Gongsun Zan

Gongsun Zan

Three Kingdoms Biography
Three Kingdoms Biography Less

Gongsun Zan

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Gongsun Zan (died 199), style name Bogui (伯珪), a native of Liaoxi (遼西), was a warlord during the late Han Dynasty era of Chinese history.


Not much is known of his early life but that he studied under Lu Zhi with Liu Bei. He was deployed by He Jin to quash rebellions in the north which he did successfully. Following a misunderstanding with his lord, Liu Yu, he attacked him and won control of the surrounding area; however, contrary to popular belief, he never formally received the title of prefect. During this time his former classmate Liu Bei came to serve him and got allocated the city of Pingyuan to defend.

Two cousins now formed the power in China, Yuan Shao in the north in direct competition with Gongsun Zan and Yuan Shu. Following a disagreement between the two, Gongsun Zan formed an alliance with Yuan Shu and sent his nephew Gongsun Yue to help Yuan Shu's general Sun Jian retake Yangcheng. However, Gongsun Yue died in the campaign. Using this pretext, Gongsun Zan fought against Yuan Shao after a plan to gain Han Fu's lands went awry. However Gongsun Zan eventually lost this and committed suicide killing also his wife and son Gongsun Xu.

In fiction

Gongsun was commander of a cavalry force and served on the northern and eastern frontiers of the Han Dynasty, fighting against various non Han Chinese peoples. In 191, Gongsun enlisted as part of the coalition against Dong Zhuo, the warlord who had seized power in Luoyang and held the emperor hostage, but...
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