Zhang Yi – Romance of the Three Kingdoms

张翼 - 《三国演义》


Zhang Yi, also known as Gongqi, was a historical figure and a character in the Chinese novel “Romance of the Three Kingdoms.” He was a strategist and advisor to Liu Bei, one of the central figures in the novel, and played a key role in many of Liu Bei’s campaigns. Zhang Yi was known for his intelligence, creativity, and military expertise.

Zhang Yi was born in Jingzhao, which is located in present-day Shaanxi Province. He was well-educated and had a reputation for his intelligence and knowledge of military strategy. Zhang Yi initially served as an official in the Han court, but he was forced to flee when the court was taken over by the warlord Dong Zhuo.

After leaving the court, Zhang Yi joined Liu Bei’s army and became one of his most trusted advisors. He played a key role in many of Liu Bei’s campaigns, including the Battle of Mount Dingjun, where he helped to secure a strategic victory against the warlord Cao Cao.

Zhang Yi was known for his creative and innovative strategies on the battlefield. He often came up with unconventional tactics that allowed Liu Bei’s forces to gain the upper hand against larger and more heavily armed armies. One of his most famous strategies was the “empty fort strategy,” which involved leaving a gate open and pretending that the fort was empty to lure the enemy into a trap.

Zhang Yi was also involved in several of Liu Bei’s political and administrative initiatives. He helped to establish the Shu Han government, which was one of the three states that emerged during the Three Kingdoms period. Zhang Yi also played a key role in the selection of Liu Bei’s successors, including Liu Shan, who became the second emperor of Shu Han.

Zhang Yi’s loyalty to Liu Bei was unwavering throughout his life. He was one of the few advisors who remained with Liu Bei during his early struggles, and he continued to support him even when it seemed that Liu Bei’s cause was doomed. Zhang Yi was deeply respected by Liu Bei, who referred to him as “the greatest of strategists” and “an invaluable asset.”

Zhang Yi’s character in “Romance of the Three Kingdoms” is portrayed as a brilliant and creative strategist who provides valuable counsel to Liu Bei. He is often depicted as a calm and composed figure who is able to come up with innovative solutions to the challenges facing Liu Bei and his army. His military expertise and his unconventional strategies are also highlighted in the novel.

Overall, Zhang Yi was a key figure in the rise of Liu Bei and the establishment of the Shu Han government. His intelligence, creativity, and military expertise made him a valuable asset to Liu Bei, and his legacy continues to be celebrated in Chinese culture and literature.

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