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Cao Jie (died 181),
courtesy name A courtesy name (), also known as a style name, is a name bestowed upon one at adulthood in addition to one's given name. This practice is a tradition in the East Asian cultural sphere, including China, Japan, Korea, and Vietnam. The courtesy ...
Hanfeng, was a
eunuch A eunuch ( ) is a man A man is an adult male Male (♂) is the sex of an organism that produces the gamete known as sperm. A male gamete can fuse with a larger female gamete, or ovum, in the process of fertilization. A male cannot ...

eunuch
-official who lived in the
Eastern Han dynasty#REDIRECT Han dynasty The Han dynasty () was the second Dynasties in Chinese history, imperial dynasty of China (202 BC – 220 AD), established by the rebel leader Liu Bang and ruled by the House of Liu. Preceded by the short-lived Qin dynas ...
and rose to power during the reign of
Emperor Ling Emperor Ling of Han (156 – 13 May 189), personal name Liu Hong, was the 12th and last powerful Emperor of China, emperor of the Han dynasty#Eastern Han, Eastern Han dynasty. Born the son of a lesser Marquess, marquis who descended directly fro ...

Emperor Ling
( 168–189). He was involved in a power struggle against a rival faction led by
Dou Wu Dou Wu (; died 168), courtesy name Youping (), was a Chinese philosopher and politician. He was known as a Confucian , Shanxi Shanxi (; ; Chinese postal romanization, formerly romanised as Shansi) is a landlocked Provinces of China, ...
and
Chen Fan Chen Fàn (died 168), style name Zhongju (), was an official of the Eastern Han Dynasty. A native of Pingyu, Runan (north of present-day Pingyu County, Henan Henan (; Chinese postal romanization, alternatively Honan) is a landlocked Pro ...

Chen Fan
during the reign of Emperor Huan ( 146–168) and early reign of Emperor Ling. His son-in-law Feng Fang later became one of the 8 colonels of the
Army of the Western Garden {{Chinese, t=西園軍, s=西园军, p=Xī Yuán Jūn The Army of the Western Garden was an army established in 188 CE during the reign of Emperor Ling of Han, Emperor Ling in the Eastern Han Dynasty. History Emperor Ling had endowed his brother-i ...
. In the beginning of the 14th-century historical novel ''
Romance of the Three Kingdoms ''Romance of the Three Kingdoms'' () is a 14th-century historical novel Historical fiction is a literary genre in which the plot takes place in a setting located in the past. Although the term is commonly used as a synonym for the histori ...
'', Cao Jie is listed as one of the
Ten Attendants The Ten Attendants, also known as the Ten Eunuchs, were a group of influential eunuch A eunuch ( ) is a man who has been castration, castrated. Throughout history, castration often served a specific social function. The earliest records for ...
even though historically he was not a member of the group.


Life

Cao Jie started serving as a ''xiao huangmen'' () in the early reign of
Emperor Shun Emperor Shun () was a legendary leader of ancient China The earliest known written records of the history of China date from as early as 1250 BC, from the Shang dynasty (c. 1600–1046 BC), during the king Wu Ding's reign, who was mentione ...
( 125–144). He rose through the ranks and became a ''zhong changshi'' () during the reign of Emperor Huan ( 146–168). He also concurrently held the appointment of a ''fengche duwei'' (奉車都尉; Commandant of Equipage). In 168, due to his efforts in helping to install
Emperor Ling Emperor Ling of Han (156 – 13 May 189), personal name Liu Hong, was the 12th and last powerful Emperor of China, emperor of the Han dynasty#Eastern Han, Eastern Han dynasty. Born the son of a lesser Marquess, marquis who descended directly fro ...

Emperor Ling
on the throne, he was enfeoffed as the "Marquis of Chang'an District" (). As Emperor Ling was still underage, state affairs were overseen by Empress Dowager Dou (Emperor Huan's widow), General-in-Chief
Dou Wu Dou Wu (; died 168), courtesy name Youping (), was a Chinese philosopher and politician. He was known as a Confucian , Shanxi Shanxi (; ; Chinese postal romanization, formerly romanised as Shansi) is a landlocked Provinces of China, ...
(the empress dowager's father), and Grand Tutor
Chen Fan Chen Fàn (died 168), style name Zhongju (), was an official of the Eastern Han Dynasty. A native of Pingyu, Runan (north of present-day Pingyu County, Henan Henan (; Chinese postal romanization, alternatively Honan) is a landlocked Pro ...

Chen Fan
. Dou Wu and Chen Fan led a faction in the imperial court that was at odds with the
eunuch A eunuch ( ) is a man A man is an adult male Male (♂) is the sex of an organism that produces the gamete known as sperm. A male gamete can fuse with a larger female gamete, or ovum, in the process of fertilization. A male cannot ...

eunuch
faction represented by Cao Jie and others. When Cao Jie and the eunuch faction heard that Dou Wu and Chen Fan's faction were planning to eliminate them, they launched a coup against their rivals with the aid of Wang Fu (), Zhu Yu (), Gong Pu (), Zhang Liang () and others. Dou Wu and Chen Fan were arrested and executed, while Empress Dowager Dou was put under
house arrest In justice Justice, one of the four cardinal virtues, by Vitruvio Alberi, 1589–1590. Fresco, corner of the vault, studiolo of the Virgin of Mercy, Madonna of Mercy, Palazzo Altemps, Rome Justice, in its broadest sense, is the principle t ...
. After the coup, Cao Jie was promoted to "Minister of the Guards of Changle Palace" (), in addition to having his marquis rank elevated to "Marquis of Yuyang (County)" () with a marquisate comprising 3,000 taxable households. His allies in the coup also received marquis titles and other honours from Emperor Ling. In 169, Cao Jie was reassigned to be a ''zhong changshi'' () again. Not long after, he was appointed ''da changqiu'' (大長秋; Empress's Chamberlain). In 172, when Empress Dowager Dou died while under house arrest, Cao Jie and Wang Fu tried to persuade Emperor Ling to hold an ordinary consort's funeral for the empress dowager instead of one that befitted her status, as well as not to bury her together with Emperor Huan. However, their attempt failed when two officials – Chen Qiu (), the Minister of Justice (); and Li Xian (), the Grand Commandant (), – managed to convince Emperor Ling to hold an empress's funeral for the empress dowager and bury her beside Emperor Huan. In the same year, Cao Jie, Wang Fu and others framed Emperor Huan's younger brother, Liu Kui (), the Prince of Bohai (), for treason; Liu Kui committed suicide in prison. Emperor Ling rewarded Cao Jie and Wang Fu for exposing Liu Kui's "treachery" by increasing the number of taxable households in their marquisates. Their relatives were also appointed as officials in the Han government. In 179, Cao Jie was promoted to Prefect of the Masters of Writing (). He died in 181 and was posthumously honoured with the appointment of General of Chariots and Cavalry ().


References

* Fan, Ye. ''
Book of the Later Han The ''Book of the Later Han'', also known as the ''History of the Later Han'' and by its Chinese Chinese can refer to: * Something related to China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It ...
'' (''Houhanshu''), volume 78. * Luo, Guanzhong. ''
Romance of the Three Kingdoms ''Romance of the Three Kingdoms'' () is a 14th-century historical novel Historical fiction is a literary genre in which the plot takes place in a setting located in the past. Although the term is commonly used as a synonym for the histori ...
'' (''Sanguo Yanyi''). *
Sima, Guang
Sima, Guang
. ''
Zizhi Tongjian ''Zizhi Tongjian'' () is a pioneering reference work in Chinese historiography, published in 1084 AD during the Song dynasty in the form of a chronicle recording Chinese history from 403 BC to 959 AD, covering 16 dynasties and spanning almost 1 ...
''. {{DEFAULTSORT:Cao, Jie Han dynasty eunuchs related to the Three Kingdoms 181 deaths
Year of birth unknown This category (and within its own specific purpose, the analogous :Year of death unknown) is intended for placement in biographical entries about deceased individuals, primarily from antiquity (although, in some cases, reaching into the 19th centur ...
Han dynasty politicians from HenanHenan Henan (; Chinese postal romanization, alternatively Honan) is a landlocked Provinces of China, province of China, in the Central China, central part of the country. Henan is often referred to as Zhongyuan or Zhongzhou (), which literally ...
Politicians from Nanyang, Henan 2nd-century births