Yuan An

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Yuan An 袁安 (styled Shaogong 邵公, died 9 April 92) was a prominent scholar, administrator and statesman at the Han Dynasty courts of Emperor Zhang and Emperor He. He is regarded as the founder of the powerful Yuan clan of Ru'nan, one the leading aristocratic families of the Eastern Han.

Early life and career

Born in Ruyang (汝陽), Ru'nan (汝南) commandery (near modern Shangshui, Henan province) to a gentry family, Yuan An inherited knowledge in the Book of Changes from his grandfather Yuan Liang (袁良), who had reached the position of magistrate around 25. With this learning, Yuan An established a reputation for himself in his native commandery. After some minor clerical experience, he was recommended as "Filially Pious and Incorrupt" by the Magistrate of Ruyang in 60 and travelled to Luoyang to serve at the imperial court. In 62, he left the capital and for the next eight years he held the relatively insignificant positions of Chief and then Magistrate in the eastern provinces. Then in 70, Yuan An received his first major assignment as Grand Administrator of Chu commandery, to investigate the Liu Ying, the King of Chu, who was accused of heresy and treason. The subsequent administrative and judicial proceedings were regarded with satisfaction by the Emperor and in 74, Yuan was recalled to the capital to serve as Intendant of He'nan, with executive responsibilities in the territory surrounding Luoyang. In this role, the Hou Han Shu states that...
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