Encyclopedia: Gongsun Xu

Gongsun Xu; Kungsun Hsü; 公孫續

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Gongsun Xu 公孫續

Lived: AD ?–199

None Available

Served: Gongsun Zan

Sent to get help from Zhang Yan and succeeded, later killed by the Xiongnu.

Officer Details

Wade-Giles: Kungsun Hsü
Simplified Chinese: 公孙续
Pronunciation: Gong1sun1 Xu4
Cantonese (Yale): Gungsyun Juk
Cantonese (Jyutpin): Gungsyun Zuk
Min-Nan: Kongsun Siok

Family and Relationships

Gongsun Zan (Father)


Internet Researched

Gongsun Xu (公孫續; died 199) was the son of Gongsun Zan and also an officer under his command during the civil strife preceding the Three Kingdoms period in China. He unknowingly played a part in his father’s downfall.

After the dispersal of the Coalition against Dong Zhuo, Yuan Shao and Gongsun Zan went to war with each other for the control of northern China. Eventually, Yuan Shao had pushed Gongsun Zan back to his lone fortress of Yijing where Gongsun Zan withstood the siege. In this battle, Gongsun Xu was tasked to request help from the bandits of Heishan in the Taihang Mountains. When Gongsun Xu returned to Yijing in the spring of 199 with the bandit Zhang Yan’s relief forces, Gongsun Zan had sent a message to his son, which wrote: “The Yuan attack like the gods and devils, their drums and horns resonate through our grounds and their ladders spring against our towers. With all haste, you should lay your cavalry and light a signal torch north of the city, and I shall come from within. Failing so, after I die, however vast this world is, there would be no resting place for you!”

However, Yuan Shao’s troops had intercepted the message and laid their own troops in ambush. The Yuan forces then signalled Gongsun Zan, routing his unit and forcing him back into the city. Yuan’s troops followed up their success by digging tunnels under the city and then supporting them with beams which they later torched. The tunnel went into the center of the city and its collapse caused Zan’s towers to crumble as well. Realizing his doom, Gongsun Zan committed suicide by self-immolation. Later, Gongsun Xu was killed by the Chuge (屠各) group of the Xiongnu.



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April 10, 2023