Zhang He – Romance of the Three Kingdoms

张郃 - 《三国演义》

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Zhang He is a significant character in the Chinese classic novel “Romance of the Three Kingdoms” (Sanguo Yanyi). He was a military general who served the Kingdom of Wei during the late Eastern Han dynasty and early Three Kingdoms period in China.

Zhang He was born in Hedong Commandery (present-day Shanxi Province) during the late Eastern Han dynasty. He began his military career as a cavalry soldier under the warlord Han Fu. After Han Fu’s defeat, Zhang He joined the army of the Kingdom of Wei and became a general.

Zhang He was known for his exceptional skills as a warrior and a tactician. He was a master of horseback archery and was renowned for his quick thinking and creative tactics on the battlefield. He was also a cultured and sophisticated individual who had a passion for poetry and music.

One of Zhang He’s most notable achievements was his role in the invasion of Shu Han. He led an army into the region and conquered several cities, including the important city of Hanzhong. However, he was ultimately defeated by the famous general Guan Yu and forced to retreat.

Zhang He was also known for his loyalty and devotion to his lord. He served the Kingdom of Wei under the leadership of several different rulers, including Cao Cao, Cao Pi, and Cao Rui. He was respected by his peers and was often entrusted with important military tasks.

In “Romance of the Three Kingdoms,” Zhang He is depicted as a handsome and refined individual with a strong sense of honor and loyalty. He is known for his chivalry and his willingness to spare the lives of his enemies if they surrendered peacefully. However, he was also a fierce warrior who was feared by his opponents on the battlefield.

Zhang He’s fate in the novel is somewhat tragic. He is killed by the famous Shu Han general Zhao Yun during a battle, but he dies with honor and dignity, refusing to surrender or retreat even in the face of certain defeat.

In summary, Zhang He was a skilled military general and tactician who served the Kingdom of Wei during the late Eastern Han dynasty and early Three Kingdoms period in China. He was known for his exceptional skills as a warrior, his devotion to his lord, and his refined and cultured personality. Although his fate in “Romance of the Three Kingdoms” is ultimately tragic, he is remembered as a brave and honorable figure in Chinese history and literature.

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