- Liu Shan
Three Kingdoms infobox
Reign=223 - 263
Emperor Xiaohuai (孝懷皇帝)
Other=A Dou (阿斗)
Three Kingdoms infobox
Reign=223 - 263
Liu Shan, (commonly mispronounced as Liu Chan [ [http://www.zisi.net/htm/xzwj/lyrwj/2005-11-17-34471.htm "阿斗的大名怎样读"] by 吕友仁, "中华书局《文史知识》", 11th issue, 1988, retrieved
Widely known by his infant name "A Dou" (阿斗), Liu Shan was commonly perceived as an incapable, even retarded ruler. He was also accused of indulging in pleasures while neglecting state affairs. Some critics, however, believe that Liu Shan, like his father
Born in 207, Liu Shan was the oldest son of the powerful warlord Liu Bei, by his concubine
(An alternative story of Liu Shan's early life was given in "
After Liu Bei declared himself the first emperor of Shu Han in 221, Liu Shan was formally made the crown prince. In the next year, Liu Bei left the capital Chengdu on a campaign against
Zhuge Liang's regency
During the early years of his reign, Liu Shan was not an unwise ruler. While Zhuge Liang was alive, Liu Shan treated him as a father figure, allowing Zhuge to handle all state affairs. Zhuge Liang recommended many trusted officials, including
In 223, Liu Shan married
In the aftermaths of Liu Bei's death, the southern
Starting in 227, Zhuge Liang launched his five Northern Expeditions against Cao Wei, but all except one were military failures (albeit not military disasters) in that Zhuge Liang's forces ran out of food before they were able to inflict significant damage on Cao Wei and therefore were forced to withdraw. It was during one of Zhuge Liang's campaigns that the only real political crisis during Zhuge's regency would occur. In 231, unable to supply the troops sufficiently, Li Yan forged an edict by Liu Shan, ordering Zhuge Liang to retreat. When Zhuge Liang discovered this, he recommended that Li Yan be removed from his office and put under house arrest, and Liu Shan accepted the recommendation.
In 234, while Zhuge Liang was on his final campaign against Cao Wei, he grew seriously ill. Hearing about Zhuge's illness, Liu Shan sent his secretary
Jiang Wan's regency
Jiang Wan was a capable administrator, and he continued Zhuge Liang's domestic policies, leaving the government largely efficient. He was also known for his tolerance of dissension and his humility. Not having much military aptitude, however, he soon abandoned Zhuge Liang's policy of waging war against Cao Wei, and indeed in 241 withdrew most of the troops from the important border city of Hanzhong (漢中, in modern
In 237, Empress Zhang died. That year, Liu Shan took her younger sister as a consort, and in 238 created her empress. Her title remained the same as her sister, Empress Zhang
In 243, Jiang Wan grew ill and transferred most of his authority to Fei Yi and Fei's assistant Dong Yun. In 244, when Cao Wei's regent
Fei Yi's regency
After Jiang Wan and Dong Yun's deaths, Liu Shan named Jiang Wei as Fei Yi's assistant, but both were largely involved only in military matters, as Liu Shan gradually became more self-assertive in non-military matters. It was also around this time that he became more interested in touring the countryside and increasing the use of luxury items, both of which added stress on the treasury, albeit not cripplingly so. Jiang Wei was interested in resuming Zhuge Liang's policies of attacking Cao Wei aggressively, a strategy that Fei Yi partially agreed with -- as he allowed Jiang Wei to make raids on Wei's borders, but never gave him a large amount of troops, reasoning that Shu Han was in no position for a major military confrontation with the Kingdom of Wei.
In 253, Fei Yi was assassinated by the general
Jiang Wei's semi-regency
After Fei Yi's death, Jiang Wei assumed command of Shu Han's troops and began a number of campaigns against the Kingdom of Wei -- but while they were troubling to Cao Wei's de facto rulers
In 253, Jiang Wei made a coordinated attack on Cao Wei, along with Eastern Wu's regent
In 255, on one of Jiang Wei's campaigns, he dealt Cao Wei forces a major defeat, nearly capturing the important Cao Wei border city
By 261, Huang Hao's power appeared paramount. Among the key domestic officials, only
According to the Eastern Wu ambassador
:"The emperor is incompetent and does not know his errors; his subordinates just try to get by without causing trouble for themselves. When I was visiting them, I heard no honest words, and when I visited their countryside, the people looked hungry. I have heard of a story of swallows and sparrows making nests on top of mansions and being content, believing that it was the safest place, not realizing that the haystack and the support beams were on fire and that disaster was about to come. This might be what they are like."
hu Han's destruction
In 262, aggravated by Jiang Wei's constant attacks, Cao Wei's regent Sima Zhao planned to carry out a major campaign to terminate the Shu Han threat once and for all. Upon hearing rumors of this plan, Jiang Wei submitted a request to Liu Shan, warning him about the mustering of Cao Wei troops under the generals Deng Ai, Zhuge Xu, and
In 263, Sima Zhao launched his attacks, led by Deng Ai, Zhuge Xu, and Zhong Hui. Liu Shan followed Jiang's previous plans and ordered the border troops withdraw and prepare to trap Cao Wei forces, rather than to confront them directly. The plan, however, had a fatal flaw -- it assumed that Wei forces would siege the border cities, which, instead, Deng Ai and Zhong Hui ignored, and they advanced instead on
In 264, the ambitious Zhong Hui would carry out an attempt to seize power -- which Jiang Wei, who had surrendered to Zhong Hui, tried to take advantage of to revive Shu Han. He advised Zhong Hui to falsely accuse Deng Ai of treason and arrest him, and, with their combined troops, rebel against Sima Zhao. Zhong Hui did so, and Jiang Wei planned to next kill Zhong Hui and his followers, and then redeclare Shu Han's independence under emperor Liu Shan, and had in fact written Liu Shan to inform him of those plans. However, Zhong Hui's troops rebelled against him, and both Jiang Wei and Zhong Hui were killed in battle. Liu Shan himself was not harmed in the disturbance, although his crown prince Liu Xuan (劉璿) was killed in the confusion.
Life after Shu Han's destruction
In 264, Liu Shan and his entire family was relocated to the Cao Wei capital Luoyang. He was created the Duke of Anle (安樂公), and his sons and grandsons were created marquesses. According to the "
I enjoy life here and do not think of Shu at all. (此間樂，不思蜀)
This phrase became a
Liu Shan died in 271, in Luoyang, and was given the posthumous name Duke Si of Anle (安樂思公, literally "the deep-thinking duke"). His dukedom lasted several generations during Cao Wei's successor state, the Jin Dynasty, before being extinguished in the turmoils caused by the
Liu Shan in Romance of the Three Kingdoms
Battle of Changban
In 208, Liu Bei was routed by an elite cavalry force led by the powerful warlord Cao Cao at Changban, northeast of present day Dangyang County, Hubei) and was forced to leave behind Lady Gan and Liu Shan in his retreat. The general Zhao Yun stayed behind to protect the family members of Liu Bei. Although in history Zhao Yun led both mother and child to safety without incident, the novel in Chapter 41 fabricated the suicide of
Refusing to take the only horse Zhao Yun had, which was sorely needed to break out of the enemy ranks, Lady Mi leapt into a dried well and killed herself. Zhao Yun then pushed the well over to cover up Lady Mi's corpse for fear of desecration by the enemy, before securing Liu Shan to his chest. He singlehandedly broke out of the enemy encirclement. Cao Cao was so impressed with the general's bravery that he ordered his troops not to fire arrows in the hope of capturing Zhao Yun alive. When Zhao Yun did catch up with Liu Bei and the rest, however, Liu Bei threw the child onto the ground to show that his officers were more important to him than his own son.
Zhao Yun rescues A Dou from Lady Sun
In Chapter 61 -- a fictionalization of a true incident -- Sun Shangxiang, younger sister of powerful warlord Sun Quan married to Liu Bei to secure an alliance between the two, returned to her homeland to visit her sick mother,
Grabbing hold of a small fishing boat, Zhao Yun caught up with the larger boat and leapt onto it. Soldiers from the Kingdom of Wu were not able to stop him. Although Zhao Yun was able to forcibly retrieve Liu Shan from his stepmother, he was not able to get off the boat, which was speeding down the river back to Wu territory. Fortunately, the boat was intercepted by a fleet led by Zhang Fei. When Zhou Shan tried to resist, Zhang Fei slew him. The two generals then brought the only son of Liu Bei safely back while Sun Shangxiang returned to Eastern Wu.
** Empress Zhang (former), daughter of
** Empress Zhang (later), daughter of
** Consort Li (committed suicide 264)
** Consort Wang, mother of Crown Prince Xuan and Prince Yao
** Liu Xuan (劉璿), the Crown Prince (created 238, killed in disturbance 264)
** Liu Yao (劉瑤), the Prince of Anding (created 238)
** Liu Cong (劉琮), the Prince of Xihe (created 252, d. 262)
** Liu Zan (劉瓚), the Prince of Xinping (created 256)
** Liu Xun (劉恂), the Prince of Xinxing (created 259), later inherited the Dukedom of Anle
** Liu Qian (劉虔), the Prince of Shangdang (created 259), might also be named Liu Qu (劉璩)
*"Records of Three Kingdoms"
*cite book|author=Chen Shou|title=San Guo Zhi|publisher=Yue Lu Shu She|year=2002|id=ISBN 7-80665-198-5
*cite book|author=Luo Guanzhong|title=San Guo Yan Yi|publisher=Yue Lu Shu She|year=1986|id=ISBN 7-80520-013-0
*cite book|author=Lo Kuan-chung; tr. C.H. Brewitt-Taylor|title=Romance of the Three Kingdoms|publisher=Tuttle Publishing|year=2002|id=ISBN 0-8048-3467-9
* [http://www.empiredividedtk.net/rtk/sgz/liushan.htm Translation of the biography of Liu Shan in the "Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms" at Empire Divided]
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