Dian Wei

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Dian Wei (simplified: 典韦, traditional: 典韦, Pinyin : Diǎn Wěi; † 197 ) was a warrior of the late Han period and the time of the Three Kingdoms in ancient China. He served the warlord Cao Cao as a bodyguard and is described in legend as a tall, strong, impressive man of irrepressible strength.


Dian Wei was born in Jiwu (己 吾, in what is now Sui睢县County, Shangqiu City , Henan Province ). The story of the Three Kingdoms describes him as an imperturbable man with superhuman powers.

In his youth, Dian Wei once promised a friend that he would kill his rival. He disguised himself as a nobleman and came so freely in the house of the enemy in Suiyang (睢阳, today's district Suiyang睢阳区the city Shangqiu ), where he killed the whole family. Because the victims lived close to the market, the news of their death spread quickly and hundreds of men chased the killer. However, Dian Wei reached his companions in time and escaped after a fight.

When the local warlord Zhang Miao (张 邈) joined the coalition against Dong Zhuo in 189 and raised an army, Dian Wei followed him. He made a great impression on his superiors and achieved considerable success on the battlefield.

Dian Wei later served under Cao Cao's honored general Xiahou Dun . During the campaign against Lü Bu in Hanyang , Cao Cao's army was caught by the enemy. Dian Wei gathered a few men around him and provided them with double armor. Then he advanced against Lü Bus's army, but was attacked in the flank by archers. Allegedly, he won by throwing dozens of pikes and knocking an opponent off his horse with each bullet. Cao Cao was so impressed by Dian Wei's act that he made him a captain and his personal bodyguard.

Dian Wei participated on the front lines in each subsequent battle. He was considered loyal and reliable and almost never left Cao Cao's side. Because of his enormous appetite, several men are said to have always served him.

When Zhang Xiu attacked Cao Cao's camp at Wan Castle, Cao Cao escaped, and Dian Wei defended the main gate with a dozen men. But eventually they succumbed and fell.

Cao Cao was heartbroken over Dian Wei's death for a long time. He had Dian Wei's body stolen from Zhang Xiu's men and buried them in his hometown. He later made Dian Wei's son Dian Man (典 满) a commander in chief and held him tightly by his side.