Biography (SGZ): Zhang Yi (Bogong)

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Zhang Yi (Bogong)
(AD ?-264)

Sanguozhi Officer Biography
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Zhang Yi, styled Bogong, was from Wuyang in Qianwei. His great-great-grandfather Zhang Hao, and his great-grandfather Zhang Gang, the Grand Administrator of Guangling, were both men of renown (1). At the time when the Former Ruler (Liu Bei) pacified Yi Province and took over as Governor, Zhang Yi was a secretary in his office. In the end of the Jian’an period, Zhang Yi was recommend to the court as a “Filial and Incorrupt”, and was made Chief of Jiangyang. Later, he was made Prefect of Peiling, and then promoted to be Grand Administrator of Zitong. Eventually he became the Grand Administrator of Guanghan, and then of Shu Commandary. In the 9th year of Jianxing (AD 231), he became Chief Controller of Laijiang, and General of the Interior who Pacifies the South.

Zhang Yi was strict in upholding the laws, and was not popular with the commoners. Liu Zhou rose in rebellion, and Zhang Yi rallied an army to quell the uprising. Before Liu Zhou could be subdued, an imperial order arrived, commanding Zhang Yi’s return to the capital. All those serving under him held the view that he should go back to Chengdu with all speed to plead guilty [for mismanagement – LW]. However, Zhang Yi said, “Not so. I have been summoned back because I was not suited to the task of suppressing the barbarians’ uprising. However, my successor has not arrived yet. Since I am close to the battlefield, I should be helping to transport supplies and store grains to help defeat the enemy. How could I leave the kingdom’s affairs to be abandoned just because I am demoted?” Thus he stayed in command in vigilance until his replacement, Ma Zhong arrived. Based on Zhang Yi’s preparatory work, Ma Zhong was able to annihilate Liu Zhou, and Prime Minister Zhuge Liang praised Zhang Yi for that. When Zhuge Liang marched forth from Wugong, he had Zhang Yi be the Controller of the front army, and be the designated Grand Administer of Fufeng.

When Zhuge Liang died, Zhang Yi was made Commander of the Front; and considering his merits in crushing Liu Zhou’s uprising, [Liu Shan] granted him the title of Marquis of Guannei. In the first year of Yuanxi (AD 238), he took the civil rank of Imperial Secretariat, and later, he was sent to be controller of the Jianwei region. Then he was granted the Fujie tally (Tiger Tally), and promoted to be Marquis of Du Commune and General-in-Chief Who Conquers the West.

In the 18th year of Yanxi (AD 255), he returned to Chengdu along with Jiang Wei, the General of the Guards. Jiang Wei proposed to march forth again, but Zhang Yi opposed the plan, arguing that since the kingdom was small and the populace tired, constant warfare was inadvisable. Jiang Wei did not listen to him, and rather, had Zhang Yi march with him, having promoted him to General-in-Chief Who Guards the South. When Jiang Wei arrived at Didao, he scored a great victory over Wang Jing, the Wei Inspector of Yong Province. Tens of thousands of Wang Jing’s men were killed by the Tao River. Thus said Zhang Yi, “We should halt now, and march no further. Should we proceed, our success may be marred. This is like drawing feet on a serpent (2).” However, Jiang Wei proceeded to besiege Wang Jing at Didao, and was unable to capture the city.

Ever since that time, as Zhang Yi disagreed with him, Jiang Wei disliked Zhang Yi secretly, and yet he always brought him along in his expeditions. Zhang Yi had no choice but to follow Jiang Wei. In the second year of Jingyao (AD 259), Zhang Yi was made General of the Chariots and Cavalry of the Left, and designated Inspector of Ji Province. In the 6th year (AD 263) of Jingyao, he was in Jian’ge along with Jiang Wei, and together they pleaded to surrender to Zhong Hui, who was at Pei. In the first month of the next year, they accompanied Zhong Hui to Chengdu, and were killed in the insurrection (3).

(1) Pei Songzhi’s additional biographies of Zhang Hao and Zhang Gang omitted here – LW. <return>

(2) i.e., superfluous – LW <return>

(3) Huayang Guozhi: Zhang Yi’s son, Zhang Wei, was of firm character and keen to learn, and eventually he reached the position of Grand Administrator of Guanghan. <return>

Copyright © 2002 - 2003
Translated from Chen Shou’s Sanguozhi