Encyclopedia: Cao Teng

Cao Teng (Jixing); Ts‘ao T‘êng (Chi-hsing); 曹騰 (季興)

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You are viewing the profile of Cao Teng (曹騰), styled Jixing (季興). “Adopted Cao Song (formerly Xiahou), father of Cao Cao, into the Cao family. Eunuch.” Cao Teng was affiliated with and the Han Dynasty. Return to the Three Kingdoms Encyclopedia to learn more or explore our Encyclopedia Directory to browse by kingdom or category.


Cao Teng (Jixing) 曹騰 (季興)

Lived: Unknown

None Available

Served: Han

Adopted Cao Song (formerly Xiahou), father of Cao Cao, into the Cao family. Eunuch.

Officer Details

Wade-Giles: Ts‘ao T‘êng (Chi-hsing)
Simplified Chinese: 曹腾 (季兴)
Pronunciation: Cao2 Teng2
Cantonese (Yale): Chou Tang
Cantonese (Jyutpin): Cou Tang
Min-Nan: Co Teng

Rank and Titles

Yellow Gate Attendant; Junior Attendant at the Yellow Gates; Chief Regular Palace Attendant; Marquis of Feiting.

Family and Relationships

Cao Jie (Son); Cao Song (Adopted Son)

Literary Appearances

Romance of the Three Kingdoms: 1, 22

Sanguozhi: Wei 1, Wei 14

Hou Han shu: 34, 55, 63, 78, 101

Zizhi tongjian: 52-53, 58


Internet (Trusted)

Cao Teng, styled Jixing, in his youth entered officialdom as a Yellow Gate Attendant. In the first year of Yongning, the Empress Dowager Deng issued an imperial order for the head of the Yellow Gate Attendants to select, from those holding the position of Attendant Within the Yellow Gates, individuals of an age and temperament fit to accompany the Crown Prince in his studies. In this way, Cao Teng was selected. The Crown Prince was especially fond of Teng and he bestowed gifts of food and drink upon him much more than he did others. When the Prince took the throne as Emperor Shun, Teng was appointed Junior Attendant at the Yellow Gates and later promoted to Chief Regular Palace Attendant. Teng held that position for more than thirty years, successively serving four emperors, which was unprecedented. He enjoyed recommending people of worthy ability and he never made it his place to speak injuriously of others. Amongst those so recommended were, from Chenliu, Yu Fang and Bian Shao; from Nanyang, Yan Gu and Zhang Wen; from Hongnong, Zhang Huan and from Yingzhuan, Tang Xi Qian, all of whom achieved high offices; moreover, he never boasted of his kindness. When the Grand Administrator of Shu commandery wrote a letter to Teng out of respect for him, the Inspector of Yi province Zhong Gao intercepted the message and obtained the letter. The Inspector memorialized the throne asking that Teng, because of association with outside officials, be regarded as unfit for office and therefore dismissed from his position as punishment for his crime. The Emperor responded, “Since the letter came from outside, and Teng did not compose a letter, he is not guilty of any crime.” Therefore, Gao’s memorial was put to rest. Teng did not take the matter to heart, and often spoke well of Gao, as he felt that he performed his duties with great integrity. Later, when Gao became Minister Over the Masses he told others: “Today I hold this office because of Palace Attendant Cao’s kindness.” In all other things Teng conducted himself just as he did in this matter. When Emperor Huan ascended the throne, because Teng was an old official under the deceased Emperor, his loyalty and filial piety were openly praised and he was conferred the title Marquis of Feiting, adding further to his position of great honor. In the third year of Taihe Teng was posthumously given the title of High Emperor.



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May 13, 2014