Liu Hongji
Left Vice Captain of Grand General's Office (大将军府左统军)
In office
MonarchLi Yuan
Right Consultant of Imperial Kitchen (右光禄大夫)
In office
617–617 (617)
MonarchLi Yuan
Right Army Commander (右领都督)
In office
617 (617)–618 (618)
MonarchEmperor Gaozu of Tang
Grand (Senior) General of Right Brave Guard (右骁卫大将军)
In office
618 (618)–627 (627)
MonarchEmperor Gaozu of Tang, then Emperor Taizong of Tang
Prefectural Governor of Yizhou (易州刺史)
In office
629 (629)–635 (635)
MonarchEmperor Taizong of Tang
Prefectural Governor of Langzhou (朗州刺史)
In office
635 (635)–645 (645)
MonarchEmperor Taizong of Tang
Senior Commander of Vanguard Force (前军大总管)
In office
645 (645)–645 (645)
MonarchEmperor Taizong of Tang
Fuguo (Empire Assisting) Senior General (辅国大将军)
In office
645 (645)–650 (650)
MonarchEmperor Taizong of Tang, then Emperor Gaozong of Tang
Personal details
ChildrenLiu Renshi (son)
Liu Renjing (foster son)
FatherLiu Sheng
OccupationGeneral, Official
Courtesy nameunknwon
TitleDuke of Kui (夔国公)
Posthumous nameXiang (襄)

Liu Hongji (Chinese: 刘弘基), titled Duke Xiang of Kui, was a general and officer in early Tang Dynasty of China. He was listed as one of 24 honored founding officials of Tang Dynasty at Lingyan Pavilion.

In history

Liu Hongji is son of Liu Sheng, a governor of Hezhou prefecture in Sui Dynasty. He was drafted to the military service during Emperor Yang of Sui's campaigns against Goguryeo, but he was late for the duty, which might lead to a death penalty. He thus intentionally killed a farmer's cow, which was a civil non-death felony. He was arrested for killing the cow by the local government and imprisoned, and avoided the death row. [1] After being released after one year, he became a horse thief. Later, he met Li Shimin, the future Emperor Taizong of Tang, and became Li's close friend. [2]

When Li Yuan (Li Shimin's father and future founding emperor of Tang Dynasty) decided to rebel against Sui in 617, Liu Hongji and Zhangsun Shunde ambushed and killed Wang Wei and Gao Junya, the two deputy officials of Taiyuan who helped Emperor Yang of Sui spy on Li Yuan, and made it possible for Li Yuan to rebel in Taiyuan. [3]During the rebellion, Liu Hongji defeated Song Laosheng, the Sui general guarding the town of Huoyi. Later, he led his soldiers crossed the Yellow River and occupied the territory north of Wei River. [4]His move cleared the flank for Li Yuan's main force who were attacking the Sui capital Daxing (on the southern bank of Wei River, better known as Chang'an) from the east. Then, he led his men captured Fufeng, a town west of Daxing, and finished the encirclement around Daxing. Wei Wensheng, the Sui general guarding the Daxing area, was defeated by Liu Hongji's force at the Jinguang Gate of Daxing city. After Li Yuan captured Daxing and formally established the Tang Dynasty, Liu Hongji was honored for his outstanding contribution.[5]

Li Yuan's rebellion. Liu Hongji's force is marked in dash as "other Tang forces"
Li Yuan's rebellion. Liu Hongji's force is marked in dash as "other Tang forces"

From 618 to 622, Liu Hongji took part in Tang's unification wars against Xue Ju, Liu Wuzhou and Liu Heita as a subordinate to Li Shimin. He was titled Duke of Ren for his military achievements. [6][7][8]In 624, the court sent Liu Hongji and Li Shentong (Prince of Huai'an) to Binzhou, a frontier town north of Chang'an, to guard the border between Tang and Tujue. He constructed a series of defending fortresses in today's Shaanxi and Gansu provinces. [9]In 627, he was implicated by his friend Prince of Yi'an, Li Xiaochang, who tried to launch a riot against the newly crowned Li Shimin (Emperor Taizong) after the Xuanwu Gate Incident. Liu Hongji lost all his titles and positions. [10] More than one year later, he was promoted again as the prefectural governor of Yizhou. [11] In 635, he moved to Langzhou, also as a prefectural governor, and he was also promoted to Duke of Kui. In 645, he took part in the campaign against Goguryeo led by Emperor Taizong as the chief commander of the vanguard force. [12]He died in 650, one year later than Emperor Taizong. Emperor Gaozong of Tang honored him titles of Chancellor and Grand Commander of Bingzhou. [13]

In popular culture

In folk stories, Liu Hongji was one of the four close guards (along with Yin Kaishan, Duan Zhixuan and Ma Sanbao) to protect Li Shimin when he was the Prince of Qin. During the campaign against Goguryeo, all four guards were killed by Yeon Gaesomun in a battle.





  1. ^ Old Book of Tang: 弘基少落拓,交通轻侠,不事家产,以父荫为右勋侍。大业末,尝从炀帝征辽东,家贫不能自致,行至汾阴,度已后期当斩,计无所出,遂与同旅屠牛,潜讽吏捕之,系于县狱,岁余,竟以赎论。
  2. ^ Old Book of Tang: 事解亡命,盗马以供衣食,因至太原。会高祖镇太原,遂自结托,又察太宗有非常之度,尤委心焉。由是大蒙亲礼,出则连骑,入同卧起。
  3. ^ Old Book of Tang: 王威、高君雅欲为变,高祖伏弘基及长孙顺德于厅事之后,弘基因麾左右执威等。
  4. ^ Old Book of Tang: 与隋将宋老生战,破之,进攻霍邑。老生率众阵于城外,弘基从太宗击之,老生败走,弃马投堑,弘基下斩其首,拜右光禄大夫。
  5. ^ Old Book of Tang: 师至河东,弘基以兵千人先济河,进下冯翊,为渭北道大使,得便宜从事,以殷开山为副。西略地扶风,有众六万。南渡渭水,屯于长安故城,威声大振,耀军金光门。卫文升遣兵来战,弘基逆击走之,擒甲士千余人、马数百匹。
  6. ^ Old Book of Tang: 又从太宗讨薛举。
  7. ^ Old Book of Tang: 从太宗屯于柏壁,率兵二千自隰州趋西河,断贼归路。时贼锋甚劲,弘基坚壁,不能进。及金刚遁,弘基率骑邀之,至于介休,与太宗会,追击大破之。累封任国公。
  8. ^ Old Book of Tang: 寻从击刘黑闼于洺州,师旋,授秉钺将军。
  9. ^ Old Book of Tang: 会突厥入寇,弘基率步骑一万,自豳州北界东拒子午岭,西接临泾,修营障塞,副淮安王神通,备胡寇于北鄙。
  10. ^ Old Book of Tang: 李孝常、长孙安业之谋逆也,坐与交游除名。
  11. ^ Old Book of Tang: 岁余,起为易州刺史。
  12. ^ Old Book of Tang: 太宗征辽东,以弘基为前军大总管。
  13. ^ Old Book of Tang: 其年卒,年六十九。高宗为之举哀,废朝三日,赠开府仪同三司、并州都督。
  14. ^ Old Book of Tang:父升,隋河州刺史。
  15. ^ Old Book of Tang: 子仁实袭,官至左典戎卫郎将。从子仁景,神龙初,官至司农卿。