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|Grand Commandant (太尉)|
28 January 250 – 15 June 251
|Preceded by||Jiang Ji|
|Succeeded by||Sima Fu|
|Minister of Works (司空)|
October or November 248 – 28 January 250
|Preceded by||Gao Rou|
|Succeeded by||Sun Li|
|General of Chariots and Cavalry|
2 July 241 – October or November 248
|Preceded by||Huang Quan|
|Succeeded by||Guo Huai|
|General Who Attacks the East|
240 – 2 July 241
Qi County, Shanxi
|Died||[a]15 June 251|
|Courtesy name||Yanyun (彥雲)|
|Peerage||Marquis of Nan District|
Early life and career
Wang Ling's family fled to the countryside after his uncle, Wang Yun, was executed in 192 for fomenting Lü Bu's assassination of Dong Zhuo. Later he was declared xiaolian, a crucial nomination to be considered for civil service appointments, and became the Administrator of Zhongshan Commandery (中山太守). His excellent public service was noticed by chancellor Cao Cao, who moved him into his office.
Service in Cao Wei
In Cao Cao's army, Wang Ling engaged in several battles with Eastern Wu. As the Inspector of Yan Province, he attacked Sun Quan under Zhang Liao. His victory led to his promotion to General Who Builds Loyalty (建武將軍). In another battle against Eastern Wu, he rescued the besieged general Cao Xiu. He was promoted to General of Chariots and Cavalry (車騎將軍) after a major victory against Quan Cong.
In the second year of Cao Fang's reign, Wang Ling was appointed Minister of Works, while his nephew Linghu Yu (令狐愚) became the Inspector of Yan Province (兗州刺史). Wang Ling lost faith in Cao Fang's ability to rule after Sima Yi's coup d'etat in the incident at Gaoping Tombs succeeded in turning the emperor against Sima Yi's rival, Cao Shuang. As a result, Wang Ling conspired to replace emperor Cao Fang with his uncle Cao Biao. The conspiracy suffered a setback, however, when Linghu Yu died of an illness. The plot was discovered and Sima Yi led an army to Wang before he could prepare himself for a defense. After Wang Ling surrendered to Sima Yi with the promise of a pardon, he was forced to commit suicide, and his family members and associates were condemned to family annihilation.
- Cao Fang's biography in the Sanguozhi recorded that Wang Ling died on the jiayin day of the 5th month of the 3rd year of the Jiaping era of Cao Fang's reign. This date corresponds to 15 June 251 in the Gregorian calendar.
- ([嘉平三年]五月甲寅，淩自殺。) Sanguozhi vol. 4.
- Chen, Shou (3rd century). Records of the Three Kingdoms (Sanguozhi).
- Pei, Songzhi (5th century). Annotations to Records of the Three Kingdoms (Sanguozhi zhu).
- Sima, Guang (1084). Zizhi Tongjian.
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