Gao Shun

Gao Shun

Three Kingdoms infobox
Name=Gao Shun

Title=Military officer
Kingdom=Lü Bu
Pinyin=Gāo Shùn
WG=Kao Shun
Other=Formation breaker

Gao Shun (? – 198) was a military officer under the minor warlord Lü Bu during the late Eastern Han Dynasty and the Three Kingdoms era of China. He was most noted for his conquest of Xiaopei and the subsequent victory over a relief force led by Xiahou Dun, a prominent general under Cao Cao. In the same year, however, Cao Cao personally led a siege on Lü Bu's base city Xiapi and triumphed. Gao Shun was then executed alongside his lord, Lü Bu.

According to the "Records of Heroes" (英雄記) by Wang Can, Gao Shun was a simple and stern man who did not drink or accept undue gifts. His battalion, consisting of more than 700 men, was well-equipped and disciplined. The battalion was renowned for its frequent victories.

One night in 198 a subject of Lü Bu named Hao Meng rebelled. Hao Meng ordered his troops to surround the government house of Xiapi, where Lü Bu resided. The startled Lü Bu had to climb over the wall of the toilet and escape to the camp of Gao Shun, who then led a force to quell the rebellion. By the next morning Hao Meng and his troops had all been forced to retreat back to their own camp. Cao Xing, a subordinate of Hao Meng, then opposed his superior and the two dueled. Cao Xing was injured in the fight but cleaved an arm off Hao Meng. Gao Shun had also arrived at this time and finished off Hao Meng.

Although Lü Bu knew Gao Shun was very loyal, his advices did not always go down well. Lü Bu trusted Gao Shun even less after the Hao Meng incident. He stripped away commandership of Gao Shun and reassigned the latter's troops to Wei Xu, who was an in-law of Lü Bu. When battles arose, though, Gao Shun would be reinstated. Nonetheless, he remained faithful and never bore a grudge against his lord.

In the same year, Lü Bu felt threatened at Liu Bei's presence and sent Gao Shun to attack Xiaopei. Cao Cao then sent his trusted general Xiahou Dun to rescue Xiaopei, but Xiahou Dun was defeated by Gao Shun and got shot in the eye by an arrow in the process. In the end, Liu Bei had to desert the city to take shelter under Cao Cao. In the winter of 198, Cao Cao and Liu Bei allied together in the Battle of Xiapi, and when the city finally fell Gao Shun was captured along with Lü Bu. Showing no fear nor resistance, he was beheaded along with Chen Gong.

Gao Shun in Romance of the Three Kingdoms

"Romance of the Three Kingdoms", a 14th-century historical novel by Luo Guanzhong, was a romanticization of the events that occurred before and during the Three Kingdoms era. In Chapter 18, Gao Shun was said to have dueled Xiahou Dun during an encounter outside Xiaopei.

After forty to fifty bouts, Gao Shun was overmatched and had to retreat. Xiahou Dun urged his mount forward and chased Gao Shun deep into the enemy ranks. Then Cao Xing, a subject of Gao Shun, secretly took aim and fired an arrow at Xiahou Dun. The arrow hit the target right in the left eye. With a cry, Xiahou Dun pulled out the arrow along with his eyeball, which he swallowed.

His spear firmly held up, Xiahou Dun then came straight for Cao Xing. With no time to react, Cao Xing was impaled right in the face and died beneath his nemesis' horse. Gao Shun then turned and rallied his troops forward to defeat Xiahou Dun.


*cite book|author=Chen Shou|title=San Guo Zhi|publisher=Yue Lu Shu She|year=2002|id=ISBN 7-80665-198-5
*cite book|author=Luo Guanzhong|title=San Guo Yan Yi|publisher=Yue Lu Shu She|year=1986|id=ISBN 7-80520-013-0
*cite book|author=Lo Kuan-chung; tr. C.H. Brewitt-Taylor|title=Romance of the Three Kingdoms|publisher=Tuttle Publishing|year=2002|id=ISBN 0-8048-3467-9

ee also

*Three Kingdoms
*Personages of the Three Kingdoms
*"Records of Three Kingdoms"
*"Romance of the Three Kingdoms"

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