Biography (SGYY): Zou Jing

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Zou Jing
Lifespan: Unknown

Sanguo yanyi Officer Biography
Author Notes in Blue
Authored by Sam Wrest

Zou Jing

Zou Jing served as Commandant to Liu Yan, governor of Youzhou district, during the later period of the Han Dynasty.

When the Yellow Scarves rebellion began in the first year of Central Stability, AD 184, Zhang Jiao, the leader of the rebels, began marching onto Youzhou district. When Liu Yan learned of their advance, he immediately called Zou Jing for his estimate of the situation. “They are many,” said Jing, “and we are few. The best course, Your Lordship, is to recruit an army quickly to deal with the enemy.”

The governor agreed and put Zou Jing’s plan into action, issuing a call for volunteers loyal to the house of Han.

Not long after the call had been posted, three brothers named Liu Bei, Guan Yu and Zhang Fei, along with five hundred men, presented themselves before Zou Jing, who in turn took them to see Liu Yan. When Liu Bei mentioned his royal surname to Yan, the governor was delighted and acknowledged Bei as his nephew. (1)Some time later it was reported that the Yellow Scarves chieftain Cheng Yuanzhi was advancing on Zhuo district with fifty thousand men. Zou Jing led the three brothers and their five hundred men against the enemy and successfully drove the rebels back. Upon Zou Jing and the three brother’s return, Liu Yan met them personally and rewarded their soldiers.

1: Liu Bei was a descendent of Prince Jing of Zhongshan, Liu Sheng, a great-great-grandson of the fourth Han Emperor, Jing.

The day after Zou Jing’s victory over Cheng Yuanzhi’s army, Liu Yan received an appeal from Governor Gong Jing to relieve the rebel-besieged city of Qingzhou. Zou Jing was put in command of five thousand men and along with Liu Bei, Guan Yu and Zhang Fei went to relieve the city. As Zou Jing neared Qingzhou, the Yellow Scarves divided their forces and tied up Jing’s army in a tangled struggle. Jing’s fewer numbers couldn’t prevail, and he was forced to retreat some thirty li from the city to pitch camp.

Following his defeat at Qingzhou, Zou Jing took counsel with the three brothers to discuss defeating the rebels. Liu Bei said, “They are too many for us. We can win only by surprising them.”

Jing agreed and had Guan Yu and Zhang Fei march off with one thousand men each to conceal themselves along both sides of a hill. The following day, Zou Jing and Liu Bei advanced noisily but drew back when the enemy gave battle. The rebel horde eagerly pursued, but as they passed the hill, Guan Yu and Zhang Fei led their one thousand men out from either side. Zou Jing and Liu Bei then swung their force around to resume combat. Squeezed between three forces, the rebels broke up and were driven to the very walls of Qingzhou, where an armed populace led by Governor Gong Jing met them. After a period of slaughter, the Scarves were routed and the siege of Qingzhou lifted.

To celebrate the victory, Governor Gong Jing feasted Zou Jing and his troops. After the feast, Jing began gathering his forces for the return trip to Youzhou when Liu Bei said, “We have word that Imperial Corps Commander Lu Zhi has been battling the rebel chief Zhang Jiao at Guangzong. Lu Zhi was once my teacher, and I’d like to help him.”

Zou Jing agreed and placed in Bei’s command the 500 men he had originally brought for service. After bidding Liu Bei farewell, Zou Jing returned to Youzhou to resume his duties as Commandant.

The Yellow Scarf rebellion was quelled shortly after, and although how and when Zou Jing died is unknown, he most likely continued to serve the house of Han until his death.

Copyright © 2005 Sam Wrest
Based on the novel, Romance of the Three Kingdoms, attributed to Luo Guanzhong