Wei Kang

Wei Kang (died 213), courtesy name Yuanjiang,[1] was a Chinese politician who lived in the late Eastern Han dynasty of China.

Wei Kang
Inspector of Liang Province (涼州刺史)
In office
? (?)–213 (213)
MonarchEmperor Xian of Han
ChancellorCao Cao
Personal details
Xi'an, Shaanxi
Gangu County, Gansu
RelationsWei Dan (brother)
FatherWei Duan
Courtesy nameYuanjiang (元將)

Early life and careerEdit

Wei Kang was from Jingzhao Commandery (京兆郡), which is around present-day Xi'an, Shaanxi. His father, Wei Duan (韋端), initially served as the Governor (牧) of Liang Province (涼州), but was later recalled to the imperial capital to serve as Minister Coachman (太僕). Kong Rong once told Wei Duan, "Two days ago, Yuanjiang visited me. He is knowledgeable, talented, bright, elegant and resilient. He will become a great man." Wei Kang also had a younger brother, Wei Dan (韋誕), who served as a Household Counsellor (光祿大夫) in the Han imperial court.[2][3] The Sanfu Juelu recorded that Wei Kang was already eight chi and five cun tall (approximately 1.96 metres) when he was just 14 years old.

Wei Kang was recommended by Xun Yu to join the Han civil service.[4] He initially served as a Registrar (主簿) in Jingzhao Commandery. After Wei Duan was recalled to the imperial capital, Wei Kang took over his father's duties and served as the Inspector (刺史) of Liang Province. The people in Liang Province regarded him highly.[5]

Siege of JichengEdit

In 211, a coalition of warlords from northwestern China, under the leadership of Ma Chao and Han Sui, started a rebellion in Liang Province against the Han central government, which was headed by Cao Cao. Cao Cao's forces defeated Ma Chao and the coalition at the Battle of Tong Pass.[6]

In the subsequent years, Ma Chao, with support from the Qiang tribes and the warlord Zhang Lu, constantly raided and attacked the lands in Liang Province. At the time, Wei Kang was stationed in Liang Province's capital, Ji (兾; also called Jicheng, in present-day Gangu County, Gansu), which came under siege by Ma Chao. When reinforcements did not show up, Wei Kang sent his subordinate Yan Wen (閻溫) to report the situation to the general Xiahou Yuan and seek help, but Yan Wen was caught and executed by Ma Chao after refusing to surrender. Wei Kang and the defenders continued to put up a firm defence.[7]

However, over time, the city gradually ran out of supplies and its defenders and civilian population began to suffer. Wei Kang took pity on the plight of the people and wanted to start peace talks with Ma Chao. Zhao Ang attempted to dissuade him from doing so but was ignored. Yang Fu also tearfully pleaded with Wei Kang to defend the city to the death. However, Wei Kang managed to conclude peace negotiations with Ma Chao, with both sides agreeing to end the conflict. Wei Kang then opened the city gates and surrendered. Ma Chao broke his promise later, killed Wei Kang, seized control of Liang Province, and forced Wei Kang's subordinates to submit to him.[8][9][10][11][12]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ de Crespigny (2007), p. 854.
  2. ^ (光祿大夫京兆韋誕) Sanguozhi vol. 21.
  3. ^ (三輔決錄曰: ... 康字元將,亦京兆人。孔融與康父端書曰:「前日元將來,淵才亮茂,雅度弘毅,偉世之器也。昨日仲將又來,懿性貞實,文愍篤誠,保家之主也。不意雙珠,近出老蚌,甚珍貴之。」端從涼州牧徵為太僕, ...) Sanfu Juelu annotation in Sanguozhi vol. 10.
  4. ^ (太祖以彧為知人,諸所進達皆稱職,唯嚴象為楊州,韋康為涼州,後敗亡。) Sanguozhi vol. 10.
  5. ^ (... 康代為涼州刺史,時人榮之。) Sanfu Juelu annotation in Sanguozhi vol. 10.
  6. ^ Zizhi Tongjian vol. 66.
  7. ^ (超盡兼隴右之衆,張魯復遣大將楊昂助之,凡萬餘人,攻冀城,自正月至八月,救兵不至。刺史韋康遣別駕閻溫出,告急於夏侯淵,外圍數重,溫夜從水中潛出。明日,超兵見其迹,遣追獲之。超載溫詣城下,使告城中云:「東方無救。」溫向城大呼曰:「大軍不過三日至,勉之!」城中皆泣,稱萬歲。超雖怒,猶以攻城久不下,徐徐更誘溫,冀其改意。溫曰:「事君有死無二,而卿乃欲令長者出不義之言乎!」超遂殺之。) Zizhi Tongjian vol. 66.
  8. ^ (已而外救不至,韋康及太守欲降。楊阜號哭諫曰:「阜等率父兄子弟以義相勵,有死無二,以為使君守此城,今柰何棄垂成之功,陷不義之名乎!」刺史、太守不聽,開城門迎超。超入,遂殺刺史、太守,自稱征西將軍、領幷州牧、督涼州軍事。) Zizhi Tongjian vol. 66.
  9. ^ (及超攻急,城中饑困,刺史韋康素仁,愍吏民傷殘,欲與超和。昂諫不聽,歸以語異,異曰:「君有爭臣,大夫有專利之義;專不為非也。焉知救兵不到關隴哉?當共勉卒高勳,全節致死,不可從也。」比昂還,康與超和。) Lie Nü Zhuan annotation in Sanguozhi vol. 25.
  10. ^ (後為馬超所圍,堅守歷時,救軍不至,遂為超所殺。) Sanfu Juelu annotation in Sanguozhi vol. 10.
  11. ^ (超遂背約害康, ...) Lie Nü Zhuan annotation in Sanguozhi vol. 25.
  12. ^ (超果率諸戎以擊隴上郡縣,隴上郡縣皆應之,殺涼州刺史韋康,據兾城,有其衆。超自稱征西將軍,領并州牧,督涼州軍事。) Sanguozhi vol. 36.
  • Chen, Shou (3rd century). Records of the Three Kingdoms (Sanguozhi).
  • de Crespigny, Rafe (2007). A Biographical Dictionary of Later Han to the Three Kingdoms 23-220 AD. Leiden: Brill. ISBN 9789004156050.
  • Pei, Songzhi (5th century). Annotations to Records of the Three Kingdoms (Sanguozhi zhu).
  • Sima, Guang (1084). Zizhi Tongjian.
  • Zhao, Qi (c. 3rd century). Sanfu Juelu (三輔決錄).