Liao Hua

Liao Hua


Liao Hua (??? - 264 CE), courtesy name Yuanjian (元儉), was a military and political figure during the Eastern Han Dynasty and Three Kingdoms era of China. According to "Romance of the Three Kingdoms", he was a former Yellow Turban rebel who proved himself a capable military general on multiple occasions. While there is no historical evidence to support this claim, he did live over 70 years, as evidenced in the San Guo Zhi biography of Zong Yu.

He was secretary to the great Shu general Guan Yu. When Guan Yu was defeated at the Battle of Fancheng, Liao Hua was taken into the Kingdom of Wu. He, however, desired to return to his former ruler Liu Bei, and thus he staged his own death. He then took his mother and escaped westward, traveling night and day. At the same time Liu Bei was marching eastward, and the two met up at Zigui. Liu Bei was greatly pleased, and made Liao Hua grand administrator of Yidu.

After Liu Bei died, Liao Hua became a military adviser of sorts to the Shu Prime Minister Zhuge Liang, and then became controller of the Guangwu region. Later, he was promoted to the position of General of the Chariots and Cavalry of the Right, made designated inspector of Bing Province, and granted the title of Marquis of Zhongxiang. He was famous for his determination and prowess and was present in most of Shu's important campaigns against the Kingdoms of Wei and Wu.

In the historical novel "Romance of Three Kingdoms" by Luo Guanzhong, Liao Hua was one of Guan Yu's officers. Guan Yu was besieged in the city of Maicheng and required an officer to ride on horseback to reach Liu Feng's castle to request reinforcements. Liao Hua volunteered and was able to travel alone, through the oncoming horde of Wu soldiers, finally reaching Liu Feng. Liu Feng, however, refused to send reinforcements and supplies, since Guan Yu was besieged by overwhelming Wu troops and it might be too risky for a rescue. Angered, Liao Hua rode to Shu's capital at Chengdu and reported Liu Feng's refusal to help Guan Yu to Liu Bei; Liu Bei, enraged, ordered the execution of Liu Feng. Liao Hua took part in Zhuge Liang's Northern Expeditions, and well-known for acquiring Sima Yi's golden helmet.

After the surrender of Shu Han, Liao Hua was relocated to Luoyang, but he died on the way.

He lived to see the birth of the Kingdom of Shu to its demise in 264 (whereupon he died). In his career, Liao Hua reached the second-highest general's rank, proving himself in battle on several occasions. This was, according to some, the most telling reflection of the ill fortunes which plagued Shu. After all, many of Shu's greatest generals such as the likes of Guan Yu, Zhang Fei and Huang Zhong, all met untimely deaths and could not live to see the later prosperities of Shu.

ee also

*Three Kingdoms
*Personages of the Three Kingdoms
*"Records of Three Kingdoms"
*"Romance of the Three Kingdoms"

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