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Third Rebellion in Shouchun
Part of the Three Rebellions in Shouchun
Date 5th lunar month of 257 - 2nd lunar month of 258
Location Shouchun (present-day Shou County, Anhui, China)
Result Cao Wei victory
Cao Wei Zhuge Dan
Eastern Wu
Commanders and leaders
Sima Zhao
Zhong Hui
Hu Fen
Wang Ji
Zhuge Dan
Sun Chen
Wen Qin Skull and Crossbones

Ding Feng

260,000[1] 140,000-150,000 (Zhuge Dan),[2]
30,000 (Eastern Wu)[3]

The Third Rebellion in Shouchun', also known as Zhuge Dan's Rebellion or the Zhuge Dan Rebellion, was the third and last rebellion of the Three Rebellions in Shouchun in the 250s. The revolt, like the previous two, was a punitive uprising against the Sima clan of the state of Cao Wei during the Three Kingdoms era.


Following the events of the previous rebellions in Shouchun and the Incident at Gaoping Tombs, the regency and almost complete control of Wei was in the hands of the Sima clan. After the second uprising, Sima Shi died, giving control to his younger brother Sima Zhao. The Wei emperor was Cao Mao, and since Wen Qin fled to Eastern Wu, Shouchun's affairs were given to the Wei general Zhuge Dan. Zhuge Dan had witnessed the rise and fall of both Wang Ling, and Guanqiu Jian, and also playing an enormous role in the second revolt. However, as Xiahou Xuan and Deng Yang, both been executed by the Sima clan, were his close friends, and having witnessed the endings of Wang and Guanqiu, Zhuge Dan felt uneasy. Zhuge Dan began increasing his popularity and favor in the Huai River southern region, and also hired many bodyguards.


In winter 256, Eastern Wu sent troops to attack Xuye (徐堨). While Zhuge Dan was able to handle it, he requested 100,000 more troops from the imperial court, and planned to build castles to defend Huainan. Having realized Zhuge Dan's suspicion and considering Zhuge Dan as an old minister, Sima Zhao ordered his Chief Clerk Jia Chong to send Zhuge Dan an imperial decree ordering him to report to the Wei court and assume the post of Excellency of Works. Zhuge Dan became afraid after receiving the order, so he murdered Yue Lin, the Inspector of Yang Province and took the garrison there which numbered 40,000 to 50,000 and declared rebellion against Sima Zhao. He sent his Chief Clerk Wu Gang (吳綱) to Eastern Wu with his son Zhuge Jing (諸葛靚) as a hostage, asking for reinforcements from Wu. In response, Wu sent more reinforcements as compared to during the second rebellion, giving Zhuge Dan huge numbers. Sima Zhao also immediately marched upon Zhuge Dan.


Wu effortsEdit

Sima Zhao's first intentional moves were to station a vast size of 260,000 men at Qiutou, a key location near Shouchun. He ordered Wang Ji and Chen Qian to lead a siege unit to Shouchun in an early effort to deal massive casualties in the early part of the uprising. Knowing that Wu was sending massive amounts of soldiers towards the south of Shouchun, Sima Zhao sent a massive amount of his troops under Shi Bao and two other generals in an attempt to halt the advance of Wu support forces. The Wu forces led by Wen Qin, who rebelled previously, Quan Yi and Tang Zi predicted this move, and rushed to successfully enter Shouchun before the Wei siege forces could encircle Zhuge Dan. In a counter attack effort, Wen Qin led his men to break out of the siege several times but failed. When this happened, the Wu forces under Zhu Yi also failed in an effort to deal damage to the Wei forces, when he led backup troops from the southwest position of Shouchun at Anfeng garrison, but he was quickly driven off by Wei forces. He managed to escape back to Sun Chen. Sun Chen then had his forces led by Ding Feng, Li Fei, and Zhu Yi to move their forces closer to the direction of Lake Chao, where they would strike the Wei forces at Shouchun to stop the siege. Wei forces quickly moved to intercept their forces on the way upwards towards Shouchun, successfully routing the large chunk of Wu forces Sun Chen sent with them. Morale plummeted on the side of Zhuge Dan and Wu. With back to back futile efforts and defeat, Sun Chen executed Zhu Yi. When they were routed, ironically, the Wu supplies were destroyed in a Wei surprise attack led by Hu Lie. Many troops either surrendered to Sima Zhao's forces or abandoned Wu's ranks. With despair, Sun Chen ordered a departure from Shouchun to return to Jianye, in determination that Zhuge Dan had no chance against Wei.


Zhuge Dan's forces, still besieged at Shouchun, succeeded in dealing more than minimal casualties towards the Wei forces, but they still were low in morale and suffered heavy casualties. Zhuge Dan's deputies Jiang Ban (蔣班) and Jiao Yi (焦彝) advised him to to focus on piercing a single flank of the encirclement to break the siege in an attempt to turn the tide. Wen Qin, who led the Wu forces that were separated from the main force and still remained in combat at Shouchun, strongly disagreed to this plan. He stated that the rest of the Wu troops will soon merge with Zhuge Dan, but he did not realise that Sun Chen had the forces retreat back to the Wu capital of Jianye. Zhuge Dan mocked the weak advice of Jiao Yi and Jiang Ban and agreed with Wen Qin. He stated that he was tempted to murder them instead. Jiao Yi and Jiang Ban fearfully managed to defect with large numbers of Zhuge Dan's forces, which brought down almost all hope in Zhuge Dan's remaining ranks. Zhong Hui suggested to Sima Zhao to cause more defections in Zhuge Dan's forces by faking letters from Quan Hui (全輝) and Quan Yí (全儀) to have Quan Yī (全禕) and Quan Duan (全端) surrender. Quan Yi soon obtained the letters, and as planned, was tricked into believing the letters were real and immediately surrendered to Sima Zhao the moment he could. Zhuge Dan's forces were taken by surprise and suffered more casualties.


In the first lunar month of 258, the remaining forces under Zhuge Dan, Tang Zi, Wen Qin, and Wen Yang (Wen Qin's son) decided to try for breaking out of the siege. They saw, once again, a quick failure and suffered again, heavy casualties. By then, Zhuge Dan's forces were made up of very small numbers and the supplies in the city were quickly being deprived. Even more troops then surrendered to Sima Zhao. Wen Qin intelligently suggested to suspend the northerners under his control and the rest of the Wu forces in the city to conserve supplies. Zhuge Dan ignored Wen Qin's suggestion, accusing him of being a coward and attempting to trick him into getting Wen Qin out of the situation. He then decided to kill Wen Qin. Wen Qin's sons, Wen Yang, and Wen Hu, heard of their father's execution and quickly made an escape from Shouchun and surrendered to Sima Zhao, who accepted them back into the ranks of Wei despite their father's actions. The defection of Wen Qin's sons caused the rebel army's morale to become entirely demoralised. In the second lunar month, Wei forces finally gave the push to penetrate Zhuge Dan's position in Shouchun. Zhuge Dan, with all hope lost, fled from the city, but he was murdered Hu Fen (胡奮)'s men during his desperate attempt to escape his destined fate. The Wu general Yu Quan was felled in battle by Wei troops, while Tang Zi and Wang Zuo (王祚) of Wu put aside their weapons to Sima Zhao along with the rest of Zhuge Dan's remaining few numbers.


After the rebellion was quashed, Sima Zhao was seen as a hero in the state of Wei and finally regained the trust and companionship of most of the Wei personages. Although Cao Mao soon attempted to murder Sima Zhao, but Cao Mao instead met manslaughter during his massacre at Sima Zhao's quarters in the Wei capital of Luoyang.

Further more, the uprisings incited in Shouchun ceased, giving the opportunity for the rest of the Wei forces to assist general Deng Ai along with other Wei generals who were fending off Jiang Wei's consistent attacks towards Wei during the time of the rebellions. Though the invasions launched by Shu forces led by Jiang Wei were consistently resulted in stalemate, while they slowly deprived their state of valuable resources. This was arguably the greatest reason for the Shu army's final losses launched by Sima Zhao in 263 during the Conquest of Shu by Wei. Although Sima Zhao soon died after the collapse of Shu, and his son Sima Yan forced the last Wei emperor Cao Huan to abdicate the throne to him, establishing the Jin Dynasty. By 280, Sima Yan launched a campaign against Wu, conquering the last of the Three Kingdoms.

Order of battleEdit

Wei forces

Zhuge Dan's and Eastern Wu's forces

Jiang Ban (蔣班)
    •  White flag icon
Jiao Yi (焦彝)
Wen Qin, executed by Zhuge Dan
      •  White flag icon
Wen Yang
      •  White flag icon
Wen Hu
    •  White flag icon
Quan Yì (全懌)
    •  White flag icon
Quan Duan (全端)
    •  White flag icon
Tang Zi
    •  White flag icon
Wang Zuo

Modern referencesEdit

This stage, along with the previous two rebellions, are all featured as playable stages during the Jin Story Mode in the seventh instalment of Koei's Dynasty Warriors video game series. During the stage, the player plays as Sima Zhao. The rebellion is also split into two parts.

See alsoEdit


  1. (大將軍司馬文王督中外諸軍二十六萬衆,臨淮討之。) Chen Shou. Records of the Three Kingdoms, Volume 28, Biography of Zhuge Dan.
  2. (斂淮南及淮北郡縣屯田口十餘萬官兵,揚州新附勝兵者四五萬人,聚穀足一年食,閉城自守。) Chen Shou. Records of the Three Kingdoms, Volume 28, Biography of Zhuge Dan.
  3. (吴人大喜,遣將全懌、全端、唐咨、王祚等,率三萬衆,密與文欽俱來應誕。) Chen Shou. Records of the Three Kingdoms, Volume 28, Biography of Zhuge Dan.

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