An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History, Literature and Art

Liu Yi 劉懿, the Child Emperor

Dec 26, 2011 © Ulrich Theobald

Liu Yi 劉懿 (r. 125 CE), also called Liu Du 劉犢, was for a few months emperor of the Later Han dynasty 後漢 (25-220 CE). He was a grandson of Emperor Zhang 漢章帝 (r. 76-88 CE) and son of Prince Hui of Jibei 濟北惠王.

In his early years he was given the title of Marquis of Beixiang 北鄉侯. In 125, after the death of Emperor An 漢安帝 (r. 106-125 CE), he was enthroned as successor. His unexpected enthronement was due to the machinations of Empress Yan 閻后, Emperor An's main consort, and her brother Yan Xian 閻顯, because the late emperor had died during an inspection tour. The secret of his death and about the successor was not reveiled until the imperial entourage arrived in the capital.

Because Liu Yi was still very young, Empress Dowager Yan took over regency for him. Seven months after, Liu Yi fell ill and died. The chief eunuchs Sun Cheng 孫程, Wang Kang 王康 and Wang Guo 王國 thereupon enthroned late Emperor An's son Liu Bao 劉保, the Prince of Jiyin 濟陰. He is known as Emperor Shun 漢順帝 (r. 125-144 CE). Liu Yi was not bestowed a honorific posthumous title.

Chen Quanli 陳全力, Hou Xinyi 侯欣一, ed. (1988).Diwang cidian 帝王辭典 (Xi'an: Shaanxi renmin jiaoyu chubanshe), 46.