Liu Fu (Yuanying)

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This article is about the Han Dynasty politician. For the linguist and poet, see Liu Bannong.
Liu Fu
Official of Han Dynasty
Born (Unknown)
Died 208[1]
Traditional Chinese 劉馥
Simplified Chinese 刘馥
Pinyin Liú Fù
Wade–Giles Liu Fu
Courtesy name Yuanying (traditional Chinese: 元穎; simplified Chinese: 元颖; pinyin: Yuányǐng; Wade–Giles: Yüan-ying)
This is a Chinese name; the family name is Liu.

Liu Fu (died 208), courtesy name Yuanying, was a politician who lived in the late Eastern Han Dynasty. He served as the Inspector of Yang Province. Liu Fu became known for having turned Hefei into a stronghold for enacting colonization, irrigation, and the building of schools.


Liu Fu's ancestral home was in Xiang County, Pei (northwest of present-day Suixi County, Anhui). During the final years of the Eastern Han Dynasty, he fled to Yang Province (揚州) to escape the chaos. In early 196 he persuaded the warlord Yuan Shu's generals Qi Ji (戚寄) and Qin Yi (秦翊) to defect to another warlord Cao Cao, who held the post of Excellency over the Masses (司徒) then. Cao Cao was pleased and employed Liu Fu as an assistant official.

In 200, the warlord Sun Ce sent Li Shu (李述), Administrator of Lujiang (廬江), to kill Yan Xiang, the Inspector (刺史) of Yang Province. Mei Qian (梅乾), Lei Xu (雷緒) and Chen Lan amassed thousands of men in the Huai River region. At that time, Cao Cao was busy fighting his rival Yuan Shao at the Battle of Guandu and could not find time to pacify the area. Cao Cao heard that Liu Fu could stabilize the southeast (referring to the Huai River and Jiangdong regions) so he appointed Liu as the Inspector of Yang Province.

Upon taking office, Liu Fu ordered the construction of Hefei fortress (合肥城) to serve as the administrative center of Yang Province (previous administrative center was at Liyang 歷陽). Concurrently, he pacified Mei Qian, Lei Xu and Chen Lan, bringing them under control and making use of them to help him stabilize the area. Liu Fu governed the area well and many people who previously fled from the area during the period of chaos now returned. With an increase in population, Liu Fu had more schools built and promoted agriculture and irrigation. He also constructed defensive infrastructure and stored up military supplies for defense purposes.

In fiction[edit]

In Luo Guanzhong's historical novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms, before the Battle of Red Cliffs, Cao Cao wrote a poem, Short Song Style, to express his feelings at that time. Liu Fu commented that the following lines in the poem were considered inauspicious:


Stars around the moons are few,
southward the crows flew.


Flying with no rest,
where shall they nest?

Cao Cao, who was drunk then, was enraged and he stabbed Liu Fu with his spear and killed him. He regretted his action later when he became sober.


  • Son: Liu Jing (劉靖), served in the Eastern Han Dynasty and the state of Cao Wei. His highest appointment during service was General who Guards the North (鎮北將軍). He was granted the title of Marquis of Jiancheng (成鄉侯).
  • Grandsons:
    • Liu Xi (劉熙), Liu Jing's son, inherited his father's marquis title
    • Liu Hong (劉弘), Liu Xi's younger brother. During the Western Jin Dynasty, he served as Senior General of Chariots and Cavalry (車騎大將軍), Inspector of Jing Province (荊州刺史), and was granted the title of Duke of Xincheng Commandery (新城郡公).
  • Great grandson: Liu Fan (劉璠), Liu Hong's son, served as North General of the Household (北中郎將) during the Eastern Jin Dynasty

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Liu Fu's biography in Records of the Three Kingdoms stated that Liu died in the 13th year of the Jian'an era (196-220) in the reign of Emperor Xian of Han. (建安十三年卒。)