Mingdi’s name at birth was Cao Rui (Ts’ao Jui). He was a son of Cao Pi, who was the ruler of the Kingdom of Wei. After his father, Cao Pi’s death in 226 CE, Cao Rui became the ruler of the Wei kingdom in 227 CE. Mingdi (Ming-ti) means “Brilliant Emperor”.
Not much is known about Mingdi and his rule of the Kingdom of Wei. During his few years of rule, there continued to be unrest in his kingdom. Overlords or chieftains rebelled and much time was spent by Mingdi to stop their push for his throne. He was one of the four poets of the Cao family.
Mingdi died in 239 CE and his son, Shaodi, succeeded him as ruler of the Kingdom of Wei.
After the death of Mingdi in 239 CE, Shaodi became the fourth ruler of the Kingdom of Wei in 240 CE. Shaodi means “Young Emperor”.
Little is known of Shaodi except that following in his predecesors footsteps, he attempted to gain control of his kingdom. With threats and attacks from tribes to the north of the Kingdom of Wei, Shaodi had little time to attempt a takeover of the southern kingdoms.
Shaodi died in 253 CE. Gao Gui Xiang Gong succeeded him as ruler of the Kingdom of Wei.
Emperor Gao Gui Xiang Gong
After the death of Shaodi in 253 CE, Gao Gui Xiang Gong became the fifth ruler of the Kingdom of Wei in 254 CE. Gao Gui Xiang Gong means “Duke of Noble Country”.
As with Shaodi before him, Gao Gui Xiang Gong was plagued with attacks from northern tribes.
Gao Gui Xiang Gong died in 260 CE. Yuandi succeeded him as ruler of the Kingdom of Wei.
After the death of Gao Gui Xiang Gong in 260 CE, Yuandi became the sixth and last ruler of the Kingdom of Wei in 260 CE. Yuandi means “Original Emperor”.
In the first two years of his rule, Yuandi was able to accomplish what his predecessors were unable to do, conquer a neighboring kingdom. Yuandi’s forces conquered the Shu Han kingdom in southwest China.
However, Yuandi was not able to rejoice in the successes of his army for too long as two years later, the son of the general that had conquered the Shu Han kingdom, removed Yuandi as ruler.