Biography (SGZ): Pan Zhang (Wengui)

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Pan Zhang (Wengui)
潘璋 (文珪)
(AD ?-234)

Sanguozhi Officer Biography
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Pan Zhang, styled Wengui, was from Fagan in Dongjun. He became a follower of Sun Quan when Sun Quan became Chief of Yanxian. Pan Zhang delighted in gambling and drinking; however, he was poor, and frequently he had to buy wine on credit. Whenever his creditors came to his door, he would always say that he would pay his debts when he became prosperous. Sun Quan considered the man quite extraordinary and took a liking to him; and so, having had him recruit a hundred-odd men, he made him a captain. When Pan Zhang obtained merit from fighting bandits, he was stationed as a Major of a Separate Command. Afterwards, he became the police chief of the great market of Wu, and all banditry ceased upon that. For that, Pan Zhang gained a name for himself, and was promoted to be prefect of Xi’an prefecture in Yuzhang. At that time Liu Biao was in Jingzhou and the people [living near the border] were frequently attacked [by him]; but once Pan Zhang took command of the region, the enemy did not cross the border again. The neighbouring prefect Jianchang was troubled by rebels. Thus Pan Zhang was transferred to Jianchang and the title of Colonel of Military Valour was added to him. There, he fought and subdued the insurgents and around ten days later all was peaceful again. He then gather back the peasants who had fled and got eight hundred men, who he led back to Jianye.

During the Battle of Hefei, Zhang Liao launched a surprise attack and caught all the [Wu] general unawares. Chen Wu died in fighting, and Song Qian and Xu Sheng fled defeated. Pan Zhang was in the rear. Seeing that, he rode forward and swinging his steed around, beheaded two soldiers under Song and Xu’s commands who were running away. Thus all the other troops returned to fighting. Sun Quan applauded his valour and made him a lieutenant-general. He was put in command of five companies of men and garrisoned at Banzhou.

When Sun Quan attacked Guan Yu, Pan Zhang and Zhu Ran went to block Guan Yu’s escape route. They arrived at Liju and pitched camp at Jiashi. Ma Zhong, a major under Pan Zhang’s command, captured Guan Yu as well as Guan Yu’s son Guan Ping, controller Zhao Lei, among others. Upon that Sun Quan split Yidu and Zigui prefectures off to be the commandery of Guling, and made Pan Zhang its grand administrator as well as General who Inspires Awe. Pan Zhang was also granted the title of Marquis of Liyang. After Gan Ning’s death, Pan Zhang took over his command. When Liu Bei marched out of Yiling, Pan Zhang and Lu Xun put their forces together to repel the attack. A subordinate of Pan Zhang’s killed Feng Xi, Commissioner over the Army of Liu Bei. Pan Zhang killed and wounded many. Thereupon Pan Zhang was made General who Pacifies the North and Grand Administrator of Xiangyang.

Xiahou Shang and other generals from Wei surrounded Nanjun. They split off thirty thousand men from the van to build floating bridges to reach Hundred-Li Island in the middle of the Yangtze River. Zhuge Jin and Yang Can both came with their troops to help out, but neither had any idea of what to do. In the meanwhile, the Wei soldiers crossed the River unceasingly. Pan Zhang said, “The Wei troops are high in morale, and the water of the river is shallow. We cannot fight them just yet.” Thereupon he led his command fifty li upriver from where the Wei troops were, where he had hundreds of thousands bunches of reeds harvested and made into rafts. He planned to drift them downriver to set fire to the bridges and destroy them. Once the rafts were made, he set them off on the high tide. Seeing that, Xiahou Shang retreated. Pan Zhang returned downstream to garrison at Lukou. When Sun Quan assumed the imperial title, he made Pan Zhang General of the Right.

Pan Zhang was violent and brave, his orders were strict, and he was keen on gaining victories. Even though his command numbered no more than a few thousand, wherever they went they resembled a force of ten thousand. Once fighting ceased, he would build a military marketA, and from that obtained many things that other troops could not get their hands on. However, Pan Zhang was a spendthrift by nature, and became worse in his old age, when he began to use clothing and vessels that mimicked his liege’s own. Furthermore, there were times when he killed wealthy officers or soldiers in order to take over their fortunes. Many times he violated the law. Inspectors reported all this to Sun Quan, but Sun Quan, valuing Pan Zhang’s achievements, forgave him all the crimes and never investigated into them. In the 3rd year of Jiahe (AD 234), Pan Zhang died. His son Pan Ping was exiled to Kuiji on account of poor conduct. Pan Zhang’s wife remained in Jianye, where Sun Quan granted her land and houses as well as fifty households as serfs.

Translator Notes
(A) A market run by military officers for trading with civilians. <return>

Copyright © 2004
Translated from Chen Shou’s Sanguozhi with Pei Songzhi’s Annotations