Zu Mao

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Zu Mao
Simplified Chinese 祖茂
Traditional Chinese 祖茂

Zu Mao was a military general serving under the warlord Sun Jian during the late Han Dynasty period in China. He was one of the first four generals (with Cheng Pu, Huang Gai and Han Dang) of Sun Jian and set out with Sun Jian to fight Dong Zhuo.

When Sun Jian's army attacked Liangdong (梁東), Xu Rong was sent by Dong Zhuo to defend the area. Xu Rong led a quick surprise attack and Sun Jian was forced to flee. However, Sun Jian was unable to shake off pursuit, and Zu Mao exchanged headgear with Sun Jian. The soldiers under Xu Rong chased Zu Mao, allowing Sun Jian to escape. Zu Mao later hung Sun Jian's headgear onto a half-burnt pillar, and hid himself in tall grass nearby. The enemies surrounded the pillar and approached cautiously till they realized they had been fooled, whereupon they retreated. Zu Mao's fate was not documented.

In Luo Guanzhong's historical novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms, the same incident is recorded as having happened in the Sishui Pass, and it was Hua Xiong that led the pursuit. When Hua Xiong closed in on the pillar, Zu Mao came out of his hiding to attack Hua Xiong, but was cut down by the latter. He also has the courtesy name Dàróng (大荣) in the novel, which is not recorded historically.

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