Encyclopedia: Chen Zhen

Chen Zhen (Xiaoqi); Ch‘ên Chên (Hsiao-ch‘i); 陳震 (孝起)

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You are viewing the profile of Chen Zhen (陳震), styled Xiaoqi (孝起), born in Nanyang. “Local official, was sent as emissary to Wu, swearing oath of alliance with Sun Quan.” Chen Zhen was affiliated with Yuan Shao and the Shu Kingdom. Return to the Three Kingdoms Encyclopedia to learn more or explore our Encyclopedia Directory to browse by kingdom or category.


Chen Zhen (Xiaoqi) 陳震 (孝起)

Lived: AD 175–235


Served: Yuan Shao, Shu

Local official, was sent as emissary to Wu, swearing oath of alliance with Sun Quan.

Officer Details

Wade-Giles: Ch‘ên Chên (Hsiao-ch‘i)
Simplified Chinese: 陈震 (孝起)
Pronunciation: Chen2 Zhen4 (Xiao4qi3)
Min-Nan: Tan Cin (Hauw-ki)

Birthplace: Nanyang

Rank and Titles

Chief Commandant of the Northern Region; Grand Administrator of Wenshan Commandery; Imperial Secretariat; Head of the Imperial Secretariat Office; Commandant of the Palace Guard (one of the Nine Ministers); Marquis of Chengyang Commune

Family and Relationships

Chen Ji (Son)

Fact vs. Fiction

Differences Between Fact and Common Fiction

  • Chen Zhen’s entire service under Yuan Shao is not recorded in Sanguozhi.
  • Chen Zhen did not recommend to Liu Bei that he meet the seer Li Yan, nor was he ordered to meet with him.

Literary Appearances

Romance of the Three Kingdoms: 26, 28, 29, 81, 91, 98

Sanguozhi: Shu 9

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Historic (Confirmed)

Chen Zhen, styled Xiaoqi, hailed from Nanyang. When Liu Bei became Governor of Jing, Chen Zhen was hired to serve as a local officer and was stationed in various commanderies. When Liu Bei entered Shu, Chen Zhen remained in his service, where he progressed in rank and soon became Imperial Secretariat at the capital. When Sun Quan declared himself Emperor, Liu Bei sent Chen Zhen to offer his congratulations and to form an alliance, which he did, and they also fleshed out their countries’ border. When he died in AD 235, his son, Chen Ji, succeeded him.

Chen Zhen first appears in the novel in service to Yuan Shao, though in Sanguozhi it seems his first appearance is in service to Liu Bei. His actions under Yuan Shao are not unlike his duties with Liu Bei, where he performs diplomatic tasks such as delivering Liu Bei’s letter to Guan Yu in Luoyang, and meeting with Sun Ce to request aid against Cao Cao. Also in the novel, it was he who suggested to Liu Bei that he meet with the seer, Li Yan, while morning the deaths of his brothers. It is likely that his service to Yuan Shao is entirely fictional.



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April 10, 2023