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Persons in Chinese History - Dong Zhao 董昭

Periods of Chinese History
Dong Zhao 董昭 (156-236 CE), courtesy name Gongren 公仁, was a high official of the Wei period 曹魏 (220-265). He came from Dingtao 定陶 (today in Shandong) and was recommended for appointment because of his filial and incorrupt conduct (xiaolian 孝廉). Having filled several smaller posts in the local government, he was made military adjutant (canjunshi 參軍事) of the warlord Yuan Shao 袁紹. His proficiency in local administration was rewarded with the posts of governor (taishou 太守) of the commandery of Julu 鉅鹿, then of Weijun 魏郡. Dong Zhao then decided to change side and was by the warlord Cao Cao 曹操 appointed regional governor (mu 牧) of the province of Jizhou 翼州, then of Xuzhou 徐州. Cao Cao then made him governor of the commandery where the warlord's residence was located, Weijun, and then Grand Master of Remontrance ( 諫議大夫). During the campaign against the federation of the Wuhuan 烏桓 in the eastern Mongolian steppe, Dong Zhao suggested to dig a canal for the transport of army supplies. Probably his most critical idea was that Cao Cao might adopt the title of Duke of Wei, then having the emperor enfeoff him as King of Wei. The warlord's son Cao Pi 曹丕, having assumed the title of emperor (Emperor Wen 魏文帝, r. 220-226), appointed Dong Zhao Chamberlain for Dependencies (dahonglu 大鴻臚) and bestowed him the title of Township Marquis of Youxiang 右鄉侯. Later on he was made Chamberlain for Ceremonials (taichang 太常), then Grand Master for Splendid Happiness (guanglu dafu 光祿大夫). Dong Zhao took part in Emperor Wen's eastern campaign. Emperor Ming 魏明帝 (r. 226-239 CE) thereupon made him Marquis of Leping 樂平侯. Dong Zhao's last posts were that of Chamberlain for the Palace Garrison (weiwei 衛尉) and Minister of Education (situ 司徒). His posthumous title was Marquis Ding 樂平定侯.

Sources: Zhang Shunhui 張舜徽 (ed. 1992), Sanguozhi cidian 三國志辭典 (Jinan: Shandong jiaoyu chubanshe), p. 482.

January 8, 2016 © Ulrich Theobald · Mail
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