Guanqiu Jian

Guanqiu Jian

p=Gùanqiū Jiǎn

Guanqiu Jian (courtesy name: 仲恭 Zhòng Gōng, died 255) was a Chinese general of the Kingdom of Wei and renowned for his campaigns against Gongsun Yuan and Goguryeo.


Guanqiu Jian was favored by Emperor Ming of the Chinese Kingdom of Wei. In 237 he was sent to Liaodong to overthrow the local warlord Gongsun Yuan but was obstructed by floods. In the next year Sima Yi and Guanqiu Jian succeeded in conquering the Gongsun family. In recognition of the campaign, the title of Marquess of Anyi (安邑候) was bestowed on him.

In 244, Guanqiu Jian led the second punitive expedition to Goguryeo. He defeated the Goguryeo army led by King Gong (宮) beside the Tongjia River and then occupied the capital Wandu. During the third campaign in the next year, he occupied the capital again and forced the king to flee to the southeast. A subsection of the Chinese army reached the eastern coast of the peninsula and another reached northern Manchuria. In commemoration of the conquest, a stone carving was raised during the campaign. A piece of the monument was discovered in 1905. It is today called the "Stele of Guanqiu Jian's inscribed achievements" (毌丘儉紀功碑).

Guanqiu Jian was defeated and killed in a revolt against Sima Shi after the latter deposed Cao Fang, the successor of Emperor Ming. Some scholars consider that his action resulted from his loyalty to the imperial family, but the sources tell us only that he was close to Xiahou Xuan and feared for his life after Xuan was executed. Most of his family in Wei was killed after the failure of the rebellion, and some fled to Wu.


His name is often read as Wuqiu Jian (毋丘儉), and appears as such as Chapter 73 of Zizhi Tongjian. However, Chinese scholar Wu Jinhua (吳金華) has argued recently that the original reading was Muqiu 母丘 (also alternatively written as Wuqiu 毋丘 and Manqiu 曼丘), and that Guanqiu 毌丘 was a later transcription error from the Tang-Song period. He supports his argument with the occurrence of Muqiu as a family name on a tomb stele from the Wei period and also in the "Ri Zhi Lu" (《日知錄》) by early Qing scholar Gu Yanwu; as well as the occurrence of Wuqiu as a surname on an ancient seal and a bamboo strip from the Yinwan (尹灣) Han-period tomb excavated in 1993. Wu also points out that a general named Manqiu Chen (曼丘臣) is mentioned in Part 2 of the Book of Han reign chronicle of Emperor Gaozu of Han, and that the Tang-period Yan Shigu annotation to this name states "Manqiu and Muqiu were originally the same family name". [Wu Jinhua, "Sanguo Zhi jiaoyi xuli", 59-60] Unfortunately, no definite conclusions can be made from the evidence since Guanqiu, Muqiu, Wuqiu, and Manqiu all no longer exist as family names in China. But the existence of multiple but similar-sounding versions of the same family name suggests that they were all transliterations of a word from another language.

Personal information

* Brother
** Guanqiu Xiu (毌丘秀)
* Sons
** Guanqiu Dian (毌丘甸)
** Guanqiu Xun (毌丘旬)



*Wu Jinhua, "Sanguo Zhi jiaoyi xuli" “《三國志斠議》續例”, "Wenshi" 《文史》2001 (3)

ee also

*Three Kingdoms
*Personages of the Three Kingdoms
*"Records of Three Kingdoms"
*"Romance of the Three Kingdoms"

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