Jizhou was one of the Nine Provinces of ancient China. It is referenced in Chinese historical texts such as the Tribute of Yu, Erya and Rites of Zhou. It consisted of lands north of the Yellow River, including the modern province Hebei, and the municipalities of Beijing and Tianjin.
In the late Han dynasty, much of northern China, including Jizhou, was controlled by the warlord Yuan Shao and headquartered at Ye. In 200, Yuan Shao was defeated by the rival warlord Cao Cao at the Battle of Guandu, and died shortly thereafter. His sons Yuan Shang and Yuan Tan took control of his territories. In the following years, Cao Cao launched an invasion of northern China, capturing Ye in 204 and decisively winning the Battle of White Wolf Mountain in 207. Cao Cao and his successors controlled Jizhou for the rest of the Han dynasty and the Three Kingdoms period.