Liu Yuan


Liu Yuan (?-310), was the founder of the Han Kingdom during the 16 States period. His reign lasted from 304 to 310. With the courtesy name of Yuanhai, Liu was Hun nobleman born in Xinxing (today's Xinzhou in Shanxi province). He lived in Luoyang when he was young and made friends with a number of scholars and officials of the Western Jin Dynasty. After the death of his father Liu Bao, he took the latter's post as the commander of the left front of the Hun tribe, leading five military units of the Huns as the Jianwei General. During the civil war among the eight kings of the Western Jin Dynasty, Liu was a subordinate of Sima Ying, who was the King of Chengdu. In 304, he launched an insurgence against the Jin Dynasty and became the Chanyu, or Khan, of the Huns. After incorporating the military forces of Wang Mi and Shi Le and defeating Governor of Bingzhou Sima Teng, he was crowned as the emperor of Han State in 308. He made Pingyang (today's Linfen in Shanxi) the capital of his state and later launched battles against the Luoyang regime of the Jin Dynasty but died shortly afterwards.