An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History and Literature

Zhuge Dan 諸葛誕

Jun 6, 2016 © Ulrich Theobald

Zhuge Dan 諸葛誕 (d. 258), courtesy name Gongxiu 公休, was a high military leader of the state of Wei 曹魏 (220-265) during the Three Kingdoms period 三國 (220-280).

His home town was Yangdu 陽都 in the commandery of Langya 瑯琊 (modern Linyi 臨沂, Shandong), and he was a distant relative to Zhuge Liang 諸葛亮, the Counsellor-in-chief in the state of Shu 蜀漢 (221-263). He owned the title of secretarial court gentleman (shangshu lang 尚書郎) and was magistrate (ling 令) of Xingyang 滎陽, then clerk palace aide to the Censor-in-chief (yushi zhongcheng shangshu 御史中丞尚書). Emperor Ming 魏明帝 (r. 226-239 CE) believed that Zhuge Dan just relied on the reputation of his family to rise in the bureaucratic machinery, and dismissed him.

His successor, Emperor Cao Fang 曹芳 (r. 239-254), appointed Zhuge Dan regional inspector (cishi 刺史) of Yangzhou 揚州 and gave him the title of General Enlightening Martiality (zhaowu jiangjun 昭武將軍). When Wang Ling 王淩, the local military commander, rebelled, Zhuge Dan was commissioned with a warrant (jiajie 假節) with the military affairs of the southeast, and given the title of General Suppressing the East (zhendong jiangjun 鎮東將軍) and given the title of Neighbourhood Marquis of Shanyang 山陽亭侯.

He also anticipated the rebellion of Guanqiu Jian 毌丘儉 and Wen Qin 文欽 and took the military preparations for their defeat. This earned him the title of Marquis of Gaoping 高平侯 and that of General-in-chief Conquering the East (zhengdong da jiangjun 征東大將軍). Emperor Cao Mao 曹髦 (r. 254-260 CE) did not respond to a suggestion to grant Zhuge Dan the honorific title of Minister of Works (sikong 司空). He decided to defect to the state of Wu 吳 (222-280), where he was welcomed and granted the title of Marquis of Shouchun 壽春侯. He was made Grand Minister of Education (da situ 大司徒), General of cavalry (piaoji jiangjun) and regional governor (mu 牧) of the province of Qingzhou 青州. In 258 he died on the battlefield.

Zhang Shunhui 張舜徽, ed. (1992). Sanguozhi cidian 三國志辭典 (Jinan: Shandong jiaoyu chubanshe), 624.