San Guo Zhi Officer Biography
Translator Notes in Green
Translated by Jack Yuan
Huang Zhong was styled Hansheng and a man from Nanyang. Governor of Jingzhou Liu Biao made him a General of the Gentlemen of the Household and had him garrison Youxian in Changsha with nephew Liu Yan. Then Duke Cao conquered Jingzhou and Huang Zhong was made acting major-general, continuing to fulfill his former role. When the Former Lord secured the various commanderies of the south, Huang Zhong joined him and followed Liu into Shu. At Jiameng, he received command to besiege Liu Zhang. Huang Zhong frequently charged into battle himself and was a resolute and courageous commander of the three armies. After Yizhou was secured, he was assigned General who Exterminates the Caitiffs.
In the twenty-fourth year of Jian’an , Huang Zhong attacked Xiahou Yuan at Mount Dingjun in Hanzhong. Xiahou Yuan’s troops were elite but on every charge Huang was at the forefront, to rouse his soldiers. The drums roused the Heavens and the roar of the soldiers resonated through the gorges. At the first clash Xiahou Yuan was beheaded and his troops greatly defeated. Hence Huang Zhong was promoted to the position of General who Subdues the West. That year, the Former Lord became King of Hanzhong and wished to make Huang Zhong General of the Rear. Zhuge Liang advised the Former Lord, saying: “Huang Zhong’s prestige never matched that of Guan Yu or Ma Chao. But now he is their equal. Ma Chao and Zhang Fei are by your side, have seen his meritorious service and will understand your choice. But when Guan Yu hears from afar, I fear that he will not be happy. This cannot be had.” The Former Lord said: “I will resolve this myself.” Then Huang Zhong was promoted to the same level as Guan Yu and the others, and was enfeoffed as a Marquis of the Imperial Domain. That year, Huang Zhong died and received the posthumous appellation of ‘Marquis Gang’. His son Huang Xu died early, and left no descendants.
Appraisal: It was said that Guan Yu and Zhang Fei were the match of ten thousand men and tiger generals of their times. Guan Yu repaid Duke Cao and Zhang Fei treated Yan Yan with rectitude; both had the airs of statesmen. However, Guan Yu was headstrong and Zhang Fei crude and heartless. It is the standard moral that they fell due to these weaknesses. Ma Chao relied on the Rong and was conceited in his valiance. For this his entire clan was exterminated, what a ignominy! But to gain peace in such a predicament, is this not some recompense? Huang Zhong and Zhao Yun were firm, courageous and both were of immense service. They were probably the like of Guan Ying and the Lord of Teng [Xiahou Ying].
Copyright © 2002 Jack Yuan
Translated from Chen Shou’s Sanguozhi
All Rights Reserved