Zhang Zi's home of record was Yingchuan commandery in Yu province. A man of reputation. At one point he became Grand Administrator of Nanyang commandery. During the campaign against Dong Zhuo, Sun Jian was on his way to Luyang 魯陽, to join Yuan Shu, and wanted to rest and make use of the supplies in Nanyang commandery.
Before this, Sun Jian was at Hanshou after having received an order to kill Wang Rui 王叡. When Wang Rui heard of Sun Jian's arrival, he drank gold and died. Sun Jian took his troops and marched on to Luyang. His force was twenty to thirty thousand men strong.
Sun Jian sent a message a message ahead to ask Zhang Zi for supplies for his army. When Sun Jian came up, the two officials exchanged gifts and Sun Jian paid his respects to Zhang Zi; the following day Zhang Zi returned the visit. While Zhang Zi was thus in Sun Jian's camp, Sun Jian's Registrar, his senior clerical officer, came in and reported that in fact there had been nothing done in Nanyang commandery to provide for the visiting army. Zhang Zi was frightened and tried to escape, but Sun Jian arrested him, and after a short further enquiry he was judged guilty of treason and was executed according to military law.
The Wu li 吳歷 by Hu Zhong has a slightly different version of this event: Zhang Zi refused to visit Sun Jian. Sun Jian pretended to be seriously ill and offered to turn his troops over to Zhang Zi's command. When Zhang Zi came to his tent to take up the offer, Sun Jian leaped from his bed, swore at his visitor, and cut his head off on the spot.
- ↑ SGZ 46 (Wu 1), 1096 (8a-9b), the Biography of Sun Jian.
- ↑ Generals of the South, by Rafe de Crespigny, chapters on Sun Jian.
- de Crespigny, Rafe. To Establish Peace. Vol. 1. Canberra: Faculty of Asian Studies, The Australian National University, 1996. 2 vols.