Xiahou Ying

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This is a Chinese name; the family name is Xiahou.
Xiahou Ying
Traditional Chinese 夏侯嬰
Simplified Chinese 夏侯婴

Xiahou Ying (died 172 BCE) was an official who served as a Minister Coachman (taipu 太僕) in the early Western Han dynasty. He served Liu Bang, the founder of the Han dynasty, and fought on Liu's side during the Chu–Han Contention (206–202 BCE) against Liu's rival Xiang Yu.

Life[edit]

Xiahou Ying was a native of Pei (present-day Suixi County, Anhui). In his early days, he worked in the county office of Pei County, and was in charge of horses and chariots. He was a close friend of Liu Bang. Once, Liu Bang played a prank on him and caused him to be injured. Liu Bang was supposed to be punished, but Xiahou Ying helped him cover up the incident and was beaten and imprisoned.

Xiahou Ying joined Liu Bang when the latter started a rebellion to overthrow the Qin dynasty. He served as Liu Bang's personal charioteer and fought bravely on the battlefield. Liu Bang granted him the title of "Duke of Teng" (滕公) in recognition of his contributions. After the fall of the Qin dynasty, Xiang Yu divided the former Qin Empire into the Eighteen Kingdoms. Liu Bang became the King of Han and was relocated to Hanzhong in the remote Bashu region (in present-day Sichuan). Xiahou Ying followed Liu Bang to Hanzhong and later received the title of "Marquis of Zhaoping". He served Han as a Minister Coachman.

During the Chu–Han Contention, a power struggle between Liu Bang and Xiang Yu, Xiahou Ying participated actively in many battles. In 205 BCE, Liu Bang was defeated by Xiang Yu at the Battle of Pengcheng and was forced to retreat. During the retreat, Liu Bang attempted to abandon his two children in order to lighten the load of his carriage. Xiahou Ying was driving the carriage and he stopped Liu Bang each time. Liu Bang was angry with Xiahou Ying and threatened to kill him. However, all of them managed to escape.

Liu Bang eventually defeated Xiang Yu, established the Han dynasty, and became historically known as "Emperor Gaozu of Han". Xiahou Ying followed Liu Bang to suppress rebellions by the vassals. During the Battle of Baideng against the Xiongnu, Xiahou Ying helped Liu Bang escape from danger again. After Liu Bang's death, Xiahou Ying continued serving as Minister Coachman during the reign of Emperor Hui. After the Lü Clan Disturbance was over, Xiahou Ying and others helped Liu Heng succeed to the throne as Emperor Wen. Xiahou Ying continued serving until his death and posthumously conferred the title of "Marquis of Wen" (文侯) by Emperor Wen.

References[edit]