Encyclopedia: Wang Can

Wang Can (Zhongxuan); Wang Ts‘an (Chung-hsüan); 王粲 (仲宣)

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You are viewing the profile of Wang Can (王粲), styled Zhongxuan (仲宣), born in Shanyang. “One of the great literary figures of the time. Urged Liu Cong to surrender to Wei.” Wang Can was affiliated with Liu Biao and the Wei Kingdom. Return to the Three Kingdoms Encyclopedia to learn more or explore our Encyclopedia Directory to browse by kingdom or category.


Wang Can (Zhongxuan) 王粲 (仲宣)

Lived: AD 177–217

None Available

Served: Liu Biao, Wei

One of the great literary figures of the time. Urged Liu Cong to surrender to Wei.

Officer Details

Wade-Giles: Wang Ts‘an (Chung-hsüan)
Simplified Chinese: 王粲 (仲宣)
Pronunciation: Wang2 Can4 (Zhong4xuan1)
Cantonese (Yale): Wong Chaan (Jung-syun)
Cantonese (Jyutpin): Wong Caan (Zung-syun)

Birthplace: Shanyang

Rank and Titles

Marquises Within the Imperial Domain; Palace Attendant

Family and Relationships

Wang Qian (Father); Wang Kai (Cousin); Wang Ye (Kinsman); Cai Yong (Teacher)

Literary Appearances

Romance of the Three Kingdoms: 40, 41, 56, 66

Sanguozhi: Wei 1, Wei 6, Wei 13, Wei 15, Wei 21, Wei 23, Wei 28

Hou Han shu: 72, 74, 80

Jin Shu: 19, 22

Zizhi tongjian: 66


Historic (Confirmed)

Wang Can was a scholar and the favorite student of Cai Yong. Many of Cai Yong’s works were passed on to Wang Can. Following his teacher’s death, Wang Can fled to Jing province. Liu Biao considered marrying his daughter to Wang Can, but changed his mind on account of Wang Can’s appearance and mannerisms.

Following Liu Biao’s death, Wang Can was one of several ministers who convinced Liu Cong to surrender to Cao Cao. In AD 213, along with several others, he recommended that Cao Cao take the title of Duke of Wei. Wang Can spent much of his time writing poems. During his lifetime, he also wrote several essays, official documents, and the historical work yingxiong ji. Wang Can died of illness during a campaign against Sun Quan in AD 217.



Novel and History

Officers and Kingdoms

Literature and Language


April 10, 2023