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|Senior General Who Guards the South|
242 – 249
|General Who Stabilises the South (安南將軍)|
? – 242
|Courtesy name||Dexin (德信)|
|Peerage||Marquis of Pengxiang Village|
|Original name||Hu Du (狐篤)|
Ma Zhong (died 249), courtesy name Dexin, originally named Hu Du, was a military general of the state of Shu Han during the Three Kingdoms period of China. Liu Bei was quite impressed by Ma Zhong and praised him highly, comparing him to the recently defected Huang Quan. His role to pacify the southern tribes was crucial to Shu's stability and led those tribes to both fear him and respect him. His duty in the south could be comparable to Wang Ping (Three Kingdoms) in the north and Deng Zhi in the east.
Ma Zhong styled Déxìn was a man of Làngzhōng in Bāxī. When young he was raised by his outer family [maternal side relatives], was surnamed Hú, named Dǔ, and afterward then again returned to his surname [back to Mǎ], and changed his name to Zhōng. He became a commandery clerk, at the end of Jiàn'ān [196-220] was nominated as xiàolián “filial and incorrupt,” and sent out as Chief of Hànchāng.
Service under Shu
Liu Bei led an eastern campaign in 222, was defeated at Xiaoting, and Administrator of Bāxī Yan Zhi sent from all the various counties soldiers, 5000 men, as replacements for losses, and sent Zhong to deliver them. Liu Bei had already returned to Yǒng'ān, met Zhong and spoke with him, and said to Director of the Secretariat Liu Ba: “Though I lost Huang Quan, I gained Hu Du (Ma Zhong). This shows the world has no lack of talent.”
In 223, Chancellor Zhuge Liang opened his office, and appointed Zhong Commander Beneath the Gates.
In 225, the commandery Deputy Zhu Bao rebelled. Zhuge Liang entered the south and appointed Zhong as Administrator of Zāngkē. After the rebellion, Zhong brought relief and reasonable government, and deeply had authority and kindness.
In 230, he was summoned to be an Advisor to the Army of the Chancellor, and assisted the Chief Clerk Jiang Wan’s office in headquarters affairs. He was also given office as Advisor in Provincial Internal Government.
Next year, in 231. Zhuge Liang set out against Qíshān. Zhong visited where Liàng was and engaged in military affairs. The army returned. Commanding General Zhang Ni and others suppressed Wènshān commandery's rebelling Qiāng.
In 233, the southern foreigner powerful commander Liu Zhou rebelled, and disturbed all the commanders. Commander of Láijiàng Zhang Yi (Bogong) was summoned back, and Zhong succeeded Yì. Zhong thereupon beheaded Liu Zhou and pacified the southern lands. Zhong was given additional office as Supervisor of the Army and General Exerting Authority with fief as Marquis of Bóyáng precinct.
Previously, Jiànníng commandery killed its Administrator Zheng Ang, bound its Administrator Zhang Yi and sent him to Eastern Wu, and therefore the Commander had always garrisoned Píngyí county. When Zhong became Commander he thereupon moved headquarters to Wei county, residing among the people and foreigners. Also Yuèxī commandery had also long been lost territory. Zhong led Administrator Zhang Ni in opening up and restoring the old commandery, and by this he was promoted to General Calming the South, advanced in fief to Marquis of Péngxiāng precinct.
In 242, he returned to Court, and therefore was sent to Hànzhōng and met Marshal-in-Chief Jiǎng Wǎn to deliver an Imperial Order, and was promoted to General-in-Chief Defending the South.
In 249, he died. His son Xiū succeeded. Xiū's younger brother Huī. Huī's son Yì was a Jìn Administrator of Jiànníng.
Ma Zhong had three sons: Ma Xiu (馬脩), Ma Hui (馬恢) and Ma Rong (馬融). Ma Hui's son, Ma Yi (馬義), served as the Administrator of Jianning Commandery during the Jin dynasty.
Appraisal and successors
Zhōng as a man was generous and had magnanimity, but was whimsical and teased and greatly laughed, and when furious it did not show on his face. However, in handling affairs he could be decisive, and was both authoritative and kind, and therefore the foreigners both feared and loved him. When he died, none of them did not personally go the funeral hall, weeping with utmost sorrow, and they established for him a Temple with sacrifices, which up to now [~290] is still present.
Zhang Biao was at the time a famous scholar, whose reputation for refinement surpassed Zhong. With the possible exception of Li Hui (Three Kingdoms), Zhong was the most popular area commander for Shu-Han's southern lands. Yan Yu showed ability for achievement and in affairs was meticulous and diligent. They continued [administering the south] after Zhong, but their authority and merits both did not match Zhong.
- (馬忠字德信，巴西閬中人也。少養外家，姓狐，名篤，後乃復姓，改名忠。為郡吏，建安末舉孝廉，除漢昌長。先主東征，敗績猇亭，巴西太守閻芝發諸縣兵五千人以補遺闕，遣忠送往。先主已還永安，見忠與語，謂尚書令劉巴曰：「雖亡黃權，復得狐篤，此為世不乏賢也。」建興元年，丞相亮開府，以忠為門下督。三年，亮入南，拜忠牂牁太守。郡丞朱褒反。叛亂之後，忠撫育卹理，甚有威惠。八年，召為丞相參軍，副長史蔣琬署留府事。又領州治中從事。明年，亮出祁山，忠詣亮所，經營戎事。軍還，督將軍張嶷等討汶山郡叛羌。十一年，南夷豪帥劉冑反，擾亂諸郡。徵庲降都督張翼還，以忠代翼。忠遂斬冑，平南土。加忠監軍奮威將軍，封博陽亭侯。初，建寧郡殺太守正昂，縛太守張裔於吳，故都督常駐平夷縣。至忠，乃移治味縣，處民夷之間。又越嶲郡亦久失土地，忠率將太守張嶷開復舊郡，由此就加安南將軍，進封彭鄉亭侯。延熙五年還朝，因至漢中，見大司馬蔣琬，宣傳詔旨，加拜鎮南大將軍。七年春，大將軍費禕北禦魏敵，留忠成都，平尚書事。禕還，忠乃歸南。十二年卒，子脩嗣〔一〕。) Sanguozhi vol. 43.
- 忠為人寬濟有度量，但詼啁大笑，忿怒不形於色。然處事能斷，威恩並立，是以蠻夷畏而愛之。及卒，莫不自致喪庭，流涕盡哀，為之立廟祀，迄今猶在。)Sanguozhi vol. 43.
- (張表，時名士，清望踰忠。閻宇，宿有功幹，於事精勤。繼踵在忠後，其威風稱績，皆不及忠。 )Sanguozhi vol. 43.