Liu Yu (warlord)

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Liu Yu
Traditional Chinese 劉虞
Simplified Chinese 刘虞

Liu Yu (died 193) was a warlord and politician during the late Han Dynasty period of Chinese history.

During the campaign against Dong Zhuo, the Guandong coalition asked Liu Yu to declare himself emperor, since he was a member of the extended family of the Han Dynasty emperors, but Liu Yu refused. He was later killed by the warlord Gongsun Zan under false accusations that he was plotting to seize the throne.


  • Ancestor: Liu Jiang (劉彊), Prince Gong of Donghai, deposed crown prince of Emperor Guangwu
  • Grandfather: Liu Jia (劉嘉), served as Minister of the Household
  • Father: Liu Shu (劉舒), served as Administrator of Danyang
  • Son: Liu He (劉和), served as Palace Attendant (侍中). He was captured and held hostage by Yuan Shu but later escaped to join Yuan Shao. He sought revenge with his father's former subordinates against Gongsun Zan after Gongsun killed his father.

Appointments and titles held

  • Prefect of Boling (博平令)
  • Inspector of You Province (幽州刺史)
  • Chancellor of Ganling (甘陵相)
  • Minister of the Imperial Clan (宗正)
  • Grand Marshal (大司馬)
  • Marquis of Xiangben (襄賁侯)
  • Grand Tutor (太傅)

In fiction

In Luo Guanzhong's historical novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms, during the time of the Yellow Turban Rebellion, Liu Yu was the governor of Youzhou in northern China; his call for volunteers to fight the rebellion in his province was the event which led to Liu Bei, Guan Yu and Zhang Fei taking the Oath of the Peach Garden and forming their first army. This account, however, was inaccurate, as Liu Yu was actually not commissioned as the governor of Youzhou until 188, several years after the Yellow Turban Rebellion.

See also