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Persons in Chinese History - Cao Shuang 曹爽, Cao Xi 曹羲 and Cao Xun 曹訓

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Cao Shuang 曹爽 (died 249 CE), courtesy name Cao Zhaobo 曹昭伯, was regent in the empire of Wei 曹魏 (220-265) during the Three Kingdoms period 三國 (220-280). He was a grandnephew of the warlord Cao Cao 曹操, ancestor of the Wei dynasty. Cao Shuang inherited the title of Marquis of Shaoling 邵陵侯 from his father Cao Zhen 曹真. Under the reign of Emperor Ming he was made gentleman cavalier attendant (sanji shilang 散騎侍郎), then commandant of the city gates (chengmen xiaolang 城門校尉), cavalier attendant-in-ordinary (sanji changshi 散騎常侍) and finally Militant General (wuwei jiangjun 武衛將軍). When Emperor Ming fell seriously ill, he entrusted Cao Shuang with the regency the his young heir apparent and made Cao Shuang General-in-chief (da jiangjun 大將軍) and Overseer of the Imperial Secretariat (lu shangshu shi 錄尚書事). His co-regent was Defender-in-chief (taiwei 太尉) Sima Yi 司馬懿. On the accession of Cao Fang 曹芳 to the throne, Cao Shuang was made palace attendant (shizhong 侍中) and given the title of Marquis of Wu'an 武安. There arose soon a conflict between the two regents. With the support of loyal officials like He Yan 何晏 and Ding Mi 丁謐 Cao Shuang tried to get rid of Sima Yi. In 249 he accompanied Emperor Cao Fang on a visit of the imperial tombs, and Sima Yi used this chance to occupy the capital and to arrest Cao Shuang and his followers. They were executed and their families extinguished. Sima Yi was from then on the sole regent of the empire. His grandson Sima Yan 司馬炎 would eventually end the Wei and found the Jin dynasty 晉.

Cao Xi 曹羲 (died 249 CE) was an official of the Three Kingdoms period. He was a son of Cao Zhen 曹真 and inherited his father’s title of a minor marquis (liehou 列侯). During the Zhengshi reign he was appointed capital commandant (zhonglingjun 中領軍) and given the title of Marquis of Anxiang 安鄉. Cao Xi took part in the conspiration of his brother Cao Shuang 曹爽 against the powerful regent Sima Yi, but both were arrested and executed, and their families extirpated for three generations.

Cao Xun 曹訓 (died 249), was an official of the Three Kingdoms period. He was a son of Cao Zhi, and like his brother Cao Xi, inherited their father’s status of a minor marquis (liehou 列侯). Cao Xun served in the position of militant general (wuwei jiangjun 武衛將軍). He was executed along with his brothers, when the three joined in a conspiration against the regent Sima Yi.

Sources: Zhang Shunhui 張舜徽 (ed. 1992), Sanguozhi cidian 三國志辭典 (Jinan: Shandong jiaoyu chubanshe), pp. 406, 409. ● Xiong Tieji 熊鐵基, Yang Youli 楊有禮 (ed. 1994), Zhongguo diwang zaixiang cidian 中國帝王宰相辭典 (Wuhan: Hubei jiaoyu chubanshe), p. 540.

July 20, 2013 © Ulrich Theobald · Mail
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