Served Wei. Imperial Censor under Cao Cao. Supreme Commander under Cao Pi.
Wade-Giles: Ch‘ên Ch‘ün (Ch‘ang-wên)
Simplified Chinese: 陈群 (长文)
Pronunciation: Chen2 Qun2 (Chang2wen2)
Min-Nan: Tan Kun (Tiang-bun)
Other Names: Zhangwen
Name Notes: Sometimes his style is referenced incorrectly as ‘Zhangwen’.
Rank and Titles
Clerk for Personal; Magistrate; Imperial Censorate; Palace Assistant Imperial Clerk; Palace Attendant; General; Excellency of Works
Family and Relationships
Chen Ji (Father)
Romance of the Three Kingdoms:
Sanguozhi: Wei 1, Wei 2, Wei 3, Wei 4, Wei 5, Wei 9, Wei 10, Wei 12, Wei 13, Wei 14, Wei 21, Wei 22, Wei 23, Wei 25, Shu 5, Shu 9
Jin Shu: 17, 30
Zizhi tongjian: 66-73, 81
Chen Qun served as an advisor to Liu Bei in Xuzhou. When Lü Bu arrived, without a home and looking for assistance, Chen Qun advised him not to accept him. When Liu Bei lost Xuzhou, Chen Qun left his service and returned home.
When Cao Cao took over Xuzhou, he visited Chen Qun and convinced him to serve as an advisor. Under Cao Cao he never achieved fame, overshadowed by established advisors such as Xun Yu, Guo Jia, and Cheng Yu. At once point while Cao Cao was trying to defeat Liu Bei and Sun Quan, Chen Qun proposed a classic ‘Divide and Conquer’ strategy, but the plot did not succeed.
It wouldn’t be until established commanders such as Cao Ren and Jia Xu died that new officers such as Chen Qun and Sima Yi were promoted and given a positions where they could prove themselves. Under Cao Pi, he rose in rank to the very exalted position of Supreme Commander, a rank which held similar responsibilities to that of a Prime Minister. He established a very efficient system of simple but efficient laws that streamlined the Wei government, allowing Cao Pi, and later, Cao Rui, to focus better on important tasks. His skill in administration was rivaled only by the likes of Zhang Zhao and Zhuge Liang, but he was not recognized as a talented military commander. Sima Yi described him as “Ignorant of the Art of War.” His son, Chen Tai, was also very loyal to Wei.