Liu Rengui - Background

Background

Liu Rengui was born in 602, during the reign of Emperor Wen of Sui. He was from what would later be Bian Prefecture (汴州, roughly modern Kaifeng, Henan). It was said that he was respectful and studious in his youth, but in the disturbances that resulted in Sui Dynasty's downfall in 619, he was unable to spend much time in studying and was forced to flee the wars from time to time, and he would practice his calligraphy by writing on dirt. Early during the reign of the founder of the succeeding Tang Dynasty, Emperor Gaozu, one of Emperor Gaozu's generals, Ren Gui (任瓌), who was in charge of the modern Henan region, had drafted a report to Emperor Gaozu, when, for reasons unstated in historical records, Liu Rengui had an opportunity to read it. Liu was able to improve on the report by making several simple character changes, and this surprised Ren, who then recommended him as the military advisor to the prefect of Xi Prefecture (息州, roughly modern Xinyang, Henan), and later as the sheriff of Chencang County (陳倉, in modern Baoji, Shaanxi).

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