Biography (COB): Sun Lang (Zaoan)

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Sun Lang (Zaoan)Sun Lang (Zaoan)
孫朗 (早安)

Comprehensive Officer Biography
Author Notes in Blue
Authored by Steven Trinkl

Lifespan: Unknown
Relations: Sun Jian (father); Wu Guotai (mother); Sun Ce, Sun Quan, Sun Yi, Sun Kuang (half-brothers); Lady Sun (sister)

Sun Lang, styled Zaoan, was the son of Sun Jian and a concubine. He was just a child when Sun Jian had died, and thus he went with the rest of his family to Qu’a.

Lang had barely even come of age by the time his eldest brother, Ce, passed away, leaving control of the family with Sun Quan, who was entrusted to Zhang Zhao and Zhou Yu. Sun Lang did not participate in any campaigns for many years, instead serving as a palace guard in Wu commandery.

In AD 222, Wei launched a massive invasion against Wu along many fronts: Cao Zhen, Zhang He, Xiahou Shang, and Xu Huang besieged Nanjun; Cao Ren and Cao Tai attacked Ruxu; and for his part, Cao Xiu led his fleet to invade Wu at Dongkou. The ranks of his fleet included two of Wei’s most elite generals, Zhang Liao and Zang Ba. In response, Lü Fan, Wu’s Grand Administrator of Danyang, prepared a navy of his own to oppose Cao Xiu and gave strict orders to his subordinates, whose numbers included Xu Sheng, Quan Cong, and Sun Shao, as well as Sun Lang. Weather conditions were unfavorable for a fire attack, thus one of Lü Fan’s orders was not to use a fire attack.

Sun Lang, however, felt that using fire would bring the Wu forces advantage, so he attempted to light a fire to engulf Cao Xiu’s fleet. The results were disastrous, and many of the army’s siege machines and supplies were destroyed. Thanks to the efforts of Xu Sheng in particular, the battle was won anyway, but much of Lü Fan’s fleet had been destroyed.

Furious at Lang’s actions, Sun Quan not only imprisoned him for the rest of his life, but also disavowed Lang of any familial relationship, changing his surname to Ding (), which perhaps was the greatest shame of all. Lang died in prison. (1)

1: Some sources record Sun Kuang as the culprit rather than Sun Lang, but this is impossible, as Sun Kuang had died many years before.

Copyright © 2006 Steven Trinkl. All Rights Reserved.
Based on factual historic sources.