Wu Ban (fl. 221–239), courtesy name Yuanxiong, was a military general of the state of Shu Han in the Three Kingdoms period of China.

Wu Ban
General of Agile Cavalry (驃騎將軍)
In office
237 (237) – 239 (239)
MonarchLiu Shan
General of the Rear (後將軍)
In office
before 231 (before 231) – 235 (235)
MonarchLiu Shan
Personal details
FatherWu Kuang
Courtesy nameYuanxiong (元雄)
PeerageMarquis of Mianzhu (綿竹侯)


Wu Ban was a son of Wu Kuang (吳匡), an official who served under the general He Jin during the reign of Emperor Ling (r 168–189) in the Eastern Han dynasty. Like his older relative Wu Yi, he served as a military general in the state of Shu Han during the Three Kingdoms period and held appointments/positions which were second to those held by Wu Yi. He was known for being bold and chivalrous. During the short reign of Liu Bei (r 221–223), the founder and first emperor of Shu, Wu Ban served as a lingjun (領軍; a military commander).[1]

Wu Ban participated in the Battle of Xiaoting of 221–222 against Shu's ally-turned-rival state, Eastern Wu. In the initial stages of the battle, the units led by Wu Ban and Feng Xi attacked and captured Wu positions at the Wu Gorge, which were guarded by the Wu officers Li Yi (李異) and Liu E (劉阿).[2][3] As the Shu army advanced further, Liu Bei ordered Wu Ban and Chen Shi to lead the Shu navy to station at Yiling (夷陵; southeast of present-day Yichang, Hubei) in between the east and west banks of the Yangtze.[4] After the Shu army passed through the Wu Gorge, Liu Bei instructed Wu Ban to lead a few thousand soldiers out of the mountainous terrain and set up camps on flat ground to provoke the Wu forces to attack them, but failed to lure the enemy out into a trap.[5] The Shu forces ultimately lost the Battle of Xiaoting and retreated back to Shu.

Sometime before 231, Wu Ban held the appointment General of the Rear (後將軍) and was enfeoffed as the Marquis of Anle Village (安樂亭侯).[6] Later in 237, he succeeded his cousin Wu Yi as General of Agile Cavalry (驃騎將軍), granted imperial authority, and elevated from a village marquis to a county marquis under the title "Marquis of Mianzhu" (綿竹侯).[7] Wu Ban's maintained the appointment until at least 239, he is thought to have died by 243 where Deng Zhi is promoted to General of Agile Cavalry. Yang Xi's Ji Han Fuchen Zan written in 241 would have surely featured Ban so it further suggests his death is after. [8]

In Romance of the Three KingdomsEdit

In the 14th-century historical novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms, which romanticises the events before and during the Three Kingdoms period, Wu Ban is killed in battle during one of Zhuge Liang's military campaigns against Shu's rival state Wei. He is hit by arrows fired by archers under the command of the Wei officers Zhang Hu (張虎; Zhang Liao's son) and Yue Lin (樂綝; Yue Jin's son), falls into a river and dies.[9]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ (壹族弟班,字元雄,大將軍何進官屬吳匡之子也。以豪俠稱,官位常與壹相亞。先主時,為領軍。) Pei Songzhi's annotation in Sanguozhi vol. 45.
  2. ^ ([秋,七月, ...] 漢主遣將軍吳班、馮習攻破權將李異、劉阿等於巫,進兵秭歸,兵四萬餘人。武陵蠻夷皆遣使往請兵。) Zizhi Tongjian vol. 69.
  3. ^ (初,先主忿孫權之襲關羽,將東征,秋七月,遂帥諸軍伐吳。孫權遣書請和,先主盛怒不許,吳將陸議、李異、劉阿等屯巫、秭歸;將軍吳班、馮習自巫攻破異等,軍次秭歸,武陵五谿蠻夷遣使請兵。) Sanguozhi vol. 32.
  4. ^ (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.
  5. ^ (備從巫峽、建平、連平、連圍至夷陵界,立數十屯,以金錦爵賞誘動諸夷,使將軍馮習為大督,張南為前部,輔匡、趙融、廖淳、傅肜等各為別督,先遣吳班將數千人於平地立營,欲以挑戰。) Sanguozhi vol. 58.
  6. ^ (亮公文上尚書曰:「 ... 督後部後將軍安樂亭侯臣吳班、 ...」) Pei Songzhi's annotation in Sanguozhi vol. 40.
  7. ^ (後主世,稍遷至驃騎將軍,假節,封綿竹侯。) Pei Songzhi's annotation in Sanguozhi vol. 45.
  8. ^ http:/www.kongming.net/novel/ranks/shu
  9. ^ Histoircally, Wu Ban is listed as General of Chariots and Cavalry as late as 239, He likely died around that time of natural causes. (卻說孔明令魏延、馬岱引兵渡渭水攻北原;令吳班,吳懿引木筏兵去燒浮橋;令王平、張嶷為前隊,姜維、馬忠為中隊,廖化、張翼為後隊,分兵三路,去攻渭水旱營。是日午時,人馬離大寨,盡渡渭水,列成陣勢,緩緩而行。卻說魏延、馬岱將近北原,天色已昏。孫禮哨見,便棄營而走。魏延知有準備,急退軍時,四下喊聲大震;左有司馬懿,右有郭淮,兩路兵殺來。魏延、馬岱奮力殺出,蜀兵多半落於水中,餘眾奔逃無路。幸得吳懿兵殺來,救了敗兵過岸拒住。吳班分一半兵撐筏順水來燒浮橋,卻被張虎、樂綝在岸上亂箭射住。吳班中箭落水而死。餘軍跳水逃命。木筏盡被魏兵奪去。) Sanguo Yanyi ch. 102.