Xu Zhi

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Xu Zhi
Traditional Chinese 徐質
Simplified Chinese 徐质

Xu Zhi (died 254) was a military general of Cao Wei during the Three Kingdoms period of Chinese history. He participated in a battle against an invading army from the rival state of Shu Han, which was led by Jiang Wei. His name is sometimes romanticized as Xu Zi.

In History[edit]

In 254, the local magistrate of Didao defected to Shu-Han and surrendered the county, wherein the Shu troops under Jiang Wei entered Wei's domain without being challenged until they reached Xiangwu (襄武). There, Xu Zi organized the local defense to resist Jiang's invasion. During the ensuing battle, he defeated the Shu Han generals Liao Hua and Zhang Yi (Bogong) (張翼) and slew Zhang Ni (張嶷, sometimes transliterated as Zhang Yi also).[1] However, Zhang Ni's desperate fight also inflicted a devastating damage to Xu's army, so he was forced to retreat and await reinforcements. Shu forces thus gained some footholds on Long (陇) region and the battles went on and off for some time until Jiang finally suffered a catastrophic defeat from Deng Ai.[2][3] Unlike what the novel, Romance of the Three Kingdoms, depicts, Xu was recorded to have resisted Jiang Wei, and supposedly drove the latter out along with the relief forces, rather than being killed by the invading forces.

In fiction[edit]

In Luo Guanzhong's historical novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms, Xu volunteered to engage Jiang Wei's army and was appointed general of the vanguard. The two armies encountered each other at Dongting (董亭) and got into their respective formations. Xu charged out of the Cao Wei formation and dueled with the Shu Han general Liao Hua. Soon after, Liao took advantage of a feint and retreated. Zhang Yi (張翼) continued the duel against Xu but was forced to retreat as well after a few rounds. Xu then led his troops on a charge and defeated the enemy.

Later, Xu Zhi was caught in a surprise attack led by Liao Hua and Zhang Yi. Though his force was wiped out, Xu managed to escape alive; he ultimately ran into an ambush party led by Jiang Wei, where he was killed.

See also[edit]



  1. ^ (軍前與魏將徐質交鋒,嶷臨陣隕身,然其所殺傷亦過倍). SGZ. Biography of Zhang Yi.
  2. ^ (汉晋春秋曰:是时姜维亦出围狄道[...]姜维闻淮进兵,军食少,乃退屯陇西界。)Spring and Autumn Annual of Han and Jin Dynasty.
  3. ^ (進圍襄武,與魏將徐質交鋒,斬首破敵,魏軍敗退[...]維為魏大將鄧艾所破於段谷,星散流離,死者甚眾。) SGZ. Biography of Jiang Wei.