Comprehensive Officer Biography
Translated & Authored by
Place of Birth: Guzhang, Wuwei Precinct (Presently
Wuwei in Gansu Province)
Lifespan: AD 147- 224 (77 Years)
Titles: Protector of Yi Zhou, Grand Commandant, Lord of Weishou County, Respectful Lord
Jia Xu started his military career as an advisor under Dong Zhuo in the later years of Emperor Ling’s rule. He was appointed to Commander Who Pacifies the Capital when Dong Zhuo took Luo Yang and put the child Emperor Xian on the throne.
When Guo Si, Li Jue, and Fan Chou fled after Wang Yun’s plot to kill Dong Zhuo succeeded, Jia Xu advised them to separate their forces and bait Lü Bu into attack them. The strategy was a success and as a result the three took over Chang An. After taking the city they wanted to elevate Jia Xu to minister, but Wenhe refused to receive any titles of nobility and instead took up a post as member of the Secretariat.
Later when Guo Si and Li Jue destroyed themselves, Jia Xu served Zhang Ji’s nephew Zhang Xiu (1). During the battle of Guan Du, Jia Xu advised Zhang Xiu to surrender to Cao Cao and serve him well.
Under Cao Cao, Wenhe was promoted to Chief of the Capital Guard and titled Lord of the Capital Precinct. He was later promoted to Protector of Yi Zhou.
When Cao Cao’s army was running out of food at Guan Du, Jia Xu advised Cao Cao to launch one decisive attack on Yuan Shao. Because of this Cao Cao was able to pacify the land north of the Yellow River.
Wenhe advised Cao Cao to depose the young Cao Zhi and establish Cao Pi as the heir to his position. When Cao Pi ascended the throne, Jia Xu was appointed Grand Commandant and titled Lord of Weishou County.
In the fifth year of Yellow Dawn (AD 224), Jia Xu died of natural causes. He was seventy-seven years of age. Jia Xu was known as a straightforward and practical man. Cao Pi posthumously titled him Respectful Lord.
(1) Zhang Ji was a senior Han Officer under Dong Zhuo and a friend of Jia Xu. After his death, Jia Xu watched over his nephew and wife. <return>
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Major Sources: Beifangshi - Han/Ming Professor E.Lin (1982 Beijing)