|Three Rebellions in Shouchun|
|Part of the wars of the Three Kingdoms period|
|Commanders and leaders|
Guanqiu Jian †
Zhuge Dan †
|Three Rebellions in Shouchun|
|Three Rebellions in Huainan|
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The Three Rebellions in Shouchun (also known as the Three Rebellions in Huainan ) 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 (present-day Shou County,Anhui) 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.
In 249,during the Incident at Gaoping Tombs,Sima Yi seized power from Cao Shuang in a coup d'état and had Cao Shuang's entire clan executed. Since then,the Wei government was effectively controlled by the Simas. After Sima Yi's death,the power was inherited by his eldest son Sima Shi,and was later passed on to his second son Sima Zhao when Sima Shi died.
After the Incident at Gaoping Tombs, Sima Yi promoted Wang Ling, the general in charge of Shouchun, to the rank of Grand Commandant (太尉). Wang Ling and his nephew Linghu Yu (令狐愚) felt that the emperor Cao Fang was too young to rule, and saw that Sima Yi was actually the one in control of state power. They planned to depose Cao Fang and replace him with Cao Biao, the Prince of Chu. Linghu Yu sent his subordinate Zhang Shi (張式) to contact Cao Biao.
In the spring of 251, Wang Ling seized the opportunity to send a petition to the Wei court, asking for permission to attack Eastern Wu forces in Tushui (塗水). The campaign against Wu was actually a mask for Wang Ling's intention to rebel. Wang Ling did not receive any reply so he sent Yang Hong (楊弘) to inform Huang Hua (黃華), the Inspector of Yan Province, of their plans, in the hope that Huang would support him. However, Yang Hong and Huang Hua reported Wang Ling to Sima Yi instead. News of the revolt reached the Wei emperor Cao Fang in June 251.Sima Yi then personally led an army to suppress the revolt. Wang Ling was aware that he was outmatched so he agreed to surrender after Sima Yi promised to pardon him for treason. Wang Ling knew that he would be sentenced to death anyway, so he committed suicide on 15 June 251 while being escorted to the capital Luoyang. Wang Ling's clan was also exterminated and Cao Biao was ordered to take his own life.
Sima Yi died in 251 and his eldest son Sima Shi inherited his position in the Wei imperial court. In 254, Li Feng, Xiahou Xuan and Zhang Ji (張緝) planned to overthrow Sima Shi, but their plan was leaked out and they were all executed. The emperor Cao Fang was unhappy with Sima Shi's authoritarian attitude and incurred the latter's displeasure. Months later, Sima Shi deposed Cao Fang and replaced him with Cao Mao. Guanqiu Jian, who was stationed in Shouchun, and Wen Qin, the Inspector of Yang Province, heard news about the deaths of Li Feng, Xiahou Xuan and Zhang Ji, and became afraid of being implicated. Guanqiu Jian's son Guanqiu Xun kept urging his father to stage an uprising to defend their state's sovereignty from Sima Shi.
The following year, Guanqiu Jian and Wen Qin rose in revolt in Shouchun against Sima Shi and attacked Xiangcheng (present-day Xiangcheng City, Henan). News of the revolt reached Eastern Wu, and the Wu emperor Sun Liang sent troops to support Guanqiu Jian. The Wu forces were led by their chancellor Sun Jun, Lü Ju and Liu Zan. Sima Shi personally led an army to suppress the revolt. He sent Wang Ji, the Inspector of Jing Province, to capture Nandun (南頓) before the rebels did. The armies led by Zhuge Dan, Hu Zun (胡遵) and Deng Ai arrived and merged with Sima Shi's main force. Sima Shi ordered his troops not to advance any further. Guanqiu Jian and Wen Qin were unable to engage the enemy and were worried that they might be ambushed if they retreated back to Shouchun. As most of the rebels' families were in the region north of the Huai River, their morale gradually plunged and they deserted. Only newly recruited civilians remained in the rebel army.
At the same time, Deng Ai led his troops to garrison at Yuejia (樂嘉). Guanqiu Jian saw that Deng Ai's army was quite weak so he sent Wen Qin to attack. When Wen Qin reached there he saw that Sima Shi's main army had arrived so he ordered a retreat. Sima Shi sent his Chief Clerk Sima Ban (司馬班) to give chase. Wen Qin's army was routed and he managed to escape barely as his son Wen Yang fought bravely to protect him. The palace guard Yin Damu (尹大目) caught up with Wen Qin and attempted to persuade him to surrender but Wen refused. When Guanqiu Jian heard of Wen Qin's defeat, he escaped at night and his army was disbanded. Guanqiu Jian was later killed by a civilian called Zhang Shu (張屬) in Shen County (慎縣) and his head sent to the capital Luoyang. When Wen Qin returned to Xiang County (項縣) he saw that Shouchun had fallen to Zhuge Dan and the rebel army had disbanded. He fled to Eastern Wu. When the Wu forces led by Sun Jun arrived at Dongxing (present-day Dongxing, Guangxi), they heard that Shouchun had been overtaken by Zhuge Dan so they retreated as well. Zhuge Dan sent Jiang Ban (蔣班) to pursue and attack the retreating Wu forces. The Wu general Liu Zan was killed in the ensuing battle.
Not long after the revolt by Guanqiu Jian and Wen Qin was suppressed, Sima Shi died of illness and his second brother Sima Zhao inherited his place in the Wei court. Shouchun was guarded by Zhuge Dan after the second rebellion was suppressed. Zhuge Dan had witnessed the deaths of Wang Ling and Guanqiu Jian after their failed rebellions and he felt uneasy. He tried to increase his popularity amongst the people in the Huai River region and gain their support. At the same time, he hired a group of bodyguards to protect himself.
Sima Zhao wanted to eliminate the remaining loyalists to the state, so he heeded Jia Chong's advice to force Zhuge Dan to rebel. Zhuge Dan received an imperial decree to report to the Wei court and assume the post of Excellency of Works. However, Zhuge Dan became afraid after receiving the decree, so he killed Yue Lin, the Inspector of Yang Province, and rebelled against Sima Zhao. He sent his Chief Clerk Wu Gang (吳綱) to Eastern Wu with his son Zhuge Jing as a hostage, asking for reinforcements from Wu.
Sima Zhao personally led 260,000 troops to suppress the rebellion and stationed his army in Qiutou (丘頭). He sent Wang Ji and Chen Qian (陳騫) to lead an army to besiege Shouchun. He sent Shi Bao (石苞), Hu Zhi (胡質) and Zhou Tai to hold off the Wu forces. The Wu forces led by Wen Qin, Tang Zi and Quan Yì (全懌) managed to enter Shouchun before the encirclement by the Wei forces was completed. Subsequently, Wen Qin led his men to break out of the siege several times but failed. The Wu general Zhu Yi garrisoned at Anfeng (安豐), southwest of Shouchun, as backup, but was defeated by Zhou Tai. Sun Chen moved his army to Chao Lake. He sent Zhu Yi, along with Ding Feng and Li Fei (黎斐) to break the siege on Shouchun, but were defeated by Shi Bao and Zhou Tai. The Wei general Hu Lie (胡烈) led a surprise attack on the Wu forces and succeeded in destroying the enemy's supplies.
Zhu Yi's army was unable to advance any further as they had lost their supplies. Sun Chen was furious and had Zhu Yi executed. Sun Chen then ordered a retreat to the Wu capital Jianye (present-day Nanjing, Jiangsu). Zhuge Dan's forces were besieged in Shouchun for a long time without any reinforcements arriving. Zhuge Dan's deputies Jiang Ban (蔣班) and Jiao Yi (焦彝) advised him to concentrate on attacking a single flank of the encirclement to break the siege. Wen Qin opposed the suggestion and insisted that Wu reinforcements will arrive soon. Zhuge Dan did not heed Jiang Ban and Jiao Yi's advice and wanted to kill them instead. Jiang Ban and Jiao Yi escaped from Shouchun and defected over to Sima Zhao's side. Sima Zhao followed Zhong Hui's strategy, by faking letters from Quan Hui (全輝) and Quan Yí (全儀) to trick Quan Yī (全禕) and Quan Duan (全端) to surrender. When Quan Yī received the letters, he thought that they were real and surrendered to Sima Zhao. Zhuge Dan's forces were taken by surprise.
In February 258, Zhuge Dan, Wen Qin and Tang Zi attempted to break out of the siege again but failed and suffered heavy casualties. By then, supplies in the city were running out soon and several troops had surrendered. Wen Qin suggested releasing the northerners and Wu forces in the city to conserve supplies. Zhuge Dan ignored Wen Qin's suggestion and had him killed in anger. Wen Qin's sons, Wen Yang and Wen Hu, heard of their father's death and escaped from Shouchun and surrendered to Sima Zhao. The surrender of Wen Yang and Wen Hu caused the rebel army's morale to further plummet. In March or April 258, Sima Zhao's forces succeeded in penetrating Shouchun. Zhuge Dan fled from the city and was killed by Hu Fen (胡奮)'s men during his escape. The Wu general Yu Quan was killed in battle while Tang Zi and Wang Zuo (王祚) of Wu surrendered to Sima Zhao.
The failure of the three rebellions strengthened the influence of the Sima clan in Wei as several loyalists to the state were eliminated. After the rebellions, most officials in Wei turned to support Sima Zhao. In 260, the emperor Cao Mao led a coup to oust Sima Zhao from power but failed and was killed by Sima's men. In 263, Wei invaded Shu and annexed it within a year. Not long after Sima Zhao's death in September 265, his son Sima Yan forced the last Wei ruler Cao Huan to abdicate in his favour in February 266, thus ending Wei's existence and founding the Western Jin dynasty, which united the land after Wu, the last of the Three Kingdoms, surrendered in 280.
Guanqiu Jian and Wen Qin's forces
Zhuge Dan's forces
All the three rebellions were featured as playable stages in the seventh installment of Koei's Dynasty Warriors video game series.
Wei (220–266), known as Cao Wei or Former Wei in historiography, 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.
Cao Fang (232–274), courtesy name Lanqing, was the third emperor of the state of Cao Wei during the Three Kingdoms period. He was an adopted son of Cao Rui, the second ruler of Wei. Cao Fang ruled from 239 to 254 as a nominal emperor before he was deposed by the regent Sima Shi, after which he became known as the "Prince of Qi". After the fall of Wei in 265, Cao Fang was conferred the title of "Duke of Shaoling" by Emperor Wu of the Jin dynasty. When he died in 274, he was granted the posthumous name "Li", so his full posthumous title became "Duke Li of Shaoling".
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.
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.
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.
Zhuge Dan, courtesy name Gongxiu, was a Chinese military general and politician of the state of Cao Wei during the Three Kingdoms period of China. When he held key military appointments throughout his middle to late career, he was involved in all of the three rebellions which broke out in Shouchun between 251 and 258. During the second rebellion, he actively assisted the Wei regent Sima Shi in suppressing the revolt. After the rebellion, the Wei government put him in charge of Shouchun. As the Sima clan became more powerful and established themselves as the de facto rulers of Wei, Zhuge Dan feared that he would end up slain like Wang Ling and Guanqiu Jian – the leaders of the first two rebellions – so he started the third rebellion against Sima Zhao, who succeeded Sima Shi as regent of Wei in 255. Although he received some support from Wei's rival state Eastern Wu, his rebellion was eventually suppressed by Wei imperial forces and he met his end at the hands of Hu Fen, a military officer under Sima Zhao.
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.
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Wen Qin, courtesy name Zhongruo, was a Chinese military general and politician of the state of Cao Wei during the Three Kingdoms period of China. He served as the Inspector of Yang Province during the reign of the third Wei emperor, Cao Fang. In 254, when the Wei regent Sima Shi, who effectively controlled the Wei government, deposed Cao Fang and replaced him with Cao Mao, Wen Qin was deeply displeased because his loyalty was to the Wei emperor and not the Sima family. In the following year, he and another Wei general, Guanqiu Jian, started a rebellion in Shouchun against Sima Shi. However, Sima Shi managed to suppress the rebellion within months; Guanqiu Jian was killed while Wen Qin and his family escaped and defected to Wei's rival state, Eastern Wu. In 257, when another Wei general Zhuge Dan started a rebellion in Shouchun against the Wei regent Sima Zhao, Wen Qin and some Wu forces came to Shouchun to support Zhuge Dan. Sima Zhao led Wei forces to besiege Shouchun and the siege dragged on until early 258. As the situation became more dire, relations between Wen Qin and Zhuge Dan deteriorated, especially since they did not trust each other before. Zhuge Dan eventually had Wen Qin executed. Wen Qin's sons, Wen Yang and Wen Hu, fled from Shouchun and surrendered to Sima Zhao.
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Zhuge Dan's Rebellion, or the Third Rebellion in Shouchun, was a revolt led by Zhuge Dan, a general from the state of Cao Wei, against the regent Sima Zhao. Zhuge Dan received some support from Eastern Wu, Cao Wei's rival state. It was the third and final of a series of three rebellions that took place in Shouchun in the 250s during the Three Kingdoms period of China.
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.
Wang Ling's Rebellion, or the First Rebellion in Shouchun, was a punitive uprising in 251 led by Wang Ling, a general of the state of Cao Wei, against the regent Sima Yi and his clan. This was the first of a series of three rebellions that all took place in Shouchun in the 250s during the Three Kingdoms period in Chinese history.