Gongjin's Campaign Memorials
Gongjin's Campaign Memorials

Records of the Three Kingdoms (Sanguo zhi 三國志) is regarded as the official history of the period of the Three Kingdoms covering the years 184 – 280 AD. Compiled by Chen Shou 陳壽 who used various historical texts as carefully considered sources. Chen’s work resulted in a collection of biographies spread over three shū 書 (‘histories’ or ‘books’) and sixty-five juǎn 卷 (‘scrolls’, ‘fascicles’ or ‘chapters’). One book per dynasty; one for Wei, a second for Shu-Han and a third for Wu.

During the fifth century the work was further annotated by Pei Songzhi 裴松之, making the work three times longer than the original. Pei Songzhi's additions include some topics of debate, such as Zhuge Liang's War of Pacification in Nanzhong.

Origin and Structure[]

The author/compiler of the Records of the Three Kingdoms, Chen Shou, was from Anhan county in Baxi commandery of the Shu-Han empire. In the year 263 AD Shu-Han was conquered by Wei. In 265 AD Wei was abolished by Sima Yan, who founded Jin.

Chen Shou was born in the year 233 AD and thus spent the first thirty years of his life in Shu-Han, then two years in Wei before it was abolished to create Jin in 265 AD where Chen Shou would live his final 32 years.

In his youth Chen Shou studied with another historian from Baxi commandery, Qiao Zhou, and learned the Shang shu 尚書 [Hallowed Documents] and the three commentaries to the Spring and Autumn Annals. He especially concentrated on The Records of the Grand Historian (Shǐjì 史記) and the History of Han (Hàn shū 漢書). Later, Chen Shou became an official in Shu-Han and held various titles.

When Jin was founded Chen Shou did not immediately take office, but after some time was recommended as filially and incorrupt by the powerful Zhang Hua. Later, the Inspector of the Palace Writers Xun Xu and the Prefect of the Palace Writers He Jiao enlisted him to edit the works of the Shu-Han statesman Zhuge Liang, which resulted in the Zhuge Liang ji 諸葛亮集 [Collected Works of Zhuge Liang].

When Wu was conquered by Jin in 280 AD Chen Shou began work on the Records of the Three Kingdoms.[1] It is not known when Chen completed the manuscrupt for Records of the Three Kingdoms. The part about Shu-Han could've been finished even before the fall of Shu-Han. The part about Wu was likely not started on before Jin's conquest of Wu.

Pei Songzhi's Annotations[]

In the fifth century the work was further annotated by Pei Songzhi making the work three times as long as the original. After completing the annotations on Sanguo zhi, the work became the official history of the Three Kingdoms period, under the title Sānguó zhì zhù 三國志注 "Records of the Three Kingdoms Annotated".

Cited texts[]

Main article: List of cited texts in Records of the Three Kingdoms

A selection of texts Pei Songzhi cited from.

Wèi shū 魏書
[Book of Wei or History of Wei]
by: Wang Chen 王沈
released: 3rd century
juǎn 卷: 40
Wú shū 吳書
[Book of Wu or History of Wu]
by: Wei Zhao 韋昭
released: 3rd century
juǎn 卷: 55
Cáo Mán zhuán 曹瞞傳
[Biography of Cao Man]
by: A man from Wu 吳人
released: ?
juǎn 卷: 1
Hànmo yīngxióng jì 漢末英雄紀
[Records of Heroes and Champions at the End of Han]
by: Wei Zhao 韋昭
released: late 2nd, early 3rd century
juǎn 卷: 10
Zhūgé Liàng jí 諸葛亮集
[Collected Works of Zhuge Liang]
by: Zhuge Liang, Chen Shou, Xun Xu, He Jiao
released: 3rd century
juǎn 卷: 24
Hàn-Jìn chūnqiū 漢晉春秋
[Chronicles of Han and Jin]
by: Xi Zuochi 習鑿齒
released: 4th century
juǎn 卷: ?


As mentioned above the work is divided into three volumes, or 'books' (shū 書); the Book of Wei (Wèi shū 魏書), the Book of Shu (Shǔ shū 蜀書) and the Book of Wu (Wú shū 吳書). People of the preceeding Han dynasty (such as He Jin, Huangfu Song) and the succeeding Jin dynasty (such as Sima Yi, Du Yu) are subject in the History of the Later Han and the History of Jin and thus not mentioned in this work.

Book of Wei (Wèi shū 魏書)[]

Chaptertitle Translation
1 武帝紀 Annals of Emperor Wu
2 文帝紀 Annals of Emperor Wen
3 明帝紀 Annals of Emperor Ming
4 三少帝紀 Annals of the three young emperors
5 后妃傳 Biographies of empresses and concubines
6 董二袁劉傳 Biographies of Dong, the two Yuans, Liu
7 呂布臧洪傳 Biographies of Lü Bu, Zang Hong
8 二公孫陶四張傳 Biographies of the two Gongsuns, Tao, the four Zhangs
9 諸夏侯曹傳 Biographies of the Xiahous and Caos
10 荀彧荀攸賈詡傳 Biographies of Xun Yu, Xun You, Jia Xu
11 袁張涼國田王邴管傳 Biographies of Yuan, Zhang, Liang, Guo, Tian, Wang, Bing, Guan
12 崔毛徐何邢司馬傳 Biographies of Cui, Mao, Xu, He, Xing, Sima
13 鍾繇華歆王朗傳 Biographies of Zhong Yao, Hua Xin, Wang Lang
14 程郭董劉蔣劉傳 Biographies of Cheng, Dong, Guo, Liu, Jiang, Liu
15 劉司馬梁張溫賈傳 Biographies of Liu, Sima, Liang, Zhang, Wen, Jia
16 任蘇杜鄭倉傳 Biographies of Ren, Su, Du, Zheng, Cang
17 張樂于張徐傳 Biographies of Zhang, Yue, Yu, Zhang, Xu
18 二李臧文呂許典二龐閻傳 Biographies of the two Lis, Zang, Wen, Lü, Xu, Dian, the two Pangs, Yan
19 任城陳蕭王傳 Biographies of the princes of Rencheng, Chen, Xiao
20 武文世王公傳 Biographies of nobles in Emperors Wu and Wen's time
21 王衛二劉傳 Biographies of Wang, Wei, the two Lius
22 桓二陳徐衛盧傳 Biographies of Huan, the two Chens, Xu, Wei, Lu
23 和常楊杜趙裴傳 Biographies of He, Chang, Yang, Du, Zhao, Pei
24 韓崔高孫王傳 Biographies of Han, Cui, Gao, Sun, Wang
25 辛毗楊阜高堂隆傳 Biographies of Xin Pi, Yang Fu, Gaotang Long
26 滿田牽郭傳 Biographies of Man, Tian, Qian, Guo
27 徐胡二王傳 Biographies of Xu, Hu, the two Wangs
28 王毌丘諸葛鄧鍾傳 Biographies of Wang, Guanqiu, Zhuge, Deng, Zhong
29 方技傳 Biographies of fangshis and artisans
30 烏丸鮮卑東夷傳 Biographies of the Wuhuan, Xianbi, Dongyi

Book of Shu (Shǔ shū 蜀書)[]

Chaptertitle Translation
31 劉二牧傳 Biographies of the two Governor Lius
32 先主傳 Biography of the Former Lord
33 後主傳 Biography of the Later Lord
34 二主妃子傳 Biographies of concubines and sons of the two Lords
35 諸葛亮傳 Biography of Zhuge Liang
36 關張馬黃趙傳 Biographies of Guan, Zhang, Ma, Huang, Zhao
37 龐統法正傳 Biographies of Pang Tong, Fa Zheng
38 許麋孫簡伊秦傳 Biographies of Xu, Mi, Sun, Jian, Yi, Qin
39 董劉馬陳董呂傳 Biographies of Dong, Liu, Ma, Chen, Dong, Lü
40 劉彭廖李劉魏楊傳 Biographies of Liu, Peng, Liao, Li, Liu, Wei, Yang
41 霍王向張楊費傳 Biographies of Huo, Wang, Xiang, Zhang, Yang, Fei
42 杜周杜許孟來尹李譙郤傳 Biographies of Du, Zhou, Du, Xu, Meng, Lai, Yin, Li, Qiao, Xi
43 黃李呂馬王張傳 Biographies of Huang, Li, Lü, Ma, Wang, Zhang
44 蔣琬費禕姜維傳 Biographies of Jiang Wan, Fei Yi, Jiang Wei
45 鄧張宗楊傳 Biographies of Deng, Zhang, Zong, Yang

Book of Wu (Wú shū 吳書)[]

Chaptertitle Translation
46 孫破虜討逆傳 Biographies of Sun Who Defeats Barbarians, and Sun Who Attacks Rebels
47 吳主傳 Biography of the Lord of Wu
48 三嗣主傳 Biographies of the three heirs
49 劉繇太史慈士燮傳 Biographies of Liu Yao, Taishi Ci, Shi Xie
50 妃嬪傳 Biographies of concubines and ladies
51 宗室傳 Biographies of nobles
52 張顧諸葛步傳 Biographies of Zhang, Gu, Zhuge, Bu
53 張嚴程闞薛傳 Biographies of Zhang, Yan, Cheng, Kan, Xue
54 周瑜魯肅呂蒙傳 Biographies of Zhou Yu, Lu Su, and Lü Meng
55 程黃韓蔣周陳董甘淩徐潘丁傳 Cheng, Huang, Han, Jiang, Zhou, Chen, Dong, Gan, Ling, Xu, Pan, Ding
56 朱治朱然呂範朱桓傳 Biographies of Zhu Zhi, Zhu Ran, Lü Fan, Zhu Huan
57 虞陸張駱陸吾朱傳 Biographies of Yu, Lu, Zhang, Luo, Lu, Wu, Zhu
58 陸遜傳 Biography of Lu Xun
59 吳主五子傳 Biographies of the five sons of the Lord of Wu
60 賀全呂周鍾離傳 Biographies of He, Quan, Lü, Zhou, Zhongli
61 潘濬陸凱傳 Biographies of Pan Jun and Lu Kai
62 是儀胡綜傳 Biographies of Shi Yi Hu Zong
63 吳範劉惇趙達傳 Biographies of Wu Fan, Liu Dun, Zhao Da
64 諸葛滕二孫濮陽傳 Biographies of Zhuge, Teng, the two Suns, Puyang
65 王樓賀韋華傳 Biographies of Wang, Lou, He, Wei, Hua

See also[]



  1. Cutter & Crowell, Empresses & Consorts, page 63


  • Chen Shou 陳壽 (233–297). Sanguo zhi 三國志 “Records of the Three Kingdoms”, with official commentary compiled by Pei Songzhi 裴松之 (372-451).
  • Cutter, Robert Joe and William Gordon Crowell. Empresses and Consorts - Selections from Chen Shou's Records of the Three States with Pei Songzhi's Commentary. Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press, 1999.
  • de Crespigny, Rafe. Generals of the South: the foundation and early history of the Three Kingdoms state of Wu. Canberra: The Australian National University, 1990.
  • Fang Xuanling 房玄齡 (578-648). Jin shu 晉書 “History of Jin”. Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1974.