An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History, Literature and Art

Mi Zhu 麋竺

Jun 24, 2021 © Ulrich Theobald

Mi Zhu 麋竺 (d. c. 222 CE), courtesy name Zizhong 子仲, was a military leader of Liu Bei 劉備 (161-222), the founder of Shu-Han 蜀漢 (221-263), one of the Three Empires 三國 (220~280 CE).

He hailed from Quren 朐人 in the commandery of Donghai 東海 and belonged to the entourage of the warlord Tao Qian 陶謙 (132-194), who was in control of the province of Xuzhou 徐州 (approx. modern Anhui and northern Jiangsu). When Tao died, Mi Zhu offered his serviced to the condottiere Liu Bei. In 196, Liu Bei was defeated in battle by Lü Bu 呂布 (d. 198) and his wife was captured. Mi Zhu offered his own sister to marry Liu Bei, and also contributed large sums of money to raise and feed the troops.

Mi remained loyal to Liu Bei when the mighty leader Cao Cao 曹操 (155-220) offered him the post of governor (taishou 太守) of Yingjun 嬴郡. Accordingly, Mi Zhu accompanied Liu Bei when the latter came into possession of the province of Jingzhou 荊州 (middle Yangtze region) and later conquered Yizhou 益州 (Sichuan). Liu rewarded his loyalty with the title of "General Pacifying the Han Dynasty" (anhan jiangjun 安漢將軍). In 219, Mi Zhu’s brother Mi Fang 糜芳 defected during a battle to the side of Sun Quan 孫權 (182-252), the warlord of southeast China, and so caused the death on the battlefield of Guan Yu 關羽 (d. 219), an important military leader of Liu Bei. Mi Zhu was so ashamed of this betrayal that he had himself bound and offered to accept punishment for his brother's crime. Liu Bei spared him, but Mi Zhu died shortly later.

Huang Huixian 黃惠賢, ed. (1997). Ershiwushi renming da cidian 二十五史人名大辭典 (Zhengzhou: Zhongzhou guji chubanshe), Vol. 1, 122.
Zhang Huizhi 張撝之, Shen Qiwei 沈起煒, Liu Dezhong 劉德重, ed. (1999). Zhongguo lidai renming da cidian 中國歷代人名大辭典 (Shanghai: Shanghai guji chubanshe), Vol. 2, 2579.