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Qin Yilu

Qin Yilu
OccupationMilitary officer
Spouse(s)Lady Du
ChildrenQin Lang

Qin Yilu (died 199) was a military officer who served under the general and warlord Lü Bu in the late Eastern Han dynasty of China. Allowing for variant writing in the records, Qin Yilu was probably the same person as two others named Qin Yi (秦翊 and 秦誼).[1]


Born in Yunzhong Commandery (雲中郡; west of present-day Togtoh County, Inner Mongolia), Qin Yilu served under Lü Bu, who was also from Bing Province like him. In 192, Qin Yilu was one of two men whom Lü Bu ordered to ambush and assassinate the warlord Dong Zhuo in Chang'an while in disguise as guards. He apparently followed Lü Bu when the latter fled from Chang'an and roamed around the Central Plains before seizing control of Xu Province from the warlord Liu Bei.[1]

When Lü Bu was besieged by the allied forces of Cao Cao and Liu Bei at the Battle of Xiapi in 198, Lü Bu sent Qin Yilu to seek reinforcements from the warlords Zhang Yang and Yuan Shu. Qin Yilu's wife, Lady Du (杜氏) and their son Qin Lang remained behind in Xiapi and stayed there as the city fell to Cao Cao's forces. Liu Bei's general Guan Yu repeatedly asked Cao Cao to let him marry Lady Du after their victory over Lü Bu. Cao Cao was curious about why Guan Yu wanted Lady Du so badly, and he guessed that she must be very beautiful, so he ordered his men to bring her to meet him. As a result, despite Guan Yu's pleas, Lady Du became Cao Cao's concubine and Qin Lang became Cao Cao's adopted son.[2][3]

Qin Yilu was at Yuan Shu's camp when Xiapi fell. To replace his lost wife, Yuan Shu arranged a marriage between Qin Yilu and a noble lady from the imperial clan of the Han dynasty. However, Yuan Shu began to have designs on the imperial throne. Qin Yilu, uneasy of being associated with a traitor, heeded Liu Fu's advice and surrendered to Cao Cao, who controlled the formal Han government and the Han emperor.

Under Cao Cao, Qin Yilu was given a position as the Magistrate of Zhi County (銍縣), a small county in Pei State (沛國). When Liu Bei rebelled against Cao Cao and passed by Xiaopei (小沛; present-day Pei County, Jiangsu), Liu Bei's general Zhang Fei called on Qin Yilu and scorned him, "Another man took your wife, but you chose to be a magistrate under him! How can you behave so ignorantly as though nothing has happened! You wish to follow us?" Qin Yilu followed Liu Bei and travelled for several li before he regretted and decided to leave. Zhang Fei killed him.[4]

Qin Yilu's son, Qin Lang, was adopted by Cao Cao and later became a prominent general in the state of Cao Wei – founded by Cao Cao's son and successor, Cao Pi – during the Three Kingdoms period.[5]

See also


  1. ^ a b c de Crespigny (2007), p. 708.
  2. ^ (布之被圍,關羽屢請於太祖,求以杜氏為妻,太祖疑其有色,及城陷,太祖見之,乃自納之。) Xiandi Zhuan annotation in Sanguozhi vol. 3.
  3. ^ (初,羽隨先主從公圍呂布於濮陽,時秦宜祿為布求救於張楊。羽啟公:「妻無子,下城,乞納宜祿妻。」公許之。及至城門,復白。公疑其有色,李本作他。自納之。) Huayang Guo Zhi vol. 6.
  4. ^ (宜祿歸降,以為銍長。及劉備走小沛,張飛隨之,過謂宜祿曰:「人取汝妻,而為之長,何蚩蚩若是邪!隨我去乎?」宜祿從之數里,悔欲還,飛殺之。) Xiandi Zhuan annotation in Sanguozhi vol. 3.
  5. ^ (朗隨母氏畜于公宮,太祖甚愛之,每坐席,謂賔客曰:「豈有人愛假子如孤者乎?」) Xiandi Zhuan annotation in Sanguozhi vol. 3.
  • Chang, Qu (c. 4th century). Chronicles of Huayang (Huayang Guo Zhi).
  • de Crespigny, Rafe (2007). A biographical dictionary of Later Han to the Three Kingdoms (23–220 AD). Leiden: Brill. ISBN 978-90-04-15605-0.
  • Chen, Shou (3rd century). Records of the Three Kingdoms (Sanguozhi).
  • Pei, Songzhi (5th century). Annotations to Records of the Three Kingdoms (Sanguozhi zhu).