Encyclopedia: Chen Ji 2

Chen Ji (Yuanfang); Ch‘ên Chi (Yüan-fang); 陳紀 (元方)

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You are viewing the profile of Chen Ji (陳紀), styled Yuanfang (元方), born in Yingchuan. “A highly respected minister, opposed Dong Zhuo’s plan to move the capital.” Chen Ji was affiliated with the Han Dynasty, Dong Zhuo, Lu Bu and the Wei Kingdom. Return to the Three Kingdoms Encyclopedia to learn more or explore our Encyclopedia Directory to browse by kingdom or category.


Chen Ji (Yuanfang) 陳紀 (元方)

Lived: AD ?–c.198

None Available

Served: Han, Dong Zhuo, Lü Bu, Wei

A highly respected minister, opposed Dong Zhuo’s plan to move the capital.

Officer Details

Wade-Giles: Ch‘ên Chi (Yüan-fang)
Simplified Chinese: 陈纪 (元方)
Pronunciation: Chen2 Ji4 (Yuan2fang1)
Min-Nan: Tan Ki (Goan-pui)

Birthplace: Yingchuan

Rank and Titles

General of the Household; Palace Attendant; Chancellor of Pingyuan; Minister Coachman; Minister Herald

Family and Relationships

Chen Shi (Father); Chen (Brother); Chen Qun (Son)


Historic (Confirmed)

Chen Ji was the son of Chen Shi. Like his father, he was greatly respected. Chen Ji was barred from office during the Han Great Proscriptions. He compiled the Chenzi (陳子), but this work no longer exists. After the Great Proscriptions ended, Chen Ji was recommended for office, but refused any position. 3 years later, Chen Ji’s father died and Chen Ji became very ill. The way Chen Ji mourned his father was celebrated as an example of filial piety. Finally in AD 188, Chen Ji accepted rank as General of the Household and Palace Attendant. He was quickly promoted to Chancellor of Pingyuan. Chen Ji protested Dong Zhuo’s idea of moving the capital to Chang’an, but his cries fell on deaf ears.

Later, once chaos consumed Pingyuan, Chen Ji fled to Lü Bu. He may have persuaded Lü Bu to annul his alliance with Yuan Shu in AD 197. The following year, Cao Cao defeated Lü Bu. Chen Ji went to serve him. At the time, people were often flogged for crimes. In theory, this was a better alternative to previous methods of mutilation. In practice, most men who were flogged ended up dieing as well. Chen Ji proposed that Cao Cao restore the old practices, contending that this was more humanitarian in nature than death by flogging. His arguments were not accepted by Cao Cao. Chen Ji died sometime during AD 198 or AD 199.

Source: Biographical Dictionary of Later-Han to Three Kingdoms by Dr. Rafe de Crespigny



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April 10, 2023