Luo Xian

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Luo Xian (died 270), courtesy name Lingze, was a military general of the state of Shu Han during the Three Kingdoms period. After the fall of Shu in 263, Luo Xian defended his position at Yong'an County (present-day Fengjie County, Chongqing) from being captured by Shu's former ally, Eastern Wu, for a period of more than six months. Luo Xian eventually switched allegiance to Shu's former rival state, Wei, and continued serving the Jin dynasty after Sima Yan ended the state of Wei in 265.

Luo Xian
Champion General (冠軍將軍)
In office
267 – 270
Monarch Emperor Wu of Jin
Administrator of Wuling (武陵太守)
In office
264 – 267
Monarch Cao Huan /
Emperor Wu of Jin
Lingjiang General (陵江將軍)
In office
264 – 264
Monarch Cao Huan
Administrator of Badong (巴東太守)
In office
? – 263
Monarch Liu Shan
Personal details
Born Unknown
Died 270
  • Luo Shi (brother)
  • Luo Shang (nephew)
Children Luo Xi
Father Luo Meng
Occupation General
Courtesy name Lingze (令則)
Posthumous name Lie (烈)
Peerage Marquis of Xi'e County

Early life

Luo Xian's ancestral home was in Xiangyang (present-day Xiangyang, Hubei). His father Luo Meng (羅蒙) served as Administrator of Guanghan (漢廣漢太守) in Shu. Luo Xian was known for his literary talent since he was young, as he could write essays at the age of 13. He was later accepted into the Imperial Academy and studied under the tutelage of Qiao Zhou. At that time, Luo Xian was compared by his peers to Zigong, a notable student of Confucius.

Luo Xian was known to be straightforward and upright, cautious and generous with money. He was later appointed as an Assistant to the Crown Prince (太子舍人) and Colonel Who Proclaims Trust (宣信校尉). Luo Xian was also sent on a diplomatic mission to Shu's ally state Eastern Wu, where he was held in high regard by the Wu officials.

Fall of Shu

In the years leading to the fall of Shu, the eunuch Huang Hao interfered in politics and caused the government to become corrupted and weakened. Luo Xian ignored Huang Hao and was sent away from the capital Chengdu to Badong (巴東) to take up his new appointment as Administrator of Badong. When Luo Xian learned that Shu had been conquered by the rival state of Wei in 263, he led his men in mourning for three days.

Defence of Yong'an

Luo Xian is located in Eastern China
Yong'an (now Fengjie, Shichuan) and Xiling (now Yichang, Hubei) in the map

Shortly later, general Sheng Man (盛曼) was sent from Eastern Wu to assist in restoring Shu, and Sheng requested for Luo Xian to open the path at Yong'an (永安, now Fengjie, Sichuan) leading into Shu. In fact, Wu was planning to take over Badong and seize control of the route from the western Yangtze River leading into Shu. Luo Xian gathered his men and announced that Wu was not abiding by its alliance treaty with Shu and was attempting to seize Badong. He then decided to surrender to Wei and prepared his troops to defend the area from Wu. The Wu army led by Bu Xie attacked Baidicheng but Luo Xian put up a strong defence along the Yangtze River. Concurrently, Luo Xian also sent his adviser Yang Zong (楊宗) to seek reinforcements from Wei.

Badong eventually fell to Wu forces so Luo Xian retreated to Baidicheng. The Wu army assaulted Baidicheng but was driven back several times. Subsequently, a 30,000 strong Wu force commanded by Lu Kang came to relief the Wu army at Baidicheng but Wu was still unable to take Baidicheng even after a six-month-long siege.

In Wei, when the regent Sima Zhao received request for reinforcements from Luo Xian, he thought that Wei had not fully recovered from suppressing a rebellion by Jiang Wei and Zhong Hui in Chengdu, so he ordered Hu Lie (胡烈), Inspector of Jing Province, to lead an army to attack Wu's position at Xiling (西陵, now Yichang, Hubei). Lu Kang was eventually forced to withdraw his troops back to Wu and the siege on Yong'an was lifted. Luo Xian resumed his original post and was received the titles of Lingjiang General (陵江將軍) and Marquis of Wannian Village (萬年亭侯).

Serving the Jin dynasty

After the battle at Yong'an, the Eastern Wu territory of Wuling (武陵) surrendered to Wei, and Luo Xian was appointed as Administrator of Wuling (武陵太守). Luo Xian later received the title "Marquis of Xi'e County" (西鄂縣侯) when Sima Yan (Sima Zhao's son) ended the state of Wei and founded the Jin dynasty in its place. Luo Xian's son Luo Xi (羅襲) was appointed as an Official Who Concurrently Serves in the Palace (給事中).

During his service under the Jin dynasty, Luo Xian recommended many former subjects of Shu to serve in the Jin government, including Chen Shou, author of Records of Three Kingdoms, and Zhuge Jing (諸葛京), a grandson of Zhuge Liang. Luo Xian also captured Eastern Wu's territory of Wucheng (巫城; present-day Wushan County, Chongqing), and proposed a strategy to Sima Yan for conquering Wu. Luo Xian died in 270 and was awarded the posthumous appointment of General Who Stabilises the South (安南將軍) and the posthumous name "Lie" (烈; means "vehemence").

See also


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