Encyclopedia: Ma Long

Ma Long (Xiaoxing); Ma Lung (Hsiao-hsing); 馬隆 (孝興)

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You are viewing the profile of Ma Long (馬隆), styled Xiaoxing (孝興), born in Pinglu. “Fought the Xianbei and defeated the rebel Tufa Shujineng.” Ma Long was affiliated with and the Jin Dynasty. Return to the Three Kingdoms Encyclopedia to learn more or explore our Encyclopedia Directory to browse by kingdom or category.


Ma Long (Xiaoxing) 馬隆 (孝興)

Lived: Unlisted

None Available

Served: Jin

Fought the Xianbei and defeated the rebel Tufa Shujineng.

Officer Details

Wade-Giles: Ma Lung (Hsiao-hsing)
Simplified Chinese: 马隆 (孝兴)
Pronunciation: Ma3 Long2 (Xiao4xing1)
Cantonese (Yale): Ma Lung (Haau-hing)
Cantonese (Jyutpin): Maa Lung (Haau-hing)
Min-Nan: Ma Liong (Hauw-hin)

Birthplace: Pinglu

Rank and Titles

Martial Clerk; Martial and Bravery Assistant to the Inspector; Commander Inspector; Protector of Wuwei; General of Announcing Fame; Commander That Pacifies the Barbarians; Protector of Xiping; Marquis of Fenggao County; Colonel of East Qiang

Family and Relationships

Ma Xian (Son)

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Born in Pinglu, Ma Long established a reputation for himself early on as a man of bravery and intelligence. At one time, Wei’s Inspector of Yanzhou, Linghu Yu, was found guilty of some crime and was executed. Ma Long was a martial clerk at the time but claimed to be serving under Linghu Yu. He used his own money to provide a burial for Linghu Yu and planted trees in his remembrance. This action earned him fame and he was later promoted in rank.

Prior to the conquest of Wu by Jin, the Jin dynasty often struggled with barbarian forces in the North. According to Ma Long’s SGZ biography, Ma Long asked for 3,000 brave men from the Emperor and claimed that this would be enough to defeat the barbarians. The barbarians numbered in the tens of thousands. The Emperor granted Ma Long his request and promoted Ma Long as Protector of Wuwei. Several officials remonstrated with the Emperor, however, and claimed that Ma Long was only a low-ranked officer unfit for the task of pacifying the tribes.

Ma Long recruited only soldiers that could carry very heavy crossbows and among these, only soldiers that also were accurate at hitting targets. In the end he selected 3,500 men for his campaign. The Emperor gave Ma Long enough supplies for a long campaign. Thereafter, Ma Long traveled West and soon encountered substantial resistance from Tufa Shujineng. The barbarians frequently took up defensive positions or attempted to ambush Ma Long from behind. Ma Long set up defensive measures in wide areas . His army moved through narrow spaces carrying wooden roofs over their supply wagons. In encounters, Ma Long’s men were highly successful in shooting down their enemies. According to his biography, Ma Long also utilized rather peculiar tactics to diminish the strength of the barbarians. These included equipping his men with rhinoceros hide armor (犀甲) and placing magnets on the road to slow down his adversaries, which usually wore heavier armor. Meanwhile, Ma Long’s men, wearing the hide armor, weren’t affected.

Ma Long’s communication lines were frequently cut off, which often led to suspicion at court that Ma Long had been imperiled. Quite the contrary, however, Ma Long was highly successful in suppressing his enemies. Ma Long received several promotions and soon acquired the submissions of the chieftains Zubahen, Qiewaneng and Muguneng. After forcing the submission or executing thousands of rebels, Ma Long was able to do battle with Tufa Shujineng and kill him. In the process, he had pacified the oft-troublesome region of Liang.

For this incredible deed, Ma Long and his men were liberally rewarded. Ma Long was appointed Commander that Pacifies the Barbarians and Protector of Xiping. A group of barbarians continued to trouble the region, though, and Ma Long set about trying to pacify them. The barbarians took up arms in defensive locations and refused to fight. Ma Long ordered his men to carry farming implements and attend to agriculture. The barbarians then suspected that Ma Long had given up on his campaign and relaxed their guard. At this point, Ma Long marched out and crushed them. Ma Long’s victories over the tribes in the North allowed Jin to focus on conquering Wu.

In AD 290, Ma Long was further given rank as Marquis of Fenggao Country and some other titles. He served on the frontier for over a decade until his death. Ma Long’s son, Ma Xian, was also a commander of some talent, but Xian was killed during the Jin War of 8 Princes.


Ma Long’s translated biography from 3k Frontier (no longer extant)

Also see the translated portion by S.Y. Yang



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April 10, 2023