Shamoke (died 222) was a tribal chieftain who lived in Wuling Commandery (武陵郡; around present-day Changde, Hunan) in the late Eastern Han dynasty and Three Kingdoms period of China. He allied with the Shu Han state during the Battle of Xiaoting of 221–222 against the Eastern Wu state and was killed in battle.

Shamoke Qing portrait.jpg
A Qing dynasty illustration of Shamoke
Traditional Chinese沙摩柯
Simplified Chinese沙摩柯


Shamoke was a chieftain among the local tribes living in the five valleys/gorges in Wuling Commandery (武陵郡; around present-day Changde, Hunan). In 221, Liu Bei, the emperor of the Shu Han state, started the Battle of Xiaoting against his ally-turned-rival Sun Quan, the ruler of the Eastern Wu state. He sent an official, Ma Liang, as an envoy to meet Shamoke and the tribal chiefs in Wuling Commandery and managed to bribe them with wealth and titles to gain their support in the war against Sun Quan.[1][2] Shamoke was killed in battle in 222 when Sun Quan's forces launched a counterattack against Liu Bei's forces and dealt them a devastating defeat.[3]

In Romance of the Three KingdomsEdit

Shamoke appears as a minor character in the 14th-century historical novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms, which romanticises the events before and during the Three Kingdoms period. His physical appearance is described as follows in the novel:

His face was spotted with red as if splashed with blood that is split from the mouth, and his eyes were blue and big. He rushed among [the] troops, mighty and fierce, wielding two spiked iron maces with long poles, with two bows slung at his belt.

During the Battle of Xiaoting, he encounters the Eastern Wu general Gan Ning, who insists on participating in the battle even though he is ill at the time. When Gan Ning realises that he cannot fight Shamoke due to his condition, he tries to retreat but is killed by Shamoke, who fires an arrow that hits him in the head. Later on, when Shamoke gets caught up in the Eastern Wu forces' fire attack against the Shu Han forces, he attempts to flee the battlefield but the Eastern Wu general Zhou Tai catches up with him and kills him after a brief fight.[4]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ (先主稱尊號,以良為侍中。及東征吳,遣良入武陵招納五溪蠻夷,蠻夷渠帥皆受印號,咸如意指。會先主敗績於夷陵,良亦遇害。) Sanguozhi vol. 39.
  2. ^ (二年春正月,先主軍還秭歸,將軍吳班、陳式水軍屯夷陵,夾江東西岸。二月,先主自秭歸率諸將進軍,緣山截嶺,於夷道猇亭駐營,自佷山通武陵,遣侍中馬良安慰五谿蠻夷,咸相率響應。) Sanguozhi vol. 32.
  3. ^ (... 斬張南、馮習及胡王沙摩柯等首,破其四十餘營。備將杜路、劉寧等窮逼請降。) Sanguozhi vol. 58.
  4. ^ Sanguo Yanyi ch. 83-84.