Lu Mao

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Lu Mao
Official of Eastern Wu
Born (Unknown)
Died 239[1]
Traditional Chinese 陸瑁
Simplified Chinese 陆瑁
Pinyin Lù Mào
Wade–Giles Lu Mao
Courtesy name Zizhang (Chinese: 子璋; pinyin: Zǐzhāng; Wade–Giles: Tzu-chang)

Lu Mao (died 239),[1] courtesy name Zizhang, was an official of the state of Eastern Wu during the Three Kingdoms period. He was a younger brother of Lu Xun, a prominent politician and general who served as the third Imperial Chancellor of Eastern Wu.


Lu Mao was a younger brother of Lu Xun. His ancestral home was in Wu County, Wu Commandery (吳郡), which is in present-day Suzhou, Jiangsu.[2] At a young age, he was already known for being a keen learner and for valuing righteousness. Some of his friends – Chen Rong (陳融), Puyang Yi (濮陽逸), Jiang Zuan (蔣纂) and Yuan Di (袁迪) – were from humble backgrounds but had great ambitions. Lu Mao, who was from a more affluent family, often shared his wealth with them.[3] Xu Yuan (徐原), who was also from Wu Commandery, moved to Kuaiji Commandery. He had never met Lu Mao before, but before his death, he wrote to Lu Mao and requested Lu to help him take care of his young son. Lu Mao obliged, had a proper tomb constructed for Xu Yuan, and adopted Xu's son.[4] Lu Mao's second cousin-uncle, Lu Ji, died early, leaving behind two sons and one daughter who were still very young then. Lu Mao adopted Lu Ji's children and raised them. They left him only after they reached adulthood. The commandery officials wanted to recruit Lu Mao to join the civil service but he refused.[5]

Ji Yan (曁豔), a Master of Writing (尚書) serving in the Wu government, was very critical of his colleagues. When he was in charge of the three bureaus, he often went around spreading news of scandalous incidents involving his colleagues, just to show how harsh he could be in his criticisms of others. Lu Mao advised him to forgive others for their past transgressions and focus on praising them for their virtues and contributions instead. He also urged Ji Yan to promote and strengthen a civil culture that might be beneficial to Wu's future developments. Ji Yan ignored Lu Mao's advice and eventually met his downfall.[6]

In 232, Lu Mao was summoned to the Wu imperial court and was appointed as a Consultant (議郎) and Master of Writing in the Selection Bureau (選曹尚書). The Wu emperor Sun Quan hated the warlord Gongsun Yuan for breaking his promise to ally with him against Wu's rival state, Cao Wei. He planned to personally lead an army to attack Gongsun Yuan. Lu Mao wrote a memorial to Sun Quan to dissuade him from launching the campaign, in which he explained the perils of travelling far to attack a distant enemy and pointed out some negative consequences that may result from the campaign, such as the Shanyue tribes taking advantage of Sun Quan's absence to cause trouble in the Wu region. Sun Quan disagreed with Lu Mao.[7] Lu Mao then wrote another memorial to Sun Quan, advising him to refrain from attacking Gongsun Yuan, and focus on maintaining stability in Wu and making long term defence preparations instead. Sun Quan felt that Lu Mao was very sincere when he wrote the memorial so he abandoned the idea of attacking Gongsun Yuan.[8]

Wen Renmin (聞人敏), a man from the same hometown as Lu Mao, once visited the Wu capital. He received a grand reception that was even better than that normally received by nobles. Lu Mao thought that this was inappropriate according to Confucian rules of propriety because he believed the level of the reception should be based on the person's social status. He was proven right later.[9] He died in 239.[1]

Family and relatives[edit]

Lu Mao's elder brother, Lu Xun, was a prominent general and politician in Eastern Wu. He held office for about a year as the third Imperial Chancellor of Wu before his death in 245. As Lu Xun and Lu Mao were orphaned when they were young, they were raised by their granduncle Lu Kang, who served as the Administrator (太守) of Lujiang Commandery (廬江郡) in the late Eastern Han dynasty.[10] Lu Kang's son, Lu Ji, was a scholar who served as an official under Wu's founding emperor, Sun Quan. Lu Ji was also one of the 24 Filial Exemplars.

Lu Mao had at least three sons. There are no details about his first son in historical records. His second son was Lu Xi (陸喜), whose courtesy name was Wenzhong (文仲). Lu Xi was known for being studious and sociable. He served as a Master of Writing in the Selection Bureau (選曹尚書) and later in the Ministry of Personnel during the reign of the last Wu emperor, Sun Hao.[11] After Wu was conquered by the Jin dynasty in 280, Lu Xi served in the Jin government as a Regular Attendant of Scattered Cavalry (散騎常侍).[12][13]

Lu Mao's third son, Lu Ying (陸英), served as a Regular Attendant of Scattered Cavalry and as the Chancellor of Gaoping (高平相) in the Jin dynasty. Lu Ying's son, Lu Ye (陸曄), whose courtesy name was Shiguang (士光), also served in the Jin government and rose to the position of General of Chariots and Cavalry (車騎將車). Lu Ye's younger brother Lu Wan (陸玩), whose courtesy name was Shiyao (士瑤), was known for being magnanimous. Lu Wan also served in the Jin government and held office as the Minister of Works. He was posthumously granted the position of Grand Commandant.[12][13]


Chen Shou, who wrote Lu Mao's official biography in the Records of the Three Kingdoms (Sanguozhi), appraised Lu as such, "Lu Mao valued righteousness and gave pertinent advice. He may be regarded as a junzi (Confucian gentleman)."[14]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c (赤烏二年,瑁卒。) Sanguozhi vol. 57.
  2. ^ (陸遜字伯言,吳郡吳人也。) Sanguozhi vol. 58.
  3. ^ (陸瑁字子璋,丞相遜弟也。少好學篤義。陳國陳融、陳留濮陽逸、沛郡蔣纂、廣陵袁迪等,皆單貧有志,就瑁游處,瑁割少分甘,與同豐約。) Sanguozhi vol. 57.
  4. ^ (及同郡徐原,爰居會稽,素不相識,臨死遺書,託以孤弱,瑁為起立墳墓,收導其子。) Sanguozhi vol. 57.
  5. ^ (又瑁從父績早亡,二男一女,皆數歲以還,瑁迎攝養,至長乃別。州郡辟舉,皆不就。) Sanguozhi vol. 57.
  6. ^ (時尚書曁豔盛明臧否,差斷三署,頗揚人闇昧之失,以顯其讁。瑁與書曰:「夫聖人嘉善矜愚,忘過記功,以成美化。加今王業始建,將一大統,此乃漢高棄瑕錄用之時也,若令善惡異流,貴汝潁月旦之評,誠可以厲俗明教,然恐未易行也。宜遠模仲尼之汎愛,中則郭泰之弘濟,近有益於大道也。」豔不能行,卒以致敗。) Sanguozhi vol. 57.
  7. ^ (嘉禾元年,公車徵瑁,拜議郎、選曹尚書。孫權忿公孫淵之巧詐反覆,欲親征之,瑁上疏諫曰:「臣聞聖王之御遠夷, ... 恐非萬安之長慮也。」權未許。) Sanguozhi vol. 57.
  8. ^ (瑁重上疏曰:「夫兵革者, ... 天下幸甚。」權再覽瑁書,嘉其詞理端切,遂不行。) Sanguozhi vol. 57.
  9. ^ (初,瑁同郡聞人敏見待國邑,優於宗脩,惟瑁以為不然,後果如其言。) Sanguozhi vol. 57.
  10. ^ (陸遜字伯言,吳郡吳人也。 ... 遜少孤,隨從祖廬江太守康在官。) Sanguozhi vol. 58.
  11. ^ (子喜亦涉文籍,好人倫,孫皓時為選曹尚書。) Sanguozhi vol. 57.
  12. ^ a b (吳錄曰:喜字文仲,瑁第二子也,入晉為散騎常侍。瑁孫曄,字士光,至車騎將車、儀同三司。曄弟玩,字士瑤。晉陽秋稱玩器量淹雅,位至司空,追贈太尉。) Wu Lu annotation in Sanguozhi vol. 57.
  13. ^ a b (陸曄,字士光,吳郡吳人也。伯父喜,吳吏部尚書。父英,高平相,員外散騎常侍,) Jin Shu vol. 77.
  14. ^ (評曰: ... 陸瑁篤義規諫,君子有稱焉。) Sanguozhi vol. 57.