Gongjin's Campaign Memorials
Gongjin's Campaign Memorials
This article is about a Yellow Turban leader, for the follower of Shu, see Zhang Bao 張苞.

Zhang Bao 張寶 was the younger brother of Yellow Turban leader Zhang Jue 張角 and older brother of Zhang Liang 張梁. During the Yellow Turban Rebellion he was self-titled Lord of Earth General (dígōng jiāngjūn 地公將軍) and operated from his home commandery of Julu together with his two brothers.


Zhang Bao was a man from Julu commandery in Ji province. It is assumed he was the second oldest brother, with Jue being the oldest and Zhang Liang being the youngest.[2] Though there are some sources that say Zhang Bao was actually the youngest.[4]

The Way of Great Peace[]

Main article: Way of Great Peace

During the early 170’s Zhang Jue founded a religious movement called the 'Way of Great Peace' (Tàipíng Dào 太平道). He did this together with his younger brothers Zhang Bao and Zhang Liang.[6] Zhang Jue named himself its 'Great Virtuous Teacher' and Zhang Bao and Zhang Liang called themselves its 'Great Healers' (dàyī 大醫).[5]

Prior to the Rebellion[]

The Zhang brothers' religious movement was a success and ultimately resulted in a gathering of hundreds of thousands of followers[7] from the eight province of Qing, Xu, You, Ji, Jing, Yang, Yan and Yu. They spread the word that:

"The azure sky is dead and a Yellow Heaven will take its place. When the year is Jiazi great fortune will come to the world."

Han officials Yang Ci 禓賜 and Liu Tao 劉陶 tried to warn the Emperor Ling about the growth of the Zhang brothers' rise in popularity, but were ignored.[2]

In 184 A.D., the year jiazi 甲子, one of Zhang Jue's disciples, a man named Tang Zhou 唐周, informed the Han about his masters plot. All Yellow Turban sympathizers in the capital of Luoyang were arrested and orders were sent to Ji province that Zhang Jue and his followers should be arrested.[2]


In the second month of the year 184 A.D. the Zhang brothers gave themselves titles. Zhang Jue named himself Lord of Heaven General (tiāngōng jiāngjūn 天公將軍), Zhang Bao named himself Lord of Earth General and Zhang Liang named himself Lord of Man General (réngōng jiāngjūn 人公將軍).[2]

The Yellow Turbans scored some early successes, plundering commanderies, killing Han officials and even beating Han generals. During summer the tides seem to change in the Han's favour. The Zhang brothers had lost many of their Division leaders to He Jin's generals and Zhang Jue was fighting a losing battle against the General of the Gentlemen of the Household the North Lu Zhi 盧植.[2]


During the summer Zhang Jue was taken ill and eventually succumbed to his illness. Zhang Liang therefore maintained the defence of Guangzong city in Julu commandery.

=Theory 1[]

In the tenth month of 184 A.D. Zhang Liang fought the General of the Gentleman of the Household on the Left Huangfu Song 皇甫嵩 at Guangzong city and was defeated and killed after a tough battle. Thus, Zhang Bao was the last remaining of the three Zhang brothers. He led the remnants of their forces to Xiaquyang city in the north of the commandery,[1] which appears to have been the headquarters of the Zhang brothers.[4] Huangfu Song, now aided by the local Grand Administrator Guo Dian 郭典, took chase, fought them and defeated them. Zhang Bao died in the slaughter.[1]

Theory 2[]

When Dong Zhuo 董卓 was sent to replace Lu Zhi, he did not head for Guanzong city, but instead headed to Xiaquyang city, where he teamed up with the Grand Administrator of Julu commandery Guo Dian. Zhang Bao, having fortified himself and his army in Xiaquyang, were able to prevent the combined armies from gaining any success. Dong Zhuo fled and was condemned for his failure. Guo Dian, however, kept pressing the attack on Zhang Bao so that the latter did not dare to come out.[3]

When Huangfu Song defeated Zhang Liang at Guanzong, he headed north towards Xiaquyang at teamed up with Guo Dian. This time Zhang Bao was defeated. His followers were killed and Zhang Bao himself was killed in the slaughter.[3]



See also[]

Image gallery[]


  • Zhang Bao is not a relative of Zhang Daoling 張道陵 and the Yellow Turbans were not associated with the Way of Five Pecks of Rice movement.

Fact vs. Fiction[]


  • …Zhang Bao was not betrayed by the fictional Yan Zheng 嚴政, he was killed in battle with Huangfu Song.
  • …Zhang Bao obviously was not a sorcerer and could not control the wind.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 de Crespigny, A Biographical Dictionary of Later Han to the Three Kingdoms, biography of Zhang Bao, pages 1033-34 Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "dC300" defined multiple times with different content Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "dC300" defined multiple times with different content
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 de Crespigny, Emperor Huan and Emperor Ling, Zhongping 1
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Leban, Ts'ao Ts'ao and the Rise of Wei, page 116
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 de Crespigny, Emperor Huan and Emperor Ling, footnotes to Zhongping 1
  5. 5.0 5.1 Yuan Hong, Hou Han ji, Annals of Emperor Xiao-Ling of the Latter Han, the 24th Chapter of the Middle Scroll
  6. Chen Qiyun, Legalist and Taoist thought in Later Han in Cambridge History of China, page 801
  7. Michaud, The Yellow Turbans, pages 100-104