Encyclopedia: Zu Lang

Zu Lang; Tsu Lang; 祖郎

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Zu Lang 祖郎

Lived: Unknown

None Available

Served: Zu Lang, Wu

Chieftain of Danyang. Defeated Sun Ce but later joined his army.

Officer Details

Wade-Giles: Tsu Lang
Simplified Chinese: 祖郎
Cantonese (Yale): Jou Long
Cantonese (Jyutpin): Zou Long
Min-Nan: Couw Long

Literary Appearances

Romance of the Three Kingdoms: MR:15


Historic (Confirmed)

Zu Lang was a chieftain of the hills-people in the South of Danyang. In AD 194, Sun Ce was serving Yuan Shu and gradually worked to build up his following. Sun Ce managed to acquire a decent force of several hundred men. Zu Lang, wary of Sun Ce’s growing influence, decided to attack Sun Ce. In the ensuing conflict, Zu Lang nearly defeated the young, inexperienced general and came close to killing him. Zu Lang’s army drove Sun Ce and his remaining soldiers back to Shou Chun. After defeating Sun Ce, Zu Lang focused and concerned himself with local operations in Jiuhua Shan. He also worked on forming alliances with the Shanyue barbarians. Meanwhile Sun Ce survived the skirmish with Zu Lang and acquired a strong army from Yuan Shu. Liu Yao had rebelled against Yuan Shu in Qu’a at the time and was defeating Sun Ce’s uncle Wu Jing. Sun Ce set out to defeat this rival and won astounding victories against him. By AD 198, Sun Ce controlled Wu and Kuaiji.

Now, following Sun Ce’s conquests, Yuan Shu began to fear Sun Ce’s rise in power. He incited Zu Lang to once again lead an army to strike Sun Ce. Sun Ce heard about Zu Lang’s intentions and led his soldiers up the Yangzi to assault Zu Lang first. Zu Lang gathered an army of local leaders and tribesmen to fight. This time, Sun Ce’s army was victorious. Zu Lang was brought before the Little Conqueror (I) who spoke kindly to him saying: “Once before you made an attack on me, and when you pursued you were nearly close enough to kill me. Now I have raised up an army and established my position, and I have no concern with old enmities. For any man, no matter who he might be, the only thing I care about is whether he can be of service. You have nothing to fear from me.” Zu Lang accepted this generous offer from his captor. Sun Ce broke the bonds that held Zu Lang and appointed his former enemy as a member of his personal staff. Sun Ce soon after also defeated and captured Liu Yao’s skilled officer, Taishi Ci. When Sun Ce’s army returned east from Danyang, Taishi Ci and Zu Lang rode together in the van. Henceforth both men served Sun Ce. (II)

(I)-Sun Ce is sometimes called the Little Conqueror due to his amazing feats and victories against multiple and powerful adversaries at a relatively young age.

(II)-The source where this information is derived from, Generals of the South, does not go into much detail regarding Zu Lang’s service. It merely states that after being defeated at Lingyang, Zu Lang was treated generously by Sun Ce and went on to serve him.



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April 10, 2023