Biography (COB): Liu Ye (Ziyang)

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Liu Ye (Ziyang)Liu Ye (Ziyang)
劉曄 (子揚)

Comprehensive Officer Biography
Translated & Authored by

Place of Birth: Chengde, Huainan Commandery
Lifespan: AD 171 – 234 (63 Years)
Titles: Imperial Secretary of State, Commander-in-Chief, Minister of Protocol, Lord of Dongting, Respectful Lord
Family: Liu Xiu (ancestor)

Liu Ye was a descendant of the Han Emperor Guangwu, Liu Xiu and was part of the Imperial Family of Emperor Xian. He was recommended to serve Lord Cao by his friend Guo Jia, in response, Ziyang introduced his friends Man Chang and Lu Qian. Liu Ye saw through the plot of Chen Gong in Puyang city and warned Lord Cao, despite his warning; Lord Cao suffered a defeat at the hands of Lü Bu (1).

After the defeat, Lord Cao attacked Puyang again and drove out Lü Bu; Liu Ye was left in charge of defense of the city while his Lord chased Lü Bu. When Lord Cao took the post of Prime Minister of the Han, Liu Ye was appointed as Minister of Works. Successively, Liu Ye was appointed as Chief Administrative Assistant, Chief of the Secretariat and Senior Advisor of the army in the field.

When Cao Pi wanted to award the Nine Dignities to Sun Quan, Liu Ye objected and told Cao Pi to wait while Shu and Wu fight, Ziyang said that when the two states would fight, one of them could be taken by force. However, Cao Pi rejected the advice and sent his messenger to Wu.

In the second year of Yellow Dawn (AD 221), Liu Ye was appointed Privy Counselor and titled Lord of the Second Rank. When Cao Rui succeeded the throne, Ziyang’s title was changed to Lord of Dongting.

In Cao Zhen’s campaign against Shu in AD 230, Liu Ye was appointed as Commander-in-Chief; the campaign however was obstructed by heavy rainfall. Two years later in AD 232, Liu Ye took up the post of Imperial Secretary of State and Minister of Protocol. Another two years later, Liu Ye was asked to resume his duties as Imperial Secretary of State. He died not long after at age of sixty-three. He was titled Respectful Lord posthumously.

(1) For a detailed description of this plot, see Lü Bu’s SGYY biography. <return>

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Major Sources: Beifangshi - Han/Ming Professor E.Lin (1982 Beijing)