She Yuan (fl. 190s–220s), courtesy name Wenxiong, was an official of the state of Shu Han in the Three Kingdoms period of China. She Yuan was among the 11 recorded officers of Liu Bei who persuaded him to declare himself "King of Hanzhong" (漢中王).[a]

She Yuan
Officer to the Gentlemen of the Household (事中郎)
In office
? (?)–? (?)
ChancellorZhuge Liang
Libationer (祭酒)
In office
? (?)–? (?)
ChancellorZhuge Liang
Bureau of Consultation Assistant Officer (議曹從事)
In office
? (?)–? (?)
MonarchLiu Bei
Gentleman of the Household (中郎)
In office
? (?)–? (?)
MonarchLiu Bei
General of the Household for Military Consultations (軍議中郎將)
In office
? (?)–? (?)
MonarchLiu Bei
Personal details
Xingping, Shaanxi
SpouseHuangfu Song’s daughter
RelationsShe Jian (brother)
Courtesy nameWenxiong (文雄)
Other names"Master She" (射君)

Historical sources on She Yuan's lifeEdit

She Yuan is first mentioned inside Liu Bei's biography as one of the 11 leading figures to have persuaded Liu Bei to declare himself a vassal king to challenge Cao Cao, who was enfeoffed ("King of Wei") by Emperor Xian in 219.[b] During the fifth century, Pei Songzhi expanded about his life by incorporating information from the Sanfu Jue Lu Zhu (Annotated Selected Records of Sanfu), by Zhao Qi and Zhi Yu (摯虞).

Family backgroundEdit

She Yuan was from Youfufeng Commandery (右扶風郡), Sili Province which is in present-day Xingping, Shaanxi. His ancestors were at first named Xie (謝) and were related to the Xie's Beidi clans of the north. The founding ancestor Xie Fu (謝服) joined the army as a general and participated in many expeditions. Because the Emperor believed that Xie was not an auspicious name; he changed it to She (射). From that moment on, Xie Fu's descendants adopted She as their surname.[3]

She JianEdit

She Yuan had an older brother, She Jian (射堅) whose courtesy name was Wengu (文固). In his youth, She Jian had a good reputation. He was recruited to serve as a Gentleman of the Yellow Gate (黃門侍郎) in the office of the Three Excellencies. In 189, Emperor Xian of Han ascended the imperial throne. At the beginning of his reign, there was great famine and chaos even among the cities's district. She Jian left his office and along with She Yuan travelled southwest until they reached Yi Province where they joined his Governor Liu Zhang. Liu Zhang appointed She Jian as his Chief Clerk (長史). In 214, Liu Bei conquered Yi province and further employed She Jian as Administrator of Guanghan (廣漢太守) and Administrator of Shu Commandery (蜀郡太守).[4]


She Yuan at a young age was also famous because of his character. Grand Commandant (太尉), Huangfu Song esteemed him highly as a talented man therefore he arranged a marriage between his daughter and She Yuan. When Zhuge Liang opened his office as Chancellor (丞相), he appointed She Yuan as Libationer (祭酒). Later, he was transferred to serve as Officer to the Gentlemen of the Household (事中郎). He died in office.[5]

Qing-era scholar Qian Dazhao (钱大昭) further believed that She Yuan is mentioned in Liu Bei's last will to his son as Master She (射君). The relevant passage is: "When Master She (射君) came, he told me that the Chancellor[c] saw you as a bright and cultivated man exceeding all his expectations. If he see you as such, what further worry have I?"[6]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Other recorded officers to have encouraged Liu Bei to declare himself King are Ma Chao, Xu Jing, Pang Xi, Zhuge Liang, Guan Yu, Zhang Fei, Huang Zhong, Lai Gong (賴恭), Fa Zheng, Li Yan along with 110 unrecorded officers.[1]
  2. ^ Your subject, Bureau of Consultation Assistant Officer (議曹從事), Gentleman of the Household (中郎) and General of the Household for Military Consultations (軍議中郎將) She Yuan (射援)[2]
  3. ^ Chancellor refers to Zhuge Liang's title.


  1. ^ (平西將軍都亭侯臣馬超、左將軍(領)長史鎮軍將軍臣許靖、營司馬臣龐羲、...軍師將軍臣諸葛亮、蕩寇將軍漢壽亭侯臣關羽、徵虜將軍新亭侯臣張飛、征西將軍臣黃忠、鎮遠將軍臣賴恭、揚武將軍臣法正、興業將軍臣李嚴等一百二十) Sanguozhi vol. 32.
  2. ^ (議曹從事中郎軍議中郎將臣射援、) Sanguozhi vol. 32.
  3. ^ (《三輔決錄注》曰:援字文雄,扶風人也。其先本姓謝,與北地諸謝同族。始祖謝服為將軍出征,天子以謝服非令名,改為射,子孫氏焉。) Sanfu Jue Lu Zhu annotation in Sanguozhi vol. 32.
  4. ^ (兄堅,字文固,少有美名,闢公府為黃門侍郎。獻帝之初,三輔飢亂,堅去官,與弟援南入蜀依劉璋,璋以堅為長史。劉備代璋,以堅為廣漢、蜀郡太守。) Sanfu Jue Lu Zhu annotation in Sanguozhi vol. 32.
  5. ^ (援亦少有名行,太尉皇甫嵩賢其才而以女妻之,丞相諸葛亮以援為祭酒,遷從事中郎,卒官。) Sanfu Jue Lu Zhu annotation in Sanguozhi vol. 32.
  6. ^ (射君到,說丞相嘆卿智量,甚大增脩,過於所望,審能如此,吾復何憂!) Zhuge Liang Ji annotation in Sanguozhi vol. 32.