Zhu Ling (Three Kingdoms)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Zhu Ling
General of Cao Wei
Born (Unknown)
Died (Unknown)
Traditional Chinese 朱靈
Simplified Chinese 朱灵
Pinyin Zhū Líng
Wade–Giles Chu Ling
Courtesy name Wénbó (文博)

Zhu Ling (birth and death years unknown) courtesy name Wenbo[1] was a military general of the state of Cao Wei during the Three Kingdoms period of Chinese history.


Zhu was born in Qinghe (present Qinghe County, Xingtai, Hebei). He started to serve in the private army of the warlord Yuan Shao, and was later sent to aid Cao Cao's army when Cao was attacking Tao Qian. He was impressed with Cao and decided to follow him. Therefore, he did not return to Yuan Shao but stayed with Cao. His army followed his decision and stayed with him.[2]

In 199 Zhu Ling was sent with Liu Bei to intercept Yuan Shu's attempted escape to the north, and he took part in the take-over of Ji province from the remnant of the Yuan family in 204. As Cao Cao entered Jing province in 208, Zhu Ling commanded one of seven divisions in Nanyang under the Area Commander Zhao Yan.

In 211 Zhu Ling accompanied Cao Cao against the warlords of the northwest. While the main army faced the enemy at the Tong Pass, Cao Cao sent Zhu Ling and Xu Huang north into Hedong to establish a bridge-head at the Puban Crossing of the Yellow River so he could mount an oblique attack on Huayin.

As Cao Cao returned east in 212, Zhu Ling stayed at Chang'an under the command of Xiahou Yuan for operations against the remnants of the warlords. In 215 he took part in the defeat of the Di people in Wudu, opening the road to attack Hanzhong which ruled by Zhang Lu.

However, Cao Cao did not like Zhu Ling. The reasons why are not clearly stated. Therefore, he never paid any attention to him and put him under the army of Yu Jin. Zhu did not show any disappointment or anger about Cao's treatment to him; on the contrary, he was known to be a fierce vassal and was listed among the best vassal in Cao's army.[3]

According to the Wen Di Ji Jie(文帝紀集解), his services in several pivotal battles gave him a reputation that echoed or was equal to Xu Huang's and he was eventually appointed as the General of the Rear, likewise the Sanguozhi literature. After Cao Cao's death, He supported the downfall of the Han Dynasty and the transfer of power to Cao Pi. When Cao Pi became Emperor, Zhu Ling was additionally given the ranks as an imperial diplomatic envoy and Marquis for the People. While he was praised by Cao Pi for helping remove the Han from power, his high reputation as a vassal is questionable since other sources have their various candidates for "valuable generals" and Zhu Ling is usually not among them. He is only listed as a reputable individual in the Wen Di Ji Jie and isn't consistently mentioned with other sources to match the greatness the record claims. In any case, Cao Pi recognized his great effort and he was made the Marquis of Gaotang, such recognition that he could not have obtained during the time of Cao Cao.

After the Wei general Cao Xiu was defeated at Shi Ting, the forces under Lu Xun pursued him. These enemy forces unexpectedly ran into divisions under Zhu Ling and other generals. Surprised by the sudden appearance of Wei forces, the pursuing army fled and Cao Xiu was able to make his escape back to Wei[4]

Further reading[edit]

  • De Crespigny, Rafe. A Biographical Dictionary of Later Han to the Three Kingdoms (23-220 AD). New York: Penguin, 2006. Boston: Brill, 2007.
  • Fang, Achilles, trans. Zizhi Tongjian. The Chronicle of the Three Kingdoms (220-265).: Chapters 69-78 from the Tzu chih t'ung chien of Ssu-ma Kuang. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1952.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ de Crespigny, Rafe (2007). A biographical dictionary of Later Han to the Three Kingdoms (23–220 AD). Brill. p. 1163. ISBN 978-90-04-15605-0. 
  2. ^ Rafe de Crespigny, A Biographical Dictionary of Later Han to the Three Kingdoms (23-220 AD) (Boston: Brill, 2007), 1163-1164.
  3. ^ SanGuoZhi 17:530-31*, LS 19:4a; Goodman 98:196
  4. ^ Achilles Fang, Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Taihe 2, 27.3.