Michael Loewe

Zang Tu 臧荼

A Biographical Dictionary of the Qin, Former Han and Xin Periods (221 BC - AD 24)

Zang Tu 臧荼 was a general of Yan who had helped Xiang Yu 項羽 in the campaign to relieve Zhao. In his settlement of 206, Xiang Yu divided Yan into two kingdoms; Zang Tu was named king of Yan, and Han Guang 韓廣, formerly king of Yan, was now to reign over no more than a part of that area, i.e. Liaodong. Proceeding to his own kingdom, Zang Tu chased Han Guang out of Liaodong and took over his territory. His position as king of Yan was confirmed by Liu Bang 劉邦 in 202, when he had been one of seven kings who had proposed that he should adopt the title of emperor. However his loyalty was short-lived, as he staged a revolt in that same year, taking over Dai. Liu Bang himself, assisted by a number of senior officers, led the punitive campaign against him and took him prisoner; he replaced him as king of Yan with Lu Wan 盧綰.

Information about this revolt is strangely lacking, and no facts are recorded about Zang Tu’s manner of death. The revolt may well have been regarded as a serious threat to the stability of the newly formed empire, taking place in lands that were adjacent to those of the Xiongnu 匈奴, but there is nothing to show that Zang Tu was acting in collusion with them. — SJ 7, p. 316; HS 1A, p. 31

Michael Loewe


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