Wang Ling (Three Kingdoms)

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Wang Ling
Grand Commandant (太尉)
In office
249 (249) – 251 (251)
Monarch Cao Fang
Minister of Works (司空)
In office
248 (248) – 249 (249)
Monarch Cao Fang
General of Chariots and Cavalry
In office
241 (241) – 248 (248)
Monarch Cao Fang
General Who Attacks the East
In office
240 (240) – 241 (241)
Monarch Cao Fang
Personal details
Born Unknown
Qi County, Shanxi
Died (251-06-15)15 June 251[1]
Relations Wang Yun
  • Wang Guang
  • Wang Feixiao
  • Wang Jinhu
  • Wang Mingshan
Occupation General
Courtesy name Yanyun (彥雲)
Peerage Marquis of Nan District

Wang Ling (died 15 June 251),[1] courtesy name Yanyun, was a military general of the state of Cao Wei during the Three Kingdoms period.

Early life and career[edit]

Wang Ling's family fled to the countryside after his uncle, Wang Yun, was executed in 192 for fomenting Lü Bu's assassination of Dong Zhuo. Later he was declared xiaolian, a crucial nomination to be considered for civil service appointments, and became the Administrator of Zhongshan Commandery (中山太守). His excellent public service was noticed by chancellor Cao Cao, who moved him into his office.

Service in Cao Wei[edit]

In Cao Cao's army, Wang Ling engaged in several battles with Eastern Wu. As the Inspector of Yan Province, he attacked Sun Quan under Zhang Liao. His victory led to his promotion to General Who Builds Loyalty (建武将军). In another battle against Eastern Wu, he rescued the besieged general Cao Xiu. He was promoted to General of Chariots and Cavalry (车骑将军) after a major victory against Quan Cong.


In the second year of Cao Fang's reign, Wang Ling was appointed Minister of Works, while his nephew Linghu Yu (令狐愚) became the Inspector of Yan Province (兗州刺史). Wang Ling lost faith in Cao Fang's ability to rule after Sima Yi's coup d'etat in the incident at Gaoping Tombs succeeded in turning the emperor against Sima Yi's rival, Cao Shuang. As a result, Wang Ling conspired to replace emperor Cao Fang with his uncle Cao Biao. The conspiracy suffered a setback, however, when Linghu Yu died of an illness. The plot was discovered and Sima Yi led an army to Wang before he could prepare himself for a defense. After Wang Ling surrendered to Sima Yi with the promise of a pardon, he was forced to commit suicide, and his family members and associates were condemned to family annihilation.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b ([嘉平三年]五月甲寅,淩自殺。) Sanguozhi vol. 4.