Biography (COB): Zhang Jun

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Zhang JunZhang Jun

Comprehensive Officer Biography
Author Notes in Blue
Authored by Dong Zhou

Lifespan: AD ?–184
Birthplace: Zhongshan
Titles: Gentleman of the Palace

Zhang Jun was from Zhongshan. When the Yellow Turban rebellion broke out, he held the rank of the Gentlemen of the Palace, sending in a memorial (1) to Emperor Ling that read: “It is my humble opinion that the reasons Zhang Jue was able to raise soldiers and make his rebellion, and that the people love him and trust him, are because your ten (2) Regular Attendants have sent out the members of their family, their relatives and their dependants to take over control of the provinces.”

1: The Romance has Zhang Jun complain to Emperor Ling after the Yellow Turban rebellion is put down, Zhang Jun complains about the eunuchs because he discovers Liu Bei had not been rewarded.
2: Zhang Jun’s figure was approximate, there where twelve Regular Attendants at the time

“They steal the wealth of the people by cruel taxation and they plunder and rob the poor. The people have no way to tell of their grievances, and so make plans for rebellion and gather together as bandits. You should cut the heads off your ten Regular Attendants, hang them along the southern walls of the city as a sign of apology to the empire, and send messengers to proclaim the news throughout the country. There would be no further need for an army.”

Emperor Ling showed the memorial to his attendants who all took off their caps and came barefoot to bow before the Emperor. They asked to be sent to prison and offered all their property for the use of the army. Emperor Ling told them to put on their caps and shoes, to continue serving him as they always had done. The Emperor was angry with Zhang Jun saying “The man’s a fool. How could he claim that all my Regular Attendants are bad?”

The office of Imperial Clerk saw how their Emperor felt so they sent in a false report accusing Zhang Jun of studying the teachings of the Yellow Turbans. The false accusations were enough to have Zhang Jun arrested and flogged; he died in jail (3).

3: The Romance just has Emperor Ling expel Zhang Jun from the court.

Copyright © 2006 Dong Zhou. All Rights Reserved.
Based on factual historic sources.