Guo Dian 郭典 was the Grand Administrator of Julu commandery when the Yellow Turbans (huángjīn 黃巾) rebelled in 184 A.D.


Guo Dian was from Zuopingyi commandery, which lay west in Henan province. In 184 A.D., when the Yellow Turban Rebellion began, Guo Dian was the Grand Administrator of Julu commandery.[1] The brothers Zhang Jue 張角, Zhang Bao 張寶 and Zhang Liang 張梁, instigators of the rebellion, were also from Julu commandery and they had overtaken the cities Xiaquyang and Guanzong.

When the imperial army was sent to take care of the Rebellion, the General of the Gentlemen of the Household of the North Lu Zhi 盧植 was sent to attack Julu commandery. He outmatched the Yellow Turbans, but was recalled to the capital following slander from the eunuch Zuo Feng 左豐. The General of the Gentlemen of the Household of the East Dong Zhuo 董卓 was sent to replace him.[2] Guo Dian assisted Dong Zhuo in attacking Julu.

It is somewhat unclear what Dong Zhuo's target was when he attacked Julu commandery. Before, Lu Zhi had forced the Yellow Turbans to take refuge in Guanzong. Professor Rafe de Crespigny believes Dong Zhuo continued where Lu Zhi left off; thus attacked Guanzong, where Zhang Liang resided. Carl Leban, however, believes that Dong Zhuo attacked Xiaquyang, where Zhang Bao resided. In any case, Dong Zhuo failed to make any progress against the Yellow Turbans and he retreated. It is said that Guo Dian fought more energetic than Dong Zhuo and the latter felt embarrased. This might be no more than another slander against the future usurper Dong Zhuo.[1]

According to Carl Leban, Guo Dian fought very energetic and kept pressuring Zhang Bao at Xiaquyang and the Yellow Turban did not dare to come out. When Huangfu Song 皇甫嵩 defeated Zhang Liang at Guanzong, he headed towards Xiaquyang and joined Guo Dian in his attacks. The Yellow Turbans were defeated and killed and Zhang Bao died during the slaughter.[2][3]

According to Rafe de Crespigny, Zhang Bao fled to Xiaquyang after Zhang Liang was defeated. He was pursued by Huangfu Song. When the two forces met at Xiaquyang, Guo Dian joined the battle and together they beat the Yellow Turbans.[4]



  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 de Crespigny, A Biographical Dictionary of Later Han to the Three Kingdoms, biography of Guo Dian, page 281
  2. 2.0 2.1 Leban, Ts'ao Ts'ao and the Rise of Wei, page 115
  3. Leban, Ts'ao Ts'ao and the Rise of Wei, page 116
  4. de Crespigny, Emperor Huan and Emperor Ling, Zhongping 1