Qiao Xuan 橋玄


Qiao Xuan hailed from a scholarly family in Liang commandery, Yu province and throughout various appointments during the Later Han he developed a reputation as a righteous and firm official, exemplified by his unwillingness to pay a ransom for his own kidnapped son, who died as a result. However, he is best remembered for his famous assessment of a young Cao Cao.

Qiao Xuan began his official career as Officer of Merit in Liang. He made himself known to the Inspector of Yu Province, Zou Jing during a tour by requesting to be made Assistant Officer for Chen (south-west of Liang, towards Runan) in order to investigate Chancellor Yang Chang for improper conduct. Zhou Jing approved his request and despite the interventions of general Liang Ji and even Zhou Jing later on, Qiao Xuan successfully had Yang Chang dismissed. He was later nominated Filial and Incorrupt and appointed to office in Luoyang. After emerging from a prison sentence for killing a county magistrate who he had perceived as acting beyond his authority, he served as the Adminstrator of Shanggu and then Hanyang. Whilst in Hanyang he furthered his reputation when he had a magistrate in the commandery of Hanyang flogged to death for corruption. It was in 175 when Qiao Xuan met Cao Cao and marked him as a man of uncommon potential, and also advised Cao Cao to seek out the opinion of Xu Shao. Qiao said to Cao: The empire will fall into disorder and only a man with ability to command the age will be able to deal with it. You are the man that will restore the peace. By the twilight of his long career in the late 170s, Qiao Xuan had been called upon to serve in positions ranging from Chief Clerk and Intendant of Henan to Director of the Secretariat, Grand Commmandant and Minister of Works, as well as serving in the provinces as an Administrator and Inspector. Whilst in Luoyang, Qiao Xuan's young son was kidnapped, but he refused to pay a ransom. Although the ransomers were captured his son perished - but Qiao Xuan stood by his stance, reflecting his view that there should be no room for negotiation and indeed afterwards, Qiao Xuan's uncompromising act did put a halt to such incidents in the capital. Qiao Xuan was 75 when he died, in either 183 or 184. Qiao Xuan was historically not the father of the Qiao sisters.


Fact vs. FictionEdit


  • …Qiao Xuan was not the father of the Qiao sisters.