Zhang Yan (Han dynasty)
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|Leader of the Heishan bandits|
Zhang Yan (birth and death dates unknown), born Chu Yan, also known as Zhang Feiyan, was the leader of the Heishan bandits in the late Eastern Han Dynasty. He was a native of Zhending, Changshan commandery (modern Baoding).
Because he was fast, and agile, and brave, his men called him "Feiyan", meaning "Flying Swallow".
Not much was known about him historically until 185, when he and Zhang Niujue (張牛角), another bandit leader, raided the town of Yingtao (癭陶). Zhang Niujue was killed, but before he died, he ordered his men to obey Feiyan as their new leader. Yan thus changed his surname to Zhang to honour Zhang Niujue.
His force steadily grew in strength, until they were said to be a million in number. They became known as the Heishan bandits. All the commanderies north of the Yellow River were exposed to their attacks and the court could do nothing to stop them.
In the summer of 205, after the Yuans were destroyed, Zhang Yan officially surrendered to Cao Cao and was made Marquis of Anguo Village (安國亭侯).
- Chen Shou. Records of the Three Kingdoms, Volume 8, Biography of Zhang Yan.
- de Crespigny, Rafe. "To Establish Peace: being the Chronicle of the Later Han dynasty for the years 189 to 220 AD as recorded in Chapters 59 to 69 of the Zizhi tongjian of Sima Guang". Faculty of Asian Studies, The Australian National University, Canberra. 1996.
- Sima Guang. Zizhi Tongjian.
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