Gongjin's Campaign Memorials
Gongjin's Campaign Memorials

Gaoding 高定 or Gaodingyuan 高定元 was a king of non-Chinese people in Yuexi commandery. In 218 AD he rebelled around Jianwei commandery but was quelled by Li Yan 李嚴. After the death of Liu Bei he rebelled again under the persuasion of Meng Huo, together with Yong Kai, Zhu Bao and Meng Huo.


Gaoding was from Yuexi 越巂 commandery in Yi Province.[1] The commandery lay south in Yi Province, in an area called Nanzhong 南中. Gaoding was a king of non-Chinese people.[1]

Gaoding is first mentioned in the year 218 AD. In that year he began his revolt by killing Shu-Han general Jiao Huang and declared himself king. He followed this up by attacking a county city in Jianwei commandery, but he was driven away by its Grand Administrator, Li Yan.[1]

After the death of Liu Bei in the fourth month of 223 AD a chieftain in the south of Yi Province called Yong Kai revolted and seized the Grand Administrator of Yizhou Commandery and sent him to Sun Quan of Wu as a means of offering allegiance. In return Sun Quan appointed Yong Kai from afar as Grand Administrator of Yongchang Commandery (Yǒngchāng tàishǒu 永昌太守).[n 1]

When Yong Kai went to pick up his post he was met with strong resistence by Shu-Han troops and was unable to advance. He therefore called upon the help of a man of the district, called Meng Huo 孟獲. Meng Huo was asked to persuade the various barbarian tribes of the region to join Yong Kai. Gaoding was one of the men who revolted and responded.[3]

In the year 225 AD, Gaoding was killed under one of Zhuge Liang's expeditions.

See Also[]


  1. “吳主孫權遙用闓為永昌太守;,”[2]
  • In Huayang guo zhi Gaoding is referred to as Gaodingyuan 高定元.
  • 高定[元] has been translated variously, as 'Gao Ding', 'Gaoding', 'Gao Ding Yuan', 'Gao Dingyuan' and 'Gaodingyuan'. The most common translations are 'Gaoding' and 'Gaodingyuan'.
  • Kongming's Archives believes 'Yuan' 元 was Gaoding's style name.[4] Rafe de Crespigny however, does not list 'Yuan' 元 in his list of style names in A Biographical Dictionary of Later Han to the Three Kingdoms.[5]

Fact vs. Fiction[]


  • ...Gaoding did not have an officer called E Huan 鄂煥. E Huan is a fictional character.
  • ...Gaoding did not surrender to Zhuge Liang, instead he was executed by him.
  • ...Gaoding did not kill Zhu Bao.
  • ...Gaoding was not a Governor of Yuexi commandery.
  • ...Gaoding did not become a magistrate of Yi.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 de Crespigny, A Biographical Dictionary, biography of Gaoding[yuan], page 246
  2. Chang Qu, Huáyáng guó zhí, scroll 4
  3. Fang, Chronicle of the Three Kingdoms, page 143
  4. Kongming's Archives, biography of Gao Ding
  5. de Crespigny, A Biographical Dictionary, List Of Styles pages 1297-98