Encyclopedia: Huang Quan

Huang Quan (Gongheng); Huang Ch‘üan (Kung-hêng); 黃權 (公衡)

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You are viewing the profile of Huang Quan (黃權), styled Gongheng (公衡), born in Liangzhong. “Served Liu Zhang and later Liu Bei. Surrendered to Wei out of necessity.” Huang Quan was affiliated with Liu Zhang, the Shu Kingdom and the Wei Kingdom. Return to the Three Kingdoms Encyclopedia to learn more or explore our Encyclopedia Directory to browse by kingdom or category.


Huang Quan (Gongheng) 黃權 (公衡)

Lived: Unlisted


Served: Liu Zhang, Shu, Wei

Served Liu Zhang and later Liu Bei. Surrendered to Wei out of necessity.

Officer Details

Wade-Giles: Huang Ch‘üan (Kung-hêng)
Simplified Chinese: 黄权 (公衡)
Pronunciation: Huang2 Quan2 (Gong1heng2)
Min-Nan: Ui Koan (Kong-heng)

Birthplace: Liangzhong

Rank and Titles

Master of Records; Chief of Guanghan; Lieutenant-General; Protector of the Army; Palace Attendant of the General Staff; General Who Suppresses the North; General Who Suppresses the South; Marquis of Yuyang; Palace Attendant; Inspector of Yizhou; General of the Cavalry and Chariots

Family and Relationships

Huang Chong, Huang Yong (Sons)

Literary Appearances

Romance of the Three Kingdoms: 60, 62, 64, 65, 8085

Sanguozhi: Wei 2, Wei 4, Shu 1, Shu 2, Shu 7, Shu 13

Hou Han shu: 75

Zizhi tongjian: 66, 67, 69

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Huang Quan was a vassal of Liu Zhang, Shu and Wei. Despite eventually serving three lords, Huang Quan was loyal to each lord he served. When Zhang Song wanted to invite Liu Bei to the Riverlands to help Liu Zhang, Huang Quan opposed the idea. Huang Quan said, “If you make Liu Bei a subordinate, he will be dissatisfied, but if you make him your equal, then the people of Shu will not know which lord to serve. Inviting Liu Bei to Shu can only spell out trouble for the future.” Liu Zhang did not care about Huang Quan’s good intentions however, and invited Liu Bei to Yizhou anyways. Liu Zhang also appointed Huang Quan to govern Guanghan. Even when many of Liu Zhang’s generals surrendered to Liu Bei, Huang Quan stayed loyal to Liu Zhang. When Liu Zhang surrendered, however, Huang Quan sought a position in Liu Bei’s army.

Now under the banner of Liu Bei, Huang Quan suggested that Liu Bei prevent Cao Cao from seizing Hanzhong from Zhang Lu. After this could not be done, Huang Quan advised Liu Bei to re-conquer Hanzhong. Because this succeeded, Huang Quan was promoted to ’Palace Attendant.’ Later, Liu Bei wanted to personally lead an attack on the kingdom of Wu. Huang Quan offered to lead the vanguard, however. Said Huang Quan to Liu Bei, “Wu troops are stout-hearted fighters; floating downstream we will advance swiftly but encounter difficulty retreating. I ask permission to lead the vanguard and make contact with the enemy. Your Majesty ought to stay behind and guard the rear.” Liu Bei, unfortunately, ignored this advice and commanded his army personally. Bei marched his army to Xiaoting in Yidao, but a few months later was defeated decisively in the battle of Yiling. After the battle, Huang Quan needed to escape from his position north of the Jiang river. Because all roads that Huang Quan could take back to Shu were cut off, however, Huang Quan was forced to flee north and surrender to Wei.

Back in Shu, many officials urged Liu Bei to imprison Huang Quan’s family. Liu Bei knew that he, and not Huang Quan, was responsible for Huang Quan’s defection to Wei, however. Because of this, Liu Bei treated Huang Quan’s family in Shu well. Meanwhile, Huang Quan became popular in the Wei court, and was thought of highly by Sima Yi. Cao Pi, the ruler of Wei at the time that Huang Quan surrendered, appointed Huang Quan as the “General Who Suppresses the South.” Upon dieing Huang Quan also received the posthumous title of ‘Bright Marquis,’ and one of his sons, Huang Yong, inherited his old titles. Huang Quan’s son, Chong, continued to serve Shu. Huang Chong, though, was killed by his own men during Wei’s invasion of the Riverlands.



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April 10, 2023