An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History and Literature

Chang Lin 常林

Jun 2, 2016 © Ulrich Theobald

Chang Lin 常林, courtesy name Bohuai 伯槐, was a high official of the Wei period 曹魏 (220-265).

His native town was Wen 溫 in the commandery of Henei 河內 (today Wenxian 溫縣, Henan) and loved reading so much that he carried the Confucian Classics with him to the fieldwork. When his uncle was arrested by the local governor (taishou 太守) Chang Lin tried everything to have him set free. The regional inspector (cishi 刺史) of Bingzhou 幷州 offered him a job, but Chang declined. Liang Xi 梁習 recommended him to the warlord Cao Cao 曹操, who made him mayor of Nanhe 南和, then governor of Boling 博陵 and finally regional inspector of Youzhou 幽州. Back in the capital residence, Chang Lin served as head of the clerks of the labour section (wuguan gongcao jiang 五官功曹將), but was soon sent out as governor of Pingyuan 平原, and then commander (duwei 都尉) of Weijun 魏郡.

Cao Cao's son Cao Pi 曹丕 soon called him back and appointed him head of the eastern section under the Counsellor-in-chief (chengxiang dongcao 丞相東曹), and when he received the title of king, made Chang Lin chief steward for writing (shangshu 尚書). Having adopted the title of Emperor, Cao Pi (Emperor Wen 魏文帝, r. 220-226) made Chang Lin Chamberlain for the Palace Revenues (shaofu 少府), then Chamberlain for the National Treasury (dasinong 大司農), and bestowed on him the title of Neighbourhood Marquis of Leyang 樂陽亭侯.

Emperor Ming 魏明帝 (r. 226-239 CE) promoted him to Township Marquis of Gaoyang 高陽鄉侯 and appointed him Chamberlain for Attendants (guangluxun 光祿勳) and Chamberlain for Ceremonials (taichang 太常), finally Grand Master for Splendid Happiness (guanglu dafu 光祿大夫). Chang Lin was granted an official interment (gongli 公禮) and was posthumously conferred the title of Cavalry General (piaoji jiangjun 驃騎將軍). His posthumous title of nobility was Marquis Zhen 貞侯.

Zhang Shunhui 張舜徽, ed. (1992). Sanguozhi cidian 三國志辭典 (Jinan: Shandong jiaoyu chubanshe), 418.