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Zhuge Jin

Zhuge Jin
A Qing dynasty portrait of Zhuge Jin
Official of Eastern Wu
Born 174
Died 241 (aged 67)
Traditional Chinese 諸葛瑾
Simplified Chinese 诸葛瑾
Pinyin Zhūgě Jǐn
Wade–Giles Chu-ko Chin
Courtesy name Ziyu (Chinese: 子瑜; pinyin: Zǐyú; Wade–Giles: Tzu-yü)

Zhuge Jin (174–241),[1] courtesy name Ziyu, was an official of the state of Eastern Wu during the Three Kingdoms period. He was also the older brother of the Shu Han Chancellor Zhuge Liang and he was greatly trusted by Sun Quan. His most important accomplishment was in smoothing relations between Wu and Shu.


  • Early life 1
  • Service under Sun Quan 2
    • Lu Meng's invasion of Jing Province and Battle of Xiaoting 2.1
    • Cao Pi's Invasion of Eastern Wu 2.2
    • Battle of Hefei (234) 2.3
    • Later life and death 2.4
  • Family 3
  • See also 4
  • References 5

Early life

Zhuge Jin was born in Yangdu County (陽都) in Langya Commandery (琅琊), in present-day Yinan County, Shandong. He was the eldest of three brothers and became orphaned at a young age. His uncle raised him and his siblings. When Cao Cao invaded Shandong in 195, his family was forced to flee south to Jing Province and his uncle soon died of illness. After his two sisters married into notable families with numerous relations in the area, Zhuge Jin started his journey to the east.

Service under Sun Quan

In 200, Zhuge Jin's talent was discovered by Hong Zi, an official in service of Sun Quan. The latter employed Zhuge Jin and made him Chief Clerk. He was quite respected within Sun Quan's court and known to be very persuasive. Sun Quan's subjects Zhu Zhi and Yin Mo angered the former on one occasion and Zhuge Jin was able to calm him down, saving the two. During that time, he also befriended Bu Zhi and they became known as two of the greatest talents in Wu.

After the Yang Province warlord, Sun Ce, was assassinated, Zhuge Jin was referred to Sun Ce's successor, Sun Quan, and became his personal secretary (长史; secretary of a general was expected to participate in military operation during Han dynasty). He was soon transferred to be the Central Major (中司馬), however.

After the allied victory at Chibi, Liu Bei eventually took control over Jing Province. After the conquest of Chengdu, Sun Quan sent Zhuge Jin to Liu Bei and demanded the return of Jing. Liu Bei refused, causing Lu Meng to start an invasion of southern Jing, in which he took three commanderies. At the same time, Cao Cao led a campaign to conquer Hanzhong and Liu Bei sought to renew his alliance with Sun Quan. Zhuge Jin was sent as Chief Ambassador to Liu Bei and the two agreed on splitting Jing Province in half. Due to Zhuge Liang's service under Liu Bei, Zhuge Jin would only meet him in public places to prevent any thoughts on him being disloyal.

Lu Meng's invasion of Jing Province and Battle of Xiaoting

Zhuge Jin joined Lu Meng's invasion of Jing Province, and was promoted to the General Who Pacifies the South for his performance during the campaign. When the Battle of Yiling broke out, Zhuge Jin wrote a letter to Liu Bei, asking him to abort the operation stating that Cao Pi in the north was a much greater threat and he should withdraw., but Liu Bei refused. Since Zhuge Jin's younger brother, Zhuge Liang, was the most trusted officer under Liu Bei, someone told Sun Quan that Zhuge Jin was colluding with the forces of Shu Han, however, Sun Quan openly announced that no matter what the rumor said, Zhuge Jin would not betray him, just as he would never betray Zhuge Jin.

Cao Pi's Invasion of Eastern Wu

In 223, Cao Pi launched a huge invasion of Wu. Zhuge Jin was appointed General of the Left and sent to hold Jiangling along with Pan Zhang and Yang Can. The Wei forces camped at the northern side of the Yangtze and the Wu forces on the other side. Zhuge Jin advanced and tried to occupy an island between the two positions. The Wei commander Xiahou Shang anticipated the move and conducted a night raid on Zhuge Jin's position. Zhuge Jin's fleet was set on fire and defeated. Zhuge Jin managed to escape and the Wei forces withdrew due to a plague in the region.

Three years later, Sun Quan himself attempted to attack Wei. He personally attacked Jiangxia and sent Zhuge Jin to lay siege on Xiangyang. Xiangyang was defended by Xu Huang, who left his position due to illness. He was replaced by Sima Yi, who defeated Zhuge Jin and killed his subordinate Zhang Ba. Sun Quan himself was unable to overcome Wen Pin's defense of Jiangxia and retreated as well. Later that year, Zhuge Jin and Lu Xun were authorized to modify the legal code as they saw fit. In 229, Sun Quan declared himself Emperor of Wu and Zhuge Jin was promoted to Grand General and designated Governor of Yu Province.

Battle of Hefei (234)

Sun Quan led a campaign against Hefei in 234 and sent Zhuge Jin and Lu Xun to attack Xiangyang. Sun Quan withdrew after he was unable to overcome the defense. At that time, one of Lu Xun's subjects was captured by Tian Yu's forces. Zhuge Jin sent a letter to Lu Xun, urging him to withdraw. Lu Xun instead oredered his men to plant crops. When Zhuge Jin inquired Lu Xun about that, Lu Xun stated that they had to keep their men calm and prevent them from realizing that they were isolated. Then, Zhuge Jin and Lu Xun made a feint attack on Xiangyang. The Wei army retreated to the city and prepared the defenses. Zhuge Jin and Lu Xun then swiftly withdrew their own forces while the enemy was occupied with the defense.

Later life and death

In 239, Zhou Yu's son Zhou Yin was banished due to a misdeed. Zhuge Jin and other officials wrote letters to Sun Quan and spoke in his defense. Sun Quan was reluctant at first, but decided to repeal the punishment later. Zhou Yin, however, died before he returned home. Two years later in 241, Sun Quan launched another campaign against Wei. Zhuge Jin was sent to occupy Zuzhong and apparently was the only one successful in his task. Zhuge Jin died later that year and was succeeded by his second son Zhuge Rong. His oldest son Zhuge Ke would eventually rise to the rank of Commander-in-chief. During Zhuge Jin's later years, he was promoted to the rank of Grand General (大将军) and Left Commander (左将軍). He participated in several military campaigns against the state of Wei, but suffered defeats in most of them.[2][3]

After Zhuge Jin's death, his son Zhuge Ke succeeded him, and became a great Wu general, but later failed as a regent, leading to the destruction of the Zhuge clan just as Zhuge Jin foresaw.[4]

Zhuge Jin also had another son named Zhuge Qiao, who was adopted by his brother Zhuge Liang. After Zhuge Ke's demise, Zhuge Qiao's son Zhuge Pan returned to Wu to continue Zhuge Jin's lineage.


  • Ancestor: Zhuge Feng (諸葛豐), served as Director of Retainers during the reign of Emperor Yuan of Han
  • Father: Zhuge Gui (諸葛珪), served as Assistant in Mount Tai Commandery during the late Han Dynasty.
  • Uncle: Zhuge Xuan (諸葛玄), served as Administrator of Yuzhang, joined Liu Biao later. Raised Zhuge Liang and Zhuge Jun.
  • Siblings:
    • Zhuge Liang, younger brother, served Shu Han
    • Zhuge Jun (諸葛均), younger brother, served Shu Han
    • Younger sister, unknown name, married Pang Shanmin (Pang Tong's older cousin)
    • Younger sister, unknown name, married a member of the Xiangyang Kuai clan (headed by Kuai Liang and Kuai Yue)
  • Children:
    • Zhuge Ke, served Eastern Wu. See Zhuge Ke#Family for details on Zhuge Ke's family.
    • Zhuge Qiao, adopted by Zhuge Liang, died at a young age
    • Zhuge Rong (諸葛融), served Eastern Wu, committed suicide by consuming poison after Zhuge Ke's death
    • Lady Zhuge (諸葛氏), married Zhang Cheng

See also


  1. ^ de Crespigny, Rafe (2007). A biographical dictionary of Later Han to the Three Kingdoms (23–220 AD). Brill. p. 1171.  
  2. ^ Sanguozhi vol. 9.
  3. ^ Sanguozhi vol. 58.
  4. ^ Zhuge Jin once said that his son, Zhuge Ke, would either greatly prosper the family, or would bring devastation to the bloodline Quote from Sanguozhi vol. 64: (恪不大兴吾家,将大赤吾族也。)

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