Life Chronology: Cao Cao (Mengde)

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Chronology of Cao Cao’s Life
曹操 (孟德)
(AD 154-220)

Authored by Morgan Evans

AD 154 Yongxin 2nd year (Age 0)

  • Cao Cao is born in Qiao. Yuan Shao and Cheng Pu are born.

AD 155 Yongshou 1st year (Age 1)

  • Sun Jian is born.

AD 156 Yongshou 2nd year (Age 2)

  • Emperor Ling is born.

AD 159 Yanxi 2nd year (Age 5)

  • Empress Liang dies.

AD 160 Yanxi 3rd year (Age 6)

  • Liu Bei and Dian Wei are born.

AD 165 Yanxi 8th year (Age 11)

  • Express Deng dies.

AD 166 Yanxi 9th year (Age 12)

  • Ambassadors sent years before by the Roman Emperor Antoninus Pius, reach Luoyang and are welcomed by Emperor Huan.
  • Taishi Ci is born.

AD 167 Yongkang 1st year (Age 13)

  • Cao Ren and Zhang He are born.

AD 168 Jianning 1st year (Age 14)

  • Dou Wu rebels against the chief eunuchs but fails.
  • Emperor Huan (Liu Zhi) dies, Liu Hong ascends, becoming Emperor Ling.
  • Zhao Yun is born.

AD 170 Jianning 3rd year (Age 16)

  • An Shih Kao, a Buddhist missionary who spent 22 years in China translating texts, dies.
  • Xu Chu is born

AD 172 Xiping 1st year (Age 18)

  • Xu Chang and Xu Shao rebel in Chu-Chang but are put down by Sun Jian.

AD 175 xiping 4th year (Age 21)

  • Cao Cao graduates.
  • Sun Ce and Zhou Yu are born.

AD 177 Xiping 6th year (Age 23)

  • Imperial troops suffer a crushing defeat at the hands of a coalition of tribes led by the Xianbei.

AD 178 Guanghe 1st year (Age 24)

  • Lu Meng is born.

AD 181 Guanghe 4th year (Age 27)

  • Liu Xi (Emperor Xian) is born.
  • Zhuge Liang is born.
  • Tan Shi Huai, leader of the Xianbei tribe dies.

AD 182 Guanghe 5th year (Age 28)

  • Sun Quan is born.

AD 183 Guanghe 6th year (Age 29)

  • Lu Xun is born.

AD 184 Zhong Ping 1st year (Age 30)

  • Bian Zhang and Han Sui rebel, Dong Zhuo is sent against them but is unsuccessful.
  • Yellow Turban Rebellion begins.
  • Cao Cao is made Commander of the Cavalry.
  • Liu Bei raises a volunteer force against the rebels.

AD 187 Zhong Ping 4th year (Age 33)

  • Sun Jian suppresses a rebellion in Changsha led by Ou Xing.

AD 189 Zhong Ping 6th year (Age 35)

  • Emperor Ling dies.
  • Ding Yuan leads his troops (including Lu Bu and Zhang Liao) to the capital to pay respects.
  • Liu Bian ascends.
  • Bian is overthrown by Dong Zhuo, Prince Liu Xie becomes Emperor (Xian).
  • Lu Bu kills Ding Yuan and joins Dong Zhuo.
  • Cao Cao recruits troops to attack Dong Zhuo and is joined by Xiahou Dun, Xiahou Yuan, Cao Ren and Cao Hong.

AD 190 Chuping 1st year (Age 36)

  • Alliance raised amongst the regional warlords against Dong Zhuo.
  • Dong Zhuo relocates the capital from Luoyang to Chang’an.

AD 191 Chuping 2nd year (Age 37)

  • Cao Cao is appointed prefect of Dong prefecture.
  • Sun Jian is killed by Liu Biao.

AD 192 Chuping 3rd year (Age 38)

  • Dong Zhuo killed by Lu Bu. Dong Zhuo’s generals, Li Jue and Guo Si, capture the capital.

AD 193 Chuping 4th year (Age 39)

  • Cao Cao becomes Governor of Yanzhou and suppresses the Yellow Turbans at Quingzhou.

AD 194 Xinping 1st year (age 40)

  • Cao Cao’s father, Cao Song is killed by Tao Qian. Cao Cao leads an army to Xuzhou where they slaughter thousands of civilians in revenge.
  • Sun Ce begins his conquest of Wu.
  • Tao Qian dies and Liu Bei fills his post.
  • Grain becomes so expensive that cannibalism emerges.

AD 195 Xinping 2nd year (Age 41)

  • Cao Cao fights Lu Bu and scores a number of successes.
  • Sun Ce fights Taishi Ci.
  • Li Jue removes the Emperor from the capital. The Emperor requests Cao Cao’s aid.

AD 196 Jian’an 1st year (Age 42)

  • Cao Cao defeats the Yellow Turbans at Ru’nan.
  • Cao Cao moves to support the Emperor and moves the capital to Xuchang.
  • Liu Bei joins Cao Cao after Xia Pi is taken from him by Lu Bu.

AD 197 Jian’an 2nd year (Age 43)

  • During a rebellion at Wan, Dian Wei along with Cao Cao’s sons, Cao Ang and Cao Anming are killed.
  • Cao Cao defeats Yuan Shu.

AD 198 Jian’an 3rd year (Age 44)

  • Cao Cao attacks Lu Bu at Xia Pi and defeats him. Zhang Liao joins Cao Cao while Lu Bu and others are executed.

AD 199 Jian’an 4th year (Age 45)

  • Yuan Shao fights and kills Gongsun Zan to cement his power in the northeast.
  • Yuan Shu dies of illness.
  • Liu Bei rebels against Cao Cao.
  • Zhang Xiu surrenders to Cao Cao.
  • Cao Cao marches his forces to Guandu to oppose Yuan Shao.

AD 200 Jian’an 5th year (Age 46)

  • Plot to assassinate Cao Cao is uncovered and all involved are beheaded.
  • Liu Bei defeated by Cao Cao, goes over to Yuan Shao.
  • Guan Yu surrenders Xia Pi to Cao Cao.
  • Cao Cao fights Yuan Shao at Baima, where the famed general Yan Liang is killed by Guan Yu. Liu Bei and Yuan Shao’s other prized general, Wen Chou, fall into a trap set by Cao Cao. Liu Bei escapes but Wen Chou is killed.
  • Cao Cao withdraws to Guandu. Guan Yu rejoins Liu Bei.
  • Sun Ce dies, handing over power to Sun Quan.
  • Yuan Shao lays siege to Guandu. Cao Cao personally leads a force to attack Yuan Shao’s heavily guarded supply convoy. Although outnumbered, Cao’s soldiers succeed. Yuan Shao’s generals Xhang He and Gao Lan surrender, while Yuan Shao himself retreats.

AD 201 Jian’an 6th year (Age 47)

  • Cao Cao defeats Yuan Shao again at Cangting.
  • Cao Cao defeats Liu Bei, Liu Bei seeks refuge with Liu Biao.

AD 202 Jian’an 7th year (age 48)

  • Yuan Shao dies naming his son, Yuan Shang, as successor.
  • Cao Cao attacks and defeats Yuang Shang and his brother Yuan Tan.

AD 203 Jian’an 8th year (Age 49)

  • Cao Cao defeats Yuan Tan and Yuan Shang at Liyang.
  • Yuan Tan and Yuan Shang turn against each other.
  • Cao Cao fights with Liu Biao at Xiping.

AD 204 Jian’an 9th year (Age 50)

  • Cao Cao utterly defeats Yuan Shang and pacifies Ye.
  • Cao Cao enters Pingyuan after Yuan Tan flees.

AD 205 Jian’an 10th year (Age 51)

  • Cao Cao defeats Yuan Tan and executes him, taking possession of Jizhou.
  • Cao Cao receives the surrender of the Heishan bandits.
  • Cao Cao defeats the Wuhuan tribe.
  • Gao Gan, the Governor of Bingzhou rebels.

AD 206 Jian’an 11th year (Age 52)

  • Cao Cao attacks Bingzhou, Gao Gan flees but is arrested and executed.
  • Taishi Ci dies.

AD 207 Jian’an 12th year (Age 53)

  • Cao Cao attacks and defeats the Wuhuan tribe.
  • Gongsun Kang executes Yuan Shang and aligns with Cao Cao, bringing stability to the north of China.
  • Liu Bei recruits Zhuge Liang.

AD 208 Jian’an 13th year (age 54)

  • Cao Cao establishes a naval training base on Xuanwu lake to prepare his troops for an invasion of Wu.
  • Cao Cao made Lieutenant Chancellor.
  • Cao Cao attacks Jingzhou.
  • Liu Biao dies.
  • Battle of Changban, Liu Bei sends Zhuge Liang to forge an alliance with Wu.
  • Sun Quan sieges He Fei for 100 days.
  • Battle of Chi Bi, Cao Cao suffers devastating loss to the combined forces of Liu Bei and Sun Quan.
  • Liu Bei occupies Jingzhou.

AD 209 Jian’an 14th year (Age 55)

  • Cao Cao’s army engages in more naval training in Qiao.
  • Cao Cao visits He Fei.
  • Liu Bei marries Sun Quan’s sister.

AD 210 Jian’an 15th year (Age 56)

  • Zhou Yu dies.

AD 211 Jian’an 16th year (Age 57)

  • Cao Cao fights Ma Chao and Han Sui at Tong Gate. The rebels are initially successful but Cao Cao successfully regroups and refuses all offers of surrender.
  • Cao Cao meets with Han Sui.
  • Cao Cao utterly defeats Ma Chao.
  • Liu Bei enters Shu.

AD 212 Jian’an 17th year (Age 58)

  • Ma Chao and his remaining troops occupy Lantian, Xiahou Yuan is sent to oppose them.
  • Xun Yu commits suicide.
  • Liu Bei attacks Shu.

AD 213 Jian’an 18th year (Age 59)

  • Cao Cao attacks Wu and wins at Ruxu.
  • Ma Chao rebels again.

AD 214 Jian’an 19th year (Age 60)

  • Xiahou Yuan defeats Han Sui. Ma Chao flees to Hanzhong.
  • Cao Cao named Duke of Wei.
  • Pang Tong dies.
  • Liu Bei occupies Cheng Du and adds Ma Chao to his army.

AD 215 Jian’an 20th year (Age 61)

  • Cao Cao’s daughter is named Empress.
  • Sun Quan attacks He Fei with 100,000 men, Zhang Liao repels the initial attack with only 800. After only ten days, the Wu army withdraws.
  • Xiahou Yuan is assigned to Hanzhong.

AD 216 Jian’an 21st year (Age 62)

  • Cao Cao becomes King of Wei
  • Cao Cao orders military exercises to be carried out in preparation for the invasion of Wu.

AD 217 Jian’an 22nd year (Age 63)

  • Wei defeats Wu at Ruxu.
  • Cao Cao withdraws the main army but leaves Xiahou Dun, Zhang Liao, Cao Ren and others as an occupying force.
  • Cao Pi is named as heir to Cao Cao’s title.
  • Liu Bei attacks Hanzhong.
  • Lu Su dies, Lu Meng succeeds him.

AD 218 Jian’an 23rd year (Age 64)

  • Rebellion in the capital against Cao Cao fails. The rebellion was led by Geng Ji, Wei Huang and the Prefect Grand Physician Ji Ben.

AD 219 Jian’an 24th year (Age 65)

  • Wan falls to Cao Ren.
  • Mount Ding Jun falls to Liu Bei when Xiahou Yuan is killed by Huang Zhong.
  • Cao Cao leads an army to reinforce Zhang He at Hanzhong.
  • Cao Cao withdraws the army to Chang’an.
  • Guan Yu attacks Xiangyang and Fan Castle. Yu Jin is dispatched as reinforcements for Cao Ren.
  • The river Han floods, trapping Yu Jin on high ground. Guan Yu captures Yu Jin.
  • Xu Huang is sent to reinforce Cao Ren.
  • Wu proposes an alliance with Wei against Guan Yu.
  • Xu Huang defeats Guan Yu.

AD 220 Jian’an 25th year (Age 66)

  • Lu Meng attacks Jiangling, capturing Guan Yu. Jingzhou is occupied by Wu. Guan Yu is executed by Sun Quan.
  • March 15th: Cao Cao dies.

Copyright © 2004 Morgan Evans