Huangfu Duan

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Huangfu Duan
Water Margin character
First appearance Chapter 70
Nickname "Purple Bearded Count"
紫髯伯
Rank 57th, Beast Star (地獸星) of the 72 Earthly Fiends
Veterinarian of Liangshan
Origin Veterinarian
Ancestral home / Place of origin Youzhou (present-day Beijing)
Names
Simplified Chinese 皇甫端
Traditional Chinese 皇甫端
Pinyin Huángfǔ Duān
Wade–Giles Huang-fu Tuan

Huangfu Duan is a fictional character in Water Margin, one of the Four Great Classical Novels in Chinese literature. He ranks 57th among the 108 Liangshan heroes and 21st among the 72 Earthly Fiends. He is nicknamed "Purple Bearded Count".

Background[edit]

The novel describes Huangfu Duan as a weird-looking man with green eyes and a long yellow beard. He is believed to be a non-Han, unlike all the other heroes, and is nicknamed "Purple Bearded Count".

Huangfu Duan is from Youzhou (幽州; present-day Beijing) and he works as a veterinarian in Dongchang Prefecture (東昌府; in present-day Liaocheng, Shandong). He specialises in curing horses of their wounds and illnesses and looking after their health. He can cure 408 different types of diseases contracted by horses, and is rumoured to be able to bring dead horses back to life.

Joining Liangshan[edit]

Although the last of the 108 Stars to appear in the book, Huangfu Duan is not the last to join the outlaw band of Liangshan Marsh. Gong Wang and Ding Desun, the two lieutenants of Zhang Qing, who guards Dongchang Prefecture, agree to join after Huangfu. They have earlier been captured by Liangshan. Zhang himself is also later captured by the band, who has come to Dongchang to demand food supply. Zhang agrees to join Liangshan and it is he who recommends Huangfu to Song Jiang, the chief of Liangshan.

Huangfu Duan becomes Liangshan's veterinarian and cares after horses. He follows the heroes on their campaigns against the Liao invaders and rebel forces in Song territory after they have been granted amnesty by Emperor Huizong. Just before the final campaign, whose object is rebel leader Fang La, begins, the emperor summons Huangfu Duan and Jin Dajian back to the capital to serve in the palace. He serves as an imperial veterinarian for the rest of his life.

References[edit]