Liu Dai

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Liu Dai
Traditional Chinese 劉岱
Simplified Chinese 刘岱

Liu Dai (died 192), courtesy name Gongshan (公山), was an official who lived in the late Eastern Han dynasty. His ancestral home was in Mouping County (牟平縣), Donglai Commandery (東萊郡; northwest of present-day Fushan District, Yantai, Shandong).


Liu Dai served as Palace Attendant (侍中) and Inspector of Yan Province (兗州刺史).

In the spring of 190, Liu Dai joined the coalition of warlords led by Yuan Shao to oppose Dong Zhuo, the self-appointed chancellor who usurped state power. Later Liu Dai had disagreements with Qiao Mao, Administrator of Dong Commandery, and he killed Qiao, replacing him with Wang Gong (王肱).

Liu Dai then arranged for marriages between his family and the clans of Yuan Shao and Gongsun Zan. Yuan Shao allowed his family members to stay with Liu Dai, while Gongsun Zan sent his follower Fan Fang (范方) to lead troops to support Liu Dai. When Yuan Shao later developed a rivalry with Gongsun Zan, the latter broke off relations with Liu Dai as well. Gongsun Zan said to Fan Fang, "If Liu Dai does not drive away Yuan Shao's family members, you will lead your men back to our territory. I'll attack Liu Dai after I've eliminated Yuan Shao." Liu Dai was at a loss over how to handle the crisis when his advisor Wang Yu (王彧) told him to consult Cheng Yu, and Liu Dai heeded his suggestion. Cheng Yu urged Liu Dai to stand on Yuan Shao's side and Liu followed the advice. Gongsun Zan was defeated and conquered by Yuan Shao eventually.

In 192, thousands of former Yellow Turban rebels from Qing Province swarmed into Yan Province and gathered in Dongping County (東平縣). Liu Dai wanted to attack the rebels but Bao Xin advised him against it. Liu Dai ignored Bao Xin and proceeded to attack the Yellow Turbans, and was defeated and killed in battle.

In Romance of the Three Kingdoms[edit]

In Luo Guanzhong's historical novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms, when Yan Province was conquered by the warlord Cao Cao, Liu Dai had no choice but to surrender. After losing his domain, he attacked Liu Bei, but was defeated and robbed of his position. Liu Dai followed his advisor Bao Xin's suggestion to join Cao Cao and had since been engaged in suppressing the Yellow Turban remnant forces. As his achievements increased, Liu Dai became more overconfident and he refused to listen to Bao Xin, which resulted in their deaths.


  • Ancestor: Liu Xie (刘渫), Marquis Gong of Mouping (牟平共侯), son of Liu Jianglü (劉將閭), Prince Xiao of Qi (齊孝王), lived in the Western Han dynasty
  • Father: Liu Yu (劉輿), also known as Liu Fang (劉方)
  • Uncles:
    • Liu Chong (劉寵), served as Grand Marshal (太尉)
    • Liu Wei (劉韙)
  • Younger brother: Liu Yao
  • Nephew: Liu Ji (劉基), served as Minister of the Household (光祿勳) and Supervisor of the Masters of Writing (錄尚書事) in Eastern Wu

Appointments and titles held[edit]

  • Palace Attendant (侍中)
  • Inspector of Yan Province (兗州刺史)

See also[edit]