Wen Yang (Three Kingdoms)

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Wen Yang
General of Jin Dynasty
Born 238
Died 291 (age 53)
Names
Traditional Chinese 文鴦
Simplified Chinese 文鸯
Pinyin Wén Yāng
This is a Chinese name; the family name is Wen.

Wen Yang (238–291), courtesy name Ciqian (次骞), was a military general of the state of Cao Wei during the Three Kingdoms period. Wen Yang alone faced off against many troops that were under Sima Shi during Wen Yang's assistance of the rebel leader Guanqiu Jian. After his father Wen Qin ended up being killed by Zhuge Dan, Wen Yang then went on to rejoin Cao Wei. He served under the Jin Dynasty later.

Early life[edit]

Wen Yang was Wen Qin's son. It is said that Wen Yang's real name was Wen Shu, but carried "Yang" as his childhood name up into adulthood. Wen Yang wielded his famous steel whip and was compared to Zhao Yun, a general who served under warlord Liu Bei with his incomparable skill in battle.

Service under Wei[edit]

Wen Qin abused his authority. When Sima Yi overthrew Cao Shuang in 249, Wen Qin, along with Guanqiu Jian and Xiahou Xuan, lost their closest ally; also since Wen Qin often lied about the ongoing war, his promotion was rejected by Sima Shi.

After Sima Shi deposed Cao Fang in 254, Wen Qin and Guanqiu Jian rebelled the following year. Tasked to halt Deng Ai's unit, Wen Qin showed sign of fear at the size of the army. However, Wen Yang, who just reached eighteen, suggested his father to attack as the Wei army was still tired after arriving. The father-son duo then conducted a night raid.

Arriving at Wei's camp, Wen Yang caused a ruckus, calling out Sima Shi's name. The raid worsened the condition of Sima Shi, who just operated his eye. During the battle, Wen Yang's unit charged into the enemy ranks, killing numerous soldiers. When the Wei reinforcements arrived, his unit was either eliminated or retreated. Finding himself alone on the battlefield, Wen Yang drove back the entire Wei army every time they pursued. After the rebellion failed, Wen Yang along with his father surrendered and joined Wu.

Involvement in Zhuge Dan's Rebellion[edit]

When Zhuge Dan rebelled, the Wen were ordered to assist the latter in Shouchun. However, the situation started to die, Wen Qin eventually was suspected and killed by Zhuge Dan. Hearing the news, Wen Yang tried to avenge his father, but was outnumbered, so he and his younger brother Wen Hu surrendered to Sima Zhao. Still remembering what happened to his brother, Sima Zhao attempted to execute both, but was told by Zhong Hui that Wen Yang's strength equaled thousand men and pardoned them both. Sima Zhao also promoted Wen Yang, ordering him to convince the people of Shouchun to surrender. Shortly after the rebellion, Sima Zhao allowed the Wen brothers to give Wen Qin a proper burial.

Life under the Jin dynasty[edit]

Wen Yang would eventually rise to become one of Jin's greatest general. In 277, he was tasked to defeat the Xianbei tribe, recruiting twenty thousand Hu people as a result.

During his service in Jin, the Jin emperor Sima Yan still held a grudge against Wen Yang because of the incident with Sima Shi, so he demoted Wen Yang. Once the War of the Eight Princes broke out, a grandson of Zhuge Dan accused Wen Yang of high treason. He and his family were executed to the third degree.

Romance of the Three Kingdoms[edit]

Wen Yang is described in the novel as a gifted martial artist whose height was eight feet tall. He and his father formed a joint alliance with Guanqiu Jian in an attempt to remove Sima Shi from power. While awaiting for reinforcements, he and Deng Ai fought for fifty bouts until the former was forced to flee while killing a number of enemy soldiers along the way. Sima Shi's eye was said to have burst out from its socket upon witnessing Wen Yang's brutality. During his service to Wu, he participated in the defense of Shouchun and kept most of the Wei troops out. When Zhuge Dan accused Wen Qin of treason and had him executed, Wen Yang reacted violently and quickly surrendered to Sima Zhao who decided to make him an honorary officer. Most of his allies eventually followed suit upon hearing this, causing Zhuge Dan's rebellion to collapse from the lack of men.

Modern references[edit]

Wen Yang is first introduced as a playable character in the eighth installment of Koei's Dynasty Warriors video game series.

See also[edit]