Zong Yu

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Zong Yu
Minister of Shu Han
Born (Unknown, but before 193)
Died 263
Traditional Chinese 宗預
Simplified Chinese 宗预
Pinyin Zōng Yù
Wade–Giles Tsung Yü
Courtesy name Deyan (Chinese: 德豔; pinyin: Déyàn; Wade–Giles: Te-yen)

Zong Yu (died 263), courtesy name Deyan, was a minister of the state of Shu Han during the Three Kingdoms period. He hailed from Anzhong (安衆) in Nanyang (南陽) commandery, Jing Province.


After Zhuge Liang was made chancellor, Zong Yu became his chief secretary. Upon Zhuge Liang's death, Eastern Wu began building up its defences at Baqiu in fear that Cao Wei would take advantage of the event and invade Shu, believing Shu would fall should this happen. In response, Shu began increasing its defenses at Yong'an. Zong Yu was then sent as an emissary to Wu to speak with Sun Quan. Sun Quan inquired into Shu's military buildup, but Zong Yu informed Sun Quan that their actions were not driven by the same circumstances as Wu's similar buildup and that it was none of his concern. Sun Quan praised Zong Yu's frankness and he was highly valued within the court.

In 247, Zong Yu was promoted to "Colonel of the Garrison Cavalry". At that time, Deng Zhi, the "General of the Chariots and Cavalry", paid Zong Yu a visit and condescendingly asked why a man of over 60 years old would accept a new military command. Zong Yu retorted "Sir, being seventy already, you still have not relinquished your command. Why can’t I, being but sixty, accept one?" Zong Yu is noted as being the only person who stood up to Deng Zhi.

Some time after 258, Zong Yu was promoted to "General-in-Chief who Maintains the Army" and designated "Inspector of Yan Province". Around that time, Chief Commissioner Zhuge Zhan took control over the affairs of the imperial court. Liao Hua, the "General of the Chariots and Cavalry of the Right", requested Zong Yu accompany him to pay a respectful visit to Zhuge Zhan, but Zong said “We are both over seventy years of age, and all that we desire have passed. Nothing remains but death. Why bother to seek favours from the youngsters by paying calls for trivial things?” Thus he refused to go.

After Shu submitted to Wei in 263, Zong Yu was relocated to Luoyang, but he died of illness on the way.

In fiction[edit]

In the historical novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms by Luo Guanzhong, Zong Yu's role is drastically decreased. He pays a visit to Sun Quan after Zhuge Liang's death to inform the former about the latter's passing, but he does not go on to hold as high a rank as he did historically.

See also[edit]