Liu Yao (warlord)

Liu Yao (warlord)


Liu Yao was an official in the Jiangdong region during the late Eastern Han Dynasty and Three Kingdoms era of China. He ruled for a brief period of time before Sun Ce invaded and conquered his territory, and his Chinese style name was Zhengli (正礼).


Liu Yao was an administrative official greatly respected by all, including his superiors and subordinates, as well as ordinary civilians. Liu Yao came from an aristocrat family, and he was the younger brother of Liu Dai, who was equally famous for his capability. Liu Yao's elder uncle Liu Chong (刘宠) was famed for his uncorrupted conducts, and his father Liu Yu (刘舆) was the governor of Shanyang (山阳). Liu Yao became instantly famous when he was just 19, after he rescued one of his uncle kidnapped by bandits. Liu Yao excelled in his study like his older brother Liu Dai, and became the Maocai (茂才), the outstanding candidate recommended to the imperial court from the state. Each year, only a single Maocai (茂才) could be recommended by a state, and the governor of the state where Liu Yao's family resided was complaining that Liu Dai was selected the previous year and if Liu Yao was selected this year, it would appear his family had monopolozied the system, but people countered that the Liu brothers was recommended because they were indeed outstanding, and Liu Yao was selected.

Unfortunately, Liu Yao was not a good military commander despite being a good administrator. When Sun Ce attacked him, many his advisors correctly suggested to him that he should name Taishi Ci as the commander-in-chief of his force to defend themselves against Sun Ce, but Liu Yao refused, fearing that Taishi Ci was a fugitive who had just joined him, and his reputation would be tarnished for favoritism, since he was very good friend with Taishi Ci. The mistake proved to be fatal for Liu Yao and his defeat was generally the same as described in the Romance of Three Kingdoms, and Liu Yao soon died at the age of 42 after fled to Dantu (丹徒). After Taishi Ci surrendered to Sun Ce and sent to ask the surrender of Liu Yao's remaining force, Liu Yao's son agreed and more than ten thousand begun their service to Sun Ce, with Liu Yao's son eventually rose in ranks in later eras under Sun Quan.

In "Romance of Three Kingdoms"

In the Romance of Three Kingdoms, Liu Yao was depicted as an imcompetent warlord and was only given a short description as follows:

Sun Ce (eldest son of the "Tiger of Jiang Dong", Sun Jian) was rapidly expanding his forces and reclaiming lands he perceived as the rightful property of the Sun family. Alongside his father's already impressive army, Sun Ce invaded the lands of Eastern Wu, which were under the protection and rule of Liu Yao at the time. Forming an alliance with Wang Lang (governor of Guiji (presently Shaoxing Prefecture) and Yan Baihu (bandit leader and so-called "Virtuous King of Eastern Wu"), Liu Yao's forces clashed with Sun Ce's invading army, leading to many deaths in both camps. Yan Baihu was quickly defeated and slain by Sun Ce's newly recruited officer, Dong Xi, while Wang Lang's forces were eventually destroyed, forcing him to surrender Guiji to the Sun family. Liu Yao was now faced with the task of defending the lands of Wu single handedly, while Sun Ce had gained a tremendous advantage through the capture of a local city which he could now use to rally and support his army. Liu Yao was eventually defeated by Sun Ce in battle.

ee also

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

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