Zhang Bao (Shu Han)
A Qing dynasty portrait of Zhang Bao
|General of Shu Han|
Zhang Bao (birth and death dates unknown) was the eldest son of Zhang Fei, a general who served the warlord Liu Bei in the late Han Dynasty and the state of Shu Han in the Three Kingdoms period. Little is known about Zhang Bao, because Zhang Fei's biography in the historical text Records of the Three Kingdoms only mentioned that he was Zhang Fei's eldest son, and died prematurely. Zhang Bao had a son, Zhang Zun.
Zhang Bao appears as a fairly prominent character in the historical novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms by Luo Guanzhong. His first appearance in the novel was when he informed Liu Bei of his father's assassination when Liu Bei was planning to launch a campaign against the warlord Sun Quan to avenge Guan Yu and take back Jing Province. Zhang Bao met Guan Xing, Guan Yu's second son, and competed with Guan Xing for the position of leader of the vanguard army. After nearly coming to blows, Zhang Bao and Guan Xing were stopped by Liu Bei, who forced them to become oath brothers in the same manner he did with their fathers many years ago. The two were regularly depicted together from that moment onwards.
Zhang Bao was involved in several military campaigns, including the disastrous Battle of Xiaoting and Zhuge Liang's Northern Expeditions against the rival state of Cao Wei. In the third campaign, Zhang Bao fell into a gully while pursuing the Wei generals Guo Huai and Sun Li, and died from the resulting injuries. When Zhuge Liang heard of Zhang Bao's death, he was greatly upset, fainting and spewing blood, serving as a prelude to his own eventual death caused by overwork and poor health.
- (長子苞，早夭。) Chen Shou. Records of the Three Kingdoms, Volume 36, Biography of Zhang Fei.