Encyclopedia: Xu Shu

Xu Shu (Yuanzhi); Hsü Shu (Yüan-chih); 徐庶 (元直)

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You are viewing the profile of Xu Shu (徐庶), styled Yuanzhi (元直). “One of Sima Hui’s students. Served Liu Bei, then later, through trickery, Cao Cao.” Xu Shu was affiliated with the Shu Kingdom and the Wei Kingdom. Return to the Three Kingdoms Encyclopedia to learn more or explore our Encyclopedia Directory to browse by kingdom or category.


Xu Shu (Yuanzhi) 徐庶 (元直)

Lived: AD c.170–c.232-4


Served: Shu, Wei

One of Sima Hui’s students. Served Liu Bei, then later, through trickery, Cao Cao.

Officer Details

Wade-Giles: Hsü Shu (Yüan-chih)
Simplified Chinese: 徐庶 (元直)
Pronunciation: Xu2 Shu4 (Yuan2zhi2Pronunciation
Cantonese (Yale): Cheui Syu (Yun-jik)
Cantonese (Jyutpin): Ceoi Syu (Jyun-zik)
Min-Nan: Ci Si (Goan-tit)

Other Names: Shan Fu, Dan Fu

Name Notes: Referenced as Shan Fu (單福), or Dan Fu, in the novel, which may have been a mistranslation of “本單家子” in his Sanguozhi biography (“son of Shan” vs “son of poor” family).

Fact vs. Fiction

Differences Between Fact and Common Fiction

  • Xu Shu’s mother was captured by Cao Cao. Because of this, Xu Shu, who did wish to serve Liu Bei, parted ways with Liu Bei and took up service with Cao Cao. [SGZ/ZZTJ]
  • Xu Shu’s mother did not commit suicide. [SGZ]

Literary Appearances

Romance of the Three Kingdoms: 3539, 41, 48

Zizhi tongjian: 61, 65

Search Results

Is Xu Shu That Good?
Date: 09/10     Replies: 32
Could Shan Fu Have Seen Through Zhou Yu’s Tricks?
Date: 08/10     Replies: 14
Xu Shu…What Was His Real Intent?
Date: 07/07     Replies: 50
Was It Xu Shu’s Fault That His Mommy Died? (Novel)
Date: 02/07     Replies: 33
If Shan Fu Helped Cao Cao
Date: 11/03     Replies: 35
Xu Shu or Guo Jia?
Date: 01/03     Replies: 41
If Xu Shu Didn’t Leave Liu Bei
Date: 12/02     Replies: 12


Xu Shu SGYY Biography!
Date: 12/05     Replies: 22

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April 10, 2023