Zang Ba

Zang Ba

Three Kingdoms infobox
Name=Zang Ba

Kingdom=Cao Wei
Pinyin=Zāng Bà
Post=Majestic Marquis (威侯)
Zi=Xuāngāo (宣高)

Zang Ba was a warrior during the end of the Han Dynasty and then during the Three Kingdoms period of China, first in the service of Tao Qian, then Lü Bu, and finally to Cao Cao and the state of Cao Wei. The years of his birth and death are unknown, but he served Wei until the reign of Cao Rui. During his life he was mainly active in the Xuzhou region and would eventually hold the title of Marquis of various counties within, but by the time of his death held the prestigious title of Mayor of the Capital (zhijinwu, 執金吾).

Early life

The rescue of his father

Zang Ba was originally from Huaxian (華県) in the Taishan Prefecture (泰山郡). According to the "Sanguo Zhi", his father, Zang Jie, who served as a prison warden in the Huaxian region, was displeased with the Grand Administrator's (太守) abuse of laws to order the death of people. He stopped obeying the orders of the Grand Administrator, and the Grand Administrator, greatly angered, had Zang Jie captured and ordered that he be taken to the region's capital. Zang Ba, although only 18 at the time, gathered some 20 or 30 house guests and together with them rescued his father. Although there were over 100 soldiers escorting Zang Jie, none of them could do anything to stop Zang Ba. From this episode, Zang Ba's bravery became very famous.

In service of Tao Qian and Lü Bu

After the breakout of the Yellow Turban Rebellion, Zang Ba entered the service of Tao Qian and gathered soldiers in Xuzhou. Along with Sun Guan, Wu Dun, Yin Li, and Chang Xi (孫観, 吳敦, 尹礼, and 昌豨 respectively. All of them are mentioned only in Zang Ba's section of "Sanguo Zhi".) he did battle with the Yellow Turbans, and he and his forces stationed themselves in Kaiyang (開陽).

When Lü Bu eventually gained control of Xuzhou and did battle with Cao Cao, Zang Ba joined forces with Lü Bu. When Cao Cao eventually defeated Lü Bu, Cao Cao put a reward out for the capture of Zang Ba, but when he was finally found, Cao Cao took a liking to him and put him in charge of Xuzhou and Qingzhou.

In service of Cao Cao

Xuzhou and Qingzhou

In Cao Cao's battles with Yuan Shao, Zang Ba lead elite soldiers into Qingzhou, allowing Cao Cao to focus the majority of his soldiers on the main battles at hand, and not having to worry himself about the east. Later, when Cao Cao defeated Yuan Tan, Zang Ba went personally to Cao Cao to congratulate him on his great victory. At that time, he requested permission for his family to be moved to Ye, to which Cao Cao agreed.

On many occasions, Zang Ba put down rebellions in the areas he was charged with defending. For these accomplishments, he was given the rank of Marquis. He also put down the rebellion of Chang Xi (昌豨), who he once fought alongside of, together with Yu Jin. In addition to this, he also fought with Xiahou Yuan to put down remnants of the Yellow Turbans.

Battles against Sun Quan

In the area between Cao Cao and Sun Quan's territory, a minor warlord named Chen Lan rebelled against Cao Cao. Zhang Liao was sent to put down the rebellion, and Zang Ba joined him. Sun Quan sent his general Han Dang with an army to assist Chen Lan in resisting Cao Cao's forces. Zang Ba twice ran into Han Dang's forces, and both times defeated them.

Sun Quan then lead a force of some 20 or 30,000 soldiers personally to assist Chen Lan. He made camp, but upon hearing that Zang Ba was in the vicinity, he decided to retreat. Zang Ba immediately gave chase and constantly harassed Sun Quan's force. The chaos created by Zang Ba's attack was so great that Sun Quan could not escape by ship, and many of his soldiers were forced into the water and drowned there. With Sun Quan out of the picture, Zhang Liao was able to defeat Chen Lan's rebellion.

Later, in an invasion of Sun Quan's territory, Zhang Liao and Zang Ba both lead the front of the invasion force. However, a great rain fell and the main part of Cao Cao's force retreated, leaving Zhang Liao and Zang Ba. Furthermore, the rising water level brought the threat of Sun Quan's ships attacking their position. Zhang Liao wanted to retreat without permission from Cao Cao, but Zang Ba told him, "Cao Cao is wise, and will not simply abanbon us." The next day, the official order to retreat arrived, and both generals safely returned to their territory. Zhang Liao told Cao Cao of what happened, and Cao Cao was greatly impressed.

After Cao Cao's death

After Cao Cao's death, when he was succeeded by Cao Pi, Zang Ba was again promoted. He again participated in campaigns against Sun Quan's territory (by this time the Kingdom of Wu). After this he was called to the capital and at this time he was given the presigious rank of Mayor of the Capitol (zhijinwu, 執金吾). He continued to serve until the reign of Cao Rui, and after his death, he was posthumously named Majestic Marquis (威侯).


*Zang Jie (臧戒)(Father)
*Zang Ai (臧艾)(Son)
*Zang Shun (臧舜)(Son)

ee also

*Three Kingdoms
*"Romance of the Three Kingdoms"
*Kingdom of Wei
*Personages of the Three Kingdoms


*This page is a rough translation of the Japanese version, re-arranged and re-formatted.

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