Encyclopedia: Cao Hong

Cao Hong (Zilian); Ts‘ao Hung (Tzŭ-lien); 曹洪 (子廉)

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You are viewing the profile of Cao Hong (曹洪), styled Zilian (子廉), born in Qiao County, Pei County (Presently Bozhou City in Anhui Province). “Served Wei. One of Cao Cao’s cousins and a vital element of his army.” Cao Hong was affiliated with and the Wei Kingdom. Return to the Three Kingdoms Encyclopedia to learn more or explore our Encyclopedia Directory to browse by kingdom or category.


Cao Hong (Zilian) 曹洪 (子廉)

Lived: AD 169–232


Served: Wei

Served Wei. One of Cao Cao’s cousins and a vital element of his army.

Officer Details

Wade-Giles: Ts‘ao Hung (Tzŭ-lien)
Simplified Chinese: 曹洪 (子廉)
Pronunciation: Cao2 Hong2 (Zi3lian3Pronunciation
Cantonese (Yale): Chou Hung (Ji-lim)
Cantonese (Jyutpin): Cou Hung (Zi-lim)

Birthplace: Qiao County, Pei County
(Presently Bozhou City in Anhui Province)

Rank and Titles

Soaring Eagle Colonel; General of the Interior Who Manifests Firmness; Imperial Courtier; General of Fierce Keenness; Marquis of Guoming Commune; General Who Protects the Capital; General of the Guards; General of the Agile Cavalry; Marquis of Yewang; Marquis of Duyang; General of the Rear; Marquis of Lecheng; General of the Agile Cavalry

Family and Relationships

Cao Fu (Son); one married to Xun Can (Daughter); Cao Yu, Cao Ding, Cao Song (Uncle); Cao Cao (Cousin); Xun Can (Relative In-law)

Fact vs. Fiction

Differences Between Fact and Common Fiction

  • Cao Hong did not kill He Man. [ZZTJ: 62]

Literary Appearances

Romance of the Three Kingdoms: 5, 6, 11, 12, 14, 17, 22, 24, 26, 3033, 40, 41, 43, 50, 51, 5659, 61, 69, 71, 78, 80

Popular Quotation

Sanguozhi: Wei 9
Sacrificing himself for Cao Cao, Cao Hong said, “The world can do without Cao Hong, but not without you, my lord!”

Search Results

Cao Hong—Cockroach of Wei
Date: 06/13     Replies: 10


Historic (Confirmed)

Younger cousin to Cao Cao, at Xingyang he would say “The world can do without Cao Hong, but not without you!” when giving up his horse so Cao Cao could escape Xu Rong’s pursuit. Gathering several thousand troops at Yangzhou, Cao Hong would seize the cities of Dongping and Fan from Zhang Miao and gain valuable supplies in a time of famine. Cao Hong seized ten prefectures in that campaign and gained merit in those many battles.

Cao Hong fought in many battles under Cao Cao including a campaign against Liu Biao, defeating generals at Wuyang, Yinye, Duyang, and Bowang. Cao Hong’s family was wealthy but Cao Hong was stingy, refusing to loan a young Cao Pi money so when Cao Pi became Emperor, Cao Hong was thrown in jail on a pretext and nearly executed but instead was dismissed and stripped of his fief. Cao Rui would later reinstate Cao Hong as General of the Agile Cavalry.



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May 13, 2014