An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History and Literature

Wang Chang 王昶

Jun 17, 2016 © Ulrich Theobald

Wang Chang 王昶 (d. 259), courtesy name Wenshu 文舒, was a high official of the Wei dynasty 曹魏 (220-265) during the Three Kingdoms period 三國 (220-280).

He hailed from Jinyang 晉陽 in the commandery of Taiyuan 太原 (today in Shanxi) and was an instructor of the heir apparent (taizi wenxue 太子文學) during the last decade of the Eastern Han period 東漢 (25-220 CE). Wang then rose to the post of palace cadet (zhongshuzi 中庶子), and Emperor Wen 魏文帝 (r. 220-226) promoted him to gentleman cavalier attendant (sanji shilang 散騎侍郎), and then agricultural supervisor (diannong 典農) of the surroundings of the capital Luoyang 洛陽. Wang was then sent out as regional inspector (cishi 刺史) of the province of Yanzhou 兖州 (approx. southern Hebei).

Emperor Ming 魏明帝 (r. 226-239 CE) gave him the title of General Wielding Fierceness (yanglie jiangjun 揚烈將軍) and conferred on him the title of a Marquis within the Passes (guanneihou 關內侯). Under Emperor Cao Fang 曹芳 (r. 239-254) he was regional inspector of Xuzhou 徐州 (approx. northern Jiangsu and Anhui) and was promoted to Neighbourhood Marquis of Wuguan 武觀亭侯. Thereafter he was given the title of General Conquering the South (zhengnan jiangjun 征南將軍) and made temporary commander-in-chief (jiajie dudu 假節都督) of the provinces of Jingzhou 荊州 (approx. Hubei) and Yuzhou.

In 250 his title was raised to General-in-chief (da jiangjun 大將軍), and he was credited the epithet "unequaled in honour" (yitong sansi 儀同三司), and made Marquis of Jingling 京陵侯. During the rebellion of Guanqiu Jian 毌丘儉 and Wen Qin 文欽, Wang Chang took part in the suppression of the uprising, and was rewarded with the title of General of Cavalry (piaoji jiangjun 驃騎將軍). His sons were granted the title of marquis. Wang Chang was later granted the honorific title of Minister of Works (sikong 司空). His posthumous title was Marquis Mu 京陵穆侯.

Wang Chang was the author of two books, Zhilun 治論 "On government", with more than 10 chapters, and Bingshu 兵書 "The book of war", with a dozen of chapters, yet both are lost.

During the regency of Cao Shuang 曹爽, Wang Ji wrote the essay Shiyaolun 時要論 "Important issues of the present age". It has not survived.

Zhang Shunhui 張舜徽, ed. (1992). Sanguozhi cidian 三國志辭典 (Jinan: Shandong jiaoyu chubanshe), 35.