Ding Yuan 丁原 was Inspector of Bing Province during Later Han. A fierce man who considered no task too difficult. He assisted He Jin in his campaign against the eunuchs, but was later killed by his subordinate Lü Bu 呂布 who had defected to Dong Zhuo's side.


Ding Yuan was born into a humble family. Described as a rough man, fierce in battle and skilled in horsemanship and archery. When he was an official at Nan County, he considered no assignment too difficult, and was always at the forefront when pursuing bandits.[3]

Ding Yuan eventually became Inspector of Bing Province and later Chief Commandant [of Cavalry] Who is Martial and Brave, stationed in Henei commandery in Sili Province. He employed his Master of Records, Lü Bu, and entrusted much to him.[1][4]

When Emperor Ling died, Ding Yuan led his troops to pay his respects at Luoyang. He was accompanied by Lü Bu.[5] He plotted with General-in-Chief He Jin 何進 to exterminate the eunuchs. Ding Yuan was ordered to make a show of strength. He burnt the city of Mengjin, north of Luoyang and was then appointed Bearer of the Gilded Mace, chief of police at the capital.[1]

In trying to rid the palace of eunuchs He Jin, pressed by Yuan Shao, enlisted the aid of Dong Zhuo, much against anyone's advice. Eventually He Jin got killed by the eunuchs which caused his allies to storm the palace and massacre the eunuchs. When the eunuchs were killed Dong Zhuo arrived and entered the capital city. Dong Zhuo planned to create chaos, and his first intention was to kill Ding Yuan and annex his military command. Knowing that Lü Bu was greatly trusted by Ding Yuan, he lured Lü Bu into killing him. Lü Bu then took over Ding Yuan's troops and joined Dong Zhuo.[1][2]


Fact vs. FictionEdit


  • ...Ding Yuan was not Lü Bu's adoptive father.
  • is not exactly known how Dong Zhuo persuaded Lü Bu to kill Ding Yuan.
    Read about this fictional event here.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 de Crespigny, A Biographical Dictionary of Later Han to the Three Kingdoms, biography of Ding Yuan page 144.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 de Crespigny, To Establish Peace, Zhongping 6
  3. Chen Shou, Sanguo zhi, Wei Book 7
  4. Kongming's Archives, Sanguo zhi biography of Lü Bu
  5. de Crespigny, A Biographical Dictionary, biography of Lü Bu page 624-625