Ying Shao

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Ying Shao (t. 應劭/s. 应劭, 140-206 CE),[1] also called Ling Shao, style name Zhongyuan (仲瑗), was a Chinese writer and historian of the late Eastern Han period (25–220 CE), an author of the famous work Fengsu Tongyi, an encyclopedic work about the folk customs and legends that existed in the Eastern Han state. Ying Shao occupied official posts in the administration of the Eastern Han, and in his official position he was an active participant in the political life of the Late Han period. He was a long-time close associate of Cao Cao, and in that connection he was extensively covered in the Hou Han Shu chapters 9, 35, 71, and 103, and in chapter 10 of the novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms.


Ying Shao was originally from Runan. In the early 190s, Ying Shao is known to be a Grand Administrator of Mount Tai in Xu Province. He repelled an attack on his commandery by the remnants of the Yellow Turban rebels, recorded in the Hou Han Shu. In 193-194, Cao Cao attacked Xu province to seek vengeance for the murder of his father, thus Ying Shao fled from Mount Tai and took refuge with the opposing warlord Yuan Shao. By the time Cao Cao defeated the Yuan family and conquered Hebei, Ying Shao was already dead. The interim events are given in two versions in the Pei Songzhi's annotations to the Sanguo Zhi, Guo Song's (郭頒) Shiyu (世語) version and Wei Zhao's Book of Wu (吳書) version.

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