Life Chronology: Zhuge Liang (Kongming)

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Chronology of Zhuge Liang’s Life
諸葛亮 (孔明)
(AD 181-234)

Authored by Battleroyale

AD 181 Guang He 4th year (0 years old)

  • Zhuge Liang was born in Lang Ya Guo, Yang Du county.
  • Cao Cao was 27 years old and Liu Bei was 21 years old.

AD 182 Guang He 5th year (2 years old)

  • Sun Quan was born.

AD 184 Zhong Ping 1st year (4 years old)

  • Yellow Turban Rebellion led by Zhang Jiao.
  • Cao Cao was appointed as Qi Du Wei (Captain of the Cavalry) to suppress the rebellion.
  • Liu Bei, Guan Yu and Zhang Fei were also part of the government forces.

AD 188 Zhong Ping 5th year (8 years old)

  • Ma Xiang at Yi Zhou rebelled.
  • The Han Central Government changed the structure of governorship for each province from Zhou Ci Shi to Zhou Mu (1).
    • During the Eastern Han Dynasty, there were two forms of provincial head. One being Zhou Ci Shi (or the Inspector/Protector) and the other, Zhou Mu (or Governor). Each province is divided into commanderies or prefectures. The head of each commandery or prefecture is Tai Shou (Prefect/Grand Administrator). Under the Zhou Ci Shi system, the Inspector held a largely supervisory role over the entire province while the Prefect/Grand Administrator could levy troops to handle any emergency matters. Of course, if the matter proves too much for a single commandery/prefecture, the Inspector would step in and use the resources from the entire province to deal with it. Nevertheless, under this system, the Central Government faced the threat from the local troops in each commandery/prefecture and hence limited their operations to only their own jurisdictions. In the chaotic era that ensued, the Central Government replaced the Inspector with Governor or Zhou Mu (which was previously replaced by Zhou Chi Shi before). The Governor had executive power instead of merely supervisory one and he usually held a ministerial rank in the Han court. Hence, the respective Zhou Mu or Governor controlled each Prefect/Grand Administrator even after the time of emergency.
  • Death of Zhuge Liang’s father, Zhuge Gui.
  • Zhuge Liang and his siblings were raised by their uncle Zhuge Xuan.

AD 189 Zhong Ping 6th year (9 years old)

  • Han Shao Di was deposed by Dong Zhuo and Liu Xie was erected as Han Xian Di.

AD 190 Chu Ping 1st year (10 years old)

  • Armies from various provinces were raised against Dong Zhuo (led by Yuan Shao).
  • Dong Zhuo was forced to abduct the Han Emperor and flee to Chang An.

AD 191 Chu Ping 2nd year (11 years old)

  • Yuan Shao acquired Yi Zhou (the northern province). Cao Cao was appointed as prefect of Dong prefecture.
  • Liu Bei administered Ping Yuan while slowly building up his reputation.

AD 192 Chu Ping 3rd year (12 years old)

  • Lü Bu killed Dong Zhuo.
  • Cao Cao became the Governor of Yan Zhou.
  • Cao Cao suppressed the Yellow Turban rebels at Qing Zhou and enlisted the fitter of those that surrendered to his army. These people later formed the Qing Zhou Bing (or Army of Qing Zhou).

AD 193 Chu Ping 4th year (13 years old)

  • Cao Cao launched an eastern expedition to Xu Zhou and killed many civilians.

AD 194 Xin Ping 1st year (14 years old)

  • Zhuge Liang followed his uncle to Yu Zhang and subsequently joined the Governor of Jing Zhou, Liu Biao.
  • Tao Qian memorialized Liu Bei to be the Governor of Yu Zhou.
  • Tao Qian died and Liu Bei took over as the Governor of Xu Zhou.
  • Liu Yan died and Liu Zhang took over as the Governor of Yi Zhou (Ba Shu).

AD 195 Xin Ping 2nd year (15 years old)

  • Cao Cao officially appointed as the Governor of Yan Zhou by Han Xian Di.
  • Sun Ce defeated the Governor of Yang Zhou, Liu Yao, and began his rule of Jiang Dong.

AD 196 Jian An 1st year (16 years old)

  • Cao Cao moved Xian Di to Xu Chang, thus monopolizing the power of the Han court.
  • Liu Bei joined the ranks of Cao Cao and was officially appointed as the Governor of Yu Zhou by Cao Cao.

AD 197 Jian An 2nd year (17 years old)

  • Cao Cao defeated Yuan Shu.
  • Death of Zhuge Liang’s uncle, Zhuge Xuan.
  • Zhuge Liang moved to Long Zhong where he studied and farmed the land.
  • Zhuge Liang befriended Shi Guang Yuan, Xu Yuan Zhi (Xu Shu), Meng Gong Wei, Sima Hui and Pang Tong.
  • Zhuge Liang married the daughter of Huang Cheng Yan.

AD 198 Jian An 3rd year (18 years old)

  • Cao Cao killed Lü Bu.
  • Liu Bei was conferred the rank of the Left General (Zuo Jiang Jun).

AD 199 Jian An 4th year (19 years old)

  • Yuan Shao occupied the area north of the Yellow River.
  • Liu Bei killed the Governor of Xu Zhou, Che Zhou and left Cao Cao.
  • Yuan Shu died.

AD 200 Jian An 5th year (20 years old)

  • Liu Bei was defeated by Cao Cao and he joined Yuan Shao.
  • Death of Sun Ce.
  • Zhuge Jin joined Sun Quan.
  • Cao Cao defeated Yuan Shao at Guan Du.

AD 201 Jian An 6th year (21 years old)

  • Cao Cao defeated Liu Bei.
  • Liu Bei joined Liu Biao.

AD 202 Jian An 7th year (22 years old)

  • Death of Yuan Shao.
  • Liu Bei defeated Xiahou Dun at Bo Wang Slope.

AD 204 Jian An 9th year (24 years old)

  • Cao Cao defeated the sons of Yuan Shao and occupied the City of Ye.

AD 206 Jian An 11th year (26 years old)

  • Cao Cao defeated the Governor of Bing Zhou, Gao Gan, and occupied Bing Zhou.

AD 207 Jian An 12th year (27 years old)

  • Cao Cao attacked Wu Wan in the north.
  • Cao Cao destroyed the remaining Yuan forces and controlled/stabilized northern China.
  • Liu Bei visited Zhuge Liang three times.
  • Zhuge Liang proposed the Long Zhong Plan and joins Liu Bei.

AD 208 Jian An 13th year (28 years old)

  • Zhuge Liang befriended Liu Qi.
  • Sun Quan killed Huang Zhu.
  • Liu Qi became the prefect of Jiang Xia.
  • Cao Cao became the Prime Minister of Han and he attacked Jing Zhou.
  • Death of Liu Biao.
  • Liu Zong took ever as the Governor of Jing Zhou and surrendered to Cao Cao.
  • Liu Bei retreated to Xia Kou and sent Zhuge Liang as emissary to Wu.
  • Zhuge Liang persuaded Sun Quan to ally with Liu Bei against Cao Cao.
  • The battle of Chi Bi ensued, and the alliance defeats Cao Cao’s army.
  • Liu Bei acquired the four southern prefectures of Jing Zhou.
  • Zhuge Liang was appointed to be Jun Shi Zhong Lang Jiang and he was to administer three of the southern prefectures.

AD 209 Jian An 14th year (29 years old)

  • Zhou Yu captured Jiang Ling and he was made the Prefect of Nan prefecture.
  • Liu Bei was recommended to be the Governor of Jing Zhou.
  • Sun Quan married his sister to Liu Bei.

AD 210 Jian An 15th year (30 years old)

  • Liu Bei met Sun Quan at Jing Kou.
  • Death of Zhou Yu.
  • Sun Quan “loaned” Nan prefecture to Liu Bei.
  • Sun Quan expanded his territory to Jiao Zhou.

AD 211 Jian An 16th year (31 years old)

  • Cao Cao defeated Ma Chao and Han Sui at Guan Zhong.
  • Conflict arose among Liu Zhang’s subordinates.
  • Liu Bei took this opportunity to enter Yi Zhou (Ba Shu) while Guan Yu and Zhuge Liang were tasked to defend Jing Zhou.
  • Liu Bei’s army was stationed at Jia Meng.

AD 212 Jian An 17th year (32 years old)

  • Xun Yu was forced by Cao Cao to commit suicide.
  • Liu Bei came into disputes with Liu Zhang openly and he occupied the city of Fu.

AD 213 Jian An 18th year (33 years old)

  • Cao Cao attacked Sun Quan and was stopped at Ru Xu. Cao Cao was forced to retreat.
  • Cao Cao became the Duke of Wei and was given the 9 Treasures.
  • Ma Chao joined Zhang Lu at Han Zhong.
  • Liu Bei laid siege to the city of Luo.

AD 214 Jian An 19th year (34 years old)

  • Zhuge Liang, Zhang Fei and Zhao Yun debarked to San Ba.
  • Death of Pang Tong.
  • Liu Bei took the city of Luo and proceeded to lay siege to Cheng Du.
  • Ma Chao joined Liu Bei.
  • Liu Zhang surrendered.
  • Liu Bei occupied Yi Zhou and became the Governor of Yi Zhou.
  • Zhuge Liang was promoted to be Jun Shi Jiang Jun and he began to think of measures to resolve the differences between the existing occupants of Yi Zhou (ex-officials of Liu Zhang who surrendered) and the new occupants (Liu Bei and company).
  • Cao Cao attacked Sun Quan to no avail.

AD 215 Jian An 20th year (35 years old)

  • Cao Cao attacked Zhang Lu and Zhang Lu surrendered.
  • Sun Quan sent troops with intention to sneak attack the three southern prefectures of Jing Zhou.
  • Sun Quan and Liu Bei made peace and divide Jing Zhou using the River Xiang.

AD 216 Jian An 21th year (36 years old)

  • Cao Cao became the King of Wei.
  • Zhuge Liang authored “Da Fa Zheng Shu”.

AD 217 Jian An 22th year (37 years old)

  • Liu Bei attacked Han Zhong.
  • Zhuge Liang was tasked to defend Cheng Du and he was left in charge of daily administration as well as army supplies to the frontline.
  • Death of Lu Su and Lü Meng takes over his position.

AD 218 Jian An 23th year (38 years old)

  • The Imperial Physician (Tai Yi Ling) Ji Ben and some officials plotted against Cao Cao but failed.
  • Cao Hong defeated the army of Shu at Wu Du prefecture.
  • Cao Cao’s defender at the city of Wan betrayed Wei.

AD 219 Jian An 24th year (39 years old)

  • Jan: Huang Zhong killed Xiahou Yuan.
  • May: Liu Bei occupied Han Zhong. Meng Da and Liu Feng took Fang Ling and Shang Yong.
  • Jul: Liu Bei self-proclaimed to be the King of Han Zhong. Sun Quan attacked He Fei.
  • Aug: Guan Yu laid siege to Xiang Yang and Fan Cheng.
  • Sep: Wei Feng and some officials rebelled against Cao Cao but failed.
  • Oct: Lü Meng launched a sneak attack at Jiang Ling. Meng Da surrendered to Wei.
  • Dec: Guan Yu was executed. Sun Quan occupied Jing Zhou. The alliance was dissolved. Death of Lü Meng.

AD 220 Huang Chu 1st year (40 years old)

  • Jan: Death of Cao Cao.
  • Nov: Liu Xie was deposed and Cao Pi ascended the throne, bringing Han dynasty to an official end. Liu Bei executed Liu Feng. Death of Huang Zhong and Fa Zheng.

AD 221 Huang Chu 2nd year (41 years old)

  • Apr: Liu Bei self-proclaimed to be Shu-Han Zhao Lie Di. Zhuge Liang was appointed as the Prime Minister.
  • Jul: Liu Bei led his army to attack Wu. Zhuge Liang was tasked to defend Cheng Du. Zhang Fei was killed by his subordinates.
  • Aug: Wu became a vassal state of Wei.
  • Nov: Sun Quan became the King of Wu and based his capital at Wu Chang.

AD 222 Huang Chu 3rd year (42 years old)

  • June: Liu Bei was defeated by Wu at Yi Ling.
  • Oct: Cao Pi attacked Wu.
  • Nov. Prefect of Han Jia, Huang Yuan, rebelled. Wu and Shu re-established diplomatic ties. Death of Ma Chao, Xu Jing and Liu Ba.

AD 223 Huang Chu 4th year (43 years old)

  • Feb: Cao Pi attacked Wu to no avail.
  • Mar: Quelling of Huang Yuan’s rebellion.
  • Apr: Death of Liu Bei.
  • May: Liu Shan ascended the Shu’s throne. Zhuge Liang was conferred the Duke of Wu Xiang and Prime Minister. Zhuge Liang administered the State’s affairs and he wrote “Yi Qun Xia Shu”.
  • Jun: Rebellion of Yong Kai and the King of Yi Tribe, Gao Ding. Zhuge Liang did not send troops to suppress them but instead adopted peaceful measures. Zhuge Liang implemented agricultural reforms in Shu.
  • Sep: Zhuge Liang wrote “Zheng Yi” and dispatched Deng Zhi to Wu to mend relations.

AD 224 Huang Chu 5th year (44 years old)

  • Zhuge Liang concentrated on judiciary reforms and wrote “Tan Liao Li Biao” (a report to dismiss Liao Li).
  • Apr: Sun Quan sent a diplomatic mission to Shu to mend relations and Deng Zhi was dispatched to Wu in return.
  • Sep: Cao Pi attacked Wu at Guang Ling prefecture to no avail.

AD 225 Huang Chu 6th year (45 years old)

  • Mar: Zhuge Liang led a southern expedition against the Nanman. Cao Pi led a southern expedition against Wu.
  • Sep: Zhuge Liang quelled the rebellion and adopted pacification schemes in the south.
  • Oct: Cao Pi was forced to retreat after failing to cross the river.
  • Nov: Zhuge Liang sent Fei Yi as emissary to Wu.

AD 226 Huang Chu 7th year (46 years old)

  • May: Death of Cao Pi. Cao Rui ascended the Wei’s throne.
  • Jul: Sun Quan attacked Wei’s Jiang Xia prefecture to no avail. Zhuge Liang trained Shu’s army in preparation for northern expedition. He authored “Yi Meng Da Shu” to get Meng Da to surrender to Shu.

AD 227 Tai He 1st year (47 years old)

  • Mar: Zhuge Liang submitted “Chu Shi Biao” (the first memorial for the northern expeditions) and “Wei Hou Di Fa Wei Zhao” for Liu Shan. He then led his army and stationed at Han Zhong.
  • Jun: Cao Rui and Sima Yi jointly administered military affairs for Jing and Yu Zhou. Troops were stationed at the City of Wan. Zhuge Liang made progress in securing Meng Da’s trust. Peasants rebellion led by Zhang Gong at Guan Han, Mian Zhu (Yi Zhou). Birth of Zhuge Liang’s son, Zhuge Zhan.

AD 228 Tai He 2nd year (48 years old)

  • Jan: Sima Yi attacked the City of Xin and killed Meng Da.
  • Spring: Zhuge Liang launched the first northern expedition via Qi Shan. He recruited Jiang Wei. Ma Su lost Jie Ting and Zhuge Liang retreated to Han Zhong. Zhuge Liang executed Ma Su, Zhang Xiu and Li Sheng. He further demoted himself by three grades. Zhuge Liang wrote “Quan Jiang Shi Qin Gai Yi Que Shu”.
  • Autumn: Lu Xun defeated Cao Xiu at Shi Ting.
  • Winter: Zhuge Liang launched the second northern expedition via Shan Guan. He laid siege to Chen Cang but was forced to retreat due to lack of food supplies. Wang Shuang led his troops to pursue Zhuge Liang but was killed by him in an engagement.

AD 229 Tai He 3rd year (49 years old)

  • Spring: Zhuge Liang launched the third northern offensive. He occupied Wu Du and Yin Ping prefectures. Liu Shan reinstated Zhuge Liang as the Prime Minister. Li Yan persuaded Zhuge Liang to accept the Nine Treasures and Zhuge Liang refused (he replied Li Yan in “Da Li Yan Shu”).
  • Apr: Sun Quan declared himself as the Emperor of Wu. Zhuge Liang wrote “Jue Meng Hao Yi” and sent Chen Zhen to Wu to congratulate Sun Quan.
  • Jun: Wu and Shu signed a treaty to divide the northern land of Wei between themselves.
  • Sep: Sun Quan shifted his capital from Wu Chang to Jian Ye.
  • Winter: Zhuge Liang built 2 cities (City of Han and Yue) at Nan Zheng region. Death of Zhao Yun.

AD 230 Tai He 4th year (50 years old)

  • Feb: Sima Yi became the Da Jiang Jun (Great General) of Wei.
  • Jul: Cao Zhen and Sima Yi led a southern expedition to attack Han Zhong but were both forced to retreat in September due to prolonged heavy rain.
  • Dec: Sun Quan led his army to attack He Fei to no avail. Zhuge Liang sent Wei Yan into the western Qiang region and defeated the Wei army there.

AD 231 Tai He 5th year (51 years old)

  • Feb: Zhuge Liang led his fourth northern expedition and surrounded Qi Shan. Zhuge Liang used the newly invented the “Wooden Oxen” to transport army supplies.
  • May: Zhuge Liang defeated the Wei army at the city of Lu. Sima Yi entrenched himself, refusing to give battle.
  • Jun: Zhuge Liang was forced to withdraw when supplies ran out. Zhang He pursued Zhuge Liang all the way to Mu Men where he was shot and killed in Zhuge Liang’s ambush.
  • Aug: Zhuge Liang submitted “Tan Li Yan Biao” to punish Li Yan.

AD 232 Tai He 6th year (52 years old)

  • Zhuge Liang trained his army and engaged in agricultural activities at Huang Sha.
  • Zhuge Liang invented the “Flowing Horse” and together with the “Wooden Oxen”, he prepared for the next northern expedition.
  • Lu Xun attacked Wei at Lu Jiang to no avail.

AD 233 Qing Long 1st year (53 years old)

  • Zhuge Liang used the “Flowing Horse” and “Wooden Oxen” to transport army supplies to Xie Gu.
  • Sun Quan led his army to attack the city of Xin at He Fei to no avail.
  • Rebellion at south-western Shu by the Nanman warlord Liu Wei.
  • Zhuge Liang dispatched Ma Zhong to quell the rebellion.
  • The Nanman rebellion was suppressed and Liu Wei was killed.

AD 234 Qing Long 2nd year (54 years old)

  • Feb: Zhuge Liang led the fifth northern offensive and stationed his army at Wu Zhang Yuan.
  • Apr: Zhuge Liang instructed his army to till the land near the River Wei in preparation for a protracted campaign.
  • May: Sun Quan led his army to attack the city of Xin at He Fei and Cao Rui personally led his army to rescue. The army of Wu was forced to retreat during July due to widespread sickness. Sima Yi and Zhuge Liang reached a stalemate.
  • Aug: Zhuge Liang died of sickness and fatigue at Wu Zhang Yuan.

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