An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History, Literature and Art

Liu Jing 劉敬 or Lou Jing 婁敬

Sep 12, 2011 © Ulrich Theobald

Lou Jing 婁敬, also called Liu Jing 劉敬, was a advisor to Liu Bang 劉邦 (Han Gaozu 漢高祖, r. 206/202-195 BCE), the founder of the Han dynasty 漢 (206 BCE-220 CE) .

Lou hailed from Qi 齊 (modern Shandong). When the Han dynasty was founded, he asked for an audience with Emperor Gaozu in Luoyang 洛陽 and suggested to him that it would be better to set up the capital in Chang'an 長安 (modern Xi'an 西安, Shaanxi), that was better protected. Emperor Gaozu made him gentleman of the interior (langzhong 郎中) and allowed him to use the imperial surname Liu 劉. He is therefore also known as Liu Jing. He was also bestowed the title of Lord Fengchun 奉春君 and was later given the title of Marquis of Jianxin 建信侯.

Lou Jing brought forward the suggestion to sent a princess to the khan of the Xiongnu 匈奴 instead of engaging in an endless fighting against the steppe hordes. He was so the inventor of the peace-by-marriage politics (heqin 和親) that was only ended during the reign of Emperor Wu.

Lou Jing was also concerned with the danger from the side of the descendants of the former regional rulres of the Zhou period 周 (11th cent.-221 BCE). In order to deprive them of their local power, he suggested, they should be settled down in the metropolitan region.

Lou Jing is credited with the compilation of a book called Liu Jing. The book was, according to the imperial bibliography Yiwen zhi 藝文志 in the official dynastic history Hanshu 漢書, 3-chapters long. It is lost.

Cang Xiuliang 倉修良, ed. (1996). Hanshu cidian 漢書辭典 (Jinan: Shandong jiaoyu chubanshe), 638, 959.