Cao Quan Stele


The full title of this work, which is known as Cao Quan bei (Cao Quan stele), is Han Heyang ling Cao Quan bei (Stele inscription of Cao Quan, magistrate of Heyang of Han). The original stele dates from the second year (185) of the Zhongping reign of Eastern Han. It was discovered in the old city of Heyang, Shaanxi, in the first year (1573) of the Wanli period (1573‒1620) of Ming. The stele was moved in 1965 to the Forest of Stone Steles Museum, Xi’an. This inscription in Han script is renowned for its elegant style and has been highly praised by calligraphers throughout the centuries. The stele was erected by Wang Chang and others in memory of Cao Quan, his great deeds, merits, and moral values. In addition to describing Cao Quan’s life, qualities, and genealogy, the text also records the important historical event of the Yellow Turban Uprising, which began in 184 and was led by Zhang Jiao. After this Ming rubbing was rebound in accordion format, it could be seen that the character xi was undamaged. The work also has inscriptions by Weng Fanggang (1733‒1818), Zhuang Jindu (1799‒1852), Liang Qichao (1873‒1929), and other personalities. Among the seal impressions are: “Yizhai,” and “Suzhai jin shi wen” (seal of Weng Fanggang), “Ye Zhishen shen ding ji” (seal of Ye Zhishen, 1779‒1863), and “Yinbingshi cang” (seal of Liang Qichao).

Last updated: August 31, 2017