Cao Wei

Last updated
Three Kingdoms.png
The territories of Cao Wei (in yellow), 262 AD.
Capital Xuchang (220–226), [1] Luoyang (226–266)
Common languages Old Chinese
Taoism, Confucianism, Chinese folk religion
Government Monarchy
Cao Pi
Cao Rui
Cao Fang
Cao Mao
Cao Huan
Historical era Three Kingdoms
 Abdication of Emperor Xian of Han
11 December 220 [2] [3]
 Eastern Wu declaring independence from Wei
 Cao Wei conquers Shu Han
 Abdication of Cao Huan
4 February 266 [lower-alpha 1]
4,432,881 (disputed) [5] [lower-alpha 2]
Currency Chinese coin, Chinese cash (Wu Zhu)
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Blank.png Eastern Han
Western Jin Blank.png
Today part of China
North Korea
Vietnam [lower-alpha 3]
Cao Wei
Traditional Chinese 曹魏
Simplified Chinese 曹魏
Hanyu Pinyin Cáo Wèi

Wei (Hanzi: 魏; pinyin: Wèi < Middle Chinese: *ŋjweiC < Eastern Han Chinese: *ŋuiC [10] ) (220–266), known as Cao Wei or Former Wei in historiography, [11] [12] was one of the three major states that competed for supremacy over China in the Three Kingdoms period (220–280). With its capital initially located at Xuchang, and thereafter Luoyang, the state was established by Cao Pi in 220, based upon the foundations laid by his father, Cao Cao, towards the end of the Eastern Han dynasty. The name "Wei" first became associated with Cao Cao when he was named the Duke of Wei by the Eastern Han government in 213, and became the name of the state when Cao Pi proclaimed himself emperor in 220. Historians often add the prefix "Cao" to distinguish it from other Chinese states known as "Wei", such as Wei of the Warring States period and Northern Wei of the Northern and Southern dynasties. The authority of the ruling Cao family dramatically weakened in the aftermath of the deposing and execution of Cao Shuang and his siblings, the former being one of the regents for the third Wei emperor, Cao Fang, with state authority gradually falling into the hands of Sima Yi, another Wei regent, and his family, from 249 onwards. The last Wei emperors would remain largely as puppet rulers under the control of the Simas until Sima Yi's grandson, Sima Yan, forced the last Wei ruler, Cao Huan, to abdicate the throne and established the Jin dynasty.



Beginnings and founding

Towards the end of the Eastern Han dynasty, northern China came under the control of Cao Cao, the chancellor to the last Han ruler, Emperor Xian. In 213, Emperor Xian granted Cao Cao the title of "Duke of Wei" (魏公) and gave him ten cities as his dukedom. The area was named "Wei". At that time, the southern part of China was divided into two areas controlled by two other warlords, Liu Bei and Sun Quan. In 216, Emperor Xian promoted Cao Cao to the status of a vassal king – "King of Wei (魏王)" – and granted him more territories.[ citation needed ]

Cao Cao died on 15 March 220 and his vassal king title was inherited by his son Cao Pi. Later that year, on 11 December, Cao Pi forced Emperor Xian to abdicate in his favour and took over the throne, establishing the state of Wei. However, Liu Bei immediately contested Cao Pi's claim to the Han throne and declared himself "Emperor of Han" a year later. Sun Quan was nominally a vassal king under Wei, but he declared independence in 222 and eventually proclaimed himself "Emperor of Wu" in 229.[ citation needed ]

To distinguish the state from other historical Chinese states of the same name, historians have added a relevant character to the state's original name: the state that called itself "Wei" (魏) is also known as "Cao Wei" (曹魏)[ citation needed ]

Reigns of Cao Pi and Cao Rui

Cao Pi ruled for six years until his death in 226 and was succeeded by his son, Cao Rui, who ruled until his death in 239.[ citation needed ] Throughout the reigns of Cao Pi and Cao Rui, Wei had been fighting numerous wars with its two rival states – Shu and Wu.[ citation needed ]

Between 228 and 234, Zhuge Liang, the Shu chancellor and regent, led a series of five military campaigns to attack Wei's western borders (within present-day Gansu and Shaanxi), with the aim of conquering Chang'an, a strategic city which lay on the road to the Wei capital, Luoyang.[ citation needed ] The Shu invasions were repelled by the Wei armies led by the generals Cao Zhen, Sima Yi, Zhang He and others; Shu did not make any significant gains in the expeditions.[ citation needed ]

On its southern and eastern borders, Wei engaged Wu in a series of armed conflicts throughout the 220s and 230s, including the battles of Dongkou (222–223), Jiangling (223) and Shiting (228).[ citation needed ] However, most of the battles resulted in stalemate and neither side managed to significantly expand its territory.[ citation needed ]

Sima Yi's Liaodong Campaign

Cao Wei horse figure. Figure, horse (AM 8189-12).jpg
Cao Wei horse figure.

After Guanqiu Jian failed to subjugate the Gongsun clan of the Liaodong Commandery, [13] it was Sima Yi who, in June 238, as the Grand Commandant (太尉), launched an invasion with 40,000 troops at the behest of Emperor Cao Rui against Liaodong, [14] which at this point had been firmly rooted under Gongsun control for 4 decades. After a three-month long siege, involving some assistance from the Goguryeo Kingdom, Sima Yi managed to capture the capital city of Xiangping, resulting in the conquest of the commandery by late September of the same year. [15]

Goguryeo–Wei Wars

Around that time, as the Korean kingdom Goguryeo consolidated its power, it proceeded to conquer the territories on the Korean peninsula which were under Chinese rule. [16] Goguryeo initiated the Goguryeo–Wei Wars in 242, trying to cut off Chinese access to its territories in Korea by attempting to take a Chinese fort. However, Wei responded by invading and defeated Goguryeo. Hwando was destroyed in a reprisal raid by Wei forces in 244. [16] The invasions sent its king fleeing, and broke the tributary relationships between Goguryeo and the other tribes of Korea that formed much of Goguryeo's economy. Although the king evaded capture and eventually settled in a new capital, Goguryeo was reduced to such insignificance that for half a century there was no mention of the state in Chinese historical texts. [17]

Fall of Wei

Celadon standing figures, Haidian Museum, Cao Wei Dynasty. Celadon standing man figure, Haidian Museum, Wei Dynasty.jpg
Celadon standing figures, Haidian Museum, Cao Wei Dynasty.

In 249, during the reign of Cao Rui's successor, Cao Fang, the regent Sima Yi seized state power from his co-regent, Cao Shuang, in a coup. This event marked the collapse of imperial authority in Wei, as Cao Fang's role had been reduced to that of a puppet ruler while Sima Yi wielded state power firmly in his hands. Wang Ling, a Wei general, tried to rebel against Sima Yi, but was swiftly dealt with, and took his own life. Sima Yi died on 7 September 251, passing on his authority to his eldest son, Sima Shi, who continued ruling as regent.[ citation needed ]

Sima Shi deposed Cao Fang in 254, on grounds of planning to stage a rebellion, and replaced him with Cao Mao. In response, Guanqiu Jian and Wen Qin staged a rebellion, but were crushed by Sima Shi in an event that nevertheless took a heavy toll on Sima Shi's health, having undergone eye surgery prior to the insurrection, causing him to die on 23 March 255, but not before handing his power and regency over to his younger brother, Sima Zhao.[ citation needed ]

In 258, Sima Zhao quelled Zhuge Dan's rebellion, marking an end to what are known as the Three Rebellions in Shouchun. In 260, Cao Mao attempted to seize back state power from Sima Zhao in a coup, but was killed by Cheng Ji, a military officer who was serving under Jia Chong, a subordinate to the Simas. After Cao Mao's death, Cao Huan was enthroned as the fifth ruler of Wei. However, Cao Huan was also a mere figurehead under Sima Zhao's control, much like his predecessor. In 263, Wei armies led by Zhong Hui and Deng Ai conquered Shu. Afterwards, Zhong Hui and former Shu general Jiang Wei grouped and plotted together in order to oust Sima Zhao from power, however, various Wei officials turned against them when it was found out that Jiang Wei had urged Zhong Hui to get rid of these officials before the planned coup. Sima Zhao himself received and finally accepted the nine bestowments and the title Duke of Jin in 263, and was further bestowed with the title King of Jin by Cao Huan in 264, but he died on 6 September 265, leaving the final step of usurpation up to his eldest son, Sima Yan.[ citation needed ]

On 4 February 266, [lower-alpha 1] Sima Zhao's son, Sima Yan, forced Cao Huan to abdicate in his favor, replacing Wei with the Jin dynasty on 8 February 266. [lower-alpha 4] Cao Huan himself was spared, though, and continued to live until 302, before dying.[ citation needed ]


The system of government in Wei inherited many aspects from that of the Eastern Han dynasty. During his reign, Cao Pi established two separate government bodies – the Central Inspectorate (中書監) and the Mobile Imperial Secretariat (行尚書臺) — to reduce the authority of the Imperial Secretariat (尚書臺) and consolidate the power of the central government.[ citation needed ]

During this time, the minister Chen Qun developed the nine-rank system for civil service nomination, which was adopted by later dynasties until it was superseded by the imperial examination system in the Sui dynasty.[ citation needed ]

Cao Pi felt that the Han dynasty collapsed because the Governors (州牧) of the various provinces wielded too much power and fell outside the control of the central government. He reduced the role of a Governor to that of an Inspector (刺史), and permitted the Inspectors to administer only civil affairs in their respective provinces, while military affairs were handled by military personnel based in regional offices or in the capital.[ citation needed ]


A Cao Wei tomb, 247 CE Cao Wei Tomb, 247 AD (10234398714).jpg
A Cao Wei tomb, 247 CE

The kaishu style of Chinese calligraphy was developed at some time between the late Eastern Han dynasty and the Cao Wei dynasty, as well as the Jian'an poetry style. The first known master of the former was Zhong Yao, an official of Wei, [19] of the latter; Cao Cao's son, Cao Zhi.[ citation needed ]

Since the beginning of the Cao Wei dynasty, finding their roots in Cao Cao's administrative influences, intellectual constraints were relaxed, leading to the formation of new groups of intellectuals, such as the Seven Sages of the Bamboo Grove. These intellectual freedoms were overturned by the time of the Jin dynasty (it was Sima Yi himself who associated with the orthodox Confucianists, who despised these new intellectual groups, and therefore were more willing to offer their support to the Sima clan).[ citation needed ]

Ruling class

According to the Book of Wei , the Cao family descended from the Yellow Emperor through his grandson Zhuanxu. They were of the same lineage as Emperor Shun. Another account says that the Cao family descended from Emperor Shun. This account was attacked by Chiang Chi, who claimed that those with the family name "Tian" descended from Shun, but not those surnamed "Cao". He also claimed that "Gui" (媯) was Emperor Shun's family name. [20]

List of territories

Province Commanderies and Kingdoms/Principalities
You Fanyang (范陽), Dai (代), Yuyang (漁陽), Youbeiping (右北平), Liaoxi (遼西), Lelang (樂浪), Shanggu (上谷), Yan (principality) (燕國), Changli (昌黎), Xuantu (玄菟), Liaodong (遼東), Daifang (帶方)
Ji Wei (魏), Yangping (陽平), Guangping (廣平), Qinghe (清河), Julu (鉅鹿), Zhao (principality) (趙國), Changshan (常山), Anping (安平), Pingyuan (平原), Leling (principality) (樂陵), Hejian (河間), Bohai (渤海), Zhongshan (principality) (中山國)
Qing Chengyang (城陽), Donglai (東萊), Beihai (principality) (北海國), Qi (principality) (齊國), Le'an (樂安), Jinan (principality) (濟南國)
Bing Shangdang (上黨), Xihe (西河), Taiyuan (太原), Leping (樂平), Xinxing (新興), Yanmen (雁門)
Si Henan (河南尹), Hongnong (弘農), Henei (河內), Hedong (河東), Pingyang (平陽)
Yan Taishan (泰山), Jibei (principality) (濟北國), Dongping (principality) (東平國), Dong (東), Rencheng (任城), Shanyang (山陽), Jiyin (濟陰), Chenliu (principality) (陳留國)
Xu Dongguan (東莞), Langye (principality) (琅琊國), Donghai (principality) (東海國), Guangling (廣陵), Xiapi (下邳), Pengcheng (principality) (彭城國)
Yong Jingzhao (京兆), Pingyi (馮翊), Fufeng (扶風), Beidi (北地), Xinping (新平), Anding (安定), Guangwei (廣魏), Tianshui (天水), Nan'an (南安), Longxi (隴西)
Yu Chen (陳), Yingchuan (潁川), Runan (汝南), Liang (principality) (梁國), Pei (principality) (沛國), Qiao (譙), Lu (魯), Yiyang (弋陽), Anfeng (安豐)
Liang Wuwei (武威), Jincheng (金城), Xiping (西平), Zhangye (張掖), Jiuquan (酒泉), Xihai (西海), Dunhuang (敦煌)
Yan Huainan (淮南), Lujiang (廬江)
Jing Jiangxia (江夏), Xiangyang (襄陽), Xincheng (新城), Nanyang (南陽), Nanxiang (南鄉), Shangyong (上庸), Weixing (魏興), Zhangling (Yiyang) (章陵 / 義陽)

List of sovereigns

Cao Wei rulers
Temple name Posthumous name Family name (in bold) and personal name Reign Era names and their year rangesNotes
(N/A)Emperor Gao
Cao Teng
(N/A)(N/A)Cao Teng's posthumous name was granted posthumously by Cao Rui.
(N/A)Emperor Tai
Cao Song
(N/A)(N/A)Cao Song's posthumous name was granted posthumously by Cao Pi.
Emperor Wu
Cao Cao
216–220(N/A)Cao Cao's temple and posthumous names were granted posthumously by Cao Pi.
Emperor Wen
Cao Pi
  • Huangchu
    黃初 (220–226)
Emperor Ming
Cao Rui
  • Taihe
    太和 (227–233)
  • Qinglong
    青龍 (233–237)
  • Jingchu
    景初 (237–239)
(N/A)(N/A) Cao Fang
  • Zhengshi
    正始 (240–249)
  • Jiaping
    嘉平 (249–254)
Cao Fang became "Prince of Qi" (齊王) after his dethronement. He was posthumously granted the title "Duke Li of Shaoling" (邵陵厲公) in the Western Jin dynasty.
(N/A)(N/A) Cao Mao
  • Zhengyuan
    正元 (254–256)
  • Ganlu
    甘露 (256–260)
Cao Mao was granted the posthumous name of "Duke of Gaogui" (高貴鄉公).
(N/A)Emperor Yuan
Cao Huan
  • Jingyuan
    景元 (260–264)
  • Xianxi
    咸熙 (264–266)

Cao Wei family tree

See also


  1. 1 2 Cao Huan abdicated on the renxu (壬戌) day of the 12th month in the 1st year of the Taishi era of the reign of Emperor Wu of Jin. [4] This date corresponds to 4 February 266 in the Gregorian calendar.
  2. This figure, based on numbers given in the Sanguozhi , has been called into question since the census system is claimed to have been flawed. The actual population is likely to be far greater. [6] Tanner (2009) estimates the population of Wei to be over ⅔ of the Han population. [7]
  3. (221–222—through Eastern Wu vassalage; [8] [9] 263–266)
  4. On the bingyin (丙寅) day of the 12th month of the 1st year of the Taishi era, Sima Yan became emperor and adopted "Taishi" (泰始) as the era name of his reign. [18] This date corresponds to 8 February 266 in the Gregorian calendar.

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Three Kingdoms</span> Period of Chinese history (220–280 AD) dominated by the Wei, Shu-Han, and Wu kingdoms

The Three Kingdoms from 220 to 280 AD was the tripartite division of China among the dynastic states of Cao Wei, Shu Han, and Eastern Wu. The Three Kingdoms period was preceded by the Eastern Han dynasty and was followed by the Western Jin dynasty. The short-lived state of Yan on the Liaodong Peninsula, which lasted from 237 to 238, is sometimes considered as a "4th kingdom".

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Sun Quan</span> King and founding Emperor of the Eastern Wu kingdom (r. 222-252)

Sun Quan, courtesy name Zhongmou (仲謀), posthumously known as Emperor Da of Wu, was the founder of the Eastern Wu dynasty, one of the Three Kingdoms of China. He inherited control of the warlord regime established by his elder brother, Sun Ce, in 200. He declared formal independence and ruled from 222 to 229 as the King of Wu and from 229 to 252 as the Emperor of Wu. Unlike his rivals Cao Cao and Liu Bei, Sun Quan was much younger than they were and governed his state mostly separate of politics and ideology. He is sometimes portrayed as neutral considering he adopted a flexible foreign policy between his two rivals with the goal of pursuing the greatest interests for the country.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Shu Han</span> Empire in China from 221 to 263; one of the Three Kingdoms

Han, known in historiography as Shu Han or Ji Han, or often shortened to Shu, was one of the three major states that competed for supremacy over China in the Three Kingdoms period (220–280). The state was based in the area around present-day Hanzhong, Sichuan, Chongqing, Yunnan, Guizhou, and north Guangxi, an area historically referred to as "Shu" based on the name of the past ancient state of Shu, which also occupied this approximate geographical area. Its core territory also coincided with Liu Bang's Kingdom of Han, the precursor of the Han dynasty.

Gongsun Yuan, courtesy name Wenyi, was a Chinese military general, politician, and warlord who lived in the state of Cao Wei during the Three Kingdoms period of China. He rebelled against Wei in 237 and declared himself "King of Yan" (燕王). In 238, the Cao Wei general Sima Yi led forces to Liaodong and successfully conquered Yan.

Cao Rui, courtesy name Yuanzhong, was the second emperor of the state of Cao Wei during the Three Kingdoms period. His parentage is in dispute: his mother, Lady Zhen, was Yuan Xi's wife, but she later remarried Cao Pi, the first ruler of Wei. Based on conflicting accounts of his age, Pei Songzhi calculated that, in order to be Cao Pi's son, Cao Rui could not have been 33 when he died as recorded, so the recorded age was in error; Lu Bi and Mou Guangsheng argued instead that Cao Rui was Yuan Xi's son.

Cao Mao, courtesy name Yanshi, was the fourth emperor of the state of Cao Wei during the Three Kingdoms period of China. He was a grandson of Cao Pi, the first emperor of Wei. Described as intelligent and studious, Cao Mao made repeated attempts to seize back state power from the regent Sima Zhao but failed. He was killed in an abortive coup d'état against Sima Zhao.

Cao Huan (245/246–302/303), courtesy name Jingming, was the fifth and last emperor of the state of Cao Wei during the Three Kingdoms period. On 4 February 266, he abdicated the throne in favour of Sima Yan, and brought an end to the Wei regime. After his abdication, Cao Huan was granted the title "Prince of Chenliu" and held it until his death, after which he was posthumously honoured as "Emperor Yuan ".

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Sima Yi</span> Chinese general, politician and regent (179-251)

Sima Yi, courtesy name Zhongda, was a Chinese military general, politician, and regent of the state of Cao Wei during the Three Kingdoms period of China.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Sima Zhao</span> Regent of Cao Wei from 255 to 265

Sima Zhao, courtesy name Zishang, was a Chinese military general, politician, and regent of the state of Cao Wei during the Three Kingdoms period of China.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Military history of the Three Kingdoms</span>

The military history of the Three Kingdoms period encompasses roughly a century's worth of prolonged warfare and disorder in Chinese history. After the assassination of General-in-chief He Jin in September 189, the administrative structures of the Han government became increasingly irrelevant. By the time of death of Cao Cao, the most successful warlord of North China, in 220, the Han empire was divided between the three rival states of Cao Wei, Shu Han and Eastern Wu. Due to the ensuing turmoil, the competing powers of the Three Kingdoms era found no shortage of willing recruits for their armies, although press-ganging as well as forcible enlistment of prisoners from defeated armies still occurred. Following four centuries of rule under the Han dynasty, the Three Kingdoms brought about a new era of conflict in China that shifted institutions in favor of a more permanent and selective system of military recruitment. This ultimately included the creation of a hereditary military class as well as increasing reliance on non-Chinese cavalry forces and the end of universal conscription.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Sima Shi</span> Cao Wei state general and regent (208-255)

Sima Shi, courtesy name Ziyuan, was a military general and regent of Cao Wei during the Three Kingdoms period of China. In 249, he assisted his father Sima Yi in overthrowing the emperor Cao Fang's regent Cao Shuang, allowing the Sima family to become paramount authority in the state, and he inherited his father's authority after his father's death in 251. He maintained a tight grip on the political scene and, when the emperor, Cao Fang, considered action against him in 254, had him deposed and replaced with his cousin, Cao Mao. This tight grip eventually allowed him to, at the time of his death in 255 after just having quelled a rebellion, transition his power to his younger brother, Sima Zhao, whose son Sima Yan eventually usurped the throne and established the Jin dynasty.

Empress Guo, personal name unknown, formally known as Empress Mingyuan, was an empress of the state of Cao Wei during the Three Kingdoms period of China. She was married to Cao Rui, the second ruler of Wei; she was his third wife and second empress. The limited information available about her appears to portray her as an intelligent woman who fought hard to prevent her empire from falling into the hands of the Sima clan during the reigns of her adopted son Cao Fang and his cousin Cao Mao, but was unable to stem the tide.

Guanqiu Jian, courtesy name Zhonggong, was a Chinese military general and politician of the state of Cao Wei during the Three Kingdoms period of China.

Sima Fu (180–272), courtesy name Shuda, was an imperial prince and statesman of the Jin dynasty of China. He previously served as an official in the state of Cao Wei during the Three Kingdoms period before his grandnephew, Sima Yan, usurped the Wei throne in 266 and established the Jin dynasty. Sima Guang, author of Zizhi Tongjian, claimed to be his descendant.

The Three Rebellions in Shouchun were a series of revolts that occurred in the state of Cao Wei during the Three Kingdoms period. The rebellions broke out in the later years of Wei when the Sima clan, headed by Sima Yi, usurped state power. The military governors of Shouchun rose in revolt thrice in the name of a rebellion to oust the Sima clan from power. The respective leaders of the three rebellions were Wang Ling, Guanqiu Jian and Wen Qin, and Zhuge Dan. All the revolts were eventually suppressed.

Sima Yi's Liaodong campaign occurred in 238 CE during the Three Kingdoms period of Chinese history. Sima Yi, a general of the state of Cao Wei, led a force of 40,000 troops to attack the kingdom of Yan led by warlord Gongsun Yuan, whose clan had ruled independently from the central government for three generations in the northeastern territory of Liaodong. After a siege that lasted three months, Gongsun Yuan's headquarters fell to Sima Yi with assistance from Goguryeo, and many who served the Yan Kingdom were massacred. In addition to eliminating Wei's rival in the northeast, the acquisition of Liaodong as a result of the successful campaign allowed Wei contact with the non-Han peoples of Manchuria, the Korean Peninsula, and the Japanese archipelago. On the other hand, the war and the subsequent centralisation policies lessened the Chinese grip on the territory, which permitted a number of non-Han states to form in the area in later centuries.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Guanqiu Jian and Wen Qin's Rebellion</span> Uprising by Cao Wei generals Guanqiu Jian and Wen Qin against regent Sima Shi (255)

Guanqiu Jian and Wen Qin's Rebellion, or the Second Rebellion in Shouchun, was a punitive uprising led by Guanqiu Jian and Wen Qin, two generals from the state of Cao Wei, against the regent Sima Shi and his clan. This was the second of a series of three rebellions that all took place in Shouchun in the 250s during the Three Kingdoms period in Chinese history.

The coup of Cao Mao was a coup d'état that occurred on 2 June 260 in Luoyang, the capital of the state of Cao Wei, during the Three Kingdoms period. Cao Mao, the nominal emperor of Wei, attempted to launch a coup to oust the regent Sima Zhao, who effectively controlled the Wei government. However, the coup concluded with Cao Mao's death and Sima Zhao retaining his status. Contrary to its intention, the coup actually increased the Sima clan's power and influence in Wei, thus providing a foundation for the eventual usurpation of the Wei throne in 266 by Sima Zhao's son Sima Yan, who founded the Western Jin Dynasty.

<i>The Advisors Alliance</i>

"The Advisors Alliance" is a 2017 Chinese two-part television series based on the life of Sima Yi, a government official and military general who lived in the late Eastern Han dynasty and Three Kingdoms period of China. The series starred Wu Xiubo as the main character, with Liu Tao, Li Chen, Janine Chang, Tang Yixin, Yu Hewei and Wang Luoyong playing supporting roles. The first part of the series started airing on Jiangsu TV and Anhui TV on 22 June 2017. The second part started airing on Youku on 8 December 2017.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Military history of the Jin dynasty (266–420) and the Sixteen Kingdoms (304–439)</span>

The military history of the Jin dynasty and the Sixteen Kingdoms encompasses the period of Chinese military activities from 266 AD to 420 AD. The Jin dynasty is usually divided into the Western Jin and Eastern Jin in Chinese historiography. Western Jin lasted from its usurpation of Cao Wei in 266 to 316 when the Uprising of the Five Barbarians split the empire and created a number of barbarian states in the north. The Jin court relocated to Jiankang, starting the era of Eastern Jin, which ended in 420 when it was usurped by Liu Yu, who founded the Liu Song dynasty.


  1. Achilles Fang. Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms. Spring, first month (Feb. 15 – Mar. 15). The Emperor was about to come to Xu-chang when the south gate of Xu-chang collapsed from some unexplained cause. The Emperor was displeased at this and did not enter the city.
  2. Achilles Fang. Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms. In the tenth month of 220 (November), various ministers proposed that Cao Pi replace Liu Xie as the emperor, citing various astrological signs. On November 25, Liu Xie performed various ceremonies in preparation for abdicating the throne. On December 11, Liu Xie formally abdicated the throne and Cao Pi ascended as the new emperor.
  3. Rafe de Crespigny. To Establish Peace. On 11 December Cao Cao's son and successor Cao Pi received the abdication of the Han Emperor and took the imperial title for himself, with a new reign period Huangchu "Yellow Beginning," named in honour of the new Power of Yellow and Earth which had been foretold should succeed to the Red and Fire of Han. (Cf. note 84 to Jian'an 24.)
  4. ([泰始元年]十二月,壬戌,魏帝禪位于晉;) Zizhi Tongjian vol. 79.
  5. Zou Jiwan (Chinese:鄒紀萬), Zhongguo Tongshi – Weijin Nanbeichao Shi中國通史·魏晉南北朝史, (1992).
  6. Institute of Advanced Studies (December 1991). Barme, Gerome (ed.). East Asian History: THE CONTINUATION OF Papers on Far Eastern History (PDF) (Number 2 ed.). Canberra, Australia: Australian National University. pp. 149–152. Retrieved 29 March 2015.
  7. Tanner, Harold M. (13 March 2009). "Chapter 5: The Age of Warriors and Buddhists". China: A History. Hackett Publishing. p. 142. When it was established, Wu had only one-sixth of the population of the Eastern Han Empire (Cao Wei held over two-thirds of the Han population).
  8. Sima Guang. Zizhi Tongjian. In the eighth month of 221, Sun Quan sent ambassadors to Wei declaring himself a subject of Cao Pi’s state
  9. Achilles Fang. Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms. Eighth month (Sept. 5 – Oct. 3). Sun Quan sent an envoy to declare himself the subject of the Wei
  10. Schuessler, Axel. (2009) Minimal Old Chinese and Later Han Chinese. Honolulu: University of Hawai'i. p. 291
  11. BSod-nams-rgyal-mtshan, Per K. Sørensen (1994). The Mirror Illuminating the Royal Genealogies. Otto Harrassowitz Verlag. p. 80. ISBN   3447035102.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  12. Ching-hsiung Wu, ed. (1940). T'ien Hsia Monthly. Vol. 11. Kelly and Walsh. p. 370.
  13. Achilles Fang. Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms. The Emperor sent a sealed edict to summon Gongsun Yuan. In the end, Gongsun Yuan arose in an armed rebellion, meeting Guanqiu Jian at Liaosui. It so happened that it rained for more than ten days and the water of Liaosui rose greatly. Guanqiu Jian fought him, but was unsuccessful and withdrew his troops to Youbeiping.
  14. Achilles Fang. Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms. The Emperor summoned Sima Yi from Chang'an and had him lead an army of forty thousand men in a campaign against Liaodong.
  15. Achilles Fang. Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms. On the day ren-wu (September 29), Xiangping fell. Gongsun Yuan and his son Gongsun Xiu, leading several hundred mounted men, got through the encirclement and fled towards the southeast. The large Wei forces instantly struck at them and killed Gongsun Yuan and his son on the Liangshui.
  16. 1 2 Charles Roger Tennant (1996). A history of Korea. Kegan Paul International. p. 22. ISBN   0-7103-0532-X. capital on the middle reaches of the Yalu near the modern Chinese town of Ji'an, calling it 'Hwando'. By developing both their iron weapons and their political organization, they had reached a stage where in the turmoil that accompanied the break-up of the Han empire they were able to threaten the Chinese colonies
  17. Byington, Mark E. "Control or Conquer? Koguryǒ's Relations with States and Peoples in Manchuria," Journal of Northeast Asian History volume 4, number 1 (June 2007):93.
  18. ([泰始元年十二月]丙寅,王卽皇帝位,大赦,改元。) Zizhi Tongjian vol. 79.
  19. Qiu Xigui (2000). Chinese Writing. Translated by Mattos and Jerry Norman. Early China Special Monograph Series No. 4. Berkeley: The Society for the Study of Early China and the Institute of East Asian Studies, University of California, Berkeley. ISBN   1-55729-071-7, pp. 142–143
  20. Howard L. Goodman (1998). Ts'ao P'i transcendent: the political culture of dynasty-founding in China at the end of the Han (illustrated ed.). Psychology Press. p. 70. ISBN   0-9666300-0-9 . Retrieved 2012-04-01.

Further reading