitong County, Sichuan.[36]

Encounter with the apeEdit

The Chronicles of Huayang recorded that when Deng Zhi led Shu imperial forces to suppress the rebellion in Fuling in 248, he encountered a black ape in the hills. As he enjoyed firing crossbows, he decided to use the ape for target practice and fired a bolt at it. The ape pulled out the bolt from its wound and used twigs and leaves to nurse the wound. When Deng Zhi saw that, he said: "Alas! I have violated the laws of nature. I will die soon!"[37]

Another account says that Deng Zhi saw a female ape carrying its child on a tree. He fired a crossbow bolt at them and hit the female ape. The baby ape pulled out the bolt from its mother's wound and used twigs and leaves to nurse the wound. After seeing that, Deng Zhi sighed, threw his crossbow into the water, and knew that he was going to die soon.[38]


Deng Zhi's mother was Zheng Tiansheng (鄭天生).[39]

Deng Zhi's son, Deng Liang (鄧良), inherited his father's peerage and became the next Marquis of Yangwu Village (陽武亭侯). He served as an official in the selection bureau of the imperial secretariat during the Jingyao era (258–263) of Liu Shan's reign. After the fall of Shu, he served under the Jin dynasty as the Administrator of Guanghan Commandery (廣漢郡; around present-day Guanghan, Sichuan).[40]


Throughout his career of over 20 years as a general, Deng Zhi was known for showing wisdom and fairness in giving out rewards and punishments, as well as for treating his soldiers very well.[41] He also led a frugal and simple life as he relied solely on his official salary and government-issued items for his basic needs. When he became General of the Vanguard, his salary increased substantially and even far greater as General of Chariots and Cavalry but this increase of income was mostly used to pay off debts and support his family and relatives. As he owned no private property throughout his life, his family often struggled to make ends meet and they had no excess wealth at the time of his death.[42][3]

Deng Zhi was also known for being firm and candid, and direct when he expressed his thoughts and feelings. As a result, he neither got along well with the scholar-elite and literati nor gained much respect and prestige among his contemporaries. Jiang Wei was one of the few who regarded Deng Zhi highly.[43]

Despite his positive traits, Deng Zhi was known for being arrogant and condescending. Many of his colleagues, including his superior Fei Yi, tended to give in to him. However, there was one Zong Yu who stood up to Deng Zhi.[44] In 243, when Deng Zhi returned to the Shu capital Chengdu from his previous post at Jiangzhou to serve as General of Chariots and Cavalry, he met Zong Yu and asked him: "According to the rules of propriety, a man in his 60s should no longer serve in the military. Why do you still want to receive command of troops at this age?" Zong Yu rebuked him: "You are already in your 70s but you haven't relinquished your command of troops. So why can't I receive command of troops when I am in my 60s?"[45]

In Romance of the Three KingdomsEdit

Deng Zhi is a minor character in the 14th-century historical novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms, which romanticises the historical events before and during the Three Kingdoms period of China. His first trip to Wu as Shu's envoy in the year 223 is dramatised and exaggerated in Chapter 86.

When Deng Zhi shows up in Wu, Zhang Zhao suggests to the Wu king Sun Quan to intimidate Deng Zhi and boil him alive (in the same way the King of Qi executed Li Yiji) if he tries to lobby them to make peace with Shu.[46] Sun Quan heeds Zhang Zhao's suggestion by setting up a large cauldron filled with boiling oil outside the meeting hall, and ordering heavily armed guards to line the path leading to the hall.[47]

Upon his arrival outside the hall, Deng Zhi sees the display and understands Sun Quan's intentions. He shows no sign of fear and calmly walks into the hall, smiling at the heavily armed guards who glare at him. After entering the hall, he does not kneel when he pays respect to Sun Quan, who shouts at him: "Why are you not kneeling?"[48] Deng Zhi confidently replies: "An emissary of a great kingdom does not bow to the lord of a lesser state."[49] An enraged Sun Quan says: "You don't know your place. Are you trying to use that tongue of yours to convince me in the same way Li Yiji tried to lobby the King of Qi? You can throw yourself into that cauldron now!"[50] Deng Zhi laughs and replies: "People all say Eastern Wu has many talents. Who would expect that they fear a scholar?"[51] An angry Sun Quan asks: "Why should I be afraid of a common man?"[52] Deng Zhi replies: "If you don't fear Deng Bomiao, then why are you worried that I am here to lobby you?"[53] Sun Quan asks: "You are here on Zhuge Liang's behalf to lobby me to reject Wei and join Shu. Is that true?"[54] Deng Zhi replies: "I am but a scholar from Shu. I came here specially in the interests of Wu, yet you try to intimidate me with heavily armed guards and an oil cauldron. Doesn't that show how narrow-minded and intolerant you are?"[55]

Sun Quan feels anxious and ashamed after hearing Deng Zhi's words, so he orders the guards to leave and offers Deng Zhi a seat in the hall. He then asks Deng Zhi: "Sir, can you tell me what are the interests of Wu and Wei?"[56] Deng Zhi asks him back: "Your Majesty wants to make peace with Shu or Wei?"[57] Sun Quan replies: "I wish to make peace with Shu, but I am afraid that the ruler of Shu is too young and inexperienced that he cannot ensure Shu's survival."[58] Deng Zhi says: "While Your Majesty is a dynastic hero, Zhuge Liang is also a hero of his time. Shu has high mountains as its natural defences while Wu has the rivers as natural barriers. If we combine our geographical advantages and form an alliance, we can conquer the Empire if we advance, and we can still maintain our positions if we recede. This is the natural course of things. If Your Majesty agrees to send your son as a hostage to Wei, they will eventually summon you to their imperial court or make your crown prince serve them. If you refuse, they will take it as treason and attack you. When that happens, Shu will follow the flow and take whatever it can from you. The lands in Jiangnan will then no longer belong to Your Majesty. If Your Majesty disagrees with what I have just said, then I will die immediately in front of Your Majesty to rid myself of being labelled a lobbyist."[59]

After finishing his speech, Deng Zhi leaves his seat, dashes out of the hall and prepares to throw himself into the cauldron. Sun Quan immediately stops him, invites him back to the hall, and treats him like an honoured guest.[60] He then tells Deng Zhi: "Sir, what you just said is in line with my thoughts. I desire to make peace and ally with Shu. Sir, are you willing to help me?"[61] Deng Zhi replies: "Just now Your Majesty wanted to boil me alive. Now Your Majesty wants me to help you with diplomacy. If Your Majesty can't make up your mind, how can you gain people's trust?" Sun Quan replied: "I have made up my mind. Sir, you can be sure about that."[62]

Sun Quan then sends Zhang Wen as his envoy to accompany Deng Zhi back to Shu to meet Zhuge Liang and reestablish the Wu–Shu alliance against Wei.[63]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Rafe de Crespigny erroneously writes in A Biographical Dictionary of Later Han to the Three Kingdoms 23-220 AD that Deng Zhi died in the year 250.[3]


  1. ^ a b c Cihai 6th edition (2009–10) Collectors' edition (辞海 第六版 典藏本) (ISBN 978-7-5326-3353-1/N.68)
  2. ^ a b c ([延熈]十四年卒。) Sanguozhi vol. 45.
  3. ^ a b c d e de Crespigny (2007), p. 137.
  4. ^ (鄧芝字伯苗,義陽新野人,漢司徒禹之後也。) Sanguozhi vol. 45.
  5. ^ (漢末入蜀,未見知待。時益州從事張裕善相,芝往從之,裕謂芝曰:「君年過七十,位至大將軍,封侯。」) Sanguozhi vol. 45.
  6. ^ (芝聞巴西太守龐羲好士,往依焉。) Sanguozhi vol. 45.
  7. ^ Sima (1084), vol. 67.
  8. ^ (先主定益州,芝為郫邸閣督。先主出至郫,與語,大奇之,擢為郫令,遷廣漢太守。) Sanguozhi vol. 45.
  9. ^ Sima (1084), vol. 69.
  10. ^ (所在清嚴有治績,入為尚書。) Sanguozhi vol. 45.
  11. ^ Sima (1084), vols. 68-69.
  12. ^ a b c Sima (1084), vol. 70.
  13. ^ (先主薨於永安。先是,吳王孫權請和,先主累遣宋瑋、費禕等與相報荅。) Sanguozhi vol. 45.
  14. ^ (丞相諸葛亮深慮權聞先主殂隕,恐有異計,未知所如。) Sanguozhi vol. 45.
  15. ^ (芝見亮曰:「今主上幼弱,初在位,宜遣大使重申吳好。」亮荅之曰:「吾思之乆矣,未得其人耳,今日始得之。」芝問其人為誰,亮曰:「即使君也。」乃遣芝脩好於權。) Sanguozhi vol. 45.
  16. ^ (權果狐疑,不時見芝,芝乃自表請見權曰:「臣今來亦欲為吳,非但為蜀也。」) Sanguozhi vol. 45.
  17. ^ (權乃見之,語芝曰:「孤誠願與蜀和親,然恐蜀主幼弱,國小勢偪,為魏所乘,不自保全,以此猶豫耳。」) Sanguozhi vol. 45.
  18. ^ (芝對曰:「吳、蜀二國四州之地,大王命世之英,諸葛亮亦一時之傑也。蜀有重險之固,吳有三江之阻,合此二長,共為脣齒,進可并兼天下,退可鼎足而立,此理之自然也。大王今若委質於魏,魏必上望大王之入朝,下求太子之內侍,若不從命,則奉辭伐叛,蜀必順流見可而進,如此,江南之地非復大王之有也。」) Sanguozhi vol. 45.
  19. ^ (權默然良乆曰:「君言是也。」遂自絕魏,與蜀連和,遣張溫報聘於蜀。) Sanguozhi vol. 45.
  20. ^ (蜀復令芝重往,權謂芝曰:「若天下太平,二主分治,不亦樂乎!」) Sanguozhi vol. 45.
  21. ^ (芝對曰:「夫天無二日,土無二王,如并魏之後,大王未深識天命者也,君各茂其德,臣各盡其忠,將提枹鼓,則戰爭方始耳。」) Sanguozhi vol. 45.
  22. ^ (權大笑曰:「君之誠欵,乃當爾邪!」) Sanguozhi vol. 45.
  23. ^ (權與亮書曰:「丁厷掞張,陰化不盡;和合二國,唯有鄧芝。」) Sanguozhi vol. 45.
  24. ^ (及亮北住漢中,以芝為中監軍、揚武將軍。) Sanguozhi vol. 45.
  25. ^ ([建興]六年春,揚聲由斜谷道取郿,使趙雲、鄧芝為疑軍,據箕谷,魏大將軍曹真舉衆拒之。亮身率諸軍攻祁山,戎陣整齊,賞罰肅而號令明,南安、天水、安定三郡叛魏應亮,關中響震。) Sanguozhi vol. 35.
  26. ^ (魏明帝西鎮長安,命張郃拒亮, ...) Sanguozhi vol. 35.
  27. ^ a b ([建興]五年,隨諸葛亮駐漢中。明年,亮出軍,揚聲由斜谷道,曹真遣大衆當之。亮令雲與鄧芝往拒,而身攻祁山。雲、芝兵弱敵彊,失利於箕谷,然歛衆固守,不至大敗。) Sanguozhi vol. 36.
  28. ^ (諸葛亮出祁山。加郃位特進,遣督諸軍,拒亮將馬謖於街亭。謖依阻南山,不下據城。郃絕其汲道,擊,大破之。南安、天水、安定郡反應亮,郃皆破平之。) Sanguozhi vol. 17.
  29. ^ (亮使馬謖督諸軍在前,與郃戰于街亭。謖違亮節度,舉動失宜,大為郃所破。) Sanguozhi vol. 35.
  30. ^ Sima (1084), vol. 71.
  31. ^ Sima (1084), vol. 72.
  32. ^ (亮卒,遷前軍師前將軍,領兖州刺史,封陽武亭侯,頃之為督江州。) Sanguozhi vol. 45.
  33. ^ (權數與芝相聞,饋遺優渥。) Sanguozhi vol. 45.
  34. ^ (延熈六年,就遷為車騎將軍,後假節。) Sanguozhi vol. 45.
  35. ^ ([延熈]十一年,涪陵國人殺都尉反叛,芝率軍征討,即梟其渠帥,百姓安堵。) Sanguozhi vol. 45.
  36. ^ (蜀漢鄧芝墓,縣西南五里,有二石闕,南陽人,仕蜀為車騎將軍。) Records of Zitong County from the Xianfeng era (咸豐梓潼縣志).
  37. ^ (華陽國志曰:芝征涪陵,見玄猿緣山。芝性好弩,手自射猿,中之。猿拔其箭,卷木葉塞其創。芝曰:「嘻,吾違物之性,其將死矣!」) Huayang Guo Zhi annotation in Sanguozhi vol. 45.
  38. ^ (一曰:芝見猿抱子在樹上,引弩射之,中猿母,其子為拔箭,以木葉塞創。芝乃歎息,投弩水中,自知當死。) Pei Songzhi's annotation in Sanguozhi vol. 45.
  39. ^ (鄭天生,鄧芝母也。) Zhen'gao vol. 12.
  40. ^ (子良,襲爵,景耀中為尚書左選郎,晉朝廣漢太守。) Sanguozhi vol. 45.
  41. ^ (芝為大將軍二十餘年,賞罰明斷,善卹卒伍。) Sanguozhi vol. 45.
  42. ^ (身之衣食資仰於官,不苟素儉,然終不治私產,妻子不免饑寒,死之日家無餘財。) Sanguozhi vol. 45.
  43. ^ (性剛簡,不飾意氣,不得士類之和。於時人少所敬貴,唯器異姜維云。) Sanguozhi vol. 45.
  44. ^ (芝性驕慠,自大將軍費禕等皆避下之,而預獨不為屈。) Sanguozhi vol. 45.
  45. ^ (時車騎將軍鄧芝自江州還,來朝,謂預曰:「禮,六十不服戎,而卿甫受兵,何也?」預荅曰:「卿七十不還兵,我六十何為不受邪?」) Sanguozhi vol. 45.
  46. ^ ([張]昭曰:「先於殿前立一大鼎,貯油數百斤,下用炭燒。待其油沸,可選身長面大武士一千人,各執刀在手,從宮門前直排至殿上,卻喚芝入見。休等此人開言下說詞,責以酈食其說齊故事,效此例烹之,看其人如何對答。」) Sanguo Yanyi ch. 86.
  47. ^ ([孫]權從其言,遂立油鼎,命武士立於左右,各執軍器,召鄧芝入。芝整衣冠而入。行至宮門前,只見兩行武士,威風凜凜,各持鋼刀、大斧、長劍、短戟,直列至殿上。) Sanguo Yanyi ch. 86.
  48. ^ (芝曉其意,並無懼色,昂然而行。至殿前,又見鼎鑊內熱油正沸。左右武士以目視之,芝但微微而笑。近臣引至簾前,鄧芝長揖不拜。權令卷起珠簾,大喝曰:「何不拜!」) Sanguo Yanyi ch. 86.
  49. ^ (芝昂然而答曰:「上國天使,不拜小邦之主。」) Sanguo Yanyi ch. 86.
  50. ^ (權大怒曰:「汝不自料,欲掉三寸之舌,效酈生說齊乎?可速入油鼎!」) Sanguo Yanyi ch. 86.
  51. ^ (芝大笑曰:「人皆言東吳多賢,誰想懼一儒生!」) Sanguo Yanyi ch. 86.
  52. ^ (權轉怒曰:「孤何懼爾一匹夫耶?」) Sanguo Yanyi ch. 86.
  53. ^ (芝曰:「即不懼鄧伯苗,何愁來說汝等也?」) Sanguo Yanyi ch. 86.
  54. ^ (權曰:「爾欲為諸葛亮作說客,來說孤絕魏向蜀,是否?」) Sanguo Yanyi ch. 86.
  55. ^ (芝曰:「吾乃蜀中一儒生,特為吳國利害而來。乃設兵陳鼎,以拒一使,何其局量之不能容物耶?」) Sanguo Yanyi ch. 86.
  56. ^ (權聞言惶愧,即叱退武士,命芝上殿,賜坐而問曰:「吳魏之利害若何?願先生教我。」) Sanguo Yanyi ch. 86.
  57. ^ (芝曰:「大王欲與蜀和,還是欲與魏和?」) Sanguo Yanyi ch. 86.
  58. ^ (權曰:「孤正欲與蜀主講和;但恐蜀主年輕識淺,不能全始全終耳。」) Sanguo Yanyi ch. 86.
  59. ^ (芝曰:「大王乃命世之英豪,諸葛亮亦一時之俊傑;蜀有山川之險,吳有三江之固;若二國連和,共為脣齒,進則可以兼吞天下,退則可以鼎足而立。今大王若委贄稱臣於魏,魏必望大王朝覲,求太子以為內侍;如其不從,則興兵夾攻,蜀亦順流而進取,如此則江南之地,不復為大王有矣。若大王以愚言為不然,愚將就死於大王之前,以絕說客之名也。」) Sanguo Yanyi ch. 86.
  60. ^ (言訖,撩衣下殿,望油鼎中便跳。權急命止之,請入後殿,以上賓之禮相待。) Sanguo Yanyi ch. 86.
  61. ^ (權曰:「先生之言,正合孤意。孤今欲與蜀主連和,先生肯為我介紹乎?」) Sanguo Yanyi ch. 86.
  62. ^ (芝曰:「適欲烹小臣者,乃大王也;今欲使小臣者,亦大王也;大王猶自狐疑未定,安能取信於人?」權曰:「孤意已決,先生勿疑。」) Sanguo Yanyi ch. 86.
  63. ^ Sanguo Yanyi ch. 86.