Zhang Cheng (Three Kingdoms)

Zhang Cheng (178–244), courtesy name Zhongsi, was a military general of the state of Eastern Wu during the Three Kingdoms period of China.[1]

Zhang Cheng
General of Vehement Might (奮威將軍)
In office
? (?)–244 (244)
MonarchSun Quan
Chief Controller of Ruxu (濡須都督)
In office
? (?)–? (?)
MonarchSun Quan
Commandant of the West Section of Changsha (長沙西部都尉)
In office
? (?)–? (?)
MonarchSun Quan
Personal details
Died244 (aged 66)[1]
  • unidentified first wife
  • Zhuge Jin’s daughter
RelationsZhang Xiu (brother)
Courtesy nameZhongsi (仲嗣)
Posthumous nameMarquis Ding (定侯)
PeerageMarquis of a Chief District (都鄉侯)


Zhang Cheng was the elder son of Zhang Zhao, a senior statesman who served under Sun Quan, the founding emperor of Eastern Wu.[2] At a young age, he was known for being well read and talented in scholarly arts. He was also a close friend of Zhuge Jin, Bu Zhi and Yan Jun.[3]

When Sun Quan still held the nominal appointment of General of Chariots of Cavalry (驃騎將軍) in the late Eastern Han dynasty, he recruited Zhang Cheng to serve as an assistant official in the west bureau of his office. Later, he promoted Zhang Cheng to the position of Commandant of the West Section of Changsha Commandery (長沙西部都尉). During this time, he pacified some local tribes in Changsha Commandery and managed to recruit 15,000 of them to serve in the Wu army.[4]

Some time later, Zhang Cheng was promoted to General of Vehement Might (奮威將軍) and put in command of 5,000 troops. Sun Quan appointed him as the Chief Controller (都督) of Ruxu (濡須), a Wu garrison strategically located along the Yangtze River at the north of present-day Wuwei County, Anhui. He also enfeoffed Zhang Cheng as a Marquis of a Chief District (都鄉侯).[5]

Zhang Cheng was known for his bold, courageous and loyal personality. Apart from these traits, he was also known for being a good judge of character. He spotted talents such as Cai Kuan (蔡款) and Xie Jing (謝景) and promoted them accordingly. Cai Kuan later rose the position of Minister of the Guards (衞尉) in the Wu government, while Xie Jing became the Administrator of Yuzhang Commandery (豫章郡; around present-day Nanchang, Jiangxi).[6] When Zhuge Ke, the eldest son of Zhang Cheng's friend Zhuge Jin, was still a youth, he received high praise from many people for his extraordinary talents. Zhang Cheng, however, accurately predicted that Zhuge Ke would bring doom to his family one day.[7]

Throughout his life, Zhang Cheng was known for his passion for learning. He constantly sought opportunities to enrich himself with more knowledge and skills, and attracted numerous visitors to his residence. He died in 244 at the age of 66, and was honoured with the posthumous title "Marquis Ding" (定侯).[8]


Zhang Cheng's son, Zhang Zhen (張震), inherited his father's peerage as a Marquis of a Chief District (都鄉侯). After Zhang Cheng's first wife died, his father Zhang Zhao suggested that he marry his friend Zhuge Jin's daughter. Zhang Cheng initially declined because he felt awkward about becoming his friend's son-in-law, but eventually agreed after Sun Quan persuaded him to do so.[9]

Zhang Cheng and Zhuge Jin's daughter had a daughter, who married Sun He, the third son of Sun Quan. Sun Quan often reminded Sun He to be courteous towards Zhang Cheng and paid due respect as a son-in-law. Zhang Cheng's son, Zhang Zhen, was implicated and purged in the aftermath of Zhuge Ke's downfall because he was a maternal nephew of Zhuge Ke.[10] Zhang Cheng also had another daughter, who married Lu Kang and bore Lu Jing. She was also purged in the aftermath of Zhuge Ke's downfall because she was his maternal niece.[11]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c de Crespigny (2007), p. 1038.
  2. ^ (長子承已自封侯,少子休襲爵。) Sanguozhi vol. 52.
  3. ^ (承字仲嗣,少以才學知名,與諸葛瑾、步隲、嚴畯相友善。) Sanguozhi vol. 52.
  4. ^ (權為驃騎將軍,辟西曹掾,出為長沙西部都尉。討平山寇,得精兵萬五千人。) Sanguozhi vol. 52.
  5. ^ (後為濡須都督、奮威將軍,封都鄉侯,領部曲五千人, ...) Sanguozhi vol. 52.
  6. ^ (... 承為人壯毅忠讜,能甄識人物,拔彭城蔡款、南陽謝景於孤微童幼,後並為國士,款至衞尉,景豫章太守。) Sanguozhi vol. 52.
  7. ^ (又諸葛恪年少時,衆人奇其英才,承言終敗諸葛氏者元遜也。) Sanguozhi vol. 52.
  8. ^ (勤於長進,篤於物類,凡在庶幾之流,無不造門。年六十七,赤烏七年卒,謚曰定侯。) Sanguozhi vol. 52.
  9. ^ (子震嗣。初,承喪妻,昭欲為索諸葛瑾女,承以相與有好,難之,權聞而勸焉,遂為婚。) Sanguozhi vol. 52.
  10. ^ (生女,權為子和納之。權數令和脩敬於承,執子壻之禮。震,諸葛恪誅時亦死。) Sanguozhi vol. 52.
  11. ^ (文士傳曰:陸景母張承女,諸葛恪外生。恪誅,景母坐見黜。) Wenshi Zhuan annotation in Sanguozhi vol. 58.
  • Chen, Shou (3rd century). Records of the Three Kingdoms (Sanguozhi).
  • de Crespigny, Rafe (2007). A Biographical Dictionary of Later Han to the Three Kingdoms 23-220 AD. Leiden: Brill. ISBN 9789004156050.
  • Pei, Songzhi (5th century). Annotations to Records of the Three Kingdoms (Sanguozhi zhu).