Biography (COB): Mi Zhu (Zizhong)

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Mi Zhu (Zizhong)Mi Zhu (Zizhong)
麋竺 (子仲)

Comprehensive Officer Biography
Translated & Authored by

Place of Birth: Qu County, Dong Hai Prefecture (presently Lianyun Gang City in Jiangsu Province)
Lifespan: AD 165 – 220 (55 Years)
Titles: Attendant of Cavalry, General Who Secures the Han

Mi Zhu was a descendant of a very rich family of businessmen. One day when Mi Zhu was returning home in his cart, he saw a woman standing at the side of the road and gave her a lift. She was a messenger from the Fire God, and sent to burn Mi Zhu’s belongings, however because of Mi Zhu’s generosity; she allowed him to save his family first and later burned his house (1).

At beginning of his civil career, Mi Zhu followed Tao Qian and took up the post of Attendant of Cavalry. When Tao Qian died, Mi Zhu favored Liu Bei as the new Protector of Xu Zhou and served him.

In the first year of Rebuilt Tranquility (AD 196), Lü Bu invaded Xu Zhou and captured Liu Bei’s wife and family. Zizhong sent his younger sister Lady Mi, accompanied with gold and jewels, to marry Liu Bei. This enabled his ruler to reorganize an armed force against Lü Bu.

Mi Zhu was graceful and refined, but lacked the discipline needed to deal with important tasks. Liu Bei treated his brother-in-law with the utmost courtesy and appointed him as General Who Secures the Han.

When Mi Zhu’s brother Mi Fang defected to Wu, Mi Zhu fell ill. Liu Bei tried to comfort him, saying that he should not carry the burden of his brother’s betrayal. However, Mi Zhu was unable to forgive his brother and died of illness and remorse.

(1) Added this story from both Shou Shen Ji and Sanguo yanyi. <return>

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Major Sources: Zhongguo Lishizhu Professor T.Chen (1965 Peking)