Cao Fang

Cao Fang (曹 芳Chinese, Pinyin Cao Fang, W.-G. Ts'ao Fang; Zì兰 卿, Lanqing, Lan - ch'ing; Postum齐王, Qi Wáng, Wang Ch'i, Prince of Qi ' and邵 陵 厉 公, Shaoling Gong Li, Shao -ling Li Kung, Duke Li of Shaoling '; * 231, † 274 ) was the adoptive son of Cao Rui and the third emperor of the Wei Dynasty.


Cao Fang was probably born 231 in a royal house of the Wei Empire and adopted at a young age by the emperor Cao Rui. His real parents are not known, but the historians believed that he was the son of the Prince of Rencheng, Cao Kai, and thus a great-grandson of Cao Cao. He had an adopted brother Cao Xun, who had been born a year earlier and adopted the same with Cao Fang. In the year 235 were both appointed Cao Fang and Cao Xun, Cao Rui to Prince.

When Cao Rui became ill around the year 239, he appointed as his successor Cao Fang. His regent Cao Shuang and Sima Yi should be.


Cao Fang had the longest tenure in the history of the Wei dynasty, but during that time had never held the real power of command. During his reign, he was first directed by Cao Shuang, Sima Yi and then by his son Sima Shi. When he tried to free himself from his power, he was deposed.

Cao Shuang's regency

Initially, Cao Shuang and Sima Yi shared power, but soon gave Cao Shuang means of sophisticated political maneuvering his official colleague numerous honorary degrees, while he himself wielded the real power. Sima Yi still had military authority and fought for example, 241 an attack from the Wu.

243 took Cao Zhen Fang the princess to wife, his cousin 3rd degree.

244 Cao Shuang military coveted for himself in command and charged with no special strategy Han Zhong, a border town of Shu Han. When the supply of the army failed, he had to retreat with heavy losses. Despite this defeat Cao Shuang continued to hold firmly in power. Sima Yi withdrew 247, applied by his actual powerlessness, apparently from politics. 249 he deposed in a rapid action in covenant with many court officials Cao Shuang and took over the power.

Sima Yi's reign

Sima Yi transferred many powers of Cao Fang on itself and so justified the violence of the later Jin Dynasty. His most important achievement was the elimination of corruption and inefficiency that had spread under Cao Shuang's government. In the same year, as Sima Yi took power, the Wei general Wang Ling was already planning his overthrow, to then put Cao Cao's son Cao Biao to the throne. When the plan should be put into action 251, Sima Yi heard about it and defeated the conspiracy. In the same year he died.

Sima Shi's reign

After Sima Yi's death, Cao Fang could still get no independence, because Sima Shi continued his father's plans. 252 he led a large campaign against the Wu, whose emperor Sun Quan had recently died. The regent of the successor of Sun Liang, Zhuge Ke was able to stop the invasion and Sima Shi strike back. Finally, a year later succeeded Sima Shi to defeat Zhuge Ke and to kill, and so to confirm his power.

254 he secured his power through numerous brutal chess moves further: he destroyed the distinguished Minister Li Feng, Xiahou Xuan and Zhang Ji, together with their families and violated Cao Fang wife Zhang ( whom he had married after the death of Empress Zhen ) to him with Wang, daughter of Wang Kui to marry. The embittered Cao Fang settled with his confidant on a daring plan a: Sima Zhao's troops to use against Sima Shi. Though it never got to Sima Shi found out about it and put him down as emperor of Wei.

After the deposition

Cao Fang received by Sima Shi 's previous title " Prince of Qi " back and retired to his palace in Henei back to where he was under house arrest. After the end of the Wei Dynasty and the founding of the Jin Dynasty by Sima Yan, he was confined with the other princes to the rank of prince ( Prince of Shaoling ).


  • Zheng Shi (正始Zheng Shi ) 240-249
  • Jiaping (嘉 平Ping Jia ) 249-254