A Qing dynasty illustration of Zhao Yun
|General of Shu Han|
|Courtesy name||Zilong (simplified Chinese: 子龙; traditional Chinese: 子龍; pinyin: Zǐlóng; Wade–Giles: Tzu-lung)|
|Posthumous name||Marquis Shunping (simplified Chinese: 顺平侯; traditional Chinese: 順平侯; pinyin: Shùnpíng Hóu)|
Zhao Yun (died 229), courtesy name Zilong, was a military general who lived in the late Eastern Han dynasty and early Three Kingdoms period. 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 had been dramatised or exaggerated in folklore and fiction, most notably in Luo Guanzhong's historical novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms, in which 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 Service under Liu Bei
- 4 Service under Liu Shan
- 5 Death
- 6 Descendants
- 7 Appraisal
- 8 In Romance of the Three Kingdoms
- 9 In popular culture
- 10 See also
- 11 Notes
- 12 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 CE, 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'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 such: eight chi tall (approximately 1.85 metres), with majestic and impressive looks.
The chief administrative officer in Changshan recommended Zhao Yun to serve in the government. Zhao Yun then led a small group of volunteers to join Gongsun Zan, a warlord in You Province who was nominally a General of the Household (中郎將) under the Han central government. Around the time, another warlord Yuan Shao was recently appointed as the Governor (牧) of Ji Province and his fame was steadily rising, so Gongsun Zan was worried that many people in You Province would choose to serve under Yuan instead of him. When Zhao Yun came to join him, he mocked Zhao, "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's 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 practises benevolent governance. Therefore, I chose to join you, General, instead of Lord Yuan." He participated in some of Gongsun Zan's battles against rival forces.
Around the early 190s, Liu Bei was taking shelter under Gongsun Zan and he met Zhao Yun during that time. Zhao Yun became very close to Liu Bei and desired to switch his allegiance to Liu. 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 commander under Liu. Later, when Zhao Yun received news of his elder brother's death, he asked for a temporary leave of absence from Gongsun Zan to attend his brother's funeral. Liu Bei knew that Zhao Yun would not return to Gongsun Zan after leaving, so he held Zhao's hand when he bidding him farewell. Before departing, Zhao Yun said, "I'll not forsake morality."
Service under Liu Bei
Around 199, after Liu Bei lost Xu Province to his rival Cao Cao, he fled north and sought refuge under Yuan Shao, Cao Cao's rival. At the same time, Zhao Yun also came to Ye, the administrative centre of Yuan Shao's territories, where he met Liu Bei again. Zhao Yun and Liu Bei shared the same room during their stay in Ye. Liu Bei secretly ordered Zhao Yun to help him recruit hundreds of men who were willing to follow him, and they claimed to be soldiers serving under the General of the Left (左將軍).[b] Yuan Shao was not aware of this. Liu Bei later left Yuan Shao and travelled south to Jing Province to join Liu Biao, the provincial governor. Zhao Yun accompanied him.
Battle of Bowang
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's absence to launch an attack on Cao's territories in central China. Cao Cao sent his general Xiahou Dun and others to lead an army to resist Liu Bei, leading to the Battle of Bowang. Xiahou Dun lost the battle after falling into Liu Bei's ambush, but Liu also withdrew his forces upon seeing the arrival of Xiahou's reinforcements. During the battle, Zhao Yun captured an enemy officer, Xiahou Lan (夏侯蘭), an old acquaintance who was also from the same hometown as him. Zhao Yun requested that Liu Bei spare Xiahou Lan's life and recommended Xiahou to serve as a military judge because he knew that Xiahou was proficient in law. However, he never maintained any close relationship with Xiahou Lan. Chen Shou commented that this incident showed that Zhao Yun was conscientious and careful.
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 campaign later that year to eliminate opposing forces in southern China, Liu Cong voluntarily surrendered and yielded Jing Province to Cao Cao. Liu Bei and his followers 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 sent 5,000 riders to pursue Liu Bei and they caught up with him at Changban (長阪) near Dangyang, resulting in the Battle of Changban. 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 eventually delivered them to safety. He was promoted to a General of the Standard (牙門將軍) for his efforts.
Earlier on, after his defeat at the Battle of Changban, Liu Bei heard rumours that Zhao Yun had betrayed him and headed north to join Cao Cao. He refused to believe the rumours, threw a short ji to the ground, and said, "Zilong will never desert me." He was right as Zhao Yun returned to him a short while later.
Guarding Jing Province
Between late 208 and 209, Liu Bei formed an alliance with the southern warlord Sun Quan and they defeated Cao Cao at the decisive Battle of Red Cliffs and the subsequent Battle of Jiangling. Cao Cao retreated north after his defeats and southern Jing Province came under Liu Bei's control.
Zhao Yun assisted Liu Bei in the pacification of the territories in southern Jing Province and was promoted to Lieutenant-General (偏將軍) for his efforts. He was also appointed as the Administrator (太守) of Guiyang Commandery (桂陽郡; around present-day Chenzhou, Hunan), replacing Zhao Fan. Zhao Fan had a widowed elder sister-in-law who was known for her beauty, and he wanted to arrange for a marriage between her and Zhao Yun. However, Zhao Yun declined, "I share the same family name as you. Your elder brother is also like an elder brother to me." There were some people who urged Zhao Yun to accept the marriage, but he said, "Zhao Fan was forced to surrender, so his intentions are unclear. There're so 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.
Around 212, Liu Bei led an army west into Yi Province (益州; 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 was appointed as a Major (司馬) of the reserve camp and he remained behind to guard Jing Province. Sometime in 209, Liu Bei married Sun Quan's younger sister, Lady Sun, to strengthen the alliance between him and Sun. Lady Sun also remained in Jing Province when Liu Bei left. Because of her brother's strong influence, Lady Sun was arrogant and she often allowed her close aides to behave lawlessly too. Liu Bei knew that Zhao Yun was a serious and orderly person, so he put Zhao in charge of internal affairs in Jing Province when he was away. When Sun Quan heard that Liu Bei had left for Yi Province, he sent a vessel to fetch his sister back to Jiangdong. 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 in 213. Liu Bei was initially stationed at Jiameng Pass (葭萌關), 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 pacified the commanderies and counties in the surrounding areas. When they reached Jiangzhou (江州; 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 215, Liu Zhang gave up resistance and surrendered, concluding Liu Bei's successful takeover of Yi Province. Zhao Yun was appointed as General of the Assisting Army (翊軍將軍).
After taking over 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 in 218-219.
Later, Huang Zhong heard that Cao Cao's forces were transporting food supplies to Beishan (北山), so he led a group of soldiers, including some of Zhao Yun's men, to seize the supplies. Huang Zhong did not return after a long time so Zhao Yun led tens of horsemen in search of Huang. Zhao Yun encountered Cao Cao's forces and engaged them in battle but was outnumbered and was forced to retreat back to his camp, with Cao Cao's men in pursuit. Zhang Yi, one of Zhao Yun's subordinates, wanted to close the gates to prevent the enemy from entering. However, Zhao Yun ordered the gates to be opened, all flags and banners to be hidden, and the war drums silenced. Cao Cao's forces thought that there was an ambush inside Zhao Yun's camp so they withdrew. Just then, Zhao Yun launched a counter-attack 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 while fleeing in panic, and many of them fell into the Han River and drowned.
The following day, 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 called "General of Tiger's Might" (虎威將軍) in Liu Bei's army.
Battle of Xiaoting
In late 219, Sun Quan broke the alliance with Liu Bei when he sent his general Lü Meng to invade and seize Jing Province, resulting in the capture and execution of Guan Yu. Cao Cao died in early 220 and was succeeded by his son Cao Pi, who forced Emperor Xian to abdicate the throne in his favour later that year. Cao Pi ended the Han dynasty and established the state of Cao Wei, marking the start of the Three Kingdoms period. In 221, Liu Bei declared himself emperor and founded the state of Shu Han, which was intended to be a continuation of the fallen Han dynasty. Sun Quan pledged allegiance to Cao Pi and became a nominal vassal of Wei, ruling under the Wei-granted title "King of Wu".
Liu Bei bore a grudge against Sun Quan for the seizure of Jing Province and wanted to attack Sun. Zhao Yun attempted to dissuade him and said, "Cao Cao is the enemy of the state, not Sun Quan. We should eliminate Wei first, after which Wu will surrender by itself. Cao Cao is already dead but his son Cao Pi has usurped the throne. You should follow the wishes of the masses by conquering Guanzhong and then attack the treacherous enemy via the Wei River. People of righteousness situated east of Hangu Pass will certainly welcome your army with grain and horses. You shouldn't ignore Wei for the moment and wage war against Wu first. Once the war has started, it can't be stopped."
Liu Bei refused to accept Zhao Yun's advice and proceeded with the campaign and left Zhao Yun behind to guard Jiangzhou (江州; present-day Chongqing). He was defeated by the Wu forces at Zigui (秭歸; present-day Zigui County, Hubei) at the Battle of Xiaoting and was forced to retreat back to Shu. Zhao Yun led troops from Jiangzhou to Yong'an (永安; present-day Fengjie County, Chongqing) to help his lord, after which the Wu forces gave up on pursuing Liu Bei.
Service under Liu Shan
Liu Bei died in 223 and was succeeded by his son Liu Shan as the emperor of Shu, with the chancellor Zhuge Liang serving as the regent. After his enthronement, 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). Zhao Yun was promoted to General Who Guards the East (鎮東將軍) later.
First Northern Expedition
In 227, Zhao Yun followed Zhuge Liang to garrison at Hanzhong. The following year, Zhuge Liang launched the first of a series of Northern Expeditions against Shu's rival state Wei, and he spread news that his army would be passing through Xie Valley (斜谷). In response, the Wei general Cao Zhen led a large army to resist the Shu forces. Zhuge Liang ordered Zhao Yun and Deng Zhi to lead a separate force to resist Cao Zhen and act as a decoy, while he led the main Shu army to attack Mount Qi (祁山). Zhao Yun and Deng Zhi's troops were weaker than the Wei forces so they lost the battle in Ji Valley (箕谷). However, Zhao Yun managed to rally his men into putting up a firm defence, thus minimising their losses. After retreating back to Hanzhong, Zhao Yun was demoted to General Who Guards the Army (鎮軍將軍) because of his failure.
Zhuge Liang later lamented the failure of the first Northern Expedition. He noted, "Our armies at Mount Qi and Ji Valley together were superior to the enemy in numbers, yet we lost the battles. This wasn't because we had insufficient troops, but rather, it was due to one man." Based on the earlier record in Zhao Yun's biography, Zhuge Liang had most probably reserved the elite troops for himself and Ma Su; Zhao Yun and Deng Zhi were given the weaker soldiers. Ma Su lost to the Wei general Zhang He at the Battle of Jieting in 228 due to his incompetency even though he had the better soldiers; Zhao Yun lost the battle at Ji Valley as Cao Zhen's army was far superior.
After returning to Hanzhong, Zhuge Liang asked, "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 covered the retreat. He ensured that no equipment was discarded and that the men retreated in an orderly manner." As Zhao Yun still had some silk left in his army, Zhuge Liang wanted to have the silk distributed among the troops. However, Zhao Yun disagreed, "The expedition was a failure, so why should rewards be given out? Please store the silk in the official treasury now and distribute them among the men later during the tenth month in winter." Zhuge Liang praised Zhao Yun for his suggestion.
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 (陳祗; Chén Zhī), 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. The receiving of such posthumous titles was regarded as a great honour at the time.
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 a military officer in Shu and his highest appointment was an Imperial Guard in the Rapid as Tigers division (虎賁中郎). Zhao Yun's second son, Zhao Guang (趙廣; Zhào Guǎng), served as an Officer of the Standard (牙門將) and followed 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 as follows: "Huang Zhong and Zhao Yun were fierce and mighty warriors, just like claws and teeth. Were they the successors to Guan Ying (灌嬰) and the Duke of Teng?"
In Romance of the Three Kingdoms
Many of Zhao Yun's actual exploits were highly dramatised in the historical novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms by Luo Guanzhong. 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:
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 historical novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms.
There is a Chinese folktale about Zhao Yun's death which is not mentioned in the 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 and Mobile Legends: Bang Bang.
- Changshan Commandery was in Ji Province.
- Liu Bei was appointed General of the Left by the Han imperial court.
- According to the "Rules of assigning posthumous names" chapter in the Yizhoushu, 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 Yizhoushu, to qualify for the posthumous name "Shun", a person had to be highly respected and must be known for being kind and benevolent. Quote from Yizhoushu vol. 6. ch. 54: (治而無眚曰平。執事有制曰平。布綱持紀曰平 ... 慈和遍服曰順。)
- de Crespigny, Rafe (2007). A biographical dictionary of Later Han to the Three Kingdoms (23–220 AD). Brill. p. 1114. ISBN 978-90-04-15605-0.
- (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。時袁紹稱兾州牧，瓚深憂州人之從紹也，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？」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.
- (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.
- (時先主亦依託瓚，每接納雲，雲得深自結託。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.
- (先主就袁紹，雲見於鄴。先主與雲同床眠卧，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.
- (先是，與夏侯惇戰於博望，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。雲不用自近，其慎慮類如此。) Zhao Yun Biezhuan annotation in Sanguozhi vol. 36.
- (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.
- (從平江南，以為偏將軍，領桂陽太守，代趙範。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。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。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。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。至江州，分遣雲從外水上江陽，與亮會于成都。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。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。」先主即從之。) Zhao Yun Biezhuan annotation in Sanguozhi vol. 36.
- (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。忠過期不還，雲將數十騎輕行出圍，迎視忠等。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。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。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.
- ([世祖文皇帝黃初元年]冬，十月，乙卯，漢帝告祠高廟，使行御史大夫張音持節奉璽綬詔冊，禪位于魏。王三上書辭讓，乃為壇於繁陽，辛未，升壇受璽綬，卽皇帝位，燎祭天地、嶽瀆，改元，大赦。 ... [文帝黃初二年]夏，四月，丙午，漢中王卽皇帝位於武擔之南，大赦，改元章武。 ... [文帝黃初二年]丁巳，遣太常邢貞奉策卽拜孫權為吳王，加九錫。) Zizhi Tongjian vol. 69.
- (孫權襲荊州，先主大怒，欲討權。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。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.
- (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.
- (五年，隨諸葛亮駐漢中。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。雲、芝兵弱敵彊，失利於箕谷，然歛衆固守，不至大敗。軍退，貶為鎮軍將軍。) Sanguozhi vol. 36.
- (漢晉春秋曰：或勸亮更發兵者，亮曰：「大軍在祁山、箕谷，皆多於賊，而不能破賊為賊所破者，則此病不在兵少也，在一人耳。今欲減兵省將，明罰思過，校變通之道於將來；若不能然者，雖兵多何益！自今已後，諸有忠慮於國，但勤攻吾之闕，則事可定，賊可死，功可蹻足而待矣。」) Han Jin Chunqiu annotation in Sanguozhi vol. 35.
- (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？」芝荅曰：「雲身自斷後，軍資什物略無所棄，兵將無緣相失。」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。冬十月，大赦。) 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。」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。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.
- Anonymous. Yizhoushu.
- Chen, Shou. Records of the Three Kingdoms (Sanguozhi).
- Luo, Guanzhong. Romance of the Three Kingdoms (Sanguo Yanyi).
- Pei, Songzhi. Annotations to Records of the Three Kingdoms (Sanguozhi zhu).
- Sima, Guang. Zizhi Tongjian.
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