An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History, Literature and Art

Zhao Yu 趙禹

Feb 21, 2012 © Ulrich Theobald

Zhao Yu 趙禹 was an official of the mid-Former Han period 前漢 (206 BCE-8 CE).

He hailed from Li 斄 (modern Wugong 武功, Shaanxi) and began his career as an assistant scribe in the section of the general administration (zhongduguan 中都官). He then rose to the office of scribe of the Counsellor-in-chief (chengxiang 丞相), Zhou Yafu 周亞夫.

During the reign of Emperor Wu 漢武帝 (r. 141-87 BCE) he was bestowed the title of Senior Grand Master of the Palace (taizhong dafu 太中大夫). In 129 BCE he was made Chamberlain for the Imperial Insignia (zhongwei 中尉), in 124 BCE Chamberlain for the Palace Revenues (shaofu 少府), and in 113 Chamberlain for Law Enforcement (tingwei 廷尉).

Four years later he withdrew from this position and was appointed administrator (xiang 相) to the Prince of Yan 燕. Albeit known as a honest and incorruptible official, he was one of the main drafters of the harsh penal law of his time, together with Zhang Tang 張湯.

Cang Xiuliang 倉修良, ed. (1996). Hanshu cidian 漢書辭典 (Jinan: Shandong jiaoyu chubanshe), 847.