Zhou Tai

Zhou Tai


Zhou Tai (d. 225), courtesy name Youping (幼平), was an officer who served the Kingdom of Wu during the Three Kingdoms era of China.


He originally served as one of Sun Ce's bodyguards, alongside his former comrade in piracy Jiang Qin. When Ce entered Kuaiji, Zhou Tai was made Major with a Separate Command, and given troops to command. Sun Quan took a liking to Zhou Tai’s character, and requested for Tai to be transferred to himself.

Numerous times throughout his career, he saved Sun Quan from danger by risking his own life. Once, while Sun Ce was out fighting Shanyue rebels from the six prefectures, Sun Quan was left in Xuan city with less than a thousand guards. Out of negligence, he did not set up defence posts. Several thousand of Shanyue rebels attacked. By the time Sun Quan mounted his horse, the bandits managed to surround him already. Their weapons, hitting here and there, slashed Sun Quan’s saddle, causing great panic all around. Only Zhou Tai, with spirits roused, defended Sun Quan with his body, emboldening those near him and making them able to fight again. When the bandits were finally dispersed, Zhou Tai was found with twelve deep wounds, which took a long time to heal. Had Zhou Tai not be there on that day, Sun Quan would have perished. This deed was greatly appreciated by Sun Ce, who added the title of Chief of Chunju Prefecture to Zhou Tai.(Later in life, he rescued Sun Quan yet again, this time from Zhang Liao's ambush at the Battle of Hefei. After this astonishing feat, having charged enemy lines to accomplish the rescue, Sun Quan would for the rest of his living days request Zhou Tai present at his side during all major battles. The two shared a bond of friendship, and it was said that Sun Quan held none of his generals in higher regard.)

Some time after that, Zhou Tai followed Sun Ce to attack Wan and Jiangxia, and upon his return he passed by Yuzhang commandery and there he was made Chief of Yichun Prefecture as well. These prefectures generated all the supplies needed by his troops.

Zhou Tai gained merit in the battle against Huang Zu. Later, he defended against Cao Cao along with Zhou Yu and Cheng Pu at Chibi, and attacked Cao Ren at Nanjun. Once Jingzhou was settled, he and his troops were garrisoned at Cen. When Lord Cao’s army launched an assault from Ruxu, Zhou Tai went to meet the attack. Lord Cao retreated, and Zhou Tai was made Controller of Ruxu and General who Pacifies the Caitiffs.

At that time, Zhu Ran, Xu Sheng, and some others were located there as well, and did not want to submit to Zhou Tai’s command citing his common background. Thus Sun Quan made a special trip to Ruxu forts, to meet with all the officers there.A great party was held, where Sun Quan personally brought wine to Zhou Tai, and asked him to remove his outer garments.Pointing at each scar, Sun Quan asked Zhou Tai the story behind it, whereupon Zhou Tai would respond with his memories of past battles.At the end, Sun Quan had him dressed again, and together they reveled through the night. When the next day came, Sun Quan had a herald grant him his imperial parasol .

"From "Jiangbiao Zhuan": Sun Qun held his [Zhou Tai’s] arm, and tears crossed his face. He called him by his style name, saying, “Youping, you have fought as brave as a bear and a tiger for us two brothers. Not holding back your own life, you have been wounded in several tens of places, and your skin is as if it’s been etched on. Can I not treat you as one of my brothers, and bestow the powers of command upon you? You have done great service for Wu, and I would stand with you whether in honour and shame, and share with you in joy and sorrow. Youping, be merry. Do not let the fact that you lack pedigree make you back down from your tasks!” And at that he commanded for the imperial silk parasol of blue veils to be bestowed upon Zhou Tai. After all that, he had his mounts prepared to go, and ordered Zhou Tai lead the way out, in the midst of drums and horns." Thus Xu Sheng and company conceded, the other officers gained much respect for Zhou Tai and accepted his command.

After Sun Quan defeated Guan Yu, he planned to invade Shu. He made Zhou Tai Grand Administrator of Hanzhong [in name] and General of Roused Valour. He also conferred the title of Marquis of Lingyang onto Zhou Tai. Zhou Tai died during the Huangwu reign (AD 222-228).

Zhou Tai’s son, Shao, also commanded troops, in the position of Chief Commandant of the Cavalry. He gained merits in battle when Cao Ren attacked from Ruxu, and he also served in Sun Quan’s campaign against Cao Xiu. Thus he was promoted to the rank of major-general. He died in the second year of Huanglong (AD 230). His younger brother, Zhou Cheng, took command of the troops and inherited the marquisate.

Cultural references

Video games

Zhou Tai is a playable character in the popular Koei video game series, "Dynasty Warriors", being introduced in "Dynasty Warriors 4". He is portrayed as a man who prefers actions to words. He is strong, brave, determined and inexorable, fearing no-one and nothing. His armour from "Dynasty Warriors 4" to "Dynasty Warriors 6" has always been red and black. He also wears a red tattered cape. His weapon in "Dynasty Warriors 6" is a flame like decorated dao.

In "Warriors Orochi", he appears in Wu's story line in three battles. One at Sekigahara, where he fights the player, a second at He Fei where he fights the player once again but, joins Sun Ce once the battle is over. And a final at Osaka Bay where he helps the player defeat Keiji and force him to submit to Wu.

ee also

*Three Kingdoms
*Personages of the Three Kingdoms
*"Records of Three Kingdoms"
*"Romance of the Three Kingdoms"

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Look at other dictionaries:

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