Zhang Miao (died 195),[1] courtesy name Mengzhuo, was a Chinese politician and warlord who lived in the late Eastern Han dynasty of China.

Zhang Miao
Administrator of Chenliu (陳留太守)
In office
? (?)–195 (195)
MonarchEmperor Xian of Han
Personal details
Yanggu County, Shandong
RelationsZhang Chao (brother)
OccupationPolitician and warlord
Courtesy nameMengzhuo (孟卓)
Chinese name
Traditional Chinese
Simplified Chinese

Early life and careerEdit

Zhang Miao was from Shouzhang County (壽張縣), Dongping Commandery (東平郡), which is in present-day Yanggu County, Shandong. He was known for being chivalrous as a youth, and he often helped the poor and the needy. He earned much respect from the scholar-gentry for his deeds. He was also a friend of Cao Cao and Yuan Shao.[2]

Zhang Miao was later recruited into the civil service and was commissioned as a Cavalry Commandant (騎都尉) after achieving excellent results in the imperial examination. He was subsequently promoted to be the Administrator (太守) of Chenliu Commandery (陳留郡; around present-day Kaifeng, Henan).[3]

Campaign against Dong ZhuoEdit

In 190, Zhang Miao and Cao Cao were among the first to take up arms against Dong Zhuo, leading to the formation of a coalition and the launching of a campaign against Dong. During a battle at Bianshui (汴水), Zhang Miao sent his subordinate Wei Zi (衞茲) to lead troops to assist Cao Cao. At the time, Yuan Shao, who was the coalition chief, behaved arrogantly and elicited strong criticism from Zhang Miao. Yuan Shao was furious and he told Cao Cao to kill Zhang Miao, but Cao refused and said, "Mengzhuo is our friend so we should be tolerate him. Now, the Empire has yet to be pacified, so we shouldn't start an internal conflict." Zhang Miao was very grateful to Cao Cao when he heard about it,[4] but he also felt uneasy.[5]

In Yan ProvinceEdit

Later, before Cao Cao embarked on a campaign against Tao Qian in Xu Province, he instructed his family, "If I don't return, you must take shelter under Mengzhuo." After returning from the campaign, Cao Cao met Zhang Miao and they shed tears of joy. They were such close friends.[6]

When Lü Bu left Yuan Shao to join Zhang Yang in Henei (河內; in present-day Henan), he passed by Chenliu and met Zhang Miao. Zhang Miao treated him generously and made a pledge of friendship with him when he saw him off.[7] Yuan Shao was angry when he heard that Zhang Miao had befriended Lü Bu. Zhang Miao also feared that Cao Cao might ally with Yuan Shao to attack him so he felt very uncomfortable.[8] Besides, his jurisdiction, Chenliu, was in Yan Province, which was under Cao Cao's control.

Betraying Cao CaoEdit

In 194, when Cao Cao was away on another campaign against Tao Qian, Zhang Miao's younger brother Zhang Chao (張超), along with Cao's subordinates Chen Gong, Xu Si (許汜) and Wang Kai (王楷), started a rebellion against Cao in Yan Province. Chen Gong successfully persuaded Zhang Miao to rebel against Cao Cao as well and invite Lü Bu into Yan Province. Chen Gong led his men from Dong Commandery (東郡; around present-day Liaocheng, Shandong) eastward to meet Lü Bu and they occupied Puyang (濮陽; in present-day Puyang, Henan). Lü Bu was declared Governor of Yan Province (兖州牧). The various commanderies and counties in Yan Province responded to Lü Bu's call and defected to his side, except for Juancheng, Dong'e and Fan counties, which still remained under Cao Cao's control.[9]

Upon receiving news of the revolt and Lü Bu's intrusion, Cao Cao aborted the Xu Province campaign and headed back to Yan Province, where the forces of Lü Bu and Cao Cao clashed in Puyang. Cao Cao was unable to overcome Lü Bu and both sides were locked in a stalemate for over 100 days. Around the time, the area was plagued by locusts and droughts so the people suffered from famine and many had resorted to cannibalism to survive. Lü Bu moved his base further east to Shanyang (山陽; in present-day southern Shandong). Within two years, Cao Cao managed to take back all his territories in Yan Province and he defeated Lü Bu in a battle at Juye County. Lü Bu fled to Xu Province and took refuge under Liu Bei.[10]


Zhang Miao followed Lü Bu after they were defeated by Cao Cao in Yan Province. He left his brother Zhang Chao and their family behind in Yongqiu (雍丘; present-day Qi County, Henan). Zhang Miao went to seek help from Yuan Shu but was killed by his own men before he reached his destination. Cao Cao besieged Yongqiu for some months and eventually conquered it, after which he executed Zhang Miao's clan.[11]

The Xiandi Chunqiu (獻帝春秋) recorded that Yuan Shu once discussed with Zhang Miao and others about proclaiming himself emperor – which he did in early 197. Zhang Miao dissuaded Yuan Shu from doing so. Pei Songzhi, who annotated Zhang Miao's biography in the Sanguozhi, commented that there was some ambiguity in the Xiandi Chunqiu account because Zhang Miao's biography stated that he was killed by his own men before he arrived at Yuan Shu's place[12] even though it was possible that he met Yuan earlier.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b ([獻帝興平二年]秋, ... 曹操圍雍丘,張邈詣袁術求救,未至,為其下所殺。) Zizhi Tongjian vol. 61.
  2. ^ (張邈字孟卓,東平壽張人也。少以俠聞,振窮救急,傾家無愛,士多歸之。太祖、袁紹皆與邈友。) Sanguozhi vol. 7.
  3. ^ (辟公府,以高第拜騎都尉,遷陳留太守。) Sanguozhi vol. 7.
  4. ^ (董卓之亂,太祖與邈首舉義兵。汴水之戰,邈遣衞茲將兵隨太祖。袁紹旣為盟主,有驕矜色,邈正議責紹。紹使太祖殺邈,太祖不聽,責紹曰:「孟卓,親友也,是非當容之。今天下未定,不宜自相危也。」邈知之,益德太祖。) Sanguozhi vol. 7.
  5. ^ (紹旣怨邈,且聞與布厚,乃令曹操殺邈。操不聽,然邈心不自安。) Houhanshu vol. 75.
  6. ^ (太祖之征陶謙,勑家曰;「我若不還,往依孟卓。」後還,見邈,垂泣相對。其親如此。) Sanguozhi vol. 7.
  7. ^ (道經陳留,太守張邈遣使迎之,相待甚厚,臨別把臂言誓。) Houhanshu vol. 75.
  8. ^ (紹聞之,大恨。邈畏太祖終為紹擊己也,心不自安。) Sanguozhi vol. 7.
  9. ^ (興平元年,太祖復征謙,邈弟超,與太祖將陳宮、從事中郎許汜、王楷共謀叛太祖。宮說邈曰:「今雄傑並起,天下分崩,君以千里之衆,當四戰之地,撫劒顧眄,亦足以為人豪,而反制於人,不以鄙乎!今州軍東征,其處空虛,呂布壯士,善戰無前,若權迎之,共牧兖州,觀天下形勢,俟時事之變通,此亦縱橫之一時也。」邈從之。 ... 太祖初使宮將兵留屯東郡,遂以其衆東迎布為兖州牧,據濮陽。郡縣皆應,唯鄄城、東阿、范為太祖守。) Sanguozhi vol. 7.
  10. ^ (太祖引軍還,與布戰於濮陽,太祖軍不利,相持百餘日。是時歲旱、蟲蝗、少穀,百姓相食,布東屯山陽。二年間,太祖乃盡復收諸城,擊破布於鉅野。布東奔劉備。) Sanguozhi vol. 7.
  11. ^ (邈從布,留超將家屬屯雍丘。太祖攻圍數月,屠之,斬超及其家。邈詣袁術請救未至,自為其兵所殺。) Sanguozhi vol. 7.
  12. ^ (獻帝春秋曰:袁術議稱尊號,邈謂術曰:「漢據火德,絕而復揚,德澤豐流,誕生明公。公居軸處中,入則享于上席,出則為衆目之所屬,華、霍不能增其高,淵泉不能同其量,可謂巍巍蕩蕩,無與為貳。何為捨此而欲稱制?恐福不盈眥,禍將溢世。莊周之稱郊祭犧牛,養飼經年,衣以文繡,宰執鸞刀,以入廟門,當此之時,求為孤犢不可得也!」案本傳,邈詣術,未至而死。而此云諫稱尊號,未詳孰是。) Xiandi Chunqiu annotation in Sanguozhi vol. 7.