Zhuge Liang

or Chu-ko Liang

born AD 181, Yangdu, Shandong province, China
died August 234, Wuzhangyuan, Shaanxi province, China

Celebrated adviser to Liu Bei, founder of the Shu-Han dynasty of the Six Dynasties period.

Liu was so impressed with Zhuge that on his deathbed he urged Zhuge to take the throne himself if his own son proved incapable. A genius in mechanics and mathematics, Zhuge is credited with inventing a bow for shooting several arrows at once and with perfecting the Eight Dispositions, a series of military tactics. Supernatural powers were often ascribed to him, and he is a favourite character in Chinese plays and stories, notably Sanguozhi yanyi (Romance of the Three Kingdoms). In 1724 he was made a Confucian saint.

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▪ Chinese adviser
Wade-Giles romanization  Chu-ko Liang , courtesy name  Kongming 
born 181, Yangdu [now Yinan, Shandong province], China
died August 234, Wuzhangyuan [now in Shaanxi province], China

      celebrated adviser to Liu Bei, founder of the Shu-Han dynasty (221–263/264).

      Zhuge, to whom supernatural powers often are ascribed, has been a favoured character of many Chinese plays and stories. Legend states that Liu Bei, then a minor military figure, heard of Zhuge Liang's great wisdom and came three times to the wilderness retreat to which Zhuge had retired to seek him out as an adviser. It is known that Zhuge helped Liu organize a large army and found a dynasty. Liu was so impressed with Zhuge's wisdom that on his deathbed Liu urged his son to depend on Zhuge's advice and urged Zhuge to ascend the throne himself if the prince were unable to rule.

      A mechanical and mathematical genius, Zhuge is credited with inventing a bow for shooting several arrows at once and with perfecting the Eight Dispositions, a series of military tactics. In the Sanguozhi yanyi (Romance of the Three Kingdoms), the great 14th-century historical novel, Zhuge is one of the main characters; he is portrayed as being able to control the wind and foretell the future.

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Universalium. 2010.

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