There is little historical information on Guan Ping (not even his style name is recorded). In Record of the Three Kingdoms the Book of Shu 6 he is mentioned during the battle for Jing Province in 219. Guan Yu was never impressed by Sun Quan's commander Lu Su 魯肅, and never expected any threat from his successor Lü Meng 呂蒙. However, during the battle for Jing province the ill Lü Meng brought an army up the Yangzi river to attack Guan Yu's rear. At that time Guan Yu had already been driven back by Cao Ren 曹仁 at Xiangyang, thus Guan Yu's forces were now cut off at Nan commandery. Shortly after they were captured by Lü Meng's forces and killed.
In neither the Book of Shu, nor the Book of Wu, Lü Meng is mentioned as the one who executed the Guan's, though it does seem likely he was somehow involved in the execution.
Fact vs. Fiction
- Guan Ping was not Guan Yu's adopted son. He was Guan Yu's biological son.
- Guan Ding and Guan Ning, father and brother of Guan Ping in Romance of the Three Kingdoms, are fictional.
- de Crespigny, A Biographical Dictionary of Later Han to the Three Kingdoms, biography of Guan Ping, page 276
- de Crespigny, A Biographical Dictionary of Later Han to the Three Kingdoms, biography of Guan Yu, page 277
- Chen Shou 陳壽 (233-297). Sanguo zhi 三國志 "Records of the Three Kingdoms," with official commentary compiled by Pei Songzhi 裴松之 (372-451).
- de Crespigny, Rafe. A Biographical Dictionary of Later Han to the Three Kingdoms. Leiden: BRILL, 2007.