Remarkable Women in Ancient China (16)- Xu Fu

Who is she? 

  • The most renowned female fortune teller in ancient China 

Notable Life Events:

  • Born in 221 BC to a county governor father 
  • She saw Liu Bang (the founder of the Han dynasty) in her home county when he was en route to attacking the Qin capital and concocted a plan for her father to flock under his banner 
  • Xu Fu foretold that Consort Bo (eventually concubine to  Liu Bang) would give birth to an Emperor when she was still married to Lord Wei Bao (who preceded Liu Bang as her husband)
  • Liu Bang made her a noble after he founded the Han dynasty 
  • During the reign of Consort Bo’ son she foretold the key events of Zhou Ya Fu’s life: that he would become a marquis in three years, become the prime minister eight years after that and then die of hunger nine years after that. 

Why is she remarkable:

  • I believe she is the first female to be given a noble title in her own right since ancient China changed away from a matriarchal society to a patriarchal one 
  • Reputedly she was born holding a jade with the picture of a bagua in her hands and could speak already when she was a hundred days old. That apparently earned her recognition from the founder of the Qin Dynasty himself. She could also already tell fortunes as a baby via laughing or crying upon seeing people. I felt like these are more legends that have surfaced to great people. There were many of these floating around attached to certain historical figures. 

Moonlake’s thoughts on her: 

Not sure about personality, I just thought it interesting that she would have earned a noble title for herself due to her fortune telling skills. 

Published by moonlakeku

intermediate Chinese fantasy writer working on her debut series

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