An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History and Literature

Lü Meng 呂蒙

Jun 25, 2011 © Ulrich Theobald

Lü Meng 呂蒙 (178-219), courtesy name Ziming 子明, was a general of Sun Quan 孫權, the founder of the state of Wu 吳 (222-280), one of the Three Empires 三國 (220-280).

He hailed from Fubo 富波 (modern Funan 阜南, Anhui) and was from the beginning a commander in the army of Sun Quan. His talent soon attracted the attention of his superiors. In 208, he participated in the campaign against Liu Biao 劉表 (142-208). For his effort in the defeat of general Huang Zu 黃祖, Lü Meng was awarded with the title of Leader of the court gentlemen crossing the country (hengye zhonglangjiang 橫野中郎將). In the same year he also served under Zhou Yu 周瑜 (175-210) and Cheng Pu 程普 in the battle of the Red Cliff (Chibi 赤壁, modern Puqi 蒲圻, Hubei) against the northern warlord Cao Cao 曹操 (155-220).

In 214, Lü Meng, together with Gan Ning, conquered the city of Wancheng 皖城 (modern Qianshan 潛山, Anhui) and seized Zhu Guang 朱光, a general of Cao Cao. He was therefore appointed governor (taishou 太守) of the commandery of Lujiang 廬江. A year later he conquered three commanderies in the province of Jingzhou 荊州 that was until then still controlled by Liu Bei 劉備 (161-222) and was promoted to left guard general (zuohujiang 左護將, not in Hucker (1985)) and General with a tiger's authority (huwei jiangjun 虎威將軍). After the death of Lu Su, Lü Meng took over his command and became a direct neighbour to Guan Yu 關羽 (d. 219 CE), a high general of Liu Bei.

Lü Meng took a plan and asked Sun Quan to have him, because of sickness, called back to the capital. Instead, Lu Xun 陸遜 was sent to the command are in the west. Lu Xun was a relatively unknown leader, so that Guan Yu was lured into a trap thinking that there would be no danger from the side of Sun Quan's army. Guan Yu therefore began his large campaign against the city of Fancheng 樊城 (modern Xiangfan 襄樊, Hubei), where he battled against Cao Cao. When Guan Yu was far away, Lü Meng invaded Jingzhou and took the city of Nanjun 南郡 (modern Jiangling 江陵, Hubei). He also captured some relatives of Guan Yu and thereby forced him to return. Guan Yu's troops had lost all fighting sprits and did not support Guan Yu when he was arrested by Lü Meng and executed. Lü Meng had thus secured the middle Yangtze valley for the Wu empire. He was appointed governor of Nanjun and given the title of Marquis of Canling 孱陵侯. Lü Meng died soon thereafter.

Zhu Zongbin 祝總斌 (1992). "Lü Meng 呂蒙", in Zhongguo da baike quanshu 中國大百科全書, part Zhongguo lishi 中國歷史 (Beijing/Shanghai: Zhongguo da baike quanshu chubanshe), Vol. 2, 629.