An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History and Literature

Tian Yu 田豫

Jun 16, 2016 © Ulrich Theobald

Tian Yu 田豫 (d. 252 CE), courtesy name Guorang 國讓, was a military commander of the Wei dynasty 曹魏 (220-265) during the Three Kingdoms period 三國 (220-280).

His home town was Yongnu 雍奴 in the commandery of Yuyang 漁陽 (today's Anci 安次, Hebei), and in his early years he was a retainer of the local warlord Gongsun Zan 公孫瓚, but later went over to Cao Cao 曹操, who made him clerk in the military planning section of the Counsellor-in-chief (chengxiang junmou yuan 丞相軍謀掾). Later on Tian Yu was magistrate (ling 令) of the district of Yingyin 穎陰, then of Langling 朗陵, and then promoted to governor (taishou 太守) of the commandery of Yiyang 弋陽, and then administrator (xiang 相) of Cao Zhang 曹彰, Marquis of Yanling 鄢陵. He participated in the campaign against the steppe federation of the Wuhuan 烏丸, and after victory, was appointed governor of Nanyang 南陽.

Emperor Wen 魏文帝 (r. 220-226) made him protector-commander of the Wuhuan with special warrant (chijie hu Wuhuan xiaowei 持節護烏丸校尉), and Tian Yu was able to kill the rebellious Wuhuan chieftain. He was rewarded with the title of Neighbourhood Marquis of Changle 長樂亭侯. For nine years he cared for the pacification of the northern borderlands, but was then transferred to the post of governor of Runan 汝南, and given the title of General Extinguishing the Barbarians (tianyi jiangjun 殄夷將軍).

Based on his experience with nomad tribes at the northern frontier, Tian Yu was then sent to deal with the Xiongnu 匈奴, endowed with the title of General Wielding Authority (zhenwei jiangjun 振威將軍). The next step in his career was the post of regional inspector (cishi 刺史) of the province of Bingzhou 幷州. With the title of Chamberlain for the Palace Garrison (weiwei 衛尉), and then Superior Grand Master of the Palace (taizhong dafu 太中大夫) he became a member of the staff in the capital city. He died with the age of 82 sui.

Zhang Shunhui 張舜徽, ed. (1992). Sanguozhi cidian 三國志辭典 (Jinan: Shandong jiaoyu chubanshe), 103.