A Qing dynasty illustration of Zhao Yun
|General Who Guards the Army (鎮軍將軍)|
227 – 229
|General Who Guards the East (鎮東將軍)|
c. early 220s – 227
|General Who Attacks the South (征南將軍)|
223 – c. early 220s
|General of the Assisting Army (翊軍將軍)|
(under Liu Bei)
214 – c. early 220s
|Monarch||Emperor Xian of Han|
|Administrator of Guiyang (桂陽太守)|
(under Liu Bei)
c. 209 – 214
|Monarch||Emperor Xian of Han|
|Preceded by||Zhao Fan|
(under Liu Bei)
c. 209 – 214
|Monarch||Emperor Xian of Han|
|General of the Standard (牙門將軍)|
(under Liu Bei)
208 – ?
|Monarch||Emperor Xian of Han|
Zhengding County, Hebei
|Courtesy name||Zilong (子龍)|
|Posthumous name||Marquis Shunping|
|Peerage||Marquis of Yongchang Village (永昌亭侯)|
Zhao Yun ( pronunciation (help·info)) (died 229), courtesy name Zilong, was a military general who lived during the late Eastern Han dynasty and early Three Kingdoms period of China. Originally a subordinate of the northern warlord Gongsun Zan, Zhao Yun later came to serve another warlord, Liu Bei, and had since accompanied him on most of his military exploits, from the Battle of Changban (208) to the Hanzhong Campaign (217–219). He continued serving in the state of Shu Han – founded by Liu Bei in 221 – in the Three Kingdoms period and participated in the first of the Northern Expeditions until his death in 229. While many facts about Zhao Yun's life remain unclear due to limited information in historical sources, some aspects and activities in his life have been dramatised or exaggerated in folklore and fiction. In the 14th-century historical novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms, he was lauded as a member of the Five Tiger Generals under Liu Bei.
- 1 Historical sources on Zhao Yun's life
- 2 Early career under Gongsun Zan
- 3 Meeting Liu Bei
- 4 Service under Liu Bei
- 5 Service under Liu Shan
- 6 Death and posthumous honours
- 7 Family
- 8 Appraisal
- 9 In Romance of the Three Kingdoms
- 10 In popular culture
- 11 See also
- 12 Notes
- 13 References
Historical sources on Zhao Yun's life
Zhao Yun's original biography in the Records of the Three Kingdoms (Sanguozhi), written by Chen Shou in the third century, is only 346 Chinese characters long. In the fifth century, Pei Songzhi added annotations from the Zhao Yun Biezhuan (趙雲別傳; Unofficial Biography of Zhao Yun) to Zhao Yun's biography in the Sanguozhi, providing a relatively clearer, though still incomplete picture of Zhao Yun's life.
Early career under Gongsun Zan
Zhao Yun was from Zhending County (真定縣), Changshan Commandery (常山郡), which is located south of present-day Zhengding County, Hebei. The Zhao Yun Biezhuan described his physical appearance as follows: eight chi tall (approximately 1.85 metres), with majestic and impressive looks.
After receiving a recommendation from the Administrator of Changshan Commandery to serve in the government, Zhao Yun led a small group of volunteers to join Gongsun Zan, a warlord in You Province. Around the time, the warlord Yuan Shao had experienced a surge in fame after his recent appointment as the Governor of Ji Province, so Gongsun Zan was worried that many people in You Province would choose to serve under Yuan Shao instead of him.
When Zhao Yun showed up with his volunteers, Gongsun Zan asked him mockingly: "I heard that all those in your home province[a] wanted to serve the Yuans. Why did you have a change of heart, and decide to correct your mistake?" Zhao Yun replied: "The Empire is in a state of chaos and it is unclear who is right and who is wrong. The people are in danger. Those in my home province, after careful deliberation, decided to follow a lord who governs with benevolence. Therefore, I chose to join you, General, instead of Lord Yuan." Gongsun Zan then accepted him. Zhao Yun later fought on Gongsun Zan's side in some battles against rival forces.
Meeting Liu Bei
Around the early 190s, Zhao Yun met Liu Bei, who was taking shelter under Gongsun Zan at the time. Zhao Yun became very close to Liu Bei and desired to switch his allegiance to Liu Bei. When Gongsun Zan sent Liu Bei to assist his ally, Tian Kai, in a battle against Yuan Shao, Zhao Yun followed Liu Bei and served as a cavalry officer under Liu Bei.
When Zhao Yun received news of his elder brother's death, he asked for a temporary leave of absence from Gongsun Zan to mourn his brother. Liu Bei knew that Zhao Yun would not return to Gongsun Zan after leaving, so he held Zhao Yun's hand while bidding him farewell. Before departing, Zhao Yun told Liu Bei: "I will never forsake my moral principles."
Service under Liu Bei
In early 200, after Liu Bei lost his base in Xu Province (covering parts of present-day Jiangsu and southeastern Shandong) to his rival Cao Cao, he fled north across the Yellow River and sought refuge under Yuan Shao, Cao Cao's rival. Around the same time, Zhao Yun also came to Ye (present-day Handan, Hebei), Yuan Shao's headquarters, where he met Liu Bei again. Zhao Yun and Liu Bei shared the same room during their stay in Ye.
Liu Bei secretly instructed Zhao Yun to help him gather hundreds of men who were willing to follow him, and claim that they served under the General of the Left (左將軍).[b] Yuan Shao was unaware of this. Zhao Yun then accompanied Liu Bei and his followers as they left Yuan Shao and headed south to join Liu Biao, the Governor of Jing Province (covering present-day Hubei and Hunan).
Saving Xiahou Lan
In 202, when Cao Cao was away on campaigns in northern China against Yuan Shao's sons and their allies, Liu Bei took advantage of Cao Cao's absence to launch an attack on Cao Cao's territories in central China. Cao Cao sent his general Xiahou Dun and others to lead an army to resist Liu Bei.
During the battle, Zhao Yun captured Xiahou Lan (夏侯蘭), an old friend who was from the same hometown as him. He requested that Liu Bei spare Xiahou Lan's life and recommended Xiahou Lan to serve as a military judge because he knew that Xiahou Lan was knowledgeable about law. Zhao Yun earned praise for being conscientious and careful when he maintained a professional relationship with Xiahou Lan despite their friendship.
Battle of Changban
After Liu Biao died in 208, his younger son Liu Cong succeeded him as the Governor of Jing Province. When Cao Cao launched a military campaign in the same year to eliminate opposing forces in southern China, Liu Cong surrendered and yielded Jing Province to him. Liu Bei and his followers abandoned their stronghold in Xinye County and headed further south towards Xiakou (夏口; present-day Hankou, Hubei), which was guarded by Liu Biao's elder son Liu Qi and was independent of Cao Cao's control.
Cao Cao personally led a 5,000-strong elite cavalry force to pursue Liu Bei. They caught up with Liu Bei at Changban (長阪; south of present-day Duodao District, Jingmen, Hubei) and inflicted a devastating defeat on his forces. While Liu Bei abandoned his family and fled, Zhao Yun carried Liu Bei's young son Liu Shan and protected Liu Bei's wife Lady Gan (Liu Shan's mother) during the battle and delivered them to safety. He was later promoted to the rank of General of the Standard (牙門將軍) for his efforts.
Earlier on, after his defeat at Changban, Liu Bei heard rumours that Zhao Yun had betrayed him and defected to Cao Cao' side. Refusing to believe the rumours, he threw a short ji to the ground and said: "Zilong will never abandon me." He was right as Zhao Yun returned to him a short while later.
In the winter of 208–209, Liu Bei formed an alliance with the warlord Sun Quan and they defeated Cao Cao at the decisive Battle of Red Cliffs. As Cao Cao retreated north after his defeat, Liu Bei and Sun Quan advanced and conquered Nan Commandery (南郡; around present-day Jingzhou, Hubei), which used to be under Cao Cao's control.
As the Administrator of Guiyang
Zhao Yun was later promoted to Lieutenant-General (偏將軍) for his contributions towards Liu Bei's conquests of the four commanderies in southern Jing Province: Changsha, Lingling (零陵; around present-day Yongzhou, Hunan), Wuling (武陵; around present-day Changde, Hunan) and Guiyang (桂陽; around present-day Chenzhou, Hunan). After the capture of Guiyang Commandery, Liu Bei appointed Zhao Yun as the new Administrator to replace Zhao Fan.
Zhao Fan had a widowed sister-in-law who was famous for her beauty. He wanted to arrange for her to marry Zhao Yun so as to build connections with Zhao Yun. However, Zhao Yun rejected the idea and told Zhao Fan: "We share the same family name. Your elder brother is also like an elder brother to me."
There were others who urged Zhao Yun to accept the marriage but Zhao Yun firmly refused and said: "Zhao Fan was forced to surrender because of the circumstances. His intentions are unclear and suspicious. Besides, there are many other women in this world." Not long later, Zhao Fan escaped, and Zhao Yun was able to avoid any association with him because he did not agree to the marriage.
Guarding Jing Province
Around 211, Liu Bei led an army west into Yi Province (covering present-day Sichuan and Chongqing) to assist the provincial governor Liu Zhang in countering a rival warlord, Zhang Lu of Hanzhong Commandery. Zhao Yun and others remained behind to guard Jing Province.
Sometime in 209, Liu Bei married Sun Quan's younger sister, Lady Sun, to strengthen the Sun–Liu alliance. Lady Sun also remained in Jing Province when Liu Bei left for Yi Province. As she saw herself as the sister of a powerful warlord, Lady Sun not only acted in an arrogant and unbridled manner, but also allowed her bodyguards and personal staff to behave lawlessly in Jing Province. For this reason, Liu Bei specially appointed Zhao Yun, whom he deemed a serious and conscientious person, to oversee domestic affairs in Jing Province and maintain law and order during his absence. When Sun Quan heard that Liu Bei had left for Yi Province, he sent a vessel to fetch his sister home. Lady Sun attempted to bring Liu Bei's son Liu Shan along with her, but Zhao Yun and Zhang Fei led their men to stop her and retrieved Liu Shan.
Conquest of Yi Province
Liu Bei and Liu Zhang were friendly towards each other in the beginning, but tensions between them gradually increased until the point of armed conflict around late 212. Liu Bei was initially stationed at Jiameng Pass (葭萌關; in present-day Zhaohua District, Guangyuan, Sichuan), where he was helping Liu Zhang defend the area from Zhang Lu. However, he turned against Liu Zhang later and attacked him. He ordered Zhuge Liang, Zhang Fei, Zhao Yun and others to lead reinforcements from Jing Province into Yi Province to help him, while Guan Yu remained behind to defend Jing Province.
The reinforcements marched along the Yangtze River and conquered the commanderies and counties in the surrounding areas. When they reached Jiangzhou (江州; in present-day Chongqing), Zhuge Liang ordered Zhao Yun to lead a separate force to attack Jiangyang Commandery (江陽郡; around present-day Neijiang, Sichuan) and take an alternate route, and later rendezvous with Liu Bei and the other armies outside Yi Province's capital, Chengdu. In 214, Liu Zhang gave up resistance and surrendered to Liu Bei, who gained control over Yi Province. Zhao Yun was appointed as General of the Assisting Army (翊軍將軍).
After taking Yi Province, Liu Bei held a discussion on how to distribute the households in Chengdu and the fields outside the city among his followers because he wanted to reward them for their efforts in the campaign. Zhao Yun objected:
"In the past, Huo Qubing said that there was no home until the Xiongnu had been eliminated. The enemies of the state in our time include not only the Xiongnu, so we shouldn't be complacent. Only when the Empire has been completely pacified and the people have reverted to their peaceful lives, can we truly enjoy ourselves. The war in Yi Province has just ended, so the people in the province should have their lands and homes returned to them. As of now, the people should be allowed to continue their livelihoods in peace, and later we can impose taxes and conscription on them. In this way, we will earn their favour and support."
Liu Bei heeded Zhao Yun's advice.
Battle of Han River
In 217, Liu Bei launched the Hanzhong Campaign to seize control of Hanzhong Commandery from Cao Cao because Hanzhong was the northern gateway into Yi Province. Liu Bei's general Huang Zhong killed Cao Cao's general Xiahou Yuan at the Battle of Mount Dingjun of 218–219.
After Xiahou Yuan's defeat, Huang Zhong heard that enemy troops were transporting food supplies in the vicinity so he led a detachment of troops to attack the convoy and seize the supplies. When Huang Zhong did not return to camp in time, Zhao Yun led tens of horsemen out in search of Huang Zhong.
At the time, Cao Cao had sent his forces to attack Liu Bei's positions. Zhao Yun encountered Cao Cao's vanguard force and engaged them in battle until Cao Cao's main force showed up and surrounded him. Despite the overwhelming odds, Zhao Yun attempted to charge and break through the enemy formation and alternated between fighting back and retreating. Cao Cao's forces regrouped, got back into formation and surrounded Zhao Yun. Left with no choice, Zhao Yun had to fight his way out and head back to camp. During the battle, Zhao Yun's deputy Zhang Zhu (張著) was wounded but Zhao Yun turned back, saved him and brought him back to camp.
Cao Cao's forces pursued Zhao Yun as he retreated back to his camp. Upon seeing the enemy's approach, Zhao Yun's subordinate Zhang Yi wanted to shut the camp's gates and get the troops to hold their position. However, Zhao Yun ordered the gates to be opened, all flags and banners to be hidden, and the war drums to be silenced so as to create an illusion of an empty camp. Cao Cao's forces thought that there was an ambush inside Zhao Yun's camp so they withdrew. Just as they were retreating, Zhao Yun launched a counterattack and his men beat the war drums loudly and fired arrows at the enemy. Cao Cao's soldiers were shocked and thrown into disarray. Some of them trampled on each other as they panicked and fled, while many of them fell into the Han River and drowned.
The following day, when Liu Bei came to inspect Zhao Yun's camp and survey the battlefield, he remarked: "Zilong is full of courage." He then threw a feast to celebrate Zhao Yun's victory and they made merry until nightfall. Zhao Yun was also given the nickname "General of Tiger's Might" (虎威將軍).
Battle of Xiaoting
In late 219, Sun Quan broke the Sun–Liu alliance by sending his general Lü Meng to launch a stealth invasion of Liu Bei's territories in southern Jing Province while Guan Yu was away at the Battle of Fancheng against Cao Cao's forces. Guan Yu was later captured in an ambush and executed on Sun Quan's order when he refused to surrender.
Following Cao Cao's death in March 220, his son and successor Cao Pi usurped the throne from Emperor Xian later that year, ended the Eastern Han dynasty, and established the state of Wei with himself as the new emperor. In 221, Liu Bei declared himself emperor and founded the state of Shu to challenge Wei's legitimacy. In the same year, Sun Quan pledged allegiance to Cao Pi and agreed to become a vassal under Wei; in return, Cao Pi granted him the title "King of Wu".
Liu Bei bore a grudge against Sun Quan for the loss of Jing Province and wanted to attack Sun Quan. Zhao Yun attempted to dissuade him by saying:
"The real enemy of the State is Cao Cao, not Sun Quan. We should eliminate Wei first, then Wu will surrender on its own. Cao Cao is already dead but his son Cao Pi has usurped the throne. You should follow the people's will by conquering Guanzhong and then move across the Wei River to attack the treacherous villain. Righteous people who live in the east of Hangu Pass will certainly welcome your army with supplies and horses. You shouldn't ignore Wei for the moment and wage war against Wu first. Once the war starts, it can't be stopped."
Liu Bei ignored Zhao Yun's advice and proceeded with his quest for vengeance by personally leading a military campaign against Sun Quan. He left Zhao Yun behind to guard Jiangzhou (江州; in present-day Chongqing).
In October 222, Liu Bei suffered a devastating defeat at the Battle of Xiaoting against Sun Quan's forces, and was forced to retreat to Baidicheng in Yong'an (永安; present-day Fengjie County, Chongqing). By the time Zhao Yun showed up with reinforcements at Yong'an, Sun Quan's forces had given up on pursuing Liu Bei and retreated back to Wu.
Service under Liu Shan
After Liu Bei died in June 223, his son Liu Shan succeeded him as the emperor of Shu, with the Imperial Chancellor Zhuge Liang serving as regent because Liu Shan was still underage at the time. Following his coronation, Liu Shan appointed Zhao Yun as Central Protector of the Army (中護軍) and General Who Attacks the South (征南將軍), and enfeoffed him as the Marquis of Yongchang Village (永昌亭侯). He promoted Zhao Yun to the position of General Who Guards the East (鎮東將軍) later.
Battle of Ji Valley
In 227, Zhao Yun moved to the staging area at Hanzhong Commandery to join Zhuge Liang, who had mobilised military forces from throughout Shu in preparation for a large-scale military campaign against Shu's rival state, Wei.
In the spring of 228, Zhuge Liang ordered Zhao Yun and Deng Zhi to lead a detachment of troops to Ji Valley (箕谷) and pretend to attack Mei County (郿縣; southeast of present-day Fufeng County, Shaanxi) via Xie Valley (斜谷). Their mission was to distract and hold the Wei general Cao Zhen's attention, while Zhuge Liang led the Shu main army to attack Mount Qi (祁山; the mountainous regions around present-day Li County, Gansu).
Zhao Yun and Deng Zhi lost to Cao Zhen at the battle in Ji Valley because Zhuge Liang had given them command of the weaker soldiers while he led the better troops to attack Mount Qi. Nevertheless, Zhao Yun managed to rally his men into putting up a firm defence as they retreated, thus minimising their losses.
After the Shu forces managed to retreat back to Hanzhong, Zhao Yun was demoted to the position of General Who Guards the Army (鎮軍將軍) as punishment for his defeat at Ji Valley. During this time, Zhuge Liang asked Zhao Yun and Deng Zhi: "When our troops withdrew from Jieting, they were very disorganised. However, those who retreated from Ji Valley were orderly. Why is it so?" Deng Zhi replied: "(Zhao) Yun personally led the rearguard. He ensured that our troops retreated in an orderly manner and left no equipment behind."
As Zhao Yun still had some silk left in his unit, Zhuge Liang wanted to distribute it among the troops to raise their morale. However, Zhao Yun disagreed: "The campaign was a failure, so why should rewards be given out? Please store the silk in the official treasury now and distribute it among the men later during the tenth month as a season gift for winter." Zhuge Liang heeded Zhao Yun's suggestion.
Death and posthumous honours
During Liu Bei's reign, only Fa Zheng received posthumous honours. In Liu Shan's time, only three consecutive heads of government – Zhuge Liang, Jiang Wan and Fei Yi – received posthumous titles. Later, Liu Shan also posthumously honoured Chen Zhi, whom he favoured, and Xiahou Ba, a Wei general who defected to Shu. Guan Yu, Zhang Fei, Ma Chao, Pang Tong, Huang Zhong and Zhao Yun were also awarded posthumous titles by Liu Shan as well. At the time, it was a great honour for a person to receive a posthumous title.
Liu Shan's imperial edict for awarding Zhao Yun his posthumous title read: "Zhao Yun followed the Late Emperor and he made outstanding contributions. I was young then and experienced many difficulties, but I relied on his loyalty and faithfulness to get out of danger. I bestow this posthumous name on him to recognise him for his meritorious service and also because there were others who advised me to do so."
The name of Zhao Yun's posthumous title was suggested by Jiang Wei and others – shun (順; shùn; literally "obey / follow") because he was virtuous and kind, ping (平; píng; literally "peace / pacify") because he performed his duties up to standard and overcame chaos, so shun and ping became "Shunping".[c]
Zhao Yun's eldest son, Zhao Tong (趙統; Zhào Tǒng), served as an officer in the huben (虎賁) division of the imperial guards.
Zhao Yun's second son, Zhao Guang (趙廣; Zhào Guǎng), served as an Officer of the Standard (牙門將). He accompanied the Shu general Jiang Wei in the campaigns against Wei, and was killed in action in Tazhong (沓中; northwest of present-day Zhugqu County, Gansu).
Chen Shou, who wrote Zhao Yun's biography in the Sanguozhi, commented on Zhao Yun as follows: "Huang Zhong and Zhao Yun were fierce and mighty warriors, just like claws and teeth. Were they the successors to Guan Ying and Lord Teng?"
In Romance of the Three Kingdoms
Many of Zhao Yun's actual exploits were highly dramatised in the 14th-century historical novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms. In the novel, Zhao Yun is portrayed as an almost perfect warrior – one who possesses powerful combat skills, unwavering loyalty to his lord, tremendous courage, keen intelligence, and serene charisma. These traits have often been reflected in nearly all modern materials about Zhao Yun to date.
See the following for some fictitious stories in Romance of the Three Kingdoms involving Zhao Yun:
- Battle of Changban#In Romance of the Three Kingdoms
- Battle of Xiaoting#In Romance of the Three Kingdoms
In popular culture
Zhao Yun has been featured prominently in Chinese popular culture, literature, art and anecdotes. Zhao Yun was already a relatively well-known hero from the Three Kingdoms period, as folktales about his exploits have been passed down through centuries. He became a household name due to the popularity of the 14th-century historical novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms.
There is a Chinese folktale about Zhao Yun's death which is not mentioned in the 14th-century novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms. In this story, Zhao Yun had never been wounded in battle before so there were no scars on his body. One day, while he was taking a bath, his wife pricked him with a sewing needle out of mischief. Zhao Yun began to bleed profusely and eventually died of shock.
Film and television
The 2008 Hong Kong film Three Kingdoms: Resurrection of the Dragon is loosely based on stories related to Zhao Yun in the historical novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms. It was directed by Daniel Lee and starred Hong Kong actor Andy Lau as "Zhao Zilong". Mainland Chinese actor Hu Jun portrayed Zhao Yun in John Woo's Red Cliff, a two-part epic war film based on the Battle of Red Cliffs.
Notable actors who have portrayed Zhao Yun in television series include: Zhang Shan, in Romance of the Three Kingdoms (1994); Nie Yuan, in Three Kingdoms (2010), Benji Wang in K.O.3an Guo (2010), and Lin Gengxin in God of War, Zhao Yun (2016).
Zhao Yun appears as a playable character in Koei's Dynasty Warriors and Warriors Orochi video game series. He is usually featured prominently on the cover of each title, and is most often used by the developers in screenshots and other promotional materials for upcoming releases. He also appears in all instalments of Koei's Romance of the Three Kingdoms strategy game series.
The playable champion Xin Zhao in the multiplayer online battle arena game League of Legends is based on Zhao Yun. Zhao Yun also appears as a playable character in Lost Saga, Heroes Evolved, and Mobile Legends: Bang Bang.
- Changshan Commandery was in Ji Province.
- Liu Bei was appointed General of the Left (左將軍) by the Han central government in early 199 after the Battle of Xiapi.
- According to the "Rules of assigning posthumous names" chapter in the Yi Zhou Shu, a person can be given a posthumous name "Ping" based on several criteria: administering without fault; complying with regulations when handling matters; enforcing rules and order. Jiang Wei also specifically mentioned that Zhao Yun's ability to "overcome and pacify disasters and chaos" (克定禍亂) made him deserving of the posthumous name "Ping". Based on the rules in the Yi Zhou Shu, to qualify for the posthumous name "Shun", a person had to be highly respected and must be known for being kind and benevolent.)
- de Crespigny (2007), p. 1114.
- (趙雲字子龍，常山真定人也。) Sanguozhi vol. 36.
- (雲別傳曰：雲身長八尺，姿顏雄偉， ...) Zhao Yun Biezhuan annotation in Sanguozhi vol. 36.
- (... 為本郡所舉，將義從吏兵詣公孫瓚。) Zhao Yun Biezhuan annotation in Sanguozhi vol. 36.
- (時袁紹稱兾州牧，瓚深憂州人之從紹也， ...) Zhao Yun Biezhuan annotation in Sanguozhi vol. 36.
- (... 善雲來附，嘲雲曰：「聞貴州人皆願袁氏，君何獨迴心，迷而能反乎？」) Zhao Yun Biezhuan annotation in Sanguozhi vol. 36.
- (雲荅曰：「天下訩訩，未知孰是，民有倒縣之厄，鄙州論議，從仁政所在，不為忽袁公私明將軍也。」遂與瓚征討。) Zhao Yun Biezhuan annotation in Sanguozhi vol. 36.
- (時先主亦依託瓚，每接納雲，雲得深自結託。) Zhao Yun Biezhuan annotation in Sanguozhi vol. 36.
- (本屬公孫瓚，瓚遣先主為田楷拒袁紹，雲遂隨從，為先主主騎。) Sanguozhi vol. 36.
- (雲以兄喪，辭瓚暫歸，先主知其不反，捉手而別，雲辭曰：「終不背德也。」) Zhao Yun Biezhuan annotation in Sanguozhi vol. 36.
- Sima (1084), vol. 63.
- (先主就袁紹，雲見於鄴。先主與雲同床眠卧， ...) Zhao Yun Biezhuan annotation in Sanguozhi vol. 36.
- (助先主圍布於下邳，生禽布。先主復得妻子，從曹公還許。表先主為左將軍， ...) Sanguozhi vol. 32.
- (... 密遣雲合募得數百人，皆稱劉左將軍部曲，紹不能知。遂隨先主至荊州。) Zhao Yun Biezhuan annotation in Sanguozhi vol. 36.
- Sima (1084), vol. 64.
- (先是，與夏侯惇戰於博望， ...) Zhao Yun Biezhuan annotation in Sanguozhi vol. 36.
- (... 生獲夏侯蘭。蘭是雲鄉里人，少小相知，雲白先主活之，薦蘭明於法律，以為軍正。) Zhao Yun Biezhuan annotation in Sanguozhi vol. 36.
- (雲不用自近，其慎慮類如此。) Zhao Yun Biezhuan annotation in Sanguozhi vol. 36.
- Sima (1084), vol. 65.
- (曹公以江陵有軍實，恐先主據之，乃釋輜重，輕軍到襄陽。聞先主已過，曹公將精騎五千急追之，一日一夜行三百餘里，及於當陽之長坂。先主棄妻子，與諸葛亮、張飛、趙雲等數十騎走，曹公大獲其人衆輜重。) Sanguozhi vol. 32.
- (及先主為曹公所追於當陽長阪，棄妻子南走，雲身抱弱子，即後主也，保護甘夫人，即後主母也，皆得免難。遷為牙門將軍。) Sanguozhi vol. 36.
- (雲別傳曰：初，先主之敗，有人言雲已北去者，先主以手戟擿之曰：「子龍不棄我走也。」頃之，雲至。) Zhao Yun Biezhuan annotation in Sanguozhi vol. 36.
- Sima (1084), vol. 66.
- (從平江南，以為偏將軍，領桂陽太守，代趙範。) Zhao Yun Biezhuan annotation in Sanguozhi vol. 36.
- (範寡嫂曰樊氏，有國色，範欲以配雲。雲辭曰：「相與同姓，卿兄猶我兄。」固辭不許。) Zhao Yun Biezhuan annotation in Sanguozhi vol. 36.
- (時有人勸雲納之，雲曰：「範迫降耳，心未可測；天下女不少。」遂不取。範果逃走，雲無纖介。) Zhao Yun Biezhuan annotation in Sanguozhi vol. 36.
- (先主入蜀，雲留荊州。) Sanguozhi vol. 36.
- (先主入益州，雲領留營司馬。) Zhao Yun Biezhuan annotation in Sanguozhi vol. 36.
- (此時先主孫夫人以權妹驕豪，多將吳吏兵，縱橫不法。先主以雲嚴重，必能整齊，特任掌內事。) Zhao Yun Biezhuan annotation in Sanguozhi vol. 36.
- (權聞備西征，大遣舟船迎妹，而夫人內欲將後主還吳，雲與張飛勒兵截江，乃得後主還。) Zhao Yun Biezhuan annotation in Sanguozhi vol. 36.
- (先主軍益強，分遣諸將平下屬縣，諸葛亮、張飛、趙雲等將兵溯流定白帝、江州、江陽，惟關羽留鎮荊州。先主進軍圍雒；時璋子循守城，被攻且一年。) Sanguozhi vol. 32.
- (先主自葭萌還攻劉璋，召諸葛亮。亮率雲與張飛等俱泝江西上，平定郡縣。) Sanguozhi vol. 36.
- (至江州，分遣雲從外水上江陽，與亮會于成都。) Sanguozhi vol. 36.
- Sima (1084), vol. 67.
- (成都旣定，以雲為翊軍將軍。) Sanguozhi vol. 36.
- (雲別傳曰：益州旣定，時議欲以成都中屋舍及城外園地桑田分賜諸將。) Zhao Yun Biezhuan annotation in Sanguozhi vol. 36.
- (雲駮之曰：「霍去病以匈奴未滅，無用家為，令國賊非但匈奴，未可求安也。須天下都定，各反桑梓，歸耕本土，乃其宜耳。益州人民，初罹兵革，田宅皆可歸還，今安居復業，然後可役調，得其歡心。」) Zhao Yun Biezhuan annotation in Sanguozhi vol. 36.
- (先主即從之。) Zhao Yun Biezhuan annotation in Sanguozhi vol. 36.
- Sima (1084), vol. 68.
- (夏侯淵敗，曹公爭漢中地，運米北山下，數千萬囊。黃忠以為可取，雲兵隨忠取米。) Zhao Yun Biezhuan annotation in Sanguozhi vol. 36.
- (忠過期不還，雲將數十騎輕行出圍，迎視忠等。) Zhao Yun Biezhuan annotation in Sanguozhi vol. 36.
- (值曹公揚兵大出，雲為公前鋒所擊，方戰，其大衆至，勢逼，遂前突其陣，且鬬且却。公軍散，已復合，雲陷敵，還趣圍。將張著被創，雲復馳馬還營迎著。) Zhao Yun Biezhuan annotation in Sanguozhi vol. 36.
- (公軍追至圍，此時沔陽長張翼在雲圍內，翼欲閉門拒守，而雲入營，更大開門，偃旗息鼓。) Zhao Yun Biezhuan annotation in Sanguozhi vol. 36.
- (公軍疑雲有伏兵，引去。雲雷鼓震天，惟以戎弩於後射公軍，公軍驚駭，自相蹂踐，墮漢水中死者甚多。) Zhao Yun Biezhuan annotation in Sanguozhi vol. 36.
- (先主明旦自來至雲營圍視昨戰處，曰：「子龍一身都是膽也。」作樂飲宴至暝，軍中號雲為虎威將軍。) Zhao Yun Biezhuan annotation in Sanguozhi vol. 36.
- Sima (1084), vol. 69.
- (孫權襲荊州，先主大怒，欲討權。) Zhao Yun Biezhuan annotation in Sanguozhi vol. 36.
- (雲諫曰：「國賊是曹操，非孫權也，且先滅魏，則吳自服。操身雖斃，子丕篡盜，當因衆心，早圖關中，居河、渭上流以討凶逆，關東義士必裹糧策馬以迎王師。不應置魏，先與吳戰；兵勢一交，不得卒解也。」) Zhao Yun Biezhuan annotation in Sanguozhi vol. 36.
- (先主不聽，遂東征，留雲督江州。) Zhao Yun Biezhuan annotation in Sanguozhi vol. 36.
- (先主失利於秭歸，雲進兵至永安，吳軍已退。) Zhao Yun Biezhuan annotation in Sanguozhi vol. 36.
- Sima (1084), vol. 70.
- (建興元年，為中護軍、征南將軍，封永昌亭侯，遷鎮東將軍。) Sanguozhi vol. 36.
- ([建興]五年，隨諸葛亮駐漢中。) Sanguozhi vol. 36.
- [建興]五年，率諸軍北駐漢中， ...) Sanguozhi vol. 35.
- ([建興]六年春，揚聲由斜谷道取郿，使趙雲、鄧芝為疑軍，據箕谷，魏大將軍曹真舉衆拒之。亮身率諸軍攻祁山， ...) Sanguozhi vol. 35.
- (明年，亮出軍，揚聲由斜谷道，曹真遣大衆當之。亮令雲與鄧芝往拒，而身攻祁山。) Sanguozhi vol. 36.
- (亮令雲與鄧芝往拒，而身攻祁山。雲、芝兵弱敵彊，失利於箕谷，然歛衆固守，不至大敗。) Sanguozhi vol. 36.
- (軍退，貶為鎮軍將軍。) Sanguozhi vol. 36.
- (雲別傳曰：亮曰：「街亭軍退，兵將不復相錄，箕谷軍退，兵將初不相失，何故？」) Zhao Yun Biezhuan annotation in Sanguozhi vol. 36.
- (芝荅曰：「雲身自斷後，軍資什物略無所棄，兵將無緣相失。」) Zhao Yun Biezhuan annotation in Sanguozhi vol. 36.
- (雲有軍資餘絹，亮使分賜將士，雲曰：「軍事無利，何為有賜？其物請悉入赤岸府庫，須十月為冬賜。」亮大善之。) Zhao Yun Biezhuan annotation in Sanguozhi vol. 36.
- (七年卒，追謚順平侯。) Sanguozhi vol. 36.
- ([景耀]四年春三月，追謚故將軍趙雲。) Sanguozhi vol. 33.
- (初，先主時，惟法正見謚；後主時，諸葛亮功德蓋世，蔣琬、費禕荷國之重，亦見謚；陳祗寵待，特加殊獎，夏侯霸遠來歸國，故復得謚；於是關羽、張飛、馬超、龐統、黃忠及雲乃追謚，時論以為榮。) Sanguozhi vol. 36.
- (雲別傳載後主詔曰：「雲昔從先帝，功績旣著。朕以幼沖，涉塗艱難，賴恃忠順，濟於危險。夫謚所以叙元勳也，外議雲宜謚。」) Zhao Yun Biezhuan annotation in Sanguozhi vol. 36.
- (治而無眚曰平。執事有制曰平。布綱持紀曰平 ... 慈和遍服曰順。) Yi Zhou Shu vol. 6. ch. 54.
- (大將軍姜維等議，以為雲昔從先帝，勞績旣著，經營天下，遵奉法度，功效可書。當陽之役，義貫金石，忠以衞上，君念其賞，禮以厚下，臣忘其死。死者有知，足以不溺；生者感恩，足以殞身。謹按謚法，柔賢慈惠曰順，執事有班曰平，克定禍亂曰平，應謚雲曰順平侯。) Zhao Yun Biezhuan annotation in Sanguozhi vol. 36.
- (雲子統嗣，官至虎賁中郎，督行領軍。) Sanguozhi vol. 36.
- (次子廣，牙門將，隨姜維遝中，臨陳戰死。) Sanguozhi vol. 36.
- (黃忠、趙雲彊摯壯猛，並作爪牙，其灌、滕之徒歟？ ) Sanguozhi vol. 36.
- (in Chinese) 赵云死于绣花针之谜 赵云是死在妻子绣花针下？ (The myth behind Zhao Yun's death by a sewing needle – Zhao Yun died after his wife pricked him with a sewing needle?) qulishi.com.
- Chen, Shou (3rd century). Records of the Three Kingdoms (Sanguozhi).
- de Crespigny, Rafe (2007). A Biographical Dictionary of Later Han to the Three Kingdoms 23-220 AD. Leiden: Brill. ISBN 9789004156050.
- Luo, Guanzhong (14th century). Romance of the Three Kingdoms (Sanguo Yanyi).
- Pei, Songzhi (5th century). Annotations to Records of the Three Kingdoms (Sanguozhi zhu).
- Sima, Guang (1084). Zizhi Tongjian.
- Yi Zhou Shu.
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