Zhonghang Yue

From SamuraiWiki
Jump to navigationJump to search

Zhonghang Yue was a 2nd century BCE Han Dynasty official of Xiongnu origins, who betrayed the Han to become a chief advisor to Xiongnu leaders.

Zhonghang was a eunuch who served for a time as a tutor to Han princesses in the state of Yan. When the princess he was tutoring was to be married off to the Xiongnu, Zhonghang reportedly warned Han leaders that should he return to the land of his birth, it would mean trouble for the dynasty. Sima Qian had written similarly, asserting that, in general, Xiongnu recruited into Han service tended to turn traitor. Indeed, upon returning to Xiongnu lands, Zhonghang began advising Xiongnu leaders as to how to best the Han in political and diplomatic exchanges, including in gift exchanges, the use of seals, and how to argue for the superiority of Xiongnu culture over Confucian civilization.


  • Ryan Abrecht, "Places of Possibility: Shapeshifting on the Roman & Chinese Frontiers," Shape Shifters: Journeys Across Terrains of Race and Identity conference, University of California, Santa Barbara, 18 March 2016.