Lu was from Pingzhou (平州) in the Xihe (西河) region of western China (present-day Lishi District of Lüliang, Shanxi). In 119 BCE Emperor Wu of Han dispatched Lu along with Huo Qubing on an expedition north to attack the Xiongnu. After a successful campaign Lu was awarded the title General Fubo (伏波; literally "subduer of the waves"), a title later awarded to other illustrious military leaders such as Ma Yuan. Thereafter Lu led an army to subdue the southern kingdom of Nanyue and in 111 BCE attacked the island of Hainan off the south eastern coast of the Chinese mainland. After a successful assault, he divided the new territory into the twin prefectures of Zhuya (珠崖郡) and Dan'er (儋耳郡) thus making Hainan island part of China for the first time.
Despite this success, Lu was later demoted for an unspecified transgression and died not long afterwards.
- Records of the Grand Historian, Biography of the White Horse General (111 BCE)
- Book of Han, 12th Year in the Biography of Huo Qubing
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