Encyclopedia: Zhuge Ke

Zhuge Ke (Yuanxun); Chuko K‘o (Yüan-hsün); 諸葛恪 (元遜)

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You are viewing the profile of Zhuge Ke (諸葛恪), styled Yuanxun (元遜). “Served Wu as Imperial Guardian. Son of Zhuge Jin. Murdered by Sun Jun.” Zhuge Ke was affiliated with and the Wu Kingdom. Return to the Three Kingdoms Encyclopedia to learn more or explore our Encyclopedia Directory to browse by kingdom or category.


Zhuge Ke (Yuanxun) 諸葛恪 (元遜)

Lived: AD ?–253


Served: Wu

Served Wu as Imperial Guardian. Son of Zhuge Jin. Murdered by Sun Jun.

Officer Details

Wade-Giles: Chuko K‘o (Yüan-hsün)
Simplified Chinese: 诸葛恪 (元逊)
Pronunciation: Zhu1ge3 Ke4 (Yuan2xun4)
Cantonese (Yale): Jyugot Kok (Yun-seun)
Cantonese (Jyutpin): Zyugot Kok (Jyun-seon)
Min-Nan: Cukat Kek (Goan-sun)

Rank and Titles

Imperial Guardian

Family and Relationships

Zhuge Jin (Father); Zhuge Chao, Zhuge Shao, Zhuge Jian (Sons)

Literary Appearances

Romance of the Three Kingdoms: 98, 108, 113

Search Results

Cao Shuang/Jiang Wei/Zhuge Ke
Date: 03/15     Replies: 17
Zhuge Ke (Yuanxun) [ZZTJ Compilation]
Date: 03/13     Replies: 10
Who Was Better: Lu Xun or Zhuge Ke?
Date: 12/07     Replies: 15
Zhuge Ke: Court Tyrant or Victim of Other’s Lust for Power
Date: 07/04     Replies: 10


Zhuge Ke and Gao Lan SGYY Biographies
Date: 08/05     Replies: 10

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Historic (Confirmed)

Zhuge Ke was the son of Zhuge Jin of Wu. He was a nephew to Zhuge Liang. He initially served as a tutor to Sun Deng. In AD 234, Ke sought to be appointed as the official in charge of Danyang. Though Zhuge Ke insisted that he could raise a large army drafted from the people of the region, numerous scholars (including his father Zhuge Jin apparently) doubted his ability. Zhuge Ke was nevertheless appointed to be Prefect of Danyang. In this capacity, Zhuge Ke launched a campaign against the hills people of the area. He forced dissidents into submission and recruited more soldiers into the army as promised. He also collected grain.*

Zhuge Ke was greatly admired by Sun Quan. Sun Quan entrusted him, among others, to affairs of state while he was on his deathbed. Following Sun Quan’s demise, Zhuge Ke learned of Sun Hong’s intent to assassinate him. Zhuge Ke summoned Sun Hong to a meeting and killed him instead. Zhuge Ke thereafter held high rank under the next Wu Emperor, Sun Liang. In this position, Zhuge Ke canceled all overdue debts and abolished custom duties. He also insisted that Imperial princes of Wu move their residences away from the Jiang river, which was a strategic location for Wu’s navy. He rebuilt a dam at Dongxing and further constructed two fortresses atop the nearby hills. These actions were generally popular and well-received.

In AD 253, Wei assaulted Dongxing. Zhuge Ke led an army to relieve it. Wei built pontoon bridges and took up positions nearby the dam. However, the Wei forces were unable to directly approach the fortifications that Zhuge Ke had previously built. Although it was still winter, the Wu general Ding Feng ordered his troops to take off most of their armor and attack enemy positions. The Wei soldiers merely scoffed at the ridiculous invading force. This, however, led to their demise. Ding Feng’s soldiers charged and fully routed them. Zhuge Ke’s forces pursued Wei, putting several officers to death, capturing supplies, weapons, animals, etc. During Wei’s escape, several of the boats making up the pontoon bridges broke. As a result, many Wei soldiers drowned in the icy river during their hasty retreat.

Following this victory, Zhuge Ke was promoted to Commander-in-Chief of Wu’s army. However, he began to grow arrogant and started underestimating his enemy. He wished to continue his campaign against Wei, but met with much opposition from the various officials of Wu. Zhuge Ke accused these officials of being unable to understand the long-term benefits of a sustained expedition against a weakened Wei.

Zhuge Ke then continued to levy more troops, took numerous prisoners in Huainan, and then moved on to Hefei. The attack on Hefei ended in disaster. Wu’s attacks on Hefei had failed in the past; Zhuge Ke’s loss wasn’t unusual. Nevertheless, he had failed to listen to the advice of a good number of advisors that had urged restraint.

Following his campaign failure, Zhuge Ke lost a bit of support in Wu. He had always had a few powerful enemies at court. One of them, Sun Jun, arranged his assassination.

Sources: Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms by Achilles Fang, Generals of the South by Dr. Rafe de Crespigny

*-All of the information concerning Zhuge Ke’s actions in Danyang is derived from Dr. Rafe de Crespigny’s Generals of the South specifically.



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April 10, 2023