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Wang Chen (Three Kingdoms)

Wang Chen
Regular Mounted Attendant (散騎常侍)
In office
? (?) – ? (?)
MonarchEmperor Wu of Jin
Master of Writing (尚書)
In office
? (?) – ? (?)
MonarchEmperor Wu of Jin
Palace Attendant (侍中)
In office
? (?) – 265 (265)
MonarchCao Fang / Cao Mao / Cao Huan
Personal details
Taiyuan, Shanxi
RelationsWang Chang (uncle)
FatherWang Ji
OccupationOfficial, historian
Courtesy nameChudao (處道)
PeerageMarquis of Anping (安平侯)

Wang Chen (died 266 CE), courtesy name Chudao, was an official and historian of the state of Cao Wei during the Three Kingdoms period of China. After the Wei regime ended in 265, he continued serving in the government of the Jin dynasty (265–420). He wrote a five-volume text known as the Wang Chudao Collection (王處道集) or Wang Chen Collection (王沈集), which is already lost over the course of history. He also wrote 14 chapters of the Quan Jin Wen (全晉文).


Wang Chen was from Jinyang County (晉陽縣), Taiyuan Commandery (太原郡), which is located southwest of present-day Taiyuan, Shanxi. His father Wang Ji (王機) died early so he was raised by his uncle, Wang Chang, who served as the Minister of Works (司空) in the Wei government. He was known for his literary talent and was employed by the regent Cao Shuang as a secretary. He was promoted to the position of a Gentleman Attendant (侍郎) later.

In 249, after Cao Shuang was ousted from power by Sima Yi, his co-regent, Wang Chen initially lost his appointment but was later restored to the civil service as a Palace Attendant (侍中). He co-wrote the 44-volume historical text Book of Wei (魏書) with Xun Yi and Ruan Ji. The Wei emperor Cao Mao, who was fond of reading, called Wang Chen a "Master of Literature" (文籍先生). In 260, when Cao Mao planned to launch a coup to seize back power from the regent Sima Zhao, he summoned Wang Chen, Wang Ye and Wang Jing to meet him in private and discuss their plans. However, Wang Chen and Wang Ye reported the plot to Sima Zhao instead, and Cao Mao ended up being assassinated by Sima Zhao's men. After Cao Mao's death, Sima Zhao awarded Wang Chen the title "Marquis of Anping" (安平侯) and 2,000 taxable households in his marquisate.

In 266, after Sima Yan (Emperor Wu), Sima Zhao's son, ended the state of Wei and established the Jin dynasty, Wang Chen continued to serve in the Jin government and held the appointments of a Master of Writing (尚書) and a Regular Mounted Attendant (散騎常侍). He died later that year and was posthumously awarded the title of a commandery duke (郡公).

See also