Liu Fu (Yuanying)

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Liu Fu
Inspector of Yang Province (揚州刺史)
In office
200 (200) – 208 (208)
Monarch Emperor Xian of Han
Personal details
Born Unknown
Suixi County, Anhui
Died 208[1]
Hefei, Anhui
Children Liu Jing
Occupation Official
Courtesy name Yuanying (元穎)

Liu Fu (died 208), courtesy name Yuanying, was a government official who lived in the late Eastern Han dynasty and served as the Inspector of Yang Province from 200 to 208. After assuming office, he relocated the province's administrative centre from Liyang (歷陽; present-day He County, Anhui) to Hefei. During his tenure, Hefei became a highly militarised and well-defended military stronghold, which later served as a strategic location in several battles between the rival states of Cao Wei and Eastern Wu during the Three Kingdoms period (220–280).


Liu Fu's ancestral home was in Xiang County, Pei Commandery, which is located northwest of present-day Suixi County, Anhui. During the final years of the Eastern Han dynasty, he fled to Yang Province to escape the chaos. In early 196, he persuaded Qi Ji (戚寄) and Qin Yi, two officers serving under the warlord Yuan Shu, to defect to another warlord, Cao Cao, who was then the de facto head of the Han central government. Cao Cao was pleased and he employed Liu Fu as an assistant officer in his bureau.

In 200, the warlord Sun Ce sent Li Shu (李述), the Administrator of Lujiang Commandery, to kill Yan Xiang, the Inspector of Yang Province. Mei Qian (梅乾), Lei Xu (雷緒) and Chen Lan (陳蘭) amassed thousands of men in the Huai River region. At the time, Cao Cao was busy fighting his rival Yuan Shao at the Battle of Guandu and could not find time to deal with the unrest. He heard that Liu Fu was familiar with the Huai River and Jiangdong regions, so he recommended to the Han central government to appoint Liu Fu as the Inspector of Yang Province, essentially putting him into the position of a provincial governor.

Upon assuming office, Liu Fu ordered the construction of Hefei fortress (合肥城) to serve as the administrative centre of Yang Province; the previous administrative centre was at Liyang (歷陽; present-day He County, Anhui). Concurrently, he pacified Mei Qian, Lei Xu and Chen Lan, bringing them under control and making use of them to help him stabilise the region. 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 oversaw the construction of defence infrastructure and storing up of military supplies in preparation for war.

In Romance of the Three Kingdoms[edit]

In the 14th-century 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, in his drunken rage, 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 during the Three Kingdoms period. His highest appointment during service was General who Guards the North (鎮北將軍). He was also enfeoffed as the Marquis of Cheng District (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 held the peerage of Duke of Xincheng Commandery (新城郡公).
  • Great grandson: Liu Fan (劉璠), Liu Hong's son, served as a North General of the Household (北中郎將) during the Eastern Jin dynasty.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Liu Fu's biography in the Sanguozhi stated that he 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。)