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					Cao Cao

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Cao Cao
Cao Cao King of Wei
Born Died 155 Bozhou, Anhui, China March 15, 220 (aged 64–65) Luoyang, Henan, China Cao Pi

Successor

Names
Simplified Chinese 曹操 Traditional Chinese 曹操 Pinyin Wade-Giles Courtesy name Posthumous name Temple name Other names Cáo Cāo Ts'ao2 Ts'ao1 Mèngdé (孟德) Wu (武) Wudi (武帝) Taizu (太祖) Infant Name
• •

A-Man (阿瞞) Ji-Li (吉利)

Cao Cao (Chinese: 曹操; pinyin: Cáo Cāo; pronounced Mandarin pronunciation: [tsʰɑʊ˧˥ tsʰɑʊ˥]; 155 – March 15, 220[1] ) was a warlord and the penultimate Chancellor of the Eastern Han Dynasty who rose to great power during the dynasty's final years in ancient China. As one of the central figures of the Three Kingdoms period, he laid the foundations for what was to become the state of Cao Wei and was posthumously titled Emperor Wu of Wei (魏武帝). Although often portrayed as a cruel and merciless tyrant, Cao has also been praised as a brilliant ruler and military genius who treated his subordinates like his family. He was also skilled in poetry and martial arts and authored many war journals.

Life
Early life
Cao Cao was born in the county of Qiao (譙, present day Bozhou, Anhui) in 155. His father Cao Song was a foster son of Cao Teng, who in turn was one of the favorite eunuchs of Emperor Huan. Some historical records, including Biography of Cao Man, claim that Cao Song's original family name was Xiahou (thus making Cao Cao a relative of Xiahou Dun and Xiahou Yuan, two of his most prominent generals). In Romance of the Three Kingdoms, Cao Song was said to be from the Xiahou clan and was adopted into the Cao family. Cao Cao was known for his craftiness as an adolescent. According to the Biography of Cao Man, Cao Cao's uncle often complained to Cao Song about Cao Cao's indulgence in hunting and music with Yuan Shao. In retaliation, Cao Cao feigned a fit before his uncle one day, who immediately rushed to inform Cao Song. When Cao Song went to see his son, Cao Cao behaved normally. When asked, Cao Cao replied, "I have never had a fit, but I lost the love of my uncle, and therefore he had deceived you." Henceforth, Cao Song ceased to believe the words of his brother

Cao Cao regarding Cao Cao, and thus Cao Cao became even more blatant and perseverant in his wayward pursuits. At that time, there was a man living in Runan named Xu Shao who was famed for his ability to evaluate one's potentials and talents. Cao Cao paid him a visit in hopes of receiving the evaluation that would earn him some political reputation. Originally, Xu pondered and refused to make a statement; however, under persistent questioning, he finally said, "You would be a capable minister in peaceful times and an unscrupulous hero in chaotic times." Cao Cao took this as a compliment and was very pleased as it was recorded that he laughed and left after hearing the comment. It is worth noting that there are two other versions of the comment in other unofficial historical records: "capable minister in peaceful times, unrighteous hero in chaotic times" (治世能臣, 亂世奸雄) and "sinister foe in peaceful times, great hero in chaotic times." At the age of twenty, Cao Cao was recommended to be a district captain of Luoyang. Upon taking up the post, Cao placed rows of multicolored staffs outside his office and ordered his deputies to flog those who violated the law, regardless of their status. Once, an uncle of Jian Shuo, one of the most powerful and influential eunuchs under Emperor Ling, was caught walking in the city beyond the evening curfew hour by Cao's men and was given his fair share of flogging. This prompted Jian Shuo and other higher authorities to "promote" Cao to another position outside the imperial capital (governor of Dunqiu County) to remove his management. When the Yellow Turban Rebellion broke out in 184, Cao was recalled to Luoyang and promoted to a captain of the cavalry (騎都尉) and sent to Yingchuan to suppress the rebels. He was successful in his military exploits and was further promoted to Governor of Dong Commandery (東郡).

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Alliance against Dong Zhuo
Summary of major events 155 Born in Qiao.

180s Led troops against Yellow Turban Rebellion in Yingchuan. 190 196 200 208 213 216 220 — Joined the coalition against Dong Zhuo. Received Emperor Xian in Xuchang. Won the Battle of Guandu. Lost the Battle of Red Cliffs. Created Duke of Wei and given ten commanderies as his dukedom. Received the title King of Wei. Died in Luoyang. Enthroned posthumously as Emperor Wu.

In 189, Emperor Ling died and was succeeded by his eldest son (Emperor Shao), although the state power was mainly in the hands of Empress Dowager He and others. The two most powerful aristocrats then, He Jin and Yuan Shao, plotted to eliminate the clan of influential eunuchs. He Jin summoned Dong Zhuo, governor of Liang province (凉州), to lead his army into Luoyang to pressure the empress dowager to give up power, despite numerous objections pertaining to Dong's "infamy" and personality. Before Dong Zhuo arrived, He Jin was assassinated by the eunuchs and Luoyang was thrown into chaos as the supporters of Yuan Shao battled the eunuchs. Dong Zhuo's elite army easily rid the palace grounds of opposition. After he deposed Emperor Shao, Dong placed the puppet Emperor Xian on the throne. From a previous encounter, he deemed that Emperor Xian was more capable than the original puppet Emperor.[2] After rejecting Dong Zhuo's appointment, Cao Cao left Luoyang for Chenliu (陳留, southeast of present day Kaifeng, Henan, Cao Cao's hometown), where he built his army. The next year, regional warlords formed a military alliance under Yuan Shao against Dong Zhuo. Cao Cao joined their cause. China fell into civil war when Dong

Cao Cao Zhuo's foster son Lü Bu killed him in 192.

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Securing the emperor
Through short-term and regional-scale wars, Cao Cao continued to expand his power. In one particular incident in 193, Cao Cao massacred thousands of civilians in Xu province to avenge his father's death. It was said that even dogs and poultry were not spared, and the corpses dumped into the water stopped the flow of the Si River (泗水).[3] In 196, Cao Cao found Emperor Xian and convinced him to move the capital to Xuchang as per the suggestion from Xun Yu and other advisors (as Luoyang was ruined by war and Chang'an was not under Cao Cao's military control), and he was appointed Chancellor. Cao Cao was then instated as the Commander-in-Chief (大將軍) and Marquis of Wuping (武平侯), though both titles had little practical implication. While some viewed the emperor as a puppet ruler under Cao Cao's control, Cao adhered to a strict personal rule to his death that he would not usurp the throne. Later in his life, when he was approached by his advisors to take over the Han Dynasty and start a dynasty, he replied, "If heaven bestows such a fate upon me, let me be King Wen of Zhou."[4] To maintain a good relationship with Yuan Shao, who had become the most powerful warlord in China when he united the northern four provinces, Cao Cao lobbied to have Yuan appointed as Minister of Works (司空). This however had the exact opposite effect, as Yuan Shao believed that Cao Cao was trying to humiliate him after having the emperor's support, since Minister of Works technically ranked lower than Commander-in-Chief, and thus Yuan refused to accept the title. To pacify Yuan, Cao offered his own position, Commander-in-Chief, to Yuan Shao, while taking on the role of Minister of Works himself. While this temporarily resolved the conflict, it was nevertheless the catalyst for the Battle of Guandu later.

Uniting the North
In 200, Yuan Shao amassed more than 100,000 troops and marched southwards on Xuchang in the name of rescuing the emperor. Cao Cao gathered 20,000 men in Guandu, a strategic point on the shore of the Yellow River. The two armies came to a standstill as neither side was able to make much progress. Cao Cao's lack of men did not allow him to make significant attacks, and the pride of Yuan Shao forced him to target Cao Cao's force head-on. Despite his overwhelming advantage in terms of manpower Yuan Shao was unable to make full use of his resources because of his indecisive leadership and Cao Cao's location. Besides the middle battleground of Guandu, two lines of battle were present. The eastern line with Yuan Tan of Yuan Shao's army against Zang Ba of Cao Cao's army was a one-sided battle in favor of Cao Cao, as Yuan Tan's own questionable leadership was no match for Zang's local knowledge of the landscape and hit-and-run tactics. On the western front, Yuan Shao's cousin, Gao Gan, performed much better against Cao Cao's army and forced several reinforcements from Cao Cao's main camp to maintain the western battle. Liu Bei, then a guest in Yuan Shao's army, also suggested to instigate rebellion in Cao Cao's territories as many associates of Yuan Shao were housed in Cao's lands. The tactic was successful initially but Man Chong's diplomatic skills helped to resolve the conflict. Man had been placed as an official there for this specific reason, as Cao Cao had foreseen the situation prior to the battle. Finally, with the help of a defector from Yuan Shao's army, Xu You, who informed Cao Cao of the location of Yuan Shao's supply depot, Cao broke the stalemate and sent a special task force to burn all the supplies of Yuan's army and won a decisive and seemingly impossible victory. Yuan Shao fell ill and died shortly after returning from the defeat, leaving his legacy to two of his sons – the eldest son, Yuan Tan and the youngest son, Yuan Shang. As he had designated the youngest son, Yuan Shang, as his successor, rather than the eldest as tradition dictated, the two brothers consistently feuded against each other, as they fought Cao Cao. Cao employed the internal conflict within the Yuan clan to his advantage and defeated the Yuans easily. Henceforth Cao Cao assumed effective rule over all of northern China. He sent armies further out and extended his control past the Great Wall into northern Korea, and southward to the Han River.

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The Three Kingdoms
However, Cao Cao's attempt to extend his domination south of the Yangtze River was unsuccessful. He received an initial great success when Liu Biao, administrator of Jing province, died, and his successor, Liu Cong surrendered to Cao Cao without resistance. Delighted by this outcome, he pressed on despite the objections by his military advisors and hoped the same would happen again. His forces were then defeated by the first coalition of his archrivals Liu Bei and Sun Quan (who later founded the states of Shu Han and Eastern Wu respectively) at the Red Cliffs in 208. In 213, Cao Cao was titled Duke of Wei (魏公), given the nine Traditional site of the Red Cliffs, north of Wulin bestowments, and given a fief of ten cities under his domain, known as Wei. In 216, Cao Cao was promoted to King of Wei (魏王). Over the years, Cao Cao, as well as Liu Bei and Sun Quan, continued to consolidate their power in their respective regions. Through many wars, China became divided into three powers – Wei, Shu and Wu, which fought sporadic battles among themselves without the balance tipping significantly in anyone's favor. In 220, Cao Cao died in Luoyang at the age of 65, failing to unify China under his rule. His will instructed that he be buried near Ximen Bao's tomb in Yecheng without gold and jade treasures, and that his subjects on duty at the frontier were to stay in their posts and not attend the funeral as, in his own words, "the country is still unstable". Cao Cao's eldest surviving son Cao Pi succeeded him. Within a year, Cao Pi forced Emperor Xian to abdicate and proclaimed himself the first emperor of Cao Wei. Cao Cao was then posthumously titled Emperor Wu of Wei.

Other contributions
Agriculture and education
While waging military campaigns against his enemies, Cao Cao did not forget the basis of society – agriculture and education. In 194, a locust plague caused a major famine across China. According to the Records of the Three Kingdoms, the people ate each other out of desperation. Without food, many armies were defeated even without fighting. From this experience, Cao Cao saw the importance of an ample food supply in building a strong military. He began a series of agricultural programs in cities such as Xuchang and Chenliu. Refugees were recruited and given wastelands to cultivate. Later, encampments not faced with imminent danger of war were also made to farm. This system was continued and spread to all regions under Cao Cao as his realm expanded. Although Cao Cao's primary intention was to build a powerful army, the agricultural program also improved the living standards of the people, especially war refugees. By 203, Cao Cao had eliminated most of Yuan Shao's force. This afforded him more attention on construction within his realm. In autumn of that year, Cao Cao passed an order decreeing the promotion of education throughout the counties and cities within his jurisdiction. An official in charge of education matters was assigned to each county with at least 500 households. Youngsters with potential and talents were selected to undergo schooling. This prevented a lapse in the output of intellectuals in those warring years and, in Cao Cao's words, would benefit the people.

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Poetry
Cao Cao was also an accomplished poet. Although few of his works remain today, his verses, unpretentious yet profound, contributed to reshaping the poetry style of his time. He and his sons Cao Pi and Cao Zhi are collectively known as the "Three Cao" in poetry. Along with those of several other poets of the time, their poems formed the backbone of what was to be known as the jian'an style (建安風骨; jian'an is the era name for the period from 196 to 220). The civil strife towards the end of the Eastern Han Dynasty gave the jian'an poems their characteristic solemn yet heart-stirring tone, which frequently lament over the ephemerality of life. In the history of Chinese literature, the jian'an poems were a transition from the early folksongs into scholarly poetry. One of Cao Cao's most celebrated poems, written during a campaign against the northern Wuhuan in 207, is Though the Tortoise Lives Long (龜雖壽). 《龜雖壽》 神龜雖壽,猶有竟時。
Though the Tortoise Lives Long Though the tortoise blessed with magic powers lives long, Its days have their allotted span; Though winged serpents ride high on the mist, They turn to dust and ashes at the last; An old war-horse may be stabled, Yet still it longs to gallop a thousand li; And a noble-hearted man though advanced in years Never abandons his proud aspirations. Man's span of life, whether long or short, Depends not on Heaven alone; One who eats well and keeps cheerful Can live to a great old age. And so, with joy in my heart, I hum this song.

騰蛇乘霧,終為土灰。 老驥伏櫪,志在千里; 烈士暮年,壯心不已。 盈縮之期,不但在天; 養怡之福,可得永年。 幸甚至哉!歌以咏志。

Another Cao Cao's most well known poems, written right before the Battle of Red Cliffs in the winter of 208 AD, is Short Song Style. (短歌行) 《短歌行》 對酒當歌,人生幾何? 譬如朝露,去日苦多。 慨當以慷,憂思難忘。 何以解憂?唯有杜康。 青青子衿,悠悠我心。 但為君故,沈吟至今。 呦呦鹿鳴,食野之蘋。
Short Song Style I lift my drink and sing a song, for who knows if life is short or long? Man's life is but the morning dew, past days many, future ones few. The melancholy my heart begets, comes from cares I cannot forget.; What can unravel these woes of mine? I know but one drink – Du Kang Wine. Disciples dress in blue, my heart worries for you. You are the cause, of this song without pause. Across the bank a deer bleats, in the wild where it eats.

Cao Cao

6 我有嘉賓,鼓瑟吹笙。 明明如月,何時可掇? 憂從中來,不可斷絕。 越陌度阡,枉用相存。 契闊談宴,心念舊恩。 月明星稀,烏鵲南飛, 繞樹三匝,何枝可依? 山不厭高,海不厭深。 周公吐哺,天下歸心。
Honored my guests I salute, strike the harp! Play the flute! Bright is the moon's spark, when can I pick it apart? Thoughts of you from deep inside, cannot settle, cannot subside. Friends drop by via a country road, the respect they pay really show. A long due reunion we fest, sharing past stories we possessed. Stars around the moons are few, southward the crows flew. Flying with no rest, where shall they nest? No mountain too steep, no ocean too deep. Sage pauses [from meals] when guests call, so at his feet the empire does fall!

Discovery of Cao Cao's tomb
The discovery of Cao Cao's tomb in Xigaoxue Village (西高穴村) in Anyang County, Henan Province was reported by archaeologists in December 2009. Legends report that the tomb was protected by 72 decoys to keep its location secret, though the recent discovery casts doubt on that legend.[5] The tomb was unearthed by workers of a nearby kiln when they were digging mud for making bricks, but the discovery was not initially reported to the authorities. Tomb raiding had been carried on since the tomb's initial discovery, until local authorities seized stone tablets carrying inscriptions of "King Wu of Wei" (魏武王) — Cao's posthumous reference — from tomb raiders and brought the tomb to light. Archaeologists began excavating the tomb in December 2008.[6] The 740-square-meter tomb, a size appropriate for a king, was confirmed to have been built at the time of Wei and to be that of Cao Cao. Within the tomb were stone tablets identifying Cao Cao as the owner of the tomb, 250 artifacts including weapons, armour, and pottery,[7] the remains of a man in his 60s, and the bones of two women in their 50s and 20s.[5] No luxury items were found in the tomb, which is in accordance to Cao's will that he should be buried simply.[7] The bodies are believed to be Cao Cao and his wife, along with her female servant.[5]

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Cao Cao in Romance of the Three Kingdoms
The Romance of the Three Kingdoms, a historical novel by Luo Guanzhong, was a romanticization of the events that occurred during the Three Kingdoms period. While adhering to historical facts most of the time, Romance of the Three Kingdoms inevitably re-shaped Cao Cao dramatically to some extent, so as to portray him as a cruel and suspicious villain. In some chapters, Luo created fictional or semi-fictional events involving Cao Cao. They include:

Attempted assassination on Dong Zhuo
While in reality Cao Cao did leave Dong Zhuo, the tyrannical warlord who held the Emperor Xian hostage in 190 to consolidate power, Luo Guanzhong took a step further in describing Cao's attempted assassination on Dong: Dong Zhuo deposed the eldest son of the late Emperor Ling and placed Emperor Xian on the throne. His autocratic behavior and acts of brutality against his political opponents and the common people Cao Cao as portrayed by Bao Guo'an in the TV incurred the anger of various court officials. One of them, Wang Yun, series Romance of the Three Kingdoms called for a secret meeting of the officials under the pretext of his birthday celebration. During the feast, Wang cried upon recalling the cruel deeds of Dong Zhuo. His colleagues felt the same anguish as him and joined him in tears. Cao Cao, however, laughed and said, "All the officials of the court – crying from dusk till dawn and from dawn till dusk – can you make Dong Zhuo die by crying?" Wang Yun met him in private later and lent him the Seven Gems Sword (七星劍) after Cao Cao promised to assassinate Dong Zhuo personally. The next day, Cao Cao brought the precious sword to see Dong Zhuo. Having much trust in Cao, Dong received the guest in his bedroom. Lü Bu, Dong Zhuo's foster son, left the room for the stable to select a better horse for Cao Cao, who complained about his slow ride. When Dong Zhuo turned away, Cao Cao prepared to unsheathe the sword. However, Dong saw Cao's action through a reflection in the mirror and hastily turned to question Cao's intention. At this time, Lü Bu had also returned. In desperation, Cao knelt down and claimed that he wanted to present the sword to Dong Zhuo. Cao seized the opportunity to escape from Luoyang under the pretext of trying a ride on the new horse. Dong realised later that Cao had intended to assassinate him and sent his men to summon Cao back to see him. However, Cao had already escaped and Dong issued a warrant for Cao's arrest.

Murder of Lü Boshe
Following the escape from Dong Zhuo is a legendary episode aimed at illustrating Cao Cao's near-Machiavellian tendencies for later characterizations of him as a villain. Though never exactly proven, it is said that Cao Cao escaped with Chen Gong, a county magistrate who arrested him earlier and released him out of admiration for Cao's sense of righteousness later. They sought shelter at the home of Lü Boshe, a fictional character who was the sworn brother of Cao Cao's father. Lü promised to protect him and left to purchase some materials in preparation for a feast. Cao and Chen overheard a conversation between Lü's servants about a murder plot. Cao's suspicious nature caused him to jump to the conclusion that Lü Boshe had deceived him and intended to kill him and hand over his corpse to Dong Zhuo for a reward. Cao and Chen burst in and killed everyone in the house, including Lü's wife and children. They discovered later that the servants were actually discussing how to "murder" (slaughter) a pig for the feast.

Cao Cao Cao Cao and Chen Gong fled immediately and ran into Lü Boshe, who had just returned from his errand. When questioned, Cao provided an excuse, saying that he was afraid of being followed, as the reason for his abrupt departure. Cao then asked Lü Boshe, "Who's that behind you?" When Lü turned around, Cao stabbed and killed him from behind. Chen Gong was shocked and asked him why he committed that atrocity. Cao explained that it was for their safety, because if Lü went home and saw the ghastly sight, he would report to the authorities and bring them into serious trouble. Cao then raised his sword and famously said, "Better for me to wrong the world than for the world to wrong me." (寧教我負天下人,休教天下人負我).

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Escape through Huarong Trail
After Cao Cao was utterly defeated at the battle of Red Cliffs, he gathered his surviving troops and escaped towards Jiangling, taking the shortcut through Huarong Trail. On top of the defeat and humiliation Cao suffered, Luo Guanzhong decided to add one more pinch of salt to the getaway: During his perilous escape back to Jiangling, Cao Cao came to a fork in the road. Columns of smoke were seen rising from the narrower path. Cao Cao judged that the smoke was a trick by the enemy to divert him to the main road, where an ambush must have been laid. He then led his men towards the narrow path – the Huarong Trail. The smoke was indeed a trick by Zhuge Liang, a military advisor to Liu Bei. As if he could predict Cao's thoughts, Zhuge actually planned to direct him to Huarong Trail, where Guan Yu was waiting with 500 soldiers. When Cao saw that his escape route had been blocked, he rode forward and pleaded with Guan Yu to spare him on accord of the past kindness he had showered on Guan. Seeing the plight of the defeated men and recalling the former favors he received from Cao, Guan allowed Cao and his men to pass through without challenge, risking his own life for disobeying military orders.

Portrait of Cao Cao from a Qing Dynasty edition of the Romance of the Three Kingdoms, the hunched figure clearly portraying him as a villain

Strict disciplinarian
Du Mu's account of Cao Cao's life states that he was such a strict disciplinarian. He cited the example of an incident, in which Cao condemned himself to death for having allowed his horse to stray into a field of corn, having violated a military law which dictates that any soldier who damages commoners' crops would be executed. However, in lieu of losing his head, he was persuaded to satisfy his sense of justice by cutting off a lock of his hair. "When you pass a law, see that it is not disobeyed; if it is disobeyed, the offender must be punished."

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Death of Cao Cao and Hua Tuo
In 220, Cao Cao died in Luoyang due to an unknown illness. Legends had many explanations for the cause of his death, most of which were wrought with superstitions. Romance of the Three Kingdoms included some of these legends, as well as Luo Guanzhong's own story about the involvement of Hua Tuo, a renowned Chinese physician. When Cao Cao started complaining about splitting headaches in the last days of his life, his subjects recommended Hua Tuo, a physician with remarkable healing skills. Upon examination, Hua diagnosed Cao's illness to be a form of rheumatism in the skull. He suggested giving Cao Cao a dose of hashish and then splitting open his skull with a sharp axe to extract the pus within. Due to an earlier incident with another physician called Ji Ping who attempted to poison him, Cao grew suspicious of any physician. Cao believed that Hua intended to kill him to avenge the death of Guan Yu. He had Hua Tuo imprisoned and Hua died a few days later. Without proper treatment, Cao died soon as well. In another account of Cao Cao's cause of death, it was said that a curse befell him when he tried to cut down a sacred tree and use its wood to build a lavish villa.

Cultural legacy
While historical records indicate Cao Cao as a brilliant ruler, he was represented as a cunning and deceitful man in Chinese opera, where the character of Cao Cao is given a white facial makeup to reflect his treacherous personality. When writing the Romance of the Three Kingdoms, Luo Guanzhong took much of his inspiration from the opera. As a result, such unscrupulous depictions of Cao Cao have become much more popular among the common people than the real image of Cao. Some have tried to revise this depiction.[8] [9] As the Romance of the Three Kingdoms has been adapted to modern forms of entertainment, so has its portrayal of Cao Cao. Given the source material upon which these adaptations are founded, Cao Cao continues to be characterised as a prominent villain. Through to modern times, the Chinese equivalent of the English idiom "speak of the Devil" is "Speak of Cao Cao and Cao Cao arrives." ("說曹操,曹操到"; Pinyin: Shuō Cáo Cāo, Cáo Cāo dào).

A mask of Cao Cao in Chinese opera

The Cao clan
Direct male descendants
With Lady Bian • Cao Pi (曹丕)¹ • Cao Rui (曹叡) • Cao Fang (曹芳) • Cao Mao (曹髦) • Cao Huan (曹奐) • Cao Zhang (曹彰)

Cao Cao • Cao Kai (曹楷) • Cao Zhi (曹植) • Cao Xiong (曹熊) • Cao Bin (曹炳) With Lady Liu • Cao Ang (曹昂) • Cao Wan (succeeded Cao Ang but was the son of Cao Jun (曹均)) (曹琬) • Cao Lian (曹廉) • Cao Shuo (曹鑠) • Cao Qian (曹潛) • Cao Yan (曹偃) With Lady Huan • Cao Chong (曹冲) • Cao Cong (succeeded Cao Chong but was the son of Cao Ju (曹据)) (曹琮) • Cao Ju (曹据) • Cao Yu (曹宇) With Lady Du • Cao Lin (曹林) • Cao Wei (曹緯) • Cao Gun (曹袞) • Cao Fu (曹孚) With Lady Qin • Cao Xuan (曹玹) • Cao Heng (曹恒) • Cao Jun (曹峻) • Cao Ao (曹澳) With Lady Yin • Cao Ju (曹矩) • Cao Min (succeeded Cao Ju but was the son of Cao Jun (曹均)) (曹敏) • Cao Kun (曹焜)

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Cao Cao With other consorts • Cao Gan (曹幹) • Cao Shang (曹上) • Cao Biao (曹彪) • Cao Jia (曹嘉) • Cao Qin (曹勤) • Cao Cheng (曹乘) • Cao Zheng (曹整) • Cao Fan (succeeded Cao Zheng but was the son of Cao Ju (曹据)) (曹范) • Cao Chan (younger brother of Cao Fan by birth, succeeded Cao Fan) (曹闡) • Cao Jing (曹京) • Cao Jun (曹均) • Cao Kang (曹抗) • Cao Chen (曹諶) • Cao Ji (曹棘) • Cao Hui (曹徽) • Cao Xi (曹翕) • Cao Mao (曹茂)

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Extended family
• • • • • • • • Cao Ren Younger cousin Cao Tai Cao Chu Cao Kai Cao Fan Cao Chun Younger cousin Cao Yan Cao Liang

• Cao Hong Younger cousin • Cao Xiu Distant nephew • Cao Zhao • Cao Zhen Distant nephew • Cao Shuang Cao Xi Cao Xun Cao Ze Cao Yan Xiahou Dun cousin Cao Ai Distant nephew

• • • • • •

• Cao Anmin Nephew • Xiahou Yuan cousin

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See also
• • • • • • • • • • • Three Kingdoms Han Dynasty End of Han Dynasty Personages of the Three Kingdoms Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms Romance of the Three Kingdoms The Art of War Kessen II Dynasty Warriors Sōten Kōro Red Cliff

References
• Chen Shou (2002). San Guo Zhi. Yue Lu Shu She. ISBN 7-80665-198-5. • Luo Guanzhong (1986). San Guo Yan Yi. Yue Lu Shu She. ISBN 7-80520-013-0. • Lo Kuan-chung; tr. C.H. Brewitt-Taylor (2002). Romance of the Three Kingdoms. Tuttle Publishing. ISBN 0-8048-3467-9. • Sun Tzu (1983). The Art of War. Delta. ISBN 0-440-55005-X.

External links
• Cao Cao and the Three Kingdoms: A George Ernest Morrison lecture in Ethnology [10]
Preceded by Dong Zhuo Chancellor of Han 208–220 Succeeded by Cao Pi

References
[1] Sinica.edu.tw (http:/ / www. sinica. edu. tw/ ftms-bin/ kiwi1/ luso. sh?lstype=2& dyna=ªFº~& king=Äm«Ò& reign=«Ø¦w& yy=25& ycanzi=& mm=1& dd=& dcanzi=©°¤l) [2] Emperor Xian and his brother, the original emperor, escaped Luoyang to the west as the battle waged between the generals and the eunuchs, and encountered Dong Zhuo's army. Dong Zhuo acted arrogantly, causing the original emperor to cower in fear; but Emperor Xian asked calmly with authority, "Are you here to protect or harm the Emperor? If you are here to protect the Emperor, why are you still on horse and not kneeling before him?" Dong Zhuo was surprised at the young Emperor Xian's wit and cool, and decided that he should be the Emperor instead. [3] Sanguozhi, vol.1 [4] King Wen of Zhou was a high official at the end of Shang Dynasty in ancient China. At the time, the corruption of King Zhou of Shang prompted many uprisings, including King Wen; but King Wen insisted that he would not take the throne himself as it is improper for him, a subordinate, to do harm to the Shang Dynasty. Instead, he allowed his son to destroy the Shang Dynasty and establish the Zhou Dynasty after his own death, and thus fulfilling his personal code of honor but also ridding the world of a terrible ruler. He was then named King Wen of Zhou posthumously by his son. Here, Cao Cao was inferring that if the Cao family were to come to power and establish a new dynasty, it would be by his descendants and not him. [5] Lin Shujuan, "Tomb of legendary ruler unearthed." (http:/ / www. chinadaily. com. cn/ china/ 2009-12/ 28/ content_9234640. htm). China Daily. Updated: 2009-12-28. [6] Tomb of legendary general Cao Cao unearthed in central China (http:/ / news. xinhuanet. com/ english/ 2009-12/ 27/ content_12712471. htm). Xinhua. 2009-12-27. [7] Li Xinran. "Tomb of Cao Cao, early ruler, is found." (http:/ / www. shanghaidaily. com/ article/ ?id=424042& type=National) Shanghai Daily. 2009-12-28. [8] 亦有可聞:魏延為何負上「叛徒」罵名 (http:/ / paper. wenweipo. com/ 2007/ 09/ 28/ OT0709280010. htm) [9] 谭其骧与郭沫若的学术论争 (http:/ / www. gmw. cn/ 03pindao\renwu/ 2004-05/ 04/ content_20827. htm)

Cao Cao
[10] http:/ / www. anu. edu. au/ asianstudies/ decrespigny/ morrison51. html

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File:chibi.jpg  Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=File:Chibi.jpg  License: GNU Free Documentation License  Contributors: User Jie on en.wikipedia Image:Cao Cao TV Serial.jpg  Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=File:Cao_Cao_TV_Serial.jpg  License: unknown  Contributors: Plastictv File:Cao Cao Portrait ROTK.jpg  Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=File:Cao_Cao_Portrait_ROTK.jpg  License: unknown  Contributors: BorgQueen, Jonathan Groß, Plastictv File:Mask of Cao Cao.jpg  Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=File:Mask_of_Cao_Cao.jpg  License: Public Domain  Contributors: Mountain

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