Encyclopedia: Liu Yan 2

Liu Yan (Weishi); Liu Yen (Wei-shih); 劉琰 (威碩)

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You are viewing the profile of Liu Yan (劉琰), styled Weishi (威碩), born in Lu. “Former Administrator of Yizhou. Executed after accusing Liu Shan of seducing his wife.” Liu Yan was affiliated with and the Shu Kingdom. Return to the Three Kingdoms Encyclopedia to learn more or explore our Encyclopedia Directory to browse by kingdom or category.


Liu Yan (Weishi) 劉琰 (威碩)

Lived: AD ?–264

None Available

Served: Shu

Former Administrator of Yizhou. Executed after accusing Liu Shan of seducing his wife.

Officer Details

Wade-Giles: Liu Yen (Wei-shih)
Simplified Chinese: 刘琰 (威硕)
Pronunciation: Liu2 Yan3 (Wei1shi2)
Cantonese (Yale): Lau Yim (Wai-sek)
Cantonese (Jyutpin): Lau Jim (Wai-sek)

Birthplace: Lu

Other Names: Liu Yang

Name Notes: Liu Yan’s style, Weishi, is also translated as Weishuo. Either may turn up in references. Called Liu Yang in the Brewett-Taylor version of the novel.

Rank and Titles

Assistant Officer of Yu Province; An Administrator of Yi Province; Stripped of Rank by Zhuge Liang After Quarrelling with Wei Yan (AD 232)

Fact vs. Fiction

Differences Between Fact and Common Fiction

  • In the novel Liu Yan beats his wife and divorces her, then is executed for improper use of soldiers and shoes. In history, Liu Yan became unbalanced after being demoted and accused Liu Shan of seducing his wife. It was this scandal that led to his execution.

Literary Appearances

Romance of the Three Kingdoms: 91, 92, 115

Sanguozhi: Shu 10

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Historic (Confirmed)

Liu Yan was said to have been an attractive man, and quite skilled in speech. This considered along with his ties to the imperial clan it is said he was one of Liu Bei’s favorites. Liu Yan originally served as an Assistant Officer of Yu Province in the 190s and later accompanied Liu Bei in his travels.

He later became an Administrator in Yi province and under Liu Shan he rose in rank as a minister and a general. His wealth and pretensions did not equate with his actual performance, however, and after quarreling with Wei Yan in AD 232 he was stripped of rank by Zhuge Liang, though allowed to keep his former titles.

Apparently he became unstable after this and for the following two years he accused Liu Shan of seducing his wife. After causing a considerable scandal Liu Yan was eventually executed. (1)

1) Sanguozhi: Shu 10.



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April 10, 2023