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Wang Ling (Three Kingdoms)

Wang Ling
Grand Commandant (太尉)
In office
28 January 250 (28 January 250) – 15 June 251 (15 June 251)
MonarchCao Fang
Preceded byJiang Ji
Succeeded bySima Fu
Minister of Works (司空)
In office
October or November 248 (October or November 248) – 28 January 250 (28 January 250)
MonarchCao Fang
Preceded byGao Rou
Succeeded bySun Li
General of Chariots and Cavalry
In office
2 July 241 (2 July 241) – October or November 248 (October or November 248)
MonarchCao Fang
Preceded byHuang Quan
Succeeded byGuo Huai
General Who Attacks the East
In office
240 (240) – 2 July 241 (2 July 241)
MonarchCao Fang
Personal details
Qi County, Shanxi
Died(251-06-15)15 June 251[a]
  • Wang Guang
  • Wang Feixiao
  • Wang Jinhu
  • Wang Mingshan
Courtesy nameYanyun (彥雲)
PeerageMarquis of Nan District

Wang Ling (died 15 June 251),[a] courtesy name Yanyun, was a military general of the state of Cao Wei during the Three Kingdoms period of China.

Early life and career

Wang Ling's family fled to the countryside after his uncle, Wang Yun, was executed in 192 for fomenting Lü Bu's assassination of Dong Zhuo. Later he was declared xiaolian, a crucial nomination to be considered for civil service appointments, and became the Administrator of Zhongshan Commandery (中山太守). His excellent public service was noticed by chancellor Cao Cao, who moved him into his office.

Service in Cao Wei

In Cao Cao's army, Wang Ling engaged in several battles with Eastern Wu. As the Inspector of Yan Province, he attacked Sun Quan under Zhang Liao. His victory led to his promotion to General Who Builds Loyalty (建武將軍). In another battle against Eastern Wu, he rescued the besieged general Cao Xiu. He was promoted to General of Chariots and Cavalry (車騎將軍) after a major victory against Quan Cong.


In the second year of Cao Fang's reign, Wang Ling was appointed Minister of Works, while his nephew Linghu Yu (令狐愚) became the Inspector of Yan Province (兗州刺史). Wang Ling lost faith in Cao Fang's ability to rule after Sima Yi's coup d'etat in the incident at Gaoping Tombs succeeded in turning the emperor against Sima Yi's rival, Cao Shuang. As a result, Wang Ling conspired to replace emperor Cao Fang with his uncle Cao Biao. The conspiracy suffered a setback, however, when Linghu Yu died of an illness. The plot was discovered and Sima Yi led an army to Wang before he could prepare himself for a defense. After Wang Ling surrendered to Sima Yi with the promise of a pardon, he was forced to commit suicide, and his family members and associates were condemned to family annihilation.

See also


  1. ^ a b Cao Fang's biography in the Sanguozhi recorded that Wang Ling died on the jiayin day of the 5th month of the 3rd year of the Jiaping era of Cao Fang's reign.[1] This date corresponds to 15 June 251 in the Gregorian calendar.


  1. ^ ([嘉平三年]五月甲寅,淩自殺。) Sanguozhi vol. 4.