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Xu Zhi

Xu Zhi
Traditional Chinese徐質
Simplified Chinese徐质

Xu Zhi (died 254) was a military general of the state of Cao Wei during the Three Kingdoms period of China. He participated in a battle against an invading army from Wei's rival state, Shu Han, led by the Shu general Jiang Wei. His name is sometimes incorrectly romanised as Xu Zi.


In 254, the Wei-appointed official in charge of Didao County defected to Shu and surrendered, after which the Shu troops under Jiang Wei's command entered Wei territory without being challenged until they reached Xiangwu (襄武). There, Xu Zhi organised the local defences to resist the Shu invasion. During the ensuing battle, he killed Zhang Ni. However, Zhang Ni's desperate fight also inflicted a devastating damage to Xu Zhi's army,[1] so he was forced to retreat and surrounded by Shu forces led by Jiang Wei. He was soon defeated and beheaded. Thus, the Su army gained some foothold in the Long (隴) region (in present-day Gansu).[2][3]

In Romance of the Three Kingdoms

In the 14th-century historical novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms, Xu Zhi volunteers to lead the Wei vanguard to engage Jiang Wei in battle. The two armies encounter each other at Dong Village (董亭) and get into their respective formations. Xu Zhi charges out of the Wei formation and duels with the Shu general Liao Hua. Soon after, Liao Hua takes advantage of a feint and retreats. Zhang Yi continues the duel against Xu Zhi but retreats as well after a few rounds. Xu Zhi then leads his troops on a charge and defeats the enemy. Later, Xu Zhi is caught in a surprise attack led by Liao Hua and Zhang Yi. Though his force is wiped out, Xu Zhi manages to escape alive; he ultimately falls into an ambush and meets his end at the hands of Jiang Wei's men.[4]

See also


  1. ^ (軍前與魏將徐質交鋒,嶷臨陣隕身,然其所殺傷亦過倍). Sanguozhi vol. 45.
  2. ^ (汉晋春秋曰:是时姜维亦出围狄道[...]姜维闻淮进兵,军食少,乃退屯陇西界。) Han Jin Chunqiu annotation in Sanguozhi vol. 44.
  3. ^ (進圍襄武,與魏將徐質交鋒,斬首破敵,魏軍敗退[...]維為魏大將鄧艾所破於段谷,星散流離,死者甚眾。) Sanguozhi vol. 44.
  4. ^ Sanguo Yanyi ch. 109.
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