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Zhang Zhao

Zhang Zhao
A Qing Dynasty illustration of Zhang Zhao
Official of Eastern Wu
Born 156
Died 236 (aged 80)
Traditional Chinese 張昭
Simplified Chinese 张昭
Pinyin Zhāng Zhāo
Wade–Giles Chang Chao
Courtesy name Zibu (Chinese: 子布; pinyin: Zǐbù; Wade–Giles: Tzu-pu)
Posthumous name Marquis Wen (Chinese: 文侯; pinyin: Wén Hóu; Wade–Giles: Wen Hou)

Zhang Zhao (156–236), courtesy name Zibu, was an official of the state of Eastern Wu during the Three Kingdoms period.


Zhang Zhao was born in present-day Jiangsu. A brilliant scholar, he devoted his life mainly to the study of Chinese classic texts. His fame as a scholar spread, and on the advice of Zhou Yu, Sun Ce personally invited Zhang Zhao to serve him as an advisor.

Zhang Zhao's proficiency in administrating civilian affairs was impressive, as before Sun Ce died, he told his successor Sun Quan, "Consult Zhang Zhao on internal affairs and Zhou Yu on external affairs." When Cao Cao led an army to attack Sun Quan, Zhang Zhao suggested to his lord to surrender to Cao, out of consideration for the populace and future of the Sun family. Sun Quan refused since Zhou Yu decided to trust Zhuge Liang and defeated Cao Cao with Liu Bei as his ally at the Battle of Red Cliffs.

Zhang Zhao lived until Sun Quan declared himself 'Emperor' and founded the state of Eastern Wu. He was famous for his bravery and devotion to Wu, as he viewed the state's interests as more important than his lord's. Whenever Sun Quan implemented a policy that did not benefit Wu, Zhang Zhao would criticise him.

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