Encyclopedia: King Kebineng

King Kebineng; King K‘opinêng; 軻比能大王

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King Kebineng 軻比能大王

Game Name:
Ke Bineng

Lived: AD ?–235

None Available

Served: Xianbei

Unifier of the Xianbei tribe. Fought often with Wei until he was assassinated.

Officer Details

Wade-Giles: King K‘opinêng
Simplified Chinese: 轲比能大王

Other Names: Kebinang, Ke Binang, Kebe Neng, Kebe Nang

Name Notes: You may also see him as Kebinang, Ke Binang, Kebe Neng, Kebe Nang, etc.

Fact vs. Fiction

Differences Between Fact and Common Fiction

  • Kebineng was not historically incited by Wei to attack Shu.

Literary Appearances

Romance of the Three Kingdoms: 85

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Internet (Consistent)

Kebineng was a chieftain of the Xianbei tribe. In the novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms, Kebineng was a Xianbei chieftain who was bribed by Wei to assault Shu. Although leading a large army, Kebineng ended up getting ‘cold feet’ and fleeing when he learned that his adversary was Ma Chao. The novel takes many historical liberties in its depiction of Kebineng. Historically, Kebineng was a fierce warlord who resisted Wei authority, not Shu.

Historically, Ke Bineng and several other chieftains offered tribute to Cao Cao after the defeat of the Wuhuan chieftain Tadun. Following this, they were all made kings. Ke Bineng fought with another Xianbei chieftain, Budugen. After Ke Bineng lured Budugen’s brother into a trap and killed him, Budugen and Kebineng would war incessantly. Budugen’s clan weakened in strength from this fighting, but Kebineng’s faction grew greatly in power. Despite Kebineng being of lesser Xianbei stock, he attracted a large number of followers.

Eventually, the Chinese began to grow fearful of Kebineng’s growing strength. Generals like Tian Yu were dispatched to watch over the Xianbei and keep them in order. After Kebineng started excessively raiding territories in Wei, a commander named Liang Xi campaigned against him and won victory. Kebineng continued to harass Wei, however. At one point he besieged and surrounded Tian Yu. He only called off this attack at the behest of a Chinese man named Yan Zhi (Yan Zhi and his brother Yan Rou had close ties with the Xianbei). The Wei Emperor Cao Rui considered Kebineng a great threat and sent an assassin to kill him. This succeeded and the role of Xianbei chieftain was taken over by Kebineng’s brother.

Additional Sources:

http://www.republicanchina.org/3Kingdoms.html (scroll down to Warlord Fightings: Xianbei vs. Chinese)



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April 10, 2023