The Black Mountain group of bandits, were a large and powerful group of bandits formed during the Yellow Turban Rebellion in 184 A.D. The territory of the Black Mountain bandits was based upon the eastern ridges of the Taihang mountains.


From the time of Zhang Jue's rebellion, bandits and rebels had sprung up everywhere. There was Ox-Horn Zhang of Boling and Flying Swallow Chu of Changshan, as well as various other chieftains such as Liu Shi, Poison Yu, Zuo with the Eighty-foot Moustache and many more.

The bandits were spread over Division-sized groups, with the larger ones consisting of 20.000 to 30.000 men and the smaller ones consisting of only 6.000 or 7.000 men.

In 185 A.D. Ox-Horn Zhang and Flying Swallow Chu combined their forces and attacked Yingtao. During the battle, Ox-Horn Zhang was struck down by an arrow and seriously wounded. Before he succumbed to his wound, he ordered all his followers to obey Flying Swallow as their leader. To honour Ox-Horn Zhang, Flying Swallow changed his surname from Chu to Zhang and thus became known as Zhang Yan and Flying Swallow Zhang.

Bandits and robbers from all over the hills came to join him. Steadily growing in numbers, they even reached a million followers and became known as the Black Mountain bandits.[1]



Fact vs. FictionEdit


  1. SGZ 8, 261, the Biography of Zhang Yan