Cao Ju
Prince of Pengcheng (彭城王)
Tenure232 – early 260s
Tenure222 or after – 224 or before
Prince of Dingtao (定陶王)
Prince of Jiyin (濟陰王)
Tenure222 or after – 224 or before
Prince of Yiyang (義陽王)
Tenure222 – 222 or after
Prince of Zhangling (章陵王)
Bornafter 196[a]
  • Cao Cong
  • Cao Fan
  • Cao Chan
Family name: Cao (曹)
Given name: Ju (據)
HouseHouse of Cao
FatherCao Cao
MotherConsort Huan

Cao Ju (fl. 220s – early 260s) was an imperial prince of the state of Cao Wei in the Three Kingdoms period of China.


Cao Ju was a son of Cao Cao, a warlord who rose to prominence towards the end of the Han dynasty and laid the foundation for the Cao Wei state. His mother was Lady Huan (環氏), a concubine of Cao Cao. He had two full brothers: Cao Chong (elder) and Cao Yu (younger).[2]

In 211, Cao Ju was enfeoffed as the "Marquis of Fanyang" (范陽侯) by Emperor Xian, the figurehead emperor of the Han dynasty under Cao Cao's control. In 217, his title was changed to "Marquis of Wan" (宛侯).[3]

In 220, following Cao Cao's death, Cao Ju's half-brother Cao Pi usurped the throne from Emperor Xian, ended the Han dynasty, and established the Cao Wei state with himself as the new emperor. Cao Pi first enfeoffed Cao Ju as a duke in 221, but promoted him to a prince under the title "Prince of Zhangling" (章陵王) in 222. Later in 222, he changed Cao Ju's title to "Prince of Yiyang" (義陽王). Sometime between 222 and 224, he changed Cao Ju's title to "Prince of Pengcheng" (彭城王) and relocated him to Pengcheng (彭城; around present-day Xuzhou, Jiangsu), where Cao Ju's mother Lady Huan was living. Later, he changed Cao Ju's title to "Prince of Jiyin" (濟陰王). In 224, Cao Pi issued an edict to reform the nobility system by reducing the sizes of princedoms from commanderies to counties. Cao Ju's title was thus changed to "Prince of Dingtao (County)" (定陶王).[4]

In 232, after Cao Rui (Cao Pi's successor) restored the nobility system to the previous one, Cao Ju became the "Prince of Pengcheng (Commandery/State)" (彭城王) again. In 237, Cao Ju had 2,000 taxable households removed from his princedom as punishment after he was found guilty of ordering the manufacture of restricted items.[5] Cao Rui also issued an imperial edict to reprimand Cao Ju for his conduct.[6] The 2,000 taxable households were returned to him in 239.[7]

Throughout the reigns of the subsequent Wei emperors (Cao Fang and Cao Huan), the number of taxable households in Cao Ju's princedom increased until it reached 4,600.[8]


Cao Ju had at least three sons. One of them, Cao Cong (曹琮), was designated as the heir of Cao Ju's elder brother Cao Chong, because Cao Chong died early and had no son to succeed him.[9] The other two, Cao Fan (曹範) and Cao Chan (曹闡), were consecutively designated as the heirs of Cao Zizheng, a half-brother of Cao Ju, because Cao Zizheng too died early and had no son to succeed him.[10]

See also


  1. ^ Cao Chong was born in 196.[1] Since Cao Ju was younger than Cao Chong, he must have been born after 196.


  1. ^ (年十三,建安十三年疾病, ...) Sanguozhi vol. 20.
  2. ^ (武皇帝二十五男: ... 環夫人生鄧哀王沖、彭城王據、燕王宇, ...) Sanguozhi vol. 20.
  3. ^ (彭城王據,建安十六年封范陽侯。二十二年,徙封宛侯。) Sanguozhi vol. 20.
  4. ^ (黃初二年,進爵為公。三年,為章陵王,其年徙封義陽。文帝以南方下溼,又以環太妃彭城人,徙封彭城。又徙封濟陰。五年,詔曰:「先王建國,隨時而制。漢祖增秦所置郡,至光武以天下損耗,并省郡縣。以今比之,益不及焉。其改封諸王,皆為縣王。」據改封定陶縣。) Sanguozhi vol. 20.
  5. ^ (太和六年,改封諸王,皆以郡為國,據復封彭城。景初元年,據坐私遣人詣中尚方作禁物,削縣二千戶。) Sanguozhi vol. 20.
  6. ^ (魏書載璽書曰:「制詔彭城王:有司奏,王遣司馬董和,齎珠玉來到京師中尚方,多作禁物,交通工官,出入近署,踰侈非度,慢令違制,繩王以法。 ... 王其改行,茂昭斯義,率意無怠。」) Wei Shu annotation in Sanguozhi vol. 20.
  7. ^ (三年,復所削戶邑。) Sanguozhi vol. 20.
  8. ^ (正元、景元中累增邑,并前四千六百戶。) Sanguozhi vol. 20.
  9. ^ (... 命宛侯據子琮奉沖後。二十二年,封琮為鄧侯。) Sanguozhi vol. 20.
  10. ^ (以彭城王據子範奉整後。三年,封平氏侯。四年,徙封成武。太和三年,進爵為公。青龍三年薨。謚曰悼公。無後。四年,詔以範弟東安鄉公闡為郿公,奉整後。) Sanguozhi vol. 20.