Guanqiu Jian

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Guanqiu Jian
General of Cao Wei
Born (Unknown)
Died 255
Traditional Chinese 毌丘儉
Simplified Chinese 毌丘俭
Pinyin Guànqiū Jiǎn
Wade–Giles Kuan-ch'iu Chien
Courtesy name Zhonggong (Chinese: 仲恭; pinyin: Zhònggōng; Wade–Giles: Chung-kung)
This is a Chinese name; the family name is Guanqiu.

Guanqiu Jian (died 255), courtesy name Zhonggong, was a military general of the state of Cao Wei during the Three Kingdoms period.


The rediscovered fragment of the Guanqiu Jian commemoration tablet.

Guanqiu Jian was favored by the Wei emperor Cao Rui. In 237, he led an army to Liaodong to attack the warlord Gongsun Yuan but the campaign was aborted due to floods. The following year, Guanqiu Jian and Sima Yi led another campaign against Gongsun Yuan and conquered Liaodong. In recognition of his efforts during the campaign, Cao Rui granted Guanqiu Jian the title of "Marquis of Anyi" (安邑候).

In 244, Guanqiu Jian led a punitive expedition to Goguryeo, leading to the Goguryeo–Wei Wars. He defeated the Goguryeo army led by King Dongcheon near the Tongjia River and then occupied the capital Hwando. During the follow-up campaign in the next year, he occupied the capital again and forced Dongcheon to flee southeast. A subsection of the army reached the eastern coast of the peninsula and another reached northern Manchuria, but soon retreated. In commemoration of the victory, a stone carving was raised during the campaign. A piece of the monument was discovered in 1905. It is known as "Stele of Guanqiu Jian's inscribed achievements" (毌丘儉紀功碑).

In 255, Guanqiu Jian and Wen Qin started a rebellion in Shouchun against the regent Sima Shi, who seized control of Wei's state power. Some scholars consider that he rebelled because he remained loyal to the Wei imperial family and was displeased with the Sima clan usurping power. Other sources tell that he was close to Xiahou Xuan, who was executed by Sima Shi, so he feared for his life after learning of Xiahou's death. Guanqiu Jian's rebellion was eventually suppressed by Sima Shi and most of his family members were killed, while the surviving ones fled to Wei's rival state Eastern Wu.


Guanqiu Jian's name is often read as Wuqiu Jian (毋丘儉), and appears as such as chapter 73 of Sima Guang's Zizhi Tongjian. However, Chinese scholar Wu Jinhua (吳金華) has argued recently that the original reading was Muqiu 母丘 (also alternatively written as Wuqiu 毋丘 and Manqiu 曼丘), and that Guanqiu 毌丘 was a later transcription error from the Tang-Song period. He supports his argument with the occurrence of Muqiu as a family name on a tomb stele from the Wei period and also in the Ri Zhi Lu (日知錄) by early Qing scholar Gu Yanwu; as well as the occurrence of Wuqiu as a surname on an ancient seal and a bamboo strip from the Yinwan (尹灣) Han-period tomb excavated in 1993. Wu also points out that a general named Manqiu Chen (曼丘臣) is mentioned in part 2 of the Book of Han reign chronicle of Emperor Gaozu of Han, and that the Tang-period Yan Shigu annotation to this name states "Manqiu and Muqiu were originally the same family name".[1]


Appointments and titles held[edit]

  • Gentleman of the Imperial Secretariat (尚書郎)
  • Inspector of the Feathered Forest Imperial Guard (羽林監)
  • Agriculture Officer of Luoyang (洛陽典農)
  • Inspector of Jing Province (荊州刺史)
  • Inspector of You Province (幽州刺史)
  • General Who Crosses into Liao (度遼將軍)
  • Marquis of Anyi (安邑侯)
  • General of the Left (左將軍)
  • Inspector of Yu Province (豫州刺史)
  • General Who Guards the South (鎮南將軍)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Wu Jinhua, "Sanguo Zhi jiaoyi xuli", 59-60