The maidservant (shìbì 侍婢) who appears in Lü Bu's biography in Records of the Three Kingdoms Book of Wei 7, was an employee of the Han dynasty, at the time usurped by Dong Zhuo 董卓. Through folklore she became known as Diaochan 貂蟬. Her real name is not found in historical records and the events attributed to Diaochan are mostly fictional.
The maidservant is mentioned only once in the Records of the Three Kingdoms:
Which can be translated as:
- “Dong Zhuo (mentioned as Zhuo 卓) ordered Lü Bu (mentioned as Bu 布) to guard the palace doors, but instead Lü Bu went into fornication (私通) with one of the maidservants (侍婢). He now had a guilty-conscience (心不自安).”
Basically Lü Bu's affair with the maidservant was one of many reasons, and not the reason for the tension between him and his adoptive father. There are no details about the affair, but seeing as the maidservant was mentioned only once it probably didn't last long.
Later the Minister over the Masses Wang Yun 王允 had noticed the changes in the relationship between Dong Zhuo and Lü Bu and drove them apart even further by conspiring with Lü Bu.
Unknown. Had an affair with Lü Bu.
- With the maidservant lies the origin of the many folkore about Diaochan and Lü Bu that was eventually added to the 14th century novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms.
Fact vs. Fiction
- ...the maidservant was not an (adoptive) daughter of Wang Yun.
- ...the maidservant did not have an affair with Dong Zhuo. Only with Lü Bu.
- Chen Shou, Records of the Three Kingdoms, Book of Wei 7; biography of Lü Bu
- 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. To Establish Peace. Vol. 1. Canberra: Faculty of Asian Studies, The Australian National University, 1996. 2 vols.
- Sima Guang 司馬光 (1019–1086). Zizhi tongjian 資治通鑒 “Comprehensive Mirror for Aid in Government”.