Chen Dao

Chen Dao
Chen Dao
Traditional Chinese 陳到
Simplified Chinese 陈到

Chen Dao, style name Shuzhi (叔至), was a military general serving under the warlord Liu Bei during the late Han Dynasty and Three Kingdoms era of Chinese history.



Chen Dao first served Liu Bei as his aide-de-camp when the latter proclaimed himself to be the Governor of Yu Province".[1] He then followed Liu Bei and fought numerous battles across the land; after the pacification of Yi Province and Liu Bei's ascension to the throne, Chen Dao was particularly authorized to command the "white-eared (or white-feathered)" unit,[2] which was responsible for the emperor's personal safety. Chen Dao assisted Liu Bei's escape to Baidicheng (former name of Yong'an) after the disastrous Battle of Xiaoting. When Zhuge Liang became the regent, Chen Dao was made Protector-of-the-Army, but was placed under the co-regent Li Yan to be stationed in Yong'an in anticipation of a potential invasion from the eastern warlord, Sun Quan.

Zhuge Liang was preparing a full-scale assault on the rival state of Cao Wei between 223 to 226, and a human resource reallocation was carried out in order to solidify his hegemonic position within Shu Han. A few officials were demoted, but Chen Dao was one of the several officers who received a promotion - he was made the General Who Attacks the West, and replaced his supposed supervisor Li Yan as the new commander of Yong'an.

Chen Dao was reputed by Yang Xi (楊戲) to be comparable to Zhao Yun in loyalty in an official memorial after his death. He was also praised by the Jin Dynasty historian Chen Shou as a brave warrior whose fame was next to Zhao Yun's.

In fiction

In Luo Guanzhong's historical novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms, the character of Zhao Yun sufficiently represents both Zhao and Chen Dao's historical image, so the latter was omitted in the novel.

Appointments and titles held

  • Area Commander of Yong'an (永安都督)
  • General Who Attacks the West (征西將軍)
  • Marquis (亭侯)
  • Central Protector of the Army (中護軍)

See also

  • List of people of the Three Kingdoms


  1. ^ Tao Qian once recommended Liu Bei to be the Governor of Yu Province in 194, but Tao Qian's request was not recognized by the Han court. However, this became Liu Bei's self-instituted title known publicly by the people at the time. (The formal Governor of Yu Province, Guo Gong (郭貢), was too busy fighting Cao Cao, and did not bother to care about Liu Bei's usurpation.) See Zizhi Tongjian, vol. 61
  2. ^ 《诸葛亮集》:"(陈)到所督,则先帝帐下白毦,西方上兵也。" In the Compilation of Zhuge Liang, Chen Dao was stated to be Liu Bei's aide-de-camp who controlled a special unit called the "white-eared (or white-feathered)."