An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History and Literature

Liu Yi 劉廙

Jun 1, 2016 © Ulrich Theobald

Liu Yi 劉廙 (180-221), courtesy name Gongsi 恭嗣, was a Confucian scholar and writer of the very late Eastern Han period 東漢 (25-220 CE).

He hailed from Anzhong 安眾 in the commandery of Nanyang 南陽 (today's Zhenping 鎮平, Henan) and was known as an expert in philosophical disputes.
Together with his older brother they planned to join the warlord Liu Biao 劉表, but then decided to flee to the southeast, where they became supporters of Cao Cao 曹操. The latter made Liu Yi clerk of the Counsellor-in-chief (chengxiang yuan 丞相掾) and then promoted him to the post of for *leader of miscellaneous uses of the secretaries ( 五官將文學). When the kingdom of Wei 魏 was founded, he was appointed Gentleman Attendant of the Palace gate (huangmen shilang 黃門侍郎), but then demoted to secretary in the granaries section of the Counsellor-in-chief (chengxiang cangcao 丞相倉曹). Emperor Wen 魏文帝 (r. 220-226) made Liu Yi palace attendant (shizhong 侍中) and granted the title of Marquis within the Passes (guanneihou 關內侯).

Of his book Zhenglun 政論 "On government" eight chapters are preserved in the collection Qunshu zhiyao 群書治要. Also transmitted are his memorials Jian Cao gong qinzheng Shu shu 諫曹公親征蜀疏 and Lun zhi dao biao 論治道表.

Liu Yi was of the opinion that a successful leader would select his supporters in all strata of society, particulary in the lower and, and pick out the most competent. It is known that he once discussed with Ding Yi 丁儀 matters of penal law and of ceremonies, and they came to the conclusion that law was more important than rituals. He was also interested in the astronomical calculations of Sima Hui 司馬徽.

Cheng Guangzhi 盛廣智 (1996). "Liu Yi 劉廙", in Feng Kezheng 馮克正, Fu Qingsheng 傅慶升, eds. Zhuzi baijia da cidian 諸子百家大辭典 (Shenyang: Liaoning renmin chubanshe), 69
Wang Tianxing 王天興, Wang Xingya 王興亞, Wang Zongyu 王宗虞, eds. (1991). Henan lidai mingren cidian 河南歷代名人辭典 (Zhengzhou: Zhongzhou guji chubanshe), 81.
Yi Xingguo 衣興國, ed. (1988). Shiyong Zhongguo mingren cidian 實用中國名人辭典 (Changchun: Jilin wenshi chubanshe), 219.
Zhang Shunhui 張舜徽, ed. (1992). Sanguozhi cidian 三國志辭典 (Jinan: Shandong jiaoyu chubanshe), 610.