An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History and Literature

Cao Zhang 曹彰 and Cao Xiong 曹熊

May 31, 2016 © Ulrich Theobald

Cao Zhang 曹彰 (189–223), courtesy name Ziwen 子文, was the second son of son of the warlord Cao Cao 曹操 and his main consort Ms Bian 卞太后. His father used to call him the "yellow-bearded son" (huangran er 黃髯兒). As a small boy he was good in archery and charioteering, stronger than his friends, with a strong will and not avoiding dangers and hardship. In 216 he was given the title of Marquis of Yanling 鄢陵侯. Two years later the tribes of the Wuhuan 烏丸 in the commandery of Daijun 代郡 rose in rebellion, whereupon Cao Zhang was appointed commander of the north (bei zhonglangjiang 北中郎將), acting as general of the courageous guard (xiaoji jiangjun 驍騎將軍). His fierce attack pacified the whole northern border region. When Cao Cao returned from Chang'an 長安 to the east, he made his son Zhang *general of the superior guard (yueji jiangjun 越騎將軍) and entrusted him with the military protection of the western metropolitan region. Arrived in Luoyang 洛陽, Cao Cao fell ill and informed Zhang, but soon passed away. Cao Zhang and the other noblemen and generals travelled to the court to pay homage to Zhang's older brother Cao Pi 曹丕, who was now king of Wei (and eventually Emperor Wen 魏文帝, r. 220-226). In 221 Cao Zhang was elevated to the status of duke (gong 公), and a year later was made Prince of Wencheng 任城. During a visit to the court in 223 he died. His posthumous title is Prince Wei 任城威王.

Cao Xiong 曹熊 (195-220) was the youngest son of the warlord Cao Cao 曹操 and his main consort Ms Bian 卞太后. Xiong died at a very young age. The aristocratic title was conferred on him posthumously: In 221 he was bestowed the title of duke (gong 公), and in 229 that of prince (wang 王), with the epithet Prince Huai of Xiao 蕭懷王.

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