0154 – 0202
Who was Yuan Shao?
Yuan Shao, style name Benchu, was a warlord who lived in the late Eastern Han Dynasty. He occupied the northern territories of China during the civil war that occurred towards the end of the Han Dynasty and the beginning of the Three Kingdoms era. He was also an elder half-brother of Yuan Shu, a warlord who controlled the Huai River region, though the two were not on good terms with each other.
One of the most powerful warlords of his time, Yuan Shao spearheaded a coalition of warlords against Dong Zhuo, who held Emperor Xian hostage in the capital Luoyang, but failed due to internal disunity. In 200, he launched a campaign against his rival Cao Cao but was defeated at the Battle of Guandu. He died of illness two years later in Ye. His eventual failure despite his powerful family background and geographical advantages was commonly blamed on his indecisiveness and inability to heed the advice of his advisors.